Gold Rush: Justin Cooper (c) versus Flex Mussel [World Heavyweight Championship]
The main event of the evening for the WZCW World Heavyweight Championship. For weeks these two men have gone back and forth both with attacks inside the ring and verbally. Now, a rematch from SuperShow 5 will take place but this time itís for the grandest prize in all of professional wrestling. Flex Mussel has been on a roll thanks to his powerful finishing move known as the Mussel Bomb. It has got him many victories and a spot as the number one contender. However, at Gold Rush he will be without that weapon. Thanks to WZCW Owner Mr. Banks, the Mussel Bomb has been outlawed and if Flex is caught using the move not only will he lose the match but he will be fired. His opponent, Justin Cooper has ruled the main event scene since Kingdom Come. Since last October at Lethal Lottery, where he defeated 28 competitors, every pay-per-view event has ended with Justin Cooper standing tall. His goal is to be known as the Greatest but many call him the Pretender. Can Flex Mussel overcome having his biggest weapon stripped from him just days before the most important match of his career or will Justin Cooper cement his claim to being one of, if not the, greatest of all time?
RP Deadline Monday 24th July 23:59 (Central).
Extensions available upon request.
Deadline is now Tuesday 25th July 23:59 (Central). No further extensions.
They rode in silence through the streets of Indianapolis, Indiana just twenty four hours before the pay-per-view. In the wrong city, late at night and Mark Keaton was irritated. He and Xander had defeated Mancini and Wren like they were told. They had won! Finally, it had taken weeks but theyíd put the puzzle together and yet Justin didnít offer them a congratulations. Far from it. It was like theyíd just failed again. He offered no celebration, no cheers or even a thank you.
ďWhere are we going?Ē Mark said, his arms crossed while he looked out of the window at the streets. The sun was setting and it offered a warm glow of orange which reflected off the glass windows of the various shops and houses as they travelled.
ďI have some business to attend to,Ē Justin replied. ďLike I told you before.Ē
ďI know that but where is this business? What is the business? Why do I have to come?Ē Mark groaned, adding a big huff at the end of his complaint.
The driver up front paid no attention to the bickering in the back. He was paid for by Mr. Banks and didnít speak. Mostly gestures and an odd grunt was his form of communication. Justin was weary of what was said around anyone supplied by Banks. They may not speak to him but they surely spoke to Banks and that was worrisome.
ďYouíve grown slack whilst Iíve been away, Mark. Lazy. I shouldnít have to babysit you at this point however here we are. Maybe hanging out with me for a couple of days will fire up whatever competitive spirit youíve got left,Ē Justin said, his head slowly turning to face Mark as he did so.
The car came to a stop and immediately Justin fixed his suit jacket up, checking his hair in the mirror, before exiting the vehicle. Mark followed, his outfit a stark contrast; black leather jacket, his hair a wild mess of golden locks, his socks different colours, his pant legs different lengths and no shirt.
ďNo,Ē Justin said in a raised voice, his hand pressed against the chest of Keaton. ďYou can stay in the car. I wouldnít want you messing this up. Seems thatís what youíve mastered more than actually wrestling effectively as of late, isnít it?Ē
The frustration had been building for days for Mark Keaton. Finally, he just couldnít hold it in any longer and he screamed out loud. A swift punch connected to the car door, hurting his hand more than the door itself, but his adrenaline was pumping so he struck it again.
ďWe won! You saw Xander and I beat those two chumps on Ascension. We smashed Ďem and it wasnít even close. What more do you want me to do, Justin? Iíve done everything youíve asked. I canít change the mistakes. The team didnít work for the first few weeks, I get it. It took some time to get everyone on the same page but now weíre there. A little appreciation would go a long way, dude!Ē
As he let out a loud sigh, Keaton looked around and saw they were out the front of a hospital. Justin slowly adjusted his sleeves as he stepped towards Mark and stood inches away from him.
ďWill this do?Ē Justin answered whilst slow clapping. ďWhat did you want from me, Mark? A big celebration because you beat Tony and Wren. Congratulations but Iím afraid to tell you that I expect you to beat the likes of them. I expect you, of all people, to know that half assed performances are not acceptable to me.Ē
ďI never half assed anything,Ē Mark shouted.
ďEither you half assed it or youíre a god damn idiot!Ē Justin said, his eyes locking with Mark. People turned to watch but neither man cared. ďThatís your options, Mark. There is no reason you, having spent all this time with me under my guidance, should be losing to Kagura or Vee. Do you understand that when you lose it makes me look bad? My name gets dragged through the mud and I have enough ignorant sheep to deal already; the likes of them glossing over my legacy as it stands without having to clean up after you every week.Ē
ďIt may not have been perfect but the best thing for the team...Ē
In the blink of an eye Justin struck Mark across the face with a slap. His hands grabbed Mark by the inside of the collar of the leather jacket and pushed him up against the side of the car.
ďListen to me, carefully. I donít give a fuck about the team when my World Championship is at risk. I don't care about the team when you start damaging my legacy! I care about me! You hear me? I am the World Champion, Mark. You were there when I won it and I am forever grateful but donít think that means youíre somehow untouchable. The team has struggled and when it struggles it points to me and puts me at a disadvantage. I will not be at a disadvantage because that could lead to me losing what I worked six years to get.Ē
ďWe wonít mess up, Justin.Ē Mark replied, meekly. ďI promise.Ē
A smirk came over the face of the World Champion as he let go of his protťgť. He traced his index finger on the area of the smack, which now glowed bright red, and then offered Mark a soft kiss on the forehead.
ďOh, I know. You wonít be around to screw up. I donít want you, Xander or Andrew anywhere near my match tomorrow. Get out of the freaking building for all I care. Just stay the hell away from me. You lot will prove your worth to me by winning your matches before I let you anywhere near me while Iím defending the World Championship. Got it?Ē
He was angry, furious even and yet he felt somewhat guilty. Justin was the man who had given Mark everything. He had guided him through thick and thin and now, as he looked into the eyes of the man he called brother, he didnít recognise the man. He had been hit by Justin before but thisÖ this was different. It was all about him.
ďTake a seat in the car, Mark.Ē Justin said. ďI shouldnít be more than an hour. Find some ice for that. Itíll stop the swelling. Nasty stuff. Accidents do happen though. Unfortunate but hopefully youíll learn for next time, brother.Ē
Justin turned and walked away, entering the hospital with a smirk on his face and the WZCW World Heavyweight Championship in his hands. Through the halls of the hospital Justin walked confidently, he knew where he was going as he had called earlier to confirm the room and nothing had given him more glee than to find out the condition hadnít change. After a few minutes of navigating the hospital, Justin reached the room he was looking for and had to suppress his excitement as the doctors left the room upon his arrival.
ďGood afternoon,Ē Justin said. ďBusy day?Ē
One of the doctors held her clipboard tightly and nodded.
ďNearly finished. Been here since three in the morning. Friend or relative? He hasnít had many visitors lately.Ē
Justin pretended to look concerned as he approached the bedside table of the patient. Carefully Justin brushed the patientís hair, pulling a chair closer to the bed with his other hand before taking a seat.
ďA friend. Long time friends. I havenít seen him for a long time, I must admit. I called yesterday and they said his condition hasnít changed. Anything new today?Ē
ďIím afraid not,Ē said the doctor. She gave a weak smile before leaving the room, closing the door behind her to the private section of the hospital.
The room was silent except for the sounds of the machines in the room. Nobody else was there, the doctors had done their rounds and now it was just the two of them. Justin stood up and began pacing around the room, never getting out of reach of the bed, his hand always touching the soft blanket covering the patient. He observed the fan art, drawings by children of their hero with the World Championship, get well letters and flowers all over the room.
They loved him.
ďBut I hate you, Michael.Ē
There in the hospital bed was Mikey Stormrage. His body still broken. His back nearly shattered, unable to walk still after all this time and his eyes were closed shut. Put to sleep to save him from the pain however he often drifted in and out of consciousness due to the sudden strikes of pain in his back. Every muscle in his body sending a sensation like needles to his back whenever he was awake.
ďNobody been to visit. Some friend that Matthew turned out to be, aye? Nevermind, Iím having my own problems with my best friend at the moment. Such a delicate thing friendship. One minute youíre bond is so strong you can take on the world, the next itís that friendship which costs you the world.Ē
Justin sat down next to Mikey, pulling the chair even closer as he tilted his head to look at the fallen World Champion.
"Doctor... is that you?" Mikey whispered, his fist clenching for a moment before relaxing.
ďIt seems so long ago that you and I were two titans fighting over this,Ē Justin said, his hand brushing the World Championship on the table next to him. ďNow look you. You canít run, you canít flyÖ you canít even walk. I know you can barely talk back, canít even open your eyes when you want but from what I understand you can still hear me. You can process who I am and if thatís true, I want you know that you were right. I am the villain. I always was and you saw through it. You were the only one and if only they had listened, you might still be able to walk. You always saw through me, Mikey.Ē
"Out... not him... please... help," Mikey forced out from within his unconsciousness.
Reaching over to the table, Justin grabbed the title belt and placed it on his lap.
ďThis is a sweet sight, Mikey. The satisfaction that Iím feeling right now could only be outdone if it had been me that put you here. In some roundabout way, perhaps I did. It was my protťgť that broke your back but I wouldíve loved to be there in person to feel your bones crack. I hate you. You nearly ruined everything for meÖ unfortunately for you, Iíve always been one step ahead and thatís why I keep this title unlike you. Thatís why Flex Mussel doesnít stand a chance, Mikey.
Flex isnít much like you. He thinks he knows who I am, that Iím some brash guy who just talks a lot but youíve always known better. Itís why you were the hardest to put down. Flex enters the ring assuming what I am but you actually knew. You saw through all of it and saw the raw dealings of a villain. If only Flex could see what was standing in front of him rather than boasting about beating an old man at Kingdom Come or a second rate bitch, your former bitch. Remember Eve Taylor? Remember when she left you?Ē
A smile grew across his face and Justin stood up, walking around the room and began pulling fan art off the walls and ripping them up. He tossed the pieces up into the air and spun underneath as they fell like snow, his laughter echoing across the room.
ďFans are a fickle bunch, Michael. You remember how they cheered me even after you warned them? They cheer Flex Mussel, to his credit, even though he doesnít want them. He should embrace them, though. Itís at least something he can take with him because you know as good as I do, that only a handful belong in the main event and many more are simply visiting. Flex Mussel is without his greatest weapon, did I tell you that?
Itís wonderful, Mikey. I convinced the Board of Directors to ban his Mussel Bomb. A bunch of schools kids rather than businessmen. They bended to my will faster than anyone else have ever done. Flex will cry and moan about the decision and that will be his downfall, Mikey. Excuses, excuses, excusesÖ they all have Ďem and yet none connect the dots that when you wrestle me excuses are a dime a dozen. Everyone has to have one because I canít be that good. Oh no, it cannot be that Justin Cooper is the greatest wrestler alive! Itís never that!Ē
Justin suddenly approached the bed and leaned forward, only inches away from Mikeyís face. Mikey began to cough, a jug of water next to the bed was within reach so Justin grabbed it and a plastic cup next to it, pouring the jug into the cup and aided Mikey in having a drink of water. All the while Mikey Stormrage never opened his eyes.
ďBecause Flex will blame it on the referee,Ē Justin chuckled. ďHeíll blame the stipulation when he should be blaming himself. He should be thankful that I have given him the chance to share the main event with me. I have put this company on my back, Mikey. I have done everything they have asked of me and all I want in return is recognition. I want what is owed, I want my place in the Hall of Fame and if beating Flex gives me than so be it. He doesnít stand a chance. He and I are different. We are fighting for different things. He steps into the ring to fight simply for the World Championship and to many that is life itself but to me, Iím fighting for legacy. Iím fighting for what he and all the others could only dream of fighting for. You see, Iím fighting to be known as what Iíve always said I was, believed I was and will prove I amÖ and thatís the Greatest!Ē
Nothing changed for Mikey. He was still and silent as Justin traced his brow with his index finger. It was wet from sweat, Cooper grabbed a towel from the bedside table and patted down Mikey's brow. His face shining with glee at the sight of his fallen foe.
ďIn twenty four hours Flex will became a distant memory for me. Heíll be defeated, knocked back to the undercard where he belongs and Iíll continue to be the man in WZCW. Iíve already forgotten about Garth. Yet, here I am with you. You draw me back, Mikey. I just can't let you go. I toss and turn at night thinking about you and it drives me insane. Sometimes I think itís just that my hate is so strong but then I picture your final moments and it makes me sickÖ that it wasnít me. I shouldíve been the one to break you. I'd have given everything, take the title, take it all if I could have been the one to break that back and put you here. Oh, Iíd end this world before I lost the title now but if you told me before I won it, before I felt the leather beneath my fingers, the golden nameplate, the jewels around the sides, if you told me pre-Kingdom Come that I could only have one. I could either win the World Championship or I could break you, leave you unable to walk, Iíd gladly give the world to feel that pleasure. A dream unfulfilled much like what Flex will experience tomorrow. His dreams are dead just like your career...
And her. Your mother. Sheís dead. When you lay there, filled with painkillers, is it to subdue the pain of your back or the fact that your mother is still dead no matter how many World Championships you win in her name? I want you know that after I finish with Flex, after I retain my World Championship for the third time, Iím going to pay the cemetery a visit. Iím going find your motherís grave.Ē
"M-m-m-mother," Mikey mumbled.
Justin put his lips right next to Mikeyís right ear.
ďWhen I find it,Ē Justin whispered. ďIím going to spit and piss all over her grave because sheís as worthless as her son. Iím going to kick her gravestone over, smash the flowers and anything else I damn well please. The best part? You canít do anything to stop me. Try, Mikey. I know you can hear me. Wake up! Your mother is dead! She was weak. Pathetic just like her son and every moment that you stay in this hospital is just confirmation that she was failure and her bastard son is every part like her. Iím right here, stop me. Defend your dead mother, Michael.Ē
"I hate you," Mikey said, unable to sustain consciousness for any longer than a few seconds.
The World Champion shook his head looking a little disappointed. He picked up the World Championship and put it over his shoulder. With an air of arrogance, Justin headed towards the door and threw a look back to Mikey before leaving.
ďIíll ask them to put the show on tomorrow so you can at least listen. Iíll even dedicate my victory to your mother, what was her name again?Ē
With a vile laugh Justin exited the room and walked down the hallway of the hospital. Meanwhile, back in the room the body of the former World Champion remained still. His eyes shut. The room a mess, fan art torn to piecesÖ but the most telling thing? A single tear falling from the left eye and running down the cheek of Mikey Stormrage.
It had been a very stressful couple days for Flex Mussel. Up until Ascension he was as cool and confident as one could be heading into the biggest match of his career. But in the span of just a few hours things seemingly took a one eighty. Following a loss to Kagura the bodybuilderís confidence was a bit shaken. She beat him in the same vein she did one year ago, an unsuspecting rollup. The same night it had been brought to Flexís attention by his upcoming opponent that the Mussel bomb had been banned in his title match by the board of directors. And as the fitness freak stood ringside at a live event after a match he began to wonder if history was destined to repeat itself. Last year he failed to capture the EurAsian championship against a seemingly unbeatable champion and as he looked into the many faces of the fans he started feeling like everything he worked so hard for was slowly disintegrating around him. And those close to him could tell, he even remembers the words his wise mentor Everest told following that night.
The nearby ref snapped Flex out of his introspective thinking and flashback but did nothing to convince Flex to leave. The bodybuilder scanned the arena, he saw fans cheer him, he saw fans boo him, he even saw fans clamor for Eve Taylor or Constantine to beat whoever wins at Gold Rush, but it was one specific sign that caught his eye: ďFlex Mussel to choke at Gold Rush Two Years in a row!Ē. And with that Flex grabbed a mic from the ring announcer and dives under the bottom rope and back into the ring. He taps his hand on the top of the mic to make sure itís working and yells at the ringside crew to turn on the mic. After a few moments he is obliged much to confusion of everyone.
Flex: I know what a lot of you are thinking. You see Flex Mussel in the main event of Gold Rush and you think itís a fluke. A lot of you think no matter how far Iíve progressed in the last year thereís not a chance in hell I become World champion, Iím good but Iím just not THAT good. Whether you like him or not I know a lot of you would agree with Justin Cooper, that Iím nothing but a placeholder opponent and once I lose Iíll go back to curtain jerking where I belong. Funny enough ever since I became number one contender Cooper and his corporate clones have made sure Iím seen as nothing more than a second rate challenger. Only allowing me to compete on Ascension and usually in the opening match at that. The one thing Iíll give Justin credit for is that heís good at making people see his own reality. And if you would believe the words that come out of his mouth you see me as someone who canít even hold his jockstrap. The way he carries himself you would think heís looking far past me into future opponents. And by the way some of you are looking at me right now youíre hoping someone like Eve Taylor or Constantine is the real hero to save you from Cooperís reign of terror.
Sporadic Constantine and Eve Taylor chants can be heard throughout the arena but they do not phase Flex at all as he continues despite being motioned by the ref to leave.
The crowd starts to fully align against Flex but bodybuilder doesnít let up at all he continues his beration of the fans.
Flex: You fickle and foolish fans are the reasons why Vis Imperium is in power right now. Cooper pulled the wool over all your eyes and tricked you all until he became World champion. The only difference between us is that I told you all months ago I would lie, cheat, deceive, and do whatever is necessary to win the World championship. All Iíve done is be honest with you, so believe me when I say this, Justin Cooper is scared. Despite the wall of confidence and childish trash talk the thing that terrifies him more than anything is losing that World title. Without it he loses his power, Mr. Banks and the Board of directors are less inclined to help him, and his lackeys are less inclined to believe in someone who canít keep their word. Justin may talk as if this match is a forgone conclusion but whether he realizes or not this match could make or break him.
Flex: If I am what you say I am Justin Iím lucky just to be in the main event, why should I stress? Why should I worry about losing? If anybody has any fear itís you Justin. Imagine losing this early into your title run, right when youíre at your peak, imagine being put in the back of the championship line. Behind the Gold Rush winner, behind one of the many talented and capable wrestlers in the back, behind whoever is going to be holding the KFAD briefcase. Justin youíve been preaching to the masses that after you beat me Iím going right back to the undercard but letís be honest, Iím still one of the most talented wrestlers in this company, and while I thought this may have been my one and only World title shot the truth is Iíve still got so much left in my career. But do you?
Flex: The last couple of days Iíve stressed myself out because I was living in your reality Justin, but trust me thatís over now. After replaying the words of the people I care about in my head I realize youíre much stronger when thereís more than just you believing in yourself, but others believing in you too. You donít have that Justin, you just have puppets who need you to win to keep their spot on your coattails. But thereís only so long you can fool the public, and whether you know it or not youíve been old news for a while now. I know just how good I am, and despite what you say youíre not leagues above me, and I know for a fact I can beat you!
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