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Thread: FWA Payback Promo Thread

  1. #1
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    FWA Payback Promo Thread

    Post promos here for the Payback PPV show. Promos are due Saturday, June 6, at midnight U.S. Pacific time, which is Sunday, June 7, at 3 a.m. U.S. eastern time and 8 a.m. in the United Kingdom.

    No extensions unless it's a life-threatening, debilitating emergency, such as being diagnosed with COVID-19. We are not terrible and will make exceptions in specific circumstances — with your opponent(s)' blessing — since this is a PPV show.

    But with 8.5 days, that spans 1.5 weekends, we all have loads of time here. The Saturday promo deadline is to give mods a chance that Sunday to grade and work on the show.


    "The Golden One" Devin Golden

    3x FWA World Heavyweight Champion
    2x FWA X Champion
    4x FWA Tag Team Champion
    Final record: 94-58-10


    Shannon O'Neal
    2x FWA Women's Champion
    1x FWA World Champion


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    Re: FWA Payback Promo Thread

    MVH
    VOLUME 31
    “Life is a cabaret, old chum.”


    She sat alone, as usual, in her motel room. The sound of two men having an argument drifted through her open window, and had been doing so for some time. By this point, they were screaming at one another, irate that their point of view was falling upon death ears. When she had looked out of the window at them, it was obvious that they were on meth and this would go on until one of them finally decided enough was enough and violence would win the day.

    “THAT SHIT BELONGS TO EVERYONE!” one of them roared in a deep, commanding, but slurred voice. “MUSK IS TRYING TO OWN THE FUCKING STARS!”

    In her room, Michelle stared at the lens of a camera. It wasn't yet recording. She had nothing to say and too much to say. The expectant electronic eye carried with it an accusation that Michelle didn’t feel she could hide from. In shame, she took another pull from the bottle of Jameson. Her mouth filled only half-way before the bottle was empty. Horrifying. She threw it to one side and returned to staring at the camera.

    “Where is your sense of WONDER?!”

    The battle outside continued to rage. Michelle sighed and leant back against the bed. She tried to organise her thoughts on the events that had led her to this point. They could be arranged neatly, she felt, into five primary points of interest, as enumerated below.

    1. Listing all of the names of people who have been handed an opportunity to fight their way for the FWA World Championship since her debut would be a long and tedious exercise, but she planned to do it anyway for effect. Nova Diamond (twice), Cyrus Truth, Gabrielle, Michael Garcia (three times? four times?), Mike Parr, Krash, Kevin Cromwell, Kayden Knox (twice), Orion, Gerald Grayson, Alyster Black, Ashley fucking Bell, and Eli Black. Was that even all of them? She couldn’t feel sure anymore. Her point would be obvious. She wouldn't need to elaborate (but, of course, she will).

    Some might argue that she was only just off the boat. A ridiculous argument, considering she’d had more matches in an FWA ring than Orion, Gerald, Alyster, and Ashley combined. Some might argue that it "wasn’t her turn". A ridiculous argument, considering that multiple men have had multiple chances to dethrone the King. That Michael Garcia, a perennial also ran with all the wit and tact of a damp dish cloth, would be rewarded time and time again for his persistent failure with yet more opportunities made her blood boil. Some might even argue that she was already a champion. A ridiculous argument, considering the North American Champion was handed one such opportunity as a prize for their impotent and fucking endless war with, well, another North American Champion. There was no good reason to deny her what she would end up demanding anyway.

    Most obnoxious was the fact that she had beaten six of these men, and still she was seen as a more long-term contender (if she was even seen as a contender at all) than these troglodytes. The last edition of Fight Night exemplified the problem in microcosm. After she had pinned Nova’s shoulders to the mat for three, and finally dragged Cromwell to a victory over Truth, what did the Blackbird deem a worthy next step? Rewarding the losers of the match with a potential World Title opportunity! Ludicrous. Michelle could see it plainly, and she felt certain that her tulips would see it as well. The X Division was the bright light of the FWA, and she was at its forefront. The wrong triple threat match carried with it a shot at the company’s biggest prize.

    “Sense of wonder?! Have you seen the images of the SpaceX satellite train?! This vanity project is a blot on the night sky.”


    2. The indignation of being passed over for a World Title opportunity in favor of Ashley fucking Bell would, in time, pass. She had finished her business with Strangelove a few hours before. The trap had been set. It was only a matter of time before the most beautiful little deer would skip into her crosshairs.

    OUR night sky, I might add!”

    3. There was, of course, more pressing business at hand. She had come to know Kevin Cromwell better than anybody in the world would want to know Kevin Cromwell. He had put her through hell at Back in Business, along with the aptly named Wildcard. Again, they had gone to war two weeks later on Fight Night. They had brawled through parts of arenas that she didn’t know existed, but the previous week they had… co-existed. If you wanted to push the boat out, you could argue that they had even flourished. She felt it absolutely imperative to draw the proper conclusions from this affair. Amadeus was still the same Amadeus that he was before they had shared a corner: dependable, serious, and ohsovery dull. He was a conduit for her necessary victory against Truth and Nova, a victory that - as already illustrated - amounted to nothing in the Blackbird’s backwards understanding of fairness.

    In truth (lower case ‘t’), she felt comfortable enough to say that Cromwell was an interchangeable cog in that wheel. Well, perhaps that was not true. Give her Jobber Jimbo, and even she might have struggled to overcome those two opponents. She estimated that Cromwell possessed around the minimum amount of skill - no, capability - to play his part. Wrestling savant or otherwise, he spent most of the match in the ring and on his back, allowing her to lick her lips on the apron.

    She had seen the announcement from FWA management. Their little tag team circus that they had planned would usually have repulsed her. But plaudits were plaudits, and there were more scalps to be had along the way.

    ”But we’re one step closer to going back to the moon. And I don’t mean we as in humanity. I mean me and you! Commercial space travel is just around the corner!”


    4. Jason Randall's antics had so far more bemused than riled her. He had crept up from behind to sucker punch her with a Snake Eyes a few weeks ago, and since then had elected to watch on from afar. His efforts on commentary last week had been pitiful. He'd managed to utter around thirty words as he watched her single-handedly dismantle two of the designated top guys in the company, and spent the rest of the time with his lips firmly closed and his finger up his nose. She could only hope that it was stunned silence, which was understandable, even if a little worrying. They were expected to put on a show this Sunday, and she desired no dead weight or awe-struck tulips.

    She had, of course, been asking for competition. And this is what the Blackbird thought he was giving her. But there was a difference between 'competition' and 'stacking the odds'. She would happily wrestle anyone on the roster, one on one, each and every week. Title or no title. X rules or traditional. The Blackbird was constructing matches designed to see her fail. Her tag match with Mr. Muesli last week had been structured in the hopes of implosion, gifting the random pairing of Nova and Truth an easy (and much needed) win. Tomorrow night, she faced two men with an unfathomable blood vendetta against her, and could lose her championship without even being pinned. And next week? Another grueling X Rules match, with another two blood-thirsty opponents.

    Of course, she would mention none of this. She didn’t want to give the Blackbird the satisfaction of hearing her complain. She would continue to pile the bodies at his door, until he had no choice but to offer her more than scraps.

    ”Oh, please! You think you’re gonna scrape together enough money for a return ticket to space?! Shit, you can’t afford a return ticket to Charleston! And what you gonna do - take enough meth for the journey?! They don’t let you do that shit on a space ship!


    5. She was out of whiskey. Get more whiskey.

    ”But what about Mars?! You hear the way old folks talk about the moon landing. Experiencing something like that first-hand would be… life-changing... life affirming, even.”


    ‘This is good,’ she thought to herself. ’Start recording’.

    But she couldn’t, because she was already asleep.
    ...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    ...

    She stood on the beach, barefoot in the sand, staring out at the horizon. The edge of the world. The bay was empty. The sea calm. The sun had reached its apex, smiling down upon her. She knew she cast no shadow. Above the water, a flock of heron were flying in V formation, skipping upon the breeze. She sighed deeply, and looked down at the infant she held in her arms. It began to cry. It always began to cry.

    "And your child?" a voice asked from afar, buried deeply in the recesses of her memory.

    “It’s not my child,” her own voice answered. “It’s his child”

    “You are responsible for this child now,” the first voice answered, laced with a Russian accent and a Russian bluntness. “If he is gone, then the girl has nobody else but you.”

    On the beach, one of the herons broke away from the group. It made a wide circle, close to the water, and then headed for the coastline. Michelle clutched the child to her chest one last time, and then threw it as far as she could into the sea.

    “I’ll be back in the morning. You worry too much.”

    A different voice this time: Jean-Luc’s. It was the last thing he had said to her. The newborn had been crying then and she’d barely stopped since. She found herself unable to picture that last interaction. It wasn’t particularly painful, or distant, but a noxious cocktail of cocaine and painkillers had left much of 2019 a fog. Instead, she focussed on the bird as it landed on the shore, a few metres from where she stood. It stared back at her for a few seconds before arching its long neck and biting a chunk from its own wing.

    Michelle tried to turn away from the bird and from the sea, but something clasped her ankle and dragged her backwards. A hand had emerged from the sand and had placed its fingers around her, dragging her back towards the bird. The heron tossed the piece of meat around in its beak and then swallowed. The baby that she had discarded washed back around her feet, crying as loudly as ever. She kicked hard against the hand, watching it crumble and wash away in the sea, and then marched onwards.

    In front of her was a plastic table, small in size and circular in shape. On one side was an image of herself, and on the other was Elizaveta, the promoter of a local Russian federation she'd been wrestling for. She knew it was Liza because of the table, and its usual setting in their cafe. But her face had been lost like many others, and now her features were blank.

    "You have ties here," Elizaveta said. "You can just cut them like that?"

    "I have no ties here, or anywhere else." The younger woman remained passive as a batballian of soldiers, flanked by a pair of tanks, passed by on the beach behind. "Nothing I couldn't catch a train away from before the end of this parade. Except for my bookings with you."

    Behind them, a pram rolled through the scene. The two women continued to speak, but their volume was lowered until muted, and all that could be heard was the slow creaking of the pram’s wheels as they rolled across the sand. When it disappeared from view, her hearing returned to her.

    "You have five advertised bookings with me, Michelle, and after that you're free to do as you wish, as has always been our agreement. Coffee is your gift to me, да?" The Russian woman stood up, pulling her fur coat around her shoulders. "And what of Isobel?"

    "Isobel is coming with me."

    Michelle had been here before, and didn’t want to be here again. She strode forward, towards the table, intending to knock it over as she passed. But the entire scene - the coffee, the deck chairs, and the two women - vanished with a pop as she approached.

    Twenty metres ahead of her and above her, on the lip of the cliff that overlooked the bay, was a large but unimpressive building. It was four storeys tall and just as wide, and felt older than the beach itself. Its windows were dim but the silhouettes of children slowly walking this way and that were visible none-the-less. Above the door, a small sign read ‘LAFAYETTE CONGREGATE CARE’. She approached the building, but as she did the first of the roofing tiles fell from the house and onto the beach below. The ground began to rumble. The bricks on the top floor began to crack and eventually crumble, small pieces of concrete landing at her feet. And then, in the front left window of the house, a light was switched on, and from inside the room a young girl stared down at the woman on the beach.

    Michelle tore her eyes away from the orphanage, and when she re-centred them in front of her she noticed a grey door in the cliff wall. Debris from the house continued to fall, thudding against the sand and throwing chunks of powder into the air. Slowly, cautiously, the door began to open. The torso of a young woman appeared through the opening, and Michelle again found herself looking at a mirror image of herself. This one was smiling, and staring directly at her, as if she could see her. This wasn't normal. None of this was normal. Michelle, our Michelle, walked towards the door, but the other Michelle shook her head, and mouthed silently:
    ”you’re not ready yet”.

    She reached the door as it closed in front of her.

    She pushed the door open.

    And as she pushed the door open, and stepped over the threshold, there was no more debris. No more falling roof tiles or crumbling brick. No smashing windows. No crying baby. No bird feasting on its own flesh.

    All that there was, was a grand ballroom. She had stepped directly onto the dance floor, as big as a football field, spreading out before her until it reached a stage. Heavy red curtains hung in front of it. Beneath it she could see a handful of musicians sitting with their instruments, inactive but ready. To the right of the stage was a spiral staircase, leading up up up to nowhere in particular.

    She began to step forward, the steps of her bare feet echoing loudly around the room. She found herself walking towards the foot of the staircase, aware of the presence of a man with his back to her. Fifty meters. He had one foot on the floor and one on the first step, and was leaning upon the railing. Forty meters. He made no noise and no movement, even if he was aware of the young woman and her approach Thirty. She allowed her eyes to glance towards the musicians in the pit, and found their heads bowed. Twenty meters. From here, she could see the slow, deliberate breaths that the man on the staircase was sucking into his lungs, as if in anticipation. Ten meters. Her pace slowed. Five. He turned towards her.

    Wearing a tuxedo and a warm smile, hair finely coiffed and clean shaven for the event, Dave Sullivan stared back at her. He stepped down from the stairs, extended a hand, and began to sing.

    "What good is sitting alone in your room?... Come hear the music play…"

    As he took a step towards her, showing his pearly whites and offering a second hand to her, the orchestra sprang in to life. They played a series of slow, deliberate notes, accompanying the King's baritone croon.

    "Life is a cabaret, old chum…"

    Once more, she looked away from Sullivan's sparkling brown eyes and to the pit. She recognized the musicians. At their forefront was Bella, her sister, playing her cello. It had been four years since she'd passed away, and five since they had spoken. But she had seen her most nights, within dreams that were beyond her control. The other faces were equally familiar, but she had never known any of them to show a proclivity towards music. Next to her sister was her mother, running a bow across a violin. In front of them, Jean-Luc Watkins had a flute in his mouth, and her Aunt Maude sat at a grand piano. Her old fighting master was ready at a drumkit, dormant for the time-being. In the brass section, her father held a trumpet, Bell Connelly a trombone, and Roy Orbison a French horn. Dave Sullivan continued to smile at her sing…

    "Come to the cabaret!"

    Suddenly, the music changed tempo and volume and proceeded full throttle. The red curtains that masked the stage flung themselves open, revealing two figures stood in its centre, waiting to begin a foxtrot or a waltz or something along those lines. Michelle squinted at them, first at the man in the brilliant white suit. It was Jason Randall, but not in his usual ragged demeanor. Instead, he looked immaculate: his hair waxed into a tight quiff, a black tie contrasting his suit, beautifully polished white leather around his feet and his waist. Opposite him, in a frilly red cocktail dress and with fruit and feathers in his hair, Kevin Cromwell stared deeply into the Wildcard’s eyes. They kicked into action, beginning a fast-paced lindy hop around the stage in time to the orchestra’s music. The King still had his hand outstretched to her. Finally, she took it, and he twirled her once, twice, three times, staring longingly into her eyes, before releasing her and watching her spin away . When the rotations ceased, she found Gabrielle in a long black dress, waiting to catch her and continue the song and dance.

    “Put down the knitting, the book and the broom… It’s time for a holiday...”

    As Gabrielle began, three doors on either side of the room swung open, and through them came a procession of dancers. They all wore variations on the same theme: men in black tuxedos and women in brightly coloured cocktail dresses. At the head of the first column, Orion led Alexandra Marie into the centre of the dance floor. Behind him, the Connor brothers - each in an identical, slightly undersized suit - strutted hand in hand, grinning from ear to ear. She spotted faces from her past and her present: Ashley Bell flanked either side by a member of the Wave, XYZ with a carbon copy of XYZ, Humanity and Nightmare, along with people whose names she had forgotten. Old school acquaintances, half-remembered faces from cities she used to live in, people she’d met in coincidental circumstances who she had not thought about in years. She wanted to place each of them in turn, but Gabrielle dragged her into the centre of the dance floor. She tried to turn back and find Sullivan in his tuxedo, but he was walking towards the staircase, and her path to him was closed off by the encircling dancers. There were perhaps eighty of them in total, and they formed concentric circles around her and the Goddess. Gabrielle simply smiled at her, and fluttered her eyelashes, and continued to sing…

    “Life is a cabaret, old chum… Come to the Cabaret!”

    Gabrielle leant in close to kiss her, and then disappeared into the melee of dancers. On the stage, a Japanese barbershop quartet filed into view, Cromwell and Randall lindy hopping around them as they began to sing.

    “Come taste the wine… Come hear the band…”

    Michelle walked towards the quartet, evading the spinning dancers as she went. Dominick Dust and Anna Malikova pirouetted into her, knocking her towards Hannibal Crowe and Alice. She checked her momentum as they swirled around her. Each of the quartet wore a red jacket, white trousers, and a straw boater with red and white ribbon around it. They had their right hands extended, singing with ear-to-ear grins, as if it filled their hearts with joy. There was LIGHTBRINGER, and Anzu Kurosawa, and Eimi Sanada, and finally Jon Snowmantashi, who was the happiest and the loudest of all.

    “Come blow a horn, start celebrating… Right this way, your table’s waiting…”


    On the stage, three men in clown make-up rode unicycles whilst juggling flaming batons. They circled the lindy hopping pair, keeping a safe distance and roaring in laughter as they did. Through one of the side entrances, Michael Garcia appeared and fully extending himself on his thirty foot stilts. He wore a green suit with tails that stretched almost to the floor and an orange top hat.

    "What good's permitting some prophet of doom… To wipe every smile away…"


    Sullivan and Gabrielle were visible again, having climbed halfway up the spiral staircase. They had added their voice to the quartet on the stage, arm in arm and with their free hand outstretched as to project their voice. The clowns, Nova Diamond at their head, dismounted the stage and came towards her. They rode between Garcia's stilts as the auxiliary dancers separated to form an aisle. The unicyclists circled her, continuing to juggle, and Michelle identified Alyster Black and Cyrus Truth as the remaining jesters. When she saw the Exile up close, she realised that he was not smiling.

    "Life is a cabaret, old chum… So come to the cabaret!"


    At the end of the line, the three clowns dismounted and passed their torches to passing dancers, who carried them away. They picked her up, and launched her through the air, where she was caught by Gerald Grayson. He wore a black suit with white gloves and a white bow tie, and he took her by the arm like a faithful guide and began to lead her across the floor.

    “I used to have a girlfriend known as Elsie… With whom I shared four sordid rooms in Chelsea…”


    A wall of dancers separated, and suddenly blocking their path were three life-size puppets: Eli Black, Kayden Knox, and Mike Valander. Grayson smiled and hopped with excitement, as if he hadn’t expected to find them here but was pleasantly surprised he had.

    “She wasn't what you'd call a blushing flower… As a matter of fact, she rented by the hour…”


    High above them in the rafters, Lord Vincent frantically pulled at a seemingly infinite number of strings. He wore all black so as to arouse no suspicion. Beads of sweat ran down his face as he moved from one system of strings to the next. Grayson continued to sing.

    “The day she died the neighbors came to snicker:... ’Well, that's what comes from too much pills and liquor!’


    The result of Lord Vincent’s efforts was a seamless, elegant jig, each of the three puppets moving perfectly in time to the music. Garcia passed by on his stilts, bowing low and doffing his hat to the marionettes. Nova Diamond and his clown troupe rode by, smiling in admiration at the Monster of the Midway as he went.

    “But when I saw her laid out like a Queen… She was the happiest corpse I'd ever seen…”


    The dancers laughed along with the singer, who snapped his fingers at the puppets. As if on cue, the puppets began to file towards an exit. Grayson pointed to the ceiling, and Michelle noticed that two trapezes had descended from it. A North American Champion swung happily on each of them, dressed in an ultra-tight singlet and with heavily chalked hands. Now they had an audience, they each released their own trapeze, somersaulting through the air and catching their counterpart's.

    “I think of Elsie to this very day… I remember how she'd turn to me and say…”


    Grayson pushed her forwards, the line of dancers only just managing to get out of her way before she fell into them. She put her hands out in front of her, catching the rail that separated her from the orchestra pit. When she looked more closely at the musicians, she noticed that all was not as it had originally seemed. Although each of them was exquisitely dressed in black, the defects that had defined their demise were still plain to see. All seven singers - the quartet on stage, the King, the Goddess, and her beloved Gerald - continued their song in unison.

    "What good is sitting all alone in you room?... Come hear the music play…”


    In the pit, she saw the effects of her sister’s car crash still evident in the cuts and bruises around her left eye. Her hair was matted with thick, red blood. Her Aunt Maude was asleep, as she always was. Water was running freely from her father’s mouth and nose and pooled around his feet. Her fighting master, now tapping away merrily at his drumkit, had a hole in his chest that you could see right through. Jean-Luc was translucent, her mother’s skin was dry and drawn, and Bell Connelly’s brain was leaking out of her ears.

    “Life is a cabaret, old chum… Come to the Cabaret!"


    Her train of thought was interrupted by Cromwell and Randall, who had danced their way to the front of the stage and were offering a hand each to Michelle. She gave them her own and they lifted her smoothly onto the stage. They sang to her, alternating lines, as they continued their lindy hop.

    “And as for me, and as for me… I made my mind up back in Chelsea…”

    They spun Michelle around so that she could observe the dance floor once more. The dancers were working through the crescendo of their orchestrated, synchronised routine. The clowns were cycling in figure eights around Garcia’s stationary stilts. Behind them, The Elite rode across the dancefloor on the back of an elephant...

    “When I go… I'm going like Elsie…”

    Giant confetti cannons were set off around the room, millions of pieces of brightly colored paper beginning to rain down over the performers...

    “Start by admitting from cradle to tomb… It isn't that long a stay…”

    Those on the dance floor began to strut in time to the music towards the staircase. Upon it, Sullivan and Gabrielle had begun to climb - dancing as they did so - towards the ceiling, giving room for their fellow dancers to join them on the structure. Only the King and the Goddess continued to sing...

    “Life is a cabaret, old chum…”

    The clowns were the first to mount, beginning their slow, melodic ascent up the steps. The auxiliary dancers were quick to follow. More confetti was released into the hall...

    “It's only a cabaret, old chum…”

    The remainder of the performers - the barbershop quartet, Cromwell and Randall, the trapeze artists - had filed towards the stairs too. Garcia stomped to join them, one stilt either side of The Elite and their elephant. The entire cast joined their voice to roar out the climax...

    “And I love a cabaret!”


    The music stopped, and the performers froze in position, over a hundred of them arranged upon the spiral staircase, each and every one of them with their arms outstretched towards her. Their breathing was heavy with the exertion of the dance. Suddenly, from behind her, Michelle heard a roar of applause. When she turned, eight billion people sat in neat rows, stretching back as far as she could see.
    Last edited by SuperSaiyan; 05-29-2020 at 07:58 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: FWA Payback Promo Thread

    Michael was the model student for a time. He was 8 years old and he was capable of doing the work of a 12 year old. He had a good temperament. A kind nature. A big heart. Mrs. Oliver, the notoriously abrasive and difficult teacher that rumor had it was hired for the sole purpose to scare the children into learning and developing, even had a glowing report to give about young Michael.

    He is a good young boy who can achieve great things if he keeps focused.
    Ok, maybe flattery isn’t her strong point, but it’s much better than many of the reports that the others received. Sometimes, you would be forgiven for mistaking that she had pierced the children and written it with their own blood just to prove a point. However, let us not dwell on the quirks of Mrs. Oliver’s character but focus on the real crux of the story at this time. This boy. Michael. All you have to do is look at his piece of literature that he was set as homework one night to see that there was something special about him. It was the only piece of homework that ever was graded above a C by the infamous teacher Oliver, with the running gag at the school being of the lines that it stood for ‘c me after school’

    What I want to be in the future
    by Michael Parr age 8.

    When I look at people around me in school, they tell me of what they want to be when they grow up. Some of the boys want to be a football player. Some of the girls want to be police. Some want to be firefighters. Some want to be a mom or a dad. But I’ve been asked to write about me, what do I want to be? It’s easy. I want to be something that makes me happy. I want to be something to makes other people happy. I don’t want to sit here and try to be a lawyer and be in a job like Daddy and be sad sometimes when I walk through the door. All I want to do is smile and be happy and play with my friends. Or meet them when we are older, because I don’t think it will be any more OK to see a bunch of grown-ups playing in the street. What I really, really want is to be happy and to make others happy. And I know how I can do that. I can do that by being patient with people. I can do that by being kind to other people. I can do that by always listening to people. I know Mrs. Oliver agrees with me, she told me that these things are all good but to that she thinks that I wouldn’t be happy unless I was the best. I asked her what she meant by that and she said that I would know later on when I grow up a bit more. I don’t know if she is right or not. I do like being good at math and English and I do not like Art class, I cannot draw. But I feel like that I am always trying to be happy even if it is a math lesson or an art lesson. I mean, apart from the time where in Art I got angry at the stupid drawing and ripped it up whenever it didn’t look how it was supposed to. What I want to be in the future is happy.
    Wily old Mrs. Oliver may not have received as much credit as she was due here for this exceptional eye for detail and this learning opportunity. Kids at that age largely retain information about how to’s and what’s. How to add. How to subtract. What is a verb. What is an adjective. But they very rarely at this age retain a piece of life advice, but somehow those words stuck with Michael as he progressed through his childhood. Even If he couldn’t quite see it, well, take a look at Michael’s end of year mission statement aged 16 as he was preparing to choose between a vocation or further education.

    My plan going forward
    by Michael Parr, age 16.

    My plan going forward is to be successful in what I choose to do. I know what I want to do now, and I know that so many of you are going to doubt me and doubt that I can become successful but I don’t need anyone’s blessing or friendship to try my best to do what I want with my life. To get a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment that I couldn’t achieve being stuck being a desk pushing pens for the rest of my life. All of you will have a copy of this and will be able to look back in the future and judge me as to whether I was right to do what I did. I’ve always wanted to make people happy but you know what I’ve figured out in the last few years here? The person I want to make happy more than anyone else is myself. And I won’t get that in college or university trying to do algebra, although I could. I won’t get that completing a journalism degree. And I DEFINITELY won’t get that if I have to be forced in some terrible Art class again, what a waste of breath and energy that is. So you can doubt me all you want, but I’m going to be a wrestler. I’d say I would see most of you down the road but the truth is, most of you will only see me on TV.
    *************

    “Kon'nichiwa. Ima shūmatsu, Kōrakuen de o ai shimashou”
    (Hello, I hope to see you at Korakuen this weekend)

    The crowd politely claps, which is as much of a raucous reception as you will get, as Mike recites his over rehearsed line when trying to ensure that the local scene knows about the match at Korakuen Hall at the weekend. After all, his marketing team have told him to use the opportunity to try and grow his global fan base as it would be crazy not to. Bearing that in mind, his advisors also told him that challenging Krash to a Japanese Death Match would also be crazy but that didn’t exactly resonate with The Prodigy and he did what he wanted anyway. Parr slips underneath the bottom rope and makes his way to ringside as the guest of honor for the main event. JPW, the promotion at which he is attending, is one of those promotions that you sort of hear about through whispers in the wrestling circles but not one that you ever get much exposure to in North America, the lack of television rights putting paid to that. The best you can hope for is some grainy upload on YouTube. His team did suggest, whilst he was in Tokyo, to check them prior to Fight Night and issuing the challenge that they knew he was planning but he may have got slightly sidetracked and didn’t quite make it to the last show as he intended. By may have got sidetracked, you can read ‘absolutely got sidetracked’.

    Mike glances out around the crowd, a couple thousand at most jammed into this barely ventilated warehouse. The type of place that he had to bide his time and wait before he made it to what you could call the big leagues in North America. His mind flits back to some of those more simple times, where sure he loves his current life and lifestyle but it’s refreshing to cut back to the times where he just used to turn up and outwrestle anyone they put in front of him and pin them to the mat. Simple. None of this absolute garbage about co-championships, no clinically insane general managers and no idiots running around dressed as Kings and calling themselves Jesus. Nothing like that. Just two athletes, one on one, best man wins. And the best man was invariably the one sitting in the stuffy arena in the middle of Tokyo right now.

    Having lost his train of thought for a moment, Mike glances back at the ring and the two competitors are facing each other, forehead pressed against forehead talking inaudible smack as the referee’s begin to wrap barbed wire around the middle rope.

    “Gesuto ni kanshite wa, kono shiai wa Nihon no sutorītofaito ni narimasu.”
    (In respect to our guest, this match will now be a Japanese street fight.)


    Respect?, Mike thought to himself. Respect would’ve been an iron man match or something of that ilk. He doesn’t ENJOY these type of brutal, barbaric matches, but the change inside of him is that he knows that he needs to partake in them to get where he wants to be. Although Parr begins questioning that strength of that need when he gets an up close view of the barbed wire being applied to the middle rope in front of him. The bell sounds and the bigger of the two men, neither of whom Mike recognize, head-butts the smaller one, sending him flat to the canvas. He drags his dazed opponent to his feet and launches him at an awkward angle, face first, into the middle rope. The barbed wire lacerates his skin and sends droplets of blood in to the ring side area, right where Mike was sitting.

    Parr inhales deeply, conscious that the cameras in the arena along with the eyes of the crowd were most likely trained on him right now. Mercifully, he had his black shades on that hid his eyes from view because if you had a glance under them right now you would see quite a look. Not quite horror, and not quite confusion but a halfway house between the both. Think of it like an innocent child with no life experience watching a homicide and wondering what was happening. But having concealed the window to his soul in his eyes, Mike felt confident in being able to hide this emotion, as he casually lifted his right hand and swatted some of the blood spots off of his sunglasses. He glanced back towards the ring to see the referee trying to pry the barbed wire covered rope away from this left eye, the angle at which he had hit the ropes left him either in danger or within a whisker of piercing through and damaging his sight.

    Almost like he had zeroed in on the scene terminator style, Mike couldn’t remove his glance from in front of him. The blood dripping from the multiple puncture wounds on his face, dripping slowly down before dangling on the edge of his chin and dropping to and staining the mat. His jaw opening and snapping shut as he writes his agony. The jagged wounds from the barbed wire getting pulled and stretched wider as the ref tries to untangle his skin from the metal. All this time while creeping up on him was the heat inside of the building. Mike’s breathing had gone short and staccato. He lifted his hand up to wipe the beads of sweat forming off of his forehead. Trying to play it casual but knowing that he was beginning to fail. He wipes more sweat from his brow. He focuses in on the carnage in the ring as the referee finally manages to untangle the wrestler. His breath getting shorter and sharp. The humid air not allowing any relief. He wheezes loudly and crouches over slightly in his seat, trying to capture more air. He looks again as blood drips from onto the concrete surrounding the ring.

    Enough.

    Mike gets on his feet and makes his way quickly up the ramp way, swats the black curtain the backstage area out of the way and leans over and throws up in the nearest garbage can he can find out of sight of the audience. With every inhale an attempt to catch air only bringing more vomit back into his mouth causing more vomit, a nasty cycle ensues. Mike falls to his knees, one hand still on a railing for support as he crouches over the garbage can, before finally beginning to be able to get some deep breaths back in to get oxygen flowing in his body.

    *****


    Parr spotted at independent JPW show – Payback in doubt?

    Fans at the weekly JPW taping in Tokyo, Japan had an unexpected surprise this evening as FWA superstar “The Prodigy” Mike Parr made an appearance at the event. He was scheduled to sit ring side to observe the main event for the JPW Heavyweight Championship. However, in a stunning turn of events, the match was called a no contest after mere seconds when the challenger for the championship sustained an eye injury that may cause him to miss ring time for the rest of the calendar year. This wasn’t the real story, however. Sources state that part way through the efforts to assist the fallen competitor, Parr made the unusual step of darting to the backstage area with some in the arena claiming to have seen him struggling to sit up and walk straight.

    “It seemed to happen right after the guy got injured” said Luke, one of the fans in attendance who had just landed in Tokyo after booking flights following the blockbuster announcement of a Japanese Death Match at Payback. “He started to double over like he was in pain, I almost thought it was a heart attack or something. But then he got up and staggered his way backstage and we didn’t hear from him again. I thought he was supposed to raise the hand of the winner?”

    No source would go on the record to confirm exactly what the issue was with Mike Parr, however, we can confirm that he was scheduled to be part of the presentation ceremony for the JPW Heavyweight Championship victor and did not show. Off the record, nobody backstage seemed to have any further interaction with Mike. One has to wonder, with the manner in which he left the arena, is he OK? Or is this Payback match for the North American championship in jeopardy?

    Stay tuned for any further developments.
    “I’m fine”

    Mike glares at his doctor who has continued insist to perform the full array of tests to ensure his health is in fine order in the days following the JPW event. The Prodigy is trying to convince anyone that will give him the time of day, particularly in his team, that this is just an overreaction and a distraction when we are only days away from what could potentially be the most memorably match of his career when he looks back on it when he’s retired. Mike Parr, however, was fully aware that everything was not fine. Loss of breath. Nausea. He knows exactly what happened and he’s not about to admit it to the world, and certainly not to his doctor so he has to undergo a further battery of tests.

    “I said I’m fine, unhook me. I’m trying to shut down the rumors that I’m unwell, can’t exactly do that if I video myself with a doctor tending to me, can I?”

    He makes a valid point. The doctor shakes his head, knowing full well that he isn’t content but also knowing that his objections will fall on deaf ears. So instead of prolonging an argument that he knows he cannot win, he’ll take his moments when he can get them later in the day. I’m not quite sure that’s the intent behind the Hippocratic oath but it’s the reality of dealing with this particular situation. Mike is perched on the apron of the ring inside Korakuen hall, with only the ring and a collection of about 2,000 empty chairs, his doctor and a few members of his team for company. And after the other evening, there is certainly a decent amount of ventilation in the arena just in case. Mike gives the nod to the member of his team that is holding a camera that signifies that he would like him to start to record.

    “It really has lead us here, Krash”

    Mike, channeling The Prodigy, looks wistfully around the arena as the camera similarly pans around so the audience watching at home can get a good idea of exactly where they are.

    “It’s usually at this point that I will sit here and explain exactly why I am going to win. Exactly what I plan to do to you. Exactly why I am the rightful North American Champion. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure that I will get to that part eventually but not now. Right now, I’m going to make a refreshing change and I am actually going to try to be honest with you and with everyone. 100%, no hidden agenda, honest. And that honesty draws me back to when I was 8 years old. The thing I wanted the most was to make sure everyone was happy. Ironic now I know. But I didn’t really have any career path laid out in front of me, sure I had interests and I had some dreams but really when you looked at me and asked me what I wanted to do with the rest of my life I didn’t have an answer from you. And when I did that, and I told my teacher the same thing, do you know what she said? She said it wouldn’t be possible. And she was right. Even at that time in my life, those innocent dreams, they were so because I knew I was happy at that time in my life. And why? Because I was the best. I was the most intelligent in my class. I was the most athletic. I had the most friends – which was a very important factor to consider back then. I was a better person because I was the best. There is definitely some sort of inception thing going on in there with having to be the best to be better. But I slowly realized that, as the years progressed and I slowly developed not dreams of my own, but goals and targets to achieve. It soon became clear that I couldn’t just be content and being the best in anything, I had to be the best in something in particular. I wouldn’t be happy joining a newspaper as an intern and one day becoming the editor because I needed more than that. I went from wanting to be happy and make everyone else happy to wanting to ensure that I was fulfilled and satisfied and to hell with everyone else. Why? How did such a bright eyed boy turn from someone so outwardly conscious of others to someone so focused on themselves? Because he grew up and he found wrestling.”

    “So 8 year old Michael wanted to be happy and 16 year old Michael told him that to be happy he had to be the best wrestler in the world. And since that day, that is all that I ever set out to achieve. Every run that I went on, every bump that I took, every stitch that I had, every cut that I suffered and every mile that I traveled all were geared towards the goal of becoming the best wrestler in the world. To be happy. To find fulfillment. And you know what, I truly think I achieved that a few years ago. I was definitely the best wrestler in the world, but after all those years of chasing the elusive dream of actually being happy? I didn’t get it. I could swear on any bible that you put in front of me that I believe that I was the best wrestler in the world but that I wasn’t happy, it just wasn’t there. I had fingertips on the validation of that feeling in the World Heavyweight Championship, that’s how close it was. But I didn’t get there. And knowing what I know now, I know that even if I had reached out and grabbed that championship belt I know that I wouldn’t have had that sense of achievement or fulfillment that that I had craved. I know that because I knew I was the best wrestler and the validation would’ve reinforced it, sure, but it wouldn’t have suddenly have made me happy. So it has taken me a couple of years to figure things out, to reflect on what exactly I want to achieve out of life? What have I actually been working toward and what sort of accomplishments and achievements do I need to ensure that I am finally get to scratch that itch that has been bugging me since I was 8 years old. I feel like I was getting close to it, but I finally cracked it thanks to one person. Thanks to you, Krash.”

    Prodigy nods knowingly, cracking his neck from side to side just to loosen up while he continues to gather his thoughts. He throws his sunglasses onto the top of his head so the camera can see his eyes, before meeting the camera and staring straight down the throat of anyone who would watch this video.

    “So thank you Krash. Truly. Because you are the reason that I’ve ended up here. You are the reason that I’ve ended up thousands of miles away from my comfort zone. You are the reason that I’ve ended up in the last place on earth that I would ever have wanted to be, and better yet, I’ve ended up here because I suggested it. It was my idea. You know that sounds like?? It sounds like a turkey who voted for Christmas to go ahead. And truth be told….truth be told, I still don’t really want to be here….”

    An almost sadistic grin spreads across Parr’s face.

    “I NEED to be here”

    Parr hops up from his seated position on the apron and enters the ring, almost moving out of nerves or out of habit because he isn’t used to letting the façade drop an inch and now he is sitting here with an open therapy session to the world. He sits himself down in the corner of the ring, leaning against the bottom turnbuckle as the camera repositions itself so as to still catch his face.

    “I saw the internet go wild the other night, people worried about my health and well-being. People wondering what happened at the JPW show. Well, time to put those rumors to bed and settle it once and for all. I had a panic attack. I sat there and I watched as somebody nearly lost an eye and I was thinking about how that isn’t why I got into the business. This isn’t why I wanted to be a wrestler. This type of brutality is everything that I hate about the wrestling industry. But it’s what I need to do to finally be happy because being the best wrestler isn’t putting on hammerlocks and waistlocks it is being the best fighter, brawler, grappler, best in the air and best with a weapon. It’s being able to last 60 minutes in an iron man or 45 minutes in a last man standing. It’s being able to make someone tap in a submission match and it’s being able to make them bleed in first blood. And I never really accepted that or understood that until now. But I had a panic attack because it’s not been in my nature since I was a teenager to go after this sort of violence and to try and embrace it, it goes against every single instinct that I have built up over the years. But then I think back to the times where I have fallen short, in Carnal Contenderships or in Elimination Chambers or in ladder matches and I always had the excuse that it wasn’t a match to determine the best wrestler. That is what pacified me and made me think that I was OK not being the World Champion because any opportunity that I had wasn’t given in a scenario where I could prove to everyone that I was the best wrestler and then I could finally be happy. But I was so, so wrong. “

    “And what finally tipped me over the edge and gave me the validation that this was the direction that I needed to go? It was despite feeling and knowing that I am a better wrestler than he, Krash still had all of or part of my North American Championship so I knew that I had to change. It was like a lightbulb went off in my head, ironically, the same object is one that could be smashed against my head when we get in the ring to settle this. But you know, whilst I would try to duck and dive to avoid that type of situation in the past, I will take as many lightbulbs and glass to the skull as I need right now to be able to finally get that sense of fulfillment. So thank you, Krash, from the bottom of my heart.”

    Parr breaks out into a grin once more, as he looks less like a therapy patient recovering from an event and more like The Prodigy.

    “So the internet is alive and concerned with my well-being? They are looking in the wrong direction. They need to be concerned about Krash’s. Whilst I couldn’t take the championship from him the last time we met, he still couldn’t beat me. He still could not out-wrestle the old Mike Parr. He got not even outfight him in that steel cage. But that version of Mike Parr is dead. How exactly is he going to cope with The Prodigy who goes charging in head first no matter the repercussions to himself, who embraces the sight of his own blood instead of being traumatized by it. I’m not sitting her and saying to you that it is going to be easy, far from it, it still goes against every natural instinct that I have in my body that I have built up over a number of years. But nothing in life that is easy is worth doing. So regardless of what chaos awaits me, what weapons are thrown at me and how much pain I am in….and hell, even if you someone manage to squeak out of Tokyo alive, I fully anticipate being able to sit back with the blood flowing down my face and every part of my torso in agony and finally, finally, be happy.”

    Camera cuts to black.

  4. #4
    All About That Ace

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    Re: FWA Payback Promo Thread

    Zachary Kazadi's Hero’s Journey


    I. The Ordinary World: At eighteen years old, I thought I would spend at least the next twenty five years of my life as a professional wrestler. There was a chance I could extend that to thirty-two years if I stayed healthy. I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. I had family in the business so no one was around to convince me otherwise. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t simply falling into it. This is what I wanted to do. Sometimes everything comes together. You have the heritage of the craft, someone who’s determined, and someone who’s talented. I have every box check marked. Call it arrogant if you must, but I’ve always proved I can back up my claims.


    I lived up to both mine and the world’s expectations of me for a long while. The only complaints people ever had when I was learning the ropes formally are the same flaws people lie about in interviews: sometimes I worked too hard. And sure, some people thought I was too rough, but they said the same thing about Black Jesus, so I can’t exactly view that as a negative, can I?


    Wrestling is the ultimate competition, the ultimate craft. A squared circle. Sometimes an octagon. Sometimes a hexagon. Two wrestlers at its purest. An official, preferably one who doesn’t cower at a touch. Ten or twenty seconds outside the ring, max. Submissions, pinfalls, knock out, count outs, are the path to victories. The rules vary a tad but ultimately the perfect balance between restricted and liberating. You only have one concern, outwrestling your opponent. There were cowards, cheaters, and psychopaths along the way, but at the end of the day, you either prove you’re a better wrestler, or you run out of places to hide, ways to cheat, and chances to lose yourself. And when that happened, I was there to prove I was the ultimate competitor.


    II. The Call to Adventure: The Fantasy Wrestling Alliance is the largest professional wrestling company in the U.S., which if you’re American means it’s where the best professional wrestlers in the world wrestle. It doesn’t matter how much I hate what the FWA has done to professional wrestling, it doesn’t matter how little respect I have for the best wrestlers in the FWA, and it doesn’t matter that I don’t believe that it is the best place for professional wrestling, if I wanted to be the best, then I had to be acknowledged as the best, and that meant heading to the FWA. It was an irritating dilemna. At once denouncing the right of the audience to their opinion, these same people who give FWA their platform to ruin my craft, but as well readily admitting that I had to earn their approval to validate my worth as a wrestler.


    I had walked the ropes in Mexico, and I’d gone to wars in Japan, I’d played chess in the UK with the finest technicians, and I’d brutalized myself against the most violent underground American wrestlers - should one be generous enough to call them that - whilst refusing to succumb to their mindless tactics. I hadn’t hit a decade in the business before I knew there was no sense in delaying the inevitable. I had to go to the FWA. I had to make Cyrus Truth tap. I had to make Chris Kennedy pass out. I had to knock PAJ out. I had to prove I was the best in the world.


    III. Refusal of the Call: But I had to prove I was the best in the world the same way I put people out in Sleeper Holds with tack mosaics on my back in warehouses across California, Philly and Austin, without succumbing to their game. I wasn’t going to burn anyone alive. I wasn’t going to climb a ladder. I was going to pin whoever I was facing for three seconds in the center of the ring. I was going to tap them out. I was going to put them to sleep. I was going to do things my way. If I proved I was better on my terms, then there would be no argument. The charade would end. The mockery would stop. The FWA would be molded into a more honest vision of what professional wrestling should be.


    The FWA had other ideas. The FWA, like all imperialistic institutions, would have me assimilate and conform. To get a shot at glory, I had to stain my honor. I had to do away with my notions of what it meant to be a professional wrestler. When I refused to play their game, the FWA reminded me I wasn’t bigger than they were. They reminded me that they decide who rose and who fell. It doesn’t matter how good you are. It doesn’t matter who you beat. The FWA chose your fate. The evidence was present for all to see. Michael Garcia’s nights of infinite opportunities. Mike Parr’s invulnerable North American Championship ceiling.


    At once, I both proved myself and failed myself. I beat PAJ. Parr. Garcia. I’d earned gold. But in the end, I couldn’t stand the charade. I couldn’t handle the obstacles. I tired of having to fight a crusade every night to prove my path was righteous. I never enlisted to fight for what wrestling should be, I enlisted to prove I was the best wrestler. I’m not so delusional as to claim I am the best in the world. I wasn’t willing to fight hard enough. Nor was I willing to conform. In the end, I chose to accept my fate as a failure. At least I wouldn’t have to stain my dignity by becoming who they wanted me to be.


    IV. Mentor: And yet, how could I deny the part of myself I so staunchly upholded earlier, the statement that I was the ultimate competitor. Even detesting the image of what I should become to avoid having to lead a crusade in the FWA, I still wanted to prove that if I tried, if I cared enough, if I was willing to sacrifice my integrity as they all had, that I would be the one at the main event of Back in Business. And so, I fished. I tweeted. I baited. I watched FWA every week. Everytime I tempted myself. If Bell was champion, then surely one who beat her in the past should get a shot. If Sullivan had no one else to beat, then why not a ghost he could not vanquish? If Devin Golden wanted to prove he was as valuable a prize as the FWA World Heavyweight Championship itself, then he should give him the honor of a proper challenger.


    There is nothing that appeals to me more then the scalp of a man said to be a legend. My feelings on Devin Golden are complicated. I respect his longevity. I respect his hard work. I even respect that he’s not as much of an egomaniacal bastard as his peers, though he has his moments. But I’m unable to get pass the fact that he represents the FWA. Beating Devin Golden wouldn’t be enough but it’d be proof that given the motivation, I was as good as any other man in the FWA.


    A mentor, at it’s most basic, teaches. I didn’t go to Devin Golden to learn. I don’t believe Devin Golden had anything to teach me. Devin Golden knew how to be an FWA talent, and I had and have no interest in that knowledge. But he could teach everyone else. He was going to be the means by which I showed how good I truly was. I think the FWA fans had seen glimpses of it. I’d faced the best the FWA had to offer before, and I’d showed that when the smoke and mirrors run out, no one could stand up to me. Beating Devin Golden in my first match back, what better way to remind everyone of who I was, and why I’d proclaimed myself a monarch.


    V. Crossing The First Threshold: Devin Golden had just gone to war with Michael Garcia at Back in Business, and left with nothing else to fight for, he manufactured for himself a purpose. He offered anyone an opportunity to face and beat a legend, and I took that chance. Of course, I couldn’t give Golden leeway for an excuse. He’d have a chance to prepare for the challenge. He would know what was coming. There wasn’t going to be doubt that I was the better wrestler. There wasn’t going to be doubt that the man who turned his back on the FWA would have sat unmovable atop it if he’d been willing to remain.


    Of course, when do things ever go the way we plan. Golden forgot he was in a wrestling match and I won in a way that, bluntly put, would do nothing for my reputation. It was the worst possible result for me short of a loss. At least if I had cheated I could do away with my own integrity and fall into the immoral means of the Sullivans and Garcias. But a roll up is like outgunning a man who’s gun jammed. It doesn’t make you the better sharpshooter. I’d won but we both knew that our story could not end there.


    VI. Test, Allies, and Enemies: If Devin Golden had decided that he did not need to bother putting in effort - after all no one would take away his legacy for being rolled up on a Fight Night, then I needed to put him in a position where both defeat and victory would mean something more. Devin Golden begged Vincent Blackbird for a match but he didn’t need to. Honestly, I sort of felt slighted that Golden felt that he needed to ask that fraud for another chance. Did he think I’d reject a match if he’d asked it of me himself. Worst yet, did he think I wou;d be satisfied with a win like that?


    I made my challenge felt as well. Devin Golden would face me again, whether or not he wanted to, he had no choice. This time it would be a submission match. I knew Devin Golden wouldn’t reject. He couldn’t for the sake of his reputation. But he had also left the ball in my court when he’d threatened Blackbird for another shot at me. A submission match would be the perfect contest. If Golden lost, no one would question that I was simply better. But, if Devin won, he’d not only have redeemed himself, but he would have beaten me at my own game.


    I had evened the stakes after our first encounter. I was no longer the man trying to prove himself against the legend. We were standing toe to toe now. No one would argue Devin Golden was the better technician at that point, no matter how many accolades he’d tacked up or years he’d gave to the ring mat. No one would also argue that I was the only one fighting for something. It was a different sort of contest.


    VII. Approach to the Inmost Cave: I knew I had the advantage going into the submission match. I’d figured out a way to get out of most widely used submissions: boston crabs, ankle locks, full nelsons, stf’s. I’d studied the book. Devin Golden wasn’t the first man I’d wanted to settle things with. Submission matches were my bread and butter. I’d worked a man’s legs so extensively once he threw in the towel after one lengthy figure four leg lock had left him temporarily one-legged despite having gotten the break.


    In many ways, the onus was on Devin Golden to measure up to me. He’d have to change his gameplan. One bad landing, and I would pick him apart. One slip up and I’d make sure he was spending a couple weeks with bandages. He wouldn’t be able to take as many risks. Another man could argue that that was my mistake and that it was the same mistake Devin Golden had made in the first match. I’d put myself on a pedestal. I gave my opponent the motivation to prove themselves and gave myself no reason to fight.


    Fuck that.


    I’d prided myself on being a professional wreslter and that meant that the only motivation I’d ever need was beating my opponent. I’m not Devin Golden. A title dangling from a ladder wasn’t the bait for me. Just the victory. Every champion would tell you the hardest part isn’t chasing glory, it’s keeping it. If I couldn’t maintain the glory, if I needed the thrill of the chase to succeed, then I wasn’t the competitor I prided myself on being.


    Even knowing that, even warning myself not to succumb to complacency - Devin Golden made me tap out.


    VIII. The Ordeal: When I first began my career, defeat seemed to be the most horrific possible fate to me. I’d stretch matches out in my desperation not to lose. Some may find flaws in these words and beliefs, and once upon a time I did to, but here it goes: sometimes a man has to know when to accept defeat. It’s not romantic. It doesn’t fit with my ideals.


    I got a concussion in my first wrestling match. I didn’t stand a chance against them, but I also didn’t know when to call it quits. My opponent decided they’d have to knock me out to win. Eventually, I got good enough that that was no longer a problem. Eventually, I began encountering submissions I did not have the knowledge to escape from. Once more, my staunch beliefs about competition came in to play. It would be dishonorable to succumb to the pain and tap out. My first couple of years, I suffered a lot of injuries.


    A lot of people had tried to convince me by that point that I was shortening my career, but I couldn’t abandon my pride. Why would I give up if there was still a chance to escape. Why would I stop fighting when I could still fight. I learned a basic lesson, a lesson so simple and cliche’d it pains me to admit it: winning a war is more valuable than winning a battle. If I sacrificed everything each battle, eventually I’d run out of energy to win the war.


    I learned that there was no sense in holding on till I blacked out, till my arm broke or my ankle snapped. Sometimes to fight, you had to stop fighting. Having admitted all of that, I won’t claim I was satisfied with the defeat, only that my pride had long learned to steel itself against misfortunes of that sort. Devin Golden narrowed down my choices drastically that Fight Night, he gave me the chance to lose proudly and sacrifice my body for an honorable defeat, or to give up my pride to avoid the physical pain he was inflicting me. I chose the latter.


    Losing is always incredibly painful. I detest it. I’ve never lost a match I felt I could not win. I’ve never faced an opponent I did not think I could defeat. When I lose, I don’t believe it was inevitable. Devin Golden was better than me only in so far as I did not work hard enough. I knew I was good enough. I know I am good enough. But Devin Golden, in spite of our differents, is also talented, and all it took was one mistake. Those are the greatest competitions: the ones that demand absolute perfection. I hate myself for losing. And I also loved the taste of defeat. It reminded me of the sweetness of victory. I’m only human, after all, and there’s no greater taste than that.


    I had to raise the stakes. I had to push Devin Golden to the very brink. I had to push myself to the very brink. I had to make defeat feel like the absolute worst possibility to bring the best ouf ot the both of us. I had to make defeat be such a terrifying prospect that my body would have an instinctive aversion to the thought of a mistake. At the - much to my chagrin - fittingly titled Payback, Devin Golden would have to make me yell two words I’ve never uttered in a wrestling ring before “I Quit.” And to defeat Devin Golden, I’d have to force him to yell two words he’d never uttered in a wrestling before “I Quit.”


    Of course, the stakes in such a match have leaned towards artificiality but I am a man of integrity. If Devin Golden could push me to the point where I felt I had no recourse but to abandon my ambitions then I would permanently abandon my ambitions. Those two words would not just indicate the end of the match, they would not indicate the end of my time in the FWA, they would indicate that I would never wrestle a professional wrestling match ever again.


    I would allow Devin Golden to reconcile with himself what uttering those words would mean to him. If Zachary Kazadi was not mistaken in his impression of the man, then he knew that the stakes mattered less than the cost to a man’s soul of admitting he quits. Even if Golden returned to the wrestling ring next Fight Night, he would never ever wrestle another match without remembering that time where the pain was so unbearable he commited the worst act a competitor can commit.


    No matter what, Devin Golden and I would face each other for the last time. Victory would be an absolute.


    IX. Reward: I’ve always been righteous. I’ve always had high expectations of myself. It didn’t take long for me to step foot in the FWA, knowing the challenges that would await. It didn’t take long after winning the X title that I proclaimed I would revolutionize what the belt meant. It didn’t take long before I demanded legends untangle their boots from where they hung and champions unclasp their belts to put it on the line. I’ve always demanded stakes, and I’ve always demanded they be as high as possible.


    Sometimes, I find myself wondering if I’ve already lost. I Quit. A legend. Promising it’ll be the last encounter. I’m so desperate to conjure up reasons to fight, I tend to forget that fighting is its own reason. If I had truly been the ultimate competitor, then fighting should have been its own reward. I never needed the validation of FWA. I never needed gold around my waist. I never needed to hear the sound of a legend abandoning his craft. All I ever should have needed or wanted was an opponent to beat. But I sought more. It could turn out to be a mistake. Devin Golden may get the best of me. And I may find myself wrestling my last match ever. If that comes to pass, I’m sure I’ll regret it. If it does come to pass, the same hubris that put me in this trap will be the one that will prevent me from ever going back on my word.


    If this is the end, regretfully, it truly is the end.


    X. The Road Back: Though even now I regret allowing myself to create artificial means of self-motivation, I realize that now is no longer time to think back on the mistakes that may have led us to this moment. What’s done is done, the only thing that awaits now is the fight.


    At Payback, Devin Golden and I will have to go to war. We will have no choice but to demoralize and beat each other into submission. Golden is a man with an incredible heart, it’s why I chose a stipulation I knew would bring the sheer best of him. But I am a man with incredible pride, it’s why I chose a stipulation that would fill me with revusion.


    If this is the last match I will ever wrestle, then damned be my health, and damned be my desire for self-preservation. If this is going to be the last match I will ever wrestle then I may as well abandon my body in the process. I will have Golden beat me bloody, I will have him leave me immobile. I will have him leave me blacked out. Golden will have to do to me the things only a man full of hate can do to another man if he wants to win.


    And he must be prepared to suffer the same likewise. Golden will come to understand when he meets my eyes at Payback that the qualities that make me human: empathy, mercy, and compassion, I will discard them. I will do whatever it takes to defeat Golden. He may not formally put his career on the line, but he will be well reminded that his career is in fact on the line in the truest sense of the term. This is an I Quit match. The means of victory are quite simple. I will not stop hurting and inflicting as much pain and suffering and horror as I can on Devin Golden until I hear those words.


    Golden has been in so many wars. He’s bled liters on the FWA’s mat. He’s broken more bones than most. Those people who cheer him on, they’ve seen him hurt in every possible way, but he’s always stood up in the end. For both of our sakes, I’m going to make sure Golden ends the night with no regret the same way he did at the end of every other war.


    I’m going to make sure Golden admits defeat knowing there was no way he could win. I’m going to ensure that Golden can think back to every other instant where he painted the canvas red, where he held his arm together, where he pulled on the ropes to get back, and he can lay content there was never another time where he’d bled as much as he will that night at Payback, where he’d had as many broken bones as he will have that night on Payback, and where he’s felt so incapable of standing back up as he will that night on Payback.


    XI. Ressurection: I intend on finding some measure of resolution at Payback. I may walk away humbled that I was never as good as I thought I was, a fate most arrogant men come to face sooner or later. But at least I’ll be able to move on. Or I will discover that this world that I’ve had such a troubling relationship with, the world of professional wrestling, it isn’t done with me.


    I don’t believe Devin Golden will have any sympathy for me. I believe he will be merciless. The thought that he might be putting an end to my career won’t hinder his determination. And even if it might, the knowledge of what he’d have to give up to spare me would be too much. That’s why Devin Golden, through chance, is the perfect opponent. Defeat or victory against Devin Golden, I’ll walk away knowing that the right result emerged.


    XII. Return with the Elixir: It’s been almost ten years since I made my wrestling debut, I never expected I might call it a day just after ten years. I still don’t expect it. I’ve never wrestled a match I couldn’t win. I’ve never faced an opponent I couldn’t beat. I’m ready to fight Devin Golden. I’m ready to make him quit. I don’t live in a bubble. I know there’s more behind Golden. More opponents to face. More wins to get. I know that if I beat Golden then I can go back to why I loved this thing in the first place, for the simple reward of outwrestling the opponent in front of you, nothing more than that. I pride myself on working harder than anyone else, on being better than anyone else. I know I can beat any wrestler in the FWA bottom to the top, and Golden will be the proof.

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    Re: FWA Payback Promo Thread

    Exile Chronicles (Volume 3)
    Chapter 5: Acknowledgement, Affirmation, and Salvation


    Fight Night: March 15, 2020

    A throbbing headache. A body wracked with aches and pains both new and lingering. The taste of iron in his mouth.

    The Exile shakes his head, not sure of what was going on. The last thing he remembers was Nova, once again, tagging himself in despite the fact that Cyrus had things under control. Cyrus was within moments of securing a much-needed victory, but Nova felt the need to interject and take over.

    And in his arrogance...

    Cyrus immediately remembered what happened. Nova, once again, got cocky and went for his 24K Kick...but took too long and allowed Horrowitz to duck, leaving Cyrus to eat the boot himself. And now having come to consciousness and hearing the music of Horrowitz playing told The Exile everything he needed to know.

    Once again, Cyrus Truth had lost a match.

    And it was all because of Nova Diamond.

    Seeing Nova stir in the middle of the ring, Cyrus immediately slides in. Blood boiling, the sound of his heart beating in his ears, The Exile glares as Nova turns around...a look of frustration in his own face, but masked heavily by a facade of self-righteousness in the eyes of Cyrus.


    "What the hell was that? Huh?! Explain yourself!"

    Cyrus barks in Nova's face...and the look of indignation that Nova's giving Cyrus isn't exactly easing any tensions.

    "I HAD that match. I had things under control. What the hell is the matter with you? I NEEDED this win, you fucking punk! Maybe it wasn't important to you, but it SURE AS HELL WAS FOR ME!"

    Nova waves his hand, scoffs, and turns to walk away...turning his back to Cyrus.

    The Exile, further enraged, grabs Nova's shoulder and spins him around. The two are now face-to-face, nose-to-nose as Cyrus growls.


    "Look at me when I'm talking to you, boy."

    Nova's face twists in anger, and it looks as if he's about to say something incendiary...and he does, but not in a way he expected. With that cocksure grin, he looks Cyrus dead in the eyes and says, haughtily:

    "Go to hell, Truth. You're not worth it."

    THWACK!

    The sound of flesh and bone connecting echoes in the arena as Cyrus lays into Nova, staggering the young upstart. Nova responds in kind as the two brawl, throwing wild punches and staggering blows until there's a moment where they have some distance between them. Cyrus, tensed up, looks ready to rush Nova again...but is stopped by the sound of General Manager Vincent Blackbird.

    Cyrus doesn't hear much, the blood pumping in his ears drowning out most of what Blackbird has to say as he continues to glare down Nova...however, he does hear the most important thing.

    At first, Cyrus can't believe his ears. It doesn't sound right. There must've been some misunderstanding. However, based on the crowd's reaction along with Nova, it had to be true, right?

    A chance to get back into the World Title picture...

    A chance to truly get back on the path to glory...

    And a chance to punish Nova.

    Cyrus can't help but smile a little as he stares down Nova, who returns the glare in turn...however, that tiny moment of revelry is shattered as Cyrus sees, out of the corner of his eye, a massive form emerge from the crowd, sliding into the ring.

    ...And the last thing Cyrus remembers is the force of Michael Garcia's powerful clothesline connecting with his head.


    Time passes. How much time, Cyrus can't tell. But eventually, his senses return. He finds himself backstage, the rank odor of smelling salts in his nostrils. Still dazed, still in pain.

    Still alive.

    And now...the path is far clearer than it has been...


    *******



    Our scene opens in what appears to be a university lecture hall. We see that dozens of students are sitting in attendance. Some are listening intently, scribbling notes for future reference. Others, not so much...a few are dozing off and others are fiddling with their cell phones, looking at their social media feeds.

    Regardless, the professor continues her lecture. A middle-aged woman with salt-and-pepper hair stands near a podium, her voice amplified by a microphone as she seems to be giving a lesson on the human psyche and how people respond to both psychological threats and affirmations, both from without and within.

    "It's no secret that the world and society as a whole has a multitude of situations and scenarios that can erode one's personal sense of worth and value. These 'threats' can sometimes lead to a positive shift towards self-improvement and the betterment of oneself and their surroundings, but more often than not? Individuals allow these threats to creep into their perceived worth, and instinctively try to spin it and become defensive. Certainly, one has the right to their own beliefs, but the problem arises whenever such threats result in the self maintaining those defenses so fiercely that they try and tune out all outside influence, both negative and positive.

    "For some, their immediate response is to strike back. Sometimes with combative words...sometimes with violence. It is important that, when analyzing and addressing these responses, that we see them for what they are. The self has a need to see itself as a being of integrity, worth, and value. And when confronted with a threat to that perception, there is always a response. Too often, in this day and age, those reactions are violent."


    A student, a young man, raises his hand.

    "So, how do we get those people to not lash out? How do we help them get through those challenges?"

    The professor nods in acknowledgement as she answers:

    "The self, in its attempt to validate its worth, seeks out affirmation. And it's our instinct to seek this affirmation from without. However, affirmation also comes from within, in our own deep-seeded desire to have the world perceive us as beings of value. And while these affirmations can be good and promote growth and change...in those whose self-esteem is already at its lowest? It can lead to a continuous spiral of self-defense, closing one's mind to the possibility of progress."


    A timer goes off, signaling the end of the lecture. The professor quickly wraps up and gives the class their assignment to read over another lecture called "The Psychology of Change: Self Affirmation and Social Psychological Intervention" before their next session. The professor gathers up her materials as she and the students file out.

    However, one figure remains behind...wearing a black hoodie drawn up, one leg resting on the seat in front of him. The foot's tapping pensively, fingers tapping on the desktop in front of him. As we zoom in, we see the figure's jaw clenched in deep thought, and the eyes and brow furrowed. The Exile sits in the silent lecture hall, seemingly contemplating the previous session...

    ...and perhaps, more than that, the challenge ahead of him at Payback.


    "So...I gave Nova Diamond a choice. The choice to act like a champion or behave like a child. Last Fight Night, Nova decided to be a child. Everyone in the audience and on the commentary table said everything that needed to be said regarding the loss Nova and I suffered that night, and know where the blame lies. To say this was unexpected would be a lie. To say I was disappointed...well, there's more Truth to that. Of course, it's yet another loss for me at a time I can ill afford it. But more than that, it was a loss that wasn't even my own. It's still raw, knowing I could've had victory if not for the foolishness of a child clamoring for attention.

    "And before you go and blame Horrowitz holding your tights? Spare me that, Nova. You wouldn't have even been in that position had you not decided to tag yourself into the match. You gave Cromwell the opening, you missed your shot at Horrowitz by taking too long to deliver the killing blow...all of that is on you. Are victories so common for you lately that you can just casually throw one aside? Or did you arrogantly think I couldn't finish what I started? Either way, you chose to throw that match with your actions. It's astonishing and disappointing just how much you seem to care about making a show of your aptitude than securing the win.

    "You want to make an ass of yourself? Do it on your own time. Not when my victory can be affected by it."


    Cyrus is scowling, still bitter about the event of Fight Night. He stands up, resting his hand on the back of his chair as he looks down the slope towards the podium.

    "As if that weren't bad enough...the giant albatross that is Michael Garcia once again reared his ugly head. As Nova stood there like a dope, Garcia once again attempted to leave a message at my expense. And those aren't my words. If you hate yourself enough to pay attention to Garcia's Twitter feed, you'll see them right there when he...what was it? "Wrote a letter to Blackbird in my blood?" My head's still ringing a bit, but I don't recall bleeding that night. Then again, when has the Truth ever mattered to that man?

    "However...a point was brought up on Twitter that does make me stop and ponder the decision made by our anarchist General Manager. While it's true that I've never received a rematch for the World Title, my recent track record doesn't exactly make for a strong case for this opportunity that's been granted me. Regardless of what's owed to me or not, I am not exactly an ideal contender just based on record alone. There are some who would argue that, if I am truly a man of principles, I'd withdraw from this and allow more worthy challengers to take my place.

    "It's...something that's been bothering me. I don't like things being handed to me. I never have. The entry into Carnal Contendership all those years ago was simply an opportunity...and a long shot at that had the FWA roster taken my challenge seriously. Any and all other title opportunities, I've earned. This...feels strange. And I'm not sure what Blackbird is thinking other than it's chaotic and unpredictability under the auspices of second chances. If this were different circumstances, a different time...I can't say that I wouldn't step aside and let someone else take the shot.

    "...but I can't. I won't. Because anybody else in this position, anybody else on this roster who would've gone through the trials I have of late? They wouldn't have given it a second thought. Everyone who wants to look at me and mock me for my principles wouldn't even bat an eye at a title opportunity, regardless of whether they were on a win streak of legend or haven't won a match in ages. I didn't ask for this title match. I still don't know what Blackbird's aim is with this. But I will not let this opportunity pass me by.

    "Especially when the alternative is to let a child and a fool fight it out for the right to face Sullivan."


    Cyrus curls his fingers around the top of the chair before releasing his grip and taking his first steps down towards the podium. The room is dead silent, save for Cyrus's heavy, slow footsteps.

    "There are a great many things that can try a man's soul, his spirit...his sense of worth. The very nature of the Long and Winding Road is that we don't always know or see the dangers that wrap around each bend. And if we let those perils wear on us, we eventually become bitter, jaded...delusional. At Payback, I face off against two men who, whether it's been a series of hardships over a long period of time or a more recent string of setbacks, have had their egos bruised and their perception of their value challenged. And as the professor explained just a few minutes ago...when one has their integrity of self challenged, we as human beings instinctively go on the defensive. We put up barriers against the psychological threat and immediately do something, say something to affirm that we possess value, that we are worthy of praise or adulation.

    "Enter Michael Garcia and Nova Diamond. Let's break this down, shall we?"


    At this point, Cyrus has reached the lectern, but passes that to approach the blackboards. The Exile picks up a piece of chalk and starts to draw and write.

    On the right side, he draws a picture of a strong-jawed, burly man with a surly and self-righteous disposition. His haughty grin and hungry, predatory eyes glare out as Cyrus puts the finishing touches on the detailed, if somewhat crude, caricature.

    "Michael Garcia. A beast. A monster. A brutish mountain of a man who has undergone several...dozen...iterations in his persona. But what hasn't changed is that he is a man who craves the spotlight, loves attention, and consistently interjects himself into situations that, by rights, he has nothing to do with. He certainly is a boastful type, loves to talk about the kind of danger he brings.

    "All of his talk isn't for show...a fool would dismiss the physical prowess of the Carnegie Carnivore. In a company of grapplers, flyers, and technical wizards, Garcia stands as a monolith of muscle and bad attitude. His strength is immense...combined with athletic prowess and quickness? Garcia, for all the jokes and memes, is a dangerous and violent competitor. When he's on his game, there aren't many who can weather an assault from such a man.


    "Yet in all his time in FWA...he has never been World Champion."

    Cyrus moves over to the left side of the blackboard and begins to draw another picture. The face is narrower, more angular. Younger, though...handsome and haughty. The caricature is complete with the image of fireworks and starbursts behind him, definitely making him appear more ostentatious and flashy.

    "Nova Diamond is not nearly as powerful as Michael Garcia. But he is quicker, more nimble. He flits around the ring like a lightning bolt and strikes like a hammer with his kicks. He's a master of manipulating joints and limbs and, more than anything, is slippery. Just when you think you have him in your grasp, he finds a way to escape and reverse. And this is all something he's well aware of.

    "Nova has not been in FWA for long, but has quickly asserted himself at the top of the food chain with a series of impressive wins, culminating in a capstone victory at Carnal Contendership. He earned a World Title main event in nearly record time. And he's still so young...and fights like a young man at that, without any regard for caution or fear of pain. It will eventually catch up to him, as it catches up to us all. But until then, it makes him all the more perilous to fight.

    "But even with his cavalcade of noteworthy victories...he still has not been World Champion."


    Cyrus steps back to review his handiwork, spinning the piece of chalk in his fingers contemplatively. There's a pause as we glance at both caricatures before Cyrus speaks up.

    "We have two men who, as wrestlers, couldn't be any more different. Garcia is raw strength and athleticism. Diamond is a scrappy, technical type. But as men, they are all-too similar. Both, obviously, think little of me. But that's not important. What is important is how each of them see the world and their place in it. Garcia and Diamond think that they are quite talented...the most talented, perhaps. They look at the breadth and width of FWA and professional wrestling and feel that they stand above it all. Again, not my words. Listen to either of them speak and you can just hear the self-believed superiority in every word they say whenever addressing the fans or other wrestlers.

    "They believe, at least on the surface, that they are superior.

    "They believe they have more value than their peers.

    "And above all else, they believe that they deserve the right to call themselves the World Champion."

    Cyrus pauses, lets that last statement linger for just a little longer. The atmosphere around him seems thicker, tenser...more aggressive. Cyrus clenches his jaw before continuing.

    "I'm going to let you all in on a little secret. Something neither Garcia nor Diamond will ever admit to. Partially because they don't believe it...at least, on the surface. And partially because they think that any sign of weakness invalidates them.

    "The Truth is...if being the World Champion was truly important to them? Both of them would've been World Champion already."


    With that, Cyrus returns to the blackboard, drawing a picture of the FWA World Title belt between the caricatures of Michael Garcia and Nova Diamond. As if by design, the eyes on the portraits seem fixated by the title belt...however, neither of them have hands or feet or bodies reaching out to it.

    "The World Championship, whether it's FWA's or any other promotion, is the ultimate symbol to affirm that one is the best in that promotion. It is the prize we as wrestlers have ingrained into us as the pinnacle of our chosen career, the title that solidifies our worth and our value as wrestlers. Certainly, other titles add to that. There is worth in every championship title in a promotion...but the World Title? It stands above all others.

    "Nova and Michael understand that just as well as anybody. They seek acknowledgment of their talents and worth, and thus pursue the belt as a means to that end. And yet...despite Garcia's long career and Diamond's youthful persistence, neither have obtained it.

    "It's not for lack of opportunities, despite what either man will attest to. And if it was truly important to either of them, they would've made good on the opportunities they did have instead of dwelling on the ones they didn't. After all...I've won four World Titles in FWA since I've been here. As a wrestler, can I honestly say that I'm a better wrestler than either of these men?"


    Cyrus shifts over to the Garcia caricature and starts writing down certain aspects, like "STRONGER," "RUTHLESS," and other such descriptors.

    "I am not nearly as strong as Michael Garcia. Garcia is a tough son of a bitch who attacks his opponents with a ruthless aggression and, when he wants to hurt you? You will feel pain. There's not a physical specimen on FWA's roster that can match Garcia's strength and brutality one-on-one."

    Cyrus shifts over to the Diamond portrait, and much like he did with Garcia writes down descriptors like "AGILITY," "ENDURANCE," etc.

    "Were I ten years younger, I might have been able to match Nova in both speed and technical prowess. Certainly, he doesn't have the wear and tear that I have over my longer career, spanning countless high-profile and violent matches. Now, face-to-face? Nova has the stamina and the youthful persistence to overwhelm me in contest of purely physical combat."

    Cyrus backs off, studies his handiwork while fidgeting with the piece of chalk.

    "At Payback, I am going into battle against two wrestlers that possess superior physical acumen than I do. And even if I wasn't coming off both Trial by Fire and the Elimination Chamber, their strength, stamina, speed, and endurance are more than I have. And yet, it does bring us back to the original question...if these men have had opportunities in the past to become the World Champion, and both are either my equal or superior in terms of physical abilities...why have neither been World Champion?

    "The answer is simple...yet not so. It's because both of them understand that, for all the affirmations and acknowledgments that come with being the World Champion, the title itself is a far greater burden that either truly wants to carry."


    Underneath the World Title, Cyrus begins to draw one more picture...that of a simple stick figure holding up the belt. However, the figure's arms are wobbling, knees shaking and buckling, almost looking like it wants to collapse under the weight of the title.

    "With Garcia's raw talents, he should've been able to mow down any and all opposition between him and the World Title. He's certainly had plenty of time to do it, being in FWA for far longer than I have. But yet, he always comes short. Not because somebody screwed him out of victory or because he never had opportunities...but because Michael Garcia is a creature that concerns himself more with making a show of his violence...making "statements" rather than winning matches. Garcia, for as dangerous as he can be, has never felt comfortable enough with just simply BEING dangerous. No...time and time again, he has to demonstrate it for the fans, just like he did last Fight Night when he drilled me with that clothesline. It served no purpose, accomplished no goal. It was just the latest in a long line of "statements," just to mask the fact that when the hammer falls, this so-called "Monster of the Midway" crumbles and shrinks to become the smallest man in the world.

    "Diamond could argue that he hasn't had the same opportunities as Garcia or even I, but he has had them. One would argue that winning Carnal Contendership gave Diamond an opportunity beyond just a simple World Title match...giving him the main event of Back in Business. And it bears repeating since Diamond refuses to shut up and accept it: Nova Diamond had that match WON. He had victory and the World Title in his GRASP. But his desire to "put on a show" and validate his worth overrode the simplest, most straightforward path to victory...and in that moment, Dave Sullivan, of all people? Sullivan showed the true heart of a champion and was able to make Diamond pay for his foolishness.

    "Both Garcia and Diamond love chasing after the World Title...and keep making stupid decisions that keeps the title out of their grasp. But I know why...and deep down, so do they. They know full well that, while the World Title is most certainly a validation of their careers and affirmation of their talents, it is also the heaviest burden in our sport. Because the second that belt is strapped around your waist, simply boasting of your greatness and worthiness isn't enough. The World Title is the sole property of the strong, and the only way weak people hold onto it for any period of time is when they cheat and lie their way into it, much like Gabrielle did during her previous reign. Once that crown is on your head, you have to back up every single boast and brag you've ever made in your career night after night until that title is taken from you. I know...because every single time I was FWA World Champion, I had to endure the criticisms and mockeries of men like Garcia, boys like Diamond.

    "For men driven by ego and the desire to validate themselves, while insulating themselves from anything that can be perceived as a weakness, the World Title is both blessing and curse. Being a World Champion, especially one worthy of the title, is the hardest thing to do in this sport. And both Garcia and Diamond know this, deep down in the pit of their souls that they will never admit to having. But chasing the title? Bragging and boasting? Making a show of things? Sending STATEMENTS? That's so much easier. Much less dangerous. Doing that lets a man like Garcia make claims like "leaving messages in Truth's blood" without having to actually prove anything. It lets men like Diamond ignore the fact that he threw away his shot at being the World Champion while keeping the spotlight on him as he bitches and moans about how people like me need to take him seriously."


    Cyrus pauses for a second, letting his words lingers before dropping this statement:

    "'Defeat' is always a option in our sport. No man, no woman wins forever and always. But for Michael Garcia and Nova Diamond, 'defeat' is a choice that they're comfortable making when victory becomes too hard...or will ask more of them that they're willing to give."

    Cyrus returns to the chalkboard, erasing the stick figure as he begins to draw again, taking more time and hiding his work from our view.


    "So, you might be wondering where that leaves me. I'm not going to stand here and tell you that I don't care about affirmation. Of course I do. We all do. That's the nature of professional wrestling. We don't break our bodies because we're masochists. We do it because we want to be acknowledged for our sacrifices, to validate that they were worth it by acquiring gold, accolades, and everything else this sport has to offer for those strong enough to pursue them. But unlike Garcia or Diamond, I don't spend all my time telling people how great I am. I boast, sure. I talk about what separates me from others. But unlike men like my opponents at Payback, I have the credentials to back it up. My words aren't just noise. And more importantly? I fully recognize that validation doesn't end with winning the World Title. And I, like few in this company, know that the path to proving one's worth doesn't stop and only gets harder once the World Title is yours.

    "But the thing that Garcia and Diamond will never understand is that I'm not competing in this match to validate my career. No...I'm fighting at Payback for something much more important...salvation.

    "I've spent the last few months shuffling from one disappointment to the next. I've tasted fire and steel and have drank far too deeply of the bitter wine that is defeat. And I'm not ready to let this recent string of misery be what defines me. I'm not willing to let the past few months be my destiny. I refuse to allow either Garcia or Diamond yet another shot at a prize neither of them truly grasp the weight and prestige of. And unlike either of them...I have no delusions of my worth, nor complexes regarding its stability. But I am tired...so very tired of the losses, of the lack of victory.

    "At Payback, I have a chance I never thought I would have again. An opportunity to return to the hunt for the prize I've held so many times before, to return to prominence and reassert my place in this company. Not with words, but with actions. Not with "statements" or "stunts," but with deeds. My heart still beats, my fists are still clenched, and my will is iron. The chance to return to glory is right in front of me, and I will not squander it. I will NOT let this slip through my fingers. At Payback...Cyrus Truth returns to form, returns to victory...and gets his shot at reclaiming his pride.

    "Because for me? Defeat is a choice that I reject."


    Cyrus turns around and moves to the side of his drawing...a raised hand, wrapped in bandages stained with what could be seen as blood, grasping the World Title firmly. The look in the eyes of Cyrus is a tired one...but a defiant one. A look of longing, suffering, and an unrelenting hunger.

    "Class dismissed."

    Cyrus, with no fanfare, tosses the chalk over his shoulder and leaves the lecture hall as the camera focuses on the chalk drawing of the hand firmly, defiantly clutching the World Title.

    At Payback, The Exile has a chance to win once again.

    At Payback, Cyrus Truth has the opportunity to earn his shot at the World Title.

    At Payback, two men who have never been champion stand in his way.

    And at Payback...Cyrus has accepted no other outcome than victory. Not because of some false sense of validation. Not because he needs affirmation. But because he needs to prove to himself that the Road he has traveled is not at its end...not at this end...

  6. #6
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    Re: FWA Payback Promo Thread

    We open with a close up of an image of the FWA logo plastered in the center of a plain black backdrop, and eventually the camera zooms out to a clear shot of Jason Randall now standing in front of the backdrop. The camera catches a black armband on his right arm with the letters BLM in white lettering on it, and the rest of his attire is a plain black sleeveless shirt, jeans, and black boots. He stares at the camera in silence, deep, intense silence.

    “Payback…”

    He utters, seemingly to himself but he says it as he stares directly at the camera.

    “I was asked to come here today to speak on my match and my opponents at Payback, Michelle von Horrowitz and Kevin Cromwell. A match that may very well be my last opportunity ever at championship gold here in the FWA for quite some time. I had some things that I wanted to say about this match but now that I’m standing here with the platform to speak my mind, and I’m at a loss for words in regards to this match. I honestly don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said by anyone else in my position because trust me I’m definitely not the first person in this position and I can guarantee you that I won’t be the last…”

    He begins to pace a little while looking at the floor.

    “I had so many things that I wanted to say but now...nothing”

    He lightly shrugs while pacing still until he eventually stops pacing and looks back at the camera.

    “I wish I could say how much I want this, because believe me I want this more than anything. I need this match more than anything right now but that’s already been said, it’s been done. It’s been done because I’ve been in this position before, this same position that I’m in now I’ve been in before. With my back against the wall, and saying how much I want this and how much that I need this; hell I’ve said that so much I feel like it’s lost its damn meaning. It’s become cliched, like I said already...it’s been done.”

    He chuckles to himself and shakes his head.

    “Now I’m beginning to wonder if I really do want this, if I really do need this…

    Does Kevin Cromwell need this match? Kevin needs this match because he wants to achieve something that will make his family proud. He wants to make his father proud of him. Me? I don’t have a father to make proud of me for achieving a goal. My father died many years ago, am I jealous that Kevin still has that type of relationship with his father? No, because my father and I never did get along and anything that I ever did to try and make him proud of me wasn’t good enough in his eyes.”

    “Does Michelle need this match? No, she doesn’t. She wants to prove that she’s this fighting champion that gives out opportunities to those that wouldn’t normally get one, but all of that is a false narrative so she can feel good about herself and give herself a pat on the back. Yes she handed out opportunities to some, yet of course she refused for one in particular and I don’t need to tell you who that is but if you don’t know then you haven’t been paying attention…”


    He stares into the camera now with an intense focus in his eyes.

    “Michelle, I said it before and I’ll say it now, you’re scared. You’re not just scared of me, you’re scared of losing the one and only thing you hold dear to you. It’s the only thing that makes you feel like you’re worth something because deep down beneath that facade that’s all talk is a scared little girl. You’re afraid of what may happen after you lose that championship, you’re afraid that might just fade into obscurity, never to be heard from again. You’re afraid of that because while you act like you hate everyone and everything, that’s all it is though, an act; and I can see right through it.”

    “You enjoy the spotlight, you enjoy the energy from the people in attendance. You feed off all of it, you crave it because without all of that you’d just be you and without that X championship you’d be nothing…”

    “Now that I think about...maybe I do want this just so I can expose you for who you are”


    He stops and he thinks for a moment.

    “Kevin, what if you don’t win? What if you can’t win this time? What will you do then? You go back home to Manchester, empty handed, what will happen? Will you just give it all up right then and there? That’s why you need this, for validation. If you can’t do it, then what?”

    “I need this more than you Kevin and I want this more than you Michelle. At Payback I show you that.”


    With that the scene ends.


    Rest in power, Flock U
    Rest in power, TCON

    Team Cyrus T is Best for Business

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed
    Stop the hating of the E-Feds. If you don't like something, that's fine, just ignore it and let the people who do enjoy what they're here on WC to do. Mocking them to make you feel less of a geek for being on a geek on a wrestling forum is lame. If you want to not read their posts, I can fix that for you.

  7. #7
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    Re: FWA Payback Promo Thread

    Shortly after his match with Noah Stocke and Mike Valander, Jackson Fenix is seen backstage with his tag team partner Nate Savage by his side when they’re approached by Katie Lynn Goldsmith.

    Katie Lynn: Jackson, as we just saw moments ago you were successful against Noah Stocke and Mike Valander…

    Jackson Fenix: As if there was any doubt Katie…

    Katie Lynn: Well, can we expect the same result come Payback?

    Jackson and Nate look at Katie, both of them dumbfounded by her question.

    Nate Savage: What kind of question is that Katie?

    Jackson Fenix: Seriously, what kind of idiotic question is that? Of course you can expect the same result at Payback. What I showed out there tonight is that Mike Valander and his goof brother have no place in OUR tag team division, and Noah Stocke and Trevor Ocean are just placeholders and are not fit to be the leaders of this division…

    Nate Savage: At Payback, The Valanders and The Elite will get down on their knees and bow down…

    Jackson Fenix: That my friend isn’t a prediction...it’s a spoiler

    With that they leave Katie Lynn looking confused as the scene fades out.

    --------------------------

    Are you tired of seeing complete and total jokes in the tag team division?

    Various clips of The Valanders play.

    Are you tired of the same old boring tag teams of yesteryear?

    Various clips of The Elite play.

    Do you want to see a real tag team?

    Do you want to see honor restored in the tag team division?

    Do you want to see the best damn tag in the world today?


    Multiple clips of The Undisputed Alliance plays, including them beating The New Breed for the FWA Tag Team Championships in only their third match in the FWA.

    Then tune into FWA Payback live from Atlanta, GA and you’ll see just that, as The Undisputed Alliance will become two time FWA Tag Team Champions when they wipe the floor with The Elite and The Valanders.

    Don’t miss this historic event! Live and only on PPV at the low, low price of 59.99! Order now!


    Jackson Fenix and Nate Savage come into frame now.

    That’s right, you won’t want to miss history as Nate and yours truly become two time tag team champions…

    If you think for one second that The Elite or The Valanders have any chance of winning this match well then you’re an idiot…

    Mike and Louis are brothers, they have that bond but can they work together to get the job done? Nate and myself have been a tag team for several years now, we’re practically like brothers, more so than Mike and Louis. We are more than capable of getting the job done. We know what winning championship gold is like. Louis is too infatuated with Gabrielle Montgomery while Mike is just...there. Is that the kind of tag team you want representing this division?

    Nate shakes his head.

    Noah and Trevor have been a tag team for several years as well, much like us but that’s where the similarities end. They’ve had our number, we can admit that. At Payback, that changes. At Payback we take back what is rightfully ours.

    They’ve brought dishonor and disgrace upon OUR division since defeating us. We look to right that wrong. We look to bring back honor and grace to OUR tag team division. At Payback, we take back OUR tag team championships...and that is UNDISPUTED!

    Nate and Jackson pose for the camera as the scene ends.


    Rest in power, Flock U
    Rest in power, TCON

    Team Cyrus T is Best for Business

    Quote Originally Posted by Ed
    Stop the hating of the E-Feds. If you don't like something, that's fine, just ignore it and let the people who do enjoy what they're here on WC to do. Mocking them to make you feel less of a geek for being on a geek on a wrestling forum is lame. If you want to not read their posts, I can fix that for you.

  8. #8
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    Re: FWA Payback Promo Thread

    "The Past Doesn't Stay Dead"

    We open up to a rainy day and with that we see Kayden Knox walking no umbrella he is in a town on the outskirts of Las Vegas and we see him staring at an old home from across the street. Knox takes a cig out lighting it as he take a deep puff and then lets it out as through the smoke everything changes it is now bright sunny day and we can see a teenager a women and a man through the front houses window. They are eating dinner the teen doesn't really say much and looks uneasy among them. He seems to be just trying to eat and get away as the TV plays in the background. There is a TV reporter talking about a drinking and driving accident that happen.

    Reporter: No one was injured but they say the man was over the legal limit. I am Tonya Green reporting for Channel News 4 Las Vegas.

    The man looks up after taking a bite of food.

    Man: You hear that, don't drink and drive or you are gonna end up like that man or your father behind bars.

    The kid looks up from his food and in a low non threatening voice.

    Boy: Please don't talk about my father like that especially when he is not around to defend himself.

    Man: What you say?

    The man sharply gets up and walks in front of the kid.

    Boy: I said don't talk about my father when he isn't here to defend himself.

    Man: This is my house he says this food you are eating I paid for it the roof over your head is because of me. You got a problem speak up.

    Boy: All I am is asking you to do is not speak about my father when he isn't here.


    Mother: Why do you always got to start with him why can't we have a normal dinner.

    The mother gets up in tears running upstairs.

    Man: See what you did to your mother!


    The man pushes the teen who is startled.

    Boy: Please don't touch me.


    Man: What are you gonna do about it.


    He pushes him again.

    Boy: Please don't touch me.


    Man: What are you gonna do ?


    The man again pushes him harder making the teen press against the wall. He leans in closer whispering in his ear.

    Man: I can't fucking wait until you are behind bars so then I can beat the hell out of you and get paid for it.

    He pushes him again this time he hits the wall and there is a thud.

    Boy: Leave me alone don't touch me.


    The teen voice has a serious tune to it and his legs start to shake. The man sees this and is amused he pushes him one more time.

    Man: What are you going to do about it?

    A rage comes out the teen he pushes back the man grabs him throwing him through the wall. The teen rage now full blast feeling a warm sensation going down the back of his neck he begins fighting with the man who despite the rage filling his body can't overpower the man who throws him to the ground. and puts his knee on the top of his back.

    The mother sees this as the teen as for help but, ignores it and goes back into the next room. The teen tries with all his power as he can't breath and lifts him up slamming him against a wall and the man lets go.

    The teen stares down at him on the ground as the voice of Kayden Knox is heard in the background.

    Kayden Knox: I could of killed him at the moment in my heart I wanted to still to this day there is a part of me that wants to my blood boils when I think about it. I seen him years past this point for the sake of my mother but, every single time I see him I feel so weak. I feel so little you were nothing but, a bastard to me. I understand I wasn't the perfect kid but, you fucked me up so bad in the head and I don't think I will ever be the same. I still to this day wake up in cold sweats and I have nightmares over everything you did.

    A cloud of smoke comes from the cig and we are now taken back to the present where Kayden Knox is now in still standing outside the old home. He closes his eyes and lets the rain run down his face. Knox watches as people go by him and some whisper as they go by. A man reaches his arm out towards Kayden as he flinched and seems to snap into a different place. Knox is now standing in front of a podium. He looks to see that there is a bunch of people in the room all drinking coffee looking at him.


    Are you ok?

    Knox nods as the man next to him was reaching out to him. He was an older man in a sweater best with glasses as he softly speaks. He ask Kayden if he like to go on. Kayden nods he seems to be in a daze but, he gets himself together and goes on speaking.

    Kayden Knox: There was a long time where I would flinch when a hand would go near me I think people noticed. I know AJ did. AJ was always there for me as a safe haven I don't think he always wanted me around but, I think he knew if it wasn't for him for his place. I probably wouldn't be standing here today and those other demons I faced probably somewhat have to do with this. I think for a long time I wanted to be accepted that's why when I came in I tried to hide who Kayden Knox was and I made this Sterling Jagger persona to mask my own demons from my past.


    I think that's what really caused my vices I had in FWA was that feeling of once again feeling so little feeling so alone in this world. That is what is killing me about AJ's words over the past few weeks because you were suppose to be there. You were suppose to believe I was more then that prick ever thought I could be. If I fail does that mean he was right about me? Is that why I feel like I am a victim because I can't get over this?

    Knox stares at the crowd of people his voice shaking he looks at the mirror across the room and he can see himself in it but, he begins to see that he is changing into the man Kayden starts to feel panicked but, then takes a few easy breaths before talking again in his own head his voice sounds like the man.

    I feel like sometimes when I stare in the mirror I swear I see you!

    Knox snaps back into it looking back at the people as he tries to regain composure. He looks on in somber clinching the podium sides where he stands his voice gets loud and the sound echoes throughout the room. His tone though sounds sad as he goes on speaking.

    Kayden Knox: I swear I became what I hated that I am so full of anger and rage and that it eats away at my skin like acid until I am nothing but bones. I am trapped in this cycle of self loathing and worth that I don't feel like I should even be breathing at times.

    I felt like a failure because I was one.


    The room starts to spin as Kayden looks around people start to enclose on him as he wakes up yet again his shirt covered in sweats Knox lets out an awful scream tossing his pillow against the wall. He slides to the floor laying there as he stares up at the ceiling. He begins talking to himself once again.

    Kayden Knox: Whatever the case me be... I can't fail anymore Gerald you stand in my way of that and I will not allow myself to fail no not again.

    The X- Division Championship belt is now just a belt to me not anymore it is a key to my freedom it is a chance to kill the demons that haunt me this is my redemption. This match just means more to me then it will you I am sorry but, it is the truth because this match isn't about championship's like I said before it's about killing the past and redemption as I just said.

    You may have gotten into wrestling for the thrill and you may think you are the hero of this story and got me playing the villain and a victim of your cinderella fairytale story but, I am no longer the victim. I refuse to be held down by my past when my future looks so bright and I will be damned if this time I am not the one with my hand held high and the championship in my grasp so I can prove to everyone that Kayden Knox and failure are not to be uttered in the same sentence again.

    Knox gets up and his mind feeling a little better he grabs his pillow and goes back to sleep as we fade to black.




    Spoiler:


    CWA World Heavyweight Champion
    ​Brayden Bridges








  9. #9
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    Re: FWA Payback Promo Thread



    The following video would not become available on FWA. Com until days after The PPV had aired, with Cromwell's fate already known to the millions watching worldwide, but the events captured and later posted were filmed just one hour before the show Technicians were already busily checking the lighting and sound, the ropes were being fixed to the ring and checked for tension, and superstars and ladies were all completing their final rituals and warm-ups ahead of the battles they would face later in the night. The only man absent, and perhaps the one man above all others who should have been in attendance, was Kevin Cromwell was not checking the ring rope tensions. He was not discussing the soundboard or overseeing the displays of the merchandise stalls. Kevin Cromwell was in a local bar, sat alone and staring at the far wall. Amadeus was out.


    The bar was dimly lit and empty. It didn't seem like one of Mobile's most popular nightspots, but then that seclusion was perhaps exactly what Cromwell needed right now. He didn't even have a drink. He just sat, gazing distantly at the wall, facing away from the bar itself. Eventually, the eerie silence was broken by footsteps and an unfamiliar voice.




    "Can I get you that drink now?"



    Cromwell was unmoved, heedless to the fact he had been addressed at all.




    "Sir? The drink?"


    Now he stirred at last. He nodded vaguely and slowly shifted his body around to face the bar. The clinking of glass and hissing snap of a bottle top popping off was followed by a beer being offered into the shot by the unseen barman. Cromwell took it, raised it to the man in salute, and then drained half of it in one gulp. The barman had evidently been studying him closely throughout the gesture, and perhaps for some hours.


    "Rough day, friend?"


    Cromwell snorted an ironic laugh and beckoned for another beer, finishing his first with a second gulp and sliding the empty bottle across the bar.


    "Rough year."



    The barman didn't press him any further. He handed him the fresh beer, and then there were more footsteps. He had evidently moved away to busy himself with some other duty, but Kevin Cromwell was waking from his trance now and beckoned the man back.


    "Did you ever take a job and then realise 'Man, this job just sucks ass!'?"


    It was the barman's turn to laugh now.


    "Friend, if we're going to go that way I'm afraid we're going to need a lot more beer."


    "Seems to me my life was great. I got to do things my way back in London...I had friends. Family...Respect of my peers...But I got sucked in Keve shook his head in disbelief at his own weakness)I let myself get pulled in by the money, and the glamour and the glits and I was a damn fool for ever agreeing to it."


    "This, uh… this all something to do with the pro wrestling we got in town? You sure look like one of them action hero types. I'm sorry, friend, but I don't watch a whole lot of TV and I feel I should be a bit more… in awe."


    Kevin laughed again and shook his head.


    "Nothing to be in awe of here. Not anymore. I thought I was someone once now...Fuck, I don't know mate, All I hear now is negativity and people shit talking and ego and politicizing It's PATHETIC. When did everybody turn into such whiny, complaining, cry baby son' bitches anyway?"


    "So you don't enjoy your work?"


    "What's to enjoy? Half of last year I spend out injured. And when I get back nobody respects you, nobody LIKES you, and you damn sure can't trust them because it's the single most cut throat business in the world

    "That the road you took?"


    A gleam of excitement flashed in Kevin Cromwell's eyes.


    "Hell, I tell you… the road I took? There wasn't an bloke back in England that stepped up to me, that didn't remember my name by the end of the night that's down to me. I didn't take bullshit from any of them and I don't expect the guys now to take it from me, and that's what I do, I wrestle, I truely believe i'm the best in the world But this happy, smiley,Promo, PR disingenuous crap I have to deal with… I'm not made for it. And I sure as hell don't enjoy it."


    "Why can't you just...choose not to do it?"


    "It ain't as simple as that….Christ do I need a beer.

    The depression was setting in again as Kevin revisited the hopelessness of his situation. The barman set a third beer beside him and Kev studied it with that vacant gaze of his.



    "Let me give you tonight as a 'for instance.' Tonight because I chose to make a stand for this business and do what had to be done, I have no choice but to step into the ring with two people, neither of whom have any time for me whatsoever. I have to stand in that ring and I have to go toe to toe with a Psychopath and a sociopath. Does that job sound fun to you?"


    The barman took a moment of thought before his measured reply came.




    "I think… it's a job that sounds fun to you."




    "Well it isn't Let me tell you, in this business of ours they come at you two ways: they try to break your body… or your mind. And tonight I'm going in there against a master of each art. and I'm just too damn stubborn to be able to walk away from this thing. My name is Kevin Cromwell, I am the Amadeus If I don't make a stand then you tell me, who will?"


    No answer came


    "And I don't want to sit here and just blame those and say it's all their fault. That's bullshit. This bloke? Jason Randel He's been around longer then me. And he was always a sorry, selfish, crazy bitch. But now he's my problem and he's a problem that I can't control, I had him choked out so many times, but he keeps getting back up. So if I can't lay him out in the ring. Do you think he fears me? Do you think he respects me? Instead, what I get are attacks from behind or trash talk about how I'm not GOOD ENOUGH to get the job done. I was put on this earth, to be the best wrestler on the planet, so when I can't put someone down, I become the problem. It's not a matter of "How does he keep getting up?" it's a question of "Why did I let him?


    A bottle on the top shelf caught Cromwell's eye. He pointed at it.


    "Bring that down here, would you?"


    "This fight might be beyond you friend, it might not. But it's sure going to be if you start reaching up there for the top shelf. That's a monkey you need to get off your back."


    But Kevin beckoned for the bottle again, and the barman handed it to him. It seemed though that he was less interested in drinking its contents than he was reading the label on the back.


    "Smoke-matured… extra strength… contains traces of nuts. You know what this is? Right here in this bottle?"


    The barman gave no reply.


    "This is Jason Randell! This is what I'm dealing with. Extra strength… smoke damaged… and you can be damn sure she's nuts! Now see, before I arrived in FWA? I could have told you I could sit here with this bottle and I could have drank it down shot by shot. And then I could have got the next bottle. And hell, I'd have drunk that down too. But now I know wrestlers like Jason Randel are like shots like this. They just keep coming at you. I drink the shot; you fill her up again. I knock her down, that bitch gets right back up. Before long I'm flat on my back in that ring, or right here on your floor. That extra strength? It's more than I got in the tank."


    Cromwell handed the bottle back and returned to his beer.


    The barman's hand wandered into view, mopping the counter down with a rag. Cromwell's face was caught in the now-cloudy reflection, blurred and distorted as though unrecognizable from the man that he once was. There was a long, awkward silence before the barman dared speak again.


    "Alright so, maybe this guy is a tall order. But you said there were two, right? The physical battle and the psychological battle? Why not beat the other guy? If his attacks are all in your head, just beat him instead."


    Cromwell finished what was his fourth beer of this segment and beckoned for another. A wry smile crossed his face as he took a drink and then set the bottle down beside him.

    "It's a she. Beat Michelle Von Horowitz? Well don't misunderstand me now, she's every bit as strong as Randel is. But she tempers that rage and that drive to win with a little bit of intelligence. Not a lot, but just enough to make her what she is."


    "And what's that?"


    Cromwell looked around as though to check nobody could overhear her.


    MVH is very possibly THE greatest in-ring competitor that our company has ever seen and one of the toughest bitches I ever met. But her game now… it's all in here."


    Kevin tapped the side of his head.


    "She represents everything about wrestling I hate these days. She doesn't just want success, she expects it. She wants it handed to them, and she doesn't want to share the spotlight with anybody. You think I didn't have to pay my dues. You think I didn't see guys paid no dues a day in their lives climb about me on the ladder? But it's about the business. It's about being a professional, and MVH isn't a professional. She' 's a WINNER. Right, wrong, good, bad… MVH is a winner, and she doesn't care about anything else but herself HAT is why she has to be put down. All I hear is what she's owed, what she deserves, never about what she can do for pro wrestling...I have to stop her


    "And why can't you do that?"


    All of the accumulated rage and passion of Kevin temper dissolved in a moment. He suddenly became once more gloomy, defeated drunk in the bar.


    "...I can't, but I know someone who can, I just gotta find him again.


    He muttered as he pulled out his phone and pressed a few buttons on his phone, bringing up video footage of one of his earliest promos plays.


    "I think...I think it would be impossible to count the number of men that have come to FWA in my situation. Well, maybe not impossible…but time-consuming and unnecessary. The unchallengeable fact is that countless hopefuls upon countless hopefuls upon countless hopefuls have all walked on down an FWA ramp towards an FWA ring in the same circumstances, maybe they're a young kid from a little town in Manchester, that has a whole lot of buzz around them, maybe there's some prospect that caught their eye in NGW FWA feels can be their next big star. Or maybe it's some experienced big-time wrestler from another company. In droves, they walk down and spout off all their crazy ambitions and potential with a pocket full of unreachable dreams in tow. And do you know what happens to the overwhelming majority of them? They...flop. They...fail. They crash...and burn. The dream dies after maybe...I don't know...three or four weeks? After that, they realise that they just can't do it. On their first night, they'll have given the generic 'what I wanna accomplish in FWA is...' speech...yet only a matter of weeks later they've realised that accomplishing those feats is simply impossible for them. After one or two defeats or a couple of setbacks, it dawns on them that they just can't live up to the hype that they created. Now sure...maybe some of them hang around a little longer. Maybe some of them are a little more...persistent, and that's something that could be described as admirable...yet it could at the same time be described as...foolish. I'm more inclined to agree with the latter. You see I take the correct view that if you have even the slightest, niggling, creeping doubt that what you said on that first night may not happen...then you need to stop as soon as that thought makes itself known. Carrying on past that point...is pathetic. Without one hundred per cent self belief...you'll accomplish nothing. Not an iota of success will come your way. So going out to the ring when you've had thoughts of self-doubt? Well, you're basically like a lamb to the slaughter, aren't you? And fighting in the ring like that is not commendable or admirable or respect-worthy – it's disgraceful. It's insulting. It's offensive to this industry. Unfortunately... it's frequent. It happens all too often. And those men are just as bad...if not worse than the guys who at least have the decency to throw the towel in after a month without wasting everyone's time. If you believe what you say. Well, this happens."
    The most amazing thing about this recent conversation is that I've learned AON is even more of a waste of space than I thought he was previously

  10. #10
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    Re: FWA Payback Promo Thread


    The fluorescent lights flickered, straining to continue their pale white illumination of the corridor, as a young woman in blue scrubs carefully edged open the door to the coroner's office with her hip, holding two cups of coffee in her hands. She stumbled slightly, hissing as a stray droplet of the hot pick-me-up drink spilled onto her forearm, quietly swearing beneath her breath, before placing the cups unceremoniously on a metal slab in the center of the room. More coffee spilled from the cups, creating a thin brown puddle on the slab, as the woman hurried to a handwash station rinsing her forearm under some cold water.

    "For once, the office coffee is actually hot." Violet muttered. "First time for everything, I guess."

    "First time for everything, indeed." A voice echoed from the center of the room. From a side-office, a slim, pale man entered the room, limping slightly, as his hand brushed against the coffee puddle on the slab. "Not the first time you've spilled something unsanitary on my workspace, unfortunately." He said, feeling the warm droplets between his fingers.

    "Look, if you can't spring for automatic doors in here, then you're going to have to accept a bit of spillage every now and then when I'm delivering you your midnight coffee." Violet retorted, drying her forearm with a paper towel.

    "I'll take that up with Mr. Blackbird." Replied Dr. Montrose, in the tone of voice that suggested he absolutely wouldn't be taking that up with Mr. Blackbird, before he motioned to the cups. "Which is mine?"

    Violet paused, giving the coffee cups a quick once-over. "The one that's had half its contents spilled."

    "Of course." Dr. Montrose didn't even bother pretending to be surprised. Instead, he reached into his coat pocket, taking out a thin silver flask, and pouring its contents into his half-empty drink.

    The two sat in silence, quietly drinking their coffee and coffee/whisky hybrids. Violet's neon green mohawk was hidden by a thin beanie, both of which were probably against the standards of the morgue but no-one really visited enough to care. The doctor's once-white labcoat, stained with spots of dried blood, hung over his lanky frame, a pair of black trousers, white dress shirt, brown tie, and green waistcoat beneath it. As the clock on the wall slowly ticked over to 11:54pm, Dr. Montrose cleared his throat.

    "We got a batch of new ones this evening."

    Violet halted, stopping herself from spitting out her coffee. "More?!?"

    Dr. Montrose only nodded. His slicked black hair shone underneath the fluorescent lighting, and his luxurious moustache seemed extra sleek and spiffy in spite of the day's work.

    "Do we think it's the same guy?" His assistant queried, dropping her now-empty cup into a trash can.

    "It's a fair assumption." Dr. Montrose admitted, strolling over to the wall of dozens of freezer cabinets that took up the bulk of his office. His gaze flickered amongst them, before he placed his hand on one, and yanked it open.

    A chill fell through the room, somehow. Dr. Montrose reached into the cabinet, and slowly slid out a slab. Unlike the one he and his assistant had been leaning on, this one was devoid of coffee stains. Instead, it carried...

    "#42. As with the others, 'John Doe' here is currently unidentified." Dr. Montrose spoke. "John Doe is a white male, somewhere between mid and late twenties. Fit. Active. And up until recently, alive."

    From the slab-slash-coffee table, Violet coughed. "What's this one's cause of death?"

    "Laceration of the femoral artery." Dr. Montrose responded, running a gloved finger over a thick, garnish wound just above the body's thigh. Thick and open enough to see the pale white bone of the hip.

    "How?"

    "Forensics suspect it was the end result of a shard of glass embedding itself in his thigh. Guy yanked it out himself, it shredded his artery, and he bled to death on the spot."

    Violet mumbled something inaudible, as Dr. Montrose slid the body back into its cabinet, before moving to the next one.

    "#43. John Doe. White male, mid-to-late twenties." He opened up the cabinet, releasing a foul stench that the freezer couldn't remove. "Cause of death..."

    Violet's eyes widened, and she quickly placed a hand over his mouth as the charred, blacked feet entered her view. "Immolation." Dr. Montrose finished, gazing onto the curled corpse, forever frozen in a scream of agony, with a look akin to pity. "Burned. Skin, hair, muscles, tendons. All reduced to ash."

    "Christ." Violet whispered. "Didn't we have another burn victim earlier?"

    Dr. Montrose shook his head. "No. That wasn't us. That was Cyrus Truth. His was second-degree, non fatal. Can't say the same for this one."

    Violet wrinkled her nose, frowning. "What's that smell?"

    "Gasoline. Poor bastard seemed to be coated in it." Dr. Montrose commented, sliding the burned corpse back into its cabinet.

    Violet groaned. "Please tell me the next guy is in a better condition."

    "Well..." Dr. Montrose tilted his head, unveiling the next unfortunate victim. "#44. John Doe. White male, mid-to-late twenties. Cause of death, explosion."

    Violet stared. There was barely a body at all. A strewn miss of blistered parts and organs, mush and debris twisted together to give what remains some sort of identity. A pale-red misshapen mess, barely bigger than a soccer ball, with a single tooth jutting at an odd angle. "There's barely anything left to bury the poor bastard with."

    Dr. Montrose nodded. "Explosion ripped him apart. Based on trace amounts of plasticine near the remains, it's theorized he fell afoul of a plastic explosive."

    "'Fell afoul' is a pretty light way to put it. C-4?"

    "Most likely." With a tired sigh, Dr. Montrose put #44's remains back in the freezer, and moved on to the next one.

    "#45. John Doe. White male, mid-to-late twenties. Blunt force trauma."

    And to the next one.

    "#46. John Doe. White male, mid-to-late twenties. Eaten by piranha."

    And the next one.

    "#47. John Doe. White male, mid-to-late twenties. Electrocution."

    And the next one.

    "#48. John Doe. White male, mid-to-late twenties. Defenestration."

    And the next one.

    "#49. John Doe. White male, mid-to-late twenties. Broken heart."

    Finally, Violet threw her hands up, sighing. "This is getting a bit much."

    Dr. Montrose shrugged casually. "There's a lot of ways to die, Violet. And our John Doe seems destined to experience them all."

    Violet shook her head, backing away. "I need to take five."

    "You just got back from your break."

    "Well, I'm going right back on it. I'll see you in a few."

    "Bring more coffee." Dr. Montrose requested, as Violet Dreyer's form retreated behind the door to the coroner’s office, her footsteps slowly fading away into silence. With a sigh, he turned his attention to his lone guest. John Doe #49, Broken Heart. He frowned. Must've been feeling poetic when he wrote that.

    "Oh, Mr. Doe, what on earth did you do to end up in my office?" He pondered aloud, as he inspected the lifeless body of his unnamed associate.

    The man on the slab was likely a handsome man in his life. But there's little beauty in death. Little care, little nuance, little subtleties. That all goes away once death marches it's way. Whatever trauma had ended with him on this slab had taken its toll. Pale skin, almost grey in it's colourless. Sunken eyes, the result of nights of stress, worry, anxiety, fear, or some cocktail combination of them. The eyes themselves may have once been a bright, vibrant green, but were now faded, the spark long gone from them. Black hair, a ratted mess, complimented a thin, oval face. A black moustache, ragged and jagged, days since it's been last cared for, served as the final piece of personality John Doe #49 had clutched onto as he exited this life into the next one.

    It hasn't escaped Dr. Montrose's attention that John Doe #49 was a splitting image of John Doe #48.

    And John Doe #47, for that matter.

    As a matter of fact, all John Does he had collected, from #01 to #49, were strikingly similar to each other, aside from the variation of their own demise. Although #43 was a charred, blackened skeleton, and #44 was literally whatever bits the team could scrape together, and #46 had to be ripped out of the mouths of piranhas, and #37 was missing a head, and #22 was missing a body... Dr. Montrose was fairly certain if he turned back the clock on every John Doe, they'd all resemble each other prior to the time of death.

    The forensic hivemind, desperate to give the unnamed victims some form of identity, had dubbed them 'Krash.'

    Dr. Montrose wasn't entirely sure why.

    But who was he to argue with the decision makers? They are the hands of fate, dictating the paths and names of said paths. All he could do was follow those paths, and hoped they led him to where he needed to be. To the answers he, and many others, were seeking.

    "They could at least spell the nickname properly." Dr. Montrose uttered beneath his breath, before leaning as close to John Doe #49 as he dared.

    "Tell me your secrets, #49." He whispered, his low voice echoing in the room.

    John Doe #49, being a dead body, wasn't much of a conversationalist.

    But Dr. Montrose, ever the professional, continued, his eyes piercing into his still guest. "Who were you? 'How' were you? Were you happy? Afraid? Hopeless? Did your heart give out as you held your head high, warm and cozy? Or did you exit this land cold, alone, afraid, abandoned in a ditch like the animal you are?"

    Silence.

    Dr. Montrose pressed his forehead against John Doe #49's, cradling his head, running a hand through his ratted hair, caressing lovingly. "Were you at least prepared?" He whispered, his tone growing desperate. "Tell me that much. Please. Just tell me you knew what you were getting into when you agreed to visit hell."

    John Doe #49 stared emptily at Dr. Montrose, his pale, soulless eyes betraying nothing.

    With a sigh, Dr. Montrose leant back, stood, and swiftly pushed #49's slab back into his freezer. He chuckled once, shaking his head. If the dead could speak, what tales would they tell?

    The chill in the air sent a shiver down his spine. Alone in a room of seemingly cloned corpses, Dr. Montrose limped his way to the door, chancing a glance behind him.

    A sole empty slab sat in the middle of the room, a thin puddle of coffee growing ever colder with each passing second.

    Shaking his head, Dr. Montrose flicked the lights off and exited his office.

    If Violet could take five more minutes, so could he.

    \~|~/

    ♪ I have the thing, you love
    but the need in me is way too much
    If I, open wide
    One of us may get lost inside
    Me, or you
    One of us is going to
    Need
    To
    Die... ♪

    The expansive red desert, late at night in the middle of nowhere, is starting to becoming increasingly familiar. Thick, inky darkness stormed its way across the sands, feeling more freedom than it ever had before.

    And within it, stood the man with Light in his eyes and Dark in his heart.

    The Moustache Maverick. The Heartbeat. The White Wolf. The (maybe) FWA North American Champion.

    Krash.

    The dark parted for him, as he casually sauntered through, kicking up sand beneath his heels. Just as it always did, just as it always will do. Perhaps it was Krash himself, or the Lantern at his hip, with Light fluttering about inside it in a panic, that made Dark so willing to open up and accept Krash into its clouds.

    Dressed in a brown waistcoat above a white dress shirt, red tie, and black trousers, Krash continued his seemingly aimless walk, until he finally stopped in a place equally dry and barren as the rest of this wasteland. As good a place as any, he supposed. Kicking the sand once, twice, three times, he said himself down, crossing his legs, and stared into the howling void.

    Light flittered in it's lantern, banging itself against the glass.

    With a sigh, Krash placed a hand into the sand, shifting it around until his fingertips brushed against something sharp. Wrapping his fist around it, Krash dug out a spool of barbed wire, rusted to the core. He inspected the wire, pricking his thumb against the still-sharp barbs, winching as a thin drop of blood fell to the sand.

    "It didn't have to come to this, Mr. Parr." Krash began, his words echoing into the void. "I agree, something had to be done. A final pièce de résistance, a match beyond all matches to end this war we've found ourselves in. But it didn't have to come to this."

    Beside him, Light shook. Krash glanced at the abstract form in the lantern, nodding his head once. "And yet, if it wasn't this, then what could it have been? After all we've been through, anything else would've been a de-escalation. It would've been a disappointment, a letdown. We've been calling for a war, and now that war has been thrust upon us, what choice did we have but to meet the stakes and comply? This is the grand finale, the season finale. This is the End, Mr. Parr. Of you, of me, of this entire violet quarrel we've found each other in. And I would be lying if I tried to proclaim any sort of superiority in an environment like this."

    Gripping the spool of barbed wire in his palm, Krash began absent-mindedly unravelling it. "I'm not the wrestling purist like yourself, Mr. Parr, nor will I ever pretend to be. I've always been in this for the fans, the crowd, the superstars aspect of it all. Having thousands of fans in the palm of my hand is akin to cocaine to me. And whilst I've dabbled in the more... unsavoury matches of our time, I've never gone as far as to compete in a Deathmatch. Hardcore? Sure. Last Man Standing? Of course. Hell In A Cell? Once. But a Deathmatch? That's more than a step above anything else. And I'm... Hesitant."

    The word echoed across the sands. The swirling darkness seemed to halt, and the word entered its void. "I'm hesitant, Mr. Parr, in the same way that you are. That I'm stepping out of my comfort zone, into a match type I didn't think I'd ever willingly compete in. That I'm stepping into Japan, not entirely sure of how, if at all, I'll step out. Will I leave in one piece, the North American title draped over my shoulder? Will I leave, wheeled out in a wheelbarrow with a few parts missing? Will I even be able to leave at all? And yet, here I am. I willingly accepted the terms and conditions, as you willingly put them forth. To back out now would make cowards of us all."

    The barbed wire now loose in his hands, Krash began threading it through the cuffs of his shirt. He paused, a brief chuckle escaping his lips. "Would you like to hear something ironic, Mr. Parr?" He asked, his question gaining more attention of the Dark. "I think I finally get you. Not too long ago, Mr. Parr, you and I teamed up one night at the behest of Mr. Blackbird to fight The Elite, a team I am sadly familiar with. The stipulation was simple, in that Vincent Blackbird way where it's anything but. Whichever of us scored the winning pinfall, they'd be the rightful North American Champion. If one of us were to lose the match, getting pinned or submitted by Trevor Ocean of Noah Stocke, then that one person would decisively NOT be the North American Champion. One of us could've won the North American title by doing absolutely nothing and letting the tag champions demolish the other. And for a brief few minutes, it looked like you'd do exactly that - retreat up the stage while I got my behind soundly handed to me."

    Krash paused. "But then you stopped. You hesitated. And then, you returned to the ring and joined me in battle."

    The Dark was silent. Its windy cries had ceased into nothing, as it paid attention to its guest. "And ever since, I've been asking myself 'Why?' It was unlikely, if not impossible, that I'd be able to defeat The Elite on my lonesome. You standing back would've guaranteed the North American title ending up around your waist."

    Krash shook his head. "But you returned, because that wasn't 'your way.' Because what kind of wrestling champion wins the title without wrestling? And that's all this has ever been for you, isn't it Mr. Parr? A man who lives, sleeps, eats, breaths, and bleeds wrestling in its purest form. Standing aside to let someone else fight your battle isn't how the best wrestlers make their mark. No gimmicks, no whacky shtick. No cage, no ladder, no battle royal, no chamber. Just a straight-up one on one between two esteemed talents at the top of their game. That's what wrestling is to you. That's what it always was, and up until recently, what it always could've been."

    The barbed wire now threaded delicately into his shirt, Krash leant back, into the sand. "And for that moment, I've come to realize that... You're maybe not as much of a jackass as I previously painted you as. You have redeeming qualities, your own code of honour, however absurd. And I can respect that. I can respect that, Mike. I hope after all this is said and done, and we're both in a Japan hospital getting blood transfusions, you and I can finally shake our hands, and put all this behind us."

    A beat of silence. A bark of laughter, as if to say 'who am I kidding?' "Pain awaits us in Japan, Mr. Parr. Pain. Misery. Anguish. Suffering. All by our own hands and whatever props we can find. Lighttubes. Barbed wire. Razor wire. C-4. Sharks. Fire. Fireworks. Cheese graters. Anything that will help us spill blood will likely be less than a stride away. It's both simplistic and complicated in its barbarianism. If I were Alyster Black, who knows better than anyone how to squeeze blood from a rock, then I'd be confident. I might even be cocky. But I am not Alyster Black. I'm Krash. I make people all around the world cheer for their hero, in love, in kindness, in godforsaken sportsmanship. And it's this sportsmanship that may be my undoing in Japan."

    Krash slowly shook his head, picking up the lantern of Light and inspecting it sadly. "There's no sportsmanship in breaking a lighttube over another man's skull. There's no sportsmanship in setting a baseball bat on fire and whacking someone in the face. The more barbaric weapons of destruction are thrown in, the less sportsmanship can shine."

    He closed his eyes, and let out a sigh. "Which is why I'm here."

    Light seemed to explode in a flurry of activity, zipping around the lantern as Krash continued. "I need that extra bit of me, the selfish gloryhound part of me, that backstabbed AJ Tornado so many years ago. I need that inherently greedy and cruel part of me that stole two world titles from Alyster. I need the part of me who would do anything to get through to another day, if I stand any hope of winning, let along surviving, our match in Japan."

    Finally, Krash raised his eyes, staring into the dark void beyond him. "Help me." He begged. "Help me, as you did in the past. Help me get through this, body, soul, and championship intact. Help me do the things I need to do, to ensure Mike Parr can't."

    The Dark was silent. Seemingly debating with itself. Light trembled, shaking, as a thin, skeletal hand, covered in dirt and ashes, inched out of the darkness, and held out a palm. Grime and gristle glistened off the dark hand.

    Krash eyed the ashen hand anxiously, glancing over his shoulder. "Alyster? Last chance for a deus ex machine phone call to talk me out of it? ... Please? Anyone?"

    Silence greeted him. Krash let out a sigh. "So be it." He said, and raised a free hand to accept that of the Dark's. The grip felt like ash in his hand, and instantly he felt his soul weigh down with darkness. Beside him, the Light in the lantern began to fade, from a bright brilliant white, to a pale one.

    Krash let out a shaky breath, running a hand over his hair. "Mr. Parr, you do not deserve the fate awaiting you in Japan. But it is the fate you will be met with, regardless. I'd hope that you'll forgive me to what I'm going to be doing, but I won't blame you if you don't."

    He glanced at the Light in the lantern, where a thin, tiny pinprick of pure whiteness struggled to shine through the suffocating grey. "I just hope I can forgive myself."

    ♪ I have the thing, you love
    but the need in me is way too much
    If I, open wide
    One of us may get lost inside
    Me, or you
    One of us is going to
    Need
    To
    Die... ♪


    \~|~/

    Flicking the lights back on, Dr. Montrose re-entered his coroner’s office, a fresh cup of coffee in hand, Violet in tow. "Violet, it's not my place to speculate on whether Miss Baskins did, indeed, 'do in her husband.' Neither is it yours."

    "But the pieces are all there! At least agree that it's pretty suss, right?"

    "Violet-" But before Dr. Montrose could continue to admonish his assistant, she stopped, staring into the room.

    "Wait. Did we get another one? Another body?"

    Dr. Montrose followed her gaze, her shaking finger, pointing at a body bag laying on the slab where not fifteen minutes ago, Violet spilled some coffee. "Not that I'm aware of." He mumbled, approaching the bodybag with trembling fingers.

    "Then what is that?" Violet called out from her spot at the doorway.

    "... I guess this is John Doe #50." Dr. Montrose admitted, his fingers clasped on the zipper. "And if he's anything like the others, he's a white male. Mid-to-late twenties. Fit. Active. And along with #01 through to #49, the hivemind's calling him-"

    Dr. Montrose unzipped the bodybag, and froze.

    Whereas John Doe #01 to #49 had a ratted, unkempt mess of black hair, this man's was a light, messy brown. Instead of faded green eyes, this man had a pair of pale blue irises, staring into the void. And instead of a well-manicured moustache, this man had a thin layer of stubble around his jawline.

    The man in the bodybag did not match the men in his freezer.

    And yet, the man in the bodybag was still strikingly familiar, as Dr. Montrose blinked, his pulse starting to race.

    "... Mike Parr. The Prodigy." He finally finished.

    Violet perked. "You know him?"

    Dr. Montrose glanced at her, waving a hand sideways. "In a manner of speaking."

    "Is he connected to the ongoing case?" Finally interested in doing her job, Violet stepped forward, inspecting the body curiously.

    "Something tells me he is, Violet. Perhaps in a bigger way than either of us can believe."

    Violet clicked her tongue. "Cause of death?"

    Despite the professional atmosphere, Dr. Montrose smiled. "Yet to be determined." For once, the cause of death wasn't obvious. For a brief few minutes, Dr. Montrose held the power of fate. He, and he alone, would be the one to decide exactly how Mike Parr exited this world.

    "Violet, duck into the equipment room and grab my things, would you?" Dr. Montrose requested. "We've got a job to do."

    Violet made a noise of annoyance, but acquiesced, quickly disappearing into the back room. As she left, Dr. Montrose leaned his head down, close to the corpse of Mike Parr, as he did with John Doe #49.

    But this time, he asked no questions.

    Instead, he placed his hand across Mike Parr's face, and gently closed his eyes.

    "Rest now, Mike. Your time is over. Your job is done." He quietly whispered into Mike Parr's ear. "I'll take it from here, friend."

    He straightened, pulling away as Violet returned, a bag of sharp instruments in her arms. Wordlessly, she held out a scalpel, and wordlessly, Dr. Montrose accepted it.

    Before he began the procedure that would bring answers and meaning to the case hanging over his head, Dr. Montrose glanced at Mike Parr one last time.

    "I hope you found the piece you've always been missing, Mr. Parr."

    And with that, Dr. Montrose placed the scalpel against Mike Parr's chest, and began.


    Spoiler:



    I'm not good at signatures.


  11. #11
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    Re: FWA Payback Promo Thread

    Nova Diamond presents:
    “ENDLESS”

    Imagine a plane, an area, a surface; ever growing, reaching everywhere visible to the human eye, its colour varying from blue to black depending of the time of the day, even some shades of other beautiful colours regarding where you look at it. Imagine your entire life, your entire world depending on that plane, depending on its light and its warmth. It is indeed a limitless plane that mankind look at everyday, we just call it: ‘the sky’. The sky is all one can see right now, its beauties are all one can gaze upon right now and one certainly can not imagine wanting to look away, turning their stare away from its hypnotic ghlory, leaving no doubts to mind that why everyone wanted to explore its treasures for so many years. But all those treasures look so far away from the position where one stares at it. For now, they are just content with losing themselves in its unrealistic allure, and honestly, who wouldn’t be? Looking at the endless black filled with a horde of little white dots we call stars, watching them all fall at once to their new positions, making millions of wishes and dreaming…

    Dreaming?

    That sounded logical enough to explain the anomalies one might find if they were to start thinking about it instead of letting the entrancing night sky capture all their attention almost effortlessly. Because anyone can easily recollect that the sky was not supposed to be that beautiful. After the discovery that what we see is not in real world is made, the perspective broadens, revealing that the sky is viewed by a man sitting on the edge of a very high cliff but that was probably in contrast to the endless abyss that waited people if they were to fall from it. Neither the man nor his environment is illuminated well enough to make a very precise assumption but once his face is revealed for the view, the situation both gets more clear and more…confusing at the same time.

    There is no doubt that this man is Nova Diamond who had been through many ups and downs lately, but his hair looks longer and messier than it had ever been -at least from what people had seen from their experiences in watching the man wrestle- . His eyes are not visible either despite how close of a look we get to his face, two separate shadows are cast over them, making the situation certainly weirder than it already is. His skin is also much paler, almost as pale as the moonlight. His mouth slowly opens and Nova starts to speak with a much more sombre and mellow tone from what we are used hearing from him.

    “In Neil Gaiman’s The Sandman, there are seven different beings that had been there in the beginning of the existence and will be here for the end of it, called ‘The Endless’. The Endless are more powerful than the gods and they all rule their own domains. While most people read The Sandman and think of those being as nothing more than just cool concepts, I choose to interpret them a little more different. Because from the way I see, what they represent as a whole is a process, all connected to each other, some leading to another, some caused by another.”


    Nova slowly raises his fist near to his mouth and politely coughs.

    “Let me explain.”

    His figure rises up from wherever it is standing, revealing that his figure was also changed to be much more inhumane with legs taller than any regular human should have, body thinner than your average anorexia victim. Despite that, the clothes he has one seem regular human clothing, once again making the situation more confusing than it already is. He raises his arm and the falling stars in the sky all stop at once before starting to go in the opposite direction…and rise. He lowers his arm before continuing with his explanation.

    “From the moment they are born, one of the most frequent things a human voluntarily or involuntarily does is…to dream. See things that are not real when they put their head to sleep. Think of things that they want to be real when they are very much awake. We all do that. I dream, you dream, Michelle dreams all the time, Cyrus dreams of resurrecting his career from the pitiful state it is right now or blame others if he cannot do that, Garcia dreams that one day he will finally achieve something in his seven hundredth try despite some part of him knowing that it will be no different than the previous six hundred and ninety nine attempts. No matter how small or big they are, no matter how realistic they are; nothing can be done without dreaming about it first. Pay attention to what I said: ‘See things that are not real’, ‘Think of things that they want to be real’. Just like how in The Sandman, the personification of ‘Dream’ is also called ‘The lord of all that is not, and shall never be.’.

    ‘Dream’ is our beginning point in the process, the start of the inevitable progression that I wanted to explain. Because everything starts with a dream. Nearly all successful wrestlers in our industry dreamed of being successful wrestlers when they were young or at least did at some point in their lives even if it was not a childhood dream. Also the truth in many more fields, such as other sports, music, arts, science and many more. But we should not forget that it is the simplest step…and the cheapest. Because the harsh reality of our world states that not everyone can achieve their dreams with various reasons.

    A young boy, dreaming of being a great football player, can grow and take all the necessary steps to realize his dream only to get a career ending injury in his first training camp. And then, all of his dreams are over. Just like how I intend to end the Cyrus Truth and Michael Garcia’s dreams of winning our triple threat by going to that ring and showing them who Nova Diamond truly is. Because at this point, I know that I have no other choice if I have to keep the dream of Nova Diamond alive.”

    Nova raises both of his arms this time and the sky…begins to crumble, so does the environment he is currently standing in.

    “As much as it pains me to see such a beautiful reality crumble upon itself in front of my eyes, I must remind that this was only the beginning of the process, so please, follow me.”


    The thin lips in his extremely pale face manages to form a calm smile before his long arms are opened side-by-side before Nova Diamond lets himself fall from the cliff to the endless abyss as the world continues to disintegrate.

    .

    The black turns to red and the endless plane are now limited as we are now inside four red walls, a roof and a floor in a large room. Beautiful jazz music is playing from what looks like a very expensive phonograph while lots of medals, trophies and certificates are displayed in the red walls of this room. Multiple gorgeous women in bikinis are crawling around a large and black leather couch as we see a man in a very expensive suit sitting on it, his feet are resting on the back of one of those women as he holds a glass of whiskey in one hand and a leash in the other hand, a leash of a…pet fucking tiger.

    “Hello.”

    The man, obviously is Nova Diamond, looking like nothing he used to look like back in the previous reality. In this reality, he looks like more muscular and more handsome than not just his self the Dream reality, but his real self as well. He has the most confident of smirks on his face and his voice oozed the most bravado. How he physically looks seems to change every second but the one thing is very clear: He is the most desirable thing one may ever lay their eyes upon.

    “Welcome to the realm of Desire, the next step in our process. While everyone starts with dreaming, it is only then those dreams grow and grow until they become a true desire for us, burning inside with the irresistible sense of longing after the things we want more than anything else. In this room, I have everything anyone can possibly desire: Comfort, success and power.

    When does one desire things the most, I might ask before giving a very simple answer to that: When they don’t have it anymore. When they are in hot water, when they need to get out while the alternative is to fade away. For a very long time, Cyrus Truth was at the top of the mountain called Fantasy Wrestling Alliance with no strong opposition that could permanently topple him from his position that he was sitting very comfortably on. There, Cyrus had comfort, success, power and his status as the undisputed best wrestler in the company as everything remained just the same for that long amount of time.

    But everything changed as one pioneer of that change arrived at that mountain, even when he did not get to the top of that mountain yet, his presence was enough to topple the status quo and shake things up. The pioneer said that ‘there need to be changes’ before the changes actually started to happen. Cyrus shot himself in the foot with giving his friend a shot at his title. While I still think that that was fully in his rights despite my disdain for the man, some took great offence to that and the shot Cyrus taken at his own foot caused a great avalanche at that mountain, pushing him from his position to the slums while a great opportunist slimed his way to the top.

    Cyrus is severely out of his comfort zone and despite what he says, this is a very new thing to him, the first time he was not handed a title shot just after he lost it, the first time he had to earn his opportunity several times and failed them all. It is very new for him to be so far away from the man he once was, to needing to cling onto others to just get the slightest amount of comfort in victory. It was not my duty to give Cyrus a victory. Instead of getting mad at me for not giving him the victory that he was not entitled to, he should’ve started questioning why he needed that victory so much in the first place. But it is easy to blame others for the things that you did worse, isn’t that? Just like how he got pissy at me for not being able to solve the Sullivan problem he personally started. Unlike Cyrus, I admit to my faults, I admit to my mistakes. I was partially at fault for our loss to Michelle and Kevin. Not because I tried to handle things myself, no, the initial domination Cyrus had did not mean shit at all, he was the same person who went on a rampage at that Elimination Chamber before getting whacked by Michael Garcia. I was at fault because I trusted Cyrus too much. I’m not a fool, I knew about the possibility of Michelle dodging my kick and I thought Cyrus knew it too and I thought he would at least have the decency to step outside the ring to not get hit by that kick. This is tag team wrestling 101 you dumb motherfucker, people will try to get you to hit your tag team partner. You could’ve just taken one step back and we would be fine, but no, Nova Diamond is at fault and Cyrus Truth is this saint that can do no wrong, a hideous idea that was supported by the dumbfuck commentators too. That’s why I admired Michael Garcia in the commentary, god fucking damnit, at least he was objective at that table when it really mattered.”

    Nova flashes a smirk before getting up from his chair.

    “I also desire things, I desire comfort, I desire success, I desire power. And I desire and need them more than anyone ever did for Payback. I don’t want to hand them over to Cyrus or Garcia who I know will just fuck it up instantly. But I also know that not everyone can reach what they desire. And I know that I have to be at my best performance to make sure what I get what I desire, and what they don’t get them.”

    He starts walking as all the women and even the tiger stare at him longingly, watching him leave with much despair in their eyes, knowing that they can do nothing to keep him there. He reaches for the door and he opens it, leaving yet another reality in behind to just crumble.

    .

    The pattern of the realms getting smaller continues as Nova is now in a small cell wearing a straight jacket. His hair is dyed to all possible colours a human mind can imagine and a quarter of his head is shaved. But his condition does not seem to bother him that much as a psychotic smile can be seen in his face.

    “Salutations….’my tulips’, which is what I would like to call you as the personification of ‘Delirium’.”

    Nova then proceeds to laugh at his own joke for far too long and far too loud than it would make anyone comfortable, clearly too amused with himself after the shot he had taken at MVH.

    “But you also need to know that ‘Delirium’ was initially ‘Delight’, but something caused her to change and become like this. And how wonderful this is given how many journeys are destined to digress from their original paths to just fall down and down until it becomes something unrecognizable when compared to the original vision. We dream of achievements, we desire success, we anticipate them and even find ourselves in delight at initial progress, but then, everything gets out of the rails just like that, and the train just explodes from inside, ruining everything. This is where the things take a turn to a worse, darker and messier path. This is where Cyrus Truth realizes that his road is actually as long and winding as he claims to be instead of easy as he wishes it to be. Where Michael Garcia realizes again that success just isn’t in his book this time. Yes, ‘again’, come to think of it, isn’t Garcia’s this whole getting opportunity after opportunity thing the literal definition of insanity and Delirium? Doing the same thing all over again and expecting the same results, like, come on, everyone knows the saying and everyone knows it’s true, apparently except The Monster of Midway.

    Now I get why they call you that, my friend Michael Garcia. You are ‘The Monster of Midway’ because midway is the furthest you can ever get. You start your way, you continue and continue until you reach midway until you eventually fail. You nearly had Devin Golden, but then he beat you. You nearly had the Elimination Chamber, but then Gabrielle beat you. You nearly put your name between Sullivan and Alyster Black, but then you failed again. Now you have another chance where everyone and their g
    randmothers know that you will fail again Mike. It almost pains me to say that to a friend as it pains you to lose over and over again. Almost.”

    Another very uncomfortable laugh escape his lips and this time, the laugh continues until Nova starts to nearly cough his lungs out.

    “Delirium. Delusion. Dream. Desire. Deluded. Truth. Garcia. You’re truly an enigma, Michael. Look at me, Mike, my size is the half of your size. A man of your structure should comfortably play everyone else like a basketball. If I had been given those freak of genes, I sure as hell would not be wallowing away in misery with loss after loss while putting on a mask of Delusion to make you look angry and threatening all the time that does not fool the personification of ‘Delirium’ that much.”

    Rather than another laugh, he just lets out a small chuckle before comfortably getting himself out of the straight jacket.

    “We dream, then we desire. When coming face-to-face with failure, you start to fill yourself with lies and delusions until it truly becomes your reality, thus, you become delirium. I was always honest with my failures. I admitted how much of an ass I made of myself in my loss to Dave Sullivan, but some people that has no right of criticising me will always give me shit for it at every opportunity possible. I’ve accepted that reality, and by not injecting an unhealthy dose of Delirium into my veins, I know I will still be able to pursue my original process even after all of the bad things that can happen. In the end, Delirium is only a coping mechanism that protects us from being exposed to the naked reality that we failed, that we could not obtain the things that we desired like comfort or power. And at Payback, I’m ready to leave Cyrus and Michael to their own delusions and deliriums to cope with their failures as I will do what it takes to get my process right on track, I will do what it takes to find ‘Delight’ again.”

    Flashing another smile, Nova watches his cell disintegrate as well as one more realm meets its demise after fulfilling its purpose.

    .

    We are once again out in an open field where it looks like a fierce battle had taken place before. There are lots of weapons laying around and stains of blood in the grass are certainly very noticeable. Then, very heavy foot steps can be heard, truly loud and heavy enough to fill someone’s heart with fear if he was proven to be an enemy. But the war is already over, there are no allies or enemies, only Nova Diamond, who for some reason is very much bigger and bulkier than he is in real life, one might even say that he looks big enough to dwarf even someone like Michael Garcia. He spits onto the ground before looking sternly at the ones who might be seeing this before starting to speak.

    “The personification of ‘Destruction’ might’ve actually left his own domain, but that does not mean that there are no Destruction anymore. If you look at the wrestling business as a whole, Destruction is the most common thing one might ever find. From people just rampaging in the ring to leave a very massive destruction behind them to people self-destroying their own careers, Destruction is everywhere in our sport. But for some reason, it is only the former that people give so much attention to. And it is why you see people like Michael Garcia doing everything in its power to get that attention. While Delirium explained Michael Garcia as a person in general, I think Destruction is more fit to describe what had happened at the last Fight Night with the Steel City Slayer. As we all know, Michael Garcia is someone who on a regular basis beats several people up at one sitting, because despite his lack of victories in important matches, he often manages to give quite the beating to everyone he loses to. That’s the bare minimum of what’s expected from someone in his structure and makes it even more mind-boggling that he loses that often.

    Regardless of that, he indeed quite regularly leaves a path of destruction whenever he goes. In that Elimination Chamber, everyone watched him destroy one after another. The same in the Carnal Contendership match. The same whenever he went into that ring. While his abilities to do physical Destruction should be praised, it does not help his cause that his ability to self-destruct is even greater than that.

    Nova Diamond was probably the only person in existence to not have a negative relationship with Michael Garcia. And after what had happened at Fight Night, Michael Garcia proved that he wanted to destroy every relationship in his existence, that he wanted no bridge unburnt. Why? Because he wanted to do what he already did a dozen times before. To beat some people up to show how strong and dominant he is. And to do that, he turned the only person that doesn’t hate his guts away from him. Congratulations Michael, I hope that one night’s glory is worth it because everyone knows that you haven’t it in you to win that Triple Threat. Everyone knows that you will bottle this again just like how you did the same a thousand times before. But that’s okay, Michael, you will get plenty of chances to just throw us around and punch us down but you won’t be able to keep me down. Not in the slightest. And I’ll make sure I keep Cyrus down myself just to make sure you don’t get the victory over his corpse. No, Michael, you wanted to make things harder for yourself, so I’ll do exactly make things harder for you.

    Michael Garcia is an expert in self-destruction, so is Cyrus Truth who basically self-destructed over and over again until he found himself in this position. I, quite frankly, had my own experiences in self-destruction namely a not very pleasant experience with handcuffs. If I wasn’t a better man, this match would come down to a contest where who self-destructed less would win, but quite frankly I am someone who tries his best to learn from his losses unlike those two. So, I know I have a massive advantage going to Payback, and that is knowing what to destroy and what not to destroy.”

    The big and bulky Nova then raises one of his arms as his fist starts to light up, looking like it is gaining energy. Then that fist meets the ground, destroying this world as well.

    “After dreaming and desiring, you start to delude yourself enough after a failure to let yourself become delirious. The burden of those failures, the delirium you find yourself in makes you destroy everything, be it others or yourself. But, I’ll save the rest of my Destruction for Payback as a way to get myself out of this cursed path.”


    .

    Whilst the previous Nova Diamond was all big and bulky, the current Nova Diamond is short, fat and stuffed to a very, very narrow place that could make anyone claustrophobic.

    “It eventually had to come to this, isn’t it? I am the ugly face of ‘Despair’, the horrendous twin of ‘Desire’. After the initial dose of delirium fades away and when you find out destroying doesn’t help you get better, you find yourself experiencing this; total and utter Despair. Showing that you’re in Despair is considered a great weakness in our dysfunctional society. It means to people that you are weak, you are helpless. ‘If you were strong, then you would be happy.’. Bullshit. The lengths people go to in order to hide their despair is toxic. That’s why Michael Garcia is so angry all the time. That’s why Cyrus Truth needs to take week-offs while everyone else fights on the same show. That’s why Dave Sullivan….is Dave Sullivan. They are sad people trying to cope with their distress, and how you cope with it is what defines you.

    Cyrus Truth claims week after week that his recent defeats do not define him and I might actually agree with him on that one because I would most definitely define Cyrus Truth as a pathetic little shit who has to slander others in order to feel good about himself. His need to comment on anything that did not concern him in the slightest is what defines him. His failures does not define him, but how he reacted to them basically does, revealing his true face for everyone to see.

    There were many more times that I, myself fell into Despair but I did not cover that up with a smug face, I did not cover that up by needlessly attacking each other just to make myself feel better. I did not cover that up by burning every bridge I had just to make myself look stronger than I am. I am… what I am. That’s something Cyrus and Garcia can never say. That’s how I will win at Payback, by not pretending someone I am not.”

    With just one move, the hideous Nova manages to break through his place before moving on to the last realm.

    .

    We return to watching the beautiful night sky once again, though it is not as unreal nor hypnotic as the sky from the realm of Dream. The scenery is revealed not long after the sky is shown. Instead of a cliff, we find ourselves in a graveyard where Nova is all dressed up in gothic clothing, but still has a smile on his pale face.

    “If it starts with a Dream, then it ends with Death, just like everything else. Some may call it Journey’s End, some may call it a salvation, but in the end, it is worthless as Death comes for everyone regardless of who they are or how they perceive the concept of dying. A life started with dreaming is filled with desires. You fall into delirium while looking for delight. You destroy everything to just feel something but the only thing you feel is despair. But that also comes to an end because the one true reaper had finally made its way to you. An end Cyrus Truth’s career is trying to escape with all his life in an attempt that will fail. An end that should’ve claimed Michael Garcia’s career much earlier to spare him from further embarrassment.

    Death is the most powerful of the Endless. The one who will outlast them all, the one who will close the universe’s doors. The permanent end to everything. It can happen in a various of ways, actually.

    You can experience it after having a very fulfilled life, having achieved all of the things that you dreamed and desired.

    You can also experience it after a very bitter existence full of despair, not amounting to anything at all.

    What will I choose? What will they choose?”


    Nova looks at his own hands and a smile appears on his face before everything suddenly fades to black.

    .

    Nova Diamond totally looks normal now, without any physical changes or deformities. He is laying in his own bed, and one of the issues of ‘The Sandman’ is laying on his stomach as Nova stares at his ceiling.

    “Dream. Desire. Delirium. Destruction. Despair. Death. They are all connected to each other. 6 of the 7 Endless are connected to each other. But what about the seventh? What role does ‘Destiny’ play in all of this. Is ‘Destiny’ actually the whole process? Is it my Destiny to experience all of that?

    I don’t know.

    The only thing I know that I’m not going to pity myself nor let all of my failures get permanently marked on me. At Payback, my destiny is to win. My destiny is to get my rematch on Dave Sullivan. My destiny is to beat him so bad that everyone must forget about our first and unfortunate encounter. It is what I dream of, it is what I desire. I have to end the delirium that Sullivan brought upon this company, I have to destroy him even if it will leave him in despair and eventually cause the death of his career. This is my destiny. This is my story.

    Nova Diamond, über fucking alles.”

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  12. #12
    Chikara Trainee

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    Re: FWA Payback Promo Thread

    “No Kings, no Gods, only man.”


    Alyster Black stands in front of a large glass case which houses a special version of his ring attire. Inside the case is a mannequin, and on the mannequin is the ring attire that Alyster has worn in every championship match he’s ever participated in. There isn’t much difference from his normal attire. Same patterns and black colouring, only instead of green trims this one is golden. Alyster debated not wearing this in his FWA world title match. It was a small detail that no one would notice, but he didn’t want to give anyone the satisfaction of thinking that he cared about the match.

    He studied the attire closely. There were some tears in the fabric, noticeable ones, the ends were frayed. He always meant to repair this outfit but didn’t really see the need to during his retirement.

    He wasn’t the number one contender to just any title, he was the number one contender to Dave Sullivan’s FWA World Championship. A title he had won from an all-time great in Cyrus Truth, a title he had defended against a literal who’s who in FWA. He had achieved victory over Truth, Gabrielle, and Nova Diamond.

    Those three names were the expected sort to be challenging Dave Sullivan. Marketable, charismatic, superstars. Alyster was not brought up in the same discussion as them, and he didn’t deserve to be. He’d turned his back on professional wrestling for close to ten years. The time he had spent under everyone’s radar, he was spending it as a tag team wrestler. Certainly not someone you’d expect to be the number one contender to the FWA World Championship just four matches into his FWA run, yet here he was.

    He felt like a fraud, pretending to be someone he wasn’t. All the media attention and sudden rejuvenated fame and fan support. It wasn’t supposed to be for him. It should be directed at people like Cyrus Truth, Nova Diamond and Krash. Real heroes that the fans could really support, people who deserved to be on top of the FWA mountain. Not some alcoholic masked weirdo who gets off on violence. His time had passed, he knew the spotlight shouldn’t be focused on him anymore. He was here to have barbaric fights with likeminded people and possibly die in the ring. It would be a fit ending for him. Though the idea of dethroning Dave Sullivan did make the masked man salivate. He could only imagine how Earth shattering such a defeat would be for The King. The concept filled Alyster with joy. He surely was a petty man.

    He did not care for the idea of being the FWA World Champion but the chance to face off against Dave Sullivan one on one and prove that he was a better fighter was all he really cared for. That his tainted victory over the champion in that ridiculous gauntlet match wasn’t a fluke or due to Dave’s weakened state. That it was a fact of life. Taking the FWA World Title from that smug egomaniac was just the cherry on top.

    Alyster touched the glass and looked at his golden attire. He then opened the door and reached for the mask. He turned to look at himself in a nearby mirror and put it on. It looked good, it looked appropriate. It smelled of blood and sweat and brought back memories of title victories past. Of his Takedown World Title win in an Elimination Chamber, and of his two CWA Tag Title wins with Krash. They were fond memories, ones he cherished with all his heart. He reached into the case and removed the rest of the attire. He would have to make some repairs if he was to wear it at Payback.

    _____________________________________


    The King rode his mighty steed across the field. His armor reflected the sun’s rays in all directions. The golden crown sat atop his head did the same. King David was out on a hunt today. He was accompanied by the finest knights in his kingdom, seven of them. Their quest, to slay a dragon that was terrorizing the nearby townsfolk. It was the last thing the King had expected. His reign had been prosperous so far, he had become rich and bloated though he did have problems. Tax season had arrived and some of his Lord’s had reported lower takings than the previous season. The harvest was already in danger due to colder weather, and there were rumblings of dissent amongst the ranks. To top it all off he had a dragon to deal with.

    The town he rode through was bleak. Mud covered roads, houses falling apart. The people were covered in dirt and looked diseased. The king could barely stomach being amongst them. He always looked down on the common folk, uneducated, unwashed, unkept. He would do away with them all if he could, but needed them. Besides, he was a benevolent king, allowing them to be part of his kingdom was the greatest charity.

    King David picked out a peasant, approaching him, “Good sir” he wanted to hurl as he acknowledged this riff raff with any sort of dignity, “Tell me about this dragon.” The peasant was terrified, not of the king, he was benevolent after all, but of the dragon and its recent attack. “We’d never seen anything like it, your majesty. It came from out of nowhere with no warning. It was as black as the night sky, with piercing blue eyes, twenty feet tall with razor sharp fangs and claws. Its wingspan was twice as long as its body, when it came it blocked out the sun! It breathed fire and it made off with the livestock and the gold stockpile, all the tax was taken.” The peasant was shaking as he made his report. King David calmed the man by unsheathing his mighty sword. Raising it up into the sky. Bellowing out for all nearby to hear, and there were many nearby working the fields. “Townspeople, I, your benevolent king, hear your cries for help and I sweareth to you that I shall slay this beast and restore peace and order to this land!” ‘Huzzah’ the townspeople cried back in response, “Huzzah! Hooray for the King!”

    He and his band of knights rode onward, through the lush grass fields, over gravel roads, across a mighty river. Hours out of town until they arrived at their destination. The dragon had taken residence in a cave on the mountain top, overlooking the entire kingdom. The party was forced to abandon their horses as they trekked up the mountain. Climbing to the tall peak and into the dark cave. They illuminated their way with torches, barely lighting their surroundings, slowly and carefully did they sneak through the cave. Hoping to catch the monster off guard. The sound of bones rattling and metal striking metal filled the cave as the floors were lined with the carcasses of livestock and stolen treasure. A knight flashed his torch over a corner, the light was reflected by tall piles of gold coins. The king was outraged, not only was the dragon terrorizing his kingdom by attacking and pillaging its farms, but it was also stealing his riches. This would not stand; he would cut the heart out of this beast himself and display it in his castle.

    Onward they marched until they reached their prey. The dragon was huge, curled up in the back of the cave and sleeping. It had black scales that glistened a green colour when illuminated. Razor sharp claws and large wings. Three horns adorned its head, two on the back of its skull and one on his snout. The dragon breathed silently as it slumbered. King David raises a finger to his lips, commanding his knights to be quiet. He waves his hands about, directing them into position. They all took their place, lining up along the length of the dragon’s body. They each drew their swords and prepared to stab the dragon.

    King David stood at the back, holding his sword tightly. He opened his mouth to give the order but was stunned as the piercing blue eye of the dragon greeted him. “SHIT! NOW!” He screamed, but his men did not hear his order over the deafening roar of the dragon. Still they attacked, attempting to drive their swords into the dragon but found that they could not penetrate its steel-like scaly hide. The dragon raised its head and roared at them once again. King David’s ears were ringing. The dragon whipped its tail at the knights, knocking them all to the ground then in one mighty breath incinerated the lot of them. Leaving behind nothing but ash and metal armor. King David was left alone, facing down the beast.

    The dragon was unamused by King David. It swung its claw at him. The king managed to side step it and deflect with a swing of his sword. The dragon snarled at him; the King responded in kind then rushed the mighty beast. Sword held outward, he would stab this beast and kill it. The dragon swung its claw again, this time crushing the king under its paw. It had crushed David in his armor, rendering him paralysed, but at a price. King David’s sword was embedded deep into the dragon’s flesh. The dragon howled in annoyance and bit at its hand, pulling the sword out like a splinter. It then picked up King David with its jaw and quickly crawled toward the mouth of the cave. Dropping the King so that he could overlook his kingdom.

    The dragon took flight, circling around and maintaining its position in front of King David, looking him in the eye. The King could see the anger in the dragon’s expression and begged, “No please, not my kingdom!” The dragon snarled and flew toward the town. King David was forced to watch as the dragon lit up everything in its wake. Burning down homes and farms. Taking no prisoner. The dragon destroyed the small town in a manner of minutes and turned its attention to the castle in the distance. It flew to the brick structure and was greeted with a volley of arrows. King David was filled with relief as his men defended themselves, watching the dragon in the distance recoil for a moment and turn. It flew upward, into the sky then dove to the archers. They unleashed another volley of arrows but this time the dragon burned them out of the sky. It dove over the castle walls, knocking all the archers off with its foot. Then hovered over the walls and began the process of burning the castle down.

    All King David could do was watch, watch as everything he cherished and cared for was destroyed, taken from him by a force of nature. It could not be bargained with, reasoned with, made to flee or defeated. It simply was, and the King could not do anything about it except watch as the dragon took everything, he cared for away from him.

    His kingdom was burned to the ground by a monster he couldn’t have ever foreseen. A creature that came out of nowhere and didn’t want for anything but destruction. It was unfair. He bashed his gauntlet covered hand on the hard stone below and cried. “It's all gone.”

    ___________________________



    Alyster was down in his basement, illuminated by a single hanging light above his head. Wearing his mask, and an unzipped hoodie, his bare chest was on display. Alyster isn’t cut like a bodybuilder. But he was strong, muscular and very solid. A camera is set up in front of him. His upper body and head were in the frame, everything below the waist was cut off. It was enough, simple and effective, entirely his style. He cracked his knuckles and then his neck and stared into the camera lens. He cleared his throat and started to speak in a calm and soothing tone.


    Black: I am not a man who sits on thrones or stands in grand halls. I love just standing in front of a camera and just telling you all what I want to hear. I don’t need to pretend to be charitable and film myself working at soup kitchens, I don’t need to hire actors to play the parts of my opponents. I just need to come out here and bare my soul as I always have and always will do.


    He raises one hand up with his finger extended and started to address the champion.



    Black: Dave Sullivan is the opposite. Parading around with the FWA world title, acting all high and mighty. King of FWA? How insanely massive is your ego Dave? You’re just a man like any other. But don’t get we wrong, you are amazing. Look at everything you’ve accomplished. Look at the list of names you’ve put down. Think about all the time you’ve spent here. No wonder you’re so upset about me becoming number one contender. I’ve been here for a cup of coffee and have been handed an opportunity I haven’t earned. But here’s the thing your highness, I did earn it. Unfairly, sure, but I pinged the FWA World Champion. I lifted you high into the air and dropped you right on your head and you couldn’t do a thing while the referee made the three count. And I’ll do it again at Payback.


    Alyster brings both hands together, almost like he’s praying.

    Black: You consider me undeserving which is fine. But when you do that, you’re telling me that you don’t take me seriously. I cannot forgive that Dave. I’m counting on you. No, I’m begging you to fight me to the best of your abilities. I want you to go above and beyond. Show me what you really think of me by putting me back in my place with authority. I don’t deserve this main event; I don’t deserve to be here? Prove it Dave. I want to see that crazed look in your eye. To see you fight with everything you have like you did against Nova Diamond. I want you to punch me in the face and I want to punch you right back and see you take it like a champ. I want to taste blood; I want to ache for weeks afterwards. Its all I’ve wanted since I signed my contract. I wanted to fight the best fighter on this roster with the steaks being as high as they can possibly go. And I’ve found that with you.


    He drops his hands to his side again and his voice drops ever so slightly.

    Black: I didn’t think it would happen so soon either. But is has. Give Blackbird all the gruff you want to about just handing out undeserving opportunities but I personally want to thank him for fast tracking this match. Sure, I had some issue with him putting me against you in that gauntlet. I really do wish he had just let me go out first. But the end result was worth it. I’ve been able to hold a victory over your head and now I get to fight you on pay-per-view. And I know you’ll bring out the big guns for this match. Your entrance alone is going to be glorious; I can just feel it. My whole body is trembling. I’ve never been more excited for a fight in my life.



    His entire demeanour changed. He sounded like he was almost happy as he spoke and his hands had a slight tremble to them as he waved them around.



    Black: And to top it all off, I get to ruin everything for you. If I beat you. No, when I beat you. I get to ruin everything you’ve achieved. Dave! I’m going to burn down your castle, melt your crown, and ravage your kingdom. You’ll have nothing left once I’m through with you. Because at Payback, your highness, you aren’t facing just anyone or anything. You’re facing down a real live dragon. And those legends about Kings venturing forth to slay dragons. Well, those legends are all bullshit. The dragon always wins, I promise you that much.


    Alyster raises a hand, his middle finger is on prompt display.


    Black: This is what I really think about you and everything you stand for Dave. I cannot wait to take everything away from you. I can’t wait to make you part with that FWA World title. I just wonder if you’ll actually cry in the ring when I do.


    The screen fades to black on the image of Alyster Black flipping off the King.

    Last edited by Rawr; 06-06-2020 at 11:24 PM.

  13. #13
    Striving for a B+ in life
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    Re: FWA Payback Promo Thread

    Why is he looking at me with that big smile? He always looks at me with that big smile when he wants me to do something, or when he's about to rough-house play with me. I don't think dad wants to rough-house play right now because we're on a walk. I love walks. I especially love walks here. So many things to find, explore, sniff, smell. So much stuff I could possibly eat. Even though dad doesn't let me.

    I don't think it's rough-house. So what does he want me to do? Maybe if I tilt my head to the side, that'll signal to him that I'm confused by what he's saying.

    I already pee'd. I already pooped. It can't be that. He told me "Good girl, Jolene" after each one. "Good girl, Jolene" means I did it right and I get a pet and possibly a treat. This time it was just a pet. That's fine. I love pets.

    He keeps saying, "Where's the deer?" I know what the first part means. "Where's the" means we're going hunting and sniffing for stuff. Fun stuff. Toys. Food. Maybe friends, like Pongo or Loki. Or a cat.

    But "deer"? What does, "Where's the deer" mean? Is that those big four-legged scared-looking creatures with the long legs? Or is it the curvy thing with no legs that slides on the ground and has a long tongue? I like the one with four legs more. They were fast and would be fun to chase. The other creature seemed mean.



    "Let's go find the deer. Where's the deer? Where's the deer, Jolene?"


    I have no idea, dad. I lost the scent like 4 minutes ago when you wouldn't let me chase after it. I don't even know where we are. There are so many trees and bushes and rocks and roots and trash and stuff. I can hardly see the big orange thing in the sky that blinds my eyes. Sun, or whatever you call it.


    "I see the deer."


    Where?! WHERE?! Where is that deer? OH.

    There it is. I SEE IT! Wait, I have to be quiet. Can't get excited or it'll run away. Let me perk up, ears in attention, nose sniffing. Ah, yes, now I have the scent. Two of them! They look like they want to play. But what are those pointy things on their heads? Why don't I have pointy things?

    Let me be completely still. Then maybe I can sneak up on them and pounce with a happy face that makes them like me.



    "Devin! Jolene! Come on! Dinner!"


    Dammit, mom. What the hell? Look, the deer or whatever are running off. You spooked them. Ugh, and now dad is yanking on the leash and pulling me back to this weird house. Oh, but I smell something. Oh, something good. Where is that smell? Let me go faster. Faster, dad! Come on! Here, let me jump in front of you and grab the leash with my mouth to make you more urgent. The smell is incredible. It's MEAT!


    "We saw a deer. Two of them."


    YEAH, MOM! WE SAW A DEER! I COULDA CAUGHT IT!


    "Did Jolene Wartdog see them?"


    OF COURSE I DID! I wish I could make noises like humans do so that they understand me.


    "Yeah, she did. They came through twice. She saw them both times. I didn't want to get much closer. They were about 20 feet away from us, maybe 30 feet on the other side of the cottage."


    My name is Jolene, but apparently I am something called a "dog" or "pup pup" or "puppity pup." They call me "Jolene Wartdog" because I had something called a "wart" on my mouth. I don't know what it is. But then we watched something on the screen they have at home and there was something called a "warthog" named "Pumbaa".

    This was one of the few times lately that dad has been home with us.



    "So we're going to stay here until Friday and go down to Atlanta then for the show? You don't want to leave Thursday?"

    "Yeah, that's what I'm thinking. I want to spend more time out here. It's so peaceful. I never knew I would enjoy nature so much."

    "Blue Ridge, Georgia. Who would've thought? Just a nice family getaway with us and Jolene Wartdog to get isolated for a few days."

    "These past four days have been about the best in a long long long time. I've missed you two."


    So, here's how I think I understand it. Dad is a pretty famous person. They call him a professional something or another. Some word that is hard to understand. Humans talk funny. But when I watch him, I just see it as professional rough-housing. And apparently he's really good at it. I don't know. I can take him. I just bite him on the arm a little bit until he tells me to stop.

    Anyways ... apparently, he was pretty good way back when. Mom talks about it a lot. They talked about it a lot. I wasn't alive then. Dad must be really old because I'm 2 years old and I think that's pretty old. But dad decided to go back and be a professional waistlering or rough-house player again. So now he's gone a lot and I rarely get to play with him. He's a good walker. He gives me the best walks. Mom is the best snuggler and petter, but dad runs and plays and walks me really good. I miss him a lot.



    "We've missed you as well. Eat up. It's burgers, green beans and mashed potatoes."


    I want some meat human food. Maybe if I sit here, just like i was taught, and stare at them long enough ... I'll get some meat. It usually doesn't take too lon... yes. Nom nom nom. Thanks, dad! Alright, where's more?


    "I've been thinking about Friday. I know we talked about me doing this ... for one year, max. I wanted to check off some accomplishments. But I've been thinking a bit about it these past few days."

    "Don't tease me. Don't tease me with this. It's not fair to throw it at me if it's not serious."

    "I'm not. I'm really not trying to tease you. I'm serious about it. The past few days ..."

    "Yes, 'the past few days'. That's not a very long time."

    "Okay, fine, more than a few days. More than a few days, honestly. A few weeks. Even a month. It has been in the back of my head since not long after Back in Business."

    "Okay, but I know how you get. You say this. Then you'll get the itch. What's stopping you from four years from now doing this all again? I want this out of your system. Do you have to win the North American title, the X title, the tag team titles, the World Championship? Didn't you want to face Gabrielle and Dave Sullivan and Mike Parr and all of these people?"

    "I mean ... yeah. But ... I miss you guys, too. I don't like being away. I've given so much. Plus ... maybe THIS ... Friday ... at Payback ... is the right way to go out. No glam, no glitz. Maybe even silently, without much notice.

    Not like last time. I think about that, and I really enjoyed the attention."


    "I know you did."

    "But that wasn't really me."

    "Just think long and hard about it."


    It's sad when dad leaves the house, even if it's just for a little while, because I never know which time is a little while and which time is going to be a long while. Sometimes it's like 12 walks and eats and 20 naps before he comes back.

    I know mom misses him, too. She seems sadder. She always watches him on the screen thing. I watch him, too. She seems to be happy watching him. And she always talks to him on the talking toy afterwards. But when he's not here, not on the screen, and not talking on the toy, she's pretty sad. And that's most of the time.



    "Do you want to talk about it with me? Help me sort through it all?"

    "No. I've said enough about this. We miss you. I miss you. I want you home. But I also want you to do whatever you need, get whatever closure and finality. Whatever questions or doubt you have. I want you to come to terms on your own, not because I forced you to.

    You were the one who decided to go back to the FWA."

    "Well, not really. Garcia and Sullivan and Kennedy pulled me into that whole CWA-FWA thing with Cyrus Truth and Krash, and ..."

    "No. You keep saying this. I keep hearing you say it on television during shows. Which ... whatever. I don't care what you say there, but you won't say it to me. Not your wife, your best friend.

    YOU decided to go back full time. You could've wrestled that one match and then made that it, but you felt you had something to prove. That was YOU. No one else. Not Krash. Not Cyrus Truth. Not Sullivan. And not even Michael Garcia. You have control over your actions."

    "Yeah. ...

    Yeah."


    Dad's voice is really soft and sad. I can tell he's sad. I wish I knew why.


    "You were the one, the ONLY one, who decided to go back to the FWA, so you should be the only one to decide to come back home."


    "That's fair."


    I want more food. Maybe if I can sneak a bite of ... well, dad is already done with his. He's a super-fast eater, almost as fast as me. Aw, thanks for the pet, dad. Mom is still better at it than you.

    I like it when dad looks at me and smiles. I can tell he loves me. I love him. I wish he was with us, but I know he loves doing the rough-house playing. I could do it with him full time so he could be home more, but I know he gets to rough-house against other humans. It's fun to watch him. Plus, he can beat them. Like that person ... I can hardly understand his name. Zakayreee Kazaydeee?

    Sounds like when they say "cookie" but that's a treat. This is a human. I don't know if I like him very much. He seems mean to dad sometimes. I know he made him angry about 50 naps ago.


    "How about you and Jolene go for a long walk. You know if you decide to do this ... then you have to stick with it. You don't want to be the person who comes and goes, in and out the door. You came back once from retirement. You can't do it again."

    "I know."

    "Jut go for a long walk with Jolene. Maybe you'll see the deer again, although it's getting dark."

    "Isn't it nice out here, though? All of these trees. This seclusion from civilization. There are like 6 houses on this dirt road. No other houses anywhere near us. The closest gas station is about 10 miles away. Trails throughout. Beaten-path walks that take us to all sorts of stuff. Woodpeckers, birds, deer. Probably some bears out here, too. Hell, we saw that snake earlier that scared Jolene.

    It's just so tranquil and peaceful. Being on the road the past six months has put me city to city. This is a nice change-of-pace. Thank you for thinking of it."


    "Of course. I love you, and I love spending this time with you. I'm glad we got to do it. I know you could be training right now for the Kazadi match, but thank you for making some time for us."

    "This is doing more for me than sweating in a gym and punching some bag over and over again. I know what Kazadi brings. He knows what I bring. We're both in shape, both physically fit to go 30, 40, 50, 60 minutes. Right now, it's a mental game for me. I was getting exhausted and spent trying to stay at my peak. So this helped put stuff in perspective. Fully in perspective."


    Mom and dad hugging always makes me want to hug them. Let me jump on dad because I think I heard the word "wa.."


    "Jolene ... do you wanna go ... for a walk?"


    HE SAID "WALK"! HE SAID IT! YES YES YES! JUMP JUMP JUMP! TONGUE OUT! TONGUE OUT! I'M HAPPY. GET THE LEASH! YES!

    CLIP IT ONTO MY COLLAR!

    YES!

    HURRY!

    Alright ... LET'S GO FIND THAT DEER THING!


    "Alright, let's go on a walk, Jolene."


    YES!

    So, let me tell you about all of the walks I've had with dad.

    When I was first born, I lived with my dog mom and dog sisters and brothers for a few weeks apparently. This is what mom and dad say when they talk to me about it. I can hardly understand. But I do understand that they came and got me. I don't remember living in the other house with the other humans, but then mom and dad got me. All I know is the house with them was small, so dad would take me on lots of walks to make sure I got tired and took lots of naps. That was his trick, but I didn't care because I loved walks. I loved seeing other humans, big ones and small ones. The world was a lot bigger back then. I could barely jump onto the human seats in the house. So all of the grass was nearly up to my mouth.

    Then I got bigger. Then we moved to the bigger house.

    Dad would take me on the same walk at the bigger, new house. It was one after my long nap, and then one after my two short naps. Then it would get tough to see and time for the long nap. Usually, the walk came right after I got to eat.

    We would see other dogs, like "Pongo" and "Loki" and "Honey". Sometimes, he would take me on something called "runs". I don't know what it means, except we go really fast. Like a chase, but we're side by side. Mom doesn't do the runs with me. Only dad. And he takes me for longer walks than mom does.



    "I don't know, Jolene. I feel like this really might be it."


    Uh oh. Sometimes dad does this when he is sad. He talks to me. I can't understand him or most of the noises. I can only understand a few words. Let me just look up at him every now and then to make sure he's not sad, and then I can lead the walk so that he's safe.


    "Quitting ... is such a heavy, loaded word for me. I don't like saying it ... unless I mean it. Whatever form it comes in. Quitting. Leaving. Retiring. It's a lot. I've done it in the past. I did it about five years ago. I thought I did it for good. Mom is right, though. It needs to be for good this time.

    So ... is this match ... is Zachary Kazadi at Payback in an 'I Quit' match ... the match to do it?"



    Mmhmm, yes. Hey, let's go over to this grass over here. I smell something funny. Real quick. Okay ... umm ... oh, it's just one of those human things that you drink water from. Not tasty. Oh, but there's another smell over here. Ope, that's just a dead lizard. Let me lick it once to make sure it's not tasty. Yeah, not good at all.


    "I had other plans for 2020, for this year back. I always said it would be one year back. Then I'd be back with you and mom ... for good. I didn't want to take too much time from the family, from the life I have outside of the FWA. But Zachary Kazadi sort of came out of nowhere. I didn't expect him, or this, to happen. But it's sort of perfect, you know?

    Kazadi outwrestled me in that first match. I know he won by a roll-up or something, and he has spoken how he's disappointed in that. How it wasn't good enough to satisfy him. And I get that. But he outwrestled me. He deserved to beat me. He was better than me on that Fight Night.

    And that really irked me. I'm the FWA. I am a symbol of the FWA, and I wasn't good enough on that night. Someone else, who hadn't wrestled in four years, came back and just flat-out beat me. Was better than me. So I had to at least prove that I ... was better than what I put out there. Even if I wasn't better than Kazadi ... I was at least better than the Devin Golden that showed up that night."


    It's getting darker and darker. Maybe we should go home. Mom is waiting for us. Plus, it's tough for me to keep you safe. I'm getting scared.


    "Let's turn around and head back."


    Thanks, dad. You can continue talking about why you're sad."'The Golden One' or 'The Rotten Gold' monikers do mean something to me. Gold is a cherished chemical element. It shouldn't be tarnished, or misrepresented. Even if it's rotten, it's still gold. And rotten gold still shines, and it's still worth a whole lot.

    So that really got to me. It inspired me to DEMAND a rematch against Kazadi.

    But I also had the self-awareness, later on, to reflect and see what was happening. How exhausted this made me. How tired I was trying to fight to preserve my own self-image, or the perceived image from outside of 'The Golden One' or 'The Rotten Gold', whatever someone might call me now in 2020, a good 12 years since my FWA debut. Through all of the ups and downs, nine championship wins, the rivalries with ... I can't even remember all of the names. Let me try.


    Daemon Inferno, Draven St. Germain, Ryan Rondo, Bullseye Johnson and Carmine "Grim" Reaper, Ashley 'O Ryan, Wolf, Stu St. Clair, Thomas Princeton, Ryan Hall, Xavier Xander Xerxes, Aut Pax Aut Bellum, Vodka & Venom, Ryan Hall again, Ryan Rondo again, KAIZEN, Ryan Rondo again, Michael Garcia, and now Kazadi. There are probably names I forgot.

    Through all of those rivalries ... all of the matches ... all of the time ... through seven long years in the FWA, nine championship reigns, some of the greatest feuds and matches and moments ever ... I was fine going out. But then ... I came back, to prove that I could ... I guess? To prove that if I wanted to, then I could rule the FWA again.

    To prove to the Michael Garcias and Cyrus Truths and everyone else that ... I could be 'The Golden One' or 'The Rotten Gold' just as I was in 2015, when I walked away on top. Absolutely, on top.

    And I proved it. So after all of that, whatever I am to the FWA, it's fine. I don't have anything more to prove to anyone. I don't have anything more to prove to Zachary Kazadi, even.

    But I do owe him a good match. Right, Jolene?"



    I wasn't listening. I stopped when you started making all the weird noises. Which was like ... right away. Remember, I'm a dog or pup pup or whatever. I'm not a human. I can't understand you.


    "Zachary Kazadi is a good person, someone of morals and values. He's a great wrestler. He's a strong competitor. He's technically better than me if you went down to the purity of wrestling. I will say I have more heart than he does. He will probably refute that. Whatever. But he's no slouch in that department. I admire him. Even if he doesn't stick around in the FWA, whatever.

    I admire him. He deserves my best at Payback. If it's my last match, sure. If not, whatever. If it's his last match, then I'll be proud to have that honor. If not, then oh well. That means he beat me and is going on to the very top of the FWA ladder, hopefully.

    I have nothing bad to say about him right now. He challenged me to a third and final match, a last encounter. A finality to this rivalry, this rivalry that I've enjoyed very very much. And he put me in the match that ... honestly, makes me a little uncomfortable. 'I Quit." Because those words ... they're heavy ones to say. Powerful words to say, and they should be my decision to say them. The whole premise of this match, in my mind back at Fight Night, takes that decision partly from me if I lose. It takes that sacred decision from me, in a way.

    So I struggled with that a bit, especially with every other thought going through my head about ... actually quitting again. I don't want a match to be symbolic of my decision, like somehow they are intertwined for me. They're not."



    Finally. The house is right ahead. Maybe 20 runs. My feet are starting to get sore from stepping on these rocks and sticks.


    "They're not, because win or lose, I might quit. I'm tired. I'm exhausted. I don't have anything more to prove. I proved it already, from 2008-2015. Then I proved it again over the last six months. I beat some of the best in the FWA. I BEAT ... 1, 2, 3 ... Michael Garcia, a man who is bigger and stronger than me, in a match where he had the biggest moment to MAKE his career.

    I'm good now. I don't need a big production for it. No announcement beforehand. No grandiose event. Just a match. And then that's it.

    I don't know what else I have about Zachary Kazadi. I beat him once. He beat me once. One more match and that's the end of this. I guess we're going to try and make one another say those words, and then that'll be that.

    I really do think highly of him, too. A lot more highly than most people in the FWA. It's just funny how we're both talking about this being each of our last matches."


    Mom is already inside? It's time for a long nap. Maybe some water first and one last pee before the long nap.


    "Only difference is ... me saying the words 'I Quit' ... isn't symbolic of any decision to actually quit.

    If I quit, it's because I'm ready to quit. No match, no opponent, no situation ... no win or loss ... is big enough to determine that decision for me. I choose when to walk away. When to retire. When to quit.

    This match is important to me, and I'm going to put everything I have into winning it, but it won't get the reaction that our first match got from me when I lost. No overreaction, either way. I'm at peace with everything, and aware of how I feel. I'm okay. I'm really, truly, peacefully, okay.

    ...

    I think ... I think it's time to come back home, Jolene. What do you say? How about more walks back home?"



    "More walks"?!?! That's noise I can understand. I would love more walks.

    Come home, dad. Stay home this time. You've done that rough-house playing for long enough. It's time for you to quit.



    "Thanks for the walk, Jolene."


    "The Golden One" Devin Golden

    3x FWA World Heavyweight Champion
    2x FWA X Champion
    4x FWA Tag Team Champion
    Final record: 94-58-10


    Shannon O'Neal
    2x FWA Women's Champion
    1x FWA World Champion


  14. #14
    Young Gunz
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    Re: FWA Payback Promo Thread

    Chapter Black
    “Never satisfied, never full, they eat and destroy with grubby hands until nothing is left but piss.”
    The scene opens to a modern designed ranch style house sitting just past the coast of a lake. The night sky casts starlight across the lake and forestry surrounding it. The dock leading up to the house creaks as the water slushes up against the wooden base rising from the water. A light within the home cuts through the dark and the backdoor of the home slowly opens and the jingle jangle of a leash mixes with the sound of the chirping crickets within the greenery. Trevor Ocean, dressed in a white tank top, tan shorts, and a pair of all-white Vans shoes steps out on to the dock alongside his German Shepherd dog, Bella.

    Bella’s paws tap the dock as Trevor and her walk towards the edge. The reflection of the moon shines down onto the lake, creating a slight illumination as Trevor and Bella approach the edge. Trevor sits on the edge of the dock, letting his legs dangle over, and taps his hand on the area next to him signaling for Bella to sit. She obliges and takes a seat next to him, staring into the night water as Trevor reaches into his pocket, removing a pre-rolled joint and a lighter. He places the joint between his lips, lights it, and takes a deep inhale of the smoke.

    He exhales, the smoke billowing into the air. He sits in silence with Bella as he takes a moment to review and conceptualize everything that has transpired over the last two weeks. They should have never gotten involved in that North American championship debacle in Chicago. Sure, some people see it as an opportunity to prove yourself against two of the best on the roster but was that really what that match was for? That match was to push the North American championship storyline a little further at the expense of the tag-team division. Before the start of the Fight Night episode, Trevor and Noah were approached by Vincent Blackbird with a modest proposal.
    Vincent Blackbird sits in the leather black executive chair in his makeshift office, staring back at Trevor Ocean and Noah Stocke. His sunken in dark, almost black iris staring with greed and excitement at the two awaiting their response. With only four hours until the start of Fight Night, he would need to know their response immediately if he wanted to enact his plan and put on the best show possible for the investors and board of directors. He leans back in the chair and clasps his hands together.

    Vincent Blackbird – "I think this could a great opportunity for you two and I think that together, we can make some change in the tag-team division. I just need you to…do me a little favor. We just need to push this…North American championship feud a little longer so we can get the most out of the upcoming pay-per-view."

    Trevor Ocean – "Yeah, and you want to do that by having us – the tag-team champions – take a fucking dive."

    Vincent Blackbird – "For the good of the company AND the division. One little loss isn’t going to ruin your careers. I mean, think about who you are and what you’ve done in this company since signing. You two’s arrival got people talking about tag-team wrestling in a way that I haven’t heard in years. Then, the way you broke The Undisputed Alliance. It was honestly a sight to see. Noah, the way you got in their head before your match at Back in Business was the stuff of legends. Then the way that you two out wrestled…no…outclassed them and truly put on a tag-team classic is something that will be talked about for years to come. But, I think you’ll solidify yourselves as one of the greatest tag-teams in FWA history when you defeat all of the viable tag-team contenders in one match at Payback.

    I wanna help promote you two and the tag-team division as a whole, I just need you two to…help me out. Take this forgettable “loss” for me and I’ll make sure that the tag-team division gets its rightful place on the card. I’ll make sure that tag-team wrestling gets the same exposure that the other championship divisions receive. All you’ve gotta do is…take the “L”."


    Trevor Ocean –
    "So you’re telling me that if we agree to lose this match for you, THEN you’ll start to properly promote the tag-team division? That’s fucking insane! Why don’t you just promote the tag-team division based on the fact that it’s the right thing to do? We’re apart of this company and bring in revenue just like the other divisions. People are paying to see us wrestle and dominate."

    Vincent Blackbird – "You’re right, but we’ve promoted the tag-team division in the past and had the competitors…drop out and move to other divisions after they got the exposure they were wanting. I want to use this opportunity to advance the North American division AND see just how serious you are about your tag-team renaissance. I mean, you two could easily make it as singles wrestlers but you’re choosing to be a tag-team and wanting to promote the division? Why are you wanting to do that? So that you can make the quick transition to the singles division after making a name for yourself?"

    Trevor Ocean – "Are you fucking joking me? You’ve gotta be joking me, because if you thi…"

    Noah Stocke (interrupting) – "So you’re telling me that all we have to do is put over the North American division for one night…and you’ll give us what we’ve been asking for?"

    Vincent Blackbird slaps the desk with his open palm and points at Noah with a smile before beginning.

    Vincent Blackbird – "He gets it! Noah Stocke gets it! You just take a quick one, two, three – something that people will forget about almost instantly – and the tag-team division will benefit. We both get what we want, yeah?"

    Trevor [Internal Thoughts]
    “Noah’s not going to go for this. He knows how much earning the respect of the fans and converting them from non-believers to believers means to me. He’s gonna tell this guy to take his little proposal and shove it up his ass. I can see the gears turning in his head. He’s figuring it out and he’ll tell him in three..two…one…"

    Noah Stocke – "Don’t fuck us over, Vincent."

    Trevor [Internal Thoughts]
    “Damnit”
    Trevor takes another long inhale from the joint as he reminisces about the moment. So many thoughts race through his already cloudy head. If Noah had a plan, he wasn’t making it known to him. Why didn’t Noah consult him before literally making a career-altering decision for the team? Could he still trust Noah’s judgment? Is Noah still the partner that he once was? He exhales the remaining smoke as Bella lays her head in his lap.

    The silhouette of an individual inside of the house peering out can be seen in the distance behind Trevor and Bella. As we close in on the silhouette we can make out that it is none other than Noah Stocke. He bites the tip of the fingernail off of his right thumb as he peers out at Trevor. As he removes his finger away from his mouth his hand can be seen trembling as he places it down to his side. He’s nervous. For the first time since coming to FWA, he and Trevor were at a disadvantage and there was nothing that he could do to fix it.



    Katie-Lynn Goldsmith walks slowly in her black stilettos down a hallway. The lifeless grey breeze block walls contrast with Katie’s tight-fitting bright red dress. Her heels tap the concrete floor as she goes, alerting Noah Stocke. His head previously focussed down on his wrists as he tapes them, rises slowly until he has vision of who’s approaching. His eyes flicker up and down the curved figure of Katie before returning to his wrists. He finishes wrapping the white tape just seconds after the noise of Katie’s heels stops. He glances up at her polite smile, flashes one back weakly, and then turns his gaze to the floor. Noah is sat near the bottom of a staircase, dressed in casual baggy grey pants, brilliant white trainers, and a black t-shirt with the modern white design over the front. Neither of his two belts is with him for this interview, perhaps conveying of what little importance they are to him at the current. Katie looks up the staircase into the empty arena, eyes widening at the sheer size of it. Soon the doors will open and fans will fill the building to witness FWA wrestling. She turns her eyes back to the sitting Noah and clears her throat fairly loudly before speaking clearly and confidently into the camera.

    Katie-Lynn Goldsmith - “Well Noah, in a few hours you and Trevor will defend your FWA World Tag-Team Championships against The Verlanders and The Undisputed Alliance in a match which some are predicting will be the defining moment of the tag-team division for the year. Roughly six months ago, you and Trevor signed with FWA and debuted to completely revamp the tag-team division and put it on par with the others that our company offers. How do you feel ahead of what some might say is the most important match of your FWA career?”
    Noah glances up at Katie for a few seconds with a slight look of bemusement at her question, eyes narrowed. He exhales heavily yet says nothing. Katie shrugs her shoulders at his reaction and rolls her eyes but waits for a verbal response. He sits in silence for twenty seconds longer, gathering his thoughts together before speaking quietly but firmly, eyes fixated on the floor.

    Noah Stocke – "Katie, let’s say that Trevor and I lose tonight. What happens to the tag-team division? Hmm? Don’t answer that question, because it is rhetorical. The tag-team division will stay in the state that it’s been in for the past two years. It will remain an afterthought compared to that of the other divisions. It will remain the division that you go to when you have no idea what to do creatively anymore so you decide to form a tag-team. It will remain a division that you put in minimal effort and still get rewarded with title opportunities. It will remain the division that can be used as fodder to elevate and promote the feuds of the…more important…divisions. If someone thinks this is the most important match of my FWA career, then I’d have to say that they set a goal to disrespect me and succeeded.

    You would think that would make me angry, but it’s hard to be angry at disrespect when you’ve already been insulted. It’s insulting to me that people would think that the Verlanders have a shot at dethroning us as champions. Do these people think that the Verlanders would even be in this match if it wasn’t for Trevor and I declaring that we would rather face the entire division than to have to wrestle another uncompetitive, sloppy, botch filled mess of a match against The Undisputed Alliance. The Verlander brothers didn’t earn this opportunity and they didn’t deserve it because they haven’t done anything in this company except for being card fillers and picking up victories against other card fillers. When it came time for the Verlanders to earn their opportunity to face us, they blew it. If they can’t beat the Undisputed Alliance, what makes anyone think that they can beat the team that dethroned them as champions? While this may be the most important match of their career, this is the biggest annoyance of my career.

    And while we’re on the topic of annoyances, I guess I should address The Undisputed Alliance. (chuckling) Alliance. That’s the perfect word to use to describe these two because they aren’t a tag-team. They’re two singles wrestlers who decided to join forces to accomplish a common goal…becoming champion. Pathetic. It’s pathetic to see what levels man will stoop to just to etch their name in history. Before they were a tag-team, Nate Savage was a decent singles competitor on the track to singles success. Sure, he won the CWA High-Voltage championship, but he wanted more. So he aligned himself with Fenix and that’s the moment that his career went from Undisputed to Unrepairable.

    As long as Savage aligns himself with the cowardice and walking punchline associated with Fenix and his girlfriend, he will never get back to the path that he once was. I had hoped that he would have realized this and gotten away from Fenix after what we did to them at Back in Business, but…apparently he didn’t.

    At Payback, we will begin the cleansing of the tag-team division. We will start by breaking the body and the spirit of both of the Verlander brothers. We will end the challenge from the Undisputed Alliance. And at Payback, we will end the discussion as to who the best tag-team in FWA is. Once we’re done, there will be no discussion because the people will finally have their answer."

    Noah gets to his feet quite suddenly and Katie backs away a little, giving him space. Noah stands still, looking directly into the camera with a blank expression on his face. He goes to speak, his mouth opening but no sound escaping. He returns to his previous facial position and waits a further ten seconds or so, gathering his thoughts again to speak with fluidity. He begins to speak, still in the same way and pitch.

    Noah Stocke – "Sometimes…we must destroy…the things…that we hold dear to ourselves. At Payback, only the elite can survive. And through that survival….the division will rise."
    Noah turns around and casually walks up the stone steps behind him into the empty area. Katie peers up the stairs but he’s out of her vision. She turns back to the camera with an excited facial expression, eyes bright and a slight grin, pleased with the footage collected from Noah ahead of the show. She motions with a little cut-throat hand sign and the camera fades out to blackness.
    End RP

  15. #15
    The Artist of Chaos
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    Re: FWA Payback Promo Thread

    The scene opens in the office of Eli Black's Therapist Shaniqua Jones. Her phone alarms her that she has a virtual meeting with Eli.If Jones had been still meeting with an earlier client, she would have ignored the phone but she checked the time. It is crucial for a counselor to stick to one’s time, out of respect for the next client. Joan’s 10 am client has left and Joan is just finishing the notes. Joan still has five minutes so makes sure she is fed and watered and comfortable so she can fully focus on this person.At 10:02 Dr.Jones goes out to the waiting area. There are a few people there. Dr.Jones smiles and says, “Hi there! I’m Shaniqua.” Her client knows who she is and in this way Dr.Jones does not have to announce the client’s name. But there is no response, so she says, I’m looking for Laurie.”

    Laurie Stoudemire looks up and smiles, Shaniqua has a confused face as she and Laurie shake hands and Laurie accompanies Shaniqua to her office. Dr.Jones makes small talk along the way to help cut the awkwardness – while this is an everyday thing for Laurie to drop in on people, this is a first time for Shaniqua. They take a seat and Laurie gets right into it.

    Laurie: Hey i know this is weird. I did not mean to disrespect your time or what you do but we have been trying to get in contact with you for over a week. Eli really needs to talk to you as he having a hard time right now.

    Dr.Jones: So you came all the way out here on your own to tell me that?

    Laurie: Well when one of my clients needs something i am known for going the extra mile. See i know you must be fed up with your last interaction with Eli but he is fully on board. You help him in a way that i cant. Look we haven't had much of a personal relationship but we have had a great business relationship. So i ask we can continue that you continue to help my client.

    Dr.Jones: It is true that you have sent me many clients. All varying degrees of narcissistic but Eli is not that. He is a bit broken but has a lot of hope. I want to help but if he is going to waste my time....

    Laurie: I promise he will not waste your time. So can you take use time slotted for me and talk to him?

    Dr.Jones: Okay. I get it. I see you care a lot and i do want to help him so i will video call him.

    Laurie: Thank you so much. I will wait outside and let you guys have your privacy.

    Back in a hotel in Atlanta, Georgia we see the Artist of Chaos recording himself playing different instruments. He playing a guitar, piano and violin. Once he is done he shoots a text to a producer that wanted a taste of what he can do that he is finished. As he pushes send he receives text from an unknown number that says "We still need to talk. Cannot ignore me for too long". He ponders on the text from this and looks as if he is going to reply but as soon as he begins to type he gets the video call request from Dr.Jones. He picks it up elated.

    Black: Hey Doc its great to see you. Thank you for havin.....

    Dr.Jones: Eli i am only doing this because i honestly think you have issues that can be solved with some focused work. I need you to prioritize these sessions. If you can do that we can do this.

    Black: Eli promise that Eli will try my best to put these first on my agenda. As Laurie probably told you Eli never meant to waste your time.

    Dr.Jones: Okay so lets jump right into this since i have other clients waiting. Over the next couple week i want to focus each session on your foundation. Your foundation comprises of your Mind, Body, Spirit, Support and Next Steps. This week we will focus on mind. Lets start on your highs and lows for the last two weeks?

    Black: Well a high would be is that Eli worked with Hip Hop Musician Travis Scott on his album that he is working on. The session went really well and now he has recommended Eli to other artist and producers. So a lot of opportunities in the music avenue are opening up which is exciting. Eli is very passionate about making music since there is beautiful chaotic mix of luck and talent that goes into making really good music. A low would be is that my last match that Eli had resulted in a lost against someone Eli feels like he knows Eli can beat.

    Dr.Jones: Well i want to focus on those juxtaposition of feelings that you have. Being successful in one passion but maybe not as successful in another how does that make you feel initially?

    Black: It makes the Arteest question himself. Can Eli be successful at so many things at once? Am....Is Eli as great as he thinks he is in the ring. Maybe Eli should just focus on other passions and quit wrestling altogether.

    Dr.Jones: Well i have a question. How long have you been making music and physical art? How long have you been Wrestling compared to that?

    Black: Well Eli has been creating music and painting since Eli was twelve years old. Eli has been wrestling for about four years.

    Dr.Jones: Well It sounds like you have more time to focus on your other passions and hone those skills. You just started wrestling really and maybe its not going as smooth as you expect but that does not mean it never will.

    Black: Eli sees what you're saying. So i need to give Eli more time to hone this craft like Eli did music and painting.

    Dr.Jones: Also when you talk about your other passions you have lots of hope and confidence in your speech. When you speak about wrestling you speak about it with a lot of uncertainty. I think happens because you have a less control. With your art you paint what you want to paint. Music you create the sounds you want but with wrestling the outcome is not in your total control. I think if you let go of the fear of lack of control then you could accomplish more. Have more confidence in what you do.

    Black: Well that is interesting because Eli always felt like chaos is where Eli thrived in. That is why i created the Artist of Chaos moniker. It was representative of my life and my passions. So it looks like Eli needs to re-embrace that.

    Dr.Jones: I think that is something you should definitely should explore. I want to talk about now how you feel today. Highs and Lows so far. What you looking forward to today and what your not looking forward to.

    Black: Well a high was that Eli just finished a demo reel of music that i sent to a producer that Eli is very confident in. A low is that Eli believes someone from Eli's past is trying to re-enter his life and it is unwanted. Eli can tell you now that Eli does not want to delve deeper into it. Its a distraction that Eli will take care of soon enough. Eli is looking forward to having this match tonight. Eli's opponent put his hands on Eli unprovoked. So Eli needs to make Orion an example so that the guys and gals on the roster know not to try and use Eli as a punching bag.

    Dr.Jones: See that confidence and fire you just had when you were talking about your match is the energy you need to keep when you get in that ring. That fire that i see when you talk about your other successes. Since you don't want to talk about your low today so far what are you not looking forward to today?

    Black: Not looking forward to this session with these reality TV people Laurie set Eli up with. They give Eli anxiety and annoy Eli when she is here. Eli can only imagine how it feels to be with them alone. Only positive is that Eli will get to address his opponent directly and also get somethings off my chest.

    Dr.Jones: Its always to get things off your mind. Before we end this session i just want to as what do you do to decompress? To clear your mind and reset.

    Black: Hmmmm well Eli paints, creates music and trains. That usually a normal day for Eli unless Eli has an event or match.

    Dr.Jones: Well those things all are related to your work which can make it hard to decompress. I want you to find a hobby or activity that has no relation to any of your passions. It will help you have a happier clearer mind going into these thing. Whether its meditation, yoga, movies, video games or even dating. Try to pick something up by our next session. Well i think this was a positive session. We have a lot of work to do but i want you to be able to open up and move forward at your pace. So i expect to see you same time next week right?

    Black: Yes you will see Eli Black again next week and the week after that. Eli will work on all the things we talked about. Balancing my passions, re-embracing the chaos in my life that wrestling creates and finding a hobby unrelated to art or wrestling. Feels like Eli is back in school with homework but Eli is excited for the challenge. Look forward to seeing you next week.

    The video call ends. The Artist of Chaos stares at the text message from the unknown number for a few minutes. He knows it could only be a handful of people texting him such cryptic messages. He wants to ignore but feels like it wont go away if he does. As he begins to type Laurie Stoudemire calls him. He does a big sigh as if he is relieved that he has been disrupted again.

    Black:Hey Laurie...

    Laurie: Look we need to talk. I just flew out all the way here to convince your therapist to keep you as a client because you blew her off. You almost blew your session with Travis a few weeks ago because you were distracted with something you wont talk to anyone about. I know for a fact the FWA thinks of you highly but you're not taking advantages of opportunities. I don't mind you having so many projects, I can multi task but when i create opportunities i need you to capitalize. So i need to know are you ready for tonight?

    Black: Laurie Eli does apologize for letting you down. It seems to be a running theme today on everyone being let down by my actions. Eli appreciates you for everything you do for Eli. These incidents that you are talking about are new for Eli. Eli is having a hard time navigating everything but Eli knows with you and Dr.Jones supporting all of Eli's efforts things will get better. Eli is ready for tonight more then ever. Eli is motivated not only to get an opportunity at the X Division title again but also get revenge for...

    Laurie: Hey, hey, hey save that heat for the cameras tonight. I also wanted to talk to you about that moment we had that happened a few weeks ago. Look i am an attractive girl. you are a attractive man but i cant mix business with pleasure. So try not to flirt with me.

    Black: Understood. Keep it profesh but Dr.Jones says Eli needs to get out there and date so would you be Eli's wing-man?

    Laurie: Absolutely! that is probably my best talent. I have a bunch of friends that think your cute so i can set you up on some blind dates, we can go to so many places....

    Black: Laurie you getting carried away but Eli also was wondering if you considered taking Eli on my offer on being my wing-man to the ring yet?

    Laurie: I have thought about it and i think its an interesting idea but i am also scared about getting hurt out there. I've seen the hits some valets take and i am a bit fragile....

    Black: Well its a deal. You hook Eli on blind dates and Eli help you train to keep you safe at ringside. Sounds good?

    Laurie: *sighs* Okay i guess that works. Anyway its time for you to address your opponent. The camera men just text me and told me they are down stairs. I am going to head out to Atlanta hopefully i don't miss your match. I will see ya soon partna.

    They hang up the call. Black looks at the text one more time but decides to leave it alone. He begins to set up his hotel room with his paintings and instruments setting up the mood for the video. The camera people knock at the door but its open already so they are able to walk in. They greet Eli and begin to set up the lights and the camera. Eli is sitting on a stool with a painting of a man facing off against a giant next to him. The camera are on and they give Eli the signal to go.

    Black: There are some things that need to be discussed. Therapy, courage and payback. Three themes that are weighing heavily on the mind of the Artist of Chaos. Lets start with Therapy. Something that has been lacking in Eli's life but has been recently inserted in Eli's life. See Eli wants to talk about this because Eli sees a lot of fans in person and online who see The Arteest as a role model. Someone to look up to. Eli just want to let you all know that Eli does not have it all together. Sometimes The Artist has days where he low. Like very, vert low but that is where Courage comes in.

    Black: The courage to get out of bed each and every day even when you don't want to. The courage to face failure and bounce back. Courage to bounce back and learn your lessons. Courage to step in that ring each and every week facing the toughest sons of bitches on the planet. Since day one that Eli has stepped into a ring Eli's number one goal is to be the best. To be the best in the ring, on this mic and to bring a beautiful chaos to the ring that all of you will appreciate. Being in the X division gives me that opportunity. X title represents chaos in it purest forms. Its champion represents one of the best to do it in this company. That is where payback comes to light.

    Black: Michelle barely won the X Division championship all the way back at Back to Business. Ever since she has been putting the division down that she barely defeated. None of Eli's fellow X division members have been able to exact payback for her harsh words. Eli believes to be the man to do it but in order to get an opportunity Eli must step to Eli's next challenge. The powerful giant of FWA. Orion. The man who attacked the Arteest last Fight Night. Unprovoked, but understandable. Like the Artist of Chaos Orion and his mouth piece Alexandra Marie you want to be seen. You want to heard. You want to be the best, Your strong, agile, you're just a imposing force in that ring. Unfortunately all those talents have not translated into much success in the ring. Unfortunately for you Goliath Eli Black is David and Eli is going to hit you with tht stone right between the eyes. You're not just an obstacle in my way to the X division title you are a message to the rest of the locker room. Dont try to make your name attacking Eli Black. Prepare for Payback.



  16. #16
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    Re: FWA Payback Promo Thread

    Coming off another loss after such a huge opportunity, my confidence had left. I thought having the night off from Fight Night would help me clear my mind. Instead, it did the complete opposite and made me think even more about the situation. It was the day before Payback and I was asked by the design team to come by and see the ring gear that they’ve prepared for my match. I really didn’t feel like it but maybe it could be a distraction for me, if even for a few minutes.

    Walking down the hallway, the backstage crew would greet me but I’d respond by flashing a half-hearted smile or nodding my head back at the greetings. Finally, I took a left and made it to the design team’s area. The area was clad with ring gear scattered all around with jewels on one side, sewing machines on the other side, and many colors of clothing material. After looking around for a bit, I spot Tricia, who was the designer tasked to design my ring gear. She’s also the one who’s been designing all of my ring gear so far.


    Gerald: Hey Tricia...

    Tricia: Boy, you better perk up.

    Tricia, being the strong, independent mother of two as she told me in previous conversations would not deal with my negative attitude.

    Gerald: Sorry Tricia. I’m just feeling at a loss right now. I feel like I’m doing everything right but things just aren’t working out.

    Tricia: Gerald, in the little time that I’ve known you, this has got to be the worse that I’ve seen you. This is very unusual indeed.


    Indeed it was. I was usually the optimistic person but now, with things going the way it has, loss after loss, I wasn’t sure how much longer I could take losing. Losing just isn’t in my nature. It’s a feeling I’m not used to having.

    Gerald: Yeah, I know. I just don’t get it. I train hard. I’m a nice person. I can go in that ring. Why is it not coming together and translating into wins? At this point, if I can’t beat Kayden Knox, it might be time for me to look elsewhere for a profession.

    Tricia looked at me as if she could see the confidence slipping away from me even more.

    Tricia: Don’t you dare.

    Gerald: I can do all those flips and fly in the air for the crowd to be wow’d but if I can’t put it all together for it to translate into wins, then what’s the point? I know winning isn’t everything, but it’d be great to taste victory once in a while.

    Tricia: I know you’re feeling down right now, Gerald. But you just have to persevere through this. I’m not saying that a win is coming tonight, it might, but if it doesn’t then, well, you go again onto the next one. And the next one. And the next one.


    I look at Tricia who has made a very solid point. When have I ever given up? Even when things looked really bad, I still gave it my all and eventually, it all worked out. I’d rather not leave things to faith, but if that’s what I gotta do, then I gotta believe that things will start going my way sooner or later.

    Gearld: I appreciate that, Tricia. I’ll keep telling myself to go on because that’s all I can really do. Now, I’ll stop bitching and moaning now. Let’s see what you have for me.

    Tricia: Mmm! Now that’s more like it.


    Tricia motions for me to head over to the table further down. There, my ring gear for Payback is all laid out. I have my usual pants. But these look way better. They’re black trunks mixed in with blue and white so that they really pop. And whoa, I’ve got an official logo. On my trunks it has “GG” written on it, this is sick. I take the pants and hold it up.

    Tricia: Yeah, I thought you’d like that.

    I scan the details of it. If you look closer, there’s a carbon fiber pattern design. This is really cool. I lay it down again and notice a new part of the ring gear that Tricia has prepared.

    Gerald: A sleeve?

    Tricia: Mhmmm.


    Tricia seemed really excited for me to use this. The black sleeve and the pants match in a way but the sleeve had my new logo on it all around instead of just one area on the pants.

    Gerald: You’ve really outdone yourself this time, Tricia. It looks great. I love it.

    Tricia: Yeah, you do. I’ll have this prepared for you in your locker room tomorrow night. You’re going to knock it out the park tomrorrow, okay? I believe in you.

    For a moment, my confidence had started to build up. I started feeling a joy and excitement for my match with Kayden Knox.

    Gerald: I can’t thank you enough, Tricia. But only second though, you mind if I bring this with me now?

    Tricia: Of course! Give me two minutes and I’ll have it folded into a bag for you.


    I give Tricia a hi-five because it’s kind of frowned upon to give hugs nowadays. After just a few moments, Tricia was back with a black sling bag and hands it over to me.

    Tricia: You’re going to do great tonight. Go and beat Knox’s ass. Good luck!

    I take the bag and grasp it with my hands. I respond with a smile that resembled my usual smiles rather than the halfhearted ones from earlier. I began to walk away and saw all the work the design team is doing right now. I admired each and every station that had ring gear for different people ready for the pay-per-view. Surprisingly, it looks like I’m the only wrestling talent around. Maybe I came early? I was finally out of the design area. Just then, I bumped into someone, sore shoulder to shoulder, hell, sore everything, into this person.

    ???: Careful, Sailor.

    The voice said. It's a female voice. I didn’t even look at the person and instead, went to tidy up my ring gear from the floor.

    Gerald: I’m sorry, I -

    As I stand from my position, I finally look up and see the face of the X-Division Champion, Michelle von Horrowitz staring back at me.

    Gerald: Oh, it's you.

    You know, I thought bumping into Michelle would freak me out. But if you really look at her, she is quite the beauty despite her clearly trying to hide it. She was in a simple black hoodie and some jeans that hugged her features just right with some combat boots. There was a certain aura about her. It’s kind of nuts to think that Michelle has cause this much carnage in such little time. There were things I wanted to ask her. Like, how she was doing since the ladder match at Back in Business. Ever since then, I admit that I haven’t been the same person no matter how much I tell myself otherwise. She’s gotta be feeling the same. She’s not a robot. Or is she? Having this much to think about in such a short amount of time is hurting my head. So I begin to speak.

    Gerald: Uhh so yeah, wassup?

    I stood there and found it difficult to match her stare. It seems to me almost as if she was searching me, using my eyes as a gateway to somewhere else. That place? Who knows. After the initial awkwardness, bordering on anxiety, I began to realize that she wasn't doing this as some form of torture or mockery. But I also felt that she knew what I was thinking and the effect of loss after loss after loss had had on me. You know what? I returned her stare and she offered a smile in return, much to my surprise.

    MVH: I was making my way to get my new ring gear for the pay-per-view.

    Same as me huh. Copycat.

    Gerald: Oh.

    I really had no idea what to say to her. Us having this conversation was making me more nervous than it should.

    MVH: I want you to have a look at something.

    I look on with curiosity, wondering what she wanted to show me.

    MVH: You see this?

    She asked, pulling the sleeve of her hoodie down around her shoulder. I was caught off guard and she could see the panic on my face. But her eyes seemed to insist that I look. And so I did. What I saw is some bruising around the neck area as she peeled back the bandage, some damage done on a previous episode of Fight Night probably. I don’t think I’ve ever seen her wear a bandage around that area. Her hair usually covers that spot. Smart thinking, if she wore those bandages during a match, it’s definitely an area her opponent could exploit. Could it have been caused by me? I don’t think so. Our first match on Fight Night was all her. I barely able to do any damage as she had an answer to a lot of what I had to throw at her. I did clock her good with a springboard forearm though. Oh no, it was me. But why was she showing me this?

    MVH: And this one... this one's the best one.

    She said, turning her back to me. She lifted up the back of her hoodie, and - amongst the almost-healed thumb tack wounds was a long, thick scar. The stitching holding it shut almost looked like she'd done it herself. Looking at the wound, it brought me back to the Citrus Bowl Stadium. I was halfway up a ladder, watching as she springboarded towards me. That’s when I caught her and threw her from the ladder with a powerbomb. I watched as he body free fell towards a table in the corner. Her back had landed on the edge of the table. Ouch. This scar was definitely from me. I felt so bad. Why was she showing me this? The crowd went nuts for that spot but for me, I could only hear silence. I felt bad doing it but she came on to me and if I didn’t, she probably would’ve done something much worse. Why am I feeling like this towards her? Or have I felt this way about all my opponents? Is this why I have been losing? Because I hold back? I snapped out of my thoughts. She turned back to face me, a smile on her face.

    MVH: I sort of hope you don't win tomorrow. But I think you will.

    I look on with bewilderment. What was that interaction just now? That was weird, right? Hmm. As I was lost in thought, Michelle would walk away towards the design area and I just couldn’t believe that interaction. I spot her out in the distance as she took a left, that’s when I lost her. I begin walking away as soon as she’s out of sight. After a few steps, I saw the camera guy setting up his rig.

    Gerald: Hey, you mind if I talk into this camera? You can even record to use it for future content. I don’t care.

    The camera guy looked at me with concern and confusion. He shrugged his shoulders and hit what I was guessing was the record button before leaving the area to let me speak into the camera.

    Gerald: Wait, you’re not gonna stick around?

    By the time I got my question out, he had already left. Ah well. I prepared myself. I let out a few deep breaths before speaking into the camera.

    Gerald: Kayden Knox. I don’t know what your problem with me is. But right now is the absolute worst time to mess with me. On the outside, it would seem that everything is okay. But I fight with myself everyday wondering what went wrong in each of my matches. You see, after each of my matches, I ask for the video of my match to be sent to me so that I can do my homework on my opponents no matter how many times I’ve faced them. You always learn something new each time. But I don’t need to tell you about my process.

    I wave my finger to and fro.

    Gerald: You thought you would take advantage of my losses and continue on your winning ways? Haven’t you heard of the phrase “don’t poke the bear?” Right now, the bear is me. The frustrations I have felt loss after loss, it’s starting to weigh down on me. But my “can do” attitude has always persevered.

    I pause, wondering how convincing I sound right now.

    Gerald: If you hadn’t interrupted my match with Sullivan, I think it’s fair to say that it’d be me versus Sullivan for the World Title. But you couldn’t have that, could you? Instead, you found it in yourself that the right choice for you at that time was to attack me. Why? What have I done to you? Is it because I’ve gained the audience’s favor despite being in FWA for less time than you? Is that it, huh?

    My anger starts to build up that I begin sweating a little.

    Gerald: Is it because of my in-ring ability? WHAT IS IT?! I don’t get it man. My mind obviously doesn’t work the same way as yours but I’m finding it difficult to find any reason for you to interfere in my match. God man! I was as close as I’ve ever been to the World Title.

    I pause again, letting out a breathy sigh. Suddenly, a smile crept up on my face.

    Gerald: You know what’s so funny? Is that you thought this would deter me from my goals of becoming a champion. It hasn’t. Not one bit. In fact, you can say that I’ve now “seen the light.” and I’m not generally a man of faith. But maybe this all happened for a reason. That reason being that if I let loose against you, I wouldn’t and I shouldn’t feel bad. No matter how much I tell myself that I’m going 100% in the ring, I know I haven’t. Despite saying it over and over and over again, I haven’t been true to myself. I’ve ALWAYS held back. Maybe it’s just something in me that feels empathy towards my opponents. Who knows why. However…

    Tilting my head slightly, I purse my lips together.

    Gerald: That just shows that me holding back… is a lot better than I thought. Me fully going 100% is something that should be a scary sight for my opponents. And well, looks like I’ll get to test that out against you, Knox. So your little act of interfering in my match? It was for nothing. Because I know that I’m going to work my way to the World Title sooner or later. It might not be this time around but you bet your ass I’ll get there.

    I nod my head towards the camera, hoping Knox actually sees this.

    Gerald: So I want to thank you, Knox. Thank you for allowing me to realize that hurting you should not be on my conscience after what I do to you. At Payback, you’ll be getting a different Gerald Grayson. One that not a lot of people have seen before so I hope you’re ready, cause I definitely am. You’ll see exactly what happens when you poke the bear.

    I grab hold of the camera and push it to the side as I walk away. The camera catches me back in frame as I leave the scene.

    Tough times don't last, tough people do.

  17. #17
     
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    Re: FWA Payback Promo Thread

    Pawns




    It's a stormy night at the Sullivan Manor, but that hasn't halted the arrival of guests at the King's annual dinner party. It is an occasion to die for after all. Little did they all know, dying is exactly what somebody at this party would be doing. For someone at this party had an ulterior motive to be here, other than to celebrate the king. In fact, everyone at this party had an ulterior motive to be here. And yet for each of them, the motive was the same...to steal the prized possession of The King. And for someone here, they would go too far in their quest to do so.

    One by one through the storm, the guests would arrive.

    Coming first in a yellow Humvee, was the renowned Col. Cyrus. Col. Cyrus crept out of his vehicle like an old war general, and hobbled up to the manor. There he was greeted by none other than the butler of the
    manor, Butler Black. Butler Black took the Colonel's yellow coat, and led him into the manor where he sat in the dining hall. The Colonel had his own reasons for hating King Sullivan. Most of them due to pettiness and jealousy over former war battles and stolen glories. The King had the manor and the prizes, where as Col. Cyrus had his cane which he hobbled on due to the injuries of war. The Colonel never did recover after his lost battle with The King, and he holds a grudge to this day.

    Coming in behind him is a glamorous blue Lamborghini. The brakes came to a screeching halt outside the Sullivan Manor, where a women with a fur coat covering a sparkly blue dress came strutting out of the car. She carries a silver mysterious briefcase with her. One legend says she never lets out of her sight. Gabrielle Peacock was her name. She smiled with that cocky grin at Butler Black, as she made her way into the
    manor. If anything goes wrong tonight, Gabrielle Peacock may be the prime suspect on everyone's list. The former mistress of The King, she has old wounds that have never healed.


    The next guest did not arrive by car. Instead, he came mysteriously out from the bushes dressed in an all red suit. Nova Scarlett was his name, and he followed the rest. Mr. Scarlett is one of the King's most recent victims. He had attempted to claim what belonged to The King outright, but the King had him publicly shamed and sent back to reality. No longer with his head in the clouds, Nova still is on the same mission. Younger and full of much more energy than the other too, he's a dangerous dark horse that cannot be forgotten.

    Next, in all black SUV, comes a guest huge in stature. Wearing a suit the color of St. Patrick's day is Mr. Garcia Greene. Mr. Greene used to work as the King's former body guard, before being hired by his mistress Gabrielle Peacock instead. Little does she know, his loyalties lay with no one but himself, as they always have. He is the most recent victim of The King, being denied chance after chance at capturing his glory.

    Lastly, coming in on a beat up bicycle, is Professor Blackbird. He rings his little bicycle bell as he pulls up to the
    manor in the rain. If there is anyone that hates The King the most out of this spiteful group, it would be Professor Blackbird. The Professor and The King go way back, as they came up together in the beginning. But as The King raised on up to glory, the Professor stayed at the bottom. Now, he resents The King for it. He has secretly been forming an army of peasants in an attempt to overthrow the regime, but will someone beat him to it?

    We will find out.




    The five guests and the butler all sit in the dining hall awaiting The King.

    They talk amongst themselves.


    Professor Blackbird: This King just shows up whenever he feels like, huh? Someday, someone is going to take him down. And I'm going to find that someone.

    Garcia Greene: Oh please Professor, you couldn't find the broad side of a barn.

    The guests laugh.

    Col. Cyrus: You'd know Greene, you live in one!

    They all chuckle.

    Nova Scarlett: Please. You people all joke. But you have no right too...all of you have failed to take this man down. And me myself...but I will not...not again.

    Gabrielle Peacock: The young gentleman is right. If we're going to take him down, we should do it together.

    Everyone seems to nod their heads in agreement. Except Butler Black that is, who stays silent.

    Suddenly, they hear a hearty laughter coming from the hallway. Greene's smile turns to an expression of fear, while Peacock and the Colonel look on in anger and Scarlett shows no expression.

    The King appears at the doorway of the dining hall, puffing his chest out so far that the buttons on his three piece pinstripe suit look as if they're about to burst. Over his suit is a velvet Kingly robe.

    The King looks across the room and smiles.

    Butler Black is kneeling in respect.


    King Sullivan: Take me out? Did I hear that right Butler Black?

    In a rat like voice, the Butler responds.

    Butler Black: Y-yes your majesty. They were planning a coup.

    King Sullivan: A coup? Well I've never. I invite you five to my house for dinner, and you come here and talk about overthrowing ME? Your KING? You people make me laugh, you really do...just your...blind confidence. You strut around thinking that someday you have the power to take me down. I have to admire the optimism, but please...be realists. I have defeated each and every one of you...yes Ms. Peacock, even you. It counts.

    And yet, you all strive for a second chance.

    Professor Blackbird here tries to give it to you.

    He tries, and he fails. He always fails.

    And when you have a failure as a leader, you will fail too. Always.

    So Peacock, you can strut around with your briefcase. I have no fear of what's inside!

    Col. Cyrus , go ahead and wave your old man cane at me. Your time is over!

    Scarlett, you belong at the kid's table! Not at my magnificent marble dining table. You never should've been given the chances you had. But like I predicted back then, you would choke them away. And you will choke them away yet again!

    And last, and rightfully least, the brute...Garcia Greene. Man, you took the pairing of brain and brawn literally, didn't you. But who's the brain I wonder?

    The King looks sarcastically at Peacock.

    What a duo. Beauty and the Beast.

    Greene you are the biggest choke artist of them all. But let me tell you...aligning yourself with her, always makes you second fiddle. I learned that eight years ago, and look how long it took me to get my career back on track. For you? Well I can appreciate an Aaron Rodgers quality hail mary as much as the next man, but at this stage of your career...where your livelihood is hanging on by a thread...it's suicide. She is The Black Widow, trust me on this my friend. But hey, you do you.

    Either way...all of you are losers. Each and everyone one of you...I have defeated you all once, and I promise I'll do it again!

    Because I AM THE KING...and you are all my pawns.

    You can bow do-

    Suddenly...

    The lights go dark.

    And when they return, a blood curdling high pitched scream can be heard.

    And laying face down in the middle of the dining hall, with a knife in his back, is The King.





    Everyone in the room looks shocked.

    Everyone but the Butler.

    Col. Cyrus: Who was that who screamed?

    Nova Scarlett: It sounded like a woman. Peacock was that you?

    Gabrielle Peacock: It certainly was not. It sounded like it came from...

    Everyone looks over at Garcia Greene.

    Garcia Greene: It was a startling event. A normal reaction.

    Professor Blackbird looks on with glee.

    Professor Blackbird: He's dead! He is finally dead...

    Gabrielle Peacock: But who did it? Who can claim the glory?

    Nobody says anything.

    Nobody wants to take credit for the kill.

    Until finally...

    Garcia Greene: I told him I would murder him. Just recently actually. He didn't believe me...

    When suddenly, a new guest arrives. A man in a plain black suit...he takes out a badge holder and flips it for everyone to see. "Detective Johnson is what it reads".

    Detective Johnson: That is enough of a confession for me.

    Johnson puts Garcia Greene in coughs.

    Garcia Greene: Wait, wait no...I was just joking. It wasn't me. I swear...

    Detective Johnson: Well whoever it was, we're going to get to the bottom of it. For you see, my department got a call from this address exactly one hour ago...warning us that a murder was going to take place. And sure enough, here we are.

    Johnson sits Garcia down in the closest chair, still handcuffed.

    Detective Johnson: Every single one of you in this room has motive for killing The King. But only one of you did it...and until we find out who, nobody is leaving.

    Nova Scarlett: What? You can't keep us here!

    Gabrielle Peacock: Yes, I refuse to be held prisoner. If there is a murderer in here, then we are all in danger! It was clearly Col. Cyrus . He's always had a grudge against The King.

    Col. Cyrus : Oh please...says the ex mistress.

    Garcia Greene: Leave her alone! She didn't do anything.

    Nova Scarlett: And how do you know that? Because you did it?

    Detective Johnson: Silence! All of you.

    You all wanted the man dead. But the question we have to ask is, who wanted him dead the most. Blackbird, you're staying awfully quiet. What say you?

    Professor Blackbird: What say me? I say good riddance to The King. He has done the exact thing he chastised Col. Cyrus for back when he had all the glory. Hogging it. He ridiculed and insulted the man. Called him a glutton. Then he won the glory for himself, and he has waved it around every since. For over half the year now he's paraded around with his throne and crown. Hogging all that glory, while we have young knights like Scarlett or Sir Knox who deserve chances so much more.

    So yes.

    I am GLAD he's dead.

    But did I kill him, no.


    Garcia Greene: Sounds like you killed him to me! He's scum. Arrest him.

    Detective Johnson: No.

    Blackbird has the motive, sure. But he didn't do it. He doesn't have the spine to do it.

    Col. Cyrus : Then it was Peacock!

    Detective Johnson: No again.

    You and Peacock both want The King dead, sure. But would you do it with the lights out? Stabbing him behind his back? I doubt it. No, you both have too much pride for that. You want to cut off this man's head in front of a crowd.

    Nova Scarlett: Then that leaves Garcia!

    Detective: Garcia would do a lot of things. But this? It's not his MO. Like he said, he was boasting just a few days ago about murdering The King. But if he did this, he would be standing up on the table and taking credit for it.

    Garcia Greene: Well that only leaves one man then. Take these cuffs off me, and arrest Scarlett.

    Detective Johnson: Well Scarlett, do you have anything to say...

    Nova Scarlett: It wasn't me! Shouldn't we like...search the body or something?

    Johnson looks surprised, as if he's shocked he didn't think to do that himself. He checks The King's body, and gasps at what he finds in his robe pocket. It's an envelope!

    Gabrielle Peacock: What's that? An envelope?

    Col. Cyrus : Open it. What is inside?

    Everyone in the room leans forward in anticipation, as Detective Johnson ignores the "Confidential" warning on the envelope and opens it up. Everyone in the room...everyone but the butler.

    Because what everyone hasn't noticed is, the butler is gone. And the butler...always did it.





    Detective Johnson looks shocked as he reads the letter out loud to the guests at Sullivan Manor.

    The letter reads as follows:


    Dear Beloved Guests,

    Do know I say beloved with much sarcasm. As all of you are nothing but peasants and pawns to me. But alas, if you are reading this...I have been murdered. Murdered by one of you in an attempt to steal all of my glory. A cowardly act indeed, but one that I should have seen coming given the spinelessness of my enemies. Each of you all guilty in your own way for my demise. Cursing my name with spite and angst due to sour pettiness and jealously. Not once did any of you look at me with respect and honor, as you should a King. Instead, only anger and resentment. Garcia Greene for example, once a trusted body guard, now turned enemy due to his blind lust for what is mine. Colonel, Peacock, and Scarlett are all just as equally to blame for the annoyance they've caused me. A constant thorn in my side.

    But perhaps one of the biggest antagonists is Professor Blackbird. A man with the face of a rat and the spine of a snake. A man who's put all of this in motion. A man, who if there is anyone to blame for the downfall of a luscious kingdom...constantly with his peasant armies and his soap box anger.

    I call you all jealous, but that is not what Blackbird suffers from. No, he suffers from envy. Jealousy is fearing you'll lose something you own...and my glory is not something he'd ever own. No, what he suffers from is envy. His desire to have what he never will is what is destroying the FWA Kingdom.

    Yet even so, he did not commit my murder.

    No, for the person who will kill me is much more clearer.

    The Butler Did It.

    Did Professor Blackbird put him up to it? That is a piece I will leave for Detective Johnson to figure out...but when the lights go out, Butler Black will stab a knife into my back.

    It is always the peasant.

    The one lowest on the totem pole.

    One thing I must admit about you five guests is, you have earned your spots at the table. It is why I invited you. Col. Cyrus and Gabrielle Peacock both have their long list of achievements. Nova Scarlett won the Carnal Battle. Even the petulant Garcia Greene I can say has distinguished himself from most in my Kingdom. Blackbird was here on his account of given authority, although the credibility of such has been tainted, he's still a high ranking officer.

    But there is one person at our dinner tonight who did equal standing to the rest of us.

    A peasant of peasants.

    A pawn of pawns.

    At that is Butler Black. You would think someone so close to me would be vetted. And normally, I would ensure it so. But our "high ranking official" Professor Blackbird forced me into a spot where he had to be hired. Maybe he put this cancerous venom so close to me intentionally knowing it would lead to my demise, or maybe it was just a reckless act of ignorance. But never the less it is only fault of my own.

    Butler Black is a man who has accomplished nothing in his life. I've had the same qualms towards Scarlett when he was faced up against me, so at the time that I write this I feel as if I am a broken record crying out the same tune. Yet per usual, my cries are unheard. People undeserving keep getting opportunities to battle for MY glory. I do not get to choose them, something as King you might think.

    Instead our Professor here is choosing who he thinks is deserving.

    We all know that the judgement of Mr. Blackbird is far off. Perhaps in all of our battles years ago I hit him to many times on the head? Perhaps I have given him CTE? Or perhaps he has early on-set dementia? None the less his decisions are impacting the Kingdom of the FWA. This man is giving opportunities to undeserving peasants, like Butler Black, while those truly deserving are cast aside. It is insulting not only to me as King, but to all of you who live in my Kingdom. I invited you to this dinner not to witness my murder, but to witness an even greater injustice...the murder of the FWA Kingdom. How can you all stand so idly by while those like Butler Black are favored over you?

    RISE UP.

    Black, you are nothing but a worthless pawn in my regime.

    You did not accomplish anything.

    You did not earn anything.

    Your victory in battle over me is not a just one, and although I don't need to say why, it's something that I know has been in your head. For the last two battles, one against me and one with me, you have only won due to an imbalance. The first is quite clear, and although rather unsettling it is the facts of what occurred. But two times in a row? Your last victory came as you fought by my side as nothing more than my butler. My pawn. You watched as I led us to victory in battle, and I defeated the army of Garcia Greene. You being by my side was far from aide...it handicapped ME. I had to make sure YOU weren't defeated, AND I had to take care of Garcia. And at one point I specifically saved you from being vanquished.

    Mr. Black, there comes a point where you must fight a battle with no handicaps.

    Professor Blackbird is a role model I would not endorse. For you to follow his advice and stab me in the back in such a cowardice way would be quite the poor career path for you. I know for me to say that is quite ironic, but when I made the choices I did...I do so on my own. With no assistance. You so far have needed your hand held at every step. If you were to prove otherwise to me, maybe I would change my opinions.

    But for now my opinion is this. You are an undeserving little twit who's still young enough in my Kingdom to be wearing diapers. Your recent victories have come at little work of you own. Say what you want about my reign as King, but you cannot deny that I've worked hard to accomplish everything I have. I have had NOTHING handed to me. I earned everything, and to live in a world where I have to watch those like you take shortcuts to my throne...it's repulsive.

    But mark these words. The death of me tonight will not be the death of my reign...it will only be the beginning.

    Immediately upon Johnson finishing the letter, everyone looks up to notice what they should have noticed long ago. Butler Black is no longer in the room. In fact he slipped out much earlier, while everyone was yelling and arguing at each other.

    Johnson, Peacock, Colonel, Scarlett, Blackbird, and Garcia (still handcuffed) all run outside to see if they can catch up with the killer.

    Sure enough, Butler Black is running as fast as he can through the front lawn of Sullivan Manor. Unfortunately for him, the entire area is gated and locked. He runs through a rain puddle, and hurdles up the large metal gate. But the gate is simply too high for him to scale. Johnson and Scarlett both catch up to him, and drag him to the ground.

    Butler Black: I didn't do it...please, you have the wrong guy.

    Garcia Greene: Save it punk! We read The King's letter. He NAMED you as the killer. You are scum. Lynch him!

    Gabrielle Peacock: Wait, what? Lynch him? What do you think this is?

    Garcia Greene: Er...arrest him!

    Detective Johnson throws the cuffs on Butler Black, and they all march back inside.

    Butler Black: You don't understand, it's not me.

    Detective Johnson: Of course it was you, it's always the butler.

    Col.Cyrus : If it wasn't you, why were you trying to run?

    Butler Black: The King told me to!

    Nova Scarlett: What? That doesn't make sense...why would The King tell you to murder him?

    The seven of them all make there way back to the dining hall, and are shocked at what they find...

    When the left chasing after Black, King Sullivan's body laid peacefully with a knife in his back.

    Now...the body is gone.


    Gabrielle Peacock: What the hell? Where did he go?



    Meanwhile, miles away in his getaway car is none other than The King himself. Smirking widely with a bag packed by his side, and the FWA World Championship over his shoulder.

    King Sullivan speaks up.

    King Sullivan: Pawns. Each and every one of them. All just pawns in my own little game. It doesn't matter who faces me. Black, Garcia, Gabrielle, Nova, or Cyrus. None of them have worked harder than I have. And for that reason, they will never win. They can get shortcuts all they want, they can get handicap stipulations, and gifts from snakes like Blackbird. But when it all comes down to it, when fighting for the real things, the shortcuts are going to be what costs them. Because the won't be prepared.

    They're never prepared.

    They're all just pawns.

    And they've all been played.

    Driver? I think we've got enough distance. Next stop, Georgia please.

    We're going to Atlanta.






  18. #18
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    Re: FWA Payback Promo Thread

    The Carnivore Chronicles (Volume 1)
    [B]Chapter 1: Perception and Reality

    06/05/2020 Atlanta, Georgia



    Cameras are rolling as the sky is white with a touch of blue. You can feel the humidity through the screen. The rays of sunlight reflect off the windows of the nearby buildings showing that is a blistering hot day in Hot-lanta. The sidewalks just looked hot enough to fry an egg on. The leaves from the trees rustled freely as a slight breeze provided some much needed relief from the sweltering heat. On the other side of the road is a rundown old arena that has a chain link fence surrounding it. There are many warning signs that are on the fence informing everyone the old arena is condemned and will soon be demolished. On the outside of the old arena are things that have been thrown out so far. There is a small pile of broken office furniture such as old desks, old office chairs and a few book shelves. The camera crew walks across the street to the site of the old arena. They notice on the gates of the chain link fence that the lock has been cut. The lock is just hanging on the steel chain that also holds the gates closed. The camera crew pull the chain out and open the gates. They put the chain back on the gates. They walk towards the doors of the old arena. The door is unlocked as they walk through the door. The place is dark as they walk through the hallways and up some stairs to the stands. There are barricades on the floor preventing people from entering. In the middle of the floor is an old wrestling ring with a white mat and black ropes around it. The turnbuckle posts around the ring are black. The camera crew walk up the ramp from the ring on to the stage. Then they walk to the backstage area. The camera crew notices a circuit breaker with the label Lights on it. The camera crew throws the circuit breaker on. The camera crew then walk back out of the backstage and on to the stage. They see the lights glowing as they shine down on the ring. There is a person standing in the middle of the ring. The camera crew gets closer. He is wearing white washed blue jeans with a tear in his right knee area. He has a wifebeater on with a half-zipped Adidias workout jacket on overtop of it.. His head is lowered as he is looking at the mat itself. He lifts his face up as the camera crew gets closer. He has a short black beard that he just began to grow. He stares at the camera crew with his light brown eyes. It is none other than “The Carnegie Carnivore” Michael Garcia. He glares at the camera with his cold eyes without making a sound. He glances at the lights above the ring for a moment. He then looks back at the camera and begins to speak in his all too familiar tone of voice.

    Michael Garcia: Faded and fleeting glory occur under those lights every night. The memories don't fade away from one's mind. The highs and lows of pure emotion along with physical pain is remembered every time when you are under those lights. The memories of hard fought battles when blood dripped down our faces as we squared off. Our bodies failed but our fighting spirit and pride didn't. The roar of the crowd cheering when we had in fact lost the fight. In their eyes respect was earned from our hard fought effort. It only makes us believe that there is still another round for us to fight. While on the other side of the coin winning crowning achievements such as The FWA World Heavyweight makes all the sweet, tears and hard effort worth it. A chance to live a dream everyone wants to be. Everyone wants to be a champion. With a championship around your waist, you prove that you are at the absolute pinnacle of your game. You go round for round all over again, just like the experience of being on the other side of the coin. Under those bright shining lights, it is a constant opportunity to prove yourself time after time. Sweat, blood and tears spilled constantly in the name of pride. More times than not the cycle continues to happen until one or two things occur. Your body is finally broken after enduring battles for what seems like an eternity. The other is…

    Michael pauses and closes his eyes for thirty seconds. He slowly open his eyes and tilts his head down as he pulls his hands in front of him. He looks at his hands for a brief moment then drops them back at his side. He looks at the camera with a cold glance.

    When you take yourself out of the game all together.

    Garcia raised his frighteningly large hand in the air and with a sense of frustration about him, he grabbed the top rope. The rope vibrated upon the force put upon it. A single bead of sweat began to run down Garcia’s face as he raised his right hand up, brushed his hair back out of his face, and continued.

    It's all about timing and opportunity. I have been known to pick my moments to strike when the time was right. I’ve capitalized so many times. I got Cyrus’s attention when I left him laying in the Elimination Chamber. That match proved to Cyrus that I was capable of doing what he never thought I could. When I first returned to the FWA, the first match back that I asked for was against Cyrus Truth. Why? Because I believed in my heart that I could beat the man that many claimed was unbeatable. I took Cyrus to his absolute limit, and as I’ve admitted time and time again, I made the mistake of getting cocky, took my eye off the ball and I …fell to Cyrus Truth. I took the pin in that match, but that match fueled me. It gave me the confidence that I needed to KNOW that I can beat Cyrus Truth and if I can beat Cyrus, than I can beat ANYBODY. But Cyrus? He walked out of that match unsure of himself. He walked out of that match….questioning himself. Don’t believe me? That’s fine. Go back and check the record books. At that point, Cyrus Truth began his downward spiral. Losing to Gabby, losing to Sullivan, losing to Nova Diamond, and eh, losing to me, Michael Garcia. He lacked focus three weeks ago in that Elimination Chamber. I doubt he has found focus going into Payback. It might be just a slump as he claims it to be but perception and reality are two different things.

    Perceptions are what you think and believe it is. Reality is quite self explanatory. This ring will reveal if Cyrus Truth’s best days are ahead of him or already far behind him . We will see how the plays out as we battle for an opportunity at the FWA World Heavyweight title. Are you ready to find out the truth, Cyrus? Is the Truth really what you want? The truth of the matter here, Cyrus, is that you and I are in the same exact spot on the ladder….we’re basically mirroring each other right now…only I’m climbing the ladder and you are sliding back down. The bad news for you, Cyrus, is that I’m not the kind of guy to stop and reach out my hand so that we can both be equals. No one ever helped me get where I am today. No one! The story of Michael Garcia is the story of a man that has fought and scratched and clawed his damn way up the ladder and every single time I’d put the tip of my fingers to the brass ring above there’d be a boot pressing down on my face, forcing me back down the ladder. Whether it be the boot of Chris Kennedy or Cryos or Mike Parr or as of this past Fight Night, Dave Sullivan, I have always taken my licks and kept on ticking. And I’m not trying to say that I’m the only man in this company to face adversity, but I AM the only man to face it alone. Chris Kennedy had The Syndicate, Dave Sullivan had Ty Johnson, Nova Diamond has Kevin Cromwell, Gabrielle has every man she’s ever slept with, even you, Cyrus…the man who claims to be so lonesome, even you have an ally in Krash. The most I’ve ever had is uneasy alliances with guys like James Hughes, Thomas Princeton and Phillip A. Jackson. People I couldn’t trust as far as I could throw. People that used me for what they wanted me for and tossed me in the fucking trash when I served my purpose. I had a manager that used me for profit. I have never had anyone in this company that would have my back if I truly needed it. No, Cyrus, I’ve had to fight for my place on the ladder and I’m not about to give it up to you or anyone else. So as you slide down into irrelevancy, I’ll be ignoring your desperate screams for mercy. They’ll fall on the deaf ears of a savage giant, who’s not going to casually walk up the ladder and await for the next heel to the jaw not yours…not…Diamond’s.

    Garcia takes a step back, realizing that he had gotten so hooked into his rant on Cyrus that he had not even mentioned his other opponent, Nova Diamond. A slight smile started to form on Garcia’s face as he thought for a moment about just exactly what he wanted to say about the “24 Karat Man”. He pressed his lips together and slightly bit down upon his lower lip, before slowly bringing the microphone back up to his mouth.

    “Interesting that I could have gone on and on and on about Cyrus Truth, and just not even give you a passing thought. Don’t dwell too much on that, don’t take it too hard, Nova, but it’s just that beating Cyrus Truth means something.”

    The big man winces a bit as he realizes the wording of that last statement was probably even worse.

    “ Well, I mean, it is what it is and what it is…is the truth. Even on this bit of a losing streak, getting a win over Cyrus does still mean something to a lot of people and while perception and reality are two different things it doesn’t mean that perception isn’t important. Beating Cyrus simply does mean more to a lot of people whereas beating you…is just…eh….well, we don’t know. Yet, here you are, in this exact same position as Cyrus and I on the ladder…desperately needing the win. That’s the reality, here. We’re all in the position where we NEED this win.

    Cyrus needs this win because he’s on the biggest losing streak of his career and some people are questioning whether or not he’s been passed by by the people that are, bigger, and better than he is. He’s had a few opportunities to get his career back on track, yet it continuously slides into a territory that Cyrus has never been to before…the midcard. It’s a terrifying place, Cyrus, full of Wildcards and frustrated Brits. And you can’t break free because there’s this glass ceiling that protective champions hold down with their throne of insecurities. But hey, at least you have a friend down there. Maybe you and Krash can just award each other North American Championship matches each week! In all seriousness, though, Cyrus is facing an uncertainty that he’s never seen before in his FWA career. Is everyone else passing him by? Is he starting to slip? Does he have what it takes anymore to climb the mountain? Will Cyrus Truth become irrelevant? Trust me when I say that I know where Cyrus’ mind is right now, not knowing what’s next if you lose this opportunity. Been there, bruh. Plenty of times. No desire to go back, either. It’s terrifying. And I’m sure it’s a whole lot more terrifying to someone who’s so used to being on top of the mountain, because that fall is so much worse.

    As for Nova Diamond, well, you…you don’t have to worry about that fall because you’ve already experienced it. Allow me to set the scene here.


    MICHAEL GARCIA PRESENTS

    “The Epic Fail”



    Garcia clears his throat before retreating to the far corner, where a an old dusty book lay on the mat. Mike reached his massive left arm down, picked up the book and blew off the dust. A pillowy cloud of white powder rose into the air. Garcia pulled his head back and squinted his eyes, holding back a sneeze before lifting himself up on the top turnbuckle and taking a seat. Garcia opened up the book and pretended to read from the tattered pages.

    Garcia:“ Gather ‘round children! Gather ‘round! Ya boy’ Mikey G has a story that will tug at your heart and capture your imagination! So get your cookies and sit up close to the monitor! Now, picture a country that is held hostage by this brash, egotistical, arrogant douche of a king. The people HATED this man. I mean, legitimately hated this man. To the point, that when a guy like me stood up to him that they actually cheered me! Hard to believe, I know. The good people prayed to whatever deity they worshipped that someone would slay this King but they consistently disappointed as any man, woman, or undeserving trash from an inferior country fell at his feet. One day, the King offered an open invitational where any challenger that wanted to go for the thrown would compete in a giant melee and the winner would get a chance to dethrone the King. Beasts, legends, hungry young guns, Goddesses, wayward warriors…even Golden Gods stepped out into the arena, but they were all taken down, in impressive fashion, by one man. One man who started before all, slayed more than any of them, and outlasted the field. That man, an unknown from an outside kingdom, put everyone on notice that day. He struck fear into the hearts of everyone in the field, including the King. On that night, the man became a hero.

    Neighboring kingdoms began to talk and take note of this new warrior. Hope began to fill the hearts of the villagers as they longed to break from the oppression of this all-powerful King! As the contest drew near, the warrior and the King exchanged words where the warrior vowed to end the tyranny of the King, further inciting the fire in the hearts of the people! This warrior had created a buzz throughout the kingdom that had taken a life of it’s own! The people truly began to believe that this new warrior was their hero, their savior! The kingdom had actually created a stage so big for this event that the entire country would be watching with baited breath, just waiting, yearning to celebrate in the downfall of the King!

    Now, just for time’s sake here, I’ll cut to the night of the event. The warrior had made his grand entrance, a true showman, cocky and confident as The King himself. The peasants of the village showed their support in the form of letting their voices be heard and did they ever! The King came out next, and just as much support they had shown for the warrior, they showed the exact opposite for the King. The contest got underway, and what a contest it was! The crowd sat at the edge of their seat “ooh”ing and “aah”ing at every swing of the sword! The warrior had The King right where he wanted him! The crowd stood on their feet! Only to see The King outmaneuver and outsmart the warrior, jabbing the sword straight into his chest.

    You could hear a pin drop in that arena that night. Thousands upon thousands of people’s hopes and dreams severed just like that sword severed the arteries of the warrior, bleeding out on the ground at the King’s feet. The warrior didn’t die immediately. He felt the pain. The stinging, unbearable pain from the cold metal sword but that was nothing….nothing compared to the pain that he felt in knowing that his failure in that moment would become his legacy and that he had let down everyone that was counting on him.”


    Garcia tossed the book down on the ground, and pushed himself down off the turnbuckle.

    Garcia:“Ya see, Diamond, there’s this thing that people do right before they face me, and there isn’t a single doubt in my mind, that you’ll follow suit and do the same. People talk about how I’ve never won the big match. They talk about how I consistently keep coming up short. And God almighty, I am so god damned tired of hearing that. I really hope that’s not the avenue you choose but since you’ll undoubtedly take the easy route and do just that…lemme just say one thing. You of all people just do NOT get to go there. I may have some failures on my resume, but I also have a lot of accomplishments. You? You…much like our friend Cyrus, took advantage of being the unknown in a match based on luck over skill, and managed to convince “them” that you had what it takes to beat the most dominant champion in the past 5 years. You built this stage that you just weren’t ready for! You got everyone talking about how you were this hungry new challenger that King Sullivan feared and you put yourself into the main event of the biggest stage that you could possibly be on. All of the lights were shining on you, Nova. Win, in that moment, and your name lives on in infamy. You become a made man. Lose? Who knows what becomes of Nova Diamond. All you had to do was win. One. Match. But ya didn’t. Sure, people can talk about how I lost to Mike Parr on a Fight Night for the North American Championship. But I’m the bad guy. They want me to lose. You’re the hero, Diamond. You’re the good guy. Heroes don’t lose, Diamond, not when their back is against the wall. Not when everything is on the line. So let me ask you, Nova Diamond, you can talk all you want about my “failures” but NONE of my missed opportunities will haunt me for the rest of my life the way that yours does. So let’s maybe be a little cautious when we go tossing around the word, “failure”, shall we? And that’s why YOU need to win this match, Nova. What happens if Nova Diamond loses again?”

    Garcia takes off his jacket and tosses it to the outside of the ring.

    “Now, allow me to tell you why I NEED to win this match. Because there’s been this perception going around lately that I’ve been given opportunity after opportunity and that could not be ANY further from the truth. Nova Diamond, you have been in this company for less than a cup of fucking Folgers, and you luck into a World Championship match that you tossed aside like an old dirty sock that you used to jerk off to Gabby in! Cyrus Truth waltzes right into this company and takes advantage of the luck of the draw, and on his first god damn day in this company, he gets an FWA Championship opportunity! Gabrielle gets title shots about as often as she gets STDs and hell, Alyster fucking Black gets a title shot and why? Because half the roster beat down Dave Sullivan before he got to him! Krash…that sawed off CWA never-was, gets a title shot literally just handed to him because he’s chummy with the champion! These people haven’t been here a year….IVE BEEN HERE FOR SEVEN YEARS! I’VE BUSTED MY ASS! I’VE PAID MY DUES! I’VE WORKED MY WAY FROM JERKING THE CURTAIN ON SMASH WITH LORD DOGG AND DIVINE TO PINNING CYRUS TRUTH IN THE CHAMBER! SEVEN YEARS OF GOING THROUGH WARS WITH SOME OF THE BEST THIS BUSINESS HAS TO OFFER! YOU NAME ‘EM, I’VE FOUGHT ‘EM AND NOT ONCE WAS I EVER GIVEN A CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH! Look it up, boys! Check the history books! Seven years and you will never see the name Michael Garcia in a match for the FWA World Heavyweight Championship, I want to know just exactly what the fuck ya’ll are talkin’ about? Even when I do get here, all I’ve got to do to get the match is…beat the top 7 guys in the company. No wait, win a three on one handicap match! Oh, that’s not enough? Win another three on one handicap match! Still not enough? Okay, how about you beat the champion AND the number one contender in a handicap match…and THEN you can get a shot at the champion! Well, look at me just hoarding ALL the Golden Opportunities here! Nah, you call those opportunities? Cyrus, you literally just HANDED Krash a championship match! Alyster is getting a title match on this show. Can ANYONE tell me what in the shit he’s done to earn a FWA Championship match? I’ve had ONE SHOT in seven years. Nova, you got one shot in 7 months. Cyrus, you got one shot in 7 hours. So how dare you come to me talking about opportunities! Neither one of you have walked the road that I’ve walked! Neither one of you have worked your way from the bottom like I have! Both of you have been handed every single thing since you walked through these doors based off of reputation! I’ve worked, fought and bled for any and every chance I’ve been given and when I do get it, I have to jump through more hoops than the rest! What’s next? Do I have to beat the champion with one arm tied behind my back? Do I have to wrestle the entire Fight Night roster blindfolded? Nova Diamond, Cyrus Truth…please, oh please, tell me about this priviledged life that I live!

    Cyrus needs this win to reassure himself that he still has what it takes to compete at this level. Nova Diamond needs this win to hopefully one day help him escape the ghosts that will haunt him until the very day he dies. But me? I need this win…to erase the false perceptions....to set forth my reality…. But most importantly, because this moment…this moment right here… is seven years in the making. And if I don’t do it at Payback, if I don’t turn my words into reality, then it may be seven more years until I get another opportunity.”

    Last edited by Sayer; 06-07-2020 at 02:53 AM.

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