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Thread: THRIVE Pro Wrestling

  1. #81
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    Re: November BTBOTM - Natural Approach 3

    Madison Square Gardens sounds like a hell of a step up in venue considering THRIVE are still in their early days of business. I'm pretty sure WWE have got some kind of vice grip on MSG so that no other wrestling promotion is allowed to run there, but w/e it's creative writing, I'll let it slide.

    I was glad to see a paragraph about the charitable work that THRIVE does after it was mentioned at the promotions launch. I'm the opposite of Tig, I was much more impressed to see that noted than JTG and Bully Ray being guests of honour.

    Commentary was on point throughout the night, I knew Corino wasn't gonna finish the night once the WWE movers started being targeted.

    I have no doubts Pentagon Vs Silas was a first time ever match, but the other two I did check on Cagematch, thought maybe ZSJ/Cage or Cole/Cobb might have happened at a PWG show. Really unique finish for their match with Silas doing that sick bump of his own accord (i.e. Pentagon not pushing him off) and I loved Pentagon following up straight away with the sacrifice. How many times do you see guys just make it back in on the rope break, still exhausted from the effort to get back in the ring, and their opponents just stand there and let them recover and get back to their feet? I think this was the right call, Pentagon's a bigger star than Silas.

    ZSJ/Cage was my pick for best semi final matches, I really popped for Sabre's shots at Cage's muscle gain and how he used his bulk against him during the match. Zack's the thinking mans wrestler and that came off here; that was excellent psychology. It should of been obvious really that the only European would make it to the final with this Havoc storyline going on.

    Cobbmania bro, what happened? you killed the dream before it could take off. I get it, you had to put Cole into the final to hint at the Greater Europe/Bullet Club teases throughout the night, but fuck, that was my pick man.

    Seeing as though Evie's now gone, there's no harm in asking, was she set to be a player in your women's division? I'm guessing along with Heidi and Kimber Lee going also that might have changed one or two plans for you. Alpha Female saying 'I accept'....well she is German

    I was expecting the win for WarMachine, but not so much the quadruple homicide scene later in the night; as a viewer I'm led to think it's a Greater Europe at it again, and there are rumours about War Machine to WWE, but Dunn's an innocent party if that's the case. I'll let it play out.

    Alberto had cuts did he It's not the greatest surprise match you could of thrown on, but it's two big names which would of popped the crowd never-the-less.

    As much as I dislike them, that Bullet Club segment before the final was pretty damn good. I liked how they tied in the Wrestlekingdom matches coming up in a few days, Omega obviously with his career biggest match and Cody with......Juice, and used that as a reason why it wasn't worth the risk to them to get into some extreme battle with a greater Europe.

    Pentgon's the right call for the first champion because he's not so fully involved in any of the stable warfare storylines at the moment, he can make the title and his defences his story and deepen the Thrive cards that way.

    As for a final rating, shall we say 6 stars? Really great ending to the 96 tournament, I gotta say with your record of leaving projects on the table (did you ever reach Canada?) I wasn't so sure we'd ever see the first champion crowd, but kudos to you for putting in the hard work to reach that first milestone. Now lets see if Thrive can last long enough to see it's 2nd champion...

    your avatar choice gets -6 stars btw

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    Re: November BTBOTM - Natural Approach 3

    Not a long review this time because I'm pressed for time. When I saw ZSJ in the finals, I was hoping he would end up winning it all but I suppose Pentagon Jr. isn't a bad choice and it doesn't feel like he'll be heading off to the WWE anytime soon.

    I wonder if anyone off to the WWE will be attacked and carted off from here on out, and it'll be great to see if someone like JT Dunn tries to enact revenge with Hero off and about. Mostly, I'm just interested in how THRIVE will look going forward. How many events, who will become mainstays of the roster, how will the shows be structured, etc. Greater Europe is of course the story I'm most interested in seeing developed while there aren't any future-WWE guys to deal with. Are they going to just be the stable-neutralizer or is there more?
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    THRIVEcast #3


    THRIVEcast is a video series featuring Q&A sessions with some of THRIVE's hottest stars. It is hosted by Scarlett Bordeaux who asks questions on behalf of fans and the company. The opinions and comments made by wrestlers are not necessarily shared or endorsed by the company itself. As always, viewer discretion is advised.


    Scarlett Bordeaux: Welcome back to THRIVEcast, the show where we speak intimately with some of pro wrestling's best and brightest stars. Today's show features appearances from Worldwide 96 finalist Adam Cole, the man he beat to get there, Jeff Cobb, and a few other special guests. First, let's hear from the new Ring of Honor World Champion!


    Scarlett Bordeaux: Hello Adam. And welcome back to THRIVEcast.

    Adam Cole: Hi Scarlett.

    Adam has a Bullet Club t-shirt on and the Ring of Honor World Championship draped over his shoulder.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Obviously things didn't go quite the way you had hoped in the Worldwide 96, but I wanted to congratulate you on reaching the finals, as well as winning the ROH World Championship for a third time at Wrestle Kingdom.

    Adam Cole: Thank you. Of course two World Championships would be better than one but I can't really complain; on one of the most prestigious battlegrounds in our business, I put Kyle O'Reilly away for the last time. So if there was any question in anybody's mind as to who was the better wrestler between Kyle and myself, well... I just answered it.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: It's hard to argue with that. Another thing I found interesting was that your Bullet Club friends weren't keen on getting involved when you fought for the THRIVE World Championship, and yet, you were the only member of Bullet Club to walk away from Wrestle Kingdom with championship gold...

    Cole smiles like he hadn't thought about this fact yet, but you know he totally has.

    Adam Cole: That's interesting you should say that, Scarlett. Granted, the Guerrillas of Destiny were robbed - but yes, I suppose I am the only one-... (Cole considers his next words...) y'know what, let's change the subject and wrap this up. I've got places to be.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: ...Sure. What are your thoughts about Trifecta and what does 2017 look like for Adam Cole?

    Adam Cole: Well regarding Trifecta, things could have been worse. I could have no gold right now, which isn't very Adam Cole of me. In a way, I suppose you might say losing the triple threat match to Zack and Pentagon made me a little hungrier and gave me a little more edge going into my match with Kyle. But I've always been the better fighter and losing this (Cole points to his ROH World Championship) was a fluke to begin with. So my 2017 starts with me being the best damn champion that ROH has ever seen-

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Isn't that how you start every year?

    Cole smiles but doesn't respond to it.

    Adam Cole: And inbetween all the superkicks, and sponsor dinners, and representing Ring of Honor but more importantly The Bullet Club around the world, I'm going to make the time to wrestle for THRIVE and become your 2nd World Champion. How's that sound?

    Scarlett Bordeaux: That sounds like the Adam I know. I would wish you luck, but I know you don't need it.

    Adam Cole smiles, then nods, and the call ends.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: My next guest is a former Olympian who made it all the way to the semi-finals of the Worldwide 96, where he was defeated by our last guest in controversial fashion. Ladies and germs - it's Jeff Cobb!


    Scarlett Bordeaux: Hello Jeff! How are you this evening?

    Jeff Cobb: ...you know your boy cheated to beat me at Trifecta, right?

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Well, he is Adam Cole.

    Jeff Cobb: And you're gonna congratulate him on making the finals like he didn't steal them?

    Scarlett Bordeaux: What matters more to you? Winning the match or playing by the rules?

    Jeff Cobb: ...winning the match, I guess? But cheating's a coward's way of going about it.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: True, however, one could argue that risking disqualification requires a bit of bravery in and of itself. In the end it's really about how much you want it. Maybe Adam Cole wanted it that much more.

    Jeff Cobb: It's not about him wanting it more, it's about him loading his knee pad with a piece of metal and smashing me in the head.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Tomato tomato. So he cheated. All that says is he wanted it badly enough to cheat.

    Jeff Cobb: (getting heated) Is this a joke?

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Not at all, Jeff. But Adam's my friend, and I'm not exactly a stranger to doing whatever it takes to get what I want.

    Scarlett winks at the camera.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: I completely understand why you would be upset, but as Omar Little would say, it's all in the game.

    Jeff Cobb: Who the fuck is Omar?

    Cobb looks like he's actually getting a little heated.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: We got off on the wrong foot, Jeff. Forgive me but part of my job is to provoke discussion. So what's life after Trifecta look like? What's in store for "Mr. Athletic?"

    Cobb looks away as he thinks about what's next.

    Jeff Cobb: Well, I know I'm going to be tagging with Matt Riddle for PWG soon, and THRIVE wants me for the first Showcase, but they haven't said what I'm doing yet... I was kind of hoping you'd have the details.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: You're teaming with The Space Monkey!

    Cobb stares blankly at her. She tries to hide a smile but she can't.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: I'm sorry, couldn't resist. I don't know what they've got in store for you. They don't tend to tell me more than I need to know on any given night. You know how they love surprises around here.

    Jeff Cobb: Yeah, right.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: But, I heard they've got a number of people from the tournament returning for the show. And you know, Pentagon needs a number one contender...

    Jeff Cobb: That sounds promising.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Doesn't it, though? Also I know you two work on Lucha Underground, so how do you feel about Pentagon Jr. going on to win the whole thing?

    Jeff Cobb: He's very good. I like him. I still think I should have won, but as soon as two guys from LU reached the semi-finals, I knew I would be happy with either of us taking it.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: You think he'll give you a title shot?

    Jeff Cobb: I don't like to be given anything, Scarlett. I'm sure I'll earn it soon enough. And when I do, Pentagon and I are going to tear the house down.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: I admire your confidence, Jeff. Thank you for your time this evening. And if I don't speak to you sooner, good luck against the 'Fucking Machines.

    Jeff Cobb: Thank you.

    Cobb forces a smile and the somewhat-tense interview is over.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Well, that was a little awkward, but you can't fault him for being upset. His loss to Adam Cole following the brainbuster-onto-a-loaded-knee-pad no doubt disappointed a lot of fans who were pulling for Cobbmania! All he can do now is learn from the experience, dust himself off, and try again.

    Scarlett looks down at her notes for a moment.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Our next guest is no stranger to THRIVEcast but he was strangely absent from Trifecta - it's Paul London!


    Scarlett Bordeaux: Welcome back to the show, Paul.

    Paul London: Thank you. How are you, Scarlett?

    Scarlett Bordeaux: I'm great, thank you. And yourself?

    Paul London: ...

    London looks like he's thinking about how to answer the question.

    Paul London: I've been better.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Sorry to hear it. I know I was more than a little disappointed when I didn't see you on the New York show...

    Paul London: Oh, someone else noticed? That's nice. Ya see, I didn't get invited, so I had to look up the show afterwards to see what went down. And you know what's interesting? Not one review mentioned my not being there. Not one.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Well-

    Paul London: I get put in the ring across from The Space Monkey, fucking enhancement talent and people can't stop talking about me - specifically the downward spiral that is my career trajectory, or more commonly, what Brian Kendrick is up to.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: ...

    Paul London: You would think that at least one person would wonder, 'hey, where's Paul London?' or 'why isn't Paul London on the card?' But no. I've become a complete afterthought.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: I don't know what to say, Paul.

    Paul London: (sigh) You don't have to say anything. I just needed to vent. I thought if I could get that last match with Kendrick and go over him, it would put me in the discussion for contendership, but obviously things have gone very differently for me. I'm working with guys who are green-as-goose-shit and I'm not even booked for the big shows...

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Can I tell you something that might cheer you up?

    Paul London: ...yes?

    Scarlett Bordeaux: You're booked for the first episode of Showcase.

    Paul London: Really..?

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Yep. And it's not against some schlub, either. That's actually the reason we had you on the show today, was to tell you.

    Paul London: ...you... couldn't have told me before my depressing rant?

    Scarlett Bordeaux: I guess I could have but what's entertaining about that?

    Paul London: Against who?

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Now that's a secret.

    Paul London: (joking) I hate you.

    London smiles like he hasn't smiled in some time.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Love you too, Paul. Stay out of trouble.

    The call ends and Scarlett smiles, satisfied with herself.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: My next guest is something of a controversial figure in THRIVE... but I guess he's a controversial figure in any company he works for. Ladies and gentlemen...


    Jimmy Havoc: Hello, love.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: ...Jimmy.

    Jimmy Havoc: Congratulations on making your Raw debut recently.

    Scarlett's eyes grow wide for a moment.

    Jimmy Havoc: Relax. I'm not going to have Alpha rip your head off. Yet.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Well, isn't that kind of you.

    Jimmy Havoc: It is, actually. Way I see it, anyone joining 'the E' is undermining the efforts of all of us on the independent scene who are trying to turn what little we've got into a force to be reckoned with. Can't very well accomplish that when your soldiers are crossing enemy lines for a little more paper in their pocket, can you?

    Scarlett Bordeaux: I mean, there are some who would say it's a good thing for all parties involved-

    Jimmy Havoc: It's a good thing for them. For the Network. For the few who manage to fit their mold and are happy to bend the knee and kiss Hall of Fame rings and all that. But it's cancerous to those among us who want to see the European wrestling scene become the best in the world. And we will do anything for our vision.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Yeah, I saw what you did to Corino...

    Jimmy Havoc: There are casualties in every war, Scarlett. And if you keep your head down, maybe you can stay out of the crosshairs.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Is that a threat?

    Jimmy Havoc: No, it's a veiled threat, sweetheart. Implied but not direct, y'know?

    Scarlett Bordeaux: ...

    Jimmy Havoc: Relax. I'm just teasing. You know, under other circumstances, it would have been Corino leading the attack. Just as brutal, if not moreso. Let's not pretend he's innocent in all of this, is what I'm getting at.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: So you think a broadcaster having a colorful past is justification for a beating?

    Jimmy Havoc: No, but it helps me sleep at night.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: And I suppose Raymond Rowe, Hanson, Chris Hero, JT Dunn... they were all casualties as well?

    Jimmy Havoc: Times are tough, Scarlett. There's a war brewing. I don't think you realize just how bad things could get for all of us if we don't take action.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: I guess I don't have the same imagination as you-

    Jimmy Havoc: This isn't make believe, love. This is real life. Did you see what Meltzer said about it? How New Japan is going to fight and lose, and everyone else is going to try to be friends and be gobbled up and lose? Everyone is projected to lose. And you still don't see why we're doing what we do?

    Scarlett Bordeaux: I mean, I guess-

    Jimmy Havoc: I don't want you to guess. I want you to know. When I look in your eyes, I want to see inside of you the same understanding that I see inside the eyes of every member of A Greater Europe. There are no half measures anymore. This extends to THRIVE, PROGRESS, everywhere. They want to monopolize the industry even further than they already have? Then we're going to do our best to make sure they die trying.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Good luck with that.

    Jimmy Havoc: I'm not delusional. This isn't going to be easy. And the monster we're fighting might be invincible, but I'll be damned if I'm going to let them prevent the rise of the UK scene. We were doing just fine before they came along and got spooked by ITV's World of Sport. Now they're trying to undo all of the hard work to make our names known across the world... THRIVE has given us a platform to air our grievances, and I am forever grateful, but anyone who stands in our way is going to experience a similar fate. Corino, Hero, War Machine...

    Scarlett Bordeaux: JT Dunn...

    Jimmy Havoc: Well, that was just a case of 'wrong place, wrong time...'

    Scarlett Bordeaux: No, I mean JT Dunn... is calling in to the show.

    There's a low beeping sound that can be heard once they both stop talking. Scarlett accepts the call and the screen splits three ways to include JT Dunn's feed.

    JT Dunn: Jimmy fucking Havoc.

    Jimmy Havoc: ...

    JT Dunn: You don't need to say anything. Save that bullshit for your troops. I would challenge you to a match at Showcase, but I know you weren't involved in our attack. You're too much of a pussy.

    Havoc smiles at Dunn having the balls to say such a thing to him, knowing what the repercussions will be.

    JT Dunn: No, you probably sent your goons to do your dirty work for you. So I'm issuing a challenge to any of your guys - Showcase, one-on-one with me. And I'm not waiting for an answer.

    Dunn hangs up and leaves both Havoc and Bordeaux speechless for a moment.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Safe to assume A Greater Europe accepts the challenge? A singles match on the debut episode of Showcase?

    Jimmy Havoc: Nothing is safe anymore, Scarlett. (pause) We'll be there.

    Havoc ends the call abruptly.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Alrght.... I guess that's all, folks! Another edition of THRIVEcast in the books. I'm your host, Scarlett Bordeaux, and I'll see you at Showcase.

    Scarlett smiles, then holds the smile awkwardly for a few seconds, like she's expecting the show to end.

    Scarlett Bordeaux: Oh, that's right! Before we go - exclusively for our THRIVEcast viewers, here's a sneak peek at the logo for Showcase!

    Spoiler:


    Scarlett Bordeaux: Make sure you tune in this week, and have a great day!!

    Scarlett winks and the broadcast ends. What a fox.


  4. #84
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    Re: THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    Great THRIVECast, your writing is so money.

    re:Cole - I'm not a fan of his so I'm not too interested in seeing more of him but I imagine he's looking like becoming a main fixture of THRIVE. Unfortunate.

    re:Cobb - A win's value is that it takes skill to accomplish it. If anyone can do it, be that by cheating, then the win is devalued. Cobb needs to be a quick thinker, instead of validating Bordeaux's argument pro-cheating.

    re:London - Who cares Not really interested in seeing him going forward.

    re:Dunn & Havoc - This was the big selling point of the night. The one thing that stuck out for me is that Havoc is only in this for the UK scene, he doesn't seem all that interested in defending the other scenes be that Japan, US, etc. So it'll be interesting to see how big stars from these other regions react. I still forget whether anyone from A Greater Europe ended up in the UK tourney?

    In any case, hyped for Showcase!
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  5. #85
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    Re: THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    Both the London and Havoc portions of the THRIVEcast were tremendous, especially Havoc's segment. A Greater Europe is shaping up to be my favorite group in THRIVE. This update has me so ready for the next show to come.

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    Re: THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    Well I have to say I was thoroughly tickled pink by the Cobbmania shoutout. Our movement will get it's day one day.

    Scarlett is very playful on the show, it's kind of like Renee on Talking Smack but she's also not afraid to defend heels and wind up the talent, so there's a bit of an edge to her that's not so sugar and spice and everything nice.

    JT Dunn calling in was the best part of the show, and setting up a match with A Greater Europe advances the story nicely.

    Also dude, if you have the Thrive logo on it's own with no background, PM it my way because I reckon I can make it an icon to appear in your thread title, better than that INDY/PURO one you've got on now.

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    Showcase #001



    Los Angeles, CA

    The show begins with a video package going over the semifinals and finals of the Worldwide 96, culminating in the crowning of our first World Champion. Then, we see some clips of Pentagon Jr. appearing on morning shows and several television programs in Mexico with the championship belt draped over his shoulder.

    This ends with a video recording taken from a children's hospital, where kids have gathered around to behold the sight of our champion. Pentagon tells us that he's proud to be the first World Champion in this company's history and have so much support from his people. He raises the THRIVE World Championship into the air and they cheer.

    Then, the mood shifts for a bit, as he announces that, sadly, he will no longer be known by the name Pentagon Jr. Due to a copyright issue with AAA, he must abandon it and choose a new moniker. He tells us that he won the World Championship as Pentagon Jr. but will now be wrestling in THRIVE as the new and improved 'PENTA.' He gets the kids to chant "PENTA! PENTA!" before he does the 'cero miedo' taunt and the video ends.

    When we return to ringside, Joey Styles introduces himself as tonight's MC before doing introductions for our broadcast team. We see Kevin Kelly sitting next to a large chair that's turned the other way, so that we cannot see who is sitting in it...

    Kevin Kelly: Welcome to THRIVE's pro wrestling 'Showcase,' ladies and gentlemen. I want to take this time to wish a speedy recovery and 'good luck on the next job' to my former colleague Steve Corino. We'll have a moment to discuss what happened at Trifecta later. But right now, it is my pleasure to introduce the newest member of the broadcast team...

    Kevin waits for the chair to turn around.

    Kevin Kelly: ...ahem... THE NEWEST MEMBER OF THE BROADCAST TEAM...

    The chair remains still.

    Kevin Kelly: (whispering) What are you waiting for?

    Unidentified Voice: (whispering) You didn't do the drumroll!

    Kevin Kelly: (whispering) Are you serious right now?

    Chair doesn't budge. Kelly sighs.

    Kevin Kelly: (whispering) Fine...

    Kevin Kelly does a drumroll on the broadcast desk and hunches forward so his microphone can pick it up properly. After a moment of this, the chair turns in place and we are greeted by his new announce team partner...

    Spoiler:


    It's Tony Carelli, the former Santino Marella! He's apparently ditched the faux-Italian accent for a well-tailored suit as he speaks perfect English and looks quite dapper here.

    Tony Carelli: Thank you for the introduction, Kevin!

    Kevin Kelly: Uh-huh.

    Tony Carelli: The drumroll really made it.

    Kevin stares at Carelli with complete apathy. Even he is surprised at how quickly he misses Corino.

    Tony Carelli: And just to get this out of the way - the reason I am not using my thick, Italian 'Santino' accent is because I'm actually a Canadian named Anthony, and this is how I sound.

    Kevin Kelly: (feigning shock) My kayfabe...

    Tony Carelli: I don't want anyone to be confused, Kevin. "Italian-born" WWE Superstar Santino Marella was a very big chapter of my life, but I'm ready to write the next one as Tony Carelli, Canadian broadcaster extraordinaire! Take that Mauro Ranallo.

    Kevin Kelly: Alright, well-

    Tony Carelli: Hey, don't rush me. No offense to my fellow countryman, Steve Corino, but you're sitting next to a legend now.

    Kevin Kelly: ...

    Tony Carelli: Yes, I had quite a storied career as an in-ring competitor: Two-time WWE Intercontinental Champion, former WWE US and Tag Team Champion... inaugural Miss Wrestlemania...

    Kevin Kelly: At this rate the show's going to be over and we're still going to be introducing you...

    Tony Carelli: And would that really be so bad?

    Kevin looks towards the camera, dumbfounded, and then back to his broadcast partner.

    Kevin Kelly: ...Yes. Yes, it would.

    Tony Carelli: Fine! We'll do this your way.

    Kevin Kelly: Alright then, folks-

    Tony Carelli: We have a big show for you tonight. Really fun stuff!

    Kelly folds his hands together and sits back, letting Carelli take the intro.

    Tony Carelli: Like many others, I caught up on THRIVE through the Big-Ass Recap just in time for "Trifecta," and what a show that was! The new World Champion PENTA is enjoying a well-deserved vacation in Mexico right now, so tonight we will be enjoying action from some of the stars that didn't win the Worldwide 96, as well as a few surprises. I can't wait!

    Carelli looks at Kevin Kelly for a moment.

    Kevin Kelly: What? What do you want me to say? Those were *my* lines.

    Tony Carelli: I don't know, Kevin. Be spontaneous. Think on your feet. You're sitting next to an accomplished Superstar who has traveled the world picking up wins everywhere he's been, let that inspire you. Why don't you ask me a question?

    Kelly does not look amused and Carelli seems oblivious to his frustration. He struggles to think of a question worth asking.

    Kevin Kelly: ...Does it look bad to quit a charity-based promotion in the middle of a show?

    Tony Carelli: Well, it's hardly the middle of the show, we've still got plenty of time...

    Kevin Kelly: (sighs)

    Carelli shrugs, unable to understand why Kelly's upset. Ever the professional, Kevin Kelly dusts himself off and we move on.

    Kevin Kelly: We've wasted enough time getting to know one another - let's get straight to the action with our first contest-

    Tony Carelli: (reading from paper) An exciting fatal four-way match featuring Worldwide 96 competitors who lost in the second round of the tournament, now given another chance to make a name for themselves as the first winner in Showcase history!

    Kelly drops the pen he was holding like he's given up. He looks directly into the camera. His mouth says nothing, but his eyes say 'help.' Carelli, on the other hand, is all smiles.

    Tony Carelli: We're going to make a great team.









    During entrances, Kevin Kelly takes the time to remind us what went wrong for each of these individuals in the secod round of the Worldwide 96. For Dalton Castle, it was a faceful of black mist from BUSHI before getting hit with MX (flying codebreaker). For Jack Evans, it was his first loss at the hands of "Speedball" Mike Bailey, or more accurately, at the feet of "Speedball" Mike Bailey. Jack Evans would go on to lose to Bailey again in a main event match at 'Round 4' in Toronto.

    Matt Riddle was defeated by "The Miracle" Michael Bennett, after Maria's interference allowed Bennett to trick Riddle into thinking he had won by submission. In reality, the referee never saw the tap out and Riddle released the hold under false pretenses. His premature celebration was cut short by Divine Intervention (TKO) and Bennett advanced to Round 3. And Trevor Lee was eliminated from the tournament by the man who went on to win it all and become our World Champion, PENTA.

    Action is underway before the bell even rings, with Evans going after Riddle and Lee going after Castle. It's a battle of high-risk high-flying against strong mat and technical wrestling. Carelli comments about them being so fast right out of the gate and Kevin Kelly wonders if they're cutting straight to the action to make up for Carelli's introduction going too long... Carelli laughs it off and explains that a win in the first match in Showcase history is good on your resume, so everyone must be eager to take this one home. Kevin looks like he is about to compliment his colleague's explanation before Carelli finishes with: "besides, the drumroll was a must."

    Riddle and Castle are kept apart for most of the match and a confrontation is teased but they never really get into it until the end. Finishing stretch sees Trevor Lee hit the Orange Crush on Jack Evans, but the pin attempt is broken up by Matt Riddle, as Riddle pulls Lee away from Evans and traps him in a gnarly submission. But just before Lee can tap, Riddle takes a stomp to the dome and is forced to release the hold. Dalton Castle stomps him again and then pulls Riddle away from Trevor Lee. Lee rolls to the outside as Riddle is lifted into the air and given the Delayed Bridging German Suplex by Dalton Castle.

    Jack Evans is able to get to his feet before the referee can count to 3. Evans runs, stomps Castle in the midsection, and somersaults over Riddle while keeping his legs hooked, effectively intercepting the pin! Castle groans and holds his stomach as the referee counts 1...2...3! Evans steals the win from Dalton Castle and becomes your first winner in Showcase history at 10:24. He nearly collapses after having his hand raised (still selling Lee's Orange Crush, to an extent) but wastes no time requesting a microphone. "Great," sighs Kevin Kelly.

    Jack Evans: (breathing heavy) Yo Angelico... I did it!

    Dalton Castle is still selling the unexpected stomp to his abdomen as he recovers on the outside and appears to be having some words with Matt Riddle.

    Jack Evans: Now I know, I know... my record here isn't exactly perfect, but then again, I don't really have a clean record anywhere.

    It looks like Riddle is giving right back and some of the shouting can be heard over Jack Evans' promo.

    Jack Evans: But tonight, I announce my Road to WrestleMa-... um...whatever the next big show is. You're looking at the next THRIVE World Champion, because this is the beginning of a winning streak the likes of which you've never-

    Evans is trying to continue but the heated discussion outside the ring has turned into a shouting match and now even he wants to know what's going on. Fists start flying between Riddle and Castle before they wrestle one another to the ground. Trevor Lee drops his gruff demeanor and insists that Evans come and help break it up. Evans drops the mic and the cocky attitude to jump out and help separate the two.

    Kevin Kelly explains that tensions are very high as everyone is hoping to make a good first impression with Showcase, but has no clue as to why the two men are at each other's throats. Carelli starts to comment that maybe something happened during the match, before remembering kayfabe and stopping himself mid-sentence. There is the implication of a shoot-situation, but we aren't going into Russo territory just yet so calm down, Ed.

    Security arrives seconds later and the conflict is contained. Evans and Lee are wondering what the hell just happened as all of the men are escorted backstage by security. Kevin Kelly and Tony Carelli act dumbfounded before switching gears and letting us know that THRIVE has an important announcement to make. We go to Joey Styles backstage with a very special guest.

    Joey Styles: Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce the lovely Molly Holly.

    There's a small pop from the crowd.

    Molly Holly: Thank you Joey.

    Joey smiles and leaves her to it.

    Molly Holly: Wrestling fans... for years it has been my honor to be involved in one of the most insane and athletic forms of entertainment the world has ever seen. Of course, in my heyday, women weren't really treated with the kind of respect you see today, but that was just here. In Japan, women's wrestling was, for lack of a better term, THRIVING. It's just taken America a couple decades to catch up...

    Molly shrugs. She's sorry, but it's true.

    Molly Holly: We can't change the past, but together we can shape the future. I'm sorry if it sounds corny but I really, truly believe that. I tried my best and thought I could raise the bar but it wasn't enough... though I still like to think I played a small part in moving us away from the era of bra-and-panties matches. Sorry, fellas.

    Her sweet smile renders the apology insincere.

    Molly Holly: It's been a long road to get to this point and we still have plenty of miles to go, but this is the progress I had always dreamed of. I sincerely hope that the days of women's wrestling being an 'underappreciated sideshow' are over. I want to see the precedent being set by the hard working women today be the norm for years to come.

    Her tone becomes more serious.

    Molly Holly: And it is for that reason that I am so very pleased to announce that a THRIVE Women's Championship has been commissioned, and that the company will be holding a tournament to crown the first champion. I'm told that the full list of comptetitors will be released soon, but next on Showcase, we have a tag team match featuring four of the participants. I want to wish all four women the best of luck, and thank you for your time.

    Molly gives a polite wave goodbye and we return to ringside where Kevin Kelly puts over Molly for being one of rare women of the Attitude Era who were concerned with refining their craft. She was ahead of her time, in that sense. Melissa Santos hits the ring to begin introductions for the women's tag team match.






    Upholding the hard-hitting style introduced by our opening fatal fourway, these four leave nothing on the table. The result is a match truly worthy of the 'Showcase' name, with brawling all over the ring, inside and out. Storm and Shirai seem to be really taking it to one another. Carelli hopes that they meet one another in the tournament, as he likes what he sees when they clash.

    Kevin Kelly reminds us that both teams have picked up wins recently, with Iwatani and Shirai defeating the team of Gail Kim and Alissa Flash at the first THRIVE show ever - London Calling: Night One, and the team of Skater and Storm defeating Yoko Bito and Kairi Hojo at Tokyo Rising: Night Two. A win for either pair would help to establish them at the forefront of our company's women's division.

    Both teams utilize excellent teamwork, with Storm and Skater playing heels and keeping the advantage through questionable means while Shirai and Iwatani get in some really impressive moves wherever they can. The finish sees Io Shirai hit an impressive Moonsault Double Foot Stomp on Kellie Skater to score the 3 count at 12:15.

    After the match, Io Shirai shows respect to her opponents following their loss. Skater seems receptive but Storm cops an attitude and leaves the ring without returning the favor. Kellie Skater, humbled, apologizes for her partner's behavior and raises the arms of Shirai and Iwatani.

    The next person to walk through the curtains is Paul London with a microphone. He tells the crowd that he's honored to have the privilege to wrestle in front of them tonight. There's a feint trace of sarcasm or insincerity to his words, but he smiles like they're genuine. He was overlooked when it came to bookings for Trifecta but THRIVE has rectified the situation by giving him a match on a historic night.

    Paul says he wants to be a contender for PENTA's World Championship but all he seems to be getting are 'joke matches' and 'special attractions.' London knows he's been a bit of a goof at times but that's all behind him. From here on out, THRIVE is going to see a reinvigorated Paul London who isn't joking around. He says he just needed to get that off his chest and then welcomes his surprise opponent...




    The crowd gives a roar of approval when Candice LeRae makes her entrance. By the time she gets to the ring, they've got a loud "IIIII WANT CANDY" chant going. Paul London is smiling, but you can't tell if he's smiling because he's amused by the situation, happy to see her again, or something else entirely...

    They lock up and Paul London has the upper hand, taking her into the ropes and eventually getting broken up by the ref. London drives a knee into Candice's gut and she doubles over, while commentators debate whether it was a cheap shot or he had waited long enough after the referee breaking them up that it was fair.

    What follows is a match that sees London flirt with heel behavior and walk a fine line between desperate and diabolical. He maintains control for a good portion of the match but the fans rally behind Candice and she gets a few great shots in. The finish comes when London goes for a back body drop but Candice stops herself and counters with a sunset flip bomb.

    Paul London kicks out - but the referee had already counted 3! He looks bewildered as he argues with the referee and claims it was a fast count. Candice LeRae puts a hand on London's shoulder to calm down and he swats her away. The referee moves around London to raise Candice's arm in victory and London looks furious. For a moment, it seems like London's going to snap, attacking Candice or the referee, or both - but he kicks the bottom rope in anger and leaves the ring without incident.

    Backstage, Joey Styles congratulates Candice on her win against Paul London and asks her how she feels about his reaction afterwards. Candice isn't surprised that London was upset, he's got a lot on his mind lately and it sucks losing a partner you've had for so long. Styles jokes that she must be feeling a lot of the same things with her partner in NXT. For a moment, she's confused, thinking he's referring to Joey Ryan but laughs as soon as she gets it.

    Styles asks what's next for Candice LeRae. She says that the World's Cutest Tag Team is absolutely ready to answer the call if there's tag team gold on the way, but for now, she's going to be focused on the Women's Championship Tournament. She lets fans know that she has been offered a spot and as of today has formally accepted. The details are unknown, even to Joey, so he asks her if she can shed any light on the whole thing.

    Candice says she doesn't know what she is and isn't supposed to say, but they probably wouldn't have told her anything they were trying to keep secret. As far as she knows, it's going to be something similar in style to the Worldwide 96 but on a smaller scale. She doesn't know who her opponent is or when the first match takes place. But she's excited.

    Styles thanks her for her time and wishes her good luck in the tournament. He's about to send it back to Kelly and Carelli but is interrupted by A Greater Europe. Jimmy Havoc leads the pack; Rampage Brown, Mikey Whiplash, and Rockstar Spud stand behind him, with a handful of other members at their flank. With the exception of Mikey Whiplash (who has his jersey bunched up over his shoulder), they're all wearing their brand-spanking-new 'A Greater Europe' merchandise: football (read: soccer) jerseys that are alternating black and dark-gray stripes with 'A.G.E.' written in gold across the chest.

    These are available along with the rest of the THRIVE merchandise in the Shop section of our website, but cost considerably more than the average wrestler's t-shirt as the fabric is much nicer and there's an option for customization including getting your name across the back. A large percentage of the proceeds benefit various European charities.

    Joey Styles: Jimmy...

    Jimmy Havoc: How are you, friend?

    Joey Styles: ...

    Rampage gives Styles a stern look to intimidate a response out of him.

    Joey Styles: Are we friends now?

    Jimmy Havoc: We don't have to be...

    Styles looks at Havoc's lackeys. There's a distinct contrast between Rampage mean-mugging on Havoc's left, and Whiplash staring Styles down with a smile on his face to Havoc's right.

    Joey Styles: Okay friend, what's on your mind?

    Jimmy Havoc: I'd like to commend JT Dunn for his appearance on THRIVEcast the other night-

    Joey Styles: You mean when he interrupted your conversation with Scarlett and called you a pussy?

    Havoc smiles and looks away, as though having an internal dialogue to talk himself out of having Styles slaughtered right then and there.

    Jimmy Havoc: He got his shit kicked in at Trifecta for other people's success... and then he made some bad choices. I can forgive being called a pussy - I get called much worse every day, it seems like. But if you challenge A Greater Europe, you're going to be taught a lesson in respect.

    Whiplash nods silently over Havoc's shoulder.

    Jimmy Havoc: That's what separates us from everyone else, Joey... they don't understand respect. But we're ready to help them learn. Tonight, it's JT Dunn's turn. And even though there isn't a man behind me incapable of trouncing him in singles competition... none of them will be facing him tonight.

    Styles' eyebrow rises with curiosity.

    Jimmy Havoc: No - tonight, I show the world that we mean business. When I said that I don't have all my cards on the table, I wasn't lying. Tonight JT Dunn is going to meet our ace.

    Joey Styles looks like he's about to ask another question but Havoc and his men turn to leave before he can say anything. As 'A Greater Europe' walks away, the attentive viewer will notice that each man has their individual last names written across the back of their jersey in gold letters, but every jersey shares the same number: 1.

    Melissa Santos lets us know that it's time for the semi-main event of the evening and introduces JT Dunn. Dunn comes to the ring with a shopping cart full of weapons and a determined look on his face. He parks the shopping cart near some steel steps and then rolls into the ring to meet his fate.




    Drew Galloway steps through the curtains and comes walking down the ramp with his stablemates in tow. JT Dunn looks nervous, despite having requested this match. Galloway gets a huge pop and tries his best to hide his smile but you can tell he's pleased with the reaction. A big, mean Galloway gets into the ring and stands across the ring from JT Dunn. The camera pans out and we can see that the size difference is drastic.

    Kevin Kelly: And I thought Candice LeRae was a surprise!

    Tony Carelli: Agreed, this is very surprising! I had no idea there were so many Greater Europe fans.

    Kevin Kelly: ...they're... they're not cheering for Greater Europe, they're cheering for Drew Galloway...

    Tony Carelli: ... ... ...who?

    Kevin Kelly: Drew Galloway.

    Tony Carelli: Never heard of him.

    Kevin Kelly: (under breath) Oh, gimme a break.

    Tony Carelli: I'm just playing, Kevin. I've heard this guy is doing some good work in TNA. It's good to finally put a face to the name.

    Kevin Kelly: ...

    The bell rings and the two lock up, with Galloway immediately taking control due to his size advantage. He bullies Dunn around the ring but his actions are better described as dominant than heelish. Dunn gets a few creative counters in and catches Galloway off-guard with a superkick once or twice, but this feels like Drew's match to lose.

    Despite having a lot of crowd support, Drew's doing his best to walk a fine line between tweener and heel without going over the edge. JT Dunn playing David to Drew's Goliath is slowly turning the crowd to his side, but Drew's popularity is a lot to overcome. Galloway tries to finish things with a Claymore (running single leg front dropkick) but JT Dunn scouts it and moves just in time.

    Dunn catches a recovering Galloway with a diving elbow smash before Galloway can get to his feet. JT Dunn covers and hooks the leg with all he's got but Galloway kicks out at 2 and prevents the surprise victory. At one point, things head to the outside but Havoc makes it very clear that his men are not to get involved.

    Dunn should know better but can't help himself, exchanging words with Havoc for a moment and allowing Galloway to regain the upper hand. Galloway sends him crashing into the shopping cart full of weapons. The referee yells at him for it but can't do anything about it as Galloway is not technically wielding any of the weapons himself.

    Galloway sends Dunn back into the ring. Dunn gets himself to his feet rather quickly but Galloway is right behind him. JT Dunn attempts a knockout elbow but Galloway blocks it, kicks Dunn in the gut, and finishes the match with the Future Shock (double underhook DDT) at 12:02. A Greater Europe hits the ring as soon as the referee counts 3 and they celebrate with newly revealed member Drew Galloway.

    Rampage Brown looks like he's ready to put the boots to Dunn but Whiplash stops him. Havoc gestures for them to lift Dunn to his feet. They don't hesitate to do so. Then, Havoc waves them off and they let Dunn stand on his own two feet. Havoc extends a hand but Dunn refuses to shake it. Dunn turns to walk away, but there's no way out. His fist tenses up, like he's about to spin around and give Havoc a Rolling Elbow. Just then, the sea of henchmen parts at Havoc's request...

    Dunn expects to be blindsided at any moment, but that moment never comes. The crowd boos as it appears that JT Dunn will be walking away from the confrontation. Then, Dunn has a moment of clarity, imagining what Hanson or Rowe or Chris Hero would do in his shoes... Dunn swings around and smashes Jimmy Havoc with the Rolling Elbow. Havoc sells it like he's taken a shotgun blast to the dome.

    Havoc's men are on Dunn instantly and they rip him to shreds. Short of drawing blood, they've destroyed "The New Knockout Kid." Havoc is helped to his feet as Rockstar Spud fetches a microphone. Havoc's jaw hurts too much for him to do any speaking so he delegates the task to their newest addition.

    Drew Galloway: Sorry, JT. But you should have walked away.

    They lift a battered Dunn up just enough for Galloway to hit Future Shock again. They leave the ring on Havoc's command, though Rampage Brown is sure to get a stomp in before he goes. Medics already standing by slide into the ring to check on Dunn as soon as they leave. A Greater Europe gets boo'd all the way up the ramp. The boos turn to cheers for a moment once JT Dunn is helped to his feet, but they're cut short by Dunn falling into the arms of the medics.

    We go backstage to Joey Styles who sets the stage for our main event: an 8-man tag team elimination match featuring competitors from Worldwide 96 rounds 3 and above. Each of these performers has proven themselves worthy of being considered elite talent and tonight they have an opportunity to become winners of the first main event in Showcase history...

















    Kelly and Carelli spend the time it takes for the wrestlers to complete their entrances discussing these men and their individual performances in the Worldwide 96. Although none of these men can claim to have won, they are regarded highly for making it as far as they did given the level of competition involved. Kevin Kelly wonders if there will be any resentment among the participants who had faced eachother in the tournament, with Cobb having eliminated O'Reilly, Sabre Jr. having eliminated Cage, and Adam Cole having eliminated "The Villain" Marty Scurll.

    If there *is* any resentment, we don't see it early on, as all eight men seem very keen on taking home a main event win. The match starts off with Ospreay and O'Reilly but everyone gets their turn. Jeff Cobb's been eye-balling Adam Cole the whole time but the two don't manage to clash until the match is deep underway. And of course any time Cole and O'Reilly cross paths, the match degenerates into a violent brawl.

    The first elimination comes when Silas Young doesn't see O'Reilly get a tag on the back by Jeff Cobb. Silas smashes Cobb, Cage, and Sabre Jr. off of the apron before body slamming O'Reilly down near an unoccupied corner. Silas pats the turnbuckle before grabbing the ropes and hoisting himself into a headstand above his opponent. But when Silas Youg drops down and bounces off the top rope for his Pee Gee Waja Plunge moonsault, Jeff Cobb is there to catch him! Cobb turns toward the center of the ring with Young in his arms and gives him a Tour of the Islands (reverse spin scoop powerslam - YouTube it if you've never seen...).

    Cobb immediately transitions into a pin and his opponents aren't quick enough to break it up. Silas Young has been eliminated. Carelli gives Ospreay credit for having guts as Ospreay hurries to meet Cobb with a springboard dropkick before Cobb can get back to his feet. The "Aerial Assassin" continues his assault, doing his best to keep Cobb from regaining momentum. He does a damn good job of it, too. Both commentators are impressed with the passion Ospreay is bringing to the table. He must have taken his Round 4 loss against Brian Cage to heart, because he's showing a much more aggressive side here.

    Ospreay backs into his team's corner to give him room to run across the ring and execute his jumping corkscrew roundhouse kick, but he doesn't notice Adam Cole leaning over to tag himself in. Ospreay runs the length of the ring and executes the move flawlessly (for once...) and then begins gesturing for Cobb to stand up. The referee gets between Ospreay and Cobb and starts telling Ospreay to leave the ring. He doesn't seem to understand, until Adam Cole pats him on the back, looking appreciative that Cobb has been weakened for him.

    But once again sharing a ring with the man who eliminated him from the Worldwide 96 lights a fire in Jeff Cobb. Cobb plays possum until Cole is close enough and then springs to his feet and starts pummeling. Adam Cole wasn't prepared for it and is forced to go into a defensive mode, trying to guard his head and get to the side of the ring to force a rope break. But Cobb isn't interested in rope breaks. As soon as the referee is out of the way, Cobb lunges at Cole with a massive clothesline that sends both competitors to the outside floor.

    There are countouts in this match but Cobb either doesn't know or doesn't care. He brawls with Cole all around the outside, sending him into the guard rail, the steps, and rows of empty chairs as fans flee from them. Their battle rages on well beyond 20 seconds and the referee is forced to call a double countout! Jeff Cobb and Adam Cole have been eliminated. This leaves us with Cage, O'Reilly, and Zack Sabre Jr. against Marty Scurll and Will Ospreay.

    Sabre Jr. and Ospreay square off against one another. Ospreay looks very hungry for a win here but now it is Zack Sabre Jr. who is surprisingly aggressive. Kevin Kelly comments that this is not the first time these men have crossed paths, so maybe there's a lingering resentment between them. Carelli offers his own theory: maybe Zack Sabre Jr. is jealous that Will Ospreay is the UK wrestler getting all the buzz these days. An angry, almost heel Zack Sabre Jr. turns things to 11 and starts lighting Ospreay up with fierce kicks. Ospreay tags out to Scurll and fans cheer as the 'Leaders of the New School' share the ring once more.

    Their encounter is crisp and hard-hitting, but Sabre Jr. spent too much energy trying to kill Will Ospreay and his fatigue is starting to show. Scurll takes advantage of this and, combined with his extensive knowledge of Sabre Jr.'s technique, has little trouble taking control of the match. Scurll does the fake-out superkick to Sabre Jr.'s leg and the "Technical Wizard" drops to one knee. Scurll goes for another superkick, this time aiming at Zack's head, but Zack rolls out of the way and past Scurll to attempt a tag. However, when Zack Sabre Jr. reaches his corner, Brian Cage's outstretched hand balls up into a fist...

    Sabre Jr. gets clocked by Brian Cage and stumbles back toward the center of the ring, straight into the clutches of "The Villain" Marty Scurll. Zack is trapped in the Crossface Chickenwing and he's too far from the ropes. He begrudgingly taps out and the crowd boos this turn of events. Zack Sabre Jr. has been eliminated. Kelly and Carelli wonder what the fuck just happened as Brian Cage enters the ring as the legal man.

    Cage can be seen saying something as Zack rolls out of the ring but the microphones don't pick it up. We're down to Brian Cage and Kyle O'Reilly against Will Ospreay and "The Villain" Marty Scurll. Despite no longer being friends, Marty looks a bit upset at what Cage did to Zack. He courageously fires the first shot with a fist to Cage's jaw but it looks like it might have hurt Scurll's hand more.

    Cage goes for a lariat, but Scurll ducks underneath it. Scurll hits another superkick-to-the-knee and takes Cage down a peg. This time, Scurll is successful in following up with a superkick-to-the-face. Cage catches himself on the ropes but doesn't go down. He pulls himself back to this feet but Marty is right behind him.

    Scurll locks his arms around the tremendous girth of Brian Cage and looks like he's going to attempt a German suplex. The crowd cheers at the bravado of Scurll. The first lift attempt gets Cage off the ground a foot but Cage elbows back and nails Marty in the jaw. Cage lands back on his feet but Marty's still got his arms locked around him.

    Marty tries for the German again, but this time Cage manages to grab the ring ropes and keep himself grounded. In a show of great coordination, Will Ospreay runs along the apron and kicks Cage's arms from underneath, forcing him to relinquish his hold of the ropes. Marty lifts with all of his might and sends Cage flying with a German suplex... but Brian Cage flips over and lands on his feet!

    Kelly and Carelli are going nuts over the agility of "The Machine," but Marty Scurll's got no idea what's happened. The second Scurll gets to his feet and turns around, Cage meets him with a vicious Discus Lariat. Cage goes for the pin while looking directly at Will Ospreay, as if to say, 'you're next.' Marty Scurll has been eliminated. Will Ospreay hesitates to get into the ring.

    Kyle O'Reilly asks to be tagged and the fans rally in support. Cage heads over to his corner to make the tag, then looks back at Ospreay and reconsiders. The fans boo as Cage leaves O'Reilly on the apron and decides to take matters into his own hands. Ospreay runs and baseball slides through Cage's legs before doing a sweep to take Cage off his feet.

    Will Ospreay manages to stay in control with a lot of kicks and flips, and he looks to have an advantage now, but there's a sense that Brian Cage is going to bust out a feat of strength at any moment. Ospreay is ready to finish this and turn the match into Ospreay versus O'Reilly. He charges at a dazed Brian Cage and attempts the Essex Destroyer (front flip DDT) but Brian Cage counters, catching him in a vertical suplex position!

    Cage spins Ospreay around and spikes him into the mat with the Vertical Suplex Piledriver (Steiner screwdriver)! The crowd is chanting "HOLY SHIT" as the referee makes the 3 count. Will Ospreay has been eliminated and the bell rings. Your winners are Brian Cage, Kyle O'Reilly, Zack Sabre Jr., and Jeff Cobb at 18:39! Kyle O'Reilly isn't nearly as amused as our commentators as they continue to freak out about that nasty finish. A sweat-glazed Brian Cage stands with his arms held above his head as the referee declares them the winners.

    Kevin Kelly: What a main event-

    Before Kelly can continue, he's interrupted by a small pop as Joey Styles appears at the top of the ramp. Kelly and Carelli have no idea what he's doing out here. Same with Cage and O'Reilly, judging by the look of confusion they share.

    Joey Styles: Congratulations, gentlemen. Fantastic match. But you know how things work around here: THRIVE loves surprises.

    The referee puts a finger to his ear as he listens to instructions coming through his earpiece.

    Joey Styles: So I have been asked to inform everyone that the winning team's survivors are all contenders for the World Championship. But that's not all...

    Cage is sweating profusely and looks like he just wants Joey to get it over with already.

    Joey Styles: Since there cannot be two Number One Contenders... your new main event is a singles match. And the winner will face PENTA for the THRIVE World Championship at the next Showcase. That match starts NOW.




    Cage and O'Reilly look at one another in disbelief for a moment before the bell rings. Cage knows he is exhausted and does his best to pummel O'Reilly into oblivion before he's completely gassed. He busts out a rare shotgun dropkick that sends O'Reilly flying into the turnbuckles. He continues to stomp a mudhole into O'Reilly until O'Reilly retreats to the outside. Cage makes a wise decision not to waste energy following after him.

    O'Reilly regains his bearings and returns to the ring. Cage manages to get some more offense in but it isn't long before O'Reilly is busting out counter after counter. Eventually the advantage goes to Kyle O'Reilly who makes sure to take the match all around the ring and tire his opponent further. Kevin Kelly comments that Cage must be regretting his choice to hog the spotlight in the elimination tag team match, that is, if he's able to think about anything besides O'Reilly's lightning fast strikes coming his way.

    O'Reilly begins the 'Ax and Smash' (scissors stomp to a kneeling or bent-over opponent's head followed by an elbow smash) but when he goes for the elbow smash, Cage ducks. O'Reilly smells opportunity and quickly changes gears, lunging forward to lock Cage into a Guillotine Choke. They're in the center of the ring and Cage has nowhere to go. Cage makes two efforts to lift O'Reilly's sand-bagging ass up into the air but he's too drained.

    After a few moments, Brian Cage slumps forward and O'Reilly falls onto his back without releasing the hold. O'Reilly wisely keeps a shoulder off the mat to prevent a pinfall attempt. The referee raises Cage's arm and releases it to see if he's conscious. He's not. This happens two more times before the referee ends the match and declares Kyle O'Reilly the winner at 5:39!

    Kyle O'Reilly's hand is held high as the crowd cheers for his victory. Kevin Kelly says we've got a new number one contender and a first time match-up between O'Reilly and PENTA. Carelli hijacks the outro, thanking us for tuning in before wishing us a great week and reminding us to catch the next Showcase where we may have a new World Champion. Kevin Kelly leaves Carelli alone at the broadcast desk and a smiling Tony Carelli waves goodbye as the broadcast ends.


    Quick results:
    Spoiler:

    Fatal Four-Way
    Jack Evans def. Dalton Castle, Matt Riddle, and Trevor Lee

    Tag Team
    Io Shirai & Mayu Iwatani def. Kellie Skater & Toni Storm

    Singles - Intergender
    Candice LeRae def. Paul London

    Singles
    Drew Galloway def. JT Dunn

    8-Man Tag Team Elimination
    Brian Cage, Kyle O'Reilly, Zack Sabre Jr. & Jeff Cobb def. Will Ospreay, Marty Scurll, Silas Young & Adam Cole
    Surviving Team Members: Brian Cage & Kyle O'Reilly

    Singles
    Kyle O'Reilly def. Brian Cage
    to become #1 Contender
    Last edited by The Natural; 01-27-2017 at 08:13 PM.

  8. #88
    Future Pink Mod

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    Re: THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    1. Penta El 0M > PENTA

    2. This was a pretty unexpected choice to join Kevin Kelly but you've rejuvenated him in your own way and given us another Canadian on commentary so I have no complaints.

    3. Bro?! Booing the result of the fatal four way. Not only did Riddle not wreck everyone and win that match, but he got pinned? You don't recognize true talent. Interesting event between Riddle & Castle - but Riddle would've wrecked Castle Bad writing.

    4. If it's not a 96 woman tournament to crown the champion, I'll be disappointed. But really, didn't think the whole criticizing American women wrestling was necessary, think we're past these Women Revolution stuff, and since this is a Super Indy of sorts, we should recognize that there have been some solid Women indy running around for a couple of years now.

    5. Always happy to see Io/Mayu around but I would have actually liked to have seen Io come back as a heel with either HZK or Momo Watanabe as partners to sort of continue her story in Stardom over here. Minor complaint. Glad she got the pin. Need to see Toni Storm IRL.

    6. I enjoy the continuous tease of a London heel turn but him resisting making that predictable turn. It seems almost inevitable that he will ultimately turn but I'll be happy if he remains as he is right now.

    7. JT Dunn looking nervous ahead of that singles does not bode well. Haven't seen Indy Galloway yet and haven't had a chance to check out Dunn either. Predictable loss for Dunn but at least he had a moment of bad assery with that rolling elbow. The fuck did he bring out the cart of weapons for?

    8. Can't say I'm happy with that main event. How come Kyle O'Reilly didn't do anything about Cage taking out ZSJ. Was also disappointed to see ZSJ rewarded for that and more or less wrecking Scurll/Sabre Jr. Well, at least he looks really good but I can't say I'll be at all behind him going forward. He's not that good in the ring to warrant a legit main event spot, and he's a dick besides that. Would love to see Cobb wreck him but either KOR or ZSJ getting some measure of revenge would be great. Ospreay & Scurll definitely need to fashion out some means of redemption. This might be largely because I don't rate Cage and so see the loss as bigger than it should be versus if it had been at the hands of someone else.

    9. Oh, thank God for that main event. Kyle O'Reilly versus Penta El 0M sounds great to me but then again, Penta wrecking Cage wouldn't have sounded too bad either. Overall just happy to see Cage's actions come back to bite him albeit now it feels like KOR couldn't have done it otherwise.

    As always, great stuff. Not as much Greater Europe as I expected and Drew Galloway as their Ace is a bit meh. I'd also probably prefer him as an out and out heel then toeing the line. Needs more Catch Point and Riddle jobbing out is no bueno.
    The Amazing Spider-Man Review Thread
    ​​
    3/9 Assignments Finished - then - FREEDOM!

    Brit Wres | Indie Wres | Lucha | Puro

  9. #89
    SIX F'N STARS
    The Natural's Avatar

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    Responding to Millar, re: Trifecta
    Spoiler:

    Quote Originally Posted by Millar View Post
    A Comprehensive Review

    I really enjoyed the way in which you began the evening with Styles. It has a nice touch to it, whilst also bring a different element to the beginning of a wrestling show. It interesting on the basis that it isn't generic filler, and that every thing that is being put forward has a clear purpose and a clear message...for us as an audience to THRIVE! The separation between the normal people and The Greater Europe is also vitally important and reminds me of some great outside of the arena segments that the WWF used to treat us to once upon a time.
    I'm glad you saw the purpose of my otherwise filler-looking content. Subverting expectations is a fetish of mine, so you'll do well paying attention to anything that appears mundane at a glance.

    I also miss this sort of thing from WWF back in the day, and I'm not sure why they don't do it more often. What I wouldn't give to have someone kick a door open and storm out of the room like Undertaker did after that one draft instant classic.

    Quote Originally Posted by Millar View Post
    Kelly and Corino for me are one of the most dynamic duo in pro-wrestling, and if Vince McMahon ever had some common sense he would have tried to bring the pair in as part of the WWE Universe a good while ago. I love the use of pair in the build up, and as is often the case with commentary use people use the characters as a figure head only. For you though I actually feel like I am reading a transcript of what Kelly and Corino would actually be saying if this was a real event. (IT IS REAL TO US DAMMIT!)
    Thank you for the kind words. I also feel like I've captured their essence and they're a lot of fun to write for. I am legitimately saddened that I won't be using Corino going forward, but the opportunity to do something new and unique to THRIVE is a decent consolation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Millar View Post
    The first match between Silas and Pentagon Jr. is a great match for a number of different reasons. For me Silas is one of the most underestimated and underrated guys in the industry at this point in time, and wouldn't go amiss if he found himself as part of the NXT roster in real life. A lot of people at the same time would probably fall for the hype of Pentagon, although from the way in which you have put over both men in the project so far you have presented them in such a positive way that I struggle in deciding who would be a better winner. In terms of dynamic story-telling Pentagon Jr probably offers a better end result in a long-term. Working away from my outside perceptions though, the contest was a really good read and you worked the reader with some great action. Pentagon looks really strong with the way in which he won, and for him to be using The Sacrifice for the first time makes the submission that much more of a big deal. The post match interview with Joey was on point, and I sit here writing this already thirsting for "CERO MIEDO!" to possibly reach the top of the mountain later on tonight.
    You and I are on the same exact page re: Silas Young. A real treasure, he is. I was actually kind of upset when Bull Dempsey was jacking Silas' gimmick as a real man and all that. Silas was believable and Dempsey was a fat clown to me, so that really pissed me off. I can only imagine how different things might have gone if that had been Silas getting to do his gimmick instead...

    I appreciate you noting that Pentagon may have been the better, more advantageous choice from a storytelling standpoint. I think Silas has enough traction that whatever he does next will be interesting, and that isn't to say that Pentagon is deserving of more even though he has been less established, but rather, the somewhat blank canvas of Pentagon Jr. leaves a lot of room for creativity going forward. Essentially, I'll get more out of both men going this route and I'm glad that comes across without feeling like I've under-served either of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Millar View Post
    96 exclusive shirts is a really nice touch, part of me wishes this was a real promotion. I think I would actually wear one, but I'd try and get it for free.
    I would totally slip you a free one, if this were the case. And then send you a bill via PM. Jk... or am I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Millar View Post
    The second match between Zack Sabre Jr. and Brian Cage personally is something I would love to see, and I won't lie in hiding my bias and favouritism for ZSJ. The match was another great read and their was a really intensity to it, although I always felt that you were leading us towards a Zack victory. For the second semi-final match to end with another technical submission move, creates a final where the 66% of the people involved with have a well rounded move arsenal going into what will be a life defining match for whoever wins the tournament. The Zack interview also aids in the storytelling of 96 and with the third match just around the corner I can't wait to see who out of Cobb and Cole.
    Thank you. I really dig Zack Sabre Jr. and feel he was actually hurt a bit by everyone calling him the 'best unsigned wrestler on the indies' for so long. There's a sort of resentment for that among some fans, I think.

    What's nice is that with this win, Zack will be the only person advancing to the Worldwide 96 having consistently won with the same maneuver. That doesn't necessarily imply anything, but I think it's an interesting fact.

    Quote Originally Posted by Millar View Post
    With Cobb vs. Cole and AC winning the match was an expected conclusion. Mixed in with the Bullet Club and then Jimmy Havoc, the overall mixture of all of the ingredients means that tonight's final has a whole new element to it. Of course an element that we could have predicted as a possible occurrence for tonight's main-event showdown. In all honest though, ADAM COLE BAYBAY is a welcomed addition as the final man in what is no doubt going to be a great finish to the 96.
    You are one of the few who isn't completely soured on Adam Cole around these parts, and for that I thank you. I also implore you to stick around, because Adam Cole is one of my favorite people, let alone wrestlers, so I think you'll enjoy seeing what I want to do with him in the future.

    That is, until WWE comes to their senses and snatches him up from under my nose. I have a feeling it'll happen in April but I'm probably going to book him as though it won't anyway. Shouldn't come back to bite me in the ass, if I handle it the right way. But we'll see.

    Quote Originally Posted by Millar View Post
    War Machine vs. Death By Elbow acts as a great match to follow the semis. The match makes War Machine a really powerful force in Thrive and the more I read about your version of them in this project, the more I can't wait to see more of what they have to offer in your project in future editions of the project.
    I'll wait to hear more about Hanson and Rowe but it seems like they are bound for WWE. If that's not the case, I'm going to have a whole lot of fun with them in the future. If it is, well, I guess I'll have to find a new War Machine. I wonder what The Gatekeepers are up to...

    Quote Originally Posted by Millar View Post
    Alpha Female vs. Evie is just a complete game changer for me. As a I reader you are left wondering if what Alpha was saying was a shoot or a work but either way it really adds an intensity to her character but also legitimises Alpha's commitment to the indie/puro scene. It made me ponder what it would be like if you put on a tournament for the female wrestlers, and if you did would Alpha be someone that could end up taking the crown of a similar tournament. I can't wait to see how all of this is going to develop.
    It's funny you should say that... but if you haven't read the latest show (Showcase #001) then I will say no more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Millar View Post
    Patron vs. Suzuki is something that really confirms why your are such a great booker and why your project is one of the best in the section. The match was really great to read, although I wouldn't have minded if it was a bit longer (not that it had to be). The follow up of Havoc and Co. attacking Corino just adds more fuel to the fire as the shows is slowly reaching it conclusion. Corino being seriously hurt and Havoc cutting a great interview style promo between himself, Kevin Kelly and the audience is more effective than any video build up package.
    You gotta make me blush like that? WTF man! Really appreciate the kind words. I like to think an informed indy crowd would have really eaten it up as a surprise, but who knows. As for the Corino attack, I'm glad you enjoyed that. Video packages are fun but I agree with you that the live, in-person stuff gets a point across way more.

    Quote Originally Posted by Millar View Post
    Adam Cole and the Bullet Club presents a last moment of clarity before he impending storm that will be tonight's grand finale. I loved the honesty felt by the rest of the Bullet Club clearly putting WrestleKingdom ahead of tonight's show and who can really blame them. I just really enjoy that you have blended fantasy with reality that just makes your project so much more appealing. And as I start scrolling down we are so close to tonight's final.
    Glad you saw it the same way I did. I was worried I'd get a few comments about putting Wrestle Kingdom ahead of Trifecta being a 'burial' of some sort, but I just saw it as understandable/realistic. Same with Naito getting himself disqualified from the Worldwide 96 in Round 1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Millar View Post
    Pentagon Jr. vs. ZSJ vs. Adam Cole is on the cards and in all honestly having read your project this is one of the matches I have most looked forward too whilst being part of a BTB community. The match was an absolute delight to read from start to finish, and even though we are at the start of 2017 I am going to have to note this down as a potential MOTY candidate when it comes to the end of the year awards. Pentagon Jr. as the champion is great because it gives us an overall winner of the contest, whilst at the same time creates a separation between Havoc and the Bullet Club meaning that the rivalry can be continued without a definite roadblock of the 96. If either ZSJ or Cole had won the on-going rivalry would no doubt take away from that fact and the tournament would lose a bit of prestige because of the storyline.
    I will definitely remind you that you said this when it comes to the year end awards, sir!! I'm so very happy that you consider it a contender so early in the year, almost feels like I get to share the feeling that Omega/Okada must have, in a way.

    I agree that the storyline would have lost some prestige with A.G.E.'s involvement in the main event, and think it actually helped A.G.E.'s storyline that they had the decency not to. Win-win, even if 'their guy' lost!

    Quote Originally Posted by Millar View Post
    I really enjoyed reading this dude, and reading it in the hear in and now is always that little bit more enjoying.
    Thank you for the entire review. I really, really appreciate it. And yeah, the hard part about this BTB is that readers certainly benefit from being up to date but it hurts to fall behind because so much ties in to reality that it can be hard to remember where the real indy world was two or three or four weeks ago.

    Glad you're on board for the current stuff and hope I keep you interested moving forward.

    Responding to Gambit, re: Trifecta
    Spoiler:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit View Post
    The post match speech with Pentagon Jr was hilarious and so in his character. In real life, Joey Styles’ facial expressions would be phenomenal. The mis match between Cage and Sabre had me a bit worried, but the Technical Wizard managed to pull it off. it’s brilliant how Sabre used the fact that Cage is a muscled up monster of man to his advantage, for he would get tired easily. Also a scathing shoot from Sabre. Cole wins. I’m 3 for 3 on my Semi Finals Predictions. I love how Cole wouldn’t back down because he thought he had backup, but Bullet Club is shaken by A Greater Europe and want to achieve their personal success. War Machine was the logical choice because (for me) they are the more familiar tag team. The Alpha Female decimates the promising Evie. Finally, the three way was beautifully written. I love the referee being frightened to even check Pentagon’s mouth for mist capsules. He’s portrayed as the sadistic man we all love. This match could have gone either of the three men’s way, but given Pentagon was highlighted so much in the match I had my suspicion he would take it all and he isn’t a bad choice either. In my opinion, he’s one of the best wrestlers going today and deserves to be a mega star in the business and in THRIVE. With the tournament done, it’s going to be interesting where the organization will go from here. Good work, Natural.
    The beginning of your comment is forcing me to imagine a buddy cop show starring Pentagon Jr and Joey Styles. I can't lie, it's a very entertaining notion.

    I'm glad you liked the psychology behind Sabre/Cage and recognize what a scathing shoot that was. Those are the kinds of words that don't typically go unpunished, y'know...

    I totally agree with you re: Pentagon being one of the best wrestlers going today. When he's on the screen, I can't look away for anything.

    Hope the future of THRIVE can keep your interest. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    Responding to Tig, re: Trifecta
    Spoiler:

    Quote Originally Posted by Tig View Post
    Right. So I read your big ass recap and upon realizing I knew the six guys in the finals I decided to give this a proper bang. Man I hope you pick up some of the guys you listed there; JTG, Bully Ray etc. it’d be a bit more name power and with a few more guys like this on the roster I’d probably turn into more of a Thrive fan. Are all the semis first time encounters in Thrive? Or ever?
    I knew it was worth it do that Big Ass Recap! Probably won't be the last.

    There's a few appearances backstage that will more than likely have gotten some handshake deals before the night was through. Obviously not going to spoil anything but you should be pleased.

    All of the semis are first time encounters ever. I thought with the company being what it is, and the Worldwide 96 being the Worldwide 96, it was only appropriate to set up my semifinals and finals as equally unique. Plus they're all matches I would love to see in real life.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tig View Post
    Melissa Santos is a great choice for ring announcer. She’s the best in the biz imo. Every entrance feels unique; she changes her delivery, tone, pitch and facial expressions depending on who it is. Loving the little touches so far like Pentagon nodding at Melissa as they’re obviously bros from LU. Didn’t get the cursing exchange. Silas is the dirtiest fucker going and I liked that his tricks backfired and that Pentagon got the win. Pentagon is easily the most interesting person left in the tourney, so here’s hoping. Pentagon whipping out The Sacrifice makes me excited.
    I love me some Melissa Santos. Please don't take her away from me, WWE.

    As for the cursing exchange, it's something of an anachronistic shout-out to Steve Corino laughing his ass off at all the swearing that transpires at Wrestle Kingdom 11, specifically during the Guerrillas of Destiny match.

    If you can find the video that highlights that match and its swearing, you'll see what I mean. Best part is Tonga Roa screaming "EAT SHIT" and then hitting a big boot. Corino is dying, it's great.

    It wasn't a conscious decision to leave The Sacrifice for Trifecta, but I'm glad I did, because it definitely helps establish that everyone is bringing their A game to the tournament finals and that definitely represents the only super finisher in THRIVE so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tig View Post
    The charity shit is really really whatever to me but the 96 shirts are a neat idea.
    But didn't you know? Philanthropy is the next great form of marketing, or something... (that's a Stephanie McMahon-ism, can't help myself, sorry).

    Quote Originally Posted by Tig View Post
    Stoked for this hope Cage smashes ZSJ head in. He’s legit the only one of the six I hope doesn’t win, boring cunt. I dunno how much Cage would be being booed. He’s fairly over as a face in LU. Seems weird. Meh. Cool finish that’s all I really have to say about this. I appreciate you trying to inject some life into ZSJ with the interview but just talking about how technical he is etc. ah man, he is just boring as fuck. I’m praying you don’t pull the trigger on him.
    Cage is amazing at getting heat, so even though he's over as a face in LU, I could easily see him drawing boos across the ring from someone like ZSJ. But he's also in that position where he could hop between face or heel on any given day and be just as effective as both.

    I love reading comments that are made in real-time, because I sort of feel like I've done you a solid as I read you begging me not to give him the belt lol. You're welcome.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tig View Post
    Adam Cole’s okay, Cobb would’ve been better but Cole’s fine.
    Well tell Cobb to start stuffing his trunks full of metal and maybe things will go differently next time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tig View Post
    Don’t really know any of Greater Europe except Jimmy Havoc and ZSJ if he’s in but man the gimmick rocks. Bad ass vigilantes essentially. Great seg with The Bullet Club.
    I enjoy that you envision them as bad ass vigilantes. That's not to say that they aren't, just seems like everyone has a different perspective of them - both those commenting on the BTB and the wrestlers within the BTB. And that's what I was really hoping for by making them an atypical wrestling faction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tig View Post
    Don’t know anyone here except Hero but was a fun match if a bit obvious what way it was going due to Hero signing for WWE.
    Who isn't signing with WWE these days??? Haha. No really. I need to know. The future of my BTB depends on it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tig View Post
    Cool seg with the women and massively intrigued by the quadruple homicide. Wonder if it was an existing team or maybe it was guys from the stars invited there? Crime Time be cool =)
    Spoilers: It's Hornswoggle. Hornswoggle killed them all. Next week he's going over Big Daddy Walter. Of course, plans can change overnight, but I think this idea's really got legs (albeit short, stumpy ones).

    Quote Originally Posted by Tig View Post
    EL PATRON! Buzzing. Why the fuck is Spud on commentary? Hopefully Alberto is a player in Thrive, always, always liked him. Nice on the outside wrestling altercation too Wait wtf? Jesus. AGE are definitely the most intriguing thing in this whole section. They’ve so many layers to ‘em. Think it’s cool they’re laying out the traitors. But mindfuck attacking a commentator. That was hella fun. Also didn’t know about Corino. I was literally thinking the Corino/Kelly partnership was growing on me and now this you gunna put Styles in the seat?
    Yeah... why is Spud on commentary? Wink wink.

    I also like that you refer to WWE signees as 'traitors.' A Greater Europe would really like you, I think.

    I had considered putting Styles in the seat, but he's too much of a straight man and I really like Kevin Kelly in the position (for now). I hope you enjoy Corino's replacement and can't wait to hear what you think of the first Showcase where he's revealed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tig View Post
    --- what if havoc signs for wwe? --
    Then I'm right fukt, m8. But seriously, in the unlikely event that this does happen, there will need to be some clever 'dancing' in the creative department. But I have my dancing shoes on and am prepared for anything at this point. Part of taking the anti-WWE-gobbling-the-indies stance is knowing that I have to be prepared to be raided at any moment. They're like vikings, the bastards.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tig View Post
    I think you handled The BC situation well it made sense. The only one I feel REALLY has a problem with Cole is Hangman. Cole winning would be fine, as I said, but really I’m so pulling for Pentagon. ZSJ would really take the gloss off the whole thing for me. Superkick straight away is a good start Sorry wait if it’s no DQ surely Cole can have his pad loaded and Pentagon can have his capsules? Hahha LOVED Pentagon getting revenge on the referee YES NATTY YOU BEAUTIFUL MAN

    CERO

    MIEDO!!!!!!!
    I am a beautiful man and thank you for noticing. You have a point with the No D.Q. thing but I think it's more about starting the match off on even footing (which makes the opening superkick poetic, in a way).

    And yeah, fuck that referee!

    Quote Originally Posted by Tig View Post
    I’m all in on TNA3 now Natty. You done good bro. Although I’ll never forgive you for ending TNA1 and I kind of felt I’d REALLY like to see you tackle Lucha Underground one day, I’m still a Thrive fan now. I’ll take one of’em shirts too.
    The prospect of a Natty-driven Lucha Underground is tempting AS FUCK. It's so tempting that I have considered creating a division in THRIVE that can play host to that sort of thing. Something that could incorporate Lucha Underground elements and things like TOTAL DELETION. Now how's that for a scoop. You heard it here first.

    The shirt is in the mail, good sir. I'll have to send you one of these new jerseys I've got lying around too... (see: Showcase). Thank you for reading. Sorry for TNA1 getting the short end of the stick, but your comments and opinion of my work mean a lot to me, so I really appreciate you taking the time to read and share them. Namaste.

    Responding to Ed, re: Trifecta
    Spoiler:


    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Madison Square Gardens sounds like a hell of a step up in venue considering THRIVE are still in their early days of business. I'm pretty sure WWE have got some kind of vice grip on MSG so that no other wrestling promotion is allowed to run there, but w/e it's creative writing, I'll let it slide.
    It's definitely pure fantasy but my logic is something as philanthropical as this is going to be opening doors all over the place that would otherwise be closed due to contractual obligations. I won't go as far as putting Pepsi logos on my show banners but in an ideal world this would have a tremendous amount of backing.

    A weird aside but I find it so strange that in a world so large, filled with so many people, there are so few wrestling fans. I blame WWE's 2009 and particularly the Funkasaurus for driving potential fans away forever...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    I was glad to see a paragraph about the charitable work that THRIVE does after it was mentioned at the promotions launch. I'm the opposite of Tig, I was much more impressed to see that noted than JTG and Bully Ray being guests of honour.
    Thank you for saying so. I feel like it's important to reiterate that there's a philanthropic background to this because the more I end up having talent 'cross lines' or doing interpromotional things that might seem questionable (other companies' title defenses are a possibility, using MSG is the most obvious one) the more I will want to be able to fall back on having established a precedent early on for why it's possible.

    That said, I had an ROH World Championship match planned for one of the Tokyo/Cali/London shows but scrapped it and I don't remember why. Perhaps we will see something like that soon. I mentioned in one of the opening posts that there were no ongoing talks with NXT but that it would be a possibliity, however, seeing how boring NXT has been lately, I can't say it's at the top of our list...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Commentary was on point throughout the night, I knew Corino wasn't gonna finish the night once the WWE movers started being targeted.
    Right? And really, is there a more fitting end to Corino's time on the indies than having a diabolical stable leave him battered and bloodied?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    I have no doubts Pentagon Vs Silas was a first time ever match, but the other two I did check on Cagematch, thought maybe ZSJ/Cage or Cole/Cobb might have happened at a PWG show. Really unique finish for their match with Silas doing that sick bump of his own accord (i.e. Pentagon not pushing him off) and I loved Pentagon following up straight away with the sacrifice. How many times do you see guys just make it back in on the rope break, still exhausted from the effort to get back in the ring, and their opponents just stand there and let them recover and get back to their feet? I think this was the right call, Pentagon's a bigger star than Silas.
    There was no rational thought behind it besides "spectacle" but when I was putting the tournament together, I knew I was leaning towards first time matches for most of it. I suppose in the back of my mind, THRIVE felt like the first of its kind, both here in the BTB section and within the wrestling world as a philanthropical super-indy, so it became important to me that the matches followed suit.

    It's pretty crazy when you feel nearly certain that a match has happened before and then Cagematch has no trace. And I have to trust Cagematch because they've even got MY match in there - although they spelled Osborn with an 'e' at the end (Osborne) if I remember correctly. A fun aside, they recently removed all the wreslter pictures from the site due to copyright issues. This is fine by me because now my not having a picture doesn't make me look like any more of a jabroni than anyone else. (EXW Xtreme Measures is the show, if you're interested. 'The Business' was my stable.)

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    ZSJ/Cage was my pick for best semi final matches, I really popped for Sabre's shots at Cage's muscle gain and how he used his bulk against him during the match. Zack's the thinking mans wrestler and that came off here; that was excellent psychology. It should of been obvious really that the only European would make it to the final with this Havoc storyline going on.
    You popped for it, but Cage definitely held a grudge. I won't spoil anything but I am very excited for Zack's future in THRIVE. Glad you appreciated the psychology. As soon as I realized how much I built Cage inot this unstoppable monster, I knew he had to be responsible for his undoing in some way, and obviously 'Roidy McGee' is the most prevalent reason. I don't mean to be rude/morbid but if the guy lives past 55 years old, I will be impressed. That shit is not natural, and I would know.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Cobbmania bro, what happened? you killed the dream before it could take off. I get it, you had to put Cole into the final to hint at the Greater Europe/Bullet Club teases throughout the night, but fuck, that was my pick man.
    You should have never doubted Adam Cole, baybay! But you've got to give him credit for playing within the guidelines set by A Greater Europe and winning his match without outside interference, right? Right? I mean they didn't even have to superkick him after all.

    But yeah I love Cobb. I think you'll be happy with the road he's going to be taking. He doesn't seem to have the most charisma in the world, but where we're going, he won't need it. The '96 might be over, but know that the dream isn't dead just yet...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Seeing as though Evie's now gone, there's no harm in asking, was she set to be a player in your women's division? I'm guessing along with Heidi and Kimber Lee going also that might have changed one or two plans for you. Alpha Female saying 'I accept'....well she is German
    She was absolutely set to be a player in my division. But plans change and I'm not too hurt by it. My shortlist of women I'm interested in seeing wrestle for THRIVE is too damn long as it is, so I welcome more signings. As long as they keep their hands off Alpha. I'm surprised she wasn't grabbed with Evie tbh...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    I was expecting the win for WarMachine, but not so much the quadruple homicide scene later in the night; as a viewer I'm led to think it's a Greater Europe at it again, and there are rumours about War Machine to WWE, but Dunn's an innocent party if that's the case. I'll let it play out.
    I've already said as much once but the nice thing about not spelling things out too much is that it allows people like yourself to fill in the blanks for readers, but also lets me keep things sort of mysterious even though anyone paying attention to the indy scene will be able to sniff out what's going on because they know the subtext.

    At the expense of it being more approachable, I really do like that element of 'real world knowledge' playing a part in reader enjoyment. If I do make a concerted effort to establish some of my lesser-known entities in THRIVE, know that I will be doing so in such a way that I can keep the 'benefit of indy knowledge' intact, in a way similar to how readers of a book can appreciate a movie based on that book slightly more than people who are only seeing the movie, if that makes sense.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Alberto had cuts did he It's not the greatest surprise match you could of thrown on, but it's two big names which would of popped the crowd never-the-less.
    I'd like to see you say that in the same room as Alberto and Minoru tbh.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    As much as I dislike them, that Bullet Club segment before the final was pretty damn good. I liked how they tied in the Wrestlekingdom matches coming up in a few days, Omega obviously with his career biggest match and Cody with......Juice, and used that as a reason why it wasn't worth the risk to them to get into some extreme battle with a greater Europe.
    To know that you have enjoyed the Bullet Club in any capacity warms my heart and makes me feel like I'm doing my job properly. One of the greatest incentives to 'not fall behind' with this project is being able to do these crossover real-time moments that make it a.) more exciting and b.) easier to place on a mental timeline. I really appreciate you taking the time to comment on that segment.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Pentgon's the right call for the first champion because he's not so fully involved in any of the stable warfare storylines at the moment, he can make the title and his defences his story and deepen the Thrive cards that way.
    Glad you see it exactly the same way that I do, not that I expected anything less. Whenever there's a disappointing loss, I hope that most readers will give benefit of the doubt to the notion that "there's a deeper plan here." If I can get two stories out of something instead of one, I'm usually going to go that path, unless the benefit of that one story outweighs the other two combined. Of course I might just say that now and then curveball you because SWERVES, BRO.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    As for a final rating, shall we say 6 stars? Really great ending to the 96 tournament, I gotta say with your record of leaving projects on the table (did you ever reach Canada?) I wasn't so sure we'd ever see the first champion crowd, but kudos to you for putting in the hard work to reach that first milestone. Now lets see if Thrive can last long enough to see it's 2nd champion...
    You want THRIVE to last long enough for a second champion? Well, I better get started on Showcase #2 then................

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    your avatar choice gets -6 stars btw
    no u. (RIP Dakstang)

    Responding to Jon, re: Showcase
    Spoiler:

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Legend View Post
    1. Penta El 0M > PENTA
    Not a chance. But if enough people agree with you I can always retcon it. I just think Penta El 0M is too much, and I miss the name KENTA. So S my D.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Legend View Post
    2. This was a pretty unexpected choice to join Kevin Kelly but you've rejuvenated him in your own way and given us another Canadian on commentary so I have no complaints.
    Thank you. I thought most would consider him unbearably annoying but I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with Santi-... I mean, Tony.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Legend View Post
    3. Bro?! Booing the result of the fatal four way. Not only did Riddle not wreck everyone and win that match, but he got pinned? You don't recognize true talent. Interesting event between Riddle & Castle - but Riddle would've wrecked Castle Bad writing.
    Could have been worse, he could have lost to "Miracle" Mike Bennett in a singles match. But I would never book something that shitty...

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Legend View Post
    4. If it's not a 96 woman tournament to crown the champion, I'll be disappointed. But really, didn't think the whole criticizing American women wrestling was necessary, think we're past these Women Revolution stuff, and since this is a Super Indy of sorts, we should recognize that there have been some solid Women indy running around for a couple of years now.
    People who didn't grow up with the late 90's product may not understand what a difference two decades has made. I mean, Charlotte had an interview just this week talking about how far they have come and how they are no longer 'eye candy' or a 'popcorn break.' THIS WEEK. And do you know why? For the very same reason that I made comment to it - the difference is worth mentioning.

    Molly herself has been outspoken in regards to how hard she strived to make the women's programs more meaningful despite complete apathy from the office. Of course there have been solid women's indies over the years (there's an exception to every rule, after all) but there's a reason people still talk about how much progress has been made.

    Could I have gotten away with not acknowledging the history of women's wrestling? Probably. Does it hurt that I did? I have to disagree with you because nearly every women's performer acknowledges it, and for good reason. I just made sure to mention that the situation was vastly different in Japan because it was. Perhaps if you think of it as more of a historical background to women's wrestling rather than 'slandering women's wrestling' you'll be less grumpy about it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Legend View Post
    5. Always happy to see Io/Mayu around but I would have actually liked to have seen Io come back as a heel with either HZK or Momo Watanabe as partners to sort of continue her story in Stardom over here. Minor complaint. Glad she got the pin. Need to see Toni Storm IRL.
    I thought about having her doing heel stuff right out of the gate but it wouldn't make sense with what I've already established of her in THRIVE. At least, not overnight. I'm most likely going to bring her to the dark side in line with real life but will do so at an organic pace if at all. And Toni Storm... oh my.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Legend View Post
    6. I enjoy the continuous tease of a London heel turn but him resisting making that predictable turn. It seems almost inevitable that he will ultimately turn but I'll be happy if he remains as he is right now.
    I have no idea what you're talking about.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Legend View Post
    7. JT Dunn looking nervous ahead of that singles does not bode well. Haven't seen Indy Galloway yet and haven't had a chance to check out Dunn either. Predictable loss for Dunn but at least he had a moment of bad assery with that rolling elbow. The fuck did he bring out the cart of weapons for?
    I can't speak for Dunn personally but maybe he thought he needed an equalizer of sorts? I would assume he expected interferences galore ('Heel Stable 101') but didn't foresee A.G.E. playing by the rules... As for him looking nervous, I can't stress their difference in size enough. Galloway against two JT Dunns might have been more of an even match.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Legend View Post
    8. Can't say I'm happy with that main event. How come Kyle O'Reilly didn't do anything about Cage taking out ZSJ. Was also disappointed to see ZSJ rewarded for that and more or less wrecking Scurll/Sabre Jr. Well, at least he looks really good but I can't say I'll be at all behind him going forward. He's not that good in the ring to warrant a legit main event spot, and he's a dick besides that. Would love to see Cobb wreck him but either KOR or ZSJ getting some measure of revenge would be great. Ospreay & Scurll definitely need to fashion out some means of redemption. This might be largely because I don't rate Cage and so see the loss as bigger than it should be versus if it had been at the hands of someone else.
    What was Kyle O'Reilly supposed to do about Cage cold-clocking their partner? If he gets upset, he's less effective. If he upsets Cage, Cage is less effective. If he goes after Cage, they both lose (most likely). It'll probably be addressed if KOR ends up on the next THRIVEcast but in the heat of the moment, there wasn't much he could do. And to be honest, Sabre Jr. kind of had it coming, running his mouth about Cage following their Worldwide 96 semifinals match.

    Cage himself is a good wrestler who is only getting better with time. Not everyone's cup of tea, but nobody is. I think for a while his physique alone had him pegged by many on the indies as a main event player but his work is catching up nicely and I think he's a solid fixture for the upper-midcard-to-main-event level. Doubtful he'll approach the belt again any time soon, as I'm not keen on rehashing Lucha Underground stuff, but who knows how I will feel tomorrow.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Legend View Post
    9. Oh, thank God for that main event. Kyle O'Reilly versus Penta El 0M sounds great to me but then again, Penta wrecking Cage wouldn't have sounded too bad either. Overall just happy to see Cage's actions come back to bite him albeit now it feels like KOR couldn't have done it otherwise.
    I'm not usually a fan of instant karma but I was pretty happy with how Cage got his comeuppance. And in hindsight, if Sabre Jr. had survived with them, we might have seen a triple threat main event, and that would have made the win even harder for KOR. In a way, it sort of worked to his advantage, but that's obviously not something he could have planned or seen coming.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Legend View Post
    As always, great stuff. Not as much Greater Europe as I expected and Drew Galloway as their Ace is a bit meh. I'd also probably prefer him as an out and out heel then toeing the line. Needs more Catch Point and Riddle jobbing out is no bueno.
    I never know how much is too much with A Greater Europe. People seem to find them interesting and I want it to stay that way so I'm really afraid of overexposing them. That said, they are a main fixture in the BTB and I think their 'stable dynamic' being somewhat unique will probably serve as a driving force for a lot of things going forward. Especially the next time we do a London show...

    As for Catch Point, all I can say is stay tuned. I definitely like them, so don't think I forgot how great THRIVE is with their involvement. The latest additions to the stable seem a little weird... is that coming along nicely? I haven't kept up. Also I wouldn't consider Riddle losing a fatal four-way to an advantageous Jack Evans 'jobbing out' but to each his own. I'm probably grabbing the Riddle episode of An Officer & A Gentleman tonight so if I warm to him even more, maybe I'll let him eat pins in the main event from now on.

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    Re: THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    I had no idea Pentagon underwent a name change or left AAA.


    Tony Carelli is a fascinating choice for the commentary team. Out of all the guys to choose, he would not be on my short list, but he’s a great addition.


    Not a fan of the real life Jack Evans, I loved the post match Rocky homage/parody and his never having a clean record remark.


    I don’t believe you when you say we aren’t entering into Russo territory…. BRO!


    IO Shirari and Mayu Iwatani are fairly unknown to me, but happy with the choice of their victory as Storm and and Skater don’t seem like a true unit to me (at least I don’t know of them ever teaming together).


    Paul London loses to a girl.


    Drew Galloway is a fantastic addition to A Greater Europe. Given his promo work in WCPW and Evolve that I’ve seen, he’ll fit right in with Havok’s crusade. I also see a potential match down the line between Havok and Galloway some where down the line when the faction breaks up.


    The multi man tag match was fantastic. The twist at the end where the two surviving members competed against each other was also fantastic. I thought Cage was going to walk out the victor, but Kyle O’Reilly is the unfortunate soul who’s going to have to have PENTA for the THRIVE championship and get his arm broken. This is going to be one hell of a bout.

  11. #91
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    Special Announcement


    Thank You


    I want to thank everyone for reading and reviewing up to this point in time. And if you are one of the lovely people who commended THRIVE for completing its ambitious "Worldwide 96," then you are to blame for what comes next.

    Due to its success, we are happy to announce three brand new tournaments that will run concurrently over the next few months. Each features a championship prize but otherwise they are all different. Originality is our specialty at THRIVE and these tournaments are no exception.




    The first tournament being announced is our Super-Tag Carnival, a sixteen-team tournament that switches between traditional and 8-man tag team matches every other round, until we are left with only one team standing. This format will encourage tag teams to work together toward a common goal, only to face one another in the next round if they are successful. From there, advancing teams are paired together for a semi-finals 8-man tag team match, and the teams that win that match move on to the finals, where they will compete to become the first ever THRIVE Tag Team Champions.

    Breakdown:
    Spoiler:

    Round 1 | Four 8-Man Tag Team Matches (16 Teams)
    Round 2 | Four Standard Tag Team Matches (8 Teams)
    Round 3 | 8-Man Tag Team Match (4 Teams)
    Round 4 | Standard Tag Team Match (2 Teams) for the Tag Team Championship

    Participants have not yet been announced.




    THRIVE presents the Female All-Pro Invitational, a 48-woman tournament that, similar to the Worldwide 96, will culminate in a Triple Threat Match to crown the first THRIVE Women's Champion. Brackets are still being finalized but we have received a list of the participants (subject to change, of course).

    Breakdown:
    Spoiler:

    Round 1 | Twenty Four Singles Matches (48 Women)
    Round 2 | Twelve Singles Matches (24 Women)
    Round 3 | Six Singles Matches (12 Women)
    Round 4 | Three Singles Matches (6 Women)
    Round 5 | Triple Threat Match (3 Women) for the Women's Championship

    Participants in Alphabetical Order
    Spoiler:

    Alex Windsor
    Alissa Flash (aka Cheerleader Melissa)
    Allysin Kay
    Arisa Nakajima
    Brandi Lauren
    Candice LeRae
    Chelsea Diamond
    Chelsea Green (aka Laurel Van Ness)
    Cherry Bomb (aka Allie)
    Deonna Purrazzo
    Gail Kim
    Hikaru Shida
    Io Shirai
    Jade (aka Mia Yim)
    Jayme Jameson
    Jinny Couture
    Jungle Kyona
    Kairi Hojo
    Kay Lee Ray
    Kellie Skater
    Kris Wolf
    Leva Bates
    LuFisto
    Madison Eagles
    Madison Rayne
    Manami Toyota
    Maria Kanellis-Bennett
    Mayu Iwatani
    Meiko Satomura
    Melina Perez
    Momo Watanabe
    Nicole Savoy
    Rachael Ellering
    Raquel
    Rhia O'Reilly
    Risa Sera
    Rosemary
    Santana Garrett
    Shotzi Blackheart
    Su Yung
    Taya Valkyrie
    Tessa Blanchard
    The Alpha Female
    Thunder Rosa
    Toni Storm
    Tsukasa Fujimoto
    Wesna Busic
    Yoko Bito




    Introducing the 'Twin Lions' tournament, a traditional-bracket tag team single-elimination tournament with a twist. None of these tag teams have competed as a unit before. They are all thrown together or 'ad hoc' teams. This means that every match in this tournament will be happening for the first time ever.

    There can be only one 'King of the Jungle,' so the winning team's members will go on to face each other in a singles match to determine our first THRIVE Lionheart Champion (consider it our IC/US Title, if you will). Participants will have plenty of time to study their partners (and future foes) as they advance through a few rounds of tag team matches before being turned against one another.

    Breakdown:
    Spoiler:

    Round 1 | 8 Tag Team Matches (16 Teams)
    Round 2 | 4 Tag Team Matches (8 Teams)
    Round 3 | 2 Tag Team Matches (4 Teams)
    Round 4 | 1 Tag Team Match (2 Teams)
    Round 5 | Singles Match for the Lionheart Championship

    Participants have not yet been announced.



    More details to follow, including brackets for the F.A.P. Invitational as well as a list of participants for Super-Tag Carnival and Twin Lions tournaments. Also, the Super-Tag Carnival may get even larger. Stay tuned...

  12. #92
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    Re: THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    Holy fuck! I'm excited for this. I envy you and your creative tournament ideas. The Super Tag Carnival is what I'm ready for given the back and forth between eight man tag and regular tag. Twin Lions sounds epic... and was the initials for the Female All Pro a happy accident or you just being Vince Russo cheeky?

  13. #93
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    Re: THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    Loving these tournament announcements. No qualms whatsoever about using more tournaments to crown the rest of your champions, as it worked so well the first time, and it's even better now with the different themes for them all. Will these tournament matches be on the Showcases I wonder, or have their own shows? Looking forward to getting some more deets.

    The Super Tag Carnival just sounds fun but I'm expecting a war between factions to happen during it.

    Keep up up the good work, my man.




  14. #94
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    Re: THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    Santino's an inspired choice for commentator, wouldn't of guessed it in a million guesses.

    Molly Holly's got that rub as one of the few respected workers of her generation of womens wrestlers, so she makes sense as a pick to be the authority figure of that division. I didn't like women's wrestling when I was younger so I probably underrate her.

    The A.G.E. shirts sound terrible bro. Black and Dark Grey footy strips with gold writing, yuck. I don't think they'll fly off the shelves like nWo or Bullet Club shirts but I like the idea of footy based designs. Galloway works as their ace in the pack, don't think there's anyone else in that group that's as big of a name or as good of a worker and of course the WWE links and his passion for indy wrestle lends itself well to the group.

    Because it happened to Brian Cage, that felt so much like a Dario Cueto ultimate opportunity swerve at the end of the show to make them wrestle straight away after that big tag match. I'm down with KOR Vs PENTA (much better name, sounds like KENTA) as the first title match.

    As far as the tournaments go, sure it's a little much and I'd prefer to see Thrive have a couple months more of Showcase type shows where we're out of the tournament zone and we can see what a normal show would look like and what angles you would run when everything is settled, but you're caught between a rock and a hard place because how can you be this hip new promotion and you have nothing for women to aim for. When you create a new fed from scratch it's hard to launch all your championships without going overboard on tournaments. The Twin Lions is definitely the most intriguing to me. You gotta make logos for me man, too sweeeeeet.
    Last edited by Ed; 02-03-2017 at 07:09 PM.

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    Re: THRIVE Pro Wrestling

    Natty gotta say this is the most inspired BTB I've ever read. Great job man. I'll say this to anybody thinking about reading it:

    Don't be an idiot, subscribe to THRIVE Pro Wrestling


    Quote Originally Posted by Creeping Death View Post
    Btw Jiggy said I was only a 4 on a scale of 1 to Jon for being annoying so that's my resolution covered.

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    Responding to Gambit, re: Tournaments
    Spoiler:

    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit View Post
    Holy fuck! I'm excited for this. I envy you and your creative tournament ideas. The Super Tag Carnival is what I'm ready for given the back and forth between eight man tag and regular tag. Twin Lions sounds epic...
    Thanks. I'm quite fond of Twin Lions... I really love 'odd couple' or 'strange bedfellows' tag team matches, mixing up characters and styles that seem interesting. If this event is well received, I could see bringing it back in the future as a KOTR sort of thing ("King of the Jungle" perhaps?).

    Took a while to figure out a name for it because I knew I wanted it to be tied to our secondary championship but didn't have a name for that yet, either. Was originally going to call it the 'Showcase Championship' but decided I didn't want it tied to a specific show. Also considered Intercontinental but that's too similar to WWE and I decided against doing anything geographical since we'll be getting enough of that through touring and stuff. Then I thought: who was my favorite Intercontinental, United States, Television, and Cruiserweight Champion? Thus the Lionhart Championship was born.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gambit View Post
    and was the initials for the Female All Pro a happy accident or you just being Vince Russo cheeky?
    ...
    Spoiler:


    Responding to TWG, re: Tournaments
    Spoiler:

    Quote Originally Posted by TWG View Post
    Loving these tournament announcements. No qualms whatsoever about using more tournaments to crown the rest of your champions, as it worked so well the first time, and it's even better now with the different themes for them all. Will these tournament matches be on the Showcases I wonder, or have their own shows? Looking forward to getting some more deets.
    Some tournament matches will be on Showcase, others will be featured on another series entirely. I haven't committed to a name yet but I am plotting them out as we speak. They will most likely be in a more condensed format with stories told almost entirely in the ring to contrast Showcase, which is more of a 'show.'

    Quote Originally Posted by TWG View Post
    The Super Tag Carnival just sounds fun but I'm expecting a war between factions to happen during it.

    Keep up up the good work, my man.
    A war between factions certainly isn't out of character at THRIVE but A.G.E. has made a commitment to respecting the boundaries of competition, we'll have to see what happens there.. Thank you.

    Responding to Ed, re: Showcase & Tournaments
    Spoiler:

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Santino's an inspired choice for commentator, wouldn't of guessed it in a million guesses.
    I still maintain he was one of the most charismatic wrestlers we've ever seen and never reached his full potential. He reminds me of Rusev in a lot of ways... could you imagine if he were still wrestling alongside that man? My god... #2Handsome

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Molly Holly's got that rub as one of the few respected workers of her generation of womens wrestlers, so she makes sense as a pick to be the authority figure of that division. I didn't like women's wrestling when I was younger so I probably underrate her.
    I dunno if you're underrating her in the grand scheme of things but she was definitely good for her time. It saddens me to know that she had a passion for it and really wanted her division to be so much more but was unfortunately ahead of her time in that regard. Kind of wonder what Maria thinks of the current WWE women's scene because if I remember correctly, she had a similar beef.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    The A.G.E. shirts sound terrible bro. Black and Dark Grey footy strips with gold writing, yuck. I don't think they'll fly off the shelves like nWo or Bullet Club shirts but I like the idea of footy based designs. Galloway works as their ace in the pack, don't think there's anyone else in that group that's as big of a name or as good of a worker and of course the WWE links and his passion for indy wrestle lends itself well to the group.
    no u.

    In my mind's eye they look amazing so maybe I'll have to put out a mock-up eventually. And Galloway is going to be a lot of fun. I don't know many big men who can move like he does and still has plenty of 'attribute points' left for charisma. Kind of surprised WWE hasn't picked him back up yet, could see him being a god in NXT or just coming back to finally be a main event player. Wouldn't want him to become McIntyre again though, I'm quite fond of the 'Galloway' name.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    Because it happened to Brian Cage, that felt so much like a Dario Cueto ultimate opportunity swerve at the end of the show to make them wrestle straight away after that big tag match. I'm down with KOR Vs PENTA (much better name, sounds like KENTA) as the first title match.
    Well it was almost a triple threat that might have allowed Cage some time to rest but, wouldn't ya know it, Cage fucked himself by pulling a cheap shot on his partner, who arguably deserved it for his comments to Joey Styles. Funny how things work out. And thank you for saying so about PENTA. I didn't want to keep calling him Pentagon Jr. because fuck AAA but I also wasn't ready for Penta el 0M because fuck that name. PENTA or Penta works for me until anything better comes along but I'm cool with the KENTA resemblance as an added benefit.

    AAA really does sound like the worst company in the biz more and more as time goes on. I'm sure there are scummier ones that don't make headlines but, my god...

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed View Post
    As far as the tournaments go, sure it's a little much and I'd prefer to see Thrive have a couple months more of Showcase type shows where we're out of the tournament zone and we can see what a normal show would look like and what angles you would run when everything is settled, but you're caught between a rock and a hard place because how can you be this hip new promotion and you have nothing for women to aim for. When you create a new fed from scratch it's hard to launch all your championships without going overboard on tournaments. The Twin Lions is definitely the most intriguing to me. You gotta make logos for me man, too sweeeeeet.
    We think alike. I had similar concerns when I thought about doing three tournaments - ultimately decided that Showcase will see a few matches here and there but most of it will be featured on a different show/program entirely, like the WWE UK Tournament Special but obviously weeks longer and with a few different tournaments being featured.

    As I told TWG above:
    Quote Originally Posted by Natty
    I haven't committed to a name yet but I am plotting them out as we speak. They will most likely be in a more condensed format with stories told almost entirely in the ring to contrast Showcase, which is more of a 'show.'
    I will be featuring some of the tournament stuff on Showcase but most of it will have its own home. For instance, the occasional big tournament match might find its way onto Showcase a submain or even main event. Will The Natural make it to the end of the tournaments before scrapping this and starting a Lucha Underground BTB? Stay tuned to find out!

    Responding to Cocksatron, re: Tournaments
    Spoiler:

    Quote Originally Posted by Cocksatron View Post
    Natty gotta say this is the most inspired BTB I've ever read. Great job man. I'll say this to anybody thinking about reading it:

    Don't be an idiot, subscribe to THRIVE Pro Wrestling
    Thank you for the endorsement, sir. Pretty happy with it so far and it's been really fun scouting talent for this. Hope you continue to enjoy and that the tournaments live up to the hype.

  17. #97
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    Re: Mailbag

    Quote Originally Posted by The Natural View Post
    Responding to Gambit, re: Tournaments
    [spoiler]

    Thanks. I'm quite fond of Twin Lions... I really love 'odd couple' or 'strange bedfellows' tag team matches, mixing up characters and styles that seem interesting. If this event is well received, I could see bringing it back in the future as a KOTR sort of thing ("King of the Jungle" perhaps?).

    Took a while to figure out a name for it because I knew I wanted it to be tied to our secondary championship but didn't have a name for that yet, either. Was originally going to call it the 'Showcase Championship' but decided I didn't want it tied to a specific show. Also considered Intercontinental but that's too similar to WWE and I decided against doing anything geographical since we'll be getting enough of that through touring and stuff. Then I thought: who was my favorite Intercontinental, United States, Television, and Cruiserweight Champion? Thus the Lionhart Championship was born.
    I had a similar idea like that for another site and their BTB. I was going to have Young Lions Wrestling and have the World champion be the King of the Pride champion. I couldn't think of a clever name for the tag.

    On to the odd pairing it does make things more interesting indeed. I would love to see a tournament called the King of the Jungle and it be an annual thing. Your project and ambitious tournaments are making me rethink my game and how I want to present PWE. I can't wait for the next show and who the competitors are for each tournament.

    Windsor is my sleeper pick with Kay Lee Ray and Candice LeRae being my finalist.

  18. #98
    Russo Knows Best!

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    Re: THRIVE Pro Wrestling




    1. PENTA? I am not going to pretend I understand that name at all. Although I do like that everyone is reminded about the 96 and how important the tournament was to the shaping of this entire project.
    2. I love Kevin Kelly and Tony Carelii as the new broadcast team, and I am really interested just exactly how this new dynamic is going to look like in regards to complimenting your project. I am sure it will be swell.
    3. Trevor Lee vs. Matt Riddle vs. Jack Evans vs. Dalton Castle, is already a great match for me and an even better one to start off the Showcase. Evans winning is a good way to start off proceedings, although stealing the victory off Castle just adds more fire to the overall situation. I loved the post-match promo by Jack Evans as well as the argument and ensuing fight between Riddle and Castle. Already you are putting together a new story for all the THRIVE fans to get behind.
    4. Molly Holly was a talent for sure. I am hoping that she will be part of the tournament to crown the first Women's Champion.
    5. Kellie Skater & Toni Storm vs. Io Shirai & Mayu Iwatani, the contest was interesting even if it lacked some lustre. Will be curious to see Toni's character develop over time.
    6. London vs. LaRae was much more about story-telling than fighting and seeing London lose made a lot of sense, even if he was for a longtime one of my favourite wrestlers. Candice though is someone that I am going to hopefully be pushed to the moon in this project, as I think she is a gal that can really showcase the talent that Thrive is able to offer the readership.
    7. I love the way in which you use Jimmy Havoc in your project, so much so that it actually seems to be preventing me from using him in my own project. Havoc is the man in Thrive Wrestling irrespective of title honours.
    8. JT Dunn vs. Galloway, the match was great and a very nice way for Drew to be introduced as the newest member of 'A Greater Europe'. The whole ending to the segment and Dunn refusing to shake hands just made for a really great angle.Of course this situation is surely far from being over, but none the less it is certainly wetting my appetite.
    9. Main Event Match, the elimination match was an absolute great read and I very much enjoyed the entirety of the contest. Putting O'Reilly and Cage together as an impromptu number one contenders match only further increase the intensity that the match is able to offer to the fans. It was very clever to not have the match last too long, especially with both men having just competed just moment earlier. Personally I would have preferred Cage to have won the contest, as Brian is someone that really need to be given a world title sooner rather than later. On the other hand Cage vs. Penta(gon) is very much LU, so O'Reilly make it more of a THRIVE exclusive contest.


    Keep up the good work though, although I can't pretend that I didn't enjoy the 96 Finale to such a high degree that I have still been left wanting more....much much more.
    The BTB Section Only Improves If We All Improve Together.
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  19. #99
    Russo Knows Best!

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    Re: THRIVE Pro Wrestling



    This tournament confuses me slightly. It is going to be interesting to see how tag-team fighting in their pairs only to have to somehow work together with another tag-team to become an 8-man squad. I think the tournament is a really interesting concept although I am not sure if the prize of the Thrive Tag Team Titles is the best reward, and instead the Carnival could just be a yearly event like PWG's Battle of Los Angeles. I will be curious to find out who is entering into the tournament though, because I really think this has a lot of potential.



    96 / 2 = 48 so my assumption is that the final is going to be another Triple Threat Match. Logically that is a very sensible way to go about crowning the inaugural Women's Champion. Some of the contestants are really intriguing and I really can't wait for this for the tournament to officially get underway.



    The Twin Lions Tag Team Tournament is a really interesting concept. I love that in order to reach the final both mean will have to work together before finally going head-to-head to win the Lionheart Championship. I am really intrigued how you will incorporate these tournaments into Showcase or whether we are going to have the use of house-shows or other events exclusive to each specific tournament.
    The BTB Section Only Improves If We All Improve Together.
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  20. #100
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    Showcase #002



    Dallas, TX

    Kevin Kelly and Tony Carelli (a.k.a. Santino Marella) save us their meandering interaction at the beginning to give us some quick updates. First, the three recently-announced tournaments will officially begin next week... but they won't begin on Showcase. Kevin Kelly promises more details on that sometime during the program. Next, Carelli thanks viewers for voting THRIVE as 'promotion of the month' in the Clique Wrestling Newsletter... whatever that is.

    Kevin Kelly gets excited to tell us about what's in store on the next episode of Showcase, but before he can, he is interrupted by Tony Carelli, who's leeching his lines (again) to do just that.

    Tony Carelli: That's right, fans. Next week, Showcase is host to the THRIVE Charity Brawl - a special 22-man over-the-top elimination battle royal. The winner of the match earns a $20,000 purse and THRIVE doubles that as a contribution to a local charity...

    Carelli trails off with his words toward the end.

    Kevin Kelly: ...something wrong?

    Tony Carelli: I mean, it sounds like a big deal, but why is the prize a fancy purse? What? Is this a Ladies Rumble? And if so, why didn't Santina get an invitation? ...it doesn't make sense.

    Kelly sighs out loud. It's going to be a long night. And I would know, because I wrote the damn thing.

    Tony Carelli: Must be some purse...

    Kevin Kelly sits back and folds his arms. He's getting paid either way, so he might as well let Tony do the heavy lifting. Carelli continues on like he doesn't notice.

    Tony Carelli: Now, those are just the traditional stipulations for a Charity Brawl... but next week's spectacle will also determine the next number one contender to the World Championship!

    Carelli's excitement is a stark contrast to Kevin Kelly's complete apathy.

    Tony Carelli: Whoever wins between PENTA and Kyle O'Reilly tonight will be bringing the championship to our next 'big show,' where it will be defended in singles competition! So far we know that there will be no performers from the upcoming tournaments participating in the Charity Brawl, but that's all we know regarding the brawlers at this time...

    Carelli looks over to Kevin Kelly and waves a hand in front of his face, making sure he's not asleep with his eyes open. Kelly shoots Carelli a death glare. Carelli freezes up for a moment, then laughs at what a great sense of humor (he thinks) Kelly has. That brings us to some breaking news!

    Carelli tells the audience of an exchange that just occurred while the company was filming interviews to be put up on YouTube, and turns this developing story over to Joey Styles. Styles is standing backstage with a microphone in hand as he thanks fans for "tuning in" to THRIVE Pro Wrestling.

    Joey Styles: We have an exciting night of action ahead of us, but before we get started, let's take a look at what transpired mere moments ago...

    Spoiler:

    The scene transitions to footage recorded earlier, with Joey Styles interviewing three members of Catch Point: Matt Riddle, Fred Yehi, and "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams.

    Joey Styles: So what brings you to Dallas, gentlemen?

    Matt Riddle: (to Yehi, in background) We're in Dallas?

    Joey Styles: And ready for a fight, by the look of it!

    The camera zooms out to reveal these men are dressed to wrestle.

    Fred Yehi: Indie Wrestling 101: always travel with your ring gear, Joey. If you don't, you're in biiiiiiiiig trouble! You never know when an opportunity will arise...

    Joey Styles: ... ...so you put gear on for an interview?

    Williams puts his hand up to stop Yehi from replying.

    Tracy Williams: We're just here to speak with management and make sure we're involved in the tournaments that were just announced.

    Joey Styles: Right, because that had to be in-person, and you definitely could not have done that over the phone...

    Joey looks blankly at the camera for a moment before turning back to Catch Point.

    Tracy Williams: ... ...Like I was saying, we-

    Dalton Castle: RIDDLE!

    "The Peacock of Professional Wrestling" waltzes past Joey Styles and right up to Catch Point with his 'Boys' following right behind him.

    Dalton Castle: Let's do this, baby! You and me! Mano y mano.

    Before Riddle can respond, "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams cuts in.

    Tracy Williams: All he says is bro. If you want to talk, you're talking to [i]me[i].

    Dalton and The Boys gasp over-dramatically at this interruption.

    Dalton Castle: I don't want to talk, I want to fight... (points at Riddle) him!

    Riddle shakes his head like he is way too high for this shit.

    Tracy Williams: What's your problem, exactly?

    Dalton Castle: ...

    Castle stops, looks around for a moment like even he doesn't know the answer, then gets right up in Williams' face.

    Dalton Castle: You want a slice too, sweetheart?!

    Williams looks over to Fred Yehi to step in, but Yehi looks like he wants nothing to do with this.

    Dalton Castle: This works... I'm cool with 'group things.' We can make this a six-man slam jam if that's your heart's desire.

    Now Williams wants nothing to do with this...

    Dalton Castle: A bunch of catchers getting down to business with Dalton Castle and The Boys. The show needs a semi-main? Then let's give 'em a semi!

    Even The Boys have to cringe at the word choice there.

    Dalton Castle: What say you?

    Tracy Williams looks like he's trying to think of a stoic way of saying 'fuck no,' when Matt Riddle steps to the front and gets nose-to-nose with Castle.

    Matt Riddle: You're on, bro.

    Yehi and Williams still look disturbed by the whole ordeal but they have Riddle's back. Dalton Castle snaps his fingers and is lifted up by The Boys, before they shuffle out of camera view. There's a moment of awkward silence once Dalton is gone.

    Joey Styles: How convenient that you're already in your ring gear, because it looks like you'll be in action tonight. Good luck, gentlemen!

    The Catch Point guys are too confused to respond or thank or even acknowledge Joey. Nothing more is said and we return to ringside for our next contest. Kevin Kelly is speechless for a moment before turning to face Carelli.

    Kevin Kelly: I didn't think it was possible but it looks like we've actually found someone stranger than you.

    Tony Carelli: What was strange about that?

    Kevin Kelly: ...


    When we return to the ring, Melissa Santos is ready to announce the opening contest, scheduled for one fall (ONE FALL!)






    The second episode of Showcase kicks off with a fun opener between the Young Bucks and the team of Jushin Liger and David Finlay. The Bucks have the crowd firmly behind them but Liger gets a big pop whenever he does, well, anything really. The fans are quiet for Finlay but he gets them on his side more and more as the match goes on, especially when he turns Nick Jackson inside out with a big lariat, prompting Carelli to howl 'lariatoooooo' as loudly and obnoxiously as he can.

    Finlay takes in the audience's response but his celebration is short lived, as he turns around and eats a superkick from Matt. We see Kevin Kelly turn to his broadcast partner for a moment, as if waiting for him to shout 'suuuuuperkick!' When he doesn't, there's a brief look of sadness on Kelly's face before we return to the action (you will be missed, Steve Corino). The Young Bucks are in control the majority of the match but a running sitout powerbomb from Jushin Liger gets a near-fall.

    The finish sees Liger superkick’d off the apron while Finlay is the legal man. Finlay mounts some offense for a moment but turns to make a tag and finds nobody home. The Young Bucks get him set up for the Meltzer Driver and bring the match to a close at 13:05. They spend a moment celebrating and making faces at the camera before 'playing guitar' on their custom-made, white leather Superkick Party Championship belts. Matt Jackson gets really close to the camera before yelling about them being the greatest tag team on Earth, their plan to go all the way in the Super Tag Carnival, and promising to be the first THRIVE Tag Team Champions.

    The Bucks head backstage to a 'Bullet Club' chant, while the losing team recovers in the ring. Jushin Liger is helping Finlay to his feet but it becomes apparent that Finlay does not want his help, shoving his mentor's arms away. The ever-expressive Liger communicates that he is just as disappointed in the outcome but Finlay doesn't want to hear it, leaving the ring mid-pantomime. Liger leans over the ropes and watches as Finlay sulks to the backstage area alone. Liger shrugs it off, bows to the audience, and gets himself a nice pop before heading backstage.

    Kevin Kelly: Finlay and Liger better get themselves straightened out before the Super Tag Carnival, if they have any hopes of becoming our first Tag Team Champions.

    Tony Carelli: And they better hope they don't get paired against the Young Bucks, because no doubt about it, those guys are going to make this a sixteen tag team Super Kick Carnival... eh?

    Carelli bounces his eyebrows like .

    Kevin Kelly: ...right... We still don't even know if they're part of the tournament because none of the tag teams have been announced. However, I have it on good authority that we will be seeing the first batch of teams announced very soon. Perhaps even tonight!

    Tony Carelli: Wouldn't it make more sense to announce the entrants afterwards, separate from the show? Y'know, give the announcements a better spotlight? Generate a little more buzz? At least, that's what Ed and Jon would probably say...

    Kevin Kelly: Well...yes, I suppose, but...

    Kelly doesn't know how to react to Carelli's constant fourth-wall-breaking.

    Tony Carelli: Hey, do you know if it's too late to enroll in the Tag Carnival? I tried calling Vladimir Kozlov, and Great Khali, and nobody picked up... maybe you can be my partner!

    Carelli lets out an obnoxious and obviously fake laugh.

    Kevin Kelly: Have you tried Emmalina? Or are we back to Emma now?.. She hasn't been very busy lately, maybe she can help.

    Carelli stops laughing.

    Tony Carelli: That's not funny, Kevin. What's happening to Tenille is no joke.

    Kevin expects Carelli to drop the seriousness and start laughing, but he doesn't. Carelli looks very serious about this. Kelly looks down, adjusts his tie, and then awkwardly changes the subject.

    Kevin Kelly: Next up, it's-

    Kelly stops speaking abruptly to listen to his earpiece. It seems like the producers are telling him something.

    Kevin Kelly: Ladies and gentlemen, I apologize, but I'm being told that Joey Styles is backstage with the Bullet Club for an impromptu interview. Let's see what's going on.

    Backstage we are greeted by Joey Styles. He stands next to The Young Bucks, Adam Cole, and "The American Nightmare" Cody Rhodes. The Young Bucks are still in their ring gear but Cole and Rhodes are plain-clothed. Cody's rocking his Bullet Club shirt and Adam Cole is wearing the SuperKliq tee.

    Joey Styles: Gentlemen, you asked us for some interview time, what's on your mind?

    Cody Rhodes: We asked for interview time but I don't think we ever said anything about some dweeb asking the questions.

    Nick Jackson: Sorry Joey, no dweebs tonight.

    Matt Jackson: Yeah, sorry Joey.

    The Young Bucks wave goodbye as Cody leads Joey Styles out of the shot and snatches his microphone.

    Cody Rhodes: That's better... Ladies and gentlemen, I give to you the one, the only... Ring of Honor World Champion, Adam Cole-

    The Young Bucks: (simultaneously, leaning in to mic) Bay bay!!!

    Cole closes his eyes and looks up, breathing in deep before opening his mouth.

    Adam Cole: Thank you for the intro, fellas. It's good to be the king.

    Cody Rhodes: So Adam-

    The Young Bucks look off camera for a moment, startled.

    Jeff Cobb: You're the king, huh?

    Cole turns and the camera zooms out to get an approaching Jeff Cobb in the picture. Cody Rhodes looks less than enthusiastic about Cobb's interruption.

    Nick Jackson: Man, what is with people walking up during interviews around here?

    Matt Jackson: Are there no locks on these doors?!

    Cobb gets up in Adam Cole's face, prompting the Young Bucks and Rhodes to step forward menacingly. Cobb doesn't flinch. Cole motions for his men to stand down, and they do.

    Adam Cole: Yeah, that's right. In the wrestling world, you're a peasant, and I'm a king. So what can your liege do you for?

    Jeff Cobb: I wanna know why a mighty king can't beat a peasant in a fair fight.

    Adam Cole: Maybe you're a little confused, Jeff. Did I hit you a little too hard with that shining wizard? Rattle your brain a little bit? ...I already beat you in a fair fight.

    Jeff Cobb smiles but he's obviously holding back rage towards Cole.

    Adam Cole: The reason you got the both of us counted out isn't because you held a grudge from Trifecta, like everybody keeps saying - it's because you know, deep down, if the match had gone on, it would have been business as usual with your mat on the back and my hand being raised. Because of you, I'm not in the main event tonight, and Kyle O’Reilly is. And in due time, I'll be sure to repay you for that...

    Jeff Cobb: Well you shouldn't have any trouble finding me. I'm very approachable.

    Cobb's smile is starting to deteriorate.

    Jeff Cobb: Can you stop with the whole 'acting like you're not afraid of me' thing? We all know it's an act.

    Adam Cole: Me? Afraid of you?!

    There's a brief pause. Then, the Bullet Club laughs together obnoxiously. Cole orders them to compose themselves before he continues.

    Adam Cole: C'mon now, really? When people think of Adam Cole, they think of championship gold, baybay. Be it PWG, or ROH, or countless companies across the world; the name Adam Cole is synonymous with success. But when people hear the name Jeff Cobb... they don't get scared, they think of salad.

    Nick Jackson: Breakfast salad.

    Matt Jackson: It's not breakfast salad, it's just salad.

    Nick Jackson: It's a salad with breakfast stuff in it. That's a breakfast salad.

    The Young Bucks stop bickering long enough to notice Cole, Cobb, and Cody Rhodes staring at them. They abruptly end their conversation.

    Adam Cole: Like I was saying... people don't think of a winner. They think of the Olympic wrestler who didn't bring home the gold. In other words: impressive, but a failure.

    The Young Bucks nod in agreement.

    Adam Cole: I'm the Ring of Honor World Champion. You're not. (pause) I'm in the Bullet Club. You're not. (pause) Please help me out with this one: why the fuck would I be afraid of you?

    Jeff Cobb: Maybe because we've got a rematch, tonight. And don't try to pull that 'I don't have my gear with me' bullshit. Indy wrestling 101-

    All of them, together: Always travel with your ring gear.

    Jeff Cobb: You and me, one more time. That sound good to you, champ?

    Jeff Cobb pats the Ring of Honor World Championship rather hard as he says it, almost shoving Cole, but Cole no-sells it.

    Adam Cole: You want another humiliating defeat? Fine. I've got an endless supply for you.

    Jeff Cobb: ...I wasn't finished...

    Cody Rhodes: Well don't let your balls stay blue, big boy. Let it out.

    Cobb starts smiling again, but this time it's genuine - he can't help himself.

    Jeff Cobb: The reason I stopped by first was to personally let you know that management was kind enough to grant my request.

    They all look at him like 'get on with it already.'

    Jeff Cobb: Tonight's match... is No Disqualifications...

    The Bullet Club look around at one another. There's a second of awkward silence before they all start laughing.

    Cody Rhodes: What are you, stupid?! No DQ means we can interfere!

    Cobb hasn't stopped smiling.

    Jeff Cobb: That's absolutely true, but A Greater Europe means you won't.

    The Bullet Club stops laughing and looks very serious now. Cobb seems pleased. He lifts one of his hands into the air and snaps his fingers. Cody and the Young Bucks turn around, ready for an attack by Havoc and his men... but there's nobody there. They do their best to pretend like they weren't scared. Adam Cole, however, remains looking Cobb straight in the eyes.

    Jeff Cobb: Wow, you guys are predictable.

    Adam Cole looks to his stablemates and then back to Cobb.

    Jeff Cobb: You beat me once because I play by the rules, and you don't. But when there aren't any rules..?

    Cobb gets so close he's nearly nose-to-nose with Cole.

    Jeff Cobb: See you in the ring, your highness.

    Cobb walks away cool and confident. Something could blow up behind him right now and he wouldn't even turn around. Adam Cole, on the other hand, looks pretty upset with the whole situation.

    Cody Rhodes: You really think they're here?

    Adam Cole: No. No way. ... ...Probably not.

    Nick Jackson: You've got this, though.

    Matt Jackson: Yeah, you don't need our help! I mean, you did beat him one-on-one...

    Cole cocks an eyebrow as he glances between them.

    Adam Cole: Excuse me?

    Nick Jackson: Maybe you should go out there on your own, y'know?

    Adam Cole: No, I don't know. What? Are you afraid? Again?!

    Nick Jackson: We're not afraid, it's just-

    Matt Jackson: We're traveling light. There's only four of us here. No Guerrillas of Destiny, no "Hangman," no Fale...

    Cody Rhodes: No Yujiro? We're fucked!

    Cole quickly smiles at Rhodes before his face returns to a serious demeanor.

    Adam Cole: Know what? I don't want to hear it. I don't need help. I've already beaten this clown once. This time, I send him back to the circus for good.

    Cole finishes the pep-talk to himself and walks away from the Bullet Club. They talk a bit more among themselves as we return to ringside for our next match...

    Kevin Kelly: Showcase is off to a wild start, everybody! Dalton Castle and The Boys against Catch Point, Adam Cole against Jeff Cobb with no disqualifications, and we've got no idea what's going to happen nex-

    "BOOM BOOM" ... Colt Cabana .. "BOOM BOOM" ... Colt Cabana ... "BOOM BOOM" ... Colt Cabana ... it's Colt Ca-bana! What follows is a slowed-down, modified version of Colt's theme music that he's been using for his current ROH heel run. Out comes the man himself, getting some cheers despite his dedication to behaving like a dickhead on the way to the ring.

    Cabana's got a few t-shirts slung over his shoulder. He teases giving them away, but doesn't. Once in the ring, he drapes them over the ropes in typical indy-show-intermission fashion. Colt takes his time with this and it draws a few boos.

    Colt Cabana: Okay, sorry about that. Just needed to put those there so you can decide which Colt Cabana t-shirt you want now, instead of wasting time, standing around like a bunch of idiots at the front of my lines later.

    A fan yells 'nobody wants your shirt.' Cabana pauses and slowly turns to face his heckler, some chubster with a neckbeard.

    Colt Cabana: You know... heart disease is this country's leading killer... maybe putting your money toward an X-X-L would be a healthier use of your money than having cheeseburgers and giant sodas all day. ...Or keep being a fat fuck, it's not my business.

    This gets a mix of boos and cheers. Colt turns away to address the hard camera and the rest of the crowd.

    Colt Cabana: I see you dinks on the forums, asking questions like "what happened to Cobbmania?" and "when is THRIVE coming back to Toronto?" ... but what you should be doing, is asking questions that matter. Questions like "why wasn't Colt Cabana in the Worldwide 96?"

    It doesn't get a huge response but Colt pretends like the crowd is squarely on his side.

    Colt Cabana: Exactly. Now I'm not saying it's a conspiracy, or that there's some big scary shadow corporation at play in all of this, but you really have to wonder how people like Lance Storm and Brian Myers, Joey Janela and Jay White, whoever the fuck Rickey Shane Page is... ... ...how these guys all got themselves a shot at the biggest tournament of the year, but an indy trailblazer like yours truly did not?! How can that be?!

    The crowd is beginning to boo Cabana for going on-and-on. He nods like they're upset that he's been overlooked and he's merely agreeing with them.

    Colt Cabana: Yeah - this company needs to get its priorities straight. I'm the man who made wresting podcasts a thing! And you're going to stick me in some nothing match with Dave Mastiff - no offense, Dave - instead of putting me in a tournament with 96 openings?! Who's booking this garbage?

    That gets a small reaction because fuck Natty but the boos return shortly thereafter.

    Colt Cabana: So I called up THRIVE management this morning, and I said: you better have a match for Colt Cabana at the next Showcase, OR ELSE.

    Crowd plays along, feigning fear and going "oooh".

    Colt Cabana: So tonight, guess what... I'VE GOT A MATCH! That's right, nobody says 'no' to Colt Cabana!

    The same fan from before bellows, "except WWE!" Cabana turns quickly.

    Colt Cabana: I will beat your-

    Cabana is interrupted by loud, bolstering theme music. He slowly tilts his head to look toward the entrance. Fake smoke begins to rise and cover the area in a thick fog. Moments later, a large figure steps through the clouds, accompanied by a smaller man. Cabana's smarmy grin disappears, replaced with 'instant regret.'

    Brad Maddox: ...Boom, boom.

    Colt puts his hands out in front of him, like he's asking them to 'hold on' or 'reconsider.' They move towards the ring regardless.

    Brad Maddox: Mr. Cabana, I don't need to tell you what a grand mistake you have made tonight. The look on your face tells me you already know very well. What I will say is this: we feel your pain. Not that WALTER was overlooked for the tournament per se, but his dominance and controversial elimination suggest that he should have been a part of the conversation for PENTA's next challenger. Strangely, though, WALTER was not included in last week's 8-man main event. So we're here to remind management what my client is capable of. And you... you're collateral damage.

    Cabana begrudgingly accepts his fate as the crowd starts chanting 'THANK YOU WALTER,' but he's not about to go down without a fight. Cabana rushes across the ring and strikes WALTER with a series of knees as he is entering the ring and the referee is forced to start this match earlier than planned. Cabana uses one of his hanging t-shirts to choke WALTER for a few moments before the referee rings the bell and starts a five count.




    At 5, Cabana relinquishes the t-shirt and continues to assault WALTER with knees to the side of the face. These only serve to anger the monster known as WALTER, who quickly shakes them off and grabs his opponent around the waist. The Austrian giant charges forward and rushes Cabana into the corner. He gets a firm grip of the ropes and then continues to drive massive shoulders into Cabana's gut. Brad Maddox makes his way over to commentary and puts a headset on, joking that he's not sure if he should sit down or just stand for what will surely be a short match.

    What follows is a very one-sided beating for Colt Cabana. He tries to escape to the outside but that just makes WALTER impatient and, in-turn, more violent. WALTER sends him crashing into the steps, the guardrails, the ring posts, the apron - you name it. Eventually he rolls Cabana back into the ring to finish things off. Maddox stops gushing about his client's dominance and leaves the commentary desk prematurely.

    In the ring, WALTER is getting a battered Cabana to his feet. Maddox gets a microphone from a ringside official and looks ready to slide into the ring at a moment's notice. Meanwhile, Colt is standing on spaghetti legs. WALTER gives him a kick to the midsection to double him over, then hoists him up for the Golden Bomb (powerbomb), hurling his opponent to the mat with authority!

    WALTER kneels and puts his hand on Cabana's chest as the referee counts 1... 2... 3. WALTER wins the match at 06:34. Maddox is already in the ring and standing by to start his promo when the bellkeeper rings the bell.

    Brad Maddox: Ladies and gentlemen, your winner... and soon-to-be THRIVE World Champion... WALTER.

    The big man gets back to his feet behind Maddox.

    Brad Maddox: Life isn't fair. I understand that better than any of you pricks. However, I am a fan of people getting what they deserve, whether good or bad, and WALTER deserves another opportunity to earn a title shot in this company. There's no two ways about it. So, being the 'greatest of all time' manager that I am, allow me to make this argument on his behalf.

    Maddox looks like he's going over a mental notes list in his head before he begins.

    Brad Maddox: Congratulations to Kyle O'Reilly on becoming the #1 Contender to PENTA's World Championship. I mean that. Helluva talent... but the thing is... Kyle was eliminated in Round 3, along with eleven other men. He didn't make it to Round 4 like WALTER did. Somehow he is a more eligible contender than WALTER? Clearly, qualifying to be in that main event wasn't about tournament progress...

    Maddox pauses for a moment to let that sink in. He's got a shit-eating grin on his face.

    Brad Maddox: So that got me thinking... Jeff Cobb was eliminated from the '96 in a match that went under 10 minutes, whereas WALTER lasted more than 23 before his elimination! They were both outcomes involving a certain level of chicanery, sure, but the fact remains that Cobb got a spot in that 8-man tag team match, and WALTER did not...

    Maddox sighs.

    Brad Maddox: Then Cobb got himself counted out... could you imagine how differently that main event would have gone with my client involved?!

    Maddox shakes his head in disgust.

    Brad Maddox: So I can think of no one more deserving, and no one more ready for the #1 Contendership than this man...

    WALTER raises his arms. Some cheer, some boo.

    Brad Maddox: That's why I went to THRIVE management to make this official... I have formally withdrawn WALTER from competing in the Twin Lions Tournament to ensure his participation in the Charity Brawl. As WALTER's representation, I decided against allowing the opportunity for someone else's failure to decide WALTER's fate in the Twin Lions Tournament. On the next episode of Showcase, my client will defeat 21 individuals and become the new #1 Contender to the THRIVE World Championship!

    Maddox is smiling from ear-to-ear now. More people are starting to boo as they realize Maddox could go on forever, but he just talks over them.

    Brad Maddox: And at the next big event, which will be even bigger than Trifecta just by virtue of WALTER headlining it, PENTA is going to learn the meaning of the word 'miedo!'

    Maddox looks really proud of himself now. Then WALTER leans forward, taps him on the shoulder, and whispers something in his ear. Maddox looks like he just remembered something.

    Brad Maddox Oh, shi-... I forgot to think of something to say for O'Reilly, but if he becomes Champion tonight... um... WALTER will fuck him up too!

    It's a half-assed remark but the fans pop for it because who doesn't love a good F bomb now and then. Cabana is limping toward the backstage area with one hand on the guard rail and the other on his lower back. WALTER sees him walking away and looks over to Maddox for approval, like a dog trying to figure out if it's okay to eat what's fallen on the floor. Maddox smiles and nods.
    Seconds later, WALTER is out of the ring and bounding towards Cabana! He smashes Cabana from behind and drags him back toward ringside. Another boot-to-the-midsection and this time WALTER gives Cabana a powerbomb onto the ring apron! Cabana's size and WALTER's force make for a nasty thud sound when the move connects, and a "holy shit" chant as WALTER moves away from the scene of the crime.

    Brad Maddox stands over the fallen Colt Cabana, points at him while looking at the camera, and tells the viewers at home that this is a sight they better get used to, because this is 'THE YEAR OF WALTER.' Maddox and WALTER leave together as medics check on Cabana. For once, Carelli has nothing to say. He is in awe of what he's just seen. Kevin Kelly takes the wheel and tells us it's time for a very special announcement.

    Kevin Kelly: Ladies and gentlemen, following rave reviews for our first episode, it is my pleasure to announce a new re-occuring event and sister-show to 'Showcase,' it's...

    Spoiler:



    Kevin Kelly: 'Tournament Road' will be home to the three newly announced tourneys hosted by THRIVE: the Super-Tag Carnival, Female All Pro Invitational, and Twin Lions Tournament. There may be the occasional 'exhibition' match, but most, if not all matches on Tournament Road will be those leading to championship gold. From what I understand there will be a unique format for the show as well, so be sure to check it out when it's uploaded in the coming week (or so)!


    With that, we are ready for our next match: a challenge made by Dalton Castle to Catch Point. EVOLVE's 'submission coalition' against a Peacock and his boys. We see footage from the last episode of Showcase, where Castle and Riddle collided in a fatal four-way and then had a pull-apart brawl afterwards for reasons still unknown.








    Catch Point gets a good reaction and Kelly notes that this is their first appearance as a trio in THRIVE so far, despite all three men having wins under their belt. "Hot Sauce" maintains a leadership role, going over strategies with Yehi and Riddle once more before the match. They are interrupted by the opening chords of Dalton Castle's theme song, and then mesmerized by the appearance of a glimmering Castle beneath a spotlight - his glitter-covered jumpsuit reflecting in so many directions. Carelli jokes that Castle looks a little like Batista tonight, but Kelly doesn't get it.

    Castle and The Boys enter the ring. The Boys are wearing hardly anything and that includes protective gear for a match. Instead, they wield large feathers and wave them around frantically trying to fan the air around Dalton Castle. Castle snaps his fingers and they immediately stop the fanning in order to form a human-chair behind him. Castle leans back and produces a microphone from his jumpsuit's crotch region. Kelly is about to ask where he was hiding that thing, when he remembers the joke about Batista.

    Dalton Castle: Look at the three of you, ready for a fight. Well this isn't any ordinary fight, fellas. This is going to be a six-man slam jam. ...that's right. 'Cole vs Cobb 2' may have bumped us from the semi-main slot tonight, but if you think I'm afraid of going down the card, then you don't know Dalton Castle. And if you think this is gonna be smooth sailin-

    Fred Yehi: Man, shut up and fight!

    Castle frowns at Yehi's interruption but doesn't flinch when Yehi gets up close and personal.

    Dalton Castle: I know I've never seen you at R-O-H, but do you have any honor? What kind of man wants to start a fight before all combatants are in the ring?

    They already looked confused by Dalton Castle but now Catch Point is extra confused.

    Dalton Castle: Oh, you mean these Boys behind me? They're not going to fight you, silly.

    Commentary had been silent up to that point but that last sentence forces Carelli to say, "what?"

    Spoiler:

    Dalton Castle: I'm sorry - I must have fumbled my words earlier. Did I say The Boys were going to be my partners tonight? ...I meant Dem Boys.

    There's a look of recognition among their faces as Catch Point realizes what Castle's getting at. The sound of gunshots blare through the P.A. system followed by The Briscoes' theme song. Fans cheer when they realize what we're actually getting.










    For a moment, it seems like we're going to see Matt Riddle against Jay Briscoe to start things off, but Castle insists on being the one to start against Riddle. The crowd made noise when Matt and Jay came near one another, and Jay looks interested in testing his mettle, but he ultimately acquiesces to let Castle have the first crack at 'em, being that this is his beef.

    Castle makes several attempts to brutalize Riddle, but Riddle's MMA skills shine through and he's looking very capable in managing and countering Castle's offense. Mark Briscoe tags himself in when a frustrated Dalton Castle doesn't want to give up the reigns, and threatens Riddle with some 'redneck kung fu.' Riddle watches a long presentation by Mark before saying 'fuck that shit' and tagging out to "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams.

    Williams treats Mark Briscoe like a joke and lets his guard down, allowing Mark to pull off some lightning-quick offense before "Hot Sauce" knows what hit him. After taking his opponent lightly, Williams shifts gears and starts looking for an opportunity. When Mark inevitably goes for a crane kick, Williams counters with a dragon screw followed by an unrelenting assault on Briscoe's knee.

    Mark Briscoe eventually uses his battered limb for a desperation enziguiri that nails Tracy hard (giggity). A dazed Williams looks for his partners in the wrong corner, giving time for a wounded Mark Briscoe to get to his team for a tag. Jay Briscoe comes in at the same time that Williams makes a tag to Fred Yehi, and Yehi tells Jay he's in biiiiiiiig trouble.

    Fred Yehi charges Jay Briscoe to lock up, but Jay quickly drops Yehi with a snap jab. Jay's in the middle of asking "that's it?" when he gets pulled backwards for a schoolboy roll-up. The referee gets to 2.9, just a hair shy of a 'that was three!' chant. Yehi follows up with a strong ground game and prevents Briscoe from getting back to his feet for some time. It's humorous at first but becomes a true display of Yehi's masterful technique.

    An impressed Jay Briscoe nods and gives Yehi props. They tangle in the center of the ring and Briscoe powers Yehi into the ropes before they both tumble into his corner. Jay Briscoe is putting fists to Yehi's abdomen when he feels a hard slap across his back. Briscoe snaps a mean glance behind him before realizing it was Dalton Castle tagging himself in.

    Jay looks at Dalton with dead eyes before reluctantly taking his place on the apron. Dalton Castle pulls Yehi out of their corner and whips him across the ring to his teammates. Williams offers to get in, but Matt Riddle shakes his head no and takes the tag from Yehi instead. Riddle faces off against Dalton Castle before the two get close to one another and start arguing in the ring.

    Push comes to shove, and shove comes to double-leg takedown. Riddle has Castle near the center of the ring for a quick ground-and-pound before Castle is able to find an opening and escape. Riddle is right on him, though, bringing him back to the mat and transitioning between many potential submissions. Castle's Greco-Roman background is making it hard for Riddle to get any of them locked in.

    Eventually, Castle gets himself to the ropes and forces Riddle to break his hold. The second he does, Castle takes a cheap shot and pulls Riddle toward the ropes by his hair, so that Riddle is looking over the apron. Dalton reaches outside of the ring and grabs a fresh handful of Matt Riddle's hair before pulling with all of his might and forcing Riddle to choke against the middle rope. The referee admonishes him for the hair-pulling and the choking, counting 1...2...3...4..5! Castle won't relinquish the hold. The referee has no choice but to call for the bell! Catch Point wins via disqualification at 08:21! Fans are booing and chanting 'bullshit.' The Briscoes look disappointed, too.

    Commentary expresses their disappointment in this one being over before it really started; many fans wanted to see a proper Catch Point / Briscoes encounter but tonight will not be the night. The Briscoes get in the ring to pull Castle off. "Hot Sauce" Tracy Williams isn't as patient, rushing over and putting boots to Castle. This prompts Jay to get physical with him. Yehi rushes forward to break things up between them but Mark Briscoe misinterprets this as aggression and drops Yehi with a superkick.

    Williams and Jay Briscoe continue to brawl as officials hit the ring to separate these men. There are boos and several chants to "let them fight!" Dalton Castle eventually releases the choke, but the damage is done. A limp Riddle collapses to the mat. Castle drives one more stomp into him before letting security separate them. Mark helps officials get between Jay Briscoe and Tracy Williams to defuse the situation.

    Kevin Kelly: Can't be happy with how that turned out but my goodness, what a surprise - The Briscoes have arrived in THRIVE!

    Tony Carelli: Let's just hope they stay off social media...

    Kelly cocks an eyebrow but doesn't indulge Carelli.

    Kevin Kelly: The last time we saw Mark Briscoe, he was on the losing end of a Worldwide 96 match against Brian Cage. A win here would have evened out his record but unfortunately this brings him to 0-2. And this being Jay Briscoe's THRIVE debut, he'll be starting out at 0-1.

    Tony Carelli: Yikes! I won the Intercontinental Championship in my debut. Step it up, Jay.

    Kevin Kelly: And the saga of whatever-the-hell-is-going-on-between-Castle-and-Riddle continues... what do you think's going on there, Tony?

    Tony Carelli: I think the reason they are fighting is a riddle.

    Kevin Kelly: Well, yeah, that's his name-

    Tony Carelli: No, I mean the reason behind their animosity is a riddle we have yet to solve. There's something that connects them, but we need to look at things from a different perspective before we can understand.

    Kevin Kelly: Um.. I... suppose that's possible...

    Tony Carelli: Or maybe they are fighting about a castle.

    Kevin Kelly: ...


    We head backstage, where Joey Styles is standing by with the number one contender to the THRIVE World Championship, Kyle O'Reilly.

    Joey Styles: Kyle, congratulations on winning the first Showcase main event in history.

    Kyle O'Reilly: Thank you.

    Joey Styles: Tonight you are facing THRIVE World Champion PENTA in a singles match for his championship. How does it feel to know - you're not only going to be the first challenger, but you're going to be in the first singles match for the championship ever?

    Kyle O'Reilly: Didn't even think of that but it feels good, I guess. I can't lie, it bruises your ego to lose the ROH World Championship to someone like Adam Cole - especially in Japan of all places. Winning at the last Showcase and getting this match is something that needed to happen for me.

    Joey Styles: And speaking of things that need to happen for you, there have been a lot of rumors regarding your future in professional wrestl-

    Adam Cole: Excuse me, Champion coming through!~

    Adam Cole comes pushing through a hallway crowded with people working on the show. He doesn't even notice O'Reilly is in his way until they're standing an arm's length from one another. Cole adjusts his posture and stands upright before moving the ROH title to his other arm so that it's facing the camera.

    Adam Cole: I just can't seem to get rid of you, can I?

    Kyle O'Reilly: Oh, great.

    Adam Cole: Relax, this isn't another segment where someone walks up to challenge someone else...

    Styles, Cole, and O'Reilly all take a brief moment to look at the camera before Cole resumes.

    Adam Cole: I'm just on my way to teach some idiot a lesson. And yes, I am great. Or did you somehow overlook the shining chunk of gold on my shoulder that means I'm better than you.

    Kyle O'Reilly: ...Don't ever change, Adam.

    Adam Cole: What's that supposed to mean?

    Kyle O'Reilly: Look, if you're thinking about taking Cobb lightly - don't. I gave him 100% and he beat me in Round 4.

    Cole seems put off by O'Reilly's advice.

    Adam Cole: What?...

    The ROH World Champion doesn't seem sure how to respond.

    Kyle O'Reilly: He's fast, strong, and much smarter than he looks; he's not going to fall for your tricks twice.

    Cole looks down, almost as though he were ashamed that O'Reilly had taken the high road first. Then...

    Adam Cole: Thanks, Kyle. But if I wanted advice from a loser, I would have just asked Joey.

    Styles frowns toward the camera but otherwise doesn't mention it. Cole pushes past O'Reilly and Joey Styles to head towards the ring for his rematch against Jeff Cobb. Styles wraps it up with O'Reilly, and we are ready for our semi-main event of the evening!





    The crowd erupts when the big screens flash the Bullet Club logo. Adam Cole comes out, thrusts two fingers from each hand into the sky, and declares, "ADAM COLE, BAYBAY!" The crowd echoes him. He's all smiles as he enters the ring and requests a microphone from a ringside official.

    Adam Cole: ...

    Cole lets the anticipation in the crowd swell.

    Adam Cole: ...who's ready for Story Time with Adam Cole-

    Crowd: Bay-Bay!!

    Cole doesn't try to hide his smile.

    Adam Cole: Weeks ago, I defeated Jeff Cobb in the middle of this ring to become the last finalist in the Worldwide 96. For the record, it wasn't a disqualification or countout victory - no - it was a pinfall. 1, 2, 3. And it doesn't get more decisive than that.

    Cole shakes his head, disappointed.

    Adam Cole: I tried to reason with him: anyone who steps into the ring with Adam Cole should expect nothing less, but it was no use. He couldn't live with the embarrassment... so he scratched and clawed and begged for a rematch, until THRIVE caved and gave it to him.

    Cole shakes his head again.

    Adam Cole: I don't believe in rewarding losers, but it's not my call, I guess... I would have said fuck off, but this is also the man who cost me the main event at the last Showcase, so I won't mind scraping him off my boot later.

    Cole looks at his wrist tape like its a Rolex.

    Adam Cole: And would you look at that, it's time for me to do what I do best, and that is be the greatest damn wrestler this world has ever seen. Go on. Bring him out, and let's give this story its thrilling conclusion...

    Cole yawns.

    Spoiler:




    Music plays and the lights change colors but it's not Jeff Cobb who emerges from the curtains - it's MATANZA CUETO. The crowd pops hard for the monster from Lucha Underground. Adam Cole looks like he's about to laugh, but it must have been nervous laughter because his expression quickly changes to one of real concern as Cueto draws closer.

    Kevin Kelly: Adam Cole is probably harboring some animosity towards Jeff Cobb for costing him the opportunity to become THRIVE World Champion, but it's nothing compared to the animosity that's about to be unleashed by MATANZA!

    Tony Carelli: Now that is a scary man. If I was sitting ringside and he came charging toward me, I would run in fear.

    Kevin Kelly: ...?

    Tony Carell: And then Jim Cornette could slap himself in the face!

    Carelli appears to be a little worked up... Kevin Kelly looks like he's about to ask for an explanation, but thinks better of it, and goes back to calling the action. Matanza is now standing on the ring apron and staring down Adam Cole, who looks to be shitting bricks in the ring.

    Matanza steps through the ring ropes and Adam Cole goes for a superkick. Matanza catches Cole's boot in his hand. Adam Cole is forced to hop backwards on one foot as Matanza keeps hold of his ankle. Before Cole can counter with an enziguiri, Matanza throws Cole's foot down, grabs Cole around the waist, and launches him with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex. Cole hits the ropes awkwardly and crumples onto the mat before rolling to the outside.

    Matanza follows him to the outisde and maintains control in a very one-sided match. The term 'match' is being used lightly, as they spend most of their time outside of the ring and it resembles more of a wild brawl than a wrestling contest. Cole almost seems like he wants to escape at certain points, but Matanza isn't having any of it.

    Cole is thrown about like a rag-doll and bleeds a little bit hard way but they just stop just short of busting him open. The contest is a brutal mess that ends when Matanza rolls a limp Adam Cole into the ring, hoists him up, and hits the Tour of the Islands (reverse-spin scoop powerslam). Only now, Kevin Kelly calls it Wrath of the Gods because it's Matanza doing it. Matanza puts one foot on Adam Cole and gets the 3-count at 11:19. Melissa Santos sounds very enthusiastic as she announces Matanza the winner.

    The referee hesitates to raise Matanza's hand in victory, does, and then bails outta the ring at the first available opportunity. Matanza doesn't look at Cole again, promptly leaving and heading backstage without any fanfare. Cody and the Young Bucks jump the guard rail (where they must have been watching) and enter the ring to take care of Cole. Cole is pretty out of it. When he comes to, he tries shoving them away to walk on his own. Upon taking a step, he stumbles before Nick Jackson catches him. The Bullet Club help him to the back while ignoring a sea of fans reaching in to be too-sweet'd...


    The main event gets an elaborate video package that shows each man's path to this moment in time. For PENTA, it was the Worldwide 96. We see clips from each of his tournament wins: against Bobby Fish in round one, Trevor Lee in round two, Michael Bennett in round three, Akira Tozawa in round four, Silas Young in round five, and against Zack Sabre Jr. and Adam Cole in the triple threat finale to become the first THRIVE World Champion.

    For Kyle O'Reilly, we see the progress he made in the Worldwide 96, defeating Fred Yehi in round one and Fenix in round two, before losing round three to Jeff Cobb in sudden death. But defeat did not keep O'Reilly down. He returned for night one of the 'ROUND 4' show held in Toronto, where he, Bobby FIsh, and Speedball Mike Bailey defeated Jack Evans, Angelico, and Johnny Mundo in a 6-man tag team main event. And most recently, Kyle O'Reilly found himself in the 8-man tag team elimination main event of our first Showcase, where he and Brian Cage won for their team before being turned against one another to determine a #1 Contender for PENTA's title.

    Kevin Kelly: For me, this is another chance to say 'Ax & Smash!', but for Kyle O'Reilly this is a chance to be a World Champion again, and prove to the world and Adam Cole that he is as good as people say he is. For PENTA, this is an opportunity to avenge his brother Fenix's loss in the Worldwide 96, but more than that, a chance to defend the prize he earned after six grueling rounds of some of the best professional wrestling you'll see anywhere! Let's go over the tale of the tape for these two.

    Carelli isn't stealing Kelly's lines for once. He seems mesmerized by what he's reading on his script.

    Kevin Kelly: PENTA hails from Tijuana, Mexico and Kyle O'Reilly from Vancouver, British Columbia, but other then that they share many similarities. Both men employ high impact 'drop' finishers as well as brutal submissions to get the job done. But perhaps more interesting than that is the fact that both men come to us at 5' 11" 207 lbs.

    Tony Carelli: That's some spooky shit, Kevin.

    Kevin Kelly: ...?

    Tony Carelli: They are the same height and weight! How does that not creep you out?

    Kevin Kelly: I mean, it's an interesting coincidence, but-

    Tony Carelli: What if PENTA is actually Kyle O'Reilly? And we're about to get an Undertaker vs. Undertaker match?

    Kevin Kelly: Okay, that's just stupid.

    Tony Carelli: No... I... I think... this is the riddle...

    Carelli gazes off-screen with a spaced out expression as he tries to make sense of it, looking like Winona Ryder accepting an award for Stranger Things. Kevin Kelly forces the conversation back to the championship match, discussing the upcoming Charity Brawl that will determine a new challenger for whoever walks out of this match the World Champion.

    Inside the ring, Melissa Santos hypes the crowd up and tells them it is time for our main event of the evening. Santos smiles at the camera and asks the crowd for a drumroll. They oblige her and the arena floor begins to rumble.

    Melissa Santos: Ladies and gentlemen, this is a THRIVE World Championship match with a 30-minute time limit. Scheduled for one fall-

    Crowd: ONE FALL!






    Santos does personal introductions once both men have entered the ring. A ‘this is awesome’ chant begins as they stand across the ring from one another, unflinching. From the moment the bell rings, fans are treated to a spectacular back-and-forth contest that sees both champion and challenger presented as equals.

    There’s creative chain wrestling on the mat, car crash action on the outside, high impact moves followed by near-falls, and multiple submission attempts/reversals. Each man looks like they’re trying to wrench the other’s arm off. O’Reilly pulls a Brainbuster out of nowhere and nearly picks up the win but PENTA kicks out at 2.9999. This garners a ’that was three!’ chant from the audience.

    Kevin Kelly: Could you imagine, if Kyle O’Reilly is able to win the THRIVE World Championship and leverage it into a title vs. title match for Adam Cole’s ROH title?! …Tony?

    Tony Carelli: …

    Kevin Kelly: (whispers)You’re still freaking out about the height/weight thing?

    Tony Carelli: Yep.


    The match passes the twenty-minute mark and neither man shows any sign of giving up. The two exchange strikes in the center of the ring with fans clamoring for every blow. O’Reilly ramps things up a bit and seems to have a slight speed advantage as he blasts PENTA with Ax & Smash.

    Kevin Kelly: O’Reilly showing a little more aggression as we head closer and closer to the time limit…O'Reilly is smart, doing his best to end this before we reach 30 minutes. Should this match become a Sudden Deathmatch, I’ve got to believe the odds are in PENTA’s favor, given his nefarious past in Mexico and Lucha Underground…

    Whether or not that’s the reason, it’s clear Kyle O’Reilly is turning up the heat a bit as we enter minute 24. The crowd gets a ”both these guys” chant going as O’Reilly targets the arm that he’s been working over throughout the match and tries to surprise PENTA with a cross armbreaker. Instead, it’s PENTA who surprises O’Reilly, dropping him to the ground in the middle of the transition, spiking his head and executing a sloppy-but-effective Pentagon Driver (pumphandle half-nelson driver).

    He didn’t get all of it and O’Reilly kicks out in the nick of time. O’Reilly has no chance to recover. PENTA drives a boot into Kyle’s midsection as he tries to stand up, then puts him in a piledriver position. The World Champion winces through the pain as he hooks both of O’Reilly’s arms, lifts O’Reilly up, and plants him on the canvas with the Fear Factor (package piledriver). PENTA hooks O’Reilly’s leg with his good arm and yanks back with all his might. The referee counts 1…2…3! PENTA is successful in his first defense at 25:16.

    After the match, PENTA looks nearly as battered as O’Reilly, falling to his knees before slumping into a seated position. He’s breathing very heavy as the referee raises his arm and Melissa Santos declares him ”your winner and STILL THRIVE World Champion… PENTA!”

    Fenix and Bobby Fish arrive on the scene and enter the ring at the same time. Fenix helps PENTA to his feet as Fish struggles to do the same with O’Reilly. Once both men are standing, the crowd cheers loudly. PENTA puts his arm out for a handshake and O’Reilly accepts it. Afterwards, Bobby Fish helps O’Reilly out of the ring and leaves PENTA to celebrate his successful defense as the broadcast comes to an end.



    Quick Results
    Spoiler:

    Tag Team
    The Young Bucks def. Liger/Finlay

    Singles
    WALTER def. Colt Cabana

    Six-Man Tag Team
    Catch Point def. Dalton Castle and The Bricoes

    Singles - No DQ
    Matanza def. Adam Cole

    Singles
    PENTA def. Kyle O'Reilly
    to retain World Championship
    Last edited by The Natural; 02-15-2017 at 01:11 AM.

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