The Head Of Human Resources

We open to the hallways of the head offices of Fight. We see the office of Xavier Black, and we can hear his voice as he speaks loudly, but not yelling. The staff members in the area keep working but are also keeping their eye on the door, waiting to see what happens next, and to who. The semi screams die and silence becomes deafening. After a beat, the door opens and out walks Vincent Black, his arm still in the navy blue sling we’ve seen since his injury at Toxic Tag. He stops a young woman on her way to somewhere and smiles.

Vin Black: Hi. I need you to get me Joe Montouri.

Young Lady: …right now? Because I’m sort of..

Vin Black: Please. That’s my nice way of saying ‘right fucking now.’ Ok? Thank you.

Young Lady: I’m sorry but who are you to tell me wh-

Vin Black: I am Vincent Fucking Black. Head of Human Resources.

Previously...

The vignette floats over your screen, focused on Dickie Watson catching a pinfall over Asher Jules in a match that surprised many in the arena and through the world, Asher was expected to be more of a tune-up match to keep him in shape, but the changing young man was impressive although he fell short.

But immediately he was surrounded by Dynasty members – Joe Montuori, Paul Montuori and Ricky Rodriguez.

Joe Montuori: Who’s ‘mates’ aren’t loyal now? Bitch ass.

But it wasn’t a moment before it all changed, and as the scene fast-forwards through the next moments, we find ourselves in full scale war, with Warstein and Kasey Winterborn coming out to back up Dickie, then the Cure third-partying into the fray as usual.

Then from the sky, descending on a zip line comes BETSY GRANGER, and then the melee starts all over again. As Sarah Wolf steps onto the canvas from the top rope, the lights go out and the show fades.

Then your screen shows a rewind symbol, and we rewind back to Miss Michelle finding out that she is heavily pregnant, and Brandon Moore rushing to be by her side. Remembering that they were split up, in the middle of a divorce. It had made him reevaluate his life, he was going to be a parent, he had to make it work. He never stopped loving her, but he knew they were going to a toxic place.

But with a kid?

So he did everything he could to make it right, to fix it.

But he couldn’t watch her all the time, and so he set his most trusted lieutenant to watch over her and help her in her assigned matches – Poptart. And after a rough start, he managed to do all the heavy lifting that allowed Michelle to climb the ladder and become the inaugural FIGHT! NYC Bronx Champion.

Moore had been furious that she took the risk to climb the ladder herself. We all know the cliches of pregnant women in wrestling and how it never quite goes according to plan and nobody knew this better than Brandon Moore. So he was trying to pre-empt it.

But he couldn’t stop it, Poptart was getting into it with Bam Miller and then all of a sudden, Bam threw a right hand Poptart instinctively jerked out of the way. Michelle reacted as an expectant mother would, with cat-like reflexes, but tripped on a table leg and hit the concrete.

She was surrounded by nurses and medical professionals who were rightly concerned and they made her go to the FIGHT! Infirmary.

Miss Michelle: You better let Brandon know…

And then the screen fills with pictures of tweets from FIGHT! NYC and the Moore’s with pictures of the tiniest baby in an incubator with tubes coming out from him. The narrator says:

The Moore baby was born prematurely at 32 weeks on 4th September 2021. We hope you join us in sending wishes to the family at this time. Congratulations.

For a brief moment as the Venom logo fades, we see Brandon Moore pacing back and forth in his room in FIGHT! Tower, and then it is replaced by a shot of the packed out FIGHT! Tower crowd, hyped for the seventh edition.

Father Thyme vs Bam Miller

Bam Miller made short work of Father Thyme, never relenting for a moment. Thyme was slow on the move, favoring his left leg quite a bit during moments where he was meant to move faster than others. The match was not over quick, but it almost was several times.

The first pinball attempt from Bam was met with the raise of a shoulder rather quickly. The second want to a two count which was closer than Father would have liked it. But in the end, Father Thyme found himself throwing Bam Miller toward the turnbuckle, but with his leg as bad as it was he was too slow to follow and Bam turned just in time to catch him with an elbow. As Father held his head, Bam grabs his head and brings him down for the Miller time. This time the three count was not met with the raise of anything, other than Bam Miller’s hand in victory.

Bam Bam Pow!

Bam Miller stood in the back, fresh off his decisive victory over Father Thyme to kick off the in ring action for the night. It was an impressive display of his potential. But that moment was fleeting, because of the incident with Michelle Moore. The incident that led to Michelle and her husband’s, Brandon Moore, son Ezra to be born premature. He had forgotten about all of that while relishing in his win. He was soon reminded.

Bam was standing next to an office window, where out of nowhere, the angry hand of Brandon Moore had snatched a hold with a firm grip to his face. Brandon drives Bam’s head through the window, shattering glass, with the force sending both men through the window and into the office. A low level Fight executive jumped from their chair and let out a shout of what the fuck.

The back of Bam’s head already crimson, and Brandon is mounted on top of him, dropping hard elbows that Bam attempts to block. A couple get through, with the last one busting him open on his left eyebrow. Back on his feet, Brandon rips Bam up to his and throws him into the wall. The drywall is obliterated, debris fucking everywhere, and Bam has no damn clue where he is. Another low level office.

The all seeing eye in the sky has the power of FIGHT! watching the chaos unfold in the tower. She picks up the phone on his desk.

Miss F: Send somebody to the third floor office suites before this lunatic kills Bam Miller.

Calm and cool, usual for her, as the phone is replaced on the receiver and he goes back to corporate shit.

Back to the action, Brandon throws Bam face first and hard through another huge window. The glass shatters like a boom of thunder, and like the lightning strike that follows, Brandon is quick through the busted out window and already dragging Bam by the head down the hallway. Bam is half conscious, half dead or barely living, whatever.

And Bam has become a battering ram, his body slammed into this wall, one made of concrete, and his body is leaving a trail of indentions and blood. The broken and bloodied body of Bam Miller is airborne, crashing into a trolly cart of metal folding chairs. Brandon gets a wayward chair in his hands as two of Fights! security personnel approach from the rear in an attempt to sneak one on the Despised One.

BLAM!

One security guy gets the chair smashed over his damn head and is now a necklace while Brandon swiftly hits the other with a Black Mass spin kick that snaps the poor bastards jaw. Moore turns to see Bam attempting to crawl away, his vision totally distorted by his own blood flow. Brandon grabs the security guy wearing the chair, using the mother fucker to beat on the mother fucker whom very damn nearly killed his first born son, the now knocked out cold security guy crashed hard on top of Bam.

Brandon kicks the shit out of Bam’s exposed head before pulling him out from under the limp fuck and kicks open the door right next to them that leads to a stairwell. Brandon has Bam by the back of his neck, the grip of death that has taken many a life before it and speaks for the first time.

Brandon Moore: Consider this mercy you piece of fuck.

Bam Miller (with solid crimson mask): FUCK YOU!

SMASH!

SMASH!

SMASH!

Three times Brandon slams Bam’s face into the wall before grabbing him fully and turning him into a flying little piggy right on down the stairwell. Every moment his face, head and other body parts smack the stairs a reminder of his fuck up, and a warning to never again come within the vicinity of a Moore. Brandon goes to take the first step, but is suddenly mobbed by four security guards. He punches the first one to reach him, instant nose bleed.

ZAP!

The prongs shoot out from a tazer and stick to Brandon’s exposed shoulder from where his shirt has ripped from the scuffle. But his anger fuels him and he rips the prongs out. A skinny black metal billy club smacks Brandon in the back of the head just as another zap grips him and doesn’t let up. Brandon slowly falls out as the remaining guards get him face down and his arms behind his back with double zip ties.

I think Brandon done fucked up.

Kasey Winterborn vs Korrupt

It’s been bumpier than she hoped for, acclimatising to FIGHT! NYC, but Kasey Winterborn stood opposite Korrupt with a fire in her eyes.

She wasn’t gonna quit on this, or herself. She wanted to believe in herself as hard as that seemed to her sometimes. So she grabbed hold of Korrupt, and thrashed him across the ring, manhandling the larger and stronger opponent. He was smarting, came at her again, and again she used her speed and athleticism to her advantage, ducking beneath his strike, springboarding from the middle rope for extra momentum and then flooring Korrupt with a devastating slingblade.

A cover attempt yield but a two count, but the crowd are with her. Korrupt looks inept in her presence, until her confidence has her misfire. She got too full of herself for a moment, took a second too long setting up a coast to coast dropkick and Korrupt let her hang herself brutally in the ropes.

He took his opportunity, grabbing a handful of her bright red hair and lifted her with ease. Trapping an arm in his lift, he then threw her down emphatically. He wasn’t typically seen as a powerhouse, but against a slender and somewhat petite Kasey Winterborn, that was the role he played. She clutched the back of her head as he pressed his chest into hers, bearing all his weight down on her.

The overhead scoring system started the count, but Kasey managed to thrust a shoulder out from beneath him just in time.

“Don’t be nice. Don’t be nice” she was muttering to herself under her breath as Korrupt brought both of them to their feet again. He was about to turn the tide for the worse in this match and she knew she couldn’t just sit idly by and allow it to happen.

As he went to take hold of her again, she threw up her leg, rotated through her body and connected with his chin. He staggered back, and she did it again, and then he came from the ropes and straight into a third spinning heel kick. He hit the mat.

She felt galvanised.

Now, picking that big bastard up and dragging him to the turnbuckle for a Little Miss Vex wasn’t going to work, but he was already on the mat, and so she grabbed hold of his legs and stepped through, then twisted his body onto his front, bridged herself down and grabbed hold of his face.

Damon Riggs: WICKED LITTLE MACHINE! CENTER OF THE RING!

When all four of your limbs are neutralized, where can you run? How can you crawl? Korrupt had no choice. He was dead to rights.

YOUR WINNER BY VERBAL SUBMISSION, KASEY WINTERBORNNNNNN!!!

Let Her Come

“Warrior” by Steve James feat. Lights was ringing out through the arena part of FIGHT! Tower, and Kasey was elated. Her boyfriend, Shawn Warstein had come to ringside to fist bump her, to enjoy the moment.

He knew that in FIGHT! there was never a moment where you could just enjoy a moment, so being out here was as much about making sure Kasey could enjoy the moment as it was about being there to enjoy it with her.

And he wasn’t wrong.

“BLOODMONEY” by Poppy screeched through the PA system, and Apathy appeared. Eoin, Enforcer and Sarah Wolf flanking her. She turned to them, raised a hand and they halted.

As Apathy entered the ring, Shawn Warstein stepped in front of Kasey.

Kasey Winterborn: It’s okay, Shawn. Let her come.

He looked over his shoulder at his girlfriend, standing with her chest puffed out. He obliged, stepping to the side, as Apathy glared out of the side of her head at Warstein and then pressed her own forehead down into the head of Kasey.

They exchanged a few words that the occhi system decided not to broadcast.

Apathy pointed down at Korrupt, and then broke away from the confrontation. She gripped the mask of Korrupt and dragged him to his feet, pushing him out of the ring like a scalded dog.

Warstein looked perplexed. Kasey smirked wryly.

Shawn Warstein: What’d she say?

Kasey Winterborn: Something about staying away from the arena during your match if I didn’t want to get PTSD.

Shawn Warstein: After I’m done with her you might not see me in the same light? Yeah I could see that.

Kasey Winterborn: Do to her what I did to him, but worse.

Shawn Warstein: Bet.

Druscilla White vs The Enforcer

Druscilla White, who may be the only person in all of Fight who looks like she’s in The Cure, but isn’t, stands against The Enforcer, who looks like he isn’t in The Cure, but is. The two of them size each other up, all the while they make comments to each other, daring the other to make the first move. When they finally make it out of their corners, the action starts fast and furious, with Enforcer using his size and Dru using her speed. Enforcer does his best to take the legs out of Dru, but quite frankly, she’s all muscle and it isn’t working nearly as well as he’d hoped. Every chance Dru gets she runs circles around the behemoth, making him dizzy through motion as well as the fast paced hits that come at the end of every dodged and dive. Enforcer does what he does best and takes the hits, and finds ways to make his opponent regret getting that close, as Dru does what she does best, and makes her opponent wish they hadn’t tried to get near her, as the bites are much easier to deliver when close up and personal.

The fight became serious at the 10:15 mark, where Enforcer had Dru cornered, and began to clothesline her repeatedly. Each hit harder than the last, and when the third one hit, Dru fell to the ground on her hands and knees. Enforcer stood over her, grabbing her by the waist, and began to lift her. Dru grabbed his leg, and pulled herself close to him, sinking her teeth into his thighs to the point of drawing blood. Enforcer screams, and pulls her up by her hair, and chucked her to the middle of the ring, and Dru bounces, but lands on her hands and knees, looking at Enforcer as if he’s a steak with au juice. She runs at him, slamming her elbow into his faced with authority, with an audible crack that makes the crowd pop.

As she runs past Enforcer, Dru runs up the turnbuckles, jumps off the top one, and hits a standing Frankensteiner that throws Enforcer to the ground and hard. She reaches back, grabs one of his legs, and hooks it, scoring the pin just as Enforcer kicked out.

(In)human Resources

Joe Montouri enters the boardroom of the HR department for FIGHT! NYC and finds several people waiting for him, all with little gold plaques with their names and titles in front of them. The first person is a redhead with a very angular haircut. Her large 1950’s style glasses take up most of her face with the rest being blended into the same color scheme, almost making her out to be like Keanu from the matrix when they close his mouth over with skin. The man next to him is the quintessential best friend type from every rom-com you’ve ever seen. He’s not ugly, but in every way non-threatening, with the receding hairline included. Like a male spokesperson. The person next to him is someone who looks a lot like Vincent Black, even with the injured arm. And then Joe looks down and sees it is Vin Black, and Joe’s face lights up.

Joe Montouri: Vin! What up, homie! How’s the wing? How’d you like that flower? Pretty dope, right?

Vin Black: It was lovely.

Matrix Lady: Mr. Montouri, please, have a seat.

Joe Montouri: No doubt. So, what’s this about? Am I getting a raise or something?

Matrix Lady: Mr. Montouri, the authorities were called here because of your behavior. While the head office appreciates the kind of exposure your behavior usually brings, this is not what they mean.

Joe Montouri: Look, all of this got really blown out of proportion. I was just-

Matrix Lady: You were just publicly threatening murder of Dane Preston in a public area in full view of our employees. We can not take gun violence lightly.

Joe Montouri: I mean, we all say we’re going to kill each other? It’s part of the job, lady! Vin, back me up on this.

Matrix Lady: Vincent Black is here in case you lose your cool, sir. He is not running this meeting.

Vin Black: That is entirely incorrect. Joe, There were several mistakes that led us here, and you made two of them. One, you were incredibly disrespectful to a receptionist that works for us, and then chose to have your little meltdown in full view of her.

Matrix Lady: Now hold on..

Vincent’s good hand slams against the table, frightening everyone but Joe.

Vin Black: The other mistake that was made, was when this receptionist went to HR, rather than addressing the issue, it was buried.

Rom-Com BFF: Now wait, I only buried it because she’s just a receptionist, and he’s Joe Mon-

Vin Black: She is an employee of ours that should have been treated properly, regardless of her position. She was so slighted by the lack of effort on HR;s part that she struck out in the only way she could. She called the cops, and then she called Denzel Porter and leaked it. Not favorable, but since our two previous HR employees were too inept to nip this in the bud, it grew into this. Now, they’ve lost their jobs, she’s settling the lawsuit she knows she would have won, and you, Joe, are not going to have this chance again. By the end of the day, there will be a new HR department, one that actually does their job, and they will be instructed to cut NO ONE any slack. As far as you go, your punishment will be decided by end of day. I suggest you be on your best behavior going forward.

Vin looks to see the two people at the table with him still at the table 

Vin Black: You two can go. Do not expect a reference.

The two of them storm out, and as soon as they leave, Vin grabs their plaques and throws them in the garbage. He looks out the window and takes a deep breath.

Joe Montouri: This really got out of hand. My bad.

Vin Black: Joe, you have two reputations. One as a person, and one as a performer. Both have been good for a long time. A lot of the employees here rave about you. You tip well, you’re kind. But not one of them is female. That’s an issue. Also, it’s not then anymore. It’s now. And now, people don’t want gun violence from their wrestlers. That shit don’t fly anymore. Like hardcore death matches, or heels cheating left and right like you did against Kal back in the day. So on top of whatever punishment you do receive, you can expect training in sensitivity, conduct, and Relating with the opposite sex, or whatever it’s called.

Joe Montouri: I do sexual rela- Ok I can see where you’re at with that. Look, I’m sorry. Shit’s been hard, you know? I thought that I wanted one woman, but then this other one came along, and it just sort of…got out of hand. And Dane, Dane is so fucking…just…You know?

Vin Black: Joe, I am probably the authority of wanting one thing and doing another, and having the outcome fuck me up. But this thing with Dane, you have to either end it or squash it. I don’t know if you’ve looked at the landscape lately…

Joe looks over Vin’s shoulder and out the window, his eyes trying to focus on something.

Vin Black: Not literally. But as a company. We have a lot of people here that we didn’t have…then. People who have been established in a big way while guys like me and you were off resting. They’re not coming here to make a name, they’ve done that. They’re coming here to prove it. Against guys like you, and me, and the rest of us that’ve been out of action for so long.

Joe Montouri: Keep my eyes on the prize, eh?

Vin Black: Yes, But the prize is not being buried by the new legends.

Joe Montouri: I feel ya. I am sorry. Also, why are you in HR? Did I ask that yet?

Vin Black: Got a note that said ‘get off your ass you don’t work for free’ with instructions to report to this office for the remainder of my injury. Tried to argue it, failed.

Joe Montouri: As if being injured ain’t bad enough. With your down time, do me a favor. Look back at that match you mentioned with me and Kal. You might be…misremembering it a bit. 

Joe Montouri walks out of the office, and as Vincent Black looks at the morning sky, clouds begin to rumble, and in a flash it is night time, and the sky is lit up by the beacon that is Fight Tower. A drone shot shows us the crowds working their way into the arena, the bootleggers hawking merch, and the local bars and restaurants fill to bursting with patrons ready to watch the action that is FIGHT.

The Denzel Porter Show

Denzel Porter:  Welcome to the Denzel Porter show. I am coming to you live from FIGHT! NYC’s VENOM! And today, I will be sitting down with Allison Riggs-Preston and Sahara. As they will tell us the experience they had when they were taken to an Island by Damon Riggs. So without further ado I like to welcome the ladies onto the show.

ARP and Sahara come out on the studio set and take their seats across from Denzel. Denzel politely shakes both ladies hands and then turns back to the television monitor.

Denzel Porter: Thank you ladies for agreeing to do this sit down interview with me. I know it must be hard to retell the events from last week.

Sahara: First, thanks for having us, and for everything you do for this industry. I feel it needs to be said. And yes, it was quite the experience from beginning to end.

Allison Riggs-Preston: Thank you, Denzel.  We’re both glad to be here.  And like Sahara said, thank you for everything you do, despite your critics, you’re doing a great job on keeping the wrestling world informed with what’s going on.

Denzel Porter: Thank you both very much. I don’t mind the critics they can speak. I’ll just continue to get better each day, but let’s get started. So ladies we know how you ended up in the SUV but tell me about what all happened while in the SUV? 

Sahara: Before we get into that, Denzel, I’m sure you’ve seen the footage. I gotta tell ya, that was one of the most harrowing experiences of my life. I came out of the club and was just walking, minding my own business, when suddenly this SUV pulls up and men jump out and grab me. I tried to fight them off, but let’s be honest, after a night of drinking, I wasn’t on my A game. They quickly took control and ziptied my hands and put a hood over my head like I was being abducted into some sex trafficing ring or something. I was scared to fucking death. Oops, can I say that? Am I allowed to swear?

Denzel Porter: That sounds terrible and quite scary, I must admit, and yes Mrs. Sahara you allowed to express yourself how you like. This is a safe place. Now ARP, did you have the same treatment?

Sahara let out a resounding “Hah!” before Allison could respond.

Allison Riggs-Preston:  No.  Not at all.  I knew them.  They’ve been working for my dad for years.  Some since I was a little girl.  I can understand why Sahara would have fought them.  If I was a woman, walking alone at night, drunk and two men jumped out of an SUV and grabbed me, I would have fought, too.  She smirks a little.  As for what happened in the SUV… someone passed out.

Denzel’s eyes go big as he turns to the monitor then back to the ladies.

Denzel Porter: Wait a minute who passed out?

Sahara momentarily breaks eye contact from Denzel and raises an index finger.

Sahara: That’d be me. I was pretty drunk, which isn’t like me. Sahara laughs a little.

Allison looks at Sahara and then scoots her seat over just a little bit.

Allison Riggs-Preston: Just in case the Gods, decide to strike her down.  I’ve already been around her once when lightning struck. 

Denzel Porter: Oh, okay, I thought someone has been drugged up or something, but tell me when did you two realize you weren’t with strange men but with Damons men and that this was all Damons idea?

Sahara: She knew right away, they practically rolled out the red carpet and picked her up. I, on the other hand, went through some Liam Neeson Taken stuff, where I thought I was literally being taken. I didn’t realize it was Damon’s guys until I heard the Princess of Perfection’s voice in the SUV. And while her voice may have been the last voice I wanted to hear at that time, it was the sweetest thing I’d ever heard because I knew I was safe.

Allison Riggs-Preston: They didn’t roll out the red carpet for me.  You can believe if I had put up a fight, they would have taken me by force.  But I knew them and knew they were going to hurt me.  I did feel bad for Sahara, because she didn’t have the luxury of knowing that she wasn’t about to get raped or murdered or both. 

Denzel Porter: Well, we are all glad to know you weren’t with people with bad intentions, but tell me did things get better once you arrived on the Island? What did you two ladies do there before the hurricane came, of course?

Sahara: Well, after arriving we made our way to the … what I could only describe as a Disney Princess Castle–

Allison chuckles lightly and shakes her head.

Allison Riggs-Preston: It’s a house. A big one.  Or was.  But a storm rolled in and we lost power almost as soon as we arrived, so we lit some candles and kinda got to talking about everything–

Sahara: And drank wine. Lots and lots of wine.

Allison Riggs-Preston: Yes, and we drank wine, thank you, Lauren. But I think this was really my fathers goal when putting us on that island, to force us to talk to each other, woman to woman. We’ve known each other for quite a few years as acquaintances, but never really said more than a few words to one another.

Denzel Porter: Well, it’s nice to see you two made the best out of the situation and maybe found some closure on the Dane situation?

Sahara shrugs as she looks over at Allison.

Sahara: Well, we kinda had some words, but after that storm hit, I mean, I’m a girl from Chicago, livin’ in New York now at FIGHT Tower. I ain’t never been in anything like that before. I was scared to death, and– she sighs –without Allison, I probably wouldn’t be here right now. Of course, without Allison, I wouldn’t have been on that island to begin with!

Allison Riggs-Preston:  With everything that happened before the island, I had no choice but to save her.  Surely there’s not a person alive that wouldn’t always be thinking in the back of their minds that I killed her and got away with it.  And let’s face it, if I had let her die she would have probably haunted me for the rest of my life.  Last thing I need is for her ghost to show up looking like a drowned rat every time I turn around.

Denzel chuckles a little at the last comment.

Sahara: Hilarious.

Denzel Porter: Well, I, for one, am glad you both are safe after the ordeal you went through. Even though he went to some extreme measures, do you feel like Damon helped you two in the end? 

Allison Riggs-Preston: I wished he hadn’t been this extreme, but if you know my dad, he’s known for that very word.  Maybe it did?  We had to face each other and talk and this time not on the camera for the fans to see… just me and her.  Maybe we got to know and understand each other.  Hell, maybe we got to know and understand ourselves a little better, too.

Sahara ponders the question for a few moments.

Sahara: I think he meant well, and I found out something about Damon I never knew until now, so in the end, I suppose it did. It’s easy to get an image of someone in your mind, be it from the rumors you hear — or the ones you want to believe — to your own feelings … I guess they call it confirmation bias or something? Sahara looks at Allison. I suppose I saw what I wanted to see until I was forced to see what was actually there. All it took was a little Hurricane and a whole lotta wine.

Denzel Porter: Haha, I enjoy a couple of sips of wine myself, but on a serious note, I think everyone at Fight is happy you two are ok and that no actual bodily harm came to you. Now before we get going because I know Sahara, you have a match tonight against Sarah, is there anything else you two ladies would like to touch on?

Sahara: Yeah, I heard what happened earlier this week and I’d like to send my thoughts and prayers out to Mia — Sahara remains perfectly poised, keeping a straight face as she speaks — I heard what happened and that’s just.. horrible.

Allison looks over at Sahara, her face dead serious.

Allison Riggs-Preston:  Too soon, Sahara, too soon.  She turns back to Denzel.  I’ll be reaching out to Joe Montuoi and ask him if there is anything I can do to help out in light of his girlfriend’s “accident”.  Lord knows, one of us has already done enough.

Denzel Porter: Well, there you have it. Thank you so much for sharing your story with us today.

Betsy Granger vs Eoin O'Rourke

Betsy Granger stands across from Eoin, loosening up her arms by tossing them about at her side, eyes locked on the milk white warrior across the ring from her. The audience who are overjoyed at her appearance, both here and how she looks while being here, shout out marriage proposals and encouragement alike. The scroll at the bottom of the screen reads ‘if you think she’s hot you should see her sister’ followed by several comments about how ‘it’s not really her sister assface.’

Eoin in the meantime isn’t even looking at Betsy. His eyes are searching the crowd for something he can’t find. And when he does, he smiles. And then we find it, too. Walking through the crowd, the entirety of The Cure, sans Brandon and Michelle Moore, push their way to the ring area and leap the barrier. Sarah Wolf steps up onto the apron, waving cutely at Betsy, who reads the room and moves to the middle of the ring, careful not to get cornered. Enforcer jumps up onto the apron area behind Betsy, as Apathy and Korrupt take up the other areas. Betsy, looks at each of them, and in an unforeseen move, rushes Apathy and knocks her on the left cheek with a wicked right hook. Eoin comes from behind her and attempts to throw his arms around her, but the second he closes his grasp, she lifts both legs, pushes off the ropes and causes him to fall onto his back. On the ground, she throws her head back and gives him a good solid head but. He feels it, but doesn’t let go, and Dollface rushes the ring and kicks Betsy in the face as hard as she can. 

Eoin let’s Betsy roll off of him free and clear of his constricting arms, and the rest of The Cure climbs in, surrounding Betsy who is on the ground holding her face. Dollface looks down at Betsy and goes to grab her by the hair, but Betsy catches her with a kick to the forehead that sends her stumbling back and gives Betsy room to move to her feet. The Cure lunges but as they do a pop goes off and Dickie Watson, Shawn Warstein, Kasey Winterborn and for some reason Murphy Doyle Maher rush the ring. Dickie and Apathy go at it, as Kasey flings Korrupt to the corner, and Shawn tackles Enforcer. Eoin tries to stop Murphy but Murphy dodges him and tackles Dollface so hard they both fall to the outside of the ring. Eoin runs to assist Apathy against Dickie, but Betsy intercepts him with a stiff jumping kick to the chest which almost sends him down.

Dickie and Apathy go toe to toe each out maneuvering the other. Dollface and Murphy go blow for blow, each looking to take the others head off, and Betsy catches Eoin slipping and sends him to the void for a second with an uppercut that is as vicious in sound as it is in sight.

Meanwhile Kasey and Shawn have made Enforcer practically unconscious with their combined barrage of attacks. 

The Cure leaves the ring one at a time, and begin to regroup as Kasey, Shawn, Betsy and Dickie do the same in the ring. The Cure walks around the ring and while Murphy is busy fighting off Dollface, they grab Murphy and begin to attack him, overpowering him completely. In an unexpected move, the other side of this fight, led by Shawn Warstein, leap out of the ring and the rumble goes again. Betsy and Dickie help Murphy to his feet, as Shawn and Kasey put space between them. Security finally runs to the ring and starts to separate everyone.

Betsy and Eoin are told to get back into the ring, while everyone else is instructed to leave the area. Murphy watches as Dollface blows a kiss to him as she leaves through the crowd, and as Dickie, Kasey, Shawn and Murphy leave through the entrance way. The bell rings and the match continues. Eoin rushes Betsy but with a furious yell Betsy rolls toward him and pops up, catching him in a jumping neck breaker that rattles his entire head. She easily transitions from laying in front of him to laying on top of him and applies a modified rear naked choke, with a change up in both placement of her arm as well as her leg. Her arm wraps his neck with his throat pressed against the inner part of her elbow, and her knee is planted firmly against his spine. He screams and reaches out, grabbing the rope with easy due to his abnormally large and long arms. Betsy rolls off of him, and as he hits his feet, attempts another leaping move, but Eoin is ready and catches her, dropping her into a sidewalk slam. Eoin stands over Betsy, his feet right by her armpits. Betsy grabs both of his ankles and uses the leverage to pull herself through his legs and kick him in the back. With the force her kick pushes him forward and with her arms pushing his ankles out from under him, he falls flat on his face. 

In one of the smoothest transitions the crowd has seen yet, Betsy rolls onto the top of him, still holding his ankles and walks him to the middle of the ring, and locking his legs into an Indian leg lock. As the crowd cheers, Betsy arches her back and leans all the way back, locking here hands around Erin’s chin and pulling back on his head, and pulling up with her legs at the same time, creating an almost perfect circle of torture. Eoin screams and holds out for a long time before caving in and tapping out. The crowd erupts as Blinding Lights by Fame on Fire, probably the best version of this song anyone has ever heard, begins to play. Eoin leaps up to his feet, cursing while holding his neck. Betsy goes nose to nose with him and the two exchange pleasantries until we cut away.

Torn Heart :'(

Murphy is in the back, angry and pacing the floor, cursing beneath his breath. He’s approached by liaison with a cellphone in their hand. They mouth the word ‘for you’ as they hand it to him.

MDM: …’lo? The voice on the other end does not come through, but it’s angry and speaking fast. Murphy takes a deep breath and looks like he’s able to remain calm, but then suddenly he isn’t. Fuck ‘at. Your sister has been on a tear, not just with me fuckin’ heart, but with this entire business. You don’t want me taking her to task? Get the other one to boot ‘er from the building. Until then, you don’t fuckin’ call me over a fight she signed up f’r. Tell Kal I says hi.

Vhodka: who was that? Was that Jack? When did I get here?

MDM: Tell ya somethin’ lass. If he had the capables of hitting his ex, I bet he’d not be taking fucking calls from ‘er family ‘bout it.

Vhodka: He sees this as an ex-boyfriend hitting the girl that broke his heart, not like, a job. But don’t worry. The only phone call he’s going to be making after he sees what I’m going to do to her is to a-

MDM: I know, a funeral home.

Vhodka: I was going to say to amazon for some Tupperware so he can bury what’s left of her, but that makes more sense.

MDM: You call amazon?

Vhodka: …..yes.

Sahara vs Sarah Wolf

Sarah Wolf enters the ring with a grin on her face and a fat lip from her previous fight with Murphy. She moves toward the center of the ring like a snake slithers but the biped version. She drops to her knees, and the infamous black drool begins to pour out of her mouth, her face a scowl of anger and pain as she digs her teeth into her own tongue, shivering from the miserable ecstasy the surge of pain causes. Narrowing her attention to the people in the front row of the crowd, she hisses at them, sending black and red spittle in every direction.

Sahara’s theme hits and the crowd is mixed but favorable as she wastes no time getting to the ring. Stepping inside the ring, she watches as Sarah backpeddles on her knees to her respective corner, and stands like stone in her own.

The bell rings and the two women begin what is sure to be one of the best matches of Fight’s season. Over the 35 minute match, Sahara and Sarah both showed the other why they are some of the best the business has. Moving each other into the exact spot they need they other, as well as moving themselves out of the way the entire time. The crowd see-saws from supporting one to bemoaning the other, respective and easily understandable as to which. Sarah makes it very clear that while she says she has no reason to injure Sahara, she is also not actively trying to avoid it. Sarah, at one point, has Sahara’s head pressed between the second and third turnbuckle, and is trying to push her face into the solid steel post with all of her might, but failing as Sahara kicks her in the crotch and lifts her just enough to get free.

As the match progressed the two women proved to be quite the match for one another, as either could get the upper hand, but neither would let the other keep it. 

Towards the end of the match, Sarah positioned herself standing off to the side of a downed Sahara, waiting to hit her with her finisher. But from out of nowhere, Vhodka Black jumps up onto the apron, and grabs Sarah by the ear. Turning fast, Sarah tries to level Vhodka, but gets nothing but air as Vhodka ducks, and rolls off the apron. Sarah laughs and turns back to Sahara, just in time to catch a viciously loud kick to the face that levels her. As she begins to waiver, Sahara, who has gotten to her feet, rushed to Sarah, flipped past her and got her arm between Sarah’s legs, pulling her over into a small package pin. Sarah did her best to get out of it, but couldn’t as Vhodka had reached through the ropes and grabbed her foot. The bell rings, and Sahara stands up victorious, and Dollface gets up, dives out of the ropes and chases Vhodka who is hightailing it to the backstage arena.

Blood, money & bare knuckles

So the thing about blood money, and the reason everyone wants it, is because it’s a currency.

And a wealth of currency means opportunities. There can only be one Empire Champion, and one Empire Contender. And right now, that contender is Paul Montuori.

So what does everyone else do? Bide their time, accumulate their currency, and hope they win the bid?

Alter their goals? Adjust their expectations? Make plans?

PLANS.

One such person had made such plans. After Toxic Tag, Asher Jules had been starting to feel just awful about certain things, and he made no bones about letting Druscilla know that he felt responsible for their performance. He told her he’d give her all of his Blood Money, and then maybe she could use that currency to turn her fortunes around.

Fortune that he felt had been drained by his shortcoming.

And she? She was perhaps an opportunist. But she looked up at the championships open to bid, looked at the six thousand she had and looked at Miss Michelle’s name next to the belt.

Druscilla White: Well, fuck.

She’d had a traumatic week. Maybe not.

She thought about the four thousand that Asher had, and was offering to give her, then she looked up at the Brooklyn Belt, and saw Mason Alexander Vanderbilt’s name next to it. She thought about it.

And then she looked at the Bareknuckle Title and Dollface/Sarah Wolf written next to it, and  that was a challenge that she really thought would suit her.

Mason was one thing, Sarah Wolf was a whole different thing. If she could go toe to toe with her?  Then she’d really be proving herself.

She placed her bid.

Druscilla White: 9000 Blood Money to face the Doll.

The screen showed a visual of the unmasked Sarah Wolf holding her belt, and then Druscilla confirmed as her opponent for Ascension. A rumbling of excitement filled the crowd, knowing that Bareknuckle matches had been incredibly varied so far, so this could mean anything.

Dane Preston vs Ricky Rodriguez

The crack from Dane Prestons arm connecting with Ricky Rodriguez head was audible as the latter bounced back off the ropes and missed getting his arms up by just a fraction of a second. Rodriguez goes down like a sack of potatoes while Preston lifts Rodriguez leg from the mat methodically twisting the ankle in a direction that it certainly isn’t supposed to go. Ricky slaps his hands to the mat just to let the pain go somewhere as he grits his teeth and sees yet another opportunity slipping away from him. No. Not like this. You can do this Ricky, we believe in you. The words played in Rodriguez head on a loop as he used all the strength he had left to launch his free foot into the groin of Dane Preston who drops to his knees while simultaneously turning a nifty shade of purple. Ricky chuckled as he caught his breath on his hands, looked like Dane wouldn’t be visiting the Sahara tonight. The thought of the blonde twisted Rodriguez face into a grimace every time she passed the forefront of his mind, reminding him of who he had thought she was and who she had proven herself to be. 

Ricky loved this business, lived and breathed it. Yet he did not always entirely understand the veterans that made up this business. Their visciousness, the lack of regard for the people around them both other professionals and those who are not. Ricky shook his head to clear his mind of thoughts that would not serve him as he scowled over at Damon Havok Riggs at the announce table and rose to his feet. Dane has recovered enough to get past the initial waves of nausea that having his testicles knocked into his kidneys brought but is still not present enough to stop his opponent as Ricky hooks his head in his arm and looks to be going for a DDT. As the other man cradles his head into his body, Preston cannot help but to look at his father in law at the announce table… whatever he sees on his face isn’t immediately clear but it gives Preston the fighting spirit to grab Rodriguez by the thighs, a shoulder into his mid-section dropping the rookie down to the mat. There is a bit of confusion as Dane goes for the quick roll up looking to end this quickly and find an ice pack for the unsportsmanlike low blow but at the last second Ricky manages to roll himself on top of Dane long enough for the three count. 

Hey, Boss

Enforcer is walking through the hallway, hitting the wall as he goes.

It hasn’t been going great since he got here, and hes starting to question his choices. He’s thinking about The Cure, thinking about FIGHT! NYC in general, and thinking about Dickie Watson who he is looking to face in the Independent Wrestling Syndicate tournament’s Group A.

So many thoughts.

As he rounded a corner, he came face to face with a shirtless man, with his hair pushed over to one side, all oiled up wearing black jeans.

Enforcer: Hey.. Xavi- uh, I mean.. Boss.. you.. You fighting?

Xavier Black looks back at him, eyebrow raised.

Xavier Black: Uh, obviously. I mean, I fought. Downstairs, tryout match.

Enforcer: You’re doing tryout matches?

Xavier Black: I mean, of course.

Enforcer: Cool! Good work boss. Hey I’m about to hit the Turnbuckle and get some Doritos, catch me up there if you wanna sink one with me.

X smiles.

Xavier Black: Save me some Cool Ranch, unpopular opinion but they’re my favorite.

Enforcer walks away slowly, looking at the back of the owner of FIGHT! NYC and mouths to himself “what the.. He does NOT like Cool Ranch.”

As Xavier rounds the corner, he shakes his head.

Xavier Black: Why’d he keep calling me “boss”? Weird place.

Fade.

Paul Montuori vs Allison Riggs-Preston

Paul Montouri came down to the ring where Allison was waiting, and to the shock of everyone in the crowd, was not dressed in his wrestling gear. Instead, he was wearing the clothes he’d shown up in earlier that night. Allison looked at him unsure as to what the play was, but not trusting it at all. Paul jumped into the ring, and beckoned for the OCCHI system to mic him up.

Paul Montuori: So here’s the thing. I know my brother has been…exceptionally difficult to deal with. Joe is Joe and some days more than others, he’s very Joe. But see, this thing you guys got, I don’t got. I am sure that everyone else would love to fight their brothers love interest to further aggravate an already stressful situation, but Allie, bubalah, that ain’t me. So I’m going to sit this one out. After all, few days time you could be his next ex-wife. And me beating you up don’t really translate that well. So enjoy your victory here, which we’ll call my future wedding gift to you,

Dane Preston hits the ring, and spins Montouri around. The two begin to exchange words with Dane being far angrier than he should be about someone not wanting to fight his wife. Allison and Dane are on either side of Paul, yelling obscenity laced monologues. Allison to Dane, and Dane to Paul, who we get the feeling is a stand in for the other Montouri. Paul mocks Dane, and lets out a fake yawn. Dane swings at Paul’s head, but Paul moves, and Dane’s fist crashes against Allison. Paul laughs for a moment, before he gets leveled by a Dane left. As Dane throws a right, Paul catches it with his arm and blocks it, flicking Dane in the eye with his other hand. As the two begin to brawl, and security once again is called in to separate a fight that isn’t sanctioned, Several refs meet in the back area trying to figure out what the fuck the outcome is of a match that one of the combatants husband hit their own wife by accident. As they mull this over, Paul rushes past them, and screams ‘give it to the girl, I don’t give a fuck’ and goes back to his dressing room, angrier than we’ve seen Paul in a long time.

Apathy vs Shawn Warstein

Second time it was booked.

First time it was a fucking sham.

Apathy paid lip service to the match, but between Eoin O’Rourke grabbing his foot, Korrupt drilling him into the concrete outside, it was nothing more. A nothing match. He valiantly fought back through the adverse circumstances, laying out 3/5s of the Cure before succumbing to Dollface whilst Apathy held him down.

This time would be different. Kasey Winterborn, Betsy Granger and Dickie Watson were all stood in the ring with Warstein as they awaited Apathy’s entrance. Predictably, she was flanked by her entourage.

Korrupt, Eoin O’Rourke, Enforcer, Sarah Wolf.

Sure, they were outnumbered by one, but in the eyes of Warstein and his compadres, this was a fair fight. Surely, and hopefully, by being at ringside, they would be enough of a deterrent to stop The Cure ruining the whole damned thing.

Mutually assured destruction, I think is the phrase?

By the time the bell had rung, there may as well have been a physical line drawn through the middle of the ring. On the outside of the ring on one side was the Cure, on the other side was Warstein’s mates.

Apathy was muttering to Warstein, but Warstein swung and slapped the shit out of her, sending her reeling back. The large woman rebounded from the ropes and straight into another right hand. She wiped her mouth, leaving a streak of blood stained on her chin.

Shawn Warstein: Send Moore my regards. Sorry he couldn’t be here to take this himself.

She snarls, grabbing him by the head and thrusts him into the corner.

Apathy: I don’t act on his behalf. We are allies, nothing more, nothing less. He has his own agenda and I have mine, and where they overlap, we use each other’s resources to make things happen. You, you are a common threat. When I’m done with you, it will satisfy my own agenda. And by association, his. But this is for me. Not him.

Warstein nods his head, acting like this proclamation makes the slightest difference.. Spoiler alert, it doesn’t. He doesn’t give a fuck about the what or the why, only the who and the how – you fuck with me, I’ll fuck you up, easy work.

And he made it look easy for a period, working her over and making a near fall after lifting the large woman into the air and landing a spinning falcon arrow.

On the outside, Eoin O’Rourke was on the apron and the referee above demanded that he get down, but it did it’s job because Warstein took great pleasure in grabbing a handful of his ginger hair and driving it hard into the ringpost. This caused Korrupt and Enforcer to jump on the apron in protest, and in that moment, Kasey Winterborn and Betsy Granger both got on the apron too, sprinting full speed towards the Cure members and levelling them with tandom shotgun dropkicks.

Warstein was watching it go down, and as Apathy grabbed his shoulder, she drove an elbow into his skull grabbed him with a front facelock and looked for all the world like she’d got him locked in for Affliction – her lifting DDT finishing maneuver.

Betsy and Kasey were in amongst the melee now, fighting two versus four, and whilst Dickie Watson had been watching on he now realised that it was go time. He ran from the apron traversing at high speed, climbed up the turnbuckle nearest to the melee and dives into all six of them with a corkscrew plancha that took them all out.

Back in the ring, Warstein had trapped his leg in between Apathy’s, not allowing her to perform the move, and then he pulled her down into a small package. Apathy was surprised, but not so much that she let it get the better of her. She used all the explosive power she had to push Warstein off of her.

They stood opposite one another. Their friends fighting beneath them, neither wanting to lose focus for a moment lest the other take a cheap shot. The fact was, though, that Warstein was a superior technician. He didn’t need a series of moves leading into a finisher. He cracked her with a flying knee strike, KING’S CROWN!

And Enforcer slid under the bottom rope to lay Warstein out.

But Watson clocked him, followed him, beat him to his feet and nailed him with CALAMITY INSURANCE, preventing him from interrupting the pin fall. 

Sarah Wolf was in the ring too, she grabbed hold of Dickie. Eoin O’Rourke grabbed Warstein. It was war on all fronts around the fallen Apathy.

Watson, Warstein, Kasey Winterborn and Betsy Granger were in firm control when they left the five Cure members laid out in various states of disarray across the ring.

To the victor, the spoils

Joe Montuori was already in the ring, but for us the scene opens up in a hallway just behind the curtain where Todrick Tabor Ramsey is preparing to go out for the main event. Paul Montuori heads up behind Toddy and taps their shoulder.

Paul Montuori: Hey Tod, I just wanted to come wish you luck out there. So yeah, good luck.

Todrick looks somewhat perplexed as she stares Paul Montuori up and down.

Todrick Tabor-Ramsey: Thanks, I guess. I figured you’d be pulling for your brother..?

Paul furrows his brow.

Paul Montuori: You guys are my family too, and besides family is a kinda messy definition. Joe is Joe, idk what’s up with him but yeah. I hope whoever is the better competitor wins and I hope you can be friends after.

Todrick Tabor-Ramsey: That’s nice of you, Paul. At least I don’t have to worry about you messing it up for me.

Paul Montuori: You’ll be aight, just trust yourself.

They fist bump and Toddy looks up to the sky, takes a deep breath and steps through the curtain as her music plays over the PA system.

Focused Ready

As Paul Montuori watches Toddy head out to the ring, the Champion who Paul will challenge for his championship, Dickie Watson… FIGHT! NYC Empire Champion… appears at his side, with a smirk on his face. He’s flanked by the victorious Shawn Warstein, Kasey Winterborn and Betsy Granger who were coming the other way through the curtain from their match.

Dickie Watson: Hey mate. Hope you’re getting ready.

Paul turns on his heels away from Dickie.

Paul Montuori: Not now, papi.

Dickie Watson: It’s just.. I thought you were practicing on your focus and if I’m not mistaken, that board over there says you just took an L to a girl. I mean, not that it’s a bad thing that it’s a girl.. but yeah. 

Paul Montuori: Bitch, I’m in no mood. Step off before we start early.

From the other side, Dane Preston shows up, with shit-eating grin on his face as he blocks Paul Montuori from leaving the conversation with Dickie. Dane blows on his knuckles, the same ones he used earlier in the night to leave a mark on Montuori’s head. The same reason that Paul was in a foul mood to begin with.

Dane Preston: Who else is excited to see someone other than that fucking meatbol as champion?

Paul, on a normal day, when he wasn’t questioning everything about his own brother, might have laughed it off or fired back an insult about Dane’s manhood or wife. But today wasn’t that day. Today, he swung a right hook clean into the jaw of Paul Montuori. Dickie cracked a smile, but he wasn’t laughing for long, because he got taken out from behind by the forearm of Enforcer who came rushing through the curtain with Eoin, Sarah Wolf, Korrupt and Apathy.

And now we were brawling.

Joe Montuori vs Todrick Tabor-Ramsey

FIGHT! NYC Manhattan Championship

Joe Montuori stood on one side of the ring and it felt like the world weighed on his shoulders. Legal troubles leading up to the show, brought before Vincent Black in his new role as head of HR at the top of the show. If it were any other human on the planet earth, they may in this moment feel some humility.

Montuori, though, was pacing back and forth, yelling at Todrick to hurry his ass up, gesticulating at the referee to start the contest.

Todrick was polar opposite. She had her hands pressed together almost in prayer, looking up to the sky and taking deep breaths, not in a hurry for anything.

Finally the bell rings and they’re off. Joe comes out the gate fast, trying to get this done and dusted. He nailed Toddy with a flying uppercut, goes for the cover and gets a 1 count. Damon Riggs is deriding him in the booth, telling the audience how Joe just wants a quick night and thinks he is severely underestimating Todrick.

The match goes back and forth with nobody really gaining a major upper hand. Joe Montuori took frequent breaks outside the ring between offensive spells, trying to break up the opportunity for Todrick to respond. On the third such case, about eight minutes into the match, Todrick had enough and wound up the legs for a sprint to the ropes, she rebounded off and hit a well timed tope suicida through the middle and top rope.

Both competitors slowly made their way back into the ring but it was clear that Joe Montuori had taken the brunt of it. He seemed the groggier of the two, and Todrick grabs hold of Montuori’s head, raises her right hand in the air and shifting her hips, before planting Montuori on his skull.

J Michael Brilliance: SNATCH DAT WIG!

A cover is made, but Montuori manages to save his belt.

Damon Riggs: You think Todrick has Montuori’s respect now? He should.. But I know he never respected another human in his life.

J Michael Brilliance: Are you just saying that because he laid your kid?

A bustling sound is heard as Damon Riggs smacked the back of JMB’s head. The play by play guy yelps, and then adjusts his headset back on his head.

Montuori, meanwhile, is breathing heavy and has his hands on his knees. Todrick Tabor-Ramsey does have his respect, and he’s going to have to dig real deep to keep his belt. “Fuck” he spits on the floor, wipes his hand across his brow, and pushes his feet beneath him.

This time, it’s Todrick’s time to learn. Her confidence rose too quick, Joe Montuori wilting in her hands got her over-excited. What she didn’t bank on is the mental fortitude of a man that is a tour de force, a man that has withstood every person in every company hating him and exclusively him for over 25 years. And even in companies where he never fought. This is a man that can retweet strippers whilst the world thinks the feds are looking for him, he just does not give a fuck and you can’t put a value on that. He is a man that can make any controversy disappear simply by making more controversy. It just slides right off. This is a man who has the mental toughness of giants. He wasn’t gonna quit.

As Todrick came forward, Montuori grabbed a heel, tipped Toddy on her back and stepped through for a quick Boston Crab. A ring general knows how to slow down the pace, this was how he would get himself back into the match. Take a breather. Todrick reached for the rope, and to his credit, Joe Montuori broke the hold on the count of one.. Only to stamp on Todrick’s back, drag her in the middle of the ring and then apply the hold once more.

Joe Montuori: Fuck outta here with that shit. SUBMIT!

And Todrick might have submitted. On another day, she could’ve. But not today. Not tonight. This was her day, she wanted to make it so and thus she would.

Todrick shoved Montuori off, elbowed the back of his head and drove him to the ground with a bulldog. Montuori and Tabor-Ramsey were in a battle of wills, Montuori threw a right, Tabor a hook, Montuori a cross, Tabor a kick, Montuori grasps the leg of Todrick and whips her to the mat.

It wasn’t for a few more minutes of back and forth action that kept the crowd super excited and engaged that Todrick Tabor-Ramsey took control for the final time, grabbing Montuori by the arms from behind, lifting him to the sky, and nailing him face first on the mat for a Hands On Your Knees!

Damon Riggs: YES! YES!!! THE BEST DAY EVER!!! WE HAVE A CHAMPION THAT IS _NOT_ NAMED JOE MONTUORI!!! CONGRATULATIONS TO TODRICK TABOR-RAMSEY!!

 

The Manhattan Champion

As Todrick Tabor-Ramsey’s music hits, she can’t quite believe it. The Manhattan Championship is given to her and she starts to raise it high into the air. She’s looking around, half hopeful that her husband would come out to celebrate with her. The crowd are going crazy, enjoying the moment, and Todrick too is savoring it, just wondering where Austin is.

The Occhi system shows that Austin Ramsey is, in fact, involved in a scuffle just beyond the curtain. Dane Preston is there, Dickie Watson is there, Paul Montuori, members of the Cure, Kasey Winterborn, Betsy Granger. Basically, everyone is fighting.

How did Austin get involved?

The same way Druscilla White did. They just did. Fucking chaos, as is typical around here lately.

They have started to spill into the arena, and as they do so, Murphy Doyle Maher makes a beeline past the crowd and slides into the ring. Joe Montuori is starting to come to his senses and he need not have because MDM came right up behind him and hit him with his own finisher – the JKO! He stomped his head into mush.

If you recall waaaay back around Blood Money and Venom 1, MDM and Todrick had somewhat of a rapport, and MDM doesnt forget these things. He could see JMont lining them up for a retaliaton blow, and he wouldn’t see it happen. Not on his watch.

Elsewhere, though, Dane Preston has got Austin Ramsey jacked up on his shoulders and drops him on his skull on the concrete. Toddy is distraught, hopping the ropes and chasing after Dane and Austin.

Dickie Watson OBLITERATES the Enforcer, driving a knee into his skull.

The other members of the Cure are starting to retreat, but Dickie, Shawn, Kasey and Betsy give chase.

In the ring, Murphy Doyle Mayer, Dane Preston, Sahara and Allison Riggs-Preston are stood opposite the members of Dynasty – Paul and Joe Montuori, Ricky Rodriguez… and Todrick Tabor-Ramsey, the new champion.

Medics on the outside are attending Austin and the Enforcer.

We have war on two fronts. Up the ramp, The Cure vs Watson, Warstein, Dickie and Kasey and in the ring, FYA vs Dynasty.

The air raid siren starts blaring.

LOCKDOWN.

The air raid siren continues to blare, but Occhi has us looking in an office. Or a board room. Or a war room. Something.

Xavier Black is stood up, looking into a monitor. Beside him, Miss F sits with a pen in her hand and her glasses perched on the bridge of her nose.

Miss F: They’re grouped up, they’re going to war. No matter how we try to settle their differences with matches, they don’t stop. They don’t yield.

Xavier Black finally seemed irked. Not annoyed, not angry, not frustrated. Just.. irked.

Miss F: We’ve got Brandon Moore zip-tied in a room with security, we have got Bam Miller in the infirmary. We have two more on their way. I have no idea what Druscilla White is doing, she isn’t part of any of those groups.

Xavier Black: She’s.. Chasing my sister…

Miss F: That tracks. So, what to do?

Xavier Black: Lock them down. In the tower at least 24 hours prior to each show, increase security. Two security per roster member. They can fraternize within their groups but they must be escorted elsewhere. The Fifth Turnbuckle is closed. Fighters can go to the ring, and their rooms. And the infirmary if necessary.

Miss F: To the ring for their matches only?

Xavier Black: No, they can go to the ring whenever they want. But if they try to get physical, security will intervene. We will not become a parody of the dark times we left behind.

Miss F: The inmates think they run the asylum.

Xavier Black: And that changes now.

 

but the logo lingered just a little longer than usual

then suddenly, a soft voice could be heard in the darkness

HELLO DOVES

and then the noise from the tower went… haywire…