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SURVIVALISM 2012: The Ultratitle EndGame

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User Poets

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BILL BUCKLEY: Here comes Eli Flair! Here comes Jack Harmen! We’re official, and we’ve got all four men in the ring! Castor Strife with a kick to Melton’s chest! Another! Castor with a right hand to Eli’s jaw! Harmen with a tackle at the knees!

SAMMY BENSON: Please. Harmen is a loose cannon, Flair is a non-psychological psychopath, and Castor is a sadist.

BUCKLEY: So, you’ve finally decided? You’ve thrown in with Melton again, after all this time?

BENSON: What? Course not. Melton was the man, but he was the man yesterday.

BUCKLEY: Make the call, Sammy.

BENSON: … Eddy Love is coming out, right?

BUCKLEY: ...No. No, Sammy, there is no Eddy.

BENSON: Then Joey, all the way.

BUCKLEY: Eli Flair with a curbstomp on Melton, these two have a history and you know they’d love to take the Ultratitle against the other!

BENSON: You could technically say that against anyone, Buckley. Nobody is in there saying ‘I don’t think I want to beat that guy.’

BUCKLEY: We’ve been seeing these four men beat each other down for over an hour now, Sammy, but now we’re in overtime, and the first fall wins it! Eli Flair with a scoop on Melton… FALLEN ONE! FALLEN ONE! Castor breaks up the pin! HARMEN WITH A LOCOMOTIVE ON CASTOR! COVER! ONE… TWO… ELI BREAKS IT UP!

BENSON: How many times do we have to hear that?

BUCKLEY: Eli with another cover on Melton! ONE… TWO… TH—HARMEN BREAKS IT UP! Eli shoves Jack Harmen! Harmen shoves Eli back!

BENSON: Didn’t we see this already?

BUCKLEY: Harmen with a right hand – ELI DUCKS! HOOKS HARMEN… URANAGE! WE SAW THAT ALREADY!

BENSON: And if he did it a half second sooner last time, we wouldn’t be in this mess!

BUCKLEY: HARMEN WITH AN ELBOW TO THE HEAD! DDT!

BENSON: What’s that?

BUCKLEY: That’s the sound of thousands of fans on the edge of their seat, Sammy!

BENSON: No, you idiot… THAT! That whooshing sound!

BUCKLEY: It sounds like… I haven’t heard that in a long time!

BENSON: NO! NO! NO! WHY?!?!?!?!



BUCKLEY: HORNET! IT’S HORNET!

BENSON: On a god damn jetpack again! Why do we keep letting him bring that to work?

BUCKLEY: These fans have risen to their feet, and the four Ultratitle finalists are watching in amazement as the Greatest American Hero lands in the middle of the aisle, just like his match sixteen years ago against GUNS, and Joey Melton is the first one to meet him! Hornet with a right hand! Another! Another! Castor off the top rope, and Hornet with a fist to the chest on his way down!

BENSON: What does he think he’s doing? He’s not even supposed to be here today!

BUCKLEY: Hornet slides into the ring, and a powerslam on an approaching Eli Flair! Kick to the midsection for Jack Harmen, and a whip into the corner! HORNET SPLASH!

BENSON: I thought we were done with that.

BUCKLEY: Another whip for Eli Flair, HORNET SPLASH into another corner!

BENSON: Castor, Joey… I know you two just fought a war, and I know you two both hate each other with a passion, but please please PLEASE work together to remove the interloper!

BUCKLEY: Two men are slumped in the corner while another two are recovering outside, and Hornet with a loud “WHOOOO!” to the crowd! They respond in kind, it’s like he never left, Sammy!

BENSON: At least he’s reminding me of how much I hate the fans.

BUCKLEY: Melton hooks Hornet at the ankle as he slides into the ring, Castor with a clothesline drops the former three –time UNIFIED Champion to the mat!

BENSON: Can I ask you something?

BUCKLEY: What’s on your mind, Sammy?

BENSON: Why is the referee just letting this happen?

BUCKLEY: I… don’t know, Sammy. But Hornet with a reversal, and another Hornet Splash in the corner for Melton! A fourth for Castor! He’s got all four of the Ultratitle finalists prone in the corner, and he’s circling the ring like a shark! Monkey flip to the middle of the ring! Hornet to the top! SHOOTING STAR PRESS!

BENSON: He’s like sixty, he shouldn’t be getting so high off the ground.

BUCKLEY: Hornet with a hook of Castor’s legs, and a Scorpion Deathlock! Castor is tapping!

[SFX: DING DING DING]

BUCKLEY: HORNET WINS! HORNET WINS! HORNET WINS! Hornet is the 2012 Ultratitle Champion! Hornet defied the odds and took the title home!

BENSON: As much as I hate Bugbrain, it’s a fitting end to the tournament.

BUCKLEY: Hornet with his hand in the air, and Ben Worthington—

------------------------------

“ —said you were up here, Ivy. What gives?”

Ivy McGinnis looked around with a start. There was no crowd, no ring, no jetpack, and no Hornet. But there was a Bill Buckley standing in front of her, looking concerned.

“I—“ started Ivy.

She was in the skybox.

“What time is it?” she asked.

“Noon,” replied Bill Buckley, “The wrestlers and special guests are all here, and Marvin wanted to start the production meeting. Worthington said you were here to get some sleep, so I thought I’d come get you.”

Ben Worthington was the senior referee, and he was going to be refereeing all three Ultratitle matches tonight. “But I’m not part of the production staff,” reminded Ivy, “Tonight, I’m here to be in Eli’s corner, and that’s it.”

Buckley smiled and shrugged his shoulders. “You know the electronic parts of the Auditorium better than anyone else except Marvin. He knows this is Eli’s last night, and by that token, might be yours. He told me, point blank, it wasn’t right for the production meeting to go and happen without you.”

“He’s a sentimental fool,” mused Ivy, as she reached for her sneakers. Far from the well – put – together Psycho Bitch that the fans have come to know and love, Ivy McGinnis was a wife and mother, and a small business owner, and therefore, she found sleep any place she could get it. Years ago, she had accidently stolen CSWA Co-Owner Stephen Thomas’ key to the private owner’s box, and every time she was part of a show in the Merritt Auditorium, she would steal away for an uninterrupted nap.

“Have you and Stan gone over the cues with the IGC and TSWF guys yet?” she asked, as they left the room.

“You never stop, do you?” asked Buckley, “You start by saying that you’re just here as on-screen talent, then you go on asking about the setup for the night.”

Ivy nudged him with her hip as they started down the hallway. “Is it really me,” she replied, “if I’m not already tryin’ to do too much?”

Buckley put his arm around her. “I missed you, kiddo… and I’m gonna miss you after tonight.”
 

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Final Four

RUDY SEITZER (V/O): The following is a joint presentation of CS Enterprises, Inc and the UNIFIED Championship Committee, in association with ESEN Sports.


SEITZER (V/O): The Ultratitle.

(FADEIN on a shot of the trophy itself, panning around 360 degrees.)

The very name brings forth a feeling of excellence, of achievement… of legacy.

(CUTTO: Grainy, choppy footage of an expanded warehouse, two men fighting in the ring in three – quarter speed.)

BUCKLEY (V/O): Ben Flore with a dropkick – MELTON CATCHES HIM BY THE ANKLE! FIGURE FOUR! FIGURE FOUR! FLORE TAPPING! FLORE TAPPING! JOEY MELTON HAS WON THE ULTRATITLE!

(CUTTO: Joey Melton with his hand raised, quick fade to a larger, similar looking venue.)

SEITZER (V/O): Quickly, the tournament became an annual event.

(Fade showed ‘Hollywood’ Kerry Allen with a single punch, flooring Bill Parsons, and a foot on the chest gives him the victory.)

SEITZER (V/O): Even more quickly, the man who shaped professional wrestling for almost twenty years would vault to the top of the Ultratitle, just as the tournament opened the field to a national – and then international audience.

(Fade to Hornet, hitting a Hornet Splash on M.G. and rolling him up for a pin.)

BUCKLEY (V/O): HORNET WINS! HORNET WINS! HORNET WINS!

(Crossfade to a masked man, coming off the top with a missile dropkick on Joey Melton.)

SEITZER (V/O): And with expansion… came the new blood. With the new blood, an aging legend managed one last moment of glory.

(After earning the pinfall on Joey Melton, ‘Anniversary Atom’ removed his mask…)

BUCKLEY (V/O): MICKEY BENEDICT! MICKEY BENEDICT HAS WON THE ULTRATITLE! MICKEY BENEDICT WAS ANNIVERSARY ATOM!

(Another crossfade, showing Mickey Benedict with a low blow and a reverse small package against Kerry Allen, holding him down just long enough for the three.)

BUCKLEY (V/O): UNPRECEDENTED! Mickey Benedict wins the Ultratitle for the second year in a row!

BENSON (V/O): Against another former winner, too! Who thought that was a good idea?

(Crossfade with a slow-mo overlay of every Ultratitle winner from first to last, so far.)

SEITZER (V/O): And on the cusp of the biggest expansion in the history of the Tournament… two former Winners had one last moment together, holding the attention of an entire sport.

(After Mickey Benedict’s face faded, the Merritt Auditorium dissolved into view, with Hornet bridging Joey Melton, with both mens’ shoulders to the mat; at the last minute, Melton raised a shoulder.)

BUCKLEY (V/O): For the second time, Joey Melton with the win! Joey Melton is now a Two-Time Ultratitle Winner! Joey Melton! Joey Melton!

(Explosion cleared the screen.)

SEITZER (V/O): With the introduction of the biggest tournament in professional wrestling history, two hundred and fifty five would fall, and a new, apathetic antihero would rise.

(CUTTO: The 1995 Ultratitle finals, showing Doc Siver against Timmy Windham.)

BUCKLEY (V/O): Silver pulls Windham up by his hair and sends him across the ring into the turnbuckle, chest first!!! He follows Windham in, crushing Windham between his body and the turnbuckle! Windham tries to make a move, but Silver dodges him and sends him to the mat with a DDT. Silver follows by running the ropes and then catching Timmy with a leg drop! He goes for the cover! ONE.....TWO....no, Windham kicks out. Windham hooks in leg scissors, but Silver breaks out quickly. Silver whips Windham into the ropes and catches him with another elbow on his way back in! Silver pulls Windham up and gets him ready for....there's a neckbreaker!!! Silver covers.... ONE....no, Windham kicks out! Once again, Silver pulls Windham up and sends him face first into the turnbuckle! Dr. Silver pulls Windham back out and sets him up for his finisher. There's the SUICIDE MACHINE piledriver! Dr. Silver covers! ONE..............TWO............THREE!!!!! DR. SILVER is the 1995 ULTRATITLE CHAMPION!!! He is the last man standing out of the 256 men that began this tournament!!!

(CUTTO: Overlay of the UNIFIED Championship Title, with long-gone ‘Golden Boy’ Paul Pierce in the background.)

SEITZER (V/O): A year went by, and the tournament continued, only this time, the stakes were higher than ever. With an injury to the UNIFIED Champion, Hornet, the title itself was up for grabs, and in the end, newcomer and one-hit wonder, the Golden Boy, Paul Pierce, took the Ultratitle, along with the UNIFIED Championship, against “Untouchable” Julius P. Godreign in an unforgettable bout.

And then, for ten years, all was silent.


SEITZER (V/O): From the ashes of tradition, rose the New Frontier.

(CUTTO: Overlays of New Frontier Wrestling during the ‘Season’ format, showcasing highlights from Season One, including the Highwaymen, the Exploding Cage, the debut of the NFW East, and the controversial finish of the Hornet vs. Michael Manson showdown. Slow finish on the final moments of the Season One finals.)

KERRY O’CONNOR (V/O): PARRRRRRRRRRTY'S OVERRRRRRRRRRRRR! PARTY'S OVER! SOUTHERN HIT IT!

LEE-BABY SIMS (V/O): FIFTEEN SECONDS! FIFTEEN SECONDS ARE REMAINING!

O'CONNOR (V/O): This crowd has absolutely LOST it! Southern drags Manson to the center of the ring near Herpin!

SIMS(V/O): TEN SECONDS REMAINING! TENNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN! NIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE!

O'CONNOR (V/O): SOUTHERN COVERS FOR THE PIN! ("EIGHHHHHHHHT!") HERPIN'S CRAWLING OVER! HOW CAN HE EVEN SEE!?!?

LAMONT HOLLYWOOD (V/O): I don't know, I can't even watch right now! ("FIIIIIIIVE!") Tell me when it's over...

O’CONNOR (V/O): "HERPIN IS STARTING TO COUNT! ONEEEEEEEEEE! ("THREEEEEEE! TWOOOOOOO!") TWOOOOOOOOOOO! SOUTHERN'S SCREAMING TO COUNT FASTER! ("ONNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNE!") THRRRRRRRRREEEEEE----"

RING! DING! RING-A-LING-DING! DING! DING!

H’WOOD (V/O): "WHAT HAPPENED!?!?!? WHAT HAPPENED!?!!?!?"

O’CONNOR (V/O): "I DON'T KNOW!"

O’CONNOR (V/O): "It looked like Herpin counted to three, but I don't know if it before the bell started ringing, I really don't!"

(CUTTO: QUENTIN SULLIVAN and other officials inside the ring, talking to HERPIN who’s having a hard time standing up against the turnbuckles. HERPIN looks like he’s explaining things, pointing to his eyes and head as he talks...finally SULLIVAN walks up to LEE-BABY SIMS and whispers in his ear. Meanwhile, MANSON is still nearly unconscious on the mat – still lying on his back as SHANE SOUTHERN is on his knees, his hands on his hips. His face cut open, he can only watch in disbelief at what’s going on...)

O’CONNOR (V/O): "It looks like we’ve gotten a mutual decision inside the ring between the officials and the President and Lee-Baby Sims is about to talk..."

DING! DING! DING!

SIMS (V/O): "At the time of THIRTY MINUTES, the results of this match are MICHAEL MANSON with TWO FALLS...SHANE SOUTHERN with...ONE FALL...."

(SOUTHERN’s head drops, the crowd CANNOT believe it letting out a VERY LOUD reaction of disbelief....)

SIMS (V/O): "THEREFORE.....THE WINNER OF THIS MATCH! BY TWO FALLS TO ONE FALL!"

SIMS (V/O): "AND THE WINNER OF NEW FRONTIER WRESTLING’S INAUGURAL ULTRATITLE SEASON! AND STILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL NFW WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAAAAAMMMMMMMPION! MIIIIIIIIIIIIIICHAEL! MANNNNNNNNNNNSUHHHHHHHNNNNNNNNN!"

(CUTTO: Overlay of the final NFW North/South bracket, fading into the NFW East/West bracket, complete with highlights from Season 2: the Rise of Kooter, the NFW World Title reign of Doc Silver, the struggle of ownership between Manson and Melton, the Survivor Series and Hulk-A-Thon Interconference events. WrestleStock, during a torrential downpour, the Demolition Derby ‘Second Chances’ match, the showdown between Yori Yakamo Jr and Felix Red, both for the NFW East Championship as well as the NFW World Title, and the STAIRWAY to HELL match between Eli Flair and Nova, showcasing How the West was Won. Finish on the final moments of Nova vs. Yori for the ULTRATITLE finals…)

O’CONNOR (V/O): (over loud groans!) "NOVA DROPS YORI FACEFIRST ON THE CHAIR! OHMYGAHHHHHHD! WARRIOR SLAM! Nova’s beating that tattoo like its on fire! Yori’s rolled onto his back, Nova’s criss-crossing off the r—WHAT THE? (LOUD CHEERS!) Back Handspring off the ropes! LOOOOOOK OUT! (CRASH! LOUD EXPLOSION!) YORI MOVED! The Back Handspring Corkscrew EAGLESTAR WARRIOR SPLASH... MISSES!"

CROWD: "WHAT THE FUNK! WHAT THE FUNK!"

O’CONNOR (V/O): "The sonofa(BLEEP!)ch freaking moved!"

H’WOOD (V/O): "Honestly... what the F(BLEEP!)K?"

SIMS (V/O): (V/O) "FIVE MINUTES REMAIN IN THIS STIPLUATION! FIVE MINUTES!"

O’CONNOR (V/O): "The power of the Warrior may have been enough to hold down the Hulk, but NOT Yori."

H’WOOD (V/O): "I need a steak and blowjob, Beanfry... I need a vacation from Craig Miles’ hell... and most of all, I need to be around something SANE for once."

O’CONNOR (V/O): "Yori staggering up! Nova getting up as well!"

CROWD: "YORI! (claps!) NOVA! (claps!) YORI!"

O’CONNOR (V/O): "They’re coming off the ropes at each other! Both miss wild clotheslines, both turn around and run off the ropes, NOVA stops in the middle and Yori back handsprings! (LOUD CHEERS!) MOONSAU—NO! (SCREAMS!) NOVA CAUGHT HIM! YORI’S KICKING FRANTICALLY!"

H’WOOD (V/O): "He’s over the chair!"

(LOUD GROANS!)

O’CONNOR (V/O): "TOMBSTONE ON THE CHAIR! TOMBSTONE ON THE CHAIR!"

(CLOSEUP: NOVA on his knees, his eyes barely able to remain open and lolling. YORI is sporadically flailing his left leg and twitching. Slowly, NOVA stands up leaving YORI’s head rested on top of a dented chair, his eyes blinking rapidly. The crowd buzzes loudly, as NOVA waves for ELI FLAIR and MIKE RANDALLS to throw the chairs into the ring.)

H’WOOD (V/O): "Don’t do it guys...don’t d—(LOUD CHEERS!) I don’t think I can watch, Beanfry."

O’CONNOR (V/O): "Nova... he’s now placing one of those chairs on Yori Yakamo Junior’s head! I don’t want to know... I don’t even want to know what he’s thinking in that concussed, dented skull of his right now!"

CROWD: "THIS IS FUNK’D! THIS IS FUNK’D!"

(CLOSEUP: NOVA climbing the turnbuckles from inside the ring, the crowd freaking the hell out everywhere... With the wobbling and shaking not for the feint of heart, NOVA gets to a standing position and a chair dangling from his right hand!)

O’CONNOR (V/O): "NOVA MOONSAULTS OFF! (LOUD CRACK! CROWD EXPLOSION!) OH MY GAHHHHHHHD! THE FUNKITRONIC CHRONIC COSMIC COMET BOMB! (Drop Da Bomb/Arabian Facebuster) YORI’S TWITCHING VIOLENTLY!"

CROWD: "WHAT THE FUNK! WHAT THE FUNK!"

H’WOOD (V/O): "If Yori’s dead, do we have to close down?"

O’CONNOR (V/O): "Nova drapes his arm over the chair covering Yori’s torso! (w/crowd) ONNNNNNNNE! TWOOOOOOOOOOOO! (w/God) ...THREEEEEEEEEEEEEE! THREEEEEE!?"

H’WOOD (V/O): "THREEEEEEEEEE!"

(LOUD EXPLOSION! The crowd goes wild!)

O’CONNOR (V/O): "THREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! HE’S DONE IT! NOVA’S DONE IT!"

(SFX: Repeated bell ringing!)

H’WOOD (V/O): (sobbing) "It’s over... It’s FINALLY over..."

SIMS (V/O): (V/O) "The WINNER of this match... at the one-hundred two minute mark! (crowd whistles!) And the Ultratitle Champion of New Frontier Wrestling’s second season! THE RISING STAR! THE KING OF THE HALLUCINATION NATION! ...NOVAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!"

(CUTTO: Blackness, and the simple number 2012 slowly fading into view from the very back of the screen.)


SEITZER (V/O): Now…

(CUTTO: Quick cut to a series of Joey Melton’s victory moves, with his profile in the background.)

Joey Melton. The living legend, the man who made his mark in a warehouse nearly a quarter century ago, and with championship after championship, milestone after milestone, two Ultratitle victories and five unprecedented appearances in the Final Four, the man known as Arrogance is looking for the ultimate symmetry, to win the Greatest Tournament of them All one more time before he pulls the curtain.

(CUTTO: Slow – motion footage of NFW RELOADED IX, where Castor Strife defeated Impulse for the NFW World Championship.)

Castor V Strife. God of Snuff. Golden Dream. Leader of the New Frontier. The most dominant and most decorated professional wrestler of the past three years overcame a bracket filled with the legends of today –

(CUTTO: Joe the Plumber, coming to the ring.)

—The legends of yesterday—

(CUTTO: Castor, garnering the pinfall over Anarky.)

—And the established favorites.

(CUTTO: Split – screen, of ‘Triple X’ Sean Stevens headed for the ring, and Castor’s pinfall against Khristain Keller.)

Castor Strife has declared himself the greatest wrestler in the industry today. Not only does he already have a strong argument for the title, but tonight, he has the opportunity to end the debate.

(CUTTO: Perhaps the greatest match of the Ultratitle to date; the staredown between Jack Harmen and Troy Windham.)

Jack Harmen. Formerly known as High Flyer. Former World Champion of the FWO. Of the IWO. Of the WWE and NBW. The legitimate living legend and verified IMMORTAL… the man formerly known as High Flyer has made his way to the Final Four by defeating both established, bonafide legends…

(CUTTO: Harmen’s victory over Freddie Sagawa.)

…And potential, future legends. Jack Harmen has gathered potentially more accolades, and has achieved more career milestones than any other athlete involved in the tournament, and has done so with a minimum of noise and a maximum of efficiency. Jack Harmen was truly the man to beat when the 2012 Ultratitle began, and his entire career can be summed up in the fact that nobody realized it until this moment.

(CUTTO: Eric Dane, locked tightly in the Total Elimination modified STF.)

Eli Flair.

The Original Nobody.

(CUTTO: Victories over both Sean Edmunds and Kendall Codine.)

Possibly the sentimental favorite to win the Ultratitle this year, the King of Extreme did something that few have been able to do: he left the sport of professional wrestling on his own terms and at the top of his game. His path to the Final Four demonstrated that he has lost nary a step, and he could very well cement his own legacy with just two more victories.

(CUTTO: Four – way split screen, showing the four semifinalists.)

Tonight, these four men will wage war against each other. They will fight, not just for the Ultratitle, but for the past, present, and future of the sport of professional wrestling. These four men can arguably be referred to as the greatest wrestlers of today, but that’s not going to be sufficient.

None of these men will rest until there is one Ultratitle Winner. None of these men will rest until they have persevered over the other three.

For one man, this night will be the culmination of everything they have been working for since they first stepped between the ropes. For the other three, it will be a night of disappointment, of frustration, and of wondering both publicly and privately, if they will ever have another chance.

Tonight, ladies and gentlemen… is about the ULTRATITLE.
 

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Welcome to the Show!

(CUTTO: The Merritt Auditorium in Greensboro, North Carolina. The spotlights are roaming the arena and the fans are all on their feet.)

BILL BUCKLEY: WELCOME EVERYONE! TO THE MERRITT AUDITORIUM!

(CUTTO: Close – up pan of the crowd, and fans from all over the world. Quick stop on signs such as “JACK HARMEN IS SUPERFLY” and “SNUFF ME, CASTOR” along with general wrestling hype like “THE BLUE EYED BADASS WAS ROBBED” and “THE ‘I’ in TEAM STANDS FOR IMPULSE” and things as simple as the NFW ‘Revolution’ star logo.)

BUCKLEY: WELCOME TO THE FINALS OF THE TWO THOUSAND AND TWELVE ULTRATITLE!

(CUTTO: Settled – in shot at ringside, of two middle – to – late aged men in tuxedos, holding microphones with the ‘Ultratitle’ logo on them. The man on the left – longtime CSWA and ULTRATITLE 2012 commentator Bill Buckley is looking around at the deafening masses.)

BUCKLEY: AND WELCOME TO SURVIVALISM! My name is Bill Buckley, and I’m here tonight with another legendary commentator, Stan Parsons, and we are at GROUND ZERO for the Ultratitle Finals!

STAN PARSONS: I can’t believe we made it here, Bill! One hundred and twenty eight of the best wrestlers in the world descended on Greensboro five months ago to throw their names into the mix, and we’ve whittled that number down to four! Of course, the main event of the night will be the Ultratitle finals in and of themselves, but we have a long way to go to get there!

BUCKLEY: Indeed, Stan! Before we can even get there, we have a pair of semi – final matches to push through, first, we’ll be seeing two men who are no strangers to each other, Jack Harmen and Eli Flair, facing off to kick things off tonight!

PARSONS: These two have had several encounters in the past and Jack Harmen has proven, overall, to have had Eli Flair’s number!

BUCKLEY: So you’re picking Jack Harmen in our first Semifinal match tonight?

PARSONS: I’m not picking anyone, I’m just saying that I think Eli Flair has an uphill battle to get to the Ultratitle finals!

BUCKLEY: After that match, we’ll see Joey Melton against Castor Strife, and this is another match with a lot riding on it, Stan!

PARSONS: Melton, of course is a two – time former CSWA World Champion, two – time former ULTRATITLE winner, and former EPW World Champion, but Castor Strife is the NFW World Heavyweight Champion and former NFW TV Champion, and arguably the single greatest full time wrestler in the sport today.

BUCKLEY: So you give that one to Castor Strife?

PARSONS: I’m not counting out the cunning and talent of Joey Melton, but I am saying that New Frontier Wrestling, post-Season Two, was built in part on the legacy of Joe the Plumber, and I believe Castor Strife has surpassed Joe as the face of the New Frontier.

BUCKLEY: Then how do you see these semifinal matches going, Stan?

PARSONS: I can’t exactly say, Bill, but I think it’s fitting that we have perhaps the two most accomplished wrestlers of today in the Final Four, in Jack Harmen and Castor Strife, along with the two most accomplished wrestlers of yesterday in Eli Flair and Joey Melton. Many things will be settled tonight, Bill, the least of which will be the Ultratitle!

BUCKLEY: In addition to the Ultratitle semifinals and finals, tonight we’ll see the finals of the Intergalactic Championship finals in a four – way elimination match between Leyenda de Ocho, Sabre, Phil Atken, and Troy Matthews! The winner of this match will be crowned IG Champion, Stan, but they will also have to face the reality of a guaranteed title shot to the Greatest American Hero, Hornet!

PARSONS: It’s not the Ultratitle, but these four men have worked insanely hard to get to this point, and while I don’t envy the winner for their eventual showdown with Hornet, whoever takes the title tonight will be up there with the hardest working wrestlers of the world today!

BUCKLEY: We also have a steel cage grudge match to present to you tonight, sponsored by the TSWF, as Chris Hallmark takes on Leon Corolla!

PARSONS: This feud goes back several weeks, Bill, and while they’ve got the opportunity to face off in a cage, I don’t know that they’ll have the ability to let their hatred go after this matchup concludes.

BUCKLEY: We’ll get to them later, Stan, but for now, we’re on to one of the main events of the night!


 

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SemiFINAL: Jack Harmen vs. Eli Flair

(CUTTO: A wide shot of the arena, with strobes flashing all over the place in time with the flash of twenty thousand cameras.

Focus on the entranceway. The CSWAVision screen was showing historical footage of the former High Flyer, along with his associates in Team VIAGRA from the past decade and a half.

In the midst of the walk down memory lane, three figures emerged.

In the middle: Mary-Lynn Mayweather, wearing what appeared to be a skirt-equipped business suit, but with a fitted T-shirt with the ‘VIAGRA’ logo across the front instead of business shirt and jacket. She had been managing Jack Harmen for years, but the big shows always floored her.

‘Not bad,’ she said, her voice drowned out in the wall of sound.

To her right was the King of Hallucination Nation himself, the current reigning Ultratitle Winner, dating back five years to NFW Season Two. He was doing his best not to attract attention to himself directly, but a distinct chant of “NOOOOOOOOOOOOVA! NOOOOOOOOOOOVA!” could be heard over the music. A glittering, shiny gold belt was strapped around his waist.

And there he was.

Jack Harmen, the other half of Superfly Express, the NFW’s EMT World Tag Team Champions.
He wore a plain black wifebeater to compliment his wrestling attire and title belt of his own. Normally a flamboyant showman, he was focused on the ring tonight.

Considering his tag team partner was not only the last man to win the Ultratitle, but Nova had made it to the finals against Yori Yakamo Jr. with a victory over Harmen’s opponent tonight, karma seemed to be in his favor.

Nova slid under the bottom rope and held the middle for Mayweather to slip through, and both of them stepped back while Harmen himself climbed to the apron outside the ropes and turned, slowly, surveying the crowd. A strange smirk appeared on his face, the meaning of which was lost to most of the fans watching.

In one fluid motion, he leaned back with his hands on the top rope and slingshotted himself over, into the ring, and raised both hands in victory – slash – appreciation for the fans’ ovation and continued support through the years.)



(Almost immediately, the fans got louder as the lights went back down. Slow spotlights panned the crowd during the quiet intro to Harmen’s opponents’ music.

As things built, the spotlights all focused on the entranceway. Every light in the arena seemed to strobe for several seconds at a clip, until the lights focused on one spot just outside the entrance, and a standing ovation began.

To the left was ‘Poison’ Ivy McGinnis, with her blonde hair braided into two pigtails, wearing a plain black tank top underneath a NY Yankees jersey with her personal favorite number, 37, on the back, along with a knee – length loose skirt, fishnet stockings, and glossy looking boots that reached her mid – calf. She leaned her hands on the Singapore Cane in front of her, looking over the top of her wire rimmed glasses at the crowd.

Next to her, was a large man clad in a black leather trench coat that has obviously seen a lot of wear. He stood with his back to the crowd, black hair cascaded with gray streaks. His fist was in the air, and he wasn’t moving.

Until he was.

‘Total Elimination’ Eli Flair turned around almost in sync with Poison Ivy’s picking up the cane in her hands and hoisting it over her shoulder. They stood shoulder to shoulder for another few seconds before starting their own long walk to the ring.

As per usual, there was no slapping of hands, no acknowledgement of any kind to the fans, and no indication that their cheers were even registering to him, other than the cold glare that had terrorized professional wrestling for fifteen full years.

Eli and Ivy took a single lap around the ring, then, as creatures of habit, Eli climbed from the floor to the top turnbuckle on the far side of the ring with his fist in the air one more time, to a larger ovation from the crowd. Ivy took the less dramatic approach, entering the ring on the side with the hard camera.

Music faded, lights returned to normal, and the first two semifinalists for the Ultratitle stood across the ring from each other, with only a skinny, middle aged man in a tuxedo between them.)

RHUBARB JONES: This contest is scheduled for one fall, and it is the first of two Semi-Final Matchups for the Two Thousand Twelve Ultratitle, with a sixty minute time limit! Introducing first…

He is a former two-time FWO World Heavyweight Champion. He is a former IWO World Champion, former Jolt Wrestling World Champion. He is one half of the current reigning New Frontier Wrestling EMT World Tag Team Champions… and he is a former IMMORTAL!

(The fans cheered with every accolade.)

Accompanied to the ring by his manager, Mary-Lynn Mayweather, and his tag team partner, the last man to win the Ultratitle and the KING of HALLUCINATION NATION, NOVA…

Hailing from Orlando, Florida, and weighing in at two hundred and five pounds…

JACK! HAAAAAAAAAAAARMEN!!!!!!

(Harmen unhooked the belt from around his waist and raised it high above his head, soaking in the applause and appreciation. He handed the title belt off to Nova, who slung it over his shoulder while wearing his own around his waist.)

JONES: AND HIS OPPONENT…

(Almost immediately, the chant of EEEEEEEEEELIIIIIII… started up.)

He is a fifteen time former World Heavyweight Champion, he last wrestled for the Ultratitle in Hell’s Kitchen in New Frontier Wrestling, and he is the only man in the history of this business to have held the World Championships of the FWO, the CSWA, and the Asylum…

Accompanied to the ring by the LEGENDARY POISON IVY…

(Ivy, leaning back in the corner, raised the big wooden stick in the air.)

From Bronx, New York… weighing in at two hundred and ninety nine pounds… The KING of EXTREME… The ORIGINAL NOBODY… ‘Total Elimination…’ ELI… FLAIRRRRRRR!!!!!!!

(As Eli’s last name rolled out of Rhubarb’s mouth, the crowd’s chant was suddenly and quickly replaced by a dueling “WELCOME BACK” and “PLEASE DON’T GO” from virtually the entire arena. Slowly, Eli and Harmen removed their various ring wares and handed off to their respective entourages, and referee Ben Worthington pulled them both into the ring for a few last minute instructions.

(SFX: DING DING DING!)

BUCKLEY: And we’re official, Stan! Worthington finishes with his instructions, and Eli offers a handshake to Harmen!

PARSONS: Could be a trap. Flair admitted it himself, he does not have the best lifetime record against Jack Harmen, any advantage would be welcome. And as we saw in the last Ultratitle when Eli put himself into the playoffs with a handful of tights over Nova, he’s not above taking a shortcut when it suits him.

BUCKLEY: We have a clean handshake, though I think you’re right about taking shortcuts, Stan – though I think Nova certainly got his comeuppance against Eli when he ultimately went on to win the Ultratitle back in the NFW. Besides, with the prospect of either Joey Melton or Castor Strife looming over these two men, I think they’d both be looking for whatever advantage they could get.

PARSONS: Right now, it’s all about defense.

BUCKLEY: They’re circling each other, and they lock up! NO! Harmen ducked under Eli’s grasp and landed a kick to the back of Eli’s knee! Sweep of the leg, and he’s landing a series of right hands into Eli’s face as they’re on the mat!

PARSONS: Flair outweighs him by a hundred pounds and has historically bad knees. I think this is good strategy for Harmen to get through this as quickly as possible.

BUCKLEY: Eli with a shove and Harmen is sent skidding across the mat! Nip up by Harmen, and Eli with a roll to his knees, Jack with a running start – ELI WITH A SHOULDER TO THE GUT!

PARSONS: As far as Harmen having the upper hand in most of their previous matches, it would do well to reiterate that they’ve had prior matches: they certainly know each other at least moderately well and know the others’ tendencies.

BUCKLEY: Flair with a hook and a spinebuster to the mat! Cover! ONE… TWO… Kickout! Harmen was winded but he’s not going to be giving up the ghost that quickly!

PARSONS: I’m a little surprised that Eli would try for a cover that quickly, considering how well they know each other.

BUCKLEY: The element of surprise, Stan. Many a match has been won or lost based on a momentary advantage.

PARSONS: But they didn’t exactly get here based on being easy to beat.

BUCKLEY: Point well taken. Eli with a scoop, and he just sent Harmen into the ropes! Baseball swing – Harmen ducked under it! Standing dropkick to Eli’s back! Eli sent forward, chest first, into the ropes! I think he might’ve caught his windpipe on impact, he’s taking a moment to gather himself… Harmen off the opposite side, and a modified stun gun!

(SFX: “HAR-MEN! HAR-MEN! Chant from the crowd.)

PARSONS: That was impressive.

BUCKLEY: You can see right there on the instant replay, Jack Harmen vaulted himself over the top rope, grabbed two handfuls of Eli’s hair, and snapped his head and neck down across the rope! He didn’t have the most graceful of landings on the outside but he did land mostly on his feet, and Eli fell backwards on the rebound to the mat, while Harmen has quickly scaled the top! TOP ROPE LEGDROP! COVER! ONE… TWO… Kickout by Eli!

PARSONS: Like we said, both about the surprise pinfall and not getting beaten that easily.

BUCKLEY: That was quite an impactful series, and the momentum has very quickly shifted into Jack Harmen’s favor. Flair has rolled onto his knees, while Harmen hooks his head and pulls him to his feet! Are we about to see a DDT?

PARSONS: We are! DDT by Harmen, and Eli is rocked! But he’s still getting up!

BUCKLEY: Harmen to his feet as well, and he’s measuring Eli… DROPKICK TO THE KNEE! The big man goes down! Harmen now with a series of boots to the left knee, and Eli is prone! Kick to the head! Kick to the knee! Kick to the head!

PARSONS: Definite sound strategy. Go after those knees that have been taking abuse for however many years. He might’ve been out of the ring for the past few years but some damage just doesn’t heal.

BUCKLEY: Eli with a block of one boot, and a legsweep just took Jack Harmen off his feet! Harmen is very quick to climb back to a vertical base, however, while Eli is still trying his best. Jack to the outside, what’s he doing, Stan?

PARSONS: He’s measuring, and he’s waiting.

BUCKLEY: Harmen on the apron, holding onto the top rope with both hands. Eli to his feet – JACK WITH A SLINGSHOT BULLDOG!

PARSONS: It’s pretty clear that Harmen’s strategy has been to keep Flair off balance, cut his knees off, and work on chopping him down from the top. Eli hasn’t had much strategy besides pound, pound, pound, but he also hasn’t had much chance to use it. I think he’s showing that ring rust that he was insisting wasn’t there.

BUCKLEY: You may have a point, Stan. Eli got through the first five rounds of the Ultratitle on guts and guile: unlike Castor and Harmen who are actively involved, and unlike Melton who still accepts the occasional booking, Eli Flair stayed away from the sport during the past three years. And while there’s an amount of skill that you never lose, he may have been the biggest surprise to make it to the Final Four and Jack Harmen is really dominating this match so far.

PARSONS: He’s still got the guts and guile, however, as Harmen covers for a two count again.

BUCKLEY: On the other hand, Eli made it to the Final Four, same as two NFW Championship level athletes, and Joey Melton, who is perennially at the top of any company that he works for.

PARSONS: I think they both have their strengths, and right now, Harmen’s are working for him.

BUCKLEY: Harmen with a scoop, and an irish whip into the ropes… Eli with a reversal! Backdrop telegraphed… Harmen with a leapfrog! Off the other side – ELI WITH A CLOTHESLINE JUST TOOK BOTH MEN OVER THE TOP!

PARSONS: He knew Harmen would leapfrog him, that’s the only explanation. Or he bet the match on that one move and managed to come out on top. Either way, impressive.

BUCKLEY: Both men crumble to the floor, and we’ve got Ivy on one side of them and Nova and Mayweather on the other! Neither entourage is really known for blatant interference but with the Ultratitle finals at stake, you never know! Ben Worthington warning both sides to stay out of it, while the two competitors slowly rise to their feet.

PARSONS: Harmen is actually up first, but he looks like he's dazed. Looking at the replay, he landed on his back and side, and his head grazed off the floor. Eli is getting up much more slowly, but steadily. He just caught a glimpse of Nova!

BUCKLEY: Flashback, perhaps?

PARSONS: Outside, Ultratitle semis, with Nova in his sights? Flashback is likely.

BUCKLEY: The moment passes, however, as Nova backs up, likely out of respect for both competitors, and Eli scoops Harmen – Thumb to the eyes! Harmen with a whip, and Eli hits the stairs!

PARSONS: He nearly hit Mary-Lynn, too! There’s the danger of being at ringside, even if you aren’t going to get involved.

BUCKLEY: Jack rolls into the ring and back out again to break the count, and he’s got Eli by the hair – LOW BLOW BY FLAIR! DDT ON THE FLOOR! BOTH MEN ARE DOWN!

PARSONS: Difference is, Eli didn’t just take blunt force trauma to the head. He’s getting up with the ring apron as leverage, while Harmen still has his hands on his forehead.

BUCKLEY: Now Eli rolls in and out to break the count, and now Worthington is yelling at both men to get back into the ring.

PARSONS: The damage has been done, but the match can’t end with both men outside. Well, it can, but it would make the next semifinal match a little more important than it already is.

BUCKLEY: Turnabout seems to equal fair play for Eli Flair, he sends Harmen headfirst into the ringpost! And now, finally, he sends Harmen back into the ring! Cover! ONE… TWO… THKICKOUT! Eli with a scoop, and a hard whip into the corner! Harmen hit the turnbuckle and slumps!

PARSONS: He might’ve been knocked out on his feet from those past two shots to the head, he needs to take a moment to get his bearings, but I doubt he’ll get the chance.

BUCKLEY: ELI WITH TWO HANDS AROUND HIS THROAT! TWO HANDED CHOKE TOSS! Harmen flew out of that corner and skidded on the mat! Another cover, ONE… TWO… KICKOUT!

PARSONS: And that looks like the first one that really surprised Flair.

BUCKLEY: He’s definitely got a look of annoyance on his face. Every minute spent in the ring – for either man – is one more minute of fatigue for the Ultratitle Finals, and against an opponent like Joey Melton or Castor Strife, every minute counts.

PARSONS: Right now, I think Harmen’s minutes are ticking away.

BUCKLEY: He’s down, but he’s not out yet, Stan. Eli with another scoop, and another whip into the corner! Follow through with a hard clothesline that flattened Harmen against the turnbuckle! Oh – but Eli walks away, gingerly favoring that left knee. He might have popped something in it that Harmen damaged earlier.

PARSONS: We talked, briefly, about how Flair’s knees are his Achilles heel, if Harmen can get his head together this could be his opportunity to make it to the finals.

BUCKLEY: Eli doing his best not to limp, there’s pain just below the surface on his face that he’s trying to cover, and he drags Harmen out of the corner. He’s got one hand around his neck, we’ve seen this before too… These fans want to see it!

PARSONS: He’s got him up… and he puts him down!

BUCKLEY: ELI FLAIR WITH A DELAYED CHOKESLAM! ANOTHER COVER! ONE… TWO… THRKICKOUT! Harmen most certainly had the wind knocked out of him, but he’s far from finished! Eli with another scoop, and he’s got Harmen hooked around the chest! Uranage! HARMEN HOOKS ELI AROUND THE HEAD! He doesn’t let go, and Eli can’t follow through without planting his own head into the mat!

PARSONS: More importantly, he stopped himself with his left leg, and that can’t have helped things.

BUCKLEY: Harmen holding on, Eli trying to shake him loose… TORNADO DDT BY HARMEN!

PARSONS: On one hand, that was a lucky shot, but on the other that was some incredible ingenuity and ring awareness by Harmen. And just like that, the pendulum is back to center.

BUCKLEY: Eli is back to his knees, holding his hand to his head against the ropes, while Harmen is still on his back! He took a ton of punishment leading up to that reversal, he needs a moment to – HARMEN WITH A NIP UP! He looks like he’s taken a ton of punishment so far in this match, he’s still breathing heavy, but he’s got enough to showboat right here!

PARSONS: It’s just enough, I think, to pull the fans on his side. He knows how to get the fans going for him.

BUCKLEY: These fans are going for both men, Stan, and it’s deafening in here from the fans!

PARSONS: Eli’s pulled himself up, but Harmen with another dropkick to the back of the knee!

BUCKLEY: Harmen with a quick scoop and hook, and a single leg Boston Crab! Eli right there to grab the ropes!

PARSONS: Harmen lets go at Worthington’s count of four, but that’s four more seconds of punishment that I don’t think Eli’s knee can handle!

BUCKLEY: I don’t think Worthington would disqualify them, Stan, he wants to see an Ultratitle final just as much as everyone in this arena, but he’s going to be keeping a tight rein on these two. Harmen to the top rope… MISSILE DROPKICK TO THE SIDE OF ELI’S HEAD! COVER! ONE… TWO… THKICKOUT!

PARSONS: He’s still a High Flyer.

BUCKLEY: Don’t let him hear you.

PARSONS: Please.

BUCKLEY: Harmen with a hook, and he pulls Eli to his feet… Irish whip… DROP TOE HOLD! ELI JUST LANDED ACROSS THE BOTTOM ROPE ON THE NECK!

PARSONS: I think he got his hand up, Bill.

BUCKLEY: You may be right, Stan, he may have deflected part of that, but he still took a nasty shot to the windpipe on that rope! Harmen pulls Eli away from the ropes and scoops him… Another whip… LOCOMOTIVE! LOCOMOTIVE! IT’s OVER!

PARSONS: Eli took the hit and staggered through the ropes, it might be over, but not for another ten seconds.

BUCKLEY: Jack Harmen hit that Yakuza kick, but Eli went through the ropes! He’s prone on the outside of the ring, but Harmen can’t get a pinfall out there!

PARSONS: Worthington is on three, he might not need it.

WORTHINGTON: FOUR!

BUCKLEY: Poison Ivy right by Eli Flair, she’s yelling at him to get up, and Eli is stirring but he’s still down!

WORTHINGTON: FIVE!

BUCKLEY: Worthington also keeping an eye on Poison Ivy, but as long as she doesn’t make physical contact I think she’s alright. Eli rolls through to his knees!

WORTHINGTON: SIX!

PARSONS: The tragedy for Harmen is that it took Eli to the count of six to get off his back. If he’d kept him in the ring, he’d have gotten the pin.

WORTHINGTON: SEVEN!

BUCKLEY: The entire arena is counting along with Ben Worthington, along with calling for Eli to get up and continue the match! He’s got a hand on the ring apron!

WORTHINGTON! EIGHT!

BUCKLEY: JACK HARMEN WITH A BASEBALL SLIDE! HE CAUGHT ELI RIGHT IN THE FACE!

PARSONS: That might’ve been foolish, because Worthington is yelling at Harmen to back off and let the match either continue or end, but it might’ve ended if he didn’t break the count.

BUCKLEY: Eli was knocked to his knees, but he’s still on them, so he’s conscious and I’m sure, more or less aware!

PARSONS: Something’s dripping. Oh no, now he’s done it.

(SFX: A huge, huge pop from the crowd, as CSWAvision moves in close, to show Eli Flair with a steady stream of blood starting to pour from above his right eye. He looked at the camera with a feral glare.)

BUCKLEY: Eli Flair busted open! He rolls backward to his feet, and he’s looking at Jack Harmen like he’s woken a sleeping giant!

PARSONS: He very well may have, Buckley. Eli has wrestled some tough matches in the Ultratitle this year, he nearly lost in his first round against newcomer Vagabond, and he’s had some knock down dragouts against both Sean Edmunds and Kendall Codine, but this is the first time I think, to use his phrase, that he’s gone to war so far.

BUCKLEY: Harmen pacing like a caged animal while Eli heads back to the ring. Worthington’s restarted count is at four, but Eli isn’t going to get counted out this time. He grabs the top rope and pulls himself to the apron – Harmen with a right hand! Another! Eli with a block and a fist of his own! Another! Harmen is rocked backward! Eli with a quick climb to the top rope… DOUBLE AXEHANDLE! HARMEN DOWN! ELI DOWN!

PARSONS: Adrenaline took over, and he landed on his bum knee.

BUCKLEY: I think the adrenaline is still flowing as strong, since Eli just pulled himself up, maniacally, on the ropes! Harmen pulling himself up… ELI WITH A HOOK FROM BEHIND! FALLEN ONE! FALLEN ONE! IT’S OVER! ONE… TWO… THREE!

PARSONS: NO!

BUCKLEY: HARMEN WITH HIS FOOT ON THE ROPES! Harmen didn’t kick out, but his foot caught the bottom rope!

PARSONS: Eli looks like he doesn’t believe it either.

BUCKLEY: Eli Flair hobbles to his feet, he’s got Harmen hooked and pulled up, and a hard bodyslam put Harmen back down! He just wiped the blood from his face and sprayed it on the mat, and another scoop! HARMEN WITH A THUMB TO THE EYES! COLD SNOW! COLD SNOW! COLD SNOW! BOTH MEN DOWN! BOTH MEN DOWN!

PARSONS: These guys know each other so well, and they both have such ring awareness, they can take as many hits as they can and as long as they’re conscious, they can turn it around. We’ve seen that multiple times tonight.

BUCKLEY: Both men are down, Worthington is counting, he’s at two, and if he gets to ten I think this match would officially be considered a draw, but what happens to the Ultratitle, Stan?

PARSONS: Like you said, Ben Worthington wants to see finals just as much as the rest of us, but he’s not going to risk the health of either individual to do so. Jack Harmen is an active wrestler and an amazing one, and Ben has known Eli Flair for almost twenty years! He doesn’t want either of them to cause permanent damage to themselves, so if they can’t answer the ten, I think he’ll have no choice.

BUCKLEY: Four! Five! Jack Harmen just rolled to his stomach!

PARSONS: Good enough for Worthington.

BUCKLEY: He’s commando – crawling to his opponent! Arm over Eli’s chest! ONE… TWO… THREE!KICKOUT! KICKOUT! Eli Flair showing us the kind of toughness he built his name on!

PARSONS: You don’t get to be King of Extreme and a pushover at the same time.

BUCKLEY: Harmen just pushed backwards onto his knees, and he’s bleeding out the side of his mouth! He might’ve lost some teeth in that last exchange. But he’s got Eli up, and he’s got him hooked! Forearm to the back of the neck! Another to the back of the head! Irish whip! Harmen with a backdrop telegraphed!

PARSONS: He’s giving up almost a hundred pounds, if Eli can put the brakes on he won’t have the momentum to get him over.

BUCKLEY: He heard you, Stan! Eli with a kick to the chest! And a kick to the abdomen! He’s got Harmen hooked for a powerbomb! HARMEN WITH A SMALL PACKAGE! ONE… TWO…

PARSONS: ELI WITH THE REVERSAL! ONE… TWO… THREE!

BUCKLEY: KICKOUT!

(SFX: DING DING DING! HUGE fan pop.)

PARSONS: What just happened?

(CUTTO: A split screen, on one side, a close – up of Eli Flair’s small package reversal, clearly showing Jack Harmen kicking out just after the three count, and on the right, a genuine round of applause as Worthington raises Eli Flair’s arm while both men are still lying on the canvas.)

JONES: The winner of this match, and the first of tonight’s finalists in the 2012 Ultratitle… TOTAL ELIMINATION… ELI FLAIR!

BUCKLEY: HE GOT HIM! Poison Ivy just slid into the ring, and she’s hugging Eli around the neck! I don’t know if he even realizes it! Mary Lynn Mayweather and Nova also slide into the ring to help Jack Harmen to his feet, and I think Eli just got enough of his senses back, I think, to comprehend what just happened!

PARSONS: He’s in the corner, pounding the turnbuckle with his fists, I think he gets it.

BUCKLEY: Fans, it has been seventeen years since the first time Eli Flair wrestled in an Ultratitle tournament. This is the fifth time he’s been involved, and it is the first time he has ever made it to the finals! Nova just handed Jack Harmen his NFW Tag Team Championship belt, but the story is Harmen and Eli Flair, meeting again in the middle of the ring, and Eli with an offer of a handshake! HARMEN ACCEPTS!

(SFX: HUGE fan pop. The visual shows as many fans as can fit onscreen standing and applauding.)

BUCKLEY: Jack Harmen and his entourage are leaving the ring, leaving Eli and Ivy to have their moment! We’ll see them again later tonight, but as I understand it, Rudy Seitzer is backstage right now with Joey Melton! Rudy?
 
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Arrogance

(CUTTO: Backstage, standing in front of a large 2012 ULTRATITLE banner that showcases a full print of the brackets with the faces of Joey Melton, Castor Strife, Eli Flair, and Jack Harmen over their respective brackets, is Rudy Seitzer standing with ‘Arrogance’ Joey Melton himself. Rudy is dressed in a neat tuxedo, while Melton is wearing one of his trademark robes: bright red with sparkling sequins.)

RUDY SEITZER: Good evening wrestling fans, my name is Rudy Seitzer and I’m here with one of the two remaining semifinalists in the 2012 Ultratitle, two – time winner Joey Melton! Joey, we now know, whoever wins between yourself and Castor Strife will be facing off with the King of Extreme, Total Elimination Eli Flair in the finals of this year’s Ultratitle! What are your thoughts on that?

JOEY MELTON: My thoughts, Rudy?

(Joey grabbed the microphone out of Rudy’s hands and shoved him backwards a half step.)

MELTON: My thoughts, Rudy?

My thoughts are you need to do something to your skin. Rudy you look terrible. Is it the long hours? Have you been using skin care products that have been cruelly tested on animals? Seitzer I’ve got some product in the back of my car, they’ll do wonders. Now, keep in mind they’re samples, but…

SEITZER: Melton! Please…

MELTON: If Eli Flair is in the finals Rudy, we must all be dreaming. (Joey reaches and pinches Rudy on the cheeks) Any minute now we’ll wake up in the shower with Lindsay Troy and realize it was all just a horrible dream that Eli Flair finally stopped being the door stop for real talent in this business and put his massive size and hard head to good use. Hey, what are you doing in the shower with Troy and I!

SEITZER: This is not a dream Joey, Eli Flair…

MELTON: Eli Flair just made the biggest mistake of his life. I’ve hated for years that he was able to share a locker room with my personal Barbara Eden…

SEITZER: You’re dating yourself, please!

MELTON: Poison Ivy! Seitzer do you know how many times over the years have I pictured her buck naked strolling through a field of daisy’s? And Eli Flair gets the view for free and doesn’t do anything about it! And he never passed along a cell phone number or one of the many handwritten letters I penned! But now he’s returned and made the mistake of actually validating his legacy and beating Jack Harmen. And as a reward Flair you get Joey Melton. You get a true legend in this business, a two-time ULTRATITLE WINNER AND general man of the world. Flair I’m going to make you pay for every lie you told leading up to this moment and once we’re in the ring, I’m going to expose you for the second-rate half-talent you really are. And then when you realize you’re an open book that hasn’t been worth the read for millions of fans, you’ll wish you stayed true to your script and laid down for Harmen.
Sometimes Flair a loss is a good loss!

SEITZER: Are you forgetting your match with the NFW World Champion Castor Strife?

MELTON: Seriously Seitzer, who the hell is Castor Strife? I’m napping by a tree for a few minutes, I wake up, and they tell me not only is it not 1996 anymore but some little shit who’s been on top about as long as I’ve had my current erection is an unstoppable force. Listen to me very carefully Seitzer, Castor Strife is not an original. He’s a piece of postage ready for to be stamped for approval.

I’m the underdog in this match because some people have gotten over the concept that there is no such thing as time. It’s an illusion. I don’t live by numbers, Rudy. Joey Melton is aged brie. Joey Melton is a bottle of Bordeaux. Joey Melton is the finest Swiss Chocolate.

I get better with age!

SEITZER: I’m surprised you mentioned wine in a promo again, you swore you wouldn’t…

MELTON: Seitzer you irritant, you’re one thing I won’t miss! (Melton stares at Seitzer) I can’t focus while looking at those pores, let me help you Rudy, please.

(Joey handed the microphone back to Rudy Seitzer.)

SEITZER: Strong words from, Joey Mel-

(His voice trailed off as his eyes moved beyond Joey. Rudy stepped back while the camera shifted right.

HUGE fan pop, as ‘Ego Buster’ Dan Ryan entered the screen behind Joey, with the UNIFIED Championship belt over his shoulder. He was wearing a sport coat, button down shirt, and jeans along with his typical trademark sunglasses, and he had a microphone in his hand.

Joey turned after a second of Rudy’s silence, and came face to face with the Ego Buster. They had a fairly intense staredown for several seconds.)

DAN RYAN: I just wanted to wish you good luck, Joey.

(He tapped his UNIFIED Title belt with his hand.)

Although.... (Ryan eases even closer, the smirk gone from his face) ...I don't think they're gonna just hand you this one in a press conference.


MELTON: It’d be a better world if they could. But that’s just one man’s opinion. (Joey looks Ryan’s imposing physique over.) How’s Alaina? Good? I didn’t get the Christmas card last year, oversight or…

(Staredown. Melton smirks, and pushes past Ryan. )

RYAN: Food for thought, Joey. I'm gonna go take my seat. Almost showtime.

SEITZER: Ladies and gentlemen… let’s take it back to ringside!
 

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SemiFINAL: Joey Melton vs. Castor V. Strife

(CUTTO: Ringside, where the fans are on their feet to try to get a look at the next competitor, for what he has stated will either be his last match or his second to last match.

Regardless, this has been stated to be the final night of the career of Arrogance.

He has had varying degrees of success in countless promotions throughout the world, but one thing has never changed: Greensboro is his home, and Greensboro has always shown him respect.

Spotlights shone around the arena, bouncing off strategically placed disco balls to create a multi – layered effect that juxtaposed with the flashbulbs of tens of thousands of cameras that created their own makeshift strobe.

And every single light in the arena shone on the sequins adorning the bright red robe that covered the body of Joey Melton.

Melton stopped at the entranceway and looked around. It had been a long quarter century since he first stepped into this building. Back then it was a gutted warehouse, barely big enough to hold five hundred fans.

Now? Twenty three thousand, four hundred and sixteen packed the arena to the last row. Melton held out his arms and took a slow, dramatic spin, both to give the fans a look at him from all sides, and so he could take it all in. Wrestling fans and experts would forever debate his place in the history of this business, but Joey Melton knew better: the dream survived its first few months solely because of him, and the years since have seen him remain one of the pillars.

Moreso now, than ever before. Beauford Parsons was long since retired. Mark Windham had a career – ending shoulder injury. Hornet was part time, accepting only a small handful of bookings every year.

Joey Melton was literally the Last Man Standing. He was the last full time participant in the industry who remembered the Merritt Auditorium at every stage of its expansion. He took a deep breath and started the long, slow walk to the ring, with thoughts and emotions running through his body and mind over the fact that he had declared this to be his last run.

The uncertainty over whether or not he would be able to take this walk again once more later tonight against Eli Flair was the only variable.

As he entered the ring, he took another turn with both arms in the air. Even at forty eight, he was in incredible shape, and his perfectly styled blonde locks that had become iconic to the sport reflected the lights just as well.

And the fans applauded. They had spent twenty five years cheering him and booing him, but this was the first time in his career that he could remember receiving a standing ovation.

It felt good.)



(The mood immediately shifted.

The lights dimmed, except for green and purple floods by the entranceway. A smoke machine started pumping, and somehow, an elaborate system of fans and airflow kept the concentration right by the entranceway.

Everyone stood, trying to get a glimpse.

The first movement through the fog was a stunning figure in a sequined purple cabaret dress, complete with long gloves, matching top hat, and a cigarette stuck in a long holder.

Lana Dremire. She looked every bit the part, her hand on her hip, striking a pose for the fans. She stood at the edge of the smoke for an uncomfortably long time, waiting for the cloud to thicken even more.

And he emerged.

Castor V. Strife wore his gasmask fitted snugly over his face, and was clad in an SS Long Coat tied at the waist with a leather belt. He strode toward the ring with purpose, his eyes hidden behind cloudy plexiglass.

The lights remained dimmed and anemic until Castor stepped into the ring, and the music faded out, with both men staring each other down.)

BUCKLEY: One of these men, Stan, will face off against Eli Flair in tonight’s main event for the Ultratitle! Let’s get the official introduction!

(CUTTO : The ring, where Rhubarb Jones has – very reluctantly – stepped between the two wrestlers.)

JONES: Ladies and gentlemen, this contest is your second Ultratitle Semi Final Matchup, and it is scheduled for one fall with a sixty minute time limit! The winner of this match will meet ‘Total Elimination’ Eli Flair in the Finals in tonight’s Main Event to determine the ultimate Champion in the TWO THOUSAND TWELVE ULTRATITLE!

Introducing first… from New York City…

He is the first ever, and two – time CSWA World Heavyweight Champion. He is a former EPW World Heavyweight Champion and former UNIFIED Heavyweight Champion. He is a two –time former Ultratitle winner, making his unprecedented fifth appearance in the Ultratitle Final Four…

Weighing in at two hundred and eighteen pounds… The Unifier… the Man Who Made Cameron Cruise Relevant… ARROGANCE… JOEYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY MEEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLTOOOOOOONNNNN!!!!!

(Melton removed his robe with much pomp and circumstance, showcasing his six pack abs and surprisingly chiseled chest. He carefully folded the robe and handed it to referee Ben Worthington, who stared at it for a moment before handing it off to a ring attendant.

Castor Strife remained unmoving, though Lana Dremire did roll her eyes.)

JONES: And his opponent… from Hollywood California…

He is the current reigning New Frontier Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion. He is a former PRIME Universal Champion and A1E World Heavyweight Champion.

He is the man who took Dan Ryan to the limits and beyond, and he was the heart and soul of NFW East.

He is the God of Snuff and the Golden Dream…

Weighing in at two hundred and forty five pounds and accompanied to the ring by Lana Dremire… This… Is… CAAAAAAAAAAAASTORRRRRRRRR VEEEEEEEEEEEEEE STRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE!!!!!!!

(It was Castor’s turn to disrobe, and he got more than a passing ovation at what he had under his coat.

The NFW World Championship title belt. )

(SFX: DING DING DING!)

BUCKLEY: We are underway! Castor Strife removes his gasmask and hands it, his coat, and the NFW Title belt to Lana Dremire, who is quick to leave the ring!

PARSONS: This is the other half of the equation, Bill. Aside from the obvious, the winner of this match meeting up with Eli Flair in the finals, this is the other half of the dichotomy of the Final Four. Last match we saw two wily veterans who are very familiar with each other, who had wrestled each other countless times before, dance the dance one more time.

BUCKLEY: And now?

PARSONS: Now, we have the opposite ends of the spectrum. We have one of the most talked about wrestlers of yesterday facing off with, I think it’s no exaggeration to say, the most talked about wrestler of today. Couple Castor Strife’s possession of the NFW World Title belt with his reputation as a no-nonsense businessman with a vision and he’s probably one or two years away from being cemented as a living legend in his own right. On the other side, we have Joey Melton.

BUCKLEY: Probably all you need to say about him.

PARSONS: He’s Joey Melton.

BUCKLEY: Joey and Castor circle each other, and there’s a chant already going for Melton.

PARSONS: It is Arrogance Country.

BUCKLEY: They lock up, and Joey with an elbow from underneath! Another elbow, and Castor is knocked back a step! Right hand from Joey! Another! Kick to the midsection and a double underhook suplex! Cover! ONE… TWO… Kickout from Castor! He’s rocked already, and Joey stays on him! Pulls Castor to his feet, and an Irish Whip! Clothesline from Melton just sent Castor tumbling over the top, and the fans are on their feet!

PARSONS: Joey came here to win, Bill… he’s heard the criticisms that the only challenge he had on his road to the Final Four was against Cameron Cruise last round, but he’s here to win!

BUCKLEY: Castor back to his feet, and he’s pacing on the outside, and Lana is right there to whisper in his ear!

PARSONS: Strategy meeting? He’s not NFW World Champion for nothing.

BUCKLEY: Referee Ben Worthington’s count is up to three, and Castor breaks the count with a roll in and roll out, and Melton is right behind Worthington, trying to get at him! He had the momentum in his favor and every second that Castor is outside the ring, it’s slipping away!

PARSONS: The fans know it, too, and they’re booing Castor’s stall attempts.

BUCKLEY: Castor moves to reenter the ring, but Melton is right there, and he backs off!

PARSONS: Count’s broken while Worthington moves him back, we could be here a while.

BUCKLEY: Melton runs the ropes… BASEBALL SLIDE! Castor was glaring at the fans and didn’t see him coming, but he just took a pair of boots to the head as Joey Melton scoops him and sends him back inside the ring! These fans are going crazy for Melton!

PARSONS: No disrespect intended to Castor, I’m sure. This is simply Melton Country.

BUCKLEY: Melton with a scoop and a slam, and he’s off the ropes with an elbowdrop! Cover, ONE… TWO… Kickout by Castor! Another scoop by Melton, and an Irish Whip… Scoop and spinebuster with authority! Melton grabs Castor by the foot and drags him back to the middle of the ring, and he’s going for the Figure Four!

PARSONS: Already? He’s got control but it seems premature.

BUCKLEY: You’re right, Stan, as Castor grabs Melton by the hair and rolls him up in a small package! ONE… TWO… Kickout! I don’t think Castor expected to get the pin there, but it bought him a moment to break away and regroup.

PARSONS: Sometimes that’s all it takes.

BUCKLEY: Castor pulling himself up in the corner as Melton moves in, and he goes for a rear waistlock – CASTOR FIRES AN ELBOW BACKWARDS! HE CAUGHT MELTON SQUARE IN THE EYE! Joey Melton lets go and his hand immediately goes to his face, and he’s floored by a hard clothesline!

PARSONS: Case in point.

BUCKLEY: Melton is down, still holding his hand to his eye, while Castor takes a few steps to recover his own composure. He turns back to Joey Melton, who has rolled from his back to his knees, as he’s trying to clear his vision and get back to his feet… Castor with a kick to the side! Melton goes back down! Castor laying the boots to him, and Worthington gets in between the two men so Joey can untangle himself from the bottom rope!

PARSONS: We all know Castor has a temper, and he’s letting Melton know he didn’t appreciate the early match attacks, or the baseball slide that stopped his outside regrouping cold.

BUCKLEY: He did back off, however, and Melton pulled himself up on the middle rope, his eye starting to swell. Castor from behind with a hook around the waist, and a German Suplex landed Melton on his head and shoulders! Castor holds on and rolls him out with a second suplex and a bridge! ONE… TWO… Kickout!

PARSONS: Here’s where Castor will start to shine. He’s got the advantage, and you can see the look on his face, he wants to make Melton pay.

BUCKLEY: Joey pulled to his knees, and Castor with a right hand to the face! Another! Melton trying half – heartedly to get his hands up to defend himself, but he’s dazed and not able to adequately cover himself! Castor walks around him just as Joey tries to take a swing back of his own, and a hook from behind… neckbreaker!

PARSONS: I don’t know how well Joey can even see right now, he swung like he didn’t realize Castor had moved.

BUCKLEY: Castor with another scoop, and an irish whip into the ropes… Flying kneelift just sent Melton back to the mat with a hard thump! Castor Strife in complete control as he pulls Melton to his feet again! Irish Whip… Melton reverses! He drops to the mat while Castor leaps over him, and Melton with a clothesline on the rebound – Castor reverses! He ducks under Melton’s arm and leaps up from behind… Crucifix takedown into a pin! ONE… TWO… Kickout! Amazing reversal by the NFW World Champion!

PARSONS: He really took Joey by surprise there, I thought he had a chance to steal one.

BUCKLEY: Joey’s still too tough for that. He slipped out of the pinning combination and rolled back to the ropes to give himself a bit of a breather… Castor runs the opposite side of the ropes… HE JUST VAULTED OVER THE TOP WITH A HANDFUL OF JOEY’S HAIR! MELTON’S NECK SNAPS ACROSS THE TOP AS CASTOR HITS THE FLOOR! MODIFIED STUN GUN! Shades of Joey’s old tag team partner Peyton Wright!

PARSONS: Castor calls it the Cliché Killer, but Peyton never went over the top with it. Curiously, Peyton was never a World Champion.

BUCKLEY: Melton snapped back on impact and landed on his back in the middle of the ring, while Castor landed on the floor under his own power, but that’s still a long way to go, and he looks like he might need a second to recoup himself.

PARSONS: He’s got more than a second, I think, before Melton is up and able to go again. Besides, he’s back to his feet, and he’s climbing back into the ring.

BUCKLEY: No… He’s climbing the corner! Castor Strife going up top! High risk maneuver coming up, and this could be all she wrote for Melton! Legdrop from the top rope! MELTON MOVED! MELTON MOVED! Castor landed hard on the mat, and he’s holding his leg in pain! Joey Melton on his face and chest on the mat, but he managed to get out of the way just in the nick of time!

PARSONS: That certainly brought the volume of the crowd to a new level, Bill! The partisan fans here in Greensboro are trying to will Joey Melton back into the match!

BUCKLEY: They certainly are, Stan, and I think it’s working! Castor still rolling around in pain, while Joey has pushed himself backwards onto his knees! He’s taking it slow, but he’s regaining a little bit of strength and stamina with every moment that passes!

PARSONS: He’d better not wait for too many more moments, Bill, because Castor is back to his feet as well, and while I detect a limp in his step, he’s in a much better headspace than Melton is at the moment.

BUCKLEY: Castor with a wrench of the hair pulls Melton to his feet, and a right hand rocked Joey back a step! Another from Castor, and Joey is knocked back another step! A third punch, Melton with a 360 on impact, and he fires one of his own! Castor’s head just snapped back and to the side, but he punches Melton back! Melton hits the corner, but a kick to the midsection stops Castor in his tracks!

PARSONS: If he’s smart he’ll stay there for a bit and use the corner to hold himself up while he attacks.

BUCKLEY: Melton with another kick to the midsection, and a third to the face that straightened Castor up! Clothesline from the corner, and both men are down!

PARSONS: Can you hear that, Bill?

BUCKLEY: I hear a lot from the fans, Stan, and I’m noticing that the Melton chant is being broken up just a bit by a Castor chant.

PARSONS: The argument can be made that the NFW has taken the CSWA’s place as the most recognizable wrestling promotion, at least all up and down the east coast, I’m not surprised that Castor has a large and well – established fanbase here.

BUCKLEY: MELTON TO HIS FEET! HE JUST POPPED UP WITH A RUSH OF ADRENALIN!

PARSONS: He’s on wobbly legs, but he’s up!

BUCKLEY: Melton with a scoop on Castor, and he hooks him… Fisherman suplex! He holds on… ONE… TWO… THKICKOUT! Castor kicked out, and he’s on his side, still trying to clear his head!

PARSONS: It’s the littlest things sometimes that can turn the tide of a match. Melton has taken most of the abuse tonight, but the shots he’s been able to get on Castor have certainly counted.

BUCKLEY: Worthington checking on both men, and he decrees the match to continue! Melton to his feet first, with Castor right behind him, and Joey fires a forearm to the back! Another clubbing forearm between Castor’s shoulder blades! Irish Whip – Reversed by Castor!

PARSONS: Kick to the midsection!

BUCKLEY: DIRECTOR’S CUT! COVER! ONE… TWO… THREE!

(SFX: DING DING DING! Huge pop from the crowd as Ben Worthington lifts Castor’s arm in victory.)

JONES: The winner of this match, and the second finalist in the 2012 Ultratitle… CASTOR STRIFE!

BUCKLEY: Castor Strife is in the finals! Take a look at that replay, Stan, Melton had turned the match around in his favor, but Castor is so quick and so aware of everything around him, he saw an opportunity and he managed to cut Melton off at the pass with that snap swinging neckbreaker, and it paid off in spades.

PARSONS: We’ll see if lightning can strike twice for Castor a little later, Bill, but I have to say I’m impressed with this kid. I’d take him over just about anyone in the finals.

BUCKLEY: Castor retrieves his title belt from the timekeeper, and he and Lana Dremire are on their way back up the ramp to a thunderous cheer from the fans. He may not have been the sentimental favorite in this match, but these great Greensboro fans appreciate his efforts and his work and they know a true talent when they see one.

PARSONS: To say nothing of the legend still recovering in the ring.

BUCKLEY: Ben Worthington helping Joey Melton to his feet, and the fans with another standing ovation for the twenty five year veteran!

(SFX: Chant of ‘THANK YOU JOEY!’ filled the arena.)

PARSONS: He looks completely speechless. Shock over losing, or appreciation for the fans wishes?

BUCKLEY: Joey Melton, two time CSWA World Champion, has, by his own words, just wrestled his last match. Let’s take a moment to show you some highlights from an amazing career. We’ll be right back.

(CUTTO: Retrospective package of Joey Melton.)
 

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Promo

BUCKLEY: Wrestling fans, we are proud to officially announce tonight’s main event, we will see the legendary King of Extreme, Total Elimination Eli Flair, taking on NFW World Heavyweight Champion, the God of Snuff, Castor Strife, for the 2012 Ultratitle! Coming up next, however, will be a match sponsored by the Tri-State Wrestling Federation, as Chris Hallmark will take on Leon Corella in a steel cage!

PARSONS: This is a match I’ve been looking forward to. These two men have been battling it out for a long time!

BUCKLEY: I’m very interested in the outcome of this match myself, Stan! However, we’ll be ceding commentary duties for this one to TSWF’s very own –

LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, YOUR ATTENTION PLEASE!

PARSONS: You were saying?

BUCKLEY: Ladies and gentlemen, there appears to be an intruder in the ring!
 

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Reise

(CUTTO: A wide shot of the wrestling ring. In the center stands a man with longish short hair, cut in a preppy style, wearing a black pinstriped suit with a skinny tie. He wore thin glasses as well to complete an overall preppie/yuppie look to him.)

MAN: You may or may not be aware, but my name is Andrew Karrde, and I am disappointed with all of you!

(SFX: Loud boos from the fans. Apparently they don’t think they’ve done anything to be disappointed with.)

KARRDE: Weeks ago, I spoke to this corner of the professional wrestling world about the single greatest physical specimen that they could ever hope to see. I spoke to them about the single greatest force in professional wrestling history. I wanted nothing more than ego – driven competition between athletes, but apparently that’s too much for these wrestlers to handle.

(SFX: Boos from the fans.)

KARRDE: You can boo me all you want, but the fact remains, I appealed to the best of you in good faith for a match tonight, featuring the greatest wrestler that you’ve ever seen, and what happens?

Troy Windham ignores me. Cancer Jiles ignores me.

Eli Flair, Jack Harmen, Joey Melton, and Castor Strife ignore me. I expect that from the men who think they are at the top of the sport. After all, they won a tournament that did not include the best of them.

And the rest of you sat on your hands in apathy.

This is why the United States of America is falling behind the rest of the world in a sea of apathy and indifference: none of you in this country have the slightest bit of motivation and drive.

Except for myself. I learned years ago to step in line with a winner. And I will not be swept aside!

(SFX: More boos from the crowd.)

KARRDE: I promise you this, ladies and gentlemen. I will not leave this ring. I will not leave this arena. I will not leave this city… until someone… anyone… answers the challenge…

(He gestured toward the entranceway.)

KARRDE: Of VIKTOR REISE.



(The fans all stood up to try and get a look toward the entranceway. Most of them had been following the Ultratitle and all of its various pieces of news, entertainment, and media that had been produced in its wake. Most of them remembered Andrew Karrde and his attempts at getting anyone’s attention.

He’d largely failed at it, and had therefore received more than a few chuckles when he started to talk.

They all ceased… right now.)

BUCKLEY: Oh my…

(A single figure entered the arena through the entranceway, wearing stylishly small sunglasses and a long black bondage trenchcoat from Dead Threads.

He was easily seven feet tall – or more. Broad shouldered and heavily muscled underneath the coat, he walked with quick, giant steps that took him to the ring in record time. Or would have, if he wasn’t expertly playing to the crowd. Those closest to him reached out for a high – five and he did not oblige: but he enjoyed taking a menacing step toward the guardrails from time to time to watch the fans back up out of fear and surprise.

Every time, a smile would form on his face, but it was unclear whether it was amused mirth of a man who enjoyed what he did, or the menacing grin of a monster playing with his food.

Either way, Viktor Reise walked – you could say strutted to the ring. He seemed to enjoy the mix of cheers and stunned silence that greeted him, as he grabbed the top rope from the floor, pulled himself up, and effortlessly stepped inside. Andrew Karrde raised his hand for a high five, Viktor laughed and raised his hand as high as it could go, and Karrde took a step back, but kept his hand up.

Eventually, Viktor lowered his hand and slapped Karrde’s – the grimace on Karrde’s face was palpable as the music faded and the lights returned to normal.)

KARRDE: This man is the future! Seven feet! Five inches! Four hundred seventy five pounds and he is undefeated in his professional career! He is the pride of Germany, he is the greatest physical specimen that the world has ever seen, and he was free and clear and ready to show you what he could do in the ring against an opponent.

(He paced, while Viktor folded his arms over his chest and stood, stoic.)

Any opponent.

(Pace.)

Two opponents.

(Pace.)

Three opponents.

(Karrde stopped.)

And what did they send me? Come on out here, Contestants One and Two!

(No music played. No pyro sounded and no lightshow took place. But the fans did provide a nice mix of laughter and applause…)

PARSONS: Really?

BUCKLEY: Andrew Karrde talks big, and Viktor Reise is quite an impressive sight, but I think someone could’ve scraped up a better challenge than this.

(CUTTO: The entranceway, where two men in wrestling trunks have entered, and are walking with much apprehension toward the ring. They both appear to be in their fifties, with balding heads and big guts.

Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s ‘Winless’ Wesley Paige and ‘Lord of Darkness’ Carl Brigsby, perennial scrapers of the bottom of the barrel in Greensboro wrestling.)

BUCKLEY: I thought they retired.

PARSONS: They did. Incredibly, their win percentage actually improved.

BUCKLEY: Regardless, it might be two on one but I don’t think Brigsby and Paige actually count as one whole wrestler.

PARSONS: Their prime lasted about forty five minutes, and I think they spent most of it accidently locked in the basement.

(DING DING DING!)

BUCKLEY: We don’t have a referee, but we’ve got a handicap match and we’ve got a bell, so I guess we’re off and running! Viktor is just standing there, facing off with Brigsby and Paige, and I think they’re trying to decide who goes first!

PARSONS: Rock, paper, scissors?

(The fans started to laugh, as the two veterans actually did play Rock, Paper, Scissors in order to determine. Paper beats Rock, and Wesley Paige backs up into the corner, looking relieved.)

BUCKLEY: And it’ll be Brigsby against Reise! He shakes his partner’s hand – IRISH WHIP BY BRIGSBY! HE JUST LAUNCHED PAIGE AT REISE!

PARSONS: It’s an irresistible force against a highly movable object.

BUCKLEY: Paige just bounced off Reise, and I don’t think Viktor moved an inch! But Wesley Paige looked like he just ran full force into a brick wall, and he doesn’t look too good.

PARSONS: Reise holds up one finger.

BUCKLEY: And he’s pointing at Brigsby.

PARSONS: Now might be a good time to retire for real.

BUCKLEY: Brigsby’s through the ropes, he’s trying to escape! REISE JUST GRABBED HIM AND PULLED HIM BACK INTO THE RING!

PARSONS: Over the top rope, with one hand! I think that’s the impressive part!

BUCKLEY: He just walked – slash – dragged Brigsby to the center of the ring, and he’s set him down! Reise takes off his overcoat and he’s assuming a defensive pose!

(The fans all roared as Carl Brigsby fainted. Reise watched him fall, and it took him a second to react.)

PARSONS: What happens now?

BUCKLEY: Paige with a forearm from behind! Another! He’s clubbing Viktor Reise in the back over and over again!

PARSONS: Ten out of ten for guts, but Viktor is turning around without any reaction, it’s like he’s getting rained on.

BUCKLEY: Paige still throwing those forearms and fists, and Viktor with a single right hand! PAIGE KNOCKED OUT OF THE RING! BRIGSBY WITH A SLEEPER FROM BEHIND! VIKTOR TOSSED HIM OVER HIS SHOULDER LIKE A SACK OF POTATOES! AND HE JUST STEPPED ON HIS CHEST!

PARSONS: That’ll knock the wind out of you.

BUCKLEY: Reise moving around the ring like a lumbering elephant, but to be honest, he doesn’t have to move fast at all. Brigsby and Paige didn’t make a dent.

PARSONS: I don’t think they could’ve made a dent against Little Voltron if he was blindfolded and hog tied.

BUCKLEY: Reise with a one handed scoop on Brigsby, and an effortless slam! STANDING SPLASH! He just squashed Carl Brigsby under his weight! ANDREW KARRDE WITH THE COUNT! ONE! TWO! THREE! Academic, and Viktor Reise is very impressive here tonight!

(Karrde still has the microphone in his other hand, he hasn’t let it go yet. He stands back up while Reise returns to the middle of the ring.)

KARRDE: That is literally the greatest opposition I could find for this invincible Champion. You, your sport, and your entire company are pathetic!

(Boos rained down on his head.)

It is for this reason that you will never… ever see this man in a wrestling ring again! You had your chance to be wowed on a nightly basis, and now you lost it!

(More boos, though their tone is pretty evenly split between anger at Andrew Karrde for talking down to them like this, and anger at Andrew Karrde for saying that he’s going to be withholding his Giant from them in the future.)

Oh, what’s that? You want to see more?

(That got cheers. Karrde laughed.)

Tough!

(And the boos returned.)

You want to see Viktor Reise… you’ll have to get yourself to Munich, Germany.

For BODYCOUNT.

(He leaned under the top rope to hand off the microphone to Rhubarb Jones, but at the last minute dropped it at his feet while he and his charge left the ring to another chorus of boos.)

BUCKLEY: We need a minute to regroup. Marvin, can you give us something else? Anything else?
 

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Goodbyes (1)

Melton sits on a bench in his personal locker room of Merritt Auditorium, beaten and bloodied. The tape on his wrists half-way undone, the former two-time ULTRATITLE winner slumps back into his locker, and he can’t bring himself to take off his black tights and wrestling gear. Adrian Evans, aka Little Voltron, stands next to him, one leg propped up on the bench, dressed and ready to go.

“When you think of me in the future Adrian, don’t remember me like this.”

“Oh, I won’t,” assures Evans. “Personally I’ve never been able to get over the image of you sucking on Troy Windham’s balls.”

“There was no sucking!”

“I’m just sayin’ it’s the teabagging that won’t die. Here’s the question you didn’t ask yourself: Who would Chad Merritt want as ULTRATITLE winner? The best and the brightest today, or a legend that didn’t exactly fight his way out of Windham’s nuts for the first couple of seconds.”

Joey tries to muster the strength to argue, but can’t. “Adrian this isn’t exactly the high point of my career…”

“You have nothing to be ashamed of.”

“Thank you.”
“Tonight,” he clarifies. “There’s plenty to regret over the last twenty plus years.”

“No doubt.” Melton buries his face in his hands. “I can’t believe it ends like this, with a loss to fucking Castor Strife! I still barely know who the hell he is!”

“You thought at your age you could be the first man in a couple of years to pin Strife? Why did you forsake sobriety?”

“I’m not used to losing, Adrian.”

“Please! You’ve done it a thousand times. You’ve jobbed to me around the world and I’m about as tall as your cock.”

Melton nods. “I just wanted to win. To go out on top,” Joey looks at his feet. “I didn’t want it to end.”

“In hindsight, perhaps a Meatloaf parody didn’t set the best tone from the start.”

“You know, I see what you’re saying, but fuck it. There was good work there.” Melton smiles. “You know what I’m going to miss the most?”

“The free drinks and easy pussy?”

Joey looks at Adrian and ponders. “It’s over, oh my!” Joey cries.

“You had a hell of a run.”

“I did, didn’t I? Let’s get out of here, Adrian.” Melton reaches for the left laces on his boot. “I don’t want to be here when the winner is crowned.”

“I’d love to, but can’t. I’m meeting my friend Biron for a midnight showing of ‘Judge Dredd.’”

“Who the fuck is Biron?!”

“You’ve met him three times!”

“You have friends? Adrian I need you more than ever. All I have on my hands right now is free time. I’ve been thinking. I can’t end on this note. One more match. Our DVDs are really starting to sell on the black market in Syria. Here’s my idea…”

“No! I’ve got to run,” says Evans as he bolts for the door.

“It’s barely 8:15?!”

“I know, but I’m covering the winner’s after party for the Tribune.”

“You bastard.”

Adrian stops at the doorway and looks back fondly at Joey. How do you tell your best friend you love him? Or better yet, you fear you’ll hang yourself until he has a handle on his new life.

“Goodbye Joey.”

Melton slumps back into the locker. It’s the little heartbreaks that hurt the most.
 

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TSWF Cage Match: Chris Hallmark vs. Leon Corella

(The Empire Pro Wrestling King of the Cage promo fades out as the scene returns to ringside.)

BUCKLEY: Welcome back, ladies and gentlemen, we’ve finally got the ring cleared and the cage built, and Stan, we’ve got both competitors in the ring and ready to go!

PARSONS: This should be an exciting match, Bill.

BUCKLEY: More to the point, we’re going to tag out for a moment, let’s take you to the other side of the ring with our esteemed colleagues, Ashie Sinclair and Stephanie Sandsbury! Ashie, Stephanie, welcome to Greensboro!

(Split – screen, showing Buckley and Parsons on one side, with TSWF Commentating team Ashie and Stephanie behind their table with the TSWF banner draped over the front.)

SINCLAIR: Thanks Bill, its’ great to be here tonight, and we thank you and the city of Greensboro for welcoming us with open arms.

BUCKLEY: Ashie, I understand this is something of a grudge match, what can we expect to see?

(The split with Ashie and Stephanie pulled forward and took up the whole screen.)

SINCLAIR: Bill, you never know what to expect with the TSWF and these two, I suggest you watch and see. Both men are in the ring, let’s take it to Rhubarb!

(CUTTO: Ringside, where we find Leon Corella and Chris Hallmark already standing inside a fifteen-foot high steel cage (the old school blue bar kind) being kept separated by the burly TSWF referee, Earl Jones. Ring announcer Rhubarb Jones is standing outside; he was in the ring until Hallmark entered, and it became clear to him that he was in the line of fire. After twenty four years of ring announcing, Rhubarb knew when it was time to clear out.)

JONES: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE FOLLOWING MATCH IS A CLASSIC STEEL CAGE MATCH AND IT IS SCHEDULED FOR ONE FALL, WITH A THIRTY MINUTE TIME LIMIT!!!

***BIG POP!!!***

(Hallmark grips the strong blue barred construction and gave it a little shake, a satisfied smile crossing his face. His attire consists of a singlet decorated with a vicious gator on it, still maintaining the orange and blue color scheme, and white Adidas wrestling shoes.)

JONES: ...IN THE RED CORNER, WEARING ORANGE AND BLUE TRUNKS… STANDING AT SIX FOOT THREE INCHES TALL AND WEIGHING IN AT TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY-SIX POUNDS... FROM FORT WALTON BEACH FLORIDA...

"THE AMATEUR" CHRIS HAAAAALLLLLMMMMAAAARRRRKKKK!!!

(Chris raises his fists in the air for the Greensboro crowd.)

***MIXED REACTION!!!***

JONES: AND HIS OPPONENT...

(Leon Corella leans back in his corner, rubbing his taped fists together, staring hard at Chris Hallmark.)

JONES: STANDING IN THE BLUE CORNER, WEARING BLACK AND GOLD LONG TRUNKS-…STANDING AT SIX FOOT FIVE INCHES TALL AND WEIGHING IN AT TWO HUNDRED AND FIFTY SIX POUNDS.... FROM NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA...

LLLLLLEEEEEOOOOOOONNNNNNN CCCCOOOOORRRREEEEEELLLLLAAAAAAA!!

(Leon holds his fist up to a solid pop from the crowd.)

SINCLAIR: Thanks again, Bill and Stan, we are officially underway!

SANDSBURY: And we have in-house TSWF Referee Earl Jones presiding over this match as he checks both competitors over... Satisfied, the Ref motions for the bell!

*DING!*

SINCLAIR: Leon Corella and Chris Hallmark square off, circling in the worker's walk... Tie up, Corella takes the arm, twists Hallmark into a standing wristlock... Second twist into a standing wrench... Pull into a side headlock... Takedown to the canvas! Corella locks the headlock in tight!

SANDSBURY: Chris Hallmark is not off to a good start here, Ashie.

SINCLAIR: No he isn't. He fights Corella, the two getting back to their feet. Leon Corella sends Hallmark for an Irish whip... Rebound... Hallmark ducks the grapple, goes for a rear waistlock. And now Hallmark with the back bridge, Leon Corella forces Chris Hallmark's hands apart... Hallmark spins back to front with a float over. Corella now locked in a front chancery...

(Chris Hallmark throws Corella's arm over his neck and lifts him perfectly vertical. Leon Corella bends back just as Hallmark falls back.)

**POP!**

SINCLAIR: Hallmark with a suplex but... No Corella bends his legs and his feet hit the canvas! Human Bridge! Leon Corella spins, Chris Hallmark now in a front facelock... IMPLANT DDT!!!

**ANOTHER BIG POP!!**

SANDSBURY: Oooo bet that didn't do him any favors!

SINCLAIR: Corella now locking Hallmark in a Fujiwara Armbar.

SANDSBURY: Hallmark is struggling against the hold, Corella putting his full body weight into the shoulder while he twists that arm back.

SINCLAIR: ...He's working the wrist and fingers as well, Leon Corella's experience paying dividends here. Hallmark starts to twist and turn and each time it looks like he's about to get free, Corella applies just a little more torque on that elbow! Chris Hallmark is starting to slip out of the hold... Leon Corella releases the hold, both men rolling away from each other.

SANDSBURY: Leon's wiggling those fingers, just begging Chris to come at him!

SINCLAIR: Hallmark obliges, running headlong into Corella! Leon Corella brings his hands up like a boxer, deflecting body shots and....

*SMACK!!!*

Crowd: WOOOOO!!!

SINCLAIR: ...Leon Corella just cracks Hallmark with a solid knife-edge chop that sends him staggering with his hands clutching his chest!

**CROWD MURMUR**

SANDSBURY: What's this? Vic Morrison coming down the aisle with a chair in one hand and a lead pipe in the other!

SINCLAIR: Corella casts a weary gaze Morrison's way but not for long as he continues to press the attack on Chris Hallmark, pulling him into a knee lift and then sending him full-speed with a power Irish whip into the cage wall!

*CLACK!*

SANDSBURY: Chris Hallmark's regretting the solid steel bar design right now, isn't he Ashie?

SINCLAIR: Indeed, Hallmark staggers back into a rear waist lock... Steeeeep German Suplex Pin by Leon Corella!!!

**POP!**

Ref: ONE!!

TWO!!!

THR-

SINCLAIR: Hallmark kicks out of the pin and both men are back on their feet! Collar Elbow lock up, Leon Corella quickly driving Chris Hallmark back into the nearest corner. Elbow shot to the side of the head and....

*SMACK!!!*

Hallmark: OW FFFF******KK!!!!

Crowd: WOOOOOOO!!!!

SINCLAIR: ...Hallmark eats another knife-edge chop. Corella rears his arm back!

*SMACK!!!*

Crowd: WOOOOO!!!

*SMACK!!!*

Crowd: WOOOOO!!!

*SMACK!!!*

Crowd: WOOOOO!!!

*SMACK!!!*

Crowd: WOOOOO!!!

***BIG POP!!!***

SANDSBURY: Leon Corella is just lighting up Chris Hallmark with chop after chop, turning the Amateur's chest into raw hamburger!

SINCLAIR: Indeed, Hallmark's standing just by his arms hanging in the ropes... Leon Corella sets for one last chop and this one looks to be a big one!!

*FFFWWWAAAASSSSSMMMMAAAACCCKKKAAA!!!*

Hallmark: MOTHERF***INGSONOFAF***WH**E@$$B***HMOTHER!!!

(Chris Hallmark falls to a seat in the corner, clutching at a red, raw, bleeding chest, tears in his eyes. There is no pity or remorse in Corella's expression, just a cold cruelness to his features. Vic Morrison, meanwhile, has been circling the ring, a smirk on his face as he watches Hallmark take a solid beating.)

SINCLAIR: Leon Corella is all business tonight. A lot of the problems he's had in TSWF all started with that man right there... Corella now mercilessly stomping a mudhole in Hallmark's gut...

SANDSBURY: Vic Morrison is circling like a shark outside that ring, but Leon Corella hardly seems distracted.

SINCLAIR: Indeed, he's now pressing his knee against the side of Chris Hallmark's face. Vic Morrison merely unfolds that chair and has a seat not too far away from our broadcast position.

SANDSBURY: I don't like this Ashie, something's up.

SINCLAIR: Well as long as he's sitting back and not interfering, I wouldn't- OH MY! Leon Corella with a running knee shot right in Hallmark's face! The Amateur is on his side and stunned!

SANDSBURY: That'll rock some cobwebs loose. Corella has been dominating this entire match for the most part.

SINCLAIR: It's odd, but Chris Hallmark has been trying to take on the crafty veteran in the field he is most dangerous at - Technical Wrestling. I'm used to The Amateur taking the easy way out, cutting corners, but he actually seems to be making a genuine effort to face Leon Corella in a stand up fashion.

(Leon helps his stunned foe to his feet.)

SINCLAIR: Corella with an Irish whip, NO! He turns and pulls Hallmark right into a scoop and...

*FWHABBBBAAAAAMMMM!!!*

SINCLAIR: CORELLA HITS THE LION SLAM ON HALLMARK!!!

(On impact, Leon hooks the leg and presses his arm across Chris Hallmark's chest!)

**LOUD CROWD POP!!!**

Ref: ONE!!!

TWO!!!!

THRRRRRE….

***BOOO!!!***

SINCLAIR: NO! Chris Hallmark showing resilience we never knew he had by kicking out of that powerful Lion Slam!

SANDSBURY: If Hallmark wants to stay here in the TSWF, it looks like he's going to have to change his tactics. He clearly cannot match Leon Corella in a purely technical competition.

SINCLAIR: Indeed, the tough young blood showcasing a surprising amount of heart against the veteran Corella, who is now picking him up off the canvas. Leon Corella sends him with another Irish whip, Hallmark rebounds, side arm catch. Chris Hallmark twists with his own momentum, spinning right out of Corella's grasp and whipping him straight to the canvas with an Arm Drag!

**BOOO!!**

SANDSBURY: Impressive counter by Hallmark, but Corella's back on his feet!

SINCLAIR: So is Hallmark and he rushes in, Leon Corella going for a gut kick but finds himself caught! Chris Hallmark pulls him in by his leg and… Dragon Screw Legwhip! Leon Corella eats canvas!

SANDSBURY: Looks like the tide has turned for The Amateur!

SINCLAIR: Corella's back on his feet and now a double leg take down from Hallmark followed immediately by a rear chinlock on the canvas! Leon Corella caught off guard.

SANDSBURY: Leon was getting a little too comfortable and now he's paying for it!

SINCLAIR: Fighting his way to a stand, Corella struggles against Hallmark's impressive grip. Leon Corella sets up for a Jawbreaker counter but Hallmark releases the hold... Backslide pin by Hallmark!

ONE!!

TWO-

**POP!!!**

SINCLAIR: KICKOUT!!!

SANDSBURY: Chris Hallmark makes his first pin attempt of the night but Leon Corella is still way too fresh to be taken down so easily!

SINCLAIR: Indeed. Both men back to their feet, Hallmark goes for a Belly to Belly, but Leon Corella escapes, slipping into a rear waistlock! Chris Hallmark slips free by falling to the canvas and peppering Corella in the face with a short kick in the process!

(Leon grabs at his nose, stepping back two steps and shaking his head.)

SANDSBURY: Chris Hallmark back on his feet and now on the offensive, taking the stunned Corella and whipping him to the canvas with a solid Waistlock Suplex!

SINCLAIR: And now he has the body scissors locked on tight with Leon Corella in the worst possible position to gain any leverage! Hallmark now battering the back of his head with punch after punch, his anger clearly showing.

***BOOOO!!!!***

SANDSBURY: He's spent much of this match being shown up by Corella and now that he has the advantage, he's going to make every second of it count!

(Gritting his teeth, Leon Corella catches Chris Hallmark's swinging fist and with great effort, he rolls himself over, planting Hallmark's shoulders to the canvas!)

SINCLAIR: Corella reverses into a pinning predicament!

ONE!!!

TWO!!!-

SANDSBURY: KICKOUT BY HALLMARK!!!

SINCLAIR: Chris Hallmark is forced to release the body scissor and shoves Corella off! Both men back to their feet now and Hallmark runs straight for Leon Corella, but the veteran side steps, grabs Hallmark by the back of the head and violently slams his face right into the steel bars!

***HUGE POP!!!***

SANDSBURY: He's busted wide open, Ashie!

(Chris Hallmark's head snaps back. He turns and takes a face plant on to the canvas!)

SINCLAIR: Hallmark is bleeding profusely from a fresh split in his forehead, ladies and gentlemen. But that doesn't seem to stop Corella who applies a rear waistlock to Chris Hallmark. He gathers him up and dead lifts right into a German Suplex! The Top of Hallmark's head smacking right into the cage wall!

(Corella rolls to his feet and throws his head back with a mighty yell!}

CORELLA: YYYYEEEEAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHH!!!

***EXPLOSIVE POP!!!***

(He turns around and there's a bit of surprise in his eyes when he sees Hallmark on his hands and knees, using the ropes to try and bring himself to a stand.)

SINCLAIR: Amazing!!! Chris Hallmark showcasing more of that surprising resiliency.

SANDSBURY: That is impressive and I'd be in awe of it if he weren’t such a douche canoe!

SINCLAIR: Leon Corella backs into the ropes... WHAT THE?!? Vic Morrison catches Corella by the foot through the bars! Chris Hallmark runs up and strikes with a DDT! Leon Corella's face hits the canvas with an impressive thud! Both men are down!

***BOOO!!!***

SANDSBURY: Leon stirs a little, but clearly that DDT had one hell of effect!

(Corella rises first on his knees, a hand to the back of his neck. Hallmark sits up, his face now a crimson mask from the free flowing blood...)

SINCLAIR: Both men slowly get to their feet and Chris Hallmark moves in and... RAKE OF THE EYES! Leon Corella is blinded! OH LORD!!! A sharp kick to the groin, dropping Corella to his knees with a look of pure agony on his face! Hallmark puts him in a front facelock once more and now a second DDT that seems to have rocked Leon Corella's world!!!

SANDSBURY: I knew it wouldn't last! Chris Hallmark now wailing away on Corella with vicious kicks and stomps!

SINCLAIR: ...and worst of all, there is no disqualification in a match like this!

(Vic Morrison rises from his seat once more and you can see the sadistic smile on his face. He reaches into his pocket and produces a pair of handcuffs.)

***BOOOO!!!!***

SINCLAIR: Morrison with a pair of handcuffs? He's telling Hallmark something... I think... OH NO! Chris Hallmark takes Leon Corella’s arm and Vic Morrison reaches through the bars. THEY ARE WORKING TOGETHER TO CUFF CORELLA TO THE BARS!!!

(As they work, Leon Corella tries to fight Hallmark off, but after two DDT's in a row, he clearly isn't able to even orient himself, let alone fight them off. With a soft click, unheard over the rousing crowd, they cuff Corella down. Chris Hallmark bounces back, visibly taunting Leon Corella from a safe distance.)

SANDSBURY: This is downright revolting, Ashie! Here we thought that Chris Hallmark was going to put on an honest fight, but in the end, he wins the only way he knows how!

SINCLAIR: Chris Hallmark starts climbing the cage. Meanwhile, Leon Corella desperately trying to break the handcuffs. He growls and snarls with rage, those industrial grade cuffs not giving even an inch!

(Hallmark eases up over the top of the cage, then slips over the top and within moments, he drops to the arena floor!)

***DING! DING! DING!***

JONES: THE WINNER OF THIS STEEL CAGE MATCH BY ESCAPE...

"THE AMATEUR" CHRIS HHHHAAAALLLLMMMAAAARRRRKKKK!!!

***INSANE HEEL JEER!!!***

SINCLAIR: Leon Corella glaring holes at Chris Hallmark as he remains cuffed where he is and... OH MY GOD! THE CAGE IS LIFTING!!!

SANDSBURY: Vic Morrison has the cage control box!

(Leon Corella’s eyes go wild as the cage rocks all around him and within moments, he's lifted up along with it until his feet are left dangling off the canvas!)

SINCLAIR: Not good! Vic Morrison now dropping the control box and slipping into the ring! Corella tries to fend him off, but he is in no position to defend himself!!!

*FWHAPINKT!!!*

[bCORELLA: [/b] AAAAGGGHHH!!!!

SANDSBURY: MORRISON JUST CRACKED CORELLA'S RIBS WITH THAT LEAD PIPE!!! SOMEBODY GET SECURITY OUT HERE NOW!!!

**SUPER MEGA HEEL JEER!!!**

SINCLAIR: Look at the pain in Leon Corella's eyes... No Vic! You've done enough! DON'T DO ANYMORE!!!

[Morrison rears the pipe back and starts to viciously assault Corella's back with it!]

*FWHAPINKT!!!**FWHAPINKT!!!**FWHAPINKT!!!**FWHAPINKT!!!**FWHAPINKT!*

**NEAR RIOT-LEVEL HEEL JEER!!**

(Six burly security guards rush down the aisle and quickly pull Vic Morrison away from Leon Corella. Morrison rolls out of the ring, backing up along side Chris Hallmark who now has a microphone in hand. As the cage is lowered back down, he starts shouting into it.)

HALLMARK: LEON!!! You worried too much about the mind games... too much about the talking... too much about history... WHEN YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN LOOKING AT THE FUTURE! Because Leon, YOU ARE LOOKING AT THE FUTURE! You are looking at a new generation of wrestlers. Vic Morrison and myself… we are The ONLY Natural REAL Athletes in this company. YOU, Mr. Corella,.. You were just the first step in the N. R. A's RISE to power in TSWF. And after TONIGHT, things will never be the same. SURVIVALISM... IT HAS BEEN COMPLETELY YOUR PLEASURE!

(Hallmark hands the microphone to a smirking Morrison.)

MORRISON: You see, Corella? I told you... I warned you!

The sins of your past are manifesting themselves, my friend... and you're looking at the manifestation right now. You should have stepped away from this business when you could have, Corella... your absence from this sport would've been _more_ than enough to repent for your sins! But no.... you decided to stay. You thought that you could redeem yourself... but look at where it's gotten you!

Deeper... and deeper into this hole that you've dug for yourself.

Consider this your cleansing. Consider this vengeance... vengeance for all your arrogance and selfishness that this sport has had to suffer through.

Fate is playing itself out, Corella, and will continue to do so. I just hope that you realize that you are not favored... but that Chris Hallmark and Vic Morrison are.

(Morrison drops the microphone and leaves the ring along with Chris Hallmark. As Leon Corella lays battered, his body already rapidly bruising over as the security guards call for bolt cutters to cut him down, Vic Morrison looks back at him and the sight surprises him. We see a bleeding and bruised Corella, glowering at him with pure malice and hate in his eyes, every muscle in his body quivering to keep him upright. The expression says more than any words can ever possibly say – “I will get you.”)

SANDSBURY: This is horrible... Fans, both of the Tri-State Wrestling Federation, as well as new fans seeing us for the first time, I apologize. This is not what we embody and I hope you all watch our next show because I promise you; my brother will not let this slide one bit. This is Stephanie Sandsbury and Ashie Sinclair, and I understand that before we move on to the next match, Rudy Seitzer is waiting backstage? For the Tri-State Wrestling Federation, signing out.
 

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Finale

(CUTTO: Backstage, outside a closed door with a large red and white cross on the door. Rudy Seitzer is standing there, dapperly dressed in a tuxedo, holding a microphone.)

SEITZER: Thank you, Stephanie, as you said, my name is Rudy Seitzer, and I’m waiting outside the medical room at the moment, hoping to get a word with the King of Extreme, Eli Flair, before his showdown tonight with Castor Strife. We’re about thirty minutes away from the finals of this year’s Ultratitle –

(Rudy stopped talking as the door opened. He looked up, expecting to be looking up at the King of Extreme. Instead, he was looking down at the Psycho Bitch, herself.

In the background, as the door closed, Eli Flair was pacing in the medical room.

Poison Ivy had modified her game day attire to include a hastily pulled back ponytail, but other than that, she looked just as stoic as ever. )

MCGINNIS: You were expecting… someone else?

(She smirked, which put Rudy at ease.)

SEITZER: Ivy, we all saw Eli take a ton of punishment to the knees, particularly the left knee, in the match against Jack Harmen earlier tonight. We’re also well aware of the fact that Eli’s knees have long been his Achilles heel. My question for you is, is Eli Flair ready for Castor Strife?

(Ivy looked at the camera, rolled her eyes toward Rudy, and inhaled, sadly.)

MCGINNIS: That’s not your question, Rudy.

(Now it was Rudy’s turn to look confused.)

SEITZER: It… isn’t?

MCGINNIS: No. But first thing’s first: Jack Harmen. Thank you, Jack.

(Rudy held the microphone to Ivy’s mouth, but she took it from him. Not angrily or impatiently, just in the sense of ‘I know how to use it, step back and let Momma work.’)

MCGINNIS: It’s been too long, Jack, too long since the first time Eli faced off against you and too long since the last time Eli faced off against you, and we were both talking about the fact that watching you wrestle is like poetry in motion. For me, I don’t know if I’ll ever have as good a seat in the future as I do tonight, so I just consider myself lucky that I was here to see it one more time. And congratulations, for sure, to you and Nova on those tag team titles. For that matter, neither Eli or myself will put up a protest if you tell Castor Strife that you threw the match at his request so you could get a shot at the NFW World Title.

You’ve earned it, Jack – if not tonight, then over the course of a long and storied career.

Speaking of long and storied careers, I was able to catch Joey Melton’s little rant with you earlier, Rudy, and all I can say, Joey, is thank you.

Thank you for finally freeing me from the burden of defending you to people who say that you’re the embodiment of what it means to be an overrated wrestler. Thank you for freeing me from the burden of defending you to said that Joey Melton was a one trick pony, and that trick was managing to be in the right place at the right time, kissing the right ass to get ahead.

Eighteen years, Joey. Eighteen years I’ve been doing this, and all I am to you is a piece’a meat?

And here I thought, all the thousands of miles we logged with Eli driving you and me and Ray S. Cornette, we’d actually gotten somewhere. Being married to Lindsay Troy, and having the two most powerful and independent women in the history of professional wrestling within conversation’s reach to counterbalance the shitstorm that your stupid fucking sister brought onto all of us apparently did nothing for your perception of women in this sport.

Well, allow me to say to you, for the last time, that it was luck, not skill that got you this far. That if there truly was a god above who loved us and wanted us to be happy, Cameron Cruise would’ve beaten you to death with his junk and then given the world the Troy Windham sequel.

You were supported as CSWA World Champion twenty four years ago, Joey, because it was a safer bet than the two rookies and the fat man. You remained employed because you could wrestle a decent match.

You were never memorable. You were never groundbreaking. And you were never better at this than Eli Flair.

It’s fitting, isn’t it? You spend all your energy telling Eli how worthless he is, how he should’ve been doing more or being something else, or focusing his energies other than where he did. Your sister spent all her energy telling me I was beneath her and that I was a low rent, low class tart.

Where are you both now, Joey? You’re on your way home after a sound thrashing after pulling off a Jerry Springer on Dancing with the Stars – esque miracle run, and your stupid fucking sister is in an alley somewhere sucking a dick for twenty bucks and the promise that someone will tell her that they remember who Teri Fucking Melton is and that she mattered. Meanwhile, the entirety of Team Extreme, forever – maligned by the Melton Family, is on its way to the Ultratitle finals.

Tomorrow morning we’ll all wake up, and three things will happen.

Win or lose, people will be talking about Castor Strife.

Win or lose, people will be talking about Eli Flair.

Nobody, tonight, tomorrow, or for the rest of existence, will be talking about Joey Melton.

The true test of a legend, Joey? How many people are talking about you when you’re gone. Turn on the NFW show and you’ll hear Troy Windham bringing Eli’s name up more than he does anyone currently wrestling for the place.

The only people talking about Joey Melton… include Joey Melton. That’s it.

And now I can forget your name and never think about you again.

(She put her hand in front of her eyes for a half second.)

And Rudy, your question wasn’t really about Eli’s knee.

(Ivy held the microphone in front of Rudy’s face.)

SEITZER: It wasn’t?

MCGINNIS: No. As you’re well aware, but the fans may not be… Eli Flair had a left knee replacement twelve years ago. His doctor told him that his career was over in June of the year 2000… between that point and his official retirement at FWO’s 2009 Cyberslam, he held nine World Titles and wrestled in more five star matches than anyone else who was wrestling during that time, including Troy Windham, Mike Randalls, Jack Harmen, Castor Strife, Randall Knox, Hornet, Mark Windham, Vince Jacobs, Alias, and my own husband Sean Stevens.

He did things in the ring that a man with two completely healthy knees would call impossible.

So Rudy, the question isn’t whether or not Eli’s knee can hold up. The question is, can Eli fulfill his destiny by winning the 2012 Ultratitle.

Yes. Yes he can.

Castor Strife may be the biggest name in professional wrestling today, but as far as tonight goes, he is right now, exactly as good as a man who retired three years ago.

And the real tragedy of it, Rudy, is that Castor could’ve had everything he has now, and then some. Castor, you accused Eli and Coop, and I guess myself by association, of refusing to help you. Of refusing to guide you through the tough first few months of the business.

I’ve got news for you, Castor: we did offer to help. And you spat it in our faces. Coop told you what kind of commitment he needed from you in order for you to make the most of his help, and you told him that he had no idea what he was doing.

Don’t blame Coop, don’t blame Eli, and don’t blame me for the fact that you refused to listen.

And don’t try to cop out, Castor, by telling us that we were all insignificant because you’re currently the NFW World Champion. You know it doesn’t work that way.

To put it in terms you can understand… Al Pacino should’ve won an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1974 for the Godfather, part 2, but he lost out to Art Carney in one of the most shameful displays of all time. He would finally win, sixteen years later, in a much lesser role.

On one hand, his loss in 1974 doesn’t diminish the work he did.

On the other, the recognition he got in 1990 doesn’t mean it’s actually better.

Turn that analogy in on itself, Castor, and I’m telling you that being NFW World Champion in 2012 doesn’t erase the fact that you voluntarily gave up on the opportunity – with Coop’s help – of being NFW World Champion in 2003.

You may very well win this match, Castor. But your arrogance and your inability to learn from those who came before you has effectively precluded you from ever being unilaterally acknowledged as the greatest wrestler of your generation.

You might win tonight, Castor, and you might lose.

From now until the end of history, you’ll have to share the credit with Eli Flair. And even if you come out on top, Castor? You’ll just be hoping and praying that the wrestling fan of the future remembers your name.

(She smirked, and held the microphone out so that Rudy could grab it, but it was still against her face.

MCGINNIS: Me and Eli? The fans will already remember our names forever.

(With that, Ivy left the scene, leaving Rudy with the mic in his hand.)

SEITZER: I don’t think we can say anything else… Bill, Stan, back to you.
 

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IG Finals: Sabre vs. Troy Matthews vs. Phil Atken vs. Leyenda de Ocho

(The Survivalism crowd is buzzing as the CSWAVision screen fades in on Bill Buckley and Stan Parsons, standing at the entranceway.)

BUCKLEY: Thanks Rudy! We’re here at the entranceway, and we’re about to tag out one more time for the semi – main event of the night, as Sabre, Troy Matthews, Phil Atken, and Leyena de Ocho will be competing for the Intergalactic Championship!

PARSONS: This should be an incredible match, Buckley – each of these men has worked so hard to get here, besides the physical bragging rights of being the greatest wrestler in the world today alongside of the Ultratitle winner, the ultimate Intergalactic Champion will get to look forward to a title defense against Hornet himself.

(CUTTO: Split – screen, showing Bill and Stan on the left and IG commentators Morton Murphy and Pain Grille on the right. Murphy and Grille are sitting at ringside, looking comfortable in the Merritt auditorium.)

MURPHY: Thanks Bill, thanks Stan! My name is Morton Murphy, and I’m here with Pain Grille at ringside at the Merritt Auditorium, and we’re here tonight to not only celebrate the ULTRATITLE Championship but the VERY – FIRST – INTER – GALACTIC CHAMPION!

GRILLE: Oui, monsieur. Zis is going to be a stand out affair zat goes down in zee wrestling history annals. Who will become zee very first Intergalactic Champion?

MURPHY: Will it be Sabre? Will it be Troy Matthews, the Jersey Devil? Could Leyenda de Ocho capture his FIRST wrestling title on this grand stage? Or will Phil Atken rise to the top of the heap and become our Intergalactic Champ?

GRILLE: Please monsieur. It is insult to wrestling fans to think that Phil Atken has what it takes to overcome competitors like Sabre and Matthews. Even de Ocho. The ring rust is too thick on zat walking carcass, monsieur.

MURPHY: Well, the next thirty minutes will tell us WHO will reign supreme as the Intergalactic Champion as the FIRST of our competitors makes his way out to the ring.



[As “Anitra’s Dance” from the Peer Gynt Suite by Grieg plays on the arena PA, the lights go dark. A flashing silver strobe flickers, giving the surreal appearance of an old black & white film projector.]

JONES: This next contest is for the IGCC IIIIIIN-TERRRRRRR-GAL-AC-TIIIIIIIIIIC Championship. It is scheduled for a thirty minute time limit in four-way elimination competition! Coming to the ring...

(SABRE emerges from the entryway curtain, a black cane in hand. He looks about, waves cheerily to the booing crowd and strolls nonchalantly to the ring.)

JONES: ...weighing TWOOOOOO hundredandthirtyonepoundssssss. Standing SIX feet and FOUR incheessssss, From Parts Unknown... SAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-BRRRRRRRRRRRRRE!

(As SABRE reaches the ring, the lights flicker faster and faster until the house light come back up and his music fades.)

MURPHY: Sabre was a monster in his qualification match. He defeated Dragon Jones at Fly Me to the Moon in a HOT contest to advance here tonight.

GRILLE: Dragon Jones was killed by zee double underhook piledriver mod thingy Sabre hit him with and was just left to Sabre’s bidding before destroying him with zee Wrathful Strike.

MURPHY: The piledriver CERTAINLY WAS impressive.

(Tribal drums.)

MURPHY: And here comes the Jersey Devil.



(Triumphant brass instrumental. “Tank!” by Seat Belts begins to play as TROY MATTHEWS and his valet, SAORI KAZAMA, emerge from the back.)

JONES: Introducing the SECOND competitor in this contest... from BLAAAAAAAAACKWOOD, New Jereseeeeeeeeey! Weighin’ ONE dollareightysix and standin’ FIVE feet and TEN inchesssssss! He is the JEEEEEEEEEEEEEERSEY DEVILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL! TROY! MAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATHEEEEEWWWWWWS!

(MATTHEWS makes his way to the ring, slapping hands with fans all the way to ring before doing a complete lap of the ring and rolling under the bottom rope.)

MURPHY: Troy Matthews qualified for this match at Organised Chaos against Christopher Ryan Eagles when Lane Cash went to Richmond, California, on the wrong Greyhound.

GRILLE: Lane Cash might be many t’ings, mon ami, but smart is not one of them.

(MATTHEWS bursts to his feet with his fists raised above his head.)



JONES: The THIRD contestant of this match is from CHI-CA-GO. Weighing ONE hundredandeightyrightpoundssssss. Standing at FIVE feet and EIGHT inches taaaaaallllll! He is the CARTIRDGE CRUUUUUUUISERRRRRRRRRRRR! The EIGHT bit LEGEEEEEENNNNNNND! LEY-YEN-DO DE OH-CHO!

(OCHO steps out from behind the curtain and raises both arms above his head holding four fingers up on each hand. He’s wearing a dark green mask with a Legend of Zelda tri-force emblazoned on it along with green trunks and brown boots. The drum beat kicks in and he sprints down to the ring sliding under the bottom rope and across the ring, right by SABRE and MATTHEWS who watch him pop out the other side of the ring and up onto the announce table.)

GRILLE: Look at zis cretin nancying about like zee pretty boy. What is he doing on zee table? Does zis look like zee God damn catwalk?

MURPHY: I’m sure it doesn’t, pain, but de Ocho has proven his mettle as an IGC contender, folks. He defeated Eddie Whisky and Axion Jackson at Organised Chaos in one HELL of a contest nailing BOTH opponents with an Actualizar before getting the dubya.

GRILLE: I don’t care who zis fool is. He’s muddying up my notes. Get security to remove zis fool.

(OCHO holds out his hand for a high five from the announce crew. MURPHY slaps some skin but GRILLE gets to his feet and threatens to backhand DE OCHO who simply drops off the table, holding his hands up as if he didn’t want any trouble here.)

MURPHY: Oh, come on. It’s a bit of fun. That’s uncalled for.

GRILLE: Get zis cretin OUT of my face before I belt his ignorant American face in and wipe my ass on zee inside of his mask.

MURPHY: Graphic. Nice.



(Cue “Heavyweight Champion of the World” by Reverend and the Makers and out from the back emerges Phil Atken in a black sparkly robe. He starts heading toward the ring.)

JONES: And our FINAL competitor for this FOUR WAY ELIMINATION is from GLASSSSSSSSS-GOW, SCOTLAAAAAANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNND! Weighing in at EIGHTY FIVE kilograms at a height of SIX feet plus ONE inch. He is the Unfortunate. He is PHIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLL AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATKEEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNNNNNNNNN !

MURPHY: The first man to qualify. The only International competitor in the Intergalactic Championship match. Phil Atken is a veteran and a wily one at that.

GRILLE: Phil Atken is not Unfortunate. He is lucky. Lucky he didn’t get killed by Jack Harris. Lucky he did not get pinned by Max Hopper. Lucky. Not Unfortunate.

MURPHY: That’s your opinion, pain, but he’s here and you’re not. And he has a chance to become the FIRST Intergalactic Champion.

(ATKEN attempts to shake hands with fans. Some accept and others shake their heads and laugh.)

MURPHY: This is going to be some contest, pain. Who will become the champ? Can Matthews take it away? What about the class of Sabre? Or the 8-Bit Legend? Or can this man on his way to the ring walk away with the title?

(ATKEN jumps up onto the apron and raises his arms up into the air, only as OCHO charges and spear tackles ATKEN back to ringside. The referee quickly swings into action and calls for the bell.)

***DING! DING! DING!***

MURPHY: WHOA! De Ocho just SPEARED Atken off the apron to the outside. Sabre and Matthews turn on each other. They’re brawling like mad as this match gets underway. Ocho mounting Atken’s chest and he’s pummelling him with closed fists.

GRILLE: Chaos ‘as ensured, mon ami. Sabre backed into zee corner – BIG knee from Matthews. He is booting zee ribs of Sabre relentlessly, up onto the middle ro- ROUNDHOUSE TO ZEE BACK OF SABRE’S ‘EAD!

MURPHY: I don’t know where to look! Ocho has Atken on his feet. Whips him into the- OH! GUARD RAIL! That can’t feel good. Atken clutching his back, walks straight into a spinning heel kick RIGHT in his gut. Atken on knees. Face eats knee. GOTTA smart!

(MATTHEWS monkey grips SABRE and whips him across the ring, following closely behind and leaping with a big knee to find SABRE roll out of the corner and his knee collect steel turnbuckle. He drops down clutching at his knee in agony as SABRE smirks to himself before grabbing a handful of MATTHEWS’ hair and pulling him to his feet.)

MURPHY: Matthews seems to have hurt his knee when he collected that turnbuckle and Sabre is going to make it hurt some more. Kneebreaker! Insult to injury.

GRILLE: Atken in trouble on zee outside is rather, heh, unfortunate. De Ocho is on zee apron and is stalking Sabre. BUT SABRE HAS SEEN HIM!

MURPHY: Sabre swings a big haymaker at de Ocho but he ducks it and SHOULDER THRUST BETWEEN THE ROPES! WIND OUT OS SABRE’S SAILS!

GRILLE: SUNSET FLIP!

MURPHY: Referee hitting the canvas. ONE! TWO! THREE! OH MY GOD!

GRILLE: SACRE BLEU! ALREADY?

JONES: Sabre has been ELIMINATED!

(SABRE bounces to his feet in shock, begging the referee to validate the three count but it doesn’t seem like he’s interested in listening and points to the backstage area for him to remove himself.)

MURPHY: I’m in shock. The fans are in shock. You’re in shock, pain. What on God’s earth just happened?

GRILLE: Sabre swung like zee rusty gate for de Ocho to drive his shoulder into his belly. Zan he flies with zee sunset flip and out goes Sabre who I thought was a chance to walk away with this belt.

MURPHY: I’m sure Sabre thought so, too. De Ocho pulling Troy Matthews to his feet. Matthews is limping but it looks like he’s a little more comfortable on that kn- KICK TO THE KNEE FROM DE OCHO!

(MATTHEWS’ knee gives out underneath him and he drops to one leg. OCHO hits the ropes, leaps off MATTHEWS’ bended knee and one Shining Wizard later MATTHEWS is laid out on his back.)

MURPHY: Ocho like a MAN possessed. AND THERE’S THE COVER! ONE! TWO! THREE! KICK OUT!

GRILLE: Zat was close. Zat was almost too close!

(OCHO slaps the canvas in frustration, clearly desperate to take home his first wrestling championship. OCHO pulls MATTHEWS to his feet but hasn’t noticed PHIL ATKEN enter the ring. ATKEN spins him around, drives a boot in his belly and plant him head first into the canvas with a DDT.)

MURPHY: DDT from Atken on de Ocho. Turns his attention to Matthews. Pulls him to his feet. Irish whip into the corner. Atken follows. Running knee!

GRILLE: Atken seems to ‘ave recovered from zee beating on zee outside. Or maybe he was catching his breath and letting de Ocho remove some anomalies, monsieur.

MURPHY: Either way, Atken seems to have the momentum at his side now. Snap mare on Matthews OUT of the corner. Jumps onto the second rop- LEG DROP ACROSS THE JERSEY DEVIL’S FACE!

(MATTHEWS rolls onto his knees, clutching his face as ATKEN watches OCHO use the ropes to pull himself to his feet. ATKEN charges at OCHO and drives a knee into his ribs. OCHO drops to one knee. ATKEN rakes the eyes and OCHO bursts to his feet out of pained energy, blindly wandering around the ring.)

GRILLE: Atken with zee eye rake. I didn’t t’ink he ‘ad it in him.

MURPHY: Ocho blindly wandering around the ring RIGHT INTO THE AWAITING CLUTCHES OF ATKEN! SHINBREAKER! That’ll slow down de Ocho.

(OCHO rolls around the canvas, clutching his shin. ATKEN raises a defiant fist into the air and turns, walking straight into a boot into his belly from MATTHEWS. Followed by a kick to the thigh. Then the other thigh. The a brutal kick into the ribcage before MATTHEWS nails a jumping calf kick. ATKEN is exposed as MATTHEWS sends a flurry of kicks to anywhere ATKEN can’t block.)

MURPHY: Atken taking kicks like he was the sideshow at an ass kicking festival and he can’t do a thing to stop those brutal feet of the Jersey Devil.

GRILLE: Ass kicking festival? Really?

MURPHY: No?

GRILLE: No.

(MATTHEWS links an arm and sends ATKEN into the canvas with a Japanese armdrag and the fans buzz loudly as ATKEN gets to his knees. Charging at the ropes, MATTHEWS rebounds and hits a sliding kick into the face of ATKEN to a grimace then a cheer from the fans.)

MURPHY: DEVIL BULLET! Oh, that’s GOT to smart, pain! ATKEN will be searching for teeth later.

GRILLE: Zee Bakatare sliding kick is a devious move zat has SO much momentum behind it. It’s a wonder zat Atken’s eyes are open at all.

MURPHY: While Matthews dusts himself, it’s worth noting that #Intergalactic is trending WORLD-WIDE as we speak.

GRILLE: Trending? On Twitter? You can follow me on zee Twitter @REALpainGRILLE.

MURPHY: End cheap plug.

(MATTHEWS stalks ATKEN, waiting for him to get to his feet. ATKEN gets to one knee and the JERSEY DEVIL starts charging forward at ATKEN but PHIL spear tackles MATTHEWS out of his boots and the pair are out.)

MURPHY: HIIIIII-YUGE spear from Phil and Matthews looks the worse for wear. Ocho is on his feet.

(OCHO looks to the fans and then down at the pair of downed superstars. He charges at the ropes and leaps onto the second rope, flipping through the air and nailing ATKEN with the Actualizar.)

MURPHY: ACTUALIZAR! AND OCHO IS HEADING TO THE ROPES AGAIN!

GRILLE: ZOOT ALORS! ACTUALIZAR ON ZEE JERSEY DEVIL!

MURPHY: COVER! ONE! TWO! THREE! KICKOUT?

( The referee points at the announcer and makes the gesture that MATTHEWS had not kicked out in time to save himself.)

JONES: “The Jersey Devil” Troy Matthews has been ELIMINATED!

(The fans applaud the efforts of the JERSEY DEVIL as OCHO rolls around on the canvas clutching his ribs in joyous agony as MATTHEWS rolls out of the ring. ATKEN, doubled over in pain, sucks wind desperately while OCHO pulls himself up onto his feet.)

MURPHY: This match has been going for over ten minutes and we’re down to Phil Atken and Leyenda de Ocho as Troy Matthews leaves Survivalism WITHOUT the Intergalactic Championship.

GRILLE: Zis match was ALWAYS going to ‘ave some upsets but we see in zee ring two men who EARNT zeir place in zis match at Fly Me to Zee Moon and Organised Chaos respectively.

MURPHY: Ocho and Atken are eye-balling each other. Atken probably a little worse for wear than Ocho. Having had his teeth near kicked down his throat by Matthews and THEN that Actualizar moments ago.

(OCHO now on his feet awaits ATKEN to do the same and the pair begin to circle one another in the ring. ATKEN holds a hand up for a test of strength and the fans begin to boo. OCHO heads in, tentatively raising a hand to accept the test. They link hands and ATKEN immediately boots him into the belly. He pulls his head down into a front facelock and shrugs at the fans before hoisting him up into the air and dropping him down chest first onto his bent knee.)

MURPHY: DAMN! Atken taking the wind from Ocho’s wings with that... well I don’t know what that was. A chestbreaker?

GRILLE: It was devastating is what it was. ‘aving zee wind taken out of your lungs like zat is hard t- KNEEDROP TO ZEE CHEST! Try breathing now, showboat!

(ATKEN rises to his feet quickly and begins to stomp away at the chest of OCHO, stopping him from catching any breath at all. He drops down onto his knees and covers OCHO’s mouth with one hand and pinching his nose with the other.)

GRILLE: SACRE BLEU! HE IS SMOTHERING HIM!

MURPHY: Atken knows ALL the dirty tricks in the book. A couple of seconds blocking his airways, before the referee pulled him off. It’s gonna be hard for Ocho to get his breath back at this pace. And the referee is giving Atken a stern warning.

(ATKEN pushes the referee aside and gets back to his business. Pulling OCHO to his feet he whips him into the ropes. OCHO rebounds off and into the clutches of ATKEN who lifts him into a hot shot across the top rope. OCHO, gasping for air, bounces off and crawls over to the bottom rope, head hanging out as he grips his throat.)

GRILLE: I am not sure I ‘ave ever seen a competitor focus so much on zee breathing of his opponent.

MURPHY: Surely this is dangerous. Surely this is illegal. Shouldn’t the referee be doing something about this?

GRILLE: Zee referee did not’ing about zat clown dancing on my notes for zis evening. I don’t even know where zis Ocho fool is from.

MURPHY: He’s from Chicago.

GRILLE: I don’t know, Morty. I cannot see my notes, can I?

(With OCHO’s head hanging over the bottom rope, ATKEN hits the ropes behind him before leaping and landing a legdrop across the back of OCHO’s throat down onto the bottom rope. ATKEN grabs a hold of the top rope and bounces a couple of times before the referee physically pulls him off OCHO who is coughing and spluttering.)

MURPHY: pain, I don’t think I’ve seen the likes of this before. Atken is focusing purely on the breathing of Leyenda de Ocho and I am ACTUALLY fearing for Ocho’s life.

GRILLE: Zese guys are pretty evenly matched up. Zere’s no real weight given up. A few inches, sure, but zee REAL difference is zee experience. Atken ‘as it in spades.

[ATKEN argues with the referee momentarily before pulling OCHO to his feet and whipping him into the ropes, catching him centre stage and driving him into the canvas with a twisting spinebuster.]

MURPHY: Atken PULVERISES Ocho with a twisting spinebuster and THERE’S THE COVER! ONE! TWO! THREE! NO! SHOULDER UP! OCHO GETS HIS SHOULDER UP!

(OCHO leaves a fist in the air as ATKEN frustrated runs his hands down the length of his face. He slaps the raised fist of OCHO away before getting to his feet. He charges at the ropes, rebounds and leaps into the air with a rolling knee drop to the ribcage of OCHO. Rolling through it, he turns around and swings a big boot into the ribcage of OCHO.)

MURPHY: Atken is trying to break Ocho’s ribs I think. More focus on that breathing. Now he’s trying to make the breathing hurt.

(ATKEN heaves OCHO to his feet, scoops him up and drives him down across his knee with a backbreaker to a boo from the fans.)

GRILLE: Sacre bleu! Leyenda de Ocho will not soon forget zis match with zis vet.

(ATKEN drives an elbow into the sternum of OCHO before pressing his shoulder to the mat again, driving a knee into the ribs for good measure as the referee drops to count the fall.)

GRILLE: Anot’er cover attempt!

MURPHY: ATKEN IN CONTROL! ONE! TWO! THREE! KICKOUT! That was a close one.

(ATKEN moves on with things quickly, pulling OCHO to his feet and whipping him into the corner. He charges after him and hits a big leaping clothesline into the corner. He takes OCHO by the arm again and whips across the ring one more time.)

MURPHY: Here comes the Scot!

(ATKEN leaps for another leaping clothesline but OCHO leans back onto the top rope, lifting both feet and kicking ATKEN right on the chin. ATKEN tumbles to the canvas as OCHO uses the moment to catch his own breath.)

MURPHY: Ocho finally slowing Atken down and has a moment to catch some oxygen and get back in this contest.

GRILLE: Ocho is sucking wind like Hornet sucks in painkillers.

MURPHY: Really? Hornet jokes?

GRILLE: It’s trending worldwide, no?

MURPHY: No.

(OCHO shakes the cobwebs and grabs a handful of ATKEN’s hair, heaving him involuntarily to his feet and striking with an open fist. Then another. And some more until he’s backed ATKEN into the corner and drives the knee into his belly.)

MURPHY: Ocho has Atken in the corner. Climbs to the second rope and he’s holding up eight fingers, pain. Four on each hand and DRIVES closed fists into the top of Atken’s skull.

CROWD: ONE! TWO! THREE! FOUR! FIVE! SIX! SEVEN! EIGHT!
(OCHO drops down to the ring and walks away, leaving his back turned to ATKEN who falls, arms by his side, out of the corner face first like a felled tree. The fans cheer loudly as OCHO holds up both hands again, once more showing those eight fingers.)

MURPHY: Finally some breathing space for Ocho and it now looks like Atken is in trouble.

(OCHO sits ATKEN up, swings around behind him and applies a sleeper on ATKEN. The fans start buzzing as ATKEN tries to prise the hold loose.)

MURPHY: Ocho. Sleeper hold on Atken. Fans rallying behind the 8-Bit Legend.

GRILLE: Zis is smart. Atken did so much to take his breath away and Ocho is taking his time to get it back. Sleeper hold. Eight punch. Zee rookie is showing wisdom beyond his years, Morty.

MURPHY: He certainly is. Ocho, tugs that sleeper on tighter. Atken trying to force his hands in there to give himself so relief but it doesn’t look good. Ocho just tugs it tighter with every breath he takes like an anaconda. Just wrapping his grip around tighter and tighter. Every time Atken’s throat contracts Ocho pulls on tighter.

(ATKEN begins to look a little giddy. His head lulls down with his chin on his chest and the referee grabs his wrist and holds it in the air. ATKEN’s hand falls into his own lap.)

GRILLE: Zee referee is testing to see if Phil is still with us.

MURPHY: That sleeper is locked in tight. Referee testing for a second time.

(Holding ATKEN’s wrist up in the air a second time the fans grow quiet to see what happens. He releases his hold and once more the wrist falls into ATKEN’s lap.)

MURPHY: Twice the wrist has fallen. The referee will lift his wrist one more time and if that wrist falls that bell will sound and Leyenda de Ocho will become the FIRST Intergalactic Champion.

(The referee takes a hold of ATKEN’s wrist one more time and holds it up as the fans begin to buzz loudly with the prospect of one of the fastest up and coming stars in pro-wrestling becoming the champ. The referee releases the grip and ATKEN’s hand begins its descent toward ATKEN’s lap.)

MURPHY: THIS IS I- NO! ATKEN SURGES! HE DIGS DEEP!

(ATKEN forces his defiant fist to the skies and the fans boo. OCHO shakes his head as ATKEN raises the other fist and appears to be trying to psyche himself up to overcome the sleeper. He shoots an elbow back into the ribcage of OCHO. Followed by a second. OCHO releases his hold, steps back, then nails a dropkick to the back of ATKEN’s head. He flops forward awkwardly before flailing backward to be pinned by OCHO.)

MURPHY: OCHO WITH THE PINFALL!1

GRILLE: Is zis it?

MURPHY: It could be, Pain! ONE! TWO! THREE! NO! KICKOUT!

(OCHO pounded a fist into the canvas in frustration as ATKEN rolls around oblivious to his surroundings. Rising to his feet, he pulled ATKEN to his. A strung him with a right, locked up and drove him into the canvas with an exploder suplex. The fans cheered as OCHO charged the ropes and flipped forward with a frontflip senton.)

MURPHY: Ocho showing off his athleticism there, pain. Flipping onto Atken with a senton and he sits on Atken’s chest and hooks the leg! ONE! TWO! SHOULDER UP!

GRILLE: Wow. Zis match is a battle for zee ages, Morty. We are nearly at zee twenty minute mark for zis contest.

MURPHY: Twenty minute mark means that Atken and Ocho have just over ten minutes to wrap things up before the championship goes undecided and the fans see NO winner.

GRILLE: Zat would be a monumental failure if neit’er of zese men can capitalise wit’in zee time.

MURPHY: You’re telling me! Ocho pulls Atken to his feet. Rope whip. Atken rebounds and BAM! Dropkick! Atken flips end over end and he’s landed upside down in the corner, pain!

GRILLE: What is Ocho doing? He’s tucking Atken’s feet under the ro- TREE OF WOE!

MURPHY: Tree of Woe maybe. Media=Jefe – yes! Ocho hanging outside the ring with his legs wrapped around the trapped Atken’s throat. I don’t think I’ve quite seen a move like this before.

(The referee makes the five count and demands it be broken up, beginning to force OCHO’s legs from ATKEN’s throat. The hold is released and ATKEN tumbles out of the corner, clutching his throat.)

MURPHY: Atken near choked out by the Media-Jefe, pain, and things are looking to be in the favour of Leyenda de Ocho as we’re now into the twentieth minute of the match.

(OCHO climbs back onto the apron, turns his back to the ring and raises his hands above his head showing four fingers on each hand. ATKEN, on one knee, sees his opportunity and charges forward simply shoving OCHO with all his might off the apron and into the guard rail.)

GRILLE: Zat cannot feel nice.

MURPHY: It cannot, pain. Atken just SHOVED Ocho off the apron and CHEST FIRST into the STEEL guard. Ocho does not look in good shape.

(ATKEN climbs through the ropes as OCHO pulls himself to his feet. He leaps off and clotheslines OCHO down to the ground from the elevated position. The fans boo as ATKEN rises to his feet and raises his fists into the air before driving boots into OCHO’s head.)

MURPHY: Atken managing to find the window of opportunity open just a fraction and with the right tools, that fraction can look like it’s a mile wide.

GRILLE: Clever. Wily. Conniving. Foxy. Zese are words you can describe a veteran like Atken with, Morty.

MURPHY: Atken pulls Ocho to his feet. Knee to the belly. DRIVES his head into the steel ring steps and the referee is calling for this to get back inside.

(ATKEN dismisses him with a wave of his hand, keeping his focus on OCHO. Cupping a hand behind OCHO’s head, he leads him around toward the announce table. He drives OCHO’s face into the table once, twice, three times! GRILLE stands and begins to applaud ATKEN who slams OCHO back first into the ring apron.)

GRILLE: Give zee man a round of applause. First Ocho show boats on zis table, ruining my notes, making me smell his wretched feet. Now he ‘as ‘is face driven into where his boots soiled.

(The referee starts a count as ATKEN hits a knife edge chop across OCHO’s chest for a “WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” from the fans. Another chop. Another “WOO!”. And again. And again. And ATKEN pulls OCHO into a front facelock, heaves him into the air and drives him into the ringside mats with a delayed vertical suplex.)

MURPHY: Atken, dominating Ocho on the outside there and the referee is STILL counting.

GRILLE: Atken better pay attention, Morty, or he could miss his window of opportunity.

MURPHY: Referee on seven. Atken rolls into the ring. Rolls out again. Takes OCHO by the head DRIIIIIVES it into his knee. DOWN goes Ocho.

GRILLE: Zat was brutal.

(On hands and knees, clutching his face, OCHO is pained by the knee strike. ATKEN grabs a hold of the back of OCHO’s head, forces him to his feet and rolls him under the bottom rope after a couple of stiff forearm shots. He rolls in after him.)

MURPHY: Atken taking things back inside the ring now and you’d have to think he’s looking to end things soon.

(ATKEN pulls OCHO to his feet and drives a knee into the body, forcing OCHO to double over. ATKEN climbs up onto top rope and awaits OCHO to straighten up a bit. As soon as he straightens, ATKEN leaps and executes a diving DDT on OCHO to a huge boo from the fans. OCHO is almost like a starfish staring up at the skies. ATKEN drops over him, hooks the leg, and attempts to claim his prize.)

MURPHY: THIS COULD BE IT! ONE! TWO! THREE! IS IT? NO! SHOULDER UP! OH MY GOD! THINGS ARE HEATING UP!

GRILLE: Twenty t’ree minutes in, Morty.

(ATKEN pounds a fist into the canvas before grabbing OCHO’s ankles. He looks up at the fans with a grin across his face.)

MURPHY: FIGURE FOUR! FIGURE FOUR! OH MY GAWD!

(With a hoop, swoop and pull, ATKEN falls onto his own back and the pain shoots through OCHO’s shins and legs. ATKEN pulls back with all his might as OCHO wails in agony. ATKEN bounces to increase the stress.)

MURPHY: Phil Atken looking to make Leyenda de Ocho tap out to the figure four leglock and this can NOT be good for Ocho.

GRILLE: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again... zee figure four is a devastating hold for both men. Ocho is obviously in zee worst position but Atken cannot be feeling good.

MURPHY: I’ll guarantee it’s worth the pain to get the gain. Can Phil Aitken make Leyenda de Ocho submit to the figure four leglock and become the VERY FIRST Intergalactic Champion?

(The referee, on hands and knees, gets down into OCHO’s face and asks the question. OCHO shakes his head vigorously, unwilling to succumb to the submission hold.)

MURPHY: Twenty three minutes. Twenty three minutes of all out war for these two men and Phil Atken is looking to end things right here and right now with his patented submission hold that Max Hopper succumbed to just a few short months ago at Fly Me to the Moon.

GRILLE: Atken ‘as accomplished many victories with zee ‘old, Morty. And now he is trying to seal zee deal one more time. One more time for Championship glory.

(ATKEN sits up on his elbows and screams across at OCHO.)

ATKEN: JUST QUIT YOU SONOFABITCH! TAP OUT!

OCHO: (screaming back) NEEEEVVEEEERRRRRRR!

ATKEN: TAP! OUT! NOW!

(OCHO shakes his head, pushing the referee away and out of his face as he tries to roll ATKEN over. ATKEN begins shaking his head, trying with all his might to not be rolled over by OCHO. OCHO tries to roll left and then tries to roll right. And then tries to roll left again.)

MURPHY: Ocho is trying to gain some momentum rolling to-and-fro. Each roll seeming to get a little closer to rolling the hold over.

GRILLE: An excellent strategy, Morty, but zis would be putting Leyenda de Ocho through three times more pain trying to reverse zis ‘old.

(ATKEN, with all his might, tries to stop OCHO from rolling but he seems to be gathering leverage with each roll of his body.)

MURPHY: We’re at loggerheads here. Leyenda de Ocho trying not to tap out to Phil Atken. Leyenda de Ocho trying to turn the tides on Phil Atken and REVERSE he figure four and make ATKEN tap out to his own finisher.

GRILLE: OCHO IS ROLLING HIM! HE’S ROLLING HIM!

(OCHO gathers more momentum and near rolls ATKEN over. He rolls from his left-side to his right side but as they hit middle, ATKEN leans back on his elbows and arcs his back with all his might and OCHO lets out a yelp of agony, losing his rolling momentum to the experience of ATKEN.)

MURPHY: Ocho near rolled Atken over but now things DO NOT look good for Leyenda de Ocho as Atken REALLY applies the pressure now.

([The referee checks on OCHO who is still shaking his head. With one final effort, he rolls to his right and lunges at the ropes, clutching the bottom rope with a grasp of urgency and the referee immediately intervenes forcing ATKEN to release the hold.)

MURPHY: Amazing stamina from Leyenda de Ocho breaking the hold with a rope break. I can’t believe he dug so deep and got that out of his heart and soul but this match goes on. Twenty five minutes of war between these men, pain.

GRILLE: Escaping zat hold is one t’ing. Surviving zee after effects is somet’ing else.

(Limping to his feet, OCHO and ATKEN collide in the centre of the ring. They begin to trade blows in the centre of the ring. ATKEN takes advantage of the situation strings a second and a third together. He whips OCHO into the ropes. OCHO rebounds and charging forward he dives between ATKEN’s legs.)

MURPHY: Here comes Leyenda de Ocho! Slides between Atken’s legs. ARM DRAG! Atken bounces up like he’s made of rubber and charges. Ocho with another armdrag attempt! ATKEN ROLLS THROUGH AND TOSSES OCHO ACROSS THE RING! Where is this energy coming from?

(OCHO bounds to his feet and they both leap, attempting a dropkick and colliding feet-on-feet. The fans are buzzing. They can sense the desperation in both of these competitors.)

MURPHY: Dropkicking each other’s dropkicks. Both back on their feet. Charging forward. Atken clotheslines Ocho. Ocho bounces up with cat-like agility. Ocho clotheslines Atken and he rolls over onto his feet and they both pause a moment to catch their breath.

GRILLE: Amazing, Morty. Zey are giving everyt’ing zey ‘ave!

MURPHY: AND MORE!

([They stalk toward one another. OCHO swings a right hand, ATKEN catches it, rolls into OCHO’s body as if performing a judo throw and slings a mule kick back into the groin of OCHO without the referee’s visibility and OCHO drops to his knees.)

MURPHY: LOW BLOW! THAT’S LOW!

GRILLE: Experience!

(ATKEN smirks and turns to face the kneeling OCHO. As ATKEN moves forward, OCHO grabs both of ATKEN’s wrists and headbutts him in the sternum. ATKEN gasps and staggers back. OCHO bounds up to his feet in a leaping, athletic action before charging with a big dropkick to the left leg.)

MURPHY: BACK AND FORTH! I CAN’T KEEP UP!

(ATKEN gets to one knee, catching his breath and rubbing his sternum when he realises OCHO is charging. His reaction time is too late and OCHO smashes him with a Shining Wizard before looking up to the top rope. He points up top for a huge pop from the fans.)

MURPHY: Ocho going to the TOP for what is normally a second rope move, pain. He is going to fly like a bird and put an end to this match once and for all.

GRILLE: Zis match ‘as been a nail biter. I can only presume Ocho to fly with zee Actualizar one more time in zis contest.

(OCHO, up top, draws a big breath and leaps into the air. Flipping and twisting he comes down onto PHIL ATKEN.)

MURPHY: KNEES UP! KNEES UP! OCHO LANDS CHEST FIRST ON ATKEN’S KNEES AND HE IS NOT IN A GOOD WAY!

GRILLE: SACRE BLEU!

MURPHY: ATKEN HAS HIS ANKLES! IT’S A FIGURE FOUR! APPLIED FOR THE SECOND TIME! FIGURE FOUR!

(ATKEN drops to his back and OCHO immediately cries out in pain as ATKEN arches his back as far as it will go. The fans are booing loudly as OCHO shakes his head, trying not to succumb.)

MURPHY: IS THIS IT? IS THIS THE END? IS THIS THE END OF LEYENDA D-

GRILLE: HE’S TAPPING! HE’S TAPPING!

MURPHY: OH MY GOD! WE’VE GOT AN INTERGALACTIC CHAMPION! PHIL ATKEN HAS DONE IT!

***DING! DING! DING!***

(ATKEN releases the hold and lays there, forearm across his face and not believing what has just happened. OCHO rolls over onto his knees, head in his hands trying to understand where everything went wrong.)

MURPHY: Phil Atken has done it. He has won the Intergalactic Championship. He has defeated Leyenda de Ocho to become the FIRST EVER Intergalactic Champion, ladies and gentlemen in TWENTY SEVEN minutes of ALL OUT WAR!

GRILLE: UNBELIEVABLE!

(ATKEN gets to his feet as “Heavyweight Champion of the World” plays on the PA. The referee hands ATKEN the Space Invader shaped golden championship belt and he thrusts it high above his head. The fans give a mixed reaction as OCHO, kneeling, stares up at the title being thrust high into the air above his head.)

MURPHY: So close to winning yet Leyenda de Ocho only BARELY missed his opportunity in what is one of the CLOSEST matches I’ve ever seen, pain. What a Championship match.

GRILLE: Ocho can ‘old ‘is ‘ead up up ‘igh, even zough he is a clown. Zis was some match. Even I will admit. Zis was close down to zee wire. Zese two men need to wrestle again.

MURPHY: You’re telling me, pain. They DO need to wrestle again. Maybe the future will hold a different result. Regardless, Phil Atken is the Intergalactic Champion and this is HIS moment. One, I’m tipping, he’ll hold dear to his heart for a long, long time.

(ATKEN climbs the turnbuckle and thrusts the Intergalactic Championship high into the air with the biggest grin anyone could ever see stretched across his face.)

MURPHY: Fans, you have just seen the crowning of the first ever Intergalactic Champion, and coming up in just a few minutes, you’ll see Bill Buckley and Stan Parsons return to the booth for the finals of the 2012 Ultratitle! Right now, however, let’s take you backstage to New Frontier Wrestling’s very own Natrone Rice, standing by with Ultratitle Finalist, NFW World Champion Castor Strife!
 

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A Hill for One Man

(CUTTO: NATRONE RICE in a silver Canali three-piece wool suit, standing backstage with an ESEN microphone to CASTOR V. STRIFE. Castor is wearing a black shimmering robe over white tights, breathing heavily into a dark green gas mask strapped over his mouth)

RICE: We are minutes away from the 2012 Ultratitle finals, and I am here with the man who will be facing Eli Flair for that legendary trophy, NFW champion Castor Strife. (Turns to Castor) You defeated two-time winner Joey Melton, and now it’s on to Flair, the ‘King of Extreme’, someone who you’ve pledged to ‘annihilate’ and ‘embarrass’ for slighting you as a young man. Today, you are one of the most recognizable faces in our industry; a champion who some claim is unstoppable. Flair says he’s in your head. He says he’s figured you out, and will beat you for the one honor that always eluded him. You’ve downplayed the importance of this championship, so how do you prepare for somebody like Eli Flair, who is prepared to go the distance for the Ultratitle trophy?

(Camera focuses in on Castor)

CASTOR: (Through the mask) Eli Flair…a man with only one hill left to climb. He’s invested himself so heavily in the outcome, committed himself with totality in the quest for it’s taking, but in the thrill of battle has lost sight of reality…

…the better man gets to walk down the hill, the lesser man is carried.

(Takes off mask and inhales hard through nose)

The United States Army wanted a hill once. Long time ago. It possessed them – they didn’t even know why they wanted the hill, they just did, and would pay any price to get it. But wanting something isn’t good enough. Devotion…isn’t good enough. The North Vietnamese could’ve cared less about the hill, but the THOUGHT, Eli, the THOUGHT of the Americans being on top of that hill sickened them. And that was enough to win. Because sometimes it’s not about what is at stake, but who. This is one of those times.

Tonight is not about Ultratitle. It’s about Castor Strife and Eli Flair. The old way versus the new. I have spit on the idea of Ultratitle’s importance, but tonight, all that changes. On THIS NIGHT, it becomes important, for no other reason than my involvement. It started with Melton, and now I’m going to destroy history for good when I defeat you and raise the mythical prize, the purported HOLY GRAIL.

I am going to make you bleed for that hill. I am going to make you burn for that hill. You will spend your artillery to the very last bullet. But in the end, you will abandon it. I will MAKE YOU quit. I will make you sorry for having laid eyes on that hill.

But your regret won’t end there. That’s when you will think back 12 years to our first meeting, and know for sure: that I was right, and you were wrong. I was ALWAYS the future of this industry, a revelation in the womb…

…and compared to me (whispers) you are NOTHING.

(Shakes head)

No more words. Hamburger Hill awaits. 126 casualties, and one more left to go. Come, Eli…find out just how good I really am.

(Walks off, camera pulls back to a stunned Natrone Rice)

RICE (Eyes raised; nods head): “Back to you at ringside!”
 

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ULTRATITLE FINALS: Castor V. Strife vs. Eli Flair

(CUTTO: Bill Buckley and Stan Parsons, sitting at ringside. The fans were all still buzzing from the IG Championship, and the ‘ATKEN!’ chant was still sounding out.)

BUCKLEY: Thanks, Natrone. Well, fans, this is it. We started with one hundred and twenty eight men nearly six months ago, and it’s all led up to this. We’re at Ground Zero for the 2012 Ultratitle Tournament, and Stan, could you have predicted this finale?

PARSONS: Not in a million years, Bill, but I think that’s a fair assessment for whoever would’ve made it this far. On one hand, Castor Strife is the World Champion of New Frontier Wrestling, which is widely acknowledged, along with Empire Pro Wrestling, as being at the forefront of today’s professional wrestling Elite. On the other, Castor had to get past Joey Melton, Cameron Cruise, Dan Ryan, Sean Stevens, Anarky and Doc Silver, just to name a few of the legends we’re familiar with, and to say nothing of all the legends and great athletes that were fairly new to the Greensboro wrestling crowd in his half - field. You can’t count any of them out, and it’s truly a feat of skill, guile, and luck, that Castor Strife made it this far.

BUCKLEY: At the same time, the same could be said of Eli Flair, in reverse. Here’s a man who had a legendary career, certainly Hall of Fame – worthy, who hasn’t wrestled a single match in three years, and he’s going to win his own half – field that includes Sean Edmunds, the Phantom Republican, Eric Dane, Kendall Codine, Max Blackshire, Boogie Smallz, Deacon, Troy Windham, Jack Harmen, Javid Dones, and the infamous Joe the Plumber? The Eli Flair of ten years ago would’ve eaten this field for breakfast, but the Eli Flair who had wrestled a scant seven matches in the past five years before this tournament started managed to pull it off. There’s an element of luck to that, of course, but it’s also just as much a testament to the man’s guts, skill, and stubbornness.

(SFX: DING DING DING. At the sound of the bell, the fans popped. They were popping all night, of course, but this one made it sound like they were sitting on their hands for the past three hours.)

JONES: Ladies and gentlemen… this… is the MAIN EVENT OF THE NIGHT!

(Roar from the crowd.)

This contest is scheduled for one fall, with no time limit! And it is for the TWO THOUSAND AND TWELVE… ULTRATITLE… CHAMPIONSHIP!



BUCKLEY: Lana Dremire leading the way for the NFW World Heavyweight Champion, she’s something else, isn’t she, Stan?

PARSONS: Rabid, possibly hepatitis?

BUCKLEY: You said it, not me. Castor Strife looked good in his match against Joey Melton earlier tonight, he had a hard fought match, but I don’t think he was ever truly in trouble. You can say all you want about Melton –

PARSONS: McGinnis certainly did.

BUCKLEY: —but even at forty eight years old, he’s a heck of a talent. For Castor to have dispatched him with the relative ease that he did, is a testament to both his past promise and future success. It’s one thing to have had some lucky draws in this tournament to avoid some of the heavy hitters, but when you’re facing off against a bona fide legend and can come through like that? You can’t learn that.

PARSONS: I also notice Castor left his gasmask behind. Symbolic, perhaps, for the filmmaker? Stripping away everything superfluous for this match? I dare say this is the most important night of his career so far, whether he wins or loses here, he’s leaving this arena a different wrestler than he started.

BUCKLEY: Good point, Stan – but he’s also still wearing his title belt, and this is not a NFW World Championship defense.

PARSONS: Perhaps he considers his NFW World Title to be essential?

BUCKLEY: Touche. Castor and Lana enter the ring on the same side, up opposite stairs and under the same stretch of the top rope, and he’s got a fairly sizeable following here! I wonder, how much of that is the hardcore Castor Strife fan, and how much of that is the fairweather ‘He’s an Ultratitle finalist’ fan?

PARSONS: Truly, it doesn’t matter right now.


(Believe it or not, the fans got louder.)

BUCKLEY: We thought we saw the last of Eli Flair in this arena seven years ago when he came within inches of winning the UNIFIED Championship at CSWA Gold Rush, but here he is, Stan, wrestling in his second match of the night!

PARSONS: Poison Ivy leads the way for Eli to ringside, and she’s forsaken the Singapore Cane, just like Eli forsook the black leather trench coat.

BUCKLEY: Like you said, no distractions and nothing superfluous. Eli has the same idea as Castor.

PARSONS: He’s sporting a new shirt, though. W.W.A.D. on a plain black shirt.

BUCKLEY: I believe that stands for What Would Angel Do? That’s one of the early logos for his wife’s band. I’d say, much like Castor and his title belt, Eli has brought with him, only what he wants to carry with him.

PARSONS: It’s somewhat fitting that they both have one person in their corner, and they both have one item, extraneous to the actual wrestling match, that means something to them. I dare say, both men have brought their own personal lucky charms to the ring.

BUCKLEY: Ivy under the top rope, Eli up the corner, and he’s got his fist in the air to another massive ovation, and I think we’ve finally cracked the stoicism, he’s got the barest hint of a smile on his face.

PARSONS: Eighteen years, Bill – and this is something he’s never been able to accomplish. Fifteen World Championships, countless five star matches, and this is the first time he’s ever been in the ring for an Ultratitle Final.

BUCKLEY: Enjoy it, Eli… and listen to these fans, they’re showing him continued appreciation for the career he’s had.

JONES: Introducing first, to my left… accompanied to the ring by Lana Dremire… from Hollywood, California, and weighing in at two hundred and forty five pounds… He has made it to the Ultratitle Finals with victories over Jaguar. Over Sammy Brown. Over Khristain Keller. Over Anarky, Orphan, and Joey Melton…

(SFX: Fan pop at Melton’s name.)

JONES: He is the God of Snuff, he is the Final Scene, the Golden Dream… He is the PSYCHOSEXUAL SON OF SATURN… He is the NEW FRONTIER WRESTLING… WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION…

CASTORRRRRRRRRR… VEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE… STRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

BUCKLEY: Castor hasn’t taken his eyes off Eli Flair, but he’s unhooked his World Title belt from his waist and is holding it high in the air to a loud, loud reaction.

PARSONS: You can call him a freak, a scumbag, and a bottom feeder, but he’s currently holding a very powerful World Title and he has built a reputation on an uncompromising and unparalleled style, defeating everyone in his path including Eli Flair’s protégé, Randall Knox. A majority of these fans might want to see Eli Flair come out on top, but they have too much respect for Castor to boo him, at least at this point.

JONES: AND HIS OPPONENT…

(SFX: HUGE pop, chant beginning of ‘THANK YOU ELI!’ complete with claps.

JONES: Accompanied to the ring by the Manager of Champions herself, the Psycho Bitch, ‘Poison’ Ivy McGinnis…

BUCKLEY: Standing ovation for Ivy! She’s got just as many fans here as Eli, and the fans are showing their appreciation for her own contribution to the sport over the years.

PARSONS: She’s certainly come a long way since her debut, Bill. Working the road while earning a degree with honors from MIT, I remember her in the locker room, sitting and talking with everyone she could learn from. If Ray S. Cornette was still with us, he’d be incredibly proud of how far she’s come.

(CUTTO: The ring, where Ivy had taken a bow and took an aggressive step toward Lana Dremire, who had decided to fire some obscene gestures her way. Eli held her back by the arm.)

JONES: From New York City, The Bronx, and weighing in at two hundred and ninety pounds… his path to the Ultratitle Finals took him through Vagabond. Jacob McKail. Eric Dane. Sean Edmunds. Kendall Codine.

(Nice pop for Kendall Codine.)

JONES: And Jack Harmen…

(Another nice pop for Harmen; his own fanbase transcends territory lines.)

JONES: He is the King of Extreme… He is the Original Nobody… He is a fifteen time former World Heavyweight Champion, including being the only man in history who has held the CSWA, Fans Wrestling Organization, and Asylum Fighting World Championships…

(Pop for the CSWA and the FWO, less so for the Asylum.)

JONES: THIS IS… TOTAL ELIMINATION… EEEEEEEEEEEEEELIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII… FLAAAAAAAAAAAAAIIIRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!

BUCKLEY: Standing ovation for the King of Extreme! Castor may be cheered and respected for his efforts and his skills, but the same could be said for Eli Flair, who wrestled some of his most legendary matches in this arena, and who spent ten full years entertaining these fans. I would go so far as to say, Stan, that beyond the obvious answers: Hornet, Joey Melton, the Windham brothers, and Mike Randalls, no one man has meant as much to the CSWA over the years than Eli Flair.

PARSONS: That’s all well and good, Bill, but Eli Flair’s legacy in this building and Castor Strife’s reputation over the past three years means precisely zilch right now. This is the moment that all of the hype and all of the questions are pushed aside, and it comes down to who can get the three count.

(SFX: DING DING DING!)

BUCKLEY: There’s the bell, Lana and Ivy have left the ring, and we’re official! Senior referee Ben Worthington has refereed all of the Ultratitle matches since the quarterfinals began, and he’s asking for these two men to shake hands!

PARSONS: Not a chance. Castor told a pretty compelling tale about not getting the help he desired from Eli Flair and his group back when he was starting, and Eli came right back, telling Castor that he never heard of him. There’s no respect here and that is going to show itself.

BUCKLEY: You say that, Stan, but Eli offers his hand in respect!

PARSONS: Castor with a slap to the face! He doesn’t respect Eli!

BUCKLEY: ELI WITH A RIGHT HAND! CASTOR HITS THE MAT! He doesn’t respect Castor, either!

PARSONS: I’d go so far as to say Eli Flair doesn’t respect anyone across the ring from him.

BUCKLEY: Kick to the back of the head! Another! Eli with a scoop, and a hard slam to the mat! Legdrop! Cover! ONE… TWO… Kickout! Castor is dazed but he’s nowhere near finished!

PARSONS: It’s a strange dichotomy, Bill. These men were already in one match each tonight: they both had to have this finale in the back of their minds as they tried to keep from giving it all in the semis so they’d have something left for the finals, but now that we’re here, you have to believe that they both want to end this as quickly as possible because they’ve already wrestled once tonight.

BUCKLEY: I’d have to disagree, Stan – both of these athletes have a reputation for being able to keep on wrestling past the point of no return, I think they’re going to try to end it as quickly as possible, true, but I also think it could very easily turn into a marathon match, just to see who can outlast the other.

PARSONS: That could truly embody the concept of an irresistible force and an immovable object, Bill. Two men two stubborn to lose.

BUCKLEY: Eli with a scoop, and an irish whip into the ropes, and a hard baseball swing just put Castor down again! Did you see his head bounce off the mat?

PARSONS: Castor needs to get his head together and go down low, take Eli’s legs out from under him, and take this match to the mat if he wants to have a shot, and the first step to all that is to maybe take a powder, get out of the ring and let his own head clear from the shots he’s taken?

BUCKLEY: Eli is a fairly accomplished mat wrestler himself, Stan.

PARSONS: Just playing Devil’s Advocate here, Bill. Yes, he’s accomplished on the mat, but Castor is younger, healthier, and actively maintaining his skills. I think that’ll be his strength.

BUCKLEY: Another scoop, and this time Eli has him by the neck! Ben Worthington with the count, but Eli has him up in the air by one hand! Chokeslam! And Castor rolls to the outside, holding the back of his neck while he takes a walk! Lana Dremire to his side, and Castor pacing, which I think is the best thing he can do right now: try to regroup, and try to break Eli’s momentum.

PARSONS: Um, Castor? Look up?

BUCKLEY: Eli Flair on the top turnbuckle? He rarely did that when he was active.

PARSONS: This can only end badly for someone.

BUCKLEY: DOUBLE AXEHANDLE FROM THE TOP TO THE FLOOR! CASTOR SHOVES LANA OUT OF THE WAY! ELI FLAIR’S FISTS LANDED ON TOP OF HIS HEAD!

PARSONS: Castor with a jolt…and a long, slow fall to the floor! And why is Eli down?

(CUTTO: Split screen, with real-time footage of Castor on the floor and Eli on the floor next to a slow – motion replay. The replay shows Eli making contact with the top of Castor’s head, and landing wrong – slash – awkwardly and reaching out for the ring apron to steady himself and failing at it. Back to live action.)

BUCKLEY: Much has been said and written about Eli’s knees, that might be the risk that costs him the night, Stan.

PARSONS: Not necessarily. Castor took the hit, he might’ve caught a stinger or had the lights go out for a moment on impact. Eli is already back to his feet, favoring his left knee, but the difference between these two is that Castor, win or lose, goes back to real life tomorrow as the reigning and actively defending NFW World Champion. Eli has the rest of his life to heal and rest his knees. He used to joke that he’d leave almost everything in the ring, and save just enough to get to the next town. He doesn’t even have to leave that much tonight.

BUCKLEY: Lana Dremire getting back to her feet, and she looks like she’s shaken as well, but she’s unharmed. I think that deserves another look, Stan – for all of Castor’s attitude, he pushed Lana out of the line of danger like it was instinct.

PARSONS: There was something that happened in New Frontier Wrestling earlier in the year; Eric Dane managed to steal Castor’s home, money, and production company. All he had left was the title belt and Lana Dremire. I think his actions here were fairly noble.

BUCKLEY: Eli just sent Castor back into the ring, and the NFW World Champion is pulling himself up to his knees. He’s not done yet, Stan, but he’s still had his bell rung and he needs a minute to get his bearings; whether or not Eli will allow him to do so is very much in doubt.

PARSONS: With Castor trying to get back to his feet, he’s showing he has the will to win, if not the current physical ability or mental ability: he’s had his bell pretty well rung.

BUCKLEY: There’s a noticeable limp in Eli’s step, however, and he’s favoring his left leg as he pulls Castor back to his feet, and a forearm to the back just sent the NFW World Champion into the ropes! Another forearm, and Castor is pressed up against the top rope! Hook from behind, and a German suplex with a bridge! ONE… TWO… KICKOUT by Castor Strife!

PARSONS: A little slow on that one, Bill. Castor might be starting the inevitable path to an empty tank.

BUCKLEY: It happens to every wrestler who takes punishment in a match, win or lose, Stan! Eli to his feet first, and another hook of Castor Strife! Irish Whip… Castor held onto the top on the rebound! Eli moves in to follow up – CASTOR WITH A MULE KICK! SWEEP OF THE LEG! ELI HITS THE MAT!

PARSONS: I think he noticed the knee, Bill.

BUCKLEY: Castor unable to follow up, he’s on his knees holding onto the middle rope, his eyes closed, trying to put his thoughts back in order, but he’d better hurry up, Stan – Eli is across the ring, pulling himself up on the ropes!

PARSONS: Eli’s head is definitely clearer right now. His knee is probably screaming at him but he hasn’t taken the blows to the head that Castor has; the NFW World Champion’s strategy is most definitely more scrambled.

BUCKLEY: He’s only got a few seconds, Stan, he’d better hope he – Eli with a hook from behind! Castor with a blind elbow backwards, he just caught Eli on the side of the head! 360 spin and a hard roundhouse right hand! Eli is rocked! Castor with a kick to the stomach! Another! Eli favoring his damaged knee, but Castor with another hard uppercut that snapped his opponent’s head back! Off the ropes… Running clothesline just took Eli off his feet! Cover! ONE… TWO… Kickout by Flair! Just like that, Stan, and Castor can turn a match around!

PARSONS: And the fans are cheering for Castor’s reversal. These fans are fans of both men, Bill, and from what I understand of Castor Strife, this is probably new ground for him.

BUCKLEY: These fans appreciate hard work and ingenuity, Stan, that’s what matters. That’s why Mike Randalls always received an ovation while GUNS was booed and dismissed.

PARSONS: That might have more to do with being a whiner.

BUCKLEY: Castor and Eli getting to their feet at the same time, and Castor with a dive toward Eli’s injured leg – he pulls back, but Castor with a two handed upward strike that catches Eli square in the face! His head just snapped back, and Castor with a hook, and a hard bodyslam!

PARSONS: Eli Flair is a large man, but he’s also relatively slim for his build; Castor is only about forty pounds below him and in unbelievable shape, it’s not quite as surprising that he can slam the King of Extreme.

BUCKLEY: Castor with the boots to Eli! I think he’s cleared his head, and with Eli’s knee damaged, he’s going to put his offense to his head and neck to try and knock his opponent either out or around to the point where he can’t fight back anymore.

PARSONS: And with two handfuls of hair, Castor is ignoring Ben Worthington’s threats and warnings, and pulls Eli – with his own help – to the middle of the ring.

BUCKLEY: I’m surprised more of his opponents haven’t done that over the years; regardless, Eli had no real choice but to go with it, the alternative would have been worse. And even with Ben Worthington’s threats, I don’t think we’ll see a disqualification here. He’s a wrestling fan just like the thousands of people in the arena and the millions watching at home: he wants to see a winner.

PARSONS: Long as he has the propriety to keep either man from being injured beyond repair, I think that’ll be a good plan.

BUCKLEY: Castor with a knee to Eli’s throat, and that’s a blatant disregard of the rules, Worthington with a count, and he lets up at four. Another knee to the throat, this time, coupled with right hands to the face, and Eli can do little but try to push Castor’s leg up to catch his breath! Worthington warning Castor again, and this time he’s pointing to the entranceway!

PARSONS: He wants to see a winner, but he also wants to see these guys respect the rules.

BUCKLEY: That’s a tall order sometimes.

PARSONS: Marquee says wrestling, Bill.

BUCKLEY: Castor scoops Eli, and a double underhook suplex puts him back down! He’s looking like he’s mostly recovered from the shots he took in the early goings of this match, and Eli rolling to his knees with his head on the mat, he’s suddenly found himself on the defensive!

PARSONS: No cover there. I don’t think Eli’s done, but it could be a mistake to not try for it.

BUCKLEY: At this point, Stan, they’ve both outlasted a hundred and twenty six other men, including former Unified Champions Dan Ryan and Troy Windham. I think they know what they’re doing.

PARSONS: I wonder if Castor will agree if he loses this match and that moment was the one time that Eli was dazed enough to kick out at three and a half.

BUCKLEY: Castor with another scoop, and a whip into the corner… Hornet Splash!

PARSONS: Is it really a Hornet Splash if it isn’t Hornet? Isn’t it just a splash into the corner that crushes the opponent against the turnbuckle? Next you’ll be telling us that Hornet wins.

BUCKLEY: Well, whatever it is, it just knocked the wind out of Eli Flair, and he slumps in the corner! Castor with another cross – corner whip, and another splash – ELI WITH A BOOT TO THE FACE! He’s up to the second turnbuckle, and a bulldog drives Castor headfirst into the mat! Rollover, cover, ONE… TWO… Kickout!

PARSONS: You don’t get to be NFW Champion by being easy to pin, Bill.

BUCKLEY: Nor do you get to call yourself King of Extreme by being the same, Stan, so it’s something of a wash. Eli with a scoop, and Castor with a right hand – Eli dodged it! Back suplex! Bridge! ONE… TWO… Kickout by Castor!

PARSONS: It’s a good thing this match has no time limit, because we’re going to be here for a very long time.

BUCKLEY: Eli with another scoop, and an Irish whip! Clothesline – Castor ducks! Off the other side – Flying forearm by the NFW World Champion! Eli staggers backwards into the ropes, and Castor hits the mat and rolls away! Castor to his feet… Running dropkick! Eli took the boots to the face and went over the top!

PARSONS: Right in front of Lana, who, I’m sure, remembers the near miss that she had with Eli earlier… She drives a boot into his side! Ben Worthington yelling at her – POISON IVY SPUN HER AROUND AND PUNCHED HER IN THE MOUTH!

(SFX: The inevitable ‘Catfight!’ chant along with the ‘IVY’ chant.)

BUCKLEY: Castor with a handful of Ivy’s hair, and he’s pulling her into the ring!

PARSONS: Now he’s getting booed. Ivy McGinnis is an institution in this town.

BUCKLEY: Ben Worthington trying to get between them, but Castor is relentless – Ivy just spat at him!

PARSONS: She’s fearless, but she’s also in way over her head. We talk about Eli Flair’s bum knee, but McGinnis has had a knee replacement, she’s been shot, stabbed, had several knee surgeries, broken fingers, had things explode in her face… she’s not really in any shape to physically face off against anyone, let alone the NFW World Champion.

BUCKLEY: Castor refusing to wipe her saliva off his face, and he reaches over the referee – Eli Flair grabbed his ankle from the outside and dropped the NFW World Champion to the mat! Ivy out of there, Worthington ducks back, and Eli and Castor pulling themselves up in stereo! Right hand by Castor! Right hand by Eli! Castor! Eli! Castor! Eli! Eli! Low blow by Castor Strife!

PARSONS: It’s the will to win, Bill, and it’s an attitude Eli is also familiar with.

BUCKLEY: Worthington with a warning, but Castor ignores him, hooks Eli, and drops him with a spinebuster!

PARSONS: Did you hear a crack?

BUCKLEY: We’re not the only ones, look at Castor.

PARSONS: Eli’s rolling over to the ropes, he’s getting himself up, and he doesn’t look like he’s in any more pain than he was: I don’t think anything cracked on him.

BUCKLEY: But he’s also being stalked: Castor behind him… Sleeper hold! The fans are buzzing as Eli gets to his feet, and he’s fighting it! Castor up on his back, and now Eli in a world of trouble! He’s firing fists and elbows backwards, but he can’t seem to get the right angle!

PARSONS: They say this is an antiquated move, but these fans are on their feet. We’ve got a pretty good mix of people who want to see Eli win and who want to see Castor win, but I think they’re all just cheering for the match itself.

BUCKLEY: Eli rushes backwards and sandwiches Castor against the corner – Castor blocked it with his foot, and they’re pushed back into the middle of the ring! Worthington asking Eli if he wants to give it up, but he’s still alert enough to say no.

PARSONS: Has that answer ever been ‘yes’?

BUCKLEY: Never.

PARSONS: Castor keeps the pressure on, Eli tries another corner sandwich, but Castor Strife with another block, and Eli drops to one knee!

BUCKLEY: Just for a moment, Stan.

PARSONS: I have a feeling he’s currently standing, purely fueled on stubbornness and spite.

BUCKLEY: Another attempt at a corner sandwich – Castor with another blockELI WITH A FLIP OVER HIS HEAD! He used the momentum from Castor’s block against him and flipped him right over, and Eli to his knees!

PARSONS: Castor landed on his back, and Ben Worthington landed on his face. Not a very graceful landing.

BUCKLEY: And we can see that on the replay, when Eli flipped Castor over his shoulder, Castor’s boots crashed against the referee’s head! We’ve got three men down in the ring, and two women on the outside pounding the mat for their guy to get up!

PARSONS: One of them has a shiner, Bill. I think she’s a little more motivated.

BUCKLEY: Worthington is starting to stir, Stan, and so is Castor! Eli hasn’t gotten himself up yet but his hands are pressed into his eyes, so he’s at least aware of what’s happening, and Lana Dremire just sent a chair into the ring!

PARSONS: So it really comes down to, who gets to it first? Worthington, like you said, wants to see a winner, but if he sees one of these men beating the other down with a chair, that could be all she wrote.

BUCKLEY: Castor to his knees, and he’s right next to the chair! The fans are on their feet as he scoops it up and measures his opponent… Eli backing up, he’s on his knees to Castor’s vertical base now, and the chair comes down –

PARSONS: Or not.

BUCKLEY: ELI WITH A LOW BLOW! CASTOR DROPS THE CHAIR AND DOUBLES OVER! DDT ON THE CHAIR!

PARSONS: Classic Flair reversal. And just like that, things fall into place, Worthington is starting to stir.

BUCKLEY: Eli hooks a leg, and he’s waiting! ONE! TWO! THREE! No referee! He just counted it himself, he has this match won, but there’s no referee to count!

PARSONS: Ivy and Lana are both pounding the mat, but I think they’re trying to revive different people.

BUCKLEY: We’re still without a referee, Ben Worthington is moving but he’s nowhere near in this thing!

PARSONS: Now, the question becomes, does Eli keep punishing Castor, or does he try to wake the referee?

BUCKLEY: I think we know what Eli’s more inclined to do. Scoop of Castor Strife, and a kick to the midsection! Two handfuls of hair, and a front face slam on the chair!

PARSONS: Seriously, what’s crackling?

BUCKLEY: It might be Castor’s face, Stan – he’s busted wide open! Another cover, but Worthington is still down!

PARSONS: On one hand, Eli has had the three count twice now. On the other, he’s done it in a way that the honorable Ben Worthington would never count his pin.

BUCKLEY: Finally, Eli sees that he can’t win the match without a referee, he’s got Ben by the back of the shirt, and he’s picked the referee up and propped him in the corner!

PARSONS: Turn around, Eli!

BUCKLEY: CASTOR ON HIS FEET! HE JUST BROUGHT THAT CHAIR FULL FORCE INTO ELI’S HEAD! THE KING OF EXTREME IS ROCKED BACK INTO THE ROPES! ANOTHER CHAIRSHOT! ANOTHER ! WORTHINGTON STILL HOLDING HIS HAND TO HIS FACE!

PARSONS: You talked about Castor being busted open, well, Eli was already bleeding from his match with Jack Harmen, and now he’s a walking, talking, crimson – mask – wearing cliché.

BUCKLEY: Blood is flowing freely down Elis’ face, but he’s still leaned against the top rope! Castor drops the chair, he hooks Eli by the head, and pulls him to the center of the ring!

(SFX: Massive pop from the crowd.)

BUCKLEY: SNAP SWINGING NECKBREAKER FROM CASTOR!

PARSONS: He calls it the Director’s Cut, and it’s his finish, Bill! That’s Castor’s go-to, and he just dropped Eli Flair in the middle of the ring, which is rapidly staining red! Is it irony that Eli revived the ref, only to get pinned?

BUCKLEY: Castor hooks the leg, and Worthington still in the corner! The fans are going insane, he turns his head, you can tell he’s still in pain from the shot he took, but he’s down like a champ! ONE!

PARSONS: TWO!

BUCKLEY: THREE!

PARSONS: NO!

BUCKLEY: Kickout by Eli Flair at the last second! Castor with a look of disbelief on his face, and he pounds his own fist into the mat in frustration! Lana Dremire on the outside with her jaw dropped in surprise!

PARSONS: The Curtain Call is typically The End for Castor’s matches, and even with the delayed count from the referee’s hit, that should’ve finished things off for him.

BUCKLEY: Castor with a handful of hair, and he’s pulled Eli back to his feet, and an Irish whip! Eli on the rebound… STUN GUN BY CASTOR! ANOTHER COVER! ONE… TWO… THREE!KICKOUT! KICKOUT! Eli Flair just barely got that shoulder up!

PARSONS: Bad news for Eli, Ben Worthington is getting back up.

BUCKLEY: You may be right, Stan. Eli and Castor both had this match won when there was no referee available, but now, Castor has this match well under his control and he’s inching closer and closer to a victory here!

PARSONS: To keep playing Devil’s Advocate, Bill, both men have managed to turn this match on a dime, so I’m not counting either of them out until the match is over.

BUCKLEY: Castor with a right hand to Eli, who has risen to his knees! Another right! Another – Eli with a block and a fist to the gut! Uppercut just straightened him up, and another hard baseball swing from Eli Flair – CASTOR DROPS TO HIS KNEES! ELI JUST CLOTHESLINED BEN WORTHINGTON!

PARSONS: He’s had a rough day.

BUCKLEY: That was a lot more impact than Castor’s incidental boots earlier, and Worthington isn’t moving. Castor with a legsweep, and Eli hits the mat!

PARSONS: Castor’s on all fours, breathing heavily, but to put a somewhat ridiculous label on it, he’s actually got some breathing room. He’s crawling toward the ropes while Eli’s doing the same, but he’s in pain, Bill.

BUCKLEY: I don’t know if he can put any weight on that knee, Stan.

PARSONS: The question becomes, will Eli Flair’s legendary stubbornness be enough to push him through this match?

BUCKLEY: Both men are up – barely! Castor on one side of the ring with his eyes locked on Eli, while Eli is vertical, but he’s slumped over holding onto the ropes, severely favoring his one leg.

PARSONS: And we’ve got an ovation. How long have these guys been going at it, and they’re both still able to stand?

BUCKLEY: Castor rears back on the rope, and a running start! Eli drops his shoulder and Castor gets backdropped over the top!

PARSONS: He landed on his feet, Bill, and a fist to the back of Eli’s good knee! I think he planned that.

BUCKLEY: I think you’re right, Stan! Castor pulls Eli to the floor, and an immediate shove, face first, into the post! Castor telegraphed whatever might have been on his mind when he ran at Eli, he should’ve known he’d get backdropped over the top.

PARSONS: And he did.

BUCKLEY: He certainly did, Stan! Castor with another scoop, and a whip into the adjacent ringpost, Eli just stumbled on that bad knee and hit the stairs, sending them flying!

PARSONS: We’re seeing two institutions coexist right here, Bill – Eli Flair taking a ton of abuse from his opponent, as well as the fact that he’s still getting up despite the fact that his knee looks about to collapse on itself.

BUCKLEY: Castor with another shove, and Eli sent chest – first into the guardrail! Crushing clothesline just flattened him!

PARSONS: And with no referee, there’s no limit to what can happen to Eli – or either man, for that matter – outside the ring.

BUCKLEY: Eli trying to pull himself to his feet – there is no quit in this man – while Castor climbs back to the ring apron! What’s he doing here?

PARSONS: I think he’s going to take a chance, Bill.

BUCKLEY: MISSILE DROPKICK FROM THE APRON! ELI OVER THE GUARDRAIL INTO THE FRONT ROW! CASTOR HIT THE FLOOR!

(SFX: Chant of ‘HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT!’)

PARSONS: Castor rising to his knees, he looks dazed but seemed to land as best as he could with a risk like that, unlike Eli Flair, who is sprawled out in the first two rows of seats.

BUCKLEY: Special thanks to Gregg Gethard and his security team for getting there as quickly as they did, separating the fans from Eli as he’s on his back in a sea of half – collapsed chairs.

PARSONS: It’s not over yet, Bill, we’ve got Castor Strife getting to his feet and Eli Flair with a hand on each of the chairs closest to him, trying like heck to pull himself to at least a sitting position. But that was nearly three hundred pounds of scars, ink, and attitude buried under those chairs, its’ going to take him a little time to get his bearings!

BUCKLEY: Be that as it may, he’s still with it enough to know he needs to get to his feet to even have a chance to adequately defend himself. He’s got that warrior’s instinct.

PARSONS: I hope so, because here comes Castor!

BUCKLEY: Strife is now in the crowd, and he’s approaching Eli with cruel intentions, no doubt! Eli has pulled himself up to a sitting position, but his knee just gave out as he tried to stand! CASTOR WITH A KICK TO THE FACE! Scoop by the hair, and an Irish Whip into another row of chairs! He just collapsed himself and a dozen of those commemorative folding chairs in and on himself, and now Eli is on the floor face down, his only movement heavy breathing!

PARSONS: This could be tricky. He’s already on wobbly footing, if he stepped inbetween any of those chairs, or if an arm or leg came down and folded up inside, it could be a trip to the emergency room tonight.

BUCKLEY: Castor quick on the pursuit, he’s got Eli in his sights and another scoop from behind – ELI WITH A CHAIR TO CASTOR’S FOREHEAD! CASTOR GOES DOWN! ELI GOES DOWN!

PARSONS: That was unexpected.

(CUTTO: Instant replay on CSWAVision. Castor pulled Eli up from behind, Eli had a chair in his grasp and took a blind swing that luckily met Castor square in the face. Castor lost his grip and fell backwards into the already – collapsed pile of chairs while Eli went down to his knees on rubbery legs. CUTTO: Live action.)

BUCKLEY: Castor bleeding from a nasty gash right by his temple, and Eli kneeling, resting his arm on a chair, breathing heavily with blood from his own busted forehead dripping onto the chair, his legs, and the arena floor!

PARSONS: Just another permanent souvenir.

BUCKLEY: Eli Flair slowly pulling himself to his feet, and the fans are getting louder with every inch of height he’s able to gain! He’s up! He’s up! Castor stirring at his feet!

PARSONS: And he’s nearly back down again, good thing he had a still – standing chair to brace himself against.

BUCKLEY: Indeed, Stan! Eli taking a few hesitant steps to try and work his knee back into fighting shape – he still has a pronounced limp, but it looks like he’s able to move a little better right now; he still has a chair in hand as a failsafe.

PARSONS: All the damage they’ve inflicted on each other, that chairshot might’ve been what turns the tide here. Look at Castor, he’s got something of a vacant look on his face, I don’t know if he knows where he is!

BUCKLEY: Eli with a scoop, and he just dragged Castor back to his feet! He’s dragging the NFW World Champion through the crowd, and the fans are parting like the Red Sea!

PARSONS: Pun intended?

BUCKLEY: No, happy accident.

PARSONS: At least you’re honest about it.

BUCKLEY: Eli calling for the fans by the guardrail to clear away, and they do so – taking their chairs with them! Irish Whip into the guardrail, and Pedro and Eduardo at the Spanish announce table had better look out! CASTOR REVERSED! ELI HIT THE GUARDRAIL AND KNOCKED IT INTO PEDRO! THE SPANISH ANNOUNCE TEAM SCATTERS!

PARSONS: Haven’t we really been waiting for this all night?

BUCKLEY: CASTOR WITH A RUNNING CLOTHESLINE! ELI WITH A BACKDROP! CASTOR LANDED ON TOP OF THE TABLE!

PARSONS: And he rolls off to the ground, the SAP audience is able to keep enjoying the event.

BUCKLEY: Eli still on his feet, but he’s holding himself up on the guardrail, and Castor is using the table to pull himself back up. Both men are beaten and bruised, but both men are still very much in this thing!

PARSONS: Even ‘barely’ would be considered very much in this thing right now.

BUCKLEY: Castor on unsteady legs, but he’s got Eli by the hair, and a hard shot to the face! Another! He just pulled him over the railing and set him up on the table, and Castor is going back to the apron!

PARSONS: Once was pushing it, but if he can land this it might be over.

BUCKLEY: CASTOR STRIFE WITH A SPLASH FROM THE APRON! ELI MOVED! THE TABLE JUST EXPLODED INTO A THOUSAND SPLINTERS ON IMPACT! CASTOR IS DOWN! ELI IS DOWN!

(SFX: ‘THIS IS AWESOME’ *clap clap clapclapclap*)

PARSONS: You take a chance any time you go for a high risk maneuver like that, and you always need to weigh whether the potential benefits are worth the potential disasters. In this case, Castor probably should’ve kept his feet on the ground.

BW: ONE!

BUCKLEY: Ben Worthington is up!

PARSONS: When did that happen?

BW: TWO!

BUCKLEY: He’s leaning against the turnbuckle, so he’s obviously still feeling the effects of the punishment he absorbed, but he’s up and wide – eyed and he’s counting these two men!

PARSONS: I know Ben didn’t want to disqualify anyone but Castor is unmoving and Eli is barely moving, what’s the call if he gets to ten and nobody’s in the ring?

BW: THREE!

BUCKLEY: Ivy and Lana on opposite sides of these men, and they’re both shouting their encouragement – though I think they’ve both learned their respective lessons about interference.

PARSONS: One would hope.

BUCKLEY: Eli Flair with a bloodied hand on the ring apron, and he’s pulling with all his might trying to get to a vertical base!

WORTHINGTON (And the fans): FOUR!

BUCKLEY: Castor Strife still not moving!

WORTHINGTON (And the fans): FIVE!

PARSONS: No, he’s moving, Bill! He just rolled forward, and he’s trying to get himself up on the shattered table.

WORTHINGTON (And the fans): SIX!

BUCKLEY: Eli with one foot underneath himself, and he’s got a hand on the bottom rope!

PARSONS: Castor is almost sitting. That’s something, right?

WORTHINGTON (And the fans): SEVEN!

BUCKLEY: HE’S UP! HE’S UP! The fans cheering for Eli Flair as he’s on his feet, and he pushes his blood – matted hair out of his face, he’s looking around to take stock of the cheers, and he sees Castor, on the remnants of the Spanish announce table!

PARSONS: It’s always choice. Get in the ring and possibly win by countout, or go get Castor and probably win by pinfall.

WORTHINGTON (And the fans): EIGHT!

BUCKLEY: There’s no choice at all when it comes to the King of Extreme, Stan! Eli staggers toward Castor and pulls him to his feet! It’s a struggle, Eli still can barely put any weight on his left knee, but he’s got the NFW World Champion up!

WORTHINGTON (And the fans): NINE!

BUCKLEY: CASTOR TOSSED BACK INTO THE RING!

PARSONS: It would be ironic if Eli’s knee gave out on him at the last minute, he dropped them both, and Worthington got to ten.

BUCKLEY: Not today, Stan! Eli under the bottom rope, and a hook of the leg! ONE… TWO… THREE!

(HUGE roar from the fans.)

BUCKLEY: NO! KICKOUT! KICKOUT! Castor managed to kick out, and Eli with a look of disbelief on his face!

PARSONS: I think there’s a hint of respect in there, too. He’s actually nodding his head.

BUCKLEY: Eli Flair so close to the Ultratitle he can taste it! He scoops Castor up, and a thumb to the eye by Castor Strife! Eli lets him go and falls backward into the ropes, still up but leaning on the top while Castor falls backwards and catches himself on the middle! Worthington warns Castor, but at this point I think we can throw a disqualification out the window, Stan!

PARSONS: Even still, Worthington wants whoever wins to win it right.

BUCKLEY: Castor on his feet, and he reaches Eli before the King of Extreme can fully recover! Kick to the gut! Kick to the chest! Irish whip! NO PLACE LIKE HOME! NO PLACE LIKE HOME! Castor took Eli over with that hurracarana, and he bridges and hooks the leg from behind! ONE… TWO… THREE!KICKOUT! KICKOUT! KICKOUT! Castor punches the mat in frustration!

PARSONS: I get it, but it might’ve done better to punch Eli Flair in frustration.

BUCKLEY: He’s going for it again! Drags Eli to his feet, and another Irish whip! Eli with pain on his face with every step! NO PLACE LIKE HOME! NO! NO! ELI HELD ON! QUARTER CIRCLE SPIN! POWERBOMB! ELI JUST PUT CASTOR STRIFE NEARLY THROUGH THE MAT!

PARSONS: If this doesn’t do it…

BUCKLEY: COVER! ONE… TWO… THREE! KICKOUT! KICKOUT!

PARSONS: Like I said.

BUCKLEY: That’s it. That’s got to be it. Eli to his feet, and he pulls Castor up… Chest – first whip into the corner!

(SFX: Huge chant of ‘ELI! ELI!’ as the King of Extreme does a slow turn in the ring, draws his thumb across his throat, and points at Castor.)

PARSONS: That’s all she wrote, Bill.

BUCKLEY: Eli with Castor hooked from behind… FALLEN ONE! FALLEN ONE! That reverse DDT just drove the back of Castor’s head right into the mat! Hook of the leg! Cover! ONE… TWO… THREE!

(SFX: Gigantic fan pop as Eli raised his hand in victory.)

BUCKLEY: ELI FLAIR HAS JUST WON THE ULTRATITLE! ELI FLAIR IS THE 2012 ULTRATITLE CHAMPION! Let’s go to Rhubarb for the official announcement!

PARSONS: Wait…

(SFX: The hand – held camera zoomed in on the side of the ring. More specifically, Castor Strife’s foot draped over the bottom rope. Eli didn’t fight it when Worthington pointed it out and pulled his hand down.)

BUCKLEY: CASTOR WITH HIS FOOT ON THE ROPES! BEN WORTHINGTON SAYS THAT THIS MATCH WILL CONTINUE!! These fans are on their feet, they’re itching to see which of these men can pull it out! Eli pulls Castor away from the bottom rope… and he’s going up top?

PARSONS: The risks paid off for him earlier in the match, and Castor had so – so luck doing the same. This right here, with Eli’s aerial ability combined with his injured leg and sheer mass? Either the smartest thing he could do or the dumbest thing he could do.

BUCKLEY: He’s certainly taking his time getting to the top – I don’t blame him, he’s going to need to compensate for his knee, but every second gives Castor another second of recovery, and the NFW World Champion is already stirring! He’s got his hand on the second rope, and I think we’re going to see him go right back down as soon as—

PARSONS: —Eli’s up! He just needs to keep his –

BUCKLEY: CASTOR JUST SHOVED THE TOP ROPE! ELI CROTCHED HIMSELF ON THE CORNER!

(SFX: Collective groan of pain that worked its way through the crowd.)

PARSONS: Now Eli’s hanging on for dear life to the top, but Castor is doing the same on the top rope, and he’s almost to his feet!

BUCKLEY: There’s pain etched all across Eli Flair’s face, but he’s not letting himself break.

PARSONS: Break, Eli! That’s the most cause anyone ever had to break!

BUCKLEY: Castor to his feet! He just staggered to the corner, and fired a right hand to Eli’s face! He held onto the other side of the top rope while doing so, and fired another!

PARSONS: Now, this is a risk nobody has to take.

BUCKLEY: CASTOR CLIMBING THE CORNER! HE’S PULLING ELI UP WITH HIM! WE’RE GOING TO SEE A SUPERPLEX!

PARSONS: He can get him over, I think he’ll get this one. But at the same token, if Eli can hang on and shove Castor to the mat, it could just as easily be over in the other direction.

BUCKLEY: Castor has him up, and he’s hooked! Superplex – ELI WITH A FIST TO THE RIBS! ANOTHER! CASTOR HOLDS ONTO ELI’S HAIR!

PARSONS: At this point, who’s got control of whom?

BUCKLEY: BOTH MEN FLY OFF THE TOP ROPE! OH MY GOODNESS!

(SFX: GIGANTIC CRASH! Stunned silence from the crowd, followed by yet another ‘HOLY SHIT!’ chant.)

(CUTTO: Ivy McGinnis, stunned and unmoving on the outside.)

(CUTTO: Lana Dremire, her hands over her O shaped mouth, shocked.)

(CUTTO: The ring, where a huge gaping hole with jagged edges has swallowed up the two wrestlers.)

PARSONS: And now we count again?

BUCKLEY: Ben Worthington frozen, and I don’t blame him! Let’s see that again!

(CUTTO: Slow – motion instant replay. On the left of the screen, there’s the hole, unmoving. On the right, both men are on the top turnbuckle, struggling for control, when they both flew off the top. They landed in one spot in a heap, only the plywood under the canvas gave way with jagged edges that ripped the canvas itself, and they both went through the ring to the floor below.)

PARSONS: At least now we know what the crackling was. Someone’s gonna get sued for the ring giving way.

BUCKLEY: Still no movement from either man, and Worthington is hesitant to start counting again! He’s waving toward the entranceway, and here comes a medical team with two stretchers! It’s a shame to see this end like –

PARSONS: You’ve gotta be kidding me.

(CUTTO: The ring, where one hand, wrapped in tape and covered in blood, has reached up to grab the edge of the ring. HUGE ovation from the crowd as Eli Flair reemerges, splinters in his hair and blood caked on his face.)

BUCKLEY: ELI FLAIR IS UP! ELI FLAIR IS UP!

PARSONS: He’s out of the hole, Bill, he’s crawling. That’s hardly ‘up.’

BUCKLEY: Flair leans back on his knees, and he just ran his hands over his forehead and through his hair, and leaned back, spraying the mat all around him with blood, splinters, and bits of canvas fiber… CASTOR STRIFE IS GETTING UP! CASTOR STRIFE IS GETTING UP! HE’S PULLING HIMSELF OUT OF THE HOLE!

PARSONS: Look at the look on Eli’s face. I didn’t think either man could get up after that, and Eli obviously didn’t think Castor could do the same.

BUCKLEY: Castor is moving just as slowly and deliberately as Eli was; I say he’s probably trying to figure out whether or not he’s actually seriously hurt. The medics have all stopped at the ramp, and they’re waiting to see what comes next!

PARSONS: Eli… offers Castor a handshake?

(CUTTO: The ring, where Eli is still rocked back on his knees and Castor is on all fours, both men trying to get themselves together to the point where they can get back to their feet, but Eli has his hand raised toward the NFW World Champion.)

BUCKLEY: Castor shakes! The ultimate sign of respect! Eli rolls backward to his feet and helps Castor back to his, and we’ve got a standing ovation!

PARSONS: We’ve also still got a match. Castor with a right hand!

BUCKLEY: Eli fires one back! Castor! Eli! Castor! Eli! Castor! Eli ducked! Castor swings wide, Eli hooks him from behind, and an Atomic Drop! Castor went over the top and did a 360! He’s behind Eli! Full nelson, dragon suplex! ELI BROKE THE HOLD AND DROPPED DOWN! HE HOOKED CASTOR AROUND THE WAIST WITH HIS LEGS! CASTOR DROPPED DOWN ONTO ELI’S SHOULDERS! WORTHINGTON IN POSITION! ONE… TWO… THREE!

(The world held its breath.)

(SFX: DING DING DING!)

(Exhale.)

JONES: The winner of this bout… and your TWO THOUSAND AND TWELVE… ULTRATITLE CHAMPION…

CAAAAAAAASTORRRRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!!! VEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!! STRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIFE!!!!

(CUEUP: Bauhaus.)

BUCKLEY: Castor and Eli both on the mat, sucking in as much oxygen as they can, after the war they put each other through I don’t know how either man will ever be the same! Worthington holding Castor’s arm up in victory as Lana Dremire just slid into the ring to check on him! Ivy does the same for Eli Flair, and here come the medics!
 

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The Shadow Pope
Joined
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Reality

(Backstage…)

Joey Melton, wearing only a towel around his waist, stands against his locker rubbing a Vegan conditioner through his hair. The sounds of a delirious crowd and the echoes of Strife’s crowning achievement seep through the ceiling and walls. They play like a soundtrack Melton’s been haunted by for the last ten years.
 

User Poets

The Shadow Pope
Joined
Jan 6, 1995
Messages
2,192
Points
36
Age
42
Location
Top of the Pile
Website
www.valeriansgarden.com
Crowning

BUCKLEY: We’ve got medics tending to Eli Flair and Castor Strife, but Eli just shoved one of them away!

PARSONS: He’s a proud man, Bill, we’ve never seen him stretchered out of an arena, ever, and I don’t think he wants to start now.

BUCKLEY: Ivy helps Eli roll to the outside, where they retrieve the NFW World Title belt from the timekeeper, along with a microphone from Rhubarb. Eli’s back in the ring, and he’s standing over a seated Castor Strife, who still looks like he’s not entirely sure what’s happening. ELI JUST HANDED THE BELT TO CASTOR!

PARSONS: After all that, we get sportsmanship. Who’d’ve thought?

BUCKLEY: Eli leaning against the top rope, and he’s got the microphone to his mouth, and the fans have quieted down.

FLAIR: I have no regrets about this tournament, and I have no regrets about this match. I still did something I never did before, and that’s wrestle in the finals of the Ultratitle Tournament, and that’s something I’ll never forget.

(The fans applauded respectfully. Castor Strife, by now helped to his feet by Lana, stood against the ropes, looking on in silence.)

FLAIR: Is this the last you’ll ever see’a me in the ring? I really couldn’t say. Thought I was done after Cyberslam 2005 and 2009, thought I was done after the West was Won in the NFW. The Road sneaks up on me at the strangest times, so I can’t honestly say goodbye.

What I will say… is ‘seeya down the road.’

(More applause.)

Thank you, to the boys in the back and the boys watchin’ at home, the ones who traveled the miles with me, the ones who made the grind a little easier to deal with, and even the ones who were irrepressible pains in the ass, you made me realize I could overcome anything.

(Yet even more applause.)

Thank you to this little lady right here.

(He pointed at Ivy.)

Everything I’ve achieved in this sport is because of this partnership. Every mountain I’ve climbed is because of Team Extreme, Eli Flair and Ivy McGinnis. It’s because of her that I could be as out there as I wanted to be, all I ever had to do was reach out my hand and she’d catch me. Poison Ivy has meant more to this sport than I think anyone will ever know, including herself.

(Chant of ‘IVY, IVY’ started up.)

And of course, all of you.

(Eli gestured to the fans, who cheered.)

My Tribe, my Original Nobodies, my Shadow Soldiers. Thank you for believin’ in me for all these years, thank you for never lettin’ me be forgotten. I only had the opportunities that I did because’a the noise you made for me tonight, through the rest’a this tournament, and over the past two decades, lettin’ the rest’a the industry know that you wanted to see what I could do. I owe you more than I can ever repay.

(Another round of applause.)

And of course, thanks to Castor Strife, for lettin’ an old man indulge in a bit’a sentiment before he gets his moment. Congratulations, Strife… make it count.

(With that, Eli tossed the microphone to Castor, who caught it with his free hand – the other held the NFW World Title belt over his shoulder – and Eli and Ivy exited the ring to a standing ovation, joined, surprisingly, by Castor and Lana.)

BUCKLEY: That may be the two classiest individuals in the history of the sport.

PARSONS: Don’t be hasty. They’re up there, but I hesitate to use that word for the King of Extreme and the Psycho Bitch.

BUCKLEY: Castor Strife has the ring to himself, and he’s ready for his moment of glory, all that remains is to present him with the Ultratitle Trophy!



(The fans all stood and looked toward the entranceway.)

PARSONS: This could be interesting.

BUCKLEY: Dan Ryan! We knew he was here because of his confrontation with Joey Melton earlier, but he’s on his way to the ring with the Ultratitle Trophy! He’s got the UNIFIED World Championship around his waist, perhaps in direct contrast to Castor’s NFW Title belt, but the Ego Buster, the owner of Empire Pro Wrestling, is on his way to present the trophy!

PARSONS: It makes sense, believe it or not: I believe one of the perks of the Ultratitle was a shot at the Unified Title.

BUCKLEY: Ryan puts the trophy on the ring apron as he climbs into the ring, and he comes to the middle, looking down into the beaten and weary face of our Ultratitle winner!

PARSONS: These two had some wars in the New Frontier over the past few months over Castor’s belt, could they do the dance all over again with reversed roles?

BUCKLEY: It’s possible, Stan! Ryan hands the trophy to Castor and steps back, allowing the Champion his moment of glory in a true show of sportsmanship!

PARSONS: You forget, beyond it all, these men are all professionals.

BUCKLEY: Castor with the microphone to his lips – DAN RYAN WITH A FOREARM FROM BEHIND!

(SFX: Boos filled the arena.)

PARSONS: Or… not.

BUCKLEY: RYAN WITH ANOTHER FOREARM! ANOTHER! HUMILITY BOMB IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RING!

PARSONS: Think this has anything to do with Ryan’s first round exit?

BUCKLEY: Dan Ryan with another Humility Bomb! And a third! Castor Strife is unmoving in the middle of the ring, and Ryan with the Ultratitle trophy! What are we going to see him do with it?

(CUTTO: The ring, where Ryan simply places the trophy next to Castor’s head. He picks up the NFW Title belt from where it fell, and drapes it over Castor’s waist. Ignoring the boos, he stands up, and, his head held high, leaves the ring without a word.)

BUCKLEY: This is not over between these two men, Stan! I have a feeling that whatever started in the NFW and escalated here will continue, and it will cross promotional borders!

PARSONS: A war is coming, I think.

BUCKLEY: We’re almost out of time, in these closing moments I just want to say congratulations to Castor Strife, the 2012 Ultratitle Winner, congratulations to Phil Atken, the new IG World Champion, thanks to all the wrestlers and promotions who contributed to this event, for Rhubarb Jones, Natrone Rice, Rudy Seitzer and Stan Parsons, my name is Bill Buckley, goodnight!

(FADE TO BLACK.)

 

User Poets

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Epilogue: Goodbyes

A couple hours after the show…

The room is empty except for his beaten, old body and the foreign sensation of silence. For once there’s nothing else to say. The last traces of noise, which hung over Joey Melton and convinced him to enter the ULTRATITLE 2012 Tournament to make one last run at the trophy that made him, have shifted focus to the winner.

Glory is for the living and now; as Melton inspects the right sleeve button on his white Armani shirt, he’s suffering a fate far worse than death. He’s unsure of what’s next. The truth is Joey never thought he would retire. He doesn’t look his age, and the obsessive care he’s taken of his skin over the years is the leading reason why, but there’s no doubt he feels forty-nine. That his back and remaining cartilage in his knees held on and enabled a Final Four run is a miracle in itself. There is something more to life, and even if Melton is unsure what it is, he’s open to the idea of embracing it. What’s sure is his business in the ring anywhere in the world is done. He’s seen how the old hang on, he’s buried friends too early, and knows like a moth a constant need for light only ends in a burn.

The last chapter in the “Unifier’s” career is now written. It was a hell of a show. His face is bruised and if he needed reminding as to why he decided to walk away, the screaming discs in his back speaks volumes.

It’s time.

Life has flown by. It’s a cliché but so true. He’s been running since he was a kid, scheming, talking, hustling his way out of the hole in which he was born, and tomorrow he can finally rest. These ideas all seemed like a long ways off when the ULTRATITLE started; now, retirement is here.

Melton laughs and, with some effort, manages to stand up from a bench in his locker room. This is how he leaves Greensboro and the business: alone and deaf.

Joey reaches into his left pants pocket and slowly fastens a gold Movado watch around his wrist.

“Aren’t you a Somber Sally. Who kicked the bucket?” a woman asks from the doorway.

He looks up, shocked, to find Lindsay Troy leaning against the doorjamb. It takes him a moment to respond.

“Well, at different times tonight I did see a bright light and a calling…”

“And some part of you had the good sense to stay awake and fight it. Ever the warrior.”

“You’re a little late, Angel.” He turns to face her. “If you were hoping to see the hell beat out of me that was about three hours ago.”

“I saw. I’m sorry.”

“Yeah…” he trails off, searching for another self-deprecating quip, but thinks better of it. “Look, I’m glad you’re here. About the other day. I--“

“Don’t worry about it,” she waves him off. “Adrian told me you were off your meds, and to be honest we all had a good chuckle about it after. What concerns me is you just lost a hundred grand, and you think I’m the type of girl who runs to the Justice of the Peace on a whim.”

“Oh, so you’ve given the idea some thought?”

Troy laughs, “I came back to see the end of a great career. Everything else you wanted is madness.”

“It’s a mad world.” Melton walks to Troy. “One life ends, another begins…very poetic, don’t you think?

“Joey, your idea of poetry begins with ‘There once was a man from Nantucket…’”

“You thought it was hilarious that night in Rio.”

“Adrian was right. You’re going to need a hobby.” She moves away from the door and into the hallway. “Grab your stuff, I’ll get you some rabbit food as a consolation meal.”

Joey grabs the duffel bag that was by her feet. “You never did understand my diet. Maybe that’s where we went wrong.”

“Maybe. Amongst other things.”

They start to walk down the hallway to the back exit.

“I have a hobby, y’know,” Melton offers.

“Popping up out of thin air and making my life a living hell is not a hobby, Joey. I was talking more like stamp collecting. Or photography. Or gardening.”

“Hmm. I have always liked to be in the bush, that’s for sure.”

“Walked right into that one, didn’t I?” Troy groans. “How old are you again?”

“Age is just a number.”

“Last I looked, yours was pretty high.”

Melton leans in for a kiss but Troy ducks away.

“Steal one, shame on you. Steal a second…”

“You might like it.”

“I might like seeing you get your lights knocked out again,” she smirks. “Adrian’s already signed you up for Ourtime.com. You’ll just have to use that wit and charm to create a profile.”

“You know I don’t know how to use a computer.”

“Got a lot of time to learn now, don’t you?” Troy pushes open the door to the back parking lot and they walk out into the late summer night. “Speaking of Adrian, I saw him running around here earlier with panties on his head and a bottle of champagne in hand. I was going to ask, but…”

“His allegiances change very quickly.”

“Well, he probably just wants to make sure you can pay the rent.”

“Regarding the profile,” Melton looks at Troy directly. “You already know what I like.”

“I know.” A wry smile accompanies her gaze. “You never seem to let me forget it.”

They turn left and start walking. Up ahead an SUV idles with its headlights on.

“I like tall women. Strong. Independent. Brunette. She has to be vulnerable at times but can hold her own. And an ass like a ripe pear is a must.”

“Joey!”

“She has to have---“

“A lot of patience.”
“I think that’s a must.”

Melton grabs Troy’s left hand. She doesn’t fight the gesture, instead giving him a reassuring squeeze. A figure leans out of the driver’s side window of the SUV and honks the horn.

“Get a move on, you two. Some of us are hungry.”

Melton squints through the darkness. “You dragged your sister along?”

“Wouldn’t call it dragging. She wanted to be here. The guys went on ahead to make sure things were set up.”

“Throwing me a pity party?”

“No. More like a celebratory farewell with a few people who actually matter.” She pulls open the front and back passenger doors and motions for him to get in. “You’re gonna be fine, Joey.”

“Think so?”

“I’m not usually wrong, am I?”

“That depends,” says Melton as he shuts the front door and starts gently pulling Troy to the back.

“On?”

“How long she plans to shadow us tonight.”

Lindsay shakes her head, but stops short of getting into the car with him. “I’m going to regret coming to Greensboro, aren’t I?”

“There’s plenty of regret left between us.”

“That’s what I’m afraid of.” She lets go of his hand and re-opens the front door. “Don’t go making this new phase of life complicated from the start.”

“As if I know any other way.”
 
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