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EPICENTER: Elite Eight


League Member
Jan 1, 2000
Amsterdam, NY
[FADE IN: Tom Holzerman stands in front of the Big Screen in the EPICENTER studios, a shot of the Merritt Trophy, humongous and gleaming, standing out on the screen.]

TH: We’re down to the Elite Eight in the TEAM Invitational Tournament, all that’s left is to whittle it down into a Final Four. Can Dan Ryan outlast Larry Tact in his quest to be the first two-time Merritt Trophy winner? Can Impulse continue his spectacular run against one of the world’s best in Rocko Daymon? Can Duke Williams outlast the seemingly unkillable Doc Silver? Can Nova upend Jared Wells and continue his attempt at being the first man to win BOTH of TEAM’s major tournaments? A lot of questions to be answered, but the biggest one is still: who goes to Dallas, and who goes home? Find out on EPICENTER … NOW!

[Cue up "Down" by Stone Temple Pilots.
Cut to JASON PAYNE, shouting out in primal fury with a man's blood as his war paint.
Cut to ROCKO DAYMON whipping ULYSIS SOLIAN off the ropes.
Cut to RAVAGER rolling out of the way of a ROB FRANKLIN top rope headbutt.
Cut to MUNSON MONSOON tossing HIGH FLYER out of the FREE FOR ALL~! ring.

Cut to MIKE RANDALLS hoisting the Merritt Trophy, then flash cut to TYLER RAYNE with the Harvard Avalon Memorial Trophy held by his side, then flash cut to The A-List hoisting the Dupree Cup, and finally to FUSENSHOFF holding the Championship of Champions.

Cut to: The Epicenter logo once more, fading into Tom Holzerman and Steve Murray at the EPICENTER desk.]

SM: Welcome everyone to our special Elite Eight episode of EPICENTER, alongside Tom Holzerman, I’m Steve Murray.

TH: Good to have you back with us, ladies and gentlemen. We’ve got four spots in Dallas to determine, so let’s get right to the action in St. Louis.

[Cut to a one-shot of Holzerman with a Rocko Daymon/Impulse inset.]

TH: Nobody’s been on a bigger roll in this tournament than the daredevil Impulse, who’s coming off unseating last year’s runner-up Ravager in the regional semis. But, he’d face a stiff test in second-seeded Rocko Daymon, who’s been dominant in the tournament thus far and is a threat to win every time out. To the Savvis Center we go for the Midwest final!

[Wipe to highlights of the Daymon/Impulse match, starting with Daymon shooting Impulse off the ropes.]

TH: Impulse got those fireworks started early once again, this time catching Daymon in a headscissors and going around … and around … and AROUND before finally twisting Rocko to the mat. That’s 1080 degrees of rotation for you math majors.

SM: Nobody likes math majors.

TH: Damn straight.

[Cut to Daymon getting back to his feet, wobbly.]

TH: That spinning disoriented Rocko a little bit, and that left him prey for this … beautiful flying knee kick that sends Daymon flying to the outside. But, Impulse wasn’t done there, going straight to the top rope for the CORKSCREW MOONSAULT that elicited some chants we’re not allowed to repeat on basic cable!

[Cut to Impulse waiting for Daymon to get to his feet.]

TH: And the assault continued … series of vicious kicks to the body, and when Rocko tries to counter with the big right hand, Impulse ducks underneath and hits a beautiful crucifix cradle for a two count!

[Cut to Impulse hitting the ropes.]

TH: But, the speedy one couldn’t stay one step ahead forever. Going for the springboard moonsault block, but Daymon presses the pause button, catches him in flight and SPIKES Impulse to the canvas with a wicked running powerslam!

[Cut to Daymon mauling Impulse in the corner.]

TH: That allowed Daymon to slow the pace down and turn up the pressure, unleashing a MASSIVE beating here in the corner with punches, elbows and knees. Referee decides Impulse has had enough, and Rocko breaks in his own, unique way … with an overhead belly-to belly suplex! Rough landing for Impulse on that one, which allows Rocko to score a two count.

[Cut to Daymon with Impulse in a front facelock.]

TH: Daymon trying to continue the barrage a little later on, holding up Impulse for this LOOOONG delayed vertical suplex, but Impulse slips behind before impact and catches Rocko with a bridging O’Connor Roll … for a close near-fall! But, just as soon as Impulse tries to follow up with a spin kick, Rocko ducks underneath, hooks Impulse’s waist and hits this GIGANTIC flipping release German!

[Cut to Rocko applying a Camel Clutch.]

TH: Rocko already suplexed him, so now it’s time to break his back and put him in the camel clutch … though thankfully, he stopped short of FULLY emulating the Iron Sheik. Still, the Camel Clutch takes plenty out of Impulse before he finally manages to reach the ropes and escape the hold.

[Cut to Daymon hitting Impulse with a series of forearms.]

TH: It wasn’t long before Impulse was back in Daymon’s clutches, though, and Daymon follows up these hard shots to the face with a NASTY tilt-a-whirl backbreaker, then immediately taking Impulse up top for a superplex. Impulse didn’t quite agree with that decision, however … knocking Daymon back to the canvas with a series of elbows.

[Cut to Impulse setting himself up top.]

TH: He’d immediately try to capitalize with the Dragonrana … but once again, Rocko’s one step ahead, turning the rana into a vicious sit-out powerbomb. That’s good for the one … two … but not the three, and Rocko Daymon cannot believe it!

[Cut to Daymon putting Impulse in a double underhook.]

TH: Rocko wouldn’t quite believe this, either, as Impulse slips free from the underhook DDT and turns it into a backslide! That only gets two, but he immediately turns the tide with this stiff kick to the face and a snap DDT of his own! To follow that up … how ‘bout a DOUBLE KNEE MOONSAULT! Devastating combo from Impulse, but STILL Rocko kicks out! They don’t call him the Undying for nothing.

[Cut to Impulse lining up the Sudden Impact.]

TH: Impulse would try to test that theory with his patented kick, the Sudden Impact, but Rocko gets out of the way … then CRUSHES Impulse with a spinning backfist!

[Cut to Rocko sending Impulse into the corner.]

TH: Daymon then trying to put Impulse away with the Phantom Train … but there’s nobody home for Rocko, and Impulse IMMEDIATELY crushes him with the Sudden Impact, and that’ll do it! Impulse pulls yet another upset, and the four seed is on to the tournament semis!

[Wipe back to the studio and a one-shot of Steve Murray with a Dan Ryan/Larry Tact inset.]

SM: So an upset in the Midwest, but it had been all chalk to this point out West, and that’s where Dan Ryan tried to keep that trend going, defending his top seed against Larry Tact in Phoenix.

[Wipe to Ryan and Tact circling each other.]

SM: The Ego Buster would certainly assert himself early, starting things off with some hard forearms and chops, but Tact answered right back with some chops of his own, and that set the tone for this one. These two just went back and forth, beating the absolute hell out of each other.

[Cut to Ryan peppering Tact with punches.]

SM: Case in point, this exchange right here. Couple of jabs from Ryan, followed up by the MONSTER right hand, then spins that right into a swinging neckbreaker. Terrific footwork from the big man right there to pick up an early near fall.

[Cut to Ryan with Tact in a Greco-Roman clinch.]

SM: Ryan continuing to display his power, locking up Tact in this clinch, BATTERING Larry with knees to the body and finally flinging him into the turnbuckles like he was absolutely nothing! Larry Tact weighs 260-plus pounds, folks, and Dan Ryan tossed him like a sack of flour!

TH: Who tosses sacks of flour?

SM: Apparently Dan Ryan.

[Cut to Ryan whipping Tact across the ring.]

SM: And the onslaught just would not stop from the Ego Buster. Tact trapped in the corner … nowhere to go as Ryan CRASHES into him with the avalanche, and straight out of that comes the exploder suplex, but Tact refuses to stay down.

[Cut to Ryan shooting Tact into the ropes and dropping for a backdrop.]

SM: A little later, Tact turning the tides … Ryan telegraphs the back body drop and eats a kick to the face from Tact … followed up by a double-knee facebuster that sends Ryan wobbling into the corner, where Tact lights him up with a charging knee to the side of the head, then another … and one more to complete the hat trick!

[Cut to Tact stomping away at Ryan.]

SM: Tact tried to keep the Ego Buster grounded, just stomping away at his upper body, and then he just GRINDS the heel of his boot into Ryan’s neck. Ryan would make it back to his feet, but bulling Tact into the corner was an EPIC FAIL, as Tact bails out and Ryan jams his neck and shoulder into the steel ringpost!

[Cut to Tact slipping to the outside.]

SM: That gave Tact a clear target to focus on, and look at the sadistic way in which he does it. Goes to the outside, grabs a hold of Ryan’s arms, plants a foot against his neck and leans back, driving the injured neck into the cold steel and twisting!

[Cut to Ryan slumped against the middle turnbuckle.]

SM: Tact back in the ring, but that doesn’t stop the punishment … seated dropkick, pushing Ryan’s neck into the turnbuckles one more time! Right after that … INVERTED DDT! Ryan’s neck took a TON of punishment in this one, but that still can’t finish him off! Still, Tact keeps the pressure on, locking in a dragon sleeper.

[Cut to Tact wrenching on the sleeper.]

SM: Ryan tried just about EVERYTHING to get out of this hold, but the smaller Tact used his leverage perfectly. He kept him grounded and in the center of the ring, but finally, Ryan decided that if getting to the ropes wasn’t going to work, standing up might. He powers to his feet, and drops right into a Diamond Cutter!

[Cut to Ryan charging at Tact.]

SM: That wouldn’t last very long, however, as Ryan charges for a big boot, but Tact stops him dead in his tracks with a high kick that’d make Devin Shakur proud, followed by a snap brainbuster, but still he can’t put Ryan away!

[Cut to Tact with Ryan in a standing headscissors.]

SM: And not putting Dan Ryan away … yeah, that’s a problem. Tact going for the cradle piledriver, but Ryan blocks, backdrops him away, and spins right into a BRUTAL dragon suplex! It’s just a second after that and we get … WHAM! Humility Bomb, and Dan Ryan’s going back to Texas as the West Regional Champion!

[Cut back to the studio and Tom Holzerman with a Doc Silver/Duke Williams inset.]

TH: Ryan’s on to Dallas, but who would the 2007 Merritt Trophy winner face? Well, that answer would not be settled without some controversy, so to Montreal we go for Doc Silver and Duke Williams!

[Wipe to Duke Williams powering Doc into a corner.]

TH: Early on, this one was all Duke, as the Malice Man shows off that brute strength, bulling Doc into the corner and roughing him up with some forearms before charging in and hitting this NASTY running clothesline.

[Cut to Duke with Silver in a fireman’s carry.]

TH: And that’s not all from the power category, Duke with Doc in the fireman’s carry, then presses him WAAAAY up into the air and just lets Doc crash to the mat at terminal velocity! Right after that … BIG BOOT from Williams nearly ends this one early, but the resilient Doc kicks out.

[Cut to Duke shooting Silver off the ropes.]

TH: Doc’s resilience would pay off a little later on, as Williams fans on the clothesline and Silver switches right into this sheer drop neckbreaker! Williams back to his feet, but Silver absolutely DRILLS him with an enziguiri, then jumps right into a snap DDT and locks on a guillotine choke! Fantastic combination from the veteran.

[Cut to Duke standing up in the guillotine.]

TH: The Malice Man trying to power out, pressing Doc overhead, but Silver lets go of the choke and rolls beautifully into a sunset flip for two! Doc then tries to follow up with a huracanrana, but Williams stops his momentum, presses Doc back overhead, and hits the Splash Mountain Bomb! He goes for the cover, but it’s not enough to finish off Doc.

[Cut to Duke with Doc over his shoulder.]

TH: And speaking of that controversy, here it comes. Duke going for Whiskey Bent and Hell Bound, but Doc slips free and Duke tumbles into our TEAM official! Then, with the ref down, Doc calls in reinforcements from the back in terms of Flint M. Jacobs and Bloodhunt, both wielding steel chairs, and that means a CON-CHAIR-TO for the Malice Man, who’s ears are going to be ringing for weeks after that one! Doc follows it up with the Aces Full for good measure, and when the referee gets back to his feet, this one’s elementary. Doc advances and draws Dan Ryan in the semis.

[Cut back to the studio and Steve Murray with a Nova/Jared Wells inset.]

SM: That leaves just one spot to go, in the South, with Nova and Jared Wells vying for it. But, this one, not much with the drama. Nova’s run through the South so far, and this trip to Miami was no different.

[Wipe to Wells running headlong at Nova.]

SM: And early on, it was Wells’ aggressiveness getting the better of him. He rushes in, but Nova clips him with a knee, then serves up a little SOLE FOOD! About now, Jared Wells is probably wishing he didn’t ask all those people to call him “Daddy”, because that’s what Nova nearly made him do in this match.

[Cut to Nova lining up Wells.]

SM: Little later on, Nova with Wells in his sight … RIGHT ON THE BUTTON WITH THE SUPERKICK, and to keep with the food theme, dishes out some BOURBON FOR BREAKFAST to get the three count and move on to the finals!

[Cut back to the studio and a two-shot at the desk.]

TH: So, there you go. Four men, vying for one spot.

SM: Dan Ryan.

TH: Nova.

SM: Impulse.

TH: Doc Silver.

TH: That’s your final four, and in Dallas, we find out which two will fight for the Merritt Trophy. Thanks for sticking around with us, folks, we’ll be back with you from Dallas! For Steve Murray, I’m Tom Holzerman … you stay classy, wrestling fans.

SM: Classy wrestling fans. That’s a new one.

SM: Uhh, is the camera still running?

[Fade to the TEAM logo.]

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