L!GHTS OUT #26
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welcome to the show
[The previous scene slowly fades out, and then there is a moment of darkness. The distorted star logo that has become synonymous slowly fades in and out in a rhythmic pulse synchronized with deep thuds of a heart beat. The view glitches and scratches out into darkness again. Then suddenly a countdown begins…]
SO TURN THE LIGHTS OUT!
[As "Lights Out" by Royal Blood kicks in to overdrive, we open up with a montage of some of the biggest moments in Union Battleground's short history. An explosion engulfs the screen as we transition to the arena. At the conclusion of the opening montage, we transition to a captivating aerial view of the ring, with the canvas and aprons murdered out in black and the ropes in a deep crimson red with a red eroded star in the center. An exquisite light show bounces all through the Royal Albert Hall to encapsulate an all round intoxicating aura. Luke Knux and the Scumbag Society are ripping through one of their singles from their newest album “Insomnia” as camera angles pan throughout the crowd.]
[The Scumbag Society finish off with an epic finale as we switch gears over to the broadcast booth to see the voices of Union Battleground.]
Dante Reed - Welcome ladies and gentlemen, we are live here at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas in front of 16,670 rough and rowdy fans, and this is L!GHTS OUT #26! I am your host “The Doctor” Dante Reed alongside me is my partner in crime Sebastian Riggs! Bas, we are here on a special Monday night edition being two weeks removed from the monumental pay-per-view, Guerrilla Warfare! We witnessed the crowning of three new champions and a barbaric 20-fighter Guerrilla Warfare rumble match that produced a new number one contender to the Union Battleground Championship.
Sebastian Riggs - It was a helluva night to watch no doubt about it. We saw Kimitsu Zombie successfully defend her Trench War Championship against an extremely determined Annie Zellor. Both of those competitors gave everything they had, and it looked like it was anyone’s match. But Kimitsu prevailed and afterwords showed a sign of respect towards Annie, which is a rarity.
Dante Reed - Later on, Elena DeDraca stood victorious over three other competitors to claim the War Horse Championship. It was a highly contested bout where it looked like it could have gone a number of ways. But DeDraca seized the opportunity and now truly embellishes her “Lady of Death” moniker!
Sebastian Riggs - After that, The Outliers took Viduus Morta to hell and back to reclaim the Battalion Championships. Of course it was no easy task, as Viduus looked terrifyingly strong early on, and it took a Thumbsucker, a Disasterpeace, and an Eraserhead to finish him off.
Dante Reed - Then our headline bout of the same name, Guerrilla Warfare! We sat and watched as twenty competitors, one-by-one, entered the ring and give it their all to stand as the lone victor to earn their Union Battleground Championship shot at Coup de Grâce. We saw the return of Blake Archer that kicked off the bout when he ambushed Levinator, we saw a surprise return of Rumble Reyes as he and Caden Walker tore the house down and nearly the ring itself! Konrad Raab surprised many as he entered and showed great perseverance, and the shocking return of Malcolm Dred-King at the twenty spot. We saw Finn Whelan crush the previous eliminations record when he entered at number five and lasted until the final elimination where the ultimate victor, Alyssa Daniels, took it all home in remarkable fashion.
Sebastian Riggs - No doubt it was an amazing feat to accomplish with all of the talent we saw enter. And you know Daniels had to be in the back watching the main event, where Nemesis and Dick Devereaux finally squared off in their much anticipated rematch in a brutal Slaughterhouse Match. In a shocking twist that’d keep M. Night Shyamalan up at night, Dick Devereaux was able to topple the otherworldly beast, but The Butcher didn’t get to celebrate for long as Emery Layton finally cashed in her King Cobra Championship and captured the Union Battleground Title!
Dante Reed - It was definitely a chaotic finish to a wild night, Bas. But that’s not all, evidently our Owner and Promoter Axel Graves has been reported missing since L!GHTS OUT #25 in Mexico City, and his older brother Gunnar Graves has stepped in as acting boss. He’s come in swinging for the fences and scheduled every singles championship to be defended here tonight!
Sebastian Riggs - They say everything is bigger in Texas, and tonight is proof of that! Elena DeDraca will defend her War Horse Championship against the returning Malcolm Dred-King, Kimitsu Zombie will defend her Trench War Championship against Finn Whelan, and we are told that Emery Layton has requested to defend her Union Battleground Championship!
Dante Reed - It’s a night chock full of great match-ups as we will also see Dick Devereaux take on Alyssa Daniels, former Salvation allies Viduus Morta and Alexander Devin squaring off, and Caden Walker taking on Kira Izumi in our opening bout! So without wasting anymore time... Mike, take it away!
A NEW DECLARATION
[Just as Dante Reed is about to turn it over to Mike Dempsey, the arena lights completely cut out. The fans in attendance are at a steady lull, waiting in anticipation for what is about to come. Intermittent strobes of brilliant white light flash at seemingly random locations around the building as soft spine-chilling tones chime and buzz on the PA system.]
THERE’S A RECKONING A-COMIN’
AND IT BURNS BEYOND THE GRAVE
LEAD INSIDE MY BELLY
‘CAUSE MY SOUL HAS LOST ITS WAY
HOW DID YOUR DEBTS GET PAID
WERE YOU SO AFRAID
[As the first verse of “Blood on my Name” by The Brothers Bright comes in, a towering man walks out to the main stage… It’s the new acting owner and promoter Gunnar Graves. A mixed reaction from the crowd begin to amplify as the new bossman unceremoniously walks down the aisle. The unrelenting look across his face shows he’s here for business. Gunnar walks up the steel steps to ensure he doesn’t wrinkle his custom suit and enters the ring. As he enters, the arena lights come back on and the music slowly fades away. In the center of the ring stands a podium covered by a black velvet veil. Gunnar pulls a microphone out from his back pocket and for a moment stares into the crowd as they wait with bated breath.]
Gunnar Graves - Dallas, Texas! Welcome to L!GHTS OUT! Now, for those who do not know me, which I’m sure most of you don’t, my name is Gunnar Graves. I am the older brother of Axel’s, and unfortunately there’s been some personal hardships that the Graves family has endured lately. You see, my baby brother has been missing for some time now, with no trace of him whatsoever. We hope and pray that he’s safe, and our search for his return has been persistent. But the Graves family has a business, and as the saying goes, the show must go on. So I have stepped in as acting Owner and Promoter until we see Axel’s return.
[The crowd clap and cheer to Gunnar’s seemingly sincere concern for his sibling as he breaks for a moment.]
Gunnar Graves - However, while I’m in control, things are going to be a bit different around here. You see, Union Battleground has been on the decline in season two. Low gate numbers and poor locker room morale has put this company in a difficult place. But I assure you, I will turn things around and bring the Battleground back to the prominence it once was!
[Gunnar’s declaration is met with cheers from the crowd’s approval.]
Gunnar Graves - I will be bring you all the match-ups you’ve been clambering over. We all want to see the best of the best, and starting tonight, that’s exactly what I’ll bring to the table. So tonight, we will be seeing all of our singles championships on the line! But first, I want to bring out our NEW Union Battleground Champion, Emery Layton, and show my debt of gratitude for her incredible cash in at Guerrilla Warfare!
"IT DOESN'T HURT ME - YOU WANNA FEEL HOW IT FEELS?
YOU WANNA KNOW? KNOW THAT IT DOESN'T HURT ME?
YOU WANNA HEAR ABOUT THE DEAL I'M MAKING?
[As "Running Up That Hill" by The Feud hits the PA system and light explodes to life, the excitement hits the air. The Worst of the Pavees herself- wearing her leather jacket and beanie over her gear and her and Union Battleground Championship around her waist- emerges from behind the curtain, clearly impressed with the amount of people who have turned out. She's nodding her head, holding her arms out as she struts down the ramp and swaying her head to the beat of her entrance theme, her eyes closed. She's lost in the moment, there's nowhere else she'd rather be right now.]
[Once she reaches the bottom of the ramp, she unclips her title from around her waist- holding it with one hand as she pulls her beanie off and thrusts it into her pocket with the other, skating up the steel steps and climbing the turnbuckle. As the fans cheer, Em lifts the Union Battleground Championship into the air for all to see. Ooh, she's chuffed to even hold it in her hands. Once the eccentric Irish traveller has spent enough time up there, Emery leaps down from the top rope and into the ring, transitioning from that into probably the most graceful, crisp forward-roll you've ever seen. Once she's in there, she runs to the rope right behind her bouncing off it as she drops to her knees and skids forwards, as all the lights drop except a single spotlight on her and the lights from cell phone cameras as her upper body falls backwards and she holds the Union Battleground Championship up in the air with both arms right up. After a few moments of just simply listening to the cheers, she flips onto her front and crawls into her corner, removing her jacket and dumping the battered old thing to the outside as she sits down, legs flat out with the title now draped over her knees, waiting for Graves to continue.]
Gunnar Graves - Emery, as you’ve stated, you have been here since day one when my brother resurrected Union. You have been a major key in the early successes of this promotion. You took the Trench War Championship and elevated it to heights no one expected, and quite possibly no one will ever reach. You went all across the world defending that title. But then, my brother essentially took a hit out on you with Rogan MacLean! Somewhere along the lines, he lost faith in you. But look what you've done this season. After narrow and heartbreaking defeats in the semifinals of the Union Battleground Championship Tournament and the Battalion Championships Tournament, you got over that hump and win the Crown of the King Cobra Championship Tournament! From there, you stalked in the shadows, called yourself the ticking time bomb and a land mine, and struck like the venomous Cobra at the most opportunistic time and captured the Union Battleground Championship! But that title is stained and tainted at the hands of Salvation. So I wanted to officially crown you with a new title that will carry on and represent this new era of the Battleground.
[Gunnar pulls back the veil and reveal the new Union Battleground Championship. The crowd approves with chants and cheers. Emery’s eyes are alight as she surrenders the old Union Battleground Championship and picks up the new one. Without a hand-print on it of any kind, it’s brand new and basically untouched. She’s the first, and can’t contain her excitement as she slings it over her shoulder.]
Emery Layton - I ain’t gonna lie man, this has been a hard year. A real hard year. About a month ago, if you’d have asked me what my plans for Coup De Grace were, I wouldn’t be able to say nothing. But lemme tell ya...I have waited since Day One...to do THIS...
[Emery holds the Union Battleground Championship above her head, to many cheers.]
Emery Layton - Listen, man, I ain’t under no...what’s the word, pretensions? Pretenses? That’s the one! I ain’t under no pretenses about how I won this. I jumped in at the right place at the right time. But it’s like I said time and time again, I been here from the moment Union Battleground came along and I seen it all, dudes. I seen conceited millionaires tryna make this place their own, I seen Saints and sinners, Zombies and monsters, men in masks and men that could fly. I stood in the trenches and I fought them all off. For over a year, whenever something happened, I been there. I fought. I fought in the Trenches for 404 days. I walked these streets and they called me the King Cobra and through it all, I never changed. I never lost hope, cos when I came here, the first thing I ever really wanted was the Union Battleground Championship. All I wanted was to make this matter in the best way I could. I’m that same girl who told Hunter Grand to shove his money up his arse on that first show. People, I’m the Worst of the Pavees. I’m the Best in the Battleground. I’m Emery fucking Layton and I’m the Union Battleground Champion and I think after a year and a half of fighting off everyone who stepped up whenever I drew the line in the sand, being in the right place and right time never felt so right.
[As Emery pauses, fired up, she raises the title up in the air once again. Stopping to think for a few moments.]
Emery Layton - So here’s the deal now- we starting over right here. Yeah, I’m defending this title tonight against Nemesis. But as everyone here should know, this dirty, no-good pavee right here knows a thing or two about defending titles against people who think she’s beneath them. But it ain’t stopping there, man. Cos I’m gonna defend this title tonight. And when I beat Nemesis, coming out here looking like someone just dumped a bucket of paint over him and he just stuck with it, I’m gonna defend it in the main event NEXT week. And when I’m gonna defend it in the main event the week after that. I’m gonna defend this every single week AND I’mma keep defending it until Coup De Grace, anytime and anywhere. This title STAYS with Emery Layton, ladies and gents, and if you wanna try your luck...come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough!
YOU FUCKING BLEED NOW!
[“Everyone Bleeds Now” By Hatebreed hits as Dick Devereaux storms out from the back. His wounds still showing as he is heavily bandaged and limping towards the ring. He looks tired, beaten, and broken. Physically, mentally, and emotionally Devereaux is broken. He gets into the ring slowly and comes face to face with Emery as he grabs a microphone.]
Dick Devereaux - I worked my ass off, week after week, defending this Battleground from the evil that is Salvation. No help, no friends, no back up. All I had was me. I protected this place from Nemesis and Salvation taking over completely. Where were you Emery? If you care about this place so much, where the fuck were you? Everywhere except here! You went off to fight everywhere claiming this place as your home when you would’ve let it burn to the ground with Salvation holding the torch! You are a liar and a thief Emery. And I won’t stand here and let you feed your lies anymore. You stole what was mine Emery. Months of hard work put into walking away with the Union Battleground Championship. I want my fucking rematch. Because we both know who will walk out with the belt. You might be the Best in the Battleground, but I’m the fuckin’ Butcher!
YEAH! I PENETRATE THE DEMONS
THEIR TEARDROPS BURN AWAY MY EYES
I LOVE THE PAPER-THIN CRY OF THE LOCUST
IS THERE ANY OTHER WAY TO DIE
[As “El Phantasmo and The Chicken Run Blast-O-Rama” (Wine, Women & Song Mix) by White Zombie begins blaring through the arena, from the back emerges the former Union Battleground Champion Nemesis alongside former Union Battleground Battalion Champion Viduus as their managers Preacher and the Speaker accompany them. The boos pour in from the Union Battleground fans while the four men make their way to ringside. Eventually they make their way into the ring and almost immediately, Nemesis walks towards the new man in charge Gunnar Graves as Salvation’s theme continues playing. They stand nose to nose which is broken by Nemesis looking down at the old Union Battleground Championship, still stained in Dick Devereaux’s blood as it rests in Gunnar’s right hand. Out of nowhere, Nemesis snatches it from his hand, taking it back into his possession as he walks back towards Viduus, Preacher, and The Speaker who stand directly across from both Emery Layton and Dick Devereaux as Gunnar Graves still looks on, kind of stunned that Nemesis just took the old belt back. Nemesis raises the Title high in the air as Preacher retrieves a microphone.]
Preacher - Prepare yourselves! For the second coming of Salvation’s reign is upon us tonight as our Lord shall smite the unworthy who claims stake to our throne!
[The volume in the boos increases as Preacher now hands the microphone over to Nemesis who first raises the old Union Battleground Championship high in the air.]
Nemesis - Try your hardest to bury the past but you can not change the foundation upon which Union Battleground was built and like the stain on this gold plate, our imprint on the Battleground will be forever lasting.
[Nemesis turns his attention now towards Dick Devereaux, walking up him now, face to face with Viduus, Preacher and Speaker flanking directly behind him.]
Nemesis - You were finally able to overcome me after so many failed attempts only to what? Embarrass yourself even further by losing to her? Now the whole world has to witness the once prideful ‘Butcher’ come out here and whine like a school girl about how a girl stole something from you. You never cease to amaze me Richard. Always finding new ways to re-define the word “pathetic”. The next time you and I meet, if ever, I won’t leave anything for anyone in the back to come out and even have the opportunity to pick apart.
[Nemesis’ words have Devereaux seething but Nemesis cockily smirks and turns his attention towards Emery Layton, walking over to her with his entourage of Viduus, Peacher and the Speaker following.]
Nemesis - And you. You have the audacity to call yourself the Best of the Battleground when all you have are victories over peasants to brag about as accomplishments? Oh, I forgot, you beat poor Richard over there too but he had to have one foot in the grave for you to stand a chance. I see you’re still making all of these grand plans as to what you’re going to do after tonight and how you’re going to vigorously defend that Title every chance you get. Well, Ms. Layton, I hate to be the bearer of bad news...actually, I quite enjoy it but I digress because tonight, not only will I take that shiny new piece of gold Gunnar Graves just handed to you to unify with this old one but I will make sure that your boy toy AJ Morales is feeding you apple sauce and changing your bed pan as you’re lied up in the hospital.
[Layton tightens her grip on the Union Battleground Championship and begins mouthing off to Nemesis as he continues on.]
Nemesis - Tonight I will kill all optimism and hope that either one of you have of walking into Coup de Grâce as Union Battleground Champion, for it will be I that squares off against the Guerilla Warfare winner as Champion!
AM I BRAVE ENOUGH? AM I STRONG ENOUGH?
TO FOLLOW THE DESIRE THAT BURNS FROM WITHIN
TO PUSH AWAY MY FEAR, TO STAND WHERE I'M AFRAID
I AM THROUGH WITH THIS, 'CAUSE I AM MORE THAN THIS
[“I Am The Fire” by Halestorm punctuates Nemesis’ declaration and the crowd goes into a frenzy! Alyssa Daniels steps out onto the stage, microphone in hand. She raises it to her lips as she walks, her theme fading due to the cue.]
Alyssa Daniels - You. All three of you.
[She continues her patient walk toward the ring. The look on her face is one of equal parts frustration and disgust.]
Alyssa Daniels - This is exactly what Gunnar Graves is talking about. The Battleground has been on the decline and it’s thanks in large part to all three of you. The three of you have two things in common. One, you are the only people who have held the Union Battleground Championship over a two year span. And two, you’re all part-timers. Show up here and there for a match, maybe defend a title once every so often.
[Upon reaching the ring, Alyssa rolls in and hops to her feet, eyeing the new champion and the two former champions to make sure they aren’t going to immediately attack. Once satisfied that none are reacting, she continues.]
Alyssa Daniels - I mean, Emery defended the Trench War Championship against Anton Chase a few dozen times while Nemesis, since last season’s Coup de Grâce, had one successful title defense before dropping it. How many times can we see Nemesis and Dick Devereaux put ‘em on the table to measure before we give someone else an opportunity to earn a championship match? Or are championship opportunities earned by leaving for a month or two until we’re told we have a title match? It’s been quite the puzzle trying to figure that out but no amount of comfort in the familiar can get in the way of the annual Guerrilla Warfare match. And sure, I bet I’ll hear a lot of ‘you don’t belong here’ talk from all three of you for various reasons. Maybe it’s because I’m ‘new.’ Maybe it’s because I’ve yet to hold any championships here. Likely, it’s due to insecurity. But the bottom line is that the fans have spoken. This same-old, same-old just ain’t gonna work anymore. They’re tuning out because the three of you, the stalwart elites of the Battleground, are static and stagnant. Dick can yammer on all he wants about his championship but if these fans leave, there won’t be a championship. Nemesis can spew his Salvation rhetoric for the next decade but if there’s no Battleground, there won’t be a path to follow. And little Miss She-King can toot her own horn all she wants but if the Battleground leaves, they’re taking the instruments with them. But see, here’s the really funny part: while the three of you bicker over who is truly the best among you, only one person in this ring right now is guaranteed to be headlining Coup de Grâce. And you’re looking at her!
[With that, Alyssa spikes the live microphone down onto the mat, causing a loud thud to resound throughout the arena. She readies herself for a fight in anticipation of at least one of the three taking offense to her words. But it is Gunnar who takes the stand.]
Gunnar Graves - You know, Alyssa, you’re right. No one in this ring has earned the right to main event our season finale, except you and whoever holds the Union Battleground Championship. Emery Layton wants to defend this championship every chance she can, Dick Devereaux wants his rematch, and Nemesis here has a match tonight with Layton that will now be for the Union Battleground Championship. So in order to sort out this traffic jam and put all doubts to rest, how about at Coup de Grâce, we have a fatal fourway match? Emery Layton, Nemesis, Dick Devereaux, and Alyssa Daniels; whoever stands tall at the end of Coup de Grâce shall be the undisputed Union Battleground Champion!
[The fans in attendance burst into cheers from Gunnar’s proposal while all four competitors stare each other down with a fierce yet satisfying countenance. Gunnar then directs his attention to Alyssa.]
Gunnar Graves - What do you say, Miss Daniels? Are you up for the challenge?
[Alyssa can hardly contain her emotion as she rips the microphone from Gunnar’s hands.]
Alyssa Daniels - You’re asking me if I’m willing to stand toe-to-toe with three of the longest tenured and most successful competitors that’s stepped foot in the Battleground, all for the Union Battleground Championship? I would love nothing more than to prove myself while taking down the past and ringing in the future!
[The crowd grows to a clamor as Daniels accepts the challenge. Her music hits the PA as she stares off Emery only for a moment before directing her attention to Devereaux, her opponent for tonight. Slowly she exits the ring as Emery, Nemesis, and Devereaux continue to occupy the ring with an ever growing tension.]
In our opening bout, Caden Walker and Kira Izumi were set to square off. Walker has been on the cusp of breaking through to a new level, while Izumi just recently returned since War of the Worlds where he had an epic Falls Count Anywhere Match against Alex Kincaid. Neither of these two had prior beef, but both of these competitors definitely needed a victory as the season draws near to a close.
During the opening part of the bout, Caden Walker used his superior strength to keep Kira at bay. No matter what Kira threw at the bigger man, Walker was able to counter it with his sheer size. Then, Kira decided to use a little equalizer, foreign objects.
The Prince of Darkness tested Gunnar Graves’ leniency towards weaponry, and everything seemed to go as usual. Kira first decided to bring in his signature wooden kendo sword, better known as a Bokkan. Kira was able to slow down the big man with vicious attacks, but it wasn’t enough to put Walker down. Kira eventually snapped the Bokkan in two over Caden’s head and split the serial killer wide open.
As the blood poured out of Caden’s face like a crimson waterfall, it gave him a second wind and a surge took over as he began to regain control of the match. As Kira struggled to keep any footing, Walker decided to bring in his own equalizers from under the ring... fluorescent light tubes!
The crowd grew weary at the sight of Caden sprawling tubes all around the ring and finishing with a stack leaned up against a turnbuckle. Caden and Kira then began trading off dangerous move after move involving the tubes. Things looked to be over when Kira was able to pick Caden up and drop him in a pile of light tubes with his trademark Kira Driver ‘91, but somehow the ex-con kicked out of it! Again Caden surged with another rally and looked to end it with his trademark running powerbomb, the South Texas Death Ride, right into the bundle of tubes leaned against the turnbuckle! But right at the last second, Kira slipped free and Walker fell face first in the tubes like a battering ram! Caden rag dolled to the mat and Kira ascended to the top rope, eventually hitting his #FlipKira moonsault for the pinfall victory!
Winner: Kira Izumi via pinfall (#FlipKira) in 12:25.
The path to Salvation appears to be at a crossroad. At one point early in the season, Salvation had an ever growing group that held a firm grasp of the Battleground. With Nemesis holding the Union Battleground Championship and then Viduus Morta and Aiden Deimos capturing the Battalion Championships, the state of the Battleground never looked more bleak. However, the foundation looked to crack as the season progressed, exiling members from season one like Camila Martinez and Sinister, to season two members like Tommy Crimson, Legion, Ragnarok, and Alexander Devin; and not to forget Aiden Deimos leaving Viduus in the midst of their Battalion Championships reign, leaving him to defend the titles solo against the former champs The Outliers.
This was a chance to rebound for the once dominant faction, and it started with Viduus Morta taking on former member Alexander Devin. Viduus did not waste anytime in displaying his dominance over his former ally, and completely dismantled Devin. It was a completely one-sided contest, and Viduus took the victory with ease as he finished Devin off with his signature inverted brain buster, The Awakening.
Winner: Viduus Morta via pinfall (The Awakening) in 3:09.
WANDER WITH ME
[The Union Battleground cameras show the locker room door of none other than the current War Horse Champion, Elena DeDraca. The door was open to give free sight on the black haired female. She currently was leaning against the wall with her legs stretched out, headphones covering her ears. It took her a moment to realise that she was no longer alone, turning off the music.]
THE FIST OF HYDRA | ELENA DEDRACA
Ever heard of knocking? Well, nevermind. Doubt I would have heard you either way. What’s good boys?
[There was no verbal answer -- then again those camera people never seemed to talk. The camera focus changed for just a moment, spotting the shiny object next to Elena. Her eyes followed, a bright smile growing on her face.]
THE FIST OF HYDRA | ELENA DEDRACA
Oh, that is what this is all about. My War Horse title. And yes, I said mine. Not only because I am the current holder -- but because I fought hard for it. It must have looked easy from the outside but that just means you have never been in my shoes. Nothing I ever earn seems to come easy. I put my everything on the line to achieve my goals. But does it really help one to focus on the past? It is never a good idea to linger there for too long, letting the world turn without your notice. It is a new day, it is a new Lights Out and it is a new opponents.
[Elena winked towards the camera while her hand patted the War Horse Title.]
THE FIST OF HYDRA | ELENA DEDRACA
Malcolm Dred- King. You have gone awfully quiet the past week, darling. Was it something I said? Or was it something I did? Because I think I just followed the protocol of this business. I was giving you the attention you deserve and got what? Nothing. You vanished on me, boy. Not that this is the first time something like that happens, but it it’s fairly awkward if you ask me. You come back after months of doing whatever -- get a title match and then what? You think it isn’t big enough to deserve your full attention? I pretend that I am disappointed, but I have been way too long in this business. I have seen your kind a thousand times and the end is always the same. You make yourself the talk of town but when shit gets serious, you are nowhere to be found. I don’t wanna sound offensive, but the truth hurts. You have let me down, Malcolm. And with that you have let yourself down. And even Union Battleground.
[There was a moment of silence where she closed her eyes, taking a few deep breaths.]
THE FIST OF HYDRA | ELENA DEDRACA
I didn’t want this to be anything personal. Because at the end of the day we are all just doing a job. But, and this is where it becomes tricky, when you fail to fulfill your end of the bargain -- you manage to piss me off. I come here show after show and give the audience what they pay for. I don’t need any fancy introduction or people patting me on my back, but I know my worth. Do you know yours? Does anyone know yours to be exact? I didn’t hide from you or anything you could have thrown my way. But you my friend managed to embarrass yourself in the worst way possible. Your ignorance has put you in a rather fatal position. Everyone that once was in a ring with me is aware of three facts. I am a hard worker. My kicks are mean. And I have made plenty of big guys cry.
[There was a knock at the half open door which caught her attention. Spotting the person standing there a small smile crossed her face. Elena slowly got up not once letting her title out of sight.]
THE FIST OF HYDRA | ELENA DEDRACA
As a sign of fair sportsmanship I will allow you the first punch. Since you are just coming back and maybe a little rusty and all that. But do not think that this will put the odds in your favour. One way or another this is not going to end well for you, Malcolm. I didn’t just win that title to hand it over to someone that is only half here. Not sure where your other half is, but certainly you are not fully invested. Look how well that work for Joe. Or Josie. They didn’t get their happy ending. And neither will you. I will do exactly what I said I would. Expose you for what you truly are. A has been. And that is by no means the worst thing one can be. You could be never was. So I give you the amount of respect you deserve, or even a little too much. But I am naturally more generous than people would believe.
[Elena had already made it to the door, smiling.]
THE FIST OF HYDRA | ELENA DEDRACA
And with that being said, darling -- you are welcome.
One thing that can not be mistaken when it comes to Elena DeDraca, and it’s that she’s laser focused on her opposition and has no room for taking things lightly. With the return of Malcolm Dred-King, both of these competitors had resounding support from the crowd, but Elena wasn’t one of them welcoming the return with open arms.
As the bout began, MDK seemed to be more excited to be back in action than what was in front of him, as Elena was able to catch MDK off guard and take an early lead and steady control. The ring rust was evident with Malcolm as he struggled early to gain any control of the match, and seemed to be a step behind in everything DeDraca three at him.
As the match pushed through, Dred-King started to settle in and was able to develop some offense, and surprised Elena a few times with some strong-handed suplexes and tosses. But Elena is known as “The Lady of Death” for a reason and she stayed resilient during the attacks.
Things looked to go either direction as both competitors began to wear down, until Elena DeDraca was able to slip Malcolm Dred-King in her octopus submission she aptly calls “The Fist of Hydra”! The crowd grew in anticipation and thought the end was near for MDK, but he used his power to drag himself to the ropes for a rope break. While Elena followed orders and released MDK from the hold, Malcolm dropped to the mat to try and regroup. However this left himself wide open for Elena’s signature curb stomp she calls Revelation and thus ended MDK’s hopes of capturing a Union Battleground Title on his return while further cementing Elena’s legacy as one of the fastest rising champions.
Winner: AND STILL War Horse Champion, Elena DeDraca via pinfall (Revelation) in 16:33.
THE PATH AHEAD
[The camera fades in to show a cracked locker room door. The cameraman quietly pushes open the door. Inside, Alyssa Daniels is looking in the mirror, getting her ring gear secure. Fortunately, or unfortunately depending upon the hopes of the viewer, she’s fully dressed and just securing accessories. Before the cameraman can approach however, something interesting happens that causes him to just stop and film the scene. Alyssa gets a look at her face, then turns to reach for something. In the mirror, however, the reflection continues to look straight ahead. Alyssa straightens back up and looks at the mirror but catches that her reflection wasn’t moving.]
Alyssa Daniels - Huh?
[She turns her head to the side and the reflection mirrors the action. She turns to the other side and gets the same result. Her eyes narrow.]
Alyssa Daniels - I could’ve sworn…
Mirror - Help.
[Alyssa freezes as the image in the mirror speaks. It now changes, moving of its own volition. It looks at Alyssa with desperation.]
Mirror - Please, you have to stop this…
Alyssa Daniels - Uh…
[Alyssa begins looking around the mirror, searching for a cord of some kind that would explain why the mirror is suddenly talking to her but finds nothing. She pulls on the mirror but finds it bolted securely to the wall.]
Mirror - … Before it’s too late!
[Alyssa looks back at the mirror and decides to approach the situation verbally.]
Alyssa Daniels - Stop what exactly?
[The reflection pulls down the right shoulder of her ring gear, Alyssa’s left. The result is enough to intrigue but not enough to change the rating of the show. Alyssa looks down at what the reflection is trying to show and gasps taking an involuntary step back. The camera zooms in and shows what appears to be a tattoo on her chest. Or maybe something else. The marking is a red hand print just to the right of center on her chest over the area where her heart would be. The hand print is unmistakable: the mark of Salvation.]
Alyssa Daniels - What… How…
Mirror - This is who I am now, who you will be if you don’t stop it.
Alyssa Daniels - I would never join them!
Mirror - It may be better than the alternative I’ve…
[The reflection drops her head in defeat.]
Mirror - I’ve hurt people. Badly.
[Alyssa reaches unconsciously to her neck and touches a necklace she’s wearing, specifically the Crucifix. An interesting note, the reflection is not wearing such a necklace. The reflection seems to flicker and turn to static for a brief moment once she makes contact with the Crucifix. The image returns when she releases it.]
Mirror - Save me. Save you.
[Alyssa shakes her head as if to rattle everything loose. She looks back at the mirror and the differences are gone. Her shirt is secured and the necklace shows clearly. She then turns away from the mirror and spots the camera. She marches forward, fury in her eyes.]
Alyssa Daniels - What are you doing in here?! Get out! GET OU--
[The feed cuts.]
It’s hard to argue that anyone has been more dominant than Kimitsu Zombie in season two. She’s garnered a perfect 8-0 record this season, and while she piled up the victories, the accolades followed which included a Four Horsemen Medallion, the War Horse Championship, and the highly coveted Trench War Championship. She’s taken down her longstanding rival Emery Layton in the process and shows no sign of slowing down.
However, she has yet to face someone of the likes Finn Whelan. Whelan’s season two debut and tenure and has shown much promise, but it’s only to be swept from under his feet at the last moment. Whelan was a finalist in the Crown of the King Cobra Tournament, but fell short to Emery Layton. Whelan was then one of the last two standing during the Guerrilla Warfare Match, where he entered at number five, but again he fell short after breaking the record for most eliminations by one person. With Finn missing two huge opportunities to break into the Union Battleground Championship conversation by “thismuch” and also recent personal tragedies, it’s pushed him over the limit. We now see a different side of Finn that hasn’t been seen this season, and he’s declared that from now on, he’s out for blood.
Both of these competitors have shared common ground in several promotions in the past, but it wasn’t until recently that they squared off. With contests in the #QuagCup in the rear view mirror, both Zombie and Whelan look towards a new objective; For Zombie it’s to retain her Trench War Championship, and for Whelan it’s to take it away.
This match started off fast and furious as both knew each other’s capabilities and didn’t leave any room for errors. It was a wild, unmanageable fight all throughout that saw each competitor push the limits of being disqualified.
As was the theme for the night it seemed, it looked like it could have gone either way for Zombie and Whelan, but Whelan was able to take complete control after a long back and forth struggle that saw him end the night with the pumphandle flatliner and become the new Union Battleground Trench War Champion!
Winner: AND NEW Trench War Champion, Finn Whelan via pinfall (Revelation 6:4) in 14:56.
In our headline bout for the evening, two competitors square off for the first time ever who are now in the thick of being the top billing of the Battleground. Despite both in the hunt for the Union Battleground Championship, Alyssa Daniels and Dick Devereaux are at opposite ends of the spectrum. Daniels is coming off a major victory in the Guerrilla Warfare Bout that has guaranteed her a shot at the Union Battleground Championship at Coup de Grâce, while Devereaux is reeling the effects of becoming the first two-time UB Champion, giving Nemesis his first loss, only to lose it mere seconds after Emery Layton cashed in her King Cobra Title.
As the bout finally began, both Daniels and Devereaux started things off slow and tried to feel each other out. It was a meticulous back and forth, as both seemed a bit hesitant to unleash. However, as things started hearing up, Daniels started to loosen up and took some risks that paid off.
The Heart of Infinity gained control of the tempo by using her superior speed and agility that kept Devereaux guessing. Her vast high flying capabilities wowed the fans in attendance and also antagonized The Butcher. Devereaux at times looked flustered and outmatched, but his persistence kept him in the game and he was finally able to counter Alyssa’s lightning fast attack and kept her down with his bull train psychology.
Devereaux incorporated a number of attacks on the outside, which included steel chairs, ring posts, and the ring steps. When the fight migrated back in the ring, Alyssa was able to regroup and slowly turn the tide back in her favor with several flurry combos. Her ambush attacks and in-ring awareness swarmed The Butcher, and she was finally able to cap it off with her signature double knee jawbreaker, Amnesia, for the pinfall victory.
Winner: Alyssa Daniels via pinfall (Amnesia) in 17:22.
Sometimes in competition, there are those “what if” matchups that fans clamor over that just never come to fruition. Whether it be a generation gap, or the simple fact that they never cross paths, there’s always a handful of “what if’s”. It almost looked to be the case between Emery Layton and Nemesis, two competitors who have been in the Battleground since the beginning. But the new Owner and Promoter Gunnar Graves did not want to leave the fans wondering “what if”, and as one of his first orders of business on his first show taking the reigns, he scheduled the two most successful competitors Union Battleground has seen to battle for the company’s top prize.
The highly anticipated main event bout started off with some heavy tension. Both Layton and Nemesis didn’t flinch at either one, and showed zero fear and zero respect for their opposition. The match itself finally started off a very much one-sided affair, as Nemesis completely manhandled The Worst of the Pavees. Showing off his supernatural strength, Nemesis continuously threw Emery around all over the ring, and showed great pleasure in his dominance.
Emery, however, is a fighter and despite her stature, her spirit couldn’t be broken and took everything Nemesis had to offer. She was able to repeatedly kick out of pinfall attempts, and continued to stand her ground. By this time, Nemesis grew with frustration and started to dig deep and began taking some risks. This proved to be costly as Layton was able to retaliate and develop a steady resurgence. Emery had to work twice as fast and hit twice as hard to keep Nemesis on his heels, but she was keeping The Harbinger of Revelation at bay.
As she’s known to be, Emery neglected to strategize her attacks, and Nemesis was able to regain control of the match. The leader of Salvation was ruthless and unforgiving with his attacks, and things looked to be at its worst for the Pavee. In a desperation move, Emery tried to catch Nemesis off guard with top rope diving cutter, the Prikasa, but Nemesis caught her in mid-air in a fireman’s carry. The crowd dropped to a near silence as Nemesis dropped Emery with the GTS. As Nemesis stalked his prey and awaited for his finishing touch with a penalty kick, he gets ambushed from behind by Dick Devereaux with his trademark barbed wire bat! The referee catches the attack and calls for the bell! While both Nemesis and Layton lay beaten down, Devereaux stands over both and can be faintly heard through the rowdy fans that no one is taking the title from Emery except him.
Winner: Nemesis via disqualification (Dick Devereaux interference) in 19:10.