Second Opinion

Miss F: Listen, if that doctor doesn’t clear him for tonight, I don’t even know what I’m gonna do.

Downtown Los Angeles, one of the busiest metropolitan centers in North America, full of diversity. FIGHT! NYC had arrived in town, and between the boxed up houses of the masses of homeless that inhabit the Downtown LA area there were Bentleys, Lamborgihinis and Ferraris dotted around, lining the streets. When FIGHT! NYC rolled in, along with its superstar roster, the high rollers came in to be part of the occasion.

Miss F: Get a second opinion. Third opinion. However many opinions it takes. I do not care.

The Crypto.com Arena was the home of Kings and Lakers, the home of Champions. And tonight, it would be home to not one but two championship matches. Apathy would defend her Brooklyn Championship against fellow former Bareknuckle Champion, Druscilla White. And Brandon Moore would look to set the bar for violence high against former stablemate, former foe, and longstanding stalwart of the industry, Joe Montuori.

Serotonin: I mean, I guess it is spose to be for his protection. If he ain’t ready, he ain’t ready?

The feeling in the crowd was tangible. There was an aura of excitement in the air as Eminem’s “Venom” played throughout the arena. Like last week in the fight capital of the world, the audience was new, they were experiencing this for the first time, and on top of two championship matches they would also bare witness to the first of Shawn Warstein’s trials set out by the Empire Champion, Dickie Watson – where he would take on Miss Michelle.

Miss F: You’re right, but we are on the road, we are selling out some of the biggest arenas in the country, with our champion on the marquee.

And Dickie Watson would, indeed, be on the marquee. He would headline Venom 17 tonight, providing all goes well, against Ashlynn Cassidy. On Valentine’s Day, he had been due to face Chris Page in his first match since fighting through the fire at Disney World, but he wasn’t cleared, and in this moment, as the crowd reached peak anticipation, Miss F and Serotonin were both pacing around a nondescript makeshift office somewhere in the bowels of the Los Angeles arena.

Serotonin: Lets be patient, wait it out a lil bit. I’m sure he fine.

Miss F wrung her hands together, clearly worried, but she knew Serotonin was correct. Process should be upheld because it is there for a reason. Flying by the seat of your pants is how FIGHT ended up being born, because that’s exactly what happened in the time before Xavier Black took ownership.

Serotonin: Look, email came through.

Miss F peers over the shoulder of her red-haired assistant, and a wave of relief seemed to release all of the tension in her back and her anxious look immediately relaxed.

Miss F: Radio through to production, roll the opening credits.

 

VENOM

I GOT THAT

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

Welcoming Committee

The backstage area is, surprisingly, empty save for two trumpeters each stood on either side of a door and what appears to be a herald. The herald has a huge faux smile upon his face, and both of the trumpet-holding individuals stand to attention. As if by clockwork, the herald puffs his chest.

Herald: My lords, ladies and gentlemen. Tonight is a night of great renown – it is a night of new beginnings. A night that no-one will ever forget. For tonight brings to the fore the future of professional wrestling here in Fight! NYC! Can you please all stand for the arrival of the Mauler of Markham Square. The Chelsea Crippler. The Sophisticated Suplex Machine. Sebastian… Everett… Bryce!

The herald extends a hand towards the door and the trumpets begin to play. It’s that very specific trumpetting to introduce someone incredibly important.

After a few seconds, though, the door remains firmly shut. The trumpeters cast the herald a look of confusion and he signals for them to stop.

Herald: … Sebastian… Everett… Bryce!

He heralds again, and after a moment of silence he encourages the trumpeters to start again. This time the door does open, however it’s not Sebastian that enters it’s…

Sebastian Everett Bryce: … Lauren! I told you to wait! I have a thing planned!

Came a voice from outside as Sahara pushes into the building.

Sahara: Oh my god, I’m not waiting out there all night.

She said as she stepped inside the building. She looked at the herald.

Sahara: Woah. Out of the way, Chaucer.

The herald looked at her with confusion.

Sahara: You know – the guy out of A Knight’s Tale?

She said, before looking off wistfully into the distance.

Sahara: I love that movie – anyway. Out of the way, I have places to be.

The herald leans back against the wall as Sahara pushes past him and disappears around a nearby corner. He’s still watching as he glances out of the door.

Outside, Sebastian is fighting with his luggage which is on wheels. Sloane Taylor is busy trying to calm him down as he gets more frustrated by the moment as one of the wheels seems to be wedged in a grate. He’s fighting with the handle to try and pull it out. 

Sloane Taylor: Will you be careful?

Sloane says quietly, casting a look up towards the waiting welcome party at the door. She waves and smiles.

Sebastian Everett Bryce: Why… Won’t… You… Come… Free?!

He says as he begins to strain with all of his might, his face turning a shade of red. He adjusts his position and begins to heave again.

Sloane Taylor: Seb – you’re going to…

Sloane begins but she’s interrupted by a loud snapping sound.

Sloane Taylor: … Break it…

Everything happened in slow motion as the force with which he’s pulling combined with the sudden release as the handle snapped sent Seb hurtling backwards towards the door. He trips upon the threshold and slams his back into the wall, sliding downwards with a kind of winded creaking sound as he does so.

The herald steps back.

Herald: Sebastian… Everett… Bryce!

He calls out. Seb tries to stop him, but he can’t get his words and then the trumpets are playing as Seb sits there, the handle of his luggage clasped in his hand, hoping that the entire world would open up and swallow him whole.

James Raven: Ouch…

Comes a voice came from his right. Seb looks up to see James Raven stood there, hands on hips, a smirk on his face. Without another word, he steps over Seb and walks past the herald as the trumpets begin to die out and lose their rhythm. Seb tries to call after him, to explain, but his voice is still quiet and so he focuses on breathing with a look of exasperation upon his face.

And then Sloane steps inside the building, Seb’s luggage in hand.

Sebastian Everett Bryce: How… Did you… What?!

He says looking at the case, finally catching his breath.

Sloane Taylor: You were pulling in the wrong direction.

Sloane says innocently.

Sebastian Everett Bryce: Ohhhh this is just perfect.

Seb says as he climbs to his feet. He snatches his case from Sloane, who looks at him with a ‘What did I do?’ kind of look upon her face. Seb pushes past the herald and the trumpeters and begins to walk away, before repeating. 

Sebastian Everett Bryce: Perfect!

Sloane Taylor: Sorry about him. Think he’s a little bit cranky. You guys were totally amazing!

Says Sloane as she moves past them and follows.

Sloane Taylor: Hey, Seb, wait up!

The welcoming committee exchanges looks before pushing out of the door and heading out into the night.

Dave The Dinosaur vs Allison Riggs-Preston

Dave and Allison both seemed to be eyeing each other up and down. Seem, because while it’s obvious that Allison is looking at Dave, it’s not so obvious where Dave is looking due to the mask. The crowd was as happy as they usually are to see Dave, though the addition of bones to their ring attire was unexpected.

Allison, who had been quiet since Blood Money, looked as if she was intent on making noise of some sort, but mostly the kind forced out of her opponent. Having children and a polyamorous relationship was a lot to deal with. Having a husband who somehow had become split down the middle was another. As Dave waved at her harmlessly from across the ring, she shook her head side to side aggressively. As the bell, Allison took off to the center of the ring, and took a wild swing at Dave, which connected but only on the front of his mask. Seeing it jiggle brought sense back to a rage fueled brain and she starts to throw jabs exclusively to shoot her fist through the front of the mask and into the face beneath it.

Dave begins to back away as fast as he can, dodging as well when possible, though few opportunities emerge due to the speed in which Allison is moving. The aggression continues to build until Dave moves between the top and second rope and gets a breather. Allison backs up and before she can rest on her heel, Dave is back in the ring, and the offense remains less one sided from that moment on.

Dave and Allison are by all means a very different pair of people. But in this match, they seemed to be doing a dance both had done before and neither wanted the other to lead during. As the crowd watched and waited for one to get the upper hand, it was clear that it was moments away as to which would be the one to get it. 

And then someone got it. 

Dave was in the corner, his arms draped across the top rope, Allison tuning him up with left and rights that hit harder than they sounded, though to those listening, seemed impossible. Allison grabbed Dave by the neck and pulled him out of the corner, and in that moment, Dave struck. Knocking her hands away from his neck, he reached out and grabbed the sides of her head. Leaping off the ground and placing both of his knees against her chin and bringing her down with him, forcing them upward into her jaw and rocking her head back. As she stumbles, Dave staggers to get his feet and rushes toward sliding beneath her legs, and coming to his feet on the other side, rolling her over into a small package which catches her off guard, and gets the three count so close that slow motion would be needed to prove its validity. 

Winner by Pinfall, Dave (the dinosaur)

It's Positive

The insubstantial decorum of the arena’s backstage area fades from black with the sound of Fight! NYC crowd’s murmuring echoing through the halls. It’s a typical setup shot seen thousands of times before and deserved little more than blase reaction that it received at the onset. As the camera pans however the crowd sound becomes more and more prominent as the suspense builds once the frame sets on the open door of the locker room of James Raven.

Inside, geared up and ready for action, the silhouettes of both the Greatest of All Time and Fight! NYC’s resident Goddess take the foreground of the scene and it’s detectable from body language whatever conversation they were having was not lacking any degree of gravity. Voices low and their backs turned it appears the two are discussing an object hidden from view.

James Raven: Are you sure? A hundred percent sure. No mix ups?

Atara Themis: Yes. It’s happening. I’ve already had it confirmed and I would have told you sooner but I was a little afraid how might react. I mean, it’s a big commitment and I really can’t take it back ya know. I’m stuck with this unless I, god forbid lose it. I’m sorry Dove….I just really want you with me through this good or bad…

The speed of her speech hastened and a crack in her voice let know the anxiety she was feeling.

James Raven: No. Don’t apologize. It’s perfectly natural. It’s just…it’s just going to take a second to process but I am with you Atty.

The two smile at each other and share a brief moment of silence before turning to face the camera both holding one the Island Championship belts.

James Raven: I can’t believe it. We’re going to be champions together…

With a pair of cheesy grins the two walk out of frame and the scene transitions….

James Raven vs Anne Boleyn

Raven and Boleyn wasted no time, though in body language alone it was clear that one was more present than the other. Anne had been decapitated a second time recently. And while she would never get the chance to enact revenge on the first one, but she was presently standing before the one who had done so most recent. And while yes, it was an oversized mask from the world of Dizznee, it was still a terrible reminder of her past. Anne looked at Raven with the intent on giving him something to remind him of her. Preferably on his face, or neck.

Raven on the other hand, was clearly distracted. The overall status of his group, his relationships, and several other things were obviously weighing on him. His smirk, his chatty banter that usually took place before moments like this was nowhere to be seen. Instead all that sat upon his handsome Canadian face was that of concern, and a little bit of rage.

The fight did not take long to get going as both were very eager to begin. Anne threw several hard jabs toward Raven in the opener, which he narrowly avoided, but blinked at how close contact almost was. Grabbing her left arm by the wrist on one of the punches, he threw an elbow at her face and despite her attempt at moving catches her just enough for it to matter. Holding the cheek he contacted, Anne backs up and puts distance between them. The second James closes it, she dropkicks him in the knee and knocks him to the mat. From there, the fight became as fast as one would expect of two vicious people.

OVer the course of the fight, Anne would use her speed and agility to catch James off guard. While James would stop Anne’s attacks by dishing out a move of pure power, laying her out for a few seconds, buying himself some time for breathing.

But as much as she tried to be too fast for him to catch and he tried to hit her so hard she couldn’t get up, neither was successful. Anne proved that as much damage as James could dish, she could devour. And as fast as Anne was, More often than not, James would know where she was going and get there just a second before.

It wasn’t until James made a mistake that this match finally came to an end. Having just laid Anne down, James decided to get the crowd on his side, and climbed the turnbuckle and began to amp everyone up. As Anne stood up, she looked over at James, and turned her back to him, staggering more and more by the second. James hopped down, and walked toward her. Grabbing her by the waist, he looked as if he was about to suplex her. But Anne’s head came flying back and hit James in the head as hard as it could, and James spun away. Holding his head and walking in a 360 stagger-like stroll. Perhaps it was the angle in which she hit him. Perhaps it was the brass knuckles she’s known to hide in her hair. But whatever it was, it hit hard enough to leave Raven open to a perfectly hit Queen Cutter, which Anne delivered with as much style as lethality.

Rolling James over, she hooked his leg for effect, despite not needing to, and secured the three count.

WINNER ANNE BOLEYN

A VIP Arrives

Backstage at the parking garage, we see a limo pulling up to the building. It stops right in front of the side door to the arena, and is greeted by Miss F. She opens the back door to the limo, and out steps the legendary Centurion! Fans in the crowd go wild. Any woman over 40 instantly faints. It’s a beautiful sight. He is followed by his girlfriend Ruby, and Miss F greets them both with a handshake.

Miss F.: Thank you so much for coming tonight! We have a box ready for the two of you. There’s also a delicious spread available to you, courtesy of CCP Enterprises.

Centurion glances over at Ruby and raises an eyebrow, confused, before looking back at Miss F.

Centurion: There’s a greater than 0 chance that that food is poisoned. But I appreciate it, thank you. Let Brandon Moore know that I’m here, and that I am incredibly interested in his match offer that he has given me…but if we’re going to do this, I want that Bareknuckle Championship on the line. Which means he has to hold on to the belt.

Miss F: I’ll get someone to send the message along. Now, if you’ll follow me, I’ll show you to your room.

Miss F gestures towards the door, and Centurion and Ruby follow her directions into the building.

A Champion To Be Proud Of

So you know..

A lot of people tryna be like me..

But you know..

You just can’t be like me..

Spotlight hits the entrance. From behind the curtain, the head of a giraffe appears. Followed by it’s long ass neck. Followed by a grown, tall ass giraffe. And on it’s back, on a fucking saddle, sits Paul Montuori. Looking majestic as fuck, pair of dope shades, crown on his head with the Manhattan strap over his shoulder. As the giraffe saunters down the entrance, Paul reaches down into a sack and pulls out hundred dollar bills, throwing it to his Kingdom.

Paul leads the giraffe down to the aisle. As soon as the giraffe reaches the ring, Paul stands up in the saddle and throws out one last handful of money to his Kingdom. He then leaps onto the giraffe’s neck, riding it down until his feet firmly land on the canvas in the ring. He takes a moment to let the fans realize they just witnessed some dope ass shit. A PA hands him a mic as he pushes him out of the way.

Paul Montuori: Excuse me, give the Champ some room.. Welcome everyone! Welcome to a new era of FIGHT!. One in which you finally have a Champion to be proud of. And as your Manhattan Champion, I promise to not let you down. For I wouldn’t have made it this far without the support of every one of you! My fans! But most importantly, I wouldn’t be your Manhattan Champion if it wasn’t for the support of one important person. One person who believed in me. Who made it abundantly clear to me that I wouldn’t be Manhattan Champion without her. Mrs. Vhodka Marie Black.

Half the crowd cheers and the other half sit confused by Paul thanking Vhodka, who doesn’t even go here.

Paul Montuori: Today marks a new era not just in FIGHT!, but in professional wrestling as a whole. Never has this industry seen a Champion as dope and as fucking awesome as the one each and everyone of you get to look at this moment. Love me, adore me, I’ll let you!

Paul walks towards a corner and climbs up to the second turnbuckle, raising the Manhattan strap in the air as the fans boo.

Brandon Moore: Shut the fuck up..

Paul stops and looks over to see Brandon Moore has come through the curtain.

Paul Montuori: B, please. Show some respect to YOUR King.

Brandon Moore: MY King?! Pft.. You ain’t shit. You’re overrated. Only reason you’re Manhattan Champ is because FIGHT! does everything in their power to protect you. If it wasn’t for the front office, you’d be stuck as the Queens Champion.

Paul Montuori: Queens Champion?! How dare you insult FIGHT!’s King like that. How about you come down here and I show you what I’m about.

Brandon Moore: I thought you’d never ask.

Brandon drops the microphone and walks towards the ring. Paul stands in the ring, daring Brandon to get in. As soon as Brandon slides into the ring Paul rolls out. He walks around the ring and to the aisle.

Paul Montuori: A King never fights for free papi. Get past big bro tonight and maybe we talk.

Paul drops the mic and holds the Manhattan strap in the air as the fans boo him. Brandon jumps out of the ring and goes after Paul, who hops the railing and runs through the crowd. Brandon stands at the railing curses Paul who holds his Manhattan strap high in the air again with a huge grin on his face.

Atara Themis vs Sebastian Everett Bryce

Sebastian Everett Bryce did not quite get the fanfare introduction that he had planned, but Atara Themis had no intention of letting his misfortune get in the way of her plans to welcome him in the way she knew best.

Atara and Sebastian had crossed paths in the past. They were familiar with one another. The exact nature of their relationship was about to be tested, because whilst they’d been teammates in the past, it wasn’t a relationship without its own nuance.

Sebastian had been impressive at Blood Money 2, and Atara had been a tour de force ever since stepping foot in that hallowed Tower back in New York City. Neither wanted to give the other the rub, so to speak.

It was a quick affair, though. Miss F was not going to sanction twenty minutes of air time on a night like tonight when the deck is completely stacked, they’d have to work quickly to get their job done in impressive fashion, and it was Atara who took the early advantage by misdirecting Bryce and sweeping his back foot. Smarting, Bryce got to his knees, which was just enough for Themis to go for her Judgment of Paris maneuver, which Bryce narrowly avoided.

Smarting, Bryce got to his feet and took another sharp jab to his chin. He framed his arms up, holding Themis at arms’ length whilst he composed himself. She pushed away the frame, and got under his arms and into a German suplex position. She looked out to the crowd, smirked, and reached between Seb’s legs. Ballsplex. Birth of Venus.

As he sailed over, dignity plummeting as hard as his body, the thought “This couldn’t have gone bloody worse” went through his mind, along with many other thoughts of regret, before the back of his skull did. And then, for a moment, nothing. He may’ve lost consciousness, his head cracked against the edge of the canvas with a thud that the ringside microphones picked up with clarity. Sebastian clutched his head and rolled free of the ring to collect himself.

He thought about Sloane backstage, he thought about the bar he set himself at Blood Money 2, and he thought about how it was all going wrong in Los Angeles.

“Bollocks.” He muttered under his breath. But Occhi watches and hears everything.

He might have to get used to that.

He shook out his wrists, he twisted his neck. Rubbed the back of his head again, just in time to see Themis flying through the air to cut him off. He sidestepped, and she sailed past him and careened into the guard railing on the outside. The referee, perched high above the ring, instructed Sebastian and Atara to get back in the ring and had started to count.

The Chelsea Crippler looked down and couldn’t help but revel in her misfortune. He’d had his own share, tonight. Themis struggled and Bryce was only happy to help out by grabbing her by the scruff of her neck and tossing her under the bottom rope. No countouts in this match.

She was dazed as she got to her feet, and Bryce could tell she’d hurt her head on the way down. He, himself, could’ve been concussed, but for the most part he was not the worst for wear. He grabbed hold of one half of the Islands Champions, and drove her head hard into the mat.

He almost wanted to end it there, but part of him didn’t feel like showing mercy, and that part of him won the internal battle. He pulled her back up, positioned himself behind her, and remembered his dignity flying over his head earlier in the match, and reached as though he would return the favor with his hands between her legs but he stopped short of fastening his hands or making contact. He didn’t want the smoke that would come with that, so he instead went for the traditional grasp, and threw her over his head with a German suplex. Then he rolled through, lifted her again, and threw her viciously into the turnbuckle.

As she staggered off the turnbuckle, he ran to the ropes and back again with a brutal Empire Kick.

Then, and only then, would he relent.

WINNER BY PINFALL; SEBASTIAN EVERETT BRYCE

I'm Here To Win

J Mont is seen walking in the backstage area. Ear pods in both his ears, Apple brand of course. Still in his regular clothes and not his ring gear. Many wonder what’s really going through the mind of the man that has so much going on in his life at this moment. And what do you know, J Mont runs into a familiar face. The only and only Serotonin.

Serotonin: Are you ready for your Bareknuckle Title match with Brandon Moore tonight?

J Mont: Yes

You can tell from the tone in his voice that he does not want to be bothered right now.

Serotonin: I sure hope you are. I know this whole thing with Mia and this daughter you now have is a lot to deal with. By the way, how is Mia?

J Mont: No Comment.

Serotonin: Wow, the almighty king of words has nothing to say right now?

J Mont: No Comment.

Serotonin: So, let me guess. The little 2 year old girl is really yours then?

J Mont:  No Comment.

Serotonin: You’re not worried all this drama, chaos and lawyers is going to effect your contract re-sign with FIGHT?

J Mont: No Comment.

J Mont is really starting to get irritated with all the questions. He has one thing on his mind tonight, and it seems Serotonin is trying to take him off his game. Will it work? We will see later on tonight for sure. 

Serotonin: One more question and i will let you go since your so talkative today with me. Do you truly think your going to leave here a champion tonight?

J Mont: [He gets right into Serotonin’s face. He is so close he can tell her is she has any cavities or nose hairs. Looking eye to eye, he answers her question.] YES!!!!!!!!

J Mont, now looking like a man who is possessed, backs away. He then turns around, not saying another word and keeps on walking. Things fade back to ringside.

Damon Riggs: WOW! I will tell you one thing. Joe Montuori vs Brandon Moore should have been the Main Event tonight. You have a title on the line. 2 of the biggest names in the business with a huge history. I cannot wait for this match.

J Michael Brilliance: Will the king of the ONE words answers walk out tonight the champion? Or will all this drama play a factor and cost him what he has wanted? We will surely see later on.

Apathy (c) vs Druscilla White

FIGHT! NYC Brooklyn Championship

The Brooklyn Champion, Apathy, held her title aloft for all to see, mainly because it was still new to her and she was still getting used to it. This wasn’t the Bareknuckle title. This was different. Of course there was no pit to fight in outside of the Building in NY, but while the difference was slight, it was noticeable.

Druscilla kneeled in her corner, looking at the title in her opponents hands, and then at her face. And she saw it. The imposter syndrom. The one that someone like Apathy would obviously have in this situation, Dru thought. This wasn’t the Bareknuckle championship, that both had obviously held and respected. This was something else. It was not reliant on their animal instincts to tear each other apart.

But as the women stood face to face, and the bell rang, you’d have never known it wasn’t.

7 minutes went by in a flash and not a single wrestling move had been utilized. Apathy and Dru had resigned themselves to a part 2 of their last encounter, and simply relied on battering each other with their fits, feet and elbows. 

When they did utilize a wrestling based hold, it was either broken up through fisticuffs or modified to include them. Apathy hooking a DDT only to knee Dru several times in the chest rather than roll her onto the top of her head, for one example. Dru getting Apathy into a neckbreacker hold, only to bite her earlobe instead of dropping her to the ground. When the ref intervened, Dru simply let go of the hold and kicked Apathy in the lower back, smiling as the blood dripped from her lips.

The fight continued this way for a good amount of the 15 minute time limit, Until Dru went too far for her own good. Taunting her downed opponent, Dru began to kick at Apathy, while words of discouragement spewed from her lips. Barely audible from the crowd noise, save for the part she probably should not have said.

“AND THAT’S WHY EVERYONE LEAVES YOU!”

The kick that followed was caught, and Apathy, who had been crawling away from Dru, was now looking dead at her. No. Through her. And on the other side of her, was everything that made that statement feel…right. And in that moment this was not Druscilla White. This was the emodiment of all that doubt. All that paranoia. All of that truth. And it was high time someone knocked all three of those the fuck out. And Elizabeth was the one to do it.

Dru felt her leg go out from under her, but there was little to nothing she could do to stop it. Slamming against the mat, she had but a second to try and roll away and it was wasted on trying to get her bearings. Apathy’s foot produced a clapping noise as it collided with Dru’s face, knocking the spit out of her mouth and the strength from her eyes.

Dru rolled onto her stomach, and then onto her back, trying to find the ropes with her hand, but in a daze as useless as they come. Shaking it off, she looked up to find Apathy bearing down on her. Aoathy’s face a mask of anger and hate, had it’s teeth on full display as they gnashed against each other. Dru attempts to get up, but Apathy grabs the back of her head and whips her into the corner the second Dru stands up. Dru stumbles as she reaches the corner and hits the middle turnbuckle so hard, she flips feet over head and gets stuck upside down in the corner, head reeling from impact.

Apathy walks over slowly, bends down and picks Dru up into a shoulder mounted DVD position. Dru struggles for all she’s worth, and as Apathy almost loses her grip, she falls to her side and slams Dru into the ground in a Death Valley Driver, but she does not release the hold, and regains her footing, and stands back up, with Dru still on her shoulder. A moment later, Apathy twists and pushes Dru off. As face falls, knee rises, and the two meet and produces a sound that can only be described as brutal.

With the leg hooked, and her face enraged, Apathy gets the win, and Dru gets a 3 second vacation.

WINNER AND STILL BROOKLYN CHAMPION; APATHY

Make Way For The King

Our camera comes back to the arena. The lights go out in the arena and a soft gold backlight appears on the entrance ramp. The silhouette of an entire drum line and horn section step out onto the entrance ramp of Fight-NYC. The drummers are tapping and clapping in rhythm with the intro for “Make Way For The King” by Ohana Bam. The crowd begins to murmur through the first rendition of the intro passes.

“They say I walk like a king”

Tap tap tap clap

“Talk like a king”

Tap tap tap clap

“You can ask around”

Tap tap tap clap

“They all say the same thing”

Tap tap tap clap

“They chasin’ the fame”

Tap tap tap clap

“They all want the name”

TAP TAP TAP CLAP

An uncovered litter appears in vision being carried by ten men on each side, each one clad in gold and adorned like an Egyptian deity. The silhouette of a man in a suit stands in the center of the litter staring off into the crowd. On each side of our center of attention stand the silhouette of two enormous men. 

“But they ain’t got what’s runnin’ through these veins”

An eerie silence comes over the arena, as a golden beam of light slices through the darkness shining directly on the man in the center. He smiles confidently unleashing his 5000 megawatt smile. The horns cue up. 

“MAKE WAY FOR THE KING”

Gold confetti falls from the sky as the litter begins it’s march to the ring in perfect rhythm. The spotlight follows the unflinching man in the custom italian suit as the parade of performers make their way down the ramp behind him. The litter makes its way down to ringside, while the crowd continues to stare confused at the procession. The men carrying the litter give a huge heave and lift it up from waist height to even with the ring. 

The taller of the two behemoths sits down on the middle rope holding it open while the wider of the two is the first to enter. He almost waddles across the ring and begins asking for a microphone at ringside. The man with the spotlight on him finally steps through the ropes followed by the taller of the two men. The lights begin to come up as the wider man steps forward passing the microphone to the smallest of the three. He sheathes the 5000 megawatt smile for a moment and waits for the music to quiet down. 

Tyler Bradford: Hello Fight. 

The crowd, still untrusting of the man standing before them, reacts with a slight smattering of applause.  The man unleashes the brilliant smile on the crowd once again and brings the microphone back to his lips. 

Tyler Bradford: I know… I know… you all are a bit confused. And I don’t blame you. I’m sure you all are bored to death of the honor of tyrants. I’m sure you all are tired of the living embodiment of Avril Lavigne’s Skater Boy prancing around…

BOOOOOOOO! 

Tyler Bradford: Shhhhh… 

The man says while bringing his index finger to his lips like a mother shushing a child. 

NUCLEAR BOOOOOOOOO!

The man laughs while waiting for the crowd to settle down. He pulls the microphone from his face and confers with the two men beside him from behind his hand. The laughs quickly fade into a bit of a smirk as he continues. 

Tyler Bradford: I’m sure you ALL are tired of watching General Fightital…

The crowd is silent as the man laughs, and even the two monsters crack a small smile. 

Tyler Bradford: Oh it went over your head? Hold on, I have a few easier ones worked up.

Tyler Bradford: You all are tired of watching The Young and The Fightless

The crowd jeers at the man but nothing like the earlier reaction. The man nods his head for a moment in the middle of the ring and unsheathes the megawatt beam once again. 

Tyler Bradford: The Days Of Our Fight as we know it are numbered my friends. It’s time for a change, it’s time for a change from whatever weird three way is going on with the Greek God, the Time Lord, and Atara Themis… 

The crowd explodes with jeers, objects begin to fly to the ring. 

Tyler Bradford: Oh What? You all don’t think James Raven looks like a Greek God? 

The man’s smirk continues as the crowd amplifies it’s disgust. 

Tyler Bradford: Listen, listen, listen…

BOOOOOOOOO!

The man tries to talk over the jeers but they just get louder as he shouts.

Tyler Bradford: Let’s be real with ourselves here for a second here, in FIGHT we have more triangles going than Pythagoras…

BOOOOOOOOO!

Tyler Bradford: Is whatever the hell Sahara ‘does’ considered a three way or is this more like a Debbie situation…

BOOOYAYYBOOOOOO!

The smirk turns into almost a giggle about the crowd almost deciding to cheer Sahara for a moment. The crowd finally calms down from the last eruption and The Man looks around appearing awestruck at the crowd for a moment. He approaches the closest camera and walks directly up to it. 

Tyler Bradford: But who am I to be making these claims? Who am I to be saying these things about these well respected, even loved individuals… I have no rite to greatness, I understand that Fight-nation. I understand, but remember this day. Remember this day as the day FIGHT changes forever…

The man pauses for the last time. 

Tyler Bradford: My name is Tyler Bradford and…

“MAKE WAY FOR THE KING” Ohana Bam and the horns shockingly start back up as Tyler Bradford drops the microphone in the middle of the ring and the scene fades to black. 

Brandon Moore (c) vs Joe Montuori

FIGHT! NYC Bareknuckle Championship

Brandon Moore dropped the Bareknuckle title into the waiting hands of the ring attendant, but his eyes stayed on Joe Montouri. The history of Brandon and those with the Montouri last name was vast, and a good amount of that vastness was related directly to the man across from him. But as much as Brandon looked at Joe, he actually found himself unable to find him. Gone was the jovial look that Joe’s eyes had no matter the situation. In its place was that of a man displeased with the current state of the world around him. And while he could not lay hands on the fiancé who misunderstood his position, nor the woman claiming to have birth another Montouri that he had fathered but never known the existence of, He could lay his hands on Brandon Moore.

Brandon Moore, who despite his strength, had been a weak link that the whole of Focus had suffered the presence of, as far as Joe was concerned.

Joe Montouri, who had failed to be a leader for a group that should have been the most dominant in the world, as Brandon would tell anyone who would listen.

Each was ready to make their respective points known. And they were to do it with their bare hands.

From the start neither man looked to let the other get the upper hand, or faster fist. Blocking and dodging was the name of the game and both competitors knew how to play it well. Jabs were ducked and hooks were blocked. Brandon landed a few shots here, and Joe a few shots there. As slow and steady as the match was, not a fan minded as it was two powerhouses tearing into each other, or trying to, and they knew it was just getting started.

And then it got started.

Joe Montouri would insist after the fact that Brandon had uttered something in his ear, something about being a dad to Mia’s baby in his stead. Show the child what a real man was.

Brandon on the other hand, would swear that it was Joe who had uttered something. Something about losing more than his wife to a Montouri this time.

Upon closer inspection after the match, it was clear that neither one of them said anything. And the violence that followed was unprovoked, at least verbally.

Joe landed the first serious blow, rocking Brandon with a combination of a two left hooks and a quick left elbow right after hook number two. Brandon’s face did not bleed, but it looked as if it might. Brandon would follow that with a headbutt that would cut Joe’s eyebrow open, as well as a spot in the dead center of Brandon’s head. 

Joe saw red drip down on his taped up hands and like a man on fire, he unleashed on Brandon. Uppercuts and lefts and rights and hooks. To the body, to the head. To the neck, and when the occasion presented itself, to the kidneys and the back. Brandon did his best to absorb and block these shots, but Joe was motivated, and Brandon was lethargic. Almost docile, which is not what anyone has ever known of Brandon Moore.

Perhaps the loss of his wife, son, and friend, had done more damage than he wished to admit. Perhaps the love and friendship he’s found in Dru is softening him up more than he’d like us to know.

Or Perhaps.

As Joe takes a deep breath that can’t make it to his lungs fast enough…

He was just playing opossum,

Brandon took a deep breath and what followed was an attack so brutal, and so fierce, that children looked away and adults wished they could. Joe did his best to try and stop the onslaught that was the Bareknuckle champion was bringing forth. And for a good few minutes he did. But unlike Joe, the more rage Brandon seemed to give in to, the more he seemed to have.

Joe hoped he’d survive the attempt, but as Brandon knocked Joe to the ground it was clear to everyone that it was moments from being over, even if Joe refused to recognize it.

Brandon sat on Joe and begin to pound him over and over. Joe tried his best to block shots but for every time he blocked the right, Brandon hit the left. If Joe covered his head, Brandon would wrap his punch to the side of Joe’s torso, causing Joe’s arm to fall just long enough for Brandon to blast him in the face a few more times.

And then, for some reason, Joe threw his hands to his side, and left himself open. Brandon did not understand the play, but he was too angry to give it a second thought. RIght after right crashed against Joe, blood from both flying into the air as Joe’s nose and cheek burst open at the same time that Brandon’s knuckles did. 

And when the ref called it, and announced the winner to be Brandon Moore, Brandon stood up, and looked at the blood pulp that was Joe Montouri, he smiled through the blood drying on his face, and spoke calmly.

“Tell your brother; This is how the credits roll for him as well, because I’m comin for him next.”

Joe Montouri smiled, his mouth full of blood, and flipped Brandon a stiff finger, before promptly fainting from consciousness.

In the crowd, Centurion looked on at what had transpired, and smiled approvingly.

WINNER AND STILL BAREKNUCKLE CHAMPION; BRANDON MOORE

The Right Path

Despite it being an off week, Ricky Rodriguez still found himself wandering the backstage hallways. The plus side being, he wasn’t alone. He usually wasn’t anyway but instead of having Jennie by his side, it was the imposing figure that is Big Ass Bobby. 

Big Ass Bobby: You have everything lining up nicely in Zion and Liberty. We just need to work on here. We both know your record here..leaves much to be desired.

Not really walking anywhere in particular, Ricky turned his head a bit to glance at Bobby with a shake of his head. 

Ricky Rodriguez: Fuckin suck here. I mean, Valentine’s was lottabit amazin but I want more of that. And as selfish as it is, I want more of that for me. I want the wins. I want the gold. I wanna prove everyone wrong.

Big Ass Bobby: Of course you do, why wouldn’t you? But the question is..are you willing to do whatever you have to do to get it? Or are you going to continue limiting yourself because of how you feel about people?

Those last few comments had the young Rodriguez stopping dead in his tracks. Taking in a deep breath, he sighed out only to turn and look at Bobby. 

Ricky Rodriguez: If I say yes, is it magically gonna happen? I can stand here and tell you yes till I’m blue in the face but until I actually go out there and do it..I won’t really know, y’know?

Big Ass Bobby: Maybe it’s time for you to actually go out there and do it. I might have something in mind.

Ricky looked up at Bobby, that inquisitive nature of his showing as clear as day. He hesitated for just a moment before nodding. Bobby returned the nod before leading Ricky off to the side, away from the prying eyes of the cameraman. 

Business is Business - Part 1

We cut back to the backstage hallway inside the area where we find Chris Page strolling down the hallway dressed like a million bucks as there’s a mixed reception heard coming from the crowd for tonight Chris isn’t here in a wrestling capacity. His client Sebastian Everett Bryce is set to do battle with Atara Themis and Joe Montouri is scheduled to do battle against Brandon Moore within CCP Enterprises. 

You’d think that would be enough for the frontman of an illustrious organization, it’s not. 

The business continues to move forward, as does the need to acquire more talent to represent which brings us to where we have found ourselves. Outside of a door that reads. 

DICKIE WATSON

Chris stares at the name on the door, he takes a breath and then knocks on the door. There are a few seconds that pass, and just before he knocks again the door is opened by the Empire Champion. Before Dickie can say a word Chris makes his intentions known. 

CHRIS PAGE: I know I’m probably one of the last people you want to see… but I think it’s about time that you and I had a conversation. You don’t like what I have to say we don’t have to have the chat again.

Dickie doesn’t respond verbally. He eyes up Chris before opening his door completely while stepping to the side allowing Chris Page to enter where the door is closed behind them. 

 

Shawn Warstein vs Miss Michelle

The first in a series of matches that Dickie Watson would set out for Shawn Warstein in preparation for their match in May back in New York City at The Thrill & The Agony. Shawn had pondered whether the matches were going to get progressively more difficult, or not. Given that the adversary that stood opposite him was a former Manhattan Champion, he knew that no matter which way it swung, it would not be an easy start.

But he wouldn’t be deterred, he would never be deterred. He’s been chasing this thing for a year and a half, a few more obstacles barely felt relevant. After the war he went through to stand tall in Disney World, what was a few more dust ups in front of sold out arenas?

Miss Michelle, on the other hand, she looked a little off as she stood across from Warstein. Whether it was the weight of her actions in last week’s main event, or something else, it couldn’t be easily placed. But as Warstein moved through the motions, Michelle was half a step behind. She went for a move, he telegraphed. He was reading her quicker than she was thinking. The heir apparent, so some might say at least, to the Empire Championship was putting in the work and not taking his foot off the gas. He wanted to set an example, to send a message, to put the whole world on notice.

You see, the world knows who Shawn Warstein is. Make no mistake about that. Whether it was his work that led to him being the Tyrant, or the 12 day reigning Legacy Champion before burning it all to ashes, he can climb the mountain. But in FIGHT? Blood Money 1 didn’t go his way. Tag Wars didn’t go his way. Ascension did, but it was a team match. He did not wrestle at all at Countdown. In this world, he has always had his back to the wall and has been on the defensive, with his head on the swivel watching for the next blindside. Never able to find a footing, whilst Dickie Watson took it mostly in stride and conquered anyway.

So in this world, in these parts, Shawn wanted to make sure every single person sitting in the stands, in the locker room, behind their iPhones watching on the live stream from fight-now.com, understand that he was on the offensive. That he was done looking over his shoulder, that he was drawing a line in the fucking sand and daring anybody to step up to it.

Dropkick, she whiffed it. He dived onto her and wrapped up a bulldog choke. He cranked that sumbitch hard as he could, then pulled her up to her feet and went off the ropes before driving her chin into the mat again.

And so it continued.

It could have been finished at several points, but Shawn was relentless. He looked down at Michelle and saw Dickie Watson, he was mouthing off at her. He waited, as she showed the heart of the lioness that she is known for and pulled herself up for what felt like the hundredth time. Another knee to the face, followed by a straight elbow to the brow, then another spinning back elbow.

Damon Riggs, the older brother of Michelle and never her biggest fan, was showing concern even from his position on commentary, as he called out Warstein’s use of the PPF. Blood trickled down the forehead of Miss Michelle, and then a snarl drew wide across Warstein’s lips. He dropped to a knee, as if lining himself up through the scope of a sniper rifle.

And just as he got to his feet and started to sprint across the ring, he was halted by a white towel that came flying into the ring. He looked over and there stood Paul Montuori, he’d rushed ringside and thrown in the towel.

Warstein laughed, he’d been mere inches from pulling the trigger on a devastating King’s Crown.

WINNER BY FORFEIT, SHAWN WARSTEIN

He reached down, and grabbed hold of Michelle by her hair.

Instinctively, Paul Montuori slid under the bottom rope and rushed towards Warstein. Warstein had fought a match, Montuori was fresh. The expectation here is that the villain would stop, drop, and roll. But he stood there, defiantly.

The match was over, now. He was immune.

With the biggest shit-eating grin on his face, he dared Montuori to take the first punch. Begged him. But Montuori grabbed hold of Michelle, cradled her head in his arms, and pulled her out of the ring.

In this moment, for all of the resentment that Montuori harbored for Dickie Watson, he wanted to go and beg him to be Warstein’s next test, and he likely would have done if he didn’t have a date with Sahara for the American Airlines Center in Dallas on Venom #18.

Undeniable Evidence

Ashlynn Cassidy: Hey! Watch where you’re going!

Ashlynn Cassidy gasped as she had to impromptu swerve out of the way as a member of the ring crew passed by and nudged her. Luckily for her, she proved just fast enough to save her phone from smashing onto the floor. She gathered herself again after a deep breath. She was walking along the corridor of this very famous arena. She was sure to catch footage of the walls as she went. She seemingly ignored any odd looks she was getting from those who saw her. The FIGHT camera team follow close behind her.

Ashlynn Cassidy: I want to make sure I get as much footage that I can from tonight. This could be the very beginning of Ashlynn Cassidy properly taking over. I was stupid enough to not film backstage at earlier events. They would have made for amazing insight on the beginnings of Ashlynn Cassidy: FIGHT! Legend.

The Undeniable One swapped into selfie mode, so that she might be seen on the recording, and so that she could adore herself.

Ashlynn Cassidy: Sure, I could have started then but I didn’t. I can’t rewind time. So when else would be the best time to start than when I wi-

She paused, correcting herself. Obviously, she thought herself a humble heroine.

Ashlynn Cassidy: I could shock the world?

When she reaches the end of the corridor, she finds her face, and Dickie’s on a poster promoting tonight’s show. She again changes perspective to linger on the poster. The FIGHT camera does the same.

Ashlynn Cassidy: Of course, Dickie Watson is no slouch, even if at times he looks like he just rolls out of bed. I don’t know guys. I think I look good tonight, in the betting pools, or in general. Plus I mean, he’s coming off a concussion that sidelined him, and me? I’m in mint condition.

Ashlynn sighed, once again switching to selfie mode. She smiled for the camera and moved her hair a little bit, out of her eyes.

Ashlynn Cassidy: Who knows, this could be a historic night for me, and my fans. If I lose? Who knows, maybe I’ll delete this forever, we’ll see. If I win? Maybe this can open my hall of fame video package, or video package for when they make a statue of me. Let’s be honest, it’d be a cute statue!”

There were a few moments of silence as she spaced out for a bit. She soon came back down to Earth and gave her head a shake.

Ashlynn Cassidy: Right, so later future me and/or Ashloves! That reminds me, I need a name for my fans-ANYWAY! K byeee!

She blew a kiss to the camera and smiled a flirty smile. A moment later, she was startled by the camera. It was almost as if, until now, she hadn’t noticed the camera, just like she’d tuned out everyone else. She hurriedly stopped recording after it caught her nearly jump out of her skin. She gave the camera team an annoyed glare.

Ashlynn Cassidy: You shouldn’t sneak up on a girl like that! Whatever, I’ll edit it later.

Before there could be any rebuttal from anyone, Ashlynn stormed off, at least she would go into her match in a punchy mood? Or would that prove to doom her?

Business is Business - Part 2

We return to the closed locker room door of Dickie Watson. It begins to open as we see the back of Chris Page stepping out as he is heard. 

CHRIS PAGE: Give it some thought because even though it isn’t what you want to hear doesn’t make it less true.

Chris closes the door behind him as he turns around where a dejected look appears on his face. It’s like seemingly the conversation didn’t go as well as one might have hoped. Nonetheless, you have to shoot your shot when the moment is right, perhaps this star just wasn’t aligned this time. He closes his eyes taking a deep breath before looking to leave, and as he does he turns to leave where he finds SHAWN WARSTEIN standing with his arms crossed, fists bloodied from his demolition of Miss Michelle moments prior. The two men don’t break eye contact as the crowd pops huge for the presence of Warstein. 

A sly smirk starts to form on Chris’s face as he just winks at Shawn before walking past him leaving him to enter the locker room of Dickie Watson.

Dickie Watson vs Ashlynn Cassidy

Dickie Watson missed Venom #16’s main event slot against Chris Page because he was still, medically speaking, not cleared to compete.

He, in particular, thought it was a crock of shit.

The crowd in Vegas, too.

Tonight? No such luck or reprieve for his opponent, and the Empire Champion had raised his championship high into the air as he stood in the center of the ring.

Across him stood Ashlynn Cassidy. Last week, she had been very vocal about her reason for not participating in Blood Money 2, she had been clear that she was done with the charade, and she was here for business, and no more of the shit that FIGHT subjects their talent to on occasion.

And now she was rewarded with this opportunity to put herself on the map, to start to shape her legend.

Or maybe she was thrown to the wolves.

I guess, on some levels, the intention from Miss F didn’t matter, provided that Ashlynn could take advantage of it. Right?

Watson had other ideas. He had been at the top of the pile since the inception of FIGHT! NYC, he had been undeniable, to take a word from Cassidy. And he had no time for this. Sometimes, Watson can be accused of taking his foot off the gas. Like against Dane Preston all the way back on Venom #2. On a night like tonight, Ashlynn Cassidy would be banking on Dickie letting up, that would be her only chance. And maybe it would’ve happened, if not for the bullshit protocol that kept him out of the ring and on the top of the headlines on Valentines in Vegas.

The Empire Champion was working Cassidy over, backbreaker, surfboard, crossface. The young woman was out of her depth but she showed heart, and continued to push herself toward the ropes for the break. Dickie broke the hold quickly, but went right back to work by throwing her into the corner and unloading a series of rights and lefts, spreading them between her head and her abdomen, then drove an elbow into her jaw and then whipped her across the ring.

Everything was coming up Watson, and he looked at his opponent and thought about ending it. But then he thought about the message Shawn Warstein had sent just moments prior, in this very ring, and thought about sending one of his own.

The hesitation as his brain turned over the thoughts, it was all Cassidy needed. The champion flew across the ring, but found nobody. Ashlynn staggered free, leaving Watson tied up in the ropes. Whether it was shades of upsets you’d seen in the past, or something else, there was a sense of anticipation in the air. Like something interesting was going to happen. Was Cassidy going to go over?

She grabbed Watson, and dragged him down to the floor. He clinched his neck and the back of his head, and J Michael Brilliance talked about the head trauma he’d received at the hands of Paul Montuori at Blood Money and opined that this might be why he wasn’t cleared before.

As Watson lay on the canvas, his eyes closed, his face screwed up in a painful wince, Ashlynn climbed the ropes.

She has not been known for her great aerial arsenal, but when the occasion warrants it, maybe she has something in the locker? This occasion certainly warranted it. If there was ever a time for high risk/high reward, having the champion on his back in the center of the ring certainly seemed like the time for it. She looked down from the top rope, and then looked back up, and saw 18000 fans willing her on, on their feet, waiting to see if something amazing was about to transpire.

Then she leapt, and landed an inch-perfect leg drop across the chest of Dickie Watson, the whole weight of her body being absorbed by the FIGHT! NYC Empire Champion.

The crowd went insane, they could feel that this was the moment. She pulled his arm to lay perpendicular to his body, she hooked his far leg and trapped his near leg with her own, and the referee’s count lit up on his rig.

One.. two.. thre–

Somehow, Watson managed to pull a shoulder up from the mat.

Cassidy was in disbelief, and she slapped the mat, before looking up angrily at the referee on the perch. She questioned how he could possibly see whether Watson’s shoulders were pressed to the mat, but the referee had no interest in arguing the point with her.

Ashlynn Cassidy lost her composure, and stomped on Watson, who coughed and spluttered. Clearly, he was hurt, but it was of his own doing for the most part. He pushed himself through the adversity and got to his knees. Cassidy shoved him down again and grabbed hold of his legs. She had something more familiar in mind. As she began lacing up Dickie’s legs with all the apoplectic vitriol she could muster, the Champion reached up, grabbed a front facelock and dragged her down into a small package.

This was just as close, and Dickie was just as disbelieving as Ashlynn had been about the veracity of her kickout. He had to accept what it was, and being the consummate winner that he was, he did. He was on his feet first, and he met the onrushing Cassidy with a vicious and definitive rendition of DICKIE’S REVENGE, before falling down on top of her.

This time there would be no controversy. It was done.

WINNER BY PINFALL, DICKIE WATSON

No Touchy

As the bell rings and Dickie is announced victorious, “I Am The King” blares from the PA system as Shawn Warstein walks out from the curtain. Eyes locked on Dickie Watson. 

No fanfare. No smiles. Just business. Shawn and Dickie both know that they can’t touch one another until their fateful night, but that’s not going to stop Shawn from making his presence known. 

Shawn’s blue eyes never leave Dickie as he climbs into the ring. He tilts his head and looks at the Empire title, a small smirk comes on his face. Then a slight nod. 

Shawn doesn’t say a word and turns his back on the two people in the ring. Dickie attempts to help Ashlynn to her feet. When Shawn spins around and levels her with a King’s Crown.

Dickie takes a step back as Shawn hops up to his feet and bends down and picks up Ashlynn. As Dickie reaches to stop Shawn. 

Shawn Warstein: Ah ah. No touchy. 

Shawn hooks both Ashlynn’s arms. 

Shawn Warstein: I can’t put a hand on you…. But her….

Shawn leans back and plants Ashlynn with an Ego Trip. And looks at Dickie while smiling. Shawn mounts Ashlynn and begins raining down haymakers, every few blows looking at Dickie. 

As security finally runs down to the ring Shawn gets off of Ashlynn and climbs out of the ring, leaving Dickie staring daggers at Shawn who simply waves at Dickie and heads up the ramp.