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Location: Classified
March 3, 2010

"You do realize the risks you're thinking of taking, right?"

Sighing, the figure turned in the chair that had been facing the window, and now faced the worried face of Terrance Warder, his financial advisor. "Warder, I know what I am doing. This is like nothing ever done in a professional wrestling company before. People will come to watch. And even if they do not, and this whole idea sinks before it can really get going, the financial investment I've put into this will be negligible. It's a risk I'm willing to take."

"Sir, with all due respect, how are you going to break into the media in these places? SWF and TCW have cornered the American market, NOTBPW has it in Canada, the Mexican situation is incredibly crowded--"

"Warder, you leave that to me. I'll make it work. The how and why of that is not your concern."

"But, Mr.--" His voice stopped immediately when the figure raised a hand at him. He had nearly forgotten the first rule in dealing with his client, in his emotional outburst. "Sir. What you want to do reeks of the impossible. You want to find wrestlers of an identical skill level from all over, and bring them together in a true wrestling competition to see how they would improve themselves? The typical wrestling fan will not buy that for a moment. Need I remind you, sir, of the debacle that was SWF New Blood Rising? That is very similar to what you have in mind, and that show barely lasted two months before being canned. I know you have your mind set on a four month 'season,' but do you think it will continue to hold interest by then?"

The figure sighed and rose from his chair, the afternoon sun still blocking his features. Pacing back and forth, he addressed the question thrown at him. "The problem with New Blood Rising, Warder, is that the participants weren't equal. You had one of CZCW's most known wrestlers working a new gimmick that he couldn't pull off suitably. That hurt his credibility and thus the credibility of the show. Most of the other 'New Blood' were green by comparison—again, imbalance. Factor in that one of the 'trainers' of that show was Big Smack Scott, and the situation worsens. The final nail in the coffin, I think, was that they didn't have a set way to run the show. One week it was a competition, the next it was a sort of documentary, and another week it seemed like a game show with people trying to trade future favors to keep from being future endeavored.

"This is not going to be anything like that. I have plans already in place. The only way I'm changing the format is if we can find more wrestlers than I planned, and even then I have the format already set to use if needed. There will be no changing on the fly, no improvisation needed. It will show from the first moment of the season, Warder, to the final bell in the championship match. This will work. I can feel it."

"Sir...I still advise against this, but it is your call in the end. What do you want to do?"

There was another pause. "Make this happen."

With those words, the wheels were set in motion, with an end result nobody could have predicted at this moment in time. Sighing, Warder nodded once and left the office, as the figure turned once again to look out over the city. In his professional life, he had been certain of every step, every decision he'd made in the last fifteen years.

So why did he feel so uncertain about this, now that it was in motion?

The chain of events that followed in the next two months seemed to fall easily in favor of the as-yet-unidentified financial backer. Word began to spread through the media markets that the summer of 2010 would bring about a change to the world of professional wrestling. As rumors began to circulate as to what this grand change would entail, the media blitz continued worldwide. Some thought it was a revamped version of the failed SWF New Blood Rising. Others thought it might be a TCW counterpart to that failed show, wanting to show their rivals how to do it. A few eccentric types even postulated that this was NOTBPW's coming out party in the United States.

And on May 6, 2010...the truth was finally revealed.

(Taken from, May 6, 2010)

Details finally come to light on 2010's imminent "change in pro wrestling"

It's official: the next wave in pro wrestling finally has a name.

Details about one of the industry's most-hyped projects finally came to light today in a press conference. Below is a partial transcript of the press conference, held in Phoenix, Arizona just hours ago.

"...Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Colt Marshall, and it is my honor to welcome you to the unveiling of the next major in change of pro wrestling: 'The League.'

"Unlike some of the so-called 'reality shows' on the air today, The League is, quite simply, taking wrestlers of an equal caliber, putting them into matches against each other, and seeing which one can improve well enough to crown themselves as the League's champion. There will be no immunity, no pointless challenges beyond what these men and women will go through in the ring, and no guest 'trainers,' either. This is competition, plain and simple. We have seen where conceptual reality shows, such as Arcadia's 'Survival of the Lost,' US-East's 'Harmonic Idol,' and even the short-lived 'New Blood Rising,' fail to stand up to the expectations of viewers. Either they get bored, or they say that the competition is fixed--a growing worry in today's entertainment-hungry world--or that the product just does not resonate with the fans.

"The League is going to change that. We've put together twelve wrestlers, all of whom are evenly-matched, and arranged a travel schedule with a number of different arenas to provide the audience--both the paying audience in the arenas and the viewing audience on any of our partner broadcast stations--with an experience in which the competition is as real as it gets. I will be serving as the Director for The League, on behalf of my boss who wishes to remain anonymous at this time.

"In addition, we are not leaving the vast number of Internet users out of the loop, either. We have reached an agreement with noted wrestling blogger Tori Montgomery, of 'Beyond Ringside' fame, to work for us in a similar capacity. In fact, our fans on the Internet will be able to play along with Miss Montgomery in a prediction contest, where the winner can earn the right to dictate the wrestlers in each of the divisions for the following season.

"Barring a natural disaster, the first week of action in The League will begin on June 4, from Yurtec Stadium Sendai in Sendai, Japan. The season will conclude on September 17, from a stadium currently being renovated for this event in New Zealand. Scheduled stops include Vancouver, Washington, and London...."

You can find the entire press conference on the front page of the site; a full schedule for The League may be found by clicking here.

(Next time, on "The League:" Week One Preview)


Season 1, Week 1
June 4, 2010

In a skybox shrouded in darkness, the man behind The League watched as the arena started to fill up. Unseen to anyone, a smile crossed his face as he gazed upon the proceedings below. A soft clearing of the throat interrupted his reverie.

"Sir, the show will be starting shortly. Do you need anything?"

There was a pause. "No. I have everything I need at hand. Please tell security that I am not to be disturbed unless it's a dire emergency."

"Yes, sir." The door closed softly behind the man, as he turned to the arena once more. The lights began to dim in the arena, and as the murmuring of the crowd reached his ears, another smile crossed his face.

Surely, this was the sound of success.


Voice-over: All it takes is an idea, a stray thought given life on a whim, to start the wheels of history. A lone thought, given credence by a few people, can be the breeding grounds of a revolution.

Tonight, professional wrestling's revolution begins. Tonight, the concept that wrestling is merely "sports entertainment" will go up in flames. Tonight, twelve men and women start on a personal quest to become a champion. Tonight, we bear witness to the birth of the true alternative in wrestling.

Tonight, we rise up...and form The League.

The scene fades in to the interior of Yurtec Stadium Sendai, and a capacity crowd on hand. Pyro erupts from the stage, a thirty-second chain of colors and sounds as the crowd continues to cheer. The commotion finally dying down, the camera pans the sea of fans, many of whom have brought signs featuring all of the members of The League. Finally, the camera pans to ringside, and a shot of the two-man commentary team.

BS: Good evening, everyone, and welcome to the debut of The League! I'm Bob Sinclair, and joining me on color commentary is—

FG: Look, Bob, how about giving me a chance to speak for myself?

BS: I was getting to that, Frankie. You want the people listening to know who you are, right?

FG: Since when does Frankie Garnett give a damn about what the mongoloids at home think?

BS: That's hardly the way to endear yourself to the fans on your first night on the job, Frankie.

FG: What's your point, Bob? I'm here to bring some entertainment to this show, not play kissy-face with the freaks out there!

BS: I can tell already that it's going to be a long season. Anyhow, on to the business at hand...because we are in Japan to start the League, it should be noted that the referees in charge will stop the match if the rules are broken too often.

FG: In other words, taking the match out of the hands of the wrestlers. For shame!

BS: Ignoring the comments from the meat-head to my left...let's send it to Amelia Williams in the ring to kick off the season!

ALPHA DIVISION MATCH: The Phoenix vs. The British Warrior
The bell rings three times as the camera cuts to the ring announcer.

AW: The following contest is the inaugural match of The League, and is set for one fall with a ninety-minute time limit in place!

It is to the sound of silence that the first wrestler of the night walks to the ring, seemingly not disturbed by the fact that the arena didn't have his choice of theme music available.

AW: Introducing first, from the United Kingdom, weighing 243 pounds...The British Warrior!

BS: As we watch the Warrior getting ready in the ring, Frankie, what are your thoughts on his in-ring abilities?

FG: Unlike some, I don't mind a technical bout, as long as you cheat to do it. This guy wouldn't know how to cheat if his life depended on it!

BS: That said, I'm interested to see what sort of a twist the Warrior brings to the ring with his technical ability. With his Figure Four finisher, you have to think he's going to work on the legs of his opponent.

As the Warrior stretches out against the ropes, the opening chords of The Instincthit the arena, signifying the entrance of his opponent.

AW: His opponent, from The End of Nowhere, weighing 368 pounds...The Phoenix!

BS: It's hard to imagine a man his size being skilled in the technical ways, Frankie, but the proof stands in front of us.

FG: He's a freak, Bob, plain and simple. Anyone his size who doesn't rely on the tried-and-true "Ogre Smash" offensive technique is a failure.

The two men stare each other down in the center of the ring as the bell sounds to officially begin the season. After a bit of trash-talking, the two men open some space between them, and it is Warrior who takes the first shot, trying to connect with the big man's thigh. A slight step back is enough for Phoenix to avoid the attack and take Warrior down with a single leg trip, though Warrior is quick to regain a vertical base as Phoenix went for the legs.

The feeling-out process out of the way, both men start trading blows, Warrior getting the advantage with a couple of forearms and a few open-palm shots to the face of his opponent. This did nothing but get Phoenix's attention, as he went to his arsenal of holds to send Warrior to the mat and work over both the legs and head. Attempting some crossface shots was ill-advised, though, and Warror went back on to the offensive with nearly the same combination of moves Phoenix had just used, only reversed in order.

This game of one-upsmanship continued until Phoenix was caught napping by an elbow strike that thwarted a vertical suplex attempt. Sensing that perhaps his technical skill wouldn't be enough, Warrior started using his quickness advantage over the much larger opponent, hitting dropkicks and quick elbow drops a-plenty. Things seemed to be in his favor until he made the mistake of trying to Irish whip Phoenix into the turnbuckles. Hitting a clothesline in the corner, Phoenix was quick to lock on a Camel Clutch just far enough away from the ropes to prevent a rope break from coming into play. A bit of a struggle allowed the Warrior to break free, and that was the last bit of offense from the big man in this contest. While he tried to apply his Eternal Requiem finisher, it did not come to fruition as Warrior picked up the pace, hitting a couple of top rope double axe handles to stun Phoenix long enough to apply his version of the Figure Four leglock. To the surprise of many of the viewers, Phoenix quickly tapped out as the bell sounded.

AW: At a time of 9:50, your winner via submission is The British Warrior!

FG: Like I told you, Bob, Phoenix is a failure. Look at how quick he tapped!

BS: There's got to be more to it than that, Frankie. It could be a lingering knee or ankle injury, it could just be nerves, or maybe that hold is more deadly than we thought.

FG: Eh, doesn't matter anyway. No one wants to waste their time on a loser.

BS: Speaking of not wasting time, let's go back to the ring and get the next match underway.

Once again, the bell rings to bring the crowd to attention.

AW: Our next contest in the Beta Division is scheduled for one fall, with a ninety-minute time limit!

Again, silence fills the arena as the first wrestler in the match comes out, talking trash with the fans the entire way down the entrance ramp.

AW: Introducing first, from Portugal, weighing 231 pounds...SGRaaize!

FG: Could you please explain to me just what the hell his name means, Bob?

BS: You too afraid to do some work, Frankie?

FG: ...pain in the arse, you are...

Without warning, the second wrestler in the match makes a beeline towards the ring, not even bothering to wait for music of any sort.

AW: His opponent, from—

Amelia doesn't even get a chance to finish, as Raaize catches him with a hard left-handed shot to the temple. Breaker—for that is who Raaize's opponent is this week—is rocked and spends the next minute or two on the defensive as Raaize just focuses on dealing damage to any part of the body he can.

FG: For being a technical wrestler, Raaize sure isn't exhibiting any signs of it.

BS: Let's see, Frankie, three Knee Pulls and two applications of the Spinning Toe Hold? Sounds to me like he's focusing on the legs, though I do not know why he's allowing Breaker back onto his feet.

FG: Stupidity, perhaps?

Frankie could be correct in that guess, as Breaker is able to power out of an attempted backbreaker and stun Raaize with a bell clap that was completely unexpected. A quick suplex later, and Breaker asserted his control by rubbing Raaize's face into the mat, to the consternation of the referee. Unfazed, Breaker then tried to apply a choke hold, breaking just before the five-count. Allowing Raaize to regain a vertical base, Breaker hit a quick jab and went for a chop, only for Raaize to shrug it off and drop Breaker with a vertical suplex, proceeding to go back to work on the legs with a Figure Four leglock.

BS: The same move that ended the first match is being used again here; I'm not sure if this will pay dividends for Raaize though.

FG: Wait, isn't Raaize's finisher a lariat?

BS: Yes it is, Frankie.

FG: Then why in the heck is he working on the legs, when the lariat targets the head?

BS: ....

A good question, indeed, but largely unanswered as Raaize continued to press the advantage. About three minutes later, it seemed to finally dawn on Raaize that the legs were not going to be a good point to focus on, and the attention was quickly turned towards the head. A bulldog, followed by a flying double axe handle and quickly transitioned into a Camel Clutch seemed to drive home the point that Raaize was tired of messing around and wanted to put his opponent away. When Breaker refused to submit, Raaize pulled him to his feet and stepped back a few paces before charging in, looking to hit the Portugal Lariat and claim victory.

He didn't count on Breaker ducking the lariat and catching him in the face with a back elbow. Nor did he count on being powerbombed immediately thereafter.

BS: Despite being on the wrong end of the offense all match, Breaker has gotten himself into a position where he could come away with a win here!

FG: Bob, it's only the second match. Calm down, you're going to have a coronary or something—on second thought, go ahead. Would make my job easier to work alone!

With all the shots to the head that he'd taken earlier, Breaker seemed stuck with a one-track mind, as he kept trying to hit his Dream Breaker finisher, only for Raaize to find a way out of it every time. After the third attempt, Breaker pounded the mat briefly as he stood...and turned right into a Portugal Lariat! Raaize let out a whoop at this, thinking he had the match won. With his back turned, he didn't see Breaker get to his feet, a bone-chilling look in his eyes. Raaize turned around to make the pinfall, but walked right into a...small package?




FG: Wait, what?!

AW: At a time of 11:20, your winner via pinfall is Breaker!

BS: Raaize got ****y, and it cost him! Breaker pulls out the win despite being on the wrong end of most of the abuse in this match!

FG: Great, there's two hundred down the drain.

BS: Wait, you're BETTING on these matches?

FG: I'm not managing, nor am I affecting the match in any way. What is Colt Marshall going to do, ban me for life?

BS: ....

ALPHA DIVISION MATCH: Maxx Skabb vs. Nuclear Templeton
AW: Our next contest in the Alpha Division is scheduled for one fall, with a ninety-minute time limit!

The speakers suddenly erupt with Disturbed's "The Night,"ushering in the first participant in this contest.

AW: Introducing first, from the Orange County Correctional Facility, weighing 291 pounds...Maxx Skabb!

FG: This is one guy I really do not want to cross, Bob. He'd likely rip your spine out as soon as look at you.

BS: That, and the orange jumpsuit doesn't help either....

As Skabb enters the ring, the music fades out and is soon replaced by Billy Idol's "Shock to the System."Another large man comes down the aisle, headed for the ring.

AW: His opponent, from Atlantic City, New Jersey, weighing 278 pounds...Nuclear Templeton!

FG: I've heard that his temper is as short as your attention span, Bob. Why don't you go in there and find out?

BS: I'll pass, thanks. I'm not THAT suicidal yet.

The bell sounds to start the match, and Skabb immediately goes on the attack, raking the eyes of Templeton before sending him down quickly with a shot to the throat. Skabb does not relent, proceeding to kick Templeton in the back repeatedly when not trying to pull Nuclear's leg out of socket and beat him to death with it. More attacks to the lower part of Templeton's body followed, with an atomic drop, a headbutt to the groin that the referee did not like at all, and more yanking of the leg. Skabb finished this sequence with a running splash.

BS: Maxx Skabb hits the gorilla press, Frankie. Could this be the quickest match so far in the League?

FG: I hope not, most of the people in the audience are still in the restroom!

Instead of going for the pin, Skabb instead gets into a mount position, looking to rain punches down on Templeton...but a stiff right hand from Nuclear stops that before it even begins. Templeton now takes the reins offensively, using punches and the occasional elbow strike to try to regain a sense of timing. However, Skabb was still riding a bit of momentum, and simply took a knee lift before hoisting Templeton onto his shoulder and dropping him in the corner with a Snake Eyes. This seemed to wake Nuclear up, though, and after an inverted atomic drop and a discus punch, the momentum of the match solidly swung back around to his favor.

And that's when the match spilled to the outside.

BS: Look out! High knee to the back of Skabb, and they're right in front of us!

FG: You can stick around, I'm getting the heck out of here.

As Frankie Garnett runs to safety, Templeton slides feet-first into the arm of Skabb, sending him to the padded floor below. Nuclear is quick to use his weight to his advantage and crushes Skabb with a splash. As the ref's count hits four, Templeton turns to see Skabb getting up, and promptly turns Skabb inside-out as he hits the Armageddon Lariat! Nuclear rolls inside the ring at the count of six, thinking that a countout victory is in his grasp. The ref reaches eight, and the camera shot from across the ring catches one of Skabb's hands grabbing the bottom rope, as his other rests on the apron. At the count of nine, Skabb makes a desperation heave, and manages to break the plane of the ropes and halt the count, much to the displeasure of Templeton.

FG: You should have stayed down, just made him angry!

BS: Then again, this could have been the plan all along, Frankie.

FG: Like Skabb is smart enough to have a plan in mind!

Back in the ring, Nuclear can be heard telling Maxx to "stay the {censored} down!" as he moves into position to rain down punches. In his rush to administer more pain, he left himself wide open to a kick in the family jewels from Skabb, and in the blink of an eye both men are down on the canvas. Skabb is first to recover, despite being leveled with the Lariat earlier, and starts using Nuclear's head as a personal punching bag. After close to a minute of this, Skabb picks up Nuclear and looks for a Argentine Backbreaker, but Templeton slides out of it, nailing a forearm to the back as he backs into the corner.

BS: Nuclear's not well-known for an aerial offense here, what he going to do?

FG: Likely fall on his face, Bob. I'm calling an epic failure right here.

Templeton looks like he wants to come off with a double axe, but Maxx bounces into the ropes, sending Nuclear crotch-first onto the turnbuckle! With the momentary advantage, Skabb climbs up, looking perhaps for a fallaway slam from the top, but Templeton stops that by shifting his weight just enough to cause a pinning predicament out of it. Skabb kicks out at two, and quickly rolls outside to figure out how he's going to counter the momentum that Nuclear is building. He doesn't see Templeton exit the ring behind him, and was only alerted at the last second as he turns into the second Armageddon Lariat of the night, this one sending Maxx into the front row!

BS: Good Lord! I think Maxx got decapitated on that one!

FG: It's just a formality now! Count, ref!

Templeton rolls back into the ring, watching intently as the ref exercises the ten-count. You can likely imagine his surprise when Skabb made it out of the front row by the count of five, and back on his feet by the count of eight. Once again, he manages to sneak into the ring just before the count of ten, and Nuclear's scream of frustration echoed throughout the arena. Watching his opponent, Nuclear lines him up for a third application of his finisher, but this time Skabb is able to sidestep the charge and send Templeton into the corner. Skabb comes in looking for an avalanche, but Nuclear dodges and looks for a pump kick of his own. Maxx ducks that, and quickly hooks up Nuclear for the Lethal Injection...only for Templeton to sneak out the back door and catch Skabb with the third Armageddon Lariat of the match! Exhausted, Nuclear falls into the cover, and gets the three-count to the delight of the paying audience.

AW: At a time of 19:40, your winner via pinfall is Nuclear Templeton!

BS: What a match! I was beginning to think that Skabb would not stay down!

FG: ...Okay, I'll admit it. That was a good match.

BS: Now, wasn't that easy to say?

FG: Shut it, Bob. You'll ruin my image.

GAMMA DIVISION MATCH: Johnny Triumph vs. Sean
BS: Supposed image or not, we're moving right along into the next match. Amelia, take it away!

AW: The following contest is a Gamma Division match, set for one fall with a ninety-minute time limit! Coming down the aisle, from Des Moines, Iowa, weighing 228 pounds...Johnny Triumph!

Triumph enters the ring, the lack of theme music not seeming to bother him in the least as he stops to shout some abuse towards a couple of jeering fans in the front row.

FG: You know, I think I like this guy already, Bob. He doesn't take any flack from these mongoloids.

BS: Be that as it may, he's another of the vast group of technical wrestlers who are part of The League for its' inaugural season, it will be interesting to see how he fares.

Once again, there is no music as Johnny's opponent walks to the ring, his face decidedly neutral as he avoids the hands of the fans.

AW: His opponent, from Charlotte, North Carolina, weighing 230 pounds...Sean!

FG: (pauses) Seriously...that's it? Just "Sean?"

BS: That's it, Frankie.

FG: Oh, for the love of...where is the personality here?!

Frankie's question will have to go unanswered for the time being as the bell sounds to get us underway. Triumph takes the early advantage with a cheap forearm to the back, grounding his opponent with a side headlock takedown. Sean is quick to get out of it, raking the eyes of Triumph for a momentary advantage before dropping Triumph with a clothesline. Triumph, though, is quick to get back to his feet before Sean can do a lot of damage to the legs, and goes back to work with a side headlock. As Triumph goes to transition into a front facelock, though, Sean pulls away and gouged the eyes of Triumph once again, following it up )predictably) with a side headlock takedown.

FG: Look, I know the two of you are technical wrestlers, but can we please go to something besides rest holds?

BS: It's a feeling out process, Frankie. Give it time.

FG: Yeah, yeah, patience. How long will that take?

With Triumph on the mat, Sean elects to work on the legs of his opponent, looking to set up the elevated Figure Four he uses as a finisher as he drops an elbow on the knee of Triumph a couple of times for good measure. He then locks in a single leg grapevine, wrenching on the leg to weaken it even further. As Triumph struggles to reach the ropes, Sean put a quick stop to the momentum with a legdrop to the lower torso—at least that's what the ref called it, to the fans it looked a bit lower than that. Be that as it may, Sean pulls Triumph back to the center of the ring and assumes a rear mount position, beating on the staggered Triumph for the better part of thirty seconds before deciding it was time to finish the match. As he went to the legs to hook up the elevated Figure Four, Triumph shoves Sean away, kicks him in the gut, nails Sean with a series of forearm blows, and tops it off with a neckbreaker to regain some of the momentum of this match.

BS: Johnny Triumph desperately needed that, Frankie. That may have just saved his chances of starting the season on a winning note.

BS: I'll admit that I'm a bit surprised, I didn't expect Sean to put up this much of a fight.

Triumph, having been on the wrong end of it already this match, decides to go for a single leg grapevine of his own. However, Sean catches Triumph with a low blow, just avoiding a DQ as the ref's view was obstructed by Triumph's body! With Triumph stunned, Sean looks for a small package, looking for a flash pinfall...but only nets a 2 on the attempt. Enraged, Sean picks up Triumph and absolutely levels him with a head-and-arm suplex, which still only gets a two from the ref! Heaving a sigh, Sean walks into a drop toe hold from Triumph and had to scramble to the ropes to break the single-leg Boston crab that Triumph had slapped on him without warning. Unfortunately, that would be Triumph's last gasp in the match, as Sean immediately flips out of an attempted wheelbarrow suplex, slams Triumph to the mat, and locks in the elevated Figure Four to claim the submission victory.

AW: At a time of 10:00, your winner via submission is Sean!

BS: I don't care what the experts say, Frankie, that goes down as an upset in my book.

FG: Sean just got lucky. Any other night, Triumph would wipe the floor with him!

BETA DIVISION MATCH: Robbie Maynard vs. Tarik Nolan
BS: (sighs) Let's just get to Amelia in the ring, before I lose my temper.

AW: Our next contest is a Beta Division match, scheduled for one fall with a ninety-minute time limit! Introducing first, coming down the aisle...from Liverpool, England, weighing 251 pounds...Robbie Maynard!

FG: Here's another of those guys I wouldn't want to cross. Look at how scarred his hands are; imagine how many faces he's broken with his fists.

BS: That's a mental image I didn't want to see, thank you very much.

As Maynard enters the ring, "Regulate"hits the speakers as his opponent comes out with a sneer plastered on his face.

AW: His opponent, from Shreveport, Louisiana, weighing 292 pounds...Tarik Nolan!

BS: This is the man I see as the dark horse in The League this year, Frankie.

FG: With a face not even his mother could love....

Maynard tries to take control for the opening thirty seconds, but all it seems to do is wake Nolan up, as he explodes into his hard-hitting offense. By the time two minutes had passed in the match, Maynard has been on the wrong end of several jaw-rattling European uppercuts, a slap kick to the chest, a twenty-second ground-and-pound, and one headbutt to the groin. It isn't until Nolan pauses for a moment to gloat over his fallen opponent that Maynard gets a chance to reassert himself.

Starting off slow with a forearm shiver and a couple of knife edge chops, Robbie starts to find his rhythm as he goes to his technical offense with an armbar, a top wrist lock transitioned into a side headlock takedown, and later follows up a botched Nolan DDT with a face plant that makes the announcers at ringside wince. After a dropkick to the knee, it seemed like Maynard has the match well under control...but Nolan still has a few tricks up his sleeve, escaping a twisting neckbreaker to hit a front slam, a bear hug to weaken Maynard, and then another headbutt to the groin. The ref seemed ready to call for the bell on that one, but decides not to for some reason.

In the end, it would not matter, as Maynard recovers a few seconds later (following a reversed Irish whip) and hit two high-impact moves in a row—a running knee lift and a short-arm clothesline—before applying his Stop the Ferry signature. While normally not a finisher, it is effective in this case as he wrenches hard enough on Nolan's neck to force a submission.

AW: Here is your winner at 9:40, as a result of a submission: Robbie Maynard!

FG: So much for your dark horse, Bob.

BS: It's still the first week, Frankie. Give him time.

GAMMA DIVISION MATCH: Shawn Arrows vs. Diamond
To be contested under Hardcore Rules

The bell sounds, drawing attention to the ring.

AW: Ladies and gentlemen, it is time for our main event of the evening. It is a Hardcore match, scheduled for one fall with a ninety-minute time limit in place!

Once again, no music greets the first competitor, who emerges with a rather annoyed look on his face.

AW: Introducing first, from Raleigh, North Carolina, weighing 207 pounds...Shawn Arrows!

FG: I might like the guy and all, Bob, but given the number of technical wrestlers in the field, and the fact that he is the second-smallest competitor of the twelve, I do not like his chances this year.

BS: Hard to argue your case there, Frankie. Both Shawn Arrows and his opponent tonight are going to have quite the uphill battle to earn success.

"'s time to rock and roll..."

With that opening line, the lone female in the competition emerges, the look in her eyes saying everything that needs to be said.

AW: His opponent, from Aberdeen, Scotland, weighing 132 pounds...Diamond!

BS: An interesting fact about Diamond...despite hailing from Scotland, she doesn't have a Scottish accent.

FG: And why should we care, Bob? Can she fight?

BS: I'd assume so, otherwise she wouldn't be here.

FG: Then that's all we need to know for now.

For those of you expecting weapons and blood, I'm sorry to disappoint you. For a hardcore match, absolutely nothing in the way of weapons was used. That aspect alone killed the crowd despite the fast-paced match put on by these two. Diamond is in control for the first minute or so, keeping the larger opponent grounded with a side headlock takedown and a couple of well-timed stomps. After rubbing Arrows' face in the mat a couple of times, Diamond goes for a half senton and gets nothing but mat.

Arrows takes over at this point, locking in a surfboard maneuver for a few seconds before a stiff kick to the chest sends Diamond back to the mat. A full senton follows this, and the first pin attempt on the match comes by way of a La Magistral Cradle that doesn't even net Arrows a two-count. However, it seems to have kicked Arrows into another gear as he plants Diamond with a DDT, hits a corkscrew legdrop right after impact and then hits a slingshot senton to really put Diamond in trouble. Instead of going for a pin, Arrows heads up top for an elbow drop, only to be crotched by Diamond. She manages another meeting of Arrows' face and the mat, and another senton, but that was all she could manage on this occasion as a rolling senton would spell the end of her offense for the night.

Arrows is quick to capitalize, with a sleeper/neckbreaker combination, and a slingshot moonsault that catches Diamond in just the right way to knock the wind out of her for the three-count.

AW: Here is your winner, in 6:20...Shawn Arrows!

FG: ...You know, I almost feel kind of gypped now. Where was the violence, where was the blood?

BS: You ever think that maybe they didn't need it?

FG: But what about me? I care!

BS: And on that note, we're out of time for this week, ladies and gentlemen. Until next week, this is Bob Sinclair for Frankie Garrett...good night, everyone!

In the executive's skybox, the owner watched as the fans began to file out of the stadium. Turning his head slightly to the right, he caught the attention of the League's Director.

"Make sure that Templeton and Skabb get a bonus to their pay this week. They deserve it."

"What of Breaker and Raaize? They did just as good a job, and in less time."

"The fans came to see action. If they wanted squash matches they could just turn on SWF and watch the first twenty minutes of their programming, and get three squashes in that span. Trust me, Colt, the fans are going to leave here more impressed with Templeton and Skabb because they put on a match that was of good quality and that lasted longer than the others. They deserve to be rewarded for that."

There was a pause. "I understand. I'll see to it that it gets done. Will that be all, sir?"

The figure nodded, allowing Colt to leave the skybox. The figure turned back to the ring, already deep in thought as to what possibilities could arise come the following week....


Week One: End

Show Summary:
1. The British Warrior def. The Phoenix via submission (Figure Four leglock)
*Time of Match: 9:50
*Match Rating: F
*Winner's Offensive Percentage: 53%

2. Breaker def. SGRaaize via pinfall (Small Package)
*Time of match: 11:20
*Match Rating: B-
*Winner's Offensive Percentage: 49%

3. Nuclear Templeton def. Maxx Skabb via pinfall (Armageddon Lariat)
*Time of match: 19:40
*Match Rating: B-
*Winner's Offensive Percentage: 61%
*This is the Week One Match of the Night

4. Sean def. Johnny Triumph via submission (Elevated Figure Four Leglock)
*Time of match: 10:00
*Match Rating: C+
*Winner's Offensive Percentage: 56%

5. Robbie Maynard def. Tarik Nolan via submission (Stop the Ferry)
*Time of match: 9:40
*Match Rating: F
*Winner's Offensive Percentage: 54%

6. Hardcore Rules: Shawn Arrows def. Diamond via pinfall (Slingshot Moonsault)
*Time of match: 6:20
*Match Rating: F
*Winner's Offensive Percentage: 54%
*Note that no weapons were used in this contest.