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AGGRESSION 54: Kansas City, MO - 9/15/10


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
Scene cut backstage to see Omega sitting on crate with Barb in his hand. He looked around the area scanning for anything or anyone that may be on the attack. The straight jacket he continued to wear was now a little blood stained because of the altercation with the ref’s son at Aggression 53. The sick twisted smile from this self proclaimed craziest bastard in wrestling was enough to make the strongest man feel a little weak in the stomach. Omega turned to his steel chair wrapped in barbed wire.

OMEGA: Have you any idea why that kid attacked us last week?

Barb: …

OMEGA: I thought you would say that but there has to be an explanation.

Barb: …

OMEGA: Copycat huh. He sent him. I don’t understand.

Barb: …

OMEGA: Maybe that beating we gave him warped his mind.

The camera suddenly panned around to see the owner of Empire Pro Wrestling, Dan Ryan walk into the picture. He hadn’t been seen for weeks and now he was standing behind OMEGA. Dan cleared his throat.

Ryan: Excuse me. Omega we need to talk.

Omega never turned around to look at Ryan. He kept his back to the man in charge before speaking.

OMEGA: Talk. We are listening.

Ryan: I gave you the opportunity to come back to Empire Pro. I could have let those doctors take you away forever. What happened at Aggression fifty-two was not what we agreed to. You need to take care of this.

Omega stood to his feet and turned to look at the illustrious owner face to face.

OMEGA: We will take care of this. But <b>you</b> will owe us.

Dan Ryan looked at the man that was as equally the same size as he was and smiled before turning his back and walking away. Omega watched the owner walk down the hall before turning his attention back to Barb.

Barb: …

OMEGA: I agree that man has no idea.

Camera cut from backstage and headed to the ringside area.


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
Intro + Karl "The Dragon" Brown (c) vs. Donovan Astros - Non-Title

[“Imperial March” reverberates throughout the arena and a video package flies by on the screen.

Lindsay Troy unmasking as Dis, holding the EPW World Title up for all to see.

The First hitting the Cut The Thread on Cameron Cruise

Layne Winters, bloody and screaming in the ring

Stalker, perched on the ring apron with a barbed wire baseball bat, then diving down onto his opponent on the outside.

Donovan Astros clotheslining Michael Bastard over the top rope.

The Heirs of Wrestling stalking to the ring with the EPW World Tag Team Titles around their waists.

“Triple X” Sean Stevens hitting multiple superkicks to Marcus Westcott, The First and Shawn Hart in succession

And finally…. A desk with a high backed leather chair and Dan Ryan sitting front and center, leaning back and staring right into the camera.



The stage is illuminated by a veritable bonanza of booming pyrotechnics as the camera pans over the crowd, cuts to the ring from a wide angle, then concludes its journey with a smash cut to the broadcast team.

The opening pyro for Aggression goes off on the top of the ramp, the crowd cheering loud as the camera pans around the arena.

CUT TO: The broadcast table to show Dave Thomas in a black suit jacket, blue shirt with a blue/silver trimmed tie. Next to him is Dean Matthews in a grey suit jacket, white shirt, tan tie. Mike Neely wearing only a button up blue shirt, no tie.]
DT: Ladies and gentlemen!! Welcome to Empire Pro Wrestling Aggression 54… with you tonight, I am.. Dave Thomas… alongside Mike Neely and Dean Matthews and what a show we’ve got ahead of us…

DM: Indeed, two more matches in the King of the Cage tournament, an Intercontinental Title match, a huge non-title matchup between the impressive newcomer Donovan Astros and our Television Champion Karl Brown… a monster three way dance between Layne Winters, Lindsay Troy and Copycat…

DT: And of course… in one of those King of the Cage matches, the EPW World Championship will be on the line as Erik Black takes on the newly crowned EPW Champion… The First.

MN: And everyone pukes right into their laps.

DT: Up first, we've got a one-on-one match between the EPW Television Champion, Karl Brown, and a newcomer to EPW who's certainly not a newcomer to the wrestling ring, Donovan Astros.

MN: A non-title match, Matthews! What, is Karl Brown too good to defend the Television Title on television now?

DM: Karl Brown doesn't make his own matches, Mike. You know that. And knowing Karl Brown as we do, if it were up to him, I imagine he'd have no problem putting the gold on the line against any worthy opponent, and I think that would include Donovan Astros.

MN: Well then, whose idea was it to make this match non-title? Is Dan Ryan making matches from his hospital bed now?

DM: If I were you, I'd watch my mouth when I'm talking about the guy who signs my paychecks.

DT: Well, title match or no, Donovan Astros has Aggression 54 to prove whether he's worthy of a Television Title shot. Let's head to the ring.

[CUEUP: “Worldwide Suicide” by Pearl Jam. Donovan Astros heads through the curtain and down to the ring, craning his neck and limbering up to get ready for his match. He's energetic, but calculated, as he receives ever louder crowd support than he has received at the last two shows]

TF: Ladies and gentlemen, the following is a non-title match scheduled for one fall. Making his way to the ring now, from Los Angeles, California! Weighing in at 237 pounds, Donovaaaaaaan Assssstroooossss!

[Astros rolls into the ring, still working to get his head into the match]

DT: Donovan Astros is primed and ready for this one, and you can see it in his eyes! As we said earlier, Donovan Astros is new to EPW, but he's not new to the business. Here's a man who has to know by now how to make an impact in a new place, and tonight is a perfect opportunity for Donovan Astros to do it.

MN: Well, he certainly had a chance to make an impact at Aggression 53 before having the winning pinfall yanked away from him by Michael Bastard. This time, he's got no excuses for not holding his opponent's shoulders to the mat for that oh-so-sweet three-count.

DM: And we can't forget his debut match, when he took Erik Black to the limit in the very first round of the King of the Cage tournament. As we can all see by Erik Black's advancement through the ranks, not to mention his shot at EPW World Heavyweight Title in the First's first title defense later tonight, taking him to the limit is no easy task.

DT: Karl Brown is a very different opponent from Erik Black, though – not to mention Shawn Hart, Astros' other opponent last week – so Donovan Astros is going to have to adjust his strategies if he wants to get the upper hand in this one.

[The lights go out momentarily]

[CUEUP: “Rainmaker” by Iron Maiden. The crowd, while certainly not ignoring Astros earlier, comes alive with cheers as green and white lights flash through the arena. The pop gets even louder as Karl “The Dragon” Brown knocks the curtains aside and walks out onto the entranceway, pointing to the crowd and offering words we can't hear over the noise, the EPW Television Title wrapped around his waist. He slowly makes his way to the ring, high-fiving fans and drinking in the adulation]

TF: And his opponent! From Nottingham, England! Weighing in at 211 pounds, the EPW Television Champion, Karllllll the Dragonnnnn Broooowwwwnnnn!

DT: I thought we might see a conflicted crowd tonight – audiences have been wanting to get behind both the champion and his non-title challenger in recent weeks. But there's no question this capacity crowd is much more vocal about its support for the Dragon.

MN: Good! Nothing makes me sicker than one of those boring matches where the crowd wants to give both guys a gold star. Of course, I'd like it even better if they'd actually pick someone to boo in this one, but if Donovan Astros comes to his senses and stops kissing up to them, maybe my wish will be granted!

DM: You're just not happy unless somebody's hating somebody, are you, Mike?

MN: Of course not! If I didn't hate half of the idiots in this arena right now, I'd never find the strength to come out here!

DM: You live a sad existence, Neely.

[Brown hops onto the apron, vaults over the top rope onto the middle rope and continues pointing to the crowd and soaking up the cheers. Astros, for his part, stands in the ring, eyes fixed on Brown but keeping his distance for now]

DT: Well, the sentiments of my broadcast partner aside, this should be a great contest between two men with strong drives to win and without any hidden agendas. It's going to be a story of two competitors focused on proving themselves to the EPW fans – and proving their worthiness of holding the EPW Television Title.

DM: Like you, Dave, I'm anxious to see what these two can do one-on-one in the squared circle. Without the flashy showmanship of Shawn Hart or the intense brutality of Michael Bastard, there should be no obstacles standing between these two men and a fantastic match.

MN: Well, you know, except for the whole boredom thing.

DM: Straight-up, no-strings-attached in-ring competition doesn't appeal to you, Mike?

MN: No, no, I love not having a reason to like either guy. Sheesh. Maybe I'll luck out and Stalker will show up for no reason to beat the stuffing out of both of them.

[Gomez gives the timekeeper the signal]


DT: Donovan Astros and the Dragon tenuously circling each other here to begin, both men seemingly looking for an upper hand early on.

MN: Yes, walking around in a circle certainly is exciting.

DM: Will you stop? Collar-and-elbow tie-up in the center of the ring, and Astros pushes Brown back into the ropes. Referee Emilio Gomez calls for the break.

DT: Astros using that size advantage – he’s got three inches and more than 20 pounds on Karl Brown, and in a race to get an edge, that’s an advantage he’s got to use.

DM: Both men back to the center of the ring, another tie-up and Astros locks in a headlock. Brown backing up to the ropes again and pushes Astros off. Astros off the ropes, Brown leapfrogs him, off the ropes to the other side and Brown looking for a hiptoss!

DT: But Astros keeps his footing and now nails a hiptoss of his own to send Brown to the mat! Astros looking for something else, but Brown rolls away from him, over to the corner to regroup!

DM: There’s Karl Brown using his smaller size and speed to his advantage, not letting Astros keep him in a dangerous position!

MN: I wish he’d do something, I’m in a dangerous position of falling asleep on the job!

DM: I’m sure you’ll eventually get a chance to see one of these fine competitors take some punishment, if it will make you feel better.

DT: Another center-of-the-ring lockup, and this time Brown gets the side headlock on his larger opponent. Brown takes him to the mat with a headlock takedown, but Astros grabs him in a headscissor!

DM: And Brown kips up to his feet to escape! Astros is back up and Brown puts him right back down with an armdrag! Astros up again and another armdrag! And this time, Brown’s got the arm locked! He wants to keep Astros grounded with the armbar, stop him from using that strength advantage!

MN: Well, it doesn’t look like it’s working, because Astros is forcing himself back up to his feet!

DT: Astros has regained his footing and he reverses things, wrenching Brown’s arm around! Brown pushes up against Astros, driving him into the ropes, and Astros shoves Brown off to the other side. Astros drops flat on the rebound, Brown’s over him, off the ropes from the other side and Astros floors him with a shoulderblock!

DM: It looked like Brown was going for a shoulderblock of his own there, but Astros was ready for it and he once again used that size advantage. Astros down now for a chinlock, but Brown is quickly up to his feet and he wrenches the arm to free himself.

DT: Brown's got the arm twisted behind Astros ... and Astros clocks him with an elbow!

DM: That certainly got Brown's attention!

MN: About time one of these guys bothered to throw a punch or something!

DT: Astros grabs Brown by the head and sends him face-first into the top turnbuckle! A couple of knees to the midsection, and Astros whips Brown to the other corner! Brown stumbles out of the corner and Astros takes him down with a big clothesline!

DM: Cover by Astros!



No! Brown gets the shoulder up.

MN: Even a clown like the Dragon doesn't get beat that easily. You'd think Astros would be smart enough to know that. I mean, I wouldn't think he'd be smart enough to know anything, but one of you two might.

DM: Astros hauls Brown to his feet and backs him into the buckle again. Hard shoulder to the midsection, and another! A swift elbow to the side of the head has Brown stunned. Astros sends him to the ropes and nails a punishing knee to the midsection on the rebound!

DT: Another cover by Astros!



And Brown gets the shoulder up again.

DM: Astros is taking an interesting approach here. As the bigger man, it seems like he'd want to keep the pace slower to avoid getting tired out.

DT: I don't think that's too much of a concern for Astros right now, Dean – he was full of energy to start this thing, and he's riding that rush as far as he can.

MN: Well, if he's not careful he's going to ride it right into a brick wall! Brown is sharp, and even if he's on the defensive right now, he's looking for an opportunity. Once he finds it, if Astros is sucking wind, it's going to be all over for the newcomer!

DT: Astros pulls Brown up to his feet again and snaps him right back to the canvas with a hard bodyslam! Off the ropes, and Astros drops the elbow! Another lateral press!



And Astros barely even gets two on that one as Brown once again hangs on.

DM: But Astros is keeping up that quick pace as he picks Brown up again and sends him right back down with a snap suplex! Astros drags Brown to his feet once more, Irish whip to the ropes, Astros lowers the head and OH! What a kick by Karl Brown!

MN: Brown put the top of his boot right into the bridge of Astros' nose as Astros was looking for that back body drop!

DM: And a dropkick by Brown sends Astros to the canvas! Astros is back up to his feet, and another dropkick fells him again! But Astros is right back up again! Astros connects with an elbow to the side of the head, off the ropes with a clothesline, but Brown ducks under it and hits the ropes on the other side! Both men running toward the center of the ring and a cross-body by Brown!



Kickout by Astros! He's trying to keep the adrenaline flowing, but now that he's no longer in control, Astros isn't finding it quite so easy!

DT: Brown's got Astros back up, Irish whip to the buckle, but Astros reverses! Astros charges in and gets a face full of boot from the Dragon!

MN: He must have enjoyed the first one so much, he came back for seconds!

DT: Astros staggers out of the corner as Brown hops up to the second rope! Astros turns around and a flying clothesline from Brown! Brown's got the cover! The leg is hooked!



Not quite!

DM: Brown spins around behind Astros as he tries to get up and he's just clamped on a Dragon sleeper! That is not a move you want to get trapped in so early in the match!

MN: Yeah, but the bonehead locked it on right next to the ropes! Look, Astros has already got to them, and Brown's having to break the hold!

DM: Brown's not deterred, though, and he backs Astros into the corner again and lays into him with knife-edge chops! Brown whips Astros into the opposite corner and follows him in with a big dropkick! European uppercut knocks Astros back into the corner, and this time Brown hops up and ... monkey flip! Astros manages to sit up, and Brown comes off the rope and puts him down with a dropkick right to the face!

DT: Brown floats over into a cover!



No! Not enough. Astros is still alive in this one.

MN: See, this is exactly what I was talking about. Astros tired himself out, and now Brown is all over him.

DM: I'm sure Astros has still got plenty left in the tank, Mike.

DT: Brown now, climbing to the top rope! He could be about to take a big risk here! Astros picking himself up and Brown ... nails him with a beautiful missile dropkick! Brown with a cover!



Kickout by Astros! Brown looks like he thought he had him there.

DM: But he's wasting no time. Brown's up to his feet and he's got the legs – he could be going for a sharpshooter here, or even worse, the Vixen's Tail! Astros is trying to get his arms cinched so he can turn Astros over, but Astros fights back with shots to the face!

MN: Finally, someone actually throws a punch! I should have brought my stopwatch tonight.

DM: What, you can't just measure the distance between now and where Mickey's hand was when the match started?

DT: One more shot to the face and Brown breaks the hold and staggers back! He's right back over there looking for it, and Astros kicks him off! Astros is up, Brown charges and Astros sends him over the top to the floor with a back body drop!

DM: Ouch! Brown hit the mat hard on the outside there! Astros is trying to shake out the cobwebs, but it looks like Brown is going to give him plenty of time to recover.

DT: Brown is stirring on the outside, and Astros is mulling his next move. Takes a look out at the crowd, and he's off the ropes on the opposite side! Through the ropes with a suicide dive and nails Brown!

Crowd: *POP*

DM: Astros has just wiped out the Television Champion with a big suicide dive!

MN: But he wiped out himself, too! What was he thinking?

DM: Astros now rolls the champion into the ring! Astros with a cover!



And Brown gets the shoulder up!

DT: Astros is in control as he picks up Brown and ... butterfly suplex sends Brown crashing to the mat! Astros gets a cover and hooks the leg!



Kickout by Brown! Astros has the advantage in this one, but he can't keep the Dragon down!

MN: Looks like Astros is going to take a different approach, then, because it looks like he's going for a half crab! No, an STF! If he gets this locked in, Brown's going to have no choice but to tap out like a punk!

DT: Astros trying to get the hold locked in and ... he's got it! The STF is applied, and Astros is wrenching back, trying to drain whatever resolve the Dragon may have left!

DM: You can see the pain in Brown's eyes, but he's not going to give up easily! Brown stretching for the ropes!

MN: See, Astros is smarter than Brown – he didn't apply his hold right next to the ropes like Brown did with the dragon sleeper earlier!

DM: That may be so, but Brown is still charting a steady course for those ropes! Astros is pulling back on the head while trying to use as much of those 237 of those pounds as possible to anchor Brown in place, but he's ... almost ... there! Brown's got the ropes, and Astros has to break the hold!

DT: And he does just that with barely a one-count from Emilio Gomez!

DM: I bet you're mightily disappointed that Astros didn't try to break the rules there, Mike.

MN: Disappointed, maybe, but certainly not surprised. Anything but surprised.

DT: Astros brings Brown to his feet, hooks in a front facelock and lifts Brown onto the top rope! He could be looking for the Concussion Cannon, that elevated DDT, and if he hits it, this one might be over!

DM: But Brown's got ahold of the ropes! He's not letting Astros pull him far enough out to deliver the DDT! Brown now fires back with right hands, and Astros breaks the hold! Brown gets to his feet on the top rope and ... cross-body!


DT: No! Astros rolls it over!



Almost had him! Astros caught the Dragon by surprise there by reversing the cross-body, but Brown hangs on! Both men back up, kick to the gut by Astros and ASTROLABE!

DT: That punishing implant DDT spikes the Television Champion into the canvas! Astros rolls him over and hooks the leg!



Shoulder's up again!

MN: Geez, you just can't keep that idiot down! Doesn't he know when to quit?

DM: I would think, Mike, that you would know Karl Brown well enough by now to know that quitting is pretty low down the list of his favorite activities.

DT: I'd expect anyone to be frustrated by now, but if Astros is frustrated, he's not showing it. He goes right back to work, bringing Brown up to his feet. Astros hooks the arms, gets behind Brown and ... Aztecan suplex! Astros is just not letting up on the Television Champion! He goes for another cover!



Brown kicks out!

DM: And Astros is right back to work! He drags Brown to the center of the ring and he's getting ready to reapply that STF! With Brown having absorbed a lot more punishment and even farther from those ropes, he's going to have a much tougher time surviving the hold this time! Astros has the leg and...

DT: Brown rolls him over into a pinning combination!



Thr–NO! Brown almost had him!

DM: He took Astros completely by surprise!

MN: It's a surprise to me that anyone would be dumb enough to give Karl Brown time to recover!

DM: Big clothesline by Astros nearly turns Brown inside out! Astros tells the crowd this one is over!

DT: He's got Brown to his feet ... locks in a front facelock, and lifts him up for a suplex! He's holding Brown in the air and heading to the ropes – we could be about to see the Slingshot Effect!

DM: No! Brown slides down the back, and a reverse sunset flip! Astros' shoulders are down!



NO! Not quite! Astros is back up, another big clothesline ... but Brown ducks under it!

DT: Dropkick to the back by Brown sends Astros face-first into the buckle! Astros staggers back and BIG RELEASE GERMAN SUPLEX! Brown just rattled Astros' brain with that one, and both men are down!

DM: Gomez starts the count!

Crowd [chanting along with Gomez]: ONE! TWO!

DT: Brown is stirring! Astros is still out!


DT: Both men active now! Brown's almost to his feet!

MN: Come on, Astros! How can this guy beat you to your feet after the pounding he's taken? What is with this guy?


DT: And Brown is up!

DM: Astros is up just a second later! A right by Brown, and one by Astros! Both men trading blows in the center of the ring! Who'll give first?

DT: It's Astros! Brown hammering away at Astros now! Irish whip by Brown, reversed, and Astros misses with a clothesline! Brown off the ropes, and he puts Astros down with a flying forearm!

Crowd: *POP*

DM: The Dragon is feeding off this capacity crowd's energy! He's on fire in there!

MN: If that's a pun, Matthews, it's a lousy one!

DT: Clothesline drops Astros to the mat! Astros is back up, and another clothesline sends him right back down! Standing dropkick drops Astros a third time! Brown drags Astros up, hooks the arms and TIGER SUPLEX!



NO! Astros kicked out, but the Dragon is in complete control, and this crowd is loving it!

DM: Brown now pulling Astros over to the corner! Brown scampers up the ropes and ... Diamond Dust to Astros! He's got the cover! The leg is hooked!



And again, Astros hangs on!

DT: And it's right back to business for the Dragon, as he's headed up to the top tope!

MN: Where is this coming from? What, was Brown just playing possum before or something? He should be dead and buried by now!

DM: Brown off the top rope with the dragonrana and ...

MN: NO! Astros counters with a huge powerbomb!

DT: That just came out of nowhere! Astros flips over into a jack-knife cover!



TH–NO! NO! Brown's still alive! He just barely beat that three-count, but he's still alive!

DM: Astros scoops up Brown, but Brown escapes out the back door! Brown shoves Astros face-first into the buckle, and a kick to the back by Brown!

DT: Brown's got him positioned! This could be the Dragon's Bite! Brown hoists Astros up and ...

DM: Wait, no! Astros uses the momentum to flip all the way over Brown! Astros hooks the arms! ASTROCIDE! ASTROCIDE!

DT: A cover by Astros!



THR—NO! Brown just barely escapes the three-count again!

MN: He's got to be out of gas by now, right?

DM: Astros hauls Brown up! He's looking for that Slingshot Effect again! Lifts Brown into position, slingshots him off the top rope and ...

DT: Brown slides down the back! Another kick to the back! The Dragon's Bite! Brown's got the Dragon's Bite! He's got Astros hooked and ...

DM: Inside cradle by Astros!





[Brown kicks out just a fraction of a second too late. He pounds the mat in frustration as Astros gets back to his feet]

TF: Ladies and gentlemen, here is your winner: DONOVAAAAAAANNNN AAAAASSSSSSTROOOOOOSSSSS!

[CUEUP: “Worldwide Suicide” by Pearl Jam. Emilio Gomez raises Astros' hand as Brown looks on, still sitting on the mat and looking upset at himself]

DT: Out of nowhere, Donovan Astros managed to twist around in that reverse facelock and hook Brown with an inside cradle!

DM: He must have taken the Dragon by surprise, because beating Karl Brown with quickness is no easy prospect!

MN: You know what would surprise me? If Karl Brown would get up and wipe the smile off of Astros' face! All this clean, wholesome competition ... it makes me queasy!

DM: You're the only one in this arena tonight who didn't like it, Neely. These fans were hanging on every move as these two competitors took each other to the limit!

[Astros leaves the ring and backs up the ramp, Brown still in the ring, stunned by his sudden pinfall loss. Astros catches Brown's eyes and gives the universal signal for “I want the belt”]

DM: And Donovan Astros is making no secret of his intentions! He's got his eye on the EPW Television Title, and after a big victory tonight over the champion, he's got to be next in line for a shot at it!

DT: That may be something to look forward to at Aggression 55! But we've got lots more to come tonight, including the First defending the EPW World Heavyweight Title against the Dopesmoker, Erik Black! Stay tuned, EPW fans, because Aggression 54 will be right back!


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
"First" Words From the Champ

[FADEIN: The backstage area, we see Kenny Lombardo wearing a black suit jacket with a blue button up shirt.]

LOMBARDO: Please welcome my guest at this time the new EPW World Heavyweight Champion, The First.

[Crowd pops as The First walks into the picture. First is in his ring gear with the EPW World Title Belt over his shoulder.]

FIRST: Kenny…A lot of people have said a lot of things about me since the last show…I’ve been called a fraud, a deluded fool, a sell out…A man who’ll crash and burn like so many others who’ve held this title before me…I’ve heard that following in the footsteps of Sean Stevens is an impossible task…

You know what Kenny? I didn’t win this title because I wanted to be popular in the locker room…Lord knows if I did, I’d be pretty disappointed about how things turned out…You know why I fought night in and night out to win this title? Because I want to be the best in this business, the best wrestler in this industry…And really, without holding this belt, any such claim would be hollow…I take pride in my craft…And I take a backseat to nobody when it comes to getting in that ring and having a fight…

The other reason why I wanted to win this title, is for my fans…For everyone who’s stuck with me…Faith deserves to be rewarded…I owe them all my success…It wasn’t some suits in EPW’s front office that wanted an undersized guy who wears make-up as their standard bearer, it was the fans who kept coming out to the shows for me, who held up signs for me, painted their faces like mine…They were the ones who put me where I am today…And to all of them, I can only say…Thank you for letting me live my life…

And to everyone who’s been picked out, or treated like an outsider…You see my T-Shirt isn’t a catchy slogan made up by some marketing department…I truly want to stand for the Outcasts in our society…I want to be the person who speaks for them and gives them something to cheer about…That’s who I am…

Tonight…Erik Black gets a chance at being EPW World Champion…He says he doesn’t want it…Well Erik…You’re going to get it whether you like it or not…You think you’re going to beat me and end my run in the King of the Cage? That’s not going to happen…Because I might be EPW’s World Champion…But I’m not going to stop until I’m its King also…

[First walks away from Lombardo.]

LOMBARDO: Back to you guys.



Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
Business, Part 1

[Cue up “Zero” by Smashing Pumpkins.

Cue epic pop.]

DT: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome back and it looks like…. we’re gonna hear from our owner!

MN: I’m a little surprised to see him out here after getting run over a few shows back.

DT: Well we saw Mr. Ryan talking to Omega earlier tonight, so perhaps he’ll clear up some of what’s going on.

[Ryan approaches the ring and slides in, a wireless microphone clipped onto the lapel of his suit.]

DAN RYAN: Thanks everyone for the applause. It’s good to be back standing in this ring.


DAN RYAN: I have a little business to take care of. First and foremost, I have an announcement to make about tonight’s Intercontinental Title match. As many of you have heard or may have read in the newspapers in the last few weeks, Shawn Hart, the EPW Intercontinental Champion has been suffering from a serious illness that has kept him hospitalized for the better part of the last two weeks.

Now, rather than force him to wrestle here tonight, I’ve spoken to Michael Bastard and his representatives and have made the decision to postpone his title shot until Unleashed. We all certainly wish Shawn Hart the best in his recovery and will look forward to that match once it commences.

Now then..


[The crowd boos and Ryan smirks.]

DAN RYAN: I suppose you think you’ve done a pretty good job lately. You wanted to make a statement and you made one. Well done. What I have to say tonight… to you… is very simple, Cat. I will make absolutely certain that you get everything that you deserve for all of the hard work you’ve put in, all of the sacrifice you’ve made and every good deed that so far… has gone unrewarded. In fact, I think that you will be REWARDED in a manner that no one in the history of this company ever has. All you need to do to understand what’s in store for you, is go back, look at some footage and get a feel for what happens when I decide to… REWARD… one of my employees. Trust me, Copycat. I am, without a doubt… a man of my word.

[Ryan flicks off his microphone and heads to the ropes, where he climbs down and heads out of the ring.]

DT: Interesting words from the owner, but it didn’t really clear up what that talk with Omega was all about.

DM: Still, good to see the boss back in charge…

MN: Please, you don’t know what the talk with Omega was about?? It was super obvious.

DM: Really?

DT: What was it about then, genius?

MN: I’ll uh… tell you later.

DM: Ha.

DT: Of course you will. Right back after this!!


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
Layne Winters vs. Copycat vs. Lindsay Troy - plus, "Just a little dangle?"

[FADEIN: The entranceway, the camera pans back as “New School” Layne Winters steps through the curtain, wearing dark green trunks, boots, and elbow and knee pads, “I Don’t Know Anything” by Mad Season playing over the PA as the crowd jeers him loudly while he makes his way to the ring.]

TF: The following contest is set for one fall, and it is a TRIPLE THREAT MATCH…Introducing first, from Seattle, Washington…Weighing in at 247 pounds…NEW SCHOOL…LAYNE…WINTERS!!!!

DT: Layne Winters making his way to the ring, a man who really caught one of the most unlucky breaks I can think of in recent history, having the Zane Gate break open on him in his match with Erik Black, allowing Black to get a victory that has put Black into a World Title match later this evening.

DM: You know the history Winters has with The First, and you have to know he’s seething at the idea that he was so close to a chance to win the EPW World Title away from his fellow HOPE mate, and you have to expect he’ll be looking to dish out a beating tonight.

MN: This whole King of the Cage tournament has been a crime against humanity, it’s amazing that Winters is only third on the list of people who’ve been screwed over by this company and its schemes…

[MUSIC UP: “The People That We Love” by Bush. Copycat comes out, drawing his own loud boos, his eyes dead, he slowly walks towards the ring, unblinking as he walks up the ring steps.]

TF: And introducing next, from Kalamazoo, Michigan…Weighing in at 280 pounds…COPY!!! CAT!!!

[More boos as Copycat enters the ring, the ref does his best to keep Winters and Copycat from fighting before the bell rings.]

MN: And here’s number two on the list of people who’ve been screwed over by EPW, he beat that freak, and the ref jobbed him, just flat out jobbed him to appease Dan Ryan and his corporate masters…Right now we should be talking about Sean Stevens or Copycat being EPW World Champion…But we’re not and it’s a crime!

DT: Copycat’s first round loss in the King of the Cage was both controversial for the closeness of the decision and for Copycat’s tactics, King of the Cage might be no disqualification but really what he did crossed a few lines in my book, he was attempting to end the career of The First in that cage.

DM: And from what we’ve seen since that match, Copycat’s shown no remorse for his actions, he thinks he was justified and even required to do the things he did, this is truly a dangerous man…

[MUSIC UP: "Trampled Underfoot" by Led Zeppelin and the crowd pops HUGE as Lindsay Troy makes her way down the ramp, soaking in the ovation from the crowd.]

TF: And their opponent…From Tampa, Florida…Weighing in at 170 pounds…THE QUEEN OF THE RING!!!! LINDSAY!!! TROY!!!

DT: The former EPW World Champion making her long awaited return to the ring and this crowd is on their feet!

DM: The fans certainly have missed seeing Troy in the ring and since her shocking return at Black Dawn, we’ve all been waiting for her to return to action and tonight, we get our wish.

MN: You know I thought after Stevens pinned that little goof to end Black Dawn, that we’d enter a new golden age of Empire Pro, that the grass would be a little greener, the sun a little brighter…But then this fossil who can’t admit the game has passed her by had to run out and ruin Trip’s moment, and then this farce of a tournament happened, and now instead of a golden age, we’re in a dark age…

[Troy enters the ring and after a moment the bell rings, instantly Winters and Copycat begin trading punches.]

DT: The bell rings and just like that we got a fight between Winters and Copycat…Winters catches Copycat with a series of rights and staggers the big man…Winters waving Lindsay to get in on the action and TROY NAILS HIM WITH A DROPKICK! Copycat stumbles towards Troy, gets caught with an ARMDRAG! Copycat gets back to his feet…Gets caught by a series of kicks to the midsection by Troy…He finally catches one of them…ENZIGURI BY TROY!!

DM: The game doesn’t look like it’s passed the Queen by Neely.

MN: Bah...I hate this world so much…I’m going to have to drink a lot after this show…

DT: Troy now locks up with Winters who pushes her into a corner, no way we’re getting a clean break here as Winters nails Troy with a right hand and another….Troy sent to the opposite corner and Winters CRUSHES her with a clothesline right as she hits the corner…Winters throws Troy to the mat and goes for a cover!




DT: Troy powers out at two…Copycat now hammering Winters and he sends Winters into the ropes…COPYCAT CATCHES WINTERS AND SPINEBUSTERS HIM ONTO TROY!! Copycat pins them both…But the ref is telling him he’d have to count it as a double pin by Winters and Copycat on Troy so he can’t do it!

MN: What?! The conspiracy grows even deeper! And now they are flat out ADMITTING the fix is in against Copycat and the honest, hard working men in the locker room!

DM: I think it’s just the fact that it’s one fall to a finish Neely, and technically both Winters and Copycat would be pinning Troy…

MN: I bet you don’t see all the Illuminati references in music videos either…You need to start reading the internet more, this stuff is everywhere, we’re all just puppets being pulled on strings, and those brave enough to speak out about it like Copycat get silenced…Or in this case ripped off repeatedly!

DT: I’m going to call the match, you go back to your internet chat with the other 9/11 Truthers Neely…Copycat grabs Winters and tosses him out of the ring…Cat now grabs Troy and whips her to the ropes…Lindsay ducks under a clothesline…Off the opposite ropes….Troy with a cross body…CAUGHT BY COPYCAT…Copycat holds her…AND A FALL AWAY SLAM BY COPYCAT! Copycat drops an elbow on Troy and covers!




DT: Troy kicks out again!

MN: Only thanks to a slow count the likes of which I’ve never seen before in my life…This is a crock, I’m protesting this whole company!

DM: But you’re still going to cash the checks aren’t you?!

MN: Of course I am, I have a lifestyle to maintain, but I still protest!

DT: Troy pulled back to her feet, Copycat now sends her into the…No! Reversal by Troy…Copycat hits the corner…RUNNING KNEE TO THE JAW BY TROY! Troy grabs Copycat…RUNNING BULLDOG OUT OF THE CORNER! Troy with a cover!




DT: Copycat kicks out…Lindsay back to her feet…GETS DRILLED BY A CLOTHESLINE FROM WINTERS! Winters now putting the boots to both Lindsay and Copycat…Winters grabs Copycat and tosses him to the floor…Winters now turns his attention back to Lindsay Troy and sets her for a powerbomb...HE’S GOT HER UP…HURICANARANA BY TROY!! SHE HOOKS ONE LEG!!




DM: She couldn’t get Winters left leg secured for that pin attempt and I think it cost her!

MN: Of course it cost her, she didn’t win!

DT: Insightful commentary by Neely here…Troy catches Winters with a kick to the ribs and another kick to the mid section as Winters gets to his feet…Troy off the ropes now…ROUND HOUSE KICK DECKS WINTERS! TROY WITH ANOTHER COVER!




DT: Winters powers out…Troy back to her feet…CATCHES COPYCAT WITH A DROKICK AS HE WAS TRYING TO GET BACK INTO THE RING…Copycat sent crashing into the railing!

DM: Keeping one opponent isolated so you can get the pin is one of the keys to winning a three way dance, and Lindsay Troy’s clearly following that rule to the letter.

DT: Winters back to his feet and Troy charges him with a dropkick…WINTERS SWATS HER OUT OF THE AIR! Troy crashes to the mat!

MN: That’s the problem when you’re so undersized, Folks can just out muscle you...Come on Layne, take advantage here!

DT: Winters stomping away repeatedly on Troy and now he pulls the Queen of The Ring to her feet and sends her HARD into the corner…She staggers out and Winters catches her…Lifts her up…DROPS HER THROAT FIRST ON THE TOP ROPE! Winters in control now…Winters quickly slides out to the floor and grabs Copycat…SENDS HIM CRASHING INTO THE RINGSTEPS!!

MN: See! They won’t even let him get into the match! Everyone and everything in this company is seeking only to make sure he fails…This makes me sick!

DT: Winters now back into the ring, and he grabs Troy…BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX! Winters pops to his feet and yells “That’s it” I think it’s time that Lindsay Troy is about to face some Green River Justice…Troy hooks…WINTERS HAS HER UP! NO SHE LANDS BEHIND HIM…TROY WITH A WAISTLOCK…WINTERS REVERSES…WINTERS WITH A GERMAN SUPLEX!!

MN: These don’t stop once they start! Welcome to a world of hurt Lindsay!





DM: But one pin attempt isn’t all you get here, Winters normally ragdolls people, he hit Michael Bastard with 8 of these!

DT: Winters has her up…THAT’S NUMBER FOUR…Lindsay trying to fight out of it…Throwing back elbows…Winters muscles her…GETS HER OVER FOR NUMBER FIVE…Winters fighting to hold on…Lindsay reaching out for the ropes…WINTERS GETS HER OVER FOR NUMBER SIX!! HE BRIDGES!!




DT: COPYCAT PULLS WINTERS OUT OF THE RING! Copycat and Winters now trading punches on the floor…Winters with a thumb to the eye on Copycat…Now he walks over…HE’S GOT THE RING BELL!

MN: Man, I hate the conspiracy to screw Copycat, but I love mayhem…I’m so conflicted!


DM: That’s not a fan, that’s Aaron Jones! EPW Head Ref Pat Jones’ son!

DT: Copycat’s brainwashed this kid…And now he and Winters are fighting over the bell…Meanwhile Copycat just dove into the ring…Lindsay Troy is staggering to her feet…PUMP KICK BY COPYCAT NEARLY TOOK HER HEAD OFF!! HE COVERS!!




[MUSIC UP: “The People We Love” by Bush]

TF: Here is your winner…COPYCAT!!!

DT: Copycat just STOLE this win here…Meanwhile on the floor, Winters just BLASTED Aaron Jones with the ring bell! For all the devotion this kid shows Copycat you would think he’d get some protection in return…

MN: Look Thomas, Pat Jones is the man who has made two corrupt rulings in a row that put that stupid little goofball in the position of being EPW World Champion, the son might be trying to do right, but he has a lot to make up for when it comes to the sins of his father…
DT: Well whatever you want to say about what just happened, Copycat has gotten himself a win, and … wait… is that???


DT: It’s Cameron Cruise!! Cameron Cruise storming down the aisle and Copycat retreats back into the ring! But Layne Winters is back in as well and Winter levels Copycat with a right hand! Cruise in the ring as well and Winters goes after Cruise but he ducks! Cruise slugs Winters but now Copycat is back up and he clotheslines Cruise from behind. Now Winters and Copycat are both stomping away at Cruise!! WAIT… now Copycat and Winters going at it again!!


DT: Copycat regains control and sends Winters into the corner where he slumps to the mat and resumes stomping a mudhole in Cameron Cruise!

[Cue up “It Was a Good Day” by Ice Cube.]

MN: Jared Wells!! It’s Jared Wells!! Take that lowlife Cameron Cruise outta there, Jared!

DT: Wells in the ring and… wait, he’s taking shots at Copycat!! My God, he’s coming to Cruise’s rescue!


DT: Well pounding away at Copycat now and Cruise is back up and fighting off Winters! Cruise going for the Shipwreck on Winters, but Winters slips out and heads to the outside to get outta Dodge!! Wells with a clothesline sends Copycat out of the ring as well!!

MN: I thought those two hated each other!!

DT: Well… yes, in fact the last time we saw these two in the ring, Jared Wells turned his back on his former best friend and kicked him out of Anthology in favor of Sean Stevens.

MN: You mean, they dumped some dead weight.

DT: Nevertheless, they’re in there again together now and… Cruise and Wells backing into each other and Cruise turns around… he sees Wells and takes a swing, but Wells ducks and shoves Cruise down to the mat!

MN: Yeah! Knock him on his ass! He just wanted to take care of him himself!

[Wells gestures for a microphone.]

JARED WELLS: RECOGNIZE THIS!? You know, as soon as I stepped foot in the building I was asked about a hundred F[BLEEP]KING questions per minute. What happened to Jared Wells? Why did you leave? Did you retire? What happened to Anthology? Were you really Rage 'o Fire? What kind of tape do you use to tape up the dong when you’re in public? Electric tape *****.


WELLS: You know I look across this ring and you know what I'm thinking? WHAT HAPPENED?! What the hell happened to The Dangle Brothers?!


WELLS: You remember six years ago?? Man I remember when you called me on the phone when I worked for another company and you told me how you were a fan. Couple years later you and I started hanging out, hitting bars left and right. Drinks? No problem, they were free because of who we were. Females all over the place. Roofies for everyone! You remember the night when I woke up in my limo with my pants down to my ankles with a tranny with the limo alarm going off? Thank god nothing happened, but I know it was your idea. Real F[BLEEP]KING FUNNY!

[A smile spreads across Cruise's face as CAMERON CRUISE chants break out]

WELLS: I remember when you and I came up with the idea of Anthology. The entire EPW changed forever. You and I changed this business forever. We started a group, they needed a group. Everything was patterned after us. They say Bro's before Ho's but it's always been the Dangle Brothers before EVERYBODY. I'm not here asking to get the guys back together. I'm not here asking you to tag with me to become tag team champions.


I'm simply here to back you up because you should be the EPW World Heavyweight Champion right now as far as I'm concerned. I know what pisses you off.

The First.

I'm pissed off he's the World Champion.

F[BLEEP]K The First, I'm pissed off that the nerds of EPW still run the show. F[BLEEP]K the nerds. Of course I come back and there is still an abundance of wieners roaming around. Let's simply change it. This might be my only shot and I gotta tell you, I'm gonna make it my best. I'M JARED WELLS. A WRESTLING ICON? NO. I'M A LIVING BREATHING MOTHER F[BLEEP]KER. I've been fired, I've been thrown off ships, hell I might have even had a one night stand with Lindsay Troy. The question is...WHAT IS EPW GONNA DO NOW?! In the time come the rest of the EPW is gonna look at us and they are gonna get their ASSES HANDED TO THEM. What do you think, Cruise?? Wanna give it a go??

[Cruise hesitates for a second after stepping away from the corner, his right hand still chambered to fire. Wells drops the microphone and the two of them speak to each other things that with the crowd screaming could only be made out with by reading lips. Wells extends with his right hand as he looks Cruise in the eye and mouths the words "Let's do this.", as the crowd becomes DEAFENING with the chants of "DAN-GLE BRO-THERS". Cruise returns the offer and the crowd EXPLODES as Wells' music hits!!]


DT: Ladies and gentlemen, a surprising turn of events as apparently… the band is back together…

MN: Fantastic.


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
A Tip

[In the backstage area a camera approaches a dark locker room. No lights are on but Jason Reeves can easily be seen from the doorway. He's looking inside the locker room and the cameraman listens in on the conversation.]

Stalker: Look it will be okay. Trust me.

[He pauses for a few moments as if listening to someone else talk but the camera can't pick up any other voices.]

Stalker: Just believe me. We have a plan, this plan is perfect and in the end it will only make us stronger. I know you are worried and he's worried as well but just tell him it's under control. We've got this handled.

[Pausing for a few more moments.]

Stalker: Right, let me know later what he says I got some crap to take care of.

[The camera man moves back around the corner of the doorway and Jason walks out down the hallway. The camera goes back into the dark room and the light switch gets flipped on. No one is in the locker room, at all, and just as the camera turns back around it catches 'Barb' leaning against one of the lockers. The camera slowly moves back out of the room and the camera man turns off the light while doing so.]

Unknown Voice: You sure about this?

Stalker: Absolutely positive.

[The camera turns around and sees a man with a badge hanging around his chest talk to Jason.]

Stalker: Look I wouldn't have called you down here otherwise. I know the guy personally and it sickens me to see him do stuff like this. He has it right in his locker room, RIGHT NOW. It will be one of your biggest bu...

Unknown Voice: Enough. You have eyes on you.

[The unknown man points to the camera and it's Jason's turns to glare at it.]

Unknown Voice: I'm going to have to talk to the boss before I do anything. Thanks for the tip.

[The man turns around and walks away and the camera catches three letters on the back of his jackets D.E.A. Suddenly a hand clasps over the lenses and the feed is cut to static.]


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
KOTC Semi-final: Anarky vs. High Flyer

[SFX: ding ding ding]

TF: The following contest is set for one fall with no time limit, and is a semi final match in the KING OF THE CAGE TOURNAMENT!!

[The crowd cheers as we CUE UP: “Crazy Train” by Ozzy Osbourne. High Flyer makes his way quickly to the ring, high-fiving a couple of fans on his way]

TF: Weighing two hundred and twenty five pounds and currently residing in Los Angeles, California…


DT: It’s been a long ride so far and I don’t think we’ve seen anything near the best these two are capable of.

DM: I’m still amazed Flyer’s out here after getting thrown from the cage straight to the floor in Seattle.

DT: He’s shown tremendous toughness since coming back, but Anarky’s not going to be a slouch.

[CUE UP: “More Human Than Human” by White Zombie. Despite the ovation he gets, Anarky simply walks to the ring, his focus solidly on High Flyer as the Californian stretches in the ring]

TF: Hailing from Hartford, Connecticut, he weighs two hundred and thirty one pounds… ANARKY!!

DT: He has been on a roll – beating not one but two champions en route to this match.

DM: He’s going to be a challenge for Flyer, but you’ve got to wonder – if Stalker comes out here, which one is he going to try throwing from the cage for a second time?

MN: Oh that would make my night. I just hope he gives me some warning so I can leave the desk first.

DT: It’s a huge contrast of styles in the ring tonight, Anarky the brawler and High Flyer the… high flyer. Should be interesting.

DM: Anarky’s checking to make sure the cage door’s locked.

MN: He doesn’t want Flyer doing a Black.

DT: There’s the bell and Flyer charges in with a Yakuza kick! Anarky ducks under, Flyer turns round and gets met with a boot to the gut. Right to the jaw, Irish whip near side and spinning back elbow takes Flyer down.

DM: Flyer rolls away from the elbow drop.

DT: Anarky back to his feet, rocked by forearm shots to the head. Irish whip, reversed, Flyer off the ropes under the clothesline, and a leg lariat!

MN: Stop playing to the crowd! You haven’t won yet!

DT: Anarky shaking the cobwebs, but gets met with a boot to the head. Flyer eyeing up the cage, way too early to make a move.

DM: Anarky back to his feet, Flyer runs past him and a nice springboard dropkick. Well executed, straight to the jaw and ‘Nark barely got his hands in the way to block some of the force.

DT: Flyer again pumping a fist for the fans, Anarky back up to his feet. Kick to the gut by Flyer, hard chop to the chest. Backs him up in the corner, right to the jaw, Irish whip opposite corner. Charges in, ‘Nark slips from the corner, Flyer with a cross body blocked!

DM: There may only be a handful of pounds in it but Anarky is so strong it’s ridiculous.

DT: Backbreaker by Anarky after the delay.

MN: Can I get a word in?!

DM: No.

MN: Charming!

DT: Anarky with those piston-action fists to the temple. No mess, no fuss, just pick up the win and the fans are really starting to appreciate that.

MN: It’s cost him two titles though! He could be the first two-title-type guy, but nooooo.

DT: The referee pulls Anarky off Flyer, ‘Nark with a handful of tights, brings Flyer back to his feet. Elbow to the back of the head, DDT!




DM: Going back to Mike’s comments a minute, ‘Nark picked up the wins and is here in the semi finals with a chance to be the second single’s wrestler to be King of the Cage. I don’t know what would’ve happened with the Heirs of Wrestling but against “The Dragon” you need to take the win when you can. I’m not totally convinced that had Anarky gone for the title he’d be here now.

MN: Of course he would! He whipped that British pansy’s ass!

DM: No, that was Beau Michaels against JA. And I’ll thank you not to remind me of that match again.

MN: EW!! Bad memory!

DT: Guys! The match? Anarky with Flyer backed in the corner, quick kicks straight to the knee. Hooks the head – snap suplex!

DM: And another flurry of right hands.

DT: Into the cover, but a quick kickout.

[Rather than arguing with the ref, Anarky spikes Flyer with an elbow to the top of the head. Dragging Flyer to his feet, Anarky drops him with a delayed brainbuster and makes for the wall of the cage. As he starts to climb, High Flyer struggles to shake the impact but manages to crawl under the bottom rope, and starts to climb after the brawler from Hartford who’s made it three-quarters of the way up the cage]

DT: Anarky very quick up the cage, Flyer’s grabbed the boot though.

DM: It was a high impact move that gave ‘Nark the chance but Flyer is a tough veteran.

DT: Anarky drops off the cage with a fist to the head of Flyer. If you watch, most of Anarky’s offence has been centered on the head, do you think he’s trying for the knockout?

DM: Ramming Flyer’s head into the cage is a good way to go.

DT: Brings Flyer back into the ring, scoop and a slam.

MN: Looks like Anarky’s fall from the top hurt the least.

DM: Knee to the head. He’s being very deliberate with some

DT: One!


Sorry, Dean.

DM: He’s picking his shots, wanting to end this one early.

DT: Stomping on Flyer’s head. He’s got him up, back suplex coming up no! High Flyer with a headlock take down! He can’t hold the headlock, shaking his head, Anarky’s back up first and a right from Anarky.

MN: Irish whip on Flyer, back drop telegraphed you IDIOT!

DT: Flyer with a kick to the face, off the ropes and a flying headscissor takedown!

DM: A bit of a desperation move I reckon. He’s still shaking his head after those high impact shots.

DT: High Flyer grabbing Anarky, knee to the head, snapmare and a square kick to the head!

MN: He’s not trying to knock Anarky out is he? I don’t mind but it’d take a while and I’ll need to send someone for some chips.

DT: We’ve got two greats in the ring and you’re hungry?!

MN: Excuse me for being alive.

DM: Nothing can excuse you for that.

MN: Screw you.

DT: High Flyer off the atomic drop takes Anarky down with a bulldog. He’s asking for the door to be opened, heading for it but Anarky quickly back to his feet, Flyer drops behind on the suplex attempt, dropkick and Anarky’s – whoa, nearly!

DM: Habit from High Flyer, I don’t think he realized the door was open until he drop kicked Anarky towards it. Flyer grabbing him by the back of the trunks to save the match and a release German suplex.

DT: Off the ropes, senton splash!



Kickout by Anarky.

[Slapping his own face to clear the cobwebs, High Flyer rises up, and as Anarky gets to his knees the LA native hits the ropes. Anarky goes for a clothesline, but Flyer slides through his legs and hits a backstabber. The crowd are cheering the burst of speed as Flyer heads up to the top rope, balancing himself with one hand on the cage, before hitting a shooting star press!]



Oh!! So close!

MN: Dean, how on earth have his knees not been powdered over the years?

DM: Dunno. I wish I did, I’d be back in the ring if I knew.

DT: Flyer’s heading for the cage, doesn’t look like he’s got any fear going up there. He’s half way up, Anarky following – three quarters but ‘Nark’s caught him.

DM: Flyer kicking at his head, Anarky – low blow!

MN: Some of the people don’t like that. Chortle.

DT: The referee admonishing Anarky – POWERBOMB!!

DM: That’ll get someone back into the ring – low blow and powerbomb.

MN: Anarky back into the ring, these people’re cheering him now?! This is crazy.

DT: Anarky looks at the door and back to Flyer. Peels him off the canvas



Oh! Nearly sneaked it, inside cradle but ‘Nark kicks out.

DM: Amazing how often that does actually work.

DT: Anarky back to his feet, headbutt to the gut by Flyer, Irish whip into the corner – monkey flip, and Flyer springs up to the top rope.


DM: You flip often enough.

MN: Quiet!

DT: Measuring Anarky who’s getting to his feet near the ropes – BLAZING ARROW! Running dropkick! What balance, running across the



Kickout by Anarky, running across the top rope into the diving drop kick! Wow!

MN: It was impressive, but what’s with you interrupting Dean and now yourself?

DT: I want to count the pinfall.

MN: Why?

DT: Because I’m paid to?


DM: Kiddies, kiddies.

DT: High Flyer brings Anarky up in the corner, mounts the corner – right hand, another right, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine – somersault from the corner and a big clothesline NO!! I thought he had it but Rock Bottom out of the corner by Anarky!

DM: And Anarky’s breathing heavily, but brings High Flyer to his feet. Irish whip near side, backdrop bomb! Catches Flyer on the way down and slams him!

DT: One!


THNO!! No. Kickout by High Flyer at two and a half.

DM: And Anarky’s heading for the cage.

MN: He won’t make it.

DT: Anarky with one foot on the cage, Flyer rolls under the ropes. Anarky on the cage, but Flyer smashes his head into the cage wall. ‘Nark still on the cage though, Flyer climbs up to him, thumb to the eye from ‘Nark.

DM: Anarky with a left to the back of the head, rams Flyer’s head into the cage. Climbs a bit more but Flyer with a shot straight to the kidneys.

DT: Flyer scrambling up, kick to the head of Anarky but ‘Nark not budging. Flyer drops, inverted frankensteiner NO!!

DM: Smart!

DT: Anarky dropped off the cage, straight down to block that move and High Flyer landed on his head and neck inside the ring! He could be seriously hurt!

MN: I doubt it.

DM: Mike’s right, he cushioned his landing a bit but he’ll be sore tomorrow.

DT: It looked a lot worse than it was I guess. Anarky up to his feet, Flyer quickly up. Shoulder through the ropes, Anarky’s doubled up. Hooks the head, Anarky blocks the suplex! Flyer tries again, blocked WOLY!!

DM: Suplex into the cage by Anarky!

DT: And these people really appreciate that!

MN: They’re animals!

DT: High Flyer folded like an accordion on the apron!

DM: Anarky stomping on Flyer, starting to make his way up the cage. The referee’s checking on Flyer – kneedrop from Anarky!!

MN: Making sure Flyer doesn’t get back up.

DT: Anarky slowly making his way up the cage, Flyer trying to stir. Anarky’s close to the top of the cage!

DM: He’s going to make it.

DT: Flyer climbing up after him, Anarky with one leg over the top of the cage – he’s spotted Flyer only a meter of so behind!

DM: It takes time to lift yourself over the top. Anarky better hurry up.

DT: Flyer grabbing the boot, using it to pull himself up. Both men near the top of the cage, this could be dangerous!

MN: Where’s Stalker? Throw ‘em both to the floor!

DT: You’re sick. Flyer blocks a boot from Anarky, hits a kick to the head! Athletic move there, holding the top of the cage and Anarky nearly tumbled down!

DM: High Flyer at the top, Anarky has both legs over the other side, Flyer holding on tight. Right hand to the jaw as he holds him in a headlock.

DT: Anarky trying to throw him back into the ring, positions himself back over the cage. Both men atop the cage, left hook from Flyer, right from Anarky. Left from Flyer, headbutt by Anarky! Headbutt, headbutt, headbutt – spits in his face and piefaces Flyer down to the canvas!! This is academic now! Anarky to the outside, checks his landing – he’s done it! He’s done it! Anarky is in the final!!

[SFX: ding ding ding ding]

TF: The winner of the match, by escape… ANARKY!!


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
Business, Part 2 - Plus, MAIN EVENT: KOTC Semi-Final - The First (c) vs. Erik Black

DT: The time has come, ladies and gentlemen... for the MAIN EVENT!!

DM: And the final round before... THE final round! Semi-final number two, with the WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE up for grabs!

MN: Well guys, if it’s cool with the both of you... think I might just cut out early and call it a night...

DT: Sit down, Neely. You aren’t getting that paycheck unless you call the ENTIRE show...

MN: Bah...

[CUE UP: “Holy Mountain” by Sleep. A somewhat mixed but face-leaning crowd POPS as “The Dopesmoker” Erik Black STRUTS out onto the stage, setting his stoner pose while clad in his customary baggy black pants, moccasins, aviators, and ceremonial druid’s robe.]

TF: Ladies and gentlemen... the following is the a semi-final round to declare the EPW KING OF THE CAGE!! Coming to the ring now... he hails from Indianapolis, Indiana... weighing in at 210 pounds... “DOPESMOKER”... EEERRRIIIIIIIK BLLLAAAAACCKK!!!

[With a big smile on his face, Black confidently makes his way down to the ring, bobbing his head in time with the droning stoner metal pumping through the PA and throwing his arms out into the air in charismatic fashion as he makes his way to the ring, slapping hands with a few of the fans.]

DT: The challenger is on his way to the ring! I honestly can’t tell if he looks CONFIDENT, or if he’s just high...

MN: My money’s on the latter...

DM: Of all the people we could name off as the potential first contender to the new champion... I’m sure the LAST person we would think of is THIS MAN, “DOPESMOKER” Erik Black! But somehow, some way... this carefree spirit has stumbled into the semi-final round of the King of the Cage tournament!

MN: And he’s got Layne Winters to thank for THAT! Before this tournament, this guy was nothing but a LOSER... and suddenly, you throw him in a cage, and people start calling him a professional wrestling mastermind! It’s RIDICULOUS, if you ask me!

DT: Some would say that Black hasn’t earned his way here, but he’s made it this far, just the same... and following the attack of his own ally and mentor in STALKER after his victory over Winters in the last round, it clearly appears that he’s taking a more positive and pro-active outlook on his career!

DM: Let’s hope it gets him somewhere, because if you ask me, the Fallen was killing any and ALL potential this young man still has. He may be unconventional... he may be unpredictable... but the man sure knows how to bust out some jaw-dropping moves...

[Black reaches the ring, stepping out of the moccs, pulling off the robe, and carefully removing the shades from his face before dumping the entire pile of articles into the hands of the timekeeper, who bears a strange face as he smells something quite dank. Black dashes through the Zane Gate to enter the ring – stumbles a couple times after he trips over the bottom rope in his haste, but quickly rights himself and plays to the crowd as if nothing even happened. With his allegiance to Stalker ended, the crowd seems somewhat more receptive to him.]

[CUE UP: “Happy Birthday” by The Birthday Massacre. The crowd pops LOUD as The First bursts out from behind the curtain, running along the top of the entrance ramp, Muse slowly walking out behind him. The First’s face painted like Prince Nuada. He is wearing a black “Outcast Hero” wife beater, black gi pants and ring boots, right hand taped up almost to the elbow, with the word “King” written on the tape in black marker, the EPW World Title belt around his waist.

TF: And his opponent… he hails from Salem, Massachusetts…weighing in at 196 pounds…he is the EMPIRE PRO HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION OF THE WORLD...


[First screams at the crowd, waving his arms, demanding they get louder and get on their feet. He then makes his way down the ramp, him and Muse high fiving fans as they head to the ring.]


Crowd: *POP!!*

DT: The new EPW World Champion making his way to the ring for his first title defense, and I must say he looks determined!

DM: You know how long that The First had fought to win that title, and you know he’s going to do everything he can to make sure his reign doesn’t end tonight!

MN: You two make me sick! This is a disgrace! That match was sham, a rig, a bag job! Stevens got ripped off and I have to sit here and listen to you two sing this loser’s praises because he got handed the belt...

DT: While Neely throws himself a pity party, I’m busy listening to this crowd’s huge ovation for EPW’s World Champion…

MN: Sleep with one eye open, Baconator boy…

[Some commotion now, as “Triple X” Sean Stevens walks briskly through the curtain and down to ramp toward The First, whose back is to him. Stevens… brandishes a metal folding chair. The First, not noticing what’s going on, continues down the ramp. As Stevens gets to within about ten feet of The First….. DAN RYAN steps out onto the stage, the microphone on his jacket catching what he says…]


[This catches The First’s attention and he spins around, seeing Stevens for the first time and braces himself. Stevens, for his part stops cold and stares daggers at The First, then glances over his shoulder at Ryan. Stevens adopts a half turned pose, looking back and forth between Ryan and The First, still gripping the chair tightly in his grip.]

DAN RYAN: None of that tonight, Sean. Enough. Earlier tonight I said I had some business to address tonight. Now, you and I, we’ve been up and down the roads against and with each other for YEARS. But right now, you and I have business, and we’re gonna deal with it right here and now. I looked backstage for you all night, Sean. I looked all over, heard the rumors you’d be here to go after Brian, but you were nowhere to be found.

When I passed our World Champion backstage tonight and saw the word “KING” on his arm, something told me I’d be able to find you here. You see, you’ve made a habit of not taking World Title losses very well. You lose a belt and you throw a tantrum. You hurt people. You retire people. You injure people. So it wasn’t too hard to imagine that you’d come out here tonight and try to do the same thing to The First.

Now I listened to your rant after your World Title loss. I listened to your complaints and after listening to everything you had to say, what I have to say to you.. is this…

DT: Uh oh.

[Stevens glares at the owner almost exclusively now.]

DAN RYAN: A lot of what you had to say… is absolutely true.

DT: Eh?

MN: Wh-wh-what??

[The First frowns at this and Stevens keeps staring, his glare softening, but no less intense.]

DAN RYAN: No offense to our World Champion, but the ending of that match was rife with controversy. There was never an official rule in place regarding how many feet had to touch the floor, so a decision was made on the fly, and with me not being around, Paul Freeman made the call. Now, I’m not saying that The First isn’t a deserving World Champion, because no matter the controversy, Sean – the bottom line is…. you DID tap out.


DM: Damn straight.

DAN RYAN: Now, to your other complaints. You… are right. You have been a proud defender of Empire Pro Wrestling throughout our industry. I’ve turned on the television and seen you proclaim your pride in this company all over the world. I’ve participated in many of the same events as you while you were our World Champion and seen you proudly described as the EPW World Champion and seen you proudly defend this company against the naysayers and the people who would minimize what we’ve accomplished here. You’ve been here for years, holding us up as THE place to be. But here’s the issue, Sean… and there’s really no way of getting around it.

During that time, you’ve also been selfish. You’ve used your position to serve your own interest to the detriment to the company as a whole and you’ve treated defeat as an excuse to enact violence on people whose only crime was that they were better than you on one given night.

So there’s my question for you, Sean. You… are undoubtedly one of the best wrestlers in the entire world. You say Empire Pro means everything to you, that you carried us, that you’ve fought and bled for us. You have the choice right now. Do you really want Empire Pro to be great? Does that REALLY mean as much to you as you say it does? When Copycat, a man you used to stand next to, fight alongside of, runs me down in a parking lot, takes shots at my wife, says he’s gonna rework Empire Pro into HIS vision of what it should be… how do you respond to THAT?? What happens next? What happens when it’s you getting out of your limo getting run down and Ivy standing there being threatened by that man? Huh?

You have a choice. You have the chair in your hands. You wanna continue this route of petty vengeance and retribution that gets you nowhere? Then turn and hit The First with that chair. Or.. do you really… and I mean REALLY intend to fight for the company you built, the company your name is synonymous with and show the WORLD… how the truly GREAT ONES… leave their mark?

DT: Wow. Quite the gauntlet thrown down…

MN: Don’t listen!

[Stevens looks at Ryan, narrows his eyes then looks back at The First, who steels himself against a possible attack. Stevens looks down now, obviously thinking it over.]

MN: Geez, just crack the skull of that little emo freak already!!

DM: Would you shut up, Neely??

[Stevens takes another look at The First and stares him right in the eyes….. and drops the chair.]

DT: Whoa.

[The crowd erupts in cheers…. As Stevens holds his spot for a second, then turns and walks briskly up the ramp. He approaches Ryan but doesn’t look at him as he passes by. Ryan turns and watches him go by, smiling slightly and following behind him.]

[The First sighs… then turns and continues to the ring, stopping in front of the cage, taking off the EPW World Title and holding it in his right hand over his head, before handing the belt to the officials at cage side and then entering the ring.]

DT: Well, after all of that….The First and Erik Black, for the EPW World Title and the right to go to the finals of King of the Cage…

DM: This should be an interesting face-off, Dave. These two men haven’t shared the ring since the CHRONIC COLLIZION took on the Forsaken for the EPW Tag Team Titles! Both of these men have come a long way since then...

MN: You’re right. One of them STOLE a title, and the other... well... I guess he’s still alive. That’s saying something, isn’t it?

DT: The World Heavyweight Title is on the line in this match... but Erik Black made it no secret that he has NO INTEREST in winning that belt tonight! His plan is to escape the cage and move on to the final round!

DM: I don’t know why ANYBODY would just willingly pass up the opportunity to be World Heavyweight Champ, but then, the Dopesmoker certainly does have a different way of seeing things. But just because he isn’t clearly fighting for the title doesn’t mean he doesn’t have his own agenda. “The Escape Artist” wants to escape that ring again, and he’ll do whatever he can to do it...

DT: He’s been lucky thus far... but will his luck run out tonight as he faces off against the WORLD CHAMPION?!

[Senior official Pat Jones holds the belt up to all four sides of the arena before handing it to the ringside official, Andrew Gardell, who exits through the Zane Gate and locks the door behind him. Jones sees that both men are ready to go and cues the timekeeper.]

DT: Looks like Pat Jones has made his final checks... and we’re ready to get this one underway!


DT: Okay, here we go! The First comes out of his corner, ready for action... and the Dopesmoker meets him at the center of the ring! There’s the LOCK-UP... and THE CHAMP comes out with a side headlock! Quickly follows through with a TAKEDOWN, and he puts Erik Black to the mat!

DM: Black quickly up on his feet again... trying to squirm his way out of that head vice! Backing into the ropes now... and he SHOVES The First off of him! First rebounds into the ropes – and goes RIGHT BACK to that headlock before Black even has a moment to counter!

MN: I get the feeling this is going to be one of those matches I’ll have to watch over again in slow motion...

DT: We are looking at two of the quickest athletes in Empire Pro right now... The First, wrenching the head... Dopesmoker, moving his hands into position – REVERSES IT and slips behind with a HAMMERLOCK!!

DM: The tables could be turned here... NO!! The First BITES BACK with an elbow... quickly REVERSES and slips into a rear waistlock! The World Champion, going for a GERMAN SUPLEX – but ERIK BLACK ROLLS THROUGH IT and lands on his feet!

DT: Black from behind... hooks the waist... going for a GERMAN SUPLEX OF HIS OWN – NO!! The First ROLLS THROUGH THAT TOO... and there’s the headlock AGAIN before Black can even react! This is some impressive back and forth action!

MN: Or, more likely, neither of these guys are able to hold down their opponent for more than a second...

DM: The First knows he has to keep the Dopesmoker tied up and away from those cage walls. If he gives him a second to act, then Erik Black may slip out of the cage and into the final round. So far, he’s done a good job keeping “the Escape Artist” from living up to his namesake!

MN: But can he keep it up, Dean?

DT: The World Champ is wrenching that head again... here’s Black, looking for the BACK SUPLEX TO REVERSE IT – but The First FLIPS THROUGH IT!! Again with the headlock – NO!! Erik Black saw it coming and COUNTERS with an armdrag!

DM: Nice!

DT: Unusually quick reflexes for the Dopesmoker, who flashes the World Champion a taunting smirk as he lets him get to his feet. The First looks like he’s trying to figure his opponent out here. Perhaps he didn’t expect Black to be giving him this much trouble early on...

DM: This doesn’t seem to be the same Erik Black we’ve seen from this tournament. It’s as though now he’s left the Fallen, he’s found some sort of motivation to put up more of a fight.

MN: I guess it beats jumping on the cage wall like an idiot every free moment he gets...

DT: Neither of these men are giving up an inch to the other, but it’s still very early in this match. Undaunted, the First circles the Dopesmoker in the center of the ring again... oh wait, ERIK BLACK SHOOTS LOW –

DM: NIIIICE SPRAWL!! The First prevents what could have been a certain takedown, now applying the front-facelock on a struggling Erik Black!

DT: Not for long, though! Black quickly REVERSES into an ARM WRENCH, and – WHOA!! Black went for a BIIIG heel kick right to the head, but the First DUCKED at the very last second!

MN: Wait... when did he get ahold of his arm?! These guys are so fast, I can’t even tell what’s going on!

DM: Black off balance after that missed kick, and the First sees his window... CATCHES BLACK WITH A HIP TOSS!!

DT: Black BOUNCES back to his feet... turns around and walks STRAIGHT INTO ANOTHER HIP TOSS!! The World Champion finding his GROOVE now... Black in a DAZE as he sputters to his feet... but here’s THE FIRST IN MOTION OFF THE ROPES – CROSS-BODY BLOCK PUTS THE DOPESMOKER TO THE MAT!!

Crowd: *POP!!*




Black slips out the back door... and he quickly shimmies himself to the nearest corner to get away from the onslaught!

MN: Pretty sure he was wanting to roll out of the ring, but he must have been too stoned to remember he’s still in the CAGE! What a moron...

DT: The World Champion has the momentum on his side now, and Black is left sitting in the corner, and the First beckons him to get up and fight. Probably wouldn’t be a bad idea, Erik, unless you want him to bring the fight to YOU!

DM: Black still looks a little dazed, but... now he just shakes his head and SMIRKS! I guess that’s his way of saying he’s impressed...

MN: Doesn’t take much, does it?

DT: Black grabbing the top ropes... and he pulls himself to his feet! Loosening up now, while the First patiently waits... and I think he’s ready to go again!

DM: Looks like he’s in more of a sparring position than a wrestling one...

DT: Here comes the Outcast Hero, looking for the tie-up... but Black COUNTERS with a boot the gut! The First doubles over – OH MAN, the DOPESMOKER quickly follows through with a HARD knee shot right to the TEMPLE, and the World Champion goes to the MAT!!

DM: Now it’s BLACK beckoning the First to his feet! The Champ shakes out the cobwebs and rises, looking careful... here’s Black with a HIGH SPINNING HEEL KICK – AND THE FIRST DUCKS!! Nearly got decapitated right there...

MN: When the hell did Bruce Lee get here?!

DT: The First trying to get defensive now... Black steps up – JUMPING KARATE KICK!! The First managed to block his face, but instead, he took that right in the CHEST and gets knocked into the ropes!

DM: He managed to handle him in the grappling game, but now the Dopesmoker is implementing an IMPRESSIVE striking offense that has left the World Champion reeling! The First, trying to right himself now... but Black RUSHES HIM with a SAVATE – oh no, HE FEINTS!!

DT: The First dodges anyway, but now Erik Black has him corralled in the corner! Black with a SPINNING BACK KICK – CONNECTS right into the solar plexus!! It’s a good thing he’s BAREFOOT, cause if he had actual boots, I think he would have kicked a HOLE right through his belly!

MN: Let’s not exaggerate things here, Dave...

DM: That knocked the wind out of the World Heavyweight Champion... Black is right on top of him... ONE KICK to the body... A SECOND... and CAPS OFF A ONE-TWO-THREE COMBO with a ROUNDHOUSE KICK right to the First’s jaw!

DT: The First stumbles out of the corner, and HE HITS THE MAT! Those lethal legs of the Dopesmoker really seemed to shake him! The First trying to recover, but... Erik Black is HEADING UP THE CAGE WALL!!

MN: Oh boy, HERE WE GO!!

DM: “The Escape Artist” sees his opportunity for escape, and he’s going for it! Almost halfway up the wall now, but the World Champion quickly gets to his feet and GETS TO HIM!! It’s not going to be THAT easy, Erik! The First QUICKLY pulls him down by the leg, and drags him right into the center of the ring!

DT: Black using that FREE leg, trying to kick him away... but the First CATCHES HIM by the other foot – QUICKLY GOES INTO THE JACKNIFE PIN!!



Black kicks out!

DM: Good counter by the World Champion!




NO!! Erik Black escapes yet another pinfall!

MN: Please, Dave, do you really have to feed his ego by saying he “escapes?”

DM: Both men rolling clear of each other... back to their feet... Black POUNCES forward with a REVERSE ROUNDHOUSE – but the First DUCKS IT! Black off balance, and throws ANOTHER wild kick, and the World Heavyweight Champ deftly avoids that as well! He’s catching on, now!

DT: Let’s not forget, this is the man that trained with Felix Red, who is in himself a very talented striking expert! Black leaves himself wide open after that last kick... and the First SWEEPS BOTH LEGS for a takedown!

DM: The First mounts the chest, and OH MAN, HE’S LETTING THE DOPESMOKER HAVE IT NOW!! A MERCILESS barrage of rights and lefts! Black is too surprised to even DEFEND HIMSELF!!

MN: Probably too high to FEEL anything right now, I think –

DT: WAIT!! Black HOOKS THE FIRST’S ARMS WITH HIS LEGS and ROLLS FORWARD!! Black’s TURNED THE TABLES, putting a few of his OWN rights and lefts into the face of the World Heavyweight Champion!!

DM: These guys are making liberal use of the anything-goes policy in that cage! The First, meanwhile, is fortunately enough to have his LEGS cradled up between himself and the flurrying Dopesmoker, and quickly PUSHES him off before he can do any more damage!

DT: I honestly didn’t think someone as careless as Erik Black had this kind of fight in him...

DM: Leaving Stalker behind may be the greatest thing for that young man’s career! The First rolls back to his feet... immediately gets SLAMMED RIGHT IN THE MID-SECTION as Black charges him head-first into the corner!!

MN: OOF!! I could FEEL that...

DT: The First gets LAMBASTED against the turnbuckle, and that looked like it HURT!! He’s definitely winded, after that blow to the diaphragm... and the Dopesmoker DUMPS HIM out of the corner with a Fireman’s Carry!

DM: Watch Black, springing off the SECOND ROPE... NAILS THE DOUBLE LEGDROP across the CHEST of the World Champion!! He barely had a chance to defend against that! Black could be gaining the edge over the First!

DT: The First looks HURT now, clutching those ribs as he tries to get to his feet... but Erik Black is already looming over him! Black, helping him up by the hair and the pants... no, wait – RUNNING HIM TO THE ROPES –

[SFX: *SLAMM!!*]


MN: Yeah, that’s pretty blood-thirsty for a vegetarian hippie, if you ask me, Dave...

DM: Erik Black is going to some unrelenting extremes to put the HURT on the World Champion! There’s no mistaking it now... Black isn’t just putting forward this kind of effort without trying to send some kind of message!

DT: Perhaps it’s a message being sent to Stalker! The First, right now, is lying in a violent mess between the ropes and the cage wall... wait, Erik Black is gaining some distance right now... what does he have in mind? Black RUNNING IN – OH GOD!! GOD NO!!

DM: LOW DROPKICK POINT-BLANK INTO THE GUT!! The First SCREAMS out in AGONY!! That nearly IMPALED HIM against the cage wall!!

MN: Would have been like watching a butterfly being pinned to a display with a really, REALLY big pin...

DM: Black is starting to come forward in this match... and I don’t know about you guys, but if he’s feeling lucky enough, there’s the possibility we MIGHT see a new World Champion walk out of this cage tonight!

MN: Oh man... I can’t think of anybody WORSE than THESE guys!

DT: Black is beginning to look dominant, out-brawling the World Champion, the First, and using the environment to his advantage! Now he’s bringing the First up from the other side of the ropes... wait, he’s got the First turned facing the cage wall! He’s still got the ROPES to his back!

DM: What does Erik Black have in mind NOW?!

MN: Hell if I know what goes on in that head...

DT: Black hooking the First’s arms over the top rope... pulling BACK now! Oh man, he’s using the ELASTICITY OF THE ROPES to pull the World Champion AWAY from the cage! Pulling him back like a SLINGSHOT!

DM: A slingshot to HELL!!



Crowd: “OOOOoohhh...”


MN: I can’t believe that actually WORKED!!

DM: Apparently, neither can ERIK BLACK!! “The Escape Artist” has a rather smug grin on his face now, pressing the First up against the cage with his FOOT and striking the STONER POSE!! Go ahead and flaunt while you can, I suppose, cause it’s not every day you’ve your HEELS digging into the EPW World Heavyweight Champ!


MN: Heh... listen to these morons. Between two obvious LOSERS, they can’t help but get behind the guy that always gets beat up!

DT: You can’t expect this sort of blatant humiliation to go without being spoken for! The crowd is getting behind the First, but he looks to be in NO condition to make a comeback at this point! He took some HARD shots into that cage!

DM: Erik Black seems to know it, but still, he chooses to ignore the opportunity for escape to put more punishment on the World Champion! Black, getting ahold of the First’s legs, and draping them over the top rope... he’s got the First HUNG UPSIDE DOWN BETWEEN THE ROPES AND THE CAGE WALL NOW!!

DT: Oh, this just gets worse and worse for the World Champion...

MN: On the contrary! It just keeps getting BETTER AND BETTER!!

DT: Black stepping up to the bottom rope... SPRINGS OFF –

[SFX: *CRASH!!*]


DM: This is a brutal beatdown, what we’re seeing here! Erik Black is going to make sure that the Outcast Hero doesn’t try and stop him the next time he goes for the door...

MN: Unless he’s playing for KEEPS tonight!

[REPLAY: The First’s lifeless body hangs from the top rope, legs hooked to support his weight. Muse goes to the side of the cage, calling his name and trying to bring some sense to him, but her feeble efforts come too late, as Black delivers the springboard dropkick, SMASHING the First into the cage wall and causing Muse to cry out in surprise.]

DT: Black is getting the First into a position now... what is this? Hooking arms with legs... OH GOD, IT’S A TARANTULA!! AN INVERTED TARANTULA!!

DM: Completely AMAZING innovation of the Rope-Hung Boston Crab! The First is in the WORST position right now! He’s upside down... he’s being SMASHED against the cage... and now it feels like his LIMBS are being ripped off!!

DT: The World Champion is SCREAMINING IN AGONY!! The unlikely challenger has him between a rock and a hard place... but WILL HE TAP OUT?!

DM: We’ve seen the First go longer than this, Dave... but have we seen him make it through this kind of brutality on the part of the Dopesmoker?! Referee Pat Jones getting in close and asking if he’s had enough...

DT: And Erik Black is BRAYING the same thing! He’s definitely going to try and make the World Champion EARN his credibility here tonight! But to do that, he needs to RESIST this torment!

DM: Muse is right there on the other side of the cage wall, begging the First to hang on for just a bit longer!

MN: Not sure if he can hear you anymore, honey...

DM: The First, being asked if he’s giving in... but he’s SHAKING HIS HEAD to the referee... what RESILIENCE!!


DT: This capacity crowd, getting BEHIND the World Heavyweight Champion... the First is trying to FIGHT BACK now!

MN: He’s in no position to do any such thing, Dave...

DM: Nevertheless, the First ISN’T GIVING UP!! He’s JERKING HIMSELF to free his legs from Erik Black’s grip... and the challenger looks like he’s having a HARD TIME keeping hold!

DT: The First PUSHES AGAIN!! Every time he tries to kick those legs free, the pain SPIKES, but the work is paying off! Erik Black almost let go right there!

DM: Black doing what he can to keep the tension at its peak threshold... leaning BACK on those ropes to force the First’s face and chest into the cage! But the First PUSHES OFF –



Crowd: *POP!!*

DM: HE FOUGHT HIS WAY OUT OF IT!! Simply remarkable...

MN: The damage has been done, if you ask me...

DT: The First frees his legs from the ropes, and FINALLY he’s in a position to recover... but he doesn’t have much time! Erik Black, looking dazed, is quickly fumbling to his feet...

DM: The First finally BACK on his feet from his place between the ropes and the cage wall! He’s using the ropes to pull himself up, but the DOPESMOKER is back to his feet and advancing – NO!! THE FIRST CATCHES HIM WITH A SHOULDER BLOCK THROUGH THE ROPES!!




BLACK SCISSORS HIS LEGS ACROSS THE CHAMP’S FACE... and breaks free before the referee can make the three count!

DM: The World Heavyweight Champion is making a heroic comeback, but Erik Black isn’t quite out of ideas yet!

MN: Chances are, all the leftover ideas in his head are bad ones...

DT: The First, trying to get to his feet... but Erik Black beats him to the punch! Here comes the First – CAUGHT WITH A DOUBLE CROSS-CHOP TO SEND HIM TO THE MAT!!

DM: He may be gassed out at this point... but undeterred, the First quickly rolls back to his feet... Black meets him, and scoops him up into the FIREMAN’S CARRY!! He’s got him ON HIS SHOULDERS!! Dopesmoker looking for the STEAMROLL – OH NO!! THE FIRST ROLLS THROUGH!!




NO!! Black ROLLS THROUGH!! The First moves with him... and PULLS HIM TO HIS FEET with DOUBLE-UNDERHOOKS!!

DM: Black can’t BREAK FREE... the First NAILS THE TIGER SUPLEX!!!




THR – NO!! Black breaks free once again!

DM: The champion’s getting some rhythm going now! Black up, and he looks flustered... swings a WILD roundhouse that the First barely had to MOVE to avoid! The First quickly SLAPS ON an inverted facelock... going for the REVERSE SUPLEX –




DM: That was just a BEAUTIFUL REVERSAL right there!

MN: For which guy?


DT: The First hooking both legs with a CRADLE PIN ATTEMPT!!




MN: Put him DOWN already! Otherwise, QUIT TRYING!

DM: He may be coming up short on the pin attempts... but the World Champion is constantly keeping “the Escape Artist” on his toes! He’s forcing him to use up more and more stamina and energy just trying to kick out and stay alive!

DT: Let’s not forget the possibility that one of those quick pinfall attempts may pay off! The First has scored MANY upset victories through such means in the past!

MN: Yeah, but I wouldn’t consider beating a guy like Erik Black to be considered an “upset”...

DT: The First in control now... Black trying ROLLING out of that cradle, but couldn’t get the LEGS free, and now finds himself caught in the WHEELBARROW position!

DM: Oh, man... Black KNOWS he’s stuck! He’s trying to GET AWAY using his hands, but the First keeps ahold of the legs!





DM: How about THAT?! The DOPESMOKER – the man who claimed he wanted NOTHING to do with the World Heavyweight Title – actually went for a PIN ATTEMPT!! He was a MOMENT AWAY from becoming the WORLD CHAMPION!!

MN: Maybe that was accidental...

DT: The First scrambling to his feet, and Black rises with a CRAZED grin on his face! I think he realizes that he almost STOLE IT right there!

DM: I don’t think ANYBODY was expecting the cage’s acclaimed “Escape Artist” to go out of a PIN out of nowhere! The First SPRINGS to his feet – NO!! BLACK CAUGHT HIM IN THE NECK WITH A SPINNING SAVATE KICK!!

DT: Oh man, that had DEADLY precision, and the First hits the mat! Black taunting the World Champion... and the First appears to be CHOKING!!

MN: You just realized that, huh?

DT: The First, struggling to breath as he gets to his feet, and Black press him to... wait – POISON MIST!! HE CAUGHT ERIK BLACK WITH THE POISON MIST RIGHT IN THE FACE!! He wanted it, AND HE GOT IT!!

DM: The Dopesmoker took ALL of that! He’s left stumbling blindly around the ring, rubbing his eyes... and... wait a second, his reaction seems to be changing COMPLETELY!!

DT: Black is blinking behind a veil of green mucous... and now he’s... SMILING?!

MN: Oh man, are you telling me he’s getting HIGH off the POISON MIST NOW?!

DM: It would appear so! Black, pointing to his face, looks to the First! I think he wants another go of whatever that was!

DT: WHAM!! HE GETS A SUPERKICK TO THE FACE INSTEAD!! That sent him SPRAWLING ACROSS THE RING!! He’s gotta be seeing stars after that one...

MN: Oh, believe me, he’s seeing SOMETHING...

[REPLAY: A simply CHEESED smirk is spread over the Dopesmoker’s face as he points to his green-smudged eyes as asks for another shot from the mist. Instead, in slow-motion detail, the First BURIES his boot right into his face. Once can see the muscles in Black’s face quiver PAINFULLY as his body twirls around and lands in a HEAP on the mat as if he were just shot point-blank in the face by a cannon!]

DT: I think that may have done it! The Outcast Hero with the LATERAL PRESS for a COVER!!



THR – NO!! BLACK SLIPS OUT the back door! He should have hooked the legs there...

DM: He’s typically not that sloppy, but you get the impression that the World Champion is getting desperate to finish this now!

MN: I’m just desperate for this charade of a wrestling match to END!

DT: Erik Black, feebly trying to crawl to the Zane Gate... but he’s not going to make it! The First has him by the legs and drags him back to the center of the ring... hooking the legs now... back to the CAGE WALL!!

DM: The Dopesmoker is about go ON A RIDE!!

DT: The First DROPS BACK –

[SFX: *CRASH!!*]

Crowd: “OOOOOOooohhh...”


MN: Nearly knocked the WALL RIGHT OFF THE CAGE!!

DM: I don’t know about that, Neels. The Zane design is pretty solid...

DT: I’m sure Erik Black could vouch for that! The Dopesmoker hanging LIFELESSLY with his legs draped over the top rope and his back against the cage wall... but here comes the First, giving that top rope a SHAKE – and Black GETS TOSSED to the mat!

DM: The challenger is just being DOMINATED right now! He’s in a completely different world as he struggles to his feet... hold the phone, the First in motion... to the corner... to the TOP ROPE!! He’s waiting for Black to turn around...






THRE – BUT BLACK SLIPS OUT!! He just BARELY got the shoulder up, and to be honest, I didn’t think ANYBODY could come back from that!

DM: Let’s get another look at the form on that moonsault...

[REPLAY: The First’s feet barely seem to even touch the top turnbuckle as he deftly springs to the top rope and comes off with a BEAUTIFUL backflip! In the last moment, Black’s eyes pop open, but he isn’t quick enough to make a move... and is immediately CRUSHED as the weight of the First comes crashing down on top of his chest!]

DM: He hasn’t had many successful attempts leaving the cage, but Erik Black is definitely giving that “Escape Artist” moniker some credence, slipping out of every possible pin attempt to keep the First constantly working to put him down...

MN: If it were Layne Winters in that ring, he would have had this over by the first or second pin attempt, easily. The First, obviously, can’t finish this match! That’s how pathetic of a champion he is... he’s having trouble putting away the DOPESMOKER!!

DT: To his credit, he’s having no trouble keeping control of the match for this long... and Erik Black is showing that he’s much more formidable of an opponent than people typically give him credit for.

DM: The question is... is he fighting for keeps tonight? What does the First think?

DT: The First isn’t taking any chances right now... now he brings Erik Black back to his feet... there’s the WHIP to the corner, and Black CONNECTS!! The World Champ FOLLOWS – NO!! RUNS RIGHT INTO A BOOT!!

MN: He ALWAYS falls for that one...

DM: It’s BLACK going to the top rope now... but the First recovers... BOUNDS TO TOP TO JOIN HIM!!

Crowd: *POP!!*

DT: The First, TRASHING AWAY AT ERIK BLACK ON THE TOP ROPE with RELENTLESS RIGHTS and LEFTS!! NO!! Black SHOVES HIM OFF and the First HITS THE MAT!! That looked like a painful fall...

DM: The First, quickly getting to his feet... but Black, readjusting himself! Black off the top – DRAGONRRRAAANNNAAAA – !!!


Crowd: *POP!!!*




THR – NO!! Black AGAIN gets the First with that leg-scissor!!

MN: Oh, will he ever learn?!

DM: Black ROLLING THROUGH now... now he’s MOUNTED over the chest of the World Champion! He’s got the legs hooked... wait... working to his FEET... and he carries THE FIRST UP WITH HIM!!


Crowd: *POP!!!*







Crowd: *POP!!!*

[REPLAY: The sequence of Black flipping forward off the top rope is replayed, before he is deftly caught out of the air and BOMBED HARD to the mat by the First, who called it almost perfectly! The sequence cuts to a few moments later as Black rolls to his feet with the First’s legs hooked over his shoulders, quickly setting him into the flapjack position, and rolling FORWARD, landing on his back with the First caught between him and the mat.]

DM: That was an innovative reversal on the part of Erik Black, but even THAT wasn’t enough to keep the World Heavyweight Champion on the mat for the three count! But at least it bought him some time!

DT: The Dopesmoker sees his chance to move... he’s going for the CAGE WALL! It’s time to see if the “Escape Artist” can GET AWAY from the World Champion!

MN: Damnit, where’s that Stalker idiot?! Isn’t this about the time he runs in and ruins things!?

DT: Black to his FEET again... he’s slowly, but surely SCALING THE CAGE WALL!! The First, trying to recover... but he needs to HURRY at this point! Black is now reaching the HALFWAY POINT!!

DM: The First sees what’s up, and he’s trying to move... but Black is making good distance up the cage wall!


MN: Typical morons...

DT: The crowd, cheering on the World Champion... trying to MOTIVATE HIM to move! The First needs all the support he can get at this point! He’s pushing himself HARDER now... MAKING IT TO HIS FEET!!

DM: Erik Black is ALMOST TO THE TOP... but now the FIRST is climbing up after him! Black, being slowed up at the top of the cage as he tries to his leg over!

DT: And the First starts climbing FASTER!! Only a FEW FEET now... a FEW INCHES...

Crowd: *POP!!*

DM: HE’S GOT HIM!! Black ALMOST GOT THE OTHER LEG OVER, but the First CAUGHT HIM BY THE ANKLE at the last moment!

DT: Black is trying to SHAKE HIM LOOSE, but the First has a DEATHGRIP around that exposed foot! The First is trying to pull him DOWN now, but the Dopesmoker CLINGS TO THE LIP OF THAT CAGE FOR DEAR LIFE!! Now the First CLIMBS UP TOWARD HIM!!

DM: Oh man... this is where things get REALLY hectic! When two men start fighting at the top of the cage, SOMEBODY’S going to make a long, hard fall back into the mat!

MN: And sometimes, if you’re lucky, BOTH of the brain-dead high-flying idiots take the fall!

DT: Black is straddling the cage wall... and the First climbs up to clear his top half!! Here’s BLACK with a shot... and ANOTHER!! A THIRD connects!! The First looks like he’s LOSING HIS GRIP...

MN: Yes, YES!! COME ON!!


DM: OH NO!! Black catches him with a KICK as he swings his leg back into the cage! That almost send the First off the wall, but his left hand BARELY held his grip!

DT: He’s hanging on by his FINGERTIPS!! Black, meanwhile, hanging right next to him near the top of the cage... wait... now STANDING on the cage wall! Man, that is INCREDIBLE balance...

MN: Especially for a pothead!

DM: He’s got maybe an INCH of foot space, but luckily, he came barefoot, and that’s making it somewhat easier! Black trying to STEP ON THE FIRST’S TOES NOW!! The First’s RIGHT HAND JUST SLIPPED!!

DT: Good God, he’s HANGING TO THE TOP OF THE CAGE with just ONE HAND!! Black trying to STEP ON HIS FREE HAND NOW!! His fingers CAN’T TAKE IT!! HANG ON, FIRST!! HANG ON!!


Crowd: “OOOOOoooohhh...”

MN: The good news is, he just saved our future generations of youth from a whole litter of little dopesmokers...

DT: Erik Black is just COMPLETELY INCAPACITATED with pain right now!! The First is trying to make his move... pulling himself back over the cage wall... there’s one leg... there’s THE OTHER!! HE MIGHT MAKE IT!!

DM: NOT SO FAST!! The Dopesmoker GRABS HIM before he can get away! Black’s got him in a front-face lock, and he’s PULLING HIM back over the cage! The First is FIGHTING to break away, but Black CONNECTS with a couple HARD elbows to the spine to keep him in control!

DT: This doesn’t look good! Black working back to his FEET on the CAGE WALL, and he’s still got ahold of the First’s head! The World Champion is pulled up to join him! Both men STAGGERING FOR BALANCE at that dizzying height! It’s a long drop to the ring, and an even LONGER drop to the floor!

DM: Ironically, it’s the first man that touches that floor that will move on to the final round... whether it be by a soft and safe touchdown, or a long, violent one!


Crowd: “OOOOOOoooohhhh...”

DM: And there’s no give to it, either! You hit the broadside of that wall, it absorbs some of the force... but when you hit the VERY TOP of it like that, that’s all TWO-HUNDRED AND TWENTY FIVE SQUARE FEET OF ZANE QUALITY STEEL being DRIVEN RIGHT INTO YOUR FACE!!

[REPLAY: Though his balance is wavering on the small foot space that is available, Erik Black masterfully manages to lifts the First up over the cage wall high enough before sending him CAREENING DOWN into the top lip of the cage. The First’s forehead CONNECTS with an inch-thick metal bar and his entire body goes limp, arms and legs draped over either edge of the cage wall. Black WINCES in pain as he takes a hard straddle over the same surface.]

DT: I think the First might be UNCONSCIOUS!!

MN: We can only be that lucky...

DM: Looks like Black RACKED himself again with that last move, but that seems like a small price to pay! Victory is in sight, and he knows it! He gets his leg over the cage wall... he’s on the OUTSIDE now, and he’s making his way down!

DT: The First is left draped over the top of the cage! My God... looks like he’s still awake, but he’s out of time at this point! Black is almost HALFWAY down the cage wall – OH ****, THE FIRST FELL!! HE LET GO, AND DROPS –

Crowd: “WHOAH!!”




DM: That was quick thinking on the part of the First! Black was getting away, so he took a risk and let himself DROP from the top of the cage! Oh man, if he were just a few inches to the LEFT... he would have missed Black and took a HORRIBLE FALL right to the ring floor!

MN: But at least he would have won the match, right?

DT: I’m not sure he would have been in any condition to move on!


DM: The First is FIGHTING!! He’s THRASHING AWAY at Erik Black’s exposed HEAD caught between his thighs!! Black can’t defend himself... he LETS GO OF THE CAGE WALL... but WAIT, HE DOESN’T DROP!!

DT: That’s cause the FIRST has the cage wall... and Black’s head IS CAUGHT IN HIS LEGS!! The First HAS HIM HANGING IN A GUILLOTINE LEG-SCISSOR CHOKEHOLD!! Black’s weight is WORKING AGAINST HIM!!

DM: Erik Black is only INCHES FROM THE RING FLOOR, and the First looks like he’s BARELY HANGING ON, but nevertheless, he SQUEEZES THOSE THIGHS TOGETHER!! Black is FLAILING WILDLY as if he were hanging from a NOOSE!!

MN: Ol’ Dopesmoker just can’t get away from hanging off the cage wall...

DT: Oh, the IRONY!! Black’s eyes are FLUTTERING... his thrashing is becoming weaker! I think he’s SLIPPING!!

DM: You might be right, Dave! Black had NO LEVERAGE hanging there! Now he’s OUT COLD, hanging there in the leg-scissor applied by the World Champion! But now he’s facing a NEW problem!

DT: Oh, what now?!

DM: The First can’t just let GO of Erik Black at this point! If he did that, Black would drop to the floor, and that would be IT!

MN: What’s a scrawny moron to do?!

DT: Well, he better think of something FAST, because he’s now gripping to that cage wall with nearly TWICE his body weight dragging him back to terra firma! If he lets the lifeless body of Erik Black fall to the floor, then he LOSES! If he loses his grip... then I’m sure Black will hit the floor first anyway! This is one HELL of a predicament for the World Heavyweight Champion!

DM: The First has come too far to be beaten now! The World Champion... wait a second, he’s CLIMBING BACK TO THE TOP OF THE CAGE!!

DT: I can hardly believe it! He’s got two hundred pounds of DEAD WEIGHT hanging from his legs, and he’s SOMEHOW STILL SCALING THE SIDE OF THE CAGE!!

DM: He’s gotta get to the top and leave Erik Black draped there if he wants to have any hope of moving on to that final round! The First is BARELY able to keep his grip! The pain of hanging there by his fingertips must be AGONIZING!!


DT: The Outcast Hero is only INCHES AWAY...



...AND HE MAKES IT!! He GETS AN ARM slung over the wall... and ANOTHER!! Now if he can just get his LEGS up a bit more, he can get the unconscious Erik Black in a less precarious position!

MN: I just can’t believe how long that Dopesmoker’s been HANGING there like that! I mean, I realize he probably doesn’t have MANY active brain cells left, but if there were any still swimming around in there, they’ve gotta be gone NOW, right?!

DT: The First, now, getting himself seated over the top of the cage, reaches down and brings Black’s limp form across the top of the cage! Man, it’s amazing to think of how much ACTION we’ve seen on that one cage wall!

DM: This is turning out to be one hell of a first title defense for the new World Heavyweight champion! Looks like Black is secure on the cage wall now, and the First – WAIT, BLACK BACK FROM THE DEAD –



Crowd: “WHOAH!!!”


DM: What an AMAZING COMEBACK by the DOPESMOKER!! I thought he was OUT COLD, but he suddenly CAME BACK from OUT OF NOWHERE and caught the unsuspecting World Champion with the COTTONMOUTH submission hold... using that CAGE WALL AS LEVERAGE!! The First is SCREAMING IN EXCRUCIATING PAIN right now!!

DT: Black is CLINGING TO THE CHAMPION’S BACK like a VAMPIRE BAT... both men SUSPENDED UPSIDE DOWN nearly FIFTEEN FEET above the ring floor! With that CAGE WALL firmly planted in the small of his back, bridging him at a HORRIBLY UNNATURAL angle! The World Champion can’t hold out for LONG against THIS!!


DM: You really have to admire the Dopesmoker’s ingenuity here, again using the CAGE as his greatest weapon! The First is trying to STRUGGLE FREE, but the pain is just TOO MUCH for him to handle!!

DT: Yet he still REFUSES to tap out!! The First... it looks like he’s starting to SLIP now! Black’s fingers are burrowing DEEP into the rear of his mandible, pinching those sensitive nerves... the top bar of the cage wall is digging DEEP into his spine... and now, his free arm is beginning to lose its STRENGTH!!


DM: The crowd’s beginning to get behind the champion, yet again... the First TENSES THAT ARM, TRYING TO FIGHT IT... but no, it goes LIMP AGAIN!! That’s it, HE’S OUT COLD!!

DT: The Dopesmoker just REPAID THE FAVOR!! No doubt, if Pat Jones were in position, he’d ring the bell, but for now, he can only stand in the ring and wait for the action to return to HIM!

MN: That’s why your son hates you, Pat... because you’re LAZY!!

DT: Dopesmoker, finally releasing the hold... it think the damage is DONE though! The First is hanging LIFELESSLY upside down from the top of the cage! Black grabs ahold of the cage wall and gets himself back into climbing position! Can the World Champion come back from THIS?!

DM: Erik Black coming back from the dead is one thing, but I don’t think we’ll see lightning strike twice...

DT: Black with one leg over the cage wall... gets the OTHER over! Just a quick climb DOWN now... but can he make it this time?!

DM: Black, measuring distance... I think he’s going to just try his luck at DROPPING but – BUT THE FIRST JUST SAT RIGHT UP!!

Crowd: “POP!!!”





[SFX: *SLAMMM!!!*]



DM: I gotta see that again...

[REPLAY: Blacks eyes are WILD with panic and surprise, as the brunt of the First’s weight tugs DOWN at his shoulders! All at once, his grip on the top of the cage BREAKS, and both men careen to the mat in slow motion! The First’s back connects HARD with the mat, causing Erik Black’s arched form to BOUNCE off his knees and flail awkwardly several feet away.]

DM: Free fall of FIFTEEN FEET... and Black landed BACK-FIRST on a set of KNEES!! That just left him absolutely DESTROYED!!

DT: But he paid the price for it! The First just took that entire drop and landed RIGHT ON HIS BACK!! He may have been in a more protected position, but it’s taken a toll on his body, just the same! Neither man is making any move to get to his feet yet!

MN: Oh man... my prayers may have been answered! They’re both CRIPPLED!!

DM: Amazing as it sounds, this match has carried over from the ring, to the TOP of the cage, to the OUTER WALL... and BACK into the ring! We went from being mere MOMENTS from seeing the winner to two men lying LIFELESS in the ring! It’s anybody’s guess as to who will win this one now!

DT: The First... the WORLD CHAMPION... showing SIGNS OF LIFE as he drags himself to the prone body of the Dopesmoker! Three seconds with his shoulders on the mat is all he needs! I think Erik Black might be DEAD right now!

MN: Small loss to the wrestling community, if that were the case...

DM: Let’s hope not...

DT: Black, showing weak signs of life now... no, he’s NOT dead... but no word yet as to whether or not he can WALK after that move! The First coming closer... and Black is trying to crawl AWAY! He’s going for the ZANE GATE!

DM: He can barely PULL HIMSELF at this point! The First is GAINING!

DT: The First REACHES the challenger... rolls him over... he’s going for the COVER – but Black PUSHES HIM OFF with what little strength is left in him!

DM: The First barely has the strength to make PIN at this point! Trying again... but Black KICKS HIM AWAY with his legs, still trying to make it to that Zane Gate!

MN: How pathetic...

DT: Black squirming for the corner where the gate is! The outside official unlocks and OPENS THE DOOR! Black gets his HAND through the opening... but he’s stopped short by THE FIRST!! The Outcast Hero HAS HIS LEG!! There will be NO ESCAPE THIS TIME for ERIK BLACK!!

DM: Not if the First has anything to say about it!

MN: Hold the phone... who are THESE guys?


DM: What the –

[The camera cuts to the stage as a group of men in navy blue windbreakers come storming through the entry-way, brandishing walkie-talkies, hand-cuffs, and hip-holstered handguns. The apparent leader of the group points to the ring, and they jog down to the ringside area to intercept the bewildered ringside official, still holding the door open.]

DT: What is going on here? Who are these men, and what business do they have coming to the ring?!

DM: I don’t know, but they couldn’t have picked a WORSE TIME!! The First, on his KNEES, finally DRAGS Erik Black away from the open Zane Gate! Now they seem to be getting into it with the ringside official!

DT: The First continues struggling with Black, but now even senior official Pat Jones is taken by the tumult happening at ringside!

MN: Hey, what are those letters on the backs of their jackets say?

DM: Is that... “DEE-EE-AYE?!”

DT: UH OH...

[An inaudible argument occurs with the number of DEA agents pointing accusingly past the ringside official to one of the two men fighting in the cage. Overwhelmed by the number of shouting voices in his face, Andrew Gardell is forced to the side, and the task force enters the ring through the Zane Gate one at a time.]

DT: Oh man, I don’t believe this! The DEA is STORMING THE CAGE!!

MN: Looks like somebody’s BUSTED!!

DM: The First STRUGGLING to get the Dopesmoker into the Inescapable Torment... Black FIGHTING IT... but wait, THE DEA AGENTS JUST PULLED THE FIRST OFF OF HIM!!

Crowd: “BOOOOOOO!!!”


MN: I don’t believe it... the Boredom Police really DO exist!

DM: Oh shut up, Neels!

[The First looks somewhere between alarmed and enraged at the unannounced interference of the two of the DEA agents as they pull him to his feet and corral him into a corner, ordering him to stay out of their way. Three more swarm around Erik Black. Two pull him to his feet while the third checks a photocopy of his picture. Confirming his identity with a nod, they proceed to carry him to the door, while he is all the while too delirious to know what is happening.]


MN: Well THAT explains it! I guess it had to happen SOME time, huh?

DT: As vocal as Black was about his habits, no, I can’t say it’s very surprising. I mean, this is the guy who insists on being called DOPESMOKER, after all. But there’s a time and a place to do this sort of thing, and it’s NOT during the main event of a show!

DM: Couldn’t agree with you more on that, Dave! The finish to this match has just been RUINED!!

[The First continues to jaw with the two agents that pulled him off. In doing so, he neglects to notice the other three DEA agents dragging Black through the cage door... and safely onto the ringside floor! Knowing that the bell hasn’t rung to signal the end of the match, Gardell suddenly remembers his duty, and SIGNALS THE TIMEKEEPER – !!]




MN: I don’t believe that’s called “escaping”, Dean-O. If anything, his escaping days are OVER!!

DT: You mean... IT’S OVER?! Erik Black WON?! OH MY GOD, ERIK BLACK WON!!

[Having heard the bell, the First looks around, and is STUNNED upon noticing what has just happened! The fans JEER LOUDLY and pelt the federal agents with garbage as two of them quickly lead a dazed and half-conscious Erik Black up the ramp and through the entry-way. Conferring briefly with the timekeeper and giving the final judgment to Tony Fatora, Empire Pro’s longtime ring announcer raises the mic with a stone-faced expression.]

TF: Ladies and gentlemen... the winner of this match... by ESCAPING THE CAGE...


[CUE UP: “Holy Mountain” by Sleep. Nobody cheers at the announcement. A hail of obscenities continues to rain down on the federal DEA agents. A large group of officials and agents are converged around the ringside area, creating a tumult of confusion... all centered around Erik Black, who is only smirking because he can hear his music playing, but is otherwise unaware of what is happening.]


DT: I won’t use those exact words, but the fans could NOT have said it better about this situation!

DM: I agree completely, Dave. I’ve never seen anything so unprofessional and rude in my entire wrestling career! The nerve of those DEA agents, busting in on the main event and arresting one of the competitors in the middle of a MATCH... it just leaves me sick!

MN: What are you guys talking about? This is GREAT!! The stoner finally gets busted, and the First LOSES his first title defense!

DT: He may have had this match robbed from him by powers out of his control... but at the very least, the First is leaving the cage tonight with his World Heavyweight Championship in tact!

DM: But you know this isn’t the way he wanted it to be, Dave. The First went into that cage wanting to legitimately DEFEND that title without any outside interference! He wanted to build his credibility as the face and icon of the company tonight, but that chance was just RUINED!

DT: I was almost CERTAIN he was moments away from securing the victory! What the hell brought out the freakin’ DEA?!

DM: I don’t know, but I’m going to get to the bottom of this...

MN: Kick some ass, Dean-O!

[A headset can be heard dropping as Dean Matthews rises from the commentary table and approaches the mob of arguing officials and DEA agents, deftly avoiding garbage as its thrown over the barricade. EPW Owner Dan Ryan and Commissioner Paul Freeman have joined the fray now, visibly angry over the interruption. “The Dopesmoker” Erik Black finally appears conscious enough to know what is happening. He squirms to free himself, but two of the agents hold him down as his arms are restrained behind his back and a set of cuffs are bound around his wrists. They read him his Miranda rights, while he spouts obscenities back. The First, meanwhile, watches from within the ring, shaking his head pitifully.]

DT: Victory by incarceration. I’ll be damned. Erik Black sure has the devil’s luck in this tournament...

MN: I’ll say. First he gets KICKED through the door, and now he gets CARRIED OUT!!

DT: This doesn’t look like a victory he’ll have much chance to celebrate, however. We were witnessing one HELL of contest between two very talented individuals... but that contest will forever be overshadowed by this completely ridiculous conclusion!

MN: Hey... if he didn’t want to get busted in the middle of a match... maybe he should have been more careful with the whole weed-smoking thing, huh?

DT: But why now, after ALL THIS TIME he’s advertised it?!

[Matthews gets a few words from Gardell and rejoins the commentary table, putting the headset back on. Meanwhile, two of the agents drag a vocally resistant Erik Black up the ramp back to the backstage area. The remainder of the task force are left to receive a heated berating from the EPW Owner, who looks like he’s on the verge of snapping and Ego Busting motherf*ckers left and right.]

DT: So what’s the scoop, Dean?

DM: I’ll tell you, Dave... this whole thing is messed up. Apparently, an “anonymous call” tipped off the DEA that there was a drug dealer in the arena tonight. I guess just a few minutes ago, while we were here watching the this match, the DEA raided the locker room and found up to FIVE OUNCES OF MARIJUANA in Erik Black’s locker!


DT: Uh... is that a lot?

DM: Well, if we were to compare a joint to a can of beer... then think of five ounces as the equivalent to a whole keg of beer.

DT: Oh WOW...

DM: Basically, it looks like the feds have him on possession with intent to sell! Dan Ryan asked them to wait until after the show, but they took it upon themselves to make their move while they felt they had the chance!

DT: This whole thing is messed up...

MN: Come on, are you guys SURPRISED at this?! It’s ERIK BLACK!! You know... DOPESMOKER?? CHRONIC COLLIZION?? HELLO! This was bound to happen eventually...

DT: I don’t think this is just eventuality becoming reality, Neely. Dean, didn’t you say something about an anonymous call?

DM: Yeah... you don’t think...?

DT: It was STALKER!! We saw him on the phone earlier! He was RATTING OUT HIS FORMER ALLY in Erik Black!

MN: Or maybe he was just performing his duty as a concerned citizen? I mean, come on... the guy had FIVE OUNCES in his locker room!!

DT: I... ugh... okay, that’s a good point, Mike. If Erik was dumb enough to stash that amount of illegal substances in his LOCKER of all places, then I’d say he got what he deserved. But he DID NOT deserve victory tonight over the World Champion, who fought hard to legitimize himself... and the fans DID NOT deserve the interruption this match suffered from!

MN: He’ll NEVER be a champ in my eyes until he can PIN somebody on his own power!

DM: Then tell Stalker to stop sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong...

DT: No doubt, Stalker is going to get his in due time. He’s interfered in nearly EVERY match of this tournament... and that just begs the question, what does that maniac have in store for the FINAL ROUND?!

DM: Are we even going to SEE a final round, Dave?! One of our finalists is being taken away by the DEA!! These aren’t local authorities we’re talking about... those are FEDERAL AGENTS.

MN: They make people DISAPPEAR... like Rick Astley!

[The camera cuts to Erik Black’s bewildered and shocked face moments before it disappears through the entry-way. A cut back to the ring shows the grim expression of the First, clearly in disapproval at what has just happened. Muse heads over to the timekeeper’s table to grab the First’s World Heavyweight title, but is intercepted…]

DT: I honestly have no clue what to say.... what.. wait someone just hopped our guardrail folks!

MN: Here'sssss... STALKER!

DT: And he just leveled Muse!

[Grabbing the EPW World title off of the time keepers table Stalker goes through the cage door and First turns around at the last second to see the title crashing into his skull. Collapsing on the ground in a heap, First is knocked out cold. Stalker grabs his arms and drags him to the corner and pulls out handcuffs. Cuffing First to the turnbuckle post and turning around Stalker stops to soak in the chorus of boos. Pulling out a mic from his side pocket he acknowledges the booing fans.]

Stalker: Thank you! Thank you!

[He goes out of the cage door again and looks under the ring, pulling out a trash can. Getting back in the cage he places the trash can in the center of the ring.]

Stalker: You know. It's really a shame when you flaunt your drug abuse constantly on television. Look where it gets you. Oh yeah that's right…. it gets you into the next round of the King of the cage!

[Letting out a manic laugh he looks down at the First and then to the world title on the ground in front of him. He picks it up by the waist strap and holds it out in his hand for the crowd to see.]

Stalker: See this belt? This WORLD... CHAMPIONSHIP... BELT? You know what's special about this belt? A LOT. You know what makes it so special? Being deemed the top dog in EPW when you accomplish winning this title is just one of MANY things that make this damn belt special.

Stalker: For years... yes YEARS since my arrival here, everyone has seen me wreak havoc, destroy careers, and put my body on the line to slow down the progress of others. YEARS. I have done this and you know what else... you know what ELSE I have done these past few years?

[Pausing for a few moments to let the boos, from the fans, sink in their distaste for seeing Stalker involved in yet another KotC match.]

Stalker: Starting with Rocko in 2008, he used my torment, my mind games with his wife, everything I could throw at him, he used all that as motivation to pull off the upset against Triple X. All because I drove him to be that good. And you know what else I did? HAhahahahahah... That's right, I think even going back that far everyone remembers. I MADE him VACATE that title. That same title that JA won. BECAUSE OF ME!

Stalker: Trip... unsure of himself came to me. Came to me for that encouragement, and I gave it to him. We both had the same mindsets... at the time. What did he do? He went out there and WON that title back from JA. You know why?

[Stalker holds out the mic to the fans to get a response but is met with more booing.]


[The First finally regains his senses and realizes he's handcuffed. Stalker just looks at him and laughs before continuing on.]

Stalker: And then... this guy.

[Points to the First.]

Stalker: I got DAMN tired of Trip taking credit for all the **** I MADE him accomplish. So what did I do? I distracted him just long enough, just for that brief seconds to give First here the opportunity to score the win and this World Championship. BECAUSE OF ME! He's your champion. Did I get a thank you? An acknowledgement even? ANYTHING? NO! I didn't. I have had more to do with this title and it's holders then ANYONE IN THIS ****ING BUILDING!

[Pure rage fills his eyes as he basically spits out those last few words.]

Stalker: So you know what.. First? I don't think you deserve to carry this god damn belt around your waist. I also think that along with all these pathetic pieces of trash out here. You should get to see what this belt... this belt that you only won... BECAUSE OF ME deserves.

[He holds it out in front of his face and spits on the gold plated middle of the belt. Then Jason looks at First and dumps the belt into the trash.]

Stalker: Oh.. and First... it could've been anyone. If Nakita Dahaka was in the ring that night, she would've been champ, not you. Don't think you can take him..... or ME.

[Dropping the mic, Stalker stares down The First as he struggles to get free from his confines. He exits the cage pushing past refs and security that are coming to the ring to free The First.]

DT: Ladies and gentlemen, I have to admit I HATE to be leaving you all on this note! Rest assured, the EPW front office will get the bottom of this confusion and Stalker’s actions will be investigated. Regardless of what will happen in the final round... we WILL crown the next KING of the CAGE!! For Mike Neely and “The Show Stealer” Dean Matthews... I’m Dave Thomas! Good night!

[Fade out.]


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX

(Sean Stevens enters his dressing room backstage, takes two steps into the room and stops, a disgusted look on his face. The camera pans over to show Aaron Jones waiting for him)

You’re making a mistake, Sean.

I know you want to defend EPW. I don’t blame you. Your EPW career has allowed you to reach higher peaks than anyone else in this business right now. The continued survival of EPW – and of the wrestling business in general – is a goal we can agree on.

But if it’s Dan Ryan who’s asking you to stand up for EPW, you’re not really working to save it. You’re working to destroy it, as Dan Ryan is. What Ryan said earlier tonight very clearly indicates that he hasn’t learned anything from what happened to him those months ago. In Dan Ryan’s mind, He is still the enemy. It’s a lie. He is the one trying to save this business from the destruction others would visit upon it. It’s Dan Ryan who poses the threat.

Dan Ryan had a chance to listen to reason, and he chose instead to draw a line in the sand and paint everyone who does not agree with his destructive methods as the enemy. If you enter this war on Dan Ryan’s side, you enter it on the wrong side.

Sean, He may have had unkind words for you in the past, but He understands the strength of will you possess and the influence you wield. He is willing to overlook your willingness to enter this battle on the wrong side.

But He also wants it to be clear that you have only one chance to correct this mistake.

I advise you to take that opportunity, Sean. It’ll be better for all of us.

(Jones walks past Stevens on his way out of the locker room)

"Aaron," the former two time EPW champion's voice echoed, his back still facing Aaron Jones. "...Tell Him that I appreciate the warning. Tell Him that I'm honored that he sent you to extend this offer."

(Jones made a motion towards the door, before Triple X spoke once more, stopping him dead in his tracks.)

"But, you tell Him that I am EPW. And, that any change that goes on in EPW, doesn't go through Dan Ryan ... it goes through ME. Tell the Cat that he'd best be prepared to clip up and go to war ... because I'm playing for the team I've always played for. You make sure he understands that, okay?"

(Shaking his head, Jones exits Stevens' dressing room, leaving the EPW superstar alone, inside of his personal space, with new thoughts to process.)

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