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Old 07-14-2014, 10:39 AM   #291 (permalink)
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Default Re: Presenting AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair


[b]PREDICTION TEMPLATE

ORIGINS & ENDINGS
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Ė Mellon Arena
August 24, 2008
*Current Card*


!!TRIPLE MAIN EVENT!!

8.~AOW World Heavyweight Championship~
Christian Cage(c) v. Rob Van Dam
When RVD initially became #1 Contender, I wasn't too hot on this match as the main event of the big show. It does still feel a little underwhelming as the main event of the BIG show of the year, after the incredible Jericho/Christian rivalry ... but the build up, even from this blurb, sounds fantastic. The character development is probably the strongest positive of the thread, and it's shown here with both the journeys Christian and RVD have had over the past 12 months in the thread. An RVD win isn't out of the question ... but I'm pinning hopes on Christian retaining. His title run is really only just getting started imo.

7. ~Icon v. Machine~
!!For the First Time Ever!!
Samoa Joe v. Shawn Michaels

A slight nitpick - you've got the names the wrong way around for the Icon vs Machine tag line. Should be Michaels listed first as the 'Icon', right? Anyway, Joe is the future, and he literally has been a machine, tearing through the roster ... and I sense a changing of the guard moment here, where Joe sees off Michaels, and takes the metaphorical torch. MOTN surely??

5. ~War Rules~
*Loser Gets Fired*
Chris Jericho v. Mick Foley

Should be a classic, and it's not a typical Foley feud of this last decade, where he puts over the emerging talent - Jericho is already well and truly established, putting the victor in doubt. I'm still picking Jericho though. After losing the title, he could do with a win to bounce back, but a feel-good Foley victory would not surprise me in the slightest.

-------

1. ~Olympic Ladder Match for the AOW Dynasty Championship~
Tyler Black(c) v. William Regal v. Kofi Kingston v. Aero Star v. Shelton Benjamin

First off - I love this concept. Should be a yearly AOW tradition, rather than just celebrating the fact it's an Olympic year. Could be an awesome match, with plenty of ladder match aficionados involved, and Regal to bring the brutality, no doubt. I'll go for the feel-good U-S-A win, and to stick it to Tyler Black for being an evil Armenian turncoat.

4. [b]~AOW Cruiserweight Championship~
Bryan Danielson(c) v. Jamie Noble

I think it'll be another case of 'close, but no cigar' for Noble. He wont tap, as he promised ... but he'll pass out, or the referee will simply stop it.

2. ~AOW Tag Team Championship~
The Mercenaries(c) v. American Made

I have a strange feeling Taylor turns on Nemeth, and joins with the Mercs, ala Trish & Christian at WrestleMania XX. That, or the Sons return to screw the Mercs over and gain a measure of revenge...

6. ~Trios Grudge Match~
A.I.R. v. DAM MUSCLE & The Miz

I don't see the team you've pushed losing to anyone beneath them on the ladder.

3. ~Punk Invitational~
CM Punk v. ???

{ANYONE present in the building is eligible}
The challenge blows up in Punks face I think, and he loses.


BONUS QUESTIONS
What will be the match order? --- DONE.
What will be the longest match? --- Michaels vs Joe.
What will be the shortest match? --- Six man tag.
Who will be CM Punkís opponent? --- Tempted to go completely left field, and say someone who isn't even with the company ... but I'll say ANTONIO BANKS
The location of The Outer Limits II will be revealed. Where will it take place? --- WASHINGTON D.C?
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Old 07-14-2014, 12:48 PM   #292 (permalink)
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Default Re: Presenting AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair

PREDICTION TEMPLATE

ORIGINS & ENDINGS
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – Mellon Arena
August 24, 2008
*Current Card*


!!TRIPLE MAIN EVENT!!

8.~AOW World Heavyweight Championship~
Christian Cage(c) v. Rob Van Dam

6.~Icon v. Machine~
!!For the First Time Ever!!
Samoa Joe v. Shawn Michaels

7.~War Rules~
*Loser Gets Fired*
Chris Jericho v. Mick Foley


-------

1.~Olympic Ladder Match for the AOW Dynasty Championship~
Tyler Black(c) v. William Regal v. Kofi Kingston v. Aero Star v. Shelton Benjamin


5.~AOW Cruiserweight Championship~
Bryan Danielson(c) v. Jamie Noble


2.~AOW Tag Team Championship~
The Mercenaries(c) v. American Made

4.~Trios Grudge Match~
A.I.R. v. DAM MUSCLE & The Miz

3.~Punk Invitational~
CM Punk v. ???

{ANYONE present in the building is eligible}


BONUS QUESTIONS
What will be the match order? Done.
What will be the longest match? Michaels vs. Joe
What will be the shortest match? Six Man Tag
Who will be CM Punk’s opponent? Um... no idea. Lance Storm?
The location of The Outer Limits II will be revealed. Where will it take place? Oh, God. Erm... New York?
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Old 07-16-2014, 01:09 AM   #293 (permalink)
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Default Re: Presenting AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair

ORIGINS & ENDINGS
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania Ė Mellon Arena
August 24, 2008
*Current Card*

!!TRIPLE MAIN EVENT!!

~AOW World Heavyweight Championship~
Christian Cage(c) v. Rob Van Dam
Toughest match on the card to pick. RVD is such an engaging character after turning on the fans. However, Christian has been built to be the face of the company. I'll go with Christian to get the win here, but I feel that this feud is far from over.

~Icon v. Machine~
!!For the First Time Ever!!
Samoa Joe v. Shawn Michaels
Joe has been built to be a monster, and honestly, there's not much benefit to HBK ending the streak. Have Joe kill em pls.

~War Rules~
*Loser Gets Fired*
Chris Jericho v. Mick Foley
Though Foley is absolutely brilliant as Acting Commander, Jericho may be the most fantastic character in the history of BTBs on this forum. Foley will find a way to come back eventually, and the scheming it would take to get another job with AOW makes me wonder if you'll have Foley shock Jericho and defeat him. This would allow Jericho to scheme his way into the company once again. However, Jericho is such a wonderful villain, so I cannot see you being without him for long.

-------

~Olympic Ladder Match for the AOW Dynasty Championship~
Tyler Black(c) v. William Regal v. Kofi Kingston v. Aero Star v. Shelton Benjamin
Awesome idea for a good spot fest. You should make this an annual thing rather than an event capitalizing on the Olympics. I love the intrigue and the loopholes certain wrestlers try to exploit to enter the match, such as London trying to represent Mexico and Black pulling a Sgt Slaughter and "betraying" his country. However, Black will win for sure. And maybe Haas comes in and screws Benji over?

~AOW Cruiserweight Championship~
Bryan Danielson(c) v. Jamie Noble
Idk if it's just me, but I am sensing that Bryan has been on a bit of a slow burn heel turn. With his aggressive tactics in matches and such, I can see him finding either a cheap or vicious way to defeat Noble in this battle for respect, thus making him more and more heelish.

~AOW Tag Team Championship~
The Mercenaries(c) v. American Made
I do not think this match will result in anywhere near a clean finish. My best guess is that Nameth will be disqualified for going nuts on the Mercs. However, he may stand tall by getting revenge on his enemies without winning the titles.

~Trios Grudge Match~
A.I.R. v. DAM MUSCLE & The Miz
The creation of A.I.R. has been an excellent bit of storytelling, which will culminate with Sydal winning the match for his team and finally get the torch passed to him by Kidman. Also, I think that Doane's teammmates will lose the match for him, thus protecting him.

~Punk Invitational~
CM Punk v. ???
{ANYONE present in the building is eligible}
I honestly have no clue who Punk will face, but I feel that him taking a loss from the unknown opponent would be a crazy way to start the show.[/i]


BONUS QUESTIONS
What will be the match order?
Punk Invitational, Trios match, Ladder match, Mercs vs. #MURICA, Bryan vs. Noble, Joe vs. HBK, Foley vs. Jericho, Cage vs. RVD

What will be the longest match?
Cage vs. RVD

What will be the shortest match?
Mercs vs. American Made

Who will be CM Punkís opponent?
Gonna go out on a limb and predict the AOW return of Bobby Lashley.[/i]

The location of The Outer Limits II will be revealed. Where will it take place?
Given the battle between WWE and AOW, I could see AOW giving the 'E a big middle finger by having it in Madison Square Garden in their backyard of NYC.
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Old 07-22-2014, 01:05 AM   #294 (permalink)
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Default Re: Presenting AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair

BLACK SCREEN


The screen gradually gets lighter to show Samoa Joe, then shifts to headshots of other speakers



Joe:
What does the first year of AOW mean to me?


Mick Foley:
That’s a damn good question.


Kofi Kingston:
AOW is and means a lot of things


Chris Masters:
I mean, for one, it means a chance to be born again, almost.


The very first Oblivion broadcast, which shows Shawn Michaels charging down the ramp in the first ever Lucky 13 Battle


Shelton Benjamin:
It means somewhere you can break new ground, even for yourself.


Still on that first broadcast, the very first match in AOW history is The Hooliganz v. the WGTT, with Benjamin and Haas pulling out the in the end


Rey Mysterio:
AOW means the old and the new, the past and the present, mixing to make something completely original.


Flash now to the first ever Yin v. Yang match, showcasing Rey Mysterio versus Bryan Danielson


Finlay:
It means a whole new way to live…


Finlay and Joe in their infamous scene, brawling on the Hammerstein balcony


Joe:
…and a whole new way to die.


The first ever A.O.K.O match, Finlay using the broken rope and the cage as a gallows to choke out Samoa Joe



Nick Nemeth:
It means making a name for yourself.


TJ Wilson:
No matter where you came from.


American Made, the Sons of the Dungeon, and the Samoan Fight Club all make their debut in the same night, one right after the other


Paul London:
It means a new crop of gold, man.


Gregory Helms steals the physical Cruiserweight Championship


Bryan Danielson:
It means expecting the absolutely unexpected.


The shocking World Ablaze main event, which sees the birth of the Worthy Legion


Chris Jericho:
It means power…


Jericho makes Shawn Michaels tap out


Jericho:
…dominance…


Jericho reigns supreme as AOW World Champion


Jericho:
…and brilliance.


Jericho forces Michaels out of the company with another win


CM Punk:
It means scratching and clawing for everything you want.


Punk in the ring with Lance Storm, fading into Punk pinning Muhammad Hassan for his first Dynasty Championship


Tyler Black:
It means creating an entire new standard for the old and the new.


Kofi Kingston and Tyler Black wrestle for twenty-five minutes in their debut, definitely setting a whole new standard


William Regal:
It means order.


Paul Burchill:
And civility.


Brent Albright:
And savagery.


Albright becomes Burchill’s apprentice, to the introduction of William Regal, to The Mercenaries winning the AOW World Tag Team Championships just a few weeks ago


Aero Star:
(In Spanish, subtitled)
{It means always being daring, going for more.}


Jack Evans with the double rotation moonsault, to Aero Star’s leaps off the entrance stage, to Tres Reyes hitting the Triple Tope Torpedo.


Charlie Haas:
It means a whole new way to fight wars.


Flashes of the Lucky 13, A.O.K.O cage, the Trios Tournament trophy, and the War Chamber


Carlito Colon:
It means stay cool, because you never know who is gonna show up.


Flashes of the debuts of Paul “The Great” Wright, Carlito himself, and the shocking unveiling of Antonio Banks


Jamie Noble:
It means a new opportunity you’ve never had before.


Noble does everything he can to get a draw in his AOW World title shot


Shawn Michaels:
It means a whole new show to steal.


Michaels kips up numerous times in big AOW matches, Superkicking everyone in sight


Rob Van Dam:
It means finding a whole new you.


Van Dam hits Finlay with the Frog Splash from atop a ladder, then throws Christian’s head through a TV monitor


Christian:
It means that uncertainty…


Christian refuses to quit in one of his most famous AOW moments


Christian:
…is the only thing certain…


Christian returns from exile, bursting to the ring with a steel chair


Christian:
And AOW is, at its core…a hard-fought joy.


Cage lifts the AOW World title over his head and embraces with Torrie Wilson


Paul Heyman:
So what exactly does AOW mean…?


A bright, blurry flash of all the moments going by


Heyman:
Simple. AOW means everything.


Still-frames of several of the more hallmark moments


Heyman:
It may have an origin…but rest assured, it will never have an ending.


We end on a frame of Christian Cage in a whirlwind of celebration, hoisting his AOW Championship high in jubilation…





AND NOW…MAMAJUANA ENERGY AND ART OF WAR WRESTLING PRESENT…THE ONE-YEAR ANNIVERSARY SPECTACULAR – ORIGINS & ENDINGS!!



**PYRO**
**PYRO**
**PYRO**
**PYRO**
**PYRO**
**PYRO**


The thunderous sound of indoor fireworks is replaced with the thunderous ovation from the AOW faithful, many of them chanting “AOW!! AOW!!” The commentary team lies dormant for a while so we can take in what looks like a sold-out Mellon Arena, approaching 17-18k. A pan around the arena reveals a multitude of signs that read “’THE MAN’ ON THE MOON”, “STEAL THE SHOW, BREAK THE STREAK”, “YEAR OF THE DRAGON”, and “JERICHO IS GOD…DAMNED.”

After the smoke clears, we pan around to see the stage, which has kept the standard single circular, yin-yang big screen. Surrounding it, however, is a much broader stage with lots of studs sprinkled over things. This could be an allusion to Pittsburgh being the ‘Steel City’, and the trademark AOW blood red entrance curtain is also a reference to that, being replaced by what looks like a mess of intertwining steel beams, all of them glowing red as if they’re hot and to immolate said crimson curtain.

A look around the ring area shows that there's not nearly as much ringside space as we usually see, although they are cut off by the usual guard rails. The entrance ramp is not there, instead replaced by a long, flat entrance aisle. This leads us on over to far ringside, where the commentators' booth sits



Joey Styles:
It’s been a glorious year of war if I’ve ever seen it and I’ve been here for every second!! Welcome to one of the two biggest shows of the entire year for Art of War Wrestling! We are in the Mellon Arena in proud Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to bring you our one-year anniversary PPV, Origins & Endings!! I’m Joey Styles alongside John “Bradshaw” Layfield and what a year it has been.


JBL:
It has, but I won’t say I’ve enjoyed every minute of it because I’ve spent’em with you, Joey.


Joey Styles:
I love you too, John.


JBL:
Ha-ha! I love your passive-aggressive crap. But I couldn’t be more excited to be here an’ to call an absolutely fantastic night ahead of us.


Joey Styles:
It is fantastic, if for no other reason than we’ve got three, count’em, THREE huge main events that many say have been building since the very first day of AOW, one year ago. The fourth PPV in AOW history is ready to get rockin’, so let’s not keep anyone waiting. Here’s Tony Chimel, introduction extraordinaire!


We pan now to the ring, where Chimel is looking quite dapper in a suit and tie with a microphone


***DING DING DING***


Chimel:
The following contest is the Olympic Ladder Match for the AOW Dynasty Championship!!


Big pop for a big match up first


Chimel:
Each man in this contest will be representing a different country! The first man to climb a ladder and retrieve the title will leave the AOW Dynasty Champion!


Now that people are reminded Ladder match rules, we pan back to the stage…



**SIN LIMITES**



The crowd gives out a huge ovation for the first competitor through the bar - curtain – AERO STAR!! We get to see how the barred entrance works, operating like a double door. Star is not in his signature ‘Blue Blur’ attire, but rather he’s taken a page out of Rey Mysterio’s playbook and has dressed up like a comic book character for such a huge show. Aero Star has chosen to dress up in in an all-black suit and mask with a large white spider on the front – VENOM!!

The crowd gets a very peculiar sight, as the black-suited Spider-Man runs down to the ring with a Mexican flag draped overhead, leaps through the ropes, and continues to wave his counties flag high



Chimel:
From Mexico City, Mexico, weighing in at 169 pounds and representing Mexico…AEERROOOOO STAAAAARRRR!!!


Joey Styles:
Lead with your best foot forward and what a guy to come out the gun first! The Olympic Ladder Match is a terrific choice to start off and what better guy to show us first than the luchador Aero Star! I tell you what, John, Aero Star may not be many people’s favorite to win this match, but I think we’re gonna see some mind bending acrobatics out of this guy tonight.


JBL:
Nobody’s favorite, Joey? There’s Mexicans here in Pittsburgh, ya know. How insensitive of you to assume that. But no matter how wrong you are, yes, you are still right – I’m lookin’ forward to one hellova match, but I’m lookin’ to see this jumpin’ bean to absolutely steal the show. He’s incredible on his own, but let’s see how crazy he can get with ladders!



**WELCOME TO WHITECHAPEL**



The crowd’s reaction goes in the opposite direction, as a great deal of heat is thrown to WILLIAM REGAL. Regal is a lot less theatric than his Mexican counterpart, wearing one of his more elaborate blue robes.

He too is carrying his flag, although the Union Jack is proudly displayed on a flagpole, which Regal doesn’t even bother to wave around on his way to the ring. He’s so focused, he doesn’t realize when he almost hits a ladder when walking, breaking him out of his trance before he wipes his feet on the apron and steps in.



Chimel:
From Blackpool, England, weighting 243 pounds and representing England…WILLL-YUUUUMM REEEGAAAALL!!


Joey Styles:
While Aero Star and others in this match will be the highlight of using those ladders to ascend to new heights, I think William Regal will be the guy in this match to highlight using the ladder as a weapon.


JBL:
It’s a clash of styles, Joey, an’ I love it! You got a group of high flyin’ youngsters who are gonna just crash an’ burn against the no-nonsense Englishman. He’s my pick to win because he’s just gonna mash guys an’ on top of that, he’s got a chip on his shoulders. This was supposed to be a one-on-one match with Tyler Black until a few weeks ago.


Joey Styles:
That’s right, partner. Regal is still very disappointed that this match’s entire stipulation changed on him on the fly.



**MAN WIT’ NO LAND**



The crowd against gives a generous ovation when KOFI KIGNSTON bursts through the makeshift curtain, his Ghana/Jamaica tights on as bright as his gigawatt smile. His Jamaican flag is wrapped around his neck like a cape, looking quite majestic when he hops around down the aisle slapping hands.


Chimel:
From Kingston, Jamaica by way of Ghana, West Africa, weighing in at 211 pounds and representing Jamaica…KOOO-FEEEEEE KING-STUUUUNNN!!!


Joey Styles:
You wanna talk about another guy who will do nothing but defy gravity in this match? I don’t know if we can look much further than Kofi Kingston. And not to mention that of all the men in this contest, he probably has the biggest grudge against Tyler Black.


JBL:
Those two have been at each other’s throats since the first day they walked into this company an’ it’s been fantastic to watch, but Black got the upper hand between the two of’em. Kofi might have the biggest grudge an’ he might know Black the best, but when these ladders come in, everything goes out the window.



**BETTER THAN GREAT**



The WGTT theme remix gives way to the American representative, SHELTON BENJAMIN. Benjamin gets a rather large mixed reaction, as the home country rep is an obvious heel. Benjamin isn’t carrying an American flag. Instead, his wrestling singlet for tonight is decked out looking like Old Glory. Benjamin doesn’t acknowledge any fans or adhere to any “USA” chants that might kick up, prompting more people to start booing their representative.


Chimel:
From Orangeburg, South Carolina, weighing in at 243 pounds and representing the United States of America...SHEL-TUUUUUUUN BEEEEN-JAAA-MIIIIIINNN!!!


Joey Styles:
That man has a scowl on his face, but he should be extremely confident. He didn’t have to fight for his spot, merely asking Paul Heyman to be put in and he’s representing the United States, but I’m pretty sure others will agree with me that I’d rather have anyone else representing the good ol’ US of A.


JBL:
Speak for yourself, poindexter. Lemme ask you somethin’ - how many ladder matches has everyone else in this match ever been in? Hm? I’ll answer that – ONE. Combined, the other four guys in this match have been in one ladder match in their entire careers. Shelton Benjamin has been in an’ stolen the show in more ladder matches than the other four men in this match combined. There’s no one better to represent my country than the Ace Athlete! Go Shelton!



**BATTLE ON**



The increasingly familiar heavy tune causes another downpour of heat, as TYLER BLACK cockily comes through the makeshift curtain now. He doesn’t seem to be carrying an Armenian flag, but upon taking off his black coat, we see that he has it wrapped around his waist, his Dynasty Championship possibly helping to hold it up. Black slides into the ring and looks far less confident than he did even a moment ago.



Chimel:
From Davenport, Iowa, weighing in at 216 pounds and representing Armenia…he is the current AOW Dynasty Champion…TYLEEERRRRRRR BLAAAACCK!!


Joey Styles:
Black takes off that long black coat and he might as well have a red one underneath. The Benedict Arnold of AOW so far having turned his back on the country he was born in just because it’s moral system is a ‘disgrace’ according to him. Nonetheless, Tyler Black is a gifted competitor and as athletic as he is, he too will be something to watch for in this match.


JBL:
Yeah, he’ll be somethin’ to watch for. Watch someone beat his ass. I was a little hesitant on this guy an’ he made me a huge fan of him. But if there’s one thing that’ll turn me off to a guy faster than anything, it’s talkin’ bad about America. You can be a patriot an’ love Armenia or wherever it is you’re from all you want, but don’t you talk bad about a country on its own soil! Shelton, Kofi, I don’t care, someone just get that title off that turncoat!


Black unwraps his flag and gives it to the timekeeper, where we see the others have put their colors as well. Black then shines up his gold strap and gives it a smooch before handing it over to senior referee Ray Ramsey, who latches it onto the dangling apparatus and sends it up, leaving the Dynasty Championship at a title’s ransom in the rafters.






*Olympic Ladder Match*
~AOW Dynasty Championship~
Tyler Black v. Kofi Kingston v. William Regal v. Aero Star v. Shelton Benjamin



Four of the five men nervously look from one man to the next, their arms outstretched, fingers twitching. The only one who doesn’t seem to be looking at anyone else is Tyler Black, who is still in the middle of the ring and looking up at his glorious Dynasty Championship. He then snaps his head down and looks at the other four men in the ring, but instead of nervous, he has a boisterous level of confidence…

“All of you! Keep your hands off my title! You hear me? The ladder to success is MINE!”

This cocky decree gets him some early cheap heat, all the men in the ring taking a beat to let those words sink in…before, predictably, THE OTHER FOUR PARTICIPANTS RUSH AND BEAT THE SNOT OUT OF BLACK!! Kingston, Regal, Benjamin, and Aero Star all go to town on bashing Black’s head in with fists and kicks before Benjamin takes the limp body of Black and THROWS HIM OVER THE TOP ROPE!

No sooner than Black touches the floor do the other men lay into one another. Aero Star breaks off getting clubbed by William Regal, and Kofi Kingston decks Shelton Benjamin. These four men go back and forth, Benjamin forcing Kinston into a corner. Kingston reverses the tactic and plants Benjamin in the corner, nailing several right hands before backing up a few steps…AND JUMPING ON BENJAMIN WITH A HIGH-JUMP TEN PUNCH!!

ONE!!

TWO!!

THREE!!

FOUR!!

FIVE!!

SIX!!

SEVEN!!

EIGHT!!

NINE!!

TEN!!

The ten-punch connects!! Kingston flips off as Benjamin groggily droops out of the corner. Not too far from them, Regal knees Star in the gut and CHUNKS HIM SHOULDER FIRST INTO A TURNBUCKLE!! Star slumps in pain, but Regal turns right into another brawl with Kingston. Regal pulls away from that one as well, socking Kingston in the face before nailing him with a PERFECT SUPLEX!!

Regal is the guy who pulls away early, not wasting any time after downing Kofi. He slides under the bottom rope to the floor and throws up the ring skirt, revealing more ladders under the ring. He digs around for a moment before he pulls out a ladder…that’s small? It’s not a stepladder exactly, but it’s not as big as many of the others around the ring. It seems like maybe four or five feet tall.

The Britain native doesn’t argue, nor does he care. He just slides the ladder into the ring and goes in after it, preparing to lay even more waste than he already has. Regal sets himself up to knock back down any man who dares get to his feet. The first man to do so is Shelton Benjamin, who gets CLOCKED IN THE SKULL WITH LADDER!! The Brit looks to take no prisoners and tries to make sure no one else is getting up…only to look up and see AERO STAR COMING DOWN WITH A CROSSBODY…AND GETS A LADDER THROWN AGAINST HIS BODY!! OH MY!!

Star goes down on in a heap, gripping at his ribs. Regal takes a second to admire his handiwork. In that moment, Kofi Kingston tries to grab the ladder before Regal can get to it. They both grab the small apparatus and begin pulling on it, a tug-of-war going on. Both men also get clever, as when one man pulls, the other tries to jab the steel into their opponent’s gut, but both men see it coming from the other. This goes on for a moment until Shelton Benjamin gets back to his feet and goes to nail Kingston with a SUPERKICK…

…but Kingston drops his side of the ladder and catches Benjamin’s foot, just before it hits the Jamaican/African in the face. But the athletic Benjamin spins around and goes for the DRAGON WHIP…but Kingston ducks…only for REGAL TO GET KICKED WITH THE LADDER TO HIS FACE!! DRAGON WHIP TO THE LADDER!!

Regal drops the ladder and slides under the ring to the floor to try and recuperate. The commentators note that that was probably out of instinct, but it’s not a good idea in this kind of match to be out of the ring at any point in time. Left in the ring now are Kingston and Benjamin, with Kingston once again getting the better of the American representative with a picture prefect dropkick! Kingston is all kinds of pumped up now, storming around the ring to get the crowd as invigorated as he is. He then goes by the ropes, waiting for something on the other side of them…before rushing…AND HITTING WILLIAM REGAL ON THE OUTSIDE WITH A CORKSCREW PLANCHA!!

Both Kingston and Regal crash to the floor off of Kingston’s beautiful move. The crowd is cheering big time for the first huge spot of the night, but it doesn’t look like we’re done here. Aero Star, still gripping at his ribs, gets back to his feet and climbs to the apron, peering behind him at the recovering bodies on the floor. When both Regal and Kingston begin showing the slightest signs of getting all the way back to their feet, Aero starts to stir. He bounces off the second, then top rope…AND HITS THE SPRINGBOARD INVERTED CROSSBODY!! THE CANNONBALL FREEFALL!!

Three men now hit the deck as the Cannonball fells a trifecta! The crowd’s even more pumped up following that, Star having to untangle himself from amidst the bodies he’s destroyed. He’s the first in the pile to attempt to make it back to his feet, but that just means he’s the first to see Shelton Benjamin getting to his feet in the ring. Regal and Kingston soon get back on their feet, if groggy, only for all three men to brace themselves when Benjamin rushes at the ropes…AND LEAPS FOR AN ABSOLUTELY BREATHTAKING NO-HAND SUMMERSAULT PLANCHA!! OH MY GOODNESS!! FOUR MEN CRASH AND BURN!!

The crowd cheers even more for that incredible maneuver, but before any chants of religious fecal matter can kick up, Tyler Black is back and in the ring. He shakes the cobwebs out of his head and grabs hold of the small ladder left in the ring and inspects it before looking over towards the ramp and seeing the recovering four bodies. He rebounds off the ropes and shoots off the top rope, ladder in hand…A SHOOTING STAR PRESS PLANCHA WITH THE LADDER!!! OHHH MYY GAAAADD!!

“HOLY SHIT!! HOLY SHIT!! HOLY SHIT!!”

The representative of Armenia has completely wowed the crowd here tonight and the match isn’t even five minutes old! Black recovers, but he doesn’t take the small ladder with him. Instead, he goes a little farther up the ramp and undoes one of the erect ladders we saw coming in. This is a more normal sized ladder, which Black drags to the ring with him. Black successfully sets it up right underneath his Dynasty Championship, starting the first official climb of the match –

…SIX RUNGS TO GO…


…FIVE RUNGS TO GO…


…FOUR RUNGS TO GO…


…THREE RUNGS TO GO…


KOFI KINGSTON BREAKS THE CLIMB!! Mercifully, someone stops Black from immediately retaining. He tries to yank the Dynasty Champion from off the ladder, but Black uses his educated feet to kick his rival away. Kingston reels, but doesn’t give up, opting instead to simply climb the other side of the ladder. The two are almost at the top of the ladder, duking it out!

Their blows go back and forth, these two men who debuted on the same night and tore the house down just a few months ago could be inches away from providing another moment in their long rivalry…BUT SHELTON BENJAMIN PUSHES THE LADDER OVER!! The swift Kingston actually lands on his feet, but Black IS STRADDLED ON THE TOP ROPE AND FALLS TO THE OUTSIDE!!

The One Man Grey Area could be castrated, but Kingston’s athleticism had him avoiding the same fate. This pits him in another duel with Shelton Benjamin, who charges at Kingston AND NAILS HIM WITH A HUGE CLOTHESLINE!! Kingston hits the canvas hard, but he scrambles and goes to a corner to keep himself up. Benjamin targets his prey, undoing the erected ladder. He takes the ladder like a battering ram and CHARGES AT THE CORNERED KINGSTON…NOBODY HOME!!

Kingston whips his lower body out of the way at the last minute, Benjamin hitting nothing but iron post. The shock of steel-on-steel forces him to let go of the ladder, it remaining almost like a ramp against the post. Benjamin turns his attention to the sitting-on-the-middle rope Kingston…ONLY TO GET PEGGED WITH THE PENDULUM KICK!! This sends Benjamin reeling, Kingston climbing back into the ring…TROUBLE IN PARADISE!! Benjamin goes down!!

Kingston gets the upper hand on the American representative for the third time in this young match! But as the crowd pops for the Jamaican representative, he’s assaulted from behind by the British rep, William Regal. Regal wastes no time clubbing Kingston in the neck and then prepping his arms…AND HITTING THE HALF NELSON SUPLEX…ONTO THE LADDER!! MY GOD, KINGSTON IS MANGLED AROUND STEEL!!

Kingston is dead as he hits the steel, leaving Regal as the only man in the ring. He realizes that Kingston’s out cold on the only other ladder, so he quickly goes outside to retrieve another one. He tries to push it through the middle ropes into the ring, holding up one side. What he doesn’t see is Aero Star creeping onto a nearby top rope…AND FLIPPING ONTO THE SIDE IN THE RING…SENDING THE LADDER TEETER-TOTTERING RIGHT INTO REGAL’S JAW!!

The Mercenary is out cold, while the Blue Blur is quickly getting back to his feet and tends to his back, which collided with the steel. He takes the ladder and sets it up in the middle of the ring, Star now going up and becoming the first luchador in AOW history to ascend a ladder…

…SIX RUNGS TO GO…


…FIVE RUNGS TO GO…


…FOUR RUNGS TO GO…


…THREE RUNGS TO GO…


…TWO RUNGS TO GO…


NO!! He’s stopped by Shelton Benjamin, who clubs at Star’s back. He then tries to pry Star off the ladder, but to no avail. He tries a different method – POWERBOMB POSITION…STEEL CHAIR TO THE GUT!! Benjamin raised his arms to pull Star down and William Regal introduces the first chair into the match! Benjamin bends over, gripping at his midsection…CHAIR TO THE SPINE FROM REGAL!! Almost as soon as Benjamin’s body crumples and goes limp, Regal turns his attention to Aero…AND CRACKS HIM IN THE SPINE WITH THE CHAIR NOW!!

Star is forced to let go of his perch on the ladder, Regal seething with his new toy. He throws it out of the ring, his perpetual scowl looking pissed as hell. As his lip curls, we see that his mouth has partially started bleeding. It’s not that bad, but noticeable. Regal then proceeds to the ladder, his grimace aflame…and the hard-nosed, no-nonsense Brit becomes terrified out of his mind. He looks up the ladder to the top to see the title and he looks…scared? Regal’s hands start trembling before he tries to climb the ladder…

…SIX RUNGS TO GO…


…FIVE RUNGS TO GO…


…AND HE VOLUNTARILY STEPS OFF!! William Regal, the noble brawler, is afraid of heights! The tentative player-manager still sees everyone around him down, so he wipes his feet, gathers his courage, possibly prays to the Queen, and tries again –

…SIX RUNGS TO GO…


…FIVE RUNGS TO GO…


…FOUR RUNGS TO GO…


…AND HE STEPS OFF AGAIN!! Regal shakes his head, not knowing what the hell he can do! As Joey Styles gleefully notes, you can’t win a ladder match without climbing a ladder! The frustrated Regal catches the glimpse of someone moving in the corner of his eye, prompting him to take down the ladder and place it on his shoulders, spinning like a helicopter blade…AND SMASHING TYLER BLACK IN THE FACE!!

Black, for what seems like the hundredth time this match, is knocked down! Kofi Kingston, groggy as can be, is the next man to his feet…AND HE’S HIT BY THE ROTATING LADDER OF DOOM!! Regal seems like he might have to knock everyone out rather than face his fear of heights. Aero Star, again tending to his back, is standing and is the next victim in Regal’s path…but Star ducks! Regal spins around…and Star ducks again!

Aero using his quickness in this match, he then pulls the surprising tactic of LEAPING ONTO REGAL’S BACK…AND STANDS ON THE LADDER ACROSS REGAL’S SHOULDERS!! What the hell?! Star reaches up…AND HE’S A FINGERTIP AWAY FROM THE GOLD…but Regal feels this and slowly steps away from the middle of the ring, thwarting Aero’s incredibly athletic attempt. Star leaps down and forces Regal down with a drop toehold…REGAL DROPPING HIS FACE ON THE LADDER!

For now, the wrath is over. Regal is on all fours trying to get back to a vertical base…BLACK OUT!! BLACK OUT ONTO THE LADDER!! TYLER BLACK OUTTA NOWHERE!! Black stomps Regal’s face in and then quickly pounces on Star, slinging him out of the ring! Black alone is standing, taking the ladder Regal had and setting it up again, the Armenian rep champion with his first attempt to climb…

…SIX RUNGS TO GO…


…FIVE RUNGS TO GO…


…FOUR RUNGS TO GO…


…THREE RUNGS TO GO…


SHELTON BENJAMIN STOPS HIM!! Shelton clubs Black on the back before heading to the other side and starts climbing himself…

…SIX RUNGS TO GO…


…FIVE RUNGS TO GO…


…FOUR RUNGS TO GO…


…THREE RUNGS TO GO…


…TWO RUNGS TO GO…


Black stops him with a jab! It’s Benjamin and Black who will go back and forth high in the sky now, neither man willing to give an inch for the coveted Dynasty gold. Black swings around for another blow, only for Benjamin to catch Black around the neck…EXPLODER SUPLEX OFF THE TOP OF THE LADDER!! ALL THE WAY DOWN!! SHELTON BENJAMIN WITH A JAW-DROPPING SUPLEX!! Another “HOLY SHIT!” moment!

Benjamin lifts himself from off of Black’s body, selling the damage to his midsection as he tries to climb again. The All-American grimaces up the steps…

…SIX RUNGS TO GO…


…FIVE RUNGS TO GO…


…FOUR RUNGS TO GO…


…THREE RUNGS TO GO…


…AERO STAR SPRINGBOARDS FROM THE OUTSIDE RIGHT ONTO THE LADDER!!

…TWO RUNGS TO GO…

…ONE RUNG TO GO…!!!!

Benjamin slugs the comic book dressing luchador! Benjamin pulls himself up to Star’s level and starts throwing punches to the masked man, but Star has the guts to fight back. But Benji starts to pull away, rapidly hitting Star with right hand after right hand…but then Aero fights back again…only to be overtaken. One of Benjamin’s blows knocks Star for a loop and makes him drop a step. Benjamin is up a little higher than Star, looming over him before leaping…SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB OFF THE LADDER!!

…NO!!! AERO STAR ONCE AGAIN HANGS ON!! The beautiful motion is interrupted when Aero grips the ladder for dear life! Benjamin can’t tug the Mexican rep down, instead opting to turn around and send Aero farther…up? Aero Star is in an Electric Chair position going higher and higher up the ladder…ALMOST REACHING THE TITLE…but Benjamin’s climb takes Aero up past the title! He can’t reach over for the title without falling, but Benjamin prepares to fall back for a SUPER ELECTRIC CHAIR DROP…Aero spins off of Benjamin’s shoulders, down his back…AND HE NAILS A SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB!! OH MY GOODNESS, AERO STAR SPINS FROM TOP TO BOTTOM!!

“HOLY SHIT!! HOLY SHIT!!”

This is just the first contest of the night and already the crowd has been wowed beyond comprehension. Star has to take a moment to gather himself, his next climb attempt going much slower…

…SIX RUNGS TO GO…




…FIVE RUNGS TO GO…




…FOUR RUNGS TO GO…




Tyler Black slides back into the ring, bringing another ladder with him. He takes the closed steel steps and CRACKS AERO STAR IN THE SHOULDER!! Star falls, but he miraculously leans onto the ropes for support. Black sets his ladder up next to the one already erected, opting to try and climb both ladders to the top for extra support. However, this is stopped when Aero Star fights back, forcing Black to just one ladder. Aero starts climbing up the other ladder, the two fighting as they ascend…

…SIX RUNGS TO GO…


…FIVE RUNGS TO GO…




Midway up the ladder, Black turns Star around, the two still slugging, but the One Man Gray Area has Star trapped…PAROXYSM FROM HALFWAY UP THE LADDER!! WOW!! The move does damage to both men, who have to roll out of the ring to recuperate. There are literally bodies lying everywhere in this scene that resembles a tornado passing through a Home Depot. And it looks like it’s gonna get even wilder, as outside the ring, Kofi Kingston is setting up another ladder around the announce table area. When he finishes setting it up, we can see it’s ‘the big one’ – Kofi’s ladder is as tall on the floor as the other two are in the ring. No way that thing’s under twenty feet tall.

No matter the height, it’s very close to the ring and Kofi might have plans for it, but William Regal stops those before Kingston stunts him with a BACK BODY DROP!! Regal hits the outside padding hard, Kingston looking around him now. The crowd is buzzing huge as Kofi looks back and forth between the huge ladder he erroneously set up and the two erect ones in the ring. Kingston abandons any daredevil antics he may have had in mind and slides into the ring. He moves one of the ladders towards a corner, leaving the other one in the middle and starts his climb, being the only man on his feet…!!

…SIX RUNGS TO GO…


…FIVE RUNGS TO GO…


…FOUR RUNGS TO GO…


…THREE RUNGS TO GO…


…TWO RUNGS TO GO…


…ONE RUNG TO GO…!!!!!


HE’S TOUCHING THE GOLD WITH HIS FINGERTIPS…


…BUT THE LADDER BEGINS TO WOBBLE…because Shelton Benjamin and Tyler Black are messing with it at the base! Each man is on a side, Kingston helpless and can only look down in terror as the two heels combine their strength to PICK UP THE LADDER WITH KINGSTON STILL ON TOP. They shuffle it away from the middle of the ring, the ladder TIPPING OVER…



…AND KINGSTON LANDS ON THE OUTSIDE LADDER HE SET UP!!! WHAT IN THE HELL~!?!? Kingston, possibly the master of footwork, finds some way to shuffle from one ladder to another!! Kingston stand safely atop the sturdier, larger ladder much to the shock of Black and Benjamin. They set the ladder down near the ropes and can just stare up in amazement as Kingston adjusts himself to his new higher ground. He gives them one of his signature gigawatt smiles, except this time, there’s a huge trollface feel to it.

Benjamin is the first man to break out of his shock, letting go of his side and bashing Black in the face with hard rights. Black fights back, both men showing their fatigue. Black starts pulling away, but Benjamin surprises him with a huge BIG BOOT that floors the Dynasty Champion. Benjamin then heads over to the ladder that was put aside in the corner and undoes it, getting it flat once again. He takes it up and waits for Black to groggily get back to his feet to BLAST HIM BETWEEN THE EYES!! NO!! SUPERKICK!! BLACK WITH A SUDDEN SUPERKICK!!

Benjamin drops his weapon and then drops like a stone, his eyes completely glazed over! From atop his heaven-level haven, Kofi Kingston actually applauds for that impact. Black then picks his weary body from the canvas, only to then do the same for Benjamin’s. Tyler gets behind Benjamin and lifts him up for a back drop parallel to the flat ladder…BLACK TO WHITE ONTO THE LADDER!! BENJAMIN IS DRIVEN FACE FIRST INTO THE UNFORGIVING APARATUS!! Black rolls away in weary pain right after the impact.

This leaves Shelton Benjamin lain flat out on a ladder, as he sticks the landing. The crowd starts to buzz even more and even start standing when they see Kofi Kingston start preparing himself from atop the outside ladder. He STANDS UP now, both of his legs on both sides of the ladder. As he does so, Shelton Benjamin (inauspiciously and coincidentally) turns while still on the ladder, facing up.

The crowd is losing their shit as Kingston looks like he could be cooking something up. He sets up the picture, perhaps judging the distance. He then shimmies his shoulders, the crowd chanting “BOOM! BOOM!” along with him – and it becomes incredibly apparent what he’s looking for. Kingston LEAPS…OFF ONE LADDER…OVER ANOTHER LADDER…AND HITS THE BOOM DROP!! KOFI KINGSTON UNLEASHES A PHYSICS DESTROYING CHOCOLATE RAIN LEG DROP!!

There isn’t enough spiritual defecation in the universe to describe what just happened. Benjamin could be broken in half and Kingston could have a broken tailbone from his landing. The crowd is absolutely on fire, but once again, there isn’t a man on his feet…except William Regal. The intelligent Brit takes the ladder that Kingston jumped over and simply places it in the middle of the ring. He rubs his hands together to try and build up some last minute courage, which JBL yelling for him to get over his fear for a championship. Regal must be hearing him because, while hesitant, Regal begins his ascent towards almost certain championship gold…

…SIX RUNGS TO GO…


…FIVE RUNGS TO GO…


…FOUR RUNGS TO GO…


…THREE RUNGS TO GO…


MISSILE DROPKICK FROM AERO STAR!! REGAL IS KNOCKED CLEAN OFF THE LADDER!! AERO STAR IS STILL IN THIS THING!! Star is now the only man on his feet, the crowd reigniting for Spider Man. Star takes Regal’s place on the ladder, the entire Mellon Arena going crazy…

…SIX RUNGS TO GO…


…FIVE RUNGS TO GO…


…FOUR RUNGS TO GO…


…THREE RUNGS TO GO…


…TWO RUNGS TO GO…


…ONE RUNG…!!!!


…SPRINGBOARD KNEE!! TYLER BLACK OUT OF NOWHERE WITH THE SPINGBOARD KNEE, CRUSHING STAR OFF THE LADDER AND TAKING HIS PLACE IN ONE FELL SWOOP!! Black is all alone now, Kofi Kingston barely able to start crawling to the ladder…!!

…TWO RUNGS TO GO…


…ONE RUNG TO GO…!!!!


…BLACK’S TOUCHING THE TITLE…!!!!


…AND HE GRABS HIS DYNASTY CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!!



Here is your winner and STILL AOW Dynasty Champion...TYLER BLACK at (16:18)



Black hugs the title against his chest, his head down and completely embracing his gold. He then lifts the title over his head atop the ladder, full of jubilation and cementing his place on the AOW food chain


Joey Styles:
And Tyler Black has retained his coveted Dynasty Championship! Dammit!


JBL:
Dammit is right, Joey.


Joey Styles:
No matter who won, that was undoubtedly the most incredible ladder match I think we’ve ever had in AOW!


JBL:
We’ve had some doozies, but I will hesitantly agree with you, Joey. This one might damn well be the best.


Joey Styles:
Every single man gave it their all no matter what, but in the end, no one could stop the crafty One Man Gray Area. To the chagrin of many, Tyler Black remains our Dynasty Champion.


JBL:
Not my champion, I’ll tell you that.


Black goes up the aisle with his flag in one hand and his championship in the other, raising them as high as he can before he has to stop to tend to his sore body. The other participants can only look on in disappointment as we fade away…



~Backstage, locker room area…


A close-up of Rob Van Dam, doing some kind of exercise. He’s trying to regulate his breathing which seems to be a little difficult and upon pulling away we see that he’s doing the signature Van Dam stretch – performing a split on two chairs. The impressive feat is all we see before we fade away…



***


A black screen, with faint film of a crumbing building and a frantic voice yelling into an old radio


“There’s buildings and cars just crushed and crumbled…”


A shot of what looks like a man’s wrestling boots…


Another faint film shot of people running about


“People are running everywhere, no one sure where to go…”


Another shot of the man’s boots, the shot slowly spinning and going up his body…


Shot of a horde of people pouring into a broken window, raiding a grocery store


“There’s unrest everywhere, ladies and gentlemen…”


The rotating shot of the man passes his tights and shows a shirt, a logo looking like the Superman log…??


“In my opinion, if the world ever needed a hero…that time is now…that time is now!”


The rotating shot of the man cumulates with a headshot of none other than Chris Hero


CHRIS HERO
COMING SOON TO AOW

“His name is Chris Hero. And he is awesome-”


***


~Back at ringside…


***DING DING DING***



Chimel:
The following contest is a Trios match! The first team to score two points for their team, whether by eliminating two team members or a team captain, will be declared the victors!


A nice pop from the crowd



**MACH**



Pittsburgh gives a surprising ovation for the arrival of A.I.R – THE ANTI-INERTIA REGIME. Matt Sydal and Jack Evans burst onto the stage completely energized, but at the same time taken aback, never having performed in front of an audience this size. They’re wearing matching red and black tights which Billy Kidman shares in short tights form when he arrives. Kidman places his hands on the shoulders of his pupils before all three men head on down



Chimel:
Introducing first, at a combined weight of 540 pounds, the team of Matt Sydal, Jack Evans, and Billy Kidman…the Anti-Inertia Regime – A.I.R.!!!


Joey Styles:
Despite being a part of AOW and the main roster for the better part of its first year, two of the three men on this new team are making their AOW PPV debut. Nonetheless, we just saw an incredible high-flying contest to open the show, but I think these three may be the most unheralded stars of that kind of offense on this roster especially considering what they can use it for tonight against a team they very much hate.


JBL:
They can fly as high as they want but they’ve got a cursed man on their side – Matt Sydal. I tell ya, I commend the kid for tryin’ so hard, draggin’ a cruiserweight legend like Billy Kidman into this whole thing an’ almost endin’ his career an’ even pullin’ in Jack Evans too, but sometimes guys just don’t cut it.


Joey Styles:
There are rumors going around that this may be Billy Kidman’s final hurrah, but it was Billy Kidman himself, despite all the losses from Sydal, who trusted his star pupil with the team captain duties tonight.



“BROTHERHOOD SUSTAINS US!”


**BROTHERHOOD SUSTAINS US**




A solid array of heat for the boys of DAT MUSCLE, who walk in wearing their expensive frat jackets. The Miz is trying to look cool as he walks alongside Doane and Masters, but he’s failing miserably. Neither man looks too high-strung or worried, although Miz is coming down the aisle like he’s already won the match



Chimel:
And their opponents, weighing in at a combined weight of 695 pounds, Mike “The Miz” Mizanin and the team of Ken Doane and Chris Masters…DAAAT MUSSSS-SSUUULL!!


JBL:
HAHA!! My boys!!


Joey Styles:
Don’t jump too far out of your chair, John. Well, these young men all think that their connections and their networking ties make them better than everyone else. What makes guys in fraternities think they’re allowed special privileges, Bradshaw?


JBL:
One word – money, Joey, money. An’ I should know! I got lots of it! There’s nothin’ wrong with havin’ money an’ knowin’ people who have lots of it. They should feel privileged.


Joey Styles:
Oh, and I guess one of those special privileges is putting guys though tables. I really hope A.I.R. can pull it out here to shut these guys up.


Inside the ring, the only guy who isn’t in his corner talking strategy (or, as Kidman sort of is, chomping at the bit) is The Miz, who just seems overwhelmed with emotion stepping into the ring for no apparent reason. He stays there so long that DAT MUSCLE just kinda waves him out there, telling him he’s starting the match.






~Trios Rules~
A.I.R.
v.
DAT MUSCLE &The Miz



The Miz, so shocked his (temporary) brethren are allowing him to go first, continues to soak up his moment in the sun. All of Pittsburgh groans as Miz blows kisses to his faithful ‘fans’ all around him. Jack Evans, who is his corner’s legal man, just stares at Miz and giggles his ass off…and then laughs even harder when Miz reaches into his tights and pulls out…a roll of parchment??

Miz, who looks like he’s crying, stats to read off the parchment ‘people he’d like to thank’. Really? Really? Even Miz’s corner, the guys who hazed him and then gave him the benefit of the doubt, are groaning and facepalming. Doane finally screams at him to get moving, which forces Miz to drop his thank you list and BACK RIGHT INTO A ROLL-UP BY EVANS –

ONE…

TWO…

THR-NO!!

Miz holds his own and rolls out of the roll-up!! The crowd has to deflate because they were pretty damn sure Miz was gone on that one. The momentum from Miz rolling out of the pin sends him right back to his corner, where he takes his sweaty palms to tag in Chris Masters. Masters stomps into the ring and gets an actual match going with Evans, initiating a lock-up. Predictably, he completely out-muscles the cruiserweight, shoving him into the ropes. Evans shows some resilience by rebounding right back at the musclehead and hitting a LOW DROPKICK!!

Masters gets clocked in his legs and is forced to one knee, giving Evans the space he needs to tag in Billy Kidman. Kidman gets a solid pop, rushing over to the kneeling Masters and hitting ANOTHER DROPKICK, this one to the face!! Kidman goes for the first serious cover of the contest –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

Masters easily kicks out and gathers himself, forcing Kidman to rebound off the ropes for more offense. As he rushes right back, Masters catches him IN A MILITARY PRESS!! Kidman is hoisted over the head of one of the men who took him out weeks ago…and then brought CRASHING DOWN!! Masters now with a cover –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-NO!!

Kidman has much more left in the tank, but Masters stays right on top of him. Masters clubs Kidman in the spine a few times before dragging him to his feet and setting him up for a suplex…AND THEN HOLDING HIM IN THE AIR!! Masters shows off an impressive display of sheer power!! The crowd ‘oooohs’ and ‘aaahhs’ at the feat of strength, getting an even bigger reaction when Masters lets one hand go! He stretches out an arm and actually tags in Ken Doane while he’s holding Kidman in the delayed vertical…before it comes crashing down! As soon as Kidman hits the canvas, Doane is up on the second rope and leaping…WITH A SECOND ROPE KNEE DROP!! The frat boys control the pace now, as the captain covers –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-NO!!!

Kidman still has something left!! Doane looks slightly aggravated, but he should’ve expected this from the wily veteran. Doane grips the head of Kidman and slowly brings him to his feet and begins torqueing him around or perhaps a NECKBREAKER of some kind…but Kidman jams the move and slips out, shoving Doane away. Doane stops his own momentum and turns back to Kidman, blindly rushing at the experienced cruiserweight…but Kidman counters with a double leg takedown! He takes hold of both of Doane’s legs and starts setting up his weight…AND LAUNCHES KENNY OVER THE TOP ROPE AND RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE ANNOUNCE TABLE WITH A CATAPULT!!

A big, momentum changing move there, but Kidman has to take a moment to revitalize. He whips the cricks out of his neck and gets a great amount of cheering from his corner, prompting him to get close to the ropes nearest Kenny. Doane peels himself off the padded outside, only to look up and see Kidman FLINGING HIS ENTIRE BODY ONTO KENNY WITH A PICTURE-PERFECT PLANCHA!!

The bodies crash on the outside, which means it’s time for the non-legal men to clash on the inside! Masters rushes in and KNOCKS MATT SYDAL OFF THE APRON, but Jack Evans backs his man up and leaps in right on Masters!

The two initiate a short brawl, Masters again easily overpowering the hip-hop lightweight. A knee to the gut softens him up enough for Masters to tuck Evans between his legs and hoist him up…POWERBOMB…NO!! Evans slips off behind Masters and nails a nice BACK KICK to the gut. At that moment, Miz makes a nervous break towards Evans, who promptly just takes the charging Miz, redirects his momentum, and sends him CRASHING INTO MASTERS, SENDING BOTH OF THEM OUT OF THE RING!!

The faces are riding high now, with Sydal recovering and sliding into the ring beside Evans. Jack E. checks to see if his tag team partner is okay, which Sydal says he is. The two look over to see Masters irritably throwing himself to his feet and dragging The Miz up with him. The crowd starts buzzing, as they know what might be coming, especially when A.I.R. look at each other with an understood accord. They then rebound off the ropes behind them…AND NAIL A DOUBLE SUICIDE DIVE!!

Everyone is down now and Pittsburg is on fire for the men of A.I.R.! The crowd’s huge ovation gets even bigger when Kidman recovers and slings Kenny under the ropes and into the ring. Kidman then climbs up to the apron and grips the ropes tight…AND HITS A SLINGSHOT LEG DROP RIGHT ON THE BACK OF DOANE’S HEAD!! There’s nobody around, nobody to stop a cover or the count as Goose Mahoney gets to his big duties –

ONE…


TWO…


THREE…


NO!!

DOANE KICKS OUT!! Without the help of his frat brothers, Doane stays in this thing!! On his own merit, Doane kicks out! Kidman stays right on the youngster, however, taking a breath for himself. He stalks Kenny as he gets to his feet, waiting to pull off just one more big move…LATCHES ON FOR THE BK BOMB…NO!! Doane wrings Kidman’s arm, punts him in the gut…AND SMASHES KIDMAN’S SKULL WITH A SNAP DDT!! It’s Doane’s turn for an uninhibited cover –

ONE…


TWO…


THREE…


NO!!!

KIDMAN ROLLS A SHOULDER!! Doane knows he probably missed his window of opportunity for an uninterrupted pin attempt, especially when he sees Jack Evans sneaking back onto the apron. Fortunately for Kenny, Chris Masters is groggily making his way back to the apron as well, prompting Kenny to make a much-needed tag.

Kidman, meanwhile, doesn’t get to even build up the drama of a hot tag because Doane stays in the ring and stomps on Billy multiple times before picking him back up. Doane takes Kidman by the wrist and Irish whips him into the ropes. Kenny lies flat and lets Kidman leap over him on the rebound…RIGHT INTO A MASTERS POLISH HAMMER!! KIDMAN IS TURNED INSIDE OUT ON THE CRAFTY DOUBLE TEAM!! Pummeled out of mid-air, Kidman is KO’d! Doane knocks Evans off the apron before heading back over to his respective corner, distracting the referee for a moment. This could prove to be a crucial second, as Masters covers the possibly dead Kidman –

ONE…


TWO…


THRE-NO!!

MATT SYDAL FLIES IN AND BREAKS IT UP!! Kidman is saved by the kid he left behind at one point! The ironic event keeps the contest going, Masters trying to drain the remaining life out of Kidman. He goes about this by taking Kidman’s aging body and trapping it in a bearhug. The bulbous muscles of The Masterpiece squeeze the life out of Kidman and his kidneys, the crowd trying their best to try and get Kidman out of this predicament.

Kidman fights like he has every single day of his career in order to help pave the way for his fellow lightweights, trying his damndest to throw some elbows and headbutts to lessen the iron grip of the bodybuilder…BUT MASTERS TIGHTENS THE HOLD!! Just when it looks like Kidman can’t possibly have any more life left in him, he just keeps on fighting! As if teaching Sydal one final lesson, Kidman refuses to go down without a scrap! This last-minute fighting seems to make some kind of space…AND KIDMAN PULLS A TORNADO DDT OUT OF NOWHERE!! MASTERS IS DOWN!!

The crowd reignites with a huge ovation, Masters’s eyes glazed over from getting driven into the canvas!! Kidman grips at his ailing midsection and crawls to his corner, trying to literally hand off the vitality he has left to the next generation…AND HE GETS THE HOT TAG TO SYDAL!!

Sydal is finally the legal man, bursting into the ring, and clotheslining a spontaneously charging Ken Doane! Doane gets right back to his feet and charges again, only to get caught in a deep arm drag! This gets him out of the picture for just a moment, long enough for Masters to try and recover…AND GET FELLED BY A SYDAL RUNNING LEG LARIAT!!

Sydal is on FIRE here, looking up and seeing Doane leaning up against the ropes and trying to regain his balance off the arm drag…CACTUS CLOTHESLINE!! Doane goes head over heels over the top rope, along with Sydal…but Matt lands right on the apron! The light-footed light heavyweight shows off some of his athleticism! Sydal then glides over to a nearby neutral corner and climbs to the top rope, waiting on Masters to get back to his feet…DIVING DOUBLE KNEE PRESS…SPINEBUSTER!! MASTERS CATCHES SYDAL OUT OF MID-AIR WITH A WICKED SPINEBUSTER!! Sydal’s fire is put out quickly, Masters scrambling on top of the perpetual loser –

ONE…


TWO…


THREE…!!!


NO!!!

KIDMAN BREAKS THE COUNT!! Kidman returns the favor he should have given Sydal months ago! This infuriates Masters, who almost throws himself at Kidman! The only thing that stops him is the zebra, Mahoney, who orders Kidman back to his corner. Masters is so mad, he goes over to his corner and tags in the first person he sees…and it’s The Miz. When Masters goes back out to the apron does it truly hit him what he just did and his eyes go wide.

The tag is unbeknownst to Sydal, who was still trying to recover and get to his corner. Sydal tags in Evans, who rushes in to try for Masters…only to see that Miz is standing in the middle of the ring. Miz looks like he’s about to wet himself, his wrestling stance looking as sad as he is. Jack Evans (and all the world, for that matter) can’t take this interviewer seriously right now, Evans even turning to the ref and asking ‘are you serious?’ In that moment of lowered guard, Miz ACTUALLY CRACKS A RIGHT HAND OFF THE JAW OF JACK EVANS!!

Evans stumbles a bit, which causes Miz to go into an arguably even more ridiculous celebration than he did in the opening minutes. Mike “The Miz” Mizanin can finally say he has wrestled “competitively” in AOW with that punch. Miz jumps around with his arms in the air to a huge amount of possible ‘go away’ heat. Unfortunately for Miz, whenever he turns around to see Evans again, he isn’t alone. He’s standing beside all three members of A.I.R. – the mentor/student tandem and the rappin’ high-flyer, all of them lookin’ pretty pissed and all of them staring a hole through Miz…until he shits himself and turns around to tag in whoever is behind him, that being Ken Doane.

Doane refuses to step into the ring until only the legal members are in the ring, making a heel ultimatum. Mahoney agrees with him and shoos Kidman and Sydal from the ring, leaving Doane and Evans, the latter watching his teammates leave the ring. When he turns around, he looks right at a RKDOANE!!! WAIT-NO!! Evans shoves him off!

Doane lands violently on his shoulder, getting Evans to tag in Billy Kidman. On that tag, Sydal enters the ring and Kidman ascends to the top rope. Sydal and Evans lift Doane up for a DOUBLE VERTICAL SUPLEX…AS KIDMAN COMES DOWN WITH THE DIVING CROSSBODY!! A HUGE TRIOS MOVE EXECUTED PERFECTLY!!

…but surprisingly, Kidman doesn’t go for the pin! Instead he tags Evans back in, who immediately ascends to the top rope. As soon as he gets there, Sydal tags Evans on the back of the leg, he becoming the legal man. What is all this about? Evans looks down at the prone Doane with the crowd cheering for what’s next…DESCENT!! EVANS HITS THE DESCENT!! THE 630 SENTON IS HIT FLAWLESSLY!! This is followed up immediately by Matt Sydal perching himself on the top rope, setting up for one final aerial maneuver…

…but Chris Masters charges from across the ring, trying to stop the big move…but he’s intercepted by Billy Kidman, who catches him in the BK BOMB!! BK BOMB!! The sitout spinebuster settles the musclehead! Upon that impact, the last remaining member of the DAT MSUCLE corner is…The Miz, who is in the ring and sees the dilemma…and covers his head like a true coward. Not wanting to leave anyone out of the fun, Jack Evans CARTWHEELS ACROSS TO MIZ…AND LANDS THE TUMBLING INVERTED DDT!!

The visually stunning move has the crowd on its feet…but not so much as what happens next. All three members of the opposing corner are down…right in front of corners. Sydal is already towering over the captain Doane, while Kidman starts ascending the corner nearest Masters. Likewise, Evans climbs to the top nearest Miz. All three members of A.I.R. are in their favorite positions…they all leap…TRIPLE SHOOTING STAR PRESS!! TRIPLE SHOOTING STAR PRESSES TO THE ENTIRE FRATERNITY!!

“HOLY SHIT!! HOLY SHIT!!”

Pittsburgh loses their minds for one incredibly euphoric moment, the pinnacle of high-flying synergy! All three men are covering their respective targets, but the only one that really matters is Sydal, his team’s captain, covering DAT DOANE DUDE, his opponent’s captain. Mahoney gets down for the emphatic, academic cover –

……
……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……
!!!!!!!!!!!!



Here are your winners…The Anti-Inertia Regime at (9:38)



And the crowd EXPLODES, a reaction most would only expect from perhaps a main event title change of some sort. Instead, it’s for Matt Sydal, who can’t believe what just happened – he’s not the one who got pinned; in fact, he did the pinning. Evans and Kidman immediately spring up and hug Sydal, all three men collapsing in a heap of happiness.


Joey Styles:
OH MY GOD HE DID IT!!! MATT SYDAL HAS WON A MATCH!!! And not just any match, but a match so important to him, his team, and his mentor!!


JBL:
Seriously? You an’ these people are actin’ like you just saw Hogan slam Andre. It was just a pin. Kudos to Sydal for finally winnin’, but it’s not that big a deal.


Joey Styles:
Oh shove it, John! Even you gotta admit that with all the hard work Matt Sydal has put it in that he deserves to finally, after an entire year, to be the man with his arm raised. And with one of the most breathtaking finishes I’ve ever seen to any match, might I add.


JBL:
This doesn’t make any damn sense to me.


Joey Styles:
It doesn’t have to, partner, it just is. You see it right there, ladies and gentlemen, do not adjust your set – that is Matt Sydal getting his arm raised in the biggest match of his entire career!! The year of trying, failing, and we the AOW faithful following this young man in his maturity into wrestling have made this moment worthwhile. A small moment for wrestling, I’ll admit, but a giant moment in AOW and this young man.


All three members of A.I.R. raise their hands before Evans and Sydal share a handshake. Once that’s done, we get an almost father/son embrace from Kidman and Sydal, Matt possibly on the verge of tears. Kidman obviously says something to Matt, Sydal nodding his head at whatever was said. When they separate, the three raise their arms once more to another large pop as we fade away…



***

The buzzing city of Chicago, active as any metropolitan atmosphere


Narrator:
To become something a man has never been…


On the side of the Sears Tower, a projection of CM Punk winning the Dynasty Championship


Narrator
:
…he must go back to where he began.


On the Chase Tower now, Punk and Team AOW emerge victorious in the War Chamber


Narrator
:
And when he considers his origins…


In the reflective pool of a fountain, Punk pins Finlay to win the Dynasty Tournament


Narrator
:
…a man will find that to move on to his future…


We quickly zoom back to see CM Punk standing on a hill overlooking the city, a lit match in his hand…


Narrator
:
…he must burn the bridges of his past.


The match falls to the city, spontaneously catching the entire skyline on fire as Punk walks away





WORLD ABLAZE
: THE GREAT CHICAGO FIRE
November 9th, 2008
United Center – Chicago, Illinois
ONLY ON PAY-PER-VIEW

***


~Back at ringside…



**A COUNTRY BOY CAN SURVIVE**



The Mellon Arena gives a surprisingly solid ovation for JAMIE NOBLE, who fixes his wrist tape as he approaches the stage. Noble is all kinds of jacked up, pumping his fists and hopping around all over the place. He comes down the aisle slappin’ hands and just as excitingly steps into the ring


***DING DING DING***



Chimel:
The following contest is scheduled for one fall and it is for the AOW Cruiserweight Championship!! Introducing first, the challenger, weighing in at 199 pounds…JAY-MEEEEEEE NOOOO-BBLLLLLEEEE!!!


Joey Styles:
There is no man on this entire roster with as much fight in his bones as Jamie Noble. He has professed on multiple occasions that he is nobody’s stepping stone, that he’s a rabid pitbull, and that he doesn’t have the capacity to give up. It was Jaime Noble who said he wanted this match to revive what AOW was all about and that was the ‘fighting spirit’ and I can’t find a better guy to try and bring that back.


JBL:
An’ let’s not forget the proclamation he made before this match. He knows Bryan “Spaghetti Legs” Danielson loves to make guys tap an’ he’s said that he will not tap out! If Noble’s a smart man, he’s gonna stay out of any of those submissions in the first place. Go get’em, Pitbull!



**FINAL COUNTDOWN**



The Mellon Arena BURSTS into applause, the biggest pop thus far for an entrance. BRYAN DANILESON enters and looks around the place, a little overcome by the reaction. He has his maroon hood up and hit title around his waist, but he takes the hood off as he gallops down the aisle with a raised finger held high



Chimel:
From Aberdeen, Washington, weighting in at 195 pounds, he is the AOW Cruiserweight Champion…BBBRRRRRYYAAAAAN DAAAANIEELL-SSSUUUUUUUUNNN!!!


Joey Styles:
You wanna talk about this being the first ever anniversary of AOW, how about this – Bryan Danielson has held the AOW Cruiserweight Championship for the entirety of AOW’s existence with the exception of one month. Bryan Danielson has been AOW Cruiserweight Champion for over 330 days. He has taken on all comers, won his matches in multiple different ways, defended the gold outside the country, and made it synonymous with his image. He truly is the White Knight in the Year of the Dragon.


JBL:
You done? No, I just wanna make sure I caught your unbiased commentary, but when I realized it wasn’t in that entire statement, I sort of dozed off. Yes, the kid can put up a fight, but he’s been showin’ all kinds of weaknesses lately an’ he’s gonna have another big one shown today when Jamie Noble won’t roll over an’ die for’em.


Back in the ring, Noble and Danielson approach one another in the center. They share a few words and staredown for a moment…before Noble extends a hand. Danielson looks at it for a second before shaking it, the crowd going wild. The ‘fighting spirit’ couldn’t be in better hands.





~AOW Cruiserweight Champion~
Bryan Danielson(c)
v.
Jamie Noble



With their very honorable handshake out of the way, both men retreat to their corners before stepping forward once again. The two circle around before engaging in a tight collar-and-elbow tie, the muscles in their shoulders rippling from both men pushing and neither gaining an advantage.

It’s Danielson who starts to push Noble away, but just when Jamie is about to be pressed against the ropes, he starts pushing back and shoves even. Both men are right back in the center of the ring, at which point, they break off their collar tie. Back to square one.

The crowd applauds and gives appreciation to that stalemate. Noble and Danielson circle up once again as Noble plays with his wrist tape. Neither man is taking their focus off the other as they step forward and hook up for a second collar tie, this one just as tight as the first. It’s Noble this time who overpowers Danielson, but like last time, the pushee starts to push back and sends both men back to the center…which again prompts them to snap off the lock-up.

Pittsburgh once more claps, recognizing both men’s skill from the outset. While both Noble and Danielson are probably thrilled the other is embracing the fighting spirit, they’re both also getting annoyed that they can’t get the upper hand.

They approach center ring one more time. Danielson and Noble try for a third time to see if a lock-up will succeed for one of them. This time, finally, someone comes away with the distinct upper hand, that being Jamie Noble. Noble locks Danielson up in a headlock, only for the champ to quickly counter it by bouncing against the ropes and slinging Noble away.

Noble shoots back to Danielson with a hard shoulder block, which grounds Danielson for the first time. Noble then backpedals and bounces off the ropes again, but Danielson re-lays himself flat for Noble to hop over. Noble rebounds one more time, Danielson leaping up…AND TAKES A HARD FLAT BUMP!! Noble held onto the ropes and screwed up Danielson’s timing! Noble pounces on the downed Danielson now, a JACKNIFE COVER –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

Danielson has far, far too much fight in him to stop there. Both men spring back to their feet, only for Danielson to surprise Noble by quickly picking an ankle and forcing him to the mat. The amateur skills come out there, and they continue when Noble tries to keep a base by staying on all fours, only to be flattened when Danielson executes an amateur takedown known as ‘the trinity’, chopping down an arm of Noble and pulling him, taking away the base. With Noble down and Danielson in control, he hooks the double chickenwings…CATTLE MUTILATION!!

…NO!! Noble senses danger immediately, jolts to his feet, and wraps a leg around a nearby rope. Referee Brian Hebner has to ask Danielson to step away, which Bryan does with no real hesitation. This puts Danielson back into the center of the ring, awaiting Noble’s arrival.

Noble EXPLODES off the ropes, hitting a running knee right to Danielson’s gut! Noble then takes Danielson’s wrist and Irish whips him into the ropes. On the rebound, Noble gets some momentum and NAILS DANIELSON WITH A KITCHEN SINK!! Danielson goes flipping and Noble has room for another cover –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

Danielson throws up a shoulder, but Noble once again doesn’t let him breathe. He jumps on AmDrag and cranks his neck back with a vise grip chinlock. The Virginian pulls back hard and almost makes Danielson’s head pop off his neck. Danielson tries fighting back and repeatedly tells the ref ‘no’ upon the persistent question. Danielson then starts stomping one of his feet, pumping his leg against the ground. The crowd gets in rhythm with it, trying to clap Danielson out of his predicament –

*CLAP*
*CLAP*
*CLAP*
*CLAPCLAP*
*CLAPCLAP*
*CLAPCLAPCLAP

Danielson feeds off the crowd and gets back to his feet and delivers a hard pair of elbows to Noble’s ribs, forcing him to let go of his hold. He then creates some space by bouncing off the ropes, but on the rebound, Noble PUNTS Danielson in the gut and quickly sets him up really close to the ropes…VERTICAL SUPLEX – NO!!

Danielson shifts his weight and makes Noble drop him on the apron, but he keeps the suplex hold on. Danielson then tries to SUPLEX NOBLE OUTSIDE…but Noble jams it, TRYING TO SUPLEX DANIELSON BACK INSIDE…but that too is jammed! The two are again at a stalemate until Danielson gets a burst of energy…AND SUPLEXES NOBLE FROM THE APRON TO THE FLOOR!!

The sickening splat against the outside padding makes the crowd “OOOOH”, but only one man’s body hits because Danielson falls on the apron. Noble sits up in pain and tends to his lower back, but he finds the nearby guard rail to pull himself up. Danielson sees his foe recovering and readies himself. Noble groggily turns back to the ring, only to see Danielson SOARING WITH THE FLYING KNEE FROM THE RING APRON!! NOBLE IS CRACKED IN THE TEMPLE!!

Noble flops to the floor, Danielson being forced to drag his dead weight back into the ring. AmDrag flings Noble under the ropes and onto the canvas and follows suit, getting his first cover of the contest –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

A near fall this early in the match! Needless to say, Danielson is the man in control now. He stalks Noble as he tries to get back to his feet, latching on both of his arms…BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY SUPLEX!! Danielson flawlessly floats over for another cover –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

Noble keeps going! As Noble rolls his shoulder, his momentum carries him all the way over. With his back exposed to Danielson, the Cruiserweight Champion locks up Noble’s legs and then smacks him in the shoulder blades to force him to throw up his shoulders. Danielson then grabs the wrists and starts pulling back…and then back…and then baaaaaack…SURFBOARD STRETCH!!

Noble is in one hellova position! He barks at the referee that he’s not giving up at all, but Danielson isn’t letting him down anytime soon. Noble even tries to tilt himself upward to lessen Danielson’s leverage, but AmDrag just pulls Jamie right back down to where he needs to be. After a moment or so, however, Danielson keeps pulling Noble lower…and lower…UNTIL HE LOCKS IN THE DRAGON SLEEPER!! SURFBOARD STRETCH DRAGON SLEEPER!!

Noble is all kinds of shit now, having absolutely nowhere to go as Danielson makes his foe a human ribbon! The crowd pops huge for the incredible submission maneuver. It gets to a point where Danielson can’t sustain being on his back and holding onto the submission, but he just tilts to a sitting position, still stretching the life out of The Pitbull.

Noble’s body is warped in all kinds of ways it naturally shouldn’t, but somehow, he’s holding on! He’s living by the oath he decreed before the match, keeping his promises! He refuses to tap out so long that Danielson can’t sustain his grip on the hold anymore, having to let go.

He may be safe now, but there’s no doubt Noble has taken a wealth of damage in the last few minutes. He tries to catch his breath and drag himself to his feet, but he stumbles. He only gets back up when Danielson pulls him up and whips Noble into the ropes. On the rebound, Noble gets an opening when he KICKS DANIELSON IN THE LOWERED HEAD!! This gives Noble time to rebound off the ropes again…LEG LARIAT!!

Noble is still reeling from all the damage from before, so he can’t react very quickly after landing hard following the lariat. It takes him a moment to get back to his feet, but when he does, Danielson is up as well, prompting Noble to snatch Danielson’s legs and TURN HIM OVER FOR A JACKKNIFE COVER –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

Danielson has enough time to kickout, both men rising at a much quicker pace this time. Upon both men standing, Noble shoots behind Danielson and gets him in a rear waistlock…but Danielson reaches around and delivers a flurry of elbows before performing a standing switch, AmDrag with Noble in a rear waistlock now. Perhaps he’s looking for a GERMAN SUPLEX…NO!! Noble BACKPEDALS INTO A CORNER!!

The move crunches Danielson and forces him to leg go and remain in the corner. This also nets Noble a little time to shake the cobwebs out as he roams to the center of the ring. He doesn’t take too much time, rushing right back and Danielson…AND EXPLODES WITH A RUNNING HIGH SIDE KNEE IN THE CORNER!! WOW!!

A move no one really saw coming there, Danielson hit so hard he slinks to the lower rungs of the turnbuckle. Noble has to walk off any of the pain the collision with Danielson caused, but again, it doesn’t seem to last long because he goes right back to stalking and sizing Danielson up. Noble once again rushes at the corner-clad Dragon…AND CRUSHES HIM WITH A FLIPPING SENTON AGAINST THE CORNER!! THE CANNONBALL SENTON CONNECTS!! DANIELSON IS SANDWICHED BETWEEN PITBULL AND POST!!

A collective “ooooh” rings among the masses as Noble busts out a move he’s never before used in AOW! Certainly, Danielson never saw it coming and that was probably the intent. This is supported by the fact that Danielson has to roll out of the ring to recuperate; both in pain, but also likely to reconstruct any strategy he may have had.

As Danielson tries to recover on the outside, Noble is tending to his back in the ring, having landed on it from the suplex, bent on it in the Stretch Sleeper, and then rammed it into Danielson moments ago. But he once again sucks this up and sizes up Danielson, charging at the ropes…SUICIDE DIVE!! SUICIDE DIVE CONNECTING!! DANIELSON IS THROWN INTO AND OVER THE GUARD RAIL!!

An entire section of the front row disperses as Danielson falls into their seats. Their reactions and comments are audible, several of them taking video with their phones. Noble makes them scatter even more when he climbs over the rail, many of the fans now chanting “JAY-ME NO-BLE!”

Noble stoops down to take Danielson back, slinging him over the guard rail and then follows, trying to get AmDrag back in the ring. A count-out victory wouldn’t net him a title, so he rolls Danielson back into the squared circle, but doesn’t immediately follow. Instead, he jumps up to the apron and SHOOTS HIMSELF OVER…TOPE CON HILO!! WOW!! Noble taking JBL’s old expression to heart and wrestling like he’s in someone else’s body! Noble with a big cover now –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

DANIELSON LIVES ON!! The American Dragon momentarily keeps his titles, but Noble still isn’t allowing him to breathe. He sizes up Danielson for the umpteenth time already this match and rebounds off the ropes…DROP TOEHOLD!!

Danielson with a potential desperation move, but it gets him some time. Now it’s his turn to size up Noble, who tries to rise on one knee…SHOOT KICK TO THE CHEST!! AND ANOTHER!! AND ANOTHER!! Noble violently recoils with every blow, Danielson looking for the FINISHING ROUNDHOUSE…NO!!

Noble tackles Danielson’s back leg and takes him down…TRAILERHITCH!! TRAILERHITCH – NO!! Danielson quickly hits a front roll, which sends Noble TUMBLING THROUGH THE SECOND ROPE TO THE FLOOR!! The quick thinking Danielson gets a big pop, but he can’t celebrate as he watches Noble recover on the outside…rebounds off the ropes…A BRYAN DANIELSON SUICIDE DIVE NOW – CLUBBED IN THE HEAD BY NOBLE!!

Danielson is knocked completely for a loop, Noble quickly sliding back into the ring to capitalize. Danielson drunkenly wanders right into Noble’s clutches…GERMAN SUPLEX!! NOBLE WITH A PERFECT GERMAN!! The Virginia native keeps the bridge, prompting another fall –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

DANIELSON KICKS OUT!! The American Dragon grips at his neck, but he keeps his championship! Noble is a little agitated but he doesn’t cry over spilt milk, opting instead to drag Danielson up and get in double underhooks…LOOKING FOR THE TIGER DRIVER…NO!! Danielson short arm twists out, winding up behind Noble. AmDrag grips Noble in a rear waistlock and pushes Noble against a corner…rolls back with a VICTORY ROLL…but keeps rolling…CHAOS THEORY!! OH MY!! THE BACKWARDS ROLL GERMAN SUPLEX CONNECTS!! Perhaps a little one-upsmanship is in the air as Danielson can’t keep the bridge, but scrambles to a cover anyway –

ONE…


TWO…


THREE…!!


NO!!

NOBLE ROLLS THE SHOULDER!! It’s Danielson’s turn to be a tad irate, but he’s more fatigued than angry. On his knees, Danielson shakes his head before trying to pull Noble up…but Noble fights back!! A well-placed forearm to the temple backs Danielson away, but the still groggy Noble can’t put enough mustard on it to knock Danielson out.

Danielson rears back and nails Noble with a hard forearm shot of his own, but then Noble fires right back, this one hitting more flush, as Danielson reels into the ropes, rebounds a little…and KNOCKS NOBLE FOR A LOOP WITH A EUROPEAN UPPERCUT!! Even with the huge knock, Noble stays on his feet and comes right back to Danielson…AND SMASHES HIM NOW WITH A EUROPEAN UPPERCUT!

That drops Danielson to a knee and gives Noble some leverage to take him up…and set him on his shoulders…FIREMAN’S CARRY DOUBLE KNEE GUTBUSTER…NO!! Danielson slinks off before this can happen, catching Noble in a chancery on the way down…setting up for a suplex…BRAINBUSTER!!! A BRYAN DANIELSON BRAINBUSTER!! Noble is limp as Danielson covers big –

ONE…


TWO…


THREE…!!!


NO!!

NOBLE ROLLS A SHOULDER AGAIN!! It’s Noble now who may be up against the ropes after taking two HUGE blows! Danielson sits in a little bit of wonder at Noble’s resolve, but he picks himself up and pumps his arms, the crowd feeling it, waiting for Noble to get back up. Noble gets back up on both knees, trying to catch his breath…DECAPITATING ROUNDHOUSE…NO!! NOBLE DUCKS IT!! SCHOOL BOY ROLL-UP –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

DANIELSON SHIFTS THE SCHOOL BOY INTO THE LEBELL LOCK!!! LEBELL LOCK!! DANIELSONS GOT THE FINISHING SUBMISSION LOCKED IN!! But now comes the true test for Noble’s pre-match decree – he’s facing the submission master’s favorite hold! Danielson has his fingers imprinted on Noble’s face as he pulls back across the bridge of the nose, Noble’s arm mangled and incapable of escape.

Noble’s face is warped in a fixed picture of agony, his neck cranked back to an entirely unhealthy degree. The only thing free to show just how helpless he is is his flailing right hand, which he is refusing to tap against the canvas. Danielson keeps ordering him to ‘TAP’, but Noble, true to his word, keeps refusing. He keeps his wits about him in all his pain, crawling, inching closer to the ropes with his free arm…

…………………………...........

…………………………..

……………

………


…AND NOBLE GRABS ONTO THE BOTTOM ROPE FOR ABSOLUTE DEAR LIFE!! Danielson, this time, actually doesn’t let go right away, waiting until the ref counts down and almost forces AmDrag to release the crossface. Danielson gets to his feet as the ref admonishes him, but the zebra backs away when Danielson screeches back that “I HAVE ‘TIL FIVE!!”

This gets a big pop from the crowd, but Danielson is more frustrated than anything. As a proud submission specialist, one would imagine nothing irks you more than not being able to make someone tap out when he’s decreed that he would not do so. Possibly blinded by hubris, Danielson huffs over to a corner-clad Noble, who is using the corner to catch his breath.

Danielson presses and then whips Noble across to the opposite corner. Noble counters the whip and instead sends Danielson running towards the turnbuckles, but Danielson steps up and over…BACKFLIP OUT OF THE CORNER…RIGHT ONTO NOBLE’S SHOULDERS – FIREMAN’S CARRY DOUBLE KNEE GUTBUSTER!!! OH MY GOODNESS!! Noble with a huge move out of absolutely nowhere that could net him the Cruiserweight Championship –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……


NO!!

DANIELSON ROLLS THE SHOULDER!! Noble gets as close as you can possibly get, but doesn’t get the winning fall. Noble runs his fingers through his very short hair, not entirely sure how he just missed becoming champion. He takes a moment to lie on the canvas with Danielson, both men feeling all the hard hits they’ve taken in this contest.

Noble peels himself up and grabs Danielson’s head, pulling him up as well. Noble then catches Danielson in a front headlock before lifting him up and trying to maneuver him onto the top rope. Noble just makes sure to place Danielson’s feet on top, the rest of him dangling in Noble’s grasp…ELEVATED DDT!! ELEVATED DDT!! DANIELSON IS DRIVEN HEAD-FIRST INTO THE CANVAS!! Danielson is as dead as a doornail and Noble hooks a leg –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……


NO!!

DANIELSON ROLLS THE SHOULDER AGAIN!! NOBLE STILL ISN’T CHAMPION!! Some of the crowd whiplashes from the disappointment, others cheer for Danielson’s title staying where it is. Noble pounds the mat twice in immense frustration, his honorable warrior demeanor spoiled for a moment.

Noble adjusts his wrist tape and aggressively nods his head, seeing just how determined Danielson is to keep his gold. He reaches down and tries to take Danielson up, but Danielson pulls Jamie forward and LOCKS HIM UP IN A SMALL PACKAGE –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……


NO!!

NOBLE UNHOOKS AT THE LAST MINUTE!! The move has kept the Cruiserweight Championship with Danielson before, but it is not to be this time! Both men quickly get back to their feet, only for Danielson to be greeted by a toe kick from Noble, who catches the champ in the double underhooks…TIGER DRIVER – NO!! Danielson short arm twists his way out of the move and drags Noble down by the wrist…

…LEBELL LOCK!!! THE LEBELL LOCK LOCKED IN FOR THE SECOND TIME IN THE CONTEST!! Noble’s oath to not give up again comes to the forefront as Noble is again sent scrambling in pain for the ropes! The crossface is synched in completely and Danielson is wrenching back even farther back than he was the first time! Noble is in deep trouble as he screams in pain, Danielson pulling back with the utmost intensity. Noble trapped in the middle of the ring with nowhere to go…


…………………………...........

…………………………..

……………

………


…NOBLE STANDS AND PRESSES DOWN, TRAPPING DANIELSON WITH HIS SHOULDERS ON THE MAT IN A SURPRISE PIN COUNTER –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THR-NO!!!

DANIELSON UNHOOKS THE HOLD AND GETS OUT OF THE PIN!! A near victory, but the back and forth continues! Danielson rolls to his feet while Noble groggily gets back on his, drifting right back into Danielson’s grasp…onto his shoulders…DEATH VALLEY DRIVER…NO!! Noble swings around…SINGLE-ARM DDT!! NOBLE TRAPS DANIELSON’S ARM AND DRILLS AMDRAG’S HEAD DOWN!!

Almost as soon as Danielson’s noggin makes contact with the canvas, Noble rolls over and catches Danielson in a sitting position…AND KEEPS HIS GRIP…GUILLOTINE CHOKE!! THE ARM-TRAP GUILLOTINE CHOKE!! Oh, the irony! The submission specialist is trapped in an air restraining position, Noble clutching on tight and refusing to let go!! Danielson quickly begins to change color, Noble’s weight pressing down on his neck. Noble roars in intensity as Danielson fades along with his chances at retention…

…………………………...........

…………………………..

……………

………


…NO!! Danielson doesn’t tap out or fade out, shifting his weight just a little bit so he can get to a vertical base, Noble still latched on tight. Danielson stands as best he can with a grown man weighting his neck down…AND DANIELSON RAMPS NOBLE AGAINST A CORNER…BUT NOBLE HOLDS ON!! The crowd roars as Noble fiercely reapplies his hold, much to Danielson’s chagrin. This forces Danielson to drift to the center of the ring, again starting to fade…


…………………………...........

…………………………..

……………

………


…NO!! DANIELSON PERKS UP…RUNS…AND RAMPS NOBLE INTO ANOTHER CORNER….BUT NOBLE STLL HOLDS ON!!! Noble showing exactly how he got his ‘Pitbull’ moniker is not going to let go until Danielson simply cannot breathe!! But perhaps the impact with the turnbuckles has loosened the grip some, as Danielson has a bit more mobility, even able to free his arm…NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX!! DANIELSON FINALLY WITH A COUNTER –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THR-NO!!!

NOBLE KICKS OUT!! Danielson has to shake the feeling back in his head and neck, but Noble flops over to his stomach and doesn’t move much following the kickout. Danielson takes full advantage of this after he gets some oxygen flow north of his shoulders…CATTLE MUTILATION – NO!!! Noble scrambles to his feet once again, heeding JBL’s advice immediately prior to the match.

…but as Noble clamors to a vertical base, Danielson keeps the double chickenwings synched in tight…RELEASE TIGER SUPLEX!! THE TIGER SUPLEX FROM THE LATCHED ARMS!! Noble is flung back onto his head and neck, but Danielson can’t react quickly enough to keep the bridge or grab Noble for a cover. But the crowd is all behind Danielson at this point, giving him the strength he need to at least get to his knees and pump his arms, continuously feeding off the Pittsburgh vitality. They keep throwing it to him and Danielson finds it in him to get completely to his feet, rejuvenated.

Noble doesn’t feel quite so invigorated, being forced to rest up and lean against a turnbuckle. This just makes him a sitting duck for the energized Danielson…AND EAT AN EXPLODING CORNER DROPKICK!! Danielson holds the ropes so he doesn’t come down so hard, rushes back to the center of the ring, then charges right back at Noble…AND NAILS A SECOND EXPLODING CORNER DROPKICK!! The two former ROH Champions collide, and Danielson is the clear victor!

Noble drops to the canvas, Danielson climbing through the ropes and ascending to the top rope. Danielson sets himself up for perhaps the DIVING HEADBUTT…but Noble, as hurt as he is, slowly starts to regather himself, only to look up…MISSILE FRONT DROPKICK!! NOBLE DRILLED IN THE CHEST!!

Danielson takes a hard bump against the canvas, back first…BUT THEN HE KIPS RIGHT UP!! Noble is a groggy mess, but Danielson looks like he’s caught a second wind!! The commentators note that this could be how Danielson’s been able to hold onto his title for so long, but whatever the reason, Noble tries to recover near the ropes on a knee…ONLY TO BE HIT WITH A SHOOT KICK TO THE CHEST…AND ANOTHER…AND ANOTHER…AND ANOTHER…AND THREE MORE!!

Noble’s body balks forcibly with every blow, the crowd getting more and more into it with each kick that by the time the tenth kick comes, they’re popping their heads off. Noble’s entire bod is damn near lifeless by this point, AND DANIELSON KEEPS KICKING!! He kicks Noble so hard so many times, that Noble’s entire body goes limp and just falls over the middle rope!! But Danielson is as intense as ever, KICKING THE SECOND ROPE AND FORCING NOBLE’S BODY TO SHOOT RIGHT BACK UP!! The crowd gets even louder at this spot, Danielson roaring one more time…AND NAILS THE FINISHING ROUNDHOUSE TO NOBLE’S SKULL!!

The Mellon Arena is giving one of their biggest pops of the night by far for that incredible frenzy by the American Dragon, which signals only one thing for a wrestler – time for the finish. Danielson stomps the canvas to show that it is indeed time to end things, taking the lifeless body of Noble and grabbing his wrists…AND GOES FOR THE WRIST-CLUTCH STOMPS…NO!! Noble rips one of his arms free and catches Danielson’s leg at the last second…trips Danielson up…AND LOCKS IN THE TRAILER HITCH!!! TRAILER HITCH ON THE REJUVINATED DANIELSON!!

The momentum suddenly whiplashes back into the challenger’s favor, who has wrapped up the prideful submission grappler in an incredibly painful predicament! Noble keeps applying pressure to Danielson’s legs, but no one’s sure just how much Noble has left to even apply that force. Whatever he has left, Danielson might have more, even as he screams in pain. He pushes himself up and starts to crawl to the ropes to make sure the reign doesn’t end here…

…………………………...........

…………………………..

……………

………


…AND DANIELSON THROWS AN ARM OVER THE BOTTOM ROPE!! THE MATCH CONTINUES!! Danielson might not be able to use his legs for any more offense, but he survives somehow!! AmDrag clutches his legs close to him as he tries to get back up, but the exhausted Noble is on him like a hawk, forcefully pulling him away from the ropes…getting the double underhooks…TIGER DRIVER!! NOBLE NAILS THE TIGER DRIVER!!

…OR DID HE?? TRIANGLE CHOKE!! TRIANGLE CHOKE!! DANIELSON TURNS THE POWERBOMB INTO A TRIANGLE CHOKE!! It looked like Noble hit the Driver, but somehow, Danielson latched onto an arm and came down hard, catching Noble is yet another submission hold!! He is adamant about making the scrappy Pitbull tap!

It takes a moment for the crowd to absorb what exactly happened until they see Danielson in control, prying on the arm and cutting off all of Noble’s circulation. When it looks like Noble will be able to fight out of this, Danielson starts CRACKING ELBOWS OFF OF NOBLE’S SKULL!! It then becomes very clear what Danielson’s goal is if it hasn’t already – if Danielson can’t get Noble to tap out, then AmDrag would just rather have Noble get knocked out! Danielson keeps throwing ‘bows with precision, but even so, Noble has enough in him to FLIP OVER FOR ANOTHER JACKKNIFE –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THR-NO!!!

DANIELSON MIRACULOUSLY GETS OUT!! The Triangle Choke was locked in tight, but somehow, Danielson got out of it just in time! Noble might actually be knocked out and going on fumes because even though it was Danielson who had to kick out, Noble is the one face-down on the canvas.

Both men have to be nearing exhaustion levels, Danielson leaning up against the ropes to stabilize himself. Noble takes a while to push himself up and off the mat, where we see his eyes are already starting to glaze over. As Danielson catches his breath, he charges at Noble to hit him with a CROOKED ARM CLOTHESLINE!! Both men go down, but then pop up for Danielson to hit a SECOND CLOTHESLINE!! Noble is most definitely on autopilot, as his body keeps getting up when he’s probably out of energy. Danielson hits a THIRD CLOTHESLINE…NO!! Noble catches Danielson by the legs…ALAMBAMASLAM!! ALAMABASLAM!! AND BOTH MEN ARE DOWN!! The referee has to get to his counting duties, as both men could be suffering from concussions from their harsh blows –

…ONE!!



…TWO!!



…THREE!!



…FOUR!!



…FIVE!!

Noble starts to stir…

…SIX!!



…SEVEN!!

Noble wipes some drool/sweat from his chin and drunkenly stumbles over to Danielson…

…EIGHT!!
..

AND THEY’RE UP!! Danielson barely is, and it’s partially because of Noble. The Pitbull looks like he’s got one more trick left in the tank, pulling Danielson with him to a corner. The country boy heads to the middle rope before taking Danielson with the double underhooks and uses them to PULL DANIELSON TO THE SECOND ROPE while Noble heads to the top rope. The crowd is on their feet and know exactly what’s coming next, a definitive finish with the SUPER TIGER DRIVER…

…NO!!! Danielson fights back with another pair of elbows that softens up Noble enough for Danielson to fix his opponent up for a SUPERPLEX…NO…A BRAINBUSTAAAAAAHHHH!! A SUPER BRAINBUSTER ONTO THE TOP TURNBUCKLE!!! The entire crowd lets out a loud “OOOOOOHHH!!!” from the sheer impact, Danielson paying direct homage to he and Noble’s old stomping ground. Noble is absolutely dead, flopping to the canvas and being easy prey for Danielson to wrap those arms out of the way in a crucifix position…AND DANIELSON DELIVERS A RELENTLESS RAIN OF ELBOWS TO NOBLE’S HEAD!! NOBLE’S HEAD IS VIOLENTLY THRASHING WITH EACH CRASHING IMPACT…

……………
…………………..
………..

…AND HEBNER CALLS FOR THE BELL!!! NOBLE’S BEEN KNOCKED OUT!!!



Here is your winner by knockout and STILL AOW Cruiserweight Champion…BRYAN DANIELSON at (23:20)



Danielson delivers a few more elbows just on muscle reaction and not out of maliciousness. The crowd is going wild. Danielson stops and lets Noble’s body slink off. AmDrag gets to his feet as Hebner and another official check on Noble. Danielson seems concerned, but gets to a turnbuckle and raises a finger anyway



Joey Styles:
YES!! Bryan Danielson is still the AOW Cruiserweight Champion!!


JBL:
Will you pipe down? I swear, it seems like every damn time I turn around, you’re over here makin’ a fool of yourself rootin’ for somebody stupid.


Joey Styles:
I’m not rooting for anybody stupid, John. I’m rooting for the man who has proven he’s the most dominant champion thus far in AOW history.


Danielson steps down from the ropes and asks for his championship, which he’s given…and he snatches it away. A little attitude there…? Even so, Danielson remains in the ring to see if Noble can get on his feet, which he can. The two shake hands once again to a nice pop, Noble leaving the ring on his own power.


Joey Styles:
A pair of men composed of fighting spirit who ooze sportsmanship. But when it came to tapping out, Jaime Noble said ‘no’, but Bryan Danielson said KO! The Year of the Dragon continues!!


This leaves Danielson alone to celebrate with his – and for symbolism’s sake, actually ‘his’ - Cruiserweight Championship as we fade away…


~Backstage, locker room area…


Jack Hagar and Taylor Wilde are talking to one another. Both of them seem to have serous faces. Suddenly, Nick Nemeth bursts into the room, shouting



Nemeth:
TAYLOR!!

Wilde and Hagar turn to see Nemeth, who goes from looking frantic and shouting to trying to breathe and be calmer


Nemeth:
Oh thank God she’s with you, Jack.


Wilde:
Where did you think I was…?


Nemeth:
You weren’t in the other room and I thought…I thought maybe the Mercenaries –


Nemeth’s face tells a story of concern, which Hagar consoles by putting a hand on his tag team partner’s shoulder


Hagar:
No way, man. She’s been safe. After what happened, I promise you, I want to keep her safe as much as you do.


Nemeth:
Thanks, bro.


Wilde:
You guys, I can take care of myself. And you guys know that.


A look of concern again appears on Nemeth’s face


Nemeth:
But Taylor –


Wilde:
BUT…I also know how much you guys want me to be safe. That’s just what Jack and I were talking about.


Hagar:
We think it’d be best for both you and team if, uh, if Taylor didn’t come out with us for the match.


Nemeth lets out…a laugh? Perhaps a chuckle of relief…?


Nemeth:
Y’know, I was actually thinking the same thing?


Wilde looks relieved as well


Wilde:
So you don’t have a problem with it…?


Nemeth:
I mean, I do, but it’d be better if you were back here, safer. I’d like to keep you were I can see you, but I know how I am and if you’re out there with them…I really don’t know if I could focus.


Nemeth steps forward and grabs Wilde’s hands


Nemeth:
And I don’t know if I can forgive myself if you got hurt again.


Awww. The heartwarming scene is interrupted by Hagar


Hagar:
We’re up next, man.


Nemeth nods in acceptance, letting go of Wilde’s hands. She gives Hagar a hug and a peck on the check before turning back to Nemeth and the two share a passionate, sincere good-luck kiss. They pull away, only for Wilde to keep Nicky’s face close.


Wilde:
Beat the shit out of’em.


That surprisingly aggressive statement gets a pop from beyond the walls. Wilde pulls her man back in for a quick kiss. Nemeth and Hagar then slap high-fives and walk away, leaving Wilde to watch her American boys with a small smirk and a twinkle of both hope and concern in her eye as we fade away…


~Back at ringside…



**WE AS AMERICANS**



A rather large ovation rings out for a while, as it takes a few seconds for the team of NICK NEMETH and JACK HAGAR, known collectively as AMERICAN MADE to burst onto the scene. Both men come out guns blazing, beating their chests until Hagar draws the line with his foot and both men step over it, pumped as hell and ready to ‘beat the shit out of’ The Mercs.


***DING DING DING***



Chimel:
The following tag team contest is scheduled for one fall and it is for the AOW World Tag Team Championship!! Introducing first, weighing in at a combined weight of 485 pounds…the team of Nick Nemeth and Jack Hagar…AMERICAAAAAAAAN MAAAAADEEE!!


Joey Styles:
I’m not sure if there are any more driven men on the roster right now than these two guys. A couple of weeks ago, they fought tooth and nail to get a shot at the tag titles but were taken out by the crafty Mercenaries and then their manager was slapped by Brent Albright. I don’t think it was a very good idea to leave Taylor Wilde in the back, but something tells me these two, especially Nick Nemeth, don’t need another reason to beat the Mercs for the gold tonight.


JBL:
What kind of nonsense is that, Joey? You want that sweet, innocent girl to be subject to more violence?? That’s just un-American! I’ve said it before an’ I’ll say it again – you don’t mess with the USA! I’ve loved these two ever since they set foot in AOW an’ I love’em now – these two are real men. Even though it was an accident, they’re stickin’ up for not only a woman, but their woman. The Mercenaries just bombed Pearl Harbor an’ they’ve awoken a sleeping giant.



**WELCOME TO WHITECHAPEL**



A strong rain of heat pours down for the AOW World Tag Team Champions, THE MERCENARIES. PAUL BURCHILL and BRENT ALBRIGHT come on out and down the aisle with very little emotion on their faces. That is until Albright gets a look at Nemeth, which causes the Merc to smirk. Burchill directs Albright around the ring to avoid a confrontation.



Chimel:
And the opponents, weighting in at a combined weight of 480 pounds, the team of Paul Burchill and Brent Albright…they are the AOW World Tag Team Champions…THEEEEEE MEEERRRCENARIEEEES!!

Joey Styles:
This team, this stable, has been despicable from the start. Always using their numbers game to get an advantage, these thugs claim they are civil, but if you were to ask Taylor Wilde and American Made, they’d tell you a completely different story. Yes, they’re Tag Team Champions, but they have nothing else to be desired.


JBL:
That’s a load of malarkey, Joey, an’ you know it. These guys have been the most underrated stable in AOW for a long time an’ now they can be recognized as the best. Regal, Albright, an’ Burchill are meticulous brawlers who will pick you apart an’ they’ve picked AOW apart. Brent Albright is the youngest of the group an’ it was he who accidentally hit Taylor Wilde, so don’t judge the whole just from one part.


Joey Styles:
Accidentally? ACCIDENTALLY?? Have you not watched the same tape I have, John? Brent Albright blatantly turned around and smacked Taylor Wilde with all his might! That’s not an accident, that’s just terrible!





~AOW World Tag Team Champinships~
The Mercenaries(c)
v.

American Made



No sooner does Justin King turn back around from handing the titles over does Nick Nemeth rush across the ring and UNLEASH A FLURRY OF PUNCHES ONTO BRENT ALBRIGHT!! Nemeth is laying into the man who slapped his woman! Both the referee and Jack Hagar try pulling Nicky off, while Burchill tries to pull Albright back to his feet.

Order gets somewhat restored when all return to their respective corners, but Nemeth somehow convinces Hagar to let him stay in and start. Perhaps this could help Nemeth’s long chronicled anger issues? Whatever the reasoning, Nemeth is rabid and legal, while Burchill tries to keep Albright out of trouble early and starts for his side.

Burchill looks to initiate a lock-up with Nemeth, but Nick is having none of that, opting instead to shoot straight at Burchill’s legs with an amateur wrestling takedown. Nicky wrestles Burchill down and catches him in a front headlock. Burchill quickly makes it back to his feet, finding his way out of the headlock and turning it into a hammerlock.

Nemeth doesn’t allow this to stay in, throwing Burchill over his shoulder and forcing the hold loose. As Burchill rolls to his feet and heads right back at Nemeth…WHO NAILS A PERFECT DROPKICK!! Burchill is cracked right in the jaw! Nemeth scrambles over and tries a quick cover –

ONE…

NO!!

Burchill still has lots to go, causing Nemeth to stay on him and snapmare him over and then deliver ANOTHER DROPKICK – TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD!! Another hot Nemeth cover –

ONE…


TW-

NO!!

Burchill shoots back up off the mat gripping at his head, but Nemeth doesn’t give him any time to breath. Burch is dragged into the American Made corner as the tag is made to Hagar, bringing him into the fray. Nemeth takes Burchill by the wrist and whips him towards Hagar who HITS BURCHILL WITH A HIGH BIG BOOT!! Burchill is downed once again, Hagar dropping for another cover –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

The tag titles stay where they’re at for now. Hagar lifts Burchill up and puts him in a fireman’s carry, but Burchill almost immediately slips off and grabs Hagar in a rear waistlock. The Ripper then shoves Hagar into the ropes and pulls back for the VICTORY ROLL…but Hagar holds onto the ropes and sends Burchill tumbling backwards.

Hagar turns around and rushes back at the stooping Burchill, who promptly introduces Hagar’s nose to the canvas with a DROP TOEHOLD!! Almost as soon as Hagar’s face hits the boards, Burchill rebounds off the ropes and nails a LOW FRONT DROPKICK that further rearranges Hagar’s face! As the All-American writhes around in pain from that, the brutal Brit springs to his feet and rebounds off the ropes again, nailing a JUMPING KNEE DROP! A nifty combination for Burchill, the champs’ first cover –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

The challengers have plenty of fight in them still, but now it’s Albright’s turn to deal some damage, as Burchill tags in his apprentice. Albright gets a solid array of heat as he’s introduced, but he shrugs it off in favor of joining his mentor. Burchill and Albright lift Hagar up for a DOUBLE BACK SUPLEX…before shifting his momentum forward and making it a DOUBLE FACEBUSTER!! The target might be Hagar’s nose here, Albright with the lateral press and a taped wrist right across the bridge of the schnoz –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

Even with a sore sniffer, Hagar plans to be in this thing for the long haul. Albright doesn’t think so and starts to take Hagar up, but interrupts it with a STIFF KNEE TO THE FACE. Albright then follows that up with a knife edge CHOP(Woooo!) that forces Hagar against the ropes. The young Oklahoma native then takes Hagar up and bounces his legs off the ropes…SLINGSHOT SUPLEX!! WOW!! An impressive display of power from the normally technical Tulsan, floating over and again putting a forearm in Hagar’s face on the cover –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

Hagar stays alive! Albright doesn’t seem that concerned with it, instead opting to STEP ON HAGAR’S FACE. This generates a great deal of heat and sends Hagar rolling towards the champions’ corner in pain. Albright eats up his reaction until he hears an angry voice from the American Made corner. Nemeth is yelling at Albright to ‘come after me like a man’.

Albright actually obliges and steps towards Nemeth, the crowd buzzing in anticipation…AS ALBRIGHT SWATS A FAKE SLAP NEMETH’S WAY!! The intentional miss riles up Nemeth as much as the real thing would have, causing him to damn near jump the ropes into the ring.

King has to stop him and remind him he’s not the legal man, but with the ref’s back turned, Burchill takes Hagar’s face and weakened nose and RUBS IT ALL OVER THE RING APRON!! The Mellon Arena throws a bunch of heat for the extremely cheap move, but of course, by the time King turns around again, Burchill has stopped.

Hagar is still dead in the wrong corner, which Albright takes advantage of and tag in his mentor. Albright holds Hagar’s head steady while Burchill SOCKS HIM IN THE FACE with a hard right hand. Burchill then grabs a wrist and whips the big guy across the ring, but on the rebound, Hagar surprises him with a LOW TACKLE TO THE KNEES!!

Burchill is knocked off balance, even when trying to stand back up. The wobbly Burchill then rushes right back at Hagar, who scoops Burch up…AND NAILS THE DOUBLE LEG SCOOP POWERSLAM!! Both men are lain out now, Hagar tending to his possibly broken nose and Burchill once again not able to get much of an advantage on Hagar. Both men are trying to get to their respective corners. Burchill doesn’t have that far to go, but Hagar is almost all the way across the ring and struggling to reach for the hot tag…
………
……………
……

…BURCHILL TAGS ALBRIGHT…



…JUST AS HAGAR TAGS IN NEMETH!! AND HERE WE GO!!

Nemeth finally gets his hands on his woman’s abuser to a huge pop, clotheslining the shit out of Albright. Brent pops up and eats a second clothesline, but again pops right back up to a waiting Nemeth. This time, Nicky whips Albright into the ropes…WHERE HE COLLIDES WITH BURCHILL AND SENDS HIM TUMBLING TO THE FLOOR!! Burchill is out of the equation! Albright looks over the ropes at what he inadvertently did, giving Nemeth enough time to wrap him up from behind WITH A SCHOOL BOY –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!


Albright is able to throw his legs up and stay in this thing! Both men quickly recover and go right back at it, but it’s Albright to gets a move off when he lifts Nemeth up in a MILITARY PRESS! Albright again shows off his strength by holding the Ohio native high…only for Nemeth to come crashing down with a DDT!! A SNAP DROPPING DDT!! The white-hot Nemeth shoots the half and hits the pin –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

Nemeth can’t quite put the diligent champs away, but it doesn’t seem to bother him at all. He seems to be almost relishing in the fact that he gets to beat on the guy who beat on his woman. Almost as soon as Albright rolls a shoulder, Nemeth’s angry energy gets him to stand up and nail Albright with an ELBOW DROP!! AND ANOTHER!! AND ANOTHER!! AND HE KEEPS GOING!! The crowd eventually starts counting along with him for each drop on Albright’s sternum –

FOUR!!

FIVE!!

SIX!!

SEVEN!!

EIGHT!!

…Nemeth pauses to get a cheer from the crowd…

…JUMPING ELBOW DROP TO FINISH THE FLURRY!! Nemeth once again covers Albright –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

Albright’s heart has not completely stopped, despite all the well-placed blows! Nemeth almost tugs his hair out at that, his anger at not winning probably taking over moreso than his previous mindset.

Even so, he takes Albright up by the head and twists around for a NECKBREAKER, but Albright twists out of it and wraps his arms around Nemeth in a rear waistlock…pops the hips…PERFECT GERMAN SUPLEX!! AND HE KEEPS HIS WRISTS LOCKED!! Albright looks to pay Nemeth back for all the damage he’s just done, rolling the hips and getting both men back to their feet for a SECOND GERMAN…BUT NEMETH FLIPS TO HIS FEET!! He lands right behind Albright and sets him up…INVERTED POWERSLAM!! Nemeth is absolutely on fire, going for yet another cover –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

ALBRIGHT ROLLS THE SHOULDER!! This garners another irate look from Nemeth, who clenches his fist in frustration. Even so, he just decides to wait on Albright to get back up…stalking…waiting…timing the moment to strike…here it is…BLONDE AMBITION…NO!! Albright roams too close to the ropes and Nemeth can’t tug the Tag Team Champion down with the leaping reverse bulldog, causing Nemeth to fall on his head.

Nemeth tries to shrug off the big miss, rushing right back at Albright. But Brent uses Nemeth’s own momentum against him and performs a standing switch, getting behind him and popping his hips once more…GERMAN SUPLEX!! He keeps the wrist locked again…A SECOND GERMAN!!

Going big or going home, Albright looks to finish the trifecta…AND HITS THE HAT TRICK BY THROWING NEMETH ON THE GERMAN, NEMETH LANDING ON HIS STOMACH!! The over ‘sell’ous nature of Nick Nemeth is on display, as well as Albright’s learned brutality.

Unfortunately, Albright’s taken a beating and can’t capitalize right away on his vicious offense. Both legal men are again lain out from the high-paced action, forced to have to crawl to their corners. Hagar starts stomping on the steel steps to try and get Nemeth some momentum to get to him…AND HE DOES!!

But no sooner does that happen that Albright tags Burchill, both Burch and Hagar charging towards each other…ENZEGUIRI!! A SUDDEN RUNNING ENZEGUIRI FROM BURCHILL!! This surprises everyone in attendance, Hagar suddenly going limp and Burch on top and a leg hook –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

HAGAR HAS LIFE!! Burchill throws his dirty locks out of his face in semi-frustration and takes Hagar back to his feet. Paul throws in a good forearm shot for good measure, softening Hagar enough for the REGAL PLEX…NO!! Hagar jams the move and starts throwing hard elbows behind him, forcing Burchill to let go. Hagar then wraps his arms completely around the reeling Burchill, pops the hips…SIDE BELLY TO BELLY SUPLEX!! Hagar pulls one out of the bag and a cover –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

BURCHILL STAYS ALIVE!! Hagar checks with the zebra to check if that wasn’t indeed the end, and King confirms it wasn’t. Hagar then slicks his hair back some and drags Burchill near a neutral corner. Hagar then steps all the way into the opposite corner, the crowd pumped for what’s coming next. They get even louder as Hagar beats his chest and rushes across the ring…HAGAR BOMB…BURCHILL GETS THE KNEES UP!!

Hagar gets up stumbling, holding onto his midsection from the last-minute counter from the Englishman. Burchill uses his newfound space not to attack Hagar, but to rush across the ring to knock Nemeth off the apron! Nemeth goes tumbling down and Burchill turns back around to face Hagar, picking up a head of steam…AND NAILS THE TWISTED SISTER!! THE SICK JUMPING NECKBREAKER CONNECTS!!

He doesn’t go for a pin right away. Instead, he rolls over and tags Albright back in, who promptly goes right to the top rope. Burchill then grabs the downed Hagar’s legs and starts pressing the weight back…MERCY KILL!!! THE MERCY KILL CONNECTS!! THE CATAPULT/CLOTHESLINE STRIKES AGAIN!! The Mercenaries tag team finisher has the place rocking, the now legal Albright hooking a leg for the academic cover –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……

NO!!!!

NEMETH BREAKS IT UP AT THE LAST SECOND!! MY GOODNESS, NEMETH SAVES AMERICAN MADE’S TAG TEAM CHANGES BY A MILLISECOND!! The crowd is supercharged on that one, even as Nemeth is rushed back out of the ring.

Albright is furious at this point, now his turn to be pissed off by an opponent’s actions. Nemeth plays this up in his corner, taunting Albright. Brent then steps towards the American Made corner to trash talk, taking his eye off the ball while Hagar recovers. As Albright and Nemeth keep jaw-jacking one another, Hagar ROLLS ALBRIGHT UP FROM BEHIND –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

NOT OVER YET!! Both men recover somewhat quickly, Albright rushing right back at Hagar…FREE FALL DROP!! HAGAR WITH A TIMELY COUNTER!! Albright goes all the way up then down, giving Hagar the time he needs to TAG IN NEMETH!!

Nemeth bursts into the ring once more, but Burchill tries to cut him off at the pass to save his apprentice…JUMPING DDT!! BURCHILL EATS A JUMPING DDT FOR HIS TROUBLES!! But this momentarily distracts Nemeth, Albright grabbing him from behind…HALF NELSON SUPLEX…NO!! Nemeth throws Albright over a shoulder and creates some space, Albright getting up to go right back at it…SUPERKICK!! ALBRIGHT’S JAW GETS DEMOLISHED ON A PERFECT SUPERKICK!!

Unfortunately for Nemeth, Albright doesn’t immediately go down, instead falling into his corner. Nemeth, still full of enraged energy, takes Albright up to the top rope. Nemeth seems to peer behind him to see where Paul Burchill is. Burchill is trying to get to his feet, hunched over. This is perfect positioning for Nemeth, who looks to repeat one of the more remarkable moves he hit just a few weeks ago, the crowd all on their feet…TOP ROPE FACEBUSTER/LEG DROP BULLDOG COMBO…NO!!!

Albright jams the move that he had been on the receiving end of before, Burchill as well coming too faster when he realized what was going on. Burchill then gets beneath Nemeth and pulls him away from the ropes in a powerbomb position, Albright repositioning himself…A FLYING LARIAT/POWERBOMB TAG TEAM MOVE!! OH MY!! A PHENOMENAL AIDED POWERBOMB!!

Even though the heels just hit a huge move, the Mellon Arena loses their minds for such an incredible impact!! Albright falls on top of Nemeth, not even having time to hook a leg –

……ONE……
………
…………………
{Hagar exhaustingly leaps into the ring…}
……TWO……
………
……………
{…and meets a Paul Burchill boot…}
……THREE……
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Here are your winners and STILL AOW World Tag Team Champions…THE MERCENARIES at (11:47)



Pittsburgh throws a great deal of heat down from the rafters, as Burchill and Albright get handed their immaculate titles. Albright hugs his close as Burchill lifts his up over his head. Both men stare down at their handiwork quite satisfied.



Joey Styles:
And just like that, The Mercenaries keep hold of their tag team gold.


JBL:
You don’t have to like it, but you’d better accept it, Joey. The better team definitely won.


Joey Styles:
They may have won the match, John, but something tells me that they won’t win the war. From the looks on Nick Nemeth and Jack Hagar’s faces in that contest, I feel this is far from over.


JBL:
They got their frustrations out an’ The Mercenaries used that to get in their heads. It’s over, it’s done, everyone did what they came to do, end of story.


Joey Styles:
You’re not taking into account, John –


JBL:
Account nothin’. American Made falls short! The Mercenaries take the gold right back to Mercenaries, Inc.!


Albright and Burchill indeed take their gold straps on up the aisle, Albright smirking his asshole face off. Nemeth and Hagar can only look up the ramp in disappointment, Nemeth almost looking like he’s seen Wilde get hit again. Hagar has to put a hand on his partner’s shoulder as we fade out…



***

A bomb siren. A somewhat grainy workout montage. The voice narrating over it is redubbed from the 1952 American civil defense film/PSA “Duck and Cover”.


Narrator
:
We must all get ready now.


Shot of a muscular, but slim man with his hands on his hips, looking incredibly intimidating


Narrator
:
This is very, very important.

The same man starts boxing with a speedbag, a nearby scientist recording his skill


Narrator
:
He’s a bright light. Brighter than the sun.


With a harness on his back, the man pulls a large car as more scientists record the feat

Narrator
:
Brighter than anything you’ve ever seen.


The man throws around a wrestling dummy; his strength mixed with pristine precision


Narrator
:
We must all get ready now.


The man is high jumping, his vertical leaps quite impressive


Narrator
:
We must be ready for a new danger. If we are ready, we will be much safer.


The man is bench pressing and then doing ‘mountain climbers’


Narrator
:
There is no time to look around or wait.


The man runs full speed across a track, again being recorded with his terrific speed


Narrator
:
He can smash in buildings without any warning.


The man gets a punching bag thrown at him, which he promptly destroys with a European uppercut

Narrator
:
His job is to help protect us…


The man flexes and roars


Narrator
:
…or destroy us.

The grainy filter cuts out, leaving us with a clear, modern feel with heavy action strings. The man is in a wrestling ring now, laying waste to all kinds of opponents. He chunks them around with European uppercuts, double-leg stomps, a Death Valley Driver, neck throws, and even a cradle facebuster move that seems unfamiliar…


The man concludes his show-off by crossing his arms, staring dead at the camera, which promptly turns grainy again


Narrator
:
He is Claudio Castagnoli.

CLAUDIO CASTAGNOLI
THE SWISS SUPERHUMAN
~COMING TO AOW~

Narrator:
We must all get ready now.

Static

***


~Back at ringside, commentator’s area…



Joey Styles:
As you can see, ladies and gentlemen, a year after AOW opened its doors, we’re adding even more competitors to the roster in the form of some young guns.


JBL:
War never ends, Joey, an’ you just gotta keep restockin’ until it’s time to fire away again.


Joey Styles:
Indeed we will. It’s already been a phenomenal first year in AOW and it’s already been a phenomenal night with our triple main even just on the horizon, but as for right now, we have some medical news. For those of you unaware, Dave Finlay, who was due to have a match with CM Punk in just a few moments, was taken into emergency surgery on Friday for bone chips in his elbow. The injury was not major, the surgery successful, but it did leave Finlay not medically cleared to compete tonight. One has to wonder if the constant back-and-forth brawls and beatdowns at the hands of CM Punk had something to do with that.


JBL:
Oh, you gotta be kidding me. CM Punk does not have the fortitude in any part of his grease fire body to force another man to have surgery. Stop givin’ Punk more than all kinds of credit.


Joey Styles:
And I guess you have a better theory then, huh cowboy?


JBL:
You’re damn right I do. Finlay’s been fighting for money since he was thirteen years old. All those fights an’ bumps take their toll one you. There wasn’t one specific event and certainly not one by CM Punk. It was merely a career of blows that prompted this.


Joey Styles:
Right. And I guess since Finlay’s so tough, he should’ve been able to tough it out, wouldn’t you say, partner? I mean, it’s only a coincidence that Finlay absolutely had to have this ‘emergency’ surgery right before he faced the only man who has pinned him in a sanctioned contest.


JBL:
You’re just a cruel human being, aren’t you? You’d rather see a handicapped, one armed veteran than help him. What depths will you not stoop to to see your Punk ass golden boy play, huh?



**MISERE CANTARE**



As Joey and Jibbles argue, the crowd EXPLODES for another huge pop, as CM PUNK comes on out to see the Pittsburgh faithful. He gets a smirk as he sees the large crowd before getting on one knee – “IT’S CLOBBERIN’ TIME!!”


Chimel:
The following contest is scheduled for one fall!! From Chicago, Illinois, weighing in at 222 pounds…he is the 2008 Dynasty Champion winner…CEEEEE-EEEEEM PUUUUUNKK!!


Joey Styles:
Nonetheless, this is the situation – CM Punk has said that even though Finlay bailed on him, he still has lots of aggression he wants to let out. Punk’s been gearing up for a fight and he’s not gonna waste it. He’s holding an ‘open invitational’ so that anyone in the back who wants a fight as much as he does can come out here and take Finlay’s place.


JBL:
This kid really thinks he’s some kind of hero an’ it makes me sick to my stomach. His championship reign was a fluke, him winning the Dynasty Tournament was a fluke, an’ now him thinkin’ he’s important enough for people to want to line up an’ face just proves how much of a fluke he is.


Punk takes in his large ovation and plays to the crowd a bit as he waits in the center of the ring. He glances over his shoulder to see JBL and Styles, waving to both men sort of playfully. Styles waves back, but JBL just purses his lips and does nothing. This seems to amuse Punk as he turns back towards the entrance aisle, awaiting for someone, anyone to accept his challenge…





**THE PROUD WARRIOR**



And to everyone’s surprise, but no huge shock, LOW KI is the man who answers the call. Ki gets a noticeable pop, the Warrior looking more than ready to want to beat someone down. The silent assassin cruiserweight makes his way down the aisle with an intense face, not paying any of the fans really any mind.



Joey Styles:
Well this is curious. Of all the guys in the back, Low Ki is the one who is gonna answer the call. I suppose it makes sense, seeing as how Ki has been, well I won’t say ‘vocal’, but jumping at the gun of any chance to prove himself in AOW, especially after falling out of his former tag team.


JBL:
I think Low Ki is one of the most underrated guys on this roster. If for no other reason, he had to put up with Jack Evans for almost a year. A guy deserves somethin’ for doin’ that. An’ even more than that, I like this match-up. Low Ki is everything CM Punk is not. Punk does nothin’ but talk, Ki doesn’t talk at all. Punk is sloppy in the ring, Ki is very crisp. Punk looks like should be working at Waffle House, Ki looks like a guy you wouldn’t mess with, no matter how small. Low Ki!! Kick his teeth in!!


Punk seems a little surprised at who his opponent is, but he shrugs his shoulders in acceptance and treats Ki like he would any opponent, prepared or not. Ki doesn’t even so much as look at Punk for a while until the bell is rung.






~OPEN DUEL~
2008 Dynasty Tournament Winner CM Punk
v.
Low Ki


The two indy scene veterans don’t really waste any time. Ki opts to give Punk exactly what he asked for and immediately suckers Punk in…AND SWINGS WITH A HUGE ROUNDHOUSE…PUNK SITS TO DUCK IT!! The match has just begun and Ki establishes that he’s possibly more ready for a fight than CM Punk! This wakes the crowd up and forces Punk to his ass, but he’s quick to get back to his feet.

Punk mouths that ‘I see how it is’ before pushing himself back up with a smirk. Ki is all business as the two officially meet and lock up in the center of the ring, only for Ki to actually shove Punk up against the ropes. Ki flashes his power as referee Brian Hebner starts the count for Ki to let go of his hold, which he does…only for Puno to HIT HIS OWN ROUNDHOUSE – KI DUCKS!!

It’s the Brooklyn native’s turn to wake up, but as soon as Ki hits the deck, he curls up right back on his feet. He pats his chest and motions for Punk to ‘come on’. Ki isn’t shaken up in the least and looks to truly meet up to Punk’s challenge.

Punk and Ki reset to the center of the ring, approaching one another with raised fists, looking like they’re really ready for a brawl. Ki shoots the first blow, a right hand, but Punk dodges it and cracks Ki in the jaw with a forearm. He follows up with another one that forces Ki to reel. Ki regains his footing, but he’s knocked off again by a PUNK SPINNING BACKHAND!!

The harsh blow knocks the hard striker Ki all kinds of loopy, but he fires right back with a STIFF KICK TO PUNK’S MIDSECTION!! This gets Punk gripping at his rib area, but Ki is relentless, nailing ANOTHER STIFF KICK!! As Punk teeters away, Ki chases him down and unleashes ANOTHER STIFF KICK…but Punk catches the leg and whips Ki to the canvas.

It’s here that Punk goes a more wrestling route, dropping down and applying the front chancery onto Ki. However, the lightning quick Ki undoes the hold, rolls out, and uses his hold of Punk’s arm to pull his face RIGHT INTO A SHIN KICK!! Punk might be concussed from the blow, Ki trying for the first cover of the contest –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

Punk still has far too much life. The former Dynasty Champion starts to bring himself back to a vertical base, but Low Ki stalks him and rebounds off the ropes, looking for some offense…ARM DRAG! Punk perfectly whips Ki with the deep whip, Ki springing back to his feet. Punk takes Ki and whips him into the ropes himself. On the rebound, Punk lowers the top rope and SENDS KI TUMBLING ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR!

The acrobatic Ki goes all the way down, but picks himself up with his perpetual determined look still intact. However, his determination doesn’t stop Punk from COMING DOWN WITH THE PLANCHA!! Punk throwing all caution in the wind! Perhaps Punk realized where his expertise mostly lies, but nonetheless, he keeps taking it to Ki with this ‘brawl’ mentality. Punk scoops up Ki and rolls him under the bottom rope and back into the ring. Punk follows up with his first cover –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

Ki has more than enough left in the tank. He picks himself up only to be greeted by a Punk kick to the gut followed by a KICK TO THE FACE that stands Ki up!! With Ki perfectly vertical, Punk finishes his combination with a LOW SWEEP!! An impressive display from the ‘one man dynasty’, Punk with another cover

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

Ki rolls the shoulder and SMACKS Punk in the face when his arm shoots up! Perhaps it was intentional, perhaps not, but the crowd certainly hears it and Punk’s expression makes us think he takes exception to it. He snatches Ki up by his bald head and sets him up…HIGH ANGLE BACK SUPLEX!!

Ki hits the canvas with an insidious amount of velocity, but Punk doesn’t go for an immediate cover. Instead, he quickly picks Ki up again, does the same set up…AND HITS A SECOND VICIOUS BACK SUPLEX!! Punk possibly taking out his frustrations with Finlay out on the cruiserweight and now giving another cover –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

Ki fights back as Punk sits up after the kickout. He adjusts his wrist tape and watches as Low Ki groggily recovers, gripping at the back of his neck. Punk then takes Ki’s wrist and Irish whips him into a corner. The Punkster follows up with the CORNER HIGH KNEE…NOBODY HOME!!

Punk’s knee hits nothing but empty post, stunting him and keeping him perched in pain. Ki takes this opportunity to shake the cobwebs out and springboard off the second rope…SPRINGBOARD ROUNDHOUSE TO THE ELEVATED PUNK IN THE CORNER!! OH MY!! PUNK IS DRILLED IN THE HEAD!! A savage move still fairly early in this physical contest! Punk falls hard as Ki scrambles for the upset –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

Punk rolls a shoulder! The Second City Saint has taken worse beatings than that, especially by the man who was supposed to be his opponent tonight. Even so, Punk is still clearly out of it, only able to rise up to one knee. Ki takes advantage of this and delivers a signature SHOOT KICK TO PUNK’S CHEST!! FOLLOWED BY ANOTHER!! Ki pounds the mat to prepare for the FINAL ROUNDHOUSE…NO!!

Punk manages to somehow duck that blow once again. Ki spins around…AND LANDS ON PUNK’S SHOULDERS…but Ki slips off, pushing Punk into the ropes. Punk bounces back at Ki who CRACKS PUNK IN THE SKULL WITH THE ROLLING KIPPOU KICK!! Punk is hit so hard he limply tumbles through the ropes and to the floor!

Punk is out cold from all the hits to the head! This is most definitely not how Punk envisioned this going, the crowd buzzing for what could be Low Ki’s next move. He stalks Punk, who staggers back to a vertical base…SASUKE SPECIAL!!! SASUKE SPECIAL FROM LOW KI – NOBODY HOME!! KI CRASHES AND BURNS!!

Punk dodges the tumbling corkscrew plancha senton at the very last minute, hitting the deck and causing Ki to crash on his ass. The crowd is still reeling from the blown opportunity, but Punk is grateful for it and momentarily avoiding possible execution.

Punk staggers over and takes the limp body of Ki and slings it back into the ring. This time, however, Punk doesn’t follow The Kicking Fiend back into the ring. Instead, he climbs up to the apron and waits for Ki there. The Warrior slowly gets back up, tending to his hip area. He turns around to see Punk FLYING WITH THE SPRINGBOARD CLOTHESLINE…LOW KI DODGES IT!!

It’s Punk’s turn to crash and burn, landing hard on his sides. Punk grips at his sides as he rises to a knee…ROUNDHOUSE KICK TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD!! KI FINALLY GETS THE ROUNDHOUSE OFF!! Ki stays in command and covers the dead body that is Punk –

ONE…


TWO…


THREE…


NO!!

PUNK ROLLS A SHOULDER!! The match is still young, but the intense nature and the fact that Punk may have a legitimate concussion doesn’t make it seem that way. Ki is treating it as if victory is just a fingertip away, again sizing up Punk as he tries to show some sign of life.

Ki shoots himself off the ropes and right back at Punk, going for a SHINING WIZARD…FEINT! He leaps over Punk, foot in place…BLACK MAGIC – NO!! Punk actually ducks that fierce blow and grabs both of Ki’s ankles when he hits the floor. Punk then leans back and CATAPULTS KI OVER THE TOP ROPE…BUT KI HOLDS ON!!

Low Ki uses the top rope to help keep his balance and regain himself on the ring apron, but Punk is right there to RAM HIM IN THE GUT and double the Warrior over. Punk then steps through the ropes and delivers a forearm to Ki’s temple for good measure…AND HITS THE SITOUT SUPLEX SLAM TO THE OUTSIDE!! OH MY!!

Punk crunches Ki’s body with the Falcon Arrow, again shifting the momentum in his favor! He has to gather his breath from almost getting his head knocked off numerous times. Punk then rolls Ki into the ring, but once again, doesn’t follow him and attempt for a cover. Instead, he ventures to the top rope. Ki gets up gripping at his neck, looking up…AND PUNK NAILS THE FLYING CLOTHESLINE FROM A DIFFERENT PERCH!! Punk with a huge cover –

ONE…


TWO…


THREE…


NO!!

KI ROLLS A SHOULDER! That doesn’t quite get it, Punk pushing his dark hair out of his eyes so he can drag Ki back to his feet. Extending the fight, Punk whips Ki in the ropes and catches him on the rebound…SCOOP SNAP POWERSLAM!! Punk again with a cover –

ONE…


TWO…


THREE…


NO!!

KI AGAIN ROLLS A SHOULDER!! Punk doesn’t really look surprised, but he does look like he does want to end this thing. This the first time we get a close up of Punk after some time has lapsed from the kicks and there’s very clearly some bruising on the left side of Punk’s face and neck.

Ki crawls away from Punk to try and create some space, going into a corner for recovery. Unfortunately for him, Punk won’t take his eyes off his opponent and measures Ki up one more time…HIGH CORNER KNEE!! It’s Ki’s brain who could be scrambled now, Punk finishing it up…BULLDOG!!

Punk’s really feeling the crowd now, as Pittsburgh starts popping big for the Second City Saint. Punk throws his arms out, puts his hands together, and places them behind his ear…signaling the end for the Warrior. Ki stumbles to his feet, his body not wanting to give up right away…but he finds himself ON PUNK’S SHOUDLERS! GTS COMING…NO!!

Low Ki starts fighting back, delivering a rabid array of elbows to the side of Punk’s face Ki himself may have bruised. This softens up Punk enough for Ki to maneuver of his legs behind Punk’s head, grab an arm…AND LOCK IN THE IRON OCTOPUS!!! THE GTS INTO THE IRON OCTOPUS!! And just like that, Punk is at Low Ki’s mercy!!

Punk is driven to a knee in the body-warping pain, refusing to give in so easily. Ki wrenches up even more on Punk’s arm, trying to pull of another upset in his trails to glory. Punk wanted a hero, and now he could very well use one to get out of this predicament; the crowd not wanting Punk to give up here, but some also just popping for Ki’s resolve as well. The Chicago native screams in pain and clenches his teeth, trying to find a way out…before he snatches his arm loose from Ki’s grip and wraps it around his head, pulling Ki around in a modified headlock takeover…THAT TRANSITIONS IN THE ANACONDA VISE!! VISE FROM THE OCTOPUS!!

At the drop of a hat, suddenly, the tables have turned!! It’s Ki now writhing in pain, unable to go anywhere or even breathe properly because the mechanics of the Vise have him choking himself with his own arm! The cheers once again shift, as Pittsburgh doesn’t want Ki to tap, but are also popping huge for Punk’s willpower! Ki does something he has rarely done here in AOW and that’s scream in pain, Punk trying his best to synch the hold in deeper, but Ki’s doctrine level educated feet inch him closer and closer to the ropes…

…………
……


…AND KI’S LEG WRAPS AROUND THE BOTTOM ROPE!! Punk almost can’t believe it, letting go of his finishing submission with authority~!! He tends to the side of his face that’s developing welts from the furious feet of the man who wouldn’t submit to him. Ki, meanwhile, is gripping the back of his neck hard and trying to put together the energy to get back to his feet and stay in this thing.

It takes another moment for either man to do anything, but it’s once again Punk who commands the lead and tries to drag Ki up. Ki fights back, shoving Punk away and making some kind of separation before getting some momentum…AND DRILLING PUNK WITH THE JOHN WOO DROPKICK!! PUNK ROCKETS INTO A TURNBUCKLE!!

The theatrical front dropkick has Punk in a bit of a pickle and it’s about to get even worse when Ki ROARS in invigoration and hurtles towards the cornered Punk with the TIDAL CRUSH…ROUNDHOUSE!! PUNK INTERUPTS KI’S CARTWHEEL KICK WITH THE ROUNDHOUSE!!

Punk’s been saving that one all match and he couldn’t have hit it at a more opportune time! Even though Punk may have finally gotten retribution for the earlier kicks to the head, Ki is still standing! Wobbling, but definitely up! Punk just chocks it up to the fight inside the Warrior, but it doesn’t stop him from HOISTING KI UP…AND FINALLY NAILING THE GTS!! GO TO SLEEP CONNECTING!!

…AND LOW KI STILL WON’T KEEL OVER!! Low Ki’s body is drifting around the ring like a goddamn zombie! He’s obviously dead on his feet, but something in him refuses to go down. Perhaps his body is just incredibly slow to process the heavy blows his head has suddenly just received. Whatever the reason, Ki finally drops to a knee to the amazement of Punk. The Saint doesn’t ask questions and instead opts to rebound off the ropes…AND CRACK KI IN THE FACE WITH THE SHINING WIZARD!! Punk with a flurry of KOing moves in a row and Ki is finally down and out –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Here is your winner…CM PUNK at (11:23)



It takes a pair of finishers, but Low Ki FINALLY goes down! Punk has to take a seat and catch his breath Ki tired him out so much. The crowd shows both men a great deal of appreciation for their efforts



Joey Styles:
CM Punk did exactly what he said he came here to do and that was put up a fight and boy did he ever. Low Ki showed a lot of people just how good he can be and almost pulled an upset multiple times. But in the end, Punk got the fight he wanted.


JBL:
Low Ki should’ve had that match won on several occasions! This is terrible officiating!


Joey Styles:
How is this any kind of terrible – HEY!!


PUNK IS ATTACKED FROM BEHIND…BY FINLAY!! FINLAY IS IN THE HOUSE!!! The Fighting Irishman has his left arm in a sling, still recovering from surgery, but he lays Punk out with a SHILLELAGH SHOT TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD!! Punk is absolutely out like a light, face down on the canvas!!

Finlay looks down and gives a toothy grin, quite happy with his handiwork. While JBL approves over on commentary, a rain of heat pours down for the Irishman. Finlay’s smile becomes laughter as he kicks at the limp and lifeless body of Punk. Finlay leaves just as quickly as he arrived, heading back up the entrance aisle, giving that terrible Irish grin from ear to ear as we fade away…


***

A fancy club-like setting, possibly a restaurant. A shot of a beautiful chandelier pans down to see a man in a snazzy three piece suit sipping wine around a pair of gorgeous, elegant women. Romantic but upbeat Hispanic strings plays over the scene, as well as a narrator with an exotic accent. A blatant rip-off of the ‘Most Interesting Man in the World’ commercials.


Narrator
:
He once helped an old woman cross the street. In a helicopter.


The scene shifts to show the man walking into a room; everyone in attendance raising a glass to his arrival


Narrator
:
He once held a wine-tasting event. At a homeless shelter.


Scene shift to show the same man playing bumper cars. His car stays still, with all over cars seem to magically avoid hitting him as he fixes his tie


Narrator
:
He once deadlifted over 600 pounds. In a suit and tie.


Shift to the man walking by a large window, raining outside. He walks into an elevator and puts on his sunglasses. When the elevator opens again and he walks out, the sun is beaming.


Narrator
:
He once taught an armless man how to stick his pinky out while sipping tea.


A return to the initial scene, the man in his fresh white suit with the two women, lifting a glass of wine

Narrator
:
He is the Classiest Man in Puerto Rico.


…and now looking at the camera


Man
:
I don’t always wrestle. But when I do, I will do it in Art of War Wrestling.


ERIC ESCOBAR
THE CLASSIEST MAN IN PUERTO RICO
~COMING TO AOW~


Cut back to Escobar, raising a glass


Escobar
:
Stay classy, mis amigos.

***


~Backstage, Green Zone interview set…



Wilson:
Torrie Wilson here and my guest at this time is the man who is STILL the AOW Cruiserweight Champion – Bryan Danielson!!


Danielson walks into frame still glossy with sweat, but looking very proud of himself


Wilson:
Bryan, you’ve defended your title against all comers and your last battle may have been your toughest yet, but you prevailed. What does the future hold for Bryan Danielson?


Danielson:
What does it hold? What does it hold?! It holds this – the AOW Cruiserweight Championship! You know why, Torrie? Because it’s just like you said – I have defeated everyone and anyone that has challenged me for this title. This first year of AOW has been the Year of the Dragon! And since I’ve gone through every challenger imaginable, do you know what makes me??


Wilson:
No. What?


Danielson:
It makes me the single greatest cruiserweight in the entire world!! I am Bryan Danielson – best in the world!!


Danielson obnoxiously nods his head and prances away, chanting “BEST! IN! THE WORLD!” through the halls of the locker room…


~Back at ringside…



Joey Styles:
Bryan Danielson has every right to be happy –


JBL:
Yeah, but not that happy. He really looked like a nerd.


Joey Styles:
He has the right to celebrate. But I guess you think Finlay had every right to attack Punk earlier, huh?


JBL:
Of course he did.


Joey Styles:
It’s been fun being with you for an entire year, John. It really has. I honestly can’t wait to spend another year sitting here with you calling me…what do you call me a lot?


JBL:
The worst commentator in the history of the world.


Joey Styles:
Ah, yes. That. And I’ll just keep calling you a condescending Texan bully.




MICHAELS|JOE




Joey Styles:
And speaking of names, I think the list of monikers you could call both Shawn Michaels and Samoa Joe could go on for days. But no matter what nicknames you want to call them, it all boils down to being able to call them both what they are – the best competitors in AOW today. The dark past of Shawn Michaels is what’s made him a target for Joe, but Michaels has risen to the task.


JBL:
I’ve wanted to see this match ever since these two first had a confrontation on the very first episode of Oblivion an’ I know I’m not the only one.


Joey Styles:
Now that we can agree on, partner. Samoa Joe has gone without being pinned or made to submit in North America for the better part of four years. Shawn Michaels is a man who has never been outperformed when it counts. Now, Shawn Michaels, The Icon, will finally go head-to-head with Samoa Joe, The Samoan Submission Machine.



***


A man amidst black surroundings. Slow and somewhat somber strings play. The man has on short tights and has a body sculpted by the gods.


Michaels:
When man first came to Earth, he was perfect. No creature was as flawless.


The chiseled bod of the man flexes to show off just how perfect he is


Playing behind the man posing is a projection; a clip of Shawn Michaels in his old Rocker outfit, jogging down to the ring



Michaels:
He was given all the best tools to make life better, easier, for all of mankind.


The perfect man now dons a bow and arrow. He pulls back, only to have the screen flash. Now the man has flint and wood, making a fire


Behind the man again is Shawn Michaels waving his finger as he chooses not to walk underneath the ladder in the first ever Ladder Match. A flash of Michaels persevering in the first ever Iron Man match.



Michaels:
But then one day, man fell hard. He committed the Original Sin.


The man, now shrouded in the dark, looks menacing and threatening


Projecting behind him is none other than the Montreal Screwjob



Michaels:
But even in man’s newfound darkness, he found light. He found that no matter what he got himself into, he could always adapt and come out better, stronger, and forever be remembered.


The man soon begins to read and write while behind him, the projection shows Michaels coming back from his infamous back surgery.

Flash cut to the man putting on a helmet and lifting a musket while Michaels performs one of his many kip-ups

Flash cut to the man putting on a suit and tie and lifting a cell phone to his ear while Shawn Michaels arrives in AOW for the very first time, Superkicking Chris Masters



Michaels:
Until one day, when man’s own creations –


Joe:
- will surpass him.


The screen experiences a shock. When it recovers, the man has been replaced with a cyborg or robot and the music sounds like a panic


Joe:
Machines. Built to last. To be better than perfect.


The machine creates fire, writes, and reads faster than the man before him. Behind it, footage of Samoa Joe in ROH appears, dominating the competition like no one in the young company before


Joe:
Creatures created with a single-objective mind and will not stop until their task is done.


The machine progressively does its work faster as clips of Samoa Joe’s stay in AOW play behind it – Joe toppling everyone on his hitlist from Ken Doane to Paul Wright


Joe:
Machines are stronger. Can do what most men find impossible.


The projection shows Joe choking out Finlay and then flashes to Joe hitting the Muscle Buster on the 500-lb Paul Wright. The machine seems to be disappearing, the screen getting closer and closer to the projections until they overtake the screen


Joe:
They are unbeatable –


Michaels:
But man is untouchable.


Michaels gives everything he has in a losing effort at The Outer Limits as the music becomes a combination of panic and calm strings, creating an epic feel


Joe:
The future.


Joe unleashes hell on Bobby Lashley


Michaels:
The forever.


Michaels escapes dire situations, only to unleash Sweet Chin Music


Joe:
Machines can be ruthless to show their superiority.


Joe hits an Island Driver on Paul Wright through the War Chamber, which then flashes to Joe going apeshit on Mercs, Inc. with the steel chair, and flashes once more to Joe destroying security guards the week of RVD’s return


Michaels:
But they don’t hold a candle to man.


Michaels Superkicks Christian and Chris Jericho to sign the latter’s contract; flash to Michaels Superkicking Aaron Sandow in the face in the Offseason; flash to Michaels again, this time Superkicking Samoa Joe onto the announce table and ascending to the top rope before the music is suspended…


Michaels:
No man can stop the future.


Michaels looks down from the top rope…


Michaels:
But some men can stop the show.


…and comes CRASHING DOWN WITH THE ELBOW DROP THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE TABLE. The footage replays over and over before it’s interrupted by Samoa Joe


Joe:
And some machines just…want…to kill you.


Joe slowly lifts Michaels up…AND HITS THE ISLAND DRIVER ON MULTIPLE OCCASIONS


This gives way to alternating shots of Michaels and Joe at one another’s throats


Michaels:
Because everyone knows the only thing an undefeated streak like that is good for…is shattering it.


Joe:
You know good and well my goal is to get rid of people like you.


Michaels:
I want to face you, Samoa Joe. Origins & Endings. One-on-one. In a match that has never happened before. And afterward, neither one of us will be the same again.


Joe:
In order to beat me…you’ll have to be better than perfect. And I think everyone here knows that that’s something Shawn Michaels…


The rapid pace slows to a halt, as Michaels and Joe come face to face


Joe:
…has never been.


A strong, final chord strikes as both men sustain their staredown, only for the screen to briefly flash and show the ‘perfect’ man and the machine from earlier staring down just like Joe and Michaels. The screen flashes again and leaves us with the resounding image of the two titans facing off.



***


“OH, OH…SHAWN!!”


*SEXY BOY*




And the roof comes off the Mellon Arena as SHAWN MICHAELS comes bursting on through to the entrance stage to a HUGE mixed reaction!! This isn’t Shawn Michaels, the brooding man who has had to report to Paul Heyman for the last several months. HBK is pumped up, playing to the crowd. Michaels drops to his knees and does a prayer before opening his arms and letting the firecrackers fly

*PYRO*
*PYRO*
*PYRO*
*PYRO*

Michaels hops up and seems to be taunting the crowd and taking in the cheers all at one time



Chimel:
The following contest is scheduled for one fall!! Introducing first, from San Antonio, Texas, weighing in at 223 pounds…THE HEART BREAK KIIIIID…SHAAAWWWWN MIIICHAAAEEELLS


Joey Styles:
For what seems like the umpteenth time, Shawn Michaels comes into a match playing some kind of mind game. I don’t think there’s anyone in AOW who can do it better than the Showstopper. I don’t think there’s anyone who can hide his true motives better than this man, too. But no matter the internal struggle, Shawn Michaels always pulls out the best performances imaginable every single night.


JBL:
This crowd doesn’t even know whether to love him or hate him, but that’s always been the case with Shawn Michaels. An’ I’m not gonna sit here an’ doubt the strategies of a guy like him because frankly, only one guy knows what’s goin’ on in that guy’s head an’ how to perform like him – an’ that’s him.




*GODZILLA HORN*
“DON’T CALL IT A COMEBACK!!”


**MAMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT**




And a THUNDEROUS ovation for the arrival of the virtually invincible SAMOA JOE. Joe doesn’t acknowledge his reaction, merely making a beeline down the aisle and to the ring, his ring towel covering his head, and making him look even more intense. It isn’t until he gets to the ring that he whips it off and shows any emotion by roaring in intensity



Chimel:
And the opponent, weighting in at 277 pounds…The Samoa Submission Machine…SAMOOOAAAA JOOOOOEEEE!!!


Joey Styles:
I don’t think anything more can be or needs to be said about Samoa Joe. He’s dominant. He’s fierce. He’s vicious. He’s a tank. A monster. A beast. A submission artist. The only thing you can’t say about Samoa Joe is that he’s imperfect – that’s wrong. Samoa Joe has not been pinned or made to submit on North American soil for four years – four years. Even though all that, Samoa Joe knows he’s the best, but he keeps an honor system. He’s even said he refuses to go after Shawn Michaels’s infamous back injury because that would be the ‘easy way out’ and he wants to ‘kill Michaels slowly’.


JBL:
I think that video package gave the best analogy anyone could ever give for these two. Shawn Michaels is as human as anyone, but at the same time, superhuman. Samoa Joe doesn’t seem to have a flaw in his game plan other than he’s incredibly one-track minded. But in a match like this, that might pay dividends with a guy like HBK.


Michaels and Joe approach each other in the middle of the ring, staring nose to nose. And Pittsburgh can’t make enough noise.





!!FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER!!
~The Icon vs. The Machine~
Shawn Michaels
v.
Samoa Joe



The atmosphere surrounding these two is absolutely electric; the crowd refusing to pipe down. The two gladiators approach each other in the center of the ring, taking in the reaction around them. Joe and Michaels get nose to nose, the Mellon Arena still buzzing insidiously. Neither titan takes their eyes off of one another; the tension so thick, you could use it as a steel chair. Both men smirk, possibly at the reaction, possibly at the possibility of them being in the ring at the same time like this. We see Samoa Joe say some words to HBK, but they’re not audible.

Whatever was said, Michaels nods and says something back, which causes Joe to, ironically, lose his smile. Then suddenly, Shawn Michaels SMACKS SAMOA JOE IN THE FACE!! The 18,000 in the Mellon Arena let out a collective “OOOOHH!!” Joe staggers from the blow, but immediately retaliates with a FLURRY OF BLOWS!!

Joe’s signature strikes and anger are on display early, forcing Michaels into a corner. Referee Mahoney prevents him from hitting Shawn any further, saying he’s a cornered man. Joe slowly backs away, a look of pure distain on his face, not satisfied at all with the limited beating he just delivered. Michaels pulls himself out of the corner, he too looking quite full of distain. The two combatants once again reach center ring, the crowd in Pittsburgh once more creating quite the stir –

“JOE’S GONNA KILL YOU!!”
“H – B – K!!”
“JOE’S GONNA KILL YOU!!”
“H – B – K!!”
“JOE’S GONNA KILL YOU!!”
“H – B – K!!”

The chants continue as Joe and Michaels officially initiate the lock-up, Joe using his superior strength to start backing Michaels up. HBK fights back, pushing Joe a little bit more towards center ring before slapping on a headlock. Michaels makes sure to lock on tight, Joe backpedalling into the ropes and looking to whip Michaels off of him…but Michaels slides on a knee to stop the momentum and keeps the vise grip headlock on tight.

Michaels keeps his weight on Joe as he wrenches even tighter, Joe forced to bear the weight of both himself and the Showstopper. The One Man Army is up for it, now opting to lift Michaels up and nail a flawless BACK SUPLEX…but still Michaels hangs on!! He shifts his hips and keeps Joe’s head and neck trapped, Joe now being forced to bear all that weight and get back to his feet.

Joe does get back to a vertical base, Michaels still keeping the headlock on. JBL on commentary notes Michaels’s strategy, looking to cut off oxygen to the big man. Joe probably realizes this too, again lifting Michaels up for a BACK SUPLEX…but Michaels stops it in mid-air this time and rolls the two of them forward, Michaels now on top of Joe with a grounded side headlock!

Joe is getting visually irked, which that too could be a part of Michaels’s plan. Joe pounds the mat in his frustration, using that energy to quickly get back up. Michaels continually wrenches harder and harder, almost making Joe’s head pop off. Suddenly, Joe picks at Michaels’s ankle and forces him to let go of his grip. Joe then begins to set up something of his own, grabbing at Michaels’s leg and looking for an EARLY STF…but Michaels manages to roll over and kick Joe away before he can synch it in properly.

This causes Joe to backpedal into the ropes, rebounding off of them. Michaels springs to his feet, only to be knocked right back down with a Joe shoulder block. Joe rebounds off the ropes again, Michaels lying flat one more time for Joe to rush over him, and rebound again…RIGHT INTO A KNIFE EDGE CHOP(Wooooo!)

Joe sells the stinging shot, clutching at his chest for just a moment. When Michaels approaches him for one more, Joe retaliates with a CHOP(Woooo!) of his own. Michaels grips at his pecs now, he too feeling the sting. When Michaels turns back to Joe, he sees that Joe stands before him with an open chest and is inviting Michaels to chop him again…? Joe follows his word and does indeed ‘challenge’ Michaels!

HBK looks at Joe questionably, but he appears to accept the challenge when he holds an index finger to his lips for the audience to hush. As rabid as they were minutes before, Michaels gets Pittsburgh to quiet down before he rears back…and nails another CHOP(Wooooo!) for all to hear, Joe virtually no selling the shot besides wincing just a tad.

Michaels claps and nods, saying ‘alright.’ He then pushes his chest out, unguarded, and it’s now his turn to return the challenge to Joe! We have ourselves a ‘chop-off!’ Joe smirks before he puts his finger to his lips now, the crowd shushing to pin-drop status…as Joe RIFLES A CHOP (Wooooo!) OFF MICHAELS’S CHEST!! HBK curdles his face and curls up his arms, Joe’s force obviously hurting legions more than Michaels.

The challenge seems to be over, but the Icon reciprocates with yet another CHOP(Woooo!) this one looking to hurt Joe a little more. Joe immediately answers back for another CHOP(Woooo!) of his own…but Michaels ducks it and wraps up Joe from behind in a SCHOOL BOY, Michaels using his quickness for the first fall attempt of the contest –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

Joe throws up his legs and gets out of the pin attempt, rushing back to his feet. However, he runs right into Michaels, who immediately greets him with a headlock takedown, once again slapping the oxygen-restricting maneuver on the big man!

Joe is having none of this again, pounding the canvas and promptly getting back to his feet, Michaels still trying to wrench away. Joe looks for something different this time and backpedals into a corner, SANDWICHING MICHAELS BETWEEN SAMOAN AND STEEL POST! Michaels tends to his lower back after the collision, but the commentators do note that Joe has not intentionally broken his self-imposed code of honor.

The separation allows Joe to regain some of his oxygen flow to the head as he steps away from the corner. After a moment or so, Michaels comes charging out of the corner right at Joe, only for Joe to catch him around the neck with one arm…spin behind Michaels…AND LOCK IN THE CLUTCH!! THE CLUTCH IS SYNCHED IN!! The crowd completely re-ignites as Joe has the grip on the head locked in tight, but can’t pull Michaels down to the floor. He wraps his legs around Michaels to drag him to the floor…BUT SHAWN MICHAELS SOMEHOW STAYS STANDING WITH SAMOA JOE’S DEAD WEIGHT ON HIS BACK!!

Michaels has his arms outstretched, partially for balance and partially to reach for a rope to get out of this early predicament!! Somehow, almost like a zombie, Michaels is able to stagger walk with Joe on his back…AND HE REACHES THE ROPES!! But before Mahoney can begin the count for Joe to break, Michaels seems to tug on the top rope and PULL HE AND JOE OVER, SENDING JOE TUMBLING ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR!!

Michaels himself hangs onto the rope and lands on the apron, Joe very disoriented as he picks himself up from the padded outside. Michaels too is slightly out of it, getting some of his own blood flow back to his head from the rear naked choke. He peers behind to check Joe’s positioning. As he sees Joe stands, Michaels leaps and shoots off the second rope, VAULTING AT JOE WITH A SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY…NOBODY HOME AND MICHAELS CRASHES ACROSS THE UNFLINCHING ANNOUNCE TABLE!!

The Mellon Arena reacts to the missed high-risk with a loud “OOOH”, as Michaels’s body hits the table had and slides to the floor. The table didn’t break, but perhaps that made the impact even worse for Michaels. Joe might have an opening now, as he dodges a huge bullet early in this contest.

Joe roams by the back wires and takes up Michaels by the hair. He drags the Icon near the ring and SLAMS his head on the apron. This dizzies Michaels even more, but Joe’s just getting started, now getting a running start and CHUNKING MICHAELS ENTIRE BODY INTO THE GUARD RAIL!!

Michaels’s catch-as-catch-can offense is really put on hold here, as the momentum shifts completely into the One Man Army’s court. Joe rolls into the ring and then right back out to restart Mahoney’s count, not wanting to win by technicality. But this motivation seems dubious when he goes by the timekeeper’s area and pulls out A STEEL CHAIR. This intrigues everyone in attendance, but when Joe takes the chair near Shawn, he merely sets it up right by a corner guard rail.

Joe then takes the limp body of Michaels right in front of the chair and SMACKS HIM IN THE CHEST, forcing Michaels to sit down. Joe makes a spinning motion with his hand, causing the crowd to begin kicking up the signature chant as Joe makes some distance between he and Shawn –

“OLE, OLE OLE OLE! OLE! OLE!”

OLE KICK!!! JOE HITS MICHAELS WITH THE RUNNING BOOT SO HARD, HE FLOPS OVER THE RAILING!! Joe roars in intensity as the crowd pops along with him. Michaels’s limp body is almost in the lap of a front row fan, but Joe has to hurry up and retrieve him before Mahoney’s count gets out of hand, the count-out now at six. Joe slings the decimated HBK into the ring and rolls right after him, the big Samoan going for his first cover of the contest –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

MICHAELS ROLLS THE SHOULDER!! Shawn Michaels shows off his trademark determination by sticking around just a little bit longer. Joe most likely knew that alone wasn’t going to end it, so he doesn’t let it bother him too much, opting instead to drag Michaels to his feet. Joe catches Michaels in a front headlock before underhooking an arm…HEAD AND ARM SUPLEX!! An impressive takeover there as Joe floats over for another cover –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

Michaels still has lots left in the tank! Joe once again doesn’t let it get to him, instead opting to drag Michaels’s body closer to a corner. Joe ascends to the second rope and NAILS A KNEE DROP RIGHT TO SHAWN’S MIDSECTION!! Upon first glance it looks like the knee hits the chest, but it actually hits lower, in the rib area. Joe lays hooks a leg and goes for another fall –

ONE…


TWO…



NO!!

There’s still lots of life left in Shawn Michaels, but he winces and tries to grab at his ribs as he kicks out. Almost immediately, Joe wraps his legs around Michaels’s midsection to wear the Icon down. The commentators point out that while Michaels’s early strategy was to take away all the oxygen from the Samoan Submission Machine at his head, Joe looks to be targeting the tender rib section that Michaels most likely injured on the missed crossbody to make it harder for Shawn to breathe.

It’s Michaels who is now at the mercy of Joe’s vise grip, HBK grimacing as he feels the pain shoot from his sides and into his chest, making it very difficult to get any kind of substantial breath. Joe keeps the legs, locking them in tighter and tighter to possibly even crush the ribs of HBK, but Michaels does his best to pry the bodyscissors open and make some kind of room.

Michaels creates the smallest bit of space, but his quickness allows him to use that to scoot away from Joe’s clutches, gripping a nearby rope. HBK leans against the ropes and tries to painfully catch his breath, Mahoney asking Joe to keep his distance or else face disqualification. Joe stays away, but as soon as he gets close to the Showstopper, Michaels STEPS ON JOE’S FOOT, stunting the big man!

This would normally draw the ire of the fans, but even they recognize that it’s Shawn Michaels being the Shawn Michaels he advertised and they cheer for it. Michaels uses the momentary pain to LEAP ONTO JOE WITH THE LOU THESZ PRESS!! MICHAELS IS UNLEASHING A FLURRY OF RIGHT HANDS ONTO JOE!! Michaels is showing that he can go blow for blow with Samoa Joe!

Even so, Joe throws Michaels off, who rolls to his feet. Joe springs back up, only to be greeted by a knife-edge CHOP(Wooooo!). Michaels lets loose another CHOP(Woooo!) that forces Joe against the ropes. Michaels tries to whip Joe across the ring, but the heavier man jams it and instead whips Michaels across. On the rebound, Joe catches Michaels on a shoulder, perhaps setting something up…ISLAND DRIVER…NO!! Michaels squirms off and behind Joe…AND LOCKS IN A SLEEPER HOLD!!

Perhaps the accumulation of Michaels’s headlock offense, Shawn Michaels once again surprises Samoa Joe by going to submission, something that’s normally Joe’s forte. Michaels leaps on Joe’s back to put even more weight on, forcing Joe to hold up both their weights. The Submission Machine is fading fast, dropping to a knee. His eyes start to close and his body goes limp. Joe droops all the way to the canvas, his body having no signs of life. The referee has no choice but to take Joe’s arm and start the submission count, lifting it and dropping it…



…ONE!!



…TWO!!



…THR-


NO!!

JOE MAKES A FIST BEFORE HIS ARM COMES DOWN A THIRD TIME!! Joe shakes that fist in resiliency, the crowd starting to feed him even more energy. Michaels is shaking his head, not wanting Joe to make any kind of recovery. The Submission Machine gets his feet back under him and gets to a vertical base, Michaels still holding on for dear life on the Titan’s back…AND JOE SLAMS MICHAELS AGAINST THE CANVAS!!

This heavy blow forces Michaels to let go of his submission hold and allows Joe some time to recover and get some blood flowing back to his Islander cranium. Joe crawls to his feet on all fours while continually shaking his head to get something flowing in there. Michaels gets up tending to his back area.

He doesn’t have to do that for long, as Joe quickly approaches HBK, whips him over with a snapmare, a CHOP(Woooo!) to the back, a STIFF KICK TO THE FRONT, and finishing the combo with a RUNNING SENTON!! OH MY!! ALL 280 POUNDS OF SAMOAN FLESH CRASH ON SHAWN’S ALREADY CRUNCHED RIBS!! Michaels could have internal bleeding here, as Joe hooks a leg and covers –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

MICHAELS STAYS ALIVE!! He might not be able to breathe, but by god, he’s still in there! Joe sits up, slightly annoyed. Michaels has yet to peel himself off the canvas, prompting Joe to push at Michaels’s face, which gets him a little bit of heat.

Joe hopes this provocation can help motivate Michaels get back up, which it does. But HBK can’t stay completely vertical too long, as he has to hunch over to tend to his ribs. Joe takes that as an opportunity to shove Michaels’s head between Samoan thighs before flipping the Showstopper up…POWERBOMB!! JOE KEEPS THE PRAWN HOLD FOR THE PIN –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

MICHAELS ROLLS A SHOULDER!! But even so, Joe keeps right on Michaels when he rolls over…AND LOCKS ON A HALF BOSTON CRAB!! The submission chain wrestling is on display from Samoa Joe here, the big man possibly trying to wear down the back and leg of Michaels.

As HBK struggles to get to a rope break, Joe breaks up his chances by shifting the single leg Crab…INTO THE STF!! STF LOCKED IN!! Joe is prying Michaels’s body apart! Michaels has too much dead weight on him to crawl anywhere too fast, the crowd buzzing incredibly for Joe’s prowess here.

Michaels is unimpressed, instead using his energy to grit his teeth and keep crawling, inching towards the ropes. He’s just a fingertip away from being spared from the iron clutches of the Samoan Submission Machine…AND JOE TRANSITIONS TO A CROSSFACE!! Michaels is in a whole new world of pain now, Joe showing off one of the many reasons why he’s damn near undefeated! Michaels still has the fortitude to try and get to the ropes…and he rolls forward, TRAPPING JOE UNDER HIM IN A PIN –

ONE…


TWO…

MICHAELS GRABS THE ROPES FOR LEVERAGE…

THREE…!!!


NO!!

JOE KICKS OUT!! Even in a desperate move, Michaels still can’t put Joe away! Michaels groggily gets back to his feet to be greeted by a very vexed Joe. Joe took that oath to not play to Michaels’s back, but HBK didn’t really think twice about pulling a dirty move.

Joe delivers a hard right hand to Michaels, only for Shawn to fire right back with one of his own. Joe then delivers a right hand harder than the last, which knocks Michaels for a loop. When Michaels stumbles back and swings wildly, Joe ducks underneath it and catches Michaels in a BACKDROP…but Michaels flips out! He lands behind Joe and executes a perfect CHOP BLOCK, which prompts even more WOOOOing from the crowd. Michaels grabs Joe’s legs…AND WRAPS UP A MODIFIED FIGURE FOUR LEG LOCK!!

Pittsburgh is WOOOOing all over the place as it’s Joe’s turn to once again be at the mercy of a surprise Shawn Michaels submission hold! If Joe can’t use his legs, he loses a great deal of his power offense! Joe isn’t screaming in pain, but he’s certainly in a predicament and he’s obviously in a great deal of agony.

Michaels desperately tries to apply more and more pressure to the massive legs of the One Man Army, but Joe’s not giving up so easily. Michaels keeps himself up on his elbows as Joe leans all the way back in pain –

ONE…

NO!!

Joe didn’t realize his shoulders touched the mat, shooting back up to stop it. Joe starts trying to backwards crawl and get closer to the ropes as HBK tries his damndest to break the legs of the Machine. Joe keeps crawling backwards…AND FINALLY REACHES A BOTTOM ROPE!! Michaels has no choice but to let go, but he waits until the referee counts to four to maximize the damage.

This gets both men some much needed breathing time, as Michaels can recover from all the blows to his ribs and Joe can regain feeling in his legs. Joe leans against the ring ropes for support, which Michaels tries to exploit by RUSHING AT JOE…but Joe LIFTS MICHAELS UP AND OVER…MICHAELS LANDS ON THE APRON!!

HBK still has something in the tank, landing and socking Joe in the face with a hard elbow. This forces Joe away from the ropes and gives Michaels the time and space to make it to the top rope…FLYING CROSSBODY!! FLYING CROSSBODY CONNECTING!! Michaels lands right on top of Joe with the high risk offense and keeps the lateral press –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

JOE BENCH PRESSES MICHAELS OFF OF HIS BODY!! Michaels rolls away, but springs back to his feet, waiting for Joe. Joe slowly makes it up, only for Michaels to RUSH BACK AT HIM…SAMOAN DROP!! NO – INTO A SUNSET FLIP!! MICHAELS COUNTERS THE DROP INTO THE SUNSET!! Another big Michaels cover –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

JOE ESCAPES THE PIN! The Samoan rolls away from the pin, Michaels doing the same. Both men get to a vertical base, Michaels approaching Joe and grabbing his wrist. HBK tries to Irish whip Joe to the ropes, but the larger man easily reverses it and throws Michaels instead. On the rebound, Michaels shoots airborne…FLYING FOREARM SMASH…THAT JOE NONCHALANTLY SIDESTEPS!! MICHAELS GOES CRASHING FACE-FIRST INTO THE CANVAS!!

For one of the first, if not the first time in AOW, Joe shows his signature high-flying no-sell! The crowd laughs and cheers as Michaels rolls all the way to the outside and Joe just leans up against the ropes looking like the cool, coy kid at the schoolyard. He shakes his head as if to say ‘that shit don’t fly with me’.

Joe plays with his knee a bit as he looks over the ropes to see a sprawled out Michaels on the outside. He then gets into an offensive crouch, the crowd buzzing for what could be on the horizon. Michaels struggles to roll to his feet, all the attention on Joe spinning and bouncing off the ropes…ELBOW SUICIDA – NOBODY HOME!! JOE LANDS HARD ON THE OUTSIDE AS MICHAELS ROLLS IN!!

Joe doesn’t sprawl out, but instead, tends to his elbow, which may have collided with the base of the entrance ramp. Inside the ring, Michaels’s eyes are glazed over, his dodging of Joe possibly just on instinct. Michaels sits in a corner as the official starts the count out –

…ONE!!



…TWO!!



…THREE!!



…FOUR!!



…FIVE!!

We get a close up of Michaels, whose lips we can read actually saying ‘come on, Joe…’

…SIX!!



…SEVEN!!

“Come on, Joe!”

…EIGHT!!

Joe crawls halfway to the ring…

…NINE!!

…AND HE CRAWLS IN!! JUST IN TIME!!

For whatever reason, Michaels was rooting for Joe to get back in the ring, but he sure as hell wasn’t going to help him. Michaels himself is still tired, again waiting on Joe but not helping him to his feet at all. Joe sluggishly gets up, only for Shawn Michaels to ambush him with a FLYING FOREARM TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD!!

Both men go right back down, Joe face down and Michaels eagle spread…until he props up a leg. The crowd starts buzzing for the motion…with the other leg following suit! The buzz is getting bigger and reaches a huge pop when Michaels hits the KIP UP!! VINTAGE HBK!!

Joe pulls himself back up in a less theatrical motion, turns around, and walks right into a Shawn Michaels INVERTED ATOMIC DROP! HBK follows that with a hard right hand to the noggin, knocking Joe down, but recoiling right back to his feet. Michaels takes Joe up for a SECOND INVERTED ATOMIC DROP and another hard fist to the temple!

Joe hits the mat hard but gets right back up, Michaels waiting. The Icon shows off of strength now…SCOOP SLAM! The crowd knows what’s coming next, as Michaels almost instinctively leans over towards a corner, steps through the ropes, and starts climbing. The Mellon Arena is on their feet, watching and waiting for Michaels to leap…he does…DIVING ELBOW DROP RIGHT ACROSS THE HEART OF SAMOA JOE!!

Though Michaels has been pulling out the more heelish tactics all match, the crowd is white hot! HBK feeds off of this and gets to his feet thrashing around in his signature Showstopper fashion, adrenaline fueling every last pore of his war-torn body. He ventures over to a corner and smacks his leg, signaling the beginning of the end with the Tuning of the Band…

BOOM!!



BOOM!!



BOOM!!



BOOM!!



BOOM!!


……
………

SWEET CHIN MUSIC!! SWEET CHIN MUSIC – BLOCKED!! Joe catches Michaels’s foot and yanks it up, which throws Michaels over Joe’s shoulder in one fell swoop…ISLAND DRIVER!!! ISLAND DRIVER!! MICHAELS HEAD IS DRILLED THROUGH THE CANVAS!! The crowd roars for the incredible display of strength, Joe with a hard-fought cover –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……

NO!!!!

SHAWN MICHAELS KICKS OUT AT THE LAST POSSIBLE SECOND!! Shawn Michaels shows off his signature determination by becoming the first man in all of AOW to kick out of the Island Driver! Joe is flabbergasted, not sure what to think about that at all!

Joe has to take a moment and walk up to the man in stripes, who tells him that it was still just a two count. Joe nods his head and puts his hands on his hips in further disbelief before he reaches over and snatches Michaels, who hasn’t moved since the kickout, by the hair. Joe slowly pulls HBK up, the dead weight possibly making things harder. Just when the One Man Army pulls Michaels to his feet, HBK breaks Joe’s grip, takes a step back…AND NAILS THE SWEET CHIN MUSIC!! SWEET CHIN MUSIC CONNECTING OUT OF NOWHERE!! Joe goes down like a rock in a river, Michaels not able to capitalize right away! It takes him a moment, but he slings his body on top of Joe’s for what could be a streak destroying cover –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……

NO!!!

SAMOA JOE ROLLS THE SHOULDER AT THE LAST SECOND NOW!! MY GOD, THESE MEN JUST WON’T QUIT!! It’s Shawn Michaels’s turn to be rocked with disbelief! Michaels runs his fingers through his hair, shocked. He pounds the mat in frustration as he stumbles back up, dragging himself over to a corner. He begins to climb and looks back at Joe, knowing that he has to stay on him, despite how much damage they’ve both taken. Joe is barely able to get to his feet, unsteady and wobbly. Even so, Michaels shoots off the big one…MOONSAULT…NO!! JOE CATCHES MICHAELS OVER A SHOULDER…ISLAND DRIVER!!! A SECOND ISLAND DRIVER OFF THE MOONSAULT CATCH!! The Mellon Arena loses its collective mind as Joe hooks a leg for what could be the biggest cover of his entire career –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


NO!!!

SHAWN MICHAELS ROLLS A SHOULDER!!! WHAT IN THE BLUEST OF BLUE HELLS IS MOTIVATING SHAWN MICHAELS!?! Samoa Joe is beside himself on that one, Shawn Michaels now becoming the first man to ever kick out of two Island Drivers! Joe leaps up in frustration, this time getting all up in Goose Mahoney’s face. Mahoney insists that that was still a two count, to which Joe lets out an audible ‘fuck!’

The exhausted One Man Army has to lean in a corner for support, possibly from the damage or possibly from the shock. Michaels hasn’t moved a muscle since he miraculously rolled the shoulder. Joe takes that moment for both he and the audience to reclaim their breath. He then ventures back over to the dead body in the middle of the ring, tugs it up by the hair, and leads Michaels to a corner. Joe sings Michaels on his shoulder again…BEFORE ASCENDING TO THE SECOND ROPE. Joe has never had to go this far in AOW before, going for the SECOND ROPE ISLAND DRIVER…

…NO!! Michaels, somehow, someway, comes to life and starts fighting back from his doomsday position! Michaels even has to give an uncharacteristic headbutt to the side of Joe’s head to successfully give himself the time to slink off Joe’s shoulders and land safely on his feet on the canvas, however wobbly. Joe shakes the possible concussion off and sees a still weakened Michaels…and he decides to take a chance, pulling an uncharacteristic move of his own and LEAPS FROM THE SECOND ROPE…SWEET CHIN MUSIC!! SWEET CHIN MUSIC TO THE MIDAIR SAMOA JOE!! OH MY GAAAAADD!!! Shawn Michaels possibly pulls out the biggest superkick of his entire life, sliding his body with what little energy he has left…AND SLINGS AN ARM OVER THE DEAD SAMOAN WARRIOR –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NO!!!!!

SAMOA JOE ROLLS A SHOUDLER AGAIN!! THE UNDEFEATED STREAK SOMEHOW STAYS ALIVE!! Michaels doesn’t even have the energy to be frustrated. All he can do is roll off of Joe’s body and lie on the canvas, his eyes, open wide in awe. What more does he have to do? Can he actually do it? Does the Showstopper physically have what it takes to actually end what Samoa Joe takes such pride in?

Whatever the answer, Michaels, like a zombie, rises from the dead with an outstretched arm and reaches for a rope to pull himself up. He climbs the ropes like a ladder to Heaven to get back to his feet…AND GRABS GOOSE MAHONEY BY THE COLLAR!! The look of desperation on Michaels’s face is almost tear jerking, HBK begging with Mahoney for that to have been a three count, but alas, it was not.

All Shawn can do is lean against the ropes and push his hair out of his face. He wonders if Joe is immortal, but shrugs off that idea as he approaches the carcass of Joe, which hasn’t shown much signs of life since his remaining teeth were kicked down his throat moments ago. Michaels has to drag the big body up in a front chancery. Suddenly, Joe gets a spark of life, twisting out of the headlock and performing a standing switch to get behind Michaels…GERMAN SUPLEX...INTO A DRAGON SUPLEX…INTO AN X-PLEX!!! THE CHIMERA-PLEX MAKES ITS AOW DEBUT!! The fast, furious, and devastatingly ferocious combo shocks the crowd into a wild pop, Joe crawling over The Headliner’s body and only managing to sling an arm over –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NO!!!!

SHAWN MICHAELS, ONCE AGAIN, DOES THE ABSOLUTELY IMPOSSIBLE!!! HE KICKS OUT!! Joe spasms in frustration, rolling away and leaning against the ropes in the biggest show of emotion anyone’s seen Joe display in AOW!! He leans against the ropes, his eyes wide in complete incomprehensible astonishment. Not even his indy finisher could finish this! The crowd, meanwhile, is also in disbelief but they’re popping their heads off for this incredible effort on behalf of both men.

“THIS IS AWESOME!!”
*CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP*
“THIS IS AWESOME!!”
*CLAP CLAP CLAPCLAPCLAP*


Joe doesn’t really have the strength to not focus on Michaels and acknowledge the fans, but he does show a little smirk in all his traumatization. He approaches the comatose body before him…and Michaels starts trying to crawl up Joe’s leg.

And it’s then that Joe realizes what’s driving this legend. Why he was rooting for Joe to get back up. Why he has the inhuman willpower to kick out of every big blow. It’s because, of all the lies Shawn Michaels has told to get the upper hand and to be selfish, he did speak one truth – the only place Shawn Michaels is free anymore is in the ring. The longer he goes, the more freedom he has. Not only does he want Joe’s streak, but he wants to keep his own power.

And that is something that even the narrow-minded Samoa Joe can possibly respect. As Michaels keeps climbing Joe to get up, Joe speaks to him –

“You’re one tough son of a bitch, I’ll say that.”

…before taking Michaels and DRIVING HIM INTO A CORNER!! Joe steps away and roars in an adrenaline fury, then cuts his throat with his thumb. The crowd roars along with him, knowing what’s coming next. Joe takes Michaels and puts him on the top rope, folds him up…MUSCLE BUSTER…NO!!

Michaels somehow fights out of that before Joe can pull him away, driving a KNEE into Joe’s nose to force him to completely let go. Michaels resituates himself on the ropes, leaping for another FLYING CROSSBODY…JOE CATCHES HIM AND ROLLS THROUGH…STANDS UP…THROWS MICHAELS OVER FOR AN ISLAND DRIVER…NO!! Michaels falls behind Joe and pushes him into the ropes, rebounding for A PERFECT VICTORY ROLL THAT JUST MIGHT DO IT –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THR-

THE CLUTCH!! THE CLUTCH!! JOE TURNS THE VICTORY ROLL INTO THE REAR NAKED CHOKE!! SHAWN MICHAELS IS CAUGHT!! Joe finally has his submission finisher synched in as tight as can be, as tight as he’s ever held anyone. Michaels is thrashing around, trying to find some ray of hope. Mahoney gets to his duty and repeatedly asks Shawn if he wants to tap out, but Michaels constantly refuses. After a moment, HBK’s flailing starts to slow down…his oxygen being cut off…and his body going limp…

…………………………...........

…………………………..

……………

………


….NO!!! MICHAELS SUDDENLY HAS A BURST OF LIFE!! The crowd reacts with Michaels, as this match should be over yet again but somehow, it’s not!! Michaels doesn’t waste energy thrashing this time, instead trying to drag he and Joe closer to one of the ropes. Joe is trying to hold on for dear life and choke Michaels out, but the Showstopper is just not giving in. Michaels, with all the freedom he wants, with all the rights of glory he believes are his, with all the fight he still has left to give, extends his arm and is just a fingertip away from salvation…

…………………………...........

…………………………..

……………

………


…AND HE TAPS OUT!!! FINALLY, SHAWN MICHAELS TAPS OUT!!!



Here is your winner…SAMOA JOE at (26:55)



Pittsburgh explodes once again for a GIANTIC FUCKING POP, everyone enjoying every minute of what they’ve just seen. Neither Joe nor Michaels can get up immediately, leaving Goose Mahoney no option other than to raise Joe’s hand while on the canvas. It takes a moment, but Joe is able to finally get to his feet and celebrate his huge win, becoming the first man in over a year to cleanly beat Shawn Michaels in AOW.


Joey Styles:
We’ve seen some tests of fortitude here in AOW, but I don’t think we’ve seen one that’s tested its participants and thrilled a crowd as much as this contest. Shawn Michaels gave it every last ounce of strength, of will, that he had, but it was not enough to stay in and break the streak.


JBL:
Samoa Joe is the baddest sumbitch on the planet, but goodness, he had to work for that one. That’s what Shawn Michaels does to you. You could be the greatest of all time, the fastest, strongest, undefeated in four years – but Shawn Michaels will ALWAYS force you to pull the best performance out of you in your entire life.


Joey Styles:
I had goosebumps all through that match and I will say it was an honor to call such a match. The first ever meeting between the One Man Army and the Showstopper was everything as advertised, Michaels’s will against Joe’s strength, but in the end, Joe was too much. The better man admittedly won.


With Joe now out of sight and having taken in his glory, the only man left in the ring is HBK. He’s barely able to make it to his feet on his own, but when he does, he gets an ovation possibly even louder than Joe did moments ago. The appreciation for this legend goes through the roof so much that it touches Shawn, who is almost on the verge of tears. He throws a kiss to Pittsburgh and waves to them before exhaustingly collapsing back to the mat and rolling out.


***

A beautiful shot of the Montreal skyline


Narrator
:
Last year, AOW showed that it was not afraid to break the limit to go to the Outer Limits…


The pyro from that show, creating a mountain of sparks


Narrator
:
But if once you go above…next you have to pay your respects below…


A shot of a cybernetic globe rotates with a small blip showing up on the lower part of North America


Narrator
:
For the first time in American wrestling history, a Pay-Per-View will be held in the fiesta capitol of the world.


A zoom in on the big red target, showing us the country of Mexico…


Narrator
:
Live, on March 15th, 2008, Art of War Wrestling comes to you from Mexico City, Mexico~!!


Shots of exotic Mexico


Narrator
:
From the Arena Mexico, the largest professional wrestling venue in the world!!


Shots of explosive lucha libre action that has traditionally filled the Arena


Narrator
:
Viva Guerra.


The Outer Limits II logo flashes (under construction )



THE OUTER LIMITS II
MARCH 15TH, 2009
Arena Mexico - Mexico City, Mexico


***


~Backstage area, somewhere secluded…


An eerie looking Mick Foley is shaded rather well, his thick dark hair making him look as insane as he looked in his prime. This man is nothing like the AOW Active Commander we’ve known the last year. He’s himself.



Foley:
I’m sure you’re all very, very excited about there being a second Outer Limits. I can hear all of your excitement buzzing around this place. In this arena, this event, which I painstakingly tried to put together.


Foley wipes his face


Foley:
And yet what have I gotten for all my hard work? I’ve gotten kicked around, been blamed for all the world’s problems AND NOT ONE SINGLE THANK YOU!!


Foley is using his signature promo delivery style, occasionally shouting things


Foley:
No, not from you fans. No, you all made me feel right at home. The AOW fans have made me feel better than I have my entire life. But from that weasel in charge, Paul Heyman. No, not one thank you. Just all the blame in the world AND THEN PUT OUT AND HUMILIATED LIKE AN UNWANTED CHILD!!


Foley pauses, almost whimpering


Foley:
But there was one man who made my stay almost worth it. Yes, as much as I hate you, as much as I loathe you Chris Jericho, you’ve made my time as Acting Commander worth it. And that’s why I’m gonna be a little bit apologetic for kicking you out of AOW in just a few moments.


A pop beyond the walls


Foley:
I want you to do what I did all the time you were here, Jericho. I want you to do what you made Christian, Torrie Wilson, Rob Van Dam, all the fans, all the personnel, what they did in your time here. I WANT YOU TO SUFFER!! I WANT YOU TO BLEED AND BLEED AND GET YOU BACK FOR EVERY LAST BROKEN HEART, EVERY LAST BROKEN SPIRIT, AND AVENGE THEM BY BREAKING YOU LIMB FROM LIMB~!!


The intensity, while inspiring, is frightening


Foley:
And I’ll do it in a place that means a lot to me. I’ll do it right here, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.


Foley doesn’t give a thumbs up, but he does give a mad smirk that evokes the cheap pop


Foley:
See, I was trained as a wrestler right up the road, just twenty-five minutes from here. I graduated from Dominic DeNucci's wrestling school in Freedom, Pennsylvania.


The crowd again cheers for a place very close to them


Foley:
And almost ten years ago, I fell over thirty feet from the top of a metal cage and through an announce desk in this very city, solidifying myself as the toughest son of a bitch on the face of the Earth.


Another pop for the most infamous spot in wrestling history


Foley:
So the way I see it, my career was born in this city. My career took off in this city. AND I’LL BE DAMNED IF MY CAREER ENDS IN THIS CITY!!


HUGE pop


Foley:
So Chris Jericho, oohhh have mercy, get ready to squeal like a pig and bleed like one. Have a nice day! BANG BANG!!


Foley goes through the catchphrases of all three of his personas to a wild pop from beyond the walls as we fade away on the image of a battle ready legend…


~Back at ringside…


Joey Styles:
In Mick Foley’s entire stay here in Art of War Wrestling, I don’t think I’ve ever heard him make a speech that passionate.


JBL:
When a man’s way of life is on the line, there’s nothin’ he won’t do.


Joey Styles:
While Mick Foley’s long awaited duel with Chris Jericho is imminent, how about that incredible announcement just made about where the next Outer Limits will be held! In what could be an annual tradition, one of AOW’s biggest shows of the year will take place outside of the United States! Last year we went up north, and now we’re going down south!


JBL:
I know a lot of gringos who still owe me a lot of money, so you know I’ll be going to Mexico City!


Joey Styles:
AOW will be coming to you on March 15th from the Arena Mexico, the largest wrestling arena in the world!!


JBL:
They saw the promo, nimrod. They know where it is. But damn, it’s gonna feel good to break ground like that in a big, big way.




JERICHO|FOLEY




Joey Styles:
That will be in several months at our Season Finale, but for right now, Mick Foley’s words ring through the air. We haven’t heard from Chris Jericho tonight, but I think everyone can agree that not hearing anything from that guy is a very, very good thing.


JBL:
Is that because you people don’t like to listen to intelligence? Chris Jericho has spent his entire stay in AOW trying to enlightening the masses, saving you people, an’ outdoing that talking Muppet at every waking turn possible. That man is a god an’ you should all be worshipping him, not asking for him to burn at the stake!!


Joey Styles:
If Mick Foley has his way, and with the hardcore nature of this match completely legal, Chris Jericho burning might actually be the least of his worries.



***


“I know Mick Foley’s every move.”


A hypnotic shot of Chris Jericho with the AOW World Championship, dastardly music humming in the background



Jericho:
My name is Chris Jericho and I am your Worthy Champion.


Flashes of Jericho’s greatest deeds/diabolical plots in AOW – the introduction of Paul Wright, the formation of the Worthy Legion, the decimation of Rob Van Dam, and the blackmailing of Shawn Michaels


Jericho:
I am this company and I am it’s very blood. I am Chris Jericho, and I am the God of Gods.


Jericho forces Bryan Danielson to tap out in their only meeting


Jericho:
There is only one immortal in this company. And that’s me.


The music reaches a climax as Jericho holds the AOW World Championship high…


…but there’s a sudden shift in music when the image of Mick Foley appears


Foley:
You will be…IN THE WAR CHAMBER!!!


The lowering of the War Chamber, with Jericho being knocked out and eliminated


Foley:
I introduce to you, the new #1 contender for the AOW Championship…CHRISTIAN CAGE!!


Christian returns to active duty, eventually defeating Chris Jericho for the AOW World Championship


Foley:
Well, Christian, you’re gonna need a special guest referee…


Foley counts to ten in Jericho’s rematch for the title, ending the contest


Cut to Paul Heyman gleefully at Foley’s firing ceremony



Heyman:
I’ve waited for this day since the moment I made the very un-Heyman like decision to hire this fuzzy bastard in the first place.


The music is again at a low hum, this time sound quite tragic


Heyman:
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this historical event, live, right here, in Manhattan, New York!


This is intercut with several clips of Foley doing the same line, many times before


Heyman:
When I first picked up the clay that would become this company, I had a vision and I wanted to mold this place into that. That vision partially came true. It was a vision involving men facing off through the spirit of competition. But that spirit slowly disintegrated into pure, unadultured greed.


Shots go by of Muhammad Hassan flaunting his money around, The Mercenaries and their numbers game picking men apart and the Worthy Legion fighting for power and winning


Heyman:
And each and every one of you vocally ungrateful people has one man to blame for that – Mick Foley


Foley looks quite defeated as Heyman points all fingers at him


Heyman:
So it is at this time I gleefully inform you, Mick Foley, that…YOOOOUU’RE FIII –


The music suddenly shuts down to a muddled note, as Chris Jericho shocks everyone and stops the ceremony


Jericho:
I had a vision when this company first started, too. But mine came true. I had a vision to become the most powerful, feared man in all of professional wrestling. And it succeeded.


More shots of Jericho in his three piece suits, riding high above all


Jericho:
I was a Worthy Man. But that was brought to a screeching halt a few weeks ago when a certain special guest referee screwed me out of my rematch for my AOW title.


An eagle-eye close-up of Foley’s defeated face



Jericho:
But that was just the cherry on top of our relationship…wasn’t it, Mick Foley? You’ve wanted me dead and done since the first day, haven’t you? For nearly an entire year, you’ve made it your mission to make sure I didn’t get what I wanted


A clip of Jericho and Foley in the ring the night of Foley’s hiring


Jericho:
I don’t care how badly you’ve broken any laws, you’re not fired until I have my say. I want to crush you with the might only I deliver.


Heyman deliberates


Heyman:
At Origins & Endings, it will be Chris Jericho going one-on-one with Mick Foley…on one condition. Whoever loses that match…loses their job.


Flashes go by of Jericho in his long-haired early days; Foley in his various personalities before cutting to black. When the screen lights up again, Jericho is mocking Foley’s career, but comparing him to another god of sorts…


Jericho:
Foley, you are nothing more than the Hephaestus of the wrestling world. You know the story of Hephaestus? He was a Greek god, but he was nothing more than what you are now – the kind-hearted but ugly, frumpy, joke of the heavens that was utterly useless.


A slow drifting effect over an old-time etching of the Greek god in question


Jericho:
And the only time Hephaestus is ever relevant in any story is the one time he was thrown from the top of Olympus to Earth. I guess that makes two of you who are simply known for falling…on…your ass.


The last three words are shown intermingling with the iconic Mick Foley dive from the top of the cell, through the announce table


Jericho:
And that’s why your career belongs where it should’ve always been – in the garbage.


Jericho burns Foley’s signature items – some Dude Love armbands, the Mankind mask, and a Cactus jack shirt – and throws them in the garbage


Foley finally breaks his silence ATTACKS JERICHO FROM BEHIND WITH THE BARBED WIRE 2X4!! Jericho scrambles away and throws Alex Riley to the wolves, Riley getting leveled with the weapon.



Foley:
Well, you know, Jericho, if you want to go that route, so be it. But the only man in here who is a god is me. And that’s not my arrogance talking. That’s these people.


The entire Hammerstein it seems all lift up signs that say “FOLEY IS GOD”


Foley:
And as for your whole ‘Hephaestus’ thing, Chris, wasn’t he also a god who was famous for using…tools??


Foley holds up his weapon


Foley:
So at Origins & Endings, we’re gonna have some hardcore! A match I made my career off of!! It’s gonna be a WAR RULES match!!


Foley laughs manically as he pulls his things from out of the garbage with the music blaring triumphant trumpets between Foley’s laughter. Jericho and Foley’s faces suddenly shut off, leaving only a black screen


“How can you plan for a man who doesn’t even know what he’s gonna do next...?”


***



***DING DING DING***


Chimel:
The following contest is scheduled for one fall and it is under War Rules match


A huge pop for what should be the most brutal match of the night


Chimel:
The loser of this match will be FIRED!!


Another bit of noise from the crowd, this one more of a loud buzz than anything



“I’LL OPEN YOUR EYES AND MAKE YOU SEE..”



**KING OF MY WORLD**



And the biggest, most UNGODLY RAIN OF NUCLEAR HEAT in AOW, rivaled only by Shawn Michaels in Montreal, drenches Chris Jericho as he enters the stage. He has his head held so high, the rafters can see his nosehairs. His stratagem strut follows him down the aisle all the way into the ring



Chimel:
From Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, weighing in at 222 pounds…CHRIIIIIIS JEERICHOOOOOO



Joey Styles:
There isn’t a man who has made his presence known in AOW more than this man. Chris Jericho spent all of the first season as the reigning AOW World Champion, but he’s spent all of the subsequent season trying to get back to the top like everyone else.


JBL:
If there is one thing Chris Jericho is not, it’s like everyone else. You pay your respects to this man!!



Joey Styles:
He’s pulled every string imaginable and crushed the entire completive spirit of AOW with his power hungry tactics. He’s gone so far as to crush Rob Van Dam’s psyche, blackmail Shawn Michaels, torture Torrie Wilson, and make life hell for Christian Cage most recently by threatening Christian’s own mother. If there’s anyone responsible for the corruption of what this company was to be about, you can completely blame this man. That’s not the kind of man I worship, it is not a man I like, and it certainly is NOT a man I respect!!


Jericho keeps his smug aura around him as he stands in the ring awaiting the man whose career he wishes to vanquish. Even so, there’s a look in Jericho’s eye that is different than we’ve seen before. It was unnoticeable as he was walking to the ring, but a closer look shows that Jericho’s thought process is very different for this contest. It’s almost a look of…hidden fear?


Whatever the case, the crowd’s heat turns into a giant buzz as they await Foley’s arrival, but he doesn’t seem to come. Jericho gets incredibly intrigued, not paying attention to the crowd’s reaction getting noticeably louder. Jericho turns around to speak to the referee…AND MICK FOLEY CRACKS JERICHO IN THE FACE WITH A TRASH CAN!! OH MY GOODNESS, WE’RE GETTING STARTED RIGHT NOW!!!







~War Rules~
*Loser Gets Fired*
Chris Jericho
v.

Mick Foley


The crowd is absolutely on fire from the get go and Jericho is thrown off of any and every plan he could ever imagine! Jericho is immediately knocked for a loop, as Foley tosses the dented can aside. The groggy Jericho has to lean against the ropes, which draws Foley’s attention…AND CACTUS CLOTHSLINES BOTH MEN OVER THE TOP ROPE AND TO THE FLOOR!!

Both men go tumbling head over heels and roll around for a moment, only for Foley to resurface with a “BAND BANG!” that gets the crowd roaring once again. Jericho tries to crawl away and regroup, but Foley stays on the Worthy Man and throws a STIFF boot into Jericho’s jaw.

Jericho is knocked out, prompting Mick to pick the Canadian up by his hair and then SLAM HIS FACE OFF THE GUARD RAIL!! Jericho is completely out of it at this point, but his case just keeps getting worse when Foley grabs him and then THROWS JERICHO’S FACE OFF THE STEEL POST!! Foley is holding no quarter here!

Foley then rolls Jericho under the ropes and into the ring, quickly following behind. Foley takes Jericho and gives him a pair of hard right hands for good measure before taking him up in a scoop lift…AND PLACING JERICHO IN THE TREE OF WOE!! Jericho is at the complete mercy of gravity, all the blood rushing to his head. Foley takes the remains of the garbage can that he brought in and PLACES IT RIGHT ON THE FACE OF JERICHO. Foley takes several steps back with the crowd buzzing, everyone knowing there this could go…LOW DROPKICK THAT KICKS THE CAN INTO THE FACE OF JERICHO!!

Jericho crumples onto the canvas, utterly and completely at the mercy of Mick Foley!! Foley just gets back to his feet looking as sickly satisfied as ever, his mouth hanging open with his signature grin. He once again manipulates the battered, almost completely flattened, garbage can and then grabs Jericho.

The Hardcore God whips Jericho into a corner and then approaches him…AND RELENTLESSLY STARTS DRILLING RIGHT HANDS!!! The crowd starts to count the 10-punch with Foley, but the blows just keep getting faster and faster that no one can keep count anymore. That that point, Foley steps away from the battered Jericho and hits another “BANG BANG!” to a pop from the crowd. Foley then charges to LAND THE FINISHING BLOW…JERICHO GETS A BOOT UP!!

Perhaps almost a desperation move on behalf of Jericho that forces Foley to reel and give Jericho his first real bit of breathing room since the match began. Foley leans over to tend to his face, giving Jericho the time he needs to make a plan and run with it…ONE-HANDED BULLDOG…ONTO THE GARBAGE CAN!! What’s left of the aluminum container is imprinted with the face of Foley!! Jericho uses this one moment of breathing to cover Foley for the first fall attempt of the match –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!


Foley can take a hellova a lot more damage than that, so Jericho doesn’t lose too much sleep over it. Instead, he creates more space between he and Foley by rolling outside. Jericho paces around for a moment before throwing up the ring skirt and rummaging around under the ring to find some new toys. Jericho, the Worthy Man, the Master of War, the God of Gods, pulls out…A MUFFIN TRAY…??

Even the master strategist is slightly puzzled about the weapon, but he rolls with it and slides it into the ring. He then goes back under the apron and picks up the first weapon he touches, this one being a large “low shoulder” street sign. Jericho shrugs when he sees it and slides that one into the ring too.

Jericho then slides in, picking up the muffin tray as Foley gets to his feet…AND JERICHO BASHES FOLEY IN THE SKULL WITH THE DEMENTED BAKING APARATUS!! The raised metal could leave dents in the skull, but it only leaves Foley wobbly. Jericho then takes the large street sign, rears back…AND KNOCKS FOLEY’S NOGGIN WITH THE METAL!!

One can almost feel Foley’s brain swelling from the collision, but he’s still not completely knocked down yet. Jericho, slightly amazed, slams down the sign and takes the woozy Foley. Jericho then looks behind him, almost as if he’s calculating something. Jericho then takes Foley from behind and up…BACK SUPLEX ON TOP OF THE STREET SIGN!! Foley’s history of all kinds of medical ailments comes into play as Jericho goes for his second fall of the match –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!


Still only a two-count!! Jericho isn’t exactly happy about that, but he gathers himself and rolls out of the ring nearest the entrance aisle. He rummages underneath that one now and pulls out…A TABLE!! Jericho introduces a slab of wood and sets it up on the outside.

He re-enters the squared circle to take the messy hair of Foley by the tuft and drag him to his feet. Jericho then gets in the withered Foley’s face, spewing venom as he speaks –

“Get out of my ring and get out of my COMPANY!!”


Jericho then HURLS FOLEY OVER THE TOP ROPE AND THROUGH THE TABLE…NO!!! Foley somehow holds on when he’s slung over the rope, reganing himself on the apron. Jericho desperately tries to fight Foley off, but Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy keeps fighting back, throwing hard forearms right back at Jericho. He’s knocked away, but comes right back with a hard forearm, FOLEY TEETERING OVER THE TABLE…NO!!

Foley regains his balance and strikes back at Jericho with a hard forearm, but again, Jericho fights back and smashes Foley with a hard right before hitting him with a LOW DROPKICK TO THE KNEE!! This forces Foley to one knee on the apron. As he tries to recover, he looks up to see Jericho springboarding off the adjacent middle rope…TRIANGLE DROPKICK THAT KNOCKS FOLEY OFF…NO!!

Foley is hit flush with the dropkick and HANGS ON BY HIS FINGERTIPS!! Jericho, getting frustrated, goes all the way across the ring and shoots back towards Foley, LOOKING TO KNOCK HIM OFF AND LAUNCH HIM…FOLEY LOWERS THE TOP ROPE…JERICHO TUMBLES…AND JUUUUST MISSES GOING THROUGH THE TABLE!!

Instead, Jericho hits the hard outside, which isn’t much of a consolation. As Jericho tries to recover from his second tumble of the young contest, Foley steps off the apron and pulls Jericho around…SWINGING NECKBREAKER!! Jericho’s head and neck whiplash violently off the padding, prompting Foley to go for his first cover of the night, eligible on the outside because of the hardcore rules –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!


Jericho shows some fight in him now, rolling a shoulder and staying in this thing. Foley never thought that that would end things anyway, causing him to go rummaging under the ring…AND PULLING OUT THE FIRST STEEL CHAIR OF THE NIGHT. The whole crowd pops as Foley introduces it, raising it high above his head. He waits for the Manitoba native to get to his feet…AND RAMS HIM IN THE GUT…BEFORE SMASHING HIM IN THE SPINE!!

Jericho feels just a little of the pain he made people feel when he was AOW Champion, his body curling and forcing the ‘god’ to walk on his knees to the nearest barricade for support. Foley follows the Worthy Man, however, and SMACKS JERICHO ACROSS THE SPINE WITH THE CHAIR AGAIN!!

Foley is not letting up in the least here, staying true to his word to make Jericho suffer. Jericho tries to pull himself up, but he’s just met with Foley BLASTING THE STEEL OFF JERICHO’S BACK FOR A THIRD TIME!! The possibly paralyzed Jericho collapses onto the table, leaving the crowd buzzing. Foley steps onto the apron, chair in hand. He runs along the length of the apron, RUNNING APRON DIVE WITH THE STEEL CHAIR…NO!!

At the very last minute, Jericho rolls off and trips Foley up, causing the Hardcore Legend to FALL SPINE FIRST ON THE JUT OF THE APRON!! Foley rolls off in pain, giving Jericho time to heal as well. He tends to his lower back as he picks Foley up, guides him over to the barricade, and SNAPS HIS HEAD OFF THE GUARD RAIL!!

Jericho starts to get aggressive now, roaming away from the entrance area. He takes Foley by the wrist and Irish whips him hard…AND FOLEY HITS THE STEEL STEPS, FLIPPING OVER THEM IN HIS TRADEMARK FASHION!! With Foley not having enough room to completely flip over, he lands a little awkwardly and makes his fall look even more painful!!

Jericho slowly makes his way over to Foley, the God of Gods still trying to take his time and let his back heal. Foley is already trying to crawl to his feet, but Jericho cockily kicks him in the gut. This stunts Foley for a moment, but suddenly, Foley springs to life and PUNCHES JERICHO INTO THE TIMEKEEPER’S AREA!!

The Canadian doesn’t land too hard, landing in an empty folding chair and able to grab hold of something nearby and charge right back at Foley…AND CLOCK FOLEY UPSIDE THE HEAD WITH THE RING BELL!! OH MY GOODNESS!!

Foley is knocked for an incredible loop, drooping over the announce table after the hit. He’s dead on his feet and doesn’t both moving for a moment until he looks up and we see he’s been BUSTED OPEN. Fresh blood in the match already, but Jericho’s not done, taking the bell, and RAMMING IT INTO THE RIBS OF FOLEY!!

Foley doubles over then collapses in pain, Jericho tossing the bell aside. He takes the crushed Foley and rolls him onto the announce table, which again gets the crowd buzzing considerably. Jericho pounds on Foley’s chest a couple of times for good measure before leaping onto the ring apron. Jericho has his back to Foley before leaping…SPRINGBOARDING…LIONSAULT FROM THE APRON THROUGH THE ANNOUCE DESK…NOBODY HOME!!! SOMEHOW FOLEY MOVES OUT OF THE WAY AT THE LAST MINUTE, SENDING JERICHO CRASHING AND BURNING!!!

A huge sigh of relief from the crowd, as both men are decimated on the outside floor! Foley is bleeding harder and barely alive while Jericho is underneath JBL’s chair and amidst a mass of wires. Foley is barely able to stand on his own two feet, but he somehow regains himself and gives the camera his hallmark, bone-chilling, yet thrilling perverted bloody grin. It looks like Mrs. Foley’s Baby Boy is just getting started.

Foley roams over behind the announce desk and throws JBL’s chair off of Jericho’s body, rolling the battered Master of Puppets onto the table. Foley has some trouble joining him up there, but he eventually gets there and gets everyone curious once again. The Long Island native then lifts Jericho up, punts him in the gut, and stuffs him between Mick’s legs. The crowd buzzes for what might come next, Foley tugging on Jericho’s tights and falling back…PILEDRIVER!!! PILEDRIVER ON THE TABLE!!! OH MY GAAAAD!!

Even though the table doesn’t break, the mere sight of a piledriver for the first time in AOW is enough to drive them insane, and a piledriver from the Mickster himself at that. Jericho grips at his neck as Foley rolls off, raising a fist to get another big pop from the Pittsburgh crowd.

Foley still isn’t done yet, though. He roams over to the timekeeper’s area and snaps up a folding chair, taking it with him. He roams over Jericho and SMASHES JERICHO ACROSS THE CHEST WITH THE CHAIR!! Another example of not letting up, Foley just being flat out Cactus Jack-level merciless and sinister. Foley then takes the chair and steps up to the apron like he did earlier, getting a little more head of steam…leaps…RUNNING APRON DIVE WITH THE STEEL CHAIR THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE TABLE!! THROUGH THE ANNOUNCE TABLE!!!! OOHH MY GAAAAAD!!!

“HOLY SHIT!!! HOLY SHIT!!!”

Both men are an absolute mess when all the dust settles and Foley isn’t immediately able to roll over and try anything. Referee Brian Hebner is almost terrified of the situation, Foley trying with all his might to crawl over and hook one of Jericho’s legs…

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……

NO!!!

JERICHO ROLLS A SHOUDLER!!! AMAZINGLY, JERICHO WON’T GO DOWN LIKE THAT!!! The Worthy Man shows just how much he’s worth, but Foley isn’t impressed. The Hardcore Legend takes a second to shake the cobwebs out, but then he grabs the chair he used to come down on Jericho. The former AOW Champion is very, very slow to get to his feet, his entire body probably wrapped with pain. He turns around to see a waiting Foley…POW!!! CHAIR SHOT STRAIGHT TO THE SKULL!! JERICHO IS OUT LIKE A LIGHT!!

Jericho falls back and takes a flat bump, his entire cognitive functions probably shot down from that (protected) chair shot right to the cranium!! The crowd is going nuts and continues to do so when Foley lifts the chair high. He drops the chair and then takes the dying body of Jericho and covers it, possibly ending the god’s career –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THR-

NO!!!

JERICHO STILL HAS SOME KIND OF LIFE!!! Even after preventing any and all strategy by scrambling Jericho’s head, the game still goes on! Foley is a little bit stunned by this, but he doesn’t show any remorse for his actions, instead taking Jericho and throwing his body under the bottom rope and into the ring. Foley doesn’t follow. Instead, he lifts up the ring skirt and rummages around the lower contents until he pulls out…A BUNDLE OF BARBED WIRE!?! MY GOD, FOLEY’S GONE DEMENTED!!

The bloodthirsty crowd gives an enormous pop when this shows up, many scattered “ECW!” chants penetrating the airwaves. Foley finally re-enters the ring with his entire stash of iron-woven pain. Jericho is just now starting to come to, but when we look at his face, we can see that he’s been BUSTED open, no doubt from the chair shot moments prior. Jericho’s on all fours trying to find some kind of consciousness and get back up. Foley pulls off some of the barbed wire, a string of it resting in his hand. He then screams, in only the psychotic, broken, but captivating way Mick Foley can screech –

“You wanna be a god?? You gotta pay the price of one!”

…AND MICK FOLEY WHIPS CHRIS JERICHO ACROSS THE BACK WITH THE LOOSE BARBED WIRE!!! OH MY GOD IN HEAVEN!!
And Foley doesn’t stop at one, WHIPPING JERICHO OVER AND OVER AGAIN!! The sickening impact of the barbs puncturing Jericho’s skin leave small drops of blood to form on his back as the crowd goes into a frenzy while Jericho himself screams in the most pain he has in his entire stay in AOW. With all due respect to Christian, some is finally giving Jericho the beatdown he’s deserved for an entire year.

Foley tosses aside his huge handful of barbed wire and takes the damn near convulsing in pain Chris Jericho up and holds him by the throat and face up against the ring ropes. Foley is incredibly rough with Jericho, showing just how over the edge he is by this point. Foley again delivers a sinister message in his trademark Foley delivery…

“Don’t scream now! When you get back all you’ve dished out…when you pay the price that I have, THEN YOU CAN BE WORSHIPPED!!”

Foley snaps back from Jericho’s face and takes to his arm, maneuvering the top and middle ropes…AND TRAPPING JERICHO’S ARMS IN THE ROPES!! JERICHO IS WRAPPED IN THE ROPE CRUCIFIX!! With Jericho completely defenseless, the blood pouring freely down his face, and the crowd reacting even bigger, Foley can only smile. He rolls out the ring to browse under the ring again and this time he pulls out…A KENDO STICK!!

The crowd again cheers big for an old ECW signature object…but Foley shakes his head…and puts it back? No one’s quite sure what to make of that, especially when Foley puts the skirt and walks on over to the steel ring steps the he hasn’t hit. Foley moves the top set of steps to reveal he’s got something hidden under there. He picks it up…AND SHOWS US THE BARBED WIRE 2X4!! OH SWEET MERCY, ITS BARBIE!! Foley’s gone more over the edge than possible, showcasing the very worst Foley’s mind has to offer!

Cactus Jack – er – Foley rolls back into the ring with Barbie in tow and winds it up as Jericho practically begs Foley to stop. Chris Jericho, the most holier-than-thou man alive, is begging. Foley’s done playing with his food, taking Barbie in both hands…AND SWATS THE BARBED WIRE STICK ACROSS JERICHO’S EXPOSED MIDSECTION!!

Jericho tries to curl up in pain, but instead he’s only able to thrash around violently, retrained by the ring ropes. Jericho’s cries of pain go unpitied and die out amidst the maliciously gleeful Pittsburgh population. All Foley does is smile, blood starting to drip from his hair. He rears back…AND BLASTS JERICHO RIGHT IN THE MIDSECTION AGAIN WITH THE BARB-WRAPPED PLANK!!

Another set of convulsing from Jericho ensues, but dies down quicker. Foley then steps through the ropes and gets behind Jericho, taking the wired wood with him…AND HOLDS THE BARBED WIRE AGAINST JERICHO’S OPEN WOUND!!! The sharp spikes split skin and further open Jericho’s laceration, perhaps giving Jericho his own crown of thorns.

Foley rips the weapon away and climbs back into the ring, Jericho’s face becoming an unbelievable crimson mask and passing out, possibly from pain or blood loss or both. Foley sets his barbed wire aside and raises his arm before tucking it in his tights…AND PULLING OUT MR. SOCKO!! The crowd that couldn’t get ignited any more and they suddenly can. Things get even louder when Foley takes the barbed wire heap he introduced earlier, gets a loose piece…AND WRAPS IT AROUND SOCKO!! Foley could be going for the goriest finish imaginable, the crowd buzzing immensely. Foley rears back…MANDIBLE CLAW WITH THE BARBED WIRE…BAM!!

ALEX RILEY!! IT’S ALEX RILEY!! RILEY SMACKS FOLEY IN THE SPINE WITH THE STEEL CHAIR!! Jericho is saved by his apprentice at the very last second! The crowd’s immense buzzing made it difficult to tell if anyone was coming. That same crowd is throwing a RELENTLESS amount of heat at the young, budding heel. Regardless, Riley doesn’t gloat or show off that he just took out Mick Foley. Instead, he sets the chair down and unbinds Jericho from his crucifixion on the ropes.

This, predictably, gets even more heat. Riley takes his mentor’s limp body and eases him against the canvas. The rain of heat starts to shift to a loud buzz for some reason. When Riley turns around after helping his ‘god’, we see why…RILEY EATS THE BARBED WIRED MR. SOCKO!!! RILEY TAKES A MAGNIFICENTLY MALICIOUS MANDIBLE CLAW!!!

It takes more than just one chair shot to keep Mick Foley down, a lesson that we’re sure the Varsity Villain gets in his head as Foley’s hand goes down the Bostonian’s throat. Foley keeps the move in until Riley starts fading. At that point, Foley pushes Riley through the ropes and to the floor. With the distractions out of the way, Foley turns back towards Jericho – CODEBREAKER WITH THE STEEL CHAIR!! JERICHO WITH A HUGE MOVE OUT OF NOWHERE!! Jericho is as dead as a man can be and still be moving so he can’t move right away. The crowd is suddenly deflated, Jericho mustering up any strength he had left, possibly showing he really is divine, and crawls on his forearms to sling an arm over Foley –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……

NO!!!!

FOLEY ROLLS A SHOULDER!! THE HARDCORE LEGEND LIVES UP TO THE HYPE!! The match continues, but one has to question just how much both guys have left. Jericho can barely move, but he has just enough in him to roll out of the ring. He unsteadily stumbles to the ring steps nearest the commentators; the one opposite where Foley got Barbie from. Jericho seems to hardly be able to lift the top step, but he manages to. What was Jericho hiding? A large sandsack for one, which Jericho grabs before rolling back into the ring.

A look at Jericho’s grisly face reveals that he’s bleeding up a storm, but he’s giving us his stratagem smirk for the very first time in this match. Perhaps now any plans he had can be unveiled? Jericho takes the sack he’s holding and dumps it around the middle of the ring…AND DROPS THUMBTACKS EVERYWHERE!! It’s Chris Jericho, not Mick Foley, who introduces the thumbtacks!! Curiously, there’s less thumbtacks than are historically seen. What kind of insane plan does Jericho have??

Whatever it is, Jericho sees fit to put it into action, taking the barely moved body of Foley and bringing it to its feet. Jericho latches a pair of underhooks on Foley…and then sets up over the thumbtacks. Jericho has a shit eating grin, taking in MASSIVE heat as he prepares to hit Foley’s own DOUBLE UNDERHOOK DDT ONTO THUMBTACKS – NO!! Foley starts to struggle, turning both men around in the scuffle…BACK BODY DROP…RIGHT ONTO THE THUMBTACKS!!! CHRIS JERICHO GETS INTRODUCED TO SOME EXTREME ACUPUNCTURE!!

Jericho sits up, mouth agape, eyes wide, fingers curdled, and back completely pierced by several pins. The crowd goes nuts as Foley is able to save his skin by puncturing Jericho’s. Foley lets out another sadistic smile before rolling out of the ring, concocting something else. He lifts up the ring skirt to look for an extra tool…BUT ALEX RILEY STRIKES FOLEY FROM BEHIND!!

Foley is knocked off-balance and drifts by the steel ring steps, which prompts the cocky athlete to follow Foley and keep striking at him. We get a good look at Riley’s lips and chin, which is BLEEDING slightly, certainly from contact with the barbed wire in his mouth. As Foley is forced away by Riley’s blows, the Hardcore God is chased to the side of the ring at base of the entrance aisle. Riley looks for something big, climbing the ring steps and waiting for Foley to turn around…LEAPING CLOTHESLINE…FOLEY DUCKS…AND RILEY CRASHES THROUGH THE TABLE SET UP ON THE OUTSIDE!!! The table that was set up in the opening minutes of the match finally comes around to put Riley away for good!!

Foley is safe to go back to the ring apron, which he digs back under to pull out…his own sandsack! Foley rolls back in and takes the bag, looking at the small mess Jericho’s thumbtacks made while looking at Jericho sprawled out on his stomach to try and prevent any pressure on his back. Foley shakes his head…AND THEN DUMPS HIS OWN BAG OF THUMBTACKS AROUND THE RING!! A DOUBLE DOSE OF THUMBTACKS!!

The Mellon Arena goes nuts at the sight of even more brutality in front of them, Foley’s bag containing much more thumbtacks. Foley nods that this is what he wanted and that this is real hardcore. Foley gives a thumbs up and a smile to another pop, the flannel wearing warrior awaiting for Jericho to get completely to his feet. Jericho does so and turns around…SWEET SHIN MUSIC…? SWEET SHIN MUSIC!! The old Dude Love finisher comes into play and it allows Foley to latch a couple of underhooks on Jericho…DOUBLE UNDERHOOK DDT ONTO THE MASS OF THUMBTACKS!!!

…NO!!! Jericho executes a double leg takedown that CAUSES FOLEY TO FALL ONTO THE LARGE BED OF NAILS!! Jericho pauses for a moment to show Foley yelling pain, but the Master of Puppets doesn’t stop, turning Foley over…WALLS OF JERICHO!!! WALLS OF JERICHO AMIDST A SEA OF THUMBTACKS!! FOLEY IS TRAPPED BECAUSE OF HIS OWN WEAPONS!! Perhaps this was in Jericho’s plan all along, but whatever the case, Jericho is suddenly in complete control, despite being decimated for a long time.

Foley tries with all his might to find some way out of this, but he can’t go anywhere to do anything because he’s surrounded by thumbtacks!! Foley cries out in pain, the Mellon Arena doing their best to help Foley not give up, to not make a lifetime full of injury all for naught…


…………………………...........

…………………………..

……………

………


…FOLEY STILL WON’T TAP OUT!! Jericho keeps hold and sells the intensity, but he can’t get Foley to tap. Foley then starts doing the unimaginable – he starts crawling on his forearms over the bed of spikes to get to the ropes!! The ropes won’t save Foley, but getting out of the ring could force the hold to break! Foley is showing just how much damage he can take and how much he wants to keep his career! Foley’s arms are getting spiked with every inch…BUT JERICHO TURNS IT INTO THE LIONTAMER!! JERICHO PUTS HIS KNEE ON FOLEY’S HEAD…AND CITRUS PRESSES FOLEY’S FACE AGAINST THE BED OF NAILS!!! This cuts off any direct Foley escape route, Foley’s head, neck, back, and face are getting otherworldly tortured…


…………………………...........

…………………………..

……………

………


…AND HE TAPS!!! MICK FOLEY TAPS OUT!! HIS CAREER IS OVER!!



Here is your winner…CHRIS JERICHO at (19:43)



The crowd is utterly deflated. Not many of them are able to throw heat at Jericho, who drops the WOJ. He’s forced to lean against the ropes for support and have his arm raised, which prompts even more heat. Jericho falls to his knees in his crucifix pose, bloodied, but somehow still completely full of himself.



Joey Styles:
The career of Mick Foley…is over…


JBL:
GLORY, GLORY HALLELUJAH!! The God of Gods reigns once again!! Now get that Muppet the hell outta here!


Joey Styles:
Are you telling me you don’t have one ounce of respect for Mick Foley and all that he’s done for this industry?


JBL:
Of course I do. But he was here on borrowed time. This match just proves Chris Jericho is the best in this entire industry an’ can beat anyone at their own game because of how well he plans.


Joey Styles:
I don’t think Chris Jericho had a plan in this match at all! He was assaulted early and wasn’t even on his feet for a good portion of the match!! And at that, Alex Riley once again interfered and essentially handed Jericho the win!


JBL:
Oh, give it a rest. Foley tried to blindside him like the coward he is, but in the end, Chris Jericho’s strategy, whatever it could have been, worked out in the end. All hail


Jericho is on his way out of the ring; he and Alex Riley both having to lean on one another. As they head up the aisle. Both of them are bloodied somewhere, but they simply absorb all the heat they can get and walk away. This leaves the near lifeless body of Mick Foley amidst a bed of thumbtacks in the ring.


Foley is lifeless for a while, trying to crawl to his feet somehow. He takes so long, however, that paramedics and officials are coming out to the ring with a gurney. They try to load Foley on it, but the Hardcore Legend is having none of that, forcing himself to stand on his own two feet on his own power. The crowd roars for Foley finally getting up.


Rejecting any and all medical help, the pierced, battered, and bloodied legend takes center stage, much like Shawn Michaels did moments before. All we see is Foley standing tall amidst a menagerie of weaponry. The blood drips from his face and hair, the crowd getting even louder. Foley acknowledges this by raising a bloody sock to the crowd.


Pittsburgh goes wild, leaving Foley only one thing to do. He rolls out of the ring and heads back up the aisle, the entire arena evoking “THANK YOU, FOLEY!” chants. Foley acknowledges them with a wave, but he may be too heartbroken to do even more. He keeps walking and the chants keep going until he vanishes from sight. Mick Foley is no longer an Acting Commander…he’s simply gone…



***


Oriental strings pound in the background. We see a man strolling through the rain, a katana by his side, a rice farmer’s hat protecting his head, a commoner’s robe surrounding him.

The man keeps his head down as he looks over an open field, another man bearing a katana on the other side.

We catch a glimpse of the first man’s eye as he looks up, sizing up the man on the opposite side of the field.

Before long, both men rush at each other, roaring in slow motion.

The first man unties and then drops his katana. The second man keeps running.

THUMP. The oriental drum pounds as the screen goes black.

THUMP. The screen lights up again. The katana-less man now unwraps and throws off his robe, revealing that he’s wearing wrestling boots and half-and-half tights…


THUMP. Black screen.


THUMP. The second man lifts his blade from out of the sheath, charging the now weaponless and robeless man.


THUMP. Black screen.


THUMP. The first man now runs a little harder, taking off his wide-brimmed hat. The shadows hide his face. He leaps knee-first at his opponent, who raises his katana high…


THUMP. Blackness.


THUMP. We return on an extreme close up of the first man, half of his face showing, and behind him the opposing swordsman lying limp in the mud.


Thunder crashes and three words appear on our screens in succession to more oriental drums…



KENTA
IS
KOMING

***


~Backstage, Paul Heyman’s office…


Paul Heyman is rummaging through his things and packing suitcases, papers flying everywhere. Heyman then takes a pair of suitcases and looks to be…leaving…??? He’s only stopped by Steve Romero bursting in on the scene



Romero:
Uh, Mr. Heyman! Where are you going?


Heyman:
I’m just doing this little thing called leaving.


Romero:
But sir, where are you going? I was going to try and get your comments now that Mick Foley has been terminated.


Heyman:
Yes, it’s grand, I finally got what I wanted. It also should’ve happened weeks ago. There. Are you satisfied? Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have a taxi waiting for me –


Romero:
But-but sir, this is all too strange! You’re leaving right after your arch-nemesis is fired and –


Heyman:
Hey, dipstick, you know what else happened tonight? Huh? How about the match before the last one, huh? Who won that one, Mr. Investigative Journalist.


Romero:
Uh…Samoa Joe?


Heyman:
What a bright young man you are! And keep using those investigative journalist skills – who is the only person left on Samoa Joe’s hitlist?


Romero:
Um…you?


Heyman:
THEN STOP ASKIN’ ME WHY I’M LEAVIN!!!


Heyman pushes past Romero and almost gets out of the door


Romero:
But Mr. Heyman! What do I tell the fans, the guys? Mick Foley’s fired, you’re leaving…who will run AOW??


Heyman stops and turns around. He reaches in his jacket pocket and pulls out an envelope


Heyman:
This man will run AOW while I’m gone. He is the only man I trust with any kind of power.


Romero reads who the envelope is addressed to. He looks up, shocked and confused


Romero:
But sir…that’s…!!


Heyman:
Ah ah ah, no telling. You are to tell no one. Go straight to this person, give them this note. As for me, tell the boys in the back they won’t have to deal with me for a while. But when I return…this entire locker room, this entire company will tremble with fear. Because I will not be alone.


And on that cryptic note, Heyman takes his balls and goes home, almost running out the door. Romero is stuck with the envelope, still as shocked and confused as he was when he first saw it…


~Back at ringside…



Joey Styles:
What the…what the hell is going on!?


JBL:
When the going gets tough, the tough get going…?


Joey Styles:
Paul Heyman, just seconds after Mick Foley lost his job, just…just up and left us!! AOW has no Commander in Chief! We have no Active Commander!! What the hell does this mean?


JBL:
It means that Paul Heyman must have put a ton of faith in whoever that envelope is for. But it’s obvious who it is.


Joey Styles:
Oh, right. Please, oh Commentator God, use your power of omnipotence to magically tell us who Paul Heyman has in that envelope.


JBL:
Me. It’s gotta be me.


Joey Styles:
Why the actual hell would Paul Heyman trust you with a wrestling company??


JBL:
Do you know anyone else in this company who has a multi-million dollar business empire?? HELL NO!! THE ANSWER IS ME, DAMMIT!! You watch – when they open that envelope, I’ll be all your bosses.


Joey Styles:
That shocking development comes just moments after learned another shocking moment, perhaps Paul Heyman’s final act before he left – Paul Heyman and AOW managed to sign Kenta Kobayashi, one of the biggest acts in Japanese wrestling history!


JBL:
I’m so excited to see this guy! This guy is as hard a striker as they come. He’s influenced quite a few guys on this roster, so be ready to see the one, only and original.




RVD|CHRISTIAN




Joey Styles:
No one is sure when KENTA will debut, but we do know one thing. This duel for the AOW World Heavyweight Championship is about to commence. Two men who have had incredibly, almost eerily similar journeys to this night will finally go head to head. Rob Van Dam, the man who says he has turned on the fans, and Christian Cage, the ‘Savior’ who has rallied the people together. The identity of both men, and AOW, hangs in the balance.


***


A dark background with only a hand balancing a coin on it, possibly a half-dollar. The hand flicks the coin into the air…


RVD leaps for the Five Star



Joey Styles:
These fans have made their voice heard! RVD is AOW!!


Christian refuses to say “I quit”


JBL:
The so called ‘Savior’ won’t die! The people have spoken!!


The coin rises in the air, seemingly suspended, as footage plays of Jericho screwing over both men


Joey Styles:
Is this…is this the might of the Worthy Legion…?


The coin comes tumbling back down to earth…but we hit black before it hits. We get flashes of both Christian Cage and RVD entering their own pits of self-doubt, delusion, and madness. Van Dam takes to the bottle to forget the career he doesn’t want to identify while Christian gains fame with the ‘Man on the Moon’ promo…

…back to the coin, which is in a silver light. The camera doesn’t show what side it landed on, instead giving us a look at Christian and Van Dam overcoming their demons at The Outer Limits, both men victorious


“Rob Van Dam is back!!”


“Christian Cage, the Man on the Moon, is on top of the world!”


Cut to Christian and Van Dam’s ‘one man’ contract signing



Christian:
It shocks me how similar our journeys have been, Rob. We were both chosen by these fans to lead AOW to new heights.


Shot of Christian celebrating his title with the fans, while RVD pumps some thumbs


Christian:
We both got used by the Worthy Legion and cast out amidst our own despair.


A quick flash of a vacant Van Dam and a mad-eyed Christian


Christian:
We both defied all authority to take our stances.


Christian returns to AOW, despite Heyman’s ban, while Van Dam executes the perfect plan to get himself into the #1 contender’s match, using Samoa Joe and Heyman’s own paranoia against him


Christian:
And we both right back and shot to the top. I know where I stand. But when it comes to you, Rob…


Quick flash of the coin falling back to the ground…


Christian:
…I can’t make heads or tails of it. Even though you told us all –


Cut to Van Dam’s return promo


RVD:
I finally realized who I was again, and I was ready to shoot back to the top…but when I looked up and saw who was up there, it wasn’t RVD.


The coin hits the ground and flips over as it makes impact…


RVD:
Because you guys just moved on to the next thing. And that was Christian.


Flashes of Christian retaining the AOW World Heavyweight Championship in hard-fought, heartfelt fashion against Jamie Noble and Chris Jericho


Cut back to Van Dam at the contract signing



RVD:
It’s not confusing, dude. These people moved on from me. And I’m movin’ on from them.


Christian doesn’t buy it


Christian:
They haven’t moved on from anything, Rob, you know why? Because as much as you hate them and as much as you hate me, no one here wants to boo you. You are and always will be the Whole F’n Show.


Cage holds out a hand, the crowd immediately piping up and chanting “R-V-D!!” to roof-shattering volume


Christian:
So you bring this RVD, this warped and disgusting mindset to our match at Origins & Endings…you’ll lose. After all the things you’ve pulled…


A quick flash of Van Dam losing his last title match, getting his championship ban, fighting back, and pulling off his illegal #1 contender plan


Christian:
…you’ll never get another shot. And if RVD is AOW…then you’ll never get a shot at being yourself ever again.


Flashes go by of some of the proudest moments of Van Dam’s career before shutting off


Christian:
Please, Rob. Show me the real Rob Van Dam. Prove it to me…and prove it to you.


Van Dam almost shrugs this notion off, static going in and out before we cut to Van Dam PUTTING CHRISTIAN’S SKULL THROUGH A TV MONITOR


RVD:
I am who I am, whether I wanna be or not.


Flashes of both men coming into blows


Joey Styles:
These two men, two sides of the same coin, will embark on the final part of their year-long odysseys for both their own identities and even the identity of all of AOW


The final shot is that of Van Dam and Christian nose-to-nose, the only thing cut between them is the coin after it hits the earth, which spins on its side as if spinning for chance


***



“RE!! SPECT!! WALK!!”


**WALK**




A HUGE mixed reaction, but this one is notably much more positive than negative, for the arrival of ROB VAN DAM. The doors swing open to reveal him in all his airbrushed glory. Van Dam has a cocky smirk on his face and opens his arms, but it may just be to absorb any negative reaction and not so much the good. Van Dam keeps his cool guy swag all the way down the aisle



Joey Styles:
This is a very, very confused man, I think. Rob Van Dam has spent most of his time in AOW the past year searching himself. We thought he had found himself when he defeated Finlay in an Unsanctioned match earlier this year, but I suppose even we don’t know what’s going on in his head. RVD’s relationship with the fans is possibly one of the most curious things about this company right now.


JBL:
Curious? It’s easy to understand. The fans just don’t get it! They’re like clingy girlfriends that you break up with, but they don’t seem to get the point! RVD dissed them, did what he needed to do, an’ they still insist on cheerin’ for him an’ it’s not like he gives a damn!


Joey Styles:
Van Dam has always been one of, if not at some points, the guy in this company. I think some of them just don’t want to be hurt. But I believe I share my sentiments with Christian Cage – if the ‘real’ Rob Van Dam doesn’t show up, he won’t win this match. And after all the trouble RVD’s been through and caused to get this match, he’d better bring his best or he won’t be touching AOW gold for a long, long time.



“GO~!!”


**JUST CLOSE YOUR EYES**




Van Dam settles himself into the ring just in time to hear the ROOF BLOW OFF THE MELLON ARENA, as AOW World Heavyweight Champion CHRISTIAN CAGE bursts through the doors to the biggest entrance ovation of the night. The title looks good around the waist of the ‘Man on the Moon’, who makes a visor out of his hand so he can see his ‘Peeps’. Cage smiles and then makes his way down to the ring, not taking his eyes off Van Dam



Joey Styles:
Christian Cage is another man whose relationship with the fans is an incredibly curious one. Once reviled and even exiled, he came back, saved the company from the monster that is Chris Jericho, yet still has some doubts about himself and whether the fans should believe in him. And this may be a little hard to believe for some people, but after all that Christian has been though in his meteoric rise in AOW, this is his very first PPV title defense.


JBL:
An’ that’s what’ll determine if you’re really ready or not. You can win all you want, but when you can win with the lights on bright an’ thousands of people awaiting your every move, when everything you do is exposed, that’s when you can call yourself ‘The Man’. With all due respect to Christian, he does not have that title yet an’ I hope he mans up and tries to tonight. I cannot wait for this clash!!


Van Dam and Christian are in the ring, opposite corners. It’s time to see which side the coin landed on.


***DING DING DING***



Chimel:
The following contest is scheduled for one fall…and it is for the AOW WOOORRLD HEAAAVWEEEEIGHT CHAMP-IONSHIIIIIIPP!!!


Pop


Chimel:
Introducing first, from Battle Creek Michigan, weighing in at 240 pounds…he is a former two time world champion and a record-setting reign as ECW World Television Champion…The Whole F’n Show…ROB…VAN…DAM!!!


Van Dam starts to do his thumbs, but then stops when the crowd joins in, so they finish alone. Van Dam isn’t too pleased that people are still going with him.


Chimel:
And the opponent, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, weighing in at 213 pounds…he is a former eleven time world tag team champion, the ‘Savior’ of AOW, and the current AOW World Heavyweight Champion…The Man on the Moon…CHIIISTIAAAAAN CAAAAGE!!!


Cage lifts his title high upon his name to another huge pop, patting his chest before handing the gold over to senior referee Ray Ramsey. The zebra raises the title over his head to show just exactly what these men will be fighting for.



MAIN EVENT


~AOW World Heavyweight Championship~
Christian Cage(c)
v.
Rob Van Dam



Both men take their time, neither gladiator in any hurry to get things started right away. Van Dam smugly circles the center ring, while Christian does the same, only with a much more determined look. In an instant, the circling stops and becomes a head-and-collar tie. The two jockey for position Van Dam breaks the hold and punts Christian in the gut! These two might not have a very long feeling-out process at all, Van Dam keeping on Christian with several follow-up right hands. This backs Christian into the ropes, Van Dam whipping Christian across. On the rebound, Van Dam lifts for a HIP TOSS…jammed! Christian lands on his feet and locks his arm under RVD’s and nails a HIP TOSS of his own!

Van Dam swiftly gets back to his feet, he and Christian now back at square one. Van Dam nods his head in acknowledgement of skill, while Cage is still glaring intensely at Robbie V. The two circle up once more, this time, Christian breaking the lock-up with a rapid series of hard right hands. This forces Van Dam up against the ropes now, and its Christian’s turn to whip RVD across the ring. This is reversed, however, and Van Dam once again slings the AOW Champion to the ropes. On the rebound, Christian slides through Van Dam’s legs, behind him. RVD turns around…AND GETS A WELL-AIMED DROPKICK for his troubles!!

Christian is definitely gaining the early upper hand, sending Van Dam sprawling to a corner. Van Dam wipes around his mouth, possibly getting smacked right in the jaw from Cage’s feet. After a moment of getting back in the moment, Van Dam again goes right back center ring with the Man on the Moon. The two initiate a third lock-up, only for Robbie V to swiftly turn it into a snampare and KICK CHRISTIAN SQUARE IN THE SPINE!! The smack of boot meeting vertebrae rings through the Mellon Arena, Christian grimacing at the sting.

Van Dam looks to follow up on the blow, rebounding in front of the sitting Christian…LOW DROPKICK…FROM CHRISTIAN!! Van Dam goes flipping over Christian’s body after Cage counters the rushing RVD with a blow right to the knee!! RVD is incredibly flustered here, Pittsburgh showing their appreciation for Cage’s counter wrestling so far.

Van Dam is again hanging out in a corner, trying to possibly gather himself and/or concoct a new strategy. When Christian steps forward to try and force Van Dam out, RVD ducks behind the ropes to force Ray Ramsey to stop Cage’s advance. This gets some annoyed heat from the crowd, one of the only times in this feud that RVD has induced some kind of negative audience reaction. With that somewhat cowardly move, Christian puts his hands on his hips, shakes his head, and gives RVD the space demanded by the ref.

As Cage backs up, Van Dam steps forward to the center. RVD barely sets foot towards the middle before Cage SLAPS VAN DAM SQUARE IN THE FACE!! A SMACK FROM NOWHERE!! A universal “OOOOH” as Van Dam flinches from the blow. Christian, unlike Shawn Michaels before him, doesn’t look cocky after the blow. Instead, he looks even more upset than when he showed up. Van Dam vehemently gets in Christian’s face, but the AOW Champion is unfazed and practically roars in Van Dam’s face.

“This isn’t you. Where are you, Rob?”

And ANOTHER SLAP TO VAN DAM FROM CHRISTIAN!!

“Where is the real RVD??”

ANOTHER
SLAP…STOPPED!! Van Dam catches Christian’s third attempt at a physical wake-up call and counters with a sock to the jaw! Van Dam keeps delivering a flurry of right hands, once again forcing Christian against the ropes. Van Dam Irish whips the Canadian across the ring, but on this rebound, it’s Van Dam who gets to answer back with a SPINNING CRESCENT KICK!!

Christian is crushed by the signature educated feet of RVD, but the Whole F’n Show doesn’t waste much time. Van Dam rebounds off the ropes and performs a cartwheel…CARTWHEEL BACKFLIP SPLASH!! Van Dam shows off his athleticism as he now covers Christian for the first pin attempt of the contest –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

Christian still has plenty of fight left in him, but when he throws up his shoulder, he rolls over to see Van Dam standing over him. RVD picks up his arms as if to start pumping his thumbs, the crowd joining in…and like he has the last several weeks, Van Dam stops before the crowd can sing along. This evokes some heat from Pittsburgh, but Van Dam doesn’t seem to care. He shrugs it off, taking Christian back up and right back down with a FLOAT OVER VERTICAL SUPLEX!! Van Dam showing off all kinds of athleticism after the slaps, RVD right on top of cage again –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

The AOW title stays where it’s at momentarily. RVD seems to be getting much more comfortable in his skin, showing Christian just where the real RVD is. This ‘real’ Van Dam tries to take Christian up again, but the Canadian champion fights back. He nails Van Dam in the temple with a forearm, causing RVD to reel. This gives Christian some space to lean against the ropes, but Van Dam comes back charging…AND CHRISTIAN LIFTS VAN DAM UP AND OVER ALL THE WAY TO THE FLOOR!! VAN DAM CRASHES HARD ON THE OUTSIDE!!

Mr. Wednesday Night may have landed on a joint, as Van Dam immediately starts clutching at his left knee after the fall. Christian takes a moment to catch his breath and watch Van Dam limp back to his feet, only to look up and see Christian flying with the CORNER SPRINGBOARD PLANCHA!! It’s Christian now throwing caution to the wind!

The crowd pops big for Captain Charisma showing some life, Christian stumbling to his feet. Cage gets patted on the back by some of the lucky front row fans as he ventures to pick up the one-legged Michiganian. Cage throws Van Dam back into the ring and quickly follows suit, covering RVD for the champ’s first cover of the contest –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-

NO!!

Van Dam has more to give, this being his only chance and all. The Battle Creek native sits up, only for Christian to shove him back to the canvas. Cage then drops a hearty elbow drop right across Van Dam’s sternum, hooking the weakened leg on another attempt –

ONE…


NO!!

RVD easily kicks out, but he has to shake some feeling back into his left knee. As he hobbles back to a vertical base, Christian grabs Van Dam by the wrist and whips him into a corner. Christian charges for perhaps a CORNER FOREARM, but Van Dam moves out of the way, CHRISTIAN SMASHING INTO PADDING! The impact causes Cage to stagger away, Van Dam taking advantage with the ROLLING LEGSCISSORS PIN –

ONE…


TWO…


NO!!

Christian kicks his legs free! Van Dam shows his knee is possibly healing as Christian recovers, swinging wildly, only for Van Dam to duck underneath and behind Cage…BACK SUPLEX…NO!! Christian flips out and lands on his feet, grappling Van Dam from behind…underhooking the arms…coiling…UNPRETTIER – NO!! Van Dam jams the early finisher attempt by pulling back his arms, shoving Christian towards the corner. Not wanting to collide with it again, the incumbent champion stops himself right before impact. Van Dam rushes towards Cage to push the issue, but he gets a swift BACK KICK right to the gut, doubling him over. Christian then leaps to the second rope…CORNER SPRINGBOARD SUNSET FLIP!! Christian with a crafty pin now –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

Van Dam escapes!! RVD is quickly back to his feet, pouncing on Christian before he can get up, grabbing his legs, and bridging over for a JACKKNIFE PIN –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!

Christian kicks out!! The pace might be quickening here, both men once again rapidly making it to their feet. No sooner than they’re standing does Robbie V greet Christian with another punt to the gut. The Battle Creek native then grabs Christian by his trunks and neck, spins around, and SLINGS HIM THROUGH THE MIDDLE ROPES TO THE FLOOR.

Christian gets the wind knocked out of him, but he begins recovering quickly. The crowd can start to sense something cooking, as Van Dam peers to the outside, sizing up the champion. RVD then runs and rebounds against the ropes, looking for a high risk move…but Christian slides in the ring right as Van Dam rebounds…AND NAILS A RUNNING LOW DROPKICK RIGHT TO THE KNEE!! Excellent scouting by the AOW World Champion!

Cage narrowly escapes danger there, but he seems to want to now put himself in more danger. Instead of covering or perhaps even working over the bum knee, Cage begins ascending to the top rope. His back is to the ring, perhaps setting up a MOONSAULT of some kind…but Van Dam springs to his feet, rushes over, and shoves Christian off, sending him FLYING RIGHT ONTO THE GUARD RAIL!! CHRISTIAN’S FACE BOUNCHES OFF THE BARRICADE RAILING!!

A collective “ooooh” goes out as Van Dam now averts disaster. After feeling the pain with Christian, the crowd starts delivering meager heat to Van Dam, who looks around to take it in. However, unlike most times, Van Dam doesn’t just smirk it off. He actually looks…worried?

As RVD takes in his crowd reactions, Christian is groggily getting to his feet and holding his jaw, which may be broken. Van Dam snaps out of his gaze to see Cage back up, prompting Mr. PPV to bounce off the ropes and nails Christian with a BASEBALL SLIDE TO THE FACE!! The blow almost definitely hits Christian in the same spot he landed on because it hits Cage so hard, he FLIPS OVER THE RAILING AND INTO AN AISLE IN THE CROWD!!

Ray Ramsey is ordering Van Dam to get Christian back in the ring because his count-out is actually at five. Van Dam knows he can’t win the title by those means, so he rolls out…then rolls back in? This obviously resets the count, but why isn’t Van Dam going to get Christian?

We see why in just a moment, as RVD once again looks around at the people who just won’t whole-heartedly hate him. Their meager amount of heat immediately turns into an arena full of positive buzz as RVD climbs a turnbuckle and gets to the top rope.

He looks out over the crowd and into the crowd, seeing Christian recovering in one of the aisles. He preps himself as the entire arena stands to watch him…leaping…SUMMERSAULT PLANCHA OVER THE BARRICADE INTO THE CROWD!! AIR VAN DAM INTO THE AISLE!! Rob Van Dam literally re-creates the most famous spot in his entire career!!

The crowd is deafening, just like it was almost ten years ago for that very move. Both men are lain out on a concrete floor, their bodies crumpled and eagle spread from the impact. Ramsey even leaves his post in the ring to rush by the barricade and check to see if both men are alright. Neither man moves for a good bit, but no one seems to care because they’re still popping their heads off. Inevitably and predictably, the rabid crowd begins to chant something. But it’s not ‘holy shit’ and it’s not even ‘ECW’. It’s something even more surprising…

“RVD!! RVD!! RVD!!”

The supposed heel of this entire situation is sending the arena into an absolute frenzy, just as Christian Cage predicted. When both men begin to actually show signs of life, Ray Ramsey begins a count, though we’re not entirely sure if it’s a ring-out or KO count…

…ONE!!



…TWO!!



…THREE!!



…FOUR!!

…Van Dam struggles to his feet, holding onto a guard rail for support…

…FIVE!!

…the challenger takes the champion and starts dragging him back to the ring…

…SIX!!

…Ramsey heads back to the ring, continuing with his count-out…

…SEVEN!!

…Van Dam puts some pep in his step, trying to drag Christian’s dead weight with him…

…EIGHT!!

…Christian’s body is dumped over the barricade, Van Dam following it…

…NINE…!!!

…Van Dam throws Christian’s body in…

…TE-

…RVD SLIDES BACK INTO THE RING!!! Christian is still knocked out, some of the replays showing that he might have hit his head flush on the concrete in the aisles. While the defending champion tries to recover with what might be a legitimate concussion, Van Dam starts feeling the crowd, which is suddenly energized and on his side. RVD doesn’t question it, opting instead to bounce up…and head to the top rope. Christian’s on his back and Van Dam’s up top, the crowd standing and roaring in anticipation. FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH…NO?? No, because Christion, possible injury and all, has the wherewithal to roll away at the booming sound of crisis.

The Man on the Moon rolls to the opposite corner, way too far, even for a man of RVD’s athleticism capabilities, to leap for a Frog Splash. Cage is on all fours, trying to regain some feeling in his noggin, but Van Dam isn’t deterred, leaping and landing with a front roll…MODIFIED ROLLING THUNDER…CAUGHT AND TURNED INTO A POWERSLAM!!

Christian is feeling all the damage he’s taken thus far, unable to immediately follow up. Curiously, the counter powerslam gains a mixed reaction from the crowd, some throwing disapproval at Christian cutting off RVD’s momentum. Cage focuses on getting back to his feet, which he can only do when he rolls to the apron.

The Man on the Moon struggles to get back up, slowly ascending the top rope and awaiting the revival of his foe…MISSILE DROPKICK!! CHRISTIAN WITH A PERFECT MISSILE DROPKICK!! Captain Charisma connects and sends Van Dam head over heels, having to grab at him and shoot the half –

ONE…


TWO…


THREE-


NO!!


ROB VAN DAM KICKS OUT!! HE ROLLS A SHOULDER!! It’s Van Dam’s turn to roll exhaustingly to the apron, one of his arms hanging over the ring lip. Christian is still trying to shake some life back into his system, leaving both men lain out for a few seconds. It’s Cage who recovers first, roaming over to try and take up Van Dam. RVD fights back, using his educated feet to KICK CHRISTIAN SQUARE IN THE TEMPLE!!

That forces Christian to reel enough to give Van Dam the room to roll onto the apron and climb back to his feet. The champion groggily re-approaches the ropes, only or Van Dam to leap over the top rope…AND CATCH CHRISTIAN IN A TORNADO DDT!! A SLINGSHOT TORNADO DDT!! OH MY!! It takes a lot out of Van Dam as well, but he gathers enough of himself to roll over and hook the far leg of Christian –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!


CHRISTIAN ROLLS A SHOULDER!! Van Dam is struck with a sense of disbelief, looking back at the man in stripes to make sure the count was that low. He confirms that it was only two, forcing Van Dam to keep going. The Battle Creek Barbarian drags Christian to his feet, knocking a few blows off his forehead. Van Dam then whips Christian towards a corner, but Cage hops up onto the middle rope as Van Dam comes rushing in…FLASHPOINT!! THE DIVING EUROPEAN UPPERCUT!! Christian still has life as he scrambles to cover RVD –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!


VAN DAM STAYS ALIVE NOW!! The momentum has suddenly shifted, however, as the challenger has to go right back on the defensive. Christian has to regain his breath as Van Dam drunkenly gets to his feet.

Cage pulls on Van Dam’s ponytail and catches him in a front headlock and leads him towards a corner, going for the TORNADO DDT…but Van Dam jams it, halting the spinning momentum…AND TURNING IT INTO A NORTHERN LIGHTS SUPLEX!! A beautiful counter that Van Dam miraculously keeps the bridge on –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!


CHRISTIAN KICKS OUT!! The momentum shifts once again, Cage now stumbling to his feet. He’s felled by an RVD clothesline, but the champ springs back up only to be hit with another stiff clothesline! Christian still won’t stay down, getting up once more…to eat a third clothesline! Rob Van Dam, who began this match as the heel, is pulling off a face momentum build!

Cage reels off the canvas for a fourth time, met by Van Dam Irish whipping him across the ring. On the rebound, Christian hits a LOW DROPKICK TO VAN DAM’S WEAK KNEE…NO!! Van Dam sees the move coming and leaps up and spins to avoid it…AND TURNS IT INTO A DISCUS LEG DROP!!

A crafty counter gets a pop from the Mellon Arena, who can be assured that they’re getting the real Rob Van Dam. As Christian curls up and tends to his ailing upper body, Van Dam measures up his downed Canadian prey. The Crown Jewel of ECW rebounds off the ropes right back at Cage…HURRICANRANA…NO!!

Christian catches Van Dam in his hurricanrana position, now stuck on Cage’s shoulders in a powerbomb position. Van Dam tries to get himself down from his higher plane…POWERBOMB TO FACEBUSTER!! OH MY!! Christian turns the rana to powerbomb to a facebuster!! Van Dam’s nose is crushed by Christian and the canvas, but on the impact, Christian is too tired to take an immediate cover!

Both men are sprawled out once again, all of Pittsburgh split down the middle for which man they want to recover first…

“LET’S GO CHRISTIAN!”
“ROB VAN DAM!!”
“LET’S GO CHRISTIAN!”
“ROB VAN DAM!!”


It’s Cage to shows some sign of life first, once again roaming to the apron and lifting himself to the top rope. Van Dam has still not recovered from getting his face planted, having rolled back over once more onto his stomach. Christian is looming over Van Dam up top…FROG SPLASH TO RVD’S SPINE!! FROG SPLASH CRUSHING RVD’S LOWER BACK!! The AOW faithful erupt, as RVD instinctively, almost involuntarily, rolls to his back for the pain, making it easier for Christian to cover –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……


NO!!


VAN DAM ROLLS A SHOULDER!! HOW IN THE HELL…?! Maybe it’s the fans or maybe it’s his own desperation, but Van Dam’s got far too much riding on this to end there. It’s Christian’s turn to be shocked beyond belief, putting his hand through his sweat and his hair.

Van Dam’s invigoration does the same for the crowd, igniting some and deflating others. Christian tries not to let it overcome him, opting to get to his feet…and extend his arms. The crowd begins buzzing immensely as Van Dam slowly rises to his feet, his ailing back towards Christian. The incumbent champion snatches the arms…hooks them….coils…UNPRETTIER...NO!! Van Dam, bad back and all, unhooks the move and rolls Christian back…ROLLING PRAWN PIN!! CAGE IS CAUGHT IN A SURPRISE ROLL-UP –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……

NO!!

CHRISTIAN BARELY FREES HIMSELF!! Cage rolls to his feet quickly after almost losing his title. Van Dam is not nearly as brisk to get to his feet, once again tending to his lower back. Christian rushes back at Van Dam, who catches him…SITOUT SPINEBUSTER!! Van Dam catches Christian in a huge move, keeping his shoulders pinned to the mat –

ONE…


TWO…


THR-


NO!!


CHRISTIAN ROLLS A SHOULDER AGAIN!! Van Dam doesn’t let it get to him, opting instead to grip at his lower back and head to the top rope. He knows if he’s willing to never give in, then Christian’s resolve will match it. Looking for a big move, Van Dam waits for Christian to get to his feet. Cage takes a moment, but Van Dam’s calculated his leap…DIVING SIDE KICK!! NO!! Christian catches a leg…CLOVERLEAF!! CHRISTIAN CATCHES THE CHALLENGER IN A CLOERLEAF!!

The damage to Van Dam’s knee and his back comes right back to haunt him! There’s nowhere for Van Dam to go, caught in the middle of the ring! Robbie V may have found himself, but now he’s found himself contorted in all kinds of ways a normal human being shouldn’t be in. Is this the end of the line? All the work, all the counter work, all the planning, all that suffering – is RVD’s journey about to come to a screeching, tapping halt? Van Dam grits his teeth, all the determination that’s been in his system for the better part of a year pouring from his face and forcing him to crawl on his forearms to get to the ropes, Christian wrenching back harder and harder…


…………………………...........

…………………………..

……………

………


…VAN DAM GETS TO THE BOTTOM ROPE!! MY GOD, RVD GETS THE DAMDEST ROPE BREAK OF HIS CAREER!! Christian, true to his nature, lets go almost immediately after the referee alerts him. Although he follows the rules, Cage is left with his hands on his hips and, much like Samoa Joe before him, is not sure what he’s gonna have to do to take down his determinator of a foe.

He decides that he, like Van Dam had to, needs to pull off a huge move. Christian stumbles over and grabs Van Dam’s head, pulling him back to a vertical base. Captain Charisma bangs Van Dam’s head off some corner padding before hoisting him up onto the top rope. However, before Christian can go up top with Van Dam, RVD uses his skilled legs to knock Christian in the jaw. This loosens up Christian’s grip enough for Van Dam to actually stand up on the middle rope…AND CRACK CHRISTIAN IN THE HEAD WITH A TAE KWON DO KICK!!

Christian’s eyes go completely glazed over as he falls flat to the mat with the crowd roaring. Van Dam plays to his back for a moment before leaping and turning around in one motion to the top rope…DOUBLE JUMP SPLIT-LEGGED MOONSAULT…BUT CHRISTIAN ROLLS AWAY…NOT FAR ENOUGH!! CHRISTIAN GETS NAILS IN THE SPINE BY THE SPLIT-LEGGED MOONSAULT!! Turnabout’s fair play as Van Dam rolls Christian over –

ONE…


TWO…


THREE…


NO!!


THE TITLE STAYS WHERE IT IS!! CAGE ROLLS A SHOULDER!! But Van Dam, thinking quickly, leaps onto Christian’s back…AND LOCKS IN A CAMEL CLUTCH!! GENUINE TURNABOUT HAS CHRISTIAN’S SPINE IN A PINCH NOW!! Taking a page from his best friend, Sabu, and the man who trained them both, The Original Sheik, Van Dam digs down deep to try and win the AOW Championship!!

Christian’s neck is being cranked all the way back to put all the pressure on his vertebrae, his arm extending and trying to prolong his time in this match. The Pittsburgh crowd is white hot, begging Christian not to tap out. Cage takes the words of the people who believed in him and uses that to energize his resolve, but can he get out of Van Dam’s surprise hold?


…………………………...........

…………………………..

……………

………


Christian alleviates the pain by getting to his knees, Van Dam desperately keeping the hold. The ‘Moonman’ gets a jolt of life, jumping to a vertical base and backpedaling…RAMMING ROB VAN DAM BACK FIRST INTO THE CORNER!!

This ignites the crowd once more and gives Christian some much needed space. But Cage closes this space up very quickly by RUSHING AT RVD IN THE CORNER…NOBODY HOME!! Van Dam lifts his body up and CHRISTIAN’S SHOULDER IS DRIVEN RIGHT INTO STEEL!! The crowd “oooohs” in pain, but Van Dam feels no mercy, rolling down and taking Christian over for a SUNSET FLIP PIN –

ONE…


TWO…


THREE…!!!!


NO!!


CHRISTIAN ROLLS OUT!! The title stays where it is for the time being, but it’s holder only has one shoulder to work with now. Van Dam gives Christian a toe kick to the gut and whips him towards the corner, but Cage has enough in him to reverse the whip and sling Van Dam over instead. RVD rushes towards the ropes and leaps up, forcing Christian to look up at a SPRINGBOARD CROSSBODY…SPEAR!! SPEAR!! CHRISTIAN SPEARS RVD OUT OF MIDAIR!! The crowd is on fire for that unbelievable counter, but Christian can’t immediately cover because he hit Van Dam with the hurt shoulder! Christian sucks it up and slings his body over his challenger –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……

NO!!

ROB VAN DAM ROLLS THE SHOULDER!! HE WILL NOT QUIT!! Van Dam is dead on the canvas, but he somehow keeps the contest going! Christian is shocked, gripping at his tender shoulder. He shakes some life back into his appendage and nods his head, knowing just how much Van Dam wants this. Christian then tries to not waste any time, again taking Van Dam up and catching him in an INVERTED DDT…NO!!

Van Dam still has enough in him to spin out of the big blow, then pull Christian in for an IMPLANT DDT…NO!! Christian spins out of that and keeps a lock on Van Dam’s arm, getting behind him….unherhooking the other one…coiling…UNPRETTIER!! THE UNPRETTIER CONNECTS!! The crowd is on their feet popping the roof off the building, Christian’s shoulder still giving him fits. But he musters up the strength to shoot the half and collapse on top of Van Dam for one last definitive cover –

…….
……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

…NO!!!!!!

HE ROLLS THE SHOULDER!!! ROB VAN DAM ROLLS THE SHOULDER!!! HOW IN THE BLUE HELL DID HE DO THAT~!?! The incredible resolve of Rob Van Dam, the one who may have truly found himself, the one that had to go through loophole after loophole and betray so many people to get to his last stand, will not allow him to be pinned here tonight!

Christian is again gripping at his injured shoulder, the commentators wondering if it was the weakened joint that took some of Cage’s power away. Whatever it was, Christian pounds the mat in frustration, not sure if he has anything left. He’s done everything he possibly can and he still can’t put RVD away.

Cage looks to go for broke and drags RVD to his feet, thrusting him into a corner. Cage takes another moment to take in a big breath before setting RVD up on the top rope. Christian knocks a pair of forearms off of Van Dam’s face, RVD’s lifeless body reacting like a limp crash test dummy with each blow.

Cage climbs on up and catches Van Dam in a front headlock, throwing an arm over. Christian leaps up and sets up for a variation of the SUPERPLEX…BUT VAN DAM FIGHTS BACK!! RVD’s resolve re-inspires his body, which tries to jam Cage’s move, but Christian has a lot more left in the tank than Van Dam. Cage tugs away…but Van Dam still won’t go. Van Dam keeps going…AND FLATTENS CHRISTIAN ON THE CANVAS!! A FRONT DROP SUPLEX ALL THE WAY DOWN!!

Pittsburgh starts losing their mind, Van Dam at a high perch over a lain out Christian. RVD adjusts his position to the top rope. The crowd buzzes even more when RVD gets his feet under him and, completely sure of himself, seeks the end of his long road to redemption, thumbs pumping –

“ROB – VAN – DAM!!”

FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH!! FIVE STAR FROG SPLASH CONNECTING!! VAN DAM GOES FLIPPING OFF OF CHRISTIAN’S CARCAS!! Out of nowhere, Van Dam musters up the last possible resolve and hits what could be the biggest Frog Splash of his entire career. Van Dam sells his overall damage and the damage to his midsection from the big blow, but quickly wraps up both of Christian’s legs, pulling back as hard as possible for maximum leverage –

……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……WAIT~!!!!


CHRISTIAN SHIFTS THE WEIGHT AND WRAPS VAN DAM UP IN A SUDDEN SMALL PACKAGE –

…….
……ONE……
………
…………………
……TWO……
………
……………
……THREE……
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Here is your winner and STILL AOW World Heavyweight Champion…CHRISTIAN CAGE at (23:01)



CAGE RETAINS!! An ENORMOUS pop goes around the arena, but for a moment afterwards, there’s just…shock. The place is in shock for a second, popping, but still stunned. Some people aren’t entirely sure what’s happened until Ramsey hands Christian his title, which garners a smaller pop than on the finish. Rob Van Dam is probably the most confused man in the building.


Joey Styles:
Christian Cage somehow, miraculously, has retained the AOW World Heavyweight Championship!! I cannot believe what just happened!!


JBL:
RVD had him!! He had him right there, in the palm of his hand, but he slipped up!


Joey Styles:
Christian literally flipped the coin that was the pin and somehow wound up on top of Van Dam. I think he may have used the momentum Van Dam had when he was pulling back so hard, but…but the odds of that working can’t be that high.


JBL:
Christian Cage is saved by the skin of his teeth. An absolutely fantastic match with an ending I sure as hell didn’t see comin’.


Christian gets up, but doesn’t celebrate with his gold. Instead, he leaves it dangling in one hand and approaches RVD…and extends a hand. Christian wants a handshake. Cage’s celebratory music stops. Van Dam just looks at Christian for a moment before looking around the arena, absorbing the fan reaction. Van Dam then looks Christian square in the eye…

“Thanks, dude…but no thanks.”

…and rolls out of the ring. This garners a good bit of heat, but the situation is understandable. RVD is back on the bottom and he’s not happy. Van Dam unceremoniously heads up the aisle, more disappointed than anyone else the entire night. All Christian can do is watch a man whose dreams he shattered walk away from what is almost definitely his final shot at gold.


Now all that’s left in the ring is Christian, who is slowly receiving a large ovation for his win. His music starts up again. Unlike the last two men left in the ring after the other main events, the winner is the only one standing. And also unlike the others, Christian doesn’t seem to have any plans of self-lauding. He simply stares down at his title, almost vacantly…almost as if to ask himself if he did the right thing.

Whatever his answer to himself, Christian slinks the title over his shoulder, looks around at the adoring masses, and gives them a little something with a couple of pats on his chest. A small smile emerges, but goes away very quickly.


Joey Styles:
A night full of mixed emotions, perhaps none bigger than this one. But rest assured, we thank each and every one of you for joining us in this celebration and we hope that you’ll continue to be with us as we enter our second full year of Art of War Wrestling. It’s been an incredible ride, as has been this night. I’m Joey Styles alongside John “Bradshaw” Layfield, signing off, as the Man on the Moon finally and completely solidifies that he is, in fact, simply…“The Man.”


The final image we get on the first anniversary of AOW is a disheartened Christian Cage, title over his shoulder, standing in the middle of the ring getting adoration by the thousands…yet he somehow seems more alone than ever as we


Fade…

To…

Black…


END SHOW






I apologize if anything seemed a little off (and some points, maybe even lazy), but this show was draining at some points with real life stuffs. Hope everything wasn't glaringly obvious and also that all don't hate me for developments

Got lots going on, so can't guarantee popping in too often, but hope all stay well 'til I see you again
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AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair
.:Origins & Endings NOW POSTED!!:.

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Old 07-28-2014, 04:02 PM   #295 (permalink)
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Default Re: Presenting AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair

Enjoyable opening video, detailing the rise of AOW in the short span of twelve months. It really does feel like the company has already came a long way, and while some quotes were a little hyperbolic - itís standard wrestling speak for these grandiose events. Good job.

Starting off with the ladder match was the perfect choice imo, though I donít necessarily like the idea of Aero Star ripping off Rey Mysterios big event superhero costume gimmick. Just makes AOW feel bush league compared to the big global conglomerate, and makes Aero Star come across as a Mysterio rip off.

Anyway, like I said; the ladder match is a perfect curtain raiser. Itís always tricky to get the ball rolling in a multi-man match, I find, but everyone turning on the cocky heel champion is as good as any way to cut to the chase. I didnít think much time was wasted in Regal introducing the ladder - and in a multi-man match like this, I think itís for the best. In a one on one ladder match, I can see the point in holding off and building toward a spot - but with five guys in the match, and the fans expecting a spot-fest from it - thereís no point in hanging around.

Having Regal around added a different flavour to proceedings too, with the other four all more of the high flying variety - and those four men more than held up their end of the bargain with some outrageous spots whilst Regal was allowed to just fuck people up with the ladder, and with moves onto the ladder, though that killer seesaw-esque move from Star to the ladder into Regals jaw was about as vicious a spot as there was throughout the match.

Along with that, Star & Regal had the highlight of the match too, where Aero nearly got the gold from getting onto Regals shoulders. As for Regal, he was the star performer for me. While he couldnít match the athleticism and recklessness of the others, his all round performance was brilliantly written. His fear of heights was fantastic, and added a slightly comedic tone for a part of the match. That said, Aero Star was clearly positioned to be the one that stole the show - though itís not like Benjamin, Kofi and Black didnít have highlight reel spots of their own. Star being the (second to) last man standing, and just edged out by Black in the end suggests Aero Star is most certainly being positioned to shine coming out of this show.

Big injection of talent coming into the picture in AOW. Hero, Castagnoli, Escobar & KENTA will undoubtedly shake things up. The Escobar video in particular was tremendous. Very funny.

Whatever followed the ladder match was going to have a hard time not simply being a come down match, and I thought the light-hearted comedy to start off was a pretty good idea. Miz, in this role of an out of place goofball is just tremendous, and exceptionally easy to dislike. The match itself was what it was, a solid undercard bout, and it delivered in that respect. The description of the crowds reaction felt a little overboard if Iím honest. I can understand the thinking behind it, given itís taken Sydal so long to register a ĎWí, but Iím not sure I can get on board with such a big reaction for the win.

I hugely enjoyed the Punk-centric promo for the Worlds Ablaze PPV promo. Very nice work.

Wow. The Danielson/Noble match was fucking incredible. The action was always going to deliver, given what you were working with, but it was the story you told with the match, and feeding off the build up, where Noble promised he wouldnít quit. So, inevitably, each submission attempt from Danielson would test that promise, and added further intrigue to the contest. You just knew it would be a hard hitting match up too, and again, you didnít disappoint on that front.

While some might mark down the finish to be nitpicky, you wont get that from me. I loved this finish. In my predictions, I expected Noble to pass out from a submission (and suffer ANOTHER heartbreaking loss - cĎmon, give the guy a break lol), but this was far more brutal and memorable - almost UFC like IĎd say. Danielson just laying out Noble with elbow strike after elbow strike was insane, and showed another side to the CW champ - a willingness to do ANY kind of damage in order to win.

And, with that post match tease of attitude (and the later interview pretty much confirms it) from Danielson Ö I sense the beginning of a slow burn heel turn. Whilst the finish was pretty emphatic, I think this Danielson/Noble program is only just getting started.

I thought Taylor was going to double cross Nemeth & Hagar before the show, and I was convinced she would with that backstage promo where it was decided sheíd stay in the back Ö but no. Just a straight up tag match, and like the earlier six person tag, it kinda was what it was; in a tough spot following a terrific contest, and when reading, I was constantly just waiting for the run in, so maybe thatís why the match came off a little flat. I must say though - helluva finishing double team move. Brutal.

Punk vs. Ki was a bit of a disappointment too. Felt like a waste of having Punk on the show, if Iím honest. After his big tournament win, Punk really shouldíve kicked on and been pushed into a semi-main event match on this show. This didnít come across as a big deal at all, no promo from Punk pre-match to sell it a bit more Ö it was just Ö there. Iíve never saw the appeal of Low Ki either, so that probably affected my enjoyment of the match too. The post match assault from Finlay was the obvious talking point, but for a PPV show of this calibre; this was a segment made for TV to sell a PPV match.

The Michaels/Joe build up video was pretty epic. Not your usual hype video, but so, so good. It really set this match apart as more than just a match.

The stare down was a clever way to kick off the match, feeding off the hot crowd ahead of such a hotly anticipated dream match, and the impromptu brawl certainly took me by surprise before getting to the collar and elbow. The match didnít need to go 100mph in the early going, and I was glad you milked it for all it was worth, building up from the ground work then into the chop-fest, before the early tease of a submission from Joe.

Anytime Shawn would miss his target and hit the announce desk - especially one that wouldnít break (Iím thinking it was the Flair match at WM) always gives me a shudder & it was pleasing to see Joe actually build off that opening by targeting the ribs for a sustained period of time. That said, the sleeper hold spot that Shawn had on Joe didnít seem all that realistic, given Joe had been in control for a long period, and it was so early still in the match, I just didnít see it as a believable near finish spot with the arms dropping twice. Joe struggling in the sleeper that early just took away a little of his lustre to me.

The period of offence from Joe that followed more than made up for it too. That was truly a bad ass sequence of moves from the Running Senton to the Powerbomb into the Crab and into the STF then the Crossface. Punishing stuff, that I would envisage getting a HUGE reaction, and something Iím sure HBK would sell like a trooper. In another slight negative though, Iíd have liked the Crossface to have been applied for longer before the roll through, just to increase the tension. Have to say that I liked you not just putting the two out there and having a great match - you added the story elements from the build up, and played into the character of both men; Joe wanting the match to be fair and square, but HBK simply out for victory by any means (though he has enough honour not to want to win by count out; that was another memorable moment in the match for me).

That Joe is a bad ass - picturing him side stepping the flying forearm, and then leaning up on the ropes was great Ö and that little break just perfectly set the stage for the frenetic closing stages. The way you captured the contest swinging back and forth was excellent, as at first it looked like the veteran HBK had just a little too much know how when he hit his second wind Ö but of course that SCM would be blocked. At this point, Iíd like to call the rest of this match; Mania-esque. That second Island Driver sounded incredible, and the mid-air SCM was as close to a false finish as there is. What the fuck is going to finish either guy??? And that final sequence, from Joe showing begrudging respect for Shawns fight, to the Muscle Buster reversal (finishing this with a victory roll wouldíve been pretty deflating) before finally Shawn had to tap to the clutch. An immense match up, that truly lived up to itís billing. A real WrestleMania quality show stealer.

Now Ö how do you follow that??

The feedback for the last match unfortunately turned more into a running play by play, but I got pretty caught up in what I was reading. Iíll try to be a little more concise with the final two matches.

Gutsy move to go back to back to back with the top three matches and no buffer matches or even a buffer segment really, as the intense Foley promo certainly wouldnít be considered Ďbufferí at all. Getting right to it is probably the best idea, to get the audience right back into it after the enthralling Joe/HBK showdown. Diving straight in to big signature moves like the Cactus Clothesline and the Jericho running bulldog I can only assume again, was a product of wanting to get the fans into the match right away, though you did show a lot of restraint in teasing the table spot for a while, rather than just giving it away that easy.

What I did notice is that this really felt like a Ďvintageí Mick Foley performance, and not simply an old Mick Foley putting his body on the line. He did that too, but busting out the piledriver, and especially that sick whipping spot with the barbed wire, telling Jericho he had to pay the price of a God. Just something Iíd imagine a classic Cactus Jack would do back in his prime. The barbed wire bat to the exposed mid section was a little much for me, though the symbolism of ĎGodí aka Jericho being punished in the crucifix position was pretty cool.

And despite me saying about Foley being remarkably similar to the vintage Cactus Jack persona, I know that it was Mick Foley here and not Cactus Jack, but I just felt that Socko felt really out of place in this blood feud. Thereís no reason for him NOT to do it - it is Foley, and it is his most beloved and most recognised move Ö but for me, I felt it was slightly out of place in this scenario (and you can imagine my thoughts on the Sweet Shin Music spot too. In fact, double that.). Probably just me though, as Iíd imagine you catch much more flak had you NOT used his most well known move. I was also a little against seeing the Alex Riley run in, and wouldíve preferred to see Foley and Jericho do it all alone - or even have someone run out to aide Foley against the two - but again, nit picking.

It wouldnít be a huge Mick Foley match without some thumbtacks, though Jericho being the one to introduce them was a nice change of pace, as I donít recall off the top of my head that happening before - and it led perfectly into the sick, twisted finishing sequence. I donít recall ever seeing anything like that before, with Foley pressed into the tacks via the Walls. Very inventive and creative Ö and heartbreaking for Foley; the man who never quits Ö to lose his job via submission. And this should spark Jericho right back to life as the most important character in the thread, because he will undoubtedly crow about his surviving the Hardcore Legend, and making the famed Mick Foley QUIT. Just a magnificent story - with tremendous potential in moving forward. Bar a few minor quibbles, I thoroughly enjoyed this brawl Ö maybe even more than the Shawn/Joe match it had to follow.

Is that a hint at Ö Brock Lesnar???



Ö Joe vs. Lesnar???



Jericho/Foley had a tough spot, following HBK/Joe Ö but Christian and RVD are in a REAL tough spot, following the last two matches. For me, coming off those two incredible matches, even I took a while to get into the match, with the first portion kind of going over my head. It wasnít until Christian smashed his face off the barrier that my interest level started to come back - what a sicko, right?? At this point, I was pretty convinced that Van Dam had turned heel - end of story - but clearly there IS still more to his downfall. Him looking worried for Christian, even if only for a moment, shows there is still a conscience. And, with the fans still popping for his eye catching offence, RVD is clearly still going to struggle with what attitude he wants to take - wrestling with his emotions.

It made for interesting reading down the stretch, with the momentum shifting back and forth throughout - there literally wasnít a period from the mid point on where either champion or challenger held the advantage for a sustained period, and made reading the match like a slugfest boxing bout, trading blows, landing their best shots - and soaking up everything they had to offer to each other and fighting back. The fact that the fans couldnít choose which way to side says it all; it truly was a 50/50 match, and the fans obviously just donít want to boo RVD despite his attitude recently. The finish was another heartbreaker, akin to Foley in the previous match, where the tacks were his downfall, the Five Star somehow proved to be the downfall of Van Dam.

Itís another victory that Christian clutched from the jaws of defeat, and that will maybe bring back some of that doubt he previously had of himself - though it could be argued that he showed the brain of a champion to snatch the win; surely the true mark of a champion is to find a way - any way - to win? Overall, the main event simply didnít compare to the two matches it had to follow - but it was by no means a disappointing match to cap off a great night of exceptional matches.

But, as good as the matches were, itís the character progression that always sticks out to me in this thread. Weaving story arcs throughout the matches - the big three in particular - is what I believe helps you stand out from the pack. This wasnít just a big show where matches happened, people won and people lost. Your characters continued their overarching stories; Joe remains unbeatable, Jericho can bask in his own greatness once more; achieving the God-like feat of forcing Mick Foley to tap out, whilst RVD has more reason to continue his inner turmoil, whilst Christian will again be questioning his role as champion and leader of the AOW locker room. Sure, there were one of two disappointments along the way, but they were well and truly outweighed by yet another terrific effort.

Any chance of posting shows with more regularity now??
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:44 AM   #296 (permalink)
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Default Re: Presenting AOW: Art of War Wrestling - The Greatest Affair

Iím going to try and keep this rather condensed, just because I donít want to kiss your ass for longer than I need to, considering my last post was much of the same. Starting with the opening video package though, written PERFECTLY. Absolutely nothing to complain about, not only have you got everybody involved, but youíve set the scene perfectly. Good start.

Before I get to the actual matches, quite often in BTB itís the little things that matter, and thatís no different here. The extra detail for the arena playing on the fact itís in Pittsburgh, whilst still having that AOW feel to it was just smart stuff. Basic, simple, but only the top bookers actually do it.

No better way than to open the show with the ladder match. A perfect way to get the crowd pumped up, with whatís sure to be a SPOTFEST~! One thing I didnít like was Aero Star dressing up like a comic book character. Itís a Rey Mysterio WWE move, and AOW, as indy company, shouldnít be ripping that sort of stuff off, imo. Also, just because the way yanks are, heel or no heel, I couldnít really see Shelton getting heat whilst representing the country. Anyway, onto the match now...

Considering the way the match has been built it made perfect sense for Tyler Black to be cocky, only to get ganged up on by everybody. I enjoyed reading the immediate change in styles as well. On one side, you had Kingston unleashing these exciting manoeuvres, and on the other side, Regal is just slogging Aero Star. LADDERS coming into things really early, just shows how spotty this match is going to be, but thatís fine, because itís exactly what itís supposed to be. The Dragon Whip spot into the letter was a nice sequence of events... and OH THE SPOTS. High risk after high risk, and good to have Black outdo everybody else.

As the match goes on, not much to say except that Half Nelson Suplex on the ladder would have been FUCKING BRUTAL. Made sense for Regal to be the guy to bring in the steel chair as well. I understand Regal isnít a high risk kind of guy, but I feel him being afraid of heights made him seem like to much of a joke. He had the bad ass thing going before that, and I feel like this took away from that too much for my liking. Note: Black continues to look BEASTLY when he gets a chance as well, awesome.

The Exploder Suplex was a fun spot, but the SUPER SUNSET FLIP POWERBOMB was fucking MENTAL. Great creativity, which has always been one of your strong suits. The spot with Kingston going from the ladder inside the ring to outside would have been fun to see. If Iím honest though, I felt you could have set up the ladder on the outside better. Just having Kingston set it up, slide in the ring, and almost immediately need to use it just seemed way to scripted if that makes sense. I felt it would have been much better if we were made to almost forget that the big ladder was still outside the ring.

The ending was done pretty well again, even if I still severely dislike Regal being afraid of heights. Black was always getting the win here, and whilst he probably wasnít involved in as much action as I would have liked, he looked incredibly strong throughout though. Fun match that REALLY put over Black, whilst not doing damage to anybody else, which I feel may have been the plan all along.

RVDís stretch > anything Christian can do.

The impending arrival of Chris Hero should be interesting, especially considering CM Punkís escapades as of late... Actually as of pretty much since their match. I wonder what sort of impact all of this will have on Punk more than anything. Plus, Hero OWNS.

I donít think Iíve ever really complimented you on the creation of the trios match before. Simple in formula, but youíve made it into a big deal, having a whole tournament on it. Terrific booking, and good to see an AOW original concept get a look in on the biggest show of the year.

at The Miz having a thanks list for getting to be a part of the match, what an epic start. It would have been hilarious if he actually lost the match right there, but a unique and enjoyable way to start the match nonetheless.

Masters and Doane beat down Kidman for a moment or two early, but besides that, the match has been at break neck speed. The spot with Masters tagging in Done, whilst still holding Kidman was nice, as was TEAM AIRíS sudden rush of dominance, leading to Kidman getting the near fall.

I dug the use of the POLISH HAMMER from Masterís to. I canít remember exactly who but Iím pretty sure that broke somebodyís nose one time. You could have maybe played on that a little more I thought, as I donít think Kidman really had any lasting effects from the move. The Kidman not giving up and teaching Sydal one final lesson was somewhat poetic... writing and booking at its finest.

FINALLY Sydal is in. Youíve built this up to be Sydalís moment so well, and he comes in with all guns blazing, but that reversal into a Spine buster from Masters was terrific. Legitimately unexpected to, which is always good. The ending was all written pretty well, and for a minute Masters interrupting Sydal really made it seem like maybe he wouldnít get that feel good moment. Great stuff, and a nice ending with the triple Shooting Star Press as well. An undercard match, but so much more. The Sydal angle has been brilliant for awhile, and youíve done it justice here. Also,:LMAO at just about anything that Miz did in this match.

LOVE the video for World Ablaze, cleverly playing on the CM Punk character development, which has quickly become right up there with the likes of Christian, Jericho and Van Dam, imo.

Nice moment to have the handshake between Noble and Danielson, really putting over the whole idea of this match. The spirit of competition, which is what this thread was supposed to be built on, even if it may have been forgotten a little. Again, the lock up competition suited the angle perfectly, and eventually Noble sort of lost his temper, hitting that knee to the gut. I thought maybe it was a little early in the match for the slow clap to help Danielson fight back from the submission. Surely at this point he still would have been able to fight out rather quickly? I honestly wasnít sure about that. A rest hold this early on.

The Suplex to the outside of the ring was a clever, entertaining way to really give somebody a distinct advantage in the match for the first time. Some rather brutal submissions from Danielson which I donít mind, as you just HAVE to play on the whole Noble wonít give up thing. A bit nitpicky perhaps but the use of the Jacknife pin TWICE so early from Noble didnít really make sense to me. I just really couldnít see it happening.

Awesome stuff to pull out The Cannonball Senton, Noble clearly pulling out all the stops to attempt to get the win. It just makes the whole match seem like such a BIGGER deal. Some great counter exchanges between the two men here, which is the sort of stuff I was really looking forward to reading in this one. The Roundhouse, Trailer Hitch, Suicide Dive counters all in quick succession was brilliant.

The epic counters continues... until LEBELL LOCK. Probably a moment everybody reading was waiting for in this match, at least I was. Noble stays true to his word and doesnít tap, and I might as well note, that Danielson holding onto the hold a little was not subtle at all haha. Good stuff. Fuck from here, this match picked up big time. The false finishes were brilliant, and man, I really thought Noble had it won with the Guillotine. The writing of the tenacity of Noble, as well as the prowess of Danielson to not give up was superb.

The surge from Danielson was written well, ESPECIALLY with all those kicks, but the Noble Trailer Hitch out of nowhere was just as good. The ending was written pretty well to, and THE SUPER BRAINBUSTER was a crazy spot. I couldnít help but root for Noble, but in the end, Danielson was just that little bit too good. I thought maybe perhaps the ending would have been better if circa Austin/Hart, Noble passed out in the submission, proving he wouldnít give up. Still, the pass out/knock out finish was always happening here. Match of the night so far, by a LONG way. I thought this match was fantastic. The little bit of attitude from Danielson was a nice touch as well, clearly showing that his SLOW burn heel turn is still in process.

A nice enough segment from The American duo and Wilde. Honestly, the way this relationship between her and Nemeth has built out of seemingly nowhere is another one of your master strokes. On a side note, I didnít think Wilde would turn on this duo as somebody above predicted, but after this segment, I just have that feeling too...

As expected, Nemeth is just trying to beat the shit out of Albright in the beginning. Burchill starting the match made sense, however I was shocked that Nemeth tagged out so quick. I assumed he would stay in and try and get more of a shot at Albright... So I guess not really sure I agreed with that.

At first, I thought this was just going to be a solid tag match with a basic formula as the tag champions started to dominate, but nothings that straight forward with you. The targeting of Hagarís face is just a rather brutal target... and I guess really sums up the characters of The Mercenaries nicely. Also, at the fake slap from Albright to Nemeth... One of my favourite moments all night without a doubt. Cuntiness at its finest.

The hot tag was an exciting moment considering the Taylor Wilde incident in the build up... but I probably expected a little more brawling from Nemeth. The anger, just wanting to throw hands that you caught earlier in the match is completely gone, as within less than a minute in the ring with Albright, heís going for a School Boy? I just donít buy it.

Still, some nice dominance from Nemeth, until finally Albright lands the three Germans. A nice change up, and when the fresh tags were made, wow. That Running Enzeguiri from nowhere from Burchill was a great move. Shocking. The rest of the match was really, except for a slight run from Nemeth, an example of the champions just being a better team. The double team ending was SICK, and The Mercenaries come out of this looking like a million buck. Solid match, the right team went over though.

Claudio Castagnoli is slowly becoming the new BTB golden boy, so Iím really hoping you can do something different with him, compared to what everybody else does. The ĎSwiss Superhumaní tag is ABSOLUTE GOLD. Props on the video to, made me think back to Drago in Rocky 4, terrific read.

I dislike the booking of the match, with the much more interesting at this point Finlay dropping out, but I feel like Punk/Low Ki might just have been a match youíve always wanted to write... and thought youíd get it out of the way. Either way, even if I donít like the way it has come about, it should be a good match.

Awesome start to the match, with the trading of the Roundhouse kicks, and another start that almost seems to be based on competition. The match was plodding along really, as itís hard to get into this sort of match as thereís no emotional investment in it.

Until Ki accidentally hit Punk as he got the shoulder up. I LOVED the change of demeanour in Punkís character, as he immediately becomes more aggressive, hitting two Suplexes. This is part of Punkíc character development that Iíve been enjoying... I wanted more, but Ki quickly regains the advantage.

I was really surprised at just how much offense you gave Ki in the middle portion of this match. It really felt like he was dominating. Still, that Falcon Arrow spot would have KILLED. Great spot to get Punk back the advantage.

The switch of submission moves at the end was a nice switch... but I didnít like the ending. Low Ki is really just a glorified jobber, a guy who will put on a decent match, but never beats anybody important in this thread. I HATE the fact that he didnít just crumble from the GTS, as the GTS has been basically unstoppable in this thread so far. I just didnít feel the extra drama at the end of the match necessary here. Still, a decent contest, but probably my least favourite of the night as there just wasnít a real reason for me to want to read with no Finlay involved.

Finlay attack afterward was completely unexpected... Not sure why heíd make an appearance. Glad to see their feud will continue... but really did feel like it took a step back tonight. Iíd be interested to know if this was the plan all along, or if youíve done a change of booking as you go.

Canít wait to see what you do with Eric Escobar. Another nice video, surprised to see how you bring in guys without having everything seem a little too crowded on the roster.

Interesting interview from Danielson, a little arrogant. Not much to say really, I guess itís just a continuation of his heel turn.

EPIC video package between Shawn Michaels and Samoa Joe. I really enjoyed the whole man against machine concept, classic stuff.

Iíve been waiting for this one, this should be an insane read. As a few others have mentioned, this is probably going to pip the other main events, and the cruiserweight title match for match of the night. I thought the start was written very well, paying a large amount of attention to the audience. It HAD to be done, much like Rock/Hogan at Mania 18, the crowd adds so much in these type of situations. Almost, the typical, defiant HBK starting with the slap, which I liked considering the space his character is in at the moment. Smart to have Joe show early that he wasnít going to take any of HBKís crap to. Those dual chants would have been epic, by the way.

Michaels using his experience, grounding Joe early, trying to frustrate Joe, suits the angle of this match perfectly. I love the idea of the veteran Michaels to irritate the young, powerful, machine like Joe. The chop contest was a nice little spot as well, just fun to read, and putting over Joe as one tough man.

The match finally really starts to flow, and really, is entertaining right from the get go. The Clutch attempt earlier on, plus Michaelsí epic counter... which was probably overshadowed again by the Ole Kick on the outside. High impact, brilliant stuff early.

Typical resilience from Michaels really, allowing Joe to just boss out on him for awhile. I liked the stomp on the foot, showing HBK will do whatever it takes. Iím not completely sold on the whole submission game plan of Michaels though. Heís a big time player, just let him do his thing. He WONíT beat Joe at his own game, especially when realistically Joe is too big and powerful for Michaels to hold down for a long term submission. In terms of whatís written, itís all great stuff. Just not sure I agree with the philosophy of Michaels early on, however Iím sure the offense will pick up later on.

Iím surprised at this stage just how much this match seems to be about Joe doing his thing in the early stages. Itís damn near domination, and just not something I completely expected. Again though, it also puts over HBKís whole wonít lay down for nobody personality. I thought Michaels using the ropes for leverage on the pin was done well, just reminding us that heíll do whatever it takes to win. Good to see it spaced out from the foot stomp though, HBK taking short cuts all match would just be unrealistic. I think youíve played that aspect well so far.

I wonít harp on the constant submissions from Michaels again with the Figure Four here, but it was about time HBK hit a big time move. Flying Crossbody to keep things interesting I guess.

Was good to see Michaels get in some sustained offense, but youíve still done it in a less physically imposing way to Joe which was good. At first, I thought Michaels letting the count out take place after Joeís missed Elbow was great, showcasing the contrast of the two, as earlier Joe didnít want the count out win... But then Michaels is rooting for Joe to get back into the ring? Why didnít he just drag him in then if he didnít win that way? Iíd love to know what your thoughts were here as initially I thought it was a great contrast of characters... but then within a second... it wasnít. It really just left me a little confused, although maybe thatís the plan, considering HBKís tumultuous journey in this thread.

I see you referenced my concern above in the next sentence of the match, but I still donít really think it covers it, to be honest. VINTAGE HBK~! That counter into the Island Driver was sick, and an epic false finish I must day. Awesome stuff.

The Sweet Chin Music coming straight after this was just as good, if not better. Exciting sequence of events here, man.

BANG. That counter into the second Island Driver was just as insane... although if Iím honest, it feels a little bit too much like the guys are just trading finishers. I get the idea of them going blow for blow... and the spectacle it would have... but realistically... the second Island Driver could have probably been spaced out by another minute or two at least. Still, ANOTHER crazy false finish, really putting over the guts of Michaels.

The idea of a top rope Island Driver had me wet... The counter into a Sweet Chin Music was almost a little too predictable, considerable the way youíd written the finishers occurring so far in the match. I wonít echo my sentiments from the paragraph above, yet despite the AWESOME spectacle, I still have some reservations.

CHIMERA PLEX was an epic spot though, youíll get no reservations for that. Terrific big time move... and possibly the ONLY move that could beat the run of four finishers in a row. Smart to pull this one off at this point in the match, imo.

One last ďhurrahĒ from Michaels with the Victory Roll, but realistically, it was a pretty emphatic victory from Joe. I was glad you enlightened us into the whole nature of HBKís character which definitely answered my questions from earlier. A HUGE ending though, with the submission victory. Not only does Joe become one of only a few to make HBK submit... BUT the quitting nature of the loss could do wonders for HBKís character. I canít wait to see what happens in that regard.

Overall, I felt like thereís NO WAY you can top this. LOVED the ending, but the build up, with four finishers in a row without a gap seemed a little to forced for my liking. Still, a terrific matchperfect for a big time affair, and enough to make the show a standout alone. BRILLIANT.

For some reason I was under the impression that this thread would somehow end after this show. Iím glad to see thatís not the case though, and I look forward to The Outer Limits II. By the way, the idea of this show being in Mexico is INSANELY epic. Good stuff to show the company moving up, yet not really moving in on WWEís territory.

Before Mick Foley began, I loved the way you set the scene. Heís not the Foley whoís funny and always happy, heís old school Foley. Typical Foley promo which set the scene nicely, the only part I didnít like was when he mentioned the positives about the fans before he ran down Heyman and Jericho. At his best, Foley doesnít cater to the fans when heís in this zone, he just lets it rip. Oh, and itís steel cage not metal cage. So I felt that was a little off, but the interview was still a fun read. Set the scene terrifically well by mentioning the start, the big HIAC spot, and the possible end of his career to.

Video, much like Joe/HBK before it, was written BEAUTIFULLY.

A nice beginning, just for something different, with Foley making the surprise attack. As much as I donít want to, I see that as a desperate move, as I feel Jericho is just going to be to good here. Still, a nice start, brutal already, with both men getting multiple trash can shots in. Jerichoís Bulldog spot as his first bit of offense in the match just already made me think heís going to be a step away all the way through.

The next bit of offense with Jericho just teeing off with weapon after weapon shot was just sadistic. A good way to put over his character, whilst also show the vintage Foley resilience.

Good tease with the table spot early on, not allowing Foley to crash and burn this early on. Itís typical for Foley to always take the huge bump, so Iím intrigued to see if youíll actually allow Jericho to take a real beating. The fact he missed the table on the fall makes me think maybe not. I hope I stand corrected later on.

Nearly EVERYTHING in this thread seems to be about character development, so it felt rather refreshing to have a huge part of this match just being dedicated to being as hardcore as possible. Both characters are already established, itís simply about finding out whoís better. The missed Lionsault from Jericho, followed by the running dive off the apron from Foley ease my fears about Jericho not taking a huge bump earlier. Brilliant stuff to read... and it allows us to see a sign of Jericho we havenít really had to... his resilience.

Surprised to see Foley get in so much offense at once, but the angle of Jericho finally being on the receiving end of all the pain he has caused is a clever one. EVERYTHING Jericho copped was just sadistic, and the little bits of dialogue from Foley really added heaps to the situation. The appearance of Alex Riley I guess was needed for Jericho to escape the ropes... and makes sense considering the build up. But Iím not sure I like it. If Jericho does go on to win, which I believe he will, I would have LOVED to see him FINALLY win a match on his own.

The spot Riley took was good, and whilst the ending shows Jericho doing shit on his own, I still felt like he would have lost if it wasnít for Riley. Considering his past in the thread, Iím not sure thatís a good thing. It almost feels like he ALWAYS needs help to win. The ending with the thumbtacks and the Liontamer was done pretty well... although I feel either this match, or HBK/Joe both ending in submission kind of cancel out of each other. Definitely should have been only one submission finish out of the big matches to make it seem like such a bigger deal. Now instead, after barely doing it their whole careers, HBK and Foley have both tapped in the same night? I donít like it.

Foley has his MILLIONTH send off after the match, good stuff. I REALLY enjoyed this match, it just felt simpler then a lot of the others, yet it still had psychology to it to. Probably my new MOTN to be honest.

KENTA~!

Awesome interview with Heyman here. Him leaving because of Joe continues on Joeís rampage, and just makes thing seem so much bigger. A nice wrench in the works to, having Heyman choose who will be in charge. Iíd LOVE it if it was Jericho, but I doubt it. Either way, somebody else in charge for awhile, plus Heyman not coming back alone leads to all sorts of excitement. Awesome booking, man.

I must say, youíve really hit GOLD with all of the video packages for this one. No difference here, with the whole coin toss, and the similarities of the two... and their journeys all coming to a head. I donít think these match will be OH MY GODS WRESTLING epic as the last two, but the character progression is set to be amazing.

The opening of this match is exactly what makes your booking so great. The angle, the character progression, it all seems to have been done perfectly. The way Christian is almost trying to FORCE the best out of RVD to prove to himself is brilliant. Those slaps waking up Van Dam was perfect as well, just compelling story telling through in ring psychology at its finest.

RVD not allowing the fans to join in reminds me a lot of what The Rock used to do in early 1999. Such a great tool to use, imo.

The match went along pretty smoothly after this, nothing special but nothing bad. Itís a little bit of a shame that just about ANYTHING seems like a step down from the previous two matches. RVD looking worries when he was getting heat, to getting a mega pop was EPIC. The recreation of Air Van Dam at a time when heís trying to identify with his whole career is just way to smart, good stuff.

I thought maybe the counter of the Rolling Thunder came a little too soon after the Air Van Dam. It could have maybe been sold a little better, but still, a nice counter. Intrigued to see Christian get a bit of heat as well, considering EVERYTHING heís been through in this thread.

Some of the counter wrestling with both men being evenly matches was a fun read, especially the Discus Leg Drop... and the Powerbomb to Facebuster Spots.

I thought another nice touch of this match, was how, much like their journey so far in AOW, both menís offense was almost a mirror image of each other. Christian hits a high risk move, followed by a submission, and Van Dam shockingly does the same thing. Terrific to play on the Original Shiek with the Camel Clutch. More great storytelling I thought though.

And the ending... Oh boy. Possibly and up in the air ending for the biggest show in AOWís history isnít a great thing... but I donít know. It just seems to fit the journey of the thread. Either way, ending is brilliant simply for the character progression once again. A terrific main event, but realistically, it was a step below from the previous two contests.

The aftermath with Van Dam not shaking hands makes sense as well, and I have to commend you, because youíve just got so many different ways you can go with the thread from here.

Overall though, from top to bottom, a pleasure to read. I TRIED to pick on things to make this some legitimate feedback, but you didnít give me too much. And even with the small little things, the show was still enjoyable as hell. CHARACTER PROGRESSION superb as per usual, youíve possibly got the best overall package of character progression Iíve ever seen in a thread. Thatís the biggest compliment I can possibly give you... and you know what? You deserve it. Canít wait to see what happens from here.
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Old 07-29-2014, 05:51 AM   #297 (permalink)
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