Meltdown Madness / Ascension Anarchy RP Pool
The Roulette Rounds are well and truly upon us as we hurtle towards the Lethal Lottery and the road to Kingdom Come once more. Meltdown Madness and Ascension Anarchy have long since been a staple on that route and this year will be no different.
Marketed as a couple of nights in the WZCW calendar where anything can happen, all options are on the table and everything is up for grabs. We have already heard about the change of GM and the change for Mid-Card Champions. But could even bigger changer be on the cards? Championships may be defended and won or lost.
One thing is for certain though... Nothing is for certain!
RP deadline is Tuesday the 12th of December at 23:59EST
The same grainy black and white video as before comes in to focus and we see 'The Great' Milenko watching something on an old TV that's sitting on a metal stand. The camera slowly moves forward until we see that he's watchin a clip from the very first episode of Meltdown Madness over and over. Whether he's talking to the crystal skull in his hand or Edgar, who is standing silently next to the TV is anyone's guess.
Edgar do you know what my favorite part of the holiday season is this year, he asks the man standing next to him. As he sits there he narrows his eyes. Don't be a fucking idiot Edgar. Why would I care about gift giving or joy? I swear you say stupid shit just to irritate me. He stops talking and tilts his head as he looks down at the skull in his hand. That's exactly right, Milenko says with a nod of his head. The Roulette Round is a time of Terror and Fear because no one knows what's going to happen. Champions could lose their newly won title or someone could have their career ended suddenly in a barbaric and bloody.
As Milenko talks a dark light appears in his eye but leaves just as suddenly when he whips his head around to glare at Edgar. Why are you worried about my career Edgar. I'm the one who ends the careers. Out of nowhere he jumps up and grabs Edgar by the front of his shirt. If you ever mention my recent loses again the next thing I cut off will be a lot more important than your tongue do I make myself clear? Milenko shoves Edgar away and watches him slither into the shadows as he sits back down and grumbles in anger. I can't believe the nerve of him even hinting at shit like that.
Milenko leans back in his chair and brings the skull up and looks it right in the eyes and smiles. I know, I'm excited too. I can almost taste the Fear that the unpredictability of the Roulette Round brings. He looks at the skull with a thoughtful look on his face as he thinks about the silent question he heard the skull ask. If I could pick a match it would be against Vox for his newly won Mayhem Championship. As he continue to look into the eyes of the infant sized skull a look of surprise crosses Milenko's face. Are you seriously asking why? I thought you were smarter than Edgar, Milenko sighed as he facepalms. While I wouldn't turn down any match, especially a title match, the Mayhem Championship is the one thing in WZCW that instills the most Terror and Fear. Vox has it but is unaware of the power he pulled down from atop that ladder at Unscripted.
Milenko closes his eyes as the entire WZCW roster flashes across the screen ending with a group shot of Constantine, Titus and Matt Tastic each holding their respective title with Vox in front of all of them with the Mayhem Championship. As the camera fades to black a pair of blood red eyes can be seen behind them as the camera fades to black.
The camera slowly comes into focus and we see Tony and Gino sitting at a local Italian restaurant. Tony looks around and passes the suitcase with $10,000 he won at Unscripted. Don't worry about this money Ton', Gino tells him and he sets the suitcase next to his chair. We still have your father's accounts set up so we'll be able to hold on to this for you tax free. Thanks man, Tony says with a slightly uncomfortable look on his face. Before he can say anything else the waitress comes up to their table and gives Tony the Spaghetti and Meatballs he ordered and sets a plate of Veal Parmesan in front of Gino. They eat in silence for a few minutes when Gino looks up and asks him a question that took Tony a bit by surprise. The Family is throwing a little party and some were hoping you'd stop by for a little bit. It has been a while since you've seen everybody after all. Tony doesn't stop eating but his brow furrows as he thinks about what Gino is asking. It's been a while since I've seen everyone so I'll go, Tony said after he swallows the food in his mouth. I still haven't made my mind up about coming back though so if this is an attempt at swaying me that punch to the face I gave you will be the least of your worries. Gino nods as he chews on his food and they spend the rest of the meal just talking about nothing important. Once they're done Tony pays the bill and they walk out to their car. Tony gets in the passenger seat as Gino gets in the driver seat and starts the engine as Tony buckles up. As Gino drives off Tony think about how easy it is to slide back into old ways.
Once they get to the Social Club they walk inside and Tony stops in the doorway and looks around at the packed room. He immediately spots the Don Leo talking to his old friend Vito as well as a bunch of people he barely knew or didn't know at all. As soon as Leo sees him he waves him over with a smile. Tony walks over and gives him a respectful nod of his head which Leo waves off with a drunken wave of his hand. I get enough of that on a daily basis, he says with a slurred voice. This is a party after all. Tony smiles and glances over at Vito who grimaces and shakes his head and leads them all over to an empty table in the corner. What have you been up to lately, Leo asks as he takes a sip of wine that was on the table. No one but Gino has seen you in months. I've been keeping busy with my wrestling career Leo, Tony said with a hint of confusion as he keeps shooting questioning glances at Vito. Things haven't gone the way I wanted then to lately but with my big win at Unscripted I'm hoping things will turn around. The Roulette Round is coming up and that could be the break I need to show everyone I'm not a joke. Heat can be heard in Tony's voice but all Leo does is blink owlishly at him. What the hell are you talking about, he asks after staring off into space. I've never heard of a Roulette Round in wrestling. Is that like gambling in Vegas or somethin'? Kind of, Tony says with a chuckle. It's a time in WZCW where everything is completely random. I don't know who I'm going to face, what type of match it will be or if any title will be on the line. I could walk out World Heavyweight Champion or I could walk out with yet another loss on my record. Before he can say anything else he looks over at Leo only to see him passed out and snoring with wine glass in hand. With a look of disgust on his face Tony looks over at Vito. What the hell is this shit Vito, he asks in a heated voice. When I left Leo was a strong leader and The Family was the strongest out of the five. Now he's a drunk and everything my family worked for is about to fall apart! I'm sorry Tony, Vito says in an apologetic tone. Ever since you left the other Families have been pushing us hard. Leo here hasn't able to handle the pressure and he started drinking to cope. Then who's been running things, Tony demanded to know. Me an Gino have been doing the best we can but it's been difficult.. Before Tony can say anything the front door slams open and the NYPD comes rushing in and they cone straight for Tony. Anthony Mancini, said one of the officers as they walk up to the table. You're under arrest for the assault on Gino Rizzoli outside Giuseppe's Old World Butcher Shoppe. You have the right to remain silent and anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. As the officer finishes reading Tony his rights another handcuffs Tony and frog marches him out of the building as Gino comes running over. What the fuck is going on here, he demands to know as he blocks the door. You tell me Gino, Tony said with a glance at the bruise on his jaw. Let me make a phone call, Gino reminds him as he pulls out his phone. No shit Sherlock, Tony said as he gets marched out the front door and shoved into the back of a waiting police car. The officer gets into the driver seat and pulls into traffic and drives away.
How long am I going to be here, Tony demands of the officer standing in the corner of the interrogation room. It's been three hours already so either let me go or tell me why I'm here. Didn't they tell you when they brought you in, asks a familiar voice as the door opens. Tony glances over at who it is and rolls his eyes as he sees Agent Henderson closes the door and sits down on the other side of the table. Why am I not surprised? You're the one who had me arrested aren't you Derek? Agent Henderson ignores the banter and shuffles the papers he brought with him. What were you doing at Giuseppe's Old World Butcher Shoppe the other week, Henderson asks after a few minutes of paper shuffling. I was getting dinner, Tony tells him without missing a beat. Why else would someone go to a butcher shop? That's funny because when you left you didn't have any meat with you. There were out of veal, Tony said with a shrug. Agent Henderson goes to say something else but before he can the door slams open and Antonio Scarletti quickly walks in and sits next to Tony. My client is invoking his right to shut his mouth. Any questions you have you can direct them my way. Agent Henderson glares at both men for a second but quickly calms down. No questions, Agent Henderson said. But I would like to know why when I went in I saw Mrs. Giuseppe crying her eyes out and wouldn't tell me why. Maybe you can shed some light on what happened. Tony leans over and whispers something to Antonio who nods his head and looks back at Agent Henderson. We don't know exactly but according to my client Mrs. Giuseppe mentioned that her husband isn't doing well and they're in danger of going out of business. That would be a lot of stress on anyone especially an elderly woman don't you think? Henderson looks back and forth between the two men trying to catch them in a lie but growls quietly when he doesn't see anything in their eyes. OK he says with forced calm in his voice. How do you explain what you did to Gino after you left. Why would you punch your friend in the face? Tony chuckles as Antonio shakes his head in disbelief. Have you met Gino, Antonio asks Agent Henderson. The man is a bit of an asshole and probably deserved it. Agent Henderson sits there silently for a few minutes as Tony sees the anger mounting in the eyes of the FBI agent until it explodes out o mf him as he furiously shoves his papers onto the floor. I know you're back in your Father's chair Mancini, Henderson says in fury. I will do everything within my power to prove it and put you away for a very long time. That's enough Agent Henderson, Antonio said with heat in his own voice. If you don't I will not only talk to your superiors but sue you for harassment. Now if we're done here me and my client are leaving. He motions Tony to his feet and both head to the door but when they open it an officer blocks their path. The only place Mancini is going is a holding cell, Agent Henderson said with a smirk. There is that small matter of the assault charge after all. The officer handcuffs Tony a second time as the screw fades to black with Antonio telling Tony to worry and that he'll be out in time to make it to Puerto Rico.
Last edited by Frank N Steins_Gate : 12-06-2017 at 08:02 PM.
$$$ "Roulette Rounds, bay-bay! Gotta spin that wheel."$$$
Batti spun the Beanboozled wheel with a flick of her finger. It clacked and came to a sudden halt on a brown jelly bean. She happily reached into the tin and plucked out the candy. She examined it, wondering if it was either the Chocolate flavor or Canned Dog Food. Her plushie Captain Claws watched with vacant eyes. Batti looked up at her old friend, who she hadn't seen in almost a year. She grinned from ear to ear, and plopped it in her mouth. She chewed, and gradually stopped. Batti's face went beet red as she hurdled over the tin can and her teddy bear. She slammed the bathroom door and retched.
"This a nasty game," a familiar voice stated, grabbing the wheel for his turn.
"We coulda went to a fuggin' casino..." Batti said from the rim of her toilet bowl. "Yeck."
"Nah. Closest one got me on a watchlist. I may have cheated at table craps a few times in my younger days. Don't worry your pretty lil' head over it though. I'm just glad to see you. Unscripted was off the chain. See what I did there?"
The sound of a commode is heard and Batti opened the door. She peered at her sensei, Action Saxton. He laughed heartily at his own joke before turning his attention back on the game. He spun the wheel, and it landed on blue.
She huffed. "That's some bakka bullshit! Toothpaste or Berry? The worst taste ain't even that bad."
He sorted through the candy and picked out a bean. To her delight, he twirled it on his finger, tossed it in the air, and caught it with his mouth. "Mmm. That's good toothpaste. Crest? Colgate? Pepsodent?"
Batti gave her mentor the stink eye. She gagged, and went for the wheel. She gave it a go, picked out a green, and spat it back out.
"Speaking of casinos and wheels, the Roulette Rounds should be soon. I know you can't really prep when you don't know who you'll be wrestling, but got any ideas on what you want to do? Carry around a chain perhaps?"
"Ha! No. Honestly, I'm not sure. I'm sort of just here right now, know what I mean? Like I defeated Kagura, the first Queen For A Day. It didn't make me better than her, though. She's still the Queen. Nothing changed, except maybe I have more of an ego coming into these Rounds. I feel it, deep down, that I'm ready to challenge for gold again. But what I'd like I guess is one more fight with Callie Clark."
Action sighed. "Worst thing you can do is get hung up on her. And besides, Matt Tastic is the Elite X Champion now. Even if Batti vs. Callie III happened, and you got the win, just like your fight with Kagura nothing will change. Why not Tastic? That'd be fun. Or hell, do the impossible: face Titus Avison and end that European Championship reign. Wasn't he your debut match here? Hell, better yet, outdo yourself. Make it Constantine vs. Batti. Go big or go home."
"Not like I have a choice to who I get to compete against," she said, biting her lip. "Though I hope it is somebody with a title."
"I think it's optional whether or not their titles would be on the line, which suuuuuuuuuucks." She rested her head on his shoulder in mock theatrics. "Maybe I'll face off against you."
"Maybe you'll fight Ramparte."
"Easiest W of my career. WZCW's runway ain't even wheelchair accessible."
They snickered. Batti's cell phone went off. Tyrone Blades texted her. When Action asked her how that relationship was going, he wasn't ready for the answer.
"Oh, the usual. Bonding. With nylon rope. Suspended over his bed. Blindfolded. Cherry red ballgag in my mouth. Tame stuff."
He stared at her wide eyed.
"I'm kidding," she teased. "...We don't use nylon."
It was then his own phone went off. He checked it, and frowned.
"Hate to leave us on our game and such a stimulating conversation, but I've gotta go. You don't be doing anything you're going to regret later, little lady. I once knew a guy that was into wearing a latex suit and a mask. Know what happened to him? Became a Tag Team Champion with me. Risky business. Know your limits, kiddo."
Batti Otaku and Action Saxton hugged. "Thank you for dropping in, sensei. I may knock bakka bitches out with chains now, but I'm still the same girl that climbed a mountain to be trained by you. You're always with me in spirit, whether I'm being dorky or when shit gets real. I owe you tons."
He beamed down at her. "You don't owe me anything, Batgirl. Just stay safe, and kick some butt."
When he was out the door and out of sight, Batti called Tyrone.
"Hey. Wanna play Beanboozled? It's Roulette Rounds after all."
Truth was, she had no real cares in the world. The Roulette Rounds were hard to get ready for. Even seasoned veterans had difficulties with predicting what kind of opponent they'd see. Will it be a champion? A surprise return of a beloved icon? A staff member? Nobody knew for sure. So her mindset was "Why worry?" What would come will come. Vis Imperium had disbanded. There was no immediate threat to her. The Harbinger was her significant other, the QFAD was Kagura's but the last laugh was hers. Everything seemed perfect, and that calm before the storm played a big part in her public breakdown.
Batti treated herself by shopping at an outlet mall. The day was gorgeous and warm for a December. She went by herself, and when she looked back on that Saturday afternoon she would resent not taking Tyrone Blades or any of The Hollow Ones. Maybe then someone could have talked her through her moment, someone could have calmed her down. But ideal scenarios rarely happen in the real world.
She hit one of her favorite shops, The Candy Store. Batti walked out with Hefty bags full of various jawbreakers, peanut butter cups, licorice, gummy bears, and jelly beans. "Don't You Forget About Me" by Simple Minds played over the outdoor speakers, though she'd forget the irony in that later.
Bags in hand, she practically skipped passed wave after wave of mall rats.
♫ "Will you stand above me?
Look my way, never love me
Rain keeps falling, rain keeps falling
Down, down, down" ♫
A bearded man in an old Cerberus t-shirt walked by. At first, the shirt caught her attention. Even in the WZCW fandom, tag team shirts weren't as popular as they used to be, except the crosshairs one. And in a fleeting second her eyes traveled up to the face of what she thought was an old fan. Maybe he would recognize her or something and maybe she'd give an autograph. She was riding high on ego.
But she knew him, and her heart stopped. When she called out his name, there was no vibrance in her voice. No color. The cheer was gone. Everything felt jarring.
The man kept walking, swallowed up into the busy crowd. He didn't seem to have noticed her. Batti stood visibly shaking. There was no wheelchair. How?
She was running. The bags were no longer in her hands, she had spilled them in her daze. Batti glided passed shopper after shopper. He was heading to the parking lot.
Minutes passed. Now nobody was in her way. She screamed.
"Ramparte! Please it-it's Batti! Turn around!"
He did. Their eyes met. There he was, clear as day, standing. He was a lot taller than she remembered. His eyes, though. They weren't what she recalled. Even in their breakup, there was a flare of kindness to them. Now they were just eyes.
"Beatrice," he answered flatly.
"Y-you've never called me that. Umm you're standing. Like, without help."
"Observant," he said, and turned back around. He unlocked his car, a white Honda Civic. She wanted to rush to him, to ask why he was being so cold to her, how he can walk, and why he called her by her actual name. Part of her even wanted to hug him. But her legs froze. She couldn't even cry out. It wasn't a panic attack, but she was overwhelmed by the suddenness of it all. He started the car, and without another word to her or a glance at her, he drove off.
She stood there, alone. Confused. Angry. Upset. In tears. Clutching her heart. Having troubles breathing. Ramparte was well again and wanted nothing to do with her. With her emotions all over the place, she buckled and fell on the asphalt. Memories flooded her mind.
Batti didn't understand why she felt the way she did. She had Tyrone Blades now, who was a gentleman. The past was dead. But...
Several came to her aid to make sure she was okay. Had she blacked out? On top of everything else, the young superstar felt embarrassed too. She dusted herself off, and dug for her phone. When she spoke, her voice started to return to normal.
"Tyrone, you're not going to believe this..."
--A few days after Unscripted -----
Mark Keaton’s mansion in Toronto Ontario Canada, it’s 5:30 PM in case you were wondering.
Remarkable Mark Keaton sat in his chrome, spike covered throne in his sitting room. He wasn’t recovering from a party, he wasn’t depressed or doped out of his mind, he was shell shocked. He pulled a heavy, brown wool blanket over his shoulders in case any one of his old maids came along to sneak a peek of him in his underwear. He hadn’t heard a peep from any of the maids or the butler in hours, he knew why. The place was as quiet as a tomb, except for a clock that ticked along in the nearby hallway.
What happened? Mark thought as he stared at an AC/DC poster placed near the unused fireplace. We were in control, we had Titus and Blades on the ropes, Big Bad Roady was doing what I told him to do before the match, but it all went south. We lost and the result was an innocent man getting beaten up in the middle of the ring while the whole fucking roster watched, HE’S NOT AN ATHLETE!
“Defenseless!” Mark threw the blanket off of his muscular frame and jumped to his feet, he kicked over a nearby nightstand sending his ashtray spilling to the floor along with some empty mugs. Mark clenched his jaw and made a fist, he paced around the room muttering to himself, after a moment he realized that it was too cold for this and jumped back in his chair inside the warm comfort of his wool blanket.
What a huge goddamn hole Vis Imperium leaves in WZCW now, the only thing interesting in wrestling is now gone. Motherfucker! Why couldn't that bastard hobble down and help us too, that motherfucker!Motherfucker, it’s not all about you! I said that, man! Ha ha ha, I really had the nerve to finally stand up to that bastard. Mark smirked and pulled the blanket tighter around his neck. It felt good to finally tell the dude what needed to be said. But Mark knew he valued his friendship with Cooper more than ever, he called and texted the man for the last day or so but got no reply. Mark figured the former world heavyweight champion was probably buried in a gym somewhere in Australia, vowing to become a physical god and take back what was taken from him.
The fall of Vis Imperium still hurt Mark, he knew it hurt Cooper too in his own way. Xander Labelle left the company entirely but Mark knew the guy had one foot out of the door already, it didn’t make it any easier for him. He spied the present Labelle left him sitting on the couch across the room, wrapped in a sparkling red wrap and a small bow on top. Mark stood up and shuffled across the room, he retrieved the present and quickly made his way back to his warm base on the padded, chrome throne. He read the card on top…..
He really did, the man taught him the art of the negotiation. He taught him the immeasurable value of having somebody like Big Bad Roady on the outside of the ring to add that extra factor in his matches. Meatball said he had to go to Philly and deal with one of his ex wives, the dude has more girl problems than I did in my teens. Mark smirked as he tore the wrapping off of the present.
Aww, he didn’t.
Mark almost teared up, he didn’t realize how much his company meant to Labelle until now. Xander’s prized golden chess set was boxed neatly before him, every piece was tucked neatly away in it’s own groove and polished to a shine with the board reflecting light off of the little squares. It was a beautiful set. He remembered Xander teaching him how to play as they discussed what was going on in WZCW and Vis Imperium. They had talked long about Justin Cooper’s rapidly changing attitude and obsession with the World Heavyweight Title. Neither man would dare speak against the Champ at the time but knew there was an even deeper power struggle going on between Mr. Banks and Cooper. It hung in the air at every V.I meeting, every V.I conference and scheduled merchandise meeting, every talk with either man ended up with the impression that one hated the other. It was things that were said, facial expressions used and just the feeling that things were going to eventually explode someday.
Like the Banks Volcano that’s currently building up. Mark could only imagine the mood Mr. Banks would be in right now, busted up in a hospital bed somewhere with nurses wiping his ass for him, vowing to make Mark Keaton pay for failing to prevent Vis Imperium from going down.
That is going to be one shit show when that dude comes back.
Mark carefully put the golden chess set on the floor and sighed. The time of riding the V.I machine was over, the whole locker room is going to feed on him now, an exposed former bully from V.I who puffed his chest out and made EVERYONE miserable in the back.
I’m so screwed. Ha ha ha! Ahh fuck it, I love chaos anyway.
The madness of the Roulette Rounds were now here, the one set of shows on the calendar that could make people forget that he was once one of those guys that bullied everyone around. The nervous energy of the roulette rounds was a favorite time of year for a lot of the wrestlers, you could get a title shot out of nowhere!
I remember last season man, a younger, dumber version of RMK got Reynolds in an Elite Championship match, lost that one because I was too confident in my striking game and lost to a submission move man. I really hated that guy.
Mark could see red and blue light reflections coming from the main entrance windows.
Well, I guess this is it. Time to shed the V.I skin and go back to the V.I less RMK.
Mark stood up and threw the wool blanket off of himself. He pulled a Voltron T-shirt on and threw on a pair of jeans.
Knock knock knock!!!
Mark lit a smoke and threw on a leather jacket.
Knock knock knock!!!
Mark opened a closet and picked up a huge gym back stuffed with clothes.
“Hey Mark! You in there? This is Sheriff Grant from the Toronto Police Department. I’m here to…”
Mark ripped open the door.
“Ya I know, escort me from the premises. I got the letter jackass, I can read dude!” Mark heaved the gym bag over his shoulder and walked off of the steps of the Vis Imperium property.
A dozen moving employees hurried past him, some high WZCW officials walked past as well, interested in Mr. Banks property. Another cop came up and walked next to Mark.
A group of RMK groupies waited for him in a neon van.
Sexy blondes, my favorite.
Mark flicked his smoke and told the cop that he’ll be alright and won’t need an escort or anything, he will cooperate. The cop nodded and returned to his squad car. The groupies called for him and he raised a finger as he gave his mansion one last look.
A lot of memories in this mansion, good ones and bad ones man. This house was everything I wanted out of Vis Imperium. I guess I’ll just have to move on to the next chapter.
A WZCW staff member ran out of the house, he looked pale and had a brown smear all along the side of his suit.
“Why is there human SHIT all over the floor?!!?!? MAAAARK!!!!” The man screamed.
Mark turned and nodded to the women, he jumped in the van and they peeled off into the night.
Stumbling through the hallways, his vision blurred, in a total haze as Justin Cooper pushed backstage workers to the side, his speech slurred, and his footing slowly slipping away. His own weight barely supported as he crashed into a nearby wall, his face pressed against it and a smear of blood staining the otherwise white surface.
“Can we get some help over here? We need a trainer for Justin Cooper, he has lost too much blood,” shouted one among the masses that has gathered to see the fallen champion.
HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA
They gathered to laugh and stand triumphant over him, after all these months they would finally have their day. That was what Justin saw as he looked up from the ground, the blood soaking into his eyes causing a burning sensation, his body had betrayed him in battle – he was alone.
“No! Keep your trainer. I do not want help from any of you,” spat Justin, pushing himself off the ground and standing on wobbly legs.
“You need help. Look at the state of you. You’ve can barely walk, Justin.”
It was another from the group that surrounded him, this one stepped forward and grabbed his arm to aid his travels. Justin refused, shoving the man to the ground and turning on him, spitting words like a venomous snake who is corned.
“I said, no! That lot of you can go to hell. You pretend to give me aid when in reality I see it in your eyes. This is nothing but a jest at my expense, and one that you have been waiting over a year to take part in. I am no joke,” Justin yelled, turning towards the larger group as the man he pushed to the ground scurried away.
Once again, Justin could feel his body pulling him to the ground. He refused, not now he thought, showing his determination to not appear weak in front of those he believed wished him to appear so.
“I am the greatest wrestler in the world. Show me the respect I have earned and get out of my fucking way! Move,” Justin cried out, the crowd parting thereafter and none made eye contact with the man as he walked through.
HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA
His right leg limped behind, slowing his pace down as he fought a war within himself to remaining standing on his way to the locker-room. The end of the hallway was his goal, his body taunting him, blood drying upon his face, his long-time injured knee began to burn once more, and his vision moved as a single wave.
“Keep going… don’t you fucking fall… almost there,” he whispered to himself through gritted teeth, battling pain unlike anything he had ever sustained.
Justin reached the locker-room, it was private, specifically for Vis Imperium and on this occasion, it was empty. That was perfect. Justin had no desire to sit with his so-called teammates, they had disrespected him in public, the cameras rolling and the world had no doubt seen it. The thought of Vis Imperium made his stomach turn, a bunch of hacks who had been carried on his back for months.
HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA
In the corner of the room stood a monitor, it displayed the entrances of the main event – Vis Imperium’s fate would be decided while Justin Cooper sat in their locker-room. He took no part in the match, he didn’t care either way and his mind was far from the tales of Vis Imperium and Mr. Banks. While he showered, Justin rubbed his shoulders, bruises already appearing, his back marked with cuts, his face sliced on the forehead, the water pouring into it like salt. Justin found it hard to drink, opening his mouth allowing the water to enter but when he went to swallow, the water kicked back up, his body fighting him again.
After showering and removing his wrestling gear, Justin sat on a stool and prepared to leave. His things were gathered, placed in a gym bag and the match continued. It was then that Justin heard a knock at the door, his head turned from packing his bag and looked toward the door.
“Is my car ready?” Justin said, he picked up the bag and wrapped the sling over his shoulder, standing up and making his way toward the door.
“Hello, it’s Leon Kensworth. Justin, I’m wondering if I can have a quick word about what happened tonight?”
The former World Champion, the thought irked him greatly, stood stagnant for a moment. His face crinkled in a mix of anger and pain, his hands shaking, the cut on his forehead oozing puss now. Then, Justin stepped toward the door and opened it, finding Leon on the other side with an anxious look about him.
“Oh, are you leaving already?” Leon asked, his anxiousness replaced by confusion.
“My match is done. Why would I hang around?” Justin said, refusing to look at Leon. “This company has taken enough from me tonight. Surely they can spare me a few extra minutes to lick my wounds in peace without being hounded by pestering reporters?”
“I thought you’d wait to see the result of the main event. It’s happening right now,” Leon said.
“I know. Do you think me a fool, Leon? Are you hear to laugh as everyone else has as I walked to the locker-room? It’s funny,” Justin answered, finally looking at Leon.
“I survived Hell in a Cell, a structure so dangerous that only a handful of people have ever competed in it, I do so against a man who is in the WZCW Hall of Fame and yet people like you take this opportunity to laugh at my shortcomings. Well, go on! Have your laugh, Leon! Take in your moment to live in the failure of my night because I promise, I fucking vow on my life that this will not happen ever again!”
Kensworth stood in stunned silence as Justin wobbled, the passion he showed taking whatever strength he had remaining out of him, falling against the wall and sliding down to the ground.
“Oh my god. I should get help,” stuttered Leon, he tried to leave but Justin grabbed him by the wrist and pulled him back.
“I will not give them the privilege of seeing me in this state more than once. You will do no such thing, Leon. I might be weak now but soon, I will be healed and when I am, if you were to seek medical attention and shame me to those fools, I’d take it as a personal insult and have to return with an appropriate act of… aggression. Do you understand?” Justin said, his voice soft and faint as he eyelids fluttered up and down.
“You are not well, Justin. Hell in a Cell takes more than its fair share from every competitor who steps inside it. You need to see the trainer, we can get you an ambulance and you’ll be taken care of at the hospital.”
Justin spat on the ground next to him, his fingers feeling his stomach… it was absent gold. He missed the feeling already. The cold touch of the leather on his skin, the weight of the title around his waist and the feeling of his name etched in gold upon the name plate – it felt so soothing beneath the touch of his fingertips.
“I will not go the hospital. I have a car coming. Help me stand, Leon.”
Leon hesitated for a moment but the sight of Justin in pain on the cold cement floor was enough to drive Leon into action. After a few moments of struggle, Justin stood with his back against the wall and they began to walk towards the parking lot. As they walked, every few steps Justin would lean on Leon, bracing himself for a fall that never came.
HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA
“I believe you had questions, Leon. Ask away,” Justin said, the sound of nearby workers muttering under their breath was magnified. He knew they were talking about him, laughing – they all were.
“Why are you leaving before the main event is finished? Do you not care about the fate of Vis Imperium? You are the leader, Justin.”
“I haven’t cared about the group for a long time, Leon. They were a means to an end. It was about me. Vis Imperium lost its way when the focus switched to Mr. Banks and his bullshit with Ty. I had the World Championship, the most powerful position in professional wrestling, and instead of focusing our assets on securing that forever, Banks wanted to play puppet master with Ty.
Mark and Xander were pulled into it. They got so caught up in this war between Vis Imperium and WZCW that they lost sight of the bigger picture. The success of Vis Imperium was never going to be about if Banks was in control or if Ty was still in the company. The future was secured so long as I held the World Championship. I was the key, they all failed to realise it. The history books will tell you that Vis Imperium died when Ty Burna and Titus defeated Mark Keaton and Xander LeBelle, but it died the moment I lost the World Championship to Constantine.”
They reached the edge of the parking lot, Justin leaned against a metal barricade and waited for his car. He couldn’t see it, so he continued to humour Leon and his questions.
“You have no faith in them winning?”
Justin laughed, it hurt and caused him to clutch his ribs.
“Without me? As I said, Vis Imperium died before any of those four men stepped into the ring,” Justin confirmed, his tone harsh and his eyes defiant.
HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA
“It’s the first time since February that you aren’t WZCW World Heavyweight Champion. What’s it feel like, Justin?”
There was a long pause for this one. The thought had entered Justin’s head multiple times, he pushed it back whenever it appeared but now it had drilled in, poisoning him from within.
“I don’t know,” Justin responded, it was all he could muster.
In his own mind, Justin was more alone now than he ever had been. The World Title had been his identity for the entire year. He was the main event, the top guy, he defied expectations but on this night, the night he fell, he had once again done what the world expected – he was supposed to fall to Constantine.
Each time he won, defending the title, he felt a rush unlike anything he had experienced before. Justin Cooper was the man who was never going to be anything. A seven year veteran who had played around the mid-card, until he shocked the world. A fluke they said, so he did it again. Beginner’s luck, so he did it again. Repeatedly, Justin Cooper reigned over the competition, legends fell, myths were debunked and even super saiyans were left without hope. Yet, Justin had been passed over for the Hall of Fame in favour of Constantine, he was often regulated to segments other than the opener in favour of Titus Avison. His reign while great would be overshadowed by the reign of a man that Justin had idolised and defeated.
“Was it all for nothing?” Justin muttered, he stood up and screamed, falling to his knees.
HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA
“What is it? Are you hurt?” Leon asked, he was completely out of his depth in the madness of the man.
“I have fought through the best this company has to offer, Leon. I had answered every challenge put to me and now they laugh. I’ll give them something to laugh at, Leon! I’ll have them laughing when I tear this whole fucking company down to get my title back! I don’t care who I have to go through, I want my damn rematch! Do you fuckers hear me?” Justin screamed into the night, the parking lot echoing his voice.
HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA
“Justin, it’s just you and I here. Nobody is laughing at you,” Leon said, trying to calm him down.
“They’ll hear, Leon. Let ‘em fucking hear me now. You think I’m done? You’ll need to fucking kill me, boys! We’ve got the roulette rounds coming up, ask me about them? Come on Leon, ask me about the roulette rounds – it doesn’t matter how the wheel spins because whoever walks out with the World Title, I got next!”
Justin staggered to his feet, looking at Leon with wild eyes, approaching him and tapping the side of his head.
HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA
“They’ve been waiting for me to fall, Leon. I’m down right now but soon I shall rise… up I will go and back to the top of the mountain like a phoenix rising into the night’s sky. I will be the moon after a long day, putting out the flames of John Constantine and replacing it with the freezing night air. I’ve seen it in their eyes, Leon. They were waiting for me to lose, everyone in the locker-room… I saw it.”
“Justin…” Leon said, taking a few steps back.
Justin turned, shouting up into the sky wildly.
“Keep laughing! I hear you, keep laughing while you can. I will take back the World Title, it belongs to me. It’s is me! I need it. I need it. I… need… it. What am I without it. I will get it back, yes. Yes… I will. They are jealous, it’s in their eyes… jealous of me. I deserve it. I’m the greatest. Leon! They will see. You will see! You and your eyes… your eyes.” Justin said, as he stepped closer to Leon.
HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA
“Thank you for your time, Justin.” Leon said, turning and making his way for the door.
“You have the look, Leon! I see jealously in your eyes! DO NOT LAUGH AT ME, LEON! I will get the World Title back. Do you all hear me? At the roulette rounds I will spin that wheel and then I’ll be laughing, I’ll be laughing when I get my title back. Yes, we’ll all laugh. Not at me. No, never at me. I'll be laughing at them. Yes, at them.”
The car for Justin pulled up, he remained frozen and let it pass on by. Slowly, Justin sat on the ground, his back against the wall of the parking lot and clutched his gym bag close. The sound of laughter echoing in his head… and yet nobody else could hear it.
HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA HAHA
“Please, don’t laugh at me.”
Last edited by Da Prophet : Yesterday at 06:56 AM.
~Chapter 13: Unpredictability~
Another opportunity came. And then went while Yemrez failed to grab it. Another loss in a match where stakes were high. Yemrez was visibly upset about it.
However, it was not the end of the world for her. She wasn't gonna just sit and cry about the past failures. You don't ruin your present as well as future by over thinking about the past failures, do you? Yemrez won't. Before The Calling, she may have thought just about the negative outcomes she has suffered since joining WZCW. But after The Calling, she's a lot mature now. Introspecting herself. Contemplating where she failed to capture the victory. All thanks to Goddess Pikne.
Roulette Rounds are next. And getting a bit of advice from Goddess is always helpful. Yemrez recalled what Goddess Pikne said. Not the first time though. She had been thinking over Goddess' advice since many days. Goddess Pikne had advised her to face the defeat without any regret or shame. Surely, Yemrez lost. But, she actually won as well. Life is all about learning, no? And Yemrez learnt something even when she was defeated. Failures lead to learning. You may never learn while winning what losing will teach you.
Goddess Pikne had also encouraged to know her opponents more. Not just what they showed. But also what they hid. Everyone can see what's being shown. But who wants to see what's hidden? Something that's non-existent for most of the people. That's what Yemrez yearns to find out now.
Yemrez always took advises to her heart. After all, she's all about the heart. In this long journey, she was doubted a lot. Termed as generic. Termed as bland. Someone who doesn't have any character. Someone who's a choker much like her inspiration Eve Taylor. Someone who just shows off her love for her country. Someone who's ignorant about her body because of the abundance of the tattoos. Someone who fails more than anyone else.
But that's not the truth. That's just what seems as the truth. The truth was that she's nowhere near bland or generic. She has a strong character and it was pretty evident as well. But if someone deliberately wants to close eyes to the obvious truth, she can't do anything about that. She was told that wrestling isn't what she should do. And then she reached the semifinals of Gold Rush Tournament. She was told that weight lifting isn't what she should do. And then she won numerous medals and more importantly, so much respect all over the world while representing her country Estonia as proudly as someone could. She never showed off her love. You don't need to show off the truth, do you? Truth always comes out. No matter how much someone tries to hide the truth. And the truth is that she actually loves her country. Why would she represent it with her head held high in this huge world consisting of 7.5+ Billion people? Tattoos ain't any disrespect to her body. They are just some useful add-ons. She isn't ashamed of any tattoo. She is just proud of herself as well as her country.
She has been an inspirational human being to lots of people. Inspiration can do wonders. Inspiration is like what light is to darkness. Just like what Yemrez is to most of the WZCW wrestlers. Be it Justin Cooper, Titus Avison or anyone else. Their status or achievements can't over shadow the fact that they turned to darkness. And therefore, their success isn't based on their credentials. It's based on their manipulative skills. And WZCW isn't about manipulation. It's about wrestling skills. About determination. About will power. About Right against Wrong. Wrong may dominate initially, but Right always has the last laugh.
One could see the recent example of Vis Imperium getting demolished. Karma isn't partial. You can't buy it. All you can do is do right and Karma will do right to you. Justin Cooper was the one who threw Constantine out of Vis Imperium. And who defeated Justin Cooper now? Constantine. Karma, you know. It comes back full circle. Yemrez may be losing but she isn't stooping down. Just to get victories which are meaning less if you didn't earn them. Just imagine how great Justin Cooper would've been if he didn't betray his fans. But he isn't great.
Yemrez also lost to Constantine. Fair and square. Justin also lost to Constantine. Fair and square. What's the difference? Constantine was 100% while facing Yemrez. Constantine was broken while facing Justin. So, basically, Yemrez couldn't defeat Constantine when he was at his best. And Constantine defeated Justin Cooper while being in worst condition. That's the big difference. Yemrez has nothing to be ashamed of. Justin? Well. Everything.
The former World Champion is just a big example of why someone should never embrace darkness. At least, Yemrez won't.
Roulette Rounds. Unpredictability. Nothing new if you actually understand life, no? Life is unpredictable as well. You don't know what's gonna happen tomorrow. Just like Rouette Rounds.
Yemrez doesn't know who she will face. No one knows except God. Life is a helluva roller coaster ride. Ups and downs. Yemrez could face Constantine for World Heavyweight Championship. Or anyone else. Uncertain foes. Uncertain allies. Anything could happen. So, why worry about something that isn't your hands. Some things are for sure though. Yemrez won't give up. Yemrez won't back down from a fight. Yemrez won't stoop down just for winning. Yemrez won't embrace darkness. Yemrez won't quit. Yemrez will give her best. Yemrez will try the hardest to win. Yemrez will be fair and square. Yemrez will be determined. And Yemrez will win because she can.
14th of April, 2004
St Louis, Missouri
It was a cool spring day in the city of St Louis. A day that ought to have acted as a precursor for what John Constantine was offering. The incumbent Senator had been a breath of fresh air for the, admittedly, short period of time that he had held office. People liked him, there could be no doubt about it. He was young, intelligent and charismatic. What's more, he had delivered on promises set out in his pre-election manifesto. There were more jobs, better infrastructure in St Louis in particular, and more oversight on what citizens deemed to be “public services”. So when it came time to re-elect their Senator for the next term, odds were very short on John Constantine being the man who would win the popular vote.
Hindsight will tell a different story of the previous term, however. Regardless of results, Constantine had worked outside of the system and would be held against his actions. His relationship with one of his aides would come under the microscope and, more importantly, his relationship with his citizens would begin to crumble. But that would be a story for another day altogether. On this day in 2004, John Constantine had achieved what he set out to do and he had did it in style. With an 83% turnout and a 76% share of the popular vote, Constantine was put back into office behind a wave of momentum. A wave that, some thought, would wash all the way to the White House and the highest office in the land.
Truly, at that point, Constantine felt as though he could do no wrong. Even when his actions were punishable but hidden - Untouchable was he...
Constantine: Thank you all for coming out here today, ladies and gentlemen.
At a gathering of his supporters the day after his bi-election. Constantine took the stage. The marquis outside had been an inspired act by his campaign team. The truth of the matter was that no indoor venue would have been suitable to house the turnout. And even in the cool April air, Constantine seemed like a ray of sunshine.
Constantine: It's been a long road to this point, hasn't it? For everyone on my team, the road has been even longer and even more treacherous. But I want to take you back 5 years ago. 5 years ago last November, I sat in my office fresh out of college with a degree framed on my wall. I looked it up and down and thought about what it really meant. I had worked so hard to achieve it I often forgot about what I wanted to achieve afterwards. My father always wanted me to be an accountant like he was. My foot would have been in the door of his company and I would have, no doubt, had a very comfortable existence. Not ground-breaking by any means... But comfortable.
Constantine stops for a moment, his breath hanging in the air and his supporters hanging on every word as he spun a trademark yarn.
Constantine: As I sat in my office that night, I thought for the first time about what I really wanted to achieve with my life. I had a comfortable child hood, for sure. Did I ever have to worry about where the next meal was coming from? No. But, just like everyone else, I took my blows. But my whole life led up to that point. The point where I had finally achieved something worthwhile and would now stand on my own two feet.
Again, the newly-returned Senator stops.
Constantine: But the achievement was tainted. I was given everything I could ever need to get to that point. I had every advantage given to me behind an embarrassment of riches. Could I have managed that on my own? Perhaps. But there were so many people that missed out on the education I had simply because they couldn't afford to pay their tuition. In what United States of America should that be acceptable? It was in that moment that I realised that my true calling in this life was to make sure people could have all the same doors open to them as I had opened to me.
A huge cheer goes around the assembled masses as a wide smile begins to appear on the face of the young politician.
Constantine: That night, I started to assemble a team that would get me towards the goal of being a decision maker in this state. It was so hard sometimes, I can't even explain it to you. Trying to upset the apple cart and reinvent the wheel was something that people didn't especially want in political circles. But the drive and hunger that me and my team showed them illustrated that we weren't going away. Change was coming to this great state! And now, 5 years later, I am proud to say that we are well on the way to making those dreams I had in my office a reality!
Another huge cheer goes around the audience for Constantine's words, more proof of his natural charisma.
Constantine: If it hadn't been for the hunger and desire of me and my team during those tough times, we wouldn't be in the position that we are now, there is no doubt about it. My father often taught me that desire is the starting point of all achievement. It isn't a hope or a wish but rather something pulsating that continually drives you forward. And when the hunger is gone, your hope of achieving anything is gone.
An obligatory round of applause rings out through the crowd as Constantine's tone is more flat and thoughtful.
Constantine: So here we are again. We've been re-elected on the back of one of the best returns from an electorate in this State's history. The world is at my feet and, of course, that means that people will try and run us down. They will try and stop the momentum that we have built over the last 5 years. I was asked by a journalist the other day about my plans if I was to be re-elected yesterday. And one word that kept coming up was hunger. I am so hungry to make my dreams for this state a reality.
Constantine smiles as an another loud cheer goes around the assembled crowds.
Constantine: I have lowered tax for most working class families. I have invested in the school system vigorously over the last two years. I have increased the number of jobs in and around St Louis at a rate that no one thought possible. I have put my faith in all of you to make this State the best state in the United States and, in return, you have put your faith in me to keep delivering for you. The hunger in me has not diminished now that I have, seemingly, done what I set out to do. The fire in my stomach still burns for more success. Because in the United States of America, if you are content with what you have, then you are in the minority. That is not the attitude that this country was founded on and it is not the attitude that is shared by the man standing in front of you now.
The tone and pace of the Senator's voice continues to rise until it is a crescendo of noise and emotion – mirrored completely by those who support him.
Constantine: Have I achieved more than most? Yes, I have! But make no mistake, there is still so much more to achieve and I intend to be the man who does it all! Thank you!
And with that, Constantine was finished. A statement to everyone who supported him and, more importantly, to everyone who doubted him. From a young age, Constantine was taught never to stop with what was comfortable and it was a lesson that he never forgot. When it seemed comfortable, Constantine worked harder than anyone to keep it that way. Complacency was the enemy of achievement and Constantine would never allow himself to be complacent.
And now that he had re-captured the WZCW Heavyweight Championship, he was going to push himself harder than anyone ever could or would. If his body broke in the process, then so be it. Headlining Kingdom Come in his last ever match was what spurred him on now more than anything else. And to do that he knew he had to do it as Heavyweight Champion. His battles with Vis Imperium and Justin Cooper were over for now. He had won. And just like in 2004, people were beginning to question his desire and his hunger for the challenges that lay before him.
But just like in 2004, Constantine was ready for anything that would be thrown at him. Desire was the starting point of all achievement, after all. And Constantine wanted it more than you could ever imagine...
The sins of many begin only at the dusk of night, the righteous believe themselves walled off to the temptations the darkness, and yet their own egos beguile them to the very darkness they claim to hold contempt for. It is in this night we find the Hollow One Tyrone Blades, sitting up in bed with his hair let loose and wild around him. The ember of a lit cigarette burns away that darkness for but a moment as he exhales slowly, another sleepless night. Though he found himself victorious finally after a year long war, old habits died hard. Next to him is his muse, a woman that sparked a curiosity in him, the very definition of his antithesis, and yet someone that was capable of forcing a change inside him. A realization that perhaps he wasn't meant to be forever in the shadows, that he could be the beacon other could look towards. It was her after all that turned to him in her time of need, and he did the same, finding comfort in someone he considered pure. Batti shifted in her sleep, turning towards him and her arm lazily falling across his waist. A small smile forms on his face, something he could finally do without effort in so long. He was the real hero for once, the one that banished away the bad guys and got the girl. He could write the history in such a fashion, he was the victor after all, but in reality he was just as fucked up as everyone else. He knew deep down this wasn't a war for the soul of WZCW, it was petty revenge, a deal gone wrong. The glamorous sacrifice of the hero, willing to fight for what was right, really he just wanted to crack a few skulls to get payback. But he was human like the rest. He went with the motion, garnered the support, and got what he wanted. Even his relationship with Batti grew from devastating back stabs from both Stacey Madison and Ramparte. In truth they were both hurt individuals who found solace within one another, sounding boards for each other, not to mention outstanding physical chemistry. The Hollow One contemplates further when soon she stirs from her sleep, yawning loudly as she rubs her eyes open, looking up at him as he sets aside his own guilts and sins for a moment to enjoy the moment.
Batti: You're still awake?
Tyrone: Bad habit I picked up. I don't think I've slept more than 4 hours in a night in years.
Batti groans a bit as she pushes herself up. Tyrone ashes his cigarette, the lingering trails of smoke disappearing into the room as he brushes his hair back out of his face. She looks up at him, leaning her head against her shoulder.
Batti: You look lost in thought. What's on your mind Blades-sama?
Tyrone: Nah it's nothing girl, when you're as restless as me you can't help but let your mind race.
She sits up more, still feeling the effects of her match against Kagura. He never dispelled the notion that this was an easy business, though it was clear she was picking up on that rather quickly as she rubs the back of her neck, his eyes admiring her form even under the blankets as she yawns once more.
Batti: Tyrone, you won, you don't have anything else to worry. Banks is gone, Vis Imperium is dead, but you've been somber the past few days. Titus and Jones went off and have been celebrating since, why don't you join them tomorrow?
Tyrone: I'm afraid of what I might do now Batti. Everyone's waiting for the other shoe to drop now. They helped me get rid of Banks, and now they're waiting for the war monger I used to be to come back and take over once again, jump from the pot right into the kettle type shit you know? Can y'all blame them though? One dictator gets overthrown, another takes their place.
Batti listens intently, her eyes finding his as she leans up and kisses him before slapping him on the back of the head as she pulls away. She shakes her head as she adjusts the blankets around her, a small laugh escaping her.
Batti: You idiot. You're not the same person you were back then. I wasn't around back then, but I've seen the videos, and the man I'm with right now isn't that person. You wanted to free WZCW from Banks and Vis Imperium, and you're certainly a far more caring person now.
Tyrone: Batti, I quite literally just bashed someone's skull in with a baseball bat shortly after beating him half to death.
Batti: Yeah but you did it for a good cause.
Tyrone rubs his eyes in disbelief as he Batti can't help but laugh as she crawls onto his lap, wrapping her arms around his neck as she stares him in the eyes.
Batti: Blades-sama, your words are sincere, for once you've shown yourself vulnerable in the face of a daunting task, and you've grown stronger for it. What else are you afraid of? You'll never lose your spot in WZCW, you showed out there why you're one of the best, who I beat by the way.
Tyrone: What was that?
Batti: Nothing! Seriously though Tyrone, you gotta ease up, and if you won't do it, I have certain ways to make sure you do.
Tyrone: That so?
Batti grins as she winks at him, pressing up closer to him as he returns the favor. She leans into his neck, kissing up to his jawline before whispering into his ear.
Batti: Very convincing ways. So tomorrow you go find Titus and Jones and join them in whatever crazy shit they're doing, but just promise me you come back to me alright?
He nods, his eyes looking forward as he takes in her words. She was right, but first he had to go see an old friend first. He formulates his plan.....for a moment before her feminine wiles completely distract him and soon he spins her over onto her back, their lips meeting as the scene fades away. The next day comes as Tyrone soon finds himself pulling up to a rather large house, quickly killing the Impala as he looks up at the door. He exits, brushing his hair back before realizing his bandanna is pulled up over his face. He quickly slides it down before knocking on the door, leaning against one of the porch pillars as the door opens, revealing Constantine's beloved Mia.
Tyrone: Johnny Boy home?
Mia instantly narrows her eyes, every fiber in her body getting defensive as she takes in the sight of Tyrone. She keeps the door semi closed, her head behind the door a bit.
Mia: And what is it you want?
Tyrone holds his hands up, standing up away from the pillar as he looks towards Mia.
Tyrone: Just here to see how he's holding up. He went through hell at Unscripted, and I just.....needed to talk to him. Needed his advice on something.
Mia: Is that so? Well let me tell you something Mr. Blades.
Tyrone: You can just call me Tyrone ma'am.
Mia: I don't care what your name is. My fiancé almost killed himself to win that damn title the first time, and then you had to come in and lay a beating on him. He left me and his child for a long time after he went down a dark path. And it's your fault. So don't think for a second I'm going to just let you waltz into my home and hurt John again!
Tyrone: Ma'am I just wanna talk to John. I ain't here to hurt him or anything, in fact I'm here to congratulate the man.
Mia: Go to hell.
Mia moves to slam the door as Tyrone looks dejected, but a hand slides through and catches the door and pulls it open a bit, revealing the WZCW World Heavyweight Champion Constantine. He looks down to Mia who's anger clearly has not subsided as Constantine places a hand on her shoulder, reassuring her.
Constantine: It's alright Mia, Tyrone's a trusted friend and I'd say he's atoned for what he's done in the past.
Mia: Fine, do you what you want, you already do anyway....
Mia continues to go off as she stomps away, Constantine wincing a bit as he looks towards Tyrone. The Hollow One shakes his head as he looks towards his friend.
Tyrone: Hey my bad John, I didn't mean to start World War 3 at your house tonight.
Constantine: It's alright Tyrone, I think the couch has a permanent depression in the shape of my body anyway.
The two share a laugh as Constantine grabs something from inside before walking out the door and closing it behind him. He has a solaced look on his face, but soon produces the World Heavyweight Title from behind his back, a wide grin forming on his face as Tyrone returns the smile. The two clasp hands before Tyrone slaps his hand on the prized title.
Tyrone: Long hard fought road back to that wasn't it?
Constantine: And this time I intend to defend it for a change.
Tyrone: That was uh.....that was my bad.
Constantine: Hey, you try it again I still got the burlap sack handy.
Tyrone faints mock horror as he covers his face.
Tyrone: Oh god no. I don't want to see emo John again, that was the most horrifying sight in WZCW history, and I had to share a locker with Stormrage for awhile.
The two share a laugh as they move towards the patio table and chairs, both grabbing a seat as John sits gingerly, Tyrone flipping his chair around and sitting with his arms resting on the back rest.
Constantine: It's been a crazy year Tyrone. Going from the leader of Vis Imperium and Mayhem Champion, to putting on an absolute war with you, to working my way towards being World Champ again. Now Banks is out of the equation, and Vis Imperium is no more. I'd say we could rest on our laurels, but we both know that's not how this business works.
Tyrone: That's kinda why I had to stop and hit you up man. This last year the only thing I gave a damn about was taking that punk ass Banks out, and now that I've done it, what else do I got left to do? The slate's clean, but I don't know where to go from here. I could go for gold again, go after the Elite title so I can complete that grand slam, but it's not like I'm trying to solidify a Hall of Fame entry, I already got that. Titus has the Eurasian title and I'm clearly not gonna go after my ally. The younger crew needs that Mayhem title to pay their dues.
Constantine: You're tiptoeing around it aren't you Tyrone?
Tyrone: Can't be helped. You know what my name is synonymous is, and we got Lethal Lottery coming up. But man to man, if I'm able to win and it's you and I again, it's going to be straight up. No crews backing either of us up. No weapons, no personal issues, just you and me, a clean match and put on a clinic.
Constantine: And I would look forward to that, but you always have the World Title on your mind. I've been champion before, and the old saying goes if you're champion, you got a target on your back. Everyone will be gunning for me, and truth be told Tyrone, I don't know how long my body will hold up in defending this title, but I'm going to try my damned hardest to keep this ride going as long as I can. But right now, I can see something else is bothering you. You're a man of conviction, and if the World Title was really your main concern, I don't think we'd be having this conversation right now. You'd be back preparing to go after it.
Tyrone laughs as he withdraws a cigarette, lighting it up and inhaling deeply before exhaling away from Constantine. He rubs his temples with his free hand before looking back up at Constantine and shaking his head.
Tyrone: Yeah I shoulda known you wouldn't have bought all that. Truth is John, I'm sitting here wondering what WZCW needs The Hollow Ones for anymore. The group started as a way to fight the wrongs in WZCW, or at least what we perceived as wrong. And we did that, we took it and punched Banks right in the mouth, with a baseball bat naturally, and him reeling.
Constantine: You could fight to get your money back from him.
Tyrone: Oh shit I forgot to tell you about that. See after Unscripted, the Board of Directors so conveniently was delivered some documents I still had on Banks. And lo and behold this morning I got this in the mail.
Tyrone reaches into his pocket, withdrawing a piece of paper and slapping it down on the table. Constantine picks it up as his eyes go wide, realizing it's a check with a lot of zeros.
Constantine: You're kidding me!
Tyrone: Every. God. Damn. Cent. I did offer to take a minor ownership with no decision making power, buuuuuuuuuut they were less than enthused by that to say the least.
Constantine: Where in the blue hell did you have money like this to borrow? My god man when I need a loan for my kid's college I'm going to be visiting you.
Tyrone chuckles as John hands the check back over, Tyrone putting it back in his pocket before taking another drag from his cigarette.
Tyrone: I smell a business opportunity already. I mean the government's gonna fuck everyone else over for student loans, I should start a customer friendly loan service. You're a politician Johnny Boy, you could be my PR man.
Constantine: And that type of thinking is exactly why we need The Hollow Ones still Tyrone. You and Titus are the legends that built this place up, why not keep the group together and be the ones that keep an eye on the watchtower? You know there's going to be the next one that comes around wanting to take control again, hell we all know what Becky's like, and Myles has been a bastard in the past. The Hollow Ones breathing down their necks may keep them fair and focused.
Tyrone: I ain't so sure Batti would appreciate me breathing on Becky's neck, also I really don't want Ricky Runn's sloppy seconds, and I'm just talking about the air around her. Man I don't know, you already know they're busy talking about how soon I'm gonna make my move again. For real though, I ain't got a move to make. I did what I needed to do, ain't nothing more to it. I'm struggling with myself though Johnny Boy, and you can attest to this, you see a power vacuum and every fiber in your body is screaming at you to grab it. You ever heard of Victor's Justice? It's kinda like the saying the victor gets to write history. But Victor's Justice is the winner gets to decide what is right and wrong. If the Hollow Ones were to become the watchdogs, then it would be us that decides what is right or wrong. Do y'all really trust me of all people to be the judge, jury, and executioner?
Silence comes between the two men as Constantine absentmindedly grips his World Title just a bit tighter as he searches for the right words. Tyrone takes another drag from his cigarette before turning and walking off the porch, putting the cigarette out and keeping it in his hoodie pocket before walking backup. He sighs as he sits back down, leaning his head on his arms as he stares forward at Constantine.
Constantine: I think.....no, I believe you have earned the trust of the locker room once again. You're not the same as Ty Burna, you're Tyrone Blades. You willingly put your career on the line just to get a crack at taking out Vis Imperium. The amount of people that would be willing to do that I could count on one hand, and I'm not so sure even Titus or myself could bring ourselves to do so. You put yourself on the front line, you've suffered through indignities that have no business being in pro wrestling. Look at your arms for god's sake man! You'll have scars for the rest of your life from that barbed wire. If what you've all done isn't enough to prove yourself and what you truly believe in, then I'm not sure what will accomplish that Tyrone.
Tyrone: You know it's funny, when I was standing in that ring, all I could see is red. All I saw was my enemy, the man I needed to hurt, no the man I needed to eradicate from this company. The fans faded in the background, hell even Titus and Jones didn't exist at that very point in time. Nothing else mattered except the animal instincts that were coming out of me. And then you all came out. You surrounded the ring and broke me out of that trance. I keep hearing that I'm not Ty Burna, but John, there is still some of who I once was in me. Despite my insistence that I am not that man, and despite hearing it from everyone that I'm a different person, that drive, that passion to be the very best, that comes from the Ty Burna persona. Without that anger, without that ability to go farther than everyone else, I'm not the best. But because of that demon in me, there's always the capability to become the very thing everyone expects of me. I can't be the watchman while also being the very bastard that could kick the fucking gate down at the same time. I won't do that to you, or anyone else in WZCW. I can't put myself in that position to be in some sort of power and expect myself to stay in my lane. I'mma fuck it up eventually.
Constantine nods his head in understanding as he slowly stands up, still showing the results of his Hell in a Cell match. He drags the World Title off the table, draping it over his shoulder before walking past Tyrone, stopping and placing a hand on his shoulder in the process.
Constantine: I would beg to differ Tyrone. Before there was ever Ty Burna, there was Tyrone Blades, and because of that I believe it's the man that drove the demon, not the other way around. The past year I've come to realize the change inside you is real, and not just a smokescreen to grabbing power once more. We've both gone through that metamorphosis, we both understand what this company really means to ourselves. You asked earlier if I too felt that pull towards grabbing the power vacuum. I will not lie Tyrone, I had schemes already forming in my head. Who could I grab to assist me? Perhaps I could convince even you and Titus to help consolidate power alongside the World Champion. It's for that very reason, that we need the Hollow Ones still. Even if it's just to protect WZCW from ourselves. Think it over, I think you'll see I'm right. Take care of yourself Blades.
Tyrone: You too Johnny Boy, just hope I don't run into you at the Lottery rounds, wouldn't wanna cut your title reign short again right?
Constantine: Burlap sack Tyrone. It still fits like a glove just remember that.
Tyrone grins up at Constantine before standing. Constantine stares a hole through him but Tyrone laughs as he offers his hand, the two men shaking hands and the two former villains nod to one another. Constantine walks into his house, leaving Tyrone to making the trek to his car. He tosses the cigarette butt out into the street before hopping into the Impala, firing up the engine. He rests his hand on the steering wheel, staring off into the sunset now cascading the various colors through the sky. He nods his head, a determined look on his face as he reaches down, sliding the bandanna back up over his face. He takes his phone out, dialing a number as he soon drives off towards the setting sun.
Tyrone: Ayo Jones, Titus, meet back at HQ. It's time to get back to work mofuckas.
The Hollow Ones
The Narrator presents
"Let the Gods Decide My Fate"
Janet is sat at her desk. The same desk she sits at everyday (except, of course, when the office is closed for weekends and public holidays). The office decor is drab and placid. It's a miracle even the cacti grow in such an inhospitable environment. A perfect backdrop for the mundanity of Janet's career.
The phone rings once. Twice. Three times. Janet sighs and picks up the receiver.
"Hello, Universal Interfaith Council headquarters. Janet speaking. How can I help you today?"
"I'm afraid he's in a meeting right now. Can I take a message?"
"Unfortunately his son is there too."
"Yep, uh huh. Yeah, I'm afraid they are all in this meeting. It's incredibly important that they are not disturbed. You see, it's actually the Madness/Anarchy week in WZCW. So I'm sure you could understand the situation."
"Okay, yeah... that's great. I will let Jehovah know that you called. Thank you. Bye, bye."
The celestial beings are assembled in the meeting room. You might think, dear reader, that a meeting between every major god known to man may be an exciting affair. Zeus casually creating lightning bolts for his own amusement, while his brother, Hades, glares in the corner. Deities of the Celtic persuasion having their own little Ceidlh in another corner. And, of course, Roman gods arguing incessantly with their Greek counterparts.
But alas, inter-faith meetings such as these are a far more boring affair. The gods and goddesses are all seated at the biggest conference table that Ikea can reasonably provide, as they go over the minutes of the previous dialogue of the divine.
"Okay, so let’s get on to any other business" says Jehovah.
"You want to talk about other business?" asks Allah. "Well why are you in charge of the meeting? That’s my other business."
"2.4 billion followers worldwide. That’s all I’m saying."
"That’s cool. But who’s responsible for the Islamic golden age, again? Who?"
"Yeah? Well who’s responsible for modern Western morality?"
"What about modern Eastern philosophy?"
"EXCUSE ME?" shout Brahma and Buddha in perfect synchronisation.
"You know what I mean."
At this point, Isis turns to Shiva and says "wow, this is more awkward than that time we pretended to invite L. Ron Hubbard to the meeting."
"Yeah, he was pissed."
"Okay, okay, we’re getting off-topic. What we really should be discussing is WZCW’s Meltdown Madness and Ascension Anarchy week. It’s one of the few times the company leaves anything up to chance. And while they think the results are random, they’re simply allowing us, the gods, to decide. So let’s go alphabetically. What should we do with one Ace Stevens? Throw some ideas at me, what are we thinking? Come on, blue-sky thinking."
"I like him" says Athena. "Not the greatest tactician, but he likes a good war. I respect that."
Odin concurs. "I’ve gotta agree with Athena on this one. Nice kid. Not the smartest. In fact, he’s probably the dumbest. But I’ve got a soft spot for him."
"Ace is a douchebag."
The gods collectively groan.
"Oh, great. Who invited this loser?"
"I don't know if you've realised, but I too am a deity. No invite required, Thor. And if you don’t like it, you can go back to Asgard."
“Haha… ass guard…” chuckles Hercules.
"Fine. Have your say, Lucifer."
"Why thank you" says the devil, as he rises to his hooves. A speech is coming.
"Since the dawn of man, the only thing to ever unite these pathetic mortals has been their capacity for evil. And it's that evil - and that evil alone - that has allowed those flesh pillows down on Earth to do remarkable things. Evil has allowed man to start wars, create chaos and even win championships. Do you see where I'm going with this?"
Previously quiet, the Hindu god Shiva responds "Ace Stevens stopped being evil and now can't win championships?".
"Why do you have to destroy everything, Shiva? But yeah, that's what I'm getting at. He joined you lot. The angels."
"No, no, no" protests Allah. "He is still a cheat, a liar and a thief. It is clear to anyone that he is not a good man."
"Well no one is truly good. Original sin, anyone? Hello..."
"Right, off-topic. My point is that if Ace Stevens wants to act like Face Stevens, he can. But he's gonna need to be punished. I'm thinking gauntlet match. War Zone, Logan McAllister and then Brock Edwards."
"Hold on, Lucifer" interrupts Poseidon.
"Please, call me Luci."
"Okay, Luci. If Ace is secretly evil, why do you want to punish him? Aren't you all for that?"
"Excellent question, Aquaman. You guys know me, I love a bit of evil. But when one of those morties down there tries to deny their true self - that is something I cannot abide. He's a bad guy! And if he doesn't embrace it, I say we make him."
"Always with the evil plans with you, isn't it, Satan?"
"I say we give him a championship match. While not perfect, Ace has made tremendous strides in becoming a better person. I think we should reward him" claims Buddha.
"Newsflash, enlightened one! He already has a championship match! He's facing Titus for the Eurasian title. Oh Titus, by the way, another loser pretending to be nice. That dude had evil nectar coarsing all through his veins. Now, he's just another do-gooder dweeb."
"Nah, bro" says Hercules, not-so-subtlely flexing. "B-dawg is right. Let's give him a title match. Let him beat down that Matt Tastic dude. You don't kick a bro in the balls, bro. Or what about the big dog J.C.?"
"I am not fighting him" protests Jesus.
"Nah, bro. I’m talking about Justin Cooper. My boy Ace beat him before. You know what I’m saying, bro?"
"Yes, we know what you’re saying. Ace never shuts up about it."
"Wonderful. Any more suggestions?"
"He should face War Zone" shouts Mars.
"No, he should fight Triple X" retorts Aphrodite.
"Tyrone Blades and Vox! At the same time!"
"He should fight the Romans" exclaims Artio.
"No! The Celts", Apollo fires back.
"He should fight the ignorance and intolerance that so frequently pervades this society in my name" claims Jesus.
“Same!” agrees Allah.
"He should fight his inner demons" states Buddha. "Only then can he truly be at peace with himself."
"That is a lot of information to take in. Okay, look. I don’t feel like we’re getting anywhere with this. So let’s stop with the specifics for a second."
"Yeah, bro. Stick that stuff on the laterbase. Good call, dude."
"Uh thanks, Hercules."
"Whatever. I think that instead, we should be thinking about the characteristics of a potential opponent for Ace. Good or bad? Experienced or not? So let’s take a show of hands. Who thinks Ace Stevens should face strong competition this week?"
A selection of deities raise their hands.
"And who thinks he should be given a more comfortable match?"
The rest of gods raise their hands.
"I’m counting that as one vote, Lakshimi. You have to get up pretty early to fool me."
"Right, now we’re making some progress. Democracy i-"
Before Allah can finish his sentence, Janet opens the door gingerly.
"I’m ever so sorry to interrupt your meeting, gods and goddesses. But I’ve got some pretty urgent news."
"Go on" urges Allah.
"Terry Harkin from Bootle, United Kingdom has just flipped a coin. He’s going to need a decision pretty quick."
"Very well. Let’s stick WZCW on the backburner. Who says heads?"
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