[FADE IN to “The Dragon” and Otaku standing in front of an EPW Unleashed 2013 backdrop. Both are dressed casually, with Otaku foregoing his cosplay this once for a pair of black jeans and a T-shirt that says “Immature – a word boring people use to describe fun people”]
Karl: I did say he was at the building, but Kenny wouldn’t believe me. Have I ever lied, Kenny?
I guess some people were caught by surprise. By rights, Alexander and Turner should be the ones we’re facing off against in a few nights at Unleashed. Turner was just about over the top of the cage when gravity beat him. I’m not usually disposed to doing something like that, getting involved where I’m not booked, but someone like Teddy Alexander needing a demonstration.
No offence to Sam. He’s tough. But I knew as soon as I saw Teddy reach the floor, all I needed to do was make sure Sam didn’t get over the top, too. I knew if the win slipped through his fingers, Teddy would lose his cool, and that would make it so, so easy to make an example of him.
Otaku: That you don’t get away with anything in this business.
Karl: I was thinking more along the lines of don’t make promises you can’t keep, and don’t piss us off. Because we can, and will, prove you wrong, and keep clear headed about it to not simply make a point, but a statement.
Turner’s going to go a long way here. I hope I get the chance to face him one on one some day. He’s tough as anything. But Teddy? Violence begat violence, and he learnt that there aren’t actually any better or more calculating than me.
I heard it said that what I did was risky to my own health, let alone Teddy’s. I could’ve blown a knee, apparently.
There was no risk. It was thought through, and here I stand, alongside the uninjured Otaku, ready to go to Unleashed to threepeat as World Tag Team Champions.
Otaku: Threepeat? Oooh, yeah!
And it’s against Dirk Dickwood Presents! Man, those guys slipped under the radar, didn’t they?
Karl: They deserved the win. They had a slightly better than one in three chance, given Sean and Impulse had just wrestled and I had other ideas where Teddy was concerned.
Otaku: Oooh! Burn! Dirk Dickwood wouldn’t be champions if it weren’t for us, huh?
Karl: As things stood when I got involved, yes.
Otaku: So, they didn’t deserve the win?
Otaku: Thinking makes me sleepy.
Karl: No need to think about it. With the door padlocked, with both of them out of it, and with Sam seconds from victory, they didn’t at that moment deserve to win.
They still had a lot of work to do after that, and they did it. They won. They made Sam Turner quit. But the root cause…
Karl: And you. It was your idea, after all.
Otaku: I know, but seriously, no way I could’ve moved that quick!
Karl: You get used to it.
Otaku: And now at Unleashed we get to take the titles for ourselves! Again!
Hey, wouldn’t that make us the first three time champions?
Karl: The first team to actually win them for a third time, yes.
Otaku: That would make us the best of all time, right?
Karl: Best of all time is subjective. It depends how you mean it. Cameron Cruise Project have three reigns, technically. Blitz’s title reign still hasn’t been eclipsed by any team – including teams with multiple reigns. Then there are people like Dirk Dickwood who’ll claim to be the best of all time simply by being themselves. But…
Hell, we’re already the best tag team in Empire Pro history. Sure, we’ve lost the belts, twice, but last time, we came right back and reclaimed them. Where most other teams have lost the title and left or split up, we’ve stayed together.
At Unleashed, Dirk Dickwood gets presented with their one and only chance to make themselves better than the former champs, Alexander and Turner. Their only chance to win their first match as champions. It’s become something of a rarity, a team holding the titles for a while. The tag team titles have gone through a few periods like this, where the belts change hands in rapid succession only to be stabilised by a team that is actually great.
Otaku: That’s going to happen at Unleashed, right? Because we’re going to take the belts back and hold onto them for as long as possible!
Karl: You guys better not be celebrating too much.
Otaku: You’d better be training! Because those belts are coming back to Animezing Dragon! YEAH!!
Karl: You need to lay off the caffeine.
Otaku: This is the POWER OF YOUTH!!
Karl: Lay off that, too.
Voice: Next time, on Animezing Dragon…
Otaku: Hey OtakuDragonItes! Otaku here! Next time, Dragon-domo and me have to take the sacred treasure back to the land of Scenaena, but the treasure’s been hijacked! Can we get it back before we cross the border? Tune in next time to find out!
[FADE IN to Otaku, dressed as Orochimaru from Naruto. He’s standing on the branch of a very familiar and mighty oak tree, and as the camera PANS and TILTS round for a few seconds, we get a glimpse of “The Dragon” sitting with his back against a rock in the forest clearing, a broad rimmed hat pulled down over his eyes and his hands behind his head]
Otaku: In all the months that Dragon-domo and I were world tag team champions, I learnt something. That to be a champion isn’t about winning a title or saying you’re the best. It was about going out into the ring and proving it with each battle, learning every trick and every technique you could until you had mastery of them all. A feat that’s not likely to be possible in one career, but if you extend it into many careers – two, maybe three – you can get close. Which is why tag team wrestling has been such a boon to me. It’s given me a chance to grow and develop in ways I never thought possible, until I was able to see, after Teddy Alexander and Sam Turner took the titles, that it was only a matter of grasping an opportunity I knew would arise to take back the belts.
Especially when I saw who won our “titles”.
Karl:[out of camera] Careful. You don’t want people to accuse you of devaluing the belts.
Otaku: I know. It’s not the belts I’m devaluing, it’s the so-called champions who now momentarily possess them.
Champions who have as much right to them as either of the other teams in the final, and right now more than Dragon-domo and I, but who have neither the respect for the title nor the capacity to keep hold of them at Unleashed.
Karl: I knew I shouldn’t’ve told you those stats.
Otaku: I’m glad you did, Dragon-domo. It snapped me immediately out of the slump I was in. You see, fans
Karl:[interrupting] Listen, just because we’ve held the titles for longer than anyone other than Blitz in history doesn’t mean we’re a shoe-in to win the titles back at Unleashed.
Otaku: But it proves to me that we’re not failures! Or that I’m not, at least. I know you’re not, Dragon-domo.
[“The Dragon” lifts his head and rolls his eyes before the camera CUTS BACK to Otaku]
Otaku: Yes, we lost the title. But I grew so much that I know what it’s like to be a champion without the belt. To have the heart to never give up. The will to succeed. The mind to keep learning.
And the respect for yourself and your position to always give everything you have and not quit until the battle is over.
Karl: Do you want me to say anything here?
Otaku: If you want.
Karl: No, no, keep going.
Otaku: Right! Erm… [pause]
Karl: Run out of things to say?
Otaku: Without talking about the power of youth, yeah…
Karl: Well, you’ve insinuated that Dirk Dickwood are more worried about themselves than the titles, hinted they’re not taking their duties as champions seriously, mentioned that we’re going to win the titles back because we’re going all out… about the only thing I’d add is that on any given night, anyone can beat anyone. By keeping that in mind, but not worrying about it and letting it paralyze our senses, we’re ready as always. Oh, and that one win or one loss doesn’t a true champion make – only a champion in name.
With our heart, our determination, our dedication to our craft we cranked out two lengthy reigns and are here at the cusp of being the first team to compete for, and win, the titles three times. While The Forsaken split after losing the titles, we stayed together. There are two teams that have won the titles more than once, and only one more that’s counted in the archives as a multi-time champion – and if you don’t know the reason for the difference, you need to learn Empire Pro’s history. Because from history, you see what the road ahead is likely to have.
And on history’s merits, that’s Otaku and I as three time, threepeat champions.
It doesn’t matter to me what Dirk Dickwood say or do between now and Unleashed. All that matters is that match. That fight. The fight where we lay it all on the line…
And leave Dirk Dickwood Presents in no doubt that they were never, and will never, be at our standard.
Voice: Next time, on Animezing Dragon…
Otaku: Voice over guy? You too? I had more to say! GAH! Preview already? Next time on Animezing Dragon, some stuff happens… erm… we battle… yeah, Dragon-domo and I battle to secure the treasure and take it back to the Kingdom, but our path is blocked by… trolls! Yeah, trolls. Nasty ones. That look like
Karl: So you make these up on the spot?
Otaku: Stop pressuring me!
Next time, The Golden Ones! See you then!
Karl: And here I thought you read from liner cards.
[FADE IN to “The Dragon” sat staring straight into the camera. Behind him is a totally black background, and as we’re in an ECU [extreme close up] we can’t tell what he’s wearing, but we can clearly see the fire in his eyes as he sits, watching us from his seat.
Staring straight into the camera.
After 30 seconds, a candle flickers to life in front of his face, the flame looking huge in ECU. A voice can be heard, echoing in the darkness – it’s Brown’s, but his lips aren’t moving, and his voice is totally clear]
Karl: Silence only works to get someone’s attention when you know how to use it. Leave it too short, and you look like you’re nervous. Leave it too long and people doubt you have anything to say.
And yet silence is one of the most powerful tools in the world. Put a crowd of people in a room and order them to be silent. Have no sounds at all. Even a crowd of Buddhists will start to make noises. They’ll twitch, stroke their clothes, cough, stroke their hair or scratch their heads… anything to get away from the oxymoron that is a deafening silence.
Silence can be deadly. A gas leak, if unheard, will kill you. Predators train themselves to move without making a sound so they can strike their unwitting victim with no wasted movement or energy. A long fuse will happily burn, in silence, until it reaches that one final point…
Where the silence is broken in an instant, and everything you knew collapses.
If… you know how to use silence…
[Brown himself speaks]
Karl: You have one of the most powerful weapons imaginable at your disposal.
Is that what the tag team “champions” are hoping for? That their silence will hide them from Otaku and I? That we’ll be intimidated into believing they’re so powerful they need not speak?
Unfortunately for them, they’ve left their silence to go on too long.
There’s a fine line between leaving no doubt you’re stupid, and letting your silence say it for you.
[The candle suddenly flares up, filling the entire screen, and when it dies down the background has changed, and Brown is no longer in ECU but in a medium shot, standing in his ring gear next to his tag team partner in his PPV ring gear. Both are stood in a small training ring]
Karl: Unleashed is only days away, and so far the world is… more interested in who’s facing Aaron Jones than they are in seeing Dirk Dickwood Presents. There’s an air of expectation there, whereas in our match, the feeling I’m getting from the fans I meet in the airpots, rest stops and signings across the United States and Great Britain is an air of inevitability.
I’ve spoken about how we’re on the cusp of becoming the first team to compete for, and win, three world tag team championship reigns. I’m beginning to doubt that there’s any need for the word “compete”.
For all the pomp, all the insults, all the assurances of greatness throughout the Kings of the Cage tournament, the Kings of the Cage and World Tag Team Champions… are nothing.
Arrogance on my part?
Confidence. Arrogance is founded on a mistaken belief that you’re better than you are. Confidence is founded on the honest reality.
I have no reason to not be confident in our victory, because while you may be out there training, working hard, trying to think up a masterful strategy that will beat us in seconds… the reality is much more mundane.
You’re not out there partying. Living it up. When the cameras go off and the extras you hired go home, you’re all left with the resignation that your reign is going to be one of the shortest in history, one of those that won the titles one match, and lost them the very next time they stepped through the Empire Pro curtain and into the ring.
Quiet resignation that you aren’t as great as you want people to think.
Normally I’d say you have a chance. But you don’t.
When that bell sounds, Otaku and I are going to go straight for the win. No messing about. The moment… that fleeting moment when we feel the time has come, the match is over.
It’s what makes a true champion, not toying with the opposition the way a domestic cat will, but striking as soon as the moment is right… and ending it.
The reason I’m called The Dragon is in large part because I knew that when I was still training in my teens. It’s something I’ve honed in Otaku after he learnt it working in Japan.
It’s why Dirk Dickwood needs to tell his team to put a second submission hold on a man who’s fallen from the top of a steel cage. Because the wrestlers in that team lack the knowledge of when to strike.
Make no mistake. You won’t get a chance to feel that moment. You’ll be too busy looking up… at the lights… and planning how to gracefully avoid the door hitting you on the arse as you get back to the hotel.
We find ourselves, as was practically inevitable, in the company of the EPW Tag Team Champions, the Kings of the Cage themselves, Cecilworth Farthington, Hank and Dirk Dickwood, the tandem party of joy known to many as Dirk Dickwood Presents. They stand themselves in a mostly bare room, white walls and some lights shining down upon them. Hank as usual takes his position leaning up against a wall, arms crossed, glaring into the camera without much of a thought in his head. Dirk and Cecilworth on the other hand stand at the sides of a table that is displaying both a crown, scepter and the EPW Tag Team titles.
Farthington looks longingly at the scepter before quickly snapping his head back and looking at the camera with his beady little eyes.
Farthington: God, you really are an insufferable bore Karl. I mean I should know, I've seen my father shake his money maker in the middle of the House of Lords to little more than a mild guffaw and a honking fart but that still doesn't compare the the mind numbing and somehow endless streak of verbal piss that has emanated from Camp Dragon in the past week. Like somehow the more they prattle on about winning OUR tag titles, the more they are convinced of their abilities. Like some kind of masturbatory interview loop of which there is no escape. Or certainly there was no escape until we decided to grace you, the slack jawed EPW viewing plebs, the chattering class with our wonderful and splendiferous mugs.
Dickwood clears his throat and signals to Cecilworth that he is about to do some injectin'
Dickwood: I think the point the dearest Cecilworth is trying to make here is that... wow if there was a competition for blowing hot air, Karl and Taki, your balloon would've been round the world by this point. I'm sorry we didn't waste our precious time bickering back and forth with you in the hopes of reigniting your tattered careers. Really, I think if we had wasted our time trying to help validate your little animu friend's self worth he may actually have started to believe that he offered something of value to the world. We thought it best not to get involved, really it was Hank's idea, he assured us if we maintained radio silence ole Animu over there would've killed himself in a tragic wanking incident involving tentacle rape pornography. That's the last time we use Hank's dream journal as our play book because Otaku's tragic and yet inevitable death just hasn't happened within the time frame we were praying for. Still, you live and learn, do you not.
Hank pulls out a notepad from god knows where and begins to flip through the pages, he stops at a certain page that cannot for legal reasons be described at this moment in time. Cecilworth rips the page out of the notebook, crumples it into a ball and stomps down on it.
Dickwood: Still casting aside the fun stereotyping of a Japanophile, we must examine what has been going on in our absence on a deeper level. Cheap shots are fun after all, REAL FUN but they really do seem like something that is beneath royalty. Royalty such as myself...
Farthington: But me and Hank...
Dickwood: Yeah, sure, you guys are royalty too. Still, over the past week, I've seen two desperate men braying for acknowledgment from EPW's Tag Team Champions, as if they will fade from existence like the McFlys if DEE DEE PEE don't yammer in front of a camera about how much of a challenge it will be to battle against the Animemazing Dragons, a team that wishes to stake a legacy as EPW's best, EPW's finest, EPW's most sensual tag team of all time. Yet, as they should no doubt understand, holding... AND LOSING the belts on two separate occasions... the champs, we don't answer your calls. You see, right now Karl, Otaku, the belts, they are ours. The circumstances around that moment, they may be considered controversial, what with Mr. Brown deciding of his own volition that he wanted Cecilworth and Hank to be the undisputed Kings of the Cage but that doesn't change the ultimate decision. We're the champs now Karl, they are in our camp and we are not here to reassure you. We're not here to hug you tight and tell you everything is going to be okay. We're sure as hell are not your nannies. So I have to wonder why you were so desperate to hear from us.
Farthington: It's a Farthington man's curse. People just want to hear my golden tongue whispers sweat nothings in their ears. I wish I wasn't cursed with the Farthington strong jaw and impeccable fashion style but sadly it is my cross to bear.
Hank leans over from the wall and begins to give Cecilworth a once over, his judgement is reached and is concluded by a shrug of the shoulders.
Dickwood: Still, I have to wonder about this idea of inevitability that seems to have become solidified in that dense mind of yours Karl, it is a fascinating thing. After all, it was inevitable that we wouldn't make it out the bracket of death. Perhaps that remains true and yet despite the inevitability, thanks for my wonderful prowess as one of this industry's few remaining super agents, we still found our way back in. DDP found a little back door, just a small speck of light to get all the way back into the King of the Cage tournament after being INCHES away from taking down Cruise and The First. Some people called their victory inevitable, maybe it was but it was far from the end of the story.
The next inevitable event, Hank and Cecilworth falling prey to the tricks and traps of the esteemed Jimmy Mylde. Surely my inexperienced team would end up flat on their faces as Mylde used every scheme is his repertoire to ensure that that our dream finally died. DDP, they were on King of the Cage life support, The Dreamstealers were EPW's next big tag force. It was inevitable that they'd move on, that they'd face Team VIAGRA.
And speaking of our blue pilled pals, somehow this deadly duo, the men who rep this man, they had defied all the odds and made it to the bracket finals. That's as far as it would all go though, surely, this was going to be the end of the fairy tale. The story just wouldn't have that happy ending. Dirk Dickwood Presents, well they had more in common with the Grimm Brothers than they did Disney. After all Team VIAGRA was a team for over a decade, a team who knew the ins and outs of this game, World Champions the both of them, tag champions, decorated and accomplished. Their victory had a probability of 1... not entirely sure why I said that but VIAGRA, they just belonged in the King of the Cage final. That was the prediction from day 1. Even when we shocked to world by nabbing that Lucky Loser slot, VIAGRA were still going to be the ultimate victors. It was inevitable.
And let us not forget the finals themselves. Perhaps you had a hand in that Karl, perhaps we do owe you a little bit of thanks for giving us the space to follow through on casting the idea of inevitability to the dustbin of the past. Yet these two, they finished what you may have started. They grab the opportunity that was put before them and boy, did they follow through on it. Why we even got a prize! Multiple prizes!
Dirk showcases the crown and the Tag Titles in his best Game Show Assistant style.
Dickwood: I could stand here and warn you of the pitfalls of believing your own hype. I'd be wasting my breathe. You've already got to that point of no return. That point that Teddy and Sam did, that Stevens and Impulse reached, VIAGRA got there, Mylde... well... I think he was tragically kidnapped by the yakuza. The rest though, they all reached that point where they were brimming with self belief, overflowing with confidence. They didn't think it much to defeat these schmucks.
We weren't meant to make it out the first round, we weren't meant to survive The Dreamstealers, VIAGRA were going to gobble us up and we were WAY out of our depth in the final. That's what the same psychics who claim you victory at Unleashed is just a matter of fact yelled into my face time and time again. Men can control their own destiny, others can have a hand in the molding. That's what MAH BOYS are about. So forgive me if your claims of fans already walking in to the arena expecting that the Dragons will once again become EPW Tag Team Champions is as inevitable as Cecilworth's father's face been splashed across the tabloid due to his sex dungeon antics. Forgive me if I take the idea that your victory is a fact of life, akin to that of a plant spunking all over a bee, with just the tiniest pinch of salt if only because by now, leveling those claims against MAH BOYS, it's dull and mundane. Don't you think every team that came before you hasn't make the proclamation Karl? Perhaps they'd be right if these two were left to their own devices...
Hank grunts a little, Cecilworth frowns.
Dickwood: I'm not saying it WOULD happen guys, I'm just saying in the Sliders universe where I don't exist and Germany owns America, you guys may have lost some matches without my guidance. I blame Einstein personally...
Farthington: We may be in that universe in the minute... you'd be surprised about the secret German cabal that controls the American electorate pro.... I mean... everything is fine. Remain indoors. Everything is fine.
Dirk eyeballs Cecilworth in the same way you try to work out if you should call the emergency services over a stroke victim.
Dickwood: Still, the point is Karl, something perhaps you haven't quite processed in those grand proclamations of victory. I'm there. Just like during King of the Cage, Dirk Dickwood Presents will have Dirk Dickwood by their side. A man who managed to outmanage Jimmy Mylde, a man who was wise enough to direct his charge to a double submission victory. I'm not suddenly out of the picture Karl, you bald headed twat.
Farthington: Wrong Karl...
Dickwood: People don't like to factor me in to the equation. Maybe I should keep it that way. You and your young charge Karl, you're looking for redemption. You're looking for purpose. Perhaps you thought that taking out Teddy Alexander was the smart move, perhaps you thought that giving Cecilworth and Hank the opening would allow you a better shot at that third title reign you both lust after.
That may be quite possibly the biggest mistake of your career. Well, apart from tagging with Otaku in the first place. Dirk Dickwood Presents were supposed to be the underdog tale with the Cool Runnings ending. A valiant effort that everyone could stand, applaud and respect. Yet, you put the wheels in motion to ensure a few extra chapters. You handed us the pen Karl, you gave us the control to create our own ending and trust me, this book, it's just getting started.
Farthington: I thought we weren't talking about that book anymore...
[FADE IN to Otaku and “The Dragon” leaning against the outside of the Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. Both are dressed casually, which for Otaku means cosplaying – today as Hidan from Naruto. “The Dragon” is much more “normally” dressed, wearing jeans and an Unleashed band t-shirt]
Otaku: The world is watching used to be a big phrase. I kinda like it. It shows you’ve made it when the world is watching. And the world will be watching. It’ll be watching Aaron Jones as he finds out who his mystery opponent is. It’ll be watching as five men challenge for the Intercontinental Title. They’ll be watching as The First and Impulse clash.
They’ll be getting drinks when we’re out there, though.
Karl: That’s a bit disrespectful to DDP, isn’t it?
Otaku: Not really. I think it’s disrespectful of them! They busted their asses to win the Kings of the Cage – albeit with you kicking Turner back into the ring, but they still busted their asses – and now in their first title defence nobody can find them, we’ve sent search parties but nowhere to be seen! I’d rather talk about, I dunno, paint drying.
Karl: What about Team V.I.A.G.R.A or Wolves of the Sea?
Otaku: I wish. I haveta keep focused! It’s like you’ve said, Dragon-domo. Just because it looks like we’re a shoe in with all our training, because it looks like we’re a shoe in it’s more important than ever to stay focused on our goal and not get distracted, and that’s winning the titles back. It just pisses me off because it feels like it’s going to be the easiest winning of the belts we’ve had and we beat Stalker on his own because his partner didn’t turn up!
Karl: We can only work with what we’ve got. And in this kind of situation, I know from experience that Dan likes throwing curveballs.
Karl: Well, since you won’t talk about the possibility of other people getting involved. I want Empire Pro fans to remember one of the pivotal matches in the history of the Intercontinental Championship, back in 2005. Sebastian Dodd couldn’t make the show. He and I had torn up the airwaves on Aggression, but he couldn’t make it to the arena. I was told to get to the ring. I did. I didn’t know what to expect, but I went out there. So did a certain future World Heavyweight Champion, JA, who was refereeing a match later that night. He came out and gave me a hell of a fight – I can still recall being back dropped over the rail onto chairs, and I know I gave as good as I got from him.
Fast forward to now. DDP may or may not turn up, I don’t know. But I do know that Dan Ryan has promised the fans a World Tag Team Title match, and I know him well enough to know he’ll give you one. If Dick Dirkwood Presents can’t make it here, to the Ballpark, he’ll find someone who will be here. He may already have someone tapped up. They may be here in Empire Pro already or be coming from outside.
But… well, I don’t know about you, but I’ll be ready for whoever he sends through the curtain. I’m a professional who will wrestle anyone that Dan Ryan puts in front of me, in any match he calls for.
That’s what gives me an edge. I won’t be caught off guard if he throws someone else at us. It could be Cameron Cruise Project reunited for one night, it could be Hans and Akira, or Dan Ryan and Big Dog.
Whoever it is will be getting my… our… best. And the titles will come back with us if they’re up for grabs.
So, DDP, if they’re here when the bell rings, the belts are leaving with us. If Dan puts the belts on someone else, they’re coming home with us.
Because Otaku and I have the heart, the skills, and the spirit to do this. To threepeat. To make this night one of the biggest in tag team history here in Empire Pro.
And nobody is going to stop us.
OoC: Written at the same time as Colin's! lol. Not going to edit anything in it.
FWrestling.com was founded in 1994 to promote a community of fantasy wrestling fans and leagues. Since then, we've hosted dozens of leagues and special events, and thousands of users. Come join and prove you're "Even Better Than The Real Thing."
Add Your League
If you want to help grow the community of fantasy wrestling creators, consider hosting your league here on FW. You gain access to message boards, Discord, your own web space and the ability to post pages here on FW. To discuss, message "Chad" here on FW Central.