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...
[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...
Crowd: “FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!!”
[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.]
TF: THEEEE FIIIIIIIRRRSST!!!!
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…]
DAN RYAN: WHOA WHOA WHOA, HOLD UP!!!
[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.
[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.]
[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!
SFX: *DING! DING! DING!*
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!
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!!
DT: He’s GOT THE COVER!
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!
DT: Both men scrambling to their feet – OH WAIT, BLACK RUNS RIGHT INTO A SMALL PACKAGE!! SHOULDERS TO THE MAT!!
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 –
DT: – OH GOD, HE JUST THREW HIM HEAD-FIRST THROUGH THE ROPES AND SLAMMING RIGHT INTO THE CAGE WALL!! What VORACITY on the part of the Dopesmoker!
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!!
DT: Erik Black LETS GO OF THE TOP ROPE –
DT: – GOOD GOD, THOSE ROPES JUST THREW HIM RIGHT BACK INTO THE CAGE WALL!!
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!
Crowd: “FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!!”
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 –
DT: – AND PUTS BOTH FEET RIGHT INTO THE BACK OF THE FIRST’S HEAD, SLAMMING HIM YET AGAIN INTO THE CAGE WALL!!!
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!!
Crowd: “FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!!”
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 –
DT: YES!! THE PENDULUM MOTION just SLAMMED ERIK BLACK RIGHT INTO THE CAGE WALL!! Black’s grip is SLIPPING... and the First YANKS HIM HARD TO THE MAT with a QUICK JERK to the legs!
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!!
DT: The World Champion has his WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY – SUNSET FLIP OVER THE ROPES!! HE ROLLS BLACK TO HIS SHOULDERS!!
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!!
DT: THE CHAMPION REVERSES WITH A CRUCIFIX PIN!!
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!!!
DT: HE BRIDGES FOR THE PIN!!!
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 –
DT: OH NO, BLACK LANDS ON HIS FEET!! Black in POSITION FOR THE GREEN HIT –
DM: HE FLIPS FORWARD –
DT: NOOO!! THE CHAMP PLANTS HIS FEET AND COUNTERS WITH A REVERSE DDT!!
DM: That was just a BEAUTIFUL REVERSAL right there!
MN: For which guy?
DT: The First hooking both legs with a CRADLE PIN ATTEMPT!!
BLACK GETS THE SHOULDERS UP!!
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!
DT: This is futile for Erik Black... the First, going for a WHEELBARROW BUSTERRR – NNOOO!! BLACK TUCKS HIS SHOULDERS – The First is ROLLED FORWARD – HOLY CRAP, ERIK BLACK’S GOT THE CHAMPION’S SHOULDERS TO THE MAT!!
THRREEE – OH NO!! THE FIRST KICKS OUT AT THE LAST MOMENT!! He CLEARLY didn’t see that coming!
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 –
DT: – AND ERIK BLACK HITS THE CAGE WALL WITH THE SLINGSHOT!!
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...
DT: HERE COMES THE FIRST, OFF THE TOP... YESS!! HE NAILS THE MISSILE DROPKICK RIGHT AS BLACK TURNS AROUND!!
DM: The First to his feet... IN MOTION TO THE CORNER AGAIN... SPRINGBOARD OFF THE TOP – GET A LOAD OF THAT MOOOONSAULT –
DT: IT CONNECTS!! WHAT A HIGH-FLYING COMBO!! The First HOOKS THE LEGS for the COVER!! THIS COULD BE IT!!
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!!
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 – !!!
DT: THE FIRST COUNTERED WITH A SIT-OUT POWERBOMB!! WHAT AN AMAZING REVERSAL!! The Outcast Hero HOOKS THE LEGS FOR A PIN!!
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!!
DT: Oh now, the First is CAUGHT IN THE FLAPJACK POSITION!! Black’s got him RIGHT WHERE HE WANTS HIM... Black – FLIPS FORWARD –
MN: HOLY HELL, WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT!!
DM: THREE-HUNDRED AND SIXTY DEGREE ALABAMA SLAM!!! I’VE NEVER SEEN THAT DONE BEFORE IN MY LIFE!!!
DT: Black lands ON TOP OF THE CHAMPION... HE’S GOT THE LEGS HOOKED!!
THE FIRST KICKS OUT!!!
[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!
Crowd: “FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!!”
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...
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!!
DT: NO!! THE FIRST RESPONDES WITH A SHOT OF HIS OWN!! A SECOND!! A THIRD!! A FOURTH!! OH MAN, Erik Black gets a BARRAGE OF FISTS to his face!
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!!
DM: WAIT!! First CATCHES THE LEG WITH HIS RIGHT HAND... and YANKS!! OH MAN – THE DOPESMOKER JUST GOT RACKED RIGHT ACROSS THE CAGE WALL!!
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!
DT: Black in position... he lifts up THE FIRST – OH GOD!! DROPS HIM WITH A FACEBUSTER DDT ON THE TOP OF THE CAGE!! THAT’S A BUZZKILLER, CONNECTING RIGHT OVER THE LIP OF THE CAGE WALL!!
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 –
MN: YOU’VE GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!!
DM: THE FIRST FELL ON BLACK’S SHOULDERS!! WHAT A DESPERATE MOVE!! TALK ABOUT NOT GOING DOWN WITHOUT A FIGHT!!
DT: MY GOD!! Black NEARLY LOST HIS GRIP OF THE CAGE WALL, but somehow KEPT HOLD, even with NEARLY TWO HUNDRED POUNDS just suddenly DROPPING ON HIS SHOULDERS!!
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!!
Crowd: “FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!!”
DT: The Outcast Hero is only INCHES AWAY...
DM: He JUST MIGHT MAKE IT...
DT: ALMOST TO THE TOP...
...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 –
MN: IT’S ALIIIIVE!!
DT: OH GOD, HE CATCHES THE FIRST WITH THE COTTONMOUTH!! The First’s LEGS ARE CAUGHT IN THE CAGE... JESUS CHRIST, BLACK on his BACK NOW... GUILLOTINE ACROSS THE MID-SECTION... and HE BENDS HIM BACK ACROSS THE CAGE WALL!!
DT: MY GOD, I’VE NEVER SEEN ANYTHING MORE PAINFUL IN MY LIFE!! IT LOOKS LIKE THE FIRST COULD SNAP IN HALF AT ANY MOMENT!!
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!!
Crowd: “THAT-IS-AWE-SOME!!” *CLAP! CLAP! CLAP-CLAP-CLAP!!* “THAT-IS-AWE-SOME!!” *CLAP! CLAP! CLAP-CLAP-CLAP!!*
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!!
Crowd: “FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!! FIRST!!”
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!!
MN: IT’S ALIVE... AGAIN!!
DT: The First GRABS BLACK... Black STRUGGLING TO FREE HIMSELF... both men GETTING TO THEIR FEET at the NARROW TOP OF THE CAGE!!
DM: This COULD BE IT!! Black TRYING TO SHAKE HIM OFF, but the First HAS HIM BY THE SHOULDERS... wait, THE FIRST JUMPS OFF –
Crowd: *POP!!!* “EE-PEE-DUBBYA!! EE-PEE-DUBBYA!! EE-PEE-DUBBYA!!”
DT: I CAN’T BELIEVE IT!! THE FIRST, FIGHTING OFF EVERYTHING AGAINST HIM, JUST RIPPED ERIK BLACK FROM THE TOP OF THE CAGE WITH THE SOULBREAKER!! THAT WAS A BACKSTABBER FROM THE TOP OF THE CAGE!!
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!!
DT: WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?! THE DEA IS INTERRUPTING THE MAIN EVENT!!
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.]
DT: OH BOY!! Erik Black is BEING ARRESTED BY THE DEA!!
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 – !!]
SFX: *DING! DING! DING!!*
DT: WAIT!! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?!
DM: Oh God, I don’t believe it... BLACK WAS THE FIRST MAN TO TOUCH THE FLOOR!! HE ESCAPED THE CAGE!!
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...
“THE DOPESMOKERRR”... EEEERRRIIIIIIIIK BLLAAAAAAACKK!!!
[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.]
Crowd: “THIS-IS-BULL-****!!” *CLAP! CLAP! CLAP-CLAP-CLAP!!* “THIS-IS-BULL-****!!” *CLAP! CLAP! CLAP-CLAP-CLAP!!*
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!
MN: FIVE O’S?! Holy SMACK!!
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.]
Stalker: BECAUSE OF ME!
[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!