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SWF Smarkdown 11-21-05

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Strands of rockets and fireworks explode inside the Conseco, Fieldhouse as SWF Smarkdown opens up to the millions across the world. The quick to scream crowd rapidly wave their homemade signs into the air hoping their magnificent words will shock the home viewers. Those who are empty handed simply yell, as if trying to bust a lung or two. Yet, even with the crowd as excited as they are, it all starts with two people.


“Fans, welcome to another mind numbing addition of SWF Smarkdown. I am of course Longdogger Pete and sitting next to me is non other than…”


“Woah…when did you EVER speak for me. I am the Suicide King, and if you don’t know that then you need to stop playing in the highway.” King rambles.


Pete starts again, “Anyway tonight we have another excellent card. The first two matches of the cold front classic will be on shown tonight, along with a number one contendership for the tag and hardcore title.”


“Fool it’s the Ultraviolence title…get it right! Also tonight our WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION will destroy another nameless jobber…oh wait he does have a name. The Masked Crusader…the joke writes itself LongWindedSpeech Pete. And since we are in Indianapolis of all places you should know…”


King is stopped dead, not by the sound of Pete courageously defending another city King dislikes, or by the staff in the back telling the two to hurry along. The ultra heel commentator goes into shock, as does the rest of the arena as the lights suddenly dim…














“You’re kidding me…”


King whispers as the familiar rocking of Incubus’s “Vitamin” screeches across the highly expensive SWF sound system. Overly excited the crowd literally jumps into the air as a camera catches one of the “random” signs…


“I love Zyon!”


Homemade…yeah right.


Before the crowd’s excitement can peak the cruiserweight sensation makes his triumphant return by leaping through the curtain…




“He’s back, King!” Pete obviously points out.


The Unique Youth stands at the top of the entrance ramp taking in all the glory that comes with a surprise return….especially in one’s home state. Wearing khaki shorts, along with a black “SWF” shirt the youth sprints down to the ring, before leaping on to the ring apron with the greatest of ease. The youngsters hair covers his eyes as the Patron Wrestler of Athens has developed a slight “emo” texture to his look. Entering the ring the chants immediately drown out everything else!




“This is unbelievable. Last week Max King made his return and now this. The SWF has just gotten better if that was even possible!!!!” Pete is indeed in full mark mode.


Quickly getting to the point Zyon grabs a microphone as his theme music drowns away leaving the chants of his name, as the lone background noise. In less than five minutes the atmosphere in tonight’s show has more than differed. It has evolved!




The chants are deafening, but Zyon realizes that the spectacle can last only so long.


“Well…Well that is one hell of a way to welcome your beloved son home, LET ME TELL YOU!!!” The returning superstar shouts giving the crowd even more inspiration to scream.




“For the past two or so months my world has been turned upside down, and inside out. While crazy hardcore, battle royale’s, and world title matches were taking place I was sitting at home wondering, will I ever be able to wrestle again? I mean my back at the time was torn to pieces, and the shredding of that table was the last straw.”




The crowd quietly expresses.


“Oh bullshit, that final flash through a table was cool as hell and you know it.” Zyon finds a way to cheer the crowd up.




“See that is what brought me here today. Realize if I were told I could not wrestle again, I would probably not be here today. The youth you see standing before your eyes would be a broken man. To be honest…it would probably be the end.”


The cruiserweight somberly explains, before busting out a wide grin.


“However not only was I told, that I CAN wrestler, but I was told that I CAN immediately start full contact action…TONIGHT!!!!!”




“Once again though, I will have to wait. You see the card has been set up, and the matches that are set to take place will take place. BUT don’t you pout cause Santa Zyon has a present for each and every one of you.”


The youth turns to the “toohotfortv” SWF Smarktron as the not so familiar “emo sounds of The Used “Maybe Memories” plays.


“As we trudge along through the mud

And we tried to call it home

But we weren't alright, not at all

Not for one second”


*Clips of Zyon’s hardcore title run, highlighting all of the blood and desperately deep cuts caused from glass or other foreign objects. There are even some flashes of the youth’s indy work.*


“Never have been one to write it down

Now I think I can

I know I'm stronger now

Who's looking south

Not me I'm not looking back

I'm done denying the truth to anyone

Cause I'm alive”


*More highlights of Zyon’s hardcore title run including the devastating loss of the belt to Marcus Ward, which leads into Zyon’s standard matches with the likes of Ward and Todd Cortez.*


“As we trudge along through the mud

And we tried to call it home

But we weren't alright, not at all

Not for one second”


*Clips dedicated to the Jay Hawke/Zyon feud showing off the many beat downs before the actual match. High risk moves are also apart of this clip.*


“You showed me how

You seemed to find a hole

But I just laughed and smiled

Begged and rolled my eyes

Even cried and

Denied the truth to you

Mostly lied”


*All clips from the amazing Hawke/Zyon International title match. Includes most of the near falls as well as varies counters to each others finishing move.*


“I'm not going to look back!!!”


*Once again clips of the Hawke/Zyon match. The amazing finish along with the awkward hand shake flows with the screaming lyrics.*


“White it out like glittering wax butterflies”


*Mellowing out the lyrics show highlights of the various Zyon entrances including his very first taste of the SWF spot light when facing off against Martin Hunt.*


“Never have been one to write it down

Now I think I can

I know I'm stronger now

Who's looking south

Not me I'm not looking back

I'm done denying the truth to anyone

Cause I'm alive”


*Short clips of JJ Johnson and Zyon confrontations follows by the dreaded end to the TORU/Zyon encounter.*


“I'm not going to look back!!!”


*The song kicks into heavy overdrive as flashes of Zyon’s career ends the brilliant short film.*


The SWF cameras cut back to Zyon who raises the mic back to his mouth.


“As they say, the proof is in the pudding. My injury made me realize that going at the speed I am currently going is not the right thing for my career.”




The crowd boos as Zyon calmly lifts his hand into the air, before balling it into the first.


“It made me realize that I need to go FASTER!”




“That’s right I have to show each and every one of you that I am what all the backstage politicians, and what all the holier than thou internet critics think I am. That’s right chapter one has ended folks. Today starts chapter two where your hero will prove everyone right when they say that I am nothing but a sideshow attraction. A spot freak if you will. I will be everything people say I am, except for one thing.”


Zyon takes a deep breath before confidently speaking into the mic…


“A failure.”


At the sound of the mic dropping booms the insanely loud chant…




“Vitamin” plays again as SWF goes to commercial.

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#2 Jay Hawke (SWF International Champion) vs. #7 TORU Takahara (SWF Tag Champion)

-> The two members of Landon International in the Classic managed to dump TORU when he wasn't paying attention, and luckily he'll be able to get some one on one payback! Jay Hawke managed to survive to the final two with his Stablemate, but will he be able to conquer the biggest, baddest Japanese import since Godzilla alone?

Rules: Standard Match



"Hollywood" Spike Jenkins and "The Divine Wind" Akira Kaibatsu vs. Bruce Blank (SWF Ultraviolent Champion) and "The Icon" Max King

-> While waiting for his match on Smarkdown, Spike Jenkins has decided to make a bid for the Tag Titles, hoping to become a Double Champ by Clusterfuck. Meanwhile, Bruce Blank is looking to become one even sooner, and with returning veteran Max King, he hopes to make it a reality.

Rules: Standard Tag Team Match. Tag Ropes ARE in effect.



#1 JJ Johnson (SWF Cruiserweight Champion) vs. #8 Candace "The Joshi Dragon" Okimura

-> Candace was unlucky enough to be within the Wildchild's reach when she tried to eliminate him in the Main Event on Lockdown. On the flipside, we have JJ Johnson, who managed to survive and even toss out his own stablemate to win the top spot. It's going to be a tough fight for Candace, but just because she's the 8th Seed doesn't mean she still can't beat JJ to within an inch of his life!

Rules: Standard Match



ELM© v. The Masked Crusader

-> After his big defense at Ashes to Ashes, ELM has been sitting pretty for two shows. Well, he's in need of a healthy warm up, and who better than someone who has been in the federation for... who knows?


Nobody, except for the Masked Crusader himself. After his solid showing in the Battle Royale, the mysterious returnee is being sent up against one of the all-time greats in the SWF. What will be revealed when these two men collide?

Rules: Standard Match



Landon Maddix vs. Wes Davenport vs. Stryke

-> It's been a while since we've gotten a bit of wild, triple threat action on our plates, and who better than these three? Landon lost in his bid for the Hardcore title, Stryke is returning, and Wes Davenport is on a winning streak. Winning this match could mean any number of things for these guys. Perhaps even a spot in the SWF International Title Contendership Match (Jeez, that's a mouthful) coming up on Smarkdown.

Rules: Standard One-Pin Triple Threat match. First person with the pin wins. A person can be eliminated from the match via countout, as well as being disqualified. The match will then continue as a standard match.



‘The Rage’ Jason von Dierch vs. Manson

-> Well, after his match with Wes Davenport, 'The Rage' demanded that we give him a shot in his own element: Hardcore! While CC is pleased that he wants to move up quickly, they aren't going to let it be easy. They've chosen one of the most hardcore guys to ever come out of the JL: Manson! In the battle of the Emotions, which will win: Rage... or MANSONOSITY?

Rules: Hardcore! No rules! Go crazy out there, guys.

Edited by chirs3

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“Hello and welcome to another exiting edition of SWF Smarkdown!” the voice of Longdogger Pete can be heard over the cheers of the massive crowd packed into the Conseco Fieldhouse. “Yay yay, rah rah…” Suicide King mumbles from beside his co-worker. “Tonight’s action packed lineup starts off with a contendership match to the SWF Ultraviolent Championship, currently held by Bruce Blank, who arguably is the best hardcore wrestler to hit the SWF since Grimedogg himself!” Pete enthusiastically states. “I doubt it… Grimedogg was HARDCORE bitch!” King mocks his colleague. “Anyways, Jason Von Dierch, who has been as of late unsuccessful in attaining his first win in the SWF, takes on Manson, who was unsuccessful in getting into the Cold Front Tournament.


The camera pans out from the broadcast booth to show Storm’s elaborate entrance area, as “Crusher Destroyer” by Mastodon hits the PA system, sending the arena plunging into darkness, save for the lights of the hallways. Multi-colored lights scan the entire arena, periodically flashing bright with the beat as Manson quickly walks out onto the entrance stage with a surly look on his face to an ovatious round of boos and jeers from the crowd. Ignoring every single noise Manson quickly makes his way down the ramp passing by several jeering fans without even a glance at them.


“Ladies and Gentleman, the following match is a hardcore match, scheduled for one fall and is for number one contendership to the SWF Ultraviolent Championship! Coming to the ring first, hailing from Denver, Colorado and weighing in at two hundred and sixty pounds, he is MAANSON!” Funyon calls out.


Once at ringside, Manson quickly slides into the ring and finishes his pre-match warm ups while the arena quickly lights back up and “Hertzeleid” by Rammstein opens up over the sound system. After a little bit, Jason walks out onto the entrance ramp and just glares out at the crowds, stopping short at the sight of Manson, who is standing in the middle of the ring, beckoning for Jason to enter. With his two brass knuckles in hand, Jason breaks out into a dead run down the aisle and slides into the ring while Funyon quickly bails out as quickly as he can without even announcing Von Dierch’s entrance. The ref quickly signals for the bell to be rung as Manson and Jason slides under the bottom rope, only to be met by the fierce stomps of Manson.


“Jason and Manson are wasting no time in getting this hardcore match underway!” Pete calls out. “Good… I hate waiting.” King firmly states.


Manson continues to stomp away at Jason’s body until the Rage finally grabs Manson’s foot and viciously pulls him under the middle rope and to the arena floor. After taking a few seconds to catch his breath, Jason rolls out to meet his opponent head on. Manson attempts a wild swing at Jason, but the Rage ducks the attempted punch and throws one of his own into the chest of the Raging Bull, causing him to double over with the pain from the impact of the brass knuckles. Jason fires one more hard punch into Manson’s chest before taking him down to the floor with a hard reverse DDT.


“Jason’s brass knuckles will certainly give him the big advantage in this match.” Pete states. “Gee, you think?” King states, annoyed. “That newbie should be thrown out of the building for using those things on MANSONOSITY!” King adds on. “Right… like that’s going to happen.” Pete sarcastically replies.


Jason lifts up the apron covering the underside of the ring and begins to pull out several weapons from underneath the ring, receiving a huge ovation from the crowd. Jason pulls out two chairs, two trash cans, three lids, and a long plastic rod. Satisfied with his arsenal, Jason lets go of the apron, causing it to fall back into place while he begins to toss the items into the ring.


“Why doesn’t he just use some of that crap on Manson before he gets up?” Pete asks, bewildered at Jason’s actions. “He’s a moron… that’s why.” King responds quickly.


After getting the chairs, the trash cans, and the lids into the ring, Jason picks up the plastic rod and begins to swing away at Manson as he attempts to get back to his feet. After six hard, stinging shots to the ribs with the pole, Jason gets into position behind Manson, slides the pole underneath his chin and grabs a hold of the pole, pulling it back up towards his chest, viciously choking Manson. After a little bit, Manson uses one of his feet to kick Jason in the thigh hard, causing him to break the hold. Using this momentary stall to his advantage, Manson hits several hard, stinging chops to Jason’s chest, followed by a hard knee lift in the same general area, bringing the Rage down to the floor. Manson quickly lifts Jason up to his feet and rolls him back into the ring, where all the weaponry is located. Before getting back in the ring, Manson pulls out a long wooden table from under the ring and slides it into the ring as well to a large pop from the crowd.


“Tables! We have Tables!” Pete calls out. “Well, looks like another stinging loss for the Rage.” King prematurely predicts. “I wouldn’t be so sure King… Jason is one tough customer as well.” Pete counters. “Clogger… sooner or later you will come to realize that no one… save for yours truly of course… will ever survive the rage of MANSONOSITY!” King firmly states. “Yeah… whatever. We’ll see.” Pete trails off.


Manson finally slides back into the ring, but unfortunately for him he waited just a bit too long, as Jason has already gotten back to his feet. Once on his feet, Manson is once again met by brutal shots to the head from the brass knuckles on Jason’s hands, rocking him back into the ropes. After two hard knees to the chest, Jason whips Manson across the ring. Before Manson can come back, Jason picks up a nearby chair and in one fluid motion, throws the chair right into the face of Manson and performs a standing dropkick, causing the chair to collide with Manson’s skull with a deafening CLANK, dropping him to the mat like a rock.


“What a beautiful dropkick from the Rage!” Pete reports. “I’ve got to admit, that was an innovative move from Jason.” King says, much to the surprise of Pete. Jason quickly drops down upon Manson’s body while the referee counts the pin.








“Not even close!” King states as the pin is broken out of by Manson.


Jason rises to his feet and goes to work setting up a table in the turnbuckle area, standing it up in the corner while Manson attempts to get back up to his feet. As Jason turns around to face his opponent, Manson rises up from the mat and lunges at the Rage, plowing him with a hard kick to the gut, throwing him back against his own table.


“Looks like the tables have turned for the Rage!” King says. “Oh hah… hah…” Pete says, less than enthusiastic about King’s bad joke.


In a position to get a firm advantage of the match, Manson wastes no time stunning Jason with a few quick punches before rushing back to the adjacent turnbuckle and running ahead towards his opponent like a freight train. Before Manson can collide with Jason and the table, Jason lunges forward in desperation and hits Manson with a running lariat, knocking Manson down to the mat once again.


“Jason may have just saved himself from losing with that strong lariat.” Pete assumes. “No, he’s just delaying the inevitable.” King reassures his colleague. “I still think you’re full of crap, King.” Pete fires back. “And I still don’t give a damn what you think, Pete.” King replies.


Manson quickly jumps up to his feet, only to be hit by another lariat as Jason rebounds from the ropes and rushes forward. Once gain, Manson climbs back up to his feet, but once again Jason connects with a hard lariat, finally knocking Manson down for good. Still eyeing the table in the corner, Jason forcefully lifts Manson up to his feet using his long black hair and pulls Manson’s head down and shoves it in between his legs in a power bomb position.


“Oh my… this doesn’t look good for Manson!” Pete calls out. “He’ll get out of it no problem… just watch.” King replies, not worried at all as the crowd begins to anticipate the coming move.


In once fluid motion, Jason lifts Manson up into the powerbomb position, pivots his feet so that he is facing the table and viciously throws Manson directly through the table into the turnbuckle, completely shattering the table in the process, sending shards flying in all directions to a tremendous ovation from the crowd.


“What a powerbomb from Jason! Manson has to be hurting bad from that tremendous impact!” Pete calls out excitedly as the replay of the powerbomb pops up, splitting the screen in half. Jason drags Manson’s body out from the rubble of the shattered table and drops down across it, hooking Manson’s left leg.








“Not a chance!” King begins. “Manson isn’t going to go down to that, even on his worst day!”


Jason stares up at the referee with a look of distain, but still continues to focus on the match instead of arguing with the referee. Jason grabs a hold of Manson’s long hair again and drags the Raging Bull up with him until both of them are on their feet. Recovering rather quickly, Manson fires a hard shot into Jason’s head, knocking the smaller man backwards and out of the ring. Manson follows his opponent out to the ring floor, bringing with him a chair. Once out of the ring, Manson begins to slam the metal chair down upon Jason’s body, never letting up until the metal frame of the chair is bent beyond all recognition. Still not letting up, Manson tosses away the chair and picks up a trash can lid sitting next to him and once again slams it down upon Jason’s body furiously.


“That’s the good ol Manson we all know and love!” King happily states. “Von Dierch doesn’t stand a chance now.”


After the trash can lid is also bent to hell, Manson drops down upon Jason’s body and covers him up fro the pin.








“NO! Jason lives to fight on!” Pete calls out as Jason fires an arm high into the air.


Manson, visibly distresses, lifts Jason up to his feet, but unkown to him, Jason has in his hands a power cable. Once on his feet, Jason uses his free left hand and hits Manson in the face once again with the brass knuckles, stunning Manson long enough for Jason to loop the cord around Manson’s neck like a noose. Before Manson has time to react, Jason slides into the ring and pulls up on the cord, lifting Manson up from the ground, literally hanging the man, getting a large amount of cheers from the crowd.


“Jason is hanging Manson out to dry!” Pete calls out. “Dude! Stop this ref!” King protests, but the referee is powerless to stop it, and just watches on as Jason holds the cable as tight as he can, cutting off Manson’s air supply. “Manson is going blue!” Pete calls out. “This could be the end for him!” “No! This match can’t end this way!” King continues to protest.


With no other option left for him, the referee turns to the timekeeper’s table and signals for the bell to be run, as Manson’s face turns a deep shade of purple from the lack of oxygen.


“That’s it! The referee has stopped the match!” Pete calls out. “Bullshit!” King angrily states. “This match should have been a no contest!”


“The referee has called for the bell, and has stopped the match and has awarded the win, and number one contendership to the Ultraviolent Championship to the ‘Rage’ Jason Von DIERCH!” Funyon calls out, as the crowds cheer on Jason.


However, the ringing bell doesn’t even stop Jason from releasing the hold he has on the cable. Jason’s facial expression turns to pure pleasure, as the referee desperately tries to stop Jason from killing Manson right then and there. Finally, Jason just simply releases the cable, causing Manson to comply crumple on the arena’s floor. Jason then turns around, exits the ring, and just walks up the ramp and exits backstage as a swarm of EMT’s converge upon Manson.


“Well, like it or not, The Rage has picked up his first win in the SWF, winning the Number One Contendership to the SWF Ultraviolent Championship, and a date with Bruce Blank. Stay Tuned to Smarkdown, as we still have many great matches to look forward to!” Pete calls out as the scene fades out to commercials.

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"Fans, I am here with Chris Card, the manager of SWF World Tag Team Champions TKO," Ben Hardy says, smiling into the camera in the best manner of a man who doesn't want to be docked any more wages. "Now Chris," he continues, turning the suited Technical Perfection beside him, "I understand you have an announcement to make before the usual show of heelish bravado?"


"Indeed I do," Card replies, looking sidelong at Hardy with his eyes narrowed at the interviewer's last comment. He then looks square into the camera and clears his throat.


"Ladies and gentlemen. We are all aware - well, those of us with half a braincell, so that's approximately 50% of this audience - that last Sunday was a grim day in the history of pro wrestling. A great talent passed away; a man not only gifted with extraordinary wrestling ability, but also a man who in many ways redefined the art of thoroughly pissing off the crowd; a man who put the 'rude' in 'Rudo'; a man, in short, who could cheat the Devil himself. I do not need to say his name; you are all aware of whom I speak."


Ben Hardy nods solemnly as Card addresses the camera, and appears to actually be paying attention for once.


"Now, if TORU and KOJI have respect for anyone on the face of this earth apart from myself, it is those people who approach this sport like they do," Card continues. "As a result, in his match against Jay Hawke tonight TORU will be attempting to give this departed talent a 'fitting' tribute. Mr. Hawke, you are not only about to be overpowered, out-wrestled and out-manoeuvred, but you are going to be out-cheated as well. You have already lost one of your titles to TORU, so I advise you to thank your lucky stars that your International Title is not on the line tonight, as you would quickly be losing that as well. In fact," Card says, warming to his subject, "your record-breaking title run would have come to a sudden, shuddering halt had you encountered TORU in singles competition at any time during it. And if you don't like that thought," Technical Perfection concludes "then that's too bad, because you're going to have to learn..."


Card grins his cracked gravestone smile, and crosses both thumbs over his heart.


"... to DEAL WITH IT!"


"Chris Card ladies and gentlemen," Hardy announces, "still pimping his catchphrase despite being inactive for over three years. Back to you guys at ringside!"

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Smarkdown promptly returns, and without any time for the fans at home to recover from the first match, the second is set to begin! Cheers are heard as Cypress Hill’s “How I Could Just Kill a Man” begins to play through the PA and the now oldest and most experienced Australian to grace the SWF comes out, raising his fist to the fans!


“Welcome back to not-quite-so-family-friendly Smarkdown!” Pete shouts, greeting us with a smile. “It seems like we’re not going to waste any time in introducing our second match this evening, so let’s cross to Funyon!”


“Damnit, I wanted to tell everyone about my poker game last night… I had just gone all-in on a stone cold bluff, WHEN…”


King’s microphone suddenly cuts out as we cross to Funyon, who nods at Stryke as he slides into the ring. Funyon then yells in his booming voice, “Ladies and Gentleman, the following match, is a TRIPLE THREAT MATCH!”


The crowd breaks out in cheers at the sound of a rare Triple Threat match!


“The first man to score a pin fall shall be announced the winner! Introducing first, he hails from Sydney, Australia. He weighs in at 230 pounds… please welcome, STRYKE!”


The support for the Australian is notable amongst the fans, and the cheers only continue as the sound of hands clapping and feet stamping is heard through the PA as OK Go’s “Get Over It” begins to play, and the SWF’s newest addition, Wes Davenport, notable d list celebrity, makes his way out onto centre stage!


“Introducing next, from Hollywood, California! He weighs in at 255 pounds… please welcome, star of stage, screen and wrestling ring… WES DAVENPORT!”


“I wonder how much Funyon was paid to say that,” King asks no one in particular.


“Well it’s the truth,” Pete replies, not about to admit he’s not seen any of Wes’ acting work. “Wes is on somewhat of a roll currently, but tonight he faces his first real test against the returning, but oozing with experience, Stryke, and the infallible, infamous Landon Maddix, who lost his hide and seek match against Bruce Blank, and has the scars and black eyes to prove it!”


Before Davenport even reaches ringside, he’s upstaged as everyone in the arena suddenly hears-








“Megalomaniac” begins to play it’s now familiar tune as Maddix comes out onto stage, throwing his arms out and embracing the crowd as they begin to boo the hell out of him! He cares little as he turns around, showing them his back with his arms still out. Davenport climbs up the stairs and into the ring as Maddix laughs, his spirits high despite showing obvious wear and tear.


“Last, but certainly not least… he hails from Huron, South Dakota, and weighs in at 218 pounds… please welcome, LANDON MADDIX!”


“All three men bring something to the table in this match,” Pete notes. “Maddix brings his awesome high flying offense, Stryke brings his experience and all-round expertise, and Davenport brings an unpredictable, yet bruising quality to this match up!”


Maddix slides into the ring, staying well clear of his opponents as Sexton Hardcastle points to ringside, eager to get this match underway!




All three men are ready and able, but none are eager to make the first move. Stryke, with his great wealth of experience, knows better than to get ahead of himself, especially with Landon Maddix only a few feet away. Landon, of course, remains as smug as ever as he grins at each opponent, but even the act of smiling hurts his face, and he soon begins grumbling and muttering Bruce Blank’s name.


Davenport displays his cool and calm exterior as he always does with the fans watching him, but inside he just wishes he could hide in a corner, clutching his Micky Mouse plush toy. He suddenly harkens back to those days of innocence, Micky always made him feel safe and warm inside, comforting him when times were grey-




“What is Davenport doing!?” Longdogger blurts out as we suddenly exit Wes’ psyche. “Opponents tend to notice when you gaze whimsically into the distance, and they also tend to take advantage of it, like Maddix did with that clothesline!”


“What did I tell you?” King snorts as Davenport rolls away, already missing his happy place. “He’s a joke! He may exude confidence, but inside, he’s just a troubled, spoiled little brat! I can’t believe these fans are falling for it!”


Maddix chuckles as he stalks Davenport across the ring, sensing weakness from the former actor. He wishes he could sympathize with Wes’ plight, seeing a big shiner on his right eye, but Maddix has two black eyes of his own and is in no mood to mess around. Landon is suddenly blind-sided by a hyped-up Australian with something to prove as Stryke nails him with a right hand! Two more like it rattle Landon and knock him back towards the ropes as Stryke takes him by the hand and whips him into the opposite ropes. The Australian waits for his return, but Maddix grabs a hold of the ropes as he runs into them, stopping dead in his tracks! Landon lets go and smile, tapping his forehead, but he cringes as he feels another wound created by a certain redneck. Stryke smiles himself, much to Maddix’s confusion, until-




-Davenport takes his legs out from under him, causing him to land face first on the canvas!


“Seeing Landon’s oh so cherished features be banged around like this,” King says with a sniffle, “well, it just brings a tear to my eye!”


“I doubt any of these men have had to compete in a triple threat match for quite sometime,” Pete surmises, “and maybe some aren’t ready for the additional threats that await them! Maddix may have the toughest task ahead of him as he still feels the effects of his war with Bruce Blank, and smells his awful bourbon breath.”


Cheers ring out amongst the fans while Landon groans as he climbs onto all fours, his vision hazy after his tumble, but he can just barely see an object moving towards him, almost at slow motion-




-which happens to be the size ten boots of Stryke, planting them right in the middle of Landon’s face! Maddix recedes to the far corner of the ring after that seated dropkick, feeling like his face was melting. Stryke receives a round of applause as he climbs back to his feet. Davenport, too, applauds his work, hoping to get on the Australian’s good side. Stryke smiles as Wes climbs up onto the ring apron, feeling a tiny bit more confident seeing the former World Champion in retreat, but that soon changes as Stryke fires another dropkick, this time at Davenport! The former actor flies off the apron and crashes back first into the guard rail!


“Stryke has really stamped his authority in the early going of this match!” Pete shouts as the Australian turns his attention back to Maddix, who only now climbs back to his feet. “He has, arguably, the most experience under his belt in this match, and he knows better than anyone how to play the game, and to never let your guard down!”


“I never thought I’d say this,” King replies, biting his tongue, “but I sincerely hope Stryke wins this match. It’s about time he got some recognition, and it’s about time these two punk kids get what’s coming to them!”


“Davenport is 30.”


“… no, YOU’RE 30!”


Stryke senses his opponent’s discomfort in the facial region, and gleefully adds to it with a slew of right hands that rock Landon against the ropes. Stryke only stops to whips his opponent across the ring, but Landon counters! Maddix attempts a quick equalizer with a short-arm clothesline, but Stryke expertly ducks underneath, catching Maddix from behind and lifting him up with a back drop Suplex! Maddix finds himself where he’s most comfortable, in the air, even when on the receiving end, and the Spaniard suddenly flips in mid-air, easily landing on his feet!


Stryke is suddenly propelled into the ropes as Landon grabs him by the waist and pushes the Australian forward, but this time Stryke is the one to counter, clutching the top rope like his mother, causing Maddix to fall harmlessly away! The former World Champion grunts, finding Stryke a much wiser opponent than in their previous meetings, but soldiers on, trying to catch Stryke by surprise as he turns back around, but the Australian ducks his head at just the ring moment…


At the same time, Wes Davenport climbs back to his feet with fans slapping him on the back. He gives them a weary smile and thumbs up, except they’re not giving him encouragement, their trying to warn him… warn him of Maddix-






-Who comes crashing down on top of him from over the ropes!


“…OH MY…!” Pete cries as the replay is shown with Maddix ‘landon’ on Davenport in a senton position, seemingly crushing his chest as both crash to the concrete floor. “Stryke just took out two opponents in one Spaniard’s swoop!”


“Davenport thought he could buy some time and rest up on the outside,” notes King as he smiles at the carnage on the side of the ring, “but he’s been thrown right back into the match, and Maddix has been thrown right on to HIM!”


“You’re proud of that one, aren’t you?” Pete asks, already knowing the answer.


The crowd lets out a roar as Stryke gazes out at them, thrusting his arm into the air in acknowledgement of their support, which he has missed. Maddix, on the other hand, doesn’t miss the fans one bit and mutters to himself as he climbs back to a standing position, determined to silence them. Davenport is just determined to get through this in one piece.


That outlook quickly becomes unlikely as Stryke charges across the ring, sliding across the canvas and hitting a baseball slide, thumping Maddix in the chest, and throwing him backwards into Davenport, who THEN gets forcefully reacquainted with the guard rail!


“Stryke has found his sea legs in this mutli man environment before his opponents, and it’s no surprise considering his history in these types of matches and his overall ring experience.”


“Considering what he’s up against in that department, I don’t think he has to worry,” King answers with a chuckle. “Landon has always squeaked by with underhanded tactics and the aid of a good woman, and I doubt Davenport has even BEEN in a triple threat match!”


The former actor does indeed have experience in this environment from his youth, but he was always the antagonist and dictated the pace of the match. Right now, his back is against the wall, literally, and he’s unsure what to do. What he and Maddix do know, though, is that they better get back into the ring before Hardcastle’s count reaches ten! Stryke is there waiting for them, however, and greets them with a round of stomps, making sure both get their fair share and holding no bias. Davenport tries to get back to his feet and show the audience his will to fight, despite his feelings to the contrary, but Stryke grabs him before he can escape, hooking both of his arms and tossing him up and over with a Double Underhook Suplex! The Australian moves into the cover, hooking the actor by the far leg-












-But Maddix slides over, connecting with a forearm on Stryke’s head to break it up!


“Despite his long hiatus,” begins Pete, “Stryke has got himself into great condition, almost effortlessly suplexing a larger and heavier Davenport.”


“Again, experience comes into play, Dogger. Not only is he in terrific shape, he has the know-how execute the move with ease!”


Stryke is fazed little by the glancing blow as he gets back to his feet, grabbing the troublesome Spaniard and hoisting him into the air for the Back Drop Suplex he was denied earlier.


Instead of dropping Landon on his back, however, Stryke throws him forward onto Davenport with an assisted leg drop! Davenport comes off worse as he crawls to safety, finding sanctuary in the corner as Stryke throws Maddix’s shoulder down on the mat, caring little that the Spaniard may have broken his behind-










-But Maddix remains ever tenacious as he throws a shoulder off the mat, breaking the pin. The crowd is solidly behind the Australian as he lifts Maddix onto a standing base, but the former champion fights back, drawing boos from the fans as he reaches up and claws at Stryke’s eyes! The crowd is in an absolute uproar, knowing there was wrongdoing, but Maddix is able to hide it well from Hardcastle, who simply shrugs! As Stryke recoils, stumbling into the corner as his eyes begin to water, Landon rears back, letting out all his recent frustration-






-With a thundering chop across Stryke’s chest!






-And another!








“Maddix is one hot-headed Spaniard as he responds to Stryke’s recent domination with stinging knife-edge chops!” Pete cries, cringing as he sees the Australian’s beet red chest.


“That damned ingrate!” King shouts, pounding the desk. “He cheated! I saw it, you saw it, hell, and even the crowd saw it! He shouldn’t be able to get away with that!”


“… Isn’t it the same as what you did your entire career!?”


“Well, yeah, but hey, I’m the Suicide King.”


“That’s your defense for everything!”


Davenport begins to stir as he crawls towards the centre of the ring, but not getting very far. Maddix smacks Stryke on the nose with a forearm for good measure before whipping him hard across the ring. Wes, who has finally gotten his senses back now, has his instincts kick in as he places one foot in front of Stryke’s leg and the other behind him, taking him down with a Drop Toe Hold and hanging him out to dry on the second rope! Maddix is pleasantly surprised by this turn of events, and tries to take advantage of it, charging across the squared circle, leaping halfway across the ring and landing on top of Stryke’s spine with a well-placed knee!


“Whether he realizes or not,” Pete begins, “Wes just helped Maddix even the score against Stryke! Davenport shows another glimpse of his wrestling mind, and Maddix shows he’s just out to punish!”


A cry is heard as Stryke rolls around on the mat, holding the small of his back, but Maddix just adds to his pain by stomping on his spine with the utmost gusto. Landon goes for one too many however, and Stryke suddenly grabs his foot, whirling onto his feet as Maddix hops around like a cockroach! Stryke rears back and throws Maddix onto the air, simply trying to dump him on his back, but Maddix again counters in spectacular fashion, flipping in the air and landing with grace! Stryke quickly tries to rush him with a clothesline, but Maddix easily ducks out of the way and jabs him with a back elbow aimed for the kidneys. With Stryke holding his side, holding his head up as he winces, Maddix spins around and grabs him around the neck, pulling him back further!


“It’s Landon-eye time!” Pete announces as Stryke flays his arms about wildly in an attempt to escape. “Will Stryke, after dominating the early going, succumb?”


Before Landon can plant the infamous elbow in Stryke chest and slam him into the mat, Davenport wearily rushes over, locking his bulging arm over Landon’s neck, holding him in a vice like grip! Landon has no time to let go of the Australian as Davenport kicks his own legs out and falls forward, slamming Maddix down with a Diving Reverse DDT, who in turn brings Stryke down with a Reverse DDT from the momentum of the fall!


“Amazing!” is all Pete can utter as the fans cheer, just as amazed, and admittedly, surprised. “Davenport’s involvement up to this point has been minimal at most, but he’s just put his stamp on this match and shown us another move in his repertoire at the same time! And he’s taken out two opponents… at the same time!”


“Ok, we get the picture!” King shouts at his cohort, shaking his head. “Sure, it showed some smarts and maybe a *little* skill to pull that off, but its ninety nine percent luck, I assure you! I know Wes, when things aren’t going his way, he’ll soon crumble under the pressure!”


The struggling actor turned struggling wrestler breathes a HUGE sigh of relief as he sees both his opponent’s lying on their backs. He hears the fans in the background and makes sure to smile, putting his hand through his air as if to say it was all too easy. Davenport, however, is far from confident as he hastily covers Maddix, his nearest opponent-










-Landon still kicks out with ease at two, rolling out to the side. “Look at that,” King says, rudely pointing. “A rookie mistake from Davenport, covering the opponent most likely to kick out at this point, after the beating Stryke has sustained.”


Pete is quick to defend Wes, “However, he knew he had to move fast, and Landon WAS his nearest opponent, and he almost squeaked out a surprise three count!”


King grumbles as he knows the fans will agree with Pete, but he’s right, Davenport made a mistake and he knows it. He easily covers for it as the fans don’t know any better and climbs to his feet, but Maddix is on his feet as well. Davenport finally goes on the offensive, staggering Maddix with a couple of European Uppercuts, but Landon soon hits back with forearm shots to the head. Stryke too gets into the action as he climbs to a vertical base, hitting both men with right hands in turn! The crowd begins to cheer as a three-way slugfest breaks out, but Davenport, the freshest and strongest of the trio, begins to take control with his stiff uppercuts that send both men packing. He bites off more than he can chew though as he grabs both men and tries to throw them into each other, but before both men can BUTT heads, they each put a front foot forward to brace themselves, and both hit Wes in the jaw with a back elbow!


The former actor staggers back ward as Stryke makes a bee line for him as he’s momentarily stunned, but Maddix catches the Australian unawares as he shows him his back, grabbing him by the head and pulling him down hard to the canvas!


“So-Dak Moment!” Pete cries, the ring shaking from the impact of the move. “That can out of literally no where!”


Maddix stays in a seated position, reaching forward and taking hold of Stryke’s legs, rolling him up!











-But the Australian kicks out with authority! Stryke is quick to get to his feet, still shaken, but aims to surprise Landon as the Spaniard somersaults back onto his feet, taking hold of his legs and flipping over into a bridged pin!





















-Davenport makes his presence felt once again as he drops his six foot six frame on top of Stryke’s chest with a leaping senton! Maddix scampers away, feeling fortunate for Wes’ interference, while Stryke struggles to even take a breath! Wes’ instincts once again take over as he lifts the airless Australian to his feet, sending him into the far ropes. Stryke is helpless as he’s lifted into the air on his return, and then thrown back down with vicious impact!


“Stryke’s taken a beating the past few minutes,” notes Pete, surprised by Davenport’s strength, “and has to be winded after having the air driven out of him from that Spinebuster! That kind of sheer force just HAS to impress you, King.”


“Bah!” barks King. “His offense is base and amateur! Until his opponent’s spine is actually, literally busted, I’m not impressed.”


Davenport floats over the top of Stryke’s corpse and pins his arms at their sides-





-Maddix turns around, hearing the pin fall and heads to the ropes-






-He leaps onto the second rope, twisting in mid air, hands outstretched-











-Maddix comes crashing down, but Davenport catches sight of Landon and panics, moving out of the way at the last possible second, and Landon’s splash hits Stryke instead!


“…WHAT!?” King exclaims, absolutely flabbergasted. “How this… this… ACTOR manages these veteran-like maneuvers I’ll never know.”


“We hardly know his wrestling background, King,” Pete answers, clearly impressed, “but somehow he sensed Maddix coming and had the extraordinary ring presence to avoid the move and turn it around in his favor! Whatever his limited experience in the Indy’s was it’s clear to me that he would have had a bright future in wrestling!”


Once again, Pete’s showering of praise is in haste, as Davenport thanks his lucky stars after barely avoiding Landon, and only spotting his shadow cast against the canvas. As he looks back up from his brush with terror, he sees both Maddix and Stryke curled up in balls, clutching at their sides. Davenport gets to his feet, hearing the cheers ring out from the fans and bowing, hoping the curtain call comes soon so he can avoid any more punishment, knowing his instincts can only take him so far. Prying Stryke off from the canvas after being flattened repeatedly, Wes throws the Aussie’s arm over his shoulder and takes hold of his tights, lifting him straight up into the air, letting the blood rush to his head!


The longer he keeps Stryke in mid-air, the more the fans cheer, and the more the fans cheer, the eager Davenport becomes to please them. He blatantly tries to show off his superior strength, walking around in a circle, after only a second ago wishing for the end. Stryke makes him pay for his stalling and showboating as he comes to his senses and escapes out the back! Davenport is shocked, but he’s soon to be shocked further as Stryke sees Landon climb back to his feet. Stryke knees Davenport in the side, causing the actor to groan and stumble forward, clutching his side-






-until his head is almost taken clean off with a Superkick from the Spaniard!


“MADDIX-KICK! MADDIX-KICK!” Longdogger suddenly blurts out as Davenport hits the canvas, out like a light! “It seems to be the story of this match; two opponents inadvertently work together to take out the other!”


“I still have to give props to Stryke,” King admits. “He’s been tested time and time again, but he always manages to find something! Maddix has used a lot of people in his career, but this time, Stryke used him to take out Davenport and save himself in this match!”


Davenport quickly rolls away, hiding underneath the bottom rope and holding onto it for dear life, which is quickly called another expert maneuver from Longdogger. With Wes incapacitated, Landon turns his attention to Stryke, who still clutches his midsection. Landon tries to put an exclamation point on the match, leaping off a standing start and aiming a Dropsault right towards The Australian chest!


The Australian again proves to be wise beyond his years as he simply takes a step back, avoiding all contact! Maddix crashes to the mat unprotected, leaving himself at the mercy of Stryke who realizes haste is required. He springs into action, taking hold of Maddix’s legs as they shoot up into the air following impact, then turns Landon towards the turnbuckles. As much as Maddix shakes his head and waves his arms about in protest, Stryke grins as he pulls back and shoots the Spaniard towards the turnbuckles like a catapult! The Australian curiously doesn’t let go as Landon’s head strikes the top turnbuckle, and the Spaniard has no place else to go but down, landing right on Stryke’s knee’s! Landon lets out a whimper as he’s stretched out, his head reaching back at dangerous angles.


“I just can’t begin to fathom Stryke’s performance in this match,” gushes Pete as Landon refuses to submit when asked the question. “He’s been through a lot, and his returns haven’t been terrible spectacular, but this time around he’s using his knowledge and experience to the greatest effect!”


The crowd is now on their feet, enjoying the sight of Landon being tortured in his current position. Stryke finally ceases the move as Maddix throws a hand out and barely grabs the bottom rope! Stryke lets go, but keeps hold of Maddix’s waist as he gets to his feet, lifting the smaller Maddix into the air for a Powerbomb! The strain the Australian places on his midsection slows his progress, allowing Maddix to reverse the move in desperate fashion, flipping Stryke over with a Hurri-lan-rana! Maddix reaches back, although it pains himself to do so, and grabs Stryke’s legs for the pin!


























“NO!” Pete screams at the top of his lungs.


Stryke somehow finds the energy to kick out! Maddix lets out a disgruntled sigh, but the fans are as vocal as ever as all three men lie in separate corners, trying to find their second wind! Maddix is first to recover, looking worse for ware as he stumbles around, two black eyes and coughing up a lung. Davenport is back on his feet as well, his brain still scrambled after the devastating kick, and Maddix seizes on this, grabbing Wes’ head and twisting around, ready to drop him with the Snapmare Driver!


The actor manages to counter, pushing Maddix forward and slamming him chest first into the turnbuckles. Maddix is spun back around by the impact, and he’s just in time to find Davenport shoot a Standing Side Kick right towards his jaw-






-but he finds nothing but air! Maddix lowers his head, turning back around at the same time as Davenport, but before Wes can act, Maddix grabs him by the arm and head, hops once-








-and falls backward, slamming Wes down face first, planting him against the canvas!


“COMPLETE SHOT!” King suddenly cries, getting excited, before realizing who hit the move in question. “NO! Maddix is going to do it right here!”


Wes’ features bounce of the canvas, almost leaving a permanent imprint as he rolls onto his back, and Maddix gleefully falls on top of him, hooking him by the near leg for-






Stryke begins to stir, only a few feet away-






The Aussie shakes out the cobwebs, before hearing Hardcastle’s count and springing into action-




















… But Stryke turns around and leaps across the ring in one fluid motion, crashing into Maddix, knocking him off Davenport with a forearm to the head! The crowd is delirious and cheers at the top of their lungs as Maddix is once again thwarted, but the match isn’t over yet, and Stryke knows it. Maddix growls, throwing a wild forearm at Stryke’s head, but the Australian ducks underneath, placing ah and underneath Landon’s thigh and lifting him high into the air!


“BACK DROP DRIVER!” Both commentators yell, just waiting to see what happens next.


Try as he might, but Stryke can’t keep hold of the slippery Spaniard who rolls off his shoulder and lands behind safely! Maddix quickly takes a hold of Stryke’s head and runs forward, trying to take him down with a running Bulldog, but Stryke grabs him before he can pull him down, and drops Maddix, groin first, onto his knee! Maddix gasps, clutching his nether regions, but Stryke soon lifts him up again, throwing him onto the top rope… his back facing the ring.


“Oh my…” Pete begins, losing his train of thought as Stryke heads up onto the second rope, slinking his head underneath Maddix’s arm. “You don’t think…?”


“I damn well hope so!”


Stryke takes hold of Landon’s leg for added leverage, but he suddenly feels lighter, and the strain lessen. His worst fears are confirmed as two big meaty paws of Davenport grab hold of his waist. The Australian can do nothing as he’s lifted into the air by the large actor-





“OOOOOH!” the fans cry as they see…





-see Maddix lifted into the air at the same time! Stryke and Maddix almost fall in slow motion as Davenport Powerbomb’s Stryke straight through the ring, and Maddix is thrown half way across the ring as Stryke is forced to let go from the impact!
















Maddix and Stryke hit the mat almost simultaneously as a “HOLY SHIT!” chant breaks out from the fans. Maddix howls in pain as he rolls out of the ring and onto the floor, while Davenport keeps hold of Stryke’s legs, pinning his shoulders to the mat, as Hardcastle, shocked by the events, slides over to count!

































“… WHAT!?” King is forced to shout once more as Davenport lets go of Stryke’s limp body and “Get Over It” begins to play in the arena! “H – HOW?”


“I’ll tell you how, King,” Pete replies, grinning like a Cheshire cat as Hardcastle raises Davenport’s arm into the air. “He used his opponents, like each man had done during the match! Except this time, Davenport took out both men at the same time, and Stryke had no chance after the beating his chest and ribs had taken!”


Davenport quickly exits the ring, he himself not entirely sure what just happened, but as he looks up while he stumbles up the ramp, he sees the carnage in the ring, and realizes his hand is being held in the air, and the fans are cheering for *him*. He takes a bow and blows kisses to the crowd, before doing it twice over for an encore!


“Wes didn’t deserve this win! He was barely in the action, and when he was, he was getting the hell beat out of him! But somehow, he manages to get the win. Unbelievable.”


“Believe it, King. Davenport wins this third straight match, and shows he’s more than just a pretty face!”


The scene fades out with Davenport heading behind the curtain… only to reappear a second later, and take another encore, as we…





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As SWF Smarkdown comes back from commercial, the viewer is immediately treated to the jarring entrance of the Masked Crusader, who strides out from the back as towers of maroon pyro explode on either side of the entrance ramp. As the Crusdaer swiftly makes his way towards the ring, he’s greeted by a respectable pop from the anxious fans, who don’t have any strong feeling towards the guy either way; they just want the Crusader to beat the piss out of his opponent more than anything else.


“The following contest is scheduled for one fall!” Funyon shouts. “Introducing first, from Cairo, Egypt, weighing in at two hundred and seventy-three pounds...THE MAAAAAAAASKED CRUUUUUUUSAAAAAAAAAADERRR!!”


Seemingly unaffected by the crowd’s reaction, the Crusader reaches the ring, rolls beneath its bottom rope, and pops to his feet inside the squared circle. The Masked Man retires to a corner and begins to stretch out every part of his body, not giving any indication to the home or live audience of what’s on his mind.


“And welcome back to SWF Smarkdown, ladies and gentlemen!” Pete enthusiastically greets. “This is the night that the Cold Front Classic gets underway, but we’ve got one more match to go before we begin the tournament that’ll name the #1 Contender to the World Heavyweight Title.”


“Which Magnifico will be holding whenever the yet-to-be-determined bum gets his shot.” King butts in. “And wouldn’t you know it, the last match before the tournament starts features the World Champion! El Luchadore Magnifico, your favorite and mine, will do battle against the Masked Crusader, some guy in a black jumpsuit wearing a dime store mask.”


“As usual, you’ve summed up the competitors with remarkable eloquence.” Pete comments without a trace of sarcasm. “As far as I know, there’s no one in this federation that’s aware of the Crusader’s true identity; as far as you know, King, it could be a legendary competitor under that mask, one who’s more than a match for Magnifico.”


“Not unless Thugg shrunk a foot and lost two hundred pounds.” King mumbles.


Suddenly, the lights are cut out throughout the arena, and before the fans can even execute some anticipatory booing...








The introduction to Atake FDD’s “Tu Final” blasts over the speakers in time with a burst of red, white, and green pyro that explodes upwards from the stage. As spirited boos pour in from every corner of the arena, El Luchadore Magnifico, illuminated by a single spotlight, bursts through the pyro induced smoke and begins to make his way down the ramp. With the SWF World Heavyweight Title wrapped around his waist and his Mexican Flag flapping gracefully behind him, Magnifico swiftly strides down the ramp, beset on all sides by thousands of furious fans.


“And now, from Mexico City, Mexico, weighing in two hundred and ten pounds...” Funyon begins. “He is the SWF World Heavyweight Champion...EL LUCHADOOOOOOOOORRE MAGNIFICOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!”


Magnifico reaches the ring, slides beneath its bottom rope, and immediately pops to his feet before striding into the center of the ring. ELM looks out over the darkened crowd for a moment...before thrusting his Mexican Flag high into the air, doing so as the lights are suddenly turned back on throughout the arena. The now-illuminated fans redouble their booing efforts as Magnifico observes them, an amused smirk painted on his face. The Crusader finally stops his stretching and watches ELM closely as he hands his flag the the World Title over to the referee. Pointedly ignoring the Masked Man, Magnifico heads to the corner opposite the Crusader’s and executes a few cursory stretches, doing so as the referee signals for the bell.




“Well, what we do know about the Masked Man is that he’s fairly large, certainly larger than Magnifico.” Pete states the obvious. “Come to think of it, I don’t believe ELM’s faced an opponent of this size since his return. It’ll be interesting to see what his gameplan will be for this contest.”


Upon hearing the bell, both men step cautiously out of the corner and begin to circle each other around the ring, slowly getting closer and closer to one another and the center of the squared circle. When the Crusader is within arm’s reach of his opponent, he lunges forward, looking to tie Magnifico up in the center of the ring. However, ELM manages to duck beneath the Crusader’s outstretched arms and spin behind him, locking the Masked Man in a Rear Waistlock as he does so. But before he can do anything with it, the Crusader throws an elbow backwards and slams it into Magnifico’s temple, weakening ELM’s grip enough for the Masked Man to break free of it. The Crusader spins around, grabs Magnifico by the arm, and whips him across the ring, sending the luchadore rushing towards the far ropes. He bounces off of said ropes and charges back towards the Crusader, who greets Magnifico by lashing out with his arm, looking to slam it into ELM’s neck with a Lariat! However, ELM manages to roll beneath the Crusader’s arm and continue running, bouncing off of the ropes behind the Masked Man. The Crusader spins to face the luchadore, doing so just in time to see Magnifico leap into the air and extend his arms and legs, throwing his entire body at the Masked Man’s with a Flying Cross-Body! ELM makes perfect contact with the Cross-Body, as he crashes into the Crusader’s chest...and is caught immediately afterwards, as the Masked Man grabs him around the legs and body and presses Magnifico against his chest!


“Accursed lummox! Release Magnifico at once!” King cries. “ELM executed the Cross-Body perfectly; it’s downright unsporting for the Crusader to simply catch him in mid-air!”


“Right, because Magnifico’s always been a bastion of sportsmanship.” Pete counters. “Maybe he should have considered the Crusader’s size and strength before attempting the move in the first place.”


The Cross-Body does knock the Crusader back a few steps, however, and he struggles to keep his balance as he stumbles backwards and towards the ropes behind him. Once he does regain his balance, however, the Masked Man suddenly falls backwards, throwing Magnifico over his head and over the top rope with a Fallaway Slam! The crowd roars its approval...but is immediately quieted when ELM grabs the top rope in mid-air, pulling himself onto the apron and preventing a nasty fall to the outside! alerted by the crowd’s reaction, the Crusader spins to face Magnifico…and is immediately grabbed around the neck by the luchadore, who then jumps backwards off of the apron, pulling the Masked Man’s neck down and onto the top rope with a Hangman! Choking for breath, the Crusader turns and stumbles away from the ropes, doing so as the luchadore hops back onto the apron. The Crusader spins to face Magnifico once more, doing so just in time to see ELM springing off of the top rope! Magnifico flies towards the Crusader and kicks out with both his feet, slamming them into the Masked Man’s chest with a Springboard Dropkick! The stunned Masked Man flounders backwards but refuses to fall, instead collapsing into the ropes behind him as Magnifico scrambles back to his feet. ELM scowls upon seeing that the Crusader is still standing, and maintains the expression as he suddenly breaks into a sprint and charges at the Masked Man at top speed! However, as he approaches, the Crusader suddenly ducks down, grabs ELM’s leg, and then quickly stands back up, throwing Magnifico into the air and over the top rope with a Backdrop! ELM makes a desperate grab for the top rope…but can’t get his hands on it this time, and instead falls back-first onto the unforgiving floor! Magnifico arches his back and cries out in pain, but is easily drowned out by the mighty cheer that rises from the delighted crowd.


“Magnifico pushed his luck one too many times, it seems.” Pete notes, amused. “ELM looked to take advantage of the Crusader’s stunned state, only to get thrown over the top rope once more. Too bad he wasn’t able to grab the top rope this time.”


“Psh. This Masked Crusader guy is a one trick pony.” King counters. “Sure, if you keep cheaply tossing your opponent to the outside, every once in a while he’s not going to be able to counter. Magnifico’s on to him now, though. Try that underhanded trick again and see what happens, you big masked cheater.”


The Crusader pushes himself off of the ropes, hits the mat, and rolls to the outside, stepping on the floor as Magnifico writhes in pain a few feet away. He unsympathetically grabs ELM by the arm and pulls him to his feet, doing so as the ref begins counting from within the ring.




Once ELM is standing, the Crusader uses his grip to whip Magnifico across the floor, sending him rushing towards the far guardrail. The Masked Man charges right after him, running only a step or two behind the luchadore. As Magnifico approaches the guardrail, he suddenly leaps into the air and lands on top of it, displaying remarkable balance to the frankly-unimpressed fans directly in front of him. The Crusader skids to a halt, desperately trying to stop himself as he watches ELM leap backwards off of the rail!




Magnifico flips backwards in mid-air, flying towards the Crusader with a Moonsault Press! ELM’s body crashes into the Crusader’s...only to be caught once more, as the Masked Man grabs the luchadore around the waist, stranding him upside-down and in mid-air! An impressive pop rises from the crowd as the Crusader struggles to keep his balance and struggles to keep the wriggling luchadore in the Tombstone position!


“No! ELM went for a Moonsault Press, only to be caught once again!” Pete cries. “And what’s more, it looks as though the Crusader has Magnifico in position for the Murderer!”


“Unoriginal bastard.” King spits. “The Murderer. What kind of ridiculous-ass name is that? You know what, from now on, the Joker’s Wild is to be referred to as the Cat Burglar.”




Unwilling to give up so easily, Magnifico struggles and thrashes wildly, not allowing the Crusader to maintain a strong grip on him! With the Masked Man distracted, ELM is able to reach back with his legs and wrap them around his neck, which is a cause of some concern for the Crusader. Before he can do anything about it, however, Magnifico is breaking free of his hold and using his legs to pull himself onto the Crusader’s shoulders!




The Masked Man immediately throws his elbow back and above him, looking to simply knock Magnifico off of his shoulders. However, ELM beats him to the punch, instead pushing himself off of the Crusader’s shoulders and landing on his feet behind the Masked Man! Annoyed, the Crusader spins to face Magnifico...and immediately eats a quick knee to the gut, which doubles the Masked Man over!




Not wasting a moment, ELM immediately pulls the Crusader into a Front Headlock, hooks his leg...and then uses every bit of his strength to lift the Crusader into the air! Magnifico shouts out from the exertion he’s using to lift the very large man, doing so right before he drops onto his back, pulling the Crusader down with him and slamming his skull into the floor with the Barrio Buster!




“Holy damn!” Pete exclaims. “For a moment, it looked like Magnifico was done for; the Crusader was mere moments away from hitting the Murderer. But then - ”


“Then ELM countered the laughably-poorly named move, second before spiking the Crusader’s head into the floor with the Barrio Buster!” King interrupts, delighted.




Magnifico climbs back to his feet after landing the Buster, a triumphant, maddening grin on his face as he rises. He takes a moment to observe the Crusader, who’s rolling around on the floor, holding his neck in pain, before simply climbing onto the apron and rolling into the ring. ELM leisurely climbs back to his feet, soaking in the vocalized hatred that pours in from every corner of the stands.




ELM retires to the corner furthest from the Crusader and leisurely lies against it, watching the Masked Man with an amused look on his face. Defying all logic, the Crusader rolls onto his stomach and begins to push himself to his feet, cursing beneath his breath as he does so.




Magnifico raises an eyebrow but doesn’t change his expression as the Crusader slowly rises to his hands and knees, spurred on by the spirited cheering of the nearby fans.




The Crusader reaches one knee, causing the luchadore’s grin to fade somewhat. A look of concern actually crosses his face as the Masked Man lunges onto the apron. With nineteen thousand people cheering him on, the Crusader begins to climb into the ring, and –




Only makes it that far before the referee reaches the ten count. As the ref signals for the bell, one can see an expression of profound disappointment and frustration on the Crusader’s face, even though his mask.




“Your winner, by countout...” Funyon begins. “EL LUCHADOOOOOOOOOOORRE MAGNIFICOOOOOOOOOOOO!!”




The crowd is not happy with that decision, for several reasons. In the ring, any trace of concern from Magnifico is gone, as he simply shrugs his shoulders and smiles upon hearing Funyon’s announcement. Meanwhile, the Crusader slumps back to the outside and begins to make his way to the back, completely drained by the embarassing loss.


“Well, sometimes, that’s all it takes.” Pete states, matter-of-factly. “ELM got the Barrio Buster off at the exact right time to score a count-out and get the quick victory over the Masked Crusader.”


“Hey, it’s a nice change of pace.” King cheerfully adds. “Usually there’s a lot of hemming and hawing before Magnifico finally stops fooling around and finishes his opponent off. The Crusader was just unlucky in that ELM wasn’t feeling playful tonight.”


Pete sighs. “In any case, we’ve still got plenty of Smarkdown for you viewers at home. In particular, we’ll be starting the Cold Front Classic right after this commercial break, as JJ Johnson takes on Candace Okimura! Stay tuned!”


The final image broadcasted before commercial is El Luchadore Magnifico being handed the World Title, which thrusts high above his head to the great displeasure of the live audience...

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“Excuse me.”


Bruce Blank spins around at the sound of the voice. “Who’s there?”


“Over here.”


Blank looks over to the left to see a figure shrouded by shadows. “Oh. What do you want?”


“I have a proposition for you.”


“Well,” Bruce asks impatiently, “what is it?”


“Over here,” replies the voice. “I don’t want anyone overhearing.”


Bruce mutters something under his breath, but trundles reluctantly over to the shadows. A low murmuring can barely be heard, but no words made out, and then Blank’s booming voice calls out, “What’s in it for me?”


“How’s fifty thousand dollars sound?”


Bruce rolls his eyes. “Sounds like I’ve got better things to do with my Friday night.”


“Hah,” chuckles the voice. “You drive a hard bargain… alright then; once I win the Cold Front Classic, and go on to win the World Title, I’ll grant you the first title shot.”


Blank’s lip curls into a sinister sneer. “Fella, you’ve got yourself a deal!” He shakes the mystery figure’s hand and walks off in the other direction, thinking to himself, “This’ll be the easiest money I ever made!”

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Smarkdown returns from commercial to the tune of David Bowie’s “China Girl”, the song pulsing out through the arena before a feminine figure makes her way out from behind the curtain, accompanied by...um...a Frisco figure.



“Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time!” begins Pete. “Four days ago, we had a battle royale to determine the matchups for this, and now we’re here, in Indianapolis, for the first match of the Cold Front Classic.”


“And right now, we have the number eight seed, Candace Okimura, against the number one seed, JJ Johnson.” Informs King. “And based on the matchup, this promises to be one of the best three minutes of the tournament!”


“I’m almost certain Candace will last more than three minutes, King. She’s lightning quick, she kicks harder than anyone-“


“-except Johnson.” interrupts King.


“-and she, all in all, has a very good chance of going all the way to the finals, and to the main event of the second-biggest show of the year.” finishes Pete, understandably miffed.


Candace walks up the steps before climbing into the ring, Frisco waiting out on the floor as she does a few stretches, preparing for the match ahead of her.



And the lights drop out.






And the lights burst red-and-white on the opening notes of Fear Factory’s “Scapegoat” before dropping back out. They do it again, and the blasts slightly illuminate the cloud of smoke forming on the entrance ramp. One more, and there’s a small hint of a figure walking through the smoke before the song begins to kick into full gear…






…and Burton C. Bell’s throaty growl comes roaring out of the Conseco Fieldhouse sound system, followed shortly by a man clad in a red and white tracksuit, with a belt over his shoulder.


“And here’s the number one seed!” shouts Pete as Johnson glances slightly around the Fieldhouse, his face unexpressive as he walks down the aisle. The fans jeer, but he doesn’t really care, and he walks up the steps just like Candace did before stepping through the ropes and jogging to the corner. In an instant, he’s up on the second rope, his arms spread wide as he looks out over the crowd, not seeing a whole lot of positive reinforcement. He steps down, and tosses his belt to referee Nick Soapdish as the immaculately dressed as always Funyon steps into the ring, microphone in hand.



“Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is a Cold Front Classic first-round match, and it is scheduled for one fall. Introducing first, on my right. In the pink tank top, with the black shorts, and being accompanied to the ring by Frisco. Hailing from Tokyo, Japan, and weighing in at 124 pounds…she is the number eight seed…THE JOSHI DRAGON, CANDACE! O-KI-MURAAAAAAA!!”





Candace throws her fist in the air upon hearing her name, prompting more reaction from the audience, and she’s immediately rewarded. That being done, she gets back in her corner and stares across the ring at her opponent, whom Funyon begins to introduce.


“And her opponent, on my left. In the red trunks, with the white trim. He hails from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, and weighs in tonight at 219 pounds. He is the number one seed, and the reigning SWF Cruiserweight Champion…J! J! JOHNSON!”




Johnson puts up the MMA fist before slinging his track jacket off, and he’s greeted by the usual jeers. Soapdish checks both for weapons, drawing a glare from Candace when he gets a bit enthusiastic, and his face turns a bright red as he motions for David Blazenwing to ring the bell.






“Here we go! First match of the Cold Front Classic starts now!” shouts Pete as Johnson and Candace begin to circle each other, neither showing anything but a blank stare and a fighting stance as the Indiana crowd sits patiently, waiting for the action. They’re soon rewarded, as Johnson shoots in with a single-leg takedown that CANDACE JUMPS AWAY FROM BEFORE LASHING OUT WITH A BUZZSAW KICK!



THAT JOHNSON DUCKS! The Canadian narrowly dodges having his head removed, and he quickly rolls out of the ring, walking around ringside with his arms on his hips, looking up at the roof of the Pacers’ home arena.



“And Johnson dodges a BIG bullet early, using his speed to counteract Candace’s speed.” says Pete. “That could have been painful otherwise.”


“Well no doubt it could have been painful, but Johnson has that killer’s instinct. He wasn’t looking, he couldn’t have seen that coming, but he knew to dodge it anyway.” notes the Gambling Man. “You don’t kick an Ultimate Fighter of the quality that Johnson is, or was, rather, without a substantial element of surprise.”



Johnson slides back into the ring, and Candace immediately dashes forward, aiming for his skull with a basement dropkick. Johnson rolls, and pushes himself to his feet as Candace pops up and hurls a clothesline. Johnson ducks, and takes a hold of the Joshi Dragon’s side before hoisting her over and dumping her on her shoulders and neck with a saito suplex! Johnson makes the first cover of the match as Soapdish slides in to count.









Johnson doesn’t miss a beat, re-covering and hooking the leg as he forces his forearm into Candace’s face.








Candace almost kicks out faster than before, and Johnson is quick to grab her and start to pull her up to her feet. However, before he can get her upright, she breaks Johnson’s grip and leaps up, wrapping her legs around Johnson’s head and falling back with a hurricanrana! Johnson goes stumbling into the ropes, but doesn’t go through, and turns around with an angry look on his eyes.






But that angry look quickly becomes a glazed look, as Candace launches a roundhouse that crashes HARD into Johnson’s face. The Canadian staggers, but shakes his head and stands back upright before launching a roundhouse of his own!






Candace ducks quick, Johnson’s foot hissing through the air over her head. The momentum takes Johnson on a three hundred and sixty degree spin, rotating back…






…into a savate kick! The oft-called “super kick” crashes hard into the Ultimate Fighter’s jaw, and he is visibly shaken as he stumbles backwards into the corner. Candace raises her fist again, prompting more cheers, before she rushes into the corner and GETS HER JAW KNOCKED INTO THE SECOND ROW BY A VICIOUS ELBOW SMASH!






Candace goes down hard, grabbing her mouth and rolling to the floor to take a breather as Frisco comes over to tend to his client. In the ring, Johnson shakes his arm out and rubs his elbow as he keeps his eyes on the Joshi Dragon.


“Look at that! Johnson elbowed Candace so hard that he hurt HIMSELF! And he’s wearing an elbow pad! No wonder Candace is taking a breather!” shouts Pete, who is obviously impressed as Frisco checks Candace’s mouth for missing teeth.


“No, he’s just faking. It’s like those supervillains who pretend to be afraid of mirrors, and then when the hero shoves a mirror in their face they comment about needing a shave.” smirks the Heartbreaker, and being a supervillain himself, he’s probably correct.


Candace’s mouth is shockingly still intact, and she takes the steps up to the apron before stepping back into the ring. Johnson rushes, lashing out with a lariat, but Candace slides under it and is waiting with another savate kick as Johnson turns around.






But Johnson is ready this time, and he gets his hands up and catches the Joshi Dragon’s strike with surprising ease. As one of the SWF’s primary users of the Dragon Whip, he fully knows the consequences of throwing an opponent’s foot away, and so he simply throws Candace’s foot to the mat before lashing out with a hard kick to the Joshi Dragon’s ribs.






Candace grabs at the afflicted area, and Johnson takes advantage of her temporary incapacitation, sprinting to the far ropes before bouncing off and putting all of his weight and momentum behind a Yakuza Kick!!!




It’s unfortunate that those valuable resources went to waste on this occasion, but them’s the breaks. Candace drops out of the way, and Johnson ends up caught on the top rope in a most uncomfortable position. Fortunately, he doesn’t have to stay in that position for long. Unfortunately, that’s because Candace runs and leaps to the second rope before springing back and BLASTING him in the back of the head with an enzuigiri!






For the second time in as many minutes, Johnson’s eyes glaze over, and he goes from battling Candace to battling unconsciousness as he slumps off the ropes and to the apron, where he lies trying to shake the cobwebs out of his head. There is no rest for the weary, however, as Candace quickly runs and hits a baseball slide that sends the Canadian off the apron and into a perilous five-foot fall to the floor! There’s a loud *POP!* as Johnson’s back slaps against the thin pads, and the Ultimate Fighter grabs at his back, obviously in a great deal of pain. That pain, however, is not as excruciating as the pain that’s forthcoming, because the Joshi Dragon doesn’t wait a moment before sailing over the top rope with a corkscrew plancha!
















“Well, that worked well.” deadpans King as Okimura crashes and burns against the hard, unforgiving space that formerly held the #1 seed in the Cold Front Classic. Johnson sits up a few feet away, still rubbing at the sore spot on his back. Fortunately, it’s not a serious wound; it’s more of a belly flop. He’ll be fine either way, which can’t exactly be said about the limp form of the Joshi Dragon as she lies slumped against the announce table, where she skidded after her harsh landing.


“It was a good idea at the time,” begins Pete, shooting King a glare. “Let’s take a look at the replay.”



And with that, the camera cuts to…






Candace sprints at the ropes, placing her hands on the top and shoving herself over as she leaps, contorting her body and twisting as she begins her rapid ten-foot descent. As she continues to spiral down, Johnson’s eyes shoot wide open, and with mere feet to spare, the Canadian swivels his hips and rolls out of the way, causing the Joshi Dragon to bounce a solid seven inches before skidding and crashing into the announce table.






“Johnson once again using his reflexes and his fighter’s instinct to punish Candace for her flip-floppery. It’s attributes like that that lead me to believe Johnson’s going to come away with this whole thing.” smirks King.



“Sure. Say, King, why don’t you tend to that fallen lady?” asks Pete with a sly grin on his face.



“No way. I’m not that kind of King.” gasps the Gambling Man, visibly offended. “And besides, she might eat my cat or something.”






Now it’s Pete’s turn to be offended, and he does so as Johnson stands and rolls Candace into the ring just before Soapdish hits nine in his count, and slides in to make the cover.



“What’d I predict? Three minutes?” asks King, looking at his watch. “Ah, 2:56. A second to spare, providing Soapdish knows basic counting skills.”



“Well, Soapdish is a creation of Danny Williams.”



“Shit! There go the counting skills.” swears King as Soapdish hopefully begins his count.










T-NOO! Candace shoots a shoulder up moments after Soapdish brings his hand up after the second count, and rolls away from her antagonist as Johnson attempts to corral her back into the center of the ring. It’s to no avail, however, because Candace fires off a few quick kicks that, while not connecting, are enough to keep the Canadian at bay as she makes her way towards a standing position. Johnson stays back, waiting for the Joshi Dragon to arise, before charging forward to attack! But he’s not expecting a counterattack, and that’s what he gets as Candace whips a clothesline towards his head! But he sees it coming, and ducks under it before turning to face Candace’s back and spinning her around…












Candace goes down hard, grabbing at her sternum as she tries to escape the Ultimate Fighter. Unfortunately, she’s too distracted to fend him off with kicks, and the Canadian takes advantage by dropping down and covering her, driving his elbow into her sternum for added effect as Soapdish drops for another count.


“Okay, three minutes forty-five seconds.”




















King swears again, his prediction once again wrong, as Candace shoves the pain in her chest aside to kick out of the pin. Johnson is a little frustrated, but he knew going in that it was probably too early for that to pick up the win anyway. Instead, he drags Candace to her feet, and secures a front facelock before hoisting her upright…








…and standing there shocked as Candace floats over, and then laying there holding his neck as the Joshi Dragon sits out with a neckbreaker!







“Textbook counter to a suplex for most flyers, but it’s still quite effective when it comes to shifting momentum! If Candace can take advantage, then the match is back under her control.” says Pete, and Candace wastes no time, grabbing the prone Johnson in an inverted facelock before pulling him in and adding a body scissors. The Canadian is in trouble now, and he knows it, as he immediately begins scrabbling around trying to break the hold in some way.


“BEAST CHOKER!” shouts Pete, ecstatic about the perfectly applied doushime Dragon Sleeper that Candace is exhibiting for the Indianapolis crowd. “This could be an upset! Candace has the opportunity to advance here!”


“Candace also has the opportunity to piss off Johnson here. And who the hell wants to do that?” asks King.


Meanwhile, Johnson is still digging away, trying to escape the hold without violating any sort of rule. He muscles his arm into the powerful vice grip of the Joshi Dragon, but her legs refuse to give way. The Canadian is beginning to black out, his air being thoroughly cut off by the hold. Finally, as a last ditch effort, Johnson remembers back to wrestling his brothers in his yard, and remembers the single most effective submission escape.





And with that, Johnson reaches down and pinches Okimura on the hamstring. The Joshi Dragon screeches in surprise and at the stinging, and it’s in that moment that her legs loosen and Johnson can reach in and break the doushime grip. With that taken care of, Johnson plants his feet down before shoving and, using great upper body strength, pull himself up and over Candace’s head onto his feet. Then, bending at the knees, and with a grunt, Johnson stands himself upright, forming a giant ‘T’ with the Joshi Dragon’s body as the upper line. Candace, for all her shortcomings, knows well enough to hold on for her life in this situation, and hold on she does, although she no longer has the benefit of a choke.


“Well, it seems like Johnson has gained some better ground,” says Pete. “Although I’m curious to see how he gets out of this.”


Pete’s curiosity is soon satiated, as Johnson reaches back and grabs the Joshi Dragon’s hand, ripping it from its position and breaking the hold. Okimura tries to reapply the grip, but she’s not quick enough, and Johnson places his hands in a position that would provide the most lift before shoving as hard as he can upwards, sending Frisco’s client into the air. She flails her arms and legs, trying to slow her fall as much as possible and braces herself for a rather uncomfortable landing on the canvas.









If only that pesky European uppercut hadn’t gotten in the way.







“OH MY F...” begins Pete, before stopping himself. “OH MY GOD!” he tries again, and this time manages to avoid obscenities as Candace’s head snaps back at an unnatural angle before she falls the remaining six feet to the canvas. Johnson smiles when he hears the bang of flesh on plywood, then turns and rolls the prone Joshi Dragon over for a pin.











Despite some serious blunt force trauma, Candace manages to rocket a shoulder up, a concerned Frisco clapping politely on the outside as Johnson sits back on his haunches and shakes his head before covering again, this time hooking a leg.














Unfortunately for Johnson, he hooked the near leg. Thus allowing Candace to drape the far leg over the bottom rope and break up the count. Johnson is visibly frustrated now, but he still forces himself to maintain a level head (read: not behead Soapdish) as he drags Candace to her feet. Again, he applies a front facelock, and drapes the Joshi Dragon’s arm over his head before, not taking any chances after last time, stomping his foot and bringing her over HARD with a snap suplex!





As opposed to releasing the facelock, Johnson instead swivels his hips and rolls, dragging Candace to her feet for another punishing suplex, lifting as CANDACE DROPS DOWN AND TAKES HIM OVER WITH A SMALL PACKAGE!!
















NO!! Johnson kicks out with AUTHORITY~, and the camera zooms in to reveal a hateful stare, gritted teeth, and a man that is shaking with rage.






That’s not from a snap suplex, but from Johnson pounding his fist into the canvas as he gets to his feet, Candace also rising. Before Candace can even get upright, however, a furious Johnson has pounced, and the results are not pretty.








...go three rapid-fire elbow shots, the Joshi Dragon staggering back into the corner as Johnson follows her, unleashing more elbows.









Okimura is pretty much out of it now, but just to be sure, Johnson places her upright in the corner and, taking careful aim, spins around and-




-ABSOLUTELY DESTROYS HER WITH A ROLLING ELBOW!! Candace slumps down into a seated position, but she really doesn’t stay there for long, because Johnson steps out of the corner and grabs her foot, dragging her into the middle of the ring and hooking the leg past the limits of human flexibility as Soapdish drops.


















“No way,” says King, a look of shock on his face.



“I can hardly believe it myself,” says Pete. “Her resiliency is unbelievable.



But it’s true. Candace got a shoulder up, ever so slightly, but enough to cancel out the pin. And now Johnson is really angry. Pulling at his hair angry. Shoves Soapdish aside when he checks on Candace angry. The ref warns him, but the Ultimate Fighter doesn’t seem to listen, dragging Candace to her feet once more. And the Joshi Dragon refuses to die, leaping and grabbing Johnson’s head with her legs before taking him over with the second hurricanrana of the match! Johnson rolls through, and turns around to a basement dropkick from Candace! He goes down to one knee, and that’s all the Joshi Dragon needs.





“BUUUZZZSSAAAWWW KIIIICCCKKK!!!!” orgasms Pete, Johnson’s head snapping to the side as his eyes glaze over, and the pissed-off look disappears from his face as he collapses. Okimura hesitates a moment, shaking the elbow-induced haze out of her head before reaching down and grabbing Johnson’s ankle to pull him away from the ropes. Unfortunately for her, Johnson’s not dying that easily. He reaches out and latches onto the bottom rope with both hands, completely kick-drunk, but still tenacious. And try as she might, Candace can’t break the Ultimate Fighter’s death grip on what may very well be his salvation. Realizing this, the Joshi Dragon releases his foot before backing up a few steps. Never good to be too close to an Ultimate Fighter, even a largely unconscious one. From there, she waits a moment, rethinking her plan before deciding on a course of action. An aerial one.


Candace steps out onto the apron, and reasoning that Johnson’s not going to do anything about it anyway, decides to add a little flash as she hoists herself up to the top before setting sail with a flipping senton!










Bad reasoning.







The sound of knees on spine is never a pleasant one, especially if you own said spine. But Candace doesn’t particularly care about the sound right now. She’s focusing on the feeling, and the feeling is equally unpleasant as she rolls away, grabbing at her back with her face frozen in a silent scream, and she kicks at the canvas holding her back. Johnson sits up, still woozy but smelling blood, and shakes his head, his black hair flailing everywhere before he gets to his hands and knees and crawls over, rolling her over and covering.








But be it by sheer effort, or just more spasming from her crushed vertebrae, Candace kicks out somewhat easily. Johnson’s too out of it to be angry, and so he stands, slightly shaky, before grabbing Candace and lifting her to her feet. With that grand endeavor out of the way, Johnson deigns to next whip the Joshi Dragon to the ropes. But alas, ‘tis not to be, as Okimura reverses and sends Johnson to the strands. The Canadian rebounds, and Candace doubles him over with a kick to the gut before standing him back upright and...







...letting loose on his chest with a knife-edge chop!





Which is immediately repaid by Johnson shoving his elbow through her face. Candace staggers, but shows her fighting spirit, unleashing three knife-edge chops so fast that the crowd can’t even keep up!














Johnson stumbles, surprisingly staggered by the stinging blows. But he recovers quickly, and lets fly with another elbow that CANDACE DUCKS UNDER BEFORE SECURING A REAR WAISTLOCK AND DROPPING JOHNSON ON HIS SHOULDERS WITH A RELEASE GERMAN SUPLEX!!





“WHERE THE HELL DID SHE GET THAT FROM?!” shrieks King, now agape at Candace’s mad crazy comeback skills.


“Somewhere deep inside, King. Lots of fighting spirit in her,” notes Pete, almost misty eyed from laughter at the torment the Gambling Man is going through.


“You mispronounced Frisco.”





Johnson hits the mat hard and rolls onto his stomach, knowing that this will give him that extra spare second he’ll need to pull the energy to kick out of the forthcoming pin. Oh, and momentum helped. Candace sits up, completely exhausted from the strenuous lifting she just did. Strong or not, Johnson still outweighs her by 95 pounds, and that’s a hell of a load to suplex. Regardless, she still manages to slip over and roll the Ultimate Fighter onto his back, hooking the leg as Soapdish drops down once more.


“This is it! Major upset!” shouts Pete. King simply refuses to look.














Johnson rolls onto his stomach again. Candace tries not to cry. Pete picks his nose. King discovers religion. And the match continues.


Unsurprisingly, the Joshi Dragon is first to her feet, and grabs Johnson’s hair to pull him to his feet, ignoring the commands from Soapdish to release her grip on his ‘do. Candace quickly realizes her follicle folly and switches to the Canadian’s arms, pulling him up into a double underhook. Since she has no moves that start from this position, Candace is at a loss for what to do. So she simply releases the underhook and sprints to the ropes, aiming a Yakuza Kick at the head of the doubled-over Johnson!






The not as doubled over Johnson.






The standing Johnson.





The throwing-a-shotgun-lariat-her-way Johnson.







“Okay, so it was slightly longer than three minutes. He won anyway,” gloats the Heartbreaker.




Candace swiftly turns inside out, spinning a full 270 degrees before coming down hard on her face and chest and rolling over onto her back. As Johnson drops to his knees to cover, Candace stirs slightly, as if she’s going to prove King wrong. And she’s still got three chances.






Going once.







Going twice.










Sold, to the man at the announce table. Johnson rolls off, STILL woozy from that Buzzsaw Kick, and continues out of the ring, only stopping to be handed his belt as he stumbles up the ramp, “Scapegoat” blasting around the Fieldhouse.


“Here is your winner, the number one seed...J! J! Johnson!” booms Funyon as the crowd boos and jeers and does various other crowdly things.


“Well, folks, JJ Johnson advances. Although it’s not for lack of effort from Candace, who put up a hell of a fight,” says Pete, ignoring King’s snickering. “We’ve got more Cold Front Classic action in the main event, but directly following this commercial break is a tag contendership match between the team of Spike Jenkins and Akira Kaibatsu against the Ultraviolent Champion Bruce Blank, and his partner Max King. Stick around, folks.”


At this announcement, King sits bolt upright. “Holy shit!”



“What?” inquires Pete, as the scene begins to fade out.



“We have a tag divi-”




Edited by Justice

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Returning from commercials, we only get to see a brief glimpse of the arena before all the lights in the arena go up to full power and the Smarktron goes white. The familiar sound of a needle scratching over vinyl goes on until...




Then the crashing guitars of "Black Label" fill through the arena, causing the crowd to stand up and cheer.


"And the fans are ready for what should be a VERY interesting match here on Smarkdown! Two teams that have rarely if ever been working together teaming up for a shot at the Tag Team Titles!" Pete comments over the hard hitting drums, and ends just in time for...




Followed by the lights flashing on the entryway, and the Straight Edged one himself stepping out, going onto one knee. His masked partner and his partner's manager and mouthpiece, stand behind Jenkins as he goes to a knee, and holds up his arms in an X position.


Funyon: The following tag team contest is scheduled for one fall, and it is to determine the Number One Contenders for the SWF World Tag Team Championship! Introducing first, being accompanied to the ring by Mr. Kobe...at a total combined weight of 415 pounds...the team of "The Divine Wind" Akira Kaibatsu and "Hollywood"...SPIKE...JENKINS!


"You know something Pete, I kinda like this match being made up." Suicide King notes.


"Oh? And why is that?"


"Because with at least one of their opponents, that means a good chance of someone getting REALLY injured in this match, and either one of them on the shelf would make me smile."


"LOVELY sentiments from my colleague here." Pete replies with sarcasm dripping from his voice. "However, with their opponents slightly larger size, these two men have a good speed advantage, and they could make this match a quick one if we're not careful."


As Jenkins rolls into the ring to finish his entrance, his partner Akira goes into a corner and just waits. It's hard to tell from under the mask just what is going through The Divine Wind's mind at the moment as Jenkins does his thing...


...until the lights are suddenly cut out in the arena, a stark contrast from the previous entrance. After a few seconds of silence...






The explosion of pyro serves as a lead in for "Superstar" to cue up over the speakers. The lights come back on to show Max King and Kelly standing proud in the entryway...behind him the looming and ominous figure that is their Championship clad partner. The former two go towards the ring, all business in the mannerisms. The latter one trash talks to the fans as he walks towards the ring...thus giving this team a mixed reaction from the crowd.


Funyon: Aaaand their opponents, being accompanied to the ring by Kelly "The Queen" Connelly...at a total combined weight of 545 pounds...the team of SWF Ultraviolent Champion Bruce Blank...and "The Icon"....MAX...KING!


"They've got the size, they've got a much better looking ringside attendant, one of them has pure hatred for someone I hate, and the other one just kicks ass and takes names." King notes about this team. "Despite Max's change of attitude for the worse, I think I like this team's chances."


"They do have a lot of advantages on their side in this match...as well as the fact that Bruce Blank has recently defeated BOTH of their opponents in one-on-one action. However, past actions aren't the only thing that matters in a tag team match, King. As should be obvious, teamwork is a major part as well."


Max King and Kelly get onto the ring apron, getting ready to step into the ring at the same time while giving each other the "good luck" kiss, however they don't get the chance to as Blank shoves between them, getting into the ring on his own, and shows off his belt.


"Hah, that's the way Blank! Show that you mean business in that ring tonight! Show that you want to become a double champion in this company!" Suicide King compliments as Blank gives his title to the referee...Max King and Kelly looking at him angrily. Jenkins and Kaibatsu don't know what to make of all this just yet.


“I’m not convinced that Max King and Bruce Blank are on the same page here” Pete just manages to squeeze in before Bruce jumpstarts the match by sending Akira over the top rope with a stiff lariat right across the chest.


Even though he obviously and visibly disapproves of Bruce’s sneak attack Max steps out onto the apron and grabs the tag rope while Bruce turns his attention towards Hollywood Spike Jenkins. Bruce tries to lock up with the much smaller Jenkins but he ducks under Bruce’s massive arms and lands a spinning leg lariat to the broad back of Bruce Blank knocking the big man forward a few steps but nothing more than that though.


“Spike hasn’t forgotten their last encounter King, he’s looking to even the score here tonight” Pete says making references to Bruce’s victory over Spike leading up to “Ashes 2 Ashes”


“If Bruce drops him straight on his head he could forget both the loss and who he is” King fires back, pointing out that no one should count Bruce out.


Spike runs at Bruce but the big man clasps his hand around Spike’s throat and lifts him up straight in the air. Using his forward momentum Spike succeeds in spinning the choke slam attempt around so he lands with his feet on the middle ropes in the corner. Spike quickly kicks Bruce in the chest to knock the Ultraviolent champion back and then a split second later drop kicks Bruce square in the chest, knocking the big man back into the opposite corner.




With Bruce hanging off the ropes in the corner Spike quickly rushes in, leaps up on Bruce’s bent knee but when he tries to kick Bruce in the back of the head with his Dangerous Wizard the big man bobs his head out of the way so that Spike ends up sitting on Bruce’s shoulders instead. Spike throws all of his 220 pounds forward and manages to roll Bruce up with a victory roll.








But an enraged Bruce doesn’t allow the count to go any further as he kicks out with such power that Spike flies off him and lands a good 2 feet away. The Ultraviolent champion quickly rolls up onto his knees and then tags in Max King who was clearly not expecting to be tagged in at this moment in the match.


“Bruce just couldn’t wait to get out of the ring!” Pete says with a chuckle.


“Spike has obviously done his homework this time, he’s got Bruce’s number” King replies.


Bruce steps through the ropes and just looks at Max who’s yet to enter the ring, but once the referee begins to count he steps through the ropes, shoots his partner a dirty look and then locks up with Spike in the middle of the ring. Max uses his height and strength advantage to push Spike back into the corner against the ropes. Max slowly backs off as the referee begins to count for a rope break, he’s got his hands in the air prepared to defend himself giving Spike a clean break.


“I still can’t figure out what the heck Bruce and Max are doing tagging” Pete wonders out loud


“Maybe you’re OVER analyzing it Pete. Max has problems with Landon, Bruce just beat Landon to a bloody pulp on Lockdown” King pontificates


“Could it be that simple?” Pete asks rhetorically.


Spike quickly runs at Max after the clean break to gain the momentum but the Icon manages to hook Spike and drive him into the canvas with a power slam. Then he backs up a few steps to get a running start as he flips over Spike’s head and snaps his head forward in one smooth motion. Max strikes a quick pose and a smile as Bruce just leans against the ring post seemingly not very interested at all in what’s going on in the ring right now.


“Max needs to focus on his opponent more! He had him down, drive an elbow into his throat or something” King says disappointed in how cleanly Max wrestles these days.


“You’d like nothing better than to see him cheat wouldn’t you? To hurt someone?” Pete asks


“Especially if it’s Maddix!” King says actually openly supporting a face in his quest to beat Landon Maddix.


Spike slowly gets back to his feet before Max decides to take another shot at him. Spike reaches back and blindly tags in Akira while Max King runs right at him. Spike ducks under the attack from Max allowing his tag-team partner to come flying off the top rope with a cross body block into a cover on the totally unprepared Max King.










TH-Kick out!!


“FOCUS YOU IDIOT! Bruce screams at his partner as he got more than a little worried that he was about to lose the match.


“Wow that’s teamwork” Pete says with a thick layer of sarcasm in his voice when referring to Max and Bruce


Akira doesn’t allow his opponent to get a breather as he grabs Max by the right arm before he’s even back up on his feet and drives him down with an Arm bar DDT. Then he quickly floats over into a Fujiwara Arm bar, wrenching back on Max’s right arm sending flashes of searing white pain down his elbow and shoulder. Bruce shifts his weight on the apron, uncomfortable with just watching the action in the ring but unable to affect it.


Max fights against the pain, he tries to shift his body a bit to alleviate the pressure of the arm bar but Akira has it expertly applied and isn’t about to give his opponent any opening in the match. After a few more moments in the arm bar Bruce has had enough and rushes into the ring stomping Akira across the back of the head / neck with his cowboy boot, breaking the hold before the referee can intercept him.




“Referee Nick Soapdish wasn’t on the ball there, he let Bruce break up the arm bar before he could stop him” Pete complains


“Oh quit whining, he has a five count to get in and out of the ring” King replies, obviously ignoring the lack of a tag on Bruce and Max’s side.


After the blow to the head Akira thinks it best to tag out as he quickly reaches over and slaps hands with Spike. But before he leaves the ring he picks Max up from the canvas and lifts him up for a double team move. Spike quickly climbs the ropes and then comes off with a drop kick to the face of the Icon. Max is knocked backwards, flipping over his own head and landing on his stomach right at Bruce’s feet. The Ultraviolent champion grabs the tag rope with one hand as he notices the referee watching and then he reaches down and slaps Max on the knee to tag himself in.


“Awesome team work, they planned that one to perfection” King gushes as Bruce steps through the ropes.


“Planned? Have you been drinking again King?” Pete asks.


Bruce gives Max King a quick nudge with his leg to help him out of the ring before lunging at Akira on the apron, striking the Divine Wind on the side of the head with a brass knuckles enhanced fists.


“Where the hell did that come from??” Pete yells out as he missed Bruce sliding the weapon on as he stepped through the ropes.


The impact knocks Akira off the apron and onto the floor where he lays legs and arms sprawled out in all directions, seemingly out cold. Nick Soapdish questions Bruce but the big man denies any wrongdoing as he slides the knucks off with his hands behind his back to block both Soapdish and Spike’s view of it. Then Bruce quickly tosses it backwards to Max who instinctively catches it, but the second he realizes what it is he looks disgusted and quickly gets rid of it.


“See? TEAMWORK!!” King points out.


“Is that what you saw? I saw Bruce cheating and Max King not liking it one bit” Pete replies


The action doesn’t continue until Nick Soapdish is finally satisfied that Bruce apparently did not cheat, at least not in a way that he could prove it. Bruce fakes going for a collar and elbow tie up and instead drives his thumb into Spike’s eye to gain the advantage in the match. Then he grabs Spike by his hair and drags his face across the top ring rope with a vicious grin on his face, followed by a clothesline that sends his opponent to the canvas with a thud.


Max is yelling at Bruce from the apron, admonishing him for cheating so blatantly. Bruce looks over at his partner for a moment with annoyance before he bends over to grab Spike by the hair once more. But much to Bruce’s dismay and the delight of the crowd Spike landed in the corner where Max threw the brass knucks. The metal object flashes through the air as Spike strikes Bruce right across the jaw, driving the big man backwards, knocking him flat on his back.


“WHAT A DIRTY CHEATER!!” King yells in outrage


“Turnaround is fair play King, if you can’t take it – don’t dish it out” Pete replies with a grin.


Spike quickly slides the brass knucks off his hand and throws them into the crowd so that no one can use them again in this match. Then he looks towards his corner, hoping for a tag. But Akira is nowhere to be seen, in fact he’s still on the floor, knocked out by the brass knuckle shot that Bruce gave him earlier in the match.


Spike doesn’t lose his determination when he sees that his partner is still down though, instead he grabs Bruce by the arm and flips the big man over on his stomach. Then he wraps his right arm around Bruce’s throat and sits back, then he manages to lift Bruce’s massive left arm and lock that as well while pulling back hard on the 295 pounder.


“It’s the Silver Lining!!” Pete screams


“Oh Bruce’ll power right out of that, don’t you worry” King says nonchalantly


Spike’s muscle shake as he applies the pressure on the big man, using all his skill and leverage to even be able to lock the Dragon Clutch on the broad shouldered man.


“Any minute now Pete – you’ll see” King adds without any doubt in his voice.


Bruce’s face contorts in pain as Spike sits back on Bruce’s spine trying to bend it in the opposite direction of what it was designed to do, rocking back and forth a little to lock the throat lock on tighter and tighter every time Bruce’s draws a breath of air.


“Okay you can break it now Bruce” King says, obviously starting to worry.


Nick Soapdish grabs Bruce’s right arm and raises it into the air to see if Bruce is out cold from the Dragon Clutch or not. The arm drops lifelessly to the canvas once, then another time, but Max decides to enter the ring and kick Spike off Bruce before Nick Soapdish can lift Bruce’s arm a third time. Max doesn’t even stay in the ring for a second after he kicked Spike but quickly returns to the apron with the tag rope in hand yelling for Bruce to tag him in.


“See he’d break it, I knew it” King says with a sigh of relief.


“Max broke it! Not Bruce” Pete points out


“Ah semantics” King says quickly dismissing that notion.


Spike is on his knees, holding his neck as he crawls towards his own corner looking for a tag, but unfortunately Akira is still not up on the apron. Although Mr. Kobe has managed to get Akira up on his feet he’s still holding on to his manager, staggering around on the floor unable to return to the ring right now. One of the advantages of having a 6’7’’ partner is that he has a very long reach, which is important at Bruce is only able to crawl a few feet towards his partner before Max tags in.


“Spike is fighting a one man war here, Bruce and Max can tag but Spike is on his own” Pete whines as Akira is still not back on the apron.


“Akira brought it on himself Pete, he didn’t have to stick his nose in Bruce’s business earlier.” King replies


“So that makes it okay?”


“Yes it does Pete” King replies.


Max rushes his opponent, landing a clothesline that spins Spike 360 in the air before he lands on his face. The Icon places Spike’s head between his knees and then pulls the 220 pounder upwards, most likely hoping to put him in a piledriver position, but Spike jumps with the move adding enough momentum to flip himself up onto Max’s shoulders. Spike tries a hurricanrana but Max puts his arms up to prevent it from happening and in the hopes of turning the move into a power bomb. Max staggers backwards a few steps as Spike lands a few choice shots to the top of the Icon’s head and then drops backwards sending Spike face first into the top turnbuckle.


“It’s good to see that Max hasn’t lost a step in the ring after his long absence, that move was a stroke of genius” Pete says


Max quickly steps through the ropes and climbs up onto the top rope, he eyes Spike on the ground and then prepares to land a flying elbow drop. But the drop is interrupted as Akira finally manages to drag himself up onto the apron by the ropes. The weight of Akira pulling on the top rope shakes it so much that Max looses his footing and slips off landing with one leg on either side of the turnbuckle.




“I doubt we’ll see a Max Jr. now” King quips in order to hide his own discomfort.


With his partner finally back on the apron Spike is more than happy to tag him in and leave the ring himself to catch his breath after fighting a large portion of the match by himself. Akira swiftly steps through the ropes to show that he’s more or less recovered from the brass knuckles attack earlier. Then he climbs up on the second rope, hook Max around the head and grabs the tights and superplexes the helpless Icon off the top rope to a big pop


“The crowd seems to really have taken to Akira” King says all perplexed.


“I’m sure exposing Bruce as a liar didn’t hurt King, there is just something about his “Never give up” attitude”


“Yeah, it stinks”


Akira just stands there and watches as Max manages to tag in Bruce, almost as if he WANTED Bruce to enter the ring with him. Bruce gives him the dirtiest of dirty looks as the big man zeroes in on the Divine Wind. With a swift flick of the legs Akira takes Bruce down with a drop toehold that he rolls over into a side headlock on the big man. Akira makes sure the hold is on tight at Bruce starts to rise, lifting the 195 Japanese Cruiserweight up in the air.


“Why would he want Bruce in the ring? That doesn’t make sense at all, you’d want to keep the bigger more dangerous opponent on the outside as much as possible” King says, wondering if Akira had flipped his lid.


“Akira doesn’t have any problems with Max King though, he’s got problems with Bruce and his actions in and out of the ring” Pete explains.


The moment Bruce raises Akira into the air Spike runs down the apron and quickly pushes his partner’s feet to give him enough momentum to turn the headlock into a tornado Bulldog on the Ultraviolent champion. A split second after the big man’s face has been driven into the canvas Akira leaps to his feet, runs at Bruce who’s barely up on his hands and knees and uses him as a step ladder by placing a foot on his back to help him up on the top rope.


“Damn he’s fast, he’s so fast he’s sudden!” Pete says, in full cliché mode.


“Yeah but can he outrun a fart? I don’t think so” King quips, to which Pete doesn’t have an answer… or a clue to what the Suicide King is even talking about.


The Divine Wind flips backwards off the top rope and lands an elbow right to Bruce’s lower back that’s already been weakened by the “Silver Lining” earlier in the match. Akira quickly reaches out and tags Spike before climbing up the ropes again as referee Nick Soapdish begins the mandatory 5 count




Spike climbs up the ropes in his corner to the top rope




The two men throw each other a thumbs up as they both balance on the top rope




Quickly leaping off Akira lands a back Senton bomb while Spike lands a flying leg drop right across Bruce’s throat.




Akira quickly rolls out under the bottom rope before the count reaches 5. The moment Akira is under the ropes Spike covers Bruce by laying across his chest with all of his 220 pounds of weight.













“At the very last split second” Pete says to relay just HOW close that pinfall was in case the viewers at home had missed Bruce kicking out with referee Nick Soapdish’s hand mere inches from the canvas.


“You don’t become the Ultraviolent champion by being a softy!” King so rightly points out.


"Well, for once we agree on something there." Pete notes, as Jenkins seems in shock that Blank wasn't put away with that, but shakes it off as he tries to figure out something else to do to get this match to become a victory. He takes a few steps back, waiting for the large bodied Ultraviolent champion to start getting up to his feet, then when he's at one knee Jenkins charges in with an attempted Shining Wizard.


The angle that Jenkins and Blanks bodies were in comparison with the referee, however, prevent the zebra from seeing Blank simply raise one of his arms, catching Jenkins right in a very sensitive area as he comes in. This, like Max King's slip up earlier in the match, causes the male portion of the audience to wince in pain and hold themselves.


"What a cheap trick by Blank! If the referee saw that his team would..."


"But that's the thing Petey-boy, the referee DIDN'T see it! And you know the old rule about what a referee sees and what he doesn't see." Suicide King reminds.


"Unfortunately, that rule is in full effect here. Blank has given his team a great advantage at the moment, and if he can make the tag he will give them more of advantage."


The camera pans over to Max King, who despite his storied past with rule breaking seems disgusted by this turn of events. Jenkins rolls slowly to his corner to try to get a tag, and Blank starts lumbering his way to his corner.


"Blank within a few inches from making the tag, and that will change the completion of this match se..."


Pete isn't able to say "severely" though, as Max King jumps down from the apron just before Blank makes the tag. Blank looks up, and seems PISSED at this turn of events, SHOUTING at King to make the tag. King's reply is easily heard by the camera.


"Not this way, bitch."


"WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH HIM!?" Suicide King shouts, sounding like he's going to have a seizure at this turn of events. "This is for a shot at the titles, it shouldn't matter HOW you got it won!"


"The Icon has his own ways, and Blank better turn around soon! Jenkins makes the tag, and Akira is in the ring!"


Blank turns around, still furious about the turn of events, only to get chopped repeatedly across his massive chest by the Divine Wind! Bruce staggers at the repeated sickening slapping sound going across his chest, thus setting him up for an Irish whip attempt. Blank manages to reverse the whip attempt, but unfortunately for him gets caught right into the face with a roaring elbow, sending him staggering into the corner. Akira charges in for some type of attack while Blank is in the corner, but this time King manages to get a tag in just as Blank gets a cross body attack by the Divine Wind. The Icon steps into the ring, and just as Akira gets back to his feet he nails him with a kick and drops him with a DDT that appears almost a spiking style one.


"Kaibatsu dropped square on his head, and he may be out cold from that DDT! King played it smart just then, waiting for just the right moment to get in the ring to strike!" Pete notes.


"He COULD have gotten in earlier though. Jenkins would have made a MUCH better target, especially after what Blank did to him."


"That doesn't matter now though. King not going for the cover, as I think he doesn't feel that Akira would have stayed down." Pete notes. "King turning Akira down...and gets that Judo Choke hold on him! This could be that new move he's brought out! This could be the Iconizer!"


However, just before King is going to drop Akira with the Iconizer, Jenkins...despite the pain he's feeling down below...gets into the ring and hits King across the head, breaking the hold. King turns his attention to Jenkins, and it turns into an all out brawl between the two of them.


"HAH! I love this! Both of you just beat the crap out of each other, and let Blank pick up whatever remains!" Suicide King calls as the two tweeners with face tendencies slug away at each other.


"Jenkins and King have had a past...sometimes working together during the Revolution Zero days...and Akira cuts of Blank before he can get involved in the slugfest! It's a riot out there in the ring, and the referee is caught right in the middle of it!"


"Come on Blank, you know you're better than this! Get in there and clean house!" Suicide King calls as the fight gets into opposite corners, King and Blank's size advantage allowing them to push their opponents there.


"You're a commentator, not a manager!" Pete retorts. "Do your job!"


King and Blank look over to each other, and despite their disagreements earlier in the match nod as they both try to whip their smaller opponents into each other. However, they're both caught by surprise when Jenkins and Akira manage to reverse the whips, causing Blank to plow over King like a truck plowing through a paper wall. With The Icon out of the match for the moment, "Hollywood" and "The Divine Wind" focus all their attacks onto the UV Champ, hitting them with everything they've got. Both Cruiserweight level stars go off the rope, ducking a double clothesline attempt by blank, and catch him as he turns around with a double team dropkick! Akira leans in to cover Blank, but the referee doesn't count.


"Akira was so eager to get the win that he failed to realize that Blank wasn't the legal man!" Suicide King notes. "Or maybe there was just a problem with translation..."


"Jenkins informing his partner that King was the legal man, and I think the two of them are back on track now." Pete notes. "Jenkins going to hold Blank off...but the referee is stopping him!"


"And that's what his job is! Jenkins isn't the legal man either, so since he's conscious about what is going on, he should get out of the ring! For once, I have to applaud the officiating!"


Akira looks around the ringside area for King, who rolled out to the arena floor after his partner accidentally blasted him with his body, and sees him on the floor getting some words of encouragement from the luscious Kelly.


"...how come she can't give ME some pep talks?" Suicide wonders.


Pete just sighs. "Like you even NEED to ask?"


Akira slides out of the ring, Mr. Kobe cheering his man on as he goes after the former ICTV Champion. However, those cheers quickly go silent, cut off by the sound of metal suddenly hitting flesh. Akira turns over, and the camera pans to see Bruce Blank with his title belt in hand, and a busted open Mr. Kobe on the arena floor. Akira charges in to the defense of his manager, and for his trouble gets a belt to the face as well, dropping him HARD! Blank makes sure that King didn't see any of that happen, not wanting to deal with the same deal that he had to deal with during that tag earlier, and slides Akira back into the ring, then goes to help King up.


"Dastardly deeds by Bruce Blank again! Max King has no idea what just happened, and neither does the referee, as he's still tied up with Jenkins in the ring!" Pete complains. "This is highway robbery!"


"It's great planning on his part!" King retorts. "And you know it!"


Max King has finally gotten to his feet, and slides into the ring, unsure of what to make of Akira being down and seemingly out. He shrugs it off, figuring it was just a bad fortune, and picks Akira up once again.


"Max King doesn't have a clue what just happened, and now is going for...he's hooked Akira up...The KING BUSTER!" Pete calls, as "The Icon" drops his opponent right on the back of his head.


The crowd boos, not liking the way that King and Blank are about to win this. King goes in for the cover.










"Blank cutting Jenkins off from breaking the count!" King calls with joy in his voice...




"Superstar" starts to play over the speakers again, as victory has been obtained. Kelly slides into the ring to hug her man as he gets up to his feet, and Blank just nods confidently as the announcement is made.


Funyon: Here are your winners, and NEW Number One Contenders for the Tag Team Championship...BRUCE BLANK...and "THE ICON"...MAX....KING!


"King is unaware of what just happened, but nevertheless he and Blank are the tag team champions! The referee going to check on Akira...of course he's out! He was hit with a belt, ref!" Pete tries to inform.


"You have no proof of that, Pete."


"Oh yeah? LOOK!"


While the referee is checking on the condition of Akira, the replay plays on the Smarktron...showing indeed that Blank hit Akira with the belt on the outside of the ring. King looks FURIOUS at this, turning to Blank and starting to argue with him.


"What is King complaining about? His team won! He should be happy!" Suicide King protests.


"That's now how he wanted to win this match...and Blank just blowing him off. Blank about to..."


As Blank's back is turned King, he fails to see as The Icon grabs him from behind in his modified Judo move, and drops down HARD in a snapping like motion.


"ICONIZER on Blank! That's what you get for cheating your way to victory!" Pete calls out, as the crowd ERUPTS in cheers at the actions of "The Icon" The camera cuts in close to hear his words.


"Next time, we do it MY way, bitch!" he tells Blank, as he goes over to check on Akira as well.


"I can't believe King did that! That was his own partner!" Suicide King notes. "That's just not right!"


"It's not right, but it happened. King checking on his opponents, and he wants to make sure that they're OK. We have commercials, but don't go away! Our main event is next!" Pete calls, as the camera fades on King and Jenkins checking on Akira.

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“The Cold Front Classic is underway, and now we have one of our eagerly-anticipated first round matches!” Longdogger Pete shills as the live feed comes back to the Conseco Fieldhouse. “These two men are no strangers to each other, as TORU Takahara and Jay Hawke have clashed many times over the last six weeks or so, including stealing the Tag Titles from each other and back again, then meeting in the memorable Ladder Match in Tokyo where TKO won the straps, and most recently in the Battle Royal where Hawke and JJ Johnson eliminated the Japanese Hammer.”


“Jay Hawke could very well be our next World Heavyweight Champion, Dogger,” Suicide King claims, “let’s face it, this man is the longest-reigning champion in the entire five-year history of the SWF. In my eyes, it’s only a matter of time before he puts the International Title aside and claims the greatest prize; he might even have the talent to go through El Luchador Magnifico to do it!”


“I’m not disagreeing with you King,” Pete says, surprising even himself, “but I think that TORU might have something to say about that. Granted he doesn’t have the SWF experience or record that Hawke has, but he has only been defeated once in singles competition in the last two-and-a-half years!”


“MacDougal, you know as well as I do that TORU hadn’t [/i][/i]wrestled[/i][/i] a singles match for two-and-a-half years before he came to the SWF,” King snorts as Funyon steps into the ring. “Don’t get me wrong, I like TORU… but I think the Dean of Professional Wrestling is about to give him a lesson he’ll never forget.”


“You’re reduced to stealing other people’s catchphrases now?” LDP mutters as the camera feed switches to the ring.


“Ladies and gentlemen, the following non-title match is scheduled for one fall, and will determine which competitor advances to the second round of the Cold Front Classic!” Funyon booms. “Introducing first, from Cleveland, Ohio…”


The strains of ‘Learning To Fly’ by Pink Floyd start up over the PA system and the words ‘Class Is In Session’ appear on the Smarktron, replaced moments later by images of Jay Hawke applying headlocks, ARM-BARS and the dreaded Wing Span. The crowd are unanimous in their disapproval for the egotistical veteran, and rise in their seats to voice their displeasure.




“…he weighs in tonight at 215lbs, and is the reigning SWF International Champion,” Funyon continues, “representing Cucaracha International, this is ‘The Dean Of Professional Wrestling’… JAAAAAAAAAY… HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAWKE!!”


Hawke appears at the top of the ramp, black-and-purple robe wrapped around him, and pauses to soak in the abuse of the crowd before smirking and starting to make his way down the ramp. As he does so various signs are shoved in his face, including ‘DOUGLAS SAYS YOUR GIMMICK SUCKS’ and ‘FALLOUT WANTS YOU OFF HIS LAWN’, but the Dean ignores them and oozes into the ring under the bottom rope before undoing his robe to reveal the International Title beneath. Hawke unstraps this and hands it to referee Brian Warner before beginning to do some stretches, warming up for the task ahead of him.


“At 29 and 28 respectively, Jay Hawke and TORU Takahara are two of the oldest competitors in the SWF at the moment,” Pete notes, “but both are still in the prime of their careers. However King, I must ask you; given the height, weight and speed advantage possessed by TORU, how do you think Hawke can win this?”


“Sheer wrestling excellence,” the Gambling Man responds. “Of course, if it wasn’t for those injuries I suffered against Stevens in Hell In A Cell a year ago I could still school both these guys-”


It’s a good thing this isn’t Lockdown, because Pete’s cough appears to hide a word that’s far from Family-Friendly.


“-but nonetheless,” King continues, glaring at his commentary partner, “with Scott Pretzler still on the shelf, Jay Hawke is almost certainly the most gifted pure wrestler we have; if he can close with TORU and take him off his feet then it’s as good as over. TORU might be able to knee the snot out of you and do a Shooting Star Press, but he’s not known for his mat wrestling.”


Even as King finishes speaking the spiky guitars and harsh drums of ‘Teethgrinder’ by Therapy? start up and the Smarktron begins flashing the letters ‘T K O’ interspersed with shots of TORU delivering the Tiger Driver, the Shooting Star Press and many, many knee strikes. As the main riff kicks in the man himself appears on the soundstage, clad in flowing black vinyl trenchcoat and mirror shades, and flanked by Chris Card and Natasha.


“And his opponent, accompanied to the ring by Chris Card Enterprises; from Saitama Prefecture, Japan,” Funyon announces, “he weighs in tonight at 264lbs and is one-half of the reigning SWF Tag Team Champions, this is the ‘Japanese Hammer’… TOOOOORRR-RRRRRUUUU… TAKA-HAAAAAAARRRRRRR-AAAAAAAAA!!”


‘Everything feels good, nothin’ can stop me

Every nerve pumpin’ hard through me

Every thought rushes at full speed

This false smile grates through baby teeth




TORU reaches the bottom of the entrance ramp and hops up to the ring apron, then takes hold of the top rope and vaults over it in one agile move with his trenchcoat flapping behind him. Card and Natasha follow him into the ring and TORU shrugs the coat off, giving it to the Goth Bitch for safekeeping, but refrains from removing his shades. The big man then divests himself of his Tag Title -causing Hawke’s eyes to narrow in annoyance- and hands it to referee Brian Warner. Card and Natasha say a few last words in Japanese before exiting the ring and leaving the Japanese Hammer alone with his opponent. Warner considers going over the rules but then decides that TORU will claim not to understand him and Hawke won’t listen, so he turns away to signal for the bell…


…and whips back around before he does, fixing TORU with a stare! However, the big man just looks back at him innocently and shrugs, seemingly asking him what the problem is.


“I think Brian Warner has been caught once too often by TORU Sake Misting his opponent when the referee’s back is turned,” Pete speculates, “but it looks like Takahara wasn’t planning that this evening.”


“That makes a change,” King says, torn between appreciating good cheating and wanting Hawke to win.


Warner narrows his eyes but TORU just stands there, so he turns to call for the bell-




-and now now TORU spits the Sake into Hawke’s face, but then lets out an agonised howl and drops to his knees clutching his groin! Warner whips back around but is unable to detect which competitor broke the rules and grudgingly signals for them to continue. Surprisingly enough (or not) it is TORU who gets back to his feet first, although the Japanese Hammer makes sure to walk very gingerly in order to keep his pretence up. Hawke still seems blinded by the potent Japanese alcohol as TORU pulls him to his feet… but then the Dean slips around behind his opponent and reaches up to wrap one arm around Takahara’s face while the other goes for a chickenwing!


“Wing Span! Wing Span!” Pete bellows as TORU struggles against his opponent’s grasp, “Hawke’s going for it early!”


However, Hawke’s innate wrestling knowledge may allow him to apply his finishing submission even while blinded but he couldn’t tell that he was too close to the ropes; TORU reaches out and snags the top cable with one hand, forcing Warner in to call for the break. Hawke holds on right up to the ‘Four’ count before releasing his hold and quickly moving away, taking the chance to wipe the remaining Sake from his eyes. Meanwhile TORU removes his shades and shakes out his right arm but doesn’t immediately pursue his opponent, clearly wary of closing again too soon. The big man doesn’t want to give his opponent time to settle though, so he starts circling in case Hawke is still vulnerable. For his part the Dean of Professional Wrestling matches TORU pace for pace, clearly respectful of his opponent’s speed and reach advantage but always managing to keep him in view. With the knowledge that he’s going to have to take this to the mat to have much of a chance Hawke darts forwards, trying to snag Takahara with a single leg takedown, but the Japanese Hammer backs off out of range.


“Neither man got the early advantage he would have liked, and now we’re back to a feeling-out process,” Pete comments as the two men eye each other up. “They both need to get the balance just right here - TORU’s knee strikes are only effective at close range, but that will give Hawke the opportunity to use his technical skill… as long as he’s not getting kneed in the head!”


Jay Hawke seems to realise that he’s not going to be able to close the distance on TORU without the bigger man being able to get away so he changes tactics and takes up a wide-legged stance in the middle of the ring, one hand extended upwards in a clear invitation to a test of strength! TORU looks at his with narrowed eyes for a moment, clearly wondering why the weaker Hawke would be initiating such a contest, but then seems to decide ‘what the hell’ and advances cautiously. The Japanese Hammer reaches his left hand up until his questing fingers nearly intermesh with Hawke’s… then drives a sudden knee up towards Jay’s stomach, but Hawke was expecting it and catches TORU’s leg!


“Hah! Busted!” King laughs as TORU balances unsteadily on one leg. For a moment it looks like the big man is simply going to paste Hawke in the face with a right hand, but even as he draws his arm back Hawke hooks his right leg behind TORU’s left and sweeps it out, dumping Takahara onto his back. Before the Japanese Hammer can react Hawke twists the right leg he still has hold of and succeeds in turning TORU over onto his front, then quickly applies a stepover toehold and reaches forward to grab Takahara’s head to complete the STF, but TORU desperately grabs at Hawke’s left arm and simply stretches it out in front of him. With his left arm trapped Hawke can’t cinch the hold in, but TORU is still in a bad position with a much more technically-skilled wrestler in a controlling position on top of him. Hawke tries to free his arm but doesn’t have any luck, and with his right arm needed for balance he is unable even to hit TORU in the head. For a moment it looks like Takahara’s simple defensive strategy may have stymied the SWF’s resident technical expert but then Hawke adapts again by releasing the stepover toehold and bringing his legs around, allowing him to drop on top of TORU’s head and clamp on a front facelock before the big man knows what’s happening!






The TKO Section resident in the Conseco Fieldhouse have already started chanting for their unlikely hero, but for the moment their support doesn’t appear to be having much effect. TORU is struggling to free himself from Hawke’s grip with little apparent success, so the Japanese Hammer resorts to a tried and trusted method - he reaches up with his big right hand and gropes around until he finds Hawke’s eyes!




Hawke cries out in pain as TORU’s fingers dig in, but he grimly tightens his grip. After all, you don’t need to be able to see to anchor your opponent in place and keep him from reaching the ropes…












TORU ceases his efforts just before Brian Warner disqualifies him, but much to the frustration of TORU, Chris Card and Natasha the facelock is still applied. Hawke shakes his head, trying to dispel some of the pain and blurring, but he instinctively reaches up with one hand to wipe at his eyes and when he does so the facelock becomes less secure. TORU tries to twist out, fails, but gets his legs under him and pushes forwards and upwards, hoping to find some way of throwing Hawke off him. Jay tries to sandbag, realises that TORU has got too much leverage and settles for tightening the hold despite not being able to force his opponent back down to the ground, then once they’re in a standing position he readies himself to deliver a DDT… but moments before the Dean throws his weight backwards TORU wraps both arms around his opponent’s waist and lifts, hoisting Hawke bodily into the air!






Hawke kicks his legs furiously, trying to get enough momentum to put his feet back on the floor, but TORU is easily strong enough to hold even a flailing 215lb weight off the mat as he takes a few steps sideways… and now[]/I] he dumps Hawke down, with one leg either side of the top rope!




The male part of the audience groans in sympathy as Jay Hawke’s eyes nearly pop out of their sockets, the pain in his happy-happy-joy-joy area not being helped by TORU’s uncharitable decision to take hold of the top rope in both hands and BOUNCE HIM UP AND DOWN!


“Oh Lord,” King says weakly as Hawke flies off and lands with a thump on the mat, “was there any need for that?”


Jay Hawke certainly doesn’t think so, but neither does Brian Warner; the referee steps in to prevent TORU from following up on his advantage and chastises him thoroughly on his malpractice. TORU gives him the special blank ‘I’m going to pretend I don’t understand English’ look before barging past him and reaching for Hawke. This time Jay seems to still be too concerned with the pain in his genitals to be able to make an effective counter, but TORU isn’t going to take any chances and as he drags the Dean to his feet he slams one, two, three knees into his opponent’s midsection before leaving Hawke doubled over and wheezing as he heads for the ropes, rebounding to hit a running kneelift to the temple of the International Champion! Hawke drops to the mat as TORU raises one arm into the air and lets rip with his warcry…






“Sheesh, I think Barney the Dinosaur could come up with a better catchphrase,” King mutters.


“Perhaps,” LDP concedes, “but Barney doesn’t liquefy people with kneestrikes.”


“Look don’t get me wrong, I do like TORU and TKO,” King stresses, “but… well, couldn’t he liquefy people that aren’t Jay Hawke?”


With his identity firmly established (if badly accented) TORU turns back to his opponent and places a couple of boots into Hawke’s ribs to discourage any thoughts of a comeback, then hoists the smaller man back to his feet and picks him up under his right arm. He takes a moment to flex his left arm and show off a reasonably impressive bicep to the crowd, then drops Hawke over one knee with a backbreaker. Hawke’s ring savvy comes into play and he keeps rolling away from his opponent despite the pain, eventually slipping under the bottom rope and out to the floor where he might be expected to catch a break. And indeed he would under normal circumstances, as TORU is backed up by referee Brian Warner and prevented from following. Unfortunately no-one is watching Chris Card, and the British ex-pat crosses both thumbs over his heart, then slams his boot into Jay Hawke’s chest cavity with the Calling Card!


“Get him out of there!” King bellows, his dislike for Chris Card resurfacing as Technical Perfection smirks his way around the ring away from his target. “Warner, do your job goddamit!”


Brian Warner is doing his job.




He’s turned around, and is counting Jay Hawke out.




“Jay Hawke is an arrogant, pompous ass,” Longdogger Pete states, “but at the same time it would be a pity to see him eliminated from the Cold Front Classic as a result of outside interference.”




Hawke is clutching his ribs and seems to be having difficulty breathing, but he is stirring. The odds are that he’ll make it back in before the ten count, so TORU heads out and grabs him before rolling the Dean back into the ring. After all, if he covers him now maybe he can pick up the win…




















…apparently not, as Hawke kicks out (pissing Card off in the process). TORU quickly gets back to his feet, then just as quickly drops a knee right into Jay’s head and makes another cover…


















…but with no more luck, as Hawke kicks out before three again. TORU doesn’t even bother looking at Brian Warner, instead electing to bring Hawke back up to his feet before threading his opponent’s far arm between his own legs, then applying a half-nelson to the near arm and using the leverage to hoist the Dean off the mat before dropping him on his head!




“TORU Driver!” Pete shouts as Hawke’s cranium collides with canvas. “Is TORU going to go for another cover…?”


If Pete had just kept his mouth shut for a couple more seconds he could have seen for himself; the big man from Japan is heading for the turnbuckles and, having stepped through the ropes, quickly ascends to the top. From there he looks speculatively at the distance that separates them before sending a well-aimed gob of phlegm to spatter onto Hawke’s chest, then leaping off with the kneedrop known as the TORU Hammer…




…but Hawke moves! TORU tries to pull out at the last moment but still lands rather heavily on his knee. He gets back up to his feet while trying to put most of his weight on his good left leg, but Hawke sweeps that out from underneath him and makes a cover!










…no more though, as TORU throws the smaller man off him moments after Warner’s hand slaps the mat for the first time! The Japanese Hammer tries to roll up to his feet but Hawke isn’t going to let this chance to shift the momentum go, and he latches onto TORU’s head in a flash before taking his opponent back down with a swinging neckbreaker!




“You see Dogger?” King asks rhetorically, “with his opportunism and ring awareness, Jay Hawke is surely good value as the next World Champion.”


“What about Todd Cortez?”


“That doesn’t even deserve an answer.”


Unfortunately for the alleged next World Champion, Jay Hawke is still suffering from the after-effects of the TORU Driver as the swinging part of the neckbreaker he just delivered has made his head swim. After a few seconds the Dean manages to pick himself up, but TORU has started to rise as well. Hawke grabs his opponent and attempts to Irish whip him into the corner, but TORU reverses the move and sends Jay in instead. Hawke hits hard and TORU charges him before leaping up to deliver a flying kneestrike to the head… but Hawke dodges to one side at the last moment and TORU simply hits the top buckle! The big man rebounds off and lands on his feet, although the second damaging hit to his knee in a short space of time means he staggers slightly, but Hawke has now slipped behind Takahara and wraps his arms around the bigger man’s waist before heaving him over with a German suplex!






Hawke doesn’t hold on for the bridge, but does shoot his opponent a murderous look instead. The Dean hasn’t taken too well to being dropped on his head, and now it’s time for some payback… choking style!












Hawke pulls away at the last moment and leaves TORU gasping for breath on the canvas, then grabs his opponent by the head and hauls him to his feet in a front facelock. Hawke doesn’t wait around for TORU to counter this time, instead dropping backwards with a DDT straight away and making the cover!


















…he doesn’t get any more though, as TORU jerks his shoulder off the canvas! Without hesitation Hawke wraps both hands around his opponent’s neck again-










-but this time he leaves himself open to a counter, and being TORU it’s a simple but effective one; a knee driven up into Hawke’s ribs! The Dean of Professional Wrestling rolls away wheezing, but before Takahara can get back to his feet Hawke scrambles up and simply drops a leg across his throat, impinging on his opponent’s breathing even more. With the Japanese Hammer incapacitated Hawke grabs him by the head again and hauls him up, then locks in a reverse headlock and drops to one knee, driving the back of TORU’s skull into the other knee! Takahara tries to roll away in a half-instinctive attempt to get away, but Hawke dives after him and clamps on a Fujiwara Armbar to halt his opponent’s progress.


“Brilliant strategy,” King proclaims in satisfaction, “Hawke is keeping TORU on the mat and under his control.”


“Tell me,” Pete says, “what’s the purpose of weakening your opponent’s arm when it’s his knees that are going to crack your jaw?”


King declines to answer that, but TORU has no interest in letting even his arm fall victim to the deadly Jay Hawke. Accordingly, the big man starts using his three free limbs to try and push himself closer to the ropes. Hawke leans back into the hold and is rewarded with a brief cessation in activity, but after a couple of seconds TORU starts moving again, the Dean’s 215lbs just not enough to completely weigh him down. Hawke eyes the gap between TORU’s right hand and the ropes, and when he decides it’s getting too small he acts. He suddenly releases the armbar and clouts TORU in the back of the head, then scrambles into a rear mount position and tries to thread his right arm underneath his opponent’s head!


“Hawke is going for a Dragon Sleeper,” Pete exclaims, “and not just any Dragon Sleeper! That looks to be the back-mounted version favoured by Landon, and known as the Land of Nod!”


“It’s a crap hold when Landon does it,” King says dismissively, “but in the hands of a consummate professional like Jay Hawke, this could spell the end of the match!”


Whatever name the move is known by, Hawke is attempting to apply it to his larger opponent. TORU fights it as well as he can but his experience at mat wrestling just isn’t up to scratch, and after a few seconds’ frenzied struggle Hawke manages to get it locked in!








The Dean sits back as far as he can on the hold -not all that far, given his opponent’s muscular frame and their respective sizes- and grins at the crowd, or at least bares his teeth. He favours the Dragon Sleeper anyway, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try out Landon’s variation of it. Hawke waits confidently for the tapout that will signal the end of the match and his advancement in the tournament…


“He’s got him! He’s really got him!” Pete calls as the tension rises in the Conseco Fieldhouse. “We could be about to see TORU tap out!”













…but then a big hand comes up and gropes blindly for Hawke’s eyes!




Hawke tries to swat TORU’s hand away, but the bigger man is desperate and he claws at anything he can find - eyes, nose, mouth, the lot. After a couple of seconds Hawke simply has to release the hold and struggles away, trying to put as much distance as possible between him and his opponent while he fights to clear his vision. Meanwhile TORU heads for the ropes where Card is waiting, and after a couple of second’s hurried discussion in Japanese he rises back to his feet rubbing his neck with his cheeks suspiciously full… and a bottle in one hand.


“That the Sake!” King yells, pointing an accusatory finger. “Stop him, Warner!”


Brian Warner sees TORU’s bottle, and he isn’t going to be made a fool of for the second time this evening. As the Japanese Hammer heads for Hawke the referee grabs his arm and yanks the bigger man round, then gets in his face. TORU looks blank at the referee’s accusations that he might have something in his mouth and shakes his head in denial -not without a suspicious sloshing noise- before proffering the bottle to Warner and signalling for him to have a swig! Brian Warner simply snatches it away and continues haranguing the bigger man, but then suddenly sees something behind him and tries to move out of the way… and that’s when Jay Hawke crashes into the back of TORU Takahara with a double axehandle!




…and TORU involuntarily sprays the Sake right into Brian Warner’s face!


“Ref down! We’ve got a ref down!” Pete yells as Warner staggers away clawing at his eyes, although still clutching the bottle. This doesn’t bother Jay Hawke though, as he takes advantage of his surprise attack to reach up and apply the Crossface Chickenwing to TORU for the second time in the match!


“CFC! It’s on, baby!” King roars in response, apparently naming ozone-destroying aerosol propellants at random as Hawke reaches around and wrenches TORU’s head back whilst pinioning his left arm up in an unnatural position. TORU struggles, but Hawke has it locked in firmly and isn’t giving an inch. “Right in the middle of the ring! Let’s see you get out of that one!”


Oh King, King, King. Be careful what you wish for.






“LOW BLOW!” the outraged Gambling Man bellows as TORU’s leg swings up and mule kicks Hawke square in the crotch. “DQ! DQ!!


But it is not to be, as Brian Warner is still blinded and wiping Sake from his eyes! Hawke’s eyes meanwhile have gone as large as boiled eggs and are bulging humorously from their sockets, but that doesn’t last for long as TORU shakes out his left arm and -not without a wince of pain- turns around to scoop his opponent up in a Fallaway Slam position. The Japanese Hammer leans forward for a second… before suddenly snapping backwards with a standing moonsault, sandwiching Hawke between the canvas and 260lbs of Japanese Tag Champion with the Blockbuster Slam!






The TKO Section are chanting for all they’re worth and the rest of the crowd are starting to join in; as questionable as TKO might be, at least TORU isn’t Jay Hawke. And therefore, the volume in the Conseco Fieldhouse starts to rise as Takahara makes his way to the ropes, steps through them to get to the apron, then begins to mount the turnbuckle…


“TORU’s going up top!” Pete shouts rather redundantly, “the last time he tried this Jay Hawke moved, but is the Dean of Professional Wrestling enough of a class act to avoid TORU a second time?”


“…that was poor, even by your standards,” King snipes, unwilling to join into the spirit of things.






TORU has reached the top buckle now, and he perches there for a second with one foot on the top and one on the middle rope. Then the Japanese Hammer raises his right arm and slaps his chest three times before pointing up at the sky…



…he starts to lean forwards as all around the arena, snap-happy SWF fans raise their cameras…



…and with flashbulbs going off all around him, TORU Takahara leaps into the air and pumps his arms and legs, touching his toes in midair before crashing down onto Jay Hawke’s ribs!




“AAAAAAAAIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRR TOOOOOOORRRRRRRRRUUUUUUUUU!” Pete bellows as the Frog Splash hits home… and by a happy coincidence, Brian Warner has just finished wiping the Sake from his eyes with a cloth provided by a concerned citizen named Chris Card.






















“NO!” King yells, standing upright at the commentary table, “this is a travesty! It’s a sham! It’s a mockery! It’s a traveshamockery!”


“King, calm down,” Pete says, trying to pull the Gambling Man back into his seat, but King is having none of it.


“Ladies and gentlemen, here is your winner and the man who advances to the second round of the Cold Front Classic,” Funyon booms, “TOOORRRR-RRRUUUU… TAKA-HAAAARRRRRAAAAAAA!!”




“Jay Hawke was clearly the better man,” the Heartbreaker rants, gesticulating at Brian Warner, “TORU had to win by cheating! It was a low blow that beat Hawke, a low blow!


“No, it was a Frog Splash,” LDP fires back, “an Air TORU Frog Splash done by TORU in tribute to one of its masters, a man who sadly passed away a week ago yesterday! For once in their careers a member of TKO has actually shown respect for someone… although I’ll admit the low blow probably helped matters,” the Miami Menace concedes.


‘Teethgrinder’ by Therapy? is still ringing out over the PA system as Card and Natasha raise TORU’s arms in victory on the outside, although the Japanese Hammer quickly pulls the left one away from Card with a grimace as the Fujiwara armbar and CFC continue to take their toll. Meanwhile in the ring Jay Hawke has found enough breath to argue with Brian Warner, but he is too late, too late.


“Fans, don’t think that this and our other Cold Front Classic match tonight is all this tournament provides,” Pete shills, “don’t forget that next week we have two more special match-ups, as ‘Hollywood’ Spike Jenkins goes one-on-one with mysterious newcomer the Masked Crusader while in our other match… well let’s just say that it’s going to be ‘Wild’ and ‘Dangerous’!”


“God, you’re bad. Can’t we bring Riley out of retirement? Or even Comet?”






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"You're a hard man to get ahold of, Bruce."


Bruce Blank, bags packed and on his way out of the arena, turns to see Joseph Peters jogging to catch up.


“We can’t all sit on our asses in an office, Joe. Some of us have to work for a living,” Bruce says gruffly as he turns and looks at the CEO of the SWF.


"Heh... um... I, uh... I needed to talk to you about Lockdown."


"God, for the last time," Bruce mutters, "I distinctly remember hearing that bartender say drinks were on the house, so if you've come to collect-"


"No, it's... you see, it..."


"Some time today, ple-"


"You can't wrestle on Lockdown anymore."


After saying this, Peters gets ready to duck. Blank doesn't take a swing (yet), but it's clear that this was not the news he was expecting.


"... say what?"


"Temporarily, I mean. For the... forseeable future..."




"I can't really think of a delicate way to say this, but... you're not... Family Friendly."


"... and tha-"


"No," Peters cuts him off, attempting to maintain control over this conversation, "not only are you not Family Friendly, you are Family Unfriendly. I can't... we... Family Friendly Lockdown can't afford to have its name, and our sponsors' names, associated with your actions."


"My actions. Not Landon's?"


"Landon is not the reigning Hardcore Champion, and he hasn't displayed this kind of crude behavior week in and week out. You have, and as much as I..."


Joseph chokes on his words for a moment.


"... as much as I... respect... what you do, I can't let you do it on Lockdown anymore."


Joseph pauses, waiting for a response, but Blank only stares.


"I'll make sure you still get booked regularly on Storm and Smarkdown, and I'll try to find some way to make up the money you'll be losing, but..."


Again, Joseph pauses, but Blank remains silent.












"Look, if it were up to me-"


Bruce shoots a hand up, and Joseph steps backwards, realizing only too late that this gesture was merely meant to shut him up.


“Spare me the whole “If it was up to me” shtick, Peters,” Bruce says with disgust, "because it IS up to you. But you just bend over and take it from anyone with a buck.”


“That’s not true” Peters growls, as Bruce towers over him.


“Isn’t it? Did you not just tell me that I couldn’t work on Lockdown because it upset your precious sponsors?"


"It's not that simple, Bruce."


Bruce just shakes his head as he stares at the little man in front of him. “What kind of operation are you running here? Do you jump whenever the sponsors ask you to? Can I ask you something? What’s next?”


“What do you mean?”


“I mean if Kotex wanted you to name a title after them or they’d pull their advertising dollars would we see Jay Hawke the “Stay Free Minipads” Champion? Just how much are they able to dictate?”


“Don’t be ridiculous-”


“You’re already throwing people off your shows because you’re afraid you’ll lose a buck or two from some uptight advertiser. Maybe it would help if I wrestled as Duffman?”


"Losing a buck?" Joseph shouts, now abandoning civility. "Are you- do you have any idea what's going on here?!"


A quick check of Blank's face says no, but also says that he doesn't really care.


"Here's how it works - you bleed, swear, drink, and attempt to kill people on a show that is both labeled "Family Friendly" and that airs before the watershed. Parents are outraged. They get together, and they organize a boycott of all products advertised by our sponsors. Our sponsors lose money. They say "Unless you guys clean up your content, we're taking our advertising money elsewhere." And if, for the sake of argument, we did not clean up the show, no one would pay to advertise during our show, which means there would be no show. If the sponsors walk away, there is no show!"


Peters pauses, to catch his breath, and to see if Blank is comprehending any of this.


"My choices are either to keep you off Lockdown, a mere two shows a month, or risk losing Lockdown entirely. And as much of an asset as you are, Blank, you are not worth that much to this company."


Blank drops his bag and gets right in Peters' face, and amazingly, Peters doesn't back down.


"When I said this wasn't my decision, Bruce, I meant it. I don't like the Family Friendly rules any more than you do-"


"And yet here you are, defending them instead of fighting them."


Joseph starts to speak, but Blank leaves him no room.


"That's the problem with people like you, Joe. You say if it were up to you, things would be different, when the fact of the matter is it is up to you. You're the boss. You call the shots. And when the time comes for you to take a stand for your company, and to fight for us, you just step aside and let these suits have their way. And why? Because you don't want to rock the boat. You don't want to make a fuss. You don't want to cause any trouble. You just let them have their way, not because they're right... but because it's just easier that way."


Blank pauses, giving Joseph a chance to refute some of this, any of this. Joseph is fuming, but still attempts to end this conversation on a cordial note.


"... I'm sorry, Bruce, but the decision is final."


Blank shakes his head, disgusted.


“Does it hurt when the sponsors pull that little draw-string on your back, or have you gotten used to it by now?”


And with that, Bruce Blank turns and walks away, leaving a dejected and humiliated CEO behind him.

































SWF Smarkdown ©

November 21st, 2005

A Judgement Day Production ©


Edited by chirs3

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