WORLD TITLE MATCH: JA (c) vs. “Triple X” Sean Stevens [Cage Match] – Unleashed 2008
ROCKO DAYMON: “The first match between these two guys was back at Russian Roulette, in the King of the Cage finals. Stevens walked out with the win, and the title King of the Cage. Then when they met again at Unleashed, with JA as the champion... he backed it up.
You can only do so much within the ropes. In any normal match, you've got the option of taking someone to the outside, give the front-row fans a little something to see, and at the same time draw things out a little while the referee is counting away. But you can't do that in the cage... you've always got to be thinking on your feet, cause you've got a fifteen by fifteen foot piece of canvas and a few turnbuckles to do all your work. Stevens and Jericoholic Anonymous were two very limber, technically sound athletes that worked well in that environment.
I think somebody in the back told me that the cage they were using was something handed down from an old GXW event, and still had some signs of rust, so... that might have factored in to the cage wall coming apart the way it did. Those guys were lucky they didn't get seriously injured.”
A short intermission to set up the cage......
“Hello ladies and gentlemen!! Welcome to Giants Stadium!! The weather is great, there’s an amazing capacity crowd on hand and this is WRESTLESTOCK!! ”
[The voice of Dave Thomas introducing last year’s monumental inter-federational Pay Per View event rings out as we get a panoramic shot of the entire arena BRIMMING with fans. We get a few more close-ups of the fans screaming and waving to the camera, before we get a shot of a steel cage being lowered over the ring…]
“The following contest… is a special CAGE MATCH! ”
“The winner will be the first participant to exit the cage, and have both feet, touch the floor. Not only will they be named the number one contender for the Empire Pro Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship at Russian Roulette, but they will also be crowned the two thousand and seven KING OF THE CAGE!!”
[Cut to close-ups of both contenders of this historic match…]
[“TRIPLE X” SEAN STEVENS…]
[…and JERICHOHOLIC ANONYMOUS.]
[Dramatic music begins playing as we get a quick highlight reel of the match. Stevens gets tossed by a hard arm drag! JA takes a ride, landing hard after being the victim of a back suplex! A close-up of Stevens’ red-masked face!]
[Voices from the past soon continue the voice-over…]
“…you see, Trip. I ain't no underdog.”
“I'm not out to be Rocky. I'm not out to warm hearts.”
”I'm out to WIN!!”
[We get the final moment of the match, as JA is merely moments away from exiting through the cage door… and then BAM!! Stevens, clinging on the outside of the cage, kicks it RIGHT INTO HIS FACE, and drops down to the floor to pick up the win.]
“…let me tell you, JA. After I'm done destroying you—mentally, physically, and emotionally—you will never…
“Be the same… AGAIN…”
[We get a lasting shot of Stevens smiling PROUDLY as the King of the Cage trophy is placed upon his head!]
“The winner of the match, the new number one contender, and the TWO THOUSAND AND SEVEN KING OF THE CAGE…”
“‘TRIPLE X’… SEAN… STEVENS!!!”
[We get a panning shot of the filled Georgia Dome at the Pay Per View event Russian Roulette. We briefly flash between shots of the matches that took place and the fans witnessing the event.]
“I am Sean ‘Triple X’ Stevens.”
“I am the Greatest Wrestler on the Planet…”
“The ‘Blue-Eyed Badass’…”
“…and the undisputed ‘Champion of Planet Earth’. I am a wrestler, I am a fighter, I am a warrior, and the 2007 King of the Cage.”
[Cut to the opening of the main event… Stevens standing in the ring with professional wrestling legends Lindsay Troy and Joey Melton. We get some of the more breath-taking highlights of the fateful battle: Stevens hitting “The Queen of the Ring” with his favored X-Factor superkick… Lindsay hitting the Crowning Glory from the top rope to the floor… finally ending with Stevens hitting the definitive X-Terminator on Joey Melton and picking up the three count.]
“…and, when the night is done? I'll add one more title to my resume: EPW World Heavyweight Champion.”
[Lasting shot of Stevens triumphantly holding the title over his head following the match.]
“Deal with it.”
“You want this title back?”
[Cut to a daftly smiling Lindsay Troy standing in the ring with the World Heavyweight Title confiscated over her shoulder. Surrounded by a sea of screaming fans, she looks intently at the other person in the ring… “Triple X” Sean Stevens.]
“You earn it on Aggression 38 by taking on the Number One Contender.”
[Cut to the bold mask of the world’s favorite Anglo Luchadore looking intently into the camera.]
[Cut to the angered faced of “Triple X” Sean Stevens, moments before his fateful title match at Aggression 38.]
“JA wasn't in line for anything. He's a clown. He went an entire four months without so much as cutting an EPW promo, and you reward him with a title match?”
[Cut to the intense eyes of JA peering through his mask, standing on the opposite end of the ring.]
“When you think of everything JA’s had to put up with just to EARN this title shot, such as his shortcoming in the epic finals of the King of the Cage, or his number one contender position being lost thanks to interference and controversy, it’s amazing to see that’s he’s kept his poise and persistence through every ordeal, tirelessly BREAKING HIS BACK to put himself in THIS position!”
[Both men advance upon each other… coming nose-to-nose in the center of the ring. Cut to black…]
[…and the highlight reel EXPLODES back in as Stevens SLAPS the Anglo Luchadore across the face, making the first move! The montage goes on to show Stevens nailing JA in the corner with a knife-edge chop… driving him head-first into the commentary table… crushing him with a powerbomb from the top rope…]
“I've made my name and my mark in this industry by following one simple philosophy… by beating people the f[FCC]k up. And making examples out of non-believers.”
[Cut to Sean Stevens setting JA up for the X-Termination…]
“I'm walking out of Aggression as the first two time EPW World Heavyweight Champion, and you're walking out with another story of how you almost beat the best, to share with your future grandkids.”
[Stevens lifts JA up, but loses the strength, and drops him. Cut to black…]
“The only reason I haven't won the World Championship here is because I've never gotten the opportunity.”
[BAM! We immediately cut to JA driving Stevens home with the Karelin Driver.]
“Am I scared? No, because I know that even if I lose, I'm coming back again and again.”
“I'm going to earn more opportunities.”
[Stevens pounces forward looking for the X-Factor superkick, but JA dramatically DUCKS at the last moment and reverses with the Walls of Jerichoholic!]
“You should know the same, but you won't let yourself admit any weakness.”
“You don't want to lose to a clown…”
[As soon as the word is spoken, ICE TRE descends from the rafters with a baseball in hand. We immediately cut to the SWING HEARD ‘ROUND THE WORLD that catches Stevens in the side of the face and causing him to fall right into a SECOND Karelin Driver!]
“Ladies and gentlemen, here is your winner…”
[Cut to the enthralled albeit masked face of Jerichoholic Anonymous being hoisted onto the shoulders of Troy Douglas and Fusenshoff, proudly holding the EPW World Heavyweight Title over his head for all to see.]
“…and NEW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION of EMPIRE PRO WRESTLING!!!”
“Are you surprised, JA?”
[Cut to Sean Stevens alone in his dressing room, staring intently at the camera.]
“Well, you're not alone.”
“But, let me tell you who else is just as surprised as you are. All of those millions and millions of fans, that tune into Aggression each week…”
“…to see someone knock me off of my throne…”
[Closer shot, now just of his face. The age and experience are evident as his cold and uncaring gaze pierces the camera.]
“Those same people saw me physically dominate you for twenty minutes, as you laid around in the ring a sorry, sad, busted open, defeated slash destroyed shell of a man.”
[Closer shot, now just of his cold blue eyes, often capable of making women wet across the entire globe, but now just epitomizing rage.]
“And, those same people know that the only reason you're champ at the moment has less to do with your talent, and more to do with circumstance.”
[Cut to the final moments of Aggression 39’s main event, as Sean Stevens stands alone in the ring, arguing with the ref over a DQ finish… and the Anglo Luchadore comes sprinting down the rampway.]
“HERE COMES THE CHAMP!!”
[JA bombards the ring and blasts the surprised Stevens with a set of rights that quickly force him out of the ring. Quickly cuts to the shot of JA laying the World Heavyweight Title out in the ring, as if it were a line to be crossed, and daring Stevens, glaring at him outside the ring, to step in and cross it.]
[Cut to the face of “Triple X” Sean Stevens…]
“I don't really have anything to lose, JA.”
"I am a legend in this business, JA. I've reached a plateau where wins and losses no longer define me. I've fought some of the best, I've beaten everyone that the world considered the best, and whether I beat you or not, it still doesn't change the fact that you're not in my top fifty. If you beat me? Nobody's going to stand up and applaud you for being better than Sean Stevens. More than likely, they'll just dismiss it as luck, just like we dismissed your last victory over me as a screw job.”
[Cut to the face of “The Anglo Luchadore” Jerichoholic Anonymous.]
“A king with nothing to lose…”
“So when Unleashed is all said and done, and you're left with nothing, because that's what you had to lose going into the match... well, don't worry. You can pretend to wear your crown and reign over nothing.”
[Cut to JA standing behind the podium at the Unleashed press conference.]
“I'm challenging old Emo Balls over here to a good, old fashioned cage match.”
[Cut to a quick circling shot of the looming steel cage surrounding the ring in an empty arena…]
[…and moments later, we fade back into the arena. The same cage is now properly secured around the ring by the EPW production crewmembers. The camera gets a few dramatic shots of the megalithic steel structure while the commentators come in for voice-overs.]
DT: This is truly a feud that will end where it began last year at Wrestlestock! A rivalry born within the confines of a cage, and now, fate has brought both of these competitors back into the merciless and unyielding steel prison!
DM: This truly is one of the most highly-anticipated main events of the year, Dave! The animosity between these two men is beyond words! Sean Stevens beat JA to become the King of the Cage a year ago, which paved the way for his future successes. But here we are full-circle, one year later, and the Anglo Luchadore is the man to beat this time around. Stevens wants his title back… and JA wants to prove his championship reign is no fluke!
MN: A beautiful failure just waiting to happen! And I GET A FRONT ROW SEAT to that miserable CLOWN’S tragic short-coming!
DM: You have to wonder, though… who has the power in this match? Is it in the hands of “Triple X” Sean Stevens, hungry and enraged after being screwed out of his title by Ice Tre? Let’s not forget that Sean is the 2007 King of the Cage; he put this type of match back on the MAP in professional wrestling, so much that one would even call it his specialty here in Empire Pro. Does that give him the advantage?
DT: Or, do we give the power to Jerichoholic Anonymous, who comes into this match with the title? Could the champion have gained the advantage in confidence after his victory just two Aggressions ago? Could he carry the advantage in determination… to defend his World Title successfully, and… to defeat his rival in the very same match at Wrestlestock, the conclusion of which setting about the events that would unfold over the next year?
MN: Hey, uh… I just noticed something. Didn’t JA want there to be a ROOF on this cage?
[We cut to commentary, as Dave and Dean, suddenly aware of this information, glance up to the top of the cage and realize there ISN’T a roof.]
DM: Uh… well, that’s a surprise. I believe they just recycled this thing from this year’s King of the Cage tournament. Getting that extra roof is pricy, I hear.
DT: Regardless, I’ve heard that interim owner Lindsay Troy has prohibited ALL talents from the ringside area in this match, just in case. I even hear she’s got security guards patrolling the rafters up above to prevent any more zipline incidents…
MN: Yeah, good call.
DT: It looks as though that set-up for the device has completed… let’s go to Tony in the ring!
[The ring bell chimes three times as the camera cuts to TONY FATORA, dressed classy as ever, standing in the middle of the encaged ring with the microphone in his hand.]
TF: Ladies and gentlemen… it is time for our MAIN EVENT of the evening!
[POP from the fans!]
[…and the arena goes BLACK!!]
[SFX: The booming of thunder and lightning… the clomping hooves of steeds and the sound of chariot wheels digging through the earth… the cacophony of steel on steel, occasionally piercing the flesh, followed by the SCREAM of a man as his blood falls upon the sand…]
“…And the prophecy read that one day, like The Phoenix that rose from the ashes, that a boy would be born unto a family in the slums!”
[CUT TO: EMPIRE-tron. …as several images flash starting with an up-close photo of a blue-eyed baby – crawling, playing football, and basketball… signs of a proud and successful life in the dog-eat-dog world of athletic competition.]
“This boy would go on to use the knowledge he gained, while fighting for survival in the streets to become a great leader!”
[CUT TO: Several more images. The first was an older Sean Stevens, in amateur wrestling gear; in a cap and gown – signifying graduation. The scene then shifted to Sean in the audience, in what looked to be a wrestling arena, before cutting to the final image of Sean, in the middle of a death defying leap from a forty-foot high camera tower, as his foe – below – laid unconscious.]
“And in time that boy would grow to become … a King.”
[CUT TO: The very last image. One of "Triple X" Sean Stevens in the center of the ring, being handed a crown, tired, sweaty, yet triumphant.]
[Suddenly, the EMPIRE-tron faded to black. And, for a moment, there was nothing but silence…]
“Time to ride, N[FCC]GGA…”
[BOOOOOOOOM~!! Triple sets of fireworks in the shape of an X shoot to the roof, as "King Back" by TI blasts over the PA system, and “TRIPLE X” SEAN STEVENS steps through the curtain. The fans INSTANTLY JEER upon his arrival, but he pays them no attention, proudly striding to the ring while bearing his brand spanking new 100% cotton t-shirt that bears only a single phrase: “IT’S GOOD TO BE THE KING!!”]
[His tights come in jet black and platinum, and squarely on his face are the signature pair of millionaire "Gucci" sunglasses. He briefly pauses on the ramp to thrust BOTH arms into the air, making a rudimentary X shape with his body.]
DT: Never in the history of Empire Pro has there been an athlete whose controversy was equaled in his success! Whether you love him or hate him, you can NOT deny the fact that the reputed “King of the Cage” has a way of always backing up his words!
DM: He’s got an ego on him, that’s for sure… but seeing him here tonight, he doesn’t seem like his notoriously cocky self. Nah, Sean Stevens is pulling the gloves off tonight. Simply put, he downright HATES the fact that JA is the man carrying that title.
MN: I downright hate it, too! You know, everything Trip says is a FACT!! Sean Stevens is the ONLY man that deserves to stand at the helm of this company, because he’s the only man with the balls to actually REPRESTENT Empire Pro!!
DT: I dunno where you see how he “represents” this federation. He insults the fans, dishonors the corporate authority, and bullies the other employees!
MN: Bah, that’s just who he IS. You just gotta DEAL WITH IT, Dave. The fact remains, ever since he came to Empire Pro, he’s made strides in trying to be the ICON of this federation, and nobody—not the clown, not the furball, not the loser with the broken, and most CERTAINLY not that butch running things—has ever done it as effectively as TRIP!!
DM: “Trip?” What are you, one of his friends now?
MN: Hey man, Trip knows I’m cool! I’m DOWN, man!
DM: …shut up, Neels.
[Slowly, Stevens comes to the entrance of the cage, turning before entering and removing his shirt which he tosses into the audience. It’s immediately torn to shreds by the fans—out of hate or adoration, we may never know. Stevens hands off his shades to the timekeeper and enters the cage, pacing around the ring a few times while eagerly anticipating the entrance of the champion…]
[Then… the intro riff to “EAT THE RICH” by FOZZY hits the PA, and the crowd reaction is INSTANEOUS!! Fans LEAP to their feet in screaming hysteria as the house lights go to black and multi-colored lights flash in unison to the driving bass rhythm that begins the song.]
[As soon as the song moves into its first verse, the EmpireTron pops to life, revealing the various limbs of a faceless figure as he adorns himself in wrestling gear.]
“I've been down, I've been beat
I've been tossed into the street
Making nickels, begging dimes
Just to get my bottle of wine”
[He slaps on a pair of wristbands… pulls up a pair of spandex tights… laces up a pair of boots… and finally, with the camera panning up the man’s toned back, a hair-covered crest rises, and is immediately concealed beneath a mask that covers the entire head. Tightening the straps on the back of the mask to finish the job, the camera suddenly ZOOMS OUT to reveal a dramatic back shot of THE ANGLO LUCHADORE standing with spread legs and arms and shaking with TREMENDOUS energy!!]
“Some say Life, she's a lady
Kind of soft, kind of shady
I can't tell you Life is rich
She's no lady, she's a *****!”
[BOOMS!! peal through the air like a machine gun as a volley of rockets streak from the stage to the illustrious display of COLORED EXPLOSIONS at the top of the arena! The fans POP as the screen goes to BLACK and the entry-way LIGHTS UP, revealing the silhouette of the same LUCHADORE in the exact same position!!]
“They suck my body out
But then there is no doubt
Gonna pay the devil his dues
Cause I'm so sick of being abused”
[Pumping his fist in a FRENZY, JAY AYE spins around into a righteous pose as he presents himself to the sea of CHEERING FANS!! Around his waist, he bears the gleaming beauty of the EPW World Heavyweight Title, lit up like a Christmas Tree amid the glow of the lights and pyros flashing everywhere.]
“EAT THE RICH!! [THE RICH!!]
EAT THE RICH!! [THE RICH!!]
Don’t you know that life is a *****
EAT THE RICH!! [THE RICH!!]
EAT THE RICH!! [THE RICH!!]
Out of the palace and into the ditch!”
[True to his always electrifying charisma, JA’s mere PRESENCE keeps the crowd roaring with passion as he paces the length of the stage and gets the fans popping like crazy!!]
DT: You can deny his right to that title… but listening to this capacity crowd VOICE THEIR SUPPORT for the man who has stepped up to serve as this federation’s centerpiece and World Champion, I would find it hard for ANYBODY to explain that Jerichoholic Anonymous doesn’t belong here at Unleashed, competing in the biggest title match of his career!
MN: A career that won’t last past tonight, I GUARANTEE IT!!
DM: I don’t know about that, Neels! If anything, JA has proven himself tenacious and determined against unbeatable odds! JA may have yet to prove he can beat Sean Stevens without help… and in the cage, of all places… but he finally has that opportunity tonight! He specifically wanted this match with Stevens, even after “Triple X” tried to WALK AWAY from the title picture, just to leave NO DOUBTS to his ability to carry that title!
DT: This is the opportunity he’s been waiting for, and on the biggest night of his life, you can bet he’s willing to put up the FIGHT of his life! And we all know he won’t rest until he’s silenced Sean Stevens for once and for all!
MN: It won’t ever happen. No matter HOW much you try and ignore it, you CAN’T turn a deaf ear to TRUTH.
[JA’s energetic entrance subsides as he comes to the bottom of the ramp and takes in the looming structure of the steel cage, staring intently at his opponent standing inside, who stares daggers back. Slapping hands a moment longer with his ringside fans, JA approaches the cage door, being held open by senior official Pat Jones. The Anglo Luchadore looks to the referee briefly, then shakes his head… instead jumping onto the side of the cage and SCALING IT, much to the delight of his fans.]
MN: What a freakin’ show off!
DT: He certainly loves to please his fans!
DM: Of course! There’s all this talk about who represents the company, but… what about the fans?? They ARE the company! And clearly, they favor the Anglo Luchadore!
MN: The fans are IDIOTS!! Come on, this has been established! McDonalds-eating, TV-watching, wife-beating, inbred IDIOTS!!
[JA climbs to the very edge of the cage, sitting on top and removing his title from his waist to hold it high over his head below the mass of cheering fans below. In the ring, Stevens shakes his head, annoyed by this showy display. JA soon redirects his attention to the matter in the ring, and carefully climbs down the cage wall with the title in hand, joining the other men in the ring as Pat Jones comes in through the door to make his final checks. Fatora raises the mic once again.]
TF: Ladies and gentlemen… welcome to the MAIN EVENT of Empire Pro Wrestling’s UNLEASHED 2008, here live in “THE CITY BY THE BAY” San Francisco, California!!
[POP from the hometown fans!!]
TF: The following contest is a CAGE match with NO time limit, for the vacant EPW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE! The stipulations for winning this match require either athlete to escape the cage by exiting through the door or climbing over the walls. The winner will be declared as the FIRST man to make contact with the arena floor.
TF: Introducing first, the CHALLENGER… hailing from Orlando, Florida… standing at six feet, two inches, and tipping the scales at 243 pounds… he is the FORMER EPW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION… the 2007 FWrestling Wrestler of the Year… the EPW King of the Cage… “The Blue-Eyed Badass”… “PLANET EARTH’S Champion”…
[The entire arena BOOS LOUDLY as his name is announced. Despite them, Stevens does not break his gaze from the eyes of JA.]
TF: And his opponent… fighting out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania… he stands at six feet tall, and weighs in at 219 pounds… he is a former EPW INTERCONTINENTAL CHAMPION… he is “The Guru of Gimmick Infringement”… “the AYATOLLAH of MICHAEL COLE-AH”…
“THE ANGLOOOOO LUCHADOR-R-R-RE”
[The capacity crowd CHEERS WILDLY in support of the Empire Pro hero! Even so, JA equally does not shift his eyes from those of the Blue-Eyed Badass standing only a few feet away. Pat Jones retrieves the coveted EPW Heavyweight Title, holds it up to display to the four sides of the arena, and hands it to Tony Fatora before both men systematically exit the cage.]
DT: This is it… the moment we’ve ALL been waiting for!! Fame and glory await the man who walks out of this cage!!
[Pat Jones closes the cage door… bolts it… and cues the timekeeper.]
DT: The battle for the EPW World Heavyweight Title has begun!
DM: AND THERE GOES STEVENS, simply LUNGING upon JA at the ringing of the bell! The King of the Cage is laying into JA with a relentless BARRAGE of strikes!
MN: KILL HIM, Trip!
DT: BUT HERE COMES THE CHAMPION, back into this fight like a cyclone of furious fists, bringing the brawl right back to Sean Stevens’ doorstep! The crowd is ROARING as these two warriors ferociously claw and gnash their way from one corner of the cage to the next!
DM: And they aren’t pulling ANY punches, Dave! Both of these athletes came out swinging, and the unbridled WRATH we’re witnessing as these two try to tear each other limb from limb is beyond words! No doubt, this is a very emotional contest between both participants!
MN: You’d be emotional too, Dave, if your title had been STOLEN from you! Oh, but that’s right… you never HAD a title, did you?!
DM: Don’t go there, Neels… not now!
DT: STEVENS is beginning to gain the upper hand, rearing the Anglo Luchadore into a corner! Stevens, with STONE-CRUSHING BLOWS, wearing the World Champion down into a pulp! But JA is fighting back, delivering a set of RIB-CRACKING BODY SHOTS!
MN: We’ll have to rename the standard EPW cage as… “The Tenderizer!”
DM: Here’s Stevens, taking JA by the mask and yanking him out of the corner…
DM: …and just THROWS HIM RIGHT INTO THE CHAIN-LINK WALL of the cage!! I think the “The Mutilator” sounds a bit more accurate, if you ask me!
MN: My name is cooler…
DT: This a TRULY fast-paced and highly-emotional start to the World Title contest! Stevens, not giving the champion even a MOMENT to recover, stomps the tar out of JA before he can even get to his feet!
DT: Stevens bringing the champ up now… has him by the mask and tights, looking to DRIVE HIM AGAIN INTO THE STEEL—NO!! JA SLIPS AWAY!!
DM: JA with the quick REVERSAL—RIGHT INTO A ROLL-UP on Stevens—and hooks the legs for the WALLS OF JERICOHOL—AH, NO!! Stevens KICKS him off and squirms out before the champ could get a firm hold of his legs!
MN: You can’t finish off the RIGHTFUL champion that easily!
DT: The threat of the World Champion locking in his signature submission hold is enough for “Triple X” Sean Stevens to hold back on his relentless offense, kneeling now on the other side of the cage-encompassed ring from the Anglo Luchadore, as both competitors take a moment to observe each other…
DM: Maybe now they can find the opportunity to catch their breath…
[For the first time since the ringing of the bell, both men hesitate in their actions to engage in a tense staredown. The fans, reacting to both the energetic fisticuffs only moments ago and completely pumped up by the electricity emitting from this confrontation, begin raucous “EE-PEE-DUBBYA!!” chants that resonate through the arena.]
Crowd: “EE-PEE-DUBBYA!! EE-PEE-DUBBYA!!”
DT: This capacity crowd is LETTING ITSELF BE HEARD here tonight!
DM: Well, that was a nice little brawl, but… now it’s time to get down to some old school wrasslin’!
MN: I prefer the brawling, myself.
DM: That doesn’t surprise me at all. Here’s both contenders, now, advancing on each other… and the LOCK-UP ensues!!
DT: Stevens, still shouldering that UNHINGED FEROCITY in that cage, forces the champion back into the corner! No rope breaks in that steel cage, ladies and gentlemen; it’s anything goes!
MN: And now that CLOWN-ASS is trapped!!
DM: The term is “Assclown,” Neels. WHOA!! Looks like he wasn’t trapped after all, as the nimbler Anglo Luchadore slips around “Triple X” and slaps on a HAMMERLOCK from behind!
DT: Slick move from the champion! JA works the arm… in their last encounter, we saw the Anglo Luchadore target that limb exclusively, which ended up costing Stevens later on in the match. Could he be going for the same strategy tonight??
DM: I wouldn’t doubt it, Dave. Especially in a cage match, where you may need to rely on your arm strength to carry yourself over that chain-linked wall, JA’s tactics seem especially keen.
DT: Oh! But Stevens with an ELBOW with his free arm, stunning JA long enough to REVERSE that hammerlock… and there’s the LEGSWEEP, putting both men to the mat!
DM: Stevens transitions to the front, still with a grip on the arm of the Anglo Luchadore, while the champion struggles to wrestle away from him! Stevens has the advantage of strength and positioning in this case, and that isn’t any more apparent as he locks the arm of JA into a standing armbar! Looks like STEVENS may be the one looking for limb-damage!
MN: No, you see, one of the RULES by royal decree of being a member of the KING’S court is, an eye for an eye, or an arm for an arm!
DT: Well, Stevens is certainly returning the favor as his wrenches the arm of JA! The champion, gaining the support from the fans as he works himself to his feet… Stevens moves his hands to his wrist, putting in a TWIST to put the pressure on the shoulder of the Anglo Luchadore!
DM: JA’s previous strategy has come back to haunt him! And you really have to wonder, if Stevens maintains this kind of over-powering pace in the wrestling game, what it will mean for the champion later in the match when the opportunity to escape is—
DT: OH WAIT!! JA, flipping over with a sudden REVERSAL, and BOOTING the stunned “Triple X” Sean Stevens with a stinging SIDEKICK to the ribs!
DM: That kick knocked Stevens off and clear into the ropes—causing him to bounce RIGHT INTO an Arm Drag by the Anglo Luchadore!!
DT: The crowd is CHEERING WILDLY as the World Champion comes fighting back, putting Stevens to the mat AGAIN with a second arm drag almost as soon as he popped back to his feet! Stevens rises once again, and is COMPLETELY LEVELLED with a DIVING LARIAT from the waiting JA!! He’s like a house on fire in that steel cage!
MN: Well that supposed “FIRE” better not burn through his fuel supply too quickly!
DM: While I won’t deny that as being sound advice, Neels, but I don’t think the World Champion is capable of making a foolish move like that. Stevens comes up to a knee, a bit reluctant to throw himself at the invigorated Anglo Luchadore!
DT: The dethroned King of the Cage is wise enough to avoid running blindly into the waiting arms of the champ! Perhaps now he’s beginning to understand that walking out of that cage with that World Heavyweight Title is going to require more effort than he anticipated!
MN: Would you stop blowing this all out of proportion, Dave? Trip only miscalculated that last series of moves…
DM: Well it was quite a COSTLY miscalculation… one that’s given JA the momentum in the cage and puts the fans squarely behind him as Stevens determines his next move!
Crowd: “JAY-AYE!! JAY-AYE!! JAY-AYE!!”
[From across the ring, JA taunts Stevens, motioning with his hands to bring it again. His die-hard fans in attendance begin a resounding “JAY-AYE!!” chant. Caught up in the moment, the Anglo Luchadore spends a moment to pump up the crowd and pound the cage in time with the chanting, only further amping the arena noise. Sean Stevens slowly rises to his feet, gazing out through the chain-link prison with a slightly bemused expression that indicates he isn’t at all beset by this reaction. Ever the professionals, both men begin circling each other once again and the match commences.]
DT: Both competitors are poised to go at it once again… and here’s Stevens shooting low for the takedown—and it’s BLOCKED by JA—OH WAIT!!
DM: OOH!! Well, the Anglo Luchadore successfully kept himself from being put down on the mat, but the ever-opportunistic Sean Stevens instead settled for lifting him right off the mat and putting him into the steel chain-link wall of that cage!
DT: That sickening collision of flesh and steel has left the champion dangling against the ropes, but Sean Stevens isn’t about to let him go! Here’s Stevens with a whip—no wait, keeps ahold of JA—
DT: —AND SPINS HIM RIGHT BACK INTO THAT CAGE WALL, FACE FIRST!!! SWEET Saint AGNES!!
DM: Stevens is using that cage to his advantage, which is only to be expected by the man labeled “The King of the Cage.”
MN: Which is why TRIP is the King… and JA’s just NOTHING!!
DM: Yeah, “nothing,” I guess, when you look over that whole thing about him being the World Heavyweight Champion.
MN: I told you already, Dean… in my sphere of reality, JA is NOT the champion.
DT: JA dumped to the floor, handing lifelessly on the bottom turnbuckle… and Stevens is already there, practically SMOTHERING HIM with boots to the head and back!!
MN: Also in my sphere of reality, JA is a REAL Mexican, and you have big bushy beard!
DM: Neels, I need you to zip it for a minute while I try to focus on this match…
DT: Stevens, finally trading stomps to the more effective CHOKE by driving that leg forcefully down over the back of JA’s head while he hangs over the bottom rope!! The Anglo Luchadore is desperately struggling to free himself, but Stevens has him PINNED DOWN!!
DM: I tell ya, “Triple X” is pulling NO punches in this match! Since the bell rang, every opportunity he’s had to put in some hits, he’s been nothing short of OVERKILL! Every second he’s in control, JA is feeling the punishment!
MN: No kidding! That fluke deserves every bit of a beating he’s getting for thinking he could get away with robbing the title!
DT: You have a very sick definition of “justice,” Mike!
DM: Welcome the Mike Neely’s “sphere of reality.”
MN: Thank you for explaining, Grizzly Adams!
DT: Regardless, the punishment continues in the cage, with Sean Stevens FINALLY letting the World Champion off the bottom rope as he retreats to the far corner of the ring! JA is completely vulnerable against the turnbuckle, and now here comes Stevens with a RUNNING DROPKICK THAT BLASTS JA POINT BLANK IN THE FACE!!
DM: It isn’t looking good for the Anglo Luchadore as Sean Stevens begins to dominate this contest!
MN: It wasn’t looking good for that joker before he even got in that cage…
DT: …oh, now what’s THIS?!
[The once-cheering mass audience now begins to BOO AND JEER with venom as “Triple X” Sean Stevens stands in the center of the caged ring, taunting them by asking what happened to all the noise and cupping a hand over his ear to listen in on their reaction. In his place in the corner, JA continues to move slowly as he recovers from the beating he’s just sustained.]
MN: Yeah, where are those stupid fans and their chanting NOW, huh?!
DT: Well, the “JAY-AYE” chants may have subsequently been ended, but Sean Stevens has no doubt failed to entirely silence this audience, and they’re letting him know what they REALLY think as he stands there and taunts them!
MN: He’s just keeping them interested, you know. Crickets take a vacation when “Triple X” steps into the ring!
DM: All I know is, in the time he’s wasting strutting his stuff around the ring, he COULD be doing more damage to the World Champion, bringing himself that much closer to the title!
MN: Who cares?! He’s obviously got this match in his hand!
DT: The champion, in a scene of heroic courage, finally works his way back to his feet using the turnbuckle for support! Here comes Stevens to continue the damage… but the Anglo Luchadore BITES BACK with a boot to the gut!
DM: JA’s window of opportunity is there as Stevens doubles over… and here’s JA, boosting to the second rope and taking the King of the Cage by the head… looking for a TORNADO DDT—but STEVENS shoves him off before he can connect!
MN: Huh-uh, he ain’t havin’ NONE of that!
DT: Fortunately for the deft World Champion, he landed on his feet! Here comes Stevens, raging out of the corner… but JA stops him with a SIDEKICK—OH NO, CAUGHT by Stevens!!
DM: Watch here… JA going for the ENZIGURI—DUCKED by Stevens—but JA merely BOUNCES BACK and catches “Triple X” with his heel!!
MN: HOW DID HE DO THAT?!
DT: Stevens was looking like he wasn’t going to bite on it, but JA surprised him with that surprising comeback maneuver, and now he’s left clutching his face on the mat, while the World Champion, with the audience behind him once again, struggles to make it back to his feet!!
DM: This is just what the Anglo Luchadore needed to stay alive in this match! Sean Stevens is careful not to give him ANY chances, which means he needs to reach down DEEP to pull off moves like that and put this contest back in his control!
DT: Where does the World Champion go from here as he slowly pulls himself off the mat? Does he attempt to climb the cage wall and escape? Perhaps he’ll go for the door? Or will he try to continue his offense to further debilitate an opponent as dangerous and experienced as “Triple X” Sean Stevens??
DM: Well, by the way we see Stevens shaking the pain out of his face and coming back to his feet, I think the answer is obvious. You don’t want to try and escape the cage when the KING of the Cage is still alive and kicking!
MN: That’s the smartest thing you’ve said all night, President Lincoln!
DM: Mike, I don’t care what you think: I don’t have a beard.
DT: JA finally back on his feet with the help of the ropes, just as Stevens rises with his back to him! The Anglo Luchadore waiting to strike… and Stevens turns RIGHT INTO A KNIFE-EDGE CHOP!!
DT: And THERE’S A SECOND!!
DM: Oh man, Stevens’ pecs are going to look like HAMBURGER tomorrow!
DT: Sean Stevens is practically DANCING in pain, and JA looks as though all the devastation he suffered moments ago did NOTHING to stop him!! Here’s JA, hooking Stevens’ arms from behind… flowing RIGHT INTO A DRAGON SUPLEX!!!
DM: JA is BACK and retaking control of this match!!
[The audience cheers wildly as a stunned Sean Stevens briefly flounders on the mat in pain, while JA rises to his knees and POUNDS on the canvas to get the fans even louder!]
DT: If there were any doubts left as to the worth of the World Champion, I’m sure they’ve just been ERASED, as JA, in spite of the beating he’s taken throughout this match, continues to fight strong!
MN: This is BULLCRAP, and I can smell it from a mile away! I DEMAND that as soon as this match has concluded, they test JA for anabolic steroids, and strip him of the title!
DM: So you think JA’s going to walk out of that cage with his belt, do you?
MN: Uh—I DIDN’T SAY THAT—I mean—WHAT I SAID was—uhh—STOP twisting my words around!
DT: This would be an ample opportunity for JA to go to the door and try to escape… but instead, we see him going to Stevens and helping him off the mat! But why would the World Champion turn his back on the chance for a quick and easy victory to continue this match?
DM: The answer’s obvious to me, Dave. The Anglo Luchadore wants to PROVE to Sean Stevens that the reason why HE carries the belt is because he’s the better wrestler and the RIGHTFUL champ, with or without the cage! He isn’t going to leave that cell until that point has been made clear!
MN: He doesn’t need to prove anything! We all know he’s a fluke, and it’s blatantly obvious.
DT: We’ll just see about THAT, Mike, as this alleged “fluke” that’s captured the hearts of the Empire Pro fanbase takes the former World Champion by his mane of blonde hair and leads him to the ropes… throwing him FACE-FIRST INTO THE WALL OF THE CAGE!!
DM: Stevens liked using that cage to his advantage earlier in this match, and it now looks like the Anglo Luchadore is choosing to return the favor! It’s almost as though he’s setting the King of the Cage off his rhythm, putting him in the kind of position where he can’t think fast enough to react and make a possible counter. So far, he’s done quite well in that task!
DT: It’s now Stevens in the precarious position, as Jerichoholic Anonymous continues to control the pace of this match! Here’s Stevens, struggling to his feet as he clutches his face… but JA’s stalking him around his blindspot!
MN: TURN AROUND, TRIP!!
DM: TOO LATE!!! JA, off the ropes, flows RIGHT INTO A ONE-HANDED BULLDOG that puts Stevens right back onto the mat, and directly onto his face!
DT: Those envious good looks of his are going to be showing quite a number of unsightly bruises tomorrow when he wakes up!
MN: “Envious good looks?” Is THAT the reason why you have it in for Trip all the time? It just pisses you off that he’s younger, better looking, and not to mention a BILLION times more successful than you?!
DM: JA coming off the mat, and heading for the door—but there’s STEVENS’ HAND, suddenly clutching him by the ankle as if he’d just risen from the dead!
DT Uh-oh!! The first attempt made by a contestant in this match to leave the cage that surrounds the ring is immediately cut off as a sneering Sean Stevens has ahold of the champion’s leg, leaving him to bounce in limbo on one foot! Stevens, coming to his feet!
DM: Could be another ENZIGURI coming here as JA tries to shake him off! JA looking to strike—BUT STEVENS RELEASES HIM, leaving the Anglo Luchadore to take a bump to the mat!
MN: You’d have to be an IDIOT to think the KING would fall for that a second time!
DT: JA caught on the mat, trying to get up… but Stevens is on top of him immediately, pinning him with a knee to the chest and looking for the mount as he lays into the masked face of the Anglo Luchadore with a series of right hands!
DM: Sean Stevens is simply ENRAGED right now, but it looks like as though he’s letting it get to him! JA taking the shots, but watch his hands… THERE, HE’S GOT AHOLD OF THAT ARM!
DT: Oh, WHAT’S THIS?!
DM: There’s a twist of the body and he wraps the legs around the shoulder… JA’S GOT A FUJIWARA LOCKED IN!! Oh man, he dragged Stevens right into that hook, line, and sinker!!
DT: The World Champion has the challenger locked into that painful submission hold, and we can see its effects on the face of Sean Stevens!!
MN: What is this idiot DOING?! You can’t win a cage match with SUBMISSION HOLDS!!
DM: JA is trying to make him tap, Mike; that isn’t the point! The point is, it slows Stevens down! It hurts him… possibly even CRIPPLING him later on this match when using that arm may be a factor! We’ve talked about focusing attacks on limbs, and JA has done it effectively in the past, and he always reaps the rewards when he does it!
DT: JA’s got a DEATHGRIP on that arm, even though Stevens is on his feet, and—oh wait… Stevens, with that leverage he has, just LIFTS THE ANGLO LUCHADORE OFF THE MAT by his ARM… and DROPS HIM to shake him off!!
DM: NO GOOD!! The champ hangs on!!
MN: That annoying little MONKEY!!
DT: Stevens, with ANOTHER LIFT—and you can SEE it takes a great effort on his part—DROPS JA… but HE CLINGS ON STILL!!
DM: The King of the Cage can’t strip the Anglo Luchadore from his arm, and every time he tries, it only hurts him more!
MN: Hey, let’s not forget who we’re DEALING with here! Can any of you honestly recall the last time you saw Sean Stevens tap to ANYTHING?
DM: I… uh, well… okay, I’ll give you that Neels. But once again, JA’s not trying to make him tap!
DT: Wait a minute, here’s Stevens trying to lift him again… I don’t know how much good another drop will do, but—oh wait… Stevens beginning to… SPIN!?
DM: Oh, you gotta be KIDDING me!!
DT: I can hardly believe what I’m seeing, but Sean Stevens, twirling himself like a human CYCLONE with the Anglo Luchadore still clutching his arm, and the centripetal force is elevating the champion further from the mat and whipping him around dangerously through the air!
MN: Let’s see this idiot hang on through THIS!!
DM: This is probably the first time I’ve seen a Fujiwara reversed in such a way, but it might pay off!! It almost looks as though JA’s grip is SLIPPING on the wrist of Sean Stevens!
DT: Oh no, keep holding on, JA!!
DM: It’s too late, he’s slipping—AND THERE HE GOES!!
DM: And like a DISCUS, the Anglo Luchadore gets TOSSED right into the cage wall!! I’m surprised he didn’t go THROUGH that chain-linked fence at the force he came flying off the arm of Sean Stevens!!
DT: A DEVASTATING fate for the Anglo Luchadore as a result of his trying to wear down the arm of Sean Stevens… but perhaps it was a price willing to be paid, as we see the King of the Cage just COLLAPSE in the center of the ring from the pain coming from his arm!
DM: It took everything he had to throw JA around like that, and it couldn’t have been good for his shoulder. The question now is, will that wounded arm hold him back later on while trying to wrestle this match, or possibly slow him down while climbing the cage wall?!
MN: Sean Stevens can win this match with BOTH hands tied behind his back! And screw climbing; why do you think they put a door in these things?
DM: I always considered them as “in case of fire” exits.
DT: The Anglo Luchadore and World Champion, meanwhile, looks hurt, lying in a heap stranded in the ropes against the cage wall. Stevens is back on his feet, shaking some of the feeling back into his arm… and now he’s putting his focus back onto the incapacitated JA!!
DM: JA looking helpless as Stevens looms over him and reaches for—WAIT, JA WITH A BOOT TO THE GUT!! I thought he was OUT of it!! Stevens is only stunned, but that gives the Anglo Luchadore all the time he needs to work back onto his feet!
DT: JA IS FIGHTING BACK!! The champion looking wobbly as he fights the pain coursing through his body, but he is nevertheless fighting valiantly as he takes Sean Stevens by the arm, and whips him right into the ropes!!
DM: Here’s Stevens on the rebound… running right into a SPINNING HEEL KICK—OH HE DUCKED!!
DT: JA turns around—
DM: You could literally hear the sound of STEVENS’ HEEL slapping JA’S JAW with that superkick ringing out through the entire arena, and it simply caused the World Champion to COLLAPSE TO THE MAT!!
MN: GOOD NIGHT!!
[An eerie hush falls over the entire audience as both men lie lifelessly on the mat, looking through the open top of the cage and to the arena lights overhead. Eventually, the silence is broken as a few ringside fans begin clapping in time to urge their hero back to his feet. It soon catches on, and within moments, the entire capacity crowd is cheering as both men struggle to get up.]
DT: …with that powerful and hope-ending superkick on the part of “Triple X” Sean Stevens, the World Champion is now left motionless on the ground, and now it’s the challenger showing signs of life!
DM: And he’s going right to the door, Dave! I don’t blame him, either! The champ is down and out, and you’ve got the perfect opportunity to walk out of this the winner.
MN: Come on, Trip! Move yer ass!!
DT: Stevens has rolled onto his belly and is proceeding to crawl for the cage door in the far corner. Senior official Pat Jones has unbolted and opened the door to give him the leeway! He’s only half the length of the ring away from taking the World Heavyweight Title and effectively crushing this entire capacity crowd!
MN: I know, it’s great, isn’t it? Justice is about to be served!
DM: …or maybe not! I think I see JA coming back!
[The crowd begins cheering even LOUDER as JA rolls onto his side, rubbing his aching chin. Then he spots Stevens crawling a body length ahead of him, and realizes what he must do.]
DT: He IS back!! JA, perhaps not fully recovered from taking that superkick to the face, but digging down deep to crawl after the fleeing Sean Stevens! He’s got a lot of ground to catch up on!
DM: But Stevens is already near the corner! I don’t think he’s putting very much haste into it, because he doesn’t realize JA is conscious and pursuing him!
MN: Come on, Trip, HURRY UP!!
DM: Sean Stevens coming to the turnbuckle… now sliding beneath the ropes, and extending his arms outside the cage! Now he’s HALFWAY out!! All he needs to do is drop to the floor, and—
DT: JA HAS HIM BY THE HEEL!! Now he grabs ahold of his OTHER heel!!! Stevens was CLOSE, but the Anglo Luchadore has STOPPED him!! The King of the Cage is desperately clinging onto the cage door, trying to pull himself out the rest of the way!
DM: I don’t think JA has enough in him to pull Stevens back in there! He’s outweighed, and he just doesn’t have the stamina!!
MN: COME ON, SEAN, PULL!!!
DT: JA still has ahold of both of Sean Stevens’ legs, even though the challenger is DESPERATELY trying to kick him off!! But now the World Champion rises to his feet, and he has the extra leverage to pull back!! Stevens LOSES HIS GRIP ON THE CAGE DOOR!!
DM: It looks like escape WON’T be that easy!!
MN: COME ON!! He was SO CLOSE!!
DT: Stevens, THRASHING for something to grab onto, finally finds the middle set of ropes in the turnbuckle, still trying to pull himself through that door, but the Anglo Luchadore still has him by both feet and is digging his heels into the mat trying to reel him in!
DM: Both men in limbo as they pull in opposite directions, and you could only imagine the strain on Stevens’ middle as—AND JA RELEASES HIM!!
DT: AND THE FORCE OF STEVENS PULLING HIMSELF FORWARD JUST DROVE HIM THROUGH THE ROPES AND INTO THE STEEL POST!!
DM: That was his bad arm, Dave!! Sean Stevens is in a LOT of pain right now, and furthermore, he’s STUNNED!! JA HAS A CLEAR SHOT FOR THE CAGE DOOR!!
DT: GO, JA!! YOU CAN DO IT!!
MN: Somebody, STOP HIM!!
DT: JA stepping through the ropes, SUCCESSFULLY LEAVING THE CAGE AND DEFENDING HIS—
DT: NOOO!! DENIED!!
MN: WOO-HOO!! Oh man, that was BRILLIANT!!
DM: At the last moment, before JA could clear the door, Sean Stevens used the last bit of his remaining strength to reach out, grab the door, and bring it SLAMMING SHUT across the Anglo Luchadore’s face!! The champ was just sent SPRAWLING back into the middle of the ring, clutching his face in agony!
DT: A desperate move on the part of Sean Stevens, who keeps his hopes of being EPW’s first two-time World Heavyweight Champion alive.
DM: Just barely though. Believe me, I could practically SMELL the dread coming off of Neels over here.
MN: Hey, pipe down you Clown-Ass!
DM: Jeez, if you’re going to insult me, at least do it the right way: it’s ASSCLOWN, you assclown!!
DT: Wait a minute… what’s going on out here, outside the cage?
[While the two competitors regroup inside the cage, outside, another story is taking place. The camera cuts to the cage door, Pat Jones is in the middle of a anxious discussion with fellow referees, continuously pointing to the bolt of the door, indicating it’s jammed.]
DT: Senior referee Pat Jones is talking over with the other officials… apparently about the cage door. What are they talking about over there?
DM: I can’t really make it out, Dave, but… the way Pat keeps pointing to the bolt, I’d almost have to assume it has something to do with it being stuck!
MN: You mean the door is jammed?!
DM: Well, Stevens DID forcefully close it over the face of the Anglo Luchadore. Perhaps, in his desperation, he pulled with a bit too much force and ruptured the bolt’s release mechanism!
MN: …wow, man. Now THAT is a cheap cage! Did we get this thing from New Era of Wrestling’s yard sale, or something?
DT: What would this mean for the outcome of the match? Time will tell as Sean Stevens, favoring his weakened arm, pulls himself out of the turnbuckle and approaches the World Champion as he comes to his feet. JA trying to defend himself, but gets a HARD ELBOW to the face to keep him stunned!
DM: Stevens has him by the head now, and he’s looking to finish this off!! Stevens sets him up for the X-TERMINATOR… but he’s looking to use his WEAK arm!
DT: We saw the very same thing in their last encounter! JA crippled the strength of Sean Stevens, disabling him from unleashing his finishing maneuver! Now we can see the King of the Cage STRUGGLING as he fights the pain in his arm, trying in vain to lift JA into position over his shoulder… but he CAN’T!
MN: Come on, Trip! Shut these fools up and prove you can BURY that Lucha-LOSER!!
DT: Stevens gritting his teeth… finally HOISTING JA INTO THE AIR—BUT JA SLIPS OUT OF HIS GRIP AND DROPS DOWN BEHIND HIM!!!
DM: Stevens COULDN’T HANG ON TO HIM!!
DT: Stevens grabbing his arm in pain, and leaving himself COMPLETELY OPEN—
JA HITS HIM WITH THE KARELIN DRIVER!!!!
DT: THE ANGLO LUCHADORE HAS DONE IT ONCE AGAIN!!! That patented side neck drop has thoroughly LEVELLED “Triple X” Sean Stevens and all but assured the champion his title defense!
DM: Truly remarkable! In the fated match where JA acquired the title, he used the same strategy of weakening Stevens’ limb and preventing him from finishing him off! This time, he turned it around in his favor and showed the challenger how one REALLY puts the nail in the coffin!
MN: SHUT UP, the both of you! He still has to get out of the cage!
DT: That’s true, Neels… but JA is coming back to his feet, and Stevens isn’t moving! He’s got all the time in the world to walk through that door—
DM: You mean… the door that’s stuck?
DT: Oh NO…
[The Anglo Luchadore approaches the cage door in the far corner, where Pat Jones and two other referees have their hands clenched in the chain-link fencing and are struggling to pry it open. Despite their efforts, it won’t give. The champion quickly sees the situation at hand as he observes their efforts, and tells them to back away. The officials stand back as JA slips a leg between the ropes and begins KICKING at the door!]
DT: I guess we were correct to assume that the cage door is stuck, and despite the efforts of the champion and the ring officials, it can’t be opened up again!
MN: Oh man, it’s a MIRACLE!!!
DM: No dice… that door just won’t give! And in the time it took to try kicking it open, we can see the King of the Cage beginning to recover at his end of the ring!
DT: You’re RIGHT, Dean! Stevens is coming back to reality, and now JA has abandoned the prospect of exiting through the door, beginning to scale the cage wall!!
DM: But Stevens SPOTS HIM!!
MN: GO GO GO, TRIP!!
DT: Stevens, peeling himself off the mat, fighting the pain in his arm and along his upper back and head, as he tails JA reaching the halfway mark on the cage wall, and GRABS HIM BY THE ANKLE!!
DM: Uh oh… it ain’t going to be that easy after all!! The Anglo Luchadore’s run out of time, and now he has to either kick Stevens away, or outlast him on the cage wall! Looking at the expression of SHEER RAGE in the face of Stevens, I think he’s going to have a hard time doing either!
DT: Stevens is trying to pry JA off the cage wall… but JA BOOTS HIM IN THE FACE with his free leg!! Come on, JA… CLIMB!!
DM: The champion is nearing the top, but here comes Stevens once again, this time scaling up the ROPES and getting ahold of JA’s ankle yet again! A single forceful YANK would cause the Anglo Luchadore to come tumbling back into the ring, but he’s hanging on the top of that cage for dear life!!
DT: He just needs to hang on for a little bit longer!
DM: I don’t know how that will help, Dave! The more time you give Sean Stevens to think, the more of an opportunity you give him! Now we see Stevens, remarkably BALANCING himself on the top rope, grab ahold of JA’s other leg! All JA has to keep himself held onto the cage are his fingers, and he’s got GRAVITY working against him!
DT: JA is hanging on, but… now we see Stevens adjusting his position, and hooking the legs of the Anglo Luchadore over his shoulders! This doesn’t look GOOD!!
DM: Time has ran out for the champion, and Sean Stevens is BRINGING HIM DOWN…
…with a POWERBAWMB!!!
Crowd: *HO-LEE-SH*T!! HO-LEE-SH*T!!*
DT: WHAT A DEVASTATING TOP ROPE POWERBOMB!! That single move has effectively LAID THE CHAMPION OUT in the center of the ring, and now his hopes of retaining are becoming even MORE slim!!
DM: You have to give credit to Sean Stevens in this match! While JA has been resourceful and undying, the King of the Cage’s sheer DESPERATION when the match has been in jeopardy has kept him alive!
MN: He just proves that the only way anybody EVER walks out of a cage is following right behind its KING!!
DT: With or without the title, there will be no doubt as to why “Triple X” Sean Stevens is Empire Pro’s own “King of the Cage!” Stevens, still fighting the pain in his arm… now bringing the Anglo Luchadore back to his feet! He hooks him by the head again… oh no, could he be going for the X-TERMINATOR AGAIN?!
DM: It seems that way, Dave, but why he’s trying, I couldn’t tell you! He didn’t have the strength to lift JA over his shoulder into the Ace Crusher the first time, so what makes him think he can pull it off the second time around?
MN: Don’t DOUBT the abilities of the KING!!
DT: Stevens, trying to lift JA up… but he CAN’T! This whole thing is futile, and he’s missing a great opportunity to leave the cage!
DM: He’s only trying to make it certain, Dave, but I’m not sure he can pull this off! Stevens trying again… NO!! He just doesn’t have the power in that arm! You can SEE the pain on his face!
[The camera focuses in on the face of the Blue-Eyed Badass as his teeth clench tightly and he squares off his footing… finally tensing up and trying to lift JA into the air once again… and this time… the Anglo Luchadore RISES…]
DT: Wait a minute… WAIT JUST A MINUTE!!
DM: I DON’T BELIEVE IT!! HE HAS HIM UP!!
DT: STEVENS WITH JA IN THE AIR…
AND DROPS HIM RIGHT INTO THE ECKS-TERMINATOR!!!
MN: WOO-HOO!! WHAT WAS THAT?! HUH?! HE COULDN’T DO IT, YOU SAID?!
DT: “Triple X” Sean Stevens has HUMBLED the nay-sayers tonight, effectively TERMINATING JA in the middle of the ring, and leaving the champion as a lifeless heap on the canvas!
DM: But at what cost, Dave? Stevens is on the mat as well, but for an entirely different reason; whatever he had inside him to lift JA into that Osaka Street Cutter went right into that weakened arm, and now he’s probably feeling as though his entire shoulder were on fire!
DT: And with the door being stuck the way it is, Stevens has no choice but to fight that pain even further as he uses that arm to climb out of the cage! Will it hinder his progress??
MN: Hey, that ain’t no thang! You just saw what happened to that stupid “Anglo Luchadore!” He’s out like a light, and he’s not coming back for a while! Trip has all the time in the world to leave that cage!
DM: You never know… he just may need it!
[After spending a few more moments recovering in the ring, Stevens casts his gaze to the chain-linked cage wall looming over him, and his destination is in sight. Fighting the pain in his arm, he scales over the ropes and begins the long climb up. His face fills with fire as soon as he tries using his weakened arm, and soon discovers he is incapable of using it to further lift himself over the obstacle.]
DT: Sean Stevens is finally making the trip over the cage wall to the outside… and just as you said, Dean, that wounded arm IS playing a factor! You could see the sheer AGONY cross his face as he tried to use it to climb, and it just wasn’t going to happen!
DM: Stevens is still making his way up the cage wall, but at a pace that is surely slower than he would prefer. He’s gotta use that one good arm to pull himself up inch by inch! He’s already half way, but he’s going at a snail’s pace!
MN: Whatever happened to the expression “slow and steady wins the race?!”
DT: Wait a minute… look there to the center of the ring!
[The camera zooms in on the laid out body of JA as his eyelids begin to flutter and his arms jerk. The Anglo Luchadore slowly regains consciousness and begins stirring to life.]
DT: We’re seeing SIGNS OF LIFE in the World Champion! Perhaps he isn’t doomed to lose his title after all!
MN: It CAN’T be!! He was DRILLED by that X-Terminator!
DM: Stevens is only halfway up the cage wall, but if he doesn’t move any faster, JA may recover and could EASILY catch up to him!
DT: It’s a RACE TO THE TOP OF THE CAGE, as Sean Stevens continues to inch his way higher and higher above the ring, nearing the crest of the steel cage! Meanwhile, back on the canvas, the Anglo Luchadore and hero to the Empire Pro fans is slowly peeling himself off the mat!! The fans are COMING ALIVE to show him their support!
Crowd: “JAY-AYE!! JAY-AYE!! JAY-AYE!! JAY-AYE!!”
MN: STUPID FANS!! Come on, Trip, you’re SO CLOSE!!
DM: Sean Stevens nears the top of the cage… but the Anglo Luchadore is gaining new strength!! He’s FORCING HIMSELF ONTO HIS FEET!!
DT: He can hardly stand, but he knows full well that he’ll lose that title if he DOESN’T!! The champion spots Stevens reaching the top of the cage, and now HE’S GOING UP AFTER HIM!!
DM: Stevens is now aware that he’s being pursued, and trying his best to get his leg over that cage wall… meanwhile, JA is TEARING up the chain-link fence after him! I don’t know HOW he’s doing it, but HE IS!!
DT: JA is nearing the top… but Sean Stevens just got his second leg over!! All it is now is a short climb down, and—NO WAIT!! JA AT THE TOP, AND HE JUST SNATCHED JA BY HIS HAIR!!
MN: NO!! NOT THE BLONDE LOCKS OF GOLD!!
DM: The Anglo Luchadore, FIGHTING FOR HIS TITLE, prevents Sean Stevens from going any further!! Stevens, THRASHING to free himself, but CAN’T!!
MN: JUST LET GO, TRIP!! YOU CAN ALWAYS GROW MORE HAIR!! Think of the TITLE!!
DM: I don’t think ANYBODY would be crazy enough to fall from that height, Neels! Nevertheless, Stevens’ attempt to escape is being CEASED by the World Champion, reaching over the top of the cage and just DRAGGING the challenger over the edge and back inside!!
DT: It’s an ALL-OUT BATTLE at the PEAK of the steel cage!! JA laying some HARD elbows into the face of Sean Stevens as he clings to the top of the cage!! It was a good thing he waited until Stevens was back on the ring-side of that wall, otherwise he could have easily knocked him out and caused him to inadvertently fall to the outside!
DM: But Stevens didn’t make it this far without a fight! Now we can see the King of the Cage RETURNING FIRE, using that arm we all thought to be USELESS in a way that leaves me simply ASTONISHED as to how he could be taking that pain and not even show it!
DT: OOOH!! A HARD haymaker to the jaw nearly knocks JA loose, but he clings on with one hand and prevents a nasty fall back into the ring! Either man dropping from this height would not only be in for a sickening fall, but also effectively END their chances of winning this match!
DM: The Anglo Luchadore is left temporarily reeling on the cage… and “Triple X” uses the opportunity to pull himself up to the edge, and now… now he’s STANDING on the rim of the cage!! This just turned into an old-school SCAFFOLD MATCH!!!
DT: One that requires a MIND-BOGGLING ability to balance oneself on just a few inches of steel! One hard strike could easily send a man TEETERING OVER THE EDGE!!
MN: Hopefully, it’ll be JA!! But, uh, you know… hopefully he falls back INTO the ring so Stevens can climb out and finish this thing!
[Rather than make a move to escape, Stevens waits for JA to recuperate and taunts him up to his level. Unabashed in his pride and with thousands of screaming fans supporting him, JA valiantly rises to the top of the cage and stands on the very edge, standing face to face with the King of the Cage!]
DT: Here we go… the FINAL SHOWDOWN at the very TOP OF THE CAGE!! The stakes are high, and a crushing blow could easily send either man to his doom!
DM: There isn’t a whole lot of leg room up there, which leaves me to wonder how either of these guys will effectively fight the other!
DT: THERE’S A BIG RIGHT HAND FROM STEVENS—oh, NARROWLY AVOIDED by JA with a quick backpedal! But Stevens is ADVANCING, giving the Anglo Luchadore no choice but to retreat to the corner!
MN: That’s the spirit! Keep on pushing, Trip! Give him nowhere to run!
DM: JA might have his back against the wall if he doesn’t attack Sean Stevens head on! Stevens isn’t landing any blows, but he’s pushing JA further and further to the edge!
DT: JA’s REACHED THE LIMIT, and now he has no choice but to attack or face a potentially dangerous—
Wait, STEVENS WITH THE X-FACTOR OUT OF NOWHERE!!!
DM: JA DUCKS—
DT: BALLTAP!!! OOOOHHH MERCY!!
DT: And Stevens, losing his balance, RACKS HIMSELF ON THE RIM OF THE CAGE!!!
DM: A deadly ONE-TWO COMBO, if you ask me! Stevens is in an INCREDIBLY AMOUNT OF PAIN, but nevertheless prevents himself from taking a dive!
MN: That was a BLATANT NUTSHOT!! Somebody disqualify that masked loser!!
DM: I’m afraid anything goes in the cage match, Neels! Especially at THAT height!! Now it’s STEVENS retreating, with JA standing up once again and egging him on! Stevens inching back with his legs straddled over the cage wall, trying to GET AWAY from the World Champion!!
DT: Stevens nearing the opposite corner, and JA continuing to taunt him, trying to get him to stand up again! Stevens, however… Stevens seems interested in something else!
DM: I think he’s got something else up his sleeve! Sean Stevens is getting desperate, and we’ve seen how dangerous he can be in those situations! Stevens nearing the corner, and… what is he doing up there?!
DT: It looks like… he’s pulling something off the CAGE?!
[The camera zooms in on the action, as the sweat-drenched face of the Blue-Eyed Badass hovers over a pair of hands that tug at a concealed object embedded in the cross-point of cage walls. JA, from behind him, can’t quite catch a glimpse of what he’s doing. Finally, the piece of metal gives way—a bolt connecting the walls—and JA springs forward just as Stevens turns to show him what he’s found…]
DT: WHAT IS THAT IN HIS HANDS?!
DM: It looks like… the bolt connecting those cage walls! Stevens REMOVED IT!!
DT: JA POUNCING TO ATTACK—!!
DT: STEVENS JUST NAILED JA WITH THAT STEEL BOLT!! HE CAN’T DO THAT!!
DM: That knocked JA COLD!! The Anglo Luchadore… WAVERING ON THE RIM OF THE CAGE…
DT: IS HE GONNA FALL?!
[The Anglo Luchadore recoils violently from the pain that just struck his face, and almost instantly loses his sense of balance. Dreadfully, his body pitches forward and he falls INTO THE CAGE—]
[—and at the VERY LAST MOMENT, his hands shoot into the air and GRAB the rim of the cage!! A moment follows as the fans CHEER, watching the World Champion dangle from such a dangerous height by his fingertips!]
DM: THE ANGLO LUCHADORE SAVES HIMSELF FROM A FALL!!
DT: THE CHAMP, HANGING ON BY A THREAD!! MY GOD, I CAN’T BELIEVE HE DIDN’T FALL!! That could have VERY EASILY been the end of the match!
MN: DAMMNIT!! That shoulda done him in!!
DT: Pipe down, Neely! Stevens CHEATED using that steel bolt!
MN: Oh come, Dave! That’s perfectly legal!
DM: You know, Dave, far be it from me to agree with Neels, but I think he’s RIGHT!
DM: Any part of that steel cage can be used as a weapon. If you’re going to classify that bolt as illegal, you might as well say the same for the cage walls, and the door. Sean Stevens made a very smart move in knowing his environment and using it to his advantage!
DT: That ain’t right!
MN: Well, it’s REALITY, so DEAL WITH IT!!
DM: The Anglo Luchadore is most certainly dealing with it now! He’s got his legs back on the cage wall, but now he’s got STEVENS over him! Stevens is trying to use that bolt in his hands to POUND ON THE KNUCKLES of the champion, forcing him to lose his grip and cause him to fall!!
DT: JA is shimmying across the cage wall as fast as he can, moving his HANDS away from the reach of Sean Stevens!
DM: OH MAN!! JA just took a HARD SHOT to his right hand and was forced to let go!! Stevens has him RIGHT WHERE HE WANTS HIM!!
MN: LET HIM HAVE IT, Trip!
DT: JA HAS TO MOVE OR—
DT: …oh… MY… GAWD!!!
[A sudden movement forces Stevens to hesitate and grab onto the cage to prevent falling, and with good reason. He looks back to see that the entire cage wall, now unfastened in one corner, beginning to WARP from the excess weight! The steel chain-link fencing leans DANGEROUSLY over the ringside area, but nevertheless remains in place as long as the other adjoining bolt is in place.]
DM: This doesn’t look good! That bolt Stevens removed from the corner and the added weight are causing that entire cage wall to wobble loose! I’m afraid that thing might come down at any point!
DT: We can only HOPE not! That’s RIGHT ABOVE US!!
MN: THAT’S IT, I’m outta here…
DM: Hey… NEELS!!
DT: Where are YOU going?!
MN: Over here!
[The camera briefly cuts to commentary as Mike Neely, bearing a concerned expression, gathers his notes and quickly hops out of his seat, moving over to a safer side of the ring.]
DT: What are you doing over there, Mike?!
MN: I don’t want to be under that thing when it comes down!
DT: It’s not coming down, Mike! It’s still got the other bolt to hold it in place!
DM: …maybe not for long!
[The cage wall shudders again, but JA continues to sidle his way toward the other corner, still bolted. Suddenly it becomes clear that he’s not trying to get away from Stevens, but rather, trying to even the odds!]
DM: He CAN’T be going for that other support bolt! The whole WALL would collapse!!
DT: I don’t think the Anglo Luchadore CARES!!
Crowd: “BRING-IT-DOWN!! BRING-IT-DOWN!! BRING-IT-DOWN!!”
DT: Stevens is careful not to move any further lest he lose his grip while that massive steel chain-linked side of the cage wavers in the air! JA coming to the corner now… and you’re RIGHT, DEAN!! HE’S GOING FOR THAT SUPPORT BOLT!!
MN: He’s CRAZY!!
DT: That’s why he’s the CHAMP, Mike!!
DM: AND HE’S GOT IT LOOSE!!! Oh boy, LOOK OUT!!
[The crowd CHEERS WILDLY as JA removes the piece of metal and holds it high over his head, locking eyes with Stevens and showing him that he’s equally equipped! Stevens shakes his head in panic, continuing to clutch to the rim of the cage, and soon JA pulls himself up the rest of the way and edges toward the challenger. The further weakened cage wall shudders again, now beginning to LEAN OUT, casting a shadow of doom over the two remaining commentators at the table.]
Crowd: “BRING-IT-DOWN!! BRING-IT-DOWN!! BRING-IT-DOWN!!”
DT: …uh… DEAN-O?!
DM: Looks like it’s TIME TO MOVE, Dave!!
[In a haste, Thomas and Matthews flee the scene, as ring officials quickly clear that side of the ring of personnel, including the nearby fans pressed against the barricade, for their safety. Meanwhile, teetering over all some twenty feet straight up, minus a foot or two every time the steel structure gives way a bit, JA presses upon Sean Stevens, who clings to the rim of the failing cage wall for dear life.]
DT: My God, it’s COMING DOWN SOON, and Stevens knows it! The World Champion, however… I don’t think he CARES!! HE WANTS STEVENS!!
DM: And he’s going to GET him if Stevens doesn’t do anything to protect himself!
MN: COME ON, TRIP!! FIGHT HIM!!
DT: JA IS UPON HIM!!
[With mercy or remorse, the Anglo Luchadore takes a handful of the paralyzed Sean Stevens’ hair, holds his head back, and LAYS INTO HIS JAW with the steel bolt clenched tightly in his hand! Stevens’ eyes roll back as the lights go out, and his body slumps over the side of the cage! Fans SCREAM as for a moment, it appears as though he’d drop lifelessly to the outside—but JA narrowly CATCHES HIM by the arm before he can fall!]
DT: OH MAN, JA just BLASTED THE TAR out of Sean Stevens!! THAT’S WHAT I CALL an EYE FOR AN EYE!!
MN: What he just did WAS ILLEGAL!!
DM: Shut up, Mike…
DT: Oh no, HERE IT COMES!!
DM: LOOK OUT, EVERYONE!! HEADS UP!!!
[A loud POP fills the arena as the supports near the base of the call wall gives way, followed by more. The leaning side of the cage SHAKES VIOLENTLY as it prepares to fall! Concerned, JA looks around for a means of escape—when suddenly, as if back from the dead, the hand of SEAN STEVENS clenches TIGHTLY around his throat!! Unable to act, JA cannot help but be PULLED BACKWARDS as the amazingly reawakened and visibly FURIOUS King of the Cage grabs on tight and pulls the champion down with him as the entire side collapses! Helplessly tangled together, both competitors FALL THROUGH THE AIR!]
DT: OH MY GOD!! THEY WENT RIGHT THROUGH THE COMMENTARY TABLE!!
Crowd: “EE-PEE-DUBBYA!! EE-PEE-DUBBYA!! EE-PEE-DUBBYA!! EE-PEE-DUBBYA!! EE-PEE-DUBBYA!! EE-PEE-DUBBYA!! EE-PEE-DUBBYA!! EE-PEE-DUBBYA!!”
DM: Somebody get the EMTs out here… NOW?!
MN: That was a REALLY… cheap… cage…
DT: WHO WON?! WHO WON?!
DM: I don’t KNOW!! I can’t see ANYTHING!! The entire ringside area looks like a WARZONE!! Both competitors are buried under a tomb of steel and wood!!
[In an instant, the ringside crew goes to work, frantically trying to clear the area of debris to check on the status of the competitors. A team of seven men work together to life the failed cage wall covering everything and leave it propped against the ring. Camera crews quickly move in on the point of impact, between two destroyed halves of what used to be the EPW commentary table—the twentieth or thirtieth of its kind, given how many times various talents have gone through them.]
DT: Who is the WINNER and WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION?!
DM: It all depends on who landed first!
DT: Somebody tell the video crew to start checking the footage from EVERY CAMERA ANGLE!! We need a winner by the end of the night or—
DM: Wait, LOOK!!!
[A broken piece of plywood is moved aside, and beneath the lifeless bodies of Sean Stevens are spotted. Stevens lies face-down, motionless… OVER the form of the ANGLO LUCHADORE!! Upon seeing this on the EmpireTron, the entire audience CHEERS WILDLY!!]
DM: JA is on the bottom…
JAY-AYE IS ON THE BOTTOM OF THE PILE!!
DT: THE CHAMPION HAS RETAINED!! HE’S DONE IT!!
MN: NO, IT CAN’T BE!!!
[“Eat the Rich” hits the PA, and the fans CHEER WILDLY as EMTs rush in and help both men off the ground. Pulled clear of the wreckage, they quickly begin the task of resuscitating both men. In time, they both come around, though showing visible pain and looking beyond the point of exhaustion.]
[Sean Stevens, hearing the music, suddenly forgets the pain flowing through his entire body. His face turns to RAGE as he tries to come to his feet and protest, but the agony overcomes him, and he collapses once again, further adding to his ire as the EMTs try to help him to his feet, and get violently shoved away for their efforts.]
[Meanwhile, on the opposite end of the ring, Jerichoholic Anonymous reacts to the news of his being on the bottom of the pile, and in spite of hardly being able to stand, FALLS into the wall of ringside fans at the barricade in ecstatic celebration, being slapped on his bruised back and shoulders in congratulatory fashion by his adorers.]
[While all this is happening, few notice Pat Jones conferring with the other referees, some putting hands to their earpieces to hear orders coming from backstage.]
DT: I CAN’T BELIEVE WHAT WE JUST WITNESSED!! AFTER A HARROWING BATTLE WAGED ACROSS THE ENTIRE STEEL STRUCTURE OF THAT CAGE, THE PHENOMENAL JERICHOHOLIC ANONYMOUS HAS MANAGED TO DO IT AGAIN!!
MN: NO HE DIDN’T!! This is a SHAM!! TURN THAT MUSIC OFF!!
DM: I don’t think the winner has been declared yet, Dave! It appeared as though JA was the first to touch the ground, but nobody had a clear angle, and now there seems to be some discussion among the officials!
DT: But… BUT…
DM: We need undeniable evidence, Dave! A winner can’t be declared until we have proof!
MN: Well, get those idiots back there in the video editing truck to work! Give us some footage, damnit!!
DT: Wait, where are THEY going?!
[Continuing to deliberate, the referees are called to the backstage area, and hurry back up the ramp. Confusion permeates the entire arena as the music abruptly ends. JA begins to realize what is taking place. Meanwhile, an enraged Sean Stevens can’t help but take his anger out on a poor ringside employee, pointing at the remains of the steel cage and voicing his most negative and vulgarity-laced opinion on its craftsmanship. The sole official left at ringside gives the message to the waiting Tony Fatora, still standing with the unclaimed World Heavyweight Title. Fatora comes to his feet and raises the mic.]
TF: Ladies and gentlemen… due to the uncertainty of the winner of this match, the EPW officiating team is currently reviewing the footage of the final moments to determine WHO touched the ground first!
DM: Well, that explains that! I’m getting word that the officials are looking over all the possible camera angles! A decision will be made in due time!
DT: In the meantime, let’s see if we can get our OWN review going! Somebody fire up that EmpireTron!
MN: Screw that… somebody get me a chair! Where in the HELL am I supposed to sit down?!
[The ring crew continues to work around the ring, beginning to disassemble the steel cage. The World Champion, patiently waiting on the decision, paces back and forth with his eyes looking to the ground. “Triple X” Sean Stevens, meanwhile, continues his crusade to voice his angry concerns on the faulty design of the steel cage to any worker that so much as crosses his path.]
[The EmpireTron eventually lights up once again, catching everyone’s attention as we see the final moments of the match replayed from the same angle, this time slowed down. The impact isn’t clear, as both competitors disappear beneath a wall of mesh fencing as they fall through the table.]
DT: Well, THAT doesn’t help anything… did we get anything from the cameras on the south side of the arena?!
[We get a replay from an angle from the other end of the ring. This time, we can clearly see both men fall through the table just before the cage wall falls over them. It can clearly be see that in the final moment, JA is BENEATH Stevens as they collide with the commentary table!]
DT: Looks fairly evident to ME!! JA is CLEARLY on the bottom there!
DM: Let’s try it from another angle!
[Another replay from a closer angle, within the ringside seats. Once again, through the slow-motion, it’s evident that JA is below Stevens as they come careening through their fragile point of landing. Seeing this, the Anglo Luchadore victoriously raises his arm, and the fans CHEER!! Stevens shakes his head in dismay, sneering with spite.]
DT: I’ve seen enough! JA was the FIRST MAN to touch the ground! Even YOU can’t help but deny it, Neely!
MN: Uh… I… THAT’S A FAKE VIDEO!!
DM: Here come the referees with the official decision! I think JA’s going to be pleased to hear this!
[The promenade of zebras come to the ring as the last remnants of the steel cage are taken down and carted away. The ring is soon occupied with the team of officials, soon joined by Jerichoholic Anonymous, “Triple X” Sean Stevens, and Tony Fatora. Pat Jones gives the message to Fatora who listens with a blank expression, raising the microphone to make the fateful announcement.]
TF: Ladies and gentlemen… after reviewing ALL of the available footage, the EPW officiating team has come to a decision!
HERE IS YOUR WINNER of the MAIN EVENT OF UNLEASHED…
…AND NEW EMPIRE PRO WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION!!
TF: “TRIPLE ECKS”…
[Stevens springs nearly FIVE FEET INTO THE AIR as his name is announced. Fatora hardly has a chance to hand him the title before the King of the Cage RIPS IT out of his hands, runs to the nearest turnbuckle, and holds it HIGH OVER HIS HEAD, presenting his newly won title to the sea of disapproving fans! “King Back” BOOMS over the PA as Jerichoholic Anonymous stands STUNNED in the middle of the ring.]
MN: OH BABY, THIS IS A DREAM COME TRUE!!
DT: …WHAT… I… I DON’T…
DM: What an UNEXPECTED ANNOUNCEMENT!! I’d like to see what those referees saw!!
DT: Somebody, PLEASE, give me a replay!!
[The EmpireTron lights up once again, showing a completely new angle that takes place at ringside, at floor level. In slow motion, the cage wall comes down and both men violently tumble through the commentary table, which splits apart upon impact. The camera freeze frames as both bodies linger just a few inches above the ground amid a cloud of splinters… and a yellow circle appears over the point in the footage where Sean Stevens’ legs are CLEARLY touching the ground. The slow-motion footage soon continues, showing them connect with the hard, scantily padded floor. Upon witnessing this, JA COLLAPSES in agonizing disappointment, and the fans audibly react in a similar way!]
DM: There it is! You’re UNDENIABLE EVIDENCE!! Stevens’ legs hit the floor before JA!!
DT: What UNBELIEVABLE LUCK!! I thought for CERTAIN that JA hit the floor first!!
MN: Well, you thought WRONG, Dave! Maybe this will tell you a thing or two about jumping to conclusions before all the evidence is out on the table!
[Stevens continues to scale turnbuckles, holding his title while sneering into the spite-filled fans beneath him. The defeated and deposed Anglo Luchadore can only hang his head in defeat and leave the ring.]
DT: Fans… I’m completely SPEECHLESS as to what we have just witnessed! This has truly been one of the most monumental World Title contests we’ve ever seen! We’ve watched a CAGE COLLAPSE before our very eyes, and a World Champion DEFEATED!
DM: “Triple X” Sean Stevens has made HISTORY here tonight! With this win, he is the FIRST PERSON to EVER win the coveted EPW World Heavyweight Title TWICE!! No doubt, he’s set a new standard of excellence, and proven just why he bears the title of “The King of the Cage!”
DT: Of course, we can’t quite easily forget the efforts of the Anglo Luchadore, Jerichoholic Anonymous, who fought TOOTH AND NAIL even when the odds were stacked against him! There where times where he thought he was finished, and he proved us wrong! He may not leave the arena with the title tonight, but one thing is for certain, there isn’t a fan out there who doesn’t believe he is the TRUE World Heavyweight Champion!
MN: Well, they’re all wrong. You see that title there, Dave? You see the man holding it up?
DT: …yes, Mike. I can see.
MN: That’s what I THOUGHT!! WOO-HOO!! JUSTICE HAS BEEN SERVED!! Oh man, I’m buying TWO hookers tonight!!
DM: Just make sure neither of them have Adams Apples, Mike. Wouldn’t want to repeat that incident in Houston.
MN: YOU SWORE YOU’D NEVER BRING THAT UP AGAIN!!!
DT: Ladies and gentlemen… we’ve reached the CONCLUSION of Unleashed!! You’ve just witnessed one of the most INTENSE Pay Per View events of the year!! The EPW Title has come to a new owner! But what will happen from here?? Will the ever-determined JA continue to fight for the title and stand EPW’s hero?? Will a NEW challenger step up to try his hand at the gold?? All these questions will be answered in due time, but for now… I’m Dave Thomas, standing here at ringside with Dean Matthews and Mike Neely—who I’m CERTAIN needs a new change of pants—
MN: HOW DO YOU KNOW IT ISN’T JUST GAS?!
DT: Join us again, folks, at Aggression, as we see the fallout from this event! GOOD NIGHT!!
[Defeated, JA continues up the ramp. Despite his loss, he acknowledges those fans reaching out to give him a supporting high-five, and returns their gestures as a hero would. Back in the ring, Stevens, bearing a grin that would make the Devil himself turn green with envy, continues to loom upon the turnbuckle, showing off his title as fireworks begin to explode overhead.]
[Fade to the EPW logo.]