COUP DE GRACE IV
Plaza de Toros Calafia
Mexicali, Baja California, Mexico
Desktop 1920 x 1080
[After the opening montage concludes, the feed opens up to an aerial view of the Plaza de Toros Calafia in Mexicali. Over 10,000 fans pack the bullring and not a single one is sitting in their seat. Clear skies showcase the starry night, perfect for what is about to go down. A spectacular pyrotechnics show ignites and lights up the night. From all around the perimeter of the bullring, to the light scaffolding surrounding the ring, to the main stage, flashes of brilliant light overload the senses. The fireworks finally subside, leaving plumes of smoke bellowing up into the atmosphere. The crowd continues to roar as the season four finale, Coup de Grace IV, begins!]
[The opening drums to “Supersonic” by Oasis are allowed their time before the song kicks in half a minute later. Who the fuck's taking this much time to do their rock star entrance at the start of the show? They roll out as Liam Gallagher's vocals take over the building...]
I NEED TO BE MYSELF
I CAN'T BE NO ONE ELSE
I'M FEELING SUPERSONIC, GIVE ME GIN AND TONIC
YOU CAN HAVE IT ALL, BUT HOW MUCH DO YOU WANT IT?
[Yamashi Promotions CEO Eric O'Flaherty isn't dressed like somebody one would see at some punk bar in Minneapolis. That was awhile ago. Nowadays he saunters out on big wrestling shows in something like this power suit – black, slim-fit, charcoal dress shirt under the jacket, and a silver tie. O'Flaherty savors a Cuban cigar and takes a very brief moment to appreciate his surroundings before continuing toward the ring.]
[O'Flaherty grabs a microphone from a ringside attendant and climbs into the ring. “Supersonic” fades out as begins to talk.]
Welcome, everybody, to Union Battleground's Coup de Grace IV!
[Fans go for the cheap pop.]
Coming to you live on the Battleground Network from Plaza de Toros Calafia in Mexicali! I am Eric O'Flaherty – the CEO of Yamashi Promotions over in Japan. We are an original member of the Battleground Network and have been on this wonderful ride since day one – all the way to the all-encompassing combat sports entity we know and love today! We thank each and every single one of you – in the crowd and watching at home on the Network – for being there with us! Give yourselves a hand!
[Fans cheer and O'Flaherty uses this opportunity to smoke his cigar some more.]
Those who watch Yamashi Promotions – and that's a lot of you because we're still the reigning and defending Pro Wrestling Company of the Year in the only awards that matter. Those who watch Yamashi Pro know I only come out to talk these days when there's something big to announce. It doesn't get much bigger than this one, ladies and gentlemen! I, Eric O'Flaherty, have purchased the Battleground Network!
[Fireworks go off. O'Flaherty finishes his cigar and shakes his head with approval, knowing it was a good call. That should drown out any mixed reaction while still putting an exclamation mark on the announcement. Big brain promoter over here. Better to be ostentatious than be a dud.]
With my new ownership, I bring a vision! I look at the Battleground Network and see the finest promotions. I see the world's best wrestlers across these promotions. We see one banging card after another every month on the Battleground Network. But where do we go from here?
[O'Flaherty briefly lets that question settle with the crowd.]
The wheels are already turning. Everything needed to put on a spectacle unlike any other can be found on the Battleground Network. Just look at what we have on the show tonight! In the co-main event, we have a Fatal Four Way for the vacant War Horse Championship – Bryan Williams vs. American Tommy vs. Viduus Morta vs. Blue Barrera!
Then the main event! Miles Lucky – the most accomplished rookie of the past year – defends the Unified Championship against Ana Hayden, who looks to join Dakota Smith in the exclusive club of those who have held both the Union Battleground and 4CW Championships!
[More cheers! Woo! Yeah! Fuck yeah!]
Union Battleground starts off 2021 on the Battleground Network with a bang! It all starts here, ladies and gentlemen! Tonight is where we begin our journey! As of this moment, we are on the road... to BattleMania!
[“Supersonic” hits and O'Flaherty leaves the fans asking more questions than they had before!]
[The opening contest for the night featured two debuting competitors in Union Battleground. Nyx is a fresh young face in the industry looking to compete anywhere and take on all challenges, including snowball fight, king of the mountain wrestling hybrid contests. But she’s got a mountain to hurdle tonight, as she faces Moxie James who had launched a return tour as of late.]
[The crowd was hyped up, but this contest did not take long to decide. Moxie displayed her blazing speed inside the squared circle with a barrage of strikes and jaw dropping aerial attacks. It didn’t even seem like Moxie broke a sweat out there, as she outclassed the rookie. Moxie dragged Nyx down into a spiral after completely disorienting her with her speed and finally sent her into the shadow realm with her picture perfect TALK TO GOD 720 DDT to score the quick victory.]
Winner: Moxie James via TALK TO GOD (3:23)
[Bullet Barrera stands in the frame as the camera unfolds to her having a conversation on her phone.]
Yeah yeah bro you tell them that I see my Spotify is doing numbers right now since that's "It's The Bullet" hit the airwaves. Shit is crazy.
[She listens to what the other person is saying on the other line.]
I'm already on it. You know I promote like no other….but hey I gotta get ready for this fight X. Imma talk to you a little later.
[She hangs up and rolls her eyes at the sight of the camera crew.]
What the hell y'all want?
[She gives them a no seriously look to no avail.]
Nah, I'm just playing. I know y'all just out here doing your job... And I can't lie you guys are doing a great job right now by making sure that you help by bringing BlueTv to all the viewers at home right now.
[She claps her hands.]
And I really appreciate that because at the end of the day we all know I'm the Worlds next favorite athlete.
[She claps for herself.]
But on that note….I wanna thank everyone for coming out here tonight...and to the ones at home watching I really wanna say thank you...really? I bring you guys out and you come..thank you from the bottom of my heart….
[Her phone rings again but she decides not to answer it.]
But tonight isn't about you guys. It's about taking this opportunity and showing to all my peers that I haven't stumbled here just because, but that I'm going to earn my spot in this buisness.
So strap up boys and welcome to the first installment of BlueTv tonight. Be seeing ya soon. Cheers.
[With a smile and a wink she rolls her eyes and walks away as things fade.]
[Our second contest features two guys who are bound to bring chaos to the squared circle. Switchblxde was first to the ring, and he is no stranger to the Battleground. Most recently entering Guerrilla Warfare, Switchblxde makes another appearance in the Battleground on the grandest stage we have to offer.]
[Johnny Violence makes his Union Battleground debut tonight, and the crowd is excited to see the man return to action. He enters the ring between the ropes and goes to remove his gear, just as Switchblxde bolts from the second rope, trying to jump Violence before the match even begins! But the veteran of the ring, ducks down, swooping around and shoving Switch’s head into the middle turnbuckle. Switch bounces backwards into Johnny’s arm who hits with a release German Suplex. Switchblxde slides out of the ring seconds after the bell rings starting this match, giving Johnny time to take off his entrance get up. As Switch gets up to his feet on the outside, Johnny runs towards the ropes and leaps over them going for a crossbody but Switch catches him with a cutter mid-air! Switchblxde grabs a hand full of Johnny’s hair and just starts kicking the ever living fuck out of his face, causing the ref to leave the ring and break it up. Switchblxde looks smug though, a casual grin across his face as he mocks Johnny, who cradles his kicked in face.]
[The referee tells Switch to take it inside, which he is all too happy to oblige as he grabs another handful of Johnny's hair and drags him up to his feet. Switch rolls Johnny on the inside, hanging his head over the apron. Switchblxde climbs up the steps and runs across the apron, leaping up into the air and leg dropping down hard onto Johnny’s chest. Johnny quickly rolls to the center of the ring, getting up to one knee and holding his chest as Switch comes through the ropes and makes a b-line for him. Switch tries to clothesline Violence’s head off, but Johnny rolls forward just in time - causing Switch to eat the canvas. Switch scrambles up to his feet, but it’s for not as Johnny pummels him back down with a spear, before taking the mount and raining down hellacious elbows directly to Switch’s forehead.]
[Switch is bleeding as the referee pulls Johnny off of him and gives him a warning, but Violence is in his motherfucking zone - the smell of blood seeping into his nostrils and exciting the man. Johnny runs towards the ropes and springboards off of them with a moonsault, hooking Switch’s leg but only barely getting a two count. Violence quickly switches position, getting behind Switch and locking in a rear naked choke. Switch is able to get one hand underneath the lock, but Johnny squeezes that much tighter. It isn’t until Switchblxde reaches back and shoves his finger into Johnny’s eye that he breaks the hold. Switch quickly rolls closer to the ropes, creating some room between himself and the blinded Johnny. Before Johnny can even see straight, Switch is back on his feet, hitting him with a feint big boot before immediately following it up with a spinning back elbow that cracks through the bullring, MAINLINER! Violence slumps to the ground like a sack of bricks and Switchblxde hooks the leg, but no! Johnny kicks out at two!]
[Not wanting to give up his advantage, Switch gets Johnny up to his feet, and lifts him up going for a fishermen suplex, but about half way up Johnny gets his leg free and knees the top of Switch’s head, causing him to drop Johnny and stumble backwards. Thinking on his feet but still half dazed, Switch jumps up to the second rope, spring boarding off looking for a double axe handle but Johnny catches him in the throat with a forearm! Before Switch’s body can hit the mat, Johnny double underhooks both of his arms and jabs Switch’s head into the mat with a DDT, GUNSLINGER! Johnny doesn’t go for the pin though, instead picking Switch back up and hitting him with a world shattering tigerbomb, GLORY FADES! Getting the one, two, three.]
Winner: Johnny Violence via Glory Fades (14:09)
[As we go backstage there’s some sort of commotion originating from a small group of backstage workers. They sound rather annoyed and agitated. Moments later the cause of the agitation becomes clear. Everyone’s favorite annoyance, Tapp is at the center of the group. He’s dressed in his trunks and ready to compete, a towel hanging around his neck. Complete, with a smug smile he seems to be listing off a bunch of wrestling moves.]
A Giraffe Shackle Clutch. Or maybe a Egyptian Trout Hold. A Chicago Lobster could do the trick too. Who knows. I’ll probably end up making him tap with a good old fashioned Wristlock. Have you guys seen my Wristlock?
[At this point most of Tapps audience has had enough. The crowd disperses in a wave of groans and eye rolls. The Submission Expert shrugs it off and begins to walk away. It’s at this point he notices the camera and plasters that shit eating grin back onto his face.]
For those of you who may not know... Who am I kidding. We all know who I am. We all know what I’m capable of. We all know that as soon as that bell rings and I get to doing what I do? Instant classic.
[Tapp is practically yelling at this point. His breathing is heavy and tiny drops of sweat can be seen forming.]
I’m going to wrestle circles, no SPHERES around Ben. I’m going to do things in that ring that leave your children amazed. Things that leave your husbands jealous. Things that leave your wives wanting more.
[He takes a few steps forward and at the same time points a finger into the lens. He uses his other hand to grab the towel around his neck and dab the sweat dripping from his forehead.]
And that’s REAL Talk.
[The young technician gives one final grin before starting down the hallway as the scene fades.]
[Somewhere down in Mexico, there is a honky tonk. Can you imagine? A honky tonk still around in this era? Stranger things have happened though. Especially in Mexicali. This place never had a name (or at least not one worth remembering). But everybody that's stepped into it even once knows what it is. This is a place unaffected by time itself. It is stuck in its glory days, dark and tainted with smoke. As always, the boss is a cat named Joe.]
[Joe mews before tinkling the ivories with his toe beans which the patrons in general seem to enjoy. The cool piano's notes floating in the breeze as attractive half-dressed waitresses coo into men's ears for the flowing of booze and maybe even tips. Which kind? Who can say. But let's not get carried away here. Just because the joint isn't affected by time doesn't mean Time stays away from it.]
'ey! Titiritero! Come check this out!
[This poor unfortunate soul sticks out his tongue and starts humping the air like a complete cretin. The response comes suddenly--which he should be used to--as an iron string lashes out from the dark and grabs onto his wrist. He is flummoxed by this as he tries to pull away only for more strings to grab his other limbs. Against his will, the strings are pulled. He is swung high into the air despite all his screaming. Then a dance is done. Then a complete backward bend, the equivalent of whatever's pulling the strings to shove its puppet's head up its own ass. Fortunately for the man's now broken back, there is mercy. Rather than proceed with the task, he is suddenly flinged into the air. The cords let go as he is propelled through the door. Joe takes a brief pause from his playing and shakes his head.]
[The cords retract from near the door to where they came in the corner. They sink back into the flesh of the Vessel's fingertips. Her masked visage tsks at the sight but says nothing else as her eyes drift to the screen of the mini TV stationed at her table. Union Playground's latest event. There's supposed to be an announcement. It's important, probably. Shouldn't she be at the arena?]
[The DTW Championship is picked up from the table and the Vessel lifts itself from the chair. One of the Multitudes mumbles a g'day to Joe who nyahs in response. Maybe it's time to meet the Playground again. Sit in that backstage. Or at least punch a few security people.]
[Either way, Anna Daniels loves surprises.]
[When we return from commercial break, we set our sights on a styles clash as Ben Everest takes on Tapp. These two faced off just recently in a Christmas specialty contest, but this one is set inside the squared circle with no gimmicks, a true test of wits and will.]
[The former YLC winner is at a size disadvantage here, as he stands across the ring from Ben Everest. That doesn’t seem to bother Tapp much, as the two square off at the sound of the bell. Ben looks a little apprehensive going into the center of the ring, allowing himself to almost be taken down by Tapp!]
[Tapp shoots in for a double leg takedown, but Ben is able to use his size to his advantage. Tapp slips away from Ben, and immediately works in what looks to be the best wristlock in the business. He really wrenches that hold in, getting it nice and tight to Ben’s back. Keeping his arm pinned to his lower back makes it harder for Ben to escape, a little tip from Tapp. Again, Ben uses his size to step backwards and push Tapp into the nearby corner.]
[This effectively breaks the hold, and would be considered cheating by Tapp if you asked him. Tapp tries to respond, but Ben clobbers him with a forearm shot that almost drops him to the canvas. He follows up with an Irish whip, sending Tapp to the opposite corner. Ben charges forward, but Tapp is ready.]
[He sends himself upwards, twisting and floating over Ben as he catches him in a Sunset Flip pin! Ben struggles, but is able to free himself before the three count! Before Ben can even get to his feet, Tapp catches him with a perfectly placed bicycle knee to the jaw! We can see Ben’s eyes roll back in his head, as Tapp quickly folds him up for another pin. It may look like Tapp is using Ben’s tights for leverage, but that is just an odd camera angle. Don’t even worry about it, because Tapp just got the quick three count here tonight!]
Winner: Tapp via Bicycle Knee (7:41)
[American Tommy is walking around Plaza de Toros Calafia running away from people that are trying to shake his hand and stuff because there is a fucking pandemic and Tommy is going to die on his terms, not anybody else's. As he’s able to slip into the bullring and after darting down some random corridors he’s standing face to face with Axel, the man Tommy believes is trying to get him drafted.]
What the fuck man.
[Axel looks at Tommy and brushes him off and tries to walk past him, but Tommy steps in his way. Axel looks up at Tommy and shakes his head.]
I have more important things to deal with. I don’t have time for your shit, Tommy.
You better make time. I’m about to get drafted because of you!
[Axel looks down at the floor and sighs while shaking his head. He looks back up at Tommy.]
Are you serious right now?
Serious as ever. I might have a child on the way.
[Axel raises an eyebrow at Tommy and smiles because he knows Tommy’s life would be absolutely ruined.]
[Tommy nods his head with a worried look on his face.]
I think she’s fucking with me, but who really knows.
[Axel laughs and puts his hand on Tommy’s shoulder, but Tommy moves and shoots him a look. You know, pandemic. Axel holds his hands up and nods.]
Look, Tommy. If you win this match you are not going to get drafted. This has nothing to do with going to actual war.
[Tommy throws a questioning glance at Axel before speaking.]
What the fuck you talking about?
[Axel throws his hand in the air and sighs.]
YOU WON’T GET DRAFTED IF YOU WIN.
[Tommy looks at Axel and scratches the side of this head with his finger.]
This is a trick isn’t it? You’re fucking with me right now. You want me gone.
[Axel is finally fed up and walks away.]
I don’t have time for this.
[Axel walks past Tommy who is infuriated and turns and points at the back of Axel.]
YOU BETTER TAKE CARE OF RONNI WHEN YOU GET ME SENT TO WAR YOU FUCK!
[Tommy shrugs and shakes his head in dismay.]
I should have stayed retired.
[Both Indi Rhyder and Daniel MacNamara start off trying to get some advantage over the other. They put on a clinic of wrist locks, arm drags, and other more complicated locks. MacNamara powers Indi to the ropes which she uses to flip out of a wrist lock and into a quick hurricanrana. She quickly jumps into a leg submission in the middle of the ring. MacNamara reaches the ropes after a few moments but keeps rolling to the outside.]
[Indi tries to get back into the ring to continue, but MacNamara pulls her back out much to the protest of the referee. After a brief exchange of strikes, McNamara powers her into the barricades then throws her back into the ring to break the count. MacNamara proceeds to try and soften Indi up with a series of suplexes. Indi only finds respite when she blocks hooks a leg to stop Daniel from picking her up then runs to the corner and runs up the turnbuckle to hit him with a surprise Indi’s Circuit. She smells victory and goes back up to the top ropes but MacNamara runs at her and elbows her in the back. She tumbles to the outside and MacNamara regains his bearings.]
[The fans encourage Indi and rally for her to get back into the ring after a nasty tumble to the outside and the competitors go at it again. MacNamara tries his best to ground Indi and smash her into the mat as Indi attempts to keep her distance looking for an opening to strike fast. She finds just an opening after MacNamara stops a bulldog attempt and goes for a backdrop. Indi flips out of the move and spears MacNamara into the corner. She goes on the apron for a Meteora and hooks a leg for the pin but MacNamara kicks out.]
[MacNamara got back into the match a few moments later by making Indi crash after an aerial attack by getting up and hitting a spinning side kick. He goes to CHOMP on her butt but Indi reverses this into a pin attempt. MacNamara squirms out and hits Indi in the face with a Super Kick. He goes for another as she is in a seated position but Indi threatens another leg submission which he quickly scrambles out of. There is another standstill.]
[It would be Indi that breaks the stalemate when MacNamara is on the outside later in the match. After a Barricade-walk Chop she goes to deposit Daniel into the ring but MacNamara stops her and hits a German suplex. Then another and another. All on the unforgiving surface of the outside. He runs into the ring to beat the count and shake the cobwebs from his head. Indi struggles to make it up. After a while she gets back in and MacNamara is on her.]
[At the end of the match Indi is getting a second wind. MacNamara keeps trying to throw her out but she uses the ropes to reverse his throws and suplexes each time with some acrobatic maneuvers. After a long Figure 4 MacNamara reaches the ropes and is slow to get up. When he does he is met with a Cool Rhyder taking him out. Iindi goes on top to finish it but MacNamara gets up with malice in his groggy eyes and knocks her to the apron. He goes out and positions Indi on the ropes to hit the Last Dog Barking suplexing her from the second ropes to the outside. He promptly throws her back in for the pin and the win to the shocking silence of the crowd.]
Winner: Daniel MacNamara via Last Dog Barking (16:44)
[We hear an exhale as the camera fades to the backstage; there we find Anastasia Hayden sitting atop a production crate. A familiar location for her; a crow's nest. A chance to be seen by every wrestler and staff walking by, but just distant enough to stay focused. After all, tonight's a big night. The Unified Championship on the line. The most valuable newly forged championship in all of wrestling and she'd be getting her shot tonight after months of waiting.]
I've sat here many times before. Waiting and waiting as everyone passes by, knowing that it's my duty to go out there in the main event and deliver on every promise I made to myself over my entire career. Watching wrestlers walk by with their aspirations high and then crushed as they sulk back from the ring. Meanwhile, I sit here knowing that my spot tonight is secured. I've got the main event, I've got a championship opportunity in my hands.
[Would be a shame to throw it all away now, she thought. It was tough to get a read on what Anastasia was feeling; keeping her cards close to her chest with the very big reality of what's to come after tonight looming just beyond the curtain.]
But tomorrow's an entirely different ballgame. Nothing's given in this industry and while my spot is secure now, I'll be fighting again for it after tonight; win or lose. I fully intend on going on there knowing that I've got nothing keeping me up anymore. This is it. Sink or swim in Union. Fulfill a promise I made to myself years ago or become a name on a statsheet of title defenses.
[Might as well have flashed losing her first 4CW Championship to Viduus on her very first defense. A loss that made her bitter to the world, but now one that's given her clarity for what she wants out of the remainder of her career. The same disease seems to have infected all the champions here. Anastasia has a look of determination to be that cornerstone of Union.]
For nearly three years, the Union Battleground Championship itself has been hungering for a champion worthy enough of it. Don't get me wrong, there've been some notable names who have held onto that title, but I know it doesn't mean a thing if you lose that title as soon as you get it. People forget what got you to the dance in the first place. Winning the championship just isn't enough anymore. You've got to win it, defend it, and make sure no one comes even within an inch of taking it away from you.
[She smirked at the thought of this one; the wrestling industry always being dominated by the "What have you done for me lately?" mindset. Losing the Union Battalion Championships was the last thing Anastasia did in the company. She had to remedy that one. And tonight was about making people forget that, even in defeat. Only Anastasia Hayden determines her fate.]
And that's what I intend on being tonight. Not a spoiler, but a savior. Just because the Union Battleground Championship has been unified with a healthier championship doesn't mean it is satisfied. Nothing in this industry ever is, but I'm going to try. I carried the tag division on my back and now I plan on doing the exact same for the top of the card. I want to make Union Battleground the place to be and maybe Miles Lucky can be that guy too, but he's too much going on for being a moody bastard. I got nothing, but this shot.
[For a fleeting second, she thought of Artemis Kaiser, the woman she beat to get here. A seemingly lifelong rival with only one real chance at one another. It was after Guerrilla Warfare where Anastasia made another promise and that was to the Mother of Monsters. This thought prompted another smile as Anastasia looked down to the wrist she was finishing taping up before turning back up to the camera.]
If I lose tonight, it's to the back of the line for me, and I've fought too fucking hard to just let this slip through my hands. I want the greatness that Miles possesses. It's going to be ugly tonight. It's going to be unforgiving. Maybe you're right about me, Miles. Maybe not.
[There is an unspoken guarantee of pure brutality awaiting Miles and her. Why waste that fire now? Cool, calm, and collected is what Anastasia needed to be. No distractions heading into war; they only get you killed. Lots of questions, a lot of uncertainty, but violence is the only absolute tonight. And only one of them will be leaving with the Unified Championship.]
Really only one way to find out, eh?
[Anastasia doesn’t move from her perch; holding her expressionless glare for the camera until we eventually fade elsewhere in the arena.]
[The match was all set to begin with Danny Rizzo’s music beginning to play but no grand entrance. Confusion set in on fans and crew alike, but then cameras took us backstage as Drell was already on the attack throwing Rizzo against the concrete walls and dragging him towards the ring. Rizzo fights back with lefts and rights and launches Drell through the entrance way. As Drell closes the distance with Rizzo, Danny pushes against the entry way and dodges to the side. Drell misses with a huge right hand catching said entry way with a punch screaming in visible pain. Rizzo tries to capitalize but Drell catches Danny in the face with a back elbow. Rizzo staggers backwards toward the ring and Drell follows dropping elbows on the back of Drell’s head.]
[Drell stays on the offensive as he rolls into the ring and closes the distance with Rizzo. Danny starts reaching for the ropes to get back up to his feet as the opponent comes to take hold of him by the head and shoulders. Hoisting him back up to his feet, Drell pushes him into the ropes and snaps backwards to send Rizzo flying across the canvas and ring. As Danny collides with the opposite ropes, he pushes against them and starts backpedaling just as Drell is rushing towards him. Spinning around three-hundred and sixty degrees, Danny connects with a fierce punch that lays Drell out against the canvas near one of the corners of the ring.]
[Rizzo springs across the canvas and bounces on the heels of his shoes in the opposite corner of the ring. Meanwhile, Drell uses the turnbuckles behind his to right himself back up to his feet. he taunts Rizzo, motioning for the man to bring it on. Danny obliges his as he takes off across the ring. As he closes the distance, Drell draws forth and drops to the canvas, sweeping Rizzo off his feet with a Leg Sweep that sends him face-first into the middle turnbuckle in the corner of the ring. His arms fall slack over the ring ropes as Drell turns and takes hold of Rizzo by his shoulders. Taking him away from the corner, Drell spins around to irish whip Danny back into the corner of the ring. Rizzo suddenly catches the middle ropes with both of his feet and runs up to the top rope. Twisting around, he comes crashing down into the canvas with a Bulldog that plants Drell hard into the middle of the ring. Pushing the opponent over onto his back, he covers his up for the first pin attempt of the evening. The ref falls to the canvas for the first pin count of the match.]
... Kick out!
[Drell kicks out of the pin attempt and sends Danny flying back towards the adjacent ropes. As The ref steps back, Drell snaps from the canvas directly back up to his feet, a look of madness and murder beginning to paint his face. Rizzo draws a breath and shakes his head, knowing it’s going to take much more to put his opponent down on a night like tonight. This time Danny is the one doing the taunting. Drell pushes against the canvas and launches into the air looking to connect with a Superkick. Rizzo sees the move coming and ducks underneath Drell. Catching Drell from behind by his head and shoulders, Danny snaps backwards with a Suplex that plants Drell onto his stomach. Danny rolls around and immediately locks up Drell with a Headlock, looking to slow down the speed of the match as he tries to figure out a strategy to defeat Drell. The ref moves to the side and comes to his knees, checking the hold and seeing if Drell seeks to quit or continue on.]
[Another ear-piercing roar escapes from the lips of Drell as he looks to break out of the Headlock that is steadily seeping away at the oxygen that is going to his brain. Rizzo continues to apply the hold while Drell pushes against the canvas, dragging the two of their bodies slowly towards the nearest ropes. Finally managing to take hold of the bottom rope, Rizzo breaks free from the hold and rolls away through the same bottom rope to the outside of the ring.]
[Rizzo avoids getting distracted at soaking up the attention from the fans as he brings his focus back to Drell. Drell has rolled towards the opposite side of the ring, looking to put distance between the two of them. Danny springs up to the outside edge of the ring, taking hold of the top rope. As he slips through to enter the ring, Drell comes rushing across the ring and connects with a forearm shiv that completely upends Danny. Rizzo lands on his back with a dull thud in the middle of the ring. Drell falls to the canvas while covering up his opponent for the second pin attempt of the evening. The ref sidesteps to one knee in order to make the pin count.]
... Th — Kick out!
[Rizzo easily kicks out before the third pin fall. Drell moves back to his feet and reaches down to take hold of Rizzo by his afro. Hoisting the man back up to his feet, he grapples with the man and attempts to place him into the beginnings of a DDT. Despite being almost completely bent at a ninety-degree angle, Rizzo quickly brings both of his arms around the waist of Drell and snaps backwards with a Suplex. Bending his back and lifting his body up off of the canvas, Danny pins Drell into the canvas with a sudden pin attempt. The ref easily keeps up with the action of the match as he moves for another pin count.]
... Three — No!
[Drell kicks out right before The ref’s hand hits the canvas for the third pin fall! Danny rolls back towards the closest corner of the ring while Drell frustratingly is back up to his feet despite being caught off guard by Rizzo. The fans are eating up the high-speed, counter-for-counter action that was unfolding as the competitors are once more at opposite ends of the ring.]
THIS IS AWESOME!
*CLAP CLAP, CLAP CLAP CLAP*
THIS IS AWESOME!
[The two opponents come rushing towards one another while the fans are on their feet cheering both of them on. They collide directly in the middle of the ring as The ref moves away towards the ropes to avoid becoming collateral damage. Danny catches Drell with a left punch but he shows no signs of reeling as he fires off his own right punch in retaliation. The match quickly breaks down as the two of them resort to punches, hooks and jabs as neither competitor appears to be gaining the upper ground. Both opponents give and take – Drell lands a fierce left jab that catches Rizzo in the jaw just as Danny is retaliating with his own vicious hook. Both strikes land at the same time, leaving both opponents staggering in a daze in opposite corners of the ring.]
[The ref motions to both opponents; a look of frustration and anger comes across Drell’s face as he focuses on Danny once more. Rizzo leans against the ropes and then pushes away, taking to the middle of the ring once more. Drell smirks and kicks away from the ropes, running towards Rizzo. Danny attempts to snap off a Standing Sidekick but Drell catches the man by his ankle and then grapples up with him. Slamming his forehead directly into Rizzo, the man is seeing starts as Drell Irish Whips him with a spin back into the same turnbuckle he was leaning within. Drell comes over to Rizzo and snaps off a painful Chop that catches Danny across the collarbones.]
[Danny is reeling from the impact of the Chop. Drell steps back and sizes up Rizzo for repeat. As he reels back with his hand, Rizzo explodes out from the corner of the ring while driving left knee into the sternum of Drell. Drell doubles over as Danny catches the opponent by his hair and throws his directly into the corner turnbuckle. Drell’s neck and shoulder crashes into the middle turnbuckle as Drell goes slack in the corner of the ring. Rizzo grabs his and hoists Drell back up, placing his back against the pads of the turnbuckles. Snapping off his own fierce Chop, the crowd goes wild as the sound of flesh on flesh echoes throughout the arena.]
[Drell falls down to the canvas while sitting back in the corner of the ring. Danny springs across the canvas to the opposite corner of the ring. Climbing the ropes to the top turnbuckle, Rizzo turns to face the gap between him and Drell. Exhaling with a bit of trepidation, Rizzo shakes his head as if to say “why not?” and leaps off the top turnbuckle. Flying across the ring, Danny drives both of his feet into the upper body of Drell who is wedged against the turnbuckles. As Drell fall slack against the ring, Rizzo pounds the canvas with his fist while rolling back up to his knees. Taking hold of Drell by the heels of his wrestling boots, he drags the opponent away from the corner of the ring and turnbuckles towards the middle of the ring. The fans are completely losing their minds from the Spot as Rizzo covers up Drell for another pin attempt. The Ref can’t believe what’s happening as he falls to the canvas for the pin count.]
... Thre — Kick out!
[NO! Drell kicks out at the last second! Danny rolls off his opponent and leans back on his knees, completely shocked that he wasn’t able to capitalize on the move. The ref checks on the condition of Drell as he is moving but slow to get back up to his feet. Danny uses the ropes to spring back up to his feet as he moves towards the legs of Drell. Taking hold of his opponent once more, Drell bends both of his knees and then pushes into Danny, sending him barreling backwards into the ropes. As he springs back towards Drell, Drell jumps back up to his feet and driver his knee into the face of Danny with a Shining Wizard. Rizzo tumbles down face-first onto the canvas as Drell catches his breath while leaning against the opposite ropes. Danny grips down into the canvas, looking for the strength to get back up to his feet.]
[Twisting away from the ropes, Rizzo suddenly springs up from the canvas with a bellowing cry as he rushes at Drell. Colliding into his with a Clothesline, the two of them spill over the top rope to the outside of the ring. The ref moves towards the edge of the ring to check on the condition of both opponents. Danny and Drell are both splayed out across the padded concrete to the floor outside the ring. Rabid fans try to reach out over the barricade in an attempt to press flesh but there are Security Guards at every side of the ring holding the fans at bay.]
[Danny presses at the padding which provides just enough safety from the unforgiving floor. Pushing up to his feet, he pushes one of the Security Guards aside and comes to lean against the barricade that separates the fans from the action. Taking hold of a lucky fan’s hand, Danny springs himself up to the top of the barricade and precariously turns himself around to face Drell, who is now moving up to one knee. Danny leaps off the barricade looking for a Flying Clothesline. As he comes back down to the floor, Drell snaps off a throat thrust that lands directly home, knocking the wind out of Danny as he steps to the side and watches Rizzo crash onto the floor and land against the ring skirt.]
[Moving towards the same barricade, Drell trades a few insults with the more thirsty males in attendance before returning his attention to Danny. Rizzo is half-hidden under the ring skirt but showing signs of life. Drell pushes away from the barricade and Security Guards, leaning down to grab Rizzo by his feet. Dragging the man across the unforgiving floor, he pulls him out from the ring skirt and Danny is seen grasping onto a steel chair. The ref pleads with Danny to lose the chair. Danny releases the chair and decides to focus on the problem at hand. As Drell picks Rizzo back up from the floor, the two of them grapple up once more. Drell twists around and locks Rizzo’s right arm into an armbar, looking to weaken the man’s primary throwing hand.]
[Looking up to The ref as he wrenches on the armlock even further, Rizzo yells out as he struggles to break the hold. Drell relents on the pressure and then tosses Danny underneath the bottom rope to get the man back into the ring. Reaching down to the unforgiving floor, Drell picks up the steel chair that Rizzo had found underneath the ring. As he comes into the ring with the chair, The ref gets into his face and threatens to disqualify him if he uses the steel chair. Drell trades a few choice words with the new referee before dropping the steel chair into one of the adjacent corners of the ring.]
[Danny pushes himself up from the canvas as Drell approaches him once more. Attempting to grapple with the man, Rizzo grabs Drell by his hair and launches into a vicious series of elbows while pummeling the opponent towards the ropes that were behind the two of them. Drell connects with a European Uppercut that launches Rizzo back towards the nearest corner of the ring. Drell stalks Rizzo towards the corner of the ring and follows up with a second Uppercut that knocks the man completely back into the turnbuckle and the ring ropes. Rizzo grabs hold of the middle ropes with both of his hands and kicks off the canvas, connecting with a dropkick that sends Drell staggering back to the middle of the ring. Springing away from the corner, Danny comes up from the side and wraps his arms around the neck and shoulders of Drell. The two of them come crashing down hard into the middle of the ring with a move reminiscent of a Diamond Cutter or RKO. Both Rizzo and Drell flop out across the canvas as the two of them are both digging into their reserves and almost running on empty.]
THIS IS AWESOME!
*CLAP CLAP, CLAP CLAP CLAP!*
[The ref stands to the side of Danny and Drell as they both work to use canvas and ring ropes to get back up to their feet. As Danny turns to face Drell, Drell suddenly roars with intensity and tries to come at Rizzo with all his might. Seeing an opening as Drell tries a Superkick, Danny ducks down and sends a kick to Drell’s stomach and goes for a Canadian destroyer! The middle of the ring gives way and both men go crashing through! The ref calls for the bell and declares this contest a DRAW! The crowd erupts into a mixed reaction. EMTs rush to the scene and ring grips begin the race to make the repairs. He the anarchy continues, the feed cuts to the back.]
Winner: Draw via Referee Stoppage (23:40)
[Savannah Skye stands backstage, a mic in hand. More specifically, she stands at the door of an office. The most important office in Union Battleground right now.]
Ladies and gentlemen, I am currently stood in front of the office of the new owner for Union Battleground! This room has been out of bounds all day with all wrestlers and staff not being allowed in unless invited. We speculate we are to find out as early as tonight who that new owner is but--
[The door has opened and closed as Savannah has made her way through her report, and she's stopped. She turns to her left and stares as the person who has departed the room stares right back. A face she hasn't seen in a long, long time.]
[And that wide, familiar grin forms on the face of the girl who recently re-christened herself The Homewrecker.]
Savannah Skye! What a sight for sore eyes you are!
Emery? What-- what are you doing here?
You know me. Causing trouble. Same as ever.
No, I mean coming out of the new owner's office. None of us have been allowed in there.
Funny you say that, Savannah. It's as good a time as any to announce this...it's me. I'm the new owner of Union Battleground.
No, don't be daft. Course not.
And I ain't gonna lie, I'm real let down, cos I was full-on ready to walk in and say "you just look like a ghost walked over your Graves" and neither of the fuckers are here. Good line wasted. Actually no, it's a rubbish line, even for me, forget I said it.
So you know who the new owner is?
Course I do! But I got a lotta skills, me. I can speak six languages, I can wrestle a bunch of different styles at elite level, I can talk myself in and outta any trouble I want and I can also play Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel on the trumpet but one thing I'm real good at is keeping a secret. Y'wanna know the best part about having a secret?
[She leans in.]
Not telling anyone. Speaking of which…
[She pulls out a piece of paper, with a bunch of writing on it. An official document.]
My copy. All here, black and white, freshly signed- brought my own pen and everything. I ruled this place, people followed me here like the Pied Piper of Union Battleground, made this whole thing what it is today. I passed the torch a few years back and I ain't gonna lie...I think I'd kinda like it back now, actually.
I don't think you get to decide that.
I can do what I want. So the person in that room can say they own Union Battleground, but Emery Layton runs it. So…
[With a smile, Emery hugs Savannah, sincerely.]
I'll see you again in Season Five, Savannah, where I'll be keeping the new owner and this roster real busy. Till next time.
[She begins to leave. But Savannah, at the last second--]
Are you not sticking around? Hell of a main event.
[Em turns around, visibly curious.]
Oh yeah? Who's on?
Ana Hayden vs. Miles Lucky. Unified Championship.
[Emery's eyes light up, a huge look of wonder.]
Ana Hayden. THE Ana Hayden? Versus Miles Lucky? Here tonight? That's the main event?
[Emery Layton thinks about it. And thinks.]
[Until, with a shrug, looking around before she leans in again.]
Really not as good as it used to be round here, is it?
[With a smile and a wink, Emery Layton resumes her departure, whistling. The tune is 'Ashes to Ashes' by David Bowie. Her walk is almost a merry, absent-minded skip. And on this, we fade out.]
[Footsteps echo. The kind of echo that tells you that no one else is around, but that the space is big. Cavernous, even. Sharp sounds that crack like whips - ricochets from one footfall to the next.]
[The sounds are so precise in the empty air that one instantly recognizes them as heels. The stabbing, crisp, dagger of echo from a stiletto. Daggers of reverberation coming one right after another.]
[From the cast-down perspective angle of the camera lens, lights start to rise around the flooring. Cold bricks begin to illuminate from the side, bathing in sudden heat like the sands of the Serengetti at sunrise. The long catacomb glows, its walls glistening with particles of gold and diamond set into their mortar.]
[The feet stop in the view of the lens. Brown toes flawlessly painted with golden paint. Golden sandals with golden laces wrapped around the shapely calves.]
[The view pans upward slowly, showing off a dazzling outfit sequined in gold and platinum colored gems, hugging a curvaceous and agonizingly desirable body. Both thick and slender, all in the right places and proportions. Muscular but soft, all at once. Mocha skin encased in gilded jewels.]
“History needs its black queens. Amina, the Queen of Zaria. Makeda of Sheba in Ethiopia. Yaa Asantewa of the Ashanti. Nefertiti, the Pharaoh of Egypt. Nandi, the mother of Shaka Zulu.”
[The drifting lens pauses, staying put at collar level. A large and hefted bosom coated in more jewels heaves in breaths which whisper in echo across the empty brickwork. At the woman’s sides, her hands flex and stretch out long fingernails, waving rhythmically like Oriental fans. The excellent manicuring shows various symbols on each nail - an ankh, an eye of Horus, the cuneiform glyphs for NIN, the eight-pointed star of Innana, and so on.]
[The motion resumes upward when the voice continues.]
“There’s a reason this crown was known as the two women. Women brought the kingdoms together. Women of color. Women of power. Women of strength.”
[Arrived at a veiled face, the camera stops. The glimmering lace sheet covering the lower half of this woman’s face shows only the deep emerald colored eyes, too intense to be anything but colored contacts. Around the sides of her head are the richly woven tapestries of an ancient nemes, the headcloth of old dynasties. The red and white pschent rests on her head, complete with two shining, golden cobras.]
[Cartier pulls the veil from over her mouth and smiles.]
Now Union needs an African Queen. A Black Diamond. An Unbreakable Onyx.
[She laughs lightly, exacerbated by the chamber’s hollow acoustics.]
The last time I stood on a stage as large as this one here tonight was nearly a year ago in Madison Square Garden. That same evenin’ we saw Ana Hayden rise to the throne in one of the most anticipated and respected battles in history. Now here we are again… an’ Ana Hayden is coiled like a serpent in a tree, ready to do it all over again. In a way, we’re all right where we left off. Like 2020 was just on pause. We about to see a empress coronated at the end of the night. The new queen, same as the old queen… an’ right back in my sight line.
[Her eyebrows raise, much like those of anyone who hears her speak those words.]
Oh I know. Y’all don’t see me as on that level. Y’all never have. But despite those empty opinions an’ those snickers behind your hands, I’ve hung wit’ the best of y’all. I’ve been here before, I’ve held my own, an’ still I rise. So whether the Champion of Union Battlegroun’s reign is a long one or a short one, for the time that she sits on that throne she sits in my crosshairs… because I did not arrive on these shores to row others across the river. I arrived to ascend. An’ therefore, whoever is at the top… is my one an’ only obsession.
[With a slow blink, Cartier replaces the veil across her pursed lips.]
For everyone else this is a Coup de Grace. But for Cartier… it’s a renaissance.
[And with that, the blackness overpowers and the silence consumes.]
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the Co-Main event of the evening! The following battle is scheduled for one fall, and it is for the vacant Union Battleground War Horse Championship! Introducing first, standing 5’7” and weighing in at 145 pounds, from Kansas City, Missouri, representing 9th World Performance Institute, presenting “Bullet” Blue Barrera!
I'M GOING THE DISTANCE, FUCK THE FINISH LINE, THEY BE HATING ON ME THEY GOTTA GIVE ME MINES, BULLET A ACTOR, SHE NEED SOME CAMERA TIME, WHOEVER SAID THAT THEY DOING COKE LINES, THEY A TRIP, IMMA COME THROUGH AND MAKE THEM DIP...ITS THE BULLET. BAHAAAA BAHAAAA !!!
[Two giants of men stand with their arms folded wearing a lamb mask over their faces. As lamb sounds flood out the arena Blue Barrera slowly walks in between the two men smirking as usual.]
I'M THE ONE THE WORLD NEEDS, I'M THE ONE THAT THEY SHOULD BE, IF I MAKE THE WORLD BLEED, IT'LL A BE A PURPLE SEA, YOU CAN NEVER KNOCK MY DREAM, I'M A QUEEN AND A KING, WHENEVER YOU SEE 3B, YOU KNOW IT'S LAMBS ON THE SCENE. TELL ME WHO DON'T KNOW MY NAME? AND I'LL TELL YOU THEY'RE A LAME, I'M THE ONE TO MAKE THE CHANGE, TODAY'S TOMORROW WILL NEVER BE THE SAME....IT'S THE BULLET. BAHAAAA BAHAAAA.
[Blue whispers something in the lamb on her left ear before tapping the other one the chest. She nods her before jumping up and down getting a little loose before she begins her way to the ring. Her enforcers don't move. They just stand there. Blue reaches out her hand and gets a little love even though the jeers are pouring down.]
YEAH YEAH IT'S 3B. I DON'T KNOW WHY THEY BE PLAYING WITH MY NAME. I MEAN HONESTLY LOOK AT MY WORTH ETHIC. CHECK THE HUSTLE. I OUT GRIND Y'ALL BY LIGHT YEARS. THIS EASY TO ME. WHEN Y'ALL GONNA REALIZE THAT I'M TRULY A DIFFERENT BREED? YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW HOW TO EXPLAIN IT TO YOURSELF. YOU CAN'T BECAUSE BULLET BARRERA IS THE VOICE OF TODAY'S TOMORROW. WRAP YOUR HEAD AROUND THAT AND GET READY FOR A SHOW. ON LAMB.
[Bullet slides under the apron, stays there and acts like she's doing something on a phone. Laughing to herself Blue gets to her feet before walking around the ring talking to herself before she begins getting loose again. She sets up in her corner and continues to get loose awaiting the bell.]
HAD TO HAVE HIGH, HIGH HOPES FOR A LIVING
SHOOTING FOR THE STARS WHEN I COULDN'T MAKE A KILLING
DIDN'T HAVE A DIME BUT I ALWAYS HAD A VISION
ALWAYS HAD HIGH, HIGH HOPES
[“High Hopes” by Panic at the Disco blares from the arena speakers which sends the audience into a hysteria of excitement at the unique wrestler making his way out. Gold and Crimson lights flash around the arena and confetti drops from the ceiling as American Tommy pushes through the curtains to walk out. A look of satisfaction glistens in his eyes as he starts down the ramp before he reaches the middle of it to stand there with a bright smile.]
And now, standing 5'11" and weighing in at 175 pounds, from the Windy City — Chicago, Illinois, presenting American Tommy!
[Tommy waves to the crowd and as he makes his way down to the ring, he pulls on the bottom of his shirt so everybody pays attention to it. He’s happy, he’s in a great mood. Reaching the ring he slides in with the grace of a baby learning to walk. He climbs up on the turnbuckle and raises a hand to the crowd as they raise their arms to him.]
And now, standing 6’2” and weighing in at 195 pounds, he is the former Union Battleground Battalion Champion, presenting Viduus Morta!
["Cry Little Sister begins to play as the lights drop in the arena. Smoke and fog billows from below the stage rising higher and higher as the stage and ramp begin to light up in fire in a falling dominoes pattern. The faint shadow of Viduus Morta can be seen through the smoke.]
LAST FIRE WILL RISE
BEHIND THOSE EYES
BLACK HOUSE WILL ROCK
BLIND BOYS DON'T LIE
[The Smoke disappears to reveal Viduus entirely looking left and right scanning the crowd. As the music begins to pick up pace, Viduus starts to float his way to the ring.]
CRY LITTLE SISTER
THOU SHALL NOT FALL
COME COME TO YOUR BROTHER
THOU SHALL NOT FEEL
[Viduus slithers under the bottom rope and licks his lips, ready to feast, as he crawls to the middle of the ring. Viduus rises slowly and tilts his head left inquisitively like a curious dog as the lights come back on.]
GINGER, THIS IS SARAH.
PICK UP IF YOU'RE THERE.
I'M AT THIS PLACE ON PICO BOULEVARD CALLED TECH NOIR...
[The introduction of the song is sudden, we hear an ominous tone that follows the Terminator line. The keys are dragged out, lingering in the air as the song gets to a slow start. Seconds pass, as a backing track is finally introduced along with the lengthy notes. Eventually, after a minute, the song really kicks into gear. Neon strobe lights flash along with the beat, a shadowy figure keeps in the darkness. Slowly, we see Bryan Williams methodically walk out from the back.]
And finally, standing 6’2” and weighing in at 220 pounds, from San Antonio, Texas, he is the former Union Battleground Champion, presenting Bryan Williams!
[Bryan Williams is dressed for a fight, his jacket covering his torso and his baseball bat in hand. It rests comfortably on his shoulder as it keeps its dangerous message. The (animal) mask on his head stays contrasted with the neon lights and the darkness. Bryan keeps his head low, as the song continues to play along. The techno beat ramps up more and more, as the lights around him shimmer and dance.]
[The song continues to play, as Bryan stands on the top of the ramp. With his head down, Bryan lets the baseball bat fall from his shoulder, the weight of the bat being pulled towards the ground. His head snaps forward, as he slowly begins to make his way down towards the ring.]
[Williams props his bat up against the ring steps, then climbs the steps to glide through the ropes. This crowd stands behind this guy firmly.]
[All four competitors finally set their territory among their respective corners. The referee in charge hoists the War Horse Championship high above his head to the roar of the crowd. The official hands it off to a crew hand before checking off with each contestant one last time.]
[The bell echoes throughout the bullring and quickly everyone rushes to pick their targets. Tommy screams out in absolute fury about leftover pizza and collides into Bryan Williams with fists flying, while Blue Barrera spears into Viduus Morta with a flying knee. Tommy and Bryan tussle over in one corner, trading blows back and forth, while Blue works to back Viduus up into the opposite turnbuckle with a flurry of strikes. Barrera shows off her lightning fast speed with her barrage of kicks and punches to the body that leave stinging welts on the weathered torso of Viduus. Blue grabs an arm and goes for an Irish whip, but Viduus uses his size and easily reverses it.]
[Barrera crashes into Bryan and Tommy, leaving bodies scattered all around the corner. Viduus picks his target and rushes in, smashing his boot into the side of Tommy’s head. Viduus then grabs Tommy by the hair and pulls him up to his feet and rakes his face across the top rope, finishing it off by ramming him into the opposite turnbuckle. Tommy drops to the mat but sits upright, resting on the bottom and middle ropes. Williams and Barrera begin to stir across the ring as Viduus unloads a series of stomps.]
[Williams is first to his feet, and shakes off the cobwebs before bringing Blue upright. Williams grabs her arm and looks to end this one early with the MANTRA! Williams unloads with the ripcord clothesline, but Blue ducks under it and counters with a spinning head kick. But no, Williams counters back by catching the leg and tossing Blue over with an immaculate capture suplex! Williams keeps the leg hooked for the pin attempt and the referee slides in to make the count!]
[Williams’ attempt of a quick victory was derailed by a running soccer kick to the face from Viduus Morta. The kick damn near rearranges Williams’ nose and blood begins flowing like a broken faucet. Viduus keeps the pressure on, stomping away whenever Bryan tries to work his way up. Viduus eventually pulls him up to his feet and thumps him with several methodical punches. Each well-timed strike splatters a mist of blood, but Williams doesn’t falter.]
[While Viduus continues to work on Williams, Blue gets to her feet and makes her way over to Tommy in the corner. She pulls Tommy up with everything she has and boxes him in the corner with stiff kicks and jabs. Tommy covers up the moneymaker with his forearms and takes a beating to the ribs. Eventually Tommy slides his way out of the corner and pleads for Blue to stop with his index finger gesturing her to pause. Reluctantly she does as Tommy digs in his pocket and pulls out the trusty wooden wand.]
[He waves it around, looking like a street magician to the bemusement of Barrera. He reaches behind Blue’s ear and waves the wand over his hand. Blue can’t help but be curious as to what’s in his hand as he slowly opens it up only to reveal nothing. Blue looks confused but suddenly gets slapped across the face! Blue is stunned while Tommy howls out with laughter. Blue is furious after being made to look like a fool and rushes at Tommy, but the crafty veteran catches her and plants her on the mat with YoYo Toss Salad Hip Toss! The arena explodes into cheers as Tommy hooks the leg for the cover!]
… Th — Break!
[Tommy’s shot at glory was ended with another big boot from Viduus Morta. There was no way Blue Barrera was kicking out of the most devastating move in all of professional wrestling, but alas the contest continues. Viduus deadlifts Tommy straight up in the air by the neck and tosses him into the turnbuckle. Crashing into the corner, Tommy doesn’t even have a chance to register the pain in his lower back as Viduus comes storming in with an avalanche splash. Tommy gets absolutely crushed as flips to the mat and rolls to the outside to evade any further attacks.]
[The boo birds come out as Viduus lays waste to the all-time fan favorite. This only fuels the former Battalion Champion but not long enough as Bryan Williams crouches in a low stance behind him. Just as Viduus turns around, Williams catches him with a fireman’s carry takedown to the mat. The former Union Battleground Champion shows off some chain wrestling as he keeps Viduus’ head locked in and picks him back up to his feet in an inverted face lock. Williams secures his grip and lifts Viduus up and pierces him down with the Shotgun Mouthwash! The inverted DDT knocks Morta out long enough for Williams to make another cover.]
[From out of nowhere Blue Barrera fires in and breaks up the pin with a basement drop kick. More blood splatters into the air as Williams takes a nasty shot to the face. Barrera picks up Williams and begins unloading another barrage of stiff strikes that keeps BW guessing and finishes it off with a brutal flying knee to the chest. Williams topples over after getting the wind knocked out of him and Blue takes this moment to bask in the crowd’s mixed reaction. This proves to be a costly mistake, as Viduus stirs back to his feet.]
[While Blue continues to soak in the limelight, Viduus has fully regrouped and dials in on the unsuspecting Barrera. He spins her around and folds her over with a boot to the midsection. With ease, Viduus lifts her up and powerbombs her over the top rope and onto the unforgiving ringside floor! Barrera comes crashing down and kicks up a plum of dust from the bullring ground dirt while the crowd screeches out in shock and awe. Viduus can’t help but let a sinister grin grow as the bullring is eerily quiet from the gruesome scene. Morta doesn’t make the same mistake as Blue and plays to the crowd, but instead scans the ring and sees Williams slowly trying to get to his feet.]
[Viduus moves in and drags him up to his feet. With one smooth motion, Viduus Irish whips Williams while running the ropes himself. Viduus appears to be going for the Soup Reaper, but Viduus gets tripped up at the ropes by Blue and Tommy on the outside and dragged to the ringside floor! Blue and Tommy jump the former Battalion champion while Williams continues running the ropes. Williams picks his spot as he comes running back a second time and launches himself over the ropes and connects with a plancha onto Blue, Tommy, and a defenseless Viduus! The crowd pops and Williams throws his arms out in a theatrical manner before taking a bow.]
[Bryan Williams doesn’t waste much time on the outside though and snatches up the nearest opponent, which happens to be Blue Barrera. He tosses her back inside the ring and follows suit. Bryan goes to lift her back up to her feet, but on the way up, Blue strikes with a low blow and equalizes the situation. Williams topples over and falls back into the turnbuckle. The referee barks out a warning to Blue, but she pays no attention to him as she shakes her head and refocuses.]
[With Williams crouched in the corner, she rushes in and hits him with the stink face! Barrera exaggerates the move to the fullest, riling up the crowd in the process. Finally she lets off as she notices Tommy rolling back into the ring. Instead of going after Blue, Tommy sees Bryan in the corner and now he rushes in and hits him with the Broken Snitch! If you thought Blue was exaggerating, Tommy takes it to the next level with the Bronco Buster. Finally Tommy lets off, and Williams has to be thinking of getting some of that shotgun mouthwash right about now…]
[American Tommy steps out from the turnbuckle and sees Blue rushing toward him from the corner of his eye. Showing off his veteran experience, Tommy catches Blue in mid-motion and drops her again with another YoYo Toss Salad Hip Toss! The crowd erupts and Tommy looks over toward the turnbuckle and signals the end is near. He makes his way over and begins ascending the ropes. Tommy perches up top and steadily balances his footing, but before he can launch himself, Williams reaches up and trips him up. Tommy crashes down and lands on those sacred jewels and lets out a screeching yelp.]
[Bryan pulls himself up from the corner with the help of the ropes and looks to climb up the turnbuckle. He hooks Tommy’s arm and appears to be going for a superplex but Tommy tries fighting him off. Barrera then rushes in on the other side and tries assisting in a double superplex. Tommy continues to fight them off, despite the excruciating pain, then Viduus Morta rolls back inside the ring. Morta sees what's going on and joins in the chaos. Viduus gets underneath Blue and Bryan,and hits a massive tower of doom suplex! Bodies ricochet off the canvas in every direction while Viduus remains the most coherent competitor of the bunch. He begins crawling over to Williams who is the closest, and drapes an arm over top of his body to make the cover!]
… Thre — Break!
[Somehow, Blue Barrera musters enough energy to dive and make the save! The crowd is in pandemonium as Viduus and Blue struggle to their feet. Viduus snaps and latches onto Blue before Irish whipping her across the ring. Viduus runs the ropes as well and goes for the Soul Reaper, but Barrera leap frogs over! She stops dead in her tracks as Viduus continues to run the ropes. Just as he bounces off, Barrera smacks him with the Fully Loaded!]
[The reverse rolling thunder flattens Viduus and the excitement takes over Blue. But the feeling doesn’t last long as Tommy catches her with a third YoYo Toss Salad Hip Toss! Despite what you may believe, Tommy looks like he wants this win and goes back to the turnbuckle and it looks like he’s going for the Dream Crusher! With each step up the turnbuckle, Tommy winces in pain, but finally gets to the top. Just his luck, as soon as he gets stationed, Bryan Williams quickly triangle springboards up and crushes Tommy with a top rope CTE! The bullring goes wild as Williams gives every bit of what’s left of him to hook the leg and make the cover!]
[DING! DING! DING!]
Here is your winner, AND NEW Union Battleground War Horse Champion, Bryan Williams!
[The crowd is on their feet. Bodies are strewn all across the ring, but one stands victorious, at least symbolically. Williams can hardly even sit upright, but enough for the referee to run through the motions of raising his hand and handing off the title. It dawns on Williams what has happened and he snatches the title and rolls outside of the ring. Williams backpedals up the ramp, staring out in the melee while tossing the strap over his shoulder. Through the dried blood and caked dirt, Williams cracks a grin, only for a brief moment.]
[How do you exactly set a scene in this, and should you? Of course. Of course you should. When it comes to Miles Lucky, it’s needed. He’s the Unified Champion. As we speak, he has two belts. It’s serious, important. So, yes, let’s set the scene.]
[We’re in a dark room. There’s the scene.]
[A dark room. Vast in its darkness. Too dark to comprehend. We can barely make out our champion, uncomfortably sitting across from [i]something[/]. We can’t quite make out what. The only thing we can see is Miles Lucky himself, shadows shifting along the features of his face where all we can make out from creeping light, are his teeth and eyes. And boy, holy cow, is he eating the heck out of his fingers, it’s been a while since we’ve seen that one.]
There’s something nervous in you, scared in you.
I’m not scared of Ana, shut up!
[It’s a quick snap, skin between his teeth as he yells out. Whatever chair he’s sitting on, he grabs hold and rocks it with a tilt of anger, shaking.]
I'M NOT SCARED OF A FUCKING THING, YOU HEAR ME?!
Stop yelling, you ugly little brat. I didn’t say you were scared of her, did I? No, you’re afraid of failing here. Bringing her up, though, she’s right, isn’t she? You’re part of a crowd now, just because the idea of not living up to the expectations of others is tearing you apart. Oh! Miles, stop crying. Really. Answer me, what happens when you fail?
[Miles has brought both legs up close to him, tangled in jagged, clicking limbs. Pulling at his hair, small tigs to relax as he answers between tears and hiccups.]
Shut up. It’s not something I have to even worry about, I’m not failing any time soon and I’m. I’m, I’m not failing tonight. Okay? You hear me? I’m not, I-
Have too many people cheering you on to be something great. You don’t want to let them down. The feeling to rise beyond anyone’s expectations, who knew I would find that in Miles Lucky. You care, it’s quite a surprise.
I don’t care. I don’t care at all, you’re wrong.
You do care. You care a lot. It’s amazing to see. The Little Monster Who Slowly Became Human. What will they think? I’m sure you care to ponder.
[Miles shoots from his hair in a fit of anger, untangling himself and charging to whoever had been speaking. We can make out a chair being flipped in the darkness, a loud trash from it as there’s a struggle we listen to. Miles yelling and smacking around whatever happens to be letting out those, yelps and growls? Geez.]
[The door is kicked open by Miles Lucky. The Dog, his companion but not his pet, is being held by the loose skin of her neck made taut in his fist. She’s wiggling from his grip, her jaws snapping at him in an attempt to grab a chunk of him, something she was successful doing moments before, should we take his bleeding arm into account. Miles is glaring at her as venue staff walk and stare, making sure to avoid him when he steps out into the hall. He shakes the Dog as he speaks.]
That’s enough! You don’t get to disappear for weeks, be silent and not say a fucking thing for weeks, not even a hello, not a letter, not a postcard. Playing dead for WEEKS leading up to this, not acknowledging me a single fucking time. Invisible little bitch!
[He throws the chunky Dog onto the ground, where she lands with a splat and a hoof that doesn’t really deter her. She gets up easily and shakes herself off, sitting down to look at him during his tirade.]
All this time, not a single word, and you think you can say all of that shit to me? You haven’t been around, you haven’t seen the things I’ve done. You have no fucking idea what you’re talking about because people like you don’t pay attention to anything happening outside of their bubble.
[The Dog rolls her eyes, as it’s obvious he’s not speaking to her anymore, even if he’s roaring all of this directly to her. She rolls her eyes and gets up off of her butt, wagging away from his madness. Miles sees her leaving and rushes back into the room, re-emerging with his two titles, slung across each shoulder as he yells to her.]
You better watch this one! You better pay attention! My first defense, my start as champion. Watch and learn and see what I’m capable of. Whatever expectations they have, they can shove it! At the end of the day, I’m showing up each and every time to blow them out of the water, no matter what they think! HEY! ARE YOU LISTENING?!
[But the Dog is gone. Miles sighs out the rest of his anger in annoyance, his fingers quickly working to pick at his fresh wounds. Everyone staring quickly begins to move when he looks at them. He looks, for a moment, slightly embarrassed. Huh. Strange.]
[Miles, don’t worry about it. Your match is coming up. Go do what you said you were going to do. Miles nods, turning on his heel and walking down the hall himself.]
Blow them out of the water.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for the Main Event of the evening! The following battle is scheduled for one fall and is for the Union Battleground Unified Championships! Introducing first, standing 5’6” and weighing in at 128 pounds, from Steele, North Dakota, she is the former Union Battleground Battalion Champion and the winner of Guerrilla Warfare, presenting “The Grand Duchess” Anastasia Hayden!
[The lights darken as the heavy drums and droning bass of "The Day Is My Enemy" by The Prodigy fills the darkness in the arena and is soon met with a mixed reaction from the audience.]
THE DAY IS MY ENEMY
THE NIGHT MY FRIEND
THE DAY IS MY ENEMY
THE NIGHT MY FRIEND
[The music comes crashing in and bursting out from the curtains is Anastasia Hayden. At the top of the ramp, Anastasia surveys the crowd and the ring with her mouth guard hanging out and right hand up in the air with her "shaka brah" gesture. No reaction from her as she pops her mouth guard in. Anastasia holds the pose there for a second before making her way on down to the ring and hopping up onto the ring apron. She poses on the apron once more before climbing through the ropes and makes her way to a free corner, tossing her jacket to the outside.]
THE DAY IS MY ENEMY
THE NIGHT MY FRIEND
THE DAY IS MY ENEMY
THE NIGHT MY FRIEND
[Perched up on the top turnbuckle, Anastasia chews on her mouth guard idly with her arms crossed as she waits for the match to begin.]
[“Play God” by Sam Fender hits throughout! Everyone in the crowd reacts one way or another. Miles Lucky emerges from behind the curtain in a burst! The champion has tied the companies two top singles titles together and drags them behind him. Wild eyes and sudden jerks alert the fateful the man has indeed come around.]
And her opponent, standing 6’2” and weighing in at 180 pounds, he is the reigning, defending, undisputed Union Battleground Unified Champion, presenting Miles Lucky!
EVERY WORD WOULD HERD THE CYNICAL
EVERY WORD WOULD CUT YOUR TEETH
AND HE WILL PLAY GOD
AND HE WILL PLAY GOD
[Hayden looks on from inside the ring. Lucky continues to drag the belts behind him while never taking his eyes off the hellcat in front of him. Miles rushes up the ring steps only to stop dead on the apron to pick a scab off his arm. He flicks it at the ground before ducking low to glide between the ropes. The referee comes in to take both championships. She lifts them up into the air. They are strapped together still when she hands them off to a ring grip on the outside of the ring. Lucky and Ana glare at one another from across the ring as the bell dings. Thousands of flashes capture the moment that the two wrestlers rush at one another!]
[Hayden comes in with a spinning heel kick that the champion ducks! Lucky swings at Ana with a wild elbow that she avoids! Miles lands on one knee, where The Grand Duchess finally hits the mark with a barrage of short kicks to the face of the champion! Lucky falls back onto his bottom. This leads Ana to hit the ropes directly behind her and Miles. She hits the ropes with her dead weight to build as much momentum as humanly possible. Hayden catches Lucky with a solid knee that busts his nose open upon impact! Ana cradles up a leg!]
… KICK OUT!
[Miles rolls to his side before pushing himself up fast! He immediately begins screaming at the referee. Hayden watches on before realizing this is a Lucky ploy. She dashes to her feet to take off at the champion, who turns to cradle her up into a snap suplex into the corner! Ana’s lower back bounces off the top turnbuckle upside down to cause her to crash and burn in the corner.]
[Lucky rolls to his feet. He peers down on his foe to see her holding her lower back in pain. Miles takes his shirt off and smears the blood across his face before hitting the mat to roll out of the ring. The fans couldn’t be more split. Ana gets to a knee on the mat while Lucky searches beneath the ring for something to inflict suffering with. Miles rolls in four glass tubes. One rolls right to Ana, who takes it up. She grips the glass in both hands like one would a baseball bat ready to swing. Miles pulls out a long ladder from beneath the ring also. He looks up to notice Hayden standing up which prompts him to rush back into the ring with haste.]
[Lucky rolls back into the ring and hits his feet in a hurry! Ana swings the glass tube at him, but the champion ducks! Hayden swings with all she’s got and nearly loses her balance only to find Miles now holding the other end of the long fluorescent tube! The two wrestlers fight for the tube while stomping the other three to pieces beneath their feet.]
[Miles holds onto the light tube with all he’s got coming in close towards Ana for a violent headbutt! Then another! Hayden releases her grip to reach up and hold her skull. Miles leans back for a huge windup. Ana lunges forward as the shot turns to slow motion to show Lucky shatter the tube across the forehead of the challenger! The crowd gasps as the deep gash reveals itself quickly. Ana lands in the other broken tubes, where Lucky rolls her up into a pin!]
[Hayden rolls away from Lucky on the mat. The cut across her head continues to bleed. Miles gets up to ask the referee for the time. The champion then looks up at the scaffolding above the ring that holds the large lights in place. He remembers the ladder and rolls out of the ring suddenly to retrieve it. Hayden uses the ropes to pull herself up. Miles picks up the long ladder on his back in a strange fashion. Ana wipes the blood from her face. A crimson mask remains as she bounces off the ropes to slingshot herself in Miles' direction. Hayden dives over the top rope just before she reaches it! She lands on top of the ladder to squash the champion beneath it and her dead weight! The crowd pops as the bloody hellcat reaches her feet on the outside still clutching at her lower back.]
[Lucky squirms beneath ladder before pushing himself up. The ladder falls off his back and to the side. Miles stands up to catch an open palm strike! Then another! Ana sends the champion back to his floor with a hook kick! She works the crowd a bit before hoisting up the ladder to push it beneath the bottom rope. The Grand Duchess slides it in before turning around. Lucky hits her in the side of the head with his shoe with all he’s got! The violent lick leaves the challengers ear ringing! Ana falls back to catch the back of her head on the edge of the apron! The crowd gasps.]
[Hayden pulls herself up slowly on the apron while the champion locates a staple gun full of long sharp arrow staples. He then locates an eight foot long piece of nylon rope. He takes it all and a first aid kit. All of his plunder finds its way into the ring as Hayden finally rolls back into the ring. Lucky rushes up the steps wearing only one boot now. He begins screaming at someone who is not there. The referee looks for the individual briefly before realizing this.]
[Lucky stands the ladder up before pushing it up to make it much longer. Hayden reaches her feet to watch on from behind the champion. He takes the leaning ladder up as far as it will go. It touches the scaffolding high above the ring. Miles carefully props up the ladder before turning around into a barrage of kicks and open palm strikes! Lucky swings away from the offense of the challenger only to be captured from behind for a wicked tiger suplex! The crowd pops!]
[Miles stumbles to his feet quickly in a bit of a daze. Hayden pushes him into the ladder in the corner! The two legs slide a bit but remain up against the scaffolding even with Lucky laying up against it back first. The challenger takes off at Miles from across the ring aiming for a splash in the corner but Miles moves at the last possible moment! Hayden crashes against the unforgiving ladder to end up rolling around the ring holding her ribs!]
[Lucky rips open the first aid kit claiming he can help Ana. The referee watches on in total confusion as Miles unscrews a lid of 90% alcohol. He then stumbles towards Ana. Lucky puts a knee on each arm of the challenger before pouring her face full of strong rubbing alcohol! She chokes up some of it at the champion! The flammable liquid covers both wrestlers now. It burns the gash on Ana and cuts both have gotten from all the broken glass inside the ring. The Grand Duchess rubs her face to ease the burning pain. Miles believes he’s helped this hellcat and takes the rope up before tucking the staple gun in his belt like an old gunslinger would his trusty colt.]
[Lucky walks towards the ladder only to hit a knee after a sharp pain from behind! Ana picked up a piece of the broken glass and stuck it in the back of Lucky’s leg! The crowd gasps at the blatant display of violence. Ana takes hold of the back of Miles’ head before smashing it face first into the ladder! She then peers up the rungs before a grin crosses her blood stained face. The Grand Duchess climbs up the ladder heading for the scaffolding high above the ring.]
[Lucky comes to still leaning up face first against the ladder. His nose continues to bleed from the violent lick the opening earlier. Miles looks up to see Hayden standing high on the scaffolding above where the big lights are hanging. Miles begins to climb the ladder while The Grand Duchess taunts him from above. She calls out for him to bring that good shit while Lucky grins climbing toward an unknown destiny.]
[Lucky reaches the scaffolding just in time to duck a spinning heel kick! Miles steps out on the narrow scaffolding to fight high above the ring for this capacity crowd. Not a single person remains seated now. The two swap punches while keeping their balance. Hayden catches Miles with a pointed punch that sends him to one knee. He nearly loses balance as she comes in with a brutal Magnolia Knee! Somehow Miles lands on the scaffolding without falling off as does The Grand Duchess! She takes the rope from him and ties it around his throat. She uses a foot on his chest to make sure it's tight around his throat!]
[The crowd watches on believing she intends to hang Miles right here. Lucky reaches up to snatch out a handful of Ana’s hair! She yelps in pain as the follicles separate from her skull in violent fashion! Lucky pulls out his staple gun and swiftly staples the hair to the chest of Ana Hayden! He then continues to staple her chest until she falls back on the narrow scaffolding in a seated position! Lucky screams at Ana but the words are inaudible. He then ties the other end of the rope to the throat of The Grand Duchess. The two superstars are now tied together by an eight foot piece of rope. Ana rises to her feet just as Miles gets the knot tied and turns away. He feels the scaffolding move beneath his feet leading him to thrust back with a vicious back elbow smash! The maneuver causes Hayden to fall and Lucky as well! They both fall on opposite sides of the scaffolding to essentially hang one another! The crowd lets out gasps throughout!]
[Both wrestlers kick their feet while hanging side by side. Hayden continues to try to fight while choking to death. She swings herself up to catch him with a wild knee shot to the jaw! Lucky’s eyes bulge as he retrieves a zippo lighter. The camera pans close to reveal him striking it but no fire. Horrible. He strikes the flint again and it lights. Lucky then reaches out while being essentially hung to light Ana Hayden! The rubbing alcohol from earlier now ignites! Hayden is now on fire while hanging high above the ring!]
[Hayden clutches at her throat wanting to breathe more than put herself out. She says fuck it and swings her body at Lucky! He ignites himself! The alcohol covers both and Ana’s outfit begins to melt slightly to her side.The rope begins to break at the top. The flames grow as the rope snaps! Miles somehow takes hold of the scaffolding above to remain high while Ana falls the entire distance to bounce off the ladder below and end up in a mangled mess in the center of the ring. Miles pulls himself back up on the scaffolding while on fire to see a ring grip putting Ana out. Lucky smacks himself in the face before diving off! Miles dives off backwards as the shot turns to slow motion. The champion flies through the air for what seems like forever in a moonsault that hits the mark below! Lucky lands on Hayden to catch her on fire again! The ring grip sprays the small extinguisher again as the referee hits the side to count! Lucky lands on top of the challenger, where neither move.]
[DING! DING! DING!]
Here is your winner, AND STILL the Union Battleground Unified Champion, Miles Lucky!
[EMT’s rush down ringside to attend to both wrestlers! The crowd comes unglued after the finish to this one. A small riot begins to break out in the crowd leading security to flood the area. Hayden does not move while Miles stirs a bit. Both have a few bad burns and Hayden’s outfit melted to her side. The ringside doctors rush to the ring to attend to the wrestlers as the crowd begins to throw chairs and fight with one another.]
[Axel Graves stands at the corner of his soon to be former office steeling himself for what he is about to do. He got it out of the way quickly with the announcement at the start of Lights Out #40 but it still stung. This was almost in his grasp again but it slipped between his fingers just as easily. His thoughts wandered as he stared at the chair behind his desk and his brother’s dead body flashed in his mind’s eye. The gunshots echoed in his ear and he looked back at the door reliving the moment he walked in on the grisly scene.]
[Gunnar is laid out lifeless in his newly won throne with his blood splattered on the walls behind him. The wave of emotions hit him so quickly that it almost knocked him off his feet. He stumbled back until a voice in the shadows snapped him back to reality.]
"You shouldn’t be here."
[Axel turned around only to see Kimitsu Zombie brush past him to get closer to the body. She bent down to the bullet wounds and turned her head towards him.]
It will look too suspicious.
[Axel turned around to see where she came in but saw only darkness. He turned towards his brother and a realization dawned on him.
Did you do this?!
Interesting. Both Graves shot in their offices during a show.
[Axel advanced on her but she held up her finger in his face.]
I know what you are thinking but I didn’t do this.
Are you going to…?
How much do you remember when you were lying there and I brought that spark of life back into you? Did you see me work? I have never experienced the ritual from the other side so I am curious. How far away into the next life did you get? How far do you think he is?
[She turns to Gunnar and Axel follows her gaze. He should get him back. Would he?]
He can’t come back. It is too late. So this day just got a bit more interesting for you. Not only because of this but because I have come to collect. I want what I asked for when I saved your life in Mexico when you were in his position. Do you remember what it was?
[Her next words shook him back to the present as they echoed still around the room.]