CSWA: BLUE MOON
30 Dec 2012
Merritt Auditorium, Greensboro, NC (seats 23,500)
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“A man’s ancestors have paid the price for what he is.”
– Friedrich Nietzsche
December 30th, 2012
Greensboro, North Carolina
The arena is silent.
The hallways are silent.
Packed with the ghosts of a thousand wrestlers who have passed through the doors, the only sound that can be discerned is that of a single pair of footsteps.
Far away from the lights, the seats, and the wrestling ring in the middle of the Merritt Auditorium, there is the CSWA Hall of Fame. Much different than the Hall of Fame of every other professional wrestling group, this Hall celebrates events and milestones, not individual wrestlers. The point is to recognize that the success of the past was always a group effort, not due to one or a handful of individuals.
There are exceptions, of course: there are separate exhibits dedicated to the careers of Hornet, Mark Windham, Joey Melton, and "The Dark Knight" Beauford Parsons - the first four wrestlers signed to the CSWA's banner. There is an exhibit dedicated to Steve "Gibson" Fiennes and Chad "Morton" Dandy, the CS Express, the greatest tag team to ever wrestle for this company. And there is an exhibit dedicated to the late, great, dearly departed Ray S. Cornette, the greatest of all professional wrestling managers, and the man that our current protagonist looked to as an inspiration for all of her career.
"Mommy, is this the man that was your friend?"
"Yes, Shannon, this was Mommy's first friend in the wrestling business, this is the man who helped Mommy get a fair shake."
Standing in front of the Ray S. Cornette monument was the heir apparent to the mantle of 'Greatest living manager in professional wrestling,' Ivy McGinnis, known for most of her career as either "Poison Ivy" or "The Psycho Bitch." Her last stint as a manager ended in 2009 in the Fans Wrestling Organization... that's another story that we don't have time to tell.
In her arms was her five year old son, Shannon Joseph Stevens.
"Where's Daddy?" asked Shannon. He was bored: as a five year old, any exhibit that doesn't involve interactive video games or flashing lights and sound was probably boring. He was a smart boy, he liked to read and learn and he was doing very well in school, but he was definitely his father's son in the 'here we are now, entertain us' sense of the word.
"Daddy's getting ready for his match with Uncle Paul tonight," said Ivy, "Remember, you and me and Daddy talked about this show, how Daddy has to take most of the day to get ready while Mommy just needs an hour or so before the show to put on her pretty clothes?"
"I remember," said Shannon, as Ivy put him down. He leaned his chin on the middle bar that kept fans from stepping right into the Joey Melton exhibit. "Mommy, you and Daddy have done big shows before, how come we're here so early for this one?"
"Well," said Ivy, as she leaned on the top bar, "this is a different circumstance. This is the CSWA."
"What's that mean?" asked Shannon.
"This is where Mommy got her start," said Ivy, "and this is where your uncle Eli had the most fun and did his best, and this is where we first met your uncle Craig and your uncle Eddie. You know how important the diner is to Mommy back home, right?"
"Yeah," said Shannon.
"Well, the CSWA is just as important in a different way. Instead of your great - grandpa starting this and building it up to something to be proud of, this is where your mommy was able to start something and help build it up to something to be proud of."
"You started this?" asked Shannon.
"No," replied Ivy with a laugh, "I didn't start the CSWA, I just mean that I was able to build a big part of it for the time I was here. No, this place was started by two guys with vision, whether they knew it or not."
"They must've been geniuses," said Shannon, very seriously.
That got Ivy laughing even harder.
"Not... exactly, Shannon," she said.
March 15, 1988
(FADE-IN: To a shot of the exterior of an aging warehouse off Market St. in Greensboro, North Carolina. The building looks tired, serving notice that its days of hosting feature events are in the past and not the present. The parking lot, mostly empty, sits inviting people to enter. By the look and feel, whoever chooses to reside within her walls tonight made a horrible, horrible mistake.)
(CUT-TO: Ticket gate at the front of the building. Two men, in their mid-20's, look increasingly discouraged at the lack of traffic coming through.)
Chad Merritt: I told you this was a mistake!
Stephen Thomas: No you didn't. I believe your exact words were, "Trust Me".
Chad Merritt: Throw that back in my face now, will you? Maybe it's just a late arriving crowd.
Stephen Thomas: Yeah I'm sure, the 350 we need for a sellout just stopped off for some Jr. Mints.
Chad Merritt: What's wrong with that? Jr. Mints are refreshing.
Stephen Thomas: (pauses) That's true, they are.
Chad Merritt: The night won't be a total bust. With the money we'll make from the refreshment stands, we may break even.
Stephen Thomas: Chad.....
Chad Merritt: Yes?
Stephen Thomas: WE HAVE NO REFRESHMENT STANDS!
Chad Merritt: I know, okay!! What are we doing here? We have no idea how to run a wrestling promotion!
Stephen Thomas: And the Wright Brothers had no idea how to fly either.
Chad Merritt: That was pointless.
Stephen Thomas: We're in Carolina, it was my time to offer the hourly Wright Brothers tribute. Look, we're here. Whether we like it or not, we've come this far.....we can't stop now.
Stephen Thomas: Can we?
Chad Merritt: Surely not?
Stephen Thomas: Ah! What we were thinking!?
Chad Merritt: That we needed an overly elaborate scheme to meet women.
Stephen Thomas: There we are.
(As Chad and Steve bicker, a man who appears to be about three feet tall walks up to the gate)
MIDGET: Excuse me, is the show promoted by Chad Merritt and... (looks at program) ...Stephen Thomas.
Stephen Thomas: Yes it is! Welcome!
Chad Merritt: (under his breath) To earth.
MIDGET: I didn't see a name on the program. What federation is this?
(They both pause, for all their hard work they never had considered coming up with a name. Yet another in a series of oversights for the night.)
Chad Merritt: (looks at Stephen) The.... (smiles) CSWA.
Stephen Thomas: I like it.
MIDGET: Well, I'm pleased to be here. What's the admission fee?
Chad Merritt: Twenty bucks. And that's our special rate for handicap people.
MIDGET: Hey now, there's no reason to be mean.
(Thomas grabs the midget's arm, and ushers him through the gates)
Stephen Thomas: Bless your little heart!
Chad Merritt: We never did catch your name..
MIDGET: Fair enough. It's Lyle.
Chad Merritt: (In a rare moment of sincerity) Lyle, enjoy yourself tonight.
(Lyle walks through the gate. As he disappears into the building, the smile residing on Chad's face falls off)
Chad Merritt: What's wrong with you!? Look at the people you're letting through the gates! FREAKS, I TELL YOU FREAKS! Hey if we've still got time I can rent an elephant and we'll call it the circus!
Stephen Thomas: Easy! Lyle's a person too! Albeit a very small one.
Chad Merritt: Small minded, as well...I bet. It's almost show time, we better get ready.
Stephen Thomas: I can't believe with all the flyers you passed out that no more than 150 people turned out.
Chad Merritt: Oh..
Stephen Thomas: What?!
Chad Merritt: Those were for me to pass out?
(Thomas snaps and tackles Merritt)
Stephen Thomas: How could you be so dumb!!!
(Chad reaches up with his left hand and pushes Stephen's face away.... flipping the two, now Chad is on top of Thomas.)
Stephen Thomas: Get off of me!!!
Chad Merritt: YOU'RE A STUPID MAN, A STUPID LITTLE MAN!
(A man in his late forties, in dirty clothes, and who appears to be stone cold drunk, breaks up the fight)
DRUNK: Break it up you two! I thought the wrestling tonight was suppose to be inside!
Chad Merritt: Who are you!?
DRUNK: The name is Marvin. I was hired to work the camera tonight. Now, I just need to find the two fools who hired me.
(Thomas slaps Marvin in the face.)
Stephen Thomas: You're late!
Marvin: Do you usually make a point of hitting your help?
(Thomas slaps Marvin again)
Stephen Thomas: No, but I can start now! Get inside... we're already late.
(A beat-up pick-up truck comes to a screeching halt in front of the gates. Two men, who look like they're from the hills of West Virginia, step out. )
Chad Merritt: $40 a piece.
ED: Pay the man, Bill.
BILL: (searching his wallet) I'm out...
Marvin: Come on in, I'll comp ya. You're family.
Stephen Thomas: Oh sure, we can afford to do that!
(Marvin, Bill, and Ed walk in)
Chad Merritt: You ready?
Stephen Thomas: (smiles) No.
Chad Merritt: It's you and me. Sink Or Swim. Let's give it everything we've got.
December 30th, 2012
Greensboro, North Carolina
"They were both clueless from the start," said Ivy, as she walked toward the 'arena' section of the building holding her son's hand, "but I think that was probably for the best. Merritt and Thomas grew alongside the wrestlers, they made mistakes and figured out what worked and what didn’t together, and together they – we – all built something pretty special.”
The arena was dark, but banners from events past lined the rafters.
“How come?” asked Shannon.
“How come what?” asked Ivy right back.
“How come this was special?” asked Shannon, “Why couldn’t some other place be special too?”
He was a smart kid. Ivy guided Shannon past the chairs and toward the entrance ramp, where the main lights were controlled.
“Other places were special,” said Ivy, “but besides being where Mommy and Uncle Eli made our marks, this is also where tradition stayed strong.”
“What’s ‘tradition,’ asked Shannon, doing a pretty good job with his pronunciations.
“Tradition is a word that means good things from before that we do now. You know how we go to Aunt Angel and Uncle Eli’s for all the holidays? That’s like a tradition. Or how we spend two weeks every August at Grammy and Pop-Pop’s in Orlando? That’s like a tradition. Do you understand?”
“I understand,” said Shannon, thoughtfully looking around.
“Well, there was always a tradition in professional wrestling, where the good guys would always win and the bad guys would lose and learn a lesson. Like the way Uncle Randall and Aunt Cally do. But there was a change that took place where the bad guys would win, and the fans would cheer for them. That didn’t happen here, the CSWA always understood that it was important that the good guys win.”
As they were speaking, Ivy was opening the main fuse boxes, so she could hit the lights.
“It’s still dark, Mommy,” said Shannon.
“Well,” replied Ivy, with a smirk, “I know one way to get rid of darkness, and that’s with a little light.”
Ivy pulled the cover off the fuse box and pulled a Leatherman out of the front pocket of her jeans. “I’ll tell you all about it, Prince Shannon,” she said, as she got to work.
CSWA Winter Warriors VI: Trial by Fire
March 1, 1995
(JOINED IN PROGRESS: Hornet vs. 'Devastating' Mike Randalls for the UNIFIED World Championship)
BUCKLEY: Both men are back on their feet. Randalls goes for a back suplex, but Hornet hooks the leg and sends Mike over instead. Randalls is furious. He charges Hornet and brings him down with a clothesline! What speed and power by the EN World Champ. But Hornet is up, and he sends Mike sprawling with a belly to belly. Hornet follows with a brainbuster, but Randalls is up and counters with another back suplex. Hornet whips Randalls into the ropes and catches him with a clothesline of his own. Hornet follows, scooping Randalls up and sending him down hard to the mat with a huge butterfly suplex! What power!!!! Randalls sweeps Hornet off his feet and then catches him with a DDT!! That could be a big momentum change! Randalls follows up, this time successfully hooking in the step-over-toe hold! And Hornet isn't near the ropes this time. He tries to power out, but Randalls has it cinched in. It's just like Hornet's figure four earlier in this match. Randalls isn't letting up anytime soon. Let's get in on the ring microphone.
Pee Wee Troutman (referee): Hornet, do you give?
Troutman: Do you wanna give it up?
RANDALLS: Come on, give it up. You're not getting out of this one. The darkness will win!
BUCKLEY: Well, it looks like Hornet's not gonna give it up that easily.
BENSON: He might as well, it's over!
BUCKLEY: Randalls lets up on the step-over-toe hold and pulls Hornet to his feet. He whips Hornet into the ropes and catches him with a huge clothesline! He hooks the leg! ONE......no, Hornet kicks out. Randalls pulls him up again, and he catches Hornet with another back suplex. He whips Hornet into the ropes again and catches him with an elbow!! Now he's playing to the crowd, but he doesn't realize that Hornet is on his feet! Hornet belly to back suplexes him into the mat! Now he follows with a brainbuster! But Randalls is back up, and there's another back suplex! He whips Hornet across the ring, and then he sends him into the other ropes, neck-first with a STUN GUN! Hornet is down on the mat, holding his neck trying to breathe. Randalls follows with a piledriver! He covers! ONE......no, Hornet kicks out again somehow. Randalls pulls Hornet to his feet and sets him up for a reverse neckbreaker!!!!! But Hornet slips out and Randalls hits the mat without Hornet in his grasp! Hornet scoops up Randalls and powerslams him across the ring!!! Now Hornet heads to the top rope!!!!
BENSON: There's no way!!!!
BUCKLEY: If he misses this, Randalls will be the new Unified Champ! Hornet jumps off! SHOOTING STAR PRESS!!! And he catches Randalls square on the mat!!! There's the cover! ONE.......TWO....no, Randalls kicks out!!! Randalls is up, and once again, he whips Hornet into Pee Wee Troutman! Randalls isn't going to take the chance that he'll lose this match!
RANDALLS: Collins, now!!!!
BUCKLEY: JW Collins of FULL FORCE, still outside the ring throws a two-by-four into the ring!!!! Troutman is still down!
BUCKLEY: Randalls catches the two-by-four, but this time Hornet is ready!! But it doesn't matter! Instead of going for the back, Randalls catches Hornet full in the knee with the block of wood!!! Hornet goes down grasping his knee, and Randalls follows up with a huge shot to Hornet's back! But he doesn't stop there, he delivers another couple of shots to Hornet's back for good measure! Now he throws the two-by-four back over the cage, and he working on getting Troutman to his feet. But Hornet staggers to his knees and pulls Randalls away from Troutman. Randalls pulls Hornet to his feet and sends him into the ropes. There's another big clothesline by Randalls. Again, Randalls pulls Hornet to his feet. He's got a handful of hair, and now he's just taunting Hornet.
RANDALLS: You want more, punk? Are you ready to end this charade? I AM the Unified Champ. You are NOTHING!! I am the DARKNESS! And you can't defeat me!!!
BUCKLEY: Randalls back suplexes Hornet into the mat. Ref Troutman still isn't on his feet, although it looks like he's stirring. It may not matter, except to save Hornet's career! Randalls DDTs Hornet into the mat, and once again he pulls him to his feet and yells at him!
RANDALLS: GIVE IT UP! I want to hear you say "I quit." Say it! You know who the man is! Give in to the fear that I see in your eyes. It's OVER!!! SAY IT! Say "I quit!"
BUCKLEY: Randalls sends Hornet down again with another DDT!
RANDALLS: SAY IT!
BUCKLEY: There’s another DDT! How much of this can Hornet take!
BENSON: I LOVE IT!
RANDALLS: SAY IT!
HORNET: What do you want me to say?
RANDALLS: SAY "I QUIT!" NOW!
BUCKLEY: Randalls is stunned for a second, but again he delivers a DDT, slamming Hornet into the mat.
RANDALLS: I am the Darkness!!! And you'll either say it or I'll make it so you never say anything again!
HORNET: I know of only one way to get rid of darkness. And that's with a little bit of light. Hit it Marvin!
BENSON: What the...? Why's he talking to Marvin Parsons?
BUCKLEY: Hornet whips Randalls into the mat! Randalls comes off with a clothesline ready, but Hornet dodges it!
BENSON: What was that noise? What has he done?
BUCKLEY: Hornet grabs Randalls as he comes off the ropes again, and he throws Randalls over the ropes into the cage!
BENSON: What are those sparks!!!????
BUCKLEY: THE STEEL CAGE IS ELECTRIFIED! HORNET HAD THE ELECTRICITY TURNED BACK ON!!!! RANDALLS IS BEING ELECTROCUTED!!!!
BENSON: Is that smoke coming from his head?
BUCKLEY: Randalls falls off the cage. Hornet pulls the shaking EN Champ to his feet and whips him into the turnbuckle! HORNET SPLASH!!!!!!
BUCKLEY: Hornet pulls Ref Troutman to his feet!
BENSON: He's going to hook in the Scorpion! Randalls is still shaking!
BUCKLEY: No, Hornet climbs to the top rope again!!! SHOOTING STAR PRESS!!!! Troutman has no idea what's going on! He counts the cover! ONE.......TWO.......THREE!!! FULL FORCE rushes to the door of the cage to tell Troutman what has happened. Apparently the cage has been turned off again. Troutman consults with another official at ringside, and then he checks on Randalls. He raises his arm once, twice, three times, and Randalls arm falls, shaking, to the mat. Here's the final decision.
RJ: By virtue of winning two of the three falls, the winner and STILL UNIFIED WORLD CHAMPION is HORNET!!!!!!!
BUCKLEY: Hornet is the winner of this match! He has defeated Mike Randalls!
Greensboro, North Carolina
“That should do it, Prince Shannon,” said Ivy, closing the main fuse cabinet, “You want to hit the lights for Mommy?”
Shannon had been watching Ivy for the past twenty minutes, enthralled at the wonder that was his mother. For the past five years, Shannon had watched his father wrestle on television, both in the FWO and as the undisputed ruler of the EPW. ‘Triple X’ Sean Stevens was part of his character from his birth. He had never truly seen his mother do her thing, and it was exciting for him to see her in her element.
He climbed onto a chair next to the mains and pushed them all to the ‘on’ position; from the other side of the curtain, light filled the Merritt Auditorium.
“Good boy,” said Ivy, picking her son up in her arms. He was getting heavy as five year olds are wont to do, and he was already the tallest one in his kindergarten class: he would be taller than his five foot three mother before he started high school, most likely. “Want to see where Mommy was, the last time the CSWA had a show here?”
“Yes!” said Shannon.
Ivy put her son down and took his hand, and they walked out into arena and looked around.
“This is it, Shannon,” said Ivy, “This is where Mommy found herself.”
“I found someone too, Mommy,” said Shannon.
“You did?” asked Ivy, grinning. She looked at her son with amusement. “Who did you find here, sweetie?”
“I don’t know,” said Shannon, pointing in the direction of the ring.
Ivy’s gaze followed his finger… and sure enough, there was someone in the ring.
She didn’t immediately reach for her phone, or for a weapon, or hide Shannon behind her. No, Ivy walked toward the ring to get a better look at the intruder. There was a minor feeling in her gut that could be called anxiety, but she pushed it away. Nobody was going to intimidate her in her own house.
As Ivy walked closer, she saw more detail. The intruder was a man with stubble on his face and wrapped up in an old trenchcoat. For a moment she thought it might be Eli Flair: he had cut a promo from this building for the Ultratitle, but this man was shorter and less physically imposing; besides, Eli had driven her, Sean, and Shannon to the airport yesterday.
“Hello, Ivy,” said the man.
And Ivy knew him.
“How’d you know it was me,” she asked, “Your eyes are closed.”
“Boots,” said the man.
Ivy looked down.
“You always wear knee high leather boots with a thick heel,” he continued, “it makes a distinctive sound when you walk on that ramp.”
“Pretty perceptive, Mark,” said Ivy, leaning her elbows on the ring apron, “How are you?”
In the middle of the ring, Mark Windham rolled until he was sitting upright, his legs crossed indian-style. “I’m good, McGinnis,” he said. “You look good.”
Despite herself, Ivy felt her face flush.
After all, the last time she and the Living Legend were in an arena together, things got hot and heavy.
CSWA Anniversary 2005
July 24, 2005
Greensboro, North Carolina
“Good morning, Floyd,” said Ivy, as the doorman at the CS Enterprises building opened the front up for her, “How’s your granddaughter doing?”
“Just fine, Ms. McGinnis,” replied Floyd, “Thank you for writing that letter to her for her birthday. You are her idol, it really meant a lot to her.”
Ivy patted Floyd on the stomach as she entered the building. “Any time, my friend… any time.”
She smiled at the receptionist and flashed her CS Enterprises’ ID card. To the left was the CSWA Hall of Fame and Auditorium, the larger parts of the complex and the only ones open to the general public. To the right was the pair of elevators that led to the twenty – seven story tall CS Enterprises corporate offices.
The Psycho Bitch sighed. This may be the last day she would be allowed to head to the right, except to clear out her office.
Her office. She was the first woman, despite how much larger Teri’s was, to have an office in the top five floors. Most people didn’t understand how the CSWA was run. CS Enterprises had their hand in a lot of the entertainment business: there were recording studios and animation production in the building, there was a chemicals research lab on seven and a publisher on twelve. Thanks to Ivy’s connections with Valerian’s Garden, CS Enterprises also included CSE Recordings, a steadily growing independent label.
But the top five floors were always, and would always, be dedicated to the CSWA.
Ivy pressed the button for ‘26’ – where her sparsely decorated office with the private bathroom was located. She had her routine all laid down in her mind, she would get some work done on the CSWA website, put her next column to bed, shower and get ready for the night. It wasn’t a typical Psycho Bitch night – no platform boots or miniskirts. Ivy had to fight tonight.
She had to fight Teri Melton, but it was still a fight.
Just as the door was closing, as Ivy was lost in her thoughts, a hand reached out and stopped them from closing. Another person stepped into the elevator, and Ivy looked up at a familiar face.
“Dubya,” she said.
“Green,” replied Mark Windham, as he pressed the button for ’27,’ “how’s things?”
“Fine,” replied Ivy, as her eyes returned to the lighted buttons, “and you? How’s the little one?”
“Thelma? She’s a character,” said Windham, “She misses you.”
Ivy smiled. She missed the little girl, too.
Mark sunk into the back wall of the elevator, the skin-worn knuckles on his right hand melting into his jean pocket; white bangs fanning over Mark’s eyes like venetian blinds, disguising a look he was hopeful of stealing from Ivy, but with her, nothing is unrequited. It’s been too long. Their relationship has always been as real as Skull Island. A map between them may exist, but between phantom glances, and sustained silences, Windham himself has questioned if it’s ever really held accountability.
His glaze cut through a pin-size opening in his hair and took Ivy in. She’s let him stare this long without an offensive attack.
She misses him too.
"You know, if you push'em all at once they're much more fun to stare at."
She smiled, like he'd hoped, but also remained silent.
"So this is it tonight, huh?" he asked.
"Yep," replied Ivy.
This was like pulling teeth. "Well, we're gonna miss you."
Windham rolled his eyes and reached forward, hitting the 'ELEVATOR STOP' button. "So you're telling me, you can stand there, tell me you're done after today, and walk out the door tonight and not feel just the slightest twinge of guilt? Did Rudy get the emotional fare - thee - well? Did Sammy?"
Ivy looked at him, then looked away. "It's just... it's easier this way."
"Not for me," he countered sharply, expecting Ivy to have considered the full equation.
"You guys have more shows to do and more audiences to wow, Mark," continued Ivy, "Eli didn't want to do this match tonight, Thomas had to talk him into it. I didn't want to do this match tonight but Teri pushed me just a bit too far. There's a reason why I've tried to keep it quiet that I'm leaving, too... you spend too much time looking at people who are leaving and you forget about the people who are staying."
Windham shook his head. "Do you really believe that?"
"It's the truth."
"First off, Ivy, this business moves so fast that there'll be precious little choice - we're going to have to move forward. Secondly... you know I hate this shit. The ‘Team Extreme’ indifference. It’s our last night with the company we were raised in, let’s be as apathetic as we can. To hell with that Ivy. If Eli wants to waive the right for a cake send off, I don’t really care. He’s never been why I keep coming back."
“He has for me. And if you think it’s some kind of Team Extreme Indifferent posturing, you never really knew me.”
“Right,” Windham softly dismissed her with a wave. Ivy vs. Teri. That irony rear its head on her big night only serves her history well. She can’t see the contradiction. Men have thrown themselves at Teri’s feet since her inception. But, it’s Ivy the boys love. Mark’s found himself dead to rights, hopelessly in love with a weakness that’s carved up locker rooms from Greensboro to Seattle. You’re not tongue tied around Ivy Lillian McGinnis—comfort works wonders there—but tripping over heels for the ‘Psycho Bitch’ Poison Ivy has made The Lost Soul feel altogether pretty generic.
Who hasn’t crushed on the damn girl?
Who hasn’t watched her walk by three hours before a show in a staff t-shirt, shorts, her hair done the way it was when she woke up hours before, and close their eyes, letting just the smell of her linger in the air?
Who hasn’t confided in her at will?
In love with Poison Ivy: Take a number.
Foreign the idea’s not, but Windham’s done waiting. It’s been the slowest burn in history. Six years of crafting shelter around honesty, and looking the other way when Ivy says “please.”
Please, not now.
It’s never been right.
Maybe they were a fantasy conspired over drinks and bloodshed in Chapel Hill one night.
Maybe, Windham’s an idiot for not throwing everything away to be with her, the day after.
She woke up one morning in March in his bed, her glistening body lying carelessly over the covers; Ivy as naked as she’s ever let herself be to him. What kind of man doesn’t admit to her, he wants the freedom to see her, to touch her every night?
They’ve trained themselves to fall back into the alleys of their hearts retreating for fear of finding it was right. Maybe, enough time’s been wasted.
“You’re going to beat the crap out of Teri, Eli’s ending a chapter of his career with Paul to bed. It’s storybook, McGinnis. But, there’s a part that I read that I’m really having trouble digesting. It’s the part where you don’t even tell me you’re leaving.”
“Mark, it's easier to just walk away."
“From me? What are you afraid of Ivy? That I’ll become a bigger asshole than I already am? Rudy calls me and tells me you’re seriously walking. Pretend you’re me for a minute. What am I supposed to think?”
“You’re old enough to figure that out yourself.”
“And I have. Ivy, apparently this deep cough Thomas still wants to call the CSWA is the only way I can see you. God knows you don’t answer your phone.”
“I’m glad you’re back, Mark. This place needs you. It always will. I don’t know what your motives are for climbing into the match, but, it’s easier for me if I don’t care.”
She hit the button for the elevator to start moving again. When it stopped on 26, she quietly exited. Mark grabbed her by the shoulder and spun her around.
“Ivy, I’m in love with you,” said Mark, "Before you leave, I wanted you to hear that again. It’s a little bit of information that’s kept me going the last six years. I know we’ve fashioned ourselves to bury what we really feel, but if this is goodbye, McGinnis, and you think you’re walking out of here without dealing with me, then I’ll invite Sean here and tell the both of you. You’re mine, and you will be for longer than a night in Sweetwater that we’ve both run from. You’ve got a shadow now Ivy that won’t be easily left."
Ivy's face brightened just a bit as the door closed between them, and Mark leaned back against the far wall, exhaling sharply.
“How do you deal with this? OW!”
Eli Flair simply laughed at Ivy’s question. She was sitting on the medical table in black jeans and a red athletic bra, getting the back of her head stitched up from Teri Melton’s stealth guard.
“I do something different, Ivy,” replied Eli, “I see it coming. My opponents have the decency to attack me from the front with a chair. But you’ll survive. Gonna be out there for me and Hornet?”
She laughed at him. “Wouldn’t miss it. But I might have t’join Sammy and Bill on the stick… don’t know if I’ll be able to ‘manage.’
“Eli,” said Marvin Parsons, sticking his head in the tent, “Twenty minutes to go. Thomas wants you to meet him and Hornet briefly, alright?”
He hesitated, looking back toward Ivy.
“Go,” said Ivy, “How many times have I left you on this table to go take care of some other business? Go, I’ll be fine. I know everyone here, and I know where we parked the car.”
Eli laughed, gave her a quick hug, and left the room. The medic continued to stitch, clean, and stitch.
“I cost someone their job tonight,” said Ivy, trying to make conversation.
“I’m sorry to hear that,” replied the medic.
“Don’t be,” answered Ivy, “She was a real c---.”
“She means to say you're next, if you f--- the job up.”
Ivy smiled. “Hello, Mark.”
Mark Windham entered the room completely, dressed in his street clothes. “Feeling better now?”
“Much,” she replied, “It’s strange how you can take a decade of disappointment and turn it around in thirty seconds of a scorpion deathlock. Now it’s over, and I can take a breath.”
“True,” said Mark, “but we also weren’t finished before.”
“Okay, I’m finished,” said the medic, “Be sure to keep these stitches dry for the next day or so.”
Ivy grabbed a pair of mirrors and examined his work. There was not a stitch to be seen when her hair was down. “Thank you,” she replied, “you can go now.”
The medic left the room, and Ivy grabbed her shirt. Mark paced the floor for a few moments, then crossed his arms.
“What?” asked Ivy.
“You know what,” replied Mark, “Now that your fight’s over, now that you’ve got nothing left to do but walk away… is it really as easy as you wanted to believe?”
“Don’t f---ing ‘Mark’ me, Ivy,” he said, “We weren’t finished before.”
“I know, Mark,” replied Ivy, “but think about it. Ten years now, we’ve known each other. Ten years now I’ve been getting drunk with Miles, clocking hundreds of miles a night with Eli, talking philosophy with you and Randalls and… everything else that’s happened. Do you really, really, really think I could just walk away without a word?”
Windham shrugged. It certainly seemed that way earlier, though he knew Ivy was not herself at the time.
"I just didn't know how to deal with it," continued Ivy, "there's so much I need to say to Thomas, and Rudy, and Sammy, and Paul... and you... that the only way to not go crazy over it was to not say any of it. You know how nutty I am, Mark... and you bloody well know how good I am at saying goodbye."
It was true, of course. Unlike an alarming 90% or so of the business, Ivy came from a good home and a stable family, with honest, hardworking parents. Her sister's tragic death a decade ago was the first time she had ever truly had to deal with letting go of a loved one, and Mark was well aware, along with the rest of the CSWA, that Ivy has never gotten over losing her parents three and four years ago.
"Is it goodbye with Eli after tonight?" asked Mark.
"Of course not," replied Ivy.
"Will you never see Sammy or Rudy or Miles or Paul again?"
"Most likely I will, but--"
"Then why does it have to be goodbye for anybody? Seriously, Ivy… you seemed almost resigned to never being backstage again.”
She thought about it. And thought about it. And fought through the haze that settled in on her brain while she thought about it some more. Why did it have to be goodbye?
Did it have to be goodbye?
“What are you two doing in here? You both have to get ready!”
The perfect moment, or what could have been, was just interrupted by CSWA owner Stephen Thomas.
“Great timing, Stephen,” said Ivy, “Ten minutes and I’m golden.”
“I know, Ivy,” said Thomas, “but I need to have a conversation with you first. If you will…?”
Ivy looked at the CSWA owner, then back at Mark Windham. She nodded toward Thomas, before she grabbed Windham by the shoulders and kissed him hard on the lips.
"Thank you," she whispered, before she headed out of the medic room.
Windham let Ivy walk, her taste coated on his lips, and examined the table on which she formerly lay. Eyeing the drops of blood that escaped the now sutured gash, and freefalled onto the maroon leather table skin. The essence of Ivy; leaving pieces of her wherever she drifted to, never whole, never stopping to rope a sense of why she's crippled emotionally when silence breaks.
They're polar opposites. Windham and Ivy. The sort of pairing that could last forty years, or stricken the other with ulcers after twelve weeks in bonded quarters. Mark sees himself in her. Windham drifted for years, destroying everyone he ever cared for, or cared for him.
The Search. The Great Awakening that became a marketing ploy to color the "The Lost Soul" sellable again was an exercise in utter futility.
"A History of Corruption and Salvation," the title of Windham's memoirs that played like the grainy, lost footage of a silent film inside Mark's mind in the last year. What was he? What has he ever been? He humored himself mightily, pretending only he asked these questions of himself. Mark Windham was far from an original. He was, and is nothing. A failed draw in a company that no longer has a need for the name. A company that recast the part earlier this year, pushing a kid from the CS Training Center into public view as "Mark Windham" the same night he and Ivy agreed to an adult sleepover.
Windham was retired from wrestling now. His left shoulder ravaged beyond repair by Eli Flair, and his brother-in-law Timmy, a year ago, nearly to date.
Wrestling had given Mark two precious entities: Thelma, his daughter, and Ivy Lillian McGinnis.
He tried to tell her before, but over time he's come to question how receptive others are to the answers he brings. How did a kid, a five-star athlete who ignited Sweetwater, grow to become a Shrinking Violet?
End the passive aggressive bullshit and confess what you want; Turn from mouse back to man.
"Poison Ivy, rushing off again," Mark chided, dimples weighed by a smile, as he slunk up against the medic room doorframe.
Ivy, fifty-feet west, walking shoulder-to-shoulder with Thomas, turned, exasperated by the patience of the man who once actually let himself be billed as "Mark Stonewall Jackson Windham."
"We're running a show, here," she reminded, more with her hands as they mimed wheels in motion. "And my head's been cracked open. What! What do you want from me?"
Windham walked the distance to McGinnis slowly, her coy laughter increasing in volume as he closed. Members of the production staff, snatched looks at the couple while they worked, specifically Mark who's lost twenty-five pounds since retirement. Shoulder-surgery, no weight training, etc., more light than heavyweight in '05.
Mark smoothed Ivy's blonde hair behind her ears gently, and softly rubbed the back of her neck. No, he's said it enough.
"I'm hoping you want something from me."
He turned loose, and began to walk in the opposite direction, as their personal history demands.
In eight minutes he was ref'ing the Eli Flair/Hornet match. He could care less about the entire affair. Becoming part of the show was the only way Thomas, the Corporate dog who's brainchild was to recast Stonewall Jackson as if he played a role on "Days Of Our Lives," would let Mark on the premises.
In her last night with the company, he did what was needed to say goodbye. With her gone, in an hour, he'll presumably say goodbye to the CSWA and its nightmares for the final time as well.
Greensboro, North Carolina
“You’re the one who said you bungled your shoulder,” said Ivy, leaning against the corner, “Nobody made you go to the NFW.”
“I know,” said Mark, laughing, “but you know how family can be.”
She did, indeed.
Which made their conversation – their history – their relationship – that much more odd. Mark Windham had gone to New Frontier Wrestling to back up his younger brother Troy in his takeover attempt, and ultimately found himself on the receiving end of a career – ending shoulder injury.
“Oh, I know,” said Ivy, “Eli and I had our falling outs here and in the FWO, and we were vocally and publicly at each others’ throats. I’m just glad I never had to punch him.”
In a tragic twist of irony, Mark’s career – ending injury came at the hands of Randall Knox, known as Impulse – the final protégé of Terence Cooper, the old shooter who trained Eli Flair and Poison Ivy, amongst others.
“How’s Thelma?” asked Ivy.
A smile spread across Mark’s face: he had spent most of his career battling one demon or another, but the mention of his daughter, Thelma Lou Windham, was one of the only topics that consistently brought a smile to his face.
“About to start her second year of college,” said Mark, “I had dinner with her the other night, she’s dating a guy who’s terrified of me and her uncle, so that works out for me.”
“Princeton’s treating her well?” asked Ivy, referencing the Ivy League school that Thelma was attending without a hint of irony behind the designation.
“Dean’s list,” said Mark.
“She always had the brains,” commented Ivy.
“Hey, little man,” said Mark, turning his attention to Shannon. “You here to see your Mommy and Daddy do what they do best?”
Shannon didn’t reply: he was half hiding behind his mother, which made Ivy chuckle. “He’s shy,” said Ivy, “around people he doesn’t know.”
Mark’s face betrayed his utter shock. “You’re kiddin’ me. You’re shy, little man? Your momma talks all the time and your daddy talks even more and you’re shy?”
“Some things don’t run in the family,” said Ivy, baldly.
Point well made.
“Speaking of which, how’s the man been?” asked Mark.
He’d already asked about Sean, there was only one other person that qualified. “Eli’s good. He’s actually talking about coming back on a part time basis, making it to the Ultratitle finals really seemed to light a fire in him. I tried to talk him into taking a match here tonight for old time sake, but he said if he does this, he wants to doit from the ground up. You know how stubborn he can be.
“Good thing,” said Mark, “this place doesn’t need another bloodbath.”
For once, Ivy held her tongue.
Bloodbaths were pretty commonplace among she and Mark’s extended family.
CSWA ANNIVERSARY 2001
December 31, 2001
Greensboro, North Carolina
PATRICK YOUNG (on house mic): Gentlemen…. This is an “I QUIT” match. There are no limits, there are no holds barred. The only rule in this match is that it can only end INSIDE THE RING, when one of you utters the words “I QUIT.” I will not be calling for any kind of breaks, I will not be administering any form of count. There are no pinfalls and there are no tap- outs. It should also be noted that Mr. Windham is not medically cleared to wrestle, and has signed a waiver releasing the CSWA and myself from all liability. Mr. Windham, do you understand the rules and risks I have laid out?
TROY : Yup.
YOUNG: Mr. Flair?
(Flair simply stares at Troy.)
BUCKLEY: There’s the bell, and this one has begun! Eli and Troy are face-to-face, and the trash talk has begun! Can we get a microphone down there?
BENSON: I don’t think it’s for the kids to hear.
BUCKLEY: Good point, Sammy. They turn away from each other…. And fire a punch at the same time! They’re sending right hands back and forth, and Flair has the advantage! Troy’s at a distinct disadvantage to start, every shot is doing damage to that neck!
BENSON: Don’t do it, Troy! Don’t say it!
BUCKLEY: It is a bit premature, Sammy… but Eli has Troy rocked! He sends the King of the Slackers into the ropes… stun gun! Troy slingshots back off the ropes, and he’s holding his neck! Young is in there immediately, but Troy grabbed the microphone and threw it across the ring! Eli hooked Troy by the head and sends him into the ropes again!
BENSON: Eli is schitzo, Troy is hurt. This doesn’t seem fair.
BUCKLEY: Troy managed to hook the ropes, and he slides out of the ring and opens the cage door! Remember, this match is NOT confined to the cage, but the submission MUST HAPPEN inside the ring! Eli is quick to follow Troy — TROY SLAMMED ELI’S HEAD IN THE CAGE DOOR! Eli falls back holding his forehead, but he’s not floored yet!
BENSON: No, but he’s busted open! Has he even had a completely healed forehead in the past four years?
BUCKLEY: I doubt it, Sammy. Troy looks under the ring, and he’s got one of those wrenches that the ring crew uses! This is out of hand already!
BENSON: Big surprise there. Hey, I wonder if Eli's forehead is gonna look like Dusty Rhodes' in twenty years. Ewwww.
BUCKLEY: Troy reenters the ring, but Eli is on his feet and waiting! Their eyes meet… Sammy, are those flames I see coming from their eyes?
BENSON: Flame is too weak a word. Flamer...well that might describe Eli.
BUCKLEY: Eli is daring Troy to come at him with that wrench! Troy hesitates for just a moment, but he rushes Eli and swings! Eli ducked, he was ready for it! An elbow to the gut! Troy doubles over and drops the wrench! DDT! Eli grabbed that wrench and is standing over Troy ’s limp form… this didn’t take long, Sammy, but with Troy’s neck as it is… could you really expect anything else?
BENSON: Pssssh. Troy’s not done yet.
BUCKLEY: You’re right, Sammy! Eli brought that wrench down on Troy’s neck, but he rolled out of the way! Troy with a kick to Eli’s knee, and that’s the one Eli hurt at ELVIS LIVES! It bucked, but he stayed up! Eli swings that wrench again, and Troy tumbles out of it! He’s back to his knees, and he grabs Eli by the wrist!
BENSON: That’s why Troy is the man… amateur wrestling at its best.
BUCKLEY: Troy twisted his body around before Eli could react and forced him to drop that wrench! He’s got Eli in an armbar now, and Young is there with the microphone!
YOUNG: Eli, do you give?
ELI: Go fuck yourself, Young.
BUCKLEY: Oh my.
BENSON: That’s nice.
BUCKLEY: We apologize for Mr. Flair’s language, this IS supposed to be family entertainment. Apparently Marvin needs to wake up and get his finger on the seven-second delay... otherwise the FCC is NOT gonna be happy. Eli uses his weight advantage and whips Troy across the ring! He hooks him… Belly- to- belly suplex! Eli moves right in and grabbed Troy by the head… NO! Troy latched onto Eli’s knee with both arms, and he’s twisting! He’s working on Eli’s center of gravity, and I wonder how long Eli can stand on that injured knee with Troy pulling at the other!
BENSON: I’m impressed with the psychology these men are employing so far… there’s such a different mindset involved in an I QUIT match… normally these men would be looking to beat each other to unconsciousness or death, but now they have to get each other in a compromising position that’s so dangerous that they’re willing to give up, but lucid enough to actually say “I QUIT.”
BUCKLEY: Very good, Sammy.
BENSON: They don’t pay me for nothing, ya know.
BUCKLEY: Yes they do.
BENSON: Don’t make me come over there.
BUCKLEY: Eli has maneuvered into the corner – he’s in no danger of being taken off his feet now. Troy slowly lets go as Young gets in there and pulls him back – he’s not a part of this match but these men were at an impasse. Troy backs up, and Eli takes a swing! Troy JUST DID A SPLIT!
BENSON: Call him Johnny Cage.
BUCKLEY: Troy with a low blow, and Eli is in considerable pain! He’s able to casually grab that wrench! No, Troy !
BUCKLEY: Troy CLUBBED ELI ON THE SIDE OF THE HEAD WITH THAT WRENCH! Eli’s down on the mat, doubled over, resting his knees and forehead on the canvas! If this was a normal match, that would easily mean a three count! Troy with a kick to the gut! Eli is down, and Young is in there with the microphone!
BENSON: Did we get that delay yet?
BUCKLEY: I think so, Sammy.
YOUNG: Eli, do you wanna say it?
ELI: Mother… ***KER… Hell no!
YOUNG: Are you sure?
BUCKLEY: Troy just grabbed that microphone!
TROY: Get the **** outta here, bitch. C’mon, Eli! Say it! Say it you bastard!
ELI: Get that *** damn microphone outta my face.
BUCKLEY: Troy tosses the microphone to the side, and drops a forearm on Eli’s head! And another! He… oh no. Troy just eyed that wrench. He’s backing up… and letting Eli get to his feet?
BENSON: He’s planning something, He’s gotta be.
BUCKLEY: Eli’s bell was run pretty hard, he’s taking a while to get back to his… OH MY GOD! Troy just impaled Eli’s knee with that wrench! Eli hits the mat again, HARD! Troy’s right on top of him with that microphone!
TROY: Say it!
TROY: SAY IT!
YOUNG: Troy! Give me the microphone and let me do my job.
TROY: What? Man, get the **** outta my way!
BUCKLEY: Patrick Young is currently trying to get that microphone away from Troy so he can do his job, but Troy isn’t giving it up!
BENSON: Young is supposed to stay outta this! No rules, remember?
BUCKLEY: TROY JUST SHOVED PATRICK YOUNG! Young shoved him back!
BENSON: That’s a mistake.
BUCKLEY: TROY WITH A RIGHT HAND! SLACKNIFE! SLACKNIFE! We’ve got a referee down! But all that gave Eli time to recover! Troy needs to keep his head on his opponent!
BENSON: Recover? Troy hit him full force in the knee with a heavy wrench. He’s used the distraction time to ALMOST pull himself to his feet.
BUCKLEY: Troy is holding his neck – it’s gotta be bothering him. He turns around to face Eli Flair – and we’re right back where we started in this match, only the two men are now VISIBLY injured, and the referee is down! Eli and Troy, however, are nodding in approval toward each other. They’re showing respect.
BENSON: Now I’ve seen everything.
BUCKLEY: So have I, Sammy. Eli takes that wrench and hobbles to the door, tossing it out. TROY FROM BEHIND! He hooked Eli and shoved him headfirst into the door! It wasn’t latched, both men fall to the outside through the ropes! They’re back to their feet at about the same time, and Eli backhanded Troy! Knee to the face, and that did just as much damage to Flair!
BENSON: The difference being, Flair can still walk on one leg. Troy can’t walk with a broken neck!
BUCKLEY: Eli pulls himself up on the guardrail, and he reaches into the crowd for a chair! He swings, but Troy blocks it with his forearm! Eli swings again but Troy rolled out of the way! The chair bounced off the ring steps! Troy from behind, sends Eli over the guardrail into the front row! Get those fans out of the way! Troy slingshots himself over, Swanton splash onto Eli’s chest! Troy cracked his legs on those chairs, however!
BENSON: Troy! Clear the air!
BUCKLEY: Troy is up and he’s clearing the chairs away from himself and Eli – I guess concrete is a less forgiving surface than a chair that has a little bit of give to it! BODYSLAM by Troy ! He’s retrieving that microphone from ringside!
TROY: Whaddaya say, Eli?
BUCKLEY: Eli’s not done yet, I think.
TROY: You know what? Screw it, I’m not done.
BENSON: This is gonna be bad.
BUCKLEY: Troy has Eli hooked… SLACKNIFE! If this was a normal match, that would be the pinfall right there! Troy with the microphone, but he doesn’t try to get Eli to answer him, he bashes him in the face with it! Eli is a bloody mess!
BENSON: The King of Extreme has been out-Extremed!
BUCKLEY: Troy has Eli laid out in about the ninth row – Gethard and his security team are doing all they can to hold the fans back… and Troy slaps on a figure four! He’s got the microphone in hand!
TROY: Say it, Flair!
BUCKLEY: Eli’s knee has got to be SCREAMING right now, Sammy!
TROY: SAY IT!
BENSON: Troy tosses Eli the mic! He’s gonna say it!
BUCKLEY: NO! Eli threw the microphone back at Troy! The fans are pushing through the security team! We need some more help down there!
BENSON: There it is! Eli’s tapping out!
BUCKLEY: Tapping out doesn’t end the match, Sammy, and I think any tapping these two men would do in any case would be something other than a submission. Eli is pounding his fist on the concrete floor, as if it’ll help him think of something!
BENSON: All heck is breaking loose over there!
BUCKLEY: It looks like VP of Security Gethard has someone in a chokehold, and at least two fans are being escorted out of the arena! WAIT! One of them kicked over a chair on their way out!
BENSON: TROY! LOOK OUT!
BUCKLEY: Eli and Troy each have a hand on one of the legs of that chair – it’s a tug-of-war! Troy could grab it easily if he let go of the Figure- Four, but that would take the pressure off Eli’s knee! Eli grabs with both hands, letting go of his balance factor, and the only thing keeping him up now is the pressure from Troy ’s grip! Troy has both hands on the chair leg now, too!
BENSON: The only thing keeping these guys up right now is the pressure from each other’s grip!
BUCKLEY: Eli has more upper body strength than Troy, however! It looks like he’s winning the tug of war!
BENSON: PULL, TROY! PULL LIKE YOU’VE NEVER PULLED BEFORE!
BUCKLEY: THE CHAIR FLIES OUT OF TROY’S GRIP! Eli folds the chair up, and Troy cinches down on that Figure Four even harder! ELI RAISES THE CHAIR TO SWING!
BENSON: What’s he gonna hit? Troy’s head is too far away, and if he throws it, he’s got no weapon left!
BUCKLEY: Troy is pulling both men toward another row of chairs with his hands, Eli is still trying to get a clear—OH MY GOD! ELI SWUNG THE CHAIR ONE- HANDED AND CAUGHT TROY ON THE WRIST! Troy stops moving and shouts out in pain! Eli rams the edge of the chair into Troy’s leg, and the Figure Four is broken! Troy rolls through, holding his wrist, while Eli uses the chair to pull himself back to his feet!
BENSON: Nope! Eli got to his feet and tried to take a step, and he went down hard!
BUCKLEY: This is certainly a predicament. Eli can’t walk on that knee, and Troy can’t effectively attack Eli with only one hand! Eli grabs Troy’s tights and pulls him in! HE GRABS TROY’S HAND FOR A TEST OF STRENGTH! TROY KICKS HIM IN THE LEG!
BENSON: Instinct on both parts, Buckley... pure instinct.
BUCKLEY: Eli pulls himself up on the guardrail, and he’s using the steel to partially brace himself up! This match has been a brutal happenstance for both these already injured men, and the injuries are showing. Eli Flair can barely walk, and Troy has a weak neck and I wouldn’t be surprised if that hand had a hairline fracture or worse.
BENSON: But the match will continue, Buckley.
BUCKLEY: Eli hobbles toward Troy, using that chair for support. He sends the edge into Troy ’s gut, DDT! Eli’s got the microphone!
ELI: Say it, Troy!
TROY: **** you!
BENSON: I just remembered something.
BUCKLEY: Your last name?
BENSON: Hah-Hah, Buckley. This match has to end in the ring, remember?
BUCKLEY: That’s right, Sammy! Eli and Troy have tried to get the words out of each other in the crowd, but they wouldn’t count unless the two men are in the ring!
ELI: C’mon, Troy … don’t make me break your fingers.
TROY: You don’t have the ****, Flair.
BUCKLEY: Eli has Troy by the hair, and he’s dragging him over to the guardrail! What’s he gonna do?
BENSON: Weren’t you paying attention?
BUCKLEY: Eli pulls Troy’s arm between two of the bars, and back around! That damaged left hand is VERY exposed!
ELI: SAY IT, TROY!
TROY: **** YOU!
BUCKLEY: OH MY GOD!!! ELI FLAIR JUST BROUGHT THAT CHAIR DOWN ON TROY’S HAND! He’s definitely broken that hand now! Listen to these fans! Some are cheering Eli on, some are cheering Troy’s comeback, and at least a quarter of them are sitting in a stunned silence!
BENSON: This has definitely gone too far, Buckley.
BUCKLEY: Eli’s face is a crimson mask, and his gaze returns to the cage! I think he’s just remembered the rules, Sammy, because he grabs Troy by the hair and starts to drag him back to the ring! Troy is holding his hand in pain, and Eli is using a chair to help keep him standing… I think you’re right, Sammy, this has gone too far! Troy is fighting to keep out of the ring – and I don’t think anyone would blame him for quitting right now, but he’s got too much of that damn pride to do it!
BUCKLEY: Yes, Sammy?
BENSON: Who’s the good guy here?
BUCKLEY: I couldn’t tell you, Sammy.
BENSON: Good, it’s not just me.
BUCKLEY: Troy is holding onto the guardrail for dear life! Eli has made it to the ringside area with him, but he’s having trouble getting Troy the last five feet on one leg and one free hand. Troy , on the other hand, has wrapped his entire good arm around the guardrail and isn’t letting go!
BENSON: He can stay there until his hand heals.
BENSON: I’ll wait!
BUCKLEY: Eli has let go of Troy’s hair… and he brings the chair down on top of Troy’s head! His blonde hair splatters with red, but he’s still holding on! Another chairshot, and Troy is bleeding profusely! Eli takes aim again, but Troy turns and kicks his leg out from under him! Eli falls to the mat, and Troy takes advantage! He grabs the ring steps and sets them up… oh no. TROY! DON’T DO IT!
BENSON: YES! YES! The ultimate sacrifice, Buckley!
BUCKLEY: SLACKNIFE ON THE STEPS! Eli is holding his neck, but I wonder what price Troy paid for that! Troy is rolling over in pain, holding his neck tightly!
BENSON: He’s not paralyzed yet, Buckley – that’s good enough for me! Finish him off, Troy!
BUCKLEY: Troy to his knees, and there’s pain etched all across his face! What’s this? Eddy Love is headed to ringside, and he immediately goes to check on his partner Troy!
BENSON: EDDY! EDDY!
BUCKLEY: We’re aware of your politics, Sammy, keep your mind on the match. Eddy has a towel in his hand, and he’s helping Troy wipe some of the blood out of his eyes with it. Eli, meanwhile, has been pulling himself up on the ring and the cage – and he’s scaling the cage? Eddy has helped Troy to his feet and is looking over his hand – that hand is definitely broken, Sammy – and Eli is over the top of the cage, and he collapses to the mat! Patrick Young is still lying motionless in the corner, with that microphone by his feet!
BENSON: Eddy should’ve brought a frosty beverage out for Troy to get him back in a good mindset for this match. He should’ve brought me one, too.
BUCKLEY: Eli grabs that microphone! Troy is still on the outside!
ELI: TROY! This has gotta end, and it’s gonna end in here! Leave your Eddy outside, grab that ****ing chair, and get your slacker *** in the ring!
BENSON: That did it.
BUCKLEY: Troy pushes Eddy away, and grabs the chair! Eddy is talking to him, but he’s not listening! Troy climbs into the ring, and he’s really favoring that hand, Sammy!
BENSON: Wouldn’t you?
BUCKLEY: Look at this staredown. Eli Flair can barely put any weight on that leg, his face is a bloody mess, and his arms are battered all over. Troy Windham’s face was just as bloody a moment ago, his hand is swelling and turning purple, and his neck has gotta be in agony!
BENSON: But neither man has quit, Buckley. Neither man WILL, in my opinion.
BUCKLEY: TROY SWINGS THE CHAIR! ELI DUCKED OUT OF THE WAY! Eli grabbed Troy by his broken hand and forces him to his knees!
ELI: NOW SAY THE WORDS!
BUCKLEY: Troy isn’t saying much of anything, but he’s shaking his head! He can’t get a good shot on Eli with the chair, he’s in a no- win situation here! Eli forces that hand to the mat… and… oh my god! Eli is stepping on Troy’s broken hand! That gave him the leverage to grab the chair out of Troy’s hands!
ELI: Say it and I’ll stop!
BUCKLEY: Eli dropped the microphone by Troy’s free hand, and holds the chair high above his head! Troy grabs the microphone!
TROY: YOU… STINK!
BUCKLEY: ELI WITH THAT CHAIR DOWN ON TROY’S FACE! He’s busted Troy’s nose! But Troy still refuses to give! Eli with the chair again, this time on Troy’s right knee! He gets off Troy’s hand and takes a step back, giving his opponent the floor to quit!
BENSON: Haven't we heard those words somewhere before? Troy’s still shaking his head! Even Eddy is telling him to give, to stop the pain!
BUCKLEY: Troy ’s too stubborn to do that! Eli hobbles around in a circle for a moment – it looks like he can put a little of his weight on that knee again – and kicks Troy square in the head! This is too much! We need some help down here!
BENSON: We need a coroner!
BUCKLEY: Troy is pulling himself back to his feet, but he’s a mess! The fans, Sammy, don’t seem to know what to make of this match anymore either! Eli with that chair, rams the edge into Troy’s gut! Troy is doubled over, and Eli brings the chair down on his back! He steps on Troy’s broken hand again!
ELI: One last chance, Troy.
BUCKLEY: Eli’s got Troy’s left index finger in his hand!
ELI: Say it.
TROY: FLAIR SUCKS!
BUCKLEY: Oh my…
BENSON: I think I’m gonna be sick.
(The CSWA camera crew pulls back to a wide shot... but the audio remains.)
BUCKLEY: ELI HAS JUST SNAPPED TROY’S INDEX FINGER!
ELI: Try it again, Troy?
TROY: **** YOU!
BUCKLEY: ELI HAS SNAPPED TROY’S MIDDLE FINGER!
BENSON: EDDY! HELP TROY!
BUCKLEY: Eddy Love may have heard you, Sammy, as he’s just opened up that cage door and climbed in! Eli hasn’t seen him, his attention is focused on Troy, and on the stirring Patrick Young!
ELI: One more, Troy?
TROY: Snap it, you bastard!
BUCKLEY: Eli is going to—Eddy Love just tossed that bloody towel at Patrick Young! Eli spins around and sees Eddy standing there, and Young gets in between the two!
BENSON: Troy isn’t moving! We need some help for Troy!
BUCKLEY: Patrick Young pushes Eli back, away from Eddy Love, and he… calls for the bell?
BENSON: What just happened?
BUCKLEY: Eddy Love has retrieved Troy Windham from the middle of the ring and is pulling him outside! Eli is talking animatedly with the referee… what was the bell for?
RHUBARB JONES: Ladies and gentlemen, even though there has been no confirmation of Troy Windham saying the words, “I QUIT,” referee Patrick Young has elected to accept as an alternative, Eddy Love throwing in the towel for Troy . Therefore, the winner of this match—
(CUE UP: “Tainted Love” – Marilyn Manson)
BUCKLEY: Eddy threw in the towel for Troy, and due to the damage he’s been dealt, Patrick Young elected to take it! Eli Flair wins the match!
BENSON: He doesn’t look like much of a winner, does he Buckley? He’s refusing to allow Young to raise his arm! And look at Troy!
BUCKLEY: I can’t believe this. Troy Windham was being helped back to the medical area by his partner Eddy Love, but at the start of Eli’s music, he tried to break away from Eddy and go back to the ring. He’s still fighting, but with that busted hand, that busted nose, half- blind from blood in his eyes, and God only knows how badly damaged that neck is – he just doesn’t have it in him. Eli is still arguing with Patrick Young!
BENSON: Not anymore.
BUCKLEY: ELI FLAIR GRABBED YOUNG BY THE THROAT! CHOKESLAM! Eli Flair hobbles out of the ring, and I think Rudy Seitzer is there to get a word with him!
(CUTTO: The aisle, where Rudy hurries up from the backstage with a microphone in hand.)
SEITZER: Eli! Why did you do that to the referee? What’s going on?
(Eli stops and grabs Rudy by the collar, pulling him in close.)
ELI: Troy didn’t say it. That match was a ******* joke. Troy didn’t say it, so he didn’t lose. If Troy didn’t lose, I didn’t win. That tough son of a ***** doesn’t know how to quit. Don’t tell me I won, Rudy… nobody won that match.
Greensboro, North Carolina
“I thought I saw some familiar faces in the ring,” echoed a familiar voice.
Mark and Ivy both turned their heads sideways to see Bill Buckley, the Voice of the CSWA for twenty-four years, rapidly approaching the ring.
“Well, we caught this criminal,” said Mark, gesturing toward Shannon, “and were trying to decide what to do with him.”
By now, Bill had reached ringside. He leaned on the ring apron and looked at Shannon.
“He looks quite dangerous,” said Bill, “How are you, Shannon?”
“Good,” replied Shannon. He knew Buckley from he and Ivy’s numerous trips to Greensboro, and was less shy around him, “Mommy showed me the monuments.”
“We took a trip through the Jedi Archives,” explained Ivy, using the ‘insider’ term for the Hall of Fame, “and Prince Shannon here got to ask all his questions at once so Mommy and everyone else can get right to work when the production meeting starts at noon.” She had leaned over to look her son in the eye while she said it; she didn’t have to lean incredible far, it was obvious Shannon would be tall someday, much taller than his mother.
“That’s why I’m here, actually,” said Bill, “Marvin saw you in the arena and recognized your blondeness right away: the meeting’s been moved to eleven. We need to go pretty much right away.”
Ivy’s eyes drifted from Shannon to Mark to Buckley and back again. “Why didn’t anyone call me?”
“Marvin tried the hotel when your phone went straight to voicemail. Adrian told him that you don’t get a signal from this building, which is when we came looking for you.”
Almost instinctively, Ivy reached for her pocket where her phone was resting uncomfortably. Sure enough, it was searching for a signal, a detail that had somehow escaped her memory.
“Mark,” she said, “I—“
“No,” interrupted Mark Windham, “You go do your thing.”
He offered his hand to shake, but she surprised him by giving him a hug.
“I heard what happened,” he whispered in her ear.
“What?” asked Ivy.
“Gold Rush,” said Mark, “I heard what happened afterward. This company wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. Remember that.”
They let go and stepped away from each other, a new understanding on both of their faces.
Respect and admiration.
“Let’s go, your highness,” said Ivy, as Shannon beat her to the ropes and jumped to the floor.
This company exists because it wants to, said Ivy to herself, all I did was give it a little push.
September 11th, 2006 – 12:44 AM
Greensboro, North Carolina
The first night, eighteen years ago, was just Buckley and Benson. Sammy had entered the bar and immediately ordered a boilermaker, and kept asking for refill after refill. Bill Buckley had been sent to pick the drunkard up, but they were right back there after the inaugural PRIMETIME.
In the eighteen years since, the CSWA crowd has grown to include nearly the entire company, and the owners have extended their hours until dawn for the post-show get togethers.
In the eighteen years since, Sammy Benson still takes the same barstool as the first night.
"Another round for my friends!" shouted Sammy towards the bartender, barely out of diapers the first night he sat here.
"On the CSWA's tab, I take it?" she asked, smirking.
"Of course, Ally," replied Sammy, "Like I'm gonna pay for these people to get drunk."
The bartender - Ally - was fast and efficient, and immediately began to line the bar with drinks.
On the other side of the bar, Ivy McGinnis was trying her best to make her way to the staircase. It wasn't there eighteen years ago - but the CSWA has given quite a bit of business. The second floor was solely a VIP area with a few tables and no bar - therefore no reason for people to linger upstairs unless they had business.
Ivy had business. Unfortunately, this was the first time in a long time that a lot of questions for her about her 'delicate state.' She was gracious and genuinely happy to see everyone, but her eyes never left the stairs.
"So whose is it again?"
"F**k off, Teri."
"Jeez, I was joking."
Old habits die hard.
Finally, she reached the stairs. As she walked up, the noise slowly dissolved in a rolling wave, replaced by the low sounds of classical music.
"Didn't they tell you drinking is bad for expectant mothers?"
"My doctor told me a glass of red wine on occasion is healthy," replied Ivy, as she sipped from the glass in her hand, "Haven't you ever been pregnant, Merritt?"
Former CSWA Co-Commissioner Chad Merritt looked up from the stack of papers in front of him, and chuckled. "Can't say that I have. How is it?"
She took another sip. "It's not whiskey."
"Ain't that the truth. How have you been, Ivy?"
That did it.
"How have I been," she said, "What is it with you people?"
Merritt raised an eyebrow. Ivy sat down at the table facing him, and put down her glass. "Every time one'a you owner/boss types disappears for years at a time, you act like I just saw you yesterday, and it's driving me f'kin crazy! How have I been? Not counting Eli, the sanest conversations I've had in the past year and half have been with Craig Miles. How do you think I've been?"
"Calm down, Ivy. That kid's already going to have high blood pressure and way too much energy as it is."
She started to respond, but started laughing instead. The tension broken, she was able to turn her attention to why she was here. "Why'd you come back?"
"Thomas asked me to. Said he wanted to discuss a little problem."
"So you're BACK back?"
"I told him to piss off. I’m sure you can understand why. I really just wanted to see him sweat."
"We need you back, Chad."
"Oh?" he asked, with a sarcastic edge, "Thomas isn't righting the ship?"
"Funny," replied Ivy, "Thomas' tunnel vision hit a wall tonight. He had a great idea with the Gold Rush, but no clue where to go after that. We don't even have another arena booked."
"Well then," said Merritt, "I'd suggest you jump aboard a liferaft before the ship goes down. Oh wait… there’s no ship anymore."
"So why are you here then, really? If you don't care about the CSWA, why'd you come? Are funerals entertainment now?"
Merritt chuckled again. "Thomas forced me out, and I have no interest in trying to work with him anymore. But do you really think I don’t care about my company and all the people and families that worked for me for years? About the legacy? My blood went into the CSWA, Ivy... my blood, my money, my risk. You may be one of the strongest lifelines the company has, but for me it was my life. Thomas thinks he can do it on his own, let 'em fail."
He leaned in towards her. "But that doesn't mean I don't care."
"You want my help?" asked Merritt, as he tore a piece of paper off his notepad and started to scribble some words, "Here. Here's the name and phone number of my contact in Chapel Hill. Call him tomorrow and you can have my old arena down there booked within two weeks."
"You want to save the CSWA," said Merritt, "you can't do it unless the CSWA wants to save itself. Which means you need to run all the old buildings where the fanbase is as die-hard as those insufferable Sox fans. You want to save the CSWA, you've gotta have the will to do it the way me and Tard did it eighteen years ago."
He handed her the folded piece of paper.
"One show at a time."
Without another word, he folded up his notepad with the papers he was reviewing, organized them in his hands, and stood up to leave with an appreciative nod to Ivy.
"Hey Merritt," she said, as he approached the back stairs.
He didn't answer, but he did stop.
"There's still a hacker running around the entire network."
"Do you still have your office in the Enterprises building?"
"Of course I do."
"Then," he reminded her, "there's actually two hackers running around the network."
The back door closed and Merritt left the building with none of the boys downstairs any the wiser.
For Ivy, she stayed put for a few minutes, mulling over what he told her.
You can save the CSWA, if you have the will.
She looked at the folded paper in her hands.
"One show at a time."
Greensboro, North Carolina
“We should really be figuring out something for Mark to do,” said Ivy, “he’s earned a break after everything he’s given to the company.”
Buckley leaned against the elevator wall. “You could say the same thing about Sammy,” he said.
“That’s different,” replied Ivy, “Mark never tried to take this place over and close it down. Sammy… he’s so infuriating and so aggravating and I miss him.”
That got Buckley’s eyebrow up. “You, Ivy? Miss Sammy?”
“More than you’d think,” replied Ivy, “He was my sweet, infuriating, aggravating friend.” She looked at Buckley and smacked him in the arm. “Look who’s talking, you miss him too!”
“Some days,” admitted Bill. “But that’s the nature of the beast, we worked together for a long time.”
“Nothing wrong with it,” said Ivy, “We had our issues and we had our bad days, but we were all always a family. I always knew that I could count on you guys, and Stan and Rudy and Marvin and Adrian. It was a special thing we all had.”
“Still special,” pointed out Bill, “even with Sammy still overseas. He and Merritt and Thomas will work things out someday and he’ll be back.”
“You think so?”
“Sure,” replied Bill, “No matter how much he ever argued or whined or kicked and screamed, Sammy Benson always knew right from wrong, and he was always there to stand up with us when we needed him.”
They rode in silence for a few seconds.
“We may need him tonight,” said Ivy.
There was nothing Buckley could say to that that would change anything, so he wisely remained silent.
“When the night has come and the land is dark
And the moon is the only light we see.
No, I won’t be afraid, oh I won’t be afraid.
Just as long as you stand
Stand by me.”
-Ben E. King
(FADEIN: Outside of Merritt Auditorium where John Simons is hosting a Red Carpet event to kick off the CSWA's stateside return.)
(On the bottom righthand side of the broadcast a Countdown to Blue Moon reads: 14:59....)
(V/O) John Simons: "Tonight we are showcasing some of the best talent in the ring right here on CSWA: Blue Moon! But I have the opportunity and chance to meet new and returning talent to our ring as they are walking right into the stadium! One of these talents is a new rookie from Half Moon Bay, California "Top Notch" Terry Turner!"
(We cut to the red carpet where John Simons stands right at the front and the camera pointing down to the end as a hippie style Volkswagen van pulls up. The side door opens as "Top Notch" jumps out in a cloud of smoke that is pouring from the van, a few girls can be seen inside with dreadlocked hair, the door shuts and the van pulls off. "Top Notch" has a backpack on his shoulder wearing a pink shirt that says "Hang Loose" in fat white bubble letters. He is wearing a pair of jean shorts and aviator style sunglasses. Typical Cali surfer blonde hair the whole 9 yards.He walks a bit slowly until Turner finally reaches John Simons.)
Simons: Hello, John Simons standing right next to a new member of the CSWA roster, "Top Notch" Terry Turner! Top Notch, first off let me be the first to welcome you to the CSWA!
[Terry looks around a bit then directs his attention to Simons]
Turner: Right on broski, thanks man, digging the suit dude, sharp…sharp, looking like you are a straight up business! Everything all good dude?
Simons: Well the CSWA is back so yes Top Notch everything is all good! Now, today we get to finally meet you and I can say on behalf of everyone it is an honor to have you on our roster, what are your first impressions of the CSWA?
Turner: So many people out here man, think that dude is eyeing me bro…
Simons: Well our fans are going to be looking at you, you are on the red carpet! Now as far as your…
[Turner shouts and points at the gentleman in the crowd as Simons is talking]
Turner: You eyeing me dawg?!
[We can hear faintly the man saying "autograph" as Terry walks off camera view briefly and signs the guys shirt with a magic marker]
Turner: "Right on my man keep it tight! [He walks back to where Simon is] What were you asking bro?"
[Simon goes to ask his question as Turner drops the backpack on the floor out of camera view and also kneels out of camera view as we can hear the backpack unzip.]
Simons: Looking for something?
Turner: Nah man…ask your questions! Don’t sweat me bro!
Simons: Well, I was going to ask many people that watch this show look up to wrestlers...
[The sound of a lighter clicking from off camera.]
Simons: What….um…what do you think…
Simons: Really? Are you really going to do that right here?!
[Turner sounds as though he is holding his breath]
Turner: No worries man…ask your question...
[Brief coughing, more bubbling]
Simons: What are your thoughts on people...LOOKING UP TO YOU?
[Turner stands up as smoke travels with him, coughing he pours smoke from his mouth]
Turner: I am a great role-model man, I use to be a life guard and I surf, you know, stuff like that. And I am going to do my best out in the ring [He points down the hallway]…dude is that a nachos stand?!
[Simons looks behind him down the hallway as well that leads into the stadium]
Simons: "Yes it is indeed a nachos stand…being that you are new, how do you approach new competition?"
[Turner begins to walk away]
Turner: I think…uh…that you know…they will...be…
[Simons just looks at Turner as the camera turns to the right following him walking away. Simons just reaching the microphone out in bewilderment]
[Turner begins to jog down the tunnel]
Turner: Sorry bro I gotta go man!
[We turn back to Simons who has a very confused look on his face looking down the tunnel then back at the camera, we can hear the echo of Top Notch]
Simons: Top Notch everybody…
Turner (Faintly): Imma max out on these nachos!
(CUTTO: Inside Merritt Auditorium. A packed house standing, waiting for the CSWA’s return. Some of the fans are lifers. Others are fans of train wrecks. Nobody knows what to expect, but if they’re here to witness a funeral, they want to have the story to tell.)
(Lights go out. How many times in the CSWA has THAT happened?)
(MUSIC CUEUP: “Final Countdown” – Europe.)
(Crowd LAUGHS. Merritt and Thomas made their living with this song in the early days. It was an anthem. Cheesy, overplayed, but they made it work. If it’s a funeral, it’s off to a good start.)
(CUTTO: On a stage next to CSWAvision Wanda and the Love Sisters backed by Wanda’s son Jacob’s band, Germaphobe. Wanda and her sisters are older now, drawing or close to drawing social security but a performer never loses the edge.)
We're leaving together
But still it's farewell
(CUTTO: CSWAvision footage of a 1988 photo of Merritt and Thomas hamming it up for the camera backstage.)
(CUTTO: Picture of Ivy playfully canning Sammy Benson.)
And maybe we'll come back,
To earth, who can tell?
(CUTTO: Sammy Benson passed out at the announcer's table before a show.)
I guess there is no one to blame
We're leaving ground (leaving ground)
Will things ever be the same again?
It's the final countdown.
(CUTTO: The CS Express mugging with some little fans.)
(CUTTO: Mark Windham and Hornet strangling each other.)
The final countdown.
Oh, We're heading for Venus (Venus)
(CUTTO: Wanda and Hortense wrestling in a mud pit.)
And still we stand tall
Cause maybe they've seen us
And welcome us all, yeah
(CUTTO: Mike Randalls covered in blood sitting by a locker.)
With so many light years to go
And things to be found (to be found)
I'm sure that we'll all miss her so
It's the final countdown.
The final countdown.
The final countdown (final countdown).
(CUTTO: Rudy Seizter smiling waiting for his cue in front of a camera.)
The final countdown.
(CUTTO: A wide photograph of the company present at CSWA ANNIVERSARY 17.)
It's the final countdown.
The final countdown.
The final countdown. (final countdown)
It's the final countdown
We're leaving together
The final countdown
We'll all miss her so
It's the final countdown (final countdown)
Oh, it's the final countdown.
(HOLD on the image as the crowd CHEERS.)
The Final Countdown….
(CUTTO: Black screen and the CSWA Logo.)
V/O: The following is a presentation of the Championship Wrestling Alliance.
(CUTTO: Greensboro, NC. Merritt Auditorium, then just an old warehouse. April 1988. A baby faced Joey Melton has his hand raised in the center of the ring. He’s unimpressed by it all.)
RHUBARB JONES: Winner of the match, and THE CSWA'S FIRST WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, JOEY MELTON!
(Joey grabs mic from Chad's hand)
JOEY MELTON: First things first, son...I've beat my girlfriends with a belt bigger than this, understand that right now. (to fan in front row) Yeah, Mush Mouth...keep your freakin mouth shut while Joey......while the CSWA World Heavyweight Champion has the floor. Believe you me, I didn't want to be here tonight....hell, to be honest I wouldn't even piss in this place...but here I am....a champion...standing in front of you. My life can't get any worse than it is now, so yes, Merritt...Thomas...I'll be back next weekend to kick the livin' fire out of whoever you can coax to get into the ring....let's be honest it might even be one of you out in the audience... they're looking for part- time help, you know. There's nothing part-time about Joey Melton...being me is a day's work, 24/7......I'm the CSWA World Champion...so that means I'm stuck here longer than I would have liked.. Next week I'll be here... in reality, I'll be here until someone can knock the title off my waist, or I just get damn well bored of the place.
(Melton throws the mic down and thumbs his nose up at the few in attendance.)
(The picture turns to BLACK AND WHITE, and shatters into a million pieces.)
(MUSIC CUEUP: “Hurt” – Johnny Cash.)
(CUTTO: A weary Hornet having his hand raised in the ring as fans go nuts.)
(CUTTO: The CS Express hitting the Rocket Launcher, 80s hair rocking.)
I hurt myself today
To see if I still feel
I focus on the pain
The only thing that's real
(CUTTO: A young Mike Randalls diving off the top turnbuckle with a head butt.)
(CUTTO: Mark Windham grabbing Mickey Benedict by the collar.)
The needle tears a hole
The old familiar sting
Try to kill it all away
But I remember everything
(CUTTO: Bill Buckley and Sammy Benson going back and forth at the broadcast table.)
(CUTTO: Troy Windham and Mark Windham in a bloodbath.)
What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
In the end
(CUTTO: Crazy Like A Muppet in four way tag action against Arrogance.)
(CUTTO: Randalls and GUNS destroying each other on Death Island.)
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
(CUTTO: Montage of Wheel Of Death action.)
(CUTTO: Hornet saying a farewell at FISH FUND with his foot on GUNS' chest.)
I wear this crown of thorns
Upon my liar's chair
Full of broken thoughts
I cannot repair
Beneath the stains of time
(CUTTO: Poison Ivy banging the apron cheering Eli Flair on.)
(CUTTO: Eli Flair breaking Troy Windham's fingers.)
The feelings disappear
You are someone else
I am still right here
What have I become
My sweetest friend
Everyone I know
In the end
(CUTTO: Teri Melton slapping President Poop's face.)
(CUTTO: Ray S. Cornette being hit with a Hornet splash.)
And you could have it all
My empire of dirt
I will let you down
I will make you hurt
(CUTTO: Wall and Hornet in 1989 reaction after their classic match.)
If I could start again
A million miles away
(CUTTO: Hundreds of snapshots of CSWA moments zooming into scene then shrinking in size.)
I would keep myself
I would find a way
(CUTTO: Live! Wide shot back inside Merritt Auditorium. Bill Buckley and Joey Melton stand in the middle of the ring.)
(The camera pans around to a delirious Merritt Auditorium. Homemade signs are shoved in front of the camera, and young and old mug for their fifteen minutes of fame. It’s clear what the CSWA means to this city and these people. It’s the pop culture phenomenon that highlighted the third-largest city on the map. A CSWA event in Merritt Auditorium is a Carolina treasure. It’s not quite Stamey’s, or the night Ashley Tisdale got drunk and streaked down Tate street, but it’s a big deal.
At this point in the league’s history any show could but it’s last. Fans accept that. It’s been an amazing ride. If tonight is the last, or one of the remaining nights the CSWA runs, it’s the place to be.
The camera pans into the middle of the ring where a very regal looking Bill Buckley and his new co-host for Blue Moon the legendary Joey Melton stand waiting their cue. Replacing Sammy Benson won’t be easy, but if one man has been bred for the part, it’s Joey Melton.)
BB: Hellooooooooooooo fellow wrestling fans welcome to C-S-W-A…BLUEEEEE MOOON! (POP) We are LIVE! In Greensboro, North Carolina at the historic Merritt Auditorium! The return of the CSWA is here and just look at these fans, Joey, they can’t wait!
JM: Well, Buckley (chants of MEL-TON MEL-TON break out.) many of these fans haven’t left the building since the last show. They’re that dedicated. And to be honest what else is there to do in Greensboro?
BB: After all these years you’re STILL complaining about being in Greensboro?
JM: Look around Buckley, I see some of the same faces. This isn’t the family I wanted, but it’s the one I got.
BB: And you’ve done just fine. Tonight the CSWA is back and we’ve got an action packed night for you fans! The #1 seed for the Unified Tag Team Tournament is on the line! Shawn Jessica Hart squares off against Cameron Cruise, Hornet and Sean Stevens settle a score, and the Main Event with the UNIFIED TITLE on the line the “Ego Buster” Dan Ryan defends against Troy Windham!
JM: If this is the beginning of a new chapter in the CSWA’s history, bring it on Buckley. These fans are ready. I know you are. And I’m just glad---- wait a second...
JM: Wait. We HAVE a tag division?
BB: With a night where we see the end of numerous stories, including what may very well be the final match between Dan Ryan and Troy Windham, we see the rebirth of the tag team division! Former CSWA competitor and a man who made the ULTRATITLE Final Four this year,High Flyer teams with his long time partner Tony Davis. Over their twelve year partnership, the tandem have accounted for ten reigns across four different promotions.
JM: Once again. I say. We have a TAG TEAM DIVISION?!?
BB: I’m told they’ll be some very serious stipulations to come that will make the tag division bigger and better than ever! But tonight, the vaunted Team VIAGRA is faced with the tough challenge of facing faceless challengers. And the winner between these two teams will become the number one seed in the upcoming tourney to crown the new Unified Tag Team Champions.
JM: We found Brigsby and Paige?! And they’re not working at Payless?!
BB: We’ll have to wait to see! Let’s head to ringside.
(CUEUP: “Jizz in My Pants” by Lonely Island plays over the pa system. Out from the back emerge Team VIAGRA. HIGH FLYER, better known to most these days as JACK HARMEN, wears a classic CSWA t-shirt along with his trademark snow-like material loose cargo pants. TONY DAVIS, by his side, wears a white wrestling singlet outlined with a black stripe. He wears a new CSWA “Team VIAGRA – OVERNIGHT SHIPPING” t-shirt. The back shows is Jack Harmen, Tony Davis, and Mary-Lynn Mayweather imagined as sex dolls. Accompanying them is their freebird partner, the tiny attorney, Mary-Lynn. Mayweather wears her trademark red skirt suit and carries a clipboard.)
(The fans cheer as Team VIAGRA make their way ringside. They’re very friendly with the fans, slapping their hands before they enter the ring. Davis and Flyer are checked out by the official, and begin to play a game of rock-paper-scissors.)
BB: Team VIAGRA has had success everywhere they’ve gone. The Internet Wrestling Organization, The Squared Circle, PRIME, as well as the recently resurrected jOlt back in its original run!
(Davis wins the first game of Rock-Paper-Scissors. Flyer grabs his arm and gets him attention. He holds up two fingers and then three. They begin to play again, until...)
(CUEUP: “A Teddy Bear’s Picnic” as performed by Gilbert Russell & the BBC Dance Orchestra -- shattering the expectations of the CSWA faithful. Davis and Flyer’s game of rock paper scissor ends immediately as they turn their attention to the entrance ramp, stunned.)
JM: What. The Gobbledy Gook. Is THAT?!?
BB: Your guess is as good as mine.
JM: Oh GOD! MY EYES BURN! STAB THEM WITH A FORK!
BB: The ONE day I decide to eat SOUP!
(Stepping out of the entrance ramp are two men wearing ginormous bear costumes.
Yes. Bear costumes.
One of the men is CLEARLY not interested in placating to the crowd. The other?
Well, he’s dancing like he’s freaking Michael Jackson.
The serious one walks stiffly to the ring as the other hops and bounces, getting the crowd on their feet. The two men slide into the ring.)
JM: Can… Can I go back to my day job?
BB: Unfortunately I think you're retired. And now look what the world has come to. The crowd... and I... were expecting something huge -- The Professionals, the CS Express, Dawn of a New Day, even Crazy Like A Muppet. But we get...bears?
JM: I'll ignore the fact that you left out the greatest tag team of all time, ARROGANCE.
BB: America's Team? Simply Stunning? <> Cutters? Disco Express, even?
(Team VIAGRA in their corner can’t help but simply stare at their opponents. They are still in mid-rock-paper-scissors mode, stunned. Mary-Lynn Mayweather gets up on the apron and smiles. She waves to the two bears.)
MARY-LYNN MAYWEATHER: THE BEARENSTEINS!
(She smiles and hastily waves. Then she narrows her eyes and looks at Jack Harmen, aka High Flyer.)
MARY-LYNN MAYWEATHER: I hope this doesn’t awaken anything in me.
JM: Further proof Buckley, this is my world and we’re all just living in it.
(Suddenly, one of the bears TOSSES his head off and CHARGES toward the corner, targeting High Flyer with vicious rights and lefts. The bell rings three times as Davis is ushered out of the ring. The serious bear who’s now headless is stomping away at Harmen’s midsection. After a moment, he turns and reveals SCOTT RIKTOR.)
BB: MY GOD! That’s Scott Riktor in a bear suit!
JM: I think the internet just cracked in half.
(On the apron, Mary-Lynn Mayweather gives Scott Riktor a once over. She smiles and waves as Riktor frowns. Then, he goes right back to stomping the crap out of the friendly neighborhood lunatic, High Flyer.)
BB: Riktor, taking out all his aggression on Jack Harmen. For some reason, I don’t think Scott LIKES wearing the bear suit.
JM: It’s hard to recognize him without it.
BB: Riktor, the original Legacy Champion -- irish whip, he TEARS Harmen’s head off with a clothesline. And Riktor right back on top, slamming the back of Flyer’s head into the mat with successive blows.
JM: Does anyone else want a Bear Claw? I’m gonna make a run.
BB: YOU STAY RIGHT THERE!
(Riktor gets up off of Harmen and CHARGES to VIAGRA’s corner, catching a stunned Tony Davis with a forearm. Davis falls off the apron and slams into the guardrail. Riktor turns to Mary-Lynn and hesitates hitting a woman. That’s long enough for Mary-Lynn to reach over the top rope and lock lips with the bear clad Riktor to wild cheers.)
JM: NO VIAGRA NECESSARY!
BB: HARMEN! From behind with a roll up! ONE!.... TWO…. Riktor powers out! Riktor charges and Flyer ducks underneath. Off the other side, Flyer’s LOCOMOTIVE! Riktor moves and Flyer bounces off the other ropes. Blind tag by Davis, and Riktor hits a clinical back body drop on the Lunatic.
JM: Davis from behind, rear waist lock, looks for the German but that suit is giving Davis a bit of a problem. He can’t seem to get his grip. Or maybe he just doesn’t want to touch a furry.
BB: The Man Known As Rage fights off with a few elbows. Riktor off the ropes and shoulder block. Neither man budges. Riktor back off the ropes, and another shoulder block. Both men stand their ground. Riktor goes to run off the ropes again but Davis hooks his bear suit by the collar and SLAMS him back first into the mat. Elbow drop into a cover. One… Riktor powers out.
(Davis lifts Riktor and tosses him into his corner. A few rights and lefts are softened by the bear suit. Harmen has recovered in his corner and is now fiddling with the back of Riktor’s bear suit, pulling down the zipper to the small of Scott’s back. Riktor fights back with a right to Davis and an elbow to Harmen. His bear suit loosely hangs as he repeats his shots on Team VIAGRA. Davis stumbles to the middle of the ring, as Riktor charges.)
BB: BEAR HUG! BEAR HUG BY SCOTT RIKTOR IN A BEAR SUIT! AND THIS CROWD is on their FEET!
(The other masked bear is going nuts in his corner, bouncing on the bottom rope. Davis’ arms flail as Riktor locks in the bear hug. Tony hammers down with palm shots to the side of Riktor’s exposed head, catching him square on the ears. Riktor drops to his knees as Davis falls to his feet. Davis pulls the remnants of Riktor’s bear costume off to boos from the crowd.)
BB: Well, the CSWA faithful are quite disappointed that Scott Riktor is no longer in his bear suit. But that suit provided padding to Riktor that didn’t allow Flyer and Davis’ offense to be as effective as it should have been.
JM: If I’m ever in a match again, I’m going to be Bubble Boy.
BB: Davis hooks Riktor in a side headlock, and lifts him up for a delayed vertical suplex.
TONY DAVIS: OOOOOHHHHH!!!
(Davis utters his signature move’s name as Harmen, on the apron, stands slackjawed shouting “Oooooh!”. The crowd catches on and slowly begin a “Ohhhh” chant as Davis holds Riktor 8, 9, 10 seconds in the air before dropping him to the canvas.)
BB: A proper display of strength from the powerhouse of Viagra, one… two… Riktor powers out.
JM: Davis with an irish whip sends Riktor into his corner. Tags in Harmen. Davis scoop slam, Flyer springboard splash on Riktor. One… Two… Riktor powers out again.
BB: Riktor was doing a bit better IN the bear suit rather than out of it. Maybe he regrets having it taken off?
(A slight pause.)
BB & JM: Nah.
BB: Harmen off the ropes, drops the leg across Scott’s throat. Riktor coughs and sputters and smartly rolls over onto his back, getting closer to the center of the ring and out of VIAGRA’s corner. Flyer, showing his veteran instincts, rolls Riktor back onto his back toward his corner for a cover. One… Riktor reaches out and grabs the bottom rope.
(Flyer walks over near the Bear’s corner, and slams his foot into the mat.)
BB: Flyer’s looking to end this right now with the locomotive… but the other Bear on the apron is… trying to hand Jack Harmen a bowl of porridge?
JM: Still not the weirdest thing I’ve seen.
JACK HARMEN: WHERE DID YOU GET THAT?!
OTHER BEAR: Food cart.
BB: Riktor from behind, GERMAN SUPLEX, crumpling the Lunatic like an accordion! Riktor MAKES the tag. And the other bear comes in like a bear poked with a sharp stick!
OTHER BEAR: GROOOWWWL!
BB: BEAR CLAW! The Claw that Troy Windham made famous is firmly locked in!
JM: SUE HIM TROY!
BB: Flyer flails, but he’s dropping to his knees. His arms are losing their strength as they fall to his side. Harmen eventually slips to his back as the other bear firmly locks the hold in.
(The official checks on Harmen, raises his hand once, it falls. A second time, as Mary-Lynn Mayweather pounds the apron on the outside and gets the crowd behind Viagra. Harmen’s hand hits the mat again.)
BB: Only one more fall from this match being over!
(Flyer’s hand is lifted again, but Harmen doesn’t let it fall. Harmen lifts his legs and pulls them between the other bear and himself. He wraps them around the bear’s bear clawed arm and his neck, locking in what looks to be some sort of triangle choke. The other bear quickly lets go and slips out. The still bear suited individual begins to prowl around the ring, stomping his feet on the canvas.)
JM: Is… is that a mating dance?
(Harmen fights to his feet as the bear suited individual charges, shoulderblock sends the Lunatic back down. Harmen back to his feet, and knocked back down by a charging body bump. Flyer rolls to the corner and uses the ropes to pull himself up, only to be…)
BB: BIG BEAR SPLASH in the corner. Flyer’s been flattened.
JM: Body slam from the bear, and then a big leg drop into a cover.
BB: One… two… Flyer gets a shoulder up. The bear with an irish whip. Flyer back off the ropes, BIG spinebuster. One… Two… Again, Flyer shows his resiliency.
(Tag in to Riktor. Scoop slam by the bear sends Harmen back to the mat. And then a scoop slam by the bear on Riktor, slamming Scott on top of Flyer and into a cover.)
BB: One… Two… Flyer with a shoulder up. Riktor with a few rights and lefts as he climbs on top. Riktor lifts Harmen to his feet by his hair, and a NICE ddt sends Harmen back down. Quick tag back to the bear, who’s climbed up top. BIG BEAR SPLASH!
JM: God I’ve run out of bear jokes.
BB: Only gets a two-count. The bear lifts Harmen up to his feet, kick to the gut. He’s going for a powerbomb!
(As the bear lifts Harmen, Harmen jumps. He floats over, slipping behind the bear and PULLING off the bear mask from his opponent. Harmen lands behind the bear on his knees with the bear mask in his hands, reminiscent of a memorable moment when Flyer did the exact thing to his former partner when he was wearing a mask. Standing there, exposed, eyes wide, is JUSTIN VOSS.)
BB: … Justin Voss!? J LESLIE VOSS IS IN CSWA! And he does NOT look happy to be exposed. He loved being a bear! Harmen ducks underneath a clothesline, QUICK hot tag into Davis! Davis in the ring, and JUST misses a HUGE texas lariat. Davis off the other side, and VOSS WRAPS HIS HANDS AROUND DAVIS’ HEAD AND JUST TOSSES HIM ACROSS THE RING!
JM: Davis groggy, and Voss shows him how a lariat SHOULD be done. "Ode to my Asshole" takes Davis’ head CLEAN off.
(Voss panders to the fans for a moment.)
(Riktor face palms himself.)
BB: One… Two… Davis drapes his leg over the bottom rope. And right now, Team Viagra is too stunned to counter act. Flyer’s been beaten for a while and is being tended to in his corner like a middle weight prize fighter in between rounds by his manager Mary-Lynn Mayweather. Davis is down in the ring.
JM: It’s hard to prepare to fight someone when you don’t know who they’re going to be. Even the best in the business have a problem with that.
BB: Voss is up top, ODE TO MONEYBAGS, top rope fist drop connects square on Tony Davis’ cranium. One… Two… NO! Davis with a kickout.
(Voss with a kick to the gut of the recovering Davis.)
BB: Voss looking for vDriver II maybe? No! Davis with a back body drop! Flyer’s recovered on his apron, and he’s begging for the tag. Voss, TAGS in Riktor. And Scott quickly cuts Davis off from making the tag.
(Voss turns to Flyer and sticks out his tongue. Flyer stomps his feet on the canvas apron.)
BB: Riktor has Davis from behind, and NAILS a picture perfect Apex Driver, his Blue Thunder Driver. On top, one… two… Flyer comes in and breaks the hold!
JM: And now the other bear is in the ring! Voss charges Harmen and Harmen ducks a clothesline.
BB: Harmen charges off the other side as Voss bounces off the ropes. Harmen, springboard, twists, and LOU THESZ PRESS ON VOSS. Flyer with rights and lefts as the crowd roars. Riktor to his feet and GRABS Harmen by his hair off of his partner. Harmen! Kick to the gut, COLD SNOW!
JM: This official should be fired for not doing his job!
BB: Harmen to his feet and lifts Davis to his. Flyer has some smelling salts to wake up his partner, as Voss charges and TAKES himself and Harmen over the top rope with a clothesline. Both men land on the apron, before Voss tumbles out. Flyer holds the bottom rope and lays hurt on the apron.
JM: Davis looks at the wreckage outside, as Riktor is charging! Davis turns, THE BENCHMARK!
BB: Riktor took Davis’ head clean off with his Busaiku Knee Kick. And Davis may be bleeding from his forehead.
JM: If it gets serious, we’ll cut to pictures of puppies to protect our younger audience.
BB: Voss climbs back onto the apron, as Harmen is recovering on the same side. Voss sticks his tongue out at Flyer, and Flyer, CHARGES ON THE APRON! HE TAKES VOSS OUT WITH A LOCOMOTIVE! BOTH MEN FALL OFF THE APRON!
JM: Look inside! Riktor! He has Davis! Spins him, center of the ring.
BB: You’re right! THE FINISHING TOUCH! DOUBLE UNDERHOOK DELAYED FACEPLANT CENTER OF THE RING! Riktor dives on top! One… Two… THREE!
JM: They… They did it?
(CUEUP: “A Teddy Bear’s Picnic” as performed by Gilbert Russell & the BBC Dance Orchestra plays. Riktor gets to his feet and makes a CUTTHROAT action toward the entrance ramp. Quickly, “A Teddy Bear’s Picnic” is cut and “Circles” by Incubus replaces it over the PA system. Riktor’s hand is raises by the official, as Davis lays on the mat staring at the arena lights. Outside, Voss and Harmen are in what would only be described as a car crash.)
BB: Justin Voss and Scott Riktor, in their first outing as a tag team, have defeated the legendary Team VIAGRA! They are now considered the number one contenders and the number one seed in our revitalized tag team division!
(RIktor walks to exit, but sighs. He reluctantly slips out of the ring by Voss and helps his partner to his feet. Riktor groans as he has to pick Voss up still in his bear costume. The two head to the back, as Mary-Lynn checks on Davis inside the ring.)
BB: What an impressive victory from Riktor and Voss.
JM: Let’s just hope they burn those bear suits.
BB: If we hear a fire alarm, that’s probably what’s happening backstage.
(The arena speakers blare to life!)
[b]“Whoooooa, whoa, WHOA!”[/b]
(MUSIC CUE UP: “Tom Sawyer” by Rush)
(Melton's microphone falls silent and his eyes focus on the rampway. The crowd begins to murmur and JIVE while the guitar riffs reverberate through the rafters and the letters S-J-H glisten and gleam on the big screen.)
(Seconds later, the murmurs morph to a mixture of soccer mom moans and manual labor groans as pro wrestling superstar SHAWN JESSICA HART storms onto the ramp!)
SJH: James Bartholomew Melton! How d-d-DARE you!!
(He begins a slow trod down to the ring, the golden sequins on his pants shaking with each step.)
SJH: You stand there in an that outfit, rrright off the J.C. Penney summer sale rack, talking about tradition...about FAMILY, when these are things you have absi-TIVE-ly, pos-i-LUTE-ly NO idea about!
(SJH climbs the steel steps to the ring apron, then slides between the ropes and into the ring.)
SJH: How do you do it, guy? Hmmmm?! How is it that you can stand here in this ring, in front of aaaaaaaaaaaall these people, in front of your bosom buddy BUCK-o, in front of the entire viewing WORLD and spew such lies and malarkey?!?!?
MELTON: Careful Buckley, don’t stand too close. He’s flaming. That two dollar aftershave you poured on before the show will be the death of you if Jessica gets within a foot of you. Hart, I haven’t answered your texts for a REASON. I was told if I ignored you, you’d go away.
SJH: No, no no, I’m not one of those bad rashes, or anal tickles you got from Lindsay Troy. I’m…
(Melton starts to pat Hart down like he’s putting out a fire.)
MELTON: Spark! I saw a spark! Stop, drop, and Roll Buckley! Stop, drop, and roll!
(Hart angrily pulls himself away from Melton and the two look ready to come to blows.)
MELTON: What the hell are you doing here Jessica? There’s a fine line between wanting attention and becoming a cry for help.
(Shawn looks to the back and starts to moonwalk.)
(CUEUP: “Bad” by Michael Jackson pumps through the speakers in the arena. Down the ramp comes SHAMON, wearing an all white old school Chicago gangster-style outfit, an homage to Smooth Criminal. He flings the hat off and starts shaking his head, jheri curl activator flies around and creates a mist in the air around him. Shamon does a spin move and proceeds to snap his fingers while doing a wrist pop motion. He kicks his leg out and does a few should shimmies. Shamon takes his gloved hand and blows a kiss to the audience. He saunters down to the ring and grabs a mic on the announce table. Shamon enters the ring to a chorus of boos from the crowd, he seems shocked by the reaction he is receiving.)
SHAMON: People…people…please, I know you are upset with me because my album has been delayed again. But it’s not me…it’s the record label. The duet with Billy Ocean was scraped due to the song leaking out on torrent sites. It’s a conspiracy, I tell you!
(Shamon turns his attention to Joey Melton, who is looking at him with the look of confusion on his face.)
Joey…JoJo…you know you are not one who should sit on his moral high horse and act like you have done nothing wrong. Do you call ruining a man’s life an honorable and ethical act? Your indiscretions and self-serving attitude have wrecked a man trying to discover his own identity…his true self.
BILL BUCKLEY: Hang on just a minute guys, we’ve got a script to follow here. Time is money and I don’t see this anywhere on the cards…(Buckley thumbs through his notes.)
MELTON: My indiscretions? Shamon, honey, you’re just gonna have to wait like everyone else to get the full scoop about my career. The autobiography that will shock the wrestling world is currently being written. With any luck it’ll be available for download during the holiday season. Thank you for asking.
SJH: Will you be a…(cringe) open book? Hmmm JoJo? Full disclosure? I DON’T THINK SO! How about we expose you for the vile monster you really are? I bet these fans want a prologue! A little tale of betrayal that I’m sure you’d never let go to print.
MELTON: Enough of this. I’ve got a job to do, ladies.
SHAMON: (Singing.) “I’m starting with the man in the mirror…I’m asking him to change his ways!" (Stops singing.) JoJo, you know what I am talking about. I have the proof. This information is something you have tried to keep under wraps for most of your career. It saddens me that you want to end your career and retire after this news breaks out. What about your legacy and all that you have accomplished? Once this news gets out, this will be what people will remember you by.
(Melton edges in close to Shamon. The fans collective angst grows with the increasing tension)
SJH: If you touch Sha Sha Sha Shamon! You’ll have to do it legally!
MELTON: I think the cryogenic chamber you two have been sharing since Christmas has taken its toll.
SHAMON: THAT’S A VICIOUS LIE YOU BASTARD! (Shamon bitch slaps Melton.)
(Joey reaches for Shamon but Hart steps in. Buckley tries to hold Melton back. The fans are on their feet.)
SJH: That’s right…old man. You want to settle this? You want to shut us up and stop us from EXPOSING the truth…get in the ring tonight.
SHAMON: Jo Jo nobody fully retires in this business, hee hee! Baby, you can’t stop till you get enough!
SJH: IF…IF Cammy Cruise will have you back, you bring your butt out with him tonight and me and Shamon will show you what a Victory Tour looks like!
(Melton thinks about the offer, smirks, as the crowd cheers him on.)
MELTON: I’m retired, girls. (booo) But, for one night only…The Cameron Cruise Project will ride again.
BB: We'll be right back fans, don't you dare touch that dial.
(FADEIN: into CAMERON CRUISE’s locker room. Cruise is strapping on his wrestling boots, ready to take to the ring for his match, but he’s being hounded by Joey Melton, who stands beside him with a hopeless demeanor.)
CAMERON CRUISE: No, not even 'No', but HELL NO. Out of the question. Out of the question!
JOEY MELTON: Come on, years ago you would have wet yourself over this opportunity!
CC: That’s not true. But, even if it was, years ago you weren’t pushing 50!
JM: Watch it! 50 is the new 30. You’re so judgmental. I remember now why I dumped you.
CC: You dumped me? Nice try Melton. You’ve been trying to get back in the ring with me for the last three years and now you cook this little scheme up?
JM: I had nothing to do with this! And three years is pushing it. Cameron I’m retiring. This is it for me. What better way than to go out with you by my side? The Beatles never gave in to what they really wanted and reunited. Don’t let your pride be our Yoko!
CC: Ah yes, the Melton charm. Why is it I wonder why my instinct is to always to run from it?
JM: That night in Beijing was the greatest of your life, you may not admit it now, but deep down you know it Cruise.
CC: Yeah, I remember Beijing, Joey, Verizon remembers her too, for all the long distance phone calls I had to pony up for, but the question is, DO YOU?? Forget it, Melton I’m done with this. With you, CCP, and the countless situations that leave me looking like the butt of all your jokes.
JM: Not all.
CC: No. I can’t do it, not when I’m close to being this close to becoming the EPW World Champion. I’m still writing great albums, you, you won’t us to play the greatest hits. I’m not feeling the vibe Joey.
JM: You really want me to play my hand don’t you?
CC: You have no hand.
JM: Who was it that told you Mercedes was cheating on you, huh? Who was it Cameron?
CC: (sigh) You.
JM: Thank you.
CC: But who did I catch her in bed with?
JM: I told you she couldn’t but trusted and I was right!
CC: Save it Melton. I’m going out there and I’m going to whoop Shawn Hart’s tail by myself and start my climb to the UNIFIED title. I don’t need you Melton. I headline shows now all on my own.
JM: Final offer! Tonight you let me stand by your side one last time and you’ll never hear from me again. No phone calls, no emails, no unannounced visits to your estate on big game weekends. Do this for me. Help me put Hart and Shamon in their place, give me one final match in the league I helped create and I’ll never utter your name again.
CC: (pause) Or my Ex-wife’s.
JM: You’re killing me here, man…
CC: Alright. You got it, brother. I’ll team with you one last time if only to remind the world who carried who.
JM: It’s who carried whom.
CC: Dammit Melton, even right now!
JM: You won’t regret this, Cammy.
CC: (sighs) Somehow, I already do…
(MUSIC CUEUP: “In The Closet” - Michael Jackson.)
(The lights in the arena cut off. Shamon steps out onto the stage area beneath a single spotlight. He begins to do an elaborate choreographed dance routine and stops in a pose with his fingers pointing into the darkness next to him.)
RHUBARB JONES: From Motown…the incomparable, the eloquent, and the humanitarian of wrestling…SHAMON!
(A figure rises up through the lift under the stage and a second spotlight shines to reveal Shawn Hart. Shamon starts doing a booty-bounce dance and turns it into a Tootsie Roll.)
(The song playing is now mashed up with “I Touch Myself” by The Divinyls. The two men embrace in a hug and walk down the ramp.)
RHUBARB JONES: And his partner, from Orlando, Florida…Jam Master Jiggy, Lord Gaga, and the Prime Minister of Getting’ Sinister…SHAWN JESSICA HART!
(The spotlights above are lighting up as they walk towards the ring and turning off in the area they were in before, similar to the “Billie Jean” music video. The house lights cut on once they hit ring apron. Shamon is in the ring moonwalking and then doing a robot dance move. Shawn Hart is stretching on the ropes. The two men meet in the center of the ring in a Milli Vanilli-esque mid-air chest bump, high-five, and then look at the ramp for their opponents.)
BB: I’m not sure we’re about to see tag wrestling at its finest or an episode of “Glee.” As you know fans this one was billed as Shawn Hart vs. Cameron Cruise, but double your pleasure, double your fun. Shamon is back in the CSWA! And coincidently it coincides with the online release of his new single. “Jheri Curl blues.” See, now I have to do both jobs since my new partner decided he wanted time and a half.
(CUEUP: “I Need A Hero” – Bonnie Tyler.)
(Joey Melton and Cameron Cruise wearing Black tights with “CCP" stitched in gold trim, boots, and knee pads strut down the rampway to thunderous applause. Cruise soaks in the applause as Melton slaps him on the back and nods. Cruise shoots him a warming look. Melton is like a bad rash Cameron figured long ago he’d never quite cure.)
RHUBARB JONES: Their opponents, Joey Melton and Cameron Cruise… THE CAMERON CRUISE PROJECTTTTTTTTTTTTTT!
(CUTTO: Melton climbing on the apron and holding the middle rope open for Cruise, who steps through. Fans are on their feet as Hart and Shamon dance around in the ring, smiling slyly.)
BB: We’re about to see history tonight. Joey Melton’s last match in the CSWA, perhaps in wrestling period! But do those two just travel with their "CCP" gear? It's been three years!
(SFX: DING! DING!)
VOICE: It could be the last night in the CSWA, period with the way they pay the light bill around here.
BB: I’m sorry?
(Former CSWA superstar, Aaron Douglas, makes his way to ringside and takes a seat next to Bill Buckley at the announce table.)
BB: Aaron Douglas? What are you doing here?
AD: Well, I couldn’t let the CSWA return without making an appearance. I guess you can consider this a tryout.
BB: Weren't you erased from CSWA history after that lawsuit incident?
AD: We're legally not allowed to speak about that.
BB: Of course not. Melton and Shamon to start! (crowd starts a “Mel-ton, Mel-ton” chant.) Collar and elbow tie-up! Melton puts Shamon in a side headlock.
AD: And Shamon slides right out. You can’t get a grip on that guy; he is so greasy with that jheri curl of his. HEE HEE!
(Shamon does a moonwalk and plays to the crowd for approval. He is met with a chorus of boos. He turns to the audience and starts blowing them kisses with alternating hands.)
BB: You're doing his sound effects now? His back is turned to Melton and Joey charges at him with a high knee to the back! Shamon hits the canvas and writhes in pain.
AD: Melton stomps on his face! Please don’t damage his moneymaker! What a dirty tactic by Melton.
BB: And what a biased guest commentator. That’s all we need is for his face to have damage and Shamon gets plastic surgery to look even more like Michael Jackson. Give me a break.
AD: Melton lifting Shamon to his feet and nails him with a barrage of fists.
BB: Joey forces Shamon into the corner and mounts the second rope, raining down on him with rights and lefts as the crowd counts along.
(…EIGHT…NINE…TEN. Melton stops and Shamon plops down on the mat and appears to be out of it. Melton now tags in Cruise.)
BB: Cruise now in the ring. These two have a bit of history.
AD: Yeah, who can forget the Mattie Cundiff incident several years ago? The Make-A-Wish kid that wanted to meet Shamon. I heard that kid survived and is now working at Rent-A-Center .
BB: That "kid" was revealed to be a dirty little midget who tried to take over the CSWA along with my former announce partner.
AD: Really? Who knew.
BB: Cruise lifts Shamon to his feet, measures him, and nails him with a dropkick right in the kisser!
AD: Cruise is just jealous that Shamon went on and had success outside of the industry. Cameron is the same guy he always has been. You would think after years of being in the ring, he would have improved. He is just awful.
BB: I beg to differ; it looks like he is completely in control at the moment. The Cameron Cruise Project has had a ton of success in the wrestling world.
AD: SJH on the apron is getting angry at the treatment of his partner. And who can blame him? Cruise and Melton have been cheating behind the referee’s back this whole time!
BB: What match have you been watching?
(Cruise whips Shamon into the ropes and drills him with a stiff clothesline. He then lifts Shamon to his feet and nails him with a belly-to-belly suplex. Then makes a quick tag to Melton.)
BB: Textbook tag wrestling here by the CCP. These two make a terrific cohesive unit.
AD: Felicia Hart at ringside is cheering on her potential boyfriend. You know, these two have a thing for each other.
BB: Melton applies a figure four and Felicia stands on the apron in disapproval. The referee walks over to her and is telling her to get down.
AD: And Shawn Hart takes advantage and stomps on Melton, forcing him to break the hold on Shamon.
BB: Felicia steps down from the apron and the referee turns around just as Cruise tries to enter the ring to counter SJH.
AD: Good job ref! He is making Cruise stay in the corner, while Hart nails Melton with a spinning neckbreaker!
BB: Shamon is coming to his senses and crawls over to his corner to make the tag. Shawn Hart is now in the ring and is mouthing something to Melton, who is laid out on the mat.
(SJH measures Melton and drops a double-axe handle on his back as he attempts to get to his feet. Hart lifts him to his feet, hammering him with a few fists, and then whips Melton into the turnbuckles. Melton bounces out for Hart locks in a bearhug. Shamon is dancing in the corner, much to the displeasure of the crowd.)
BB: The referee is asking Melton if he gives up. Joey battles out of it with a medley of punches and a big clap to the ears of Hart!
AD: Shamon enters the ring and attempts to help out SJH and now Cruise enters the fray.
BB: Cruise levels Shamon with a clothesline and the two of them begin to battle it out as Melton and Hart regain their wits.
AD: Melton has no wits to regain; he lost those years ago when he was tea(BLEEP).
BB: Speaking of things we're not legally allowed to talk about. For those of you that had the first "bleep" coming in match #1, take a drink. The ref is pulling Cruise off of Shamon while Melton hits Hart with a low-blow. SJH is curled up on the mat in pain. Melton capitalizes on it with a surge of energy and hits a legdrop on SJH! He tried to make a pin, but the referee is still sorting through the commotion caused by Cruise and Shamon.
AD: Shamon is curled up in the fetal position right now and the ref is concentrating on getting Cruise to his corner. Melton now grabs Shamon by the collar and levels him with a big right hand! Ouch…uhhh…poor Sha…Sha…Shamon.
BB: Shamon rolls to the floor and is being tended to by Felicia. Cruise now in his corner and Melton turns his attention to Hart. He stands Hart to his feet and drills him with a vicious reverse knife-edge chop! Hart is stunned and Melton whips him into the ropes and hits him with a high knee.
AD: The crowd is getting behind Melton, of all people. This guy makes me sick!
BB: Melton tags in Cruise. Melton hits Hart is an atomic drop and Cruise follows it up with a clothesline.
AD: That is completely illegal! The Cameron Cruise Project is riding a thin line here with their double team maneuvers!
BB: Cruise locks in the abdominal stretch on Hart and cinches it in tight. The ref is asking Hart if he gives up.
AD: And while the ref is asking him, Cruise extends his hand to Melton on the outside. Joey grabs it to add more leverage to the hold. This is a blatant disregard for the rules.
BB: Well if the referee doesn’t see it, there is nothing he can do.
AD: You love this, don’t you? What did SJH ever do to you?
BB: It's what he's done to all of us, really. The Cameron Cruise Project is getting away with this several times behind the referee’s back. I think it’s great. Tit for tat against SJH and Shamon.
AD: Did you just say “tit” on national television? Where's the BLEEP now? There goes your credibility with the viewing public! When I hear that word, my mouth starts to water.
BB: Why? Because you long for your mother’s bosom? Anyway, back to the match.
AD: Cruise just got busted cheating with Melton and the ref is forcing him to break the hold.
BB: He now tags in Melton. Joey puts the boots to Hart. He now is setting him up for a piledriver and…NAILS IT! Hart is going into convulsions on the mat.
AD: This is so wrong. He is in obvious need of medical attention.
BB: Felicia Hart now on the apron, pleading with Melton to ease up on her half-stepbrother…
AD: Twice removed.
BB: Melton grabs her by the hair and puts his finger in her face. He is tired of her meddling ways!
AD: Shamon sees this; he doesn’t like how Joey is manhandling his woman! Defend her honor! He is America’s Sweetheart, who can resist his charm?
BB: Give me a break! Joey lets her go and turns his attention to Shamon.
AD: Shamon wants to hug it out. He thinks the world of Melton, even after he punched his face repeatedly. He is trying to turn the other cheek and make peace with the Arrogant One.
BB: Joey isn’t buying it, but before he could lay the smackdown on Shamon, SJH recovered and clips his knee!
AD: Cruise now trying to go after Shamon on the outside of the ring. Felicia sneaks up behind him and hits him over the head with an aerosol can of some sort.
BB: That is Shamon’s hair product. That activator he uses in his hair. The ref has his attention turned to the outside action and is scolding Felicia, who drops the can behind her back. Shamon scoops it up and the action is continuing in the ring.
AD: Melton rebounded for the clipped knee and is hobbling around giving it to Hart.
BB: Shamon quickly slides under the bottom rope and taps Melton on the shoulder. Joey turns around and is greeted by the aerosol spray Shamon is shooting out of that can!
AD: Shamon is obsessed with hair, I think he is just trying to give Joey a new look. He has that same played out mullet cut he has been sporting since 1984.
BB: Melton is blinded by the activator. SJH measures him up…hits him with the HART ON!
AD: For a second, I thought you said something else.
BB: Of course you did. Shamon rolls out of the ring and distract Cruise. Felicia tells the ref to turn around and he sees Hart covering Melton. He slides over to make the count.
BB: And SJH and Shamon steal a victory from the Cameron Cruise Project.
AD: SJH stands to get his arm raised and spots his partner in trouble. He quickly climbs to the top rope and hits Cruise on the floor with a double axe-handle!
BB: Shamon now throws some boots to Cruise and does a cabbage patch dance over his fallen body. While this is going on Felicia Hart runs up the ramp and runs into the backstage area.
AD: Now they turn their attention to Melton in the ring. SJH grabs a steel chair and Shamon goes in the ring first to run interference.
BB: Melton getting to his feet and his wiping his eyes from that greasy substance Shamon sprayed in his eyes. Shamon is taunting him and Melton lunges at him! He is blind, but I guess he can make out shapes! He clobbers Shamon with fists and SJH walks up behind Melton and lays him out with a chairshot to the head!
AD: Knock some sense into him, Shawn!
BB: Melton is semi-conscious. Shamon is in the ring dancing.
AD: Bust a move, Shammy!
(As Shamon does his best Moonwalk around the seemingly lifeless bodies of the fallen CCP, SJH angrily yanks the house mic away from a PA and rolls back into the ring. With tears of RAGE welling in the corners of his eyes, he looks down at Melton and speaks.)
SJH: It happened thirty-two years ago......in a handicap stall in the men's room of Denny's. Fayetteville, North Carolina....
(The Prime Minister of Gettin' Sinister lays down next to the Joey on the canvas, sadistically wraps his mitts around the CSWA stalwart's head and pulls him in close.)
SJH: ...Denver Omelets were on sale, buy one...get one free...
SHAMON: But you weren't there for the eggs!
SJH: Oh NO. Young Joseph had FAR more SINISTER deeds in mind!
(Dramatic pause. SJH angrily shoves Melton's melon into the mat and pulls himself up by the ropes. His harrowing tale continues...)
SJH: ...On that day a whole other kind of EMBRYO came into being.....and unlike that second omelet, this one AIN'T FREE, bub! A PRICE must be PAID!!
(Shock, awe, confusion and disgust all pulse throughout the crowd. Just what is Hart insinuating?!)
SJH: A kindly waitress, who obviously caught you performing some kind of sick, self-gratification act on that toilet... did you a solid...
SHAMON: And GAVE you a solid! Or did you give it to her?! Maybe you were dropping a solid? I guess it comes in many forms. (Shrugs his shoulders at his comments.) You ordered up a Moons Over My Hammy special and while it wasn’t on the menu that night, she served you up with a special order that wasn’t advertised in the bathroom stall. I think Bell Biv Devoe said it best…(Singing.) Never trust a big butt and a smiii-iiille.
SJH: She took pity on your poor sense of style, undefined core muscles, overall slack-jawed nature and aaaall the other terrible things you embody, and OPENED HERSELF to you...
SHAMON: She got a rare treat that night, for the first time someone at Denny’s buttered HER muffin. While she would usually get tips from the patrons in the form of money, you gave her a tip of something else that fateful night!
SJH: You became a MAN that day. Dripping with pride and... secretions. But part of being a MAN is handling your responsibilities—doing the RIGHT thing! Something you have never attempted to do!
(SJH's half-stepsister, twice-removed and a would-be sweetheart of Shamon, the inimitable FELICIA HART appears atop the ramp, pulling an old-timey Radio Flyer wagon behind her. She heads toward the ring while Shamon stalks the grounded CCP and Shawn continues on.)
SJH: But all that's in the past. TOMORROW is a new day...and whether you like it or not, Joseph.....
(An even MORE dramatic pause.)
(The fans are dumbstruck. Shawn Jessica Hart.... Joey Melton's SON?! (Dubbya-Tee-Eff!))
SJH: You're gonna start PAYING for it....rrrrrrrrrright NOW!!!
(SJH drops the microphone to the mat, then falls to his knees and begins to nudge the dazed Melton toward the ring ropes. Cameron Cruise exits Dream Street long enough to attempt to reach out and stop Hart, but Shamon GROUNDS him once again with a boot to the head.)
(SJH rolls out to the floor and, with his sister's help, pulls Melton onto the wagon. Seconds later, the terrible trio are wheeling an unconscious Joey Melton out of the arena.)
BUCKLEY: I don't even know what to say here, folks. I don't know if this is a terrible joke or just... terrible.
DOUGLAS: The truth is out, Buckley. As the CSWA always does, it shines the light on the truth. And the truth is that Joey Melton's sins have finally caught up with him. Add "deadbeat dad" to the list of his accolades.
(CUT TO: A shot of the locker room door backstage. The cameraman jolts back as the door is kicked open. Two gladiators come through the door. Each of them carry a head. JUSTIN VOSS tosses his bear head aside, a grin stretched from one side of his face to the other. The other man, SCOTT RIKTOR, tosses his bear head at VOSS, who swats it away.)
VOSS: You can't tell me that wasn't worth it. Even for the sheer surprise on Flyer's and Davis' faces but for the fans. They loved that.
(RIKTOR simply grunts at VOSS, snatching up two cold bottles of water. He tosses one at VOSS, not caring if he sees it coming or not, and twists the cap off with the other.)
RIKTOR: I promised myself I'd never wear one of these again.
VOSS: I promised myself I'd never smoke again and I'm DYIN' for a victory cigarette.
RIKTOR: Remind me how you convinced me to wear this thing?
(FLASH CUT: The Merritt Auditorium backstage area where we see VOSS talking to one of the road agents, Brian Nord earlier in the day.)
NORD: You never heard about the tag tournament?
VOSS: What tag tournament?
NORD: You win the belts, defend them a couple of times and you can cash them in for a UNIFIED title shot. Pretty good deal, huh?
VOSS: (distracted by thoughts speeding through his mind) You don't say...
NORD: I DO say. You should find yourself somebody you can bank on, JAY-VEE. That ain't a prize to be sneezed at.
(The road agent heads off, leaving VOSS standing there to his thoughts. You can see them all flashing before his eyes as he ponders who he could call on. He pulls his iPhone out of his pocket and begins flicking through his contacts.)
VOSS: Retired... Too old... Too crazy... Too Ikan Jobtayoo... Too - wait... Is Alias even alive? (frustrated he shoves it in his pocket) Dammit! I may as well go find some jerk in a bear-
(Turning around, VOSS almost runs face first into SCOTT RIKTOR, dressed in street attire with his gym bag slung over his shoulder.)
RIKTOR: Quit eyeballing me, weirdo. What are you lookin' at?
(FLASH CUT-TO: RIKTOR and VOSS in the locker room, with RIKTOR approaching VOSS and getting into his face.)
RIKTOR: Let's get one thing clear ... I'm here to win these belts and cash them in. That’s it. I have no interest in being your teammate past that … nothing personal.
VOSS: I hear you, man.
RIKTOR: We cash those belts in and it's every man for himself. I’m not going to hold back on you just because we tagged for a cup of coffee.
VOSS: Preachin' to the choir.
RIKTOR: And let me make one more thing clear to you.
(Bending down, RIKTOR snatches up a bear suit head and shoves it into VOSS' chest.)
RIKTOR: You try and make me wear one of these things again...
(VOSS takes the bear suit head from RIKTOR.)
RIKTOR: ...I hand YOU your head. Do I make myself clear?
VOSS: Crystal. Win belts. Cash belts. Enemies. No bears. I get it. Let me make one thing clear to you.
(Smirking to himself, RIKTOR straightens up to hear VOSS' message.)
VOSS: Don't bugger this up and we'll get along just fine. Screw it up?
(He shoves the bear head back into RIKTOR's chest, who can't help but take it.)
VOSS: And I'll bury you in that bear suit.
BUCKLEY: Fans, it's been awhile, but the UNIFIED World Championship is back on the line. And the last man to hold the most prestigious, historic title in our sport looks to once again stake his claim on it. DAN RYAN had this to say a few days ago in advance of his match against Troy Windham tonight -- the first time the belt has been on the line since the CSWA left us years ago.
Sitting behind a large mahogany desk in a LOVELY office high above downtown Houston, Texas is the UNIFIED World Champion, “The Ego Buster” Dan Ryan.
Through the wall of windows behind him, one can see the expanse of downtown and the other skyscrapers that dot the landscape.
Ryan is sitting in a high-backed leather chair and leaning forward, his hands steepled on the desk in front of him and a smirk on his face. The UNIFIED World Championship belt is on the desk in full view.
DAN RYAN: “Ahh time, how it flies, eh Greensboro?”
“Do we even run out of Greensboro anymore? I’m not sure. Maybe I should give Sammy Benson a call and ask. Is Sammy even still in charge after the realization that his debt is bigger than my ranch (Texas is still inside, Eli)? It seems that information is flowing rather slowly these days.”
“What I do know is that I am here and I’m still the UNIFIED World Champion. What I know is that I defeated Troy Windham in the ring for this belt, I earned it, and they’ll have to pry it from my cold, dead hands to get it back. I know that at Blue Moon, I’m defending that championship against Troy Windham one more time, because whoever IS running this show knows what a big deal that match is.”
“The last time most of you saw me on your television with this belt, I was working in about a hundred other promotions at the same time, give or take a dozen. Now, things are a little different. About a month ago I made an important professional decision. When I got the call that the company was starting back up, I gave my notice to every wrestling company I work for save my own. If CSWA is to be in business….. if it’s to be renewed and brought back to life, then CSWA is where every ounce of my focus will be. Risking the possibility of ripping off Troy Windham, this company has been the epitome of what our sport is all about since the late eighties, and I plan on staying on top of it for a very long time.”
“Some might question why I need this.”
“Why do you need air? Why do you need to eat?”
“I’ve always needed this sport. The essence of everything I am is manifested in that ring, and there’s a whole new group of people who need to be reminded why that hush falls over a room when I walk through the door. There’s a whole group of people who need to be introduced to it. You’re looking at a man who’s never been better than he is right now.”
“I assure you…. Blue Moon is only the beginning.”
BILL BUCKLEY: We’re back… and, thankfully, my broadcast partner is back. A little the worse for wear, but they just wheeled Joey Melton back to the table, bandages and all. Joey, is is true that…
JOEY MELTON: I don’t want to talk about it.
BB: But seriously, Hart is saying that…
JM: I probably have a concussion, Buckley. Nothing I say now can be considered true or used in a court of law. Literally. Legally. Concussion.
BB: Well alright then. The CSWA has always been proud of its history, and even able to make fun of it. But in our two final matches of the night we get to see four shining examples of the impact the company has on the entire wrestling world. We just heard from the man who still has the physical UNIFIED World Championship belt, and later tonight we’ll see if Dan Ryan can be crowned the UNIFIED Champ once again as he faces Troy Windham.
JM: Possession is nine-tenths of the law. I’m just waiting for Stephen Thomas to show up and strip him of the belt again and hand it over to me.
BB: I’d say the chances of that happening are… nil.
JM: The CSWA’s back, Bill. We’re likely to see a thirty-something year-old man bungee down from the rafters before the night’s over. And the crowd wouldn’t even blink.
BB: Good point. This next match features two other men who have become household names and are without a doubt two of the best wrestlers in the world.
BB: It’s not about you right now, Joey.
JM: Are you sure?
BB: You’re seriously gonna have to get past that. Speaking of history, these two men have their own long history together…
JM: Nice segue, jackhole.
(CUEUP: “I’m A King” by T.I.)
(The crowd erupts as Rhubarb Jones announces “TRIPLE X” SEAN STEVENS, who stands on the ramp with his eyes focused on the ring as pyro in the shape of an “X” explodes behind him three times. As Buckley speaks, the camera zooms in on a headshot. At the very bottom, a poison ivy leaf over his heart can be seen.)
BB: The CSWA is back and so is the Blue Eyed Bad-Ass!
JM: You’ve been wanting to say that all night, haven’t you?
BB: Sean Stevens has a long history in the CSWA. He tried to get a spot in the league for three years before receiving a contract. He made a big splash and won the league’s Presidential Championship and then for years battled at the top of the league against men like Dan Ryan, Shane Southern and his opponent for tonight.
(As Stevens’ continues to go through his introduction and make his way to the ring, a box shows some clips from a younger Triple X.)
(CUTTO: An interview between Stevens and Rudy Seitzer in the year 2000.)
SEITZER: I want to start by saying; you’ve made major strides in the CSWA since coming here two years ago. What are your goals here?
STEVENS (Smirking): Major strides? I heard Joey Melton the other day… He doesn’t even know who I am. …or atleast it’s what he claimed. Maybe he doesn’t. Maybe it was a cry for my attention. Either way, he got it, and I’d like to take this opportunity to say to Joey…
…is this the main camera?
(Seitzer nods ‘yes’, as Sean sits up in his seat, directly in front of one particular camera, staring a hole in it.)
STEVENS: If you don’t know who I am, Melton… it’s not because of anything I’ve done wrong. If winning the CSWA Presidential Championship, and holding it for seven months isn’t enough to clue you in on who I am, that’s fine. But, don’t speak for the fans. Or other wrestlers. Fans who actually watch the programming, wrestlers who actually pay attention to other wrestlers.
(CUTTO: CSWA PRIMETIME in San Diego, 2002, the first match between Hornet and Sean Stevens for the United States Championship)
BB: Both men are back up. Collar-and-elbow tie-up... Hornet forces Trip back into the corner and the referee calls for the break. Hornet seems to think about it, but gives the clean break. Triple X steps out of the corner... quick go-around by Hornet, full nelson locked in. FULL NELSON SLAM! Where did that come from!? Hornet hooks the leg! ONE...... TWO....... NO! Stevens gets a foot on the ropes, and Ivy made sure referee Ben Worthington saw it.
SB: Maybe Hornet'll go psycho, roll outside and go after her.
BB: And maybe she'll come over here and beat some sense into you. Hornet pulls Trip away from the ropes and drops an elbow. Quick cover..... ONE.... Trip kicks out. Hornet drops another elbow...and another! And now he's setting Trip up... there's the wraparound, and he sits down into the SCORPION DEATHLOCK!
SB: You think Hornet ever did that to Ivy when they were going out?
BB: I'm not even gonna dignify that one. Sean Stevens is about two feet away from the ropes... he's reaching, but he's stuck in an incredibly punishing move. As Trip pulls himself slightly closer, Hornet sits back on the maneuver, eliciting a yell from the Presidential Champ. If he doesn't reach those ropes, it's only a matter of time.
(CUTTO: Later in the match)
BB: The referee's count continues from inside the ring. Trip rolls inside, but Hornet's a little slower as he takes a moment to turn towards Ivy.
SB: What is this? The freakin' Love Boat. It's not "Change of Heart!"
BB: Hornet rolls in, but Trip is ready. Shoulder to the midsection of Hornet. There's another. SUNSET FLIP BY HORNET! ONE..... TWO.... NO! Trip kicks out! He pulls Hornet up...DDT! Cover by Trip. ONE.... TWO... NO!!! Hornet's up, but Trip is ready. Huge elbow to the chest by Triple X...and now he's headed up top. He's known for a swan dive or moonsault from the top, let's see which one it is!
SB: You mean which one he busts his head on?
BB: This crowd is on its feet. The Presidential Champion is on the top rope. The United States Champ is on the mat. Stevens goes for the moonsault! NOBODY HOME! Hornet scoots out of the way!
SB: Did I call it, or did I call it?
BB: Hornet pulls Triple X up with a full nelson! FULL NELSON SLAM! ONE.... TWO...... THREE!!! Hornet retains the US Title in a huge match between these two. Wow.
(CUTTO: CSWA PRIMETIME in Montego Bay, during the tour prior to the CSWA’s disappearance. Sean Stevens vs. Shane Southern)
BB: The ref is hurt, but not too bad, he’s showing life. This should be a count-out, this match should be over! Stevens is on his knees crawling over to the timekeeper. Sean pushes him out of his seat, and folds his steel chair. Southern is finally able to hold his own wait; he walks over to the ropes, trying to pull Trip inside the ring… CHAIRSHOT! Southern never saw it coming!
SB: Those are the best types of shots.
BB: Stevens is in the ring… the ref is almost up… none the wiser… Trip drops down for the cover… ONE! TWO! NOOOOOOOOOOO! SOUTHERN KICKED OUT AGAIN! Trip can’t believe it! Stevens is on his feet… he’s signaling for the end… Southern is using the ropes to help himself up… he’s up… Southern spins around looking for Sean… FACTOR-X! SEAN NAILED IT! HE DROPS DOWN FOR THE COVER! NOOOOO! NOT LIKE THIS! ONE!!! TWO!!! THREEEEEE!!!!!!!!!
SB: THE BLOND HAIRED BAD ASS DID IT! I knew it!
BB: STEVENS CHEATED! He comes out here and whines about respect, he finally gets the opportunity to PROVE he deserves to be mentioned among the greats and what does he do?
SB: He wins!
BB: Somebody cut to a commercial or something… I think I’m going to be sick… up next, our MAIN EVENT for the UNIFIED World Heavyweight Title.
(CUTTO: VERSUS Episode 2, 2007, Sean Stevens cuts a promo on High Flyer)
“I say all of this to say, despite all of the sh*t I talked in Columbia, I know why I’m here. And, no … it’s not to beat Hornet up anymore than I have. And, it’s most certainly not to have any issues with you. I’m here because the woman that I love and the soon-to-be mother of my child is too stubborn to work from a laptop at home. I’m here because there’s somebody out there who has a disdain for the CSWA – so much so that they’re risking the health and life of our wrestlers by interrupting our shows, causing pyro to blast at times and places where it’s not supposed to, and shutting off the lights mid-match like they did in my match against Paul at Showtime. I’m here because I was here FOR the CSWA when the GXW tried to invade us and run the company to the ground.”
Trip paused, smirking arrogantly, as he turned to face the camera.
“Shout out to my boy Dan Ryan, by the way.
“I’m here because I was here FOR the CSWA when GUNS and the Intruders were obsessed with tearing the CSWA down “brick-by-brick.”
Again, Trip faced the camera, and winked.
“… and, most importantly, I’m here because the people that I associate myself with are shining examples of what CSWA wrestlers are, so much so, that I’d even be willing to say that they ARE the CSWA.
“Therefore, I love the CSWA.
(Back to Merritt Auditorium where “Triple X” Sean Stevens is in the ring, staring a hole into the entryway curtain waiting for his opponent.)
(CUEUP: “Alive” by Jeremy Camp. The crowd doesn’t react to the new music at first, even though they know who is supposed to be coming out.)
I felt so overwhelmed with guilt
I don't know how many times that I'd fight it
Well, I tried it and barely survived it
I fell in the nearest pool of shame
Took the blame and everything that surrounds it
Well, I found it and I drowned in it
(Finally CSWAvision blares to life with a logo stating “The Greatest American Hero” is on his way, followed by several cuts of Hornet in the ring. As a curtain of sparks rains down, HORNET steps through into the spotlight one more time.)
Oh, I never thought I'd erase this
Or replace this feeling now
Oh, but my whole life changed
When You saved me and forgave me now
I'm alive, I'm alive like I've never been
Been revived from the lies that were deep within
BB: HORNET is in the building! The Hall of Famer steps into a CSWA ring in a building that must be like coming home from him.
JM: It’s certainly got to be better than the last time we were all together when he was “fired” by Sammy Benson. You’ve got to give it to the little weasel, at least some of his ideas were good.
BB: You know both these men well, and you’ve probably faced Hornet more times than anyone alive. Beyond the fact that these two men have put their blood, sweat and tears into building the CSWA over the years, what do you think is going through their heads.
JM: Other than Hornet worrying if I have the “New CORPORATION” hiding under the ring ready to put him out of his misery?
BB: Yeah, other than that.
JM: These two have a decade-long personal history that goes deeper than most. This isn’t just a competition for these two, no matter how nicey-nicey they may be playing it now. There is so much baggage between these two and Poison Ivy… not to mention others that have gotten caught in the middle.
BB: Like your sister?
JM: Watch it, Bill. My concussion might cause me to beat the (BLEEP) out of you.
BB: Point taken.
JM: Look, Trip’s wife and kid are in the back. His wife, our dear Poison Ivy, is listening to the sound of my voice. And she’s cringing because I’m even talking about this on air. Sean Stevens has shown not only that he can be the “blue-eyed badass,” but that when he needs to, he can be a son of a bitch.
BB: This time we’re going to have to close because you ticked off the FCC so many times.
JM: Look at them in the ring, Bill. Slight smiles on their faces, but they’re not taking their eyes off each other.
BB: Referee Patrick Young is doing a pat-down on both men, but you’re right, they aren’t paying attention to him at all.
JM: Sean Stevens blames Hornet for the fact that he’s never been the UNIFIED Champion. He’s been on top of the world every other place he’s been, but he’s never grabbed that specific gold ring. And he may be smiling now, but don’t forget that this is the man who literally dragged Hornet through broken glass to try and beat him. He wants this so bad that he might just be willing to do anything to get it.
(SFX: Bell rings)
BB: Rhubarb Jones dives out of the ring before the melee gets started. This may be the last match ever between these two, given that Hornet has seemed to go into semi-retirement. His last set of matches were in a special Prodigy Wrestling Circuit tournament where he ended up beating my…
JM: Did you think I was kidding about knocking the (bleep) out of you?
BB: Clearly a sore spot there. Quick collar-and-elbow tie-up in the middle. Hornet’s a little taller, but both these men weigh in in the 260s and are still quick for their size. Hornet forces Stevens into the corner… Stevens fights out with a punch, but Hornet ducks it and quickly sends the Blue-Eyed Badass down with an armdrag. Quick follow-up from Hornet with reverse chin lock. He’s got Stevens’ arm trapped.
JM: The last time they fought may have been in a garbage match, but Trip may have forgotten what a technical wrestler Hornet is.
BB: So seriously, you were one of the last men to fight Hornet. It was before ULTRATITLE in the PWC Tournament, and he somehow got over you in the finals even though he was injured…
JM: Even thought I had the Boulevard Warriors put him through a table from six or seven feet up? Even though he was in the hospital until the night before. That’s exactly what you have to look out for here. Trip knows from experience that Hornet will not stop. He keeps coming and coming, just like a bad…
BB: Don’t say it. Please.
JM: Sean can’t outlast Hornet. He has to take advantage of every mistake and hope that, like the rest of us, Hornet has slowed down a step with age.
BB: Hornet finally lets up on the chin lock in the middle of the ring, clearly trying to negate Stevens’ speed advantage by wearing him down early. He pulls him to his feet and sends him shoulder-first into the turnbuckle hard.
JM: Look out! Hornet splash! Five Moves of Doom! HORNET WINS!
BB: You’re hilarious. Stevens comes out of the corner and they lock up again. Again Hornet backs Sean into the corner and this time whips him across the full length of the ring into the opposite turnbuckle. Sean quickly drops the mat and rolls out, just in case Hornet was looking for the trademarked splash.
JM: I don’t think he technically has it trademarked. You know there was another guy who…
BB: …was doing the Figure Four before him?
JM: Touche, Billiam. Tou-freaking-che. How was that for restraint?
BB: Very nice. Your mother would be proud.
JM: Who do you think I got this mouth from?
BB: Yikes. Stevens rolls back in. The crowd starts clapping in rhythm, it looks like they want another tieup.
JM: Third time’s a charm and the audience monkeys know what they want.
BB: The two men collide together – Stevens switches behind and this time he sends Hornet into the turnbuckle chest-first. Stevens follows from behind. But Hornet floats over and now he’s got Sean in a full nelson!
JM: Not where you want to be. I think they installed the GI Joe kung fu grip as one of his bionic parts during a surgery in the 90s.
BB: What would you be doing here if you were Stevens?
JM: Well, first I would have the Boulevard Warriors under the ring. I’d distract the ref and have them pound him on the ramp a few times, maybe throw in a chair for good measure, then toss him back in the ring.
BB: And that would do it for you, huh?
JM: Hell no. He’d still kick out at two. He’s a machine, Bill. A freak of nature. You beat him by doing what the best have done – get in his head and make him question something. Himself, his drive, the people around him, whatever. You have to get him stuck in his head – otherwise his body is in control and it’s going to hurt you without a single thought.
BB: Trip grabs the ropes to break the full nelson, but Hornet simply pulls him into the center of the ring. Referee Patrick Young calls for the break anyway. Hornet stares him down for a second, but gives the break. But then he’s right back on Stevens, whipping him across again into the turnbuckle. And now he charges in with a shoulder right to the midsection.
JM: There may be no hope for Triple X in this one, Bill. Because Hornet is showing us that he came with a plan.
BB: And that plan is?
JM: Watch this.
BB: Hornet scoops “Triple X” Sean Stevens over his shoulder inverted and walks out of the corner. SHOULDERBREAKER! Stevens his down and he’s hurt.
JM: Hornet’s going back to page one in the playbook. Isolate and destroy. He’s been after that right shoulder from the very start.
BB: Hornet with an elbow to the back of Stevens’… right down on that shoulder again. And now he puts on a hammerlock!
JM: We’re about to find out how much bull-rope training Sean’s been doing to strengthen those shoulder joints. My guess is.. not enough.
BB: I think we should have you take on a possible concussion for every show you commentate on from now on. I think you’ve gotten smarter the more addled your wits are.
JM: I’m going to addle something alright, Bill. Somebody tell Mrs. Buckley to up the insurance policy on her husband.
BB: I couldn’t bear to make you angry, Joey.
JM: Really? Another bear joke for the night?
BB: Hornet leaning with all his weight on the shoulder of Stevens as he keeps wrist control in the back with that modified kimura. Stevens rolls his weight to one side, putting even more pressure on his shoulder, but he’s able to get a leg over and side mount Hornet, forcing him to let go of the lock!
JM: Come to a wrestling match and an MMA fight breaks out, who knew?
BB: Stevens is up on his feet and quickly into the corner away from Hornet. He’s trying to shake off the effects of that hold on his shoulder.
JM: And remember that’s also the arm that Sean uses to execute his X-Terminator stunner. If Hornet takes away the arm, he takes away Sean’s biggest weapon.
BB: Hornet takes his time. Instead of charging him, he tries to lock up with Sean again. Sean goes under the arm this time, but Hornet’s ready and catches him in a headlock. DDT! Quick cover! ONE… and Stevens is out quickly. Hornet hooks the head again, this time from the side and pulls him to his feet. He takes off from the ropes… DRIVING KNEE LIFT! But instead of driving Stevens’ head down, he drove his shoulder into his knee. It may be separated!
JM: You know how much it pains me to say this, Bill. But Dan Ryan and Troy Windham may have to watch their backs. Hornet is manhandling one of the top wrestlers today in a direct, focused way that I’ve never seen from him before. If he finishes Stevens off, the Unified Champion might be next.
BB: Sean Stevens is on the mat writhing in pain. Hornet looks down at him at Patrick Young checks on Stevens, then motions for the match to continue. Hornet with a boot right to the shoulder. And another. And another! He pulls Stevens off the mat. Belly to back suplex!
JM: And again, directly on that right shoulder. Ivy might want to run down here and throw in the towel for Stevens like Eddy Love did for Troy Windham years ago against Eli.
BB: There’s no quit in Stevens.
JM: Well thank you Oklahoma Slim. I guarantee you that if that shoulder separates and Hornet is still going after it, then there’s quit in him alright. Unless he gets lucky and Hornet pops it back in for him. You’ll hear him scream either way.
BB: Again Stevens goes into the turnbuckle and you can hear him gasp in pain as he hits that shoulder. Hornet from behind… he bends down and puts Stevens on his shoulders! Sean pounds on the top of Hornet’s head with his good arm, but it’s too late… ELECTRIC CHAIR SUPLEX! And he’s not done… he hooks in a half nelson! Belly to back suplex out of the half nelson, straight down on the shoulder. The cover! ONE…. TWO… NO! Stevens is able to wriggle his left shoulder out. Hornet pulls him to his feet and sends him into the ropes!
JM: There’s mistake number one!
BB: Stevens ducks the clothesline. REVERSE NECKBREAKER! Hornet goes down, but Stevens may have hurt his shoulder even more with that move.
JM: Sean’s got to take advantage here. Great, now I sound like you, Buckley. Saying silly things just to say something. Might as well be sitting here in a bear suit.
BB: Stevens off the ropes… flying forearm knocks Hornet down as he gets up. But Stevens is having to adjust and try and use his left side. Quick dropkick puts Hornet into the turnbuckle! Sean jumps to the second ropes and starts hammering Hornet with hard left hands!
BB: Hornet pushes Stevens off the ropes and out of the corner. He charges out, but Sean is ready! X-TERMIN… NO! Hornet pushes him off and Stevens hits the mat! Hornet runs in with a knee to the shoulder again!
JM: Sean didn’t have enough power in the right shoulder to force Hornet down with the X-Terminator, so he got swatted down like a fly.
BB: Hornet cranks Stevens’ arms behind him, while his knee is wedged in his back, putting even more pressure on that injured shoulder. Sean is able to roll out onto his stomach, but Hornet simply rolls on top of him and hooks in a Fujiwara armbar!
JM: Somebody’s been going to BJJ class, I see. Apparently you can teach an old dog new tricks.
BB: Hornet has the elbow locked and then he’s leaning across Stevens’ body, putting even more pressure on that shoulder. Sean is desperately reaching for the ropes as his “Triple Xers” in the crowd are clapping for him.
JM: Triple Xers? What did you call my fans, the Meltones?
BB: I can’t say on air what I called most of them. Rats?
JM: You wound me.
BB: Trip continues to reach out with his good arm, trying desperately to hook a finger around the rope… and he finally does. Young calls for the break and Hornet gives it, making sure he gets to his feet first.
JM: He smells blood, Bill. And for once, it’s not his.
BB: Hornet with a quick uppercut, staggering Trip. Again he sets him up for the ride… HARD to the turnbuckle! Hornet steps back into the other turnbuckle.
JM: Here we go, Greensboro!
BB: HORNET SPLASH!!!
JM: Not as high as it used to be, but maybe just as deadly.
BB: Hornet tosses Stevens out of the corner by the back of his head, and now the predator is ready to sink his teeth in. He grabs the legs, grapevines them around his own, and steps over! SCORPION DEATHLOCK!
JM: Say goodnight, Ivy.
BB: He cinches in the leglock and sits back, and Triple X is in a place that he hasn’t been in years. These two men fought for the United States Championship here in the CSWA, they battled over the top spot to challenge for the UNIFIED Championship, they even ripped each other part over in NFW, and I can guarantee you that Sean Stevens never wanted to be in this spot again.
JM: It’s one of the most intimidating spots you can be in, not to mention painful. But Sean is keeping his cool. For once, Hornet’s not going after the shoulder, and that gives Sean a chance, as crazy as it sounds.
BB: Stevens is trying to drag himself closer to the ropes, but he’s grimacing every time he tries to put weight on that right shoulder. Meanwhile, his back and legs are being torqued by the former three-time UNIFIED World Champion. Look out!
JM: Smart one, Sean!
BB: Referee Patrick Young was getting close to ask Stevens if he wanted to give, and Sean reached out to use him as leverage! He grabbed his left leg, and Young fell into both Stevens and Hornet! Hornet tried to recover the Scorpion, but Stevens has his left arm hooked around the rope now!
JM: Hornet may be as veteran as almost anyone, myself excluded. But Sean Stevens has done this a long time as well. He’s wrestled here in Greensboro, in Hornet’s hometown. He’s not intimidated by this setting, although he may just be remembering that right now.
BB: Hornet is furious at Patrick Young and he’s letting him know. But he quickly breaks off and turns on his opponent. Boot to the shoulder! Knee to the shoulder! Another knee to the shoulder! But somehow Trip gets to his feet, fighting through the pain!
JM: He better watch it!
BB: Hornet grabs that right arm as Triple X extends it, hooks an inverted full nelson and sends Trip down to the mat! Hornet hooks the leg and he’s got a standing keylock applied!
(Part of the crowd screams!)
BB: He may have just popped it out there! Stevens screams in pain, but he’s able to get his leg under the rope. Patrick Young again calls for the break. Hornet gives it, but his shoulder may be out of the socket!
JM: If it popped out, it’s back in now. Either way, Sean’s in tremendous pain right now.
BB: Young checks in with Sean, but Hornet simply bulls his way past, sending Trip across the ropes and dropping him with a clothesline! Again across, and again a clothesline. One more time across, and again a brutal clothesline. Hornet pulls Stevens up by his head…
JM: Here we go again!
BB: He sends him across the ring the full way. Hornet backs into the corner, takes a deep break and charges for the HORNET…..
(SFX: SMACK! The crowd gasps and then goes absolutely nuts!)
BB: X-FACTOR SUPERKICK! From out of nowhere! Hornet is down! And Triple X is headed up top!
JM: No, you idiot! Cover him! COVER HIM!
BB: Sean Stevens is standing on the top rope as the thousands of Greensboro faithful are screaming, some for him move faster and some for Hornet to get up. “Triple X” Sean Stevens extends his arms and almost loses his balance as the pain in his right shoulder reminds him that adrenaline can’t do it all! He takes a deep breath and…
JM: Too much time!
BB: TOP ROPE FROG SPLASH! ONE!!!!!! TWO!!!!!!!!!! THREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He got him! He got him! Hornet kicked out but it was too late! Stevens surges to his feet, but immediately grabs that right shoulder and half-falls into the corner.
JM: Hornet took out the shoulder but he neglected the foot. He went into automatic to finish Trip off, but Trip’s overdrive was enough to save him.
BB: I have no idea what you just said, but this crowd is going wild for this one. Hornet is on his feet. He walks over to the corner and shakes left hands with Trip, patting him on his good shoulder and whispering something in his ear.
(Hornet rolls out of the ring, leaving “Triple X” Sean Stevens to get his good arm raised and to celebrate with the crowd as T.I. blares overhead.)
BB: And we’ve still got a main event to go with the UNIFIED World Championship on the line for the first time in years!
JM: But first, we know it’s been awhile, so here’s a reminder of the CSWA’s upcoming events, including the ESEN debut of PRIMETIME! See Buckley, I can do a cutaway just fine.
BB: Yeah, except the package hasn’t rolled yet and everyone can still hear you.
BB: Rookie. I’m the veteran at this table.
JM: They couldn’t prosecute me if I hit you while I have a concussion…
Poison Ivy and Chad Merritt are at the gorilla position backstage, watching the aftermath of the previous match. Ivy’s son, Shannon, is peeking through the black curtain. He turns and makes a beeline for Ivy, who takes off her headphones and puts her hand on his shoulder. She knows what’s coming.
Hornet bursts through the curtain, his face a thundercloud. A CSWA stagehand tosses him a bottle of water and a towel, then quickly exists stage right. Merritt knows better than to say anything to Hornet after a loss; he simply smirks and then goes back to prepping production for the main event.
As he wipes his face and then take a long drink of water, his eyes pass over Ivy, and then Shannon. The thundercloud breaks with a self-mocking smile. He takes a step towards the mother and son, but Shannon half-steps behind Ivy. Hornet lets out a chuckle, then drops to one knee.
“Hey tiger. No smile for your Uncle Paul?”
Shannon thinks for a second and then half-shakes his head. Ivy pats his shoulder and smiles. She’s going to let this one play out.
“So you got to watch your first big match, huh? You know, we don’t usually let kids back here. But you’re a special case, of course, ‘cause you know more about this stuff than most adults.”
Shannon grins for a second. Then his brow furrows as he looks up at Ivy and then back at Hornet.
“Is my Dad alright?”
“Of course he is, Shannon. Look at him.”
Hornet points to the monitor just behind Shannon. Sean Stevens is celebrating with the fans as the crew sets up for the main event cage match and a video package plays on CSWAvision.
“Of course he’s alright. He won! He’ll be back here in just a minute and you can check him out yourself. I know he’s going to want to see his big man just as soon as he walks through the curtain. Isn’t that right?”
Shannon smiles and nods.
“You want to know the secret to all this? (He gestures around the backstage area.) What your dad and I do for work HURTS. It really does. But see your dad right now? Does he look like he’s hurting? He’ll be banged up when he gets back here, just like I am. He’ll walk a little slow tomorrow and then he’ll be back to normal. But right now? Right now he’s remembering exactly why he loves his job. And when he gets back here, he’s gonna be so excited to tell you all about it. You won’t be able to shut him up, will you?”
Shannon laughs. He steps away from Ivy and runs over to Hornet, wrapping his arms around Hornet’s neck.
“Thanks Uncle Paul! I’m gonna wait right there for him.”
Shannon runs back to the curtain as Hornet stands up and shares a knowing smile with Ivy.
“You weren’t going to help me out of that one, were you?”
“But I figured it out all by myself. Even without the benefit of five years of parenting. Who knew?”
“Is that all I get tonight?”
“That’s high praise from a hardass like you, McGinniss.”
“You gonna be at the Proximity tonight with all of us? Or is this anti-social Hornet night?”
“Oh I’ll be there. ‘Cause I sure don’t want you riff-raff showing up at my house.
“Of course not.”
“He’s gonna need ice.”
“Oh, I know. Thanks for that.”
“You’d be pissed off if I didn’t go all out.”
Ivy laughs. “Here in Greensboro at a CSWA “return” card. I think Sean and I both knew what to expect.”
Hornet rubs his jaw. “Speaking of ice… Tell Trip I’m sending him the dentist bill if one of my back teeth is more than loose from that kick. See you in a few.”
As Hornet heads to the locker room, Chad Merritt pulls his headphones off and turns toward Ivy. She doesn’t take her eyes off Shannon, but her eyebrows raise as Merritt speaks.
“That right there? Reason #67 on my list of “why should I help the CSWA get back on its feet?”
“No. The fact that after everything we’ve all been through together that no matter how much time passes we know each other so well that we can pick right back up… or that we’re even willing to speak to each other at all. At least some of us.”
“Why Chad, who knew you had a gooey center underneath it all?”
“And that? That little miracle right there,” he motions his head towards Shannon, “that one made it much further up the list. No matter what happens here – hell, no matter what we’ve all done or accomplished over the years… it’s nothing compared to him.”
“Damn straight. Speaking of accomplishments, it looks like you might have pulled this one off. No hackers, no screaming mobs, no Hooded Falcon slipping on popcorn and ruining the show. One match to go and you’re home free. The owner who resurrected the CSWA…”
“You’ve got the wrong man, Ivy.”
“Humility? From you? Now you’re really making me worry.”
Chad laughs. “Humility does not become me.”
“Not much does.”
“That’s why I love you.”
“I’m just surprised you hadn’t winkled it all out by now.”
“Well, I don’t ‘winkle.’ Ever.”
“Ivy McGinnis. The great manager, detective and general busybody. I finally kept something from you.”
Ivy’s expression deadens. Her eyes go flinty. She is not amused.
“We’ve had discussions about “keeping things” over the years, haven’t we?”
“I’ll keep it simple, Mrs. CSWA Vice-President. This is for me. I’m done.”
“What are you…”
“I’m not the owner any more, Ivy. The CSWA isn’t part of CS Enterprises any longer. You knew that the stockholders were pushing to sell the CSWA assets and recoup some of the lost revenue from the last couple of years…”
“Right. So you spun it off…”
“No. I sold it. To someone I trust, who has the best interests of the CSWA at heart. I know you don’t like the “b” word, but I’m not your boss anymore, Ivy. If I ever actually was. This is my last hurrah. Tomorrow I’m on a flight back to the Caymans and the good life.”
“If this is another one of your ridiculous owner angles like Battle of the Belts XIII…”
“No cons, Ivy. I’m out and the CSWA is back on its own two feet. No safety nets, no big corporation protecting it. It’s all about what all of you end up doing with it.”
“And I assume we’re getting to the “all of you” here. Just who have you…”
Before they can finish, Shannon squeals and is scooped up immediately into the arms of “Triple X” Sean Stevens, as he comes bounding through the curtain. The huge smile on his face is dented slightly when Shannon hugs his daddy’s hurt shoulder, but it comes back quickly through the pain.
“DADDY! YOU WON!”
“I sure did, Prince.”
“Uncle Hornet said you were in trouble if you knocked out his teeth… and um… he said you loved your job even though you were hurt some… but that you weren’t hurt too bad, and um, Mommy said a bad word when you were out there and you yelled, but then she said everything…”
As the five-year goes a mile a minute, Sean simply looks over at Ivy and smiles. She beams back and mouths something to him. He laughs, then turns his attention to his son’s continuing soliloquy. Ivy turns her attention back to Merritt, who has taken advantage of the break to slap his headphones back on, just as Troy Windham comes to gorilla position for the final match of the night.
(MUSIC CUE UP: “Where is my Mind?” by the Pixies.)
Oh – stop
(CUTTO: Troy Windham in his childhood bedroom in Sweetwater, as a CSWA rookie with Rudy Seizter.)
With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
(CUTTO: Troy bouncing to the ring as a fresh-faced cocky kid.)
(CUTTO: Troy Windham and Shawn Matthews, Generation X-press, cutting a promo)
Your head will collapse
But there's nothing in it
(CUTTO: Windham stuffing tag team partner Matthews in a trash can and rolling him down a hill.)
And you'll ask yourself
Where is my mind
(CUTTO: Windham interrupting a Hornet interview and mugging for the camera.)
Way out in the water
See it swimmin'
(CUTTO: Troy taking a chair upside Mark Windham’s head.)
I was swimmin' in the Caribbean
Animals were hiding behind the rocks
(CUTTO: Windham being caned by Poison Ivy.)
(CUTTO: Troy bloodied, having his fingers broken by Eli.)
(CUTTO: Troy slapping the iron claw on Hornet.)
Except the little fish
But they told me, he swears
Tryin' to talk to me, coy koi.
(CUTTO: Windham holding up the World title after beating GUNS.)
Where is my mind
Way out in the water
See it swimmin' ?
(CUTTO: Troy and Eddy Love fargo strutting.)
With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
Your head will collapse
(CUTTO: Windham behind a GOLD RUSH backdrop cutting a promo.)
If there's nothing in it
And you'll ask yourself
Where is my mind
(CUTTO: Troy slack knifing Dan Ryan.)
With your feet in the air and your head on the ground
Try this trick and spin it, yeah
(CUTTO: Troy posing on the middle rope by a victorious effort, right hand raised in the air.)
(fade to black)
(MUSIC CUE UP: “Gold On The Ceiling" by The Black Keys.)
CUT TO: Troy Windham comes running out from the back and raises a fist in the air, spinning as he walks the aisle as a series of Roman Candles go off behind him. Troy stops halfway, hops up and down in place, and starts jaw-jacking with the fans. Windham’s high-energy entrance shows him feeding off the energy of the fans. The ring announcer steps into the middle of the ring)
RHUBARB JONES: Ladies and Gentlemen…
(Chant of “Rhubarb!” “Rhubarb!)
RHUBARB JONES: From Sweetwater, Texas… he’s Mr. Everything. He’s Your All in All. He is a former CSWA World Heavyweight Champion, and former UNIFIED WORLD CHAMPION….your challenger for tonight’s MAIN EVENT, MISTER SEE-ESS-DOUBLE U-AYYYYY TROYYYYYYYYYYYYY WINNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNDHAMMMMMMM!
BB: I’ve said it before Joey -- I think Troy Windham is the best big match wrestler in our history.
JM: Thanks a lot, Buckley.
BB: No offense, but Windham THRIVES in an atmosphere like the one in Merritt Auditorium tonight! He considers himself the best in the business, he has to have the UNIFIED WORLD TITLE.
(CUT TO: Quick pan of the fans in the Auditorium. They camped out for this moment, weeks in advance. Well, okay, just one man did. And that was Bill Buckley.)
(CUT TO: The ring. Troy is in one corner, stretching the ring ropes. The crowd on its feet.)
CROWD: RYYYY ANNNN RYYYYY ANNN. CROWD: WINNNNN DHAMMMMM WINNNNN DHAMMMMM
CROWD: RYYYY ANNNN RYYYYY ANNN.
CROWD: WINNNNN DHAMMMMM WINNNNN DHAMMMMM
(MUSIC CUEUP: “Save Yourself“ by Stabbing Westward.)
(CUTTO: Dan Ryan walking to the ring as fireworks go off around him.)
I know your life is empty
And you hate to face this world alone
(CUTTO: Ryan in ring, mic in his hand, with a GXW shirt on.)
(CUTTO: Ryan delivering a huge right hand to Evan Aho.)
So you're searching for an angel
Someone who can make you whole
(CUTTO: Dan piledriving HORNET.)
(CUTTO: Ryan powerslamming Eddy Love.)
I cannot save you
I can't even save myself
So just save yourself
(CUTTO: Ryan tossing GUNS into the 3rd row.)
I know that you've been damaged
Your soul has suffered such abuse
But I am not your savior
(CUTTO: Dan benchpressing Triple X.)
I am just as fucked as you
I am just as fucked as you
I cannot save you
(CUTTO: Ryan smirking during a promo.)
I can't even save myself
So just save yourself
(CUTTO: Dan DDT’ing Mark Windham.)
Please don't take pity on me
Please don't take pity on me
Please don't take pity on me
Please don't take pity on me
(CUTTO: Ryan beating the hell out of Windham as they fight through the crowd.)
My life has been a nightmare
My soul is fractured to the bone
(CUTTO: Dan holding the UNIFIED title in his hands, pulling it close to his chest.)
And if I must be lonely, I think I'd rather be alone
I think I'd rather be alone
(CUTTO: Ryan tossing Vince Jacobs over the top rope.)
You cannot save me
You can't even save yourself
I cannot save you
(CUTTO: Ryan pinning Troy Windham.)
I can't even save myself
So just save yourself
(CUTTO: Ryan walking out of Merritt Auditorium, UNIFIED belt held high, to a HOT crowd.)
(fade to black)
(CUEUP: “Zero” by The Smashing Pumpkins - Huge pop.)
(“The Ego Buster” Dan Ryan steps onto the rampway and hoists the UNIFIED WORLD Championship above his head as pyro and fireworks explode around him. The CSWA spent millions on laser light shows and fireworks imported from Mexico in their heyday, but times have changed. Ryan looks at the lackluster fireworks, and grins. It’s still the CSWA, even if they’re forced to be modest. Truth be told, they all enjoyed the excess. But, this is how they started. Maybe slightly more, but the CSWA started in Greensboro with just a hope and a prayer, and Ryan relishes being back that way.)
(CUTTO: Ryan clapping hands with fans as he walks down the aisle. One man faints after touching him. That man is CSWA Staff member Tom Siegel. Siegel always asks for Ryan detail. And the champ obliges. Car wash, food run. He once had Siegel pick all the green M&Ms out of a hundred bags BEFORE he’d go to the ring.)
RHUBARB JONES: And his opponent from Houuuuuuuuuuuuston, Texas. The Bull. The Monster. THE 6’7, 330 LB behemoth who was the longest reigning UNIFIED WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION of ALL TIME… “THE EGGGGGGGGGGGO BUSTERRRRRR” DANNN RYAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!!
(CUTTO: Ryan diving under the bottom rope, and Troy leaving the ring. Fans high-fiving one another.)
BB: We’re about ready to get under way here, Dan Ryan vs. Troy Windham, its gonna happen finally! And the title is on the line!
JM: I know Ryan has eagerly awaited his chance to defend the UNIFIED title. He’s the longest reigning champion in the CSWA’s history, but he’s never actually defended the belt. How unique is that?
BB: That’s not true, Joey, and you know it.
JM: I’m just saying the man has may be responsible for the company’s bad run of late. Nobody wants to see him as champion, let alone defend the title.
BB: I suppose you’re about to make the case for Joey Melton as champ again?
JM: Please Buckley, I’m retired. Let’s keep the focus on the athletes.
(The cage starts to lower over the ring.)
BB: One of these men is going to walk out of this ring once again the UNIFIED Champion. The belt has been on the shelf retired since the CSWA’s last event, FISH FUND XIV, which ended in disaster. Windham and Ryan were supposed to face each other in the main event there. It’s taken years, and they’ve certainly continued their feud elsewhere since then – but tonight, it’s with a prize on the line that means a huge amount to both men. They both eye the steel cage as it lowers. There’s no way out of this and that’s part of Chad Merritt’s thinking heading into this event. He wants ZERO interruptions. There has to be a winner. The empty nameplate on the UNIFIED Title has to be filled. No way in or out of this match. Once this cage locks into place, neither man comes out until he’s beaten the other.
JM: That last part sounds an awful lot like a few late night parties I threw back in the early ‘90s. There’s a lot I’m not proud of Buckley, let’s just leave it at that.
BB: A winning idea if I’ve ever heard one. I wish I could blame it on the injuries you sustained earlier, but we all know better.
(POP from the crowd as the cage fastens into place. CSWA personnel quickly test the cage to see if it’s secure.)
BB: This crowd in Greensboro are on their feet! Ben Worthington looks at Ryan and then Windham, and we’re ready to go! Listen to this place erupt!
(SFX: DING! DING!)
JM: What else is there to do in Greensboro but wait for the CSWA to return? Let’s be honest Buckley these people have nothing else to cheer. At any rate, yeah, it’s good to be back.
BB: Both men circling one another, who’s gonna make the first move in this epic encounter? Or rather, the first mistake. All it takes is one and their opponent will seize the opening. Nobody does It better in the sport today than Windham and Ryan --- COLLAR AND ELBOW TIE UP! And Dan Ryan just lifts Windham in the air by the neck! (Ryan tosses Windham across the ring) Oh my!
JM: I’ve seen the type of steroids this man injects himself with on a weekly basis, hell I’ve been sequestered to jab the needle in his ass on multiple occasions personally. They’re not for the faint of heart…
BB: Please! Dan Ryan has passed every drug test he’s ever taken.
JM: And so has Lance Armstrong, Buckley!
BB: Collar and elbow tie up again! And again Dan Ryan LIFTING Troy off his feet! He tosses the former Champion back ten feet! Troy on his feet and Ryan CHARGING LIKE A BULL! Drop toe hold! And Ryan HITS THE TOP TURNBUCKLE HEAD FIRST! What a shot!
JM: Windham pouncing like someone dropped a call sheet for the TBS’ sitcom “Sullivan and Son.” Those feet may be encased in designer shoes that are worth more than your life most hours of the day, Buckley, but they’re weapons in that ring right now!
BB: Troy stomping a mudhole in Dan Ryan but Ryan quickly to his feet! Troy with a Texas size right foot into Ryan’s left ribs! Dan winces but shakes it off, Troy again--- (Ryan catches Troy’s right foot) OH! Ryan with a HUGE kick to Windham’s groin! Windham on his feet STILL!
JM: Just watching that shot dropped me Buckley, my goodness. A bucket of ice if you please, Marvin.
BB: Ryan still has control of the leg, leading Windham hopping to the center of the ring… SWIFT KICK TO THE GROIN! He could play striker for Man City with a leg like that! And Troy mercifully to the mat! Now it’s the most recent UNIFIED World Champion stomping Troy! He’s waited this long to get the “Boy Troy” in the ring, how long has he dreamt of this exact moment?
JM: I’ve seen the man liquored up over holidays, and believe me when Dan Ryan is toasted he does openly talk about his dreams. Sick ****, believe you me. What this man wants to do to unicorns in his subconscious.
BB: Dan leads Windham up by the hair and he measures a HARD RIGHT HAND! Windham staggers, he could be out early!
JM: That’s actually one of the complaints I’ve heard about him from some of the same women we used to date.
BB: Yikes, talk about creating a superbug. Ryan reaches back another BIG RIGHT HAND! Windham fires back! Ryan delivers a blow! Troy UNLOADS AND THAT LEFT HOOK CAUGHT RYAN FLUSH! Troy quickly bounces off the ropes but Ryan charges CLOTHESLINE! Quick cover, ONE….TWO…no! This early in the match Dan Ryan looks to be on top of his game.
(Ryan bodyslams Windham!)
JM: He considers winning the UNIFIED title to be his greatest accomplishment in this sport. He’s not going to give it up without a serious fight.
BB: Ryan whips Troy the ropes, FLYING DROPKIC—NO! Troy latches onto the top rope to stop his momentum! Ryan to his feet --- BULLDOG! Troy to his feet and he gives the crowd a huge first pump! He’s fired up!
JM: What gave it away, Buckley?
BB: Windham quickly to the near turnbuckle, he’s climbing to the top!! Ryan to his feet, FLYING DOUBLE AXE HANDLE BY WINDHAM! And Ryan hits the mat HARD! COVER, ONE…TWO…..no! Dan powers up!
(CUTTO: Split-screen replay. Troy comes off the top with the axehandle in slow motion.)
BB: Now Troy lands an elbow drop! He straddles Ryan’s chest, grabs Dan by the hair and starts DRIVING RIGHT HANDS through “The Ego Buster’s” skull! He’s like a mad man on top of Ryan!
JM: That’s a closed fist Worthington! Whatever happened to that rule, Buckley?
BB: Ryan fires BACK and knocks Windham off balance!
(Ryan uses his legs to pull Troy down into a pinning position)
BB: COVER, ONE…T—Troy up! And he DIVES for Ryan and again begins hammering away at the champion! I think Ryan may already be opened up, Joey!
JM: Good let’s get a CS official down here and send this in for blood testing! I don’t care how many drug tests he’s passed, I still have my doubts.
BB: That’s enough!
JM: And this is where Ryan has to be a lot smarter than this Buckley. (Windham slowing but still beating the hell out of Ryan) He has to reach out for the bottom rope and end this. There is a time to play the man card and now’s not the time.
BB: I completely agree. Ryan taking a severe beating on the mat, this is gruesome to watch. There’s only so much one man can absorb no doubt about it. Windham firing right hands at will, Joey, Ryan’s not moving. Worthington has to stop this thing! Come on!
(Windham takes one LAST vicious cut at Ryan, the admires his handiwork.)
(CUTTO: CLOSE-UP POV – Ryan motionless on the mat, his face a crimson mask.)
BB: Dan Ryan has been busted wide-open…
JM: He may have just been killed, Buckley. Stop the match, I agree. I’ve never seen anything like that.
BB: Windham standing over his fallen prey, just staring a hole through Ryan, look at the smirk on his face Joey! That’s sick!
(CUTTO: CLOSE-UP POV – Troy staring down at Ryan with an evil grin wearing his face.)
JM: This is clearly the byproduct of not getting cast in “Moonrise Kingdom.” What a feather in the cap of Windham’s career that would’ve been.
BB: Windham walks away and raises his hands in the air, he’s knocked out Dan Ryan at BLUE MOON. He’s telling Worthington to get the belt. Joey has Ben officially ended this match? I didn’t hear---
(Dan Ryan quickly gets to his feet to the delight of Merritt Auditorium.)
BB: RYAN IS UP! Troy still instructing Worthington to retrieve the UNIFIED title, he doesn’t see Ryan. This crowd is going crazy! (Worthington sees Ryan and tries to make Troy aware) Windham is irate! He wants the UNIFIED title.
JM: He’s going to have to earn it, Buckley. Just like we all did.
BB: I’m not touching that one. Windham looking around at the sold-out crowd, finally I think it’s beginning to sink in. Windham, slowly turns around!
(CUTTO: CLOSE-UP POV – Windham looking as if he’s seen a ghost.)
BB: Troy can’t believe it! Ryan slowly walking towards the former champ. Windham with a right hand – blocked! Another BLOCKED! Dan Ryan with a right hand! And Troy Windham goes flying into the turnbuckle! Kick to the gut! Right hand! Kick to the gut! Right hand! All the while Troy just staring at Dan Ryan’s bloodied face! How is this man still standing?!
JM: He’s a strong as a horse Buckley. Hung like a squirrel but as strong as a horse.
BB: Ryan lowers his left shoulder and DRIVES it into Troy’s mid-section! You could hear Windham’s ribs crack from here! Ryan leads Troy out of the corner by his frosted hair!
(RYAN SIGNALS TO THE CAGE AND TOSSES WINDHAM HEAD FIRST INTO THE CAGE)
BB: Windham bounces off the cage, and Ryan scoops him up POWER SLAM! He doesn’t go for the pin, instead he’s sitting over Troy…
JM: Here we go…
BB: This one has been all out war from the beginning. If there was any nervousness coming into this one, it’s been replaced by the adrenaline, sweat, blood and tears coming out of these two men right now.
JM: You’re gross, you know that?
BB: Dan Ryan is trying to show that he is the once and future Unified World Champion. He has control and to the delight of the crowd he’s bulldozing Troy’s forehead with a series of right hands! An eye for an eye! Both men trading in their pound of flesh here in the early stages of this match! Windham reaching for the bottom rope, and he’s got it!
JM: He’s hugging that rope like it’s a lift raft in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
BB: But not for long! Ryan pulls Troy to the center of the ring and goes back to work! He’s beating the hell out of former champion!
JM: I’d argue about the close fist, but really who still enforces that?
BB: Ryan with one final shot!
(CUTTO: CLOSE-UP POV – Troy Windham’s face busted open.)
JM: Windham doesn’t just have one plastic surgeon on staff. He’s got two! And he’ll need both after tonight.
BB: Troy starting to stream blood from a cut above the eye. He’s also got a good dose of Ryan’s blood in his hair from where Ryan rained down blows and more from on top early. Now Ryan grabs the legs, FIGURE FOUR!
(TROY: Oh ******)
JM: In my house! That ungrateful…
BB: He’s got the figure four hooked in tight, Melton! I dare say I’ve never seen it applied in such fashion!
JM: Thin ice, Buckley.
BB: Windham in serious trouble, bleeding, beaten, and nowhere to run. He falls to the mat, ONE…TWO.. no! Joey, he might have passed out briefly from the pain.
JM: That sounds like my first marriage.
JM: What happens in Pakistan, stays in Pakistan.
BB: I think we’ve heard enough about your former exploits tonight, haven’t we/ Or do we need to get Sean Jessica Hart back out here?
BB: Troy falls to the mat – NO! He’s trying to reverse the hold! Windham on his side, YES! REVERSAL. And now its Troy holding on to the middle ropes for leverage! Come on Worthington!
JM: Cut the man some slack, Buckley. He hasn’t worked in a few years unless you count the pig farm he’s been running.
BB: Worthington finally sees it and forces Troy to break! Windham turned sure defeat around in an instant. That’s why he’s one of the greatest of all-time Joey. He’s never NOT on the offensive.
JM: He frequently offends, I agree.
BB: Windham on his face, limping around he may have awoken a sleeping giant in Ryan. And Ryan wastes no time! He shoots Troy across the ring, off the ropes, POWER SLAM! You could feel the whole ring shake!
JM: Usually you have to pay a quarter for that kind of action at a cheap hotel, but not there!
BB: Ryan off the ropes, high in the air, DRIVING FIST! Into Windham’s face! He covers, one, two, NO! Troy to his knees and he wallops Ryan! Ryan on his knees does the same! Windham a right hand! Ryan a left! RIGHT! LEFT! RIGHT! RIGHT! LEFT! BOTH MEN SLUGGING IT OUT!
JM: I’m just getting over the face that you said Wallop…
BB: Oh! An open handed slap by Troy! Ryan with a closed fist! WINDHAM JUMPS TO HIS FEET IN A FLASH – OH MY – DROPKICK! What an athletic display!
JM: Troy’s always been one of the purest athletes the CSWA has ever seen. He and Stan Parsons! You think I’m kidding, but have you seen Parsons on a tennis court or on a pole?
BB: Stop it! (Windham grabs Ryan’s legs and goes for a bridge pin.) Windham to recapture the UNIFIED TITLE, ONE….TWO….and that’s all. (crowd begins to clap.) I’m not sure the element of surprise will win this match, Melton.
(Troy brings Ryan to his feet.)
JM: It won’t Buckley, one man’s just gonna have to beat the hell out of the other one. It’s like the crazed fight in “Flash Gordon” between Sam Jones and Timothy Dalton.
BB: Troy with a rake of the eyes. Both men bleeding all over the place in this one already. Troy whips Ryan across the ring, off the ropes, WESTERN LARIAT! BUT RYAN DOESN’T GO DOWN!
JM: He buckled!
BB: He buckled but stayed on his feet! Troy is in a state of shock. Again he whips Ryan across the ring, off the ropes, WESTERN LARIAT! (Ryan teeters but manages to stay up!) OHMY! Dan Ryan will not go down!
JM: Troy Windham has gone back to his roots. He’s bringing out the big guns but it’s still not enough!
BB: Troy, in disbelief, sends Ryan on the over one more time! Off the ropes, Lariat attempt, Ryan ducks! Troy off the ropes, WESTERN LARIAT AND THIS TIME RYAN LANDS ON HIS BACK! Troy shouts something to Ryan and he heads for the top rope!
JM: Ryan looks a little dazed, Buckley. Again, he should’ve gone down on the first one and not taken three straight lariats! These Windham kids are taught that move before learning how to properly cook red meat.
BB: Windham on the top rope! (POP) TOP ROPE FROG SPLASH. This could be it… Worthington in position. ONE….TWO…….NO! So close! But Ryan has the heart of a champion…
JM: And the fight of an enraged unicorn… WATCH OUT FOR THE HORN, TROY!
BB: Troy up quickly and springing to the next turnbuckle. He’s on the top rope! Windham steadies himself, MOONSAULT! (Troy instantly grabs his neck.)
JM: Troy not going for the cover! I’m all for a little Arrogance, but…
BB: He can’t Joey. He’s grabbing his neck! Troy was warned if he kept wrestling he could break his neck, what if he’s done it here?!
JM: Well then…he’d try to finish with a broken neck.
BB: Windham retreating, but he’s starting to climb the next turnbuckle. For Troy’s sake, maybe he just tweaked it, but he’s on the top…here’s RYAN!
(Dan undercuts Troy and Windham falls to the top turnbuckle.)
Dan with a left hook! And that one Joey hit with a sickening thud.
JM: I’ve been on the receiving end of those. Don’t remind me.
BB: Ryan climbs to the middle rope, hooks the arms.. (POP) DOUBLE ARM HOOK SUPLEX from the top rope! Ryan now pulls Troy to his feet, POWERBOMB----NO! (Troy gets out of the hold and flips behind Ryan.) SLACKNIFE – NO! Ryan pushes Troy away!!
(Crowd stands to applaud.)
BB: Both men flirting with disaster, and Ryan now punts Windham right in the gut! He brings Troy to his feet, neckbreaker! I thought I heard something crack. Troy Windham’s neck may have just given out.
(Dan brings Troy to his knees. Windham fires a right into Dan’s gut, but Ryan shrugs it off.)
This has been a war to this point and its clear now, Dan Ryan wants to target Windham’s Achilles heel.
JM: As he should, Buckley.
BB: He’s got Windham in position, PILEDRIVER! And the former champion’s body just folds like a deck of cards. Surely this has to be the end of it. Worthington for Ryan to retain, ONE….TWO……T-NO! Windham with a foot on the ropes!
JM: Ryan mad at himself for not being aware of where he was in the ring. He seldom makes mistakes in the ring, but a big one there.
BB: Brings Troy back to his feet but Windham can hardly stand! SUPERKICK FROM RYAN, BUT Troy catches it! Spins around and trips Ryan to the mat, STF!! STF! Submission move! Windham fighting to hook his hands under Ryan’s chin….yes! He’s got it!! (POP) And Dan Ryan’s hopes at once again being called the UNIFIED CHAMPION are in trouble!
JM: The question becomes how weakened is Windham? Can he hold on and finish the job right here?
BB: His fans certainly think so! Whether you love or hate him, Troy Windham is one of the marquee names in the CSWA, in this business and he’s got fans everywhere, many of whom are in Merritt Auditorium tonight! And they want to see this ended and Windham crowned again! They’ve had enough of Dan Ryan for one night!
(Windham really reaching back for that something extra.)
(CUTTO: CLOSE-UP POV – Dan Ryan bleeding all over Troy’s hands.)
BB: Ryan using his brute force to try and push of the ground!
JM: That’s not going to work Buckley, he’s gotta do the smart thing…
BB: Ryan with a handful of rope! And Worthington calls for the break! Windham fans boo but it’s a legal break. And the only move Ryan had, Melton.
JM: Work smarter, Buckley. That’s always the goal. Be smarter than your opponent.
(Ryan to one knee, as Windham delivers a knee of his own into Ryan’s skull.)
BB: Both men on their feet, Troy pushes Ryan into the ropes and whispers something in his ear, Ryan sent flying across the ring, off the ropes, FLYING BODY PRESS --- but Troy’s caught in mid-air by the Ego Buster! (POP) LOOK AT THIS!! RYAN BENCH PRESSING TROY WINDHAM IN THE CENTER OF THE RING!
JM: He’s a freak of nature, Buckley. Maybe GUNS was ever this strong, but at least he was a midget in ring and had a high pitched girly voice, you know, something you could feel good about, Ryan’s just a freak of nature.
(The crowd starts counting the number of times Ryan presses Windham.)
BB: Windham is slammed to the mat! (Ryan flexes and ROARS to the crowd.) Troy staggers to his feet, CLOTHESLINE BY RYAN!
(Windham attempts to roll out of the ring to regroup but hits the cage.)
BB: There’s nowhere to run for Windham. Nowhere to hide!
JM: It’s starting to sink in Buckley that he’s got this monster all alone, inside of a cage. Wrestlers years ago used to hold matches against bears to draw a crowd. Really, is this much different?
BB: We have to bring up the bears again? Really? Ryan pulls Windham back to the middle of the ring by one leg! Troy is on his feet, and now he’s pleading with Ryan! He wants this to end, right now!
TROY: (inside the ring) You want my Cable ACE award, bro? It’s yours!
JM: What an offer Buckley! How likely is it that Windham ever wins another one!? Take it Ryan!
BB: Ryan replies with a big boot to the gut!
JM: The CSWA won’t be here in six weeks, the Cable Ace Award will open doors for a lifetime! The man is a fool!
BB: Ryan sends Troy headfirst into the STEEL CAGE!! Windham bounces off and is sent directly into the opposite cage wall! (Windham bounces off, staggers, but remains on his feet.) Ryan again sends Windham to the THIRD CAGE WALL!
JM: I’m sensing a pattern.
BB: Windham drops to one knee, but quickly pops back up…he’s stopped by Ryan. Dan points to the last Wall! (POP) RYAN SENDS WINDHAM FLYING!
(Windham leaps to the top rope, braces himself with his hands against the cage wall, then quickly flies back at Ryan.)
BB: OHMYWORD, SPINNING DDT BY WINDHAM! (HUGE POP) Ryan was caught out of nowhere! But again Joey, Windham is too dazed to pin.
JM: Troy Windham just proved he should’ve been given the Spider-Man role!
BB: Worthington readies, ONE….TWO…..RYAN SHOULDER UP. We said it earlier, Troy Windham can turn defense into offense at the drop of a hat! As Ryan gets on his feet, WINDHAM HAS THE IRON CLAW!! He’s got the Iron Claw hooked in!
JM: Most kids grow up with a kissing frog or make out with a cousin when they’re young, if you’re a Windham you’re practicing the CLAW on one another. I think I’ve had it applied to by every Windham known to man, as well. Including some of the Windhams who aren’t actual Windhams.
BB: Troy screaming in delight!! Look at his face, he’s possessed! And Dan Ryan has nowhere to go! Those fingers, SINKING INTO HIS SKULL!
JM: If there was a brain to be sucked, it’d slip right out right now…
BB: Ryan trying to push Windham around the ring, but Troy takes Dan’s feet out from under him! Ryan on his knees and still in the clutches of the WINDHAM CLAW!
(CUTTO: CLOSE-UP POV – Blood squirting out of Ryan’s head.)
BB: Worthington asking Ryan if he wants to give. You know he won’t, but at some point, at what point I beg your pardon Joey, does Ryan pass out?!
JM: He’s going to hang on as long as he can Buckley, but he’s going right now, look at him!
(Fans on their feet expecting the end is near.)
BB: If Ryan has to submit, we’ll have a NEW UNIFIED WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION! It’s the title that launched Troy’s career! The one title both these men want more than anything, and now it’s seconds away from returning to Troy Windham’s waist!
(Ryan falls on his back. Windham with a maniacal look in his eyes, follows his prey.)
BB: IS THIS IT??
(Dan Ryan in a flash leaps to both feet, grabs Troy by the back of the neck, and MONKEY FLIPS Windham into the last cage wall.)
BB: Can you believe it?!
JM: Dan Ryan doing a monkey flip or you overreacting like a girl? I’ve seen the latter for 20 years, so yes...yes I can.
BB: Windham staggers around, wiping blood out of his eyes, THE CHAMP IS ON HIS FEET! RYAN WITH A GIANT BEAR HUG! He’s squeezing the life out of Windham! If Windham was grasping for air before this, he’s gonna have to tap out!
JM: To a bear hug Buckley? I know your wife says she doesn’t like you to be clingy, but I doubt Windham taps to this!
(Windham taps Ryan on the shoulder)
BB: THAT’S IT!!
(Immediately Windham waves off Worthington as if he was misunderstood.)
BB: Ryan squeezing as hard as he can, Troy with a desperation right hand! Another! But they’re lifeless blows! This one Melton is over right here! I can’t believe it!
JM: Troy won’t give --- again. I’m sure of it.
BB: How much you want to put on it?
(Windham passes out in Ryan’s arms.)
JM: You know I’m not allowed to gamble!
BB: Worthington raises Windham’s left arm in the air and it’s dead weight! (POP) Worthington checks again. NOTHING! This is it Melton, one more time and Ryan retains the UNIFIED WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE!
(As Worthington raises Troy’s left arm one final time, Windham manages to jam a thumb in Ryan’s right eye!)
BB: Ryan drops Troy and grabs his face! He may have just lost an eye!
JM: No, but its going to swell up like hell tomorrow and he may not be able to see out of it the rest of the night.
BB: Windham held up only by the ropes, he’s sucking in air as fast as he can. Ryan stumbling around, swinging wildly, trying to connect on a haymaker.
(Windham dives and clips Ryan’s right knee)
A vicious move by the former champ! Troy Windham, bloodied, frosted, and always ready for a night of improv, is doing all he can to stay alive. Ryan limps to his feet, Troy pins Dan’s right leg behind him, ATOMIC DROP RIGHT ON THAT RIGHT KNEE!
JM: Right you are!
BB: That’s all you got Melton?
(Windham points at Melton at laughs, then applies the FIGURE FOUR.)
JM: It’s my first show on commentary, Buckley, cut me some slack.
TROY: That’s how it’s done old-time…
BB: Troy seems to be applying the Figure Four for your benefit Joey!
JM: I’m touched.
BB: Now, it’s RYAN’S TURN TO REVERSE COURSE! He’s halfway over! Both men in a test of wills! No! Troy back on top and he reaches back to the middle rope! That extra leverage is killing Ryan’s knees!
(As Worthington finally checks on Troy, Windham drops the rope and looks angelic.)
BB: Which man can break the other’s will first, Joey? That’s what it’s going to take tonight. And it’s Windham AGAIN with the middle rope, come on Worthington!
JM: Where the hell is Pee Wee Troutman? I thought he got all title matches. He beat that meth charge didn’t he?
BB: Actually the case is still pending, but its Windham holding on to the rope for extra leverage, trying to get Ryan to submit! Dan fighting to stay alive, but its Troy --- yes! Worthington finally sees him! Ben calls for the break!
BEN WORTHINGTON: Come on Troy, that’s enough! One! Two!
JM: Ground breaking coverage here on BLUE MOON. How much did Merritt spend for the ringside mics?
BEN WORTHINGTON: THREE!
BB: Windham mocking Worthington with a count (POP) Worthington kicks Windham’s hands off the ropes! And now Ryan turns him over!! YES REVERSAL!
(CUTTO: CLOSE-UP POV – Troy’s bloodied face, screaming in agony.)
JM: Both of these men have taken more of a pounding than Jodie Foster in “Accused.”
(Windham grabs the ropes for the break, but Worthington looks the other way.)
JM: I’m just saying if I see a pinball machine break out, I’m getting the hell out of dodge.
BEN WORTHINGTON: Ryan, do you need anything?
TROY: BREAK! BREAK YOU FOOL!
BB: Worthington finally calls for the break!
JM: I bet this guy was a real joy as a hall monitor, such little power going to his head.
BB: Windham to his feet, limping around, he may have ripped an MCL right there! Ryan KNIFE EDGE CHOP! He gathers Windham and shoots him across the ring, FLYING DROPKICK! And now it’s Dan Ryan headed to the top rope!
JM: I’ve seen Ryan get high before, but…
BB: Don’t finish that sentence! Ryan signals to the crowd, here he goes!
(Ryan flies off the top rope with an ELBOW DROP!)
BB: YESSSSSSSSSSS! He’s…not going for the pin, Dan Ryan is climbing to the top rope again!
JM: Not the top rope, he’s climbing to the top of the cage!
(CUTTO: CLOSE-UP POV – DAN RYAN SCALING THE CAGE LIKE A NINJA.)
BB: Troy Windham is OUT in the center of the ring, he couldn’t move right now if he was hitched to a truck and towed! He’s out cold, Ryan, steadying himself on top of the cage…
JM: I believe I can fly….
(Ryan leaps off the top of the cage…)
BB: THE CHAMPION WITH A TOP CAGE FROG SPLASH!!! OHMYHEAVENS!
JM: The whole ring literally moved 6 inches…
BB: Ryan with the cover…
(Troy flicks his left leg on the bottom rope)
HE’S DONE IT!!
(Ryan leaps up and gives a huge fist pump to the crowd.)
JM: What a match. That he had to eat small children to prepare for the event is of no consequence.
(Worthington gets up to call for the bell, but notices Troy’s foot. He’s upset to say the least, but has to be fair.)
BB: WAIT. Worthington is calling it over?? He’s showing Ryan…
JM: Foot on the ropes!
BB: Play on! (POP) Everyone inside the Merritt Auditorium thought it was over! Troy Windham saved by a mere fraction of a second! Melton, I don’t think he KNEW what he was doing. Instincts took over, plain and simple. Ryan is more than a bit shocked, but the mountain of a man goes back to work!
JM: That’s why you always hook the leg and never ask the woman what she wants. Two principles to live by in this sport or any other really, Buckley.
BB: Ryan brings Windham to his feet, Troy can barely stand he’s out on his feet. What a brutal affair this has been! Ryan bends down and lifts Windham onto his shoulders – FALL-A-WAY SLAM! Ryan has been through hell himself in this match, but he’s worn Windham down. There’s no two ways about it, Joey. Troy Windham is a beaten man.
(Ryan holds Windham’s legs apart, while Troy lays on the mat, then coldly drops his left knee in the middle of Windham’s groin! OWWWW!)
JM: I realize Windham had his fingers broken in a CSWA ring by Eli Flair, that he’s one of the toughest sonofabitches we’ve ever seen, but the fact of the matter is he’s not the same man. I know. He’s older. And his neck is a tangled mess of bone and nerves. This match should be stopped if Windham wants to walk five years from now.
BB: Ryan again lifts Windham up, has him in position between his legs….is this end? POWERBOM—NO! Windham slipped out SLACKNIFE! SLACKNIFE! SLACKNIFE! From out of nowhere, Windham hits the move that’s made him millions, but he can’t cover!!
(CLOSE-UP POV – Both men laid out, their heads inches from one another.)
(Ryan drapes his arm over Troy.)
BB: Ryan with the cover? ONE….TWO…(Foot on the ropes!) (POP) Unreal!
(The crowd starts to look at one another and cheer.)
CROWD: “YOU’VE STILL GOT IT.”
“YOU’VE STILL GOT IT.”
BB: Windham rolling to his knees, slowly. Ryan doing the same. Dan Ryan was seconds away from retaining…
JM: Self-preservation Buckley. Windham is fighting to stay alive, literally. Troy on his feet! His chest and face are covered in blood. I’ve never seen the man like this. And I’ve often thought the worst of him.
(Windham starts to slowly climb the cage.)
BB: Troy wants out, and I can’t blame him. He’s suffered too much pain, its too much now Ryan with a big meat book on Troy’s tights, pulling him back down!
(Ryan manages to pull Troy on his shoulders and off of the cage…)
(TROY SPINS AROUND ON RYAN’S SHOULDERS…)
BB: FRANK’N’PARSONS! INTO A BRIDGE PIN! OHMYLORD! (INSANE POP) Worthington for the pin, ONE….TWO…..TH-NO! Ryan up with a split second to spare! Windham again heads to the wall and starts to climb! He could have pinned Ryan but he wants out!
JM: Smart move. Live to fight another day!
(Windham climbing with more pace. Ryan to his feet and stalks Windham.)
BB: Windham half-way to the top but here comes Ryan! He’s got a left hand on Troy’s right leg! Pulling Windham back! (Troy grabs onto to the cage with two hands.) WINDHAM DOUBLE MULE KICK AND RYAN FLIES OFF THE TURNBUCKLE!
(Ryan jamming his left knee as he hits. He limps around in obvious pain.)
JM: I hate the kid with a passion but I have to hand it to him. He’s got guts. And sometimes in this business that’s the most important thing.
BB: Melton, Troy wasn’t trying to escape he was headed for the top of the cage! (Windham standing, carefully, weakly on the top of the cage) Listen to this place! I haven’t heard Merritt Auditorium this LOUD in years!
JM: In fairness, we haven’t run a show in years.
(Windham flips off Dan Ryan and JUMPS off the cage.)
BB: Troy what’s he doing, SWEET MERCY! WINDHAM OFF THE TOP OF THE CAGE WITH A LARIAT! (Ryan flipping 360 degrees in the air.) HE TOOK RYAN’S HEAD OFF!
JM: But can he cover, Buckley? Can he get to Ryan and win the UNIFIED WORLD TITLE?
BB: Troy is sitting upright, still dazed and confused..
JM: That’s how he came into this league, actually.
BB: Windham turns to his right to cover, but he’s not pinning anyone! Worthington has to tell him Ryan’s behind him! Troy turns slowly, finds the Champ, the cover…(Crowd counts along) ONE…..TWO……..RYAN IS UP! (fans start clapping) Troy Windham’s hesitation was a costly mistake! Ryan to his knees. Troy up first he had to be Joey. He’s got to stay on the attack and try to finish Ryan. I know that’s easier said than done, but if he wants to take the title from Ryan this is the moment. Windham with a boot to Ryan’s back.
JM: At this point Buckley its all about who makes the fatal mistake.
BB: Windham pushes Ryan into a corner. Troy with a right hand that rocks the champ! Windham steps to the middle turnbuckle, lords over Ryan and starts driving home his right fist in rapid fire succession!
BB: RYAN LATCHES ONTO TO WINDHAM’S LEGS… STANDING SPINEBUSTER! Ryan grabs Troy’s legs, SCORPION DEATHLOCK---NO, Windham kicks him off and blocks the move. Troy to his feet and DIVES into Ryan taking him off his feet! WINDHAM WITH A BOSTON CRAB!!!
JM: This is where in the old days you just stuffed some brass knuckles into your shorts and ended this at the ten minute mark. Just sayin.
(Ryan tucks himself inside and rolls Troy over to a pinning position.)
BB: Worthington hits the mat in a jiff…ONE…..TWO…. Windham kicks out! Troy to his feet fast and bounces off the ropes…LOU THESZ PRESS--- RYAN CATCHES! HOT SHOT! (Ryan drops Troy’s neck over the top rope.) Windham’s neck snapped back like a broken twig! Dan lifts Troy up on his shoulders, BACKBREAKER! THE TORTURE RACK! A nod to Troy’s brother Mark!
JM: That’s all this match needs is MORE Windham insanity. They’re like Doritos -- once you think you’ve seen’em all they keep making new brands.
BB: Ryan really locking down, if Windham can’t get out of this in a heartbeat his dreams of taking the UNIFIED title will be gone!
(Windham with a thumb to the eye again, slowing Ryan.)
Troy with a desperation move flips back to his feet! NOW IT’S WINDHAM WITH RYAN ON HIS SHOULDERS! TORTURE RACK! TIT FOR TAT!
JM: You can say tit but this memo I got last night says I can’t?
BB: Not now Melton! Windham grimacing, his neck just gave out and both men hit the mat!
JM: Not the smartest move by Troy. It’s like turning down a cameo in the Taken sequel because he didn’t believe in the script. He gets on one TBS show and he’s calling shots now.
BB: Ryan is quick to pounce, double axehandle over Troy’s neck! Windham grabbing his weakness with both hands, trying to cover up but its Ryan pulling the Boy Troy to his feet, Ryan sets...NECKBREAKER! Dan hooks the legs, ONE….TWO….Troy with a shoulder up no more than the width of a credit card! Ryan going right back to work has Troy on his feet.
JM: Brass knuckles and groin shots Buckley, all this could have been avoided.
BB: Ryan with a Full Nelson! He’s got Windham up a few feet off the ground! This is where Ryan’s brute strength comes into play you know he’s hurting, you know he’s on fumes, but he’s got the power to finish the job.
(Windham with a kick to the groin)
JM: I told you Buckley! It’s time to start working the groin. Well, it’s never not time if you have the right partner…
BB: Windham freed, hurting but on his feet, DISCUS PUNCH! And another! Ryan is staggered! Windham grabs him by the collar and shoots him head first into the STEEL CAGE! Ryan bounces off… FRANK’N’PARSONS!! And Troy hooks the legs! THIS IS IT?!!! ONE…..TWO……NO!!!
(Fans mark out.)
JM: Windham doing everything he can. Unless he brought a taser, it may not be enough.
BB: Troy bounces off the ropes, LIONSAULT but Ryan with his feet up.
(CUTTO: CLOSE-UP POV – Windham doubled over holding his stomach.)
BB: Ryan with a kick right across Troy’s chops! The champ spins to his feet, irish whip into the opposite corner! Ryan charges….LEAPING ELBOW! But Windham moves out of the way! Superkick, no! Ryan with a leaping clothesline!
JM: What is gonna be the one move Buckley. Who can get the three seconds they need…
BB: Ryan climbing the to the top turnbuckle! High risk…high reward.
JM: And at this point in the match, it may be a mistake to go for that much.
BB: Ryan to the top but Troy meets him there! Right hand to stun the champ! And now it’s Windham climbing to the top!
JM: I’m calling double pinfall. Has it ever happened? No winner?
BB: Troy hooks the tights, SUPERPLEX! Troy sits upright, tries to gather himself to make the pin.
(CROWD POP – As Dan Ryan sits up and stands up before Troy.)
BB: Windham can’t believe it! He thought he had Ryan finished. Dan charges, kick to the gut! Windham doubled over and is back into the ropes, Ryan sends him across the ropes….SIDE SLAM!
JM: I know Ryan cheats at cards, but how he’s doing this I’m not sure.
BB: Ryan signals to the crowd its’ over, and it may very well be. This could be the EGO BUSTER! Windham flips Ryan over!! How many more times can he cheat in-ring death?
JM: Is it really wise to say death on a CSWA show? People of a certain size may get nervous.
BB: Windham whips Ryan into the corner BACK BODY DROP! Ryan to his feet, Troy on the move, BULLDOG!
JM: I like an old move set. Never be ashamed of that.
BB: Ryan quickly to his feet, neither man wants to stay on the mat for long. Windham has to be reaching for his third wind by now.
JM: It’s like seeing you go through an all you can eat buffet. It’s catered for the company, not just the Buckley family…
BB: Windham with a VERTICAL SUPLEX! The amount of effort these two have put out tonight, it’s unreal. This is what the UNIFIED title is all about. Windham backs Ryan into the ropes, Irish whip across – no! Ryan holds on and whips Troy! Windham hooks on to the opposite ropes!
(Both men stand, action paused and grin at one another. The crowd eats up their effort and break into a standing ovation for the effort.)
JM: You know you’ve done well as a wrestler when you have these idiots eating out of the palm of your hand. Trust me, if Ryan or Windham needed a kidney someone in this building would donate after tonight.
BB: Windham walks toward Ryan and suggests a show of strength! Joey is he crazy? Troy wants to test strength with Dan Ryan? And Ryan is grilling from ear to ear, he agrees! SHOW OF STRENGTH! Windham and Ryan chest to chest and its Ryan with the quick advantage!
(Ryan pulls Windham’s hands his waist, bending Troy’s hand at an awkward position.)
BB: Troy in obvious pain. HEADBUTT by Windham! Troy steps over the hands and breaks the hold, IMPLANT DDT! (POP) Windham races for the turnbuckle, he’s going to the top rope!
JM: Windham with a mind game that Ryan fell for hook, line, and sinker. Finally he’s working smarter…
BB: Windham on the top turnbuckle. Ryan staggers to his feet like a town drunk, WINDHAM SLACKNIFE FROM THE TOP ROPE! He caught it perfectly! He’s going to regain the UNIFIED World title! Troy pins!
(Crowd counts ONE….TWOO….THREEE…..)
BB: Troy looks around, Worthington is out cold!
(CUTTO: CLOSE-UP REPLAY – Ryan accidently catching Ben Worthington with an errant elbow as he’s slacknifed.)
JM: I envy Dan Ryan. Who hasn’t wanted to beat the hell out of an official in ring?
BB: Troy is beside himself. Worthington stirs, but Windham isn’t wasting any time. He’s headed back to the top!
JM: And why not? He needs a kill shot over Ryan while he has the opportunity. One big move here and Ben could take a mini-vacation and then count three.
BB: Troy isn’t stopping at the top turnbuckle. He’s headed back to the top of the cage! (POP)
(Worthington pulls himself up by the ropes, as Troy reaches the top of the cage and carefully gets to his feet.)
BB: Windham perched on the top!! His legs shaking, but he’s ready to fly!
(Ryan to his feet, and without looking for Troy dives for a cage wall.)
BB: Troy losing his balance…OH!
(Windham slips and racks himself on the cage wall.)
Troy hanging on for dear life! A fall from there could end his career!
JM: He can sing the Chipmunk’s greatest hits now!
BB: Dan Ryan leads to the top turnbuckle in a flash! He’s scaling the cage in impressive fashion!
(Ryan with a hand on top of the cage. Heeaches up with his left and clubs Troy a couple times.)
BB: Ryan finishing the climb, gingerly…but he’s on top of the cage too!!
JM: Both these men have a death wish. That or they’re just plain dumb. Personally, I’d vote the latter.
BB: Ryan, wobbly his footing a little unsure, but he manages to pull Windham to his feet! Dan stuffs Troy’s head under his legs, RYAN SLIPS – NO!! Both men catching themselves just in time! That was almost disaster!
(Ryan CLUBS Troy in the back.)
JM: I know both these guys feel pressure to put on a good show, but at a certain point… HOLY ****.
BB: Ryan lifts Troy over his shoulder, his legs are like jelly…
JM: MELTON HOMEMADE JELLIES!
BB: What is he doing? Oh Heavens!!
(Ryan leaps off the top of the cage with Troy over his shoulder.)
BB: TOP OF THE CAGE HUMILITY BOMB!! HUMILITY BOMB! HUMILITY BOMB!
(Roof blowing POP!!)
JM: Great day in the ****** morning.
BB: Dan Ryan just dropped Troy Windham from the top of a cage with a Humility Bomb, I can’t believe what I just saw! Ryan is stunned as well, but he falls over Windham. Was that the kitchen sink? Worthington collapses in position!
(Windham’s left leg limply reaches for a bottom rope but none is close enough.)
DAN RYAN HAS WON IT! DAN RYAN HAS WON IT! HE IS THE UNIFIED WORLD CHAMPION ONCE AGAIN!
JM: After watching that, I’m sure as hell glad I’m retired.
BB: What a match. Ryan to his feet but he collapses into the corner. I don’t know how he found the strength to finish Troy Windham, who fought like a warrior tonight. Joey, no man lost this match. I won’t hear of it. The CSWA, these fans…you and I…we’re are the better for seeing these two battle tonight.
JM: Yes, Buckley. Cancer was cured and free energy for all can only be next.
(Ryan walks over to Troy Windham who’s on his knees, bends down and helps Troy up. Windham thinks about nailing Ryan but instead slaps him in the chest.)
BB: Ryan and Windham embrace in the ring! This is great! Melton even you have to like seeing this.
JM: Yes I enjoy seeing the fourth wall broken and Sam and Frodo moments come to pass in a CSWA ring.
(Crowd starts chanting “CSWA! CSWA! CSWA!)
(Windham and Ryan acknowledge the crowd and each other.)
(Crowd starts a “Thank you” Chant.)
BB: What else can you say about this moment, Joey?
JM: Are you crying, Buckley?
BB: No! Dan Ryan is calling for the house mic.
JM: It’s time for him to smack Troy in the head with it!
(Ryan and Windham stand in the middle of the ring. They both wave to the crowd and hug each other.)
DAN RYAN: You know, Troy. If you can change, I can change…
JM: Is this the speech from Rocky IV? Christ almighty.
(GASPS AND SCREAMS FROM THE CROWD)
(A figure in an expensive tuxedo BUNGEES down from the rafters into the ring behind Windham and Troy.)
BB: WHAT THE HELL?!
(The 6’7” muscular figure clotheslines Dan Ryan from behind, then unsnaps himself from the bungee apparatus.)
JM: WHAT’S HE DOING HERE?
BB: THAT’S BLAINE HOLLYWOOD! Hollywood is all over Dan Ryan! Troy Windham comes to the rescue! Windham knocks Hollywood to the mat!
(Troy dives on top of Hollywood, but Blaine reaches into his tuxedo jacket and pulls out… a plastic bag? He covers Troy’s head with the back and all we can see is the word “PRADA” as Windham tries to pull it off. Blaine quickly wraps the bungee cord around Troy’s neck and snaps the carabiner, holding the bag in place.)
BB: What is he doing to Troy!? He’s trying to suffocate him! We need help down here NOW!
JM: I’d jump in there, but I probably have a concussion already. Plus, I’ve never really liked Troy.
BB: Now it’s Ryan to the rescue, huge clothesline by the Unified Champion sends Hollywood hard to the mat. Now Dan is trying to get that bag off of Troy’s face before it strangles him.
BB: Look out Dan! BACKSTABBER by Blaine Hollywood!
JM: That’s Entertainment!
BB: Now is not the time!
JM: No, that’s what he calls that move. That’s Entertainment!
(Troy starts shaking on the mat.)
BB: Ryan and Windham have literally given their blood here tonight. They’ve both endured an incredibly grueling match and now THIS. FISTDROP by Hollywood onto Ryan opens up Dan Ryan’s head again.
(Blaine wipes the blood off on his coat. He pulls a.. flower… out of the lapel, then takes off the coat and throws it over the ring rope, disgusted.)
BB: He’s stomping Ryan over and over again. Troy has finally been able to get the bag off his head. He bends over trying to get his wind… THAT’S ENTERTAINMENT by Hollywood. And now both men are down in the ring!
(Blaine Hollywood grabs the UNIFIED World Championship belt from the corner, folding the belt straps underneath the big gold belt buckle. He stares at it for a moment, then lays it on the mat in between Dan Ryan and Troy Windham. He lays an orchid on top of it and stares directly at the camera.)
JM: The CSWA is back and it just got pulled into another tax bracket. HOLLYWOOD is here!
BB: We’ll get an update up on TheCSWA.com, and we’ll see you in two weeks on ESEN! Security, finally!
(A final credit rolls on the screen as we see Hollywood climb through the ropes as CSWA security enters the ring and starts checking on Ryan and Windham.)
(fade to black)
Until the new site is fully up and running, check the following:
CSWA RP Central on FWrestling.com -- keep up to date, give feedback on this card, or even join up!
FISH FUND XIV: Fin -- the card that closed the CSWA for years!
Results compiled and archived with Backstage 3.1.