01-26-2010, 08:17 PM
January 1st, 2010, 4:00 A.M. - Fireman Dan's Sports Bar, New Jersey
“Full Moon Rising! Full Moon Rising! I can’t believe it, Wolf Hawkins has dethroned the Giant Tana! We have a new TCW International Champion!”
“It looked like he caved in Tana’s face with that kick! I can’t say I like it, Jason, but one would be lying if they didn’t admit that Wolf is the best young prospect in wrestling today, bar-none!”
Abruptly, the broadcast of the old TCW pay-per-view came to a stop as my mug shattered across the TV screen, beer and glass scattering everywhere. I’ve been coming to Fireman Dan’s for two years now, and the bartender knows me well enough to make a subtle jab at my past every now and then by playing old TCW pay-per-views. If I was sober, I probably would have taken it in stride, but how likely is it to be sober in a bar at four in the morning?
“You know you’ll be paying for that, right John?”
“Yeah, yeah, just put it on my tab.”
Thankfully, the bar was mostly empty, and the regulars knew me well enough to expect me to make an ass of myself at least once a night. Knowing me better than my own mother, the bartender brought me another full mug. Back to trying to numb my entire body before I pass out and find myself sleeping in the back alley of the bar. Lifting the glass to take a sip, though, I hear my phone ringing. Grudgingly, I checked the caller ID, fearing the worst: only a few people would bother to call me, and there’s only one who would be up this late. I was right.
Credit to Kobe1724 for the awesome render
“Hey, John! I was worried you would be passed out by now!” He sounded a little tipsy himself.
“Shouldn’t you be asleep Tom? You have a radio show to do six hours from now.” Against all odds, Tom Lions was the more successful of the two brothers. Being a couple years younger, rather than apply himself or take up a hobby, he supported me as my wrestling career took off. After that came to a halt, he took advantage of his biggest asset: the ability to talk, and talk, and talk, and… well, you get the idea. "Chatty" Tom at Ten was the highest rated early morning talk show in the Tri-State area.
“No, no, I handed in my resignation to the radio station a couple days ago. But don’t worry about that, I’ve got good news! Alright, I want you to guess – what is it that you’ve been wanting to do for the longest time, but never really got the opportunity?”
“Remove you from the will?”
“No, you knucklehead. Wrestle! Luckily, I’ve-“
“I’m never getting involved in wrestling again, Tom. Sometimes I wonder if you ever actually hear me, since you never shut the hell up.”
“John, John, John… I know you well enough that you’re feeding me a bunch of bologna. If you’d let me finish, I was about to say, I bought the rights to a great name for a wrestling company! I even got a title made, with around three grand left to spare. All I need now is a veteran wrestler who knows his way around the business and can bring us to the top!” Christ, I can almost picture him winking at me. And he wonders why I always hate family reunions.
“Well that’s all fine and dandy, Tom, but – wait a second, how the hell did you afford all of this?”
“It wasn’t that much, John. I didn’t have nearly enough at first. So I took the liberty of emptying your bank account as well.”
Touché, little brother, touché. My bank account consisted of the leftover money from my work on the indies, before I became... "acquainted" with Tommy Cornell. But that is a story for another time. That money was how I funded my alcoholism. “So I have no money? Why the hell didn’t you at least leave me that three grand you have left over?” I practically yelled into the phone, fuming that Tom had gotten the better of me yet again.
“Why, John, because then you have the option to turn down my generous offer.” The little rat was more devious than I gave him credit for.
“Forget it, Tom, I’m – can you hold on one second?” At this point, I notice the bartender glaring at me. I guess yelling that you have no money in a bar where you owe in excess of $300 (just from tonight - television maintenance is expensive) isn't the wisest thing to do.
“So, how are you going to pay for all of this again?”
“Well, you see…”
“And don’t come back, you son of a bitch!”
So much for my two years as a dedicated customer. I guess there’s no such thing as tenure at a two-bit bar in northern New Jersey. It looks like I found myself in the alley behind Fireman Dan's, but for a much different and less-fulfilling a reason than I had anticipated. I sighed resignedly, checking my phone to make sure Tom didn’t hang up. Time to make a deal with the devil.
“So, what’s the name of this company again?”
01-26-2010, 09:09 PM
January 26th, 2010 – Local Gym
As much as I hate the fact that Tom had manipulated me into booking a wrestling company, it was good to get out and do something other than drinking. Three years of inaction has led me to become out of shape, but after a couple months I can see myself getting back to peak physical condition. Leaning back, I prepared to do a set of reps when I heard a voice I never expected to hear again.
“John? John Lions?”
“Wolf? It feels like forever since I’ve last seen you. What’s a big shot like yourself doing at a family-run gym in New Jersey?”
“There was a TCW show last night in Trenton. Bryan Vessey and I really stole the show. It’s a damn shame that such a great wrestler can be such an ass when the lights aren’t on him. What have you been up to? Still one of the best young wrestlers on the independents?”
I frowned at that. Don’t get me wrong, I like Wolf, and I especially liked tagging with him. But he’s easily the most competitive person I’ve ever met. He was incredibly envious of me when we were both training under Cornell, as, while he relied on flashy spots and flying around the ring, our mentor was more akin with the psychological beatdown I put on my opponents and the stories I told with my opponent. Now, it seems the shoe is on the other foot, as I find myself jealous of him achieving the fame that I felt I should have. It came to my realization, though, that Hawkins would know the indies better than I would, me being removed from wrestling for so long. He could be helpful to keeping Tom from burning up all of the money we have to our name.
“Nah, I’m only just getting back into wrestling. My brother’s opening up his own promotion, and he blackmailed me into booking it for him. You wouldn’t happen to know any good wrestlers on the circuit who we could nab? No one too expensive, mind, we’re working on a tight budget.”
“Well, lucky I found you today, eh? I’ve actually been keeping track of the independent scene, and there are a couple of really talented wrestlers who would be willing to work for pennies.” Yeah, pennies compared to his five digit TCW salary. He took out a pad, writing down a list of names who I should get in contact with. Most I recognized as being fairly competent in the ring, but some I had never heard of, so I would be relying on Wolf’s word. Not something I’m particularly thrilled to be doing, but it’s better than letting Tom sign people like Ben Williams and New York Red. As he added the last name, he handed me the paper.
“That last name on there, Jared Johnson, is probably the best wrestler you’ll be able to pick up. He was trained by Johnny Bloodstone, and, lucky for you, he isn’t planning on heading north of the border any time soon. However, you won’t be able to get in contact with him for a couple months... he has a bit of a guilty pleasure.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Well… he seems to think he can balance a wrestling career with one of a country singer. He should be performing in the Tri State around March, so you can contact him then. Hey, I’ve got to get out of here, here’s my number. If you ever need any advice, feel free to give me a call. Oh, and tell your brother I said hi. Good luck with this.”
“Have a good one, Wolf.”
That went a lot better than I thought. I somehow resisted the urge to punch him in the face, and I have a piece of paper containing the saving grace for Lion’s Gate Wrestling. Forgoing my workout session for the day, I decided to leave a message on Tom's phone.
“Hey Tom? It’s John. I have a great idea. We’ll push back our inaugural show until April, picking up the sponsorship money before they realize we aren’t actually doing anything. We’ll hold a three night tournament to crown our first champion. I’m going to need you to get a hold of these names….” I may still hate Tom for his idealist wrestling fantasies, but I’ll be damned if I lose my investment in this.
OOC: If you've gotten this far, thank you for taking the time to read my lengthy backstory. Up next, a roster overview and preview for our first show.
01-26-2010, 11:15 PM
April 17, 2010 – New Jersey
There. I’d just finished putting up the last flier for our first show. With luck, we should see at least 200-300 people in attendance. There was only one problem: I’d checked up at the Weston Gymnasium, where we were planning on holding the tournament, and no one was there. No Tom, no Jared, not a single member of our roster. Maybe I had made a mistake in letting Tom handle the worker relations as well. Deciding to call him, I was ready to give him an earful until he said something that utterly confused me.
“Where the hell am I? Where the hell are you! The ring’s set up, the whole roster is here… the show’s going to begin in two days, and these rookies are rough around the edges… if you’re slacking on your job –“
“Bull, Tom, I was just at the Weston Gym and no one’s there.”
“The Weston Gym? Didn’t you check the website? I bought out a 100-seat arena in Michigan, we’ll be better off starting out in the Great Lakes where there is less competition.”
“Are you ****ing serious, Tom? I just got done putting fliers up in New Jersey!”
“Well, that could leave a sour taste in the mouths of the people expecting a show down there. Better to just lay low and not take our show to Jersey for a couple of months.”
“Tom, I’m going to…” Relax, John. No need to take his bait. “God damn it, I’ll be there by tonight. Later.”
On that note, I hung up on my ever-frustrating brother. Even though Tom hired all of the guys I told him to, a lot of them were still a bit wet behind the ears, needing me to help out with characters, finisher moves, the whole nine yards. Starting up my car, I turned on my laptop and opened up the files I had on all of our current workers. It’s been a long three months.
“The Teen Dream” Brendan Idol
Once employed by RIPW, Idol was released for not living up to SWF’s expectations. Sometimes I really wonder what exactly their “expectations” are, considering he’s a better all-around wrestler than most of the people RIPW holds on to. Idol is a stereotypical pretty boy, high-fiving and playing to the crowd while making the ladies scream with his ravishing good looks. An old hand on the indies (compared to the majority of our roster), he gives major name value to Lion’s Gate and will be a major player in months to come.
“The Dread Pirate” Hugh de Aske
Hugh, despite being relatively new to wrestling, is probably the best all-round wrestler on the roster. In person, de Aske plays the role of pirate perfectly, and, despite his attempts to be an intimidating heel on the independent circuit, no one could rightfully boo a pirate. So, Hugh will be the resent pirate of Lion’s Gate, believing he is really in the 18th century and having conversations with the stuffed pirate that accompanies him to the ring.
“The Hot Prospect” Johnny Blaze
And then there’s me. Initially, I will be working the undercard, getting a feel for how each member of our roster performs. Despite my impressive pedigree, I’ve found that a good few members of Lion’s Gate are more skilled than I, but my performance skills are still top-notch. As resident bad-ass, Johnny Blaze spends his time in the ring dismantling his opponents, stiffly working over his opponent’s heads to set them up for his D.I. Driver (Dante’s Inferno Driver). While my character seems fairly one-dimensional, as our first major storyline of Lion’s Gate starts to play out, his character will become more and more developed.
“The Fastest Man Alive” Donte Dunn
Donte Dunn is a promising rookie from Canada. Incredibly athletic, the man from Barbados will play upon his heritage and his impressive speed a lot in Lion’s Gate. “The Fastest Man Alive” will find a solid niche here, if he can live up to his potential.
Another rookie, Collier is a graduate of the Mid Atlantic Boot Camp. Very technically sound, a stark contrast to the high-flying spot monkeys that many young workers seem to be, Collier is a diamond in the rough. The only problem would be getting to the diamond.
Monteiro, a proud Native American, is relatively new to wrestling as well. Despite this, he is solid as hell: his flying, performance, and charisma are all solid and he can only improve from here.
Jebediah is a physically impressive specimen, a giant of a man compared to the rest of the roster. He was initially a very bland character: no one cares about a big Amish guy. However, people will cheer for an Amish Biker….
And probably the worst member of the roster, Paranoia makes up for his lack of skills for his leadership backstage and his awesome character. A young rookie who was formerly a member of the “Paratroopers” trio, Paranoia is better on his own, hopefully putting over his opponents without making them look any worse. Constantly in fear, Paranoia is always looking over his shoulder, distracted while in the ring (yes, that is my excuse for his lack of skill) and unable to sleep.
And here is the biggest draw we have. Cameron Vessey has been working for MAW for close to three years now, and he has all the time in the world to catch up to his uncle Bryan in terms of skill. Vessey is already a good wrestler in his own right, and has the ability to get the crowd to hate him just based on the fact he is quite possibly the meanest, ugliest guy I’ve ever seen.
“The Virtuous One” Raphael
Raphael is another old hand, much like Brendan Idol, who is looking more and more promising as he shows how much he is carrying RIPW. Raphael is an Italian Painter, who incorporates many of the actual Raphael’s paintings into his own wrestling moves. However, his major vice is his painting can get him in trouble more often than not.
“Double J” Jared Johnson
Jared Johnson is a southern-speaking, guitar-twanging douchebag. He is a man who everyone loves to hate, because he always has his own agenda, only caring about winning and not caring about how he gets there. He likes to use his trademark guitar to “even the odds” by beating his opponents up with it – before the match, during the match, after the match, he’s done it all. When forced to actually wrestler, Johnson is an impressive technician, which is what you would expect from someone trained by Johnny Bloodstone.
Amber Allen, another skilled technician, is the heir to Allen Athletics, which she has already renamed “Amber Allen Athletics.” A fitness freak, Allen doesn’t hesitate to let you know you’re out of shape and insult you for it. Along with Armstrong, Amber Allen Athletics is looking to expand to the more “physically fit” members of the roster and dominate – through healthy eating and regular exercise, of course.
John “The Human Ant” Armstrong
The artist formerly known as Ant-Man, John Armstrong is a star in the making. He would most likely have caught like wildfire on the indies, if he wasn’t named Ant-Man. Armstrong is incredibly strong, being able to bodyslam people double his weight. Armstrong is a prime physical specimen, which is why Allen chose to align herself with him.
One stormy night, a man by the name of Mark Smart was heading home from his job as towel boy for USPW. Suddenly, a bolt of lightning struck him in the face, permanently disfiguring him beyond recognition and knocking him unconscious. When he woke up, he found himself in Mexico, with no knowledge of his past life and a mask around his face… made of towels. Or at least that is what we want you to believe, because I saw this as the only way to actually make Mark Smart an interesting character.
Formerly known as Paradox, Ashton Barnaby is probably the most promising of the three. However, despite being a flashy wrestler with a good look, he is incredibly inconsistent and spotty. With Adrian Noelson, he is one half of the Human Highlight Reels.
Formerly Paradigm, Noelson is the better performer of the two, so hopefully working together with Barnaby, he will become a better wrestler while Barnaby learns not to suck over half the time. The second half of the Human Highlight Reels, Noelson can hopefully work with Barnaby to move up the card or they will be stuck jobbing into oblivion.
Hopefully this would be enough to keep us afloat.
Lion’s Gate Wrestling, a creation spawned from the mind of wrestling entrepreneur Tom Lions, plans to begin the new decade with a bang. On Friday, April 19th, Lion’s Gate Wrestling begins its inaugural tournament, the Young Lion’s Invitational, to crown the first Lion’s Gate Champion! For three nights, the Great Lakes will be blessed with the best young talents wrestling have to offer. 16 have signed up, but only one will remain at the end of the
Young Lion’s Invitational
Syd Collier vs Raphael
Jebediah vs John Armstrong (Ant-Man)
Donte Dunn vs Adrian Noelson (Paradigm)
Paranoia vs Amber Allen
Roger Monteiro vs Jared Johnson
Hugh de Aske vs Ashton Barnaby (Paradox)
Brendan Idol vs El Marco (Mark Smart)
Johnny Blaze vs Cameron Vessey
OOC: I should have the show up by tomorrow. Predictions are welcome, as I plan to give a reward to whoever has the most correct after a year or so (possibly their own character/gimmick in the promotion)
01-28-2010, 02:53 PM
Young Lion’s Invitational: Night One
Lion’s Gate Arena, Michigan
Tom Lions, before taking his seat at the announce table beside Reese Paige, takes his microphone and enters the center of the ring.
“Good evening ladies and gentlemen, my name is Tom Lions and I am the owner of Lion’s Gate Wrestling. Tonight, you will be witnessing the greatest amateur wrestling in the continental United States. For three nights, sixteen of the best young guns in our prestigious sport will face off in a single-elimination tournament until there is only one man left standing. Our first eight preliminary bouts will be contested under a 20 minute time limit, with the winner advancing to the next round. If there is anyone who is unable to compete in the next round, the wrestler who put in the best losing effort in the previous round will get a second shot. Now that we have that settled, welcome to the Young Lion’s Invitational and enjoy the show!"
Blaze’s Notes: He sure has to exaggerate, eh? I don’t think he’s fooling any of the 16 people who showed up (probably closer to 300 if you count those who showed up in New Jersey), but they didn’t come to this show expecting Christian Faith vs Rich Money.
Syd Collier vs Raphael
Our first match of the night was a competitive encounter between Raphael and Syd Collier. Collier is a throwback to 70s wrestling, where wrestlers offered handshakes, wore plain, boring attires, and generally relied on common wrestling moves which would be often seen as devastating finishers. And “The Virtuous One” is an enigma, bringing his easel down to the ring and setting it up on the outside. His look is completely opposite of Collier’s: his trunks were covered in splotches of various colors of paint, many of which were still wet. Syd offered a handshake to start it off, but Raphael was having none of it. The 14th Century Renaissance icon dominated the match early, his offense containing many various suplexes and submission holds. Collier was able to power out of an abdominal stretch, though, and turn the tables on his opponent. After a kick to the gut, Syd hit a massive DDT on Raphael, which was sold like death. All of this was to set up Collier’s finishing move. Standing above his opponent, Syd drops a heavy elbow onto the chest of Raphael! Grinning widely as if victory was assured, Collier looked genuinely surprised when Raphael kicked out before he even got a two count later. Still in shock, Raphael was able to hit the Three Muses (a series of three German Suplexes) to pick up the win and advance. Clearly not done with humiliating Syd, though, he brings his easel into the ring, painting a rough sketch of the downed man. Laughing at his own genius, Raphael headed to the back with his first masterpiece tucked under an arm.
Winner: Raphael (29, E)
Blaze’s Notes: I was expecting a little better from Raphael, but this is Collier’s debut match so I’ll take what I can get.
Some old-school workout music plays, leading to the entrance of Amber Allen and John Armstrong. Allen, having Armstrong hold the ropes for her, has a mic in hand and begins addressing the crowd (can you call under 20 people a crowd?)
“Are you all ready to work out and loosen up?” The crowd pops at this, though the people who cheered were cheering at seeing Amber stretching in the ring in her tight attire rather than doing any workout themselves. Her peppy grin slowly turns to a contemptuous snarl.
“You aren’t fooling anyone. Have you looked in the mirror lately? Most of you probably wouldn’t even recognize a gym if you ran headfirst into the door of one. Though most of you probably haven’t ran since PE class in high school, so it may be hard for you to get back into the swing of things. The problem with our nation advancing so fast is that there is no culling of people like you. What we need is change, and, thankfully, I’m here to bring it. Along with me, I have the perfect example of a prime physical specimen: John Armstrong.” She gives the audience a chance to look at the toned physique of the former Ant-Man, but they are having none of it.
“Do you know why they call him the Human Ant? You’ll find out soon enough. Every single one of you could be just like him if you could just put down the spoon, say no to seconds, thirds, and fourths, or get outside once and a while and take a jog around the block.” She smiles sinisterly. “Well, you would have to get outside of your parent’s basements first and realize there is more to the world then an internet screen."
“Armstrong’s opponent tonight is a perfect example of the plague of obesity scouring America. He may look tough, but-“ She’s cut off by the revving of an engine, and doesn’t look to pleased by it.
Blaze’s Notes: Amber is awesome, and not just because she keeps the locker room from being too… testosterony.
Jebediah vs John Armstrong
Now, how, you may ask, does an Amish person, who is strictly anti-technology, become a biker? Well, if you really want to know, his “motorcycle” consisted of a pair of wagon wheels, a wooden framing, and a pair of pedals to move his hog around. The “engine” was just a part of his music. To be honest, when I told big Jeb to “be creative,” I wasn’t expecting him to go to such depth. He may be a one-dimensional brawler, but he’s got heart. Jebediah was clearly not pleased with the introduction he got from Allen, so he took it out on Armstrong by throwing him around the ring and pummeling him for the first couple minutes. A scoop slam got a two count, but an attempt to set him up for a powerbomb ended abruptly when Allen hopped up on the apron. Big, lovable Jeb has a one track mind, and he cared more about beating Allen to a pulp then her lackey. That proved fatal, though, as Armstrong was able to recover and hit the Amish giant with a clothesline from the top rope. What Armstrong did next, though, surprised everyone. Grabbing the 300 pounder by the head, the 200 pound Armstrong lifted Jebediah up onto his shoulders! Jeb, still out of it from the clothesline, isn’t able to power out when, incredibly, Armstrong lifts Jeb up even higher into a military press position! Posing to the crowd and arrogantly lifting the big man up and down a couple times, he eventually finishes it by dropping the big man onto his knees, a move he calls “the Antidote.” The three count was academic, and Armstrong advances to tomorrow’s quarter final match.
Winner: John Armstrong (18, E-)
Blaze’s Notes: The crowd may have cared a bit more if Armstrong did something other than pose for the segment before this, but he still looked impressive out there.
Donte Dunn vs Adrian Noelson
As Amber holds her partner’s hand high and Jebediah dejectedly pedals his hog back up the ramp, Adrian Noelson heads out to the ring for the next match up. Didn’t someone tell him to wait until those two left the ring first? Son of a bitch, he’s high fiving the fans too. I’m going to have a loooong talk with Mr. Paradigm after this match. Realizing he would have to head out early, Donte Dunn heads out as well, sprinting like a maniac and hopping onto the apron and over the ropes in a matter of seconds. I didn’t call him “The Fastest Man Alive” for nothing. Before he went out, I made sure to tell him the sudden change of plan: bury Noelson and make him look bad enough that he’ll get boo’d. It didn’t work, but when Adrian was expecting to get in his offense, Donte just dodged out of the way of him, moving too fast for Noelson to catch up. Playing to the crowd the whole time, Noelson eventually ran out of steam and had to pause to get his breathe back. Taking the queue, Donte hit Noelson with a couple of vicious clotheslines before splattering him with The Fastest Charge Alive, a high (highest?) velocity shoulder tackle. The only thing Noelson did right was taking the charge like a bullet to the chest. Dunn got the three, and clinched a spot in the top eight.
Winner: Donte Dunn(19, E-)
Blaze’s Notes: Sure, maybe I forgot to tell Noelson he was supposed to be a heel. But I’ll be damned if I’m the one who gets blamed for this.
Paranoia vs Amber Allen
Being a bit more professional then their predecessor, Paranoia waited until the last match’s competitors cleared out (which, incidentally, didn’t take nearly as long: I think Dunn broke a world record in sprinting on his way to the back, and probably broke a couple fan’s hands with the high-velocity high fives he delivered) before making his entrance, slowly heading to the ring and looking his shoulder every couple of steps, even jumping like a goosed cat when Tom announced his entrance. Bags under his eyes were noticeable, and he jumped mid-yawn as the same workout music from earlier in the night played and Allen returned to the ring for her match (much to the chagrin of the audience). Paranoia made a fatigued attempt to lock up with Amber, but the fitness guruess just laughed it off and DDT’d him to the mat. It looked like Allen may have picked up the win right there, but, when the ref slapped the mat to count, Paranoia’s instinct took over and he was so spooked he nearly knocked Allen over by jumping in surprise. Amber’s a skilled athlete, though, and she turned added to her momentum back towards the ropes, chop blocking the fatigued phenom as he attempted to get his bearings. After working over the rookie’s chest, she put Paranoia out of his misery by drilling him with a Northern Lights Suplex for the win.
Winner: Amber Allen (28, E)
Blaze’s Notes: And the man I expected to fail didn’t make any glaring mistakes. Can’t say I’m surprised, Allen is probably the most underrated wrestler of our generation.
Roger Monteiro vs Jared Johnson
And, finally, I get to see whether Johnson lives up to my expectations or falls flat trying. “Double J” Jared Johnson makes his way to the ring with a guitar on his back (not the same one he used for his country singing, mind) and a sneer on his face, making himself look like a jackass perfectly. Jared passes so far. Setting his guitar down at the bottom of the apron, Johnson waits for his opponent. Roger Monteiro, proud of his Native American heritage, comes from the back wearing a tribal headdress and doing some sort of jerky, seizure-like dance. I’m going to have to make sure to ask him if that’s an actual Native American dance or if he’s just making it up as he goes. Anyway, Johnson looks about as impressed as I do with Monteiro’s antics, and takes it to him as soon as he enters the ring. A quick belly to belly suplex only got a two count, and from there, Jared proceeded to dismantle the young gun, attempting leg locks, surfboard stretches, armbars, and any sort of submission he can think of to end the match quick. Irritated that he wasn’t able to put away his opponent as quickly as he thought, Double J lifted Monteiro up and headed for the ropes, attempting to take Roger’s head off with a massive lariat. Despite the beating Monteiro took, he is able to think enough to duck Jared’s flying forearm, hitting him as he comes back with a backdrop. Changing his tactics, Johnson rolls out of the ring, grabbing his guitar. Rolling back into the ring with it, the ref attempted to take the makeshift weapon from him. Johnson was having none of it, though, and when Roger tried to hold on to control of the match, Double J nailed the Native American warrior in the ribs, disqualifying himself but dropping Monteiro in pain.
Winner: Roger Monteiro (38, D-)
Blaze’s Notes: Either Johnson is a miracle worker or Monteiro is a lot better than I give him credit for. Going to have to keep my eye on him.
Jared Johnson clearly isn’t done yet with Monteiro. Lifting up his guitar for another shot, Johnson rained blow after blow on the ribs of the downed man until enough officials from the back were able to pull Jared off. It is clear, though, that this wasn’t an act of violence: Johnson is smiling as he’s escorted to the back, and one can’t help but think that he had a reason for disqualifying himself. Monteiro has to be carried to the back as well, injured badly.
Blaze’s Notes: And so it begins.
Hugh de Aske vs Ashton Barnaby
Ashton Barnaby, unlike his partner, knew to jaw the crowd and make himself look positively heelish as he entered from the back for his match. It may have been because I made sure he knew what he was supposed to be doing tonight, or it may have been because the guy just naturally looks like an ***hole. However he does it, it works. Hugh de Aske, decked out in full pirate regalia, is another story entirely. Hobbling to the ring on a peg leg (though a good eye could probably tell his leg was only tucked up to the back) with a stuffed parrot on his shoulder, he definitely looked like someone who would rape and pillage throughout the Atlantic. Turning to his parrot, he moves the beak closer to his ear and harhars loudly, as if the stuffed parrot told him a good joke. Making sure that the referee took good care to his stuffed parrot, he made sure to take off his peg leg and improve his mobility. Now, for the match, it was a good thing I let Hugh script out the match. Ashton didn’t really have any idea how to do anything but jump around and use his entire body as a weapon. It’s a shame that he didn’t really load the weapon, or fire it properly either. Hugh took the fight to the CZW dropout, beating Ashton from corner to corner. An attempted superplex backfired, though, and Ashton took advantage by hitting a spectacularly lucky 450 splash, though the pirate was able to kick out at the last minute. Heading to the top again, Barnaby waited for Hugh to get to his feet, before attempting a missile dropkick. He aimed way too short though, but Hugh, being a professional, “groggily stumbled” so the kick at least clipped him. After another failed pinfall, Ashton changed his tune by locking in a sloppy sleeper hold, but Hugh was able to make the classic babyface power up and break out. Barnaby wasn’t prepared for the house of fire that is Hugh de Aske, and a Cutthroat Driver later, the pirate picks up the victory.
Winner: Hugh de Aske (35, D-)
Blaze’s Notes: A pirate is all well and good… but an insane pirate? That’s money.
Brendan Idol vs El Marco
Despite being American, El Marco only remembers his life in Mexico after losing his memories. Proud of his “heritage,” Marco brought a Mexican flag to the ring, waving it in the faces of the booing crowd (if this isn’t cheap heat, I don’t know what is, but this is still a big moment for Mark: the first time anyone in an audience reacted to him other than going to the bathroom during his matches). Brendan Idol was up next, and the attractive teen idol probably made the women (woman actually, I’m pretty sure there’s only one) in the audience swoon. He only has a couple years until it starts to get noticeable he’s a long way out of high school, but for now, he’s still improving and putting out the workrate of someone half his age (an exaggeration, but still). This was a very fast-pace, action-packed bout, with both competitors being skilled aerialists and able to pull out some good spots with some psychology behind them. There styles did contrast to an extent, though: El Marco’s skills were much more similar in nature to the luchadores south of the border, incorporating a lot of flips and springboards. Idol relied more on the American style, which was to see how breathtaking you can make your move look or how many times you can flip before you land on your opponent or break your neck. Idol was a veteran, though, and Marco was good too for only having a couple months to study as a luchadore. Idol was able to pick up the win with an Idolizer (frog splash), but both of the competitors looked good.
Winner: Brendan Idol (37, D-)
Blaze’s Notes: Sure, I may take a lot of shots at Idol’s age, but it’s probably because I’m just bitter he’s a better wrestler than I am. Though you wouldn’t catch me admitting that if I thought anyone else would be reading these notes….
Idol stays in the ring as Marco leaves, though, asking for a mic from my brother.
“I’ve been on the circuit for a long time, but never have I seen such an arrogant display as the one put on by Jared Johnson tonight. What you did to Monteiro was wrong, and you know it, Jared. We’re supposed to be the models that these rookies look up to. Maybe if you cared more about leaving something behind when you’re gone and making the stars of tomorrow, you wouldn’t be such a douchebag. But you only care about winning, don’t you? I don’t know what you have planned with your assault on Monteiro, but I know that you’ve got something up your sleeve. You’re too greedy to give up a shot at gold.”
Johnny Blaze vs Cameron Vessey
Now for the main event of the evening. Cameron Vessey, a name well known in Michigan, is greeted by a chorus of boos as he makes his entrance, which the second-generation superstar seems to revel in. Blaze (I will refer to myself in third person for my own sanity) heads to the ring determinedly, not acknowledging anyone but the man in the ring. The match starts off more intensely than any of the previous preliminaries, with both competitors trading stiff punches. Johnny is able to get the better of that exchange, though, and uses Vessey’s disorientation to bounce off the ropes and hit Vessey with a Lou Thesz Press and really rain the punches to Vessey’s head. Getting up, Blaze begins systematically dismantling Cameron, raining down knees on the back of his neck. Expecting Cameron to be down, Blaze took the time to pose to the crowd. Using what little self-awareness he had left, Vessey used this opportunity to roll out of the ring and nurse his injured neck. Noticing his opponent escaped him, Blaze changes his focus on the crowd to Vessey, heading toward the edge of the ropes and gesturing for him to bring the fight back to the ring. Cameron has been in his fair share of matches, though, and pulls Blaze’s feet out from under him. The referee isn’t pleased, but he doesn’t have any time to yell at the Vessey, who, in a burst of energy, jumps up onto the apron and springboards a clothesline to the recovering Blaze!
Both men are down, now, but Cameron is up first. Rather than pin him, Cameron takes Blaze to the corner and sits him in it, raining down punches and knees to the defenseless man. Letting up his offense, Vessey backs into the ropes on the far side of the corner, bouncing back at Blaze and landing a nasty kick to Blaze’s head! Lifting the immobile Blaze up for the Vessey Driver, the MAW star drills Blaze into the mat. Finally, Cameron goes for the cover, but he does it too close to the ropes, and the referee stops his count at two. Livid, Cameron gets into the ref’s face, arguing him, but, more importantly, taking his eyes off of Blaze. Using the ropes to get to his feet, Johnny Blaze doesn’t notice Jared Johnson coming up behind him, bashing the guitar into the back of Blaze’s skull. The damage done, Johnson looks on as Vessey gets the three count and advances.
Winner: Cameron Vessey (43, D)
Blaze’s Notes: And now I begin to tally up the number of MOTN’s I put on (Yes, I am that conceited)
Cameron Vessey rolls out of the ring, heading for the announce table. After threatening Tom Lions, Vessey gets his hands on a microphone, Jared Johnson at his side.
“That’s a shame, Johnny; it looks like you lost your big shot at becoming something other than a two-bit brawler. But I didn’t come to Lion’s Gate to win a worthless title that 20 people will boo me for regardless of how I get it. I came here for one reason: revenge. Johnny, when you had your little “tryout” match with Mid-Atlantic Wrestling all those years ago, you embarrassed me. You broke my god damn neck, Blaze, with that Inferno Driver of yours. Did you think I would forget that you had me on the shelf for a year? Did you think I wouldn’t blame you for ruining my chance to get into PGHW? They didn’t want “damaged goods,” and by the time I could wrestle again my spot was filled. Every time I get a pain in my neck, I remember you, Johnny Blaze. I don’t care about Lion’s Gate Wrestling – drop me out of this pathetic tournament, I quit. The only thing I care about is beating you within an inch of your life.”
It is unclear whether Johnny, prone on the mat, was able to comprehend any of this. Next to enter the ring was Tom Lions. “You have all the right in the world to drop out of the Young Lion’s Invitational, Vessey, but you’re legally bound to compete with us until your contract expires. However, I’m banning you from tomorrow night’s show, and you’re going to have a rematch with Johnny at the finals on Sunday.” The crowd popped at this, as the two wrestlers put on a clinic (in comparison to the rest of the show) and had really gotten behind Blaze.
“You’re banning me? What will you do if I show up anyway, fire me?” Cameron doesn’t seem too frightened by that prospect, as he was planning on quitting in the first place.
“No, worse: Your uncle Bryan is in town, and I don’t think he’ll be very pleased to hear about your attitude problems. You do plan on heading to TCW in a couple years from now, don’t you?” Tom smiles, having gained the upper hand for now, while Vessey looks legitimately frightened.
“However, there is still the problem of naming a replacement. Honestly, I believe Johnny Blaze should have the spot, but as the owner I am forced to follow the rules. As he was the only man not to be pinned in the preliminary rounds, Jared Johnson will be taking Cameron Vessey’s place in the Young Lion’s Invitational.” The crowd react negatively to this, and Tom doesn’t seem very thrilled with the decision either, while Johnson’s ever-constant, arrogant grin finally begins to make sense.
As Tom Lions heads back to the announcer’s table to send us off, Vessey shares a grin with Johnson, raising Double J’s hand high to end a great debut show.
Blaze’s Notes: Jared Johnson is easily the most hated person in this company, and he’s loving every minute of it.
Overall: (37, D-)
OOC: My apologies for taking a bit longer than I expected to get the show up, but it took a lot longer than I thought it would. Comments/criticism are welcome, as this is the first show I've ever written for any sort of dynasty.
Young Lion's Invitational: Night Two
Johnny Blaze vs Ashton Barnaby
RD2: Donte Dunn vs John Armstrong
RD2: Jared Johnson vs Roger Monteiro
Paranoia vs El Marco
RD2: Hugh de Aske vs Raphael
RD2: Brendan Idol vs Amber Allen
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