Go Cocks Go. The faded words are accompanied by the image of an angry rooster and rest against one of the stone walls belonging to County Community High's East Gym. A line of people standing between the wall and the streetlamps bathe the rally cry in shadows. Some are the dregs of society, looking to come in from the cold. Some are dressed to the nines, looking for a thrill. Some smoke, some sip from bottles enveloped by brown paper bags. One wide eyed man talks a mile a minute to the woman behind him, constantly running his sleeve across his nose.
Man: You've heard about this place, right? Heard the same stuff I heard? You saw them on the news, right? Saw that big riot they had at their last show, with all those crazy ladies? You heard?
She tries her best to ignore him and concentrate on her group of girlfriends, but the man's chemical compadre does nothing to improve his social graces. The camera shot moves down the line with the image hopping up and down, a clear sign that it's handheld. Some of the people in line cheer as it passes them, some stare right into the lens stoically. One generous young lady lifts her shirt, much to the surprise of the man standing next to her, and much to the glee of the Death Row fanboys watching at home. You won't see that on Best Studios.
Eventually the camera reaches the front of the line, which ends at a shabby ticket booth designed for high school basketball games. A grubby looking wall clock reads 11:59. An unshaven man with tangled brown hair sits in the booth, wearing a smart white collar shirt and a burgundy vest. A nametag affixed to the vest reads 'Horace'. He reaches under the booth and pulls out a plastic pint of rotgut vodka. As he unscrews the cap we see long, yellowing fingernails. He takes a pull and looks back at the wall clock, which now reads 12:00. He steps out of the booth on wobbly, drunken legs and fetches a key-ring from the pocket of his black slacks. He unlocks the gymnasium door and pushes it open, turning to the crowd, a glint of evil in his eyes, a mischievous smile on his face.
Horace: Welcome to The Row.
The long line of people slowly file in, and when the last has passed the gym's threshold, Horace shuts the double doors and begins wrapping the outside handles in chains. The camera man speaks up, his voice young and nasally.
Camera man: Dude, what are you doing?
Camera man: What does that mean?
Horace: I'm barricading the door, in case the cops show up. I don't know if you've figured this out or not, college boy, but this is a fucking high school. We ain't supposed to be here.
There's a pause in the conversation, as the camera man considers something.
Camera man: But what about the fire code? Locking everyone in like this can't be safe. Or legal.
Horace lets out a hearty laugh and smacks him on the back, causing the camera to jump momentarily.
Horace: Kid, you've got a lot to fucking learn.
With that, the camera feed cuts to static, then black.
West Virginia--the site of Lethal Injection Nine--will be a state The Row will always be weary of talking about; not out of fear, but out of the trouble it could get them in. If they were to ever go back, it would mean all out war. As it is State Officials are mighty pissed. The One Million Moms had come and gone. . . The National Press had had a field day, with story after story floating through all the local news networks. . . And the Christian Groups, the most resilient of them all, had printed up their pamphlets and still to this day fill their newsletters (on a slow day) with grim reminders of the evil ways of sin with the grim tale of The One Million Moms on the day they faced the evil that was Death Row Wrestling. I say ‘was,’ because the minds of the One Million Mom’s have already tackled a new evil—the Ragu pasta sauce company—in an effort to make the world a better place according to their standards, which apparently include plain, soggy, noodles.
But don’t think for a second it means they have forgotten about us.
Tim Ross is behind bars somewhere, watching his ass and costing the government some 30 dollars a day to sit and shit and sleep in a cell while he waits to go on trial for the murder of Maynard Crane. Sure they let him out to run around every once in a while—much like a dog, mind you—but it aint enough. A cage is still a cage. Numerous attempts of litigation on the part of The Hydreck Family haven’t helped much either. Aint that a bitch? Da Boss has been taken out of the equation, but still The Row remains.
It still remains, like the shit stains in your underwear you dirty motherfucker.
When the press died down, content to cover some bigger, more important national tragedy (maybe even a rape case or two) word of Death Row Wrestling hung on the air. The media had done their part, and though Death Row was now dead to them, The Row was very much alive to the people. Whispers of ‘that fed that killed some guy,’ carried throughout the school yards, the offices, the places of business. Word travels, and fast, and it followed The Row all the way from West Virginia to the West Coast through the blistering South. They could hear the folks when they filled up for gas, they saw all the newspapers covering the debacle, in bars, they saw it on the news. . . They knew they were on to something. People were talking.
And hearsay became distorted as the stories passed on, and soon became bold lies lined with hyperbole and excitement: ‘I hear all their wrestlers shoot up before their matches and fight with taped fists covered with glass. . .’ to which the other would reply ‘well fuck yeah, we gotta go to a show!’ or ‘don’t mention heroin anymore, I’m trying to quit!’ or even ‘how much is the price?’ [still not convinced] to which a reply like ‘free, dude,’ would come up, instantly ending any debate whether to go or not; they were going.
The rumors flew, the tales were told, and The Row lives on, in the earthly meaty flesh, and in legend. So Lethal Injection X is not empty. Oh no. . . people are here. There are people here—of that much I am certain. . . The One Million Moms have won nothing.
Except. . . Tombs. Sometimes fate is the biggest bitch in the world, and the worse part is that it’s one bitch you can’t slap and put in its place; it slaps you, and you’re red in the face, shaking in the knees as the turd you didn’t even intend to squeeze out slips down your leg. . . The car that had crashed into FJ Tombs had been one driven by an aging One Million Mom. Fuck old women who refuse to die. Get well soon Tombsy. . .
It is Wednesday, and it is time for The Row. So, lock your doors, close the windows, and wrap another ring of duct tape around your ‘girlfriend’s’ mouth, and start up another fucking episode of Lethal Injection. The cops are coming for you anyway, there’s evidence all over the house. . . You dirty, rotten bastard!
YOU’RE FUCKED. . .
One. . .
Two. . .
Three. . .
WELCOME TO THE ROW!
We cut to inside the gymnasium, the poor lighting already a sign of underfunding. The center piece of the basketball court is the Death Row Ring, it’s apron safety pinned with dozens of plastic banners—long ones, short ones, fat ones—advertising local businesses in the area, including: Hydreck Computer Repairs (No relation to Josh Hydreck), Iboni’s House of Black Panther Relics, and Zelda-Psychic (and then an address). The gym is shaped like a rectangle, and lined along the longer walls are the stands, which can be pulled out when needed, and though all the stands have been pulled out along one wall, the stands lining the other wall have not as they seem to be stuck—another woeful sign of underfunding.
Where there are no stands, steel chairs have been placed in rows, nearly five or six rows deep.
Along the northern wall a mural had once been panted of an impressive cock (that’s rooster, not penis), but it’s faded and actively chipping onto the court, which no one seems to mind for the wood finish on the court is already ruined as it is. And above it all, hangs the only shining bit of hope for the school and its alumni—the single championship banner that was won nearly eighty years ago, it’s fabric moth eaten and torn.
COUNTY COMMUNITY HIGH SCHOOL
ALL-STATE BASKETBALL CHAMPIONS
A giant cooling fan runs in one corner, rattling from the ferocity of its spinning blades, small streamers attached to the front of the fan to illustrate the air flow. The Death Row fans, all hundred and fifty or so of em sit in either the bleachers on one side, or in the steel chairs surrounding the ring. Everyone looks very hot, sweat dripping down their faces. The people there are mostly freaks that wanted to see someone killed (they had heard a lot of rumors), a few Death Row Faithful (and I mean a few), a dozen or so looky-lou’s that had come in off of the street, ‘fans’ that had come to see the company and its wrestlers suffer, and even a few drunks here and there (sipping from conspicuous bottles).
A fat man in the first row sits with his arms crossed, his mustache hanging out over a perpetual frown. He looks the stone image of discontent against the backdrop of a decaying gym. . .
We cut to Waylon Wolf and Tommy Ace, sitting at a make shift table. Waylon looks almost embarrassed; over his long an illustrious career he never thought he would end up in a gym again commentating matches—and a shitty gym at that. Ace however, is already thinking of the West Coast and its women. Both commentators sweat uncomfortably. . .
Wolf: Well, believe it or not, welcome to yet another episode of Lethal Injection, coming to you from San Jose, California.
Ace: Yep we’ve made it to the west coast—and I thought it was supposed to be cooler out here. It’s hot in hell in this place!
Wolf: Yes it seems the establishment from which we are hosting tonight’s episode seems to be having some technical difficulties already. Damn this underfunding of schools!
Ace: School is in session—and so here we are.
Wolf: Back in my day school started in September. What is this nonsense?
Ace: Like it matters anyway, this place has some of the lowest scores in the country!
Wolf: Well we’ve got a lot to cover tonight after last Lethal Injection, where we faced The One Million Moms, and more importantly, where we saw Tim Ross get hauled off in the back of a squad car.
Wolf looks woefully down, shaking his head. Ace on the other hand, is smiling, as T.V. time is ‘ME’ time and ME only looks good when ME is smiling. It’s all ME with Ace. Me, Me, Me.
Ace: The law has finally caught up with The Row, and now Tim Ross has got to take the fall. But that’s how it goes. You know what they say. Once a criminal always a criminal. . . and I never trusted Ross!
Wolf looks at Ace incredulously, wishing he could kill with just a stare, for Ace would be dead right now, and he would be rid of his tiring jokes and idiocy.
Wolf: Take the fall?! Ace he orchestrated the murder of Maynard Crane! And he’s liable for Josh Hydreck, he’s the one who signed Tarrasque after all! . . . And as for never trusting Ross, weren’t you the one kissing his butt all the time?
Ace ignores him.
Ace: Whatever the case may be, the boss is gone, and rumors are that Dark has taken up the helm. He is one of the oldest wrestlers here.
Wolf: He’s the oldest yes, but Cort Vang holds the most tenure—he’s been here the longest.
Ace: Well whoever is running the place, he’s running a bunch of criminals—I’ll tell yeah that.
Wolf: That may be true, but it’s time for us to get serious for a moment here. Frank Joe Tombs, the Death Row Champion was in a serious car accident after Last Lethal Injection, and is in the hospital. I know we here have been covering it for awhile, but I’d like to just confirm, once again, that FJ Tombs was indeed in a car accident, and is receiving treatment for his injuries. He has several major injuries, and had some internal bleeding—it’s just terrible. . . terrible.
Wolf drops his head and takes a moment of reflection before looking back up at the camera.
Wolf: Our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.
Wolf stares into the camera, sincere and heartfelt, all he is missing is the tear in his eye. Even Ace takes the moment seriously, wiping the grin from his face—but only momentarily.
Ace: Yes, we really do wish you all the best of luck. . . but with that said, that means we’ve got an opening here tonight in the main event. But who’s gonna face Seth Stratton tonight?
Wolf: I have no idea, Ace. Really I don’t. I’m as lost on this one as you are.
Ace: If The Spectre makes another random appearance, I’m the fuck out of here.
Wolf: I’m with you on that one. We’ve also got Kendu taking on Goliath after defeating The Disposal last Lethal Injection.
Ace: That fat bastard. . . You know I didn’t think Kendu was going to be able to do it, but then he brought out that tazer and it was all she wrote. . . Tell me do you think The Disposal got put in that landfill of Kendu’s afterall?
Wolf: I don’t know, but all I can tell you The Disposal isn’t here tonight, for what it’s worth.
Ace: That fat bastard. . . so damn. . . fat. Like he’s so fat when he says fat it comes out PHHAT cause his fatty lips are so fat they impair his speech.
Wolf: Alright, Ace. That’s enough. . .
Ace: The fat just sucked me right in, I apologize.
Wolf: We’ve also got some tag team action for you, with two of the best teams in The Row.
Ace: Yeah a lot of people are already talking about this one between Cash Money and Fracture. Fracture has yet to be defeated here in the Row, but then again Cash Money is also undefeated.
Wolf: Regardless of who wins, everyone watching will come out a winner, that’s for sure.
Ace: After seeing the way Cash Money took out Tha Krew last lethal injection, I like their odds.
Wolf: Also in action, IM Hate, Tarrasque, and an appearance by former Death Row champion, Dark. . . but first let’s get to the ring for our first match of the evening—wait—what’s this?
Ace: Don’t act so surprised, you know that music from anywhere.
The crowd in the East Gymnasium sweats profusely as Binge and Purge begins to play over the stolen audio system The H-Town Hustlas stole in an effort to prove they weren’t totally worthless. They successfully moved up one notch: they are now at negative 1. The people hardly react to the music, some turning to talk small chat to one another, as Dark appears in the open double doors that lead to the disgusting city of San Jose.
Wolf: Well we’re supposed to be having our match between Mariguano and Colby Rise, but this isn’t their music.
Ace: More importantly that ugly bastard there is Dark, not Mariguano nor Colby Rise. Just what the hell is this drunk doing out here anyway?
Wolf: Your guess is as good as mine, Ace.
Dark looks around at the people before walking through the door and into the gymnasium. He is immediately hit with the smell of mold and the smell makes his nose wrinkle. Dark shakes his head and makes his way onto the court, but he quickly stops and turning, allows Tha Krew to step through the door.
Wolf: I guess Tha Krew are with Dark now?
Ace: Tim Ross is in jail, I’m afraid these guys need somebody to play bodyguard for. Why not the geriatric?
Tha Krew proceed first onto the court, and make their way to the ring, followed behind by Dark, with little El Toro at the end of the group, trailing behind. Tha Krew climb up onto the ropes and pull the top rope and middle rope for Dark, who gets up and steps through into the ring. El Toro gets up and tries to go for the same treatment, but Tha Krew quickly climb through the ropes into the ring, leaving poor Toro to climb in all on his own.
Wolf: I’m not certain what these fellas are doing here. . .
Ace: Well I’m sure we’re going to find out right about now. Who’s the eager beaver now?
Wolf: Oh shut up. . .
Dark leans over the ropes and asks for the microphone, but the hired ring hand for the evening (a drunk The Row had found hanging out around the school anyway, looking dirty and sad and who agreed to do the job for one pint of four dollar vodka. He seemed harmless enough. . .) seems to be dozing off in a chair of his own, a trail of drool dripping down his chin. Dark yells at him and snaps his fingers.
Wolf: Gosh I wish we had money again.
Ace: Give the guy a chance. . . He’s a diamond in the rough!
Wolf: Ace, he’s in some sort of Colt .45 coma!
The hired stage hand suddenly wakes up, his eyes bloodshot red, and then stumbles out of the chair, handing Dark a microphone before slumping to the ground.
Wolf: Well here we go. . .
Dark looks around at the crowd, then at Tha Krew—Wes Payton standing stone still as always, Leon Williams hopping around with an energy he never seems to be able to contain—then at El Toro, who stands comically, looking tough without really achieving the overall effect.
Dark: Well. . . Well. . . Well. . . There have been a lot of changes as of late—a lot of shifting around of talent. You might be wondering why Tha Krew are out here with me. Well in case you didn’t hear the news, Tim Ross is in jail. . . And Tha Krew, well, I was just the only one smart enough to utilize their abilities. You see, Tha Krew here, they’re my muscle. . . and Johnny. . . oh Johnny?
Dark looks around the crowd, turning when necessary. Johnny then appears in the door way with a towel draped over his shoulder, a small stool and kit in one hand, and a six pack of beers in the other. The crowd laughs at the sight of Johnny, who rushes down to the court, flashes up the steps and into the ring and hands the six pack to Dark. Johnny then drops to the mat and immediately proceeds to shine Dark’s boots.
Dark: And Johnny, well. . . he’s my bitch.
Dark pulls a beer off of the plastic ring and then hands em off to the Tha Krew, who each take a beer a piece before handing the remaining three beers to Toro. Toro pulls one off and drops the two remaining beers, and all four of them open their beers with the simultaneous and instantly satisfying sound of a beer can being popped open.
Principal McMatthews: Hey there’s no drinking on school grounds!
The Principal, there to oversee the show and to ensure nothing goes wrong pipes up, walking toward the ring with a raised hand. His face is dripping with sweat, and large stains have already formed on his white collared shirt around the arm pits and the lower back
Dark: Not any that you know of. . . You’re getting paid aint you? We won’t be spilling any, I assure you of that. The scent of beer or alcohol will not remain in this establishment after we’ve gone, after all, it all ready smells like shit.
A few members in the crowd yell out in agreement, the Principal looking around and mopping his face. He turns red for a moment, seeing that for once he has found himself in a situation where he has no power—a grave mistake on his part—and quickly walks away, his head filling with images of destruction done to the school and pain done to his person were he to do anything about these miscreants.
Wolf: Well, Dark is having himself a brew with his new pals. He’s stolen them all away from Tim Ross.
Ace: Hey, there are two left, those two should be for us!
Wolf: That’s not a bad idea Ace!
Dark and the rest in the ring enjoy their beer for a moment, Johnny Cox the odd man out, still shining Dark’s boots.
Dark: You know. . . Wrestlers these days all sound exactly the same. . . and they all dip their dicks in all these promotions, thinking why please one woman, when I can please three? Now of course their big mistake there is that they aren’t even pleasing the first, but of course they don’t know that—so they go on to think they’re pleasing three broads at once and ‘check me out I’ve got an elephant dick, and I’m hot shot, and you’re dick is small, and you’re a nobody, so you must be a faggot. . . Fisher price this, fisher price that.’ And meanwhile, they’re scumming it up in three federations. . . Their biggest hype man is themselves—and if that aint sad, I don’t know what is. . . The Row is the only place I know, because it is the only place to be--no I don’t want to stop, collaborate, or listen.
The fan in the corner drones, the fans in the crowd quiet, listening, much as they would listen to any public speaker they respect. But it isn’t respect, it is more like curiosity.
Dark: I’m not interested in any of that, and neither is The Row. The Row will no longer collaborate with anyone. Our ultimate goal is not to one day exist under the Subway Promotional Umbrella. The Row stands on its own, because it can. Because I say it can.
Ace: A-bleep-a-bleep-bleep did that sentence make any sense to you Wolf?
Wolf: Very little. You know how it is with these wrestlers though. They think they’re smart, but they’re not, so instead of sounding cryptic they just sound silly.
Dark: You fans. . . you work for us, and here’s your job description. Love us more than anything in your life. The Row doesn’t fuck around, and neither should you. You work for us now. And you’re job is simple. Adore everything we fucking do.
Wolf: Does this drunk have a point, or has he just come out here to interrupt our show?
Ace: I would go with the latter, but judging from the look on his face, I would guess he actually means business.
Wolf: Well if he would just get to it. . . We’ve got a show to run here!
Dark: So what’s the big deal? you may ask. . . What makes you think you can say what happens and doesn’t happen in The Row? you may ask. . .Well I’ll answer that right here and now, as I’m not one to beat around the bush. You see, I’ve got me a binding contract. You see, there was a lot you guys didn’t see last Lethal Injection—like Tim Ross barging into my locker room, all a panic, his eyes big and wide going ‘Oh Dark mothafucka—Oh mothafucka—Oh listen mothatfucka’ . . . He looked like he was didn’t know whether to run or fight, or shit or piss his pants. He had ‘the fear.’ The fear that comes when you see the walls closing in on you. . . The poor chap. Yep—that’s right, Da Boss came to see me last Lethal Injection, and he interrupted a rather healthy drinking fest between myself and The Disposal I might add. That fat fuck sure can drink!
Dark reaches down into his pockets, feeling around for something.
Dark: And you see, Ross came to give me something. He came to give me this. . .
Dark reaches into one of his pockets and pulls out a wadded up piece of paper. He laughs, hands it to Johnny Cox to straighten out the wadded ball of paper. Johnny does so, handing it back to Dark and then resuming on the second coat of polish on Dark’s boots.
Wolf: I don’t think I’m gonna like this.
Ace: Dark sure does seem different now, doesn’t he? He’s more full of himself than the time he won the Death Row belt.
Wolf: Well of course, he’s got back up now!
Dark takes the paper and raises it up in the air.
Dark: This. . . right here is a contract of sorts. From Mr. Ross to me, that states that I am now. . . the owner of Death Row Wrestling!
Dark: Yes, that’s right.
Wolf: No this can’t be!
Ace: Yes, it can be!
Wolf: If that thing is legit we’re all in for more trouble. From a ex-convict for a boss to a drunk for a boss, I don’t know what’s worse!
The crowd buzzes mildly, a few Death Row Faithful letting out a few thunderous boos. The fat man in the first row with the mustache remains the same, his arms folded, his face contorted into one of annoyance. The fan blows loud in the corner. Dark turns to his cronies and raises a beer for a quick toast before taking a good chug. A prompt belch follows. His face suddenly becomes annoyed.
Dark: Well don’t all go thanking me at once. Fucking A! I saved this federation!
Heckler: Death Row fucking sucks!
Dark hears the heckler for a moment, listening to the laughter sprinkling through the crowd all around him, but decides to ignore him.
Dark: I came and I took up a dying company, and here we are! Here we are. . .
Heckler: Yeah, in the shit house!
This time the laughter comes in waves, and Dark quickly becomes agitated.
Dark: Hey shithead, why don’t you come in the ring and say it. . . or do you have to ask your mommy first?
Heckler: She’s my aunt!
Dark: Oh yeah? Well then how bout you come here in the ring and we beat the shit out of you in front of all these people—then fuck your aunt in the back family style, you little cunt.
The crowd ohhhhs.
Wolf: Dark with some choice words here for an apparent heckler here. . .
Ace: We aren’t gonna get these kind of people all over the country are we?
Wolf: No worries there, Ace—these types are mostly cowards.
Dark: Or perhaps you’d like to take a visit to the hospital tonight? I hear they have wonderful hospitals in San Jose.
The heckler sits down.
Dark: That’s a shame. . . I few guys in the back would have loved to double team your bitch. . . But as I was saying. . . Here we are. Tombs may be in some hospital bed, but I’ll get to that later. . . My first act as the new head of Death Row is to address a certain issue that has come to my intention quite recently, thanks to the unique skills of one Johnny “The Rat” Cox. You see my rat here tells me Ian Michaels thinks he’s set to win Death Row Gold. I hear Ian Michaels walking around and talking like he’s the new owner of The Row—that despite my efforts he’s gonna run this place and just take up the title and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it!
Dark closes his eyes and lets out a great big snore.
Dark: Bitch, you don’t even know what’s going on in The Row. I never see you around. Hi, I’m James. How are you? You like to bring up the past, but the past is the past Ian Michaels. . . and the man you knew then is not the man you know now. And you? Why you’re exactly the same Ian. . . The way I see it you and your kin are all the same, and are perhaps a product of inbreeding as there’s not an original idea between the whole lot of you and you all look exactly the same. You’re gonna run The Row? You’re gonna be the next champion?
Dark looks around, conspiratorially before bringing the mic to up to his wrinkled lips.
Dark: Well to that I say, uh-huh. I say no fucking way. I say you think you’re crazy if I’m just gonna let you waltz on in here whenever you please, coming and going without a word or a look or even a ‘fuck you.’ No, winning the belt in The Row aint that easy. And that’s why we only got one. It doesn’t mean you can jump the ladder and go straight for the horses neck. Uh-huh no way no how. Not here motherfucker. The ways I see it, if you wanna make a name for yourself, you’ve got suffer a bit. You’ve got to start on the bottom. You don’t just run in and attack the champion, you don’t just barge into his locker room, no no no. That sort of shit will get you shanked around here. I’ve got Johnny Cox to make sure of that. That’s right Ian. I know you like to think you’re one bad dude, but you’ve got to mind me from now on. I’m not Tim Ross. You’ll do what I say and when I say it. . .
A smile spreads on his face, the gymnasium silent, save for the fan blowing in the corner.
Dark: Since you fancy yourself a man of hate, I think I’m gonna shower a little hate down on you Ian. Consider it your own tournament of hate if you will. . . starting out tonight with a match against the Beast Tarrasque!
The crowd lets out a mild pop.
Wolf: Did you hear that? Dark just booked IM Hate in a match against Tarrasque!
Ace: Well good luck with that one Ian Michaels. Remind me never to cross the boss, Wolf.
Wolf: I think a good punishment for you is to be sat on by The Disposal.
Ace: I think a good punishment for you is euthanasia. How old are you anyway?
Wolf: Not as old as you think. . .
Dark: Good luck Ian. . . you’re gonna fucking need it.
Dark takes a good swig of beer, finishing it. He crushes it with one hand and tosses it aside. The Principal gives Dark a look, and Dark in turn looks to Johnny to pick it up. Johnny retrieves the crushed can and places it in his pocket.
Dark: As for the main event tonight. As you know FJ Tombs is lying on his back in some hospital room. He won’t be here tonight for the main event. So its off. . . And the belt is now officially up for grabs. . .
Dark drops the mic and then kicks Johnny Cox away and motions to Tha Krew. Tha Krew make their way over to the ropes and sit on the middle rope, using their arms to raise the top rope. Dark climbs through, and again Toro tries to climb out after him but Tha Krew quickly exit, dropping down to the court. Toro climbs out after them, followed behind by the poor Johnny Cox.
Wolf: Well Dark is the new boss, and apparently he means business! IM Hate booked tonight against Tarrasque!
Ace: If I were IM Hate I would go to the nearest market right now and purchase a bunch of raw beef—try and buy off Tarrasque with his favorite food.
Wolf: Dark is the new Boss!
Ace: Remind me to send him a twelve pack. It’s never a bad idea to get on the bosses good side.
Wolf: Nobody likes an ass kisser.
Ace: Who’s kissing ass? Dark being the new Boss is a wonderful idea. I mean I never liked Tim Ross to begin with.
Wolf: Now you’re just straight up lying. . . As Ace gets his facts straight lets us take a moment to remind you that Lethal Injection from San Jose tonight is brought to you by Patty O’Toole Plumbing. . .
Ace: Toilet not flushing? Need your pipes snaked? Call Patty O’Toole the only Plumber/Pornstar in the business. That’s Patty O’Toole Plumbing.
Wolf: Nice job there Ace.
Ace: Why thank you.
Wolf: Well up next we have—hopefully—the debut match of Mariguano and Colby Rise. There’s a buzz around these two, that’s for sure.
Ace: Mariguano coming out of Mexico—he’s a bong hitting, leg dropping, lady popping luchadore that has had some success in the past.
Wolf: Tonight he’ll be taking on Colby Rise, who is no lightweight himself.
Ace: Well actually he is, he only weighs one hundred and eighty-five pounds, Wolf.
The subtle Hispanic sounds of Vince Neil’s “The Edge” begins to play over the stolen audio system courtesy of The H-Town Hustlas, and some of the members in the crowd are instantly at home.
Wolf: Well here he comes ladies and gentlemen. . . It’s the long awaited debut of Mariguano. I think this kid could do some good things here in The Row. And we could use some good.
Ace: Good? If you consider getting everyone stoned out of their minds—then yeah, he’ll do plenty of good.
A couple of hired stage hands, a few of them looking very much like the homeless, hold a couple of flash lights, moving them around rapidly to create the effect of a light show (though the lights are so weak you can’t even see them) . The tempo picks up as another guitar joins in before Mariguano appears in the double doors leading out of the gym in a cloud of smoke.
Wolf: What’s with all the smoke. We don’t exactly have a pyrotechnics crew.
Ace: Isn’t it obvious?! I know what kind of smoke that is!
Mariguano makes his way out onto the court before he shuffles left, then right, playing it up for the seemingly uninterested crowd while he pumps his fist in the air to the beat. The metal guitar slide prompts the luchadore to make his way through the fans to the ring. He gets up close and personal with a few fans, slapping hands and even embracing a young woman.
Ace: Look out Mariguano—she doesn’t look of age yet!
Wolf: Nothing wrong with a hug!
Ace: Not if you ask The One Million Moms—the genitals touch in a conventional hug—and that of course leads to rampant cases of sexual exploits far too disgusting to mention.
Mariguano circles around the ring, slapping hands with everyone in the first row row as he passes by. When he makes a full circle around the ring, he steps up to the apron and hops over the ropes, landing so gingerly it hardly makes a sound. Mariguano then immediately charges a corner, hopping up so that the fans may take in yet another look of him.
Wolf: Mariguano looking confident, maybe a little too confident.
Ace: He’s not confident, he’s not anything but relaxed right now. . . and it’s not because he’s a ring veteran that’s done this a million times. . . I’m just saying. . .
“The Brave Shall Rise” begins to play throughout the gym, and the fans, unfamiliar with the music ignore it.
Wolf: And here comes Mariguano’s opponent for the night, Colby Rise.
Ace: The brave shall rise indeed, and Colby Rise is one of those men.
As the music begins to pick up tempo, Colby Rise appears in the open doorway to the gym wearing his patent Oakley sunglasses, a plain white t-shirt and black wrestling tights with RISE written on the back. Looking around at the crowd he takes a gulp of air to suppress some pre-match jitters and makes his way onto the court.
Wolf: I gotta say, I’m really excited about this one. New talent coming here to The Row ladies and gentlemen, despite the best efforts of a lot of people to shut us down.
Ace: We’re unstoppable Wolf, the world needs The Row—they aren’t just willing to admit it yet.
Colby shakes hands with a few of the fans as he makes his way down to the ring. Finishing his obligations of a face he runs the rest of the way to the ring and slides under the rope. He jumps to his feet and he and Mariguano have a brief stare down before Rise runs toward the ropes and jumps up to the middle rope, where he stands and pumps his fist for the crowd.
Wolf: Rise vs. Mariguano. . . who do you like in this one Ace?
Ace: You know I dunno. I’ve heard a lot about both of these guys, and they know how to put on a show. As for the winner, I’ll just wait and see who gets the final pin before I make my prediction.
Wolf: Doesn’t that take the fun out of it?
Ace: Maybe. . . but I’m always right.
Charlene, a local whore in the area had been hired by Dark to be the ring announcer for the low fee of twenty dollars, and sensing her cue she got up and stumbled in the ring, but not before winking at a few of the men in the crowd. A few whistles rain out.
Wolf: Well there’s out guest ring announcer for the night, Charlene.
Ace: I bet she gives great head. . .
She stands around awkwardly before bringing the mic up to her lips.
Charlene: Hi. . . How are you I’m Charlene. I’ll be available all show. . . if you know what I mean. . .
She bends over provactively for a moment, bringing her shoulders together to press her boobs up against one another.
Charelene: But. . . uh. . . yeah. . . The following match thingy is for a best of three match. . . The winner is he who wins. . . um . . . two falls. In—in—introducing first. . . from Guda. . . Guda-la-jar-a, Mexico. . . weighing in at two hundred and twenty five pounds. . . he is El. . . Mister-i-o-so. . . Mari-guanooooooooooo!
The crowd lets out a weak pop, with some applause as Mariguano hops up in the air and raises his arms.
Charelene: And his. . . um. .. his opponent. . . from—from Columbus. . . Ohio. Weighing in at one hundred and eighty five pounds. . . One hundred and eighty five? That can’t be right. . . um . . . well. . . here’s Colby Rise!
Colby turns to look at Charlene agitated, but then quickly raises his arms to a mild pop from the crowd.
Ace: That was by far—the worst ring announcement I have ever heard. This lady is horrible!
Wolf: Yeah, she’s not the best—but they tell me she’s a fast learner!
Ace: Yeah. . . of riding pole!
Frank Knox reaches up and strikes the air over his head in rapid succession and the bell rings, signaling the start of the match. The arena seems dreadfully silent, save for the droning fan turned on in an effort (a failing one) to cool the place down. Both men stand at opposite sides of the ring, the sweat already dripping down Colby Rise, and though Mariguano’s face is covered by a luchadore mask, his back glistens under the soft glow of the gymnasium lights. The two men slowly inch toward one another, apprehensive of their unfamiliar opponent.
Wolf: Here we got two new wrestlers, Colby Rise on the left of your screen in the black tights, and Marigold on the right side of your screen, in the green, white and red trunks--think there's a little black in there too.
Ace: And in case you're color blind, Colby Rise is the one that has RISE on the trunks, and Mariguano is the one with--yep you guessed it--MARIGUANO on the trunks. Funny how that works, eh Wolf?
Wolf: There’s no need to be a smart ass about it—I’m just trying to help the viewers is all.
Colby Rise raises his left arm up toward Mariguano, his fingers spread wide, and looking around the masked luchador reaches up with his right for the test of strength, but Colby Rise quickly rises up with a kick to the gut, which causes Mariguano to bend at the waist, and Colby steps back and leaning back hits Mariguano square in the face with a super kick SLAP that sends Mariguano falling backward straight to the mat.
Wolf: What a kick by Colby Rise!
Ace: Somebody check for Mariguano's teeth, I think I just saw a couple of gold one's squirt across the ring.
Wolf: Is that racist?
Ace: I dunno. . . You tell me?
The crowd lets out a small pop, one guy in the fourth row banging on a cowbell--clang-clang-clang. Colby Rise gets up and poses for the crowd, raising a fist up in the air. He turns just in time to see a charging Mariguano, who punches him once, twice, three times in the face before Irish whipping him into the ropes.
Wolf: Mariguano sends Colby off the ropes, Colby picking up speed.
Colby Rise comes off the ropes on the opposite side of the ring with speed, and upon returning Mariguano catches him and twirls him around before he slams Colby down across his bent knee, all in one motion. Again, the small crowd lets out a weak, measly pop, Mr. Cowbell going clang-clang-clang.
Ace: I hate that cowbell bastard already.
Wolf: Mariguano with the tilt-o-whirl backbreaker--a move I could never tire of. It looks so pretty!
Ace: You're starting to worry me Wolf.
Colby Rise sells the backbreaker, flopping to the mat and crawling immediately for the ropes. He reaches the bottom rope before Mariguano brings him to his feet and tosses him into the ropes.
Wolf: Mariguano unrelenting, he keeps on Colby Rise, Irish whip from El Bongo.
Ace: Mariguano? More like marijuano. . .
Colby Rise returns and quickly slides under Mariguano's feet. Getting to his feet, Colby then grabs Mariguano from behind, hooking his chin under his arm. Colby Rise then raises his free arm before spinning and coming down with an elbow drop on Mariguano as he brings him down to the mat.
Wolf: Spinning headlock elbow drop combination there from Colby Rise, and Mariguano is down.
Colby Rise gets up to take in the adoration of the crowd but doesn't have much time, as Mariguano is quickly up, and he charges Colby Rise before quickly Irish whipping him into the ropes.
Wolf: Mariguano back up quickly, and he sends Colby into the ropes. . . Here comes Colby. . .
Colby Rise returns off the ropes with tremendous speed, but as he reaches Mariguano, Mariguano jumps up and wraps his legs around Colby Rise's head, spinning around and using the momentum to bring Colby Rise to the mat.
Wolf: Impressive flying head scissors by Mariguano!
Ace: Yeah it was nice--but look, Colby is back up again. This has been fast paced since the get-go!
Colby quickly recovers and Mariguano charges him, only to get hooked by the arm, Colby turning and bringing Mariguano down to the mat in one fluid motion.
Wolf: Arm drag by Colby Rise, and Mariguano is up again!
Mariguano quickly rises to his feet after the arm drag and Colby charges him and Mariguano hooks one of his arms and flips him to the mat.
Wolf: Mariguano with arm drag on Colby Rise now!
In an instant both wrestlers are up again, the fans buzzing at the rapid action, the Cowbell Guy clok clok clang clang cloking as Colby Rise brings Mariguano slamming to the mat with yet another arm drag.
Wolf: Yet another arm drag, this time by Colby. And listen to these fans.
They're both up again, but Colby Rise and Mariguano keep their ground, as the fans show their appreciation. Cowbell Guy bangs away on his cow bell, Charlene the hired local ring announcer/hooker (but mostly hooker), hangs out by a fire door in the gymnasium, openly smoking a cigarette and sweet talking a couple of potential customers into a few quickies later. A few fellows try to start of a Colby Rise Chant, but it quickly fails as something about the gymnasiums acoustics didn’t suit them.
Wolf: It appears we have a bit of a stalemate here, Ace.
Ace: These two are extremely fast, and they're showing it here in their debut.
Colby Rise and Mariguano then circle around one another, and again Colby Rise raises his left arm to go for the test of strength, and Mariguano goes to comply. Again Colby Rise goes for the kick to the gut, but Mariguano anticipates and catches the foot and then forces Colby Rise upward.
Wolf: Colby with the kick--no! Mariguano catches it, tossing him back into the air!
Colby Rise back flips out of the kick, landing on his feet. Colby then jumps up in the air, turning and hooking his legs around Mariguano's abdomen, and as he comes down he uses himself to propel himself back upward. As he reaches his peak he reaches back and hooks Mariguano's head, slamming him down face first to the mat.
Wolf: Colby Rise with the bulldog type move, what would you call that Ace?
Ace: I don't know, we had to fire all of our Wrestling Nerds.
Colby Rise rises to his feet and extends his arms in a cocky manner, and a few rows in the gym pop. Colby then bends down to get a hold of Mariguano's mask, sticking a few fingers under the material in the back of the mask to pull Mariguano to his feet.
Wolf: Colby using the mask of Mariguano to bring him to his feet.
Ace: That’s what you’ve got to do with a masked luchadore Wolf, the guy has no hair he can grab onto!
Colby then pulls Mariguano towards himself and clotheslines him to the mat.
Wolf: Colby with the clothesline, and Mariguano is down now on the mat.
Colby stomps Mariguano in the back of the head twice before bringing him to his feet again and kicking Mariguano in the gut before hooking the head and one of his arms and bringing him to the mat, head first.
Wolf: Colby Rise in control after the double armed DDT!
Ace: I love me any kind of DDT. I don’t care if it’s a reverse DDT, a tornado DDT, or even your simple run of the mill DDT. That shit is old school. Kinda like you Wolf.
Wolf: I can’t tell if that’s a compliment or not. . .
Ace: You’re not supposed to.
Colby then rolls Mariguano over onto his back and goes for the pin, the crowd counting along as Frank Knox hits the mat.
Wolf: All kidding aside, we’ve got a pin, Ace! 1. . . 2. . . NO! Kick out by Mariguano! There’s still life in El Bongo.
Ace: This kid is a former champ in some luchadore fed. I guess that means something—though I know I could take a luchadore on myself, no problem.
Knox raises up two fingers, the crowd shouting TWOOOOO as his fingers reach their apex. Colby gets to his feet and backs away from Mariguano, already measuring the path he will soon take.
Wolf: Colby getting ready for something—what I don’t know.
Ace: It better be fancy. . .
Mariguano slowly gets to his feet, and as he does Colby Rise charges him. Mariguano bends at the waist for the backbody drop but Colby Rise leap frogs him.
Wolf: Mariguano going for the back body drop there, but Colby with the leap frog.
Colby comes off the ropes and as he returns Mariguano jumps up and leap frogs Colby Rise.
Wolf: Mariguano now with the leap frog, there goes Colby. . .
Colby hits the ropes on the other side of the ring, and as he returns Mariguano drops to the mat on his back and lifts his legs to lift Colby over and onto the mat, but Colby rolls out of the way.
Wolf: Colby dodging the monkey flip now! Neither man seeming to make much progress here.
Colby gets to his feet and Mariguano gets to his own feet just as quickly and both men charge each other and think the same thing, raising an arm for a clothesline. Both men hit the mat.
Wolf: They both thought the same thing, and now both men are down.
Ace: No one came out a winner during that exchange Wolf. These guys are wrestling like they’ve known one another for years now!
Wolf: Uncanny, aint it? A testament to the talent here in The Row.
Ace: Which reminds me. . . Think you’re a bad ass? Know how to throw a punch? Join The Row; we build character.
Wolf: That’s good Ace—get em while they’re young.
The crowd pops as Mariguano and Colby Rise sell the dual clotheslines, keeping to the mat. Mariguano rolls onto his stomach and pushes himself up as Colby rolls forward onto his feet. Both men clash in the center of the ring with a lock up.
Wolf: Both men up. Mariguano and Colby lock up. . .
Colby Rise quickly grabs Mariguano by the arm and gets him in a wrist lock.
Wolf: Wrist lock by Colby Rise.
Ace: Advantage Colby!
Mariguano quickly rolls to the mat and flips upward, reversing the wrist lock by applying the very same hold to Colby Rise.
Wolf: And Mariguano now with the wrist lock! These two are evenly matched!
Ace: Advantage Mariguano!
Wolf: Mariguano really locking in the wrist now, look at the face of Colby Rise—that says it all folks!
Mariguano wrenches the arm and Colby Rise sells the wrist lock, grimacing in pain. Colby Rise then punches Mariguano in the gut with his free arm, once, twice, the second blow causing Mariguano to bend at the waist. Colby Rise then places his foot on top of Mariguano’s head and flips himself out of the wrist lock.
Wolf: Colby Rise out of the wrist lock now after that exchange of blows!
Ace: I’m personally amazed at the athleticism of Mariguano. What with all the weed he smokes, you’d think he’d be winded now, but look at him! He’s as healthy as a horse!
Landing on his feet Colby Rise then bends at the knees to get some air as he jumps and raises both legs, planting them square in Mariguano’s chest, knocking him to the mat.
Wolf: Dropkick by Colby rise and Mariguano is on the mat now!
Ace: Stoner down! Someone call Cheech and Chong!
Colby Rise then scrambles over to Mariguano and places his forearm over Mariguano’s face while going for the pin. Frank Knox hits the mat for the count.
Wolf: He’s going for the pin and---1. . . 2. . . kick out! Near fall there!
Ace: I thought Colby had him! Honest!
Mariguano kicks out. The fans buzz after the near fall, the man with the cowbell going at it once again, clanging away. Frank Knox rises to signal only the two count. A drunk can be heard regurgitating somewhere in the gym.
Wolf: Both men are down now. . . and listen to these fans.
Ace: I still can’t get over this gym. . . what a shit hole. What is that smell anyway? Your colostomy bag leaking again, Wolf?
Wolf: You son of a bitch! I don’t need a colostomy bag, my pipes work just fine thank you.
Colby Rise slowly gets to his feet, pounding the mat with his fists once before standing. Colby Rise then descends upon Mariguano, stomping him once, twice, three times before bringing him to his feet.
Wolf: Colby Rise bringing Mariguano to his feet now after the quick stomping.
Ace: I think Colby hates foreigners!
Colby Rise grabs Mariguano’s right arm and Irish Whips him into the corner.
Wolf: Irish whip now by Colby Rise, and Mariguano hits the corner with force!
Mariguano collides with the corner, and sells the collision as Colby Rise charges him. Colby reaches Mariguano and Mariguano leaps up, causing Colby to duck under him. Mariguano hooks Colby from behind with his legs, and then falls forward, causing Colby to hit the mat first, pinning him there.
Wolf: Quick roll up by Mariguano and we’ve got a pin! 1. . . 2. . . 3!! Mairguano has won the first fall!
Ace: But it’s not over, Wolf. This is a best of three series after all. Colby still has a chance to force another pinfall or submission.
Wolf: That’s right fans, this great match is not over yet!
Knox hits the mat a third time with his hand as Colby Rise kicks out of the pin. The crowd pops after the pin, and Knox rises, signaling the first point for Mariguano.
Wolf: Mariguano picks up his first win and look at Colby Rise! He didn’t see that one coming!
Ace: He looks like a kid on Christmas, all excited for the Nintendo he just knows he’s gonna get, and he rushes downstairs and opens his present and it’s a pair of socks.
Wolf: Speaking from personal experience there, Ace?
Ace: No—no. . . Look at Colby there, doing his thing. . .
Colby Rise rises up to his knees and holds his head in disbelief. Mariguano jumps up into the corner and raises his hands, receiving a pop from the crowd for all his troubles. A wise ass in the crowd starts a MARIJUANO chant.
Wolf: It’s Mariguano, not Marijuano!
Ace: A marijuano is someone who—
MARIJUANO—MARIJUANO—MARIJUANO. . .
It quickly dies down.
Wolf: It’s nice not to have the One Million Moms around.
Ace: You scared of them Wolf? I can’t believe it.
Wolf: Not scared—glad dammit. And you heard me the first time.
Colby gets to his feet and checks with Knox and Knox signals to him the pin. Angry, Colby charges Mariguano as he jumps down from the corner and immediately starts hitting him with combinations.
Wolf: Colby determined to win the next fall!
Ace: He’s laying into Mariguano with combinations now!
Colby rise powders Mariguano with a left-right combination, and then pushes up against Mariguano before whipping him violently into the corner. Mariguano collides with the corner, slumping there after the bump.
Wolf: And Mariguano looks hurt in the corner now after that Irish whip.
Ace: Yeah… he’s gonna wanna move.
Colby Rise charges him and jumps up into the air and slams into him, sandwiching him in the corner.
Wolf: Body splash by Colby rise on Mariguano!
Colby Rise then grabs and stumbling Mariguano and tosses him into the opposite corner of the ring. Again he charges and jumps up into the air and slams into Mariguano with his body.
Wolf: And another body splash in the corner by Colby Rise!
Ace: Mariguano wishes his was stoned right now! He’d be in a lot better place.
Mariguano stumbles out into the center of the ring and Colby Rise grabs onto the top rope with his hands and pulls himself up to the middle rope, jumping off. He turns in mid air, and as he reaches Mariguano he hooks his head from behind and brings it to the mat.
Wolf: Springboard bulldog by Colby Rise!
Ace: What a beautiful move! These guys are top notch, top notch.
Colby Rise then scrambles over to Mariguano, who is still selling the springboard bulldog, and hooks the leg, going for the pin. Frank Knox slides to the mat with all the style of a veteran referee.
Wolf: Colby Rise trying to get the next fall and keep alive now.
Ace: 1. . . 2. . . Mariguano kicks out! Arriba!
Wolf: Hey, I’m supposed to count the pin.
Ace: I just wanted to do it once. . . shit.
Mariguano kicks out of the pin, and without checking on the ref Colby Rise reaches down and grabs Mariguano by the mask, slamming the back of his head into the mat countless times.
Wolf: Colby Rise is obviously frustrated.
Ace: He’s fighting mad, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. I’ve never seen this kid wrestle before!
Wolf: None of us have, but he sure is putting on a good showing—both he and Mariguano.
Content Mariguano’s brain is good and scrambled, mixing up English and Spanish against his will, Colby Rise gets to his feet and raises his hands to a pop from the crowd.
Wolf: Colby Rise soaking up the attention of the crowd now.
Ace: A rookie mistake. He should be going for the pin!
Colby Rise then points to the ring corner post and makes his way to the corner. When he reaches his destination he grabs the top rope and quickly hops up the top turnbuckle. He turns facing the ring and slowly gets to the standing postion.
Wolf: Colby Rise going for the high risk move. This youngster is gonna fly!
Colby Rise again raises his arms, much to the delight of the crowd and then leaps off, flipping forward but ending up face first on the mat, as Mariguano had already rolled out of the way.
Wolf: And Colby Rise comes up empty—he lands face first on the mat.
Ace: And they say stoners have slow reflex times—Mariguano got out of that with plenty of time to spare!
The crowd buzzes, a few even letting out noises of disappointment as Colby Rise sells the failed front flip. Mariguano gets to his feet and slowly stalks his way over to Colby Rise and as he reaches him he bends down and lifts Colby Rise’s upper body, so that he’s seated in the ring.
Wolf: Mariguano setting up Colby Rise now. And off he goes. . .
Mariguano takes off toward the ropes, and as he reaches them he turns, his back bouncing off the ropes and propelling him toward Colby Rise. Mariguano then leaps, letting the momentum carry both feet into Colby Rise, knocking him to the mat. The crowd pops.
Wolf: Massive dropkick by Mariguano! He used all that momentum to take Colby Rise down the hard way!
Ace: That’s what you get for celebrating too soon, kid.
Mariguano spins upward to his feet and raises his arm as the heckler goes to chanting MARIJUANO again, this time throwing in claps.
MARIJUANO clap clap clapclapclap MARIJUANO clap clap clapclapclap MARIJUANO. . .
Wolf: Fans showing their appreciation for Mariguano now. . . well one fan anyway.
Ace: He’s heckling him you fool!
Wolf: What is pot anyway?
Ace: Smoke. . . you know the ganja. . . tha herb. . .
Wolf: Reefer?! My God no! We’ve got a drug user in the ring?!
Ace: And you say you aren’t an old fart. . .
Mariguano covers Colby, hooking the leg after the dropkick, going for the pin. Knox slides half way out of the ring, his legs hanging out of the ring.
Wolf: Pin by Mariguano! 1. . . 2. . . kick out! Kick out by Colby Rise!
Ace: May he RISE again! Ha! See what I did there?
Wolf: We all did, and it was horrible.
Mariguano stomps Colby once as Colby tries to get to his feet and then helps Colby up the rest of the way. Mariguano punches Colby with a left, then a right, followed by another left, each punch rocking Colby backward.
Wolf: Mariguano all offense now. Those punches are connecting.
The fans buzz after the punch combination, and Mariguano then Colby reaches far back and brings his fist forward with a hard right, knocking Colby clean to the mat. Mariguano shakes his hand after the punch, as if to indicate to the crowd how hard of a punch it was.
Wolf: Hard right by Mariguano now!
Ace: Those smart fist of Mariguano are doing the talking, and they’re saying ‘shit you’re fucked now Colby!’
Wolf: Really? Is that what they’re saying?
Mariguano then reaches down and hooks both of Colby’s legs under his armpits. Mariguano then falls backward and slingshots Colby Rise up over the top rope and out of the ring. The fans pop.
Wolf: Mariguano just slingshotted Colby Rise out of the ring, and listen to these fans, Ace!
Ace: This match is everywhere, Wolf. These guys are flying around the ring, they’re hitting the mat, they’re even spilling out of the ring. These guys are certainly setting the tone here for The Row.
Wolf: A tough act to follow—you’ve got that right!
Mariguano gets to his feet quickly as Colby Rise sells the fall on the outside. Frank Knox starts to make the count, 1. . . 2. . . Mariguano runs off the ropes for momentum and then returns 3. . and dives through the top and middle ropes landing on a now standing Colby Rise. They both tumble to the mat and Frank Knox starts the count over again.
Wolf: Suicide dive by Mariguano!
Ace: This guy needs to lay off the bong! I think all that weed has made this kid think he’s invincible!
Wolf: I think I could use some of that.
Ace: Really Wolf?!
Wolf: Yeah. . . for my glaucoma. . .
The fans pop, the cheers reverberating around the room like a pool of water when a rock is dropped in it, 1. . .2 . . while both wrestlers outside are slow to get up. 3. . . 4. . .
Wolf: Both men feeling the effect of that suicide dive. It’s such a dangerous move, Ace. One thing could go wrong, just one thing could be off and everything goes wrong.
Ace: Hence the whole ‘suicide’ dive thing. I think it was named after originator of the move. Naturally he’s not with us—killed himself.
Mariguano gets to his feet first, and he grabs Colby by the hair and brings him to his feet. 5. . . 6. . . Mariguano then lifts Colby up 7. . . and slams him down face first on the ring apron.
Wolf: Colby into the ring apron now! Right to the face, Ace!
Ace: Mariguano needs to get in the ring, no one wants a count out.
Mariguano quickly slides into the ring and slides back out to restart the count.
Ace: What an idiot. This kid could have just stayed in the ring and won the final fall by count out.
Wolf: ‘No one wants a count out’ who was it that said that, Ace? Who?
Ace: Who? . . . Certainly not me. It’s winning that counts, and sometimes all you’ve got to use is your noggin.
Mariguano lands on his feet and grabs Colby, 1. . . 2. . .who is still selling after slamming face first into the apron, and kicks him once in the face with an upward kick. 3. . .
Wolf: Mariguano with a kick to the face now! And Colby is hurt
Ace: Have you seen Mariguano spring around the ring? There’s strength in those legs, I’m telling yah. And legs can be dangerous. . . ever been in bed with a chick who’s legs are particularly strong, and you’re going at her and she’s wrapping em around yah, damn near squeezing the life out of you but you don’t care because you don’t want to stop? Yeah. . . Yeah. . . Kinda like that.
Wolf: Stop running your mouth, you’re ruining the match Ace.
Colby staggers backward from the kick and Mariguano then grabs Colby, 4. . . hooking his head under his arm and then lifting him up in the air before bringing him straight down. The crowd pops. 5. . .
Wolf: Suplex by Mariguano right on the outside! That sound was sickening!
Mariguano gets up after the suplex and raises his arms to a pop in the crowd. 6. . . He then bends down and brings Colby to his feet only to roll him into the ring under the bottom rope. 7. . . Mariguano climbs in after him, ending the count by Frank Knox.
Wolf: Finally, both men in the ring now after too much time spent outside the ring.
Ace: Don’t worry about them scuffing the court, it’s already fucked up.
Mariguano scrambles over to the fallen Colby Rise, already sensing his second and final pinfall. He hooks the leg hastily, and Frank Knox hits the mat and goes for the count. Cow bell guy: bang bang bang.
Wolf: 1. . .2. . . kick out! Somehow! Some way! Colby kicks out! This kid has got heart, you’ve got to give him that.
Ace: Rise Colby Rise, rise! I command you!
Mariguano gets up to his knees and checks with Knox, and to his disappointment he sees victory vanish from him. Frank raises two fingers and the crowd lets out a TWOOOOO.
Wolf: Mariguano can’t believe it, and frankly neither can I.
Ace: That’s how it is unfortunately with some of these guys. They just don’t know when to stay down. And that’s where gunplay comes in handy. . .
Wolf: You can’t be serious. . .
Ace: I’m not saying kill the guy, just maim him. Take off a finger or something. Or if you’re not much of a marksman, shoot him in the foot.
Wolf: You’re so full of shit—you’ve never fired off a gun in your life.
Mariguano slowly makes his way over to Colby Rise, and dropping down he brings Colby rise to the seated position and hooks his head and arm while placing his knee up against Colby’s back. Mariguano then pulls backward and up, wrenching the neck.
Wolf: Dragon sleeper! We’ve got a dragon sleeper by Mariguano on Colby Rise!
Ace: I don’t know if that’s really necessary, Wolf, it looks Colby Rise is already asleep if you ask me.
Mariguano pulls back on Colby Rise, and Frank Knox checks on Colby Rise by Colby slowly shakes his head, his face turning a bright ruby read. The vein in his forehead becomes prominent as Mariguano wrenches back further.
Wolf: Look at Colby Rise’s face! He’s in trouble here Ace!
Ace: You bet your ass. He looks like a cherry! Once he turns blue you know he’s done for!
Mariguano wrenches back once more and in desperation Colby flails his leg out and drapes it over the top rope. Frank Knox sees the rope break and instructs Mariguano to break the hold. Mariguano breaks the hold and looks up at Knox, who points to the Colby’s leg draped over the rope.
Wolf: Colby was able to get to the ropes! He’s still in this one.
Ace: Damn. I’ve always wanted to see someone get choked to death. You know I joined up with The Row cause I wanted to see such things—so far no luck.
Mariguano slowly gets to his feet, sweating profusely from the heat and all the action. He breathes heavily but brings Colby Rise to his feet anyway, though he would want nothing more than for the match to already be over. Mariguano then hooks Colby from behind and bends backward, pulling him over his head and to the mat.
Wolf: German Suplex by Mariguano! And he keeps the hold on Colby Rise.
Mariguano turns, keep his hold on Colby and then brings him to his feet before pulling him backward over his head and to the mat once more.
Wolf: And another!
Mariguano turns and gets to his feet a final time, keeping his hold on Colby Rise. Mariguano then pulls Colby Rise over his head for a third and final time, letting go of the hold after Colby is already over his head, and Colby hits the mat back first. The crowd pops.
Wolf: Triple german suplex combination, but he’s not going for the pin!
Ace: This guy is spacey sometimes, I’m surprised he even knows where he is half of the time!
Mariguano quickly gets to his feet and makes his way to the corner, where he pulls himself up to the top rope. Mariguano turns, facing the ring, and then raises his arms to a pop from the crowd.
Wolf: Mariguano going for the high risk here!
Ace: Hopefully it pays off! We all saw what happen to Colby Rise earlier.
Mariguano leaps off and flips through the air, extending his hands and giving the ‘thumbs up’ before he lands cleanly on top of Colby Rise.
Wolf: The Bong Drop! The Bong Drop!
Ace: This has got to be it!
Mariguano scrambles over to Colby, who lies motionless in the ring. Mariguano hooks the leg and Frank Knox hits the mat, the crowd buzzing for the pin.
Wolf: 1. . . 2. . . 3!! It’s over! It’s over! Mariguano wins it!
Ace: The Stoner actually did it! Cheech and Chong, rejoice!
The bell rings and the crowd pops, as Colby Rise lies on the mat, breathing heavily, but otherwise not moving. Frank Knox gets to his feet and raises Mariguano’s arm in victory. The crowd pops as Colby Rise slowly crawls to the corner.
Wolf: Mariguano with an impressive debut win. This has been one of the best matches I’ve seen.
Ace: Mariguano is going to celebrate with a couple of bong loads, you know that, right?
Colby Rise slowly gets to his feet, and as he stumbles toward the center of the ring Mariguano stops his celebrating to look at him.
Wolf: What’s this? What’s Colby doing?
Ace: I don’t know, but he’d be pretty dumb to try and mess with Mariguano. The match is over!
Mariguano and Colby Rise stare at one another for a few moments, before Colby Rise holds out a hand for the handshake. The crowd pops.
Wolf: Finally, some sportsmanship in The Row!
Ace: No! It’s gotta be a trick! It just gotta be!
Mariguano looks around at the crowd for a moment before shooting his hand out to meet Colby’s, and the two shake hands in the center of the ring.
Wolf: Now see. . . that’s nice.
Ace: It’s stupid is what it is. Who needs friends anyway?
Wolf: Judging from your tone, I’d say you do.
Colby turns and exits the ring, still selling his injuries as Mariguano continues to celebrate his first win in the Row.
Charlene: Mariguano, I’d like to talk to you—I mean they’re telling me to talk to you.
Charlene saunters her way over to Mariguano, her hips moving this way and that (the eyes of the men in the first row going this way and that as she passes). Mariguano stands akimbo, his hands on his hips and is breathing rather heavily after his match.
Wolf: Mariguano feeling the effects of that wonderful match he put on with Colby Rise. Let’s go to Charlene for the interview.
Ace: And get a real tight shot of those tits while you’re at it!
The camera man obliges, and we get a nice tight shot of Charlene’s silicone injected tits (a sound investment, she insists, despite the fact that they’re a tad crooked and have never looked natural). The shot pans out and we see Charlene standing next to Mariguano, ready to speak.
Charlene: There’s been a lot of talk about you there fella. . . a lot of people are wanting to know, just exactly who is Mariguano? Do you have a green card?
Mariguano: Si, mamita. Mariguano has de card with him right now.
El Misterioso reaches in his back pocket and pulls out a Subway Club card. The reflection of the arena lights dances off the plastic card as he displays it with pride.
Mariguano: Perhaps after de show, Mariguano can treat de hermoso lady to... el footlong...
Mariguano leers at Charlene's chest and then raises his eyebrows to the fans nearby, as if to say, 'that's right fellas, I'm standin' next to the fun bags!'
Charlene: Why thank you.
Mariguano: De Death Row give me de green card since I am a'going to be a wrestler. I will need to eat healthy, like a'Michael Strahan and de Nastia Liukin, si? If I am a'going to be de best in de business, I must have de power food avacado and meatballs on every day. Is my training secret, chuknow? Wait... mi escondido!
The notion that his secret is out runs through the masked man's mind.
Charlene: Any plans for the future?
Mariguano: Ehh... nothing especial. I suppose de Mariguano will go backstage and try to score some nuggies from my cousin de janitor and his friend de other janitor. Maybe de Charlene gustaría participar?
Charlene: Thank you, and congratulations on your win. . . maybe after the show you and me can celebrate.
Charlene gives Mariguano a wink before he salutes the fans once more. He then exits the ring.
Wolf: Well there you have it. Mariguano is here in The Row.
Ace: And he wants to smoke some nuggets!
Wolf: Chicken nuggets? I don’t get it…
Ace: No Wolf. . . No. . .
Inside the faculty lounge, Ian Michaels sits on the couch with a cigarette in his mouth and newspaper in his hands. A bottle of Crown Royal is open on the side table with a red solo cup next to it and a can of Coca-Cola. As Ian notices the bum looking camera man standing there behind his paper, Ian shakes his head before folding up the paper and tossing it on the floor. He pulls the cigarette from his mouth, letting the smoke slowly roll from his nose and tosses it in the trash can to the side of the camera man.
Camera Man: Dude, what the fuck! You are going to set this school on fire!
Ian shrugs his shoulders with no concern on his face.
Ian Michaels: The only thing that could save this school is either a fire, an earthquake, or a fucking bomb! Besides, I pissed in the trash can about five minutes ago, but this place smells so bad you cannot tell!
Ian grabs his red solo cup and places it to his lips before taking a big gulp of Crown and Coke. He sets it back down and laughs.
Ian Michaels: Funny story. You will never guess where this bottle of Crown came from!
Camera Man: Dark's bag?
Ian Michaels: Fuck no, that piece of trash could not afford Crown Royal! I stole this from the Vice Principal's desk!
Camera Man: So did you happen to hear Dark just a few minutes ago? He has some rather harsh words for you!
Ian Michaels: Hear him? Dude, this school is constructed out of cardboard with 10 layers of paint! I could not help but to hear his drunk ass. I heard what he said, but the question is, did hear my laughter? He thought it was some teenager in the crowd, but fact was, it was Ian Michaels informing him how much I give a fuck at what he has to say. Come closer...
The camera man walks a few steps towards Ian, as he throws up his hand in a halt motion.
Ian Michaels: Perfect! Dark, maybe you have some sort of seeing problem. Did I stomp Tombs' face into steel steps? Damn skippy! The following week, I stomped his head into the canvas and covered him for that infamous three count! Then as some sort of punishment, this fucking racist criminal... No not you Dark, I am talking about Ross! The low life decided to call me up and say, 'YEAH IAN, I AM NOT BOOKING YOU THIS COMING UP LETHAL INJECTION, AND WE DO NOT WANT YOU NEAR THE BUILDING! WE DON'T TAKE KIND TO SAMOANS!' Well guess what, I got a text message two weeks later near about matching the same fucking thing. So I had to bust into the place in order to even get in the building. So save your time attempting to justify me not being on the shows. You are a booker, why are you just now booking me? Simple, you and Tim both knew I was dangerous and I was threatening your positions in Death Row, because I don't take orders.
Will I wrestle against the guys you toss into the ring with me? Fuckin' yeah I will! I love victimizing people, so you want to toss some government experiment gone wrong retard at me? Fine, but when those wheelchair pimping, drool dribbling, DURS come in protest... Remember, it is you who is to blame, not I! I'll fuck him up, fuck you up, and shove The Rat up your ass! You know why Dark? Simple... I am not FJ Tombs, I do not fear you nor do you concern me.
You need me in The Row! I do not need to be here. I am here because I feed my need to hate. I can hate anywhere, at anytime. Unlike others, I am no bitch, and I did not grab my ball and go elsewhere to play! So sit your drunk ass down and listen very closely to what I have to say. And you might escape this piece of shit school without me stomping through the back of your head and giving you a fucking make over. I am going to wear the gold in Death Row. I am going to actually do something you, Skidrow, and Tombs could not do. That is give the belt some meaning. So save your chuckling inbred jokes for someone who lives in West Virginia. And showcase some sort of common sense. If family looks anywhere alike, it is called genetics. That is a term used in science. Unlike you, I do not need Maury Povich to tell me who is and who is not my father. In most cases of inbred offspring, you get someone like Tarrasque. In other words, a deformed ignorant piece of trailer trash. Not to be confused with your actual kindred Dark. Tarrasque is ignorant, you are just fucking stupid. He knows no better, you opt not to learn, he is unable to learn. But one thing is certain Dark, you cannot stop me from getting my hands on the title. If you do not give me the shot, I'll fucking swipe that strap from the back and be in Charlotte before you can realize it is missing. So save yourself the time of looking cool just to showcase later you are a bitch, and save me the mess of your blood on my kickpads, and give me the shot. If you think I am not worthy of being champion, I suggest making the man who you put in there is able to beat me. But your lack of confidence in anyone else on this roster shows. You know if I am given the shot, no matter who is put before me, will end up a bloody mess and on the losing end.
I am the going to be Death Row's champion. The faster you accept it, the sooner we can move onto making Death Row into an underground name worth something, instead of some typical indy promotion ran by a wrestler who simply wants to put himself over. Enjoy my match tonight, I know I will!
Ian laughs a bit, before he grabs his solo cup and bottle of crown and stands from the couch. He hands the bottle to the camera man in exchange for the camera, as he exits through the door towards the locker room of the gym.
The camera feed picks up at ringside with a shot of the crowd. The gymnasium has gotten considerably hotter since the show began and many fans futilely attempt to fan themselves, but they only manage to churn muggy air. An overweight man with a mustache sits agitated in the front row, his arms crossed. He leans over to a well built younger man sitting to his side.
Fat guy: Jesus Christ on a cracker, it's hot in here. Ain't enough Old Spice on earth to keep these pits dry. I'm Carl, by the way.
Younger man: Trevor Browning.
Carl: Well fuck me, Trevor. Doesn't the heat bother you? You ain't even sweatin'!
Trevor Browning: No. I quite enjoy it, actually. We don't get much sun where I'm from.
Carl: Where are you from?
Carl: Shit! What brings you all the way down here? You a big fan of The Row?
TB: Something like that. I must admit, the show hasn't been bad. A little devoid of class, perhaps.
Carl turns his head, slightly offended. Trevor pats him on the back.
TB: I meant no offense, Carl. It was more a compliment. You, the fans here. Salt of the earth types. Real people. That's a good thing.
TB: I'm going to grab a beer. Give me a shout when the next match starts.
Trevor begins to inch towards an aisle.
Carl: Yeah, for sure. Hey man, you gonna be here next week?
TB: It's a distinct possibility.
The camera shot fades.
Wolf: Well IM Hate is adamant on being the champion, whether Dark likes it or not.
Ace: I don’t know if that’s a good idea—messing with the boss like that. Dark is a fighter. Ross was just a criminal. There’s a difference there. . . I think.
Wolf: Up next folks we’ve got Major Kendu taking on Goliath—Kendu of course coming off of that win against fellow newcomer, The Disposal.
Ace: All it took was a tazer, and The Disposal was down and out. . . You know I hear Kendu actually got The Disposal over to his landfill?
Wolf: Well if he did, the fat man must have escaped, for he’s here tonight—you probably heard wrong Ace, that’s all.
Needles by System of a Down begins to ring out through the gymnasium with that sort of hollow sound gyms can sometimes produce. Major Kendu quickly appears in the doorway, wasting no time. He wears a devious grin on his face, and over his shoulder he holds a burlap sack shaped by the contents inside.
Wolf: Here he comes, Kurt Kendu and he’s got his bag of tricks with him again.
Ace: If you wanna know what’s in there, just ask The Disposal! He had the misfortune of finding out first hand just what is in there.
Wolf: But seriously, if you don’t know, it’s full of weapons.
Major Kendu looks around at the crowd, showing no particular interest in any of them. He walks out onto the court with an well placed, even step. He draws closer to the ring without much change in his expression.
Wolf: This guy is starting to creep me out. What with his landfill and all. Something aint right about this guy?
Ace: Really Wolf? What was it that finally set you off? The guy keeps wrestlers as trophies. He’s fruity loops, that’s for sure Wolf.
Kendu reaches the ring and he swings around his sack and places it in the corner of the ring. He then climbs the steps and walks out to the center of the ring apron and then steps through the top and middle rope.
Wolf: This guy is calm and calculated.
Ace: Well he does have a phD. He’s working some of that ring psychology already. If I were his opponent I’d be a little wary of this guy. Look out Goliath!
Kendu stands in the middle of the ring, looking around at the crowd, taking them in but showing no particular interest. The music dies down and Kendu makes his way to a neutral corner.
Wolf: You think Kendu is ready for Goliath?
Ace: What is it with this guy? Does he have bad luck or something? First he had to take on the fattest wrestler in The Row. . . and now he’s taking on one of the biggest! But to answer your question, I’d say yes. . . yes he’s ready.
Wolf: Well he better be. . .
Bodies by Drowning Pool begins to play, with its chant asking for the bodies to hit the floor, and the fans, caught up in the heat sit silently waving hot air in their faces. As the chant ends, and the lead singer yells out FLOOOOOOOOR, Goliath appears in the double doors.
Wolf: Look at Goliath! He makes that doorway seem small!
Ace: He sure does, but don’t let that size fool yah, he’s also agile for a big man.
Goliath walks out onto the court and raises his arms to the sky, yelling out with the song. He then walks toward the ring, not even bothering to turn his head to look at the fans. He keeps his eyes on the ring.
Wolf: Wow, except for that first burst of energy there, Goliath has got no emotion on his face.
- Raging Dead