The picture comes to life, the inside of the United Center illuminated in pink. “Turbo Lover” by Judas Priest plays throughout the building, neon pink and blue lasers wildly shining in various directions. The building is packed tonight for the Chicago crowd as tonight is the night. Retrograde has returned for the second year and we’re just moments away. The camera view switches to a shot from inside the ring. Looking out over the packed crowd, the camera zooms into various signs held throughout the sea of people.

The ring begins to fill with fog, a bright pink haze overtaking it. The camera view then transitions once more, this time to a shot directly in front of the announcers booth.
JOHNSON: ”Good evening ladies and gentlemen and welcome to Retrograde!”
VASSA: ”Good evening folks, we’re coming to you live tonight from the United Center in Chicago, Illinois.”
JOHNSON: ”It’s been over twenty days since we last saw you all but the night has finally arrived.”
VASSA: ”And boy oh boy, do we have quite the night planned for you all this evening.”
JOHNSON: ”Indeed we do, Vinny. Kicking this off we have a deathmatch between Erik Holland and Lisa Seldon.”
VASSA: ”After than we’ll see Alexis Kennedy and Shane Borderland go head to head, followed up with Octavius Kreig and Moxie James squaring off against each other.”
JOHNSON: ”You’ll see DeMarcus Gresham and Cartier in action tonight, as well Riley Savell taking on 4CW’s Gatekeeper, Genevie Carlson!”
VASSA: ”Then we have the Sadboiz, or may it will be the HappyBoiz facing off against the team of Reedvolution.”
JOHNSON: ”In our first championship match of the evening we have Alicia Lukas challenging American Tommy for the Octane Championship.”
VASSA: ”Moving on to the Pride, Manny Fernandez will challenge Dakota Smith with the Pride Championship on the line. After that we have a Hall of Fame Showcase match but apparently Perry has pissed off his baby boy so who knows what’s going on there.”
JOHNSON: ”In our headline match of the evening, Eden Connors will challenge Elijah Carlson, the reigning North American Champion!”
VASSA: ”Good ol Nasty Boy Eli!”
JOHNSON: ”Then we have out Main Event of the evening!”
VASSA: ”We have the 4CW Championship on the line in the first ever type of match it was introduced to 4CW back in early Twenty-Fourteen.”
JOHNSON: ”You guessed it. The Caged Ladder match returns here tonight with two men who are guaranteed to rip each other apart inside of that cage.”
VASSA: ”Bryan Laughlin, BROKEN, will step up to the plate for a chance to make 4CW great again.”
JOHNSON: ”Standing across from him we have the reigning 4CW Champion, the two time 4CW Champion, Viduus Morta!”
VASSA: ”No pinfalls. No submissions. The only way to win this match and the 4CW Championship is to climb that ladder and retrieve the belt hanging high above the ring within the confines of the cage.”
JOHNSON: ”And that’s our entire lineup for the evening, folks. We’re in for one hell of a ride and we’re just moments away from kicking things off with our opening match.”
VASSA: ”Our opening deathmatch! I can’t wait for everyone who follows this match to wrestle in the mess left behind by Erik and Lisa.”
JOHNSON: ”You’re a disgusting man, Vinny.”
VASSA: ”You’re goddamn right I am!”
JOHNSON: ”Well folks, we’re going to cut backstage for a few moments before jumping right into our opening match. Sit tight, we’ll see you back here at ringside shortly.”

The screen flashes with pulsating neon colors, the lights confusing and distracting. It’s brief, but enough to grab your attention as we see Bryan Williams standing before us backstage. With the wolf mask already on his head, he looks ready for his match in a few short moments. Bryan stands there in silence, just looking into the camera.
That is, until, a hand slaps him on the shoulder. We see the actual Bryan Williams come into frame, clearly not dressed for his match. He’s nowhere near prepared, dressed in an expensive suit made by somebody’s name I couldn’t pronounce. With his hair slicked back, Bryan looks more ready for a night on the town than anything.
He looks into the camera with a grin, one of the only ones amused by this whole situation. After a quick moment to take everything in, he begins to speak.
WILLIAMS: ”I’m sure you’re all wondering why I’m here. I mean, after all this time and now I finally choose to say something about my match tonight?”
Bryan laughs, shaking his head.
WILLIAMS: ”It’s not my match, it’s no longer my division anymore.”
He sighs, patting his stunt double on the shoulder as he begins to walk away from the scene. The lighting and scenery begin to change, as Bryan walks down the hallway deep inside of the United Center. Bryan looks around for a moment, taking everything in.
WILLIAMS: ”I want to thank the two standing teams in this division, while it still may not be enough to keep it alive I do appreciate the effort. I mean, we all saw what AJ and Bianca did to promote this match. Clearly their hearts are in the right place.”
Bryan pauses.
WILLIAMS: ”So, why should we take that from them?”
He looks around, before coming upon a dressing room. Bryan knocks on the door twice, and it seems to unlock.
WILLIAMS: ”They want this. They want to face Mariano and Tommy again, they want to try and take those tag team titles from them again. I say let them have it.”
Bryan smirks, opening the door. Inside we see a masked woman, standing in the corner. Dressed similarly to how Marquis has been preparing for her matches recently. Something tells the crowd that this isn’t her though.
WILLIAMS: ”That’s the thing, though, because we are allowing this to happen. The Sadboiz, we’re stepping back from this competition. We tried, we really did. But I think that whole situation has moved on. We did better than we thought we would, but in the end this division wasn’t meant for the both of us. And Marquis, you know, kind of got kidnapped so…”
Bryan yanks at his collar, in a comedical way.
WILLIAMS: ”I stood before you all and said that hard work had gotten us this far, and it really did. We put our heads together, and we thought our destiny was this division. Truth be told, I got the absolute maximum out of Persephone. She pushed her hardest, and by the end she was running on empty. I had gone too far, and pushed her too hard. My transformation of her was selfish, because I thought it was what I needed to win.”
Bryan sighs, sitting down in a chair as the stunt double stands in the background.
WILLIAMS: ”I never considered what she wanted. I never considered her feelings, still lingering after the bad taste of last year. I never thought that maybe someday she’d want to try for a family.”
Those words bring a smile to Bryan’s face, as he pauses again.
WILLIAMS: ”So, now, I stand here before you all and tell you that this division is not my destiny. It never was. It never was hers either, just a shared interest for the time. I’m just a man now with a goal, and another tournament to try and finish.”
Bryan stands up, adjusting his suit.
WILLIAMS: ”South Beach Brawl is inching forward, creeping closer and closer. There have been so many moments in this tournament, so many careers created from epic performances. Can you believe that this will be the first time that I step foot in it?”
Another pause.
WILLIAMS: ”Keep that in mind. Remember that, when I’m running through you all. Remember my words tonight, because you all had a four year head start.”
The camera cuts to black, for a split second, before returning to normal. Standing in Bryan’s place is the masked man, only this time there’s no Bryan anywhere to be found.

Backstage in Chicago’s famed United Center… the scene is a close up of a steaming cup of cocoa. The marshmallows floating atop the chocolatey brew swirl into a sort of marshmallow maelstrom, coaxed into a sweet eddy by the circular stirrings of a plastic spoon. A puff of steam is blown away by a pair of pursed lips that close in, sending the surface of the hot beverage into a rippling tizzy.
Then, the perspective pulls out and a second cup is in view. Matching, nearly identical, though the plastic spoon in this on stirs in the opposite direction. Above the cups, the whorls of rising steam intermingle in a rising dance as they fade away into the air, right in front of the smiling face of Cartier and SILK.
CARTIER: “Silky… what you think about my chances tonight? Gresham a real one. He a big dude too. I ain’t never afraid to scrap but you know he got some golden glove level hands of his own. I ain’t tryina go 0-2 on pay per view.”
SILK: “Girl… don’t sweat him. You do you. You already done things he couldn’t do, he said so himself right before he lowered the property value of that bodega by 25% with his wack ass tag. What’s the highlight of his 4CW career?”
CARTIER: “Beatin’ Finn Whelan back in July.”
SILK: “Okay? And you whipped that ass too, right?”
CARTIER: “Yeah…”
SILK: “And didn’t you just bounce someone who he couldn’t handle a couple weeks before?”
CARTIER: “I did, I took care of Riley AND taught her some laundry lessons in the process.”
SILK: “So what’s up? Why you stressed? Because he big? Shiiiiiiiiiiiiit. I’m big. I got mocha muscles so pretty they should be on canvas like a Da Vinci. I still wouldn’t fuck with your crazy ass.”
CARTIER: “Yeah but Silky that’s different, yo, Gresh he got a lot on the line jus’ like me. Who knows, this would be his last shot at ever bein’ relevant in this company again. He been focused on his new tag team with that K-Pop dude down in King’s Road… and you already know he ain’t gonna get nothin’ done goin’ that route wit’ you an’ me showin’ up down there.”
SILK: “Nope. That hard-to-pronounce tag team already DOA soon as we walked in the door, just like the rest of ‘em.”
CARTIER: “So this all he got. An’ he know it too. He ain’t stupid, honestly, he a real educated nigga wit’ a lot of smart words in his mouth. He remind me a little bit of Denzel, but like wit’ more abs.”
SILK: “Reminds me of me.”
CARTIER: “And he real pretty.”
SILK: “Now he REALLY reminds me of me.”
Silk then raises his cup of hot chocolate and sips it, waving his hand in front if his mouth to soothe the heat. Cartier follows suit, draining nearly half her cup in one gulp.
CARTIER: “Look… we all know this business about what you done lately. One minute I was a 4CW Champion an’ the next I wasn’t, quick like a bunny, snap of a finger. Ain’t no one cares what I done before an’ it’s the same as wit’ Gresh. He had a good win himself last time he went out there, but this all about today. Retrograde ain’t about livin’ in the past, it’s about learnin’ from it an’ moving forward. If I can’t do that tonight when the bell rings, the headlines ain’t gonna be talkin’ about how I ALMOST won. They gonna be talkin’ about who DID win. Only way I’m ever gonna be a legit title contender in this company is if I start stackin’ up wins on big shows like this one. He in the same boat an’ he got the same goals. I gotta make sure I stay one step ahead otherwise I’ll be two steps back like Paula Abdul in 1988.”
SILK: “And I’ll be right there like MC Skat Kat.”
CARTIER: “Aw, Silky, you know I’m forever your girl…”
The pair laugh, sipping on their cups of cocoa again. Cartier stands up, her drink finished, and shakes out her newly rainbow-colored hair.
CARTIER: “Almost time. I needa go make some noise in that ring. You gonna be watchin’ right?”
SILK: “You know it. I wouldn’t miss this.”
Cartier smiles and clasps her hands together. Her eyes start to water and her lip trembles a bit as her voice squeaks out at a near whisper.
CARTIER: “Sean… thank you. You been a big help to me lately an’ I appreciate it. No matter what, we gonna roll together an’ keep servin’ up this scaldin’ sex appeal.”
SILK: “All day, baby. Thot Chocolate’s where it’s at.”
Silk stands and the two hug. Cartier, obviously nervous, holds onto him tightly before breaking away suddenly with a look of determination on her face.
CARTIER: “See you after… let’s hit up a club for some bottle service no matter what.”
Cartier walks off, and Silk stares after her, smiling, like her biggest fan. The scene fades away as Silk takes another sip of his hot chocolate.


Lisa Seldon and Erik Holland find themselves in the ring surrounded by all the usual Deathmatch supplies strewn around the ring and outside of it. Holland stares daggers at Seldon and they are ready to go. Seldon looks around seeming a little disappointed until she groans when Michelle Wong comes out.
WONG: ”Hold on just a second, guys. There is just one more toy that I want to add to this thing. Just to make it a little bit special for my friend Lisa Seldon and to have something for you to remember me, Erik.”
Some staff members bring out a bat covered in barbed wire. This bat is attached, via a long cable to a large box. They take it to the ring and set the box on the side of the ring. They place the barbed wire bat on the corner.
WONG: ”That thing is a special bat. It is covered in barbed wire as these things are in this sort of match. I want to go bigger! There is a little switch on the handle that will prime this little toy so that when it hits go boom. The sparks will fly and your opponent will burn. This match is an Exploding Barbed Wire Bat Deathmatch! Have fun!
Wong waves at Holland and Seldon before leaving and they slowly turn to the bat and then towards each other. The bell rings and they immediately go for it at the same time. They pick it up at the same time and fight over it. The switch is pulled and an alarm sounds all around the arena surprising them. A buzzing sound comes out of the bat and they both drop it and take a few steps back. Erik goes over and switches it off. He turns to get a push kick from Seldon and we’re off!
Seldon is much smaller but she packs a punch and Holland covers up as she peppers him with punches and kicks. Holland roars and pushes her back. Seldon flies across the ring. She reaches over to the side and picks up a kendo stick. Holland rushes at her like a bull. Seldon hits him on the chest but he brushes it off. Holland proceeds to hit Seldon with a Yakuza Kick. He picks up the kendo stick and whacks her over the back with it again and again. Seldon writhes in pain. Holland stomps Seldon into the ground and pins her down. He drives the point of the Kendo stick into her neck and pushes down. Seldon tries to push back but finally manages to knock the weapon to the side. Holland leaves Seldon and sets up a table in the corner. He picks her up into a powerbomb position and hits a Buckle Bomb through the table. He immediately picks her up to punish her with a Violence Party in the corner. The crowd cheers and Holland plays to their praises.
He riles them up and bites the ropes. Holland goes over the the opposite corner to set up a few chairs under the turnbuckles. Seldon lays on the ground but she seems to be wrapping her leg up with something. Holland props one chair up in front of his little pile and points to Seldon for the audience. When he turns around Seldon is suddenly running at him. Her leg is wrapped in barbed wire up to her knee and she kicks off the chair to flip and hit a big Barbed Wire Koppou Kick on Holland! He crawls to the middle of the ring holding his head. When he removes his hand a small trickle of blood falls down his face. He looks at his red hand in a rage but Seldon comes at him again with a Penalty Kick with the horror of a leg. Seldon goes up to the top. She flies off with a crossbody attempt when Holland gets up but he catches her. He picks her up into the Canadian Backbreaker hold then runs to his pile of chairs to drop her with a Sitdown Powerbomb. He goes over to the Exploding Barbed Wire Bat and switches it on. The alarm blares around the arena. Holland holds the bat up but Seldon jumps on his back like a wild banshee. The ref switches the bat off.
She sticks a handful of short skewers onto his forehead making him drop the bat. She slams them in until Holland slams her over him and down again. She rolls out of the ring. Holland screams as he pulls them out and the trickle of blood becomes a stream. Seldon comes back into the ring holding two light tubes. She waves them in the air and goes to hit Holland with them but he grabs her arms and hits her with a headbutt. Holland takes the light tubes from her and smashes them over her head. Holland shakes his head sending blood flying everywhere in a sick display.
He goes over to Seldon and sicks the pieces of broken glass into her head cutting her flesh. Seldon recoils but then kicks him in the balls with her barbed wire covered leg. Holland goes down. She finds the remaining pieces of light tube and places them in between his arms and neck as she locks in a Japanese Stranglehold crossing his arms around his neck and pulling back. She pulls back until the glass is shattered. Holland holds onto his neck to see if he will still be living after this match. He wipes away the glass lucky to only come up with a scratch. The sound of the alarm makes him come out of his panic. Seldon runs at him with the bat but he hits a Plan 9 from Outer Space! NO! The superman punch is blocked. Seldon drops the bat and takes the blow with an arm. She still wobbles as Holland still hit hard but Seldon wraps her arms around his fist and takes a big bite out of his hand.
Seldon slaps his hand down and grabs the bat. She stares at it in awe as it buzzes and crackles with sinister purpose. She takes a swing for Holland and the bat explodes across his chest sending a loud boom around the ring. The shockwave and sparks send both of them reeling as the bat explodes to splinters across Hollands chest! When the smoke clears Holland is laid out and his chest is a bloody mess. Seldon’s hands shake as she goes over to him on her knees and covers. The ref slides over for the count. Lisa wins!
WINNER: Lisa Seldon via Pinfall (13:55)

GRESHAM: “Of course I could reply to the words said by Cartier as she did during her time. I could do the same when it comes to me. Instead of that, I’d rather remain in enlightenment.”
The camera already being on at the sound of his voice but the view seems to be in the far back of the United Center. In a very low volume “King Kunta” by Kendrick Lamar plays muffled as if in a pocket. A few Chicago Bulls and Chicago Blackhawks ads align the back wall but mostly overlapping those is the main theme of tonight, Retrograde. DeMarcus sits in a familiar spot that you’ve seen a number of times in his addresses to the public. The ceiling lamps being the only notion of light in the area and he sits directly underneath them. His chessboard and fold out chairs and table. He’s halfway into his wrestling gear as noticed by the singlet straps under his black Adidas jacket. He keeps a focus on the game in front of him while picking up the pawn piece.
GRESHAM: “Last time I picked up a pawn piece in front of the general mass of you disgraceful gassers I believe I became one in the eyes of 4CW. Losing to who I lost to. Losing in the fashions I lost in. Take away the presence of facts I’ve made my entire time here. As I said before they will not hear you unless you win and choose to what they listen to.”
He takes a look at the pawn piece and pauses. Then he looks upward with a ‘hmm’ coming out of him.
GRESHAM: “I would’ve gladly given Hartman his time today but as I’m sure you all know he’s probably running up Cartier’s skirt long after the interview like the lost puppy. Next time chap I’m sure.”
He continues with the pawn piece before placing it on the board making his move. He gets up and slowly strolls to the other seat.
GRESHAM: “I grow tired of this game. The constant repeat. The same mundane when all that seems to change is the name. Time and time again my patience wanes as I give you the truth. Fact. Unchanging. I’ve shown you that even though I do not join in your playful acts of stupidity I do in fact pay attention. I learn. I evolve.”
Movement of the rook before he switches seats.
GRESHAM: “Yet it either falls on deaf ears or perhaps the truth hurts so much you deny it before it hits your subconscious. That longer matters. What matters is making that statement unmistakably clear. The gift will rise. Tonight is not just a match against Cartier. It’s about the path. It is the constant reminder to the lot of you that although you may not see the challengers, they are here and they are rising. For those of you who refuse to give due because of current placement and for those of you who believe that the work is not being done. Pay attention. You highlight the failures. The quitters. Smith Jones, Orianna Johnson, David Sanchez, dare I say even Shane Borderland. I heard he’s been rather, quiet.”
The reason for his chuckle is obvious.
GRESHAM: “Of course, those are easier to note but I enjoy this energy as the currents say. What will it take for those eyes to open? Power? Relentlessness? Resolve? Or as the currents say ‘savagery’? Or maybe just words on a screen?”
Gresham keeps his focus on the board still not looking at the camera.

GRESHAM: “I was told before in the greatest example of the ignorance that courses this place that because I choose to not join the circus, I do not care about my career. I do not care about my opportunities. Then to add insult to that egregious injury, I see a grouping of dark-faced colonizers speaking about this showing of black excellence as if it has not been here all along. Dare I say, I feel slighted. The nerve.”
Gresham fakes a ‘hand to chest’ motion with a smirk before making his next move on the chessboard and once again adjusting seats.
GRESHAM: “After consulting with Antonio who has his own in-depth thoughts on the matter I’ve come to a sound conclusion. Post placing Cartier back into her natural habitat I will show you the personification of that excellence. In and outside of the ring. I refuse to join in as the monkey. You all have more than enough of those. I rather conduct. I will expand on the light given to me. I will be a necessary example. Will engage each match with the aggression and ferocity that is deserved because that is what it takes to open eyes. To enlighten minds, I will follow my own advice. I will be twice as good in your worthless avenue as well as my own.”
Gresham scratches the side of his head and then straightens his sweatpants which adjusts the sound of the Kendrick track.
GRESHAM: “I have a lot more time on my hands as of late. Never you mind as to why. Instead of taking an extended time in my mind perhaps I’ll take some time to learn yours. I’m looking forward to learning Cartier’s tonight because no matter what was said her eyes will show me her truth. Those wonderful windows to the soul. We will share, I will prevail. I will Gift her as no one has before. Perhaps she can learn chess with me after all’s said and done. Introduce her to some culture to go with her hair colors. Stay enlightened.”
Gresham makes his move on the board as the scene fades to an ad about some headass Radio show.

KENNEDY: “There is an old tradition..”
The sounds of metal hitting wood filled the backspace, thunk!thunk!thunk!, the tip of a dagger being driven into wood absolutely resonated to the bass of the song that was leaving her lips as she sat there. She drove that blade in between the spaces of her left hand’s fingers, her right holding the knife.
KENNEDY: “You start by getting liquored up and sharpening your blade! You take a shot of whiskey, you grab your knife and pray! And spread apart your fingers, and this is what you say..”
Breathing in deep, focusing her blue eyes as she kept the knife’s tip on track like a record player’s needle gliding along the vinyl track to cause the music to come across the air!
KENNEDY: “Oh, I have all my fingers! The Knife goes chop, chop, chop! If I miss the spaces in between, my fingers will come off! If I hit my fingers, the blood will soon come out! But All the same I play this game because that’s what it’s all about!”
Suddenly, she flipped the knife up, caught it with her left hand, slammed her right down with spread fingers and abruptly started with her left hand taking the lead of bringing the knife down with each and every hammer fisted stroke!
KENNEDY: “Oh you can’t use a pencil, you can not use a pen! The only way is with a knife when danger is your friend! And some may call it stupid, some may call it dumb, but all the same we play this game because it’s so damn fun”
Pausing, she leaned forward and SLAMMED the knife dead center of the table, leaning back to look at the camera, her blue eyes fixed right on the lens itself.
KENNEDY: “Danger, is my friend. Danger, is what drives me. I dive off ropes, I fight people bigger, stronger, and more experienced than me, and I do it because that’s what I have to do to get better. Here, is me trying to fight someone who, yet again, has more experience than I do. A former multiple time champ, an alleged 4CW veteran, and an asshole who has ‘Bad Boy’ emblazoned across his ass like an over aged dancer at Chip and Dale’s. I’m fighting someone who can’t beat me, who has no fucking chance of winning against anyone on the 4CW roster, let alone me, and frankly? I’m fucking tired already. I know, i still haven’t done shit, right? Biggest star I’ve faced was Alicia Lukas and she beat me. Now I’m going up against another former champ. What now?”
She just tapped the top of the knife’s pommel, leaving her index finger on it as she leaned in
KENNEDY: “What now, is that we show just how fucking dangerous we are, when danger is our friend.”
With that, she was climbing to her feet, and walking off scene, right as it faded to black.


Shane Borderland starts off the match by rushing at Alexis Kennedy and trying everything in his power to land a punch on her. Kennedy avoids all the hits as if she were some type of super Shaolin monk or something. She bobs, weaves, and sidesteps all of his attempts to get at her. Kennedy finally stops playing with Borderland and avoids a lariat attempt to then hit him with a Supergirl Punch. Borderland is knocked back into the ropes and Kennedy kicks him through the ropes. Borderland falls through the middle ropes but lands on the apron. Kennedy runs off the opposite ropes and runs at Borderland. She flies through the air and jumps up over the ropes to hit Borderland’s chest and stomps him down to the floor. Kennedy takes in the roar of the crowd before collecting Borderland. They brawl for a few moments before she gains the upper hand with some kicks to the chest and head. She sends Borderland crashing into all four sides of the barricades. She throws him back into the ring before they are both counted out. This will not be an easy win for her.
Borderland rises up out of his stupor to hit Kennedy’s head with an elbow then tries for a running bulldog. Kennedy runs with him and increases the speed. She throws him up against the ropes. When he bounces back she hits him with a flash Snap Suplex. Borderland rises to his knees and she quiets the crowd down. She kicks at his chest slowly and deliberately allowing the audience to count each kick. After increasing her speed, and the audience counts to the absurd number of 20, Borderland collapses. Kennedy drags him to the corner. She hits a Shooting Star Leg Drop and goes for a pin. Borderland rises up and spazzes the fuck out flailing and punching at the air to get some distance from Kennedy.
Kennedy engages and they get into a slugfest in the middle of the ring. Borderland hits the harder hits but Kennedy manages to roll through the punches like a pro boxer. Who knew?! She kicks him in the shin. Then she punishes his legs with some low kicks until he goes down. Kennedy is feeling herself and she motions for her crotch over and over until the crowd chants for Borderland to Suck My Dick. Kennedy picks him up and goes for The A Bomb. The crowd quiets down in a gasp as she lifts Borderland up for the giant powerbomb and he falls right onto her as he is 243 fuck off lbs. The ref counts but Kennedy manages to kick out.
Borderland rolls off and laughs at her puny form on the mat. He picks her up to end it with The Borderlands, but Kennedy kicks out into the air and hits a DDT. Kennedy goes up to the top ropes again and points her finger guns at Borderland as he gets up. She shoots and hits a Missile Dropkick for the Cocked n Locked. Borderland flies back and lands in the corner.Kennedy runs at him and hits the Fuck You Molly, Kick pinning Borderlands head against the top turnbuckle. He drops down in a heap and Kennedy pins for the win.
WINNER: Alexis Kennedy via Pinfall (10:25)

The camera cuts to the parking lot area in which we find Dakota Smith, just now arriving at the arena. He has an old, worn and torn army duffel bag over one shoulder, and the 4CW Pride Championship draped over the other, he is dressed in a white wife beater, and black jeans. As the camera meets up with you can already tell his disgust at being prodded so early into the night. The butcher stops at the doors, and instead of entering the arena he drops his bag on the floor and places his back up against one of the brick walls of the parking lot. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out a pack of cigarettes, seemingly going to give this camera man his five seconds. As the butcher lights up his cigarettes his eyes look directly into the camera. He takes a long, drawn out inhale as a smirk squirms across his face. Smoke seeps from his nostrils as he begins to speak.
SMITH: ”The things I’ve done, the people I’ve seen laid eviscerated in front of me. The blood that I’ve tasted of almost every single superstar who was worth a fuck in this company. What does it matter if I can’t defend this championship?”
Dakota lets the belt slide from his shoulder and into the palm of his hand before raising it up to eye level, so the camera could see it.
SMITH: ”That’s the question I kept asking myself going into this match Mariano, that if I can’t defend this championship… Then maybe I shouldn’t even be stick around, maybe my body is telling my mind something that it just simply comprehend. And I mean that in every way possible, because I can’t comprehend going into this match and not fucking smearing your heroes blood all across that match. The villain in me, the monster laughs at the fact that I could be done in by someone so fucking noble. Someone who gets their inspiration by the make believe and uses it so… efficiently.”
Slowly Dakota lowers the championship, cradling it it both hands as he looks down upon it.
SMITH: ”Because you are and efficient hero, you let these crowds get behind you and give you things that people only dream of. You use those things, that power that they lend you to do incredible things Manny, I’ve seen it myself. I’ve watched as you had pulled out through all of the odds. You made you etch in this company, and that’s something that most just try to do. But while you live for their love, I just want to strip it all away. I want to hurt you, leave you maimed and your insides blistered. I just want you to die.”
With his head still pointed at the championship, Dakota’s eyes look up at the camera.
SMITH: ”Not out of hate, or jealousy… But because that’s who the fuck I am Manny. I can’t change that, it’s embedded in me like all that video game bullshit that you fucking spit and go on about. So I guess what I’m trying to say is.“
He turns his head, giving the camera his complete attention.
SMITH: ”If you beat me… Then you earned it. Make my mind understand… Because if you don’t? Then those tag team championships you tried so hard to earn… Don’t mean fucking anything at all. And I’ll devour you, spread your innards across that ring and continue on my path.“
Placing the Pride Championship back on his shoulder, Dakota leans up and grabs his bag, flicking his cigarette at the camera man in the process. He then turns his back to the camera and walks in as you are treated to some other 4CW bullshit.

The cameras cut backstage to Riley Savell who’s sitting towards the back of the catering area with an apple in her hand, turning it over and over, she doesn’t take a bite, instead she’s just studying it closely.
SAVELL: ”Do you suppose this is organic?”
Inspecting it once again, Riley shakes her head with a sigh.
SAVELL: “Not worth the risk.”
Placing the apple down beside her, she looks back to the camera with a slight shrug.
SAVELL: “Don’t worry, I’ll eat something later. Have to keep this toothpick physique somehow, right?”
A deadpan, followed by a roll of her eyes replaces her expression for a moment. Riley then starts to laugh spinning the apple absently around its stalk, on the spot.
SAVELL: “Okay, But Seriously. This is a fuckin big night for me, I’m not gonna lie, I’ve spent the last few days building it up in my head and, well, that could prove to be a huge mistake. I could, too easily, lose myself this match before even stepping in the ring…”
Riley pauses, acknowledging her own nature to overthink out loud, before shaking her head once again.
SAVELL: “Or… This could be exactly what I need. Admitting to myself and, o guess everybody else now, just how seriously I’m taking this match. Because I DO have everything to gain from winning this. Genevie is out after this match, this is my chance to put in everyone’s minds that I sent her out on a loss, to me, this is a bigger deal now than it was a week ago – now? Now it’s a chance for me to solidify my feet on the ground, to get that traction I need and leave me spotty at best record here so far in the past where it fuckin belongs…”
She picks the Apple back up and holds it out in front of her with a pensive sigh.
SAVELL: “So, on second thought, I could probably use all the extra energy I can get.”
And with that she takes a bite from the apple, waving the camera off as she has nothing else to say.


Moxie James looks to be between a rock and a hard place as she watches Wrigley outside the ring and the big Octavius Kreig inside of it. Moxie does her best to stay out of Kreig’s reach at the beginning of the match making sure to pick her shots and move out of his way. When She goes for an armdrag, Kreig picks her right up but James transitions into a tijeras attempt using the momentum. She twirls over and around all over Kreig as they both jockey for position in a frantic twirling dance. It all ends with James finally getting the big man over and sends him rolling over and crashing into the bottom turnbuckle. Kreig exits the ring and James nods at him. Wrigley gets a few words with Kreig before he charges back into the ring.
James meets him and goes for a forearm smash. Kreig takes it and she tries to knock him back into the corner with multiple strikes. Kreig then just smashes her with a haymaker. He holds onto his chest before coming and crashing into her with a Leaping Senton Splash. He stays on top of her for a pin attempt but she kicks out.
Kreig picks James up and hooks her arms out of the way to hit her with some rapid knee strikes. He throws her to the side and extends his arms in a Jesus pose taking in some booing. He throws her around the ring some more with some suplexes. It seems absolutely dismal for James but Wrigley is all grins on the outside.
James finds some breathing room after she is thrown to the corner and manages to hold on and climb. She hits a diving neckbreaker on Kreig before he has any idea what she is up to. James jumps onto Kreig to lock in a Pentagram Choke. She is latched on tight in the complicated hold and has nowhere to go. Kreig is about to go out right in front of the ref. He forces the ref back with a swipe of his leg and rolls over. Kreig powers up and picks James off the ground to slam her head down on the mat multiple times until she gets off. James rolls back onto the corner.
Kreig rushes at her but James scrambles up the corner grabbing Kreig as she flips back to hit a Shiranui. She jumps up and stomps Kreig down with a few double foot stomps. The last one comes after climbing up to the second rope. Kreig rolls to the outside after the assault. James gives chase.
When she rounds the corner post Kreig suddenly tuns to hit an Avalanche Splash on to the post. Kreig climbs up to the apron and pulls her up by the hair. He enters the ring and reaches for her again. James holds his arm and locks in an armbar over the top ropes. Wrigley goes crazy for the ref to get her off. James let’s go as Kreig falls into the ring holding his arm. Wrigley climbs up on to the apron to argue with the ref.
James climbs up to the top again and calls for the end. Kreig is rising. James looks to get him to Talk to God but as she begins to twirl Kreig has her See the Light with a fireball right to her face! Wrigley hops down from the apron as James crashes into the mat. Kreig goes over to James and puts her into the Descent into Madness. His fingers plunge into her mouth and she fight a like mad to get free. James elbows and slaps at Kreig but she grows weaker as the pain comes to her in waves. Kreig lifts her up off the mat and braces her up to hit the Skullpump, chokeslamming her down. Kreig pins and wins.
WINNER: Octavius Kreig via Pinfall (13:11)

Alicia storms out of the locker room dressed ready in her entrance gear. She turns a corner and stops spying a backstage crew, the camera pointed right at her, she gives a small nod to them and folds her arms over her chest looking somewhat annoyed.
LUKAS: ”Here we go, Retrograde, the event I’ve been looking forward to for the last few weeks, ever since the 4CW twitter account broke the news that I’d be competing for the 4CW Octane title. The announcement that I would be taking on Tommy one on one. And see, I was excited. Not just for the title shot but because I felt like I had finally earned my place. That all the ups and downs and general drama of my 4CW career had led me to be accepted by the fans and all those backstage.”
She leans back against a wall and sighs with a laugh under it.
LUKAS: ”If there is one thing I hate in this business it’s people who are fake and insincere. I thought for sure if I was going to be accepted I’d see it here. Earning my right to face Tommy for a title he had made mean something. I was so excited that before I even started training for this I recorded a promo, I had to get all my feelings on this out. I had to make it known how I felt in all this and what did I get in return?. I got someone who on twitter in front of the world told us all how he was a nice guy and has all the fans cheering for him and someone who seemed like maybe, just maybe he would understand the gravity of the situation….”
She scoffed and shook her head making an annoyed face.
LUKAS: ”Nah, I got shit on. Thing is I’m not even really mad, I’m disappointed. I’m disappointed cause I honestly thought Tommy wouldn’t underestimate me. I thought he’d see me for the threat I am and the caliber of opponent I can be. But instead, well instead I got the same bullshit attitude everyone else has given me since I stepped foot in here. Kinda funny that this wannabe edgelord would compare me to Cartier when he himself basically said everything against me Cartier did. With the added comments about her of course. And the thing is, Tommy =, you have now backed you8rself up into a corner. See, not only have you gone and run your mouth in a way that makes you look and sound just like everyone else when you were supposed to be different…but what happens now when I beat you?”
She shrugs and waits for an answer that would never come as the crowd out in the arena seem to quiet down and wait for Alicia’s rhetorical answer.
LUKAS: ”If you had cut a promo, and told the world that I had earned my way to you, that it was going to be a worthwhile match then if I beat you, you would have lost to someone that, by your own admission was talented. But because you reached up and went for the low hanging fruit because you went and channeled your inner Riley Savell, I walk out there and beat your ass, then you got beat by a “no one”. I honestly thought you were smarter than that. Instead, you treated me like a last minute afterthought, tweeting about everything from Kimitu’s match to the Oscars, to Manny being pegged, to your issues with Perry while then popping up at the last minute running me down like you’re some kind of legend. I told you the truth in how I respected you and what you’ve done with the Octane title. But now I’m telling you….I’m disappointed in the person you have become and I’m going to break you in half, take your title and send you home to Kimitsu and Manny where one can lick your wounds and the other one can suck your dick…I’m just not sure which one does which…”
Alicia rolls her eyes and sh0ves past the camera man on her way to the ring.

The Retrograde feed cuts backstage, just outside of the trainer’s room. Initially, we see Frankie Morrison standing just outside of the door, holding his cellphone up to his ear. He pulls the cell phone away and looks down at the screen, shaking his head as he lets out an exasperated sigh. He stuffs the phone into the inner breast pocket of his suit jacket and turns towards the door, pushing it open, and entering the trainer’s room. Chris Madison is sitting on a massage table with two personal trainers and 4CW’s resident doctor huddled around him. Chris is dressed for action, wearing a licensed 4CW Retrograde t-shirt, with his legs dangling over the side of the table. The doctor feels Madison’s surgically repaired knee and the former 4CW Champion instantly grimaces.
MORRISON: “What are we thinking doc?”
DOCTOR: “Well, I don’t think he tore any of the ligaments. But I’m not happy with how much swelling is in his knee still. When was the last time you competed Chris?”
MADISON: “The sixteenth…”
The doctor exhales as he brings his hand up to his mouth.
DOCTOR: “Let me see you extend your leg, hold it outward, and then slowly bend it back.”
Madison slowly extends his leg outward so that it’s parallel with the floor. As he keeps it extended, he bites down on his bottom lip, visibly in pain. The doctor nods his head and Chris slowly brings his leg back so that it’s dangling over the edge of the table.
DOCTOR: “Hop on down. I need to see that you can put some weight on it.”
Chris turns his head and shoots Frankie a look before slowly sliding off the table. The second his feet touch the ground it’s obvious that he can barely put any significant weight on his leg. Frankie covers his mouth his right hand and tucks his left against his side as he watches his client come to the realization that his Retrograde match is in serious jeopardy.
DOCTOR: “Well, unfortunately, in good faith, I can’t let you go out there and compete tonight Chris. I know this isn’t what you want to hear, but you’ll do yourself more harm than good trying to fight through this. I think we’re looking at a sprain but I would need to look at an MRI in order to confirm that.”
MADISON: “Absolutely fuckin’ not! You’re not doin’ this to me!”
Madison tries to take a step towards the doctor but instantly doubles over, clutching at his knee.
DOCTOR: “I’m sorry but the only thing we can do from here is get you to a hospital for a MRI so I can see if there’s any kind of damage to the ligaments and tendons in your knee. If all looks fine, you should be good to go for the next Adrenaline.”
MORRISON: “Thanks doc.”
The doctor and Frankie Morrison shake hands before he leaves the room with the two trainers, leaving Morrison alone with his client. Frankie steps towards Madison and places a hand on his shoulder.
MORRISON: “We have to think of the big picture here Chris. Bronx isn’t going away. I’m sure the two of you could have this rubber match another time…”
Madison stood upright, snarling at Frankie as he slowly shakes his head.
MADISON: “No one is stoppin’ me from goin’ out to that ring tonight!”
Deadlocked in an intense stare down, neither Madison or Morrison budge as the feed cuts away.


The bell rings and Gresham is caught off guard as Cartier comes flying in with a running low dropkick right to the kneecap. Gresham drops to one knee and Cartier uses her speed to hit and run hitting some hard right hands stepping back as Gresham reaches out for her. Cartier hits a stiff knee to Gresham’s face causing him to see stars. She turns and hits the ropes and hammers in to a hip attack. Gresham goes down and Cartier goes for a quick pin but Gresham kicks out and throws Cartier’s 5’4 frame up in the air. Cartier though gets her feet under her body and as Demarcus sits up Cartier hits a running single leg dropkick to his face, the much larger man rolls over holding the side of his face being completely bum rushed.
Cartier realizes she can’t let Gresham get to his vertical base so she stays on him leaping up for a lou thesz press. She crashes down on top of him and rains down hard right hands and again Gresham uses his power to throw her off, Cartier hits the ropes and goes for another hip attack, as she turns her body though Gresham catches her wrapping his arms around her waist picking her up in a rear waistlock shifting her weight in his arms turning her horizontal and bringing her body crashing down across his knee with a backbreaker. Cartier’s body bounces in the air as she moans in pain holding her lower back. Gresham takes a moment to collect himself after dealing with Cartier’s manic attack that seemed to be hard for him to keep up with.
Cartier grabbed the bottom rope and started to pull herself up, Gresham went after her and lined her up for a knee lift, Cartier though ducked out of the way, pulling the top rope down and Gresham flew over the top rope to the floor. Cartier grabbed the top rope and threw her body up and over down onto Gresham leading with her knees with a modified meteora. She landed hard and rolled to get back to her feet, Cartier slid back in the ring and grabbed the top rope again waiting for Gresham to get up going for the same move since it worked so well before. But Gresham this time was able to see it coming and is able to throw his arm in the air connecting with a european uppercut, Cartier’s head snaps back and she lands on the floor hard. Gresham gets a hold of Cartier, puts a hand under her arm and is able to throw her up into the air over the top rope into the ring.
Cartier flips over the top rope to the mat landing on her back as Gresham follows, Cartier slides to the corner and the 6’6 250-pounder follows, he reaches down and pulls Cartier up and biels her out of the corner, Cartier flies through the air all the way across the ring causing her to crash against the mat. Gresham tilts his head and steps forward her with an arrogant smirk telling Cartier to get up, as she goes he grabs her and Biels her across the ring again. Cartier hits the mat hard and Gresham just shakes his head. Cartier pulls herself up on the ropes and Gresham measures her up launching himself at her for what looks to be a spear in the corner. Cartier though kicking her legs off the bottom rop and pushes herself forward off the top front flipping over Gresham who crashes face first into the top turnbuckle.
He stumbles back and Cartier hits the ropes leaping in the air hitting the Eat this ass!. Gresham goes down hard and Cartier lands on top of his chest pushing out all the air in his lungs. She goes for a pin and gets a two before Gresham sits up, Cartier wastes no time and hits the ropes again before leaping in the air slamming her knees into his chest again with a sitting Meteora!. She rolls into the corner and calls for the Empire state of mind. She runs forward for it but Gresham off one knee launches forward hitting a vicious clothesline sending Cartier inside out.
Gresham shakes off the attacks from Cartier, the effects of the Meteora still there. He pulls Cartier up and slams her down in a back suplex, Cartier bounces off the mat and Gresham rolls over and starts doing pushups while trash talking Cartier.He then steps back and calls for her to get up, he runs forward going for his Determination kick, Cartier is able to roll under it and out of the way, she then leaps off the middle rope hitting a moonsault press, she lands on Gresham and pops up before keeping the momentum going, she turns to the ropes and turns around only to be snatched up, spun around and slammed down at full force with Gresham’s Enlightenment!. Cartier is out and Gresham is able to win with the one, two, three!
WINNER: DeMarcus Gresham via Pinfall (10:22)

American Tommy is seen coming out of Perry Wallace’s office presumably after taking the shit that he was talking about on Twitter. He looks back inside and smiles before shutting the door and goes to turn the corner but that goddamn Hartman stops him in his tracks by shoving a microphone into his face.
TOMMY: “Damn man, you just sneak up out of nowhere don’t you?”
Hartman looks at Tommy and goes to open Wallace’s office door but Tommy stops him before he can do it.
TOMMY: “He’s not in there Hartman.”
HARTMAN: “Then why were you in there?”
TOMMY: “You don’t get paid to ask me questions.”
HARTMAN: “Well, actually…”
He shakes his head and points in ONE DIRECTION and it’s the opposite direction. Hartman doesn’t move and Tommy gets a bit antsy, but sticks around.
TOMMY: “What do you want?”
HARTMAN: “Well, you face Alicia Lukas tonight and you had some harsh words for her when you were hyping up your match in your video.”
Tommy looks back at Perry’s door and to the ground and sees nothing so he entertains the question.
TOMMY: “I was, but all she simply needs to show me something in the ring, because what she’s done so far just hasn’t been it. She does that and I’ll be the first person to line up and shake her hand and tell her a job well done. Don’t just talk. Show me.”
HARTMAN: “You expect to win tonight?”
Tommy scoffs and just stares at Hartman like he’s an idiot.
TOMMY: “Of course I do. Would you expect anybody to say the other person is going to win? You get paid for asking questions like -”
He stops and looks down at the ground and sees water running out of the bottom of the door and smiles, but quickly stops and looks at Hartman.
TOMMY: “Look Hartman, I’m a busy guy and can’t be standing around answering questions all night. I’ll be walking out still Octane Champion and I’ll be watching from the back when the other half of American Mangs walks out with singles gold around his waist as well. Tonight we make a statement. We’re taking over y’all.”
Tommy grabs a piece of paper and tape from a table near die and tapes it to the front of Perry Wallace’s office door. He grabs a marker from his pocket and writes “Out of Order” on it with a smiley face. Tommy looks down at the floor one more time and smiles and walks away. Hartman watches Tommy turn the corner and opens Perry’s office door and the entire room is flooded and the water is coming from the restroom. He silently chuckles to himself and shakes his head before closing the door.
HARTMAN: “Nope. Not even going to go there. I was never here.”
Hartman walks out of camera view as the camera zooms in on the water coming out from the bottom of the door.

The cameras are backstage and Genevie is seen pacing back and forth. Her hands are clasped in front of her and she rubs them together she happens to glance up and notices the camera. She stops pacing and smiles.
CARLSON: “Well. Here it is. My last match. For a long time anyways. I’m excited and I’m at peace with my decision and I’m also at peace with walking out the door knowing I beat that little bitch Riley.”
She let out a laugh and shook her head.
CARLSON: “This girl has yet to figure it out and I honestly don’t think she’s ever going to. Talking about how I need to know my worth or some shit. Like I haven’t known since long before she even thought of being a professional wrestler because she saw her brother have success and thought it would be fun.”
Genevie scoffed and rolled her eyes as she crossed her arms over her chest.
CARLSON: “My worth in 4CW is always going to be thirty times greater than whatever Riley hopes to accomplish here. My worth in life? A million times greater than hers. A failed marriage that played out for all of us to see. Compared to mine which is still standing. Now her current relationship she thinks she knows her worth when she’s too stupid to realize she’s the rebound chick that will get cut loose. Your worth Riley? Is a lot less then you think. Your worth as a person and as a competitor in this company. Is minuscule in comparison to mine and because you’re too stupid and delusional to see that. I’m going to fucking destroy you, and maybe then you’ll figure out your TRUE worth.”
Genevie smirked and dropped her arms to her sides.
CARLSON: “So thanks in advance for being a cliff note in my career. I’m going out on top and it feels good to do it at your expense. To everyone else? Don’t get too comfortable because one day I will be back and I will be exactly wherever the fuck I choose to be in this company and just know well in advance I expect to be at the top of it. Later bitches.”
Genevie winked and blew a kiss at the camera before pushing past it with a look of disgust walking confidently away as the scene faded out.


Following her announcement that she may be taking some time off the crowd in the united center gave some love to Genie. Chants of “please don’t go” and “thank you Genie” rang out from the Chicago crowd. Genie tried to keep it professional but gave a small smirk to the fans as Riley stepped forward and the two got face to face yapping at each other. Riley started pointing at the fans with a laugh as Genie then put her hand in front of Riley’s face showing the ultimate disrespect. Riley slapped Genie’s hand away and Genie laughed at the fact she got under Riley’s skin. Riley though slapped Genie across the face causing the fans to “ooo”. Genie gave a small nod and mouthed “all right” before turning and taking Riley to the ground with a double leg takedown. Genie started peppering Riley with hard right hands and Riley slid back to the ropes grabbing the bottom rope screaming for the referee to get Genie off her. The referee started counting but then had to grab Genie and pull her away from Riley who slid from the ring to the floor moving her hair out of her face as she seethed.
Genie waited in the ring blowing a kiss at her opponent, Riley shook her head and kicked the steel steps in anger,, the referee started his ten count and Genie walked over sitting on the middle rope opening the ropes for Riley who just ignored her and went to the steps slowly getting in the ring Riley moved around Genie and the two measured each other up, they stepped close and Riley ducked a right hand and slammed in a short headbutt to Genie’s jaw. Genie stumbled back and Riley stayed on the attack hitting hard right hands to Genie’s face and ribs before doubling her over and slamming clubbing blows on her back. Riley grabs Genie by the head pulling her into a suplex position, Riley takes Genie over with a snap and then rolls her hips spins from Genie’s arm and then locks in a fujiwara armbar on the mat. Genie though gets her leg around the bottom rope causing the break that Riley reluctantly completes at 4 ¾’s.
Riley steps back with her hands upm and Genie shakes out her arm. Riley moved the referee out of the way and went at Genie who reached up and raked her eyes. Riley holds her face and steps back, Genie takes control ducking down and picks up Riley for an Alabama Slam, Riley hits the match with a thud and Genie stayed on the attack, dropping down and putting her knee into Riley’s back, she reached around and pulls back on Riley’s leg and beck bending Riley back over her knee. Genie laughs and taunts as Riley kicks her free leg trying to get to the ropes but she can’t, Genie pulls back even harder and Riley yells in pain.
Riley is able to struggle and get her head free, she then rolls over a little and throws her free leg up slamming her knee into Genie’s face forcing her to release the hold. Genie slides back as Riley is able to pop to her feet and go for a buzzsaw kick, Genie is able to duck under it and hit the ropes, Riley does for a back elbow, then a clothesline and Genie leaves her feet slamming into Riley with a flying clothesline Riley goes down hard and Genie slides over for a pin attempt getting a two. Genie pops to her feet and walks around Riley with her arms out taunting her before climbing to the top rope for a leg drop, but as she leaps off Riley rolls out of the way and Genie hits the mat hard and holds her tailbone in obvious pain. Riley jumps forward pivoting off her left leg hitting that vicious buzzsaw kick with a sickening slap sound that echoes through the arena.
Riley shakes off the attacks from Genie and moves around her. Riley calls for Genie to get up and as she does she moves in and hits a slingblade. Genie bounces off the mat and Riley ends up n the corner staring at her, the crowd gets on Riley’s back chanting “Riley sucks” but the brash young woman just laughs and throws up a middle finger salute in two directions, Genie rolls over onto her stomach and starts to get up on all fours, Riley goes for the Curb stomp but Genie is able to move and Riley instead stomps the mat, Genie is up facing away from Riley, she throws herself back and hits the ode to my prince Pele, Riley gets kicked right between the eyes and goes down as Genie rolls over and hooks Riley’s leg for another close two.
Genie gets to her feet and instead of taunting as you’d expect she goes for the Stiletto kiss, but Riley rolls out of the way at the last second and grabs a hold of Genie into a roll up for another two count, Genie kicks out and Riley rolls in the opposite direction, as they both get up Genie goes to kick Riley in the stomach, Riley catches Genie’s leg and throws her own leg over with a step over spin kick. Genie holds her face after Riley’s ankle connected with it, Riley pops up and as Genie is holding her face Riley goes for the Savell stomp, again she missed and Genie is able to avoid, Riley turns and Genie ducks a clothesline before turning and leaping in the air over Riley’s back into a standing #BOWDOWN!. Genie goes for the pin but Riley is able to kick out. Genie slams her fist on the mat and gets to her feet leaning down and slapping Riley, she goes for the Stiletto kiss again, Riley though moves and quickly grabs Genie by the head throwing herself forward with the Crowning! Riley pins and gets the one, two, three!
WINNER: Riley Savell via Pinfall (13:01)

The North American champion sat quietly, secluded from the rest of the madness that was happening in the arena and all of the hustle and bustle that went along with the production of shows like the one going on that evening. In truth, he knew that his wife would need a few moments alone to process the fact that she was stepping away from the company and intended to be gone for some time. More than that, though, was the fact that he still had work to do. He still had a championship to defend. And as much as he wanted to be there by Genie’s side, he couldn’t. Not yet. Once he took care of what he needed to, then he could be there for her as he knew she would want and need him to be. For the time being though it just meant that he had found a steel chair and set it up in a quiet hallway that he had found. Of course a camera crew had managed to find him, though. They seemed to be quite good at doing that.
CARLSON: “You know… people who don’t pay attention. People who haven’t taken the time to be observant. They might think that I’m not much different from the man that I was two years ago. They might still think I’m nothing more than an arrogant kid who spouts off more than he should. God knows there’s plenty of people that get in their feelings the moment I even look in their direction.”
He sighed, his knees bouncing slightly in the only sign that there were any nerves at all heading into his championship defense that evening.
CARLSON: “Those people who think those things would be wrong, though. Because I have changed. I am different. And it’s primarily because of my wife. In some ways I’ve changed for the better, and maybe in some ways I’ve changed for the worse. But at the end of the day it all comes back to her. Because of her, I know what self sacrifice looks like. She’s consistently sacrificed things that were important to her for my benefit. Even now, she’s stepping away from the career that she loves so that she can give me something that I want now, that I never thought I would ever have any desire to have. It’s important to her too but I’m not so foolish as to think that me pestering her about it hasn’t had some influence. I know it has.”
For a moment he paused, his teeth gritting as his thoughts flitted to what he wanted to say next. He then closed his eyes and visibly could be seen counting to five in an obvious effort to steady a rage that was boiling up inside of him.
CARLSON: “I’ve learned that for her and while the thought of sacrificing anything of myself for someone else still is extraordinarily difficult for me to do. Because of her, I at least know what it looks like. But you know what else I recognize because of her. I recognize just how much her peers are cunts. I recognize just how much people who once called themselves her friends are so quick to turn on her just because she doesn’t tow the same line as they do, or because she doesn’t give a shit about the same things that they do. I’ve watched how people she opened herself up to have turned their nose up to her when she’s been there supporting them when current hangers on were oblivious. Because of her, I’ve seen how fickle every single one of you assholes in the stands, and every single one of you degenerates backstage, truly are.”
Continuing to seethe, Eli stares hard in the direction of the camera.
CARLSON: “And what you all fail to realize, as you mock her for making the choice to do something different with her life, and to chase after another dream that is important to her, is that I’m still here. Except now, I’m going to be here without the one person who could look me in the eye and tell me to let shit go. That it wasn’t worth it to put you fucking mongrels in the ground where you belong. The moment her last match here in 4CW for some time came to its conclusion was the same moment that a stake was driven through the heart of that so called Nice Guy Eli.”
Pushing himself up from the chair, he went to walk away but stopped and turned back to face the camera.
CARLSON: “Now? Brace yourselves. And remember that you asked for this.”
Turning away from the camera crew, Eli stalked off down the hall as the scene switched elsewhere.


The bell rang with Persephone and Bianca starting off as A.J and Bryan got to their corners with A.J actually grabbing the tag rope while Bryan just leaned all his weight on the top rope. Bianca and Persephone started off with some exciting mat wrestling, taking each other down and using their speed to rotate in and out of holds. Bianca used her smaller stature to create some distance between her and Marquis. She used some hard and fast strikes to get Persephone in trouble before hitting the ropes and springboarding off the middle rope into a moonsault press, she landed on Marquis and was able to score a near fall before Marquis was able to kick out. Bryan raised an eyebrow as Marquis seemed to be annoyed with herself allowing the smaller grappler to get an advantage. Bryan extended his hand and called Marquis over to tag in, she reluctantly did it getting on the apron shaking her head as Bryan stepped in between the ropes and looked Bianca up and down with a laugh as he towered a full foot over her.
Bianca though took exception to this and started firing in with hard and fast right hands and forearms, she hit the ropes and jumped in the air with a hurricanrana sending Bryan across the ring with a roll, Marquis sarcastically clapped at Bryan who shook his head. He and Marquis had a small talk as Bianca bounces on the balls of her feet with the crowd behind her as A.J started clapping to rile up the crowd. Bryan pointed at Marquis and seemed to tell her she didn’t do any better, Suddenly as Bianca seemed a little to close Bryan took over by turning suddenly and slamming in a vicious elbow. From there Williams took a firm control of the match throwing Bianca back towards Sadboiz corner with a few high angle suplex variations. Bryan then tagged Marquis back in as they went about cutting the ring in half and wearing down Bianca.
Marquis hit a hip toss then slammed a low hard kick into Bianca’s spine. Bianca arches her back in pain after the sickening thud. Marquis measured Bianca up and went for a step up enzuguri, Bianca ducked and Marquis landed face first, Bianca tried to get to the outstretched arm of A.J Morales but Marquis reached up tagging Bryan Williams back in, Williams was able to get a hold of Bianca and get her in position for a tiger suplex, Marquis ran across the ring and hit a european uppercut sending Bianca up and over away from A.J who seemed to pace back and forth on the apron.
Bryan taunted Morales a little and this gave Bianca time to recover. Bryan turned and Bianca ran and slid under Bryans legs, he was able to get a hold of Bianca’s leg but Bianca hit a stiff enzuguri to Bryan sending him down. Bianca was able to tag in A.J who jumped over the top rope like a house of fire. He took Bryan back down with a clothesline and as Marquis got in the ring he was able to hit a running dropkick sending Marquis back down. He then grabbed Bryan in a front facelock running up the ropes hitting a kick to Marquis who was able to get to her feet on the apron. Spinning around into a tornado DDT, A.J. spiked Bryan’s head to the canvas, covering immediately after only to come up with a two count.
A.J held up three fingers believing he had it. Morales gave a nod to himself pulling Bryan up getting him ready for Bryan’s own CTE. Marquis got to her feet outside the ring and Bianca Reed noticed her running across the ring with a suicide dive, taking out Marquis as A.J hit the CTE! Bryan was lights out, by his own finisher nonetheless. A.J. grabbed Williams’ leg and made the cover for the one, two, three!
WINNERS: Reedvolution via Pinfall (9:01)

The camera cuts backstage, where DA #TROLL GUY Mariano Fernandez, already in his wrestling gear and his leather jacket hanging from his shoulders as if it were a cape, leans against a stack of equipment crates in a white-walled hallway.
FERNANDEZ: “It was a year ago when I returned to 4CW after losing the 4CW Title, mang. Right here at RetroGrade. After that I beat Jason Cashe, and then, right when I was about to win, I lost… to Dakota Smith.”
His eyes stray away from the camera lens, as if he didn’t want to remember.
FERNANDEZ: “And that was the beginning of a god damned hell I was constantly stuck in, right until Fright Night 2018, where I seemed to have hit rock bottom – going right for the Pride Title I’m now going for again. And I was god damned broken, mang. One more time, a year later at Fright Night, I was broken again, this time with nothing to show for it. But perhaps…”
The corner of his mouth curves into a sly smile, as his eyes face the camera again.
FERNANDEZ: “Perhaps it was meant to be. Perhaps I knew it was coming all along, and I merely delayed the process. Perhaps it was all NECESSARY to happen that I would truly rise… for from then on, that is what I have DONE!”
Pushing himself up from the wall, Mariano marches to the camera, bumping his fists together with a snapping thud.
FERNANDEZ: “From then on, I’ve bettered myself as I stated from the beginning I wanted to do – and god damned was the road to that hard, but here I stand once more. I’ve built a ground I could stand on in this company, and now, just at the same point of the year I returned, I’m now among the top god damned best names this company has ever had, as I have wanted to be. And the best thing about that? I did all of before the end of the god damned year, before even the Tag Team Into the Future Tournament ever came to be! I SHOULDN’T need to remind you of what happened there, chicos, because it’s god damned well known by now…”
At this point, Mariano takes his hand to his chin, as if to think.
FERNANDEZ: “… but maybe I DO need to remind you, Butcher, for contrary to my expectations, my wishes and my hopes, your mind is all but gone. Because I wanted, I HOPED that something remained of your sanity, of that sharp, keen edge of yours that would get their opponent’s fear but you still believe I am the Mariano Fernandez that faced him at the South Beach Brawl Cup, mang. You STILL believe I do this for respect that I’ve already earned, and SHOULD have earned months ago. You still believe this is an epic tale of a hero beating the villain, but ‘tis not so, mang. The hero has beaten the villain long ago.”
He smiles a weary smile, as if he’s been forced to endure a boring speech that has lasted too long, shaking his head in a gesture of pity.
FERNANDEZ: “The barren, desolate kingdom that was the tag team division is ALIVE once more, with teams like the American Mangs and REEDVOLUTION rising from the sad, empty carcasses that signed up for the god damned tournament, from the god damned Sadboiz to fucking Omertà, where you were in.”
Still shaking his head, he comes to a stop, and his face hardens, showing that steely gaze in his eyes that spells justice for whomever comes in front.
FERNANDEZ: “But you don’t remember, Dakota, you simply doesn’t fucking care. Neither about the tag gold you had, nor the Pride Title you now have, and that’s the greatest insult a man of your stature can do to the company that made you what you’ve been. That’s why you need to REPEAT yourself after I answered your challenge. That’s why you need to go back to my loss to Andre Holmes. That’s why you need to push this narrative, this hero versus villain tale to convince yourself you HAD a shot. That’s why you NEED me to be Jair Hopkins, to put me in the same place as he was. And that’s why you KEEP ranting about the 4CW Title that he still wants to see as his heart, to convince yourself that you’re HALF the man, the monster that you used to be.”
Mariano throws his hands, with a gesture of tired patience.
FERNANDEZ: “Because that’s what it really comes down to in the end, doesn’t it mang? The people watching no longer believe it, the rest of the locker room no longer believes it, and most importantly, it is I who no longer believes it. For the 4CW landscape has changed, chicos. No longer is Dakota Smith the threat, the DANGEROUS MAN, the god damned MONSTER he used to be. No longer are his Crooked Kingdom brethren here to remind them of the dominance they had a long time ago. The Sadboiz are in god damned shambles, and the almighty Bronx Valescence is now reduced to picking fights online because he simply doesn’t care about the company anymore. And now I stand, one half of the Tag Team Champions, one of the BEST wrestlers in the company, and no longer fighting for respect, or vindication, or even for the proverbial Pride this title is named for.”
He smiles again, this time a defiant, confident smile.
FERNANDEZ: “Because what I’m fighting for now is GLORY, mang. What I’m fighting for now is a plinth in the forefront of the hallowed, mighty building that this company has built. I’m fighting to be named next to the people that held the most prestigious titles that this company has had ever since its birth. Names like Jair Hopkins, Genevie Carlson, and even at this tired, sorry state, yes, names like yours, Dakota Smith. THAT’s where I want to be after all I have BUILT!”
As his voice rises, so does the glint in his eyes – the zealous glare of a crusader about to strike an unholy foe down.
FERNANDEZ: “And right now, one year removed from my return, I have that shot RIGHT there, and I’m going to TAKE it as a true wrestler, and Champion, of 4CW should, mang – by being not your victor, not your conqueror, but your motherfucking END, and I will take that Pride title you came to bear, for it was always mine, mang. It SHOULD have been mine at Fright Night, but even if it wasn’t meant to be, I’ve done much more to have it now than I had at that point – and I’m coming to prove it as a true wrestler, and Champion, of 4CW should; by being not your victor, not your conqueror, but your motherfucking END – the sharp, glittering blade that severs the Butcher’s head from his body in a swift, bloody slash at your THROAT.”
Mimicking his words, Mariano draws his right palm against his neck, in a throat-slash sign.
FERNANDEZ: “It’s time to end this, Butcher. Face me now, and cower- for your slayer has your scent, and no hiding place remains. It’s time to put you to an end as I should have at the South Beach Brawl Cup, and for me to become the next name to ascend to the highest place in 4CW history.”
All this done, he walks past the camera and stops, the final shot of the leather jacket on his back.
FERNANDEZ: “The next 4CW… Triple Crown Champion.”
And after this, he walks away, as the camera cuts to black.


Tommy moves around the ring as if he’s wearing a jetpack from how fast he’s running and how high he’s jumping into the air. Alicia wonders if he’s on a sugar high as Tommy behaves like a sugared up toddler in Wal-Mart trying to evade his angry mother. At first, Alicia appears more confused than amused before she remembers how Tommy is just from observing him during her time in the 4CW and just goes after him once he takes off running after he slaps her on the back hard as hell and yells out, “TAG!!” But Alicia isn’t on his heels because she wants to tag him back as she reaches out for him while chasing him and grabs his right arm to jerk him back and wraps the arm around her neck, to fall back and slam him on the mat. Tommy hadn’t been expecting that and is pretty pissed that she decided to interrupt their game of tag… even though he was playing the game allllll by himself but he didn’t know that. Vassa rolls his eyes while glancing over at Johnson who is so used to Tommy’s antics that he isn’t even batting an eye.
VASSA: ”Why is this idiot not taking this match seriously?? I would have expected him to at least drop the shit and be serious for a damn PPV.”
JOHNSON: ”Maybe he is taking it seriously and just being himself, Vinny.”
VASSA: ”What, a retard??”
Steve started to check him but found himself becoming immersed in the match as Alicia damn near tries to
chuck Alicia over the ropes but she grabs onto the middle rope to save her from the fall to the ground below.
VASSA: ”Those scrawny arms of his were able to almost get Alicia over the ropes…. Doubt he’s been working out so he must be on whatever weird drugs that the weirdos came out with this year.“
JOHNSON: ”Which is…??“
VASSA: ”I wouldn’t know, I’m not a weirdo.”
Alicia fired off a few punches at first before transitioning to shoot kicks as soon as she had Tommy backed into the turnbuckle corner. With nowhere for him to go, she continued the assault as each hit seemed to be getting harder and harder as they landed on the Asian Harry Potter while he tries to shield the blows with his arms as if that would stop Alicia from hitting him. She hates that she hits aren’t as impactful anymore because Tommy is shielding himself like the victim at school protecting themselves from the school bully. So Alicia takes a step back and yanks Tommy along with her and as soon as her arms wrap around his middle, Tommy blasts her in the face with his elbow that has him out of her arms and rushing away from her while accidentally tripping the referee who is trying to get out of the way. And then without warning, Tommy suddenly surprises Alicia by lunging towards her, wrapping his hands around her throat and begins squeezing it with as much strength as he’s able…. Which seems to be a lot when Alicia starts choking without needing air.
VASSA: ”Tommy has been around his psycho ass mom lately it seems….“
Once he remembers he’s live, he clears his throat and laughs as if he was just joking.
VASSA: ”…who I admire and who has the best forehead ever. I bet she could protect a
whole village from the sun with that thing.“

JOHNSON: ”Alicia is clawing at Tommy’s hands but Tommy refuses to let up. I guess he got tired of hip throws and he is trying out submissions now. “
VASSA: ”Please don’t call that a submission, Tommy wouldn’t put that much effort into a real submission.“
Tommy continues horsing around while Alicia knows not to underestimate him because all of his shenanigans inside of the ring hasn’t led to him losing the Octane Championship yet. A smirking Tommy suddenly loosens his grip around Alicia’s neck and without a second to spare, Alicia clocks him in the face with a furious right hook that sends him falling down on his ass. He look sup at her with bewilderment, unsure of why she had done that like he hadn’t been trying to choke the life out of her just a mere few seconds ago. Tommy shoves Alicia back and Alicia dropkicks his left knee to send him falling down to his knees and then charges him with a right knee to the face to send him on his back like a paid whore resting after a night’s work. Leaping into the air with a leg drop, Alicia brings those meaty thighs down onto Tommy’s chest and performs another leg drop just so that her leg can land on Tommy’s neck next.
Alicia is about to jump into the air again but this time for an elbow drop when she notices the glint in Tommy’s eyes and quickly decides against it in case he’s up to something and instead begins to kick his right side repeatedly before stomping down on his left leg that has Tommy howling out in pain. He can’t be making her chase him anymore if he’s limping around the ring and with an injured leg, he’s not going to be wanting to do any running at all. Alicia gives his left leg another hard stomp for good measure before yanking the Octane Champion onto his feet and trying to send his head on a swivel with a sharp left hand. But a quick attack by Tommy has him throwing impulsive blows like a blind man trying to fight off his attackers and as hard as he’s hitting her, he fails to knock her down and is suddenly put in his place with a sharp right knee driving into his stomach. Tommy doubles over in pain and Alicia’s elbow comes down hard to the back of Tommy’s head that sends him face down to the mat with him losing his balance. Alicia quickly rolls Tommy over onto his back and then drops on top of him for the cover.

But the ever so ambitious Tommy who doesnt know when to quit is working hard to try to stand back up to his feet, feeling the pain shoot up in his left leg but he refuses to try to pay alot of attention to that because he knows how easily distracted he can become. Alicia moves swiftly to the back of him and wraps her arms around his waist, falling back for a snap german suplex that has Tommy rolling away from her to try to catch his breath without her hands on him. But Alicia doesn’t want the Champion having any breaks and hurries over to him as Tommy suddenly springs up with a European Uppercut that looks more like a Street Fighter uppercut that has Alicia stumbling backwards and trying to not lose her balance. But Tommy charges Alicia and takes her down with a strong shoulder block before he hurries over to the nearest turnbuckle while she’s starting to get onto her feet, climbing up and almost slips but not quite! He doesnt care that his leg is bothering him as he sees Alicia start to turn around and decides to make his move with leaping from the turnbuckle. The soles of his shoes drive into Alicia’s face when he dropkicks her and while he grabs for his injured leg to wince in pain, Alicia is holding her face and rolling from shoulder blade to shoulder blade with how much her face hurts. Both opponents are hurt and Vassa is just shaking his head at the scene while wondering who is going to make the first move to attempt to get up. It takes Alicia a minute but she’s able to beat Tommy to his feet due to his leg as he curses himself for going for the dropkick without thinking about the downside to it possibly doing further damage to his left leg.
Alicia grabs onto Tommy’s head and pulls him to his feet as he tries to scramble away from her with her taking that as him trying to escape which causes her to grab onto his arm to keep him from going anywhere else and offers him those roaring forearms to the face for him to eat. The hits keep him from escaping and also stuns him a bit as she slips in a snap ddt and bends down to grab for him while he doesn’t put up much of a fight. She finds out why as soon as his feet touches the mat and he ends up attacking her with karate kicks with his right leg as he uses his left leg for balance while he’s kicking her. He then angrily grabs the back of his head as his eyes search around and tries to calculate how far he can possibly get her to the turnbuckle even though it’s near as hell. Tommy runs Alicia towards the turnbuckle with that tight grip on the back of her head as he keeps that tight hold on her hair and slams her face into the turnbuckle. Alicia’s chin hits the post first and the excited Tommy pulls Alicia close from behind and falls back for a back drop that he does sloppily as if to try to bring more damage to Alicia.
He’s limping but he doesn’t let that get in the way with trying to keep the upper as he pulls Alicia to her feet slowly to try to be cautious and ended up getting hit with blows from Alicia as she advances on him and causes him to panic with not believing that his luck was about to turn around. So he throws those wild, impulsive swings again until a few good hits catches her in the side of her face and then he quickly attacks with a YoYo Toss Salad. For some reason, hip tosses seem to really making Tommy feel more powerful with him thinking it’s the greatest move ever made and while he can sometimes get lost in the moment after performing a hip toss, he doesnt allow it to diminish the little focus that he has as he makes sure to disappear from sight as Alicia is slowly getting to her feet. Tommy wastes no time and doesn’t allow Alicia to stand upright as he leaps from that top rope and sends her back down to the mat with his feet planting into her back with that Dream Crusher. And then as eager as a beaver, the injured Tommy hurriedly goes for the cover with hoping for the best.

POWERS: ”And here is your winner…. and STILL the Octane Champion.… AMERICAN TTOOMMMMYY!!!”
WINNER: American Tommy via Pinfall (10:46)

SPEAKER: “What has happened to me?”
We couldn’t see anything but the back of his head as he stared at himself in the mirror but something had changed about the Speaker. He wasn’t wearing a white cloak anymore, he wore a black suit looking like an everyday, normal civilian.
MORTA: “What has happened to you is no matter. How do you feel?”
Viduus, the 4CW Champion asked from the shadows.
SPEAKER: “Feel? I feel like I’m going to be fucking sick.”
The Speaker just swore and audibly gasped. He didn’t speak like that. He wouldn’t never pointlessly just throw cuss words out.
SPEAKER: “I don’t know what is happening. Where are we? Why am I even with you? When you left, you said you were prepared to handle this on your own.”
Viduus laughs to himself a bit.
MORTA: “Brother, there is much to catch you up on. As for tonight…you’ll need to stay here. I will handle Bryan on my own.”
SPEAKER: “Bryan? The Octane champion?”
Viduus shook his head.
MORTA: “No, the number one contender for this.”
Viduus held the 4CW title up for The Speaker to see but he didn’t move. The back of his head was the only thing visible to us.
SPEAKER: “But…when? How? The last time I had heard…you were just…you…”
A loss for words from a man of many.
MORTA: “You’ll go back and learn who you are now brother. You can do nothing here for me tonight.”
A door opened as a bright white light from the outside world filled the dark space. The Speaker walked out of the room with his hands over his face as Viduus looked on, his 4CW Championship draped over his shoulder.


POWERS: ”Ladies and gentlemen, the following Pride Championship contest is scheduled for one fall!”
The arena lights suddenly go down, and a Trollface appears on the big screen.


POWERS: ”And now, the challenger, standing six feet tall and weighing in at one hundred and eighty pounds! From Buenos Aires, Argentina, by way of Miami, Florida… He is one half of the 4CW Tag Team Champions… ‘THE GADFLY’… MARIANO FFEERRNNAANNDDEEZZ!!!”

The lights come back on, and after a huge pyro blast, Mariano is standing at the stage entrance, the 4CW Tag Team Championship belt wrapped around his waist, posing to the crowd going wild. He then beings striding decidedly and steadily to the ring.
“In the days of kings and queens I was a jester
Treat me like a god or they treat me like a leper
They see me move back and forth between both
I’m trying to find a balance
(“No reason or rhyme!”)

Once he climbs the apron and passes between the ropes, he raises his fist to the air, receiving a HUGE crowd pop!
“I’m trying to find a balance, I’m trying to build a balance
(“No reason or rhyme!”)”

As the music and the lights come back to normal, Mariano grabs the microphone from Mike Powers.
JOHNSON: ”There he is, the challenger and one half of the 4CW Tag Team Champions, Mariano Fernandez!”
VASSA: ”The American Mangs are up in the building tonight, folks!”
JOHNSON: ”Indeed they are. American Tommy earlier tonight with a tough matchup against Alicia Lukas for the Octane Championship, and now Mariano challenging Dakota Smith for the Pride Championship.”
VASSA: ”Manny has been on fire for the last four months and tonight would be a great way for him to top off his impressive streak with a win over Dakota to become the new Pride Champion.”
JOHNSON: ”As great as it sounds, we both know doing so is a lot easier said than done.”
VASSA: ”He did it in the first round of Tag Team Into the Future.”
JOHNSON: ”That wasn’t a one on one match against the Hall of Famer.”
VASSA: ”But it was a tag match against a Hall of Famer and Cyrus Riddle.”
JOHNSON: ”It still wasn’t a singles match and nothing like the challenge that stands in front of him here tonight.”
VASSA: ”Manny hasn’t backed down from a challenge yet, has he?”
JOHNSON: ”Absolutely not.”
“Welcome To Hell” starts to vibe over the speaker system, the lights go dark for a few moments before strobe lights begin to flash light through out the arena.
POWERS: ”And the champion!”
Dakota Smith makes his way from behind the curtain and looks around the theater, his Pride Championship tied through a loop in his belt. He moves his head to the right and then to the left taking a long deep breath, the strobe lights giving you glimpses at his imposing demeanor. Dakota then snorts his head back and spits down onto the ground, quickly wiping his nose off and making his way down to the ring.
“These voices in my head are telling me you have to die
I obeyed their every wish
I’ll fuck your body infront of your kids
Cannibalism, I serve you up to the cult
You’re my latest dish
Picking human meat out of my teeth like Albert Fish
I’m a sick fuck pissed at the fact that I still exist”

POWERS: ”Making his way down to the ring from The Depths of Hell, he weighs in at two hundred and forty pounds and stands six feet, two inches tall. He is ‘The Butcher’ and the 4CW Pride Champion… DAKOTA SSMMIITTHH!!!”
About half way down the ramp, closer to the ring than the stage, Dakota stops. He stands there and runs his hands up and down his Pride Championship. He then chuckles to himself before cracking his neck to the left and then to the right, letting out a monstrous war cry before continuing down to the ring.
“Telling me to end your suffering
I see red and feel death coming
I will purge the world with no following
Bloodshed, feeling like an animal, caged
I’m going for your throat
Bloodshed, dripping from my face, I’m hollow
Make your skin into a coat “

As he reaches the ring he undoes the championship from his belt and tosses it over the top rope before rolling in under the bottom rope himself. He then plants his fist into the ground and pushes himself up and off of the mat, his head twitching as he gets on his feet. He looks around the audience once more before tilting his head to the side and laughing to himself. Dakota then scoops his championship up and off of the mat before going over to his corner and taking a seat.
VASSA: ”Now do you want to talk about these two in singles competition?”
JOHNSON: ”Sure, entertain me.”
VASSA: ”Unlike the tag match at the start of the tournament, Dakota has put down Manny one on one in the ring. This isn’t anything close to being a tag match and in the back of Manny’s mind, he has to be thinking about what he knows Dakota is capable of.”
JOHNSON: ”I will give you that. You’re right. Dakota has defeated Mariano in singles competition. Has he beat the Mariano Fernandez that stands before us now, as hot as he has been in the ring as of late?”
VASSA: ”Probably not, but the same can be said for Dakota. It’s no secret that he’s almost on his last leg and if I know Dakota, he’s going to put his body on the line to protect what is his.”
JOHNSON: ”At what cost though? We’ve seen time and time again his body nearly giving out on him in the middle of matches.”
VASSA: ”That’s a challenge he’s going to have to overcome here tonight.”
JOHNSON: ”It’s also something that Mariano can use to his advantage. Plain and simple, it’s a weakness and if exploited, can end Dakota’s reign before it really even started.”
VASSA: ”It’s a good thing that we’re all here tonight. There’s no more waiting. There’s no more hype. We’re just moments away from this match kicking off. Neither one of us knows what is going to happen in that ring. All we can do is sit back and hope for one hell of a match!”
The official takes the Pride Championship from Dakota and slowly walks to the center of the ring. Raising it above his head, he turns to each side of the ring to present it to the crowd. After passing it along to a member of the ringside crew, the official checks in with both corners and once he receives the okay from Manny and Dakota, he throws his hand into the air and signals for the bell.

Standing across from one another in the center of the ring, the two stared into each other’s eyes after the sound of the bell. They were very familiar with each other having faced off against each other a few times over the years, whether it was singles or tag team competition. No words were shared between them, only silence filled the inside of the ring and the entire atmosphere surrounding it as the fans watched in anticipation.
Then the silence came to an end, the noise level throughout the arena shot through the roof.
Lunging towards one another simultaneously, Manny and Dakota locked up in the middle of the ring. Grabbing Manny first, Dakota immediately pulled his head down face first onto his knee as he kicked his leg upward. Manny’s head bounced from Dakota’s knee, sending him stumbling a few steps backwards before settling his feet. Swinging with a stiff right, Dakota threw a punch straight into the side of Manny’s head. Popping his foot up from the mat, Dakota then kicked Manny in the knee, knocking him off balances and backwards into the ropes. Rushing towards Manny, Dakota ran in with a clothesline, only to miss as Manny ducked down, driving his shoulder into Dakota’s stomach. Using Dakota’s momentum against him, Manny lifted him off his feet and over his head, tossing him to the outside. Grabbing the top rope, Dakota used it to guide himself down to the apron, landing on his feet with finesse.
Instead of turning to face Dakota who he knew was behind him, Manny ran to the corner at his side. Leaping into the air, he planted both feet onto the middle turnbuckle before pushing away and leaping backwards away from it. Spinning in mid air, Manny swung his entire body around, kicking his legs up and planting both feet into the side of Dakota’s head, knocking him down to his side on the apron. Manny quickly pushed himself back up to his feet as Dakota remained down on his side across the ropes. Turning his back to Dakota, Manny took off for the ropes across the ring. Upon his return, he slid feet first to the mat, planting both into Dakota’s face as he slid underneath the bottom rope. Flying off from the apron, Dakota crashed hard to the outside floor as the fans in the front row exploded with cheers for Manny.
The official started his count, but it wasn’t long before Dakota was already pushing himself up from the floor. Readying himself, Manny kept his eyes locked on Dakota as he began to rise. Once Dakota rose to his feet, Manny took off and ran straight towards him. Before Dakota even knew what was coming towards him, Manny leaped over the top rope with a front flip, flying through the air until crashing into Dakota with a suicide senton. Again, everyone in the vicinity exploded in cheers as Manny connected with the high risk maneuver. Now with both men on the outside, the official started his count once more.

JOHNSON: ”We’re only moments into this match and Mariano has the crowd screaming for him in support.”

VASSA: ”While that was a beautiful move to the outside of the ring, Manny put himself at risk with that suicide senton. If he were to miss his shot with it, that would be bad news early on in this match up.”

On top of Dakota, Manny pushed himself up to his feet. Grabbing Dakota by the head, he pulled The Butcher up from the floor before whipping him towards the ring. Planting his foot, Dakota reversed the throw and sent Manny back first into the side of the apron instead!

Before Manny could push himself away from the side of the ring, Dakota was already closing in, connecting with a running knee to Manny’s stomach.

With Manny pinned against the side of the apron, Dakota began swinging from overhead and down onto Manny’s chest with multiple forearms.

Lifting Manny off his feet, Dakota rolled him into the ring feet first, leaving Manny’s head hanging off the side of the apron. Taking a few steps backwards, Dakota then ran in as he raised his arm high into the air, swinging down with it and slamming his elbow across Manny’s throat.

Manny rolls back and forth underneath the bottom rope, holding his throat with both hands. Meanwhile, Dakota walked to the ring steps at the corner and slowly made his way up onto the apron before dipping through the ropes and entering the ring.
VASSA: ”Manny isn’t going to be able to scream Fus Ro Dah after that elbow shot to the windpipe, let alone cry for help next time he’s getting pegged.”
JOHNSON: ”That was a quick shift of momentum with that reversal from Dakota. Mariano had the entire arena behind him after that suicide senton.”
Pulling Manny up to his feet, Dakota backed him into the corner with rapid fire forearm shots to Manny’s face. Grabbing ahold of the top rope to his right with both hands, Dakota used it for leverage as he began kicking Manny in the stomach over and over. Breaking Manny down to a seated position with his back to the corner, the kicks quickly turned into stomps as Dakota continued his relentless assault. Pulling knee to his chest, Dakota then kicked his leg straight, driving his foot directly into Manny’s face. Backing up to the center of the ring, Dakota then charged straight for Manny. Closing in, Dakota jumped up from the mat just enough to kick both legs straight, kicking Manny in the chest with both feet!
Rolling over to his stomach, Dakota pushed himself up to his feet as Manny slowly dropped down to his side against the mat after the brutal kick to the chest. Walking over to the corner, Dakota kicked Manny once in the stomach for good measure. He then pulled him up from the mat before wrapping him up around the legs and lifting Manny up to sit him on top of the corner. Climbing up to the middle ropes, Dakota raised his right hand high into the air before swinging down onto Manny’s head. Over and over, Dakota swung down and punched Manny in the head, the crowd even counting along with each landing strike. Swinging down with his seventh punch, Dakota’s fist was stopped just inches away from Manny’s head as Manny threw up an arm in defense. Blocking Dakota’s blow, Manny threw both fists forward, punching Dakota in the chest and sending him flying backwards away from the corner.
Landing on his feet, Dakota quickly looked up to the corner where Manny was now standing and in the process of leaping towards him. Bracing himself, Dakota stood his ground as Manny leaped in his direction. Rotating his body to the side, Manny extended his arms and legs, flying towards Dakota with a diving crossbody. Ducking underneath Manny’s body as it passed overhead, Dakota quickly popped back up, catching Manny in mid air on top of his shoulders. Twisting his body on the way down to the mat, Dakota dropped Manny with a twisting Samoan drop!
VASSA: ”Holy fucking shit! Dakota caught Manny with that out of nowhere!”
JOHNSON: ”He could end it right here and put Mariano away.”
And that he did. Crawling over top of Manny as he laid on his back looking up at the lights, Dakota made the cover as the official raced in beside them with the count.

VASSA: ”Tw–“
JOHNSON: ”Mariano gets a shoulder up before the two!”
Popping his shoulder up from the mat, Manny ended the count, leaving Dakota in a bit of shock that he was able to escape before the two count. It didn’t take long for him to snap out of it, though. At Manny’s first movement, Dakota quickly turned to him and fired a stiff forearm into his face. Standing to his feet, Dakota circled Manny for a short moment before pulling him up to his feet. With Manny slightly hunched over, Dakota swung upward, rocking Manny with a European uppercut that stood him straight up, sent his head whipping back and his eyes looking up to the lights. Extending his arm, Dakota wrapped his hand around Manny’s throat before stepping in and lifting him into the air only to force him back to the canvas with a powerful chokeslam!
Not releasing his grip, Dakota pulled Manny back up to his feet. Holding him in place, Dakota squeezed tighter and tighter around Manny’s throat. In the midst of being choked, Manny threw his arm around, hitting Dakota in the shoulder over and over, trying his best to knock Dakota’s arm around. Realizing his attempts were failures, Manny then swung his arm around, coming down onto Dakota’s elbow with his other hand. Dakota’s arm folded, ripping his hand away from Manny’s throat. Swinging his other arm around, Manny threw a haymaker for Dakota’s head. Ducking at the last split second, Dakota dodged a bullet as Manny missed, spinning in place by his own momentum. Now with Manny’s back turned to him, Dakota stepped in and locked in a half nelson, lifting him off his feet and slamming him to the mat with a half nelson suplex!
Rolling Manny over to his back, Dakota climbed over top of him, mounting himself into position to open fire at Manny’s head with lefts and rights. Manny threw his arms up in defense and while managing to block some of Dakota’s blocks, he ate a lot as well. Swinging straight down at Manny’s face with his right, Dakota was taken off guard as Manny managed to locked both arms around it, stopping Dakota from landing the punch just inches short of contact. Pulling Dakota’s arm down which pulled down his upper body, Manny popped his head up from the mat and slammed it directly into Dakota’s forehead. Ripping his arm away from Manny’s hold, Dakota stood to his feet and backed away while rubbing his forehead with both hands.
With Dakota somewhat out of focus, Manny rushed back to his feet but it was too late. Running straight for him was Dakota. Lunging towards Manny, Dakota reached for him with both hands but came up empty handed. Ducking out of the way and stepping in behind Dakota, Manny avoided him as he blindly reached to grab him. As Dakota whipped around to face Manny, he was met with a pleasant surprise. His back to Dakota, Manny flipped backwards in the air, kissing Dakota’s forehead with his foot as he connected with a perfectly timed pele kick to greet Dakota at the precise moment. Dakota stumbled backwards into the corner, giving Manny ample time to pop back to his feet. Just when Dakota crashed into the corner, Manny was already in stride, running straight for him. Jumping forward into the air, Manny flew into the corner, squashing Dakota against it as he connected with a body splash!
VASSA: ”Manny’s turned it around!”
JOHNSON: ”With the hurting Dakota was putting on him it couldn’t have happened at a better time.”
VASSA: ”I was starting to worry for him a second there. Dakota wasn’t letting up at all and things seemed to be going downhill for Manny.”
Stepping away from the corner, Manny dragged Dakota away from it as well. Kicking Dakota in the stomach, Manny forced him to buckle over from the impact. Before Dakota even knew what was happening, Manny lifted him off his feet, dropping him to his back with a snap suplex. Rolling to an upright seated position, Dakota remained in place as Manny climbed back to his feet. Racing past Dakota, Manny hit the ropes in front of him and upon his return he slid feet first to the mat, extending his arm to his side and laying Dakota flat out with a sliding clothesline. Back to his feet, Manny circled Dakota for a moment as Dakota began to push himself up. Just when he was about to rise to one knee, Dakota’s arm gave out from under him, forcing him to fall back to the mat.
Moving in and pulling Dakota up from the mat, Manny was blinded as Dakota reached for his face with both hands and raked his eyes. Pulling away from Dakota, Manny quickly turned in the opposite direction and stepped away as he rubbed his eyes. Closing in from behind, Dakota grabbed Manny by the shoulder and jerked his entire body around. With his other hand, Dakota swung with a hook aimed right for Manny’s head. Although he was still slightly blinded, Manny managed to jumped backwards, dodging Dakota’s punch aimed for his head. As his feet hit the mat, Manny then exploded forward, rolling forward and connecting with a spinning wheel kick to Dakota’s head. Stumbling backwards, Dakota fell into the corner.
As Manny rose to one knee, Dakota shot out of the corner and charged straight for him. Quick on the draw, Manny leaped into the air and kicked both feet into Dakota’s chest with a dropsault. Once again, Dakota stumbled backwards, crashing into the corner. Bursting to his feet, Manny exploded forward, rushing straight for Dakota. Closing in, Manny rolled his body forward once more, extending his legs straight into the air as he connected with a rolling Koppu kick! Dakota’s arms hooked over the top ropes at his sides, barely even able to hold himself up on his feet. Pushing himself up from the mat, Manny then swung at Dakota’s head with a powerful overhead right. Pulling Dakota away from the corner, Manny kicked him in the stomach, forcing him to buckle over. Pulling Dakota’s head between his legs, Manny then wrapped both arms around his waist before lifting him upside down into the air and dropping him right back down onto his head with a piledriver!
JOHNSON: ”Ooohhhhhh…”
VASSA: ”That might just be it for Dakota right there.”
JOHNSON: ”That landing onto his head didn’t look pleasant.”
VASSA: ”What else did you expect?!”
JOHNSON: ”Nothing. I’m just sa–“
VASSA: ”Manny’s making the cover!”
Rolling Dakota over to his back, Manny then crawled on top of him, covering him for the pin as the official slid in beside them with the count.

VASSA: ”Oh no, Manny nearly had him! He was so close to being the Pride Champion!”
For a short moment, Manny appears as if he’s about to celebrate. Then reality settles in as he notices the official hasn’t competed the count and is looking towards the ropes. Slowly turning his head to the ropes, Manny’s facial expression completely changes to a look of disappointment as he sees Dakota’s foot resting on the bottom rope. Snapping out of it, Manny focuses on the task at hand and that being Dakota Smith and the match very much alive. Standing to his feet, Manny pulls Dakota up from the mat. Holding him in place with one hand, Manny fires away with his other, hitting Dakota with back to back right hands to the head. Locking onto Dakota’s wrist, Manny then pulls him in to send him to the ropes. Reversing the throw, Dakota plants his foot and pulls Manny in, sending him to the ropes instead. Bouncing off the ropes, Manny runs straight into a kitchen sink from Dakota, taking him off his feet as Dakota’s knee slams into his stomach, flipping him over to his back.
Manny rolls up to a seated position. Walking in behind him, Dakota reaches around his head, placing his hand underneath Manny’s chin and tilting his head back. With his right, Dakota then begins to rain down onto Manny’s face with multiple punches. Knocking Manny senseless, Dakota releases his head, and then squats down and wraps both arms around Manny’s torso. Pulling Manny up to his feet, Dakota shifts his arms to being around Manny’s waist as he then drags him backwards to the nearest corner. Leaving a couple feet between him and the corner, Dakota then lifts Manny off his feet and backwards into the turnbuckle with a German suplex!
VASSA: ”I think Manny’s still in shock from realizing that Dakota got a foot on the ropes and cucked him from the win.”
JOHNSON: ”And if that ain’t it then it just has to be that German suplex into the corner.”
VASSA: ”That’s just overkill after getting blue balled like that!”
On his feet, Dakota squats down and wraps his hand around Manny’s throat before standing taller and dragging Manny away from the corner. Dakota goes to deadlift Manny from the mat, as he’s done others so many times before. His upward motion stops though, as if his body is giving out on him. Dakota gives it another go, but is met with the same result. Reaching down with his other hand, Dakota digs his fingers into Manny’s shoulder before ripping him up from the mat and standing him to his feet. Holding Manny in place, Dakota throws his head forward, hitting Manny right between the eyes with a vicious headbutt. Although seeing stars, Manny manages to push Dakota away before taking a blind swing in his direction. Side stepping Manny, Dakota levels him with a lariat, dropping Manny to the mat instantly.
Circling Manny as he’s down, Dakota has a limp in his step. He catches his breath for a moment as he rotates his arm as if trying to bring some life back into it. Limping over to Manny, Dakota pulls him up from the mat, immediately locking an arm around Manny’s head. Dakota then hooks one of Manny’s legs. We all know what’s coming next.
JOHNSON: ”This might be it!”
VASSA: ”Manny’s just moments away from going to Deadman’s Wonderland.”
Dakota goes to lift Manny up as the entire crowd’s eyes are glued on the ring.
JOHNSON: ”Mariano’s feet are still on the mat.”
That’s strike one. Dakota then goes for a second attempt, powering down even more as he goes to lift Manny up into the air.
VASSA: ”No go!”
There’s strike two, and Manny’s feet are still down on the mat. Third time’s a charm, right? Dakota goes for it once more!
JOHNSON: ”Dakota’s body just won’t let him pick Manny up to execute his Deadman Wonderland!”
Manny pulls his head away from Dakota’s arm before slamming both hands into Dakota’s chest and pushing him backwards. After a few steps, Dakota falls to one knee. He slowly stands back to his feet, just in time for Manny to move in and light him up with a step-up enzuigiri!
VASSA: ”Manny with The Gadfly!”
Dakota wobbles in place for a moment, still on his feet but barely even able to stand on his own will. Eventually, he falls forward, his face smacking the canvas as his body falls like a tree being cut down. Pushing himself up from the mat, Manny wastes no time and quickly closes in on Dakota. Pulling him up from the mat, Manny hooks an arm around Dakota’s head before lifting him upside down into the air, something that Dakota was unable to do just moments prior. Holding Dakota upside down in the air for a few moments, Manny then spikes him on his head with a vertical suplex piledriver!
JOHNSON: ”And he follows up with his Dovahkiin Driver!”
VASSA: ”Back to back impactful moves from Manny and Dakota’s body is lifeless.”
JOHNSON: ”You may be right, Vinny. We saw three different attempts at his Deadman Wonderland all end in the same result of him not even being able to even lift Mariano off his feet.”
VASSA: ”Over the last few months we’ve witnessed first hand here at ringside as Dakota’s body seems to giving out on him. It just so happened tonight at the worst possible time for him.”
JOHNSON: ”Here’s the cover!”
Crawling over Dakota’s body, Manny hooks a leg for good measure as he makes the cover. Rushing in from across the ring, the official slides in beside them with the count.

JOHNSON: ”Mariano’s done it! He’s defeated Dakota here tonight and captured the Pride Championship!”
VASSA: ”Not one, but two titles he’s taken away from Dakota since the Adrenaline following Winter Wasteland.”
The entire arena erupts with cheers as Manny slowly rises to his feet. “Trying to Find a Balance” hits the speakers as Manny’s emotions begin to take over. Presenting him with the Pride Championship, the official hands it over and then hoists Manny’s arm into the air. With his other hand, Manny raises the Pride Championship even higher as the final bell sounds.

Hearing the words echo over the arena, Manny pulls his arm away from the official, holding the championship against his chest with both arms as the crowd celebrates his big win here tonight.
JOHNSON: ”There you have it, folks. We have a new Pride Champion!”
JOHNSON: ”Say what you want about the man, but this win here tonight is well deserved and a great way to top off one hell of a run he’s been on as of late.
WINNER: Mariano Fernandez via Pinfall (15:55)

The scene was busy with staff workers and superstars running around backstage. Some of them getting ready for their match, others returning after a great performance. In the middle of them there was Eden Connors, her eyes wandering over the scene. She seemed unnaturally calm for her standards, her arms folded in front of her chest.
CONNORS: “How do you feel moments away from a match like this? One of the biggest of my career, if not the biggest. I will tell you exactly how, excited. But there is more than that, since everyone knows that is my usual state of mind. When facing off against the big names in 4 Corners Wrestling you need more than that. What about ready?”
She was talking a small pause looking down the hallway.
CONNORS: “Ever since getting here I have been trying to overcome my fears. With every match I have been learning, no matter if win or loss. And it’s hard to believe anything will change after tonight. I am still that sponge that absorbs everything those people have to teach. So why would tonight be any different? Why would anyone think that I can overcome Elijah Carlson? Easy, they don’t. They pat my shoulder and tell me that I am doing a good job. They try to build me up when things are not going as planned. And the girl that came into this company a few months ago really needed that. She was insecure when it came to her skills and chances. But I am not that girl anymore.”
Eden was rubbing her fingers together before clenching her hands into fists.
CONNORS: “I have learned a lot about myself in 4CW. I never knew anything about frustration and anger. The only people that could ever trigger such feelings in me were my brothers. And they did. But when you grow up you learn to deal with such things. Not always in the right way, but that is called growing up. I have no ill will against Elijah. If anything I feel honoured to be in the same ring as he is. But, and now it becomes tricky, I am not intimidated anymore either. Sure he is a former 4CW champion, which means he can hang with the best. But so can I. And that is the valuable lesson that I have learned in the past months. No matter how good someone is, that doesn’t make you any less talented.”
For a moment she was smiling before pushing herself off of the wall, beginning to walk down the hallway. The camera was following on the step.
CONNORS: “No matter what Elijah Carlson thinks about me, I know my own worth. It doesn’t matter if the bets are against me, if anything that will make me push even harder. I will go out there tonight and give it my very best. I will do this for me. I will do this for the people that come to see me. And on top of it all, I will do it for the people that still don’t understand who Eden Connors is.”
One more pause before she looked directly into the camera, stepping closer.
CONNORS: “Ready or not, Elijah, but tonight is the night. You’re welcome.”

JOHNSON: “Well ladies and gentlemen, we’re up to the point of the show that would have been the rubber match between the two newest members of the 4CW Hall of Fame, Chris Madison and Bronx Valescence.”
VASSA: “But that’s not happening!”
JOHNSON: “Earlier we saw Chris Madison getting his knee checked out by our medical staff, and unfortunately, he hasn’t been cleared to compete here tonight.”
VASSA: “Was looking forward to this one.”
JOHNSON: “A lot of us were… But there’s still two huge title matches on the docket to wrap up what’s been another phenomenal show.”
Suddenly the fans within the United Center roar and rise to their feet, turning their attention to the entrance way. Chris Madison stepped out from behind the curtain and stands still, soaking in the reaction the crowd is giving him. Madison limps forward, putting almost no weight on his injured knee and is quickly joined by Frankie Morrison.
JOHNSON: “Looks like Chris Madison has other plans!”
VASSA: “Yeah, but Frankie Morrison is giving him an earful!”
Morrison pleads with Madison to stop, but he slowly continues to make his way to the ring. Halfway down the ramp, Morrison is joined by 4CW officials, huddling around Madison in an attempt to prevent him from going into the ring. Madison keeps his chin up and eyes forward, as if he was blocking out everything they were saying. Madison makes it to the steps and reaches up to grab the ring post for support, slowly making his way up and into the ring. 4CW’s road agents run down the ramp and join Morrison and the referees in the ring, trying to convince Madison to clear the ring. Madison makes it to the ropes and signals for a microphone. After being passed a microphone, Madison makes his way to the center of the ring and he slowly spins in a circle looking at the 4CW personnel that surrounded him in the ring.
MADISON: “I hope every last one of you understands what’s goin’ to happen if you try and stop this match from happenin’!”
Madison smirks as the raucous 4CW crowd erupts.
MADISON: “These people…”
He points out to the audience.
MADISON: “…they came here to see not only two of 4CW’s best, but two of the best in the world, compete in a match that’ll undoubtedly tear the roof off of this place. I might not be anywhere near one hundred percent, but you better believe that the second that bell rings I’m goin’ to give it one hundred percent!”
The entire arena in unison begins to chant Madison’s name.
“Mad-i-son! … Mad-i-son! … Mad-i-son! … Mad-i-son! … Mad-i-son!”

MADISON: “Whichever one of you is officiatin’ this match, stay. The rest, get out of this ring before you regret the decision you’re about to make.”
Madison flips the microphone off to the side and slowly paces back and forth. Morrison tries once more to talk some sense into his client as a security rushes down to ringside area, being met by deafening boos from the live audience. They surrounded the ring, climbing up onto the apron, three on each side.
JOHNSON: “Madison is going to have to play this smart. All of this, for what? Just to prove a point?”
VASSA: “No denying how tough Madison is… But this isn’t about being tough. This is about being smart…”
Boos are then heard from the entrance stage area as Perry Wallace walks out from the back. As always, people are assholes and boo him whenever he comes out even though he’s a very nice man. He finally makes it down to the ring, maybe even a little out of breath, who knows. Climbing the ringsteps, Wallace enters the ring, keeping a good distance between him and Madison standing across from him.
WALLACE: “Let’s go ahead and slow this down before it goes any further.”
Frankie Morrison bends over and picks up the microphone that dropped to the mat. He stands side by side with Madison, trying to get through to his client.
MORRISON: “Chris, this isn’t happening tonight. I know you don’t like hearing this, but it’s out of our control… There’s no way Perry is going to let this match go on after the 4CW medical staff chose not to clear you.”
Madison swayed his head from side to side, looking through everyone in the ring and staring at the entrance way as if Bronx was about to make his way ringside. They wait for a few moments, and still, no big entrance from Bronx. Perry even stares at the entrance, hoping to see Bronx walk through that curtain, but he doesn’t. With a sad look on his face, Perry looks back to Madison and Morrison.
WALLACE: “Chris, first of all I would like to thank you for being here tonight. I admire your will to continue on for a match that was going to happen, despite the doctors orders. I have some bad news for you, though.”
Madison’s eyes shift from the entranceway over to Perry Wallace. Without saying a word he gives Wallace his full attention.
WALLACE: “I don’t know how to say this, but he isn’t coming out here. He isn’t coming out to this ring. Hell, who knows if he’s ever going to walk through that curtain again. My son isn’t in the building tonight and has officially quit, and it’s all my fault.”
Madison puts his hands on his hips and bows his head, disappointed with the way this high profile match has fallen apart.
MORRISON: “Enough is enough Chris. We’re not going to sit here and hijack the broadcast. Perry obviously has enough on his plate and there are still two huge title matches to take place. If Bronx was here, he wouldn’t want to face you if you weren’t at your best. He wouldn’t want a tainted victory, just like you wouldn’t want the same over him. You’ve proved your point…”
The live audience begins to shower the ring with boos as the realization that Bronx versus Madison wasn’t going to happen finally sets in. Madison limps towards the ropes and begins to step through. He stops halfway through and gets back into the ring. He turns towards Morrison and rips the microphone out of his hand.
MADISON: “When Bronx comes back… We still have to have this rubber match!”
Madison slams the microphone down and then turns back towards the ropes. He gingerly climbs through and steps down to the arena floor. Watching as Madison exits the ring, Perry sighs before turning to Morrison. He holds his arms out to his sides, unsure of how to even explain this situation.
WALLACE: “I’ll see what I can do. That’s all I can say at this moment without making any promises I can’t honor. This match may never happen, at least not here. This is on me. My son hates me, plain and simple. Congrats Frankie, you win.”
Morrison steps to Wallace and shakes his hand. They pull each other closer, standing shoulder to shoulder, and Morrison speaks to Wallace but can be heard over his microphone.
MORRISON: “No one wins. I know the feeling…”
Morrison releases the embrace and follows his client out of the ring, walking directly behind him as he makes his way up the entrance ramp, heading backstage.

Backstage, a gentleman wandered through the hall smoking a joint. He wandered down the hall for so long, waving at various stagehands and the like before making turning a corner.
WEED MAN: “Hey Jerry, how’s it going?”
He waved at an acquaintance before rounding a corner and tripping over some cables. He soon flung himself onto the ground, hurling into the floor and wiping out on the concrete. A table nearby flipping as he bumped into it. The camera sat positioned on the fallen man as his joint rolled across the floor and ended up by a football. The crowd began to cheer loudly as it had been quite some time.
Then slowly, the camera panned up and standing above the weed and football was Brennan Devlin wearing a Boardwalk Wrestling t-shirt – though it seemed layered. He looked around the backstage area as the camera panned all around him.
DEVLIN: “… Hand to God, I didn’t set this up and it just happened.”
He wandered over to the man and poked him a few times, only for no response. He knelt down and picked up the joint, glancing at it before taking a puff and coughing.
DEVLIN: “The fuck did Sativa see in this…”
He took another hit and then threw it on the ground, coughing a bit.
DEVLIN: “Yep, that’s lung cancer right there. Oh shit, I wore the wrong shirt for this…”
Brennan stripped off his shirt and unveiled a different one, this one Unstable. He glanced down at it and jumped.
He tore at his shirt and underneath was one for the ‘Deadly Sins’, which he’d been a part of with a few 4CW talents… Soon, that one came off too until he was finally in an old Cornerstone of 4 Corners t-shirt, the name he’d used during his time in the company.
DEVLIN: “Marisol Hawkes, Griffin Hawkins… I’m sorry for what I’m about to do in the South Beach Brawl cup.”
Brennan turned and wandered away from the camera, leaving the crowd cheering at his appearance as it had been years since Brennan Devlin had been seen on 4CW programming. Even some ‘weed football’ chants being thrown in for good measure as Devlin wandered away down the halls away from the camera before an eventual fade.


POWERS: ”Ladies and gentlemen, the following North American Championship contest is scheduled for one fall!”
“If it’s all right
I wanna kick it with you all night, all night
Have a good time
Ain’t gotta worry ’cause it’s all right, it’s all right
All night, and all night, and all night, baby
Don’t be shy, don’t be shy, don’t be shy, baby
All night and all night
Ain’t gotta worry ’cause it’s all right, it’s all right”

The titantron glows with purple frenzy as the words “BANG BOOM BONBON” pops from the titantron, styled in bubbly characteristics with the font choice as “All Night” by Big Boi instantly entertains the crowd. Purple and white lights creates a neat wave as Eden appears on the stage, clapping to the beat briefly before showing her charismatic approach. Her bouncy, high-spirited personality looks to fill the venue as she stretches her arms and hands out, greeting the fans alongside the ramp on her way down.
POWERS: ”Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland by way of Aberdeen, Scotland, she stands at five feet, six inches tall. She is one Dynamite Bonbon…She is EDEN CCOONNNNOORRSS!!!”
Hearing her name from the one and only Mike Powers, she runs around the ring, slapping hands as the smile on her face is bright and with much joy. Not a worry in the world being she was about to enter her form of a Sanctuary which was the ring. She made her way onto the apron before entering the ring through the middle rope. Excitement had filled her body whole as she looked around, bouncing up and down, spinning just before dashing to one of the near corners, climbing it to nod at her fans. She dropped down and proceeded to calm herself for the match as music and the purple and white lighting came to a halt.
The lights around the arena go dim as the sounds of a guitar riff begin to reverberate from the speakers around the building. On the screens above the entrance way flash highlights of Elijah Carlson’s tenure in 4CW, with emphasis on his match against Jair and his title defense against Scott Stevens at All or Nothing. As the video clips begin to play on, the opening lyrics of Alter Bridges “My Champion” begin.
”May this be your victory song
A song for you when I am gone
Reminding you of what you’re meant to be.
A gift to bring you clarity
To show you that your destiny
Is not defined by what you’ve failed to see

While Myles Kennedy’s voice drags on the final word of the opening verse, the stage is flooded with bright white lights as the North American Champion, Elijah Carlson, emerges from the backstage area. Over his right shoulder the glittering North American Championship hangs loosely, a mixture of boo’s and cheers reigning down upon him. Paying little attention to the fans, Eli begins his walk down the ramp toward the ring as the lyrics to the song roll on.
”May this lift you up
When you feel you’ll fall again
You cannot win, no
Hope these words are enough
For you to be strong, my friend”

POWERS: ”Making his way to the ring standing six feet one inch tall and weighing in at two hundred and ten pounds… he is the NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPION… ELIJAH CCAARRLLSSOONN!!!”
At the bottom of the ramp he looks to his left and spots a young kid reaching out to try and slap hands with him. After a moment of hesitation, Eli shrugged his shoulders and reached out to receive “five” from the kid before turning his attention back to the ring. With ease he ascended the steel ring steps, stepping through the middle and top ropes. As he enters the ring he moves to the far turnbuckle and steps up to the middle rope, raising the North American Championship high above his head as the chorus of boo’s and cheers once more erupt around the arena. Unphased by it, Eli points at the title and then at his chest before hopping down back to the mat. Eli’s eyes meets Eden’s eager ones as their non verbals speak for themselves while Eli hands the championship over to the ref without breaking that eye contact with Eden. Staring into his eyes as if she finds fault with him and sees so many things wrong with the man before her, the angelic Eden doesn’t look away from the villainous Eli as he stares her down like a wolf that’s found his next meal. While the referee shows off the championship as if it’s a prized piece in a bidding war at an auction, the two opponents don’t even blink as their eyes are locked on one another. It was as if they were the only two people in the world and not in a romantic manner either. As in survival mode…. last person standing when it came to being the last person on this earth.

The bell seems to bring them back to reality as Eden rushes for Eli who ducks while Eden quickly pivots on her heel instead of rushing for the ropes, doubling back to attack Eli from behind with both of her hands interlocked to bring down onto Eli’s back like a hammer. Eli stumbles forward but doesn’t go down, Eden not packing that type of power to cause that much damage with that hit but it’s fine because she has the speed and the drive to come out victorious over opponents that are bigger or stronger than her. But Eli refuses to grant her the chance to take his championship away from him and shrugs off the hit as being a weak move, expecting Eden to bring it if she thinks she stands a chance against him. Those non verbals are at it again as their eyes say everything and the tension in the air speaks volumes before a lunge is made but only this time, Eli doesnt move because he wants Eden to get closer to him just so that he can catch her off guard and go for a swinging neckbreaker. But he doesn’t stop there because his goal turns into seeing fast he can put Eden down as soon as she rises back up to her feet. He does another swinging neckbreaker and then when she rises once more? An implant DDT followed by a facebuster. He was busting it out on her and I dont mean that big CAWK either as he delights himself in making Eden go down more than…. well, you get the point.
JOHNSON: ”Eli being quick on his feet and not letting Eden even catch a breath before starting back in on her.”
VASSA: ”Eli reminds me of one of those jerks who back you into the corner of the screen where you cant get out from in Mortal Kombat and keeps using those same moves on you that’s hard as shit to block and then you end up dying. Eli is Rain and Eden is Sonya Blade.”
JOHNSON: ”Sonya Blade? Really….?”
VASSA: ”What? Sonya was easy to beat.”
JOHNSON: ”Then you chose the wrong character for Eden because we both know that Eden isn’t an easy person to defeat.”
Johnson’s words prove to be right as Eden finally finds that silver lining in getting out of Eli’s strategy with making her elbow meet his right eye and him being caught off guard gives her the time she needs to take two steps back, take a deep breath before bringing her focus back on Eli and attacking with a fury of kicks that sends the crowd into an uproar. They really want this for Eden, wanting her to take the title off of big bad nasty Eli but the Corners Four fans also weren’t idiots and most knew that there was also that very good chance Eli would retain tonight. All in all, the match was phenomenal and even though it was hard to tell who might emerge with the victory here tonight, the fans agreed that this match was definitely worthy of the headlight slot it was given. Eli decides to give Eden a taste of her own medicine from all those kicks she hit him with and he begins kicking at her now but instead aims for her legs. Each kick that lands, he follows up with an even harder kick and it gets to the point Eden is yelping and hopping on one foot trying to escape his attacking kicks. Eli is amused but that mask of bravado is almost ripped off of his face once Eden barrels into him out of nowhere and doesnt see the next move coming until that inverted DDT comes into play. Haphazard opponents tended to mess up alot quicker because they had no solid strategy, no proper preparations and was just johnny on the go all of the time which always proved to be their downfall but Eden?
Eli knew that the woman probably didn’t take a step without calculating at least two moves out and even a fall back plan, always clean in the ring and meticulous when it comes to taking care of business. But as much as Eden was clean, Eli could get dirty when he felt he needed to be but he wasnt interested in all of that tonight because he felt he didnt need to pull out all of these extra tricks to take down Eden because he had enough confidence in himself that he could just take her out clean up and being straight up with it, not having to pussyfoot around for an opening and sneak her when the referee’s head was turned because he was a grown ass man who knew how to take care of what he needed to, he wasnt one of these little kids who bit off more than they could chew and found themselves stuck. Fuck a single leg takedown, Eli went for the double to be on the safe side because he knew that one wrong move could cost him the championship and the way he felt, he didn’t come here just to lose under the shining, bright lights to 4CW’s number one ‘good girl.’ The stakes were high but Eden showed that she could get higher as she worked on Eli in the middle of the ring before her hits caused Eli to take a few steps back and it was perfect because it put her close enough to the destination she was trying to reach.
She quickly zips past Eli, jumps on the turnbuckle and is already coming down as soon as Eli turns around to look for her and catches a missile dropkick straight to the chest. Eli goes down but Eden? Well, she’s feeling on top of the world and she knows that all of her friends and loved ones are watching this match closely and cheering her on in hopes that she becomes the new North American Champion tonight. She goes to help Eli to her feet but he yanks away from her and she tries to not take it to heart, shrugging it off as she talks herself internally out of going for the moves she normally would with someone more her size or smaller, not wanting to chance botching the move if Eli proved to be too heavy for it and refusing to make this match easy for him by way of her messing up. So what does she do? She picks her moments and makes her choices wisely and on the point with the quickness as to not pause long enough for him to take advantage of the situation. She was able to get in a double knee neckbreaker and it made her giddy inside because she knew that if she continued thinking smart and playing it smart, she could have this right in the bag with a pretty little bow on top.
VASSA: ”Imagine if Eli lost tonight.”
JOHNSON: You say it as if Eden it’s a formidable opponent or good enough for him to lose it to.”
VASSA: ”You’re reading into it too hard, old man. I’m saying in general. Who wants to lose, especially lose a title belt? Doing all of that shit talk just to eat an L, that would suck.”
JOHNSON: ”You dont have to wrestle to eat Ls, Vinny. Why, you always eat Ls- nevermind.”
VASSA: ”What was that??”
JOHNSON: ”Nothing, nothing.”
Johnson laughs at the side eye he receives from his commentating partner before his attention returns to the ring where Eli is trying to drop Eden on her head but during the drop, Eden tucks her body and rolls with her shoulders hitting the mat and her somersaulting over safely with the top of her head avoiding the mat. Eli of course, doesn’t like the end result of a smiling Eden finding herself safe out of harm’s way and promises to turn it up a bit since it seemed as if Eden was. That spinning neckbreaker had Eden seeing the entire Looney Tunes clan but once she recovered, she turned the tables on Eli spearheaded into him to take him down to the mat. As soon as Eli’s back touches the mat, Eden goes to work with the leg stomps, a few knee drops, just letting it all out from not liking Eli using the spinning neckbreaker on her since it was out of her book and she had a feeling he did that to try to be funny. Once she’s done with her assault, she points to the crowd and gets a loud pop from them as she’s hit with such an intense adrenaline rush that she felt as if she was granted more speed that she made sure to put to great use once Eli rose to his feet and reached for her. Eden darts away from him with him in heavy pursuit and as she reaches the ropes, she jumps up to jump on the second rope that she uses to spring off and turns in the air to catch Eli in the face with a kick that has him staggering back like the town drunk.
He makes a beeline for her and Eden rushes towards him and takes him down with a spinning wheel kick and kips up back to her feet. The crowd is just loving Eden in action while making sure to boo Eli whenever the villain of the match gets the upper… except for the thots in the crowd who screams out in delight at Eli’s abs as if the muscles are waving at them. Some even start up a, “LETS GO, DAD-DY, LETS GO” chant because hoes will be hoes but anywho. Eden was hitting Eli with everything she had but Eli was beginning to fight through it and knew that it was going to be a wrap once he was able to successfully get his hands on Eden without her slipping away. Eli is down on his knees and Eden turns and with a smile, rushes towards him as the crowd roars with excitement, coming to life with knowing what’s coming next. THE EC-NO! Eli quickly moves out of the way as Eden gets nothing but air from Eli making it out of the way just in time. Eden is shocked and that’s the distraction that Eli needs as he quickly makes his way to her and pulls her to her feet. He forces her head down so that he can hook her arms tries to take her life with that tiger driver. He feels this could maybe be the end and tries for the pin.

Eli doesn’t even trip because he knew the possibility was there for a kickout but promises himself that the next time, there wouldn’t be any kickouts as he pulls Eden to her feet and grabs the wrist of the fist that almost collided into his face. Smirking at her, he squeezes the wrist tightly and yanks her towards him as she tries to fight out of his grasp but the hold on her is too tight. The crowd booes heavily at Eli brainbuster’ing Eden while assisting her to her feet like a gentleman but handling her roughly with deadly intentions. Eden gets lucky and catches him off guard with three stiff kicks and then takes a few steps back before rushing towards him and smiles as she’s able to use that spinning neckbreaker on him. To the mat he goes and Eden fights the urge to pin him but instead jumps on the turnbuckle, her arms raising in the air as the fans cheer her. She’s off the turnbuckle as her body cuts through the air, looking to take Eli down with that crossbody when he catches her instead which surprises the hell out of her. But she ends up surprising him in return with a few sharp elbow drives into the side of the head as she fights back with all of her might and Eli just ends up dropping her on the mat with wanting to avoid those elbows. He stumbles back and leans against the ropes as Eden gets to her feet, ready to get back to work when she turns and sees an explosion of light from Eli’s foot colliding into her face without warning with the Red Light Special! The crowd is practically screaming booes but Eli doesn’t give a damn as he goes for the pin.
DING!!!! DING!!!! DING!!!!

POWERS: ”And the winner and STILL the North American Champion… ELIIIIIIIJAH CARLSOOOOOON!!!!!!!!”
WINNER: Elijah Carlson via Pinfall (14:24)
JOHNSON: ”You hear the fans? They aren’t happy with the results of the match.”
VASSA: ”And I dont think Eli cares what the fans think. He’s going to hold his title and pretend it’s the 4CW Championship because he’s good being third place.”
JOHNSON: ”What makes you think that the North American Championship is the bronze?”
VASSA: ”Well it damn sure isn’t first place, now is it, Steve? Look at him…. grinning that shiteating grin while his hand is raised. This isn’t the main event.”
JOHNSON: ”You dont have to wrestle to eat Ls, Vinny. Why, you always eat Ls- nevermind.”
Eli is presented with the North American Championship. he holds it over his shoulder before looking over to Eden who is starting to recover. Standing beside her, he extends an arm, reaching down to her. Eden takes him by the hand as Eli pulls her up to her feet. With a smile on his face, Eli extends his hand once more, this time for a handshake.
JOHNSON: ”Well look at that, Eli isn’t so nasty after all. He’s showing Eden respect after a hard fought match.”
Eden reaches for Eli’s hand, only to then be taken completely off guard as Eli levels her with the North American Championship.

VASSA: ”Eli nailed her in the head with the belt that nasty son of a bitch!”
The entire arena begins booing Eli for his actions.
JOHNSON: ”You already won the match, Eli. What’s the pint of this?”
Staring down at the crumpled body of Eden Connors, Eli stares daggers into her fallen form while extending his hand out for a microphone to be brought to him. All around him the crowd reigns down boo’s upon him. Even the small army of supporters he had gained that had stuck with him through thick and thin throughout his career turned on him in this very moment but his expression gave away no hint of any remorse whatsoever. And when the microphone was finally delivered into his outstretched hand, he brought it to his lips and bent at the knees, squatting down beside her.
CARLSON: “In a few minutes when those stars stop spiraling around your head, perhaps you’ll finally have some clarity, and some understanding, of what is required to survive in MY company. And when you finally push yourself back up to your feet, and these fans start to clap and cheer for the heart they perceive you to be showing, I want you to take just a moment to stop and realize that they are the ones who are responsible for this.”
He spoke matter of factly as he cocked his head curiously, examining her as she laid there at his feet.
CARLSON: “Because for days, and weeks, and months these fans have delighted in talking about just how nasty I am. They’ve made a running joke out of how I carry myself. They’ve turned the fact that I back down from no one, and the fact that I am unafraid of telling anyone exactly what I think of them, into a fucking meme. They are the ones responsible for this, Eden. Because this is what they’ve begged for. This is what they’ve pleaded for. This is what the masses expect of me. But now that I’ve given it to them? Now that they really see the consequences of everything they’ve been asking for? Now they boo. Do you see how fickle they are, Eden? How SELFISH they are? How quick they are to turn on you even when you give them exactly what they want.”
Slowly, he stood upright and then adjusted the glittering North American championship so that it was draped over his left shoulder. With one step and then another, he circled around Eden slowly, keeping the microphone raised as he continued to lecture her.
CARLSON: “I warned you ahead of time that a good fight wasn’t going to be enough. I warned you that simply wanting what I have wasn’t going to be enough. But you asked me a question, Eden, and in your ignorance you failed to recognize the folly of it. You asked me if I knew what happens when the sun stops shining. But what you failed to recognize, Eden..”
He laughed to himself with a shit eating smile on his face that was spread ear to ear.
CARLSON: “Is that I am the sun. And this whole fucking company revolves around who I am and what I do. Others can claim it, but deep down in your heart now you know it to be true.”
Once more he paused, squatting down beside her.
CARLSON: “So do yourself a favor, now. Stop looking at the sun and thinking it can be yours. Stay down, because that marathon you claimed to want to run? I just brought it to its quick, indisputable and abrupt end.”
In response to his words the fans collectively let out a resounding no, but went unnoticed by the champion. Instead he continued to stare at her curiously for a few moments longer before nodding his head and placing the microphone on her chest before standing back up and holding the championship high in the air for the world to see.

With his wireless headphones on the world is shut off from him, and he from them. Bryan opens the door to entering the arena from the parking lot with a nod to the two men in brightly colored polo shirts vibrantly letting everyone know they’re security. If you were on the outside looking in at a man of Bryan’s build, with sunglasses on that perfectly accent his tailored suit and leather gloves, you probably would not consider approaching him. Headphones, sunglasses, absent of emotion. But you would bet to approach him if it was your job, and god damnit Gabriel was going to do his job.
Sheepishly Hartman strolls up next to Laughlin as he pulls his luggage behind him and Hartman clears his throat trying to get the attention of the challenger in the main event, but Bryan blows him off. He sees him, you can tell he sees Gabriel because he speeds up his walk – but Gabriel speeds up alongside him and nudges him this time with his elbow. STILL nothing. Bryan moves his arm as if he accidentally bumped into the wall. The scene is comical at this point, the camera in front of Bryan moving along with his every stop and behind his large frame pops out the head of Hartman on occasion. Once from the right with his index finger up, once from the left waving his other hand. Slowly a smirk grows on Bryan’s face, but after a few more steps his slows down and takes his headphones off.
LAUGHLIN: ”Hartman, didn’t see you there. How’s it going, pal?”
Gabe is sucking air at this point, he’s not used to getting his steps in this early in the night.
HARTMAN: ”Was wondering if I could get a word with you.”
LAUGHLIN: ”You know me, Gabe. I don’t do interviews. I do the occasional mandatory backstage hooplah, but no interviews.”
HARTMAN: ”…I always interview the number one contender though…”
The two of them have an intense stare down that leaves a lot to be desired, but slowly Gabriel begins to extend his microphone towards Bryan’s face not stopping until he touches the tip of his nose.
HARTMAN: ”Boop. “
LAUGHLIN: ”Gabriel…”
Gabe points to the camera to get ready for the interview and on cue they have the angle they wanted.
LAUGHLIN: ”I’m not even mad, I’m impressed.”
HARTMAN: ”Ladies and Gentleman I’d like you to welcome with me at this time the challenger in the main event tonight for the 4CW Championship. Bryan Laughlin. Bryan, you have come up short in every 4CW Championship match you’ve had in your career – why will tonight be different?”
Bryan’s hands find his hips quickly as he postures defensively.
LAUGHLIN: ”Ouch, Gabe, tonight is different because last time I challenged for the 4CW Championship I was in the ring with legends. Not tales from the crypt. But I’m not here to spit another promo like the majority of my peers do with their backstage interviews. I’ll just put it like this. Tonight is different because he escalated this to a level he didn’t think through and tonight he pays for it. “
Gabe nods in agreement.
HARTMAN: ”Speaking of that level, any word on what color Kaelan’s eyes will be tonight?”
A deep, calming breath came from Bryan’s side of the camera.
LAUGHLIN: ”Williams tell you to ask that question? “
HARTMAN: ”I mean did she get contacts during her kidnapping or?”
LAUGHLIN: ”Stick to questions about the match…”
HARTMAN: ”Right…”
Gabe straightens himself out and clears his throat.
HARTMAN: ”This is arguably the biggest match in your career considering the circumstances, if you win tonight do you think it solidifies you as a legend in this company?”
Gabe is shocked by this answer and raises an eyebrow.
LAUGHLIN: ”No, I’ll never be a legend. I’ll never be the best. I’ll never be the greatest of all time. But I don’t need to be a legend tonight. You don’t make the hall of fame with one swing of the bat, Gabe. Tonight I just have to be the best in that cage.”
He pats Gabriel on the shoulder before grabbing his luggage and wheeling away down the hallway.

An interview crew was running towards Viduus Morta as he made his way down the hallway but he put his hand up stopping them in his tracks. As he continued walking, Viduus pointed to the camera stopping right in front of it knowing it was already on.
MORTA: “For the first time in a very long time I will not have my brother by my side as he finds himself ill.”
Viduus looked down at his waist where the 4CW Championship rest.
MORTA: “I thought that he would come out here and justify why I was put in the position I was at Winter Wasteland. I thought that he would come out here and let you all know that Bryan Laughlin is not the challenge to me that you all think he is. I thought he would come out here and assure the entire world that tonight I will remain the 4CW Champion.”
His gaze peered back up at the camera.
MORTA: “I realized looking into his eyes today that none of those things would be happening. I don’t need to justify myself. I don’t need to assure anyone else of tonight’s outcome. I don’t need to let you know what Bryan Laughlin is.”
Viduus unbuttoned the title and held it up to the camera next to his face.
MORTA: “This says it all. This is why Bryan is ready to put his life on the line. This is why we are both ready to fill the ring with our flesh and blood. Tonight is not about justification. Tonight isn’t about assurances. Tonight is about what belongs to me. Tonight is about my crown. Tonight is about your one true king. Tonight….and every night that follows will always be about THIS.”
Viduus throws the 4CW title over his shoulder pausing for a moment to let everyone take it in. He appeared confident and ready. He looked like the king he claimed to be but would he be able to maintain his reign? In a few short moments, we will all know.




Mike Powers slowly walks to the center of the ring as the bright lights from above shine down onto the ring, the steel cage hanging above from the ceiling. The noise level in the arena slowly begins to die down. Raising the microphone to his lips, Powers looks over the arena slowly before his voice travels across the landscape.
POWERS: ”Ladies and gentlemen, our main event of the evening! The following contest is a Caged Ladder Match for the 4CW Championship, the first to ever feature the championship in its historic inauguration. Introducing first…”
The heavy opening guitar riff from “Out of My Mind” by Mushroomhead hits over the speakers as a slight fog grows around the curtain and Bryan Laughlin emerges walking slowly and stopping in the middle of the stage he tightens his leather gloves on his hands allowing the strobe lights that are methodically flashing to the bass thump in the music drown him in mystery.
“Judge me for what I am
The passage of death
You don’t play, you don’t win
You change nothing
You gain nothing
Everybody’s out from here on in”

POWERS: ”The challenger, coming to the ring Los Angeles, California by way of Cleveland, Ohio! Weighing in at two hundred twenty five pounds and standing six feet, two inches tall, this IS, BRYAN LLAAUUGGHHLLIINN!!!”
As he reaches the apron of the ring he turns to put his back on the apron and stare back at the entrance ramp that he had just walked down. Throwing his hands up in the air as the chorus hits and the lights simultaneously travel to him in a spot light that he basks in with his eyes closed he then smiles before sliding into the ring on his stomach and makes eye contact with the nearest camera for a bit longer than most would before hopping to his feet and duplicating what he did outside on the apron by leaning against the ropes.
JOHNSON: ”He’s been waiting a long time for this opportunity.”
VASSA: ”Indeed he has. He’s been in a few 4CW Championship matches but none have featured him as the sole contender with so much at stake.”
JOHNSON: ”This is bigger than just a championship match. This is bigger than his first round in the South Beach Brawl Cup last year and no where near the same as his match with three other challengers at Ante Up last year. Tonight’s his shot and his shot alone to not only challenge for the 4CW Championship, but to also fight for his wife that was kidnapped at the hands of Viduus just weeks ago.”
VASSA: ”It doesn’t seem that long ago that he was fighting against his wife, and now he’s fighting the man that took her away from him at Adrenaline.”
JOHNSON: ”Those two went through hell at Winter Wasteland and came out better off, only to have Viduus snatch her away from him.”
VASSA: ”Whether it’s the belt he’s focused on or his wife, Laughlin is coming for blood here tonight and there’s going to be nowhere for Viduus to escape once that cage is lowered.”
JOHNSON: ”Escape? Having done what he’s done to the man, I would think escaping is the last thing on his mind. He wants Laughlin at his best!”
VASSA: ”He’s damn sure going to get it tonight!”
“Cry Little Sister begins to play as the lights drop in the arena.
POWERS: ”And the champion!”
Smoke and fog billows from below the stage rising higher and higher as the stage and ramp begin to light up in fire in a falling dominoes pattern. The faint shadow of Viduus Morta can be seen through the smoke.
“Last Fire Will Rise
Behind those Eyes
Black House will Rock
Blind Boys dont Lie”

The Smoke disappears to reveal Viduus entirely, the 4CW Championship draped over his shoulder as he looks left and right scanning the crowd.
POWERS: ”Coming to the ring weighing in at one hundred ninety-five pounds and standing six feet, two inches! He is the two time 4CW Champion… VIDUUS MMOORRTTAA!!!”
As the music begins to pick up pace, Viduus starts to float his way to the ring.
“Cry Little Sister
thou shall not fall
Come Come to your brother
thou shall not feel”

Viduus slithers under the bottom rope and licks his championship as he crawls to the middle of the ring. Viduus rises, licking the title once more before holding high for all to see.
VASSA: ”No Kaelan tonight?”
JOHNSON: ”I’m as surprised as you are. I would have bet money that he would have brought her to ringside here tonight.”
VASSA: ”The Speaker is nowhere to be found. Let’s not count out any surprises once that cage is lowered.”
JOHNSON: ”Knowing Viduus, you can only speculate that she will be used at some point, more than likely a point where Laughlin is at his weakest.”
VASSA: ”He wants to see Broken tonight and if he plays his cards right with Kaelan, we all just may see that part of him he wants to leave buried forever.”
JOHNSON: ”Anything goes once that cage is lowered. This type of match is like a playground for Broken. This is the perfect opportunity for that side of him to break free and unleash on Viduus inside of that cage high above the ring.”
VASSA: ”These men are out for blood. The fans here want to see blood, some blood more than other’s.”
Taking the 4CW Championship from Viduus, the official signals for the cage to be lowered. From the outside, a member of the ringside crew slides a ladder into the ring underneath the ropes. Once the cage completely lowers tightly around the ring, the official holds the championship high into the air, presenting it to the crowd in attendance. He then secures the championship to a hook handing from a cord coming from above the ring. The championship then slowly rises into the air, hanging above the ring and open top cage. Checking in with both men, the official gets the okay from them both before slowly raising his hand into the air and signaling for the bell.

Leaving their corners, the two slowly move to the center of the ring before circling one another, getting a read on the man standing across from them. This only last momentarily. Laughlin has been eager to get his hands on Viduus and now that the two were together inside of the cage, there was nothing stopping him from making that a reality. Bursting forward, Laughlin lunged towards Viduus. Quick on his feet, Viduus dropped down, planting both feet into Laughlin’s knee with a quick dropkick. Laughlin dropped down to one knee, giving Viduus plenty of time to pop back to his feet. Firing away at Laughlin’s head, Viduus connected with multiple punches, exchanging lefts and rights as he tagged Laughlin with over and over. Drawing back with his right further than any punch thrown prior, Viduus swung with all of his might. Throwing his arm up, Laughlin blocked the punch, popping back up to his feet as he threw a punch in return at Viduus with all of his weight behind it. Driving his fist into Viduus’ chest, Laughlin knocked him off his feet, sending him flying backwards before crashing to the canvas.
Viduus hit the mat on his back and fluidly rolled backwards to his stomach where he then immediately began to push himself back up. Charging in, Laughlin went to grab ahold of him but was a second too late. Bursting forward from a four point stance, Viduus drove his shoulder into Laughlin’s stomach, tacking him to the mat. Mounting himself on top of Laughlin, Viduus swung down with his right, turning his body with it and throwing everything he had into a brutal forearm shot to Laughlin’s face. Pushing himself up, Viduus stomped down onto Laughlin’s midsection a few times before reaching down and pulling him up from the mat. Lifting Laughlin off his feet, Viduus then dropped him across his knee with a backbreaker. Not releasing him, he stood back to his feet, placing Laughlin on his as well. Hooking an arm around Laughlin’s head, Viduus then lifted him upside down into the air for only a brief moment before dropping him down on his head with a brainbuster!
JOHNSON: ”There’s a noticeable size difference between these two but Viduus picked him up with ease before dropping him on his head.”
VASSA: ”Noticeable? You think? Laughlin’s a monster of a man compared to what I remember of him a few years ago.”
Standing tall, Viduus stomped onto Laughlin’s leg a couple of times before pulling him up to his feet. Over and over, Viduus swung with quick right hands, pounding away at Laughlin’s head as he backed him across the ring. With Laughlin’s back on the ropes, he had nowhere else to go. Viduus threw one final punch at Laughlin’s head, only to wave it blocked as Laughlin threw his arm up in defense. With his other arm, Laughlin swung at Viduus’ face, connecting with forearm across the bridge of his nose. At a rapid fire rate, Laughlin continued throwing forearms into Viduus’ face before reaching forward with both hands and grabbing ahold of him. Lifting Viduus off his feet, Laughlin threw him over the top rope, sending him crashing head first into the steel cage just on the other side of the apron. Bouncing off the cage, Viduus fell to the other side of the ropes between the cage, crashing to the apron.
As Viduus remained down, Laughlin kicked through the ropes, striking Viduus with multiple kicks to the midsection. Fighting through the assault, Viduus began pulling himself back to his feet using the ropes. Once Viduus was halfway to his feet, Laughlin turned his back to his and took off towards the opposite side of the ring. Hitting the far ropes and coming back with even more speed, Laughlin ran straight into Viduus as he stood up, hitting him with a shoulder blocked that send him slamming backwards into the cage. Reaching over the top rope, Laughlin pulled Viduus away from the cage, holding him in place with one hand before striking him against the side of the head with his other. Viduus leaned against the ropes in a daze as Laughlin turned his back to him once more and took off for the ropes across the ring. Upon his return, he hit Viduus with a second shoulder block, this once sending him crashing into the cage even harder than before.
Viduus dropped down to the apron after bouncing off the cage. Leaning over the top rope, Laughlin grabbed ahold of him, pulling him back to his feet. Pushing him backwards, Laughlin slammed Viduus into the cage before pulling him back in with one hand and nearly taking his head off with a powerful right hand punch to the head. Leaving Viduus leaning against the ropes, Laughlin went for the ropes across the ring a third time. Bouncing off the ropes and charging straight towards Viduus like a freight train, Laughlin lead shoulder first as he closed in. At the last possible split second, Viduus dropped down to the apron, grabbing the top rope with both hands and pulling it down with him. As Laughlin hit the ropes, his upper body went over the top and with nothing in front of him, his head crashed against the cage with a thud. Seeing stars, Laughlin stumbled backwards as Viduus quickly pulled himself back up to his feet. Turning to his side, Viduus shot up the nearby corner and once at the top, he waited for the precise moment to make his next move. Just when Laughlin turned to face him, Viduus leaped from the top of the corner, flying through the air and wiping him off his feet with a flying clothesline!
VASSA: ”They say the third time is a charm and that worked out perfectly for Laughlin right there.”
JOHNSON: ”Viduus didn’t have much of a choice being on the outside like that with the cage so close behind him.”
VASSA: ”It was a smart move on his end, no doubt. It completely shifted the momentum of this match.”
JOHNSON: ”With the cage being so close to the ring, that isn’t going to be the first time it’s used as a weapon.”
VASSA: ”It’s a part of the match, just like the turnbuckles and ropes. Everything is fair game inside of there!”
Rolling Laughlin over to his stomach, Viduus grabbed him by the legs, squatting down onto his back and locking in a Boston crab. A submission here wasn’t going to win the match and Viduus knew that as he looked overhead, locking his eyes on the 4CW Championship hanging above the ring. He kept the maneuver locked in for a few moments, causing nothing but agony for Laughlin as he fought to break free but couldn’t slip away. Eventually Viduus released his legs, standing to his feet and leaving Laughlin down on the mat feeling the aftermath. Walking over to the side of the ring where the ladder rested beneath the ropes, Viduus kept an eye on Laughlin every step of the way. Pulling the ladder into the ring, he then lifted it, holding it with both hands before turning back to Laughlin who was now beginning to push himself up from the mat.
Sneaking in behind Laughlin who was on one knee, Viduus swung the entire ladder, whipping it around and slamming it into Laughlin’s back. Laughlin nearly fell forward but pushed himself up to his feet instead. He quickly turned around to face Viduus only to leave his body exposed as Viduus jabbed the top of the ladder into his stomach. Laughlin took a step back, still standing upright after the blow to the gut. Jabbing the ladder forward again, this time even harder, Viduus slammed the top into Laughlin’s stomach, this time forcing his body to lunge over from the impact. Raising the ladder over his head, Viduus then swung it down and struke Laughlin over the back with it, knocking him down to all fours. Back stepping to the center of the ring, Viduus then charged forward with the ladder held at his side, driving it into Laughlin’s head as if it were a battering ram. The blow to the head immediately knocked Laughlin down to his side, his forehead now covered in blood from a laceration due to the blunt impact.
VASSA: ”We have our first sighting of blood!”
JOHNSON: ”And it’s messy. Viduus busted Laughlin’s forehead wide open with that shot to the head.”
VASSA: ”Anything goes. Just look at the official calmly standing by without a care in the world.”
JOHNSON: ”Viduus may be making his move here now that Laughlin is laid out on the mat.”
VASSA: ”I hope he doesn’t get any of Erik Holland’s blood soaked in the mat on that nasty cut. That’s how AIDS were made.”
JOHNSON: ”Hold on, what?!”
VASSA: ”Yeah, at least that’s what I heard. I remember hearing some schmuck on a radio show this past weekend talking about AIDS before hanging up.”
In the center of the ring, Viduus set up the ladder, positioning it perfectly underneath the championship hanging high above the ring.
JOHNSON: ”Here we go!”
Viduus begins to slowly climb up the ladder, his eyes locked on the prize hanging overhead. He gets about halfway up the ladder before Laughlin begins to show signs of life. Pushing himself up to all fours, Laughlin looks up, only to see Viduus ascending the ladder. Wiping the blood from his eyes, Laughlin then pushes himself up to his feet as Viduus nears the top. Rushing over to the ladder, Laughlin grabs it with both hands. Viduus feels Laughlin’s hands grab the ladder, immediately grabbing his attention as he shoots a look straight down to Laughlin. Laughlin begins pushing the ladder, rocking it back and forth with Viduus at the top. Viduus climbs up another step, extending his arm above his head and reaching for the championship. Close, but not close enough. His fingers were just inches short of even touching the bottom of the championship. Giving the ladder one last push, Laughlin sent it tipping over.
VASSA: ”Brace yourself, Viduus!”
The ladder fell to its side and leaping from the top of it was Viduus. Flying through the air, Viduus went over the top rope, crashing face first into the ladder before falling straight down and slamming against the apron. Stepping over the ladder, Laughlin went straight for Viduus as he remained down on the apron. Reaching over the top rope, Laughlin pulled Viduus up to his feet before holding the back of his head with his left hand. With Viduus’ head held in place, Laughlin began firing away with rapid right hand punches to Viduus’ face. Turning Viduus to face the nearby corner, Laughlin walked him along the apron where he then slammed his head down face first onto the top of the turnbuckle of the corner. Over and over, Laughlin slammed Viduus’ face down onto the turnbuckle from the apron.
Turning Viduus around to face the cage, Laughlin placed a hand on the back of his head and one on Viduus’ shoulder before thrusting him forward into the cage. Over and over, Laughlin threw Viduus forward into the cage face first, not showing any signs of hesitation. He had been wanting to do this for quite some time. Viduus crossed a line when he took Kaelan from him and Bryan was going to make damn sure he paid for it. Grabbing Viduus by the head with both hands, Laughlin then slammed his head forward, driving Viduus’ face into the steel cage. Laughlin kept Viduus’ face pressed against the cage. It was as if he were trying to push Viduus through it but the cage didn’t budge, not a single inch. Keeping Viduus’ face pressed against the cage as hard as he could, Laughlin then dragged him from one end to the other, making sure Viduus felt every piece of metal between the two corners dig into his face as he dragged him along.
JOHNSON: ”It was only a matter of time before we saw the cage being used against someone else.”
VASSA: ”As if the fall from the top of the ladder wasn’t bad enough. Laughlin straight up tried to give Viduus a concussion with all those blows to the head in the corner.”
JOHNSON: ”Let’s hope he didn’t give him one. We already have one person on the roster who’s had enough of those for the entire roster.”
VASSA: ”Oh look it! More blood.”
About halfway between the two corners, blood begins to smear across the cage, leaving a path from that point to the corner Laughlin dragged Viduus to. Laughlin pulls Viduus’ head away from the corner, revealing to the entire arena his bloody face.
VASSA: ”Viduus was already having issues with his ashy face. Now it’s just going to clump up with that blood and make matters even worse.”
JOHNSON: ”I don’t know about any ashy skin, all I see is blood at this point.”
Turning Viduus to face him, Laughlin rocks his jaw with a stiff right before pushing his head down and pulling him back into the ring through the ropes. Lifting Viduus off his feet, Laughlin sits him on top of the corner where he then climbs up to the second rope. Standing over Viduus, Laughlin begins swinging down onto his head, pounding away with brutal right hands as the crowd caounts along with each one that lands.
“One! … Two! … Three! … Four! … Five! … Six! … Seven! … Eight! … Nine! … Ten!”

Wrapping an arm around Viduus’ head, Laughlin then steps up to the top rope, pulling Viduus up as well. Lifting Viduus upside down into the air, Laughlin then falls back, dropping him from high above to the canvas with a superplex!

Rolling over to his stomach, Laughlin crawls over top of Viduus and mounts himself on top. Grabbing Viduus by the head with both hands, he raises it up from the mat before slamming it back down, pounding the back of Viduus’ head onto the canvas over and over. Standing to his feet, Laughlin stomps down onto Viduus’ stomach a few times before backing up to the ropes not far away. Bouncing off and coming back with a little more pep in his step, Laughlin leaps as high as he can into the air before coming down onto Viduus’ chest with a double foot stomp! Stepping down and planting a foot on both sides of Viduus’ body, Laughlin leans over and begins throwing powerful lefts and rights, driving them into the sides of Viduus’ head. He beat the man like he was ducking him after being eight weeks late to pay back a loan with points. As each first slammed into his head, the more they became covered in Viduus’ blood. Pulling Viduus up from the mat, Laughlin trapped him in a double underhook, holding him in place with no defense as he then slammed his head forward, over and over, ramming Viduus with multiple headbutts.
VASSA: ”Oh no, now their blood is mixing!”
JOHNSON: ”It’s not that big of a deal.”
VASSA: ”That’s easy for you to say, old man. Laughlin has already possibly caught the bug from Erik’s blood spilled on the canvas from earlier. Now he’s headbutting Viduus, those lacerations each have touching each oth–“
JOHNSON: ”Calm down, Vinny. You’re getting a little too graphic there.”
VASSA: ”I’m getting graphic? These two are creating a whole new type of super AIDS right before our eyes and I’m the one getting too graphic?!”
Using all of his strength and driving his feet to the mat, Laughlin lifts Viduus up into the air, throwing him over his head with a suplex of sorts. Viduus hits the mat, fluidly rolling to an upright seated position. Popping back to his feet, Laughlin explodes forward, racing by Viduus and hitting the ropes in front of him. Upon his return, he flips forward through the air, Over Viduus, grabbing his head and executing a running blockbuster! Viduus rolled back and forth along the mat in pain as Laughlin slowly climbed to his feet. Walking over to the ladder, he picked up with both hands and came back to Viduus. Lifting it up with both hands, Laughlin then slammed it down like a spear, driving it onto Viduus’ chest.
Turning away from Viduus, Laughlin then set the ladder up in the center of the ring. He began to make his climb until he caught a glimpse of Viduus in the corner of his eye. Viduus was pushing himself back up, which only caused Laughlin to stop his climb. He looked up to the championship hanging above his head for a short moment before a look of anger came over his face. Turning back to Viduus, he stepped down from the ladder. Once he was in range, Laughlin reached for Viduus but was instead met with a shoulder to the stomach as Viduus bursted forward. Popping back up, Viduus swung and connected with a devastating blow to the side of Laughlin’s head. Laughlin then swung with one of his own, missing as Viduus ducked and stepped in behind him. Laughlin immediately spun around and lunged towards Viduus, only to get tripped up as Viduus took him down face first onto one of the rungs of the ladder with a drop-toe hold!
With Laughlin on all fours, Viduus climbed onto his back, a foot planted to the mat on each sit of him. Grabbing Laughlin by the head with both hands, Viduus lifted his head up from the rung before slamming his face back down onto it. Over and over, Viduus slammed Laughlin’s face down onto the ladder rung before releasing him and taking a step back to get off of him. Walking to the side of Laughlin, Viduus pushed his head off of the ladder, laying him down to his side. Grabbing the ladder and folding it closed, Viduus lifted it up in both hands.
JOHNSON: ”Well that happened rather quickly.”
VASSA: ”You’re telling me. One second Laughlin is beating the life out of Viduus and the next Viduus is ramming his head into the ladder over and over.”
JOHNSON: ”These two are a bloody mess right now. I don’t know how much more of this punishment either one can take.”
Viduus places his foot against the side of Laughlin’s head, giving him a slight nudged and rolling him over to his back. Swinging down with the ladder, Viduus struck him across the chest with it.

Laughlin immediately brought his arms to his chest, rolling back to his side. Swinging down with the ladder a second time, Viduus struck him in the shoulder this time.

Kicking Laughlin in the back as he laid on his side, Viduus rolled him over to his back before swinging down and striking him across between the shoulder blades.

Over and over, Viduus slammed the ladder down onto Laughlin’s back.



Kicking Laughlin in the ribs again and again, Viduus eventually forced him to roll over to his back, looking up at the lights. Swinging the ladder even harder then before, Viduus slammed it down onto Laughlin’s stomach.

Laughlin’s upper body shot up from the mat after the impact. Tossing the ladder to the side, Viduus then grabbed him by the head and pulled him up to his feet. Turning Laughlin to face the opposite direction, Viduus wrapped him up around the waist with both arms. Lifting Laughlin off his feet, he then dropped Laughlin down onto the ladder with a German suplex. Not releasing his hold, Viduus rolled the two over to their sides before standing back up, pulling Laughlin up as well. Positioning him where the ladder was behind them, Viduus then lifted Laughlin off his feet again, slamming him onto the ladder a second time with another German suplex!
On his feet once more, Viduus drags Laughlin off of the ladder. Picking the ladder up, he carries it over to the corner and props it up against it. Turning back to Laughlin, Viduus slowly walks over to him, stalking him as he crawls away in the opposite direction. Grabbing him be the head, Viduus stops him in place and pulls him up to his feet. Swinging with his right, Viduus connects with back to back forearm shows to Laughlin’s face. He then locks onto his wrist and pulls him in, whipping him towards the corner as hard as he can. Laughlin crashes into the corner with his back, bouncing off and stumbling forward as Viduus hits the ropes across the ring. Rushing towards Laughlin from an angle, Viduus lowers his shoulder and explodes forward, driving his shoulder into Laughlin’s stomach with a spear!
JOHNSON: ”The Soul Reaper!”
The impact knocks Laughlin off his feet, sending him backwards through the air and crashing into the ladder once again. He lays across the ladder, in a daze as Viduus slowly rises to his feet. Approaching Laughlin, Viduus stalks him, even taunting him as he speaks to him. Wrapping his hand behind Laughlin’s head, Viduus lifts his head away from the ladder, standing him up. He holds him in place for a short moment, staring into Laughlin’s eyes before releasing him. As soon as Viduus let go, Laughlin fell over to his side, his lifeless body hitting the mat with a thud.
VASSA: ”Laughlin is completely out of it.”
JOHNSON: ”Viduus did quite the number on him just moments ago with that ladder. The Soul Reaper just sealed the deal for him.”
Viduus then grabs the ladder and carries it to the center of the ring where he stands it up, positioning it perfectly below the championship hanging high above.
VASSA: ”It’s all his for the taking now.”
Viduus reaches up and grabs the ladder, pulling himself up as he takes his first step. Viduus’ body has been on the receiving end of some damage all night as well and it’s clearly seen with the way he slowly climbs the ladder, as if he’s forcing his body to pull him up. Step by step, he ascends the ladder.
JOHNSON: ”Viduus appears to be struggling to even climb to the top.”
VASSA: ”He should be. These two have literally beaten the shit out of one another here tonight.”
JOHNSON: ”That’s true, but if he wants to retain he needs to push through all the pain and take wha–“
JOHNSON: ”UH-OH, you better hurry Viduus!”
With Viduus only halfway up the ladder, Laughlin pushes himself to his feet. He looks at the ladder, locking his eyes on Viduus, a smile creeping across his blood covered face.
VASSA: ”I recognize that look in his eyes!”
Viduus pulls himself up another step, unaware that Laughlin has risen. Limping over to the ladder, Laughlin goes to the other side, where he is then spotted by Viduus. Viduus reaches up to pull himself up another step but Laughlin grabs him by the foot, pulling his leg and preventing him from going any further as he steps back down to the rung he was previously on. Laughlin then begins to climb the ladder at a fast pace than Viduus. The two race to the top, only to look across the top of the ladder at one another. Stepping up so their upper bodies are higher than the top of the ladder, the two then begin to exchange blows with one another. Viduus connects with a vicious right. Viduus retaliates and connects with a brutal right of his own. Back and forth, the two literally beat each other senseless at the top of the ladder.
JOHNSON: ”We have what appears to be one final throw down between these two here tonight.”
VASSA: ”These guys are beating the hell out of each other!”
JOHNSON: ”With the championship so close, it’s every man for himself at this point.”
VASSA: ”The only way one of them is going to grab that championship is if they throw the other down from the very top.”
Nearly a minute passes and the two continue pounding away at each other. Their punches are thrown slower and slower, fatigue definitely setting in at this point. They push though. A right from Viduus, a left from Laughlin followed by an immediate right. Both men, covered in blood pound away at each others face, neglecting any type of defense to save their own.
At least until now.
Viduus swings with all of his might, a right hook aimed straight for Laughlin’s head. Throwing his left arm up, Laughlin blocks the punch and then slams his head forward, hitting Viduus with a nasty headbutt. Grabbing him by the head with both hands, Laughlin then slams Viduus’ head down, driving him face first onto the top of the ladder. Grabbing him by the body, Laughlin drags Viduus over the top, lifting him up onto his shoulders in a fireman’s carry. There’s only one way to go from up here and that’s down. Laughlin knew it, and so did Viduus.
VASSA: ”Oh, I know he isn’t about to do what I think he is!”
JOHNSON: ”I think he just may be crazy enough.”
Lifting Viduus up and spinning him over his shoulders, Laughlin then jumps away from the ladder. As the two travel down, Laughlin keeps a hold on Viduus’ shoulders, catching him at the exact moment his back hits the mat, executing a double knee gutbuster!
The entire arena explodes at the sight of Laughlin connecting with his Good Morning America.
VASSA: ”Did he–did we–DID WE JUST SEE THAT?!?!”
JOHNSON: ”I’m just as amazed as you are, Vinny. There’s no way Viduus is going to get up after that devastating move from the top of the ladder.”
VASSA: ”What about Laughlin? Is he going to be able to get back to his feet?”
The crowd then begins to stir up by the top of the ramp.
JOHNSON: ”What’s going on now?”
VASSA: ”I have no idea. I can’t see up there. Someone get a camera up there pronto!”
The camera then switches to the entrance stage where The Speaker is seen, holding back Kaelan Laughlin as she fights to break away from him.
JOHNSON: ”That’s Kaelan!”
VASSA: ”Is it really her, though?!”
She struggles for a few moments before finally breaking away from The Speaker. She rushes down the entrance ramp, headed straight for the ring.
JOHNSON: ”What’s she doing out here?!”
VASSA: ”Beats me, but I don’t think The Speaker wants her out here judging by his reaction.”
She runs to the cage, placing both hands against it as she just looks inside of the ring without saying a single word. Not far behind her is The Speaker. He doesn’t stand next to her, he goes to the adjacent side of the cage and begins yelling for Viduus to get up from the mat. His voice doesn’t get the attention of Viduus, though. Instead he gets Laughlin’s attention as he slowly raises his head up from the mat and looks in his direction. The two stare at one another for a brief moment before a look of relief comes over Laughlin’s face when he sees Kaelan standing just around the corner of the cage.
JOHNSON: ”There she is, Bryan. You’ve been searching for so long and she’s right there on the other side of the cage.”
Forcing himself up from the mat, Laughlin never once looks away from Kaelan. She stares back, Somewhat emotionless and confused, still not speaking a single word. He then slowly turns his head, looking up the ladder at the championship still hanging high above. Back and forth, he looks between the 4CW Championship and Kaelan before she finally gives him some sort of reaction. Barely noticeable, she nods her head at him when he looks back to her.
VASSA: ”What are you doing, Laughlin?!”
JOHNSON: ”Did you not see that?”
VASSA: ”See what?”
Nodding at her in return, Laughlin demeanor completely changes as he looks back up to the championship, his eyes determined on the task at hand.
JOHNSON: ”I swear you’re half blind! You only see what you wa–“
VASSA: ”SILENCE!!! He’s going for it!”
Grabbing onto the ladder, Laughlin takes his first step, then another, and another, as he makes his way up the ladder. On the outside of the cage, The Speaker continues yelling for Viduus to rise but his words go unheard. Viduus remains out cold from the devastating move from the top of the ladder just moments ago. Looking on, Kaelan remains in position, holding onto the cage as she watches Laughlin make his climb, still showing no emotion. Finally reaching the top, Laughlin stands over the entire ring but instead of looking up to the championship, he looks back down to Kaelan on the outside of the cage.
VASSA: ”All you have to do is reach up! What are you doing?!”
The stare into each other’s eyes before Kaelan gives him another nod, this one more noticeable than the first.
JOHNSON: ”I sa–“
VASSA: ”Kaelan just nodded at Laughlin!”
JOHNSON: ”This is exactly what I was talking about earlier!”
VASSA: ”No way, no how. I would have noticed if she nodded for him to make his move earlier.”
Looking up to the championship, Laughlin takes one final step upward. Reaching over his head with both hands, he unhooks the 4CW Championship, taking it into his possession.
JOHNSON: ”He’s got it! Bryan Laughlin’s got it!”
VASSA: ”Holy shit we have a new 4CW Champion!”
JOHNSON: ”He’s done it ladies and gentlemen! Bryan Laughlin’s finally captured the 4CW Championship right here at Retrograde!”
The official immediately calls for the bell as “Out Of My Mind” begins playing over the speakers.

VASSA: ”Bryan Laughlin just ended Viduus’ reign and will go into the South Beach Brawl Cup as your new 4CW Champion.”
The cage begins to raise up from the floor as Laughlin stands at the top of the ladder, holding the 4CW Championship against his chest. For a second he’s caught up in the moment but reality sets in. Looking to the outside of the cage as it rises, he looks to Kaelan who looks back at him in what should be his proudest moment of his career. He slowly begins to climb down the ladder, never looking away from her. Once the cage is high enough, The Speaker slides into the ring and checks with Viduus who is still unconscious from the high fall earlier. Stepping down to the mat, Laughlin takes a step in Kaelan’s direction before being stopped in his tracks. Grabbing him by the arm, the official raises it high into the air as the entire arena rumbles.
Refusing to celebrate just yet, Laughlin rips his arm away from the official and walks towards Kaelan. She remains on the outside of the ring looking in. He climbs through the ropes, dropping down to the outside floor with the 4CW Championship in hand. Standing with just a few feet between him and Kaelan, Laughlin looks to her with concern. Placing the championship over his shoulder, Laughlin spreads his arms, holding them out to his sides for Kaelan to hug him. She seems hesitant at first, but after a few moments of silence between the two, she steps into his arms as the two embrace.
JOHNSON: ”Now tis has to be the happiest moment in his life!”
VASSA: ”Not only did he capture the 4CW Championship, but he also has Kaelan back and there to celebrate with him.”
JOHNSON: ”I’m having a hard time figuring out if he’s happier that he won the championship or if he’s happier that he has her back.”
VASSA: ”Well… I’m having a hard time trying to figure out why she’s even letting him hug her! He’s covered in not only his own blood, but also Viduus’.”
Moments pass as the two remained embraced. In the background, the crowd begins chanting louder and loudr.
“Laugh-lin! … Laugh-lin! … Laugh-lin! … Laugh-lin! … Laugh-lin!”

She pulls away from him, removing the 4CW Championship from his shoulder before handing it to him. He looks at it in his hands, back and forth between it and her. Pulling a hand away from the title, she then raises his arm into the air. Holding the championship with his other hand, Laughlin hoists it high above his head.
JOHNSON: ”Back together at last, and there’s nothing Viduus or his Speaker can do to stop that.”
The camera cuts back to the inside of the ring where The Speaker continues to check on Viduus. Covered in both his blood and Laughlin’s, Viduus is still out cold on his back. Both Laughlin’s look back to the ring, taking in the sight for themselves. Bryan steps towards the ring, pulling away from Kaelan. She grabs him by the shoulder, stopping him in place. Turning back to her, the two whisper amongst themselves. Turning his back to the ring, Laughlin wraps his arm around Kaelan and the two head up the ramp, never once looking back as the exit the ringside area.
VASSA: ”Where are you going?! It’s Speaker’s turn to feel the wrath of McLaughlin!”
JOHNSON: ”Broken isn’t here! It’s just Bryan Laughlin, the man, the champion, and the husband.”
VASSA: ”Bullshit! I saw that look on his face earlier. Broken is still in there just dying to get out!”
JOHNSON: ”Tell that to the man walking up the ramp not even worried about who he’s leaving behind in the ring.”
VASSA: ”I’m trying to but he isn’t listening! Viduus went down. Now it’s Speaker’s turn!”
The two continue up the ramp, husband and wife, without a care in the world other than the person standing next to them.
JOHNSON: ”Well that’s about all the time we have for tonight, folks.”
VASSA: ”Wait a damn second! We have plenty of time.”
JOHNSON: ”The show is over, Vinny. It’s time to pack it up and get ready for Adrenaline in two weeks.”
JOHNSON: ”You can scream all you want but I don’t think he’s listening, let alone even hearing you at all.”
VASSA: ”Whatever.”
JOHNSON: ”Don’t be angry. We had one hell of a show here tonight.”
VASSA: ”I guess I can agree with you there. All good and who would have though, American Tommy retained his championship once again.”
JOHNSON: ”He did, but it wasn’t an easy contest against Alicia.”
VASSA: ”I pray every single day that he will lose that Octane Championship that he pretends to hate having so damn much.”
JOHNSON: ”If you ask me, God isn’t answering your prayers.”
VASSA: ”Wow.”
JOHNSON: ”He wasn’t the only one to retain. Eli is still the North American Champion after defeated Eden Connors.”
VASSA: ”Not only did he defeat her, but he pretended to show respect at the end only to lay her out with the championship out of nowhere. Then what happened? We get a taste of nasty Eli on the microphone taunting her even more.”
JOHNSON: ”It wasn’t as pretty sight. I feel bad for Eden. She didn’t deserve that one bit.”
VASSA: ”You know who else didn’t deserve what they got tonight?”
VASSA: ”Dakota.”
JOHNSON: ”How so, Mariano beat him straight up.”
VASSA: ”But he didn’t deserve to have his body give out on him just seconds before putting Manny down for the count.”
JOHNSON: ”It happens. We’ve seen this from him over the last few months. Like always, he’ll bounce back.”
VASSA: ”I hope so.”
JOHNSON: ”As far as championships go, that it for the night.”
VASSA: ”Oh, no tag team championships?”
JOHNSON: ”You saw the same matches that I saw.”
VASSA: ”I know. We better see some tag team action on the road to South Beach Brawl and I don’t care if someone has to wrestle in one night or pretend they’re kidnapped after being gung ho for the division.”
JOHNSON: ”Let’s just go ahead and cut you off right there before you start rambling.”
VASSA: ”I would never!”
JOHNSON: ”And I’m going to see to it. Retrograde is over with and in the books. Now we look forward to South Beach Brawl and the Cup each and every Adrenaline to determine this year’s winner.”
VASSA: ”It’s that time of year, isn’t it?”
JOHNSON: ”You damn right and it all starts in two weeks at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.”
VASSA: ”I’m sure you’ll fit right in at that place, Steve.”
JOHNSON: ”Wait, what?”
VASSA: ”No, continue. Let’s call it a night.”
JOHNSON: ”Welp! You heard the man ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for joining us here tonight for Retrograde. We’ll see you in two weeks at Adrenaline Ninety-Nine. From 4CW and the booth, I’m Steve Johnson…”
VASSA: ”And I’m Vinny Vassa! Good fight and goodnight!”
Viduus finally begins showing signs of life in the ring as The Speaker cares for him. Cutting camera shots to the top of the ramp, The Laughlin’s stand, still in each others arms. Turning back to face the crowd, Bryan keeps an arm around Kaelan and with his other, he raises the 4CW Championship into the air once more. The picture then slowly begins to fade out, the same chant from earlier is still heard over the soundwaves.
“Laugh-lin! … Laugh-lin! … Laugh-lin! … Laugh-lin! … Laugh-lin!”

Lowering the championship, Bryan and Kaelan turn and disappear through the curtain before the picture goes completely black and the credits start to roll.