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Thread: WZCW Goodbye: Mayhem Battle Royal

  1. #11
    Junior Member Kermit's Avatar

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    Final Chapter: Future Ball
    Part 1 or 4

    Chris K.O., Haven, Yellow, and Oso Azul are sitting in Chris K.O.’s living room. Several stage workers are breaking down the room as it appears to be a “set” you might see on television. Kermit the Frog, in a business suit, walks into the scene as he directs the stage workers.

    KERMIT: Tear it all down. We’re liquidating everything. Also, make sure the Havenmobile gets to FedEx by 5. That thing is going to appear on an episode of Pawn Stars.

    Kermit exits the scene. The group looks sad. Haven perks up and pulls out a sphere.

    HAVEN: Blah, blah, blah. Exposition. This is ball that allows us to look into the future! One last look before the final WZCW event. Even you Oso Azul!

    Oso Azul is a rapid bear that is chained to the ground. He swipes furiously at the other three as he dawns a blue luchador mask.

    HAVEN: Blah, blah, blah. Oso Azul was an All-Stars character that never came to be. Blah, blah, blah. Rapid bear in a luchador mask. Blah, blah, blah.

    Let’s touch the ball!


    Yellow touches the ball first to show his future after WZCW.

    ----------------------------------------------------------

    Once there was, and then there wasn’t
    A man who must, but he musn’t
    Flew in on an umbrella in a yellow rain coat
    For a moment, but gone in the smoke

    He flies from place to place, even to this day
    WZCW was a stop or two, but not his final stay
    The wind did blow him all across the lands
    Until the winds folded his hand

    Flip, flap, floo
    Piece by piece, folded like stew
    An origami he became, a paper crane he did claim
    As soul, as spirit, and as brain

    So he perches upon a tower
    Waiting patiently for his final hour
    A yellow paper crane with a black rain diverter
    Now he rests, yet he be a wordy word blurter

  2. #12
    3 Time Elite Champion Skairipa's Avatar

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    #TheEnd #GoingOutOnTop

    Two Days After Kingdom Come: A Beach In Malibu, California

    Kingdom Come had come and gone, and of course I won just like I said I would, becoming 2-0 at Kingdom Come. I didn't know what my next challenge would be, and right now I didn't care. I was enjoying my vacation in LA, far away from the cold and snow in New York and enjoying the sun and sand in Malibu. The best part? It wasn't even crowded because these weak people would freeze in anything under 70 degrees. I was laying on my beach chair getting some sun when my phone buzzed with a text. To my surprise, it was from my sister Gabi. How did I not forget to block her number when I cut her out of my life months ago?

    Callie are you still mad at me? It's been months, it's time to let it go. I saw your match at Kingdom Come, you've become so good. I can't wait to see you win a title again.
    I rolled my eyes, such an obvious attempt to suck up to get back into my life now that I'm a million times more successful than she'll ever be, gross. I thought about it for a minute, then deleted her text and blocked her number. My life has been so much better ever since cutting her out and I didn't need her back, buh bye.

    I chuckled and put my phone down on the towel next to me, and put my sunglasses back on, she was the past and I don't live in the past, not when I have such a bright future.

    Two Weeks Later: A Restaurant In Los Angeles, California

    I had decided to extend my vacation since there was another snowstorm in New York and I had enough stuff with me where I didn't need to go home. I was starting to like it out here, maybe I should get a second house out here, but then again the traffic is terrible and hipsters are annoying, bleh. I was enjoying dinner at the nicest restaurant in the city, when I got a message with some shocking news.

    ATTN ALL WZCW TALENT: It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform you that WZCW will be closing it's doors. Management have discussed this and unfortunatley decided it's something we must do. We will be doing a farewell show and every championship will be defended in a series of battle royals and plenty of faces from the past will compete. Thank you for your service and good luck at the final show. Who will become the final champions of WZCW?
    I was in shock, I was mad, I was sad, truth be told, I was slightly heartbroken. I had gotten really good at wrestling and as much as everyone around WZCW annoyed me, some of them were....good competition. Plus how dare this company close before I got a chance to become World Champion! I wasn't even sure how to react to the news, a million thoughts were running through my head, suddenly my waiter came over to check on me.

    You! More wine! Chop Chop!

    I shooed the waiter away, and he shot me a glare as he walked away, whatever. He was soooo not my problem. I had much bigger problems to worry about, like for starters the fact that I just won a freaking ladder match that's going to mean nothing! I mean I put my body on the line, risked my freaking life to win that match, and now it means nothing? They might be going out of business but they were sooo hearing from my lawyer for that one. But more importantly, what would be next? I needed to talk to someone who could think clear headed right now, I needed to talk to Kira.

    Kira! Did you hear the news? WZCW is closing.
    I took a a bite of steak and ate a few french fries as I waited for the waiter to come with my new glass of wine. It took him long enough. I took a sip of wine as my phone buzzed with Kira getting back to me.

    Oh no that's terrible, sorry to hear that. Are you okay?
    Of course I'm okay, I'm me. But that said I have a bunch of thoughts on this running through my head and I don't even know what to think. I mean my cosplaying has become bigger and more successful than ever partly due to WZCW, but I don't wanna just cosplay, that's a boring thought after I managed to become much more than a simple cosplayer. I know how good I am at wrestling and obvi other companies would be offering me millions to go there, but I don't know if that's what I really wanna do. What do you think?
    I realized I rambled in the text, oh well. I had a lot on my mind at the moment, this was truly not a good time to give me this news, I wasn't in the right state of a mind or a calming location. But I finished up my meal as I got a text back.

    I think you need to take time and think about this, in fact why don't you focus on killing it at the last show first? I mean you always say you wanna go down as the greatest superstar ever right? Imagine being the last ever WZCW World Champion, or winning the Eurasian Championship for the first time. Or even breaking your own record to get back the Elite Championship one last time. You have a chance to really make history at this last show, I say you focus on that and worry about the future after that. It's not like you need to rush into doing anything.
    I left money on the table for the bill and walked out of the restaurant, and was now on the way back to my suite at the hotel. I took that time to think about what Kira said, she raised a good point. Maybe I was too focused on the future. After all, I didn't need to rush into anything. I walked into the hotel and took the elevator back up to my suite, after getting back into the room and sitting down, I took back out my phone to text Kira back.

    You know what, you're right. The time has come to go from legend of tomorrow, to legend. Tomorrow is today and it's my destiny to finally become the World Champion, in fact maybe I'll take every title on the way out, after all is there a better way to make history than by holding every title all at once? Nobody has ever done that.
    I smirked at the thought as I changed into my pajamas to get comfy for the night, and plopped down on the bed. Truthfully I'd be happy to end up being the final holder of any championship, but all the belts? That, that would be the best moment of my life. And I would do anything to make that happen.

    I flipped through the channels on the tv, but didn't find anything I wanted to watch so I turned the tv off. Shortly after I got a text back from Kira, sometimes I'm surprised by how much time she makes for me and my craziness, she must really care about me. I should probably stop taking her for granted. I mean I did get her a brand new sports car for Christmas, but is that enough? Before I could continue thinking I got a text back.

    There ya go that's the way to think. But I just read the news online, Apparently there's going to be a bunch of old faces from the past showing up, probably some of the best to ever wrestle for the company. What do you think of that? This could be tough for you to overcome.
    She was right, the Lethal Lottery was hard enough and that wasn't even a ring full of superstars, but now who knows how many people I would have to fight. But beating a bunch of people who can't let go of the past and want one last moment of glory? That would be sweet. After all they need to learn the future is now.

    Bring it on. I'm not afraid of a bunch of old timers, in fact beating them too would just make my moment that much greater when I stand tall as one of the final champions. Don't you think?
    Do you need to run through everyone?
    No, I've done that a million times. Besides I have no interest right now in playing into the unknown of the past. But they're the past for a reason, because they can't hack it anymore and I'll be damned if I'm gonna let them get in my way. As for the current roster? Some of them are completely useless, and the rest are probably people I know I can beat. This might be the end of WZCW, but I am the present and the future of wrestling, and it's my destiny to be the last champion. It's just a matter of which title I choose to take, if not all of them.
    Kira and I talked about a variety of things after that, life, our holidays, how she was liking the new car I got her, and other things. The conversation stopped around 4 AM in Texas when she fell asleep on me, poor thing works herself too hard, even though she knows she doesn't need to. I went to bed about an hour later, after figuring out what my final cosplay for WZCW would be, after all I had to make the last one the best one, or at least one of the best.

    The Day Before The Farewell Show: Location Unknown

    Finally I decided to end my long vacation in California and head to Las Vegas on my private jet. I had narrowed it down to 2 costumes for what I would wear for the last show. Ever since the news came about about WZCW closing it's doors I had gotten a wide variety of offers, some from wrestling companies, some for reality TV shows, some for shows about me and my life, hell I even got an offer from a record label for some reason! I fully expected something like this to happen, but I couldn't wrap my head around any of it, not right now, I needed to be totes focused on WZCW for a little while longer.

    I had been trying to strategize for how to make my moment happen, but it was simply too much to attempt, and my mind didn't wanna focus on that anyway. My mind over the last few days in fact didn't wanna focus on anything except for one thing, Kira. I had been thinking recently how even when I was a bitch to her when I first met her how she killed me with kindness and put up with my bullshit for some reason, probably to help her business. And how even once we became friends how she was always there for me when I needed her, whether it was for something as simple as dog sitting or talking me off the ledge when I go a little crazy, which let's face it, happens a lot. I had been thinking about how much I need her in my life, how she had become my main support system over the last few months and how I would be lost without her, it made me realize something....I care about her a lot, like more than I thought.

    But I didn't know how to express that to her, I mean truthfully I was never good at that type of thing, sure I could express things like that to Sid, but he's a dog. I debated calling her multiple times over the last couple days to talk about it with her, but I would always change my mind, tell myself it was crazy talk. But now I was sitting on this plane trying to focus on other things and I simply couldn't. I was never a "feelings" person, I cared about myself, my dog, winning, the amount of followers I have, and looking good more than anything. Sure I had my friends, and Bates, and I guess some family I don't talk to, but I always saw people as tools to use to my advantage and nobody was any use to me if I had nothing to gain from them. But something happened that changed that, Kira had become my lifeline and someone I talked to almost daily, she had become my best friend and someone I couldn't do without. I had to express that to her, I had to tell her that I think I might love her.

    But was that a bad thing to do over text? Or even a phone call? I don't know. I thought about it the rest of the plane ride, and when I finally got off the plane and into the waiting car, I texted her.


    Kira, we need to talk. After the show tomorrow I'm going to get a good nights sleep then I'm flying to Texas, it's important. Don't worry, it's nothing bad...I think. Don't bother trying to figure out what it's about ahead of time cause I'm not telling you. Wish me luck with the show, I'll see ya in a couple days. XOXO
    I was going to be a bundle of nerves in a couple days, I had never really let myself be vulnerable with anyone, but that was a couple days away. Tomorrow was the last ever WZCW show and now hopefully I'd be able to focus on the task at hand. Thankfully that task was what I do best, win some matches, make some history and win titles. The story of Callie Clark isn't over, it's only the end of the first book. But will it have a happy ending? Bet your ass it will.

  3. #13
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    The sun beats down on a nearly cloudless day across a desert highway. Nothing appears to be alive here as the wind lazily blows past the small amounts of vegetation dotted along the landscape. The silence is broken by a car tearing down the road at speeds much higher than the regulated speed limit. The road is slightly bumpy and the car appears to take air passing each of these slopes. Inside driving we see former WZCW EurAsian Champion Noah Ryder, hands white knuckled on the steering wheel, hair in a shaggy mess with scruffy facial hair around his face, looking far more like a wanted man than a former champion wrestler. The car speeds over another slope and we hear a loud bang from the trunk, that thud being the deceased body, or remnants of it, of his best friend Steven.

    A little backstory may be in order here, Noah Ryder was on his way to his first WZCW match when he was involved in a serious car accident, causing permanent brain damage. His brain could no longer turn memories into short or long term memories. Everyday he woke up thinking it was the day of his first WZCW match. Anytime he drifted off to sleep or lose enough focus he would forget everything he did or was said that day. This caused quite a strain on a number of his relationships, but his friend Steven stayed by his side and built a system of daily record keeping so Noah would never forget. Noah rehabbed and worked his way back to another WZCW try out where, under Steven’s disapproval, he put away the record and wanted to start anew there. Steven helped him along his new path but there were challenges along the way that lead to distrust between the two. Noah believed Steven had run off with his girlfriend from so many years ago and had taken advantage of him because of his condition. With that in mind, Noah convinced himself tomorrow to kill his best friend, and then forged a new identity where Noah believed that he had been framed for Steven’s murder and was on the run while trying to find out who the real killer was. Pretty deep stuff.

    The car is continuing down the highway at breakneck speed when the sirens flash and a patrol car speeds onto the highway behind Noah’s car. Noah peers back in anger and grips the wheel, holding his speed for a few seconds before making a decision to pull over. He grabs some papers from the passenger seat and tries throwing them into the glove box. A gun falls out, Noah can’t fit it back in and shoves it in his pocket. He runs his hands through his hair and breathes deeply trying to remain calm. The patrol officer walks away from his car towards him, Noah had his window already open.

    Officer: I’m not going to ask you how fast you think you were going. You fully aware you were driving well over the speed limit.

    Ryder: Yes Officer.

    Officer: You’re in some kind of a hurry.

    Ryder: I am, it’s…..

    Noah pauses for a long while, he’s not really good on the spot.

    Officer: Does it have something to do with the birth of a child?

    Ryder: No.

    Officer: A loved one passing?

    Ryder: No.

    Officer: Well are you donating a kidney, delivering a message, trying to save the world some how. So tell me what is so gawd damn important for you to be speeding like you are and risk killing some other innocent human being or maybe even yourself?

    Noah doesn’t have anything to say. He nods and smiles.

    Ryder: You’re right. There is nothing and I’m sorry.

    The officer chews his gum and nods his head.

    Officer: I didn’t ask you how fast you were going, alright, that bit of information is between you and me. I’m cutting you a ticket for the lowest speed infraction. I need to record some semblance of work in this desert and I don’t need some government suits trying to install lights or whatever safety features on this road because some guy tried to challenge the land speed record on here. Okay, but I also have one more request for you. You see that shiny nice looking vehicle pulled over just in front of us?

    Noah turns and yes he does see the vehicle now. The windows are heavily tinted.

    Officer: He’s some sort of a celebrity. He needs to get to the next city for some kind of a big show, and his car stalled out here in the heat. I need you to give him a ride.

    Ryder: Well why can’t you?

    Officer: I’m responsible for this whole entire open area you see and I’m the only patrol on duty. I have to keep my post.

    Ryder: Oh come on what is their to patrol. I haven’t seen a single car on here for hours.

    Officer: Correcting, you’ve seen one.

    He said pointing at the other vehicle. Noah nods his head in agreement. The office hands him his ticket and smiles, but then something seems to catch his eye. He backs up and studies Noah a bit which he notices.

    Officer: Can you excuse me one second first, I got a call coming in.

    The Officer heads back towards his vehicle as Noah is in a bit of a panic. Unexpectedly, a cloud has cast itself in wrong of the sun, creating the days first shade. Noah steps outside of the vehicle and opens fire, striking the Officer in the head as he cast a glance towards the sky. Noah is breathless, he can’t believe what he has done, even if he has no idea whether he’s done it before or not. Noah runs to the body and rolls it away from the road. He pushes it farther and farther until it rests in a ditch and mostly out of sight. The door of the other vehicle is heard opening, Noah turns around quickly towards it pointing his gun.

    Ryder: You stay in the there. I don’t want to hurt anyone else.

    The sunshine returns, blinding Noah and his aim. The figure steps out arms up dressed in an Armani suit, a big hall of fame ring adorning one hand and a gold bracelet with multiple gold title belts fastened around the bar. He adjusts his tie and then puts is hands back up, showing a genuine lack of concern. Noah’s vision returns and he finds his gun pointed squarely towards Showtime David Cougar. His hero, the wrestler he most looked up to. It is in this moment that Noah has let go of everything he was holding onto today. He’s still and Showtime points to him.

    Cougar: Hey there pistol, why don’t we point that thing away so no body gets hurt?

    Noah looks down at his hands. A gun is there. A gun! Oh my. What the hell? Why do I have a gun? Noah whips the gun away. Showtime begins walking towards him with his hand extended and a smile on his face.

    Cougar: Well that actually works better then. Now we can talk in confidence.

    Ryder: You… you… you’re… Sh-Showtime…

    Cougar: I know, now need for introductions. That’s why we gave you the whole opening here. And you? You appear, lost?

    Noah looks around his surroundings. He is indeed.

    Ryder: I’m Noah Ryder, and I am indeed lost. I’m on my way to my first WZCW match?

    Cougar: That’s perfect, because I’m also on my way to the WZCW Goodbye show. Come on let’s get in your car and go.

    Ryder: WZCW Goodbye? But I just got there.

    Cougar: And boy did you pick a wrong time to start.

    The two get into Noah’s vehicle and they speed back down the highway. Five minutes into the drive Noah has starred at Showtime the whole time, creating a bit of awkwardness.

    Cougar: Look, I’m always happy to meet a fan, but if you keep starring at me I am going to have to take over driving.

    Ryder: Sorry, it’s just… it’s you! You’re Showtime.

    Cougar: I know, I know.

    Ryder: You’re the greatest wrestler, Lethal Lottery, Grand Slam champion. Say, where is you’re WZCW Title?

    Cougar: I’ve won three of those. A pair of EurAsian titles.

    Ryder: No… wait, what? I mean, where is your belt belt, your WZCW title belt? Where is that.

    Cougar: Well I mean I do have one. They give you replicas when you win one, but I’m not walking around with that fake belt. That’s why I’m competing at this event. Not just to win back that belt, but all the belts. Then I’ll be the undisputed greatest of all time. That’ll show that killjoy.

    Ryder: Wow, so when did you lose the belt?

    Cougar: Noah I seldom lose titles. I never lost the Elite X title, which means I’m still it’s greatest champion. And I was never beaten to lose the Mayhem title which is why I’m competing in this god forsaken crap shoot.

    Ryder: I can always compete with you, help you out there?

    Cougar: That’s nice, but I’m sure you got your own problems. That corpse in the back isn’t going to walk itself out.

    Ryder: You’re right it does stink back there. Better clean it when we get to the venue.

    Showtime turns on the radio. “The Man” by The Killers blares as Showtime begins to dance a little, the pair make the rest of their way to the arena in total silence. They arrive at the place and roll up to the loading dock. Showtime puts away his cell and turns to Noah.

    Cougar: Noah I want to thank you for being a vehicle for me today.

    Ryder: You mean driving you here?

    Cougar: Sure.

    The two exit the car and close their doors. At this moment and team of swat officers tackle Noah Ryder and pin him to the ground.

    Swat: Check his pockets! Put your arms! You are under the arrest for the murders of…

    Cougar: Be strong Noah! Tomorrow’s going to be new day for you. Boy, I bet you that guys day has just been mayhem.

    It is at that moment that we see standing next to Showtime is Becky Sierra. Showtime recognizes her and the two exchange a friendly hug.

    Becky: Showtime David Cougar. I heard rumours you would be returning for this event. We’re happy you were able to accommodate us into your busy schedule.

    Cougar: Becky! Glad to see you here first as always for that scoop. Not as perky as previous years, but still got that spunk and determination that’s kept you employed here.

    Becky: Showtime I keep telling you I’m not longer an interviewer here, I’m…

    Cougar: Happy to keep giving you some work then. I can only afford a few minutes here, the opening monologue ran long, so the question is why I am I competing in the Mayhem match, of all the matches mind you, when I should only be competing for the title I made famous 3 times over. Well folks, we all got to start somewhere. Seldom do we ever come across overnight starts, even fewer of them become living, breathing, fire proof, indestructible legends. You look up legend in the dictionary you are likely to see a picture of my perfectly sculpted face and that beautiful face cut its teeth in the Mayhem division here in WZCW. It hardened me to the stone of perfection I have become and my records show it. Tonight will be just one more record as I win not 1, not 2, not 3, but all 4 titles. Now you are probably wondering how I am going to do that, aren’t you Becky?

    Showtime looks towards Becky. Becky is unamused and quite angry actually and holds the mic to talk.

    Becky: Yes Showtime, how are you going to do it?

    Cougar: Because I am the Man, Showtime David Cougar. Thanks Becky, now I’m going to go find Stacey Madison. The two of us have to catch up. Keep up the good work.

    Showtime shakes her hand and then walks away talking off his tie as the scene fades.

  4. #14
    Senior Member Echelon's Avatar

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    Kagura found herself kneeling, her head bowed down to the floor. She stood in a room filled with her family members, as she groveled in front of them, begging them to forgive her recent actions of hostility. She knew eventually this day would come, but she never realized it would be so soon. Her journey as a professional wrestler was coming to an end. She knew something was up when her contract did not come up for renewal during her negotiations with Vance Bateman before the Lethal Lottery. She expressed her desire to sign a new one after Kingdom Come, but to her surprise – well, everyone’s surprise – she received word that the company was folding. Kenneth Banks, on his way out of the company, liquidated all of his stocks and sold what was left of the promotion for pennies. Perhaps it was one last middle finger to those that wronged him. One last show of absolute power. Bateman was only a paper manager, the captain tasked to navigate WZCW to her final resting place in the undying lands.

    “ごめんなさい [I’m sorry,]” the raven haired beauty said.

    Her great uncle let out a sigh. Beside him sat her grandfather. They were the leaders of her clan. They had the final say here.

    “もういいよ、子供 [That’s enough, child.]”

    Kagura lifted her head and shifted herself back into a kneeling position. She told her uncle and grandfather everything. She’d wrestle one last match and then she’d be leaving the States and returning to Japan. She’d done a lot of thinking and knew the best thing to do was to make amends now while the wounds were still fresh. The longer it took to apologize the harder it would be to forgive and move on, and she didn’t want that added stress for herself or her family.

    Her uncle looked her in the eyes, his gaze becoming more sympathetic. “神楽は厳しいように見えるかもしれませんが、あなたの行動は追放されました。あなたのライフス タイルのた めではありません。家族の誰もあなたのキャリアを本当に公に支持しなかったが、私たちは皆、あ なたがアメリ カに行くために去った日をとても誇りに思っていました。この数ヶ月間、孤立した気分にさせられ たら、許して くださることを願っています [Kagura, though it may seem harsh, you were banished for your behavior. Not for your lifestyle. Though no one in the family ever really publicly supported your career, we were all very proud the day you left to go to the States. I hope you can forgive us if we made you feel isolated these last few months.]”

    Kagura nodded. A part of her was so mad at the world and the people around her that she drug her families name through the mud with her foolish actions. The disownment came because of her fame. People knew who she was regardless of her clans distinction. After thinking about it, she came to the realization that she would have made the same decision to disown herself if she were standing in her uncle shoes.

    “この時点で、あなたが望むようにあなたの人生を生きるのは自由です、もう恥ずかしい行為は控え てください 。 [At this point forward, you’re free to live your life however you wish, just please refrain from anymore shameful acts.]”

    Kagura raised an eyebrow, “そういうのと同じように、私を歓迎してくれるの? [Just like that, you’re welcoming me back?]”

    Her uncle shrugged, “君が気が戻ってくるのにどれくらい時間がかかるか待っていた。幸いなことに、私たちは長く待つ 必要はあり ませんでした。お前は俺たちの一人だワタライという名前とそれが何を表しているのか覚えておい てください。 女神アマテラスの精神もあなたの中に存在します。いつか自分の子供たちに伝統を伝えてほしいと 思います [We were waiting to see how long it would take for you to come back to your senses. Fortunately for all of us, we didn’t have to wait long. You’re one of us, child. Remember the name Watarai and what it stands for. The spirit of the goddess Amaterasu resides within you too. I will hope that one day you’ll pass down the traditions to your own children.]”

    She smiled, “あれはずっと私の計画でしたよ、おじさん。レスラーであることは楽しかったし、それはいつも私 の心の近く に何か、愛するものになるだろうが、それは私の呼び出しではありませんでした。家に帰ったら神 社に戻ります 」 [That was my plan all along, uncle. Being a wrestler was fun and it’ll always be something near and dear to my heart, but it wasn’t ever my calling. I’ll return to the shrine when I come home.]”

    ---

    Meanwhile, in an unknown location back in the States, Kagura’s manager Sasuke Gozaburo was relaxing in a bar. The old man stayed behind while his protégé went back home to make amends with her family. He didn’t want to go. Sure, Japan had been his home once too, but the country brought back so many painful memories. In the end, he was glad that Kagura hadn’t become completely jaded by the industry. It was a tough business. It had certainly changed that girl into something fierce. When they’d first met, Kagura had been this shy and quiet little wallflower. He had to lead her by the hand on practically everything. Now she was this tough and grizzled veteran who had seen and dealt with her fair share of shit. She had this iron glare that would tear right through a man. The kids in wrestling today had to deal with exposure that just didn’t exist in his era. Sure, he wrestled more often, but they were on television in front of a worldwide audience several times a month. Kagura did her best and smashed every expectation that he ever had. She was a two time world champion. No one expected her to rise to that level, but she did, and he was glad he was able to see her hold that belt high both times.

    He tilted his beer back, absentmindedly watching the football game of the television, when he felt a pat on his shoulder. He turned to see the smirking face of his old friend, opponent, and occasional tag partner from the territories, long-time color commentator, Jack Cohen. The magnificent one took a seat and joined him at the bar, ordering a beer of his own.

    “Well, Jackie-boy, this looks like the end of the line for us.”

    The older man nodded, “Indeed. I was just thinking about retirement the other day, Sauce. WZCW took me in and gave me a job. Bateman, Myles, Serra, and Banks were all good to me. I never thought I’d be relevant again, certainly not with the youngsters, but it’s funny how it all works out I guess.”

    “I completely understand,” the Asian man replied.

    The bartender brought over a bottle and placed it in front of the balding man. The sound of glass clanking together rang out, as the two men toasted their careers and WZCW respectfully. Sasuke began to muse.

    “In the end I am grateful. You were the one that brought me in, Jack. They wanted me to manage some kid and it turned out to be Kagura. She wasn’t the best prospect from Japan either. There were several guys and gals who were better, but Banks liked her style. I thought it was cliché really, a shrine maiden wrestler. As if that wasn’t already a niche gimmick. I thought her appeal wouldn’t last, but she made it work because she was the real deal.”

    “It reminds me of one particular man from the past," Cohen mused. "Mark the Mortician, remember him? Big, scary looking dude who walked around like a zombie. His father was a funeral director and taught him the trade. Funny how those over the top gimmicks become more realistic when played by those who actually live the life of the character they’re supposed to be.”

    Sasuke chuckled, “Kagura’s not like me or any other wrestler in the world. She managed to bring a piece of the art of our country to this industry and made it entertaining. In the end, she became more than that. She’s not simply a shrine maiden who wrestles, nor is she a wrestler who happens to be a shrine maiden. She’s just simply a wrestler with her own unique style and identity that transcends any type of stereotype or niche. I’m proud of her, Jack. I really truly am.”

    A somber wave of silence washed over the men as Sasuke began to reminisce about his life. About his wife and his deceased child. “In many ways, Kagura’s like a daughter to me.”

    Cohen nodded. Sasuke’s daughter was killed in a car accident many years ago, and while Kagura could never replace her or fill the void that still lingered in the former world champion’s heart, having met the girl and having her in his life helped.

    “We’ll save the memories then, Sauce” replied the announcer. “Besides, we still have one last show to do before we pack it all up and go our separate ways.”

    “That’s true,” he replied. “When it’s over, you and the wife are always welcome at my place whenever you’re in town.”

    Jack smiled, “I’ll have to take you up on that offer eventually my friend.”

    The two men proceeded to drink long into the night, sharing stories of the good old days, and new ones of the current era, and the kids they’d seen grow into stars along the way.

    ---

    Across the globe, Kagura sat on a bench in a park nestled deep within her hometown. Her fiancé Derrick was beside her. The couple hadn’t spoken much in the weeks leading up to Kingdom Come. He’d been in attendance, but she’d been so wrapped up in her anger and frustration that she hadn’t even seen him. Derrick could sense the shift in his soon-to-be wife’s demeanor backstage when he saw her that evening. They talked long into the night after the show. A few days after he arrived back home, he’d gotten the call that the promotion was shutting down. They both became such a whirlwind of emotions, that he wound up giving her space to think things over. Two weeks later and here they were, reunited once again, but with little to talk about. Kagura was abnormally quiet. Derrick wanted to break the ice, but didn’t want to seem pushy.

    Suddenly she opened her mouth, “考えると超現実的ですが、次の試合はWZCWで最後の試合になります。私たちは王国の後に私の 行動と私の 怒りについて多くのことを話しました。私は普通そういう人ではない。何もかもイライラして、ス ナップしただ けなんだ [It’s surreal to think about, but my next match will be my last one in WZCW. We talked a lot after Kingdom Come about my behavior and my anger. I’m not normally that kind of person. I just got so frustrated with everything that I just snapped.]”

    “I know me leaving last year wasn’t easy on you,” he replied in English. “But I’m proud of you for pushing forward. You picked yourself back up and won Gold Rush, and then the world title for a second time. You have a will and determination that few can match. I’ll admit that I didn’t watch a whole lot of you during the last few months, but I was with you through some dark times before, and I’m sure I saw worse.”

    Kagura lowered her eyes a bit, thinking back to her “possession” right before she won King for a Day. She and Derrick were together every day and she’d put him through the emotional ringer. Despite that he not only stayed, but their time together made him fall in love with her even further.

    “Besides, you had your reasons.”

    She nodded. Even when he left to go back to Japan after Kingdom Come, her anger did not subside. It was only after learning of WZCW’s fate that she finally started to let some of it go. Whether she hated or liked her co-workers, Vance Bateman, or Kenneth Banks, this was their livelihoods here. Everyone was in the same boat now, facing the unemployment line together.

    “私は今、すべてで大丈夫です[I’m okay with everything now,]” she replied. “私は本当にそうです。私の怒りは、私が受けていた尊敬と認識の欠如に対する私の認識から主に起 因しますが 、私は本当に素晴らしいキャリアを持っていました。たぶん、私のタイトルの支配は短く、記憶に 残るすべてで はありませんでしたが、チェイスは、私はそれらの瞬間を決して忘れません。私は他の誰かがどち らかを疑う[I really am. My anger mostly stemmed from my perception of the lack of respect and recognition I was receiving, but I really did have a wonderful career. Maybe my title reigns were short and not all that memorable, but the chase was, and I’ll never forget those moments. I doubt anyone else will either.]”

    “I certainly won’t,” he said. “I watched you win the world title the first time. Watching the crowd surf you back and forth across the arena was incredible. You really did become a hero and an inspiration that night. But despite that, you’re human too.”

    “あなたとサスケは、本当に悪い時代を見た唯一の二人です。祖父を含む他の誰もが、中古の知識を 持っていま した。私にくっついてくってくれてありがとう、デリック。そして、私があなたを押しのけようと しても、決し て私をあきらめないために。君がいなかったら、こんなに遠くまではやらなかっただろう [You and Sasuke are the only two people who really saw the bad times. Everyone else, my grandfather included, had second-hand knowledge. Thank you for sticking by me, Derrick. And for never giving up on me, even when I tried to push you away. I wouldn’t have made it this far without you.]”

    Suddenly Kagura leaned forward and planted a kiss on his lips. He pressed his forehead against hers for a moment, as if mentally syncing his thoughts.

    “Thank you for allowing me to share your journey; at least a part of it.”

    She reached out and grabbed his hand as her engagement ring gleamed in the sunlight. She only wore it when they were out in public like this. Kagura smiled.
    “まもなく一緒に新しい旅に出ます残りの人生を続けるもの [Soon we’ll be embarking on a new journey together, darling. One that’ll last the rest of our lives.]”

    Derrick laughed, “I can’t wait babe.”

    ---

    In an undisclosed location far away from prying eyes lay a room that few had seen. This place was special, for it was the very same room that we first saw Kagura. It was still dark and musty, and the light could barely generate enough power to light the center, leaving large pockets of shadows in the corner. Smoke began to seep in from the crack in the door, slowly filling the room with an acrid smell. Suddenly the door burst open, but the entryway was revealed to be empty. The light began to flicker. It crackled and died, bathing the room in complete darkness. The door shut, as if by magic. Seconds later the light sprung to life once more, as a masked figure dressed in black appeared in the middle. Eerie laughter began to fill the room. It echoed off the walls and slowly built to a cacophony of noise. The figure reached up and removed the Shinto mask to reveal a familiar face for the final time. Her beautiful features were unobstructed by her recent choice of face paint, but her outfit was certainly that of Youkai Kagura.

    She grinned like a Cheshire cat, as her eyes glinted with a certain amount of madness. Confidently, she opened her mouth to address her competition one last time in her native language.

    “これは私の友人と敵、私たちのキャリアの最後の試合です。私がこの打撃を言うとき、皆さんも私 と同じよう に感じると思います。しかし、それは私たちすべてを売り払うためのあの野郎ケネス・バンクスの せいではあり ません。しかし、私たちは皆、最後に支払われ、私たちの陽気な方法について行く前に、すべての 最後のコンテ ストを1行で持つことができます。私は競争力のある血が沸騰しているのを感じることができます !私が勝った ことがないメイヘム選手権、エリート選手権、ユーラシア選手権、世界選手権は、すべてグラブの ためにアップ しています。最後のチャンピオンとして出て行くのはどっちですか。タイタス・アビソンか、それ ともタイロン ・ブレイズか、マイキー・ストームレイジ、ザンダー、あるいはキャリー・クラークか?それはバ ルボサ、ビッ グウィル、エベレスト、蒸気船リッキー、イブテイラー、あるいはショータイムのような戻ってく る伝説になり ますか?ラッシュやバッティオタク、S.H.I.Tのような古いお気に入りかも?誰にもわかり ません。私は 確かにしません。私が知っているのは、勝ちたいということです。私はそれらすべてを獲得し、W ZCWの最後 のグランドチャンピオンとして歩いてみたい! [This is it my friends and foes, the final match of our careers. I’m sure you all feel the same way I do when I say this blows. It’s not our faults though, it’s that bastard Kenneth Banks for selling us all out. But before we all get paid one last time and go about our merry ways, lets have one last contest with everything one the line. I can feel my competitive blood boiling! The Mayhem championship that I have never won, the Elite championship, the Eurasian championship, and the World championship are all up for grabs. Which one of us will walk out as the last champions standing? Will it be Titus Avison, or Garth Black, or perhaps Xander, or maybe Mikey Stormrage, Callie Clark, or even Mark Keaton? Will it be a returning legend like Eve Taylor, or Tyrone Blades? Maybe an old favorite like Ramparte, or Batti Otaku, or ElegAnt? Who knows? I certainly don’t. What I do know is that I want to win. I want to win them all, and walk out as WZCW’s final grand champion!]”

    Kagura laughed and place a hand to her chin, “それはそれに素敵なリングを持っています。「グランドチャンピオン」神楽大空。 [That has a nice ring to it. ‘Grand Champion’ Kagura Ohzora.]”

    Suddenly her expression dropped, as did her posture. Sadness filled her soul for a brief moment. Then she smiled. But it wasn’t devious this time. This time, it was genuine. Kagura straightened herself up and spoke in English in a rare display. It was broken and no where near concise, but it was clear enough.

    “I want all you to know that I love you like family. This place is like home to me. I have friends and enemies but I treasure my time here. So many years spent travelling, training, and fighting the best. Kagura would not be me without all of you. Thank you all. One last time we fight for glory and honor. Win or lose, I have no regrets.”

    Kagura closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Suddenly she lurched forward and spat red mist all over the camera screen. It slowly slid down the lens, covering the feed in a haze as the light dimmed and faded leaving nothing but darkness for the final time in its wake.

  5. #15
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    “One final show”

    Carl was sitting on his couch, looking up at the camera.

    “The WZCW took me in when I was just another indie darling. Took me in when I couldn’t convert my indie experience into wins with the pros. And now the WZCW is going out with one final show, going out with a bang. Had so many plans for 2020, but life can be a cruel unpredictable mistress. It’s a bittersweet thought, I could win my first WZCW title in a few days… but then the reality sets in that I’d be the last person to hold that title, and then the reality sets in that it would be my last title. Reality is a cruel bitch, but she tells no lies. The WZCW had a good run, a great run. Untouchable by its peers. But all good things must come to an end, such is life. And now we stare down the final show and even though that pit in your stomach won’t leave, it really is the final show.”

    Carl signs.

    “Only one thing left to do, time to go out there for the last time and give it my all one more time. Fight until you can’t fight anymore and at the end of the night if you did it right, you’re leaving with your name etched in the history books for wrestling historians to critique for years to come. The “coulda, shoulda, wouldas” will kick in shortly after the show, the could I have done better? Should I have pushed myself harder? Would the WZCW still be alive if I won more matches?

    And no, I couldn’t have done better because I did my best. I shouldn’t have pushed harder because I was already pushing past my limit. And I am nowhere near vain enough to think it would last longer if I did better. But these thoughts, they creep up on your like a late evening breeze and then they too will chill you to your bones. I look at myself in the mirror and my face changes to all my doubters screaming at me, COULDA, WOULDA, SHOULDA!”

    Carl shutters in place.

    “But all you can do is brush them off. This is the final show, there is no changing that. There is no going back and changing the timeline, Barry Allen can’t come fix this for us. This is it my friends. One more show.”

    Carl gives a half smile.

    “To everyone who I have faced, from Keaton to Milenko to Vlad to Chris KO to Mr. Jones to etc etc. Thank you for helping me grow in the ring. And to my future opponents on the last show, thanks for helping me as well. And I’d thank you to just lay down and let me win as well, if you don’t mind.”

    Half smile turns into a full smile.

    “Folks, this is the end. The end of an era. Thanks for sticking with Carl along the ride and thanks for believing in me. Now it’s time to believe in myself and push myself to that first title victory. It won’t be easy but nothing good ever is. The opposition will want it just as badly as me, but I cannot give it to them. I cannot fail again. Because for me, this isn’t just the last WZCW match. This is my last match. Well, matches. And I intend to go out on top, to prove I wasn’t just some sham. To prove to myself that I really belonged. So this is me putting everyone on notice!... is that still a thing people say? Regardless. I am going to win my first and last title and then I am riding off into the sunset with my girlfriend and my sanity. Where we end up, who knows? But just somewhere far away from the noise… but somewhere I can hang my first and last title above a fireplace to admire it.”

    Carl gets to his feet.

    “Don’t cry that it’s over, be happy that it happened. WZCW will live on in all of us. And THAT’S Just Business.”


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  7. #16
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    *Life may end, but legacies live forever*

    Bzzzzzzzzzz

    *A humming sound echoes in a dimly lit room. A young yet aged face can be seen briefly*

    It's time to say goodbye to this cruel world. It's time to be real. It's time to be normal. I'm a freak but soon I'll be a real boy

    *The buzzing sound grows louder as a pair of hair clippers approach the face of the young boy*

    I reckon you don't do that son. I did that once and it lead to some bad bad things.

    Papa, I...I thought you were out. Your presence was not expected.

    I was out little guy but I sensed trouble. And it seems my senses still work. It's as if I'm Spiderman with a beard. I'm Beardedman!

    *Beard puts his hands on his hips in traditional superhero pose as his son looks up, redness in his eyes and tears on his cheeks*

    What's bugging you little dude? Papa doesn't like seeing Little Beard so sad.

    *Beard wipes away the tears from his son’s face and some runny boogies from his nose*

    They keep picking on me papa. Because of my face. Because of our legacy.

    *Beard looks on concerned as his son tells him the torturous tales of the trolls from school. His son pauses and Beard lets out a sigh*

    Alright kiddo. Take a seat on Papa’s knee. I think it’s time for a story. A very true and very unbelievable story.

    *Beard looks around and puts down the seat to the toilet and flicks on the overhead lighting as his son sits on his knee, like a child would Santa Claus.*

    These trolls and bullies date back to the beginning of our existence. When my quadruple great grandfather, Jebediah Beard graced this here earth. You see QGG, as we call him, wanted to be a circus performer. No one believed he had any special talents or skills. All QGG had was a luxurious beard. His beard was a folk legend. It glistened in the light, birds would nest their young in his beard, its flow was like a glorious river. He believed his beard was magicial but the town folk thought he was just another crazy old man. That all changed. You see one day, the daughter of a very rich individual become deathly ill. QGG happened to be in town trying to join the traveling circus. The rich man overheard QGG talking about his beard’s powers and he asked if he could heal his daughter.

    QGG was unsure but he believed in himself but even this was an impossible task. QGG went with the rich gentleman and attempted the impossible. Crowds gathered as word got out that old Jebediah was going to heal this girl. He bestowed upon her a piece of his beard. And then...it all went black.


    What happened Papa?

    *Beard’s son asks with worry in his voice.*

    Suddenly a burst of light shattered the windows and blinded those nearby. A tornado of golden dust and the power of life circled the ill girl as it levitated her above her deathbed. Suddenly her eyes opened and her feet touched the ground. SHE WAS CURED! But it didn’t come without sacrifice my boy. For poor Jebediah took on her illness and tragically passed within minutes.

    But he saved the girl Papa?

    He sure did kiddo. The beard, while attached to the body, has amazing powers. But removing it can cause serious damage. I once removed mine and it took me to a dark place. A place we never talk about. I put my trust into a very powerful man and I took over and tried to destroy a community. A community known as WZCW.

    And now WZCW is walking into the light, just like old Jebediah. Before you kiddo, I was a wrestler. And I did some crazy stuff. I was world champion, I was a tag team champion, I was king for a day, I wrestled a guy named Grizzly Bob, I wrestled an actual Grizzly. It saved my life. I made friends, I gained a new family. Your godfather was briefly with the company.


    Really? Uncle Talent was a wrestler?

    You’re rootin’ tootin’ right he was. And a surprisingly good one. So was I. So I think it’s time we say goodbye to our family son. Without them I wouldn’t have the greatest family of them all, you. Thank you WZCW, you saved my life and helped me create a new one. We’ll forever be kicking ass. Peace, love, and Beards.
    Theo was here

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