The City Doesn't Sleep

New York is a fast-paced city, and that is an understatement.

You know that overutilized story-telling device that they use in movies, where there’s a timelapsed shot from a sky and everything is still except the racing traffic that streams through the streets, so fast that it becomes a blur? We open there. We are above Hearst Tower, the home of FIGHT! NYC, the promotion that is making all the right noises in the wrestling world. Those with their fingers on the pulse know that something special is percolating in Manhattan.

As the cars and swarms or tourists and businessmen and businesswomen rush around, the shot tightens slightly, and focuses on the entranceway to aforementioned tower. There is a swelling of people starting to gather at the foot of the building. A group of ten becomes fifty, the group of fifty becomes a hundred, and before long the street is full, the block is full, the queue is starting to snake its way around the block and people are spilling into the road itself. The sun still hangs on the horizon, waiting alike to see what the new era of New York pro wrestling brings.

At 8:30pm sharp, a set of lights inside the building flickers into life, illuminating the entire reception area with a dim warm hue, revealing reception staff, security, ticketing staff, and the downstairs bar, apty named The FIGHT! Inn. As an observer, you wonder how the staff will manage to seat all of these people in time for the 9pm curtain call, there must be a few thousand people waiting to go in.

A tall blond-haired woman stands in front of the staff who will allow the crowd through. Next to her is a shorter girl, with red color through her brunette hair, and she looks out onto the crowd.

Serotonin: Miss F?

The taller lady turns to Serotonin, and smiles.

Miss F: Are you ready?

Serotonin nods, almost nervous, and then Miss F smiles. She steps forward and whispers something into the ear of one of the members of security. He nods, pressing his finger to the opposite ear and speaking. And then, as if voice-operated, the doors gently glide open. The first member of security gives an instruction to the member of the public at the front of the queue and then they start moving forward in a calm and orderly fashion. The second follows the first, the third follows the second and before long, they are moving through the security, looking at the FIGHT! Inn and the various merchandise that they have on the walls inside, as they eventually go through to the main arena.

 

VENOM, ADRENALINE MOMENTUM

AND I’M NOT KNOWIN’ WHEN I’M

EVER GONNA SLOW UP AND I’M

READY TO SNAP ANY MOMENT I’M

THINKIN’ IT’S TIME TO GO GET ‘EM

THEY AIN’T GONNA KNOW WHAT HIT ‘EM

Previously... on FIGHT!

We find ourselves ringside in the FIGHT! Tower, the same place where the final five did battle at Blood Money. Standing in front of us, microphones in hand, are two people. One much taller than the other, one much more familiar than the other. On the left hand side, with a broad smile and a shaved head is someone that any wrestling fan worth their salt would know and recognize as Damon “HavoK” Riggs, and to his side is a man in a slightly ill-fitting suits, with pockmarked skin hidden behind layers of ready-for-television makeup. The prompt on the screen slides up and lets us know that his name is J. Michael Brilliance. He is the first one to raise his microphone to his lips as the arena commotion starts to die down.

As they introduce the show, the screen starts to show some footage from Blood Money, including:

  • — Sahara superman punches Dave the Dinosaur and tells him to “fuck off”
  • — Mason Alexander Vanderbilt bursts into a stairwell and starts yelling over a bundle of people fighting that he’s looking for Amari Kent, he dives across the stairs, into the chaos, and ends up eliminated by Dickie Watson
  • — Sahara and Anicka going back and forth before Sahara eliminates her, but is then immediately blindsided by Todrick Tabor, who seems awfully pleased about it as Sahara is eliminated.
  • — Joe Montuori getting Allison Riggs-Preston to safety after she was eliminated from the match by Miss Michelle, then a quick cut to Dane screaming for his wife, Montuori laughing, and then the moment where they both fall through the sky and land head-first into cement.
  • — Brandon Moore brutally eliminates Druscilla White through a wall with The Everblack after her friend Valkyrie showed up to save her. The scene then cuts to him trying to use the same move on Todrick Tabor, but his former partner Paul Montuori prevents it and then uses a steel chair on Moore, eliminating him.
  • — Dickie Watson looks set to be eliminated by Shawn Warstein, who has him in the ropes ready for a rope-hung EGO TRIP, but Dickie shoots low and hits a MOLOTOV COCKTAIL, pinning Shawn.
  • — Paul Montuori and Dickie Watson stand opposite each other, heaving, hands on knees. It looks like they exchange a few words that nobody can hear. Then they go at it, and a few frames show us how Dickie managed to put Paul away.
  • — Dickie Watson is given the FIGHT! Empire Championship by Xavier Wolf, it is large and has the head and arm of the Statue of Liberty surrounded by a ring of stars and the word EMPIRE engraved into it.

Damon Riggs: I can’t believe how fortunate we are that this is the type of action we get to see here in NEW YORK CITY every Saturday night!

J Michael Brilliance: Some of these weasels will squeal, some will shine, I can’t wait to see who does the business tonight!

Damon Riggs: I’m really looking forward to tonight’s main event between Amari Kent and Mason Alexander Vanderbilt.. they’ve been at each other’s throats since that chase match in Washington, back under the old name!

J Michael Brilliance: Hopefully some scores can be settled then, I am going with Mason because people with three names are certainly better than those without, right Damon Riggs?

Damon Riggs: You mean “Damon HavoK Riggs”, right?

J Michael Brilliance: Ha ha. No.

Damon Riggs: First bout of the night, though? Pixie Sloane taking on Ricky Rodriguez.. who ya got?

J Michael Brilliance: Hmm. An Emo and a Simp. Neither. Pass. NEXT!

The pair of them are then interrupted, as the music begins of one Xavier Wolf…

The State of the Empire

Cinderella Man by Eminem blasts over the PA, and the audience explodes to their feet. Xavier steps out of the entrance, and beyond belief they pop even louder. He makes his way down the aisle, the very expensive tan suit clung to his body like it was made specifically for him. Because it was. A cat-that-ate-the-canary smile across his face as he looks out among all in attendance, and it stops him in his tracks. Getting into this business was his dream. And he fulfilled it. Being great in this business was his dream. And he fulfilled it. And taking this business to the next level, with the absolute best talent anyone could find was his dream. And from where he was standing, it looked reasonable that that one would come true, too.

Stepping up onto the matte black steel steps, he slips his shoes off revealing a very bright pair purple-green gradient socks. He slips between the top and middle rope and looks out at the flashes of light taking place. Miss F who was walking behind him this entire time, not that anyone noticed, reached up and handed him the live mic. A discussion is had between the two, and he invites her into the ring. She joins him via a hand up and the crowd cheers as she waves.

Xavier Wolf: How we doing NY? [ The crowd explodes once more, and Xavier smiles largely again. He knows everyone in the back is calling him cheap, but he couldn’t resist. ] I’m not going to take up a lot of time talking, which as you know goes against my character type. But it was deemed necessary by us that there should be an official…moment. 

The crowd pops again due to Xavier having used that word in some of his most famous match promos. Even going so far as to call himself The Moment Maker at somepoint or another, but dropping it rather quickly for two reasons, and both of them were because it was a terrible name.  

Xavier Wolf: But being the head of the company has it’s duties, and one of them is to address the fans at our first ever Venom. Which for an attention whore like me, is not even work, right? Like, I would pay to do this. I am paying to do this. But enough banter, let’s get at ‘er!

He smiles again, taking a step forward.

Xavier Wolf: First, I want to once again congratulate our very first Empire Champion, Dickie Watson. When Dickie signed on with us, I knew he was going to make an impact. I knew he was going to be top tier within the first 6 months. Turns out, I overshot that a little. Dickie, you are precisely the type of person I built FIGHT for. For those who had given this business everything, and maybe weren’t always appreciated. For those of us who were just glad to be involved. Your name is going down with the history of FIGHT. Absolutely. But more so, I am honored that FIght is going to go down in history with yours. Give it up once more for Dickie Watson, FIGHT’s FIRST EVER EMPIRE CHAMPION! I also want to wish the best of luck to MAV, and Amari, one of which will be crowned the first ever Brooklyn Champion, TONIGHT!!

The crowd is split into two as Amari chants rival MAV chants. The scroll at the bottom of the screen is also split as comments such as ‘MAV FNYC MVP’ and ‘Amari is me Amore.’ 

Xavier Wolf: Now onto business. It is my pleasure to introduce you to the face of FIGHT, The Head Liaison, Miss F!!!

Xavier hands her the mic, and places a kiss on her cheek. Standing behind her, he watches as she swings her hair off her shoulder, and looks down at the people in the front row, winking charismatically. The scroll reads ‘Miss F puts the F in MILF.’

Miss F: Lads and Ladies, I am on the message boards, I’m in the reddit subs, and I see you. I see you. Guessing and wondering what this Blood Money is about. And while I love some of the ideas I’ve seen, most are so trash, that the time it took to type them was better spent learning a dead language. Blood Money is to be used exclusively for the obtaining of Title Shots. Nothing more, Nothing Less. For every victory you will get one thousand in Blood Money. For every loss, five hundred. The amounts required to challenge for each belt are;

The Empire Championship which is our highest honor, will cost you 12,000 Blood Money

The Manhattan Championship which is our nod to our home, wll cost you 10,000 Blood Money.

The Brooklyn Championship, paying homage to some of the baddest people to ever grace the earth, will cost you 8,000 Blood Money

The Bare Knuckle Championship, the title which honors NYC’s history with underground fight clubs, will cost you 6,000 Blood Money. 

The Bronx Championship, the title we expect to get the most play, will cost you 6,000 Blood Money.

The Islands Championships, which is our tag team/stable championship, will be 5,000 Blood Money per Participants on both sides.

But that is going forward. Right here and right now, we are going to be doing something…special. Before I get into it, I’d like to announce the totals that all participants earned during Blood Money. All participants will be receiving 3k in Blood Money. But the top 3 have earned slightly more. Coming in at third place, with 7.5k in Blood Money, we have Shawn Warstein!

A picture of Shawn Warstein flashes across the giant four sided screen above the ring. The crowd reacts loudly. Images of him at Blood Money play as we watch him interact with Dickie and then standing in the ring with the final five.

Miss F: In Second Place, Paul Montouri, with 10k!

Again a picture is displayed, and footage of Paul fighting FYA amongst the other Dyna$ty members, with clips of him also single handedly dispersing most of the Fetal Four, as they’ve come to be known, cut in.

Miss F: And our winner, and Empire Champion, Dickie Watson, with 15k in Blood Money. Althought, he isn’t going to be needing it, obv-

6 foot 7 foot by Lil Wayne erupts and the crowd follows suit. Paul Montouri steps out of the entrance way, his hair still wet from his pre-fight shower. His face glistening from his 3 step skin care routine that he will most likely feature in an article sooner or later. He walks the aisle, looking amazing and also he kind of looks like he smells amazing. Like coconuts or like, a fresh linen fabreeze but like natural? He doesn’t slap hands, he doesn’t even take his eyes off the ring. Stepping up to the apron, he glides through the ropes, and without missing a beat, embraces Xavier. The two men lock the hold, and we can tell their talking. When they separate, Paul nods at him in respect, as Xavier returns it. Paul looks at Miss F, who is a cougar of sorts but not that old. Like, she could be a mom. But is she a MILF? That’s more for you to decide. He asks for the microphone like a gentleman and she hands it over graciously. 

Paul Montuori:  I see where this is going. And in the interest of saving us all a very large amount of time and a very little amount of energy, I am going to step on the moment you had planned, apologetically so, and say that my bid for the next shot at the empire champion is 8k.

Paul smiles, and hands the microphone back to Miss F, who holds her arm out as if she was presenting a brand new washer and dryer on the price is right, but in actuality is presenting one of the biggest dogs there are.                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Miss F: Well, Paul. I guess there’s no need to open the bidding this time. Ladies and Gentlemen, your number one contender for the Empire Championship, Paul Montouri! And when that title shot will be defended is…Not just yet. Before we get to that, there is the matter of our next major event. A tournament unlike any you’ve ever seen. Ladies and gentlemen, coming live on the Fight Network, I present to you Tag Wars: Toxic Tag!!

The Top 16 Competitors from Blood Money will be paired off and pitted against each other. But as the name suggests, these people will not be friends. Work together, and thrive. Or fail and fall to the wayside. The winners of the tournament will be rewarded with a choice. Either remain a team, and win the chance to fight for The Islands Championships, or adhere to your baser instincts, and fight your former partner for the sum of 10k Blood Money. The choice will be yours. But know this, if your partner and you can’t agree, and one of you chooses to stay a team, while the other chooses to fight, the one who wants to stay a team gets nothing, and the other gets the entire 10k. So be sure to ask yourself not just if you can trust them, but if they can trust you.

And with that, The talking part is over. And now, it is once again time to do what you have come here to do, what you are paid to do, what you are born to do…And FIGHT!

Ricky Rodriguez vs Pixie Sloane

Both Pixie Sloane and Ricky Rodriguez stood opposite each other.

They were about to make history as the first fighters to step into the squared circle in one-on-one competition under the banner of FIGHT! NYC. They both seemed to have an air of nerves about them, but equally they were both doing their best to push their feelings down past the pits of their stomachs so they could get the job done.

The bell had rung and the pair of them circled each other. It was an odd sight, awkward, even, to a typical wrestling fan who was used to seeing the referee stood in the center of the ring with them. He sat on a podium, high above the ring, and his voice was picked up by the ringside microphones as he said “FIGHT!” right after the bell rang.

Pixie was methodical in her approach, wise beyond her years, as she moved slowly but decisively. She picked her moments to engage and made sure to disengage when it looked like Ricky had got her timing down. A martial arts approach.

Ricky, on the other hand, was quick and light on his feet, trying to keep the diminutive Sloane guessing. He tried a couple of standing dropkicks in the early going, but on both occasions, Pixie sidestepped and let him eat air. She, on the other hand, had success with a shotgun dropkick and after he blocked a roundhouse kick of hers, she reset her stance and threw the same kick again. He telegraphed it once more and started to gain confidence. He was bouncing on the balls of his toes, and pointed at her as her hips shifted and she got ready to throw it for a third time. But this time, just as he reached out to thwart her, she swung her knee up and came over the top of his guard with a beautiful roundhouse question mark kick.

Ricky dropped to his knees, grabbing his jaw, and Pixie seized the moment to come off the rope and drive a knee into the jaw again, finishing him off. A mess on the floor, she stood up and looked around, savoring the moment. She felt herself again, she was alive.

Ricky was wondering what the hell had just happened. He managed to thrust his shoulder into the air, but the cobwebs weren’t yet clear. And the more he shook them clear, the fuzzier the world seemed. He was likely concussed, at least that is what he was telling himself and that is what Damon Riggs was screaming into the ears of all those listening at home.

Pixie relished the moment too long, though, because as she was wondering to herself exactly how Rodriguez was able to muster the strength, nay, courage, to stay in the fight, Ricky had grabbed a handful of her blue mohawk. The referee could be heard barking a mandatory five count, after which of course he would’ve been disqualified, but Ricky had no intention of that. Within less than two seconds he had thrown her into the ropes and delivered a shotgun dropkick of his own. As soon as she popped up to her feet, he whipped her down with an arm drag, and the slapped on a fujiwara arm bar.

In these moments, she’d found her match. She made a mistake and he made her pay dearly for it. As she sat in the arm bar, she was questioning herself again. He was talking to her but not loud enough that the ringside microphones could pick it up. He was an opportunity, a way to make a mark.

In his head, the calculations were good, he was thinking several moves ahead and he was sure he could see this out despite getting off to a bad start. Then he could take Michelle for dinner, spoil her. He knew when this was over, he’d be able to enjoy her match with late replacement opponent Ophelia Pain, and then after they could lick their wounds together.

But there’s that naïveté. And poetic in its timing, too. Because as his mind is wandering away from Pixie Sloane and towards Michelle, the very person that stands between him and his would-be-lover appeared in his peripheral vision.

Brandon Moore.

Stood at ringside. Theatrically raising his hands in the air to ensure the whole world watching knows that he means no harm.

In fact, he barely acknowledges the match taking place. His focus is on something else, or someone else. He grabs the headset right off of the head of J Michael Brilliance and pulls a punch. The arrogant JMB cowers and runs away from the desk.

Brandon Moore: Thought you had a friend, boy?

Moore calls after JMB.

Brandon Moore: No, my only friend round here is you. So I thought I’d come out here and yanno, spend some time with ya.

Damon Riggs does his best to be professional, but it’s clear that Moore is only here to push buttons and every time Riggs tries to remark on the match, Moore mocks the call.

Brandon Moore: Man, all this production and they’re stuck with rookie commentators.

Damon Riggs: At least it isn’t Taj Escobar and Mason Moore…

Brandon Moore: Mason could get it. She was fire. Nobody up here winning no beauty pageant now..

All the while, in the ring, the two competitors had been working a flawless match, and each time a big spot came, such as Ricky Rodriguez getting a near fall after hitting one of his signature moves – To The Top – Damon Riggs was exasperated as Brandon Moore made him miss it, call it wrong, or otherwise get him flustered.

Damon wasn’t even sure that when Pixie Sloane managed to hit Ricky Rodriguez with the running Spanish Fly she calls PIXIE DUST, whether it had been against the course of the match or not.

Nevertheless, she made a swift cover, and was successful.

Relief washed over her face, as she stood up and cheered along with the crowd who also cheered for her. She looked down at Ricky Rodriguez and offered him a hand to his feet. A nod of mutual respect – you got me / it was close, it could have gone either way.

The victory tasted sweet, but as viewers we did not gets to savor in it because the camera quickly turned away from Pixie in the ring and to Brandon Moore and Damon Riggs, who were at the commentary booth.

Name Your Price

Damon Riggs was apoplectic. I mean, if you had to pick an adjective from a dictionary to describe Damon Riggs, it would oftentimes be one that was a synonym of angry, right?

Damon Riggs: I swear to all that is holy, Brandon Moore, you better get the hell out of here now before I do something I’m not contractually allowed to do.

Brandon Moore smirks, wryly.

Brandon Moore: I’d like to see that. I’d love it if you’d, you know, do something of value.

Damon Riggs: Like win every belt there ever was to be won? Beat every great there ever was to be beaten? What?

Again, Moore smiles.

Brandon Moore: Yeah, you’re right. So, partner, what’s next on the docket? I heard your daughter gon’ fight tonight. You gonna maintain your calm for that? No openin’ night nerves gonna get the better of you especially when your kid in the crosshair?

Damon Riggs: No. No nerves. Allison has it covered, I trust in her to get the job done. She’s a Riggs after all.

Brandon Moore: Ryan Elias ain’t no joke.

Damon Riggs: Neither is Allison. Trust me. She’s got this.

Brandon Moore: Let’s get comfortable and find out.

And this is where the narrator stops and tell you that Riggs lost his motherfucking shit.

Damon Riggs: Abso-fuckin-lutely not. Get outta here. There’s no way you are sitting here with me all night driving me batshit.

Moore smirks. It was at this point that the narrator would point out that Brandon had laid every piece on the chessboard out perfectly, and he was luring him into checkmate. Where they were going, it was damned if you do and damned if you don’t. His ivory teeth slither beneath a crimson tongue and then he mutters two words.

Brandon Moore: Pay me.

The words catch Riggs off guard, he pauses fleetingly, but then straightens out his tailored suit.

Damon Riggs: Name your price. Go on. Get outta here you walking god complex.And suffice it to say, Damon Riggs did keep his word, and as the show went off the air, he wired $300,000 directly into Brandon Moore’s bank account.

Odd Couple

Who would have thought in a million years that the world would see Dane Preston and Joe Montuori in the same room.  A wrestling ring? Yes, but the same room? Nope. Still recovering from their epic battle in the FIGHT NYC, both men suffered a rash of injuries and head trauma. On the far end of an infirmary room is J Mont, and closer to the door is Dane Preston. It’s a surprise that either man hasn’t killed the other.  Both men a chomping at the bits for a clean bill of health so they can go back to battle each another.  No matter where Joe Montuori goes, J Mont is always ON.

Joe Montuori: Hey Pussy. Thanks for farting in your sleep last night… I don’t know what smells worse. Your farts or your breath…  What? Say something bitch!!! Don’t make me get out of this bed and crack the rest of your head and make it a jigsaw puzzle for sale. 

Dane Preston: You fucking Meatbol, you don’t kno how to turn off J Mont mode, do you?  We’re not in a ring, you’re not cutting a promo on me in front of fans.  Just fucking turn it off already, because  you haven’t stopped talking shit since the morning after Blood Money.  For the last goddamn time will you please shut the hell up?!?

Joe Montuori: I wish you would try AGAIN to make me shut the hell up……And being in this bed the last few days, made me realize a few things. Just how much I truly hate your guts and how much I truly care for Allison. You can lay there and ramble on and on and on about your the husband and that’s my family. But at the end of the day, it’s like the movie “The Replacements”. You LOST your spot, so just get the hell out of the way and move on with your life. It’s all about team POWER COUPLE. JALLISON 2021. Hope you finally catch my drift. And oh yeah…. If you wanna upgrade your camper, just pawn off your useless wedding ring you have on now.

Dane Preston: Damn dude, you really are that outta touch with reality.  First, let’s get this out of the way once and for all; I’m extremely comfortable financially.  Between my FIGHT! contract and my rod & custom shop, I can more than provide for my family.  Secondly, you don’t care about Allison, she is a brass ring for you.  Just another reason to gloat in front of the world.  Eventually the novelty will wear off, and then what?  She’d be ridiculed and alienated if she were to choose to leave me for you, only to be dumped when you tired of her.  That’s my WIFE, the woman I am so proud to call my life partner, and so blessed to share children with.  All you care about is power and having your name in lights.

Joe Montuori: Maybe i need to make a phone call to Cam and the boys and stop them from looking for Damon and head to your custom shop and fuck it up just like what happened to Bow Wow and Han in Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift. And speaking of FIGHT….without me and my brother, this promotion would sink like the Patriots are without Tom Brady….so recognize you piece of shit… and also, the debut of FIGHT…you’re lucky they medically DQed me cause i was going to win that bitch.

Dane Preston: You’re Tony Romo, not Tom Brady.  Brandon Moore was the Tom Brady of FoCuS, you just didn’t realize it.  And they medically DQed us both, moron.  By the looks of it, you would have been betrayed by your own brother, just like Brandon was…  And another thing, you really should stop making threats to my person and business when you’re being filmed 24/7 in this building.  The world, quite literally, is watching you plan felonies and I’d be pretty fucking embarassed to be anyone associated with you.  How have you survived on this earth for so long?  I keep hearing all the rumors about how you’re this small time mob boss here in NYC, but you have the biggest mouth in the world.  In the joint, you’d get stuffed like a pig before they shank your ass, out of fear you’d scream like a bitch.

Joe Montuori: Lucky for the world I will never be locked up like Johnny Stylez or Kellen Winslow Jr….And let the world see what i’m doing.. I’m not scared of ANYONE…. I have lived my life like this the whole time and I’m not changing….  The only person I may tone things down for is ALLIE….  Because she is the ONE I have been searching for to make things COMPLETE……

Dane Preston: Just like Voodoo 15 years ago?  

Joe Montuori:  That ain’t the same thing…

Dane Preston:  Mmhmm, how about Jenna after that?

Joe Montuori:  That was different, I was tryna piss the Old Man off…

Dane Preston:  Face it Joe, you’re as one dimensional as it gets; you crack wise and try to steal or claim other guys’ wives as your own.  Because you have nothing to offer the world but your word, and let’s be real, your word is worthless.

Joe Montuori: What the fuck ever, bitch.  All I know is that this is the first time in my career I’ve been laid up in a bed this long. They said the head trauma was pretty serious but things are getting better. I don’t like you but that event was a war of worlds out there. 

Dane Preston: For once, something we can actually agree on and talk about without trying to kill each other.  You’re right, Blood Money was pretty fucking wild.  I’ve been in some gang fights in the yard when I was locked up, and those were pretty fucking tame compared to that whole event.

Joe Montuori: But enough of this nice talk… I cannot wait to get out of this bed and spend some time with Allison. I know she misses me and wants to see me and just hold me and look into my eyes and tell me it’s all going to be ok. She is DONE with you asshole. Take a look in the mirror and realize that the Montuoris run the wrestling world now. We run New York and we run FIGHT….so FUCK YOU and let that marinate in your stupid little brain. As a matter of fact, let me text Allie right now and tell her I really need to see her.

Dane Preston: And there it went…

J Mont starts to type away on his phone and before Dane can fire off his retort, like a Magician, the woman of the hour, Mrs. Allison Riggs-PRESTON, walks into the room, with a six pack of Guinness and a bag of what can only be surmised to be fast food.  

Joe Montuori: BABE!  You read my mind and came to see me!

Allison shakes her head and rolls her eyes as she walks over to Dane’s bed and sets his goodies down on the nightstand.  Then she sits down on the bed next to Dane, and the two sit there in silence for a moment.

Joe Montuori: HEY!  Where’s my treats? What the hell, am I chopped liver or something?!

Dane and Allison: SHUT UP JOE!

Dane Preston: Oh thank the Gods, I have never been so happy to see you.  Is that Harper’s Table I smell?

Allison Riggs-Preston: It sure is, babe.  She hesitates for a moment, then leans in and kisses him softly on the lips.  Happy to see you too.  Have they told you when they are releasing you?  I am still upstairs, I’m staying until you can leave.

Dane Preston: Nah, they’re keeping us for observation because we both suffered gnarly concussions when we fell. But I need the hell out of here, it’s absolute torture being trapped in here with Joe.  I mean, I know X is only the money guy, but this seems right up his alley…

Allison Riggs-Preston: It does sound like some bullshit he’d do.  I wonder if he’s hoping to catch it on camera?

Dane Preston: Anything to drum up ratings and entertain the masses is my guess.  How are you feeling?  You took a nasty shot to the back of the head, how did they let you out so fast?

Allison Riggs-Preston: Well.. She chuckles somewhat uncomfortably, then clears her throat.  Seems like I’ve inherited my dad’s hardhead.  They let me go back to the house in Jersey to get some clothes and stuff, and obviously Harper’s Table.  I technically didn’t get out, on another floor, observation. She points up to the camera strip.  They are watching me on a camera.

Dane Preston: Yea, well, once I’m out, we’re going back home to the Jersey Compound.  I can’t be in the same building as the slimy Meatbol over there.

Joe Montuori: Ha!  That’s whatchoo fuckin think.  J Mont looks at Allie, wait, you haven’t told his stupid ass yet, have you?  Allow me, she’s staying with me in the Champions Suite.  I’ve already got a guy coming in to knock down the wall between our bedrooms…

Dane Preston: Wait, what? — He looks to Allison who is staring daggers through J Mont. –  Is this for real, Princess?

Allison Riggs-Preston: No one has said jack shit to me.  And if they had said jack shit to me, I would have told them to fuck off.

Joe Montuori: Oh don’t be like that babe, you know you can’t wait to be alone with me.  Just admit it.  Dane’s gonna have to get used to the idea of us being together at some point anyways…

Suddenly the door flies open and Sahara peeks into the room. Seemingly happy she finally found the right place, she looks back and motions in as a large box, which oddly seems to be floating, makes its way across the room before being pushed up onto the table next to the six pack of Guinness. A now visible little person smiles and waves prior to putting down some additional bags he was carrying. The moment the little man looks up at Allison, his eyes widen as he reaches out and takes her hand to kiss it–

Sahara: Biggie! No. Get back here–

Allison shoots Sahara an absolutely bewildered look.

Sahara: I know, right? These midgets and their manners–

Dane immediately chimes in–

Dane Preston: I uh, don’t think you can call them that…

Sahara: What, mannerless?

Dane Preston: No um, the other thing.

Sahara paused for a second as if thinking.

Sahara: Biggie? But that’s his name.

A loud audible sigh came from the other side of the room, where J Mont finally blurts it out–

Joe Montuori: Midgets, goddamnit! He’s saying you can’t call them midgets!

Sahara giggles.

Sahara: Oh, I know, I was just trying to get him — she points as Dane — to say it. So thanks for that, Detective Douche. And Biggie doesn’t care, he gets to hang out with me, isn’t that right, Biggie?!

The little guy shrugs.

Biggie: Whatever the pretty lady says!

Finally, Sahara takes her sunglasses off and hands them down to Biggie before shooting him out of the room. The left side of her face is visibly smattered with bruising from the Curbstomp to end all Curbstomps, courtesy of Anicka Swan, yet somehow, she was still somehow stunning. With her hands on her hips she surveys the situation then looks straight at Allison with a smile.

Sahara: Finding good help is so hard these days, and let’s be honest, they fit everywhere. My God, Allie, it’s been such a lonnnnnng time!

Making her way around the bed that situated Dane, Sahara gives Allison a hug like long lost besties being reunited, which prompts Allison to sigh. The platinum blonde merely glances at J Mont and rolls her eyes prior to turning back for the reason she came here — the man of the hour — Dane Preston.

Sahara: Awww, Dane, I saw the replay of what they did to you, and my God, if you were like, any other man they’d probably have to helicopter you to one of those ICU things they have at hospitals–

This prompts Allison to roll her eyes again.

Sahara: Why’d they put you in here with this guy? The shade practically rolled off her tongue like it was butter. They gave me my own private infirmary unit–anyway, I brought you some “I hope you feel better” pastries from the bakery down the street, and these — she reaches down into a bag and pulls out about 5 beanie boo plush animals — these are like “You’ll be back in no time spirit animals” to keep you company at night–

Having had enough, Allison finally chimes in.

Allison Riggs-Preston: Aw, how sweet of you, I am sure the kids will love them.  Like seriously, Sahara, what are you up to?

Looking back at Allison, Sahara motions to Dane–

Sahara: Um, trying to make him feel better.

Allison Riggs-Preston raises an eyebrow.

Allison Riggs-Preston: I think maybe the blonde has soaked into your brain, honey. What my Dane needs is rest and relaxation, not donuts and stupid plushies.

ARP picks up one of the many plushies Sahara put on the bed and slams it into a nearby trash bin–

Sahara: You’re right, Allie, I just, I was just trying to take his mind off of all the drama you’ve been causing with you know who. Sahara makes a low-key motion with her head toward J Mont as she slowly begins to run her hand up Dane’s leg, all while maintaining eye contact with Allison–

ARP’s jaw clenches as she glares at Sahara, her voice suddenly tinged with venom.

Allison Riggs-Preston: Keep it up, I’ll cut your fucking hand off–

Sahara immediately lifts both hands up rather innocently.

Sahara: Hey, just tryin’ ta’ help him relax.

Dane Preston: Ladies, please!

Joe Montuori: Punch her lights out Allie. Do it for Me!!!!!!!

Dane and Allison and Sahara: SHUT UP JOE!

Joe Montuori: Jesus….a hostile crowd today….and i just thought of a great idea… When we get better I will make 2 separate dinner reservations at 2 different locations.. One for myself and Allison and then another for Dane and Sahara…. PERFECT!

Sahara: Keep talkin’, Joke Montuori, n’ maybe we can make this little trip to the infirmary a bit more permanent. I don’t need you pimpin’ me out. I only came in here to check on Dane, n’ I don’t need this from you or this bitch.

Joe Montuori: Watch your mouth when it comes to Allie before we switch spots and you’re stuck here with Dickless Dane and I leave hand and hand with Allie you BITCH.

Dane Preston: You really don’t know when to shut up, do you?  This woman puts up more of a fight by herself than you did in our first match where all your lackeys had to fight for you…

Sahara: Thank you, but I don’t need you to fight my battles for me…

Dane Preston: And you — he pauses and glares at Sahara — don’t call my wife a bitch.  Save that for the Meatbol over there who deserves it.

Joe Montuori: Hey, fuck you Dickless Da —

Allison Riggs-Preston: And YOU — she stomps over to J Mont — I have told you to stop calling my husband that!

Dane puts his hands behind his head and kicks back, crossing his ankles.  Allison storms over to him and shoves his Harper’s Table and Guinness into the trash bin.

Allison Riggs-Preston: Don’t act so smug, I really didn’t appreciate you of all people calling your favorite Meatbol my boyfriend.  You’re supposed to have my back!  Remember!?

Without another word, Allison snatches Sahara by her arm and escorts her out of the infirmary room, slamming the door shut behind them after they left.  A low whistle cuts the silence…

Joe Montuori: God damn that woman is feisty and fired up, I can’t wait to take her to bed…  Shit, I’m gonna call Paul and have him stand ringside for me, Allison can’t lose that way…

Joe whips out his phone and after a couple of taps he raises his phone to his head.

Joe Montuori: Heeeeeey, little bro, I need you to do me a solid…  What?  TK?  Why are you answering my brother’s phone?  Nah, I can’t call back, it’s really important.  What’s he doing that’s so important that he can’t talk to me right now?  What the fuck do you mean cupcaking with Alexis??  Fuck no you ain’t giving him a message for me.  Yanno what?  I need you to stand in for me during Allison’s match with Ryan Elias.  What do you mean why?  I’m being supportive of my woman.  You just go out there and do what idiots like you do.  Just make sure she wins…

As Joe hangs up the phone, he turns to gloat at Dane only to see Murphy Doyle Maher standing next to Dane’s bed, a fruit basket in hand.  Joe looks between Dane and MDM…

Joe Montuori: Heh, I love it when a plan comes together.  Don’t you?

MDM: Righto — directing his attention back to Dane — these are for you Paul Walker.  Figured a spot o’ natures foods will cure what ails ya.  Ye want I should go stand at ringside so’s TK doesn’t make a right mess of Allison’s match for ya?

Dane Preston: Would you brother? They’re both staring holes through Joe.  I appreciate that.

MDM: It’ll be me pleasure…

Ryan Elias vs Allison Riggs-Preston

Focus was hard to come by for Allison Riggs-Preston.

I mean, life was chaos. The life of a wrestler is always a little crazy, the life of a Riggs is something else. She thought her life was crazy before, and she thought she was well-adjusted to living in it.

And then the Summer of 2021 happened.

And every day it just seemed to get worse, seemed to get more intense. Seemed to get crazier.

Ask Allison Riggs-Preston three months ago if she’d be able to describe the circumstances that would lead to Murphy Doyle Maher and “Too Cool” Tommy fucking Kain being in your corner as you stood opposite the man that managed to dethrone The Enforcer of his OPW Prestige Title, Ryan Elias, and if she told you anything close to the story that her life had become in the last few months, I’d have told you she’d been in Uncle Moore’s stash. Shit.

But yet, here she was, standing opposite the clean shaven muscular man that had a steely look in his eye and bloodstains already on his taped wrists. And behind her was the imperious former OPW X-Kore Champion and Co-Southern Champion and his ridiculous goat. He was cheering for her, but the reality was that his friend Paul’s elder brother Joe had told him to look out for her, and he’d heard Joe muttering under his breath in the past about how useless he was, and so in an effort to prove his worth to the elder brother of the guy he most liked in the industry, he figured he better do a good job. But the thing was, he didn’t particularly care for Allison. Or really understand what his job was.

On the other side of the turnbuckle, Murphy Doyle Maher stood, arms folded, staring at Tommy Kain. He didn’t look up at the ring, or Allison, not even once. His instructions were clear. “Joe is sending Tommy out to help Allison. Do not let him fuck this up for my wife.”

All this preamble and we are not even scratching the surface of the crazy that her life has become. She was certain that by the time she was done with this match, regardless the outcome, there would be gift baskets and flowers and chocolates and wine, promises and proclamations, grand gestures and so forth.

So, focus is hard. It is hard when all of these things are floating around in your head, and the only thing you really ought to be focused on is the angry looking face of the man circling you in the ring, pushing you around, taking advantage of you physically whilst your mind is completely elsewhere.

She had been on the receiving end of a bulldog, a ddt and a german suplex before she had really started to come into this match, and on the outside of the ring as expected, J Michael Brilliance was pushing all of the buttons of Allison’s father Damon, and Damon was willing and pleading with his daughter to get in the game. JMB, in fact, even encouraged Damon to go and finish the job for her, because he felt that she was clearly incapable, and it was at that point that Damon Riggs nearly ended his commentary career before finishing one full night of it, because his hands wrapped around that scrawny neck so quickly and tightly that an ounce more pressure would have rendered J Michael Brilliance like a Thanksgiving Turkey.

Elias was not content to be part of the story, he wanted to be the headline, and things were going well for him. Just as he was rounding off a spectacular lariat, which turned Allison inside-out and landed on her front, Tommy Kain got himself up on the apron and started to yell for Allison to get up.

Elias ignored him. Tommy tried to distract the referee’s attention, which was eventually successful. Despite the referee being on a platform above the ring, there was only so much he could do at one time, and watching Tommy Kain try to coerce his goat into the ring was enough to have his eyes off the rest of the action. As Tommy continued with the ridiculous scheme, he was simultaneously trying to tell MDM to help Allison, he was making eye contact and trying to gesture with his arms, but Murphy just continued to stare at him. Allison was confused, Elias knew an opportunity when he saw one, though, and took advantage of Allison trying to make Tommy Kain behave, he had her in a headlock driver. Tommy stopped in his tracks, which was just as well, because MDM had begun making a beeline for him.

Just as Elias was diving into the air to perform his HMG finishing maneuver, Allison managed to shirk his grip, spun him around, and hit him with the move that her father made famous – Black Magic.

Damon Riggs makes sure to let everyone know how proud he is, but also that he has a different name for that move. At this point, it is academic, and the young Riggs gets the win.

Elias seemed shocked that she caught him against the run of play. Murphy was furious, yelling at Tommy Kain. It’s a good thing that they’re against each other later tonight, we collectively thought, because MDM had been a saint for restraining himself.

Tommy, too, was very pleased with himself. Oblivious to the fact that he very nearly cost Allison Riggs-Preston her first victory in FIGHT! NYC, he contrarily thought that it was all down to him. Allison slid out under the bottom rope, gave a fist bump to her father and the cameras cut away.

Like a Maze

Murphy is walking down the hall when he bumps into Amari Kent, who was looking the opposite way. The two men almost look like they’re gonna fight, but then don’t. Murphy offers out a fist and Amari does the same, which is known as ‘pounding the potato’ or more boringly, a ‘fist bump.’

Amari Kent: Yo dude. My fault. Just trying to find the food in this shiz.

MDM: Yeah, I get it. Place is like a fookin maze. Keep expecting David Bowies dick to pop out at any given.

Amari Kent: No cap, if it wasn’t for these signs I’d prolly still be assed out.

MDM: …Hey. Would you like to give me a hand with something? Make it worth your while.

Amari Kent: My dude, you show me where the food is and we even stevens.

MDM: First, we gotta find an office…

Adrenaline Dump

Commercial

So, you got your dose of Venom, yallre all hype and excited. and now you waitn to see what we thinkn, you wantn to find out the inside scoop, the next big thing, who comn hard out the gate, you wanna find out who we think hit hard, who we wanna see challenge for the belts? It simple baby. It so simple. You come to the FIGHT NOW! App and tune in every TUESDAY where you see me, ya girl Serotonin, lay it all out for you with analysis, recap, thoughts and insights. After the big show, you know you just waitin for that ADRENALINE DUMP. Drop every Tuesday. Don’t miss.

Ophelia Pain vs Miss Michelle

Both women stare at each other from across the ring, neither one betraying the feelings they hold inside. The sound of the bell cuts the air like a hammer striking a melon and the women are off. A flurry of fists and chops precedes a running neck breaker by Miss Michelle that leaves Ophelia writhing on the mat. For a long moment Michelle enjoys her handy work, then goes to work landing a series of quick takedown maneuvers on Pain before finishing it all off with a DDT in the middle of the ring. 

JMB: Are you enjoying this as much as me? I mean this is some great stuff, they hate each other and we all get to just watch the beauty that is two women going at it in the middle of the ring.

Damon Riggs: Boy, what you are watching is exactly what this company is all about. Try not to soil it with your prepubescent fantasies.

Michelle pushes to keep the pressure on but Ophelia reaches deep down and manages to counter a suplex into a DDT of her own. Both women roll around on the mat trying to regain their composure. When they both reach their feet, there is no excitement, just looks of determination gracing their faces. They shake off the pain of the match and move in on each other. Punches are blocked, slaps land, and Ophelia uses a well placed kick to the stomach to take an edge on Miss Michelle. A whip into the ropes, back body drop and stomp to the knee give Ophelia a bit of a swagger in her step as she watches Michelle use the ropes to move around the ring.

Damon Riggs: What you just saw was what this sport was built on, you should take note seeing as you are going to be sitting there next to me for a while.

JMB: Whatever you say pops, maybe we can go out and have a chardonnay later.

As Ophelia pulls Michelle to her feet a loud scream emanates from Michelle as her right arm charges upward and strikes Ophelia in the chin. Ophelia stumbles backwards, shocked and confused. Michelle grits her teeth and lunges forward, Ophelia out of pure shock dives sideways and rolls to her feet. Michelle clenches both hands and moves in on Ophelia. Michelle lands a series of rights and lefts, but Ophelia brushes them off, her own anger growing, she whips MIchelle into the ropes.  On the return Michelle slips between the legs of Ophelia, pops up onto her feet and slams Ophelia down by the back of her head.

JMB: Nothing like some angry action! I could watch this all night long.

Damon Riggs: What are you like 12? How did you even end up getting this job?

Michelle appears to bask in the moment of the match as Ophelia lay motionless on the mat, but a swift kick to the face of Michelle as she reaches down changes all of that. Ophelia is on her feet in a hurry and driving Michelle into the corner. After a series of lefts and rights, a whip to the far corner happens. Ophelia rushes in after and catches a chick kick out of the corner from Michelle. Michelle leaps over the top of the dazed Ophelia, manages to hook her up and drives her down into the mat with the Lights Out!

JMB: Damn that was exciting, did you enjoy it as much as I did?

Damon RIggs: It was a great match, but I am sure we enjoyed it for different reasons. Michelle comes away with the win after the three count and a great start to her time in FIGHT!

Dirty Laundry

TK is seen leaving his dressing room at the exact moment that an announcement is heard asking him and Murphy to get to the ring. TK looks to the wall, and sees a sign with an arrow that says ‘to ring.’ Going in that direction, he misses Amari dart out from a closet and grab the piece of paper off the actual sign, which points in the opposite direction.

As TK walks down the hall, following each sign and missing either Amari or Murphy removing said sign, he finally comes to a door that has RING AREA on the door. Pulling it open and walking in, TK finds himself in a room full of dirty towels and linen. It takes him a second to realize what is happening, but by the time he does, its too late. Amari and Murphy slam the door shot, and shove a wooden wedge beneath the door. Amari grabs a nearby garbage can and uses to hammer the wedge in as tightly as possible. As TK bangs on the door, Murphy and Amari laugh and fist bump.

MDM: You’re ok in me book, ‘mari. You ever need backing up, you can count me in.

Amari Kent: Fam, you can count on it.

Murphy leans into the door, listening to an angry TK on the other side.

MDM: Oi, Thomas. I’d love to stay and listen, but I gotta get. They’re playing me song.

MDM vs Tommy Kain

“Shipping up to Boston” blasts as Murphy rushes out of the gate and throws his arm in the air. The crowd explodes as Murphy appears. While still yet unproven entity but beloved by the fans for his sense of humor and approachability. They all begin to sing out, changing the words to his theme song from ‘Shipping Up To Boston’ to ‘Simpin’ Up For Murphy, Doyle Maher.’ Murphy smiles at the sound and rolls into the ring and begins to sing along with them. His theme ends and he leans against the ropes, laughing as TK’s theme starts. It gets about halfway through the song before the announcement comes over the air.

“Tommy Kain has failed to show. Winner, Murphy Doyle Maher.”

Co-Ordinated Strikes

Apathy sits in her dressing room, her Hadas High heel shoes on the floor by her feet, one stood upright while the other has fallen over. The shiny silver metal heel and sole glistening in the overhead lighting. Her toes wiggle as she sits forward on her leather and wood victorian couch, one hand pressed against the bluetooth in her ear. The other caressing her own knee. As a smirk develops, she speaks out softly, asking for ‘twenties.’

The screen then shifts to a shot of Korrupt, who is looking past a corner at Enforcer, who is having a conversation with two of the FIGHT liaisons. The screen then splits again, and we see that Eoin O Rourke is slowly following Anicka Swan down a hall. The screen spits yet again, and Dollface is positioned under a table, looking through a hole in the table cloth and into the dressing room of Vincent Black. Apathy then smiles wider, and stands up.

Misdirection

Paul Montouri is searching the backstage area, when he sees a sign on the floor that shows an arrow and the words ‘to ring.’ Alone, it is not alarming. But as it sits on the floor beneath a sign that shows the same thing but with the arrow in the wrong direction. He grabs it and shows it to a nearby PA.

Paul Montuori: You…Any ideas where this came from?

PA: I think I saw Amari Kent with a few of those.

Paul Montuori: Wh-

Paul suddenly hears the sound of banging in the distance, and rushes to the area to find TK trapped behind a door marked ‘Laundry.’ Looking down he finds the wedge beneath the door and yanks it out, releasing TK from his clean cotton prison. 

Tommy Kain: Fucking Murphy did this!

Paul Montuori: I heard it was Amari.

Tommy Kain: So…let’s get them both?

Paul Montuori: You think? Come on.

Handling Business

The Word ‘Valhalla” appears on screen. It is written vertically but is presented horizontally which is surely messing with someone’s perspective. As the Occhi system pans out, we see that it is actually the boot of Sahara, who is stretching against the wall ahead of her match against Todrick Tabor-Ramsey. As her foot hits the floor, She finds herself face to face with Miss Michelle. The two women squint at each other, waiting for the other to make a move.

Sahara: You know, of all the knock offs i’ve inspired, you’re my least favorite. 

Miss Michelle: I’ve been in this game a lot longer than you, sweetie. If anyone is a knock off, it’s you.

Sahara: Funny way of saying you’re old.

Miss Michelle: Funny way of saying you don’t know your history, and you’re ok with having it repeated.

Sahara: Let me go handle the pretty one of your group. I’ll deal with you later.

Sahara walks off, as Michelle burns a hole into the back of her head. She mouths something that we can’t tell what it is, but she hauls off in a very angry fashion.

Sahara vs Todrick Tabor-Ramsey

Sahara’s music comes on, but Michelle tumbles out of the entrance way instead. Sahara follows her, and begins to attack, yelling at calling her a coward. The women pummel at each other, as the crows yells holy shit. Giving new meaning to the term “girl fight” the two of them rock each other with jabs and punches that snap so hard you’d think one or both of them were Tyson. Michelle ducks a particular nasty punch and attempts to clothesline Sahara but is caught and tossed over the guardrail. As the two women fight into the crowd, Tabor emerges from the entrance way to hear the announcement. 

Winner by DQ. SAHARA.

Todrick Tabor: Who put those fake ass signs up!?

Mob Mentality

A green skittle appears, in a free fall, as we follow it down and watch as it lands in Amari Kent’s mouth. He makes a disturbing face, and spits it back out, declaring that green apple is the worst shit ever. He turns a corner and finds Paul and TK making their way for him, both picking up their pace as they see him. He goes to run into an office but the door is locked, and now he’s cornered. 

Paul Montuori: Dude, what the fuck are you doing?

Amari Kent: You ain’t gotta be extra, Mont. Ya boy here was ignoring how cheap it is to mind his business at Blood Money. The chance to get even made sense. And facts? If he had asked me to get Murphy’s ass first? I prolly would’ve been down. But I’m a first come, first serve type.

Paul Montuori: Word of advice? Wait next time.

Dickie Watson: Oohhhhhhh what is this? Two white guys cornering a black guy? This is 2021. We don’t do that here.

Shawn Warstein: You know what these guys are like. It’s a mob mentality, I think.

Shawn Warstein appears from around the corner, his ladyfriend Kasey Winterborn by his side. Dickie points at him, surprised to see him.

Tommy Kain: Now who’s being racist.

Shawn looks at Kasey, then at Dickie, none of them quite following.

Paul Montuori: Yeah. Stereotypes are hurtful, Dickie. You can’t just call me a mobster because I’m Italian. But you know what else is hurtful? Short title reigns.

Dickie Watson: Better than no titles. 

Tommy Kain: We gonna flap our lips or do the tango?

Paul Montuori: Neither. I wouldn’t want the Koala here to get injured before I have the chance to remove my property from him. But Amari, I’d watch my back if I were you.

Dickie Watson: Maybe we give him a hand with that.

Paul and TK walk one way, with Dickie, and Amari walking the other. Warstein and Kasey Winterborn shrug, and head towards the residential area of FIGHT Tower. As he leaves the screen, TK pops back into frame to scream something, but Paul’s hand comes into the shot and grabs him by the shoulder, pulling him back out of the frame.

Drag The Waters

Our point of view is that of the bottom of two very large boots, center screen and at rest. The camera focuses as the boots slowly begin to move further away with the sounds of fabric whispering across the concrete floor in the background. As the boots get further away our perspective reveals a pair of legs that lead to a torso that leads to a face, the face is that of Vincent Black. Vincent’s eyes are closed, his face slack but contorted into a grimace even in his unconsciousness. From somewhere in his disheveled hair blood seeps out to leave a trail along the floor marking where he has been. Vincent’s body jerks as it’s drug along, delicate hands gripping his wrists and struggling with the dead weight as his assailant does their best to take him… somewhere. 

As suddenly as it begin his body stops and the focus shifts toward a blurred mass laying on the floor beside him. The more out of focus Vincent’s body becomes the more in focus the mass is until we can make sense of the bodies of Enforcer and Anicka Swan stacked on top of one another. The camera pans up to reveal Dollface stood among Eoin O’Rourke and Korrupt.

Dollface: Legs. 

The word is simple, a command. Korrupt moves forward taking hold of Vincent’s ankles as Dollface leans back down to retrieve his wrists. The two lift at once, swinging Vincent’s body to lay with a thud on top of Anicka Swan and below her, Enforcer. Dollface stands above the pyre of bodies, tilting her head much like a bird as she inspects Vincent.

The cameras cut to the ring where Paul Montuori seems to be somewhat upset about what we’ve just witnessed. The ref lifts a microphone to his mouth announcing Paul Montuori the winner due to no contest. With the announcement Paul drops to the mat, sliding under the ropes and jogging back toward the backstage area looking very much like a man on a mission.

The Fifth Turnbuckle

Seeing Vincent Black manhandled in such a way had likely shocked us all, as viewers. Brandon Moore was straddling a barstool in The Fifth Turnbuckle, the fighters’ private bar in the residential part of FIGHT! Tower, and he was no different. He exhaled as he watched the direct feed of the show streaming through a projector onto the wall. Serotonin stepped into the shot, as she carefully approached him.

Jason Ryan sat next to him, and as Serotonin edged closer, Moore turned to Ryan and barked at him.

Brandon Moore: Make yourself scarce, you’ll scare everyone away with that face of yours.

Ryan furrows his brow, but Moore makes it clear he wasn’t joking. As Jason Ryan turns to walk off, he almost bumps into a diminutive redhead. The man accompanying the redhead stares at Ryan as he walks off toward the exit.

Brandon Moore: What the fuck are you staring at?

He says to the man, who is wearing a cap. The man in the cap turns to Moore, staring at him this time.

Shawn Warstein: Whatever the fuck I want. [ turning to the lady. ]  Hey, Kasey, do you want to check out the apartment they gave me? I’m never going to use it, but its definitely on a higher floor than his. [ back to Moore. ] Now, if you don’t mind. I’m busy.

As Warstein walks off with Kasey Winterborn under his arm, Moore finally turns his attention to Serotonin who had been waiting by his side.

Brandon Moore: What’s up, girl?

Serotonin: I’m jus’ checkin’ out the bar and thought I’d see how you likin’ the show so far?

Brandon Moore: The best bit was when I did commentary. Tell me everyone else you ask said the same?

Serotonin: I’m sure it was, ain’t everyone know you a big dog.. But you see that shit with The Cure? Shit babe, shook half the roster in one night. And not nobody neither, man. Vin Black, he a name you don’t shit on ‘less you wearin the waterproofs, know what i’m sayin’? Anicka too, and Enforcer?

Brandon Moore: Seem like they organized. I like that shit. Credit where credit is due, they made them look foolish tonight.

Serotonin: Credit where credit due? Shit son they aint fuckin’ around.

From out of shot another voice can be heard.

Apathy: Liked that shit, huh? Careful though. The line I drew in the sand is around my people and my people only. Everyone else is a target.

Brandon Moore: Respect that.

Apathy: But look, I like the way you are doing things too. Or tryin’ to. Once upon a time that’s how I formed my army, too.

Brandon Moore: Piece by puzzle piece. Just gotta make sure ain’t nobody get too big for their britches ‘round here.

Apathy: Ain’t that the truth. I got my eye on you, just call if you need a hand.

Brandon Moore: What about a sparring partner?

Apathy: What?

Brandon Moore: Forming an army, I need to put him through bootcamp. I’m pretty sure I have trained him well by now, I think he’s ready. You got someone for Jason to fight?

Apathy: He can fight the Doll. Then we’ll see what he’s worth.

Moore nods, and Apathy throws up a fist, to which Moore touches with a fist of his own. Serotonin smirks, knowing she caught that whole conversation.

Serotonin: That for real? Business goin’ down in the Fifth Turnbuckle. I for one am hype, bet. Thank you Brandon.. Apathy.. 

Serotonin nods at Apathy, smiles at Brandon Moore and walks past. The scene seems to begin to fade, before abruptly coming back to life.

Serotonin: Whoa whoa wait.. Dickie.. Wait?

Serotonin chases after the FIGHT! NYC Empire Champion, Dickie Watson. He seems reluctant, but eventually swings around to face the young lady.

Dickie Watson: Yes, hi. Hello. Dickie, I’m Dickie, you alright?

He seems to be a bit flustered, as though he was doing something else, or his mind was elsewhere.

Serotonin: Yeah man, tonight is so lit, so much happened already and I ain’t even start about the main event yet! What you think of the inaugural Venom, champ?

Dickie Watson: Yeah, good. It’s been good. Some of the matches have been pretty decent, that Pixie girl pulled it off when she looked like she couldn’t wrestle last week. It’s exciting, isn’t it? I can’t wait to have a match of my own!

Serotonin: Paul Montuori cashed in his Blood Money earlier to name himself as the official number one contender for that belt. You got some thoughts about it?

Dickie Watson: I expected it. It was to be expected. We were the final two, we both went the full distance. We proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that we are the standard, didn’t we? And now I’m gonna have to prove it again. It’s expected, and I hope he does everything he can to prepare for me properly this time.

Serotonin: Anything specific you wanna tell him?

Dickie Watson: Have another try, mate. Just remember, you weren’t good enough last time. Don’t expect the output to change if the inputs remain the same.

Serotonin: I love how you basically say two sentences but it still bury a man. PMonty, I’m sorry fam, that was a good one. Hashtag dead.

Dickie seems preoccupied, looking over Serotonin’s shoulder. He’s trying to catch someone’s attention for sure.

Serotonin: Won’t keep you much longer, champ, but I gotta ask.. Who you got in the main event tonight?

Dickie Watson: Oh, that Amari kid. Mason’s a smarmy piece of work, glad I knocked his head off at Blood Money..And before Serotonin can say another word, Dickie lifts his hands up apologetically, and makes a beeline past Serotonin.

It Gets The Hose

Vhodka Black is seen coming out of the locker room belonging to her and husband, Vincent; those that weren’t living in the Hearst building, aka Fight! Tower, did have a personal locker room.  Individuals had smaller ones, whereas stables had ones large enough to accommodate everyone in it.  She made her way down to the elevators and pressed the button and after a moment, the doors slid open and she stepped inside.  She pressed the button to go down to the lower levels and stood there listening to the elevator music that was being piped in from FIGHT! Radio and trying to figure out who’s entrance music was playing.  No sooner than the doors closed, VooDoo comes out of the stairwell with her masked associate and nanny, One close on her heels.  She snapped her fingers and said a single word… 

VooDoo: Doors.

He slipped his fingers between the elevator doors and pulled them open almost effortlessly as VooDoo walked to the wall where the fire hose was and opened the glass door and began to unravel it.  While she wrapped the end of it around her wrist a couple of times, she pulled out her cell and sent a message to someone… now.  She walked over and looked back down the shaft at the elevator stopped a few floors down.  She dropped to her ass and slid off into the shaft.

VooDoo: Wait for my singal.

One begins to quickly lower her down to the car just as Enforcer comes walking up, in his hands he’s got a bag of CR Doritos and stands beside One.  He looks at One, who stays on his task, not even acknowledging him there and then looks down the shaft and sees the redhead as she’s about to touch the roof of the elevator.

Enforcer: This does NOT look good and I am outta here.

Inside the elevator, Vhodka was mashing all the buttons and trying to get the elevator to move.  Down would be great, but she would settle for the doors opening right now; but nothing happened; not even the alarm was working.  She looked up at the camera in the corner and started waving and yelling at it, hoping someone would see her.

Vhodka: Piece of shit building you have here, X!

She pulls her cell phone out of her back pocket and starts to make a call, when she hears something that sounded like the click of a latch and she looked up and began to look around the ceiling of the elevator.  Her eyes landed on the hatch just as it was lifted open and VooDoo looked down smiling.

Vhodka: Evening, Voo, didn’t know you were here tonight.  She smiles up at her.  It looks like the leg is healing nicely with the way you’re skittering around up there like a rat.

VooDoo: Not bad, hurts a little when I move sometimes, but getting better.  How’s the burns?

Vhodka: Healing nicely.

VooDoo: Have you been putting any lotion on it?

Vhodka stared at VooDoo for a moment; the redhead was smiling that smile of hers; the one where it looks like she’s imagining someone on fire, except the bitch had actually set Vhodka on fire. 

Vhodka: What..lotion?  No.  What the fuck do you want, Voo.

VooDoo: Shame, I guess you’ll get the hose.

VooDoo gave a tug on the hose and a few floors up, One turned on the water, she pointed the nozzle at Vhodka and she caught the water full blast.  No matter where Vhodka went VooDoo would move to catch her with the hose, the whole time thinking back to the “Night of the Piñata”.

In the main control room for the building, a couple of the security team were watching the cameras and as it flipped to the elevators both of them said Oh shit at the same time and quickly called over the chief of security.

COS: The elevator is stopped?  Why isn’t there an alarm?  Who stopped it?  He looked around the room and then raised his voice loud enough for everyone to look at him?  Who stopped the elevator?  No one answered him.  Someone get it moving again.

Eye in the Sky 1: Sir, it’s filling with water, is it supposed to fill with water?

They looked at the bottom of the car and sure enough there was water, it was now up to Vhodka’s knees.

COS: For Christ’s sake, someone get that elevator moving and down to the ground floor!  He turned towards his assistant.  Did anyone think to look up to see if these cars were water tight?

Assistant: Not sure anyone thought this would be a scenario.

COS: Didn’t Mr Wo–Black say think of every WORST possible case scenario we could think of?  Epic fail, ladies and gentlemen epic fail, this is the worst possible.  The water was now up to Vhodka’s waist.  Goddamn it, someone get that thing moving!!

Up in the elevator, Vhodka was now in one of the corners and treading water with her back facing VooDoo taking the brunt of the blow from the hose.

Vhodka: When I get ahold of you, I’m not going to stab you, I’m going to strangle you with my bare hands.

VooDoo: You look like a drowned rat, dear.  VooDoo laughed as she kept the hose trained on her until she could no longer and then got her on hands and knees to  look in to get a better view.  She looked around in all four corners and couldn’t find her.  I wonder–

She never got to finish her question, it was answered, Vhodka had gone to the bottom of the car and launched herself up with all her strength and caught VooDoo’s wrist and pulled her into the water with her and the lid closed shut behind them.

In the main control room, everyone in security watched the monitor in horror as both the women began to fight each other.  Blows with fists themselves nonexistent with the water working against them both which led to them resorting to choking and pulling hair.

COS: Jesus Christ, they are going to kill each other and we’re going to lose our jobs and we haven’t even made it to the second show.  He stared hard at the monitor.  Are they biting each other?  He looked around at the other guys in the room.  Please tell me that someone has notified the lobby of what’s coming their way.  

Downstairs in the main lobby, one of the security guys hung up the phone and paled slightly as he took a couple breaths.  

Security Guy 1: Okay guys… Five other members of security looked in his direction.  We’ve got a code red coming down, elevator five.

Everyone scrambled to the elevator as he reached into his top drawer and pulled out two electric wands, which was just a fancy term for a cattle prod.  He made his way over to where the others were waiting.  He tossed one of the wands to another guy.

Security Guy 2: Are we going to need these?  

Security Guy 1: I’d rather have them and not need them with what I was told was coming out that door.  He looked at him.

Security Guy 2: What’s coming?

Security Guy 1: The Matriaches.  A few of them men all mumbled fuck at the same time.  This is no longer practice boys, we knew one day this would come.  We’ve trained for this.  All fighters know the rules.  This is a no fight zone and they know the consequences if they don’t stop.

The elevator binged as it arrived and as the doors began to open the water began to flow and pretty soon, both Vhodka and VooDoo rode the wave all the way out, both unceremoniously ejected from the car.  They came to a rolling stop and then sat up, both flinging back wet hair to be able to see each other.  The crowd in the lobby went into a wild frenzy as they ran over to the action.

Vhodka: You, bitch, you fucking bit me.

VooDoo: Oh come on, we both know you’re used to being bit harder AND you bit me right back.

Vhodka: Isn’t that how you teach kids not to bite?

VooDoo: I don’t know?  VooDoo shrugged her shoulders.  Mine still do.  

Security Guy 1: Ladies, this is a no fight zone.. You kno–  If their looks alone weren’t enough to make him shut up the tone of their words were.

VooDoo and Vhodka: Shut up!

VooDoo: We know the rules you fucking idiot.

Vhodka: Yeah, we’re not fucking idiots.

Both women got to their feet and slowly circled each other with killing smiles on their faces, the crowd urging them to break the rules  But instead, they followed the rules. 

Vhodka: See ya around, Voo.  She turned and walked away and started towards another elevator, the smile on her face turning into a sneer.  She knew that VooDoo wouldn’t break “the Rule”, just like she wouldn’t.

VooDoo: Always a pleasure, Vhod.  She called out after her and she started for one of the others, as she passed by the security guy who had taken the call, she winked.  Clean up, main floor.

The lobby security team collectively breathed a sigh of relief, if “the Rule” worked on those two, it was bound to work on every other fighter, too.

The Inaugural Main Event

Serotonin is stood in the lobby of FIGHT! Tower, there are people occasionally walking between concession stands, The FIGHT! Inn, and back into the main arena, and she stands almost on a cue, waiting for the nod.

Serotonin: FIGHT! NYC! It’s nearly time, nearly time for the first ever Brooklyn champion to be crowned! And time for Venom first ever main event! I hope yall hype like I’m hype. I’ma try catch some these fan out here see what they think about it.

Serotonin approaches a fan who is peering into the FIGHT! Inn, the public bar that would be teeming with fans if not for the fact that it was closed during showtime.

Serotonin: Excuse me sir, do you mind tellin me what you think about the main event tonight?

As she asks him, more people start to turn around and pay attention to her.

Fan 1: Oh, for me its Amari Kent all day every day! Kid’s a killer!

Serotonin: Certainly seem that way sometime, no?

Serotonin keeps talking as the feed is replaced by images of Amari Kent and Mason Alexander Vanderbilt fighting in the hallways at Blood Money, some unseen footage of MAV getting the upper hand, throwing Amari through a door, and smashing his head into a window.

Serotonin: How about you, bro?

Fan 2: HOMETOWN BOY! MAVERICK ALL DAY EVERY DAY!! NEW YORK STAND UPPPPP!!!!!!

Serotonin: Yeah! I feel that vibe!

The group that had assembled in the lobby were now starting to chant for Mason Alexander Vanderbilt. The chant was a bit awkward at times, some of the timing was off, but none the less, the drunk NY crowd were enjoying their moment.

Serotonin: True though ain’t it? They fought before. We ain’t got the footage to show ya, but they fought hard and on that night Amari was successful, but ain’t mean it gonna go down like that tonight. Mason in he hometown, Mason got a chip on he shoulder. I’m hype ay eff tee bee aitch.

We all collectively double take. HYPE AF TBH sounds weird when you sound it out, out loud. But on that note, we head back to the ring for the MAIN EVENT.

Amari Kent vs Mason Alexander Vanderbilt

FIGHT! NYC Brooklyn Championship

Amari doesn’t just stand in the ring, he practically graces it with him. His smile is infectious and he interacts with the fans at ringside as if they’re all old friends he just hasn’t met yet. Meanwhile. MAV is across the ring, his eyes locked on Sienna who is going over several important bits of info by the look of it. As the ref in the booth calls for the bell, Amari runs forward and attempts a knee to MAV’s back, but MAV rolls through the ropes and bounces off the apron and to the floor on his feet. He looks up at Amari who blows him a kiss and backs off. Amari stands in the middle of the ring, beckoning MAV like a bullfighter does a…well, a bull. Right?

MAV is unfazed by the cocky attempt, and steps up onto the apron. He begins to taunt Amari as Amari taunts him back. Each man is more motivated to make the other make a mistake than to make one themselves. Proof that both are not here to play games or give an inch. MAV finally enters the ring, and he and Amari pace the ring, calling each other all sorts of names, hoping to get the other riled up, with both failing.

What follows is a tit-for-tat back and forth the likes that hasn’t been seen in ages. Mav and Amari are both at the top of their game and proving not just to the fans in attendance, but to each other, that they deserve to be in this main event. For every move that one makes, the other counters and lands one of their own.

Damon Riggs: This isn’t a match, it’s a highlight reel.

Amari sets up for a leap from the turnbuckle and is dropkicked out of the air by MAV. MAV picks Amari up for a pile driver and Amari turns it into a picture perfect Hurricanrana to send him stumbling out between the ropes and to the floor. Amari waits for him to stand up and leaps out between the ropes, but MAV catches him and drops him into a single knee backbreaker.

The crowd cheers and is on their feet almost the entire time. Chants of “AH-MA-RI” and ‘MAV IS MVP!” go back and forth, each getting louder and louder until its clear that every fan is chanting both out of respect for both.

Damon Riggs: These two have this place coming to life!

JMB: It’s not everyday you see two people this well matched, let alone in each other head. It’s like they’ve fought every day of their lives and they know each other.

Damon Riggs: All the great ones study their opponents. It’s not a coincidence that these two are in the fight for the Brooklyn.

Amari is rolled into the ring, and MAV climbs up to the apron, smiling as if he’s got the match in the bag. Stepping in, He lifts Amari to his feet, but Amari throws an elbow, rocking MAV’s jaw. MAV grabs Amari by the arm and tosses him to the bank of ropes to the east. Amari fires back and MAV lifts him into the air, but MAV didn’t see what MAV should have saw. Not Amari coming back at him, he caught that. Hell, he caught Amari. What he should have seen was the look in Amari’s eyes. It wasn’t fear, or the precipice to unconsciousness. It was preparation.

Amari became airborn and the second he did, both of his hands extended pushed their index fingers against their thumbs until they shot out and flicked MAV in not one eye, but both. As MAV shot his head back and closed his eyes, Amari began his descent. But he did not fall the way he had risen. He twisted in air and fall so that he was horizontal to MAV, grabbing his head and dragging him to the mat with velocity. The arena exploded as the Amari Cutter was hit dead center of the ring, and Amari covered MAV by hooking the leg. The countdown got to 2, and then to 3, and MAV didn’t move until after 3 had passed.

Damon Riggs: There it is! THERE IT IS! AMARI KENT IS THE FIRST EVER BROOKLYN CHAMPION!!!

The Winner, and The First Ever Fight NYC Brooklyn Champion, Amari KENT!

Amari stands up, and then drops to his knees, as his theme by Meek Mill plays, but is almost drowned out by the crowds celebration. Miss F steps into the ring, the Brooklyn Title on a red satin pillow. She presents it to Amari, who hoists it up into the air for all to see. As Miss F goes to leave, He touches her arm and asks for the pillow. She obliges and Amari walks across the ring and gets MAV’s attention, while he’s being comforted by Sienna. As soon as MAV looks up, Amari throws the pillow at him and says..”You can sleep on that, but you ain’t ever gonna sleep on me again.”

MAV nods, and smiles, not at all happy, but offering a congratulations anyway. MAV walks away leaving the pillow on the ground next to his hope of being the first Brooklyn Champion, and he leaves Amari in the ring to celebrate his victory.