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Vertigo E46; 01.06.18
Topic Started: Jan 8 2018, 05:51 PM (604 Views)
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The following scene seems to take place just minutes after Kol’s loss to Owen Gonsalves. The young man out of Buffalo is seen storming the halls, clearly not in a mood to speak to anyone after what just happened out there. And yet, Jessie Pederson seems to think that it’s a good idea to try.

As soon as she tries to ask a question, Kol knocks the microphone out of her hands and growls at her, forcing her to take a few steps back, afraid of what he might do. He then waves her off before continuing to storm off, his plans of becoming the 2017 Frontier Lions Cup winner dashed.

However, he suddenly comes to a stop at the end of the hallway before he turns and looks to his right, the camera shifting over to show James Edwards with a still nervous Jessie Pederson flanking his right shoulder.

James Edwards: I think you owe her an apology.

He reveals Pederson’s microphone in his hand.

James Edwards: And maybe an interview.

Kol clenches his fists and his jaw as he stares at James, before letting out another growl and walking off, disappearing out of sight. James turns to Jessie and sighs before returning his gaze back to the direction of Kol.

James Edwards: One of these days, that bastard will get his.
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¡Uno!
¡Dos!
¡Tres!
¡Catorce!


Hello hello
(Hola)
I'm at a place called Vertigo
(Donde esta?)
It's everything I wish I didn't know
Except you give me something
I can feel, feel


Yea, yea, yea, yea, yea, yea, yea, yea
Yea, yea, yea, yea, yea, yea, yea, yea


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CURE Insurance Arena
Trenton, NJ




The show opens to the people in attendance chanting “Ver-ti-go” over and over again...before “Young and Bitter” hits the speakers and Kol’s name appears in bold letters on the tron. The audience begins to shift to boos as Kol steps out from the back, not dressed in any ring gear tonight. He looks around at the audience, a sour expression on his face as he makes his way down to the ring.

Once ringside, Kol watches the fans ringside and sneers at them before he climbs the steps and enters the ring, the audience continuing to boo. He asks for a mic and is handed one immediately by a stagehand before he waits for his theme to die out. As soon as it does, the audience takes over and begins chanting once more.

“YOU LOST! YOU LOST! YOU LOST!”

Kol sucks his teeth, clearly not appreciative of the audience taunting him about his loss to Owen Gonsalves. However, they do switch up the chant eventually when Kol tries to speak into the microphone.

”LET’S GO OWEN! LET’S GO OWEN! LET’S GO OWEN!”

This gets a smirk out of the FLC semifinalist, but the audience continues on with their chants, allowing Kol to lean up against the ropes and let them finish. Once it seems like they are done, he steps forward and taps the mic twice, getting another chorus of boos. When those die out is when Kol finally speaks, looking out at the audience in disgust.

Kol: I should’ve expected nothing less from this garbage dump.

The audience boos him again, but this time Kol waves them off.

Kol: Oh, put a cork in it! I do not give a damn what you think about me. Save your boos for someone it can actually get to. Save your stupid chants for idiots who really want them. And stop being one of the most trash cities in the goddamn world and let me say what I have to say before I sit down and hijack this entire show. Let me say what I have to say and I’ll be on my way.

This seems to get the audience to quiet down, getting a smirk out of Kol.

Kol: At Final Frontier, I set out to do something historic. I looked to possibly flip the whole place on its head by becoming the next Frontier Lions Cup winner. I looked to shake things up and become the #1 contender to the FGA Undisputed championship. Just like everyone in this tournament, I set out to win the whole thing! And just like mostly everyone in it...I failed.

Those last two words somehow manage to sting more than anything the audience has said for Kol, but he continues on.

Kol: And I did not fail in the finals against the eventual winner Evan Envi.

Big pop for Evan.

Kol: No, no, no. My exit in this tournament came after I defeated Jackson Magnum in the quarterfinals....SOLIDLY, I might add. My exit came when I did not ever expect it would. It came in the semifinals, when I entered this ring and took on Owen Gonsalves.

The audience pops huge for Owen, causing Kol to clench his jaw.

Kol: And thus we wrestled the match. I controlled it for quite some time. He had a few moments of offense and near the end, I truly believed that Owen was about to be dispatched...easily. After all, he was still recovering from not only wrestling Ace earlier that night, but competing in that tag team league as well. Owen shouldn’t have had anything in the tank.

Kol chuckles.

Kol: And yet....he had enough to defeat me. He had just enough at the time to put me away and pick up arguably one of the BIGGEST wins of his career. He got one over on one of the best wrestlers in the world on a night where it should’ve been me being crowned as the Frontier Lions Cup winner.

A small “you lost” chant breaks out again, but it fades away quickly.

Kol: I will give Owen this and I will only say this once. What he did that night was short of phenomenal. It was a rarity at its finest and I am willing to give him a nice thumbs up for the performance he threw out there on that night.

Kol then gives the camera a mocking thumbs up before staring right at it.

Kol: But you’re a fool if you think that that would ever happen again.

This prompts the audience to boo once more, but again, Kol really does not give a damn.

Kol: You can all boo, but you know damn well that nobody can take that type of beating and still somehow survive and win a match with me more than once. I messed up and underestimated just how much punishment Owen could take. That loss falls on my shoulders and I promise you, the next time Owen and I are in the ring, he will not defeat me. I will beat him, just like I beat Magnum...and just like I’ll beat the person who is next in my sights.

Once again, the audience throws out another round of boos, getting Kol to chuckle yet again.

Kol: While I failed to capture the Frontier Lions Cup, that does not mean that my championship aspirations aren’t still very much intact. I want to put my name down in history around this place and the only way I can do it is by starting to pick up title reigns of titles I need to form a triple crown or a grand slam. Which means that the next person I want to face in this ring is....CHRIS MADISON.

Some of the audience are seen looking around, surprised at this statement, but Kol just smirks as he looks out at them.

Kol: Oh yes, you heard that correctly. I know that to win the Pride championship and add its reign to the other titles I have captured, I need to go through the man that currently has a great hold on it. And let’s be honest, people. You can hate me all you like, but a match between Chris Madison and myself is absolute MONEY. He knows that he’s one of the best and I know that I’m one of the best, so why not have two of the best on this brand, in this company, in the damn business, go toe to toe with one another? Maybe he can even give me the shot as a big thank you for that “assist” a few months back.

Kol then looks at the entranceway.

Kol: So, how about it? How about you put that Pride championship up against me and see how it ends for you, Chris?

“Okay”. The words Kol wants to hear but not from the person he wants to say them makes the multi-time champion cringe and the fans cheer.

As the garbled melody of “My Name is Human” by Highly Suspect serenades him, the Burning Heart, James Edwards, appears at the top of the ramp clad in casual street clothes with his usual steely gaze laser-locked on the HKW Global Champion. It never leaves the sneering Kol as Edwards methodically marches his way to the ring.

Upon arrival in the ring, James produces a microphone from his pants pocket and enters Kol’s orbit. As Edwards music dies, the anthem of the moment becomes a cheer that makes the censor’s skin crawl.

“Fuck em’ up James, fuck em’ up.”

For his part, James ignores the crowd’s call for violence while Kol raises a scoffing eyebrow and chuckles at him and then the crowd. The mob’s verbal bloodlust eventually dies down in a few moments, though, once they see that Edwards raise his hand to signal for their cessation.

James Edwards: I’m tired of hearin’ about money. Big money fights, big money signings or big money egos. When I gotta say that word it makes me wanna chuck up my lunch. So let’s shift the conversation to something I actually care about, something found in this company’s name: grapplin’. Actually, I think that word is a little too fancy for what I wanna talk about, about I want to happen, which is me putting you to sleep in a fight!

The crowd explouds at Edwards’ suggestion. Kol chuckles. James holds his hand up again to signify he is not finished speaking. Surprisingly, the crowd complies.

James Edwards: Yeah, I figured that is how you would react, and I’m not nearly as dumb or unstable as you or your buddy the GM think I am. I’ve been listening to what you say, Kol, I know what motivates you, and it sure as hell ain’t pride, it’s prize. So the best way to make sure I get what I want is get something you want, a prize with Pride in the title.

While James speaks Kol continues to chuckle, biting his lip at one point to reduce his chances of bursting into open hysterics.

James Edwards: So I’m officially throwin’ my name into contention for a shot at the Pride Championship. I don’t have the reputation of the prick in front of me. I don’t have the FGA pedigree of Fujiko Mine, but I do offer a challenge. Awards be damned, I’m the best striker in this company. I know I’ve got the best kick in this company. Ask Owen Gonsalves how it felt in Japan. Ask Ricky Valero how it felt in Hawaii. Ask the champions whose reign it has ended. Ain’t many folks have gotten up from the Gospel and I promise it will take a tough bastard to do it. I doubt even the legendary spirit of Chris Madison can survive. Hell, I know it won’t.

James slightly turns to his side, keeping Kol in his peripheral vision, and eyes the curtain.

James Edwards: So Chris, think you can do it?

On the exhale, a light guitar riff rings out in the arena, and repeats as “Champion” by Fall Out Boy. The tron leaves no question that this is the new chosen music for the former FGA Mid Atlantic Legacy and Pride Champion, Fujiko Mine. The crowd cheers loudly as she emerges from the back, a Chandler Scott shirt stretched across her torso. She rolls a microphone in her left hand as she maneuvers her way to the center of the ramp. Despite her loss, a decent “Fu-Ji-Ko” chant starts up. The music dies down, and Fujiko raises her own microphone to her mouth.

Fujiko Mine: Boys, boys...this is really quite interesting. Kol, you had quite the showing at Final Frontier. To assume that you deserve a Pride championship opportunity is pretty spot on, actually. Considering that you were a favorite to win it all, there’s no question in my mind that you could challenge for our company’s most prestigious championships.

She turns her head, looking over at James.

Fujiko Mine: And James, I know what you’re capable of. You proved it to me a few weeks ago in our match. And while you didn’t beat me, to think that maybe you deserve a Pride title shot is something I could see happening as well.

She pauses for a moment, to emphasize the other shoe dropping.

Fujiko Mine: But with both of you trying to stake your claim to the Pride championship...well, it caught MY attention. And since some people seem to think that I don’t earn what I’ve gotten around here...I thought it might be a perfect opportunity to prove myself even further. To beat the both of you, and then Chris Madison to win the Pride championship...no one will say I haven’t “earned” it, then. So what do YOU two say? I’d love to silence a few critics en route to proving to Chris Madison that next time, he won’t be escaping me.

The opening guitar riffs to “War Machine” by KISS blares over the arena’s P.A. system and the live audience jump to their feet. Kol, James Edwards, and Fujiko Mine turn their attention to the entranceway, looking on as the reigning FGA Pride Champion, Chris Madison, steps through with his manager, Frankie Morrison flanked to his left. Madison could only emerge for a few steps before the crowd began a defaning chant of his name.

“Mad-I-Son, Mad-I-Son, Mad-I-Son!”

Madison nods his head to the drumbeat, holding a microphone up into the air as the chorus hits. The chant ends and suddenly the jam packed arena turns into a giant singalong.

“You better watch out, because I’m a war machine. You better watch out, because I’m a war machine.”

Chris passes the microphone over to Frankie Morrison and quickly unsnaps the FGA Pride Championship from around his waist, hoisting it proudly into the air above his head, drawing a huge roar from the crowd. Madison brings the belt back down and drapes it over his shoulder and turns to his manager. Morrison bows as he extends both arms out, holding the microphone in both of his palms. Chris smirks as his picks up the mic and looks down the ramp towards the ring at the three hungry competitors who are looking for a shot at his belt. Madison re-adjusts the belt and looks at on his right shoulder.

Chris Madison: “Right where it belongs…”

He smirks as the crowd pops. While holding the microphone he points down to the ring at each competitor, mouthing, “one, two, three”. He shrugs his shoulders as if the numbers didn’t phase him.

Chris Madison: So all three of you thought that with Final Frontier behind us, on the first Vertigo of twenty-eighteen, you’d march to that ring, plead your case, and be granted a shot at MY Pride Championship. I mean, Fujiko already played this card and it worked, so why not, right? Each one of you have valid points and would bring a fight my way that could steal the show. Fujiko, we just did this… You fought your heart out, pushin’ me to my limits. We’ve teamed, we’ve fought, and in due time, I’m sure we’ll fight again. I know how much you want this belt, but you learned first hand, that sometimes, your best just isn’t good enough. James Edwards, you’ve had a bit of a rocky road since comin’ to FGA. But every step of the way, you’ve been just lookin’ for the opportunity to prove yourself. Out of the three of you, you’re the only one who actually came out of Final Frontier on a high note. Kol, what happened? That cup was supposed to be yours. You let Owen Gonsalves out-wrestle you and now think you’re ready to step to me? This isn’t HKW. This is FGA!! No one is goin’ to just bow down to you and let you have your way!

Madison pauses as Frankie Morrison steps up and whispers into his ear, cupping his hand around his mouth so the camera crew couldn’t pick up an angle of his lips.

Chris Madison: In my eyes, there’s one person who’s deservin’ of the next shot. But since Vertigo’s fearless leader had such little faith in me and robbed Stryker of his opportunity, the three of you are goin’ to have to do. You guys want a shot? I’ll take all three of you on!

The live crowd hops back up to their feet and cheers at the idea.

Chris Madison: This championship, it signifies the best pure wrestler this company has, more so than an award that I’m sharin’ with Chandler Scott. To me, it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, what kind of pedigree you have - I’m comin’ out here to prove that no one exemplifies what this championship means more than I do. Brass can figure out how, but as far as I’m concerned, each one of you has your match!

Suddenly Europa by Globus begins to play out through the arena as general manager Brandon Macdonald walks out from backstage with a microphone in hand. He stops at the top of the stage and looks down at all three competitors.

Brandon Macdonald: Look, as much as I and every single FGA fan would love to watch the four of you all in the ring at the same time, wrestling for that Pride Championship, it just won’t work. Such is the nature of the Pride Championship that it can’t really be on the line in multi-wrestler matches. So Chris, while I know you would gladly take on all three of these fine wrestlers standing next to you, it’s not going to happen. But that means we need to decide which one of you three gets the next shot. Who do you all think deserves it?

Macdonald motions to the crowd and they all begin to individually shout out their choice of the three wrestlers as Macdonald holds his hand up to tell them to quiet down.

Brandon Macdonald: Well that didn’t help. But lucky for you, I’ve come up with the only possible solution. In eight weeks at New Odyssey, we’re going to open the night with a triple threat match. It’s going to be Kol vs. James Edwards vs. Fujiko Mine! And the winner of this match will go on to fight Chris Madison for the Pride Championship later on in the night!

The crowd erupts into cheers at the announcement of this massive match and what’s on the line. All three wrestlers look from Brandon to each other, each with a serious but determined look on their faces.

Brandon Macdonald: Good luck to each of you, and to all the fans, enjoy the rest of the night!

With that, Macdonald turns and walks backstage as the camera lingers on the ring where Kol, Edwards and Fujiko are all looking at each other as we fade out.

• COMMERCIAL BREAK •
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The view pans around the backstage area until it locks on one of the newest signees, Katie Daniels, all dressed in her Georgia Tech-themed wrestling gear, sitting on a giant box. How she got up there is quite the mystery. All that really matters is that she's prepared a piece in her head.

Katie Daniels: Gabriel Alexander, I'm just going to tell you this right now, so you aren't asking me "what side are you supposed to be on." You're running headlong into a category 5 hurricane that would put The Day After Tomorrow to shame. I'm literally at rock bottom right now. I split up with my wife, I'm an alcoholic, and FGA already thinks I'm a whiner since I was sad they originally put me on Flashpoint unlike any other former Visionary before me. I was having the worst week of my career at that point, and things really haven't gotten much better. That was all in the last month alone. You could say I'm really down on my already sh*tty luck at this point, and you'd be right. But you'd be surprised at what I'm capable of when my back is against a corner as it emotionally is right now... it was against the wall before I won my first ever championship, it was against the wall when I invented the most dangerous match known to wrestling, The Devil's Den, and it is now.

Katie jumps down from the box, from about 10 feet up, and lands on her feet.

Katie Daniels: But, you really don't want to hear about my gripes, do you? Don't worry, neither does FX, neither does FGA, and neither do I, to be completely honest. Really, I'd turn the TV back to South Park... or the laptop back to Twitter, since that's literally the same thing.

Katie takes a breath as she lets her relatively shorter hair down.

Katie Daniels: I hear that you've had a pretty rough go of it, too. I'm glad you're trying to find a way to dig yourself out of that always-fearsome hole, because I can relate to that a lot. I've had to dig out of many personal potholes before I'd finally had my life in order a few months ago... I'm an idiot for letting that all go because I don't know what's best for me. But because of that, that means I know how to dig myself out of the hole. I know how to seemingly play from behind. Aside from some fleeting moments here and there, I've played from behind my entire life. I understand that you have as well, but try coming out as gay to your entire family and having even one of your relatives shun you for it. Try being diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome even after they told you that you were completely fine. Try losing your first ever title without being involved in the decision. Try being so close to glory and so close to being in the history books then having it ALL RIPPED FROM YOU TIME AFTER TIME AFTER TIME AFTER TIME AGAIN! I'm going to tell you right now, try even one of those things and see if it doesn't make you just the tiniest bit angry with yourself, or the tiniest bit pessimistic about your career. See if it doesn't put an even larger chip on your shoulder. SEE IF IT DOESN'T CONVINCE YOU THAT YOU HAVE THE ABSOLUTE WORST LUCK IN PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING, GABRIEL!

Daniels pinches the bridge of her nose, taking another breath to calm herself down.

Katie Daniels: They say you rise, you fall, you're down, then you rise again, and what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. It's really sad that sometimes, it's people who have never experienced any of the hardships you and I have gone through that go down in history having said that. It's sometimes people who have never cut their teeth between those ropes that tell us that, as if they know the mental ass ramming that I've went through OR the harsh luck you've had! So, I'm going to tell you right now... one hard-luck wrestler to another... if you fall tonight, then the next time you get to wrestle for FGA, which I do hope is soon... rise up again like a god damn phoenix from ash, because if I fall tonight, I'm going to do the same exact thing. I'd expect nothing less from you, Gabriel.

Katie rubs her temple before wiping down her face, ready to wrap up and wrestle. In fact, she starts walking over to the curtain to the entrance way.

Katie Daniels: No matter our backgrounds, and no matter my personal feelings, let's go out there and make the opening salvo the match of the night, you dig? Let's go show Trenton how far you can get on hard work alone. Let's go out there and make people remember us.

"Speedom" by Tech N9ne ft. Krizz Kaliko and Eminem starts up as Katie leaves out to make her entrance...
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• Singles Match •
Katie Daniels vs. Gabriel Alexander

Daniels caught Alexander offguard with a jumping knee strike to the face in the opening moments of the match. Multiple knife edge chops soon followed. She sought an irish whip. But it was quickly reversed by the taller/stronger Alexander. Upon Daniels’ return, Alexander knocked her down with a dropkick for a count of two. In minute two, Alexander set up for a back body drop. But Daniels was able to counter with a hangman’s neckbreaker. After scaling to the top turnbuckle, she knocked Alexander down with a missile dropkick for a two count. Daniels brought Alexander back to his feet and nailed him with multiple European Uppercuts. She then went for an irish whip. But it was once again reversed. When she came back, Alexander knocked her down with a superkick for a two count. In minute three, Alexander had Daniel in position for a Crucifix Bomb. But before he could throw her down, Daniels kicked her legs until she was able to slip down from behind. When Alexander turned around, he was caught with multiple European Uppercuts. While Alexander was dazed, Daniels ran into the ropes. When she returned, Alexander threw out a discus clothesline. But Daniels ducked. When Alexander turned around, he was rocked by a spinning forearm strike before being knocked down by a running elbow strike. Alexander returned to his feet, only to be returned to the mat by another running elbow strike. After an irish whip sent Alexander into the corner, Daniels ran in to attack, but she was knocked back with a boot to the face. Before she could recover, Alexander brought her down with a Sling Blade. Alexander then lifted Daniels up for a powerbomb. But she was able to counter with multiple punches to the face. Daniels then slipped down in front of Alexander before delivering the Hokuto No Ken (multiple lightning-quick punches to the head and body while Daniels shouts out “MUDAMUDAMUDAMUDAMUDAMUDA”. She then capped off the string attack with the You Wa Shock (springboard roundhouse kick) for the ONE, TWO, THREE!

Katie Daniels def. Gabriel Alexander via You Wa Shock (5:13)
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It’s a cold, cold night in Trenton, so cold in fact that even a Minnesotan like Mark Bisley requires an additional layer to keep warm as he sits backstage at the CURE Insurance Arena clad in a Minnesota Timberwolves hoodie as he and Shintaro Majima, who is either taking the cold temperature in his stride or is merely ignoring the discomfort as an inconvenience that he needn’t pay attention to, go over their plan for this evening’s gauntlet

Mark Bisley: So I was thinking, ShiMa, what would the optimum result be for us? I mean victory's a given, because of course it is, but what manner of victory should we aim for? Getting drawn first and dominating the entire field until it becomes obvious that only the most ungrateful of apes would have the sheer nerve to try and claim that it isn't a matter of time before natural selection takes its course, or a shorter but more focused victory which allows some of the field to claim they have a chance if they just got in the ring with us while we manage to silence a few of the more...shall we say "vocal" doubters who like to shout their odds to whoever might or might not be listening?

Majima doesn't respond, as instead he's sipping from a cup of green tea in order to keep himself warm

Mark Bisley: It's just a shame that Invictus Fight Club aren't in the match, though, because picking up another win against them would have its benefits, namely there would be no doubt in anyone's mind who the better team so clearly is to everyone who has the intelligence to not thing general managers are conspiring against them every chance they get. But I'm sure we can recover from that particular disappointment in order to focus on the task in hand, namely become the undisputed tag team champions in this company.

Having warmed himself sufficiently, Majima puts down his cup of tea and looks over to Bisley

Shintaro Majima: Which of the teams do you think is the biggest threat?

Bisley takes a couple of seconds to consider his partner's question before he responds

Mark Bisley: Well of the five teams...

Shintaro Majima: Six teams.

Mark Bisley: Diaz & Gonzalez haven't bothered to name their partnership, so in my mind they're a pair of individuals masquerading as a tag team.

Majima nods, either accepting Bisley's point or just looking to move the conversation along

Mark Bisley: ...so as I was saying, of the five-teams-plus-one-pairing, logic would dictate that Shootcamp are worth considering as a threat considering just how loudly Owen Gonsalves likes to shout at inanimate objects in order to get some attention, behaviour which I am sure Ace Watson doesn't find tiresome in any way, shape or form I have to add, but more than that there is the fact that they're driven by coming so close in the Dynamic Duos that they want to push through that little bit harder and have a point to prove tonight. Just like members of the Flat Earth Society.

With a nonchalant half-shrug, Bisley continues

Mark Bisley: On the other hand, as we're on the subject of the Dynamic Duos, I'm sure Serpent's Touch have told themselves they have a score to settle with us considering how you lariated them out of the competition in the early stages, so it wouldn't surprise me if they tried extra hard to get into a position to face us and even that particular score - so if they are in the ring with us once more, are you okay with providing a repeat performance and taking them out in the exact same way a second time? It's the only way that they will learn.

Rather than dignify the question, Majima merely picks up his cup of tea and takes another sip while giving Bisley a less than complimentary look

Mark Bisley: Alright, fine, we don't have to rub it in if we do come across them a second time.

Shintaro Majima: There is no need to make an example of any team in this match, as they have not wronged us.

Bisley attempts to respond, but Majima hasn't quite finished

Shintaro Majima: Before you try to say it, with very few exceptions, what somebody posts on Twitter does not count as a reason to publicly humiliate somebody. And of the teams we are facing, none of them deserve to be treated that way.

Mark Bisley: Not even when Gonsalves decided to Shootcamp his mouth off about how we were assaulted by a pair of cowards in a match that had nothing to do with him?

Majima responds with the sort of look that says he's has spoken on the matter and there is no need to utter another word on the matter

Mark Bisley: You're still okay with making The Chaotics look hopelessly out of their depth when we face them, though?

Once more Majima responds with a mere look, albeit this time one that says he wholeheartedly agrees with Bisley's sentiment, at which point he decides to take another sip of tea

Mark Bisley: Well then, as we’re in agreement, I guess we should plan for what we do when we step out there then…

• COMMERCIAL BREAK •
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The New Jersey crowd pops at the sight of the upcoming tag team Firing Squad backstage. With Luke Jackson continuing his resurgence alongside his young mentee and partner in Ymir Ocampos, together the miraculous new tag team inspired a crucial victory over their fierce rivals Serpent’s Touch at Final Frontier.

Now, they are minutes away from a chance to prove where they stand in the tag division as a whole.

With both athletes outfitted in their ring attire, Luke stands with his back against the wall, while Ymir sits on a crate, taping her forearms. Luke glances at the camera.

Luke Jackson: It ain’t easy. The Gauntlet. Wave after wave of some of the best tag teams in wrestling today .That’s the environment we’ll be throwing ourselves into now... It will be dramatically difficult. Particularly for whoever’s kicking off this party as one of the first two tag teams.

Luke tilts his head one side then the other, casually cracking his neck.

Luke Jackson: A win like that doesn’t come cheap, y'know. Heck we wouldn’t mind kicking things off just to pull that one outta the bag. Cos that’s the stuff that really sends minds spinning. That’s a feat which in itself will be enough to make Firing Squad famous among the tag teams of the world. Because these aren't opponents you can beat just by relying on dumb momentum. When it comes to tag teams, these are the best of the best. The first sifting of competitors… begins here.

Luke offers a small smirk.

Luke Jackson: Facing teams ike these… some people seem to think we will accomplish nothing except look on in awe and terror. Except we don’t see things that way. We see this for what it really is. Survival of the fittest with a chance for those at the bottom to overthrow the top!

Luke nods his head as he speaks with feeling.

Luke Jackson: This will be a famous night… because it won’t be SHOOTCAMP coming out on top… it won’t be Moss & Durden. It won’t be The Asses or “Smart” Style either. No, no, no, we’re not keepings things neat, tidy and predictable for this crowd in Trenton, New Jersey.

The comment earns a cheap pop from the audience. Finished with her tape, Ymir shakes her head with a small smile.

Ymir Ocampos: Some people thought we were never in the running for this one. They thought it was impossible for Firing Squad to come out of this standing tall with the whole Vertigo tag division involved tonight. We know we got doubters who think we can't do this or that. And let’s face it, we have some strikes against us.

She counts off their faults on her left hand.

Ymir Ocampos: We’re the newest tag team heading out there tonight. We weren't involved in the immense battles that took place in DDT3. We fell to Smart Style on the final Vertigo before Final Frontier… but we’ve shown time and time again that we aren’t your average customers. We have it all to do tonight but we will never surrender, no matter the odds stacked against us. We don’t use half measures and we don’t take things halfway. We take them to the end. Even if it takes way more effort and fight than we originally thought. We’re committed to being a tag team and we’re in it for the long haul. No complaints. Just action. We’ve been getting great chances and we need to take our chances sooner or later. Which is precisely why we will muster up every last ounce of strength we have tonight. If you really thought we’d give up at the first sign of adversity, then just who--

Luke Jackson: -- In the hell--

As one, Ymir and Luke give a mighty shout.

-- DO YOU THINK WE ARE?!


Ymir Ocampos: We are setting out to win this gauntlet. Mark our words, we will etch our names into the hearts of our opponents tonight. Thinking about it realistically, that's too unreasonable... which is why we have to go beyond. Go beyond the impossible and kick reason to the curb! Whilst they had a nasty habit of ruining massive opportunities for ambitious people, we were given something of a lesson from Serpent's Touch. I dunno if a switch was flipped when we lost to them, but we knew then, the fire we need to set this division alight. And it was a lesson we were glad to learn.

Luke nods.

Luke Jackson: Becoming an official tag team was never part of the plan. We never imagined we would be contenders for the FGA World Tag Team Championship when we decided to team up… the second most prestigious belts in this company. Even before the draft, we each watched DDT3 with fascination, not inspiration. When we originally decided to fight Serpent’s Touch side by side, the thought of teaming up afterwards never occurred to us. But with this, Firing Squad's True Battleground has now become set in stone. See, when we paired up against Serpent’s Touch for the first time, we realised… us two are seriously on a whole new level when you put us side by side!

Hopping off the crate, Ymir punches a fist into her palm.

Ymir Ocampos: We are here with intent. We are here with a purpose. We are doing all that we can to become one of the pillars of FGA’s tag division. To become the symbol of FGA’s tag team might. We want to embody what it means to be Tag Team champions. That is the goal towards which we strive. That is where we are headed. We have plans for this division and we’ve been licking our lips at the thought of capturing the tag titles EVERYONE has their eyes on.

Luke Jackson: Many have tried. Many have failed. Those are the straps that were in the crosshairs of the Godfathers of Wrestling in Chandler Scott and Andrea Lasiewicz. The crosshairs of Upper Echelon in Emilio Vialpando and Jinzai. They along with countless other big names have set their eyes on the FGA World Tag Team Championship and lost out. In fact, no one on this side of Frontier Grappling Arts’ tag division has held the tag titles before. No one but me.

Luke grins. Ymir looks Luke up and down with an expression that reads "well, look at this guy!".

Luke Jackson: And like Serpent’s Touch learned, we are a tag team that learns quickly. We’ve been going under the radar and tonight we’ll steal the spotlight. Tonight, we’ll be knocking on the Tag Team Champions doors. The moment we have awaited has finally come. Our true battleground awaits.

Bumping firsts with big nods, Firing Squad head off to complete their preparations for tonight’s main event to a pop from the crowd.
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We cut to the backstage area, revealing Spencer Burke as he awaits his guest. He smiles faintly, giving a polite nod as the camera pans out, showing the approaching figure of Sadie San Francisco.

Spencer Burke: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome my guest at this time, the FGA Mid-Atlantic Legacy Champion, Sadie San Francisco.

Sadie doesn’t return Spencer’s smile. We see minor swelling beneath Sadie’s eye as a result of the attack by Jaelynn Ramsey at Final Frontier. She looks at Spencer, clearly frustrated as she clenches her jaw. Spencer gives an understanding nod before he goes on.

Spencer Burke: Sadie, at Final Frontier you managed to defend your championship against Julian Tijerina in controversial fashion, but what happened aft--

Sadie San Francisco: [BEEP] that.

The profanity earns a cheap pop from the audience, but Sadie narrows her eyes toward Spencer as she continues.

Sadie San Francisco: Nothing against you, Spencer, but I’m not gonna come off of another title defense and find myself in a position where I have to defend myself. The New Murder didn’t swoop in, beat down my opponent and drag me on top for the three this time. Julian hurt himself and I capitalized, just like he would’ve done-- and you know he would’ve done it in a heartbeat. Am I supposed to feel bad that he hurt his leg? [BEEP] Julian, for even suggesting that he was responsible for me winning this at All-Star Showdown.

She glances at the faceplate of the championship and then back at Spencer.

Sadie San Francisco: Since day one, I’ve had other people try to take credit for this; NEON, Evan, Julian, Dom.

She shakes her head, a quiet scoff escaping her lips. She points toward the swelling beneath her eye.

Sadie San Francisco: And now Jae Ramsey wants to jump to the front of the line.

She sighs lightly, lowering her arm.

Sadie San Francisco: The New Murder’s had their eyes on this title for a long time. They’ve been open about that, so a part of me knew this was coming. So now it’s time to deal with it. And if I’m doing that on my own, fine, but…

Sadie trails off as something-- or someone-- catches her eye just beyond Spencer, who turns slightly, following her gaze, and as the camera pans out further, Lowri Moss comes into view. She smiles politely at Spencer.

Lowri Moss: Hi, Spencer.

She then turns her attention from the reporter, to Sadie, who blinks a few times, seemingly unsure of whether to address Lowri or let her speak.

Lowri Moss: I wasn't eavesdropping, but I couldn't help overhearing what you said, Sadie, and so I just wanted to restate what I said to you last week on Twitter.

She pauses to take a breath, before continuing.

Lowri Moss: I know that you're more than capable of taking of care of yourself - that's something you've shown ever since you first won that title.

As if to emphasise her point, Lowri points towards Sadie's championship. Sadie, perhaps without realizing it, raises a defensive hand up to the face of the championship as she readjusts it on her shoulder.

Lowri Moss: And having been in the ring with both you and Jae, I can also say with confidence that you would have no issues handling her on your own. But I'm sure you're aware that when you're dealing with one crow, there's always the distinct possibility that you'll end up finding yourself having to fend off more of them, so, if you do need any assistance, I'm more than willing to help you.

Sadie narrows her eyes at Lowri, looking at her curiously for a few moments while the audience buzzes in anticipation before finally…

Sadie San Francisco: Right. I appreciate that.

Sadie says it, but the words come out emotionless-- all while studying Lowri.

Sadie San Francisco: And you know the same goes for you. I’m always here.

She glances toward the belt on her shoulder, then back at Moss with a small sigh.

Sadie San Francisco: But when it comes to this, I don’t need backup. I can defend my own championship with my own hand. That wasn’t clear before. It will be though.

The audience pops as the two women look at one another, neither flinching-- neither budging. Lowri gives Sadie a tiny nod of the head, and not wanting to outstay her welcome, she then turns to leave. However, she only takes couple of steps, before she turns back to look at Sadie again.

Lowri Moss: You know, Sadie…

A smirk crosses her face.

Lowri Moss: The New Murder aren't the only ones whose eyes are on your title.

She takes a quick glance at the Mid-Atlantic Legacy Championship and then returns her focus to Sadie.

Lowri Moss: And regardless of what happens later - regardless of whether or not Neal and I end the night as the new number one contenders for the tag titles - I'm still going to have my sights set on getting another crack at that championship of yours.

The audience roars as the proclamation and a knowing smirk crosses Sadie’s face as well as she looks at Lowri. For seconds, the two gaze toward one another before Lowri turns, making her way down the corridor in the direction she was originally heading. Spencer Burke raises a brow, moving the mic toward Sadie San Francisco.

Spencer Burke: So what are the odds of us seeing Lowri Moss get one more shot at that Mid-Atlantic Legacy Championship before you handle business with the New Murder and Jaelynn Ramsey?

Sadie’s eyes continue to follow the out-of-frame Lowri as she departs before she looks back toward Spencer, placing a hand on his shoulder.

Sadie San Francisco: There’s enough for everyone.

She pats the Mid-Atlantic Legacy Championship once more before giving Burke a winking and turning, walking in the direction opposite of which Moss had traveled, walking down the corridor away from the interviewer. The camera then begins to follow Burke who walks in the same direction as Sadie. As he leaves the frame, The New Murder member, Jaelynn Ramsey appears on camera, making her way out of a small corridor side-door in a biker jacket. The fans are heard booing in the distance, and she takes it all in with a smirk as the scene fades out.
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• Singles Match •
Aria Echkart vs. Ria Escárcega

The newly-christened Aria Eckhart controlled the action early with fundamental offense. She controlled Escárcega with a side headlock into a hammerlock into a hammerlock belly to back suplex. Escárcega was then given a pair of deep arm drags before being placed in an armbar. Escárcega was eventually able to battle back to a vertical base and shove Eckhart off into the ropes. But when The Darling returned, she steamrolled Escárcega with a running shoulder block for a two count.

Vertigo’s newest Darling kept control of the action into minute two. Eckhart brought Escárcega into the corner and went to town with knife edge chops. An irish whip was reversed, giving Escárcega her first real opening as Eckhart crashed into the opposite corner. The Costa Rican wrestler charged into the opposite corner to attack. But Eckhart caught her with a back elbow before sending her into one of the turnbuckles with a leg hook reverse STO. Eckhart made the cover, but Escárcega had enough ring presence to get her foot on the ropes.

In minute four, Eckhart set herself up for a back body drop. But Escárcega countered with a knee lift to the face. While The Darling was dazed, Escárcega grabbed her, ran across the ring and threw her over the top rope and to the floor. The crowd booed when Eckhart landed hard back-first on the outside. The SCCW trainee began to taunt Eckhart by waving her up. As Eckhart slowly began to pick herself up, Escárcega ran into the far ropes. When she returned, she flattened Eckhart on the outside with a suicide somersault senton! Escárcega rolled Eckhart back inside and made the cover. But it only got a two count. A running bulldog, followed by a standing reverse somersault senton also got a two count. After Eckhart was whipped into the corner, Escárcega charged in and connected with a clothesline, sending The Darling slumping down. Escárcega stepped back, ran back into the corner and hurled herself at Eckhart with a running crossbody. But Eckhart slipped to the outside, causing Escárcega to crash into the turnbuckles! After slipping back inside, Eckhart knocked Escárcega down with a pair of lariats. She then took Escárcega and shot her into the ropes. When Escárcega returned, Eckhart threw her down with The Prettyslam (snap scoop powerslam)! She then brought Escárcega back to her feet once more, doubled her over with a spinning back kick to the midsection and then planted her with the EDT (DDT) for the ONE, TWO, THREE!

Aria Eckhart def Ria Escárcega via EDT (5:30)

“Outlet” by Desiigner continued to blare throughout the CURE Insurance Arena of New Jersey’s capital city: Trenton…

As Aria Eckhart stood up to her feet she placed her hand on her back in quite a bit of pain due to the highly competitive contest she just had against a very talented performer in Ria Escarcega. A stagehand began to do the honor of bringing the lovely Paradox The Parrot into the ring. Behind said stagehand - Jessie Pederson got into the ring.

Jessie inched closer to Aria before holding up the microphone.

Jessie Pederson: Aria, congratulations on your win here tonight in Trenton at Vertigo 46.

The Parrot sat on the shoulder of Aria. He gazed towards Pederson.

Paradox The Parrot: *SQUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAK* TRENTON!

Aria let out a laugh. The startled Pederson looked towards Paradox, and then back to the newest edition of Vertigo.

Jessie Pederson: First and foremost, I’d like to say congratulations on your engagement and I’d also like to welcome you to the Vertigo brand.

The newly named Eckhart leaned towards the microphone...

Aria Eckhart: Thannnnnnks, Jessie. I appreciate that more than you know.

Jessie Pederson: You’re welcome….But now onto the business side of things. That match against Ria Escarcega was very close. Do you think this hard fought win is a sign of things to come here on the green brand this year?

A serious look formed on the face of Aria. It appeared as if she let out a slight sigh at the thought of Pederson’s question. Jessie moved the microphone closer to The Darling.

Aria Eckhart: Y’know, Jessie? That’s a very interesting question, honey.

Eckhart leaned a bit closer to the microphone. Being soft spoken, and maybe even a bit shy on the microphone, she had to project her voice a bit better than a lot of other people who were more adept at that particular aspect of the wrestling business.

Aria Eckhart: I reallllly haven’t ever been about making bold declarations. But what I have always believed in, even for myself, is accountability. So I’ll say this...I won’t dance around it or make excuses. I didn’t get the job done at Final Frontier and it felt oh so bad.

Thoughts of being pinned by her former rival NEON flowed through her mind. It wasn’t a good feeling to Aria, but there was little she could’ve done but try to pick up the pieces.

Aria Eckhart: Of course I sat at home wondering why I couldn’t beat Terrence and NEON….Then I got texts from Aurora Jansen and my sister Ashley Maldano. Those women have been my real family since day one, and they said that what makes us all alike...The reason why we’ve gotten so close over these past few years is because we’ve been underdogs. We’ve been knocked down time after time. What makes us us is the fact that we push forward.

Aria nodded as the crowd began to cheer.

Aria Eckhart: The three of us have different motivations for that….mine is all of you.

The Darling pointed towards the audience as they chanted….

“D-D-T!

D-D-T!

D-D-T!”


Aria Eckhart: When the front office called to say I was being moved to Vertigo I knew I had the chance to push forward on a brand that has so much history. All of these great wrestlers for me to make my own history with….So….I can’t promise that I’ll always get my arm raised, guys. But I can promise you…

Aria pointed towards a young girl in the front row who happened to be wearing a “Darling” T-Shirt.

Aria Eckhart: I can promise you that I’ll always try my--

Aria stops mid-thought and tenses up slightly as a middle aged man with a skullet, thick rimmed glasses and his gut hanging out of a Johnny Karma t-shirt starts attempting to hop the barricade. A couple of security guards try to hold him back as he starts growing irritable.

Fan: Whyyyy Aria why!? Don’t do this! We were meant for each other!

He’s wriggled his frame all the way over the barricade at this point, but hasn’t gotten close to escaping. As he’s pinned against the wall and handcuffed, Jessie quietly exits the ring, deciding to cut the interview off for now. The stagehand decides to remove Paradox the Parrot for the time being as well.

Kris Cruise: Apologies to our viewers at home, this is one of the unfortunate aspects of live television. But it seems like a good time to remind everyone --

Stephy Auger: Always make yourself seem available, ladies! This is what happens when you take yourself off the market!

Kris Cruise: --- what!? No! Not to hop the guardrail! It’s a safety hazard and trust me, whatever brief 15 seconds of fame you get isn’t going to be worth getting arrested and banned from FGA events.

As the fan is removed from the ringside area and taken away, he can be heard yelling “I love Aria!” despite the cameras doing their best to no longer show him on screen.

Stephy Auger: I’m just saying to know your fanbase, Cruise!

Eventually things settle down and Aria goes to regain her train of thought, stopping again and raising an eyebrow as she notices a polaroid camera has been placed in the corner of the ring at some point during this commotion. She begins to turn as the crowd starts buzzing at the figure who’s appeared in the ring behind her, but not quick enough to prevent Piper Lennon from blasting her with a running forearm to the temple, knocking her down! The crowd boos as Lennon gets on top, raining down hammerfists to the back of the head before she slides out of the ring, dragging Aria with her.

Kris Cruise: Where did she come from?

Stephy Auger: I don’t know! I was paying attention to that dude!

Out on the floor, Aria fights back with a pair of forearm shots, even still being a bit off balance from the shot to the temple. Piper tries to grab hold of her to drive her back into the barricade, but the taller Eckhart reaches down to club at her back. It looks like she might be successful in turning her away until Lennon drops down a bit more and performs a back body drop that sends The Darling spine first into the edge of the ring steps! Piper takes a moment to collect herself again as Aria yells out, before Lennon turns back on the attack. She delivers a sharp kick to the head, then heads over to the announce desk and starts tearing it apart.

Kris Cruise: Someone stop this! Get her away from here!

Overhearing the lead announcer, Piper smiles and gives him a dainty wave before removing one of the monitors from the desk. She measures Aria, waiting for her to get back up before blasting her in the head with the monitor. The shot busts her open and the relative FGA newcomer drops down, firing off a series of short rabbit punches that open up the cut even more. She finally stands up, her hands stained red by this point as she drags Eckhart back up by the head and delivers a climactic Snapshot (Cravate knee facebreaker). Her work seemingly completed, Piper then grabs her camera by the carrying strap, places it around her neck and then snaps a polaroid of the damage she caused before gleefully bounding off while workers come out to tend to Aria.

Stephy Auger: You know, you yell until you’re red in the face telling one side of the story, but you never once stop to acknowledge that the kid is a pretty good photographer.

Kris Cruise: Absolutely disgusting, why would you do that if you’re Piper Lennon? You seem to have all the answers Stephy, tell me that one.

Stephy Auger: Because she felt like it, simple as that.

• COMMERCIAL BREAK •
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Piper Lennon is walking through the backstage area, most workers doing their best to avoid her. One exception to that rule is Spencer Burke, who comes hurrying up to her with a microphone in hand as he calls her name out.

Spencer Burke: Piper! Piper, a word please?

The young blonde stops ambling down the hall for a moment, turning to answer him.

Piper Lennon: Hey, what’s up.

She cheerfully answers.

Spencer Burke: Can you talk about what happened out there? Some kind of comment?

He queries, trying not to give away how put off he is by her glib demeanor.

Piper Lennon: Well, I hit Aria a bit, then she hit me back, then I threw her into the steps and hit her with a monitor and beat her up some more.

Spencer blinks after realizing she’s not going to elaborate further.

Spencer Burke: I meant more … why.

Lennon shrugs.

Piper Lennon: I think I’ve kind of gone over all this before haven’t I? The not reading too much into things, me just being a girl trying to experience life. But you know, I also sent out that video a few weeks back where I said I was going to look for new moments, new experiences here in FGA. So I was chilling out near ringside, saw a thing going on, seemed like a good moment to just go Y.O.L.O. --

She crinkles her nose.

Piper Lennon: -- does anyone still say that? But you get the point, living life as a participant, not just a passenger. I mean if you want to talk about something that might require a bit more insight, let’s talk about me in the Young Guns Cup.

Piper begins walking again, Burke following along. After a door handle slips when she tries to grab it, she wipes one of her blood covered hands off on Spencer’s sleeve.

Piper Lennon: Thanks Spence, anyways it was a shorter trip than I mighta hoped, but it was still great. Got a pin on a real decorated wrestler Arty Kaiser, had just a real adrenaline rush of a match trying to tear each other apart that I guess a lot of people are saying was one of the two best matches from the first night of the Young Guns Cup.

A shrug.

Piper Lennon: I dunno, I’m not in the business of dishing out snowflakes to wrestling matches, not qualified to do it. But it was pretty cool getting to taste that next level of what wrestling has to offer and know I can experience it without getting absolutely overwhelmed. You might think someone at my age, not a lot of high profile experience anyone knows about, all that … maybe might be safer to be down in SCCW and wait for life to take me here.

She opens the door, keeping it propped open with her hip as she turns back.

Piper Lennon: Someone like Ash Fi, who I’m gonna square up with in a bit, she might not be ready for primetime and that’s cool. But me, I’m not only here to push how fast I can grow, and what I get out of life-- I’m ready to handle whatever crazy twists and turns it throws my way. And who knows about Ash … maybe being in the ring with someone a little more woke with her will make it a fun growing experience for the both of us.

With that, she smiles and slides her hip away from the door, letting it close in Spencer’s face.
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• Singles Match •
Piper Lennon vs. Ash Fi

Lennon started off the match by turning Ash inside out with a running double ax handle smash. She brought Ash back to her feet before knocking her into the corner with a push kick into the chest. The boos continued while Lennon continued her attack. She lit up Ash with alternating jabs and knife edge chops. After an irish whip sent Ash into the opposite corner, Lennon ran across the ring and bashed Ash in the face with a jumping corner bionic elbow. Lennon then led a groggy Ash from out of the corner before bringing her down with a jumping neckbreaker slam. Ash laid sprawled across the mat. But Lennon didn’t make the cover. Instead, she went into the corner and hoisted herself up onto the middle ropes. Once Ash finally got back to a vertical base, Lennon knocked her down from behind with a flying knee strike to the back of the head!

The crowd booed as Ash Fi laid motionless face down on the mat. But again, Lennon didn’t make the cover. Instead, she rolled out onto the apron before pulling herself up using the ropes. She then scaled to the top turnbuckle and crouched down. Once Ash Fi finally got back to her feet, Lennon slowly stood up. As Ash turned around, Lennon jumped off and knocked her down with a diving elbow drop!

Ash was pulled back to her feet by the hair before being shot into the ropes. When she returned, Lennon lifted her up, quickly walked backwards across the ring and delivered a hotshot across the top rope. The crowd booed when Ash’s neck snapped back. Lennon made her way back over to Ash and pulled her up by the hair. Lennon delivered a heart punch, which doubled Ash over. Ash was then dropped with with the Snapshot (cravate knee facebreaker) for the ONE, TWO, THREE!

Piper Lennon def. Ash Fi via Snapshot (4:08)
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The camera switches elsewhere to show Spencer Burke, microphone in hand, stood in front of a Vertigo backdrop.

Spencer Burke: I’m here with one of the seven teams that will be involved in tonight’s main event, the newly-christened team of Pendragon.

Into frame come the duo of Lowri Moss and Neal Durden, and their appearance instantly draws a loud cheer from the fans present inside the arena.

Lowri Moss: Actually, Spencer, Neal came up with the name several months ago, we just haven’t had chance to use it in FGA until now.

Lowri casts a quick glance in her partner’s direction, before looking back to the reporter, who gives a nod. She and Neal are each dressed in their ring attire, in addition to which, they are both wearing brand new Pendragon t-shirts.

Spencer Burke: I see. Well, before we discuss your match here tonight, I quickly want to go back to Final Frontier, and the very personal match that you, Lowri, had with Dom Harter.

The mention of Dom’s name causes Lowri’s mouth to twist into a grimace.

Spencer Burke: It was an extremely hard fought-match, but ultimately, Dom was the one that emerged victorious. Having sought revenge for yourself and for Neal, how do you reflect upon that match?

Lowri Moss: I said I would fight with everything I had, and I did just that. Obviously I was disappointed not to win the match, but...as much as I loathe Dom Harter, I still respect his ability, and while I did everything I could to try to get the win, there’s no shame in losing to someone who is a Grand Slam winner - a Hall of Famer, even.

She lets out a small sigh, before continuing.

Lowri Moss: Simply winning the match wasn’t enough for Dom, though. Having already tried - and failed - to break my fighting spirit, once the match was over he then tried to break my ankle. But, fortunately for me, he failed with that as well - thanks in no small part to a certain someone.

With a smile now on her face, Lowri turns to look at Neal. He looks towards her with a tender gaze and smirked. Neal knows his return to an FGA ring was awaited by many, and it could not have come in a better moment. He puts his arm on Lowri’s shoulder as he speaks.

Neal Durden: Ahh, it wasn’t a big deal. At least not as big as the fact that tonight, we have a shot at finishing what we started all those months ago when we had our first opportunity to be named number one contenders for a tag team championship.

Neal looks at Spencer, and then at Lowri, before he takes a deep breath and continues speaking.

Neal Durden: You see, Spencer, this isn’t the first time we’re in a spot like this. Last time we weren’t able to complete the job…but tonight, the circumstances have changed. We know each other better, we’re in a better place mentally and physically, and even with the lurking threat of The New Murder around, we know we can come out on top.

Spencer Burke: Well, for that to happen, you will have to outlast six other teams to do so. That includes Shootcamp, who you’ve had two matches against in recent months, and on both occasions, Shootcamp were the winners. If you were to end up facing them again tonight during the gauntlet match, do you believe that it would be a case of “third time’s a charm”?

Lowri Moss: It would be nice to think so.

A wry smile crosses Lowri’s face.

Lowri Moss: There’s also a saying about it being hard to beat a team three times. However, for us to beat Shootcamp - or any of the other teams, for that matter - we’re going to need more than just proverbs. I mean, if anyone in FGA was in any doubt about Owen’s ability, he showed how talented he is with his performance in the Frontier Lions Cup. And Ace is certainly no slouch in the ring either. We both know that if we’re to win this gauntlet match, we’ll have to be at the top of our game, but like Neal just said, we know that we’ve got what it takes to come out on top.

Neal looks at Spencer with a slight grin on his face, as he speaks.

Neal Durden: Of course, we know victory might not come easy for us in this match. As you said, Spencer, a lot of good teams in it, plus we can’t be sure The New Murder won’t get their noses up in this match…after all, their party was spoiled at Final Frontier, and I know Lowri and I are prime targets for them.

Spencer Burke: Of the other teams in the match, who do you think poses the biggest threat to your chances of winning?

Lowri Moss: Besides Shootcamp, I suppose I would have to say Smart Style. Not everyone might agree with some of their tactics, but credit where it’s due, they’re a very good team, and had things worked out differently at Final Frontier, they could be the champions already. We’re ready to take on whoever’s thrown at us though. The prospect of facing Firing Squad kinda intrigues me, and as for The Keisters, I owe them one after something that happened a few weeks ago over in New Kingdom PRO.

Voice: Or maybe you should be more worried about someone not even in the match

All three turn along with the camera to see Molly Reid standing nearby, with a smirk on her face. She’s dressed in jeans and a New Murder t-shirt, along with a bandana pulled down around her neck. Reid walks right up to Lowri and Neal and looks at them.

Molly Reid: After all, you didn’t think last week was the last you’d see of the New Murder, did you?

Neal steps in front of Lowri by instinct, like he’s trying to protect her, and gets in front of Molly Reid.

Neal Durden: Of course we didn’t. I know you’re more than willing to stickyour noses in this match. After all, you’re the ones that took me out for months and tried to do the same to Lowri.

Molly Reid: Whoa, whoa, whoa. First off, before I make any comments I just want to point out that I didn’t actually see what Dom did. I was too busy preparing for the main event, for my match with Johnny Karma. You know, for the FGA Undisputed Championship. I’m sure it’s hard for you to understand what that’s like, being that neither of you will ever find yourselves with that same chance. Anyways, I didn’t see what Dom did. But I heard about it. And what I seem to remember hearing is that you came out like a coward with a steel chair and attacked Dom after the match. After he had just wrestled an entire match you decided that was the best time to come out and attack him. And even still you needed a weapon before you were comfortable with it. Say what you will about us but I’ll tell you one thing. If I want to hit someone, I’ll call them down to the ring and smack them right in the face. None of this post-match when they’re tired and hurt shit.

Neal scoffed and had a half smile on his face as he looked directly at Molly before speaking.

Neal Durden: Think what you will. But be sure, if you somehow, some way decide to get involved in the gauntlet tonight… you’ll have much more than a steel chair to worry about. Because as I said to you on Twitter… the war is just beginning.

Molly turns her head to look over at Lowri.

Molly Reid: What’s the matter Lowri, don’t you have anything to say for yourself? You gonna stand here and let Neal do all the work for you? I know you must be upset. You probably didn’t think what you did to Dom would ever lead to this did you? And then once you did, you were probably so sure that you could get in that ring and beat him. You and your friends like Neal convinced you that you could do it, right? They told you that you finally had what it took to beat Dom Harter one on one. But no, you failed. You failed just like you’ll always fail because you’ll always be holding back. Until you decide to stop playing by the rules, following some kind of code, whatever it is you’re doing, you’ll never be able to beat the Dom Harter’s of this world. I was in your shoes once. I stopped, and look where I am now. You could be like me Lowri, but you don’t have the stones for it. So until you sack up, you’ll always be the girl who couldn’t beat Dom Harter and the New Murder. And as for you Durden...

Molly turns and gets really close to Neal’s face. He doesn’t back down and stares right back at her.

Molly Reid: You just watch your back.

With that Molly flashes a grin and turns around, skipping away and off-screen. Neal and Lowri are left with Burke, who tries to get a reaction from them, but they seem to be more focused on Molly than anything at the moment so, Burke, left them there as the scene cut to ringside.

• COMMERCIAL BREAK •
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Four black Timberland boots are the first thing the visual picks up once the camera team arrives backstage. They slowly begin to pan up, the two people walking through the hall stopping once they notice the camera team.

Joey Perello: We’re going to assume you want a word...correct?

The voice was unmistakable, the cameras finally capturing the faces of both Joey Perello and Ryder McKnight. Both men are wearing their RIP cuts, Perello with a toothpick in his mouth and Ryder carrying an all-black baseball bat in his hand. Pulling the toothpick out, Perello gestures for someone to walk forward, revealing none other than Spencer Burke.

Joey Perello: Well?

Spencer nervously pushes forward, swallowing down a hard gulp as he makes his way in between the two Reapers.

Joey Perello: Please don’t make us conduct this interview ourselves. We’re still not pleased about being kept on the sidelines while every other person signed to this “magnificent” company got to have their fun inside the ring. We don’t do well with boredom, Spence…

Perello locked eyes with the FGA interviewer.

Joey Perello: And right now? You’re boring us. We’re not here to have a staring contest.

Ryder stares Spencer who has yet to find his voice to actually conduct this interview. He sniffs loudly and leans over to sniff the backstage interviewer.

Ryder McKnight: Gee, you smell that?

Sniffs.

Ryder McKnight: Yeah...Yeah, it smells real familiar. Been smelling it since we first shown our pretty little mugs around here. What’s that? Fear. And boy it’s radiating off of you, Burke.

Ryder stands tall now and leans the bat up onto his right shoulder.

Ryder McKnight: What you so darn afraid of, Burke? Afraid we’re gonna make you look like we did Ace & Owen? You ain’t gotta be afraid, son. We’re not gonna do you any harm. Just say what you gotta say. Ask what you gotta ask. We don’t have anything to hide.

Spencer took a big gulp to try and calm his nerves as best he could.

Spencer Burke: I...I...I just wanted to say...I wanted to ask...Um..

Ryder McKnight: Ask us what? How our night is going? Well, I’ll tell you how our night is going Burke. Miraculously, after putting our hands on a sonofabitch or two we finally get to get in that ring and handle us some business. Now...We might of ended the night with that little incident on the first night of Final Frontier but trust me we didn’t target just Owen. It could’ve been that big titty Asian bitch Fujiko. It could've been that sociopath f**k, Kol. It could have been El Stravito’s mask for crying out loud. This was a message to all of FGA. You pushed our hands. We gave you a chance to come to us...And you just had to make us come to you. You see what happens when we don’t play nice? Sh*t happens. People get hurt. Badaboom. Badabang.

Spencer sucks in a deep breath and looks over at Joey Perello.

Joey Perello: You know how long I’ve been out of wrestling, Spence? A long time. A very, very long time. For months I had to wear a suit and tie and act like a professional. Act like I enjoyed making matches, having people show up at my home because they were angry at a certain decision I may have made and then some. Ryder here?

Perello slaps his RIP brethren on the shoulder.

Joey Perello: He has yet to make his in-ring debut in general. Do you know what happens when people like us are forced to sit on the sidelines while we itch to get in the ring? Night One of Final Frontier happens. Like Ryder has stated...this isn’t a personal attack on Shootcamp. Truth be told? We’re BIG fans of Shootcamp and the young boy Tuck.

There’s a hint of sarcasm in the RIP VP’s voice, but he continues by getting serious.

Joey Perello: Was it the wrong place and wrong time? Possibly. More than that? It was us letting this entire promotion know that we will not wait around to find action. If we don’t get booked for matches, we will find our own fight. We know the consequences of our actions, Spence. This isn’t our first rodeo, and we know that we may have started a war with two performers that call themselves the future of this company. The funny thing about that?

Perello flashes a half-smirk.

Joey Perello: If they try to fight a war...they won’t have a future. Both Ace and Owen and even f***ing Tuck will find themselves either nursing their injuries until the common World forgets about them, or even worse…

Turning toward the camera, Perello’s cold blue eyes manage to even cause the cameraman to tremble a bit.

Joey Perello: I will say this once, and once only. Frontier Grappling Arts has never seen anyone like us and Shootcamp? They have never gone to war with people like us. Do not make a foolish mistake, boys, because when you knock on the Reapers door…

Perello turns to Spence.

Joey Perello: We answer it with open arms.

McKnight chuckles to himself.

Ryder McKnight: And they try to say the Reapers can’t be courteo---

Ryder stops talking as both Reapers hear a set of footsteps. They turn around as does the camera. Behind them was the source of the steps and it was coming from none other than The New Murder’s Fenrys. Seeing the two Reapers standing there with Spencer, Fenrys froze. He balled his hands into fist knowing he was outnumbered by the two with the absence of his New Murder brethren, but wouldn’t go down without a fight. A small growl came from the wolf masked man like a defense mechanism. Ryder suddenly then returns the sound of a heavy and deep growl back to Fenrys along with his cold stare at the young man. Spencer could be seen taking a step back just in case a fight broke out.

Joey Perello: Should I go get a bowl of food for you two, and we can see which Pitbull survives?

Fenrys stares at Ryder then throws up his hands in innocence and shakes his head. He slowly begins to walk backward not taking his eye off either Reaper. Fenrys then turned a corner disappearing from the hallway as Ryder smirked.

Ryder McKnight: Smart pup. I wonder if Tuck is just as smart.

He says while nudging Perello’s shoulder.

Joey Perello: If Owen and his buddy are men of their word…

Perello turns his attention to Spencer Burke.

Joey Perello: I guess we’ll soon find out.

Without anything left to say, both Perello and McKnight walk out of camera view, Spencer Burke letting out a relieving exhale before Vertigo cuts to another part of the building.
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Backstage at the CURE Insurance Arena, in Trenton, New Jersey, The New Murder member, Jaelynn Ramsey is seen walking up to interviewer, Jessie Pederson who is standing in front of a Vertigo backdrop. Ramsey adjusts the collar of her jacket before facing the camera, then looks over at Pederson who wastes no time in shooting the first question.

Jessie Pederson: Jaelynn, thank you for joining me tonight. At Final Frontier, you made quite the statement when you attacked Sadie San Francisco after she defended the Mid-Atlantic Legacy championship against Julian Tijerina. Viewers want to know w--

Jaelynn Ramsey: Why.

A momentary pause.

Jaelynn Ramsey: Why did I attack Sadie out of nowhere, huh? She successfully defended her title and I guess she expected to celebrate and all would be grand? Not quite. I was cleared to wrestle, and yet I was still sidelined, so I found an opportunity to join in on the action-filled night myself.

Boos resonate throughout the arena and Jessie nods a little, looking toward Jae with a raised brow.

Jessie Pederson: So was it a random attack because of GM MacDonald’s failure to book you on the card or… was this your plan all along? To target not only Sadie-- but FGA’s Mid-Atlantic Legacy Championship?

Ramsey puts her index finger under her bottom lip to think about Pederson’s last question.

Jaelynn Ramsey: Mm...You could see it as hitting two birds with one stone. Why not rain on anyone else’s parade? Why Sadie? She obviously has something that I am interested in. And of course, I’m not the only one, there’s also that wenchy Welsh who is playing white knight or guardian angel. She’ll say whatever is convenient to slither her way into the scene, whereas I have been direct!

Jessie Pederson: Oh. Wow. So you don’t think Lowri Moss-- even after the incredible bout she had with Dom Harter-- deserves to be in the championship conversation?

This gets an annoyed expression from Jae as she rolls her eyes.

Jaelynn Ramsey: It’s not a matter of her deserving it or not, since somehow, she has the ability to get one over on…

Ramsey cringes, not able to finish her sentence. She attempts to steer the interview in another direction.

Jaelynn Ramsey: Look, the point is, I don’t need to pretend to make nice with anyone when I want something. I’d rather Lowri not be anywhere near me, but if she wants to get involved at the same time as me?

She shrugs, raising her hands.

Jessie Pederson: So despite the past… you’re confident you could hold your own against either of them?

Jaelynn Ramsey: I’m--

Jessie Pederson shrieks and Jaelynn Ramsey jumps back as a black, steel folding chair comes sailing into frame, crashing into the wall right behind Ramsey before hitting the floor.

Jaelynn Ramsey: Just what I--

A second chair sails through the air before Ramsey can finish her sentence! Jessie Pederson runs down the corridor as the chair smashes into Ramsey, who does her best to get her hands up to deflect it! The audience roars as Sadie San Francisco rushes into frame, tackling Ramsey into the wall before firing rights and lefts down onto the New Murder member!

Kris Cruise: Oh my God!

Stephy Auger: Are you kidding?!

Officials can be heard yelling for help as the assault continues, but Ramsey manages to bring both feet back and kick Sadie off of her, to the ground! A referee scrambles between the two, but Sadie snakes her way past him as Ramsey staggers to her feet.

Sadie San Francisco: No! You wanted to fight-- now’s a good time to fight!

Sadie rushes at Ramsey, who grabs two fistfuls of the champion’s hair and swings her into the wall with full force! She tries to hook Sadie for a DDT, but Sadie sweeps her leg and the two brawl on the ground, trading blows before more officials get between them, two referees apiece pulling the Grapplers apart to restrain them.

Jaelynn Ramsey: I couldn’t agree with you more!

As Jaelynn tries to take on Sadie for another go, the referees maintain their grip on the young women, keeping them apart from doing anymore damage to the other. Jaelynn smirks as the champion is forcibly turned away from her. To a pop from the crowd, Sadie slips down out of the grasp of one of the officials and pivots, glaring at Ramsey.

Sadie San Francisco: [BEEP]

Sadie tries to duck past the officials back toward Ramsey, but she’s held back again! The audience boos loudly as two security guards enter the scene, effectively pushing the two apart while the camera lingers on Ramsey, who grins despite a slightly bloodied mouth, a glimmer in her eye as she watches as Sadie is hauled off down the corridor.
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