No Brand Wrestling Presents: SLAM! Episode LXXXV
Live from The Epic II Arena - St. Louis, Mo.
V/O - “Over ten years ago a small-time promotion out of Reading, PA came to existence. Over the years superstars have debuted and grown, some have retired, and others are still around today. Owners have changed. Locations have shifted. But one thing has always stayed the same. The name. Three Initials that have survived through the thick and the thin.”
The NBW logo is shown as it fades in and out showing the various designs from past to present. The voice-over by Trent McKnight continues.
V/O - “Those initials represent the past, the present, and the future. No Borders. No Boundaries. No Bull. Nothing But Wrestling. Ladies and Gentlemen welcome to the NBW!”
A video package rolls showing past wrestlers and on-screen talent from the original promoter Alex Styles to Xander Napoli onto the current: Thaddeus Boyle. Three different men with three different agendas, all of which were responsible for the success that is NBW.
V/O - “Many athletes have paved the way for the current generation entertaining the fans every week.”
Shots of Jason Kain, Maximizer, Frost, Rey Campbell, Cal Roberts, Blake Gray, Rejection, Uncensored, Jade Greene and Alan Helms filled the screen before being replaced with shots of macWICKED, Ali Amore, Lunatic, D-T, Max Hopper, High Flyer, Sam Potright, Dream Warriors, Rik Bone, Callie Urban, Heaven and Hell, Shawn Jessica Hart, Remy Leroux, Brock Metzer, The Gordon Brothers, Andrew Martin, Mat Walton, William Arthur Reagan, Nightlife USA, Sweet Daddy K, Techno Dragon and numerous others as the clips speed up to a blur.
Side to side ‘Special K’ Keegan and ‘the Colossus’ Spike Saunders fade into view before being replaced by an imposing image of the former Double Champion, ‘Superstar’ Vince Jacobs and his Cheshire-like smile.
His image is replaced by clips of the members of his Upper Echelon; Judasbleek, Warren Spade, and the Son of Malta.
They are soon replaced by the likes of Vic Gravender, Chris Moliano, Derecho, Judasbleek, Son of Malta, Torment, RaVage, Tremoid, Lexia Hart, Benjamin Jones, For The Win, Johannes Antonious de Castonovo and Aleczander of Family Keeling, Handsome Man Modeling School, Supersquad, Zed, and more as the clips speed up once more.
V/O - "The time to break the mold is now. To be somebody. To make a mark. To be..."
The NBW logo spins to life once more and fades out to the simple initials before the opening video for SLAM plays and then the initials return with the logo once more.
Welcome to SLAM!
The usual SLAM opening video package had been slighly altered. Still we open up to the cheering masses that filled The Epic II arena nightly, at least when available! Signs thrust up in the air for the cameras to see and even some rowdy ones up in the nosebleeds giving the roaming drone camera a good eyefull. Before eventually settling on the commentators booth ringside!
Welcome to the Space JAM!" Melissa Vanderart greeted the viewers at home, "And final episode of SLAM before PRIDE! Tonights episode on Hulu is sponsored by Space Jam in honor of the twentienth anniversary."
"That movie was built out to go against the Mon-Stars from the very start!" Added Gains as he too welcomed the crowd, "we should have done this over Halloween. But that's our obligation for the night."
"Tonight is all about hammering the final nails into the coffin. And it'll all start with a massive six man tag match when the Rich Family face The Entertainers and our Keystone Champion Ali Amore."
"You mean TWO six man matches, Melissa. Handsome Man Modelling School along with Ravage will be teaching that Blitzkrieg Chumpion Brock Newbludd and the two geeks a lesson in respect."
"I don't think think it's about respect with those men at this juncture." Melissa added, "We'll also see the NBW World Heavyweight Champion Derecho and number one contender Warren Spade clash in the ring in tag action tonight, just weeks before they meet for the title at PRIDE. At this time we're still unaware as to who they have chosen as their tag team partners for the evening. There have been rumors however -"
"Rumors have been swirling all right. Spade's stickman is down for the count, and anybody that partners up with him would be just as in danger. Derecho on the other hand is a master maniluplator and the king of hell. And while I'm sure he could beat Spade and his partner, with an arm tied behind his back and wearing a blindfold, I've heard from a reliable source that a certain Malteese man, trained by one of the true legends of the ring, the Hall of Famer William Arthur Reagan, was seen backstage earlier talking with Derecho."
"That would indeed be interesting to see two-thirds of the former Sons of Evolution teaming up once again, as we haven't seen Son of Malta in some time."
"If you keep talking about it you'll ruin the shock factor!" Gains seemed rather irate, which was odd. "And what about our Main Event tonight?"
"I would say that after seeing what went down on our Halloween episode of SLAM, Max Hopper has his work cut out for him tonight. Being a wrestler and wrestling every night is one thing, but getting into a fight with someone out of the MMA circuit is a whole different story."
"For once I hope Hopper uses his brain and just takes the count out tonight. Save the fighting for his Semi-finals match in the Keystone Contenders Tournament at PRIDE." Gains turned towards the nearest camera, "Hear me Max? Do us all a favor, and your body a small one, and forfeit tonight."
Gains smiled and re-stated his words: "Do the right thing, Max."
“Well, it looks like we’re ready for what will be the final opening round match in the Keystone Championship Contenders Tournament,” Melissa van der Aart announced. “So far, we’ve already seen Max Hopper, the debuting Matt Meyhu, and the very unlikely Richie Keal all advance.”
C.G. Gains commented, “Unlikely doesn’t begin to describe it! If you had ever told me that Jack Harmen’s personal assistant would be wrestling on a pay-per-view in the semi-final of a tournament to crown a new number one contender to the Keystone Title, I’d have thought you were looney. Then again, we have a reality TV star as our President now, so I guess anything can happen!”
“Don’t remind me,” Melissa replied.
“Anyway, Jack Harmen must be using some Mr. Miyagi tactics to train Richie Keal, and I guess they’re paying off,” Gains continued. “My favorite to win the thing is still the ‘Modern Marvel’ Matt Meyhu! He has it all!”
“Well, there are a lot of great competitors left, C.G., including the two we have tonight as Davey LaRue takes on the Great Wall for the last spot in the semi-finals to be held at Pride!”
“The Great Wall?” Gains asked. “Well if Meyhu doesn’t win it, then he’s my second pick! That guy is a giant… LITERALLY! He has giantism, Melissa.”
“I know,” Melissa answered. “Now let’s send it over to Brent Williams with the introductions!”
“Ladies and gentlemen,” Brent Williams began, “the following contest is scheduled for one fall and is the final first round match in the Keystone Championship Top Contenders Tournament! Introducing first, from Baton Rouge, Louisiana…”
“Born This Way” by Thousand Foot Krutch kicked in as a strobe light flashed blue, yellow, red, orange, and green throughout the dimly lit arena. Davey LaRue scooted out through the curtains on his trademark gigantic silver scooter, complete with blue cooler mounted on the back. He got a pretty good reaction for it, too.
“Weighing in at 272 pounds. He is the master of the AMF… ‘Fat Tuesday’... DAVEY LARUE!” Brent Williams continued.
LaRue drove a couple of laps around the ring, high fiving the fans. He then parked his ride, turning on a car alarm, and climbed into the ring. Fat Tuesday ran off both sets of ropes multiple times, finally coming to a stop and throwing up the horns for his fans! He took off his beer hat and laid it in the corner while he awaited tonight’s opponent.
Brent Williams finished the introductions. “And his opponent, from Guangzhou, China, tipping the scales at 443 pounds… THE GREAT WALL!”
The heavy metal instrumental remix of “Born in China” by the Immortals flooded the air next. The Great Wall emerged through the curtains. He was so tall that he had to duck in order to make it through. He towered over everyone else in the arena, standing 7’4” tall.
“You know, I once went with the Great Wall on a trip to the zoo, and a giraffe had to ask HIM to reach its food!” C.G. Gains remarked… JOVIALLY!
The Great Wall lumbered toward the ring, giving frightening glares to all the fans who dared reach out to touch him. Many of the fans shrank away from the barricade. When he finally reached ringside, the Great Wall slowly scaled the steps and went over the top rope with ease. He raised his arms into the air and snarled at Davey LaRue, pounding his massive chest.
DING DING DING!
The bell rang and the match got underway. They both locked horns. Davey was a big man at 6’2, 272 pounds himself, but he looked like a child compared to the Great Wall, who dwarfed him. LaRue couldn’t budge the giant, and the Great Wall casually tossed him to the ground. Fat Tuesday got back on his feet and decided to try a change in tactics. He charged forward, unleashing a full scale attack of chops and clubbing blows to his opponent’s broad chest. These had little effect, and the Great Wall responded with a massive headbutt that put Davey on his back.
The giant raised his arms into the air, roaring at the crowd, who replied with boos. Meanwhile, the Louisiana native did his best to shake out the cobwebs. He stood and charged again, hammering the Great Wall from behind with a double axehandle right between the shoulder blades. This would have probably knocked most wrestlers flat on their face, but the giant simply turned and stared at Davey LaRue. Undeterred, DLR smacked the Great Wall with an open-handed chop to his oversized chest and kept on the offensive by reaching up to throw a few punches at his face.
The Great Wall stumbled back momentarily, but once again he turned the tide, this time by burying a knee into LaRue’s breadbasket. The Chinese giant followed up by lifting LaRue above his head. He walked around the ring, pressing LaRue up and down like it was a light workout. Finally, he slammed the Louisiana native onto his back, nearly putting him through the mat!
The Wall crouched on one knee. His other knee went right up against his adversary’s back while he wrenched back on a chinlock. Submission looked like a real possibility here. The referee checked in with Davey LaRue, who flailed his arms about wildly, but Fat Tuesday bravely waved him off.
The crowd got behind LaRue, who started to pump his fists, with chants of “USA!” Davey wagged his finger at the referee, who asked again if he wanted to give up, and battled his way to his feet. The leverage on the chinlock was lost, and the Great Wall’s grip was a lot looser now. Davey turned his body and started to thrust his elbow into his supersized opponent’s midsection. Once. Twice. Three times! That broke the hold.
The former ball player backed into the ropes and bolted toward the Great Wall with a powerful clothesline, enough to turn most inside out, but again this was an incredibly large individual. However, it had nearly toppled the Chinese giant onto his back. It was just not quite enough. So, LaRue did the most sensible thing. He reloaded for another shot.
This time, his lariat attempt was telegraphed, and he ran into an enormous boot. The Great Wall bent down to collect Davey LaRue, bringing him up by his head. He held LaRue in place and knocked him right back down with a Mongolian chop that would have made Kid Chameleon (by way of Kin Corn Karn) proud. A supersized lateral press followed.
Davey kicked out, sort of. It was enough to get his shoulder off the mat and interrupt the pin, but anyone could see what a Herculean task it was to get out from under the Great Wall. He was pretty heavy, after all.
The Great Wall scooped LaRue back to his feet. This time, he lifted Davey into the air, wrapping his tree trunk-like arms around him in a bearhug. LaRue wagged his finger at the referee when asked if he wanted to submit. Fat Tuesday tried to pry his way out, but the Great Wall’s grip was strong and tight, and Davey was fading fast.
The former baseball player’s arms drooped to his side. The referee lifted one of them up and let go…
The referee lifted that same arm up by the wrist again. He released it…
The referee lifted that arm up for a third time. This time, if that arm fell, the match would be over. The referee released the arm…
It fell only halfway and then shot back up!
Davey LaRue was still in this match! He scratched and clawed at the Great Wall’s forehead with little effect. Then, Fat Tuesday spread his arms apart, clapping them together on the supersized Asian’s ears! He spread his arms out again, and again he clapped them together on the Great Wall’s head. The grip started to loosen, but was not broken. Davey tried a headbutt. This caused the Great Wall to drop this knee momentarily before standing right back up. Fat Tuesday finally threw decorum out the window and just started to bite the Great Wall on the forehead! That broke the hold!
Fat Tuesday stunned the Great Wall with a back elbow smash and then ran into the ropes, taking the Chinese giant down with a Lou Thesz press upon his return! He grabbed the Great Wall by the ears, slamming the back of his head into the canvas over and over!
After about five or six head slams, LaRue climbed off the big man. He stiffened his body and fell forward with a headbutt that hit the Great Wall right in the temple. Davey went for the cover.
But the Great Wall kicked out. Fat Tuesday went back to work. He backed up to give himself some space and ran forward, connecting with a seated senton!
It was one of his trademark moves! He went for another cover.
THRRR - No!
Close but no cigar! The Great Wall managed to kick out yet again. Davey backed off, waiting for the Great Wall to get back to his feet. Then, Fat Tuesday charged in again. This time, he was snatched up by the Wall and planted into the mat with a tilt-a-whirl slam!
The Great Wall was slow to his feet, but he had plenty of time after that move. He reached down and peeled Davey from the mat, scooping him up for a thunderous powerslam! He hooked LaRue’s leg.
THR - Kickout!
With the fans at the edge of their seats, Davey LaRue managed to escape defeat, and it was met with an ovation from the crowd. Looking to wrap this one up, the Great Wall stood towering over Davey LaRue and jumped into the air, dropping his leg and all 443 pounds of himself with it onto Fat Tuesday’s chest. Only, he got nothing but canvas instead! Davey had managed to roll out of the way!
The Great Wall held his hind quarters. Both men were slow to get up, LaRue from the beating he had taken in this match and the Wall from missing a 443 pound legdrop. Once they were both standing, the Great Wall closed in on Davey and took back the momentum with a few ham-like fists to his gourd. The giant whipped him into the ropes, looking for another big boot, but Fat Tuesday ducked underneath and countered with a neckbreaker! They were close to the corner, so Davey ran to the turnbuckles for a slingshot splash.
IRISH CAR BOMB!
The crowd was on its feet, cheering for Davey LaRue. He hooked the leg again.
“Surely, this has to be it!” Melissa van der Aart commented.
THREE - NO! KICKOUT!
“Ha! No, it doesn’t. And don’t call me Shirley!” C.G. Gains spat back.
Another close call, but the match still wasn’t over. Davey LaRue waited again for the Great Wall to get back to his feet, warming up the band while he did so. Once his target was standing, Fat Tuesday stormed in, grabbing the Great Wall by the head.
No! The attempt at the cutter failed. He couldn’t get the Great Wall off his feet. Instead, two giant arms wrapped around his head and arm, choking the life out of him.
FIVE STARS VICE!
Davey LaRue tried to fight it. He gave it all he could, but he had no choice other than tap out.
DING DING DING!
“Your winner as the result of a submission, and advancing to the second round of the Keystone Championship Top Contenders Tournament,” Brent Williams announced, “THE GREAT WALL!”
The heavy mental instrumentals of “Born in China” by the Immortals played again as a very menacing, and very self-satisfied Great Wall roared at the crowd.
The New Arrival
Right after the NBW crowd witnessed a solid first match of the Keystone Tournament between Larue and the Great Wall the show immediately went backstage where coming in through the backdoorwas the NBW’s newest signing Alan Envy. A man known throughout the world as one of the top professional wrestlers in the world. With a smirk on his face Envy started to walk down the corridor as the camera recorded his every move.
As he continued to walk he moved past a couple of the NBW regulars and gave them a arrogant side glance. Obviously according to his demeanor he thought that he was immediately better than they were. After a few left and right turns Alan finally arrived to where he wanted to be.
The office of the General Manager Jack Harmen.
Envy smirked a little bit.
“Jack Harmen huh??”
Alan looked into the camera and smiled at the audience that was following what was going on at the time on the big screen in the arena
“Alan Envy has arrived to NBW, and everything….and I do mean everything….is about to change.”
Envy knocked on the door then walked into Jack’s office as the camera faded out.
It's About Respect
Coming back from commercial break, the camera faded in to show the smiling face of NBW interviewer Adria Hoyt standing in front of the NBW backstage interview backdrop. With a nod of her head, Hoyt acknowledged the camera before bringing the mic to her lips.
“Ladies and gentlemen, joining me at this time is NBW Blitzkrieg Champion ”The Innovator” Brock Newbludd.”
The live audience could be heard cheering in the background as Newbludd walked into the picture to stand next to Hoyt. Dressed in his ring gear, Brock had the Blitzkrieg title slung over his shoulder and held a confident look in his eyes. Despite his confidence, it was hard to dismiss the fact that he had a large white bandage wrapped around his head like a headband, no doubt the end result of Taylor Smith’s vicious attack on Slam 84.
Gazing up to Newbludd, Adria got down to business.
“Brock, in just a few moments you will be teaming up with For The Win to take on Ravage and the HMMS in six-man tag action. With Pride on the horizon, there is no doubt that this is a big matchup for everyone involved. In fact...hey!”
Adria was suddenly cut off as Brock frowned and snatched the microphone from her hand.
“I’m sorry Adria, but I just don’t have the temperament or time to play nice with your questions tonight. I’m just not feeling my usual self. You see, after I regained consciousness in the back after Taylor busted me up on the last Slam...I realized something. In fact you could call it epiphany...I finally figured out after all this time what everything boils down to between Ravage and I. I sifted through all the bullshit, drama and threats to find the core of it.”
“And what is it Brock?” Adria asked with genuine curiosity in her voice.
“It’s about respect. You see, I go down to that ring night in and night out and bust my ass to prove to myself, the fans, and everyone else here in NBW that I am one of the best in this business. I didn’t walk into this place six months ago and demand respect, no no no, I went out there and EARNED it. I scratched, clawed and bled for it! Hell, I even set myself on fire for it!”
Newbludd held his arm up to show his burn scarred elbow that will always be his personal reminder of his Blitzcage battle against Big Rick.
“But, you see when you go out there and put it all on the line and succeed ...you earn something that is far greater than any title, far richer than any paycheck, and much more satisfying than any win...you earn respect. But, you also garner jealousy, you also gain enemies…”
“Brock, are you saying that everything that Ravage has done...the attacks with HMMS, the kidnapping of Sally...that was because he doesn’t respect you and he’s jealous of you?” Adria asked and Brock slowly nodded his head as he sighed.
“Adria, what it’s about is a man who will do anything to hang on to his legacy, no matter the cost.” Brock said coldly, and his intense icy blue eyes held Adria in a trance. “He’ll use anyone, hurt anyone and destroy anyone to get what he wants, and people are supposed to accept it because he’s a legend.
Grabbing the mic, Newbludd turned his intense stare to the camera.
“But, along the way this so called legend made one fatal error. He crossed paths with me and he hurt me, and the one’s I care about. He’s used his followers as tools to make my life a living hell…he disrespected me.”
Newbludd took a breath and raised the Bitzkrieg title next to his face.
“Then he tried to take my gold, so I superkicked his ass off the top of a cage...but that wasn’t enough...he won’t stop. So, now we’re coming to the breaking point and at Pride, it’s going to be him and I in a Last Man Standing match. No gimmicks, no cages, no ladders. Just two men fighting until there’s only one left, and mark my words, that will be the night when I kill his legacy and start mine.”
With that, Newbludd dropped the mic, and walked off the screen. A wide-eyed Adria quickly picked it back up.
“Well guys, I can say that I have never seen Brock Newbludd this intense. All I know is that at Pride, the fans are going to be in treat for a thrilling conclusion to the Ravage/Newbludd saga as they battle to see who will be the last man standing! Let’s send it back down to you!”
Coming back from the break, the camera slowly faded in to show the best intro man in the game, “The Count” Brent Williams standing in the middle of the ring, microphone in hand. By his side was veteran referee Jerry Peterson who was slipping on a pair of blue latex gloves, which he only did when he expected a match to get “messy”.
“Jerry’s putting on the gloves Mel, the last time he did that, it was for the Laddervault match between Newbludd and Ravage. If I had to put two and two together, I’d say it’s time for our six-man tag match!” a giddy C.G. Gaines exclaimed as the camera cut over to him and his broadcast partner, the lovely Melissa Vanderart.
Turning slightly in her chair to face her violence loving cohort, Mel nodded her head in agreement.
“Very perceptive C.G., and considering the hatred shared amongst some of the men involved in this upcoming bout, Jerry should have brought a hazmat suit.” she said in a tone that blurred the lines between sarcasm and seriousness.
“The only thing Jerry should have with him is a mop to clean up whatever is left of Brock and For The Win off the mat. Taylor Smith’s heroic actions against Brock on the last Slam was only a prelude to the beat down that him and the rest of the boys are going lay on the Blitzkrieg champion.” Gaines replied confidently.
“Heroic!? C’mon C.G., I’ve gotten used to your insanely backwards way of looking at things during the years, but you honestly can’t mean that! We were literally only feet away when Smith hopped the barricade and sucker punched Brock in the back of the head with brass knuckles!” a dumbfounded Vanderart protested.
“The only thing I saw Mel was a glimpse into the future at how thing’s are going to end for Brock at Pride, and that is him being unconscious in a pool of his own blood with a victorious Ravage standing over him.” Gaines proclaimed with a proud smile which caused Mel to give him an exaggerated eye roll.
“Well my clairvoyant friend, I don’t even think you could have predicted that a reinvigorated For the Win would make their way into the chaotic Blitzkrieg division, and in doing so have quickly made enemies with The Strongberns andHMMS!” Mel fired back in a challenging tone.
C.G. simply nodded his head as he leaned forward to put his elbows on the announce table. Closing his eyes, C.G. put two fingers on each of his temples and began to hum to himself.
“What in god’s name are you doing?” a confused Vanderart asked and C.G. quickly shushed her.
“Quiet Mel, I’m channeling my prophetic powers...mmmhhmm...ahhhh...yes, yes...I see it now. Later on tonight I will be drinking expensive scotch in a limo with beautiful women alongside the victorious Handsome Man Modeling School…oh wait...there’s more...For The Win will realize that they are nothing but second rate idiots as they share an ambulance ride with Brock Newbludd, who is going to get his freedom loving soldier ass handed to him by Ravage tonight….”
Suddenly C.G.’s eyes snapped open and he looked over to Mel who was face was contorted in a look of disgust with a hint of amazement.
“Wha...what happened?” C.G. asked, trying to sound as innocent as he could. “Did...did I predict the future again?”
“I refuse to even acknowledge what just happened there C.G., you should probably reevaluate your life after the show tonight.” Vanderart said with a sigh as she swiveled away from him to face the camera, while C.G. grew a sheepish grin as he focused in on the camera as well.
“Let’s see if Nostradumbass here is right, and send it up to Brent Williams!” Melissa said to the camera, and C.G. cocked an eyebrow.
“Nostra...dumb...Nostradumbass!? What gives Mel!?” a riled up Gaines blurted out as the camera switched to the ring, and Mel didn’t get a chance to soothe Gaines hurt feelings before Williams brought the mic up to his lips.
“Ladies and gentlemen...the following contest is a six-man tag team match with a twenty minute time limit!” Brent boomed out as he spread one arm wide and the crowd gave a nice ovation in return.
TALK PRETTY TO ME!
“Talk Dirty To Me (HMMS Edit)” by Jason Derulo feat. 2 Chainz.
The positive energy quickly left the crowd and was replaced by jeers as two-thirds of the trio made strutted their way through the double doors.
“Introducing first! Being accompanied by ‘The Beaut’ Benny Reyes, weighing in at a combined weight of four hundred and forty nine pounds… ‘Photogenic’ Peter Pham and ‘Tantalizing’ Taylor Smith… they are The Handsome Man Modeling School!”Brent announced just as the two members of HMMS stopped on the top of the entrance ramp to give the crowd a pose which only amplified the boos.
“Wait, where’s Reyes?” Mel asked just before the sliding doors opened once again and the third member of the HMMS shambled onto the stage as he drug along a mobile IV bag pole.
“Benny showing some real heart out there Mel, fighting through serious illness to come support Taylor and Peter.” a proud C.G. said as Reyes gave a weak wave to the unsympathetic crowd as he shuffled over to join his stablemates at the top of the ramp.
“Whatever you say C.G.” Mel replied with more than a little doubt in her voice.
Giving Benny a sympathetic pat on the back, Smith and Pham then went back to their strutting ways as they headed towards the ring while Benny slowly trailed behind with his IV; the bag of which read ‘Cure for da Uglies‘. Rolling underneath the ropes, Smith and Pham hopped up to give one last arrogant pose to the crowd, while Benny parked himself on the outside and held onto the IV pole with a sour look on his face.
”Wanted Man” by Rev Theory
“And their partner! From South Dakota, weighing in at two-hundred and thirty pounds…’The Savage of the Ring’...Ravage!”Williams bellowed out.
Striding through the double doors, the former world champion stopped to raise his hands over his head as the NBW faithful rained down heavy boos. Looking out to them, the veteran grappler looked indifferent to the reception he was getting and simply acknowledged the crowd with an arrogant smirk. Heading down the ramp, Ravage was all business as he kept his focus on the ring, though it was slightly broken when he caught sight of Reyes and simply shook his head at the pathetic looking HMMS member before rolling under the ropes.
Entering the ring, Ravage quickly made his way over to his other two proteges and started telling them the game plan for the match. Smith and Taylor nodded their head eagerly as the veteran continued with his orders, but the coaching session was quickly cut off by the roar of the crowd when the NBW’s Blitzkrieg Champion’s music hit the speakers.
“Seek and Destroy” by Metallica
“And their opponents! Introducing first, being accompanied by Sally Renolds, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and weighing in at two-hundred and twenty nine pounds...he is the NBW Blitzkrieg Champion… ‘The Innovator’ Brock Newbludd!” Williams boomed out over the cheers of the crowd as Newbludd walked out onto the stage with Blitzkrieg title held high above his head.
“Newbludd is looking fired up despite having his head bandaged from the injuries he received at the hands of Taylor Smith a couple of weeks ago.” Mel pointed out as Brock walked from one side of the stage to the other as he worked the crowd into a frenzy, while Sally waved to the crowd with a smile.
“Let’s see how excited he is after Ravage gets done with him at Pride, and he’s in a body cast.” C.G. quipped back.
Giving one last raised fist to the roaring crowd before slinging the Blitzkrieg title over his shoulder, Brock walked over to the top of the ramp and stopped. Staring into down towards his opponents, Newbludd sneered at the group of men who have caused him so much trouble over the last few months.
Then, the crowd gave another nice pop as his tag partners for the evening’s music hit.
'Hey Kids' by JET.
Sans-Left 4 Dead 3 fanfare, the Sonic and Knuckles of the pro wrestling circuit stepped through the curtains with energy flowing. Chistopher Noid took to the center while Spark dashed left and right across the stage behind him. Noid pointing down at his crotch, or as his shirt raised up, the NES controller that adorned his belt buckles all these years.
"And his tag team partners. At a combined weight of three hundred and ninety seven pounds, the team of Tony Spark and Chris Noid... they are... FOR THE WIN!"Williams announced to more cheers before quickly exiting the ring.
The two made a straight dash down the ramp, bypassing Newbludd with simultaneous slaps on his broad shoulders, before sliding in on opposite ends of the ring. Popping to their feet, and mounted up at the far corners with arms raised high. Newbludd grinned at his energetic partners bold entrance, and followed suit by sprinting down the ramp to roll under the ropes and join them as referee Peterson struggled to keep Ravage and HMMS in their corner.
Leaning over the ropes, Newbludd handed Sally the Blitzkrieg title while Noid and Spark both jumped down from the corners to join Brock in their corner. In the opposite corner, Ravage gave Peter and Taylor some last minute instructions before stepping through the ropes to stand on the ring apron, which elicited more boos from the crowd. Glancing over his shoulder, Smith saw Brock glaring at him with revenge filled eyes, which led him to giving Pham a quick good luck handshake before stepping out to join Ravage.
Pham frowned at drawing the proverbial short straw while in the other corner Newbludd and FTW had just finished up a hard fought game of three way paper, rock, scissors (janken to the boys) which saw Spark come out on top. After giving Tony a slap on the back, Newbludd and Noid hopped the ropes to stand in the corner. Locking eyes with Spark, the arrogant Pham gave him a double bicep flex to try and intimidate the smaller man. With a laugh, Spark drew cheers from the crowd as he mimicked Pham’s pose.
Seeing that both teams were set, official Peterson walked over to the ropes and looked out at the timekeeper to call for the bell. Hammer in hand, the guy who had the easiest job in all of NBW looked completely mystified as he stared down at his little table to see that his only reason for existence was missing, the bell. Looking up to Jerry, the timekeeper just threw his hands up in confusion.
It was only a sing-
-double bell sound. Across the ring on the other side of the mat stood ‘Big’ Rick Strongbern, brandishing the bell under his arm with Newbludd sprawled on the ground, and Noid laying awkwardly on the apron.
“What the hell!? What’s Big Rick doing out here, and where did he come from!?” Mel exclaimed.
“The Biggest Man in Town goes where he wants at anytime he wants Mel, you should know that by now, sheesh.” C.G. answered back.
A quick replay for the fans at home caught with confusion showed the young runt crawl out from under the ring with the ring bell, which he must have lifted during their entrances. Newbludd got blasted first from behind with a jumping bell-clap… as in the bell clapped the back of his head. With Newbludd down, Big Rick took full advantage of the sneak attack by ramming the bell upwards between Noid’s legs before Christopher could even react, causing him to slump in pain on the apron.
Sally made an attempt to run over and check on Brock, but a threatening growl from Big Rick stopped her in her tracks. Matching Big Rick’s sneer with one of her own, Sally begrudgingly backed away from the ring and walked up the ramp to the stage. Hands on her hips, Sally looked equal parts nervous and angry at what was unfolding before her.
“Once again, Big Rick is sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong.” Mel muttered in frustration as the picture cut back to the live action.
Pham laughed as he crossed the ring but hadn’t realized his teammates had suffered a similar fate at near the same time, as Smith and Ravage were down courtesy of the tall man standing over them. Again the replay rolled on the EpiCenter via picture in picture while ‘Little’ Ricky bashed Ravages shoulder in with a steel chair, and in the other picture he was seen commando crawling out from under the ring. How else would a man his size get out? Once he did, he gave a hard chair swing and connected with Smith’s left leg, causing him to fall to the ground and before Ravage could react he got jostled in the gut with the chair, which set up the the follow up shot to the shoulder.
Looking over to his minion, Big Rick signaled for Little Ricky to get in the ring before rolling in himself. Referee Peterson screamed at both Strongbern’s to leave, but quickly gave up and left the ring himself when Big Rick waved the bell menacingly at him.
By this point, both Spark and Pham had come to grasp the situation and spun around to see that they each had a weapon wielding Strongbern closing in on them, which caused each man to quickly backpedal defensively towards the middle of the ring. Meeting in the middle, Pham and Spark backed into each other, which then caused them to hop around with their fists raised.
It appeared that Pham tried to reason with Tony that they needed to work together but Spark was no dummy, knowing that he could trust the HMMS member about as far as he could throw him. So that’s what the FTW member decided to do.
With the Strongberns only feet away, Spark showed off his impressive speed by socking Pham in the face with a quick jab before grabbing the stunned Peter by the head and sending him flying towards Big Rick with a standing monkey flip! The leader of the Strongbern’s was caught completely off guard as Pham crashed into him, sending both men down to the mat.
Still down on the mat, Spark rolled out of the way to narrowly avoid Little Ricky crushing him with a chair. Angered by his miss, the big man wound up again as Spark popped back up to his feet, when suddenly a recovered Ravage came flying off the top rope to nail Ricky with a missile dropkick! The near seven footer stumbled from the surprise attack, and Spark looked to take Ricky off his feet as he jumped to springboard off the ropes. But, Spark’s never got the chance to complete his daring attack for when he landed on the ropes, he landed right into the arms of Taylor Smith!
SUPLEX TO THE FLOOR!
Spark landed with a sickening thud onto the hard floor in front of the announce table, while Taylor let out a arrogant laugh as he pulled himself up with the ropes to stand back up on the ring apron.
“That a boy Taylor!” C.G. cried out to which Smith acknowledged by flexing his bicep to Gaines.
“Woot! Woot!” C.G. giddily yelled back as Mel groaned from the awkwardness of that whole exchange.
Maintaining his shit-eating grin, Taylor spun around on the apron to enter the ring only to see a chair flying at his head courtesy of Little Ricky!
Smith’s handsome face took all of that massive chair shot, and the HMMS member’s limp body soared through the air to crash land right next to Spark. Laying on his back with his eyes closed, blood began to run from a gash on Smith’s forehead, yet somehow he still had that stupid grin on his face.
“Ohmygod...ohmygod...Taylor!?” C.G. cried out before throwing his headset down and rushing around the table to check on Smith.
“C.G! Get back here, that’s not your job!” Mel yelled out as C.G. dropped to a knee and started gently slapping Taylor in the cheek.
“We need security and EMT’s! And coconut water, Tay Tay loves coconut water!” C.G. screamed back loud enough to be heard through Mel’s microphone.
Back in the ring, Little Ricky’s attack on Smith had left him wide open for Ravage and the Savage of the Ring took full advantage of it by picking up the timekeeper's bell that Big Rick had dropped and smashing Little Ricky right in the back with it! Arching his back in pain, Little Ricky gave a wild one handed swing with the chair as he spun around to face his attacker.
Easily ducking the chair, the agile Ravage sprung up and clobbered Ricky under the chin with the bell. Stunned, Little Ricky stumbled back into the ropes but didn’t stay there for long as Ravage let out a roar before smashing the bell into Ricky’s face with all his might, sending Strongbern toppling over to land on the outside!
In the opposite corner, Big Rick and Pham had both made it back to their feet and now were trading blows. Pham put up a decent fight against the crazed animal that was Big Rick, but his brawling skills were no match compared to Strongbern’s. Throwing Pham into the corner, Big Rick hammered Peter with a flurry of rights and lefts before taking a few quick steps back and nailing him with a STRONG ARM LARIAT!
“I AM THE MASTER!” Big Rick yelled out as he backed away from the corner to see that he had done some heavy damage to Pham with his signature clothesline.
Pham weakly put a hand up to try and plead with Strongbern, which only caused the dangerous runt to let out a deep laugh and spit at Pham. The crowd let out a roar of boos as Big Rick dramatically wound his arm up and set his feet. Then with another roar, Big Rick charged in towards Pham at full speed, looking to hit another Strong Arm Lariat…
During this whole brawl the crowd had been in a frenzy, but they absolutely exploded when Christopher Noid grabbed the woozy Pham by the leg and yanked him out of the ring to the outside, causing Strongbern to hit the corner hard sternum first! But Noid didn’t do it to be a good samaritan, and that was reaffirmed when he grabbed the ring steps and threw them down on top of Pham!
Reaching down to pick up Pham, Noid suddenly noticed the sickly Benny Reyes shuffling towards him, and the FTW member decided to put Benny out of his misery with a running STO!
“This is getting out of hand! Maybe we do need security out here!” Mel exclaimed.
“Of course we do!” C.G. yelled back as he held a bottle of water to Smith’s mouth. “Small sips Tay Tay, small sips…”
Stumbling backwards out of the corner, it was evident that Big Rick had the wind knocked out of him as he gasped for air, then his eyes went wide in shock when suddenly he was lifted in the air from behind! The crowd let out a another loud roar as Newbludd smashed Big Rick down to the mat with a release FENRIS-PLEX!
Strongbern flopped like a fish onto the mat from the dragon suplex variation, but he had little time to think about the throbbing pain in his head when suddenly he was hit with a CANNONBALL from Ravage!
The crowd was in an absolute fervor as both Brock and Ravage got to their feet and locked eyes, with the limp body of Strongbern in between them. Sticking his arm out, Brock gave Ravage a middle finger before sprinting back and hitting the ropes, and a sneering Ravage ran and hit the opposite ropes. The two men who would be battling at Pride for the Blitzkrieg title were on a collision course!
The high-pitched screeching voice belonged to one Richie Keal, assistant to the General Manager of the NBW, that just sometimes plays out his role as the Assistant GM. At this moment however he had stepped out on the stage with microphone shoved against his lips.
“-WWWWWWWWWWPPPPPPPPPPPPP! RAVAGE. BROCK. STAAAAWWWPP!”
Ravage put on the breaks, as did Newbludd. Not quite obeying as Little Ricky at that moment had pulled Big Rick from outside the ring, by the boot, clear out of harms way. Both men turned their heads up at the ramp.
“Good,” Keal lowered the microphone slightly, and adjusted his collar. “You two can wait. Rick, Ricky.” He pointed at the two men that had recently injected themselves into the match. If it was a match. “This is twice, in as many shows, that you have ruined my matches. Yes, mine. I made the For the Win versing Handsome Man Modeling School two weeks ago, and this six man tag for tonight. That’s twice!”
“GIVE ME THIS!” Big Rick ripped the microphone away from Brent at ringside. “YOU DON’T TELL US WHAT TO DO!” Rick sneered into the microphone while Little Ricky blocked him off from two pairs of angry individuals. HMMS’s Smith and Pham had the two parts of the steel steps in arms, while from the other direction Spark and Noid wielded the steel chairs from earlier. Big Rick laughed it off, “HAHA! PATHETIC!”
“Actually Rick, I can and I do. Also, I will.”
“So what we are going to do here is turn this six man tag team match into an eight man tag. Rick and Davey La Rue will be joining the match.”
“NO I WON’T! AND NO HE WON’T. I REFUSE TO TEAM WITH THAT FAT ASS AND TRANS-REJECTS.”
“Worth a shot,” Keal laughed, “I guess there is only one other thing to do.”
“NO! WHAT YOU’LL DO IS GIVE ME MY BLITZKRIEG CHAMPIONSHIP AT PRIDE!!!”
“Not happening. The two men in the ring will be fighting for that title. You lost that chance two weeks ago, remember?” Keal stated with authority, which was rare. “However I know that if you aren’t kept busy you’ll just ruin another great match. So…”
“THEN KICK OUT BROCK AND GIVE ME THE TITLE!” Rick fumed, but wasn’t quite straight on the head there which got a chuckle out of Brock in the ring. His back turned but only slightly so he could keep an eye on the field and Ravage whom had backed off into a corner and sat atop.
“So…” Keal continued, ignoring Big Rick, “we’re going to have you busy in a triple threat match. And-” Keal paused as he could tell Rick was ready to yell again, “if you manage to win, you’ll get your Blitzkrieg title shot. Sound fair?”
“WHO AM I FACING?”
“That’s the easy part. Just look behind you.”
Rick twisted around and his eyes bugged out at the four men blocked off by Little Ricky. He was in danger. “FINE!” Rick shouted, “WHICH ONES?”
“Tony Spark, and Chris Noid.” Keal said while he grinned.
“WHAT?” Rick spun around again, “THAT’S UNFAIR!”
“-and Taylor Smith, and Peter Pham.”
“WHAT? THAT’S EVEN MORE UNFAIRER!!!”
“It’ll be a triple threat team match. You Strongberns, versus the Handsome Man Modeling School, versus For The Win. The winner will have a future shot at the Blitzkrieg Championship.”
It was the other four now that looked over at Keal with confusion, who simply responded: “I didn’t stutter my words. Now disperse.” The Strongberns were already well on their way up the side of the ramp doing just that as the other four closed in. Once a good distance away HMMS and FTW locked their sights on one another however- “I said DISPERSE!” - came with the arrival of security and officials that quickly got between the two teams and sent them off on either side of the ramp.
Keal then turned his focus to the ring once more. “As for you two. I’ve talked it over with mister Harmen, and you’ll get your Last Man Standing match. However it will only-“
Ravage had heard enough, jumping down from the corner he sprinted out from the post and drove his shoulder into the back of Newbludd, causing him to drop the title.
“-be on one-”
Ravage followed with a dash into the ropes and came back with a deadly aimed lariat, but Brock ducked under it, stomped down and grabbed Ravage by the waist, popping his hips for all it was worth with a huge release german suplex that sent Ravage tumbling back into the ropes.
Ravage rebounded off the ropes and exploded right back into Brock, knocking him sideways. He then slugged him across the chest and went for the chin.
“And that condition-”
Brock returned the strike with his own as the two slugged it out in front of the cheering fans.
“-Is that the match-”
Ravage with a low knee to the groin caused Newbludd to bend low and get caught with a sweeping uppercut.
“-will be cancelled if you even touch-”
Brock swung back and shifted the jaw of Ravage with a rattling haymaker.
“-each-” Keal had slowed down his explanation, enjoying the show. And Ravage went low with the knee again, kicking the belt with his foot, he then hooked Brock up right over the steel plates.
V FOR VIC-
“-other.” Keal finished up, “Which means if you do that Ravage, the match is off!” Ravage cranked his neck to look up at Keal as he had Brock right where he wanted him. “I’ll leave that decision up to you.”
Keal turned and headed back through the curtains, on past the double-doors and out of sight. Ravage saw no other options and yanked Brock out from under his arms. He then reached down to the mat and picked up the title. Turning to leave the ring, Brock reached out to stop him, by grabbing the end of the belt.
The two men at a standstill, both with a firm grasp on the leather. The two tugged it back and forth, however that soon stopped. Ravage went with the tug, his fingers releasing slightly which Brock caught wind of so loosened his own grip. Ravage snatched the belt and flung it upward and forward, ensuring it smacked Brock across the face just as he dropped to the mat and rolled out.
Ravage made his way up the ramp to the stage, and took a threatening step at Sally which caused her to jump in fright, but Ravage just laughed at her before going through the double doors. In the ring, a recovered Newbludd watched his opponent at Pride go through the double doors, before hoisting the belt high above his head one more time as the camera slowly faded out.
MaX-Files: The King of Hell
The scene shifted to a specially designed set made to look like the bridge of a starship. It was a relatively small bridge, comprised only of a captain’s chair, which was facing backwards, two other chairs flanking it to either side, and behind them were a few panels with blinking lights of various colors. The bridge was filled with an eerie, green light and a thick cloud of fog. It was almost… alien.
The words “The MaX-Files” appear on the screen for a brief moment. They fade away and the captain’s chair swivels around, revealing everyone’s favorite Paranormal Investigator… MAX HOPPER! Complete with his Max Hopper “I Want to Believe” t-shirt and removable tinfoil hat!
“Hey Guys,” Max greeted the viewers, “and welcome to another exciting episode of ‘The MaX-Files!’ It’s been a crazy week. America just elected a new President last week.
“Speaking of which,” Hopper continued, “I have a special guest tonight, one who undoubtedly knows our President Elect very well, or at least will have all of eternity to get to know him, ‘The King of Hell’ Derecho! Oooh spooky!” Max put on his very best Saturday late night monster movie host performance, wiggling his fingers at the camera.
“Charisma” by WASP played as Derecho made his way onto a bridge through an automatic sliding door. The paranormal investigator stood up to greet his guest. After a handshake, in which Derecho immediately wiped on the side of his pants, he invited Derecho to sit in one of the chairs near his own. Once they were both seated, the interrogation got underway.
“Welcome to ‘The MaX-Files,’ Derecho. So tell me, do you know the angry Oompa Loompa infused with Hitler’s DNA named Do’Nald Trump?” The Space Pimp busted out his Klingon accent for that one. “ Is he one of your underlings or are you just watching him, waiting for him to take his spot in the VIP section in Gre’thor (Klingon Hell)? Do you two text? Was it your idea for him to Gorilla Glue™ a tribble to his head? Are you the one who got him into Hydra?” Max had a lot of questions, and he was unleashing them in rapid fire fashion.
Derecho just sat there and stared at Max Hopper, staring a hole through him for those inane questions. Hopper looked up into the icy stare of the NBW World Heavyweight Champion and cleared his throat.
“Hmm, I see,” Max replied. “So, shifting gears, you and I have known one another for years now, nine years, eleven months, and twenty three days, to be precise. I remember when you could barely beat my chief transporter officer. I remember when you rose to prominence and won all the belts in that other place. And now here you are, three time nbW World Champion.
“We’ve never seen eye-to-eye on, well, anything,” the Space Pimp pressed on, “but I think one thing we can both agree on is how excited we both are about your nbW World Title defense coming up at Pride!”
“Why should I be excited? You honestly think that I’m excited about this!?” said Derecho in a rather stern tone that caused Max Hopper to tug at his collar just a bit.
“Let me make something clear to you…. “Old friend” Derecho said with intense sarcasm. “I’m the one who has to waste their time defending my championship against someone like Warren Spade… a man who lost his way… a man who used to be a killing machine, but is now nothing more than just a weak, feeble shell of his former self. You may be excited, but I’m pretty annoyed, to be honest and if you think...”
“HOLD UP!” Max interjected. “What I meant was that I can’t wait to see Warren Spade get his hands on you! After what you did to him at that contract signing on the last Slam, the Monster of the Midsouth must REALLY want to exercise the Klingon rite of revenge against you.”
Derecho gritted his teeth, his expression quickly turning sour.
Max tried to smooth things over a bit. “Oh come on, Guy, lighten up! Look, my chief transporter officer and I put together a little surprise for you!”
The bridge viewscreen showed the Epic II Arena. There, standing amidst the fans, was none other than THE TYKESTA himself! “Alright, ready everybody?” Tyke directed the crowd, and they all held up signs that read, “Make Derecho’s Tights PINK Again!”
In the words of Queen Victoria, Derecho was NOT amused. Rather, he was incensed. He was so incensed, in fact, that he cocked back his hand and SLAPPED Max Hopper right out of his captain’s chair!
Derecho stood from his seat and smiled.
“You think that you can disgrace me like this!? You think that this is 2001 all over again!?” yelled Derecho in a fit of rage.
“I’m not amused by any of this. In fact, this is the most pathetic display I’ve seen in quite some time. Is this what you’re doing to stay relevant? Hosting these stupid little talk shows? You and I were in this business together at the same time, but here we are, fifteen years later. How you stay relevant is hosting cheesy talk shows; however, THIS is how I stayed relevant.”
Derecho unfastened the NBW World Championship and raised it up into the air.
“I’ve gone on and became something you could only dream of while you’ve become… whatever this is, but don’t worry.. I’ll be more than happy to justify your meager existence. I’m going to take this opportunity to unveil to the world just who it was under the cloak last week on Slam.”
The NBW World champion raised his hand out to the stage.
“Life In The Fast Lane” by the Eagles played and out came …
“BIG TALK” JAKE TOCKWELL!!!
The crowd booed the Memphis brawler for his part in the attack on Fenton Woods and Warren Spade during their Pride contract signing. He had interrupted the match between EZ Blaze and Alyx Norwood to get noticed but apparently set his sights just a little bit higher. Tockwell walked onto the stage with a gold-plated microphone of his own and shook the hand of Derecho.
“All right idiots in the back who went to technical college … cut Big Talk’s music now!”
Jake Tockwell turned and faced Max Hopper.
“All right, enough of this sci-fi space case BS … I’m Jake Tockwell and what I say goes! What I say is this: Derecho and I pulled off the damn crime of the century last week and if you want to know why I did what I did, it’s for two reasons. The first being that I needed to get something to get noticed and what better way for Big Talk to do that than to stick it to that big dipshit, Warren Spade and his little butt puppet Fenton Woods! The second reason is a little more personal.”
He raised his hand.
“Warren Spade. A lot of you people may not know this, but in a little place called Prestige Wrestling down in Memphis, Warren Spade and I were both part of that promotion. My daddy Amos Tockwell handed his daddy “Golden Lion” Leon Spade his big ass on a nightly basis! Years later when Warren and I fought as the top dogs, it was more of the same. When that big goof jumped ship to NBW years ago, I ran Prestige for years but after that ship sailed, I got the call to come to NBW. When I heard that big piece of crap wanted to come back to wrestling, I thought what better way for me to stick it to his stupid ass than to crap all over his little contract signing. I came to Derecho with the plan and as they say, the rest is history!”
“I heard that big bastard Spade wanted some payback so he wanted a tag match tonight. I don’t care who Spade has for a partner, but if you want a scoop, here it is, Hopper … Jake Tockwell is my partner for the evening.”
“I guess this would be a great time for me to bring out my next guest,” the paranormal investigator chimed in, motioning to the automatic slide door. “Warren! Oh Warren! Come on out here!”
Derecho and Jake Tockwell shared a surprised look with one another. Surely it couldn’t be him, could it?
Max finished his introduction,“Please welcome the number one contender to the nbW World Title, the Monster of the Midsouth, Warren Spade, everybody!”
“Deliverance” by Corrosion of Conformity played now and storming the set was the Number One Contender! The seven-foot monster was without Fenton Woods due to the heinous attack pulled off by both his new and his old rival but Warren gritted his teeth.
“DERECHO!” screamed Warren. “I don’t have much to say other than two things … one, I’m telling you that tonight, I’m kicking your fucking ass! Then at Pride, I’m kicking your fucking ass and then I’m taking that NBW World title!”
The crowd cheered for that proclamation!
“Two: I have a partner.”
Warren threw down his microphone.
“SPIKE IT UP!”
It was Warren Spade’s long-time NBW rival and the man he buried the hatchet with at Legacy! “The Colossus” Spike Saunders! That was enough for an angry Derecho and Jake Tockwell to flee the set as Warren and Spike approached them. Warren and Spike nodded at each other. Something that was a foreign concept for years to NBW fans. Spike had a microphone.
“Welcome to the big leagues, Jake. The people who are gonna welcome you to NBW in style are going to be your next World Champion Warren Spade and “The Colossus” Spike Saunders … but you can call us The Colossal Monster Connection!”
Wearing a smile of satisfaction, Max Hopper waved to the viewers. "Wow. That went better than Nostradamus predicted! Join us next time, MaX-Files fans!"
The camera opened up to the backstage area where it was none other than the Unstoppables. They had a rough go of things on Halloween when they were left laying at the hands of their opponents for PRIDE for the Dynasty tag team titles, the A-List.
Tyson XL and Vic Gravender meant business tonight and they were storming the halls looking for their prey.
“Price! Principe!” yelled Vic. “Get your fucking asses out here and take your beatings like men … or like bitches. Either way is fine by me!”
Vic kicked in a door backstage and scared the bejeesus out of the two men moving some stage equipment around – it was Mark and Bob from two weeks ago!
“Shit! You scared me!” said Bob with surprise.
“You two seen the A-List around here?” Tyson snarled. “A big pansy-ass tall guy and some masked guy that’s begging for an ass kicking?”
“Um …” Mark sputtered. “There was a guy asking for you two weeks ago but nope, I haven’t seen the A-List.
Tyson didn’t care.
“They’re not here, Vic,” said Tyson. “And I’m not waiting until Pride to kick them around. Let’s go.”
The two kept walking down another hall and were about to kick down some more doors. That’s when a voice familiar to Tyson called to him.
“Tyson! Tyson! I’ve been looking for you!”
The Walking Tank and the World Class Badass both turned around and standing in front of them was the same rocker-looking man in a black leather spiked jacket that ran into Mark and Bob during the Halloween festivities. The man in the coat strolled right up to the Unstoppables. Vic looked at him like he was insane.
“I mean this in the nicest way I can possibly say … but who the fucking fuck are you?” asked Vic.
“Raul Ramirez,” said the rocker with an evil grin. “’Hot Sauce’ Raul Ramirez. You and I go way back, Tyson. To the Night Life and to ACW, remember?”
Tyson did in fact remember and that rush of memories looked rather painful to him. Vic looked at his tag team partner.
“That group of raver fuck-boys you used to run with, Tyson?” asked Vic.
“The very same,” said Tyson with a sigh. “The ones I was the bodyguard for.”
“I knew you’d remember the good times, Tyson. You’ve come back into the business at just the right time and you’re just the right man I wanted to see. See … I know that you’ve done a lot. You guys are bad-ass Dynasty tag team champions. You’ve run this division and as good as those belts are it’s all small potatoes. I’ve been scouting people the last few weeks and when I found out you were back, I knew that shit was kismet, my dude. You and I go way back and with me leading the Unstoppables helm, we’ll rule No Brand Wrestling. What do you say?”
Tyson had his arms on his hips.
“Are you done?”
“That’s all I got, man, yeah. What do you say?” asked Raul.
Tyson gestured down the hall.
“Get the fuck out of here.”
That was Tyson protesting this man approaching him out of the blue. He turned to Vic Gravender.
“Pitch or Hot Sauce or Raul or whoever the hell you are now … you and the Night Life nearly ruined my life in ACW. How many times did you guys jump me back in ACW? How many times did I bail your ass out of trouble only to get stabbed in the back? The Night Life is dead, the Amazing Gabriel is in a dumpster somewhere probably snorting coke and that part of my life is done for good. You can manage anybody else here but if you come near me, I’m putting your head through a locker no questions asked.”
Hearing those words made Raul visibly upset, but he tightened his jacket and tried to shake it off.
“Dude … no need to be hostile. A simple “No” would have sufficed.”
“Look, if the two of you are done strolling down memory fucking lane, Tyson we’ve got some A-List bitches to beat up.”
“Yeah.” Said Tyson with a cold look at his former stable-mate in ACW. “Let’s get out of here.”
The Unstoppables continued their quest to hunt for their opponents at Pride and left Raul all alone in the hallway. He balled up his fist.
“Fat turncoat … like you’re the only person I’ve been talking to.”
Hot Sauce turned and walked the other way.
"The following match is scheduled for one fall, with a fifteen minute time limit." Brent Williams announced from the center of the ring.
'Sill of the Night' by Whitesnake.
A popular song in the 80s but in NBW it meant the arrival of the Royalty himself. Alyx Norwood shoved the curtains aside and stepped out on the stage. One hand behind his back he walked slowly down the ramp, ignoring the fans.
"Introducing first, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, weighing two hundred and thirty-two pounds, he is The Royalty... ALYX NORWOOD!"
Alyx stepped up the steps and on through the ropes, before taking a stance at the far corner. as he awaited his opponent.
'The Angels Among Demons' by Instrumental Core.
The wait was short lived as the ever energetic flyer exploded from the back, taking a kneel at the top of the ramp.
"And his opponent, at one hundred and fifty pounds, he is E.Z. BLAZE!"
E.Z. Blaze raised his arms out and looked high before dashing on down to the ring, diving through the ropes and rolling to the center. His mask centered on the camera before him as he held his arms out once more.
Both men were ordered by official Slim J to their opposite ends of the ring. Ready for a rematch, in which Blaze took the victory the past week. Alyx was fuming about the distractions by Tockwell and requested, nay demanded, this rematch and he was going to get it.
Ding ding ding!
Norwood was already halfway across the ring by the time the bell started out, and BLASTED Blaze across the mask with a running forearm. He followed with several jabs into the gut and aimed at the ribs in order to steer him and knock him into the corner. Norwood followed with a strong boot that caved him inward.
Alyx wasn't wasting time or letting the high flyer take to the air. Trapping his arms on either side with the ropes twisted around them, Norwood had Blaze trapped. Slim J would get involved and warn him off as he stomped down repetitively on Blaze, only to spin out around the official as he tried to free his arms, and run forward with a well-aimed knee to the temple.
Twelve years Alyx had been with the NBW and to this date despite his veteran status he was still in the same position he was back then. Out there to make the other paid talent look good. And he was sick of it.
Another knee trembling to the skull, led to Slim J enforcing his position and getting the Royalty to back off while he untrapped Blaze's arms. Not that it mattered to Alyx who crouched and waited until those arms were free, then sprinted at the corner, shoving Slim to the side before hitting a basement dropkick on the woozy flyer.
Blaze had never truly started this match, and as Norwood pulled him from the corner, hooking his neck it looked a lot like he wouldn't ever be doing so.
TWISTING SUPLEX NECKBREAKER!
That was the reality of the situation. But not the end of his pain. Alyx would walked around the body of Blaze, making sure to take his sweet time with several kicks to the ribs and shoulders before he bent down over his back and grabbed him at the neck, locking in the arm trap crossed-leeged STF he called NORWOOD'S CROWN. Blaze struggled for the ropes but the positioning was near perfect.
It was all over. Blaze's arm flailed and flailed but eventually..
The arena suddenly went dark in one swift motion.
The EpiCenter II lit up over the entrance ramp with the familiar bloodsoaked smile, while Blaze was tapping out from the pressure in the ring. Unfortunately Slim J wasn't in position to see it in that darkness.
"The players have been chosen."
The selection screen appeared once more with the likes of Zatch Rollins, Hopper, Freddie Rich, Xiang, Brock, and the two men in the ring; Norwood and Blaze.
A lone spotlight shined out on the ring, centered over Blaze and Norwood. Norwood released the hold and stomped over to the ropes, yelling out: "CUT THE BULLSHIT!"
"We have chosen our first contestant."
The screen faded away and was replaced by a figure standing in the dark. His creepy mask being all that was made out. It looked to be something ripped from a horror movie or anime thriller.
"It is now your turn, Alyx Norwood."
Alyx called the official over and argued with him about getting somebody to turn the lights back on.
"But first!" The figure continued and motioned to his right, to the left of the stage, "Lucretia, why not tell our contestant what he can win!"
A second spotlight, orange in hue, lit up the far left corner of the stage where another figure stood in the same type of mask. The rest of their form covered in a long odd-fitted jacket.
"Well human slime, today is your lucky day!" The voice was low but definitely womanly. "Should you win the game, you will be able to collect a prize of thirty-three hundred dollars cash prize!"
She tossed her arms off to the side and applauded. Alyx actually seemed intrigued.
"You will also finally meet your aspirations for gold and become a champion." Lucretia motioned back to the screen,
"The game is simple. Alyx Norwood. In two weeks at PRIDE you will put your career on the line-"
That is when Alyx finally had enough and started shouting again.
"-and your life."
"You have two weeks."
The figure on the screen vanished and the EpiCenter II went dark.
Lucretia took a few steps towards the ramp, spun around and pointed at the ring.
"You can always forfeit the game, human slime."
She laughed. It wasn't pleasant.
"We will still get what we want. We always do."
The spotlights clicked off and the arena went fully dark once more before seconds later the lights returned. Lucretia no where to be seen.
Norwood was having none of it and stepped back from the ropes demanding Slim J raise his arm so he can get on with his night. J however informed him that he never saw Blaze tap out.
Talk about being irate! Norwood shoved J into the corner, and stormed across the ring over to Blaze. Raising his boot high he drove it down into the chest of Blaze.
Blaze however reached up at the same time and rolled Norwood up!
As Blaze rolled out of the ring to escape, Norwood threw a fit. Not only had he lost his rematch. Blaze beat him with a single maneuver, all because of that bullshit display. It wasn't exactly impressive of a win, but a win is a win. Blaze made his way up the ramp and on to the back.
Norwood grabbed Slim J at the collar and shoved him into the ropes: "This is your fault!" He screamed into his face, then yanked him forward, leaning down into his ear: "THIS IS YOUR FAULT!" Before shoving him back and rolling out of the ring.
He walked over to Brent and snatched the microphone out of his hand.
"HEY PISS-ANT!" Or maybe it was peasant. Never can tell with his accent and voice. "I know you're still listening and watching. You want my career? Fine. You want my life? Fine. BUT-" Norwood pointed at the now empty left corner of the stage, "when I win, I'm taking your BITCH with me!"
He hurled the microphone backward over his head and continued on around the ring and up the side of the ramp. Two weeks... that's quite the time for his anger to boil up and await an explosion.
The camera goes to the backstage area and after an already busy night tonight, the man known for causing lots of trouble named Jake Tockwell was walking through the backstage area getting ready for his match in a few minutes with Derecho against Spike Saunders and an old rival, the Number One Contender Warren Spade.
“Excuse me? Jake?”
The man who called himself Big Talk looked over to the smaller Adria Hoyt now standing by him wanting an interview.
“I was wondering if I could get a few words with you about your big debut match here in a few minutes?”
“Lemme guess, honey,” said Jake. “You’re a cross-eyed window-licker who needs me to talk a little slower so you can understand exactly why I did what I did to that big JAG, Warren Spade and his little JAG of a manager, Fenton Woods. That about the size of it?”
Adria rolled her eyes.
“I certainly didn’t mean it like that,” said Adria, “but yeah, what exactly is your vendetta against Warren Spade?”
“Hahaha … girl, we have more history than you know,” said Jake. “I used to smack that big goof around in his daddy’s wrestling organization back in Memphis a few years ago. After he left the place to come here to NBW, I bent that place over and it was mine for the taking for years. But eventually, Big Talk got tired of smacking around the same old nimrods. Big Talk likes a big challenge so that’s why I’m here now. I’ve always been better than that big moron like you’ll see tonight and in the future, you’ll see I’m better than this entire roster full of JAGS.”
“Um … that term you keep using … JAG. What does that mean?”
Tockwell looked at Adria with a surprised look on his face.
“A JAG?! Just another guy! That’s what this roster is full of, honey! It’s full of people who have nothing special about them whatsoever! You have giants, you have little flip-shits, you have has-beens, you have also-rans and these never-was idiots running around but what this place needs… is the guy. I am that guy, Adria. That’s why I’m already in the ring with a guy like the NBW World Champion Derecho in his debut match fighting guys like those big JAGS, Spike Saunders and Warren Spade. This place needs a guy like me at the top and …”
Tockwell stopped and looked at something or someone off-camera.
“Oh, speaking of … what do you want, flip-shit?”
Approaching him was a young man that he had attacked post-match last week just to make some noise for his own career. The young and talented EZ Blaze, fresh off a victory, marched right up to the much taller Tockwell.
“You got a staring problem, vanilla midget?” asked Tockwell. “What, you feeling a stirring in your manhood? You want some payback for what I did to you last week, ain’t that right, flip-shit?”
EZ Blaze nodded silently. He wasn’t known for talking, but he was known for great performances in the ring.
“If you’re feeling raw about me making you wear your ass for a hat, kid, then how about you take me on in the ring at Pride? I need to make a little pay-per-view scratch and I could take a few minutes out of my day to beat your vanilla midget ass. What do you say, kid?”
Blaze balled up his fist and nodded in agreement. A last-minute match had been made for Pride.
“Good talk, flip-shit. I’ll see you at …”
EZ Blaze slapped him in the face! The young dynamo had heard enough from Big Talk and slapped him across the face before running away! Tockwell may have had the last word, but EZ Blaze said more with his one gesture that he wasn't taking Tockwell lying down.
“That little shit …”
Tockwell stormed off from the scene holding his jaw. He had a match to prepare for and it looked like his mouth was making him enemies left and right.
The Eyes Don't Lie... but Parents Do!
A little boy is testing the patience of his father while on the bus and the latest trick of his is to cross his eyes.
"Doing that will make you cross-eyed."
To his immediate left, our new guardian angel, bleach blonde hair and red headband in tow...
"Hey buddy, it is rude to cross your eyes," Chris started, getting the kid's attention and siding with the father.
"But...you won't go cross-eyed. Even the muscles that you used to do that will eventually get tired and return the eye to its original position."
Pulling off the mean feat of crossing his eyes, our expert in childcare signed off: "My name's Chris Smith and I'm keeping it real...for the kids."
Earlier tonight, this blockbuster tag team match that featured the NBW World champin and his Number One Contender on opposite sides was made. Warren Spade wanted payback for his manager, Fenton Woods, and didn’t want to wait for Pride. Warren Spade enlisted his old rival Spike Saunders for the evening and now the two giants were set to take on Derecho and the masked man that attacked him – the man that had been a nuisance for several NBW stars for weeks “Big Talk” Jake Tockwell!
“Charisma” by WASP
The lights in the arena pulsed as Derecho stood there on the top of the entrance ramp with his back to the ring. Derecho turned around to display the NBW World Heavyweight Championship. Derecho began his descent to the ring looking rather confident. He stopped at the bottom of the entrance ramp and walked around ringside where he walked up the steps. Derecho stepped into the ring and hoisted the championship into the air to a chorus of boos from the crowd.
Derecho handed the world title to the referee who held it high into the air before passing it off to ringside. He waited for his tag team partner for the evening. Night.
The Eagles’s hit single “Life In The Fast Lane” played and the arena soon became washed in a sea of gold! The theme played and out came Derecho’s co-conspirator in attacking both Warren Spade and Fenton Woods during their Pride contract signing two weeks ago. Decorated in black and gold boas, the six-foot five and two-hundred fifty-six pound loudmouth from Memphis basked in the all the attention he was receiving. Interrupting matches was one thing – attacking his old rival and the Number One Contender for Derecho’s championship was a whole other story.
“Make way! Big Talk coming through!” yelled Tockwell.
The man known as Big Talk hit the ring and threw off his boas before handing them to the official for the match, Simon Brack.
“If I catch a single feather out of place, I’m gonna knock your chiclets down your through, you little bastard!”
Brack raised his eyebrows and Tockwell raised his fists on the second turnbuckle to bask in the jeers of the crowd. From what people could tell in his brief stay in No Brand Wrestling so far he craved attention more than anything. He attributed his actions to making as much noise as possible and getting noticed. There were fewer things somebody could do to get noticed than to be on the bad side of two of NBW’s biggest and baddest men not named the Unstoppables. Tockwell and Derecho exchanged smirks before they waited for their opponents.
That music meant it was the first of their two massive opponents for the evening and it appeared the A-List were looking forward to this match despite having a pretty big size handicap against their opponents.
“Introducing first from Beverly Hills, California, standing at seven foot three and three hundred thirty-seven pounds... he is the Colossus, SPIKE SAUNDERS!”
Immediately the crowd rose to their feet and cheered as the seven foot three Colossus walked out through the double doors and made his way down the ramp while Brent Williams introduced Saunders. He wasted little time with the fans this time and simply stepped down to the ring. He stopped in front of the ring and waited for his partner.
The crowd was baited with anticipation and when words appeared on the EpiCenter they went crazy.
Warren Spade was here!
“Deliverance” by Corrosion of Conformity played and The Monster of the Mid-South was given a tremendous show of respect from the fans that wanted to see him succeed in taking the title away from the heinous Derecho. Normally he would be all fun and games with Fenton Woods but because his manager was not here tonight on account of the NBW World champion, it was open season on the ring! Warren Spade made a beeline right for the ring and for the jugulars of both his old rival from Memphis Jake Tockwell and the man he would meet at Pride for his first one-on-one NBW World title shot!
Spike Saunders and Warren Spade both stepped onto the apron and over the ropes when Jake Tockwell and Derecho both decided to go on the offensive to start this blockbuster tag team match. Jake went after Spike and Derecho went after Warren with fists but both giants shoved them both back and then the entered the ring. Tockwell grinned at Spike and wanted to fight but the second that the Colossus approached the Memphis brawler, he quickly jumped out of the ring and left Derecho alone with Warren Spade.
The King of Hell attacked Warren Spade again and delivered punches to the face of the seven-foot Monster of the Mid-South. He tried to fight with him again and backed him into the corner with more kicks and punches but Warren blocked one with a solid hand and then delivered a single head butt that put Derecho right on his back!
Tockwell and Saunders brawled on the outside and despite Big Talk giving up nearly a foot to the Colossus, he was throwing blows with the giant on the floor and going after his knee. It seemed he knew his way around fighting a giant. Tockwell grabbed Spike’s arm and tried to lead the massive Colossus to the guard rail when Spike reversed that and sent Tockwell flying right into the ring post!
Inside the ring Derecho was picked up by Warren Spade and held in his arms like he was set up for the fall away slam position. Instead of throwing him halfway across the ring like he could have, Spike Saunders entered the ring and he ran right for him, crushing Derecho with a running body attack while Spade still held onto him! The NBW World champion got crushed between the two seven footers and now Spike and Warren stalked the ring in total domination for the moment.
“I’m taking your goddamn head off, Derecho,” yelled Warren.
The One-Man Stampede noticed Derecho crawling to his corner where Jake Tockwell was still reeling. Derecho tagged out to Jake while he did not suspect it and rolled to the floor. When Big Talk realized what was happening, he was suddenly wishing he had no part in Derecho’s attack. Warren manhandled his old Memphis rival by grabbing his head and throwing him right into the ring.
The Monster of the Mid-South forced Jake Tockwell up to his feet, but he was caught by surprise with an eye rake out of sheer desperation! Simon Brack warned Jake about his actions but the newcomer to NBW didn’t seem to care for rules or tradition.
“I’m gonna enjoy kicking your big ass around again, you giant herp-de-derp!!!”
Jake went right at the knee of the One-Man Stampede with two kicks and then slapped a tight head lock on his head to try and get control of the monster. The Monster of the Mid-South then walked back to the ropes and shot Big Talk across the ring. He swung with a big right hand that Jake had ducked.
The second time he missed a wild back elbow.
Jake Tockwell was not ready for the third.
DROPKICK FROM WARREN SPADE!!!
The athletic giant caught his old rival by surprise with a drop kick that had close to three-hundred and fifty pounds of force behind it! Warren picked up Jake Tockwell by the head and he threw him right into the corner of the Colossal Monster Connection! Spike made the tag and the two men ganged up on the loud mouth from Memphis. They both cracked him in the head at the same time with stereo head butts and he dropped hard.
Derecho had a opening and he tried to sneak in to catch one or both of the monsters but they saw him coming and the NBW World Champion got a double elbow to the face for his trouble. Warren then headed off the ropes and he dropped a massive elbow drop right into his chest! Now their focus was back on Jake Tockwell and they were both dead set on punishing him as well. Spike held Jake by the nape of his neck and gave Warren a free shot. Warren hit the ropes and the two giants sandwiched Jake with clotheslines to the front and back! Tockwell collapsed and finally that gave Spike the legal man a chance to go for a pin in the match.
Derecho was hurt from the elbow drop but he was still weary enough to stop Spike with an elbow before he returned to his corner. The two long time rivals locked eyes before Derecho returned to his corner and Spike returned to the task of punishing the loud mouthed NBW newcomer. Spike had a grin on his face and he picked up Tockwell by the back of the head again.
“Ow! Damn it! Let me go, you damn moron!” yelled Tockwell.
Three brutal forehand chops from the giant Saunders caved in the chiseled chest of Jake Tockwell! He was reeling in pain but Spike didn’t care about his well being. He picked him up in a suplex and then held him up for several seconds before he finally crashed down with a big vertical suplex! That was not all from Spike as he sat up and quickly delivered a very punishing leg drop to the chest of the Memphis brawler! Spike covered right after that and tried getting the win!
And much to Spike’s surprise, Jake Tockwell had just kicked out! Warren sat in the corner watching the punishment being delivered and he wanted a tag but Spike balled up a fist first. He had a grin on his face and the crowd buzzed because they knew that deadly Boom Headshot! was coming up next. Big Talk was all punch drunk from the beating he had taken from the Colossal Monster Connection and he was in danger of getting laid out, but Derecho may have saved his team when he snuck into the ring and attacked the Colossus’s knee.
“Get out of the ring!” yelled Brack.
The referee ordered the NBW World champion to leave and Derecho obliged but now Jake Tockwell finally had the opening he needed. He used a big boot and normally it would be enough to take out people in one shot, but the Colossus wasn’t just anybody. Still, the shot caught him in the face and then gave Jake Tockwell an opening to use a big drop kick of his own that finally leveled Saunders! After he used the running drop kick he sat up and shot a look right at Warren.
“Anything you can do, I can do better, you big dipshit!” yelled Tockwell.
Spike was starting to get up again but Jake hit the ropes and slapped his knee before he delivered a shot that was stiff enough to even put the Colossus down on his back.
Big Talk’s real cute name for a running knee lift he had perfected in his decade-plus in the business was enough to get Saunders down for the count. Big Talk went for a cover on the former NBW World champ and what a victory this would be for his debut if he could pin the Colossus!
Spike Saunders had powered out from the pin attempt by Tockwell but the Memphis brawler was now in control of things. When Spike tried to get up, Jake hit the ropes and landed a very painful stomp right to the back of Spike’s head. The Colossus was feeling the shot and Jake was now taking his sweet time basking in the moment of having NBW’s largest athlete at his mercy.
“See this! I told you I was going to come in here and make noise!” yelled Tockwell.
He punctuated it with more stomping to keep the Colossus incapacitated. Spike was against the ropes in the corner with Derecho awaiting a tag. Jake made the tag and left his boot grind right into Saunders’s throat and that gave the NBW World champion an opening to dish out some damage. Derecho climbed the second rope and took flight as Saunders tried to stand. He caught the big Colossus with a tornado swinging DDT out of the corner! Spike hit the mat and now Derecho was on his feet shooting Warren a cold stare.
“I’m gonna HURT your sorry ass!” yelled Warren.
The threat didn’t stop Derecho from turning over to wait on Spike. The second that the Colossus was starting to show signs of life, Derecho quickly turned that out with his signature shining wizard kick! Spike went down and now after a couple of big moves on the skull, Derecho went for what seemed like an easy win.
And another kick-out from the Colossus had the crowd cheering!
Derecho was infuriated with the official’s count and gave him a look that suggested he would be in physical danger. Derecho kicked Saunders in the head three different times to make sure that the Colossus was still reeling before he made the tag to Big Talk. Jake Tockwell climbed up and on the second rope and he kissed his fist prior to leaping off and landing a diving fist drop to the head of Saunders!
“Big Fist from Big Talk! Count it ref!” screamed Tockwell.
Tockwell laid all his weight on the shoulders of the Colossus.
Jake Tockwell was so close to picking up the victory but unfortunately for him it was not to be. He was getting annoyed with the toughness on display from NBW’s most beloved veteran wrestler. The Talk of the Town stomped down on Spike’s head again and then kissed his fist while Saunders was trying to get back on his knees.
TALK TO THE HAND~!!!
A swift discus punch stunned Saunders! He still did not go down but while he was on his knee Jake delivered a short DDT right after the discus punch and then covered Saunders for a second time.
Warren had seen enough on the sidelines and saved his partner from what looked like defeat. The One-Man Stampede grabbed Jake’s ankle and dragged him off before he picked him up and punched him right in the gut. Warren was clearly getting impatient watching Derecho and Tockwell pick apart the Colossus and he wanted revenge for injuring his manager. Reluctantly the One-Man Stampede returned to his corner and extended his hand right away while Saunders had a chance to tag. Saunders started to pick up the pace and crawl to the corner but Jake had got to Derecho.
STRAIGHT LINE STRIKE~!
Derecho caught Saunders in the back of the head with a springboard clothesline and that might had been the end of the Colossus’s triumphant comeback in the match! Derecho used a few seconds to slowly roll him on his back before he tried to pin him.
Warren was almost halfway over the ropes but somehow someway Spike Saunders had kicked out! Derecho lashed out at Simon Brack and came dangerously close to getting himself disqualified, but he brushed by him and made a rather harsh tag to Jake Tockwell. Big Talk climbed back into the ring and threw off his elbow pad.
“You know this move, don’t you, Spade?” asked Tockwell.
He was calling for a big lariat that the Tockwell family had perfected over their years of running the Memphis scene. He had every intent of turning Spike’s lights out with his lariat called the Gift of Gab …
Spike rose up and grabbed Tockwell by the throat then slammed him down with a massive chokeslam out of desperation! Spike now hit the ropes and then crawled toward the corner while Tockwell was down. Derecho jumped inside the ring and then took Tockwell by the arm to lead him back to the corner. He was the legal man.
The problem was now so was the Number One Contender!
The challenger and champion were the legal men since the contest started and Warren bulldozed right into Derecho with a running shoulder block! Warren picked Derecho up by his neck with his left hand and then delivered a vicious punch with his right that sent Derecho packing. The NBW World champion was crushed in one corner from a big running splash before Warren picked him up and he was in the other corner. He was also crushed there with a second splash before Spade grabbed his waist.
GUTWRENCH TOSS OUT OF THE CORNER!
Derecho was being manhandled by the Number One Contender to the NBW World championship and now Spade had him locked in his sights. He dragged his foot across the ground and pointed right at Derecho.
“STAMPEDE!” Clap Clap. “STAMPEDE!” Clap Clap. “STAMPEDE!” Clap Clap. “STAMPEDE!” Clap Clap. “STAMPEDE!”Clap Clap. “STAMPEDE!” Clap Clap. “STAMPEDE!” Clap Clap. “STAMPEDE!” Clap Clap.
Warren ran off the ropes just as Derecho tried to stand. He tried to break the champion in half with the Trample, but Derecho clipped the leg with a drop kick to save himself from the spear! Derecho breathed a big sigh of relief for a moment before he waited for Spade to rise. He tried to connect with the same shining wizard that he knocked Spike with when Warren pushed him away. Derecho went into the ropes …
WEST MEMPHIS TWISTER~!!!
Right in the center of the ring Warren had spiked Derecho with a black hole slam and then made the cover! Could he pin the champion before Pride?
Knee drop by Jake Tockwell!
Jake saved his partner and tried attacking Warren Spade with a series of strikes to the side of his head. Warren pushed him aside and dropped him with a clothesline then turned his attention back on Derecho. Derecho had snuck out of the ring and tried to attack Warren again by going for his knee. Derecho tried to turn him around. Could he hit the Forever Reminder?
Before he could even try, Warren surged with fight in him and he charged him into the corner! He continued to attack Derecho with knee after knee in the corner! Warren was seeing red and Simon Brack tried to get in the middle.
“Get off me!” yelled Spade.
He threw more knees into the chest of Derecho and roared angrily. He was incensed after Derecho powerbombed his manager!
“Get out of the corner, Spade! No …”
RIGHT HAND TO SIMON BRACK!!!
Warren straight up punched the official out of nothing more than instinct trying to get at Derecho! The NBW World champion rolled out of the ring but by the time Warren realized what he had done …
The crowd jeered the decision, but this was obviously going to be a disqualification! Warren saw red and it just cost he and Spike Saunders the match!
“The winners of this bout by a disqualification … “Big Talk” Jake Tockwell and the NBW World champion … Derecho!!!”
Spike joined his former rival Warren Spade inside the ring and talked to him, but Warren wasn’t hearing it. Jake was on the outside with Derecho when the official announcement was made … Derecho took his championship and didn’t bother sticking around after barely escaping Warren Spade’s wrath, but Jake Tockwell grinned.
“I WON! I WON! I WON MY DEBUT! I TOLD YOU I WAS BETTER THAN YOUR BIG ASS!”
Tockwell pointed and laughed at Warren Spade’s anger getting the best of him and raised his hand. Technically he was successful in his debut, but Warren now stepped out of the ring and chased after he and Derecho!
Just days before Derecho and Warren Spade were set to do battle over the NBW World championship, Derecho may have exploited a weakness in what seemed like an indestructible armor of the One-Man Stampede. Could that be the key to his victory or would Warren Spade get revenge and finally win his first major title in NBW?
Evening the Score.
Adria Hoyt was in the back of A-List's limousine for this special pre-Pride edition of Slam and she looked rather comfortable being sandwiched, cough, between El Principe and Victor Ingram Price in the back of the stretch vehicle.
Price poured her and himself a glass of champagne, presumably the good stuff, and offered Principe a tipple. The luchadore declined and muttered something in Spanish that suggested he wasn't happy with Ingram's alcohol intake at work: "It's just one. Cheers, Adria."
The glassed ching-chinged together, and then the glass on the window shattered! Very careless of these guys not to get those bullet-proof ones installed. Adria squealed and asked to leave immediately, but Victor told her to stay put.
Tyson XL with a bat!
The Law were on the scene. Surprise!
But, even they backed off and held their hands up. They were clearly waiting for back-up. In the meantime, Brady and Strass circled. The latter spoke: "Tyson, put the bat down..."
SWING as soon as Tyson felt Strauss encroach!
Then, The Players attacked The Law from behind and started flailing away at Brady and Strauss. This allowed Tyson to keep smashing away at the limo's windows when VIP shouted back: "You idiot, we've got Adria in here. Do you want her to get hurt?"
That made Tyson think for a second: "Let her out then," before going back to attacking their expensive vehicle.
Other Law enforcers were on the scene to pull Chameleon and Sanders off Brady and Strauss, cuffing The Players!
They ushered the team towards the vehicle and 'arrested' them for assaulting police officers!
Brady and Strauss stood up, pissed off. Brady: "Where were you?"
He then pointed at Tyson. Everyone turned their attention to Tyson and he did a 360 to 'warn' them he still had the bat.
Strauss nudged Brady: "Let me do the talking. Tyson, listen."
XL: "Listen? You didn't wanna do that last week. No, batons, fists, gas, chairs...and now you wanna talk? No, I don't think so."
The Law and their back-up team of three guys, the same ones as last week, held their hands up not trying to disturb Tyson XL.
Adria left the limo! Tyson looked at her, but Price's request of 'DRIVE' was acknowledged and A-List got away scot-free.
Tyson asked Hoyt if she was okay and when he turned round, The Law was on his doorstep.
Out of shot: "Hey Ty," the limping VIC GRAVENDER.
"Need some help?"
XL nodded and The Unstoppables stood tall. The Law started to back off, but Tyson XL and Gravender didn't stop coming forwards, tanks, and forced the officers to run. Just as they approached the vehicle...
Chameleon and Sanders kicked the back door open. Cuffs on, but they were out of the vehicle.
Strauss smirked: "Fellas..."
Chameleon kicked out at one officer, and then caught another low.
The third man: "Sorry, guys," he said, sprinting away.
Brady and Strauss had been left ALONE with The Unstoppables and The Players!
A-List wouldn't get their comeuppance. They should come Pride. But, for now...
Gravender stuck the head on Strauss and the officer fell in one swoop, wondering what had hit him. XL avoided a swing by Brady, met the 6'9 skyscraper with a beautiful shot to the ribs and a RUNNING SPEAR!!!
They searched the fallen police officers and after a spot of scrambling about, found one each to uncuff Chameleon and Sanders. "There you go, kids," Gravender said, patting Chameleon on the back.
There was a nod and show of respect as the two teams stared down at Brady and Strauss.
They'd even scored with The Law.
Would The Unstoppables atone for A-List's assault a fortnight ago?
Would A-List pull out an A+ performance and dislodge the immovable objects?
You'll see all of them at Pride.
Trent McKnight was standing in a backstage corridor in front of the referees’ quarters, microphone in hand and ready for interviewing action! The light was an eerie green. It was almost… alien.
“Good evening, Knight Watchers! Trent McKnight here, and to-Knight I will be joined by one of the semi-finalists in the Keystone Championship Top Contenders Tournament… A real fan favorite here in nbW, hall of famer and paranormal investigator extraordinaire, ‘The Space Pimp’ Max Hopper!” The crowd inside the Epic II roared their approval.
With the stride of a warrior, Max Hopper walked up next to him, wielding a bat’leth. This of course confused Trent and made him more uncomfortable than the eerie green light already had him.
“So, uh, Max,” Trent began, loosening his tie a bit, “this has been quite the year for you. First you were inducted to the Hall of Fame, then you finally beat your long time rival Travis Martinez at Legacy, and now you’ve made it to the semi-finals of a very important tournament at Pride! I’m sorry, but I have to ask. What’s that for?” Trent asked, pointing at the Klingon blade. He was too distracted to proceed normally and had to get that question out of the way first.
“You mean B’Elanna here? Well, it’s like you said,” the battle-ready Space Pimp answered, “I have a very important tournament semi-final coming up… The Bat’Leth Tournament on Qo’Nos! My blade will taste the blood of victory and I will defeat every last petaQ to become the Champion Standing!”
Slightly afraid for his life, Trent decided to correct Max Hopper. “But this isn’t a bat… leth tournament. It’s the Keystone Championship Top Contenders Tournament. You know, to crown a new number one contender to the nbW Keystone Championship?”
“But we’re still using bat’leths, aren’t we?” the paranormal investigator asked for clarification.
“Um, no. You see, it’s just a regular wrestling match. You know, inside the ring and without any weapons, especially weapons as horrifying and capable of mortally maiming someone as THAT,” explained Trent, who was once again pointing at the Max Hopper’s bat’leth. He simply could not take his attention off the thing.
Max just scratched his head in response. The gears in his head were turning… Probably. It was likely that there were catching quite often. Anyway, he scratched his head, shrugged his shoulders, and replied, “If you say so. It still doesn’t sound right, but I’ll take your word for it, guy. I’m still going to sing my song, though.”
“No, no, please don’t,” Trent pleaded, but it was too late, Max had already started belting out the words of the Klingon “Warrior’s Anthem” at the top of his lungs.
♫”Qoy qeylIs puqlod.
Qoy puqbe’ pu’.
yoHbogh matlhbogh je SuvwI’
Say’ moHchu’ may’ ‘Iw.”♫
A crowd of Star Trek fans had gathered around to join in the singing. This included several of the nbW referees.
♫maSuv manong 'ej maHoHchu'.
nI'be' yInmaj 'ach wovqu'.
batlh maHeghbej 'ej yo' qIjDaq vavpu'ma' DImuv.
pa' reH maSuvtaHqu'.
mamevQo'. maSuvtaH. Ma'ov.♫
While everyone was busy singing, Max worked his way through the crowd, singing along with them and slapping various people on the back. Eventually, he found his way to the fringe of the chorus and slipped inside the referees’ quarters. He rushed to scan the room. His face lit up when he found what he was looking for…
A digital watch. Not a very expensive one, either. In fact, it looked quite cheap, like it had been on clearance at WalMart. What he wanted with this watch, we may never know, but he picked it up and started to fiddle with it all the same, listening intently to the singing which continued from outside the room.
♫Qoy qeylIs puqlod.
Qoy puqbe’ pu’.
yoHbogh matlhbogh je SuvwI’
Say’ moHchu’ may’ ‘Iw.
maSuv manong 'ej maHoHchu'.
nI'be' yInmaj 'ach wovqu'.♫
Max fumbled with the watch, frantically pushing its buttons.
“Qapla’! That should do it!” Finally finished with his covert chore, the paranormal investigator collected his bat’leth and nonchalantly strolled back into the corridor, rejoining Trent McKnight in the middle of the serenading Trekkies.
♫”batlh maHeghbej 'ej yo' qIjDaq vavpu'ma' DImuv.
pa' reH maSuvtaHqu'.
mamevQo'. maSuvtaH. ma'ov.”♫
“Eh, whatever,” the Space Pimp shrugged, “It’s really no big deal. Look, it’s been great, guy, but I gotta jet! Planets to be, species to see!” Max Hopper excused himself and rushed down the corridor, away from the scene of the crime.
“What? Wait! I didn’t get to ask you… Why is the Keystone Title so important to you? What are your thoughts going into the main event tonight against JAC? Max!” Trent cried out, chasing after him like a lawyer in a TV sitcom.
Let's Do it.
Inside The Rich Family locker room, Todd, Declan and Donny sat together, the middle child's arms around the former and latter, gearing up for what could prove to be a superb six-man affair.
Colonel Freddie Rich, this generation's elder statesman, rubbed his hands: "Guys, this is it. Last week, two matches and two defeats. I'm PISSED..."
Declan was about to answer his big brother, but Freddie's outstretched hand warned him he wasn't finished: "...But, it's gone. Tonight, you all have a chance to make amends. You know the game plan, you've worked hard. You know what you've got to do. For fuck's sake, just go out and do it."
Freddie held his hands out as if he had nothing more to offer them and perhaps, he didn't. It was up to his trusted cousin and younger brothers to stand on their own feet. They stood up, arms around each other and convened with Freddie in a huddle. 'The First' put his hand on top of theirs: "Boys, let's do this for Frank and Terry Rich, our dads and uncles, let's make them proud. Let's do this for me, your big brother, who loves you and knows you can do this. Let's do it for each other. Let's do it for ourselves. Make everyone proud and have a night to remember..."
Donny's eyes opened wide: "In or out of the ring?"
For once, Freddie wasn't cross: "BOTH! But, let's do it in the ring first."
They separated, but were definitely a collective unit. In terms of age and seniority, they filed out behind their leader, 'The First' Freddie Rich with Donny Rich bringing up the rear.
It was now personal to The Rich Family as they waged war on Ali Amore and The Entertainers.
It wasn't just the Keystone title and revenge they were gunning for.
Their reputation and family name was at stake as well.
No fuss nor introductions as we came back from a commercial break and all six participants were gathered together for what could be a heck of a battle. Notably, Freddie Rich, who'd started off BOTH conflicts, was on the outside to offer guidance. He still wasn't cleared to compete and hadn't wrestled Legacy, but we're led to believe he'll be ready in time for nbW returning to pay-per-view in a fortnight's time in the form of Pride. Make sure you tune in.
There was a discussion on the left-hand side of the squared circle about who'd run the first leg for The Rich Family. The de facto leader, Freddie Rich, intervened and nominated Declan, who was mainly squabbling with the hapless Donny for the spot. The more mature and composed Todd wasn't fussed. No doubt, Freddie's nomination would instil confidence in the impressionable and talented Declan. Meanwhile, Donny kicked the bottom rope in anger and was ordered to get out by his big brother, who would still comfortably kick Donny's ass, hurt ribs or not.
Amore was quickly eliminated from the opponents' equation as Alfie held the ropes open for him; I imagine that was pre-determined in the dressing room, especially with Ali having to face the 'injured' Freddie in a Keystone title defence in a fortnight on pay-per-view. What hadn't been decided was which Entertainer would start us off. They went back and forth until Darren won the day.
Ding, ding, ding. Darren reached out for a hand. A cautious Declan eventually engaged, the two guys coming together (ew, gross) in a game of Roman Knucklelock. Darren overpowered his younger opponent, though both combatants are in their early twenties, and dragged Dec into The Entertainers' (and Ali's) corner, flipping him into there. Thereafter, Declan rocked Darren with a couple of Chops. As a result, the Rich Family member came out of the corner, nursing his chest.
A well-timed punt by Best sent Declan towards the ropes this time. He whipped Dec into the ropes at the bottom of the battleground and this time, Declan outthought his fellow technician, whose Dropkick went seriously awry as Dec hung onto the ropes rather than rebounding into Best's grateful lair.
An appreciative Freddie clapped and commended his sibling on a smart move, revelling in seeing Darren hold his head upon landing on it. Declan didn't waste time, kicking Darren there and then dragging him up, only to bring him back down to earth with a...
Darren's still in this. Declan slowed things down by slapping on a Reverse Chinlock. Urged by Freddie not to overstay his welcome, Declan reacted accordingly, not neglecting to invite Darren over to their corner and tagging in Todd. As Dec stepped between the ropes, a high-five from Freddie awaited as big brother offered further words of advice not privy to us peasants.
Todd took over in the spotlight and let Darren have it with a pair of punches to the side of the head. He didn't remedy the problem, a Headbutt coming next and a closed fist, which warranted a deserved warning from our official. The last blow forced Best to hold his head and slouch down to deal with the dull pain enveloping his noggin.
Out of nowhere, Donny had taken it upon himself to interject. Todd was taken aback and his brothers stared at him in astonishment. Donny was oblivious, partly because he came in like a house on fire, unleashing a few punches of his own on a defenceless Darren. This is where the young pup could play his part.
Donny whipped Darren into his corner. When Best came out, clutching his back, Donny showed shades of his cousin Todd, waylaying The Entertainer with a cracking High Knee and attaining a two for his pinfall attempt.
Despite being instructed to keep it simple by Freddie from outside, Donny did the opposite and went outside. Todd had to budge up, but it was worth it and the youngest Rich child surprised everyone with a sensational Springboard Bionic Elbow...
Or, at least that was the plan.
Best had it scouted and stopped him short with a blow to the mid-section, forcing Donny to do a front flip and that brought a few chuckles from fans.
The race was on to get to their respective corners. Donny took too long to recover. By the time, he tagged Declan back in...
Superkick to Declan!
Does he ever do anything else? That, and the European Uppercut, are over like motherfuckers, though I've always wondered how motherfuckers get over. Probably as heels?
Two...Todd cut the cover off.
Alfie responded by collaring the intruder. What was I saying?
I PITY THA FOOL!
I PITY THA FOOL!
SUPERKICK puts Todd over the top rope! Declan was his to toy with. And he took advantage, whipping Frank Rich's middle child into the ropes and connecting with a Corkscrew Elbow (Wheel of Fortune.)
Todd got an enormous shock when he was revisited by Alfie, who introduced himself with a Diving Apron Forearm Smash! Button won't be happy I'm not putting his moves over with their names.
As he jumped back onto the apron, Declan tried to take the wind out of Button's sails, only to get hung out to dry on the top rope on the left-hand side of the ring. This was all done in full view of a foaming Freddie on the far side.
The cocky Cockney took the Michael further by sliding underneath the bottom rope, talking about entering with style. It was needless. From there, he picked the helpless Declan up and hung him out again from The Entertainers' half of the ring with a Hair-Pull Hangman, he prefers to call 'Cliffhanger.'
Alfie amused the crowd by pointing at Freddie on the outside and declaring: "Big Brother, you've been evicted." Fred didn't join in on the joke. Scampering away, Alfie slide back in again to avoid Freddie's rage. Declan got revenge on his sibling's behalf and punished the Englishman's over exuberance with a Double Axe to the back. A regular Suplex planted the cheeky chap. Freddie took great delight in shouting 'I PITY THA FOOL' through the ropes. Nobody laughed, besides his brothers and cousin!
Dec tagged Donny in. The youngest member of the match announced himself again with a High Angle Belly-to-Belly that impressed everyone, garnering a two-count in the process.
An Elevated Boston Crab was next on the cards. No, no, Alfie wouldn't turn and instead turned Donny inside out with a Headscissors. Freddie cursed that, moments after complimenting the baby of the family.
The referee got to 4. Donny answered it first, amazingly, and whipped Alfie into the opposing set of ropes to the east. Alfie ducked underneath his lame Lariat and before you could say 'Crazy Horses.' Donny was the victim of a lovely Leaping Poisoned Frankensteiner.
Another count ensued. Alfie, crawling on his knees, tagged out to...
The Entertainers had done a fine job of protecting their prized partner, the only one not to taste action.
Flying Forearm to the helpless Donny!
Todd wanted to lend his cousin a hand...
Instead, he received a Bodyslam for sticking his beak in. Declan was about to, but Freddie ordered him to stay put and stared straight at Ali, distracting the Colombian momentarily. Reverting his focus back to the bout, Amore kicked Todd, who rolled out to the apron. With the spare part no longer a fixture, Ali turned around...
Low Blow by Donny!
The referee didn't see it as he made sure Todd was completely outside.
Donny then tossed the former World champion out over the top, quite a coup if this had been 25 to Life. The official attempted to remonstrate with a dismissive Donny, who took no notice. Amore is out by Freddie, who had thought about acting on impulse. He refrained and didn't have to...
Beautiful Baseball Slide by Donny!
Donny went around and gave his relatives high-fives. He was chuffed with himself and, in fairness, they were happy with him at this minute in time.
As Ali stopped the referee's count at 6...
Slingshot Plancha by the baby of the family! Pumped, Donny stood up and pointed: "What about your champion now?" Really stoked, he ran to hug Freddie, who was less eager to celebrate with the match in progress, but he took the opportunity to whisper something in his sibling's ear during their brotherly bearhug.
Donny broke the count by rolling in out, pretending he couldn't hear the man in the middle. He turned the referee around, claiming he couldn't hear as well on that side and leaned in...
Freddie slammed Amore on the floor - HARD.
Alfie was straight in to tell the ref, who was also getting it from Donny, complaining the Cockney had no business being there as he wasn't the legal man. Freddie headed back to his spot all along, but not before rolling Ali back onto the apron for his relatives to pick at the prone carcass.
Donny tagged Todd, who reintroduced Amore with a fabulous Slingshot Suplex and a 2.5 pinfall.
"WILL SOMEONE WORK THE FUCKING ARM?"
Freddie's words rang in everyone's ears, especially Todd's, who went to work right away by applying an Armbar. His reward? A facetious THANK YOU.
Todd stood up, punching Amore's arm repeatedly. A Scoop Slam and a Shoulderbreaker satisfied Freddie's thirst and put money in the bank for the here and now, ahead of our forthcoming pay-per-view. Freddie applauded, sans sarcasm on this occasion.
Declan came in, Todd's work done for now, and Dec had a point to prove to Darren on the far aside, advising the Best Man to watch what was about to take place. Why? He took a leaf out of the New York native's book with a Hammerlock Belly-to-Belly Suplex and his big brother couldn't have been prouder of Dec, except if he'd pinned Ali with it.
Instead, he applied a Figure Four Armlock/Cross Armbreaker and pulled. Declan was enjoying himself and his family was enjoying him do what he did. For Ali, this would bring back memories of Benjamin Jones at Legacy.
Fortunately for Amore, he reached the ropes. While the referee made Dec take a step back, Freddie unloaded with a live round and royally pissed Best and Button off.
Once the commotion died down, the South American found himself in an Inverted Suplex Slam - or did he? No, he flipped over Declan and planted the poor pup with an Inverted DDT of his own. Freddie wasn't pleased, but rather than get frustrated, he encouraged Declan instead while the audience predictably opted to back Amore.
Declan crawled. The Superstar of Bogota was slightly behind him. Not looking where he was, Declan decided to tag Donny in rather than Todd and when Donny came in, he wasn't urgent enough to deny Ali tagging Alfie in, who came roaring out of the blocks with two European Uppercuts. When Todd came in, Alfie gave him a Hiptoss and performed a Standing Shooting Star Press.
It was all going on. Darren came in to deny Declan getting at Alfie...swivelling the youngster around and dropping him with a DDT.
Rather foolishly, Donny seemed to wander into a Hangman's Neckbreaker. Darren was doling ass-kickings out, free of charge.
A recovering Amore wanted in on the action and also came in to pick Donny up while The Entertainers took care of Todd and Declan. In fact, Ali threw Donny through the ropes and chased after the rookie.
Darren Clotheslined Declan over the top rope while Alfie did the same to Todd on the far side. Skinning the cat to come back in, just to show off and bow, Button lapped up the fans' applause. After that, not knowing what was going on around him, he decided to blast Todd with JUMPING THE SHARK! (Suicide Dive into a Tornado DDT.)
Meanwhile, Freddie was screaming at the referee to regain control and look at the middle of the ring. Why? Donny was on top of Ali.
You have got to be kidding me? A replay showed Freddie turning Amore around after the Keystone champion had hit Donny's head off the commentary desk. Ali had clearly forgotten there was a shark to his side and that's when Freddie struck, flattening his rival with FREDDIE'S NIGHTMARE! I don't think he needs another couple of weeks to heal his injury; on this showing, he could've competed tonight.
Not that he needed to. In the here and now, Freddie dragged Donny out of Ryan Harms way just as The Entertainers heard the bell ring and saw Ali wasted on the mat.
What about Donny? The kid was a triumphant hero, not that he knew much about it.
It was not only revenge for the embarrassing defeat Ali had inflicted on him, ranking up there with Amore's recent dismantling of Deke, who was a non-wrestler, but also an incredible victory for a rookie over a World and Keystone Champion. How would that bode for Freddie?
Not more than a few moments after competing with Warren Spade against Derecho and the loud mouth, the seven foot three Colossus could be seen heading back down the corridor. Once there however he was stopped by seven members of security, fronted by a well suited individual.
Immediately the two shook hands and pulled in to hug.
"Mike!" Saunders greeted his old friend and rival. The former Executioner, Michael O'Dell. A man that went to war against him and with him numerous times over the years. "Jack re-hired you?"
"Spike," O'Dell stepped back and crossed his arms, "afraid that'll do for the pleasantries for now. NBW's security force has been in a case of disarray lately. Kept busy and kept spread out. Getting beaten up, left and right. So Harmen and I had a conversation. After some discussion of wants and needs, well I'm back in control."
"'Nuff said then, Mike." Saunders responded.
"I'm sure you already figured out what's going on here."
"Escorting me out of the building?"
"Not this time. We both know that you'll just find a way into the arena and get involved in tonight's Main Event. Harmen's still uncertain on if he's going to book your match for PRIDE or not, given the arena." O'Dell patted two of the burly guys on the shoulder on either side of him. "So Bronson and Rex are going to be your best friends tonight."
"And what if I need to use the restroom?"
"You know there is one in here."
"What if it's been plugged up. Never know what Rune had to eat for dinner."
"You're stalling, Spike. I'm just doing my job. The alternative would be actually having St Louis's finest haul you off."
"Come on Mike..."
"It's done. So come on," he swung the door open and waited for the Colossus to step into the room behind them. Once he did O'Dell motioned in front of the door and the security team took position, with Rex and Bronson on either side of the door, with Bronson in the room and Rex locked the door after it shut closed.
Looks like tonight at least, Johannes was clear. How that would appeal in Max Hopper's favor remained unclear!
Not According to Plan
Just before the main event of Slam 85 was about to begin……
“Swear it to the Sun” began to play in the arena. It took the crowd a few second then realized that the music that was playing was that of the newest free agent signing of NBW, a true impact player, and renowned wrestling g star Alan Envy.”
Envy walked out onto the stage as the crowd cheered as they showed their respect to the man universally known as the Show Stealer. Alan Envy walked down the ramp and entered the ring as flashbulbs popped from cell phones. An Envy chant then started inside the arena.
Alan seemed genuinely honored by the real toon he received from the crowd. As they continued with their cheers and a few holy shit chants Envy decided to finally attempt to speak.
“You know…...in this business a person goes through the hell of wrestling school, sleeping in their cars, eating cold bologna sandwiches, only getting 50 dollar payoffs on a 400 mile trip to make that show, only to one day work their way up to get a reaction just like that.”
The crowd erupted as they continued to welcome Alan Envy to the NBW. Alan smiled and again placed the microphone to his mouth.
“You see that is what you call respect…..those cheers and welcomes that you all just showed to me is what the word respect means. You see a guy like me who has traveled all over this world has earned that kind of respect from people that follow this sport of professional wrestling. Marks like you….”
The crowd started to boo as they realized how full Alan #nfy was of himself. However when he called them marks that is really what turned the crowd against Alan Envy. Envy smiled and once again placed the microphone to his lips.
“Well it's true. You all here are a bunch of marks right? You all live vicariously through guys like me because most of you live in your mother's basements eating pizza rolls and get onto the Internet in these wrestling forums and think you guys know about the business when in actuality you don't know shit unless it's the way to not accomplish anything with your pathetic lives.”
The crowd booed loudly as Envy just continued to talk.
“Now if you will sit your fat asses back in your seat I would like to deliver to you guys a little story time with Alan Envy!!”
The crowd started a “Fuck you Envy” chant as Envy ignored them and stared into the camera.
“I met with Jack Harmen a week ago to finalize my NBW contract and let me tell you they had to pull the extra money out from under the seat cushions to get a star like me signed let me tell you. You see besides the money….I signed with NBW because in all honesty this is the place to be in this business. And this Keystone Tournament is just another reason why it's the place to be.”
“So naturally a tournament like this needs a marquee name such as myself to be in it to bring it extra credibility. But you want to know own what I was told? I was told no…...the final spot for tournament contention had been taken by some dude named Davey LaRue……”
The crowd cheered for Davey who earlier in the evening had a great match with The Great Wall in a contenders match.
“Figures, losers cheer for a loser right? Because that's what Davey LaRue did didn't he? He lost. He dropped the proverbial ball!! You want me to let you all in on a little secret? If that was me in that match earlier tonight…..I would have crumbled that Great Wall like he was made out of Lego bricks. That's the difference between myself and Davey LaRue. I am a winner, he is a loser,and at Pride….when I give each and everyone of you basement dwellers the honor….I will prove to NBW, each and everyone of you, all those guys and gals in the back, and especially you Davey LaRue….why I am the Show Stealer of this business and the only One that matters.”
The crowd reacted at the news that Alan Envy had just announced that at Pride he would be facing fan favorite Davey LaRue in Envy’s debut match. Al was about to leave the ring but decided to have one more say.
“It's real simple….once this organization realizes that Alan Envy is the absolute b3st in this business, once all you marks realize that you pay your hard earned money to come see me and only me? Then this will be a beautiful relationship with myself, NBW, and all of you!!”
Envy raised his arms in the air as the fans booed and started throwing trash in the ring. Ala left the ring and Jared with some fans on his way back up the ramp. He stopped one last time and arrogantly smiled at the crowd before he finally disappeared into the backstage area.
Brent Williams stood in the middle of the ring, microphone ready. “The following contest is scheduled for one fall with TV time remaining, and it is our MAIN EVENT!”
One by one, each section of the arena went dark. It was almost as if someone, or something, had tampered with the lights. The Epic II Arena was transformed into an eerie green. A thick cloud of fog rolled in. It was almost… alien.
Brent Williams apologized to the nbW faithful. “Ladies and gentleman, please excuse the interruption. We seem to be having problems with the - “ His feed cut out and was replaced by a screeching noise. Then, as if someone were switching dials on a radio, voices came through the speakers.
“I… Want… To… Believe!” the radio voices announced. Then the sound system roared to life with the geek punk classic “U.F.O.” by Boris the Sprinkler.
Amidst all the green, the Epicenter came to life, with a silvery object zooming to and fro in the distance. It grew closer, and closer, until finally it was quite clear and almost close enough to touch.
It was a flying saucer! A hatch door opened, lowering a stairway, and a bright, white light emanated from within the strange craft. A shadowy figure slowly took one step after another until it reached the ground. Finally, the mysterious being stood in the entryway, surrounded by the same bright, white light. The hatch door closed, and the U.F.O. sped off. When it vanished from the Epicenter, the same silvery object appeared above the Missouri crowd in the form of a large, silvery, saucer-shaped balloon!
As Jesse Ventura once said in an episode of The X-Files, “No other object has been misidentified as a flying saucer more often than the planet Venus.” However, this was not the planet Venus. This was the “Space Pimp” Max Hopper! He stepped into the aisle, flinging his arms out wide. The nbW crowd ate up every minute of it, especially when he strolled up to a young fan who squealed with glee. He put his hand on the child’s shoulder and pointed up to the U.F.O. floating overhead. Frightened, the little one clung to his dad’s leg.
“It’s okay,” Max assured him, ruffling his hair. “That’s my ride!” With that, he danced his way to the ring, to wait for Johannes Antonius de Castonovo. He pulled his “Max Hopper: I Want To Believe” t-shirt off over his head, tossing it into the crowd. Beaming his smile as bright as a close encounter, he snapped his fingers and the arena’s lights were restored to normal!
“It’s time for the main event!” Melissa van der Aart was excited. “Tonight, the Space Pimp Max Hopper wrestles in an nbW main event for the very first time!” she pointed out… MERRILY!
Her broadcast partner, C.G. Gains, was against the idea. “And is it any wonder why he doesn’t main event?” he quipped back. “Max Hopper just is not main event material. That’s why he’s only been in, what, two main events in his entire career?
“In fact,” Gains continued, “the only reason he’s in the main event tonight is to get steamrolled by the returning Johanndre… Johans…”
Melissa interrupted him. “Having a little trouble there, C.G.?”
“Wait, I’ve got this. Johannes Antonio de… JAC. He’s here to get beat by JAC!”
“The fans certainly love him, C.G.” Melissa argued. “I know I do.”
“Melissa!” gasped Gains.
“He could show me the stars any day.” Melissa van der Aart sounded like a teenage girl with a crush.
“Settle down!” C.G. barked at her.
“What? You always get to ogle women. Well now it’s my turn to ogle!”
“Anyway, there’s no way this match even goes five minutes,” C.G. predicted. “JAC has this one in the bag.”
“Bring It” by Trapt heralded the arrival of JAC.
“And his opponent,” Brent Williams announced, “from Venice, Italy, weighing in at 224 pounds… He is the Adriatic Gargoyle, the Former TFZ Champion… Johannes Antonius de Castonovo!”
JAC stepped through the sliding doors and shadowboxed for a minute. He raised an arm into the air and then proceeded toward the ring. No real fan fair. He was here for two reasons: to fight, and to get paid.
Once he found his way to the ring, he stepped through the ropes and removed his hoodie. He looked at Max Hopper and just spat at him, murmuring what was presumably some kind of insult, although it was impossible to tell over the noise from the crowd.
This was it. The main event of the go-home show before the PPV. Sure, it wasn’t the Slam before Legacy, or the one after for that matter. It was still a big deal, though, especially to Max Hopper, who had not been in a main event since he came to nbW in 2007. What a drought! This was also a big deal for JAC, who had just resurfaced in nbW. How great of an opportunity was this to show everyone in the locker room that he meant business and was a threat to every champion nbW had? Not to mention Spike Saunders, whom he had attacked to make his reentry into nbW.
The referee checked them both for foreign objects. Once he was satisfied they were both clean, he directed both combatants to the middle of the ring, where JAC refused a handshake.
DING DING DING!
The match got underway!
Hopper and de Castonovo engaged in a collar-and-elbow tie-up. The two were almost identical in size, but nbW’s resident expert of the weird and bizarre had the better wrestling skills, believe it or not (Jack Palance FTW.) Max was therefore able to negotiate the Former TFZ Champion into the corner. The referee was quick to the scene, calling for a clean break. Max pushed his hands up against JAC’s chin and the referee got his clean break!
The two met again in the middle of the ring. Another tie-up ensued. This time, MaX-Files sent the Adriatic Gargoyle for a ride to the ropes, taking him down with an armdrag on his return. Hopper clamped on an armbar, and JAC pushed his way to his feet. Max turned the hold into a top wristlock.
de Castonovo complained to the referee that the Hopper had illegally hooked him by a handful of his hair. As the referee questioned Max about it, JAC grabbed a fistful of the Space Pimp’s hair and pulled him into a side headlock! Max complained about the Former TFZ Champion’s cheating, but Johannes vehemently denied the claim when the man in the striped shirt asked him about it.
The Adriatic Gargoyle squeezed Hopper’s head as hard as he possibly could, dragging him to the canvas. Hopper was in quite the predicament, and he had to do something to escape, so he grabbed Castonovo around the waist and rolled his shoulders onto the mat.
Johannes Antonius de Castonovo was able to roll off of his shoulders and hang onto the headlock. Again, Max rolled the Adriatic Gargoyle onto his shoulders, this time hooking the leg.
Again, Antonius was able to maintain the hold and escape the pinning predicament. With his head about ready to pop like a teenager’s zit, Max fought his way back to a vertical base. He grabbed JAC’s wrists and battled out of the headlock, turning the hold into another top wristlock. Just like earlier, the Former TFZ Champion complained of a hair pull that even Max Hopper would have written off as a fairy story, only to sneak in one of his own once the referee was out of position to see it. The headlock was back on.
MaX-Files tried another tactic, this time opting to simply shove de Castonovo off of him. Yet again, JAC grabbed a handful of hair to aid him in reapplying the headlock. Only this time, the official saw it! The referee got right in his face, issuing a threatening count as he commanded de Castonovo to cancel the hold.
Finally, the Adriatic Gargoyle released the headlock.
“What’s going on here?” C.G. Gains complained. “Max Hopper loves to do take all these high risks and Castonovo likes to knock people’s blocks off! How the hell did we get into a mat wrestling match?”
“Well they are both skilled technicians,” Melissa van der Aart explained.
It was almost as if they had heard Gains, because just then, JAC lit up Max Hopper with a knife-edged chop. And another, and another! The chops rang throughout the arena like church bells!
SMACK! SMACK SMACK SMACK SMACK!
Max covered up his chest, which was growing red welts. It looked like a beet farm. Dwight Schrute couldn’t have been far away. Covering up his chest left Max open to other attacks, like the heinous hook to the chin that JAC scored. Castonovo followed up with a vicious kick to Hopper’s hamstring and then completed the ensemble with an STO leg sweep. From there, the Former TFZ Champion wrapped his legs around the Weekly World News subscriber’s thigh and clamped on an ankle lock!
The tactic was simple, try to take out the Space Pimp’s wheels and eliminate his speedy, high flying maneuvers, as C.G. Gains explained to the fans watching at home, even giving the strategy his stamp of approval.
Max writhed in pain, but refused to surrender. He pushed his torso up from the canvas and began a three legged crawl toward the ropes. Hand over hand he crawled, dragging the Adriatic Gargoyle’s full bodyweight with him. Inch by inch he got closer to the ropes. It was a snail’s pace.
When Max started to finally get close to the ropes, within about half a foot, Johannes Antonius de Castonovo rose to his feet and pulled Hopper back to the center of the ring, once again dropping down to the mat to trap Max Hopper’s thigh with his legs.
Max’s ankle was contorted in a way that would make anyone watching cringe. The fans started to cheer him on, chanting his name. However, he looked like he was about ready to tap. Heck, his ankle was about ready to snap. Better to give up than risk a broken ankle heading into the Keystone Top Contenders Tournament semi-final at Pride against the Great Wall, right?
But fueled on by the fans, Max Hopper dug deep. He started to drag himself toward the ropes again, and when that was going to slowly, well, he just kept on kicking. That is, he started kicking, literally. He frantically kicked his free leg at Johannes Antonius de Castonovo. He landed a couple of glancing blows on Castonovo’s chest before managing to connect with one flush to his face. That was enough to get the Former TFZ to set the current TMZ Champion (get it?) loose.
MaX-Files immediately jumped to his feet, but the damage had been done to his ankle, and he was hobbling as a result of it. He made a slow moving target as he tried to walk off the pain. That made it easy for the Adriatic Gargoyle to drop Max Hopper down to his knees with a crackling kick to the back of his thigh.
Castonovo stayed on the attack, unleashing a violent kick to Hopper’s chest.
“OOH!” was the response from the crowd.
The next kick went into his back.
Another kick found its mark right between the Space Pimp’s shoulder blades.
Two more vicious kicks smacked Max Hopper in the sternum.
And finally, Johannes Antonius de Castonovo polished off the series with a kick that nearly sent the Space Pimp’s head into outer space!
ODE TO TFZ!
The lethal combination of kicks, one of Johannes Antonius de Castonovo’s staples, was complete, leaving Max in a heap on the mat. The Former TFZ Champion made the cover, hooking the leg.
THREE - No! Kickout!
Somehow, Max Hopper had managed to find the strength to go on. However, there was more for him to endure, as Castonovo had climbed on top of him to unload a barrage of knee strikes! About six or seven knee strikes caught nbW’s leading expert on aliens, ghosts, and anything out of this world right in the ribs. Another great way to slow a speedy person down, bang to the body.
Johannes stood over Max Hopper, giving him a swift kick in the ribs for good measure. With Max not going anywhere, de Castonovo took a minute to gloat to the crowd. They booed him. It didn’t bother him. It actually put a smile on his face.
Max reached up and grabbed JAC in an attempt to pull himself back to his feet. JAC obligingly helped him up, only to rattle off a few punches to his ribs. These were followed by several kicks to the ribs. Hopper had dropped to a knee, and the Adriatic Gargoyle backed away. This wasn’t an act of mercy. He charged right back in. He just needed some space for his next planned attack. Whatever that was, it was countered by a back body drop that almost sent Castonovo into orbit around the moon!
JAC immediately rolled out of the ring and stood there with his hand on his back, his face looking like he had just gobbled up and entire bag of Sour Patch Kids. It took the Space Pimp a minute to collect himself, but when he did, he spotted Johannes Antonius de Castonovo outside the ring.
Max pointed to the crowd in the section to his left.
Then to his right.
Next, he raised his arms like a choir conductor.
He was a little slow moving, but he took off toward Johannes Antonio de Castonovo, ready to high jump over the ropes and get his hops. JAC saw him, though, and cleared out of the way, giving Hopper cause to abort his mission.
The crowd collectively let out a dispirited “AWW!”
Max simply snapped his fingers. “Shucks.”
Castonovo turned to the crowd and tapped the side of his head, telling them how smart he was. The Space Pimp saw this, and conducted the crowd again.
This time, he had clearance for liftoff.
He high jumped over the top rope, flipping over and crashing into Johannes de Castonovo with a body press just as soon as the Former TFZ Champion had turned around!
GOTTA HAVE MY HOPS!
The Fosbury flop that had been one of Max Hopper’s trademarks for a decade had connected, creating an aftermath on the ringside floor that resembled the Roswell crash. It was time again for the man in the stripes to go to work, issuing a ten count to the both of them.
Max Hopper was the first to his feet, holding his ribs and still limping on that hurt leg.
JAC was up next. When Max tried to close the distance, JAC turned him away with a headbutt and rolled into the ring.
Hopper finally rolled back into the ring under the bottom rope. He was met by some serious stomps. The Adriatic Gargoyle peeled MaX-Files off the canvas and took him over with a half-hatch suplex! He went for the pin, hooking the leg.
But Max Hopper kicked out! The joy of the crowd didn’t last long, however. Johannes Antonius de Castonovo brought his opponent to his feet the hard way. He locked the paranormal investigator in a front facelock and started to throw knees at him. Max managed to wrap his arms around him, though, and planted JAC flat on his back with a bridging Northern Lights suplex!
JAC kicked out!
Castonovo was quicker to get back to his feet and measured his prey. He spun around, looking for a discus punch, but it was ducked! He soon found his shoulders on the mat again, this time courtesy of a bridging German suplex!
Max went up top behind JAC and waited for him to get back to his feet. Holding up his fist, he yelled out, “Anal probe!” When the moment was right, he flew off, punching Johannes Antonius de Castonovo right in the glutes… Well, the sciatic nerve.
Now it was the Former TFZ Champion’s turn to walk funny! He hobbled around, holding his backside. Meanwhile, Hopper darted at the ropes in front of him, taking out his knee with a dropkick that left him kissing the canvas. Max scaled the top rope once again, but due to the attacks he had suffered on his leg and ribs throughout the match, it took a while for him to do so. He waited for JAC to turn around and soared through the air with a shooting star press…
But the Former TFZ Champion got his knees up! Max Hopper’s ribs, which had a history of injury (Judasbleek got them in 2010...ish) were in a bad way. The Space Pimp rolled around like a curled up roly poly. JAC wasted no time and grabbed him by the arm, clamping on a Cross Armbreaker!
Johannes Antonius de Castonovo had his signature submission firmly applied and his opponent bellowing in agony. Each and every fan was on the edge of her or his seat, intently watching Max Hopper’s hand, which looked poised and ready to tap out. The paranormal investigator tried to fight it off, making attempts to lock his hands together and reduce the pressure, but JAC had Hopper’s arm fully extended. There wasn’t anywhere for him to go. They were right at 0,0,0. Only one option was left…
Another roll-up attempt. So it came back to that.
The Adriatic Gargoyle kicked out, breaking the hold. Hopper nursed his arm, which JAC then attempted to yank out of its socket. de Castonovo jerked on MaX-Files’ arm several more times and then whipped him into the corner. Max Hopper had an unpleasant confrontation with the turnbuckles and staggered away from them. JAC got a full head off steam and hurled himself at Max Hopper with a flying knee strike!
KO KNEE STRIKE!
Beep beep! Beep beep! Beep beep!
Suddenly, the referee’s watch alarm started to beep. Max Hopper stepped aside just in time to avoid the Former TFZ Champion’s KO Knee Strike, which would have certainly ended the match! Instead, JAC caught nothing but air, landing flat on his back. But why did the referee’s watch alarm suddenly go off? Was that the referee's watch Max Hopper tampered with earlier?
At any rate, he seemed to know what it meant, and it helped him avoid certain calamity. Max Hopper jetted to the ring apron and gave the Former TFZ Champion time to get back to his feet. The Space Pimp used the top rope as a springboard to launch himself at JAC with a shooting star... hurricanrana?!?
HOPPER CAN RANA!
“Oh, yes he can!” Melissa van der Aart playfully remarked on play-by-play.
The match was all wrapped up in a neat package, if you WHEEL. Both of JAC’s legs were hooked. It was all academic from here. It had to be.
DING DING DING!
It was! The crowd drowned out poor Brent Williams, who tried his best to announce the winner of the match. “Your winner, by pinfall… MAX… HOPPER!!!”
Even “U.F.O.” by Boris the Sprinkler was barely audible over the cheers from the crowd. Once again the arena turned an eerie green as Max Hopper, beaming with pride, having picked up a win to grab a bit of ever important momentum heading into Pride.
"As Max makes his rounds, he's got two weeks to freshen up from tonights battle when he faces the Semi-finals and possibly the Finals, of the Keystone Contenders tournament." Melissa called out over the crowd.
The camera panned over to the commentators desk.
"He got lucky. And that's all it is. That luck won't hold out. Just like Spade won't dethrone the Champion, and frankly that's all I need to say about that." Added, and finished, Gains.
"We're out of time! We'll see you next time, December 4th, LIVE on Pay Per View for PRIDE. Remember the pre-show kicks off at 7PM eastern. We'll see you there!"
Welcome to SLAM - Dusty
Davey La Rue vs The Great Wall - Ernie
The New Arrival - Alan
It's about Respect - Gorman
Newbludd/FTW vs Ravage/HMMS - Gorman/Dusty
MaX-Files: The King of Hell - Ernie/Josh/Markus
Hot Sauce - Markus
Alyx Norwood vs EZ Blaze - Dusty
JAG - Markus
The Eyes Don't Lie... but Parents Do! - Keegan
Derecho/Tockwell vs Spade/Saunders - Markus/Josh
Evening the Score - Keegan
Qapla! - Ernie
Let's Do it. - Keegan
Amore/Entertainers vs Rich Family - Keegan
Security Enforcement - Dusty
Not According to Plan - Alan
Max Hopper vs JAC - Ernie