A little over two years ago, Nathan Gust woke up in a haze. Unfamiliar with his surroundings, his wife or even himself… he panicked and ended up falling out the second story window of his home in Ozone Park, New York. He spent two years convinced that he was an undead monster, having no recollection of his life prior to that night. The only thing he DID know was that he was a professional wrestler.
The squared circle called out to him, it fueled him, it was the only thing that made sense to him. Two years of going town to town, working for every promotion in and around New York City… he eventually found his way to Trinity Wrestling, at the suggestion of Madwoman Szalinski. There, he truly became The Raging Dead that you see today. Within two months, he had dominated the Pure Division and claimed the Pure Championship.
Following his first successful defense of that championship, Trinity Wrestling was sold to Action Wrestling… kind of. That part is still a little fuzzy. It was decided that The Raging Dead would compete against Action Wrestling Cruiserweight Champion Derrick Vayden in a unification match. Guess who won that match? Uhh, yeah, The Raging Dead. Before he even signed a contract with Action Wrestling, he became their Cruiserweight Champion.
It was in this same time period that he joined Fans Wrestling Federation. Can The Raging Dead exist in two places at the same time? Only time will tell. For now… find peace knowing that his immediate focus is on one thing only: Pandemonium 3. That event will take place Wednesday, December 4 at the Maverick Center in Salt Lake City, Utah. The Raging Dead makes his FWF debut in the main event of the evening against Brandon Moore, who also makes his FWF debut that night.
Neither man is in the inaugural FWF World Championship tournament, but the winner of this match will undoubtedly be on the radar as a contender in the future. FWF takes wins and losses very seriously, which is a refreshing stance from such a young promotion. Starting off undefeated would be a great way to make an immediate impact in FWF for The Raging Dead… or Brandon Moore, I guess...
Setting the table…
Camera equipment is set up in the dining room of the Gust Compound in Ozone Park, as documentarian Erik Dean is sitting at the table with Nathan Gust and his wife Sara Pettis. The table that seats eight is barely set up for Thanksgiving festivities, and the smell of baked turkey fills their nostrils.
"Today's shoot, I want you to pretend these cameras aren't even here," Erik says. "I mean, obviously, they're here. I want to get as candid of a Thanksgiving dinner as possible. I want to show the family man behind the monster."
Sara scoffs, "You know the monster isn't real? It's all been in his head. His concussion three weeks ago pretty much brought him back."
Erik nods his head, "Pretty much, yeah, but there's still two years that's a blur from his perspective. It is my hope that, through the process of this documentary, some of that memory returns and he---"
Nathan slams his fist on the table, "Enough! You're both talking like I'm not here, like I don't understand what's going on. I get it, guys. The Raging Dead isn't real. He's a delusion in my head that somehow manifested because of my damaged brain. I shouldn't even be in the ring anymore, and one more concussion could literally kill me. I still have so much to give, so much to accomply. There's a whole new generation of guys and gals who don't have a grasp of what this business truly means. I will continue to contribute until I can't."
"Nobody is trying to take anything away from you," Sara assures him. "We just want you to take every possible precaution out there. The last two years was a nightmare. You put this family through absolute Hell. That… thing… The Raging Dead… he was a darkness I don't care to revisit."
Nathan sighs, "But he's never truly gone. He is the same darkness I felt when I worked with Nirvana… when I worked with Satanaz Black… when I worked with… my dad. He's a part of me… and, for the time being, I need to let him out when I appear for FWF and Action. When I channel him… when I… unleash him… then my worries and my doubts fade away. It's like my mind goes blank… and next thing I know… I'm victorious. When I won the Trinity Pure Title… he had full control and I had no idea what had happened. When I won the Action Cruiserweight Title… I allowed him to exist and the same result occurred. I know how to handle him now… I think."
"Oh, you think," she says sarcastically, and then looks at Erik. "Well I'm sold. The guy who doesn't remember the last two years of his life thinks he can control whatever darkness lurks beneath the surface."
Erik can see the rage building up inside of his longtime friend. "Sara, I've known him for over twenty years. I've seen his highest of highs and his lowest of lows. If he says he can do this, he can do this."
"I've seen it all, too," she says assuredly. "I was just a little kid when Nirvana rechristened him as Genocide. I've been through it all, and then some. Honey, I know you can handle this darkness. I just don't think you should. But… I also understand that desire to contribute until you can't. My mom was the same way. So was Will."
Nathan grumbles, "Yeah… I know. He was the reason Christina beat me at Monster Mash last month. Will is the only Guy who has worse problems with his inner demons than I do."
"No, not at all," Sara reluctantly says. "Will doesn't have any problems with his demons. He let them take control years ago when my mom died, and never seemed to truly come back to us. Ricky and Chris haven't spoken to their dad in five or so years. I'm the only one he'll give the time of day… and that's only because I remind him of my mom. It's a real shitshow."
"Your whole family tree is a real shitshow," Erik says in an attempt to break the tension. "Nate, what's your relation to Nirvana again?"
Nathan gives a slight chuckle, "Don't get me started. Hey, before everyone arrives, do you mind recording a promo for FWF? I've got a match next week in Salt Lake City, which is great because I have a week off from Action Wrestling."
Erik nods his head and grabs his handheld camera. He looks around the room and smiles. "Over there, in the corner. I've got an idea."
Erik digs through his bag and pulls out a flashlight. He pulls shut the curtains, turns the flashlight on and hands it to Nathan. Without saying a word, Nathan holds it under his chin like he's telling scary stories around a campfire...
The main course...
"You only get one chance to make a good first impression. The first impression The Raging Dead will have with the fans of FWF is that he is a stone cold killer. He will rip the arms off his opponent and use them as weapons. Who is first up on the buffet of poor souls on his way to the FWF World Championship? A man called Brandon Moore. He must be a big deal if his debut with this promotion is in the main event of Pandemonium 3. What is it about Brandon Moore that makes him so special?"
"Despised One? Hardly. If he were despised, he would not be put in such an important position next week at Pandemonium 3. Unless… and this could be a total shot in the dark… maybe he's in this position as a job guy, fodder, an easy win for The Whiteface Thriller, The Undead Underdog, The Raging Dead. If that is the case… then all is right in the world. We will all go to Salt Lake City with one goal in mind: get The Raging Dead over. Brandon Moore has an obvious height and weight advantage, which will only make The Raging Dead look MORE badass when he is victorious."
"Despised Icon? Please. The Raging Dead has held hundreds of championships in the last 28 years as a world-conquering professional wrestler. After a decade, Brandon Moore is looking for FWF to be his swan song. The Raging Dead is here to destroy everyone and everything to add another championship to his already iconic resume. Once Brandon Moore is disposed of and sent packing to the Gateway to the West, The Raging Dead will continue his upward trajectory toward the FWF World Championship."
"Brandon Moore should be terrified… or even Tera-Fied… of The Raging Dead. He is facing an evil so carnal and so viceral that he has no way of truly planning for, aside from upping his life insurance policy to ensure that his family is taken care of in his inevitable absence from this spectral plane. Between now and Wednesday, Brandon Moore would be well-advised to prepare his own eulogy. The Raging Dead has tunnel vision and Brandon Moore is about to find out the hard way why we should all Fear the Raging Dead."
"Do not take any of this banter lightly, Brandon Moore. You should have extremely low expectations for your performance at Pandemonium 3. That way… if by some early Christmas miracle you survive this contest… you will not be disappointed with your ineptitude. You're probably not terrible in the ring… and you might even be a pretty cool guy… but you are up against a despicable force unlike anything you have experienced in your life."
"The Raging Dead is what goes bump in the night. He is what nightmares have nightmares about. He is everything you could ever hope to avoid in life… and yet… you are the first in FWF to experience his destructive power, Brandon Moore. May God… or Gods… or whatever… have mercy on your soul. You could have been up against anyone else in FWF and possibly seen a more favorable conclusion than lying in your neck as a zebra counts to three. Such is life."
"Brandon Moore… The Raging Dead is no joke. He's not a character for your entertainment. He's not a gimmick for FWF to make money off of. He's a soulless ghoul who will have no remorse on Wednesday in Salt Lake City when he is peeling back your flesh and snacking on your insides. Do not take him lightly, or it will be your final mistake on Earth."
"Beware the Raging Dead."
"Fear the Raging Dead."
- Kentucky Tarzan