CSWA ANNIVERSARY 2006
Coming of Age
Aired on PPV September 10, 2006
(Finally posted on site July-September 2007)
A Note From Your Beloved Godfather: Yes, it's long overdue. But it's here. Thanks to all of you who were involved in what turned out to be a huge success from an involvement standpoint, and a huge blunder in terms of execution. Even still, thanks to the writers: Dave Brunk and Pete Russo, who have been waiting to see their stuff posted for months, and Mike Dove and Stephen Thomas, who have stuck with it despite various setbacks.
If this is the end of things, my sincerest thanks to the literally hundreds of people who have been involved over the past 18-19 years. If it's not, then thanks to all of you who will step in to help us get to the big 2-0.
What Has Gone Before: Thomas
Stephen Thomas has spent the last two years trying to prove himself again. After returning from a years-long stay as a castaway on an island, he took over the CSWA, ousted his former business partner, Chad Merritt, and decided to show that the aging company’s woes could be overcome. For a while, it looked like he had succeeded; the UNIFIED World Title was revived in a tournament featuring champions from across the world. CSWA17, the last big Anniversary show, went off with only a minor hitch or two.
A hitch that has become known as the “Hacker.” But more on our mysterious friend later.
With Troy Windham as the UNIFIED Champion, Thomas began to make plans for the ‘next big thing’ in the CSWA. He decided to go back to the company’s roots and bring back the “PRIMETIME POOLJAM” Tour, taking the entire company aboard a cruise ship along with a few hundred fans. But the Tour ran into “unforeseen circumstances” during the winter of 2006, its PRIMETIME episodes airing only sporadically on U-62 throughout the summer.
The Tour became known as the CRUISE of DECEPTION and could end up costing Thomas everything. Having to pay for a cruise ship that he no longer has possession of, paying out insurance claims to the various fans that were aboard, Thomas is finding that running the business side of the CSWA alone isn’t as easy as he thought it was.
Especially not when you have an unseen enemy trying to bring you down.
The company is in debt for the first time in years, their television deal with U-62 is in danger of being pulled at any moment, and time and money are both running short. With the CSWA’s future in serious jeopardy for the third time, Thomas has come up with a make-or-break idea. GOLD RUSH.
What Has Gone Before: Hacker
There are two keys to executing a revolution: time and persistence.
It doesn’t take immense amounts of ingenuity, although that helps. It simply takes a big idea, a reason to live, or die, for – and time and persistence.
It had taken several attempts over almost a year to break into CSWA owner Chad Merritt’s computer for the first time. A few of those attempts had almost been disastrous, but thankfully he hadn’t left enough evidence behind to track back to him. But through persistence, the fumbles and bumbles had led to great opportunity, greater than he had even hoped. The files themselves were a treasure map, leading to a pile of gold larger than expected.
It took time to regroup after that. To plan again. And again as things continued to change. Merritt was ousted and Thomas returned to power. Bank accounts were frozen and changed. Talent came and went. New contracts were written. But he had the time to regroup, time and time again… and the persistence to stay steady on the narrow path.
Two years ago, he exerted power for the first time. A revelation that someone was out there and willing to start a revolution.
“Change is good.
Change is necessary.
He had even left a calling card. 22.214.171.124
It had been enough. Enough to see who he might be able to use to execute his plans. If they were smart enough to put the number in a web browser and figure out how to contact him, they had passed the first test. For that, he was willing to share a taste of his knowledge with them.
Then he began to exert his control. Using his access to create a contract for Ruben Ross had been a nice diversion. Thomas spent his time chasing his tail – first reveling in signing a big name, then actually pausing to try and figure out who had done it. Always willing to take the credit without questioning the motive. By the time Thomas had released Ross, Hacker had already gathered enough information to make his next set of moves while he searched for the one thing – the one document – that he needed to announce his revolution.
He had reached out to the Red Midget, Lyle Tallman, when no one else would. Brought him in as a lieutenant and given him a chance to get revenge on Thomas and the others who had treated him so badly, and then left him for dead…twice.
Taking over the Parsons Cruise Liner had been even easier than expected. He had all the logistics from Thomas’s own files, and enough cash siphoned from one of the CSWA’s own bank accounts to hire all the accoutrements he needed – a helicopter and a group of thugs. And all done with Thomas’s own bankroll.
Put in danger of watching his company go down the tubes financially, Thomas had rebounded with a big idea. Exactly as he had planned. Let him focus on righting the ship (no pun intended) rather than searching for the wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Two pieces of the puzzle down. Two pieces to go. So far so good.
Eighteen Years Ago: Men at Work
“I told you this was a mistake.”
“No you didn’t. I believe your exact words were, ‘Trust me.’”
“I’m also the man who thought the Gobots would outlast the Transformers. You should’ve learned then,” twenty-five year-old Chad Merritt said, lambasting his business partner and best friend Stephen Thomas. “We should’ve just run at the YMCA or Salvation Army. This warehouse isn’t a safe bet to withstand a wet fart.” Merritt sighed as he looked over the aging warehouse on Market St. She’s been a Supercar lot and grocery store before playing hostess to amateur night.
“The Salvation Army. Right. Pay to have the disabled and homeless moved for the night while we entertain,” Thomas offered sarcastically. “Damn you for making me use part of my college fund on this. Look at it Chad,” Thomas depressively waves at the warehouse, “it looks like somebody did a real bad job of remodeling after a fire.”
“You weren’t going to college anyway.”
The parking lot, mostly empty, sits inviting people to enter. By the look and feel, whoever chooses to reside within her walls tonight will be making a horrible, horrible mistake.
“Maybe it's just a late arriving crowd Steve.”
“Yeah, I'm sure the 350 we need for a sellout just stopped off for some Jr. Mints.”
“What's wrong with that? Jr. Mints are refreshing.”
“That's true,” Thomas thinks for a moment, “they are.”
“The night won't be a total bust. With the money we'll make from the refreshment stands, we may break even.”
“WE HAVE NO REFRESHMENT STANDS!”
“I know, okay!! What are we doing here? We have no idea how to run a wrestling promotion!”
“And the Wright Brothers had no idea how to fly either.”
“Yeah, I’m sure this will turn out as well.”
“We're in Carolina, it was my time to offer the hourly Wright Brothers tribute. Look, we're here. Whether we like it or not, we've come this far.....we can't stop now. “
“Ah! What we were thinking!?”
“That we needed an overly elaborate scheme to meet women.”
“There we are.”
As Chad and Steve bicker, a man who appears to be about three feet tall walks up to the gate.
“Excuse me, is this the show promoted by Chad Merritt and,” the midget looks at his program, “Stephen Thomas.”
“Yes it is! Welcome!”
“This is where women mud wrestle right? Should we really be out in the open like this?”
They both pause, for all their hard work they never had considered outright pornography. Yet another in a series of oversights for the night.
“Sadly not, this is,” Chad smiles and looks at his best friend, ‘the CSWA.’”
“I like it.”
“Now I’ve got wood to lose before the night is done.”
“Go on in, and sit down….” Thomas fishes for a name.
“…Lyle, and you’ll be sobered up by 8.”
Lyle walks through the admission gate. As he disappears into the building, the smile residing on Chad's face falls off.
“What's wrong with you!? Look at the people you're letting through the gates! FREAKS, I TELL YOU FREAKS! Hey if we've still got time I can rent an elephant and we'll call it the circus!”
“Easy! Lyle's a person too! Albeit a very small one.”
“Small minded as well...I bet. It's almost showtime, we better get ready.”
“I can't believe with all the flyers you passed out that no more than 150 people turned out.”
“Oh…” Chad’s voice sinks.
“Those were for me to pass out?”
Thomas snaps and tackles Merritt.
“How could you be so dumb!!!”
Chad reaches up with his left hand and pushes Stephen's face away....flipping the two, now Chad is on top of Thomas.
“Get off of me!!!”
“YOU'RE A STUPID MAN, A STUPID LITTLE MAN!“
A man in his late thirties, in dirty clothes, and who appears to be stone cold drunk, breaks up the fight.
“Break it up you two! I thought the wrestling tonight was supposed to be inside!”
“Who are you!?”
“The name is Marvin. I was hired to work the camera tonight. Now, I just need to find the two fools who hired me.”
“We’re the two fools! Now get to work. Having carnies roam outside the front doors sure as hell won’t encourage walk up sales.”
“You ready?” Chad straightens his jacket and wipes the sweat off his forehead.
Thomas clears his throat and against all odds, manages a smile. “No.”
“It's you and me. Sink Or Swim. Let's give it everything we've got.”
Eighteen Years Ago: Raindrops Keep Falling
The persistent, depressing rain dropped from the dark skies, like a leaky faucet hanging above thirty-five year-old Bill Buckley’s life. The added touch of a passed out drunk in the parking lot of “Zieba’s,” a local Greensboro bar, should’ve been a foreshadowing bit of news that his life wasn’t about to get better. As a meteorologist, he lived by the weather. When you let the clouds and spit from the heavens guide you, eventually you’ll uncover rock bottom.
“Mumble, mumble, mumble…”
Maybe most drunks are happiest drowning in a puddle of mud and rainy slush. Buckley assumed so and moved inside.
The music torched his ears, and the stench did nothing better. Buckley was desperate in his life for a clue. As far as being a sore thumb, he picked up on that like a champ.
“Excuse me,” Buckley leaned over the bar to tempt the barkeep’s attention. “Ma’am.”
“Ma’am?” Nearby patrons laughed.
“Shut up, Frank.”
“Yes,” Buckley threw up in his mouth, then recomposed himself. It was late. Merritt’s call to pick up his talent for the wrestling show tomorrow night was unprofessional. Why couldn’t Chad do it himself? Buckley said yes, of course. He misplaced his backbone years ago. He simply took Chad’s call, and after undetectable hesitation, agreed to pick Sammy Benson up at the airport. Benson caught an earlier flight and left word to his junior employers he’d be at a cabbie- recommended watering hole. Buckley’s spent all night searching. There was something soothing about running from bar to bar in Greensboro; the weather he said wasn’t moving in for another two days hanging over him like a second skin. His wife talked of leaving him three nights ago. Bill’s life was going nowhere. Tonight, he didn’t mind walking towards it alone.
“Is there a Sammy Benson in here?”
“The short, fat guy from out of town? Honey, if you’re claiming him…”
“He’s here then?”
“He left about ten minutes ago, sugar. Well, crawled out is more honest.”
Apparently, Buckley thought to himself, happy drunks don’t get far.
(Back to the Warehouse in 1988…)
(CUT-TO: The 'auditorium' portion of the warehouse. Five hundred folding chairs have been placed throughout the room; only 150 are filled. To one side of the ring, backed up against the security railing, a table is set up. Its occupants are a small monitor, two microphones, and two men. One appears nervous and oddly out of place. The other is pudgy and slightly drunk. He reaches for a six-pack of beer that lays next to his chair.)
BILL BUCKLEY: Do you really think it's professional to drink on the job?
SAMMY BENSON: Look around, do you really think this is a profession?
BILL BUCKLEY: (to himself) Calm down Bill, you'll do fine.
(Sammy laughs and hands Bill a beer)
SAMMY BENSON: Here, it'll settle your nerves.
BILL BUCKLEY: My nerves don't need settling! Where did they find you anyway?
SAMMY BENSON: Had a friend who used to own this place. Oh the stories I could tell. The women, the beer, the beer..Did I mention...
BILL BUCKLEY: Yes you did. (extends hand) Bill Buckley.
SAMMY BENSON: Sammy. What do you say, Buckley? Any chance they'll pull this off tonight?
BILL BUCKLEY: I hope so. I’m beginning to hate the rain.
“You wanna know what I really think? Thomas hasn’t thought this through, the rings are gonna be ridiculous to follow, and the humanoids who buy CSWA DVDs won’t understand the alternate commentary/alternate angle concept.”
“Great, Sammy… way to keep the spirits up.”
Bill Buckley chuckled to himself. Seventeen years after their first broadcast together, and he still got a kick out of Sammy Benson’s fatalistic attitude towards the company and the fanbase.
“I still think it’d be a great visual if the four outer rings finished, and I stood up and tore my tuxedo off to reveal a referee’s shirt, and slid in to call the center.”
The person who made Manny Juarez an on-air personality had made the tragic mistake of assuming he had a personality that the CSWA fans wanted full exposure to. But he was entertaining, and contrary to popular belief, Yes, English.
“Nobody wants to see that, Montana. Seriously.”
His son, Billy, just wanted to be Sammy. Sorry, Billy, you’ve got too much Buckley in you.
“I…mean, do you all understand how the switches happen?”
And poor Billy Parsons. He didn’t care about the egos. He didn’t care about the egos and the personalities of these people. All he cared about was whether or not the cruise liner carrying his dad had been found yet, and all he wanted to know was, do these people know how the equipment works?
“We got it, Bilbo. Besides, you’re gonna be in charge of flipping the switch, right?”
The CSWA Auditorium in Greensboro, North Carolina, was still ground zero of professional wrestling for a good portion of fans and workers alike. At the moment, six hours removed from the opening bell of Anniversary, the various commentators for the event were holding an impromptu meeting at ringside.
Yes, ringside. In the CSWA Auditorium, the ring was never taken down.
Bill Buckley and Sammy Benson were set to handle commentary duties for both the United States Title ring and the final, Center ring, for the broadcast. They were also the main commentators for the CSWA in general, and were set to handle commentary duties for any other matches that would be put on the schedule for the night. Despite Buckley’s anxiety and Sammy’s alcoholism, they had been the standard for all other teams to strive for for nearly two decades.
“What about the hacker, Bilbo?”
Stan Parsons was probably not too happy about calling the Greensboro Title ring with Billy Buckley. The younger Buckley tried, but all too often failed, at being the Sammy for a New Generation.
“The hacker, John, will not be a factor.”
John Simons was still trying to find his voice. The host of CSWA On Time, he had been one of the casualties of the past few years’ inconsistencies and corporate questions. Manny was sure to try and drown him out, but he would be able to hold his own calling the Title Shot ring.
“How can you be so sure?” asked Bill Buckley.
“McGinnis and I have reconfigured the entire wireless network,” replied Billy, “and we’ve put two additional security lockouts on the feed. I can guarantee you, if the hacker is here, they will not be able to interfere in the audio feed.”
“Unless McGinnis is, or is working with, the hacker.”
“Think about it, Sammy.”
Ivy McGinnis, sitting on the ring apron with her chin rested on the middle rope, had barely said a word since the meeting started. The rest of the crew – her broadcast partner for the Presidential Title ring Rudy Seitzer included – assumed it was because of her delicate condition.
Two weeks ago, after finally making it home from the Pooljam, Ivy discovered that she was about four weeks pregnant. Despite rumors that had no doubt originated with Teri Melton or Sammy Benson, Ivy was nervously looking forward to starting up her own little family with ‘Triple X’ Sean Stevens.
But she was actually quiet because she had learned.
Poison Ivy was one of the great CSWA stories. It was the CSWA where she proved that a woman manager could be more than a piece of eye candy. It was the CSWA where she proved that a woman could have a very smart, pointed voice on the cover of the CS Tribune. It was the CSWA where the woman known as the Psycho Bitch could transition from Poison Ivy to Ivy McGinnis, a patient, strong – willed front office executive who actually managed to keep her head in an organization like the CSWA.
“I’m not working for the hacker, Sammy,” replied Ivy, “and you should be glad for that. There won’t be any audio troubles with the show.”
Sammy nodded towards her. He had had an antagonistic relationship with the Feminazi for her entire career, and was equally proud of the fact that he had dubbed her with that nickname. Despite his sense of humor, he was glad Ivy was there for another Anniversary.
A few years ago, it was iffy.
“So we’re opening on Buckley and Benson,” recapped Rudy, “introducing the rest of us, and we hit the big dance.”
“Exactly,” confirmed Billy, “and just do us all a favor and keep your attention on your own ring.”
Laughter broke the tension, and the meeting ended with Billy Parsons walking back towards the curtain. With his people skills he would probably never rise above his current position as the acting chief technical officer, but to be honest, all he wanted to do was help his dad.
“You gonna make it, kid?”
Rudy had stayed mostly quiet through the entire meeting. He was mainly the replacement player when it came to live broadcasts, preferring to stick to the editing room and the backstage interviews. When Ivy revealed that she would be calling a ring for the GOLD RUSH, she insisted that Rudy call it with her. He was both weary and flattered by the attention.
“Course I will,” replied Ivy, “what do I look like, Sammy?”
“Words hurt, Feminazi.”
“I loves you, pookums!”
That was the heart of it all.
Bill Buckley trying to be professional.
Ivy McGinnis and Sammy Benson tossing insults and half – serious terms of endearment.
Stan Parsons trying to hold off retirement for one more night.
Billy Buckley trying to be Sammy Benson.
This was the CSWA, where the talent had more days off than on, and where the state of the ownership fluctuated more times than the championship. But every member of the staff always managed to fit back into their roles and responsibilities like a well – worn glove.
This was the CSWA, and this was home.
What Has Gone Before: Eli Flair
Eighteen months ago, he had decided he’d had enough. It seemed the perfect time, too. He was in the ring, losing a world championship to his friend, partner, and rival, The Deacon. The professional wrestling business was as strong as it had ever been and stronger than most.
And yet… here we are again.
He said he was done after he lost to Deacon. He laid it on the line, NFW Season 2 and fade to black. Thomas had sweetened the deal by giving him a proper farewell in the CSWA against Hornet, but that was a special attraction with the very blatant tagline ‘Eli Flair’s final CSWA match’ attached to it.
And yet… here we are again.
Something just didn’t settle with Eli as the past eighteen months came and went. Sure, he finished the war with Troy Windham, but Troy still held the Unified Championship. Sure, Thomas had come up with the insanity that was the GOLD RUSH, but the first crop of entrants… just didn’t get it.
And so… here we are again.
You can’t go face to face and word for word with Troy, because he’ll shut you down every time. End of story. Sometimes, the only thing that’s given Eli Flair the edge when it came to a verbal spar is the three W’s under his belt. That fact went both ways with Eli and Troy, but everybody else involved seemed to be suffering from plot loss. Nobody could keep their eye on the main goal: remove the belt from Troy’s waist.
And so… here we are again.
Some things just need to be done for the good of the many. These kids – these Gold Rush Fever’d wrestlers – didn’t seem to have enough of a clue on what needed to be done for the good of the professional wrestling industry. Fine. Let ’em talk all they want. The wrestlers that’ll be in the final ring are the ones who will be silently, efficiently doing their job, not talking about it.
And so, here we are again. The bookend to Eli Flair’s career. He started off in the CSWA as a non-contracted wrestler in the 256–man ULTRATITLE. He’s finishing off in the CSWA as a non-contracted wrestler in the 40-something man GOLD RUSH. And while the first chapter was all about being a young rookie trying to make a name for himself, the final is all about a road – worn veteran trying to do what every other veteran has forgotten about: leave behind a better business for the next generation.
This was the CSWA, and this was home.
(As the FBI warning fades, the screen slowly begins to go from black to gray and then into full color as the camera pans the width and breadth of the CSWA Auditorium in Greensboro, North Carolina. The lone arena ever built exclusively for wrestling is bedecked in its full ANNIVERSARY glory, including the most important part, the 30,191 in attendance.
It’s not a record-setting crowd, because almost 2,000 seats have been removed to make way for the spectacle on the floor. Where one ring usually sits as the focus of attention, there are five: one in the center, slightly raised; four others just off each corner, creating an “X”. Inside each ring is a square of movie screens forming a cube. As the spotlights begin to flash around the arena and music begins to play, CSWAvision comes to life, as do the screens within each ring. The camera pans overhead, showing the five ring and five distinct screens.)
I want to run
I want to hide
I want to tear down the walls
That hold me inside
I want to reach out
And touch the flame
Where the streets have no name
(The crowd is on its feet and cheering as a series of CSWA ANNIVERSARY logos flash across CSWAvision at the top of the rampway. As the large screen settles on the CSWA ANNIVERSARY 2006: Coming of Age logo, the screens in the ring flare to life showing ANNIVERSARY championship moments.)
I want to feel sunlight on my face
I see the dust cloud disappear
Without a trace
I want to take shelter from the poison rain
Where the streets have no name
CSWA ANNIVERSARY 1997
CSWA World Tournament Final: GUNS vs. Julius Godreign
BILL BUCKLEY: GUNS doesn't waste anytime, Godreign is stunned, GUNS has him in position....TOMBSTONE PILEDRIVER!!! HERE'S THE COVER, ONE.....TWO......THREE!!!! I don't believe it, GUNS is the NEW CSWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION!!
SAMMY BENSON: Oh, Why!! Why!!??
BILL BUCKLEY: GUNS, has the belt in his hands, he's beside himself! Godreign has a chair, he's not taking this loss too well! GUNS steps out of the ring just in time!! He's walking back to the dressing room, with the World Title over his shoulder!!
Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
We're still building
Then burning down love
Burning down love
And when I go there
I go there with you
It's all I can do
CSWA ANNIVERSARY 1998
CSWA World Title: GUNS vs. Hornet
BB: Inside the ring, Hornet sends GUNS into the ropes again...but Troy Windham trips GUNS up and pulls him outside the ring! Troy Windham is all over GUNS, and Hornet and Ben Worthington are just staring at each other!!! Windham throws GUNS into the railing, and now suplexes him onto the concrete. Troy's setting GUNS up for something....but before he can do anything else...Hornet WITH A PLANCHA!!! He just caught Windham and slammed him into the guardrail with a suicide dive!!!! Windham is down, and now both Hornet and GUNS are on their feet. They appear to be jawing back and forth....but not for long...now MARK WINDHAM NAILS HORNET IN THE BACK WITH A CHAIR!!!
TM: He came out of nowhere with that one! One second he was coming down the aisle, then we lost track of him!!!
BB: Mark is going after Hornet with that chair again....but before he can, GUNS levels him with a clothesline!!! Hornet's on his feet...and again we've got some kind of staredown between GUNS and Hornet!!! They say something to each other...and now they've taken after the Windhams!!! GUNS is all over Troy....Hornet's all over Mark, and we've got a pier six brawl on the outside!!!
The city's aflood
And our love turns to rust
We're beaten and blown by the wind
Trampled in dust
I'll show you a place
High on a desert plain
Where the streets have no name
CSWA ANNIVERSARY 1999
IRONMAN of CHAMPIONS Hornet vs. Eli Flair
BB: He is...but we're down to around three minutes left in this one. Hornet pulls Flair up and sends him into the corner one more time!!!! He charges in with the elbow, but nobody's home again!!! Flair grabs hold of Hornet and sends him all the way across the ring into the opposite corner.....where Poison Ivy nails him in the head with that cane!!!!!!
RM: What a shot!!!!
BB: I don't know if Juarez saw it or not......Hornet staggers out of the corner.....here comes Flair! INVERTED DDT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He drops Hornet like a ton of bricks!!! He hooks the leg! ONE.................. TWO................. THREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ELI FLAIR HAS DONE IT!!! LOOK AT THAT MAN'S FACE...HE CAN'T BELIEVE IT!!!!
RJ: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE WINNER OF THIS MATCH AND YOUR NEWWWWWW CSWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION.......TOTAL ELIMINATION ELI FLAIRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!
BB: This crowd is on its feet!!! This is one of those special moments. Look at it.....Ivy rushes into the ring and falls into Flair's arms.
RM: I think Ivy is in tears.....that's one I never thought I'd see.
Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
We're still building
Then burning down love
Burning down love
CSWA ANNIVERSARY 2001
CSWA World Championship: Evan Aho vs. Hornet
BB: Aho still continues to struggle...and apparently so does Teri. She's apparently asking Stanley if she should push!
SB: That's just not right.
BB: Stanley leans down...I suppose to see if the baby is on its way.... Teri just kicked him in the head! What the hell!?
SB: She's having a baby, Buckley...why do you think they use stirrups?
BB: What is Teri doing? She's reaching under her dress..... is she... what is... And Evan Aho has reached the ropes as this crowd gets to his feet! Worthington forces Hornet to give the break. He does...but Hornet's still has the advantage as he climbs to his feet. He pushes Worthington into the far corner.... Ben Worthington hits hard and looks stunned. On the outside, Lawrence Stanley is getting up.
SB: Not for long! KABONG!
BB: What the....
SB: I love it. HOOTERS ARE BACK BABY!
BB: You mean she's not.... but he's.... but....
SB: CAN YOU SAY SETUP, BUCKLEY?
BB: But what's she gonna do next?!
SB: Whatever she wants, Buckley! Whatever SHE WANTS!
BB: Hornet pulls Aho to his feet. He whips Aho into the turnbuckle.... as Teri Melton leaps on the apron.
SB: It's the answer to the age-old question, Buckley.
BB: What are you talking about?
SB: You just have to have the right CLUES.
BB: Here it comes..... HORNET SPLASH!!!
SB: MISS HOOTERS.... ON THE APRON.... WITH A CANDLESTICK!
BB: Teri Melton just walloped Hornet in the side of the head with a candlestick. Worthington's on the wrong side to see it!
SB: A thing of beauty...
BB: Aho's still stunned from the Splash, he's clueless. Hornet stumbles backwards. Aho goes in...kick to the gut. He hits the ropes..... THE AGONY! He nails Hornet with that diving inverted DDT! And here it comes...this crowd is still up.... THE ECSTASY! Worthington dives into position to count it. ONE......... TWO...... THREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! EVAN AHO RETAINS THE CSWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP!
SB: And HOOTERS are back baby!
And when I go there
I go there with you
It's all I can do
Our love turns to rust
CSWA ANNIVERSARY 2004: CSWA15
CSWA World: Dan Ryan vs. Shane Southern inside a Roofed Steel Cage
BB: Southern moves and Ryan cracks his head against the mat. Southern rushes Ryan to his feet, positions him...POWERBOMB! POWERBOMB!!
(Shane still has a hold of Ryan’s legs.)
CM: BRIDGE PIN!! NICE!!
(As his feet hit the mat, Shane slips a bit, losing one hand of the bridge.)
BB: (Worthington leaps into the air, flashbulbs go off, and he slides into position.) Southern for the World Title, ONE...................TWO......(Merritt Auditorium counting.) THREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!
CM: I don’t believe it...
BB: WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION! NEW CHAMPION! NEW CHAMPION! SHANE SOUTHERN HAS WON THE WORLD TITLE, and these fans are going crazy!!
(There’s bedlam in the old warehouse.)
CM: Southern’s collapsed in the ropes...he’s the World Champion and he’s overcome with emotion! Man tears! Let’s see them Shane!
(Ryan has remained very calm.)
(He feels even better as Worthington hands him the World Title.)
RHUBARB JONES: Ladies and Gentleman the winner of the match and STILL CSWA WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION, ‘THE EGO BUSTER’ DAN RYAN!!!
(Ryan slides out of the ring as the cage raises. He turns to a shocked Southern and points to his head, smiles and walks back up the aisle to a mixture of cheers and boos.)
CM: (Talking to Worthington off camera) Okay. Bill Ben just informed me...Southern took the pinfall.)
(CUEUP: FULL SCREEN – VIDEO REPLAY – The powerbomb. Southern with the bridge. Worthington counts, ONE.....TWO.....both of Southern’s shoulders are on the mat. A half second before Ben hits THREE, Ryan lifts his left shoulder up.)
(Fans after viewing the CSWAvision groan.)
BB: Southern’s shoulders were down! Good gracious! He’s in a state of shock. I want to say it’s highway robbery, but it was a great call...and even better move by Dan Ryan.
We're beaten and blown by the wind
Blown by the wind
Oh, and I see love
See our love turn to rust
CSWA ANNIVERSARY 2005: Rebirth
UNIFIED World Championship Tournament Finals, Dan Ryan vs. Troy Windham
BB: NOOOOOOOO! WINDHAM JUST GOT HIS SHOULDER UP! Ryan GLARES at Troutman...but now he hoists Troy for the Humility Bomb... Ryan lifts Troy -- HE HITS IT! HE HITS IT! HE JUST DROPPED WINDHAM RIGHT ON HIS NECK!
SB: BUT TROY KICKED TROUTMAN ON THE WAY UP! TROY KICKED TROUTMAN!
BB: Ryan has Troy OUT! Ryan is now SCREAMING at Troutman... Troutman is flinching but sees the pin! WE'RE GOING TO HAVE A NEW WORLD CHAMPION!
CROWD: ONNNNNNNEEEE! TWWWWOOOOOO! THREEEEEEE---
BB: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! TROY GOT HIS FOOT ON THE ROPPPE! RYAN CAN'T BELIEVE IT! IF TROUTMAN WASN'T KICKED BY TROY RYAN WOULD HAVE THE TITLE! RYAN IS SCREAMING AT TROUTMAN!
SB: WHAT? I CAN'T HEAR YOU! THESE FANS ARE TOO LOUD!
BB: Ryan is SCREAMING at Troutman. Ryan now whips Troy into the corner... HORNET SPLASH!!!! Ryan now onto the second rope... HE'S GOING FOR THE HUMILITY BOMB FROM THE TOP ROPE! HE HOISTS TROY.... NOOOO
BB: TROY HITS A SLACKKNIFE OFF THE TOP ONTO RYYYANNNNN!!!! RYAN POPS UP AND FALLS BACK ONTO THE MAT! TROY CRAWLLLS TO RYANNN!!!! HE DRAPES HIS ARM ACROSSSS!!!!!!!!!
CROWD: ONNNNNNNEEE!!!! TWWOOOOOOO!!!! THRREEEE!!!!
BB: WE HAVE A NEW CHAMP! WE HAVE A NEW CHAMP!
RJ: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE WINNER OF THIS MATCH AND NEWWWWWWW UNIFIED WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION -- "THE EPITOME" TROY WINDHAM!!!!!
We're beaten and blown by the wind
Blown by the wind
Oh, when I go there
I go there with you
It's all I can do
(As the video clips end, all the screens go to black and the lights fade out. As if they’re at a U2 concert, the CSWA auditorium fans are singing “Where The Streets Have No Name” on their own, at least until one lone spotlight begins traveling around the arena randomly… finally coming to light on one of the commentator’s tables near the set of rings. Amplified so that the entire crowd can hear him say three special words, the spotlight comes to rest on CSWA announcer BILL BUCKLEY.)
BUCKLEY: HELLOOOOOOOOOO WRESTLING FANS! (The crowd pops!) This is the granddaddy of them all. Greensboro, North Carolina and the rest of the world…. Welcome to CSWA ANNIVERSARY!
(The crowd pops huge as pyro and the CSWA’s patented laser light show kick into gear. In the meantime, Buckley sets things up for the viewers on pay-per-view.)
BUCKLEY: Fans, we are thrilled to have you join us as a part of this “Coming of Age” celebration of the CSWA’s 18th anniversary. I’m joined, as always, by Sammy Benson. Happy Anniversary Sammy!
BENSON: Did I get married and not know it? Again?!
BUCKLEY: Hopeless as ever. Not as always, folks, you’ll notice that there are FIVE rings in the center of the CSWA Auditorium. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that tonight ANNIVERSARY takes a very different turn. There is only one match on the books tonight… a little thing we like to call GOLD RUSH.
(As Buckley speaks, the fans ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ as three CSWA championships are lowered to their places above three of the five rings. The screens in those rings begin to show championship moments from the history of the title they represent. The cast of Greensboro, Presidential and United States champions from CSWA history are all show on the in-ring screens, while the center and fifth rings show the somewhat shorter list of UNIFIED World Champions.)
BUCKLEY: It may seem complicated, but the premise is really very simple. In mere moments, those four outer rings will be filled by some of your favorite CSWA wrestlers, as well as superstars from around the world who have shown up to take their shot at CSWA gold. Their goal? Outlast their opponents in an over-the-top battle royal. The last man standing in each ring receives the prize represented by that ring – either the United States Title, the Presidential Championship, the Greensboro Championship, or a title shot at the UNIFIED World Championship.
BENSON: I’m praying that one of the belts falls during the match and hits somebody in the head. It’s all about the drama, Buckley.
BUCKLEY: Of course it is, Sammy. That leaves one ring…that one right there in the middle, where in a few minutes, UNIFIED World Champion Troy Windham, will stand by himself… waiting to find out who he will be defending his title against. We’ll find out with him as we watch the four battle royals play out. The top two wrestlers remaining in each ring move on to the center ring to face Windham in a final battle royal. The final man standing in the center ring from among the 42 participants will walk away with the UNIFIED World Championship around his or her waist.
BENSON: Her? We’ve got a chick in this thing?
BUCKLEY: Stop it, Sammy. You already know who’s in here. Speaking of which… it would be impossible for Sammy and I to follow all the action that we’re about to see, so we’re being joined by an all-star cast of our colleagues.
Covering the action in the Greensboro Ring, my long time friend and fellow commentator Stan Parsons, as well as my favorite son, Billy Buckley.
BENSON: Favorite son? He’s your only son.
BUCKLEY: Calling things in the Title Shot Ring, the host of CSWA: ON TIME, John Simons, and former CSWA referee and one of our long-time Spanish-language announcers, Manny Juarez.
BENSON: Because…as we know…he does actually speak English. Except during World Title matches.
BUCKLEY: The furious action in the Presidential Ring will be handled by the best interviewer in the business, Rudy Seitzer, as well as the woman who will one day go into the Hall of Fame as a manager, Poison Ivy.
BENSON: There’s a team that deserves each other. But which one is the woman?
IVY: Sammy, you realize we can all hear you, right? And that even with a bad knee I’m still faster than you if you try to run?
BENSON: Let’s move on, Buckley.
BUCKLEY: Sammy and I will be covering the United States Ring, as well as have the pleasure of calling the final action in the center ring at the end for the Unified World Title.
For those of you who are watching our first broadcast on U-62-HD you'll have several options for this unique event. Here on the main U-62 channel you'll be able to see the highlighted ring of the moment. U-62 has made FOUR other channels available so that at any time you can choose a specific ring you would like to see, or see all four rings at once in split-screen action.
With all that said as we prepare for the kickoff of this CSWA special event and the introductions of all the participants, let’s take a look at how we got here…
(CUTTO: video package on “recent” events)
What Has Gone Before: Unified
(CUTTO: a clip from PRIMETIME in Montego Bay
UNIFIED World Title: Mark Windham vs. Dan Ryan in a Grudge Ladder Match)
BB: Ryan, fist in the air celebrating, he charges! WINDHAM WITH A DROP TOE-HOLD AND DAN SMACKS HIS HEAD OVER THE LADDER! And it’s Mark not wasting any time, setting up the second ladder! Blood stealing into his left eye, blinding him for a moment but he wipes it away and climbs! (MARK!) Windham second rung! A few feet from destiny. He stole the belt from Troy can he win it rightfully. ANOTHER RUNG! He’s close to the top.
CUTTO: Mark’s POV. He reaches up for the UNIFIED World title. It’s inches from his fingertips. A big hand comes into frame. Windham looks down it’s DAN RYAN ON EVEN FOOTING.
BB: Ryan with a head butt! And now he grabs and has the belt!! HE’S GOT IT! NO!!! Windham with a right hand! Both men fully on the last rung!! TRADING BLOWS! A see-saw battle! Ryan with a thumb to the left eye! Windham discouraged, Ryan reaches for his second title reign!
SB: What a match! I feel privileged to be here.
SB: What do you think?
BB: The belt is in Ryan’s grasp, but Windham reaching through the ladder to grab a fistful of….
BB: Yes! (CUTTO: Ryan growling in pain.) A right hand by Mark! And Dan slides down a couple rungs!! (MARK!) Windham climbs! He’s gonna do it! Sammy, a Windham will be World Champion again!
CUTTO: Dan Ryan holding onto the edge of the ladder and whipping his body from his side to Mark’s. Dan a rung below Mark.
BB: (MARK!) Ryan with a forearm to the small of Windham’s back!! Mark’s hands were on the belt Sammy! Man oh man! These fans are lifting this ship right out of the water! (SB: Did you say ship or…) Windham elbows back at Ryan, but Dan ducks! Ryan a bear hug around Windham’s waist. (MARK) GOOD GRIEF! GERMAN SUPLEX OFF THE LADDER!
CUTTO: A quick pan of the pool deck. Fans loving the action!
CUTTO: Dan Ryan and Mark Windham befell on the mat. Ryan makes the first rumbling.
BB: Listen to this place! Justice will be served! Ryan kicks Windham’s limp body out the ring! (CUTTO: Out of ring shot. Windham falling through the ropes and hitting the mat with a SFX: THUD!)
SB: The end in sight! Glorious day. This sun is eating my skin, Buckley.
BB: Dan Ryan on his feet! He's got both hands on the ladder he’s about to---HEY!! WHAT THE HELL!
(CUTTO: Troy Windham sliding under the bottom rope, storming behind Ryan!)
BB: RYAN DOESN’T SEE HIM! SLACKKNIFE! SLACKKNIFE!
CUTTO: Troy to his feet in a hurry, climbing the ladder as fast as he can.
BB: What in the hell is Troy Windham doing here? (MARK!) He’s retired! He’s out of this company! Out of wrestling! Troy…to the top…..no! (CUTTO: Troy with two hears TEARING the UNIFIED World title off the hook!)
SFX: CRUISE HORN.
SB: WE HAVE A NEW CHAMPION!
BB: Troy Windham did not just win this match! Did he? (CUTTO: Windham slipping out of the ring, UNIFIED World title over his waist!)
SB: Anybody who grabs the title wins!
BB: Troy leaving with the belt! It’s over. I can’t believe it!
CUTTO: A close-up of Troy. His white t-shirt reads, “The Crown Jewel.”
BB: Fans we’re out of time. Dan Ryan robbed again! Troy Windham ON THE CRUISE AND BACK IN THE COMPANY?
SB: Thank goodness for tape-delay... all this can be edited out!
BB: Goodnight from the Parsons Cruise Liner! I’m stunned…
CUTTO: A bloody, and pissed Dan Ryan, on his knees in the ring. Shaking his head.
FADE TO BLACK.
(CUTTO: VERSUS 03. UNIFIED Champion Troy Windham speaks out about reclaiming his title.)
(CUT TO: A red velvet rope cordons off a special section of the CSWA Parsons Cruise Liner. A sign reads RESTRICTED AREA -- CURRENT WORLD CHAMPIONS AND GUESTS ONLY. The camera cuts to two bikini clad girls, possibly of age, -- one holding a red tropical mixed drink, with an umbrella and pineapple on the fringe, the other carrying a plate of Maki Roll sushi -- stand. Lounged out in his chair, wearing silver shades reflecting his world in all its glory, and wearing nothing but the tiniest of bikini briefs (with a silver crown with a diamond in the middle) to add to his bronzing solution, is TROY WINDHAM, his UNIFIED World Championship resting gingerly on his lap. Troy continues to sun himself until he sits up, takes off his shades, and folds them, clipping them into his bikini briefs right in front of his crotch.)
TROY: (Cackling) Did I really just do that? Again? Yes, I did. (The girls, on cue, also cackle with mischievious delight, even though it's obvious they barely know what planet they live on.) And what is it that I just done did? I STOLE THE SHOW. AGAIN. FOR THE UMPTEENTH STRAIGHT TIME.
Y'see, everyone WROTE ME OFF. Everyone saw heard the rumors, everyone saw my retirement speech, everyone saw my alleged last match ever where I tapped against Eli Flair, Forever My Footnote, down in that scumbag promotion NFW... and everyone thought that FINALLY... FINALLY we won't be in his shadow. FINALLY Troy Windham is out of the picture. The man who is the best looking wrestler of all time... the man who is the smartest wrestler of all time... the man who cuts the best promos, the man who has been in more five star matches than most people have DAYS IN THEIR LIVES... is gone. And while this might mean we no longer sell out arenas worldwide... while this might mean our paychecks are drastically reduced... this is good, because we will no longer be compared to The Gold Standard, The Measuring Stick, The King... THE CROWN JEWEL OF PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING... and the rest of the world will not know how bad at life we collectively are.
(Troy takes a sip of his mixed drink and hands it back to his valet.)
Well, guess what? CONSIDER YOURSELVES PUT BACK INTO YOUR PROPER PLACE. Y'see, last year, I set records. I sold out more arenas and had more PPV buys than any other man in history. I peed on people, I buried people under American flags, I stole titles, I sexually molested fellow world champions... 2-0-0-5 was The Best Year Ever. The accolades came in. TROY WINDHAM -- PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING'S MAN OF THE YEAR. I sat on top of this sport, looking down upon it from my French Alps chalet... AND I SPAT DOWN ON EACH AND EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU FROM ABOVE. None of you stepped up to try and knock me off. None of you even did a THING to try and compete with me... BECAUSE ALL OF YOU KNOW THAT YOU CAN'T.
Gods get bored with mortals. So I sat back and contemplated my next step. Go back to the movies? Win another Cable ACE Award, co-star on Veronica Mars? Possibly. Go out on the new Bloc Party tour with my man August De La Rossi and see the world? Perhaps. Or even better... set in stone ANOTHER DEVIOUS PLAN that will once again cement my legacy as THE GREATEST PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER WHO HAS EVER LIVED.
This is why I am here. I tapped out against Eli Flair, albeit no one actually saw it since it was in the NFW, to set you all up. I stowed away in the cargo vat for two months SO NO ONE KNEW I WAS HERE. And then I waited for the right moment to strike, the right moment to once again show everyone in the CSWA that I am the bee's knees and that I am the only wrestler alive who is worthy of this promotions marquee.
I stood in the back, and then I hopped the aisle... and then I took what is mine, what has been mine, and what forever WILL be mine... the UNIFIED World Championship.
Everyone for months has been BEGGING for a rematch. They all want to see Dan Ryan get another shot at me, after I upended him in what was, without question, the best wrestling match in any promotion in the world witnessed in 2005, the tenth straight year I wrestled in the Match of the Year. Everyone, for YEARS, has been begging to see me and my moron brother Mark get in the ring with the UNIFIED World Championship, the bragging rights of Sweetwater, Texas and the Windham name on the line.
Well -- you all FINALLY got your wish. Troy Windham sneaks up the ladder and takes what is his... (Troy picks up the title and holds it up.) Dan, Mark... thank you for coming about the CSWA's Good Ship Lollipop. We have some lovely parting gifts from you located in the casino lodge. Now you may go home, because YOU LOST TO TROY WINDHAM... and YOU DON'T GET ANOTHER SHOT AT THE GOLD.
Ya'll think I'm kidding about this? Ya'll think I was overbearing in my personal requests BEFORE? I'm serious -- Chad, Steve, Hacker, whoever is running this show this month, if my name is on a contract with either Dan Ryan or Mark Windham, I will throw this title overboard and ruin this promotion forever. Or even better... I'm going to get off this ship and present the UNIFIED World Championship to Craig Miles down in the NFW. You think we have bad blood? Well, we probably do, but he knows what it's like trying to run a promotion with Doc Silver as a marquee name -- it just can't be done, and he knows that a live PPV shot of me taking a dump on this piece of tin here will mean he can make payroll this week. I will do it, and you know I will. So don't even bother with it.
This is *MY* league, *MY* title and this is *MY* cruise. I Am The Gold Standard. I Am The Crown Jewel. It's my party... and I do what I want to! And what I want right now... is some sushi!
(Troy lays back down on his chair. The girl holding the Maki tray starts placing pieces of sushi on Troy's bare chest... and then the two girls start eating it off his body. FTB)
(CUTTO: The end of Stephen Thomas’s press conference announcing CSWA ANNIVERSARY 2006 and the ULTIMATE GOLD RUSH match.)
"And there’s the second meaning of the ‘gold rush.’ Not only is it a chance for the competitors to win one of the four CSWA championships, but it’s a chance for those who have always wanted a shot, always wanted to strap that gold around their waist, to come and throw their hat in the ring. The contract for the ULTIMATE GOLD RUSH match is an open contract. Meaning, you walk into the Auditorium for the pay-per-view and you're in the match. It's open to ANY wrestler, in ANY promotion. I don't care if you've never fought before in the CSWA, or have been banned in the CSWA, or just plain don't like the CSWA. This is your night. This is your opportunity."
"Why this match? Why now?"
"Because I'm tired of dreaming small. Because 18 years ago we came through those doors with four men and a few hundred in attendance. And if this is the last thing I ever do, we ever do, and it this stage, everything has to be considered as such, then I refuse to go out with a whimper. And also," Thomas scratched his chin and smiled, "because Troy Windham does not dictate to me the terms THE World title in this business is defended on."
"Are we to believe this is retaliation for Windham's recent refusal to put the belt up against Dan Ryan or his brother Mark Windham?"
"Yes, you're to believe that. Troy said he wouldn't wrestle two men. I'm demanding he face up to four."
"Who do you realistically expect to show up for this? And will Ryan or Windham be eligible?"
"To the latter, no. I'm giving Windham his wish." Thomas smiles. "To your first question. Anybody who's wanted a belt that dates back before their current company's existence should think really hard and long about showing up. People look at the CSWA and think what they want to think. But I've always seen it as a place for the best of the best to compete. And we've proven that. If you want the UNIFIED World title, if you want Troy Windham, then I suggest booking a trip to Greensboro."
"More information in the coming days, but for now, I'm off to plan a celebration. Thank you."
(The video package closes and gives way to another full-arena shot. The screens in each ring have been taken down, and the five rings stand empty. In the center ring stands CSWA ring announcer RHUBARB JONES, ready to announce the final four participants.)
(Note: For a full list of participants by ring and their profiles, see the table below.)
RHUBARB JONES: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to CSWA ANNIVERSARY 2006: Coming of Age here in the historic CSWA Auditorium. Four CSWA championship are on the line here tonight. Introducing the first champion…
(CUEUP: “Eat the Rich” by Fozzy)
He is the risk-taking current Greensboro Heavyweight Champion. The master of the Karelin Driver, he will now step into the ring to pit his title against nine other competitors. This is JA!
(CUEUP: “Phoenix Rising” by Annihilator)
A former Olympian, martial artist and proud Native American, he is also the reigning Presidential Champion. Entering the ring at five feet eleven inches and two hundred fifteen pounds, this is JAY PHOENIX!!!!
(CUEUP: “Wings of a Butterfly” by H.I.M)
At six feet one and two hundred thirty pounds, he is a former Greensboro Champion. This twenty-five year old phenom is the high-flying United States Champion. Here is… KIN HIROSHI!
(The crowd is on its feet as the three CSWA champions take their place in the center of their respective rings. The lights in the arena go out completely until only five spotlights remain, highlighting the rings themselves. The four outer rings dim as the final spotlight focuses on the UNIFIED World Championship hanging above the ring.)
(CUEUP: “Beverly Hills” by Weezer)
RJ: Hailing from Sweetwater, Texas, he stands at six feet six inches and two hundred forty pounds. He has been a Greensboro Champion, a Unified Tag Team Champion, and a two-time CSWA World Heavyweight Champion. He has lasted through “Sixty Minutes in Mobile” and has battled against Eli Flair despite suffering severe injury. He has battled his brother until he was left in the hospital. He is the one-time “King of the Slackers,” the former “Mr. CSWA” and “King of All Media.” He is now the UNIFIED World Heavyweight Champion. He is… ”THE EPITOME” TROY WINDHAM!!!!”
(Pyro goes off from the four corners of the center ring as Troy Windham is lowered from the rafters, along with the UNIFIED World Championship belt. Troy basks in the response from the fans, both positive and negative, as their anticipation for GOLD RUSH climaxes. For a moment, Troy is bathed in pure white light as he holds the UNIFIED Title above his head, then he begins to descend, while the big gold belt stays high above the ring. Troy’s descent continues as he soaks in the noise, the lights, the fanfare like a deity, eyes closed, arms outstretched, beatific smile on his face. Troy Windham is gracing us with his presence, and he knows it. As he touches down in the center ring, two of the ringcrew rush in and detach his stylish safety harness, then quickly scramble out of the ring as Troy takes a final look upwards at what is currently his property – the gleaming prize that represents 50 combined championships and solidifies him as the greatest wrestler in the world today.)
(Troy’s reverie is broken as music cuts in and CSWAvision springs to life once more. The challengers are coming down. Thirty-eight strong… plus the three champions already in the ring. Forty-one challengers to his belt, his rightful property. Among them are well-known quantities, old opponents – Hornet, Melton, Cruise, Eli, Stanley. There are those known by name and reputation, and still others … pretenders to the throne, hopefuls, rookies. It’s a mixed bag… but are there any diamonds in the rough? Any true challengers?)
BB: The troops have arrived, Sammy, and they have their orders!
SB: Find bin Laden?
BB: Tasteless as always, Sammy. 38 strong have surrounded the four outer rings. As soon as the bell sounds, they’ll dive headlong into GOLD RUSH! Remember, to move onto the center ring and challenge Troy Windham for the UNIFIED World Title, you must be one of the final two participants remaining in an outer ring. But if you are the last man standing in a ring, you not only move onto the center ring and Troy Windham, but you win the CSWA championship – or UNIFIED Title shot – that is up for grabs in your ring.
SB: See…now I’m confused.
BB: That’s too bad, Sammy. Because HERE WE GO!
(SFX: Bell rings! Thirty-eight men dive into the four outer rings and begin their quest at CSWA gold! In the center ring, UNIFIED Champion Troy Windham is lounging on the turnbuckle, lazily watching the action.)
GOLD RUSH Challenge
Greensboro Championship Ring
PARSONS: With all the chaos going on around here with all four rings getting underway at once, this is gonna be a challenge – but if you’re listening to the sound of my voice right now, you’re ready for the Greensboro ring.
BUCKLEY JR: This is the lowest ring on the totem pole tonight to some people, but if you know anything about CSWA history you know the importance that the Greensboro Championship has played in this company over the years.
PARSONS: Indeed there have been some big names to hold this belt over the years – the list of former World Champions who also held the Greensboro Title includes Mark Windham, GUNS, Evan Aho, Anarky and Shane Southern. In addition, others like current US Champ Kin Kiroshi, Wicked Sight, plus current UNIFIED Champion Troy Windham’s first gold belt was the vaunted Greensboro Title. So whoever stands last in this ring will take over a lot of history in addition to moving on for a chance at the UNIFIED World Title.
BUCKLEY JR: Well, of the ten guys currently in that ring, I’ve got a guy in mind I expect to win.
PARSONS: And that is?
BUCKLEY JR: Anyone but JA.
PARSONS: Anyone but JA? That’s not a pick. And what do you have against the Greensboro Champ anyway?
BUCKLEY JR: The guy doesn’t even have a real name! It’s two letters for cryin’ out loud. Who’s his arch nemesis? LT? The RS Express?
PARSONS: Well, on the heels of that startling insight – let’s get this one underway!
BUCKLEY JR: All four ring bells chime simultaneously at once and listen to this capacity crowd go nuts! Where else can you get over forty men going head to head all at one time?! And The Unified World Champion is in the middle absorbing it all!
PARSONS: Right off the bat there are a couple groups pairing off although it seems Wes Ikeda, Xion Exodus and Mike Small are concentrating on the champion. Mike C and Daymon have paired off in one corner as the two EUWC superstars slug it out. Eron the Relentless is taking it to JJ Deville against the ropes and Kevin Watson and Nemesis seem to be going at it as well!
BUCKLEY JR: Watson with a clothesline on Nemesis that almost sends him out early, but he holds on to the top rope and gets a thumb to the eye on Watson to end that quickly!
PARSONS: Greensboro Champion JA is fighting off three men as he takes turns firing right hands to Ikeda…now to Exodus!!....Small takes on and stumbles back! Dropkick to Small and he goes to the corner hard!! JA with a knife edge chop to Ikeda, who grabs his chest like he’s been SHOT!
BUCKLEY JR: It sounded like he was! Mike C with the upper hand on Daymon as he goes behind and puts a hard forearm into the kidneys! Full nelson on Daymon -- Mike C tried to drive him forward, but Daymon slips down out of the hold and sweeps the legs out from under Mike C! Anklelock on Mike C near the corner, but it doesn’t last long as they get a little too close to Nemesis, who stomps Daymon right in the back of the head for good measure, breaking the anklelock!!
PARSONS: The former two-time US Champion, Nemesis, now turns back toward Watson, who took the brunt of a hard back elbow from Nemesis a few moments ago….Watson to his feet and Nemesis backs him into the corner and whips him across the ring….Wes Ikeda doesn’t see him coming and turns around just in time to catch a Kevin Watson clothesline that sends him flying over the ropes for our first elimination of the night!! Wes Ikeda is eliminated!
BUCKLEY JR: Now the man formerly known as K-9, Kevin Watson, cleaning house on Exodus and Mike Small, giving that goody two shoes JA a chance to regroup, but not for long….Nemesis is over and taking some shots at the champ!! JA trying to cover up and Nemesis goes for the prize!! He’s trying to dump JA over and eliminate the Greensboro Champion right now!!
PARSONS: What a coup this would be for a guy like Nemesis, coming back into the CSWA after such a long hiatus and taking out the champion so early on! But he would still have to be the last man standing in this ring to become the Greensboro champion!
BUCKLEY JR: Nemesis fighting to get him over! Watson whipping Mike Small across the ring! He whips Exodus as well and they collide in the middle of the ring! Exodus goes down! Mike Small is wobbly and is taken by the back of the head and tossed over the top rope by Kevin Watson!! Mike Small is up, over and out! That’s two by Watson now!!
PARSONS: Watson turning and sees Nemesis trying to dump the champ over the top and clubs Nemesis in the back, breaking it up!
BUCKLEY JR: Meanwhile, Eron the Relentless is living up to his name just pummeling JJ Deville…and for once tonight the Unified World Champion’s gaze is right here on his old friend and former Greensboro Champ JJ.
PARSONS: Old friend huh?
BUCKLEY JR: Yep, and his old friend is getting his head handed to him.
PARSONS: Eron with a snap suplex!! A leg drop!! Leg across the rope and he comes down hard on that knee! Hand full of hair and there goes JJ DEVILLE!! NO!! He grabbed onto the top rope and held on!! Eron doesn’t see it though because he’s walking back across the ring toward the action between Mike C and Daymon, but JJ Deville has saved himself with a hand full of top rope!
BUCKLEY JR: Mike C and Daymon still going at it in the corner and a belly to belly suplex by Daymon sends Mike C flying into the center of the ring! Daymon sees Eron coming at him, but takes a right hand to the side of the head! Eron backs Daymon up and whips him across the ring! Eron drops to the mat as Daymon leaps over! Eron back up and uses Daymon’s momentum to lift him HIGH IN THE AIR AND HE DROPS RIGHT ON HIS FACE!!
PARSONS: Mike C up now! Clips the knee of Eron the Relentless!! Stomps to the back of the knee and Eron is trying to wiggle away! JA with Watson double teaming Nemesis and Xion Exodus is trying to get into the mix! Watson and JA turn…and IN ONE FLUID MOTION THEY TAKE EXODUS AND THROW HIM INTO THE AIR AND OVER THE ROPES!! Xion Exodus is eliminated from GOLD RUSH!
BUCKLEY JR: Three down, seven to go!!!
PARSONS: Mike C done stomping Eron’s knee it seems and he’s back to Daymon, who’s getting to his feet! Mike C with a charge! Daymon moves out of the way and Mike C goes headlong into the corner!! Daymon with a charge of his own…he pancakes Mike C in the corner and German Suplexes him out of the corner!! Daymon still on Mike C!! He whips him back into the corner and starts to climb! He’s pulling him up!! He’s motioning for the Brain Rocker Redux!! They’re way up there and this will be all if he hits it!!
BUCKLEY JR: Wait!! Eron is back up and leaning against the ropes!! He gets a springboard from the top rope and dives at Mike C and Daymon!! THEY GO TUMBLING OUT OF THE RING!! ERON THE RELENTLESS HAS JUST ELIMINATED BOTH DAYMON AND MIKE C AT THE SAME TIME!!
PARSONS: What an unfortunate turn of events for Daymon and Classy Mike C, but what a hell of an effort by both men and an even greater effort by former jOlt Champion Eron in just getting up there to knock those guys out of this matchup.
BUCKLEY JR: Well, I’ll tell you something else too. Even though he’s been eliminated, Mike C might wanna thank Eron the Relentless, because if Daymon hits that Brain Rocker from way up there, Mike C is dead right now. I know some of you were praying. So was I, actually.
PARSONS: Moving on… Eron catching his breath now, but he turns and directly catches the gaze of JJ Deville, who wants no part of Eron!!
BUCKLEY JR: And over here on the other side, JA and Kevin Watson are still working over Nemesis – they’ve got him halfway over the ropes and are trying to shove him the rest of the way! Watson’s motioning to JA now, who loosens up his grip and….Kevin Watson’s saying something…JA seems to be holding Nemesis up…..Watson steps back….
PARSONS: OHHH!! Superkick!! BUT HE HIT IT ON JA!! JA almost going over, but he snaps back down to the mat!!
BUCKLEY JR: Our first betrayal of the night!! I love it!!
PARSONS: Kevin Watson and Nemesis are old contemporaries from several years ago in the CSWA, but they certainly weren’t buddies back then. Watson quick sees that JA didn’t go to the floor, and now he sees Nemesis is still against the ropes!! Watson with a charge and clotheslines Nemesis over the top to the floor!!! We are down to our final four!!! Nemesis has been eliminated by Kevin Watson!
BUCKLEY JR: Apparently there was no love lost between them, despite Nemesis hinting at some sort of familial connection over the last few weeks. Instead, the man formerly known as K-9 is in, and Nemesis is OUT! Watson pulls JA to his feet and catches him with a kick to the midsection. Double underhook…he lifts him up and plants his fact into the mat with a piledriver!! Watson pulling him back up!! He tries to toss him over the ropes, but JA holds on yet again!!! He’s like that annoying little spider you chase around your house trying to squash him, but he keeps hiding under the bed, then the couch, then…
PARSONS: Fascinating, really, but we’ve got action in the ring you boob! Eron the Relentless is stalking JJ Deville on the other side of the ring!! He’s got him! Whip to the ropes! Clothesline!! Former Greensboro Champ and Troy Windham wanna-be JJ Deville goes down hard!! Eron pulls him up! Deville is on dream street!! Eron to the top rope for the high-risk maneuver!! Missile Dropkick!! That almost did it!! Deville into the ropes but he gets tangled up!!
BUCKLEY JR: Eron’s got him now!! It’s time for everybody’s favorite Winger fan to take the long ride to the floor!
PARSONS: Eron with a running start and he LEAPS UP AND SWINGS AROUND THE BACK OF JJ DEVILLE’S HEAD WITH A HARD SAVATE STYLE KICK!!
BUCKLEY JR: And that’s all she wrote, Stan!! It’s only a matter of time!!
PARSONS: Watson setting Greensboro Champion JA up onto the top rope! The champ fires back with a right hand!! Watson fires back!!
BUCKLEY JR: It’s a slugfest! He’s fighting it up there! He’s not ready to give up the title just yet, even though it’s inevitable.
PARSONS: I wouldn’t say that just yet. Watson with a hard clubbing right hand and JA slumps on the top turnbuckle! Watson climbing back up there with him and hooks him in….superplex to the middle of the ring!! That shook the entire ring!!
BUCKLEY JR: Eron pulling JJ Deville out of the ropes now and setting him throat first across the top rope!! He climbs up top!! He leaps to the outside of the rope and drops a leg across the head of JJ DEVILLE!!! DEVILLE FLIPS UP AND OVER THE TOP ROPE AND HE’S OUTTA HERE!!! WOW!! JJ DeVille is eliminated from Gold Rush and his Unified Title dreams.
PARSONS: What a move!!
BUCKLEY JR: An amazing display of athleticism from Eron the Relentless and our final three here in the Greensboro ring are Eron, JA and the surprising Kevin ‘K-9’ Watson!!
PARSONS: Long time fans remember that in his first stint Kevin Watson was little more than enhancement talent…
BUCKLEY JR: But he’s back now and has a real chance to upset the field and take home the Greensboro Championship!!
PARSONS: Eron slides back into the ring from the apron as Watson pulls JA back to his feet and sets him up on the turnbuckle again!!
BUCKLEY JR: JA is out of it here, Stan!! I don’t think he has enough fight left in him to defend against this!
PARSONS: Watson climbing up top, but here comes Eron behind him!
BUCKLEY JR: He doesn’t see him!!!
PARSONS: Eron with a low blow!! Watson howls in pain!!
BUCKLEY JR: The equalizer!!
PARSONS: Watson just tumbles to the mat and Eron is taking advantage!! He gets up onto the second turnbuckle and he’s locking JA in!! He’s got him into a standing headscissors position on the top turnbuckle!! Eron could go a long way to finishing this right here!! He wants to take out the Greensboro Champion right now!
BUCKLEY JR: He’s taking a big risk!! High reward, but the risk is big time right here, Stan!!
PARSONS: Eron pulling to get him up!! He’s trying to make the turn for the powerbomb!!!
BUCKLEY JR: OH MY GOD!!
PARSONS: Kevin Watson lurched forward and put his weight into both men as Eron turned the move toward the ring!! THEY GO FLYING SIDEWAYS TO THE OUTSIDE AND AHHHHHH!!!!!!
(SFX: Loud sound of wood cracking – and when the sound comes back, the two announcers are noticeably shaken, but trying to be professional)
BUCKLEY JR: They just came through our table!! Holy crap! What a counter from Kevin Watson!! Do you know what this means, Stan???
PARSONS: Kevin Watson is the new Greensboro Champion!!!
[Overhead PA] “The winner of the Greensboro ring and new Greensboro Champion…. KEVIN “K-9” WATSON!!!!!!”
PARSONS: Kevin Watson has done what so few others have managed to do. He was literally released from the CSWA years ago, went overseas to hone his craft, and this was his one shot to get back into the big leagues. It’s a Cinderella story like we haven’t seen in a long, long time.
BUCKLEY JR: But who’s going to the center ring with him?? These guys came through the table together!!
PARSONS: CSWA officials are huddled around here by the wreckage talking it over….JA and Eron the Relentless are still out cold here in the wreckage that used to be our broadcast table….
BUCKLEY JR: They’re looking at replays, but I don’t know what good that’s gonna do. They hit the damn wood simultaneously. Lord knows I was outta there as fast I could be.
PARSONS: Well, things are moving along with the other rings but we’re still waiting on a decision from our officials as these guys are just now starting to stir and get some medical attention.
BUCKLEY JR: Yeah, one of these guys is about to have to go compete in the center ring! They better shake it off in a hurry!
PARSONS: We’re going to hand it off to our colleagues calling the ring for the Presidential Championship, but we’ll cut back in as soon as we have a decision from CSWA officials. Kevin Watson is the new Greensboro Champion and is literally on his way over to the center ring to challenge for the UNIFIED World Championship!
BUCKLEY JR: It’s over to Rudy Seitzer and the lovely Poison Ivy!
Center Ring Interlude: Old Friends
(CUTTO: The fourth U-62 HD channel that is showing the view of the center ring, where the UNIFIED Championship will be on the line later in the evening, and Troy Windham is currently sitting on a turnbuckle, watching the beginning of the GOLD RUSH spectacle in the adjoining four rings. He has a microphone and is being broadcast to the crowd over the loudspeakers.)
TROY: And they’re off! By now, Bill Buckley has yelled “Hello wrestling fans!” and Sammy Benson has uttered the first of four hundred twelve witty remarks that the CSWA writers have laid in front of in, hoping he’ll be sober enough to read them. In the little-ring-that-could, JA is busy trying not to get thrown out and lose the Greensboro title…
Wait a second, forget this. None of you are watching them, are you? You’re simply watching me with anticipation. Waiting for the EPITOME, the Troy Diggidy, the Greatest Wrestler In The History Of This Industry, to do something…anything.
You know I can’t disappoint. So before Troy Windham takes on the World, it’s time to introduce a man who I hold very dear to my heart…
(CUEUP: “The Muppet Theme”)
Ladies and Gentlemen, the man you love to hate…. JUNIOR HORNET!
(The man formerly known as P. Vicious steps out onto the ramp. Well into his forties and gone to seed, the former multi-time Unified Tag Team Champion is wearing a “tuxedo” T-shirt and shorts that are far too short to be comfortable…for any of us. He has a T-shirt gun contraption in hand and sprints down to the ring, visibly huffing and puffing as he joins the Unified Champ in the center ring.)
TROY: Wait a second… wow, I’m sorry. It’s funny what age can do to the mind. I actually thought I tagged with you…but that was EDDY LOVE! I mean, you can see the resemblance so clearly…. Oh well, I’ll forgive the fact that you tagged with my on-again-off-again brother-cousin Timmy. Hmmm…that didn’t sound right. Makes me sound like I came from some sort of circus-freak family, doesn’t it? Anyway, fire those T-shirts!!!
(The nearby crowd goes crazy and forgets to watch the ongoing action as Junior Hornet aims the vehicle of T-shirt-based destruction at them and fires. The spectacle continues for a while until Troy sees something out of the corner of his eye. Jay Smash has just been eliminated from the GOLD RUSH competition. Troy takes the T-shirt gun from Junior.)
TROY: Time for target practice, folks.
(He fires as Jay Smash gets to his feet and is headed for the rampway. The rolled up T-shirt catches Smash unexpectedly on the back of the head and dazes him momentarily. The crowd doesn’t know whether to laugh or feel sorry for him… so they laugh.)
TROY: Ladies and gentlemen, JAY SMASH IS ELIMINATED!
GOLD RUSH Challenge
Presidential Championship Ring
SEITZER: Thanks Billy. And we’re off!
IVY: They shouldn’t’ve waited for everyone to get into each ring to ring the bell. Literally everything is on the line in this match – a belt or a title shot – and the UNIFIED championship, and you’re gonna tell these guys they have to wait for it?
SEITZER: Well, CSWA mainstay Cameron Cruise certainly didn’t wait! He jumped right on Presidential Champion Jay Phoenix when the Champion was still getting into the ring!
IVY: This one is definitely going to be difficult to call. We’ve got eleven men in the ring, all fighting for the same prize. Jay Smash and Joey Melton trading right hands near the corner!
SEITZER: Jay Smash, known as ‘The Disease’ is a former EUWC and XOW World Champion, is no doubt looking to add CSWA gold to his impressive resume, and Joey Melton, of course, needs no introduction in a CSWA ring.
IVY: Phoenix with a reversal, and Jason Payne just took Cruise down with a clothesline! Payne with a forearm to the current Champion’s head!
SEITZER: Lawrence Stanley, former CSWA United States Champion, is locked up with John Doe, and he’s got Doe shoved into the corner!
IVY: That’s the weight – the leverage advantage. The bigger guys in this type of match have a distinct advantage over the little guys. By sheer force of strength, it’s a lot easier for Jay Smash to toss Tobias Stevens than the other way around—
SEITZER: Speaking of which, Jay Smash has Stevens’ body pressed over his head! We could see our first elimination—NO! Professor Tremendous just clipped his leg! Smash falls flat on his back and Stevens lands on top of him!
IVY: —but the smaller, lighter guys can get around that. They just have to be quick – like that.
SEITZER: Professor T and Tobias Stevens have Jay Smash up, and they’re pounding him with forearms!
IVY: Melton’s got the champ pressed into the corner!
SEITZER: Jay Smash with a double clothesline on Stevens and T! CAMERON CRUISE WITH A DROPKICK!
IVY: Where’d he come from?
SEITZER: Cruise was battling with Nate Redman on the other side of the ring, but abandoned his attack to go for Smash! T and Stevens are both up, and Joey Melton has grabbed hold of the self – proclaimed UNIFIED Champion!
IVY: Smash with a hand around Cruise’s neck, we could see Cammy chokeslammed right on out of this one!
SEITZER: It’s literally a madhouse in here and almost impossible to keep up with! Look, there’s Karl Brown with a series of chops to T’s chest—CRUISE WITH A KICK TO THE MIDSECTION! SUICIDE CLOTHESLINE!
IVY: Cruise held on! Jay Smash has been eliminated by the former Presidential Champion. Smash is out, Cruise is on the apron holding onto the ropes! Lawrence Stanley has him—Cruise with a shoulder to the ribs, and he rolls over the English Gent’s back to return to the ring! For all the abuse Cammy’s taken over the years, somewhere he’s learned to fight!
SEITZER: He’d better, he rolled over Stanley’s back to eat a kick to the jaw from Karl Brown!
IVY: The Unified Champion just reversed Joey’s choke, and he’s got the Arrogant One face first on the mat!
SEITZER: Professor Tremendous is not the Unified Champion, Ivy.
IVY: If it means Troy’s not considered the champion, I’ll take a little self–delusion, Rudy.
SEITZER: Melton with a reversal of his own, and he’s got Professor T up against the ropes! He’s trying to muscle the pretender out!
SEITZER: Karl Brown with a bodyslam, and Lawrence Stanley with an elbowdrop onto Cruise!
IVY: Melton has T scooped, and he just dropped him over—Tremendous landed on the apron and he’s holding onto the ropes! Joey’s dropping his knee into his ribs, over and over, but T’s got the rope hooked! He’s not letting this opportunity get away from him lightly.
SEITZER: Karl Brown has Cruise up, and a right hand by Stanley!
IVY: T’s almost out… Melton’s really got him hangin’ by a thread, there! TREMENDOUS WITH A KICK TO MELTON’S ANKLES! He’s got the golden boy by the head! MELTON’S GONE!
SEITZER: I can’t believe it! Professor Tremendous just eliminated the first CSWA Champion Joey Melton!
IVY: Cruise with a kick to Stanley’s lower abdomen—
SEITZER: —His Extremely Lower abdomen!
IVY: Ain’t no DQ’s in this one.
SEITZER: And Stanley’s down!
IVY: Brown sends Cammy into the ropes… REVERSAL! TREMENDOUS DROPPED TO THE APRON AND PULLED THE ROPE DOWN! Karl Brown is eliminated!
SEITZER: Who gets credit for that one, Cruise, or Professor Tremendous?
IVY: I don’t think it matters right now, though my money would be on Tremendous.
SEITZER: Things have cleared out a little -- we’re down to eight men who can claim the CSWA Presidential Championship! There’s the current champion Jay Phoenix, former champion Cameron Cruise, former United States champion Lawrence Stanley—
IVY: —Is it just me, or is it ironic that the English Gent has been the United States champion?
SEITZER: I think it’s just you.
SEITZER: There’s also self–proclaimed UNIFIED champion Professor Tremendous, John Doe, Tobias Stevens, Nate Redman, and Jason Payne still competing for this belt. Who’s your favorite, Ivy?
IVY: With the way Payne is currently laying those fists into the current champion’s face, I’m gonna have to go with the Dog of War. You?
SEITZER: I’m going to have to go with experience—
SEITZER: Stanley. The former United States champion has Cameron Cruise up, and a hard bodyslam to the mat! If he’d done that over the top rope he’d have scored a very significant elimination!
IVY: So he didn’t eliminate Cammy, but he’s your choice?
SEITZER: There’ve been many matches in the past where Lawrence Stanley could have easily come away as the CSWA World Champion… I’ve got to believe he has what it takes to take it here.
IVY: Nate Redman has John Doe off balance in the corner, we could see another elimination here!
SEITZER: The Raptor is a two–time former World Champion in various promotions, the CSWA Presidential title, not to mention the UNIFIED World Title, would certainly be another boon to his career!
IVY: Payne whipped Phoenix into the ropes, and Tobias Stevens with a drop toe hold! Nate Redman just abandoned his attacks on Doe to attack Phoenix! I think the current Champ has a target on his back, Rudy!
SEITZER: It’s certainly smart strategy. This is an over–the–top–rope Battle Royal match, which has eliminated the Champion’s Advantage of not having to beat his opponent -- but you’ve gotta believe there’s still something to be said for being the man that was able to knock the current titleholder out of contention.
IVY: This is very true. As it stands, Jay Phoenix is the Presidential Champion as long as he’s in this match. If he’s eliminated, we’re guaranteed a new champ. The lure of the prestige has got to be strong.
SEITZER: Redman with Phoenix up, and he and Payne are trying to force the Champ out of the ring! Phoenix has a deathgrip on the ropes, I don’t think he’ll go easily.
IVY: Course not. You don’t get gold in the CSWA by being a pushover.
SEITZER: Brigsby and Paige?
SEITZER: Of course, the irony here is that you could eliminate the champ and still not end up with title… you have to be the last man standing! And the champ is in trouble -- Phoenix is almost out! He’s halfway over the ropes, but he’s hooked Redman around the waist with his ankles! Cameron Cruise with a knee to Tobias Stevens’ gut!
IVY: John Doe and Lawrence Stanley are circling… it might make more sense to them to try and get someone else out of the ring instead of beating on each other.
SEITZER: PROFESSOR TREMENDOUS WITH A HARD CLOTHESLINE TO THE BACK OF CRUISE’S HEAD!
IVY: Cammy’s down! Phoenix has a death grip on Redman’s waist!
SEITZER: Tobias Stevens with a back attack! He’s trying to force the English Gent over the top, and John Doe is pushing just as hard!
IVY: Redman can’t get Phoenix off his waist, he’s… are you kidding?
SEITZER: Nate Redman – we’re not in the ring so I can’t speak for him, but it looks like Nate Redman is trying to implore Jason Payne to help him pry the Champ’s legs off him so they can get Phoenix to the floor. We’ve got three men trying to eliminate the champ, a former champ on the ropes thanks to Professor T, and two more circling right in the middle of the ring!
IVY: Tremendous almost has Cammy out!
SEITZER: NO! Cruise landed on the apron, and he’s got that bottom rope hooked for all he’s worth! PAYNE WITH A RIGHT HAND TO REDMAN! He’s got both men over the top!
IVY: Phoenix has that rope with a deathgrip, and Redman’s got Phoenix with the same!
SEITZER: Cruise landed on the apron, and he quickly pulls the bottom rope around him – he’s in for now. Tremendous still laying the boots to him, he wanted to eliminate the former Champion!
IVY: Payne’s still shoving, but we’re between a rock and a hard place on that side’a the ring. We’re at a ringside stalemate here, and nobody wants to move!
SEITZER: Someone’s gonna have to give eventually.
IVY: Where’s your money?
SEITZER: PAYNE WITH A KICK TO PHOENIX’S STOMACH! THE CHAMP FALLS!
IVY: Not all the way!
SEITZER: REDMAN IS OUT! PHOENIX LOST HIS GRIP ON THE APRON BUT PULLED REDMAN TO THE FLOOR!
IVY: But Jay Phoenix held onto the bottom rope as he fell forward, and his feet JUST missed the floor! I can’t believe it but the champ’s still in the match!
SEITZER: Not if Payne has anything to say about it! The Dog of War has just pulled the Presidential Champ to his feet and a right hand! Another! Jay Phoenix is—
IVY: He ducked it! Phoenix with a shoulder into Payne’s gut, and the champ is back inside! Greensboro cheering for the man with the gold!
SEITZER: We’re down to seven, but Professor T is still laying the boots to Cruise! There’s only so much punishment a body can take before you can just pick him up and toss him, Ivy. We’ve seen it many times before.
IVY: John Doe has Lawrence Stanley draped over the middle rope, and he’s alternating between forearms and chokes. Same token, Rudy – if you can’t breathe, you can’t fight.
SEITZER: Phoenix with a bodyslam on Jason Payne, and he’s over to John Doe, beating down the English Gent! They’re taking it to the former United States Champion, the man who has been just a few breaks removed from CSWA World Championship gold on numerous occasions!
IVY: A few breaks ain’t gettin’ there, Rudy. He could still be UNIFIED Champion tonight, but he’s not showin’ it at the moment.
SEITZER: Phoenix with a right hand to John Doe! There’s no friends in a Battle Royal, Ivy!
IVY: Good thing, too – cause that’s the kinda thing that ruins friendships.
SEITZER: Phoenix with a handful of Doe’s tights, and he’s over the top!
IVY: Turn around, ya bastard!
SEITZER: JAY PHOENIX OFF THE OPPOSITE ROPES! LAWRENCE STANLEY IS STILL DRAPED OVER THE MIDDLE ROPE! JOHN DOE SKINNED THE CAT AND WHIPPED HIMSELF BACK IN! KICK TO PHOENIX’ CHIN!
IVY: Take a breath, Rudy. Jay Phoenix tossed John Doe over the top, but Doe held on and swung the momentum into a vicious kick! Doe off the ropes again, and a clothesline just took him and Phoenix over the top! Jay Phoenix is OUT!
SEITZER: But John Doe held on!
IVY: There we have it, Rudy… we are guaranteed to see a new Presidential Champion tonight.
SEITZER: I’d have to say now, John Doe has the momentum, he has the chops to win it all here!
IVY: By ‘all’ do you mean the Presidential Title, or the UNIFIED Title? Or both?
SEITZER: You’re a real killjoy sometimes.
IVY: Love you too!
SEITZER: Hold on folks, we’ve just gotten word that we have a decision regarding the runner-up in the Greensboro ring… Kevin “K-9” Watson is still taking a rest before heading into the center ring as the first man to challenge UNIFIED Champion Troy Windham – it looks like he’s decided to wait until there’s another challenger to distract Windham. And it sounds as if the controversy has been settled… Let’s cut back over to Stan Parsons and Billy Buckley!
PARSONS: Thanks Rudy and Ivy. We’re told that CSWA officials have finished reviewing the tape and are about to have the decision announced to the crowd!
(One of the referees goes over to the main announce booth and whispers something.)
RHUBARB JONES: (Overhead PA) Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve been told that as a result of reviewing the action in the Greensboro ring, the officials have determined that the penultimate competitors hit the floor at the same time. They have thus ruled that both JA and Eron the Relentless will be joining new Greensboro Champion Kevin Watson in the center ring for a shot at Troy Windham and the UNIFIED World Champion!!
(Loud applause, which continues as JA and Eron are shown getting to their feet, still shaking the cobwebs out after being treated briefly by medical personnel.)
PARSONS: All three men are gonna get to go!
BUCKLEY JR: Not a bad decision, although I’ve had quite enough of FORMER champion JA.
PARSONS: The big story is the new Greensboro champion Kevin “K-9” Watson. Billy, I never thought I’d see the day.
BUCKLEY JR: Honestly, neither did I – but the man did his job and he did it well. You gotta hand it to him.
PARSONS: That’s it for us, fellas – Time to go get my front row seat for the center ring!
BUCKLEY JR: See ya!! Back to Rudy and Ivy!
SEITZER: Thanks gentlemen! The action here in the ring for the Presidential Championship continues. Jay Phoenix has been eliminated, guaranteeing that one of the six men still battling are going to walk away with gold. Just a reminder that thanks to U-62’s HD capability, you can watch all the action at once or focus on a specific ring by using the HD channels assigned by your cable company.
Lawrence Stanley finally off the ropes, he’s taken the brunt of the beating here tonight, and he’s spent the past few minutes continually having the air choked out of him.
IVY: Professor Tremendous heard you earlier, I think. He’s been pounding on Stanley constantly, and now he’s got the big Englishman up, trying to get the Gent over the top! Cammy and Doe are trading punches… no love lost there. And Jason Payne has Tobias Stevens wrapped up in the ropes! We’re just at the halfway point as far as entrants go—PAYNE LEFT STEVENS WRAPPED!
SEITZER: He’s entwined in the ropes pretty tightly, I think Payne could do well to try and incapacitate as many as he can that way, then he can pick and choose his spots!
IVY: The others should take heed of that. In my opinion, of what I know of the remaining wrestlers involved, Payne is the man to beat. The rest of’em should pool their talents and get him out as soon as they possibly can.
SEITZER: Payne thinking otherwise, maybe? He’s got Stanley halfway over the top along with Professor Tremendous, and we could see the English Gent go any second now!
IVY: Cammy whips Doe into the corner – STEVENS FREED! Cammy with a followup elbow to the face, and Tobias Stevens crossed behind him, and a dropkick to the mass of people on the other—STANLEY IS OUT! That dropkick was just the extra momentum Payne and Tremendous were missing!
SEITZER: Don’t look now, but Payne has just unloaded on Tremendous! The Dog of War with a hard shove to the face, and Tremendous is out! Stevens with a clothesline—PAYNE WITH A HOOK AND A HIPLOCK! In the span of sixty seconds we’ve seen three men eliminated, and two of them by Jason Payne!
IVY: Three out, just three left in!
SEITZER: I don’t think Cruise and Doe realize what Payne has done, they’re still locked up in the corner—PAYNE WITH A SHOULDERBLOCK! He just sandwiched both men in the corner!
IVY: Cammy was in the middle there, and he just collapsed to the mat!
SEITZER: Payne is in complete control here, Ivy! He grabs Doe by the back of the neck and pulls him out of the corner… whip into the ropes! PAYNE KILLER! John Doe is out!
IVY: Out cold, that is! Payne’s gotta lift him and toss him, and that’s all she wrote for John Doe! LOW BLOW BY CRUISE!
SEITZER: You just called him by his proper name.
IVY: Never mind that now! Cameron Cruise with Jason Payne in a half–crossface, and he’s shouting at Doe to get up! Payne’s straining up, he has a leverage disadvantage but his feet under him!
SEITZER: That’s what it’s come down to, this can only end with a two–on–one battle, and I think Cruise has the right idea with trying to double-team Payne! But will John Doe get up in time?
IVY: And if he does, will he help out Cruise, or Payne?
SEITZER: Payne dropped him with that Payne Killer.
IVY: Doe’s also guaranteed to make it into the center ring at this point with both Cruise and Payne trying to get his services.
SEITZER: That’s a good point, Ivy!
IVY: I know.
SEITZER: Doe has rolled over, and he’s on the ropes! Cruise looks like he’s leaning his entire body weight down onto Payne’s shoulders, but the Dog of War is still slowly rising!
IVY: That’s it for Cammy!
SEITZER: PAYNE BROKE THROUGH! He just shoved Cruise, back–first, into the turnbuckle! Elbow to the temple broke the hold, and Payne is bringing the pain to the Crippler! He’s up on the middle rope with those right hands!
IVY: Cruise is slumping. Doe is barely able to stand. Payne should get rid of Cammy while he’s got the—
SEITZER: JOHN DOE WITH A SLINGSHOT TO THE TOP ROPE AND AN ENZUIGIRI!
IVY: Too late.
SEITZER: Doe landed his foot into the side of Payne’s head—CRUISE SHOVES WITH ALL HIS MIGHT! JASON PAYNE IS OUT! JASON PAYNE IS OUT!
IVY: We’re looking right now, at the new CSWA Presidential Champion. And we may be looking at the next UNIFIED Champion! There’s only one more elimination to take place here tonight, but both Cameron Cruise and John Doe are headed to the middle ring to take care of Troy!
SEITZER: Doe took a nasty spill from the top rope, but he’s up and snaps Cruise out of the corner! John Doe under the top rope – smart move, that – and he’s up to the top turnbuckle! Cruise on his knees, and Doe off the top with a legdrop! Cruise is down again!
IVY: Forget the punishment, Johnny, just do it!
SEITZER: Doe sends Cruise off the ropes… Fist to the gut – DDT!
IVY: Wasting time!
SEITZER: Handful of hair, Doe pulls Cruise back up, and a right hand! He’s trying to force the Crippler out of the ring, but Cruise still has enough wits about him to lock his arm around the top rope! John Doe with a forearm! And another!
IVY: Cruise just hooked his ankles around Doe’s waist! What happens if they both go over? We’ve already seen it once tonight!
SEITZER: Doe pounding away on Cruise’s back and shoulders, he’s trying his best to shake the Crippler loose!
IVY: What’s that chucklehead doing now? Cruse has the middle rope hooked on the outside of the ring! He’s trying to pull himself over?
SEITZER: Doe nearly lost his footing! Another forearm! And another!
IVY: Cruise unlocked his ankles—
SEITZER: AND HOOKED DOE BY THE SHOULDERS! BOTH MEN TUMBLED OVER THE TOP ROPE!
IVY: NO THEY DIDN’T!
SEITZER: CAMERON CRUISE HELD ON! CAMERON CRUISE HELD ON! CAMERON CRUISE IS NOW A TWO–TIME CSWA PRESIDENTIAL CHAMPION!
IVY: Can we get Bilbo to cue the replay? I need to see this again!
SEITZER: Right there! Cruise hooked Doe and pulled both of them over the top rope, but the Crippler had a grip on that middle rope, he was able to keep his feet off the floor! Cameron Cruise is now the new, Two–Time CSWA Presidential Champion, but both he and John Doe have a date with Troy Windham in the center ring! JA, Eron the Relentless, and K-9, have already taken up residence!
IVY: But we can’t have any eliminations until the ring is full! We have a new Greensboro Champion, we have a new Presidential Champion, but we can’t have the finale until we have a United States Champion!
SEITZER: But first, the battle continues in the ring to determine who gets the rights to call in an automatic title shot for the UNIFIED Championship. We’re switching it over to John Simons and Manny Juarez in the Title Shot ring. You can still view the action in the US ring by switching to channel 514, or see both rings at the same time on channel 511! For the incomparable Ivy McGinnis, my name is Rudy Seitzer! Enjoy the rest of the show!
Center Ring Interlude: Upstaged
As he continues to brandish the microphone, UNIFIED Champion Troy Windham has moved away from his own version of play-by-play and instead is concentrating on the men standing in the ring across from him. With the arrival of Kevin “K-9” Watson, and the departure of Junior Hornet and his trusty T-shirt gun, the challenge in the center ring is unofficially underway.
However, the rules of GOLD RUSH state that no one can be eliminated from the center ring until the four outer rings have been completed and the bell rings. Watson has quickly realized that there is no sense in starting the conflict until the ring general can be taken out. Years earlier, he would’ve rushed in blindly, attacking Troy and going for the moment of glory rather than thinking about the long-term goal.
Troy’s demeanor has changed slightly. He’s still loud, still cracking wise, but the lines around his eyes give away the fact that the match has really begun, even if the first punch hasn’t been thrown yet. He’s regaling the crowd with a story about a prank he pulled on K-9 years before when they were both relative rookies to wrestling. It has something to do with a hotel room, a hooker and a branding iron.
The latest to join the fun are still a little groggy, shaking off the effects literally falling head-over-heels over the ring post and through one of the announcing tables. JA may be disappointed over losing the Greensboro Title, but he’s always realized that the green-and-gold belt is a stepping stone, a training ground, for moving onto the big gold one hanging high above the ring. Eron seems to view the whole scene with disdain, but his reason is unclear – it could be his disdain for the champ, his disgust with how the Greensboro ring ended, or simply the fact that he isn’t in the ring with Troy Windham one-on-one.
As Troy’s dirty story elicits a few gasps from some women in the audience, the crowd erupts in bigger gasps and then applause as the Presidential ring comes to a close. John Doe is on the ground, dazed from his spill over the top. Cameron Cruise is laying on his back in the center of the ring, gasping for air, but with the Presidential Title gripped closely to his chest. They’ll be joining the party soon.
Troy’s brow furrows for the first time tonight. To him, they’ve committed the ultimate sin… they upstaged him. And for that, the man formerly known as the “King of the Slackers,” as “Mr. CSWA”, as the “King of All Media,” and now known as “The Epitome”, decides that he’ll make them pay.
GOLD RUSH Challenge
UNIFIED Title Shot Ring
JOHN SIMONS: Welcome back, loyal CSWA fans. I’m John Simons giving the play-by-play for the Title Shot ring here at CSWA ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION: Coming of Age. Joining me this evening is Mr. Manny Juarez.
MANNY JUAREZ: ‘Allo, Juan.
SIMONS: Sorry, Manny, my name is John. Me llamo, John.
JUAREZ: That is what I say. ‘Juan’.
SIMONS: No time to argue the finer points of my name, Manny, as the action set to unfold is now, umm, unfolding.
JUAREZ: You, sir, are a dictionary of words.
SIMONS: This is completely unprofessional, Manny!
JUAREZ: Perhaps we should watch the ring, Juan, where los hombres of El Asso Wipo and Senor Bag of Crap, otherwise known as the Mexican Toiletries, are taking an early advantage over Jacob McKail and Kevin Kenwright.
SIMONS: Right they are, but you can’t count them as the early favorites here with Eli Flair, Lindsay Troy, and even Dan Ryan’s Alter Ego battling it out in the middle of the ring, leaving Peter Lenex, Xias and Lance Spencer in a three-way slugfest.
JUAREZ: This is true, Juan, but my money is on los Mexicanos! Our Latino heritage is fueled by a hatred for the white devil with his sanitization and working indoor plumbing!
SIMONS: Even so, McKail and Kenwright seem to have Misters Wipo and Crap (did I really just say that?) up against the ropes. Kenwright whips El Asso Wipo right towards the back of McKail and Senor Bag of Crap, but Lenex has broken free from Xias and Spencer in the corner and comes out of nowhere to decapitate El Asso Wipo with a clothesline that could cut down a sixteen wheeler going at top speed.
JUAREZ: Your how-you-call-them… metaphors… are pretty good, Juan.
SIMONS: Thanks, Manny.
JUAREZ: Here, let me try. Lenex picking up the Asso Wipo and driving in hard left and rights. McKail has given up on eliminating Senor Crap, and has charged into Kenwright a la shades of Lou Thesz. Lenex drives a hard knee into Asso Wipo’s midsection, much like my father did to my mother on the day of my birth…
SIMONS: WOAH! Nice try, but no luck, Manny. You’ve been down in Cuba too long, and speaking of down for a long time, Lindsay Troy seems to be taking a beating at the hands of Eli Flair as Dan Ryan’s Alter Ego was just dropped by a hay-maker.
JUAREZ: You know, in my mother tongue, El Asso Wipo means “after the good eating.” Lenex moves over to Xias and Spencer, tapping them on the shoulders and motioning to the Mexican Toiletries at the opposite side of the ring. All three men charge and…NOOOO!!
SIMONS: The Mexican Toiletries have just been sent over the top rope by a storm of running clotheslines that sent them over the top. So much for your Mexicanos winning the coveted title shot and moving on the middle-ring of this Gold Rush match!
JUAREZ: There is still hope, Juan, in the mysterious masked man known as Dan Ryan’s Alter Ego.
SIMONS: You can’t be that naïve, can you?
JUAREZ: He is el luchador! He fights for the peoples, Juan!
SIMONS: What he’s fighting for right now is the right to call in a future challenge for the UNIFIED Title… assuming whoever wins this ring doesn’t go on to make the most of their time in the center ring challenging Troy Windham tonight! Either way, this masked man is still staggering as he pulls himself up after a vicious left from Eli Flair hit him in the sweet spot upside his head. Lindsay Troy and Eli still battling it out, and a little more room to work as the Mexican Toiletries have been eliminated early on here at CSWA ANNIVERSARY.
JUAREZ: Quit reminding them of La Raza’s great failure, Juan.
SIMONS: Lenex, Xias and Spencer spend no time in celebrating, and immediately Spencer and Xias are lifting Lenex over the top rope, but Lenex has a death-grip…
JUAREZ: Like my mother on the night of my conception…
SIMONS: Once again, you fail at life, Manny. Kevin Kenwright and Jacob McKail are now up, and McKail sends Kenwright on the defensive with a European Uppercut. A second one finds its mark. A third one, and Kenwright is having trouble staying on his feet. Kenwright now backed up into the Xias, Spencer and Lenex mess.
JUAREZ: I thinks that Spencer doesn’t like people bumping into him...
SIMONS: Not at all, and Spencer just dropped Kenwright with a standing roundhouse kick! A good showing from the rookie making his professional wrestling debut this evening.
JUAREZ: What a way to be baptized into the fires of the industry! At CSWA ANNIVERSARY, in a historic match like Gold Rush…
SIMONS: Which is exactly why I said it, my third-world friend. Spencer and McKail now having strong words as Lenex has fought off Xias and both of THOSE men stand trading punches on either side of the ropes.
JUAREZ: Lenex is in a tough spot here, one wrong move, and he’s eliminated.
SIMONS: I think Lindsay Troy, Dan Ryan’s Alter Ego and Eli Flair know this, as they all seem to be leaning up against the opposite ropes, eyeing the four men brawling on the other side of the ring. Troy, Alter Ego and Flair charge at Spencer, McKail and Xias, but the rookies catch the veterans off guard, and shoulder toss them over the ropes on to the apron next to Lenex.
JUAREZ: This is too easy, they just watched how The Mexican Toiletries were eliminated and are using the same cheapo tactics!
SIMONS: Don’t be so sure, Manny! Spencer, McKail and Xias each go for a rolling elbow to Troy, Flair and Ryan’s Alter Ego, but they are each blocked, and caught, in turn, with a shoulder through the ropes, doubling over all three men. Kenwright is now up to his feet and looking at the three men next to him, and the four wrestlers on the other side of the ropes.
JUAREZ: Too late! Here comes the pain!
SIMONS: Lenex is the first off the apron with a springboard dropkick, followed by Flair with a springboard flying uppercut, Lindsay Troy with a springboard mule kick, and Dan Ryan’s Alter Ego forgoes the springboard all together and flies over the top rope with a shoulder block. Kenwright, Spencer, McKail and Xias go down like dominos.
JUAREZ: Teamwork can win dis match for you, but it does not matter, Juan, because SOMEONE has to win!
SIMONS: That’s why it’s a wrestling match, you ignorant…
(CUTTO: A soft tap comes over the arena speakers. Troy Windham leans against the ropes in the center circle, watching the Title Shot ring intently. He raises the microphone up.)
WINDHAM: Lindsay, why don’t you just finish this already, and come over here to the center ring to give daddy some sugar?
SIMONS: Lindsay Troy kips up and immediately starts jaw-jacking Windham. Dan Ryan’s Alter Ego is first up after Lindsay, and makes his way behind her as she leans betweens the ropes to yell at Windham.
WINDHAM: Come on, Lindsay, can’t make it over here right now? Weak sauce, sweet pea.
JUAREZ: Lindsay looks pissed. A woman should not talk that way to her husband.
SIMONS: Rightfully so, Manny. Windham has her attention, and Dan Ryan’s Alter Ego is going to try and capitalize here! He’s got Lindsay’s legs off the ground, and she looks like a rat just jumped out of the garbage can!
JUAREZ: Where else are they supposed to jump out of?
SIMONS: Gross. Ryan’s Alter Ego looking to toss Lindsay through the ropes, and he uses his size advantage to toss her legs through the ropes!
JUAREZ: Lindsay Troy has just been eliminated!!
SIMONS: NO! Ryan’s Alter Ego thought he’d done the work, but Lindsay held on with one hand, and is skinning the cat, so to speak.
JUAREZ: Skinning a cat? No wonder the rat is running around free out of the garbage can.
SIMONS: Flair is up and trading punches with Ryan’s Alter Ego once again as Lenex raises himself up to survey the carnage around the ring. He spots Lindsay Troy out the corner of his eye, and he’s charging! Lenex with a shoulder to the small of Lindsay Troy’s back, and another! He keeps working on that lower back, and grapples her from behind and lets loose with a back-drop driver!
JUAREZ: A WRESTLING MOVE!!!
SIMONS: And one that just crumpled The Queen of the Ring on her neck. Lenex wasting no time, as he pulls Lindsay up by her hair.
WINDHAM: Oh, that’s too bad, Lindsay. I thought you were going to win for a minute.
SIMONS: Lindsay Troy just went from rag-doll to Tonka Truck, and pushed over Lenex to get back to the ropes to yell at Windham. Lenex scrambles to his feet as Dan Ryan’s Alter Ego suplexes Eli Flair over the four bodies still writhing on the ground with a sickening crunch.
JUAREZ: I don’t think Lenex is done with Lindsay, yet, Juan.
WINDHAM: Lindsay, why don’t you just come out of the ring right now, and hustle that ass right over to MY ring, a ring you’ll never get to…
SIMONS: The UNIFIED Champion doesn’t have to wait for Lindsay to eliminate herself, because here comes Lenex! Lenex slides out to the ring apron, and drops Lindsay with a jawbreaker on the top rope. Lenex rolls back under the bottom rope, grabs Lindsay, and sends her over the top rope with a suplex!
WINDHAM: OH! Too bad, so sad!
(CUTTO: Lindsay Troy charges the middle ring, but is immediately detained by security who have to fight to get her backstage.)
JUAREZ: Lindsay Troy has been eliminated. Now she can concentrate on being a better wife for her loving husband. Sometimes, as men, we must all, how you say, put them in their place.
SIMONS: Folks, that’s J-U-A-R-E-Z. Please address all letters and postcards… Seven men remain here in the Title Shot ring of the Gold Rush match at ANNIVERSARY! Lenex looking happy with himself, but as he turns around he catches a double dropkick from Xias and McKail that sends him to the canvas.
JUAREZ: I didn’t even see the rest of the wrestlers get up after Eli Flair was dropped on them like a ton of bricks.
SIMONS: Hey! There you go, Manny! That’s a metaphor that works. Congrats!
JUAREZ: My English is getting very good, yes?
SIMONS: No, but your metaphors are.
JUAREZ: Oh, good.
SIMONS: Kenwright and Spencer seem to be taking turns between punching Dan Ryan’s Alter Ego in the corner and kicking a downed Eli Flair.
JUAREZ: Come on, luchadoro! You know, Juan, Dan Ryan’s Alter Ego is an amazing wrestler, unlike the man he named himself after. Dan Ryan is muy horrible!
SIMONS: Good lord, Manny. Have you lost your mind? It’s obvious who’s beneath the mask. Can’t you tell it’s just…
JUAREZ: HOLY MARY MOTHER OF CHRISTO!
SIMONS: No, but that would be impressive.
JUAREZ: NO, JUAN! Ryan’s Alter Ego just leveled Kenwright and Spencer with a pair of back elbows, and Flair is up in a heartbeat.
SIMONS: Looks like A.E. and Flair were playing possum and waiting for the fresh meat to come to them.
JUAREZ: My wife, she likes the possum meat.
SIMONS: Did you find it next to the rat in the garbage can down there in Cuba?
SIMONS: Flair whips Spencer into the opposite corner, and Ryan’s Alter Ego whips Kenwright into Spencer! Alter Ego charges the stacked corner and pops Kenwright in the dome with a running back elbow. Flair right behind to finish the deed, but changes his path and blasts Ryan’s Alter Ego with a clothesline! Flair mounts up as Kenwright and Spencer start going at it.
JUAREZ: What is this Flair man doing?
SIMONS: Flair starts in on the laces to the mask of Dan Ryan’s Alter Ego. Troy Windham looks on, intrigued, from the center ring. Laces out, Dan! Laces out!
JUAREZ: How can this Flair man disgrace the luchador traditions of masked wrestling?!? He es Diablo!
SIMONS: And there are many who would agree with you. Flair has the mask from the top, but Ryan’s Alter Ego is fighting it by gripping the bottom of the mask. McKail and Xias break off from trying to toss out Lenex to come out Flair. McKail with a right kick to Ryan’s Alter Ego’s gut. Xias with a left kick. McKail with a right! ALTER EGO HAS LOST HIS GRIP AND THE MASK IS OFF!!!
(CUTTO: The crowd hushes in anticipation of the mask being ripped off, and as soon as it’s off the only sound before the crowd erupts is Troy Windham’s appalling gasp.)
JUAREZ: High Holy Hell! It’s DAN RYAN!!!!!
SIMONS: You’re an idiot, but it looks like Troy Windham is joining you!
(CUTTO: Troy Windham, complaining to security outside the ring and the Center Ring Referee about Dan Ryan being involved in the Title Shot ring.)
SIMONS: Looks like Windham is voicing his opinion that Dan Ryan should NOT be involved in this match!
JUAREZ: Dan Ryan has horn-swoggled us all!
SIMONS: Once again, your idiocy amazes me, Manny.
JUAREZ: Thank you for being amazed by me, Juan.
SIMONS: Believe me, you’re very welcome. Flair takes a step back from Ryan and Ryan ‘hulks up’ and stands to face McKail and Xias after they lay in with another pair of kicks. McKail is first to taste the mat, followed closely by Xias. McKail backpedals on his ass into the corner, begging Dan Ryan for mercy, but there is no sanctuary tonight, ladies and gentlemen.
JUAREZ: Look at the strength of Ryan! He just lifted up that man from the corner!
SIMONS: Dan Ryan pressing up McKail, and Xias is up and charging, but Eli Flair catches Xias by the arm, and whips him into the ropes. Xias back off the ropes, and Ryan tosses McKail into Xias and both men go over the top rope!!
JUAREZ: Jacob McKail and Xias have been eliminated!
SIMONS: We’re down to five, and two have already tasted CSWA Unified gold in their careers. The other three are newcomers to See-Ess-Dub, but it’s still anyone’s game!
JUAREZ: Like Jenga.
SIMONS: Not really, no. Peter Lenex and Kevin Kenwright have Lance Spencer in a two-man vertical suplex as Dan Ryan and Eli Flair stare each other down from across the ring. Spencer lands with a dull thud, and Lenex and Kenwright are laying the boots to Spencer. Flair breaks the stare…
JUAREZ: You know rhyming!
JUAREZ: …OH! Flair just dropped a knee to the back of Spencer’s head, and here comes Dan Ryan. He pulls Flair off of Spencer, and the staredown lasts only an instant as Ryan joins in the gang-bang…
SIMONS: You can’t say gang-bang, even on pay-per-view…
JUAREZ: Donkey show?
SIMONS: Ask your amigos the Mexican Toiletries about that one, but it’s 4-on-1 as Lance Spencer is power bombed by Peter Lenex, and promptly thrown out by the other four men.
JUAREZ: Tough luck. Lance Spencer has been eliminated.
SIMONS: Four men remain: Dan Ryan, Eli Flair, Peter Lenex and Kevin Kenwright.
JUAREZ: Finally! Now we can see some wrestling.
SIMONS: Flair and Kenwright pair up, and Ryan and Lenex start jaw-jacking back and forth. Flair takes advantage first, and gets Kenwright with an arm-wringer, but Triple-K twists and turns and kips up out of it, and turns Flair’s arm into a pretzel of it’s own with an arm-wringer.
JUAREZ: Ryan and Lenex back off, and Ryan holds out his hand. He’s motioning towards Flair. I think he wants a momentary truce to take out one of the men who helped build CSWA!
SIMONS: Manny, that’s the smartest thing you’ve said all night. Kenwright still with the arm-wringer, and he slips underneath it into a hammer-lock on Flair. Flair reaches back, but can’t get a hold on Kevin. Flair with a few elbows to Kenwright’s head, and Kenwright’s grip slips enough for Flair to break the hold and run the ropes…
JUAREZ: Looks like Lenex and Ryan have a momentary peace as they shake hands and charge to take down a rebounding Flair with a double clothesline, but Flair ducks under it! Kenwright drops to the ground, and Flair steps over to his the ropes again.
SIMONS: Here comes Eli with a head of steam, and he shoulder blocks Kenwright to the ground, and takes out Lenex and Ryan with a clothesline from each arm! Flair is the only man standing! He’s got his pick of targets!
JUAREZ: Not Dan Ryan! Es mi hero!
SIMONS: I think he heard you, Manny, because Flair has Kenwright to his feet and puts Kevin back to the mat with a T-Bone Suplex. Kenwright sure has been a whipping boy this match. It’s amazing he’s lasted to the final four in the Title Shot ring…
JUAREZ: FLAIR JUST TOSSED OUT KENWRIGHT! Kevin Kenwright has been eliminated!
SIMONS: Well, it WAS amazing that Kenwright made it to the final four, it’s a shame he couldn’t last to be in the final three, but that privilege is saved for Dan Ryan, Eli Flair and Peter Lenex!
JUAREZ: Aye Dios mio.
SIMONS: I agree, my latin buddy, but there’s no time for thatj now, not when Eli Flair has total control of the Title Shot ring. Eli picks up Lenex, and slaps the taste right out of his mouth. Lenex staggers, and looks at Flair as he rubs his jaw.
(CUTTO: Eli Flair yelling at Lenex to start going after the ‘man-cow’ Dan Ryan.)
SIMONS: Lenex, being the only pup left in the ring takes the advice of the ring worn Flair and helps pick up Dan Ryan. Ryan is up to one knee, and the throws a punch into Flair’s mid-section, and then Lenex’s midsection, but the two quickly beat Ryan back to the mat.
JUAREZ: This is not good for Cuba.
SIMONS: Or Dan Ryan.
JUAREZ: But mostly Cuba.
SIMONS: We have our own Missile Crisis in the ring as Flair cocks back one arm and brings it down on Dan Ryan’s forehead. Lenex scrapes his boot across Ryan’s face. Looks like these two are trying to open up Ryan.
JUAREZ: Ever seen what happens when a bull sees red?
SIMONS: Manny, I’m proud of you! Two metaphors in one match! You’re quickly coming back to announcing!
JUAREZ: Thank you, Juan.
SIMONS: Eli sending Lenex into the corner to peel back the ring pad. Lenex obliges and heads to work. Flair picking up Ryan, but he’s wasted too much time, and Ryan brings down Flair with a Russian legsweep. He quickly mounts Flair and displays his own gun show.
JUAREZ: So much for the gun show.
GUNS: Did someone mention me?
GUNS: Cool. See ya’ later.
SIMONS: Flair is out, and Ryan looks to the corner where Lenex is oblivious to what’s happened. He’s got the turnbuckle exposed, but turns right into a waiting Dan Ryan. Ryan smashes Lenex’s face repeatedly into the turnbuckle.
JUAREZ: I didn’t say it was going to be red coming from the bull…
SIMONS: Lenex is busted open, and looks like he’ll need medical attention immediately following the completion of this ring. Ryan, still with Lenex’s head in his massive hands, pulls Lenex’s head between his legs.
(CUTTO: The crowd erupting in pandemonium.)
SIMONS: HUMILITY BOMB! Lenex has just been folded in half, and that’s not a good way to land.
JUAREZ: Someone needs to go back to wrestling school.
SIMONS: I don’t know about that, but we may need a stretcher and stitches out here for Lenex. Flair climbing back to his feet, his nose bleeding, can’t reach Dan Ryan before he tosses Lenex over the top rope.
JUAREZ: Peter Lenex has been eliminated.
SIMONS: Troy Windham does not look happy about this predicament! He’s already voiced his opinion to officials about Dan Ryan being the man behind the mask of Dan Ryan’s Alter Ego, which blows my mind why anyone would think it was someone else…
JUAREZ: Quit pretending like you knew it was him…
SIMONS: We’re down to Eli Flair and Dan Ryan! Two men who have been to the top of the mountain in CSWA. Dan Ryan tasted the gold more recently than Flair, but that’s not going to stop either man from going for it all tonight! Hell, we could see one of these men crowned as the new UNIFIED Champion tonight!
JUAREZ: The tension is making me feel like Montezuma is sneaking up on my cornhole.
SIMONS: You’re from Cuba, not Mexico.
JUAREZ: Toe-may-toe, toe-mah-toe.
SIMONS: Ryan and Flair circling each other. Flair wipes the blood from his nose as Ryan wipes the sweat from his forehead. Both men pause, and come at each other for a lock up. Ryan uses his strength and pulls Flair into a headlock. Flair, with no where to go, presses forward, and pushes Ryan into the ropes. Ryan tries turning Flair, but Flair has become an anchor and isn’t letting this ship sail.
JUAREZ: And the seas just got stormy as Flair grips Ryan from behind and brings him back with a back suplex.
SIMONS: Can we get a counter in the corner for Manny’s good metaphors? Flair works a kink out of his neck as Ryan rolls through the suplex and rises to his feet. This is what Flair wanted, a one-on-one shot with Dan Ryan.
JUAREZ: What about the titles?
SIMONS: I’m sure that’s at the top of his list, but we know he wants Ryan. Both men circling each other again, and they close in! Flair catches Ryan with a knee to the gut, and a follow up knee to the face.
(CUTTO: Flair, in the ring, “That’s for my nose, dick.”)
SIMONS: Flair in control here, both men have to be feeling down and out as they fight each other. We’ve already seen seven men, and a woman, eliminated, and neither man left wants to be the next one out!
JUAREZ: Now who’s the idiot, Juan Madden.
SIMONS: You mean, ‘John’ Madden?
JUAREZ: Si, Juan Madden.
SIMONS: It’s the “Ego Buster” versus “Total Elimination” to see who wins the right to call in a shot at the UNIFIED Title. But both men are already guaranteed a shot right here tonight in that center ring, assuming they don’t kill each other in this one first!
JUAREZ: But who is the bull and who is the matador?
SIMONS: Again…you’re Cuban! Not Mexican! Not Spanish!
JUAREZ: NO ENGLISH!
JUAREZ: NO! I mean have no English to explain what has just happened!
SIMONS: The two towers in the ring just collided into each other, with no one giving way. They charge again, and this time Ryan uses his weight advantage to force Flair back into the corner… but Flair simply drops elbow after elbow on the trapezius of Dan Ryan!
JUAREZ: These men are not part of a high-flying act, Juan.
SIMONS: Ryan fires back with right hands, but Eli gets off a spinning elbow right to the throat of Dan Ryan. Look out! CHOKESLAM!!! Eli Flair just powered Ryan up and down and has left him laying in the middle of the ring.
JUAREZ: But this will not help him get the big man over the top rope.
SIMONS: If he can lift Ryan with one hand like that, he might simply be able to toss him over the top! Ryan rolls to a knee, but Flair is ready! T-BONE SUPLEX! But Ryan powers his way up! DDT!!! And Ryan is down! If this match could be ended by pinfall, Eli Flair might have it won!
JUAREZ: Troy Windham is looking on from el centro, he does not look happy at all!
SIMONS: This whole GOLD RUSH idea was developed by CSWA owner Stephen Thomas after Troy Windham refused to face Dan Ryan for the UNIFIED Title. Troy appeared to retire, and Mark Windham and Dan Ryan were given a chance to face off in a ladder match for the title, only to have Troy crash the party and make his presence known.
JUAREZ: Mr. Flair goes for an anklelock, but Mr. Ryan has pulled his head and found a way out, and now he is up on his feet!
SIMONS: Flair goes for an uranage but misses! Reverse German suplex by Ryan sends Eli down hard! Eli up! FULL NELSON SLAM! Both men down!
JUAREZ: This is like watching two trees fall!
SIMONS: And while Ryan may have a recent history with Troy, the feud between Troy Windham and Eli Flair is legendary! I can’t imagine that Troy is happy knowing that both these men are going to make their way over to his ring in just a little while. He has to be hoping that they’ll destroy each other right here and be unable to continue!
JUAREZ: And he may be getting his wish!
SIMONS: Both men up in the center of the ring! Irish whip by Ryan…Flair goes across. SPINEBUSTER!!! Flair is down and winded in the center of the ring! And it looks like Dan Ryan is going to the ropes!
JUAREZ: This is disaster for Dan Ryan if Eli Flair recovers in time!
SIMONS: That’s why they call it high risk! We don’t see Ryan pull this out of his bag of tricks too often, but when he does, it’s usually a split-legged moonsault! That would be 330 pounds crashing down on Eli Flair with the weight of a mack truck!
JUAREZ: Except that Flair will not be there!
SIMONS: Flair gets to his feet lightning-quick and barrels into the turnbuckle, knocking Ryan down hard and VERY uncomfortably! Eli climbs to the second rope and it looks like he’s trying to maneuver Ryan to a suplex off the ropes! Dan Ryan is using his power to try and maintain control! Eli fires a right to try and soften him up! But Ryan has his feet locked under the second rope!
JUAREZ: Someone is going for a tumble! And for once it is not Teri Melton!
SIMONS: Eli Flair has his arms locked around Dan Ryan in a death grip that will only end in a huge belly-to-belly of the top rope! Ryan has his feet locked under the ropes… he gets an arm free! ELBOW!! ELBOW!! ELBOW to the side of Flair’s head! Someone’s grip is loosening! Ryan hooks the head!!! SNAP SUPLEX OVER THE TOP!!!!! ELI FLAIR HITS THE FLOOR!!! DAN RYAN WINS THE RING! THIS CROWD IS ON ITS FEET! They can’t believe how these two have gone at it, even without a title on the line!!! Flair is still on his back on the mats down below in front of us, but he still appears conscious. Dan Ryan has literally fallen off the turnbuckle and is on his knees in the corner.
JUAREZ: They have given their all, Juan. But the question remains: will they have enough to dethrone Troy Windham?
SIMONS: As I look around, it looks like we have just one of the outer rings still determining a winner. We’re going to throw it to the ring to determine the United States Champion, where it looks like Kin Hiroshi is still in the running to defend his title!
GOLD RUSH Challenge
United States Championship Ring
BUCKLEY: Hear that, Sammy?
BENSON: The dinner bell?
BUCKLEY: That’s the sound of forty-one gladiators charging into combat.
BENSON: I didn’t know there was an in-flight movie.
BUCKLEY: If you can hear the sound of my voice over the action and crowd, then you’ve joined us to watch the action here in the ring featuring the United States Championship! Kin Hiroshi is looking to protect his championship and to find a way to hold on and move onto the center ring to challenge for the UNIFIED Title.
BENSON: He should’ve bribed the field with muffins laced with Nyquil.
BUCKLEY: Whoa! Hiroshi was trying to stay out of the initial action, but Hornet just barreled through the field and caught up with him! He slams the US Champ into the turnbuckle and is choking the life out of him with a boot to the throat!!
BENSON: Poor bitter old man. He can take it that Hiroshi beat him fair-and-square for the US Title.
BUCKLEY: You really like to rewrite history, don’t you?
BENSON: It’s a talent.
BUCKLEY: While the former US champ goes after the current one, we’ve got a literal scrum in the middle of the ring as the other eight competitors are just pounding away! Nova springs out from the middle of the pack, catching Rob Torborg with a spinning back elbow to the mouth! Kevin Powers, the biggest man in this ring by far, sends Simon “S.A.T” Theodore sprawling into a turnbuckle. And now it looks like the big man, a former US Champ in his own right, is going after Hornet and Hiroshi! He pulls Hornet off of Hiroshi and drops him with a HUGE short-arm clothesline!
BENSON: It’s amazing what getting drunk before a match can do for you. Not that it couldn’t have happened to a better person than ol’ Bugbrain.
BUCKLEY: Kevin Powers pulls Hornet up to..and OFF… his feet! He’s holding him up in the air by his throat, and it looks like he might try and just PUSH him over the top rope with Hiroshi’s help!
BENSON: Can you imagine if Hornet goes out FIRST? I might squeal like a little girl who just got invited into Troy Windham’s dressing room.
BUCKLEY: Speaking of the UNIFIED Champ, he’s taken a break from making his catcalls to focus on what’s happening here. This could be our first elimination of the NIGHT…not just in the US ring! Powers is trying to get Hornet higher off the ground with Kin’s help… NO! Thumb to the eye by Hornet!
BENSON: It’s dirty tricks, I tell you!
BUCKLEY: Hornet drops to the mat, but jumps to the second turnbuckle! REVERSE DDT onto Powers! And Kin Hiroshi makes a quick getaway, only to literally bump into the back of Scott Riktor! They both turn around… spinning HEEL KICK by Riktor! And the US Champ just hit the mat hard! Meanwhile, Kevin Powers has pulled himself, but right in the middle of a gaggle of smaller wrestlers! Standing at 6’10 and over 300 pounds, it looks like Kin Hiroshi isn’t the only man with a target on his back.
BENSON: They’d be stupid to realize that if Powers holds on until just two or three of them are left, he could run the table.
BUCKLEY: Powers tries to charge Hornet again, but gets a boot to the face that knocks him directly into a HUGE spinebuster from Bobby Karma! Powers is up quickly, but he gets caught with a DDT by “The Commander.”
BENSON: Exactly what does T. Waring “command?” His underpants?
BENSON: Yes, yes, please excuse me. I’m sure he’s a naval commander with a fleet just off the Outer Banks.
BUCKLEY: Powers is down, but not out! He seems to be the focus of an almost unified effort. Scott Riktor and Kin Hiroshi continue to go at it in one corner while SAT and Nova are in the other. But that leaves two corners left and Powers in the middle of the ring. Look out below! Greensboro native Troy Douglas comes off the top…. TOP ROPE HEADBUTT!
BENSON: And the man he ‘manages,’ Kin Hiroshi, doesn’t seem to be coming to his aid…
BUCKLEY: It’s not over yet though! Zell Hunter off the top! MARIO STOMP!
BUCKLEY: He just literally jumped into Powers’ midsection.
BENSON: Yeah, I saw that! But what the hell is a “Mario Stomp.”
BUCKLEY: What you just saw!
BENSON: Oh…I thought it was some sort of maneuver involving a plumber, the Mafia and a wrench.
BUCKLEY: I really wonder about you sometimes.
BENSON: Haven’t you ever seen the Sopranos?
BUCKLEY: Hunter and Douglas have Powers up and against the ropes. “Good God” Kevin Powers isn’t one to quit though, he got his legs wrapped around the ropes and is calling for help from Kin Hiroshi. But Hiroshi is still embroiled with Scott Riktor, and now Rob Torborg joins the action there as well.
BENSON: The only other help he can hope for is from his dear dear friend, Captain Morgan.
BUCKLEY: Waring charges in to try and help take out Powers, but S.A.T. catches him on the way over with a big bulldog! He pulls “The Commander” to his feet and takes his breath away with a low blow!
BENSON: See, that’s the kind of guy I like. Using that brain of his. Did you know he’s a spelling bee champion?
BUCKLEY: Wait a second. You called down Hornet for using a thumb to the eye and now…
BENSON: I’m like a brainteaser, Buckley. The harder you try to unravel me, the more difficult it becomes.
BUCKLEY: Crazy is more like it. Zell Hunter and Aaron Douglas continue to try to break Kevin Powers’ hold on the ropes, but it looks like they’re going to get a little more help. Nova has been left unoccupied, and now he’s up top!
BENSON: Did I just hear Junior Hornet yell “CLEAR!” in the center ring? He better not be calling for Timmy Windham!
BUCKLEY: No…I think he’s just excited about THIS! NOVACAINE!!! NOVACAINE!!! Nova just jumped all the way across the ring and caught Kevin Powers right in the head! Kevin Powers is OUT!
BENSON: But Nova better watch out himself! Zell Hunter just dropped a knee to the head of the downed Nova, but here comes Bobby Karma! The Rome, Georgia native charges in with a SPEAR like he’s just been sitting back and waiting for his moment. He and Hunter just went THROUGH the ropes to the outside! But they’re not eliminated because they didn’t go over the top! They’ll have a count to return to the ring or risk being disqualified.
BENSON: You mean they can’t just sit on the outside, then rush in at the last minute, eliminate one guy and win the thing? Because that would be…. Predictable.
BUCKLEY: Karma has already rolled himself back in, while Hunter takes a moment to shake off the cobwebs. On the other side of the squared circle, Hiroshi has found a way to extricate himself from Torborg and Riktor, but he turns around to find himself out of the frying pan and into the fire. It’s HORNET!
BENSON: Eddy Love tried bug spray. Mike Randalls tried electricity. Jim Williams tried fire and a branding iron. GUNS tried sheer muscle. It’s like nothing will kill him! Would Thomas fire me if I tested out my theory that he’s bulletproof?
BUCKLEY: Hornet with a right hand. He picks the US Champ up! BRAINBUSTER! And now we’ve got another near elimination as Zell Hunter is back in has Nova halfway over the ropes on his back. These two are almost the same size and weight….big elbow by Hunter just pounding away at the former LoC Legacy Champion. But here comes Bobby Karma again!
BENSON: Oh how his mother hates to hear those words.
BUCKLEY: Dropkick to the back of Hunter sends him careening into Nova and knocks him over!!! Zell Hunter spins around…Karma catches him…. FALL AWAY SLAM OVER THE TOP!!!! Zell Hunter is eliminated! And so is…. NO!! NOVA HELD ON!!! He skins the cat as Bobby Karma goes for a two-fer…. Double boot to the head knocks Karma out and allows Nova to come back through the ropes!
BENSON: That’s impressive. Seriously.
BUCKLEY: So we’re down to nine! Karma and Nova are facing off, Hornet continues to chase Hiroshi, S.A.T and Waring are against one turnbuckle, and Riktor and Torborg are in the opposite. And that leaves Troy Douglas all by his lonesome in still a third turnbuckle, getting a quick breather. But it looks like he’s about to jump back in the fray… he’s just choosing where to go.
BENSON: If he’s smart, he’ll stay right where he is. Then again, he’s from here in Greensboro.
BUCKLEY: And because of that, he may feel like he’s got only one choice. Troy Douglas charges right into the middle of Kin Hiroshi and Hornet and catches Hiroshi from behind with a Canadian backbreaker! He drops to the mat with Hiroshi, and now he’s got the US Champ locked in a dragon sleeper!!!!
BENSON: That can’t be good.
BUCKLEY: No indeed! At least not for Hiroshi’s chances of retaining the US Title. Hornet is simply standing there grinning as he watches the other Greensboro native take it to the US Champion!
BENSON: I’m telling you, the man’s a sadist. I’m surprised he hasn’t pulled out a branding iron from under the ring and gone crazy.
BUCKLEY: There’s still time. And I think I know who he might come after first.
BENSON: Don’t be so hard on yourself. He doesn’t hate you that much.
BUCKLEY: It would be a like a dream come true… to see you running for your life. Anyway, Hornet steps back and let Douglas continue to choke out Hiroshi. On the other side of the ring, Simon “S.A.T” Theodore turns “The Commander” into the ropes and is firing away with right hands. He puts Waring in a headlock and launches himself off the second rope… BULLDOG! S.A.T. quickly back up to his feet…he pulls Waring up and slams him into the turnbuckle back-first. He’s a got a boot up into Waring’s throat and he’s choking the EUWC European Champ.
BENSON: See, he’s showing those spelling-bee-champion smarts. He knew he couldn’t hold Waring in the corner for long, so he used his skill to take him off his feet, and now he’s using his smarts to choke the life out of the bigger man.
BUCKLEY: A man after your own black heart, huh?
BENSON: Who said I had a heart, Buckley?
BUCKLEY: Good point. While S.A.T. continues to work over Waring, Scott Riktor is taking a dangerous chance by climbing one of the turnbuckles on the far side. He’s taking aim on Rob Torborg, but all it takes is one misstep… MISSILE DROPKICK by Riktor and Torborg just got pounded into the ring. Riktor quickly follows up with a leg drop, and now works on pulling Torborg to his feet so he can try and get him up-and-over! S.A.T. is doing the same thing in the other turnbuckle, trying to get the larger Commander over the top the hard way. He’s got one of Waring’s legs over the top, but the big man isn’t going out that easily.
BENSON: That just looks wrong.
BUCKLEY: And in the middle of the ropes nearest to us, Nova is having absolutely no luck getting Bobby Karma’s frame lifted over the top rope. Nova’s about six inches taller than Karma, but Karma still outweighs the former PTC Extreme Champion by about 15 pounds. Nova tries to deadlift Karma over, but only succeeds in putting him over the second rope.
BENSON: Bobby says “What Comes Around Goes Around”… apparently that extra breakfast at IHOP is keeping his championship hopes alive.
BUCKLEY: We still have eight competitors with hopes of winning the US Championship in this one, and one man who is desperately trying to hold on to his gold belt. Waring has gotten out of his predicament and is handing it to S.A.T. in the far turnbuckle. And the US Champ Kin Hiroshi looks like he may be completely out of it, thanks to Troy Douglas’ dragon sleeper. And now, Douglas is getting help from his hometown hero as the two try to pull Hiroshi’s dead weight up and get him against the ropes. Douglas lifts Hiroshi over his shoulder, and now Hornet climbs through the ropes to the apron to help pull the US Champ over. But it looks like Kin has regained his senses enough to know what’s going on… and he’s fighting for his life!
BENSON: After all the hard work he went to in order to get that title away from Hornet, he can’t blow it here!
BUCKLEY: Hiroshi catches Hornet in the jaw with a flailing kick that knocks him off the apron, but he’s still in it because he hasn’t gone over the top rope. As Hornet rolls back inside, Hiroshi is using his elbows to try and force his way out of Douglas’ clutches… he does so… and lands on the other side of the apron. He’s about two inches away from elimination! Hornet’s yelling at Douglas…
BENSON: LOOK OUT!
BUCKLEY: The big man called “The Commander” T. Waring sees weakness and charges across the ring! Douglas turns halfway…. HUGE CLOTHESLINE!!! DOUGLAS IS UP AND OVER! AND SO IS THE COMMANDER!!! AND HIROSHI SURVIVES! Troy Douglas is eliminated! And The Commander is gone too! What just … ?
BENSON: Hiroshi saw the freight train coming and got out of the way… but he did so by dropping down and pulling the top rope, allowing Waring and his 276 pounds to collide into Douglas and take them both to the floor. You have to give the man credit.
BUCKLEY: Apparently so. And Hiroshi was quick to roll back under the bottom rope to get himself out of danger… even though he caught a knee drop from Hornet as a welcoming gift.
BENSON: So Hornet let Douglas do all the work, and now Douglas is gone? Does no one else see the man for what he is?
BUCKLEY: You’re even more anti-Hornet than usual, Sammy.
BENSON: Look, you and I have been around a long time… if he even gets a sniff of that center ring and Troy Windham… I just don’t wanna see it.
BUCKLEY: And then there were seven! Hornet has Hiroshi on his back on the mat nearest to us and is teeing off him with rights and lefts. Bobby Karma and Nova are playing the irresistible force versus the immovable object as Karma continues to use his low center of gravity to stay out of any real danger. S.A.T. is taking a breather in the far corner, but he’s dangerously close to where the battle between Scott Riktor and Rob Torborg is raging. Riktor almost had Torborg out after that missile dropkick minutes ago, but Torborg has fought his way back in by staying down on the mat and forcing Riktor to come after him. The former BWF World Champion has an ankle lock in on Riktor and he shows no sign of letting up.
BENSON: And it looks like S.A.T. has decided it’s time to jump back onto the dance card.
BUCKLEY: You’re showing your age, Sammy.
BENSON: It’s a saying, Buckley. Get over it.
BUCKLEY: S.A.T. with a huge headbutt on Torborg that staggers him and forces him to release the anklelock on Riktor. The LoC Legacy champion pulls himself up using the turnbuckle as S.A.T. catches Torborg with a knee lift to the mouth that may have loosened a few of his pearly whites! Riktor’s limping on the ankle, but it looks like he and S.A.T. have worked out an alliance as they pull Torborg to his feet and send him across into the ropes… DOUBLE ELBOW lays Torborg out. But the two simply pull him back up for more. Back into the ropes… huge leaping heel kick from Riktor staggers Torborg… BULLDOG from S.A.T. crushes him to the mat!
BENSON: He may have left a permanent imprint of his face there… I’m not sure yet.
BUCKLEY: Riktor pulls Torborg up and holds him against the ropes. S.A.T. grabs his legs and simply flips him over the top…and Rob Torborg is eliminated from GOLD RUSH! But the alliance is over! S.A.T. turns around into a DDT by Riktor!!!
BENSON: Yikes. That may spell disaster for Mr. Theodore.
BUCKLEY: That’s a truly horrible, horrible pun.
BENSON: What? Oh…spells…yeah, I got it.
BUCKLEY: And to think I gave you credit for it, even as awful as it was. S.A.T. is in trouble as Riktor props him up in the corner and unleashes on him with a series of brutal kicks. Nearest to us, Hornet continues to dominate the US Champion… it looks like Kin Hiroshi is bleeding from the mouth, or perhaps from his nose…let’s just say it doesn’t look pretty.
BENSON: Somebody get the man a towel and a muffin!
BUCKLEY: He pulls Hiroshi to his feet, and it looks like Hornet is going to try and work and endgame on the man who stole the US Title from him.
BENSON: Fair and square…
BUCKLEY: By definition, if something’s stolen…it was neither fair nor square.
BUCKLEY: As Hornet pulls Hiroshi towards the ropes to set him up, we’ve got a sudden flurry from Bobby Karma. He’s turned the tables on Nova with a quick fisherman suplex out of nowhere. And now he’s got him locked again…hold on…. FALL AWAY SLAM OVER THE TOP!!! But Nova held on the top AGAIN and he’s still in it! Karma thinks he’s eliminated Nova…and he’s already looking for his next victim! He charges across the ring towards Hornet! SPEAR! SPEAR!!! He takes Hornet through the ropes to the floor!
BENSON: He just can’t seem to do anything right can he?
BUCKLEY: He’s certainly made an impact! Nova is still recovering on the apron after pulling himself back to safety, but he’s still in a precarious spot. And he just wiped out Hornet by taking him through the ropes to the floor!
BENSON: But Karma looks a little worse for wear too. I think he may have knocked himself out hitting his head on the floor!
BUCKLEY: You may be right! Hornet is the first one to stir. He extricates himself from under Karma’s right arm and is trying to pull himself back onto the apron. The referees outside are checking on Karma…if he’s determined not able to continue, he’ll be disqualified from the match.
BENSON: So you’re saying he would’ve eliminated himself?
BUCKLEY: Exactly right.
BENSON: That may be a first... hmmm… there was that one IRONMAN of CHAMPIONS…
BUCKLEY: Hiroshi has dragged himself to the turnbuckle and is trying to recover from the beating he took for the last few minutes. S.A.T. is trying to scramble away from Scott Riktor with no luck. And we actually have three men outside the ropes… Karma is being checked on, Nova is recovering on the camera-side apron, and Hornet is pulling himself back up to the apron on the opposite side.
BENSON: Riktor’s the only one that looks like he’s still in shape to win this thing at the moment. But that can all change…
BUCKLEY: Hornet pulls himself through the ropes and into the ring and sets his sights on Hiroshi. Wait a second… Nova springs into action as well… literally. He jumps onto the MIDDLE of the top rope and launches across the ring!!! He spins in the air…. HUGE ELBOW!!! HORNET’S OVER…. AND OUT!!! Hornet has been eliminated by Nova and that huge spinning-flying-elbow-of-doom! I’ve never seen a move like that in a battle royal…and certainly not all the way across the ring!!!! It was out of nowhere!
BENSON: (crying) I knew you wouldn’t let it happen. And I promise I’ll never drink again...
BUCKLEY: You’re about to be struck by lightning, aren’t you?
BENSON: Very possibly.
BUCKLEY: Nova almost went over the top with Hornet, but the rebound was enough to keep him against the ropes! You’ve witnessed something special here folks… it’s not often you see that much athleticism and agility combined with all-out risk. But Nova’s not safe yet! Hiroshi is up and now he’s after the man that just did him a huge favor! Leg sweep by Hiroshi, and now a quick leg lariat keeps Nova grounded!
BENSON: He’s the next biggest man left.
BUCKLEY: You’re right… Nova knocked out the largest man left in the ring – Hornet was six-foot-five and there is no one left over six-foot-three. But speaking of knocked out, the referees have ruled Bobby Karma alright to continue and are giving him a ten-count to get back into the ring. He rolls inside, but he’s still trying to shake the cobwebs out.
BENSON: He better do it quick…cause there’s Hiroshi!
BUCKLEY: The US Champ rattles Karma with a huge boot to the head! A quick leg drop on the back of the head follows up! On this side of the ring, Riktor charges Nova, trying to take advantage of fatigue after the huge athletic feat he just displayed. Riktor charges in with a leaping heel kick, but Nova drops to the mat and it misses! But Riktor follows with a dropkick to the head that may have just knocked Nova unconscious!
BENSON: That was nasty. I liked it.
BUCKLEY: Of course you would. Riktor focused on Nova, but he doesn’t see S.A.T behind! LOW BLOW by Simon Theodore drops Riktor to his knees, and now S.A.T. follows with a headbutt! He pulls the dazed Riktor up and sends him for the ride across the ring… Riktor ducks the clothesline and comes back across… he just NAILED S.A.T. with a scissor kick on his way back across!
BENSON: But this time he doesn’t see NOVA!
BUCKLEY: T-BONE SUPLEX takes Riktor from a huge high to a major low! Nova pulls him up and catches him with an elbow…he whips him across the ring… and S.A.T is there! MASSIVE BACK BODY DROP…. OVER THE TOP!!!! Scott Riktor is OUT! And we’re down to four!
BENSON: Make that three!!!
BUCKLEY: Kin Hiroshi just dropkicked Bobby Karma over the top to the floor! Bobby Karma is eliminated! We’re left with the US Champion in the center of the ring, Nova on one side, and S.A.T. on the other…and we’ve got a three-way staredown! All men charge at once! DROPKICKS all around… they just hit each other and collided! Nova and Hiroshi are up first! Jumping calf kick by Nova backs Hiroshi against the ropes and the US Champion is in enormous danger of losing his title right here!
BENSON: Only two are going through to the center ring… and right now, two have taken their eyes off a man who has proved himself to be immensely dangerous! Can you spell S-A-T?!
BUCKLEY: Nova has Hiroshi halfway over the top, but S.A.T charges and tries to take both men out at once!!! Instead, he gets caught with an elbow from Nova, but he may have just saved Kin Hiroshi from elimination!
BENSON: Sometimes the best laid plans…
BUCKLEY: Nova with a german suplex that sends S.A.T. across the ring…he starts to go for a crossface, but quickly pulls up, realizing that Hiroshi is still a danger behind him. But that allows S.A.T to catch him with a simple kick to the shin that sends him into a Northern Lights suplex by Hiroshi!!! But Nova is back up immediately! NECKBREAKER by Hiroshi! S.A.T. charges, but gets brought down by a Hiroshi clothesline!
BENSON: Muffins for everybody!
BUCKLEY: S.A.T is up, but Hiroshi quickly says something to him… it looks like the US Champ is trying to enlist the rookie’s help in eliminating Nova.
BENSON: Wouldn’t you rather go against a rookie, even a smart one, rather than a known quantity like Nova?
BUCKLEY: He may be new to the CSWA, but Nova has established a name for himself as the Legacy Champion among others… it looks like the deal is signed! Both men pull Nova to his feet and send him into the ropes… wait… DOUBLE CLOTHESLINE by Nova takes both men down! They’re up… spinning kick by Nova to S.A.T. … dropkick to Hiroshi! S.A.T charges again, but gets caught with another german suplex! Hiroshi with a dropkick! Nova’s up, but Hiroshi locks his head…. Powers him up for a suplex… S.A.T DROPKICKS HIROSHI. BOTH MEN GO OVER!!!
BENSON: I TOLD YOU! The man is a SPELLING BEE CHAMPION for goodness’ sakes!
BUCKLEY: Nova hits the floor, but Hiroshi somehow manages to hold onto the top rope!!! S.A.T thinks he’s got this thing won…he’s calling for the referee to bring in the US Title! Nova is eliminated but we’ve still got two men left in this one…and only one knows it!
BENSON: Poor kid, sometimes the thrill of victory can get to you.
BUCKLEY: If he’s not careful, he’s going to find out about the agony of defeat! Hiroshi pulls himself up to the apron, making sure not to touch the floor. But instead of climbing back in…he’s going up top!! Simon A. Theodore is still arguing with the referee, who is trying to explain to him that he’s not the last man standing! He finally turns around! HURRICANRANA FROM THE TOP ROPE BY HIROSHI! S.A.T. just got flung into the opposite turnbuckle and hit his head hard! Look at Hiroshi’s eyes!
BENSON: He can smell it, Buckley. He came here to keep that belt, and he’s ready to make good on that promise.
BUCKLEY: Kin Hiroshi pulls S.A.T out of the far corner and drops him with an inverted reverse DDT! And now he’s headed up to the top again! There’s no reason for him to do this… he could send Theodore over the top right now!
BENSON: It’s the adrenaline, Buckley. He could be making the same mistake S.A.T. did a minute ago. Then again, he could just be showing off. If so, I like it.
BUCKLEY: The US Champ is on the top rope and he’s pointing to the US Title overhead, and now at the UNIFIED World Title above the center ring! Hiroshi from the top…. ASAI MOONSAULT!! HE NAILED IT! S.A.T. convulses…. If this were a match decided by pinfall, Hiroshi would have as long a count as he needs. But instead, he pulls S.A.T. and benchpresses the rookie over his head.
BENSON: He’s lucky the kid is just 219 pounds.
BUCKLEY: True, given that Kin is just 230. The United States Champion walks a couple of steps towards us and simply tosses S.A.T. over the top to the floor! S.A.T. is eliminated… and Kin Hiroshi retains the United States Championship! But both men are headed to the center ring to face Troy Windham for the UNIFIED World Championship!
BENSON: It’s going to be NINE against one, Buckley. Then again, Cruise is in there, so take away one-and-a-half.
BUCKLEY: As S.A.T. takes a moment to recover, Hiroshi is on his way to the center ring where it sounds like Troy Windham is still doing commentary of his own. We’re going to get situated to get a birds’ eye view at the center ring, folks… the bell will ring in moments and the UNIFIED Title will be on the line!
Presidential Approval Ratings
With ANNIVERSARY well underway, CSWA owner Stephen Thomas sits alone in a plush leather chair ensconced inside the Presidential Suite of the CSWA. Earlier he sent away all the staffers that would usually be waiting to cater to his every whim. And so he sits there in silence, peering out from high above, watching the four rings in action.
The GOLD RUSH spectacle had sprung full-formed from his mind like Athena, brought on by desperation. The Hacker had been amusing at first, bringing to mind the ‘good ol’ days’ of the CSWA when some jumped up heel would name himself “The Boss” and wreak havoc by kidnapping a Parsons or rolling a wheelchair-bound Hornet down some stairs. Then his ‘hacks’ had become annoying, affecting production and forcing CSWA staffers to scramble to keep them out of the eye of the public as much as possible.
Then there was the CRUISE. The Hacker not only took over the boat and caused production to come to a standstill, but had actually stolen the boat and left the CSWA with lawsuits from several of the fans attending. Surprisingly, given the CSWA’s history with cruise ships, their insurance policy didn’t cover them for what was, in essence, an act of piracy in international waters.
That left Thomas to foot the bill for the ship, the pending lawsuits, as well as to pay back U-62 for the advertising dollars lost when the CSWA had to air “Best Of” shows instead of new content. And so, in the scramble of trying to come up with the ‘next big thing’, Thomas had hit a vein with GOLD RUSH.
It couldn’t go any better: the Auditorium at capacity, U-62 willing to take this event as partial repayment for the earlier blunders. But Thomas can’t rest. He keeps wondering when and where the Hacker will strike next.
The noise of the interior elevator shakes Thomas from his reverie. He gulps the last of his drink and straightens his tie in anticipation. Only one other man knows the code to enter that elevator – not even Hortense has been able to nag that one out of him. They had debated the cost of the “secret” elevator when the building was built – the city of Greensboro has refused to support the arena with any funding, so his partner had been focused on cutting as much excess cost as he could. Thomas had gotten around that little problem when he suggested that the building should be called the “Merritt Auditorium.”
The elevator doors slide open, part of the intricate cabinetry around the room moving as part of them. Thomas’ former partner, the former co-owner and then sole owner of the CSWA and CS Enterprises, Chad Merritt, steps into the Presidential Suite for the first time in a long, long time.
“So you came.”
“You asked me to. You seem surprised,” Merritt responds.
“I didn’t know if you still had any loyalty.”
“To the man that kicked me out and took my name off the building? And then gloated about it this time last year?”
“To the company you helped found and all the families that make their living here.”
“What do you want, Steve? I’ve got a flight back to the Caymans in a couple of hours.”
“Surely you can stay as long as you need to.”
“I lost my company jet privileges too, remember? My charter is scheduled to leave in two hours. Of course, I don’t mind waiting at the airport if you don’t get to the point.”
“You know the point by now.”
“The Hacker? How in the world is he… or she… still around?”
“I don’t know. I had Gethard investigating.”
“First mistake. Why didn’t you have Ivy look into it?”
“She’s been busy, and apparently now she’s pregnant.”
“And she doesn’t like you half as much as she did me.”
“I doubt that. Look, we didn’t find anything.”
“Any more cards or letters from your special friend,” Merritt asks.
“Not so far. He’s been quiet. Too quiet.”
“Any leads on who it might be?”
“It has to be someone internal. Or at least someone who’s getting a lot of internal help. I mean, forget the stuff that’s happened on TV…”
“Or the fact that he stole a cruiseliner out from under you?”
“It’s the other stuff… the access to the internal workings of the company.”
“Did you ever tell Paul that it was the Hacker who signed Ruben Ross?”
“No. I thought it was better to…”
“To let him think it was just another of your attempts at ratings? Instead of letting him know that he’s apparently in the direct line of fire?”
“I think he figured that out on the Cruise,” Thomas responds.
“The Hacker locked Hornet, Ivy and Teri in a cabin together.”
“Good grief. And they all came out alive?”
“And Ivy’s pregnant?”
“It’s clearly Sean’s.”
“So what is it you want from me?” Merritt asks.
“I want your help. I want you to help me figure out who this is before it brings this company down. I want you to look over everything I’ve already checked on, make sure I haven’t missed anything, make sure that…”
“No. I’ve got a life to go back to. I’ve got my own work to do. You kicked me out of here, accused me of trying to kill you off and took away my legacy. You figure it out.”
“If I could, I wouldn’t have brought you here.”
“Look, we can work this out. We always have before. I’ll put your name…”
“See ya, Steve. Give my best to Hortense. That is, I’m assuming you’re still married to her since you still have her stock shares.”
The elevator doors slide closed as Merritt enters, the motion sensors reacting. The cabinets close back into their normal position, leaving Thomas to consider that he is now well behind in the count. Two strikes in the bag… and only room for one more.
Deep in thought, he doesn’t hear Marsha’s knock on the door at first. It’s quickly replaced by a deeper, louder knock that won’t take no for an answer. Thomas hits the button beneath his desk and the doors open, admitting…
“What do you want?”
GOLD RUSH Challenge
Center Ring - UNIFIED Title
(CUTTO: Troy Windham in the in the Center ring, enjoying every minute of the spectacle. If he only knew it’d take a year off his life. Windham tightens his headset and begins jumping on the balls of his feet.)
TROY WINDHAM: If you’re just turning over to this PPV Channel of GOLD RUSH you’ve missed a year’s worth of entertainment! While these jackals are going at it tooth and nail, I’ve found the next American Idol, fielded a call from JK Rowling, that hot cougar who writes books about underage wizards about the plot to her next book, and gave the Olsen twins the five pounds they needed to reach triple digits. A lot can happen in the Boy Troy’s world while the second-class fight amongst themselves for a ray of hope! So, dig it, Stephen Thomas wanted me to do a little commentary just in case Dan Ryan’s numbers sank like a stone again. I know you haven’t been watching any of the other rings. Why would you? The original shock jock can carry this show by himself! I’ve got a feeling we’ll be here all night waiting for the cream to rise, so let’s head upstairs to Marsha’s office and find out where she keeps those stacks of Troy Windham fan fiction.
(SFX: DING! DING!)
(CUTTO: Windham, halfway out of the ring, climbing back in.)
TROY WINDHAM: That better not be Ryan! (CUTTO: Watson rolling outside the ring, catching his breath.) Who? Ohhh. Ha! Watch this!
(CUTTO: Troy Windham holding the ropes open for Kevin Watson, formerly known as K-9. Kevin approaches cautiously, but then decides to accept the offer. Once in the ring, he starts to throw a right hand but Troy slides in, throws his arm around Watson’s shoulder and points to the camera.)
TROY WINDHAM: I’m Troy Windham here with the New Greensboro Heavyweight Champion, a belt held by hundreds. Most notably yours truly. K-9, how’s it feel?
WATSON: Great. I guess…
TROY WINDHAM: You’ve been able to put one foot in front of the other this time around in the CSWA. What’s the reason for the improvement? Is there a woman we need to know about? A younger sister?
WATSON: Troy, I’m not stopping here. This is nice, but…
TROY WINDHAM: But you want more? I got it. Pose for a quick shot before we begin?
WATSON: What the hell. Sure.
(CUTTO: Watson putting his arm around Troy’s shoulder, Windham stepping aside and with two hands around Watson’s collar, throwing him over the top rope.)
TROY WINDHAM: Wheeeeee!
(CUTTO: Watson flying over the top rope and landing right in the arms of both Eron and JA. Both men, take a step forward and throw him off. Watson lands back on the apron, butt first, his feet never touching the floor.)
TROY WINDHAM: I had that one planned weeks ago, just didn’t think I’d get anyone dumb enough to fall for it. I mean, maybe Cameron Cruise, but we’ve watched him get his ass kicked all night. (Troy stops as the people in the front row seem to be pointing behind him.) What? Idiots. The show is here…
(CUTTO: Windham turning around just in time to see Kevin Watson flying off the top rope with a clothesline!)
TROY WINDHAM: OOF!
(CUTTO: Kevin Watson standing and pumping his fists! He turns, DOUBLE DROPKICK BY ERON AND JA!)
TROY WINDHAM: I can’t breathe. Time out. Time out!
(CUTTO: JA and Eron standing, nodding their heads. JA turns, then whips back and drops Eron with a dropkick! Eron FLIES back and almost goes over the top rope!)
TROY WINDHAM: Where’s that little mutt? Come here!
(CUTTO: Troy rushing over to pick Watson up off the mat. Windham fires a right hand. Another. Windham pushes Watson in a corner, and sinks in his gut with a right knee lift.)
TROY WINDHAM: Ladies and gentlemen (CUTTO: JA suplexing Eron) I’ve reactivated the CSWA Hotline and am now taking requests. How should I finish these kids off? (Windham snaps his elbow over Watson’s jaw.)
(CUTTO: JA pounding Windham’s back with a double axe handle. JA grabs Troy by the hair and throws him into the corner head first where he caves in Watson’s gut further.)
(CUTTO: Eron unsettling JA with a left uppercut. Troy Windham with a knife edge chop on Eron! Eron pokes the eyes of the UNIFIED champ, and holds on to him! Windham helpless with both arms held behind his back!)
TROY WINDHAM: Come on, JA! That crack about your gimmick was too easy. You’re right -- I shouldn’t have taken it.
(CUTTO: JA with a superkick!, but Windham gets out of the way and Eron is DRILLED! Eron falls back against the ropes, where Watson scoops him up and tries to send him over the top rope!)
TROY WINDHAM: Nice shot kid! You saw my wink then?
(CUTTO: JA spearing Windham!)
(SFX: DING! DING!)
TROY WINDHAM: What’s your problem? (grunt)
(CUTTO: Windham and JA rolling around on the mat, trading blows.)
(CUTTO: K-9 all but having Eron over the top, but Eron won’t go down!)
(CUTTO: Dan Ryan to the LOVE of the crowd jumping up and over the top rope and into the ring, where he immediately flattens Kevin Watson! Eron flips back in the ring, and breathes a sigh of relief! Just in time too! Eli Flair SMASHES his left boot over Eron’s face!)
TROY WINDHAM: I’ve got a call! Time out! (CUTTO: Windham whipping JA in a corner, where Eli Flair follows him in with Eron’s body! JA and Eron collide!) Hello. Welcome to the (Breathes) CSWA Hotline, how can I help you?
DAN RYAN: (standing behind Troy on his cell phone) Yeah, I’d like to beat the hell out of you and take my UNIFIED title back. You can help me do that, right? What do I press, option 3?
TROY WINDHAM: Listen fool, I haven’t got time for prank ----- (Aha!)
(CUTTO: Troy turning around slowly with a horrified look on his face to see Dan Ryan tossing his phone outside of the ring, and leaping in the air to level Windham with a DROPKICK!)
(CUTTO: Watson and Eli Flair trading blows!)
(CUTTO: Eron DDT’ing JA!)
(CUTTO: Dan Ryan with an incredible mix of speed and agility, pushes Troy back into the ropes then shoots him across the ring! Troy off the ropes, is caught with a VICIOUS clothesline! Ryan walks over to a shaken Troy, lifts him up….high over his head. BENCH PRESS SLAM!)
(CUTTO: Kevin Watson jumping on Ryan’s back, catching the former CSWA World Champion in a Sleeper hold! Ryan, hands on his hips, jumps back…FALLAWAY SLAM!)
(CUTTO: Eron charging in at Ryan, but Dan scoops him up and throws him into the opposite corner!)
TROY WINDHAM: (pointing at JA) Get him buddy! For Canada!
(CUTTO: JA nervously eyeing Flair then charging at Ryan! Dan catches JA and delivers a SPINEBUSTER that shakes the ring!)
(SFX: DING! DING!)
(CUTTO: Dan Ryan and Eli Flair staring at each other, slowly walking towards one another. Standing toe-to-toe! Both men trade quick blows!)
TROY WINDHAM: Two for one!
(SFX: DING! DING! The United States Ring ends, and the bell signals the beginning of the final GOLD RUSH ring for the UNIFIED World Title!)
(CUTTO: Troy Windham hands outstretched, running into the center of the big men, obviously trying to push them over the ropes. Neither man budges. Both look at Windham with bemusement on their faces.)
(CUTTO: Eli and Ryan shoot Troy Windham across the ring and off the ropes, arms held for a double clothesline, but Windham rolls between them and the pair instead clothesline an oncoming Cameron Cruise!)
TROY WINDHAM: Oh please.
(CUTTO: Windham eyes a charging Tobias Stevens. Troy steps away from the ropes towards Stevens, bends, and back body drops Stevens OUT OF THE RING!)
(CUTTO: Stevens hitting HARD outside of the ring as he goes through a table.)
(CUTTO: JA and Eron trying to get K-9 out of the ring.)
RHUBARB JONES: Ladies and gentlemen the first man eliminated from the Center Ring, Tobias Stevens!!
(CUTTO: Eli Flair, backed into Dan Ryan in a corner, reaches behind him and pops the Ego Buster with a series of HARD elbow shots.)
(CUTTO: Watson fighting his way out of the corner as Cameron Cruise cold cocks JA!)
TROY WINDHAM: Get him Cruise! Get him!
(CUTTO: Kin Hiroshi and Simon Theodore hit the ring! S.A.T savat kicks Eli Flair! Hiroshi looks around then kicks Theodore in the back of the knee! Flair gets two hands around S.A.T’s throat, CHOKESLAM!)
(CUTTO: Troy Windham alone in a corner, ripping off a turnbuckle pad.)
(CUTTO: Dan Ryan pushes his way past Eli and meeting Cameron Cruise in the center of the ring! Cruise shows no fear and fires a shot right across Ryan’s face! Dan staggers, smiles, then pulls Cruise under his legs!)
BB: Hello wrestling fans, Bill Buckley….EGO BUSTER! By Dan Ryan! And Cameron Cruise is twitching.
SB: Which means he’s not dead yet.
BB: Very true Sammy Benson. Sorry for the delay, well, sorry for the Center Ring commentary being handled by Troy Windham! A decision made up top, not by me or Mr. Benson we can assure you! What a great night of CSWA action so far! A night like this just makes the future so rich with promise!
SB: How long have you worked here Buckley?
BB: Sammy, even you can’t no-sell the cue cards anymore. Folks, we started this out with Troy Windham versus nine challengers. Tobias Stevens was the unlucky target of the first elimination. However, we still have all three CSWA champions in the ring: the surviving United States Champ Kin Hiroshi, the once-and-now-new Presidential Champion Cameron Cruise, and the man who won the Greensboro Title and a CSWA contract, Kevin Watson! They’re joined by the winner and runner-up from the Title Shot ring, Dan Ryan and Eli Flair – two men that UNIFIED Champion Troy Windham cannot be excited to see. We’ve also got former Greensboro Champ JA and Eron, both runners up in their ring by virtue of going out at the same time. Simon Theodore, the runner-up from the US ring, gives us an even eight. One of these men is going to walk out of this final ring of GOLD RUSH at the UNIFIED World Champion!
SB: Speaking of the UNIFIED Champ…. It looks like Troy has some more commentary for us!
(CUTTO: Troy Windham asking for a house mic, as he steps away from the turnbuckle to reveal a giant wad of CASH stuck in the turnbuckle.)
BB: Eli Flair and Eron going toe-to-toe! Powerslam by JA! And Simon Theodore has a rude awakening! Almost half of the men that made it to the center ring started the night without CSWA contracts!
SB: And the other half haven’t seen a dime off theirs in a year!
TROY WINDHAM: Yo Yo Yo! Pause the action men! Time for an important announcement. (CUTTO: the fighting in-ring reluctantly coming to a halt.) What you see right here (Windham points to the stuffed cash) is $10,000. For dregs like Cameron Cruise, and some of you other no talent hacks most of the world has never heard of, that’s a lot of money. For me, that’s usually what I pay on a weekly basis to keep my exploits in the right newspapers! But tonight, I’m offering it to any and all of you who eliminate Dan Ryan! (CROWD: BOO!) He’s a cancer on this sport! He’s a cheater! The man is afraid of a piss cup! His reign as World Champion nearly sank this ship. If you wanna get paid, if you wanna EAT real steaks tonight, get that piece of (CENSOR) out of the ring. He had his shot!
BB: On that’s disgusting!
SB: Have you seen what this company still pays Chad Merritt? That’s disgusting.
BB: Windham can’t possibly expect anyone to take him up on his offer? There are such things in this sport as honor, valor, and decency!
(CUTTO: Cruise, Hiroshi, S.A.T. and Watson bum rushing Dan Ryan! Flair stands back as the pack of wolves devours Ryan. Dan fights them off, most taking some brutal shots for becoming bounty hunters.)
BB: They’ve got Dan Ryan teetering on the top rope! Hold on Ryan! Hold on! These fans in the CSWA Auditorium don’t want to see the Ego Buster eliminated! Ryan wrapping himself around the ring ropes! Hiroshi with a shot to Ryan’s groin!
SB: That’s it Kin. Loosen up those stones!
BB: Half the men in the ring are focused on Dan Ryan! Eli Flair and Eron are going toe-to-toe in one corner. JA has taken advantage and is going after the UNIFIED Champion, but he just took a vicious elbow!
SB: He might as well just jump over the top rope now!
BB: They can’t budge Ryan more! He’s halfway over but that’s it! (CUTTO: Troy Windham rushing in and throwing all of his body weight into the fray!) WINDHAM! NO! (CUTTO: Ryan slapping the apron as he goes up and over and onto the floor!)
BB: Windham just, I won’t dare to say he eliminated Ryan by himself…
SB: He just pocketed the 10 grand back!
BB: Eli Flair! (MARK!) Charging at Troy! Flair all over Windham like super glue! Eli sends Troy into the ropes, HOT SHOT! And now he’s standing over the money!
(CUTTO: Dan Ryan shaking his head in disgust on the outside of the ring.)
(CUTTO: Eli Flair ripping the money from the turnbuckle and throwing it into the crowd.)
SB: That’s stealing! Somebody get Gethard down here and get that money back from these peons!
BB: Flair sticks it to Troy Windham! Windham rushes in to stop the fire sale! But Eli has Troy in a headlock, now he’s running the Boy Troy’s face over the top rope! Just a little spark to start a fire!
RHUBARB JONES: Ladies and Gentlemen, Dan Ryan has been ELIMINATED from the Center ring!
BB: Ryan was cheated in a CSWA ring again! This crowd can’t believe it! That’s for damn sure!
SB: That’s the name of the game Buckley! Do you really think a guy like Eli Flair is upset to see competition like Dan Ryan eliminated?
BB: Troy Windham originally told CSWA owner Stephen Thomas that he refused to defend the title any more against Dan Ryan or his brother Mark – that’s what led to GOLD RUSH, and now Troy has pulled an ace out of his sleeve and gotten rid of the man he’s most afraid of! Flair sends Troy into the ropes, but Hiroshi steps in, SIDE-SLAM! Great teamwork by the UNIFIED and United States Champions! Eron and Cruise going at each other! Cruise with a neckbreaker!
SB: What if Cameron Cruise walks out of here as UNIFIED Champion?
BB: Not possible. (CUTTO: K-9 sending JA over the top rope, but JA holds on.)
SB: Really? And did you think Dan Ryan would go out SECOND?
BB: JA pulls himself back over the ropes, and tackles K-9! It’s the former Greensboro Champ versus the current one! JA turns and leaps onto the middle rope! LIONSAULT! The former Greensboro champ does a little jig and leaps back onto the ropes! AN Encore performance maybe?
(CUTTO: Cameron Cruise leaps onto the ropes next to JA! Both men look at each other, then Watson, and nod!)
BB: Double Lionsault! But Watson moves!
SB: He’s a wily vet, Buckley. The kind of man who’s learned to put up with the rain if he wants to get to the end of the rainbow.
BB: Clearly the time in Japan has served him well. (CROWD POP!) Flair with Troy Windham in a Press Slam! He’s got Windham, the UNIFIED World Champion at least three feet over his head! Sammy he’s going to toss Troy into the third row! Fans of CSWA History, ah screw it! New Champion!
(CUTTO: Simon Theodore grabbing Troy’s right leg and pulling him off of Flair’s shoulders just as Eli was in motion.)
BB: What in the world? (CUTTO: Troy thanking, then SlackKnifing S.A.T.!) Why would S.A.T. save Windham?
SB: Maybe he wanted to be the one who did it, Buckley. That or maybe the Spelling Bee Champion is a fraud and an idiot. We’ve been here long enough not to fully discredit the latter.
(CUTTO: Eli Flair catching S.A.T. by the neck as he bounces back up from Troy’s shot. Flair takes a step to his left and tosses S.A.T over the top rope.)
BB: Theodore over, but not out!!! Sammy the kid is hanging on with one hand!
SB: Sometimes that’s all we have to hang on to. We can’t all be married to Dixie Chicks.
BB: Theodore on the apron looking into the crowd, stunned by his own resiliency!
(CUTTO: S.A.T turning back to face the ring, then getting clotheslined OFF the apron by Eli Flair. And the crowd MARKS again!)
BB: Flair finishes the job! Eron with a clothesline to back of Flair’s head and the former World Champ hangs over the top rope like a rag doll! These two haven’t liked each other for a long time!
(CUTTO: JA hip tossing Windham out of a corner.)
(CUTTO: Cruise hoisting K-9 up with a Double Chicken wing.)
SB: You know how much I’d love to see the big bonehead sent out this early. Eli Flair is proof the CSWA should’ve used standardized testing when accepting applications. You think with those meat hooks he could color in a dot with a number 2 pencil?
BB: I thought there was a joke in there about him not being smart enough to answer the questions correctly.
SB: Well, Buckley “C” is always a good guess. Who knows how far that’d take Flair.
BB: The man is a former CSWA World Champion, Sammy. And after tonight, he may add UNIFIED World Champion to his incredible resume. Eron can’t lift Flair all the way over he’s going to need help! And here comes Windham! Troy scoops up Flair with Eron’s help!
(CUTTO: K-9 breaking out of the Chicken Wing, rushing to the ropes then at Cruise. Cameron backdrops Watson into Eron!)
SB: For the love of…
BB: Eli back on his feet! Saved by Cameron Cruise!
SB: That alone discredits a lot of his career. To end it by being saved by Cruise. How does one recover?
BB: Eli with a rake of the eyes, and Eron is blinded! Flair with a big shot over Eron’s shoulders and he goes down to the mat! Windham is furious with Cameron!
(CUTTO: Troy miming the previous action. Out of his mind that Cruise would cost the remaining contestants the chance at eliminating the man who started his career as “The Eliminator”.)
BB: Cruise turns his back to Windham, Troy spins him around and fires a right hook! No! Blocked by Cruise! The Presidential Champ decks the UNIFIED Champion!
(CUTTO: Kin Hiroshi and JA double clotheslining Cruise.)
BB: It’s a melee between the four champions! JA wants a high-five but Kin savat kicks him in the gut! K-9 off the middle ropes with a dropkick and Hiroshi flies into Troy Windham!
(CUTTO: Troy Windham going over the top rope!)
(CUTTO: Closeup of Troy holding on by one hand!)
SB: NO! NO hang on Troy! This would be a greater blow than Doomsday killing off the Man Of Steel! The world can’t handle losing another legend!
BB: Sammy you realize…
(CUTTO: JA rushes toward the fallen Windham looking to make the big score. As he gets close to Windham, Cameron Cruise reaches out and grabs JA by the neck, stopping the former Greensboro Champion inches from Troy’s lifeline – his hand holding the top rope.)
SB: Realize what? (whispers) Shut up Buckley, I’m trying to get a deal with another company. Lord knows this one’s tanking.
BB: Cruise NECKBREAKER! JA shoots back up, amazingly still on his feet!
(CUTTO: Windham looks back eyeing the action, skins the cat, up and over the top rope, his legs clinching JA’s head.)
BB: WINDHAM HURRICANRANA! AND JA IS ELIMINATED!
(CUTTO: JA flying over the top rope and hitting the floor, back first. Still lying on the mats outside, he looks up, then shakes his head in disgust.)
BB: Troy FLIPS himself back in the ring! And (BOO!) he’s patting himself on the back!
SB: Well deserved, if I could pat it from here I would, Buckley. The man is a genius and frankly can extend a dollar further than anyone else I know.
BB: Troy TURNS… DOUBLE DROPKICK by K-9 and Hiroshi! WINDHAM OVER THE TOP ROPE!
(CUTTO: Eli Flair and Eron trading blows in the middle of the ring.)
(CUTTO: Troy Windham desperately reaching for the top rope with his right hand but coming up empty!)
RHUBARB JONES: Ladies and Gentlemen, JA has been eliminated from this match!
BB: WINDHAM IS GONE, I DON’T BELIEVE IT!
SB: And you shouldn’t! Jimmy V was right DON’T GIVE UP, DON’T EVER GIVE UP!
BB: We’re going to have a NEW WORLD UNIFIED CHAMPION!
(CUTTO: Troy Windham standing on the middle of JA’s chest.)
BB: What in the world!
SB: Eat my shorts Buckley! Windham found a way! He’s greater than Jurassic Park!
(CUTTO: Troy Windham leaping off of JA’s chest and onto the apron, holding onto the bottom rope.)
BB: Cruise sends Eron into the ropes! Eron slides until Cruise’s legs, roundhouse kick!
(CUTTO: Close-up of one of Cameron’s back molars shooting out of his mouth and into the hands of some lucky fan!)
RHUBARB JONES: Ladies and Gentlemen…
SB: Don’t you do it Rhubarb! Windham never touched the floor! I want an official ruling!
BB: This isn’t effing Jeopardy Benson! We’re not trying to get the a correct pronunciation of a Latin word! Troy Windham is out of GOLD RUSH, END OF STORY! Flair throws K-9 into the corner….
BB: Flair charges with a high knee, K-9 MOVES!
BB: Wha? TROY WINDHAM charges after Flair HANDSRPING ELBOW! And he connects right in the chops! Flair is bloodied!
(CUTTO: Some dope in the third row showing off Cameron’s tooth to his friends. E-Bay beware.)
BB: Troy Windham pounding away on Flair! Right and lefts! Eli, the giant, the former World Champion…
SB: The man with the 8th grade education….
BB: Stop! Flair is rocked! Troy calls K-9 over….Watson obliges and charges at Eli. TROY STOPS HIM COLD! Windham with a SPEAR! He suckered Watson in! But what’s he doing here? Troy Windham is out of this match!
SB: NO! We have the official ruling Buckley! Well two actually. One, your wife IS in fact a whore and second WATCH this video!
(CUTTO: Hornet at the lobby of his luxurious “Hornet’s Greensboro Gym”, dressed to the nines.)
HORNET: Hi, I’m Hornet. Are you concerned about your weight? Are you concerned about your children’s physical well-being, or maybe that your wife only seems to be eating more and shrinking less. Well don’t be. Here at….
(CUTTO: LIVE! Action.)
BB: What the?
(CUTTO: Hiroshi slapping the FIGURE FOUR on Cruise.)
SB: Damn Hornet’s contract. His commercials are always on ready at the go. No, watch this one! Hit it, Marvin!
(CUTTO: REPLAY! Troy Windham being sent over the ropes, his hand reaching but slipping over the top rope. The look of regret on his face, then….landing on JA’s chest.)
(CUTTO: JA’s ‘WTF’ expression.)
(CUTTO: Troy looking around, at himself, his surroundings, and realizing he hasn’t touched the floor.)
(CUTTO: JA raising his hand up, his hands reaching for Windham’s legs.)
(CUTTO: Troy pushing JA’s head back down with his left leg, then shoving off and diving onto the apron.)
(CUTTO: Back to LIVE Action.)
BB: I stand corrected. This place is nuts. We’ve still got six men inside the ring and all are legally still part of this contest. No matter how much I can’t believe it.
SB: THAT WAS PROOF, BUCKLEY! INCONTROVERTIBLE PROOF!
BB: Calm down, Sammy. Like I said, this place is nuts. And since when did you know the word ‘incontrovertible.’
(CUTTO: Eron slamming Troy to the mat then dropping a BIG elbow.)
SB: This place defies reason Buckley. We’re standing on top of an ancient Indian burial ground, it’s the only explanation.
BB: Don’t wonder Randalls is so pissed.
SB: That or the remains of Chad Merritt’s brother are still here from his tragic fireworks accident during the CSWA first card on this site way back in 1988.
BB: Back to the action, and it’s Cruise reaching for the ropes, trying to break the figure four, but he can’t get there! Plus, I think instinct may have kicked in – there’s no ref inside to force Hiroshi to break the hold. Either way, K-9 helps Kin out and pulls Cruise to the center of the ring to keep him from getting any leverage.
SB: The more allies you find now the better your chances of sticking around later.
BB: Eron is working over the UNIFIED Champ in a corner. Troy gasping for air. He’s been dodging bullets all night. How many more lives does he have left, Sammy?
(CUTTO: Eli Flair leg-dropping Hiroshi in the face. Cruise released from the hold, screams in pain.)
SB: He’s David Copperfield without the need to rape women, Buckley.
BB: Nice Benson, nice. Windham thrown into the opposite corner, he GOES HEAD FIRST UP AND OVER THE TURNBUCKLE! But he’s on his feet on the apron like a legend of old! Cruise springs up and takes a wild chance at a dropkick but misses Troy! WINDHAM UP AND ON THE TOP ROPE!
SB: LOW RISK WINDHAM! LOW RISK! I can’t look…
BB: Hiroshi bounces off the middle ropes then onto the adjacent top rope next to Windham! (MARK!) KIN with a marvelous move! He slips a little though! I think Hiroshi was trying to kick Windham off the top rope, but he couldn’t quite stick the landing! Both men fighting delicately on the top rope!
SB: This can’t be good.
BB: Just minutes ago the UNIFIED and US Champions were working together. Now they’re fighting on the top rope like a scene out of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.)
SB: Great out-of-date movie reference, Buckley.
(CUTTO: Eli quickly getting to all fours and motioning at Eron to jump on him and take them out.)
(CUTTO: Eron nodding and then kicking Flair in the gut hard.)
(CUTTO: Eron laughing as K-9 sucker punches him in the gut. Eron doubles over.)
(CUTTO: Cameron Cruise running, and jumping on the back of Eron and LEAPING for Windham and Hiroshi.)
BB: Cruise IN THE AIR LIKE A MISSILE! DOUBLE HIP TOSS OUT OF THE RING! (MARK!) Windham and Hiroshi see it and react in a time, hip-tossing Cruise out of the ring! High-five between the two! Good Lord, Cameron Cruise went so far that he almost landed in the crowd!
(CUTTO: Troy Windham leaping back in the ring, back first, but while doing so dropkicking Kin off the top rope!)
RHUBARB JONES: Ladies and Gentlemen, Cameron Cruise AND Kin Hiroshi have been eliminated from this match!
BB: Windham with the move of the night so far! The match sense and instincts….
SB: That’s why he’s the UNIFIED World champion Buckley. The man is like Gretzky. He’s a step ahead, he sees the ice three, four moves ahead than the next guy.
BB: Whatever it is, he’s eliminated the United States and Presidential Champions in moments! Greensboro Champion Kevin “K-9” Watson buries a knee into Windham’s gut! Troy didn’t have the clairvoyance to respond to that attack in time! Watson backs Windham up against a corner. A HARD left jab! ANOTHER! The Boy Troy rocked! Sammy, he may be out on his feet! Here comes Eli! Flair with a big boot to the back of Watson’s neck! And K-9 collapses into Windham’s waiting arms!
SB: Quit hating on Troy’s court sense and realize you’re blessed for seeing true greatness! Windham is the only man who could quiet the gay factor in “High School Musical” and give it the street cred to rival “Grease!”
BB: Eli has Watson’s head with two hands and he’s smashing it into Troy’s chest! It’s like he’s playing with a kid brother out there! (CUTTO: Eron dropping behind Eli and uppercutting his groin.) Flair is staggered!
SB: Who wouldn’t be? Occupational hazard. I’ve seen retired wrestlers wear cups to play with their grandchildren. I’ve seen former World Champions dropped to their knees by a strong winter breeze…
BB: Okay! That’s enough. Eron has Flair and Watson by the hair… (CUTTO: Eron slamming Flair and Watson’s heads together) A meeting of the minds!
SB: Finally Mensa travels to Greensboro. Could’ve saved this company a long time ago.
BB: Troy kicks Eron in the stomach! Windham smashes K-9 and Eli’s skulls! Then headbutts Eron for good measure! Troy hops to the middle rope in a flash, DOUBLE BULLDOG! (CUTTO: Windham strutting to his feet after Eron and Eli are driven into the mat.) Troy grabs Flair’s legs, he’s going for the Scorpion Deathlock! (The crowd is UP!)
SB: First that damn Hornet commercial now this. I think that son of a bitch gets royalties when toilets are flushed around here. Yes I said BITCH... it’s a damn pay-per-view!
BB: Troy sits back! He’s got the Scorpion hooked in perfectly! NO!!! Kevin Watson with a boot to the back of Windham’s head! Eli’s best friend there!
(CUTTO: Watson attempting to toss Windham over the top ropes)
BB: Windham up and ---- no! Troy hung on and spun himself back in ring! And he drops K-9 with a wild right hand!
SB: If Troy goes on to retain, this match will always be remembered for two things!
BB: Eron with a camel clutch on Flair! Taking advantage as the big man was off his feet and on the mat! Two things Sammy? I dare ask….
(CUTTO: Troy slingshot suplexing K-9!)
SB: JA’s chest and the last time you and I worked together.
BB: Flair to his feet fighting the Camel Clutch! You know, at the end of this great man’s career he’d love to win GOLD RUSH and in the process be the one to eliminate Troy Windham! But first he has to get up and regain the upper hand --- Eli to his knees!
SB: Usually it’s Ivy’s name you hear at the front of that sentence.
BB: At one point in CSWA continuity Ivy was your boss Benson!
(CUTTO: WINDHAM SLACKKNIFING K-9!)
SB: This isn’t Marvel you idiot. There’s not a CSWA on Earth-2. Ivy’s not on another network, crippled as the Oracle. Geez…
BB: Flair on his feet and Eron on his shoulders!
SB: The POOLJAM days just never leave you. CHICKEN FIGHT!
BB: Windham climbs to the top turnbuckle! He’s caught Eli’s attention! Flair drops off his feet and Eron goes down hard! Windham perched like a falcon ready to soar! (CUTTO: Troy flying off with an elbow drop!) (MARK!) Yes! Windham and Eli working together!
SB: Dogs and cats, Buckley. Yes, paint an obvious picture please.
BB: I think even both men enjoyed that unexpected turn in their history. Boy watching that just ---
(CUTTO: Flair picking up and TOMBSTONING Watson into the mat.)
SB: Makes you want to adopt an African child and/or an at-risk puppy?
BB: Yes! Troy has Eron between his knees, lifts him up, POWERBOMB! Flair and Windham cleaning house! Sammy, I think both men want the end to be a part of their own final chapter! And wouldn’t that be great! To see Flair and Windham, one-on-one, ONE MORE TIME!
(CUTTO: Troy pointing at a fallen K-9 as he grabs Eron by the collar and motions he’s about to throw the kid out of the ring.)
BB: Flair nods! Sammy here we go!
(CUTTO: As Flair’s back turns, Windham drops Eron and runs at Flair!)
SB: DOUBLE CROSS! DOUBLE CROSS!
BB: Eli turns in time! HE KNOWS BETTER!
(CUTTO: Flair dropping down as a charging Windham almost reaches him, and back-body-dropping Windham OUT OF THE RING!)
(CUTTO: Troy Windham flying over the top rope with a “Great Scott” look on his face that Burt Ward would appreciate.)
BB: Windham ----
SB: What the!
(CUTTO: A cameraman drops his rig as Troy comes flying and crossbodys him! The cameraman falls back, dumping the UNIFIED Champion…
(CUTTO: Right onto Buckley and Benson’s table!)
SB: TROY? Troy! He’s still alive Buckley! The Great One! The EPITOME! Buckley! He’s not out!
(CUTTO: A dazed Troy Windham looking up at Benson and Buckley, unsure if he’s alive or dead.)
BB: This is unreal.
SB: No, BELIEVE IT, Buckley! Troy, are you okay? Buckley, where’s your wife, we need an ox to cart the body back in the ring, floor untouched.
BB: (CENSOR) you.
(CUTTO: Eli Flair standing at the ropes, drops his head in amusement. Only Windham. It’s moments like this he’ll miss.)
BB: I’m tired of it Benson! The jokes! The (CENSOR) jokes. She’s a good woman! This is for you!
(CUTTO: Buckley laying two hands and starting to push Windham off the table.)
SB: HE’S A MADMAN! STOP IT BUCKLEY!
(CUTTO: Sammy fighting with Buckley, trying to pull Windham back! Troy holding on furiously, cursing Buckley’s name.)
(CUTTO: Eron charging at an unsuspecting Eli!)
(CUTTO: Eron clipping Flair with a knee to his high back sending Flair up and OVER the top ropes. Flair lands on his knees on the middle of the floor.)
BB: Wha? Ugh, Flair…no! Flair has been eliminated! Eron like a coward taking out Flair with his back turned!
(CUTTO: Windham swatting at Buckley as he slowly gets to his knees on the table.)
RHUBARB JONES: Ladies and Gentlemen, ELI FLAIR (BOO!) has been eliminated from this match!
BB: Flair in what is scheduled to be his final CSWA (SB: Hell it could be ours….) appearance, giving Eron a piece of his mind!
SB: And I’m sure Eron is smart enough not to let Eli leave without the other half of it.
(CUTTO: K-9 bouncing off the distant ropes, running at Eron!)
BB: K-9 in the air! ERON back body drop!! (CUTTO: Watson flying in the air right at..)
(CUTTO: Windham leaping off the table and onto the ringside stairs just before K-9 CRASHES THROUGH Buckley and Benson’s table!)
BB: OHHHH! Sammy are you?
(CUTTO: Benson running from the scene, headset off…)
BB: Am I still on? Marvin?
(CUTTO: Windham leaping from the ringsteps to the apron then quickly to the top rope as Eron clutches his back in pain.)
BB: Troy leaps in the air!
(CUTTO: Eron stands, then has his head caught between Windham’s legs.)
BB: WINDHAM HURRICAN-RANNA! AND ERON------
(CUTTO: Eron up and over the top rope and hitting the floor!)
(CUTTO: Troy Windham holding on to the top rope with two hands, his chest caving in and out as he takes giant breaths.)
BB: ERON IS OUT!!!
SB: HE’S DONE IT! THE GREAT ONE HAS DONE IT!
(CUTTO: Windham flipping back in the ring!)
(SFX: DING! DING!)
RHUBARB JONES: Ladies and Gentlemen, ERON is eliminated. The winner of GOLD RUSH and STILL UNIFIED WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION…… TROY WINDHAM!
(MARK! The crowd can’t believe it.)
(MARK! The crowd is still gasping at the replays on CSWAvision.)
BB: As I live and breathe I cannot believe what I’ve seen! Troy Windham has won GOLD RUSH! Sammy, I’m….I’m….
SB: Speechless. And it took nearly twenty years.
(MUSIC UP: “Simply the Best” – Tina Turner.)
(CUTTO: Windham parading in the ring, crying as GOLD confetti drops from the rafters of the CSWA Auditorium and BOMBARDS THE RING and the crowd!)
(CUTTO: Windham, stunned, amazed, shocked by what he’s accomplished bathing in the golden riches of the aftermath.)
BB: He is the best, Sammy. Sometimes I hate to admit it, but….he’s the best.
BB: Yes Sammy?
(CUTTO: Troy Windham accepting the UNIFIED Title from senior referee Pee Wee Troutman.)
SB: Happy ANNIVERSARY.
BB: You too, Sammy. You too.
(CUTTO: UNIFIED Champion Troy Windham holds the title above his head, gold reflecting gold as the confetti rains down. He is visibly crying, shaking. He finally falls down to his knees, clutching the big gold belt to his chest.)
SB: Folks, we know this is normally the spot where psycho lunatic Mark Windham runs in, drops his brother on his head and tries to kill him, but I can guarantee you that Mark is nowhere near this building tonight. At the same time, I have it on good authority that Timmy Windham also is several states away.
BB: I’m sure you just thrilled most of our audience with that announcement, Sammy. Folks, he entered as the UNIFIED World Champion, so you wouldn’t normally expect this much emotion… but Troy Windham has just outlasted the biggest gauntlet that has ever been put in front of a UNIFIED Champion at one time. We’ve seen the ULTRATITLE Tournament, we’ve seen the IRONMAN of CHAMPIONS… both are as grueling, if not more-so… but never before has one man had to make it through a test of will and strength like GOLD RUSH. We’re watching Troy Windham take it all in… from the three times he thought his career was over due to injury, to the strain of being a member of the Windham family and fighting with his brother, to the… let’s call it what is is… FEAR of having to face men like Dan Ryan and Eli Flair again.
(CUTTO: A wide shot of the CSWA Auditorium. The confetti has stopped falling and Troy Windham is still celebrating by himself in the middle of the ring.)
SB: If you thought he was bad before, Buckley… I think the EPITOME is just getting started!
BB: We want to thank all of you for being a part of this special ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION. Whatever happens in the future, it’s been our pleasure to.
(CUEUP: “Zero” by Smashing Pumpkins)
(CUTTO: CSWAvision comes to life. Troy Windham’s head jerks up in disbelief.)
(CUTTO: Dan Ryan running to the ring as fast as he possibly can.)
BB: Is that? Dan Ryan?
SB: He’s coming out to congratulate Windham and be the bigger man. I like that. And I don’t like much from Texas.
(CUTTO: Ryan jumping into the ring as the confetti kicks up.)
BB: Ryan has the house mic…
DAN RYAN: (MARK!) Troy…turn around sunshine, I need you to read my lips in case you can’t hear what I’m about to say.
(CUTTO: A startled Windham turning to see Ryan. Immediately Troy starts laughing as if to try and get Dan to see the funny side of what happened earlier.)
DAN RYAN: Congratulations on your little ‘plan’ earlier. Let me let you in on a plan of my own. I’m cashing in my raincheck from earlier tonight. This company has taught me if you don’t take your opportunities when they’re given, you may have to wait a year for them to come around again. Congrats on GOLD RUSH. I’m not much of a party goer. Don’t like crowds. I like to mangle people on a one-on-one basis.
(CUTTO: Ryan kicks Windham in the gut! The UNIFIED Title goes flying across the ring!)
DAN RYAN: The bell please.
BB: It’s Ryan and Windham for the UNIFIED TITLE! Ryan won a shot earlier in the night and he’s cashing in now!
SB: Smart man, we could all be dead a year from now when the next CSWA show takes place. Wait a second, THIS ISN’T FAIR!
(SFX: DING! DING!)
RHUBARB JONES: Ladies and Gentlemen, CSWA owner Stephen Thomas has confirmed that this match is one-fall, no time limit, for the UNIFIED WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP! (Crowd pops one more time!)
BB: It’s a bonus main event that none of us expected as Ryan throws Windham into a corner and he’s beating the living hell out of him! Dan whips Windham across the ring, Troy off the turnbuckle CLOTHESLINE BY RYAN!
SB: This isn’t fair! Windham’s just been through a grueling match! And now he has to face Dan Ryan who has been doing heaven only knows what the last 25 minutes!
(CUTTO: 20 MINUTES AGO – IN RYAN’S DRESSING ROOM. Ryan on a massage table being attended to by a lovely Swedish woman.)
DAN RYAN: A little to the left honey, that’s it. (Ryan looks up at the TV monitor of the match and laughs.)
(CUTTO: LIVE! Action)
BB: It wasn’t fair when Windham refused to give Ryan a title shot, or when he put a bounty on his head thirty minutes ago either, was it? Ryan with a Bench Press Slam! This crowd is on its feet!
(CUTTO: Troy in the match. WINDHAM’S POV – His head is swirling. A million different MILF’s spinning in a circle.)
BB: Ryan stands Windham up. Belly to Belly suplex! Now Ryan going to the top rope! Dan Ryan is one of the more agile big men this sport has ever seen. But Troy is there! Windham with a shot to Ryan’s chops as the former CSWA World Champion hovers on the top turnbuckle. Windham with another shot! Troy doesn’t back down from any challenge!
SB: Fight him Troy! Fight him! He handled 300 men tonight he can handle Ryan again. FOR SPARTA!
BB: Windham on the middle rope, hooks the arm, SUPERPLEX! He just superplexed Dan Ryan right off the top rope! Windham gestures to the crowd.
SB: And to you Buckley! You tried to cost him the title!
BB: But while Troy is trying to get his point across… RYAN STANDS! The native Texan just stood up like he was slapped on the wrist! Troy thinks he’s bought some time! Ryan grabs Windham from behind. GERMAN SUPLEX INTO A PIN! ONE…..TWO……NO!
(CUTTO: The crowd reaction.)
SB: Was that three?!!
BB: No! Windham found a way out. Ryan brings Troy to his feet, oh! A thumb to the eye! Troy drops down and takes a shot at Ryan’s groin!
SB: Remember what I said earlier Buckley. Ryan will be gunshy by the time he’s 40. I hope his kids didn’t want a little brother or sister.
BB: Troy backs Ryan into a corner, he has to be in disbelief that he’s reached this point! Windham kicking away at Ryan! Windham on the middle rope.
(CUTTO: Troy pounding away on Ryan’s head. Ryan locks his arms around Troy’s legs and walks him back to the center of the ring.)
BB: Ryan…ATOMIC DROP! BLOCKED! TROY LEAPING DOUBLE AXEHANDLE! Ryan off his feet! Troy quickly leaps to the middle ropes, MOONSAULT!
SB: Get Troutman in there to make the call!
BB: ONE……TWO! Ryan is up! Troy stomps on Ryan’s groin for good measure and goes up top! Windham is headed up top…and he’s there! How many times have we seen him fly tonight?!
SB: Come on Troy end this thing!
BB: Ryan leaps to his feet, SLACKKNIFE OFF THE ROPE!! BY RYAN!! DAN GRABS THE LEGS, BRIDGE PIN!
BB: DAN RYAN HAS JUST WON THE UNIFIED WORLD TITLE!!!
(CUTTO: Ryan leaping up in disbelief!)
BB: And I don’t think he, or Troy, or Sammy can believe it!
(CUTTO: Troy on the mat, looking up, realizing what has happened, then slowly rolling onto and off the ring apron.)
BB: We’re out of confetti, but it looks like the fans are picking it up and throwing it themselves! It’s pandemonium in here… I don’t even know if you can still hear me!
SB: Just kill me now.
(CUTTO: The ring! Pee Wee Troutman raises the tree trunk arm of Dan Ryan and presents him with the UNIFIED WORLD TITLE!!!)
(CUTTO: The stage! CSWA wrestlers are streaming out of the back. Some immediately run down towards the ring, others stand on the stage, applauding.)
BB: We’ve literally seen it all tonight, fans. Troy Windham weathered the storm of GOLD RUSH, but it is Dan Ryan who walks out as the UNIFIED Champion. The man who was stripped of the CSWA World Title for no reason, then denied another chance to face Troy Windham, the man who stepped into a ring under a mask, won his ring, then got dumped out due to a bounty on his head by Troy… only to show that he had a backup plan of his own.
SB: Can we end this now? I think I’m going to be sick. Again.
BB: Folks… one more time, thank you so much for joining us for ANNIVERSARY. It means a lot to us to be invited into your homes. We hope to see you again soon. For Sammy Benson, the CSWA, U-62 TV and all the others who have made this possible, this is Bill Buckley saying thank you and good night.
One Final Note: My deepest thanks to those of you who stuck with it and made this happen: Brunk (the champ!), Dove (and his SATANIC computer), Steve, who stepped in and did a part he wasn't expecting to, and to Petey, who has been both the biggest thorn in my side, the biggest CSWA fanboy of all time, and the best friend the CSWA and this game have had. It is my pleasure to have been a part of this (and everything else) with you guys for so long.
Thanks to Gregg for all his great ideas and for his willingness to jump in and take on a ridiculous amount of roleplayers with no hesitation. You've always been there, even in the midst of hiatuses and disappearances, and I truly appreciate it. I think "The Epitome" isn't far off at all. Plus... you came in to your wedding reception as Ric Flair...who can beat that?
Thanks to all of you who were involved in this as competitors. Again, I apologize for the ridiculous time it's taken for this to go up. In true CSWA/GUNS fashion, I won't offer up any excuses.
Thanks to those of you who are taking the time to read this after waiting so long. I don't expect it to be worth the wait -- but, if this is the end, it's a hell of a way to go out. I'm happy with it, and I hope you are too.