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BLACK DAWN 2005: New York, NY - 11/17/05

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Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
Brown stepped out from his lockerroom, CD player in his pocket, listening to something quiet. No-one in the backstage area took much notice of this. He normally spent some time before a match wandering around, in part to stretch his legs after a journey to the arena, and in part to try and control the nerves that always accompanied him before a match. The same nerves he had suffered from back in October two thousand three, when he stepped through the curtain to face Andrew Dalton in his debut for MCW. He could name every opponent he'd ever faced, and he had always suffered the same nerves - whether it was against Sands, Benjamin, Maelstrom, or Mike Diamond or Derek Stolz. His walks helped, and so did the music, but when it came time to walk through the curtain, the nerves returned, and it was only when he stood on the second rope, looking out across the blackness of the arena where the crowd was, that he felt calm.
"Well, there you are." Foxx leaned against the wall to his right, her head cocked slightly toward her right shoulder and her hands behind her back. She was dressed and set to wrestle when it was her turn. Her smile was wide, radiating what would appear a nearly overpowering happiness. The time before a match was always her favorite. The excitement, suspense, and butterflies always got to her. This time it was even better. Competing for a title was a beautiful sensation.

"I figured you'd come around this way eventually, ya never can stand still much before matches, but I suppose it's not for the same reasons as me, eh?" She chanced a glance downward at Brown's injured leg before resuming eye contact. Her smile faded a bit as she began turning her thoughts through her mind. She had meant to approach him for a reason, of course.

"Keeps it loose enough." He nearly smiled. He wasn't surprised at how quickly she'd risen through the ranks. Yes, he'd fought for a worlds title in only his third match, but that was in a company that had only recently started. He was, although he would never admit it, proud of her for rising so quickly in an established company. "Hard luck against Tariq, wasn't it?"

"Hm...Yeah...I screwed up. Foxx's smile disappeared for a brief few seconds as she recalled the event, but creeped back onto her face in time. "But it won't happen again." "Eventually I'm going to prove just how far being a heel, like everyone I've met so far, can take ya. Not far at all... This is the best chance ta prove it too."

"Yeah?" That did it. Karl cracked a smile. He'd read only the other day that the concept of face and heel, of good guy and bad guy, was a distant memory. He read on another that he was being considered by some as a heel, even though the fans in the arena still cheered for him when he stepped through the curtain. It was a concept he'd always tried his best to ignore. Often, he would tell people he didn't care if people cheered for him, booed him, so long as they weren't totally apathetic. To him, wrestling had been about challenging himself, but had become a job. At first, it'd been that the challenge drove him on, which was why he didn't mind if fans booed him. But for a little over a year, it's been different for him - a job. If people like what they see they'll pay to see it again. That's how he sees it now. In some small way, he was dissappointed.

"You do realise what you're trying to do?"

"Possibly." Foxx's hand moved to her mouth to stifle a cough, but as it moved away her expression had changed. The seriousness of the matter had kicked in.

"But if ya know what I'm tryin ta do, why don't ya say something? I'm sure you've got some thoughts on the subject."

Karl shrugged. "It's not my place to get involved. I get paid to go out there and wrestle in whatever match Dan wants to put me in." Karl remembered the first time he'd said that. It was against X, many months ago now, in the run-up to an Aggression taping. As he stood in the ring that night, Dan Ryan came out and changed the match to a chain match, no disqualification.

Of course, he had thoughts on what she was trying to do. He thought it too great a task for any one person. He thought that whilst it may be a noble cause, what she was trying was the impossible, and he'd given up trying for the impossible. He thought she was mad.

Karl almost seemed...apathetic now. Not the same person she'd begun with so long ago. It threw her off guard. She wasn't about to let him continue this way.

"Nearly correct, but still wrong. We get paid for this...yes, and we wrestle whenever we're supposed to, but have ya really lost the sense of challenge? You're about to compete for an Intercontinental Title for God's sake! Doesn't that mean anything to you? You've come so far...and ya don't even care."

Was it apathy? He couldn't tell.

"Win or lose, it doesn't really matter to me. I'm paid to wrestle. And, let's be honest, it's not like I haven't been in this situation before." He paused, trying to remember all the chances he'd had and failed. The MCW Worlds Title. The EPW Intercontinental title. The NWL Worlds title. And that was ignoring the tournaments and number one contenders matches he'd fought in and lost. Many had picked him from early in his career to make something of himself - here, they said, was one to watch, one of the people who's going to be a huge star. That was shortly after his match with Adam Benjamin for the MCW title, less than two years ago. He'd hid it well, the pressure he felt when he read those reports. Now... now was different. Today, in Madison Square Garden, he was going into another title match. Another big-money match. And he had lost every time before.

"I try not to get my hopes up these days. Hurts like hell when it goes wrong."

Foxx fought back a grin trying to pull its way onto her face.

"Obviously you've forgotten the reason for losin then. Whining after a loss doesn't get you anything. You learn from the loss and continue on stronger than before. If ya lose again ya have more to learn and a higher plateau to reach. There's a positive ta everything. Sure it's a slap in the face at first, but ya get over it. If I lose my match, then there'll be more chances to try again later down the line. Same with you. No matter how much it takes, you should never give up."

"Who says I've given up?" Karl grinned. Something about the way he grinned made him appear somewhat sinister. A friend of his used to get scared when he grinned. "If I lose, I've lost. If I've built myself up and failed, that's when it hurts. If you get too high on yourself, you make mistakes. If you treat each match the same, then you make fewer mistakes - your technique is sharper. And having a sharper technique has it's advantages."

This was getting confusing...and Foxx made no attempt at hiding it. She ran a hand absently through her hair as she spoke.

"I'm...not certain I understand."

Some would say Foxx was naive. This was all just a game to her. A game that she got paid for. Something she'd dreamed of all her life. She knew the basics of the business: put on a decent show and do her best, but that was about it. A view abstract from her own threw her off.

"You'll see for yourself, sooner or later." He sighed, pausing for a moment. He leant on the wall beside her. "Don't get cocky. This business has a way of humbling people. Winning is a nice surprise, but it's not something to strive for. Hurting someone is enough. They can win the match, but if you've hurt them they'll think twice before setting foot in the ring with you again."

Foxx's eyebrow twitched. Her eyes stayed fixed on him. There was that darker side again. The side she didn't like to see. The side she tried to pretend wasn't there...

"I don't make it my goal to hurt anyone. It's pointless to aim for something so rediculous. The point of wrestling is the competition, not the pain. You can inflict all the pain on some people that ya want, but they'll still keep coming back. The same methods don't work on everyone, ya know. And I'm not cocky; I'll keep at it for as long as it takes to be happy with myself. I don't go in expectin ta win, but I do go in expectin ta do my best and maybe prove a point or two. I don't see what's so cocky about that."

"I guess we'll see later tonight who's right, won't we?" He pushed himself off the wall and turned to her. "Is there anything else you want to talk about?"

"Just to wish ya luck in your match, I suppose." Foxx let out a long, drawn out sigh. "So...Good luck out there."

She couldn't hope for any more than that some of what she said had hit home somewhere in his mind.

"The same to you." Karl started off again, pressing the play button on his CD player. He still had some time before his match. Foxx followed him with her eyes, before sighing again.


[CUE UP: "Imperial March" - Rage Against the Machine. A video montage plays, featuring smoke-wreathed images of various wrestlers, some of them leaving blurred trails as they move.

CUT TO: Beast nailing the Absolution on Adam Benjamin.
CUT TO: Karl Brown coming off the ropes with a Quebrada.
CUT TO: Christian Sands standing victorious in the ring.
CUT TO: JA delivering the Karelin Driver to Ron Artest.
CUT TO: Adam Benjamin delivering a Shining Wizard to Karl Brown.
CUT TO: Joey Melton, mugging for the crowd.
CUT TO: Boogie Smallz lighting up a blunt.
CUT TO: Lindsay Troy dropkicking Beast.
CUT TO: JA and Sebastian Dodd locking up in the middle of the ring.
CUT TO: Dan Ryan sitting sedately in a chair, staring into the camera.

CUTTO: With a clash of metal, a two words appear across a black screen, its edges flickering over a darkened reverse contrast sunset.]

[Cut to the ramp, where a wreath of pyro explodes around the EmpireTron and several bomblike, smoky explosions ripple about the entry way. The camera zooms in on the screen as the pyro finally peters out, then blurs to roving shots of the roaring crowd as a small banner in the corner briefly appears to proclaim that EPW is broadcast en Espanol.]
[We cut to the broadcast booth where Dave Thomas, Mike Neely and Dean Matthews sit.]

DT: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the world famous Madison Square Garden as Empire Pro Wrestling presents BLACK DAWN!!!

MN: Hell yeah…I’ve got the good suit on, the clean underwear and a smile, baby.

DM: Was Tide on sale?

MN: Funny.

DT: It’s a big night tonight full of some huge matchups but first and foremost on everyone’s mind has to be the big World Championship between Lindsay Troy and Cross. Cross has been waiting for this shot for a long time. Will he be able to overcome the Queen of the Ring?

DM: It’s gonna be a hell of a match for sure. Not only from the standpoint of Cross taking his first shot at the belt, but these two used to be close, Dave. I’m talking brother-sister close. It’ll be interesting to see if any punches are pulled tonight.

DT: There’s so much more to talk about – we’ve got the Cameron Cruise Project exploding as Joey Melton takes on Cameron Cruise in a steel cage, Blitz taking on The Entourage and…..

[CUT TO: backstage as we catch a shot of Zoltan and August De La Rossi being stomped into oblivion by Max and Jecht. Meanwhile, Leonard Johnson stands to the side leaning on a cane and looking on with a smile. After a few more stomps for good measure, Johnson steps forward and puts a hand on Max’s shoulder.]

LJ: That’ll do, boys.

[Jecht lays in one last stiff kick and the three turn and walk off calmly, leaving a mess of a once-nice dressing room.]

DT: Talk about your savage attacks, guys. The Entourage has been on the offensive around here a while, but this time the champs took things into their own hands it seems.

DM: Well, a man can only take so much before he has to stand up and start fighting back. You can’t let….

DT: Hold on guys, I'm getting word that Kenny Lombardo's found Blitz, maybe we can get a word on what happened.

[CUTTO: backstage. Kenny Lombardo is running, cameraman in tow, to catch up with Leonard, Max and Jecht as they make their way through the arena]

KL: Mr Johnson... MR JOHNSON!!

[The trio stops in their tracks, as Kenny reaches them. He's out of breath, as Leonard smiles at him]

KL: Mr Johnson... can I...

LJ: You want to know why we did what we did, don't you?

KL: ...Yeah... please...

LJ: It's simple. Two straight pay per view events, we've been attacked from behind - once by the Crimson Calling, once by Troy Windham's lapdogs. We let the Calling slip through our fingers. Russi and Zoltan - well, we couldn't give them that priviledge.

KL: But what about tonight? You guys are defending your titles against...

LJ: Do you realise that there have been new tag team champions at every single pay per view event?

KL: ... no...

LJ: At Black Dawn last year, the Crimson Calling won the belts. At Unleashed, the Cameron Cruise Project. At Wrestleverse, the belts made their way to Lindsay Troy and Christian Sands, and earlier this year, at Russian Roulette in Texas - Blitz finally won the titles.

KL: But what's that got to-

LJ: Simpleton. Max and Jecht have worked their way to the top. They are the longest serving team on this roster. The Entourage... they're comparatively new. Yes, the curse of the Pay Per View is against Blitz, but they've risen above adversity before. And they'll do so again at Black Dawn two thousand and five, when they become the first team to retain the belts. Not only will they prove to the entire WORLD that they are the perfect combination of power and speed in professional wrestling today - they'll also proof to the world that they are the only dominant force in tag team wrestling. What you saw earlier tonight was just a small taste - the kind of thing that you get given for free in a delicatessan when they want to try and sell a new product. What the world will see later, THAT'S the whole piece. And like a deli, you'll have to pay to get any more than a taste.

KL: So it wasn't fear?

[Leonard snatches up the microphone from Kenny, as Jecht, tired of the sound of Lombardo's voice, charges him down with a clothesline. He picks up the small, fragile frame, throwing him back down the corridor with minimal effort. Before he can follow up, Max restrains him in a scene the world hasn't seen in a while. Leonard walks over to Lombardo, standing straight and looking straight into the camera]

LJ: Fear? Why fear something that has absolutely no advantage over you? Fear implies a certain respect. Respect is a priviledge reserved solely for those who are worth the time. None of those men are worth the time. Tonight, when Blitz retain the titles... the whole tag team world will learn to fear the oncoming BLITZ.

[Leonard bends down, handing the microphone back to Lombardo]

LJ: Stand up straight, man. I thought you were a professional.

[Leonard walks out of shot, laughing to himself as the trio of Max, Jecht and himself move down the corridor.]


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
DT: Well, the World Tag Team Champs draw first blood here tonight, but first thing’s first. Tonight the very first Empire Pro Television Champion will be crowned. Commissioner Paul Freeman by order of our owner Dan Ryan has commissioned a pair of matches to determine just who will be facing off to become the very first Television Champion.

DM: I’m told X-ecutioner had some personal issues to deal with, preventing him from appearing or even promoting his appearance here tonight so our first match in the TV Title picture will be Tariq Ismail versus Adam Benjamin versus Karla Starr in a three way dance to see who makes up one half of the final. DT: And just to make sure everyone understands the rules, this match goes to one fall only. So whoever makes the pin goes on to the final. No eliminations.

DM: The stipulation makes this a match anyone can win, Dave. Technically you can lose this match without being pinned, so all three of these competitors need to be on their toes.

DT: Let’s go to Tony Fatora with the ring introductions on this, our first match!!


EPW Television Title Semi-Finals
Karla Starr vs. Adam Benjamin vs. Tariq Ismail

[SFX: Bell rings]

TF: Ladies and gentlemen, this match is a three way dance to determine who will go on the Television Title Final and is for one fall…..introducing first…..

[CUE UP: “Maps” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs starts up and bright white pyro erupts onstage. Within moments Karla Starr emerges from the smoke walking to the ring with a smirk on her face.]

TF: From Boston, Massachusetts and weighing in at one hundred forty pounds…..this is KAAARLAAAAA STAAAARRRR!!!!!

DT: Karla Starr on her way to the ring right now. She and Foxx really went out it during hype week before the show, even getting into an argument at our Fan Fest here yesterday. Definitely no love lost between those two.

[We see a shot of Karla entering the ring and preparing in one corner.]

DM: Those two are fighting it out over who will be the next dominating female in the company, and I imagine if those two somehow end up in the finals together here tonight, it’ll only exacerbate the problem more.


DT: [sighing] You should’ve known better, Dean.

DM: My bad.

[CUE UP: "Lose Yourself" by Eminem. "Yours Truly" Adam Benjamin makes his way slowly to the ring. Adam is wearing two English flag bandana's one that cover his head and the other that covers the lower part of his face revealing only his eyes.]

TF: Her opponent, from the UK!!!....weighing in at two hundred forty five pounds…..ADDAAAAAMMMM BENJAAAAMMMMMIIIINNNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[Benjamin makes it to the ring, slides in under the bottom rope and heads for a neutral corner, giving Karla Starr the eye as he walks over.]

DT: And here’s Big Daddy English!! Benjamin is a former Intercontinental Champion and on top of that, has had quite the transformation lately.

DM: He beat the hell out of Beast a few weeks ago. This is a new and improved Adam Benjamin for sure.

[CUE UP: “God is God” by Juno Reactor blares over the speakers to an immediate thundering round of boos.]

TF: Their opponent, from Mosul, Iraq…weighing in at two hundred forty pounds….TAAARRIIIIQ ISSSSMAAAIIIIL!!!!!!!!

DT: I wish someone would just slap that turban right off his head.

DM: PC!!

DT: Sometimes being PC just isn’t high on my priority list.

MN: You always hate anyone who tells the truth, Dave. It’s a character flaw.

[Ismail struts to the ring with his nose in the air and climbs methodically into the ring, then turns and gives a clear look of disgust into the crowd. The referee comes over to take his turban and he turns to face his opponents.]

[SFX: Ring bell.]

DT: And we’re under way! These three are slowly sizing each other up here.

DM: It’ll be interesting to see if there is any strategy involved in isolating anyone in particular. We should find out right up front.

DT: Ismail biding his time near the ropes and smirking at the other two. Benjamin steps up and gets into Ismail’s face and they’re jawing back and forth. Starr just sitting back and….OH! A dropkick to the back of Benjamin’s knee from Karla Starr! And Ismail seems amused!

MN: That’s a woman for you.

DT: Benjamin to a knee and now he eats a hard stiff boot from Ismail to the jaw that drops him back on the mat. Ismail over as Karla Starr keeps her distance, he pulls Adam up and whips him hard into the turnbuckle….Ismail measuring him up….AND OHHH!!! KARLA STARR JUST LOADED UP AND DRILLED ISMAIL!!

MN: A shot to the jubblies!! No fair!!

DM: Them womens is wily.

DT: Ismail drops to his knees in pain and Karla Starr wastes no time….she charges the corner and dropkicks Adam Benjamin back against the turnbuckle. Benjamin slumps against the corner…and Ismail is fuming…he’s up and he’s got Starr from behind…

MN: Heh…

DT: Ismail with a hand full of hair and he’s verbally berating Karla Starr!! Ismail whirls her around and just tosses Starr over the top rope to the floor!!!

DM: WHOA…I think she hit her knee on the ringsteps on her way down! She’s clutching at that knee!

MN: Serves her right.

DT: Ismail on the attack on Benjamin….pulls him to his feet and belly to belly suplexes him out of the corner! Legdrop on Benjamin and a cover! ONE, TWO….no! A forceful kickout by Adam Benjamin.

DM: It’s a little bit early for that, but it’s good to take a shot when you can.

DT: Benjamin turned flat on his face as Ismail makes it to his feet…..Ismail over, jabs at the ribs of Benjamin and grabs his wrists….and pulls back into a surfboard!!

DM: There’s a move you don’t see much anymore….

DT: Ismail pulling back with all of his might…..meanwhile Karla Starr is still clutching at her knee on the outside!

DM: We might need some paramedics out here for Miss Starr….

MN: I volunteer for CPR duty!

DM: I don’t think making her throw up will help her knee, Neely.

MN: Shaddup.

DT: Ismail yanking back….

[A voice comes over the speaker….]


DT: What the heck is this??


[The camera turns to the entrance area where we see a man in camouflage attire leading a small child onto the stage. We recognize the child as the one duped on Aggression by Tariq Ismail.]

“I know you hear me!”

DT: Ismail just caught a glimpse of this guy and his eyes have gone wide!! He’s letting Benjamin go….

“Guess what? Where I come from men keep their word. Where I come from when you make a deal, you own up to it. And where I come from, when punks like you cheat little kids out of something they’ve rightfully earned…PEOPLE LIKE ME make sure you PAY UP!”

[Loud crowd cheer]

DT: Tariq Ismail is incensed!!! Who is this guy?

DM: That’s the Sergeant! I’ve hard a lot of good things about this guy. I’ve gotta say, this is a ballsy first move.

[Ismail goes over to the ropes and yells at the Sergeant up on the stage. The microphones pick up mostly swearing in Arabic.]

“Now, what I’m asking….no, demanding you do is pull out your wallet and pay this kid the thousand dollars you owe him.”

DT: Ismail is furious…he’s….wait, is he trying to take off his shoe???

DM: He’s gonna throw the shoe!!

MN: Priceless!!!


DM: But he’s got his boot half off! He can’t even get to his feet all the way!

DT: Ismail on one knee trying to get his boot back on…..Benjamin to the ropes….OH MY GOD!!!! ISMAIL JUST CAUGHT A SHINING WIZARD!! SHINING WIZARD!! ISMAIL IS OUT COLD!!!! HERE’S THE COVER!!!! ONE!!!! TWO!!!! THREEE!!!!


MN: That damn Desert Storm reject cost Tariq Ismail this match!!

DT: The Sergeant is still on the stage just shaking his head! He waves the kid to follow him and they leave, but the damage is done!!! Adam Benjamin is going to the finals with a chance to be the first ever Television Champion!!

DM: And Karla Starr is getting the help she needs. Hopefully this isn’t serious.

DT: Paramedics over with Starr right now, but it looks they’re able to get her to her feet and…an ovation for Karla Starr as she tries to walk out under her own power. She’s noticeably limping but it looks at least for now as though it’s not too serious.

MN: Let’s hope so, she spends a lot of time on her knees. I’d hate to see that in jeopardy.

DT: Nevertheless Adam Benjamin has taken the match…and we’ll be right back after this!!

[Cut to: a shot of Benjamin as he leaves the ring, arm held high.]


[CUT TO: Backstage. We see the inside of Dan Ryan’s office. Ryan is sitting in a highbacked leather chair and Paul Freeman is standing on the door-side of the desk.]

Freeman: I’m serious. I had no idea it wasn’t actually gonna be Hornet.

Ryan: Of course you didn’t.

Freeman: I was assured it was him. I was just as surprised….and uh….upset….when the imposter showed up as you were!

Ryan: Somehow I doubt that.

Freeman: Look, I’ll make sure the kid doesn’t get in the building tonight.

Ryan: Actually, I sent him a backstage pass to the event.

Freeman: You….huh? Wha?

Ryan: That’s right. He’s gonna be a distinguished guest. Treat him accordingly please.

Freeman: You…want him here?

Ryan: [still stoic in expression] Absolutely. In fact, I’m giving him some in-ring time.

Freeman: You’re serious….

Ryan: Extremely.

Freeman: Oookay…well, you’re the boss.

[Ryan smiles that fake business smile]

Ryan: That’s right.

[Just then the door bursts open and a very angry Tariq Ismail storms into the room.]

Ismail: What the hell kind of company do you run here, Ryan? I don’t need this! I am a prince where I come from! A PRINCE!! You don’t treat Tariq Ismail like this! I spit at this company! I want justice!!

Ryan: You want justice huh?

Ismail: I DEMAND IT!!!

Ryan: [looking down at some paperwork] Well I don’t see here in your contract where it says you get a rematch after losing your match. Maybe if you….

[Just then a shoe comes flying into the frame and hits Dan Ryan square in the forehead. Ryan stops mid-sentence, but continues to stare blankly at the papers on his desk.]

Ryan: Did you just throw a shoe at me?

[Ryan slowly looks up and looks at Ismail, who’s now standing with arms crossed and wearing one shoe. Freeman makes an “oh ****” face and slips out the door.]

Ismail: JUS-TICE!!!

[Ryan smiles.]

Ryan: FI-RED!!!

[Ismail’s face goes white in shock, his arms dropping to his sides.]

Ismail: WHAT??

Ryan: You’re right. You don’t need this. And neither do I. You’re fired. Get your things and get out.

Ismail: But the show isn’t even over ye…

Ryan: OUT!

Ismail: You’ll hear from my attorneys Ryan!! This isn’t over!!!

Ryan: [Holding up the shoe] You want your shoe back?

Ismail: BAHH!!!!!

[Ismail storms angrily from the office…..Ryan looks at the shoe and tosses it to the side.]

Ryan: Idiot.

[Fade to the broadcast booth.]


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
DT: Well fellas, so much for Tariq Ismail.

DM: I guess the boss doesn’t like shoes.

DT: Well, wrestling fans, next up is the second half of the quest to reach the Television Title match. Foxx vs Priest vs Kin Hiroshi. I expect this to be one hell of a fight.

MN: Fight? You have to be joking. Priest has this one wrapped up. He’ll need something wrapped, for sure, wrestling someone like Foxx.

DT: I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that. Foxx is small but has a lot of fire in her. Don’t count her or Kin Hiroshi out of this one, Mike.

DM: You know that Neely doesn’t care one way or another what I think, but my money’s on Hiroshi. “The Japanese Thunder” knows all about wrestling multiple matches on the same night.

DT: ….and with Adam Benjamin waiting in the wings for the winner, maybe Hiroshi is the perfect candidate.


EPW Television Title Semi-Finals
Foxx vs. Priest vs. Kin Hiroshi

[“Angelwitch” by Angelwitch blares over the EPW sound system. The crowd erupts as Foxx appears through the curtains. With hands raised in the air, she welcomes the cheers of her fans. She makes her way down to ringside and enters through the middle ropes. The ring announcer speaks.]

TF: Standing five feet nine inches tall and weighing in at 134 pounds, she hails from San Antonio, Texas. FOXX!

[The crowd pops again and dies quickly, anticipating the next participant.]

[“I Am the Bullgod” by Kid Rock blares as Priest exits the curtains. Mostly boos are audible as he and his manager Eisenkreuz follows him to the ring. He is slow to enter the ring as the announcer speaks.]

TF: Her first opponent, accompanied to the ring by his manager, Eisenkreuz, stands six feet tall and weighs in at 248 pounds. He hails from Detroit Rock City. He is. PRIEST!

[Again a chorus of boos.Priest is seen mouthing something in the direction of Foxx, but it is inaudible.]

[“Sigillum Diaboli” by H.I.M blares as Kin Hiroshi makes his way to the ring. The crowd shows a lot of support for him as he calmly makes his way to ringside. Grabbing the top rope, Hiroshi leaps over and into the ring. He bounces up and down a few times, attempting to warm up before the match.]

TF: The third and final participant in this three-way for the right to wrestle for the EPW Television Title stands six feet tall and weighs in at 235 pounds. He hails from Tokyo, Japan and is known to wrestling fans everywhere as “The Japanese Thunder”. KIN HIROSHI!

[Crowd pops for Hiroshi and anxiously anticipates the start of the match.]

DT: The bell just sounded and the match is underway. All three participants not looking to make the first move as they stare each other down.

MN: If mind games are what they are each looking to play with each other, then Priest will get the better of the opening exchanges.

DT: As if right on cue, Priest is talking to Foxx yet again. You can see the anger boiling inside of her. She jumps onto Priest! Rights and lefts as she hammers away on his face. Hiroshi just standing there watching as Priest staggers backwards.

MN:Not a bright move from a not so bright person. Foxx has all that fire in her because she can’t get nothing else to fill.

DM: Priest is in the corner. He bounces off the off and. SPINEBUSTER! You can thank me later for actually following the match, Neely.

MN: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

DT:priest leads Foxx up by the hair only to have both of them double clotheslined over the top rope. The ref doesn’t say anything and Priest and Foxx are still on the outside rolling around.

DM:Hiroshi may have a good game plan right now, but he better stay away from those high impact moves he’s known to perform. But, here he goes. so early in the match and with the upperhand, no less. He’s climbing the ropes. Both Foxx and Priest are on their feet.

DT: I agree. Not a smart move at all. FLYING BODYPRESS! All three wrestlers are down, and it looks like it paid off for him this time.

DM:Yeah, this time. But look. he’s hurting, too.

MN: Wasabe looked like he banged his knee up a little on that move.

DM:Wasabe? Clever Neely. Just clever.

DT: Hiroshi not wasting anytime as he picks up the person he feels is the weakest. He’s got Foxx and rolls her into the ring. He has her in a headlock. DDT! Could he have her right here? The count.




MN: She won’t be down for the count until Priest decides she’s down for the count.

DM:Speaking of Priest, where is he?

MN: You don’t worry about him. He’ll be back in the ring before you know it.

DM:No, seriously. I don’t see the guy anywhere.

DT: Kin Hiroshi dropped a couple of quick elbow drops and is once again climbing the ropes. WAIT! Out of nowhere, Priest jumps Hiroshi from behind and hits him behinds the legs. Hiroshi now sitting straddle on the top turnbuckle. Priest with climbing to meet him and. TORNADO DDT! From the top rope. can you believe that?

DM:It’s always a roll of the dice with those high risk maneuvers. Hiroshi paid and now he’s leveled with the rest of the competition.

DT: Foxx was climbing the ropes on the opposite side. She looks behind her to gage where she’s going. FROG SPLASH! She frog splashed Hiroshi from halfway across the ring. Absolutely amazing!

DM:Amazingly stupid. Priest is already up and ready for Foxx. He’s stomping away on the back of her head.

DT: If Priest wasn’t there, this could very easily be a win for Foxx.

DM:She’s showing she’s tough. Maybe Lindsay Troy has some more female competition.

MN: Girl on girl. just the way I like it, especially when I make three.

DM:Don’t these jokes get old? I mean, even for you, Lame Neely?

DT: Priest whipping Foxx into the ropes. on her way back. SPEAR! Priest quickly picks her up. FISHERMAN’S SUPLEX! He goes for the cover!





Another amazing kickout by the 134 pound Texas girl.

MN: Priest is just playing with her right now. Trust me.

DM:Famous last words.

DT: Hiroshi and Priest slugging it out at the ropes. Hiroshi gaining the upperhand.

DM:Watch Foxx! She’s starting to pick herself up awfully quickly.

DT: Hiroshi leans back for a hard right hand.

DM:Foxx bouncing off the ropes.

DT: Foxx from behind! She hit’s Hiroshi, who slams into Priest. Priest is through the middle of the ropes. He’s tangled up!

Foxx rolls Hiroshi up!





MN: I can’t believe it. Priest needs a rematch! Priest needs a rematch! Make the TV Title match a three-way!

DM:[laughing.] No such luck, Neely.


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
DT: Looks like it’s Adam Benjamin and Foxx for the EPW Television Title! You’ll be seeing it before the night is over! Will Foxx be able to make it two in a row?

DM: I’m pulling for Benjamin, but you’ve gotta admit Foxx is turning some heads.

DT: And, coming up in just a couple moments here at Black Dawn….

[The arena lights go down, and then are replaced with a flurry of red and white lights covering the crowd.]


DT: This isn't what I was going to announce!

DM: Way to use the crystal ball, Thomas.

[Nickelback's "Figure You Out" begins to blast over the PA...

SFX: "I like your pants around your feet..."

And as the guitar comes in, a perfectly timed blast of red pyro goes off around the stage, and out walks Beast, the lovely Jessica by his side.]

DT: The crowd expressing their support for the former World Heavyweight Champion here!

MN: Of course! It's Loafy!

DM: Wait a second, guys... it's not ALL support!

[Just as Dean states, the cheers for the entrance turn into boos as Beast and Jessica stand on the stage, looking a little confused, but he shakes it off and begins heading to the ring.]

DT: A few weeks ago on Aggression, Beast was the victim of a prank by EPW Owner Dan Ryan, who forced Beast to wrestle a midget impersonating Beast! Beast finally had enough of Ryan's ridicule and snapped! He hurt that little Beast-let something awful!

MN: Mini-RAHR got what he deserved. I mean, if I dressed up like Beast and threw steaks at him, I'd likely get my ass kicked too!

[Beast hits the ring and requests a microphone. He is handed one, and he turns to the crowd, who continue to boo. Beast stands with his hands on his hips, trying to hide the look of disbelief on his face as he looks out at the crowd. He slowly raises the mic...]

Beast: If you remember what happened a few weeks back at Aggression...

[The crowd starts booing again.]

Beast: Now, hang on a minute. Back at Aggression, right here in this very ring... you all saw a side of Beast that comes out only once in a blue moon. I'm kind of an intense guy, but that...

[Beast pauses and looks down at the canvas a moment, before looking back up at the crowd.]

Beast: ... that was extreme.

But I've bet you've all been there, havent you? You've all been in that situation at one time or another. A boss just pushing you, never getting off your back. Finding a way to get at you, pushing all the right buttons and pissing you off until you can't take it any longer.

Each and every one of us has been there sometime. A child. A husband or a wife. A parent. A teacher. They just seem to keep at it.

But the thing is, everyone has a breaking point. That last push, that last shove, that last kick in the pants. And when that breaking point is reached...

Something's gotta snap.

[Beast looks down again and pauses.]

Beast: And that's exactly what happened.

[He looks back up to the crowd.]

Beast: I *snapped*.




I didn't see a midget there. I didn't see a midget trying to cut my legs out, or throwing steaks at me. In my eyes, I wasn't beating the living hell out of that little guy.

I was destroying Dan Ryan.

That wasn't a little Beast-let that I put through the table.

That was Dan Ryan's carcass.

I was blind to everything else. I didn't have a clue what I was doing. I was just so focused on Dan Ryan.

[Beast pauses once again.]

Beast: So, if you understand, I'd like to apologize to Beast-let. Sorry, little man. It was nothing personal.

But more importantly, I'd like to apologize...

[Beast points out to the crowd, and slowly turns around, sweeping out over the entire crowd.]

Beast: ... to each and every one of you.

[A thunderous pop fills the arena!!]

DT: It looks like Beast and the fans are back on the same page, folks!

MN: I think I'm gonna hurl.

Beast: I have to admit that I've let my quest for the EPW World Heavyweight Championship get in the way of my judgement, but now, I'm going to get my shot at that belt - the right way.

[Beast turns to leave the ring, but as he starts to step through the ropes, "Zero" by the Smashing Pumpkins plays over the PA, and EPW Owner Dan Ryan steps out onto the stage.]

MN: Holy crap!

DM: The boss is in the hizz-ouse!!

DT: Dan Ryan now coming down to the ring, and he doesn’t look very happy! Ryan with an annoyed look on his face as he climbs in and he’s demanding a microphone….

[Ryan makes a gesture to cut the music and raises the mic.]

Ryan: You know, Marcus. This is getting old really fast.

Beast: Yeah….it is, Dan. But you can’t change me, Dan. I am who I am.

[Cheers. Ryan rolls his eyes.]

Ryan: Give me a break, Marcus. I saw what you did to Beast-let two weeks ago. That apology doesn’t change it. I saw what you did for months in A1E. Would you like to forget the Revolution, Marcus? You’ve been able to hide your mean streak around here for a while now, but that time is over.

Beast: [Starting to lead Jessica toward the ropes] I’m through playing games, Ryan. I earned my title shot.

Ryan: Leave the ring and you’ll never come within twenty feet of the World Championship again.

[Boos. Beast stops in his tracks and turns back to Ryan.]

Ryan: As a matter of fact, it’s about time we cut to the chase. You’re right. Enough with the games. It’s about time we see exactly what your level of commitment is.

[Beast narrows his eyes and glares a hold in the EPW Owner.]

Ryan: [turning to look at crew members outside the ring] Gentlemen, if you would be so kind as to fetch me a table.]

[Loud murmuring in the crowd as a table is pulled from under the ring and slid in under the bottom rope. Ryan puts the microphone down and sets the table up near the far ropes, as Beast and Jessica look on intently.]

Ryan: Now then. You want the games to end. Well, now they end. Tonight is the night you find out if you get your shot at the gold again.

[Beast just looks directly at Ryan, no emotion.]

Ryan: Later tonight I’ll come out to this ring and make the announcement….

[Mixed cheers and boos. Ryan looks into the crowd, then smiles and turns back to Beast and Jessica.]

Ryan: But first…..I want you to put….[Ryan points at Jessica] HER….through the table.

DT: WHAT?? Is he joking???



[The camera catches Beast’s face as his expression turns from shock to pure a total anguish. He looks at Jessica and says “no way…there’s no way.” Jessica turns away and puts her hands on her hips as she paces the ring. Beast snatches the mic up.]

Beast: Forget it…..

[LOUD cheers. Beast waves Ryan off.]

Beast: There’s no way. Forget it. I’m outta here.

[HUGE pop as Beast starts to walk for the ropes…..when Jessica puts a hand out and stops him. Beast looks at her, confused. She takes the microphone.]

Jessica: Do it.


[The crowd gasps in shock. Dan Ryan’s eyebrows go up and a small grin comes at the corner of his mouth. Beast, for his part looks at Jessica, unbelieving.]

Jessica: Marcus….just do it.

[Beast turns away and starts to pace, angrily talking to himself. The crowd stirs loudly, wondering what he’ll do. Beast feels a hand on his shoulder, Jessica’s. He turns around, and she leans up and kisses him…then leans over. Beast flashes an angry stare at Ryan, then in a flash pulls Jessica up and send her through the table – leaving her lying unconscious among broken shards of wood.]

[The crowd GASPS…all at the same time.]

DT: I can’t believe it!! I can’t believe Beast just put his own girlfriend through a table!! What’s wrong with him?? Nothing’s worth that!!!

MN: She TOLD him to do it!!

[Ryan smiles and looks at Beast, who falls to his knees over Jessica and stares daggers through the owner. Ryan climbs out and makes his way up the ramp, tossing a glance over his shoulder with a smirk at Beast – who stays by Jessica’s side as EMTs arrive.]

DT: What an amazing turn of events!! Ladies and gentlemen, we’d like to point out a distinguished guest in the audience tonight. Someone that anyone who has followed the A1 circuit over the years would recognize….IRISH RED!!

[The camera cuts to Irish Red sitting front row on the far side of the ring. He raises a hand and winks at the camera as the crowd gives him a nice pop.]

DT: Coming up next it’s World Tag Team Title time as our champions Blitz take on The Entourage. After the attack earlier I’m sure Troy Windham’s boys will have payback on their minds.

DM: Absolutely. These guys aren’t pushovers.

DT: Let’s go up to the ring with Tony Fatora!!


EPW World Tag-Team Championship
Blitz (c) vs. The Entourage

[“Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand blares as August De La Rossi and Zoltan appear on stage.]

TF: This match is for one fall and is for the EPW World Tag Team Championship….first..weighing in at a combined five hundred pounds….Zoltan and August De La Rossi….THE ENNNNTOUURRAAAAGE!!!

[August and Zoltan walk to the ring and stay outside of it, mocking and goading fans around ringside.]

[Rammstein’s “Links 2-3-4” come over the speakers as the World Tag Team Champions, Blitz appear on the stage. Pyro comes down in sheets as they make their way to the ring and slide in under the bottom rope. Leonard Johnson for his part, climbs up the steps and swings himself through and in.]

TF: And their opponents….at a combined weight of six hundred sixty two pounds….the EPW WORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS…..Max and Jecht…..BLLLLITTTTTZZZZ!!!!

DT: Max and Jecht are in the ring as The Entourage hasn’t even made it into the ring yet….De La Rossi finally slides in, but Zoltan still on the apron jawing with fans….WAIT….MAX WITH A HUGE KNEE TO THE BACK OF ZOLTAN AND HE GOES FLYING INTO THE RAILING OUTSIDE!!!! DE LA ROSSI TURNS!!!

[SFX: Bell rings]




MN: Is this match OVER???

DT: Max just pinned De La Rossi in under five seconds and De La Rossi is BESIDE HIMSELF!!! HE CAN’T BELIEVE IT EITHER!! HE’S PLEADING HIS CASE TO THE REFEREE BUT THIS MATCH IS OVER!!!

DM: Wow. That’s just….that’s just amazing.

DT: De La Rossi out of the ring with Zoltan now and these people are actually LAUGHING!! De La Rossi is FUMING!! August with a microphone now!!


[August is pacing around the ring as Z.! is looking at him, wondering how they lost a match in under ten seconds.]

August: You all know that I was just BLACKBALLED! The EPW brass has it out for me because I say what's on my mind, because I say what YOU DUMBASSES NEED SOMEONE TO SAY! That ref counted a fast count INTENTIONALLY in an attempt to EMBARRASS ME! This wouldn't happen if this Troy Windham was here! Well, guess what? YOU WON'T HAVE AUGUST DE LA ROSSI TO KICK AROUND HERE ANYMORE! WE QUIT! We're going to go wrestle in promotions which RESPECT US and treat us FAIRLY! Let's go, Z.!

CROWD: Na na na na... na na na na... hey hey hey... goodbyyyeee.

DT: Wow! Has this already been a great night here on Pay-Per-View or what?


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
DM: That it has, Dave! I cannot believe this non-stop action that Empire Pro has put in front of us here. Not only that, Tariq Ismail is gone after throwing a shoe of all things….and The Entourage just walked out!!

MN: Well, prepare to be even more amazed, Matthews.

DT: He speaks the truth, Dean. This next matchup is one that has been over a year in the making.

DM: Ken Cloverleaf and “Sensational” Steven Shane have been literally at each other’s throats since Sensationally Perfect split up almost two years ago. They’ve seen each other in the ring, but never has the match ended without some sort of controversy to prove who the real leader of the team was.


Ken Cloverleaf vs. "Sensational" Steven Shane

[CUE UP: “The Wind Below” by Rage Against The Machine. Enter Ken Cloverleaf to massive heel heat.]

TF: The following contest is set for one fall…

Introducing first… from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania…KEEEENNNN CLOOOOOVERLEEEAFFF!!

DT: Well, if you ask this guy, he’s the reason for Sensationally Perfect being known as two-time tag team champions.

MN: Ask him? Ask anyone, Thomas. He single-handedly carried the team.

DT: That could be argued from more than one standpoint.

[CUE UP: “Damn” by Fabolous. Shane steps through the entranceway to a big face pop.]

DM: That’s true, because many would say that Shane’s versatility is what kept Sensationally Perfect in a lot of their matches.

DT: Versatility is a great word. His primary offense is to ground his opponent, but he can also up the ante and go to the air if need be.

DM: This is definitely going to be a great match, and one that not only I, but fans around the world have been waiting for.

DT: Well, they’re in the ring and ready to go. Here’s the ref calling for the bell.


DT: Here we go. Both men just simply giving a stare across the ring. You can literally feel the tension here throughout Madison Square Garden as these two prepare to finally meet each other.

DM: Well, here we go. Both men step to the middle of the ring as they now lock up in a collar and elbow tie-up.

DT: Shane quickly gets the upperhand as he presses Cloverleaf back into the ropes. The ref calls for a clean break…but Shane doesn’t give it to him! Big knife-edge chop!

DM: Well, he’s holding up Cloverleaf again…another chop!

DT: Steven Shane really taking it to Cloverleaf quickly. He now grabs Cloverleaf by the arm and gives him an Irish whip across the ring. Cloverleaf rebounds…into a big clothesline by Shane! There’s a cover…



…kickout by Cloverleaf!

DM: Shane maybe going for a pinfall a bit early there, but nonetheless, he is controlling the pace early here against Ken Cloverleaf.

DT: Shane pulls Cloverleaf back up quickly. He gives Cloverleaf a quick right to the head, followed by another Irish whip into the corner. Shane quickly follows Cloverleaf in and now he’s going to the second rope!




DM: Steven Shane is not taking any prisoners here tonight against his former tag team partner! Ten, well-aimed punches to Ken Cloverleaf’s head there to get things going!

DT: Well, Shane ducks back out of the corner. He now gives Cloverleaf a kick to the midsection, followed by a DDT! Shane will go for another cover here…



…kickout by Cloverleaf!

DM: Well, Shane seems a bit frustrated here, but I think he’s trying to go for the win a bit too early here.

MN: A bit too early? This is Ken Cloverleaf! There is no way this man is going to go down that easily.

DT: Well, Shane pulls Cloverleaf back up one more time here.

DM: But Cloverleaf quickly catches Shane with a fist to the midsection. Shane doubles over, and Cloverleaf clubs him down with a forearm to the back of the neck.

MN: Are you seeing what I’m saying, Matthews?

DT: Well, Cloverleaf taking the advantage here. He drives a hard right into Shane and now whips him into the corner…no! Shane reverses! Shane charges in…

DM: But Cloverleaf with a quick poke to the eye that has Shane stunned! Cloverleaf pulls himself to the second rope, and now catches Shane with a bulldog!

MN: And look at Cloverleaf pointing to his head! That’s him saying that no matter how hard Shane tries, he won’t be as smart as Cloverleaf. And he just proved it there!

DT: And now he’s staying on the attack to keep the momentum in his favor here. Yet another brilliant move by Cloverleaf. Right Neels?

MN: Hey, don’t get sarcastic with me because my pick is winning this match.

DT: When did you pick Ken Cloverleaf to win this match?

MN: The minute Sensationally Perfect broke up.

DM: So you foresaw this match coming?

MN: Didn’t everyone?

DM: But they didn’t part on bad terms. They were forced out of tag team action. How could you predict that?

MN: I guess some people are more gifted than others, Matthews.

DT: Well guys, back to the match. Cloverleaf has been working all over Shane’s knee here as my colleagues have verbally battled it out. He’s now currently got Shane’s leg contorted around his in an outstanding leg grapevine.

MN: Perfect, outstanding leg grapevine.

DT: Whatever Neels.

DM: Look at the pure agony on Shane’s face right now! If anyone in this business knows how to work over a knee, it’s Ken Cloverleaf.

DT: Well, he’s been doing this for years, and never has he strayed from that famed Texas Cloverleaf.

MN: That’s how the best do it. They find what works and stick with it.

DT: Well, he’s pulling Shane back up here. He backs him into the ropes and now whips him across the ring.

DM: Big dropkick to the knee there! And Shane met the mat very quickly there!

DT: Cloverleaf now pulls up Shane’s leg…and there’s an inverted Indian deathlock! Shane could give it up right here!

DM: The ref is down in Shane’s face, asking him if he wishes to quit.

[The camera zooms in on Shane’s grimacing face as his head shakes “no” vigorously.]

MN: Well, he’s saying no now, but he’ll be pleading for that bell to ring in just a few seconds.

DT: Oh my! Cloverleaf just fell to his back to apply even more pressure! Look at the veins popping out of Shane’s head!

DM: I’m not sure how much longer he can hold on here, Dave.

[Chants of “Let’s Go Shane! Let’s Go Shane!” protrude around the arena.]

DT: Well, Shane’s making a move for the ropes here. Let’s see if he can get to them…

Yes! Cloverleaf must break the hold.

DM: Oh come on! He’s not letting go!



DT: And now he lets it go! Come on!

MN: He has to the count of five.

DT: That’s not the point! The ref told him to break the hold four seconds ago. There’s no reason to hold onto it that long!

DM: Regardless, Cloverleaf still has a huge advantage right now, and I’m not sure if Steven Shane is going to be able to get back to his feet, let alone find a way to win this match.

DT: That is very true, Dean. And now, Cloverleaf is pulling Shane back up to his feet, which is about the only way Shane can be vertical right now. He backs him into the ropes and gives him an Irish whip across the ring.

DM: Oh come on! Cloverleaf just took off on a full sprint and sent a shoulder block to Shane’s already injured knee. He could have hyper extended that knee into submission right there!

DT: Well, the ref is trying to check on Shane…and damnit! Cloverleaf butts his way right back into the match. He could have had the match won had the ref been given time to evaluate Shane’s physical capability.

MN: But this man does not like Steven Shane. It isn’t about wins and losses, because he has those over him already. All he cares about is hurting this man.

DT: Well, he’s doing a good job here as now he locks Shane in a figure four! Shane is writhing in pain here! How much more can that knee take?

DM: And the other thing is that Shane is stuck right in the middle of the ring. He has nowhere to go.

DT: And now Cloverleaf is grabbing hold of the ropes, using his own placement to his advantage!

DM: You’ve got to think that a man like Cloverleaf knows how to work this leg and where he should be in the ring at all times. Here he was smart enough to realize that if Shane was in the middle of the ring and he were on one of the outsides, he could take advantage of the ref’s placement when he checked on Shane.

MN: That’s why he’s Empire Pro’s only Perfect, Outstanding Superstar, Matthews.

DT: Look out! Shane’s shoulders are down…



…and Shane sits up! He’s writhing in pain, but he somehow manages to sit up.

DM: And the pressure on that knee is becoming unbearable. Shane may be able to stay up for now, but sooner or later he could easily pass out from all that pain.

DT: He’s down again…



…three…NO! He’s up! What kind of fight does this man still have left in him?

MN: Probably enough to keep from passing out, but there is no fight left for him to win this match. The ref should call it now and save Shane’s knee a little damage.

[Again, the chants of “Let’s Go Shane! Let’s Go Shane” ring throughout the arena.]

DT: Listen to this crowd getting behind Steven Shane here! I think he may be feeling some of it too!

DM: It certainly appears that way. Shane’s arm is up, and he’s looking to turn over Cloverleaf here, I believe.

DT: Well, he’s on his side. Cloverleaf is trying to grab those ropes again…but the ref kicks his hand off!

MN: That’s cheating! Cloverleaf was trying to break the hold!

DM: Neels, he is the one with the hold locked in right now. So, in essence, I guess you’re right. It is cheating, but from the Cloverleaf side.

DT: Well, Shane is still on his side. Now he’s almost over…yes! He rolled it over! All the pressure is being applied to Ken Cloverleaf now! And Ken breaks the hold to save his own knee!

DM: Both men are getting up slowly here! Ken is up, but Shane is limping right towards him!

DT: There’s a right by Cloverleaf. Blocked by Shane! And Shane follows it with a right of his own!

DM: Cloverleaf swings again…blocked! And Shane sends him reeling into the ropes with another right!

DT: Shane backs Cloverleaf down. He gives him a whip into the ropes…big clothesline! Shane is feeling it here as he has come back to life!

MN: He’s making a mistake here though. He’s waiting on Cloverleaf to get back to a vertical base. Attack this man!

DT: He’s waiting…Cloverleaf is up! Shane charges! Oh my!

DM: Ken Cloverleaf just took Steven Shane down again with that chop block to the knee!

DT: And now he’s signaling for the end of the match! He’s walking over to Shane’s feet. It could be…

DM: What’s this? Ken Cloverleaf isn’t going for the Texas Cloverleaf here. He’s going for the…California Clutch? Are you kidding me? That’s Steven Shane’s submission hold!

DT: Well, he’s got Shane’s legs locked. Now he’s trying to turn him over…

DM: But Shane presses him off into the ropes! Cloverleaf quickly fires back, but Shane ducks a clothesline!

DT: California Dream! Shane just nailed Cloverleaf with the California Dream! He’s going for the pin…





TF: Ladies and gentlemen, here is your winner… “Sensational” Steven Shane!

[The crowd pops through the roof.]

DM: Are you kidding me? Steven Shane just somehow came out of nowhere and upended the enormous amount of offense that Ken Cloverleaf had built here to win this match!

MN: I think his shoulder was up.

DT: There was no doubt about that one, Neels. Once Shane hit that California Dream, it was lights out for Ken Cloverleaf.

DM: Well, Ken Cloverleaf made a comment about Steven Shane’s t-shirt slogan this week, but in the end, he was just another one that Shane can add to the list of people’s he’s put to sleep.

DT: Folks, this has been an outstanding pay-per-view! And guess what! We’ve still got more great action coming up!


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
[CUE UP: “Zero” by Smashing Pumpkins as Dan Ryan steps out onto the stage and stares into the crowd to a loud ovation.]

DT: Dan Ryan is out here as we come back, and you gotta wonder what he’s up to?

DM: No telling. But his imprints are all over this show tonight. He’s made it a priority to see that everything runs smoothly and the fans get what they came for.

[Ryan makes it to the ring and calls for a microphone as soon as he gets in.]

Ryan: Ladies and gentlemen, tonight we have a very distinguished guest with us. And no, I’m not talking about Irish Ted….

[The camera cuts to Irish Red in the audience, shaking his head with a smirk and roll of the eyes, then back to Ryan.]

Ryan: No, this is a man who has made himself a part of the show several times over the past few months. A man who had the sheer balls to break into this company through a loophole that Paul Freeman left in a standard contract and made a spectacle of himself. And for that, I offer up my respect. So tonight….I’d like a warm welcome for…..HORNET WINZ!!!!1111 HORNET WINZ!!!!1111

[Suddenly out comes running the skinny kid dressed like Hornet from weeks past. He runs to the ring and slides in under the bottom rope, then lets out a blood curdling “OWWWWWWW!!!!!!!”. Ryan winces a bit, but doesn’t move. The kid runs the ropes and trips coming off, slamming face first to the mat, but quickly gathers himself up and stands in the middle of the ring all jumpy. The people laugh.]

Ryan: Yeah…thanks for being here.

[HORNET WINZ!!!11 smiles and gives a thumbs up, then pulls Ryan’s mic to himself.]


Ryan: [frowning] Don’t do that.

[The kid mouths the words “sorry”.]

Ryan: As I was saying, you are my distinguished guest tonight. As a matter of fact, you’ve created quite a fanbase for yourself. I’ve been getting letters, getting phonecalls all from people eager to meet you. So what I did was conduct a little….oh….private contest so to speak…..whereby one lucky winner would get to meet you live in the ring here at Black Dawn.

[HORNET WINZ!!!111 smiles and kinda gayily hops back and forth from foot to foot.]

Ryan: In fact….

[The crowd just ERUPTS….as a man in a long trenchcoat and baseball cap slips through the crowd and climbs over the guardrail, then climbs into the ring behind the kid.]




Ryan: ….in fact……he’s already here.

[HORNET WINZ!!!!111 looks confused as the man behind him slowly takes off the trenchcoat. The man pulls off the baseball cap to fully reveal what everyone had already noticed….the trademark facepaint, the hair cut close……HORNET.]


DM: I really REALLY hope that kid has life insurance….

Ryan: Turn around, kid.

[The kid turns around and goes absolutely limp as he stares at Hornet glaring down at him.]

Ryan: Wait, did I say he was a fan? By fan I meant….not amused with your impersonation.

[Suddenly the kid gets a burst of courage and dashes into the ropes and flies at Hornet, bouncing off and catching himself on the ropes, stun-gunning himself in the process.]

Ryan: [Looking at Hornet] Paul? He’s all yours…

[Ryan smiles and climbs out of the ring as Hornet raises a fist and looks into the crowd to a thunderous ovation.]

DT: Dan Ryan has delivered this kid up to Hornet!! Perhaps the biggest star in the history of this sport!!

DM: Oh man….poor poor kid….well, I guess humor only gets you so far.

DT: Hornet over to the kid now and pulling him to his feet….HARD IRISH WHIP TO THE CORNER!!! HE’S CALLING FOR IT!!!!

[Hornet: “OWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!”]


MN: This isn’t fair!! The kid was just having some fun!!

DM: You wanna be the one to tell that to Hornet?

MN: Uhh…..what? wait….where am I? I’ve been sleepwalking again!!


DM: This is wrestling’s version of a spanking, guys. Nothing more, nothing less.

DT: Hornet now releasing the hold and pulling the kid to his feet!! He’s got him by the hair and just tosses him over the ropes and to the floor!! I dare say this is a night this kid will never forget!!

DM: Nor will these fans!

DT: Hornet standing tall in the ring and listen to this ovation!!

[Hornet fetches his coat and climbs out of the ring, walking past the kid and throwing a smirking glance down at him as he walks up the ramp. He pauses once more at the top as the crowd salutes him once again, then goes through the curtain.]

DT: Just amazing, guys! I gotta tell ya, if you told me that Hornet…the real Hornet would be here tonight I would’ve called you crazy. The man rarely ventures out of CSWA, so this is a rare treat indeed.

MN: O-VER-RATED……O-VER-RATED….O-VER…..uh….rated….

DM: Yeah, you’re a one man chant there Neely. I don’t think you’re gonna be able to get that one started.

MN: Kiss ups.


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
DT: Gentlemen, as EPW continues to grow and become one of the premiere federations in the world, we have to look back at the contributions of the men and women who have put on spectacles and shed the blood, sweat, and tears to allow us to be selling out Madison Square Garden. Two men who come to mind, Joey Melton and Cameron Cruise: the Cameron Cruise Project; One of, if not the greatest tag team in recent memory. They set box office records, are brought new viewers to this company. Mike, Dean… The Cameron Cruise Project for almost two years were EPW as much as anyone else. Now, they battle for the championship of each other.

MN: Did you say Cameron Cruise and Box office records in the same sentence together?

DM: I thought he did.

DT: It’s about respect, the perceived lack of respect they never got from the other. It’s a pity to say one of the great teams come down to this, a cage match to see who the weak link was, but here we are, loser must get on the house mic afterwards and say he respects the other man.

MN: That’s long what I’ve wanted written in Dean’s contracts. To end each broadcast with him verbally respecting you and I, Dave. Seems fair.

DM: How’s that working out for you?


Cameron Cruise Project EXPLODE~ Steel Cage Match
Cameron Cruise vs. Joey Melton

[MUSIC CUEUP: “Stand Up” – Trapt]
[A tidal wave of emotion rides through the Garden as Cameron Cruise steps out of the stage entrance, stops a the top of the stage and salutes the crowd. Cameron fists pounds a few lucky fans, who won’t wash for weeks now, the sweat of Cameron Cruise blended into their skin, but the former IC champion walks with a decided purpose and without Mercedes.]

DT: A surprise here, no Mercedes accompanying Cruise.

MN: Never a good idea to leave the brain behind. But, hey, maybe Cruise knows something I don’t.

DM: That’s almost a given.

[Cruise acknowledges the fans again, takes a deep breath and steps through the cage door. He has Joey Melton alone, at last.]

[MUSIC CUEUP: “I Need A Hero” – Bonnie Tyler]

DT: You know somewhere, at this very moment Rod Stewart is watching Black Dawn and cringing.

[Born in New York, New York, Melton struts out, bathing in the hometown reaction from the Garden fans. Joey turns as sparklers set off on opposite sides of him, his back turned towards the cage and the fans. The pyrotechnics reflect beautifully in the diamond studs embedded in his illustrious black robe. Melton has his own robe guy in New York. You know you’ve made it in this business when you have a robe guy; so few ever do. Joey walks straight down the center of the aisle, sneering at outstretched fans and looking at his watch as if to imply he won’t miss dinner reservations.]

MN: That’s class, Dave. New York class.

DT: Gimme a break.

DM: Mike sit down and stop clapping.

MN: This man is the reason your crack habit continues to be fed.

DM: By all means then…. JOEY!

[Melton looks up at Cruise inside the cage and laughs. THIS is the man he’s supposed to draw money with tonight. It’s a PPV. Melton wonders if Ryan’s forget Black Dawn isn’t a regional television broadcast. Joey disrobes, carefully folding his precious neatly, before handing it off to an underpaid staffer.]

DT: Joey Melton entering the cage! You can feel the electricity in the Garden!

MN: The type usually reserved for Bassmaster Expos, and tournaments.

DT: Those do, do well here I understand. Melton inside with Cruise, and we’re seconds away! Last minute thoughts guys?

DM: No.

MN: Luckily Dean doesn’t get paid by the word, nor Cruise by time of match. I don’t see this one going more than a few ticks of the clock. It’s a PPV event, Dave, and Melton lives for this big moments.

DT: Madison Square Garden on its feet for this one, the anticipation has reached a fever pitch! Weeks in the making, it’s Cameron Cruise and Joey Melton from Madison Square Garden!

[Mike Shannon, an EPW rules official locks the steel cage with a pad lock from the outside, violently shaking the cage door to the New York crowd’s delight for confirmation that Cruise and Melton have no way out.]

MN: A hometown hero vs. a noted racist and leader of Arian nation! Feels just like the Saturday Morning Serials of your youth, aye Dean? Melton just needs a Redskin painstakingly reading his lines at his side and we can wrap this up in thirty minutes.

DM: And we all wear the mask tonight. Each of us has something to hide, an emotional pain that cuts too deep to share. Maybe we can all be heroes Neely.

[Joey grabs the top rope and leans back, stretching his aging body, hoping it responds. Cruise jogs in the place, beaming at the steel enclosure that’s brought he and Melton back together.]


[The Garden reacts at the ring bell, and the gladiators inching towards one another, and a kill.]

DT: Cruise and Melton slowly measuring each other, Collar and Elbow Tie-up! Both men fighting for position, Cameron on his heels, no! Melton’s sent flying into the corner! Joey taken back by the strength of Cruise, reaches for the steel cage and tests it’s validity. He’s not going anywhere for the time being.

MN: So does this mean Cruise is the strong of the two? Which one can get to the bottom of a Tootsie Pop first? I need to know these things.

DT: Tie-up in the center of the ring, Melton’s low, knees bent for leverage. Cruise backs up two steps, Joey’s red faced, everything he owns is in this, he wants to keep the upper hand on Cruise even at this early juncture!

MN: Once you let the dog sleep upstairs, he’ll want up there every night. Joey knows he has to put Cameron to bed early, and not let the mutt test his boundaries. Why is Dad giving me hell in my headset for using ‘Redskin?’

DM: You’re still live, idiot. This is why Dave and I campaigned for controlling your safe button.

DT: Cruise backed a third step, but he powers forward, TOSSING Joey to the mat, legs up and over his head! Cameron turns his back to Melton, and poses for him! And the hearts of young women collectively swoon!

MN: And Dean’s as well. I’ll be honest, that man is sexy. More than a few times my wife has mentioned bringing him home…

DT: Please! Joey slaps the turnbuckle in disgust. We’re a minute in, and he’s been bested by Cruise twice already. He’s complaining to the ref about something…

DM: He wants a piss check right here. I like the gamesmanship, test Cruise for steroids or smack during the match itself.

DT: If Joey’s displeased with the ref, he has nobody to blame but himself. Connor Button is the man in charge, and this is his first EPW event! He’s a Carnival employee, who’s worked hundreds of Melton’s cruise ship charades. Er, matches. Point being, as Joey aggressively dives at Cruise and locks up for a third time, that Button’s a yes-man with no formal experience.

MN: I’d call working Melton matches on the high seas a great experience. I bet he even gets to keep the women after Joey maims and abuses them first.

DT: Oh Geez. Cruise backing Melton up, but he goes down hard! Come on! Joey clearly had a hand full of hair!

[Garden crowd loves it, as Joey works Cruise over with an arm bar.]

MN: Let’s not be accusatory for once Thomas, how bout that? Button thought it was a fair move, that’s good enough for me!

DT: Joey bringing Cruise to near tears as he rams a knee into the back of Cameron’s elbow! Button’s not on the EPW payroll, Mike. It’s a fair bet Joey paid his way here! How Ryan let him get away with this…

[Cruise struggles to his feet, with the crowd behind him, he reaches with rage colored eyes for Melton’s blonde locks, but Joey again takes liberty with the rules and yanks Cameron to the mat.]

DM: If the kid’s family buys the PPV, that’s a meal, or new dress for Alaina Troy. It’s called aggressive marketing.

DT: Melton with Cameron’s right arm laid out like a six foot sub on the mat, DRIVES his left knee into Cruise’s elbow! I know EPW rings are more forgiving that others, but Joey’s on the verge of breaking his former partner’s arm!

MN: As long as Mercedes still has two, Cammy’s marriage will remain in good shape.

DT: Joey lifts Cruise to his feet, twists under Cruise’s right arm, elbow on elbow and the former IC champion folds like a tent! Joey wrapping Cameron’s arm over the top rope, what’s he doing here?

DM: Going for a submission? Just a guess.

MN: What Dean said. This match already is boring me. I was promised Troy and Mercedes suspended in cages 35 feet in the air. Why was that suggestion vetoed?

DT: Melton pulling like hell on Cruise’s arm, his feet through the middle ropes and supported by the cage! The agony on Cameron’s face!

MN: Oh, he could’ve saved a bunch of money on car insurance by switching to Geico but didn’t!

DT: Button’s not even counting! Come on! That’s a five count right there. If he’s going to be in an EPW ring he has to enforce the rules!

[Cruise is pale in the face, the tendons in his arm searing with pain.]

MN: Hey, we don’t know how they do things on the Pacific Ocean, do we? Have an open mind, and learn something Thomas. My bet is you were always the one who questioned the exchange student’s study habits.

DT: Cruise with his foot on the middle rope, he’s climbing the ropes! Both feet on the cage, HEADBUTT! Cameron shot off the cage and cracked Joey in the head with his! Melton’s dazed, worse he may be busted open as Cruise crumples to the mat in a heap, holding his arm like a newborn baby.

DM: If the arm’s broke he has to end it, but Cameron’s too aware of the stipulation. The loser has get on the house mic and say he respects the other. How many times in the last few weeks ahs Cruise thought to himself, “I’d rather lose my right arm than say that.” Well, fate’s pretty literal sometimes.

DT: Melton is indeed bleeding slightly from a cut on the left side of his forehead. He walks to Cameron, twists under the arm, KNIFE EDGE CHOP! And Cruise rocks back on his heels! Melton under the arm again, BACKFLIP by Cruise, Cameron twists under, ELBOW TO ELBOW and Joey falls to his knees! Cameron grabs a handful of Melton’s hair and holds his face in place…short jabs by Cruise, needling into Melton’s forehead.

DM: I like the move. Open Melton up, get some blood in those eyes. Go for a TKO of your own.

DT: Cruise falls directly back, bounces off the ropes and clotheslines Joey! Melton withering on his back in pain, Cruise off the ropes, LEG DROP! He motions to Button to cover, the pin…ONE….TWO….NO! Joey’s up. Melton to his feet in a hurry to stem the damage, right hand by Cruise! Joey fires a left! Right by Cruise! Right by Cruise! STANDING DROPKICK! And Melton’s caught in the ropes!

MN: I once saw a kid get his neck caught like this, and nearly choke to death! The good news here is Melton can breath, I guess.

DT: The Unifier’s kicking and screaming, barking orders to Button for help, but he’s not going anywhere! The Crowd on it’s feet, they realize Cruise has a free shot! Cameron, playfully strutting in front of Melton, licking his chops, how he’s waited for this, to have Melton as a punching bag, unable to fight back. Cruise right hook! Joey’s eyes are an impression of a pinball machine right now. He’s on TILT! Cruise drops to his knees, smirks to the crowd, no, show some mercy…NUT SHOT!

MN: That’s like cutting Samson’s hair. Son of a *****!

DM: Oh those don’t really hurt. Mike, let me show you..

MN: Get off me you queer.

DT: Cruise, tucking Joey’s legs under the bottom rope, leaving him exposed! As much as I enjoy seeing Joey get his, I am a firm believer in fair play.

MN: It’s a cage match, Thomas. No ***** footing around.

DT: Cameron off the ropes, running kick to Joey’s gut! Melton’s lifeless! The Garden’s rocking, they sense it’s over! I have to agree. Melton’s on dream street, and there’s nothing he can do!

DM: At least Cotton’s realizing the urgency and has gotten his cue.

[Button feverishly works to free a sleepy Melton.]

DT: Cruise sees he’s smartened up as well, Cameron NECKBREAKER on Button!

MN: Careful, the man isn’t even legally supposed to be in the ring.

DT: What the hell?

[Adrian Evans, aka Little Voltron cuts across the Garden skyline on a pulley. The crowd watches as Evans races to the cage, hovers over it, his legs flailing to find a good landing, then helplessly shoots past the ring altogether and exits stage right.]

DT: Adrian Evans…what the…

MN: [laughing] That drop would’ve killed him!

DM: The little ****’s probably still racing around the arena. Wow.

DT: Cruise, laughing to himself, and at Melton. You can see the pity in Cruise’s eyes. This is what the great Joey Melton has come to! Plan B is a midget dropping like manna from the sky.

[Cruise delivers a knee to Joey’s chest.]

MN: There was a time when Melton could out think anyone. I…I remember those times. How the mighty have fallen.

[Cotton struggles to his feet, unsure of where he’s at.]

DT: Cameron in Joey’s grill talking, at this point he just has to free Melton and pin him. And it’s all justly deserved! The way Melton’s belittled Cruise leading up to this match has been shameful.

[Cotton Button reaches in his pants, and pulls out a plastic bag. Before the crowd can alert Cruise, Button leaps on his back and ties off a plastic bag around Cameron’s head.]


DM: Martial arts kick to Cameron’s kidney! Button with a kick to the back of Cruise’s head and Cameron’s out!!

MN: Sometimes guys, the greats just get better with age.

DT: Nonsense! This is an outrageous! Button freeing Melton, and the Unifier collapses to his feet! He’s out! Easy for the pickens, if Cruise didn’t have to fight off a second man! THE BLASTED REF OF THIS MATCH!

DM: Kinda hard to imagine Cruise forcing him to count three now, huh?

DT: Joey’s bleeding like a stuck pig, and has no idea where he’s at, but Button’s viciously attacking Cameron Cruise! Kicking away at the former IC and Tag champion! Cameron Cruise needs air! Somebody!

[Melton staggers to his feet, with the aid of the ropes. Standing, leaning against the turnbuckle, he wipes blood off his face and searches for composure.]

DT: Button spinning roundhouse kick! This can’t be happening! Dammit this is EPW’s biggest stage, and Melton and this buffoon who Kathy Lee Gifford probably hired personally are ruining it!

DM: When did Dave go on his period, Mike?

MN: When is he NOT?

DT: Shut up you two! Now, Cruise being thrown head first into the steel cage! Goodness! Mercy to Betsy, he’s probably dead right now.

MN: One less stiff on the payroll. Now if we can just get rid of Matthews…

DT: Melton walks to Button, a grin the size of Texas on his face. How can he possibly be pleased with what he’s done here tonight?

MN: You mean get the upper hand?

[Button and Melton gleefully embrace, as the crowd boos.]

DT: Shut up. Cotton drags Cruise to his feet and holds ups arms behind him! Melton rips off the bag, ohmy! Cruise is busted open, and he looks half-dead. Joey right hand to the mush! Melton now, dancing around like he’s the second coming of Ali and peppering Cruise with jabs! Cruise is finished!

MN: He just spat up blood. He’s breathing, so he’s got that going for him which is nice.

DT: Melton and Button….send Cruise head first into the cage! Cameron crawling for the ropes, he wants out of the ring. Button sweeps his legs up as Cruise hangs on to the ropes! Melton, no, come on Joey, he pulls Cotton’s belt off him…Joey WHIPPING Cameron Cruise like a dog!

MN: Called it.

DM: Very nice.

DT: Joey’s very clearly lost his mind tonight. This is pathetic.

DM: It’s been brewing for weeks, Dave. You could see it. Cruise hadn’t gotten under Melton’s skin. He’d dared break away, and make steps to leave Melton behind. What you’re seeing tonight is Joey Melton give a lesson to a punk who dearly needs one.

DT: I don’t believe that. Melton holding Cruise up by the legs now, Cotton off the ropes, VEG-A-MATIC! Another warm embrace as even this New York crowd, Melton’s people, are turning against him. Joey covers, arrogantly, ONE….TWO….come on! Melton picking Cruise’s head off the mat, shaking his fingers no.

MN: What are you talking about? Cruise powered out!

DT: He did not! Joey whips Cruise into the ropes, POWER SLAM! Cameron barely made it across the ring. He’s going on instinct right now.

DM: What instincts, set yourself up for an ass kicking. You wonder if Ryan ever marketed a talking dummy of Cruise, what’d it say?

MN: That’s sorta like Jumbo Shrimp, if you stop to think about it.

DT: Joey has Cruise to his feet, hooks the lights, VERTICAL SUPLEX! No! Cruise blocked it! I don’t believe it! Suplex attempt again, NO! BLOCKED! Button with a forearm to Cameron’s back! A cheap shot! VERTICAL SUPLEX and Cruise is down this time! How can Cruise be expected to fight off two men when…

MN: He’s spent his entire career struggling to beat one?

DT: Don’t put words in my mouth Neely!

DM: Well-said Dave.

DT: Melton barking orders to Cotton who races to the top rope. Cruise needs some help out here.

MN: From who? Hiroshi? When you look as good as Cruise does, and smell better, there aren’t a lot of men on the ready to take up your cause. We’re jealous creatures. We men.

DT: Melton and Button working seamlessly together, and why shouldn’t they with hundreds of cruises under their belt. Joey Side-Russian Leg Sweep and Button off the top with a FROG SPLASH! Look at Button begging Melton for the pin. The idiot wants to count himself over Cruise.

MN: Is that legal?

DT: None of this is!

DM: No, this is legal. What Mike did with his cousin last night wasn’t.

MN: I get nervy during Hurricane Season, cut me a break.

DT: Melton kicking Button off Cruise, apparently in his mind this hasn’t gone on long enough. Cruise propped up in the corner, arms thrown over the ropes like anchors. Knife Edge Chop by Melton! Another! Button and Melton each grab a hand and whip Cruise into the opposite corner, Cameron bounces HARD out of the corner, Button and Melton charge, DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE! Cameron just flung himself in the air and clotheslined both men!

[Cameron’s act of life recharges the Garden crowd.]

DT: That may have been everything Cruise had left to spend right there, but he fired the shot.

MN: See, all your whining for nothing. Cameron’s still fighting. It’s a fair fight.

DT: It’s two on one!

[Button jumps to his feet as Melton lingers, and stomps like a man mad as hell at his own shadow.]

MN: Blame Ryan, he hired the man!

DT: Camel clutch by Button, ripping Cameron’s neck right off it’s hinges. Joey in Cameron’s face giving him the business! Be a man and take Cruise by yourself, come on! Joey motions to Button, they’re going to try it again.

DM: He’s just letting Cameron know where he belongs. The man spent the better part of two years following Melton around like a lap dog, asking how high when Joey said Jump. You almost can’t blame him for forgetting he’s a pawn.

DT: Cruise thrown into the opposite corner a second time, Melton and Button run in, Cruise rolls under, off the ropes, FLYING BODY PRESS! He’s got Melton down, and Button’s head is pinned underneath!

[Out of agony at being pinched under Cruise’s body, Cotton slaps the mat hard twice, essentially counting Melton. The crowd realizes what’s happening, and counts off with Button’s hand.]

DT: He’s going to pin Melton! No! Joey reaches in desperation and grabs his stooges hand! What an idiot! Melton kicks out, and sends Cruise over Button.

MN: That poor kid would have never lived that one down.

DM: Or worked the North Korea tour for Melton again.

DT: Joey angrily drops and elbow over Cameron’s back. Cruise’s right foot in his hands, Joey pulls his former tag partner in the center of the ring, figure four time you better believe. Melton hooks the leg, but Cruise counters, SMALL PACKAGE! [Fans pop hard, then realize there’s no one to count] ONE…TWO….Where’s Cotton!?.

MN: You still think he’s going to count these pins for Cruise? Dave, really?

DT: Melton tackles Cruise into a corner, driving his left knee into Cameron’s gut! A Knife Edge Chop! HIP TOSS! Joey points to the top of the cage, and Button gleefully starts to scale the cage like a cat. Melton steadies Cruise on his back, in the center of the ring, his legs in Melton’s firm grip. Look at that kid climb!

DM: He’s a jack of all trades, more or less.

DT: He’s a jack something. Cotton, perched on the top, he’s gonna stand on the top of the cage!

[Fans jump to their feet. Spot of the show here.]

MN: Is it any wonder Joey sails Carnival when, evidently, this is the quality of help you’re provided? Say what you want Dave, but this kid’s a strong endorsement for his company.

DT: Please. Button smirks at the Garden faithful, here he goes!

[As Button flies off the top of the cage, Cruise uses his leg strength to pull a distracted Melton into his body, then schooling him up, as Cotton misses the pair and brutally hits the mat.]

[Big pop.]

DT: Cruise with the pin! I don’t believe it!

[Button doubled over in pain angrily slaps the mat, again counting the pin on Melton.]

DT: ONE……TWO……kick out! So close! Melton’s livid.

MN: I didn’t say he was the employee of the month, mind you.

DT: Melton leads Cotton by the throat into the corner. Displeased doesn’t do the look on Melton’s face justice!

MN: If this kid’s not union, he just lost his benefits.

DT: Melton and his stooge really getting into it! This kid’s giving as good as he’s getting.

[As Melton and Botton argue, a weary Cruise climbs the cage.]

DM: I don’t how smart that is for long term employment, you know Mike.

MN: He’s union, no doubt about it.

[Fans lose their minds, both Joey and Cotton think the pop is for them, and they intensify their lecture.]

DT: CAMERON CRUISE! Cruise scaling the cage, he’s on top and Melton doesn’t see him! A false move and the man could fall to his death!

MN: Dean, help me blow….

DT: Cruise be careful! OH!! Cruise HURRICANERANA and Melton’s thrown like a dead weight across the ring!!

[The Garden EXPLODES.]

[Button not wasting a second, leaps backwards on the middle turnbuckle and flies off at Cruise.]

DT: Cameron catches Cotton! ATOMIC DROP! He whips Button across the ring, off the ropes, SPINEBUSTER! Will you listen to this crowd!!? Melton gamely to his feet, but he’s rubber at this point. Cruise, SWINGING NECKBREAKER!

MN: Cameron, remember the good times you and Joey used to share. Show mercy. He’s old. Brittle. A high-insurance risk.

DT: The Crippler pulls Cotton Button to Melton and lays his body over Joey’s! He’s pointing to the top again! Don’t risk it! Cameron no!

[As quickly as he can, Cruise climbs to the top of the cage, as the fans exchange high fives with one another.]

DT: Cameron trying to steady himself on the top of the cage, he’s playing with fire if you ask me.

MN: Don’t listen to him Cameron! Jump! Jump!


[Cameron sits up beside the bodies, and bathes in the Garden’s “Cam-ron Cruise” chant.]

DT: He did it! Cruise, falls back, but no cover! [Cruise grabs Button’s weightless left hand and slams it to the mat] Yes! ONE…..TWO….TH---- [Melton miraculously grabs it before it hits.] That was it! That had to be all!

MN: Don’t discount Melton’s resolve to NOT lose to Cameron Cruise. It’s part of what fuels everyone in EPW.

DM: There ya go Dave. Help’s on the way.

[The crowd cheers wildly as Mercedes runs down the aisle, in knee-high black leather boots, a tight black mini-skirt, and a Ref’s top.]

DT: Cruise’s wife, Mercedes Devon! Has she been sanctioned?

[Mercedes frantically yells at Shannon to open the cage door and let her in.]

MN: Does it matter at this point?

DT: Mercedes is in! Much to Cruise’s dismay.

MN: ***** follows him everywhere, really. Honey, it’s called a hobby, look into it.

DM: Never get married. Seriously.

DT: Cruise knows a steel cage is nowhere for a woman to be! He’s trying to usher he back out and onto the sidelines.

MN: I can hear Troy’s nails digging into someone’s back, Dave. Nice.

DT: Mercedes pleading her case, but Cameron’s putting his foot down!

DM: Evidently he does wear the pants in the family. Interesting. Family secrets revealed at Black Dawn.

DT: From behind Melton tackles Cruise who collapses on his wife! Mercedes head cracked back against the top turnbuckle. Cruise was right, get her out of there!

MN: What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. Let’s get some blood out of her.

DT: Mike! Melton suplexes Cruise into the cage, and Cameron’s body falls outside the ropes! Joey side-stepping Mercedes’ body, bends Cameron back first over the ropes, NECKBREAKER and Cruise shoots head first into the cage!

DM: Melton would raise a notch in my book if he gets Mercedes to count her own husband out. That’d be classic.

DT: You better believe Joey’s thinking along the same lines. Melton grating Cruise’s busted face across the cage like a slab of cheddar cheese. Button drives over Mercedes, BRONCO BUSTER! That’s over the line!

MN: Think of it as therapy for the Cruise marriage. Button’s getting Mercedes worked up then sending her home to Cammy. Even he might be able to close that deal.

DT: Joey and Cotton communicating through hand signals. They’re either about to land the L.A. to New York flight, or…

MN: Beat the crap out of Cruise.

[Melton lays Cameron’s neck over the ropes.]

DT: Joey shoots Cotton across the ring. Melton on all fours, Button in the air, off Joey’s back…OH! Cruise dropped to the mat and Cotton racked himself over the top rope! Cameron with a third wind, or is this the fourth? No matter, Cruise slaps the taste of the kid’s mouth, then dropkicks Melton! Cameron fires Joey into the cage!! Melton bounces head first off the steel cage and catches himself in a comprising position on the top rope! Both Melton and Button hitting the high notes!

DM: Going after a man’s nuts. At least Mercedes has taught him something.

DT: Cruise pumps his fist in the air like Helen Slater in The Legend Of Billie Jean! FAIR IS FAIR! Cruise leaps on the top rope, grabs Button and Joey, DOUBLE SIDE-RUSSIAN LEG SWEEP! Modified version at least!

[Cam-ron Cruise! Cam-ron Cruise!]

MN: A mass body of people chanting his name? Yeah, Cruise sold his soul for this one. He’s now officially property of Oz.

DT: Mercedes takes off her left boot, OH! She cracks it over Button’s right eye! Cotton, the Carnival stooge, failing around…

DM: Looks like he’s doing a pee dance.

[There’s a murmur in the crowd as Adrian Evans jumps the railing and frantically begins to climb the cage.]

DT: Mercedes, SHIPWRECK on Cotton Button! Textbook!

[Mrs. Cruise! Mrs. Cruise!]

MN: He’s the ***** of a few Demi-Gods now, that’s for damn sure.

DT: Cameron, has a reeling Melton, SHIPWRECK! It’s over! Cruise, battered, beaten, bloodied, and outmanned but victory is in his hands! And the Garden is with him every step of the way!

DM: Plan B’s back in the picture, Dave.

MN: Damn that midget can scale a cage. Did somebody hang some fruit up there or something?

DT: Cruise, finally sees Evans jumping the cage. Enough is enough, Melton can’t bring a small army to get the job done and call it square.

[Cruise hurriedly climbs the cage with Adrian, meeting him at the top of the cage, Evans tries to get his leg over before Cameron reaches him, but can’t.]

DT: It’s Cruise and Adrian Evans on opposite sides of the fence, literally!

MN: Don’t drop that midget, Cruise! We’ve seen how this plays out before.

DT: Cameron kisses his right hand, cocks, and fires! ADRIAN’S OFF THE CAGE!! GOOGLY MOOGLY!

[The Garden LIFTS the roof off as Adrian Evans is knocked off the cage and is sent spiraling down, his fall broken by the Spanish broadcast table.]

DT: Man overboard! Man overboard!


[Cameron positions himself on top of the cage, carefully.]

MN: I’ve seen fire and rain, but…no...I’ve never seen this.

DM: It’s prom night and Carrie is the homecoming Queen.

DT: Mercedes holding Melton’s legs, Joey’s fighting, all alone, trying like hell to roll out of the way, LEG DROP TO JOEY’S GROIN! Cruise, high-risk again, jumps off…SHOOTING STAR PRESS FROM THE TOP OF THE CAGE! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

[Cruise hits Melton then bounces five feet back. The crowd loses their stuff.]

MN: If there’s a Plan D for Melton, I’ll personally devote my life to him.

DM: There’s not.

DT: Cameron, shaken, he may have busted a rib, covers…ONE…..Mercedes counts, TWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO……..one more darlin’, THREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

[The Garden breaks into a joyous riot as Cruise, in utter disbelief stands, groggy, bloodied, but never better. Mercedes jumps into his waiting arms.]

DT: Cameron Cruise has defeated Joey Melton!

MN: Put that sentence in a time capsule.

DT: Cruise sinks into a corner, has it sunk it yet? It has for Joey Melton. He’s in tears, look at the man!

DM: I thought you were kidding Dave, but he really is sobbing. Wow. A legacy tarnished tonight.


[Melton kicks the ropes, normally a man who can find the bright side in atomic war, Joey will hear nothing from Cotton. It’s over. He lost to Cameron Cruise. Hemmingway took his life from less pain.]

DT: A house mic is slid in under the ring to Cruise, and Cameron gingerly walking to Melton. He’s handing his former partner the mic! Joey Melton as stipulated by the rules of this match has to say he respects Cameron!

MN: He’d just as soon eat glass, or kiss a wookie.

DM: That can be…

MN: Don’t.

DM: Sorry.

DT: Melton and Cruise face-to-face, Cameron hands Melton the mic, he takes it!

MN: Save some of the man’s dignity. Leave him some Cameron!

DT: Joey nods his head, and pats Cruise on the back. If he weren’t shirtless I’d suggest he had a bomb strapped to his chest. Melton asking for the home town crowd to be silent. You know, he can make up for everything, the crap he pulled here tonight and forcing Ryan to strip Cruise of the IC belt, he can save himself if he comes through with one line. Be a man and tell Cruise what he wants to hear, what he DESERVES to hear.

DM: I think Dave has a boner from all of this.

MN: You don’t?

DT: Joey…quiet.

JOEY MELTON: [resigned] Cameron. Tonight you took everything I had to give. You proved me wrong. Cameron, I… [Joey’s mouth moves, but nothing comes out.]

[Melton quizzically looks at the mic. The fans start to BOO, but Joey shrugs helplessly.]

I……CAM….U…….ME…………..TREE…….HAM.. NO.

[Joey again points at the mic as Cruise rolls his eyes.]

DT: You have to be kidding me.

MN: What? The mic doesn’t work. I’m on record before as saying nothing in this company is high-dollar.

DT: Melton motioning to Shannon to bring him a new microphone. Whatever. Just get this thing done, Cruise deserves that much.

[Mike Shannon opens the cage and steps through with a second house mic. As Shannon extends it towards Melton, Joey tosses his mic high in the air at Cruise. Cruise’s eyes follow the mic, and he never sees Cotton plant a kick into his gut]

DT: For Pete’s sake. Cotton drops Cruise, and Melton pounding on Mike Shannon, oh come on the man’s a retiree!

[Joey pushes Shannon’s body out of the way and high tails it out of the cage, Cotton not fair behind. As the pair hit the ring, they’re met with a chorus of boos and scattered trash thrown in their direction.]

DT: That’s the saddest thing I’ve ever seen, and I’ve seen the house Mike grew up in.

MN: Bite me Thomas.

DT: Melton taking the low road back up the aisle, to cheat Cruise throughout the match, then at the end. That’s just…

DM: The essence of Joey Melton?

[Cruise hugs Mercedes as he laughs at Melton.]

COTTON BUTTON: [on house mic] You’ll never be Joey Melton! You’re not fit to sail the seven seas, or see the world at his hand! All aboard Jack ass!

[Button throws the mic down and runs to catch up with Melton.]

DT: He speaks too. Great. Cameron Cruise the winner tonight! All the months, hard time on the road putting up with Melton, Cameron gets justice tonight.

DM: There’ll be no living with Cameron after this.


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
DT: Well fellas, up next we’ve got the Intercontinental Title match. Sebastian Dodd has been very silent all week and in fact I haven’t seen him at the arena…but I’m told…..

[Cue up "Eat the Rich."]

DT: What the hell?

MN: That's not Sebastian Dodd's music!

DM: How astute of you to notice, Neels.

[Enter JA, mic in hand.]

MN: What's HE doing out here?

DM: Shut up and you'll find out.

JA: Well, it seems that Promo-bot 7500X has taken too much of a shine to his New York apartment that he seems to set every one of his segments in. Either that, or the crosstown traffic was too much for him, because he's not here tonight. Now, Dragonite, I know you were scheduled to face off against our special little robot, and I'm guessing you probably are expecting to win the Eye-See Title by default, which are, according to Homer Simpson, the two sweetest words in the English language.

But because I know that you're a proud competitor, and because Danny Boy doesn't want this Championship to lose any luster by another exchange of it out of the ring, well, I'm gonna step in and take El Botador's spot. You might be wondering why... well, seeing that the last holder of this belt is locked up in a tight battle with the Midget Whupper, and the last holder before him got stuck on the subway between John Rocker and a homosexual single mother with pink hair, well, I guess the line of succession comes to me.

Yeah, that's right, and besides, I never quite liked the way I lost that strap anyway...

[JA throws the mic and heads towards the ring.]

DT: I’m in shock… JA is facing Karl Brown for the Intercontinental championship?


EPW Intercontinental Championship
JA vs. Karl "the Dragon" Brown

DM: He’s a former champion, and he’s definitely a fitting replacement for Sebastian Dodd. It’s going to test how Brown can think in the ring – he’ll have planned for a mat-based match against Dodd, not for a high-flyer like JA.

DT: That’s what I’m worried about – is this going to throw the number one contender off his game-plan?

DM: We’ll find out. Brown is asking the ref if this is OK, but if the boss has signed it it’s OK. Brown did used to say he’d fight whoever Ryan booked him against in whatever match.

MN: That’s how we got the first ever chain match here!!

DT: JA is calling across the ring to Brown to get the match started. Brown now moving to the middle of the ring, and JA now joining him.

[Tentatively, both men tease a lock-up. Just before they engage, Brown stands up, backing away and rolling his neck. Again, the two men go for each other, tentatively, but before they lock-up, JA backs away, taunting Brown with an exaggerated rolling of the neck. Rather than letting it get to him, Brown chuckles to himself, waiting for JA to finish. The two start to inch closer, going for another attempted lock-up]

DT: Both men lock up, but neither seems to have an advantage.

DM: I’m surprised at JA. He’s got the speed advantage and he’s not starting out by making good of it.

DT: Brown now starting to push up, forcing JA onto the back foot. Into the ropes, and the breaks clean… NO!! JA turns Brown into the ropes and hammers him with three hard right hands!!

DM: Brown’s trying to get the hands up, but JA backs away and charges in with a clothesline over the top!! This is where the speed advantage comes in, but Brown’s done a smart thing there by rolling against the apron.

DT: The Anglo Luchador must have caught Brown off-guard there.

MN: Not too difficult that, even for someone like JA. My Hero would’ve slaughtered both these jokers.

DT: The referee telling Brown to get back into the ring, and JA’s holding the ropes open for him!

DM: I’ve known Brown since his career started – you can play around with him outside the ring, but he doesn’t suffer fools when the bell rings. You saw what he did to Hiroshi all those months ago, and he wasn’t in that bad a mood that night.

DT: I’ll agree, Brown’s a talent, but JA’s got to have all the advantages here tonight. Brown was working towards a match with Dodd, and JA’s got a slight weight and major experience advantage.

DM: But Brown’s being smart here, making the ref force JA away from the ropes. So long as Brown doesn’t let JA get into his head he should be fine.

DT: Brown now sliding in on his belly, keeping his eyes on JA, and both men are now standing in centre ring again. Brown asking JA if he wants to try another lock-up by the looks of things.

MN: Snap.

DT: JA backed away there and Brown just slapped the taste out of his mouth!!

DM: Look at his face though, he’s not looking angry. JA’s holding his jaw, and fires back with a slap of his own!

DT: Brown shakes his head and… he’s smiling?

DM: Things look ready to heat up.

[And they do. Brown comes in with a hard right hand, rocking JA and forcing him against the ropes. Brown whips JA off the ropes, catching him on the rebound with a spinning back elbow. JA quickly rolls to his feet, but Brown catches him with a standing drop-kick to the face. JA tries to get up again, but is met with a kick to the gut followed by a side Russian leg-sweep]

DT: Brown with the cover… kickout just after one there, and JA wisely rolling to the ropes. I don’t think he expected that from Brown.

DM: Brown’s more known for his technical game, and I thought he’d look to employ that tonight, but I think he just turned it up a notch to show JA that the luchador isn’t the only one who can go at a higher pace.

MN: Dodd’s faster.

DT: Dodd’s not here, Mike. The fans showing some appreciation for that exchange as JA now seems to be moving with some trepidation, or at least respect.

DM: JA now moving back to the centre of the ring, but Brown cuts him off with a knee to the gut. Following it up with a headlock takedown, he’s got JA almost square on his back!!

MN: Very technical that knee.

DT: Brown synching in the hold. One.. TWO… JA gets the shoulder up there after letting it just sink.

DM: He’s going to have to be careful in this position – one quick lapse of concentration and he could lose the match before it even really begins.

[Referee David Rosenkrantz asks JA if he wants to call it quits, but the masked-man shakes his head as best he can. Starting to rock, he tries to pull Karl’s hair to lock in a headscissors, but the ref calls him on it and the headlock stays on. Finally, though, JA manages to get his leg up high enough to catch Brown across the throat, pushing him down into a headscissors and breaking the headlock. Brown is quick to react, nipping up and out, but JA swings his legs round and sweeps the Englishman to the mat]

DT: One...


Kickout by Brown!! JA now scoring with a kick to the head, and a hard elbow to the top of the head there. JA looking to slow Brown down.

DM: Nice somersault neckbreaker from behind there, another quick cover but nowhere near. Smart move from JA, switching the pacing and taking the fight to Brown. A lot of people have discovered to their peril the dangers of underestimating Brown or letting him control the pace.

[Unperturbed, JA picks Brown up, whipping him into the corner, following up quickly with a clothesline. He then staggers the Englishman with a hard right hand, followed by a series of kicks, starting at the thighs before working his way to the gut, chest, and finally with one extra hard shot, the head of Brown. JA then vaults quickly to the outside, before vaulting back in with a hard elbow drop. Sensing he has the advantage, he picks Brown up by the hair, catching him in the throat with a fingertip-strike. Whipping Brown off the ropes, he takes him down on the rebound with a leg-lariat, followed by a somersault legdrop and a cover]

DT: One…


Kickout there by Brown. JA really has Brown on the back-foot here, not letting him guess what speed or from where an attack is coming, as he now twists the neck of Brown.

MN: He’s almost Dodd like.

DM: It’s a smart move, too, going for all these covers. Each time he kicks-out, Brown is using more and more energy. I’ve seen him train, but no amount of stamina will keep you going indefinitely, and JA’s as fit as Brown.

DT: Brown shouting at Rosenkrantz that he has no intention of giving up, and JA picks him up now, applying a side-headlock. Brown though trying to pry his way out of it… and a shot to the kidneys there by Brown, as he’s trying to mount some offence now.

[Brown manages to ease the pressure on his neck, and goes to lift JA up for a suplex, but the veteran lands on his feet before jumping forward and reapplying the headlock. Brown tries to push JA off using the ropes, but JA’s grip remains too strong. Finally, Brown turns, reaching up for the mask of the luchador. Pulling back on the chin of the masked man, he manages to get out of the hold, dropping JA down with a reverse DDT. Both men lay on the mat for a few seconds, before Brown gets to his knees, shaking the cobwebs, as JA rolls to his feet, shaken by the sudden impact but in better shape than his opponent]

DT: JA coming in, but he’s met with a right hand by Brown there, straight to the gut. Brown pushing JA back with one hand, but


DT: Karl Brown just took JA down with a standing hurricanrana!!

DM: But notice he’s not going for the cover? He’s taking his time to get his breath back, and he’s up before JA. He takes JA down, and he’s grabbed hold of the leg of JA.

DT: Brown now stamping on the back of the hamstring.

MN: Smart move. Keep the man at a crawl.

DM: Brown now going for a standing leg-lock, twisting the leg round and leaning over JA’s body to put more pressure on the knee and hamstring there. JA’s no stranger to methodical wrestling, but he does prefer to fly.

[Still holding onto the leg, Brown performs a somersault over JA, who promptly lets out a cry that can be heard across the arena. Holding his hamstring, JA rolls on the mat, as Brown plants a knee in the ribs of the masked wrestler. Rolling him onto his back, he manages a two count. Unfazed by his opponents resilience, he grabs the leg of JA and performs another somersault, this time holding onto the leg as he gets to his feet. He drags JA over to the ropes, placing the injured leg on the bottom rope, before jumping up and sitting down on the inside of the veterans knee]

DM: This is what Brown’s needed to do all match. He’s found an advantage, and he’s also changed his style to take into account the new opponent.

MN: Wonder how his girl’s going to feel about this? Cheating.

DT: I thought Brown was single?

MN: That’s not what I’ve heard.

DT: Leaving his personal life to one side, Brown comes down again on the knee of JA. It’s a smart move but despicable, and David Rosenkrantz is letting him know it.

MN: My Messiah would still be kicking both their asses.

[Ignoring the admonishments of the referee, Brown steps through the ropes, vaulting over the ropes and coming down with his elbow straight onto the inside of JA’s leg. Rather than going for the cover, Brown rolls to the outside, wrapping his opponents leg across the apron before pulling him out onto the floor]

DT: What’s Brown doing?

DM: Whatever it is I’m sure it’s not going to be fun for JA.

DT: Brown now with JA up by the mask, and a hard chop across the chest. Brown now with a hard slam on the outside.

MN: Not very Doddly.

DM: Careful how you say that, you might get a lawsuit.

MN: Huh?

DM: Never mind.

DT: Someone who should mind is the Anglo luchador, as The Dragon now whipping him back first into the guardrail. Another chop across the chest, and Brown’s certainly slowed down from his first offence tonight.

MN: Walking through to door of the arena?

DM: Someone is so going to hurt you some day, Mike.

MN: Dodd will protect me.

DT: I doubt it. Brown now whipping JA into the barrier down the length of the ring. Charging in… OH MY GOD!!

[Dave’s sentiments are echoed as a “HOLY-SH[beep]!!” chant starts as soon as JA drops down, and somehow manages to back body drop Brown over the barrier, and straight onto chairs that moments before, security, thinking Brown would connect with a clothesline, cleared to protect the fans. Several fans start trying to touch Brown on the shoulders and arms as security restrains them]

DT: Referee Dave Rosenkrantz is coming over, and I don’t believe what we’ve just seen!!

DM: JA’s holding his leg after those shots to the knee and hamstring in the ring, and Brown’s looking in bad shape over the barrier… can we get a replay?

[The screen cuts in two. The live image shows the referee trying to see if Brown’s in any fit state to continue. In the replay, we see the last few steps of Brown charging in, this time on a side-on view. In slow motion, we see JA dip down and force The Dragon into the air. Brown lands squarely, back first, on the backrest of a chair, causing it to topple backwards as a fan was being pulled out of the way. The image repeats, as JA starts to get to his feet on the live shot]

DT: Brown landed on his back on the chairs. Dave Rosenkrantz is talking to him, and he hasn’t raised his arms yet, thank god.

DM: One thing I’d hate to happen is another neck injury like the one Tyrone Walker suffered at Unleashed.

MN: Brown took a chance and it didn’t pay off.

DT: Brown is finally starting to try for his feet, pulling himself up using the referee.

DM: JA on his feet as well now, and he’s got Brown by the head. Rosenkrantz is trying to get JA to back off, though after a few of the tricks Brown’s pulled I don’t think he’s going to have much success.

DT: JA with a shot to the jaw of Brown, hooking the head…SUPLEX TO THE FLOOR!!

DM: I don’t know if that was a smart or dumb move. On the one hand, it does more damage to Brown’s neck and back after going into the chairs. On the other, it takes a lot of length strength to pull a suplex that tightly, and it also takes JA onto the very thin padding out there.

MN: It’s JA and Brown. Whoever’d done something it wouldn’t have been as smart as something Dodd would’ve done.

DT: These two are going at it tooth and nail here tonight. I can’t believe two men could hit each other so hard and not even have been feuding before tonight.

DM: JA’s looking to win another title, and Brown’s looking to win his first. I can understand how this would be a heavy hitting contest. JA now back up to his feet, picking Brown up, and he’s trying to roll him back into the ring.

DT: Cover…


THRNO!!! Brown manages to get the shoulder up at the last minute there. That had to be instinct.

DM: No doubt about it – he’ll be groggy for a while. In the Natural Selection Summer Solstice match, he was eliminated because he couldn’t get his bearings back after a suplex onto a ladder, which allowed the Worlds champion to get the fall.

[In the ring, JA shakes out his leg, holding onto the second rope for support. Picking Brown up by the hair, he executes a backbreaker, letting The Dragon slump onto the canvas before stomping on the chest of the Englishman. Picking him up again, he Irish Whips him across the ring, rolling through and springing up [clearly on his good leg] to take Brown down with a flying shoulder. He looks like he’s going to go for a cover, but instead pulls Brown up and throws him through the middle ropes to the outside on the side closest the ramp]

DT: And now it looks like JA’s got some plans for Brown on the outside!

DM: JA measuring Brown, but I do not recommend this… he hits it!! Vaulting over the ropes with a plancha there, not a smart move this stage in the match, but a risk JA obviously thought worth taking.

DT: I don’t understand how two people could go at it like this for a title.

DM: That’s why you’re this side of the announce booth. Titles mean a lot to a wrestler, especially if you’ve been close to winning them on so many occasions as these two men have.

DT: JA now, trying to pull Brown up, but Brown scores with a shot to the ribs!! Brown now trying to fire back with a right hand, but JA cuts him off with a knee to the gut.

[Following the knee, JA lands a hard elbow to the back of the Englishman’s neck. Brown falls to the floor, rolling away from the ring towards the ramp, and starts to claw his way back up the ramp as the referee joins the two combatants on the outside. JA gives Brown a quick kick to the back, then tries to pick him up again, but Brown connects with a shot to the bridge of the masked mans nose, causing him to tear-up and take a few steps back to try and compose himself. As JA comes back in, Brown is waiting with a forearm smash, which he follows with two hard right hands. David Rosenkrantz tries to get the two men back into the ring, but Brown scoops the masked man up, slamming him hard onto the rampway]

DT: Brown now looking to be back in control, though he’s holding his back a little from that trip into the chairs.

DM: Both these men have been going at it hard, and they’re really feeling it. Brown now rolling JA back into the ring.

DT: Picking him up… hard snap suplex there. Floatover



THRNO!! JA just BARELY manages to get the shoulder up. Karl Brown looks annoyed he couldn’t get the three there, as he locks in a reverse chin-lock, forcing JA to carry his weight as well!!

MN: Wake me up when it’s over, you know I hate technical bores.

DM: This has been anything but a clinical technician match, Mike. JA trying to fight, but Brown’s got the hold locked in pretty tight.

DT: And the crowd are starting to clap for the luchador!!

DM: They’ve been pretty split most of the match – I’m thinking they just want this match to go on as long as possible.

DT: Nevertheless, if JA can’t break this hold, the match is going to be over very soon.

MN: Dodd be praised.

DT: JA fading, and he looks out of it. The ref’s going and checking the arm. It goes down once.

Down twice…


[The fans really start to cheer as JA, somehow, manages to clip Brown round the back of the head with a flimsy shot. JA tries a second time, with little effect. A third lands squarer, and a forth lands squarely on the Englishman’s jaw, forcing him to loosen his grip. JA uses this to roll sideways, getting to his feet as quickly as he can, and hitting Brown in the face with a dropkick which leaves both men flat on the canvas]

DT: Both men down now, as JA looks like he’s used the last of any energy he had!!

DM: Referee Dave Rosenkrantz is checking both men, and they’ve done just about all they can to try and keep up with each other in this match. I don’t know how smart that was on the part of JA to try something like a dropkick at this stage in the match, but sometimes when you’re in there, adrenaline kicks in and you don’t always think ahead.

MN: He never does.

DT: The referee now up to three on his count.



Six… Brown’s starting to stir…


Eight… Brown to his knees, trying to get up…



[Indeed, the masked man has nipped up, running into Brown with a clothesline as the Englishman just gets to his feet. JA follows the move up quickly with an elbow to the face, before catching Brown before he can get fully to his feet with a belly-to-back suplex. Going to the outside, he signals it’s all about to end]

DT: JA going to the outside, to the top rope.

DM: Bad idea.

DT: Measuring Brown…

DM: Bad idea…


DM: And Brown thinks he avoided the move!!

DT: JA now springing into Brown in the corner!! Whipping Brown across the ring, catching him with a bulldog in the rebound. Measuring Brown now… LIONSAULT!!



NO!! Brown gets the shoulder up AGAIN!! JA signalling for the end here though.

DM: He’s hooking him around the waist in the gut-wrench position, but he’s having trouble getting him up.

MN: He always does.

DT: Brown’s holding JA’s leg!! The luchador trying to get Brown to release the hold, but Brown won’t budge!! JA releasing the gut wrench, he pushes Brown away.

DM: Brown with a backwards roll, JA charging in, but he misses with the clothesline!! Brown catches him in a waistlock, running to the ropes… CHAOS THEORY!! I NEVER thought I’d see that backwards-roll into a German Suplex performed here!!

DT: One…


THRNO!! JA JUST gets the shoulder up at the last possible second there!! What an incredible maneouver!!

DM: That move was made famous by The Anarchist, Doug Williams, from Britain. Fitting that Brown pulls it out here to try and win the IC title.

DT: Brown now telling the ref it was three, but Rosenkrantz is having none of it!! JA trying to get to his feet, and Brown’s arguing with the ref instead of pressing the advantage!! JA now coming up behind Brown, spins him around and a kick to the gut… KARELIN NO!!

DM: Nice counter by Brown, JUST grabbing the leg as JA pulled him up, causing him to lose balance. Both men are down now, and it looks like JA’s leg is hurting from the work Brown did on it earlier.

DT: Both men trying with all they’ve got to get to their feet. Brown up first, waiting on JA… DRAGON’S BITE!! DRAGON’S BITE!!




[sfx: dingdingdingding]


DT: The Dragon is the new Intercontinental Champion and JA.....JA is just as much a class act as there is....just getting to his feet and shaking the hand of the champion....

[Brown climbs a turnbuckle and holds the belt up high for the crowd as flashbulbs go off all over the arena.]

DT: What a great night of action so far.... the Television Title Final is up NEXT!!!!


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
[Cut backstage…”Phenomenal” Frankie Scott is walking and is stopped by roving interviewer and part time wrestler Mojo Massey.]

MM: Hey Frankie! It’s good to see you!! Can I get a word?

FS: [Smiling] Hey Mojo, nice to see a familiar face around here.

MM: So Frankie, the first thing on mind if not everyone else’s…is now that you’re back and here in Empire Pro, how are you gonna co-exist with Dan Ryan? Most people know your history with him, and it’s not the sort of thing most people can just sweep under the rug.

FS: [A serious frown.] Well no, that’s true. And it’s not gonna get swept under the rug. It’s gonna be dealth with. In fact, I’m on my way to Dan’s office right now. But I’m positive it can be worked out.

MM: Thanks Frankie. Welcome back!

FS: No problem.

[The camera rolls as Scott walks down a few doors to Dan Ryan’s office. He knocks and waits, with no answer. Finally Frankie opens it slowly and sticks his head in, and we see an annoyed look on his face.]

FS: Dammit…not here…..oh well, he’s gotta talk to me sooner or later….

[Cut to the broadcast area.]

DT: We’re back, and as promised it’s time for the crowning of the first ever EPW Television Titlist. Earlier in the night, both Foxx and Adam Benjamin outlasted two other competitors each to claim their spots here in the final.

DM: Foxx got here by getting past Priest and Kin Hiroshi in what most have to consider an upset. Adam Benjamin took advantage of some distraction from The Sergeant to finish off Tariq Ismail as Karla Starr unfortunately suffered an injury that took her out of the match completely.

DT: Well there’s nothing left to do but go up to Tony Fatora for the introductions….take ‘er away, Tony!!


EPW Television Championship
Foxx vs. Adam Benjamin

[CUE UP: “Angelwitch” by Angelwitch. Foxx steps out onto the stage to a cascade of pyro.]

TF: This match is for one fall and is for the EPW Television Championship!!! Introducing first, weighing in at one hundred thirty four pounds…..THIS IS FOOOXXXXXXXX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[Foxx raises a hand for the crowd and smiles as she gets a loud ovation from the Garden crowd. She makes it to the ring and climbs in, hopping in place in one corner as she awaits Benjamin.]

TF: And her opponent….

[CUE UP: “Lose Yourself” by Eminem. Adam Benjamin comes out on stage wearing a U.K. bandana, fists taped and heads directly through a shower of sparks to the ring.]

TF: From the UK!!! Weighing in a two hundred forty pounds…..BIG DADDY ENGLISH….ADAAAAMMMMMMM BEENJAAMMMMIIIINNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[Benjamin makes it to the ring and slides in underneath. He climbs a turnbuckle and stares through sunglasses into the crowd, then shoots a glare over his shoulder at Foxx awaiting him in the ring.]

DT: Well boys it comes down to this. We’ve been watching many of our competitors fight it out for position in the TV Title field and it boils down to these two.

DM: Foxx is light but very quick and skilled. She’ll want to exploit that advantage and keep Adam Benjamin on his toes. Benjamin on the other hand finds himself in the unfamiliar position of being much larger than his opponent. He’ll have to find a way to neutralize her speed while keeping to his technical roots in the ring.

DT: And we’re underway! Benjamin and Foxx circling each other and Adam Benjamin appears to be all business here tonight….

MN: Not even so much as a smirk out of BDE so far. Foxx on the other hand has a pair of lovely smiles…I mean….a tight smile….I MEAN….shouldn’t they be locking up now?

DT: Indeed Benjamin and Foxx locking up now and Adam Benjamin has no trouble gaining the upper hand, pushing Foxx back against the ropes and throwing a monster chop across her chest!!! Foxx clutching at her chest and simply turns her hand and BACKHANDS HIM RIGHT ACROSS THE MOUTH!!!

DM: Benjamin wasn’t expecting that! I think he’s got a little cut on his lip and Foxx is staring a hole in him!

DT: Benjamin up in Foxx’s face and he’s jawing with her pretty good….he shoves her hard and she goes back against the ropes….she shoves him back but Benjamin only goes back a step or two…..and a dropkick to the knee by FOXX!!! Benjamin to a knee!!! Roundhouse kick to the side of the head from Foxx and Benjamin is down!!! Here’s a quick cover!! ONE, TWO……NO! and a forceful kickout by Adam Benjamin!!

DM: That’s the speed I was talking about.

DT: Foxx back up quickly and into the ropes and Benjamin drops to the deck…..Foxx over the top and into the ropes on the other side and Adam Benjamin just BLASTS her with a vicious clothesline!!!

DM: Benjamin needs to use his size and strength advantage here while he’s got her down.

DT: Benjamin standing over Foxx and verbally berating her now….stomps to the head!! Elbow drop!! Another!! And Benjamin turns and screams into the stands!! He’s fired up!!

MN: Adam Benjamin has been held down enough around here. He’s taking his spot back tonight.

DT: Benjamin over and pulling Foxx to her feet…snap suplex and he holds on….brings her up for another suplex and he’s just holding her up there…..BRAINBUSTER!! MY GOD!!!!

DM: That can compress a neck quick!!

DT: Here’s the cover!! ONE….TWO!!!!….AND FOXX JUST GETS AN ARM OUT IN TIME!!

MN: That was close.

DM: Foxx is not a big girl…high impact moves like this must take a much larger toll on her….

DT: Benjamin up and to the corner…..he climbs up top and leaps off…..with a flying elbow that finds it’s mark!!! Another cover!!! ONE…..TWO…..THREE!!! WAIT, NO!!! SHE GOT THE ARM OUT AGAIN!!!

DM: Foxx needs to get out of here!! Whatever it takes, get out of the middle of that ring! She’s getting pummeled in there!

DT: Benjamin going back up and he’s smiling into the crowd!!! He leaps off with a frog splash and NO ONE’S HOME!!! FOXX OUT OF THE WAY BUT SHE’S HURTING AND UNABLE TO CAPITALIZE!!!

DM: Doesn’t matter. This is a huge chance for Foxx to regain her senses while Adam Benjamin is struggling to recover from that missed frog splash…it took the wind out of him for sure!

DT: Benjamin up first and over the Foxx who comes to a knee….Benjamin with a hard overhand right…another chop and Foxx goes to a seated position….Benjamin into the ropes…SHINING WIZARD!! NO!!! FOXX DUCKS AND SWEEPS THE LEG!! BENJAMIN TO HIS BACK AND FOXX IS UP!! SHE TAKES THE LEGS AND FLIPS HIM OVER INTO A SHARPSHOOTER!! NO!!! SHE REACHES BACK AND HOOKS THE CHIN AS WELL!! VIXEN’S TAIL!!! VIXEN’S TAIL!!!

DM: Adam Benjamin looks to be in extreme agony right now, Thomas!! What a devastating submission maneuver, working both the legs and the neck and back!!!

DT: Foxx pulling with all her might and Adam Benjamin is screaming in pain!! The referee right there to ask if he wants to give it up but he’s just screaming! I can’t tell what he’s saying….Benjamin now screams out an emphatic no…but he’s still struggling to withstand this hold!

DM: He’s locked in the center of the ring too with no chance to get to the ropes! It’s hard to move when your legs and neck are cinched in all at once.

DT: Benjamin in trouble here….and somehow he surges and kicks out of the hold and Foxx goes into the ropes and holds on! Benjamin writhing in pain on the mat….Foxx over and stomps away at the back of the neck of Adam Benjamin….

DM: Good strategy…find a body part and weaken it….

DT: Foxx pulling Benjamin to his feet….she’s got the German Suplex locked in and takes him over hard on the back of the neck!!! Wait, she’s holding on and bringing him back to his feet!! Dragon suplex!!! This is a move she calls Cerberus!! She’s only got the Tiger Suplex to complete it!!!

DM: Now it’s Benjamin in big trouble!!

DT: She pulls him up for the Tiger Suplex and drives him…..NO….BENJAMIN SHIFTS HIS BODY IN MIDAIR AND FALLS ACROSS THE CHEST OF FOXX!!! ONE!!! TWO!!!THR…..NO!!!!! SHE GOT OUT!!!

DM: Great counter by Benjamin!

DT: Foxx slipping out and hitting the ropes!! She goes for the clothesline but ADAM BENJAMIN CAUGHT HER AND TURNED HER DOWN INTO A CROSSFACE!!! BENJAMIN PULLING ON THE NECK WITH ALL HIS MIGHT!!!!

DM: Foxx in the middle of the ring!! The ref asking her….but she says no way!!

DT: Benjamin yanking back hard on the neck!! Benjamin now let’s go with one hand and just clubs Foxx on the side of the head!!! The hold is broken but Benjamin is just hammering away at Foxx as she lies on her stomach!!!

MN: I knew she liked it from behind.

DT: Benjamin up….and he’s pulling her up by the back of the head….whip to the corner and a charge…Foxx leaps up and dives over with a sunset flip!!! ONE!! TWO!!! NO!!! Benjamin out!! Foxx to her feet…and so is Adam Benjamin!! Foxx steps up on the bottom rope and dives at Benjamin with a forearm!! Benjamin staggers back!! Foxx leaps and hits the hurracanrana!! She holds onto the legs!!! ONE!! TWO!! THR….NO!!! BENJAMIN COUNTERS AND PUTS HER SHOULDERS DOWN!!! ONE!!! TWO!! THREE!!! NO!!!!! SHE GOT OUT!!! BOTH UP NOW!! SMALL PACKAGE BY FOXX!! ONE!! TWO!!! NO!!!!! REVERSED BY BENJAMIN!!! ONE!! TWO!! NO!!!!

DM: It’s counterpalooza!!!

DT: Benjamin rolling to his feet!!! Foxx up and charges the ropes…she leaps up for another hurracanrana!!! Benjamin caught her!!! He’s holding her up there!! BENJAMIN RUNS HER TO THE CORNER, STEPS UP ON THE BOTTOM BUCKLE AND TURNS AND DRIVES HER INTO THE MAT WITH A NASTY POWER BOMB!!! BENJAMIN FLIPS OVER FOR THE PIN!!! ONE!!! TWO!!!!!! THREEEE!!!!!! HE GOT HER!!!!


[SFX: Bell rings]

TF: The winner of the match…and first ever EPW World Television Champion……. ADDDDAAAAMMMM BENNNNNJAAAMMMMINNNNN!!!!!!

DT: Adam Benjamin came through tonight and IS…the new Television Champion!!!

DM: What a great match, Dave…especially the sequence near the end. It was a wonderful display of counter wrestling and really just all you could ask for from two technically sound athletes like this.

DT: Benjamin getting the belt in the middle of the ring just smiling a mile wide as he clamps it around his waist….and Foxx is up and coming over….she offers her hand to the new champ….

DM: Great show of sportsmanship from Foxx….

DT: Benjamin looking down….and he just walks away!! Come on!! Benjamin leaving the ring to a chorus of boos as Foxx looks on with her hands on her hips….Foxx now getting some cheers as she leaves the ring.

DM: Well despite the poor sportsmanship at the end, just an outstanding match and a great way to determine out first TV Champ.


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
[CUE UP: "Zero" - Smashing Pumpkins. Boos ripple through the crowds as a sport coat-clad Dan Ryan stalks slowly out onto the ramp, mic in hand. He pauses to look out at the audience before brushing them off with a shrug, making his way to the ring at his typical steady, purposeful pace.]
DT: Here we go again!! Here comes the owner of the company, Dan Ryan! You have to wonder, guys, exactly what this man has in store for Beast tonight after what transpired earlier.

DM: Ryan has put Beast through absolute hell and even forced him to put his girlfriend through a table earlier, Dave Thomas. This guy does NOT want Beast to succeed until he can meet his exceedingly high standards, and he'll go to any lengths to make sure that Beast becomes the wrestler DAN RYAN wants him to be before he lets him get anywhere.

MN: And rightfully so! I've been saying all along that Big Loafy sucks!

DT: That's a former World Champion you're talking about, Mike.

MN: Oh, come on, everyone knows Lindsay Troy was the only reason Beast was ever successful. As soon as she turned and ran off with Sands and Melton her stupid blonde loafy buddy here fell flat.

DT: Now that's just not true!

DM: Guys, shut up, let the man speak.

[Having made his way to the ring, Ryan raises his microphone.]

RYAN: Beast, Beast, Beast... chop chop, son, I ain't got all day. you have ten minutes... no... make that TEN SECONDS... to get down to this ring.

[The crowd starts to count. "ONE!" "TWO!" "THREE!" "FOUR!" "FI-" --Cue up: "Figure You Out" - Nickelback. The crowd's reaction is loud, mixed, but leaning positive as Beast pushes the curtain aside with a rough sweep of his arm, stalking down to the ring in his wrestling gear. He boosts over the ropes and approaches Ryan, who holds up a hand.]

RYAN: Ah-ah-aht! Easy there, killer.

[Beast glares daggers at Ryan, but takes a slow step back and says nothing. The president of EPW eyes him for a moment before speaking.]

RYAN: I told you earlier tonight that I’d give you my decision tonight, but you have one last test to pass. I’m sure you’re wondering what’s up... and I'll set your mind at ease right now. I know you're probably itching to wrestle your way to that rematch, but that's a damn shame, since there's not going to be a match for YOU tonight.

[And with that Ryan rushes forward suddenly and LEVELS Beast with a big boot to the face, drawing boos from the fans as the blond Canadian goes down! Smirking, Ryan slides slowly out of his suit coat and begins to unbutton his shirt, slipping it off and tossing it aside...]

RYAN: Mostly because nobody in their right mind would sanction the beating I'm going to be handing you. No pinfalls, no tapouts, just a straight fight, man to man. What're you waiting for, Marcus? Get your ass up and fight!

DT: MY GOD, THIS IS NOT RIGHT! Dan Ryan just LEVELED Beast and now he's THROWING OFF HIS COAT AND KICKING BEAST IN THE SIDE! I cannot BELIEVE Dan Ryan is Beast's last challenge!

DM: This could backfire on Ryan! If Beast gets that fire going again...

MN: He won't, Deano! Big Loafy chickened out after what he did to Beast- let! He won't go there again, man!

DT: Ryan tossing his shirt into the crowd now... wait, here comes the referee - RYAN JUST CLOTHESLINES HIM OUT OF THE RING, AND HE'S SHOUTING FOR NO BELL!!!

DM: This isn't a wrestling match, Dave Thomas! This is a FIGHT, plain and simple! Ryan doesn't want to wrestle Beast - he wants to legitimately beat him bloody!

DT: Ryan turning back to Beast... Beast is up, and he NAILS Ryan with a big right hand! Ryan fires back! Beast with the right hand but Ryan goes for the BOOT to the gut and whips Beast into the corner! The Ego Buster in, and THERE'S the huge shoulder check against the turnbuckles!

DM: Dan Ryan's got three hundred and fifty pounds AT LEAST behind that charge. That's going to do a HUGE number on Beast's body!

MN: It sure will! Ryan's going to PULVERIZE Big Loafy!

DT: Now the owner of the company backs up a bit - NAILS Beast across the chest with that overhand chop! One more, and he grabs Beast under the arms and BEELS him out of the corner to the mat! Ryan beckoning and shouting for Beast to get the hell up!

MN: Ooooohhhh, it's ON!

DT: Beast to his feet, and here comes Ryan with the BOOT BUT BEAST DUCKS UNDER! Ryan turns around and Beast JACKS him in the jaw with a hard right! Ryan back against the ropes, and Beast keeps punching - OH, RAKE to the eyes by Ryan!

DM: What a cheap trick by the Ego Buster!

MN: How can it be cheap? There are no rules!

DM: It's still poor sportsmanship!

DT: Holding his eyes, Beast stumbles back a few feet, and Ryan stuns him with a big fist to the gut! Grabs Beast by the hair - DRILLS Beast's face off his knee, and Beast slumps to the mat and rolls to the ropes! Ryan stomping a mudhole, and Beast rolls down to the floor!

MN: Ryan's just relentless, man. He doesn't wanna give Beast any quarter, and he's got the skills to carry the momentum as long as he pleases.

DM: Hey! I'M the technical analyst here!

MN: You're complaining about sportsmanship. We obviously can't trust YOUR analysis.

DM: Dear Mr. Objective. Ryan's going over the rope and he just AXEHANDLED your precious Big Loafy from the apron, jumping down to the floor and smacking him with both fists!

DT: Beast took that axehandle RIGHT in the head and he's down against the barricade, and Ryan's immediately over to lay in the big jabs to the skull of the former EPW Champion! Beast raising his arms to cover, but Ryan just brushes past and punches away!

DM: Ryan is just breaking Beast down with the precision of a machine, Dave Thomas. Those punches could probably level a buffalo!

DT: Now Ryan grabs Beast by the arm... grabs and whips him towards the ringstairs but Beast REVERSES AND SENDS RYAN TUMBLING INTO THE STEEL!!! Did you HEAR the CRASH as Ryan connected!

MN: OW! Dammit!

DM: What a lucky break for Beast!

DT: Ryan slowly coming to his feet, but Beast rushes in and CUFFS him right in the jaw with a right! Now a left! And another right! Beast is pounding on Dan Ryan with those meaty fists and he is NOT letting up!

MN: No! C'mon, boss, fight him off!

DT: Beast now, grabbing ahold of Ryan's shoulders... turns and SLAMS him against the ring barricade! Just LAYING IN THOSE RIGHT HANDS like a man posSESSED! Beast has LOST IT, and he is NOT going to let Dan Ryan walk out of here without taking a firm beating!

DM: Look at his FACE! Beast is ENRAGED! Dan Ryan put this man through hell and he wants to pay him back in SPADES, Dave Thomas!

DT: Now Beast taking Ryan by the hair... pulls him over and SLAMS HIS FACE AGAINST THE STEEL POST! Ryan falls to the ground... wait, what's Beast doing - My GOD, he's got a steel chair!


DT: Beast's hesitant... he looks at the chair... looks at Ryan...

DM: Don't do it, Beast!

MN: Do it! DO IT!!


DM/MN: Ohhhhh!

DT: Beast STAGGERS against the apron and slumps over! Ryan picks up the fallen chair - tapping the side of his head now! You can hear him talking to Beast!

[RYAN: I'm not hesitating!]


DT: RYAN NAILS BEAST IN THE SKULL WITH THE STEEL CHAIR AND BEAST DROPS TO THE FLOOR ON HIS SIDE! Look at Dan Ryan SMIRKING as he DRIVES the edge of that chair down into Beast's lower back! Again! Again! Beast rolls onto his back to try and block but Ryan RAMS the chair into his gut!

DM: Dan Ryan is NOT a man you want to be on the bad end of a chairshot from. He's incredibly strong and precise, and he will tear you apart with a weapon in his hands!

MN: He's just going OFF!

DT: Ryan now grabs the chair and SLAMS the flat side into Beast's back, and Beast SCREAMS and goes down! Ryan tosses the chair aside and kicks him in the head, smirking and challenging him to get up!

MN: Stay down, Loafy! You're beat!

DM: Beast isn't going to get up after all of this! Ryan just beat the HELL out of him with that chair!

DT: You can see the smug look on Dan Ryan's face! What a sick human being the owner of this company is! Now he's going to the corner... My GOD he's pulling the stairs apart! Sets up the bottom portion near the ramp... grabs Beast... Standing HEADSCISSORS AND THIS HAS JUST GONE ENTIRELY TOO FAR BECAUSE DAN RYAN IS SIGNALING FOR THE HUMILITY BOMB!!!




DM: HOLY SH[beep]!!!


DT: RYAN ROLLS TO THE FLOOR AND HE IS NOT MOVING! Beast looks down at him... sniffs... There's blood running from Dan Ryan's nose! Beast gives him a kick - AND HE SPITS IN THE FACE OF THE OWNER OF EMPIRE PRO WRESTLING!!


DT: I think Dan Ryan might be out cold! Beast turns and starts to walk up the ramp...


DT: --Ryan just got UP! He's not very steady, but he's mobile... he GRABS THE STAIRS in both hands! Beast doesn't see him!

MN: He's rearing back!



DM: OH MY GOD! Beast's lucky the corner didn't hit him in the back! He could've been paralyzed!

DT: Beast is DOWN! He's collapsed on the ramp under the stairs and he is NOT moving! Ryan slow to approach him, and he picks up Beast and drags him up the ramp to the stage! ...Oh GOD, he's looking down at the equipment below!


DM: GOD! Don't tell me he's going to throw Beast off!

DT: Ryan getting ready to press Beast over his HEAD - NO, BEAST DROPS OUT BEHIND HIM and clubs him in the back! Ryan's teetering DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO THE EDGE - but Beast steps BACK!

DM: He's not gonna push him?!

MN: COME ON, LOAFY! I thought you were hardcore!


MN: Aah! First blood!

DT: Beast's moving slowly as he approaches Dan Ryan again... he took a BEATING, but he's still up! Looks down at the recovering Ryan... looks at the small display screen to his right... JAMS his foot into Ryan's gut!

DM: I don't like the look on Beast's face! He's planning something!


MN: THANK GOD IT DIDN'T BREAK! Ryan hit the glass but it didn't crack all the way thr-oh no.


DM: AND LOOK AT BEAST'S FACE! He's standing there staring at Ryan - and he's FURIOUS!

MN: Uh oh. That's the Beast-Let Look!

DT: Beast is INCENSED at this man! Something has awakened inside the former World Champion! Now he reaches into the wreckage and follows after a bleeding, stirring Ryan - picks him up and THROWS him through the curtain behind the set! He's just chucked Dan Ryan into the storage room behind the stage, and he's going in after him!

DM: Well, no rules.

DT: Here comes Beast now - lifts Ryan off the ground and SLAMS him bodily into a brick wall! Does it again! Grabs Ryan under the shoulders - WHEELS HIM DOWN TO THE FLOOR SEVERAL FEET AWAY, and did you HEAR Beast's furious shout?!

MN: That man is just LOSING it!

DM: What's HAPPENEd to him, anyway?! I think Dan Ryan may have bitten off more than he can chew!

DT: An ENRAGED Beast shouting something incoherent at Ryan - now advances on him and pulls him off the floor... Hooks the head... BRINGS HIM UP AND VERTICAL SUPLEXES THE OWNER OF THE COMPANY TO THE CONCRETE!!!


DT: Pulling him up again... Beast hooks the head one more time... Ryan struggling but Beast CLUBS him in the back - NO, RYAN SURGES FORWARD AND SLAMS BEAST INTO THE WALL, AND HE'S HAMMERING AT THE BIG MAN'S RIBS WITH RIGHTS AND LEFTS - NO, Beast shuts him down with an axehandle to the back, and Ryan is on his hands and knees!

DM: It looked like Dan Ryan could've been back in this thing, but Beast just cut him the hell OFF!

DT: Beast doesn't waste any time - BOOT to the head of Dan Ryan, and the owner of the company is just GUSHING blood from that open wound to the forehead! Beast looks down at him and just BECKONS for him to get up!

MN: Do it, Dan! Kick his ass!

DM: I think Ryan might be spent.

DT: Ryan not moving... Beast smirks, then moves to pull Ryan into a standing headscissors... We could see the Absolution on the CONCRETE here!



MN: YES!!!

DM: WHAT A DIRTY TRICK! Ryan resorted to a headbutt to the stones to get out of the Absolution!

MN: Does this mean Big Loafy just got head?! HAHA!

DT: Beast is CLUTCHING HIS GROIN AND GROANING IN PAIN as he slumps back against the wall! A bloodied Ryan comes to his feet... kick to the gut of Beast! Ryan grabs him by the hair and starts SLAMMING BEAST'S SKULL INTO THE WALL OVER AND OVER, AND NOW BEAST HAS BEEN BUSTED OPEN!!!

DM: There is absolutely no sportsmanship in this fight, Dave Thomas! Dan Ryan and Beast are just MURDERING each other without remorse or regret!

DT: Listen to the sickening thud of Beast's skull off the wall! Ryan bashes a few more times - jerks Beast back by the hair -

[RYAN: You've got nothin'! You've got nothin'!]


MN: YEAH! Ryan's cooking his goose! I KNEW we'd be having roast Beast for dinner tonight!

DM: Ryan's back in control and I don't think he's going to let up!

DT: Beast not moving at all but that doesn't stop Ryan - he grabs ahold of a set lamp and knocks the fixture off, leaving him with a metal pole! Beast stirring a bit... sits up... RYAN SLAMS THE POLE OVER BEAST'S HEAD AND BEAST IS DOWN AGAIN!!!

DM: Look at how dirty the owner of the company is fighting! He's kicking Beast while he's down - doesn't want to give him the chance to take the momentum again!

DT: The smug look on Dan Ryan's bloodied face says all that needs to be said as he leans over Beast and grins, grabbing a handful of the other man's hair and pulling him up to a sitting position...

[RYAN: C'mon, tough guy, gonna get up? Nah, you don't got the guts!]

DT: OH, a HUGE slap across the face of Beast with the back of Dan Ryan's right hand, and Beast looks out of it!

[RYAN: Yeah, that's what I thought!]

DT: And ANOTHER backhand! Beast's eyes are glazed almost completely over!

DM: He's had his brains bashed against a wall, he's been chucked into a box, kicked in the crotch, hit with a metal pole... his head has got to be a MESS right now.

[RYAN: I knew all along you had nothing, Marcus. I just went and proved it. And you think you deserve a title shot like this?]

[BEAST: ...]




DT: Ryan gripping his hand in pain - Beast trying to get up - Ryan advances - BEAST DRIVES THE HEEL OF HIS BOOT RIGHT BETWEEN RYAN'S LEGS AND NOW DAN RYAN FALLS TO THE FLOOR SCREAMING!!!

DM: Beast has FINALLY LOST IT! Look -- LOOK at him! He's FURIOUS, he's ENRAGED, and there is MURDER written in that man's face!

MN: Oh... oh SNAP.

DT: I think you're right, Dean! The Beast has been unleashed and he is not going to stop until Dan Ryan cannot move a muscle! Beast pulls to his feet with blood running down his face, and he GRABS Ryan by the neck and pulls him to his feet! SLAMS him into a wall - now grabs the metal pole Ryan dropped! SMASHES IT INTO THE RIBS OF RYAN! RYAN KEELS OVER AND BEAST JUST STARTS BASHING HIM WITH IT IN A BLIND FURY, DROPPING HIM TO THE GROUND IN A HEAP!!!

MN: There's absolutely NO sanity in that attack - Beast has completely flipped!

DT: Beast with a few more pole shots, and he discards the weapon! Now cradling Ryan by the head! Pulls him up and SLAMS him face-first into the inner wall of the set!

DM: That's a LOT of steel for one man to eat!

MN: Come on, boss! You can come back!

DT: Ryan's LIMP and completely dazed as Beast picks him up and drags him out through the hole in the set and back onto the stage! Now hooks Ryan up... GERMAN SUPLEX ONTO THE STEEL STAGE!!! RYAN HAS GOT TO BE OUT OF IT!!!

DM: Somebody call an ambulance! This is carnage!


MN: I, uh... I think this might be over... Dammit, this CAN'T be! Ryan should've won!

DM: Wait, Beast's stopped!


DM: NO!!! DON'T DO IT!!!



MN: WHAT?!?!



MN: Except now BEAST'S down... and now RYAN'S EYEING THE EDGE!

DM: Oh my God.












DM: I... This is... This is just TOO much! These men pushed this TOO FAR!!!

DT: Here comes the medical team out of the back, trying to get to Beast and Ryan through the wreckage... I just... Folks, this is one of those things that tell you you should NOT try this at home! Dan Ryan and Beast could both be crippled!

MN: Twenty feet is a LONG fall, and they were beat up before they went down, too! I think they BOTH landed on their heads, too!

DM: The equipment could've broken their fall, but there's a lot of metallic stuff down there to jab into spines or necks or arms... dammit, these guys could be paralyzed if they hit it just right!

DT: Here comes Paul Freeman to try and salvage the situation...

[***CROWD POP***]


DM: He's not going to be able to move! He's bleeding inside --

MN -- RYAN'S TRYING TO GET UP TOO!!! He's bleeding just as bad, if not worse!

DT: Wait - Ryan weakly holding up a hand -- get a camera on him!

[CUTTO: Dan Ryan bleeding from the mouth, half-buried in broken equipment.]

[RYAN: ...You... you've got your... title shot.]




DT: While we get all of this cleaned up, let’s look at a little video put together for our main event!


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
"This is a story three years in the making."

Lindsay Troy's voice echoed throughout the arena, garnering a massively loud mixed reaction from the Madison Square Garden crowd. The camera cuts away from the ringside area to focus on Troy, standing backstage in her ring gear, in front of a white wall. The EPW World Title sits snugly around her waist, the polished faceplate glinting brightly in the fluorescent light. Kenny Lombardo stands silently by, holding a microphone up to Troy's mouth.

"Our history, Xandor, is dependent upon three things."

"Dedication to this business."

"Love of this business."

"And friendship with each other."

"But perhaps the most important thing is neither of these three."

"Perhaps it's conflict."

"Our conflict stems from parts of our history that we've never fully come to terms with, on our own or with each other. Through our own stubbornness, our failure to communicate, we constantly find ourselves at crossroads that will either define us, or break us."

"The EPW World Title is but the latest and, maybe even, our final."

"I refuse to lie and say that I thought the roles we currently find ourselves in would be the roles that will ultimately define us."

"I never thought I would be a World Champion. I never thought you would be the challenger to my World Title."

"I always thought it would be the other way around."

"My mindset comes not from thinking that my so-called 'hindrances' as a human being would have a direct effect on my performance as an athlete in this business. I've proven, time and again, that the fact that I'm a woman has no direct bearing on how well I can talk, how hard I train, how good I am in the ring or how many titles I've won."

"Rather, it is the simple fact that you've been at the top of the mountain before, wheareas my chances at ultimate glory were either snatched away from me out of spite or circumstances beyond my control, such as federations closing, halted my climb to the peak of this industry."

"I've always thought you better than me; as an athlete, as a performer, as a person."

"But now I've realized that, despite what I once thought, our positions in this business must be topsy-turvy. Flip-flopped. I must be the champion and you must be the challenger; I must be the irrational hot-head always with a point to prove and you must struggle with what you think is right, what you think you ought to do and what your Uncle would have done or said."

"In the course of individually defining ourselves, we've come to define one another through the good times and the bad."

"This is what makes our relationship special and unlike any other rivalry in this sport."

"This is why our fans love us."

"This is why Xandor Cross versus Lindsay Troy, parts one through whatever, will be talked about for years to come."

"Our match tonight is the ultimate culmination of everything we've ever fought for and everything we've ever believed in. We may not be at the top of a scaffold, we may not be fighting the Dises and we may not have your Uncle present at ringside."

"What we do have is our history of putting on five-star classics and leaving our blood, sweat and ability between the ropes."

"The only difference between you and I is that I plan on taking the World Title with me after I've left everything else behind."

"You won't be able to make the same claim."

Cut back to ringside.

[In the corner of the screen we see a shot of Lindsay Troy arriving to the arena, stepping out of the back of a limousine with her belt over her shoulder and dark sunglasses on.]

DT: That was Lindsay Troy, the World Champion arriving at the arena a little earlier tonight…and I can tell you…you can cut the tension in here with a knife.

DM: It’s electric, for sure.

DT: Alright, it's time for our main event here, and boy is it gonna be a doozy.

MN: Doozy Dave? What is this, the 1940s?

DM: Stick a pipe in it Neels. We know Dave's lame. Let him be man, let him be.

DT: Thanks Dean... I think. Anyway, there's a lot of stuff that could go down in this match.

DM: Yeah, you have the Troy and Cross dog and pony show. A lot of history there. Plus the guest ref, JA, has issues with Cross and more recently with Troy.

MN: Only because he can't take the truth that he's a choker.

DT: I wouldn't say that Neels.

MN: Well, he choked in A1E, he choked earlier tonight against Karl Brown, he choked against Cross at Russian Roulette... if he can't take Troy telling him that to his face, then he should just hang it up now.

DM: Thanks for the interruption there, mookie. Anyway, back to what I was saying, Dis 3 is still lurking around too. A lot of elements to make tonight EXPLOSIVO~!

MN: Well, just as long as when it does explode, it takes Cross and JA out with it.

DM: Neels, you are a hate-filled little man.

MN: Well they deserve it, hogging the main event spots from more deserving guys like Christian Sands and Sebastian Dodd.

DT: Hey, Dodd can't even catch a plane on time to make it here, and you want him to be in the main events?

DM: Whoa, Davey Boy with the zinger. Mark that date on your calendar, cuz that's not happening again soon.

DT: Um, thanks again... I think.

TF: Ladies and Gentlemen, this match is our main event!


EPW World Heavyweight Championship
"Queen of the Ring" Lindsay Troy (c) vs. Cross

[Cue up "Eat the Rich."]

TF: Let me first introduce to your guest referee for tonight's contest! Hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he's a former Empire Pro Intercontinental Champion... JAAAAAAY... AAAAAAYE!

DT: JA's got his zebra stripes on and it looks like he's ready to go.

MN: I'd say check his pockets for illegal instruments. I don't think he's going to call a clean match here.

DM: And who would he favor, the Patriots' fan who called him a choker, or the guy who tried to superkick him and his girlfriend on live TV?

MN: Umm, you know, I didn't stop to think about that.

DM: I'm not surprised.

[Cue up "Jesus Walks."]

TF: And now the challenger, weighing in at 285 pounds and hailing from Los Angeles, California... CROSSSSSSSS!

DT: Cross looks determined here. He and Troy had quite the war of words to build to this match.

DM: Yeah Dave, and as much as Xandor doesn't want to admit it, it is about the titles especially the biggest prize in the company, the one that his best friend has strapped around her waist.

DT: They weren't too friendly at the last Aggression and all the way up to now though.

MN: Well hopefully Troy will unfriendly Cross all the way out of this stinkin' arena.

[Cue up "Money, Power and Respect."]

MN: See? Here she comes to wipe the mat with that idiot in the ring.

DM: Hush Neels.

TF: And his opponent, from Tampa, Florida, weighing in at 170 pounds... she is the Empire Pro World's Heavyweight Champion... The Queen of the Ring... LINDSAY TROOOOOOOOOYYYY!

DT: Well Troy's giving the belt to our ref for tonight's match...

MN: Yeah, and that's the closest he'll ever get to a World Championship.

DM: Well, I think our Champ just said that to him and he just shot her a look that would melt steel.

DT: Hopefully he won't let his emotions get the better of him. Dan Ryan would be mighty disappointed if JA had a role in this match other than just to call it down the middle.

DM: I don't think JA wants to cross anyone's bad side unless he's about to do something about it. But tonight, it might be the best opportunity for him to do something, seeing that Dan Ryan would be in NO condition to do anything after that brawl with Beast.

MN: What, lay on his shoulders and stare at the lights while he's being pinned? Even in his laid up state, I'm sure Dan Ryan could do that to him.

DM: No, we're not talking about John Doe here...

DT: Hey, hey, hey, Dean, let's leave that situation lie, okay?

DM: Sorry.

[Ding ding ding!]

DT: Alright, our match is ready to begin here! Troy and Cross walking slowly but intently to the middle of the ring. The tension's so thick, you can cut it with a knife.

DM: It's almost as thick as Campbell's split pea soup. Nothing's better on a rainy day.

MN: [smacks self in forehead]

DM: Don't do that Neels, you might give yourself a concussion.

DT: You say that like it's a bad thing, Dean. Anyway, they're still eyeing each other up and Troy EXPLODES in with a hard chop to the chest! Cross is in disbelief!

DM: I don't think he was expecting that. No matter how hard Lindsay Troy emphasized that this was going to be a war, I still think Cross thought he was going to get kid gloves.

MN: Hey, if anyone deserves to get kid gloves, it's me!

DM: Shut up, Neels.

DT: Cross lunges in and throws some wild punches at Troy, but Troy's fighting him off with some defensive maneuvers from her Muy Thai training.

DM: A lot of people think that it's just strikes involved with Muy Thai, but thar's defense in them thar mitts as well.

DT: Cross is still landing some hits on her. He has a massive weight and height advantage. This is turning ugly quick.

MN: You're an authority on ugly Dave. I can buy that analysis.

DT: Shut up Mike. This is turning into a pull-apart brawl!

DM: No matter how spunky Troy is, she is not going to be able to win a brawl with Cross.

DT: I agree. Cross' blows are starting to get the better of the Champion. She's absorbing left, right, left and now she's down on the canvas.

MN: Hey! You can't abuse a lady like that!

DM: Well, if Troy's got the testes to stand in the ring with men, then she can take the zip-zop zoobity bop like the men can.

DT: And now Cross is standing over Troy as she's holding her head. Troy tries to shake it off, but Cross grabs her by the hair!

MN: I'm calling social services if this keeps up.

DM: Yeah, and they won't get here faster than my Pizza Hut pan pizza. Pizza Hut, Gather Round the Good Stuff!

MN: [feigns puking]

DT: Easy Mike... Cross dragging Troy to her feet and a closed fist right to the head of Lindsay Troy! The Champion reels back and Cross comes right in with ANOTHER shot to the head!

MN: This is insane! Tell this idiot masked ref to do something!

DM: Hey, it's a title match. He's letting a lot of things go. The last thing anyone wants to see is a cheap DQ very early in the match, Neels.

MN: I don't care! I don't want Lindsay Troy not to be hot anymore!

DM: [sigh]

DT: Cross backing Troy into a corner here, he takes a few steps back, charging in and... TROY MOVED! Lindsay Troy moved out of the way of that Hornet Splash and she goes for the quick roll up...


...no, JA didn't even get his hand down for the one count before Cross kicked out.

MN: Cheater! Slow count! He's favoring Cross!

DM: Shut up Neels, that wasn't slow. Besides, I think he hates Cross more than he hates Troy right now anyway.

DT: Cross and Troy are up, and Cross catches Troy off guard with a big clothesline!

DM: Troy surprised Cross with that roll up, and Cross surprises her right back.

DT: Cross sizing up Troy and leaps in the air driving his knee into the head of Lindsay Troy!

DM: Hey, I guess that knee is all better.

DT: He has rehabbed it extensively since Russian Roulette. Cross back to the mat and he's got a sleeperhold locked in.

DM: If Troy keeps taking punishment like this, it might be a very short night for her. She has good endurance...

MN: Heh, I know about that first hand, giggity.

DM: Oh, why do I even bother...

DT: Cross leaning down with all his weight onto the Champion. He's really working that weight and height advantage right now.

DM: Yeah, excellent strategy there on the part of Cross. Wear down the Champ and then take her greatest asset away from her, that being her quickness.

DT: Well, she won't be that quick if she's asleep, and even though it's early in the match, she's not looking so hot.

MN: It's still very, very early in the match. Lindz will bounce back, just give 'er time.

DT: As much as I hate to say it, I agree with Neels.

DM: Me too, but I think we're doing it for the different reasons, Dave.

MN: Shut up, Dean.

DT: JA's going over to check Troy, he raises her arm, but the Champion holds strong. JA's breaking out the five count now, one, two, three, and Cross finally breaks. Troy's slumped on the mat and now Cross laying her down on her back. Cross hops back, off the ropes he... NO!

[Troy rolls on her side, swivels and counters Cross' rope running with a drop toehold into a side headlock.]

DT: Did you just see that? Amazing!

DM: I guess she hasn't been worn down too much here. I like this strategy for her too. Wear down the bigger man, take out his strength.

DT: Troy's got the headlock vised in, but Cross is getting to his feet!

DM: Cross has taken his toll early in this match... Lindz is a little weakened...

DT: Cross gets his arms around and... side suplex! Cross covers...



...and Troy kicks out. Cross back to his feet and he's dragging Troy into the corner. Scoop and Troy in the tree of woe here. Cross goes back, charges up, he heads in... baseball slide into Tr... NO! OH MY LORD!

[Troy at the last second kips up and grabs the top rope with both hands as Cross crotches himself on the ringpost.]

DT: What an amazing display of dexterity!

DM: And I don't think Cross is going to have a good weekend after that.

MN: Good, I hope he never has a good weekend again. And now that his nads are crushed, maybe we won't see any little Crosses running around thank God.

DT: Troy dismounts from the tree, and I can't believe her athleticism.

DM: Well, she ain't the Champ cuz she can bench press a million tons now.

DT: I know this, but that was unreal! Troy grabbing Cross by the ankle as he's still holding his groin.

DM: That was so bad that JA is even cringing.

DT: Troy's got Cross by the ankle, and it looks like she's going send an elbow down to Cross' groin!

DM: This is painful to watch...

DT: Wait a second, JA's interjecting himself here physically.

MN: What's he doing? I thought he was going to let this match go, Dean. A rat always shows his true colors!

DM: That wasn't even a coherent cliché, Neels.

DT: JA stepping between Troy and her target. I think he's telling her that's enough of the ball abuse or something.

DM: Hey, the testes are near and dear to JA. I think he's a part of the Ball Preservation Society of America.

MN: What the hell?

DT: Gentlemen, let's get back to the match here. JA and Troy are arguing a bit, and now Troy turns away in frustration. She's dropping the elbow, and lazily I might add... and CROSS ROLLS OUT OF THE WAY!

MN: That's it! String JA up by his shorthairs! He's fixing this match so Cross can win!

DM: I highly doubt that, Neels.

DT: Cross helps himself up with the ropes. Troy goes over... NO! Cross just elbowed her in the midsection! Troy doubled over, Cross with the swinging neckbreaker! Cover...



...the Champion kicks out.

MN: Dan Ryan made a mistake! The fix is in!

DM: I highly doubt that, Neels. JA just doesn't want anyone to suffer unnecessary ball pain.

DT: Cross is up. He's got Troy up, Irish whip... tilt-a-whirl backbreaker! Cross is now going to the top rope!

DM: When the big man flies, it brings the IMPACT~!

DT: He's climbing, this MSG crowd is going nuts. JA's looking on...

DM: That's because he knows Cross is going for the move that beat him at Russian Roulette here.

MN: The finger poke of doom?

DM: That's it, no more WCW archives for Neels.

DT: Cross up on the top, he jumps, moonsault on... NO! NO! Troy moved! Troy moved! Cross just ate canvas on that moonsault!

DM: Give credit to the Champion. She's a spry lil' lass now, ain't she?

MN: Don't you patronize the Champ like that!

DM: Yeah, like you didn't patronize Beast every second of his reign.

DT: Troy's dragging herself to the ropes, Cross slow to get up. The ref begins his count, one, two, three... Cross is up and he's holding his gut. Troy is up now too, she hobbles over to Cross. Cross upright, Troy with the no grab enziguir... NO! She misses! Cross ducked! She missed! And now Cross goes right in with an Achilles lock on Troy!

DM: Things just aren't going the Champion's way today.

MN: She'll come back! Cross is a nobody. C'mon Lindz, c'mon.

DM: Yeah, and you complain about my shilling. At least I get paid.

DT: Troy's once again dragging herself to the ropes, but Cross is pulling on that ankle. Look at the pain in Troy's eyes. She's straining.

DM: Well, Cross is putting a lot of pressure on that ankle, Dave.

DT: But Troy's still fighting through it. She's almost to the ropes.

MN: Of course she is. She's going to make it because Cross is a girly man.

DM: Thank you, Kevin Nealon.

DT: Troy's grasping, leaning... and she's finally got the bottom rope! Cross isn't letting go though.

DM: This is uncharacteristic of Cross, especially given the level of professional respect.

DT: But they're big rivals though.

MN: Yeah, so it's natural that Cross would cheat.

DT: Or not, but he's still got it on. JA with one, two... he's skipping the count now! JA rips Cross off of Troy!

DM: See Neels? He's not biased.

DT: No, he's not, but Cross looks like he thinks he is. He's staring a hole right through JA.

MN: Well I don't know why. Cross was clearly in the wrong here.

DM: That might be true, but still, I bet he's not accustomed to the ref putting his hands on him like th...

DT: HOLY CRAP! Roll up by Troy...



...Cross kicks out!

MN: Ha! That oughtta teach that idiot Cross to keep his mind on what matters!

DT: Both Cross and Troy are up, Troy with a martial arts... no! Cross blocks it! Kick to the gut, piledriver! Piledriver! He covers...



...but the Champion kicks out.

DM: The wear is catching up to Troy. I don't know if she can hold off Cross for much longer like this.

DT: Especially given how unrelenting Cross is tonight. He's got Troy back up and he's dragging her over to the turnbuckles, slams Lindsay's head into the top turnbuckle. One, two, three...

DM: And now JA's getting in there again!

DT: Yeah, he's getting pretty physical in this match.

DM: Well, I think he knows that there's a lot at stake here, emotionally as well as professionally.

MN: Hey, he should get involved given how Cross is cheating here.

DT: Cross is not happy again, but he's shaking it off now, gets behind Troy.

DM: This isn't going to be good...

DT: Release tiger suplex by Cross! Oh man, that was all impact, no bridge. Lindsay Troy might be out like a light here. But Cross isn't going to cover here!

MN: That's because he doesn't want to beat our fair Champion, he wants to maim her! This is an outrage!

DT: Cross sizing up Troy and... knee to the head of Lindsay Troy! Now he's going to cover...



...thr... NO! Troy kicks out, and Cross is beside himself here. He thought he had the goods to put Troy away, but apparently not.

DM: He's gotta be pissed with himself. He's been rockin' Troy's dome for the last five minutes. A lot of punishment here, and it's either because Cross is holding back or Troy's more resilient than we thought. Given what we're seeing tonight, I'm betting it's the latter.

MN: Of course it's the latter you fool.

DT: Cross back up and stomps on Troy's head repeatedly, picks her back up. Kick to the gut and... Rocker dropper! Cross just hit Troy with that Rocker dropper! And now he's got Troy back up again.

DM: Cross knows how hard it is to put away Troy. These two met in an epic scaffold match encounter in A1E.

DT: Cross whips Troy into the corner, walks in, perching her on the top rope.

DM: Suuuuperpleeex, to the resssscuuuuue!

MN: Never do that again, Dean.

DT: Guys, settle down. Cross climbing up and... no! Troy punches Cross in the face once, twice, three times, four times, Cross falls to the canvas! Troy stands up...

MN: This is where it starts to get good, guys!

DT: Leaps... ELBOW DROP! Reminiscent of Craig Miles! She covers...



...Cross kicks out! Both are slow to get back up here.

DM: Well, Cross wore down Troy pretty good.

DT: Both of them are up, Cross over to Troy, hard ch... no! Troy blocks it and a thrust right to Cross' throat! Cross holds his throat, stumbling back, Troy drops back, off the ropes... leaping calf kick! Cross' back against the ropes!

DM: Amazing how Troy has swung momentum back into her favor here.

MN: It's not amazing. It's routine.

DT: Troy's dragging Cross to his feet now, knife edge chop, hard to Cross' chest...


DT: ...and another one...


DT: ...and another one!


DT: Cross against the ropes, Troy with the Irish whip and a DDT from the Champion! Cross down to the canvas!

MN: Troy making this look easy against that punk Cross.

DM: Yeah, easy like getting her butt handed to her earlier.

DT: Troy standing over Cross, and... OH MY LORD! There's that standing shooting star press again! What an amazing athletic move!



...Cross kicks out!

DM: The crowd's really digging the athleticism.

DT: Troy may be the best pure athlete we have here on the roster. She picks up Cross... snap suplex! Wait, she's got the facelock still on, another snap suplex, what tenacity, back up and yet another snap suplex from Lindsay Troy!

DM: A page out of Eddie Guerrero's playbook there.

MN: Hey, don't associate Lindsay with a lying, cheating, stealing SOB! She's dainty and innocent like the driven snow.

DM: Dude, I think she'd be offended if she heard that said about her.

DT: Troy now up, she heads outside the ropes on the apron. She leaps up... SPRINGBOARD TWISTING ELBOW DROP!

DM: What a move!

MN: See? I told you she was the best pure athelete we have in Empire!

DT: No Neels, that was me. Troy covers...



...but Cross again kicks out. Troy's going to the top rope.

DM: She might be looking to finish Cross off here.

MN: I hope so!

DT: Troy perched on the top rope... FROGSPLASH! Frogsplash from the top!



...thr... NO! Cross kicks out! Cross kicks out!

DM: That was a high impact splash. But Troy doesn't look suprised.

DT: Well, she has been through wars with Cross before. She knows it'll take a lot to put him away. Troy back up, she drags Cross to his feet to. Knife edge chop...


DT: And now Troy up to the top rope again. She's lining up the wobbly Cross and... HURRICANR... NO! NO! NO! CROSS JUST COUNTERED WITH A BIG POWERBOMB!

DM: This is huge! Check the impact on that bomb!

DT: Let's check it out again on the TiVo Rewind Replay!

[Split screen to Cross powerbombing Troy in slow-motion while both competitors stir on the canvas to JA's 10 count on the live screen.]

DT: Troy can't even get the torque to take Cross down and he's got this counter from get-go one here.

MN: Blah blah blah, let's stop giving him a verbal bl...


MN: ...bl... ah forget it, I can't get my way out of that one.

[Back to a full live screen. Cross is up first.]

DT: Back to live action, and Cross may have this match in hand.

MN: No he doesn't! And if he does, he only has it because he's cheating!

DM: Yeah yeah.

DT: Cross grabs Troy. He's signaling with the throat slash!

DM: Looks like we're goin' to Golgotha!

DT: Cross with Troy in the headscissors, up and he's got her upright but... NO! At the last possible second before he dropped her, Lindsay Troy kicked Cross' bad knee out from under him with a desperation backthrust of her boot!

DM: She is a magician!

MN: That's why she's the Champion!

DT: Cross down in a crumpled heap! Troy, holding her back, she's up, and now she's got Cross by the legs.

DM: Goodnight Irene...

DT: She's got the legs grapevined... she's trying to get Cross turned over. He's struggling, fighting.

MN: Give in! Let her turn you over! It's all over!

DT: Cross is fighting and Troy is straining! It's a battle of the wills!

DM: It's like a tug of war in there!

DT: You're telling me, Dean. Lindsay's straining, straining... wait! She just punched Cross in his bad knee! Cross is over! Cross is over! Troy locks onto the legs and arches back to grab Cross' head!

DM: The Dynastic Cycle! The Dynastic Cycle! She's got him locked in!

DT: Oh my Lord! Cross is screaming out in pain!

MN: Tap! Tap you silly bastard! It's all over!

DT: Cross is straining. I hate to say it, but you might be right Neels. Cross may not have an escape here.

DM: Look at the pain in his eyes, Dave. His knee's gotta be on fire here, but he wants that World Championship so bad. He doesn't want to give up.

DT: Even JA is cringing at Cross' state. This is bad! Cross wants to win the title, but he's in an awful way... wait a second, he's dragging himself to the ropes!

MN: The hell? How is he doing this? His head is stretched back!

DT: I don't know, but he's inching closer to the ropes! If he can just reach the ropes.

DM: I don't know how he's doing it. I don't know, but dagnabbit, he's doing it. Do you believe in miracles?

MN: No I don't, Al Michaels, and I'd thank you not to say that ever again.

DT: Cross is almost there! It's almost as if he's willing himself to those ropes. This crowd can't believe it, JA can't believe it, hell, I can't believe it!

DM: Just one more grab and he's got the ropes.

DT: Cross is inching, he lunges for the ropes, he's not there! He's trying to drag himself to the ropes, one more inch... he's reaching, reaching...

MN: No! No!

DT: No! He's tapping! He's tapping! He can't move his body anymore! Oh man, oh my Lord, so close.



DM: Oh man, so close, but so far.

DT: And to think, Cross was so close to winning, but the wily Champion, Lindsay Troy, pulled yet another one from her bag of tricks and pulled this one out.

DM: You have to hand it to Troy, you have to.

TF: Here is your winner, by submission... AND STILL EPW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION...


DT: Oh man, Cross is rolling out the ring, slightly limping to the back, head down, but he has nothing to be ashamed of. And now Lindsay's in the ring and JA's handing her her belt. Raising her hand too.

DM: That's gotta be a little bittersweet for JA, raising the hand of someone who badmouthed him like that.

DT: Well Dean, JA is a professional, regardless of what anyone in any other corner of this business would say. And now Troy's looking JA in the eye.

MN: Clock him! Clock him! He tried to screw you out of the match!

DM: Shut up Neels, he called a fair match.

DT: Yes he did. And now Lindsay Troy is extending her hand to JA! JA accepts!

MN: I think I'm going to be sick.

[Troy tells JA, "You called a good match. I respect that." JA nods.]

DM: Oh shove it, Neels. Sportsmanship's good, mmkay?

DT: And thank you very much for joining us here on pay-per...


[The arena lights go black.]

DT: What the hell is that?

DM: I don't know, but I'm a little skeeved.

MN: Hold me.

DM: No Neels, go hug Ray Rock or something.

[A spotlight shines on the far left corner of the ring as white smoke billows from either side of the spotlight. Suddenly, the ring opens up and from a hydraulic lift comes DIS 3 into the ring.]

DT: That's Dis Three! Dis Three! Oh my Lord, I can't believe he's going to interrupt Lindsay Troy in her moment of triumph!

MN: Hey, let's give the guy a chance here. Maybe he's come to say Lindsay is going to save 15 percent on her car insurance by sticking to Geico. I know I did.

DM: Damn you Neels! Geico's my endorsement! Stop stealing my heat!

[Dis 3 reaches into his cape and pulls out a house mic.]


[The house lights come back on. Behind Lindsay Troy and JA are two figures dressed in black sackcloth robes and fright masks. One's big, one's kinda slender.]

DT: My God, no! Turn around!

DM: Just when you thought things couldn't get weirder...

DT: NO! Those two goons of Dis Three just assaulted Troy and JA! The bigger one's on JA and the smaller one is assaulting Troy. Wait! They turned it around! Troy raining rights and lefts down on the one goon, JA with chops, sends the big one over the top! This crowd is going nuts!

DM: Troy and JA, the unlikeliest duo in all of Empire Pro!

MN: Oh, stop making me vomit!

DT: And now Troy is advancing on Dis Three, and Dis Three's not moving. It's almost as if he wants her to come over and attack her.

DM: I don't know about this, something fish...


DM: Troy better look out behind her too...

DT: And the skinny one just came back in the ring too! And he tackles Troy! He's raining punches down on a prone Troy, and now the big one drops his chair and helps! Oh my, I'm going to be sick! Lindsay Troy doesn't deserve this! She just won a hard-fought match!

MN: But what if she's going to save on her car insur...


DT: Oh my, I don't like where this is headed... Dis Three's guards have Troy by the arms and now he's approaching...


[Dis 3 lifts up his mask halfway and kisses with tongue Troy against her will.]

DT: Oh, this is despicable.

DM: If I were Joey Melton, I wouldn't be taking this lying down.

DT: And now he's standing up, removing the rest of his mask...

DM: It's not... it's not...


MN: Yes! Yes! Finally, someone to represent this company with pride!

DM: Oh shut up Neels. Just minutes ago, you were slurping up Troy, and now you're against her?

MN: Yeah, well that was when she was facing Cross. Then she had to go and fraternize with that loser JA and I don't think you're grasping that TROY FRIGGIN' WINDHAM is in Empire now.

DT: I can't believe this. This crowd can't believe this. They're throwing cups and garbage into the ring. Windham unmasking his minions, still grasping a beaten Troy... and it's August de la Rossi and The Mysterious Zoltan. I can't believe it. I'm so disgusted.

DM: Man, I thought they quit.

MN: Haha, they fooled you. They fooled you good.

DT: And now Windham's bending over to force himself on her again. I think I'm going to throw up.

DM: Enough is enough.

MN: It hasn't been enough yet!

DT: I'm going to... wait!

[Troy spits in Windham's face before he can force-kiss her again.]

DT: No! No Lindsay, you just made it worse. I can't believe it. I'm going to be sick.

[Windham brings the mic to his mouth again.]

TW: See, Lindsay, [wiping the spit from his face] my leading lady... I thought you were going to do something like that. But I'm a gentleman, Lindsay. I'm not going to be like one of the trogladytes in the back and hit you. No. Because a real man doesn't need to hit a woman to get over in pro wrestling's minor leagues. But I've been studying the magic of Hollywood in my dubious plot to get you right where I have you right now... and it'd be a shame if I let the personal lessons from David Blaine go to waste. So here's the last magic trick I am ever going to do...

DT: What does he mean last magic trick?

[Windham pulls something from cape and clicks it... WHOOSH!]


DM: Dave, I'm with you. I'm about to be sick.

[Trash begins to FLY into the ring now. Windham and the Entourage are unfazed by it though, being veterans of trash ducking in NFW and CSWA.]

MN: I don't know why you're all sick or why these fans insist on pelting the ring with garbage. This is easily the single greatest thing I've ever seen in Empire Pro history! Troy Windham! And he had all you fooled.

DT: I... I... I just can't fathom this. I'm too numb for words.

[Windham pulls a bottle of Evian out of his cape, drinks a sip and then pours the rest of it on Lindsay's burnt face as she's rolling around on the canvas, holding her face. August is in Lindsay's face, yelling at her about the greatness of the Entourage and Troy Windham.]

DT: This is just sickening. Lindsay Troy's laid out. JA's laid out. The Entourage and Troy Windham... I'm... I'm at a loss for words.


DM: Hey Neels, why don't you just shove it man. This is bad. I... this sucks.

DT: I'm Dave Thomas, disgusted and signing off Black Dawn for all you. I hope you at home enjoyed yourselves before this display.

[The last shot on the screen is of Windham and the Entourage standing over a fallen Troy and JA as the customary trademark graphic flashes across the bottom of the screen.]
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