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Thread: Meltdown XV | Homecoming: Pittsburgh | Un Thread Pour Le Promo

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    Meltdown XV | Homecoming: Pittsburgh | Un Thread Pour Le Promo

    Post promos for Meltdown XIV in here

    Post should go up by the deadlines below, and there are fifteen minutes of grace period afterwards (nothing should be edited past 15 minutes after the deadline, and nothing should be posted after the deadline). It's best not to wait till the last second because WC is fickle as fuck and there's always coding issues.

    If you don't meet the deadline, it will be up to your opponents to unanimously allow your promo to count (unless it's like an hour past deadline, then you're out of luck).
    Promo Deadline:

    Promo Deadline:
    Wednesday 18th May at 11:59 PM Pacific Time.
    Thursday 19th
    May at 2:59 AM Eastern Standard Time
    Thursday19th May at 7:59 AM British Standard Time
    Thursday19th May at 10:59 AM Moscow Standard Time
    Thursday 19th May at 5:59 PM Australian Eastern Standard Time and Chamarro Standard Time

    Grading Rubric

    EXTENSIONS (policy):
    EVERYONE'S GOT AN EXTENSION
    EXCEPT BLAINE AND AON

    IMPORTANT NOTES:

    - Did you read Chainsaw Man? You should.


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    Re: Meltdown XV | Homecoming: Pittsburgh | Un Thread Pour Le Promo

    Where are we? Who are we? How did we get here? These questions aren't for us to answer. The important thing is that we've here, wherever here happens to be, and we've not alone as our eyes adjust to the infinite white void that seems to be surrounding the scene.....


    At least that's what Lizzie Rose saw once she opened her eyes.


    Like she just woke up from the world's worst nightmare, Lizzie's eyes slam open in shock start breathing heavily, trying to collect her senses and get a handle of where he actually was-


    Funnily enough, she was in a room she was intimately familiar with; Her dressing room. Well... not strictly her room as such. Lizzie Rose was never considered important enough a member of the FWA to have that luxury. In fact, it's a well-documented fact that the FWA bean counters weren't fans of Rose, and seemed to go out of their way to make her life a misery. To that end, she was often forced to change in the broom closet, sharing a space with the janitor, still; if Lizzie had a talent, it was making friends in high places. So she got by with help from Devin and-


    Well, just Devin now...


    But at this moment? She was in a rather lovely room for herself. She was on a chair that sat pride of place in front of a full-length dressing room mirror. The room was brightly lit, and there was a strong scent of sweet smiling perfume in the air. Peaceful, tranquil. All was well.


    Sighing contently, she reached for her hairbrush and expertly began to brush it smoothly, working away any knots. She continued to brush her hair ever so calmly before her eyes just happened to blink upwards towards the mirror, and the brush froze in her hands.


    Her reflection was not brushing her hair; it didn't even have a hairbrush in its hands; all it was doing was staring blankly ahead….


    Rose just stared right back at her image; her eyes narrowed, trying to rationalize what exactly was she was seeing; she leaned forward in place and slowly waved her hand in front of the mirror as if trying to force her mirror self to copy her movements but the mirror version of her didn't move an inch.


    Lizzie Rose: "Ok, that's....weird


    Mirror Lizzie "What are you going to do if Sawyer Xavier beats you?


    Lizzie eyes snapped open in shock, her body twisting behind her as if the comment was directed at someone else hiding in this room. I mean, that didn't just happen, did it? Her reflection didn't just talk to her... right? Lizzie's considerable experience, this type of thing only ever occurred in one of two situations; A) In seriously cheesy, poorly written screenplays where it comes off as super pretentious, or B) When someone was going insane.


    Lizzie Rose: Yeah, this may as well happen, I guess...


    Lizzie sighs to herself as if this revelation was less shocking and more like insanity based hallucinations were always on the cards. It was just a matter of time, really...


    Lizzie Rose: "So what happens now? Do I jump in a lake and start singing? Do I go on long rants about how the government is made up of bees? Should I start investing in bitcoin right away?


    Mirror Lizzie: You're not insane, Lizzie. Stupid, maybe. But not insane.


    Lizzie Rose: "OH MY GOD, AM I DEAD?!"


    Mirror Lizzie: "Ok, let's take a beat. Please walk me through that. Why would you be dead at this moment? What led you to that conclusion?


    Lizzie Rose: "....This is kinda spooky?"


    Mirror Lizzie: "...No, Lizzie, You're not dead because you have a vague sense of unease...


    Lizzie Rose: "Oh. Good. So...Ummm...what IS going on? Because I'm like...super confused right now...who are you?!


    Mirror Lizzie: A consequence.


    Lizzie Rose: "Um, that's not helping the whole vague sense of unease right now."


    Mirror Lizzie: "I knew you were weak, but I never thought it would come to this..."


    The reflected version of Lizzie was like the rave ….but not. It looked identical to her in everywhere imaginable, yet her body language was almost the exact opposite of her counterpart; distant but focused, and her voice didn't have the same kind of subtle anxiety that seemed to lace all of Lizzie Rose's words. The voice was cold and clinical—matter of fact with some manner of bite behind it.


    Lizzie Rose: "Come to what? What are you talking about?!"


    Mirror Lizzie: "You made this happen! And now Everything is ruined! Everything we ever wanted. All of our potential, Everything we might have been! It's all GONE. Because of YOU!"


    Lizzie Rose: What did I do?! I have no idea what you're talking about!


    Mirror Lizzie: You had the chance to BE something, Lizzie. Be more than anyone thought you could be. You actually believed, you could. Do you know how rare that is in life?! To fall down the mountain, day after day, repeatedly and STILL keep climbing? That's a gift; we should have been world champ by now...instead, we're...THIS. A loser, Charlie Brown constantly trying to kick the football. Now sooner later, we're going to end up back where we came. it's just so disappointing, Lizzie, it really is..."


    Lizzie's brow furrowed noticeably; insane or not; she did not appreciate being talked down to, even by herself.


    Lizzie Rose: Look, I could handle anyone else on the roster saying that stuff; I'm kinda numb to it, at this point, to be honest. It's actually one of the better things about having low self-esteem, but I ain't taking it from...Me...Us...You? Sorry, this is just confusing. Do you have a name I can call you by?


    Mirror Lizzie: Sure, call me Michelle.


    Lizzie Rose: Oh wow, that's helpful, thank you! Is that your name?


    Mirror Lizzie: "Yep"


    Lizzie Rose: Really?!


    Mirror Lizzie: "NO-! OF COURSE NOT! I'M LITERALLY YOUR REFLECTION, YOU IDIOT!


    Lizzie Rose: You know, for a reflection, you have a crappy point of view...


    Mirror Lizzie: "Oh, you want to talk about my point of view?! Do you know what I see?! I see someone who won ONE match all year. ONE. You couldn't even win in front of the one crowd that likes you. YOU LET BROOKLYN I don't see a fighter; I see someone that just latched on to people hat pities you to survive like a slug in the wild. One of those people is...I mean delusional at best, and the other-


    At that very moment, something changed in Lizzie Rose's demeanor. Somewhere, deep down inside her, something just SNAPPED. Since she arrived in FWA, she's taken, and taken and taken but now? Now she stops being a victim. Now...FINALLY, she started fighting back; with a mighty roar, she picked up the hairbrush and with all the fury and strength she could muster, she hurled it right into the center of the mirror...

    ...Where it instantly bounced off and ricocheted right into Lizzie's nose like a rocket

    Lizzie Rose: AH!


    Mirror Lizzie:"...Why did you do that? What did you think was going to happen?!


    Lizzie Rose: "I don't know, I thought it would shatter and look really cool and dramatic and also be some kind of metaphor? I don't know...


    Mirror Lizzie "You thought a hairbrush would shatter a mirror...."


    Lizzie Rose: Well, when you say it like that, it sounds silly...


    Mirror Lizzie: "You still haven't answered my question. What happens if you don't beat Sawyer Xavier?


    Maybe surprisingly, the answer comes to Lizzie easily. One of the few things that come out of her mouth that sounds like she believes it.


    Lizzie Rose: "I won't."


    Lizzie in the mirror raises a single eyebrow at these words.


    Mirror Lizzie: "... Isn't that what you always say"


    Lizzie Rose: "No, not like this...I actually...HAVE to win this one, not to survive but..to prove that I can.."


    Lizzie pauses, her face abruptly becoming stiff and determined, a strange kind of fire coming over her, for the first time matching the reflection.


    Lizzie Rose: Trust me, despite what happened with...you know who...I'm focused on Sawyer. I know what he's capable of; I know he isn't a joke. I mean, let's forget the fact that he could probably run circles around most of the roster, and Sawyer is probably more athletic than a lot of people on Meltdown when he's asleep.. You add that to his friend at the side of the ring, and...yeah...things look bad. I've dealt with enough people that looked at me with those thoughts to know what happens if I take him lightly. I kind of have to get my head in the game now...I need to go into this match knowing that if I was in his shoes? I'd be working my butt off to make sure I was ready. Because I know how seriously I take this, and I know easy it is to lose when you think you've got it in the bag. It happens to the best of the best, and all it takes is one mistake. One small second where he's better than me, and bam! It doesn't matter what advantages you have or how good you think you are; all that matters is what you do when you're in that ring. Nothing else matters. So if I go out there and overlook Saus...is that his name anymore? He walks through me like he thinks he can; what can I say? I know Sawyer can beat me. I know what he can do out there, But I have to go out there and prove I can beat him, that I can beat ANYONE. and I'm not gonna get very far with that if I overlook him. At the end of the day? He wouldn't be here if he weren't one of the best wrestlers in the world? But with all due respect, I have more to gain. I have more to prove. I have more to win


    She pauses momentarily, clearly getting somewhat emotional, but she stops before her voice starts to strain, clearly focused on the task at hand.


    Lizzie Rose: At some point, something has to give, you know? If nothing else, Fallout taught me something; I gotta stand on my own two feet. I have to show the world, that I CAN beat someone like Sawyer. That I CAN compete with the best, that I don't need Devin to fight my battles for me...That I can do this; That WE can do it.


    She spares a glance at the reflection in front of her, who is looking at her with interest.


    Lizzie Rose: Maybe...Fallout was an end...but it doesn't have to MY end. Maybe that's the difference between Sawyer and me. Because when I get knocked down, I try and figure out where I went wrong, improve myself, and make sure I never make the same mistake again. So, honestly? I hope this match teaches Sawyer something. Because I know there's going to be no excuses, I'm going out there with the expectation of the best version of him. I'm going out there expecting him to go harder than he has in any of his previous matches, and I know it could be possible that I walk out on the losing side of this. But while he may give us the best Sawyer Xavier possible, I'm going to give the best Lizzie Rose possible, and I'm definitely going to work harder than I have in any match I've ever had. That's a promise... That's why I won't lose...


    Mirror Lizzie: Well, that does raise an important-Good God; what are you doing on the floor, lady?"


    Eh?! Ok, that was a little weird, mainly as the voice takes a totally different tone, suddenly becoming more masculine and not like Lizzie at all.


    It sounded more like-


    Scruffy The Janitor" "Geez, what the hell happened to you? You've been out on the floor few a good while! This room isn't well ventilation, and the cleaning fluids are strong and well-


    And just like that, Lizzie found herself staring up at the dim lights of the broom closet, with the janitor staring up at her.


    Lizzie Rose:- Can you do me a favour Don't tell Devin about this. I feel like my fever dreams.
    Last edited by An Original Name; 05-18-2022 at 11:25 PM.
    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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    Re: Meltdown XV | Homecoming: Pittsburgh | Un Thread Pour Le Promo

    "Wrestling is a form of art, I just wish to master it."

    We cut to an unusual area for Sawyer Xavier. We see Sawyer through the lens of a camera, as he sits out in an area near the Springfield Falls.

    "Listen, life hasn't been that enjoyable. So what, big deal. I lose a few matches, go absolutely insane and go off the grid until Meltdown, it's fine. Because at the end of the day, I'm Sawyer Xavier."


    "For the past month or so, how long has it been? Going off the grid hurts your perspective of time. But, that past month, I realized something. Something deep within the roots of the brilliance that makes me, me. I've realized that if the world is out to get me, join them."

    Sawyer sighed as a grin met his face, which looked recently shaved.

    "Because, the world will never take your side. It's only gonna push you right back down. So, join the bullies. Join the ones who wish you the worst. This little self-reflection, self imposed exile has truly opened my eyes to the pure evil of this business. The sweethearts, the "underdogs, god I hate that word, the true winners, the ones who deserve it all are pushed down the card left to rot! They become nobodies. And at the top are the scum bags who use the guys at the bottom for a stepping stool."

    "Lizzie, I don't know if you're watching. Or listening, or if you're just reading a little tidbit. You and me aren't so different. You've been pushed to the bottom. You've been left off cards. You've been left off promotional posters. You are a nobody, like me. The only difference is, you've been hand fed chances to rise up like you're a goddess. You're the best out of all the nobodies on this roster."

    "You're practically hand fed grapes, and you have been granted everything you've wanted. You were the protege to Gabrielle, now you're with Golden. I gotta say, congratulations. The biggest underdog in the FWA, being the disposable tool to the greater stars. You have all the tools, but you don't ever take'em'. Me, I had to go out of my way to find someone who believed in me."

    "I won't call myself successful. I've let the worst me take control. I've not been as motivated as I could be. So, I took off for a few weeks. I walked through nature, I've talked with people who have it much worse than me, and I've discovered something. Just like the unfortunate, the world hates me. It may be my fault, I'm not a people person. But I'm not constantly attracting big stars, I'm just stuck doing whatever I need to to try and find my groove."

    "Maybe I'll find my groove, Lizzie, when the nobodies fight. We'll put on a show, then it'll be forgotten. So, let's make magic with the short time we have. Sounds like a plan?"

    Sawyer laughed to himself, before leaning towards the camera.

    "Lizzie Rose, if only you knew how lucky you are. Lucky enough to be friends with the best this company has to offer. Spare some luck for the other nobodies, would ya?"

    Sawyer turned the camera off, immediately cutting the video. The camera cut to behind him, as George E. Brilliant walked into the shot.

    "Well spoken."

    "I've been practicing."

    "Not your best you, huh? Still haven't fully taken in the malice?"

    "I gotta be able to have the chance too."

    "Well, what's next for you?"

    "Frankly, I don't know. There's no more gauntlet title. I'm thinking I'll help embrace my fellow nobodies. Or maybe join the rest of the world. Haven't decided."

    "Take your time, because either way, I'll make sure you're treated right."

    "That's why I hired ya'."

    Sawyer stood up and grabbed his camera.

    "Shall we head out?

    "We shall."

    The two would leave the waterfall sight, walking down a lowly-lit path, a path of darkness and uncertainty. The path that very well may lead the nobodies to the future.



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    Re: Meltdown XV | Homecoming: Pittsburgh | Un Thread Pour Le Promo

    Chris Peacock and Joe Burr in…

    RAGE IN THE CAGE 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO

    The sound of the door slamming shut behind Joe Burr and Chris Peacock echoes around the large open room. Following that is an uneasy silence as the duo feel dozens of pairs of eyes locked on them from all corners of the space.

    Chris is the first one to take a step forward and he sets his bedding, toothbrush and towel down on the metal table in front of them. Joe follows, but struggles walking due to his jumpsuit getting caught around his feet as he walks. They didn’t have one small enough for him. He has to settle for an awkward looking shuffle, not helped by the fact that he can barely hold onto his provisions.

    The mattress springs open in his hand and causes him to drop the remainder of his belongings. Joe’s toothbrush skates along the floor and hunched over, he follows it to its destination. Which happens to be at the feet of a very large man with a shaved head, tattoos all over his face. Burr quickly picks up the toothbrush and flashes the intimidating man a pained smile.

    Joe scuttles back over to Chris, almost tripping over his oversized jumpsuit and clattering into Peacock. “Chris, I think I want to go home. This was a mistake.” Joe says in a hushed tone, and Chris responds in kind. Everyone is still watching them.

    “It was your idea for you to be here, Joe. I didn’t ask you to come with me. So either go home, or stop making an ass out of yourself before you get us both killed.” Peacock says out of the corner of his mouth. Seemingly more comfortable with the surrounding environment, Peacock walks forward into the belly of the beast and sees an empty set of bunk beds.

    “This one taken?” He asks a watching man, and the man offers a grunt which suggests it could be but it also couldn’t be. There wasn’t a mattress on it already, so Chris claimed the top bunk for his own by putting his there.

    Joe followed Chris, desperately trying to keep all of his things together. The weird shuffle he had adopted created a loud squeaking sound on the linoleum floor, which only served to keep everyone’s eyes squarely on him. The prying eyes were no longer interested in Chris Peacock.

    Following suit from Peacock, Joe slams his mattress down on the bottom bunk underneath Chris’s. The man that Chris had asked for permission loudly cleared his throat. Joe turned around and saw the man shaking his head and then he motioned with his head to the other side of the common area. A line of mattresses occupied the floor along one of the walls. Sitting on each were clearly the less-able men in the block; if you were old, scrawny or overweight - this is where you were based.

    Joe looks at Peacock, who gives him a look to suggest that he’s not able to help him with this. Reluctantly, and out of fear, Joe picks his stuff back up and sets it down on the floor at the end of the line of pads on the floor. With some semblance of natural order restored, and Joe and Chris finding their respective places in the hierarchy, some bustle returned to the block and everyone went back to whatever they did to pass the time.

    So, Chris Peacock and Joe Burr are in prison, if that wasn’t evident by this point. So, the big question obviously is… why? What did they do to get here?

    Were they pinched for their roles in the theft (and subsequent return) of the FWA World Championship? Or were they linked to the fire that engulfed the Indiana Repertory Theatre?

    Of course they weren’t. It’s a good job that they’re here voluntarily, for Joe especially. Were they here for real, there’s a good chance that Joe would have been shivved by now. Even though it’s only been five minutes.

    Here’s the exposition, though. Last year, Chris Peacock visited Rikers Island as part of a charitable initiative, and also as preparation for a match with Marcus McClain. Whilst there, he made a bit of a lasting impact on a number of the inmates, most notably beating the shite out of the baddest motherfucker in the joint.

    He’s back. There are several reasons why he chose to repeat the mission - babysitting Joe Burr is most definitely not one. Somehow though, Joe caught wind of the assignment and personally wrote to the warden and asked that he joined Peacock. Burr has a personal connection to Rikers, as his father is housed here.

    Now, they’re only here for one night. The guards and the other inmates know that they are not prisoners (although both are definitely criminals), but that doesn’t guarantee their safety. Chris is aware of this, given his fight club experience last time. To be frank, it’s not possible to describe what Joe was expecting. What is known is that he watched Oz and Orange is the New Black in preparation for this.

    A couple of hours passed, with nothing of note really happening. Such is the monotony of prison. Both Peacock and Burr just sat on their bunks, taking in the environment. Chris knew that he shouldn’t stare in one place - or particularly at one inmate - for too long. Joe did not, resulting in him being on the receiving end of numerous aggressive looks and threats.

    Joe, still fearful for his life, quietly made his way over to Chris at a time where he felt that not many eyes were on him. “What do we do?”

    “What do you mean?” Chris said, not taking his eyes off of the ceiling up above his bunk. “There’s nothing to do. You just… live. That’s what these guys do all day.”

    “Alright.” Joe said, thinking that he understood. “I’ll follow your lead.”

    This statement caused Chris to turn on his elbow and look down at Joe from his bunk. “No. Don’t follow my lead. We’re not together, understand? I’m here and you tagged along. We’re not together. Now please, leave me alone.” Chris then reverted to lying on his back.

    Whilst there was some truth in what Chris was saying, some of the hostility was for show due to the many listening ears. He could hear the disappointment in the muted response from Burr, but it was necessary. Joe thought it best not to cause a scene and turned around to head back towards his bedding, but stopped to see his father standing in front of him.

    CELL 204
    ROB BURR AND MICKEY O’REILLY

    Joe felt his father’s hand on the back of his neck as Rob guided him towards his cell on the upper level of the cell block. As soon as Rob entered, his cell mate - an elderly Irish inmate - quickly scuttled out. Now, Joe was left with his father alone in a cell.

    The two men stare at each other for a moment, no words being said between them. Joe feels some of his anxiety dissipate, being with his father. It was a face that he had not seen without a sheet of plexiglass between them for a number of years. The overwhelming urge to embrace his dad quickly becomes too much for him to fight off, and he takes a step closer to Rob with his arms wide open.

    As Joe gets closer to Rob, he gets slapped very hard across the face. The first physical contact with his dad in years did not go the way Joe expected, and he cups his cheek whilst looking up at Rob in incredulity. “What the fuck was that for, Dad?!”

    Rob gets close to Joe and puts his hand over his mouth. “Keep your fuckin’ mouth shut, kid. They fucked up letting you in here with me, and I don’t want them to realise they put me in here with my kid. Those incompetent fucks.”

    “Why did you slap me though?” Joe asks, this time in a quieter tone as instructed.

    “Because you’re actin’ like a jackass out there, and if you get yourself killed then you won’t be able to help me do what I need you to do.” Rob looks around outside the door as he relays this to Joe.

    Joe is skeptical. “What is it you need me to do?”

    “You’re gonna get me the fuck outta here, kid.”

    Joe reacts to this with a mixture of emotions. There’s elation over the prospect of Rob getting out. There’s intrigue about how they’ll be able to pull this off. Then there’s the worry that they’ll get caught, and Joe will end up in her with his father on a full time basis as opposed to a one night visit. It was the worry that dominating his thinking though.

    Sensing his son’s anxiousness about the proposal, Rob puts his arm around Joe. “I can tell you’re scared, kid. If you don’t think you’ve got it in you to help, it’s fine. I’ll just stay here.”

    Joe does not see the clear manipulatory tactic employed by Rob; immediately he goes on the defence in a bid to affirm his value to his dad. “Hey, I’ve got what it takes, alright? I helped Chris Peacock on a heist last month, some real fancy shit. We torched the place afterwards. I can bust you out of here in my sleep.”

    A smirk forms one the face of Rob Burr. He knows that he’s pressed the right buttons to get Joe to do what he wants. Cupping Joe’s face again and even pinching his cheek, Rob gets in close to his son’s face. “That’s my kid right here. First thing you’ve gotta do is go find an inmate called Unkel. He’s a bit of a freak, but he’s got what you’ll need in order to do this job. Once you’ve been to see him, come back to me.”

    “Inmate Unkel, got it. I won’t let you down, Dad.”

    Joe nods his head and wears a grin of his own. He nods at Rob and taps the side of his nose, before backing out of the cell. Once Joe is out of the cell and sight, he cannot contain a sinister grin.

    What Joe Burr doesn’t realise though, is that he’s just engaged in a plot to kill Chris Peacock tonight.

    Chris watched Joe exit the cell on the upper level, looking much more chipper than he did when he entered it. The only logical conclusion for him was that the man who approached him was his father. For a second, Chris felt envious of Joe Burr; what he wouldn’t give for a chance to spend some time with his own dad. Even though it was only a couple of years ago that he passed, it was well over a decade prior that the dementia had taken over Dave Peacock.

    For a moment he thought that Joe’s dad being in prison was comparable to the latter stages in Dave’s life; Joe’s dad was still around but he wasn’t accessible. Given he was due to team up with Joe on Meltdown, Chris was attempting to find ways that he could relate to the little squirt. He’d used him as part of the heist and what Burr likely construed as Chris coming to his rescue on Meltdown XIV was actually him wanting a piece of Devin Golden.

    The thought process is broken up though when Chris feels a pang in his abdomen. He needs a shit. He slides from his bunk and lands on the floor on his feet and then looks to walk over to the communal toilet in the next room. This isn’t something that Chris had accounted for, having unloaded earlier in the day. The hope was he could hold it to avoid using the facilities.

    Unsure whether it was nerves or an underlying feeling of uneasiness that brought on this separate bout, Chris slinks into an empty stall and begins to do his business. There’s no need for details, but when he’s just about done in the stall, he hears a couple of other inmates walk into the separate washroom/toilet area.

    “You sure you saw that motherfucker come in here?” A loud, deep voice asks. Chris runs his hand across his brow; he recognises the voice.

    “Yeah - guy was walkin’ in here like he was about to crap his pants. That’s probably him in that stall there.”

    It is at this point that Chris sees a large pair of prison-issued plimsolls appear under the door. A loud banging sound follows, as it becomes clear to Chris that he was the subject of the conversation as he feared.

    “Yo, Peacock! We’re gonna have some words… get the fuck out of there and you meet me in 208, you got that?”

    Chris does not offer a verbal answer, instead he simply waits for the man to walk away. He finishes his business and gets up, nervous about where he had to go next. Although it was the reason why he decided to come back to Rikers in the first place.

    CELL 208
    CALVIN “CAGE” LUCAS & DARIUS PELSON

    Chris walks into the cell full of trepidation, and this feeling is justified when he sees exactly who he was expecting to. He recognises the plimsolls hanging from the top bunk, and more importantly the man wearing them. The man who Chris beat up last time he was inside this place drops from the bed and squares up to Peacock.

    Cage looks down on Chris, who remembers him being just as big and just as mean-looking as he did the last time that they were together (before Chris reduced Cage to a bloody pulp on the floor). Even with his previous victory replaying over in his head, Chris could not help but be intimidated by the colossus of a man.

    This is primarily because Chris did not come here to fight Cage. He came here to apologise to him. Despite this, he is just unable to get any of the words out. His initial attempt at talking to Cage comes out as a pained stutter.

    The obvious discomfort of Chris Peacock causes Cage to flash a smile, revealing several missing teeth that he does not remember being missing last time he was here. Peacock’s heart sinks when he realises that he was the likely the one responsible. Cage puts a hand on Peacock’s shoulder, his strong grip comparable to that of Peacock’s own.

    “What’s the matter, Chris? Cat got your tongue?” Even after being directly asked a question, Chris cannot get the words out.

    He feels the hand in his shoulder loosen to a significant extent though, and he finally has it in him to look up at Cage’s face. He’s still smiling, but it’s more of a… friendly smile? This causes significant confusion for Chris.

    ”Come on, man! I’m just messin’ with you! You think if I wanted to hurt you that I wouldn’t have just whacked you whilst you were shitting? I don’t want to fight you, man.”

    Chris felt the relief rush over him and he instantly became less tense as a result. His own face softens as Cage brings him in for a hug, which was very tight. Probably because of Cage’s size and strength. In this moment though, Chris finds it in himself to speak and get out the words that he had been looking to say.

    “I’m sorry, Cage.”

    “You don’t have to apologise for anything, man. If anything, I should be thanking you.” Cage says, apparently with full sincerity. Chris breaks off the hug and looks up at Cage, puzzled about why this would be the case. “You gave me the reality check that I needed. I cleaned up my act; I had my parole hearing last month and I’m getting out in a few months. That wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for you.”

    “That… is really great to hear.” Chris said, feeling quite emotional by this. “I’ve done some pretty bad stuff myself since we last saw each other… but I want to make it right.”

    “I found the Lord again. Taught me to see the good in people again, and even after the things that you’ve done… it’s never too late to change. You showed me that. Sometimes, someone comes into your life and guides you towards choices, but it’s ultimately up to you which ones that you take.”

    Chris thinks on those words very carefully for a moment, realising for the first time that perhaps it is okay to forgive himself for some of the things that he’s done. The same way that Cage has. It’s possible that good can come out of the bad.

    “Cage, you’re… awesome. When you get out, come and see me. It would be good to have someone like you around.” Chris extends his hand and is pleased when Cage accepts it and brings him in for another hug.

    Joe thought that it was sensible to not seek out inmate Unkel immediately, as doing so might raise suspicion and alert the watching guards to the plan to boost Rob Burr out of prison. He sat on his bedding on the floor and waited for some time, and only moved when he saw Peacock leave his bunk and go into the communal toilet area.

    When Joe saw two men - one very large and muscular - follow Chris in, he assumed that Chris could have been in danger. The thought of helping did cross his mind, but he didn’t even know whether there was any trouble and those toilets were probably very grim and not something to be around unless it can be avoided.

    The two men walked out, with the bigger man walking up the steps into a cell on the upper level. To Joe’s relief, Chris walked out roughly a minute later. Instead of going to his bunk though, Chris followed the man up into the cell.

    Joe harboured some initial fear for Peacock’s wellbeing when he entered the cell that was just a few doors down from his father’s. He’d seen the behemoth of a man walk in before him, and wondered whether and how Chris knew this man and mostly, what could have been happening in there as they talked.

    What if Chris Peacock got hurt in here? Or worse, killed? What would that mean for their tag match on Meltdown? Joe was relying on Peacock to help him win the match against Broc and Sulley. Not that he thought it was impossible without him, just that it would be much easier if Peacock were there.

    If Chris Peacock were to get hurt, it wouldn’t be good for Joe Burr. Now, imagine what Joe’s reaction would be in this moment if he found out that he had unknowingly agreed to be a component in a plot to murder “The Boogie Man” that very day.

    It was some time since Joe got himself as comfortable as he could on the floor, but he did finally get up once he saw Peacock leave the cell. There was visibly less nervousness and tension in Peacock as he walked down the stairs with a bit more of a skip in his step. Whatever had happened in that room clearly had some sort of positive effect on him.

    The curiosity is too much for Burr, who weaves through the tables on the ground floor, looking all the fool as he holds his trousers up as he does so. Burr catches up with Peacock before he gets to his bunk and grabs him by the jumpsuit. “What was all of that about? I thought you were going to get stabbed or something.”

    Chris is more receptive of Burr, now that main source of anxiety about prison has been removed. “You don’t need to worry about me, Joe. I’m going to be just fine in here.” Peacock says this as he climbs up onto his bed and lays flat on his back.

    Joe picks up on what Peacock said earlier and decides to leave him alone. He slides his hand across the surface of the tables as he walks back to his own sleeping area. As he does, he hears a faint whisper from one of the ground floor level cells.

    He looks across and sees that a smaller, very scrawny man with a wiry beard is beckoning him over. Joe mouths “Me?” at the man, who nods. Unsure, as he is due to find Unkel, Joe decides not to annoy anyone in prison, regardless of how harmless they may appear to be.

    CELL 106
    TRENT MANTON & FRANK UNKEL

    The man snivels and gently laughs to himself as Joe walks into the dark and dingy cell, which is a contrast to the bright lighting that illuminated Rob’s when he was in there. The first thing that catches Joe’s eye is the wall that is covered with posters, sayings and logos all relating to Cthulhu’s Nephews.

    “I’ve rewritten it… come and see!” Joe is taken by surprise by the nasally voice of the occupier of the cell. The man rests a very thick book on his lap and he strokes the spine affectionately before opening it up to a random page and slowly nodding his head. “The Book of Cosmos… I’ve restored its power. I can feel it imbuing into me. Oh cosmic one, I will follow you across the cosmos and back.”

    ”You… you’re a Nephew? You’re actually one of them?” The deranged man nods. “Wait, so there are people that actually believe in this crap?”

    Joe realises his mistake immediately, as the man stands up and walks towards him, his nostrils flared. However, instead of hurting Joe, the clearly troubled man instead brings him in for a tender embrace.

    ”My beliefs teach understanding. That includes understanding that the uninitiated - such as yourself - may not appreciate our customs.” The softness in the way the man spoke did seem to reassure Joe somewhat.

    “Look, you seem really nice and all that, but I’m not interested. Besides, I’d be surprised if you were able to teach me everything in there in one night.”

    ”Nothing is impossible if we want it enough, Joe Burr. You’ll do well to remember that. Even things that we’re told we can’t have, we can take for ourselves.”

    ”What are you in here for again?”

    ”Armed robbery.”

    There’s a moment where Joe avoids engaging with this man any further. He looks back at the wall in amazement, and found it strange that something that the man said did actually resonate with him to an extent.

    There was something that he wanted; his match with Sulley at Back in Business. He was going to have to make it so that there was no denying him that match. That means beating Sulley and Broc on Meltdown.

    Almost ashamed that he had learned a life lesson from a Nephew, Joe turns back to the man graciously to thank him… and sees the shiv in his hand.

    “HEY! WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!”

    The man places his hand over Joe’s mouth and pushes him against the wall, looking around to make sure that Joe’s outburst did not attract the attention of anyone. “Keep that pretty little mouth shut, huh? Keep hold of this and give it to your dad later on when it’s time. You got that? Not a word.”

    Joe feels the weapon fall into his deep pocket and then feels it with his hand. He nods his head and shows understanding of the instruction.

    “You’re Unkel?” The man nods. “Why have you given me this? That’s what my dad wanted? What’s he going to do? How will I know when it’s time?”

    Unkel pulls out a pair of tweezers and plucks one of Joe’s long hairs from his head and then slowly lowers it into a plastic jar full of hair, completely ignoring Joe’s barrage of questions.

    Joe leaves the cell, his hand holding onto the shiv in his pocket. He returns to his bedding and sits down, rocking gently. He doesn’t know what his father is planning, but the diminutive man for once felt over his head in more than a literal sense.

    THAT NIGHT…

    Joe did manage to fall asleep once the lights in the cell block were turned off, even though the thin mattress provided to him on arrival did nothing to soften the cold, hard floor beneath him.

    He dreams of nothing remarkable, nothing epiphanic, nothing symbolic. When he is shook awake in the middle of his regular dream, he has a mini-fright before feeling reassured to see Rob is the one that roused him from his sleep.

    ”Dad, what are you doing here?” Joe asks, rubbing his eyes.

    “Why does everyone here have to tell you to keep your fuckin’ voice down, kid?” Rob said urgently in an aggressively hushed tone. “You got the shiv? It’s time.”

    Joe goes to get up, but Rob firmly places his hand on his son’s chest and pushes him down onto the floor. “No, you don’t need to be a part of this, kid. Go back to sleep - I’ll see you on the other side.”

    Before Joe could answer, Rob briskly walked away into the communal bathroom and a couple of other men followed him. Three more men emerged from cells on the lower level, one of them being Unkel. Joe could not hear what they were saying due to their whispers, but the trio did stop at Chris Peacock’s bunk. Joe felt frozen to his spot as they dragged Peacock from his bunk and into the toilet area.

    Chris wakes with a start as the two larger men grab him and pull him from his bunk, one with a hand over his mouth. The man he recognises as Unkel walks into his view from behind the man to his right and Unkel crouches down over Peacock. Chris’s eyes widen as he tries to fight his restraint or make noise, and Unkel slaps him gently on the cheek.

    “It might not be personal for them, but it is for me. You don’t get to hurt my family or my beliefs anymore, Boogie Baby. When they told me that they needed someone to get shivved to get the big boss out, I was more than happy to volunteer you, our esteemed guest. Goodbye, Chris.”

    Unkel cackles quietly as the men pull him into the bathroom area and inside he sees someone that he does not recognise immediately. What he does see though is the shiv in his right hand, a small flicker of light reflects from the blade welded to a toothbrush.

    “Now, before we do this… I want you to know that I appreciate what you’ve done for my kid, Joe.”

    Chris stares at the man and it clicks to him now that this is Joe’s dad, the same man he saw come to take Joe away earlier on.

    “He’s an annoying little twerp, I know. You though, you’ve looked out for him. Made him feel like he’s not completely useless, but you and I know the truth about my son, don’t we?” Rob shakes his head and taps the shiv against his other hand. “My son… what a disappointment that kid is. Going out there every week and makin’ an ass outta himself. For Christ’s sakes, does he not realise that everyone is laughin’ at him, and not with him?”

    ”It’s no wonder that Sulley fuck ditched him and wants nothin’ to do with him now. Who would? I know I wouldn’t if I didn’t have to. Fuck, I’m a convicted felon and the only people I know are these scumbags and even I’m embarrassed by the little asshole!”

    Chris wasn’t sure what he felt more disgusted by; the fact that Rob was using him as a means for an escape attempt or what he’d said about his own son. Quick reflection made him realise that being about to die was probably worse.

    He thought about how he could get out of this; maybe he’d have enough in him to fight off the four thugs, but then there’s the chance he’d get stabbed before he made any real progress. He did not have to think about a way out for much longer.

    “Dad… did you… did you really mean all of that?”

    Rob’s face drops when he realises that Joe heard his entire diatribe. Joe stands in the doorway with tears in his eyes. Immediately, Rob strides over to Joe and puts on a false smile. “Come on kid-“

    ”Don’t call me that! I’m not a kid anymore!” Joe sniffles loudly and wipes his eyes. “You didn’t even know me when I was a kid! You were either just getting me to help you steal things or you were in here!”

    Before Rob can respond, he turns around at the noise of a loud thump and sees that Peacock has not only broken free from the men holding him but he has neutralised all four of Rob’s henchman.

    Instinctively, Rob grabs Joe around the neck and holds him close. He points the shiv towards Joe’s throat.

    “Dad? What are you doing?”

    “Shut the fuck up, you little shit. One fuckin’ thing I ask you to do. One little thing and you fucked it up! Like you fuck everything up!”

    “Don’t talk about him like that. You used him! All you’ve ever done is use him! Joe, it’s going to be alright-“

    ”You shut up too!” Rob points the shiv in Chris’s direction, and Chris holds his hands up and stays away.

    “Joe’s a good guy. He’s been there for me when I’ve needed him to be… and I haven’t done the same. Joe, I’m sorry. I used you too, and it wasn’t right.” Chris gulps as he says this, and Joe nods his head in response. “There are people that you meet that give you choices. It’s just up to you whether you make the right ones. Is that right, Cage?”

    Cage?”

    Rob turns around and sees Cage standing behind him. He grabs Rob Burr and shoves him into the wall, causing the shiv to slide along the floor, falling down a drain. Cage tilts his head as he looks at Peacock. “It was close enough.”

    THE NEXT MORNING…

    The gravel crunched under Joe and Chris’s feet as they are escorted out of Rikers, and they walk into the car park just outside the main complex. The sun causes both men to wince, as the artificial light inside of the prison is nothing compared to the real thing.

    For the rest of their stay in Rikers, the duo had been placed in an isolation cell together for their own safety. The night was a strange one; Joe was uncharacteristically silent throughout, despite Chris making an effort to converse with him to see if he was okay more than anything else.

    Chris finds his white Cadillac in the car park where he had left it and he rummages through his pockets to find the keys, which he does. “I suppose this is it then, and I’ll see you In Pittsburgh?”

    Again, there was no response from Joe Burr. “The Giant Killer” had repeated the words he had overheard his own father say dozens of times in his head during the night. It was all that he could think about, meaning that he didn’t at first notice Peacock was leaving until he heard the footsteps moving away from him.

    “I wanted to thank you, Chris.” Joe says, causing Peacock to stop in his tracks. “For what you said last night. It meant a lot to hear it after what I’d just heard.”

    “Why didn’t you say any of this last night?” Chris asks as he walks closer to Joe.

    Joe looks out over New York City. “I didn’t like being trapped. I know I might be small, but I don’t like being in confined spaces.”

    “And I stuffed you into a fucking podium… shit. I’m really sorry, man.” Chris pounds his forehead with his palm. ”Joe, I’ve done some really bad shit. Some of it by accident but a lot of it on purpose. I can’t make up for everything I’ve done, but I can help you win this match. Please believe me when I say that I wouldn’t have done that to you if I’d have known.”

    ”No, don’t feel bad. That time was different. I made a choice to help you and that’s what I did.” Joe smiles briefly, but then looks at Peacock. “No. I couldn’t talk to you last night because the last time I was trapped in a confined space I ended up throwing away six months of my career to someone who didn’t deserve it. I was trapped in that team with Sulley, because I felt like I wasn’t worth anything to anyone if I wasn’t in it.”

    “It’s true, though. Look at what’s happened any time I’ve tried to do something on my own, I’ve had my ass handed to me by Harry the Sane Wizard or been thrown out of a Battle Royal. Any success that I’ve had has been alongside Sulley… and he was just using me the entire time. The second he found someone better, he ditched me. He’s no better than my fucking dad.”

    “I need this match, Chris. I need to beat him. I can show him that I’m not someone that’s going to let people walk all over them. Not anymore. So, I didn’t want you getting any ideas that this was going to be anything more than a one off.”


    Chris wasn’t sure how to react to that last part; of course he has no intention of making this a more permanent thing. He’s got his own shit going on and doesn’t have the time nor the will to bail Joe out for all of his problems.

    In this moment though, he sees someone that he’s happy to partner up with on Meltdown. He sees some of himself in Joe, in the sense that he’s willing to put in the effort required to take down someone he needs to prove himself against. He’s in somewhat of a similar situation himself, after all.

    “I think we’ll be just fine, Joe.”

    Chris says as the two of them start to walk towards their cars. Joe smiles and feels like his time in prison has helped him put a few things into perspective.

    “Besides… if there’s anyone that knows how to fight a commentator…”

  5. #5
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    Re: Meltdown XV | Homecoming: Pittsburgh | Un Thread Pour Le Promo

    Exile Chronicles (Volume 4)

    Chapter 16: Drowning in a Turbulent Sea

    "There are few things quite as terrifying at stepping into the unknown..."

    Our scene opens to the sound of seagulls and waves lapping at a rocky shore. The sun has just begun to set, giving JUST enough light to show the patchy, ragged knee-high grasses waving in the ocean breeze. The salt is thick in the air, the smell overpowering here in this place that few remember and even fewer visit.

    There's a rough, wild charm to this place...but with the sun starting to dip behind the hills to the west, casting shadows over this beachfront? There's something else...something haunting about this place.

    Standing just far enough up on the beach to where the waves are lapping at his toes, wearing all black like a mortician about to bury yet another poor unfortunate wayward soul, is The Exile.

    Flashes, memories from Meltdown cut in just for a few seconds into the scene, replaying the aftermath of Cyrus Truth's match and victory against a game Reagan Cole. Replaying the facedown with Chris Crowe, the North American Champion looking to add another icon's head to his mantle.

    Replaying the assault from behind by the self-professed "legend," choking the life out of an exhausted Exile.

    You'd think Cyrus would be absolutely livid, given what transpired. You'd expect The Exile to spit venom and roar for blood to pay for blood.

    However...that's not what we see in Cyrus's face as his hawkish gaze peers out into the vast, endless sea before him.

    Certainly, there's no sign of fear or worry or joy. Cyrus's face is a rock, harder than any on this stony beach, more resolute and unrelenting. No amount of erosion can even begin to wear down this stone, no hammer could even so much as leave a crack in it. It's nothing we haven't seen from The Exile before, but...it's odd. While he'd never admit it, Cyrus Truth has been showing some wear and tear given his less than stellar record since Back in Business and trials and tribulations against people like Michelle von Horrowitz.

    But...no. That's all gone. Or at the very least, he's hiding it extremely well. Stern, resolute, and composed, Cyrus stands there, watching the waves roll in.

    And we heard him speak...but not with his mouth. Cyrus's lips don't even move as we hear The Exile speak in a commanding, almost guiding tone. As if scolding a child for breaking a rule or throwing a tantrum. And yet...there's definitely an undertone of malice in Cyrus's words, the hidden blade in the dark.


    "I learned a long time ago that the Road will always take you where you're meant to go, where you need to go. But the Road is full of surprises, and hidden dangers many people couldn't fathom. When you step out of your comfort zone, or you decide to embark upon a quest or journey you've never undertaken before? It's normal for the mind to wander, to wonder what to expect, or fear what they can't expect.

    "I've traveled all across the world, seen a million different faces and experienced a million different sensations. There's so many amazing things and experiences that people just...never realize are out there. But a million more nightmares await. There's a very good reason human beings have a natural fear of the dark. It's nerve-wracking, knowing something or someone can be out there waiting for you...waiting to kill you, or worse.

    "Fear, however, can be overcome. Personally, I've always found it better to overcome fear with understanding. Accepting that, to seek out your fortune and the wonders hidden in the shadows, you have to put yourself at grievous risk? It lets you devour your fear, allows you to move past it and make you strong enough to seek out the treasures.

    "However...there is another way people keep the fear at bay..."


    Cyrus stoops down as he picks up a small, smooth, round stone. He tosses it lightly, catching it as it come back down as his voice continues to speak over the actions.

    "There are a lot of people who choose to ignore what their brain is telling them. They understand, of course...they understand that there's all sorts of wonders out in the places most men fear to tread, but ignore the dangers that stand between them and what they desire. Or even worse than that...their arrogance shunts out the part of their brains that tells them to be wary, to be cautious, to look before they leap. Adventurous souls, some call them. Always rushing headlong into the unknown, not having enough sense to be afraid..."

    Cyrus grips the stone in his hand tightly before chucking it, sending it far beyond the beachhead and plunging it deep into the churning waters.

    And as the water ripples, we see a new scene...

    A scene of a young man, lean and toned and tanned from spending all of life under the sun, large smile on his belying his confidence...or perhaps arrogance as he fixes the sail of his well-kept, but not particularly fancy sailboat, eyes looking out to the horizons...but ignoring the pleading eyes of an older woman who appears to be his mother and the stern, rebuking look of what is likely his father.

    The two of them seem to be warning him of something...warning him that he's embarking on a voyage he's neither prepared for nor taking seriously. We don't hear the words, but the expression of the young man's father and the mournful look of his mother tells us all we need to know.

    But the young man is undoubted. Without even looking back to say goodbye, without even taking any time to listen or to contemplate their words, the young man unfurls his sail and bolts onto the vast, endless sea...


    "The thought of journeying to lands unknown, across seas you've never navigated, is an intoxicating one, one that's driven men and women from comforting shores to explore the great beyond in search of fortune and glory. It's something I'm all too familiar with, a compulsion that led me away from my home to the fields of battle. And I have my scars, oh...so many scars. But I knew the danger going in, I knew the risks, and I navigate the choppy waters to find myself a king crowned dozens of times over.

    "But...therein lies the trick. To boldly set out into uncharted waters on its own is simple enough. Any fool with enough arrogance or stupidity can set sail for the prizes beyond the horizon. But...


    Our scene with the young sailor is bright, shining, almost inspiring...

    Until...

    *CRACK*

    The sound of thunder crackling as lightning shoots and spider-webs across the sky turns the light into darkness.


    "Fools rush in where Exiles hesitate to walk."

    Our young sailor finds themselves being tossed in the roiling waters of a sea in the middle of a titanic storm, one that has blotted out the sun and left the sailor with nothing to navigate by. The young man, so full of vim and vigor at the start of his journey, is dressed in tatters, gaunt due to hunger and a lack of fresh water, and barely hanging on to the battered, dilapidated boat that was once well-kept.

    As the sailor holds on and does his best to keep his ship afloat, we start to see the cracks form in the hull. This vessel was well-made, certainly...but it was NOT built for this.

    The scene changes again, this time to the wreck of what was once the sailor's vessel. It's utterly trashed, little more than a collection of floating splinters and regrets. The sailor is hanging on to one of the larger floating planks...barely. It's clear that he's only hanging on due to stubbornness or defiance of the hand that fate has dealt him.

    Not that his defiance means a damn thing, out here in the middle of the sea in the middle of the night with no land, no passing vessel, NOTHING that can save him from death due to exposure...or due to the shadows underneath, hiding monstrous creature with teeth and tentacles looking to devour him.

    Time passes...days, weeks? It's hard to say. But the defiance that kept him alive starts to dwindle, falter in the face of hopelessness. His arrogance has been worn down like sand from a stone. And he starts to slip as The Exile's haunting voice narrates...

    "Storms and monsters are certainly frightening...but when I think about fear? I think about being helpless, being too weak to resist...I think of strength and pride falling as the world around you grows cold and dark..."

    The young sailor, who now looks like he's aged a hundred years in the span of a few days, loses his grip and starts to sink. Deeper, deeper...deeper into the abyss of the vast, unforgiving sea.


    "I wonder...what DOES it feel like to drown? Having the air leave your lungs...do you think it hurts? I do. I think it's pain beyond pain. It's the kind of agony that can't be eased, can't be salved. And the worst part? The worst part is that such pain, such suffering is...by and large? Completely unavoidable. Traversing a sea you know nothing about? Being too proud to take a step backwards before taking a giant leap forward? It's the act of a fool who thinks he understands, but truly understands NOTHING. The great ocean bottoms of the worlds are lined with the bones of up-jumped adventurous idiots who dared to strike out in an environment they were unprepared for, and took for granted the dangers within.

    "They died...died and were forgotten as 'heroes' or 'legends.' The only tales by which they're remembered are as cautionary ones, parables to warn others not to do as they have done..."


    Down, down, the sailor sinks. The air that was in his lungs starts to give way, as he starts to struggle and try to swim back to the surface. But all the strength he had left him long ago, and all he can do is flail against the unforgiving waters...

    ...until he flails no more.

    Salt water fills his lungs, choking the life out of him as his insides burn and the light falters from his eyes. Bubbles escape his mouth...and the sailor lives no more...

    We cut back to the beach where Cyrus stands, alone as the wind laps at his face. He speaks, this time with his own voice and his own lips.


    "So tell me, Johnny...do I even need to tell you that you fucked up? A fool looks at my record since Back in Business and thinks I'm ripe for the picking. An arrogant fool looks at my legacy and sees it as nothing more than a ship by which he can navigate the turbulent seas to the riches beyond at Journey's End. But there and then, you made a bed of nails and spikes to lie in, and I will make you bleed and CHOKE on your hubris.

    "Do you think calling yourself a 'Legend' makes you one? Makes you ready for taking this step into the world of shadow that hides dangers and perils the likes of which only exist in the deepest recesses of your soul? Understand that I'm not speaking in hyperbole. You are a BOY who's played at being the king of a tributary that has fed off the vast sea that is the legacy of men and women far greater than you've proven yourself to be."


    Cyrus kneels down and picks up a handful of sand, this patch untouched by the waters. He lets the grains trickle from his fingers as he says, somberly and bitingly.

    "If you think you're on the Long and Winding Road to superstardom or success, you're not. FAR from it. You're on the Long Road to Nowhere, Johnny boy. You've jumped feet first into the great ocean, unaware or unafraid of the monsters lurking within. I'd tell you to ask your peers what happens when you face Cyrus Truth, but if you had? We wouldn't be here at this impasse, would we? You wouldn't be swaggering into a match against a vengeful beast, and I wouldn't be looking to tear your head from your shoulders and inflict pain so severe that you'll have to swallow your feckless pride for any relief, and only then if I decide to grant it to you.

    "You're about to walk down into a storm of such fury that it will rend your soul from your flesh, shattering that pride that drove you to attack me from behind instead of having the guts to face me eye-to-eye. This is the darker side of the sport you think you and your hack daddy know, and I am the monster that tears the prideful fools apart. And you're going to bleed, Johnny. You're going to bleed for your ambitions, and I'm going to DROWN you in it. Your submission didn't make me submit. But you? You're going to choke on your arrogance when I tap you out and strip you of your hubris, leaving you as nothing more than rent flesh and bloodied bone.

    "Some might think I'm being overly dramatic. Maybe...maybe. But FWA is long overdo for a reminder to those on our roster that haven't yet earned their stripes. If you're going to dive into the deep end, you best know what's going to happen to you. And if nothing else? I want every single fucking upstart punk to be VERY afraid of stepping up to the challenge of The Exile. Chris Crowe is about to get a very visceral lesson in just who the hell I am thanks to you, 'Legend.' This is not your moment to rise, or walk on water like some false messiah. This is where your bones will line the bottom of the sea. But, take heart in the fact that when I do end you, John-John? You'll be in some very prestigious company with all the other bones from those who came before you, and thought they were ready to brave the stormy waters.

    "And if you don't care to learn from the remains of all my other would-be challenges? Don't worry. Your bones will be joined in short order by the bones of a showboat who's begun to think he's ready for the big time..."


    Cyrus tosses the rest of the sand in his hand to the wind, watching it scatter and dissipate. He says nothing else. He doesn't need to say anything else.

    Cyrus Truth, The Exile, The Wayward Warrior, The Once and Future King walks away from this beach, just as the sun is reaching the end and night begins to fall. The waters, choppy in the light, now clash like dark blades of glass.

    But before the light completely fades away, we see something wash up to the beach...

    It's a human skull. Covered in barnacles, skittering with crabs and other tiny crustaceans.

    Whose skull is this? Who were they?

    The answer? The answer is that it doesn't matter. They were someone who braved the sea without the wisdom to navigate it.

    And they drowned...and were forgotten.

    One more soul to the call...
    Something Witty!

    Cyrus Truth
    4x FWA World Heavyweight Champion
    1x FWA North American Champion
    Carnal Contedership 2016 Winner
    2x CWA World Heavyweight Champion
    1x PnH International Champion

    Konchu Hao
    1x FWA X Division Champion
    Ground Zero Winner (Season 2)

  6. #6
    Striving for a B+ in life
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    Re: Meltdown XV | Homecoming: Pittsburgh | Un Thread Pour Le Promo

    "Why did you lose to Saint Sulley?"

    "I … didn't loooose."

    This is a common sight nowadays and possibly getting a little stale to see. It’s understandable if you find it to be stale. Feelings of staleness are subjective, so there’s no shade if you feel it.

    Unfortunately for you if you do feel it’s stale, this is going to continue – evident by the current scene. I, “The Rotten Gold” Devin Golden, am once again sitting in the back of a black four-door Toyota Camry. I am once again looking to the front and sizing up the driver, the same driver who has led these night rides between a half dozen and one dozen times now.

    The same driver who proclaims to be my subconscious and a guide for me through this dream world that my conscious and subconscious have built during my now-14-year-long coma.

    "You sure? I'm pretty confident everyone saw you take an RKO and get pinned."

    "After … after … he tapped out. Youuuuu forget that moment."

    "Don't do your elongated syllables and sounds and pauses with me. I'm your subconscious."

    "So? Thennnn you should knoooow it brings me … immense … joy. I forget sometimes to … do it.

    "You get joy from pauses?"

    "You don't … my esteemed … subconscious?"

    "Psh."

    "Sulley … tapped out. I don't need … a referee … to tell me whether I … wonnnnn or not.

    I … decide."

    "You lost because you didn't use my help. I could've helped."

    Our conversations have been either eye-opening or stagnant, the difference depending on if you find them stale or not. At first, the city was the same: Denver, Colorado, outside of the Ball Arena. The last few times have been wherever I was with Meltdown. This one is Pittsburgh. I specifically asked my subconscious to drive over the Allegheny River and towards PNC Park, because of fandom.

    "No. No.

    No, no, no. You couldn't. You haven't.

    You've helped me … as much as you can. There is something bigger here. I can … feeeeeeeeeeeeel it."

    "So you don't need my help anymore? You're just going to go out there and try to win on your own? You don't want me deciding how this dream goes? That's the whole point of a subconscious in a dream. I decide what happens. You and everyone else follows along. You just so happened to become aware of this, so your conscious is trying to work with me on a common ground. You want something and I want something and we make those happen together.

    You're just going to let whatever happens happen now? I can make you lose every match. You'll have more like the loss to Sulley on Meltdown."

    I have only ever seen this Toyota Camry without the driver one other time – the night of Meltdown X in Garland, Texas, where me and “The Rave” Lizzie Rose had to make a getaway with my newly won FWA World Championship. Now I have the World Heavyweight Championship. It’s a bit of a story, if you haven’t kept up. Let’s just keep it short and simple: I’m the rightful champion until someone beats me for this belt in a scheduled match.

    Every other time – every other time – I have seen this Toyota Camry, or any Toyota Camry, it has been with this driver, requested by me the first few times with an Uber app but lately requested just with a simple unspoken thought.

    That’s how in sync I am with my subconscious.

    However, I’m also ready to break up with it – for lack of a better description. You might feel I’m speaking in much more emphatic ways and in a definitive tone when describing the scene. It’s intentional.

    "First …

    I don't … neeeeeed you because … you don't decide … eeeeeeeverything. I'm sooooo sure of it.

    Second …

    I … didn't lose to Sulley … on Meltdown. He tapped out. He was hot garrrbaaaage until that … weeeeeeird little dude got involved. The ending was … mind … boggling. But … shrug. The tap out was theeeeere. There's nooooooooooothing more … I care … aboooooout."

    A pause. The black Toyota Camry pulls off to the side of the road, as if the ride is now over. I sit up in the seat, my ass cheeks making sound against the leather. It sounds like a fart. I didn’t fart. My subconscious knows I didn’t fart, since he’s my subconscious.

    "Goodbye."

    "You can say goodbye but I'll always be here."

    The subconscious’ words get me to pause. I have my hand on the handle that would open the door and bring me back out into the Pittsburgh night. I then turn to the front and smile.

    "That's … perfectly fine. I do not have … to talk … to you."

    "You're making a mistake. You’re going to lose to Randall. How will you feel about that, huh? How will you feel if you lose to Randall? I can make that happen."

    "No, you … can’t … and … no youuuuuu already made one … missssstaaaaake. You told me to find … the … Moderator. Big missssstaaaaake."

    The subconscious pauses and then closes his eyes, as if he’s admitting defeat.

    "Yeah … I know."

    "Exactly. Your power here … is ooooooverstated. Always ... has been. You know I … found him.”

    “You’re still making a mistake.”

    It feels like one last desperate plea. I, however, am decided. I open the door, swings one foot out, and then the next.

    “But you know your attempt to change my mind … isn’t … wooooorking.”

    “... You’re going to lose to Jason Randall on Meltdown. I’m warning you now.”

    I don’t believe him, and even if he’s telling the truth, I don’t care. I don’t care about beating Jason Randall. He's always been a nice neuron I created, an affable side character. If he gets a win, good for him.

    I don’t even care about beating Chris Peacock. Maybe I should, but I don't. Not right now, at least. I care about winning Golden Opportunity at this point.I then step out, and just as I’m about to close the door, I offer one more parting thought. I have to, because it matters to me.

    “One more thing …

    I didn't lose to Sulley.”







    The last time we saw Golden – up to this specific moment we are about to see, which occurs in the timeline before his “breakup” with his subconscious – he was recovering from a very brief episode of Alice in Wonderland Syndrome. He heard a voice – a voice only he could hear apparently – and there was some sort of revelation to it. He hasn’t revealed that revelation.

    Before that, we saw Golden come to a different realization – one he made known. He had to find “The Moderator”, and the only way to find this person in this place was to find Thomas Princeton.

    Golden found him.

    The only way to find Thomas Princeton was to find Ryan Rondo.

    Golden did not find Ryan.

    Golden did, however, find Danny Toner, who led “The Rotten Gold” to Thomas Princeton.

    More on those happenings at another time. They aren’t important to the story being told right now.

    Right now … what we see is Golden walking into a New Orleans-style shotgun building near the corner of Morgan Street and Bouny Street, which intersect at the back corner of Algiers Point near the ferry landing. Do you remember this specific location?

    You should. It’s where Golden and Ramon changed the game a bit. This is where Ramon met “da VooDoo Queen of Hearts … Shannon.” This is where Shannon helped Ramon bring Golden back from the gates of heaven, just in time to start up the Osos Locos facade and eventually win back the FWA Tag Team Championships.

    So, of-fuckin-course, this is where “The Moderator” is. He’s expecting to see Shannon greeting him. He anticipates a feeling of kindred spirit that he cannot quite explain, to be quite honest.

    He does not see that face, though. Instead, he sees a black man with braided black hair stretching down to his shoulders. The man is immediately recognizable, even if he looks a little … well, a lot … older than the last time we or Golden saw him.

    “So … this is where ... they sent you?”

    Matthew Robinson, the original founder of the FWA, if you are to believe the folklore, stares back blankly at Golden. Robinson, who has come and gone from FWA lore over the years, hasn’t been seen for quite some time. In fact, the last time we saw him, Golden was visiting him at his California home prior to Back in Business XIII, where “The Rotten Gold” faced and defeated [redacted].

    “You’re … ‘The Moderator?’ Where’s Shaaaaa—nnon?”

    “Makes sense since Thomas Princeton told you where to find me, right?”

    Matthew dances around the question of Shannon, a particular point that Golden lets slip by with the vague revelation of something else.

    “Whaaat … do you mean … ab…”

    “Nevermind. Let’s get to why you’re here.”

    Golden looks at Matthew Robinson and almost feels bad. It’s obvious he hasn’t left this house or any of his other houses to do anything else related to the FWA in quite some time. He hasn’t been seen by anyone, anywhere, and has stayed in darkness for two years – if not more.

    Matthew Robinson looked lost and shunned when Golden last saw him on the eve of Back in Business XIII. He looks even worse now, but Matthew doesn’t care for empathy – and knows Golden won’t show him any, at least not externally.

    “Whyyyyy … was I facing … Suuuuulley?”

    “Because you wanted to face him, and because he wanted to face you. But … especially because you want to face him.”

    There’s a silence from Golden as he looks at The Moderator, who is certainly correct in his assessment.

    “Then whyyyy … am I faaaaacing … Jason Randall?”

    “Because … he wants to face you.”

    A much shorter answer this time.

    “Not beeeeecause … I want to face him … then?”

    “No, and you already know the answer.”

    There’s another silence.

    “I don’t … care … about this … match.”

    “You only cared about Sulley for personal reasons. Nothing else matters to you. Only thing that matters now is the Golden Opportunity.”

    “How … do you … my subconscious … know all of theeeeese things … before I … even saaaaaay them?”

    “Because this place … isn’t entirely what you think it is. But you’re close.”

    “I’m … cllllllllllose? Why don’t you … tell me?”

    Matthew Robinson again avoids the direct question that could reveal too much and give away too many secrets. He chooses instead to be both vague and accusatory.

    “You’re really throwing everything for a loop now that you have an idea of what this place is. I have to give your subconscious more weight and consideration when making the plans and deciding the cards.”

    “Whyyyyyy … is that?”

    “Because you’re manipulating the system. You’re not entirely accurate about what this place is, but you’re closer than anyone else. At least consciously. You’re active in your actions with your conscious knowledge. No one else is.”

    “Has no one else … ever figured it out … ooooor gotten as close … as I am?”

    “Well, no. And yes. Yes and no. No and yes.”

    At this point, Matthew Robinson has moved to a desk in the middle room of the shotgun-style building (shotgun buildings have three main rooms, splitting the house into pretty even thirds). The middle room is obviously the work space for “The Moderator.” It has a white board opposite to Matthew’s desk with a black line going down the middle of the board. On either side of this line are smeared-out writings of what looks to be FWA roster names. Golden can sort of make out “The Prodigy” Mike Parr as one, on the left side of the white board, and Shawn Summers directly across.

    Another pairing is Randy Ramon and Krash.

    Golden sees the remnants of Danny Toner’s name but doesn’t see any markings yet on the other side. He notes this, plus a few other leftovers of the board’s past. Hey, if you don't like staleness, here's a little nugget to keep you awake through the rest of this.

    “People sometimes shout about it when they’re angry. Their subconscious seeps through and they have these … ‘moments.’ I like to call them ‘dream seizures.’ They’re moments when their subconscious anger allows their brain to regain a moment of consciousness and blurt it all out. Then, usually, after the dream seizure ends, they sort of forget about it. I call it ‘breaking the fourth wall.’ Another is ‘breaking character.’ Most people do it like once and then don’t for a while. It’s never as consistent or strategic as what you’re doing.”

    “And no one else … ever figuuuuures … it out?”

    “Some do in more coy ways. Michelle von Horrowitz does it. But, again, she doesn’t capitalize on it or act on it. It’s like she either knows but chooses to go with the party quietly, or she is on the tip of the iceberg but not quite discovered what’s beneath the water. I can’t tell. Neither can you. Neither can anyone.”

    “I thought you were … eeeeeeveryone’s … collective sub—conscious.”

    Matthew stops what he was doing at his desk, which was really just moving his hands around aimlessly. He has no papers, no pens, no computer, no phone. Nothing there. He’s purposeless, but he has at least stopped and looks up at Golden.

    “Yes, but what we’re talking about is consciousness. Those moments from Michelle are her consciousness creeping out of its slumber, but they’re only moments. You’re conscious now and you have figured out that you’re conscious – and that you once were not, and that there’s a subconscious element to yourself here, like any dream. Few times do people ever become conscious in dreams. It usually happens in a vivid dream right before someone wakes up, or right as someone goes to sleep. It’s like a bridge between being awake and being asleep. You cross over that bridge to either end and sometimes you’ll have a crossover.

    But you, from what I can tell, didn’t just recently go to sleep. And you don’t seem about to wake up. Yet, you are conscious while your subconscious remains active. These aren’t just moments. This is indefinite.
    And you are, at times, even aligning your consciousness and subconsciousness.”

    “I am? I thought … I waaaaasn’t.”

    “You’re talking with your subconscious, right? That has never happened before. Never. This is a first.
    And it’s making me, and others, quite upset.”

    “I’m not … talking to him … anyyyyymore.”

    “Oh? I assume that's because you know enough and don't need him anymore. Still puts you at odds with ... well ... the whole point of this place.”

    "Which is?"

    "To escape."

    Another spicy McNugget for those of you who are bored. And another pause from Golden.

    "So ... you knooooow what ... this place is ... then?"

    "Well ... yeah ... I cr... nevermind."

    Ooooh, so close!

    “So … what’s … neeeeext?”

    “The Moderator” Matthew Robinson doesn’t look up. He just keeps moving his hands around his desk with no real purpose. Then, without stopping, he answers.

    “I've already told you enough."

    "Yes, maaaaaybe you haaaave. But ... you're leeeeaving me ... at a dead ... end. And I ... am ... stuck.

    And someone ... called out to me. From back ... where awake is. Right?"


    A third McNugget. Can we get a full 4-piece?

    "Probably so. You don’t have much time left. You need to get home before it all ends for you.”

    “Won’t … it end for you … if … it ends … for me?”

    Matthew looks down and begins moving his hands.

    “No. … And I’ve said too much.”

    One McNugget. Two McNugget. Three McNugget. And ... four.

    And this one is the biggest ... a moment.

    “I ask … agaaaaain. What’s … neeeeext?”

    “What’s next is Chris Peacock … is gonna take … everything you have … and leave you too broken … to go home. You don’t care about anything but the Golden Opportunity match?

    Well, you better care about him … quick.

    ‘Cause … he’s coming. The Boogeyman is coming.

    And he’s going to legitimately kill you, if you let him. I know that gets thrown around a lot and it sounds hollow, but this is real. He wants you to care, and he might kill you if you let him.”

    "Let him?"

    Another pause.

    "This ain't a pinch-yourself-and-wake-up situation. You have a clock back there ... where ... awake is ... as you described. And you get to go back when you want. You won't go back because you care about the Golden Opportunity, right?"

    A head nod from Golden is all Matthew needs for his affirmation. Golden has no need to lie. This is as honest a conversation as he's had with anyone -- even with Lizzie -- since the night after Mile High.

    "So you're here until then. I don't know when your clock goes, but this ain't a pinch-your-self-and-wake-up situation. I'm going to say that again. This ain't a p..."

    "No, please do not ... say it ... again."

    "But ... 'if you let him.' You still have some control over what happens to you ... like anyone would."

    “And … Jaaaason … Randaaaallllllllll? Will he ... kill me ... if I let him?”

    A last pause, and this time Matthew smiles as he shuffles his hands around the desk.

    “You'd think, right? Since he's a hired gun? But nah ...

    He’s chill.”
    Last edited by The Golden One; 05-19-2022 at 08:25 PM.



    3x FWA World Heavyweight Champion
    1x FWA World Champion
    2x FWA X Champion
    7x FWA Tag Team Champion


    2020 North American Sports Poster Of The Year

  7. #7
    SHOW ME WHAT YOU GOT

    Shawn's Avatar

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    Re: Meltdown XV | Homecoming: Pittsburgh | Un Thread Pour Le Promo


    “THAT STUPID GOD DAMNED MISERABLE SON OF A BITCH!”


    A recognizable voice rings out through an open window. To anyone within earshot, this probably just comes off as the rantings of a lunatic, or someone watching a local sports team – since we’re just outside Los Angeles, we’ll assume the Dodgers, since all of the other LA teams playing in other leagues have all been eliminated by now – but to the informed listener, or reader, it’s pretty clear who the man is referring too.

    That’s right, the profanity spewed by “Rockstar” Randy Ramon from inside his own LA flat is directed at none other than the Moustache Maverick, Krash. It was on the last episode of Meltdown when Randy, after months of soul searching and self-realization led him to realize the common denominator in nearly all of his misfortune since his return to the FWA, challenged Krash to a match at Back in Business.

    One match to end them all. One right to settle all of the scores. Years of backstabbing, pipe wielding, mask related shenanigans and title thefts. It took a few days to get a response out of Krash and given that Krash is supposedly a man of honor, the response currently airing on Fallout is… not what Randy expected, to say the least.


    “HE’S GOT BETTER THINGS TO DO? ARE YOU… ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?”

    We zoom in through the window of the flat and see the referenced Rockstar sprawled out on a leather recliner, open bottle of Tullamore Dew in his left hand, remote control in the right. Normally he can get SOME enjoyment out of Fallout, even if it IS run by a pea-brained lame-ass excuse for an executive, whose intelligence is only incrementally higher than that of his idiot son who, let’s face it, it’s shocking he has yet to be deemed certifiably brain dead.

    But this episode? He’s not sure, in this moment, that he’s ever enjoyed one less. And so, he presses down on the power button, turns the TV off, and flings the remote across the room, nearly sending it out the window and crashing down to the sidewalk below. He thinks about throwing the whiskey at the TV to teach it a lesson, but that feels like a waste of perfectly good liquor. Instead, he gulps down another mouthful and lays his head back, allowing the warmth of the alcohol to take him over and calm his nerves.


    He's seconds away from fading into to a peaceful nap. That’s when he hears it.

    “What’s the matter Randy? Feeling a little… under the weather?”

    He freezes in place, jolting his eyes from side to side, trying to catch a glimpse of whoever is talking to him because the last time he checked, there was no one else here. He slowly sits up, afraid to make any sudden movements, and gingerly turns his head to the side taking in the full view of the flat’s living area. Nothing. After a moment of confidence building, he deftly pulls himself to his feet and takes a step towards the bedroom.

    “Ding dong! You’re wrong!”

    Again, paralyzed where he stands. None of this seems real.

    “Over here!”

    He follows the sound of the voice, still moving cautiously, but a bit less afraid for his life. There's no one here. There's nothing here. This makes no sense… all that’s over here is…

    “Hey dummy, down here!”

    …the bag he brought back from Brooklyn with him.

    “Yeah, in here! You’re getting warmer!”

    Randy crouches down, unzips the bag, and sure enough sitting right on top? The Occisor mask.

    “Bingo!”

    He stares down at the mask in complete and total bewilderment.

    “I… I thought I left you in the ring in Brooklyn. How are you… how did you… I don’t understand. And how are you talking?”

    The mask laughs rather maniacally, but doesn't move. It's as if the voice is only in Randy's head, but somehow he feels confident that it's not.

    “Boy, you haven't figured it out yet? Did you think you could get rid of me that easily? After everything we’ve been through together? We’re one in the same now Randy. Bound for life!”

    Randy grabs at the mask and does the thing that most logical people would do in this situation…

    “Yeah, we’ll see about that!”

    …he throws it out the window. Randy lowers his chin to his chest and breathes a deep sigh of relief when the mask hits the ground with a *thwack*. He turns back towards the room and heads back to his whiskey, but…

    “Guess who!! Hah hah hah!”

    He does a double take, as the mask is now perfectly perched on his dining room table, as if nestled on a mannequin’s head.

    “Yeah, see, the sooner you realize that I’m not going anywhere, the better this is going to go for both of us, alright? The quicker you see that we need each other, the quicker we can get to down to business. Can you be cool now?”

    He shakes his head, refusing to make “eye” contact with the mask.

    “No, no, this isn’t real. I’m drunk, passed out on that recliner, and you’re some weird twisted figment of my imagination. Any time now I’m going to have to pee, my bladder is going to wake me up, and you’re going to be gone, laying in some trash can back in Brooklyn. I’m just going to sit here and wait. Any time now.”

    He takes a seat on the couch, still facing in the direction of the mask, but with no desire or intention of speaking to it again.

    “Geez, Randy, you’re no fun! Come and play with me!”

    No response.

    “What, when you lost Devin Golden did you lose your balls too?”

    No response.

    “Alright, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it like that. I mean... I did, but I can tell you’re not buying in to what I'm selling, so I’m sorry.

    But… when has Randy Ramon ever taken his ball and gone home like you did when you ran off to Belgium?”


    Randy is listening, but still not responding.

    “You’ve been kind of a bitch lately, Randy. I’m sorry, but it had to be said. Ever since you lost the World Title, it’s just been a shit load of whining and groaning. Oooooh look at Randy. Has to go find himself! Oooooh soul searching! La dee fucking da! Used to be that if someone pissed you off, or took something of yours, you kicked their fucking head off! Now? You go on Twitter and taunt a ninety-seven-year-old man? What the fuck is that?”

    Randy looks up at the mask, meeting its awkward, dead, stare, with fire swelling in his eyes.

    “On top of tha-“

    “Enough!”

    Randy manages to RISE from the couch.

    “What’s the point of all of this? To convince me to go back to being the assassin? Get all the gold, no matter who it harms, even if it’s me? I did all that already. Remember? You and I, for a few hours, we had the World Title AND the Tag Team Titles. We had everything. WE HAD IT ALL!"

    He moves closer to the mask.

    "How’s that gone for us since? Huh?”


    The mask audibly laughs.

    “See what I mean? A bitch. A silly little bitch who only hears what he wants to hear, instead of taking what he wants!”

    Now Randy is angry.

    “So, fucking what then? What is it that I want, oh wise and all knowing mask? What grand message are you here to deliver? Huh? I don’t have a tag partner anymore, so it’s not like I’m sniffing the tag titles again any time soon. They've got me fighting Reagan Cole, no where near the World Title.”

    If the mask could actually shake itself from side to side, it probably would right now.

    “You want two things Randy, and I’m honestly surprised I have to actually spell it out for you.

    You want Krash, and you want to kick Reagan Cole’s head into the front row.

    One of those things you can get on Meltdown this week. The other?”


    Randy DOES shake his head and turns away.

    “No, Krash won’t fight me. He basically said he’s done with me.”

    “Oooooh poor little Randy… Krash won’t fight him. BOO HOO HOO! WAAAHHHH!! So what? MAKE HIM! TAKE WHAT YOU WANT!”

    “But how do I… it's his call. How do I get his attention? Not like I can walk onto Fallout and punch him in the mouth.”

    “Oh, I think you know very well what you can do… Just takes a little... flair. Send him a message.”

    There’s a long pregnant silence as Randy begrudgingly begins to agree with the mask. An idea finds its way into his head, and an eerie smile comes across his face.

    “I feel sorry for Reagan Cole…”

    "You should."

    He turns back to the mask.

    "Because if there's one person on the planet who's as much of a bitch as Krash... it's Reagan Cole."

    The mask chuckles from a mix of half confusion, half interest.

    “See, it was on the very same Meltdown that I challenged Krash, that Reagan was challenged by that new guy, Mason something. Just like Krash, Cole immediately backed down, tucked his tail behind his legs and ran as fast as he could. Just like Krash, he refused to face the consequences of so many actions and hurried away like a hurt little puppy. Just like Krash, he completely and totally bitched out.”

    Randy begins pacing the length of the room.

    “It seems like a lot of people were surprised. I, for one, was not. See, I know Cole better than most. He literally exists in an FWA ring because of me. I brought him into this squared circle, if you recall, on Ground Zero. I taught him, influenced him, raised him… Took him under my wing AGAIN at the Unsanctioned Trios Tournament. I thought I taught him to be honorable, and to never back down from a fight… but apparently, I failed. Or better yet, he did. I didn’t see it then – the yellow streak down his back. But I see it now. Cole let himself down. Cole let down all of his Cole-miners, or Cole-ostomy bags, or whatever he calls the two or three people who cheer for him. Worst of all, he let ME down. So now… after bringing him into the business, I get the chance to take him out of it. I WILL… take him out of it. Sorry Mason McNewbie. Find another dance partner for Back in Business.”

    He stops in place and lets out a wry laugh.

    “You know, it’s kind of funny. Until just a moment ago, I didn’t catch the parallels… the similarities… of our situations. I laid down the gauntlet to Krash, and he said no. Cole turned down a challenge directed at him. Now, exactly one week later, Cole has to step in the ring with me… a challenge he cannot refused. At least, not without putting an automatic L on his record… and lord knows his record has enough losses as is.”

    “So then let’s give him another!”

    “Oh, my friend, don’t worry your pretty little… head? I guess? I still don't fully understand exactly what you are. But don't worry, we will. We’ll give him an L bigger than the human shaped walking L that he exists as every single day.”

    Randy hurries towards the table.

    “Let’s go Maskie… we’ve got a flight to catch!”

    “Hey, wait, Maskie? That’s not my… what do you think...?! Nooooo!”

    Randy yanks the mask from the table, shoves it back into the bag he found it in, and heads for the door.

    “Hey, what are you doing? Don’t put me back in here! It's dark, and it smells funny!

    Let me out!”


    But his cries fall on deaf ears, as the door closes behind them.

    “I command you to release me, this instant!”

    ...

    ...

    ...

    RIIIIIIIIIIISE!










  8. #8
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    Re: Meltdown XV | Homecoming: Pittsburgh | Un Thread Pour Le Promo

    JASON RANDALL

    IN

    MY MIND PLAYING TRICKS ON ME

    After the disappointing loss to Johnny Johnson, I thought I would be able to clear my head a little before my next match on Meltdown in Pittsburgh with Devin Golden, but I got a call from Angelo asking me to meet him at his gym in downtown San Diego.

    It doesn’t click at first on why he wants to meet at his gym, but as soon as I walk in and see a wrestling ring set up with a young man running the ropes, it hits me like a ton of bricks. Before I can even take it all in, Mickey greets me at the door.


    Mickey: “Hey, Randall, been a while! We started to think that you didn’t want to work for us anymore!”


    Sal walks up behind Mick and wraps his arm around me as he hugs me in his unique way.


    Sal: “Hey Mick, give the guy a break! He’s been busy, and besides, we’ve been busy too!”


    Mickey: “That’s right, hey, I’m just busting his balls; he knows that!”


    Jason Randall: “What’s going on here, fellas?”


    Sal: “Angelo told you about his son training to be one of the wrestlers like you, right?”


    Jason Randall: “Yeah, I seem to recall him mentioning it.”


    Sal: “Yeah, well, he wondered if you could maybe get in the ring and give the kid some pointers, you know? You’re the professional, so that you would know best, right?”


    I don’t know if I’m in the right mind to help train someone; I can’t even help myself these days. I have that one win at Grand March over Johnson and Rose, but coming up short at Carnal Contendership, plus the deflating loss to Johnson with him putting me to sleep. I have Devin Golden to worry about next, and I certainly can’t afford a loss over a Hall of Famer like him. Devin also mentored me a little back when I was in NGW before I was offered a full-time contract for FWA. That’s not the same Devin from back then.

    This Devin Golden is an entirely different breed of animal. I encountered him in the Tag Warz and came up short, but it’s one on one this time. No partner to rely on. A win over Golden would be a massive boost for not only my career but also my morale.


    Sal: “Hey, are you okay, bud?”


    I snap out of whatever that was and turn back to Sal.


    Jason Randall: “Me? Yeah, I’m okay. I just have some stuff on my mind, don’t worry about me.”


    Sal: “If you don’t feel like you're up for this, you can always come back another day.”


    Before I can respond, Angelo walks over and pats me on the back, nearly knocking me over.


    Angelo D’Amico: “Hey, Randall, good to see you! I’m glad that you could find the time to swing by today. I asked you to come by to see if you could give my boy in there some tips and show him what it takes to be one of those professionals like you. Do you think you can do that?”


    Sal is about to speak up for me and while I appreciate him looking out for me, I cut him off and speak up.


    Jason Randall: “Sure, it’s not a problem, Angelo. I don’t mind helping mold the future of the business.”


    Angelo D’Amico: “That’s great to hear, but I don’t know about all of that future of the business talk, but maybe just show the kid some moves and some other stuff.”


    I nod at Angelo and nod at Sal to reassure him that I’m okay. Running the ropes and doing some training might not be so bad after all. It might help get me in the right frame of mind for Devin Golden.


    I step into the ring, and Angelo’s son stops running the ropes and takes a breather. Angelo hands him a water bottle, and the kid takes a drink.


    Angelo D’Amico: “Anthony, this is my friend Jason Randall that I was telling you about. He’s the one that works for that wrestling company, FWA. I invited him here to guide you maybe a little and give you some tips, alright?”


    Anthony D’Amico: “Alright, pop, whatever you say.”


    Anthony walks over to me and holds out his hand. I return the gesture and shake his hand; he’s got a firm grip. I pull him in suddenly as if I’m about to do something, but I quickly back off. Anthony looks confused by this and looks back at his dad, who is just as confused as he is.


    Jason Randall: “There’s my first tip; always be ready. Even if it’s just a handshake, always be on your toes. Keep your focus, and don’t let your opponent get an early one-up on you.”


    Anthony, still slightly confused, nods as if he does somewhat understand. He puts aside his water bottle, and he meets me in the center of the ring.


    Jason Randall: “Alright, let’s start with your basic collar and elbow tie-up, okay?”


    Anthony D’Amico: “Sounds easy enough.”


    Anthony and I begin to work on the tie-up when suddenly, after I blink, he’s not there anymore, and instead, it’s Devin Golden in the ring locking up with me. At least I think it’s Devin Golden; it’s either that or he’s got a long lost twin invading my thoughts.


    “What’s the matter, Randall? Can’t focus?”


    I shove him back, and then I see Anthony again, even more confused than earlier.


    Anthony D’Amico: “What’s the big idea, huh? Pop, what’s going on with this guy?”


    Jason Randall: “Sorry, I lost my train of thought there. Let’s do that again and then transition into a side headlock before I take you down, okay?”


    Anthony reluctantly nods, and we do the lock-up, then the transition into a side headlock before I take him down and start to crank back a little on him. I look down at Anthony, but I see Devin Golden’s face looking back up at me once again.


    “Remember when I was a mentor to you? Remember how I helped you?”


    Jason Randall: “You’re not real; you’re just a part of my imagination.”


    “Keep telling yourself that. Remember, this is my world. This is all in my head. Do you think that you’re going to help this kid? Are you trying to be a mentor to him like I was to you? You’ll never be even half as good as me.”


    I crank back extra hard this time, and Anthony lets out a loud yelp of pain, and I quickly release him in a state of shock.


    Anthony D’Amico: “Yo, pop, what’s with this guy, huh?”


    Jason Randall: “Look, I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s gotten into me today.”


    Anthony and I both get to our feet, and he stands across from me in the center of the ring.


    Anthony D’Amico: “I know that my boot is about to get into your damn gut!”


    Anthony goes for a kick, and I instinctively prevent him from striking by holding him by the boot.


    “Is this how you’re going to beat me? You think this will help you beat me?”


    I spin Anthony around and level him with a lariat. I don’t know what’s going on with me right now but I’m not trying to hurt this kid.


    “You’re thinking to yourself that you’re not going to hurt this kid, but it looks like you’re trying to end his career before it even gets started! Huh, some mentor you are, Randall! Do you think beating on this kid will help you beat me? You couldn’t beat me in Tag Warz, and you won’t beat me in Pittsburgh.”


    Anthony gingerly gets to his feet, and in a blind rage, he charges toward me, but I counter with a shoulder block and send him to the corner.


    “This time, you won’t have a tag team partner to fall back on. Just you and I. One on one.”


    I lay into Anthony, stomping a mudhole in him in the corner.


    “It will take a lot more than that to keep me down; come on, show me what you got!”


    I dragged Anthony out of the corner and hit him with Snake Eyes. He falls flat on his back behind me.


    “That’s what I like to see, Randall. That killer instinct. That’s what’s been missing since you’ve been back. I want the same Jason Randall that went to war with Kayden Knox and Vincent Blackbird. Not this Randall that was put to sleep by some snot-nosed little punk like Johnny Johnson. Bring out that aggression, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll beat me.”


    Just like that, the voice of Devin Golden goes away. I just sit there and see Angelo watching, but he’s not angry like I expected him to be. He’s clapping, and he’s smiling. Why is he smiling? I just beat up his kid. I turn around and help Anthony to his feet, hesitant at first to accept my help, and I don’t blame him, but he eventually gets it.


    Jason Randall: “Sorry about that; I don’t know what came over me.”


    Anthony shakes his head and reluctantly accepts my handshake. I leave the ring and return to Angelo, still grinning from ear to ear.


    Jason Randall: “Hey, Angelo, listen-”


    Angelo D’Amico: “That was great! Yeah, you roughed him up a little, but the boy has to learn! Hey, I’ll talk to you later, alright?”


    I simply nod in disbelief. I shake it off and hastily leave the gym.

    I can’t worry about that. I have to focus on Devin Golden and give him that killer instinct he wants, and I’ll make him regret it.
    Rest in power, Flock U
    Rest in power, TCON

    Team Cyrus T is Best for Business

    Letterboxd

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed
    Stop the hating of the E-Feds. If you don't like something, that's fine, just ignore it and let the people who do enjoy what they're here on WC to do. Mocking them to make you feel less of a geek for being on a geek on a wrestling forum is lame. If you want to not read their posts, I can fix that for you.

  9. #9
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    Re: Meltdown XV | Homecoming: Pittsburgh | Un Thread Pour Le Promo

    Johnny Johnson and Dr. Lauren Waller are relaxing in the back seat of Johnny’s big town car. Johnny is reading what appears to be the Wall Street Journal. The doctor is looking through things on her smartphone. Just then the limo comes to a stop. Johnny realizes this and looks up from his newspaper towards the front of the limo. The driver then rolls down the divider between the back seat and front.

    Limo Driver: Sir, we arrived.


    Johnny Johnson: Thanks Jeeves. The sooner we get out of this place the better.

    Dr. Waller: And where exactly are we?

    Limo Driver: Cyrus Baptist Church in Kenova, West Virginia.

    Dr. Waller: Why again did you want me along on this trip, Johnny?

    Johnny: Aside from normal people like myself I imagine you’ve had to deal with some real freaks in your line of work. I believe the person I’m facing this week in my match qualifies for said label.

    Dr. Waller: You realize we could have had a conversation on your opponent in the comfort of my office.

    Johnny: I hear what you’re saying doc, but there is more. I’m going to assume you’re wondering why exactly we have driven hours to some shitty town in West Virginia. A town that not a single person in the world would care if it was wiped from the face of the earth. Especially to a church.

    Dr. Waller: The church thing did throw me off.

    Johnny: You see ever since I’ve come to FWA all you’ve ever heard was this mythos surrounding my opponent this week. The mythos of Cyrus Truth. Anytime, anyone would talk about him they made it seem like he was the boogeyman. So I thought, what if he was?

    Lauren looks over at Johnny confused as if he is waiting for more from Johnny.

    Dr. Waller: Uh, if he is what?

    Johnny: The Boogeyman.

    Lauren looks at Johnny like he has two heads.

    Dr. Waller: The Boogeyman? You are aware that the boogeyman is just made up, right?


    Johnny looks over at Lauren a little agitated that she is questioning his claim.

    Johnny: Obviously, I’m aware that most of the time it is made up. I’m not a damn idiot. But this guy is one of those religious nuts that seem to not be batting for the big guy upstairs. That is also why we’ve come to this church. His name is Cyrus Truth. What better place to find something to defeat a devil-worshipping freak than to come to a church with that same name?

    Lauren lets out a big sigh as Johnny finishes up his last thoughts.

    Dr. Waller: You realize how illogical this all is right?


    Johnny’s eyes squint and look over at Lauren very suspiciously.

    Johnny: Quit being so damn frigid.


    Dr. Waller: Johnny, you’re talking about a human being as if they would have supernatural powers because they have some sort of religious foundation in their life. Not only that, but you’re taking a leap that this man’s religion is some sort of devil-worshipping cult.

    Johnny: This isn’t a damn leap you should see this freak. You should listen to him talk and what he talks about. First off, he is tattooed head to toe. CLEARLY, a sign of a devil-worshipping freak.

    Dr. Waller: Are you serious now?


    Johnny: Absolutely! Look at me a non-devil-worshipping freak, not one dirty, disgusting tattoo on me to blemish this perfectly sculpted body only rivaled by Greek gods. If you’re still not seeing it how about this. This guy has the audacity to talk about himself like he is some holier than thou man. Thinking he’s greater than most, judging people, disguising the entire thing by saying he is merely exposing the truth about people. Not on….


    Dr. Waller quickly interrupts Johnny.


    Dr. Waller: Johnny, you realize you think you’re greater than most, right?


    Irritated at Lauren’s point, mostly because it’s true. Johnny then fires back at Lauren.

    Johnny: That’s because I am greater than most. There is no debate about that. But, FINE, fine if you aren’t going to believe me. How about you come with me as I walk into this church and talk to the pastor? Maybe then, MAYBE THEN, you’ll see that my words hold credence. Jeeves! Get my door!

    The driver then opens his door. Johnny is still irritated and physically showing it by tapping his fingers on the leather seats of the town car.

    Dr. Waller: You’re chauffeur’s name is Jeeves? As in Ask Jeeves?

    Johnny: Could be, hell if I know.

    Dr. Waller: You don’t know the name of the man that drives you around on a daily basis?

    Johnny shakes his head as if he is confused at what Dr. Waller is confused about.

    Johnny: And what?

    Dr. Waller: Nothing, I would say I’m surprised but I’m not.


    Just then the door that Johnny is seating by is opened by “Jeeves” and the bright sun pours into the car. Johnny then steps out of the car. As he does that Dr. Waller opens her door and steps out of the car as well. As Lauren walks around the backside of the car she makes her way over to where Johnny is standing. Standing in the parking lot of the Cyrus Baptist Church, they see that not much is around them. It looks like they are really in the middle of nowhere. The church itself is a quaint, red brick building. Nothing fancy, just what someone would imagine if they wanted to picture a church in a small town. You can see Jonny looking around at the surrounding area which is just woods and railroad tracks that don’t appear to be used for years. His nose then begins to twinge, as if he smells a bad odor.

    Johnny: Do you smell that?

    Dr. Waller: No, what do you smell?


    Johnny: White trash.


    Johnny begins to laugh uncontrollably at his joke. Dr. Waller is unphased.


    Dr. Waller: Do you really need to mock those that might be worse off financially than you?

    His laughter is trailing off and he gives a smirk looking at Lauren.

    Johnny: You really need to loosen up Doc. And yes I need to mock those people. It makes me laugh and let’s be honest most people wish those kinds of people didn’t exist.


    Dr. Waller: You are heartless.


    Johnny physically shrugs at Lauren’s last comment.

    Johnny: You might be right, but at least the size of my bank account has filled that void. Nevertheless, let’s get this done. Starting to feel like the movie Deliverance could become a reality in this trash heap of a town.

    Johnny and Lauren make their way across the parking lot and up to the doors of the red brick church. Johnny knocks on the door a few times and waits for his knocks to be answered.


    Johnny: Hey doc, do you have any snacks in your purse?

    Annoyed at Johnny’s question Lauren still answers his question.

    Dr. Waller: I don’t have a purse, Johnny.

    Johnny looks taken aback by her answer.

    Johnny: Don’t have a purse? Why the hell did I bring you along?


    Dr. Waller: I’ve been asking myself that same question.

    Just then the door to the church is opened by a middle-aged man. You can tell that he’s getting up there in age by the fact that the hair on his head and in his beard is showing more gray than not. Dressed in a blue button-down shirt and a pair of khakis you can tell the man is either the pastor himself at the church or at least someone that would work here. As the man opens the door he greets Lauren and Johnny with a wide smile.

    Pastor: Good morning to the two of you. Welcome to Cyrus Baptist Church, how can I help you?


    Johnny: Hello my good man. We are two weary travelers that seek your help in slaying a mighty foe of God.


    Dr. Waller lets out an audible sigh and the big smile that the pastor did have has quickly changed to a look of confusion.

    Pastor: I’m sorry?

    Johnny: Let me spell it out for your bud as best I can. I am a great warrior, clearly on the side of good. I’m going to be battling a great foe this week who is on the side of evil. I have come here for some tools of the trade in order to ensure that I win over this evil. If it makes you feel better I can tell you that God sent me here.

    Pastor: I’m still a little confused about what you’re asking from me. But please come in, it’s blistering out here and the air conditioning in the building will give us some nice refuge as we figure out what exactly you are looking for from me.

    Johnny and Lauren enter through the door and step into the foyer of the church. They can see from this spot the worshipping room. Sets of pews, separated by a middle aisle. With a quaint, white alter in the front of it all. The door shuts behind them and the pastor walks ahead of them.

    Pastor: Please, let’s step into the worship room and have a seat.

    The three of them walk into the next room., The pastor holds out a hand, motioning for Lauren and Johnny to have a seat in the very back pew. The pastor then has a seat in the pew ahead of them. He turns his body to face the two.

    Pastor: Alright, no let’s get to the bottom of this. What exactly were you referring to when you said you were seeking tools of the trade?

    Johnny: I thought what I said earlier would suffice enough, but obviously it wasn’t. So what I’m looking for is something you would have in this place that would help me beat the hell out of a devil-worshipping freak. You see I’m a professional wrestler and I am going against someone who I believe loves Satan with all of his heart.

    Pastor: And you think I have something here, in this church, to help you with that?

    Johnny looks very confused at the pastor questioning what he is saying.

    Johnny: Of course, I’ve seen the movies. Satan arrives and puts himself in people. Those people call up a godly priest and he uses his tools to battle the devil.

    The pastor lets out a small laugh at what Johnny is saying.

    Pastor: I assure you what the movies show people is not really what we do here.


    Johnny’s temper is now getting a little worked up.


    Johnny: Listen bub, I don’t need you to tell me that I’m wrong about this. This ice queen next to me already does that enough. I just need you to give me what I want and that’s it. No need for you to say I’m wrong, no need for you to say you don’t have what I want, no need for you to say anything. Just hand me the damn tools that I know you have and you can tell your very poor, churchy people great tales on how a very god-like man was able to conquer Satan himself.

    The pastor is completely unsure of what to think about Johnny or his demands. He does realize the only way Johnny is going to leave is with whatever he’s asking for though. So under those circumstances he replies with his next words.

    Pastor: What tools do you seek?

    Johnny’s face lights up with the pastor’s words. He then claps his hands and points at the pastor.

    Johnny: That’s my guy! I’ll just say this, the devil-worshipping freak that I’m facing this week seems like he’s been bumping uglies with the dark lord for a very, very long time. So give me all you got. The most powerful holy water, all the crosses you can gather. Hell if you have garlic I don’t think that’s a bad idea either.

    Lauren: He’s not a damn vamp…

    Johnny quickly interrupts Lauren before she can finish.

    Johnny: YOU NEVER KNOW!!

    Pastor: If I get you those things you two will be on your way?

    Johnny: If I get those things I won’t step in this shit hole of a town if Jesus Christ himself showed up here.

    Pastor: Alright, give me a minute I will grab what you need.

    The pastor then stands up and walks up towards the alter. He then enters a door on the one side of the alter. Spending a few minutes in that other room the pastor then reemerges. In his hands he is carrying a cluster of crosses and what appears to be a bottle of water. Excited beyond belief and wearing a huge smile on his face Johnny stands up from the pew he was sitting at. The pastor makes it back to the pew they were sitting at and offers the lot of items he was holding.

    Pastor: This is what I could gather for you. I hope it is what you need for whatever it is exactly you are about to do.

    Johnny grabs the bottle of water and holds it up, examining it.

    Johnny: This is holy water?

    Pastor: Absolutely.

    Johnny: You blessed it yourself.

    Pastor: Just this morning. I presume God knew you were going to be coming here for it.

    Johnny is satisfied with the answer and fist pumps.

    Johnny: Father, you will see that you just gave one of the mightiest warriors on the planet tools to defeat a dirty, dirty, devil-worshipping freak. You will not be disappointed. Alright, Lauren, grabs those crosses, and let's get out of this God-forsaken town!

    With that being said Johnny is extremely satisfied with his plunder and starts to stroll back towards the front door of the church spinning the bottle of water in the air and whistling as the opens the door to leave.

    Last edited by OldJay; 05-20-2022 at 03:07 AM.

  10. #10
    I'm cool. I think
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    Re: Meltdown XV | Homecoming: Pittsburgh | Un Thread Pour Le Promo

    Sacrifice


    Reagan Cole has never understood where the line is drawn, between sacrifice and self-slaughter. When you give up too much for the thing you love. As much as he hates to admit it, Reagan has cost himself so many pure moments of his son’s life because of wrestling. When Jason took his first steps, Reagan was in Scotland, being eliminated in a battle royal for a championship that he didn’t really care about. When Jason had to be taken to the hospital for the first time because of a stomach bug, Reagan couldn’t pick up the phone because he was teaming with British Kid versus B.Dazzle & Gav The Chav. And now, we find ourselves in that situation once again as we see Reagan sitting in the back of a cabbie. Tonight is Jason’s big play, doing a production of Peter Pan. If Reagan’s honest, he didn’t expect Jason to be a theater kid but there’s a suspicion that Tyler had a hand in it.

    So now it has led to the situation of Reagan could be missing one more big moment of Jason’s life just because the plane that took him from Brooklyn had an delay due to some unexpected weather shit or whatever excuse they had. Reagan didn’t care about the reason, he just cared about getting there and why was this cab taking so long? Reagan looks around and it feels like at every possible crossroads, the driver’s took the direction that takes the longest and Reagan runs his hand through his hair, his knees trembling. Fuck why is it taking so long? Reagan looks forward to the man driving the cab himself. Somewhat chubby young man with dark hair hanging across his forehead and an somewhat overly happy grin as he drives through the rainy weather, the sky deciding to open itself up the second Reagan landed back in Britain. Maybe he was just happy doing his job. Or maybe he was just happy trying to get as much money out of The British Apprentice as possible, both options feeling plausible.

    Reagan pulls out his phone, and after attempting to dry the screen on his jacket a few times, he gets it to light up, the first thing he sees is the time confirming the inevitable. Reagan’s late. Shit. Reagan quickly puts it in his pocket as a visible groan. It’s okay. There’s no way the lost boys are even gonna be there in the first scene. No way. Unless they booked Jason in some worthless physical theatre, OH GOD, they would be the pricks that would pull that stunt. Double cast Jason as A FUCKING DOOR or some shit just to fuck Reagan. Reagan stops himself. He can tell he’s getting anxious, his hands are shaking which he tries to slow but it’s not much use. Reagan lets out a audible “fuck” which straight away gets the cab driver’s attention.



    Cabby:“Everything alright back there?”


    The cab driver asked, whether it was out of genuine curiosity or just a desire to fill the silence Reagan couldn’t exactly tell. Reagan looks up at the guy, looking for a response. Is everything alright? No, he’s about to miss his kid performing at a theatre because this idiot had to get more money out of Reagan by going the wrong path! Does Reagan say that though?


    Reagan: “Erm, yeah. Everything’s fine back here.”


    Cabby: “Great, almost there anyway lad.”


    No. Reagan doesn’t say it. He lied again, like he did just not even a day before. “Rage inside my heart and a smile on my fucking face” So dumb. So fake, even. But it was a attempt at motivation, I guess. Because how else is Reagan supposed to motivate himself these days where he’s taking loss after loss? It’s draining. And this most recent loss? Man, that hurts. Because Reagan knows that he got fucking close. He had it. One slip up and boom, there’s one more loss that FWA.com can proudly show on their website. 4-10 since BIB XV and it’s not like they’re wrong! They ain’t! Even the crowd are realising this now. It’s not common that Reagan gets boos but this time…It stung. Because it means that the fans that Reagan has worked to impress and respected for over a year and HE shows up and they automatically choose HIS side. Just like that. They don’t know what HE has done. They don’t know what shit HE has put me through. But they still chose HIM over Reagan because Reagan declined the match. Because Reagan Cole dug himself out of the hole THE BASTARD left him and every other RWK employee in and Reagan made the conscious choice to not exact revenge, Reagan made the choice to make something of himself that’s bigger than HE ever was. Reagan Cole didn’t want to deal with HIS bullshit because why should Reagan? Hell, Reagan, in his mind is waiting for the call to tell him that he’s in the opening match along with Greg, whatever Nephew doesn’t have a championship yet and surprise guest competitor Tom Fucking Brady. Because maybe that’s what Reagan deserves that after the year he’s had. But Reagan doesn’t deserve to go back and “fight his demons” because Reagan didn’t let them become demons. He let them go before THE DEATHMATCH ASSHOLE could use it against them.


    Cabby: “Hey, bud! We’re here.”


    Reagan refocuses. Oh, shit Jason! One more look at the phone, yup. That’s 10 minutes late. Shit, shit, shit. Reagan grabs his bag, the same one recently seen being carried by Reagan during his meltdown interview.


    Reagan: “How much do I owe you?”


    Cabby: “Around erm….23.20, bud!”


    Motherfucker. Yeah he definitley didn’t go the short way. But Reagan keeps a brave face as he quickly gets the money out as all that matters to him right now is getting through the doors before Jason comes onto stage. Reagan hands the money to the driver and rushes over to the door of the small theatre when he’s stopped by a bodyguard? Oh come on, come on. Reagan is so close! The guard towers over Reagan like one final wall when a slight recognition appears in his eyes.


    Guard: “Wait…Are you Reagan Cole from FWA?”


    Reagan: “Yeah, Ca-“


    Guard: “Big fan of your work, man! You mind us taking a picture?”


    Reagan: “Dude, Genuinely appreciate it but I really gotta go in there and see my son. But I promise afterwards!”


    Please, please, please. Reagan is so closeeeee.


    Guard: “Yeah, no problem, go on right ahead.”


    There we go! Reagan runs past the guard into the theatre and is suddenly surrounded by parents staring at him, Oh boy. Reagan looks to the stage. It’s still Wendy, John and the other one are stage. What. But we’re ten minutes in! Reagan looks around, only looking for one person in particular that can help him. And he finds her. The love of his life, Sarah Cole poking her head up directly at him both trying to get his attention and also not bringing too much attention to herself. She’s doing an ok job. Reagan quickly walks down the ramp, also trying to not get attention but somehow doing a worse job as he squeezes past a couple of people to finally get to…Sarah’s glaring eyes staring at him. Oh boy.


    Reagan: “….. I know. Plane got fucking delayed.”


    Sarah: “Don’t worry the head mistress of the school decided to do the tombola before the actual play.”


    Are you fucking kidding me? As proof, Sarah suddenly shows Reagan what assumedly his wife won. A bunch of napkins with a cow on. Wow. Nevertheless Reagan is finally able to sit down and relax a bit at last when suddenly he holds his chest in pain, the relaxing of the chest decided to bring back the pain of the Cyrus Truth chops done against him still prevalent despite it coming up to 10 hours later. Heh. Bastard. Sarah looks slightly concerned but Reagan brushes it off as he looks at the stage. It clearly looks rushed and not exactly the royal Albert hall in terms of presentation. Reagan has seen rival fight clubs in better state as his eyes finally lock onto the main star of the show. Peter Pan. And the thought appears in Reagan’s mind….Why does that kid look so much like Randy Ramon? But then again maybe it’s convenient. Leader of a group of people who shouldn’t and mostly didn’t get along. All of them with separate skills. And then in the most adaptations of the media, Peter Pan ends up abandoning them. Like a bitch. But hey I guess Meltdown would be a chance to get revenge huh? We talked about sacrifices at the start of this and Erm…I mean we can’t avoid that topic can we?

    Mr. I would rather let a caveman and a fucking emperor have the belts before Reagan and Aka. Yeah….That was a tough pill for Reagan to swallow. Reagan came into that match with everything he had, he did everything he could do. And still he got pinned by someone that was un fucking conscious thanks to Ramon. Ramon couldn’t let himself be beat by one of his team Ramon teammates so he chose to lay Golden over me. Ramon sacrificed the last of respect that Reagan had for him that day and you know Reagan won’t be taking that likely. So this match…Unlike Cyrus, this isn’t about wins or losses? Reagan has enough losses, eh? Who cares if he has one more loss in the God Damn chamber? Nah. This is just about payback. And there won’t be Aka to stop him or Golden. Just one on one and Reagan gets to embarrass the bastard in the mask that he abandoned Reagan in the first place. Simple as that.



    Sarah suddenly nudges Reagan back to reality as the jet lag is still taking effect on Reagan as he wakes up to see Jason! Wearing his top hat with feathers to indicate that he is indeed the lost boy known as Ace. Extremely cute as he walks onto stage infront of the rest of the Lost Boys. But there’s no smile on Jason’s face, weirdly. He looks like he’s searching for someone. The people on the stage look to him obviously expecting him to say something but the lost boy….is I guess lost? Jason opens his mouth but nothing comes out and that’s when Reagan and Sarah realise.


    Jason has stage fright.


    Reagan suddenly bolts out of his seat and down the ramp, not caring about the snobby parents side eyeing him for some reason as he makes it to the front of the stage and gestures out to Jason.


    Reagan: “Jason, You okay?”


    Reagan asks as quietly as he can and Jason nods, not looking at him, still looking out at the crowd who are patiently waiting for the next word. Reagan takes a slight look over to the teacher in the curtain before turning back to Jason finally looking down at his father as Reagan recognises the stare at him in what could be described as ‘blind terror’, except the light in Jason’s eyes implies he can see everything - every future where Jason messes up, drastically and in great detail. In too much detail for a kid of this age so naturally Reagan starts to see the tears well up. Reagan simply just holds his hand out.


    Reagan: ”Hey, hey, hold my hand.”


    Jason: “I-I-I don’t kno-“


    Reagan has to legit reach over and grab Jason’s hand himself to stop him from shaking, Jason is almost in a similar situation to Reagan at the start of this. Jason’s hands are clammy and he won’t stop moving. It’s only now that Reagan kinda registers the overbearing light above which makes it obvious why Jason couldn’t see them at first, My God.


    Reagan: “Calm down, calm down, I’m with you, I’m with you, no matter what I’m with you okay?”


    Jason slowly nods and at Reagan’s gestures does a deep breath.


    Reagan: “Okay….Now just say the line, bud and then we’ll go get ice cream, okay?”


    Jason gets happier by that one comment and nods back. Reagan goes to let go but Jason holds on, he wants his dad there. And Reagan knows then. He atleast didn’t miss this moment. And that’s all that matters.


    Jason: “We….We…We believe in you, Peter Pan.”


    Oh so that’s what the line was. Jason smiles at Reagan as a small applause starts to congratulate Jason on his bravery. Jason finally let’s go of Reagan’s hand as he hears the applause around him. Jason starts to jump up and down at the small reaction as more people join in. Reagan looks back at Sarah who is smiling proudly at both of them.


    But it’s at that moment, Jason in his excitement jumps backwards and manages to headbutt the Peter Pan right in the head! The Ramon lookalike falls down.


    The crowd goes dead silent. It’s almost peaceful for a second


    Then suddenly the loudest yell rings out through the entire theatre.


    Okay. Maybe Jason ain’t a theatre kid.


    But atleast Jason has a headbutt like his Dad, I guess.
    Last edited by The Gipper; 05-20-2022 at 03:01 AM.
    " I have this weird self-esteem issue where I hate myself but still think I’m better than everyone else."

  11. #11
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    WWE Re: Meltdown XV | Homecoming: Pittsburgh | Un Thread Pour Le Promo

    Blood Is Thicker Than Water


    Buzz.

    Buzz.

    Buzz.

    It's not a cellphone ringing.

    Or a barber giving someone a sharp cut.

    No, it's...

    *SLAP*

    Broc Flucker swats at the fly that has been buzzing around him. He looks over at his cousin Saint Sulley, who's been impatiently tapping his foot in the waiting room chair. He's sweating, and upset. Up above him is a sign that reads "Enterprise". Either they're on a Star Trek spaceship, or they're trying to rent a car.

    Saint Sulley turns to Broc, and he's clearly losing his temper.
    "This is ridiculous man" Saint Sulley says. Broc just nods his head, trying to remain calm. Broc always was the calmer one. Sulley was the assertive one, the one who yelled at the waitress when they got his order wrong, and Broc? He was the one who was in the background. Calm and reserved. There were many times when Broc was along the ride for one of Sulley's public meltdowns.

    Now here they were, inside an Enterprise, and Broc was about to witness another one.

    "Mr. Sullivan?" said a voice behind the counter.

    Saint Sulley got up. His face already beat red in anger.

    "Do you have any idea how long we've been waiting? Do you? Do you know who we are?" he shouted at her. Broc trying to keep his distance in the background.

    "Yes sir, actually...that's the problem." she said back to him, which only seemed to make Sulley angrier.

    "What do you mean that's the problem? What's the problem? You better have my car. I had this car reserved weeks ago. There is no reason why you shouldn't have my car. I used to live in this fucking place. McKnight road? I used to drive out there every single day. By now after my accomplishments, they should have named the road after me. So the least you could do is have my car ready for me".

    The woman doesn't seem moved.

    "Sir, I'm sorry, but when we attempted to process your request...well...it said you were blacklisted." she told him.

    Broc gulped in the background as Sulley's eyes widened.

    "Blacklisted? Blacklisted? Are you kidding me? For WHAT? I've been renting from goddamn Enterprise for the last ten years. Do you know how often I rent cars? I travel all over the world. I have probably given a quarter of my salary to your freaking company, and you mean to tell me I'm blacklisted? Get me a manager. Now." Sulley says sternly. "Sir, I am the manager. Look, there's nothing else we can do at this point. The computer doesn't give me much information." she says to him.

    "Well take your pretty little blonde head to the back, and calls someone that has just a little more competence than you. It doesn't even have to be much. Just a little...just a little more competence. Someone that understands that clearly that computer made some sort of error, because I know I didn't do a damn thing to get blacklisted from renting any cars." The woman sighed in response, realizing that Sulley wasn't going to just go away any time soon. "Fine, I'll go see what I can find out. Wait here just a moment" she says as she begrudgingly goes to the back.

    Sulley goes back to the waiting area and plops down next to an embarrassed Broc.

    Broc then turns to Sulley and asks him "You know, why don't you have a car here? Didn't you used to live here?" he asked. Sulley chuckled, and responded rather passive aggressively "Well, you used to live here too. Why don't you have a car here?".

    "I moved when I was 10"
    Broc retorted.

    Sulley then pondered his original question, and said "I don't know why I don't have a car here anymore. I don't really have anything here anymore. I have a house that rarely gets used, a storage locker up by Ross Park Mall, and then...that's it."

    Broc thought for a moment. Remembering all the memories of Pittsburgh. "You know, it's funny, this is where it all started." he said, letting out a light chuckle.

    Broc was right.

    This is where it all started.

    Thirteen Years Ago

    A 23 year old Dave Sullivan sits on the porch of his grandmother's house in suburban Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He looks at peace as he's reading a book and lounging on a chair. That's when suddenly, a black SUV pulls up in his driveway.

    Dave looks on confused at first, but then a huge smile comes across his face.

    Dave Sullivan: What are you doing here?

    Broc Flucker: I just came to congratulate you on graduation is all. A bachelor's degree! Look at you. You're ready to join the real world now?

    Dave Sullivan: I don't know yet. I thought that this is what I wanted to do, but I'm having second thoughts now that I've been looking at jobs. Consider yourself lucky you choose not to go to school, all I have is...well a bunch of debt. How have things been going with you?

    Broc chuckled at Sulley's debt comment, knowing just what he came here to talk to Sulley about.

    Broc Flucker: Well, you know how uh...I was working on becoming a wrestler? Training at that gym?

    Dave Sullivan: The one with the famous wrestler dude? What was his name...

    Broc Flucker: Yeah, High Spots is the name of the gym.

    Dave Sullivan: How's that been going? You actually going to go live the dream of becoming a wrestler?


    Broc Flucker: Yes, actually...I am. But uh, I made a decision. Sort of well, impulsively.

    Dave looks on worried. Broc isn't really known for making impulsive decisions, well beyond his sports gambling addiction.

    Dave Sullivan: What did you do?

    Broc smiles.

    Not at all regretting the decision.


    Broc Flucker: I bought my OWN wrestling company.

    Dave can't believe it. A wrestling company?

    Dave Sullivan: A wrestling company?

    Broc Flucker: YES! A wrestling company!

    Sullivan is just a bit concerned.

    Dave Sullivan: Do you even know the first thing about running a wrestling company? Do you even know really wrestling?

    Broc Flucker: I've been learning a lot from George, and yeah, I think I have what it takes. It's all about making connections. Look, I'm not trying to compete with any of the main companies like FWA or anything like that, it's just...it'll be a small Indy promotion is all. A place for guys like me and my friends to be laid back, have a good time, and and grow.

    Dave seems to accept Broc's answer.

    He didn't fully agree with the risk, but he was glad Broc was doing something.


    Dave Sullivan: Well, it's got to beat Papa John's right?

    Broc Flucker: Right. There's no way I still want to be working there in thirteen years.

    Dave chuckles.

    Dave Sullivan: Well, when can I watch your first show?.

    Broc Flucker: That's why I came actually. Look, I know you just finished school and everything, but uh, you did say you weren't really sure you knew what you wanted to do...

    Dave's eyes widen up.


    Dave Sullivan: Yeah, but...but...I mean, I meant maybe I'll go be a social worker or something. Not...

    Broc looks disappointed. He thought Dave would be more interested in the offer.

    Broc Flucker: I'm sorry. I thought you'd really be interested.

    He was interested.

    Dave Sullivan: I don't know the first thing about wrestling man.

    Broc doesn't seem to be discouraged.

    Broc Flucker: You played football right? You're a natural athlete. You'll learn fast. Look, just...please, give it a shot for me. It'll give you time to figure out the rest of your life. It won't be a lot of money, but you'll make some money. And who knows, maybe you'll like it? If not, then you can always go back and get your master's degree in like, I don't know...special education or something.

    Sullivan chuckles.

    Dave Sullivan: Pfft. I can't ever seem myself becoming a teacher.

    Dave thinks about it for a moment.

    Dave Sullivan: Ok, Broc...you know what. I'm in...

    Broc has a huge smile on his face as he extends his hand.

    The two shake.

    It's a happy moment for Broc.

    Broc Flucker: Hell yeah man! This is going to be awesome. Look I think you're going to be a huge character. I already signed a couple other big names rising up from the indies. Ever hear of Tommy Thunder, the Division 1 Superstar?

    Dave Sullivan: Thunder? No.

    Broc Flucker: Well he's already signed! I can see you two getting along. Alex Kidd, Carlos Alberto Ramon, and a bunch of other up and comers. And now...Dave Sullivan!


    Dave smiles.

    The idea of being a successful wrestler does sound fun.

    Dave Sullivan: So what are you going to call this promotion anyway?

    Broc's face lights up.

    Broc Flucker: HWA...the Hardcore Wrestling Association.

    The two cousins continue to smile and chat it up. They talk all about what kind of character Dave might have. Then they talk about what character Broc might have. Soon enough, Dave is giving Broc ideas. Championship names, brand names.

    Little did the two of them know, the Hardcore Wrestling Association would become a much bigger success than either of them could fathom.

    And so would their careers.

    The two cousins enjoy their nostalgia trip as they continue to wait in the Enterprise lobby.

    Sulley thinks back to all the memories of the HWA. Winning his the HWA Championship, feuding with Tommy Thunder, and then of course the storyline where he took the company from Broc. The two of them had a great time.

    "Things we simpler back then, weren't they?" Sulley asks Broc.

    "I don't know, running that thing was a pain in the ass I'm not going to lie." Broc says with a hearty laugh.

    "It's funny. I didn't even know I wanted to be a wrestler until you pulled me into all of this. Everything I accomplished man, it's because of you..." Sulley says.

    It leaves Broc thinking however. Back then, Broc was the one who's dream it was to wrestle in the FWA. To win FWA Championships. That day that Broc brought Sulley into his indy fed, it was a day that changed everything. Neither of them knew what type of star Sulley was going to blossom into. Now almost fifteen years later, Sulley is the one who made it. He's one FWA Championships, he's had the glory. And Broc? He hasn't.

    "You know...just once. I'd like to win one." Broc says.

    Sulley nods back at him. He understood. He always wanted better from Broc. He always knew that Broc could be better.

    "When we got to the FWA together, I know it was a tough transition for you...but you know even now, at 36 years old, its not too late Broc." Sulley says to his cousin.

    Broc doesn't seem interested in having this conversation right now though. Instead he changes the subject. "You know, that wasn't even the first time I got you into wrestling? Even way back before that. What was it...1997? You came over to my house, and we played that video game. What was it called? XCW War Zone?" Broc asked.

    Sulley remembered. "Yeah that's right. You got me into watching wrestling in the first place! Xtreme Championship Wrestling used to be so good back in the day. You remember back whe-"

    Before Sulley can finish he's interrupted by the manager who's finally come back.

    "Mr. Sullivan?" she calls out.

    Sulley eagerly jumps up.

    "It's about damn time"
    he says sternly. Shifting back into his pissed off mood.

    "So are you ready to give me my car now? I assumed you went back there, solved your little computer error, and fixed whatever blacklist got mistakenly put on my name?" he asked.

    The manager shamefully shook her head.

    "I'm sorry sir...but, it appears that your blacklist was accurate".

    Sulley looks like he's about to explode. "So what, you're telling me I can't rent a car? I'm banned from renting a damn car? You're telling me you don't want my business? You don't want my money. Because let me tell you, if you lose my business you're losing the business of the entire goddamn FWA do you realize that? Do you realize how much money we spend on your cars?

    None of this makes sense.

    It can't be right.

    Go back and fix it.

    I did absolutely NOTHING at all to get banned from this place.

    NOTHING.

    AT ALL.

    So whatever the error is, you better go and solve it because I am beyond losing my patience".


    The manager herself seems to be at that point as well.

    "Sir, it appears that back in February you had rented one of our cars in New Orleans. And then, the car was stolen? On your watch? A police report was filed and everything".

    Suddenly it clicked.

    Joe Burr.

    Back before Meltdown XII, Joe stole his car outside that diner. Rage fills inside Sulley now.

    "No...wait...no that...first of all I never called the police".

    "The car was still reported stolen, sir" she says.

    "THAT WAS JOE BURR. It was good old "Hollywood" Burr. That little brat had a temper tantrum, and stole my car because his silent treatment wasn't working on me. He brought it back shortly after, but...no it wasn't my fault.

    And you're going to ban me?

    ME?

    It's Joe who shouldn't be renting cars from Enterprise"
    Sulley shouts.

    The manager doesn't respond.

    Broc tries to get up and grab Sulley by the arm. He knows this is going to get ugly if he doesn't get Sulley out of here now, but Sulley pulls away from Broc and continues ranting.

    "I have frequented this establishment for years. YEARS. And you ban me? Are you kidding me? I am a two time FWA World Champion. I am the longest reigning X Champion, and I'm the only triple champ in FWA history.

    You have no idea the power I have.

    The influence I have.

    You want to ban me?

    I suggest you go back to your computer, lift my ban, and change it to Joe Burr instead. He's the car thief. He's the one who's been a horrible tag team partner to me. The one who left me stranded at a diner with cold pancakes, while my kid was alone in a hotel room.

    Joe...freaking...Burr."


    Sulley points his finger at the manager, all while Broc is trying to pull him away.

    She managers to muster out "I'm sorry sir, but there's nothing we can do".

    But Sulley continues ranting.

    "Where the hell am I supposed to rent my cars from now? Huh? Hertz? You're telling me I have to go and rent a car from shitty HERTZ? That isn't happening. No way...Hertz sucks! I am not going here.

    You are going to rent me a car. And that's going to be the end of it...you know what, no...I could BUY a car. I can walk onto any car lot in Pittsburgh and buy a damn car. I don't need you Enterprise, I DON'T NEED YOU!".


    Broc continues to drag Sulley out of the store, right before the manager was about to call the police.

    He thinks back to how he got this far.

    Feb 14th, 2021

    Broc Lobster sits alone in the locker room of the American Bank Center in Corpus Christi, Texas. He's got bruises and welts all over his body from the lead pipes that Mike Parr smacked him with throughout the match here at the Valentine's Day Massacre show.

    His head is buried underneath a towel.

    Suddenly the sound of expensive shoes on linoleum floor can be heard.

    Broc looks up to see his cousin standing there, in one of his classic pinstripe suits with the FWA World Championship draped over his shoulder.


    Broc Lobster: Hey there Champ.

    Sulley looks on sympathetically.

    Saint Sulley: I'm sorry, Mike Parr and his two cronies are all bastards. I really thought you were going to beat him.

    And with that, Broc snaps back at Sulley.

    Broc Lobster: You really thought I was going to beat him? Really Sulley? Mike Parr? The dude just had one of the greatest North American Championship reigns of all time.

    And you thought I? The guy who carried around a lobster, was going to win?

    I can't Sulley.

    I never could. I just...I'm not built like you. It doesn't come naturally to me like it does for you. I can't just waltz into the ring and get victory after victory without even trying! I watch you go and beat opponent after opponent without breaking a sweat.

    And yet here I am, trying so hard every day just to keep my head above the water.

    That match against Parr? I gave it my all against him. Literally my all. And it wasn't enough. I lost, just like I always have in the FWA. Just like I had in the HWA too...

    You have it all man. The titles, the fame, the suits, the cars, the money. And do you even appreciate it? I see you sulking around here. Worried about Gabrielle. Ever since she came out there at the Crossfire Christmas Reunion and cashed in her briefcase. You've been worried about facing her...and what, Desert Storm is coming up in a month? And you don't even appreciate the fact that you're about to be defending the FWA World Championship yet again in the main event of a huge pay per view.

    Just once I'd love to have even the X Championship. Or the tag team titles.

    But no...I never will. And tonight it made me realize that. My dream of being a successful wrestler...it's over. I'm done trying. I really am.


    And with that Broc throws the towel across the room and plops down on a bench in front of the lockers.

    Sulley doesn't say anything for a minute.

    But then he breaks the silence.

    Saint Sulley: I'm sorry dude. When I saw Gerald Grayson drop out of this match, I called you up because I thought it was a good opportunity for you. I know you've hated delivering pizzas, I know you could do better...I thought maybe if you got back in the ring again, you'd remember how much you loved it.

    Broc Lobster: Well, I didn't. I remembered how much I hated it. All of it.

    Saint Sulley: I don't think you do though...

    Broc Lobster: I hate losing.

    Saint Sulley: So stop losing.


    The two of them again engage in silence.

    Saint Sulley: You know one thing you were good at?

    Broc Lobster: What's that?

    Saint Sulley: Commentating Ground Zero.


    Broc reflects for a moment.

    Broc Lobster: Yeah, that was fun. And the nGw work I did too.

    Saint Sulley: You know, I might be able to throw your name out there if a commentator spot opens up.


    Broc thinks about it for a moment.

    Saint Sulley: I know you love this sport. I know you love the action. Don't leave it...don't give up.

    And with that, Sulley walks out of the room.

    Leaving his younger cousin, by one week, there alone.

    Did he love the sport?

    He wasn't quite sure.

    Just like before, we see Saint Sulley and Broc Lobster sitting in the lobby of a car rental place. They look just as sweaty, and just as annoyed. The calming music plays in the background, as Sulley continues to tap his foot in frustration.

    He's still seething about what happened earlier at the Enterprise.

    Even more so he's seething about Joe Burr.

    He turns to Broc and continues his rant.

    The same rant he had at the Enterprise, and the same rant he had in the Uber ride of to the Hertz.

    "You know Joe doesn't appreciate everything I've done for him" he says.

    Broc nods his head and agrees. "I said the same thing on Meltdown, right before I left that table."

    "He was nothing. He still is nothing. He doesn't listen you know? Kleio is younger than him, and she listened. She knew not to take for granted what I was teaching her. Joe? He's the poster child of his generation. Entitled. That's what he is. I spent so much time trying to train him. Giving him pointers. I could have made him a world champion. I mean hell, I am the reason he was even a Gauntlet Champion. I'm the one who brought him onto MY show Ground Zero."

    Broc chuckles at an idea. "You should really stop mentoring Ground Zero contestants, man..."

    Sulley nods his head. "Right? All ungrateful punks. But what else was I supposed to do? I tried for months dude, months looking for a tag team partner. Show after show. Greg, Jack Severino, Kevin Cromwell, Eclipse...none of them worked. Finally Joe Burr shows up, and he seems to be the only person who even has any sort of will to work with me. What else could I do? I didn't realize the kid was going to be so toxic. I didn't realize he was going to get me banned from freaking car rental agencies. How can I work with someone like that though? I mean he could've put me and Sammie in danger.

    And now look.

    I have been SO patient with him Broc.

    And look where we're at.

    The kid is challenging me to a match at Back in Business.

    He's teaming up with Chris Peacock.

    Chris dancing boy Peacock.

    Whatever dude. They're better off together. "


    Sulley finishes his rant.

    Broc looks on and ponders for a minute.

    Before finally asking a question that's been on his mind for far too long.

    "Sulley...why didn't you ask me?" he says to his cousin. Sulley looks over at him confuse.

    "Ask you what?" he says back.

    "Why didn't you ask me to be your partner from the beginning? I...I would've said yes you know. I would've done it in a heartbeat man." he says.

    Sulley is surprised. "You would've?".

    "Yes."


    "I don't know...I guess I thought you weren't interested in wrestling anymore. You took the broadcasting job, and well...you finally seemed happy." Sulley says.

    "But I wasn't happy. I'm...I'm not happy man. Sitting at that booth, night after night, watching everyone accomplish what I haven't been able to. Watching YOU accomplish what I haven't been able to. I'm 36 years old, and what do I have to my name? I ran an indy company that was active for a solid year or so. And I've got a few years of broadcasting under my belt, and half of twitter doesn't even think I'm good at it...so...

    What have I accomplished?"


    Sulley is shocked.

    He didn't know Broc still felt this way.

    "I'm sorry. I...I would've for what it's worth." he says.

    "Well, here we are. You and me, together again. Back in those HWA days, we fought the world. You and me against it all. And now? I'm back.

    That Joe Burr punk thinks he can mess with you?

    And Chris Peacock thinks he's going to help him?

    Well we've got one thing against them that they don't have, and they won't ever have."


    Sulley smiles at Broc's sudden burst of energy.

    "What's that Broc?" Sulley asks.

    "We're family".

    Sulley gives his cousin a hug.

    Broc was right.

    They were family.

    And blood is always thicker than water.

    "Sir, your keys are ready" says the Hertz attendant.

    It looks like things were finally going to start moving again.
    Last edited by Hemmlock; 05-20-2022 at 03:02 AM. Reason: Formatting fix

  12. #12
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    Re: Meltdown XV | Homecoming: Pittsburgh | Un Thread Pour Le Promo

    MICHELLE von HORROWITZ
    in
    [VOLUME EIGHTY TWO]
    TEST DREAM #2

    *****

    She sat in the waiting room of the Dutch visa centre in New York City. They told her it was a routine appointment to check some original documents, complete some police checks, and extend her permission to stay and work in the country. It was necessary, they told her. It would be quick and painless, they told her. It was none of these things, of course. The visa centre in New York was surprisingly small considering the place used to be called New Amsterdam. The British must have knocked the old, expansive visa centre down in order to build this one, she thought.

    She giggled to herself at how witty she could be. The family seated next to her turned at her in unison with quizzical expressions. Michelle stared down at the floor.

    The number on the screen flicked over to read 112.

    She looked at the ticket in her hand. 186.

    There was only her and the adjacent family, as well as two middle-aged gentlemen who may have been together or may have not been together. How was this possible? One hundred and twelve subtracted from one hundred and eighty six equals seventy four. She double-checked this. She counted the people in the room with her. Six, counting the four family members separately. She was short by sixty eight. Nobody in the room stood from their seats, nor did they find anything particularly noteworthy in this errant yet precise arithmetic. Michelle found it ridiculous, but she was alone in that. The screen remained steadfast in its declaration that ticket number 112 was next, despite nobody claiming that number.

    Several minutes passed. The screen skipped to 113. Still, nobody moved.

    Michelle fastened her eyelids tightly, covering the scene - which she found both mundane and ludicrous - with a screen of blackness. For a collection of moments, this blanket comforted her. Eventually, though, a lone silver-grey hair began to dance against this backdrop, casting a shadow that would block out the sun if any shone here.

    Michelle's eyes jolted open. A piercing scream escaped her lips, single-note and awful and endless. Then, she slipped from her chair, and began to convulse.

    *****

    She came around in an altogether different location. The floor and ceiling as well as three of the four walls in the rectangular room were entirely white. She was seated on a metal chair (also painted white), her arms strapped against the rests and more bondage attaching her calves to the chair's front legs. Her metal throne was cold against her naked skin. In front of her was a massive screen that covered the entirety of the only wall that wasn't painted white, although she assumed that this was probably the case beneath the colossal television, too. She tried to turn away, but found that her head was fixed into position by a contraption placed around her shoulders and neck.

    To her left, a door - which until now had remained camouflaged - opened up and three familiar figures emerged. Uncle J.J. JAY!, Bell Connelly, and Gerald Grayson, in that order. Each wore a long white lab coat and held a clipboard in front of them. They came to a halt in front of their prisoner.

    "Do you know why you are here?" Bell asked. Michelle tried to shake her head, but her neck brace prevented success. "Please don't struggle. All of this equipment is very expensive."

    "I don't know why I am here," Michelle verbalised. Gerald wandered away from the group and began to push a trolley towards Michelle's chair. She spied various liquids in glass bottles, syringes, eye drops, a pipette, bandages, and other medical items that she couldn't really name (but you get the point anyway, don't you?).

    "You're here for recalibration," Uncle began. His tentacles wafted and swayed gently, but he didn't seem to be wearing a mask.

    "What does that mean?" Michelle asked.

    "There's a lot for you to process," Bell interjected. Gerald had rejoined his position next to the other two, in front of Michelle. "I think it's been a while since you were last recalibrated. How long has it been, exactly? Or roughly, if you can't remember."

    "I don't think I've ever been recalibrated," she answered. All three of them cocked an eyebrow. Synchronised eyebrow cocking.

    "This might take longer than we thought," Uncle said, whilst making a note on his clipboard. "Well, no time like the present."

    He took up position at her side whilst Bell walked over to the screen and tapped away at its controls. Gerald remained in her eyeline, smiling a hollow smile.

    "Was this your idea?" she asked, in almost a snarl, in her partner's direction.

    "This was nobody's idea," he said. He seemed genuinely perplexed by the question. "It's just what you need to do."

    He momentarily excused himself to wheel over a second trolley which housed a large, cubic machine with a multitude of wires emerging from various ports on its control panel. Her three captors (who would, it should be said, prefer the term processors) busied themselves in clipping the ends of the wires to her temples and her wrists. Finally, they placed clips on her eyelids to keep them open, a process that Michelle found invasive and uncomfortable.

    She wasn't panicked, though, and was almost surprised at the level of calm with which she endured the start of this process. She had never been the most accepting of people, in every way that the word 'accepting' could be interpreted, but at this precise moment she found her body relaxing, waiting for the ocean to wash over her.

    The movie began. Gerald dropped a liquid into her eyes to nullify the requirement to blink as the title card filled the screen.

    1: PREFACE.

    The proceeding image was a familiar one: a large outdoor swimming pool outside of a hotel, with a very young Michelle von Horrowitz sitting on a sun lounger and reading her book. The cover was blank. She didn’t know if that was because the book she was reading in this memory had a blank cover, or if she just couldn’t remember it properly and so voided that miniscule characteristic of the scene. But this was a memory. She felt very sure of this. She could name the town but not the hotel.

    This was Marienbad, where she used to spend a couple of weeks every summer with her Aunt Maude. The most loyal amongst our readership will remember Aunt Maude and Marienbad, and the significance of this particular vacation, from a previous volume. Our newer friends will perhaps recognise this name as a phantom of Michelle’s past: something lingering at the circumference but never really progressing beyond that. Now, it would perhaps make sense to recount this story, in full and in truth.

    I say in truth, for this is a particular memory that - whilst pervading Michelle’s consciousness frequently, and particularly so in her early years - is usually not to be trusted. Even the most faithful mind will play tricks, and Michelle’s mind was far from a faithful one. Sometimes, she would remember laying on the beach on that afternoon, even though Marienbad has no beaches. Then there were times when her mental image of these events would paint the setting as France or Belgium, when in actuality the town finds its home in the Czech Republic. These alterations were involuntary, as if Michelle’s subconscious was never quite willing to face up to these memories in their reality.

    Now, though, reality was facing up to her. It was all the same: the hotel, the swimming pool, the sunlounger, the conversations taking place around her in Czech, the vaguely familiar faces of the other guests who would descend upon this same hotel year in and year out. Maude was Michelle’s mother’s sister. She was a grotesquely fat woman who showed no signs of altering her lifestyle right up until her final days (these final days, this final day). She married rich and outlived her husband, and now lived off the sizable inheritance she’d lifted from the man’s children from a previous marriage. Michelle didn’t like Maude. But Michelle didn’t really like anyone back then. Her mother found this attitude from her youngest tiresome and, after Michelle’s father passed, she was grateful for the two-week respite from the infant’s cynicism, contrarianism, and condescension that these annual holidays with Maude provided. Nobody really knew or questioned what Maude herself got out of the arrangement.

    At some point during this descriptive passage, Michelle ceased to exist in her white room, hooked up to her machines. She was now a young girl, sitting on her sunlounger, reading her book. It wasn’t a very good book.

    She placed the novel to one side and sighed. The sun was setting, and a cool breeze was beginning to roll in from the west. There was nothing else for it. She pushed herself up to her feet and walked back into the hotel.

    She would be going back to Rotterdam in four days, she knew. Isobel was away with her cello at summer school and would be for another two weeks. That left just her and her mother. She dragged her heels at the thought of this, as if getting back to her hotel room a few seconds later than scheduled would somehow delay the oncoming misery of home. Her mother curbed the most excessive aspects of her drinking whilst Isobel was around, as if she didn’t want the talented one to see her in that crooked state. The stupid old woman probably thought it would give Isobel ideas, and she’d trade in her cello for a bottle. It didn’t matter what Michelle saw. Talentless girls could drink as much as they liked.

    Michelle reached the door of her and Maude’s room. The old woman was lying, lifeless and disgusting, in one of the two twin beds on the other side (otherside?) of it. Somehow, the young girl knew this even before she turned the handle.

    She felt as if her eyes opened, but she quickly reasoned that this couldn’t be the case. They were propped open, after all. Either way, she was back in her cruel cinema, the screen in front of her returning to black as Gerald poured more of the drops into her eyes. Uncle stood on the other side, injecting something into her arm. It seemed to relax her but not nearly enough.

    “So?” Bell said, whilst standing in front of her. She had her pen lifted above her clipboard, as if ready to take notes.

    “So what?” Michelle asked. Bell sighed a disappointed sigh and let the clipboard drop to her side.

    “This is one of the key memories of your formative years, Michelle,” she began, whilst shaking her head. “Any thoughts? Feelings? Reflections? That’s the first time you’ve been to Marienbad since this all happened.”

    “I’ve been to Marienbad lots of times,” Michelle answered, thinking of the dreams that plagued her on a near-nightly basis for years.

    “Not this Marienbad,” Bell replied, with a roll of her eyes. “A different one, that you made up, yes. But not the actual place where that actually happened.”

    “They are just details,” Michelle said, flippantly and with a shrug.

    “How did Maude die?” Bell asked.

    “A heart attack.”

    “How did your father die?”

    “He drowned in the bath.”

    “How did your mother die?”

    “Dehydration.”

    “How did your sister die?”

    “She was hit by a drunk driver.”

    Bell paused. She was still smiling, which Dreamer found an odd facial expression to employ considering the tone and content of the conversation.

    “Do you notice anything?”

    “There are certain ironies,” Michelle answered. She was growing bored and impatient. This was nothing new. “But they are all chance events, ultimately. Different and the same.”

    “Different and the same,” Bell repeated. “Is the next program ready?”

    “Ready when you are,” Gerald answered.

    “Do you just load the programs?” Michelle asked. “Is that your role here?”

    “I also do the eyedrops,” Gerald explained, whilst holding up his pipette. Then, the next film started.

    2: SELF?

    She sat on the platform of a train station. There were lots of people there with her, and she knew them all. They were all silent and had their eyes turned in our protagonist’s direction, as if each of them were fully aware that this was her processing and not their’s.

    “When does your train arrive?” her mother asked her. She was standing nearby, and took the same form that she did in her final days. Weak, fragile, and beaten. Michelle didn’t know how to answer.

    “I don’t know how to answer,” Michelle answered.

    “Well, I guess we’ll see you there, anyway,” her mother said. The old woman took a Camel out of her pocket and lit it. Michelle thought about asking for one, but thought better of it. Her mother turned away, regardless.

    “Don’t mind her,” her father said, with a kind smile and vacant eyes. He was already drunk, and held four more tins of Heineken in one of his hands. He was swaying slightly. Michelle worried that he might fall off the edge of the platform. “She hasn’t been the same since I died.”

    “What train are we waiting for?” she asked.

    “We’re waiting for the next one, but you’re not getting on it,” he explained. “You want a beer?”

    Michelle nodded. He opened one and passed it to her, and then cracked another for himself. They both took a long, refreshing pull.

    “Well, I better get back to your mother.”

    When he did get back to her mother, the pair of them stood next to each other in silence. They stared up the tracks in expectation. A few metres on, her sister sat on a bench. Her cello was in its case and propped up next to her.

    “Don’t worry, Maude’s not here,” Isobel said. She scratched at the old scarring on her forearms. “She went on ahead. She can’t stand trains.”

    “What is this place?” Michelle asked.

    “It’s the link,” Isobel answered.

    “The link between what?”

    “Between this place and the next,” Isobel explained, whilst glancing at the tracks. “And between all of us.”

    “Who are you all?”

    “We’re the ones that left you,” her sister answered. She was still smiling. Isobel always smiled. “Would you like me to play you a song?”

    “No,” Michelle said. Isobel’s songs were always sad.

    “Suit yourself,” her sister said. She blew a bubble with her gum whilst staring at Michelle. When it popped she turned away.

    Adrienne and Camilla waited a few steps after Isobel. They stood arm in arm, but they’d never met one another in reality. Only in whatever this was. Like the others, they said nothing to each other, and waited patiently for Michelle’s approach.

    “Why is it always a train?” Adrienne enquired. “With you it is always a train.”

    “You’re not dead,” Michelle said. She realised that she didn’t know this for sure. It was several years since she’d seen Adrienne, and several more for Camilla. “Are you?”

    Adrienne shrugged. Camilla wore an unfamiliar smirk.

    “Not all of us are dead,” Camilla said. “But our existence is only philosophically different to being alive, from your perspective.”

    Michelle thought about this for a moment. She didn’t like Camilla’s snide and conniving facial expression.

    “I guess that’s true,” she admitted. “Are you getting the train too?”

    “Of course,” Adrienne answered. “Why else would we be here?”

    The kaiju sat on the next bench. It bowed beneath his massive weight. There was no smile on his face. The Mountain looked upon her with nothing but disdain.

    She said nothing. Neither did he, until: “I have nothing to say to you, Dreamer.”

    She left it at that. Jean-Luc was at least more talkative, but that was probably just the coke.

    “I’m not really sure why I’m here,” he said in a slightly skittish and unfocussed manner. “With these people. I left, admittedly… but I came back.”

    “For me?” Michelle asked.

    “No, I guess not,” he said, after a while. A moment later, he reached into his pocket to retrieve his headset. “Happy Fallout Friday, wrestling fans, and welcome to another jam-packed edition of your favourite weekly episodic television programme! We’re broadcasting to you live tonight from…”

    He faded out of earshot as she approached Bell, who stood next to a dark figure that Michelle assumed was her husband.

    “You’re not coming back, either?” Michelle asked. It was unclear who she was speaking to, even to Michelle.

    “I was never really here,” Bell answered, whilst reaching out to place a palm on Michelle’s cheek. Her fingers ran through Dreamer’s short, tangled hair. “At least not at the same time as you were.”

    Michelle had the urge to take Bell in her arms, to carry her away from the platform and whatever destination they all intended on travelling towards. It seemed that Kennedy read her mind, for he chose that moment to turn and face her. His face was stern and grave. A train’s whistle blew in the distance, and the low howl of its wheels against the tracks slowly grew and grew until she could see it in the distance.

    “You’re coming back.”

    It was more of a statement than anything else.

    “You have to.”

    He didn’t say anything.

    “You’re coming back?”

    Motionless and calm, Kennedy looked at her as if she was dirt that he’d already removed from his fingernails. The train stopped, a set of doors swinging open next to the three of them.

    Say something!”

    He refused, and slowly walked into the carriage. Bell followed. Michelle reached for her hand instinctively.

    Wait!”

    Bell looked down at her hand, which Dreamer grasped in hers, with a puzzled and threatened countenance. She pulled herself away and followed her husband onto the train.

    “No! No!” Michelle shouted, panicked and afraid. She tried to enter the carriage, but the doors swiftly closed before she could. “Don’t leave me!”

    The platform was suddenly empty. She could see them all through the train’s windows. Kennedy and Bell. Jean-Luc and the kaiju. Camilla, Adrienne. Isobel and her parents. She saw herself on the platform from the carriage, collapsing into a heap and beginning to sob.

    She felt more of Gerald’s drops land on her pupils as the train pulled out of the station on the screen in front of her. Bell stood before her, complete with lab coat and clipboard.

    “You see now?” Bell asked.

    Michelle tried to nod her head. Uncle slapped her on the arm, trying to find a vein.

    “We’ve told you once already,” he started, whilst flicking his needle. “Stop struggling. This equipment is expensive.”

    “Why are you showing me these things?” Michelle asked.

    “It is your processing.”

    “What am I processing?” Michelle asked. She was sensitive to the fact that almost all of her utterances were questions. She became agitated again, tensing the muscles in her forearms and her calves against her bonds.

    “Patterns in your behaviour are very cyclical, Michelle. We showed you the memory of Maude as a preface to the scene at the train station. Of course, we could’ve shown you more memories. Your father’s funeral, maybe. Or the last time you saw Jean-Luc in Moscow. Adrienne was Moscow too, wasn’t she?” Bell consulted her notes. “Yes, that’s right, at Belorusskaya. And Camilla at Piccadilly. Lots of train stations. But they all left. That’s the important thing. Now, you’re threatening to do the same thing with Gerald, and with Thomas, and Uncle by extension. We want to bring you back from the brink.”

    Bell paused, and took a step towards Michelle. She attempted to appear comforting and kindly, but her smile made Michelle feel sick.

    “We don’t think you can do this on your own.”

    “You did put this together,” Dreamer started, whilst her pupils flickered between Uncle and Gerald. “One of you, or… both of you. I don’t know. But this is your doing. After that campfire bullshit failed you decided to go high concept? It’s not going to work. Let me out of this fucking chair.”

    Bell sighed, and returned to her more neutral position.

    “Is the next program ready?” she asked Gerald.

    “No!” Michelle shouted, her fists clenching and her eyes narrowing. Let me out of this fucking chair!”

    It turned out that she didn’t need their help in accomplishing this, for her forearms made short work of the straps tying them to the armrests, before those on her legs followed suit. She jerked her head out of the confines of its brace and lunged at Bell, the wires tearing out of her skin as he did. She didn’t know what she intended to do when she got hold of her and never got the chance to find out. Bell disappeared into thin air, and all that remained was the white lab coat and the clipboard. Michelle turned around to see that her other two processors. The chair itself remained, and she spent a moment inspecting it before realising that she had no clue what she was looking at.

    The screen itself was more interesting. It still played the image of Michelle sobbing on the new empty platform. The train was gone. In her white room, Dreamer stepped right up to it. She could see her reflection in its mirror-like surface. She pushed her fingers through the screen and watched it ripple out, and then - like Buster Keaton or Woody Allen - stepped right through it and onto the platform. Her other self still sobbed in front of her and Michelle found herself pitiful. She didn’t want to interrupt.

    In the distance, another train appeared. At first, it startled the other Michelle, until she came to her senses and dragged herself to her feet. She noticed our protagonist for the first time and dully accepted this bizarre state of affairs. The train came to a halt and they boarded the same carriage.

    3: BEAST.

    The train pulled out of the station and roared across the tracks. Dreamer said nothing to Michelle. Michelle said nothing to Dreamer. They watched each other, mistrustfully and reproachfully. They came to a stop a short while later. Dreamer was alone when the doors opened. The engine turned off and then the lights quickly followed. She felt she was meant to get off the train.

    She emerged into a room with grey concrete walls, and as soon as she stepped down onto the cold floor the train left the station in the same direction that it had come. There was a finality to this that Michelle didn’t particularly enjoy. A few metres in front of her was a large table, and positioned on that were several neat lines of cocaine, a tightly rolled fifty euro note, a few opened bottles of Heineken, and a big bag of Purple Incan Kush. She took a seat at the table with a smile.

    She hoovered up two lines, and as she rose she saw them all standing behind her in the mirror. The people from the train station and many more besides. She didn’t turn around. She didn’t know if she wanted them to really be there or not.

    After two more lines, the crowd was gone, but so was she. Now, looking back at her from the other side (otherside.) of the mirror was the Goddess. The Goddess as she once was, in what they declare to be her prime.

    Not the washed up and sad old woman that she was now, in other words.

    She stood on the red carpet in a black dress that sat tight on her hips and covered little of her thighs. Her lips were the same colour as the carpet and the soles of her shoes. She was easy and casual, her elegance playful and flippant. Behind her was a symphony of flashes and clicks as the paparazzi sought to capture every flick of her hair, every moment of her smile, every simple but thought-out gesture that the Goddess made.

    She wanted more eyes on her than Dreamer did. That much was obvious. It would affect her more when they went, which Michelle didn’t doubt for a second. Michelle had the coke and the bottle. Gabrielle had the cameras. Different addictions, equally destructive. The end result would be the same.

    After one more line, Michelle was confronted by the washed up and sad old woman.

    The end result would be the same?

    *****

    Her eyes opened for what felt like the first time in a very long time. She blinked relentlessly, as if this might help. She wished she had some eye drops.

    She was lying on the floor. Above her, several figures loomed. She worried for a moment that it was the Nephews, and her next adventure aboard the Octopi was upon her. But Kennedy wasn’t until Back in Business, and she quickly remembered that she wasn’t on the best terms with Gerald, Uncle, and the rest of them.

    A few more blinks revealed the occupants of the waiting room at the Dutch visa centre in New York. She sighed a mournful sigh.

    “How long was I gone?” she asked, whilst sitting up.

    “A minute,” said one of the middle-aged gentlemen who had been waiting with her before her journey. “Maybe two.”

    “It felt longer,” Michelle answered

    “You think you should go to the hospital?” the man asked.

    Michelle looked up at the small screen in front of her. 186.

    “No,” she said, whilst reaching for her ticket. “It’s my number.”


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    Re: Meltdown XV | Homecoming: Pittsburgh | Un Thread Pour Le Promo

    Double post my bad
    Last edited by SpecificSecretary; 05-24-2022 at 12:00 PM.


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    Re: Meltdown XV | Homecoming: Pittsburgh | Un Thread Pour Le Promo

    Tonight has been quite the night for Gabrielle.

    Feelings of failure and disappointment have dominated her mind, her very being for so long. It had all came to a head at Carnal Contendership where she vowed to win or retire. With Cyrus Truth sealing her fate…

    But how drastically tonight’s events have thrown a wrench into all of that.

    She came to Fallout with simple intentions; say her goodbyes, maybe leave her boots out in the ring. One last night, maybe one last moment in the spotlight before riding off into the sunset.

    But the opportunity to punch Shawn Summers in the face FINALLY presented itself. How could she turn that down? He had belittled and mocked her for years with their paths only ever crossing away from the ring. At FWA Parties, or funnily enough in her home when she interviewed him.

    He had celebrated her retirement and shown disgust at her turning up to Fallout, and of course gone after the low hanging fruit of her sexuality. She’d always wondered with men like Shawn, and Dan Maskell if their fascination with her sex life was born of a feeling of missing out, of carnal want and desire? After all Chris Kennedy had always been one of the first people to mock her insatiable libido, but also perhaps the person who enjoyed that side of her the most…

    But Shawn had this coming. How could Gabrielle possibly ride off into the sunset without punching him in that stupid smug face of his, at least once? So her boots weren’t left in the ring, they were put back on instead. One more match?

    She didn’t even know. She didn’t even think if this was her going back on her word. Shawn had brought Carmella into things again on twitter, she couldn’t walk away from this opportunity.

    But those thoughts have largely been quelled and pushed into the background. There’s another matter Gabrielle had dealt with tonight. One she didn’t care about beforehand, one she had given no attention too. Lizzie Rose had been Gabrielle’s protegee in the past. When her dream of becoming a Pro Wrestler seemed like it was dead before it had ever had a chance to begin, Gabrielle had stepped in and signed her to the FWA. You wouldn’t think so but she had seen a bit of herself in young Lizzie.

    No one took her seriously, no one thought she could succeed as a Pro Wrestler or even had any business being in the ring. Gabrielle knew what it was like to be judged like that, in her early days everyone saw her as just a pair of tits in clothing that came off easily.

    She came to really like Lizzie and that awkward yet infectious energy she brought with her. She was never the smoothest, and was so easily overwhelmed or froze up yet she tried her darndest, she fought tooth and nail and Gabrielle respected that.

    Then her life had fallen apart and the Mentor - Mentee relationship found its end, particularly once they were drafted to separate brands. Gabrielle moved on, Lizzie moved on. But then…

    When Gabrielle retired, Lizzie called her out. A Challenge for a match at Back In Business, Gabrielle’s last ever Back In Business. She’d ignored it, thought nothing of it. A match at Back In Business, Gabrielle was done, and besides a match against Lizzie Rose…her last match ever against Lizzie Rose. C’mon.

    When Lizzie had hit the ring again and called Gabrielle out. Perhaps it was having tangled with Shawn earlier in the night but it stirred something in Gabrielle, ever so briefly. But still she’d headed down to the ring with a smile on her face prepared to tell sweet lil Liz “thanks but no thanks.”

    Only that’s not what happened.

    Something else entirely happened.

    As she had stepped through the ropes everything had crashed down upon her in an instant. Losing to Cyrus at the Anniversary show. Watching Sully swoop in and claim the gold. Black Caramel failing to do anything. Cashing in the Golden Opportunity, unsuccessfully. Her mental break down. Having to beg her way onto Back In Business only to lose to Nova, again. Her attempt to kill herself. Losing a Mile High Massacre for the first time. Losing to Alyster.

    It all hit her at once and being challenged by Lizzie Rose of all people set it all off. Challenged by this awkward clutz for a match at Back In Business was her new low point. A new rock bottom that she just could not accept. Things were getting dire for the former Fallen Goddess. Unable to recapture the spark that had made her THE Goddess in the past. Now this.

    She’d brutalized Lizzie Rose in a furious uncontrollable rage.

    How dare she challenge Gabrielle. How dare she think she’s worthy.

    Her mind is still racing as she’s backstage near Gorilla position. Shawn Summers had said something that stings more than anything else he’d ever said and more than she’d care to admit. No one really seemed to care when she announced her impending retirement. It was barely a ripple in the pond of the FWA. The goodbyes and congratulations were few and far between and it was only Lizzie Rose that wanted Gabrielle to have a final match at Back In Business.

    Cyrus Truth didn’t demand to end their grudge for good. Saint Sulley didn’t seek to be one to put her out to pasture. Michelle von Horrowitz didn’t demand to finally get Gabrielle vs Michelle before she rides off into the sunset. It wasn’t Krash, or J.J.JAY! or Chris Crowe or anyone like that demanding to be apart of Gabrielle’s last Back In Business. It wasn’t any of them calling her out, it was just Lizzie Rose.

    And that is the greatest insult of Gabrielle’s life.

    When she stepped through the ropes all she saw was red. And when she stepped back out between the ropes she saw the red blood flowing from Lizzie Rose’s head.

    A sight she witnesses once more as Lizzie is helped back through the curtain, she doesn’t see Gabrielle as she slinks back into the shadows and just watches as Lizzie stumbles. She looks more shocked than necessarily pained. I doubt Lizzie had ever considered that this could be the outcome of her calling out Gabrielle. The worst possibility she had imagined was that Gabrielle had said no. Instead she said nothing as she brutalized her out there in the ring.

    As Gabrielle watches her she doesn’t feel proud or remotely satisfied by her actions. Rather she feels disappointed and slightly disgusted. Not in herself, but in Lizzie. She’s such a sweet kid, but she had no business calling out Gabrielle. She was wrong for that, so very wrong.

    Gabrielle didn’t want to hurt her, but she had too. Lizzie Rose had to learn this lesson, and perhaps the entire World had to learn this lesson as well. They all had to be reminded of just WHO Gabrielle is.

    She’s not the self-loathing, depressed, broken shadow we’ve all watched for so long. No she’s the woman who made it possible for women like Lizzie Rose to even be looked at by the FWA. She’s the woman who paved the way for women like Michelle von Horrowitz.

    As Lizzie is helped out of view by medical staff Gabrielle’s attention turns elsewhere and falls upon Black Jesus, Alyster Black. He’s just staring at her through the confines of his mask, taking a moment to shake his head before disappearing from view.










    Another late-night arrival home, another bourbon drinking session with her Brother.


    “I did not see that coming.” Trent loudly exclaims not long after his Sister has arrived home and sat down next to him at her bar.


    “Neither did I. But it just kind of happened as soon as I saw her…”


    “No I’m talking about you and Jean-Luc, that was unexpected. I always expect you to kick some ass Gabs.”


    “Oh.” She can’t help but chuckle. “That, yeah I guess it’s a little unexpected.”


    “Jean-Luc…another boy toy I assume?”


    “We’re just seeing where this goes.”


    Trent raises an eyebrow before posing his next question to her. “And I’m sure his last name has nothing to do with it, right?”


    Gabrielle smirks in response. “Lets just call it a perk of the relationship.”


    Her Brother chuckles before pouring himself another drink. “You not bring him over to meet the family?”


    “We’re not joined at the hip…at least not right now. We’re doing our own thing tonight.”


    “Gross. Remember when I said it’s incredible being your Brother and all my buddies aren’t constantly going on about your ‘acting’ in Hack. Well they do, and I don’t want to talk about you joining hips.”


    Gabrielle smirks more broadly, teasing her big Brother. “But Jean-Luc…he does this thing where…”


    “Lalalalalalala my Sister is not a ho.”


    She feigns offence for a moment before playfully shoving him. “I missed this so much Trent. When things were, when I was really struggling, I missed joking around with you so much. Joking around with anyone, but especially you.”


    “I was there for you the whole time Sis.”


    Silence as they both awkwardly mull over the struggles Gabrielle has faced over the past year or so. When she was stuck in a spiral of depression she’s only just crawled out of.


    That silence is suddenly punctured though as Gabrielle’s phone chimes in, playing the fun, energetic tune of ‘Physical’ by Dua Lipa. The ringtone selected just for Alyster Black. She sighs as she looks down at her phone. Their relationship is finally repaired, and yet she rejects his call and turns back to her bourbon, downing it one big gulp before turning back to her Brother.


    The nights another big one. The Montgomery siblings drinking through a couple of bottles of Gabbys finest bourbon while talking about Jean-Luc’s weird belly button, Shawn Summers getting embarrassed by Gabrielle, and what it all means for her retirement. Punctuated by how good it felt to have her hand raised for the first time in a while, and how Lizzie Rose’s challenge, despite everything might be too good to turn down.










    “So this video…is it like the one we shot last night?”


    Gabrielle turns on her heels quickly and glares at Jean-Luc Watkins behind the camera.


    “I’ll take that as a no.”


    With that out of the way Jean-Luc just focuses on the task at hand, pointing the camera at Gabrielle who has wondrously come into his life and made things so much more enjoyable and exciting for him. Not that he had many complaints to begin with. He loved his job at the commentary desk for Fallout. While his aspirations in the ring were largely put on hold he still got to travel along with everyone else, he was still apart of the industry he loved. Even his father has become involved with Professional Wrestling thesedays, something he still hoped would bring them closer together. He felt respected and appreciated thesedays, perhaps now more than ever before.

    I mean if the Legendary Gabrielle of all people is coming to him for technical advice in the ring, he must be doing something right. And he must really be something very right to have started dating her.

    Could life possibly be better for Jean-Luc?

    As he quickly zooms the camera in on his girlfriends posterior, its hard to imagine how it could possibly get better for him.

    Today they’re going on a hike together, Jean-Luc doesn’t quite know where they’re going but really doesn’t seem to mind at all. Focus on the journey, not the destination. He trusts Gabrielle in wherever she is taking them. She’s Lead him through several hills and a wooded area or two seemingly in search of something in particular, maybe just the perfect spot to stop and enjoy the view.

    And they must be getting close because now Jean-Luc’s voice, added in later begins to narrate for us, the keen audience.


    “For over a decade and a half one particular name has been an inspiration for women all over the World. The name Gabrielle became known globally, and the taste, texture and colour of Caramel was forever changed. She became our Goddess and the World loved her, worshipped her, revered her. Gabrielle was everything and everywhere. Gabrielle ruled the World. But it could seem like perhaps those days are now in the past. Perhaps things have changed. Or is that the more things change, the more they stay the same?”


    “She is still Gabrielle, and this is still her World. There are still so many who admire her, her look up to her and a select few who owe everything to her. Even if she is a Fallen Goddess. Even if she is Trouble with a Capitol G, there are still those who need her, or needed her to make something of themselves.”


    “Let us all ponder for a moment, if not for Gabrielle where would Michelle von Horowitz be?”


    Gabrielle finally stops walking ahead of Jean-Luc. Pausing in her little tan short shorts and matching boots. The view is spectacular, not just of her, not just of the way the gentle breeze softly makes her brunette hair dance in the wind. But everything we see is beautiful, the colours of nature all around her, the stillness, the silence. Its so peaceful, and so welcoming. Gabrielle outstretches her arms and tosses her head back just embracing the fading warmth of the rapidly setting sun. It makes her skin sparkle and shimmer in the light as finally she speaks.

    “I haven’t been here in years…”

    “This place used to be so special to me, it used to mean so much to me. It was fun, and it was kind of silly I’ll admit but it was fun. Well…maybe a little unnerving at first, but those feelings came and went. Those feelings changed so much over time. You see that rundown building in the distance?”


    She points over at a now desolate and dilapidated old building in the distance. It looks terribly neglected now, but it seems familiar. She has brought us all here before.


    “That was the Church of Gabrielle. Founded by some fans of mine so long ago. I thought it was a joke at first, or something even more sinister towards a young woman on TV every week, with fans that cant always be…trusted. An old farm house, way back in the day converted into a Church in my name.”

    “Being here reminds me of thosedays so much. They feel like my glory days now, the days I miss. The days when I was looked up to as Goddess. The days when all I did was win, all I did was break barriers, all I did was continue to impress everyone around me, even myself. A little girl all grown up who went to the other side of the World chasing a crazy dream, and made it a reality. I miss that Gabrielle, I’ve come too at times loathe who I am now.”

    “Disappointed. Dejected. Depressed. Despondent.”

    She exhales loudly, before continuing. Like just getting those words out there in the World is a weight off her being.

    “I think I’ve hated myself at times.”

    “I never in a million years could have seen that coming. But the expectations that come with being Gabrielle can be crushing. But those feelings have slipped away. There was something so cathartic about what happened with Lizzie Rose. I think I had to pretend for so long that I was someone I wasn’t. I didn’t want to be the Gabrielle that started riots and got people fired. I wanted to make up for those things so badly that it made me weak.”


    She glances back towards the camera and Jean-Luc for just a moment, a smirk proudly slithering across her lips.


    “But I should never have tried to make up for my past, it ended up breaking me. It stopped me from being my best. I don’t get challenged by people like Lizzie Rose. I don’t pine after men who don’t love me back like that. I don’t sleep alone. I don’t dwell in darkness. I’m better than all of that, aren’t I Jeanie?”


    “The best Gabs. The BEST, or is it breast?”


    There’s a mirthful little moment of laughter shared by them.


    “I just needed to remember that, I just needed one little moment where I took the shackles off and didn’t hold back. One moment where I was limitless, where I could be anything I wanted again. Where I could dream of seemingly impossible outcomes. But don’t anyone mistake yourselves, this isn’t a return to the Gabrielle of lore. No, I’m wiser, tougher, smarter, stronger than I ever was before. This will be something new, something different…something that begins on MeltDown of all places.”

    “Michelle…mystery solved. The match everyone has waited for ever since you came to the FWA is finally happening. I cant walk away now, I cant retire now. I cant sit back and watch you live off of my Legacy. You wouldn’t be here without me, and I want to show you just what that means. You need to see firsthand the Woman that made you possible. What were the Dreamers dreams before she knew of Gabrielle?”


    The grin upon her face has grown and grown. This is a moment we’ve all been waiting for. A gauntlet to be thrown down, a challenge to be laid out. Gabrielle v Michelle. Is there a bigger match?


    “Who was Michelle von Horowitz before she had Gabrielle to look up too?”


    Silence. She lets that question linger and as it does her smile starts to fade. There’s something burning away at Gabrielle. While the World has awaited this match…Gabrielle has not always. This match seems like an inevitability, and the inevitable is not always good.


    “I’ll be honest with you Michelle, I haven’t always wanted this. I have…ran from this match, from this inevitable meeting, fearing what felt like an inevitable outcome. The day you turned up in the FWA things felt different. I have stood backstage and shared the ring with women like Jenny Ignito, Moira Crawford, Ayla El, Bell Connolly and so many others, but you’re different. After so many years in the FWA, after cementing my Legacy seeing you come here filled me with dread.”

    “It felt like you were here to replace me, like I would hit the end of the line against you. Forced to pass the torch, and never get it back. I’ve been here in the FWA since I was a young woman, just in my twenties. A young woman who had nothing but hopeful ambition. I could see you outlasting me. I could see myself walking away and leaving you here.”

    “Hell I have almost done exactly that so many times without even facing you.”

    “I dreaded this match for the longest time. Everyone expected that you would get the best of me and that would be that. What would I do then when a woman has come along and proven herself my better? What would I have done, who would I have been? Would my Divinity all come to mean nothing?”

    “I feared stepping in the ring with you because of this Michelle. Because you would replace me and I would be nothing after that. Everything I had would be in the past and Michelle von Horrowitz would be the future. You were here to replace me…”

    “Now though…”


    A steely resolve consumes her being, her posture lifts and strengthens. Her fists clench as she turns her head back towards the camera.


    “Now I relish the challenge. I want to remind everyone of just who the hell I am. I want to stand over you Michelle as the World around us has to deal with the reality that even you are not better than me. You cant be when you owe everything to me.”










    Quote Originally Posted by FWA tv.com
    Checking In With The Watkins Episode #2


    Rupert Watkins is preparing to turn in for the night. His Butler has made his way through the house turning off all the lights before retiring to his quarters while Rupert sits on the edge of his bed while his lovely lady friend Patty ‘powders her nose’. There’s a very, very smug smile firmly etched upon his face. Its almost the trademark expression of Rupert. Things as always are going oh so very well for him.


    It’s a grand sense of accomplishment and superiority that has marked his entire tenure with the FWA and the Falllout brand. They just keep going from strength to strength. A successful World tour done and dusted. A Fallout Star winning Carnal Contendership. His X Champion is standing as perhaps the greatest Champion in all of the FWA. And bit by bit he’s locking up his most important Stars into lengthy, exclusive contracts.


    Rupert impresses even himself with just how well he has taken to this carnival known as Professional Wrestling. Another venture in his life where he has flexed his prowess for all things.


    But then as he sits there thinking about his own achievements his phone chimes. Not an unexpected thing, even at this hour of the night. People always need to be able to contact Rupert for various business-related reasons.


    But this…is…different.


    Its not an underling reporting in, its not information on someone’s contract demands, its not even someone reaching out for business advice. Its an image, a single photo, a selfie to be precise. A nude selfie to be even more precise. Its an image far to risqué for TV, so we, the audience cannot see it.


    It’s Gabrielle naked, and being Gabrielle its not a tasteful nude, its not artsy…its just a selfie of a naked Gabrielle. Now in a moment of her deep despair Rupert had been exposed to much of Gabrielle’s body in the past as she attempted to recapture any kind of spark of her former self. He had pitied her greatly in that moment, seeing how dead and desperate her eyes were.


    Definitely not so in this case.


    He cant help but stare at the image, admittedly sheer shock and wonder is a big part of this. Why is she sending him this, why is she dating his son? Why has his introduction to the world of Pro Wrestling seen him dealing with this woman in states of undress?


    The thought hits him that Patty would kill him if she saw him staring at what is on his phone. And that thought snaps him back to reality. Where he replies to this unsolicited twat shot.


    “This is very unprofessional Gabrielle, explain yourself. I think Jean-Luc would be none too impressed by this.”


    He sends the reply and doesn’t have to wait long to hear back.


    “Rupert? Oh sorry Rup, I guess I have you have you both under Mr. Watkins. My mistake. I’ll change yours to Daddy Watkins!”


    Rupert runs a hand down his face in frustration. Coming into this carnival World is the first time he’s ever had to deal with this sort of thing from his employee’s, especially one who looks like Gabrielle looks. Before he can reply any further though Patty enters the room and Rupert quickly closes his phone. She can immediately sense he’s uneasy though.


    “Whats the matter dear?”


    “Oh just…dealing with contracts. Some of them ask for things that they just cant have.”


    Rupert tosses his phone aside, wanting to get it far away from Patty as they get into bed with Rupert still thinking about what he just saw, capitalized by being called ‘Daddy Watkins’. “I should send her off for Russnow to deal with even for just a week, maybe she’ll latch onto him instead” he mutters to himself.









    We’re back to the scene of Gabrielle standing in the middle of nowhere with her old ‘church’ in the background. The wind softly whistling through the scene, pulling at the fabric of her simple white baby-tee as Jean-Luc does a wonderful job of filming his new girlfriend. He narrates for us once more, helping to set the scene for Gabrielle.


    “Finally we will all witness Gabrielle versus Michelle. A match for ages, a match that can define two women’s legacies, a single match that can influence so much going forward. And let us not forget brand supremacy is at stake here as well. Which brands female two time World Champion is superior. Fallouts Gabrielle who held the World Championship for nearly two years, or Meltdowns Michelle who just lost to Thomas West in seconds?”


    Gabrielle allows Jean-Lucs last words to hang in the air for a while, letting us all be reminded that indeed Michelle is coming off a rather humiliating loss. Once again she was World Champion and everyone expected her to reign as such for a long time. Yet once again she fell at the first hurdle.


    “Michelle you want to know the difference between us. Its not our skin tone, its not our Legacies, its not our remaining potential. Its not our reputations backstage. Its not our relationships with Danny Toner. Its not the affect and influence Chris Kennedy has had on our lives and careers.”

    “Some of those things we really don’t differ on at all. Where we are different, where it matters is in our expectations. Is in what the people around us expected from us. I will never stop reminding you all of this fact, but nobody expected anything from me until I proved them wrong. Just some perky tits. Just a pretty face to put on a poster. Someone we can put in a bikini and post up on FWA.com. Someone we can rely on for clicks and attention.”

    “These are all the things I heard early on in my career. All that mattered was how good I looked in any state of undress. Everything else was secondary or even irrelevant. I wasn’t seen as being capable of amounting to anything. There were no expectations for me. There was nothing to really look forward too. I got to have matches here and there, I got to walk down to the ring with Jack every week, and that was it.”

    “Maybe I’d get to pose for Playboy, maybe I’d be offered the right price to do porn.”

    “That was really it, that was the extent of what people expected from me. No one, not even myself expected in those days that I could be any kind of Champion, let alone the first ever female Tag Team Champion, or the longest reigning female World Champion ever.”

    “Now look at you Michelle. You faced no limitations, you came into the FWA with limitless potential and expectations. Every Championship was available to you. Every match, every moment, any Back In Business Main Event. You could do it all and no one would bat an eye. Not because you were so great, but because we’re not seen as just women anymore. The FWA doesn’t parade around a Women’s Championship anymore just to placate us. The World is our oyster.”

    “And I’m still waiting on you to thank me for that.”


    Gabrielle pauses, almost like she’s expecting Michelle to reply right now and thank her for opening the World up before her. The she begins to walk towards her old Church, briskly so. Marching there with an unknown purpose.


    “My hard work let you be great. My hard work let you parade these alternate realities out in front of the World week after week. My hard work made you special. My hard work allowed you to march out to the ring every week and bore us with some long-winded speech. My hard work!”

    “I did all this. Me. It was all me. You cant hide in a different World where you try to portray me as some Old Maid to be snuffed out. You cant just write me off as the town Bicycle while you’re the all conquering town Hero. We’re in reality together Michelle. I ran from this match in the past, but now I yearn for it, I welcome it, I want it.”

    “I’m desperate to feel you in the ring, feel what you have to offer, and see the look in your eyes as I get up again and again after everything you do. You’re not special, I’m special. You’re not better than me, you needed me. I made this moment between us possible. Without me you’d just be facing Lizzie Rose every second week for the Womens Championship.”

    “But this is not about you Michelle, this is not about your dreams…”


    Gabrielle turns to face the camera with a devilish grin upon her face as she’s finally reached her old Church. She leans in whispering in Jean-Luc’s ear as the camera suddenly cuts out…





    …When it flickers back to life we see a closeup of Gabrielle as she holds a lighter in front of her face. She’s just watching the flame dance almost beautifully in front of her.


    “Have you ever heard the saying ‘burn the boats’?”

    “Because you need to understand what it means for us. There’s no turning back for me Michelle, this is a moment for me. I’m burning the ‘boats’. There’s no going back from here. Do or die, Only one of us can be the greatest, can be the best. My Legacy takes another giant step forward here Michelle. I don’t need the Legacy I have…marching into Meltdown and defeating you will be all the Legacy I need.”

    “When everyone thought I washed up. When everyone thought I was retired…I went out there and made them all realize the woman they thought could replace me, is just beneath me…”

    “Burn the boats…you’re my Legacy now Michelle.”


    And with that said Gabrielle reaches a hand out, taking Jean-Lucs in hers as they step away from the old disregarded church, the lighter sailing through the air behind them and starting an inferno as spark meets fuel and Gabrielle razes the building to the ground to create a new Legacy in its ashes.

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