ONE

Miss F enters Xavier’s office, as he and several others are standing over a very large display table, looking over some sort of electronic blueprint. Miss F beckons him with a cough and nods that he should join them. Xavier’s face is a mask that hides what is truly going on underneath the surface, like a duck’s calm ass as opposed to it’s rapidly moving feet.

The last two nights have been amazing. FIght once again has separated itself from the pack, and has increased the distance between them and other promotions. What other promotions? Precisely.  But not all is well in the kingdom of Fight, and the ruler and his work-queen have a lot to do, and are none too happy about a lot of it.

Miss F: Xavier, I know how you feel about my…suggestion. But I should remind you that we’ve had quite the show already. The OPW team of…dub dub…

Xavier Black: DUB DUB

Miss F: Yes, that. Shan’t we call it in the interest of…oh, I don’t know..

Xavier Black: Miss F, Dickie Watson and Dane Preston are going to kill each other if given the opportunity. If they’re going to do so, I want it where these fans can see it. We’ve got this. Any word on what I asked about?

Miss F: I checked myself. No suspicious logins. No sightings of anyone fitting the description.

Xavier Black: Good. Nothing out of the ordinary at all, then?

Miss F: Well, there was one glitch. Mr. Montouri logged in twice somehow, one hour apart. Never swiped out though. Possible someone held the door open for him, though. As much as we asked them not to..

Xavier Black: I need the footage for that. Now.

Miss F: Xavier. Forgive me. But wouldn’t our resources be better utilized in the more pressing matter.

Xavier Black: F, I’d like you to believe you’re wrong until you can prove you’re right. Ok? Get me the footage. Please.

Miss F: Right away.

Xavier returned to the table, catching up with the men and women looking at the table. Miss F, who desperately wants to get through to her boss, instead goes through the doors to retrieve what she’s been asked to. Stopping at the door, she takes a bit of breath in through her nose, thinking she’s smelled something, but not able to locate it with a second sniff.

Silver Lining

Austin Ramsey had been beside himself the entire day leading up to the final night of Countdown. The thought that someone he considered a friend had bestowed upon him the worst honor in the company had broken something inside him enough so that the Austin no one liked was firmly in control. 

There was a silver lining to the whole thing though and it came in the form of Bam Miller. You see, Austin Ramsey and Bam Miller had been going back and forth for weeks now ever since Bam had done the dirty with Anicka Swan. I know what you’re thinking, who hasn’t? Fair. But Bam Miller had been in a serious relationship with a woman named Diamond Dior who just so happened to be a very close friend of The Ramsey’s. Austin had for whatever reason decided that he would be the person to avenge poor Diamond, even though Austin himself had not previously been known as a beacon for faithfulness in the past. 

And thus, a plan was hatched. Ramsey had already planned on taking his pound of flesh from Bam Miller anyway, and it just so happened to be a fortunate turn of luck that now not only could Bam pay for his transgression in blood – he could also pay for it by being named the new Queen’s Champion. Austin was actually rather pleased with himself about the whole thing, truth me told. After all, wasn’t it nice of Austin to give Skinny Bam a gift? 

The attack came in the form of a cheap shot with a champagne bottle, cracking it across the back of Bam’s skull as he stepped off the elevator on one of the common floors, Ramsey wastes no time, making the cover and crowning Bam Miller the new Queens Champion.

LOSER BY PINFALL AND NEW QUEEN’S CHAMPION: BAM MILLER.

The Enforcer vs Anicka Swan

Footage of Anicka Swan and Enforcer begins to play. 

As the footage comes to an end, we see Enforcer and Anicka in the ring. Their faces inches from each other. Enforcer, a mask of anger and hate, and Anicka, smiling in that way we all know isn’t good for Enforcer. The match begins with a thunderous clap from Anicka’s hand to Enforcer’s face. And with a grin, he returns the favor. This goes on for a few seconds, and then a few seconds more, and then suddenly they are blasting each other with closed fists one after the other.

Anicka finally gets the upper hand and sends Enforcer down to one knee, but it quickly changes the tone when Enforcer grabs her by the waist and lifts her up into the air. Squeezing her into a bear hug, he wiggles her back and forth, trying to keep her off kilter. As he does this, Anicka reaches down with both her thumbs and presses them into his eyes. The scream that follows haunts those who hear it, and he drops Anicka in hopes that the pain will stop. But it does not.

Continuing to press into his eyes, she walks him back to the ropes, and knees him in the crotch. Not once. Not twice. But actually it’s only twice because he blocks the third attempt. Pushing her away from him, he sends her to the mat flat on her back, which is where she prefers to be. Running toward her,  Enforcer drops a hard elbow on her stomach, and gets up quick to do it again. Anicka having rolled away though, he drops the elbow to the mat, and finds a boot to the face a moment after. Anicka continues to kick him, until he rolls out of the ring, and she follows.

As they walk up the aisle, they begin to smash each other into the guard rails, the lighting, the pyro frames, and everything else in the entrance way, until they vanish behind the curtain.

Damon Havok Riggs: Looks like those falls are going to have to count everywhere, eh?

Anicka slams into a table and tumbles over it, sending the papers etc on it flying into the air. Enforcer throws the table out of his way in an attempt to reach Anicka, but finds an eye gouge for his efforts, as Anicka rises to meet him as he bends down. Stumbling away from Anicka, Enforcer reaches a hand out to find his bearings, but that hand is grabbed by Anicka and he’s whipped face first into a pillar. Anicka sweeps his leg out from under him by kicking the back of his knee, and celebrates the thud of his head against the floor.

Pulling a fire extinguisher off the wall, she chucks it at his head, but barely misses when he moves. The floor has a dent and a crack where the extinguisher hits, showing that Anicka is not here to play.

Enforcer attempts to get up, but Anicka slams into him with a coffee urn still chock full of coffee. The wire hangs off it, torn in half and whips her in the face as she does so, cutting just beneath her eye. The outlet meanwhile still has the plug in it, and has begun to spark. Anicka pays no attention to the blood dripping down her cheek, and begins to kick Enforcer as hard as she can, his flesh red and getting redder from the liquid’s temperature. Anicka rakes said flesh with both hands, causing the bubbling flesh to also bleed in streaks. She grabs the fire extinguisher and hits him in the back with it a few times, before spraying him with it, giving him chemical burns as well as liquid ones. Enforcer attempts to rise, But Anicka throws him back toward the table she had removed the coffee urn from, and sends him through it. As he falls, he reaches out and grabs the cord still in the wall. The lights flicker and Enforcer rattles as the current passes through him. The lights in the hallway all explode, sending glass and sparks of electricity everywhere. The breaker trips and cuts the power to the area, thankfully saving Enforcer’s life. Anicka laughs as the EMT’s rush to him, and walks away having had her fun.

WINNER BY TKO; ANICKA SWAN

The Brooklyn Trials

Fisticuffs

So now, after two nights of frustrating challenges that served nothing more than to waste their time and delay the whole ordeal, Anne Boleyn stood across the ring from Atara Themis.

Atara wasn’t certain she needed to defend her belt against Anne, it was a twist of fate that landed her. Any other security guard tasked with returning the Brooklyn Championship to Anne in HR would have given it to Anne, in HR. Not the first person named Anne that she encountered. Nevertheless.

Before the bell rang, Atara Themis looked up to the referee on their perch in the sky and demanded that somebody enter the ring and check Anne Boleyn for that set of brass knuckles that she stored in her hair the night before. Serotonin, who was at ringside, stepped into the ring and obliged, and retrieved the brass knuckles from her. Anne Boleyn was furious, exclaiming that it wasn’t a weapon and it was simply a clasp to help hold her hair in place.

After that drama subsided, the pair of them tied up and it was clear from the off that the Grecian had the bit between her teeth as she dominated the early proceedings. She mocked Serotonin, who was looking after both versions of the Championship, and said she’d demand a throne after she won.

As Atara had been preoccupied with Serotonin, Anne Boleyn grabbed the back of Atara and drilled her face first into the mat with the English Leg Sweep. A cover attempt resulted in a one count, and Atara hopped to her feet, furious. Boleyn went for a right hand, Themis ducked, grabbed a neck and hit a devastating neckbreaker.

Atara Themis: Off with the head.

And so it continued, in what would go down as a surprisingly technical match. Surprising in that the FIGHT! audience had been teased into thinking that this was largely a comedic affair with the pre-amble over Countdown 3 and Countdown 2. Anne Boleyn showed great prowess as an athlete, diving from the middle and top ropes on occasion, and mixing in Japanese strong style maneuvers that caught many off guard.

Atara is well-known to all wrestling fans, and fans of pop culture in general. She is one of the most famous people in the world and everybody knew her moveset. She didn’t often go to the lengths that she went to on Countdown 1, though. Chain wrestling, high impact offence. And a high level of fight IQ to avoid the offense of Boleyn for the most part.

A highlight around seven minutes into the match was a spot where both women were on the turnbuckle, Boleyn looking for her Thames Splash and The Goddess chased her up and clutched her around the waist, sending them both crashing to the mat with From A Dove. It took Aphrodite Incarnate a moment to compose herself and make the cover, and that time was perhaps enough to allow The Marquess of Mayhem to get a shoulder free.

The action slowed down for a couple of minutes as the competitors exchanged words, and a few single maneuver exchanges. A couple of pinfall attempts but the energy dipped momentarily, until around the thirteen minute mark, where it seemed like Themis was going to go clear. She put together a series of maneuvers, and looked like she was getting ready for Judgement of Paris, when all of a sudden Anne Boleyn dropped to the ground clutching her face.

Anne Boleyn: She poked me in the eye!!

Atara, perplexed, looked up at the referee. Anne, on the other hand, was face down on the floor, and moving her hands around her eye trying to clear the pain so she could continue. Atara grabbed her by the hair, knowing full well that she didn’t poke her in the eye – intentionally or otherwise – and then it became clear.

Anne Boleyn cranked her arm back and went for a right hand.

Atara Themis, somehow, saw it coming and slipped the punch like a professional fighter. Because, yknow, she was one. As the fist slipped past her shoulder, she realised that there was a brass set of knuckles on it. She grabbed the wrist, twisted it behind Anne’s back in a keylock, and then dropped to the mat. She stuck her boot in the back of Anne’s shoulder blade as she landed and jerked the arm in such a way that it looked to separate from the shoulder. Anne yelped in pain. Atara was stone cold. She stood up, as the staggering Boleyn clutched her arm, and this time there was no room for mistake.

Judgement of Paris.

One, two, three.

WINNER; FIGHT! NYC UNDISPUTED BROOKLYN CHAMPION, ATARA THEMIS!

And with that, The Goddess stood defiantly. She stared at Serotonin on the outside, and demanded not only the belt, but the crown.

Nurse Ani

Anicka Swan hummed lightly along with the sound of the music coming from the elevator speakers. She stops short as the elevator doors open and she sees two masculine shoes attached to two even more masculine legs laying just outside of the elevator doors. Cautiously, she surveys her surroundings for danger before she makes a move to leave the elevator. Ani was no dumb dumb. 

Bam Miller lays groaning on the ground as Anicka Swan moves to stand over him, a leg on either side. Ani quickly drops to her knees over Bam, leaning forward to check the severity of the wound in his head. Bam is torn between the sensation of having his brain rocked and the sensation of having Ani straddling him and it’s clear that the closer she leans in to inspect his head the less and less he’s finding the injury actually hurts. Bam reaches a hand up to grip her around the hips, instinctually. 

Anicka Swan: Ani likes this better when there isn’t blood coming from your head.

Ani’s eyes finally leave the wound long enough to notice the Queen’s title laying discarded on the floor beside Bam. It’s at that very moment she realizes her mistake and begins to try to scramble away from Bam who keeps her firmly on his lap.

Anicka Swan: Bam wouldn’t dare. 

Bam smiles up at Ani playfully before shifting his body to reverse their positions. Ani is flat on her back with Bam using his hands to pin her own hands above her head and his lower body keeping the rest of her body stationary on the ground. It might have just been foreplay but it was enough to press Ani’s shoulders to the ground long enough to make her the new Queen. Though judging by the look in her eyes, she wouldn’t be Queen for long. 

LOSER BY PINFALL AND NEW QUEEN’S CHAMPION: ANICKA SWAN

Miss Michelle (c) vs Betsy Granger

FIGHT! NYC Manhattan Championship - Ladder Match

Michelle and Betsy both stood in the center of the ring, looking up at the Manhattan championship. Sparkling from the thousands of flash photos being taken by everyone in attendance. The women begin to exchange words, and Michelle points up at the belt. Betsy looks up and Michelle grabs her by the throat, leveling her with repeated headbutts while choking her. Betsy breaks the hold and jumps up, wrapping her legs around Michelle and flipping them both over in a modified hurricanrana. The second Michelle hits the ground, Betsy leans back and really puts the screws to the champion via a leg lock choke hold. Michelle tries to power her way out, but Betsy’s legs are beneath her head, and the weight of her own body is working against her. Rocking her hips in that way that Brandon likes, Micelle gets the move turned, and is now on top of Betsy. One arm hooks over one leg and the other hooks on the other, and then Michelle lifts Betsy into the air, and drops her into a modified falling powerbomb. Betsy, who does not release the hold, knows that this hurts Michelle almost as much. And it aso makes it more difficult to put force into the move, while Betsy is holding her so closely. Michelle, who knew it would hurt her a little, and Betsy enough, didn’t give a fuck about the locked on hold because that’s who she is.

Betsy keeps the hold as Michelle attempts to get up again, and as Michlle is pulled back down, Betsy begins to turn on her hips the way that James Raven likes, and Michelle quickly sinks her teeth into Betsy’s thigh, squeezing her flesh between her teeth with as much force as her jaw can supply. Betsy lets go of the hold, and pulls her knee to her chest, kicking Michelle in the face and away from her.

Michelle rolls away from Betsy, and smiles widely. Betsy stands up, grasping her thigh. And snarling at Michelle, who is now chuckling with her tongue stuck out. Betsy runs at her, and Michelle slides out of the ring under the bottom rope. As Betsy reaches the ropes, Michelle reaches in and grabs the back of her ankles, and yanks. Pulling her out, Michelle slams Betsy’s head into the turnpost so hard that Betsy begins to wander away. Following closely, Michelle tosses Betsy back first into the ring apron area, before throwing her back into the ring under the bottom rope.

Michelle turns and picks up a ladder, slidign it into the ring. Stepping up onto the apron, Michelle is about to get back into the ring, when Betsy kicks the ladder and sends it back under the bottom rope. It clips Michelle’s feet and sends her off the apron, causing her to hit her head on the ladder on the way down.

Betsy pulls the ladder back in, pushes the hair out of her face,  and begins to erect the ladder. No sooner than it’s steady, she begins to climb, only to have Michelle rush in, and pull both feet out from under her, causing her to drop and smack her head on the rung just below. Stumbling backwards, Michelle drop kicks her in the knee, and sends her to the mat. Pushing her out of the ring. Climbing the ladder, Michelle gets about halfway of the ladder before Betsy is back in the ring, climbing up behind her, and grabbing her in a sleeper hold. As they both fall off the ladder, Betsy kicks her legs out and lands an impressive reverse bulldog. The ladder shakes, rattles and falls from the impact.

And that is how this match goes for the next 20 minutes. Every time one of the two toughest women in this sport made any progress up the ladder, the other would undo it brutally and efficiently. In the entire time the match went on, at no point did either of them get close to the belt, let alone touch it. Until…

Betsy was on the ground, the ladder next to them, as Michelle laid off into the corner. An amazing feat of atheltic ability, Betsy had waited for Michelle to climb the ladder, steady themselves on the top rung, and then slammed the ladder closed and pulled it away from the opponent. As Michelle hit the floor, Betsy forced the ladder on top of them, damn near knocking them unconscious. Unfortunately the ladder opened upon impact with Michelle, and was shot into Betsy’s face, knocking them unconscious as well. As they both laid there, hardly moving and moving hardly, Michelle began to stir. Looking at Betsy Granger sprawled out, and barely moving, Michelle grabbed the ladder and picked it up. Opening the ladder up, she places the feet of the ladder directly into the palm of Betsy’s hand, and begins to climb. The Impossible Traveler wakes up, the pain of the ladder and the added weight crushing her hand.

And then her lock on that title.

Betsy’s arms go taut and every bit of muscle can be seen as she lifts her hands, and pushes the ladder upward, with Michelle still on it. Miss Michelle begins to jump up and down on the ladder, but it’s not use, Granger is determined, and the ladder is already tilted at a 90 degree angle.

Betsy Granger pulls her hands out, and the ladder rocks back to a standing position. Michelle is jerked forward, and her head goes between the rungs, and gets stuck. As Michelle fights for air, Granger climbs the ladder, and reaches upward. As her fingers scramble to grab the swaying New York skyline embossed in gold, Michelle screams despite the lack of air. And when Granger pulls the title belt down, and sits at the top of the ladder, Michelle swears revenge, and from the look on their eyes, we can tell they mean it.

WINNER; AND NEW FIGHT! NYC MANHATTAN CHAMPION – BETSY GRANGER.

Rebound Gold

Anicka Swan seemed to be dealing with her new position as Queen much better than her predecessors over the last three nights. The title was casually thrown over her shoulder as she stalked the gorilla position clearly waiting for something. 

Just as the music hits, confirming Betsy Granger as the new Manhattan Champion, Anicka Swan makes her move, rushing out from the curtains and down to the ring where she throws herself over the already prone body of Michelle Moore who Granger has just defeated. Granger looks confused only for a moment before she realizes what is occurring, and throws her head back to laugh. And with that, Michelle Moore had lost one title and gained another. 

LOSER BY PINFALL AND NEW QUEEN’S CHAMPION: MICHELLE MOORE 

If you’ve had the (dis)pleasure of knowing the woman known as Michelle Moore any length of time you would know that she has a bit of a history of being a somewhat surly loser. I guess when you’re the pinnacle of women’s divisions for the length of time that Michelle had been on top it can give you a sort of complex. 

Losing Manhattan was bad enough in itself but being crowned Queen’s Champion was downright unfuckingacceptable. Also unacceptable was when she had made her way to the back and crossed paths with Montuori and Moore sporting their new Island’s Championships belts. 

Paul Montuori: Tough titty, girl. Thought for sure you had that chick beat. 

Brandon Moore: Babygirl, don’t you even worry about it at least Daddy Moore is bringing home some gold. 

Brandon looked down at the belt on his shoulder, protectively rubbing a hand across it as if it was the most precious thing in his life while simultaneously not realizing the other most precious thing in his life was glaring daggers right at the center of his forehead. 

Michelle let out a scream that could only be described as the unholy banshee shriek of a man who has consumed too much Taco Bell and is now stuck in bumper to bumper traffic as she pushed through Paul and Brandon to find Anne Boleyn who had been minding her business tending to one of her pigeons only a few feet away. 

Michelle Moore: Yo! Queen!

Anne Boleyn lifts her head, a smile already on her lips to greet whatever commoner had come to ask for her autograph. The smile is quickly removed by Michelle Moore’s right hook which she followed with a knee to the gut of Boleyn. Michelle grabs Boleyn by the head, ramming her face first into the cement flooring twice before the pigeon Anne had been tending dive bombed her head, pecking furiously in defense of its queen. 

Brandon Moore: FUCK HER UP! 

Michelle flails only for a moment before fate or undiscovered talent allows her to swat the pigeon into the wall beside them. The pigeon hits the wall with a sickening thud, sliding down to land in a very still pile of feathers only inches from Anne’s face. Paul Montuori in the distance pales as he looks down at the feathered casualty.

Paul Montuori: Way harsh, Tai. 

A single tear manages to leak from Anne Boleyn’s eye as she wills herself to crawl toward her fallen comrad. Michelle, who is clearly behaving like a sane and rational person, uses the toe of her boot to send the pigeon a good five feet down the hallway to land right at the feet of Brandon Moore. Moore smiles as he lifts his boot over the injured bird, only to be knocked off balance at the last minute by Paul who clearly isn’t down with this treatment of our avian friends. 

Anne Boleyn grunts as Michelle delivers kick after kick to her midsection. 

Michelle Moore: Say goodnight, Queen. 

And with that, Michelle reared back and delivered a punt kick right to the face of Boleyn, wasting no time to drop down into a cover.

LOSER BY PINFALL AND NEW QUEENS CHAMPION: ANNE BOLEYN

Dickie Watson (c) vs Dane Preston

FIGHT! NYC Empire Championship - Death Match in a Cage

Dane Preston and Dickie Watson stand in the center of the ring. Surrounded on all sides by the steel structure designed to keep them in, but more so, keep everyone out. On all sides of the cage, different weapons are hung for use during the match. These range from baseball bats, to crutches, to other items I’ve yet to think of. All are hung by S hooks which are installed onto the handle of each weapon.

Dickie knows Dane is practically itching to take the belt off of him, and show the rest of his cohort how even gods can bleed so to speak. Dickie knows that he is not a god. But Dane Preston and so many others have looked at him as if he were. And that breeds a few things. Like resentment. Fear. And Hatred. And they may not want to admit it, but the ones sitting on the sidelines and watching are there because while they hate Dickie for being the first and thus far, only Empire champion. They fear him far too much to do anything about it.

Except for Dane.

Dane Preston who literally put his money where his mouth is, and took the leap between convincing himself he’s man enough to take the belt, and taking steps to prove it. Having already defeated Dickie when the belt was not at risk, he stands confident in the undertaking and what he will be taking once it’s over.

The match started in the ways most of these tend to. Neither fighter wanted to be the first one to reach for a weapon, despite the obvious desire to use all of them on the other. Neither wanting to be perceived as having needed one. And so for the first 9 minutes, Dane Preston did his best to level Dickie Watson with as much power as he could, and Dickie did an impressive job utilizing his speed and agility to either bounce back from or avoid all together, every attempt. Preston with a clothesline that would behead a lesser man, and Dickie easily maneuvering so as to lessen the impact. Dickie hitting a devastating rolling kick to Preston, that does not lay him out, but simply staggers him and makes him back pedal. 

Dickie with an attempt at spinning DDT, but Preston throws him off with both arms and into the cage. Dickie would get up before Preston could reach him and would double Dane over by shoulder blocking him through the ropes. Dickie would use the ropes to throw himself up into the air, with intent of landing a leg drop to the back of Dane’s head, but Dane straightened up immediately and caused Dickie to bounce off and land on his feet behind Dane. When Dane turned, Dickie would be airborne already, delivering a dropkick that sent Dane into the corner.

Despite the two men not caring about the weapons, and the fans having come to see the weapons, not a single chant of ‘boring’ was heard. Instead, each and every set of eyes witnessing this match understood what they were seeing. This was not a fight between two people who wanted to destroy one another. This was a fight between two fighters who wanted to prove who they were. Dane the protoge to arguably one of the oldest wrestlers that fight as a commentator, and Dickie, who when not in his feelings on social media was one of the most well known faces in the game today. Truth be told, if anyone was going to represent the top of this game in Fight’s Empire position, these were two of those people.

As they set out to prove it, several things became clear. Gone was any modicum of respect that either had for the other. Dickie, having called out not only Dane, but everyone of his friends during his rant at the rabbit days earlier, had motivated Dane to become more coarse in his actions. And as far as Watson was concerned, if the OPW crowd wanted to send this man, who they may have believed to be the best of them, to be their representative. Then Dickie would make him their example.

Angered by Dickie’s ability to evade him at one turn and parry him the next, Dane became enraged when an attempt at keeping Dickie down with what was supposed to be a devasting belly to back suplex from the top rope turned into Dickie landing on his feet. It could have been the effort that Dane put into blocking Dickie’s move, and redirecting it. It could be that Dane knows no matter what, this is in Dickie’s highlight reel forever. But whatever it was, Dane reached up, and grabbed a baseball bat from the cage, and pointed it at Dickie.

Standing there, Dane became painfully aware of the path he was about to go down. Should this match go his way, he’d forever be the guy who needed a bat to get the job done. And should it go…the other way…he’d be known as the guy who couldn’t do it, even with a bat. But something in him, something that most had known about Dane for as long as anyone had known about Dane, had just given up. Something that controlled his ability to give a fuck. In fact, the only thing Dane was giving anyone right now, was the threat of having a head knocked clear off their shoulders.

Swinging the bat wildly, Dane swipes at Dickie as if aiming for the fences. Dickie backed up until he reached a corner, and when Dane swapped his side to side attack for a downward thrust, Dickie rolled out of the way and shot toward the ropes. Ricochetting off them, Dickie jumped into the air attempting…What that was, we won’t know. As Dane spun around the other way and caught Dickie in the chest with the bat, laying him out on the mat, hunched over in pain.

Dane looked down at Dickie, his hands wringing the handle of the bat and surely creating sore spots where his flesh rubs against the wood, which isn’t what it sounds like. Lifting the bat into the air, Dane gives it a second thought, but eventually brings the bat down onto Dickie’s stomach, doubling the champion over and knocking the wind out of him entirely.  The crowd erupts as this is the signal to them that business is about to pick up. But after 3 more hits from Dane’s bat to Dickie’s person, the cheers begin to die. Now, they are not watching the beginning of something. They are witnessing the continuation of something they rather wish wasn’t happening. And as the OCCHI cameras pan forward, and we get a close up of Dane Preston’s eyes, we see that something inside him hasn’t given up. It’s gone away.

Dickie, thankfully, had been contracting himself as much as possible to avoid most of the hit, which didn’t mean it didn’t hurt, just not as much. After a good solid swing, Dane was shocked to find Dickie had caught the bat, and was now kicking him in the chest repeatedly. Dane let go of the bat, Dickie followed with another kick, and Dane fell backwards.

Both men hit their feet at the same time, and Dickie threw the bat at Dane, which caused him to duck. No sooner than he ducked, did Dickie lunge and grab his head, driving it into the ground with a running DDT. Dane hit the mat and rolled over from the impact. Dickie, angry as any have ever seen him, lunged again, this time grabbing Dane’s head into a headlock with one arm and pounding him in the face with the other. The crowd exploded to see that Dickie had life left in him, but it was reduced once again when Dane reached around Dickies head and grabbed him by cheek, fish hooking him off of him, and kicking him in the face as soon as he was within reach.

Dickie rolled away from Dane, favoring his sides as he stood, but getting up fast. In an effortless move, Dickie used his foot to kick the bat up and into his hands. And when Dane turned, Dickie swung.

The sweat that came off of Dane at impact mixed with blood that had been driven to the surface and sent airborne. Dane spirals to the ground and is almost motionless, save for a hand carefully holding the part of his face that feels almost broken if not shattered. Dickie, no longer holding back, smiles. And does what he does and to the effort of destroying Dane Preston, fully commits.

Over the next few minutes there would be no mercy, no pity, and no holding back. Dickie and Dane went head to head, with not just fists but with crutches and bats and frying pans and brass knuckles. The two of them, bloodied and bruised beyond anything anyone has seen in a very long time, just kept getting up. Each time the ten count would begin, it would get no further than 7.

Count of 6 when Dane hit Dickie with a spear that would have broken a lesser man

Count of 5 when Dickie hit Dane with a crutch so hard that it cracked and on one side, creating a hook of sorts that Dickie immediately used as a fishhook and snagged Dane by the face, dragging him around the ring before finally freeing him from the crutch by pushing it forward, but inflicting more pain by pulling it back fast, and lower, jabbing him in the throat. Dane grabbed at his airway, now ironically named as no air passed through, and turned toward Dickie, raging in his eyes but docile everywhere else due to not having the ability to act. Dickie smiled and swung the crutch underhanded, crushing Dane’s Sahara tainted testicles with an impact that could’ve gone right through him was it a blade.

And when Dane landed, he landed hard, and something fell to the floor and clattered, getting Dickie’s attention. Seeing it, he realized that either someone liked him, or at the very least had a very particular sense of humor. Kicking the object closer to Dane, Dickie waited for Dane to try to rise. As the count reached 7, Dane pushed himself the way true warriors do, and got to his feet by 9, killing the count. Dickie would pick up and slam the cast iron pan into Dane’s gut, and cause him to fall to his knees. Looking down at the mat, Dane could see his reflection, and subsequently would watch Dickie leap into the air, getting further from him, and then closer as he descended, and press his foot to the back of his head, and forced him down face first onto the item that was laid out before him, which had he had one more second, he would have processed and recognized it. Dickie rose to his feet, and picked it up. Beyond the reflection of all the lights in the arena, we can see droplets of blood beading and moving about the polished surface of the sterling silver platter. Dickie looks down at the unmoving Dane Preston, and smil-

BOOM

Glass shatters up and down Fight Tower as fireballs emerge and dissipate out of every vent on the exterior of the building. The light erupts and dims out in a flash and thousands of screaming voices call out all at once. Traffic comes to a stop, screeching and fishtailing cars as far as the eyes can see and creating crashing noises far beyond as the glass falls to the streets below. FDNY and NYPD rush to the scene from multiple directions, bathing the city in red and white lights and adding their own sirens to the soundtrack of pure chaos that is now playing over the entire area of Fight Tower.

Inside, the crowd rushes to the exits as instructed by security. Inside the ring, Dickie looks down at Dane, who is still unmoving. The bell rings and Dickie looks up to see his name. Victory. Again.

WINNER; AND STILL FIGHT! NYC EMPIRE CHAMPION – DICKIE WATSON

Dickie is not a god, but he might as fucking well be. None of them stepped up. None of them stepped out of line. If anything, they all bowed to him. They made the rules and the biggest and baddest asses of all time said ‘ok boss’ and sat down. They could have easily stood up and formed a stable anyway. They could have rejected the idea that NSQ had, but no. They said ‘sure that’s fine.’ And now, standing over the one they sent to stop him, the one who believed himself capable, he had proved to them that their instinct was right. He was The Empire Champion because he was the only one who could be.

As parts of the ring area snap, and crackle from the tremor rushing through the building, Xavier Black rushes to ring side, and begins to instruct FDNY on what to do. Two of the firefighters rush away, and Xavier begins to try and dismantle the cage from the corners himself, but the tremor has caused the cage to twist, and now each part of the cage is leaning against the other, creating a domino effect of metal parts and pieces that can’t be moved by man alone.

Dickie and Xavier exchange words, and with one being in the cage and one being out, the calm one was not who one would expect. Dickie sat down, and simply waited, keeping his eyes on Dane, who was still motionless, blood from his wound pooling under his face. Dickie smiled. The term ‘how the mighty have fallen’ came to mind. And it did so 100 percent ironically.

More FDNY show up, and this time two of them have saws in hand, and begin to cut away at the metal bars. The building rumbles once more, and this time the cage almost topples over by the look of it. Xavier stands with EMT’s who are at the ready to get into the cage, all four sets of eyes looking at Dane. FDNY  cuts a hole in the cage, and no sooner than the tear away the metal piece, Dickie stands up, walks over, and hops through, slowing their progress and not caring at all. He walks to the table his Empire Championship is on, and throws it over his shoulder, leaving without giving anyone a second look.

As the FDNY gets the cage open wider for the EMT’s. As Xavier pushes them to get inside. As Dickie reaches the top of the entrance way.

BOOM

A Second explosion rocks the building. A set of lights from the top of the ring area falls, smacking into the cage and tipping it over toward the entrance way where the FDNY are. The EMT’s, FDNY, and Xavier all scramble to get out of the way as the cage slams against the ground. The sparks from the light which is still plugged in somehow spread all over, and one of them sets off the pyro’s in one of the corners. A moment later the ground rumbles and flames shoot out, as the Pit area beneath the ring is now fully consumed with flames, as the fucking Heatmeiser bullshit room has popped like a can of biscuits in a hot car. Xavier looks at the flames coming from beneath his feet. The cage ceiling which was being held up by a wing and a prayer, finds the wing has broken and the prayer has stopped.

Wobbling and knocking off the sides of the cage still standing as it falls into the ring and onto Dane Preston, it triggers the ring to lose its stability and tips it to one side as well.

Xavier rushes into the ring along with the EMT’s. Dickie smirks and walks backstage. The Pyro fills the ring with even more smoke, and fire. And we cut the feed.