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Thread: CWA: Gold Rush [NIGHT TWO RESULTS]

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    Those who had paid for and tuned into the broadcast half an hour before the scheduled start time were surprised to be greeted by a surprising title-card:

    Starts in 00:04:58.

    Of course, wrestling fans are an obsessive bunch with good memories, and those that had tuned into other CWA broadcasts since its rebirth would remember that ‘The Launch-Pad’ was the name of the pre-show that accompanied last summer’s One Night Only event.

    And so, they watched the clock tick down, excitement growing…






    - boop! -

    Jim Taylor: “Well, ladies and gentlemen, we, um, have a huge second night of the GOld Rush tournament coming up later, but coming up now? Well now... we have a special unadvertised bonus match just announced from Noah Hanson himself."

    And clearly this is news to the commentary team as much as it is us, as we see Tim Coleman shuffling frantically through his notes, clearly ill prepared for what’s coming, and he’s not the only one. We see Lindsay Monaghan nervously eyeing what appears to be a middle age assistant manager dressed in a baggy karate gi. Waving his arms around his hand in wide awkward arches above his head, getting dangerously close to brushing against Lindsay’s face… hence her reaction as she reads out the card just handed to her.

    Lindsay Monaghan: “Ladies and gentleman, FWA... and, um, the Russian Federation... are pleased to present a special preview of the upcoming South Pacific "I'm New Here" Battle Royal! Introducing... already in the ring... from his Dojo in Los Angeles…"

    Kung Fu Karl: “Next to the Dominos Pizza"

    Lindsay Monaghan: “... Kung Fu Karl!"

    Karl places his fist against the palm of his hand and bows to the four corners of the ring. The crowd gives some scattered applause, but to be honest the crowd isn’t really into Karl’s whole vibe

    Jim Taylor: Well, I guess we’re in for a sneak peak of the upcoming battle royal, as we all know Noah Hanson put out an open invite to any independent talent to take part, and the best the independents have to offer have answered…”

    Tim Coleman: “....And so did Kung Fu Karl!"

    Jim Taylor: “Right, so did he… and with all due respect to Kung Fu Karl… he’s not the first person I’d think of if I wanted to showcase the independents...This is kind of an odd situation…"

    ...But it’s about to make a lot more sense as “Liberty City Invasion'' by Seryoga rips through the area, as the Russian flag appears on the big screen, causing the crowd to roar! Have you ever heard a stadium full of Russian cheer at once?! It’s enough to shake the arena to it’s foundations as a man emerges onto the stage. And this wasn’t even a stadium! THIS WAS FUCKING RED SQUARE! Dressed in black boots, red trunks and pads featuring the Soviet hammer-and-sickle emblem, as well as a distinctive Russian fur hat upon his head, Fiyero Lermontov takes his time to soak up the reaction, making his debut on the world-wide stage in the shadow of St. Basil’s Cathedral. While he stands on the stage, some women in the first few rows - almost like they were plants put there for this very purpose- start to squeal with overexcitement, like One Direction, Justin Bieber and the Jonas Brothers had all simultaneously dropped into their laps!

    Lindsay Monaghan: “And his opponent from Moscow, Russia..."

    Lindsay has to pause as the crowd once again loses it mind.

    Lindsay Monaghan: “The Red Devil... Fiyero Lermontov!"

    Encouraged by the response he’s getting in his home town, Lermontov untucks a carefully folded sheet of fabric that had been hanging from the front of his wrestling tights since he walked out. Unfurling it, he quickly raises it above his head for his walk down to the ring, showing off the red, white and blue flag of the Russian Federation. By the time he has actually reached the ring, the camera cuts briefly to the VIP boxes where Noah Hanson looks approvingly on... sat next to Russia’s sports minister, the prime minister, and - gob-smackingly - the ‘man himself’, President Vladimir Putin. They are each slowly applauding Lermontov as he steps into the ring… [GAG ABOUT SOLEMN PRESIDENT REDACTED BY AUTHORITIES]

    Tim Coleman: “You hear that? That’s how you make an entrance! If this battLe royal is meant to find new stars? We might as well call it now. We’re looking at the future?"

    Jim Taylor: “... So we’re not even going to comment on what ACTUALLY going on here? No one else in the battle royal is getting this kind of limelight, but just because we’re in Russia and the boss wants to make some friends in powerful places…"

    Tim Coleman: “I’ll stop you right there! I am shocked and appalled that you would ever imply our gracious russian host would ever show favoritism. Lermontov is being treated like a star because he is one!"

    Jim Taylor: “Well, regardless... I’ve heard about this man, I know he’s been successful all over the world, but this is a first for me right here…."

    The Launch-Pad: “I’m New Here” Preview Match.

    Lermontov shows a serious case of arrogance as the bell rings, with Kung Fu dying to get things started, Lermontov instead waves him back, taking off his hat doing a few stretches in the corner, letting Karl know the match will start when he’s ready. Finally the two go for a tie up, with Lermontov quickly working into a standing waistlock, using it for a takedown… and Lermontov gets back on his feet and gloats to the crowd over how easily he took Karl down and from there? Lermontov jumps on the completely overmatched Karate master, repeatedly digging boots into his midsection and throwing hard, clubbing right hands at him until he has to retreat into a corner. Lermontov doesn’t let up on the aging master, taking him and whipping him all the way across the ring into the opposite corner. Karl hits the corner so hard he comes recoiling right back out, right into Lermontov’ clutches with a nasty clothesline. Lermontov takes Karl back to his feet before trapping both of his arms and twisting him around…ARM TRAP NECKBREAKER!! Karl goes limp but Lermontov looks up at the timer having possibly killed his opponent with almost four whole minutes has gone...

    Lermontov lets show a cocky smile while taking the kid up and holding up across his chest before slinging him around…SWINGING SIDE-SLAM BACKBREAKER!! Karl gets folded up like an accordion, which only makes the grin on Lermontov’s face grow wider. Lermontov then takes Karl and brings him up by his knees, Lermontov rushes and rebounds off the ropes behind him and CRACKS KARL WITH A JUMPING ROUNDHOUSE KICK IN THE BACK OF THE HEAD. But even then, Lermontov still doesn’t look to cover Karl. Instead, we just see the grin on his face getting even wider as he starts mouthing off in Russian. He takes a moment to look up at the VIP box where Putin is looking on and flashes a salute, before Lermontov stands over Karl and grabs both of his wrists…AND STARTS WRIST CLUTCH STOMPING THE LIFE OUT OF HIM! The ref won’t let him continue: he has to stop it, almost pulling Lermontov off of the youngster. Even so, when Karl looks to try and recover some, The Red Deviil grabs him from behind, taking his time enjoying the moment before he snaps back RUSSIAN LEGSWEEP….ROLLED OVER…..CROSSFACE. Almost instantly Karl taps!!
    Result: Fiyero Lermontov defeats Kung-Fu Karl by submission at 06:10.

    Tim Coleman: “Well, I guess that’s that…"

    Jim Taylor: “I don’t think that is that! Lermontov refusing to let go of Kung-Fu Karl here, and the official is forced to pry him off..."

    The crowd are enthused by the display of passion and barbarism from their countryman, who climbs to the middle rope to beat his chest. His theme music sounds out again as we are shown a wide shot of the arena, three rockets sent out high about the Square: one in white, then blue, then red.

    And then the feed cuts to black, before a title-card tells us we have eleven more minutes to wait for Night Two to begin...


    Live from Red Square in Moscow, Russia.

    “Vibes and Stuff” | A Tribe Called Quest.

    When the show starts, its theme music playing in the background, we are first shown a wide image of the Moscow city skyline at dusk.

    The camera is moving over the river, boats slowly motoring their way across the surface whilst cars choke the arteries of the city. We see headlights by the hundred moving this way and that. The buildings evoke the image of a greedy hand clawing towards the heavens.

    Jim Taylor: “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Night Two of the CWA: Gold Rush tournament, and we are LIVE from Red Square!”

    We are then in the square itself, but it is clearly earlier in the week, emptied in preparation for the coming build.

    Tim Coleman: “And what a week it has been in Moscow, as Red Square has been transformed into a mecca of professional wrestling, forty thousand fans packed inside its temporary stands and awaiting what is doubtless to be another incredible night of Gold Rush action!"

    At speed, the preparations are made for the event. At the far end, a wrestling ring is erected in the shadow of St. Basil’s Cathedral, and then a LONG ramp up the entire length of the square from the centre of the camera to the ring in the distance. Stands are erected either side of the ramp, around the ring, and upon the shoulders of the cathedral. To the left of the shot, the stands reach high and back onto the ГУМ shopping centre, whilst on the right they recline backwards onto the kremlin walls themselves. Atop the kremlin walls, a series of executive boxes are erected, looking down onto the ring below.

    As we watch this process unfold, listening to the music as well as an as-yet-unseen crowd, the announcers hype up the night ahead...

    Jim Taylor: “We have three more matches in each pool tonight, and let’s start, Tim, by looking at the encounters ahead of us in Pool A. Night One saw Krash, Jon Snowmantashi, and Chubby Carlos picking up victories and moving onto two points, whilst Alyster Black, Dan Maskell, and Michelle von Horrowitz failed to get out of the starter’s blocks…"

    Tim Coleman: “Jon Snowmantashi looked particularly dominant in his win over Dan Maskell, and he’ll look to continue that in his match against Alyster Black here on Night Two. Maskell will have to bounce back against Michelle von Horrowitz, whose inexplicable actions meant Krash won almost by default."

    Jim Taylor: “But disqualification victories count for two points all-the-same, and Krash will attempt to continue his winning ways against Chubby Carlos in tonight’s main event! Someone’s 0 has to go in that one, Tim."

    Tim Coleman: “That’s right, Jim. But I feel like Carlos, who defeated Alyster Black three nights ago on Night One, will provide a much fiercer challenge for Krash than von Horrowitz did last time out..."

    At the other end of the square, to the right of the State Historical Museum, a gigantic television screen is erected overlooking a staging area in front of the museum building, where the backstage area is to be housed and the exhibits temporarily moved. The actual entrance emerges from the corner of the square, beneath the green spire of the Nikolskaya Tower. You picture yourself as a competitor, entering onto the stage with the big screen overlooking you to your left, the ramp stretching out before you towards the cathedral. Coleman and Taylor continue to discuss the night ahead as the construction of the staging area takes place.

    Jim Taylor: “Night B provided only two conclusive winners on Night One in St. Petersburg, with Cyrus Truth overcoming Christopher Jackson and, in the main event and probably the evening’s match of the night, Jonathan McGinnis managed to defeat Shawn Summers with forty two seconds remaining on the clock…"

    Tim Coleman: “That’s right, Jim. And those two men that failed to pick up a point last time out - Summers and Jackson - will go one-on-one in our last match from Pool B tonight in Moscow, but before that we’ll see Cyrus Truth go up against Humanity, who neither won nor lost on Night One…"

    The scene begins to go dark, and we realise that it is now the evening of the show. Finally, the crowd begins to enter the arena, the same original wide shot shown as thousands of fans pile into the stands, the footage sped up so that the effect is amplified.

    Jim Taylor: “We did indeed see Humanity go the distance with Nate Savage, twenty minutes elapsing and the match called a time limit draw. Humanity and Savage sit at one point apiece in Pool B, and Savage will be looking to get back to winning ways against Jonathan McGinnis in the opening match-up of Night Two, and that is now!"

    When the stands are finally full, we fade to black, and the logo for the event is shown.

    Back in the arena, a HUGE display of fireworks is set off from the stage area. The first half a hundred rockets that go off above the screen are bright red, bursting into huge streaming lights in the clear black sky. Afterwards, a dozen silver firecrackers are sent above the crowd, exploding behind St. Basil’s Cathedral in a massive blast of gold. The audience are loud and eager and the camera pans across them, settling on the same ring we saw in St. Petersburg: the ‘CWA: Gold Rush’ logo in the middle and surrounded by the event’s four banner (domestic) sponsors: Газпром, Фон-Бет, МТС, and Аерофлот. We settle on a wide shot from behind the cathedral as A Tribe Called Quest finally fades out and is replaced by the first competitor’s entrance music…

    Nate Savage walks out onto the stage with (unlike on Night One) Jackson Fenix at his side, and it’s fair to say that he’s perhaps taken aback by walking out into this historic setting, forty thousand fans making a ridiculous amount of noise as they prepare for the first battle. Savage nods his head in self-affirmation and then begins to walk down the ramp.

    Jim Taylor: “Here comes ‘Nasty’ Nate Savage, along with his tag team partner in the Undisputed Alliance, and Savage got off to a middling start last week. He picked up a point against Humanity, as we said, but too many draws will begin to look like defeats if he’s not also winning…"

    Tim Coleman: “And it’s important to remember that the Gold Rush isn’t the only thing on Savage’s mind… Or Fenix’s, for that matter. With South Pacific just around the corner, Savage also has to keep one eye on his Number One Contendership match for the CWA World Tag Team Championships. A match that also includes Murder, Inc. and The Echo…"

    Jim Taylor: “Speaking of The Echo… Drew Connor and his brother Ethan are in attendance here tonight! And our camera crews picked them up earlier as they let The Undisputed Alliance know they were here…"

    Footage is shown of The Echo arriving at the arena whilst The Undisputed Alliance walk through the parking lot. They honk their horn rowdily at Fenix and Savage, waiting for them to pass so they can squeeze their truck into a tiny parking space. Jackson Fenix flips them the bird as they continue to walk on...

    Tim Coleman: “And perhaps, Jim, that’s why we see Jackson Fenix out here tonight at Nate Savage’s side. Probably a smart decision: The Connor brothers don’t play."

    Jim Taylor: “And there’s NO reason for them to be here in Moscow tonight…"

    Fenix remains on the outside of the ring, Savage having climbed into it and retreated to a corner. He looks around himself once more: at the domes of the cathedral, the Kremlin walls, the executive boxes which currently seated the nation’s president, prime minister, and minister for sports. Here-focuses his eyes on the stage as his music fades out, quickly replaced with...

    “Blessings” | Big Sean.

    Jonathan McGinnis walks out onto the stage to a huge reaction, nodding his head and smiling to himself as he quickly begins the long walk down the ramp towards the ring…

    Jim Taylor: “And here comes an immensely popular figure in Jonathan McGinnis, who got off to a perfect start on Night One, defeating Shawn Summers in the main event. McGinnis looked impressive in that outing, but it’s important to remember that he and Savage both went nearly twenty minutes just three nights ago. Will that have an effect on their gas tank tonight?"

    Tim Coleman: “You’d hope not, Jim. This is going to be a long tournament. There are shows every two or three nights for the next fortnight, and no shows off. These twelve men are going to have to be at their physical peak to keep up, and I doubt it will be either of their last long match in the Gold Rush. But it’s important to remember that Savage is still wrestling every week, and possesses all of the conditioning that comes with that. Apart from his special appearance at One Night Only, we haven’t seen McGinnis in a ring for years. Savage will surely be looking to use that to his favour tonight."

    Jonathan McGinnis looks relaxed as he slaps the hands of the front row fans on his way down to the ring. He climbs up the steps and through the ropes, pausing in the middle of the ring to survey his surroundings and nod his head approvingly. His music fades out and he takes a step back towards his corner, eyeing up Savage for the first time from across the ring.

    Lindsay Monaghan, our resident master of ceremonies for the evening, climbs into the ring, a microphone in her hand...

    Lindsay Monaghan: “Ladies and gentlemen the following is a Pool B match, scheduled for one-fall, with a twenty minute time limit! Introducing first… he weighs in tonight at two hundred and sixty six pounds… he is a two-time CWA High Voltage Champion… from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania… Nate Savage!"

    A decisively mixed reaction for Savage, the boos probably winning out overall. He doesn’t pay it much mind.

    Lindsay Monaghan: “And his opponent… from Montreal, Canada… he weighs in at two hundred and seven pounds… he is a one-time Ruler of the Ring winner, and a two-time CWA World Heavyweight Champion… ‘the Last Indy Darling’... Jonathan… MCGINNIS!"

    McGinnis, on the other hand, gets another large ovation. He doesn’t really register it either, instead loosening up against the ring ropes as he keeps Nate Savage locked in his sights. The two of them take a step towards one another as Lindsay Monaghan climbs out of the ring. The official looks from man to man, and then he calls for the bell…

    Pool B - Night Two - Match Seven.

    Savage, perhaps still thinking about his overly safe start last week, charges in at his opponent and hits a shoulder block. McGinnis is somewhat taken aback by the quick start, but manages to keep his feet, but isn’t so lucky when Savage nails him with a clothesline. McGinnis fights back up, but is repeatedly taken down, first with another shoulder block, then a second clothesline, and then a discus forearm. The unexpected explosive start allows Nate Savage to then settle into a rhythm, and after a handful of stomps to McGinnis he takes control. He’s able to work through some of his perfected offense in the early goings, hitting a snap suplex and then a vertical delayed variant. Later, he gets a two-count with a fisherman’s suplex with a bridge. All-the-while, he gnaws at McGinnis’ toreso with stomps, and then locks in a sleeper hold. McGinnis, somewhat overwhelmed by the early offensive flourish, does seem to be worn down, but with the support of the crowd he eventually fights his way to his feet and then unloads on Savage with a series of elbows to the side of the head. Savage looks to throw McGinnis overhead with a sleeper suplex, but McGinnis blocks it by hooking an arm over the top rope and then stamping on Savage’s foot! Savage hops away, and McGinnis nails him with a dropkick…

    It’s The Indy God’s turn to settle into the match, now, and he first hits Savage with a mule kick followed by a step-up enziguri. Savage tries to roll under the bottom rope to catch a breather on the apron, but McGinnis reaches out and lifts him up and pulls him back in, hitting a rope-hung DDT. He goes for a cover, but Savage gets his foot on the ropes at one. Savage rolls underneath the ropes again and McGinnis slides out underneath, re-applying a front-face lock and dragging Savage away from the apron with his feet hooked onto them… apron-draped DDT on the outside! The crowd cheers the move and McGinnis smiles to himself. He hits a trio of stomps on Savage… and then Irish whips him into the steel steps! McGinnis is in complete control of the match, and throws Savage back into the ring at seven on the count-out. He follows him in and gets a series of two-counts following a dragon suplex, a brainbuster, and finally a fisherman’s buster. McGinnis shows visible signs of frustration as none of the moves are able to quite get the job done.

    Things turn again when McGinnis decides to take things high risk and goes to the top rope. He misses his attempted elbow drop, though, and the audience gasps when he crashes into the mat and Savage uses the ropes to help him up to a vertical base. Savage re-applies his sleeper, and again proceeds to wear out McGinnis. We move past the ten minute mark of the match as McGinnis fades out. The referee checks The Indy God’s arm, but on the third check he manages to clench his hand into a fist and defy gravity, the audience cheering him on as he shows signs of life… but then Savage throws him overhead with a sleeper suplex! He hooks the leg…

    ONE… TWO… T - - NO!

    Jim Taylor: “Some fight on display here from Jonathan McGinnis, refusing to let this one end despite Nate Savage settling back into control…"

    Savage does just that, first hitting a vertical suplex DDT, followed by an atomic drop, and then an abdominal stretch. Jackson Fenix cheers him on from the outside as he slaps the exposed rips of his opponent. To his credit, Fenix’s attention has mostly been turned on the stage, surveying for any unwanted interlopers. Back in the ring, the official is checking if McGinnis wants to give it up as Savage drives the point of his elbow into his side. The Indy God refuses, and so Savage releases the hold whilst maintaining wrist control… clothesline! McGinnis goes down! Savage lifts him up once more… into pump-handle position.. Neckbreaker! He hooks the leg...

    ONE… TWO… TH - - NO!

    McGinnis AGAIN is able to kick out, and Nate Savage shakes his head in disbelief. He looks at his supine opponent, and then he begins to climb the turnbuckles, facing away from the ring and towards the cathedral. He gets to the top rope, takes a deep breath…

    Jim Taylor: “That isn’t a small man, Tim!!"

    Tim Coleman: “This one will surely mean the end for Jonathan McGinnis… he goes for the moonsault…"

    Jim Taylor: “NO! McGinnis gets his knees up!!"

    Savage bounces off McGinnis and across the ring, and The Indy God is immediately on him… spike DDT! Savage lands hard on the mat, and McGinnis retreats into a corner, stalking his opponent…

    Tim Coleman: “Jonathan McGinnis is only thinking one thing here!"

    Jim Taylor: “SUPERKICK! He nails it! And now the cover!!"

    ONE… TWO… TH - - NO!!

    Tim Coleman: “It’s not over! We move past fifteen minutes, and still we have no winner…"

    Jim Taylor: “But McGinnis is signalling that it’s time… he’s lifting Savage up, and pulls him into position…"

    But at this precise moment, Fenix begins to climb the steps, looking over at the stage still. It’s enough, though, to get the referee’s attention, and he’s instantly over to the corner to bark orders at Jackson, telling him to get back to the floor…

    … and it’s just enough of a distraction for Savage to nail McGinnis with a low blow!!! McGinnis is keeled over, down on one knee, and Nate Savage gets to his feet…

    Jim Taylor: “And now he throws McGinnis off the ropes… NASTY BOMB!"

    Tim Coleman: “He nails the pop-up powerbomb!"

    Savage covers...

    Result: Nate Savage defeats Jonathan McGinnis via pinfall at 16:14.


    Almost immediately after the referee has lifted Savage’s hand, he snatches it away again and climbs out of the ring. Jackson Fenix slaps him on the back as Nate begins to make his way up the ramp towards the stage and the exit.

    Jim Taylor: “Well, Nate Savage picked up the two points here tonight, but he did so with less than sportsmanlike methods, living up to his ’Nasty’ moniker…"

    Tim Coleman: “I’m sure Savage and Fenix would be the first to tell you that these details aren’t important. What’s important is that Nate Savage moves past Jonathan McGinnis in the Pool B standings, and now he sits at the top of that group!"

    Jim Taylor: “We’ll have to wait and see if he’s still there after the other competitors, most notably Cyrus Truth and Humanity, have had their say tonight…"

    In the ring, McGinnis is up to his knees. He slams his fist down onto the mat, shaking his head in rebuttal of himself. He gets up to his feet with his hands on his hips, paces around the ring for a moment, and then climbs out of it.

    Tim Coleman: “Jonathan McGinnis remains on two points, but all is not lost. Three matches still lie ahead for The Indy God, and he’s in a good position even with that loss."

    Jim Taylor: “I don’t think he sees it that way, Tim. But in the meantime, we’re going to throw it backstage - that is, inside the State Historical Museum - to Noah Hanson’s office, where I believe a situation is unfolding…"

    The "click-clack" of the heel of Noah Hanson's shoes connecting with the linoleum flooring of the backstage corridor echos throughout as the scene slowly comes into focus. His eyes are focused on the screen of his phone as he taps away at the virtual keyboard - sending a message to only God knows. As he enters his office, his eyes quickly take a glance at his chair behind his desk, catching a glimpse of a shadowy figure before going back down to his phone. He pauses for a second and quickly looks up at the individual sitting in the chair behind his desk.

    ??: "I don't believe we've ever properly introduced ourselves to one another. Noah Hanson, I'm Noah Stocke, and we need to talk.”

    Noah has little to no inflation in his vocal cadence.

    Noah Hanson: "Yes, I believe we DO need to talk, Mr. Stocke. Particularly about why you think it is okay to break into MY office and take residence behind MY desk," Hanson barks with false confidence and bravado.

    Noah Stocke: "No."

    Stocke says as he leans back in the chair, shaking his head.

    Noah Hanson: "NO?! What do you mean 'no'? I'm tired of you wrestlers thinking that just because you've trained in combat arts that you can disobey and bully authority figures with no consequences."

    Stocke slowly swivels back and forth in the chair - his eye contact remaining on Hanson as the CWA General Manager attempts to figure out what's going on.

    Noah Stocke: "How much did they pay you?"

    Noah Hanson: "Pay me? Wha - what are you talking about?"

    Noah Stocke: "How...much...did...the FWA wrestlers pay you to let them run that advert during one of OUR shows berating the CWA tag-team champions all to push forward the "beef" they have going on over in that fantasy world?"

    Noah Hanson: "What are you talking about, Stocke? I don't control the adverts. If they want to spend their money putting together paid advertisements during our show, that's between them and the network. I have nothing to do with that!"

    Noah Stocke: "I'm not stupid, Hanson. You have the final say over every detail of the card and the production of these CWA shows. And, that's why I'm here today."

    Noah Hanson shakes his head and rolls his eyes as Stocke finishes.

    Noah Stocke: "You know what, I'm not about to deal with this. You're not even booked on this show or any of the following ones, so as far as I see it, you're trespassing. I'm gonna have security deal with you."

    Stocke closes his eyes and shakes his head "no" with a smirk on his face as Noah Hanson scowls at him before turning on his heels to face the door.

    Noah Stocke: "Get the door, Trevor.”

    The door quickly shuts, revealing Trevor Ocean as to have been standing behind it the whole time. He locks the door and stands in front of it as Noah Stocke rises from the chair and slowly approaches the visibly intimidated Noah Hanson. Stocke rests his chest against Hanson's shoulder and leans in towards his ear. He rests his opposite hand gently on the side of Hanson's neck before beginning.

    Noah Stocke: "Noah, do you feel in control right now - in this very moment?"

    Hanson trembles in place.

    Noah Stocke: "You should because every decision you make from this moment forward is entirely up to you. At the last CWA reunion show, Trevor and I didn't get the proper match that we deserved, and we want to rectify that. We want a match against Krash and Alyster Black - The Gangstarz. No ladders. No unwarranted tag-teams allowed. Just two of the best teams that professional wrestling has ever seen, duking it out for the CWA World Tag-Team Championships. You're going to have to decide as to whether that match happens or not. You're.In.Control. Make the right decision No-ah. Don't dissapoint me. I'm sure you saw what I made happen to Dash Carlisle. Don't decide to have the same happen to you."

    Noah Stocke pulls back and gives a closed eye grin to Hanson before patting him gently on the shoulder as he and Trevor exit the office.

    Fade to black.

    A torrent of boos ripples through Red Square as Michelle von Horrowitz walks out onto the stage. She has a smirk on her face as she laps it up, quite clearly more than happy with the torrent of negativity…

    Tim Coleman: “It’s refreshing to see that our CWA fans have long memories. Despite the fact that MvH is now a popular figure in the FWA, and next in line for a shot at Saint Sulley’s championship, and of course there’s that she’s a European native who spent time living right here in Moscow... but she’s also one of the most disliked figures of that period of time in CWA’s history, most notably for holding the High Voltage championship hostage after winning it against Elijah Edwards and LIGHTBRINGER."

    Jim Taylor: “Michelle von Horrowitz’ name was wiped from the Clique Wrestling Alliance’s history at the time, and it was only after Noah Hanson took the reins that MvH’s High Voltage reign was even recognised as having happened at all. Hanson may have seen the appeal in having von Horrowitz on these rebirth shows, but it’s quite clear that the fans are still holding a grudge…"

    MvH has walked down the long ramp, having snarled and screeched in the direction of any young fans on the front row, and slides under the bottom rope of the ring. After taking up a central position for a few moments to survey her surroundings, she takes a seat in the corner with her head against the second turnbuckle.

    The reaction is again negative as ‘The Heretic’ Dan Maskell makes his way into the arena. He has a scowl on his face and point-blank ignores the audience, instead marching directly down the long ramp and towards his waiting opponent…

    Jim Taylor: “Here comes one of only two triple crown champions in CWA History. And despite the huge success that Dan Maskell experienced during his time in the CWA, he’s another figure in this tournament who won’t expect much positivity from the fans here in the Russian Federation…"

    Tim Coleman: “Or anywhere else in the world, for that matter. Dan Maskell is a nasty piece of work, and all the more likeable for it…"

    Jim Taylor: “Maybe to you, Tim! But Dan Maskell carefully cultivates this persona as part of his pre-match psychological warfare. Maskell is a measured and calculated individual, make no mistake about it. I’m sure that he will have watched MvH’s encounter against Krash this past week in St. Petersburg, and will have a plan to address Michelle’s tactics…"

    Tim Coleman: “Does he need a plan?! If MvH is just intent on making a mockery of this tournament and getting disqualified, does Maskell need to do anything other than let her?"

    Maskell has a spiteful look on his face as he climbs up the ring steps and through the ropes, staring down the seated MvH from across the ring. She doesn’t get up, even after Lindsay Monaghan has also climbed into the ring to make her announcements…

    Lindsay Monaghan: “The next contest is a Pool A match-up, with a twenty minute time limit. Introducing first: in the corner to my left… from London, England… he is a former CWA High Voltage Champion, a former CWA World Tag Team Champion, and a former CWA World Heavyweight Champion... he weighs in tonight at two hundred and twenty five pounds… ‘The Heretic’... DAN MASKELL!”

    Another resounding boo for The Heretic. He has eyes only for Michelle.

    Lindsay Monaghan: “And his opponent, in the corner to my right: she hails from Rotterdam in the Netherlands… weighing in at sixty seven kilograms… she is a Wrestle Royale winner and a one-time CWA High Voltage Champion… ‘Dreamer’... Michelle… von… Horrowitz!”

    When her name is read out, von Horrowitz uses the top rope to drag herself up to her feet, as if she is being summoned. She takes a step forward towards the middle of the ring, and Dan Maskell reciprocates. Monaghan climbs out of the ring, and the official calls for the bell…

    Pool B - Night Two - Match Eight.

    As soon as the bell rings, Maskell charges over at MvH (reminiscent of how the previous match began). MvH isn’t ready for the charge, and The Heretic is able to bowl her over with a shoulder block. Michelle is straight up to her feet to eat a clothesline, and then once more for a dropkick! Von Horrowitz clearly didn’t expect this fast start, and immediately again he picks Michelle up by the hair and throws her face-first into one of the turnbuckles. Michelle is sundered in the corner, and The Heretic unleashes a half-dozen knife edge chops that drop her to a seated position. He backs away… charging cornered knee strike!

    Tim Coleman: “What a start here from The Heretic! He’s silencing the boos!"

    Jim Taylor: “I’m sure most audiences would pay to see Michelle von Horrowitz picked apart like this… by anyone OTHER than Dan Maskell!"

    Maskell drags Michelle out of the corner and takes her in a front facelock, popping the hips and taking her over with a snap suplex. He goes for a cover, but she gets a shoulder up at one. Maskell is able to settle into something of a rhythm from here, though, and he runs through a good portion of his signature offence. First he hits her with his London Eye backbreaker, followed up by the Dark Side of the Moon fireman’s carry flapjack. He takes a moment to celebrate, before hitting Michelle with a series of stomps to various parts of her body, and then hoists her up for his wrist-clutch Olympic slam…

    Tim Coleman: “He calls that the Wrack of Lab! And he gets all of it! Hooking the leg again…"

    ONE… TWO… NO!

    Jim Taylor: “Michelle kicks out. She might not be overly concerned about losing this match, but I don’t think she wants to get bowled over by Dan Maskell in just a few short minutes!"

    Maskell lifts MvH up and backs her up to the ropes with another series of knife edge chops. When she is against them, he alternates between straight right hands and overhand chops. The referee starts his count, and he clearly reaches five, but Maskell still doesn’t relent…

    Tim Coleman: “We saw MvH get disqualified last time out against Krash… are we going to see Maskell meet the same fate?"

    Jim Taylor: “It looks as if the referee is being a bit more lenient. I doubt many in attendance want to see ANOTHER match end in disqualification…"

    Michelle takes matters into her own hands, grabbing Maskell by the face and unleashing a savage eye rake! Maskell backs up, and the official shouts at Michelle. She ignores it and takes him down with a dropkick… STRETCH MUFFLER!! Michelle has it locked in!!

    Jim Taylor: “Just listen to Maskell writhe in agony! He might be about to tap!!"

    Maskell’s hand is hovering above the mat, but then he clenches it into a fist, and moves to the ropes… he gets his hand around the bottom one! The official tries to break it up… but Michelle begins to stomp on the back of Maskell’s head! She has no intention of letting go, and the official is forced to wrench her away from The Heretic, who promptly rolls underneath the bottom rope. MvH gets right in the official’s face, telling him to mind his own business, and then she follows Maskell out of the ring. She goes under the apron and retrieves a steel chair!

    Jim Taylor: “Here we go again!"

    She brings the chair down onto the apron, hearing it ring out and echo around the Square. And then she lifts it high over her head, walking towards Maskell…

    Tim Coleman: “Dropkick! He sends the chair into her face!"

    The official is pulling his hair out, and he doesn’t know what call to make… So he just starts counting the pair out… Maskell picks Michelle up and throws her over the barricade and into the crowd. He follows her over, the referee reaching three as he begins to fire off a handful of straight rights. Michelle is crawling away, and Maskell drops a stomp on her back, and then lifts her up by the scruff of the neck. The audience are dispersing around them, and Maskell pulls her in close, and throws her down onto the cobbles with a Regal-Plex!

    Jim Taylor: “He calls that the XYZ Crash! Michelle is thrown overhead onto the stone!"

    The official reaches six as Dan Maskell picks Michelle up and throws her face-first onto a chair. He tries to repeat the motion, but MvH extends her hands to block the attack, and then fires back with a series of elbows. She takes him by the scruff of the neck and throws him over a nearby chair! She takes a step back, runs towards the chair she just threw Maskell over, launches from it, and hits him with a cross-body! The two sprawl out over a mound of toppled chairs…

    And then the official reaches ten! He calls for the bell!

    Result: Dan Maskell and Michelle von Horrowitz tie due to a double countout at 05:31.


    Jim Taylor: “This one’s over! But they’re still fighting!"

    Von Horrowitz is on top of Maskell, nailing him with a series of forearms… and then Maskell turns the tables, rolling over and nailing a trio of straight right-hands!

    Tim Coleman: “I don’t think these two even knew much more about each other than their names before this match, but it seems they came here to fight!!"

    Just as von Horrowitz turns Maskell over and lays into him with more forearms, a dozen security guards descend into the area and begin to drag the two away. Von Horrowitz elbows one off and charges at Maskell again, but she’s immediately swamped by more of them...

    We cut back to the commentary booth, who address the camera. Well, Tim Coleman is… Jim Taylor is doing his best to follow the progression of the brawl...

    Tim Coleman: “Well, I’m not really sure what brought that on, but it seems Michelle and Maskell succeeded in bringing the worst out of each other in that one. We know that both are renowned for violent tendencies and heinous streaks, and that MvH isn’t overly concerned with the outcomes of her matches in this tournament, but Dan Maskell just threw away an opportunity to pick up two points…"

    Jim Taylor: “The important outcome here is that Maskell and von Horrowitz both gain one point, which starts off each of their tallies, but you’d have to think The Heretic will look upon this as a lost opportunity…"

    Tim Coleman: “Given Krash’s easy two points on Night One, how could he view it in any other way?!"

    Jim Taylor: “It appears to me that Michelle von Horrowitz maybe has other things on her mind. Of course, there’s her upcoming shot at the FWA World Heavyweight Championship, but she is also one of only three participants in the Gold Rush tournament to already have a match scheduled at South Pacific, the others being The Gang Stars, whose opponent is yet to be announced…"

    Tim Coleman: “But MvH knows exactly who is waiting for her in Vanuatu. Let’s take another look at what we have waiting for us at South Pacific...”

    We cut to a teaser video for the forthcoming, heavily-delayed pay-per-view in CWA’s infrequent and irregular series: South Pacific. Snippets of a large amount of the performers due to be present at the show are placed together in a montage with Enzio Pinza singing “Some Enchanted Evening” over the top of it. Each match currently scheduled for the card gets a little bit of focus:

    CWA proudly presents: ”SOUTH PACIFIC”.

    CWA World Tag Team Championships.
    The Gang Stars (Alyster Black and Krash) [c] vs. TBA.

    Gold Rush Tournament: Final.
    Winner of Semi-Final #1 vs. Winner of Semi-Final #2.

    Lilith vs. Michelle von Horrowitz.

    CWA World Tag Team Championships: #1 Contendership Match.
    Murder, Inc. vs. The Echo vs. The Undisputed Alliance.

    Fatal 4-Way Match.
    Clint Shepard vs. Billy Hatcher vs. Johnny Vegas vs. XYZ.

    Tag Team Match.
    The Diamond Dogs vs. The DiMiaco Brothers.

    Gold Rush Tournament: Semi-Final #2.
    Winner of Pool B vs. Runner-up of Pool A.

    Gold Rush Tournament: Semi-Final #1.
    Winner of Pool A vs. Runner-up of Pool B.


    The "I'm New Here" Battle Royale.
    Confirmed entrants: The Power, “Pretty” Billy “Mr.” Wright, Trevor Walker, Ratin Mikichin, Kung Fu Karl, Juan Tothrefor, “Lightning” Lamont Banner, Devour the Suffering, Violet Dreyer, “Squeaky Clean” Dick Washer, RetroJethro1984, FaZe, “Superstar” Shawn Primax, Kasey Connor, “TheTranceQueen” Luna Piper, Fiyero Lermontov, Tank Aikae.

    Singles Match.
    Dicky Zucko vs. Diego Gonzalez.

    Noah Hanson's 'Next' Announcement.
    (w/ special guest Randy Ramon)
    Jim Taylor: “What an incredible card that is for Vanuatu, but you don’t have to live in a remote South Pacific island nation to watch! Just like the Gold Rush, South Pacific will be available to purchase on HBO… and we heard The Division talking to Noah Hanson earlier. You’d have to think they intend on being added to that main event match against The Gang Stars…"

    Tim Coleman: “That’s right, Jim, but we’ve still had no official word from Hanson with regards to The Gang Stars’ opponents… and The Division aren’t the only ones looking to find their way into that South Pactific main event…"

    Jim Taylor: “And speaking of Trevor Ocean and Noah Stocke, we’re going to cut backstage, where a camera crew is standing by with the former Tag Team Champions…"

    When we do go backstage we are in a parking lot a hundred metres away from Red Square, next to a stationary land rover. Three men stand in front of it: Trever Ocean and Noah Stocke in their street gear, and in-between them (in his ring gear) is Shawn Summers.

    Trevor Ocean: “You sure you don’t want us to stick around?"

    Shawn lets out a little snort of derision, looking over towards his stable-mate as if he doesn’t understand the question…

    Shawn Summers: “Please, it’s Christopher Jackson… How much help could I possibly need?!"

    Ocean nods in agreement, and then he opens up the driver’s seat of the land rover. Stocke fist bumps Summers and walks around the vehicle, gaining entry into the passenger’s side.

    Noah Stocke: “Okay… well, if you’re sure…"

    Ocean closes the door and winds his window down, offering a fist towards Summers. He reciprocates the action, and then places his hand on the top of the car to talk to his partners…

    Shawn Summers: “I am sure. Besides, you guys are tearing it up in Berlin this weekend. Have a wurst and a shtein for me, boys…"

    He taps the top of the car, and it reverses away. Summers watches The Division disappear through the exit of the parking lot, nods his head in approval, and then turns on his heel to walk back towards the arena.

    We have one more back-stage scene waiting for us, and after we cut away from Shawn Summers we join… ‘The Indy God’, Jonathan McGinnis! He’s standing, still dressed in his ring gear, somewhere within the confines of the State Historical Museum. Michelle Kelly is a few metres away from him, awkwardly clutching her microphone at her chest and giving nervous side-glances to the cameraman, as if they are waiting for their opportunity to steal an interview. McGinnis, however, is busy in the middle of a phone call, and pays them no mind…

    Jonathan McGinnis: “... yeah… you heard what I said… no, I don’t care how! ... How is not for me to work out! I tell you what, and then you do the how! … of course I’m sure! Did you not see what happened out there?! … It has to be now, one more loss and I’m done… just… just… wait… just… get it done, okay?!"

    And with that, he closes his phone over, and notices Michelle Kelly standing by with her cameraman and sound guy…

    Jonathan McGinnis: “Um… Michelle?!"

    Michelle Kelly: “Oh, hello, Jonathan… We were hoping we could just get a few words about your defeat to Nasty Nate Savage earlier on…"

    It’s clear the comment sort of wounds McGinnis, and his face grimaces at the mention of his loss. A brief moment later and there’s a smile there again, and he responds warmly.

    Jonathan McGinnis: “Usually, Michelle, I’d have all of the time in the world for you, but I’m afraid I’m currently… otherwise indisposed. Maybe we can book some time for Yekaterinburg… just, through my agent, okay?”

    Michelle attempts to push the issue, but before she can start talking again McGinnis flashes a wink and closes his dressing room door behind him...

    We cut back to a wide shot of Red Square, just in time for…

    A huge reaction, probably the biggest of the night so far, sounds out around Red Square. Shortly afterwards, Jon Snowmantashi walks out onto the stage with his manager at his side. John Duncan is giving his client a supportive clap as the kaiju begins the long, steady stomp down the ramp and towards the ring.

    Jim Taylor: “Here comes the longest reigned CWA World Heavyweight Champion of all time - -”

    Tim Coleman: “Unless you count Brayden Bridge’s current reign…”

    Jim Taylor: “- - which we don’t… and I’m sure Jon Snowmantashi would’ve been delighted with his performance last week, seeing off Dan Maskell in reasonably short time…”

    Tim Coleman: “I don’t know if Snowmantashi is ever delighted with anything, Jim… but John Duncan let his feelings on the victory abundantly clear in Michelle Kelly’s interview with him last week. He doesn’t think Snowmantashi will face any real challenges in the entirety of the pool phase…”

    Jim Taylor: “But beyond? Duncan was pretty elusive when Kelly attempted to quiz him on a potential meeting with Jonathan McGinnis on finals night. It could be that Duncan and Snowmantashi entered this tournament with that final destination in mind…”

    Snowmantashi has climbed into the ring, and he carefully adjusts his shorts whilst he waits for his music to fade out. John Duncan has waited outside of the ring, and is currently pacing around the perimeter of it, taking in the massive crowd that has been packed into the Square. Snowmantashi has an almost solemn look on his face when he re-focuses on the stage, his music replaced by…

    There’s another positive reaction as the masked half of The Gang Stars walks out onto the stage. He ignores the audience, somewhat uncomfortable with the cheering that his presence is eliciting, and begins to walk down the ramp. He doesn’t take his eyes from Snowmantashi as he makes the long walk.

    Jim Taylor: “Alyster Black lost his first match in the Gold Rush tournament back in St. Petersburg, being overcome by a Chubby Carlos who barely looked like he’d missed a step…”

    Tim Coleman: “He’ll be looking to bounce back to winning ways here tonight, but - in all honesty - there are probably easier opponents with which he could meet that goal…”

    Jim Taylor: “Well, there are no easy match-ups in the Gold Rush tournament, but it’s fair to say that Black has an unenviable test tonight. And it’ll be interesting to see if he can focus properly on this match - or the tournament in general - with so many challengers on the horizon for the CWA World Tag Team Championships that he and Krash currently possess…”

    Tim Coleman: “That’s right, Jim. We’ve already heard from Trevor Ocean and Noah Stocke of The Division here tonight, who clearly have ambitions to re-climb the mountain and take back their titles. And then there’s Golden Rock over in the Fantasy Wrestling Alliance. The wrestling world was buzzing with reactions to the paid advertisement that went out with Gold Rush: Night One in non-American markets. It seems clear that this final show-down will have to happen sooner or later…”

    Black has made his way down the ramp, and he looks up at Snowmantashi from the floor. If there is any lack of confidence or self-believe, Black doesn’t show it. He nods once in self-affirmation, and then slides under the bottom rope. He takes up position in the centre of the ring, surveying the packed Red Square as his music fades away. Lindsay Monaghan climbs into the ring and stands in-between the two men, who silently stare each other down from across the ring.

    Lindsay Monaghan: “Ladies and gentlemen, the following is a Pool A match schedule for one-fall, with a twenty minute time limit. Introducing first, to my left… from San Dimas, California… he weighs in tonight at two hundred and twenty pounds… he is a three-time, and one half of the current CWA World Tag Team Champions… he is ‘Black Jesus’... ALYSTER BLACK!”

    There’s another positive ovation for Alyster Black, no-doubt owing to his loyalty to the CWA brand in his current feud involving Krash and Golden Rock. He doesn’t register the cheers, and has eyes only for Jon Snowmantashi.

    Lindsay Monaghan: “And his opponent… from Tokyo, Japan… he is a Ruler of the Ring tournament winner and a former two-time CWA World Heavyweight Champion... he weighs in tonight at two hundred and ninety pounds… ‘Inhuman’... JON… SNOWMANTASHI!”

    Another roar around Red Square, and there’s a large smile on Duncan’s face. Snowmantashi has his hands on his hips, waiting for it to start. And then it does…

    Pool A - Night Two - Match Nine.

    Black and Snowmantashi stare at one another from across the ring. The kaiju seems to be waiting for Alyster to make the first move, as if he wants to weigh up this new challenger. Black thinks about it for a moment… and then he charges at Snowmantashi! The kaiju tenses up, waiting to absorb the shoulder block… but instead Alyster Black hits a low drop kick! He takes Snowmantashi out at the knees, and the kaiju stumbles forward. Black is straight back to his feet, and then he hits a chop block to the back of Snowmantashi’s knee! Jon stumbles forward again, and Black hits the ropes… boot to the face! Snowmantashi is DOWN! Black leaps on him for a cover…

    ONE… TWO… NO!

    Jim Taylor: “Jon Snowmantashi almost taken COMPLETELY by surprise by Black Jesus there. He almost bowled him right over and picked up a quick three…"

    Black uses his momentary advantage and instantly works on Snowmantashi’s legs. He hits a series of stomps on each of them, and then locks in a heel hook. The kaiju manages to crawl hand-over-hand to the ropes and hook onto them, and Black releases him dutifully (at four). Snowmantashi uses the ropes to help himself up to his feet… but Black hits another chop block to the back of the knee! And now a single-leg Boston crab!! Snowmantashi is in serious pain, and again begins to crawl to the ropes. He’s a few centimetres away… but then Black drags him away! Now he locks in an STF!!

    Snowmantashi lifts his hand into the air, his palm stretched out, ready to tap… but then he instead rolls over, and forces Black’s shoulders down!

    ONE… TWO… T - - NO!

    Black gets the shoulder up, but in the meantime he’s forced to relinquish his hold on the big man. Snowmantashi gets to his feet, and Black hits the ropes again, going for another low dropkick… but Snowmantashi charges at him and turns him inside out with a clothesline!

    Jim Taylor: “Dear God! Alyster Black damn near landed on the top of his head!!"

    Tim Coleman: “Look at Snowmantashi! He’s hobbling around, it looks like Black did some serious damage to that knee joint!!"

    Snowmantashi shakes his head as he plants some weight on it, and Duncan is trying to get his attention from outside the ring…

    John Duncan: “Finish it NOW! Finish him NOW!”

    Snowmantashi nods in his approval, and he picks Black up to his feet. He pulls him in close, hoists him up… POWERBOMB!! The kaiju looks down at Black, and clearly isn’t finished there… he picks him up for a second crushing powerbomb!!

    Jim Taylor: “And just how quickly things change… Snowmantashi now in complete control...."

    The kaiju hoists Black up to his feet, and then into a fireman’s carry. Black begins to struggle out, sensing that the finishing blow might be coming. Snowmantashi can’t quite get him into position, and so he drops Black down again… and then levels him with a forearm, an overhand chop, a palm thrust, and then a brutal headbutt! Black is almost out on his feet! Snowmantashi lifts him up again…

    Tim Coleman: “HAILSTORM!! Snowmantashi gets all of it, and now he hooks the leg…"


    Result: Jon Snowmantashi defeats Alyster Black via pinfall at 07:41.


    Jon Snowmantashi gets to his feet and looks down at Alyster Black’s form. He nods to himself once, and then takes his leave, climbing out of the ring and then immediately stomping back up the ramp. In the ring, the official helps Alyster recover to the point where he can sit up.

    Jim Taylor: “Well, the quick start from Alyster Black meant he very nearly caught Jon Snowmantashi cold, but once the kaiju warmed up he was in impervious form, and there really was no stopping him…"

    Tim Coleman: “I’m just not sure who is going to be able to stand in Snowmantashi’s way. This tournament is his for the winning!"

    The camera shows Snowmantashi finishing his ascent up the ramp, and it is quite clear he has no intention of sticking around. He marches straight through the entrance into Gorilla position, and then disappears into the State Historical Museum where his locker room lies…

    Jim Taylor: “Well, I think that’s the last we’re going to see of the kaiju tonight… but…"

    We cut to a close shot of Taylor and Coleman, and the lead play-by-play guy has his finger next to his ear, pushing the headpiece in further so he can hear the announcement other the general din of the Square…

    Jim Taylor: “I’m… excuse me… I think we need to go to the back… we have… a situation developing…"

    We cut to the back and see a general commotion, and it isn’t exactly immediately clear what it is that’s going on. The camera is moving around too quickly, doing its best to pick up the ‘situation’ that Jim Taylor referred to, as if those wielding it have too just arrived on the scene…

    … we see a blonde man from the back… and then a second man nails him with a superkick!!! The blonde man falls down to the ground…

    … and then a third man grabs the camera and kisses it!

    Jim Taylor: “That’s… that’s Ethan Connor!!"

    And then we see his brother Drew Connor, lifting the blonde man from the ground…

    Tim Coleman: “And… Shawn Summers! The Echo are taking out Shawn Summers!!"

    Drew lifts Shawn to his feet, and then takes a step back… and the Brothers Connor take him out with a dual superkick! Summers slumps immediately to the ground!!

    Jim Taylor: “He has a match later on against Christopher Jackson! What on Earth is this about?!"

    Tim Coleman: “Well, we’ve heard that The Echo are upset about being left out of the tag team championship match at South Pacific… perhaps Drew and Ethan Connor are sending a message to Noah Hanson and to The Division!"

    Jim Taylor: “Who, rather handily, have already left the building…"

    Tim Coleman: “What are you implying, Jim?! I’m sure The Connors were just using the bathroom during that part of the show…"

    Jim Taylor: “... together?"

    Coleman doesn’t have a chance to reply, because Ethan Connor grabs the camera, and pulls it close to his face…

    Ethan Connor: “Don’t worry, boys and girls, we’re here to save the day! No more dull Gold Rush wannabe puro-bullshit tournament for you! The Echo is here!”

    He moves the camera down to his crotch and gives it a few hip-thrusts, and then tilts it back to his face to give the lens a huge and disgusting lick. Finally, he takes a couple of steps backwards… and then superkicks the cameraman! The feed cuts to black!

    And when we return, we are back in a wide shot of Red Square as the next competitor enters the fray…

    The reaction is mixed at best as Humanity walks out into Red Square, solemnly surveying the thousands of fans crammed into it who are offering their vastly different opinions on his arrival. He shakes his head at their confusion, and then begins to walk down to the ring.

    Jim Taylor: “Here comes another man who needs to turn things around after a less-than-perfect first match in the Gold Rush. Humanity was able to avoid defeat against Nate Savage, but only picked up one point after that match reached the twenty minute time limit…"

    Tim Coleman: “But after watching that match you’d have to feel that it’s a point gained rather than one lost. Humanity was certainly on the verge of losing to Savage last time out, and had to display an inordinate amount of resiliency to see out the twenty minutes."

    Jim Taylor: “You could make that argument, Tim, but the fact remains that Humanity remains on one point, and this tournament is too short to be accruing anything other than conclusive victories. Humanity will have to do better here tonight…"

    Humanity has climbed into the ring and waits patiently in a corner. His music fades out, and next - to a resoundingly positive reaction - we hear…

    Cyrus Truth walks out onto the stage, the audience roaring with emotion as he surveys his adoring fans and slowly nods his head…

    Jim Taylor: “Cyrus Truth arrives to another amazing ovation here in Moscow, and he got off to a perfect start last week when he overcame Christopher Jackson and picked up his first two points of the tournament. He and Jonathan McGinnis sat at the top of the pool at the start of this evening, and with The Indy God capitulating, Truth has the chance to move clear of the pack here tonight…"

    Tim Coleman: “But he’ll have to beat Humanity in order to do that, Jim, which is no small task. It’s also important to note that Truth’s victory last week over Jackson was a clear image of a wrestler who still competes every week at the highest level going up against someone who hasn’t done so in a decade. Humanity has always kept one foot in the ring, and - although he is on a brief hiatus right now - is a permanent member of the FWA roster alongside Truth. This will be a much different challenge for The Wayward Warrior than we saw in St. Petersburg…"

    Cyrus has climbed into the ring, and he and Humanity enter into an uneasy stand-off from opposite corners. Lindsay Monaghan steps into the ring and, with a smile on her face, begins to introduce the match…

    Lindsay Monaghan: “Ladies and gentlemen the following is a Pool B match, scheduled for one-fall, with a twenty minute time limit! Introducing first… weighing in at two hundred and sixty five pounds… he is a one-time CWA High Voltage Champion and a two-time CWA World Tag Team Champion… from The Other Side... Humanity!”

    Another mix of cheers and boos for Humanity, but it barely registers on the competitor himself…

    Lindsay Monaghan: “And his opponent… he weighs in at two hundred and twenty seven pounds… from The Long and Winding Road… he is a two-time CWA World Heavyweight Champion… ‘The Exile’... CYRUS TRUTH!!”

    The audience are still cheering when Lindsay Monaghan has removed herself from the ring, and begin to chant the current FWA North American Champion’s name as the official makes his final checks. Finally, when he’s satisfied, he calls for the bell…

    Pool B - Night Two - Match Ten.

    There is a respectful pause between the two as they eye each other up from across the ring. They begin to circle it, and the beginning of the match is a somewhat technical affair with Cyrus managing to emerge on top of each of these interactions. The commentators question whether this is really a particularly solid game plan for this match-up for Humanity (whilst Cyrus is wrenching at his elbow joint with a hammer lock), and Humanity seems to almost hear them. He fights out with some elbows to the side of the head, and then after there’s a bit of separation he quickly pokes Humanity in the eye. He Irish whips him into the corner, and then proceeds to stomp a mudhole into the former world champion. The official berates him and then starts the count, Humanity finally relenting at four, but he’s taken the advantage now (much to the crowd’s chagrin).

    Humanity takes the opportunity to work through his signature offense, most notably wearing Cyrus down with a series of strikes, showcasing his considerable brawling ability. Humanity doesn’t exactly look like he’s enjoying himself (when does he?), but it’s clear he is getting some satisfaction from picking Cyrus apart. He’s able to land a series of open palmed uppercuts (a la the Big Red Machine), a headbutt, a gut kick, and a fist drop at various stages, gradually wearing Truth down and slowing the pace to one he is comfortable with. He punctuates his strike game with a trio of power-moves: a DDT, a belly-to-belly side suplex, and a bridging German suplex, which Truth powers out of at two and a half.

    Jim Taylor: “Cyrus able to get out of that pinning predicament, but Humanity has dominated these first five minutes."

    Tim Coleman: “This is the first time Truth has broken a sweat during this tournament…"

    Humanity slaps on a sleeper hold and, after a short time in the move, Cyrus uses the cheering of the crowd to force himself up to his feet. He backs Humanity into the ropes and causes separation by throwing him into the opposite set. He goes for a clothesline but it’s ducked by Humanity. Truth turns around… step-up enziguri from Humanity! NO! Cyrus ducks it and Humanity lands on his front on the mat! Humanity tries to quickly scramble to his feet but Truth is on him immediately, slapping on a full nelson and then hitting a dragon suplex…

    Jim Taylor: “How quickly the tables turn! Humanity dropped on the back of his head, there, and now Truth is able to gain control…"

    Indeed, it’s Truth’s turn to give the Muscovites in attendance a sampling of his repertoire. At first, he wears Humanity down with knife edge chops, European uppercuts, hard forearms, and elbow strikes, showing his opponent that he’s no slouch in the striking department, either. After he’s happy that he’s worn Humanity down enough, he moves through a series of escalating-devastating DDTs: a reverse DDT, then a spike DDT, followed by a tornado DDT! Somehow, with Jake Roberts apoplectic on the other side of the world, Humanity manages to force a shoulder up at two and nine tenths. Cyrus is straight back to work, lifting Humanity up with a fireman’s carry…

    Jim Taylor: “Is he thinking Journey’s End already?!"

    Tim Coleman: “Looks that way, Tim! And if he hits that belly-to-belly sit-out piledriver this ne will be done and dusted before the ten minute mark…"

    Humanity senses oncoming danger, though, and slips out the back, before bundling Cyrus down with a Russian leg sweep. He takes a moment to catch his breath, still favouring his head and neck after the vicious torrent of DDTs earlier in the match. He lifts Cyrus up and Irish whips him into the corner. He tries to follow him in with a forearm strike, but Humanity ducks it and lifts Cyrus up with a back body drop! All the way onto the outside!

    Jim Taylor: “A nasty bump there for Cyrus Truth, and this could be just the opportunity Humanity needed. He’s following him to the outside, and there’s a nasty look in his eyes…"

    Indeed, Humanity picks Cyrus up, and first he Irish whips him hard into the apron, and then again into the barricade! Cyrus slumps to the floor, but Humanity gives him no rest, lifting him by the scruff of the neck and throwing him face first into the steel ring post. Humanity rolls in and out of the ring to break up the count, and then takes Truth by the wrist and helps him up to his feet. He looks like he’s going to Irish whip Cyrus into the steel steps, but instead he doesn’t let go of his wrist and drags him towards him, nailing Truth with a Samoan drop on the outside!! He gets up slowly, breathing hard from the exertion of the match, and throws Truth under the bottom ring rope. He slides in and hooks a leg…

    ONE… TWO… T - - NO!

    Truth gets a shoulder up… and Humanity grabs the arm that he thrust off the mat! He’s going for the Fujiwara Arm Bar! He’s got it locked in!!

    Jim Taylor: “Just listen to Cyrus Truth scream out in agony!"

    Tim Coleman: “Humanity is wrenching on that arm joint in the middle of the ring! Is he going to tap?! Humanity could be about to move top of Pool B with Nate Savage!!"

    Truth is in serious trouble, and at a couple of points it looks like he’s going to tap… but he inches closer and closer to the ring ropes every second, and eventually he’s able to reach out with an outstretched leg and hook onto the bottom one! The referee forces a break, and it takes until four for Humanity to release.

    Cyrus uses the ropes in order to get to his feet, and he’s holding his shoulder and arm as he turns to face Humanity… who lifts him up in a fireman’s carry…

    Tim Coleman: “He looks like he’s going for The Devil’s Whisper! Humanity is so close to victory…"

    Jim Taylor: “But look at Cyrus! He’s driving that point of his elbow down into Humanity’s head! Three… no four times! Humanity is forced to drop him…"

    Tim Coleman: “... and he turns around into a discus punch!! Cyrus forced to use his left hand after that arm bar, but it’s still light’s out! Humanity hits the mat!!"

    Truth takes one deep breath, and then lifts Humanity up… JOURNEY’S END! He gets all of it, and hooks BOTH legs just to make sure…


    Result: Cyrus Truth defeats Humanity via pinfall at 13:15.


    Cyrus has climbed to his feet and allows the official to lift his hand into the air, the audience giving him another respectful cheer as he soaks in his victory. Meanwhile, Humanity rolls over towards the side of the ring, giving Truth his moment.

    Jim Taylor: “And that puts Cyrus Truth well and truly ahead of the pack in Pool B, on four points and with daylight between him and Nate Savage. The last match we have in that pool will see Christopher Jackson and Shawn Summers look to record their first win of the tournament, meaning Truth is guaranteed to go into Yekaterinburg at the top of Pool B…"

    Truth, having taken his hand away from the official and looked around himself at the Moscow audience once more, climbs out of the ring and begins the long walk back up the ramp.

    Tim Coleman: “Just like Jon Snowmantashi is proving himself to be the dominant force in Pool A, Cyrus Truth is doing the same thing over here in Pool B. He’s going to be difficult to beat…"

    We watch from over his shoulder as Cyrus stomps back up the ramp… and then we cut to the front entrance of the State Historical Museum, where all of the stars are housed tonight whilst they wait for (or recover from) their matches. Michelle Kelly is standing by with her trusty camera crew… and just then her namesake - Michelle von Horrowitz - appears through the door with a cigarette pursed in between her lips. She nods at Kelly approvingly, and - somewhat surprisingly to those unfamiliar with the CWA product - smiles widely and warmly in the interviewer’s direction. Of course, if it was TIm Coleman or Lindsay Monaghan standing here with a microphone in their hand, MvH would be more likely to make them eat it than talk into it. But she had always been fond of Michelle Kelly, to the point where she would speak to nobody else on camera during her tenure with the CWA.

    Michelle Kelly: “Michelle, I was hoping we could get a minute…"

    MvH: “For you, Michelle, I have three…"

    Von Horrowitz took out her lighter and ignited the end of her cigarette, taking in a first happy drag before suddenly choking back a cough.

    Michelle Kelly: “Well… two matches… one loss, one draw… usually, in this situation, I’d begin by speaking about how this is hardly an ideal start, but it seems almost as if this is how you planned it?"

    The wrestler again smiles, an eyebrow cocked thoughtfully, as if to say well aren’t you a smart one...

    MvH: “You see, Michelle, this is why you’re the best. Very versatile. Dynamic. Of course, your appraisal of the situation is pretty spot on, except that I haven’t really planned any of this. The Krash thing in St. Petersburg was more of a spur of the moment thing, because… well, what’s life without a little bit of spontaneity? I wanted to finish that match quickly, because a long, protracted contest with a man as dangerous as Krash really doesn’t suit my needs in any way, shape, or form. Those of you still in full control of your faculties have probably worked out what my game is. I am here for a singular purpose. And besides, why would I waste such a historic, first-time encounter on a CWA audience? Please…"

    Michelle Kelly: “And what about Dan Maskell?"

    MvH: “Well, what about him?"

    Michelle Kelly pauses for a moment, as if she feels the meaning of the question is perfectly apparent already. She unwillingly elaborates…

    Michelle Kelly: “Well, you and Maskell seemed more intent on beating the hell out of one another than picking up the win. Which was… odd... considering this was your first meaningful interaction. You’ve alluded to your own reasons for throwing the match with Krash last week. But why do you think Maskell was so willing to go along with your boycott?"

    Kelly moves the microphone over to MvH, who simply smiles and then shrugs.

    MvH: “Some people just like fighting, I guess… It was fun. More fun than I expected. I’m glad that Maskell is over at the better place as well. I’m hopeful that we can pick this up again at some point down the line…"

    Michelle Kelly: “Well, next week it’s Chubby Carlos. Do you have a message for The Chubster?"

    MvH inhales on her cigarette, and then - after flicking the end away into a nearby drain - turns back towards the interviewer.

    MvH: “I would never say anything to a man willing to demean himself so much as to give himself that nickname. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have some old friends to say hello to. I’ll see you in Yekaterinburg, I hope?"

    Von Horrowitz flashes Kelly one more smile, before removing herself from the shot and walking towards the city.

    Michelle Kelly: “Back to you at ringside, Jim!"


    Christopher Jackson comes out to a mostly positive reaction, and doesn’t break stride on the stage as he begins his descent to the ring…

    Tim Coleman: “Christopher Jackson looks like he means business here tonight, striding down to the ring with real purpose. And, really, he has to mean business! He lost his first match of the tournament last week to Cyrus Truth and, with Jonathan McGinnis and Nate Savage also putting one in the win column since then, Jackson can’t afford to lose pace…"

    Jim Taylor: “You’re undeniably right, Tim, but we saw a Christopher Jackson last week who was far from his peak. He has to hope he can kick things into gear and shake off some of that ring rust tonight against Shawn Summers."

    Tim Coleman: “And would you just look at the first three matches that Jackson has had to contend with… and will have to continue doing so… Truth last week, Summers tonight, and next week? Jonathan McGinnis. That’s three of the favourites for the whole tournament, let alone Pool B! Talk about a baptism of fire…"

    Jackson has slid into the ring and stands in a corner, loosening up and preparing for the battle ahead as his music fades out...

    There’s a mixed reaction for Shawn Summers as he walks out onto the stage. Well, limps is probably closer to the truth. He pauses to survey Red Square and the cathedral beyond the ring, and then - with great difficulty - begins to make his way down the ramp…

    Jim Taylor: “Our second competitor in this match is also looking to pick up his first win of the tournament, Shawn Summers must have watched Jackson’s match against Truth last week whilst rubbing his hands…"

    Tim Coleman: “But The Echo have proved to be the great equaliser. Christopher Jackson’s ring-rust was a big question going into this one, but after the backstage attack we saw on Shawn Summers earlier on, it’ll be interesting to see how quickly he’s able to recover. This is a HUGE match for Summers: he can’t afford to lose again."

    Whilst Coleman is speaking, we are shown snippets of the attack earlier on, with first Drew nailing a superkick on Summers, and then both Connors brothers connecting with the move and sending Shawn reeling to the ground. We are treated to Ethan Connor humping the camera one more time before cutting back to Summers climbing into the ring.

    Jim Taylor: “That’s right. He’s already got one in the loss column courtesy of Jonathan McGinnis, and you really can’t underestimate how much Shawn Summers needs to get a win here. But he’s in visible discomfort with his neck and head…"

    Tim Coleman: “Perfect timing for Christopher Jackson! I imagine he’s as clueless as to the motives for The Echo’s assault as we are, but this really couldn’t have turned out any better for Straight Edge…"

    Summers has climbed into the ring and up to the second rope, eliciting some cheers and more boos by tracing the line of an invisible championship belt around his waist. When he hops down into the ring, though, the impact jolts his neck, and he grimaces as his music fades out.

    Lindsay Monaghan: “Ladies and gentlemen, the following is a Pool B contest scheduled for one-fall, with a twenty minute time limit… Introducing first, to my left… he weighs in tonight at two hundred and twenty five pounds… from Laguna Beach, California… he is a former CWA Pure Champion and a former CWA World Tag Team Champion… SHAWN SUMMERS!”

    The reaction is still mostly negative for Summers, but there is some support for Der Basterd. Some of this is down to his unerring loyalty to the brand, whilst others look upon his hobbling gait and are approaching this bout with a renewed sense of sympathy. Summers looks only angry, staring down Jackson from across the ring...

    Lindsay Monaghan: “And his opponent, in the corner to my right, weighing in at two hundred and twenty pounds… from Brooklyn, New York… he is a former CWA Continental Champion… CHRISTOPHER… ‘STRAIGHT EDGE’... JACKSON!”

    The official makes his final checks as the announcer vacates the ring. Jackson and Summers have come closer to one another, and Summers is doing a little jarring despite his injury. Jackson doesn’t say anything, and just nods his head slowly, as if he expected the cockiness. Finally, the referee calls for the bell…

    Pool B - Night Two - Match Eleven.

    When the bell rings, Summers immediately goes for a collar and elbow tie-up… but the pressure on his neck area makes him recoil and Jackson is able to transition into a headlock. The rudimentary maneuver is more effective than usual, and we hear Summers call out in pain. He backs Jackson up into the ropes and throws him off the opposite set, and then takes Straight Edge down with a shoulder block. Jackson sits up but Summers immediately applies a headscissors. Straight Edge tries to reach the bottom ropes with his legs but finds he can’t, and so he does a headstand whilst still in the headscissors… and then propels himself to his feet, followed by a dropkick! He catches the seated Summers flush in the face!

    Jim Taylor: “Impressive flexibility on display from Christopher Jackson. And now he goes right back to that headlock! Applying more pressure to the injured area of Shawn Summers…"

    The opening minutes of the match generally go like this, with Jackson attempting to wear down Summers and specifically his head and neck. Jackson never misses the opportunity to nail a straight right hand or a forearm or a stomp to the affected area, and picks up two counts with a DDT and a neckbreaker. Summers, to his credit, keeps fighting back, and he senses that he is in some danger when Jackson has him in position for his patented brainbuster. Summers drops to a knee to block the lift, and then fights out with some closed fists to Jackson’s back (essentially rabbit punches)... and then he lifts Jackson up and over with a northern lights! Bridges for the cover…

    ONE… TWO… NO!

    Tim Coleman: “Shawn Summers almost sneaking the victory there!"

    Jim Taylor: “And rather surprisingly, you’d expect that to be Summers’ gameplan here tonight. You might see a number of quick pin attempts by Shawn Summers as he tries to wrap this one up early…"

    Indeed, after a short technical exchange, Summers does try and roll up Jackson for the pin on numerous occasions. He gets two-counts with a schoolboy, then a backslide, and finally a crucifix. But when he goes for an O’Connor roll, Jackson hooks onto the top rope and sends Summers rolling backwards alone… and then he connects with a vicious running knee strike to the head! Summers is taken down, and Jackson gives him no chance to rest. He lifts him up, front facelock…

    Jim Taylor: “BRAINBUSTAAAAAH~~~~~!!!!"

    Tim Coleman: “He gets all of it!! And now hooks the leg…"

    ONE… TWO… T - - NO!

    Summers kicks out again, and Jackson senses the end is near. He waits patiently, stalking Summers from the corner, and when he gets up he comes in for the kill. Boot to the midsection… he tries to hook the arms, going for his Breaking Habit (pedigree) finisher… no, Shawn is down to a knee again, and then with a tremendous exertion of energy he throws Jackson overhead with a big back body drop!! Jackson lands heavily but fights back to his feet…

    Jim Taylor: “LIGHTS OUT!"

    Tim Coleman: “Summers connects with the roundhouse kick to the back of the head! And he hoists him up to his feet again… boot to the midsection… hooks both arms… sit-out powerbomb!! What a burst of offense!"

    Jim Taylor: “But he’s not done there! Fujiwara armbar! He bridges! Look at that angle!"

    Jackson’s arm is indeed contorted beyond reason, and he cries out in agony from the hold. The referee is close, keeping an eye on Christopher’s other hand and concurrently asking if he wants to tap… but Jackson refuses, and he creeps… crawls… closer and closer to the ropes… he gets the break!

    Summers obviously uses every second of the five-count before releasing, and then he rolls away from Jackson, cradling his neck before finally getting to his feet. Jackson does so gingerly also, holding the arm that was just wrenched apart. When he’s up, he turns, and stumbles back to Jackson…

    Summers boots him in the midsection and then hooks both arms… he’s looking for his OWN version of the facebuster! This match-writer cannot believe he only just realised they have the same finisher! Imagine what fun could’ve been had! But we’ve come too far, and Jackson simply drives forward, pushing Summers into the corner and driving his back and head against the turnbuckles. Summers is forced to release the underhooks, and Jackson takes a step away from him… before clattering him with a cornered forearm! He takes him into a headlock, and charges across the ring with a bulldog…

    Jim Taylor: “Christopher Jackson is really picking up a head of steam now, and every single move he’s done tonight has been focussed on Summers’ neck or head. This is strict adherence to a hastily altered gameplan!"

    Tim Coleman: “And now he’s closing in for the kill… Summers is slowly up to his feet… boot to the midsection…"

    Jim Taylor: “BREAK HABIT! Christopher Jackson gets all of the double-underhook kneeling facebuster. And that’s going to be all she wrote…"

    Result: Christopher Jackson defeats Shawn Summers via pinfall at 09:57.


    Christopher Jackson gets to his feet, but he isn’t smiling. He lets the official raise his hand into the air, but soon afterwards he snatches it away and proceeds to beat his chest. He then lifts two fists into the air, standing over Shawn Summers momentarily, before he gives up on the endeavour and vacates the ring…

    Jim Taylor: “Exactly what Christopher Jackson needed here tonight. He goes ahead of Humanity and joins Jonathan McGinnis on a single win, just behind Nate Savage on three points and Cyrus Truth with four…"

    Tim Coleman: “And meanwhile, Shawn Summers - many people’s pre-tournament favourite to win this whole thing - is languishing at the bottom of the pile with two losses from two matches. And you have to question how much of that is down to The Echo…"

    Jim Taylor: “Not to take anything away from Christopher Jackson, but quite a lot of it, I imagine…"

    We get one more shot of Shawn Summers in the ring, again cradling his neck, before we cut to an advertisement for next week’s show:

    Night Three.
    Live from the Yekaterinburg State Circus.

    Full Card:
    0/ The Echo vs. ??? (1/10) - Launch-Pad Match.
    1/ Alyster Black vs. Dan Maskell (1/20) - PA
    2/ Shawn Summers vs. Humanity (1/20) - PB
    3/ Jon Snowmantashi vs. Krash (1/20) - PA
    4/ Christopher Jackson vs. Jonathan McGinnis (1/20) - PB
    5/ Chubby Carlos vs. Michelle von Horrowitz (1/20) - PA
    6/ Main Event: Cyrus Truth vs. Nate Savage (1/20) - PB
    When we return to the ring, we find a very different picture. The section of the crowd which played host to around a thousand men in uniform had empties, and now these men - all carrying guns and in their late teens or early twenties and looking very serious about everything - lined the stage, ramp, and ring-side areas. Inside the ring, a shit-eating grin on his face and a sharp suit on his body, Noah Hanson stood with a microphone, ready to address the audience in Red Square and the millions watching around the world…

    Noah Hanson: “Ladies and gentlemen, do not worry, I do not intend to take up too much of your time tonight. I am only here tonight to thank you for making the CWA: Gold Rush tournament possible!"

    There’s a bit of a cheer for Hanson’s statement, but most in attendance are simply wondering what his game is…

    Noah Hanson: “And by you, I of course mean the three special guests of the Clique Wrestling Alliance, and of myself: Mr. Matytsin, Mr. Mishustin, and Mr. Putin! Without the support of these three men and their offices, a historic night like tonight would never have been possible…"

    A wide shot of Red Square as a general cheer goes up for the mention of the esteemed guests. Hanson joins in the display of respect.

    Noah Hanson: “So, I ask you now to join with me in saluting Mother Russia on this fantastic evening, and raise your glass to the ongoing and fruitful relationship between our two great federations!”

    And without further adieu, he raises one hand to his chest, and looks towards St. Basil’s Cathedral, as a ten-metre long Russian flag unfurls behind it from scaffolding that has been erected around it.

    And then the opening notes of the anthem begin…

    We see some establishing shots of the forty thousand or so in attendance, all stood in unison with their hands - akin to Hanson - above their hearts…

    Россия – священная наша держава,
    Россия – любимая наша страна.
    Могучая воля, великая слава –
    Твоё достоянье на все времена!
    Russia – our sacred state,
    Russia – our beloved country.
    A mighty will, a great glory –
    Yours forever for all time!

    We see some close-up shots of ordinary Russians in the crowd. Young, old, man, woman, all in unison, belting out their affirmation of their sacred state. In the cheap seats near the State Historical Museum, a babushka lets a single tear run down her face as she sings.

    Славься, Отечество наше свободное,
    Братских народов союз вековой,
    Предками данная мудрость народная!

    Славься, страна! Мы гордимся тобой!
    Be glorious, our free Fatherland,
    Ancient union of brotherly peoples,
    Ancestor-given wisdom of the people!
    Be glorious, our country! We are proud of you!

    Amidst the images of every-day Moscovites, we get a shot of Fiyero Lermontov - otherwise known as the Red Devil - as he stands backstage and sings along with his countrymen. Our victor from the pre-show is happy, a wide smile on his face as he engages in the flagrant display of patriotism.

    От южных морей до полярного края
    Раскинулись наши леса и поля.
    Одна ты на свете! Одна ты такая –
    Хранимая Богом родная земля!
    From the southern seas to the polar lands
    Spread are our forests and fields.
    You are unique in the world, one of a kind –
    This native land protected by God!

    When we return to the Square itself, the camera sweeps along the stand that backs onto the Kremlin walls, and eventually settles upon the three executive boxes that have been erected atop the battlements themselves. In the first, Sports Minister Oleg Matytsin sings boldly and proudly along with the people. To his left, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is a little more reserved, though he still murmurs the words as a feeling is stirred in his heart. In a seat grander than them all, Vladimir Putin stands stoically, watching on passively as the event unfolds before him.

    Славься, Отечество наше свободное,
    Братских народов союз вековой,
    Предками данная мудрость народная!
    Славься, страна! Мы гордимся тобой!
    Be glorious, our free Fatherland,
    Ancient union of brotherly peoples,
    Ancestor-given wisdom of the people!
    Be glorious, our country! We are proud of you!

    We return to a wide-shot for the dramatic finale. We begin to build through our climactic crescendo, and the people of Moscow are in unison, of one voice. Above the cathedral, another series of fireworks explode high in the night’s sky. At first, there are rockets in white, then blue, and then red, before gold and silver firecrackers stream up towards the moon before spreading out their embers far and wide. The audience is only spurred further on by the pyrotechnics, and reaches its final voice with all the force of a hurricane roaring through the nation’s capital...

    Широкий простор для мечты и для жизни
    Грядущие нам открывают года.
    Wide expanse for dreams and for living,
    Are opened for us by the coming years,

    Overhead, three planes fly high above Red Square. Their jet-streams are white, blue, and red.

    Нам силу даёт наша верность Отчизне.
    Так было, так есть и так будет всегда!
    Our loyalty to Fatherland gives us strength.
    So it was, so it is, and so it always will be!

    A huge ovation is heard in Red Square, the biggest since the revolution, but before we can properly comprehend what we’ve just seen, we instantly and obtrusively cut away…

    … and we are backstage, and Nate Savage is on his knees?!

    And then Drew Connor nails him with a superkick!! Savage hits the ground!

    Jim Taylor: “What the - - ?!"

    Tim Coleman: “Can we not take a moment to enjoy that display of patriotism?!"

    Jim Taylor: “Apparently not!! It's The Echo again!!"

    Jackson Fenix appears in shot, attempting to overwhelm Ethan Connor with rights and lefts, bowling him over… but Drew appears out of nowhere with a superkick for Fenix! And then Ethan nails him with a Pele kick!!

    Tim Coleman: “What has gotten into Drew and Ethan Connor tonight?!"

    Nate Savage is up to his feet, but he’s rocked with a superkick from Ethan… and then a frankensteiner from Drew!! He spikes Nate Savage on his head against the hard flooring of the Moscow State Historical Museum!

    Jim Taylor: “Well, this attack is perhaps a little easier to comprehend. The Undisputed Alliance are one of The Echo’s scheduled opponents for the upcoming South Pacific event, and perhaps The Echo are taking their opportunity here tonight to send a message before that Vanuatu meeting…"

    Tim Coleman: “Maybe, Jim… but that doesn’t explain what The Echo are doing here in Moscow in the first place… Do they even have VISAs?!"

    Jim Taylor: “All you need is a ticket, Tim! The CWA holds sway in the Kremlin…"

    Ethan and Drew share in a high-five, and then Drew turns to the camera with a wide smile on his face. He apes the passionate refrain of the Russian national anthem, and then for good measure he gives the camera a few crotch-thrusts. Ethan is in the background, giving both Savage and Fenix a stomping for good measure…

    Tim Coleman: “Well, I guess we’re not going to find out what this is about tonight…"

    Jim Taylor: “I think we know what it’s about: The Echo are putting the CWA tag team division on notice!"

    The audience are booing the antics of The Echo, and specifically the mockery of their national anthem, as we return to the arena. There’s a sour taste in their mouths when the next entrance music hits, and it takes them a few moments to remember they like the person who appeared shortly afterwards…

    Krash walks out onto the stage to an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the assembled audience. Current events in the Fantasy Wrestling Alliance, of course, don’t usually translate to positive or negative reactions in the Clique Wrestling alliance, and Krash is still unashamedly regarded as a legend in this organisation. He walks out onto the stage with a serious but appreciative look on his face, nodding his head as he begins to walk towards the ramp.

    Jim Taylor: “This is going to be a huge bout for a couple of reasons. Firstly there’s the fact that both of these men were able to pick of their first victory of the Gold Rush tournament last week in St. Petersburg. Krash triumphed over Michelle von Horrowitz by disqualification, whilst Chubby Carlos was perhaps more impressive in his pinfall win over Alyster Black…"

    Tim Coleman: “We’ve mentioned before that disqualification victories mean exactly the same as pinfalls or submissions, so I doubt Krash will be bothered about not looking impressive. One thing to note is that we had assumed MvH’s matches would all be ‘gimmes’ for her opponents, but Dan Maskell was held to one point by ‘Dreamer’ earlier this evening thanks to a double countout. That conclusive victory, although through disqualification, will look pretty good to Krash looking back on it…"

    Jim Taylor: “Another interesting dynamic in this match is that these are perhaps the two most popular CWA wrestlers performing in the Gold Rush tournament. Of course, there are people like Cyrus Truth, Jonathan McGinnis, and Jon Snowmantashi. There’s no doubt that these men are respected, admired, and appreciated by the CWA fans… but it’s difficult to point at two more popular - more loved stars - than the two wrestlers about to lock it up…"

    Krash is in the ring, taking in the thousands of Russian CWA fans, screaming his name as he patiently waits for the arrival of his opponent. Finally, his music fades out, and is replaced by…

    Another rapturous reaction as The Chubster walks out onto the stage, a wide smile on his face as he beats his chest in firm support of himself. He high-fives the fans sitting on the front row as he wanders down the obscenely long ramp.

    Jim Taylor: “Chubby Carlos, as we’ve already mentioned, victorious over Alyster Black this week, and with Jon Snowmantashi recording his second victory in as many matches earlier tonight it’s vital that Carlos is able to keep pace with the current Pool A leader…"

    Tim Coleman: “The same is true for Krash, though. And, looking at the split points that Dan Maskell, MvH, and Alyster Black have accrued at the bottom of this group, a victory here would put one of these competitors in a very good position leading into Night Three in Yekaterinburg."

    Chubby climbs up the ring steps and and through the ropes, and he regards Krash from across the ring. Both men have a smile on their face, nodding at one another as if they are respectful of the occasion and glad to find each other there. Lindsay Monaghan, a microphone in her hand, climbs into the ring, ready to make her final contribution to the evening.

    Lindsay Monaghan: “Ladies and gentlemen, the following is a Pool A match-up scheduled for one-fall, and with a twenty minute time limit… and is your MAIN EVENT! Introducing first, n the corner to my right: from Melbourne, Australia… he weighs in tonight at two hundred and five pounds… he is a Wrestle Royale winner, a Five-Star Attraction Tournament winner, a CWA High Voltage Champion, a four-time - and current, reigning! - CWA World Tag Team Champion, a two-time CWA World Heavyweight Champion… he is ‘The White Wolf’... HE… IS… KRASH!”

    Another huge ovation.

    Lindsay Monaghan: “And in the corner to my right... from Mexico City, Mexico... he weighs in tonight at one hundred and ten kilograms… he is a one-time Wrestle Royale winner and a former CWA World Heavyweight Champion… The Chubby One… The Fat Man… The Chubster… His Royal Chubness… El Chuberino… The Single Most Awesome Wrestler in CWA Today (or Yesterday)... Everybody's Favorite Wrestler… The Green and Black Attack… CHUUUUUBY…. CAAARLOOOOOOS!”

    Chubby Carlos lifts his arm into the air just as his name is read. There begins a duelling-chant around the arena: one half clearly in favour of The White Wolf, whilst the other is on the side of Krash. Generally, though, the fans are just happy to see a match like this taking place again. Lindsay Monaghan makes her exit from the ring, the referee makes his final checks, and then he calls for the bell…

    Pool A - Night Two - Match Twelve.

    This one starts off at a ferocious pace, with Krash and Chubby throwing themselves around the ring and off the ropes as they attempt to disorient and overwhelm the other. For all of their fire and motion, though, there’s very little actual contact in the opening exchanges. Chubby misses three clothesline attempts, all of which Krash ducks, and then Chubby engages in a comical amount of leapfrogs and drop-downs whilst Krash is repeatedly running the ropes. Eventually, Chubby breaks the cycle with an attempted dropkick. Krash evades it by hooking onto the top rope with his arms and checking his momentum, though… and Carlos hits the mat!

    Krash slaps on a reverse chin lock, and what follows is an impressively technical series of hold exchanges which neither of the two really come out on top of. Carlos eventually transitions out of the reverse chin lock into a hammer lock, then a rear waist-lock and attempted O’Conner role. Krash holds the ropes to check his momentum and send Carlos back without him, and then attempts a charging clothesline… Carlos ducks it and goes into a full nelson… then a half-nelson.... Cross-face chicken wing! Krash is forced to flail his arms around until finally he gets a hold of the top rope. The early stretches of the match are riddled with such exchanges, with neither man managing to get a decisive advantage and, usually, one of them forcing a rope break to escape a particularly gnarly hold.

    Tim Coleman: “Just as we expected, these two men are evenly matched here. Both are former CWA World Heavyweight Champions. Both are Wrestle Royale Winners."

    Jim Taylor: “That’s true, Tim, but I expected Krash to perhaps display better conditioning than Carlos. Krash is still competing each and every week at the top level, whereas Chubby Carlos had one match on the big stage in 2020: his fatal 4-way victory over Izaya Snowmantashi, Mark Merriwether, and Prince Ali at last Summer’s One Night Only. But at the moment Carlos is going hold-for-hold with Krash!"

    It’s on their third technical exchange (the two tied at one rope break apiece at this stage) when Krash eventually breaks out of a headlock with some elbows to the ribs, and after causing a little separation he proceeds to back Carlos up towards the ropes with a trio of knife edge chops. When Carlos is on the ropes, Krash nails him with a forearm, and then charges off the opposite set. He looks like he’s going to clothesline Carlos over the top, but The Chubster simply ducks and sends Krash over with a huge back body drop! Krash collides heavily with the floor! Carlos gets to his feet, charges across the ring...

    Jim Taylor: “SUICIDE DIVE!!"

    Tim Coleman: “Krash and Carlos go sprawling as we move past the five minute mark in our main event!!"

    Carlos is of course first to his feet, and he spends a few moments high-fiving any fan who is willing to offer him a hand (which is essentially all of them). He gets a little bit carried away, and does an entire circuit of the ring as the referee begins a count-out! The official is at seven when Chubby has rounded the perimeter, and when he re-approaches Krash he’s nailed with a drop kick!

    Tim Coleman: “Krash playing a little possum there! Carlos needs to keep his mind in the game. We’ve already seen one match this tournament finish with a time limit draw. It’s important he doesn’t waste time."

    Krash lifts Chubby up and first throws his face down onto the ring-apron, and then he rolls Carlos’ body under the bottom rope. The White Wolf rolls in and then straight back out onto the apron again, proceeding to climb up towards the top turnbuckle. He steadies himself on the top rope, maybe thinking about his patented top rope elbow drop… but Carlos has climbed to his feet, and throws himself into the ropes! Chubby loses his balance and lands split-legged on the top turnbuckle!

    Carlos isn’t done there, proceeding to climb up the same corner whilst still in the ring. He places Krash into a front face lock, and then steps right up onto the tippy-top! Krash is dragged on there with him…

    Jim Taylor: “TOP ROPE SUPLEX!! Krash may be broken in half…"

    Tim Coleman: “He bounces halfway across the ring, and it takes Carlos some time to crawl over and hook the leg…"

    ONE… TWO… NO!

    Krash stays in it, but Carlos shows no signs of frustration and, in fact, is now in complete control of the match-up. Most notably, he displays his agility by nailing hurricanrana followed by a top rope moonsault, but is only able to get a two-count in the process. Carlos keeps grinding, hitting his ‘Triple Cheeseburger’ trio of snap suplexes, followed by his ‘Big Mac’ (side effect), and then his ‘Whopper’ slingshot press in the corner. His trifecta of fast food based move names has the crowd cheering his name, and with a smile on his face he tries another cover…

    ONE… TWO… TH - NO!

    Jim Taylor: “A momentary flash of frustration on Carlos’ face as we move past the ten minute mark, but he controls himself and goes right back to work. Krash is backed up to the ropes and whipped to the opposite set…"

    And then Carlos takes him down with his running single high knee! He calls that one the McKick… and then a running senton splash! The audience are on their feet and fully behind Carlos, and he pumps his fist in triumph!

    Tim Coleman: “Chubby Carlos starting to feel it now! But, if you ask me, he looks a little gassed…"

    Jim Taylor: “Too many cheeseburgers and not enough ring-time will do that to a man! He’s breathing more than a little heavy…"

    Chubby is waiting for Krash to get to his feet, and when he does he boots him in the midsection and then tosses him towards the ropes. He is maybe looking to finish him off with the pop-up powerbomb… but Krash hooks his arms onto the top rope to check his momentum. Carlos crashes towards him, trying to clothesline him over, but he gets a big back body drop instead. Carlos lands on the apron, though, and when Krash turns around Carlos grabs him by the scruff of the neck and brings his throat down onto the top rope! Krash stumbles back and Carlos tries to climb back in… but Krash charges over and hits him with a running knee lift! Carlos is rocked! He can barely keep his feet. Krash moves into a rear waistlock… a few clubbing forearms to the back… and then a German suplex! Krash bridges in the cover…

    ONE… TWO… T - NO!

    Chubby Carlos powers out, but Krash is right back on him. He hits a trio of European uppercuts, then a pair of forearms… Chubby is rocked back to the ropes, and Krash Irish whips him across the ring… and then meets him with an almighty spear!

    Jim Taylor: “He almost cuts him in half! Krash covers him again…"

    ONE… TWO… THREE… ?

    Jim Taylor: “NO!"

    Tim Coleman: “His foot is on the ropes!! I thought this one was over!!"

    Krash did, too! He can’t believe it, and he seems to be suggesting that it’s time for this one to end. He lifts Chubby to his feet and then puts him in a reverse face-lock… reverse tornado DDT! Krash looks down at Carlos, breathing heavily, and then up to the top rope…

    Jim Taylor: “Here he goes! Krash is climbing up again, probably thinking about his Daybreaker finisher…"

    Tim Coleman: “But Chubby is stirring again! He’s climbing up to meet Chubby!"

    Carlos is on the second rope too, and now he starts to nail Krash with some straight right hands. The White Wolf is also worried about his stability, and it looks for a moment like he’s about to fall to the outside… but he steadies himself by gripping the top rope, and then he unleashes a headbutt! Carlos is rocked! A second headbutt…

    Jim Taylor: “Sunset flip powerbomb!!"

    Krash flips over the top of Carlos to drive him down to the mat with the move, and he senses that now the time is finally right. He nods his head as he is climbing, and then quickly he steadies himself on the top rope…

    Tim Coleman: “DAYBREAKER! Krash nails the top rope diving elbow drop!"

    Jim Taylor: “And now he hooks the leg…"

    Result: Krash defeats Chubby Carlos by pinfall at 16:57.


    It takes a moment for Krash to get to his feet, and it’s clear that the match has taken quite the toll on him. He stands for a moment with his hands on his knees, looking down at the mat and at Chubby. Carlos’ eyes are still open, and with Krash standing over him the two share an unheard but respectful word. Afterwards, Carlos raises a fist into the air for Krash to dutifully bump, and then The Chubster rolls out of the ring.

    Jim Taylor: "A sign of respect there between these two friends, and Carlos vacates the ring to give Krash his moment in the spotlight…"

    Krash moves to the corner to climb to the second turnbuckle. From this vantage point, he stares out over the assembled masses inside Red Square for one last time, nods his head in approval, and then raises both his hands into the air. A huge ovation circles around the Square.

    Tim Coleman: “Krash moves onto two victories from two match-ups, right up there alongside Jon Snowmantashi at the top of Pool A."

    Jim Taylor: “All is not lost for Chubby Carlos, for sure. He’s just one victory away from Jon Snowmantashi and Krash, and next week he’ll go up against the yet-to-win Michelle von Horrowitz."

    Tim Coleman: “What a show in Yekaterinburg that’s going to be! Night Two has brought up more and more questions, and the most notable for me is what the hell The Echo have been up to here in Moscow?!"

    Jim Taylor: “And what about that HUGE Pool A match?! We have the most decorated man in the tournament in Krash, up against the longest reigning CWA World Heavyweight Champion of all time in Jon Snowmantashi..."

    There’s an audible gasp in the arena…

    Tim Coleman: “Speaking of which…"

    The camera pans to a wide-shot of Red Square, and we see a presence on the stage…

    We cut to Snowmantashi, staring down the long ramp at Krash…

    Krash stares back, suddenly less sure of himself…

    And then the show ends.



    Title graphic: ComebackKid.
    The Launch-Pad: AON.
    Noah Hanson and The Division segment: ComebackKid.
    Last edited by SpecificSecretary; 04-04-2021 at 06:44 AM.

  2. #2
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    Re: CWA: Gold Rush [NIGHT TWO RESULTS]

    Interesting...great work as always, SS. I wonder if Noah Hanson will give The Division what they want. Can't wait to read the next episode.


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    Re: CWA: Gold Rush [NIGHT TWO RESULTS]

    Excellent read, SS! I'm gonna leave a few scattered thoughts in no real order.

    - The Launch Pad/I'm new here preview: I dug this! A little 'sneak peek' into two of the top (cough) competitors in the battle royal, Kung Fu Karl and Fiyero Lermontov, who despite being a jerk is OVER LIKE ROVER in Russia, another point which I'll get to in a second. It's a completely unnecessary but delightfully sweet addition that helps bring attention to a pointless undercard match - which we've well established is my bread and butter. A part of me would like this to be a regular thing leading up to the battle royal, a short 1v1 exhibition between two different names each show, but another part would like it even more if it's Fiyero Lermontov vs another battle royal name every show, keep getting that homecountry pop and keep giving Lermontov a bit more shine than anyone else in the battle royal, because Hanson is a kiss-ass.
    - Speaking of Russia, a lot of big events in reality always tend to be located at the same usual locations. New York, LA, Orlando. So this taking place in Russia is a welcome variation that lends itself to more unique moments and characters, it's such a welcome change.
    - I like how lots of little stories are starting to form, with Stocke/Ocean/Summers/Echo crossing paths and continuing the Elite/Echo/GS thing from the previous CWA show. Helps make this interconnecting universe of people with different motivations, especially with Golden Rock being thrown into the mix. All very complicated, and every team absolutely has a point to be made.
    - I'm liking that the promos don't have as much impact on the matches being built up to the finals, only the final four, so Shawn Summers can lose to Christopher Jackson but still find his way to the finals if he can, it makes the entire Gold Rush tournet feel more exciting and authentic knowing that the best promo - which Summers absolutely had one of - doesn't mean a completely spotless record. He'll still stand a strong chance of making it to the finals, because of course he does, he's Shawn fucking Summers, but it makes his journey there more intriguing and gives Christopher Jackson a bit of a shine on the way.
    - Excellent show, SS. Very fun read, and shoutout to AON & CK for some enjoyable segments too!


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    Re: CWA: Gold Rush [NIGHT TWO RESULTS]


    I probably like the concept of the battle royale a lot more than I should. I’m a big fan of world building in particular in the shared E-fed verse on this here forum, so I’m super into a snap shot on the wrestling scene outside CWA and FWA, colouring in the grey areas is my jam yo, and I would have hoped that it would bring some of the creative main stream members down in the dirt with the rest of us nerds, or the very least, give a chance for the FWA guys to get involved -Particularly those that have been talking about getting involved incessantly yet when the chance comes THEY DON’T DO SHIT. YOU KNOW WHO YOU ARE.” Come on guys lets colour in those greys. Is it an over the top rope or a normal battle royal?

    Not really much to say considering this is my own work. Just to repeat that I’m very interested in how the battle royale pans out and and who SS decides to put over.


    -Kind of a shock to see nick nastery go over a heavy contender. Big Johnny can’t like this, knowing how tight the final table is going to be, every lost counts, and with Cy coming up, Johnny would have liked to have avoided squeaky bum time.

    Noah meets Noah-! The Elite are kinda dicks huh? Noah Hanson is a legit well meaning business man. Some respect is due, plus Noah absolutely knows where the bodies are. Don’t fuck with a man insane enough to fund and bring back a wrestling org from the grave.

    ...GOSH DARN IT MVH. DO YOU HAVE NO HONOR?! You’re losing ya shit michelle. To be fair, between two of the most vicious bitches in CWA history, this was always going to be a DQ.

    ECHO IN THE HOUSE-! As always SS writes them perfectly, I was worried they’d get lost in the shuffle in the tag scene, and ya’ll know The Connors don’t give up the spotlight without a fight. Honestly; The Divison should have seen this coming.

    Jon Snowmantashi is the strongest booked wrestler in the history of the fed. That’s why he’s perfect for these CWA shows. He has an aura like a fucking tornato blowing through leaving destruction in his wake, and honestly? Brayden might as well start shining up that world title.

    ...but we forgot the OTHER legend; Cy isn’t going down with a fight. And honestly? Cy vs Jon in the finals? UMMM dream match much?
    Wow, Summers got some baby face fire huh?

    HAHAHAAHHAHA-! My fav thing about playing the echo is ensuring they always get nuclear reactions, and I thought it would be hard here….but interrupting the national anthem and mocking russia right in Putin’s face…..YEAH that’ll do it. The only thing that could have been better is if they super kicked Putin. Which would be an AMAZING image...but they probably wouldn’t leave the building alive.

    AW COOL MAIN EVENT. Like well written and well put over because the two of the most over baby faces in CWA history, but at the same time- AW NUTS. Chubbs in trouble; it’s cool tho, all he has to do is beat the greatest world champion in efed history. Coolcoolcool.

    Speaking of tall dark and gruesome.

    Krash vs Snowmantashi is a dream match, imma get Vader vs Sting vibes already
    The most amazing thing about this recent conversation is that I've learned AON is even more of a waste of space than I thought he was previously

  5. #5
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    Re: CWA: Gold Rush [NIGHT TWO RESULTS]

    my computer crashed when id finished writing this. thank god for restore option.

    Pop pop. Happy to see another episode up.

    Opening Im New Here showcase is fun. Digging Fiyero Lermontov. I know neither Kozlov or Miro were IRL Russians but the Russian brute gimmick is always ace. Then again Im pro most HOSS types, so.

    I rate the spoiler-tagged theme songs!

    The entire presentation for this run of shows has been super fun. The setting has added a super strong flavor to the whole Gold Rush and will probably help it be easy to remember down the line. The Red Square set-up in particularly would feel pretty iconic to legit watch on TV. Honestly, makes CWA feel way huger than I originally envisioned them but I dont mind given this is fantasy-land.

    McGinnis's theme song <3 This actually got me into listening to Big Sean. I used to SPAM the shit out of this song.

    Big victory for Nate Savage even with the distraction. I dont think many people pinned McGinnis during his tenure and Savage probably has the unique title of being the only guy to have pinned both 'Tashi & McGinnis. Minor criticism - Not nearly enough super kicks! Too bad The Echo didnt come down to help out ole pal McGinnis. Indy Club reunite plz. Willis return! Face McGinnis makes me a sad man.

    "Noah Stocke: "You know what, I'm not about to deal with this. You're not even booked on this show or any of the following ones, so as far as I see it, you're trespassing. I'm gonna have security deal with you." - this line was miss-assigned/colored Ill forgive you since they have the same first names.

    Interesting segment overall. I think theres been some criticism for how pathetic Blackbird has been in FWA (though likewise some people dont care/dont see it as an issue). Im not big on wrestlers being able to bully management so easily and though I dislike Hanson, I was happy to see him not letting that slide but its looking like he'll cave in. Hanson, there was a camera in there with you, we all saw The Division threaten you into making a match. You dont have to do it. Youre rich af. Pay some guys to follow you around and protect you. I think IRL, it makes sense to see faces outsmart management and I think that really works with Yuna/Blackbird (which are easily the best Blackbird interactions) but I'm not sure how much appeal there is to me in seeing heels constantly bully the guys in charge to get their way.

    I still dont buy fans - Russian fans no less - holding a grudge for MVH's behavior many many years ago. I think the overwhelming current opinion on MVH would've overrode it. That said, obviously her Krash-shit wouldve reversed it all and brought back the heat, and it did for me. I just dont buy announcers using things that happened 5 years ago as justification for disliking her now. But it goes both ways for me, Im not really able to see MVH as a face in FWA now. I wouldnt see Omega as a face in Impact or say NJPW no matter what he did when taking into account what hes doing in AEW. I can buy that for smaller indy companies but I think CWA/FWA are pretty huge and I couldnt compartmentalize how I view her. THAT SAID, I havent read the Lost Treasures show or the GG/MVH promo at this time so maybe you did build off her heelish behavior here. Or maybe not.

    As for the match itself, like I said, Im disliking MVH thanks to her CWA antics which I guess is the intent. Maskell/MVH brawling to a count out was fun but nevertheless the entire match was tainted from the get go knowing what would ultimately happen. Poor Maskell will have to wrestle his butt off to make a comeback in the Gold Rush.

    Im offended at the tag match getting the main event yet again but given theres no guarantee Snowmantashi will be in the finals. Ill hold back my spite. But if he is hypothetically in the finals, I will be angry. Snowmantashi wouldnt be. But Ill be.

    Life lesson incoming for Shawn Summers. Never take unnecessary risks. I do enjoy the justification for why Division wont be around later on.

    Woo McGinnis shenanigans! I question McGinnis saying the name of that Russian city so effortlessly but maybe hes really professional and rehearsed a ton.

    Dont worry Brayden, even if CWA wont recognize your reign, youve got my respect.

    First time listening to Black's theme song. And I really rate it! Thank god for those spoiler tagged videos!

    Snowmantashi dont need another match with McGinnis. He needs that Cyrus Truth! Obviously Im biased and digging Snowmantashi back at his best insurmounteable self. Black's chances are looking slim after this but I think the huge appeal for me with Black is his match with Krash (I have a tiny dream of Krash & Black just starring at each other for twenty minutes).

    Echo have always been great at the pure heel shit. I daresay they were AON at his best heel wise which is a shame given we only get to see them ever so often. The dynamic between them and Division is going to be interesting given their respective demeanors and obviously AON/CBK work well together so it should be cool. I definitely need to send a Murder Inc segment your way because it wont do to let them get overlooked e_e

    Man. Theres something weird about HUMANITY coming out to a spaghetti western song. Doesnt quite fit imo. This is also the first time I hear Cyrus Truth's theme song and I'll also give that an "eh". Not quite the vibe I get from Truth.

    I may have missed this in the match write-up of other matches but while I dont mind the Kane reference for imagery reasons, the mentioning of Jake Roberts doesnt really add much to the match at all. It would be cool if there was an in-universe reference. If say X was doing a bunch of Super Kicks and you referenced McGinnis or Echo, Id respect it but not a fan of the Roberts reference. Nitpick! Anyhow, Truth vs. Tashi! Truth vs. Tashi!

    Id like to think MVH only likes Michelle Kelly cuz they have the same first names tbh. This segment was very tweener/rebel-esque and I guess could make MVH a bit more appealing but not enough to win me over e_e fuck her.

    Christopher Jackson theme song>>>>. And Shawn Summers coming out to Cola has always felt pretty iconic to me. The absolute sights of Summers on the top of the stage while Lana sings "My Pussy Taste Like Pepsi Cola"! Can you imagine the fans joining in "This match-writer cannot believe he only just realised they have the same finisher! Imagine what fun could’ve been had! " jesus. Big shock win for Christopher Jackson whom I nearly expected to go 0-5 here. Unlucky second defeat for Summers who I think is a silent favorite for this tournament so may have a big final 3 nights - especially considering the last one is against Truth! After that near-end comment though, I honestly wouldve liked to have seen a funner finisher duel.

    The Echo going after everyone!

    Big main event worthy of CWA's biggest two true white meat babyfaces. Krash ultimately gets the win (and revenge for Black!) but not without getting taken the distance by Carlos. I still think Carlos is in with a shot at winning, especially given his last night is against Snowmantashi so theres always room for a surprise. Krash vs. Snowmantashi Part 2 should be fun. Ive always presented Snowmantashi as a "force of nature" type so I always felt like his best match-ups were against legit babyfaces in a Disaster movie kinda style (face trying to survive/overcome a natural disaster).

    Fun show overall! Im happy there was less focus on FWA though I noticed this belatedly: "Lindsay Monaghan: “Ladies and gentleman, FWA... and, um, the Russian Federation... are pleased to present a special preview of the upcoming South Pacific "I'm New Here" Battle Royal! Introducing... already in the ring... from his Dojo in Los Angeles…"

    The story progression outside of the Gold Rush and around the tag scene has been fun to see! The Division/Gang Stars/Echo/TUA dynamic is cool and Ill try to give Murder Inc a presence in time for the 3rd or 4th show. Looking forward to the next one!

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