CSWA PRIMETIME Winter Wonderland
22 Dec 2013 at Merritt Auditorium
“I don’t think you really understand the gravity of this moment, sweetheart. You let me in that lounge, or you’ll find yourself looking for another dead end job.”
Ivy McGinnis was only half paying attention. She was sitting comfortably in the member’s lounge in Dusseldorf International Airport, sipping from a double shot of Jonnie Walker Blue. Her laptop was safely tucked away in her carry-on bag, but a legal pad was on the table in front of her, and she was busily scratching into it with a fancy looking pencil.
The Psycho Bitch was constantly creating.
“Hey,” she said, “let him in. I’ll take responsibility.”
The attendant looked at her, looked at the troublemaker, and looked toward her superior. On one hand, Ivy McGinnis was a top tier club member, having spent nearly twenty years moving from one airport lounge to another as she went from show to show. On the other hand, she really wanted to see this annoying man not get into the lounge.
“I’m a celebrity, you let me in!”
“Tch, fine,” said the attendant, finally, as she opened the door and stepped aside.
Ivy didn’t look up, no matter how much she wanted to. The man who was just let in sat down across from her and waited.
“Beer, doesn’t matter what,” he said to the waiter. The waiter moved quickly: he knew better than to leave anyone waiting at Ms. McGinnis’ table.
“So, what’s up?” he asked.
“Still holding a grudge?”
“Fine. It’s not like anything would’ve happened differently. The CSWA would’ve shut down, crushed under Merritt and Thomas’ hubris, and we’d all be out of work.”
“She talks, Sammy – and she knows you’re completely full of it.”
Sammy Benson took a long drink of beer and leaned back in his seat. “Can you really tell me that Merritt and Thomas knew their asses from their elbows anymore? This way, at least, the fans know someone was sticking up for them, for the wrestlers, and for Ray.”
“I’m really starting to regret stickin’ up for you just now, Sammy.”
Ivy peered over the top of her wire – rimmed glasses at the former manager, color commentator, and erstwhile ‘owner’ of the CSWA name, and leaned her forearms on the table in front of her. “All that BS with the hacker nonsense, the cruise liner hijacking, locking me, Paul, and Teri of all people in a stateroom together for three days…you gave Lyle Tallman a starring role in Make a Wish, you nearly killed Nova with that pyro stunt—“
“But I didn’t,” interrupted Sammy. “The CSWA was bloated under the weight of its own excess and was totally non-functional, and the public needed to see that.”
“By publicly firing Hornet – who, keep in mind – had taken a buyout of the remaining three years on his contract for a dollar, because he felt that the company could be saved? You’re really battin’ a thousand here, Sammy.”
Sammy didn’t continue his conversation. He stopped and sat back in his chair, deflated. “And here Ray always told me that you’d understand.”
"I can disagree with it and still understand it, Sammy,” replied Ivy, “Merritt and Thomas were both unprincipled, unscrupulous sycophants who had the bottom line in mind in every circumstance, except for when they wanted to make an example out of someone who wronged one of ‘em, either real or imagined. In other words, they were professional wrestling promoters who were never one’a the boys.”
She drained her drink in one motion.
“Still doesn’t explain the injunction you filed back in the spring – against one’a the boys. Yeah, Hornet was their lawyer when he got your claim to the company thrown out, but he also charged them through the nose for the legal counsel. The people you had beef with were no longer part’a the company, Sammy… but you still needed to grind the gears. I hope it was worth it.”
“Worth it?” asked Sammy, “Was it worth it to be exiled here in Europe like Roman Polanski, barely scraping by with half – filled bingo halls and gymnasiums? Getting people in the door on the company name that I despise, only for the fans to turn on us when none of their favorites are there?”
Despite the weight of the moment, Ivy laughed.
“You do realize that Roman Polanski lives here because he banged a twelve year old, right?”
There was a moment of calculation, a moment of confusion, a moment of horror, and a moment of absurdist glee, all apparently happening at the same time.
“My issue isn’t that you wanted t’stick it to Merritt and Thomas,” explained Ivy, “Lord knows I’d support almost anyone with that goal in mind. My problem with your crap, Sammy, is that you hurt a bunch’a working class heroes who never had anything t’do with the company making money. I learned a long time ago, you can’t punish the boys for wanting t’make some paper.”
“So what then?” asked Sammy, “You really asking me to give up my claim to the company because you’re more noble than Merritt?”
“I would never,” replied Ivy, “even if I’m more noble than Merritt and Thomas combined with more dangerous contacts and the ability to make the German police start lookin’ for you on suspicion of male prostitution.”
“Don’t tease,” joked Sammy.
“The point, Sammy, is that Hornet and I might’ve been able to turn the CSWA into something that Ray S. Cornette could’ve been proud of. But you decided, for some reason, that if you couldn’t have it, none of us could. And that’s totally bungled.”
“Really,” said Teri Melton, incredulously, “That’s what convinced Benson to drop the injunction?”
“That’s about it,” replied Ivy.
"Because you have such sparkling people skills and a warm, wonderful personality.”
Ivy McGinnis and Hornet were walking swiftly through the outer rim of the Merritt Auditorium, flanked by their non – commentating support staff of Teri Melton and Rudy Seitzer. While Teri and Ivy had been playing nice in the prior weeks, this was game day. This was where it was clear that Ivy was in charge and Teri had to take orders from her.
Needless to say, she wasn’t very happy about it.
“Guys, remember – no matter how annoying Sammy was and is, no matter how much he screwed us over when he pulled that little stunt, he’s still a human being,” explained Ivy.
“So you guilt tripped him,” replied Hornet.
“Bill says he and Joey are ready,” came a tiny voice behind the quartet. Three foot nine Adrian “Little Voltron” Evans was power walking to keep up with them; he had been Ivy’s personal aide for several years and was recently named the new Head of Security for the CSWA.
Besides, it’s not the CSWA without midgets.
“Good,” said Hornet, “Half hour until showtime, twenty minutes ‘till they go to the ring. Everything’s running like clockwork.”
“Almost everything, Rudy. I know.”
“Do we have a backup plan?” asked Rudy Seitzer.
“We really don’t have the firepower for one,” replied Hornet, “Dan Ryan’s closing the show so we have some time before his absence really screws us, but we’re operating on a skeleton crew and, unfortunately, I don’t think Ivy can pull another magic trick like she did in Seattle.”
“He’ll be here,” said Ivy, “He won’t screw us.”
“Sure,” replied Rudy, “But what if he does?”
They stopped at the back door – the entranceway that Dan Ryan, reigning UNIFIED World Champion, should have entered four hours ago.
“His flight was delayed, but he texted me when he landed. I can’t get him on the phone now but he wouldn’t go through all this just to no – show.”
She inhaled sharply – the only sign so far that she was nervous.
“Worst case scenario? Hornet, got your gear?”
Everyone looked at the formerly Greatest American Hero.
“Worst case scenario?” asked Hornet, “I’ll be ready.”
“Good,” replied Ivy, “Now, Adrien, I need you in the Hot Zone running the entrances and giving Marvin his cues. Rudy, stay with the boys. We’re gonna try to get at least one participant for each match to say a few words before or after their matches. Hornet is running the show with the agents, and I’ll be on hand for anyone who needs help. We clear?”
She was greeted by a sea of nodding heads and one question.
“What am I doing, then?” asked Teri Melton.
“Teri,” said Ivy, “you need to park your ass here and wait for Dan Ryan. I’ll send over one of the cameramen so you can catch his entrance.”
Everyone scattered, except for Teri Melton, who shrugged her shoulders in defeat and pushed open the back door.
They all had a job to do.
BILL BUCKLEY (V/O): The following program is presented by CS Enterprises Online, Inc for exclusive visual representation on the CSWA website, with audio play by play licensed to Sirius XM Satellite Radio. All rights reserved.
(CUE UP: “The Ecstasy of Gold.”)
BUCKLEY (V/O): The CSWA.
(FADEIN on the CSWA logo.)
Those four letters conjure up a myriad of images.
They represent the highest of highs…
(CUTTO: Slow – motion footage, complete with voice over, of Hornet defeating Wall at Anniversary 1989 for his second CSWA World Championship.)
And the lowest of lows.
(CUTTO: CSWA Primetime Pooljam 2007, and the helicopter that took the Hacker away from the smoking cruise ship after he had successfully hijacked it.)
They represent the thrill of victory…
(CUTTO: CSWA Anniversary 1999, with ‘Total Elimination’ Eli Flair holding the CSWA World Championship above his head at the conclusion of the IRON MAN tournament.)
And the agony of defeat.
(CUTTO: CSWA Anniversary 2006 and the conclusion of the GOLD RUSH, where Troy Windham is lying prostrate and motionless on the mat as Dan Ryan is handed the UNIFIED Championship belt.)
They represent wily gambles…
(CUTTO: Fish Fund 1995 and the final match in the IRON MAN Tournament, where Hornet has thrown GUNS over the top rope, ending their match on a disqualification and costing GUNS the UNIFIED Championship.)
(CUTTO: CSWA Anniversary 2001, complete with sound, of Eli Flair snapping Troy Windham’s fingers under his boot.)
Life – changers…
(CUTTO: A slow – motion montage of Hornet being branded by ‘Gentleman’ Jim Williams with the ‘666’ brand at CSWA Christmas 1995, Jim Williams being branded on the forehead in his match against Hornet at CSWA SuperPRIMETIME in January 1996, and Mark Vizzack being branded ‘TCB’ by Hornet in their match at CSWA Battle of the Belts 16 in April 1999.)
And double dealings.
(CUTTO: The finale of CSWA Anniversary 2000, where Hornet, Mike Randalls, and Eli Flair stood over the fallen World Champion Deacon, having ‘staked a claim’ on the CSWA, fading to the finale of CSWA Anniversary 2001, where CSWA Commissioner Merritt stood tall with Teri Melton by his side, having directly or indirectly exacted revenge in some capacity on all three conspirators.)
(Slow – fade to the CSWA logo.)
More than anything, the CSWA stood for innovation and excitement. It was the only wrestling promotion in the world where you were guaranteed to see every top athlete compete against the best in the world.
At least, it used to.
With a legacy that points more toward the mistakes that caused its downfall than the risks that rose it to the global juggernaut that it was, the CSWA has few allies left in the sport of professional wrestling.
Fortunately, two of them have a plan.
(CUTTO: Hornet, in his prime, coming to the ring, overlaid with an older, facepaint – free Hornet in a business suit talking to a group of reporters.)
The greatest hero that professional wrestling has ever known… teaming up with the greatest mind.
(FADE to Poison Ivy, likewise, at ringside during the late 90s, early 2000’s, slow faded to the older, more seasoned woman joking with the crowd at the most recent press conference.)
With an unlimited supply of optimism, a skeleton crew of true believers, and a course of action… the CSWA lives again.
JOHN FURLONG (V/O): BUT ENOUGH OF THIS PALAVER… LET’S GET THE SHOW ON THE ROAD
(CUE UP: “Street Fighting Man” by Rage Against the Machine.)
(FADEIN on the SOLD OUT Merritt Auditorium in Greensboro, North Carolina. The fans are going CRAZY as the cameras pan the upper deck, the middle tier, and the ringside area with quick cuts from fan to fan. There are signs all over the place: “FAITH IS THE EVIDENCE,” and “BUST HIS EGO, DAN” are two popular sentiments for the main event. There are also a few along the lines of “WIN ONE FOR THE WINLESS ONE,” and “WHERE’S JJ?”)
BILL BUCKLEY (V/O): WELCOME, EVERYONE… TO GREENSBORO, NORTH CAROLINA!
(The camera continues to pan as fireworks blast off from either side of the CSWAvision screen. More signs: “TROY was ROBBED,” “BRING BACK SPACE GOD” and “DEFenseless” curiously printed in the Defiance Wrestling logo style.)
BUCKLEY (V/O): WELCOME TO THE MERRITT AUDITORIUM!
(Slowly, the multiple angles fade away and one camera fixes on Bill Buckley and Joey Melton at ringside. Both men are dressed in tuxedos, but while Buckley is wearing a conservative black tux, Joey Melton is standing out quite a bit in fire engine red.)
BUCKLEY: AND WELCOME TO CSWA PRIMETIME! My name is Bill Buckley, and I’m standing here with the legendary Joey Melton, and Joey, the CSWA is back!
JOEY MELTON: And not a moment too soon! The people need Joey Melton!
BUCKLEY: I don’t know about that, Joey, but the people here in Greensboro need their CSWA! We’ve got a great event planned for you tonight, of course we’ve got the return of ‘Total Elimination’ Eli Flair to the CSWA as he faces off with a newcomer to the company, Pat Gordon Junior, as well as the return of Bonecrusher to ring as well, taking on the giant, Viktor Reise!
MELTON: I tell you this, Bill – Bonecrusher may have been slacking off the past few years but in his prime he was a force to be reckoned with. He’s got some pretty dominant victories over some of the best that the CSWA ever produced, like Mark Windham and JT Tyler. I barely got past him when I was in the ring, and I’m the greatest wrestler that’s ever competed.
BUCKLEY: We’ll also see the torch passed, as three men make their professional debuts tonight! The names Brigsby, Paige, and Bramble are well known to the CSWA universe, and tonight their next generation will face off against each other to see who can help bring the CSWA back to the forefront of professional wrestling!
MELTON: The best thing they can hope for is that they take after their mothers, because each of their fathers went something like Oh – For – Life in this company.
BUCKLEY: Now Joey, Carl Brigsby and Wesley Paige Senior were the CSWA United States Tag Team Champions once upon a time!
MELTON: Twenty years ago, Bill! Twenty years ago we thought cabbage patch kids were still adorable and most of the world considered the mullet an acceptable hairstyle. It was a dark period in the world!
BUCKLEY: And of course, our MAIN EVENT… The UNIFIED World Championship is up for grabs as the Ego Buster, Dan Ryan makes his return to the CSWA to defend against another man making his return, the former CSWA World Heavyweight Champion Deacon!
MELTON: I tell you, Deacon was a tough nut to crack back in the day, but Dan Ryan is my main man! Nobody made more money for his company than I did, and nobody was more instrumental than his being here than I am!
BUCKLEY: Kicking things off first, however, we’ll see yet another CSWA legend back in the ring as the Living Legend, Mark Windham, looks to avenge his loss to Crippler Cameron Cruise from earlier this year before the CSWA went on hiatus! Mark Windham has had a chronically bad shoulder for years now, did the time off do him well? With a victory over the former EN and CSWA World Champion Mark Windham, Cameron Cruise’s momentum stalled when the company did, if he can manage it once again, will he finally take his place as a main player in the CSWA? We’re about to answer at least one of those questions, Joey!
MELTON: More importantly, Bill… JOEY MELTON IS BACK ON TV!
BUCKLEY: Actually, this event is being broadcast live on the CSWA website, so we’re reaching even more people than we potentially could’ve on television!
MELTON: This is online?
BUCKLEY: It is!
(Joey Melton started looking around.)
MELTON: Then why aren’t we surrounded by cats doing annoying things?
(Bill Buckley stared at him for a few seconds.)
BUCKLEY: Let’s take it up to Rhubarb Jones for the introductions!
(CUTTO: The ring, where longtime CSWA Ring Announcer Rhubarb Jones is waiting, applause all around him, holding onto the microphone.)
(SFX: DING DING DING!)
RHUBARB JONES: This contest is scheduled for one fall with a thirty minute time limit. Introducing first…
(CUE UP: “Headstrong” by Trapt.)
From Jacksonville, North Carolina… weighing in at two hundred and fifty three pounds… He is a former CSWA Presidential Champion… CRIPPLER… CAMEROOOOON…. CRUUUUUUUUUUISE!!!!!!
BUCKLEY: Cameron Cruise entering the arena to a huge ovation, he’s never made it out of the middle of the pack but he’s been a mainstay in this company for fifteen years now, and the fans have appreciated his work ethic and his loyalty!
MELTON: Sure, Bill. But they only appreciate him because of the work I did. He’s my ultimate fixer – upper!
BUCKLEY: While there’s certainly… some truth to that, I think it’s safe to say Cruise earned his stripes all on his own. And look at that, he’s coming out with the CSWA Presidential Championship belt around his waist!
MELTON: McGinnis and Bugbrain haven’t reinstated that title, but Cruise was the last reigning Champion and that belt belongs to him.
BUCKLEY: I have it on good authority that Cameron Cruise was the first person to answer Hornet and Ivy with an affirmative, so if they do reinstate the title I have a feeling they’ll simply recognize Cruise as the current holder.
(CUE UP: “Pretending” by HIM)
JONES: AND HIS OPPONENT… from Sweetwater Texas…
(HUGE pop from the fans.)
Weighing in at two hundred and forty three pounds… he is a former CSWA World Heavyweight Champion, former Enterprise World Champion, and FOUR TIME UNITED STATES CHAMPION… The Living Legend… The LOST SOUL… MARK… WINDHAAAAAAAAAM!!!
BUCKLEY: Windham looks like he’s in great shape, Joey – better than he’s been in years!
MELTON: He hasn’t been the same since his match against Eli Flair that destroyed his shoulder, and I know he’s dumb enough to push it too far if he’s not ready.
BUCKLEY: At the same time, Joey, Windham has almost as much time in the wrestling business as you do. He may never be physically ready again, but he knows all the tricks.
MELTON: I beat him in the first match in CSWA history, you know.
(SFX: DING DING DING!)
BUCKLEY: Referee Patrick Young has finished giving them their instructions, and we’re off! Listen to the fans applauding as Mark and Cruise circle each other! This company may have been a worldwide juggernaut, but it’s always been a proprietary possession of Greensboro, and these fans are letting us know they appreciate our return here!
MELTON: Imagine how it’d be if it was me in this match.
BUCKLEY: They lock up, and both men are fighting for control! Cruise with Windham pressed against the ropes, Windham reverses! He’s got Cruise pressed against the corner, and Patrick Young counts it, they break on two!
MELTON: First mistake, Windham’s getting old. Break at six after the ref yells at you.
BUCKLEY: Windham backs up, slowly, and Cruise with a right hand to the face backed him up a step! Another!
MELTON: I taught him that.
BUCKLEY: Cruise has Windham rocked, and he hooks him with a reverse atomic drop! Cover, ONE… TWO… Kickout! Windham doesn’t get beaten that easily.
MELTON: That’s about as easily as I’ve ever done it.
BUCKLEY: Regardless, Cruise is in control and he’s not letting up! He’s got a handful of Windham’s hair, and he’s pulled the Lost Soul to his feet for an irish whip! Clothesline just put Windham back to the mat! Cover! ONE… TWO… Kickout! And Cruise with a side headlock, grinding Windham’s temples together! It’s the fundamentals that determine the winners and losers, Joey.
MELTON: You’re right to a point, Bill, but nobody ever won a match with a headlock.
BUCKLEY: Young is right in there, asking Windham if he wants to quit but we know the answer to that. He’s not really moving right now but he’s searching. He looks like he’s trying to find a way out, though Cruise has him locked!
MELTON: For every hold, Bill…
BUCKLEY: Windham with a forearm to the side, but Cruise is holding on tight!
MELTON: I taught him that, too.
BUCKLEY: You did not!
MELTON: It’s simple, Bill. Everything that Cruise does well is because of me. Everything that he doesn’t is because he didn’t listen.
BUCKLEY: Just promise me that you’ll let me be there when you try to convince him of that.
MELTON: What? Like he won’t tell you that he owes it all to me?
BUCKLEY: Windham with another elbow to the side, and Cruise responds by grinding tighter! He’s leaning even more of his body weight onto the Lost Soul’s head and neck, and there’s only going to be so much of that that Windham can take!
MELTON: Cruise may have the advantage with the extensive training I’ve given him, but Windham’s been wrestling the best in the world for a quarter century, I don’t think he’s finished yet.
BUCKLEY: WINDHAM WITH A REVERSAL! He’s got Cruise’s shoulders on the mat! ONE… TWO… Kickout! Cruise pushed back, and he’s still got the headlock! Another reversal! ONE… TWO… Cruise kicks out and releases!
MELTON: Probably for the best; they were at the limit of what you could do with the headlock.
BUCKLEY: They’re facing off on their knees, and Cruise just lunged! Drop toe hold by Windham, and Cruise landed headfirst on the bottom rope! There’s that experience and instinctual movement!
MELTON: But I think Windham’s just reaching for shadows nowadays. The older you get, the less you can rely on skill, and the more you have to rely on cunning.
BUCKLEY: Windham certainly has that in spades, he’s pulled Cruise off the ropes and is laying in the kicks! Cruise trying to cover up but it’s tough when he’s in that position – He just grabbed Windham’s foot and tripped him up! Cruise scrambles over him, and an armbar on that bad right shoulder, he’s pushing it in as much as he can!
MELTON: And there it is. Now we see how well healed Windham’s shoulder is.
BUCKLEY: He’s fighting it, Windham is on his knees, but Cruise is on his feet and he’s holding on tight! Windham’s on one knee with his fist on the mat, and if we could get a look at his face I’m sure he’d be in pain right now! Cruise with a fist to the shoulder! Another! He’s punishing that joint as best he can, but Windham refuses to give in!
MELTON: As injured as he is, you don’t become the Living Legend by showing it.
BUCKLEY: Windham struggling, he’s trying to get to the ropes! He’s over a step, and another, but Cruise holding on and pulling back, I don’t think he can make it!
MELTON: Mark Windham’s always got a trick up his sleeve, but I taught Cruise better than that.
BUCKLEY: These fans are fairly evenly split here tonight, with a slight majority cheering for the Lost Soul! He’s always been a superstar here in the CSWA, though he’s never really had the chance to shine on his own merits.
MELTON: Every Michael Jordan needs a Scottie Pippen, Bill.
BUCKLEY: True, but with Hornet retired this could finally be Mark’s chance!
MELTON: Hornet what? I’m talking about myself! But you’re right, now that I’m retired Mark has a chance.
BUCKLEY: WINDHAM WITH A REVERSAL! He just shifted his center of gravity and pulled Cruise right over himself and sent him outside the ring between the top and middle ropes! Cruise hit hard but I don’t think he’s more than dazed, which is more than I can say for Mark Windham as he’s windmilling his shoulder!
MELTON: More importantly, he’s got a few seconds to breathe.
BUCKLEY: Patrick Young’s count is at two and Cruise is on his feet, and he’s pacing outside while Windham, holding his shoulder, waits for him inside! And the fans are chanting for Cruise, now!
MELTON: I think they just want to see whoever’s not in control.
BUCKLEY: Cruise slides back in under the bottom, and Windham is there with a left hand full of hair! He pulls him in with a rear chinlock, and Cruise with a belly to belly bridging suplex! ONE… TWO… Windham powers through, and a spin reversal! Backslide! ONE… TWO… Kickout! Cruise and Windham both roll backwards, head over feet, and they’re facing each – CRUISE WITH ANOTHER RUSH AT WINDHAM! Mark Windham caught him left – handed and planted him with a uranage! Cover! ONE… TWO… THKICKOUT!
MELTON: Here’s where Cameron starts to lose the plot: he’s had a few setbacks and he’s losing his temper. I’ve told him time and time again, keep your cool. You lose your temper and you lose the match.
BUCKLEY: Windham with a scoop, and a backwards shove into the corner! Left hand connects! Patrick Young calling for him to back up, but Windham with a cross – corner whip! CRUISE HIT CHEST FIRST! Windham with a hook… Dragon suplex! Bridge! ONE… TWO… Kickout!
MELTON: See? How many of those can he really kick out of?
BUCKLEY: Cruise up to a knee, but you can clearly see his bell’s been rung! He’s trying to shake the cobwebs, while Windham drives a boot to his back! Another kick put Cruise back to the mat! Torture rack, maybe?
MELTON: I think that would be incredibly foolish.
BUCKLEY: Windham hooks Cruise by the head and sent him into the corner… Another whip! Cruise hit the opposite corner hard, and here comes Windham with the spear! CRUISE MOVED! WINDHAM JUST LANDED SHOULDER FIRST AGAINST THE RINGPOST!
BUCKLEY: Cruise has a chance – and he’s on it! Crossface chicken wing! He’s got the pressure on Windham’s bad shoulder and he’s pulling backwards! Windham is staying on his feet but that’s the only thing keeping him in this match, I think!
MELTON: That won’t last long. Cruise has that hold cinched in, it’s just a matter of time.
BUCKLEY: Windham currently flailing with his free hand, he’s trying to keep himself on his feet, or at least maneuver closer to the ropes, but I don’t know how successful he’ll be!
MELTON: And there’s the hair pulling.
BUCKLEY: Windham with a handful of Cruise’s hair, but Cruise pulls on his neck and he can’t hold it!
MELTON: The problem with Marky is that he got the crazy homeless man look down pat, but he never learned how to cheat effectively.
BUCKLEY: These fans are now cheering for Mark Windham to get out of it, I think you’re right, these fans are behind both men and have somehow collectively decided to root for whoever’s in a tough spot!
MELTON: I’m always right, Billy boy.
BUCKLEY: Cruise has that hold cinched in, and he’s… HE’S GOT WINDHAM DOWN! That body scissors in concert with the crossface has to have Mark Windham’s shoulder screaming in agony!
MELTON: Give it up, Windham. Give it up and maybe salvage your career.
BUCKLEY: Windham’s struggling, he’s fighting as hard as he can – he’s got his leg braced, and he’s rolled over! Cruise’s shoulders are down! ONE… TWO… He rolled out of it! Another cover! ONE… TWO… Another rollout!
MELTON: Nice try by Windham, but it’s over.
BUCKLEY: Another roll – WINDHAM GOES ALL THE WAY OVER! He’s hooked an ankle over the bottom rope, and Patrick Young calls for the break! Cruise holding on!
MELTON: Like I said, he gets a five count, and he should use it.
BUCKLEY: Four! Five! And the hold is broken, but I think the damage is irreversible now! Windham just rolled to the outside, and he’s in pain! Cruise just reached for him, but he backed out of the way! Patrick Young pushing Cruise back, and he’s counting Windham! ONE… TWO… THREE… FOUR… Cruise just tried again, but Windham got out of the way, and he’s pacing the ring area!
MELTON: Good strategy by Windham here, taking a breather to break up Cameron’s momentum, but you can’t win a match on the outside, you can only lose one.
BUCKLEY: CAMERON CRUISE WITH A DIVE THROUGH THE ROPES! HE JUST FLATTENED MARK WINDHAM ON THE FLOOR! THESE FANS ARE ON THEIR FEET!
MELTON: They’d better be, because neither of our competitors are!
BUCKLEY: Patrick Young counts one! Two! Three!
MELTON: C’mon, Cammy… make me proud.
BUCKLEY: Four… Five… Cruise is on his knees, Windham is still holding his shoulder in pain!
MELTON: After the chicken wing, the leg scissors, and the tackle through the ropes, I’d be surprised if he can even lift his arm.
BUCKLEY: Six… Cruise rolls back into the ring! Young resets the count, and Windham back to his knees! CRUISE WITH A HANDFUL OF HAIR! HE JUST PULLED THE LOST SOUL BACK INTO THE RING BY THE HAIR! COVER! ONE…TWO… THREEKICKOUT!
MELTON: It’s close to over. Windham’s got very little left in the tank, I can tell. And there’s no Bugbrain to make the save for him this time, lest he get accused of favoritism.
BUCKLEY: The tank may be running out, but we both know better than to count Mark Windham out! Cruise with a scoop, and a bodyslam! Cover, ONE… TWO… Kickout!
MELTON: Hook the leg, grab the tights, don’t let him screw you, Cammy!
BUCKLEY: Cameron Cruise back to his knees, and he looks frustrated! That shoulder has to be bothering Windham but he refuses to let it defeat him! Cruise with another scoop, and a cross corner whip! Clothesline – WINDHAM WITH THE BOOT! He cause Cruise in the face with that big boot! Cruise staggering in a circle, Windham hooks him! Tornado DDT! Cover! ONE… TWO… THKICKOUT!
MELTON: Just like that, Windham turns it. He’s got some ring presence unmatched by anyone not named Melton.
BUCKLEY: Windham scooping Cruise… he’s going for it! Torture rack! He’s not looking for the pin anymore, he’s looking for the submission, but I’m not sure how effective this hold will be with his shoulder as damaged as it is!
MELTON: If he can get Cruise up, he can carry the weight on his back. Less pressure.
BUCKLEY: HE’S GOT HIM UP!
MELTON: Well then, that’s all she wrote.
BUCKLEY: Cruise had the Crossface locked in earlier, now Windham’s trying for the submission with his torture rack! He’s got it cinched in, but Cruise is hanging on!
MELTON: Wow, these fans are noisy. Now they want Cameron to win? Make up your mind!
BUCKLEY: Like you said, they’re rooting for the underdog.
MELTON: Well, I’m tired of it. I taught Cameron Cruise how to be a winner, and if he can’t remember his lessons, he deserves to lose.
BUCKLEY: Windham’s holding onto the torture rack, but it looks like he’s starting to shake!
MELTON: Hold it or lose it, Windham!
BUCKLEY: Patrick Young is on the spot, still looking for the submission but Cruise is hanging in there! His back has to be screaming, but he’s refusing to surrender!
MELTON: Windham! Fire or clear!
BUCKLEY: Mark Windham just readjusted his stance, I think he’s losing his grip!
MELTON: And my man with a right hand! Cruise diggin’ deep into the Melton stockpiles, he’s still got something left in the tank!
BUCKLEY: Cruise with another fist that bounces off the side of Windham’s head, and Windham lost his grip! Cameron Cruise just crumpled feet first to the mat and Windham still holding his shoulder!
MELTON: Now or never, Cammy! You want it, take it!
BUCKLEY: Spinebuster by Cameron Cruise! Cover! ONE… TWO… THREEKICKOUT! Kickout! Windham just barely got out the back door!
MELTON: TAKE IT!
BUCKLEY: Cruise with a scoop… REALITY CHECK!
MELTON: TAKE IT!!!
BUCKLEY: Cover! ONE… TWO… … THREE!
(SFX: DING DING DING!)
JONES: Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this bout via pinfall… CAMERON CRUISE!
BUCKLEY: Cruise pulls it out! Patrick Young raises his hand in victory while a medical staffer comes to ringside to help Mark Windham out of the ring! The fans are cheering for both men, and once again, Cruise comes out on top!
MELTON: What did I say? Taught him everything he knows!
BUCKLEY: Maybe, maybe not! But with a second victory over Mark Windham this year, Cameron Cruise just proved he’s here to stay! This could be the moment that propels him forward!
MELTON: If this doesn’t, Bill… nothing will.
BUCKLEY: Coming up next, we have another returning CSWA Legend taking on a CSWA Newcomer as the King of Extreme himself, Eli Flair, takes on Pat Gordon Jr! But first, I understand Teri Melton is with the Unified Champion! Teri?
(Just outside the main rear entrance to the arena, Teri Melton stands, wringing her hands and checking her watch. She's been pacing for hours, staring out at the vacant driveway that leads to her location.
After a few seconds, a long black limousine approached. Finally, something to pique her interest.
The limo rolled to a stop in front of the entrance and the rear door opened. A pair of raptor-skin booted feet hit the ground and Eric Dane stood up in all of his three-pieced glory, casting a glance in Teri’s direction.
The man is nothing if not dressed for the occasion.
The arena crowd, watching on the big screen, gave a mixed reaction, somewhere between happy recognition and not-sure-if-I’m-supposed-to-boo-or-cheer.
The opposite door swung open and CSWA Unified World Champion Dan Ryan stood up, sunglasses pulled over his eyes and dressed rather casually in jeans and a t-shirt.)
TERI: Dan, we were starting to get a little worried.
Ryan barely acknowledged Teri Melton.
DANE: He’s with me, sweetheart. You can address me if you have something you need to talk to the Champ about.
(Teri’s gaze darted back and forth between the two men, resting again on said champ.)
TERI: Paul told me to make sure you had everything you….
(Her voice trailed off as it became clear that Dan Ryan is barely paying attention to her. Instead, he retrieved a bag from the back of the limo, his head disappearing for a moment then popping back up)
DANE: Again, you might not be aware… I don’t really know how high up in the food chain you are around here…. but Dan Ryan is a contracted employee of DEFIANCE, and is coming to this..
(Dane looks around, a little disgusted)
...show on about three hours sleep since your bosses insisted on holding this thing a day before our previously-booked show in Amsterdam. And furthermore, I’ve had just as little sleep as he has so again, if you want to talk to him, dear, YOU WILL GO THROUGH ME.
(Eric Dane’s demeanour and tone made it absolutely clear to Teri Melton that the topic is no longer open to discussion, so Teri turned her attention to Dane.)
TERI: O….k. Well then, if you could simply let him know that if he needs anything to just let me know, that would be fine.
(During this exchange, Ryan made his way around the car, no expression on his face. He started to pass Teri, then stops and gets a sudden rather sincere smile on his face.)
RYAN: Teri, good to see you again. How is the family?
TERI: Well they’re…
RYAN: Good, good. I’m gonna go ahead and get inside. Could you be a dear and let Ivy and Paul know that Mr. Dane here will be handling my business for the rest of the evening? I’d appreciate it if we could keep the distractions to a minimum as well, if you don’t mind.
TERI: Uh… sure, I guess.
(Ryan smiled his best Shooter McGavin smile and patted her on the shoulder.)
RYAN: That’s a good girl.
DANE: You know…. Teri, is it? I could really go for a bottle of water.
(Dane smirked, and the two men entered the arena, leaving Teri Melton on the outside, a slightly confused and stunned look on her face.
CUTTO: The arena interior, where the fans are conflicted between cheering for the Champion's arrival and astonishment at the moxie of Eric Dane to both be here at all and to treat a CSWA mainstay like Teri Melton the way he did.)
BUCKLEY: Strong words from Dan Ryan, and I believe that man with him was Eric Dane, owner and operator of Defiance Wrestling, another company that the Unified Champion works for!
MELTON: I don't believe it, Bill... that wasn't my man Dan! That was not my main man! I'll be back in a few minutes, hold down the fort!
BUCKLEY: Wait - Joey! What are you --? Let's take it to Rudy Seitzer, currently standing by with Pat Gordon Jr!
(CUTTO: Rudy Seitzer, standing in front of a CSWA banner.)
RUDY SEITZER: Thanks Bill! I can’t tell you how happy I am to see the CSWA come back around, and I’m just as excited about this next matchup that features a verifiable legend in professional wrestling, former CSWA World Heavyweight Champion ‘Total Elimination’ Eli Flair taking on a man who made it to the Sweet Sixteen in last year’s Ultratitle tournament, the man who’s currently standing right here with me!
(From the left, Pat Gordon Jr. entered the scene, looking amped up for the match tonight.)
PAT GORDON JR: That’s right, Rudy! It took a long time, but I’m finally debuting in the CSWA! I know the history of this company, the good and the bad, and I’ve gotta tell you, what matters to me is the good that the company produced, and the good that I want to be part of producing again! Ms. McGinnis said it when she called me, and I believe it… lightning can strike twice, and tonight is Ground Zero for the shock and awe!
SEITZER: On that note, Pat… your opponent tonight is no stranger to shock and awe, he’s the only man in the history of professional wrestling to hold the CSWA, the FWO, and the Asylum Fighting World Championship, of course I’m talking about ‘Total Elimination’ Eli Flair! What are your thoughts on the King of Extreme?
(Gordon stopped and took a deep breath.)
GORDON: I'm really excited to be facing a legend like Eli Flair. It's a huge opportunity for me just to step in the ring with him.
SEITZER: So do you expect to succeed tonight?
GORDON: Mr. Seitzer, Eli Flair is a verifiable legend. He’s one of the toughest men in the history of this business, and he’s one of the best wrestlers to ever lace up a pair of boots. But tonight? Eli Flair, tonight you’re gonna see why I’m an instant legend.
SEITZER: Strong words from Pat Gordon Jr –
(Gordon put his hand on Rudy’s shoulder to stop him; he looked over his shoulder at something far out of view. The camera swung in that direction, but all there was was an empty hallway. The camera swung back to Rudy and Gordon, with the former looking at the wrestler.)
GORDON: Sorry… I thought I saw… something.
(He lingered for a moment, then moved past the journalist.)
SEITZER: Ladies and gentlemen, it’s showtime!
(SFX: DING DING DING!)
BUCKLEY: Thanks Rudy! Fans, Joey Melton has left us for the time being, and I’m happy to be joined by longtime CSWA veteran Stan Parsons! You fans unfamiliar with Stan as a part of the CSWA’s history can recognize him as my co – host for the 2012 Ultratitle tournament! Welcome, Stan!
STAN PARSONS: Thanks, Bill. Glad to be here for as long as I need to.
BUCKLEY: We’re one match in on the CSWA’s return, and we’re about to see our first debut match of the new era! Pat Gordon Jr did an amazing job in the tournament last year, and we’re excited to see his debut tonight!
PARSONS: We are, Bill, but I wonder how well he’ll do against a man as tenacious as the King of Extreme.
BUCKLEY: That’s the question, Stan! Let’s take it up to Rhubarb!
JONES: This next contest is scheduled for one fall with a thirty minute time limit! Introducing first…
(CUE UP: “For Boston” by The Dropkick Murphys)
From Boston, Massachusetts, weighing in at two hundred and forty two pounds… The Southie Scrapper… PAT… GORDON… JUNIOR!!!
BUCKLEY: Pat Gordon Junior getting a nice reaction from the CSWA fans as he enters the arena through the entryway, he pumps his fist and slaps hands with the men and women at ringside!
PARSONS: This is the best thing he can do right now, Bill. Gordon’s got confidence but he knows the situation. He knows who his opponent is and he knows the odds of taking down the Original Nobody in his adopted hometown are not that good… his goal is clearly to make a connection.
BUCKLEY: I don’t know, Stan… I agree with you on Gordon’s long shot odds here tonight, but I don’t think he’s come to Greensboro to make a connection! I think Pat Gordon Jr is here to win this match!
PARSONS: Of course he is, Bill… I’m just weighing the variables.
BUCKLEY: Gordon in the ring, he’s leaning against the ropes to loosen himself up, and the fans welcoming him nicely! However, I think the reaction we’re about to hear is going to be second to none tonight, second only, perhaps, to Deacon and Dan Ryan!
JONES: AND HIS OPPONENT…
(CUE UP: “People of the Moon” by PUi. The fans did, in fact, explode.)
Weighing in at three hundred pounds… he is a former CSWA IntraContinental, Presidential, United States, and World Heavyweight Champion… From Bronx, New York… he is the Original Nobody… The King of Extreme… TOTAL ELIMINATION… ELI… FLAAAAAAAAIR!!!
BUCKLEY: The Merritt Auditorium has become unglued! We’re in near total darkness as the spotlights scan the crowd! And there it is, they’ve come together at the entryway, with the King of Extreme holding the reverse crucifix pose in front of the entryway!
PARSONS: I tell you, Bill – this town’s been up and down with the CSWA for the past few years but this man made his debut almost nineteen years ago in this very building and they’ve never given him less than a standing ovation. He might be coming to the ring with complete disdain and apathy for the fans in the stands, but you know he appreciates their appreciation and support, just as they appreciate – and have always appreciated – the way he goes above and beyond virtually every time he steps into the ring.
BUCKLEY: And there’s the final explosion, Stan – Eli Flair just climbed to the top turnbuckle, finally giving his own appreciation to the fans, while his opponent has been giving him his space but not taking his eyes off him!
PARSONS: It’ll be a knockdown, drag – out, no matter what.
BUCKLEY: Referee Ben Worthington giving these two athletes a few last minute instructions, and they touch hands in the middle of the ring and we’re off! Eli goes for a grab, but Gordon dodged! He’s much faster than the former World Champion, Stan – and that should be the centerpoint of his attack tonight!
PARSONS: Another attempt at a lockup – ELI SPINS AROUND WITH A RIGHT HAND! Gordon might be faster, Bill, but one shot might be all Flair needs!
BUCKLEY: Another right hand by Flair! He’s got Gordon staggered, and a third punch knocked him into the corner! Eli on the second rope, and we’re counting off! ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR, FIVE, SIX, SEVEN, EIGHT, NINE, TEN! He drops down, and Gordon slumps!
PARSONS: That gigantic right hand has ended more matches than we can realistically count, Bill.
BUCKLEY: Eli with a knee to the gut, and a second, and Gordon is in serious trouble just seconds into the match, Stan! The King of Extreme whips him cross – corner, and Gordon bounces off the turnbuckle pad and lands on the mat, face first!
PARSONS: It’s getting close to the end, I think.
BUCKLEY: Eli with a scoop – GORDON WITH A THUMB TO THE EYES! He hooked him around the waist and lifted! Bridge suplex! ONE… TWO… Eli powered out! He lifted Gordon up and spun him around… Backslide! ONE… TWO… Kickout! Gordon rolled backward and launched himself forward with a clothesline, Eli stays on his feet but staggers just a bit! Gordon off the ropes again, and a sunset flip! He’s pulling! Eli drops down for the cover! ONE… TWO… Gordon with the reversal! ONE… TWO…
PARSONS: He’s too smart for that, Bill! Eli scooted down and covered!
BUCKLEY: ONE… TWO… Gordon’s turn to power out! Reversal! Double reversal! Backslide by Gordon! ONE… TWO… Kickout by Flair, and both men roll away from each other!
PARSONS: Eli on his knees while Gordon makes it to his feet, though I think Gordon would do well to keep his distance while formulating a plan.
BUCKLEY: You may be right – GORDON MOVES IN WHILE ELI LUNGES FORWARD! SHOULDER TO THE GUT! Hook and a uranage! Cover! ONE… TWO… Kickout by Gordon!
PARSONS: This is vintage Eli Flair. But I think if we want to see some vintage Pat Gordon Jr, he needs to find a way to break the momentum.
BUCKLEY: Flair with a handful of hair, he pulls Gordon back to his feet, and a clubbing forearm just sent Gordon to his knees! He climbs back slowly, and another forearm sent him right back!
PARSONS: He’s just toying with him. I don’t think Gordon’s beaten down enough to get pinned right now, but I don’t think he can really do anything about his situation.
BUCKLEY: Gordon on one knee, and Eli Flair is standing back now, waiting! What’s on his mind, Stan?
PARSONS: Nothing good.
BUCKLEY: Kick to the top of the head by Eli Flair, and Gordon is rocked to the mat again! Scoop, and a reverse neckbreaker just put Gordon back to the mat!
PARSONS: The King of Extreme is in complete control here, I can’t see how Gordon can come back right now. He needs to get control, if just for a second, so he can reverse the momentum.
BUCKLEY: Another scoop, and a whip into the ropes! Eli with a swinging clothesline – Gordon ducked! Leap to the second rope, and a modified moonsault! Gordon with the cover! ONE… TWO… Kickout! That could be just the break Gordon needed!
PARSONS: I doubt it, Eli Flair’s to his feet first, and a scoop with a powerbomb just planted Gordon again!
BUCKLEY: Gordon rolled outside, and he’s taking a walk! I think he’s reevaluating his strategy here! Eli Flair stepping back and waiting, Ben Worthington counting but he’s not interrupting, and with Gordon on his feet I don’t think we’ll see a countout here tonight.
PARSONS: No, no countout, but Pat Gordon knows what he’s doing. This isn’t like Cameron Cruise trying to prove something to the wrestling world by beating Mark Windham again: Eli Flair’s got nothing to prove so he’s clearly just waiting, biding his time.
BUCKLEY: I think you’re right, Stan… Gordon pacing the outside while Worthington’s count is at four, and Eli Flair just waiting. He doesn’t look like he’s concerned with Gordon coming back in or not!
PARSONS: Gordon’s looking at Flair, and you know what he’s thinking: do I have a chance to get back in?
BUCKLEY: That’s a pretty easy answer, Stan – Eli Flair has never been one to shy away from an advantage so he’ll clearly go for an attack when Gordon tries to get back in, but he’s also not one to cut off an opponent’s every chance!
PARSONS: I think Gordon knows that, and he’s trying to figure out what his best option is.
BUCKLEY: He’s on the ring steps, and the count is at seven!
PARSONS: Probably the best way to go, Bill. He can climb up without giving up his defense.
BUCKLEY: Eight, nine, and Gordon is on the ring apron, and he climbs back inside! Eli Flair with a kneelift! Clubbing forearms pound his opponent into the middle rope, and a hook of the head just pulled Pat Gordon into the middle of the ring! DDT! Cover! ONE… TWO… Kickout by Gordon!
PARSONS: It’s been pretty one – sided so far, I must say.
BUCKLEY: Flair with another scoop, and he sends Pat Gordon into the ropes… Reversal! Gordon with a superkick! Flair ducked it! He’s off the other side… Gordon with a Frank ‘n Parsons! He cradles! ONE… TWO… THREE!
PARSONS: I DON’T BELIEVE IT!
JONES: Ladies and gentlemen, your winner via pinfall… Pat Gordon Jr!
BUCKLEY: Gordon with an amazing upset here tonight! He leaped off as soon as the bell rang, and he’s out of the ring while Eli Flair is sitting on the mat with disbelief written all over his face!
PARSONS: Gordon was taking a beating, but all it takes is three seconds, Buckley! Three seconds and Pat Gordon Jr has immediately and convincingly written his name on the annals of the CSWA!
BUCKLEY: Eli Flair on his knees, and he’s applauding Gordon’s victory! I have a feeling these two will meet again soon, but for the moment, Pat Gordon Jr has unseated the King of Extreme! Coming up next, we have the New Blood triple threat match but I understand Joey Melton has caught up with Dan Ryan backstage! Joey?
(Backstage Eric Dane is walking determinedly down the hall leading to the Hot Zone. Behind him in full ring gear is the CSWA Unified World Champion Dan Ryan. From the distance, we hear a voice calling out, clearly recognizable to the CSWA crowd as Joey Melton.)
Melton approaches and gets to Eric Dane’s position, trying to get by, but Eric Dane gives him a forceful shove backward.)
DANE: Take a hike, Melton.
(Dane and Ryan barely break stride and Ryan doesn’t look at Melton at all. Melton’s mouth drops open at being ignored.)
MELTON: Are you kidding me, man? What is this? You’re too big to even look at me now? We were family, man!
(Dane and Ryan don’t give Melton another second, walking away and around a corner as the camera focuses back on Melton, who furrows his brow concerned.)
PARSONS: Good luck with him when he gets back, Bill.
BUCKLEY: Thanks, Stan.
(SFX: DING DING DING!)
JONES: This next contest is a Triple Threat match scheduled for one fall, with a thirty minute time limit! Introducing first…
(CUE UP: “Points of Authority” by Linkin Park)
From Greensboro, North Carolina… weighing in at two hundred and sixteen pounds… RIPPED… ROLAND… BRAMBLE!!!
BUCKLEY: Roland Bramble, of course, is the son of former CSWA wrestler Henderson Bramble, though I do have to say, Roland has been incredibly impressive in our training facility! All three of these men have been, but Roland Bramble and his aerial ability has made a few local headlines, Stan!
PARSONS: Most definitely, Bill. My uncle Beauford and his wrestling school here in Greensboro has been producing quality athletes for years. It’s only now that someone’s finally getting a chance to shine on the biggest stage of all.
BUCKLEY: This certainly is a chance of a lifetime, Stan; all three of these men will be making their live debut tonight, as Roland Bramble vaults over the top rope and raises an arm in victory!
(CUE UP: “My Way” by Limp Bizkit.)
JONES: His opponent… from Durham, North Carolina… weighing in at two hundred and forty pounds… ‘Next Generation’ Wesley Paige Junior!
BUCKLEY: Of course, the son of ‘Winless’ Wesley Paige, whose nickname didn’t accurately reflect his status as a former CSWA United States Tag Team Champion, regardless, Wes Paige Junior has shown a ton of promise and I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do!
PARSONS: All three of these kids have nothing but potential, Bill – it really just comes down to who it is that can capitalize.
(CUE UP: “”Roll the Bones” by Rush)
JONES: And their opponent… from Charleston, South Carolina… weighing in at two hundred and sixty pounds… ‘The Prince of Darkness’ Lenny Brigsby!
PARSONS: He’s got the weight advantage, the oddsmakers have him as the front runner!
BUCKLEY: That’s always the safe bet, but all three of these men are unproven talents and could just as easily take the victory!
PARSONS: We’ve got a three way staredown right now as Brigsby enters the ring, and Patrick Young gives them a few final words! BRIGSBY WITH A CLOTHESLINE ON BRAMBLE! RIGHT HAND TO PAIGE! RIGHT HAND TO BRAMBLE! RIGHT HAND TO PAIGE – PAIGE BLOCKED! Two quick punches from Wes Paige and he’s got Brigsby on the ropes! Irish whip! Backdrop!
BUCKLEY: Roland Bramble back in the ring, and he’s got Paige from behind! Back suplex! Bridge! ONE… TWO... Kickout!
PARSONS: So far they’re all doing better than their fathers, nobody’s lost yet.
BUCKLEY: Wes Paige rolls away from Bramble, and he’s got his defenses up! Bramble dropkicked by Brigsby! Brigsby floored by a clothesline from Paige! Bramble with another hook from behind onto Paige! Backdrop – NO! Modified bulldog! Paige, quick like a cat, just scaled the corner! SHOOTING STAR PRESS! Cover! ONE… TWO… THREE! Brigsby not in time!
JONES: Here is your winner… Wes Paige Jr!
BUCKLEY: Impressive debut by Wes Paige, and –
“WHOA, WHOA, WHOA!”
(“The One You Love to Hate” screeches to life, drowning out whatever else is going on in the building. While this might mean very little to the CSWA at large, those connoisseurs of a more defiant product instantly recognize the tune.)
BUCKLEY: That’s ERIC DANE! From DEFIANCE! I know he’s here with Dan Ryan, for whatever ridiculous reason I can’t fathom, but what on Planet Krypton is he doing out here with a microphone? HE DOES NOT work for CSWA!
(The music fades, The Only Star makes his way toward the ring, shedding the outer layer of his Armani suit and loosening cufflinks and his tie along the way.)
DANE: Ivy McGinnis pops off on Twitter about me being defiant while she, and I quote, makes history with the CSWA.
(The home crowd pops. Dane sneers.)
DANE: So I come out here, to Greensboro North Carolina of all places, on a trans-atlantic flight from Amsterdam, where Dan Ryan and I have to get back to before this time tomorrow so that we can put on an actually watchable wrestling show, and I’m not here twenty minutes before I find myself trying to re-download Candy Crush so I can find something in this God-forsaken state worth holding my attention for eight seconds at a stretch!
(Closing in on the ring, Dane comes across a particularly rowdy fan near the guardrail holding up a DEFenseless sign and mugging for the camera.)
DANE: Gimme that!
(The Only Star snatches the poster-board and rips it in half.)
DANE: You think I’m defenseless, you go on and hop that guardrail, fatboy, I’ll show you and your neckbearded mother everything you ever wanted to know about being DEFIANT!
(Event Staff has quickly and smartly made their presence known, not even allowing the rowdy fan the chance to do anything more than continue to mug for the cameras. The DEFIANCE boss blows him off and continues toward the ring. Bramble and Brigsby scatter as he makes his way to the ringside area, leaving only Wes Paige Jr. standing between Eric Dane and the CSWA’s center ring.)
PARSONS: Forget about keeping the fans from hopping the guardrail, can we keep the non – contracted wrestlers from entering the ring?
(Dane easily strides up the steps, letting his gaze fall on Paige as he stands inside the ring, begging The Only Star to come get some.)
DANE: And then there’s you, the son of a jobber to the stars, who just put on a mediocre match with two other second generation never-will-be’s, and you’re gonna stop me, a six time World Champion, from taking over this ring and giving this sad excuse for an inbred hick audience the greatest show that they’ll ever see here in the Merritt Armory?
BUCKLEY: We do, of course, apologize for Eric Dane’s comments, he certainly does not represent the views of the CSWA or CS Enterprises.
(The Only Star ducked under the top rope and stepped in, pressing immediately to Wes Paige’s chest. To Wes’s credit, he pushed back hard enough to send Dane back a couple of good steps, but by then he was committed. He charged with a wild lariat that Dane easily ducked as he dropped the microphone.)
BUCKLEY: Careful, Wes!
(Dane sent an easy kick to the midsection, doubling over the second generation grappler in front of him. He locked his head in a front choke before throwing an arm over his own head and neck. He pointed directly into the camera before lifting the smaller wrestler up with ease, he held him vertically, as if stalling for a suplex, before snapping down violently and dropping him head first with a Stardriver brainbuster.)
PARSONS: Paige is out! Can we get someone to give him a hand?
(Eric reclaimed the microphone as he stands, resting his right foot on the chest of the unconscious Wes Paige Jr. Dane brushes a single misplaced hair back behind his ear before raising the microphone once again.)
DANE: This is it, really?
DANE: This is the legacy of the “Great” and “Powerful” CSWA?
(He cocked an eyebrow.)
DANE: Ivy. Hornet. Idiots in Greensboro and however many miles of surrounding area that this show reaches on public access television, if this is all you’ve got to offer, then you shouldn’t have to ask why Dan Ryan spends his time, how did she put it… “slumming it” in DEFIANCE. This is the first show the CSWA’s tried to put together in however many months or years since the last one didn’t happen, and you can’t even string together six guys that anybody outside of Greensboro has ever heard of without trying to poach my DEFIANCE roster!
(A cup of beer whizzed by his head.)
DANE: Oh yeah! Throw garbage! Real classy! This is why DEFIANCE doesn’t run the Mid-Atlantic, too much inbreeding going on in the mountains and too much meth in the elementary schools!
DANE: I’ll tell you what. I’m gonna go back there to the back, find Dan Ryan, and we’re gonna have a long discussion about what’s good for business. Then he’s gonna come out here and he’s gonna turn Deacon into an alter-boy with as many Humility Bombs as it takes, and we’re gonna go back across the Atlantic and finish off the European tour! You can tune in every week on Hulu Plus and you can catch our upcoming mega-show GRINDHOUSE: GERMANY on iPPV through our website, because that’s the only way you’re ever gonna see Dan Ryan again!
After tonight he’ll have fulfilled his yearly obligation to show up and pretend to give a quarter of a rat’s ass about this once and future non-existent trip down memory lane! And if Ivy or Hornet think they’re gonna book him on another show without my expressed written permission, well I’ve got a European tour to finish, and a Canadian tour to start and finish, but I should be back in my office in New Orleans some time around mid-February. Call my assistant, she’ll fit you in line with the rest of the schlubs out there looking to make a buck off of the DEFIANCE brand!
(More garbage flies, the booing has reached a fever pitch.)
BUCKLEY: Will you get lost?
(“The One You Love to Hate” flares up again on the sound system. Eric tosses the microphone in the general direction of the ringside crew, and exits the ring. He spins, arms wide, soaking it all in before backing his way up the ramp, guffawing and sniping at any and all willing participants on either side of the aisleway.)
PARSONS: More importantly, why did Marvin play his music?
MELTON: I’m back… what did I miss?
BUCKLEY: We’ll be back in thirty seconds.
MELTON: Well, that was depressing. I guess you just can’t trust people anymore.
BUCKLEY: From what I understand, that’s pretty standard faire for a man whose company is named ‘DEFIANT.’
MELTON: What? No, I meant Dan Ryan blowing me off. That man forgets who buttered his bread.
BUCKLEY: I’ll let that one go.
(SFX: DING DING DING)
JONES: This next contest is scheduled for one fall, and it is a special attraction match with a ten minute time limit! Introducing first, from Greensboro, North Carolina…
(CUE UP: “Ace of Spades” by Motorhead)
Weighing in at two hundred and ninety pounds… BONECRUSHER!!
BUCKLEY: Nice ovation for the former United States/National Champion, and former Greensboro Champion Bonecrusher! He’s been out of the public eye the past few years but he looks to be in tremendous shape!
MELTON: Tremendous shape? It’s called enhancement talent, Buckley.
BUCKLEY: I seem to recall Bonecrusher getting a win or two over you, Joey.
MELTON: It was an off night. I was wrestling with a one hundred seventeen degree fever.
BUCKLEY: Sure you were. Bonecrusher under the bottom rope, and he’s ready for this one! Fans, you heard Rhubarb correctly, this match has a ten minute time limit! Bonecrusher claims he can win this one that quickly, while his opponent would claim otherwise!
JONES: AND HIS OPPONENT…
(CUE UP: “Reise, Reise” by RAMMSTEIN)
From Bonn, Germany… weighing in at four hundred seventy five pounds… The German Gargant… VIKTOR… REISE!!!
MELTON: I think I have to side against Bonecrusher. Again.
BUCKLEY: The fans are on their feet for the German National Champion, and I have to say I can see why he’s undefeated, Joey! My little cheat sheet here tells me that Viktor Reise stands at seven feet five inches tall, and he’s never even been taken off his feet!
MELTON: Oh, the things I could do with him. The Viktor Reise Project.
BUCKLEY: Viktor just stepped effortlessly over the top rope, and Bonecrusher with a running clothesline! BONECRUSHER GOES DOWN! That man is nearly three hundred pounds and he just bounced off the giant like he was a cruiserweight!
MELTON: This does not bode well for the rest of the match.
BUCKLEY: Bonecrusher is back up, and Viktor still just standing there! Bonecrusher circling, he’s looking for an opening but the Giant’s defenses are down! I think he could attack him pretty much at will right now!
MELTON: So do I, but with the same outcome.
BUCKLEY: Clubbing forearm! Another! Bonecrusher unloads… and Reise doesn’t even flinch!
MELTON: Maybe it’s time for plan C?
BUCKLEY: Kick to the midsection! Bonecrusher off the ropes… VIKTOR WITH A PRESS SLAM! He’s got the three hundred pounder pressed straight up over his head with shades of GUNS!
MELTON: If he’s really looking to emulate GUNS, it’s time to take bets on which lucky fan in the third row gets to take home their very own Bonecrusher.
BUCKLEY: Bonecrusher dumped to the outside, and the fans are on their feet cheering for Viktor Reise! I have to tell you Joey, he’s much more pleasant without that loudmouthed manager of his outside the ring.
MELTON: Careful, our boss is the loudmouth manager to end all loudmouth managers.
BUCKLEY: Viktor crosses his arms and stares at Bonecrusher, he’s not moving! Patrick Young’s count is up to five, and Bonecrusher needs to formulate a new strategy!
MELTON: I think staying outside the ring is probably for the best.
BUCKLEY: Still, like you said earlier – you can’t win a match outside the ring!
MELTON: Did I say that? I’m very wise.
BUCKLEY: The count is at eight, and Bonecrusher finally reenters the ring, but he’s treading lightly.
MELTON: Wouldn’t you? I mean, I wouldn’t be because I’m the greatest of all time, but you would.
BUCKLEY: They lock up… and Viktor with a two handed choke lift! He’s got Bonecrusher up like he weighs nothing at all! SLAM to the mat! He just stood on his chest! ONE… TWO… Viktor steps off!
MELTON: I think this is less a match and more an exhibition.
BUCKLEY: Scoop by Viktor, and a shove into the corner! Knee to the chest! Another! Bonecrusher is slumped!
MELTON: Never thought I’d see it go that way that quickly.
BUCKLEY: Viktor steps back… Running sandwich in the corner, and Bonecrusher collapses to the mat! He scoops him… POWERBOMB! One handed cover! ONE… TWO… THREE!
JONES: Here is your winner… VIKTOR REISE!
BUCKLEY: And that’s that! Viktor Reise leaves the ring just as nonchalantly as he entered, and he’s achieved an overwhelmingly one sided victory tonight!
MELTON: It’s incredible, the way he manhandled Bonecrusher like that, but if you’re surprised by how easily this kid just won the match, you aren’t paying attention.
BUCKLEY: Fans, we want to thank you once again for joining us for CSWA PRIMETIME; and we’re going to pause here to for another break to let you know about CSWA Versus, coming after the holidays to an arena near you!
(CUTTO: CSWA Live! Promo.)
BUCKLEY: Fans, we want to thank you once more for joining us this evening for the return of the CSWA, and we’ve got one match to go before signing off for the night! It’s a big one, Joey, as the UNIFIED World Championship will be on the line against a former CSWA World Champion!
MELTON: I’m really looking forward to this one, Bill. Since the millennium, I think the only wrestler in this company that’s been as dominant as Dan Ryan – besides myself, of course – was Deacon.
(SFX: DING DING DING!)
JONES: Ladies and gentlemen, this is your main event of the evening! This contest is scheduled for one fall with a sixty minute time limit, and it is for the Unified World Heavyweight Championship!
(CUE UP: “Jesus Freak” by DC Talk. HUGE fan pop.)
Introducing first, from Alexandria, Egypt… He is a former CSWA World Heavyweight Champion… Weighing in at three hundred pounds… and accompanied to the ring by Chris Shepherd… THIS IS… DEACON!!
(SFX: Chant of “WELCOME BACK!” fills the arena.)
BUCKLEY: Chris Shepherd leads the Deacon into the arena, he’s ditching the theatrics tonight in favor of a direct run to the ring, though Deacon’s face and body are obscured by the white hooded cloak he’s wearing! Still, there’s only one man big enough to wear it! Joey, ten seconds. Make a prediction!
MELTON: Deacon wins.
MELTON: He didn’t blow off a brotha.
MELTON: Dan Ryan’s an irresistible force to Deacon’s immovable object, but when I looked into my main man’s eyes I got the feeling he’d rather be somewhere else, and I think that lack of motivation will work in Deacon’s favor.
JONES: AND HIS OPPONENT…
(CUE UP: “Zero” by The Smashing Pumpkins)
From Houston Texas… weighing in at three hundred thirty pounds… He is the current reigning UNIFIED Heavyweight Champion… The EGO BUSTER… DAN… RYAAAAAAAAANNN!!!!!!!!!
BUCKLEY: These fans welcoming Dan Ryan to the ring almost as forcefully as they did Deacon!
MELTON: He’s battled through some BS here as well, Bill – winning the CSWA World Title only to get stripped by Stephen Thomas to crown… well… MOI… as the rightful holder of the title. Then he loses in the Unified Championship tournament finals to Troy and is barred from entering Gold Rush, so he has to do it under a mask. THEN he loses in Gold Rush and immediately cashes in his return match to win the belt. That was seven years ago, and there’ve probably been less than twenty CSWA events since that point.
BUCKLEY: He certainly has battled some adversity here, Joey!
MELTON: Personally, I’m surprised he showed up at all.
BUCKLEY: I think Dan Ryan is smart enough to realize that all the static he had to go through in this company was due to the prior ownership, not Hornet and Ivy.
MELTON: Horse of a different color, Bill.
BUCKLEY: There’s the bell, and we’re off! Deacon and Ryan circling each other, and they lock up! Deacon has a slight height advantage while Ryan has a slight weight advantage, but neither man gives an inch!
MELTON: If Deacon’s got the height advantage, isn’t Ryan giving a few inches?
BUCKLEY: Ryan bears down, and he’s backed Deacon up a step! They’re still struggling in the middle of the ring, but the Ego Buster has gained some semblance of control! Another step!
MELTON: He needs to get under and hold on. Neither of these guys is used to being the smaller one in the ring so they need to use smarts to take it.
BUCKLEY: DEACON WITH A SUDDEN ARMDRAG TAKEDOWN! He used Ryan’s momentum against him! The Champion hit the mat and rolled away from Deacon and Ryan’s on the ropes! Deacon is an honorable man, he’ll wait for Dan Ryan to get up and off the ropes before moving in!
MELTON: Honor only goes so far. Dan Ryan is an honorable man but if he has an advantage he’ll wisely press it home.
BUCKLEY: Ryan up, and they lock up again! Knee to the gut by Dan Ryan! Bodyslam! Deacon rolls through quickly, but Ryan stays on him with a forearm between the shoulder blades! Hook from behind, and a full nelson slam! Ryan holds on, but Deacon quickly breaks the hold!
MELTON: Like I said, if Deacon wants to win he’ll need to pull out ALL the stops.
BUCKLEY: The Champ with a handful of hair, he brings Deacon back to his feet and whips him into the ropes! Backdrop! Deacon went with it and landed on his feet! He’s off the other side, Ryan ducks a clothesline attempt! Spinebuster! Deacon reversed to a DDT! Ryan pops up but he’s dazed, and this time Deacon’s clothesline attempt hits its mark! Deacon with a scoop and an Irish whip of his own… Powerslam! Cover! ONE… TWO… THKICKOUT! Dan Ryan takes a powder, and the fans are cheering for Deacon!
MELTON: They’d best be careful not to be too loud, we don’t want Danno to feel less than appreciated.
BUCKLEY: Ryan pacing the outside… Ben Worthington counts three! Four! Five!
MELTON: It’s a mental game, Bill… we’ve seen it work and backfire so far tonight.
BUCKLEY: Ryan slides back under the bottom rope, and he moves toward Deacon. They lock up – Ryan with a thumb to the eyes! Worthington warns him, but the damage is done! Right hand! Another! Scoop and a slam to the mat! Ryan with the cover, ONE… TWO… Kickout!
MELTON: That’s something Deacon never learned how to do: cheat.
BUCKLEY: Deacon looks dazed, he’s still trying to clear his vision but Ryan with another scoop! He’s got him up and holding him there… Deacon dropped face first on the turnbuckle! With athletes this size it’s not surprising, but I never thought I’d see Deacon manhandled like that! Ryan with another scoop, and a cross – corner whip! Deacon hit had and staggers out a step, clothesline put him back to the mat! Cover! ONE… TWO… THKICKOUT!
MELTON: He’s in control, Bill… I think if he plays it smart he’ll keep it.
BUCKLEY: That’s certainly something Dan Ryan knows how to do, he’s looking to end this one quickly! Ryan with another scoop, and he’s going for a suplex – NO! Dan Ryan hoisted Deacon up and dropped him chest first across the top rope! Deacon collapses to the floor holding his chest, and Shepherd is on the spot checking on him!
MELTON: Worthington shooing him away? Why? Has any mischief ever arisen from Chris Shepherd?
MELTON: That whole murder charge things was a setup, remember? This isn’t Seattle.
BUCKLEY: Even still, Ben Worthington is technically correct in keeping all support staff away from the combatants – BASEBALL SLIDE BY DAN RYAN! He just caught Deacon on the side of the head, and now he’s laying the kicks into his back on the floor!
MELTON: I told you, Danno doesn’t want to be here so he’s going to make Deacon pay for it!
BUCKLEY: Worthington yelling at Ryan to get himself and Deacon back into the ring, but technically, all he can do at this juncture is count! Ryan with a scoop and a slam on the floor! Another scoop, and a whip into the ringpost! Finally, Dan Ryan reenters the ring, but the fans are starting to turn on him!
MELTON: Just a few. They might love Deacon but they also love the way Ryan’s always kicked butt.
BUCKLEY: True, most of the fans are cheering for Dan Ryan but I think an even greater number is cheering on Deacon! Worthington’s restarted count is at three, and Deacon is on his knees trying to get his wits about him!
MELTON: I’d make a witless joke but I’m better than that.
BUCKLEY: Four! Deacon with one foot on the floor, he looks about ready to push himself back up!
MELTON: He should be glad he didn’t get busted open, we’d never hear the end of the Churchy puns.
BUCKLEY: Five! Are you sure they wouldn’t be your puns, Joey?
MELTON: I won’t say.
BUCKLEY: Six! Deacon on his feet, and he’s holding onto the bottom rope! He’s on the apron! Seven! Ryan with a fist to the face! Suplex just pulled Deacon back into the ring!
MELTON: A countout would’ve been easier, though I think Dan Ryan is happy with a pin as well.
BUCKLEY: I believe Ryan feels the same way, Joey, he’s got Deacon set up… HUMILITY BOMB! It’s over! ONE… TWO… THREEFOOTONTHEROPES! Deacon managed to drape his foot on the bottom rope just before the three count, and Dan Ryan is staring in disbelief!
MELTON: But he’s not arguing with the referee, he’s smarter than that. Humility bomb two!
BUCKLEY: He’s doing just that, Joey, he’s got Deacon set up in the middle of the ring this time! I think this is the end for Deacon… He held on! Ryan trying to muscle him up, but Deacon with a backdrop! Ryan landed hard, Deacon falls to his knees! That was as big a hail mary as I’ve ever seen, and it’s given Deacon precious seconds of respite!
MELTON: Not enough seconds! Ryan’s back to his feet, and he’s incensed!
BUCKLEY: He hooks Deacon by the hair and pulls him up – DEACON WITH A CHOKESLAM! That came out of nowhere!
MELTON: Quite literally, Bill! Deacon can’t follow up!
BUCKLEY: Dan Ryan rolls to the outside to catch his bearings, though I don’t think he has to worry too much about that since Deacon is still on his knees! I’d have to say Dan Ryan is still well in control of this match despite the sudden explosion of offense from Deacon! Ryan has his back to the ring right now, holding his hand to the back of his head. I’m not surprised his bell was rung by that chokeslam, in fact, I wonder if he’s ever been chokeslammed before!
MELTON: Neither of these men are used to being manhandled the way they are.
BUCKLEY: Deacon staggering to his feet while Ben Worthington’s count is at five… Ryan with a deep breath and a turn… MY DEATH IS GAIN! DEACON JUST FLATTENED HIM ON THE FLOOR!
MELTON: Turnabout and fair play, right?
BUCKLEY: Both men are laid out on the floor; Ryan was in much better shape than Deacon a second ago but that’s still three hundred pounds coming down on top of him! Worthington counts! ONE… TWO… THREE…
MELTON: And of course, a double countout isn’t as glamorous, but Ryan would keep the belt. Think that’s going through his mind right now? I mean, besides Deacon’s forearm.
BUCKLEY: FOUR… These fans are counting along! FIVE… SIX… Deacon with a hand on the ring apron! SEVEN…
MELTON: Besides that, like Defiance boy said before, they’re going to Amsterdam. Take the countout, take a plane, take some ‘painkillers.’
BUCKLEY: EIGHT… Ryan pulling himself up on the stairs! NINE… Deacon’s back in the ring! Ryan’s back in the ring! This match will continue!
MELTON: But for how much longer?
BUCKLEY: Deacon with a kick to the chest as Ryan climbs to his feet! He’s backed him into the corner, and a whip across the ring! Ryan reverses! Deacon pops out of the corner with a clothesline! I think he’s getting ready!
MELTON: He’s underestimating Dan Ryan again, it’s gonna backfire on him.
BUCKLEY: Ryan rolls to his knees, and Deacon pulls him up! We’re going to see an Altar Call!
MELTON: INNA NERTZ!
BUCKLEY: DAN RYAN WITH A LOW BLOW! Deacon drops him and falls to his knees! Ryan up again, and he’s got Deacon set up! HUMILITY BOMB! ONE… TWO… THREE!
(SFX: DING DING DING!)
JONES: The winner of this contest, and still Unified Heavyweight Champion… Dan Ryan!
BUCKLEY: Dan Ryan pulled it off, albeit a little less than sportsmanlike!
MELTON: Sportsman, schmortzman. Ryan retained the belt, that’s the real bottom line.
BUCKLEY: Deacon put up a great effort, but Dan Ryan’s guile was enough to pull it out! And that’s all the time we’ve got for you tonight, for Joey Melton, for Teri Melton, for Rudy Seitzer and the rest of the CSWA staff, thanks for joining us! We’ll see you soon!
(CUTTO: A wide shot of the arena where Dan Ryan can be seen returning to the backstage, ignoring the fans all around him. They’re loud as anything, however, cheering for the efforts of the former Champion, Deacon.
FADE to the CSWA logo… with the year 2014 flashing underneath… FTB.)
Results compiled and archived with Backstage 3.