DT: Well, that was interesting… but I hear we’ve got a HUGE MATCHUP coming up… it’s Paul Freeman… vs. Jonathan MARX!!
[Cut to the entrance ramp where “Everyday People” by Pearl Jam cues up. The crowd erupts as Paul Freeman makes his way out from the back, a look of worry crossing his features. However, for the most part the fans are not cheering, they’re booing. He slowly makes his way to the ring, stepping between the ropes and asking for a microphone.]
DT: And here’s Paul Freeman! Let’s see what he has to say!
MN: Great… just what we need. God I’m getting sick of seeing him around here… I hope Marx whips him in haste.
[Freeman taps on the mic, then clears his throat to speak. A look of surprise crosses his face as chants of “you screwed Rocko” cue up.]
Freeman: Ladies and gentlemen, let me just say that it’s an honor to be here tonight…
[Crowd boos tremendously.]
Freeman: Ok, let me set things straight. First off… I did NOT screw Mr. Daymon. It was as much a shock to me as all of you when Maelstrom left. I wish to apologize for….
[Freeman is suddenly cut off when “Only Happy When It Rains” by Garbage cues up. The fans go wild as Jonathan Marx steps out from the entranceway to a loud reception. He puts his hands on his hips, smiling at Freeman from afar. The camera cuts to show Freeman’s look of concern, then back to Marx who slowly walks down the ramp. The cameras cut to a wide shot of the ring…]
Freeman: Jonathan… Jonathan, hold on just one second….
[Marx continues to advance, rubbing his chin nonchalantly.]
Freeman: Look, I know we haven’t seen eye to eye on things… I’m sorry… I’ve made some mistakes lately.
[The fans are cheering wildly for Marx when all of a sudden Jonathan grabs the microphone and puts his hand on the top of it, silencing Freeman. Freeman is shaking in his boots as Marx raises a finger to his mouth with a “shhhh” gesture. The fans go insane. Marx quickly kicks Freeman in the gut, doubling him over.]
DT: OH MY!!! And Jonathan Marx is going to get his revenge here tonight!!! He and Freeman didn’t see eye to eye a couple weeks ago, and it cost Mr. Marx his job!
MN: Yeah, but when you work for Dan Ryan… you’re covered baby!!!
[SFX: DING DING DING]
[Marx tosses a few punches into Freeman’s face, pushing him back against the ropes. He then quickly performs a belly to belly suplex that launches Freeman half way across the ring. Freeman flops around in his business suit like a fish out of water to sell the move, holding his back in pain. He quickly dives for the microphone…]
Freeman: [breathing heavily] Wait!!! Marx… I’ll give you whatever you want… just take it easy man…. I’ll give you whatever you want.
[Jonathan grabs Freeman by the collar, cocking his fist back….]
Freeman: Wait, NO!!! Just listen… I swear… listen to me!!
[Marx relaxes his fist a little. The crowd chants “HIT HIM”.]
Freeman: Howabout this… at Black Dawn.. you’re in the number one contender’s match!!
[Freeman flinches slightly as Marx again throws up his fist.]
Freeman: Wait… it’s not just for the intercontinental contendership… it’s for the World Title number one contender as well!!! A four corners elimination match… you and three other men… I promise… you’ll be back in the same place you were before you left man, I promise!!!
[The crowd boos, but Marx relaxes his fist once more… finally offering it in front of Freeman for a handshake. Freeman smiles and takes his hand, shaking feverishly… then getting up to his feet to celebrate. He holds Marx’s arm in the air and points to him in jubilation, the whole time the crowd booing.]
DT: Well folks, you heard it here first… Jonathan Marx has been entered into a number one contenders match!!!
[Marx suddenly drops his arm, then drops to the mat to perform a drop toe hold. Freeman’s face smacks off the mat, and Marx locks him up in an STF. The fans start to go insane as Freeman begs for mercy… tapping out almost immediately.]
DT: OH MY GOD!!! STF ON PAUL FREEMAN!!!!
WINNER: JONATHAN MARX
DT: Folks, I can’t believe what I just saw!!! Jonathan Marx got a match at Black Dawn… AND he just forced one of our top company execs to TAP OUT!!!
MN: That’s how all business meetings should be conducted. Marx is a true diplomat.
DT: What are you talking about… he’s gone wild!
MN: Girls gone wild? Hell yeah.. I bet that’s up next… because here comes some commercials!!! WHOOO!!!
[Fade to commercials for Girls Gone Wild: Totally Hot Empirical Broads. Cut back to the arena after the ring has been cleared from the previous matchup. The arena is bathed in darkness seconds before "Rainmaker" blares out, causing a cascade of green and white lights to flicker across the arena in time to the music and pyro to explode from the side of the stage. With the first words, Karl steps through the curtains, looking around at the crowd. He high-fives fans either side of the aisle, stopping for autographs along the way, as he walks to the ring. Circles the ring once, then vaults over the top rope, standing on the second rope, arms aloft, saluting the fans on each side of the ring, before waiting in the centre of the ring for his opponent. Proudly standing in the middle of the ring is Tony Fatora, Empire Pro’s ring announcer, speaks into his microphone.]
TF: Ladies and Gentlemen our next match for the evening will be a triple threat match set for one fall. Introducing first. hailing from Nottingham, England, weighing in at 211 pounds… KARL “THE DRAGON” BROOOOOOWWWWNNNN!!!!
[With the calling of his name, Brown turns to the audience and poses, getting a big pop.]
MN: I wonder if this guy is related to Robin Hood.
MN: Well, he’s from Nottingham, ain’t he? You know, Robin Hood, Little John, all those guys in Sherwood Forest… they come to Nottingham, and fight the Sheriff.
DT: Yeah… I‘ve seen Prince of Thieves, Mike, but I somehow doubt Karl Brown is related to Robin Hood.
MN: Y’know if his last name was Hood, maybe…
[“Kashmir” by Led Zeppelin kicks in over the PA system as Troy Douglas steps out and proudly makes his way to the ring.]
TF: Introducing next… hailing from Greensboro, North Carolina… weighing in at 260 pounds… please welcome… TROY… DOOOOOUUUGLAAAAASSS!!!
[Douglas throws both arms into the air before rolling into the ring. He moves to his corner and gets ready.]
DT: Troy Douglas is the recent victor of GXW’s X-Treme Title. He went through a HELL of a match against the champion Clapper, and for fighting all the way to the end, he was awarded the title…
MN: Clapper, huh? Sounds like a venereal disease!
DT: Heh, don’t be so cocky, Mike… Clapper has hospitalized nearly TWICE as many people as we’ve seen from Suicide. The very fact that Troy Douglas SURVIVED that match and came out as the champion goes to show that he’s the kind of guy willing to do anything for victory.
MN: Well, we’ll see how motivated he is for the Intercontinental Title… still has Brown, Daymon, and Benjamin to go through.
[“Capricorn” by 30 Seconds to Mars fades in and hits with explosive symphony. The stage becomes a display of red lights.)
TF: And finally… hailing from Tacoma, Washington… weighing in at 246 pounds… here is… ROCKO… DAAAAAAYMOOOOOOONNNN!!
[Spotlight hits the stage and the curtain doesn’t move. Moments pass by, and tension begins to build. Still, nobody steps through and Rocko is nowhere to be seen.]
DT: Where the hell is Rocko Daymon?
MN: Heh… maybe he’s afraid? Or wait, I know… probably getting a quickie before he comes out. I know I’D be getting’ a quickie with a wife like that!
DT: Enough, Mike… Rocko has yet to show, and I’d certainly like to know what’s keeping him.
[The music is cut. In the ring, an official runs up to the apron and calls over Tony. Fatora listens, nods, and stands again, with a new announcement.]
TF: Ladies and gentlemen… I’ve just been informed that Rocko Daymon has not checked into the arena, and has not been seen backstage. Because of his absence, it has been decided that he will not be participating in this match. This event will continue as Karl Brown versus Troy Douglas for one fall.
[Fatora finishes this statement by stepping out of the ring. Murmurs of confusion and question stir about the audience.]
MN: Hm… guess he no-showed. Maelstrom must have beaten him SO bad, he didn’t even have the nerve to show his FACE tonight!
DT: As everybody knows, Rocko Daymon suffered a heavy loss last week at Aggression against Maelstrom… a match that eliminated Daymon from the World Title Tournament, and was promptly followed by Maelstrom leaving the federation.
MN: Yeah, did they ever say why he left?
DT: I don’t think so, Dave…
MN: Probably thought everybody was untalented as Rocko Daymon from that one match, and decided he could have done better.
DT: Ahem… at any rate, things should be interesting between Douglas and Brown, who both seem to want this bad.
[With the ringing of the bell, Douglas and Brown slowly advance upon each other. Without warning, the two lock up and test strengths. Douglas, with a slight weight advantage puts Brown to the mat with a hard shoves. Brown quickly rolls back to his feet and goes low, sweeping Douglas legs from under him. Douglas counters by rolling back into a Monkey Flip, putting Brown onto his back.]
DT: Good technical match thus far…
MN: Not another of these.. I’m going to get another nosebleed!
[Both men come to their feet at the same time, hesitant to approach each other. After a short stare-down, Brown fakes going in low, throwing Douglas off guard. Brown takes him down with a diving clothesline. Brown comes back to his feet, this time bringing a dazed Troy Douglas with him. He puts his opponent into a standing leg-scissor, but is suddenly thrown over in a back body drop, and connects with the mat with force.]
DT: OOH! Big back body drop on the part of Troy Douglas, countering whatever it was that Brown had planned…
MN: They don’t see much of that back in Sherwood Forest.
[Brown quickly comes to his feet and catches a mid-height kick delivered by Douglas. Douglas quickly counters it with an Enziguri, putting Brown back to the mat and getting a big pop from the audience! With the crowd behind him, Douglas takes ahold of Brown’s right leg and kicks the side of Brown’s knee. “The Dragon” yells out in pain. Douglas quickly maintains momentum by bringing Karl Brown back to his feet, hooking him from behind, and performing a Knee Crusher that furthers the strain on Brown’s right leg.]
MN: Looks like Douglas takes control…
DT: Indeed he does, and it looks like he’s focusing on the right leg of Karl Brown!
[Douglas quickly locks on a leg grapevine, putting on more pain. Brown groans in agony, and the referee gets close to his face, asking if he’s going to give in. Brown is in too much pain to answer at first; he reaches for the ropes, a few inches away from his reach, and shakes his head. Using all of the strength he can muster, he inches his way to the bottom rope, and finally takes ahold of it. The referee orders Douglas to break the hold, who does so without delay. Douglas quickly gets back to his feet, but Brown takes a few extra seconds, using the ropes as support. With an open advantage, Douglas runs in and goes for a low dropkick into Brown’s weak right leg. Brown lets out a yelp of pain and goes tumbling to the ground.]
DT: Troy Douglas is taking no prisoners here…
MN: Damn right! Freakin’ British!
DT: Douglas getting Brown up again, and it looks like he’s going to focus on something else…hooks him from behind… oh, BIG GERMAN SUPLEX!!
[Douglas throws Brown with the German Suplex, releasing him on impact. The move gets a major pop from the audience. Douglas quickly takes advantage by dragging Brown away from the ropes and making a cover.]
DT: First cover in the match…
And Karl Brown kicks out!
[Douglas shakes his head, then gets back to his feet, determined to continue with the offensive momentum. He gets Brown back to his feet and hooks him for a suplex when suddenly his opponent blocks it, and counters with a snap suplex of his own! Not missing a beat, Brown gets to his feet, and drops an elbow into Douglas’ sternum. He bounds back up, and delivers a second elbow! Standing up again, Brown goes for yet a THIRD powerful elbow drop, when Douglas tries to sit up! He gets a boot to the chest for his effort, and Brown follows through with one WHOPPING English Elbow.]
MN: HAHAHA!! That was funny…
DT: Karl Brown is doing whatever he can… FEROCIOUS elbow drops, and what has he up his sleeve next?
[Brown quickly gets Douglas back onto his feet, and drops him down again with a snapmare. Brown locks on a reverse chin lock, pulling back against Troy Douglas’ neck. Douglas shows no signs of giving in to the pain. He forces himself back to his feet and attempts a reverse jawbreaker, but Brown lets go before he can do so. Troy Douglas hits the mat, buttocks first, groaning in pain. Brown follows with a dropkick to the back of his head.]
DT: Payback time for Karl Brown…
MN: Heh… Douglas fell on his ass!
DT: This is turning out to be quite a match. I’m almost glad it wasn’t triple threat.
MN: Yeah, but I’m glad it isn’t for other reasons…
[Holding the back of his head with one hand, Douglas rolls to his feet, but Brown is waiting for him; he quickly sails in and cracks the bigger man down to the mat with a crisp neckbreaker that draws oohs from the crowd. Not wasting any time, Brown scoops Douglas up and scores with a brutal DDT! Douglas' head spikes off the mat, and he seems to stand on his head for a moment with his legs kicking in the air before he falls on his back.]
DT: Oh, huge DDT from Brown there!
MN: Douglas was doing a HEADSTAND, man!
[The impact of the maneuver seems to have stunned Douglas. He stumbles to a standing position, his eyes glazed over. Brown promptly capitalizes, dashing in to deliver a hard forearm to the kidneys before setting Douglas up inverted facelock-style and signalling to the crowd.]
DT: We could see the Dragon's Bite here!
[Alas, 'tis not to be - Douglas drops to the mat and rolls Brown up deftly.]
DT: Wait, there's a roll-up!
One - TWO - NO, kickout by Brown!
MN: Ooh, close call there!
[Both men come to their feet. Brown comes in with a spinning kick, but Douglas catches the smaller man's foot and reels him in like a fish, scooping him up and bringing him down with a stiff-looking bodyslam. Douglas pauses for a moment to shake the cobwebs out of his head, then scoops the reeling Brown off the mat and decks him with a shin breaker!]
DT: Douglas going right back to work on that leg of Karl Brown here!
MN: Workin' him over, workin' him over.
[As Brown lies on the canvas, holding his knee, Douglas advances. He grabs Brown by the foot and stomps on the Englishman's knee repeatedly, drawing a few choked howls of pain. Ignoring the outcries, Douglas scoops Brown up and slams him into a Tree of Woe in the corner, then scales the ropes and begins stomping on Brown's knee repeatedly!]
DT: Unique setup there by Douglas, as he's got Brown in the Tree of Woe as he works the leg!
MN: It's Upside-Down Land!
[After a moment, Douglas dismounts the ropes, allowing Brown to slump down and fall on his head. Grunting, Douglas hauls the limp little man to his feet, then presses him over his head and slams him to the canvas with authority, but Brown takes out the ref on the way down.]
DT: What a slam there by Douglas!
MN: He's a HOSS! AND he took out the ref without even trying!! WHOOO!
[Douglas wastes no time pressing the advantage. He scoops Brown up into a front face lock, then signals to the crowd.]
DT: We could see the Broken Dream here!
[But before Douglas can throw the move, the air is suddenly electrified as the speakers crack to life. "Mother Puncher" by Mastodon throbs through the intense atmosphere as a familiar red twist logo appears on the EmpireTron, spasming in rhythm to the music. All eyes are directed to the stage, looking for someone to make an entrance. But the curtain remains still.]
DT: What is this...?
MN: Hey, you know what that symbol is?
DT: Why that's... Rocko Daymon's symbol! Maybe he WILL make an appearance tonight!
MN: What?! Well, where is he?
[While all eyes are focused on the stage, few recognize the shape jump the barricade, next to the commentators. Dave and Mike immediately look to the right, and recognize the individual immediately.]
DT: Oh my God, it's DAYMON!
MN: What, whe--WHOA!!
[Without warning, Rocko takes Mike Neely by the shirt and tears him out of his chair. Daymon leaves him there on the ground as he picks up the steel chair, turns to the ring, and rolls inside.]
DT: Oh my God, Mike Neely has just been ACCOSTED by Rocko Daymon... and now he's in the ring, with Karl Brown and Troy Douglas!
[Both men turn to see what the commotion is. Brown doesn't get a chance to recognize his assailant, as the chair is wrapped around his head. He falls flat to the mat, his legs twitching slightly. Douglas has an extra moment to brace himself as Daymon brings the chair bouncing off of Brown's head into a backhanded blow that sweeps his second victim off of his feet. The audience is too shocked to react. Many would boo in this situation, but it is difficult to understand how THIS could be happening, with ROCKO DAYMON. What could have caused him to do something like this?]
DT: OH MY GOD, DAYMON JUST TOOK OUT BROWN AND DOUGLAS!!
[At ringside, Mike Neely, coming back onto his feet, picks up his headset and readjusts it. He is left without a chair.]
MN: That son of a *****! He took my chair!
DT: Mike, did you just SEE that?!
MN: See what?!
[Daymon drops the chair, looking down at the fallen wrestlers. Then, he stoops down... takes Karl Brown by the arm, and drags him over the lifeless body of Troy Douglas. With that, he falls over the ropes, hops the barricade, and disappears in the crowd. His music fades.]
DT: I... I just can't believe it! What was Rocko THINKING!?
MN: Probably of pissing me off!
DT: Oh, forget the chair, Mike!
MN: Hey, what happened to Karl and Troy?
DT: You idiot, Rocko just DESTROYED them!!
MN: When did that happen?
DT: After you lost your chair!
DT: Wait, the referee is crawling over... Brown is still on top of Douglas... HERE'S THE COUNT!!
[The bell rings, and "Rainmaker" begins to play.]
TF: Ladies and gentlemen... here is your winner.... KARL... "THE DRAGON".... BROOOOOWWWWNNN!!!
MN: And we have a winner! It's Benjamin vs. Brown at Black Dawn for the IC Title!
DT: I can't believe it... why did Rocko just DO that?! Troy Douglas had a good opportunity to win this match, and it was ended by the hands of Rocko Daymon!
MN: You know, I'm not telepathetic... Rocko Daymon is screwed up in the head, and I say, SCREW HIM!!
DT: Unbelievable... folks we've gotta go to commercial... we'll be right back!