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    Night One | Gazprom Arena. St. Petersburg, Russia.
    Night Two | Red Square. Moscow, Russia.



    We begin with a sweeping shot around the fans already assembled in the Yekaterinburg State Circus, seated and excitedly talking with those around them about the night to come. The same pandemic precautions are in effect here, the travelling circus rolling into a little one situated upon the spine of the Ural mountains, and the event feels all-the-more intimate in this setting. Of course, it was hardly going to feel grander than the modern palace of sports that was the Gazprom Arena in St. Petersburg and the historical setting of Red Square in Moscow: only 2,500 fans crammed inside the building and arranged around the ring in a horseshoe. The show isn’t due to start for another thirty minutes, but they’ve arrived early thanks to the news of a taster designed to whet their whistles…

    The appetiser does not taste good. The excitement and anticipation is somewhat dampened by the appearance of Drew and Ethan Connor, along with their sister Kasey, on the stage. The brothers are all smiles, Drew giving a few crotch chops to the nearby fans whilst Ethan pulls the camera towards him and whispers somes sweet nothings into the lens. Kasey walks ahead of them down the short ring ramp, and when the camera picks her up she blows it a kiss and flashes a wink as she passes.

    Jim Taylor: “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to The Launch-Pad! We have a special exhibition tag team match for you tonight ahead of the Night Three matches in the Gold Rush tournament, and heading to the ring are a team that really made their presence known during Night Two...”

    Drew slides into the ring whilst Ethan circles it, jawing with the fans as he rounds the perimeter. Drew climbs onto the second turnbuckle and flexes his biceps, pointing at the somewhat impressive muscle and grinning widely in the camera’s direction. Kasey claps her brothers from the centre of the ring.

    Tim Coleman: “You can say that again, Tim! The Echo made an impact in Moscow in a big way. Not only did they put down Shawn Summers ahead of his match with Christopher ‘Straight Edge’ Jackson, a match that Summers ended up losing, but they also laid waste to Jackson Fenix and Nate Savage of The Undisputed Alliance…”

    Jim Taylor: “A clear message sent to the CWA tag team division. The Division had already left the capital for Berlin before The Echo pounced on their partner Shawn Summers, which pretty typical of the Connor brothers… and I see they’ve brought another sibling with them to Yekaterinburg!”

    The camera again focuses on Kasey Connor, who has climbed out of the ring and is wandering around the perimeter, her brothers having both entered the squared circle in preparation for their opponents’ arrival. Connor walks past Coleman and Taylor, fully aware that they’re talking about her and lapping up the attention. She sits on the corner as Coleman continues, the announcer doing his best to ignore her presence…

    Tim Coleman: “Kasey Connor is one of the eighteen confirmed competitors in the ”I’m New Here” battle royal at South Pacific, but tonight it looks like she’s here in a strictly managerial capacity…”

    Jim Taylor: “Come on, Tim, she’s a Connor...”

    Kasey can’t help but let out a little giggle, followed by a flutter of the eyelashes in Taylor’s direction…

    Kasey Connor: “And don’t you forget it…”

    With that, she gets up from their desk, and walks back around the ring, conversing with some of the more aggravated front-row fans as she goes.

    Jim Taylor: “It wouldn’t surprise me if Kasey Connor plays a more prominent role in this one that you’d hope…”

    The Connor Brothers wait in the corner, staring out at the entrance and awaiting the appearance of their opponents.

    There’s a pop in the Yekaterinburg State Circus as The Diamond Dogs - Ricardo Vance and Santino Dongarelli - walk out onto the stage with smiles on their faces. They each have a lady on their arm - Dongarelli accompanied by Alina Poonzaretti and Vance by Maya Shagaguchi - as their long-term and loyal valets also make their CWA return! Both of the Diamond Dogs have smiles on their faces, but it’s warmer than the sardonic and cutting grins of The Echo, and they walk to the ring with a gentle, easy swagger.

    Tim Coleman: “Here comes a team prepared to make their first CWA appearance in three years, notably absent from proceedings in last summer's One Night Only event, but they’re here tonight in Yekaterinburg and are scheduled to appear at South Pacific in Vanuatu…”

    Vance is talking to the camera about this triumphant return as he walks down the ramp, eventually relinquishing his hold on the lens to slide into the ring. Both Maya and Alina keeping a watchful eye on Kasey Connor across the ring…

    Jim Taylor: “They will indeed be joining us at South Pacfic, but - whilst The Gang Stars await the announcement of their championship opponents, and The Echo prepare to do battle against The Undisputed Alliance and Murder, Inc. for the next opportunity at those belts - The Diamond Dogs are scheduled to make an appearance against The DiMiaco Brothers on the beach. I don’t know if Ricardo and Santino will be particularly happy about being left out of that conversation…”

    Tim Coleman: “The best way for them to make an impact, and to put their names in that championship picture, is beating The DiMiaco Brothers in Vanuatu… but a much bigger challenge lies ahead tonight, I fear. We’ve already mentioned The Echo’s vendetta against the tag team division: they know how important it is that they back that up in the ring.”

    Jim Taylor: “And there is, of course, interesting backstory here between The Connor Brothers and The Diamond Dogs. Vance and Dongarelli were victorious in the Krash Tag Team Classic back in 2017, capturing the CWA World Tag Team Championships in the process. But The Echo were waiting for them at the presentation ceremony…”

    Tim Coleman: “What followed was a poor-tempered feud between the two teams, and one that never really reached a proper conclusion. The championship match that followed reached a no contest, and no final winner was ever declared. It’s fair to say that there’s a certain amount of bad blood between these teams…”

    The Diamond Dogs are in the ring, and are facing The Echo from across it. As is tradition in Launch-Pad matches Lindsay Monaghan is given some time off, and instead the official busies himself in making his final checks before calling for the bell.

    The Launch-Pad: Tag Team Match.
    THE ECHO [Drew and Ethan Connor, with Kasey Connor] vs. THE DIAMOND DOGS [Ricardo Vance and Santino Dongarelli, with Maya Shaguguchi and Alina Poonzaretti]

    We start off with Dongarelli and Drew in the ring. The Italian-American is able to overpower Drew in the collar and elbow tie up, and manoeuvres into a rear waistlock followed by an early German suplex with a bridge. Connor gets a shoulder up, but Dongarelli keeps the waistlock and drags him to his feet. He looks like he’s going for another German, but Drew blocks it. Dongarelli bundles him forward into the ropes instead and backwards with an O’Conner roll, for which he gets another two-count. There’s separation, but Dongarelli charges Drew immediately with a clothesline attempt. Connor ducks it… superkick attempt! No, Santino recognises it’s coming and backs away to his corner…

    Jim Taylor: “A smile on Drew Connor’s face there after the early superkick attempt, and Santino was wise to get out of dodge there…”

    Tim Coleman: “He retreats to his corner and promptly makes a tag to Vance, who climbs into the ring eagerly.”

    Drew reciprocates with Ethan, and the other Connor climbs into the ring and begins to circle it. It looks like they’re going to tie it up again, but Vance breaks the cycle with a straight right hand! And then a second! The official admonishes him, but Vance doesn’t care. He takes Ethan by the hand and Irish whips him hard into the corner. Ethan’s back slams off it and he stumbles out towards Vance, who lifts him up and over with a back body drop! Connor is quickly up to his feet, but Vance charges him down with a trio of boots to the sternum, followed by a European uppercut, and then a discus lariat! Ricardo goes for the cover, but Ethan is able to kick up at two.

    Vance goes right back to work, hitting a mule kick followed by another European uppercut. Ethan is staggered, and Ricardo backs him up into the team corner with a half-dozen knife edge chops. He tags in Santino, who comes into the ring with his partner, and the pair Irish whip Ethan off a set of ropes. Vance hits a roundhouse kick, taking Ethan off his feet. Santino follows up with a running leg drop! He goes for a cover as Vance slides out of the ring, but again Connor kicks out at two. Dongarelli lifts Ethan back up to his feet, applies a front face lock, and takes him over with a long-delayed vertical suplex!

    Jim Taylor: “Impressive power on display there by Santino Dongarelli, and The Diamond Dogs have certainly looked impressive thus far in their return match-up.”

    Tim Coleman: “For all their bravado last week in Moscow, The Echo have looked a step off the pace so far…”

    Dongarelli neglects going for the pin, and instead climbs out of the ring and begins to ascend towards the top rope. It takes him a moment to steady himself on the top, and before he can stand up straight he notices that Kasey - a devious and suggestive smile on her face - has hopped up onto the ring apron. He does his best to ignore her, but it gives him a moment’s pause…

    Jim Taylor: “The official really has to get Kasey Connor off the apron, which he now does, but the distraction has already been made…”

    Tim Coleman: “And Drew strides across the apron to make the most of it! He pushes Santino off the top rope, and Dongarelli flies through the air into the steel barricade!”

    Vance is immediately over towards the scene of the crime to confront Drew, but the official tells him to get back to his own corner, wanting to stem the chaos before it really gets going. Meanwhile, Ethan is back to his feet, and slides out of the ring to greet Santino. He lifts Dongarelli up by the scruff of the neck, and propels him face-first into the steel ring post! Santino slumps to the mat, and Connor lifts him back up in a front facelock before delivering a snap suplex on the outside!

    Ethan lifts Dongarelli up and slides him into the ring, and when he tags in his brother it’s clear that the tables have well and truly turned. The Echo enjoy a lengthy period of domination to follow, punctuated by frequent tags and the brothers cutting the ring in half so as to isolate their opponent. Whenever they make a tag, the two brothers stay in the ring together to perform some double team offense: sometimes some shared strikes like stomp stampedes or alternating forearms, but they often get a little more inventive. At one point, Ethan throws Santino off the ropes and hits a powerslam, followed by a slingshot leg drop from Drew. Later on, Drew holds Dongarelli in a wheel-barrow whilst Ethan springboards into the ring and nails him with a cutter! This gets a two count and earns the brothers a begrudging round of applause from the assembled audience.

    The brothers also run through a fair amount of their individual offense during this period. Drew goes through a spot where he repeatedly lifts Santino up, throws him off the ropes, and hits a leg lariat - perhaps half a dozen times in total, eventually pinning and getting two and a half. He’s also able to hit a dragonrana and, again for a two, an impressive moonsault into a DDT to a staggered, standing Dongarelli. Ethan, meanwhile, at one stage stops a Dongarelli surge in its infancy with a Pele kick, and also adds to the near-fall count with a leg trap sunset flip powerbomb, and later a standing shiranui. When Dongarelli gets a shoulder up after this move more than a little frustration creeps across Ethan’s face.

    Jim Taylor: “Incredible resilience on display from Santino Dongarelli here tonight, but you’ve got to think this is just a matter of time for The Echo. We’re past the ten minute mark and, other than some offense for The Diamond Dogs at the very start of the match, The Connors have had their way in this one…”

    Drew is tagged into the ring, and he waits patiently in the corner for Dongarelli to get up. Santino does slowly but surely, and he turns around to see Connor charging at him for an attempted superkick… but Santino ducks beneath it! And he nails the turning Drew with an enziguri! Drew Connor is staggered… brainbuster!!!!

    Tim Coleman: “Santino calls that one the Concussionator… and now is his opportunity to tag in Vance…”

    Dongarelli crawls slowly to the corner, each of the three valets cheering on their respective charges from outside the ring… and then Santino tags in Ricardo! Just as Drew lets Ethan into the match! The two come into the ring and Vance wipes Ethan out with a clothesline! Connor is straight back up but Vance hits him with a flapjack! Here comes Drew… kick to the midsection… Vance nails him with a sit-out crucifix powerbomb!!

    Jim Taylor: “I believe Vance calls that one the Jaeger Bomb! Drew Connor rolls out of the ring, he might be done after that...”

    Vance is stalking Ethan, waiting for him to get up to his feet. He finally does, and Ricardo doubles Ethan over with a boot to the midsection… then a high speed roundhouse kick! Vance hits the ropes… running knee! He calls that combination the Money Shot, and Vance goes for the cover…

    ONE… TWO… TH - - NO!

    Tim Coleman: “How did Ethan Connor kick out of that one?! Vance almost took his head off!”

    Vance signals that it’s time for this one to end. He again waits for Ethan to get to his feet, and begins to hoist Connor up for his 69 Shocker Bomb… no! Ethan wriggles, and Vance is forced to drop him. Ethan lands on his feet…

    Jim Taylor: “SUPERKICK!!! Ethan kicks Vance’s head into the stands!”

    Tim Coleman: “And now look at Alina Poonzaretti! She’s up on the apron, trying to distract Ethan. And look out for Santino, he’s back to his feet and stalking Ethan Connor from behind…”

    Jim Taylor: “But here comes Kasey Connor! She rips Alina from the apron by the ankle. Poonzaretti’s face bounces off the apron! AND THEN A SUPERKICK FOR ALINA!”

    Back in the ring, Ethan turns around to see Santino, who charges at him for a leaping lariat…

    … but Ethan Connor catches him in mid-air with a superkick!!! Dongarelli falls out of the air like a swatted fly, and Ethan busies himself in picking up Vance. He notices Drew getting up to the apron, and lifts Ricardo up for the tombstone. Drew springboards in, flips, and they nail Ricardo Vance with the Skull-Fucker!!

    Drew looks out for Dongarelli (whilst, just for good measure, Kasey hits Maya with a superkick on the outside), and Ethan hooks Vance’s leg…

    Result: The Echo defeat The Diamond Dogs via pinfall at 15:51.

    Ethan is up to his feet and he and his brother demand that the official lift their arms in victory. Kasey looks very pleased with her brothers, not to mention with herself, as she slides into the ring and claps them from a corner. Vance, meanwhile, rolls to the outside in the general vicinity of Dongarelli.

    Jim Taylor: “Not the ending that these fans wanted to see, no doubt, but The Echo showed us why they’re multiple time tag team champions with an impressive victory here over The Diamond Dogs. They settled an historic score and sent a message to the rest of the tag team division.”

    Drew and Ethan Connor climb to opposite corners, Ethan jawing towards the camera about their considerable claim to another tag team championship shot. Kasey stands in the centre of the ring with her hands on her hips, a smirk on her face, slowly nodding her head as Primus rings out again.

    Tim Coleman: “And something tells me that won’t be the last time we see The Echo here tonight in Yekaterinburg. There’s a lot of wrestling still to come and I’d be surprised if that was the last time the Connors had their say in the State Circus…”

    Jim Taylor: “Be careful what you wish for, Tim. But we’ll find out the answer to that question, and hopefully many others, in just a few short minutes. Ladies and gentlemen, Night Three is coming right up!”


    Live from the Yekaterinburg State Circus in Yekaterinburg, Russia.

    We open with a wide shot of the city skyline of Yekaterinburg, the camera slowly sweeping over the landscape as the now-familiar sound of A Tribe Called Quest comes through our speakers. The Iset River is still frozen over despite Spring apparently beginning to take hold, and we can see an old woman walking over the surface of the lake as we pass by. We continue to pan past the Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints.

    As the site of the execution of the last Tsar’s family by the Bolsheviks - the sudden, violent finishing point of a long dynasty - the imagery is self-evident and evocative. Children play in the snow in front of it, using a make-shift ice slide that drops them with a thud into a lower courtyard. We leave this scene, the sounds of the CWA audience becoming clearer and clearer as our camera pans up high over the city, refocusing on the Yekaterinburg State Circus in the distance.

    Jim Taylor: “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to our coverage of Night Three of the Gold Rush tournament! We are live in Yekaterinburg at the State Circus for what promises to be yet another pulsating night of CWA action…”

    We cut to an interior shot within our venue for the evening. It is clearly a lot smaller and more intimate that the Gazprom Arena in St. Petersburg and Red Square in Moscow, but no less intriguing. Just over 2,500 fans are packed into its stands that surround the ring in a horseshoe, a short ramp leading to a large screen at the open end. We sweep over the ring with its CWA logo and four sponsors - Аерофлот, МТС, Газпром, and Фон-бет - printed on the mat, and see Lindsay Monaghan - dressed as a ring-master - standing to attention for the start of the show. A highlights package is showing, the finishes of the first two nights recounted in turn. There is no pyro tonight, but trapeze artists swing from the ceiling above the fans as we get a panning shot that encapsulates their excitement for the evening ahead.

    Tim Coleman: “That’s right, Jim. Tonight marks us moving past the half-way point of the tournament, and already some favourites have emerged from amongst the field.”

    Jim Taylor: “Cyrus Truth is certainly the frontrunner in Pool B. He’s moved ahead of the pack on four points, thanks to victories over Christopher Jackson and Humanity. He’ll be looking to continue his winning ways in tonight’s main event against Nate Savage.”

    Tim Coleman: “But ‘Nasty’ Nate is only a point behind Truth himself, also undefeated with a draw and a victory over Jonathan McGinnis. Savage will be looking to cause another upset here tonight…”

    Jim Taylor: “And if not, there are sharks circling just behind Truth and Savage. Christopher Jackson and the aforementioned McGinnis both sit on two points, and will face off against one another. Meanwhile, Humanity and Shawn Summers will look to record their first victory in our second match-up of the evening.”

    Tim Coleman: “Pool A throws up a huge match-up tonight: Krash against Jon Snowmantashi. Both men have recorded back-to-back victories, Krash triumphing over Michelle von Horrowitz in St. Petersburg and Chubby Carlos in Moscow, whilst Snowmantashi has beaten Dan Maskell and Alyster Black. I don’t think I can even begin to predict a winner in that one!”

    Jim Taylor: “You mentioned Krash’s victory over Chubby Carlos on Night Two, and The Chubster will be looking to get back to winning ways later tonight against The White Wolf’s other previous opponent, Michelle von Horrowitz. That’s a historic first time meeting, Tim, but it’s fair to say my excitement for it has been somewhat soured by von Hororwitz’s actions thus far in the tournament.”

    Tim Coleman: “MvH alluded to it herself, Jim. It seems her eyes are turned almost entirely on Night Four, and that Five-Star Attraction rematch with Jon Snowmantashi. The contest with Chubby Carlos tonight is little more than an inconvenience…”

    Jim Taylor: “We’ll see if Carlos can coax some sort of moral fibre and sporting spirit out of Dreamer later on tonight, but first up it’s time for our opening match from Pool A!”

    There’s a mixed reaction for Alyster Black when he walks out onto the stage. He has his World Tag Team Championship belt on his shoulder, surveying the audience nonchalantly before beginning to make his way down the short ramp towards the ring…

    Jim Taylor: “Here is a man that is still looking to record his first victory in the Gold Rush tournament… something that’s true about both of these competitors. Black has had back-to-back defeats to start this tournament off, first to Chubby Carlos and then to Jon Snowmantashi. He needs to win tonight or, in all likelihood, his chances of making it through to the finals are gone…”

    Tim Coleman: “That might be true, Jim. But then again, it might not be a bad thing. Alyster Black is already scheduled to compete at South Pacific against an as-yet-unannounced opponent in a defense, alongside Krash, of his CWA World Tag Team Championships. Black would be pulling double duty at the end of a long, intensive tournament. Krash still has that to worry about.”

    Jim Taylor: “I don’t think Black - or Krash for that matter - will be thinking about it that way. He’s a proud man, and every one of these defeats will sting. Black won’t throw the towel in, even if he can’t qualify.”

    Tim Coleman: “You think that’s true of his match against Krash next time out at Baikal, Jim?”

    Jim Taylor: “Interesting question…”

    Black has climbed into the ring and he loosens up against the ring ropes, staring at the entrance as his music fades out. Quickly, it’s replaced by...

    There’s an overwhelmingly negative reaction for the triple crown champion as Dan Maskell walks onto the stage. There’s a sneer on his face as he swaggers down the ramp, loosening his joints up as he goes…

    Jim Taylor: “Here comes a man who has hardly enamoured himself to these Russian fans since the start of this tournament. His record isn’t much better than Black’s, truth be told. He’s also yet to win, having lost to Jon Snowmantashi and then fighting to a double countout with Michelle von Horrowitz. That draw gave Maskell his single Gold Rush point thus far, and he needs to start building on that quickly…”

    Tim Coleman: “Indeed, especially when you think about Jon Snowmantashi and Krash, who are out ahead in Pool A on four points, and then Chubby Carlos lurking behind them on two. Carlos will hope to add to that total against MvH later on tonight, and Dan Maskell really can’t afford to be left behind here…”

    Maskell hops up and over the top rope and stares down Black as he crosses the ring, taking up position in a corner and waiting for the introductions to be made. Lindsay Monaghan climbs into the ring and received a loud cheer for throwing herself into things in full ring-master get-up.

    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!”

    Maskell almost snarls at the audience as they boo his name, flexing in an ugly fashion in his corner as he limbers up. Black is unmoved by the display.

    Lindsay Monaghan: “And his opponent, in the corner to my right… 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 a cheer in the Yekaterinburg State Circus for one half of the tag team champions, but Black doesn’t register it. His unerring focus is placed on his opponent as the official calls for us to get underway with Night Three of the Gold Rush...

    Pool A - Night Three - Match Thirteen.


    The two combatants begin to circle one another, before locking up, jockeying for position. This lasts for all of two seconds, before Dan Maskell pushes Alyster Black away with a very off-color insult that I won't repeat in writing. Black reels back, before replying with an equally vulgar remark. The censors are going to have a field day with these two. Snarling, Maskell approaches for another lockup - but Alyster fakes him out, and instead catches Maskell with a jab straight to the jaw! That's all Maskell needs to respond in kind, and the two rapidly unload with clubbing blows on each other!

    Jim Taylor: “If you were coming into this match expecting a technical classic, ladies and gentlemen, then you're barking up the wrong tree. Dan Maskell is famed for having fists faster than his mouth, and Alyster Black is one of the most scrappy til-one-of-us-dies brawlers in wrestling. This isn't going to be glitz and glamour, this is going to be a pure slugfest until someone can't take anymore."

    It's difficult to tell who's gaining the advantage, with neither man willing to stop for even a second, the referee trying to force himself between the two to get some separation, only yo get pushed out of the way by Alyster Black. That split second is enough for Dan Maskell to land a vicious uppercut that rattles teeth, sending Black staggering into a corner. And now Maskell has the clear advantage, releasing pointed blows to the torso, the abdomen, driving all the air out of his opponent. The referee finally gets between the two, forcing Maskell to retreat, and despite swearing all the while, Maskell obliges. The referee turns back to Black, ducking just in time for Black to leap over him and swing for the fences at Maskell with a lariat, catching him right on the bridge of the nose!

    Tim Coleman: “I don't envy that referee, having to place himself between two very vile and violent fighters. At this point he should just throw his hands up, let Alyster & Dan murder each other, then declare whoever moves first the winner."

    And now it's Alyster Black's turn to just unload on Dan Maskell, tackling him into a corner and raining down blows to the dome with a forearm, elbow, forearm, elbow, forearm, elbow, a six-point combination attack that has Maskell seeing stars. Maskell begins to slump, falling to a knee, and Black switches to stomping the life out of his opponent. The referee jumps inbetween them, earning a brief chorus of booing, as he demands that Black back away. Black looks like he might just be considering decking the referee too and going back to beating Maskell, but has second thoughts, and relents, as Maskell rolls out onto the apron. Black steps up to meet him, but the referee once again gets in his way.

    Jim Taylor: “The referee really wants this to be a nice clean fight, and he's not going to get it. Points for perseverance though."

    "Don't touch him until he enters the ring!" The referee demands, gesturing pointedly. Alyster Black, baffled, shrugs, and steps back. Dan Maskell lifts his leg through the ropes, ducking to enter - only for Black to kick not Maskell, but the second rope, causing it to strike Maskell in the groin as the audience collectively clenches in sympathy pain! Maskell slumps, cursing, and the referee shoots Black a glare, only for Black to reply that he kicked the rope, not Maskell, therefore he obeyed his orders.

    Tim Coleman: “Friendly reminder that those ring ropes aren't just ropes. Traditionally speaking, they're either steel cables wrapped in rubber, or fibre ropes wrapped in tape. Either way, not something you'd want striking a tender area. This is shaping up to be every bit as barbaric as I imagined."

    Black unleashes a goal-scoring soccer ball kick to the ribs of Maskell, sending him to a corner. He follows it with a running face wash, before scraping the sole of his boot against Maskell's face in an act purely to hurt. Once, twice, three times! Maskell finally rolls away onto the apron, using the ropes to climb to his feet, and Black immediately intercepts him with a front facelock, lifting him up in a suplex attempt, but dumping him gut first across the top rope! Before Maskell can even take a breathe, Black follows it up with a yakuza kick to the dome, sending him careening to the floor outside!

    Jim Taylor: “This is the fire Alyster Black needs to harness to get his first win in the CWA Gold Rush Tournament! Outside of the opening minute, this has been all Alyster so far!"

    Black exits the ring, meeting Maskell on the outside, and refuses to give him more than a second of reprieve before continuing the assault, lifting Maskell to his feet and throwing him at the barricade! And again! He goes for it a third time, only for Maskell to reverse and send Black not into the barricade, but over it into the front row, finally getting a moment to breathe. And after a few seconds of catching his breathe, Dan Maskell looks at Alyster Black, and snarls.

    Tim Coleman: “I don't like that hungry look in Dan Maskell's eyes. It's nothing unusual, but it never fails to send a shiver down my spine."

    Dan Maskell boots Alyster Black in the face, before grabbing his head and ramming it against the barricade railing again, and again, and again, and again, and again! He relents only to grip Black in a front facelock, drag him partially over the barricade, and deadlift suplex him onto the harsh, unforgiving floor!

    Jim Taylor: “That's an equalizer, if anything!"

    Maskell grips Black by the mask, shoving him into the ring. He makes for the lateral press, but gets a two count and a flipped bird for his troubles. He drags Black to his feet, and nails the Russian Roulette! Black stumbles, leaning against the ropes for stability, and Maskell hits ANOTHER one! Two discuss elbows to the back of the head! Followed by the Maskell Millennium! A three-peat of devastating moves that could put away any man for a three count! He makes the cover again!

    ONE… TWO… T - - NO!


    Not to be deterred, Maskell transitions into the Last Impression, making sure to grind his forearm against the nose of Black for extra discomfort! Black grunts, reaching an arm out wildly for the ropes, but he's too far away!

    Tim Coleman: “The Last Impression, dead center of the ring, nowhere to go. If Black doesn't find a way to break it, he's going to have to tap out."

    Rapidly realizing this, Black switches from trying to grab the ropes with a hand, to instead try to grab at the face of Maskell. Maskell turns his head, avoiding the slapping, but it's not a slap Black's after - no, he hooks a finger in Maskell's eye socket and thrusts! Yelping, Maskell breaks the hold, more out of shock than pain, quickly making sure he still has working eyes, while Black starts to crawl to a corner. Maskell marches, gripping Black by the mask, but Black kicks his knee out from under him, then nails a seated flatliner, with Maskell's head bouncing off the second turnbuckle!

    Jim Taylor: “There's the comeback!"

    Black crawls to the center of the ring, mustering up the strength to stand, while Maskell recovers. Maskell sprints with a lariat, but Black catches him with a pop-up Death Valley Driver, nailing him into the mat! He follows with a quick Shining Wizard! He hooks the leg, got it in deep!

    ONE… TWO… NO!

    Kickout! Dan Maskell kicks out! Alyster Black doesn't let up, and gets Maskell in position for the Satan's Spike DDT! But Maskell struggles, offsetting the balance, and instead transitions it into a jawbreaker, stunning Black! Before he can reciver, Maskell nails Black with the Better Luck Tomorrow, dumping Black on his head! He makes the cover!

    ONE… TWO… THR - - NO!

    Kickout! Alyster Black kicks out!

    Tim Coleman: “Alyster Black is showing a lot of resiliency in surviving Dan Maskell, he's like a cockroach, he can't be killed!"

    A barely motionless Black flips the bird.

    Maskell flips it right back at him, with the addition of a colorful insult. He drags Black to his feet, and motions for the Big Ben Bash - but Black slips out of it, and cracks Maskell with an awful headbutt! And another one! A final headbutt, Shibata-like in it's cringeness, drops Maskell to his knees, and Black backs up, before sprinting for the One-Shot Kill! But Maskell ducks, stopping Black in his tracks, and before he can turn around Black is met with a headbutt of Maskell's own, this one aimed squarely at the back of Black's head! Black staggers, but Maskell has a firm grip on Black's arms, trapped in a death grip, as he unleashes another sickening headbutt to the back of Black's head! A third and final one before he lets go, and Black falls to his knees. Maskell takes only a second to recover, before sprinting with a Northern Lariat, damn near beheading Alyster Black!

    Jim Taylor: “Those headbutts were sickening to watch, folks. But with the Northern Lariat, it's all over. Count the pinfall, Dan!"

    But Maskell doesn't. He glares at Black's body with an expression of disgust, because despite everything, Alyster Black is still moving, still on his hands and knees trying to will himself to muster a defence. The Northern Lariat shut the engine off, but the lights are still on.

    Tim Coleman: “The will to fight is strong, but the body has taken a lot of damage…"

    Black mumbles something the mics don't pick up, but whatever it was, it spurs Maskell into action, shoving Black facedown onto the mat and placing a knee on his upper back. With one hand he grips the top of Black's mask, dragging Black's face above the mat, and with the other, he strikes with a blood-chilling elbow to the back of the head!

    Jim Taylor: “Jesus christ…"

    Black faceplants into the mat, but Maskell keeps his grip, and drags him up again, before doing it a second time! And a third! Faster and faster, more and more vicious, strikes with zero technique but hitting the mark all the same! And every blow takes a little bit more away from Alyster Black, as the referee starts trying to force Maskell away. With a final blow, Maskell releases his hold, letting Alyster Black slump against the mat, motionless, and Maskell rolls away. The referee checks on Black, and immediately calls for the bell!
    Result: Dan Maskell defeats Alyster Black via knockout at 13:52.


    Maskell stands up to celebrate his victory and is surprised to see the official standing close to him. The referee wants to lift his hand, as is tradition, but The Heretic takes an angry step towards him to run him off. Meanwhile, Alyster Black rolls under the bottom rope, Maskell paying him no mind and beating his own chest with pride.

    Jim Taylor: “That win was exactly what Dan Maskell needed tonight. He leaps above Chubby Carlos in the Pool A standings, though of course The Chubster is still to compete here in Yekaterinburg…”

    Tim Coleman: “And Black slumps to a third straight defeat. I don’t think it’s mathematically impossible, but Black needs a lot of things to go his way if he’s to qualify for the finals at South Pacific. That match against his tag team partner next week will be very interesting, especially considering Krash’s own chances of making the final four in Vanuatu.”

    Dan Maskell stomps up the ramp and doesn’t break stride, disappearing again through the curtain. The camera instead focuses on Black, disappointment bubbling over to anger as he slams his fists down onto the ring apron.

    Jim Taylor: “That’s just one of the mouth-watering contests we’ll witness at Baikal, Tim! But first it’s time for us to look ahead to South Pacific… and we’re about to show you a VT that was sent into us tonight by two of the confirmed participants in the Vanuatu event…”

    Jermaine Creed sleeps, sprawled across the couch.

    Kendrick Lethal: “Yo, wake the f*** up!”

    Kendrick Lethal comes from behind the camera, walks around the small living room table and shoves Jermaine Jackson’s bottom half off the couch. The smaller of the two wakes up nonchalantly and takes a moment to gather himself, unhurried by his partner.

    Kendrick Lethal: “We’re live, dog.”

    The bigger man takes a seat to the screen right of Jermaine who grabs a half-full cup of what is undoubtedly lukewarm water by now.

    Jermaine Creed: “Oh? Word, word.”

    Kendrick shakes his head and takes the lead.

    Kendrick Lethal: “Y’all know it was what, a year ago?”

    He seems to ask the question of Jermaine but the man is half-paying attention.

    Jermaine Creed: “What was?”

    Kendrick Lethal: “CWA One Night Only, man. Main event. CWA Tag Team Champions. The Gang Stars. The Echo. The Division. A ladder match. They stole the show. All everyone was talking about. Look what they’re doing for tag team wrestling. They’re changing the whole game! And look at ‘em now. They’re trying to do the same damn thing for South Pacific. They’re all stealing the show. Every time I turn on Gold Rush, it’s the Echo buzzing around the locker room like gnats to a fruit. They got the Gang Stars in that Gold Rush shit, everyone worrying about the shit they f***ing up elsewhere. They got the Undisputed Alliance in there. Division ain’t even supposed to be at South Pacific but they know there’s that special little empty spot in that main event, and ain’t no motherf***ers love getting a shot without earning it like them two.”

    Jermaine Creed: “Word, word. And what they saying about Murder, Inc.”

    Kendrick Lethal deadpan looks at the camera, but has nothing to say.

    Jermaine Creed: “Yo, what they saying about Murder, Inc, man!?”

    Kendrick Lethal: “They ain’t saying shit, Jermaine. Apparently, in CWA, it’s the dogs that bark the loudest that get talked about. And we ain’t never been the loudest barkers, J.”

    Jermaine Creed: “Ah, man. Whatever. That shit don’t matter. Our names show up on that show the only spot it needs to show up.”

    Kendrick Lethal: “Where’s that?”

    Jermaine Creed: “CWA World Tag Team Championships: #1 Contendership Match. First name under that - Murder, Inc. That means we ain’t gotta run around howling every time ten minutes pass without someone mentioning our names. We ain’t gotta stalk around in leather waiting for a b*tch to turn their backs. We’re Murder, Inc, dawg. You set the date. You show up. We show up. We beat the shit outta you, we walk out. We get paid. It’s simple, man. It’s always been simple. You ain’t gotta run around makin’ it complicated.”

    Kendrick Lethal: “That right?”

    Jermaine Creed: “That’s right. They only need to call our names twice: right before the bell rings. We snap a leg. Bell rings, again. They say our names again. That’s all that matters, man. Echo, T-U-A, any of y’all that think you’re putting ‘tag team’ back on the map. Y’all keep doing you. If that’s talking your shit week in, week out. If y’all afraid people gon’ forget your name before the credits run out. Keep running your mouth. Keep barking. Do you. Murder, Inc - they always gon’ do them. You can forget about us. Sweep our name under the rug. But eventually, they gon’ call our names, and that’s all we need, man. We don't need none of that extra shit. Y'all wanna f*** around fighting for that spotlight till then. Feel free, man. We gon see y’all at South Pacific, and it don't matter which one of y'all got the spotlight walking in, you best believe we gon have that spotlight walking out."

    Jermaine allows only a moment for his words to marinate.

    Jermaine Creed: "Now, turn that shit off. I need to sleep.”

    Jermaine doesn't wait for the camera to cut off before propping his feet on the table and passing back out. Kendrick shrugs. The feed cuts.

    We are back in the arena for...

    The boos seem to win out over the cheers as Humanity comes out into the Yekaterinburg State Circus. He looks around at the small but loud crowd and makes his short walk down the ramp.

    Jim Taylor: “I think it’s fair to say that it’s been a disappointing tournament so far for Humanity. He took Nate Savage to the twenty minute time limit in St. Petersburg, and there were some plaudits for Humanity that night for the impressive resilience on display…”

    Tim Coleman: “That’s right, Jim. But I also think it’s true that Savage would probably have won that match if it had gone a few minutes longer. And then in Moscow we saw Cyrus Truth defeat Humanity and send him tumbling towards the bottom of Pool B.”

    Jim Taylor: “All is not lost for Humanity, though: a win tonight would take him right back into the chasing pack. But that might not be an easy task…”

    Humanity has climbed into the ring. He retreats into a corner, leaning against the turnbuckles and looking out over the audience as his music fades out...

    There’s another mixed reaction, but this time it seems to be more positive than negative. Shawn Summers walks out onto the stage, a serious countenance on display and a glare for Humanity in the ring as he begins his descent of the ramp.

    Jim Taylor: “It really is do or die for Shawn Summers here tonight, Tim. He’s lost both of his matches in the Gold Rush tournament so far: against Jonathan McGinnis and then Christopher Jackson last week. But his defeat to ‘Straight Edge’ was marred by an attack earlier in the night…”

    Tim Coleman: “An attack that is as yet to be fully explained, Jim. Drew and Ethan Conner laid waste to Shawn Summers in the State Historical Museum at Red Square shortly before he was due to compete. And we saw them do the same to Nate Savage and Jackson Fenix of The Undisputed Alliance later in the night…”

    Jim Taylor: “Somewhat conveniently The Division had already left Moscow to catch a flight to Berlin last week, and again they are absent from the arena as they compete in Paris later on tonight. Shawn Summers is going to have to go it alone again in Yekaterinburg, and one would believe he will have to keep looking over his shoulder. Not ideal considering Humanity needs to win, too…”

    Summers has climbed into the ring and begins to pace in his own corner, intermittently glaring over in Humanity’s direction as he does so. Lindsay Monaghan climbs into the ring, the crowd wooping her and her ringmaster’s outfit once more, as she prepares to make her introductions...

    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 is mostly boos. He simply loosens up in his corner and continues to stare across the ring at his opponent.

    Lindsay Monaghan: “And his opponent… 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!”

    More boos and cheers, the audience not quite sure what to make of either of the competitors in this one. Shawn Summers doesn’t care: he looks ready for action, fully aware of the enormity of the task in front of him, but staring it down anyway. When Monaghan vacates the ring and the official has made his final checks, he signals for it to begin...

    Pool B - Night Three - Match Fourteen.

    Shawn Summers is still pacing in his corner when the bell is finally rung, glancing across the ring as he goes at Humanity. It’s quite clear that he’s enraged, and the commentators again discuss the events of Night Two at the hands of The Echo, and it’s bubbling over now that he can hear the roar of the crowd. Finally, he lunges right at Humanity… and takes him down with a clothesline! Then a second! Humanity eats a drop kick, and Shawn Summers gets up beating his chest. The audience, surprisingly, are on his side, most probably down to who his opponent is, but there’s a certain amount of underdog spirit about Summers given his trajectory in the tournament so far. He lifts Humanity up by the scruff of the neck and throws him into a set of ropes, taking him down upon re-approach with a high knee!

    Jim Taylor: “Shawn Summers starting this one as he means to go on…”

    Tim Coleman: “He’s been stewing on his two losses ever since we left Moscow, I’m sure. There’s a lot of pent-up aggression apparent in Shawn Summers here!”

    Summers proceeds to dominate the early stretches of the match. He follows Humanity around the ring as he tries to escape his clutches, wearing him down with a series of knife edge chops and European uppercuts. He punctuates his strikes with some high-impact moves, including a reverse DDT and a vertical delayed suplex, the latter of which gets him a two count. Summers follows up by grabbing Humanity’s leg and attempting to turn him over with a single-leg Boston crab. Humanity is having none of it, though, and he lashes out with a boot to the face. Summers releases and Humanity scrambles up, charging at Shawn… but Summers rolls him up in a small package!

    ONE… TWO… T - - NO!

    Jim Taylor: “Summers very nearly wrapping this one up at just after the five minute mark with that pinning combination. Humanity has to be careful not to be caught unawares…”

    Both men are up to their feet, and Summers ducks a clothesline attempt from Humanity. He goes into a rear waistlock and attempts a German, but Humanity blocks it and fires off a series of elbows to the side of Summers’ head. Shawn maintains his grip and bundles Humanity forward into the ropes, attempting an O’Conner roll. Humanity grips the top rope and Summers rolls back without him… and then Shawn eats a mule kick! Followed by a pair of forearms… and then a hellacious headbutt takes him down! Summers is on the mat and Humanity is on him with a half-dozen stomps, before mounting him to lay in a series of heavy forearms to his grounded opponent. This causes a big shift in momentum, and Humanity lifts Summers up, boots him in the midsection, and then hits a spike DDT! He hooks the leg and gets a two-count, but is able to settle into a rhythm from here.

    At various points in the next portion of the match Humanity is able to manhandle Summers and send him to the mat with a series of power moves. He’s successful with a snap suplex and a belly-to-belly side slam, and later on earns himself another two count with a German with a bridge. All-the-while, Humanity is punctuating his offense with combinations of his heavy and varied striking game. One such exchange sees Humanity lay into Summers with a knife edge chop, then an overhand chop, followed by a throat jab, another headbutt, and then a discus clothesline to take him down. The audience begrudgingly show their respect for Humanity for this torrent of blows, but it’s still only enough for a two count.

    Jim Taylor: “And just there we see Humanity glare at the official, perhaps frustration creeping in…”

    Tim Coleman: “Yeah, and he needs to be careful. Shawn Summers is not a man that you want to take your eye off.”

    Humanity refocuses his attention and lifts Summers up into a bear hug, grinding him down as the clock passes ten minutes. It does appear that Shawn is fading, and at one stage the official is forced to intervene to check if he’s still conscious. Summers clenches his fist before his hand falls to his side, though, and begins to rally himself. He drives the point of his elbow down into Humanity’s head, but Humanity still doesn’t release the hold! It’s only when Summers slams his own head into his opponent’s that Humanity finally relinquishes, and Summers follows up with a boot to the midsection. He drags him into position for a powerbomb, but Humanity lifts him up and over with a back body drop reversal. Summers hits the mat and Humanity is on him, placing him in a front face lock and dragging him towards the side of the ring. He throws Summers’ body through the second and third ropes, still maintaining the front face lock, and beginning to drag Shawn into position…

    Jim Taylor: “Is he thinking about a rope-hung DDT here?”

    Tim Coleman: “I think so, but there we see Summers begin to fight out with right hand after right hand to the side… Finally, Humanity releases him, and Summers escapes onto the apron…”

    Jim Taylor: “Before leaping over the top rope into the ring… sling-shot DDT!! Humanity is spiked onto his head, and Summers goes for a cover…”

    ONE… TWO… TH - - NO!

    Humanity kicks out, and this time it’s Summers’ turn to express his disbelief. He shakes his head in the official’s general direction before lifting Humanity up to his feet… axe kick! Humanity is rocked… bearhug… belly-to-belly overhead suplex! Summers is feeling that the end is close now, and he stalks Humanity as he gets to his feet once more. Shawn boots him in the midsection to double him over and busies himself in hooking the arms… no, Humanity drops down to a knee and then wriggles out… he maintains wrist control… clothesline! Summers is taken down, but Humanity drags him up to his feet… headbutt! Summers is rocked again!

    Jim Taylor: “Summers is precarious here! A loss to Humanity means he’s out of the tournament! This could be it!”

    Tim Coleman: “And now Humanity lifts him up into a fireman’s carry… he’s looking for that Devil’s Whisper neckbreaker!!”

    Humanity takes a deep breath, and then tries to shift Summers for the move… but Shawn over-rotates, and nails a spinning reverse DDT!! The audience pop for the fluid reversal, and Summers is driven on to his feet… Humanity is fighting up, and is on his hands and knees… it’s all the invitation Summers needs: he hooks the arms, and nails his kneeling face-buster!

    Jim Taylor: “The Prophecy!! Shawn Summers gets all of it!!”

    Summers turns Humanity over, and hooks BOTH legs just to be sure…

    Result: Shawn Summers defeats Humanity via pinfall at 15:06.


    Summers rolls off Humanity and kneels in the ring for a moment, considering how close he came to a defeat and a loss from the tournament, before he finally gets to his feet again. ‘Cola’ begins to play out around the Circus, Summers nodding his head in self-affirmation before he climbs out of the ring.

    Jim Taylor: “Well, that’s the first time we’ve seen Summers hit The Prophecy in the Gold Rush tournament, and it’s the first time we’ve seen him win…”

    Tim Coleman: “He’s still in a precarious position in Pool B, especially with Jackson, McGinnis, Truth, and Savage all still to wrestle later on tonight. But at least he’s started his tally…”

    Jim Taylor: “Meanwhile, Humanity slumps to one point. Not the outcome he’d have been hoping for here tonight. His odds of progression are getting slimmer by the week.”

    Humanity is helped up to his feet by an official, but quickly pushes said referee away and stands on his own two feet. He looks nonplussed at both the result and the offer of assistance. With his hands on his hips, Humanity looks out at the arena, shaking his head in disapproval…

    Jim Taylor: “He simply has to win his last two match-ups to have any chance of progressing. But the same could be said of Shawn Summers…”

    Tim Coleman: “That was true before this match-up, and Summers picked up the first of the three wins he needs. Next week he will go one on one with Nate Savage, though, and then finally he’ll be up against Cyrus Truth. And neither of those men have lost so far in this tournament!”

    Jim Taylor: “That will probably change tonight, though, when those two face off in our main event! Speaking of which, Michelle Kelly is standing by with Nate Savage to get his thoughts on that crunch Pool B encounter…”

    Michelle Kelly is standing by backstage with Nate Savage and Jackson Fenix at his side. Nate and Jackson both look very confused by what Michelle is wearing: a lion tamer outfit replete with whip, leather pants, and bright red top hat.

    Michelle Kelly: “Nate, at Night Two of the Gold Rush, we saw you earn a victory over Jonathan McGinnis. That win gave you 2 points and put you at three altogether thus far in the tournament. Now, tonight you square off with Cyrus Truth in what is considered a dream match for CWA fans...”

    Nate puts his hand up to stop Michelle from speaking.

    Nate Savage: “Before I get to that, I just have to ask... what the hell are you wearing, Michelle?”

    Michelle takes a look at her outfit and doesn’t see anything wrong with it.

    Michelle Kelly: “We’re in the State Circus here in Yekaterinburg, so it seemed fitting!”

    Jackson Fenix: “You’re right about that, Michelle, because you look like you belong in a circus dressed like that!”

    Michelle just rolls her eyes in annoyance.

    Nate Savage: “Whatever, anyway, yes, I face Cyrus Truth tonight. Someone that I have never shared a ring with before, surprisingly. Cyrus’ accomplishments speak for themselves, and there’s a reason that his name is so revered and synonymous with CWA. I won’t take anything away from him, well, except for a win tonight. I never got a chance to wrestle Cyrus one on one because, if my memory serves me right, he was already long gone in the FWA when I debuted for the CWA. While he was doing his thing in FWA, I was dominating my mentor Clint Shepard, Michelle von Horrowitz, Krash, and even Jon Snowmantashi. Tonight, I add another name to that list when I defeat Cyrus and move one step closer to winning this entire tournament.”

    Michelle Kelly: “I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the attack by The Echo at night two on both you and Jackson...”

    Nate chuckles and shakes his head, clearly annoyed by Michelle bringing that up.

    Nate Savage: “The Echo thinks that they’re cute and can try to send a message to the CWA tag team division by attacking us? The only thing that did was piss us off, so it was pretty stupid for them to pull a stunt like that!”

    Jackson leans in now to add in his two cents.

    Jackson Fenix: “Much like when Cyrus left the CWA for the FWA when we were running the tag team division here, The Echo had taken their ball and gone home. Drew, Ethan, you may have run this division before, but this is our division now, and there are only two things you can do about it: nothing... and like it!”

    Nate takes the microphone back.

    Nate Savage: “If they even think about sticking their noses in my business tonight, they’ll experience the same fate their old pal McGinnis felt when I sent him crashing to the mat with a Nasty Bomb! Unfortunately for Cyrus, he'll have no choice in the matter on whether he wants to experience that or not.”

    Nate and Jackson leave Michelle at the interview set.

    Michelle Kelly: “You heard it here: Nate Savage is extremely focused tonight. Back to you at ringside, Jim!”

    A huge cheer goes up in the arena as Everybody’s Favourite Wrestler walks out, his customary smile plastered on his face. He looks around at the faces of the fans, high-fiving those on the front row as he makes his way to the ring.

    Jim Taylor: “Some have been saying that this is a make or break tie for Chubby Carlos. It’s been a mixed bag so far: one win and one loss, the former against Alyster Black and the latter against Krash. He’ll be looking to bounce back after the disappointing night in Moscow, and there are worse ways to do it than against a distracted Dreamer…”

    Tim Coleman: “That’s true, but I don’t think anyone would really dispute that Michelle von Horrowitz, even when her mind is elsewhere, is still a dangerous opponent. Just ask Dan Maskell, who last week dropped a point against MvH simply by buying into her games. Chubby Carlos will have to stay on the right side of that line tonight. I agree, Jim: it’s integral that Carlos picks up two points here tonight.”

    Carlos has bounced down the ramp and climbed into the ring, proceeding to climb a corner and lift a fist into the air. The crowd are clearly on his side, one of the most popular names in CWA history coming up against someone whose name is mud…

    The inevitable booing begins, but MvH doesn’t care. She pauses on the stage for effect, staring down Chubby, who waits with a smile on his face inside the ring.

    Jim Taylor: “It becomes increasingly apparent that von Horrowitz is only fussed about one match in this tournament, and it’s fair to say that this isn’t against Chubby Carlos…”

    Tim Coleman: “It’s a shame, Jim. Both are Wrestle Royale winners… two of the three with that accolade in this tournament… both were prominent in different stages of CWA’s lifetime and, as such, this is a first time ever match-up. But something tells me we’re not going to get to see it.”

    Jim Taylor: “I don’t want to pre-judge, but if the rest of the tournament is anything to go by I think you might be right…”

    Von Horrowitz climbs into the ring and, just to stir the audience up a little more, takes a deep bow in the centre of the ring. She follows up by pacing into a corner and taking a seat with her head propped up against the second turnbuckle. She dutifully waits for the formalities to be carried out so the match can begin.

    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… 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!”

    Another chorus of boos. Michelle yawns derisively.

    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!”

    The cheers echo around the arena, the audience willing Chubby on in his endeavours tonight whole-heartedly and unreservedly. He again climbs up to the second rope, whipping them up into a frenzy. He nods his head slowly with a beaming smile, and then hops back down into the centre of the ring, turning to face his opponent as she uses the top rope to drag herself up to her feet. The official looks from one to the other and then calls for the bell...

    Pool A - Night Three - Match Fifteen.

    The new school of CWA meets the old school as Chubby Carlos steps to MvH... They don’t circle around the ring; instead, just opting to make direct lines at each other and instantly locking up… 300 pounds of Chubby Carlos versus A tiny dutch girl? Yeah, this is only going to end one way. Almost as soon as they do, Chubby shoves MvH back, causing her to roll backwards and land in a crouch. Chubby shows off his famous egotistical side as he starts jockeying around in a very cocky fashion. The look on MvH’s face says she doesn’t have time for this, and surprisingly she jumps right back into the fray, possibly bated by Chubby into getting into another collar-and-elbow tie-up. The two stay intertwined just a little bit longer, but unsurprisingly it’s Chubby again who shows he has more power than MvH by backing her into a corner.

    The referee has to ask Chubby to back away from the corner and allow MVH some space, forcing a rope break between the two. Chubby seems to comply, retreating with his hands up and giving MvH her moment of breath … before faking a right hook, and MvH instinctively reels back to avoid contact. She gives Chubby an absolute death glare as he has fun shadow boxing around, shuffling his feet and his fists around in the same iconic way as Muhammad Ali.

    Jim Taylor: “Well, this is the kind of thing we’ve come to expect from Chubby Carlos. Chubby is great, and if you don’t believe it, he’ll tell you himself… but he might be underestimating von Horrorwitz here.”

    Tim Coleman: “You see that look on MVH’s face? That’s never a good thing.”

    MvH is staring at Chubby with a look that would curdle milk, clearly not a fan of Chubby’s antics. She takes her time getting out of the corner as the ref claps his hands together for both to get IT on again, which they take a second or so to do, as Chubby moves forward for yet another lock up...and shockingly, MvH goes in for the third time, but at the last moment, she ducks swiftly under Chubby’s arms… Instinctively, Chubby swings around to meet her...


    Every man in the arena winches in horror as Chubby hits the deck, his face already turning into a purple mask of abject pain as he clutches his family jewels. MvH is already exiting the ring, knowing full well a DQ is coming but evidently unable to tolerate Chubby Carlos attempting to make a fool out of the Dreamer…
    Result: Chubby Carlos defeats Michelle von Horrowitz via disqualification at 04:16.


    Negativity is in the air as Michelle stands up in the middle of the ring, Carlos clutching his nether-regions and doubled over. She instantly applies a front face lock, hooks both arms, and drops him on his head with a double-underhook DDT! She has no interest in persecuting him further, and allows him to roll out of the ring whilst taking a second deep bow for the Yekaterinburg punters…

    Jim Taylor: “Well, unsurprising…”

    Tim Coleman: “This shit is getting old…”

    Michelle has a grin on her face, standing in the centre of the ring with her hand on her hips, almost chuckling as she absorbs the derision thrown in her direction by the audience…

    And then there’s a change in the tone… in the atmosphere…

    Jim Taylor: “Oh my…”

    We see, in a wide shot, Jon Snowmantashi walking out onto the stage…

    Michelle von Horrowitz, standing in the ring, turns towards him…

    The kaiju regards her, a sombre look in his eyes as he stares at her for a long, penetrating period of time…

    And then slowly, he shakes his head…

    And leaves.

    Michelle stands in the ring, staring over the top rope. She takes a deep breath, aware of what moment is almost, finally upon her…

    Jim Taylor: “A little glimpse of what’s to come at Baikal!”

    Tim Coleman: “Electric, Jim!”

    MvH climbs out of the ring, walking up the ramp towards the exit.

    Jim Taylor: “Michelle may be walking out of Yekaterinburg feeling happy with herself, but it’s Chubby Carlos who leaves with the points. He moves onto four, equal with Krash and Jon Snowmantashi, who will face off later tonight…”

    Tim Coleman: “Exactly what The Chubster needed. He’s back in the hunt in Pool A, whilst Michelle von Horrowitz joins Alyster Black at the foot of the table.”

    Jim Taylor: “We’ll return to Pool A later on with The White Wolf and the man we just saw, Jon Snowmantashi, but first it’s time to shift focus to Pool B, and to the match between two men in the middle of the pack: ‘The Indy God’ Jonathan McGinnis, and ‘Straight Edge’ Christopher Jackson… the latter of which is standing by with Michelle Kelly…”

    We cut to the backstage area, and Michelle Kelly is standing by with her next guest. It’s Christopher ‘Straight Edge’ Jackson, who stands in full ring gear, ready for his upcoming match against Jonathan McGinnis. He has his hands on his hips and stands up straight, glaring at the camera as Michelle Kelly beams away happily.

    Michelle Kelly: “Ladies and gentlemen, I’m joined at this time by the former CWA Continental Champion, Christopher Jackson, who currently sits in the middle of the pack in Pool B, recording one win and one loss…”

    Jackson nods his head, not bristling at the comment or the allusion to his inconsistent record…

    Michelle Kelly: “It’s the same record as your opponent tonight, Chris, Jonathan McGinnis coming into this one off the back of that surprise defeat to Nate Savage. What do you make of your chances tonight?”

    Jackson has a slight smile on his face, regarding Kelly warmly as he responds.

    Christopher Jackson: "Honestly this has been just a thrill ride for me, Michelle. When I was asked to join this I was very reluctant because, if I’m honest, the passion for wrestling was gone. However, since joining this CWA revival... it's lit a fire in me. I'm enjoying seeing everyone. Including McGinnis.”

    Kelly clearly finds the reply, and specifically the commendation of his opponent later in this evening, a little strange. She takes the microphone back and decides a change of tact is necessary.

    Michelle Kelly: “Let’s talk about your first match in this tournament: the loss in St. Petersburg to Cyrus Truth. There was a lot of talk amongst the internet community, as well as the wrestling media, about perceived ring rust when it came to your performance. How do you respond to that? Do you think almost a decade out of the ring caused your slow start in the tournament?”

    Christopher Jackson: “Well since that's the first time I've wrestled a pro in... like... 7 years there was definitely a bunch of ring rust to work through. However, Truth is just as daunting a challenge to overcome even in my prime. I don’t want to dwell on the loss, though. There’s still a lot of wrestling to come...”

    Kelly nods her head, finding Jackson’s hopeful attitude a little infectious.

    Michelle Kelly: “Talk us through your victory in Moscow against Shawn Summers. Many had written you off after the match against Truth, but you bounced back in Red Square with an impressive victory against Summers. How did your preparations differ between the two matches?”

    Christopher Jackson: "Watched a bunch of tape this time around. I've seen Summers around back in the old days but this the first time we went one on one I believe. It was great to feel like the Franchise again.“

    Kelly elects to not bring up The Echo and their undisputed involvement in that particular evening’s affairs…

    Michelle Kelly: “The Gold Rush is a long and gruelling tournament, and after your match against Jonathan McGinnis here in Yekaterinburg, we’ll be straight on the train and off to Baikal before Vladivostok. Two matches still remain: against Humanity and then Nate Savage. What do you make of your overall chances of making it to the finals in Vanuatu, and who poses you the biggest threat in this tournament?”

    Clearly enjoying himself in the tournament, Jackson’s smile has only widened since the conversation began. His hands are on his hips, and it’s clear that some of the old conditioning has come back to his body. He cuts a striking figure, and the champion we saw seven years ago is immediately evoked within the viewer’s mind.

    Christopher Jackson: “First off, I've got to say that it's a blessing to travel all over to wrestle. Back in the day, you had to do like 300 days of U.S. dates to get a few international dates. I think McGinnis is the biggest threat to me, so if I manage to get past him? Well, the sky's the limit from there...”

    Mihelle smiles, as if she feels like they’ve found the perfect end to the interview. But even if she’d wanted to finish it there, she doesn’t get the chance: all four eyes in the scene are suddenly drawn off to their left hand side, and an interloper who is casually continuing on with their phone conversation upon approach…

    ??: “No, listen to me… at fifteen, and not a moment before… I am sure…”

    Walking into the shot from the right hand side of it is… none other than ‘The Indy God’ Jonathan McGinnis! He has a smile on his face and, like Christopher Jackson, is in full ring gear in preparation for their upcoming match. He hangs up his phone and focuses entirely on his opponent for tonight. Jackson bristles slightly, keeping a watchful eye on the newcomer. Kelly doesn’t say anything, and holds the microphone between the two men.

    Jonathan McGinnis: “Relax, Christopher. I’m not here to eat up your screen-time! Tonight will be a short one for you in the ring, so you might as well make the most of your time here with Michelle…”

    McGinnis is still grinning from ear to ear, but quickly holds his hands up before him in a placatory manner…

    Jonathan McGinnis “Just a joke, Jackson, don’t worry! No ill feeling here. I just came to say…”

    He gives Jackson a pat on the shoulder…

    Jonathan McGinnis “Good luck…”

    And with that, McGinnis walks out of the shot.

    Michelle Kelly: “Christopher, I know your match is up next. I won’t keep you any longer… back to you at ringside, Jim!”

    When we cut away from an expectant and hopeful Jackson, we are shown a teaser for the forthcoming Night Four event of the Gold Rush tournament…

    Night Four.
    Live from Olkhon Island, Lake Baikal.

    Full Card:
    1/ Jon Snowmantashi vs. Michelle von Horrowitz (1/20) - PA
    2/ Chubby Carlos vs. Dan Maskell (1/20) - PA
    3/ Shawn Summers vs. Nate Savage (1/20) - PB
    4/ Christopher Jackson vs. Humanity (1/20) - PB
    5/ Cyrus Truth vs. Jonathan McGinnis (1/20) - PB
    6/ Main Event: Alyster Black vs. Krash (1/20) - PA
    We return to the arena in time for…

    There’s a positive reaction for Jonathan McGinnis’ music, but the first people to emerge onto the stage aren’t The Indy God… instead, two women in bright blue leotards walk out and take up positions in opposite corners of the stage next to an open flame. They pick up three torches from next to each pit and ignite the ends, and then start to rhythmically juggle them high above their heads…

    Jim Taylor: “A little bit of pageantry here from Jonathan McGinnis!”

    We notice that the trapeze artists have reappeared overhead, and they are somersaulting between trapezes high above the audience. On the stage, the two jugglers have begun to cycle the flaming torches between each other, causing high arcs to form in the flames as the projectiles go on their trajectory. A half-dozen gymnasts appear from the entrance and proceed to cart-wheel and backflip across the stage, before contorting themselves into the positions required to communally create a giant ‘M’.

    Tim Coleman: “More than ‘a little bit’, Jim!”

    Finally, as his music hits its first chorus, Jonathan McGinnis appears… on the back of a circus elephant! The Russian audience is lapping up a little bit of casual animal abuse, and The Indy God has a huge smile on his face. The jugglers have begun to throw their torches individually again to allow McGinnis to pass. He rides his pachyderm all the way down the ramp, pausing at the bottom to dismount and pat the beast on the trunk…

    Jim Taylor: “What an entrance!!”

    McGinnis climbs into the ring as the elephant’s handlers lead him unhappily back up the ramp towards his cage, the jugglers extinguishing their torches and the gymnasts somersaulting out of view. McGinnis climbs to the second rope and beats his chest, before lifting his hands high in the air. The audience gives him another round of applause as his music fades out and he hops back into the center of the ring…

    The crowd are a little more demure for Christopher Jackson (probably relative to his understated entrance), and ‘Straight Edge’ walks onto the stage to less fanfare but still a fair amount of positivity. He looks nonplussed at McGinnis’ extravagance, shaking his head as he stares down his opponent and walks towards the ring…

    Jim Taylor: “And as we recover from that extravagant entrance, it’s important to note the identical records that these two men boast coming into this match. Both have won one match, and in fact against the same competitor in Shawn Summers. But Christopher Jackson was defeated by Cyrus Truth back in St. Petersburg, whilst McGinnis’ loss to Nate Savage in Moscow left him on two points as well…”

    Tim Coleman: “We’ve already seen Shawn Summers move onto two points earlier in the night courtesy of his win over Humanity, and later on the group leaders in Nate Savage and Cyrus Truth will face off. Both Jackson and McGinnis will know how important it is to keep pace with a win here tonight…”

    Jackson has climbed into the ring and still solemnly stares down McGinnis, who is smiling in return. Lindsay Monaghan has climbed the steps and into the ring, holding a microphone as she stands between the two men…

    Lindsay Monaghan: “Ladies and gentlemen the following is a Pool B match, scheduled for one-fall, with a twenty minute time limit! Introducing first, in the corner to my left… 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!"

    Another loud reaction for McGinnis as he again climbs up to the second rope and nods his head (in approval of their approval).

    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!”

    Jackson is subdued, shaking his head at The Indy God’s excesses and watching him reproachfully from across the ring. The tension increases by the moment, the two very different men getting ready for the battle to begin. Finally, after the official has made his final checks, he calls for the opening bell...

    Pool B - Night Three - Match Sixteen.

    This one starts off as a highly technical affair, the two men exchanging holds and showing their proficiency in chain wrestling. McGinnis is able to get the best of the first such exchange, eventually reversing a hammer lock into a rear waist lock, and then moving into a cross-face chicken wing. Jackson is forced to scramble to the ropes, and - to his credit - wins the next duel when McGinnis is again looking to go for the chicken wing. Jackson reaches through his own legs and picks McGinnis’, before following up with a single-leg boston crab. It’s The Indy God’s turn to get to the ropes, with Jackson relinquishing the hold almost immediately when he does. They circle again and McGinnis takes no chances on the third exchanging, bringing his A-game and overwhelming Jackson with a chain-wrestling masterclass, the result being Jackson locked in an STF!

    Jim Taylor: “McGinnis managing to lock in one of his signature submission moves relatively early on in this match! Could this one be ending early?!”

    Tim Coleman: “Christopher Jackson is lucky that he is close to the ropes… I think he’ll be able to scramble over and reach them…”

    Indeed, he is, but it’s interesting to see that McGinnis doesn’t relinquish his hold until the official has got up to four with his count. He backs away from Jackson, but the damage to Straight Edge seems to have taken hold. McGinnis is able to control the match-up for a handful of minutes following the STF. He wears Jackson down with a series of strikes, most notably a combination of a throat jab, an overhand chop, and a mule kick, which allows McGinnis to set Jackson up for a snap suplex. He’s also able to hit a swinging neckbreaker and, when Jackson manages to reverse an Irish whip and send McGinnis into the ropes, a springboard crossbody from the second rope. This is enough to get The Indy God a two-count, and afterwards he slows things down with a reverse chin lock, catching his breath in the process. Jackson eventually fights up to his feet and looks to gain separation with some elbows. He goes for a belly to back suplex slam, but McGinnis is able to over-rotate and land on his feet, and Jackson spins round with a clothesline attempt… McGinnis ducks it and rolls Jackson up with a schoolboy!

    ONE… TWO.... NO!

    Jackson gets his shoulder up, but McGinnis is on him quickly, nailing him with a boot to the midsection and then slamming him to the mat with a powerbomb!

    Jim Taylor: “And after that high-impact move, Jonathan McGinnis re-assumes control of this match-up!”

    Tim Coleman: “He’s almost manhandling Christopher Jackson here, lifting him up to his feet by the scruff of the neck and dumping him over the top rope…”

    McGinnis follows Jackson up and takes him by the legs, hitting a slingshot catapult into the steel ring post. The Indy God follows up with a handful of stomps, before he lifts Jackson up and Irish whips him into the steel ring steps! The thud echoes around the arena and McGinnis rolls into the ring before rolling straight back out again, breaking the referee’s count at seven. Jackson is trying to get to his feet, and McGinnis gives him a helping hand. He looks like he’s going to Irish whip Jackson into the barricade, but he doesn’t let go, reverses Jackson’s direction, and sends him straight back into the steps! The audience lets out a gasp as the sound echoes out once again, and McGinnis nods his head in approval of his own actions.

    Jim Taylor: “A little bit of a mean streak on display here from Jonathan McGinnis?”

    Tim Coleman: “He doubtlessly won’t want to repeat his mistakes from last week’s match against Nate Savage. He HAS to win here tonight!”

    Jim Taylor: “We’re a little over ten minutes through this one, but it does look like The Indy God is well on his way to doing so…”

    McGinnis rolls Jackson into the ring and follows him in, hooking a leg and going for a cover…

    ONE… TWO… NO!

    Jackson gets a shoulder up, and McGinnis backs away from Jackson for a moment. He’s stalking him from the corner, waiting for Straight Edge to get to his feet. When he does, McGinnis comes towards him with a boot to the midsection, doubling him over. The Indy God pulls Jckson into position…

    Jim Taylor: “McGinnis maybe thinking about Something Light here?!”

    Tim Coleman: “He has Jackson hoisted up into the powerbomb position… but Straight Edge is fighting back! Straight right hands to McGinnis’ head!”

    Jim Taylor: “And then a sunset flip roll-up! McGinnis’ shoulders are down!”

    ONE… TWO… TH - - NO!

    McGinnis gets a shoulder up, and both men are quick to their feet. Jackson nails him with a spin-kick to the gut, which doubles McGinnis over. He charges from the ropes and lifts a knee into McGinnis’ face… and then knocks him over with a clothesline! It’s Jackson’s turn to stalk McGinnis from the corner, and when The Indy God is on his knees, Straight Edge comes for the kill. He pulls McGinnis’ head between his legs, and then…

    Jim Taylor: “Franchised! He gets all of that patented piledriver!”

    Tim Coleman: “And now Christopher Jackson goes for the cover…”

    ONE… TWO… THR - - NO!

    Jim Taylor: “McGinnis kicked out! He’s still in it!”

    The audience are applauding the resilience, but Straight Edge is more than a little frustrated. Eventually, he gets to his feet, finishes remonstrating with the referee, and then turns back towards McGinnis… who is waiting for him with a SUPERKICK!!! Jackson goes down!!

    Jim Taylor: “OUT OF NOWHERE!”

    Tim Coleman: “That’s how quickly Jonathan McGinnis can change a match!!”

    Jim Taylor: “That’s the first time we’ve seen Jonathan McGinnis hit the superkick during the Gold Rush tournament, Tim!”

    McGinnis lifts Jackson to his feet, and then up into a fireman’s carry… death valley driver! McGinnis covers…

    ONE… TWO… TH - - NO!

    The audience can’t believe that this one’s still going, and neither can McGinnis. The Indy God takes his turn to share a few thoughts with the official regarding a perceived slow count, and then he re-focuses on Jackson. He lifts him to his feet in a front facelock, hoists him up…

    Jim Taylor: “BRAINBUSTAH!!”

    Tim Coleman: “Christopher Jackson is taking heavy move after heavy move here! And McGinnis isn’t done. He rolls out onto the apron, and he’s willing Jackson to get to his feet…”

    Indeed, there’s a wild look in The Indy God’s eyes, and a gleeful smile on his face when Jackson is finally up. He springboards onto the top rope, looking for his corkscrew cutter…

    … but Straight Edge meets him with a dropkick! Right in the teeth!! McGinnis goes down in a heap, and Jackson hoists him up to his feet again… European uppercut… enziguri… PELE KICK!!

    Jim Taylor: “Christopher Jackson is really feeling it now! He might be on the way to his second upset victory in two shows!”

    Jackson is now standing behind McGinnis, and he takes him in a full nelson, dragging McGinnis onto his feet and then throwing him back down with a dragon suplex!! This time, Jackson hooks both legs…

    ONE… TWO… THR - - NO!!!

    Jim Taylor: “He kicked out god damnit!”

    Tim Coleman: “Both men know what a loss tonight here means, and they’re unwilling to give up on their dreams of taking that CWA World Heavyweight Championship from Brayden Bridges! But something’s got to give!”

    Jim Taylor: “We’re past fifteen minutes now, Tim! A draw isn’t a disaster for either man but, considering Savage and Truth will go later on this evening, it’s not what they wanted from this match…”

    Tim Coleman: “Christopher Jackson knows this! He’s taking things to the high rent district! Is he thinking about his Five-Star Treatment frog splash? Or maybe his remarkable shooting star press?!”

    Jim Taylor: “We haven’t seen Jackson fly for seven years, Tim! This could be it for Jonathan McGinnis!”

    The Indy God is lying in the centre of the ring, staring at the lights, as Jackson puts his first boot onto the top rope. He’s breathing heavily, the victory flashing before his eyes, as he stares across the ring at McGinnis and the official beyond him…

    … and then suddenly, the referee face-plants onto the mat, and disappears beneath the second rope…

    … Christopher Jackson narrows his eyes, trying to focus on the official’s assailant, but before he knows it he’s tumbling from the top rope, a second man having hopped onto the apron and thrown him from his perch…


    Tim Coleman: “Is this - - ?!”

    Jim Taylor: “Jesus, no!!”

    The cameraman has focussed on Ethan Connor, the man who threw Straight Edge to the outside from the top rope, as he gives the lens some crotch chops. Jackson is trying to get to his feet outside the ring, and he valiantly does so…

    … before being hit with a superkick!! The crowd groan with anguish as Jackson hits the ground!

    Drew Connor, the man who pulled the referee from the ring, has slid into it and is now busy rousing McGinnis. He is doing a pretty successful job, and The Indy God is using the ring ropes to help him up to his feet as Christopher Jackson is rolled back into the ring.

    Jim Taylor: “Our worst fears are materializing, Tim! This is Jonathan McGinnis and The Echo! This is The Indy Club!!”

    Tim Coleman: “Those attacks we saw last week from The Echo… we had assumed it was a statement in the direction of The Division, The Undisputed Alliance, and the rest of the tag team division. But Shawn Summers and Nate Savage are also two of McGinnis’ biggest rivals in Pool B…”

    Jim Taylor: “Of course! The Echo are making sure their buddy catches all the breaks in this tournament! And it makes me sick!”

    The Indy Club - the reunited motherfucking Indy Club - share a casual Too Sweet in the middle of the ring, waiting patiently for Jackson to get to his knees. Straight Edge looks up at the three men before him. He sighs heavily, knowing what is about to come… but he still resolutely climbs to his feet…

    … and then eats a TRIPLE SUPERKICK!! Jackson hits the mat again, and The Echo high-five obnoxiously as they walk around the ring in a circle. They are content with their involvement, and climb out of the ring. Ethan goes to the official and rouses him as Jonathan McGinnis hoists Jackson up into the air. The referee is slid into the ring, just as The Indy God slams Jackson down onto his knees from the powerbomb position…

    Jim Taylor: “And there’s Something Light! Jonathan McGinnis hooks the leg as the referee crawls over…”

    Result: Jonathan McGinnis defeats Christopher Jackson via pinfall at 16:22.


    Jim Taylor: “Not that way…”

    Tim Coleman: “Any way he can…”

    Jonathan McGinnis rolls off Christopher Jackson and The Echo slide into the ring. They help McGinnis up, and he is selling as if he just fought in a two-hour iron man match. Drew and Ethan Connor hold him up, slapping him on the back and congratulating him on a job well done…

    Jim Taylor: “At least they’re out in the open now, Tim… I think Jonathan McGinnis may have just emerged as a favourite for qualification from Pool B…”

    McGinnis is shouting as such into the camera, which he holds at arm’s length from him as if he is Hamlet and it’s Yorick’s skull. The cameraman behind it is being led this way and that by The Indy God, who rambles on as he paces… When he’s finally finished his diatribe, McGinnis pushes the camera away from him… and nails the cameraman with a superkick!

    Jim Taylor: “Hey! That man’s just trying to earn a living!”

    Just then, as the official stands up and moves away from Christopher Jackson to remonstrate with McGinnis, Ethan Connor nails the man in black and white with a superkick of his own!

    Jim Taylor: “Look at that huge smile on the face of Ethan Connor!”

    Tim Coleman: “All three of them look pretty pleased with themselves, Tim…”

    It’s a great struggle for Christopher Jackson to event stand, but he’s doing his best to do so. The Indy Club watches him with glee. Eventually, he’s able to get onto his hands and his knees. He then rears up onto his haunches, facing the three men before him once more, for the last time…

    … and he eats one more triple superkick! Jackson hits the mat, knocked out, and The Indy Club celebrates above his body. The Indy God is the first to lift his hand into the air, a shit-eating grin on his face, The Brothers Connor happily reciprocating. We fade to black on this most unsettling image…

    The cameras direct us backstage to one of the many hallways in the backstage of the Yekaterinburg State Circus. Here we see standing by is Michelle Kelly and her camera crew. Kelly very much is dressed for the theme, wearing full lion tamer regalia. This includes a bright red mad hatter esque hat with a white and black cheque colored ribbon around it. On top of this she has black and white pinstripe corset with a red waistcoat over it, completed by a pair of black leather pants. Armed with a long black whip in hand Michelle appears to be in high spirits for this segment as her and her crew walk through the corridor towards a seated Dan Maskell. The Heretic, having not long defeated Alyster Black, is currently sat on a steel chair as he tries to remove the tape around his hands using his teeth. While Dan gnaws away at the tape Michelle walks over to him and quickly draws his attention by clearing her throat. Looking at Michelle in her costume, Dan appears caught off guard by her attire as he raises an eyebrow.

    Dan Maskell: “I didn't realize it was my birthday. Give me a few minutes and I'll be ready.”

    There is a look of horror and disgust on the face of Michelle as Dan begins to smirk.

    Dan Maskell: ”So tell me, what can I do for you?”

    Michelle Kelly: “I was wondering if we could talk a little about your victory tonight over Alyster Black, as well as your performance thus far in the Gold Rush. So let's begin with tonight, how are you feeling after picking up the victory?”

    Dan Maskell: “I beat the gimp from Pulp Fiction. Hardly seems like a victory.”

    Michelle shakes her head in disappointment before she responds.

    Michelle Kelly: “You beat Alyster Black. One half of the Gang Stars with a man you know quite well Krash. Alyster is a multiple time tag team champion…”

    Dan Maskell:[/color=black] “And that means... what? Records don't mean shit to me. End of the day the result was always the same. Me standing over him victorious. Best get used to that visual for the rest of this shit.”

    Michelle Kelly: “I hate to say it Dan. But it seems like this series so far has gone in the reverse of what you've been saying. You suffered that loss on Night One to Jon Snowmantashi…”

    Before Michelle can continue Dan cuts her off.

    Dan Maskell: ‘The sun shines on every dog's ass every once in a while. Especially one that fucking fat. It's hard to miss. Next time he won't be so lucky. The clock has already struck midnight and his fairytale is over.”

    Michelle Kelly: “Well... what about your draw with Michelle Von Horowitz. That seemed like you had a fight on your hands.”

    Dan Maskell: “Yeah... that little French Boy had some fight in him. Credit where credit is due. He's tough and he came to fight. But just because he surprised me doesn't mean he's on my level. Next time that'll be shown when I put him down quick.”

    An awkward Michelle looks to the camera in disbelief at Dan's statement. After taking a moment she looks back at Dan as he stands from his chair.

    Michelle Kelly: ”You know that little French Boy you're speaking of is a Dutch woman called Michelle right?”

    After giving Michelle a side eye Dan turns his head to her almost in disbelief of his own.

    Dan Maskell: “Oh fuck off... You aren't joking?!”

    There is an awkward silence between the two as Michelle then quickly looks to change subject.

    Michelle Kelly: “OK... let's move away from the past for God’s sake and look to the future. For we know that your next match will be against Chubby Carlos. If I'm not mistaken you two have a little bit of a history am I right?”

    Dan Maskell: “You know what.. I normally would say no comment or just brush you off with a who? But I actually have a point to make here and it's built up for eight fucking years! That fat piece of shit has walked around saying he's beat me twice and I've never beaten him. Fuck you, you're wrong. You never fucking beat me straight up in a one on one contest. The only contest you could beat me in you fat piece of shit is an eating one... So I want you to know fat-man. I'm fucking coming for your ass and I'll show you what really would have happened if we faced off one on one a lot sooner.”

    With an irritated and seething Dan next to her, Michelle looks to take her cue to wrap the interview up from her man behind the camera. As she does so however Dan in a surprising move rips the microphone from her hand and forcibly uses his free hand to pull the camera close to his face.

    Dan Maskell: ”Don't you dare wrap this up. Fucking so desperate you lot to get me to talk to you... The one time I do you try and cut me short. I have a point to make and it's one that's been eating away at me for months now. Since I've stepped back into this ring it's been like I've never left. When I say that I first mean that once again I have proven that no one can beat me in a straight up fight. But what I also mean is despite everything I've done, despite everything I will do. I am never given the fucking respect that I deserve. The CWA has a history of not giving me the true respect that I deserve even if I was the first ever triple crown champion. No one held belts longer than I did! I accomplished everything that could possibly be done and yet I can't even get a main event?! I demand that my match next week be given the respect it deserves... Instead you're giving that respect to these losers, these simps who are just happy to be here and happy to have their name called. News flash: I'm not here to be anyone's fucking placeholder. I'm here to win the Gold Rush. So don't patronize me and expect me to be happy with being treated like a second fiddle. Put me in the fucking main event like I deserve.”

    With that a livid Dan shoves the camera and the cameraman back with force. This causes the cameraman to stumble back onto the ground. With the camera on the ground we then see the microphone hit the floor with a thud as Dan stomps off.

    We cut away from Dan Maskell and Michelle Kelly and back to the arena...

    The Yekaterinburg State Circus loses it when Jon Snowmantashi’s theme music hits, and re-doubles their efforts (and therefore their volume) when the kaiju walks out onto the stage. John Duncan is at his side and, as usual, he claps his client as he walks down to the ring.

    Jim Taylor: “Well, after the two finishes that we saw in the previous two contests, we can only hope that the next match gives us something a little more conclusive and satisfying…”

    Tim Coleman: “And if there’s two men in CWA you’d throw together to give us something satisfying, it would surely be the two men set to compete in this next one… just listen to this reaction for Jon Snowmantashi!”

    Jim Taylor: “This is a huge match-up in Pool A, Tim. We saw Chubby Carlos move onto four points earlier on, and Dan Maskell is not far behind on three. But these two men are unbeaten with two wins out of two each: someone’s 0 has got to go!”

    Snowmantashi has made the short walk down the ramp and takes up a central position in the ring, the spotlight shining on him as Duncan circles the perimeter down below, clapping his hands and nodding his head. The kaiju meanders into a corner, propping himself against it as he awaits the arrival of his opponent...

    The small but highly vocal crowd keeps in fine voice as Krash walks out to rapturous positivity. There’s a slight smile on his face as he surveys the crowd, but this quickly dissipates when he looks at the man waiting in the ring. It seems the reality of the mountain he has to climb has become apparent. The White Wolf pauses, takes a deep breath, and then begins to walk down towards the ring.

    Jim Taylor: “Last week I said this was the most dominant and longest reigning CWA World Heavyweight Champion of all time against the most decorated man in this tournament and, most likely, in CWA’s history. This is an absolute dream match that we’re about to witness!”

    Tim Coleman: “This is only the second time that these two wrestlers have met. The first was back in 2017 during the Ruler of the Ring tournament, Snowmantashi emerging triumphant to take that accolade.”

    Jim Taylor: “The Ruler of the Ring is about the only thing in CWA that Krash hasn’t won. Except, of course, the Gold Rush tournament! I’ve got goosebumps, Tim! This is history in the making!”

    Krash has climbed into the ring and the two men enter an uneasy stand-off from across the ring. The music fades out and the lights come back on, and we see Lindsay Monaghan gaining access to the ring.

    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!”

    Krash removes the CWA World Tag Team Championship belt from his waist and hands it out to the timekeeper. The audience gives him another round of applause as he nods his head, as if psyching himself up.

    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!”

    Snowmantashi is motionless. Duncan cheerleads for him on the outside, but the kaiju has not moved a muscle. Monaghan climbs out of the ring as the official looks from one man to the another. Finally, as the anticipation within the arena reaches fever pitch, he calls for the bell...

    Pool A - Night Three - Match Seventeen.

    Even after the bell is rung, Snowmantashi doesn’t move. Krash uneasily begins to pace across one side of the ring, as if inviting Snowmantashi to circle it with him. The kaiju has no interest, and instead slowly walks into a position in the centre of the ring, square on to Krash. The White Wolf steps up to him too. The two CWA legends stand for a moment, nose to nose and silent, in the middle of the ring…

    Jim Taylor: “Would you just listen to this?! What an atmosphere!!”

    The audience are indeed willing the two to start, the noise unholy considering there’s only just over two and a half thousand fans in attendance. Finally, when the tension has built and can build no more, Krash unwinds, and nails Snowmantashi with a forearm. The kaiju doesn’t move, and Krash hits him with a second. Again, Snowmantashi just stares his opponent down, and The White Wolf takes a few steps back. He crashes into him with a THIRD forearm, and this one staggers Snowmantashi half a step backwards, but that’s about it. Undeterred, Krash charges into an adjacent set of ropes and hits a shoulder block… but just bounces off the kaiju!

    Tim Coleman: “I don’t think this is a sensible strategy…”

    Krash hits the ropes again, as if he’s about to hit a second shoulder block, but Snowmantashi lunges at him with an attempted clothesline. Krash is able to duck it, and then he hits the turning kaiju with a drop kick! This one does cause Snowmantashi to stumble back, and Krash is instantly on him with a half-dozen quick fire forearms and then some knife edge chops to back him into the corner. Krash Irish whips Snowmantashi across the ring and attempts to follow him in with a charging forearm, but the kaiju evades and Krash hits the turnbuckles chest first. He turns around and JS is waiting for him, hitting a big headbutt, and then a straight right-hand. Snowmantashi hits the ropes and goes for a lariat, but Krash evades, and then hits a step-up enziguri! Snowmantashi is staggered in the middle of the ring, and The White Wolf hits him with a snap DDT!

    Jim Taylor: “Krash goes for a cover, but Snowmantashi is able to easily kick out just after one following the DDT. It’s going to take a lot more than that to put the kaiju away…”

    Tim Coleman: “I think Krash knows that too, Jim, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see frequent pinning attempts from Krash. That will surely be his strategy: wear the big man down.”

    Indeed, Krash goes straight into a grounded headlock, and it takes the kaiju some time to fight back to his feet. When he does, he begins to fight out with a series of elbows to the midsection, and then he backs Krash up into a set of ropes. He whips him off into the opposite set and ducks down, perhaps going for a big back body drop… but Krash is able to telegraph it, floating over with a sunset flip roll-up! Snowmantashi’s shoulders are down…

    ONE… TWO… NO!

    JS kicks out, but when both men are up Krash quickly has his shoulders down again with a schoolboy…

    ONE… TWO… NO!

    Again the kick up comes, and this time Snowmantashi attempts to damn-near take Krash’s head off with a vicious clothesline attempt… Krash catches the arm, though, and then rolls him up again with a crucifix…

    ONE… TWO… T - - NO!

    Snowmantashi just about gets a shoulder up, and when they’re both up he’s facing the same direction of Krash. The White Wolf comes at him from behind and puts him in a rear waist lock, at first trying to hoist him up for a German suplex… but Snowmantashi is too big, and he can’t manage it. Instead, he tries to bundle him towards the ropes for an O’Conner roll, but Snowmantashi checks his momentum before he even reaches them. JS then hits three sharp elbows to Krash’s head to cause separation, and then a big overhand chop to Krash’s chest! The White Wolf is staggered, and now here comes Snowmantashi! Forearm, right hand, knife edge chop, forearm, forearm, headbutt, forearm, forearm, forearm, forearm, and a second hellacious headbutt! Krash hits the mat hard but, to his credit, fights his way back to his feet… only to be thrown to the mat with a T-Bone suplex!!

    Snowmantashi doesn’t get up straight away, instead sitting up in the middle of the ring and letting out a few deep breaths…

    Tim Coleman: “Finally, Snowmantashi is able to turn the tables in this one and give himself a bit of breathing space…”

    Jim Taylor: “Krash has used his speed and his guile to keep the upper hand against the kaiju, but it seemed almost inevitable that Snowmantashi would catch him eventually. And he did, to devastating effect.”

    Snowmantashi slows the pace down a substantial amount over the next few minutes, and seems to get into an endless cycle of suplexes following the success of his T-Bone. He hurls Krash around the ring with the greatest ease (like a flying trapeze), first with a belly-to-belly overhead release suplex, and then a German release. Next up is a delayed vertical that seems to go on for about thirty seconds, and then afterwards a sleeper suplex which drops Krash almost straight on the top of his head. The big man goes for a cover after the fifth consecutive throw…

    ONE… TWO… T - - NO!

    Krash gets a shoulder up, but Snowmantashi does not display any frustration. Instead, he lifts Krash up and throws him into a corner, proceeding to hit a half-dozen knife edge chops. He drives his shoulder into The White Wolf’s gut, and heaves him up into a seated position on the top rope. Snowmantashi hits the seated Krash with an overhand chop to the chest which echoes around the Circus, and then starts to follow him up to the top. Krash senses his danger, and fights back with a pair of forearms. Snowmantashi looks close to losing his balance, but he rocks Krash with a headbutt that almost sends The White Wolf tumbling. The kaiju has to catch him to stop him toppling off! Krash is placed into a front face-lock, and it looks as if Snowmantashi wants to hit a superplex. But Krash continues to fight, hitting some straight rights to the kaiju’s side… and then Krash hits a headbutt of his own!!

    Jim Taylor: “Snowmantashi stumbles back into the ring, but he’s still on his feet…”

    Tim Coleman: “Not for long! Krash flies from the top rope and nails him with a missile dropkick! Snowmantashi is down!”

    The kaiju, however, is up almost immediately, but so is Krash. The White Wolf is standing next to the ring ropes, and when JS charges at him he simply drops down, pulling the top rope with him. Snowmantashi goes over them and lands on the apron, and Krash is on him in an instant. The White Wolf hits a trio of right hands, trying to knock Snowmantashi off the apron… but JS blocks the fourth, and rocks Krash with a forearm of his own! Snowmantashi pulls Krash towards him, places him in a front face lock… and suplexes him right out of the ring!! Krash lands with a thud on the outside, whilst Snowmantashi lands on the apron and rolls back into the ring…

    It takes a moment for Snowmantashi to get up to his feet, and the official is already on a count of four for Krash when he does. The White Wolf struggles to get up on the outside, but eventually does as the referee hits seven…

    Jim Taylor: “Watch out for Snowmantashi! He hits the ring ropes…”

    Tim Coleman: “SUICIDE DIVE!!”

    Jim Taylor: “That’s an almost three hundred pound man! Krash was almost squashed!”

    The official is again up to four by the time Snowmantashi is on his feet, and the big man promptly lifts Krash up too. He gets him up onto his shoulder, and then snakes’ eyes him onto the barricade! The White Wolf tries to slump to the floor, but Snowmantashi has him up on his shoulder again, and then uses him as a battering ram against the steel post! Krash is dumped ceremoniously onto the ground as the official gets to eight, and the kaiju is forced to roll in and then out again. He takes Krash by the hair and the tag champion throws a few jabs into his ribs, which Snowmantashi absorbs, before throwing Krash shoulder-first into the steel steps!!

    Jim Taylor: “This is getting real ugly for Krash! Snowmantashi is in complete control of this one…”

    Snowmantashi picks Krash up and throws him under the bottom rope, casually climbing into the ring and again lifting his opponent up to his feet. Slowly and confidently, the kaiju puts him in position, lifts him up, and then slams The White Wolf down with a crushing sit-out powerbomb! Snowmantashi covers…

    ONE… TWO… TH - - NO!!

    Jim Taylor: “The White Wolf gets a shoulder up, but you have to feel that this is just a matter of time…”

    Snowmantashi gets slowly to his feet and adjusts his shorts, looking down at Krash’s supine body. Then, decisively, Snowmantashi turns away from Krash and approaches a corner. He begins to climb the turnbuckles, facing away from The White Wolf, and slowly but surely makes his way to the very top…

    Tim Coleman: “We’ve seen Snowmantashi do this many times before, and if he hits this moonsault then this one is over!”

    Jim Taylor: “You just don’t kick out from a three hundred pound man landing on top of you like that…”

    Tim Coleman: “This is a thing to behold!!”

    Snowmantashi steadies himself on the top rope, and as soon as he takes his hands away from the turnbuckle he instantly propels himself through the air, a picture perfect moonsault almost seeming to slow time as he crashes towards Krash…

    … who rolls out of the way at the very last moment!! The crowd can’t believe it! We pass the fifteen minute mark as Krash finally gets to his feet, looking at Snowmantashi from across the ring, waiting for him to regain a vertical base…

    Jim Taylor: “ONE-SHOT KILL!!!”

    Tim Coleman: “Krash hits the running knee! Snowmantashi is dead on his feet!”

    Krash again goes behind Snowmantashi into a rear waistlock… he heaves him up… and nails the German suplex!!!! The crowd can’t believe what they’ve just seen! He’s unable to bridge for the cover, but instantly he’s on top of Snowmantashi, hooking the leg…

    ONE… TWO… T - - NO!

    Snowmantashi gets the shoulder up but Krash is undeterred. He can hear the audience screaming his name, and the name of his opponent, and does his best to block out everything around him. He climbs onto the apron and, as quick as his fatigued body will take him, ascends to the top rope. He steadies himself… and then he leaps off…

    Jim Taylor: “DAYBREAKER! He’s going for the elbow drop…”

    Tim Coleman: “NO! Snowmantashi gets his knees up!! Krash crashes and burns!”

    Indeed, Krash bounces off Snowmantashi’s knees and almost to the other side of the ring. He’s clutching his ribs as Snowmantashi comes towards him, and the kaiju pulls him towards him. He lifts him up into a fireman’s carry...

    Jim Taylor: “HAILSTORM!!! He gets all of it!!”

    Tim Coleman: “And now Snowmantashi hooks a leg…”

    ONE… TWO… THRE - - NO!!!


    Tim Coleman: “We’ve seen two Hailstorms so far in the Gold Rush, and each and every time it has resulted in a Jon Snowmantashi victory…”

    Jim Taylor: “Until now, Jim!”

    Tim Coleman: “But times are still desperate for Krash. He’s looking up at the lights, and Snowmantashi has him exactly where he wants him…”

    Jim Taylor: “There’s just under three minutes left in this one, Tim! Are we even going to see a winner?!”

    Snowmantashi is slowly up, the sweat dripping off him, as he drags Krash up to his feet again. He pulls The White Wolf towards him and up into a fireman’s carry, maybe looking for a second huge Hailstorm… but Krash begins to fight out! He drives his elbow into Snowmantashi’s head again and again and again…

    … and eventually Snowmantashi drops him…

    … and then he turns into a second One-Shot Kill! Snowmantashi is down, and Krash looks to the corner. We go past the eighteen minute mark as he begins his ascent, but he’s unsteady during the climb, which gives Snowmantashi a chance to somewhat recover…

    Jim Taylor: “The kaiju is coming to meet Krash! He’s climbing up on the inside whilst Krash climbs on the outside…”

    Tim Coleman: “And now The White Wolf desperately fights him off with forearms… but Snowmantashi blocks one! Headbutt! And a second!!”

    What follows is a hellacious series of headbutts, perhaps two dozen in total, as we go well past the nineteen minute mark…

    Jim Taylor: “Krash is done! I don’t think he knows where he is!!”

    Tim Coleman: “I’ve never seen that many headbutts in a row before! Jon Snowmantashi is an animal! And these two are still teetering on that second turnbuckle...”

    Jim Taylor: “But Snowmantashi has just over thirty seconds left! He lifts Krash up onto his shoulders on the second rope…”

    Tim Coleman: “AVALANCHE HAILSTORM!!!!”

    Jim Taylor: “OH MY GOD!”

    Tim Coleman: “Count as high as you like!”

    Result: Jon Snowmantashi defeats Krash via pinfall at 19:41.


    The audience erupts into a ridiculous amount of applause, the two men in the ring being thanked for their efforts. Snowmantashi rolls off Krash but, given the exertion of the near twenty minute match, simply stares up at the lights for a moment. Krash rolls under the bottom rope, defeated and quite content to allow the kaiju his moment in the spotlight following his victory.

    And then the music starts. But it’s not his…

    After a moment of realisation, there’s a tirade of derision launched towards the stage. It doesn’t seem to bother the young(ish) woman that appears, a steel chair in her hand, and a devious smile on her face. She nods her head, as if pleased with the concept that she’s concocted and ready to see it out…

    Jim Taylor: “That’s Michelle von Horrowitz! She’s scheduled to compete against Jon Snowmantashi next week on Lake Baikal…”

    Tim Coleman: “But she’s already had her match tonight… if you can really call that a match…”

    The audience watches her as she climbs into the ring, Snowmantashi desperately trying to get to his feet in the ring. He has made it as far as his knees as she gains entry to the ring, and she has a devious smirk on her face now, enjoying her old friend’s struggles… and then, without breaking stride, she tees up and brings the chair crashing down over his head!!

    Snowmantashi’s eyes glaze over, but it takes a second sickening chair shot to send him onto his back!

    Jim Taylor: “There’s absolutely no need for this!”

    Tim Coleman: “For once, Jim, I absolutely agree with you. Michelle von Horrowitz wants so desperately to defeat Jon Snowmantashi next week that she’s made a mockery of this tournament to accomplish it. Snowmantashi’s last match against Krash was longer than all three of MvH’s combined. She had no intention of competing properly against Krash, Maskell, or Chubby Carlos! This is a God-damned disgrace!!”

    Michelle stands in the middle of the ring, looking down at the kaiju. She then allows her eyes to drift around the Circus. The faces of the fans that stare back at her are full of long-remembered vitriol. John Duncan has his hands in his hair, his eyes wide with rage and confusion. She laps it up, and then unfolds her chair, placing it near the corner and demanding a microphone from Lindsay Monaghan…

    Jim Taylor: “It looks like she has something to say. But I’m sick of listening to this woman. Can we not just cut her off?!”

    Tim Coleman: “First sensible thing you’ve said all night, Jim!”

    Michelle takes a seat on her chair, Snowmantashi still down and staring at the ceiling a metre or two away from her. She extends her legs, folding one over the other and presenting the souls of her boots to the kaiju. With a wide-and-widening smile, she addresses Snowmantashi directly.

    MvH: “My tulip, the time is finally here! I have waited so long… so many years... for the opportunity to right the biggest professional blunder in my career. The shadow of that night in New York City five years ago still looms heavily over me. You know this, Jon. I have spoken to you as often as I could - as often as you were willing to crawl out of your hole and greet me - about this. About what it means to me. I know your opinion. You would not need to restate them, even if you were in any condition to do so…”

    She smiles to herself at his inability to reply, and watches the trickle of red ooze out of his forehead. He has barely moved since she’s arrived.

    MvH: “I asked for it back in 2017, when you and McGinnis were refusing myself and Harrison Wake and his Echo lackeys a sniff in the main event scene. I asked for it when Noah Hanson first revived this corpse for One Night Only, but you were not willing to compete… at least not against me. I asked for it Philadelphia, and again on the foothills of Mount Fuji. But you?”

    She spits on the ring mat.

    MvH: “You just gave me riddles and errands. Whether it was to protect a record, or a legacy, or just pure apathy, you have denied me what I have needed for five fucking years. And I know what you’ll say. You don’t owe me anything. And you don’t. But I saw this opportunity - the Gold Rush tournament - as an invitation for me to take what you have so callously, so ignorantly held out of my grasp. And now, after all these sleepless nights, all these troubled dreams, all the night terrors, the voices in the day... these hazy flashbacks, these half-forgotten memories… after all of this…”

    The smile re-emerges.

    MvH: “It finally comes.”

    She allows the words to sink in, and then gets up to her feet. Ignoring Snowmantashi, she circles upon the fans…

    MvH: “Tulips, your disdain only fuels what I have come here to do. I am grateful for being drawn in the same pool as the mountain, for I would’ve had to take these matches more seriously had qualification been necessary. And, by extension, I would be taking this company seriously, too. The very thought of debasing myself so as to pander to a company - and it’s troglodyte fans - that had the audacity... the fucking gall... the scrub me from its history books makes me sick to my fucking stomach. Fuck Noah Hanson, fuck the CWA, and fuck all of you misogynistic, homophobic, nationalistic bitches.”

    The boos threaten to shake the earth, and then the projectiles begin…

    MvH: “I’m Michelle von Horrowitz, and I don’t need to explain anything that I do to any of you. Throw yourselves in, you don’t stand a chance.”

    She holds her ground for a moment amongst the ever-increasing amount of trash being launched at her, and then drops the microphone and retreats. She climbs out of the ring and up the ramp, pausing at the top of it to look back down at the ring…

    Jim Taylor: “What a class act…”

    Tim Coleman: “I can’t wait for Jon Snowmantashi to rip her fucking head off next week…”

    Whilst Michelle is stood at the top of the ramp, Snowmantashi has finally rolled onto his front. She allows him to get onto his knees as he wipes some of the blood from his forehead, looking down at the red liquid and then up at MvH on the stage…

    We fade to black, and then to our customary promotional package for the upcoming South Pacific event…

    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)
    When we return to the arena, we are in the backstage area with Michelle Kelly. She is in the parking lot and walking at pace, trying to get to a limousine before the door is slammed shut. She manages to catch it just in time, and then the camera pans around her to get a look inside the vehicle. Sitting down on the leather seating, pouring himself a flute of champagne, is Jonathan McGinnis, looking resplendent in his suit and a pair of shades. There’s a wide smile on his face, which only widens when he catches a glimpse of Michelle Kelly.

    Jonathan McGinnis: “Ah, Michelle! I told you to book time with me through my agent, and you didn’t! It was good to see you earlier, even if we didn’t get chance to talk. But, if you really want to come with us, I suppose you can hop in…”

    The cameraman does his best to get a view of the whole interior, and we can see Drew and Ethan Connor sitting at the far end of the limo. Around them are a quartet of gymnasts and trapeze artists that we saw glimpses of earlier in the show, now in their street clothes and ready to enjoy a night out in Yekaterinburg with The Indy Club. Drew holds a bottle of champagne up to the camera and then takes a swig…

    Ethan Connor: “Kelly can come, but the dork cameraman stays here!”

    Michelle Kelly: “Um, I was hoping that I could ask you a few questions, Jonathan…”

    McGinnis gives her a wry smile, and then fills a second and a third champagne flute. He gives one each to the two jugglers that accompanied him onto the stage. They are still wearing their leotards.

    Jonathan McGinnis: “We’re kind of in a rush, Michelle! Did you know the Romanovs were murdered here?! The last Tsars of Russia… wiped out completely by the noble bolsheviks! It’s almost a shame I was facing a jobber like Jackson and not Truth or Snowmantashi. The metaphor would’ve been more compelling. But you take it how it comes, you know…”

    Michelle holds the microphone out in front of McGinnis, bidding him to go on. The indy God shrugs and offers the freshly poured flutes to his new acquaintances.

    Jonathan McGinnis: “Okay, Michelle… one question...”

    Michelle muses for a moment, and then decides to take the most direct route.

    Michelle Kelly: “Well, I guess… what the hell happened out there?!”

    McGinnis can’t help but crack another smile. He picks up his own flute and half-drains it, shaking his head as if he can’t quite believe what has happened out there…

    Jonathan McGinnis: “I know, right?! First, The Indy Club rides again, and then MvH destroys the kaiju about twenty minutes afterwards?! It’s like the Last Days of Rome out there, Michelle! And it’s only night three!!”

    The two jugglers look stern, and exchange a few curt words in Russian. McGinnis looks at them and shrugs.

    Jonathan McGinnis: “Не понимаю… I think my new friends are getting a little bit impatient with you, Michelle. But I’ll give you this, for old time’s sake. The second Noah Hanson made this about more than just bragging rights… the moment he brought Brayden Bridges…”

    He almost scoffs when he says the name…

    Jonathan McGinnis: “... into this situation, and along with him the CWA World Heavyweight Championship? Well, the game changed. And I must change with it. Stagnation, Michelle. That’s what I see when I look around the locker room. Snowmantashi… Humanity… Jackson… all relics of the past, unwilling or unable to change. Even Krash, Truth, von Horrowitz… we see them every week in the other place, but I see the same misanthropes and failures that skulked around our halls all of those years ago. I am not here to answer any questions, Michelle. I’m here to ask them…”

    His grin has somewhat faded, and he catches himself before he slips into seriousness and sincerity…

    Jonathan McGinnis: “But these are thoughts for another time! Tonight is for celebrating. Either you’re coming, or you aren’t…”

    Michelle says nothing, and McGinnis promptly drains his flute. He flashes her one more massive smile with his immaculate pearly whites.

    Jonathan McGinnis: “I’m sorry, Michelle! I’m afraid that’s all we have time for! Next stop, Vanuatu!”

    Michelle replies with a puzzled look on her face…

    Michelle Kelly: “There are two more stops before Vanuatu, Jonathan: Baikal and Vladivostok.”

    Drew Connor lets out a laugh, as if Michelle has just committed an intellectual atrocity, whilst Jonathan McGinnis offers one of the jugglers a wink.

    Jonathan McGinnis: “Those aren’t stops, Michelle! Just bumps in the road! Let’s go, driver! В’переод!”

    The door finally slams shut, and Michelle Kelly takes a couple of steps back. There’s a concerned look on her face, the camera focussing on her countenance for a moment before returning to the arena…

    The momentary lull in the mood brought about by Jonathan McGinnis and Michelle von Horrowitz retreats somewhat from memory when Cyrus Truth walks out onto the stage. He surveys the State Circus and the short ramp between him and the ring. The audience gives him an overwhelmingly positive reaction, glad to see their saviour emerge after so much of the darkness has brought with it the darkness…

    Jim Taylor: “Cyrus Truth has been an impressive presence in Pool B so far… he’s on two wins out of two, making short work of a rusty Christopher Jackson before overcoming Humanity in a hard-fought encounter last week…”

    Tim Coleman: “He’ll be looking to continue that trend tonight, and I can’t really see anything being able to stop him from doing so. Truth has been his dominant self so far in this tournament, and he has to be one of the clear favourites…”

    Jim Taylor: “Just listen to these loyal CWA fans show their appreciation for Cyrus Truth, Time! And looking around in Pool B, they don’t have much else left to cheer for. Humanity, Shawn Summers, and Nate Savage have all had their disagreements with the fanbase in the past, and Jonathan McGinnis has now turned his back on them, too.”

    Tim Coleman: “I don’t think this is a responsibility that Truth would seek out, but it’s a mantle he’s taken on before.”

    Truth has climbed into the ring and takes up a central position, waiting patiently for his opponent.

    Nate Savage walks out onto the stage to a mostly negative reaction, but it doesn’t seem to remotely bother him. He doesn’t stop to survey the crowd as he stomps down the ramp and towards the ring.

    Jim Taylor: “Something to note is the presence of Jackson Fenix here alongside Nate Savage. We saw Fenix out at ringside last week, and a distraction from him led to Savage picking up his first win of the tournament. Doubtlessly this will be something Savage will want to use to his advantage again…”

    Tim Coleman: “Well, I think the reasoning behind Fenix’s presence probably has more to do with The Echo and their actions last week. Drew and Ethan Connor have lit a fire under the belly of the CWA Tag Team Division…”

    Jim Taylor: “We saw the Connors leaving the arena along with Jonathan McGinnis moments ago, but I don’t think The Undisputed Alliance trusts the word of The Indy Club. Strength in numbers is the name of the game for Nate Savage here tonight, especially with Murder, Inc. lurking around backstage as well…”

    Savage has climbed through the ropes and doesn’t back down one bit, walking across the ring and past Truth as he takes up position in his corner. He proceeds to loosen up as Lindsay Monaghan climbs into the ring for the last time this evening…

    Lindsay Monaghan: “Ladies and gentlemen the following is a Pool B match, scheduled for one-fall, with a twenty minute time limit! And is your MAIN EVENT!”

    A cheer goes up in the arena, Nate Savage nodding his head and staring across the ring at a motionless Cyrus Truth.

    Lindsay Monaghan: “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!"

    Mostly boos for Savage, but he gives it no reaction. He only has eyes for Truth, tension building between the two CWA stalwarts.

    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 cheers again, the 2,500-strong crowd beginning a chant of the former world champion’s name. He goes on staring at Nate Savage, into his eyes and into his soul. Lindsay Monaghan, feeling the tension, climbs out of the ring and retreats to the time-keeper’s area. Finally, the referee calls for the bell...

    Pool B - Night Three - Match Eighteen.

    The two men who started the evening at the top of Pool B are cagey to start this one off, circling the ring slowly before they come together. Nate Savage glares at Cyrus from across the ring, who has an almost passive expression on his face in turn. Outside of the ring, Jackson Fenix keeps a watchful eye on the stage. Cyrus pays him no mind, nor does he seem to register the audience that is overwhelmingly in his favour. He has eyes only for Savage, and then he attempts to engage him in a collar and elbow tie up. Savage looks like he’ll reciprocate, but then floats beneath into a rear waist lock. He clubs Cyrus in the back three times, and then slaps on a hammer lock. He wrenches at the hold, but Truth rolls through and then twists into a wrist lock, meanwhile kicking at Savage’s thighs. Savage attempts to break out with a lariat, but Truth ducks it. He follows up with a boot to the midsection… and then a snap suplex! He looks to follow up but Savage has already rolled under the bottom rope.

    Jim Taylor: “Nate Savage taking a breather here. He doesn’t really want to be going hold for hold with Cyrus Truth…”

    Tim Coleman: “He’ll probably look to rely on his striking game in this one, but Truth is no slouch in that department himself. We see Savage conversing with Fenix on the outside here, and you have to wonder if having his Undisputed Alliance partner with him will turn out to be a difference maker for Nasty Nate…”

    When the official has reached eight on his count, Savage slides into the ring and Truth allows him to rise. The two again circle the ring, and it looks like they’ll try another collar and elbow. At the last moment, though, Savage instead hits a straight right hand, rocking Truth. He follows up with a pair of forearms and a European uppercut, which sends Cyrus back into the corner. Savage throws him into the opposite one with an Irish whip and attempts to follow him in with a clothesline, but Truth evades it. He goes for a discus punch, but Savage ducks underneath it and then hits Cyrus with a swinging neckbreaker! He goes for the cover, but Truth is able to get his shoulder up at two.

    Savage is able to keep control during the opening minutes of the match-up. He gets another two-count shortly afterwards with a sidewinder suplex, and then proceeds to wear Truth down with a series of stomps and, when he’s on his feet, forearms and knife edge chops. He continues the grind with a reverse chin lock, which Truth is able to fight up and out of, and when he’s back to his feet he backs Savage, who has transitioned into a headlock, into the ropes. He throws Nate into the opposite set and goes for a clothesline, but Nate ducks beneath it and locks in a sleeper! Savage continues to wear Truth down, driving the air out of him with the move, and soon enough Cyrus is down to a knee…

    Tim Coleman: “Nate Savage is of course a highly decorated competitor here in the CWA, not to mention elsewhere in the world of professional wrestling… but I must admit I’m slightly surprised as to how dominantly he’s started this one.”

    Jim Taylor: “Truth has been impervious in this tournament so far, picking up victories over Christopher Jackson and Humanity in St. Petersburg and Moscow. I think a lot of people expected him to continue that trajectory here in Yekaterinburg… But he’s going to sleep right now!”

    Cyrus does indeed seem to be fading, but the audience are making a racket to try and motivate him. The official is forced to check his arm, but Truth shows signs of life and begins to fight back up. He hits a trio of elbows to Savage’s ribs… but Nate then throws him overhead unceremoniously with a sleeper suplex! He goes for the pin…

    ONE… TWO… NO!

    Truth gets a shoulder up, and Savage goes straight back to work with some stomps. Truth struggles to get away, and eventually finds himself sitting in the corner, Savage proceeding to lay into him with more stomps whilst holding the top rope. The referee starts a count for Savage to stop, which he eventually does, before picking Truth up by the scruff of the neck and dumping him unceremoniously over the top rope. Nate follows him out, and - after a few MORE stomps - throws Truth face-first into the announcer’s desk, and then he Irish whips him into the barricade! Savage closes in and unloads with some chops whilst Truth is backed up against the barricade, and then attempts to clothesline him over the top… but Cyrus ducks to evade! Nate hits the barricade instead! And then he turns into a boot to the midsection, followed by a tiger suplex on the outside!!

    Jim Taylor: “How quickly things can shift…”

    Tim Coleman: “Cyrus Truth is finally able to turn the tables on Savage, but it looks like this match has already taken quite a lot out of him… and the official’s count has already reached eight!”

    Realising this, Cyrus rolls into the ring and then back out again, picking Savage up and Irish whipping him into the ring apron. Truth hits a few forearms of his own, before taking Nate by the hair, and running him into the steel ring post! Savage’s head hits the post with a thunk and he’s on the ground again. Truth takes a moment to suck in some oxygen before lifting Nate up and throwing him beneath the bottom rope. Truth climbs into the ring too and stalks Savage, hitting him with an enziguri when he’s up! Nate somehow manages to stay on his feet, and so Truth slaps on a full nelson… dragon suplex! Truth hooks a leg…

    ONE… TWO… NO!

    Savage gets a shoulder up, and Truth picks the arm, trying to shift him into position for the fujiwara arm bar! Nate senses that danger is on him, and wriggles instantly over to the bottom rope, managing to hook his free arm onto it just as Truth wrenches the other one into the hold. The official starts the count, and Truth is forced to relinquish. He allows Savage to get to his feet… and Nate repays the respect by giving him a thumb to the eye! Truth is momentarily blinded, and Nate takes him down with an STO! Truth tries to escape by rolling onto his front…

    Jim Taylor: “STF! Nate is going for it… he’s got it locked in! In the middle of the ring!”

    Cyrus writhes in agony, and it looks like he’s considering tapping out, but each time it seems as if he’s going to throw in the towel he instead clenches his fist and inches towards the bottom rope… and then hooks onto it. Nate uses every moment of the five that he can before finally releasing. The official gets in his face about the late release, and so Savage is forced to back off to allow Truth to get to his feet. When Cyrus is up, Nate charges the ring… and Truth lifts him up and flapjacks him onto the top rope! Nate comes down over it throat-first, and then he’s rocked to a knee. Truth hits a second enziguri! And then a discus punch! Savage hits the mat!

    But Truth isn’t done there. Instantly, he lifts Savage up and puts him into an Argentinian rack… and then he slams Nate down with a neckbreaker!

    Jim Taylor: “Exile’s Edge! This could be over!”

    Tim Coleman: “Truth hooks BOTH legs!”

    ONE… TWO… THR - - NO!!!

    Savage SOMEHOW gets the shoulder up and Truth shakes his head in disbelief. He goes back to work, hoisting Nate up and then a fireman’s carry…

    Jim Taylor: “I think he’s looking for Journey’s End…”

    Tim Coleman: “But Savage is fighting out! He kicks his legs and drives that elbow into Cyrus’ head!”

    Truth is forced to drop Savage, who lands behind him, placing Cyrus in a pumphandle position… pumphandle neckbreaker! Followed by a running senton!! Savage goes for the pin…

    ONE… TWO… TH - - NO!!

    Truth kicks out, and Savage lifts him straight up to his feet. He throws him towards the ropes, looking for his pop-up powerbomb finisher… but Truth checks his momentum by hooking his arms around the top rope. Savage charges at him… but Truth takes him out with a low drop-kick!! Savage is down to his knees, and Truth applies a one handed choke… he takes him down with a legsweep STO!

    Tim Coleman: “Truth successful with Memento Mori! And he’s not done there… he lifts Savage up with the fireman’s carry again… this time he hits it! Journey’s End!!”

    Jim Taylor: “Nate Savage is dropped on his head with that sit-out belly-to-belly piledriver. And now all that Truth has to do is hook a leg…”

    Result: Cyrus Truth defeats Nate Savage via pinfall at 14:28.


    Cyrus Truth kneels in the centre of the ring, Nate Savage rolling away and beneath the bottom rope. He’s greeted there by Jackson Fenix, who supports his tag team partner’s weight and begins to usher him towards the ramp. Truth gets up to his feet, the referee taking him by the hand and lifting his arm in victory.

    Jim Taylor: “Cyrus Truth moves to a dominant position at the top of Pool B with a total of six points, three victories giving him a perfect record to start this tournament off. But it’s no easy task ahead for The Wayward Warrior. Shawn Summers will be looking to upset the apple-cart in Vladivostok, but before then he has a show-down with Jonathan McGinnis at Baikal… and surely that will mean The Indy Club are close at hand…”

    Cyrus Truth has taken his hand away from the referee and climbs up to the second turnbuckle in one of the corners. He surveys the audience who are still applauding him freely, finally recognising them with a single, solemn nod of the head…

    Tim Coleman: “After the quite tumultuous chain of events in the second half of this show, we finish Night Three with Cyrus Truth standing tall after a well-earned victory…”

    Jim Taylor: “And a fair victory, most importantly! Truth has gone through this tournament undefeated, and he’s done it with his integrity intact. And that’s more than I can say about his opponent next week…”

    Cyrus Truth traces his hands around the outline of an invisible championship belt around his waist, still standing atop the second turnbuckle.

    Tim Coleman: “And that’s just one of six more matches coming to you from Lake Baikal. We also have the current CWA World Tag Team Champions, The Gang Stars, facing off one-on-one… and speaking of the tag team division, The Division will be in attendance on Night Four… The Echo, The Undisputed Alliance, The Gang Stars, and The Division… all under one roof!”

    Truth hops down from the corner and climbs out of the ring, beginning the short walk up the ramp.

    Jim Taylor: “Or upon one island, Tim! There is no roof! Our competitors will have to brave the elements alongside each other… and what about that Five-Star Attraction re-match?! Truth versus McGinnis… Black versus Krash… von Horrowitz versus Snowmantashi… on one card!!”

    Tim Coleman: “This, ladies and gentlemen, is the Gold Rush!”

    Truth stands on the stage and looks back at the ring, and then up at the CWA logo that is hung high in the rafters of the Circus. We cut away from the arena to our wide shot of the surrounding area, the engine and the blades of a helicopter audible from (and responsible for) our vantage point. It is now night, street lamps illuminating the busy area around the Circus. Finally, as the show comes to a close, a hundred rockets are let off above the arena: first red for Truth, then green for MvH, and finally black against the black sky for Jonathan McGinnis and his Indy Club.



    Title graphic: ComebackKid.
    Alyster Black vs. Dan Maskell match: SmoothJazzWolf.
    Murder, Inc. segment: Cuddleywhiskers.
    Nate Savage segment: Jimmy King.
    Chubby Carlos vs. MvH match: An Original Name.
    Christopher Jackson segment: Mr. Franchise.
    Dan Maskell segment: Shade.


    Maskell / Carlos. Jackson / Humanity. Summers / Savage.
    Truth / McGinnis. Krash / Black. Snowmantashi / von Horrowitz.

    Coming Saturday 10th April, 2021.

  2. #2
    I'm a Stone Cold Lee Guy.
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    reserved for review
    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

  3. #3
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    This is another fantastic edition to a collection of great events since you've started producing CWA shows. I actually like the smaller, intimate setting for tonight's action as opposed to the grander stages of the previous two nights. It made the MVH/Snowmantashi story feel grittier to me somehow, imagining the fans packed in the u-shape around the proceedings. Was the right night for MvH to be a pantomime villain. I think MVH beats Snowmantashi next week, recording her only W of the whole shebang. Snowmantashi, I think makes the finals against Shawn Summers. Unsure on the remaining spots; it's primed for say a McGinnis and a Truth but I'm pretty sure McGinnis didn't promo which makes it hard for me to get to invested in anything he does on these shows which is a shame because 1) it's McGinnis and 2) AON is firing pretty hard with The Connors.

    Maskell and Savage are two others that are going to be in the mix come the final night and I've enjoyed them both much more here than I have on FWA programming if I'm being honest. Though Maskell is obviously new and Savage is part of a stable so he'll inadvertently receive less shine than he does in a singles setting here.

    The segments were great throughout; the Jackson seg was definitely needed and think it gave him a good boost. Wrote the role of vet very well.

    Enjoying the continued focus in the tag team division (which seems to be taking our e-fed universe by storm at the moment) and really dug Murder Inc.'s promo.

    Correctly hyped for N4.

    3X World Tag Team Champion (w/Christian Quinn, w/Randy Ramon & w/Ryan Rondo)
    1X Gauntlet Champion


  4. #4
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    Found some time during work to put some thoughts down! Going to try and get around to reviewing N4 when I can!

    Prefacing this by saying - it’ll be a shame when Gold Rush/South Pacific ends because these CWA shows have been a delight. Obviously you and Man will bring it with the more consistent FWA shows, but nevertheless. I’m going to miss the frequent CWA shows.

    Weird lack of mention of Brooke Connor, the other Connor sibling who has already debut in CWA and promised to be the greatest womens wrestler of all time. This Kasey Connor just doesn’t have the same spunk to her. Don’t like.

    Dug the recap of the Diamond Dogs/Echo rivalry. I think both of these teams are some of my favorites in both efeds, it’s a shame neither never made it to FWA (well, long term) because they’re both quality. Fun match between the two. Echo get the predictable win given their bigger Vanuatu match. Kasey has a failed attempt at trying to look like an Echo but she feels fake af.

    Black vs. Maskell was a suitably hyperviolent opening match for tonight’s Gold Rush. They’re both two of the most vicious dudes right now and this match, as well as the finish to it, definitely allowed both guys to live up to the rep. Poor referee having too much integrity to just let them kill each other. (Still not a fan of referencing real world wrestlers but meh). Good win for Maskell! Would love to see a rematch between the two.

    Wow what a sweet Murder Inc. debut seg! In all honesty, starting a new character(s) is tough, and Im still trying to figure out what Im doing with them in the few chances I get to write with them. I think this was a solid start, reading back, but not necessarily hitting quite the characterization I want. Its a work in progress.

    Slightly interesting Summers/Division had no intention of getting revenge on Echo earlier in the show. Bit of a predictable win for Summers who we know has had a solid RP and is in a group with 3 other no shows. It comes down to between him & Savage in the end, but I respect doing the best you can to keep the stakes interesting in Pool B.

    Solid Nate Savage interview to reinforce his chances of winning and hype up the rivalry with the Echo.

    MVH vs. Chubby Carlos goes just about as you’d expect it to go.

    Heel McGinnis! Good “Happy To Be Here” promo from Christopher Jackson. Wondering if we might see more from Christopher Jackson past the tournament, now? McGinnis taking three matches to hit a superkick is an abomination, no wonder he’s struggled. Delighted at the return of the Indy Club and peak heel Indy God McGinnis! If Willis had actually showed, I’d even believe he was a contender for a top two finish.

    LOL at Maskell’s opening line. Also, expected. Whole segment was sweet and Dan Maskell sounded suitably pissed off and ruthless recapping his run in the tournament. Also, Dan, I can totally relate on not getting the main events you deserve. Good job to Shade on this seg.

    Big big match between Krash & Snowmantashi. Krash was definitely one of the guys I was super happy to get to face during Snowmantashi’s reign since I hadn’t had much action against the CWA legends and honestly Krash is such a good opponent for Snowmantashi as the… traditionally… white meat babyface of the company. Nearly goes to a draw and takes Snowmantashi a super finisher to pull out a win which is fitting. It’s a loss for Krash but I think Carlos still has a really tough job to get more points. Though I suppose Snowmantashi isn’t out of the woods yet, either and Maskell still has a reasonable shot.

    MVH murdering Snowmantashi with a chair brings back great memories!

    McGinnis being a heel again is still very mint. Also I respect his fluent Russian. I dont see how he’s not the Russians favorite to win the whole thing with how much effort he’s put into assimilating himself into the culture.

    Cool main event between Savage and Truth. Truth continues to be the undisputed king of Pool B. As much as I dig Savage, I have a hard time not seeing Summers claw his way up to that 2nd spot.

    Solid show altogether! Lots of huge matches and plenty of sweet segments. Heel McGinnis is a joy to see return and Maskell has added a lot of fuel to his next match against Chubby Carlos. That should be another good match to see. And again, full credit to SS on the whole show looking great, the atmosphere feeling incredibly distinct and fresh, and the whole show coming together nicely.

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