[FADE IN to Animezing Dragon standing in front of an Empire Pro Wrestling Black Dawn backdrop, dressed as if about to head off to the ring with their titles around their waists)))
Otaku: Let me get this straight, Point of View do really well in their first match, against the tag team champions, and Dreamstealer’s manager, Myl-dew-san, somehow convinces Ryan-domo to give his guys a title match at Black Dawn in their debut? Maaan, that’s not fair. Predictable but not fair!
Karl: Dan’s not always been a fair guy. He’s a business man, and he clearly thinks having Dreamstealer’s against Animezing Dragon is a better business decision. Going down the two outcomes of this match, he’s right.
Otaku: How is this a good business decision?
Karl: Either Dreamstealer’s take the titles from us, or they get embarrassed. Anything less than total dominance on their part is going to be seen as a failure, since Mylde’s bigged them up so much. It’s the problem with self promotion, you have to make sure you can back it up or you’re a fraud.
Otaku: Couldn’t he say the same thing about you?
Karl: He could. People have before. The difference is I’ve backed it up time after time. It’s why there’s only two people in Empire Pro Wrestling right now one title away from the full set, and I’m the only one who’s never had a one on one shot.
Otaku: Ooo, burn on Cruise-without-honorific.
Karl: Isn’t “without-honorific” an honorific?
Karl: OK, if you say so.
Otaku: Say, why don’t you have a match against First-baka?
Karl: I’ve left that up to him. I’m not ducking it. I’m also not the nosiest cog in the machinery so I’m not going to get the grease. The match is there if Dan wants to book it, he knows that.
Otaku: That’s been bugging me. Anyways! Dreamstealers! They sound evil, you know. Dreamstealers, they steal your dreams from your mind while you sleep. They probably steal the dreams of little kids, too.
[“The Dragon” shakes his head, rolling his eyes)))
Otaku: Or are they so good nobody else gets a look in and thus all other dreams are crushed? Do they steal from the poor to give to themselves or give the dreams to the poor
Karl: OK, ok, I get it. You really need to work on your humorous asides.
Karl: The truth is it doesn’t matter what the Dreamstealers have done to get here, whether they deserve a shot at the titles or not. It isn’t their call. Dan’s given them the chance, the ultimate chance to sink or swim. He’s given us the chance to prove we’re the best tag team in Empire Pro Wrestling at this moment in time. I doubt they really steal dreams, and I’m certainly not going to lose any sleep between now and Black Dawn just because they’re here. Very little surprises me in this business any more.
Otaku: I guess…
Karl: If they can literally steal dreams, though, that would be a surprise.
Otaku: Yeah. Weird, too. Kinda like
Karl: Don’t mention another anime, please. I’ve still got that theme song CD stuck in my head from the workout earlier.
Otaku: Gives you a great beat to workout to!
Karl: Mylde. Dreamstealers. Black Dawn, you get the chance to show the world you’re not all hype. If you can do that and follow through over the coming months and years, I’ll believe you’re not talk with no action, not a flash in the pan. But right now, save the words. Save the airtime, because you’re nothing more or less to me than anyone else. You’re certainly not deserving of any additional praise or consideration.
This is a match. Ours to lose. Ours to win. And Animezing Dragon never goes into a match delivering anything less than the best we can on the night. If you want to beat us, try it. Show us. Don’t just talk about it, otherwise…
No. I’ll avoid the cliché.
Voice: Next time on Animezing Dragon…
Otaku: Hey Dragon-fans! Next time on Animezing Dragon we find ourselves centre stage in an evil tournament! Will we survive, what fiendish plots do the bad guys have in store for us? There’s only one way to find out!
Next time on Animezing Dragon – Nightmare, Stolen Dream!
[FADE IN to Otaku sitting in front of a TV, wearing baggy workout clothes and a set of headphones. The camera PANS ROUND for a moment, showing us a scene from Atlus’ Catherine – one of the Nightmare stage puzzles, with a deformed monster chasing the hero, Vincent, up the tower. For a couple of minutes, Otaku sits intently staring at the screen, his thumbs controlling the action as Vincent climbs the tower. A couple of times the deformed monstrosity nearly catches the hero, but Otaku is just able to make it out of harm’s way. As he nears the top, he pauses the game, sets down the controller, removes the headphones, and looks straight into the camera]
Otaku: Dreams and nightmares ain’t so scary. I mean, sure, if you fall from the tower or die some other way, like getting squashed by a baby or absorbed by a monstrous vagina, then you die in real life but come on! How often does that happen? Only to love cheats. And cheats in general. And I don’t cheat, I fight with the true power of youth, so I’m safe.
And me and Dragon-domo are safe from the Dreamstealers at Black Dawn. I mean, sure, Myl-dew-baka is going to say they’re the bestest of the bestest, better than us, going to take the title and have vast amounts of fun that would pass for a Make Out Tactics sequel. But if all they can do is go around saying “We’re the Dreamstealers! We’re here! We’re gonna win!” then I’m not worried.
It’s words. Words can’t hurt unless they’re falling from a great height, either off a building or from the top shelf of a library in the complete Oxford English Dictionary.
Oh, sure, they’re gonna say they can back it up. But really? Really? Really?
Haven’t seen you. Can’t say. But this is Empire Pro Wrestling, a different place. A place where… well, I asked Dragon-domo about it, and he said this.
[CUT TO: a scene shot on a cam-corder, showing “The Dragon” sitting in a dining chair, a book on the table in front of him as he told Otaku of some of the history of Empire Pro Wrestling]
Karl: I don’t know what it’s been, but we’ve had people come along and disappear within a few weeks, whether they actually wrestled or not. Not everyone could deal with being in Empire Pro. Zero, Maelstrom, Stephen Waltz, Tyrone Walker. Heck, Troy Windham came and went and came and went, and I’ll never forget the Highland Park Social Club and how difficult they found it to establish the same dominance here they’d had elsewhere. Every promotion is different. I wouldn’t guarantee I’d’ve had the same success had I gone elsewhere. I might, but no guarantees.
[CUT TO: Otaku again]
Otaku: And he’s right. Different catering. Different arenas. Different fans. Different crew. Different schedules, people, opponents, atmospheres, everything. It isn’t enough to say you’d be great here there and everywhere, you have to go there and be the best. And that doesn’t come easy. Not as easy as Dreamstealers and Myl-dew-baka think, definitely.
Now, I’m not saying me and Dragon-domo are going to win this match easily. I’m not arrogant like Myl-dew-baka. But it’s going to be tough for them, like it was tough for me coming back here. New challenges. Kinda like turning up the difficulty on a game you’ve beaten. Makes things a bit different. Harder. More challenging.
For me, more fun, too.
Sure, Dreamstealers are a new challenge but they’re still gonna be fun. I’m training every day, I’m gonna be ready, I’m not gonna embarrass Animezing Dragon!
When the match is over it’s gonna be Dragon-domo and me reaching the bell at the top of the tower!... that only makes sense if you’ve played this game, doesn’t it… maaan, I always do this.
No, I can save this.
Otaku: Dreamstealers! Black Dawn’s not going to be a good dawn for you! You may have been given the biggest chance of your entire careers in Empire Pro Wrestling, but you’re not going to find this easy. You’re going to find that we’re quicker and better prepared! We’re stronger! We’re younger! Dragon-domo is more technically sound!
And above all you’re going to find out why he’s The Dragon and I’m Animezing!
[He beams, happy with himself as he unpauses the game and swiftly finishes the level]
Otaku: Oh yeah!!
Voice: Next time on Animezing Dragon…
Otaku: Hey Otakuites! Otaku here! Next time, Dragon-domo and I head in search of the legendary Black Torch that’s needed to light the Black Beacon to summon the Black Sun for a Black Dawn! We see some strange things, and someone wants to paint them black!
Next time, Animezing Dragon, series fifteen episode twenty three. New Black Dawn Rising!
(FADEIN: JIMMY MYLDE at his desk in Paladino, CA, reclining in his plush leather chair, moccasins planted up on the desk itself while he sips on a margarita. When he catchs view of the camera, he takes a quick sip and swings his feet off the desk, planting his elbows and leaning forward. He's wearing his signature aviator sunglasses)
MYLDE: Let's get something straight, Otaku, you soy-drinking, seaweed eating, whale harpooning, school girl loving, surgical mask wearing, udon noodle slurping son of a bitch...
(Takes another quick sip of his drink and wipes his mouth)
My boys, THE DREAMSTEALERS...they don't need to be doing this. They don't NEED to put this event on the map by showing up and taking those belts off your waists. They could be doing ANYTHING right now! Swimming the butterfly in the Summer Olympics? Watch out Michael Phelps. Programming supercomputers for the NSA? Boring, but they'd do it. Recording a hit pop album? A thousand times, YES. Hell, either one of 'em could RUN FOR PRESIDENT and win!
They are that talented. They have THAT MUCH charisma.
Instead, they're finishing up the European leg of their rock and roll tour, and then the bus is going to drive straight to Black Dawn, AND STRAIGHT UP THE TWO OF YOUR ASSES! You're gonna be shitting regular unleaded for the next five months.
So before you come at us with the whole "You haven't earned it" bit, realize that The Dreamstealers are so good, THEY DON'T HAVE TO EARN IT. They need only to take it.
And take it they will! The hurting these two rock and roll studs are gonna put on you is going to make the BME Pain Olympics look like jazzercise. We're gonna put you out of commission! You won't even be able to land a gig shining shoes at Penn Station. You know what Penn Station is, right? Of course you don't, the two of you hail from the freaking sticks. Karl Brown is from ENGLAND, where the men sword fight each other's dicks in prep school, and the women have bad teeth and no cooking ability. And Otaku...don't even get me started on your homeland! The best thing to ever come out of Japan is a fictional ocean reptile.
I did pray for Japan once though. I said, "God, if you're listening...please allow the Tsunami an overtime period to finish the job. Or at least make Godzilla real, and instruct him to take a giant reptilian shit on Tokyo."
We're gonna beat you down and treat you like Sean Penn treated that scared villager in that movie, except Michael J. Fox won't be around to snitch.
Not ONLY are The Dreamstealers the best in the business, but they're managed by a bonafide psychic. Watch me predict the future! OTAKU - you're going to be selling counterfeit DVDs and jerking people off at the nail salon. KARL BROWN - I see a bright future where you'll be the regular at McGahee's who bags drunk townie harlots on merit of an accent that only a drunk idiot could find fascinating.
Fear not, EPW viewers. The Dreamstealers, although not on camera at the moment, will indeed appear at Black Dawn as promised. It's one thing to see the Dragons on free television. But if you want to see THE DREAMSTEALERS...it's gonna cost you $49.95 plus tax.
Tell those belts you love 'em and kiss 'em goodbye boys, because at Black Dawn they're gonna be under new ownership.
[FADE IN to “The Dragon” training in the ring with an unnamed trainee. The trainee is 6’2” and looks to weigh close to 250lbs and is wearing a pair of shorts rather than his traditional tights, while the trainee is in tracksuit bottoms, a V-neck T-shirt and black trainers, while “The Dragon” is wearing a pair of white shorts and white wrestling boots. As the camera focuses in on the two we catch a small glimpse of what looks like a familiar German man walking through the double doors at the back of the room, but it’s quickly obscured by Brown executing a swift arm drag on his larger, but far less experienced, training opponent. This seems to be a tutorial of sorts, as Brown talks to his opponent periodically]
Karl: You dove in a bit. Made it easy for me to do that. Come you, you can get out of this arm bar.
[Or the trainee could if Brown would let him. “The Dragon” cinches the arm, applying a wrist lock with one hand while twisting the arm, the other hand pushing down on the shoulder with the tag team champion’s knee pressing on the ribs. The larger man tries to roll, but Brown simply shifts his weight. After a few seconds, the trainee kicks out enough to hook the ropes, forcing the break. He stands gingerly, slightly winded from the impact of the arm drag, but Brown springs in and applies a waist lock, driving the trainee into the corner and rolling back through into a pin attempt. It only gets a two, and Brown rolls backwards towards the opposite corner]
Karl: You can’t afford to give me a chance like that. Think about where you are. You want to leave your back against the ropes in a one on one to stop me going behind like that.
[The trainee nods and charges, Brown sidestepping. The trainee stops himself before he hits the corner but he’s taken down as he turns by a Mexican arm drag, which Brown turns into a similar arm bar in the middle of the ring]
Karl: Don’t charge in head on. You’re not quick enough. Come on, you’ve got a raw power advantage. Think about it.
[Brown lets the larger man to his feet, the arm bar still applied, and the trainee does manage to reverse an Irish whip. We see another unknown wrestler enter from the doors at the back of the room and saunter to the ring as Brown ducks a clothesline and pivots, grabbing his training partner in a front waist lock and delivering a rather impressive explosive belly to belly suplex. The opponent lands hard, holding his back, while the other trainee, with immaculate jet-black hair and looks like a model, slow-claps]
[The first trainee, still holding his back, tries to use the ropes to climb up, but Brown stops him, telling him to stay down. He turns to face the second trainee]
Karl: Can I help you?
Trainee#2: I doubt it.
[The second trainee stands leaning against the ring post as Brown checks on his opponent. Slowly the larger man rises and the two lock up again, but every time Brown delivers a move the second trainee claps mockingly. After a short sequence which ends with the first trainee landing hard from a Russian leg sweep, Brown stops the training match and turns to the rather rude man outside the ring]
Karl: OK. Do you want to have a go, or are you just here to criticise someone?
Trainee#2: You couldn’t take me.
Karl: Ah. One of those. OK, if you’re embarrassed to step into the ring and mess up your hair, can I ask you to keep quiet? Or at least [he sniffs the air] cut back on the cologne.
Trainee#2: Big talk. You ain’t nothing. I don’t even know what you’re doing here, we don’t need someone who’s best years are behind him.
Trainee#1: Hey [he winces, holding the ropes] you wouldn’t last five minutes against Karl, Jeff. He’s doing us a favour.
Trainee#2: All he’s teaching you is how to fall.
[the first trainee starts to make a move towards his colleague, but Brown stops him with a hand on the shoulder]
Karl: OK. Why don’t you step in here and see. It’ll do you the world of good, either you’ve knocked off a current champion in Empire Pro or you get some pointers.
Jeff: OK, ok. If you’re ready to be embarrassed, gramps.
[Jeff roles into the ring as the first trainee steps outside. Brown steps into the middle of the ring, deliberately turning his back, and Jeff springs into action looking for a forearm to the back of the head. Brown hears him coming and sidesteps, spinning and grabbing Jeff in a waist lock and hitting a German suplex. He holds it for a pin attempt, the first trainee calling the count, and Jeff kicks out at two. “The Dragon” nips up as Jeff rolls to his feet and charges in again, grabbing Brown in a hammerlock. The champion takes a couple of seconds to assess the situation, alternating between grabbing Jeff by the head and looking for a leg trip, but the trainee has a good stance. Unfortunately for the trainee, he has to stand close to keep the hold on, which Brown uses to his advantage by walking towards the corner and, using the top turnbuckle for leverage, somersaults up and down behind Jeff, breaking the hold and applying a hammerlock of his own]
Karl: Come on, that was easy.
[To emphasise the point, Brown ruffles Jeff’s hair and cinches up on the arm. Jeff is furious, but calms down quickly, a look of “two can play that game” on his face. He places a foot on the middle turnbuckle and tries to somersault over Brown, but “The Dragon” is ready, releasing the hold so Jeff can come down unimpeded and putting a plan into action – if an elbow to the midsection can be called a plan. Jeff is doubled up by the strike from the Taekwondo master, and taken cleanly off his feet by a knee to the face. Brown goes for the cover again, getting a two count. The champion brings Jeff to his feet, standing behind him to avoid a fist to the midsection, and takes him down with a reverse suplex. Rather than going for the cover, Brown decides to apply a submission hold, the Vixen’s Tail, a sharpshooter where Brown also arches back to grab his opponent’s chin and hold them partly off the canvas. Jeff taps after a couple of seconds, and the first trainee calls for the “bell”. “The Dragon” releases the hold, Jeff dropping to the mat face first and holding his now bent spine]
Karl: Two things. You walk too heavily. You haven’t got the experience to pull off that somersault, and you left yourself too open. And you wear too much cologne.
[Brown steps out of the ring, and it’s only now he actually notices the camera]
Karl: Oh, and Jeff, was it? Your first televised match was a loss. [to his first opponent] Good session, though. If you want some more pointers, let me know, OK?
[the first trainee nods, a smirk on his face at what had happened so easily to Jeff. Brown walks around the ring and grabs a bottle of water from a cooler, tilting his head to the camera to show the crew to follow him to the corner. On the short walk we see a few posters advertising Empire Pro Wrestling events of the past, a couple for A1E, and some for smaller federations across the globe. Brown stops and leans back into the corner]
Karl: Here to check up on me going into the tag title match? Well, I’m hoping Dreamstealers give me more of a workout than Jeff did, I can say that much. Having still not actually seen them, I can’t say I’m expecting anything yet. So far they’ve been hiding behind their manager, doing a rock tour or whatever, and ignoring pretty much everything that isn’t themselves.
Still, I don’t expect much from someone with the ego of Jimmy Mylde. He probably doesn’t want his tag team overshadowing him. That’s what it seems to be, anyway.
Jimmy – all I’ve heard from you for the past few weeks is talk. The same tired talk that was old when guys like Mike Diamond and Andrew Dalton were doing it. And very few people remember them. I know that kind of attitude sells tickets and has gotten your guys a tag team title opportunity, but they’re the ones who are going to have to back up your words.
Are they going to do that? Or are they going to hide like scared little mice in the corner behind the big rat while the cobra approaches, ready to pick them off one by one?
No, don’t answer that. I know what you’re going to say. That they’re the best. The best. The best. Better than the best. Better than better than the best.
Cliché, after cliché, after cliché.
The problem with clichés is they get worn out very quickly. Dreamstealers, they’re a cliché. Worn out before they actually appear. Ready to be a flash in the pan, bright for seconds before… nothing.
But what does one expect with you as their manager? Someone who relies on juvenile stereotypes and doesn’t even get his facts right.
Hint. Look at Otaku next time you see him when he’s not in costume. Then look at where he’s billed from.
Neo Tokyo Tower.
Don’t worry, he’s told me it’s OK to say that.
Now, don’t get your knickers in a twist – and don’t try saying that because Americans can’t get the sound right. Dreamstealers could be the second coming, the executioners ready to beat the Dragon. They could blitz us and make the tag team titles their project.
But if there were as good as you claim, we’d’ve seen them by now. They’d be coming over to the States for Aggression and flying back to Europe to do a show the next night. I’ve done it often enough, get to the arena, wrestle, and leave in 24 hours. At the moment, I’m guessing they can’t hack that kind of lifestyle.
Karl: Tell me, Jimmy, what have the Dreamstealers actually done that I should be aware of? What have they done to earn the high praise you heap on them, the expense you’ve gone to? What have they done?
You say they don’t have to earn, they just have to take. The problem is, they can’t just take the belts. They have to actually earn them by beating Otaku and I. They need to earn before they can take.
Sorry. I forgot. Manger cliché number fifteen. Can’t work out logic.
Listen, James. You can talk all you want. You can promise me a miserable future all you want. I’ve heard it dozens of times, from dozens of people, and they’ve all been proven wrong. I’ve seen people come, people go. I’ve seen the kind of person you are walk in, proud, and walk out a feeble shade of what they were, all because they had only mastered one art.
They, like you, believed so much in themselves they didn’t have anywhere to go but down. There was no height left to climb, only depths to sink into. By bigging yourself and your team up so much, there’s actually only one place left they can end up.
If… they’re as egotistical as you are.
They aren’t perfect. They aren’t great. For now, to me, to the people who should matter most to them when the bell sounds at Black Dawn, they’re just Opponents.
The fans don’t matter. The front office doesn’t matter. Once the bell rings, not even Dan Ryan matters. It’s Otaku and myself they have to worry about. What we decide to do. How we see them. They’re going to have to wrong foot us and break our spirits. Break us. Because if they don’t break us and they somehow do win the titles, we’ll be right back after them.
And if they can’t break us? How will they take that, I wonder. Will the clothes you’ve given them slip to reveal scared little children, desperately clinging on to papa’s robes, pulling on them to try and find comfort only to find that papa is another small, scared little mess?
The biggest thing they have to worry about is not being able to live up to expectations. I’m expecting the same thing I do every match. Something I can’t beat. Something that’ll give me a challenge that I have no chance of matching. An opponent who’ll beat me in a second.
I haven’t met them yet. And I won’t at Black Dawn.
You’ve got very fixed views, James. And a static view of the world, that doesn’t bend and flex. A view that’s all ready for my favourite game. Call me sadistic if you want.
But be ready for your views to tumble, tear, twist and snap.
Because if Dreamstealers don’t beat us within seconds, Jimmy… then the whole world will know that as good as they may be, you’re nothing more than a used car salesman, lying to promote a product that’s only got a veneer of greatness.
You’ve written a cheque that Dreamstealers can never cash.
And before you go the whole “monies worth” route. The only thing that matters at Black Dawn is walking away as champions. I won’t hesitate to beat either of them as quickly as possible. If that’s five seconds in or five hours in, I won’t drag it out unnecessarily. Make sure they don’t, or they will lose.
FWrestling.com was founded in 1994 to promote a community of fantasy wrestling fans and leagues. Since then, we've hosted dozens of leagues and special events, and thousands of users. Come join and prove you're "Even Better Than The Real Thing."
Add Your League
If you want to help grow the community of fantasy wrestling creators, consider hosting your league here on FW. You gain access to message boards, Discord, your own web space and the ability to post pages here on FW. To discuss, message "Chad" here on FW Central.