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Chuck Woolery

SWF Smarkdown, 4-4-05!

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The roar of over ten thousand fans surface in the wake of the fiery explosions, and the lights come up to full power, revealing the source of those cheers.


“Welcome to SWF Smarkdown!” exclaims the voice of Longdogger Pete, while the cameras pan across the rows and rows of tightly-packed Montanan’s. “We’re coming at you LIVE tonight from the SOLD-OUT Metrapark Arena in Billings, Montana, with a line up of matches that are simply to die for!”


“That’s right,” adds the Suicide King as the cameras hone in on the announcers table. “Tonight Jay Hawke tries to make up for his loss in the SWF Title Tournament by taking on the newly returned Ejiro Fasaki!”


“Wildchild goes head-to-head with Scott Pretzler with the Cruiserweight Championship on the line,” Pete excitedly adds, “and Mak francis and Spike Jenkins have their rematch for the number one contendership to the SWF World Heavyweight Championship!”


“Last but not least,” King adds, “Toxxic defends the World heavyweight Championship against Todd Cortez!”


“All that and more! However, before we get to the matches,” Pete says. “We are going to introduce you to the newest SWF Champion of the newest SWF Title! If you recall,” he notes, “the winner of the SWF Title Tournament got to name the new belt as part of the prize for winning the Tournament. Tonight, Johnny Dangerous will reveal what the new title will be called. King, you got to hand it to the Barracuda on this one as well. He went three rounds in the Tournament and won every single one of them.”


“That I do,” agrees King. “Johnny actually proved that he could get tough we need be, and even stopped people like Landon Maddix from progressing.”


All eyes turn towards the ring announcer as he climbs into the ring. He draws the microphone to his lips and says, “Ladies and gentlemen, it is with extreme honor that I introduce to you the winner of the SWF Title Tournament, and NEW Champion…”




…and the Metrapark Arena trembles with delight! “After the Flesh” kicks up from the speakers, getting a solid cheer from the fans and even more so when the Barracuda himself steps out from behind the curtains with a gym bag slung over his shoulder - obviously containing the new SWF Championship belt. Fans crowd the aisles leading to the ring, hoping to grab a good snapshot or a high five from the Secret Agent, but he simply passes by them and slides into the ring – his focus is totally on his task at hand.








“From Las Vegas, Nevada and weighing in at two hundred-seventeen pounds! He is one half of the SWF WOOOOOOOORLD TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS… JOHNNY ‘THE BAAARRAAACUDAAA’ DAAAANGEROUUS!!”


Johnny slides into the ring, heads for the turnbuckles and climbs up, igniting a wave of flash photography as he raises his Tag Title out to the fans. He climbs back down and drops the gym bag in the center of the ring, unzips it, and then asks for Funyon’s microphone.







“Well, well, well,” the Barracuda begins. He motions with his hand for the crowd to quiet down and they eagerly oblige – giving Johnny all the room he needs to speak. “It’s great to see everyone in Montana out here tonight too!”




“Now I know why you all are so eager. You want to see the new SWF Championship title that I have in my bag.”


Another pop from the crowd bursts out as the Barracuda stops speaking long enough to extend a hand towards his gym bag.


“Well then, I plan to let you all see it! As you may have guessed, trying to think of a good name for this belt to have was definitely a challenge. I wanted something that could have a proud history and where those who win it would be proud to display it, wear it, and defend it. Finally, I came up with the best name I could think of. However, before I reveal the name of this new Championship belt there are a few things I think I need to get off my chest. Particularly that one mouthy-little, snot-nosed, arrogant brat name… Landon Maddix.”




“It’s alright, if you like him I perfectly understand, so long as you understand that I don’t necessarily have to like what you guys like,” Johnny pauses for a moment, surveying the rows and rows of fans. “Let’s get on with business though, shall we? See, it was just this past Lockdown when the show was starting up – pyrotechnics exploding all over the place. Light’s flashing in perfect harmony with the music, and getting everyone as pumped as the possibly could possibly when Landon Maddix decided he would crash the party because he was mad. Mad that he lost the SWF Intercontinental-Television Championship to yours truly.”


“Landon, you said that I would say that our match on Storm was ‘strictly business’,” he says. “Then you went on to say that I must have been feeling pretty good to know that I finally got the duke over you. Well, the truth is, if you must know it, that I was feeling pretty damn ecstatic when I won the Intercontinental-Television Championship off of you, and ended your precious title reign!”




“Ended it he did,” King reaffirms. “If Johnny hadn’t stopped Landon when he did, Maddix would have had the all-time longest title reign in SWF history. Now, just as always, Landon has to settle for a second place tie with Wildchild.”


“I don’t call it revenge though, Landon,” Johnny continues. “I call it exactly as it is – a true competition of TWO souls putting ALL their effort into a match for the ultimate prize!”




“It’s just that my effort was far better than yours.”




“Face it, Landon. You can sit their and make excuses. You can blame Tom Flesher for putting you into a match when you weren’t physically fit enough to compete at your normal caliber! You can say that I only beat a crippled… but I simply exposed you for the talent less hack that you truly are! You’ve never been better to begin with – you were just a boy who knew how to put his feet up on the ropes.”


“Lord have mercy,” says Longdogger Pete. “Johnny Dangerous is tearing into Landon Maddix like a pack of hungry wolves!”


“It doesn’t matter if you were well or not – you wouldn’t have beaten me! Just like at the Clusterfuck – you couldn’t beat me to win the match, you had to beat Stryke to win it! However,” Johnny pauses for a moment. The crowd is now rather silent as the crowd is not quite sure how to take this. They simply listen as the Barracuda goes on. “Let’s not dwell on this subject too long – I know that time is short and you guys are eager to see Wildchild take on Scott Pretzler for the Cruiserweight Championship-”




“-Mak Francis and Spike Jenkins for the number one contendership of the World Heavyweight title-”




“-and Toxxic defending that same title against Todd Cortez!”




“Which brings me to my next point. Todd Cortez – a man who couldn’t even make it past the first round of the SWF Title Tournament, the same tournament that I just won on Lockdown, is getting a shot at the World Title!”




“What the hell is wrong with that picture!?”


Again the crowd falls silent. No cheers or boos, but complete and utter silence as the listen to the Barracuda.


“How does losing in the tournament for a second tier belt get you a shot at the top belt in the company – can someone explain that one?”


“Well I think it’s because he’s done fairly well in recent times,” Pete pipes up, seemingly fumbling to come up with some kind of an answer.


“Yeah, likely story, Drain-Clogger,” grumbles King.


“Thirdly,” Johnny begins again, “Spike Jenkins and Mak Francis wrestling to determine the number one contender to the World Title – what’s wrong with THAT picture as well? Mak Francis has wrestled about four matches since returning to the SWF, losing them all in the process, yet he’s in a number one contenders match. Spike Jenkins-”




“Yes, well little Spike has come a long way--the longest running Cruiserweight Champion in SWF history--but let me paint the picture for you folks. Spike didn’t become successful with the Cruiserweight Championship until after I finally decided to move away from that title scene.”


“Move away?” Pete questions, “if I recall correctly he lost the Cruiserweight Championship to Austin Sly!”


“Correct you are,” replies King, “but he’s basically saying he let Austin win it from him as he was moving on to bigger and better things.”


“Every single time Spike and I have met in the ring it has always ended the same; Spike staring up at the lights while I get the one-two-three. Yet somehow, due to Spike hating Toxxic, now he’s getting put up for a World Title match? Did I miss something? Hell, toss my hat into the ‘I don’t like Toxxic’ circle so I can have a shot at the World Title based on that premise alone! Obviously you don’t have to be good at wrestling or even win many matches to get that shot, but when you have lost exactly one match the entire year… you get shafted!”


“I plan to fix that though with this new title. Seeing as how I united the United States-Junior League-European-TV Title with the Intercontinental-Television Championship, hence uniting the world…”


“Uh-oh,” gulps Pete, “where’s he going with this?”


“…it only seems fair that I should be the World Heavyweight Champion!”




“No!” cries Pete, “there can only be one World Heavyweight Champion, Johnny – this isn’t right!”


“Jesus, Mary, and Joseph,” mutters King. “Will ya’ stuff a sock in it already? I’m trying to find out what our new title is going to be called.”


“Unfortunately,” continues Johnny, “I thought of the boys in the back and realized they wouldn’t want two World Titles – especially since Landon has no interest in the belt and he’s, quote un-quote ‘coming after me – and that we need something a little different. So then I thought… what about the Barracuda Championship?”




“But again, I considered everyone else who might come after me. As much as I love the thought of a Barracuda title, I sure in the hell wouldn’t want to see a Megan Skye belt or anything.”




“Please, settle down gentlemen,” says Johnny, waving the fans back at their cheer for Megan Skye. “Believe me, I’ve already had it and you don’t want to go there. Actually, have you ever opened a can of ‘Chicken of the Sea’ and got a big whiff of the smell right as you open it?”




“Oh come on!’ cries Pete, “this is a family show!”


“Alright, I’m just messing with you guys,” says Johnny, grinning at the reaction. He reaches into his bag and grabs the strap of a title belt. it starts to make it’s way out of the bag, but then Johnny stops and looks back out at the fans. “So… for your new SWF Title…”


The crowd crackles and buzzes with excitement. A brand spankin’ new Championship is about to be unveiled!






The crowd roars and as they do the Barracuda pulls the new belt from his bag. Its shiny gold gleams in the lights as they pass over it, and Johnny heads to a corner and raises it out to them, letting everyone get a good look at the title. Finally, ‘After the Flesh’ kicks up again, signifying the end of the Barracuda’s tirade on SWF happenings.


“And there you have it folks,” says Pete, sounding somewhat disappointed. “The new title belt is the SWF international Championship and Johnny Dangerous is its first Champion! I can’t say I’m too pleased with the Barracuda’s verbal assault on so many things. I might have to talk to him later.”


“You leave that man alone,” Replies King. “It sounds like he finally screwed his head on right and we don’t need you trying to loosen the lid any.”


“Whatever,” Pete sighs. “Folks, we’ll be right back after this with the first match of the night! Stay-"


But Pete never gets to complete that sentence.


"Oi! Johnny!"


A piercing whistle splits the Metrapark Arena, and the crowd - and Johnny Dangerous - look round to see a familar shape coming down the ramp.




"Oh no!" Pete exclaims. "Not him!"


The man coming down the ramp has spiky black hair, eyeliner and over his shoulder is- look, I don't have to draw you a picture. It's Toxxic.






"Well Johnny, sounds like someone's got a little bit of anger to work off there," Toxxic begins, "and I think it might be because you've been severely short-changed there, sunshine." The Straight-Edge Sensation points at the International Championship. "That there? That's wood Johnny, wood with foil over it! Call that a strap? I've seen better straps on an episode of 'Dungeon Dykes'!" The World Champion pauses for a moment, then continues in an undertone, "considerably better straps, actually... but I digress," he carries on at a more normal volume. "I think what you really want is here in my arms - the SWF WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT TITLE~!"




"Does he seem... OK?" Pete whispers to Suicide King.


"You see Johnny," Toxxic continues, "this is MY belt, and I don't need to name it to prove it. Do you remember holding this belt, Johnny? Those precious 30 days when you were on top of the world?" The straight-edger doesn't wait for an answer, ploughing on. "This belt remembers only too well! Listen, she missed you!"


At this point Toxxic holds the belt up to the microphone and does a very bad ventriloquist act, squeaking 'Save me! Save me Johnny!'.


"What in the hell..." Pete says, dumbstruck.


“Come on Johnny, save her!” Toxxic calls down to the right where Johnny Dangerous stands, completely nonplussed. “That’s what you do, isn’t it? You’re a secret agent! You save people, you save things, you save the day!” Toxxic laughs as he throws the World Title back over his shoulder. “Strange thing though - when Scott was beating the crap out of Wildchild on Storm, I didn’t see you doing any saving. And when he kept the Snowflake Clutch on just a leeeetle bit too long on Lockdown, I didn’t notice your Brylcreamed backside moseying down to the ring to help out your partner in peril.” Toxxic grins lopsidedly at the Barracuda. “Poor Dub-Cee. His neck must be very sore; in fact, he probably can’t fellate you after the shows at the moment!”




“Come on!” Longdogger Pete bellows, “this is family programming! There’s no need for that!”


“Oh, I think there is!” Suicide King chokes, trying not to wet himself with laughter.


“Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not judging,” Toxxic hastens to point out as he steps into the ring, “what two consenting tag partners get up to in their own time is their affair, and you’re a fine figure of a man.” Toxxic purses his lips for a moment as if in thought, then shakes his head. “You’re a little old for me, though.”






“Toxxic…” Johnny says, finally getting a grip on himself to speak. “Toxxic, if I didn’t know better I’d say you were on something!” The Barracuda was probably expecting a reaction from that. Probably not the one he gets, though.


“I am on something!” Toxxic laughs, staring into Johnny’s eyes. “Come on, would you deny a humble straight-edger the finer things in life? I’m on the high of WINNING!” Johnny simply looks on in bewilderment as Toxxic grins at him.


“Now, I know you’ll say that I technically lost on Lockdown but let’s face it, that was a triumph for Revolution Zero as a whole,” Toxxic begins, “so let’s look at my record. I’ve only lost one match this calendar year, which was a tag match against… oh yeah, you! And Johnny, you’ve only lost one match this calendar year, which was a Number One Contender’s match again… oh yeah, me!




“You needed Wildchild’s help to beat me and Sean, I beat you on my own,” Toxxic grins. “But you’ve bounced back well Johnny; you’re winning left and right and you’re well on the path to becoming me.”


There is a moment of stunned silence before:


What did you say?” Johnny asks incredulously, almost dropping his new title belt in shock.


“Becoming me,” Toxxic repeats. “Come on Johnny, surely it’s occurred to you! You’ll start off by telling yourself that you’re just getting more focused. Then you’ll stop doing any substances that you may or may not be doing, thinking it’s in order to help improve your conditioning and concentration. You might start complaining about how people are jumping ahead of you,” Toxxic grins, mindful of Johnny’s earlier rant, “and after that you’re on the slippery slope my friend; very soon now you’ll be waking up, unwilling to go out in public without eyeliner and with the constant nagging feeling that you’re driving on the wrong side of the road!”


The Montanan crowd aren’t really chanting anything anymore - they all seem too confused by exactly what has come over the World Champion.


“Did you have a point?” Johnny Dangerous asks, jaw clenching at the insolence of the grinning idiot in front of him.


“Why yes I do, glad you asked,” Toxxic jumps in without waiting for the Barracuda to continue, “and my point is simply this; last time you were World Champion, you didn’t have a tag partner to worry about. When I became Tag Champion at the end of last year, my World Title didn’t last much longer. You’ll find it very difficult,” the Straight-Edge Sensation continues, “to keep an eye on both this” he points to Johnny’s tag belt, “and this,” he finishes, pointing to his own World Heavyweight Title. “If you want to trade up this,” he carries on, prodding the International Title, “you’re gonna have to lose that,” he concludes, pointing to the tag belt again. Johnny Dangerous just looks at him, but Toxxic simply waves and steps out through the ropes again, heading up the ramp to the back.


“…that was completely bizarre,” Longdogger Pete says, “but we’ve got our first match, NEXT!”


... or so Pete thinks. Suddenly, a figure strides out from the back, his Oakley shades, the only thing present from his ring attire while he is decked out in a nice suit.


“This is unexpected... Mak Francis, looking like he just got out of his car, is coming to the ring sans music and looking all business.”


Mak enters the ring and gets a mic from an attendant.


“I have a match later tonight, but right now, I have some things to show everybody. Especially Spike Jenkins, since our beloved production crew finally did their jobs and one in particular found what I told him to two shows ago. Lucky for him my flight got canceled last show or he’d have been in big trouble.”


The crowd is decidedly mixed.


“Mak explaining why we’re getting tonight’s number one contender match here instead of last week.” Pete expounds.


“Stay with me people because this may take a while. First lets’ go back to February 23rd of this year. Mak versus Spike, first time in a long time! Lets’ skip straight to the finish, folks.”


The Smarktron behind Francis flashes to life, the SWF copyright visible in the bottom right corner. A still picture of ‘Hollywood’ Spike Jenkins arm outstretched, as Mak is in mid-sprint shows up and begins to play…










“LARIATOOOOOOOO~!” Pete cries. “Shades of Va’aiga there, and Mak ran straight into it! Spike didn’t have to move!”


A visibly exhausted Jenkins scrambles on top of the writhing Francis and hooks the leg for all he’s worth…


















“Spike’s got the tights!” King shouts.












“Stop it right there!” shouts Mak, interrupting the referee’s three count that lead to his loss, not showing the huge pop from the crowd that followed. The picture focuses on Spike using his tights for leverage. “This is proof that you don’t have what it takes to be a real number one contender, Spike.”


“You can’t beat me clean in the center of the ring. There’s always some angle or some break that goes your way, Holly. Where’s my lucky break, like this one?”


Obviously, parts of the crowd don’t believe that statement.


“What’s he talking about, King?” Pete asks, while Mak shakes his head waiting for the Smarktron to show whatever he’s got planned. “I have a ton of respect for Mak Francis, but it’s not like he wasn’t bending the rules as well. Both men had to pull out all the stops in that match, just like in their last encounter.”


“Can you blame him for feeling slighted though, Pete?” King answers quickly. “He did lose to Spike Jenkins twice in a row after all… that’s a black mark on a career that I would wish upon nobody. Not even Mark Stevens and that’s saying something!”


Mak speaks up as the Smarktron flickers to black. “We had to go in the way back machine to find this one, but it’s worth it—roll the footage!”


The Smarktron fades from black to a somewhat grainy video. A small graphic in the top left corner fades in stating; Smarks Junior League: Metal! And below that is the date: August 8, 2002…




Mak Francis rises to his feet, panting and bleeding. He climbs into the ring, behind C.I.A., as he grab’s C.I.A.’s shoulder and swings him around, only to be delivered a second Via Rail! C.I.A. goes straight down after the second stroke using his bad shoulder, as he rolls on the mat, trying to catch his breath from exhaustion!


The crowd goes ape shit as they break out in chants of their Canadian Hero!


“C-I-A! C-I-A! C-I-A! C-I-A! C-I-A! C-I-A! C-I-A! C-I-A! C-I-A!” shouts the crowd in an ECDub esque chant. “Heh…the Smarks Junior League, folks, I guarantee you, the ONLY place where you will find a crowd of people chanting ‘C-I-A’!” Jokes the Suicide King.


“No time for Jokes, my evil loving friend!” Edwin says, “This match is intense…all three people are out cold in the ring and…wait…what the?”


Edwin pauses as he sees a figure stumble up on the outside of the ring. He almost falls backward, but he quickly slides under the bottom rope and roll into the ring. The man, “Hollywood” Spike Jenkins, stumbles to his knees, as he lies on top of the fallen body of Mak Francis, as the referee, shocked to see this, begins to count…


“Oh, no!” The Suicide King screams, “It couldn’t…”








“OOOOONNNNNEEEEE!” screams the crowd. Matt Myers looks up, as he sees that his partner is being pinned! He stumbles to his knees…


“DO IT KID!” Edwin screams.


“…But…but…this…isn’t fair…” The Suicide King stumbles…













“TTTTTWWWWWOOOOO!” yells the hot crowd in anticipation. Matt Myers is close…so close…he jumps into the air…


“ONE MORE!” Axis screams.


“But…there must be some mistake!” The Suicide King screams.


























“TTTTTHHHHHRRRRREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!” goes the elated crowd as Matt Myers drops on top of Spike Jenkins with his elbow…but was it in time?!


“OH MY GOD! WHAT A FLUKE!” The Suicide King says.




“Okay, we can stop it there.” comments Mak, while the production crew stills the picture of Jenkins lying atop him, as Myers fails to get the break. Once again, Mak stops the tape before the deciding bell can be rung. “Good job, whatever your name was...”


“Hey, I remember that now!” King exclaims, hearing his own voice over the grainy footage. “The Junior Leagues were crazy with upsets all the time, but that pin helped make Spike a name in the JL. I think him getting the win over Mak was one of the main reasons Jenkins was recruited for the sWo and ended up turning on his tag partners for that match later in the month.”


Mak shakes his head. “What a fluke indeed. These are the facts, Spike. One: You are good, no question, but you defeating me definitely is a fluke. Always has been and it always will be! Two: You couldn’t beat me clean if you ever even attempted too. And Three: If anybody deserves that shot at Toxxic and the SWF World Heavyweight Title, it’s me!”


“I can’t deny that Mak has a good case,” starts Pete, “and that is why Spike accepted his challenge. To beat him in the center of the ring, no questions asked, right?”


Mak seems to hear Pete’s words, as he addresses that comment as soon as it is stated. “I don’t know if you’ve realized, Holly, your thought process in our little verbal altercation two shows ago. You seemed a bit indecisive—a bit surprised and unsure. I’m going to show everyone why.”


“This was the beginning of our last match, Spike.”


The Smarktron cuts to another still picture, this time of last weeks match. The SWF copyright is visible in the bottom right corner as the two men are standing center ring…




They both enter the center of the ring and begin to circle around, eyeing the other one up. They both crouch down, both playing a mix of offense and defense; waiting for the other to move in. Spike engages the collar-elbow tie up and both men struggle, but Mak gets the go behind and reverse waist lock, bringing Spike down to a sitting position on the mat. Spike flails his arms around, trying to think of a way out, but just simply starts sliding over towards the ropes, locking his legs around the bottom rope; forcing the break up.


“Mak went straight for the takedown and forcing Spike to the mat, but Spike immediately goes for the ropes.”


Spike calls for the referee to break the hold. When Mak holds on, Soapdish starts to count him out, but only makes it to three before Francis breaks the hold and begins to climb to his feet…before slapping Spike in the back of the head!




Mak smirks at the lack of respect shown to his former pupil. Pete comments. “It’s clear that Francis was in control for that exchange, but the match wasn’t completely controlled by him. Where is he going with this?”


“But he was most of the time… I see where this is going.” King says, as Mak signals the tech monkeys once again.


“This was the middle of our match.”


The Smarktron jolts to life once again...




Being the mat technician that he is, Mak resorts to Plan B and decides not to go with the Bittersweet. Instead, he stands on his trapped knee, wraps his fingers around the face of the Hollywood Superstar and pulls back into a modified version of the camel clutch! Spike cries in pain as he tries to push Francis’ hands off of his face.


“Mak wasn’t able to lock in the Bittersweet, but went straight into a Camel Clutch-type maneuver. As long as Spike is stuck on the ground, he has nowhere to go but to Submission City,” articulates the King of Hearts.


After about ten seconds of being stuck in the hold, Spike is finally able to squeeze Francis’ hands away and drops to his stomach on the mat. Mak stays on top of him, but Spike is still able to crawl underneath him and hook his left leg. Mak tries to get up, but Spike is able to pull him down with a single leg takedown from behind and traps the leg by placing all his body weight on the back of the knee. Mak just climbs to a one knee standing position again. He reaches around to the face of Jenkins’, placing two fingers into his nostrils and tears back at the nose!


“Every time these two have locked up so far in this match, Mak has been able to ride Spike to the mat and keep him in any position he wants,” says Pete, “Spike hasn’t been able to escape…except to make it to the ropes.”


The pressure on the face lights a fire underneath Spike’s ass and sends him scurrying to the ropes. With Francis on his back, it takes him a few seconds to make it, but he finally is able to grab the bottom rope and break the hold.


“I think everybody on this planet knew that Mak would crush Spike on the mat…except maybe Spike,” King jokes.


“Whatever the case may be, Spike has been grabbing onto the ropes for dear life tonight.”




“I knew it!” King shouts, while Pete gives him a look that says ‘knew what?’, “You just answered your own question, Pete! Remember what Mak brought up two shows ago!”


“Noticing a trend?” says Mak, questioning the crowd and Jenkins. “I know I am. And it goes on and on… grabbing the middle rope for a break… foot on the ropes after a SUPER Backdrop suplex?! Please!”


The Franchise pauses.


“Just in case someone doesn’t get it, this is why you were unsure about answering my little challenge! You know you can’t beat me clean in the center of this ring that I'm standing in right now!”


“I fought my way back from injury after injury! I had been away from the business in a wrestling capacity for over a YEAR! And when I finally get my shot—the first and only shot I should have needed, I get disqualified?!" Mak looks questioningly out into the crowd. "You clutch the ropes and act like a child with a ‘blankie’ all match, because I did exactly what I said I would—stretch you like a college students budget and then once again, you cheat to try and pin me. Do you get caught? Let’s see?”


The Smarktron behind Francis fades to black once more, then jumps to life, the SWF copyright visible in the bottom right corner. A still picture near the turnbuckle of ‘Hollywood’ and ‘The Franchise’ inside and outside of the ring respectively shows up and begins to play…




Spike stumbles back, knelt over and holding his ribs. Mak shakes his head to get the cobwebs out and realizes the advantage in front of him. He grabs the top rope, leans back, and slingshots himself over the top rope onto Spike. He grabs a hold of Spike’s waist and flips over him!




Mak pulls back on Spike, trying to take him over…but Spike instead drops to his knees on top of his former mentor.


“No! Spike counters!”


Mak, being the ring general he is, knows how to counter this easily. He pivots his hips up and shoots his legs around Spike’s arms. With this, he tries to pull Spike over with the sunset flip…




…but with Spike heaving back, he does the last thing he can think of…






…and grabs the middle rope to pull himself forward while holding onto Mak’s legs!




































“Spike pulls off the upset again!”


Spike lets go of the hold and quickly jumps out of the ring to the floor. Mak shoots up to his feet, looking around shocked. He charges at the referee, but it is too late. Spike is already half way up the ramp as the announcement is made.




The crowd approves as they cheer on the former Revolution Zero member who is destined to face his former leader.


Mak stands in the ring, staring a hole into his former trainee. He feels ashamed. He feels beaten. He feels cheated.



And at the top of the ramp stands one man. He will finally get his shot at the man he has been after for months now. He stands victorious and with a smile.



That smile.


SWF Smarkdown, March 21, 2005.

© Riot Act Promotions. All rights reserved.

The Smartmarks Wrestling Federation: “Raising workrate by typing faster.”




“You smile, Spike.” Mak spits out, staring a hole into the last image on the Smarktron. “You sit there and smile like that other straight-edge c[beep]k-sucker, but you know I had you beat! Dead to rights! Does anyone honestly think that a NCAA national champion couldn’t roll through a sunset flip counter when I’ve been executing picture perfect Granby rolls since I was 13 years old?!”


“Valid point.” King chimes in, as Francis pauses.


“But that’s besides the point. I would have tapped you out like a bitch numerous times, but you went back to your tried and tested counter—cheating, using the ropes to get the win. What would happen if you couldn’t fall back on your crutch, Holly? Tonight we find out!”


“It’s ‘The Franchise’ Mak Francis versus ‘Hollywood’ Spike Jenkins… one on one, in a Pure Wrestling Rules match with a twist! By accepting my challenge kid, you officially stepped into a man’s world! And tonight, your mentor is gonna’ show you the ropes, once again, but maybe this time they won’t be there to save you.”


"And Tom Flesher's gonna be right there to hear you do it."


Mak throws down the mic and walks to the back, leaving Pete to consider his parting words.


“Mak Francis, has officially stepped up the mind games folks, heading into his match later tonight, King.”


“Two shows ago, he talked about it...” King says, while smiling. “This week he actually showed it! And Pete, you have to wonder just what Spike Jenkins is thinking now, after seeing video proof that what ‘The Franchise’ said last show—that he is a BITCH, is true!”


“There are many different truths, King. But I know one thing is true above all else... Spike Jenkins is going to fight! Just like he has in every single match he’s had since Toxxic turn on him, to get his shot at proving everyone wrong!”


Pete says finishing as we fade...

Edited by Chuck Woolery

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“Wow, that sure was an interesting promo from the SWF’s newest champion.”


The camera moves to fill the screen with the faces of both the man who just spoke, Longdogger Pete, and his broadcast partner Suicide King.


King: “Yeah, I’m sure it was, Pete.”


Pete: “What’s with the sarcastic voice?”


King: “I have to assume Dangerous’ promo sucked because A) his promos ALWAYS suck, and B) I just woke up.”


Pete: “They don’t suck and you know it. Anyway, back to business. Last week, JJ Johnson made a rather impressive debut, forcing Ced Ordonez to submit to his signature submission, the Frostbite. But this week, Johnson has a huge challenge in front of him.”


King: “What do you mean, Pete? What challenge?”


Pete: “What do you mean what challenge? He’s facing Manson!”


King: “Exactly. If you ask me, the toughest thing Johnson will have in front of him is the curtain.”


Pete: “Well, then that’s one tough curtain. It takes a lot to keep Manson down, as we’ve seen in the past. Especially in sit-


Unfortunately, the rest of Pete’s statement is drowned out by the opening strains of “End of Everything”, the entrance music of JJ Johnson. Red sparks shower from the roof while white sparks rise from the floor, the fans already beginning their catcalls as a hooded figure steps through the curtain, his robes trailing behind him, rising off the ground slightly due to Johnson’s quick pace. The steady stream of sparks is broken as Johnson steps through, his arms out to his side in a crucifix-type pose, his head down as he makes his way to the ring.


“From Windsor, Ontario…he stands an even six feet…he weighs 219 pounds…he is J…J…JOHNSON!”


Shortly after that statement by the SWF’s resident ring announcer, Funyon, Johnson reaches the ring steps, his arms still to his sides. At the bottom of the steps, Johnson throws his head back, sending the hood flying off, revealing the face of the relative newcomer. Johnson walks up the steps and into the ring as the fans start to get excited, waiting for Johnson’s opponent. Then, as the house lights dim, red strobes pulse and flash, and the fans rise to their feet, the buzz in the arena reaching a fever pitch, Mastodon's "Crusher Destroyer" blasts from the speakers. Manson emerges moments later to an explosive round of cheers, throwing up the horns in stride and heading straight down the aisle, focused on the ring.


“And his opponent, from Denver, Colorado, weighing in at 234 pounds…MANSON!!!”


As Johnson looks on, unimpressed, Manson rolls under the bottom rope and jumps to his feet, going to his corner whilst locking eyes with his opponent. With that, the referee, who prefers to remain anonymous, signals for the timekeeper, who also chooses to remain anonymous, to ring the bell.




Johnson starts the match by keeping his distance from the Raging Bull, the size advantage posing a problem for the smaller competitor.


LDP: “Johnson starting this match by keeping his distance from the Raging Bull. That size advantage is probably posing a problem for Johnson, the smaller competitor.”


The crowd starts to get antsy, as does Manson, who is eager to get his hands on the silent superstar, his eyes locked on his opponent. Johnson continues to take his time and look for an opening, paying unusual attention to Manson’s legs. Manson, in an attempt to anger Johnson into making a wrong move, gives him the finger, but it doesn’t affect Johnson’s focus in the slightest. Manson rolls his eyes, almost as if he has zero respect for his opponent. Oh, right. He doesn’t. However, in the time it takes him to roll his eyes, Johnson is on the attack, taking down Manson with a hard clothesline and dropping down to lock in a front face lock.


LDP: “Johnson, always looking for a way to keep the opponent on the mat. I talked with some fans earlier, and they said that although his style is effective, it generally tends to bore them.”


King: “Well, I’ve warned them about listening to you during matches, but they don’t listen. Way to go, you’ve got the whole wrestling world thinking Johnson is boring now.”


Meanwhile, the crowd wills Manson on as he fights the tight boredom, er, front face lock that Johnson has applied, slowly but surely making it to his feet. As he finally does so, he takes advantage of his head’s position and grabs Johnson around the waist, lifting him over his head and…






Hitting him with a Northern Lights Suplex out of nowhere! Manson continues to hold Johnson to the mat, bridging up as the ref slides in to make the count!






And Johnson pops his shoulder off the mat as both men make it quickly to their feet, staring each other down. Just as soon as that happens, Manson is on the assault, throwing a hard left that catches Johnson off guard, then continues to drive him backwards with a mix of more punches and some forearms shots, as well. Manson lands about 9 shots before Johnson regains his bearings and fires back with a hard left of his own. Left foot, that is, his foot cutting through the air on the way to its destination: Manson’s right knee.





With that, Manson goes down, holding his knee as pain surges through his leg. Johnson aims his next kick at Manson’s shoulder, his foot catching him just above the elbow. Manson grabs his arm and stands, although slowly, then attempts to nail Johnson with a hard clothesline. Johnson ducks, however, and sprints to the ropes, coming back and, before Manson can turn around, throwing all of his weight behind his shoulder, which he drives into the back of the hurt knee.


King: “Johnson has been studying! He’s going after that right knee of Manson, which has always bothered him, to the point of having to wear a brace on it at all times!”


LDP: “It’s a clever strategy, I’ll give Johnson that, but I don’t think it’s very fair.”


King: “Don’t think it’s very fair? Alright then, ref, show me the rule against it. Show me the “no targeting chronic injuries, it’s not nice” rule. I want to see it.”


LDP: “Well, there isn’t one, but-“


King: “Exactly. There isn’t one. It’s perfectly legal.”


While this conversation has been going on, Johnson has locked in a figure-four leg lock, and is applying plenty of pressure to his opponent, who is writhing in pain. Manson fights the pressure, attempting to roll the sadistic Ontarian over onto his stomach, as the fans clap and chant his name.




A little further…





A little further…











A little…


























The fans cheer as Manson rolls onto his stomach, putting the pressure on the applicant of the hold, who is wise enough to release it before it has the chance to do any lasting damage. As Johnson stalks his opponent, Manson slowly stands, using the ropes to hold himself up. Once to his feet, Manson turns around only to be caught in a bear hug by Johnson, who with a smooth motion of his hips lifts Manson in the air and takes him down with a belly-to-belly slam, going for the cover just as Manson’s spine hits the mat.























And Manson gets the shoulder up! Johnson gets up, grabs his opponent by the hair and lifts him, kneeing him in the stomach as he does so. Johnson then holds his opponent up to his height and jumps onto his shoulders for a hurricanrana! Johnson freefalls backwards, his legs gripping Manson around the neck like a vice, waiting for that wonderful moment when he lets go and Manson goes sailing wherever his newfound momentum may take him…







But it doesn’t happen. That’s when Johnson realizes something. Two things, actually. Number one, he’s back on Manson’s shoulders, staring at the crowd and number two, Manson has him around the waist. The third thing comes when Manson takes advantage of the two previous predicaments by driving Johnson onto his back and shoulders with a powerbomb, stacking all his weight on Johnson’s shoulders for the cover!






































THRAP, CRACKLE, AND POP! The powerbomb was not quite enough, Johnson’s shoulder shooting off the mat just before the ref’s hand joined it there a third time. Manson grabs his head in his hands, wondering just what it will take to beat Johnson, as the crowd chants his name and jeers Johnson’s.










Johnson sits up, shaking the cobwebs out of his head, as Manson helps him to his feet, whipping him to the ropes. As Johnson returns, Manson runs and throws his boot up, going for a Yakuza kick, but Johnson slides under it and shifts his body weight, taking Manson’s right leg out from under him with a sweep. Manson goes down, again grabbing at the limb in question. Johnson takes advantage and grabs the leg, attempting to cross them as Manson struggles against it.




LDP: “I think Johnson’s trying to lock in that Frostbite! This came close to breaking Ced Ordonez’ ankle last Wednesday!”


King: “ If he can lock this in, with Manson’s knee being hurt like it is, this match is over!”



Unfortunately, King’s excitement is for naught, as Manson manages to roll out of the hold before Johnson can lock it in. As Manson gets up, Johnson runs to the ropes and jumps onto the second. As Manson turns his head towards him, Johnson springs off the rope, twisting his body around until…














LDP: “Good God! Johnson just came off the ropes with a springboard enziguiri! I’ve never seen anything like that!”


King: “That’s why I predict Johnson will never lose!“


LDP: “That’s pretty unlikely, what with the current level of talent here in SWF.”


King: “Yeah, but how many of those talent can do a move like that?”


LDP: “That’s a good point…”



Both men lie on the mat, Johnson tired from such an athletic maneuver, Manson…well, if you were paying attention, you’d remember Manson just got kicked in the head. The ref’s count is at 3 as Johnson crawls over to his prone opponent and drapes an arm over him.























THABOBITY BOP BOP BOW! A jazzy tune plays over the loudspeakers as Manson tears his shoulder off the mat just in time, Johnson rolling off of Manson and over to the ropes, where he pulls himself up and out onto the apron, where he makes his way to the top rope.



King: “Oh, this oughta be good! I’ve heard of Johnson doing this, but I haven’t seen it until now!”


LDP: “You might not see it still. Manson is all the way across the ring. Johnson sure picked a crappy corner to roll to.”



Johnson stands up to his full height on the turnbuckle, takes a breath and, with a movement of his legs, launches himself into the air with a diving headbutt!


LDP: “See? He’s too far. As athletic as he is, he won’t hit Manson’s head.”


King: “How do you know he’s aiming for his head?”


King’s prophecy again comes true, Johnson’s head connecting with its target with devastating impact as a roar comes up from the crowd after such an amazing jump.

However, Johnson is knocked nearly unconscious, as he hit his head on the brace on Manson’s right knee, which was his target all along. Manson, meanwhile, is rolling around on the canvas, clutching his leg and yelling.


King: “No fair! That brace is made of metal! It should be illegal!”


LDP: “Well, what are you going to make a knee brace out of? Saran wrap? Cotton candy? Duh, it’s made of metal!”


Manson, ignoring as best he can the pain in his knee, drags himself over to Johnson and covers him, the crowd counting along with the ref for the

































THREE STRIKES YOU’RE OUT AT THE OLD…BALL…GAME!!! The crowd boos loudly as Johnson gets his foot on the bottom rope just before the ref can abuse the mat for a third time. Why doesn’t someone tell these guys not to keep hitting the canvas? It has feelings too, dammit!






Meh. Anyway, Johnson is up, but he’s rather groggy, one of the effects of butting a piece of metal with your head. Manson takes advantage of this by grabbing Johnson’s head, going for the Consequences!





















Unfortunately, the sound you just heard, er, read, er, whatever was not the sound of Johnson’s head hitting the mat. It was the sound of Manson’s back hitting the mat, Johnson managing to wriggle out of his grip just in time. Manson grabs at his lower back as Johnson picks him up and spins him around, grabbing him from behind and throwing him over his head with a German suplex! Manson bounces, coming to a rest on his stomach as Johnson scales the ropes for another headbutt, this time from closer to the target. Johnson again stands straight, taking flight with a different target in mind, this time coming down on Manson’s lower back.



LDP: “That’s certainly an interesting choice, seeing as how Johnson had until recently been working the knee.




King: “Gives him more ways to beat him.”


Johnson lifts Manson to his feet, then attempts an Impaler DDT, but Manson wriggles out of the front facelock, ducks under Johnson’s clothesline attempt and, sweeping Johnson’s legs out from under him, drives him into the mat with an STO! Johnson rolls out of the ring, holding his back as he lays on the outside, Manson laying as well from the effort exerted. The ref starts counting as Johnson slowly gets to his feet, eventually making it into the ring at eight. Johnson then walks towards Manson, only to have his head caught in that same grip as before! However, before Manson can drop, Johnson shoves him off, Manson bouncing off the ropes and back at Johnson. Manson tries for a clothesline, but Johnson pulls something new out of his bag o’ tricks and grabs his leg, lifting him up into a fireman’s carry, then bringing him back down again.


















Hard. Johnson floats over, hooking the leg as the referee counts…

































More music inexplicably plays over the loudspeakers, distracting the ref enough for Manson to grab the bottom rope before the three count. However, Johnson never let go of that leg, and proceeds to cross Manson’s leg, grab his foot and lock in the Frostbite!



King: “It’s over, Pete! No one has escaped that!”


LDP: “That’s true, but he’s only locked it in once.”


King: “Never’s never, Pete. No matter how you spin it.”


Manson screams in pain, Johnson twisting his foot for added emphasis, the stress building on Manson’s lower back, thighs, and perhaps most dangerously of all, his knees. Manson fights the pain, Johnson struggling to keep the hold locked in. Manson then begins the long, hard journey across to the ropes, Johnson trying any way he can to put extra pressure on his opponent’s limbs. Still, Manson grows closer to the ropes, reaching mid-ring as Johnson twists with such ferocity that one wonders how Manson’s foot is still on his leg, and continuing to twist as such as Manson grows within five feet of the ropes.







Almost there…






















GOT IT!!!!!!!!!! Johnson is in shock as he is forced to break his money hold, Manson refusing to let go of the rope until Johnson is far enough away that he can get up. Manson struggles to stand, dragging himself up by the ropes, hobbling towards Johnson and throwing some forearm shivers before whipping him to the ropes. Johnson, on his way back, is soon shocked as Manson somehow finds the strength to leap and put his foot in Johnson’s face with a gamengiri! Manson gets up, slower still, as Johnson climbs to his knees, then springs up to his feet, although he almost goes back down again. Manson comes at Johnson and sticks his head in his arm, going for a Northern Lights Suplex…



No! Johnson grabs Manson’s tights and lifts, bringing him back down on his face with an Impaler! Johnson then, using a lot of strength, kips up and walks to the ropes, avoiding leaving the ring to simply walk up the turnbuckles, to where he is facing the crowd.



LDP: “What could this be?”


King: “Whatever it is, it’s going to be awesome. That’s what you always get with this guy! Awesomity!”


LDP: “What?”



Summoning all of his remaining strength, Johnson leaps backwards, amazing everyone in attendance as he twists 720 degrees and comes crashing down onto Manson with incredible force, nearly bouncing off but holding on as the ref slides in to make the count.









































“End of Everything” hits the speakers as Johnson rolls off Manson, exhausted from all the effort it took to keep him down. Johnson rolls out of the ring and starts up the ramp, not stopping for anything as he sticks his arms out to his sides in his signature crucifix pose.


Funyon: “Here is your winner…J…J…JOHNSON!!”



LDP: “Well, I’m impressed. That was a jaw-dropping maneuver by Johnson, which I’m being told is called the Air Canada.”


King: “Well, you got the “air” right. He got incredible height on that, and flattened that punk Manson! Come to think of it, you got the “Canada” right as well.”


As King ponders this amazing new revelation, Longdogger Pete continues to speak.


LDP: “Exactly. Anyway, ladies and gentlemen up next Li’l Buck makes his debut against Arch Griffon! We’ve had straight-edgers, we’ve had…well, that’s all I can remember music-related that we’ve had. Except for that song Fasaki sang last week. Hmm. Anyway, like I was saying, we’ve never had a rapper gimmick before. At least, I don’t think…Oh, go to commercial.”









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All is calm in the Martial Law dressing room. Well, calm probably isn't the best word. It's certainly quiet, that's for sure. Ahead of his World Title shot later in the night, Todd Cortez is trying to get himself focused, warming up in the centre of the room. Meanwhile, Megan Skye is doing what any good woman would do. Catching up on the latest celebrity gossip in the 'glossys'. Apart from a raised eyebrow from Megan and a couple of grunts from Cortez, the room is silent.



For a while.


"Johnny son of a bitch Dangerous!"


Storming into the room, Landon Maddix sits down on the sofa next to Megan and angrily throws his feet up on the coffee table in front of him. Megan and Cortez exchange a look. Maddix meanwhile grabs one of Megan's magazines...realises what it is...and tosses it over his shoulder.


"Where's Clark?"


"Landon, he only went under the knife four days ago." sighs Megan, still engrosed in pictures of celebrities with random sweat patches on their clothing.






"Yeah, so."


"You really expect him to be here?" butts in Cortez, breaking from his preperations. "In his condition?"


"Hey, we're supposed to be a group here, remember. You know, all for one, one for all...the whole Muskater deal. Let's not forget, I'm still suffering from neck pains here. I was pretty much crippled a few weeks ago, but I still managed to ease myself into that honking great coach he bought and ride down to shows. You're telling me he can't wheel his one legged ass to support us?"


Cortez rolls his eyes, Megan too busy musing over Britney Spears' latest fashion faux pas to do the same.


"So, you ready Todd?"


"Hell yeah I'm ready."


"...good, good. Man, what the HELL does she look like?"


Now pre-occupied with Britney's pictures too, Maddix trails off. Leaving Cortez to look over and shake his head.


"You know, she's really let herself go."






Maddix and Megan look up, to see Cortez standing, hands on hips.


"You realise how important this is to us, right? Me winning the title."


"As important as when I won it?" snickers Maddix.


"Yeah. Just as important. And I seem to remember giving you a lot of support back then. I really don't want to sound out of line here, but if it were you in my position Landon, I wouldn't be looking at celeb dirt sheets. Me winning the title puts the pressure back on Revolution Zero, which benefits all of us. Not just me."


"Yeah, because this Revolution Zero versus Martial Law war is REALLY heating up."




"C'mon Todd. Davis is AWOL, Clark is AWOL...it's two on two. And Pretzler's busy with Wildchild, just like I'm busy with Dangerous. I'll be real happy if you win and stuff, but seriously, I don't see how it helps me."


"Well...besides the obvious..."


Maddix rolls his eyes now.


"It means you don't have to face Toxxic again if you want the World Title."


And suddenly, his eyes burst open as he glares at Cortez.


"What the hell is that supposed mean!?!"




"Guys, calm down." Megan interjects, playing peacekeeper. And having little success.


"You're saying I'm afraid to go after the World Championship, because Toxxic has it?"


"No, that's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is, now you're not ICTV Champion anymore, it means you might want to re-focus on the World Title again. And you could do it against me, instead of against Toxxic. Who...let's face it...is liable to do anything to you."


Still fuming, Maddix has stood up. But rather than rant, he seems to be mulling over what Cortez is saying. And with a wry smile, he shrugs his shoulder ever so slightly, before sitting back down.


"Maybe you've got a point."


"About Toxxic?"


"About it all. I mean, you winning the title WOULD be good for me..."


Cortez gives the musing Maddix a curious look.


"...us, us...Martial Law that is. It'd be good for us as a group. And besides, it's always good to see Toxxic taken down a peg or two. So, yeah, good luck man. Bring the title back home and maybe then, we can do something about Clark being out of action and get Martial Law firing on all cylinders again. Stronger than ever."


"Damn right."


Still half looking off into space, Maddix smiles and nods as Cortez holds up a couple of fingers to say he won't be long, before leaving the room. As he does, Maddix smiles to himself and lounges back into the sofa, hands behind his head, feet back up on the table. His body language clearly noticed by Megan.


"Firing on all cylinders?"


"It's an expression, Megs."


"The same expression you used last night. You know...when you said you were fit, ready to go and ready to fire on all cylinders."




"...what are you planning?"




Megan cocks her head.


"Honestly! Don't be so suspicious."


Looking back off into the distance, Maddix smirks again.


"Everything's going to be just fine."


Cut to the commentary position.


“Fans we’re going to have to go backstage... again,” begins The Longdogger as he holds a hand up to his ear quickly translating the information that is now streaming into his ear from the director. “It appears as though the recently returning Ejiro Fasaki has been stalking the backstage area for the last twenty minutes and he has finally made some sort of move. Where? We don’t know.”


Back the view of the camera quickly switches to a handheld as an intrepid employee lurches around a corner in order to catch the form of the former World Heavyweight Champion as he stands up strait as he can in front of an office door. Suddenly, with what seems to be an almost measured rage, Ejiro kicks out hard and boots the passageway open and charges into the office. Quietly lurching up to the door of the office that Fasaki just entered, the cameraman pushes his camera’s lenses up to the window on the door. Still visible and still roving about like a caged animal, Fasaki is moving back and forth in front of desk. Unfortunately, the cameraman simply cannot angle his device in such a manner to show just who might be sitting there without alerting anyone to his presence. But in fair tradeoff, we can all clearly hear just what Fasaki is saying.


“You… you bastard… you think that I want to be here? You think that I want to have this conversation over and over and over? Well I do NOT! I never asked for you to still be around thinking that we’re still part of the same team! We AREN’T a team anymore! I don’t need you to be a success. I can win by myself without a damn bit of help and YOU know it!”


Ejiro steps back from the desk and looks downward towards the floor as he tucks his hands behind his back while turning away from the desk. He takes a very deep breath before his mouth begins to move yet again.


“Don’t you understand that you were a crutch for me and you always were? My skills were always going to be enough to get me were I wanted to go. I could have won all those titles without you and we both know it! I would have done everything I did without you! World Champion! Tag Team Champion! US Champion! ALL OF IT!”


Fasaki turns back towards the desk and points across the wooden surface dead ahead.


“I could have! But I was weak then. I don’t think I had it in me to win without you. Without Judge or the rest of the Magnificent Seven. I could have done it all… all be myself. Without you backing my play after play after play.”


The clearly sweating grappler leans back off the desk and runs his hands through his hair. He’s clearly deeply moved by this entire experience, as he looks strait ahead with an almost dead look on his eyes.


“Damn it. DAMN it. DAMN IT! I don’t need you! I DON’T… damn. Look I know you’re here… and you always will be. But… okay, okay. I appreciate it. I do… I know you made it easy. I know that we did a whole lot together. I know you’ve always been there when no one thought I could do it. But I don’t… I don’t need you. I don’t…”


“It’s a lie. It’s all a lie. I DO need you. I always will. I’m damned. Damned to have this conversation over and over and over again. And more than half the time I am going to be convinced that the easy way is the only way I’ll be able to ever do the job I’ve set out for myself. Fine. Fine. FINE!’


Quickly turning towards the door, Fasaki starts heading to the door as the cameraman scrambles out of the way and into an adjacent office in order to avoid detection. Leaning against the door, the camera’s microphone picks up the slamming of the door across the hallway and the muttering of the former World Champion. Waiting a moment or two, the cameraman nudges the door open and looks one way and the other. Seeing nothing and no one, the camera moves back up to the office window and pans across to maybe see who might be still there. But as of now, the office stands bare with no clues as to who may have been there other than of course a very conflicted Ejiro Fasaki.

Edited by Chuck Woolery

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SWF Smarkdown returns from another seizure-inducing commercial to the packed Metrapark Arena in Billings, Montana. Semi-legal immigrant and cameraman Jose Garcia pans around the venue, displaying such witty signs as, “EJIRO IS QUEERJIRO!” and “SCOTT PRETZLER: YOU STINK!” before focusing in on the delightful announce team of Longdogger Pete and the Suicide King.


“Welcome back to Smarkdown folks! We’re only one match in, and I don’t care if y’all call it a curtain jerker, it sure was exciting!” Pete bellows.


“Yeah, but I’m all jerked out! Now, though, we’ve got a battle between two big men, though easily not the biggest the Smartmarks Wrestling Federation has seen, Arch Griffon and Lil’ Buck,” King chimes in.


“That’s right, King, but I’ve got to wonder how the fans here in Montana will respond to Lil’ Buck.”


“Oh come on! Do you know what Montana’s African-American population is?” King inquires.


“Well, ‘fraid I don’t have any information on that at hand...” Pete says, thrown a bit off-guard.


“It’s a guy named Earl, Hot-Dogger!” King responds.


“Ladies and gentlemen, the following match is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, from Des Moines, Iowa, weighing in at three hundred, two pounds, AARCH GRIIFON!” Funyon roars.


The lights in the arena drop out as “Arc Arsenal” starts up, but nanoseconds prior to pitch darkness, blinding white pyrotechnics go off. Out of the sparks and smoke Archie steps onto the stage and walks with purpose towards the ring, ignoring the fans completely. Bypassing the steps, Griffon slides under the bottom rope and heads toward a corner to begin some pre-match stretches.


“Gotta hand it to Griffon, he never seems to lose focus of the match at hand,” Pete notes.


“That’s the mark of dedication. It could lead to success, but it’s a bit early in his career to make assumptions. For all we know, this match could give him severe brain trauma, causing him to pander to these dolts like he was running a telethon,” King adds.


“I’m not sure I’ve heard of that medical phenomenon. Does it have a common name?” Pete asks.


“Of course. You think I’m making stuff up on the spot? Wait, don’t answer that. It’s called ‘MacPhisto’s Syndrome’, and is characterized by the victim looking and acting highly retarded,” King states.


At The Drive-In’s tune is abruptly cut off and is replaced by the altogether more entertaining and popular “Knuck if You Buck”.


“And his opponent, making his SWF debut, from Lanett, Alabama, he weighs in at two hundred, seventy pounds, LIIL’ BUCK!” Funyon shouts over the thumping song.


Buck appears on the stage, bejeweled pimp cup in his right hand while the left pops the collar of his Bo Jackson jersey. He saunters down the ring, fully enjoying his own entrance music. Buck climbs the ring steps and carefully enters the squared circle, not wanting to spill a drop from his cup. He hands the cup to Funyon, and with great care, slides the powder blue jersey off, placing it, too, in Funyon’s custody for safe keeping, and letting the ring announcer the consequences of damage to either item.


“Lil’ Buck seems to be very protective of his jersey and that cup of his. A big part of me wants Funyon to lose both items just so Buck can kicks his ass,” King says.


“I certainly hope not! He’s got to support his son Cracker Jack all by himself these days after his wife Tostito was killed in a car accident.”


Referee Mark Ashburn inspects both men for concealed objects, and with his search coming up empty, signals for the bell and the start of the match.




Buck tries to keep his distance, fully respecting Arch’s power, but the man from Des Moines closes in and nails Buck with a right hook. Ashburn admonishes Griffon for using a closed fist, but Archie ignores him and cinches Buck in a front facelock. He hoists the Alabaman off the mat and sends him crashing down with a snap suplex. Griffon opts out of chaining it into anything else and climbs to his feet, only to fall back down, dropping an elbow across Buck’s chest. Arch pulls Buck to his feet and whips him into the ropes. As he’s bouncing off, Arch bends over, looking for a back body drop. Buck manages to stop short and slam a forearm across Griffon’s back. Archie shoots up in pain while Buck crouches down and explodes forward, nailing Archibald with another forearm.


“Chin Check from Lil’ Buck, and that has Arch Griffon reeling! Buck needs to press his advantage because it’s obvious he’s not as strong as Archie, so the man from Lanett needs to exploit every opportunity he can find,” Pete states.


“Did you say exploit? For shame, Brain-Fogger, for shame. Haven’t Buck’s people been exploited enough by your people?” King asks. “HEY, BUCK, THE MAN HERE IS TRYING TO HOLD YOU DOWN!” he shouts towards the ring while pointing at Longdogger.


Griffon quickly manages to shake his head clear just in time to see Buck hurtling himself forwards. Arch stumbles backwards from the leaping clothesline, but stays on his feet, which is more than can be said for Lil’ Buck. Before he can get to his feet, Griffon drops his three hundred plus pound frame on top of Buck and grabs hold of Buck’s arms.


“Now Griffon’s got the advantage again with some sort of arm submission. It’s a bit hard to tell what exactly it is at this point, but if Archie manages to turn around and cinch in the Gridlock, I don’t think Lil’ Buck could get to the ropes with all that extra weight on top of him,” Pete notes.


“Well, I managed to get around fine last night with your wife on top of me so you never know what’s possible!” King retorts.


Rather than play into his scheme, Longdogger ignores SK as Ashburn checks to see if Buck will submit to the rudimentary armbar Griffon has locked in. Lil’ Buck shakes him off and focuses in on trying to claw his way towards the ropes. With Griffon laying on his back, Buck manages to get to his knees and slams a forearm into Archie’s back. Arch winces, but keeps the armbar cinched in as another forearm rains down. Grip loosened, Buck gets to his feet and drives a knee into Griffon’s stomach. Arch gets rocked by a forearm to the head, and finally releases Buck after yet another forearm to the back. Buck drives another knee into Archie’s gut and quickly locks on a front chancery.


“Lil’ Buck managed to escape from that submission hold of Arch Griffon after a nice series of forearms to the back, which many wrestlers, Lil’ Buck especially, seem to know is a weak point for Griffon,” Longdogger notes.


“Well, if somebody didn’t know it, they know now. Why don’t you tell the world which wrestlers have had knee surgery, or had slipped discs?” King retorts.


Buck grinds down on the facelock while sending knees into Arch’s stomach and forearms onto his back. Griffon seems to have caught on to the pattern, however, and as Buck lets loose with a knee, Archie grabs hold and arches his back, launching Buck overhead and onto the mat.


“Nice belly to belly suplex from Griffon, and he needs to press this advantage, as he’s taken a lot of punishment to his back,” Pete says.


Griffon checks behind him and falls backwards, dropping an elbow across Buck’s chest and staying down for the pin attempt.







Buck gets a shoulder up to a very mixed reaction from the crowd.


“I wonder how much it affects these wrestlers, with the fans not taking sides,” Longdogger points out.


“Did you forget what I said? Griffon doesn’t care one way or another what these peasants think.”


Archie gets to his feet, hauling Buck up with him, and keeps a firm hold of Buck’s arm. Arch pulls him in and drops Buck to the mat with a short-arm clothesline. Griffon pulls Buck back up and drills him with another clothesline. Smirking to himself slightly, Archie once more dead lifts Buck and, once more, knocks him back down with a clothesline.


“Archie clearly displaying his power here with Griffon’s Grasp. Buck is only thirty pounds lighter, but you’d think Arch was tossing around Spike Jenkins,” LDP notes.


“Well, I think most people could figure that out. Just look at how developed and muscular Griffon is,” King states.


“King, you’re getting up there in years. I’m not Bobby Riley, remember?”


On the fourth attempt, the strain on his back is starting to get to Archie, and it takes more of an effort to pull Buck up. Arch pauses for a moment, trying to ease the pain, but as he does so, Buck starts falling backwards, prompting Griffon to heave with all his might. Buck flies back towards the Iowan, but just as Griffon is stretching out his left arm, Buck snares the right, twists his body, and drops to the mat, smashing Griffon’s face onto Buck’s knee.


“Nice counter to Griffon’s Grasp by Lil’ Buck! He just might have bought himself some time with that armbar takedown,” says Pete.


“That’s tough to call, Pete, as he took a lot of punishment from those clotheslines. And damn it, why can’t one of these bastards just hit the other with a rock or something so I can know who to blindly support?” Suicide King wonders.


Buck rolls Griffon over and hooks a leg as Mark Ashburn drops to make the count:










Griffon violently kicks out, and Buck is lucky he weighs as much as he does, otherwise, he might not still be in the ring. Buck pulls Arch off the mat and drives an elbow into his head. Archie staggers backwards, allowing Lil’ Buck time to wrap his arms around Griffon’s waist and drive him to the mat with a belly to belly suplex. Buck decides not to attempt another pin, and instead rolls Griffon onto his stomach. Buck stomps a foot into the middle of Arch’s back, bends down, grabs Griffon’s arms, and pulls.


“Standing surfboard from Lil’ Buck! Not usually a potent move, but with Arch Griffon’s bad back, this match could be over very soon!” Pete calls.


“That’s very possible, Moss...”


“Moss? What’in the hell you talkin’ about?” Pete questions.


“You know, peat moss. Aw, never mind. Anyway, it’s possible that Griffon will submit, but I think he’ll manage to escape somehow.”


Ashburn questions Griffon about submitting, but the big man from Iowa shakes him off. Arch yelps out in pain as Lil’ Buck grinds his foot into Griffon’s back, prompting Mark to check once more for a submission. Archie shakes his head and as Buck lifts his foot for another stomp, Griffon yanks his arms forward, freeing himself from Buck’s grasp.


“And Griffon manages to escape from that surfboard, but at what cost to his back?” Pete inquires.


“How should I know, I’m not a doctor or anything. Well, okay, I dabble in gynecology, but that’s entirely different from what’s going on right now,” King admits.


Buck takes a step back, allowing Griffon to get to a kneeling position, and then charges in, driving an elbow into Arch’s head. Buck grabs Archie by the hair, lifts him to his feet, and whips him into the turnbuckle. Buck charges in after Griffon and drives another elbow into Griffon’s head. Buck crouches down, wraps his arms around Griffon’s waist, lifts Arch off the mat, and places him on the top turnbuckle.


“What strength from Lil’ Buck! I think he’s going for the Dirty South Thang, and if it connects, this should be lights out for Arch Griffon,” Pete says.


“I might agree with you if I knew what the hell the Dirty South Thing is,” King replies.


“First, it’s Thang, not Thing, and second, if you’d done your research, you would know that it’s a double arm DDT with Lil’ Buck standing on the middle turnbuckle and his opponent, in this case, Arch Griffon, on the top buckle,” Pete explains.


“Damn kids and their names for moves I’ve been doing since I was six, and their damn music,” King grumbles.


Lil’ Buck stands on the bottom turnbuckle, and as a means of insurance, nails Arch Griffon in the head with a double axhandle. Buck climbs to the second buckle and tries to hook Archie’s arms, but the bigger man fights it off. Rather than risk getting knocked off, Buck hops off the turnbuckle and blasts Griffon with a left hand to the jaw, prompting Mark Ashburn to reprimand him. Buck ignores the warning and hops back to the turnbuckles, intent on completing the Dirty South Thang. This time he manages to hook both of Griffon’s arms, but Arch remains seated on the top buckle. Buck frees his left arm and slams a forearm into Archie’s back. Griffon still won’t move, so Buck lands another forearm, and another. Confident that Arch’s grip has been loosened enough, Buck tries to re-hook his arms, but Archie manages to sneak in a punch to the stomach unbeknownst to Ashburn. With one arm hooked, Griffon snakes the other around Buck’s waist and leaps off the top rope.


“Top rope...honestly, I’m not sure what to call that. It resembled a spine buster, but not by much. And usually with a spine buster, the attacker’s head isn’t driven into the mat as well,” LDP points out.


“So it’s a combination spine buster and DDT. Now that that’s settled, I guess we have to wait to see who moves first,” King adds.


With both men laying on the mat and neither lucky enough to have an arm draped over the other, Mark Ashburn begins the mandatory ten-count:












Lil’ Buck rolls onto his stomach and begins crawling towards the ropes.




Arch Griffon pushes himself up to his knees and tries to compose himself.




Buck reaches the ropes and grabs hold of the middle strand.


















Griffon gets to his feet, a bit unsteadily, but it’s enough for Ashburn to stop the count.


“And Arch Griffon just made it to his feet, otherwise this match would have been a no-contest!” Pete shouts.


“Good thing that didn’t happen. Do you know how angry these fans would get?” King inquires.


“About as angry when they find out you’re scheduled to make a return to the ring!” Pete quips back.


Archie staggers over to Buck and grabs him by the head. Arch shoots Lil’ Buck into the far ropes while bouncing off the near set himself. As the two men near the center of the ring, both leap into the air and crash into one another.


“Mid-air collision as both men, it seems, attempted to spear the other! I’ve been around for a long time, but I can’t recall ever seeing that happen. What about you, King?” Pete asks.


“No, I’ve never seen anything like that happen. I wonder if either man will get up before the referee can count to ten this time.”


Griffon slowly rises to his feet, trying to suck in as much oxygen as possible before attempting anything else. He doesn’t get much time to breathe, though, as Lil’ Buck, just as winded, slowly climbs to his feet. Sensing the end in sight, Griffon fires off a kick to Buck’s stomach, doubling him over.


“This might be the set-up to the Arch Nemesis! If Arch Griffon manages to hit this, the match should by all rights, be his for the taking!” Pete shouts.


“I’m sad to admit this, but I think you’re right, Prawn-Flogger (Is that innuendo?). Even if Lil’ Buck hadn’t taken loads of punishment to his head, I doubt he’d be able to kick out of a move as devastating as the Arch Nemesis,” Suicide King adds.


Before Archie can try for the knee to the face, Buck simply falls over. Not confident that Buck is out for the count yet, Arch strides towards the downed Alabaman and reaches down to pick him back up. Griffon stays bent over for longer than expected, as would most people after a double axhandle to the solar plexus. Lil’ Buck slams another axhandle into Arch’s stomach, a third, and bashes Griffon in the face with number four, allowing Buck time and space to rise to his feet. Griffon stumbles backwards, no air left in his lungs, but Buck drills him with one more double axhandle to the stomach for good measure. Buck spins around and grabs hold of both of Archie’s arms. He turns, placing the dead weight that is Arch Griffon on his back and stands upright. Legs shaking like a strongman trying to lift a bronze elephant for the twelfth time in six seconds, Buck drops to the mat, releasing Arch’s arms moments prior to impact, sending Griffon’s already weak back directly into the canvas.


“Buck-Wild Ride! He changed it up ever so slightly to target Griffon’s back, which is known to be weak, and I think this will seal the deal for Lil’ Buck!” Longdogger shouts.


“And a damn fine move to use, too. Lil’ Buck must be a genius to use that move,” King states.


Buck grabs hold of Arch’s legs and rolls him up while Ashy drops to count the pin:














Ashburn rises to his feet, and in a moment of silence, signals for the bell.




“Ladies and gentlemen, the winner of this match via pinfall, LIIIL’ BUCK!” Funyon shouts.


Crime Mob’s “Knuck if You Buck” blasts over the speakers once more as Buck slowly rises to his feet. He brushes off Ashburn trying to raise his arm in victory, and instead grabs his jersey and cup from Funyon. Buck drains whatever is in the cup in one gulp, rolls under the ropes, and makes his way up the ramp, stopping occasionally to brush some invisible dirt from his shoulder.


“What a match! A great way to kick off his career in da bid’ness for Lil’ Buck,” Pete says.


“Damn you, Pete! You just had to get in that stupid catch phrase of yours, didn’t you?” King roars.


Suicide King and Longdogger Pete continue to bicker as Smarkdown star wipes to a commercial for Danny Williams’ Strong Style Ribs, because, “As one of the stiffest wrestlers in the world, I know ribs, mainly because I’ve broken countless opponents’, and let me tell you, there isn’t a more tender rib then at Danny Williams Strong Style Ribs.”

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Jay Hawke sits on a bench in his locker room. He’s lacing his purple and black boots up when there’s a knock at the door.


Hawke: “Yeah!”


The door opens, and in comes resident SWF interviewer Ben Hardy with a microphone, being snoopy as always.


Hardy: “Jay Hawke, I was hoping we could get a few words with you concerning your classic matchup with Johnny Dangerous last week.”


Jay Hawke glares at Ben Hardy with a mild look of disgust.


Hawke: “You want my thoughts? Look, I’ll give credit where credit is due. Johnny Dangerous wrestled a better match than I ever dreamed he would. So yeah, he’s the new champion…although I think I came up with a better name for the title than he did, but regardless. But you’d think after a classic like that I’d be in line for an immediate rematch. Or maybe I’d get put into something with one of the other champions. Instead, they stick me in the ring with Ejiro Fasaki, who’s had exactly one match in who knows how long. And that’s no problem. The man’s a veteran of the SWF, so when I beat him tonight, it’s guaranteed money. It’s guaranteed prestige. But do you know what really upsets me about tonight?”


Hardy: “I have no idea.”


Hawke: “What upsets me is Todd Cortez, who I beat in the first round of the tournament, is getting a World Title shot tonight. Do you have any idea how much that bothers me? The guy basically gets a title shot for not taking a six month vacation. Forget the fact he’s lost three matches in a row. Forget the fact he’s not the number one contender. Christ, even that Koran kid has won more matches the last month than Todd Cortez.”


Hardy: “Are you saying you feel you should be in that match tonight?”


Hawke: “Not at all. Johnny Dangerous beat me fair and square last week. It’s my job to win matches and get those title shots. But it’s the same thing with Todd Cortez. Who has he beaten the last month or so? Not Scott Pretzler. Not me. He lost the four way.”


Hardy: “What’s the point of all this?”


Hawke: “The point? I came out here when he did that show at the elementary school and said no title was safe. So I think if Cortez pulls off the upset tonight…and let’s face it, it would take divine intervention for Cortez to take that title tonight…then I'll ask...no, scratch that. If Todd Cortez wins the World Title from Toxxic tonight, then I DEMAND that shot!”


Hardy: “Even if you lose to Fasaki tonight?”


Hawke: “You think I’m going to lose to Fasaki? Just wait and see.”


Hardy: “Well, Jay Hawke seems focused…”


Hawke: “Will you get the hell out of my locker room?”


Jay Hawke grabs Ben Hardy by the back of the collar and forces him out of the locker room as we cut to commercial.

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“All right fans are you ready? Are you ready for crazy, mad and bad cruiserweight action from two guys that do not wrestle even a little bit like cruisers and will probably use the extra ten seconds out of the ring for extra long arm bars? Because we have THAT for you!”


The Suicide King looks across the announce table at his broadcast table with a raised eyebrow, “I can’t even tell if you are being sarcastic anymore.”


The Longdogger grins back, “Me neither. Prozac… its FANtastic!”


Before we learn anything else about Pete that we really did not want to know, the sounds of Pink Floyd start to fill the arena accompanied by a chorus of hate as the fans immediately hawk up a metaphorical boogey and spitting it at the man now walking down the aisle. Not even bothering to respond with even a stern look, The Dean of Professional Wrestling makes his way down to the ring, knowing that he is going to have his work cut out for him by facing a former World Heavyweight Champion. But this is too great an opportunity to allow intimidation to play even a minor role in the contest. Stepping into the ring, Jay Hawke’s robe is let open to display his lean physique for a moment as The Dean points a finger at the referee with a demand that the official keep a close eye on his foe for the evening. Backing the official into a corner, Hawke makes sure his demands have been heard before stepping back across the ring and pulling his robe from around his shoulders and passing it over the top rope to an attendant at ringside.


“Ladies and gentlemen, this next contest is scheduled for one fall and is to be contested under cruiserweight rules! Introducing first, from the Hall of Fame City of CLEVELAND, Ohio, and weighing in tonight at 215 pounds. Please welcome, the DEAN of Professional Wrestling, JAAAAAAAY HAWWWWWKE!”


Stepping up to the turnbuckles, Hawke spreads his arms wide to the crowd and receives another flurry of boos in respond. But Jay is not here for the plebeians, he is here to wreck havoc and get himself right back in the hunt for the unified title that has a new name right now that I don’t know. Stepping off the turnbuckle, The Dean stretched himself out a bit as the sound of his music is suddenly drowned out by…








Striding through the curtain with his football jersey draped over his shoulders, Ejiro Fasaki hops from one foot to the other while calling out for the cheers of the slightly more receptive crowd than last week. Still not totally excepted, Fasaki is still somewhat happy by his standards as he hurls his jersey into the crowd as he runs down the aisle and rolls underneath the bottom rope. Climbing up between the two turnbuckles, Ejiro lifts a hand into the air as the crowd cheers away if only for a few individuals in the third row.




And those are seemingly the only fans Ejiro can hear. “Screw you frat boys!” he yells loudly, “get a JOB!” Suffice to say, the mood of crowd shifts in a moment as more and more members of the throng join in…




Shaking his head, Ejiro gives himself a little slap in the face in order to get his attentions more focused on his intensely dangerous opponent rather than with witty banter with a crowd he’s simply not going to win over tonight with his usual winning personality. Turning back into the center of the ring, Ejiro shares a stare down with Hawke from across the ring as Funyon continues to call out his announcements.


“And his opponent. He weighs in tonight at 223 pounds and hails from Sarasota, Florida… he is THE RULE… EJIROOOOOOOOOOO FASAKEEEEEEEEE!”


“Ring the bell!” calls out referee Sexton Hardcastle and his command is immediately followed by a double DING as both Fasaki and Hawke come rushing across the ring at each other only to have Fasaki react a hair faster and send his opponent over with an arm drag that sends Hawke flying overhead but relatively unhurt as he is soon right back up to his feet in order to return the favor to Ejiro with a drag of his own. Quickly running into the ropes before Ejiro can get up to his feet, Hawke knocks his opponent right back to the canvas with a hard shoulder block knockdown before running off the ropes in the opposite direction only to be sent to the canvas himself as Fasaki goes right back to the arm drag takedown but this time keeps a hold on the arm and sinks in a side arm bar as Hawke slaps the canvas in frustration from getting the short side of this wrestling exchange.


“These guys are simply so even in just about every category you can measure,” replies The Longdogger, “both have similar size, abilities and even experience. This is going to be a true chess match and whoever comes up with the best plan is going to be the one that is able to come out of this match with the duke.”


“So it’s a battle of intelligence,” answers the King of Hearts, “which is true of EVERY match you dimwit. And if I do say so myself, it’s the Dean of Professional wrestling that has the advantage in that respect. I have it on good authority that he just published a paper on particle physics that would knock your socks off. And he just did it for fun… some light writing before bed time.”


With that totally NOT in mind, Jay Hawke places a hand underneath Fasaki’s chin and pushes the wrestler up and off the mat in order to alleviate the pressure on the arm bar. Forcing Ejiro up to a vertical base, Hawke quickly drops back down to the canvas and tosses his legs out in order to counter with a drop toehold that sends Ejiro down onto his face. Floating over the top, Hawke looks for a side headlock but that is also immediately countered as Ejiro slips out the back door and secures a mounted hammerlock as Hawke once again looks frustrated for a second before Ejiro jams a knee into the back of his arm before cranking away on the elbow once again. Working up to his knees, Hawke tries to get into position to sit out of the hold or perhaps get to his vertical base only to have Ejiro use his free hand to sweep out his ankle and bring him back flat to the canvas were Fasaki can once again jam home the knee. His shoulder aching from the directed punishment, Jay pulls himself and Ejiro forward before he can get to the ropes and force Hardcastle to call for the break and get Ejiro to release the hold. Quickly separating, Fasaki backs into the center of the ring and puts his hands on his knees as Hawke pulls himself up to his feet and rubs his shoulder for a moment as he plots a way around The Rule.


“So far it appears as though Ejiro Fasaki has managed to assert his dominance,” mentions LDP, “as long as Ejiro is able to keep his mind clear and free of distraction, he will always be a very hard nut to crack even for a true professional like Jay Hawke.”


And perhaps The Dean might agree, as he seems reluctant to meet Ejiro in the center of the ring as he backs his way against a turnbuckle as Fasaki looks on with mounting frustration. Coming in at his opponent quite recklessly, Fasaki finds his path barred as Hawke boots him square in the breadbasket and quickly hurls The Rule through the middle ropes and to the floor! Landing on his arms and legs, Fasaki barely has a chance to splat before Jay Hawke is outside the ring and on his opponent with a hard forearm to the back of the head. Mounting Ejiro before the former World Champion can get to his feet, The Dean locks down on his opponent’s head with a camels clutch as the stunned Rule shouts out in pain. Releasing the hold at his own discretion, Hawke pulls Ejiro off the canvas and grabs him by the arm before slamming the limb down on the edge of the apron in order to weaken the arm in preparation for the ‘Wing Span’ chicken wing. Clutching at his arm immediately, Ejiro tries to roll into the ring for cover but Hawke will have none of it as he snatches the rolling Fasaki by the tights and pulls him back to the outside of the ring. Taking full advantage of the mammoth twenty-count, Hawke grabs Ejiro’s arm once again and wraps it around the guardrail while pulling on the wrist. Shouting once again from the pain of the hold, Ejiro tries to batter away with his free right arm but Hawke responds simply and directly with a hard kick to the shoulder that ends that rally before it even begins. Finally satisfied and with the count now reaching the upper teens, Jay tosses Ejiro back into the ring and follows him up to the apron. Standing there on the apron, Hawke turns to the Billings crowd and spreads his arms wide as they respond with many gestures of their own.




Shaking his heads at the dimwits in the crowd, The Dean of Professional Wrestling climbs back into the ring and bashes Ejiro across the head with a right cross that send Fasaki down to a knee before Hawke scoops him up to his shoulder and starts to walk around the ring a bit in preparation for a shoulder breaker only to have his squirming opposition force his way off Hawke’s shoulder and land behind him on his feet. Turning on instinct, Hawke finds himself on the receiving end of a hard elbow to the jaw before a second knocks the cruiserweight right down to the canvas with a thud. Quickly catching Hawke around the hair, Ejiro slams his foe into a corner and begins to hammer away with punch after punch to the damn face as Jay reels under the assault. But punching is simply not Ejiro’s only aim as he savagely and illegally ties Hawke’s left arm around a rope and begins to cut away at the arm with elbow after elbow as the referee orders a break to a pair of deaf ears. Releasing the arm at the count of four, Ejiro pulls Hawke out to the center of the ring and using the arm, pulls Hawke face downward before punting him right in the shoulder with a resounding…




Bouncing off the canvas with a thud, Hawke quickly pulls his body out of the ring under the bottom rope as Ejiro holds his own shoulder and bulges his eyes in rage as Hawke leans his head against the ring apron. In a hurry to take advantage, Ejiro runs the ropes and catches the Dean underneath the chin with a baseball slide to the face that sends Hawke backward and to the cold, hard arena floor.


Out of the ring in a second, Ejiro spits through his teeth, “I damn near INVENTED this stuff!”


Grabbing Hawke and pulling his arm behind his back Ejiro rushes ahead and jams his shoulder into the side of the ring post! Shattering to the ground, Hawke barely has a chance to grab onto his shoulder before Ejiro is back on the arm and pulling The Dean of Professional Wrestling off the arena floor. Pulling Jay over towards the ringside steps, Ejiro raises the arm once again and SLAMS it hard against the top of the metal surface! Grabbing his elbow, Hawke stumbles away from his antagonist as Ejiro breathes heavily in a furry before knocking a turning Jay right back down to the arena floor with a hard clothesline across the chest.


“It’s almost as though Ejiro is offended that Jay Hawke was using nefarious tactics to work on his arm,” ponders a thoughtful Suicide King. “We all know that Fasaki used to live and die on the notion that he could cheat better than other people could wrestle and … well maybe he hasn’t put all that behind him yet.”


Tossing Jay back inside the ring, Ejiro climbs in after his opponent and grabs him in another hammerlock before heaving him into the turnbuckle. Quickly moving in on the now kneeling Hawke, Ejiro starts rabbit punching his foe right in the back of the head as Hawke unsuccessfully tries to cover up under the onslaught. But it is not Jay that causes the punishment to end but a lone voice rising up from a certain segment of the crowd that simply doesn’t think such tactics are acceptable.




Hearing the chant, Ejiro suddenly stops his viscous attack and puts a hand on his face as he leaves a cowering Jay Hawke quivering on the canvas. Walking to the other side of the ring, Ejiro puts his head against the far turnbuckle and is obviously muttering to himself about something related to his actions as the referee checks in on Jay Hawke to see what if any serious damage might have been done to the grappler. Shaking his head in response to the referee’s questions, Hawke shows that he still has plenty left to complete this match as Ejiro continues to have an inner monologue that would make a Tom Clancy character stand up and say, ‘hey stop talking to yourself.’ Finally wiping the sweat of his brow, Ejiro shakes his head and walks back across the ring way too slow to defend himself.




Quickly turning as Ejiro meanders into range, Hawke smashes Fasaki across the head with a roundhouse kick that sends Ejiro down to the canvas in a heap. Holding his jaw, Ejiro looks up for a moment before his eyes roll back up inn his head and he falls flat back down to the canvas. Quickly trying to get the win off the open shot, Hawke falls down on his opponent and neatly hooks the legs as Hardcastle counts…






“Ejiro kicks out right after the count of two,” reports Longdogger Pete as Fasaki gets a shoulder off the canvas, “but you have to wonder just what caused him to lose focus like that.”


“He was being himself,” shrugs The Suicide King, “I guess the … what’s the word… guilt is effecting Ejiro’s performance. I thought I had that problem once but I was just very, very tired.”


Picking Ejiro off the canvas with his good arm, Jay Hawke drive a knee into his opponent’s chest and then his head in order to knock Ejiro back down to the canvas where the Dean can enact his vengeance. Backing against the ropes, Hawke comes bouncing back before dropping a hard leg across the chest of his opponent with pinpoint precision. Quickly sitting up to keep his shoulders off the canvas, Ejiro puts a hand across his throat as he tries to scramble away from his suddenly dominant opponent. But Jay Hawke is not to be denied as he collects Ejiro off the mat and sends him across the ring before snatching him into the air for a moment before spinning him around the air and crushing him down on a knee with a tilt-a-whirl backbreaker. Quickly pressing against Ejiro again, Jay Hawke goes for a cover…








“Great work here by The Dean,” calls out the King, “His one shoulder is injured so he uses the other to do the lifting on that tilt-a-whirl. Sure he couldn’t drive down with the same kind of impact, but it was still worth doing considering he has Ejiro on the ropes right now and he might as well empty the big guns.”


Thinking the same thing Jay Hawke yanks Ejiro off the canvas and hammers him with another right hand to the top of his head before he pulls Fasaki onto his shoulder yet again and this time is successful in jamming Fasaki down onto his knee with a picture perfect shoulder breaker! Bouncing off the knee with an almost scary amount of air, Ejiro immediately grabs his already weakened shoulder and rolls about a moment as

Hawke smirks at his handiwork. Spreading his arms once again, Hawke maneuvers around the rising Fasaki as the crowd looks on with interest, as it appears that this match might be on the near side of being over.


“He’s lining Fasaki up for it!” reports LDP as Hawke swoops in on his opponent and latches onto his back!


“WING SPAN,” shouts out The King as Hawke sinks in the crossface chicken wing and starts to pull Ejiro this way and that in order to force him to the canvas were he can scissor the other arm and win the submission victory.


But Ejiro fights up almost entirely on instinct and starts to spin a little bit in order to keep his opponent from cinching in the submission hold entirely. Trying to stay in position for the tap out, referee Hardcastle tries to stay ahead of the spin but Ejiro quickly reverses the spin and immediately backs both himself and Hawke strait back into a corner and sandwiches the referee in the process! Knocking the referee down does not however knock Hawke loose as he doggedly holds onto the start of his finisher as he drags Fasaki back out to the center of the ring and starts to force him back to the mat… Ejiro knows this as well and decides on an alternate form of ending.






No longer held in any way Ejiro falls forward to his knees as Hawke instead closes his tight as he falls to the mat with his hands on his Johnson as the crowd winces in sympathy.


“See? Guilt gets in the way less and less as you get closer to getting taken out,” replies The Suicide King as Ejiro vainly tries to rub some feeling back into his arm. “I would also note that the only reason Ejiro was able to stay out of the hold for so long was that damage he felt so bad about before Jay Hawke kicked him in the face.”


With the referee still knocked out and Hawke counting his nuts, Ejiro knows that his shoulder couldn’t hack the pain of another assault. And so he goes to plan B as he suddenly digs into his own package to pull forth…






Oh, it’s just the Memphis chain. Memphis chain? MEMPHIS CHAIN!


Pulling out the length of metal, Ejiro carefully wraps the weapon around his fist as he centers in on Hawke as he staggers up to his feet. Looking out to the crowd with a sneer, Ejiro seems ready to dim Hawke’s running lights one last time as the Dean of Professional Wrestling staggers up to his feet. This is the time! This is the place!




Tossing the chain to the ground in frustration, Ejiro instead collects Jay by the hair and heaves him right over the top rope to the arena floor with a sickening splat. Shaking his head at his own actions, Ejiro moves over to the fallen official and tries to wake up the shaken official as our commentators discuss the political ramifications.


Longdogger Pete shouts long and proud, “He wouldn’t do it! Ejiro wouldn’t use the chain! He really is trying to change his ways!”


“You have to be kidding me!” whines The Suicide King, “First he kicks Hawke low, which would be a disqualification. Then throws him over the top rope, which would also be a disqualification! But because he won’t hit him with a chain, you nominate him for sainthood? You all make me sick!”


But the philosophy might not mean much as Ejiro works with the official, another part of the story unfolds. Almost forgotten in the confusion, laying outside of the ring, Jay Hawke has reached under the ring and retrieved his most deadly weapon, a very heavy and very deadly lead pipe. Sliding back into the ring with Ejiro’s back turned, its very obvious that Jay will have no second thoughts about splattering Ejiro’s head all over the canvas. But as the Dean brings the weapon overhead like an executioner’s axe, The Rule turns at the sound of the crowd and puts a boot into his opponent’s chest.


“Caught!” reports LDP as Hawke drops the pipe and instinctively grabs the boot out of the air.


Holding Ejiro’s boot in place but disarmed, Hawke looks at his new foe with a look of grim victory before tossing Ejiro’s leg to one side and…






Smashing Jay across the teeth with the heel of his boot, Ejiro instinctively rolls on top as the referee finally drops down into position and counts…













“He got him!”




With Jay Hawke seemingly unconscious, Ejiro looks at the referee with pleading eyes as the official grabs his healthy arm and raises it into the air signifying exactly what Funyon is now yelling out to the crowd.




Not stopping to enjoy his victory in the slightest, Ejiro rolls out of the ring with one hand on his injured shoulder and immediately starts to walk to the backstage area as the crowd looks on almost in a hush not knowing what to make of this somewhat repentant bastard. But it is Ejiro himself who will determine just how successful this outing has been on his road to rehabilitation. Will he damn himself for pulling out the chain, or find solace for not using it? Only time will tell.

Edited by 5_moves_of_doom

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“Ladies and Gentleman, the following contest is scheduled for one fall and is a PURE wrestling rules match for the number one contender to the SWF World Heavyweight Title!” Funyon announces garnering a huge pop. “First, making his way to the ring…”


The house lights shut off as the wispy sounds of a digital xylophone echo throughout the arena. You can feel the pulsation of the light dings, as a hard beat done by violins, suddenly strikes up slightly overshadowing the original background rhythm.


“So do you wanna’ be a Franchise…


And live large…


A big house…


five cars…”


The SmarkTron flares up 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.


“The rent charge…


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, it takes a little while but eventually the self-proclaimed franchise makes his way through the curtain. The lights come back up and Francis comes out onto the stage, tilting his shades down on the bridge of his nose, before looking left and then right…


“I remember the days,


when I was a young kid grownin’ up…


Lookin’ in the mirror dreamin’ about blowin’ up!”


“Making his way to the ring—from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and weighing in tonight at two hundred and forty pounds! He is one the true “FRANCHISE”… MAK FRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANCISSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!”


That cues multiple short bursts of green pyrotechnics erupting from either side of him. He readjusts his shades with a smirk, before slowly strolling down to ringside trench coat billowing behind him. After walking up the ring steps, Mak cockily wipes his feet on the apron, giving a salute to the crowd, before entering through the middle ropes. Francis walks past Tom Flesher with a smirk and inaudible chuckle then proceeds to climb the turnbuckle posing with both fists raised in the air and hand of his coat to the nearest attendant.


“AND HIS OPPONENT!” booms Funyon, while Mak leans back in his corner staring at the ramp.


Every light in the arena goes to full power as the Smarktron whites out. For a moment the only sound is that of a needle scratching over vinyl...




And then *BAM*


The crashing guitars of Lamb of God’s “Black Label” send a bolt through the crowd. The drumming sends a jolt throughout the arena, as the pace of the intro begins to pick up. Finally…




The high-pitched scream of Randy Blythe breaks through the speakers as the bright white lights begin flashing at the entranceway. Spike stumbles out dryly from behind the entrance curtain, the black hood of his cut-off sweatshirt covering his face, with only a few strands of hair being visible. Spike drops down to one knee, leaving one arm to hang to the ground, while the other is firmly placed on his knee. After a few moments, Spike raises both arms into an “X”, symbolizing his Straight Edge life style. Spike rises to his feet and begins to make his way down the isle towards the ring.


”From Hollywood, California and weighing in tonight at Two hundred and twenty-five pounds! He is… “HOLLYWOOD”… SPIKE JEEEEEEEEEENNNNNNNNNNNNKINNNNNSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!”


Spike rolls underneath the bottom rope, until he hits dead center in the middle of the ring. Spike rises to one knee and resumes his pose. One arm hangs while the other is placed on his knee, as he stares at Flesher and finally Francis, with a look becoming of death. Spike stands and peels off the hood, showing his cold blue eyes. He puts his arms together, forming an “X” across his chest, again promoting his Straight Edge life style, while Tom Flesher and Mak Francis look on. Francis leaning back in his corner and Flesher, oddly out of place in the referee’s uniform standing center ring.


“Here it is folks! Two weeks in the making. The challenge was laid down and now we’re about to see it happen! Mak Francis—Spike Jenkins—a pure wrestling rules match and Tom Flesher as the guest referee!”


*Ding Ding Ding!*


“Spike seems surprisingly focused, considering the mind games of the Franchise earlier tonight, King.” Pete notes, while Jenkins directs his stone cold gaze at Francis. “I think Mak trying to humiliate him may just have backfired.”


“They haven’t actually started wrestling yet, Pete.” King answers, as both men test the ropes in their own way, while they quicken the pace, finally crashing together and grappling for position. “Wait until Mak starts dominating him again and then we’ll see how the bitch responds.” Meanwhile, in the ring, Spike takes control surprising Francis and transitions into a side headlock, flipping Mak over almost instantaneously in a takedown! Flesher drops to the mat and checks the shoulder...




No! Mak quickly raises the right side of his body while Jenkins holds onto the headlock. Mak slides on the mat, trying to get into a better position, while Tom carefully inspects the scene – when suddenly, Francis flashes forward flipping Spike and stacking his shoulders to the mat! Flesher already at a knee counts immediately...






T—No! Spike rolls back into his side headlock. The Franchise squats low, getting his feet beneath him and rises from the mat with Spike in tow, slowly backing then into the ropes. Mak uses the momentum from the cables and a forearm to the ribs to his advantage, tossing Spike away, but the Hollywood superstar rebounds quickly, completely crashing into him with a shoulder block! Jenkins looks down at Francis and smiles… that smile before bouncing off the ropes, causing Mak to flip over onto his belly – allowing Spike to stop quickly and fall right back into another side headlock!


The Hollywood superstar lies on the mat, leaning forward as Francis swings his leg up in an attempted head-scissors. Mak, unable to get his counter grabs at Spike’s hair, forcing the Superior referee to levy a warning and then start a count...






“Three, Mak!”




Francis quickly breaks, not wanting a DQ, but a little put out. A hair pull is nothing compared to what Flesher had done to him before in matches. Tom claps his hands together and Spike, while continuing to concentrate, darts his eyes towards Flesher, as if sure that he’ll screw him over at some point. The Franchise takes this little relaxation and capitalizes, getting to a knee and forcing Jenkins up to his vertical base, only to loop his arms about Spike’s waist and send him over with a backdrop suplex—


—Which Holly rolls through at the top, landing on his feet directly behind Mak...


“Son of a bitch!”


...And re-grabbing the same side headlock! Mak shouts again, his voice muffled by the arms of his opponent, as the Franchise pries at Spike’s grip and drags him back to the near ropes, pushing Jenkins forward... who goes nowhere, pulling Mak center ring by re-grabbing the headlock and putting on the brakes! Dropping to a knee, Spike controls and grinds in the hold, looking to take his opponent over once again, but Mak sandbags until with a sudden burst Francis drives Jenkins back step-by-step into a neutral corner! Tom comes between the two wrestlers asking for a clean break and all Mak can see as he steps away is… that smile…




“That’s a break, Mak!” Tom informs him, as Spike holds his jaw, a little more pleased than he should be after getting hit with a right hand.


“Spike is into mind games too it seems. Even saw how Mak reacted to Sacred’s games at Clusterfuck and if you can use that weakness to your advantage, especially in a match like this, where he’s in his element, more power to you.”


“Spike can’t even get his own taunt…” mumbles King, as


”Oh yes, for those that were surprised by Flesher’s warning, since we forgot to explain earlier, here are the rules to a pure wrestling contest:”


Pete takes a breath…


“Each wrestler gets three rope breaks. A wrestler loses a rope break when he uses the ropes to break a submission hold or when he throws a punch. If a wrestler has no rope breaks left and he is in a submission hold, grabbing the ropes has no effect. If a wrestler has no rope breaks left and he throws a punch, he is disqualified.”


“Hope that clears everything up for you peons at home.” King adds.


Mak backs away and signals Spike for a collar and elbow tie-up, but as Spike comes forward Francis feints and drops low, exploding forward into a double leg shoot! Spike does his best to sprawl, but Mak’s superior technique allows him to take him down anyway! On the ground, Spike turns to his belly to avoid a pin fall situation, but Mak who was riding his opponent spins from his back waistlock and slide into a front headlock! Francis clubs away at the back of Spike and then slaps him across the back of the head!




“Total disrespect…” mumbles Pete, as Mak float back into a back mount and stands over his former ‘student’ with forearm cross-faces to punish him like he was writing ‘I will not try to fuck with Mak Francis’ on a chalk board.












“That’s the sound of payback, Pete. And let me tell you cross-faces aren’t just forearms… they’re forearms with ATTITUDE! Even the crowd knows it!” King comments, while the audience cringes at the shots.


The Franchise trying to end the match quick, tires of blasting Spike and floats back into a front headlock, looking for a guillotine choke, but Spike sprawls and slowly forearms out, picking up Mak as he goes and scoring an elbow to the ribcage for separation! Hollywood rushes backwards and bounces back, running the ropes looking to hit a Yakuza kick…






…Right into the open arms of Mak with a Railgun suplex that sends him spiraling back to the canvas! Francis pops up to his feet and smirks, getting a nice reaction from the crowd for his big suplex. Jenkins is down, but not nearly out, and as Mak comes over to pick him up, after poking Spike in the chest, the Hollywood superstar responds with a knife-edge chop!




To which Mak responds…




And another!




Mak continues to back Spike into the ropes with chops and then sends him away with an Irish whip. As Spike rebounds the self proclaimed Franchise dashes forward and lifts his leg for a Yakuza kick, but Hollywood ducks and loops around behind a surprised Franchise for a German suplex, as Pete shouts the action! “Yakuza kick—no! Spike with a back waistlock! He’s looking for a German—No! Countered with a Standing switch…”


Pete’s call is dead on, as Mak pries at Spike’s fingers and loops around behind. Jenkins fights, reaching for the ropes, but Francis pulls him away. So Spike changes tactics hitting a back elbow to the Franchise and even though he’s stunned slightly, Mak arches back landing the German suplex! Francis holds on and rolls to his feet for a second German, but Spike won’t allow this to go any further and blasts Mak with two more sharp elbows!






Stunned, Mak stumbles back, while Hollywood spins around measuring him for a Rolling Lariat…


“Rolling Lariat!” Pete calls…


…but Francis ducks under that, catching Spike around the throat prepping for his signature combo “That’s Franchisable” – only to have Hollywood back trip him and swing down with a clothesline at the same time!


“STO!” Pete finishes, as the counter exchange is finally over, for now at least. “Spike came up with that STO at the last second, King and retakes control of this match. He knows the side shoulder jawbreaker so well, since he uses it. So naturally he’d be able to counter the hold.” Pete notes, as Francis holds the back of his neck, and Spike sits on bended knee, trying to plan out his next attack.


“This is the kind of stupid stuff Jenkins does. He’s back in control and he isn’t DOING anything!” King cries motioning towards the ring, where Spike slowly picks Mak up.






“I’d call that something!” Pete says, as Spike lands a single crisp elbow to the face of the self proclaimed Franchise! Mak, clearly dazed stumbles back and tumbles into the corner chest first! “What a strike by Hollywood!” Pete adds, until he notices the gash above the Franchise’s eye. “And Mak Francis is cut!”


Mak sits stoic, the corner propping him up, as Spike seeming to have an idea walks behind him. Spike grabs Francis about the waist and lifts him up, depositing his opponent on the top rope backwards! Jenkins climbs up after him pounding away with forearms to the back and neck, which seems to alert Mak to the danger he’s in, as he wildly swings away with back elbows! But Spike has delivered too much punishment to Francis alreadly, picking him up off the top rope and driving him onto the back of his neck!!!


“A SUPER Backdrop suplex!” Pete says, as the crowd breaks into chants and cheers, over the fast pace and action!










Mak folds over and sits on his belly, while Hollywood lands and cradles his neck clearly a little stunned. The crowd roots him on as he slowly crawls to Mak and shoves him onto his back, falling into a pin. Flesher drops and counts, the crowd chanting along…


“King, that has to be it, right?!”


























NO! NO! NO! Mak gets a foot on the ropes! A distraught Hollywood looks at Flesher, as he signals the two, shakes his head.


“That is two rope breaks that Mak has used up so far. One on the punch early and now this one, King. Odd that the person who did all the talking about rope breaks was just saved by them.”


“Are you calling Mak Francis a bitch?” King asks bemused. “It’s Spike’s fault that he rolled him over into a position that allowed for a foot on the ropes and didn’t even hook the leg.


“I was just comparing him to Spike would has yet to lose any breaks. And I agree Spike did make a mental mistake there.”


Spike sees Mak beginning to stir and runs the ropes going for a double stomp, but Mak avoids this time, unlike in their last match and sweeps Spike’s leg sending him to the mat on his back. Spike barely has time to look up at the lights before Mak Francis extends his right arm into a Cross arm-breaker!


“Flash submission! Mak was hardly playing possum, but he had much more left in the tank than Spike believed!” Spike’s right arm strains under the pressure of Francis cranking back on it, but Hollywood scoots into the ropes as quickly as he can for a break!


“That’s mistake number two and now Mak Francis is going to show the student just why he is the teacher.”


“True, Spike has made two mistakes in a row and has lost the psychological advantage as well, by finally having to use the ropes. Let’s see if he can regroup.”










Spike cradles his arm as he is tied up in the ropes. Francis backs away, while Flesher asks if he can continue and with defiance in his eyes, Jenkins stands up and shakes out his limb.


“It seems Spike is good to go, but he’s definitely smarting from the cross arm-breaker. Those flash submission holds can break a bone just like that and it makes Mak Francis all the more dangerous.”


Mak, as soon as Flesher backs away pounces on Spike and pounds away with clubbing forearms. He grabs Spike by the injured arm and sends him on a cross corner whip. “Irish whip by the Franchise—reversal by Spike who sends Mak into the corner, hard! Spike follows him in and-”


“Runs directly in a boot to the face!” King interrupts, as Mak gets his feet up. Spike staggers back, as Mak scales the turnbuckles and leaps off, catching Jenkins as he turns with a second rope dropkick to his arm that was just dissected by the cross arm-breaker!! Spike flies back to the canvas clutching his injured wing, as he attempts to get to his feet, grabbing at the ropes to help himself up…


But Francis follows up quickly, leaving no doubt as he comes behind the struggling to stand Hollywood and double chickenwings his arms, turns 90 degrees and pushes him down to the canvas face first with a leg sweep!


“Bittersweet!” King shouts elated. “Spike is officially DONE!”


Apparently the crowd does not agree…




Francis grinds Spike’s face into the mat, holding onto his arms and bringing over into Bittersweet! The crowd not wanting the match to end, ups the intensity of their chants…






As Spike begins his crawl towards the ropes…




His foot so close…




Mak made the same mistake he had earlier…




So Spike sticks out his leg…



It falls short once, as the pain in his shoulders begins to boil over…


But he’s got to make it…







Flesher starts the count…












And Mak breaks the hold, irate that Spike has gotten to the ropes again, this time with his trusted finisher locked in!!! Francis stalks to the corner as Spike lies on the mat in pain, but clearly still in the match. Spike, fighting like he has been all match slowly gets to a knee. Then up on shaky legs. The Franchise is going for the knockout blow and everyone in the arena knows it!



Mak runs forward, raising his leg for the high kick…






…But Jenkins ducks!


Spike stands behind the self proclaimed Franchise, grabbing him by the neck and pulling his head back. Spike locks his arms around the throat of Francis, his legs attempting to close around the waist and the inside of Mak’s legs as he falls back to the mat with...


“A Read naked choke! Spike, ducking the Yakuza kick has countered into a submission attempt! This could buy Spike the time he needs to recover!”


Mak’s arms flail wildly, as he knows this move well, but he’s obviously losing oxygen slowly but surely…


“Spike’s dead tired and his right arm is hurt, Pete.” King says, nudging his partner, “I know a rest holds when I see one and he’s doing this just to buy himself some time, but Spike, your time is up!”


Suddenly Spike catches Mak’s right arm mid-motion and pulls back, forcing more pressure on Mak’s windpipe. And just as suddenly, Mak Francis’ situation has gone from nothing to something! The Franchise’s left arm flails wildly and all the while, Jenkins grimaces in pain, his right arm shaking. He stares at Flesher daring him to break the hold as he hovers above, checking for a choke, but it’s as legal as it gets.


“Now that’s trouble!” Pete exclaims, while the crowd comes alive again as Mak’s hand hovers on the brink of submission. “He’s got Mak all locked up center ring in the maneuver he forced a submission out of Dace Night with! Francis is rapidly losing his wind now!”








Mak’s breathing becomes shallow, his stomach rising and falling at a distinctly different pace than it once was, while a burst of pain suddenly shoots through Spike’s arm. Eyes wide, Mak feels the change in pressure and the mat tactician grabs Hollywood’s leg out from underneath him, holding it tightly between both arms and wrenching it at ninety degrees with heel hook! Spike’s expression suddenly changes from a worn grimace to an excruciating groan in mere seconds as both men put an incredible amount of strain on one another, both refusing to let go!


“A heel hook!” King cheers. “This isn’t some pansy ass Rear Naked Choke folks! The heel hook is designed to break bones! Just ask JJ Johnson and I’m he’ll demonstrate it for you, Pete.”


“That, King, will be quite alright. The real question is who will give fir—” Pete begins to question, but that query is answered quickly, as Spike relents, allowing Mak to slide on his belly and roll forward, his leg still trapped with the Hollywood superstars. Francis ends his roll with Spike on his belly, while hooking his own leg in tow with Spike’s, crossing them over each other and locking them into place as he suddenly throws himself forward and pulls back on Spike’s neck with a facelock!


“STF!” King shouts. “Apparently Mak has learned from previous ass kicking’s as he has countered Spike Jenkins Rear Naked Choke submission attempt with the same tactics that Sacred used at Clusterfuck in their title match!”


“How ironic would it be, if Mak won another shot at the Heavyweight Title on a sequence learned from his bitter rival...”


Spike struggles and throws an arm out, trying to pull himself forward, the ropes nearly within his grasp!


“What a way to win a match! Irony is a bitch and apparently so is Spike Jenkins.”


But King’s optimism is soon squashed as Spike lurches forward inch by inch, the bottom rope nearing his grasp as Mak does his damnedest to keep him back, but Jenkins still has loads of fight left in him deep down, as he manages to drag himself just that little bit further. Mak grits his teeth and rears back, yanking away at his opponent’s neck while, reaching forward with his free arm to swat desperately at Spike’s hovering hand...






… But Spike manages to reach the bottom rope!






“That’s three rope breaks in the last three sequences and Spike Jenkins, while fighting for all he’s worth, just has gotten back on track. Now he has to deal with an ailing leg as well as his arm!”






Mak breaks the hold and nearly shoving Flesher aside, drags Spike by the leg into the center of the ring! Mak drops an elbow and stands repeating the process, while Jenkins clutches at his leg with only his good arm. Hollywood gets a kick and scrambles back toward the ropes, before hitting the Franchise’s face with and another, and another, getting him off the leg! Spike crawls back, reaching the ropes and as he hobbles to his feet Mak stalks back into the picture, only to see Spike using the ropes for balance, swing his leg up in with a desperation Yakuza kick…











Francis falls to a knee as Spike, with searing pain in his leg, circles around and kicks him once in the chest, twice in the chest and dead center in the face!! Mak falls back in a heap and Spike lets out a deep breath and falls on top in a pin…





































NOOOOOOO! Mak’s hand grabs the bottom rope! Somehow, some way, Mak had the presence to grab the rope!!


“That was Mak’s last rope break!” Pete says, not sure what else he can add except… “Nothing can save him from Spike now!”


Spike shakes his head. He made another mistake, but this time he can fix it. Jenkins hobbles up to his feet and drags Mak with him, signaling for the end. The crowd is rabid and on their feet as Spike drags Mak to the center of the ring and places him in an inverted facelock!




"How appropo would it be for Spike to defeat Mak Francis in the center of the ring, clean, with his aptly named finisher, the Clean Living!"


Spike arm shakes as he holds onto Mak, who begins to struggle in the facelock, realizing that he’s about to be defeated…


…when suddenly…


"Counter!" Pete cries out, as the crowd who had just jumped to their feet moments ago, shouts out sounds of shock and surprise. Mak slides forward in a roll and ends up face to face with his opponent, sidestepping quickly and plucking the ankle right out from under him!


"Granby roll—GRANBY ROLL by Francis right into that anklelock! Mak just—I mean out of nowhere, Mak Francis has turned the tables definitively in his favor!"


Francis twists the ankle, placing pressure on the tendons, which sends a searing pain to his injured knee! Spike, staring out at the crowd, pushes himself up on his hands and walks himself towards the ropes. The audience cheers rise to a new level as Spike inches closer, and closer to the bottom rope.


"He's gotta reach the ropes!" Pete shouts, completely into Spike’s fight to save his number one contendership. The chance to fight Toxxic. And for the reason he’s even in this business at all. A shot at the World Heavyweight Title…


The dueling chants of earlier are gone and all that remains is…




He pushes…









He pulls…








He dives…












He falls short!












He dives again…


















But Mak doesn’t break!!!








"What?!" Pete and King scream in disbelief, as Tom Flesher looks on and shakes his head, continuing to ask Spike if he submits, while the Hollywood superstar shouts in agony and the crowd clamors for a rope break!


"Break the hold, start a count... do something, Flesher!?" Pete bellows, but his announce partner explains the situation as it clearly hasn't dawned on LDP yet, in the heat of the moment.


"Tom can't break the hold--the ropes can't break this hold, Pete." King says somberly. "The only people that can break this anklelock are wrestling each other right now. And I sincerely doubt Mak Francis is going to break this submission."


Spike shakes in agony on the clutching at the ropes, as the crowd continues to boo, but Spike will not submit. He’s fought to hard to make the ropes for it to end like this… as his hand waivers of it’s own accord….




Spike fights on!


"I thought he was going to tap there, Pete!"



"Jenkins kicking, rolling, doing all that he can to escape this deadly submission hold!" Pete says, and no statement has ever been truer, as Spike lunges at the ropes, twisting and bending his body, while attempting to gain some form of leverage. "He must be close, King. So close. He's tried everything else and with no rope breaks left how can he possibly escape? Maybe if he can pull himself out of the--Oh!" Pete exclaims, sure he had the perfect idea as just as Spike pulls himself through the ropes and towards the apron, Mak drops down and scissors his legs. There will be no escape that way. "Francis grapevines the legs! The torque on the ankle and the knee of Spike has been increased ten fold! All that body weight to drag..."






Jenkins reaches out towards the crowd, Flesher sliding under the ropes to the outside so that he can ask the question.






"Spike is fighting--desperately fighting to find some way, some how to counter this manuever..."




It’s a bitter pill to swallow…




"He's got nowhere to go, Pete! But he won't tap! This is for his shot at the World Heavyweight Title! At Toxxic and even I'll admit that he's earned it! He won't tap--but he has to! His ankle could break at any moment!"




When you can’t prove somebody wrong…




"How long has he been in this hold? A minute, two… FIVE?! I just--there's nowhere to go and the pain..."








And you can’t even hear the faint echo of Spike’s hand on the apron, over the roar of the crowd…


*Ding! Ding! Ding!*


“LET’S go…”


“The winner of this match, by submission and the number one contender to the SWF WORLD Heavyweight Championship… he is the one true “FRANCHISE”… MAK FRAAAAAAAAAANNNNNCCCIIISSSSSSSSSSSS!”



Mak drops the hold and Spike falls to the floor, holding his knee in agony. Tom Flesher slides back into the ring and raises the hand of Francis who just sits and leans his head back. He might not have only needed one shot at the gold, but by beating Spike Jenkins tonight, Mak Francis is one step closer to being this federations Franchise.

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The tech crew get out of the way as they see Spike Jenkins approaching; many long years experience has taught them better than to get in the way of someone who has just lost a Number One Contender’s match. Hollywood stalks past, still in some considerable pain from his match with Mak Francis but able to roam around the backstage area. He was originally heading for his locker room but now he’s just wandering, lost in his own thoughts. Spike is a very angry man, and whether he’s more angry with himself, Mak Francis or Tom Flesher is difficult to say.




…and also something of a moot point now, as a spiky-haired shape steps out of nowhere and sends a fist crashing into his temple. Spike drops like a stone, and Toxxic slips the brass knuckles off and places them back in his pocket before crouching down over his former follower.


“Now you listen to me, you little piece of shit,” the Straight-Edge Sensation hisses. “You know damn well why I kicked you out of Revolution Zero, cos you were gonna turn on us sooner or later anyway. And I know we gave you a bit of a beating, but as I recall you staved my head in with a steel chair the night I beat Sacred. So the way I see it, we should be more or less even.”


Spike doesn’t reply, but simply stares up with unfocused eyes. The Hollywood Superstar is still conscious, but not in much condition for a spirited conversation.


“You don’t seem to agree with me,” Toxxic continues, “because you decided to go after Sean. You broke his damn ankle, you bastard! You and I both know that Sean was the muscle - he did what I told him, when I told him to. You have a problem with what we did, you take it up with me, sunshine!” The World Champion kneels over Spike’s chest, pinning each arm to the floor with a knee, and leans down close to Spike’s ear.


“I don’t want you going after Pretzler,” he half-whispers. “I don’t want you tracking Sean down again either. This is between you and me. If you want me… I’ll see you in the ring.”


Toxxic rises to his feet and stares down at Jenkins for a few moments more through dark-rimmed eyes. Then the Straight-Edge Sensation simply turns his back on the man he used to call a friend, and walks away.




SWF Smarkdown, February 14, 2005:


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.


<< fast forward >>


SWF Smarkdown: March 21, 2005:


Wildchild stands up and rushes to the ropes, grabbing the Critic by his shoulders and throttling him. Pretzler, still holding onto the Cruiserweight Championship, starts winding his arm backwards, and preparing to swing the belt at Wildchild’s head, as IL runs towards the ropes and dives at Wildchild. Wildchild, noticing Rickman out of the side of his eye, ducks out of his way, just as Pretzler is swinging the belt into the ring…






… Causing him to blast IL in the face instead!


Pretzler glares into the ring snarling, frustrated by the fact that he missed his intended target. So frustrated, in fact, that he doesn’t notice Wildchild spring back to his feet and swing a stunning right hand at his head! The Human Hurricane runs to the near corner as Pretzler stands stunned outside the ring, and springs off the second turnbuckle over the top rope, snaring the Critic’s head as he passes over, and driving him into the arena floor with a devastating Tornado DDT!



The Bahama Bomber picks the Critic up, bending him forward, and interlocking his arms with Pretzler’s, before twisting underneath him and lifting him into the air…





… And driving Pretzler headfirst down into the steel ramp!


“OH MY GAWD~! Wild Ride on the ramp,” exclaims LDP. “Pretzler’s out cold!”


<< fast forward >>


SWF Storm: March 25, 2005:


Toxxic removes the brass knuckles and is about to throw them away when Pretzler reaches out and stops him. A look of understanding passes between them. Wildchild slowly stands; he is groggy and shamed in defeat, but seeing Pretzler suddenly awakens a look of murder in his eyes.


Before he can make a move, Pretzler takes the brass knuckles from Toxxic and puts them on.




The Bahama Bomber’s head snaps back as it is met with the full force of Pretzler’s brass-alloyed fist. He falls to the mat. In a second, Pretzler is on him, pounding away with reckless abandon. Wildchild thrashes from side to side hoping to escape the blows, but Pretzler straddles him and grabs him by the throat to keep his head secure.


“For a man who espouses the virtues of pure wrestling, Scott Pretzler sure enjoys bludgeoning people with foreign objects!” shouts an indignant Longdogger Pete.


The savage blows continue to rain down on Wildchild’s forehead. He cries out, but no one is here to help him. Toxxic relaxes in the corner, a peaceful smile on his face. Pretzler, having tired of punching his adversary, stands up and pushes him toward the edge of the ring. He grabs the top rope and stomps on Wildchild’s body until he falls out and lands with a thud on the arena floor. Pretzler follows him out.


“Where the hell is security?”


Wildchild is crawling up the ramp, desperate to remove himself from the unbalanced equation. But Pretzler is relentless. Pretzler is mad. The Bahaman turns over onto his back and aims a flailing kick at the Critic’s shin. It connects, and Pretzler drops to one knee – but it’s not enough. Undaunted, the champion lunges forward and aims a hard right at the Bahaman’s jaw. The sound is horrific.





Sadly, the audience’s support is all but useless. Wildchild is now lying prone on his back, spittle flying into the air as he coughs and gasps for breath.


“It’s all about revenge, Pete…”


Indeed it is. Pretzler stoops and grabs a firm handful of Wildchild’s dreadlocks, then hauls him to his feet. He spins WC around and applies a rear facelock.


“…and what better revenge than this?”


Pretzler places his left arm against Wildchild’s back and hauls him into the air. As the fan favorite’s body becomes vertical, Pretzler sits down, whipping him forward and back down toward the ramp.




“TILDEBANG DRIVER ON THE STEEL WALKWAY!” King screams with a mixture of horror and ecstasy. A gasp runs through the crowd, and for a moment there is total silence. Wildchild does not move.


Pretzler stands up and puts his hands on his hips. He stares down at his prey and nods with satisfaction.






“Scott Pretzler is a sadist and a hypocrite!” sputters Pete.



“He may not have wrestled tonight,” King says, “but sure did make an impact!


<< fast forward >>


Scott Pretzler can’t believe that Wildchild just managed to roll a shoulder off the canvas, but his confusion grows even more as he turns around to see Toxxic halfway across the ring towards him. The Straight-Edge Sensation simply points out to the floor where Todd Cortez is starting to rise to his feet, as if to say that he was going to cut off any attempt the Urban Legend might make to break up the pin, but Pretzler still looks doubtful. However, with the match still hanging in the balance he grabs both of Wildchild’s wrists, locks the Tag Champion’s arms around his own throat and sits down on his back in the Snowflake Clutch!




Scott Pretzler breathes again, but Wildchild knows that all hope of rescue has gone. The Tag Champion tries his best to hold out, but it’s simply no good. Scott Pretzler has the hold perfectly applied, and there is nowhere to go.


‘Wildchild! Do you give up!?’ Uriah Rennie shouts one more time…



‘Urk! No!’
















“With me right now,” says Ben Hardy, “is the Number One Contender to the World Cruiserweight Title, the Wildchild! Wildchild, you and Scott Pretzler have been embroiled in a bitter rivalry for the past several weeks, and now, you’re finally facing for the Cruiserweight Title; do you have any thoughts as you head into this showdown?”


“Oui,” replies Wildchild. “Pretzler, for weeks now, you’ve been a thorn in my side since you first came to de SWF. You’ve made it your mission t’try an’ get de better of me, goin’ so far as t’attack me outside de ring, attack me wit’ brass knuckles, even attack me through your Revolution Zero buddies. Y’know, I was happy for you when you won de Worl’ Cruiserweight Title; I would have been happy t’let you be, if you hadn’ decided t’make t’ings personal between us. But, since you have, I’m gon’ repay de pain dat you’ve visited on me ten-fold. Since you’re so obsessed wit’ makin’ sure dat you had my attention, I’m gon’ show you just what it means t’have my FULL attention!”


“Well, Wildchild,” says Hardy, “last week on Lockdown, Scott Pretzler was able to get in the win column against you in that fatal four-way, even making you submit to the snowflake clutch; are you going to be able to adjust your style to dealing with a submissions specialist?”


“You seem t’forget, monsieur Ben,” replies Wildchild, “I’ve faced an’ beaten submission wresslers before. I can handle myself; I’m confident in where I stand against those kind of wresslers. I have faith in my abilities, an’ I believe dat I have more den what it takes t’prevail t’night… But YOU, Scott Pretzler, I don’ care what YOU believe! I don’ care where YOU stand. All I wan’ from you t’night is de best you can bring! I wan’ you t’be at your peak! ‘Cause when I show you de Wildness’, when my speed puts you down for good, I wan’ you, your boys in Rev. Zero, an’ everyone around de worl’ to realize dat I beat you at your best! An’ when it’s all over an’ done wit’, at de end of Smarkdown, I will, once again, be de Worl’ Cruiserweight Champion! Scott Pretzler, I tol’ you before dat you were on borrowed time wit’ dat belt. Well, as we get ready t’battle, I got jus’ two more words for you…







With that, Wildchild storms off-camera in the direction of the ring. “There you have it,” says Hardy, “the Wildchild! Could he be the next Cruiserweight Champion? Let’s get back to ringside!”

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“Wildchild and Pretzler have gone back and forth for weeks now,” says an excited Longdogger Pete, “and tonight, they’ll finally be facing off one-on-one, with one of the most prestigious prizes in the game up for grabs: the SWF World Cruiserweight Title!”


“Positively!” agrees the Suicide King. “The top cruiserweight talent in professional wrestling competes here in the SWF, so if you’re good enough to win Cruiserweight Championship, you know that you’re the very best in the world!”


“Folks, this match has been several weeks in the making,” says Pete. “Ever since Pretzler won the World Cruiserweight Championship from Spike Jenkins, he and Wildchild have been at each other’s throats, in a brutal game of one-upmanship! And after being brutally blindsided by Revolution Zero the night that Pretzler won the title, Wildchild was able to establish the early advantage in this rivalry, getting the better of Pretzler in tag team competition!”


“Yeah,” replies King, “but Pretzler has taken control of the rivalry in the last two weeks! Ever since Wildchild crossed the line by cheap-shotting Pretzler two weeks ago on Smarkdown, the Critic has gotten the better of Clown-boy!”


“This rivalry has definitely reached a fever pitch in a very short amount of time,” notes Pete. “These two have faced off in fatal four-ways, tag team matches, in and out of the ring, and even in a steel cage, but this will be the first time that they ever square off in a straight-up match!”


“And I have every confidence that Pretzler is going to be able to retain tonight,” proclaims King. “Now that he knows that he can beat Wildchild, he’s not going to be tentative in the ring; you could tell that, even in the fatal four-way last week on Lockdown, he was a little conservative in the ring, afraid of making a mistake and suffering another loss to Wildchild. Now, he’ll be able to go all out, and won’t be worried about holding back!”


“That’s an interesting point,” concedes LDP, “but you could apply that argument to Wildchild as well, King. He’s already beaten Pretzler, and you KNOW that HE’S not going to hold anything back. Besides which, King, Wildchild has a lot more championship experience in the SWF, especially where it concerns the Cruiserweight Title; he knows what it takes to win that belt!”


“Things have changed since the last time Wildchild held that title,” counters King. “He’s not going to be facing an unmotivated Tom Flesher or a green Landon Maddix this time around; ever since Austin Sly first held the Cruiserweight Title, the bar has been raised exponentially! The talent level in the Cruiserweight Division is a thousand times better than it when Wildchild lost that belt a year ago; he doesn’t have what it takes to compete with those guys anymore, and Pretzler is going to prove it tonight!”


Before LDP can muster a reply, the camera shifts to the ring, where Funyon stands awaiting his cue as referee Ronald “Red” Herrington looks on. A familiar squawking into his earpiece prompts him to lift his trusty microphone to his lips as he starts into his introductions:


“Ladies and Gentlemen,” he booms, “the following contest, scheduled for one fall, is for the SWF WORLD CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP!”




Nearly ten thousand fans erupt in nervous anticipation throughout the Metrapark Arena, as the lights are doused. Their cheers grow even louder as Reggie Noble’s voice pierces the arena like a blade!



















“Listen to this crowd go crazy!” shouts LDP. One solitary spotlight centers itself on the stage, flashing off and on in rhythm as Redman’s “Let’s Get Dirty” throbs melodiously throughout the arena.


“Introducing first,” shouts Funyon, “the Challenger!”





“Hailing from Morgan’s Bluff, Andros, in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas,” continues Funyon, “weighing two hundred fourteen pounds, one half of the SWF Tag Team Champions… the WIIIIILDCHIIIIILD!” Just at that moment, the Bahama Bomber leaps out onto the stage, dressed in his now-typical Olympic-style trunks, all black save for the bold aquamarine and gold stripes racing down the sides of his legs. Noticeably absent from his waist, however, is his Tag Team Championship belt.


“How about that, King?” notes Pete, as Wildchild makes his way down the ramp. “Wildchild is heading down to the ring without the Tag Team gold; what do you make of that?”


“Smacks of conceit to me,” replies King. “Like he’s sending the message that he needs to make room on his waste for the belt he’s about to win; if you ask me, he’s counting his chickens a little too early!” Wildchild somersaults between the bottom and middle ropes to enter the ring, quickly rolling to his feet and raising his arms to pop the crowd:




Wildchild keeps his entrance relatively sedate, though, remaining on the canvas rather than running to the ropes as he usually does, and calmly adjusts his footpads as the lights come back on. “Maybe that clears things up for you, huh King?” asks LDP, noting Wildchild’s lack of fanfare upon entering the ring. “Wildchild clearly appears to be focusing on his match tonight; he even appears to be blocking out the fans!”


“Let’s Get Dirty” fades gently into the ether, quickly replaced by the terse strains of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony. Highlights of Pretzler’s brief SWF career flash across the SmarkTron, including the newly added footage of Wildchild tapping out to the Snowflake Clutch. The Billings fans begin booing in earnest as the World Cruiserweight Champion leisurely makes his way out onto the entrance ramp.






“His opponent,” says Funyon, “from Toronto, Ontario, weighing two hundred twenty-six pounds, he is the SWF WORLD CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPIOOOON, the Critic, SCOTT, PUUUUUH-RETZLER!” Pretzler takes his time on the stage, showing off the Cruiserweight Title to the fans before deciding to stroll down the ramp.


“The Champion looks confident,” notes Pete, as Pretzler stops mid-way down the ramp to jaw at a few fans.


“And why shouldn’t he be?” replies King, as Funyon exits the ring. “He’s the fastest rising star in the SWF today, and he’s already beaten the guy he’s about to get in the ring with; who WOULDN’T be confident?” Pretzler walks calmly up the steel stairs onto the apron, and then steps between the top and middle ropes to enter the ring. He sneers at Wildchild as he makes his way over to the corner, climbing onto the turnbuckles and removing the Championship belt from his waist and holding it overhead as the unappreciative crowd lets him know what they think of him:




Pretzler climbs down from the turnbuckle and surrenders his Championship belt to Herrington as his music fades out. Herrington holds the belt overhead for all to see, turning to face each side of the ring.


“That’s what it’s all about!” exclaims Pete, as Herrington walks over to the edge of the ring and leans through the ropes to hand the belt to Funyon. He then motions the timekeeper to ring the bell, signifying the start of the match:




Wildchild and Pretzler appear slow to engage each other, circling the ring cautiously. Finally, Wildchild, unable to bear looking at Scott’s smug expression any longer, charges across the ring to lock up with Pretzler, only for the Critic to dive out of the ring and begin to walk up the ramp…




“Pretzler out of there in a hurry!” shouts LDP, as the Critic stops near the foot of the ramp to bully a few Wildchild fans at ringside, snatching their officially-licensed “Dub Cee” foam fingers out of their hands and ripping them apart in front of their eyes.


“Ah, Pretzler’s just using a psyche-out job on him,” replies King, as the Critic tosses the remnants of the foam fingers into the air behind him, before returning to the ring. “You don’t sweat Scott Pretzler, Drain-Clogger! You don’t question this guy’s intestinal fortitude!” Upon returning to the apron, Pretzler raises his arms skyward, seeking recognition from the fans, but the only reaction his gets is…




“Pretzler looking for accolades from this Billings crowd, and not getting any!” notes Pete, as he steps towards Wildchild to lock up. “Wildchild’s been here before, King; he knows what it’s like to have that gold around your waist! You’re not going to psyche this guy out!”


“Here we go!” shouts King as Pretzler and Wildchild engage in a collar-and-elbow tie-up. “The time for talking has ended!” Wildchild quickly shifts his left arm to hook underneath Scott’s left, and falls backwards as he snaps the Critic overhead with a startlingly-fast armdrag takeover!




“Whoa!” exclaims Pete, as Pretzler slides backwards on his hands and knees. “Nice display of speed by the challenger!”


“I expected as much,” concedes King, as the Critic exits to the apron once more. “Wildchild’s got a considerable speed advantage on Pretzler. But we’ll see what happens when they get down to actual wrestling; you know, one armdrag don’t win the championship!” Pretzler paces across the apron, looking out into the crowd, which greets him with chants for his opponent:






Wildchild is becoming visibly irritated with his opponent’s antics, as Pretzler finally decides to return to the ring, the smug expression still dominating his face. As he steps in closer to Wildchild, he pantomimes his hands around his waist, waving where his title usually hangs.


“You want my belt?” he screams. “I don’t think so! I’m gonna make you squeal, just like I did on Lockdown… but this time, I’m gonna… Rip. Your. Head. Clean. OFF!” With that, he unleashes a blazing right hook towards Wildchild’s head, but the Bahama Bomber ducks easily and rushes Pretzler, knocking him to the canvas with a double-leg takedown!




“Whoa! Looks like Wildchild’s had enough of Pretzler’s bravado!” shouts LDP. Wildchild straddles Pretzler and punches him in the face until the Critic can reverse his fortunes. The two continue rolling around on the canvas that way, jockeying for position, until they eventually end up near the edge of the ring. Once there, Herrington orders them to break, and Wildchild beats Pretzler to his feet, trapping him in a side headlock. The Critic pushes him into the ropes, and bellies out against the mat as he rebounds. Wildchild leaps into the air as he approaches the ropes a second time, springing backwards off the middle ropes into the ring, and landing on Pretzler with a moonsault press attempt, only for the Critic to snatch him out of the air. But, before Scott can counter into some kind of slam, the Caribbean Cruiser shifts his weight forward, hooking Pretzler’s arm as he takes him over with a breathtaking armdrag variation! Scott immediately rolls to his feet and charges at Wildchild, who evades him with a deft leapfrog and then dodges him a second time with a reverse leapfrog as he bounces off the ropes. Wildchild leaps into the air as Pretzler rebounds a second time, and locks his hands behind the Critic’s head as he plants his feet into his stomach, arching backwards as he sends the Champion overhead with his patented Freefall monkey flip!


“Wildchild sends Pretzler airborne with that Freefall!” cries Pete, as Wildchild lands gracefully on his feet. The Human Hurricane dips into a low crouch as Pretzler scrambles to his feet, and then charges across the ring faster than a speeding bullet, leaping into the air as he approaches the Critic…





… And nailing him with a flying cross-body block that sends them both over the top rope and down to the arena floor! Wildchild regains his senses first, and straddles Pretzler once more, before unleashing a battery of rapid-fire right hands as Herrington begins a twenty count!











“Wildchild going to work on Pretzler outside the ring!” shouts Pete. “Look at those piston-like rights!”


“Wildchild should be disqualified for sending Pretzler over the top rope,” fumes King. “That’s against the rules!”


“I believe that the rules states that you can’t throw somebody over the top rope, King,” counters LDP. “I think that Herrington ruled that Pretzler went over more due to momentum than an intent to send him over the top!”


“Then Herrington should be fired!” snaps King. “That’s a horrible interpretation of the rules!” Wildchild pulls Pretzler to his feet and whips him towards the ringpost, but the Critic spins around on his heel and reverses…






… Sending Wildchild crashing into the ring steps!


“Hah!” snorts King. “That’s what Clown-boy gets for trying to take the fight outside the ring!” Pretzler walks over to where Wildchild lays prone against the ring steps and pulls him to his feet. Leaning him up against the ringpost, Pretzler cups the challenger’s chin with his left hand as he draws his right hand back to deliver a devastating punch!




… But the fragile bones in his hand collide head-on with the unforgiving solid steel ringpost as Wildchild ducks out of the way! Scott clutches his wrist, howling in pain, as the Bahama Bomber sneaks up behind him and pushes him into the ringpost!




“Pretzler got the better of Wildchild for a few seconds,” notes Pete, “but it didn’t take Wildchild long to turn the tables!”








Suddenly becoming cognizant of the count, Wildchild pulls Pretzler to his feet and rolls him underneath the bottom rope, before returning to the apron himself. “Wildchild seemed to have noticed that the count was nearing twenty, and got back in the ring,” notes LDP. “King, I couldn’t help but notice that he made sure he put the Champ back in first.”


“Of course he did,” agrees King. “He wants to win the Cruiserweight Title! Hell, even an idiot like Wildchild is smart enough to know that he can’t win the title outside the ring!” Wildchild remains on the apron as he reaches inside the ring to pull Pretzler’s injured right hand back underneath the bottom rope and drapes it across the edge of the ring apron. He then quickly runs to the corner and climbs onto the top turnbuckle before leaping off…






… And driving his heel into the top of Pretzler’s bruised hand with a well-timed stomp!








“Diving stomp to the hand from the top rope by Wildchild!” shouts Pete. “And Pretzler’s hand was draped across the edge of the apron, King; there’s nothing underneath there but steel pipe!”


“Wildchild wrestling incredibly cheap out there!” snipes King. “He knows he can’t beat Pretzler on the mat, so he’s trying to cripple him; he ought to be ashamed of himself!” Pretzler rolls towards the center of the ring, clutching his wounded hand as Wildchild slides back into the ring. Pulling the Critic to his feet, Wildchild begins bouncing lightly around the Champion, snapping his head back with right jabs!







Wildchild comes to a stop in front of the Critic, showing off his fancy footwork to the delight of the crowd, before lunging towards Pretzler, his left arm raised to deliver a vicious left cross, only for the Champion to instinctively raise his right hand to catch Wildchild’s hand in mid-swing…






And the Metrapark fans roar in laughter as the Critic unwittingly falls into the challenger’s plan, absorbing the full force of Wildchild’s left cross with his injured right hand!


“Wildchild continues to go to work on that injured right hand, and he’s even getting Pretzler to help him do it!” laughs LDP. Wildchild grabs Pretzler’s right hand and traps it in a top wristlock, as he leads him over to a nearby corner. The Human Hurricane leaps onto the top turnbuckle and walks out on the top rope before springing back into the ring, drawing the Champion’s hand close to his knee…






… And mashing it against the canvas with a springboard kneedrop!


“An unusual strategy by Wildchild to work the hand,” says King, “but I can’t imagine that this strategy is going to get him anywhere; Wildchild isn’t a submission wrestler, and he doesn’t have any moves that target the hand, anyway!”


“You have to think outside the box every once in a while, King,” replies Pete. “We know how well Pretzler has prepared for this match; obviously he wasn’t going to stand still and let Wildchild get off any of his staple offense. But, when he’s thinking about his hand, he’s not going to able to react as quickly; you know, sometimes you have to do certain things to create openings for other things!” Wildchild races to the ropes as Pretzler draws himself painfully to his knees and leaps into the air, grabbing the Critic by the head as he sails through the air…






… And driving it into the canvas with his patented flipping neck snap!


“Flashback!” cries Pete. “Wildchild scores with his Flashback! And a standing shooting star press; he could have him right here!”



















“So close,” sighs LDP. “We almost had a new champion!”


“Not on that weak move, Toilet-Clogger,” replies King. “It’s going to take more than that to beat Pretzler!” Wildchild pulls Pretzler to his feet and whips him into the corner, but the Critic still has enough strength to reverse it, sending Wildchild crashing into the turnbuckles chest-first! Pretzler charges towards the corner as the Bahama Bomber staggers backwards towards the ring, leaping into the air…






… And driving a running high knee into Wildchild’s back! Pretzler stumbles towards the center of the ring, trying to shake some feeling back into his right hand as Wildchild collapses to the canvas.


“Wildchild trying to press his advantage, but Pretzler still had the presence of mind to reverse it, and now he takes control,” says King gleefully. Pretzler stomps Wildchild’s back fiercely, and then pulls him to his feet and measures him as he ducks down low, before rising up suddenly…




… And blasting the challenger with a vicious European uppercut! He backs Wildchild against the ropes and grabs him by the wrist, whipping him across the ring, and scooping him up as he bounces off the ropes…




… Before grinding him into the mat with a brutal powerslam!


“Pretzler hitting the powerslam,” says Pete, “but he didn’t get all of it! He kind of released Wildchild on the way down, King; I don’t think he had a good hold on him!”


“That injury to the right hand is definitely affecting his grip,” concedes King. “But now that Pretzler’s taken control, he’s got all the time in the world to try to get some feeling back in it!” Pretzler remains on top of Wildchild as Herrington drops down to deliver a pinfall:











Pretzler then pulls Wildchild to his feet, only for the Tropical Tumbler to surprise him, reaching up to grab Pretzler by the back of the head as he hooks his leg, and falls backwards towards the mat, pulling the Critic into an inside cradle!














“Wildchild with a small package, and was very nearly able to steal a victory!” says LDP, as Pretzler beats Wildchild back to his feet, and begins to deliver a few more heavy stomps. “And Pretzler back to his feet, delivering a few more brutal stomps! King, Wildchild’s still trying to recover from that running knee to the back!”


“Absolutely,” agrees King, “and this is where most people agree that Wildchild is at his weakest; when he has to wrestle in a defensive mode.” Pretzler pulls Wildchild back to his feet and doubles him over, hooking both of Wildchild’s hands as he prepares to lift him up into a butterfly suplex, but as he gets him off the canvas, Pretzler’s right hand can’t bear the strain, and he has to release him! Wildchild falls back to the canvas as Pretzler holds his right hand in pain, giving the Bahama Bomber the opportunity to hook both of the Champion’s legs and trip him to the canvas! The fans begin screaming with delight as Wildchild turns towards the corner before falling back, propelling Pretzler into the corner…




… Slamming him headfirst into the turnbuckles with a slingshot! Wildchild rolls to his feet and races to the edge of the ring, bouncing off the ropes and leaping into the air as Pretzler staggers out of the corner…




… And nailing him with a leg lariat that sends him flying across the ring!


“Wildchild appears to have got a second wind,” says Pete. “He’s taking it to Pretzler right now!” Wildchild races towards the ropes and charges full speed at Pretzler as he rebounds, leaping into the air at him as he approaches the edge of the ring…






… But the Champion alertly hooks both arms around the top rope and falls toward the mat, pulling the rope down as Wildchild sails past him, out of the ring, and down to the floor!


“Brilliant tactic on the part of Pretzler!” crows King. “Pulling down the top rope and allowing Wildchild to use his own momentum to dive onto the floor!”


“Referee Red Herrington admonishing the Champion on pulling down the top rope,” says LDP. “Apparently he thinks that Pretzler did it maliciously!” Pretzler waves Herrington off and grabs onto the top rope, slinging himself over the top rope as Wildchild stumbles to his feet…




… And crashing into Wildchild with a sensational springboard plancha!


“Hey,” snaps King, “what are you always saying? Turnabout it fair play, right? Or is it only okay when one of your favorites does it? Meanwhile, Pretzler giving Wildchild a taste of his own medicine with a beautiful plancha! This is poetic, Drain-Clogger; I love it!” Pretzler rolls out of the ring and pulls Wildchild to his feet, trapping him in a waistlock and pushing him into the edge of the apron! Pretzler then rolls Wildchild back into the ring before sliding underneath the bottom rope himself. Pretzler rolls Wildchild over onto his back and then leaps into the air, slamming a jumping kneedrop into the back of the challenger’s neck! He then scrambles to his feet and walks to the nearby corner, scaling to the top turnbuckle before leaping off, extending his leg as he drops into the ring…






… And slamming into the back of his neck with a guillotine leg drop! The crowd boos heartily as Pretzler pulls Wildchild to his feet and positions himself behind him, nailing the challenger with an elbow to the back of the head that sends him to his knees.


“Pretzler now firmly in control of the match,” says Pete, “and he’s going for the Clutch! He just gave the sign for the Snowflake Clutch!” Pretzler, bending behind Wildchild, grabs both of Wildchild’s arms and crosses them in front of his chest. The then drives a knee into his back to flatten him against the canvas, and straddles him as he lowers himself into a crouching position, pulling back on Wildchild’s arms to cinch in the Clutch!


“That’s it!” crows King. “He’s got the Snowflake Clutch hooked! Pretzler has successfully defended his title!”


“Wildchild’s already submitted to this move once before,” concedes Pete. “I don’t know how he’s going to get out of it this time!” Wildchild struggles to get out of the hold, but that only serves to cause Pretzler to pull harder. Herrington takes a knee and looks into Wildchild’s eyes, asking him if he’s ready to submit, but the challenger shakes his head no!






“Valiant effort on the part of Wildchild,” says King. “He put up a better fight than I would have imagined him capable of, but I don’t see any way that he’s going to get out of this!” Pretzler, frustrated that Wildchild hasn’t already tapped, pulls back ever harder on the Clutch, but the tighter he tries to grip, the more pain he feels in his right hand. The Champion screams with effort as the challenger writhes beneath him, resisting with all the strength he has in him, and pulling against the will of the Champion! Fans throughout the Metrapark Arena shout their encouragement to Wildchild, who fights and pulls and strains against Pretzler’s seemingly unbreakable grip, until finally the Champion’s right hand starts to give out, the broken metacarpals no longer able to grip the challenger’s arm!


“WILDCHILD GOT HIS ARM LOOSE!” screams LDP. “Pretzler couldn’t hold on any longer with that busted hand!” Pretzler, unwilling to accept defeat, continues to hold on with his left hand, pulling as hard as he can, but the Bahama Bomber swings his free left hand towards the Champion’s face












… Hammering relentlessly, until Pretzler finally relinquishes the hold! The fans erupt as Wildchild collapses to the mat, finally free of the Snowflake, as Pretzler staggers backwards!


“He got loose!” shouts Pete. “Wildchild got loose!”


“I can’t believe it,” cries King. “No one’s ever gotten out of the Snowflake before!” Wildchild rolls onto his back, trying to coax the pain out as Pretzler stumbles back towards him, but every time the Champion draws near, Wildchild fends him off with a kick to the midsection. Finally, Pretzler sidesteps Wildchild’s kick attempt and pulls him to his feet, whipping him into the ropes and raising his arm to deliver a lariat as he rebounds, but the Human Hurricane ducks underneath the attempt and thrusts his leg up sharply as Pretzler spins around…






… Nailing him in the face with a desperation superkick! Both men collapse to the mat as Herrington begins to deliver a ten-count:











“Wildchild with an amazing comeback to this point,” says Pete, “but this match is far from being decided!”


“I’m not quite sure,” replies King. “Both men look to be ripe for the picking about now; I think that the next one to hit a big move on his opponent is going to win, and I, for one, hope that it’s Pretzler!”






At the count of eight, both men start to stir, and Wildchild begins crawling towards the corner, using the ropes to pull himself to his feet. Pretzler stands up and stalks over to Wildchild, stomping him in the back, but the challenger continues to stand up.


“Tremendous resilience on the part of both athletes,” marvels LDP, as Wildchild continues to fight Pretzler’s boots all the way back to his feet. “It’s a shame that someone has to lose tonight!” Wildchild walks away from the corner towards the middle of the ropes, only for Pretzler to grab him by the arm and whip him across the ring, but Wildchild explodes off the ropes, leaping into the air before Pretzler can react, and blasting him in the face with a flying forearm!















Wildchild pulls Pretzler back to his feet, only for the Critic to double him over with a kneelift! The fans begin to gasp and moan as Pretzler turns Wildchild around and traps him in an inverted front facelock.


“He’s going for the Tildebang Driver!” shouts King. “Wildchild was lucky to escape the Snowflake, but if Pretzler hits this, it’s all over!” But, as Pretzler bends down to grab Wildchild’s leg, the challenger reaches up to pound him in the face with his free hand!








The repeated blows to the face cause Pretzler to relax his grip ever-so-slightly, just enough for Wildchild to escape, spinning out of the facelock and reversing into an arm wringer, before doubling Pretzler over with a kneelift! Suddenly, the crowd rises to their feet as Wildchild steps in front of Pretzler and hooks underneath Pretzler’s right arm!




“He’s going for the Wild Ride!” shouts LDP, as Wildchild reaches back to grab the other arm. “If he hits this, we’ve got a new champion!”


“But Wildchild’s back has taken tremendous punishment,” counters King. “Can he even get him up?” Wildchild spins around to position himself underneath Pretzler, struggling once… twice… three times… before finally lifting him up off the canvas, and then nearly losing his balance, as he stands upright.


“He got him up!” shouts Pete. “He got Pretzler up! And there’s nowhere left for him to go but…”




“DOWN!” screams Pete, as Wildchild kicks out his legs, driving Pretzler headfirst into the canvas as he falls! He rolls Scott onto his back and hooks the leg as Herrington drops down to deliver the pinfall, the crowd chanting along with his count:






















The fans roar as Herrington’s hand slaps the canvas for a final time, and the timekeeper rings the bell! “Let’s Get Dirty” begins to play once more, but it can barely be heard of the din of ten thousand screaming fans!


“What a match!” exclaims Pete. “What a gutsy display by Wildchild!”


“Here is your winner,” booms Funyon, as he rises from his seat to hand the Cruiserweight Title into the ring, “AND… NEEEEEW SWF WORLD CRUISERWEIGHT CHAMPION… THE WIIIIILDCHIIIIILD!” Herrington delivers the belt to the new Champion, who bursts into tears of joy as the title is placed in his hands.


“What an epic confrontation by two of the finest Cruiserweights in the history of this business!” shouts Pete. “Scott Pretzler showed the world that he deserved to hold the Cruiserweight Title, but in the end, Wildchild’s will to prevail won the day, and we have a new World Cruiserweight Champion! Could this be an omen for our next match? Folks, we’ve still got Toxxic and Todd Cortez for the World Heavyweight Title. Don’t you dare miss it!”


Wildchild pulls himself to his feet, tears dripping down his cheeks, but an irremovable smile plastered on his face, and he looks to the heavens, saying silent prayers to his family, who smile back down on him…


As we:


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“Get ready Montana,” Longdogger Pete bellows, “because we’ve got the mother of all main events for ya! Toxxic, the leader of Revolution Zero squares off with Martial Law’s Todd Cortez - and the World Heavyweight Title is on the line!”


“-as if that’ll make any difference,” Suicide King snorts. “Face it Hot-Dogger, Martial Law are on the decline. Have you seen Alan Clark lately? What about Maddix, losing his oh-so-precious ICTV Title? Not to mention Cortez coming off a couple of losses to Scott Pretzler; there’s no way Toxxic isn’t going to walk out of here World Champion tonight.”


The Gambling Man is cut off as the lights in the Metrapark Arena suddenly go low. The crowd begins cheering as the strains of ‘Breathe’ by Fabulous begin to pulse over the speakers and green spotlights shine and strobe, sweeping the arena, and the monstrous Smarktron shows Todd Cortez walking the streets interspersed with the words ‘MARTIAL LAW’ flashing up. The beat drops, and then-




-pyro explodes from the front of the soundstage, fading away after a second to reveal the Urban Legend himself, gold cross around his neck and wearing his familiar sunglasses and bulletproof vest.




“Ladies and gentlemen, 50 Cent has deigned to grace us with his presence,” King snickers.


“Jesus King, don’t do that!” LDP gasps, clutching at his chest.


“Do what?”


“Show knowledge of music from after ‘79!” the Miami Menace explains, still white-faced, “the shock nearly killed me!”


Todd Cortez pumps his arms, clearly exhorting the crowd to make as much noise as possible - and Montana responds! Once he’s satisfied with the roar of the assembled fans Cortez starts to make his way to the ring, slapping hands with the fans as he goes.


“Hey, I’m hip,” King tells Longdogger, “I’m hip and hop. I chill with my homies and reprazent da hood. Word.”


“Do you have a licence to be that white?”


Todd Cortez reaches the ring and climbs through the ropes, then strips off his jacket and removes his shades. He then removes his gold cross with considerably more care, wraps the chain around his fist and kisses it before entrusting it to the care of tiemkeeper David Blazenwing.


“You suck up to God, Todd,” King snickers, “I think you’re going to need all the help you can get!”


Before Longdogger Pete can reply on behalf of the Martial Law member the Smarktron whites out as the opening chord of ‘Rookie’ crashes out across the Metrapark Arena. The Smarktron swiftly darkens to black, and as it does so jagged white letters flash up an oh-so-familiar slogan:




The Smarktron changes to show Toxxic’s face grinning lopsided out at the arena before it shifts again to show highlights from his career. Finally it shows Toxxic taking Mike Van Siclen off a balcony and through a table as red blasts of pyro begin to climb the ramp, the devastating landing timed to coincide with the final, stagewide eruption-




-that signals the arrival of the man who, despite the competition waiting in the ring, is still the SWF’s premier straight-edger! For a moment all that anyone sees is a lurid afterimage of the pyro, but then a familiar shape strides through the smoke.




Toxxic stops for a moment and casts a derisive glance to either side, then cracks his neck from side-to-side and simply charges full-tilt to the ring. Funyon and referee Paul Durkin step back as the World Champion slides straight under the bottom rope and pops back up to his feet, then throws his arms wide with his palms flat as the first verse come in to send another jet of red pyro up from each turnbuckle!






‘I never thought this could be me

I guess you never do until it’s happening to you

Like all the fun turns into shame

And all the “could-have-beens” rearrange…’


Toxxic strips off his ‘Prepare To Be Proved Wrong’ T-shirt and hurls it over the top rope, then takes the World Title from around his waist and hands it to Paul Durkin, who lifts it up and shows it to all four sides of the arena.


“Ladies and gentlemen,” Funyon booms over the PA system as ‘Rookie’ fades out, “the following contest is the main event, and is scheduled for one fall for the SWF World Heavyewight Championship!”




“Introducing first, to my left, the challenger,” the veteran ring announcer continues, “from Hollywood Boulevard and representing Martial Law, he weighs in at 226lbs; ‘The Urban Legend’, TODD… COOORRRRRR-TEEEEEEEZZZZZZZZZZZ!!”






The Urban Legend raises one hand in acknowledgement of the cheers he’s receiving, but he never once removes his dark eyes from the pale, steely-grey ones of his opponent.


“And his opponent,” Funyon booms again, “from Nottingham, England; he is the leader of Revolution Zero and weighs in tonight at 218lbs, the reigning and defending SWF World Heavyweight Champion; the ‘Straight-Edge Sensation’, TOXXXXX-IIIIIIIIIIIIIIC!!”




“Toxxic certainly seems confident tonight,” Longdogger Pete observes, “but we certainly can’t rule Todd Cortez out. Despite the fact that he’s been having a unfortunate run lately his fighting spirit and sheer inventiveness led him to a truly impressive Hardcore reign, and don’t forget his record-breaking tag run with Mike Van Siclen!”


“You’re forgetting one simple fact,” Suicide King argues as referee Durkin starts explaining the rules to both competitors, “and that is that Toxxic is the only World Champion who was never in the SJL. Quite simply, this man is unique in his generation.”








Both men are already moving as the bell rings, starting to circle each other in the search for an opening. They quickly look for a lock-up, but just before they make contact Todd lashes out a swift kick at Toxxic’s left thigh. However, the Brit dodges backwards and evades the blow, then flashes his opponent a mocking grin.


“Toxxic remembers,” King points out, “Cortez caught him that way on Lockdown!”


The two men cautiously close with each other again and this time Todd tries a left-footed kick, but Toxxic skips backwards once more! The World Champion then beckons his opponent towards him; Cortez obliges with a sudden rush, but Toxxic ducks under the challenger’s swing and pops up on the other side of the onrushing Hispanic. Cortez wheels around and lunges again, but this time Toxxic drops his shoulder and hits his opponent with a double-leg takedown, rising ending up with Todd’s right foot in his grasp. The Straight-Edge Sensation attempts to stand on Cortez’ right arm with his left foot but Toxxic isn’t the only one who remembers Lockdown as Todd hastily pulls his arm out of the way, then uses both hands to grab Toxxic’s boot as it thuds down into the mat. Cortez wrenches, trying to unbalance the champion, but Toxxic fights back by stomping his right foot into Cortez’s stomach once, twice… and the Urban Legend’s grip relaxes as the breath is forced from his lungs. With his opponent momentarily incapacitated Toxxic uses his grip on Todd’s right foot to roll the Martial Law member over onto his front, then quickly scoots over Cortez to his head and applies a front facelock.






The Straight-Edge Sensation squeezes his grip as tight as he can in an effort to restrict the blood and oxygen to his opponent’s brain and seems content to stay on the mat for the moment. Cortez is trying to fight out a little too vigorously for Toxxic’s liking and the Brit suddenly rolls to one side, tweaking Todd’s neck in the progress, before completing a full rotation and ending up on his front again - and, incidentally, further towards the centre of the ring. The World Champion then bunches his legs up underneath him and abruptly bridges forwards, causing Cortez to arch backwards and wrenching his neck into a particularly painful position!


“Well, this certainly isn’t the offence we’d normally expect from our flashy but technically unsound World Champion,” Longdogger Pete says in some surprise. “I suppose he’s been taking lessons from Chris Card.”


“-and Scott Pretzler,” King adds. “Besides, we haven’t seen Toxxic in anything like a standard singles match since From The Fire, and I hear he’s been working hard on a more mat-based style.”


Todd Cortez is making unpleasant gurgling noises as he claws at Toxxic’s arm, trying to figure a way out of his current predicament. Toxxic holds on for as long as he can but finally he releases his hold, then instantly spins around and smashes his forearm into the back of Cortez’ neck as the Urban Legend tries to put some room between them. The blow stops the challenger in his tracks and gives Toxxic enough time to drop in front of him… and apply another front facelock.






Toxxic starts to get up to his feet, being careful to keep as much pressure on Cortez’ neck as possible while he does so. Once on a vertical base the Straight-Edge Sensation’s motives for abandoning his position quickly become clear as he instantly drives a knee into Todd’s gut to prevent the Urban Legend from trying anything, then spins and plants his opponent into the mat with a swinging neckbreaker. However, the Brit doesn’t stop there as he retains his grip on Cortez’ head and rolls them both back up to their feet, then twists around until Todd’s neck is bent backwards over Toxxic’s shoulder at an unnatural angle before sitting out into a Hangman’s neckbreaker! Todd’s right hand instantly flies up to the back of his neck, and Toxxic takes advantage of this by reapplying the front facelock with his right arm while the left one forces Cortez’ arm into a hammerlock!




“This is superb strategy by Toxxic,” Suicide King applauds the World Champion. “He’s working on Cortez’ neck, and now his right arm as well, and he’s never giving his opponent enough space to start laying in those martial arts kicks!”


However, the Suicide King’s estimation of the champion’s genius might be slightly optimistic as with his left arm applying a hammerlock Toxxic’s right is left to take the strain of the front facelock all on its own, and Cortez is wriggling for all he’s worth. The Urban Legend grabs Toxxic’s arm with his free hand and begins prising it loose, and as the Straight-Edge Sensation’s grip begins to lessen it becomes clear that Cortez has the strength advantage. Toxxic doesn’t want to see his control evaporate this easily and releases the hammerlock to squeeze with his left arm as well; unfortunately for him this frees Todd’s right arm up, and with no impending knees or neckbreakers to shake him the man from Hollywood Boulevard reaches up and starts pushing at Toxxic’s face, trying to force his opponent away. Toxxic grits his teeth and holds on but Cortez shows his determination and continues his two-pronged attack to the point where he finally manages to loosen the Brit’s grip enough to slip his head out, whereupon he seizes Toxxic’s right wrist and spins out to the side before applying a Fujiwara armbar!




“They’re cheering an armbar,” King says in amazement. “Are these the same people that watched Hawke vs. Fasaki?”


Cortez isn’t content with just an armbar though - instead the Urban Legend traps Toxxic’s arm on the mat and rises to his knees, then jumps into the air and drives his knee into the Brit’s shoulder! Toxxic yells in pain as the crowd cheers Todd’s first real offence and the challenger rises up to do it again, but this time Toxxic manages to squirm around and dodges the knee, ending up on his back underneath the surprised Cortez. Toxxic reacts first, throwing his legs up to hook Todd under his arms and bring him over into a sunset flip!











-Todd isn’t taken by surprise for long and quickly kicks out, but as he come back upright Toxxic’s legs trap his head and the Straight-Edge Sensation pushes himself up into a headstand, then twists around on his own skull and brings Cortez over with a twisting headscissors! Todd snaps forward and ends up in a sitting position, but even as he comes to rest Toxxic bunches his legs under his chin and kips up explosively, then fires a basement dropkick into the back of the neck. As Todd topples sideways clutching his neck Toxxic takes his chance to get into position… and applies another front facelock. This time however the World Champion threads his left arm underneath Todd’s right, then locks his hands together to turn it into a Tiger Neck Chancery on the unfortunate Martial Law member!






Todd Cortez claws at Toxxic’s arms with his left hand, but the Straight-Edge Sensation’s hands are firmly locked and Todd’s right arm is now out of the equation. One of the ringside cameras zooms in on Toxxic’s face and shows that the champion is grinning tightly as he wrenches the hold around, clearly enjoying outwrestling someone for once.






The fans are solidly behind Todd Cortez and the Urban Legend struggles, but the hold seems inescapable for the moment. With no other option presenting itself Cortez simply begins pushing with his legs and free arm, trying to get to the nearest ropes! The progress is slow but steady, and with the realisation that he’s losing the advantage of position Toxxic decides to act. The Brit brings them both up to a vertical base, then again drives a knee into his opponent’s gut to get the quick advantage and twists around to look for a neckbreaker… but of course this time Todd Cortez’ arm is trapped as well, and the Urban Legend’s face is creased up in pain simply from standing hooked up in the hold. Toxxic keeps him there for a few seconds to get the maximum advantage, then sits out!




Todd is writhing on the canvas in agony with his neck jarred and his shoulder nearly taken out of its socket. Toxxic predictably doesn’t give his opponent any chance to rest, this time double-underhooking Cortez’ arms and bringing him up into a standing headscissors!


“Toxxic Shock Syndrome!” King shouts in anticipation, “this one could be over early!”


…but Todd Cortez isn’t willing to give up yet, and with a mighty surge he explodes upwards, sending Toxxic flying over his head in a back bodydrop!








“There’s still fight left in the Urban Legend,” Pete shouts as Cortez turns, looking for his opponent, “and now he’s got some space to breathe! Toxxic had better watch out, cos the educated feet of Todd Cortez are in bid’ness!”


Toxxic landed hard off the back bodydrop but forces himself to his feet quickly, not wanting to see his advantage slip away. However, Todd Cortez is just as determined to get back into this match as quickly as possible and as the Straight-Edge Sensation turns around he finds Todd’s right arm wrapped across his chest. Moments later Cortez drops to his knees, driving Toxxic’s chin into his shoulder with a jawbreaker-






-but the impact on his shoulder causes Cortez to yell out in pain as well! Toxxic clutches his jaw but the Urban Legend is momentarily incapacitated and fails to follow up immediately. Toxxic struggles up to his feet again, not ready to concede the advantage yet, but Todd springs back to his feet and whips his right boot sideways into Toxxic’s face!






“What a superkick!” Pete shouts as Toxxic hits the mat in no uncertain terms, “I bet they felt that one in England!”


Cortez’ head is still a little woozy from the extended period spent in constricting front facelocks, but with the champion on his back Todd runs to the ropes and jumps to the second one, then backflips off looking for a quebrada. Toxxic rolls to one side but Cortez is agile enough to flip through the move and land on his feet, then as Toxxic tries to get up again he launches himself through the air and nails a spinning heelkick on the World Champion to put him down again!






This time Todd Cortez doesn’t try to hit a move while Toxxic is down on the mat, instead waiting for the Straight-Edge Sensation to begin to stand. Toxxic rolls onto his front and braces his arms against the canvas, starting to push himself up-




-but Cortez flashes a kick into his opponent’s right arm, causing Toxxic to collapse back to the mat! The World Champion rolls away and tries again…




…and again…




…and AGAIN…




…and each time Todd Cortez is there, firing off a kick to an arm or a leg and toppling the increasingly infuriated Brit back to the mat as his support is taken out from under him! After half-a-dozen or so tries Toxxic seems to give up and just stays where he last ended up, flat on his back. The World Champion looks at Todd Cortez as if to say ‘what?’, then puts his hands behind his head!




Cortez isn’t happy at the champion’s antics but doesn’t want to approach him on the mat given Toxxic’s dominance in the early stages of their match. The Urban Legend contents himself with roaring ‘GET UP!’ at his opponent, to which Toxxic rolls his eyes… then kips up!




…and falls straight back down again as Todd takes his feet out with a sweep kick the moment they touch the mat!






Toxxic is clearly very annoyed at the failure of his flashy attempt to regain his feet and scrambles up again, and as Todd fires in another kick the World Champion manages to catch it in both hands before rising to a vertical base with Cortez’ foot trapped. Todd hops on one leg as Toxxic seems to be preparing for a Dragon Screw, but then the Straight-Edge Sensation grabs one of Cortez’ wildly-waving hands and drops the foot before corkscrewing himself through the air, twisting Todd’s arm in its socket and pulling the Urban Legend down facefirst into the canvas!




Before Cortez can react Toxxic wraps the trapped right arm around the Urban Legend’s throat, then places his knees in the middle of Todd’s back and hooks Cortez’s right foot into the crook of his left knee with his other hand. The Straight-Edge Sensation then proceeds to roll backwards until he has Todd Cortez writhing above him, tied up in a bow-and-arrow lock with a half-Goku-Raku applied!


“Brilliant!” King chuckles. “Toxxic’s using Cortez’ own right arm to work on that neck even more!”


However, the Straight-Edge Sensation cannot afford to relax his concentration as referee Paul Durkin is watching his shoulders closely. As Toxxic pulls, Durkin abruptly drops to count!











-Toxxic rolls his shoulder off the mat but the resulting movement nearly causes him to overbalance and drop Cortez. With the possibility of a flash pin averted for the moment Durkin goes back to checking on the Urban Legend, seeing if Todd wants to give it up. There is still a lot of fight left in the man from Martial Law though, and Toxxic wrenches back in an attempt to squeeze it out of him… but only succeeds in touching the mat with his shoulders again!











-Toxxic again prevents himself from being pinned, but evidently decides that enough is enough and allows himself to rolls forwards, dumping Todd Cortez back onto his front. Hopes of escape are dashed for the Urban Legend however as the Brit uses his own legs to tie Todd’s up, then reaches forward and looks for a ¾ nelson as he tries to lock in the Regal Stretch!






Todd Cortez lashes out desperately with his right arm, trying to simultaneously fight off Toxxic’s hands and maybe catch the Brit with an elbow as he does so. As Toxxic persists his legs suddenly lose their grip, and with his own limbs free Cortez surges forwards and makes the ropes, not too proud to take the easy way out when threatened with another punishing submission! The struggle isn’t over yet though as Toxxic literally pulls him upright, ignoring the protests from Durkin, then nails his opponent with a European uppercut. Before Todd can strike back Toxxic Irish whips him towards the far ropes, but the canny Urban Legend reverses the move and sends the Brit into the cables instead. Toxxic rebounds and ducks the leaping roundhouse kick that Cortez is aiming at him before hurtling into the opposite ropes, but he doesn’t duck the discus clothesline that greets him as he returns a second time!






Toxxic flips through the air and actually lands on his front from the force of the blow; meanwhile Todd Cortez yells out in pain and grabs his injured right arm that he instinctively used to deliver the clothesline. However, the impact on Toxxic appears to have been so great that the Urban Legend has time to shake some life back into his traumatised limb before Toxxic can do much more than cough weakly on the mat.


“Todd Cortez has some breathing space here,” Longdogger Pete says tensely, “but can he capitalise? So far Toxxic seems to have been winning the war of attrition…”


With Toxxic still down Cortez climbs back to his feet, then bounces off the ropes and drops a leg across his opponent’s throat. As the crowd cheers the Urban Legend’s resurgence Cortez drops and covers Toxxic, although his right arm doesn’t seem to be able to get much force as he tries to hook the leg…


















…and Toxxic kicks out just after two, clearly not ready to give up his title so easily.


“Sorry Todd,” King quips, “you don’t win with that move unless you’re orange!”


Cortez grabs Toxxic by his spiky hair and pulls the Straight-Edge Sensation up, deaf to referee Durkin’ warnings, then twists around and hits his own neckbreaker on the World Champion. The Urban Legend wisely used his left shoulder rather than his right to pull the move off, but as he rises to his feet it seems that the impact jarred his own tender neck a bit as well. Toxxic is certainly not in a good state either, a lot of the fight knocked out of him; however, he manages to sit up with one hand clutching the back of his neck…




…only for Cortez to nail him in the back with a vicious kick! Toxxic cries out in pain, but Todd merely draws his other foot back and-




-hits him in the face, knocking the World Champion sprawling! With Toxxic prostrate Cortez turns and makes his way to the turnbuckles, then climbs to the second rope and leaps off to drop a flying leg drop across his opponent’s throat! Toxxic spasms upon impact and clutches at his windpipe, but Cortez isn’t done yet. The Urban Legend regains his feet and points to the turnbuckle…






Cortez swiftly scales the ringpost, this time reaching the top before standing up to his full height. He crosses his arms to form the straight-edge ‘X’, then leaps off and drives another legdrop into the throat of the increasingly-battered World Champion! It takes a second for the pain of the landing to wear off, but then Cortez covers his opponent and hooks the leg as well as he is able to…



















-but Toxxic kicks out again. Cortez doesn’t waste time in arguing with the referee; instead the man from Hollywood Boulevard grabs Toxxic and hauls him upright, then boots the Straight-Edge Sensation in the gut… and places him in a standing headscissors!


“He’s going for the Riot Act Plus,” LDP shouts, “and I don’t care who you are - this puts them all down!”


…but first you have to hit the move, and Toxxic has no intention of letting Cortez do that. Instinct kicks in and the Brit hooks Todd behind both knees and pushes as hard as he can, unbalancing the Urban Legend and dumping him down on his backside. Toxxic tries to regain control by diving forwards onto his opponent and grabbing a side headlock, but Cortez has no intention of being tied down again and quickly whips his legs up to catch Toxxic in another headscissors. Cortez’ legs are stronger and the challenger pulls him off, then sets to work squeezing as hard as he can. The Straight-Edge Sensation tries to prise Todd’s legs apart with his arms but to no avail, so he manoeuvres himself around until he can perform a headstand. Cortez raises his arms in to block any attempt to flip forwards and pin him, but Toxxic suddenly bounces backwards to his feet instead, freeing his head as he does so, then instantly leaves his feet and drives a basement dropkick into Cortez’ face!




Toxxic rubs the back of his neck as he rises back to his feet, not appreciating the fact that he had to do a headstand to get out of that little predicament, and the delay gives Cortez a chance to regain his bearings. The Urban Legend gets to one knee and fires a left-handed Shotei into Toxxic’s ribs, then wraps his left arm across the Brit’s chest in preparation for an STO. Toxxic desperately lashes out with left elbows, firing them into Cortez’ temple and forcing the Martial Law man to relax his grip, then slips under Todd’s arm and comes up behind him with a rear headlock applied. For a moment Toxxic just catches his breath; then he drops to one knee and drives the other up into the back of Cortez’ neck before popping back up to his feet and finally falling all the way to the mat with an inverted DDT to complete the Detoxx!






Toxxic doesn’t cover Todd Cortez - instead he runs for the nearest turnbuckle and vaults to the top in one fluid motion, then leaps back off and drives a fistdrop into Cortez’ forehead! The impact causes the Brit to shake out his hand in pain, but it doesn’t stop him from rising back to his feet… and pointing to the turnbuckle again.






Toxxic grins lopsidedly as the fans shit all over his proposal, but it doesn’t stop him from climbing to the top rope again, then somersaulting forwards and dropping the Hangover right across Todd Cortez’ throat!




Now Toxxic does decide to cover his opponent, and Paul Durkin drops to make the count…



















-but Todd Cortez kicks out! Toxxic looks displeased but simply rolls away from his prone opponent and takes up position on the apron. The Urban Legend doesn’t stand immediately, but after a few seconds he begins to rise. The fans are cheering and chanting for him, but the message that Toxxic is waiting for him doesn’t seem to get across to Cortez as he turns around to find the World Champion springboarding across the ring towards him! Toxxic snares his opponent’s head with his legs and snaps backwards, taking Cortez over with a hurricanrana and sending him skidding across the ring on the back of his neck to end up in a heap in the corner.






Todd Cortez is determined not to give up though, and the Martial Law member grabs a rope and begins to pull himself up. Toxxic’s face shows worry at his opponent’s toughness but it doesn’t stop him from running in as the Urban Legend reaches a vertical base again. The World Champion hits a leg lariat on the challenger in the corner and rebounds off, managing to backflip from the move and land on the apron behind Cortez! As Todd staggers forward Toxxic climbs to the top rope again and reaches out to grab a reverse headlock, looking for the Final Shine, but Cortez lashes upwards with his left hand and drives a Shotei into the side of the Straight-Edge Sensation’s head! Toxxic grip falters and Cortez simply reaches up to grab his neck, then pulls down and forwards and takes him off the top rope with an enormous snapmare!




Todd drops to one knee as the crowd rises to its feet, but worries over the challenger’s health seem ill-founded; Todd is holding his neck, but his eyes are firmly fixed on Toxxic. As the winded World Champion struggles up to his feet Cortez waits for the right moment, then explodes out of the corner with the Hollow Point!








Toxxic rolls over on the canvas clutching his ribs, but although Todd Cortez is massaging his left shoulder the Urban Legend is now definitely on top of things. Letting out a yell, Cortez hauls Toxxic up to his feet and positions himself directly behind the Straight-Edge Sensation, then bridges backwards and-




-spikes his head into the mat with a Backdrop Driver! Cortez quickly clambers around to get on top of Toxxic and hooks the leg…



















-but Toxxic kicks out! Cortez instantly pushes himself back up to his feet, runs forward to the ropes and springs backwards off the middle cable, this time landing an in-perfect quebrada on Toxxic’s ribs and making another cover!



















-but Toxxic kicks out again! This time Cortez casts a dubious glance at Paul Durkin, but the referee remains adamant and Todd sighs in resignation, then pulls Toxxic up to his feet. The Urban Legend wastes no time in clamping one hand around his opponent’s throat and taking a grip on the back of Toxxic’s trousers with the other as he prepares for the Urban Assault… but Toxxic lashes out with his right arm and catches Cortez in the temple again! The blow weakens Todd’s grip and Toxxic knocks the throat grasp away, then grabs the arm with both hands and drops back in a single-arm DDT!




Todd Cortez yell in pain as his right arm takes another battering, but Toxxic is in no condition to follow up with anything big.






After a few seconds the woozy Straight-Edge Sensation manages to chickenwing Cortez’ arm, then uses the leverage to roll the Martial Law member over onto his shoulders for a pin…



















-but Cortez kicks out, much to Toxxic’s dismay! The Straight-Edge Sensation is still groggy from his opponent’s offence and it is Todd who reacts quicker off the pin, smacking a left-handed Shotei into Toxxic’s jaw to knock the champion sprawling before getting back to his feet. Cortez’ right arm is clearly badly hurt now but his legs are still fine, and he begins lashing out at the prone Brit in front of him, firing kick after kick into Toxxic’s ribs and head!




Finally Paul Durkin steps in and interrupts the Urban Legend but Cortez shoves him aside and hauls Toxxic up, determined not to be stopped now. He places the World Champion into a standing head scissors, ready for the Riot Act Plus… and with a last burst of effort Toxxic hoists him up and staggers backwards, before falling and hanging Cortez out to dry on the top rope!




Cortez doesn’t fall over the top rope, but this might not be the blessing it seems as Toxxic manages to grab the unsteady Urban Legend from behind and takes him over with a schoolboy…




















“I thought he had him!” Pete shouts.


“He did have him!” King shouts back. “Who’s this referee? I’ve never seen him before!”


Both wrestlers stagger up to their feet, but it is Todd Cortez who reacts first. Despite his shortness of breath from landing on the top rope and the pain in his neck and head the Urban Legend summons the strength to leap into the air and whip his leg around in a vicious enzuigiri!




Both men fall back to the mat, but whereas Toxxic lands on his front Cortez comes down on his right arm. It takes him a couple of seconds to shake off the pain and roll Toxxic over for the cover, and he’s forced to use his left arm to hook the leg…
























Todd Cortez can’t believe it, but the challenger wearily pulls Toxxic up again. This time Cortez positions himself behind his opponent and raises one arm in the air…






Cortez wraps his right arm around Toxxic’s neck, looking to apply a Dragon sleeper, and for a moment it seems that he has it locked in… however, before he can apply the armbar to the left arm Toxxic fires off a left-handed punch into Cortez’ ribs, then another and another! Todd grits his teeth and holds on, but Toxxic grabs Cortez’ right arm with both hands and pulls. Cortez tries to resist but his damaged right arm just can’t apply the pressure and the Straight-Edge Sensation manages to free his head, then turns around and-




-nails Todd with a European Uppercut! The blow staggers the challenger, and Toxxic sees what might be his last chance to win the match. Grabbing the momentarily-dazed Urban Legend in a ¾ facelock Toxxic turns and runs for the turnbuckles, heading straight up and backflipping over his opponent…




“INTOXXICATION!” King shouts. “Pin him!”


Toxxic needs no encouragement. The World Champion rolls all his weight onto Todd’s shoulders, hooking the far leg with his arm and the near leg with his own…






















“Ladies and gentlemen, here is your winner,” Funyon booms as ‘Rookie’ crashes out over the Metrapark Arena, “and STILL~ SWF World Heavyweight Champion… TOXXXXXXXXX-IIIIIIIIIIIIIC!!”






Toxxic rolls off Todd Cortez and sits up, reaching out for the belt that Paul Durkin hands to him. The Straight-Edge Sensation needs a helping hand to regain his feet, and the referee raises his right arm in victory.


“What a match!” Longdogger Pete exclaims. “Todd Cortez gave it everything he had and he took the World Champion to the limit; on another day we could easily have had the Urban Legend raising that title in the air,” he continues almost wistfully, “but tonight in Billings, Montana it was Toxxic who came out on top.”


“I’ll admit, Toxxic had me worried for a moment,” King chips in, “I mean, this goon Cortez put up a good fight! It would almost have been worth him winning just to see the look on Landon’s face…” the Gambling Man continues, then shakes himself, “but enough of that. It’s time to PAAARRRR-TAAAAAAAAY!!”


Todd Cortez is starting to stir in the ring and Paul Durkin bends over him to check he’s OK, but Toxxic has already rolled under the bottom rope and is heading up the entrance ramp. The Straight-Edge Sensation doesn’t look behind him or even to either side as he departs, title belt dangling from one hand as he walks slowly up the ramp, eyes down and steps slightly unsteady.


“Fans, we’ve seen an amazing Smarkdown and we can assure you that things will be just as exciting on Storm!” Longdogger Pete shills. “We don’t know what crazy antics will go down, but it will be OFF THA HOOK! See you on Friday for STOOOORRRRRRMMMMM!!”


At the top of the ramp, Toxxic finally turns around faces the arena. He takes in the sea of baying, angry faces for a moment… then slowly lifts the SWF World Heavyweight Title into the air.




A familiar lopsided grin slowly spreads over Toxxic’s face. All these people can’t change it, and Todd Cortez - at least tonight - couldn’t change it.


He is still World Heavyweight Champion














© Smarks Wrestling Federation 2005

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