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on September 21st 2018, 2:38 pmThe One True Pairing

There is no shame in admitting you’re wrong.

Of course, this isn’t one of those times.

Win, lose, tie - blah, blah, blah - it never mattered what the outcome was when I stepped inside the ring with Belle. Just like the outcome of any of my matches in this pointless Tournament have never mattered. You know what REALLY matters? Getting the OTP brand name out there for the World to see. Nobody cares about watching any of you people wrestle, why do you think this company is dwindling with every passing day? It doesn’t matter how much you’ve busted your ass and trained all your life to become the best in-ring competitor you can be. Never mattered in the slightest. Hell, look at our dear Puroresu World Champ: Jaydayne. A man that personifies everything about Strong Style Wrestling. He’s Asian, he’s small, he’s a vacuum of charisma, and in any other company he would never even remotely stand out, BUT… But, but, but… He’s a good wrestler. There you go. There’s the formula for success here in SSW. Congrats to Jaydayne - good wrestler. Except, he’s supposed to be considered not just A good wrestler, but THE good wrestler. I’m here taking losses to Belle Kingsley, but no matter what else happens - no matter who I lose to in any fashion, the fact remains that I beat the so-called best this company has to offer, and then I threw his little challenge in his face for a chance to regain my Cherry Blossom and I’s Lovebird Tag Team Championships. This entire company absolutely REEKS of tenacity. It’s filled to the brim with underachievers wishing they were overachievers. It’s nothing but a bunch of mediocre fish swimming in shallow waters and pretending it were the deepest, darkest parts of the ocean when they know for a fact none of them would EVER survive if it came to that. You’ve got wills that bend, and you take pride in knowing they’ll never bend quite enough to break, but does it really matter? Does anyone REALLY care? Nobody’s watching you compete. Nobody’s sitting at home watching you put your body - Hell, your LIVES on the line. This company is like a sick and twisted lab experiment in futility. Tenacity is all you people got, but tenacity only prolongs the inevitable.

Which brings me to - let me check my notes here…. April… Song? Okay, whatever. So she exists, apparently. I’m at least assuming this is a woman, anyway. It absolutely ASTOUNDS me how many women believe they have anything even remotely what it takes to compete with men, when they know that only my Cherry Blossom is capable of such a thing. Don’t let this Tournament start fooling you - we’re not here to win. We’re simply here to be here. We’re here to remind you that very, very soon, the One True Pairing will take back their rightful place on top of this company. NOT just the Tag Team Division - this entire company itself. Before long it won’t matter what klique you’re pledging your loyalty to. It won’t make a single Goddamn difference when it comes down to it, whether you’re Shoot Nation or Ronin or Phantom Troupe or even Tres Comas Club itself. OTP is on a mission unlike anything you’ve ever seen before. We’re going to take back OUR Championships, and then we’re going to do you all a favor and sweep up the remnants of this company, throw it in the trash, and rule over it until we grow bored and move on to something more worth our time.

April Song is just a tiny, tiny, TINY little piece of this trash. She is a microcosm of garbage that serves absolutely no fucking purpose existing in our new Kingdom. When we take back our place, and move on from there and beat your other supposed “more important” Titles into oblivion, we’re going to get rid of pointless, underwhelming Tournaments like the one you’re witnessing us compete in right now, and April Song is just a stepping stone towards that. She, like many, many others, will become obsolete and useless because their precious dreams have been shattered and cut them to pieces and suddenly the World Title, much like the man who holds it, will be worthless. And she’ll have no one to come to her aide when OTP rolls into town to knock her down and steal her lunch money. You all will be united under one flag, and that is our’s. You’ll all get to sit on the floor while we sit at the table. You’ll all witness the ascension of the most dominant duo in professional wrestling and sports entertainment alike. And you will thank us for what we’ve done to make you people more relevant than you’ve ever been or ever will be in your entire pathetic LIVES! You’ll go from four individual stables into one united front molded into serving no other purpose than being our cannon fodder, and that will be how the rest of your lives go. That’s what the future holds for you, April. You get to stop wasting your time endlessly wandering through your miserable existence, doing absolutely nothing of value. Instead you get to serve a purpose. A TRUE purpose. You’ll finally get the opportunity to feel as if your life truly has value. You’ll get to feel special. Hell, ALL of you will get to feel special. You’ll be the special pedestal that Sakura and Cassius Corleone stand upon! Everyone gets to be special! Congratulations!

And if everyone is special, no one is. That’s the way it should be.
on September 20th 2018, 2:38 pmBelle Kingsley
One week till my SSW Puroresu Heavyweight Championship Match at Event Horizon. As the weeks progress, the more I cannot believe this is actually happening. I still cannot believe that Jaydayne Pendragon actually agreed to this match up. Why would he agree to give a woman who has lost more times than she has won a chance at Strong Style Wrestling’s main championship? I know I was emotional when I threw down the challenge, but I never knew that Jaydayne would agree to the match. Perhaps, this is my golden opportunity to prove to Jaydayne and the rest of Shoot Nation that I am deserving to be part of the faction. I do bring something to the table for Shoot Nation. I am not going to lie, but I am nervous as hell about this match. The more I realize that this is actually happening, the more nervous I get. The more faster my heart beats of the fact that this is the biggest match of my career. This is the biggest opportunity that I have ever gotten. There are going to be people in the back that want me to fall flat on my face. There are people who would love nothing more than for Belle Kingsley to lose once again. There are people who will think that it is impossible for me to defeat Jaydayne. He has gotten the best out of me in the past. I was outsmarted by him and I am not going to hide the fact that he got the victory when it mattered. That is something that I haven’t been able to do. Don’t get me wrong; I managed to get a victory over Cassius Corleone, a man who has gotten the best out of me in the past. I don’t know about anyone, but that took some weight off my shoulders. It has proven that I can win a match. I can face opponents who may look impossible to defeat and manage to defeat them in the end. People can call it luck. People can call it a fluke, but it is a victory in the books for me and that is all that matters.

I got to admit something: I have no idea who Falke Halstenberg is. Apparently, he is a member of the Phantom Troupe, but just like me, he has only won a match in the Best in the World Series. Now, I don’t want to discredit his victory. I am a woman who hasn’t been doing well in this tournament. I fully believe that anything can happen in this tournament. I mean, who in the world expected me to defeat Cassius Corleone last week? There was probably people who believed that Cassius would have wiped the floor with me. He was a man who had gotten the best out of me in two different occasions. Now, Falke is from  Germany and he seems pretty passionate about where he is from. He is so proud about where he comes from that he refuses to shut up about it. I can be mean and approach this match and call him a “Nazi” and a bunch of German stereotypes that he has probably gotten a billion times throughout his five year career, but that’s not me. I don’t like stooping low and just ranting about stuff that does not concern me. Falke will approach this match and try to provoke me. He will probably use anything to get under my skin. I can tell that is a confident man. He know who he is as a wrestler. He knows that he can go out there and give everything he has. He will pour everything into this match and get a second victory in this series. However, I plan to be the woman who puts a stop to that. I got a huge match ahead of me and I would love nothing more, but to get another victory under my belt. I would love nothing more than to prove that Jaydayne has something to worry about when facing me in the ring. He will not be getting the Belle Kingsley, who he managed to get a roll up victory over. He will be getting a different side of this woman from Cardiff, Wales. This goes the same for Falke. He will be more than willing to stoop to lower levels to make sure that he walks out of this match as a winner, but I will be the woman who puts the stop to all of that. I will be the woman with my arm raised in the end and moving onto Event Horizon and proving my worth to Shoot Nation.
on September 15th 2018, 11:29 pmKhmoach Sangkat
The Phantom Troupe, above all else and anybody else, aspires to greatness. Among all other formations in professional wrestling, few so readily accept the mantle of Best In The World as vigorously as we do. The Phantom Troupe are the ones who reach out and touch the ultimate. The Phantom Troupe are the ones who reject weakness and limitations, instead projecting our presence ever outwards in complete unity and oneness with all events. Always in the headlines. Always at the centre of attention. Always relevant. Think about it. Allow your thoughts to drift so easily to the feeling of anguish which accompanies our names. The One True Pairing and their tainted love that has been tearing each apart. The downfall of Tarah Nova and the chaos that grips Ronin as a young boy with no experience of leadership attempts to fill the gap. And mark individually each crusade: Kawada. The Apparition. Pendragon. Steven Cassidy… There is a thread which runs through each of these. An uncaring force of nature. A fundamental constant of this universe. In each case, we are the great and terrible adversary. We are the spur to action. Everything seemingly revolves around our axis because if not us then who is the centre? By what mechanism does this samsaric system of sufferance keep turning, if not the Phantom Troupe?

As much as it pains me to say it… I’m not asking rhetorically.

After all, we are only human, isn’t it? Not Buddhas nor man-eating Asuras. As much as we so heartily enjoy being singled out for special treatment, we are as much products of the grander cycle as everyone else is. The truth is that there’s a force in SSW that is more pervasive and destructive than even we are. We call it shame. Others call it ‘honor’. The distinction is futile because one necessarily presupposes the other. Just a change in perspective separates the man rushing headlong for honor’s sake and the man who turns and flies for fear of shame. They are one and the same. Every dignity reeks of disgust. Every pang of guilt is raised up upon the pedestal. This is the painful paradox which becomes of that twisted thing called ‘morality’. When a man falls short… When he feels ashamed in himself, then the expectation is to make amends through sacrifice. When Masanori Kawada failed on the first night to stand up against the Troupe he made a firm statement of resolve. He would stand against us again. He would bleed again. In a time of weakness Masanori Kawada swore an oath to suffer and suffer and suffer and give piece after piece of himself until success finds him. We all have seen how that has turned out. John Doe has been spirited away from us but ultimately it is The Phantom Troupe who stands taller as Kawada slips into a decline which will be unsalvageable by the end of this series. A code of honor is a nihilistic thing. Failures remain unforgiven. They mount each other and multiply. As the toxic pursuit of absolution stretches out in front of them beyond bounds like the ultimate, the honorable demand of themselves the ultimate sacrifice.

This is the first contempt of honor.

There are athletes in the locker room who would quite literally die just to do so holding this SSW Heritage Championship as do now, or even to have the epitaph “Best In The World” chiselled into their tombstone. I doubt men like Kawada and The Apparition really do believe deep down in their hearts that they will ever make up for their failures. Men like these are so drawn to the idea of self-sacrifice at the altar of petty ideals like “Justice” because, whisper it quietly, they secretly believe that it doesn’t really matter when they meet their demise. They already see themselves as worthless and disposable. They don’t really care about going out, just as long as they do so the “right” way. Of course, every right has a wrong. The right honorable path does not satisfy itself with attaching shame to its own sacrificial lambs.

This is the second contempt of honor.

A fight fought to reclaim honor must necessarily avenge a supposed injustice. And as it is said, if one should go in search of vengeance he need dig two graves. Again, the Phantom Troupe are not saints nor buddhas. But we know of nothing so savage and harmful as the righteous indignation of your supposed heroes. Nothing is so fierce as the vindictive hatred that some hold for myself and my comrades. Kawada has spent his entire SSW thirsting for Phantom Troupe blood. It all started with a fleeting moment. One tiny quantum event which may or may not have changed the course of history. But that is all it takes. That is all that we have… Mere moments. We know naught of the future and even memories of the past can quickly escape us. Moment after moment all vanishes. The suffering of any excruciating memory is like a past life. It does not exist in the here and now but, fuelled with regret, the heroes will make that suffering their present experience. It is easy to point the finger at what we have done but we wish for simple things. Everything. Every precious thing in front of us that is not nailed down to the floor we take, but there is a finite affront in our taking. The umbrage of the self righteous knows no bounds. A foolishness… Whatever gnawing anger one feels, the mind is not a territory which the enemy can merely step into. If one person hates another person, whom does he hurt most, if not himself? The righteous are thus the cause of their own pain.

Why then do they hate us at all?

It is amusing to me. Good friends just stop maintaining contact and drift apart. Loving family members are left behind as we grow into ourselves and yearn for independence. So many sweet things do become but bittersweet memories but an enemy?... Everybody seems to have problems letting go of those. All of the anger. All of the hate. All of the self-inflicted torment - these are things that people cling to. Once the fire is lit under some people, they’ll jab their fingers into the open wounds and a streak the blood through their tears as war paint. They’ll march on, blinding and screaming until there is no air left in their lungs, and why? Because… No reason. Honor is just that perverse and contemptible. It turns people into man-eating Asuras that call themselves Buddhas.

You would know all about that would you not, Steven Cassidy? After being put on the shelf at our hands there was a period of time during which you were completely consumed with vengeance. You seethed. You roared. A little part of you was almost disappointed or, dare I say it, angry when Masanori Kawada got to John Doe before you did. Nothing else at the time was important. You left Ronin and turned coats to join the Shoot Nation without there even being much tangible contempt between you and your former allies. But one thing that did keep you up at night was our very existence. You are wiser than most though, I will give you that. Something changed between then and now. Somehow you have managed to exorcise your daemons where others have not. Perhaps you just recognised the big difference between us and you back then. When you returned, honestly nobody fluttered an eyelid. I hardly noticed you were missing and that isn’t to belittle you. That is just the mindset of the Phantom Troupe. We don’t have feuds or rivals. We have aims. We are goal oriented. We’re wisened and pragmatic. We know that we have committed far too many sins to ever make amends for. So we simply don’t worry about it. We don’t worry about absolving ourselves of guilt through self sacrifice. And we never bleed nor kill ourselves for something as poisonous as honor. No… We live. We are too attached to this world to kill ourselves. We just put one foot in front of the other to achieve our utmost desires.And however violently we clash with our enemies along the way, we walk over them and leave them behind as soon as they have nothing left for us to take. That is what happened with you. And I guess that is how you have come to see us. This is not a grudge match as might have been billed just weeks ago. This isn’t about honor, or hate or any bad blood. This is about being The Best In The World and to do that one cannot allow themselves to become flustered by passionate emotions. Unfortunately, that is why you don’t stand a chance. Despite yourself you keep slipping into old patterns. You still feel the need to prove yourself. My being in the Phantom Troupe still gets your heart beating just a little more than your matches so far in this competition. In this war of attrition the winner is the man who keeps his cool and keeps his guard from slipping for the longest time. You are talking about how no victory comes without sacrifice but no true victory comes with sacrifice. I will not be bleeding my heart out over you. This is the difference, I will not sacrifice anything. I only want EVERYTHING!.
on September 15th 2018, 11:25 pmAria Jaxon
Three for three.

Unvanquished, unwavering, undeterred, UNFUCKINGDEFEATED in the inaugural edition of The Best in the World Series.

I called this. From day one, I swore I’d cut down whoever I needed to in order to take this roundabout path back to MY championship, and I know it gets underneath the skin of some people to think that I might just keep my promise. Well, to those who doubted me and hoped I would fail, I feel I should hammer this point home -- there are no maybes or could bes. The fact that this tournament is taking place is nothing more than a formality. Yes, with each outing, with each week that passes before the inevitable comes to pass, I get a little more impatient, and I channel that impatience into whatever opponent has the misfortune of facing me any given week. And that foregone conclusion of a victory tides me over until the next win falls into my lap and I have my hand raised once again. It’s a sickening sight for some, isn’t it? But it’s live and in color, plain as day; Aria Jaxon has yet to fall and she’s sitting on top of her block. The underlings of this company woke up from a nightmare not too long ago. Hey, Pendragon might be the most spineless of that bland ass Boy Scout Troop he leads, but at least he’s got his hands on the Puroresu Heavyweight Championship and not me, right? I mean, how many times has he lost since winning that title? That proves his victory over me was nothing but a fluke, and there are far too many people running around in this locker room now with the mentality of, “Well, if he could pull it off, so can I!” The headlining match of Event Horizon is a joke. These are the kinds of title matches that we’re “treated” to since I unfortunately allowed this company’s richest prize -- the belt whose lineage I started off and effectively defined. Shit like that is even more of an incentive to keep this streak of mine going and not take my foot off the gas until I have the right to put “winner of The Best in the World Series” on my already-illustrious resume.

The random way that people separated into blocks and ultimately paired off into matches can be sorta cruel, if you think about it. Take my opponents thus far, for instance. I haven’t faced a single person that’s impressed me. Nobody’s had me sweating, and somehow, I’m the bad guy for waving them all off and calling them how I see them. Be mad at the powers that be, not me. They’re the ones who threw you into the deep end of the pool for someone who would hold your head under water to win, and then drown you for shits and giggles. When I made short work of Kikyo Himura a couple weeks ago, I told myself inwardly that I’d already scraped the bottom of the barrel and it couldn’t get any easier...but apparently, the universe took that as a challenge, because now I’m dealing with someone else who has no business breathing the same air as me. Another irrelevant placeholder on one of the bottom rungs of the ladder who’s on the wrong side of a terribly mismatched contest.

“But Aria! Shinati Mizarki is stepping into the ring in a couple weeks for the Freebird Tag Team Championships!”

I’m aware. I’m far from impressed, but I’m aware. A little spoiler alert on that match for the curious? Nas and Saul will still have the gold when the dust settles there. Correct me if I’m wrong, Shinati, but you haven’t exactly amounted to much of anything since you’ve been here in SSW, right? No marquee matches, no magical moments, nothing. Even now, you and Cassidy’s presence in the aforementioned title match really doesn’t amount to much more than a team of hangers-on in what’s otherwise just a rematch between the current and former champions. When you get that long-awaited chance at gold, you and your brother-in-arms will be afterthoughts. What’s pathetic is that fact hasn’t dawned on you yet.

For now, though, you got that glint in your eye and that hopefulness at the forefront of your mind as you look forward to that match and the admittedly unrealistic prospect of beating me. For both of us, this match is a puzzle piece. For me, like I said before, it’s just another win added to my record as I work to officially cement my place as Best in the World. It’s hardly a groundbreaking approach. You’re the one reaching for the stars and placing your faith in unrealistic shit. Beating me is enough of a longshot, but now, you’ve resolved to take me outta the equation altogether and leave The Phantom Troupe’s defeated leader as a sign of what you’re truly capable of. You wouldn’t be the first to pray on my downfall, and I know you won’t be the last. Since day one, it’s half amusing and half annoying how intertwined the fates of The Phantom Troupe and Shoot Nation have been. I guess it makes sense. Tres Comas Club is only here to cut their checks and Ronin is...around, so that leaves the rest of us. Those who want to rule -- either through force or some cringeworthy brand of honor and optimism. The moments where you and your comrades have shone have been fleeting. Like I said before, yeah, Pendragon got his hands on the belt, but he hasn’t been looking so hot since then, has he? Meanwhile, even in defeat, The Phantom Troupe doesn’t look like anything less than the killers and the conquerors that we are. And as the leader, I have to be on the cutting edge, never afraid to showcase how ruthless I’m willing to be to keep my manicured hand wrapped tightly around the metaphorical neck of this company. You’ve studied up on me, Shinati. That’s why you loathe me the way you do. It’s why you want me gone. So why, knowing what you know, are you convinced that you can put me away? How many times did I leave Pendragon dejected and broken before he caught a lucky break? How many more times will I have to put Kawada on his ass before he learns his lesson? And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Those are just the run-ins that your stablemates have had with me, never mind what I’ve done to others. People outside of The Phantom Troupe are non-issues to me. Strategically-placed pawns ready to be knocked over and cast aside when I say so, and I treat them all accordingly. I break people, Shinati. The depths that I stoop to in order to maintain my place and advance my agenda? The light of Shoot Nation can’t shine there. You’re not ready to get down into the trenches with me. But like a fool, you’ll double down -- only to be left with nothing to show for it when all is said and done. It’s time you learned your place. Not as someone who truly matters in this company, not as the unlikely victor over me, but where you TRULY belong -- broken and battered at the feet of The Phantom Queen.
on September 15th 2018, 11:00 pmShinati Mizarki
"Aria Jaxon. Or, the 'Phantom Queen' as they wish to call her"

The moment those words left the lips of Hayura, I knew that she wanted me to conquer her. To break the aura that she carries herself with in the ring. After all, she is the leader of the Phantom Troupe - the faction who have been the root of wrestling's degradation. The root, of the poison filtering into the culture. 

The traditions that we cherish. The very fabric, that holds this industry together. No, that holds our very beings together. She wishes to strip that all away from us - she wishes to feed, on the supposed 'weakness' that I hold. The doubt, that has festered within my mind as the losses. The lack of confidence in myself continues to mount.

"You cannot allow yourself to slip further into the mire. You cannot afford to make a mistake,"

The words ringing inside my head, all I could do was nod and admit that she was right. That now, wasn't the time to make mistakes. Now *wasn't* the time to fall back into old habits. Habits, that have left me in this hole I find myself in right now. A hole, that has all but ruled me out of attaining the world title shot that I have craved. 

'But, there'll be other opportunities at the crown'. I know there will be, this is only the beginning moments of my career after all - yet that doesn't soothe this over. That doesn't make my failures here any less harmful. 

I also realise that I have the tag team title shot with Steven at Event Horizon to look forward to - and believe me, Steven knows that just like him. When the time comes for that to arise, I *shall* be giving everything I have. The honour that flows inside of me, to extract those belts from the grasp of the Troupe. 

But that is not now. 

That is not the task that has been put before me at this very moment. 

No, my eyes are firmly set on bringing about the end of Aria Jaxon. That isn't one of those idle threats either - I truly intend on fulfilling it. On making sure that the head of the snake is cut off; left to wallow within the pool of what it created. The shadows, of what it allowed the industry we cherish to become. For that is the *only* way we can begin making things right. The only way, we can bring back the customs. The morals that Shoot Nation and this industry have held at their very core. 

I'm just sorry that it had to be this way, for there was a time I respected what you had done. Watching you on Television, seeing you become a trailblazer. Transcend the supposed role of a woman in the wrestling world and showing that you were just as fierce as the rest of us. 

Yet it is your own decisions. You own designs that have led to this outcome occurring. That have led to me being the one to leave you to die for what you claimed to stand for. For Kawanda, to feed upon the scraps that shall be left. 

"You shouldn't be sorry for what is right,"

I know I shouldn't, but it is that respect I do have for Aria that causes me to not wish for this to occur. Even though it is as I have said. As Hayura said, the right thing. The cause of action, that must follow. You made this bed for yourself Aria, and now - it is time for you to sleep in it. Just like it shall be time for Saul Omen and CM Nas to sleep alongside you at Event Horizon. Just as Shoot Nation, will finally lay the Phantom Troupe to rest and begin to make it all right.

Even if that means going down into the flames alongside you. I shall do that, if it means being the one to take the first step. 

Beginning with you.

when the seasons change

BITW Series Ranking: #3 (A Block)
BITW Series Record: 2-1

----It, perhaps, is a bad omen for Masanori Kawada of Shoot Nation that we are here. The night before the show, Kai Stevens performs dips using the edge of the pool in his hotel for his base, his mentor and advocate Brian Church standing poolside in his usual suit, a stern and unamused expression on his face. He has just shown Kai the recording of Kawada’s words against him and it merely boils their blood.
----Stevens pauses in his dips to flick his eyes ominously to the camera that trains in on his cold and calculating demeanor. He shakes his head contemptuously and speaks with lethal intent.
----I gotta’ say, Kawada, he begins humorlessly. I expected better from you. I expected… Expected you to at least try to make people believe you believe a GOD DAMN WORD OUT OF YOUR MOUTH! Instead? Instead I have to sit here and listen to you talk about having your eyes opened... About the withering of your strong arm of justice? Just because you’re publicly incompetent in the ring, buddy, does not mean you have to be publicly impotent, too.
----First and foremost, Kawada, I gotta’... Gotta’ nip something in the bud before someone hears you and actually believes that Sângkât offers the toughest challenge in the Block? Let alone a challenge at all? Not only am I the toughest challenge in this Block, I’m the toughest challenge in this WHOLE FUCKIN’ INDUSTRY! And you’ve got the audacity... The self-flattery to think that I give a flying fuck about whether or not you’re compelled by my body of work?
----It’s absolutely fuckin’ clear, he continues with emphasis. That you don’t know me at all. Y’see, Kawada, I don’t do this for you. I don’t do this for them. But what it is that I do, guy? Is tear sanctimonious bottom bitches like you limb from FUCKING LIMB. That? That you’ll find pretty GOD DAMNED compelling.
----Stevens shakes his head with frustration and returns to doing his dips. Church, who has paced back and forth in suppressed rage for the entirety of the segment thus far, halts his movements and scratches at his stubble. Lifting his head, he addresses the camera with malice in his tone.
----I’ve found myself growing more and more concerned, he utters slowly and forebodingly. With these slanderous claims you’ve brought against Kai Stevens. As if you haven’t found yourself looking up at the lights the majority of the times you’ve competed in this Best in the World Series, Kawada, you have the nerve to laud Tarah Nova, the FAILED Leader of Ronin in the same breath as you have the balls to criticize the Prodigy of Ronin? To be honest with you, Kawada? I’m embarrassed for you.
----You say that Tarah Nova was respected. That she was decorated. Esteemed by her peers and a proponent of cohesion. You lie outright and claim that Kai Stevens hasn’t earned and DEMANDED respect here in Strong Style Wrestling. He has. And if there were EVER a reason that he couldn’t lead, Kawada? It’s not because he’s unfit to... It’s because he’s the single toughest act to follow in the entire FUCKING industry.
----You wanna’ talk about hubris and injustice, he continues with a twitching upper lip. I hope you’ve got a real good insurance plan, Kawada… Because the only injustice? Is that Kai won’t legally be allowed to MURDER YOU ON TELEVISION!
----Stevens stops dead in his tracks and snaps his shoulders to square them with the camera. A vein bulges from his temple and his neck as wrath courses through his veins and radiates from his pores like subtext, and his words reflect this ominous atmosphere.
----And murder you I should, motherfucker, he stabs. You try dropping Finnegan Wakefield’s bitch-ass name to my face in the ring tomorrow night, buddy? Bodybag. You continue trying to be some wise-ass? Bodybag. And God damn, y’know what, Kawada? If you FUCKIN’ SHOW YOUR STUPID FUCKIN’ FACE IN MY GOD DAMNED RING?! Bodybag.
----You wanna’ talk about OWA so damn bad, why don’t you ask their last two Spartan Champions? Why don’t you ask the Heritage Champion here? They’ll all give you the same testimony that Finnegan Wakefield’s gonna’ be FORCED to give the next time he and I square up… That I beat their God damned brains in... And humiliated them for the world to see because I am BETTER than they are… Better than YOU are.
----Tomorrow night will speak for itself, furthers Kai. My fists? They’ll speak for themselves. And as far as I’m concerned? The only one of us who’s gonna’ be bracing themselves? Is you... When you’re being fitted for braces for every damn part of your body... Because for your time being able to WALK... Being able to breathe on your own... Being able to feed and bathe yourself… For being able to run your mouth? Like it is for your career? The end is nigh.
----With this, Stevens hoists himself out of the water and stomps towards the camera, dripping with chlorine-treated pool water. He then shoves the camera over and our segment fades to black with an obvious bit of rage directed at Kawada by his opponent in the Best in the World Series.


on September 15th 2018, 9:47 pmMasanori Kawada
Message reputation : 100% (1 vote)
The Strong Style Wrestling Dojo. The low-setting sun peaking through the window, painting the inside of the building with a golden glow. The ring inside is in a state of disrepair, or at least a state of unfinish. The young lions that are trained to put the rings together and run the ropes to test their sturdiness to the risk of their own bodies have left the scene with the ring with somewhat missing elements under the watchful eye of their veterans. One of which is sitting on the apron side, dawning his training gear as sweat drips from his pours after a rigorous training regimen that keeps him in the shape necessary to still compete against the youthful competitors of SSW. Masanori Kawada, seemingly pushing himself more than he ever had before, he is almost breathless before chugging a large amount of water down from a bottle, speaking up as the camera approaches.

"Last week was an eye-opener. I always knew that Steven Cassidy had the potential to make his name against even the toughest opponents, that he would one day, someday be a man who can stand across the ring from me and push me to my limits. I was not expecting that day to come so soon. I was not expecting to be the one who didn't find victory in that encounter so soon. Once again I find myself as the old dog that is only nipping at the heels of the best but not the best himself. It's demeaning. No, it's pathetic. I find my strong arm of justice withering, slowly loosening it's iron grip around the throats of injustice. But now I am starting to truly feel my age. I am starting to feel my own mortality. I am starting to see my embers are burning dimly. It may almost be time to hang these boots up. My promise to prove myself as the best in the world, it seems to become more of a pipedream every encounter. This series is failing to find itself in my favor. That is a bitter pill to swallow. But I don't have the luxury of having the time to wallow in my self-pity. I still have a small window of opportunity left open and I don't intend to let it slam shut just fingertips from my reach. If there is a fraction of my career worth salvaging, I have very little left to do so. The remaining trials of this series have to all culminate in victory for the Everlasting Hero if he is to live up to the namesake and to remain the absolute justice of SSW. So, with every ounce of the might that dwells inside this ageing body, I will defeat the remaining opponents of this block without distinction and state my claim to a top spot in the company hierarchy. The remaining encounters do not waver me, they do not tire me. Shinti is a talented individual, but he has been less battle-tested than Cassidy, so the same result will not occur to him. Kyoko Himura has proven to be too fragile to prevail through a motivated war. Khmaoch Sangkat may be the toughest opponent that remains in the block, we were evenly matched in the past with indecisive victories over one another. But then there is that one. That one remaining opponent that is his own greatest weakness, A weakness that throughout my career has tested my patience. And my patience with mindless arrogance has been thinly spread. thinly spread to the point where it is near to non-existent. For every opponent that throws nothing my way except for obscenities and false promises founded on nothing but ego, I find myself unscathed and unamused. I believe a good example of what it feels like to someone from an American culture such as my opposition is that of Bullets that make contact with Supermans' chest, only to fall to his feet, unable to pierce his skin. In that same vein do I find myself with the ammunition that is being fired at me from a man, well, two men who infamously fire off cliches more than anyone else in this company. It is why no one takes this duo seriously; they're getting by on saying a lot of very little. That is not to say that is not impressive, clearly, they have some redeeming qualities that have found them victory of the past few months, but it is far out-shined by how insufferably conceited and self-important they are presented.

Kai Stevens, you seem impressed with what you've shown but I don't find it that compelling.

Ronin has always been put under the looking glass, always seen as a ragtag faction that had been given no real hopes to making it out of this faction war on top. But they were the underdog alliance, and everyone loves the underdogs. It is why you see it in so many movies. There were the quirky, the ambitious, even the ones with cold-beating hearts, but you want them to succeed because of that. You want them to win because they have such a tall mountain to climb, far taller than the rest. And under the leadership of Tarah Nova? They had a chance. They had a chance at climbing that mountain and, one day, standing at the top with their heads and hands held high. But with such a self-entitlement at the helm? They are lucky to still be an existing force in this company, much less still actively under the SSW employ. That is why Tarah Nova is no longer here; she was the final strand of rope that held the bonds of the faction together, and Kai Stevens is the anchor that made it finally snap and send them sinking. And with it, Ronin found themselves at the bottom of these vast waters, as good as dead. Look at how far they are coming in this series, that should speak volumes to the hindrance that is the self-proclaimed World’s Final Prophet. All of them are the bottom lining of their blocks. Why? Because they have been dealt a terrible hand as a leader since Ms Nova's departure. Tarah was respected. Tarah was decorated and esteemed. Tarah promoted cohesiveness, that victory for one was a victory for all. But you? Disrespected. Unfit to lead. Promotes nothing but himself, selfish and arrogant to the very core. Ronin are burdened with your hubris, a cocktail of Ronins imminent demise and disbandsion, and that is a great injustice that even I doubt I can even prosecute. But I can relieve them of some of your arrogance. I can show them what they should already know, what you already put on full display. You talk before you think. It's why I read your words as nothing more than obscenities and false promises, unfound bravado and self-glorifying nonsense. Threatening? Not even remotely. In fact, if you weren't testing my patience to the boiling point I would be laughing. Your head cannon is a joke. Asking me to contact others to be the reference to your commitment. Places where you've made no impact, your name can not be found in any library. Connecticut, New Japan, nothing. It's as if Kai Stevens never stepped a foot inside those territories to begin with. Cleaners, Monsters Among Men, Lunatic Fringes. Not a peep. Not like they would have held weight anyway; what you have done here so far has had some merit but not enough for you to get such a swollen head over. The fact you told me to search elsewhere for your levels of commitment is telling, that you haven't done enough here to be your testament. But, I was able to find a kind enough individual that was more than willing to give me a reference for your abilities. Finnegan Wakefield. You two worked together over in the west, for the OWA, and as an honorary Shoot Nation member, he was happy to give me his testament. Even went so far as to provide me with the video documentation. He provided me with footage of your "commitment" surrendering when under pressure. Tapping out. Try as you might in your autobiography to sweep it under the rug, it happened. Try as you might to pad out your resume with self-glorifying events, it doesn't strike panic into my heart. If nothing else, it makes my vision turn to red. So, for your sake, save your breath. Do not speak of bloodlust when you are unable to draw blood. Do not speak of wrath when you have none to fear. Do not speak of Bushido, the way of the warrior, if you do not possess such a trait. The end of my career? Perhaps, as you have put it, the time is nigh. But at your hands, it will not end. At your hands, it may find it's second win. And at my hands, the facade you live your life behind will be ripped away until you face the justice, the prosecution you are long overdue."

on September 15th 2018, 8:03 pmSteven Cassidy
((Steven is leaning up against the wall right outside of his hotel room. He is seconds away from recording his message for his next match in the BITW Series. But before he does, he's caught in the middle of a deep thought. Thinking all about how he is somehow 3-0 in this tournament. And by being undefeated, the target on his head only continues to grow. Not only that, but he is starting to feel the pressure that comes with it. Steven doesn't want to admit or bring any kind of awareness to this so-called pressure so he can remain calm and collected. He takes a deep breath as he switches his focus to the camera.))

"Three matches, three victories. You take a quick glance at the A Block standings and at the very top, you will see The Phantom Troupe's leader Aria Jaxon is tied with...Steven Cassidy? Just like everyone predicted! The two odds-on favorites are right where they should be! Of course, I am kidding. I think it's fair to say that when the two blocks were announced, along with the unveiling of the participants in said blocks, most people probably predicted that I would start and finish towards the bottom. And hey, by no means does that hurt my feelings. Before this tournament, I wasn't exactly killing it. I wasn't main eventing shows. I wasn't securing key victories...I wasn't really getting any victories, period. I was always viewed as the lovable loser or the underdog, whichever term you prefer. I like the underdog better, personally. Not quite as insulting. But...yeah, I wasn't exactly polished. Still wet behind the ears. Still had a long ways to go before I could accomplish something noteworthy or achieve something that would cause eyebrows to raise and people to take second looks to make sure they saw what they thought they saw. But this BITW Series, man, it's been my coming out party. My performances thus far have proven that I am no longer the timid Steven Cassidy who couldn't fight his way out of a paper bag. I have changed. But what does that mean? Changed? In what way? You see, people keep asking me what's changed since coming back from injury? And I tell them nothing special, that I am just improving with each match I get under my belt. It is all about experience and getting more of it so I can become more seasoned and make better decisions moving forward. But some people don't want to buy into that. They think I made some kind of deal with the devil. Or that I drank some kind of magic potion. Or better yet, that I owe my hot start to Lady Luck! As if I just close my eyes during my matches and hope for the best. I work hard for this. And when people undermine my hard work, I do take it personally. Because I give this company, Shoot Nation, and the fans my everything. I am training my butt off behind closed doors. And I mean closed doors. Because I am not one of those wrestlers that feels the need to post their private workouts on their Instagram or Twitter pages to show off and to garner even more attention. I don’t crave the attention or the spotlight. All I want is gold around my waist.” 

((Steven stops for a moment, taking a few seconds to think about his upcoming match this week and begins to organize all of his thoughts.))

“My opponent for this week, knows all about championship gold, however. After all, he’s undoubtedly the greatest champion this company has seen thus far in its newish history. You see Khmaoch has held that SSW Heritage Championship since the beginning. He’s taken on all comers and one by one, they have fallen like dominos. In most cases, he makes it look that easy, really. Just extend a finger out and bam, the man or woman he is facing falls to the mat for a second or thirty. And it should come to no surprise when we witness him dominate his opponents in convincing fashion. He’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before. And he’s nothing we’ll ever see again. A once in a lifetime talent is Khmaoch Sangkat. And that’s why, for whatever sick and twisted reason, I am looking forward to sharing the ring with him. This is The Best In The World Series, after all, which should entail that you are only going up against the best of the best each and every week. And I for one wouldn’t have it any other way. Because I like proving myself. And in order to prove myself, I’m not afraid to roll up my sleeves and take the bull by the horns. I’m not afraid to stare in the eyes of the likes of you, Khmaoch. Almost telling you that forget what you thought you knew about Steven Cassidy, because you are facing an opponent that will keep coming back just when you think you’re in the driver’s seat. Just when you think I’m dead in the water, that you have me right where you want me. Never count me out. Never think you can take a breather even for a split second in my vicinity because I’ll make you regret it. I’ll capitalize even in the smallest of windows. Give me an inch and I’ll take a yard. Give me a victory and I may just take your title later down the line.” 

“But for the time being, the Heritage Championship is the least of my worries. My focus remains on other prizes. And I mean no disrespect to the title you place oh so proudly on your shoulder. It might very well be the most prestigious of all the titles. Obviously most people think of the SSW Puroresu Heavyweight Championship first, but I feel like Aria did more harm than good when it came to her reign. A reign born and raised in controversy. A mess she created...a mess you helped smear all over the floor, walls, and ceiling... and now Jaydayne faces the tough task of cleaning it all up. Something he will succeed at, no doubt about it. Obviously if I end up winning this tournament, I will get to challenge for the SSW Puroresu Heavyweight Championship in the not so distant future. But I still have plenty of work ahead of me before I even sniff the finals. And one of those pit stops will be at Event Horizon when Shinati and I attempt to win some tag team gold. Something I will get more into in a few weeks. So for the time being, Khmaoch, you have my full and undivided attention. And I hope I have yours, as well. This match, even though I know it’s going to be tough and there’s a high chance I’ll leave this match under excruciating pain ... it’s a nice change of pace. Because the last two matches I’ve been in, they were a little awkward, given the fact they were against my two good friends in Shinati and Masanori. Where with each punch I landed, I felt guilty. Which each kick I drilled them with, I hesitated to go for the cover. But with you? There will be no hesitation. Just knowing the fact that you not only support the purple and black color scheme, but wear it, it will make this much easier. Much, much easier. But at the same time, I know I will have to be careful. That I can’t let my emotions get the best of me, because I do tend to agree that I’m a bit of an emotional fighter and that is a double edged sword, most definitely. I have to be careful. I have to come in with a game plan that I think will give me the best chance of winning, instead of just foolishly winging it..but if you are able to read it from a mile away and are able to counter my tactics, I must be able to improvise and adapt. That’s what makes competitors great...and boy do I want to be great. And if I keep chipping away, if I keep digging my heels in the mud and push forward, instead of dragging backwards, I wholeheartedly believe that I will end up being great.” 

“And beating you Khmaoch, will be a step in the right direction. Because after all, this week marks the gauntlet for yours truly. At least, that’s what one of the commentators said last week. Reminding the world that I still have to go through the likes of you, Aria, and the man you lost to, Kai. Sure, that’s a tough lineup. Sure, I have my work cut out for me. But at the same time, why is that same commentator acting as if Masanori, Shinati, and Sakura are pushovers or scrubs? None of my matches have been easy. This entire time hasn’t been some walk in the park and this week, as well as the following weeks won’t be lazy strolls either. I want it to be challenging. I want it to be difficult. I want the bumps and bruises the next day. Serving as a reminder that no victory comes without sacrifice. And in this match, I’m willing to sacrifice everything if it means I come out victorious. Because I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: this tournament is my everything. This is my opportunity to ascend to new heights. To reach a platform that nobody thought I could climb to. If I fail to make it to the finals, who knows when my next opportunity will come? I’m not guaranteed anything. Just like I’m not entitled to anything. Same goes when it comes to deserving anything. As of right now I can’t say that I deserve a world title shot. I mean I could say it out loud for the sake of it, but I don’t have the resume to support my claims...yet. Not yet. But if I continue to extend this hot streak, if I continue to say no in the face of defeat, there is no more denying Steven Cassidy’s sudden rise. Just like you are not going to deny me from this victory! Because the way I see it Khmaoch, this match is mine for the taking. While you? You can take the big fat L. 

((Steven hasn’t looked more determined as the scene fades to black.))
on September 15th 2018, 8:58 amMatthew.
System starting…


Once upon a time I stepped into the ring with the confidence and swagger of a young man who thought he had everything going for him. Over the course of time things began to change. Injuries and setbacks pushed me to my limit until eventually I was broken down, such a shell of my former self that I didn’t even recognise the man I saw in the mirror.

That all changed when I realised what my mission was. Christopher Sabretooth is almost an exact replica of what I thought I was and it reminds me that I was not the only one to come into this industry misguided by delusions of grandeur.

His attitude: Generic.

His insults: Generic.

His defeat: Inevitable.

Reality is going to hit you hard like a bus and when it does you’re going to see just what you’ve wasted. I’m going to defeat Rei Kagura and I want you to watch carefully, not because I think I can do it with ease or because I have a message for you but because maybe you’ll see what sets you apart from myself and anyone else who’s reached success.

You don’t even know who you really are, Sabretooth. Allow me to shed some light for you tomorrow night.
on September 14th 2018, 1:00 pmKai Stevens

find a way

BITW Series Ranking: #3 (A Block)
BITW Series Record: 2-1

----In previous eras in Japan, a voice offers ominously as our scene opens.  Warriors fought with the code of the Bushidō.
----We now peer in upon the speaker himself, Brian Church and his protégé, Kai Stevens.  The former dons his typical attire of a black suit with a red shirt and black tie, his tie clip a gunmetal gray.  His beard seems a bit more unkempt than usual, but the combination of ire and meticulous planning in his eye speaks to a different vibe that dominates his demeanor.  The Envoy of the End sports a pair of black Nike mid-top sneakers, black and white Nike Elite calf socks, black Nike shorts with a white swoosh, and his newest official merchandise: a black t-shirt with ‘THE END IS NIGH’ in foreboding font face, with blood dripping from the base of each letter.  Atop his head he sports a black headband and black aviators to go with his sleeveless black hoodie from his entrances to the ring, one which has its hood drawn over his head.
----Church glares hatefully into the camera and steps forward, illustrating the locale more saliently.  The Leader of Ronin and his mentor stand confidently on the balcony of a hotel room Osaka, Japan, overlooking the city with disdain.
----A mere day or so before my protégé competes in his fourth combat in the Best in the World Series, continues Church imperiously.  I find myself…  Find myself thinking about the Bushidō more and more.  Find myself…  Pondering its applications to the Leader of Ronin and the Inevitable winner of not only this tournament, but the Heritage Championship match at Event Horizon.  Do you want to know what I’ve divined?  What I’ve determined beyond a shadow of a doubt?
----If we’re going to lead the Ronin, we’re going to do it our way.  In those aforementioned times, the Bushidō, it…  It demanded the tenets of gi, rei, , meiyo, jin, makoto, and chūgi, which translate, respectively, to the traits of integrity…  Respect...  Courage.  Honor.  Compassion...  Honesty...  And loyalty.  But to me?  To a man who led the single most lethal faction this industry has ever been forced to endure in the New Age Plague...  These tenets they’re…  They’re skewed.  And if these tents are skewed, then the Bushidō itself, what governed and served as the guiding light for warriors so many years ago…  It must be, too.
----In essence, what we effort to explain to you today is that…  Our Way of the Warrior...  It dictates a different code.  A different set of characteristics.  And since the New Age Plague lived by it…  Died by it…  Dominated by it?  The Ronin of today?  THEY WILL TOO!
----They wanted us to abide by their way, he continues contemptuously.  Wanted us to…  To lead the Ronin the way Tarah Nova did.  But she ran Ronin into the ground.  She DISGRACED this faction to the point that we’re underdogs in this tournament when my protégé already is the Best in the World and needs no tournament to tell him so.  If we ran things like she did?  This would be the least respected faction in this company.  Instead?  Instead we’re going to flip the script and change the narrative.  It starts with the Prodigy of Ronin and it will, sooner than later, feed into those who choose to follow us.
----Church snickers arrogantly as Kai steps forward slightly.  The Dismembered Soul adjusts his tie briefly before wetting his lips, snickering cockily, and continuing.
----Here in the Best in the World Series, he says matter-of-factly.  Kai Stevens has proven that when there wasn’t already a way to brutalize his opponent and win readily available, he makes one.  In doing so, he’s personified the New Age Way of the Warrior...  First?  He is violent.
----Stevens steps forward and removes his Aviators with lethal intent, his lip twitching in abhorrent resent.  He swallows, inhales sharply, wets his lips, and speaks for the first time tonight.
----Two weeks ago, he starts.  Two weeks ago I crucified Shinati Mizarki and then I leapt from that top rope, bringing death from above as I descended through his lifeless body and into Hell, dragging whatever desperate hopes he had, whatever aspirations in this tournament he had, with me.  Before him?  Before him it was Khmaoch Sângkât, the very man I’m going to break in fucking half at Event Horizon…  And before him it was EVERY SINGLE PERSON I FACED ON THE STRONG SURVIVE TOUR!  I have done what it took each and every time in the name of pure...  Unadulterated violence.
----For you, Masanori Kawada?  I will bring you the violence I brought to your other pathetic Shoot Nation bottom bitches, Shinati Mizarki, Belle Kingsley, and the Apparition.  Combined.  And don’t think that I haven’t forgotten about you sticking your nose where it DOESN’T FUCKING BELONG at Domination, guy.  Don’t think that the violence I have planned for you doesn’t include your fucking comeuppance, too.
----Y’see, Kawada, he continues.  I like taking my opponents’ skulls and either hittin’ ‘em with something hard, like my fists, my knees, my kicks, a chair...  Or taking them and driving them into or through something hard...  Like the apron, the stairs, the barricade, the floor, an announce table, a chair, the ramp, the POSSIBILITIES ARE FUCKING ENDLESS, Kawada.  And I promise you right now with everything I’ve got...  That violence?  It’s ALL YOURS and it’s gonna’ be Biblical.
----The Cowboy Killer steps back and cocks his head to either side, cracking his neck both ways.  Church takes this opportunity to grin confidently and step into the foreground again, wagging an index finger extended from a clenched right fist in the air as he gives utterance to his resentful rhetoric.
----In this New Age, he says smugly.  With violence, you need commitment...  Commitment to a Greater Good, to the cause.  You need to be willing to DIE for the Greater Good in our Ronin.  And my protégé?  He is going to drive his commitment through your ugly mug over and over and over and over and over again, Kawada.  Because he is committed to beating you...  He is committed to running the table and not only taking the SSW Heritage Championship from Sângkât at Event Horizon, but going on to winning the entire tournament and TAKING THAT PURORESU HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP, TOO!  And it starts with his commitment to kicking your teeth down your throat and making you wish you’d never been born.
----You want testimony of my commitment, Kawada, offers Kai as he steps forward again.  You can ask any number of my victims.  Head on over to Connecticut and ask their Lunatic Fringes and their Monsters Among Men.  Go ask New Japan about what I did to their Cleaners.  
----Ask SupremePRO Wrestling about my commitment, about how I spent every moment in that company fighting for the Universal Championship and then defending it without failure.  Ask the Premier Wrestling Federation about my commitment, about how I NEVER lost a match there, winning the Premier Pursuit Tournament and the PWF World Heavyweight Championship, defending that without failure.  Ask ALPHA Wrestling, where I’m about to take their world title by force...  ASK ANYONE.  My commitment, Kawada?  My commitment is unquestionable and at the end of the day it will outlast, outbash, outsmart, and outdo your each and every effort.
----You wanna’ call yourself the Everlasting Hero, Kawada, he chuckles humorlessly.  You won’t be able to even delude yourself into believing that anymore once I’m through with you…  Because I’m committed to ending you.  To ending your misery...  Ending your trials, your tribulations…  Put an end to the suffering you’ve endured your entire career here in Strong Style Wrestling and, more importantly?  The entire tournament.
----Church steps forward with malice aforethought and wrath bubbling in his veins.  Smirking arrogantly, the World’s Final Prophet glares into the camera and scratches at his beard while speaking.
----For right now, Kawada, he starts ominously.  For right now the only other characteristic of the New Age Way of the Warrior that you really should concern yourself with is that bloodlust.  The bloodlust that makes my protégé crave to rip open your ugly mug until blood cascades down on that canvas and he can paint the world a vivid and morbid picture of what it means to be Ronin.
----Y’see, Kawada, supplies Stevens.  My bloodlust, it…  It’s the Void within me.  The one that SCREAMS relentlessly in the back of my mind every second, every minute, every hour, every day, demanding that I satiate its thirst for blood…  Its longing to bathe in your blood and taste in your torment.  And you, buddy?  You’re just an appetizer.
----You’re no real threat, Kawada.  You’re nothing more to me than a FUCKING SPEED BUMP...  This tournament is supposed to determine who the Best in the World is, and you?  You do NOT fit the fucking bill.  And I will satiate my bloodlust by doing what I commit to right now in breaking you in half and driving my fist into your ugly mug AGAIN and AGAIN until I feel like you’ve answered for the BULLSHIT bottom bitch move you pulled at Domination…  And then kicking your head off your fucking shoulders...  Or stabbing your thick skull into the hardest surface I can find From Hell’s Heart.  Because I truly am the Best in the World, and you?
----You’re means to an end, he continues evilly.  Which means that for the Ronin’s time as a joke of your caliber...  For your time with any delusion of grandeur that has forsaken you to suffer my wrath because you thought you had a shot of even coming remotely close to winning this tournament…  And for your career, as far as I’m concerned?  The end is nigh.
----With this, Stevens and Church snicker ominously and saunter off back into the hotel room to go off with their individual evenings.  The scene fades to black with one question looming forebodingly over the heads of the Ronin and the Shoot Nation alike:
----Will Kai Stevens find a way?

on September 13th 2018, 5:55 pmThe One True Pairing

Vermin! All of you are a cluster if insects drowned in toxic waste and you deserve nothing but a rusting participation trophy in this rip-off of a tournament! First, you snatch me away from my Cassius when you know goddamn well how lost I am without him, and then you forced me to face one parasite after another without him by my side! And to top it all off, you now rotate the gears and have me face Strong Style Wrestling’s resident whore Kikyo Himura! No. No. No. This is enough humiliation that I have to go through in this tasteless godforsaken tournament, you have made a fool out of me for too long! Once upon a time, I stood at the top of the mountain reigning as Queen beside my King, together forever, and two undeserving luck-driven win from those pricks from the other side of the competition and you decide to punish me! For what? For being the best SSW has to offer? Your incompetent try-hards who spend night in and night out in an SSW ring doing pathetic body thrusts that they dare to call “Wrestling” aren’t too happy that the One True Pairing are winning too much? Not only did you refuse to give us our well-deserve rematch and send those Phantom Troupe morons to their deathbeds, but you also ensured to hold it off to the end of the tournament when Cassius won us our right to face the other team! Need I remind you that Cassius and I can buy off this company and burn it to the ground if we really wanted to? I tried working with you. I tried to keep it calm knowing that this would soon be over, but who on earth gets motivated and excited when she has to face uninteresting no-names like Khmaoch Sangkat and Masanori Kawada? I am Sakura Corleone, you all should be rewarding me and giving me gold after gold merely for existing!

I know, you can’t possibly empathize with me about how I feel right now, Kikyo, you have been a loser your entire life! You don’t know what it’s like to hold your title close to your heart for a long time only for it to be ripped away, because you were never Champion and no one has ever heard of you! You signed a contract with SSW hoping to be a big name in Japan and a wrestler to be taken with the most absolute respect, but I guess you have settled on becoming an afterthought… nothing but a shadow that constantly gets overlooked because she realizes that nothing separates her second-rate talent from the rest of these second-rate wrestlers. But I am different than you, Kikyo, I live a life of a celebrity whether it’s here on back in the US, people always wonder what I’m up to and they love hearing about the story of Sakura Corleone and how she became a bigger success than before, and when they hear about how I’m not with my darling Cassius and I’m being treated like an ordinary wrestler who amounts to dogshit like you, it upsets them because they know that I am better than this. I’m not a person who interacts much with her fans, I just can’t help that people love me no matter what I do, because the One True Pairing is the reason they believe in love to begin with! They live pathetic lives. They go to work and come home to their significant others hoping that they share the same kind of love that Cassius and I do, but it is always incomparable because the affections and the passion that we feel for each other cannot be topped or destroyed by anyone or anything! I have to make them believe in love again, Kikyo! I have to ensure that they know that Cassius is always in my thoughts by wrapping my arm around your neck until you pass out in the middle of the ring and I’m declared the winner. I have to remind them that the love remains alive by feeding your mouth with the heel of my boot! Do this world a favor and let them believe in love, Kikyo! All you have to do is face me in that ring, and I’ll take it from there. And I assure you that after I’ve planted you to the ground and you lay there motionless, they will #BelieveAgain.

Sakura laughs as she mocks the world. She is full of rage, but still full of life and she is using that rage to keep marching forth. Just when you think all hope is lost for the girl, she fights harder just to spite you.
on September 7th 2018, 11:55 pmApril Song
The slump continues.
I fought like hell against Scott Oasis, and even though he won the match and dropped me on my head, I'm pretty sure he understands now that going against the Killer Bee is not something to take lightly. He was taking me for granted and got very, very close to get embarassed. Outweighed, overpowered and just not good enough.

So where do we sit now? 

0-2. Bottom of the block.

To compound things, Aria Jaxon is somewhere in my future. We've been bumping into each other all over the world and sadly it doesn't seem like she's in a mood to just let things slide. And, on her end, she's made it pretty clear that she has absolutely zero respect for me. Where does that leave me? Well it means that I have to prepare for war with the leader of the Phantom Troupe and someone who I think is easily the best female wrestler on the planet even though she's not lugging around any hardware at the moment. 

First things first though. I've got another Block B match this week, another change to grind my way out of the cellar and get some points on the board. The part that really, REALLY sucks to me about this though is that my opponent is not some evil member of a rival faction or someone I don't know and have no opinion of one way or another. 

My opponent this week is Damien Walker. A fellow member of Ronin. Another solider in our little army. Someone who welcomed me with open arms when I lent myself to the Ronin cause.It bothers me to have to fight someone who I'm friendly with, but I have a lot of respect for as a competitor.

Damien, I don't expect any sympathy because I'm a woman or a teammate. In fact, if you do anything to even give me the impression that you're taking it easy, I'm going to fucking break your arm. I came here because I have been trying to find my way again. I was being given things left and right. Sure, I rolled in pretty spectacular circles when I was fighting in a certain place back in the USA. But it always felt like I was being given things because of who I was friendly with or who believed in me "upstairs". 

Its a whole new world when you earn things. 

Tomorrow, I plan on earning some points and getting off this losing run here in Strong Style Wrestling. The reality of the situation is that I will need a LOT of things to go my way in my block to to try to even dream of making the finals. Even so, all the help from things I can't control won't mean diddly poo if I don't take care of my own business starting with Damien.

I'll worry about Aria and the Phantom Troupe and all the other bullshit later.
on September 7th 2018, 9:45 pmThe Apparition
The wonders of modern sports science lies in its embrace in both Eastern and Western methods. While most of the hard sciences are steadfast in their denial of traditional remedies from the subcontinent and beyond, the holistic principles of healing blunt-force physical injuries is unlike many things in the world.
Indeed, only the arts are widely embracing of this East-West connection, which makes it all the more fitting that in the office of the specialist physiotherapist is a performer in his own right. A man whose ancestors came from the east, while having spent most of his adult life in the Western hemisphere. A man who is so clearly influenced by the unique styles of the land that he currently resides, while still holding the fundamentals of his home half the world away.
‘Puroresu’ was always a word that he hated. It doesn’t matter if it was from England, the United States or Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, Japan or Finland. Wrestling was wrestling. Each country may have its own culture and variation on convention wisdom. Lucha libre. Strong Styles. Catch-Can-Clutch-As-Clutch-Catch-Can. Sports entertainment. But it was all the same thing. Professional wrestling.
Although on this table, he wasn’t particularly loving the idea of wrestling right now. As the site of the Apparition’s engorged, muscular thigh wasn’t enough, the large hidden bruise, courtesy of Falke Halstenberg, which his therapist was gently applying a lotion to made it a rather grotesque sight. This wasn’t a new thing for the self-proclaimed Forgotten One, however. Every match he had, he came away with some scratch or bruise. Back in his younger days, the wrestler who would become The Apparition used to keep his nails long, so he could dig them into his opponents during holds. They may not have hurt that much, but they certainly got under people’s skin, as they had to tend to light cuts after every match. He wasn’t the only one who tried that, of course. A surprising amount of the heroes of the people used to do that when facing their contemptable antagonists. It always got them riled up, and ready to continue on their wicked ways.
Annoying heroes was something the Apparition was reflecting on recently, because while he had a large amount of respect for his Shoot Nation leader, there were several points he felt the need to address. For over a month, he remained composed and silent as the ghosts he attempted to mimic. But actions aren’t always as powerful as words, so once he was done with his treatment, he finally spoke.
Jaydayne, you are the leader of Shoot Nation, and rightfully so. You are our ace, you are a better motivator and mentor than I could ever hope to be. You are the SSW Puroresu Champion, and you deserve to be so. Also, I will be really frank in this assessment. Since we have walked into Strong Style Wrestling, you have been the better wrestler. It pains me to say so, but coming into our match the only things I have over you are my place on the Best in the World leader board, and experience. The former is fleeting, and means nothing if I lose, as that means I no longer control my own destiny. The latter, though…Well, when you get to my age, Jay, you will realise what a double-edged sword that is.
And before anyone can say anything, this isn’t an Apparition Pity Party. I know I am at least better than two-thirds of the current SSW roster, and that is at the bear minimum. I know I still have it, and can make a serious run at both this contest and maybe even Jaydayne and his title if all things go well. But, this is a fickle business, where only one thing matters. What have I done for you lately? And the fact is, a couple of one-off victories on weekly syndicated television programs aside, I haven’t done much. I lost to Khmaoch, I lost to the Corleones, and I lost to that Stevens brat. Now I am facing another tough competitor in a must-win match, and I do have to wonder…Is this Groundhog Day for me? Is social media right, and am I truly “Small Match App”? A flat track bully, who can beat up on the minnows put in front of me, only to get devoured by the sharks who I simply can’t match up against?
I do appreciate your foresight into my personality, Pendragon. You are actually more accurate than most. I am a tremendously pessimistic person. I personally like to label it as realism, but the difference in those two words is how much you whine about it. The thing you missed in your assessment is that I need this to keep on going. I used to be able to run on sheer arrogance, but that eventually began to fade. Every time I wrestle someone, I can see exactly how they can achieve a victory over me. That all boils down to preparation, of course, but more than that, I have maintained one element from my final self.
I am so completely stubborn, I refuse to let my destiny be written out in stone, without me at least trying to change it. I know I can beat you, just like I know I can beat everyone else in this company. Does that mean I am the best? No. But my selfish desires beg of me to at least be recognised as such, until even I am forced to admit that I am the best of the best.
In another life and another line of work, Jaydayne, I would think that you were an annoying dork with your passionate fighting spirit talk. The reason I joined Shoot Nation, however, is that you provide something that I can’t. A positivity that attracts people, the ability to make people cooperate, and an aura that makes people look up to you. I could not care less about such a position, because I don’t want it in the least. We aren’t the Tres Comas Club, who squabbles about this sort of thing. Beyond everything else, I respect you so much, that is the only reason I am speaking right now, rather than steadfastly preparing myself for war like my previous two matches. But in my constant endeavour to prove myself, I do want one thing so desperately that I can taste it.
I want your unofficial title as Ace of not just Shoot Nation, but of SSW as a whole. I have spent my whole life chasing brass rings, and even when I realised it was a pointless endeavour, the truth is such a pointless endeavour was one of the few things to make me happy. You are my friend and my leader, Pendragon, however I want to strip you of everything that gives you prestige, and steal your current legacy to add on to my own.
So this is my proclamation, Jay. Rest up and rest well. Because a decade’s worth of experience and heartbreak is coming right at you. And trust me when I say this…I am not going to fail this time.
…I just can’t.
on September 7th 2018, 9:35 pmThe One True Pairing

Sorry, Belle, but I think Jaydayne already has a girl, so feel free to do the World a favor and stop obsessing over him and how you managed to royally fuck up what may as well be considered THE biggest match of your entire career. Oh I know how it goes, don’t worry, I’ve been around plenty of losers before. In fact, I’m doing exactly that right here in this Tournament. It’s a barrel filled with idiots like you who convince themselves that they need to beat someone like Jaydayne to be great. That they need the Puroresu World Championship to be considered great. You don’t. You never did. You never will. Girls and boys are raised into believing plenty of things. If your parents are racists, then odds are, you’ll grow up hating the minorities around you. This is no different. This is every bit as twisted and repulsive in my book, because I have to watch someone like you - someone with so much potential to be a model or a decent housewife - completely waste every single ounce of your potential by catering to this belief that a piece of gold labeled “World Championship” makes it THE top prize. You’re wrong. You’re dead fucking wrong, in fact. How wrong are you, exactly? Let’s take a few things into account, sweetheart. You long for this victory over Jaydayne so, so badly because you want his gold. It clearly eats away at you. It seems to be all you’re thinking about, even while you’re heading into a match with me while Jaydayne is far back in the rearview mirror. That’s alright. Perfectly understandable. The true essence of being a loser is not being able to just shut the Hell up, wipe away your tears, and moving on. You lost, and you didn’t even lose to the best. I beat Jaydayne, and I did it without even breaking a Goddamn sweat, because I know the true totem pole of this company. I know what the REAL rankings are, doll.

You’re not gonna do anything but hurt yourself when you crane your neck to look up and see Jaydayne standing over you at the supposed top of this company. Instead you should look across the ring from you and see the true World Champion. Right now I’d be holding that gold around my waist if I felt like it, but I didn’t, because Jaydayne Pendragon isn’t worth my time just like you aren’t worth his time. It shouldn’t even come as a surprise to anyone that you’re sitting on your ass, feeling sorry for yourself, trying to motivate yourself to get back up and keep fighting the good fight. Your will is as easy to break as that tiny body, and I promise you that that very day is coming sooner than you think if you keep it up and forget where exactly you are, little girl. You should be thankful that you’re up against me and not my Cherry Blossom, because I promise you that she wouldn’t be showing you enough mercy to give you this advice - she would just beat your ass from post to post until there’s nothing left of you. Call me soft if you want, but the truth is that I feel bad for you. I feel bad watching you realize how much time you’ve wasted from the moment you became aware of who you are as a child to two weeks ago when you realized that none of it mattered. No amount of natural athleticism or training made you good enough to beat Jaydayne, and I did. Not just that, but I beat you as well. Both my Cherry Blossom and I humiliated you not long ago, along with your spooky Apparition partner. Yet, here you are. You’re sitting there trying to lit a fire under yourself for what? For HIM? You should be harping on how we made an example out of you and retained OUR Lovebird Tag Team Championships. Instead, you moved on and forgot about us because you’ve been raised by idiots to believe a piece of gold labeled as a World Title is truly THE premiere Championship.

I don’t have any qualms about grabbing you by your hair, and showing you what the law of this wild really is. Shoot Nation, Jaydayne, the Puroresu Championship - all fronts that this company puts on. We breathe life into Strong Style Wrestling. The only Championship that matters is the ones we pursue, and the ones we pursue are the Freebird World Championships. This Tournament means less than nothing to me, but that doesn’t mean I’m not gonna go out of my way to get SOME kind of value out of it. Because that’s what I do. That’s what WE do. We do absolutely nothing if there’s no value. So what I’m doing here is going out of my way - using MY precious time - and humiliating people like you in every way, shape, and form. I’m making a mockery out of this pointless Tournament, and I’m doing it by showing exactly why none of you are fit to be the best, especially your leader and “World Champion”. I’m gonna make the remainder of your time in this Tournament a miserable one, but at the same time, I’m gonna be doing you a favor. No longer will our fans and peers have to listen to Belle Kingsley cry her eyes out about not being good enough to beat Jaydayne Pendragon. No longer will we have to hear the cliches and the sob stories. Instead, we’re going to hear what we’ve all wanted to hear out of you: utter silence. No words whatsoever. You’re going to sit there in the corner and sulk and any memory of Jaydayne will be far gone in your mind. All you’ll have left to think about is how you were dismantled by Cassius Corleone, and just how far from the top you truly are. You can spend the rest of this Tournament saving your energy and putting up no more fights, because you know it’s just not worth it anymore. Maybe when it’s over, you can quit and go do something more worthwhile, because you don’t belong here. You want to burn me with that fire you’ve got lit because of Jaydayne? No can doozeville, baby doll. I’m extinguishing that fire, along with your precious little hopes and dreams that mommy and daddy convinced you would come true if you just believed and worked hard enough. That gold you’re chasing is at the bottom of the food chain, and you’re falling much, much further below, until no one can see you, and no one remembers you.
on September 7th 2018, 5:03 pmMiles Taylor
Rei, I don’t know if you’ve been paying attention…but I’m not like most guys. For instance, most guys? They probably wouldn’t be too happy curtain jerking every other show. Most guys wouldn’t like having to be the one that has to deal with the chore of getting the crowd hot for the rest of the show. But that’s one of the many things that sets me apart from most guys. You see, I don’t mind kicking things off. I don’t mind being the start of the show, because I get to set the bar. I get to make the other guys on the card sweat, because they know they have to try and top what I did in the ring. And believe me, Rei, just ask some of the guys who’ve had to follow me – it’s no easy feat. Better yet, ask the guys I’ve been in the ring with, because they know firsthand how hard I am to keep up with.
Like, I said, I like to kick off the show. But that’s not all I like. I also like to kick off my opponent’s fucking head off with my knees. I like hearing the crunch of my opponent’s skull as I drive my limbs into their body. I like watching their eyes light up, not in excitement, but due to the fight or flight response because they know they’re in genuine danger. Christopher Sabretooth, Miltiades, Penanace, Pequeno Asesino – some of these men have proven themselves to be big deals to our affiliate Omega Wrestling Alliance, and you know what I’ve done here? Taken them all down. I’ve beaten every single one of them. While I’ve been kept to meaningless, directionless triple threats and multi man matches over there, I’ve been lighting the entire wrestling world UP and you better bet that Strong Style Wrestling has been taking notice. I wouldn’t be in the upcoming “opportunity” match if that was the case. But for now, Rei, my focus isn’t on that opportunity – it’s on our match this Saturday. And that? That spells awful news for you.
To be blunt? I haven’t heard of you up until this point. I don’t know if you’re a rook, I don’t know if you’re coming back from a hiatus, but to be honest Rei I just don’t care. Your fate is gonna be all the same – back on the mat, blinded by lights, and the fresh taste of blood in your mouth after my shins almost decapitate you. If Strong Style didn’t wanna include me in the Best in the World Series, that’s fine, I get it – but regardless of the outcome of that tournament, as the world’s eyes remain on me week in and week out, you can guarantee that they’re gonna take note that I’m the one who’s the best in the WORLD.
I hope you all take note. SSW management, the SSW roster, Damien Walker, the like of ya – because tonight isn’t even me at one hundred percent. Tonight is me simply giving a preview, giving you the smallest of samples, just a tiny little taste of what I’m gonna do when given an opportunity. Because when one is presented to me? I never, EVER waste it.
While my undefeated streak here in Strong Style will remain intact, both the jaw bone of Rei Kagura and the confidence of the men competing against me for the ‘opportunity’ will
on September 7th 2018, 1:06 pmChristopher Sabertooth
Japan's all about the culture.

Christopher Sabertooth and rocky Hollywood are seen sitting at a lounge. They are sniping on wine as they talk to each other about their work.
“Why do I always get put up against dangerous outlaws that have no business being in this company, Rocky?” Asked Chris.
“What do you mean?” Replied Rocky.
“What do I mean? I mean just think about it… I am in OWA where they ignore what is in my best interest being their top talent and always what the stupid fans want to see.” Said Chris as he takes a sip out of his glass. “Oh, I guess I need Tarah Nova to be added to this match. No wait… Jon McAdams should be in it too. Yadda Yadda” Mocked Chris.
“That’s hysterical Chris. But what happened now?” Enquired Rocky.
“So, you know about the Japanese promotion that I joined. The one owned by…” Said Chris but Rocky interrupts him.
“Soccer-Mom hair. Gotcha.” Said Rocky.
“Yeah… So, if you have been following the show then you would have seen how my debut went down. I mean, it was grand and I expected a warm welcome and I got one. But what followed after was something I didn’t expect. I was attacked by a nobody. He literally jumped out of the crowd and caught me off guard…. That idiot ruined what was going to be a historical moment for SSW. Finally, a star worth watching. And ever since then, this guy has absolutely lost his mind. He realised how fucked he was when I beat him down with a bat. But that was nothing… That was just a teaser for what lies ahead. I don’t know what happened though. Because I think this guy lost his mind ever since that incident. Not only was he shitting bricks trying to get this match cancelled. He also starting speaking in binary for all I know. He thinks he is the Terminator. Like what is this? The 80’s?” Exclaimed Chris as he was genuinely confused about what was Matthew thinking.
“You know Chris… One thing that this business has taught me is to expect the unexpected. I am sure you can relate to this guy considering your own manic episode as Havoc.” Said Rocky chuckling to himself.
“Very funny man. But you’re right. I did kind of have an episode of my own as Havoc but this is different. Havoc was the embodiment of redemption. He… I mean ‘I’ wanted to stand for all the wrongs that I had to go through in my life. You especially know what happened considering it was you that triggered it. But I digress…. This guy is completely different. He no showed last week against Miltiades. Miltiades of all people… Yeah, he’s in my faction and all but I don’t know if the Tres Comas Club plays along that well with each other. Jaywalker is especially nice to me and he surely knows how to make a deal but that’s how far my relationship with Tres Comas Club goes. I already beat Virgo. I pretty much should be the Jr. Heavyweight Champion right now if it wasn’t for Virgo being a bitch and never putting the title on the line. But forget about what happened earlier… This Matthew guy who nobody has ever heard of is going to have his first and most likely last FPV match at Event Horizon. He owes that to me because he would never make it on the card if it wasn’t for me… The future of SSW. That sounds good and something befitting of my name.” Said Chris as he a huge grin on his face.
“Yeah man… That is cool. And Matthew surely sounds like a bitch so I don’t think he should be much of a problem. But you were talking about other people too. What was that guy’s name?” Asked Rocky.
“Guy? No…. I was talking about who I face this week. Jessykah Van Schwarzenegger. At least that’s what I think her name is.” Said Chris. Rocky starts laughing.
“Wait… You are worried about a woman?” Asked Rocky hysterically.
“As much as I would love to laugh along with you and make sexist comments that you live by, you should see how she looks. She’s tough man. Last week she brutalised somebody making her surprise return to this place. From what I had heard, she was released from the company for whatever reason it was but there she was…. Once again jumping the barricade and brutalizing Vanessa. It was tough to watch. You should Google her if you don’t believe me.” Suggested Chris. Rocky has a hysterical look on his face as he immediately grabs his phone and searches for her Jessykah.
“Oh, I might have butchered her name on purpose. That’s what I do… Usually.” Said Chris.
“I searched with SSW too. But there’s no images of this Jessykah you’re taking about.” Said Rocky.
“No images? Well, I am not surprised considering how irrelevant to the grand scheme of things she really is. But… You can try the SSW website. They should have a picture.” Said Chris. Rocky opens the Official SSW website and finds Jessykah’s picture. He glances the photo and then looks back at Chris.
“Man…. She is ugl- “ Said Rocky but Chris interrupts him.
“You mean to say she looks tough right?” Asked Chris seriously.
“Sure… I guess. I can see where you are coming from. But is she someone you should be worried about. It’s not like you have faced a tough woman for the first time. Tarah Nova was pretty tough from what I remember.” Said Rocky.
“Oh, come on… Tarah Nova? Seriously? That has to be a joke. Tarah Nova is about as harmful as a toddler. Jessykah on the other hand… Man, you should have seen that Vanessa chick’s face after this woman was done with her. I don’t know man. Why do these authorities never consider for the safety of their top talent? I mean, I feature on their big show, Event Horizon. Of course, I would love to be at a 100% when I head on to face Matthew. Not that I need it considering how much of a loser he is. But don’t you think I should be worried here. Just look at here. The Queen of Spades! That’s what she calls herself. That sounds tough. Plus, she has an MMA background.” Said Chris as he looks worried.
“Chris… I am going to be real with you. But I have to ask you this… Are you high?” Asked Rocky with a serious look on his face.
“No. What made you believe that? Because I am actually praising someone’s in ring ability for a change? Before you answer it… I was just trying to see how long I can put on a straight face. And I think I have had enough of this.” Said Chris as he finally smirks as Rocky looks confused but then starts laughing hysterically.
“I don’t know why but this feels like déjà vu. Have you done this before?” Asked Rocky.
“Possibly. I am out of ideas.” Said Chris as he turns towards the camera.
“Why is there camera recording us again?” Asked Rocky.
“Oh that? I am about to go off. So, sit back and relax while a monologue this one for a bit." Said Chris as he signals the cameraman to focus on him. Rocky just shrugs and gets comfortable on the sofa sipping on wine.
“Now, Jessykah…. All the things I said before still hold true. I won’t lie, you are impressive. What you did last week certainly caught my eye and it certainly did catch the management’s eyes because not everybody is worth my time. I do have a say on who I actually want to face. Another brilliant scheme by Jaywalker. So, I see why they would pitch an idea for you to go against me. I see it… To great wrestler with a history in contact sports going at it in the middle of the ring. That’s why I was brought into SSW… To get more eyes on the product. And when you get in the ring with me… A lot of these people will be watching eagerly to see what you can do. So, take it in. This is your big moment Jessykah! You want to make a change in this business. You want this business to be about skill and actual in ring talent when it comes to the women and I absolutely agree with that. In spite of having Hollywood- esque looks, I have wrestled my ass off to be at the position I am in. I understand that you’re not that pleasing to look at…. I understand that you were probably an outcast back in college if you ever have been in one. And I sympathise with you. I haven’t had an easy life until recently when things have started to smoothen up. And I am sure you can get that life too. Maybe… Probably not. But don’t lose hope, Jessykah. Fight for your cause! I mean, literally. I don’t doubt your wrestling ability. Anyone with a legitimize fighting background can do well in this business. Look at me… I am the best wrestler in the world and hence I call myself the King of the Ring. Actually, I haven’t done that yet… But sure, why not.
Women can certainly be tough and you are an embodiment of that. But Jessykah… You’ll be fooling yourself if you believe for one second that you have any chance against me. Anybody else who would have gone through what I went through wouldn’t have been capable of being in the position I am at. From a shitty father, to being in maximum security prison for something I didn’t do, to getting stabbed and then losing my best friend. I have done it all when it comes to physical and mental pain. Heck, for a while I had gotten impervious to it. I was losing my mind. I was losing myself but I brought myself back to the surface level. You may be tough… But you ain’t tougher than me. You may be a great wrestler… But you can’t lace my boots in that ring. You may strike very hard… But not as hard as me. You see Jessykah… I want to be nice to you. It’s not because I pity you for how you look as you must have gone through in life considering you have made it your mission to against that taboo. I want to be nice to you is because I see actual talent there. Your motivation to be in this business is inspirational. And I am sure you can talk or beat some sense into stupid bitches like Tarah Nova and all those other women who pretend to be tough until they get punched real hard in their face. But I am not them. I am the absolute best wrestler in the world. In fact, the only REAL wrestler in this world. You have worked hard to hone your craft. I am a natural born prodigy. And this coming week when we stand across each other in that ring…. I will beat you. I came to SSW for winning titles… And the money of course. And I will achieve that at all cost. You might be tough Jessykah… But you’re no Christopher Sabertooth. Remember the name.” Said Chris as he lifts his glass of wine to toast.
“That good enough for you Rocky?” Asked Chris.
“Sure man… Though I don’t understand why you call me for these. I literally cancelled my meeting at 4 for this thing that you always do. You end up monologuing anyway, so why did you even need me?” Asked Rocky with a confused look.
“Content Rocky… The wine’s pretty good. Oh and Matthew you're a dead man” Said Chris. They clinked their glasses as the camera slowly fades away to black.
on September 6th 2018, 8:48 pmJaydayne Pendragon

️In the deep of night Jaydayne Pendragon sits at the top of the Shinei Ji Temple steps, taking in the sights and the atmosphere.
Being a champion, being a leader, I have found myself becoming acquainted with being a north star within this industry so many great competitors make their home in under the dark skies with glimmering lights spread about. For though there exists much that blocks out what people look for in the skies, there is always a time when the moon and stars reveal their face through the clouds. My moments represent those reveals, despite the pollution and mist provided by the likes of the Phantom Troupe and many other decadents, I’ve been able to provide light on top of this company with my Puroresu championship gleamy bright.
And I’d like to think with me I bring the rest of Shoot Nation. Even if there is a shiniest star, the ensemble is what makes a constellation. I realize, I won’t always be that star at the forefront, but I want to at the very least have the constellation etched into the memories of the people. Even when we are gone, our values, what we’ve fought for in these great battles, they live on as images of what there was. Like a never dying spirit, like an apparition.
My comrade may well be The Apparition, but I’ve always taken great offense and confusion that he correlates that with him being forgotten.
Things that haunt you are not truly forgotten in your mind. Things of the past, that even without a psychical body, that can still take shape can only be described as things that have struck a cord in the heart of the masses! Just as he has in his career.
We all know what kind of man exists behind that mask, what style of wrestling he has exemplified in his illustrious time as performer. We’ve always counted you as an important member of Shoot Nation, Apparition! As I sit here at this temple beneath the stars, I think of the ancestors that carved the traditions that shaped our culture, and the ideals that we worship. I recognize them as familiars that still live on in us, sometimes I see them like Simba saw Mufasa in his deepest time of need. Apparition, I don’t know why you mope around, nor why you have taken such a negative outlook on things, but I respect what you bring to the table in terms of honour and respect for the sport we love. You’re an apparition because your passion to do what you do has lingered and refused to die as you’ve kept yourself in the business, that’s how strong your ties with what you’ve done is! You’re a specter to the people, because the thought of you still takes shape in their minds, and one day maybe you’d be like one of those passed on beings they make holograms of because the world can’t let you go. You underestimate how much you have shaped others, you don’t see how you’ve made yourself part of so many stories. Even here in Shoot Nation, you’ve played your part, regardless of how small it is perceived it has been a role.  I’ll fight you Apparition, just like I’ve fought every member of Shoot Nation they’ve put in front of me in that ring, but know no matter what I’ll always value you like a brother in arms. I don’t plan on losing, as I’ve never lost to any other member of Shoot Nation in these battles, but I know I learn a lot more about you in that ring. Just like you’ll learn about me. Your leader, a man that doesn’t pull punches against anyone friend or foe, your champion who symbolizes what it means to be on top of the food chain today. I know it won’t be easy to beat you, but I hope my struggle in doing so reminds you that I am a fallible man with his own ghosts and demons, I just overcome them and channel the energy of the greats around me past and present.
It’s something under sold about me, but pretty much every move I have is named after the possessions of the dead, their ideals, or are names from works of fiction. All safe one, a razor named after the love of my life. But even love is like a bodyless figure that possesses a person and pushes them forward, even when the person loved isn’t there. Your one mighty spirit, but I am enveloped with thousands, they scream at me when my discipline faulters, they cheer me on when I need to find that one last ounce of motivation to go on, and they whisper sweet nothings in my ear when I need to find inner peace in puzzling times. Even this north star is guided through the night, by forces I truly believe are stronger than you. Countless knights and samurai who left their blades to be burned down and forced into one in this hafu before you, I have generations of fighting flowing through my blood and training! Some cultures build temples of brick and stone, but many others build temples of tribute through the children they raise!  I am one of those temples, that is the only reason why one wandering spirit won’t be enough! Belle thinks I and I alone won this championship, I respect her truth as much as it pains me to hear her say it, but my truth is that the size of people who got me where I am are legion, I truly felt possessed by so many in my clash for the title, and that includes feeling that you and her were there, Apparition. I know the allure of gold and success may shape the perception of people who do not have enough of what they desire, but I refuse to accept everything else that makes being a champion so great become meaningless! It’s like people have forgotten that Shoot Nation was the butt of every joke just a few months ago, when people didn’t accept us as the shinsengumi Brian Daniels had put in place here, and everyone would bring up how none of us could win a championship. Now I have the most coveted prize, people look to Cassidy and Shinati as the future of this business, and you, Belle, and Kawada-sama are scene as respected figures in the movement with me. It troubles me that so many that walk beside me have negative beliefs filled with self pity that so strongly dismiss everything I believe in, so I’ll have to shout out loud what I believe in that ring! Like the flash and sound of the Rakurai, this belief will not be ignored. With me leading the way, the collective soul of Shoot Nation shall be forever memorable!

on September 6th 2018, 8:23 pmBelle Kingsley
Jaydayne Pendragon getting that roll up victory lit a fire underneath me. In that match two weeks ago, I wanted to bring my absolute best into the match. To me, I wanted to have the upset of the century in the Best in the World Series. By defeating the leader of Shoot Nation, it would have given me the assurance that I needed to prove my worth to this faction. I don’t feel like I am worthy at all. I am not worthy of being part of Shoot Nation. I am not worthy of having the hearts of the fans. I go out to the ring each time and I’m baffled that these people are still invested in me. These people still give a damn about me, when I wouldn’t. To the other factions, I am nothing more than a woman who drops the ball with each opportunity given to her. I’m nothing more than a loser. I am not good enough to be part of the SSW roster. I’ve heard whispers in the back. I did my best to not let it phase me, but when the losses began to pile up, I began to lose myself in the process. I began to get angry. I began to be bitter. I began to question what was wrong with me? Why are people thinking that they can just walk all over me and not feel any consequence for their actions? I thought with my victory at Domination, it was a step in the right direction. I looked at it as a fresh start. I was on top of the world with that victory, but Scott Oasis was the first man to knock me down back to earth. That feeling of satisfaction was only temporary and it was back to having to bust my ass for the opportunities that I want. As I was saying before, I looked at my match with Jaydayne as my opportunity to prove to my leader that I was good enough. I was placed into Shoot Nation with a purpose. I came into this match wanting to really earn his respect. There, I fought with the best of my abilities. I felt that without the roll up, I could have won. If the match went on longer than it did, things would have been completely different. The wave of emotions overcame me. Never did I expect to grab a mic and challenge Jaydanye for the Puroresu Heavyweight Champion. For that moment, I could not believe what I just did. It was even more of a shock when Jaydayne accepted the challenge. The main event for Event Horizon is set in stone and I look forward to September 24th for where I wash away any thoughts of me not being good enough for Shoot Nation and take my place as Puroresu Heavyweight Champion.

Before that, I have to focus on the Best in the World Series. I’m fully aware that I lost my last two matches. I was outsized by Scott Oasis and I was outsmarted by Jaydayne Pendragon. My last two matches, I faced incredible men, who have taken me to the limit. Sadly, they have resulted in failure. A woman like myself should be accustomed to that feeling, but that does not mean that I like it one bit. As I speak about my disliking of losing, I am going to face a man who has gotten the best out of me and whoever my partner was for those matches, Cassius Corleone. The former SSW Freebird Tag Team Champion. The man who won a championship in less than two matches. A man who tried their hardest to keep his championship at Domination, but failed. How does that feel, Cassius? How does it feel knowing that you lost something so important to you? Sure, it may have not been Sakura, but it was something that is going to make everyone notice when it's gone. Losing those championships not only damaged you, but it must have broken your waifu’s heart. This was the first major blow to your egos that you have experienced in SSW. How does it feel knowing that you had something ripped away from you? You didn’t see it coming. Nope! You had confidence that you were going to defeat CM Nas and Saul Omen! They had NOTHING over the One True Pairing! You and Sakura had the power of love on your side. CM Nas and Saul had the power of violence and ruthlessness on their side. Guess, which one was stronger? Spoiler alert: it wasn’t love. It wasn’t The One True Pairing. It wasn’t Sakura and Cassius Corleone. You are watching this and think that I shouldn’t be pointing out people’s losses because that’s all I’ve done in SSW, but I enjoy to watch the look on your face go pale at the thought that your egos were shattered due to the loss. Although, I have to give you props. You managed to get a victory over Jaydayne and that is something that I would have loved to do two weeks ago. You could have used that as an argument for why you should challenge him for his title, but still, that was never in your sights. It wasn’t as important as regaining those tag titles. You looked past finding the glory of your own to the thought of recapturing gold with Sakura as the ultimate prize in the end. All I have to respond to that is that it’s your loss and my gain. I would probably be doing nothing for Event Horizon if it wasn’t for your desire to reclaim your titles. In a sense, I thank you, Cassius. For me to tell you that I won’t drop the ball on this opportunity is laughable to you. Just like the thought of actually getting a victory over you. It can happen. I have no partner to rely on. I only have myself to believe in. You don’t have Sakura by your side. It’s a fair fight. This is something that I have desired for the longest time. I want to build this momentum up with getting a victory over the man who got the victory over Jaydayne. If I was Jaydayne, I’d be watching. I’d be observing my every move because what I plan to do to Cassius will be nothing compared to what I will do in the ring to him.
on September 1st 2018, 2:28 amMatthew.
System starting...

Ghost Protocol: Activated.
on August 31st 2018, 11:48 pmKhmoach Sangkat
Have you ever stuck your hand in the water with a piranha?

They have this terrible reputation. It is said a shoal of the fish can strip a cattle to its bones in less than a minute. But I’m not talking about about wading into a feeding frenzy with chum tied to your bollocks. All I am asking is if you have seen what happens when you net one of these knife-toothed little terrors, get it all alone, and then slowly dip your hand into the tank. How many fingers do you lose? Who wants to guess? 1? 2? 3 and a half with a little gnawed bone hanging off? Nothing quite so dramatic. It turns out that these vicious bloodthirsty monsters start to become anxious when you isolate them. They timidly swim away and hide at the very edge of the tank. Heaven’s forbid you change the scenery with an unfamiliar ornament or have the lighting on too bright. Piranhas become easily stressed, you know. And so it is with so many so-called warriors. Bold as lions. Brazen as brass… Just as long as they are nestled deep amongst their band of brothers. All too often someone talks big during these interviews and press conferences in the run up to a match. Then on the night they find themselves without an advocate or a manager in the ring alongside them. Their allies are busy with their own preparations. Perhaps the crowd themselves start to quieten into indifference. A fierce warrior finds themself alone in the world. A lump starts to form in the back of the throat. The light is too bright. The surroundings unfamiliar. What happened to the promises of the past week? The guarantees of savagery. The vows to rend flesh from sinew and bone. What I see when I step foot in the ring is seldom so dramatic.

It makes me laugh really. The finger is so often pointed at the Phantom Troupe. The question so often asked despite the answer remaining exactly the same:

How might Khmaoch Sȃngkȃt defend the Heritage Championship if not for the interference of John Doe or the rest of the Troupe?

With Dominance.

How will The Phantom Troupe continue without the leadership of John Doe?

With Dominance.

How will The Phantom Troupe hope to challenge the greatest tag team in SSW?

With Dominance.

I have even been asked what is on my mind ahead a future Best In The World Series match against my comrade, Aria Jaxon. Simple… Dominance. Dominance. Dominance. You might be my dearest friend or the blood of my blood, drinking partner who seeks my company or protege who seeks my advice, the closest thing I have to family or all of the above… I will stop at nothing to dominate you if that is what it takes to achieve my goals. Aria understands this. Falke understands this. The entire Phantom Troupe understands this quite intimately because we all share the same ethos in this regard. Pure, naked ambition is the guiding principle upon which our collective is built. It is by our ambitions that we acknowledge and respect each other as individuals. To fight for love and friendship would make our relationship as competitors problematic. But for us, we are not troubled by such things. It is normal. And to show any weakness in the face of the circumstances would be a disrespect unfitting of a member of The Phantom Troupe in and of itself. Because of our shared values, we can cooperate without becoming reliant. And we can stand alone without becoming anxious or afraid. Those of you who do not understand keep asking the question. When our answers remain the same, you resort to playground insults. A scourge. An infection. What was the newest variation on a theme? Ah… Parasites, you called us. Now turn and face the mirror.

If a tapeworm was ever reincarnated in the human form, it is my opponent this week, Sakura Corleone. The One True Pairing have boasted of being the greatest tag team to grace this green earth. I will meet you halfway. Though you were, of course, found wanting by the dominance of the Phantom Troupe, The One True Pairing had an air of competence about them that has been lacking in most tag teams. But after losing your titles and being entered into the Best In The World Series as individual competitors Sakura has been sorely exposed. Without Cassius there to support you and bail you out, you have begun to look hapless, ill adjusted, or even, dare I say it, faint-hearted. They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. In your case it is as though you have lost heart altogether. Two feeble losses from two, soon to be three. Rather than doubling down on your resolve, what I see is a little girl throwing her toys out of the pram and refusing to participate. Blowing everything off as meaningless. Wins and losses don’t matter. Nothing matters anymore until you and Cassius are reunited as partners, you sulk. You finally have your chance to shine with the spotlight all to yourself and instead you hide behind a picture of Cassius. How pathetic. No ambition. No existence at all of your own. All you do is latch on and live vicariously through Cash rather than your own name valuable. And this one should call me the parasite… It is you who is nothing but a leech. No… Less that that. The leech has teeth of its own, isn’t it so? A leech knows how to draw blood. The only thing that Sakura Corleone is capable of doing alone is bleeding her heart out. Isn’t it? Sakura, you are more like a tumour.  A useless, swollen lump of meat. A benign waste of space if we are to put it kindly. But to be candid, I have seen evidence enough that you are plenty malignant - a cancer which spreads over and oppresses the very body which gives it life. It is not enough to say you are useless without Cassius. Having your dead weight cut away from him for this tournament for this tournament is the very best thing that could have happened for his career. Without you joined at his hip, Cassius’ stock in this business has risen tenfold. Cash defeated the Puroresu Heavyweight Champion. Cash is money. By all accounts, Cash has earned his right to challenge for the greatest prize in SSW at Event Horizon. The world is at his feet. He just needs to pick it up.

But he won’t. Even with the parasite removed the poison still remains. Your mere whisper in his ear sees him drop any ambitions of his own and actively damage his own career and for what? A cheap lay? I cannot respect that. To set one’s desires in life so low is a waste of life itself. It is not manly nor wise. It’s weak. It’s a blemish. A bloody, pus-filled abscess which remains, poisoning the body even after the cyst has been cut out. Love and fellowship is a beautiful thing when interests align. The One True Pairing are reliant to the point of weakness. Torn apart, the world is cold and unfamiliar. You are anxious. You are scared of change. You just want for everything to return to exactly how it was before. And that is why you will never move forward. You will never overcome. You’ll never dominate just like the Phantom Troupe does.

For Liberation is not a tight embrace but a release from all bondage.

Not a fiery passion but the blowing out of a candle.

When your arms are bound by the chains of your own attachments,

Then the ghost pushes you down.
on August 31st 2018, 10:59 pmMasanori Kawada
"It still amazes me that my old aching heart can still pump some new blood after all that has transpired the last few months. By now, a lesser man in my shoes would have keeled over, accepted that they were fighting an endless, winless battle against an enemy that just keeps growing and getting stronger with every passing day. But yet, I am still here. I am still here, fighting against young competition, fighting against the endless swarm of Phantom Troupe scum and still standing on my own two feet. The fact that I still fight against the advantage of numbers and youth is a testament that I am exactly what the Phantom Troupe have doubted me as being since the very first day I made my presence felt in Strong Style Wrestling; a testament that I am, in fact, the Everlasting Hero. My progress has been hindered, legs cut out from beneath me, attacked from all fronts without a shred of honor or respect but despite all of that, I still stand as mighty as the day I returned. All that has changed is my patience, my tolerance to let this misjustice go unpunished and without retaliation. I have no more patience. I have no more tolerance to show even an ounce of chivalry against the rogues that don't possess any form of chivalry themselves. There is only so much one can obtain by turning the other cheek, and I have been for the past several months, including against the likes of John Doe who tried making the twilight years of my professional wrestling career a living hell. But let me be completely transparent; what has turning the other cheek obtained? For both myself and the Shoot Nation in this on-going war with the faction? Nothing. All it has done was serve as a distraction that prevented me from having that golden watch run at the top of this company and the longer I divulge in the games of these spoiled brats. This series, to determine the next in line for the Puroresu Heavyweight Champion of the world, to determine the very best in the world, is my chance to overcome the months of ongoing frustration and achieve the career-long dream that has been escaping my clutches. Because I am unknowing of how much longer this heart of mine can keep beating at a rate where I can maintane myself as a formidable competitor against the more youthful. With the last few embers that still burn, I will fight through this tournament with the last ounch of fire I can forge to keep this motor running at it's full force!. No discrimination, no distinction, the strong arm of justice will overpower all that contest against it in my quest to become the best. Even my fellow members of Shoot Nation that become my rivals through the round robin system will find themselves on the opposite side of my burning ambitions.

Steven Cassidy, I hope you will harbor no ill will or sense of betrayal for any lack of pull in the force behind my fists tomorrow night. Because I will make it no secret; I respect you, kid. From the very moment this company openned, even when we were in opposing factions as you were assigned to Ronin, I saw a passionate kid in this buisness trying to make a name for himself. And I still have some guilt over what followed. I still feel guilty over the events that put you in harms way of the Phantom Troupe when John Doe was trying to break my image through the misery of others. And it was through his mission to kill the hero that you found yourself in the Troupes crosshairs. Although I was able to interviene before they could do more damage, you still found yourself damaged because of their vendetta against me. So I don't think I am deserving of any form of thanks or praise for allowing you to be caught in the cross fire of our rivalry. But you have guts. You had the guts to not take that event laying down and requested a spot within the Shoot Nation to help us fight against our oppressors, and I admired that, still do to this day. Since, you have been a valuable member of the faction, proving that you belong within our ranks and that you are a formidable fighter that is more than capable of fending for yourself. So when I saw this match on the list of potential encounters for me during this tournament, I felt like this was a proving grounds of sorts. Not just for you to prove you can hang in the ring with veterans decades your senior, but that I can still contest against those that are decades my junior. And your showings thus far in the tournament only further gives me something to prove when we stand across the ring from each other, as men with similar ambitions to fight our leader for the Puroresu Championship against our faction leader. We stand on equal footing, facing each other for two points that can bring us closer to achieving that goal. And rightfully so, neither of us will be holding anything in reserve when it comes to obtaining them -- neither of us will give anything less than our most to take that extra step forward.

You have all the tools to make it to that spot some day, Steven, I can see that becoming more and more true every match you have. But tommorow night, you will have to prove that you have the tools to topple me. That is a task that I will not make easy for you. Your match with Shinati Mizarki from two weeks ago was competitive, showed the fire in the youth of the Shoot Nation, but tomorrow night I hope to not only draw more from you than that, but take you above and beyond your limits before scoring the two points needed to catch back up in this series. It is what I need to do to prove that the aboslute justice still holds strong following the eviction of John Doe, that it wasn't just a flash in the pan moment that I can hang my cap on once my time has come and gone. If you want a defining moment, Steven, you will get it against the Everlasting Hero, we will define you as the bright future of this company but the justice of All-Might will shine brighter, even if it is for one more day. Cassidy, my friend..."


blood on my name

BITW Series Ranking: #3 (A Block)
BITW Series Record: 1-1

----We open on a rather candid Kai Stevens, who is in the processing of returning to his seat before a camera within his own hotel room here in Japan.  He glares angrily into the camera once he does sit, sporting a pair of black Nike shorts with a white swoosh, a pair of black and white Nike Elite calf socks, and a his official merchandise t-shirt, depicting the shape of a man in white with a steel blue trim impaling a massive white whale with a large harpoon that has prompted a crimson cascade of ‘blood’ from the whale’s wound.  It, too, has the words ‘FROM HELL’S HEART, I STAB AT THEE’ written across it in white letters surrounded with steel blue accents.  He wears an unamused facial expression and his rather immediate and blunt force delivery of his words reflects the lack of amusement.
----You and I, begins Kai.  We’re nothing alike.  I said before that you can keep wishing you were me, but I can’t in good conscience allow you to say shit like you did without consequence.  I’ve decided to draw the line.
----Y’see, Shinati, I don’t find it all that respectful to utter the names of unequal examples in the same breath in the way you so willingly and so liberally have uttered yours with mine.  You’re DAMN lucky you managed to kiss my ass enough to make me willing to not come bring this fight to your doorstep this fucking second, Shinati.
----How DARE you say I am or did anythingjust like you’.  How DARE you.  We are NOT in the same boat, you son of a bitch, and if we were?  I’d be PLUNGING my FUCKIN’ FIST THROUGH YOUR CHEST LIKE THE HARPOON AHAB WIELDED!  I literally have it tattooed on my fucking flesh, Shinati.  ‘From Hell’s heart’...  ‘I stab at thee’.  And if you EVER have the audacity...  The mendacity to believe that some fire inside you is your guiding light?
----Let’s get something straight, he continues. Shall we?  You don’t know fucking fire, Shinati.  But me?  I do.  It claimed my childhood home…  Claimed my grandfather’s life...  And this past Sunday it claimed a Phoenix in a New Age Deathmatch.  When you and I get in the ring for this match, though, Shinati?  I’m gonna’ take your fire and-- no, I’m not going to extinguish it.  I’m going to shove it down your fucking throat with each and every suicidal comparison between us you’ve made.  And now?
----Now I’m gonna’ do it with the FAT FUCKIN’ GRIN ON MY FACE.  You wanna’ tell me you’re gonna’ execute me?  Let me tell ya’ how that would go, okay, guy?  I am the Envoy of the End, Shinati.  The Inevitable.  What I say?  It happens.  Everything I warn that’s to come?  It FUCKING HAPPENS, Shinati.  And truth be told, I am the single most lethal athlete this industry has EVER SEEN!
----So no, he furthers.  You’re not gonna’ execute me, Shinati.  What you are gonna’ do, though?  Is beg for your life…  Beg for mercy from me, Shinati.  And I’ll look down at you, at the desperate and helpless pleading for relent, and do you know what I’m gonna’ look you dead in the eye, say to you, and then kick your fucking skull in?  No.
----The Cowboy Killer shakes his head in a resentful disdain, seeming as if he were ready to leap through the camera and strangle Shinati Mizarki with his bare hands.  His additional statements seem to echo this observation as they are possessed with a malicious vitriol.
----At first, he explains.  At first I wanted to watch as the color drained from your eyes when I took this win from you.  At first.  But now?  Now that you’ve offended me so greatly?  I’m more inclined to just cave your GOD DAMNED skull in.  And y’know what, Shinati?  At caving God damned skulls in?  I’m the Best in the World.
----With this, Kai reaches forward and clicks a button on the side of the camera, bringing our segment to a close.  As Kai’s ultimate rhetoric hangs in the air like he does while flipping forward for his Katabasis finishing maneuver, one question remains.
----How does Kai Stevens handle being offended?


Last edited by Kai Stevens on August 31st 2018, 10:01 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : Coding Error)
on August 31st 2018, 9:07 pmShinati Mizarki
Kai Stevens.

A man, who I have faced before. A man, who has defeated me fair and square in the middle of the ring before. As much as I wanna say it was a 'fluke', or that he won't be able to do it again this time around, I truly cannot. No, not because I'm not confident in myself, but rather - I'm not one to discredit a fair victory. I'm not gonna deny that he was the better man the last time we faced off, because if I did that I would be lying. To everyone. Whether that be the fans or myself; I've never been one to lie. I know how dangerous he can be in the ring. I know that he has Brian Church there at ringside, ready to cheer him on. Give him the edge he needs to go out there and take the win - something, that he has done more often than not during his time here. 

I respect that. 

I credit him for doing so, but when it comes to the Best in the world series, he is just like me. Coming off a loss; looking for a way to fight back. To find the momentum, that he had once grasped. 

Just like me. 

We're "in the same boat" as people would like to call it. Each of us needing this win to make sure that our name is still in the running. Still in the forefront, when it comes to acquiring the world title shot we desire. When it comes to *proving* that we are the "next in line" to the throne. Just like everybody else in this tournament is aiming for. 

Yes, some can say that I have a "safety net". A "security blanket" if you will, in the form of the tag team title shot I have alongside my best friend and Shoot Nation comrade Steven Cassidy, but that is not the focus right now. As I have said before, I don't merely wish to be known as a tag team specialist. As somebody who is seen as 'leeching off others' - even if that is the falsest statement in the world, but rather: I want to be able to show what I can do in the ring in my own right. How I, along with the rest of Shoot Nation, aim to uphold and maintain everything that has brought wrestling to where we stand today. 

After all, that is what needs to be. That is what wrestling; the fans truly deserve. That is what I wish to give them. That hasn't changed. I haven't strayed from that cause - no matter what somebody like Kai might think. No matter what motivates him. What cause he is willing to peddle, for this time, I *know* where I truly stand. I know just what it is, I am fighting for. I'm not as 'lost' as I was the last time we set foot between those ropes Kai. To you, that *should* be dangerous. That should cause you to realise that the Shinati you fought back then, isn't going to be the one standing before you this week. 


This time, I'm willing to go to any limits necessary. Any means that are required, in order to walk out on top. In order to send a message to not just the One True Pairing and CM Nas/Saul Omen for what awaits them come Event Horizon but to the rest of the Best in the world series competitors that I'm not the pushover you assumed. That I'm not just the 'prey' in this situation, but rather: I am the shark.

I am the one who the moment he smells blood, will attack it with a viciousness that is unparalleled. That will *not* relent, until the foe is vanquished. Until the light, has left them lost within their own shadow. Wondering, just where it all began to spiral downwards for them. Realising and understanding, just what I mean, when I claim the throne. The title, of the Architect. Of the one, who shall bring about their very end.  

It's something that I had forgotten about myself. Something, that *they* told me to channel when they called me. When they informed me, that I would be granted a meeting with them on Wednesday next week, deep in the heart of Tokyo. A meeting, that should at least *finally* allow me to see just who they are. Just why, they have come for *me*. Just what, they wish to extract. Do they wish for me to truly tap into the Architect within? The fire, that lingers as I strive to find myself? To find, the formula I have craved? Or are they just like the rest? Do they merely want to see me crash and burn? 

That hasn't become even clearer, despite them sending another video earlier this week to me. One, that despite their claims of providing answers, only served to ask more questions. Even if it did answer the question of just *who* they are. At least they revealed their name was Kayuri and that they had been requested by a 'higher being' to call me forth. To bring me, under their wing. I still don't know who that 'higher power' is, though Kayuri did state that "When the time is ripe, all shall be revealed". 

When that is, I don't know. Nor do I need to know. I trust that if the temples align; if it is meant to be the passage I roam, that it shall all fall into place. That the cloud, shall drift into the sky - enabling me to finally find out just what it is I have forever desired. Just what it is, that they wish for me to become. Just like Dad told me. Have faith and let the fire within guide you towards the light. 

Just as he did. 

Just as mum did. 

I can't fail them. 

I can't let all their effort, go up in a plume of smoke. 

I won't fail them. I wouldn't be able to look them in the eye if I did. If I was the one, who was crowned as the decadence of the Mizarki family name. If I was the one, to tear apart all the fabric they have created. If I was to go against, all that they raised me to be. Unlike Kai. Unlike those who claim that they understand honour, when all they are doing - is tearing apart the core. Going against, all that honour truly stands for. Revealing that just like those who oppose the freedoms. The customs that we stand for, they only wish to fuel their own passage. They wish only to watch the world burn at their very feet. 

One by one, they shall fall. 

Left to stand, with the pit of agony; the mire of regret, that they created. Beginning with Kai. For that is what they desire. That is what has been called to pass - just as it was for Kikyo, this is my chance to burn. This is my chance to make the statement that if I am to fall, then you're coming just as far down as I am, Kai. Even if that means I have to sacrifice my entire body in order to make it so. Even if that means, I have to break my own spirit. I'm willing to do just that, if it attains the desired result. That is, me standing atop your body - leading you to your end. For if you don't stand for Shoot Nation, you must be served to the mire. 

For you, I shall be your executioner.
on August 31st 2018, 8:08 pmSteven Cassidy
((After getting his second consecutive win in the BITW Series, Steven is still...well, Steven. He hasn’t let the sudden success get to his head. He’s still focused and stoic. Knowing that sure, stringing together a few victories is nice and all, but this is a marathon, not a race. Meaning, he’s aware that he still has plenty of stiff competition to face, especially this week. Plus, by being 2-0 at the moment, being tied for the lead when it comes to the A Block, he has a giant target on his back. He needs to keep his head on a swivel because if there’s anything that SSW has taught him, anything can happen at any time. As for the following scene, it’s nothing too fancy. Just Steven chilling backstage, getting ready for his training session to help him prepare for tomorrow’s match, as he tapes his wrists.))

“So this is what momentum feels like? At least, that’s what I think this sensation I’m experiencing is? I don’t know, this is new territory for me. I’m not used to having win streaks or main eventing shows. There was a time I never thought I could accomplish either of those things, but here we are. And now that I’ve gotten a taste of it all, I crave for more. One win wasn’t enough. Just like two wins isn’t going to cut it. I need more...and I know that I am capable of more. But, I know that being 2-0 in this tournament is such a small sample size. Just like I know that I still have my fair share of skeptics shouting FLUKE VICTORIES at the top of their lungs and that's fair. But tomorrow night I have a chance to prove that I am not just some flash in a pan. Or your typical underdog that bites off more than he can chew and chokes when the lights are at their brightest. I am here to prove my worth to not just my Shoot Nation family, but to SSW as a whole. You see for far too long I have been viewed as the runt of the litter. Not even a man, but a little boy trying to succeed in a world infested with monsters and titans and warriors. All of which have more experience than me. Probably more talent, too. Yet I have something that most people lack here. Especially when it comes to the Phantom Troupe and Tres Comas Club ... and that's heart. I know, that's a cliche answer to give. But having heart, having the sheer will and determination to be the best, refusing to give up even in the hardest of times and the darkest of hours, it gives you an advantage, as well as an edge. Look at our current SSW Puroresu Heavyweight Champion for proof. He made it to the top the right way, such as not cutting corners, unlike the previous champ. See, I am not fueled by money or an oversized ego. Just like I don't have to rely on cheap tactics to get ahead in life. What drives me, is my desire to improve as a wrestler and person each and every day. And Shoot Nation helps me when it comes to both of those areas. They will help prevent me from becoming something I am not. Meaning they will keep me in check if they feel like I am getting a little too full of myself. And I need that. I need that guidance to help me stay on course, instead of getting distracted and stray off into the distance. I have my eye on the prize. Actually, two prizes, really. The first one is, of course, this tournament. I obviously want to stay undefeated in the BITW series because that would mean that in the end, I am challenging for the Puroresu Heavyweight Championship at Wrestle Spirit!!! 

((Steven pauses for a second, thinking about what that would mean to him if that thought ever becomes a reality. It would be a dream come true, most definitely.))

"But that's the end goal. The same goal that the other fifteen hungry competitors have. It's still too far away to think about anyways. Besides, I am in the now. I am living in the moment and what's right around the corner. For instance, tomorrow, I once again find myself fighting against one of my allies in Masanori Kawada. Last time it was a few weeks ago against Shinati in a main event match that tore the roof off. What an honor it was to share the ring with such a great talent. And speaking of Shinati, it appears that the both of us are going to be fighting for some gold at Event Horizon. To be more specific, the SSW Freebird Tag Team Championships. And I would go more in-depth about it, but I will have plenty to say regarding that title match when Event Horizon week arrives. Because first I have some other important business to take care of. Against the man I mentioned earlier in Masanori. A man that I owe a huge thank you to. You see, if it wasn't for Masanori, I probably wouldn't be here today. Yeah, my career would have ended at the hands of John Doe and Saul Omen. Something I wouldn't be able to stomach if it did indeed go down the way they intended it to. I wouldn't want to give them that satisfaction. And you stopped it and I once again thank you for that. And I say thank you, not for just saving my career and perhaps my life, but for welcoming me into Shoot Nation with open arms, as well. The tranistion from Ronin to Shoot Nation was seamless"

"Although, it's kind of ironic when you think about it. How I outlasted John Doe here in SSW. All because of you, Masanori. But...yes, there is a but, it was bittersweet for me to see him go. On the one hand, just like most, I am glad he is no more. That toxic presence of his needed to go before he would go on to end more careers besides Koji. But on the other hand, I wanted to do the job. Because for so long I have been meaning to get my hands on him. For all he's done to me, such as the damage he has caused in my life, he needed to get a dose of his own medicine.  Because of him I almost lost everything. Because of him I still walk with a slight limp. Because of him, I was filled with hatred and anger. I had thoughts, Masanori. Dark thoughts of taking a steel chair and bashing it over his skull until it turned to mush. I could go into more details but you get the gist. I needed closure, Masanori. And for the longest time, I thought to unlock that closure and to finally move on, I would have to do what he did to me. To put him in a hospital bed for months. Actually no, months wouldn't have been good enough for someone like him. Make it years, if not decades! But then I realized, I was going about this the wrong way. Because if I did all of that, I might as well don the purple and black color scheme and become one of the Phantom Troupe scumbags. I wouldn't have been any better than him if I decided to commit such a heinous act. So in a way, in my heart of hearts, even though it was tough to let this grudge go, I am beyond glad to never see his face in this company again. That the dark cloud no longer hovers above my head."

"I was so hellbent on getting my revenge against the Phantom Troupe, that I stopped caring about what happened in my career. I became obsessed. I pushed my goals aside in hopes of inflicting pain on each and every last one of them. But after some time off, I cleared my mind. I have gotten in my ducks in a row and realized what is important and what isn't. That I can't change what happened in the past. I can only use those past events and learn from them. Like a true student of the game. And what's important to me is winning this match to increase my odds of winning the whole thing, as well as securing tag team gold for Shoot Nation at Event Horizon. I guess what I am getting at is I want a defining moment. Something I can hang my hat on and be proud of what I have accomplished. Moments such as when you defeated John Doe and sent him packing. Moments such as Jaydayne finally winning world title gold here. Something he should have done a long time ago if it wasn't guessed it, The Phantom Troupe. Just like the Phantom Troupe is the reason for why you aren't 2-0 as well in this BITW series. That's just what they do. They pride themselves on ruining lives and careers, it's despicable. I wouldn't even be surprised if they decide to intervene in this match so it creates a clearer path for Aria to the finals. Food for thought. But wasting time on what-ifs isn't productive. And I must block those thoughts outta my mind. Because since I will have my hands full with you, Masanori, I can't afford to look over my shoulder to make sure no one is making a run in. After all, you are easily one of the most talented on the ros-, no, no, you are one of the most talented in the world, no question. I caught myself there. I was going to say one of the most talented on the roster, which sure, is true, but that doesn't do you enough justice, Mr. Absoulte Justice. As for this match, I am expecting a barn burner. An instant classic. A match that many will look back at and recognize it as one of the best to ever happen in an SSW ring. So yes, this will be a challenge, but I am up for it. See you out there, Masanori."
on August 31st 2018, 7:30 pmMasanori Kawada
You're a Ho Ho Ho. Merry Christmas.
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