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Chuck Woolery

SWF Smarkdown, 2-14-05!

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Tom Flesher is sitting in his office, a cup of coffee beside him, looking down at the newspaper on his desk. It is a copy of the New York Times Arts section, and he holds a pen in his hand. The door opens, and Tom glances up.


Scott Pretzler is standing in the doorway.


“Ah, Mr. Pretzler, it's a pleasure. I’d been wondering how long it would be before we finally met.” He studies Pretzler non-judgmentally, as if sizing him up.


“Mr. Flesher, may I sit down?


“Knock yourself out.”


“Mr. Flesher – would you prefer that I called you Mr. Flesher or Tom?”


“Yes, of course,” says Flesher, scribbling letters into a few of the boxes in the crossword puzzle.


“Well, which one?”


“What was the question?”


“Should I call you Mr. Flesher or Tom?”


“My acquaintances call me Taamo.”


“Anyway, Ta- Mr. Flesher… you are one of the few people left in this business who truly cares about the wrestling aspect. It’s so rare these days to see a performer actually go out there and try to put on a real scientific match, but you’re one of those exceptions. It’s an honor, it really is.”


He stands up.


“Now, I’ve got a Cruiserweight Title match to go prepare for, but I just wanted to let you know how deep my respect for you runs.”


He offers his hand to Flesher. Flesher, still pounding out the Monday puzzle, raises his head and laughs.


“I- I’m sorry. I got a little spaced out there for a minute. Did you just say you have the runs?”


Pretzler’s face turns red; whether with anger or humiliation, it’s impossible to tell.


“Are you listening to me, Mr. Flesher?”


“Not in particular, no. Frankly, the puzzle's a little harder than usual.”


Pretzler seems heartbroken. He rescinds the handshake offer.


“I thought that you of all people would appreciate what I do. I thought you would be grateful for all the credit I’ve given you in my interviews. You really did inspire me, Tom. As much as I dislike the sensibilities of the SWF, you’re one of the reasons I’m here today. Why do you have to shit on me like this? Some day, when you’re lying on a stained rotten mattress with the springs hanging out, heroin syringes crunching under your cheesy thighs as you grind your hips back and forth against those of some jailbait hooker, and I’m on top of the w–”


Tom stands up, places a hand on Pretzler’s shoulder. He assumes a fatherly tone.


“Look, Scott. You’re a nice guy. I do respect you. I respect you a lot, if you care to know. You have heart and you have a mission, and I can see that you’re not just here to win gold. Plus, you can write. But, honestly, I’m tired. We both have a long night ahead of us. See that coffee? It’s seven-eighths full. That means my mind is only one-eighth full. Know what I mean? Here, why don’t you have a sip yourself?”


He picks up the mug, careful not to spill any, and hands it to the newcomer. Pretzler, reluctantly takes a sip, his eyes still blazing. Tom continues.


“Feels better, doesn’t it? Now, if you really want people to respect you, you’ve got to do things. You’ve got to accomplish things. You have a great vocabulary, but boasting will only get you this far. I mean, being better than everyone else only carries you so far unless you are.”


Pretzler is starting to calm down. He is still unsure of whether Flesher is being serious.


“Why don’t you start, Scotty, by winning your match tonight? Go take your shower, do a few push-ups, and start thinking about how you’re going to beat Spike. Go pick up one of the ring rats if it'll help. Carnage has some new Russian bondage porn you might be interested in if that's your bag, but he probably won’t feel like lending you any. Since, you know, you just beat him. Only thing I'd advise against is Irishing up the coffee... I don't know if you've heard, but... Ash...” Flesher coughs. "Seriously, though..."


Not knowing if he should take this as an encouragement, Pretzler puts the mug down and heads for the door.


“Well… I’m glad we were able to talk, Mr. Flesher.”


“Yes, so am I.” Tom holds out his hand, and Pretzler shakes it.


“Relax, Scott. Maybe you just need a few friends."


Pretzler nods, exiting the office. He looks around the hallway -- it’s certainly bigger than any of the arenas he competed in during his stint in Ring of Respect, but he’s adjusting quickly. So quickly in fact, that he has a Championship match in only his third show with the company. A smug grin spreading across his face, he heads for the dressing rooms.




The sign on the door says ‘SCOTT PRETZLER’, it must be his.




Pretzler opens the door of his changing room and walks in, impressed despite himself that even someone as new as him should have one to himself, and a large one as well. Evidently the SWF is keen to keep hold of its top talent. What he doesn’t see is that outside the door, someone is peeling off the sticky vinyl namesign to reveal another beneath.






Pretzler turns, mouth open to bark at the person interrupting him without knocking… but even the Critic’s ego subsides somewhat when he sees the two men entering the room. The huge, imposing figure of ‘The Perfect Storm’ Sean Davis, and beside him, the ‘Straight-Edge Sensation’ Toxxic.


“Mr. Pretzler,” Toxxic nods in greeting, his expression neutral as he pushes the door shut behind him. “Spike can’t be here at the minute - a delay in traffic I believe - but Sean and I very much wanted to have a word with you.”


Pretzler swiftly reaches into his bag for his mobile phone, but with surprising speed Sean Davis has crossed the room and clamped his massive hand around the Critic’s wrist. Scott looks up into two deep brown eyes, wonders briefly about shouting for help, and then decides against it.


“Alone,” Toxxic adds, slipping on a pair of brass knuckles...






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No opening pyro tonight, as the camera come up and focus on Funyon, in the center of the ring. A wide shot gives a nice view of the filled to capacity arena. Tonight there’s no need for pyro because they’re opening with a bang!


“Ladies and Gentlemen,” Funyon starts, “please welcome… MAK FRANCIS!”












The SmarkTron explodes to life with a blue and white photonegative image of Mak Francis, which is followed by ‘The Franchise’ in large green lettering, flashing on the screen in time with the beat.


“Comin up in the world—don't trust nobody—gotta look over your shoulder constantly!"


As the opening lyrics from Rock Superstar by Cypress Hill, slightly altered of course, blare over the PA system and as the self proclaimed franchise makes his way through the curtain the crowd raises its’ cheering to a new level! The lights come back up and Francis nods his head to the beat, ice blue Oakley’s reflecting the multi-colored explosion of lights. The Franchise’s trench coat billows behind him as he comes down the walkway, sliding under the bottom rope and popping to his feet, a serious smirk across his face as he thrusts both fists into the air, walking around with a swagger that only the Franchise can.




Slowly the crowd calms down as Mak pulls his hands down, circling the ring once more and going over to a ring attendant. Francis gets a mic and looks out at his audience, bringing it to his lips.


“At the Pay-per-view,” Francis starts, “I proved that I belong in the Main Event. I may not have won the title, but ask me if I’d change anything. Had I have it to do all over again. I’d probably tell you I wouldn’t change much. I did do what I said I would, though. I always do what I say I will.”


“But there is one thing I’d change for sure.” Mak adds quickly. “Now, while my memory of the events that transpired with you guys and Sacred isn’t great for some reason. I do remember one thing. Crystal clear, in fact!” Francis snarls, beginning to pace again. “I remember getting pasted in the head with a steel chair. I’d change that.” Mak pauses and lean son the ropes facing the entranceway. “I guess, Toxx, that you took exception to me saying, and I quote: ‘I’d slap you back across the pond’, if you had a problem with me getting the shot at Sacred. Well I can understand that, but you and your underlings—I’m sorry, I mean Rev0 stable-mates, coming after me with a chair, after I just had a grueling match and finished beating the snot out of your now former member… that I can’t understand. That issue was between me and him, until you decided to join in on the festivities.”




"And the Revolution executed one of the most shocking attacks all year in the process." LDP adds, over the audiences chants.


"Well, Sacred was a turn coat and Toxxic gave him fair warning." King rebutts, backing Rev0's decision, as Mak gets ready to speak again.


“Toxx, I’ve been where you were. Trying to prove them all wrong!” Francis finishes with a flourish, hands up in the air mockingly. “With a commissioner on your back and a belief that you’re head and shoulders above the rest. But see, what you don’t yet realize is… that commissioner was right. And if you really were a real World Champion—not just some kid holding the belt—which hell, you aren’t even doing right now. Then—then you’d understand that.”




Mak gives the crowd a few seconds to finish chanting and gets back to business. “I’ve been where you’re going too, mate. In fact, I did it better once upon a time.” Francis pauses, a smile playing upon his lips. “You have a stable, full of Florida State Criminals with untapped potential, longest reigning Cruiserweight champions and other bullsh[beep] like that.” The audience is quite split over that comment, but Mak soldiers on, undeterred by the Spike supporters in the audience. “I had a stable, which was if I remember correctly, was called the sWo! It’s been awhile, but I think mine was better than yours will ever be! Hell, you even recruited one of my old members... but at least when he was in my stable, he wasn’t spouting out ridiculous factoids like I’m the GREATEST CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMP EVER!!!”




Mak rolls his eyes and continues, as the Long Island crowd is partial to their hometown boy.


“Spike is good; I wouldn’t have picked him for the sWo otherwise, but I’ll be damned if you haven’t let his ego get way outta’ hand.” Francis backs away from the ropes and shakes his head; the crowd has turned on him slightly, but he doesn’t care. “He needs a reality check and so do all of you, if you think I’d just let him, you and Davis get away with jumping me…”


Mixed reaction, that time, he notices.


“But I digress. Toxx, if you wanted to be my mini-me, I’m sure we could have worked something out. You’re some matching shades and a better smirk away from being me all those years ago.”




And back on the bandwagon again.


“But see, that's the problem. That was the Junior Leagues. That’s where I left that behind. And honestly, if you can’t do the same, maybe, just maybe, we should resurrect the JL so you can get all this out of your system.”




"Did he just actually say that?" King mumbles, as parts of crowd mock Toxxic with a 'Junior Leaguer' chant.


“So, big next generation superstar, if you got something to say this time, I’ll be in the ring for the Main Event. I’m prepared to be proved wrong. But I don’t need to prove to you, that anybody in that ring, next generation or not, is the Franchise of this company, but me.”





The crowd continues to chant as Mak drops the microphone and rolls under the ropes. “Well, those are some interestingly in-depth and controversial statements from Mak Francis, King.” Pete states, while Francis makes his way to the back.


“Controversial?” King questions, “How can you say that, Pete? He basically said that a two time SWF WORLD champion should be in the Junior Leagues, when he hasn’t even won ONE! Then he called the longest reigning Cruiserweight champion of ALL TIME, what basically amounts to a big headed, egomaniac!” King seethes. “Those are outright lies and you know it!”


“Well, King,” LDP responds, “you have to admit that Spike does have a bit of an ego… well more like a whole lot of an ego. And he did bring up some valid points about his history when comparing it to Toxxic. In my opinion…”


“Shut up, and get ready to call the opening match. Your opinions don’t mean jack! That’s why I’m the color man and you’re play by play!”


“Yeah,” LDP says, a little affronted, “I’m sure it had nothing to do with the fact that you own part of the company either… anyway, we’ll be back after this commercial break.”



And SWF Smarkdown fades to the break...

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The SmarkTron lights up, showing Ben Hardy behind a mock news desk, looking slightly peeved. He calls off stage as the crowd mumbles a bit in confusion.


"Hey, when are we going to start? I need to get a drin-We're on NOW?"


He quickly turns towards the camera, putting on an obviously forced smile.


"Welcome, all you loyal SWF fans, to SWF Joker's Wild, a brand new program which will be airing every program to showcase some of the SWF's best matches and moments. For tonight's inaugural episode, we'll be paying homage to the namesake of the show. Why? Because it was part of his final contract."


The camera switches left, and Ben turns right before quickly correcting himself.


"December 23rd, 2001. The IGNWF had only been around a scant year, but boy was it ever a year. Perhaps one of the biggest events of the year, indeed, Federation history, occurred when the King of Hearts turned on his Carnival friends and became self-serving egotist, the Suicide King. A running feud went on between King and his former stablemates until Chris Raynor challenged him to a special two falls match to end it all."


The camera returns to center, and Ben moves with it.


"The stipulation was interesting: Two falls. The first one would decide who would be at risk – If Chris was pinned, he would have to retire. If King was pinned, he would have to leave the IGNWO. The second pin would decide if it would happen. If the pins were split, the match would end in a draw. But with hatred boiling over, there was little doubt that one man would have to go, no matter what. The match was set for the final PPV of the year: The IGNWF No-Sells Christmas. At the PPV, though, King officially left the IGNWO, giving him a match where he had nothing to lose and everything to gain. With no time to change the terms, Chris Raynor would have to put his future at risk for nothing, but to him, getting a shot at his former friend was worth anything, even a shortened career. After that… it’s SWF History…”


We begin to fade to black, with a soft but audible "God damn Camera guys!" coming out of the disappearing Ben Hardy.







Suicide King vs. Chris Raynor: 2 Falls Match



And we are back from the last video package! It's time to immediately leap into the action as "Electra Made Me Blind" is already playing over the loudspeakers, pumping all the fans to a fever pitch!


Curry: Hello everyone! No Sells Christmas continues as a feud for the ages winds up for good or ill, as Chris Raynor and the Suicide King tangle for everything under the tree!


NTD: An inflatable Nervous Sheep?


Curry: (shivers) Anyway, Raynor is already on the way down to the ring so we have no time to waste!


Funyon is already in his spiel as we cut back to his audio...


Funyon: ...is a two falls special stipulation match! The winner of the first fall determines what stipulation will be attached to the second fall! The winner of the second fall, which will be fought under streetfight rules, gets his stipulation provided he won the first match! Introducing first, from Baton Rouge Louisiana-


Chris Raynor appears under the IGNtron to a tremendous explosion of crowd approval that quickly turns to horror as the Suicide King bursts out of the curtains immediatrely behind him! King plows over the bigger man with a firm forearm to the back, knocking the Rayn-Man down the entry ramp... Funyon and company immediately get the hell out of Dodge, leaving referee Eddy Long alone... King fires another forearm, then another, neither doing serious damage but they are jsut enough to keep the larger man off balance and heading toward the ring!!! King throws one last forearm aginst the back of Raynor, but this time he is ready, grabbing that arm and whipping King into the ring apron! King recoils from the shock and Raynor grabs a handful of hair, throwing him under the bottom rope and sliding after him, only to have the referee step between them, surprisingly, doing his job. Once the King has enough time to scamper away to the other side of the ring and regain his vertical base, the ref helps Chris up and signals for the bell, prompting another explosion of cheers from every Quebecois in the house!!!


Curry: King tried to get the jump on Raynor, but to no avail!




Curry: And the match is underway! Raynor’s career against the IGNWO’s existence - IT’S ON!


NTD: Just shows you how stupid Raynor is - if I were in his position, my stipulation would have been “If I win, the King will teach me everything he knows so I can become a better wrestler and human being!”


There’s a loud buzz in the crowd as the stare down continues, and both men move slowly to the center of the ring. The referee begins preaching his “I want a good clean fight”, but his voice slowly drifts off as he realizes that neither man is listening. Raynor, with a four-inch advantage, stares down at the King, who smiles innocently back…


… and extends a hand…


NTD: See? A real sportsman!


Curry: Give me a break! Does he really think Raynor will buy this?


The fans fill the arena with boos as the Gambling Man’s hand rests firmly between the two… Raynor slowly looks to the King’s hand… quick as lightning, he throws up his arm and slaps it away! The King’s arm is throws back, but the rest of him stays perfectly still…


Curry: What’d I tell ya?


NTD: Hooligan!


The King’s smile disappears…


… he looks at Raynor…


… then down at his hand…


… and he fires a quick right punch! It catches Raynor off guard, and a second, third, fourth, fifth in rapid succession back the bigger man into the corner! Raynor is getting buried deeper and deeper into the corner, and the King steps to the side, winding up for a chop-


-Raynor steps out and ducks! The King whirls around and ends up backed into the very same corner, and now it’s Raynor’s turn for rapid fire!


NTD: Closed fists! DQ! King wins round one!


Curry: Eh heh… me think not.




A “RAY-NOR! RAY-NOR!” chant begins to swell as the number of punches rises past a dozen, thirteen, fourteen, and a huge fifteen brings the King crashing down into the bottom ropes! Raynor then switches to kicks - again, he goes well above a dozen before he finally allows himself to be pulled away by the ref, and the crowd is absolutely loving it!


Curry: I don’t expect much of a scientific wrestling match on this man’s part, though Lord knows King will try.




The King, gasping for breath, gets to his feet and leans back in the corner. He drops his head for just a moment, just a single moment… he picks it back up just in time to see his opponent charging full speed from across the ring! With the split second he has he tries to escape, but Raynor is too fast, and the Gambling man is crushed in the turnbuckle!


Curry: Ow.


Raynor kindly removes his knee from the King’s face and heads back again to the other side of the ring. The King immediately covers his face, fearing the worst, as he slowly climbs to his feet again. Once up, Raynor grabs him by the arm and drags him out to the middle of the ring - that’s where the King spots his opening, and he punches Raynor in the gut. Chris wasn’t expecting it and it doubles him over, and the King runs for the ropes and comes catapulting back… but Raynor steps forward and grabs the King’s legs, then launches him up for the highest back body drop this side of the Mississippi!


Curry: Good lord, look at that ele-




Curry: -vation!


The King immediately sits up, clutching his back and howling in pain, and the crowd is eating this up! Raynor assumes a ready stance, waiting for just the right moment - and at that moment he charges! The King is using the ropes for support when suddenly he’s clotheslined over them to the outside!


NTD: This isn’t how you retire people, King! You’re doing it wrooooong!


Curry: No no, keep it up!


NTD: Hey! You’re supposed to be objective!


The Suicide King scoots back away from the ring, eyes wide and nostrils flaring, while Raynor just smiles innocently back. King slowly gets to his feet, favoring his back, and then begins to pace around the ring, while the referee administers a slow ten count - it barely reaches three before the King slides back in. He immediately jumps to his feet and assumes a ready stance to keep Raynor away, and once he regains his senses completely, the two begin slowly circling…


NTD: Dun dun… dun dun… dun dun dun dun dun dun-


Curry: No Jaws!


The Rayn-Man lunges forward, but this time the King is ready! He ducks the attempted grapple, then as Raynor turns around the King pulls his arm back then fires a vicious shotei!!!!




Raynor staggers back, temporarily stunned - then he charges again! Another shotei sends Raynor stumbling back into the turnbuckle, and this time he stays there long enough for the King to follow up with a series of knife-edge chops!














After the hat trick, the King grabs Raynor’s hand and yanks him out of the corner, knees him in the gut, and then runs for the ropes. Raynor is just starting to stand when the King comes back and jumps, leveling his foe with a cross body! The King keeps rolling and ends up going under the ropes to the outside, where he takes a bit of rest, while Raynor slowly crawls to his feet in the ring. After catching his breath, the Gambling Man slides back in behind Raynor, grabs him around the head from behind, and drops him with a reverse DD-Knee! Raynor rolls onto his stomach, favoring his back, as well as opening it to attack. The King begins dropping double-axe-handles, one after another after another, and soon Raynor is left lying still as the King hops onto the nearest post and begins mocking his opponent! Raynor lays motionless in front of the Gambling Man as he takes a long second to size up his opponent… before leaping off and dropping the point of his elbow right in Chris Raynor’s upper vertebrae!!! Kings quickly rolls back to his feet as Raynor remains on the mat, clutching his upper back with awkwardly bent arms…


Curry: Not exactly a scientific match thus far, as both men seem to be running on pure adrenaline and a desire to cause real, tangible pain to their opponent!!


NTD: Not that that’s a bad thing.


The Suicide King breaks character for a moment and does NOT take the opportunity to gloat and/or strut before the crowd, instead choosing to continue the lightning assault on Raynor… lifting Chris up by a handful of hair, the King quickly doubles him over with a firm knee lift. Chris gasps doubly, once from the shock of pain in his gut and again from the current of pain in his back from bending over to fast! The King wastes no time however, grabbing his adversary’s left arm and spinning in place, wringing the holy hell out of it! Chris slaps his shoulder weakly from the pain, but the King merely grins a sadistic grin before wrenching the arm down HARD!! Chris goes to one knee from the pain but struggles through the haze of pain upright again, buoyed by the cheers of thousands of fans who don’t want to see their hero lose, let alone be forced into retirement by this chucklehead!!! King looks around in obvious distaste at the arena audience before again wrenching Raynor’s arm down HARD!! Raynor is driven to both knees this time as the ache in his shoulder grows to a roar in his mind… gritting his teeth, the Rayn-Man again staggers back to his feet, the only sign betraying any pain being the scowl on his face… the Suicide King looks surprised for a moment, then very, very angry. In a move nearly too fast to see the King jerks Raynor’s arm down hard, moments before lifting his own leg high into the air and slamming his heel down on Raynor’s shoulder!!!


Curry: (wincing) Ax kick to Raynor’s shoulder!


NTD: Rip his arm off Kingy!!


Raynor again falls to his knees in pain, but the King quickly steps over his trapped arm and falls backward, taking Raynor along for the ride into a crucifix armbar!!! King pulls back on Chris’s fully extended arm, seeking to pull it right out of the socket… Raynor cries aloud in pain, his free hand desperately trying to free its trapped comrade! The ref hovers in Raynor’s face like an annoying mosquito, asking him if he wants to quit as Raynor’s face grows increasingly red and the fire in his shoulder begins to burn out of control…


Curry: King will HAVE to rip Raynor’s arm off to get him to submit!! There is no way in hell that Chris would ever submit to this slimeball, much less when he stands to lose so much!!


But outside the ring, a single solitary voice begins the chant before soon being picked up by thousands more… an entire arena stands united, knowing that now more than ever their hero needs them.








King looks around wildly, his rapidly moving mouth betraying his sentiments at the fans’ voices… the ref drops to the mat to make sure that Raynor hasn’t let both shoulders fall and thus created a pinning situation, but the zebra rises again, satisfied. Chris Raynor’s free hand balls up into a fist, full of frenetic energy as the chant continues…






Chris’s fist begins to beat the canvas next to him in time with the fans’ chanting, as the Suicide King sits bolt upright and falls back, seeking to totally hyper-extend Raynor’s arm!!!


Curry: (softly) C’mon, Raynor…


Raynor’s fist rises slowly, rises then turns, facing the nearest ropes! So close, and yet so far, as his hand hovers only a foot and a half away! The King rolls up then throws himself down, causing a tremendous howl of pain, but still Raynor hangs on! His arm stretches out, his fingers stretch out, and slowly, slowly but surely he inches to the ropes!


Curry: Raynor’s getting there! He’s getting closer!


NTD: No he’s not! It’s an optical illusion!


Again the King sits up, then practically slams himself down against the mat, wrenching the shoulder back farther than ever before, but Raynor won’t tap! He continues to reach, while rolling himself and his attacker over slowly, and he gets closer…


… closer…


… closer…


The veins in Raynor’s head are bulging as he grits his teeth and shoves his free arm out as far as it can go! His fingers reach, and manage to feel the rope! He feverishly works at it, scraping them across the covering of the ropes, scratching at it until he finally hooks a single finger around the bottom rope! He pulls then, and manages to hook a second, a third, and his entire hand soon encompasses the rope!


Curry: Raynor makes it to the ropes, escaping the crucifix armbar!


The referee motions for King to break the hold and, knowing what’s at stake, the King actually complies. He releases the hold and quickly gets to his feet, then stands tall above his fallen foe and bares his pearly whites. Raynor still holds the ropes as he turns himself over, and as he does he sees the smiling visage of the King above him - and gives it a swift kick! The toe of Raynor’s foot goes directly into the King’s nose, sending the Gambling Man stumbling away yelping in pain!


NTD: That’s not legal!


Curry: It’s not illegal!


The King ends up in the ropes across the ring, holding his nose and cursing the hell spawn that bore such a beast who would kick him in the nose. On the other side, Raynor is up to his knees, using his free hand to use the ropes for support while tenderly favoring the recently crucified one.


Curry: This is the break Raynor needs - if he can do without that arm for just a little while-


The Gambling Man looks up, over to Raynor, and he most certainly doesn’t look happy. He snarls, then stalks over with both arms out, ready to grab a handful of hair, but Raynor lets go of the ropes with his free hand and pounds the King in the gut! Raynor ends up falling to one knee, but even from that vantage point, he manages to fire off a second, and a third, and just as the King tries to launch his attack, Raynor dives forward and tackles the King to the mat! The ref almost starts to count it as a pin, but Raynor instead mounts his foe and begins firing rights and lefts, seemingly oblivious to the condition of his injured arm! The arena explodes for the umpteenth time tonight as the King’s face is mushed into… mush…


NTD: This isn’t the street fight just yet, ref! Come on!


Curry: As long as he opens the fists, Raynor can do this til the cows come home!


Fortunately for those who paid good money for tickets, Raynor doesn’t spend much longer pummeling the Kingster’s poor face - he instead gets to his feet, with a little bit of difficulty, then climbs through the ropes at the nearest turnbuckle, and begins slowly climbing the post.


NTD: Why didn’t he cover?


Curry: You know what’s at stake here, N! There’s no way these guys are covering until they KNOW they can get the three! And remember, there’s still a second fall, where all the marbles are at stake!!! Nobody is even gonna think about covering until that knockout blow has been thrown!


NTD: But that means Raynor won’t ever pin him…


Raynor reaches the top, and backed by the cheers of the crowd, he springs off the top rope and leaps across the better part of the ring before bring his extended elbow crashing across the chest of the King! He jumps to his feet and raises his fists to the crowd… then heads for the ropes again?!


Curry: He’s going for two in a row!


Raynor moves faster now, scaling the turnbuckle with relative ease, and he pauses at the top for just a moment before again leaping more than half the ring’s length before smashing into the King! This second elbow hits a little off target, hitting more towards the abdomen, and the King shouts and doubles over, covering his midsection! Raynor is up and mobile near instantly, the crowd’s cheering and adrenaline fueling him beyond any pain he may be feeling! With surprising agility the big man runs to the corner one more time…


NTD: Now this is just excessive.


And sails off once more, landing that murderous elbow right in the King’s throat!!! The Gambling Man’s hands quickly clutch his throat as Raynor rolls off…


Curry: HA! That was for Edwin MacPhisto, you sick sonuva-




Curry: (snorts) Raynor has got the momentum going now!!! King is hurtin’ for certain!


The Rayn-Man leaps up to the middle turnbuckle, not to leap off with homicidal intention (this time anyway) but instead to stoke the capacity crowd to an even more fevered pitch! Hopping off spryly he raises the near-dead Heartbreaker up with a handful of blonde locks… grabbing one extended arm Raynor prepares to fire the Suicide King into the corner turnbuckle at breakneck speed, but is suddenly reversed by the Gambling Man into a whip of his own!! Raynor plows into the corner turnbuckle but just as quickly springs out of the corner, leveling the desperate and still groggy approaching King with a massive clothesline!!!


Curry: Oh no… Raynor ain’t letting you off the hook that easy, bucko!


Again Raynor lifts up the King and tries to whip him into the corner, this time succeeding rather easily at throwing the rag doll formerly known as the Suicide King… King’s chest eats the insufficiently padded turnbuckles hard, leaving him sagging weakly against them. They prove to be no comfort to him as Raynor again runs in with the rage and speed of stampeding buffalo, clotheslining the back of King’s head and driving his face into the turnbuckle yet again! Raynor is on fire; quickly grabbing the King in a side headlock with his already outstretched arm, Raynor spins King around and runs out of the corner before planting the Gambling Man face first into the canvas with a bulldog for the ages!!!


NTD: (just whimpers)


Raynor rises, spinning on one foot from the momentum of his arms whipping upward, raised in triumph toward the crowd!! Behind him, King rises like an unsteady wraith though, full of an unholy purpose… the crowd’s mood suddenly changes, but Raynor gives no outward sign of having noticed. King cocks his leg back, waiting for Raynor to turn… Ranyor obliges, and the King lashes out with a jaw-shattering super kick, almost surely the last bit of energy left in him at this point!!!!!






Curry: Raynor had him scouted! King’s up the proverbial creek now… and look at him!! I think he might cry!


The Gambling Man looks absolutely horrified as he hops bout on one foot, waving both hands frantically and begging Raynor not to give in to his baser desires! Raynor looks to one side, then the other, seeing the cheering and approving people on each end… the Rayn-Man smiles a grin of his own at the King, whose face suddenly drains of color.


NTD: Don’t do it! King’s too handsome to die!


Raynor throws the King’s leg to the side, spinning the King in place like a tornado! But Raynor is waiting as King comes around again, and the bigger man catches him under the arms before lifting him into a reverse crucifix position… the crowd comes to life, anticipating a little justice finally distributed to the Suicide King as Raynor readies to plant the traitor with the Acid Rayn!!! King shakes, wriggles, and convulses like a dying man, anything to escape that deathly grip… and finally succeeds, sliding down Raynor’s back and pushing him into the ropes! Raynor bounces back, oblivious to the onrushing King… King throws out a last ditch clothesline to regain some control of this match, but Raynor merely ducks it, grabbing the King around the waist and falling backwards, snapping the Gambling Man’s neck off of the ropes!!! The King bounces back and staggers about like a drunkard as Raynor again gets to his feet… a quick boot to the gut is all it takes to distract the winded and weary King long enough for Raynor to again grab him in the reverse crucifix position and prepare to bring him to his long-deserved doom!!! King lacks the energy to shake or shimmy this time, laying there limply as Raynor turns to all four corners of the ring to approving cheers… Chris backs up, preparing to run and drive King’s head through the mat if he can! Chris raises his arms high, ready to finish this off… AND BRING HIS ARMS DOWN WITH MURDEROUS ACCELERATION




Curry: WHAT?


NTD: King wrapped his legs around the ropes!!! He wasn’t going anywhere!! The man is an evil genius!


Raynor’s arms keep going forward as the King disengages his legs from the ropes and slides down Raynor’s back again, but this time he catches up Raynor’s right arm in an impromptu half-nelson…


NTD: YES!!!!








The Suicide King rolls onto his back and lies motionless, out of breath and out of energy. The crowd tries desperately to rally Raynor back up, but he too is completely out of it.




Almost as if he heard the pantless man’s plea, The King rolls over onto his stomach, and begins feverishly working at rolling his opponent over. With a tremendous pull he manages to tip Raynor onto his back, and he drapes an arm across his chest!








Curry: And it looks like fall one goes to the Ki-











NTD: WHYYY?! Why must you torture me, God?!?!?


Not a single fan is sitting, and the entire arena explodes with cheers! The King slowly pulls himself up to glare at the referee, and he begins slapping the mat in frustration while screaming “THREE! THREE GODDAMMIT, THREE!”


Curry: Few men have kicked out of the Jokers Wild, and Raynor has just joined the elite!


The King is up to his feet, and in a fit of rage he shoves the referee back into the ropes! The ref comes back and points the “Disqualifying finger of doom!” in King’s face, and the Gambling Man reluctantly contains himself.


Curry: If King’s not careful, he’s gonna- ROLLUP! ROLLUP FROM BEHIND!










E- NO! King kicks out like an epileptic kangaroo!


NTD: Heart… attack… *cough cough* Help…


The Suicide King immediately jumps to his feet and runs a knee into the face of his foe, disheartening the crowd. Raynor again drops to the mat and stays there, and the King begins pacing around the ring… the referee bends down to check on Raynor…


Curry: Wait a minute - the King just took something out of his tights!


NTD: Wouldn’t you know it, there’s something in my eye…


Curry: He’s got a canister of some kind - what is that?!


The crowd is all over the King, booing and shouting like crazy and trying to warn the referee, but they fail! The zebra gets back to his feet and begins circling the two again, and the King wraps his fist around the canister… With his free hand he grabs Raynor by the hair and throws him back into the corner… Raynor fires a right hand, stunning him! The King tries to counter, but the Rayn-man blocks it and shoots a second! A third! A fourth! The crowd and momentum begin to build as Raynor fires faster and faster, a rapid-fire succession of-


-the King gets his right hand up and-




Raynor screams and begins swiping at his eyes, and the King quickly drops something from his hand and nudges it out of the ring with his foot!


Curry: N, that - that was MACE! The king just used Mace!


The referee sees Raynor’s condition and eyes the King suspiciously, who responds by making an eye-rake gesture! King then grabs Raynor and stands him up, with some difficulty, then locks in the half nelson…


Curry: Oh no, no no NO!


… and sweeps his opponent forward again, for a SECOND JOKERS WILD!


NTD: Hallelujah!


Curry: Damnit, this isn’t right! He’s covering him! NO!




Curry: NOOO!




NTD: Please dear God…














Curry: I don’t believe this! The Suicide King just shafted Raynor out of the first fall, and now… now Raynor’s very career is on the line!


The King rises to his feet, staggering a little, then takes a deep dramatic bow… before dropping to his knees, and placing a single finger on Raynor’s chest.


Curry: Oh come on!






THR- The King lifts his finger up! He then grabs Raynor by the hair and drags him to his feet!


Curry: Looks like King is going to keep this going for punishment’s sake! He could have ended it right there!


NTD: Then he would have disappointed all those Kingsters out there!


Curry: … Kingsters?


The King holds Raynor up by his hair, for it seems obvious Raynor can’t stand otherwise - and gives him a slap right across the face! Raynor falls back into the corner, and the King steps forward and does it again!


Curry: The arrogance of this man makes me nauseous! He just robbed the first fall of this match, and maybe Raynor’s career, with a shot of Mace, and now he’s just toying with him!


A third slap, and this time the King steps back and takes time to strike a mocking pose - and Raynor rockets out of the corner, leveling the King with a horrendous clothesline! He drops to the mat after connecting, but the vibe of the crowd and a second wind bring him back to his feet quickly, and he immediately drops the King with a second! A third! The King ducks a fourth, but as he turns around he gets throttled around the neck and powered into the corner! The referee stands idly by, since it’s the second fall and anything goes! Raynor begins slamming the King’s head back into the corner, over and over, still choking him, and it’s not until the Gambling Man turns a light shade of purple that Raynor lets go!


Curry: This second fall is a streetfight, and I’ll be damned if Raynor does anything less than beat the King within an inch of his life!


Raynor grabs the King’s hand and whips him into the ropes. The King bounces off and returns in a daze, and the fact that Raynor spears the holy hell out of him doesn’t help!




NTD: …


Curry: You get to do it!


Raynor leaps to his feet and yells to the crowd, getting a few “YEA!”’s and “SMASH!”’s in response. He then drops to the mat and rolls under the ropes in front of the announce tables. Rayn-o-mac stumbles over to the table and swipes NTD’s water bottle, then splashes some H2O in his eyes to relieve the mace.


NTD: Thief! Hoodlum! Scallywag!


He then turns back to the ring, but instead of climbing in, he lifts up the apron and begins digging around…


Curry: I hope the King gets what’s comin’ to ‘im!


NTD: Blasphemer!


Raynor’s being very picky - he tosses aside a chair, two chairs, even a ladder! Three chairs, a garbage can… he pauses for a moment, then smiles a wild smile as he thrusts his weapon of choice in the air - a shovel.


Curry: HA! The Ace of Spades! I love it!


NTD: Then marry it and get it away from that lunatic!


Raynor tosses the shovel over the ropes into the ring (almost hitting the ref), then climbs in after it. The Ace lands directly next to the King’s head, and when he slowly opens his eyes the first thing he sees is the blunt metal end not an inch from his face… exactly two seconds later, he’s rolling for the ropes with Raynor and the Ace in hot pursuit!


Curry: King’s running like a scalded dog!


NTD: Dude!


Curry: I mean, uh… King’s running… like… a burned canine!


The King stumbles up the ramp, tripping over his own feet, scrambling, scraping, clawing desperately to get away - Raynor swings!




The shovel lands just inches from where the King’s legs just were! The Gambling Man continues his trip up, and he turns for just a second- Raynor swings again!




The King’s head drops down and avoids the blow, the shovel nicking the very tip of his hair! Raynor catches his balance and once more stalks his prey; The King finally gets to his feet, he begins backing away while holding his hands up, trying to plead with Raynor - he swings again!




That second whoosh was the breath of the King leaving in a hurry, as Raynor smashes him in the stomach with the Ace of Spades! The Gambling Man turns to flee, doubled over, and unexpectedly falls off the edge of the ramp, taking a three-foot plunge to the concrete floor below!




Actually, the King lands on his feet then tumbles over and rolls away, while Raynor stands triumphant on the ramp! He raises his shovel and shouts to the crowd, then jumps off the ramp and swings down-




The King blocks it! He had just enough time to pull up-


NTD: The Ace of Clubs!


Curry: It’s a duel!


Raynor pushes down with all his might, but the King manages to resist, and slowly but surely he gets back to his feet, while the weapons are pressed hard together. The two men bring their faces in close, each glaring into the others eyes, nothing but pure hatred brewing between the two…


Curry: Does anybody else suddenly have images of Star Wars and that annoying “Duel of the Fates” music running through their head?


NTD: What, you mean like Obi-Wan Kingobi and Darth Raynor?


Curry: (pauses) You have absolutely no comprehension of who the good and bad guys are, do you?


NTD: (cheerfully) None whatsoever!


Raynor and King continues pressing against each others weapons in a sloppy corps-a-corps, before Raynor breaks the standoff with a headbutt to the bridge of King’s nose! King staggers backwards, eyes watering and tripping over a length of electrical wire! Raynor swings the Ace of Spades like a man chopping firewood, but King just barely manages to roll out of the way as the blade of the shovel splits two layers of the wires! Raynor swings again, but this time the King raises his bat and catches the shot low on the shaft, knocking it to the side just long enough to thrust the head of the bat deep into Raynor’s ribs! Chris doubles over with a loud oomph, but doesn’t let go of the shovel of doom… this gives King enough time to bring the Ace of Clubs down again like an executioner’s ax to the back of Raynor’s neck, sprawling him across the entry ramp! King yells at the ref to get in position as he turns Raynor over, placing the bat over his throat and making the pinning predicament a very nasty chokehold besides!






Raynor’s right arm springs up, shovel in hand, and nails the King right between his legs!!!! The King’s face drains of color once more as the Ace of Spades turns his nether regions into a caleidoscope of pain…


Curry; All’s fair in a streetfight!!


Raynor quickly rolls the rather distracted King over into a pinning situation of his own!








King just barely squeaks a shoulder out, the other hand still very much busy consoling his wounded… pride.


Curry: Bit of a slow count there by ref Eddy Long.


NTD: Boy, you just can’t give King a single break can you?


Curry: (indignantly) Well, it was!


Raynor lets out a roar of frustration, the months of humiliation and betrayal evident in his eyes as he again reaches down with both hands and wraps them around the King’s scrawny little throat!!! The Gambling Man’s eyes bug out, but this new threat manages to tear him away from his previous distraction, prompting the King to wrap his own hands around the larger next of his foe as well! The two men grunt and strain, each trying to choke the life out of the other… King twists his body weight, moving on top of Raynor to let gravity help him strangle the bigger man, but Raynor merely twists in the same direction and is back on top… well, for a second anyway, as the two men begin to roll down the entry ramp toward the ring, neither willing to let go of their mutual death clinch for even a moment!!! They roll, roll… finally coming to a halt a foot or two from the ring apron and a world away from the respective weapons on the ramp… King finally ends up on top and breaks one of his hands free of the chokehold, reaching out and grabbing the lid from the trash can that Raynor retrieved from under the ring earlier!




Unsurprisingly Chris releases the choke, instead choosing to clutch his face and roll away. King gets to his feet unsteadily, with a wracking cough left over from Raynor’s delicate ministrations. Taking several moments to steady himself King leans against the ring apron… Raynor manages to raise himself on one knee, only to be clocked in the head once more by that trash can lid! Then again, and again as King falls into a pattern of pure sadism! Eight, nine, ten shots ring out before the King finally decides enough is enough, and moves to cover!










No!!! Raynor bolts near-upright, though is eyes seem to indicate there is no higher brain activity going on right now. King slams the mat in frustration, eying the ref with less than merciful intentions.


Curry: Don’t know why King is upset; if anything that was a fast count!


NTD: Quiet you! This count is too fast, this count is too slow! Who are you, the three bears?


The Gambling Man rises and places a few well-aimed stomps at Raynor’s midsection, just enough to make sure he isn’t going anywhere. Quickly leaning over to rifle through the mess of foreign object Chris revealed earlier, the Suicide King’s hands momentarily rest on the ladder… and the crowd goes wild! King looks up in distaste, sneering at the fanboys in attendance before tossing the ladder well out of the way and prompting a boo of extreme disappointment from every Canadian in the building. King just laughs quietly to himself… his eyes light up as he sees a leftover steel chair right there. Quickly opening it, the King slides Raynor’s neck in between the joints and closes it tightly, slamming him in the face a few more times with the trash can lid just to make sure there won’t be any last minute heroics this time! Hopping up to the apron and then the top turnbuckle in two easy leaps, the King raises both arms high into the air and flashes “I Love You” in sign language… below him Raynor’s exhausted arms try to remove the bear trap of a chair from around his neck, but so far, no luck…


Curry: Is he trying to kill him?!??!? A suicide splash on Raynor in this condition might break his neck!!


NTD: He’s gonna retire Raynor the hard way!!! YEAH!!!


King leaps off, sailing through the air and…


Curry: No, NO!




Curry: Get the paramedics out here NOW!!


NTD: YES!! King might be hurt!


King writhes around the ground like a snake, taking the long way around to Raynor before finally, by sheer luck, ending up close enough to throw an arm weakly over the chair. The ref drops to make the count…




















NTD: GAH!!! He should be dead!!


Curry: Raynor’s got heart, NTD! He knows what’s at stake, and he isn’t going to let a worm like King beat him, not this time!!!


NTD: (pouts in disappointment) Whatever. Still, at least you have to admit that was a nice even count!


King is in too bad of a way to express his displeasure at recent events verbally, but the glare at ref Eddy Long as he holds his ribs communicates enough venom to kill 30 men! The crowd beings to clap rhythmically, hoping that their combined efforts can rouse their hero… but it is the Suicide King who stands first, Raynor still laying motionless on the ground with the chair around his neck. King stands, one hand still idly cradling his ribs. Finding and retrieving the trash can lid, King raises it again and prepares to smash Chris’s face into applesauce…


WHEN RAYNOR’S LEGS LASH OUT AND GRAB KING AROUND THE ANKLES, SENDING HIM DOWNWARD IN A DROP TOE HOLD! King’s face impacts off of the ladder he had cast aside mere moments ago before dropping like a sack of wet clothes on to the ground, motionless.


Curry: See! Do you see NTD? You can’t beat heart!! It’ll keep you going after your legs are broken and your mind crushed!! Raynor is too strong, too honest-to-God GOOD of a person to fall to King at his darkest hour!


NTD: (makes patronizing little yappety yap motions with his hands)


Raynor slowly pulls the chair off from around his neck before rolling to his stomach… he tries to get to his knees once, fails, and tries again, this time succeeding! The crowd begins to chant his name again as the King stirs, shaking his head and clearing out the cobwebs… Raynor actually manages to balance on one knee, albeit with severe wobbling as King stands upright… King reaches one hand up to his forehead and bring sit down again, staring in shock at the sight of his own blood coloring his hand a crimson red… a thin trickle trails down along one lock of sweaty hair, making it for all the world appear that the King has cried a single tear of blood from the corner of his eye…


NTD: Oh, Raynor is gonna pay for marring the King’s beautiful, beautiful face!!!


The King snarls, uncharacteristic rage clouding his usually intelligent eyes as he charges in at Raynor AND IS ROCKED BACK BY A POWERFUL RIGHT HAND FROM THE KNEELING MAN!!! King takes a step back, more shocked than hurt as he steps in again and is again knocked backwards by a powerful blow! King steps in once more, his own right arm cocked back and ready to deliver a hammer blow but Raynor stands abruptly firing another Howitzer of a right and knocking the King down to one knee! The fans burst into cheers as Raynor stands fully upright, gazing down at the man who has done so much to hurt him and his friends…


Curry: Kill him!


Raynor fires blow after blow, each staggering the King back further up the ramp! The ref follows, clearing the ramp of the shovel and kicking the bat with one foot up the stage! The time for scientific wrestling is past and Raynor just beats the holy hell out of the King, each shot knocking him back two or three paces until the King is backed again the IGNtron support beam, but that provides no respite either!!! One two, one two, the shots keep coming until King sinks to the ground, his back against the post and blood dripping from his mouth as well as his forehead, the proverbial crimson mask blocking the pretty boy’s features! Raynor roars out loud, not seeking the crowd’s approval this time (though he has it) but instead seeking a release of all the anger and hatred he has felt for this man who now lies broken in front of him!! Wasting no time, Raynor lifts up the fallen King who for all the world looks like a puppet whose strings have been cut… raising him high into the reverse crucifix position RAYNOR LIFTS HIM SKYWARD, BEFORE BRINGING HIM CRASHING DOWN FACE FIRST ON TO THE STAGE!!!!! The King doesn’t even bounce, but just lays there, dead. Raynor wastes no time… and lifts the King up again? Raising him high once more the Rayn-Man brings the Suicide King crashing into the metal with another earth-shattering Acid Rayn!!!!!


NTD: NO!!! Leave my Kingy alone!!!


Curry: Your Kingy? Anyway, it’s no more than that bastard deserves!!


Raynor lays down on the utterly defeated Gambling Man, and the ref lays down to count, nudging the Ace of Clubs that he kicked up here aside…























Curry: WHAT?!?!??!


Raynor looks up confusedly at the ref, who just backs away and shrugs his shoulders. Every Canadian in the building is irate, throwing whatever is available and some even starting a “HEB-NER” chant!!! Raynor stands upright, clearly asking the ref what is going on and expecting a reasonable reply… Long just shrugs his shoulders again, looking the much taller man in the face.


NTD: That’s who King was talking to!! It was the ref, Eddy Long!!!


Curry: LONG!! You snake!!! WHY? WHY DAMMIT?!


Raynor clearly doesn’t like the answer Long is giving him as a snarl crosses his features… before it occurs to him that a streetfight is no DQ, AND SENDING LONG SAILING WITH A HUGE SHOVE ACROSS THE STAGE!!! Long looks up frightenedly as Raynor stands above him, and you don’t need to be a lip reader to figure out that he’s saying, “YOU DAMNED WELL BETTER COUNT THE PIN!!!” Long sits there, terrified beyond belief as he shakes his head no frantically… Raynor lifts the smaller ref up by the lapels, screaming into his face. The Gambling Man, behind and blissfully oblivious to what is going on has made it to his hands and knees behind Raynor.


Curry: Look out Raynor!!! The King isn’t dead yet!


But clearly the King is the last thing on Raynor’s mind right now… he again lifts the referee up, promising a very short lifespan of extreme pain if he doesn’t count the pin… Long, panicked beyond mortal comprehension feels his fight or flight instincts triggered…. AND HE SHOVES CHRIS RAYNOR BACK!!! RAYNOR LOOKS ON IN SHOCK AS THIS LITTLE PUNK OF A REF GIVES HIM A PUSH, THEN STEPS IN TO DELIVER ANOTHER!! Raynor is only slightly staggered but that last shove just barely knocked him off balance… taking a large unwieldy step backwards he tries to recover…


AND INSTEAD TRIPS OVER THE KNEELING KING!!! RAYNOR FALLS BACKWARDS, FALLS, FALLS… RIGHT OFF OF THE STAGE!!!!! King looks up then over, not understanding what has happened as the crowd generates enough heat to melt the icecaps!!!!


Curry: No!! Raynor!!!!


“Referee” Eddy Long helps the Gambling Man upright, telling him with bold gestures what just happened. The King is still functioning on little to no higher activity, prompting some blank-faced nods. The two men stagger over to the side and the camera follows them, as they prepare to witness the carnage below…




NTD: He’s like a cockroach!!! Why won’t he die!??!?!


Long looks like he’s just seen a ghost, whereas King lacks the neural activity to do anything about it right now. The referee looks back, his memory suddenly returning as Raynor pulls himself up to his elbows and prepares to swing up a leg… Long dives to the side of the stage, grabbing something and throwing it toward the Suicide King…


The Ace of Clubs.


Curry: Aw ****!!!!!




Eddy Long nudges the King, telling him to get down there fast! King just looks downward at his one-time friend, the blood from the recently inflicted head wound pooling to the right of his head! King slowly, weakly lowers himself down to Chris’s level. Long scurries after, as King stands over Raynor amidst the boos and flying debris, and places one foot on his foe’s chest. Long is in position faster than light…


123!!!!!!!!!!! The ref’s hands hardly leave the ground they slap the floor so fast, and Long signals for the bell!!!




Long swiftly stands upright, dodging a thrown Coke as he raises the Suicide King’s hand in this final and most important victory…


Funyon sounds out from a long way away… “The winner of the second fall and the winner of the stipulation, THE SUICIDE KINNNNGGGG!!!!!!”


Curry: No!!! NO NO NO!!!!! Not like this!! Raynor doesn’t deserve to go out like this!!! He’s a hero, a champion!!! King is just another cheater!!!


NTD: (squealing gleefully) Cheater or not, he’s winner tonight!! King did what he set out to do, and he has forever removed the thorn of Chris Raynor from his side!!!!! But wait… OH BOY!!! King’s going to talk!!!!


Someone indeed has passed the King a microphone as he stills stands posed on the chest of his fallen enemy…


KoH: (gasping for breath in between words) First things… first. Eddy…


King reaches into his tights and pulls out a stack of bills, throwing it toward the corrupt official. Long catches it with a greedy grin, his eyes alight with dollar signs.


KoH: Merry Christmas. You did the right thing. Go get your wife something pretty.


The boos somehow intensify as Long scurries off with his ill-gotten gains, leaving King and Raynor alone. King grins a weak, tired grin as he kneels atop Raynor…


KoH: Chris, Chris, Chris… you should never have bet more than you could afford to lose. I held all the cards, but I knew your stupid, stupid pride would get in the way. And now where are you? Nowhere. And thank goodness, but that nowhere will forever be far, far away from me…


King rises again, reaching into his tights once more.


Curry: What does he have in there? There tights! They don’t hold that much!


KoH: But I’m not heartless Chris… I’m just better than you. So here you go man… and Merry Christmas.


King drops a single, solitary hundred-dollar bill on Raynor’s chest as the crowd begins the initial stages of a riot.


KoH: Here’s bus fare home. Now, you sad sack of ****, GET THE **** OUT OF MY LIFE!!!


With a last disdainful kick to the face, the Suicide King raises both arms high into the air, taking the shattered remnants of the Ace of Clubs backstage with him to celebrate his ”victory,” and leaving silence in his wake. Raynor lays alone, unconscious, unable to give the fans the goodbye or the closure that they so desperately need right now in their moment of sorrow… the paramedics begin to appear to tend to Chris as the fans all rise as one, appreciatively, clapping their hearts out at their fallen, and forever, HERO.


The camera cuts back to the announce desk and the two teary-eyed announcers who can scarcely be head over the roar of applause as the unconscious Raynor is lifted up and away…


Curry: (genuinely sorrowful) And we never got to say goodbye… good luck to you, Chris Raynor, in whatever you do.


Both men lapse into silence as the next video package begins to play. For once, no words would ever be enough.

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"We're back fans, ready to get you back to the action in just a few moments with a match that will determine the number one contender to Landon Maddix's ICTV Championship."


"A match that could prove to be the breaking point for those wanna-be SWF superheroes, Martial Law."


"I know what you're getting at King, and you're right. Obviously there is a conflict of interest if Todd Cortez, already the SWF Hardcore Champion, gets the duke tonight. That will lead him to a match with the former World Champion, a man who stands by his side as they attempt to help the SWF rise above Revolution Zero. But what..."


"Your attention please!"


"Hang on Pete, we're missing the good stuff!"


The good stuff King refers to is the one and only Kelly Connelly, who is in the ring, taking Funyon's place on announce duties, at least for the introduction of her man.


"This next contest is to determine the number one contender to the SWF ICTV Championship...and without further adeu, I give you the man who will lay claim to that contendership tonight..."


"Superstar" by Saliva hits, and the smug superstar known as "The Icon" makes his way out, his arrogant attitude having done him no favors as far as earning fans goes.


"Approaching the ring at this time, he weighs in at two hundred of fifty pounds of pure talent! From Philladelphia, PA, he is "The Icon", MAAAAAX KING!"


Max nods approvingly at Kelly's announcing job, while the beautiful vixen drops the mic and scurries over to the ropes to hold them for her man's entrance. King steps through the ropes and into the ring, waving his arms and doing a twirl as his smile beams as bright as the arena spotlights. Kelly drapes herself over her man's shoulders, giving him a little rub down and a kiss on the cheek, much to the disgust of the crowd.


"Look at them. They're like a high school couple!"


"Yeah, young love is great, ain't it?"


"Not what I meant."


Kelly exits the ring, waving to the crowd, acting oblivious to their dislike of her. That dislike transforms into immense approval though, as the lights drop and a familiar beat comes up.


"Here he comes...one of the fastest rising stars that this company has ever seen!"


As "Breathe" plays through the opening chorus, the SWF Hardcore Champion powerwalks through the curtain and through the sparkling pyro on the entrance ramp, hesitating for a moment to look out into the sea of fans who have taken him into their hearts. Funyon now has his mic back, and does his job, introducing the other participant in this match.


"Making his way to the ring, hailing from Hollywood Boulevard, he weighs in at two hundred and twenty six pounds. He is the SWF Hardcore Champion, this is the Urban Legend, TODDDD CORRRRTEZZZZ!"


Cortez throws his arms up, then kisses his cross before leaping up onto the apron...where Max King attempts to sucker punch him! Cortez blocks the shot and nails King with one of his own, quickly unstrapping his Hardcore Title and letting it drop to the ground before he leaps up and sends King packing with a springboard dropkick!


"Apparently these guys don't want to waste any time tonight!"


The SWF's very own ref with a gambling problem, Joseph Stephenpick (remember him?) is the third man in the ring tonight, calling for the bell but holding Cortez back as King recuperates from the early shot from Cortez with the aid of his valet. King scowls at Cortez, who is playing to his fans in the ring, and then gets onto the apron, entering slowly to do battle with the Urban Legend. Cortez waves him on, and the two men lock horns, tying up in center ring and jockeying for position. King quickly grabs a headlock, but Cortez pushes him to the ropes, only to be downed with a shoulderblock as King rebounds. King hits the ropes again, but Cortez rolls onto his stomach, watching King hop over him, then gets to his feet and leapfrogs over the rebound. Cortez spins around, looking to catch King as he bounces off a third time, but King holds on, preventing himself from running into an attack from the Hardcore Champion. King then struts away from the ropes, pointing to his head as if it was a genius manuever...and Cortez slaps the taste right out of his mouth! King reels from the shot, and Cortez backs him into the ropes, sending him in and then hip tossing him over! King gets up and retreats into the corner, begging off, but Cortez runs at him and leaps up primed for a monkey flip, only to get shoved down! Cortez rolls backwards with the fall, getting right back to his feet and running at King, who bounds out of the corner with a running lariat...DUCKED...Cortez leaps up onto the ropes and dives back, twisting his body so that he crashes onto King with a flying bodypress!




That's all it gets, as King pushes Cortez off of him, but the Urban Legend doesn't go far, waiting on his foe and then putting him down as soon as he gets up with a standing dropkick! Todd then pulls King up and whips him into the corner, but eats boot as he charges after "The Icon", and then finds himself pulled up for a back sup...NO! Cortez floats over King's back and spins him around, but King is ready and plants a boot into his stomach, then carries him over with a snap suplex!


"Quick start to this one, and Max King is showing that he's ready for any surprises Cortez might throw at him!"


King pulls Todd up, then sends him back stepping after a pair of European uppercuts, but Cortez fights back with one of his own, knocking The Icon off his game! King replies with a blistering chop to the chest of Cortez, only to find his chest pummelled by a similar blow from the Urban Legend! Tired of the trade-off, the two men lock up again, pushing each other around the ring before Cortez drops to his knees and uses a fireman's carry to take King to the canvas, and then gets up to run the ropes, stopping short of a follow-up as King rolls out of the way, towards the ropes...and gets dumped to the outside as Cortez runs at him and clotheslines him to the floor!


"He's trying to take it outside...this isn't a hardcore match!"


"Maybe not, but if he can take King out of his element even for a few moments, it might be enough to break his strategy. Smart move by the Hardcore Champion."


King picks himself up quickly, but Cortez ducks out of the ring and comes after him, causing The Icon to run away! Cortez gives chase as King rounds the corner and ducks behind Kelly, leaving the Urban Legend to lock eyes with the lovely Kelly, who pleads for him to leave her out of this! King whispers in Kelly's ear and then shoves her forward, giving her a heads up that he's got to use her as a distraction...but Cortez catches her and lifts her up, rolling her into the ring! Max King backs up, pleading his case as an irate Cortez stalks him with Kelly out of the way, ultimately rolling into the ring himself...and then backing out of the far side as Cortez enters after him! King pulls Kelly out under the bottom rope and checks on her, making sure she's unharmed...leaving him prone to the baseball slide that sends him into the guardrail! Kelly shrieks as she jumps back, getting out of the way just in time as Cortez slingshots himself down onto King with a pescado!


“The Urban Legend takes to the sky, knocking The Icon back on his BUTT!”


The crowd approves of this, and let’s Todd know it, as he gets back to his feet and flicks the beads of sweat off of his forehead. Kelly makes an attempt to come and check on her beau, but Todd spies her out of the corner of his eye and turns to stare her down, forcing her to retreat with a simple glare. Cortez then takes King and rolls him back into the ring, but he doesn’t follow, instead choosing to remain on the apron and enter via slingshotting himself in and dropping a leg across the throat of Max King!






“Another attempt, another kickout. Cortez is going to have to work this man over some more. He’s not called the Superior Talent for nothing.”


“The only person who calls him that is himself!”


“…and Kelly.”


Cortez reaches down for King, but finds himself dumped on his back, as King uses a fireman’s carry to take Cortez down. King gets up, and Cortez is quickly back up on his feet, so the two men begin trading blows in the middle of the ring. King and Coretz fire off forearm shots, going through a whole give and take, as for each shot received, one is dished out. Finally Cortez gets a flurry off, staggering King and bringing him near the ropes so that Cortez can whip him to the far side, however it’s countered in mid-whip, with Cortez being the one to get sent in! King tucks his head, and Cortez rolls over his back, landing on his feet behind him and then getting a rear waistlock, trying for a German, but King elbows his way out of it and spins out with a rear waistlock of his own, which is then countered in similar fashion by Cortez! King wriggles to get free, finally reaching back and taking Cortez by the head and snapmaring him over, then cracking him between the shoulder blades with a soccer kick as he sits on the canvas! The crowd “oooooh’s” upon hearing the impact, and King follows up by smacking Cortez across the back of the head with an open hand, , drawing another ‘ooooh’ from the crowd, this one more along the lines of “he’s going to kill you now”.


“I hope King knows what he’s doing here.”


Cortez starts to come up, but King gets him and drives a knee into his ribs, then takes his head and just launches Cortez backwards, slamming him back to the canvas! King then stands over the body of Cortez as the Hardcore Champion holds his head, reaching down and paintbrushing him while proclaiming “I’m better than hardcore!” King gloats, as Kelly cheerleads from the floor, and reaches down for Cortez…WHO CRADLES HIM WITH A SMALL PACKAGE!










“How about that! That’s what he gets!”


“But did you see how prepared King was? He followed right through with a pin of his own! Cortez may have met his match here tonight!”


Both men are up on their feet again, coming up to one another and staring each other down, with neither one backing away. King shoves Cortez back, and dares him to come at him, but Todd doesn’t lose his cool, and instead moves back towards King slowly, getting right up in his face and staring him down, remaining silent the whole time. King shoves him again, but for the second time, Cortez remains calm, not allowing his temper to take over. By this point King’s had enough, and as Cortez moves towards him again he unloads with a haymaker, but Cortez ducks, hooking King in a full nelson before pushing him away, into the ropes and catching him with an inverted atomic drop to stagger him, and then bounces off the ropes himself to gain more momentum that enables him to take King down with a swinging neckbreaker! Kelly slams the apron in disgust, while the crowd claps away as Cortez bounces off the ropes and drops an elbow into the sternum of his rival, then leads him to his feet and hooks his waist, yanking him up for a back sup…NO! King floats over and spins Cortez around, drilling him with a boot and then hooking both his arms and carrying him over with a butterfly suplex!


“Beautiful execution by Max King!”


King doesn’t waste any time, taking Cortez while he’s dazed and leading him to the corner, driving his face into the top turnbuckle to stun him, and then propping him against the turnbuckles so that Cortez is wide open for a King assault. The Icon puts the boots to him, kicking his ribs in repeatedly and then turning away, showing off to the crowd before turning around and running into the corner, bringing his knee up and driving it into the ribcage of Cortez! Todd nearly falls on his face, but he’s caught by King and lifted up onto the top rope.


“What’s he going for here? Could we see that patented Superb Plex of his?”


King goes up the ropes, and hooks a front facelock, but as he lifts his rival, Cortez locks his legs around the ropes, not allowing himself to be carried over. King tries again, pulling back but not getting anywhere, as Cortez remains perched. The Urban Legend fights back, slamming his fists into King’s sides, and finally pushing King off of him down to the canvas! Cortez starts to get up, but King rolls over and pushes up off the canvas, running up the ropes and grabbing Cortez’s head again, intent on taking him down the hard way…but Cortez pushes him off again, this time down onto the top rope!


“Oh my!”


King’s jaw hangs low as he straddles the top rope, his cocky demeanor now replaced with an agonized look. Cortez then stands up on the top rope, measuring his foe, and leaps off ONTO HIS SHOULDERS, SNAPPING HIM OFF THE ROPES WITH A RANA THAT PUTS BOTH MEN ON THE FLOOR OUTSIDE THE RING!




“Don’t say it King, let the fans do it!”


Holy shit indeed. The chant comes up, and Kelly is quickly over to tend to Max, while Cortez lay on the cold concrete floor. Stephenpick begins the ten count, as the fans wait to see who will be the first one to their feet.








Desperately, Kelly tugs on Max’s arm, trying to bring him up, but King just flops back to the floor, putting Kelly in more of a panic!






Thinking on her feet, Kelly rolls King onto his back and leans down, patting his cheek lightly and trying to get him to come to. Meanwhile, Cortez has started to push up on all fours, but is holding his head.






King is getting up with the help of Kelly, who is using all the strength in her little body to keep him standing. She leans King against the apron, while Cortez has pulled himself up with the aid of the guardrail.






As if a signal went off in their heads, both men dart under the bottom rope at the last possible instance, stopping themselves from losing the contendership via countout. King comes at Cortez, but the Urban Legend quickly ducks and swings his leg around to take King off his feet with a sweep kick, then stands up and bounces up off the canvas, rotating his body so that he crashes down with his back landing across King’s upper body…NO! King rolls out of the way and gets up, dropping a knee into the throat…NO! Cortez rolls out of the way of that, and pulls King up, only to get his eyes raked as The Icon is led to his feet! Cortez turns away, but King pulls him back, wrapping his arm over his head and holding it in place as he drives it into the canvas with a DDT! King sits up, looking over to Kelly and blowing a kiss as she bounces up and down gleefully, and watches on along with the capacity crowd here on Long Island as King lines Cortez up near the ropes and ducks out to the apron, climbing the turnbuckles. King stands atop the corner post and raises his arms up in triumph, despite not having done anything yet, then leaps off, soaring high into the air with arms extended, coming down onto Todd Cortez with a graceful top rope splash…



“Somehow I don’t think that landing went as well as he’d planned!”


King does a somersault style bump off of Cortez’s kneecaps, as the velocity he came down with worked against him. Cortez rolls over and crawls onto King’s back, sitting atop his shoulders and trying to pin them down as he reaches for his legs at the same time, but King quickly slithers out from under him and grabs the ropes to prevent any submissions from happening!


“Cortez was looking for the Hook Up there, and Max King is running scared now!”


Cortez gets up and comes over to the ropes, and King rolls to the floor once again, however once Cortez exits the ring, King slides right back into it! Cortez chases him back into the ring, sliding back in, but as he comes up to his feet Max charges and leaps up, bringing his leg around and cracking Todd in the back of the head with an enzugiri! Cortez flops to the mat, and King quickly rolls him over and lays across him, keeping him down on his back!








Rather than pout, Max hoists Cortez right up off the mat, and then drops him down across his knees ribs first, knocking the wind right out of him! Cortez lands on all fours, coughing and gagging, and finds himself pulled up onto his feet by King and shoved into the corner, his body crashing against the turnbuckles before stumbling back right into a back suplex that dumps Todd on his head! King covers once again, as Stephenpick comes in for the count…








“Perseverance is what Todd Cortez is all about. I hope King didn’t think that because he was out of the hardcore element that he’d be a cakewalk.”


Frustrated with the two close falls, King pulls Cortez up by the straps on his wifebeater and drags him to the ropes, HURLING HIM OVER TO THE FLOOR…AND DOESN’T SEE TODD CORTEZ HOLDING ON AND SKINNING THE CAT!


“The agility of this man is amazing!”


The fans roar as they witness Cortez catch himself, but King thinks it’s for him, as his back is turned. Kelly is pointing frantically behind King, but Max thinks she’s pointing to him in a sign of affection, so he’s completely oblivious when he turns around…












“Max King’s ego almost cost him the contendership right there!”


Kelly breathes a heavy sigh of relief, knowing that a shot at the ICTV Title means a shot at more money and fame for her and her charge. Cortez pulls King up, and quickly puts him back on the mat again with a Russian legsweep, rolling through to his feet and then hitting the ropes, coming off with a flip senton that hits this time, and as he comes up to his feet he leaps backwards, crushing King with a standing moonsault! King rolls around on the mat, and with his foe in that state, Cortez ducks out to the ring apron, raising an arm up to signal to his fans that he’s going to be ending this soon, as he springs up to the top rope…AND GETS HIMSELF PULLED DOWN TO THE APRON BY KELLY CONNELLY!


“What is she doing? Get her back on the floor!”


Stephenpick comes rushing over immediately, but Cortez knows this game all too well, and spins him right back around so that he can see if King is up to anything…then shoves Kelly off the apron to the floor! The crowd pops loudly as Cortez takes King’s favorite distraction tactic out of the game, and leaps up onto the top rope, following through with a springboard kneedrop that spikes King’s forehead! Cortez rolls through and leaps up to the middle rope, executing a quebrada, and hits!…but now his sore ribs come into play, as two moonsaults have taken some energy out of him as well!


“Cortez is still sore, and although King is reeling, it means nothing if he can’t capitalize!”


“Serves him right for hitting a woman!”


“He didn’t hit her!”


“He pushed her right off the apron!”


“She tried to stop him from going after King!”


“It’s Valentine’s Day, you think she wants to go out with her boyfriend wrapped in bandages?”


Bruised ribs and all, Cortez crawls over to King, hooking a leg and pinning him after hitting him with part of his high impact arsenal, hoping it’s not too late to get one in the win column…








“So close, Cortez, but you’re still very far away!”


Cortez gets up, and leads King up as well, but Max fires a knee up out of desperation, doubling Cortez over. King follows up by clubbing him across the back with a couple of forearm shots, then brings his knee up a second time before pulling Cortez into a headscissors…AND SPIKING HIM OFF THE CANVAS WITH A PILEDRIVER! King rolls onto Cortez, pulling up on his leg to keep him down for a three count…








…but can’t do it! King slaps the mat in disgust, then starts arguing with the referee about the count. Stephenpick pleads innocence, telling him he counted as fast as regulations call for, but King doesn’t want to hear it, and stops paying attention to the ref and turns back to his opponent. He brings Cortez up again in a headscissors, but Cortez falls back to the mat, his body not able to support itself. King chuckles, and reaches down for him again…BUT CORTEZ SURPRISES HIM WITH A SMALL PACKAGE!








King gets right up, and is infuriated, pulling Cortez off the mat and sending him into the corner before charging in with a corner splash that sucks the wind out of Todd’s body and drops him to the mat! King then starts driving his boot into the side of Todd’s face as he sits up against the bottom rope, raking the sole of his boot across his face before pulling him up and lifting him onto his shoulders, dropping him onto the top rope with a hotsh…NO! Cortez grabs the top rope, and uses it to pull himself off of King’s shoulders and out onto the apron! King swings with a lariat, but Todd ducks, and jogs across the apron, leaping up to the top rope and backflipping in, landing behind King! Todd spins him around and grabs him by the throat…URBAN ASSAULT…NO! King elbows his way out of it, and then grabs Todd’s head, hooking an inverted facelock…LIFTING FOR THE KING BUSTER…BUT TODD SHIFTS HIS WEIGHT TO LAND ON KING FOR A PIN!








“ANOTHER close call! After seeing what these men will do for a shot at the ICTV Title, I shudder to think of what they’ll do to win it!”


King pushes Cortez up off of him and gets up, hitting Todd with a stiff clothesline as Cortez moves in for him! King brings him up, but Todd knocks his hand away and fires off chop after chop after chop, each one drawing the requisite “WHOO!” call from the crowd that has packed the Nassau Coliseum here tonight for Smarkdown! King staggers, and has nowhere to go once Todd has him backed into the ropes. Irish whip time, and King reverses…REVERSED A SECOND TIME BY CORTEZ…and the Urban Legend runs over to the side ropes, meeting his foe at mid-ring like two trains colliding as he hits the HOLLOW POINT~!




King moans in pain, and Kelly is about to start yanking her hair out at the sight of her main man rolling around on the mat, defeat inevitable. Cortez gets up, tearing the wifebeater off and drawing a response from the females in attendance before pretending to wipe his ass with the shirt, and then tossing it down to Kelly! Ms. Connelly catches it, but after realizing what Todd just did with it she drops it and freaks out, not even paying attention to see Todd picking Max up and putting him in a headscissors, ready to leap over his back…NO! Max pushes Todd off him, into the ropes, but the weary King is too slow in coming up with a follow-up, so he winds up cracked in the face with a YAKUZA KICK~! that sends spatters of spit and blood flying from his mouth! King is back up as soon as he falls, courtesy of Todd, who is now ready to end it once and for all. King is set up in the headscissors, and Todd hooks his waist, as the Nassau Coliseum fills with a chant for the first time.






“They’re calling for it, and he could hit it right here!”


“If he does, Pete, it’s over, even I’m not about to sugarcoat anything!”


Cortez hooks the waist and takes a deep breath before pushing up off the canvas, floating over King’s back as he keeps him held in place…






“Mind if I join her? I mean, you can handle it, right?”


Although King’s not going anywhere, Cortez still hooks the leg, nodding his head along with Stephenpick’s three slaps of the mat.










“The Urban Legend chalks up another one here on Smarkdown, a big win that’s going to lead him straight to an ICTV Title match!”


“Against who else but his own partner, Landon Maddix! Martial Law is a group still in their infancy, and already there’s trouble in paradise!”


“Don’t go stirring the pot just yet King. We’ll see how it all unfolds in due time.”


“Ladies and gentlemen, your winner, and now the Number One Contender to the ICTV Championship…the URBAN LEGEND, TODDDD CORRRRTEZZZZ!”


Funyon bellows the words everyone wants to hear, as “Breathe” comes up. Cortez stands to have his arm raised, weak in the knees and still feeling the effects of this hard fought fight. As the fans applaud Cortez’s win, another wave of applause comes up as Landon Maddix, Cortez’s friend and partner in Martial Law…and also the reigning ICTV Champion comes out and raises Todd’s hand!


“There, you see King? Nothing wrong as far as I can see.”


Maddix, in action later in our main event, embraces his stablemate and then makes the “you and me” motion. He and Cortez lock eyes for a moment, and then the two men shake hands, knowing that while the road may lead to them hooking up in the near future, it’ll be welcomed as friendly competition.


“There you have it. Two members of Martial Law standing tall in the ring, each one doing an SWF Title proud, and soon to do battle over another sixteen pounds of gold!”


“Now how do you know that?”


“That they’re going to do battle? Well Cortez did just earn…”


“No, smartass, I’m talking about the sixteen pounds of gold. What do you do, root through their bags and weigh the belts? You have some sick title fetish you want to share with the world?”




“Out with it, Peter.”


“I think now’s a good time for a commercial.”


“Taking the easy way out, eh? Sicko.”


Amidst the banter, Todd Cortez and Landon Maddix have exited the ring, with Cortez claiming his Hardcore belt from Funyon and throwing it over his shoulder as he heads up the aisle. Max King is assisted out of the ring by referee Stephenpick and Kelly.


“King better hope for a concussion, because when he comes to his senses, this won’t be something he’ll want to remember. Todd Cortez is victorious tonight, and we’ll be back with high flying goodness when Spike Jenkins defends the SWF Cruiserweight belt against newcomer Scott Pretzler…With Wildchild as the referee! It’s a recipe for action, a recipe for disaster, and most importantly, it’s next!”

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“I’m sick of this!”


‘Hollywood’ Spike Jenkins waves the Cruiserweight title in Toxxic’s face as the leader of Revolution Zero walks into the dressing room. A quick glance to Sean Davis confirms Toxxic’s suspicions - Spike has been ranting for a while now.


“What’s the problem, Spike?” the Brit asks, trying to keep his voice cheerful. Jenkins turns back to him, visibly working himself up for another diatribe.


“This goddamn company!” Spike spits, flinging his title belt across the room. “I’ve been Cruiserweight champion for how long? Over 100 days, I can hardly keep count anymore! I’ve defended this belt time and time again, and what do I have to show for it? Nothing! NOTHING!”


“You mean apart from the belt…?” Toxxic begins, but Spike is in no mood to be reasoned with.


“I’m a two-time Tag Champion as well! But you remember what you were talking about with Dace,” Jenkins continues, “about ‘respect’? What ‘respect’ do I have? None!” Angrily, the man from California picks the CW title up and shows it to Toxxic again. “What respect does this belt give me? Nothing! No-one cares that I’m one of the longest-running champions in history! Dammit Toxx, I’ve beaten Mak Francis, I’ve beaten Sacred, I’ve beaten Landon, I’ve beaten Todd Cortez, I’ve beaten Alan Clark! I’ve beaten everyone who’s come up against Revolution Zero! Why aren’t I leading us? Why aren’t I World Champion?!”


There is a sudden, stony silence in the dressing room.


“I’ve beaten Alan Clark,” Toxxic reminds Spike after a second. “I’ve been part of a team to beat Todd Cortez more times than I can count. Sacred? Never faced him. Mak? Never faced him. Landon… yeah, he beat me. But he’s beaten you more often than he’s beaten me, and trust me sunshine, I’m gonna set my score straight with him tonight.”


Sean Davis looks on from the sidelines as the two straight-edgers square up. This isn’t the first time Spike and Toxxic have clashed in recent months, but it seems to be coming to a head now.


“The reason you aren’t World Champion is because you’ve never been able to get the job done in big matches,” Toxxic tells Spike through gritted teeth, “and that is the difference between us, no matter how long you’ll hang around with me. The reason you don’t lead Revolution Zero is because I lead Revolution Zero, and when it comes down to it sunshine… I’m better than you.”


“One match,” Spike responds, “just like you’ve had against Landon. One match. When’s my chance to ‘set the score straight’, Toxx? Or is it always going to be like Dace said, that you beat someone and then move on?”


Neither man says anything for a moment. Sean tenses, ready to interject himself if it comes to blows… but after a few moments Toxxic smiles. A humourless, lopsided smile admittedly, but still a smile.


“Soon Spike, soon,” he assures the Cruiserweight Champion. “Until then though, what you’ve really got to worry about is keeping that belt against Pretzler. And I think,” he continues, checking his watch, “that you’re up next.”


“Pretzler doesn’t stand a fucking chance,” Spike snorts, shouldering his belt and pushing past his leader out of the door. Toxxic watches him go as Sean Davis comes and stands at his side.


“He’s really starting to piss me off,” Toxxic notes quietly as they watch Spike storm off towards the ring area.


“Yeah,” Sean agrees. “So… are we still getting involved?”


“I guess,” Toxxic says, pulling a pair of brass knuckles out from his black holdall and slipping them into the side pocket of his bulky trousers. “C’mon - let’s go make sure the title stays with Revolution Zero.”

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“And it is now time, ladies and gents, for our almost-main event of the evening!” announces Pete.




“Spike Jenkins has held on to the Cruiserweight Championship longer than anyone in SWF history. But tonight…”




“…he will go one-on-one with the SWF’s only undefeated superstar. Not only that, the match will be officiated by possibly the best cruiserweight wrestler in the world today!”




As Wildchild runs down the aisle to the sounds of Redman’s Let’s Get Dirty, Funyon’s voice booms through the arena.


“Ladies and gentleman… the following contest in scheduled for ONE FALL! Introducing first, from the Bahamas, he is the special guest referee and one-half of the SWF Tag Team Champions… WIIIIIILDCHILD!”


Resplendent in his referee’s uniform, the Bahama Bomber leaps nimbly onto the apron, springboards to the top rope, and executes a front flip into the ring. He lands on his feet and appeals to the crowd, and is met with much applause. The crowd begins to chant for him.






“He’s the referee, for Chrissakes!” King sounds frustrated. “Couldn’t they save their applause for, you know, the actual competitors?”


“I’m sure Spike will get plenty of cheers here in Long Island. Pretzler… well, the guy’s as tough as a two-dollar steak and has almost as much personality.”


The audience’s sentiment suddenly shifts as Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony begins to play, signaling the arrival of none other than…


“The challenger, from Toronto, Ontario, weighing two hundred twenty six pounds… ‘THE CRITIC’ SCOTT PREEEETZLEEER!’”







“No, actually he doesn’t,” King says flatly.


As usual, Pretzler takes his time getting to the ring. He soaks up the jeers and insults like they empower him. From time to time, he stops to shake the hand of an audience member, only to have that person swing a punch or spit in his direction. When this happens, he feigns being hurt and then laughs to himself, amused by their ignorance. He climbs the steps into the ring and shoots Wildchild a nasty glare before turning back to regard the entryway.


“And HIS OPPONENT… from Hollywood, California, weighing two hundred twenty five pounds, being accompanied to the ring by JET, he is the SWF CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPION… ‘HOLLYWOOD’ SPIKE JEEENKIIIIINS!!!”


Lamb of God’s Black Label begins to play, the loud opening chords electrifying the crowd as the champion strides confidently into view. He is wearing his trademark hoodie and the Cruiserweight Championship is firmly around his waist, though this time it appears to be fastened more tightly than usual. White lights flash as Randy Blythe’s high-pitched scream rattles the speaker system; at the sound of it, Pretzler covers his ears and grimaces. The champion drops to one knee and takes in the cheers of the audience while Jet poses behind him. The tension between Spike and his valet can be clearly felt.


“It’s not often that the fans support anything Revolution Zero is involved with, but here in Long Island Spike seems to be a fan favorite,” Pete points out.


“Didn’t you just say that?”


Spike makes his way completely around the ring, throwing up the “sXe” hand signal numerous times. He then rolls carefully under the bottom rope and continues to roll all the way toward the center of the ring. Not willing to wait for the entrance to conclude, Pretzler shoves Wildchild aside and clamps a front headlock on Spike!




WC grabs Pretzler and pulls him away, and Jet, too runs into the ring to break up the hold. Pretzler is immediately forced to let go and is restrained by the ‘Child while Jet helps Spike remove his belt and hoodie. As soon as they are off, Spike explodes at Pretzler, whacking him with a closed-fisted punch to the face!


“What the hell is Spike doing?” exclaims King. “The bell hasn’t even rung yet!”


“No comment,” says Pete.


As Jet rolls out of the ring and Wildchild steps aside, Spike grabs Pretzler’s head and hammers away, nailing four more violent punches before Pretzler grasps the bottom rope and pushes himself out of the ring. Spike is familiar with Pretzler’s tactics, though, and immediately follows him out of the ring. Before the Critic can reach the ramp’s relative safety, Spike runs up behind him and drills him with another punch. Pretzler stumbles but does not go down – so Spike backs up and snaps off a superkick!


“What impact!” shouts Pete as Pretzler topples comically to the floor. With the enemy down, Spike zeroes in on the head, tenaciously attacking his temple with low martial arts kicks.


In the ring, Wildchild has already begun the twenty-count that will disqualify both men. He makes the signals with both hands and shouts out the numbers in his distinctive Creole accent, the crowd counting along with him.






Seeing no reason to alter his strategy, Spike continues the pummeling kicks. But all of a sudden, Pretzler reaches out and grabs Spike’s leg, then trips him by flinging in upward. Spike falls. His head misses the metal of the ramp by mere inches. Pretzler is on him in an instant, pounding his face with elbows then locking on a reverse crossface, Spike’s head pulled toward his armpit.




“Never mind the pain,” says Pete. “Imagine how that must smell!” Pretzler wrenches back on the hold, but the hasty application left Spike with much room for escape. He wriggles free and kicks Pretzler in the back, then drags him back toward the ring. But instead of rolling him under the ropes, Spike takes hold of his tights and shoulder and chucks him at the steps like a harpoon!




“Despite what some of my contemporaries have said, those steps do not weigh six thousand pounds. Nonetheless, you’ve got to think Pretzler will be reaching for the aspirin tonight!” While King tries his hardest to be witty, Pretzler clutches his skull and Wildchild reaches the halfway point in his count.




After he does this, he performs a standing back handspring to the delight of the fans. Spike, meanwhile, drags Pretzler to his feet and finally shoves under the bottom rope and into the ring.




Out of nowhere, the seemingly-prone Pretzler spins sideways and kicks Spike in the face, then slides back out to the arena floor! Spike is knocked over and lands once again on his rear end.




But while Spike may not have been ready for Pretzler, somebody else is. With no warning, Jet sprints toward the steps, bounds off them and lands on Pretzler’s shoulders, then takes him down with a flying hurricanrana!




Though not entirely in support of Jet, the crowd erupts at the sight of this spectacular move. Wildchild quickly exits the ring and yells at Jet, ordering her not to interfere. She seems to agree. Pretzler pulls himself to his feet, followed by Spike. As Jet walks off toward the announce table, she stops. Looks at Pretzler.


She rears back with her right leg and delivers a blatant low blow to Pretzler’s gonads!


His face contorts into an expression that would make Jim Carrey proud. He crumples.




Wildchild is growing frustrated with such shenanigans. He violently wrenches Pretzler’s arm and pulls him to his feet, then shouts again and points toward the ring. Spike rolls in, followed by Pretzler and then the referee himself. The Champion is already up as Pretzler rises to his knees, and when the moment is right he fires off the first two kicks of his favorite combination.






Twice, the black boot of Spike Jenkins collides with Pretzler’s chest. A red mark is left each time. Spike backs away and lunges at Pretzler’s head with the final kick… but Pretzler evades it by simply dropping flat on the mat.




“Oh, what a miss!” jeers King. Spike’s foot slices the air as it sails over Pretzler’s head, carrying the straight-edger’s body around in full 360º rotation. He ends up facing Pretzler again and tries to hit him with another kick from the opposite foot. This time, Pretzler shoots forward and tackles him by the legs, then moves up and applies a grounded front headlock. Spike’s body is twisted to the side as the hold settles. Pretzler tightens his arms, cranking Spike’s neck, and pulls him slowly around to his knees as he does so. Spike struggles while he plans his counter, expecting Pretzler to maintain the hold – but he does not. Instead, the Canadian releases one arm and drives his elbow down in the back of Spike’s neck! Spike is now trapped in a standing headscissors.


“Is it Wildbomb time?” King is excited. Pretzler locks his arms around Spike’s gut, and that move is clearly in the front of his mind. Spike fights it, though, wrapping his own arms tightly around Pretzler’s thighs with the intent of making the powerbomb impossible. Another driving elbow weakens the grip, but Spike holds fast. Digging his heels into the mat, he gradually uses his leverage to lift Pretzler into the air and onto his back. The back body drop is nearly complete when Pretzler slips out of Spike’s control, sliding down and pulling the straight-edger with him into a sunset flip!
































There just wasn’t enough force behind Pretzler’s cover to make it an effective match-ender. Spike pushes off from Pretzler’s chest, escaping the pin and rolling up to his feet. Thinking fast, he leaps over the still-seated Pretzler, bounces off the ropes, and delivers a brutal shin kick to the back of his neck! Pretzler moans and falls back. Now Spike makes the cover.


























It appears that Pretzler kicked out well before the three, but Spike is not satisfied. He gets up, frustrated, and berates the special referee.


“That was a slow count! I beat him! That was a goddamn slow count!”


Wildchild raises his hands in defense, then shakes his head and points at himself, as if declaring his own authority. Jenkins, still upset, continues arguing, and is therefore unaware that the challenger has risen behind him.


Pretzler hooks an arm between Spike’s legs and drags him to the mat in a schoolboy!





































The flash pin almost, but not quite, succeeds in ending the match for Pretzler. As Spike gets quickly to his feet, Pretzler rises as well and meets him with a dropkick. Hoping to protect his neck, he rotates at a less extreme angle than usual. Spike stumbles back and is supported by the ropes; as Pretzler prepares to dropkick him again, he charges forward with a yakuza kick!




Pretzler goes down as the bottom of Spike’s boot slams into his chest, beet-red from the earlier kicks. Spike throws a glance at Wildchild and covers.




































This is the closest fall that Spike has gotten so far. He tries to turn Pretzler over onto his stomach, but the challenger knows what Spike is thinking and slaps him away, then rolls over completely and scrambles up to a crouch. He pats his right arm twice, signaling for a lariat – as Spike does the same thing!


“Uh-oh,” says Pete. “This doesn’t look goo-“




At the exact same time, the two competitors explode at one another with equally vicious lariats. Pretzler’s head snaps forward. So does Spike’s. They go down as one, each ending up pinned beneath the other’s arm, and Wildchild drops to the mat and counts the double pin.


“This could be it!” Pete exclaims.





































In unison, both men jerk one shoulder off the mat and prevent the draw. Although they are no longer pinned, both have taken a great deal of damage from the double lariat, and neither one is moving. Wildchild begins counting to ten.






Spike is the first one to stir. He sits up, reaches over, and plants his hands on the side of Pretzler’s head. Pulls him to his feet.


Now Pretzler is the one in a standing headscissors. He tries Spike’s escape tactic and attempts to flip the champion over using his neck strength, but his neck has been weakened by the kicks and he is unable to do so. Spike reaches down across the heaving stomach of Pretzler. He locks his arms together and pulls. Pretzler’s feet rise a few inches above the canvas, but he’s able to bring them back down and gain a deeper foothold. Spike tugs again. Pretzler rises further this time before coming back down. He tries to drop down to his knees, but Spike’s grip is too tight.






The fans loudly chant Spike’s nickname, trying to encourage him. With the damage that Pretzler’s neck has taken, everyone knows the Ratings Crash will put an end to his suffering. Pretzler now reaches down and tries to manually unclasp Spike’s hands and break the gutwrench. He tugs, fumbles. A sheen of sweat glistens on the face of Spike Jenkins as he tries to hold on. In spite of his strength, Pretzler’s position will not allow him to break Spike’s grip, so he decides to take a different strategic route. In a sudden burst of energy, he kicks his legs directly out behind him – the startled Spike is carried down to the mat by his own reflexive handgrip. He lands on top of Pretzler, but without enough force to drive the wind from him.


“Spike had better look out,” says King gleefully. “He’s down on the mat now – in other words, he’s in Pretzlerville!”


Indeed. Pushing off with one foot, Pretzler is quickly able to reverse their position and ends up on top of Spike, facing the opposite direction, his back to Spike’s face. Spike still maintains his grip and attempts to bridge out of it. They rise ever-so-slightly off the canvas. Now that he is essentially upright, Pretzler has a much easier time breaking the handhold. Just as the bridge reaches its apex, Spike’s hands slip apart, and he goes crashing to the mat with Pretzler’s weight following him down!


Spike’s shoulders hit the mat and stay there.








































Spike shifts his weight to the side and is able to escape the jaws of defeat. Flipping over, Pretzler tries to lock on a grounded rear facelock, but Spike cleverly brings a knee up and smashes it into his face. Gasping, he rolls out from under Pretzler and gets to his feet. Having no time to gather his senses, he dives at Pretzler with the only move he can think of: THE LARIAT! Pretzler is ready this time, and he ducks the move while at the same time seizing Spike’s forearm. Spike’s momentum carries him down into a fujiwara armbar. Pretzler throws his whole body into the hold. Spike’s arm bends back at a sickening angle.


“Do you give up?” Wildchild demands, his accent serving only to annoy both men.


“No… shit… ah… no…”


“What do you expect?” Pete asks. “Pretzler hasn’t worked Spike’s arm at all during the match. You think he’s going to submit on a whim?”


“It was a desperation move. Should Pretzler have stood there and taken the lariat like a lobotomy patient? He had to do something. And maybe Spike will submit.” Spike is nearing the ropes, reaching out with his free arm as he gasps for oxygen. Pretzler leans in further.


King continues: “Speaking of stupid, what does Spike think he’ll gain by getting in the referee’s face? Wildchild is an active wrestler and one of the greatest athletes in the world. If Spike talks back to him again, he just might find himself playing a losing game of pinball, if you catch my drift.” Spike is almost at the ropes. Just a few more inches…


“Well, King, we can’t forget the kind words Mr. Pretzler had for the Bahama Bomber. I believed he made a very direct statement indicating that if Wildchild interfered in any way, he would end up as two-thirds of the SWF Tag Team Champions. If you catch my drift.”


The crowd breathes a sigh of relief as Spike reaches the shelter of the ropes. After several heated words from Wildchild, Pretzler releases the hold, then pulls Spike into the center of the ring by his ankles and applies it again! Lady Luck is not with him, though, and before he can secure it again Spike rolls forward onto his back, reaches up, and pokes Pretzler in the eyes! Pretzler recoils. Spike flips his legs up and backward, hooking them under Pretzler’s shoulders, then rocks forward and brings Pretzler down into a surprise rollup!
































Caught off guard, the challenger just managed to power out of the prawn hold. His attempts at slowing Spike down have all been thwarted, and he now realizes that he is the one who is in the most danger. The match must end as soon as possible. The powerbomb…


“Both men must be incredibly tired from all these speed moves,” Pete says. “The next fall could very well be the deciding one.” And though both are able to make it to their feet, the recovery time has slowed very noticeably. Pretzler strikes first with a knife-edged chop.












With each one, Spike is driven closer and closer to the corner. He finally reaches it and slumps against the post – Pretzler takes advantage of the opportunity and climbs to the first rope, pummeling the straight-edger with elbows to the side of the head. Borrowing a page from the Book of Lyger, Spike fights back with an open-palm uppercut to Pretzler’s jaw, causing the Canadian to back off. Spike now charges with a flashy rolling elbow, but Pretzler ducks and wraps his arms around the champion’s belly in a rear waistlock. He tugs, but Spike won’t budge. The second attempt is more successful.


Spike goes flying over Pretzler’s head in a release German suplex!


He hits the mat hard. Lands on his shoulder blades and slumps back down. Pretzler, too, is flat on his back.







Pretzler crawls across the ring.








He drapes an arm across Spike’s heaving chest.





















































SO CLOSE! So close, but it wasn’t enough. Had Pretzler been able to hold a bridge, there’s no doubt that a new champion would have been crowned. The time between the move and the cover, though, was just too great. Still, as King points out… there can’t be much left.


In either man.


Pretzler places his arms under the shoulders of Spike and tries to haul him to his feet. Spike is completely limp, though, almost unconscious, and it will take a great deal of effort to move him. When Pretzler realizes this, he simply lets go and pins Spike again.














































“Has that ever worked?” Pete asks rhetorically. Probably not, and another such pin would likely yield the same result. So Pretzler gathers all of his might and pulls Spike to his knees. To his feet. He bends Spike over and steps over his head.


“Spike is a fiery competitor, Pete, there’s no doubt about it. But his flame is about to be extinguished!”


By now, Spike is too weak to resist. He has nothing left in the way of strength. Even a headbutt to the groin is beyond him.


Pretzler heaves him into the air, pausing as Spike’s body reaches the highest point of its arc, and then whips that body down toward the mat at lightning speed.




The impact is sickening. Spike’s head and shoulders bounces off the mat and are quickly pinned down again as Pretzler folds him up for the seemingly inescapable cover.






























































Somehow, Spike was able to reach into his deepest reserve and pull out just one more escape. Because whatever the critics say, he does care about his title. At this moment, he cares about it more than anything else in the world.


That’s true. It really is. But right now, there’s nothing he can do alone that will win him the match. So he will do what he should have done at the beginning.


Time for some serious cheating.


The incredulous Pretzler bends over and starts to lift up Spike for what looks like another powerbomb. From that same reserve, Spike reaches up and gives Pretzler a low blow. It’s not as brutal as the one Jet gave him earlier, but it stops Pretzler in his tracks, allowing Spike to pull himself upright. He takes careful note of where Wildchild is and Irish-whips Pretzler in an apparently random direction. Pretzler, of course, slams right into the Bahama Bomber, the elbow he holds up to protect himself colliding conveniently with Wildchild’s jaw. Wildchild staggers back and falls through the ropes to the floor. Horrified at what Spike has just made him do, Pretzler turns around.



Spike stumbles out of the corner and punches him in the face.




Then he does it again.




And again.





Pretzler falls.



Spike glances around, as if waiting for something, but sees only Jet screaming for him. He turns back to Pretzler and leans over him. Pretzler reaches up, attaches himself to Spike, and carries him down in a small package hold!





There is, of course, nobody there to count the fall. Frustrated, Pretzler lets go and Spike sags to the mat. In a seated position. Pretzler slowly moves behind him, reaches over, and grabs the wrists. But Spike is able to turn himself around and is now facing Pretzler, their arms tied together. He stands.



Wildchild is stirring.



They begin a test of strength. One which Spike is destined to lose. If Pretzler can twist Spike’s arms behind him again, the Snowflake Clutch will be secure and no ref bumps will be able to save the champion.


“Pretzler won, by the way. I mean, Spike’s shoulders were down for three seconds. The referee didn’t make the count, but that means nothing. This is all superfluous.”


“Anyway,” says Pete, “Spike Jenkins has just made an unbelievable comeback. I thought he was dead after that powerbomb, but somehow he’s still in there fighting.”


The test of strength continues. Pretzler forces Spike to his knees. The crowd suddenly begins to buzz, a strongly negative reaction that soon becomes more mixed.









Pretzler feels a presence behind him. Slowly, he rotates his head around and stares.




Toxxic is standing in the ring behind him.







Pretzler does a double-take.







The Straight-Edge Sensation is wearing a pair of brass knuckles.







“The great equalizer has arrived,” says Pete. “I personally can’t stand Toxxic’s guts, but it should be GREAT to see Pretzler eat the brass!”






Toxxic grabs Pretzler firmly by the shoulder and pulls him away. He stands there and looks at Pretzler, then back at the kneeling Cruiserweight Champion. Spike grins with relief.






King is confused, as are many who are watching. “Hit him, Scott! What are you waiting for?”













Spike’s grin evaporates as Toxxic’s brass knuckles bury themselves in his forehead!
















Spike falls over. Slumps against the ropes. Toxxic nods at Pretzler and rolls out of the ring as Wildchild comes to his senses.





Pretzler goes over to Spike and stands between him and the ropes. He fastens on a rear facelock, yanks Spike up to his feet, and drags his supine cadaver into the center of the ring.




“What is this?” Pete asks. “What is Pretzler doing now?”









Scott Pretzler lifts Spike into the air as if to deliver a reverse brainbuster. But when Spike’s body reaches a right angle, his momentum shifts. With a grunt, Pretzler whips the champion down and forward and drops himself into a seated position at the same time. The last wind is driven out of Spike as he lands between Pretzler’s legs.











The Bahama Bomber rolls into the ring. He has no idea what has just happened, nor does he care. All he knows is that Scott Pretzler is lying on top of Spike Jenkins, and that Spike’s shoulders are touching the mat.






























































Wildchild asks for the title belt, and the timekeeper hands it to him. He helps Pretzler to his feet and drapes the belt across the shoulder of the new champion. Pretzler looks down at the belt, then stares out proudly as if posing for a photograph.


“And after one hundred and twenty days, the longest Cruiserweight Championship reign in SWF history has come to an end,” King says dramatically. “Let’s hear it for the new champ!”


Pete, like everyone else, is more concerned with another issue. “Did you see what Toxxic just did, King? Spike Jenkins has been betrayed. And – there he is again! That bastard!”


Sure enough, Toxxic has climbed back over the guardrail; with him is Sean Davis. He plants a kiss on Jet, who is beaming, and he and Davis roll into the ring. At once they turn toward Wildchild, and Toxxic clocks him with the brass knuckles!








Together, Toxxic and Davis pound away at the Bahaman native. Pretzler watches, expressionless.



“Where is Johnny Dangerous?” cries Pete.



The beating continues. Finally, Johnny Dangerous sprints down the ramp and slides into the ring. Davis immediately begins stomping on him, and the Revolution Zero members quickly overpower him. It is now a two-on-three beatdown against the tag team champs and Spike, which becomes three-on-three as Jet enters the ring and joins in.




Toxxic picks up Wildchild, runs up the turnbuckle, and drops him in the Intoxxication. Davis hands him Johnny, and he does the same. Spike is out cold.



Toxxic turns toward Pretzler. Offers his hand.




Pretzler accepts.





He then turns to Wildchild, lifts him up, and hammers him with a gruesome snap powerbomb.





Toxxic, Sean, and Jet surround Pretzler, and the Straight-Edge Sensation raises the young Canadian’s hand in victory. It is not completely evident what is happening, but everybody seems to have a fairly clear idea. Their sentiments are echoed by Longdogger Pete, who exclaims frankly:



“Has Scott Pretzler joined Revolution Zero?”

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The Long Island crowd are making their feelings felt in no uncertain terms as Toxxic, Sean Davis and Scott Pretzler stand over the semi-conscious body of Spike Jenkins. The Straight-Edge Sensation irritably turns and beckons to Funyon for a microphone, then snatches it from the veteran ring announcer.


“Shut up.”








Toxxic looks around with clearly strained patience as the crowd continue to boo and jeer, then raises the microphone and tries again.


“I suppose you’re all wondering why we just pasted Spike, right?”




“Well, I’m certainly wondering that,” Longdogger Pete admits at the commentary table. “What on earth possessed Toxxic to end one of the most impressive title runs of all time, and one that belonged to his own stablemate at that?”


“Perhaps if you and the rest of these morons were quiet, he might tell us,” King snaps back.


Sean Davis prods at Spike’s head with his boot, apparently seeing how much life or fight Hollywood might still have left in him. The answer seems to be ‘not a lot’, as Spike does little more than weakly try and cover his face with a hand.


“Back in last summer, just after 13th Hour, Spike and I had a little chat,” Toxxic begins. “He came to me and told me that he was fed up with being cheered but losing all the time, that he wanted to know how I kept winning in spite of being universally despised. So I took Spike under my wing, and together we started up the stable that became known as Revolution Zero. We recruited Sean Davis,” Toxxic gestures to the Perfect Storm standing to his right, “and together we became the most dominant force in this industry since the days of the Magnificent Seven. So; why kick out one of the founder-members?


“Quite simply, I’ve learned a lesson that Spike himself taught me.”


“What?” Pete asks incredulously as a mutter passes around the Nassau Colusseum after Toxxic’s words. “I know Revolution Zero don’t always play by the rules when it comes to their opponents, but what sort of ‘lesson’ would involve beating down a friend and teammate?”


Toxxic rolls Spike Jenkins over onto his back - not too gently either - and sits down on the former Cruiserweight Champion’s chest. It’s plain that Spike is having trouble breathing, but it’s equally plain that Toxxic doesn’t care.


“I made a mistake when I brought Sacred into Revolution Zero,” Toxxic admits to the man beneath him. “You told me I couldn’t trust him, and you were right. He was with us for his own ends, and after he won the title he turned his back on us without a second thought. But I’m a smart man Spike, and I don’t make the same mistake twice. It’s been clear for a couple of months that you’re not happy with how things are with Revolution Zero. You know, if you’d been a little more welcoming then maybe Sacred would have stayed, who knows?” The Straight-Edge Sensation shrugs as if to say that it’s not really important, then continues.


“But, you’ve been bitching about everything since then. You complain about your position on the card; you brag about defeating all of Martial Law, Sacred, Mak Francis, as if more than one of those victories occurred in the last six months. You whined endlessly about Sean eliminating you from the Clusterfuck, even though anyone with a brain could see that it was accidental… not to mention the fact that you’d have dumped him on purpose if it came down to it.” Toxxic looks up at Davis, who nods his head grimly. Both men know that Jenkins’ desire for a World Title shot would have made a mockery of any stable loyalty.


“So you see Spike,” Toxxic continues, looking back down at the battered Californian, “I’m just cutting my losses. Before you decide to turn on us like Sacred did, we’re setting you adrift. You can do what you want now; you answer to no-one. We’ve even taken this deadweight of a Cruiserweight Title off you. If you can get a shot at the World Title, good luck to you… just bear in mind who’s going to be holding it by the time you get there.”






The British straight-edger stands up again, allowing Jenkins to suck in air, then turns to the blonde-haired form of Scott Pretzler. Grinning his trademark lopsided grin, Toxxic raises the microphone to his lips once more.


“Ladies and gentlem, please welcome the newest member of Revolution Zero and your NEW SWF Cruiserweight Champion… SCOTT PRETZLER!”




WHAT!?” Pete yelps as the two men shake hands again. “The Critic is the newest Rev-0 member?”


“Are you deaf or stupid?” King asks, clearly pleased.




“Don’t answer that.”


Scott Pretzler takes the opportunity to show the title belt to all four corners of the Nassau Colusseum as the boos rise in volume, then sketches a small, mocking bow and takes the microphone from his new leader. The Long Island fans don’t seem very interested in hearing what Pretzler has to say, but the Canadian simply raises his voice and talks over them.


“Thank you, thank you,” he begins, throwing his new championship over one shoulder. “I’d just like to point out what a suitable occurrence this is, given that people on various internet news sites have compared me to the man standing in front of you all now. It’s a great honour to be called ‘The New Toxxic’-”


[“I remember when that was Austin Sly,” Pete muses.


“Yeah, what happened to him?” King asks with not-quite complete indifference.]


“-although hopefully with a slightly better grasp of the technical basics,” Pretzler continues with a grin. Toxxic looks like he’s about to argue for a moment, then shrugs and concedes the point. Scott extends his hand to the British straight-edger, indicating that he didn’t mean any harm by the remark.


“I have been watching the SWF for some time, and I was always very impressed by your attitude,” he informs Toxxic. “In spite of the fact that the so-called ‘fans’ of this company seem to universally despise you, you haven’t fallen into the trap of taking the easy road. I have never once seen you break a rule, and for that I salute you. Unlike some of the people you once associated with,” Pretzler continues, wiping his boot on Spike’s face with an expression of disgust, “I can tell you that, like you, I am capable of getting the job done without resorting to cheap trick and illegal tactics.”


“Interference to win the Cruiserweight Title doesn’t count, I suppose?” LDP asks sarcastically.


“Pete, leave wit to those that have the brains to use it properly,” King informs his commentary partner.


“I do have my own agenda in the SWF, but this is not one that will conflict with your interests,” Scott Pretzler tells Toxxic and Davis. “Quite simply, I intend to bring back the tradition of superb, technical wrestling devoid of any pretension or gimmick. In the process, I should be able to help you and Revolution Zero achieve the prominence you so recently enjoyed. I also thank you for your invitation for me to join you, since this task is so great that I don’t think I could do it alone.”






As Long Island continues its jeering Toxxic, Sean Davis and Scott Pretzler shake hands one more time, then as ‘Battle Ready’ by Otep kicks up then turn and head for the back.


“Folks, we’ll be seeing Toxxic and Sean Davis again in a minute when they take on Landon Maddix and Mak Francis in tag team action,” Pete says, still shocked but not quite shocked enough to forget about pimping the main event. “We’ve already seen Revolution Zero take a win in an unexpected way; what surprises, if any, do they have in store for La Cucaracha and the Franchise?”


“The only surprise for me will be if they break a sweat doing it,” King replies lazily. “Isn’t it time for commercials yet?”


“Well, actually-”






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“It’s main event time from the Nassau Colosseum!” Longdogger Pete shouts. “Two former World Champions, a man who beat the reigning World Champion to within an inch of his life at the Clusterfuck, and a big angry man from Florida!”


“The grace,” King comments dryly, “the subtlety, the-”








“-complete lack of common courtesy,” the Gambling Man finishes sourly as Long Island erupts as ‘Megalomaniac’ kicks up, and the curtain is thrown aside by Landon Maddix striding through with Megan Skye at his side.




“Ladies and gentlemen, the following tag team contest is our MAIN EVENT~, and is scheduled for one fall,” Funyon booms. “Introducing first, from Huron, South Dakota; he is accompanied to the ring by ‘The Perfect 10’ Megan Skye and is a member of Martial Law; he weighs in at 218lbs and is the SWF ICTV Champion… LANDON… ‘LA CUCARACHAAAAAAA’… MAAAAAAAAD-DIIIIIIIIIIIXXXXX!!”






Landon Maddix spreads his arms in the ‘Shakespeare says’ pose as he walk down the ramp, the silvery gleam of his one remaining belt around his waist. The fans reach out to slap hands with the Cockroach, who flashes them a grin as he does so before rolling under the ropes into the ring just as…


‘So do you wanna be a Franchise?… and live large… a big house… five cars…’




‘The rent charge… comin’ up in the world, don’t trust nobody…gotta look over your shoulder, constantly!’


Mak Francis strides out onto the soundstage complete with his trenchcoat and ice-blue Oakleys, and the volume if anything increases in the Colosseum! The self-proclaimed Franchise looks over his shades at the fans…


‘I remember the days, when I was a young kid growin’ up… lookin’ in the mirror, dreamin’ about blowin’ up!




The blasts of green pyro seem to fire Francis into action as he readjusts his Oakleys and sets off down the ramp to where his tag partner for the night is standing. Maddix meanwhile looks unimpressed at the Franchise’s entrance, and makes sure to remove his title belt in full view.


“And his partner, from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania,” Funyon continues, “he weighs in at 240lbs; this is ‘The Franchise’… MAAAAAAK… FRRRRRAAAAAAN-CIIIIIISSSSSS!!”


Mak steps up to the ring apron and wipes his feet before waving to the crowd and stepping through the ropes. He goes to mount the turnbuckle as usual, but finds Landon Maddix already standing there. The two men share a cool glance for a second before Landon casually steps to one side and allows the Franchise to salute the fans.


“There seems to be some contention here,” Pete notes with a little surprise, “the partners not overly pleased at being on the same team!”


“Both men want the World Title,” King replies, “plus the fact that they’re egotistical and just obnoxious.”


“And you’re supporting Toxxic in this match?”


“He’s just healthily self-confident.”


Mak steps back down from the buckle and turns around… only to find Landon, seemingly unintentionally, in his way once more. Francis tilts his head to one side as he shrugs his trenchcoat off and seems to be asking La Cucaracha if there is a problem, a query that Landon denies as he casually throws the ICTV belt over his shoulder before turning to hand it to referee David Elleray. Mak looks at his back for a moment, then shrugs and turns back to their corner, moments before the Smarktron whites out and every light in the arena hits full…




For a few seconds, all that can be heard inside the Nassau Colosseum is the faint *skritch-skritch* of a needle on vinyl. Then:




The scratching of the bass voice instantly gives way to the brutal guitars of ‘Battle Ready’ by Otep, and as the drums kick in-




-lightning spears down from the ceiling, igniting a massive blast of gold and red pyro around the soundstage! Before the smoke has time to clear two familiar shapes stride out; the massive, muscular frame of Sean Davis and the wiry, spiky-haired form of Toxxic.






Behind them come Marcus Washington and Jet, but this time there is no duplicity in the pair’s progress to the ring. This time everyone knows their targets.


“And their opponents!” Funyon bellows, trying his best to be heard over the crowd, “at a combined weight of 493lbs, the team of ‘The Perfect Storm’ Sean Davis and ‘The Straight-Edge Sensation’ Toxxic… RRRRREVOLUUUUUUTION… ZEEEERRRRRRRRROOOOOOOOO!!”




The Long Island crowd are shitting all over the two men who earlier on the in the evening destroyed Spike Jenkins and forcibly exited him from their stable, but Toxxic and Davis blatantly don’t care about the feelings of the fans in attendance. Toxxic strips off his ‘World Champion Tour 2004’ T-shirt and they enter the ring together, clearly ready for an early attack by Francis and Maddix. The Franchisable Cockroaches hang back in accordance with referee Elleray’s instructions however, and Toxxic and Davis have a moment to talk about who will start the match.


“An interesting match-up here, and no mistake,” Pete says. “You’d have to pick both Francis and Maddix to beat Sean Davis in a one-on-one situation and Landon has that World Title win over Toxxic, but Davis and Toxxic are former Tag Champions and successfully defended the belts against Maddix’s stablemates, Todd Cortez and Alan Clark. Will teamwork win the day, or will the combined force of two World Title contenders be too much to contend with?”


“If Maddix and Francis are going to win they’d better decide who’s going to start the match,” King notes wryly. “Although, given that they’re having to face Davis at the off, I can’t say that I blame them for arguing.”


In fact the heated discussion between Maddix and Francis appears to be more along the lines of them both wanting to start the match, but finally Mak capitulates and steps out through the ropes…






…only to immediately tag himself in the moment the bell goes! Maddix looks around in surprise that quickly turns to annoyance, but David Elleray enforces the tag and the fuming La Cucaracha has to leave the ring as Francis re-enters the ring, smirking his head off.


“Not a good start,” King laughs quietly. “Well Mak, you had a nice little technical encounter against Dace and some revenge against Sacred - now let’s see how you weather the Perfect Storm!”


Francis and Davis circle the ring, neither seeming to want to commit himself too soon. Finally Mak starts to edge in towards his larger opponent, the cocky grin on his face showing his belief that he can quickly calm the Storm that faces him. Davis adjusts his stance and waits, and Mak makes his move by ducking low and shooting for the legs. He hooks his arms behind Davis’ right knee and lifts, evidently hoping to get the bigger man off his feet and onto the mat where his strength will be less of a factor, but Davis simply starts to hammer down with clubbing forearms into the Franchise’s back! Mak must have been expecting this but it seems that he underestimated the force Sean could put into the blows, and he is forced to release his grip as the Perfect Storm drives the air from his lungs. For his part, Davis doesn’t give the Franchise a chance to reset himself and try again as he grabs the doubled-over Mak and twists him around to haul him up into a Full Nelson.




Davis hoists upwards, hoping to hit his opponent with the Full Nelson atomic drop, but Mak manages to wrap both his legs around Sean’s to block the lift. The momentarily-balked Davis lowers Francis to try again, but this allows Mak to kick backwards hard with his boot and connect with Davis’ knee, causing the big man to grunt in pain. Mak kicks again, then takes advantage of the brief relaxation of the Full Nelson to twist his right arm free and continues his rotation to get a firm grip on Sean’s left arm and start trying to force the bigger man down in a Fujiwara armbar!




Francis gets Davis down to one knee but the Perfect Storm braces himself against the mat with his right hand and stubbornly refuses to budge any further! Mak decides to make the best of a bad lot and quickly straddles the arm, wrenching upwards to try and hyperextend his opponent’s elbow whilst also looking to force Davis downwards. David Elleray is quick to jump in and check on Sean who informs the official that no, he doesn’t feel like quitting just yet; Davis then starts to reach out backwards with his leg, looking to hook the bottom rope and force a break.




Mak becomes aware that his opponent is trying something, so he peers back over his shoulder to see what. Realising that Davis is only a couple of inches away from safety the Franchise wrenches the arm a bit harder to discourage any further escape attempts, then swings his leg back over and applies a two-handed knucklelock that twists Sean’s wrist around and removes all thoughts of reaching the ropes. Gritting his teeth, Davis manages to make it back to his feet as Mak keeps his grip applied… but then the Franchise lashes out with a boot, and catches his opponent right on the elbow!


“Vintage work from Mak Francis here,” Longdogger Pete asserts, “using his opponent’s arm to get control in the early going.”


“You’re going to have to do a lot of damage to Sean Davis’ arm before he stops being able to hit you with it,” Suicide King replies. “I was going to say I hope Mak realises that, but then I decided that it’s really rather more fun if he doesn’t.”


Sean Davis is visibly hurt by Mak’s blow to the trapped limb so the Franchise lashes out again and receives another grunt of pain as a reward. However, Landon Maddix doesn’t seem to be so enamoured by his partner’s tactics and makes his position clear from the apron.


“Go for the head!” the former World Champion shouts, jabbing a finger into his own temple to make his point. Francis looks around at his partner and just smirks, inaudibly informing Maddix that he’ll wrestle this match how he chooses, thank you… but he takes his attention away from Sean Davis, and before the Franchise realises what’s going on Sean manages to set himself, then reel the startled Francis in for a devastating short-arm clothesline!




Sean shakes his left arm out, clearly in pain from Mak’s early offence but also clearly determined to make sure the Franchise pays for it. The big man grabs Mak to help him back to his feet, then rears back and just waffles the Philadelphian with a massive right hand! Francis staggers but is able to retain his feet and comes back with a right hand of his own, but Davis shrugs it off and lets fly with another haymaker that knocks Mak down to one knee. Francis shakes his head to try and clear it, then rises back to his feet and lashes out with a knife-edge chop-






-but although it causes Sean to grit his teeth, Davis is able to take it without much effort.


“Francis can’t win a war of attrition with Sean Davis,” Pete says in some concern, “he needs to change tactics!”


“Sorry Pete, his ego’s too big,” King laughs nastily.


Davis looks at the woozy Franchise standing in front of him and tells him to ‘try again’, and Mak winds up for another right hand… but Sean blocks it with his left arm-




-which is not actually a good idea, as that’s the arm that Mak has just been working over! The punch doesn’t connect with Davis’ jaw but the renewed pain in his arm prevents the Perfect Storm from firing back, and now Mak has the chance to make a real impact as he unloads with right hand after right hand on his opponent!






Davis is staggered but it’s going to take more than a few punches to put him down, so with the big man reeling Mak turns and hits the ropes, building momentum for-




-a Sean Davis spinebuster that stops the Franchise’s comeback in its tracks!






Sean has ended up on his knees from that move and now it is the big man’s turn to shake his head, trying to clear the cobwebs from Mak’s onslaught. This gives Francis a valuable few seconds to catch his breath, and as Davis starts to stand again Mak is able to swivel around on the mat and scissors his ankles, then take the Perfect Storm down with a drop toehold. Realising that he could do with a breather, Francis heads for his corner - stepping on the back of Davis as he goes - and reaches out to tag in Landon Maddix…


…but Maddix pulls his hand away at the last moment!


“What in the hell…?” Pete asks in astonishment.


But it seems Maddix was merely winding his partner up, because as Francis staggers into the corner Landon reaches around and tags himself in off the Franchise’s back, then hops over the ropes to enter the ring! Sean Davis is on one knee again as he pushes himself back up from the drop toehold and Landon sets off at full speed, vaulting off Davis’ knee for a trademark Shining Wizard…




…but Sean’s right hand clamps around Maddix’s throat to stop him dead, before the big man rears up to his full height and drives La Cucaracha down with a monstrous chokeslam!






“We haven’t seen that sort of counter to a Shining Wizard since the days of ‘The Notorious’ John Duran,” Pete exclaims as the Long Island crowd start to jeer at the big man.


“A true and worthy World Champion, unlike the scrawny specimen currently writhing on the mat,” King replies.


Sean Davis seems to be about to visit some more hurt upon the surprised Cockroach in front of him, but he is pulled up by a voice shouting his name from behind him. Turning around, the big man sees Toxxic leaning over the top rope and reaching out for the tag, demanding to be let in to face Maddix. Shrugging, Davis grabs Landon by his girly, floppy hair and drags the ICTV Champion over to the Rev-0 corner, then places him in a gutwrench position.




Toxxic tags himself in off Davis’ shoulder, then Sean gutwrenches Maddix up before dropping him over one knee and Toxxic vaults to the top rope and somersaults off to guillotine it across La Cucaracha’s throat!


“And that’s the Gutwrenching Hangover!” King cries in delight as Maddix flops to the mat. Toxxic immediately makes a cover and David Elleray drops to count…











-but Maddix kicks out just before two. Toxxic doesn’t seem particularly perturbed by this as he just grabs Landon in a rear headlock and hauls La Cucaracha up to his feet, then drops to one knee and drives the other up into Maddix’s neck. Before Landon can do anything except squirm in pain Toxxic hauls him back up again, then falls all the way backwards with a reverse DDT to complete the Detoxx. The Straight-Edge Sensation doesn’t go for a cover this time however, instead heading directly for the turnbuckles and vaulting to the top rope before diving back with a fistdrop that connects square with Landon’s forehead!




Ignoring the chants of the crowd, Toxxic runs to the corner once more and vaults up, then comes back with another fistdrop that again connects with his opponent’s skull.




“Toxxic not letting up for a second here,” Pete notes as Toxxic rises to his feet again, “he certainly seems to have learned his lesson from his match against Landon at Slay Ride.”


“If you’d lost to Landon, wouldn’t you want to make sure it didn’t happen again?” King sniffs.


“There’s no shame in losing to an athlete with the talent of Landon Maddix,” LDP replies.


“Remind me again why you were never World Champion, Pete?”


Toxxic’s hand seems to be hurting from the fistdrops that have been connecting solidly with bone but the Straight-Edge Sensation is going for one more, and he approaches the turnbuckle again. Once more he vaults up to the top rope and once more he comes off with his fist aimed at Landon’s skull… but this time Maddix has summoned the wherewithal to roll out of the way, and Toxxic merely drives his fist into the canvas! It seems that this last impact has actually hurt the straight-edger’s right hand, but without the corresponding blow to Maddix’s skull as a payoff it leaves the Brit vulnerable as he nurses his fingers and curses to himself. With Toxxic on his knees Landon struggles to his feet behind him, then runs forward and somersaults over the straight-edger’s head, grabbing Toxxic on his way past and pulling his skull down into the mat with the Throwback!








The disorientation of the move doesn’t seem to have done Maddix’s hurting head any favours, so La Cucaracha decides that for his next trick he’ll be doing something a bit less extravagant. Toxxic is on his back clutching his face, and it is the work of a moment for Maddix to bounce off the ropes and then drive his knee into the Brit’s forehead with the Dangerous Kneedrop. The roll through is rather more relaxed on this move and Landon comes up to his feet with no apparent ill-effects as the crowd keep cheering.


“Go for the hand!” Francis shouts from the apron, pointing to the right hand of the grounded Straight-Edge Sensation. Maddix looks back at his partner, but shakes his head and taps it, signalling his intended target. Francis looks disgusted at Maddix’s refusal to take his advice but Landon ignores the Franchise and backs off to a neutral corner, then ostentatiously raises his right boot and begins stomping on the mat.




“Oh please,” King sighs, “if he really wanted to surprise Toxxic, is this the way to go about it?”




“Some Sweet Cuca Music coming up,” Pete informs the fans at home.




“Wait a minute,” King says in the tones of someone working something out as Toxxic begins to rise to his feet, “‘La Cucaracha’ means ‘The Cockroach’, right?”








“So this move is called ‘Sweet Cock Music’? What’s that, a porno soundtrack?”


Regardless of King’s translation abilities, Landon sizes Toxxic up as the Straight-Edge Sensation gets back to a vertical base and darts sideways, lashing with his right boot directed straight at the Brit’s jaw…


…but Toxxic ducks, and Landon’s foot sails harmlessly overhead! The unbalanced La Cucaracha turns in an attempt to keep track of his opponent, but the near-miss has started Toxxic’s adrenalin pumping and the Brit beats him to the punch-




-or more accurately, to the European Uppercut! The blow rocks Landon and Toxxic follows up with another…




…then as the blows start to jar his wrist and hand, he rears his head back and drives it forward into Landon’s face!




Unfortunately for the Straight-Edge Sensation the headbutt affects him just as much as it does Landon, and the two men reel away from each other for a couple of seconds. However, Toxxic manages to measure Landon as the half-Spaniard approaches him again, and leaps up to hit home with an enzuigiri!




“Ouch!” Pete shouts in sympathy, “I think Toxxic caught Landon in the back of the neck with that!”


Sure enough, Landon is clutching the back of his neck rather than his head as he lies on the mat, and the lopsided grin that has spread over Toxxic’s face indicates that the change of target was probably deliberate. Without waiting to see exactly how badly Landon has been affected by it Toxxic grabs him by his hair and hauls him up, then double-underhooks La Cucaracha’s arms and hoists him UP…






…Landon manages to brace his feet back on the canvas, blocking the Toxxic Shock Syndrome! Surprise flickers over Toxxic’s face at this, but before the Brit can try again Landon starts to push upwards in an attempt to backdrop his way out of the move. Unfortunately his hurt neck doesn’t allow him to do much more than get Toxxic’s feet momentarily off the ground before a shooting pain stops him, but this is enough for the straight-edger to relax his grip in alarm. Landon seizes this opportunity to squirm his arms free, then hook behind both of Toxxic’s knees to take the straight-edger down and jacknife forwards into a pin!


















…but Toxxic kicks out! However, as Landon gets up he finds that there is no longer an opponent between him and Mak Francis and he runs forward, looking to make the tag…


…but now it is Francis’ turn to pull his hand away, and Landon hits the turnbuckle of his own corner without managing to get the Franchise into the ring!


“Come on, get it together!” Pete shouts angrily. “Is personal pride worth this?”


“Personal pride can be all you have in the wrestling business,” King replies, completely serious, “and if these two can’t put it aside to work together then their chances of winning this match are slim!”


Landon turns to shout at Mak, but the man from Philly drops off the apron to the arena floor! Maddix’s eyes widen, but at that moment he becomes aware of someone approaching fast from behind…




…and he instinctively lashes out, driving his boot into the jaw of the onrushing Toxxic with the Sweet Cuca Music!




Landon turns around, ready to continue this match on his own if he has to, but at that moment-




-Mak Francis’ hand slaps him on the back of the head, tagging himself back into the ring as the Franchise returns to the apron! Landon rounds on his partner, not only smarting from the slap but also clearly furious at Mak’s lack of team spirit; unfortunately Francis ignores him, and as David Elleray demands that Maddix leaves the ring the Franchise slingshots himself in to land backfirst on the floored Toxxic.






Francis reaches sideways and hooks Toxxic’s leg for an arrogant cover that Elleray drops to make the count for…


















…but the Straight-Edge Sensation escapes just after two, the lack of a proper cover leaving his kickout relatively unhindered. Francis seems unbothered by this, instead going straight to Toxxic’s right hand and applying another double-handed knucklelock. Toxxic yells in pain as the Franchise targets the bodypart that he had previously directed Landon to - Maddix doesn’t seem too impressed, however.


“The head!” he yells at Francis, loud enough for the ring mics to pick it up. “How’m I meant to work the arm?” Mak just grins cockily back, the lipreaders in the home audience picking up the words ‘I don’t need you to,’ from the Franchise. As if to prove his point Mak abruptly twists Toxxic’s wrist, the force taking the straight-edger clean over in a somersault to land on his back. However, Francis seems totally unprepared for what happens next as Toxxic reaches back with his right leg and kicks to break the grip of Mak’s left hand, then kips back up to his feet and applies an armwringer to the right arm of the startled Franchise!


“…what the hell was that?” Pete asks in amazement as Mak grabs his right arm, clearly wondering where that came from.


“I think we may be seeing the first fruits of Toxxic’s time training with Chris Card,” Suicide King muses. “He still won’t be a match for Mak in terms of pure skill, but Francis certainly wasn’t expecting that sort of counter from the Straight-Edge Sensation!”


Toxxic is trying to tow Mak over to the Rev-0 corner so he can tag Davis back in, but Francis is having none of it. Instead the Franchise rolls forward to release the pressure on his arm, then as he comes back up to his feet he twists Toxxic’s arm around the straight-edger’s own throat, locks his hands to apply a Cobra Clutch and-




-dumps the Brit on his head with a patented Million Dollar-plex!




This time Mak makes sure to hook the leg on the cover as Elleray hits the mat…



















-but Sean Davis breaks up the pin with a boot to the head! Elleray immediately springs to his feet and orders the big man out of the ring, but the Perfect Storm’s interjection hasn’t slowed Mak for long. Francis grabs Toxxic’s head and pulls the straight-edger up, then applies a bulldog headlock and leaps into the air before driving the Brit’s head back into the mat. Toxxic rolls over onto his back from the impact and Francis bounces off the ropes…






…and drops his fist right between Toxxic’s eyes!


“The Truth Hurts!” Pete shouts at the Nassau Colosseum rises to its collective feet in salutation of the Franchise’s embarrassing of the leader of Revolution Zero. Meanwhile Landon is shouting at Francis to stop playing around and get on with it, but Francis merely turns to his own corner and places his finger to his lips!




“Well, Mak did start working on the head,” Pete comments, “he might start following some more of Landon’s advice…”


“I wouldn’t bet on it,” King snorts, “Mak changed tactics because he found out that Toxxic wasn’t quite as inept at actual wrestling as he thought, not because of anything that spot-monkey was shouting.”


Mak grabs Toxxic around the waist and hauls the straight-edger up into a rear waistlock, Toxxic now clearly groggy. Landon is shouting a warning but Mak ignores him again, popping his hips to send Toxxic flying overhead in the Filthy German™ and come crashing down on the back of his neck-




-but Francis should have paid attention to his partner, as Toxxic flips out of the move as he has so many times before and lands on his feet! Mak hears the noise and scrambles up and around, but he’s simply too slow and as he turns to face his opponent Toxxic is already moving-




-driving both feet into Mak’s left knee with a half-soccer tackle, half-basement dropkick! Francis flips forward, face contorted in agony as his old injury is attacked, but he doesn’t have a chance to recover as Toxxic grabs him by the neck and hoists him up, then boots him in the stomach and double-underhooks his arms.




The crowd are jeering for all they’re worth, but that isn’t going to stop Toxxic from hoisting Mak Francis UP…










“Toxxic Shock Syndrome!” Pete shouts as the Long Island crowd groans in dismay and Toxxic rolls Mak over for the cover, “this could be it!”



















-but Francis kicks out!


“It’s going to take more than that to put Mak Francis away!” Pete declares as Toxxic pushes himself up from the cover, arguing with David Elleray as he does so.


“But did you notice that unlike Sean Davis, Landon Maddix didn’t enter the ring to break the pin?” King asks eagerly. “You can’t trust a Cockroach!”


“I’m sure he just knew Francis would be OK,” Pete replies… but he doesn’t sound so sure anymore.


Toxxic grabs Mak’s leg and drags the Franchise to the Rev-0 corner, then reaches over and tags Sean Davis in. The Perfect Storm is well-rested up now and wastes no time in laying into the prone Franchise with stomps until Elleray is forced to intervene. Maddix is protesting from the far corner - but not that much.




The fans start to try and rally behind Mak, but the Franchise doesn’t seem to be in any position to justify their faith in him. Davis brushes Elleray out of the way and hoists Mak back to his feet, then hooks him up for a suplex; however, the moment Francis becomes vertical in the air, Davis drops right down to spike him with a brainbuster!




Davis rolls Mak onto his back to make the pin and Elleray drops to count again…



















-but Mak still kicks out… and once again, Maddix doesn’t stir from his corner!


“What is Landon Maddix thinking?” Pete shouts, seemingly angry at the Franchisable Cockroaches’ lack of team spirit. “He could have lost the match there!”


“I think Landon is thinking that it wouldn’t be him losing the match…” King replies, stroking his chin with a grin on his face.


Sean Davis seems unimpressed with the Franchise’s continued fight, so this time when he hauls Mak up his bellow of “It’s all over!” carries a fairly ominous certainty with it. The Perfect Storm places Francis into a Full Nelson, but instead of going for the atomic drop again he forces Mak forwards and over until he is sitting on the Franchise’s back with the Avalanche applied!


“The Avalanche locked in, and Mak could be in real trouble!” Pete states rather redundantly. “If Landon Maddix is ever going to help his partner, now is the time!”


Davis grins ferociously as he puts as much force as possible into the hold, wrenching away at Mak’s weakened neck to try and get the former ICTV Champion to submit. Mak isn’t giving up yet, although he is clearly in a lot of pain…


…but then Landon Maddix shoots past Davis, hits the ropes and rebounds to vault off Mak Francis’ head and nail Davis with a Shining Wizard!




“Why did Landon do that?” Pete asks in astonishment as Davis falls back and Mak clutches his neck. “Surely he could have broken the hold without treading on his own partner’s head!”


“I’m sure he could,” King nods in agreement while Landon flees the ring as David Elleray advances on him, “I guess he wanted to, huh?”


Toxxic is furious at Landon’s intervention and actually enters the ring himself to protest with the referee, but the official is having none of it and blocks Toxxic’s path before ordering him back to the corner. So great is the straight-edger’s ire that he continues to argue, but this allows Mak Francis to get his bearings and, as he locates the slowly-rising Sean Davis-




-slam his forearm up into the Perfect Storm’s happy-happy-joy-joy area!




Needless to say the low blow sends Toxxic even more ballistic, but as Davis starts to collapse again Mak pokes him in the eye for good measure, then turns towards his corner. Now Landon has his arm outstretched and is waiting for the tag with an earnest desire to legally enter the match writ large upon his face. Seeing the way things are going Toxxic wisely desists his argument with Elleray and steps out of the ring himself, reaching out and calling for Sean to make the tag…


…Francis crawls a bit further and reaches out, but Landon’s hand is still a couple of feet away…



…Sean Davis, relatively close to his own corner, hears Toxxic’s voice invade his own private world of hurt and starts to painfully shuffle towards his leader…



…Mak Francis looks up at Landon Maddix, silently daring him to pull his hand away this time…








“It’s Maddix! It’s Toxxic! It’s breaking down!” Pete shouts as the two former World Champions simultaneously vault over the top rope and into the ring. Landon received his tag just before his opponent however, and has enough of a headstart to leap into the air and drop Toxxic with a flying forearm!




Toxxic scrambles back to his feet, but Landon has hit the far ropes and rebounds to hit him with a second that takes the straight-edger off his feet again!




This time when Toxxic gets back up Landon is there waiting for him, and La Cucaracha hoists the Straight-Edge Sensation onto his shoulder and begins an Airplane Spin. However, after a few rotations Maddix sees Sean Davis slumped in the Rev-0 corner but evidently regrouping, and the ICTV Champion sets the dizzy Toxic down and charges at the Perfect Storm, vaulting off the second rope and nailing him with another Shining Wizard! With the big man seemingly out of commission Maddix turns back to the stumbling Toxxic, scoops him up, turns him upside down…






Landon hooks Toxxic’s far leg and rolls into the cover, stacking all his weight onto the Brit’s shoulders in an effort to keep him down…
























“He kicked out!” Pete shouts in disbelief as Toxxic just squeezes a shoulder off the mat. “Perhaps if Mak had started working on Toxxic’s head sooner then Landon’s Tombstone would have been enough…”


Landon Maddix can’t believe it either, and he makes this very clear to David Elleray. The referee argues back, brandishing the damning two fingers, so Maddix bends down to place Toxxic in a reverse headlock…


…and turns him over into the Land of Nod!






“This is it!” Pete shouts. “Toxxic is trapped in the same submission that won Maddix the World Title at Slay Ride!”


But at Slay Ride, Toxxic didn’t have the 275lb Sean Davis in the ring with him, and it is Davis’ boot to the back of the head that breaks the submission up. Landon staggers forwards, then rounds on his attacker and leaps up to hit a picture-perfect Dropsault that sends Davis staggering back and also allows him to land neatly on Toxxic with a moonsault splash! Maddiz hooks the leg again, Elleray drops to count…




















“Still not enough!” Pete gasps breathlessly. “What is it going to take?”


Maddix yells at David Elleray, now clearly convinced that the count was slow. Elleray argues back, but Maddix isn’t content to leave it there and persists in stating his point. Then Mak adds his voice to the furore, shouting at Landon to ‘get on with it!’, an instruction that Maddix doesn’t take kindly to as he mouths back at his battered partner. Frustrated, Francis flips the bird and Landon responds in kind before bending to pick Toxxic up again. La Cucaracha Irish whips Toxxic towards the ropes… but the straight-edger has had a few moments to regain his bearings, reverses the momentum and sends Landon in instead! Toxxic ducks his head as Landon rebounds and flips the ICTV Champion over his head in a baaaaaaaaaaaack bodydrop…




-and Landon is plucked out of the air and driven down by Sean Davis into a brutal powerbomb!


“Zero Hour!” King shouts as the Nassau Colusseum gasps at the sight of Landon Maddix nearly broken in half. “I don’t know if Toxxic even knew Sean was back up behind him, but that’s the Zero Hour!”


Toxxic looks around in dazed surprise to see Landon nearly motionless on the canvas, but it only takes a moment for the straight-edger to see his chance. Quickly Toxxic rolls Maddix onto his front, then laces the Cockroach’s legs together and reaches forward to apply a ¾ Nelson facelock…


“He’s going for the Regal Stretch!” Pete shouts. “This won Toxxic the World Title against Johnny Dangerous!”


Mak Francis sees the danger too as Landon weakly tries to fight his tormentor off. Toxxic drives a hard right hand into the back of his opponent’s skull, then another, and then finally manages to get the hold applied. Mak steps into the ring and starts towards his trapped partner, but only runs into the solid wall of Sean Davis as the Perfect Storm takes him down with a shoulder block and then begins to hammer him with stomps. David Elleray is checking on Maddix, but despite his pain Landon’s eyes aren’t fixed on the unobtainable ropes, but on Mak Francis. The Franchise tries to fight up but Sean Davis is merciless, and finally Mak is driven clean out of the ring.




And with his only hope of rescue gone and three of his limbs trapped…




…Landon Maddix has nowhere to go.










“Ladies and gentlemen,” Funyon booms, “here are your winners, the team of Toxxic and Sean Davis… RRRRREVOLUUUUUTION… ZEEEEERRRRRROOOOOOOO!!”






David Elleray starts yelling at Toxxic to release his hold, but it takes several seconds for the Straight-Edge sensation to let go of Landon Maddix and get back to his feet. The familiar, sinister lopsided grin spreads over the Brit’s face as he looks down at his fallen opponent while Landon clutches his neck and Mak Francis picks himself up on the outside; then Toxxic and Davis slap hands as Jet and Marcus Washington climb into the ring. Spike Jenkins may be gone, but the Revolution is as strong as ever.


“Landon Maddix and Mak Francis came so close, but in the end it was teamwork that won the day,” Longdogger Pete declares unhappily. “If Maddix and Francis had been able to work together a bit more then they could have had this match in the bag, but I think their egos overshadowed their in-ring abilities tonight!”


“It’s a classic story,” King remarks. “Both men want the World Title, both men want Sacred, and neither man wants Toxxic to get there first… but they both wanted to make it clear who was the better man, while Toxxic and Davis knew the objective of the team was most important.”


“…is that it?”


“-and, of course,” King continues, “Mak and Landon are completely inferior to either Toxxic or Sean Davis.”


Toxxic and Sean Davis raise their hands together as Long Island shits all over them, but on the outside of the ring Mak Francis stares at Landon Maddix, unable to believe that his partner tapped out. Landon stares straight back, the look in his eyes clearly asking his partner where he was.


“That’s all for now SWF fans, but don’t forget to tune into Storm on Friday when we continue the road to From The Fire,” Pete pimps. “Until then, this is Suicide King and the Longdogger signing out - PEEEEAAAACCCEEEE!”









©2005 Smartmarks Wrestling Federation

‘Raising workrate by showing’

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