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on January 25th 2018, 11:26 pmAndré Virgo

(André Virgo is seen meditating in an empty studio apartment with incense burning on each side of him.)

Now why would I be mad?

It was only the Junior Heavyweight Championship. Maybe Tres Comas Club isn’t ready for that so the universe took control of Mr. Montana’s judgement and caused him to make such an unbelievable error. His mistakes do not reflect myself or any of my Tres Comas brothers. We will still rise to the occasion and no band of Ronin will stand in our way… especially when we are led into battle by the Alpha of Tres Comas Club. If we haven’t done enough already to prove our dominance in SSW then allow us to continue until the world understands.

Stark. An international superstar… He has so graciously shared his presence with us in SSW. But is he here to honor the traditions of this land? Is he here to simply grace us with his talents as an act of honor? Or is he in SSW for domination? To take over and take what he wants. What really are his motivations? Why should I respect this man when my energy is telling me there is reason to be skeptical? The answer is I shouldn’t. Should I stop him? Only if he crosses into my path to greatness. If that happens then I will handle things but if not I will trust the universe to break him for his sins against humanity if he chooses to commit them. A mentor of mine said to break opponents if they refuse to stay down and that’s not something I fear to do rather something I choose to avoid. I seek not to break you Stark, only to beat you and win.

I seek to beat Shark Man. I seek to beat Levi Maximus. I seek to beat everyone. I proved on January 20th that my rise stops for nobody, not even my faction leader. Unwise of an investor to intentionally hold me back but brokers invest in the wrong stocks all the time. They have since the free market was created. Silly mortals playing with their imaginary wealth as a symbol of status as I ascend to a higher plane. I choose to live modestly but exist extravagantly. I may be something you don’t understand but you will understand when my brothers and I continue to cement ourselves as the gift to the world that we are. Look at the three of us and ask yourself how you’re expected to keep up with this.

What is your plan Levi Maximus? To act now and ask questions later? To chase after the fame and fortune of the business at the expense of Tres Comas Club? Perhaps you didn’t hear me at the press conference but I am not a stepping stone for anyone. Tell me Levi, do you truly see yourself as God? Do you see yourself as in control of the chaotic, violent yet peaceful place that is our universe? My skepticism gets the better of me once again, but do call yourself whatever you wish. My only wish is that you do not believe that you will somehow manage to escape the fate that has been put in front of you. What happens to you will happen and there is nothing that you can do or even I can do to stop it. But the odds are in favor of and will remain with Tres Comas, so you should learn to accept that.

Shark Man, I don’t know what to say to you other than you are what represents the disjointedness of the Ronin. What do I have in front of me? A star, a self proclaimed God, and a man in a shark mask. This is what your faction has to offer. But I look in the mirror and I see a strong and powerful unit.

Jun Nobunaga is a visionary. He is the-

Āti!... Su!... To!...

He may have failed to be victorious in his SSW debut but an artist like himself is not one to fall apart at such an error. Jun will take the misplaced line that is the loss on his record and work around it to achieve his masterpiece of a career which he is destined to have. The two of us are prime examples of why Tres Comas Club is the top faction in SSW. We do not simply accept our places among the ranks, we set ourselves on track to the top. We do not wait around for others to make our faction great, we do it ourselves. Take a look at my match with our leader and understand that I was not bent on beating BANG for the opportunity to be the first ever SSW Jr. Heavyweight Champion out of disrespect or self interest but rather because I want to see this faction succeed. Why would a trust another man to do that for me when I could do it myself and guarantee that Tres Comas Club will be home to the Jr. Heavyweight Championship? That’s a mindset that Jun and myself both share and we are colorful examples of the power Tres Comas Club holds.

Then Maximus Grier. What is there to say that he hasn’t already done? If you want to know what this man contributes to this faction why don’t you go ask Ryojin? If you can find him that is.  Maximus may be another player in the foolish game of business that men like Mr. Montana wish to play but some men use their wealth to make others do their dirty work while Maximus does it himself. He proved his capabilities by sending his first opponent back to the dojo with his tail between his legs. We are Tres Comas and we will leave Ryōgoku Sumo Hall the victors.

But until then prepare yourselves for the experience of a lifetime as you shall all bask in the presence of

André!... Vir!... Go!...
on January 24th 2018, 7:55 pmCandice Blair
For the first episode of Strong Style Wrestling, it did not end the way I would have hoped for. I expected a high win for the Shoot Nation as I watched my fellow stablemate, Masanori Kawada take home the SSW Heritage Championship. Thanks to John Doe, that did not happen. The moment that he helped Khmaoch Sângkât and The Phantom Troupe, the moment war began in Strong Style Wrestling. It never occurred to me in a million years that such a small feat such as helping someone win a title to benefit their stable would annoy me so much. Sure, our opponents can say that it was a “No Disqualification” match. All rules were thrown out the window; however, I didn’t know that meant for morals as well. I thought the way the Heritage Championship was won was dirty. Khmaoch and Masanori were having an amazing battle out there. Both men were giving their stables the proper representation that it deserved. I should have known that there was going to be people that were going to taint this match with their greed and egos. Perhaps, I wanted to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. I did not think the “war” would have started so soon, but The Phantom Troupe fired the first shot, it would be stupid for the Shoot Nation, not the answer it, right?

Masanori should have all the right in the world to feel upset about the outcome of his title match. If John Doe did not stick his nose where it didn’t belong, I believe we could have seen a different winner in this match. This week will be the first time two Shoot Nation members will team with one another. Now, there is no knowing how Masanori and I will connect in the ring. There is no telling how desperate he will be to get his hands on Khmoach. I, for one, believe that there was a reason why we were all put on the same team. Perhaps, we have the same mindset when it comes to this match. Perhaps, we believe in the same things. There is no telling how Masanori is feeling from the title match, but I think he is more than ready to kick the asses of ANY Phantom Troupe members that dare step in our way. If that is the case, then so be it. I’ll complete any tasks in this match that I need to accomplish. Mizuki Nakata is someone I relate to in a way. We both come from prestigious families. Mine are from the states meanwhile her’s are prestigious from around these parts. Just like myself, we are fighting to continue our bloodlines and I understand that. I respect that, but how can a woman who vows on honoring her family feels about who you are associating yourself with this week? As for Khmoach, he’s a former Genocide survivor. He is someone who has gone through so much hell and there’s a part of me that sympathizes with that. On the other hand, I think this specific event in his life made him a worse person. Sure, people can justify it and says that he’s suffering from PTSD! He had a traumatic experience! When it comes to this week, there is a part of me that needs to look past an ill man and focus on the man that took my partner to the limit last week. Last week wasn’t enough for everyone to know all about Candice Blair. There is still a lot I have not shown yet and I cannot wait to have more time to show whatever I have to all you.
on January 24th 2018, 5:42 pmJohn Doe
Everyone has to center their lives off one simple ideal. It could be absolutely anything imaginable within the confines of this planet, but to be a hero? I had never once pondered on what the life of a hero is like. This world is full of men and women who put on a masquerade for the public. The ideology of being a hero is just a facade. These people believe they're doing the "right thing", but for how long? You can walk down the path of righteousness for all you want, but you'll never stick to that one path. This journey is full of forks in the road and we've come to accept that. You gaze at which direction might be best suitable for yourself, but you're never going to make the right choice. There is no right or wrong choice. There's only the choice that impacts you for the rest of your life. Let's take my interference for example. Was it the right decision to involve myself in that bout? To some, no. To others, yes. So, how do you know which is right and which is wrong? The conflict between right will never be solved. I will stand by my decision of assisting a member of The Phantom Troupe --- if that means we aren't choked by the normality of Masanori Kawada. I don't personally care for the SSW Heritage Championship nor any other "prestigious" title this company has to offer. I'd just rather provide the change that I was once providing to another company. That's one of human's greatest fears; change. We don't like it, but we have to learn how to accept this change. How often to do you see the typical good guy sit on top? His ego expanding with everyday a person fails to dethrone them. They become very lonesome counting the minutes, days, hours, days, weeks, months, staying at he top. It's not because they're "all mighty" and "powerful". It's often left down to the fact that the challengers are too weak. I take one good glance around at the new faces that surround me. I don't see anything different from here or there, but then I stumbled across some beings that almost share my ideology of this plane. They know exactly how to spend their limited time on this forsaken piece of dirt. That's why they've been handpicked and singled out by myself to be recruited into The Phantom Troupe. They will not fail me and if they betray me --- that's their own right.

I trust nobody, but I have an ounce of faith in my comrades. We've proven to be quite effective thus far only in this first show of this company. The success will only flow through the second show, the third, the fourth, and so on. Our success will most definitely be showcased against a master and his student. I can't say I'm thrilled to have the mindset of this match being a handicap. I don't think it takes much thought as to why I also believe it's just that. I study everyone at all times and I was certainly not impressed with the man known as Steven Cassidy. I saw him defeated in mere minutes, maybe even less. I saw the small amount of effort he gave to win the match, but why? Why bother using Strong Style Wrestling as a learning curb? You chose the wrong place to gain experience, kid. I almost feel remorseful, but you have this coming. You don't know what you're doing and that's fine by me. It only shows that I only have to put a minimum amount of effort to compete against your master. I'll use barely anything to put you down. You have a name, don't you? Steven Cassidy. The name you bring shame to you, the name you drive into the dirt. You align yourself with a master that cannot help you. Koji Senju will only derail you from the track you should've been heading. He will teach you about the honor code and how you should treat your allies and enemies. You don't know the slightest thing about this world. You don't know what awaits you when you cut off Koji Senju and once again are alone. Koji Senju is just as feeble minded as you are. Why bother wasting your time on a predetermined failed project? You can't help Steven Cassidy. There's no telling how many defeats this kid will go through before he actually conquers an opponent. And by then, it will be far too late. He will have adapted finally to the style that this place revolves around. But what happens when everyone else is already miles ahead of him? He's bound to the back of the line for his entire life for coming into this as inexperienced as he is. And you'll be shackled right to him, until you decide to cut him off yourself. I don't know your true motives behind helping young Steven Cassidy, but it's not too late to put him out of his misery. It just goes to show...

This world is full of opinionated decisions... and it's proven with the two of you.
on January 20th 2018, 9:58 pmVanessa Santiago
It’s a mild, sunny day in Key West, Florida. Light, wispy clouds do little to obstruct the rays of sun that bathe the seaside landscape below, and the blue sky stretches overhead for miles in every direction. Charming downtown streets are teeming with life in these afternoon hours, nearly packed to the brim with both locals out for the weekend and tourists who have fled here from snowy, wintry conditions elsewhere. One such downtown building has an unassuming facade, blending in with the restaurants and mom and pop stores along this palm tree-lined main thoroughfare, but its peaceful exterior betrays what goes on inside. A step inside the front door, and your ears are met with the sounds of fists and feet against heavy bags and the sounds of bodies taking harsh bumps against the canvas. Shouts of things to be improved fill the air. It’s all the definition of controlled chaos.

Toward the back of the first floor of the two-story building is a young woman ferociously laying into a punching bag, heavy-handed punches and sickening-looking elbows sending the bag swaying away from her in regular intervals. After a few moments more, her taped hands reach out to still the bag. She blows an errant lock of dark blonde hair that’s fallen from her ponytail from her face before she turns on a heel and goes to lean against a nearby wall. 

Vanessa Santiago: I got the aesthetic down pat, don’t you think?

A slight smile crosses her pretty countenance, a droll-sounding tone accenting her slightly Spanish-tinged voice persisting as she continues on.

Vanessa Santiago: I mean all the combat stuff, it meshes well with the “legit” aspects of what puro is supposed to be. Unflinching, unrelenting,’s perfect for someone like me. Not because of how I’ve been trained, not because of the moves I know, but because of who I am and what I’m capable of. Really, it’s funny that I say I’m perfect for the world of SSW because I’ve already taken into consideration that I don’t give a shit about all the conventions that make Japanese wrestling what it is. They say there’s a certain amount of respect that should be automatically afforded to everyone from the person standing across from you to the people in the audience to those in suits signing your checks. Personally, I don’t believe in that concept, the idea of doling out respect just because someone says it’s due to them. I don’t believe in keeping your head down and staying humble as if it’s the only way to truly make something of yourself in this world. I don’t believe in letting things play out, waiting for people to catch their breath and accept your vision of how things are supposed to be. When you know what I know, you know without a shadow of a doubt that there are only two kinds of people in this world…

She holds up one manicured finger.

Vanessa Santiago: Those who follow orders…

And then, another.

Vanessa Santiago: ...and those who give them.

She then begins the task of taking the tape off her hands, unraveling it as she carries on.
Vanessa Santiago: You listen to me talk like this and you think, “How can someone like this survive in a place like SSW? All the talent in the world might not stop her from getting tripped up. Won’t her attitude get the best of her?” But I haven’t really taken the time to think about how things look on paper and consider whether or not I “belong” in SSW. I go wherever the hell I want. I force feed people the truth of their situation rather than waiting for them to fall in line. That’s what’s in my bloodline. I don’t wait, I take. I don’t just accept what I’m told. I challenge it. What I was put on this earth to do was bend people to my will and crush the opposition under my heel.

She discards the tape and tosses it aside, taking a few steps through the dual doors that separate the first floor from a patio-type area in the back of the building. The nearby shoreline is clearly visible. Vanessa leans over the wooden railing. 

Vanessa Santiago: They say Key West is the southernmost point in the continental United States. Ninety miles from here and you’re in Cuban waters. This point in Florida is actually closer to Havana than it is to Miami. Sometimes I stand here and soak in how surreal it is, only ninety miles not only separating two countries but two lifestyles, two languages, two separate worlds. This water separates the haves from the have-nots. Or so I used to think.

Santiago rolls her neck to either side, still staring out at the churning waves. 

Vanessa Santiago: When I was five, my parents risked everything to get my siblings and I out of Cuba. They took a risk that could’ve gotten us all killed, but they did it because they were under the impression that we would be better off in this country. That we’d be able to take advantage of all the things we deserved. They wanted us to have the freedom they’d never had. When you’re a little kid, you believe it. I love my parents, and I don’t fault them for leaving. I don’t blame them for believing what so many others believe -- that being in America is by default better than being anywhere else. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that isn’t necessarily true. I get it, the picture painted of Cuba isn’t a pretty one. People call it repressive and evil and all these other terrible things, but the world at large fails to realize why Cuba became the way it is. The country used be a playground for people like rich Americans and sailors on leave who wanted to take advantage of the sun, the sand, and the cheap liquor. Fulgencio Batista sold his country’s soul to developers from other countries who ravaged the natural resources and left native Cubans to tend those sugar plantations at disgustingly low wages. Nobody was looking out for the interests of the people who made the country great...kind of like in the United States.

She huffs, feigning amusement and crossing her arms. 

Vanessa Santiago: The people who make America what it is are the ones who get blamed for all its problems. This is what my parents risked it all for -- to come to a place where they abide by the rules and do everything right and are called lazy and less-than by people who dare to call themselves patriots. This wasn’t their dream, to come to a place under just the mere guise of being able to call themselves free. Say what you will about Cuba and its communism, but at the very least, it’s honest about what’s going on. It never promised freedom, just equality. Real equality where education is guaranteed to your children and where you have healthcare. That’s what it is to implement order in the lives of people who otherwise wouldn’t have any. Most people, if we’re telling the truth, don’t have the backbone to govern every aspect of their lives. They don’t have it in them to make the tough decisions and ask the hard questions. But I do. I’m a Castro. I was born to rule. I was destined to break down anyone who dared to cross me. And in the grand scheme of things, beating people in wrestling matches is pretty low-grade compared to staging a coup and taking over a country, but I guess I’ve gotta start somewhere. 

She uncrosses her arms and brings them up in front of her body, nonchalantly rolling her wrists.

Vanessa Santiago: Tetsuya Ishimori is dumb enough to think I’m fighting in the name of...equality? Has all that “#MeToo” movement bullshit left you deluded enough to think I’m here waving some pussy power flag? You think a win for me is a win for all women? No. I don’t know who lied to you, but I fight for myself and my interests first and foremost. And once you scrape beneath the surface, you’ll see, if I’m worried about anyone else at all, it’s those who share the ranks of The Phantom Troupe with me. But even they aren’t fighting this battle for me. This match is just you and I, and only one of us can take another step forward on the road toward becoming Junior Heavyweight Champion. In case you haven’t noticed, I like the notion of having power. Not the idea, not the illusion, but living in the reality of having sway and pull over this place, and the only way to get it is to take it. A good start where taking it is concerned, is to be the person with enough gold to back up your currency. Rest assured, I will. When all is said and I done, I’ll be the first-ever SSW Jr. Heavyweight Champion, and before I ever get there, I’ll take your head off your shoulders. It really is a pretty cheap price to pay if it means getting where I want to be.

Vanessa smiles to herself. 

Vanessa Santiago: Just as Fidel was initially dismissed as just an overly ambitious law student who was in way over his head by challenging his country’s status quo, you think I’m just some woman with a legitimate combat background. It must make you feel so good to think it’s that simple, but you’ll find out soon enough how wrong you are. You can stick to running press conferences, since apparently that’s what you like to do. You’re satisfied with something as small as that because you know that in this situation, you can’t help to attain much more than that. Pobrecito. My vision is much, much bigger. 

The blonde smirks, walking back toward the door and stepping through the door frame. Just as she’s about to disappear, she turns and looks over her shoulder. 

Vanessa Santiago: Like I said before, chino, two kinds of people in the world. If I’m giving the orders, where do you think that leaves you? 

The smirk slips a few notches, falling to a condescending sneer before Vanessa turns on her heel and disappears at last.
on January 20th 2018, 7:26 pmJaydayne Pendragon
⚔️Within a dojo split with both traditional Japanese and medieval architecture of swords and armour, a masked Jaydayne Pendragon is seen seated seiza style before a sheathed sword on top of a golden pillow, paying tribute to it. He begins to have his fingers tenderly sweep over the markings on the sheath spelling the name Renee as he speaks softly, almost privately, “Dear, it would seem the number of those I owe a duty to has increased…” When his hand reaches the hilt he grabs it with conviction ”But, I swear, I will return to you, a proven warrior.”  Pendragon lets go and removes his mask to look at the camera and to speak to the world. ⚔️

Strong Style Wrestling finds itself on a paradigm shift in professional wrestling, where the traditional stylings of the East combined with a new revigorated energy amongst the masses has brought the art of strong style to the forefront of the world…….I, in hopes to capture that same type of air, can imagine no greater plateau to return to my roots, for both my blood and character.

I had once strayed from the bushido way, for the sake of love I had become a hired blade for the highest bidders, in those dark days a petty swordsman who they had even taken his name to strip all semblance of himself. Yet I do not obscure nor wallow in past mistakes, only fools who don’t know history would think the path towards bushido is ever lost, to reshape one’s life towards honour and redemption is the story of Japan, the very soul of the samurai way!

Perhaps this is why I have been done the honour of being placed head of Shoot Nation, a legion of individuals that pay their respects to what SSW represents, the finest selection of men and women I could ever hope to be a part of. I won’t let them down.

I can bridge the gap between the West and the East, I am the Hafu Samurai. What that means is that I have a connection with both cultures, and my very birth was a product of how we can come together with respect and inclusion. I know, there will be those who doubt the legitimacy of the Westerners who seek to practice our ways, and the foreigners will surely struggle to find acceptance, just as I am sure there are many here who feel their traditions will be stomped upon by outsiders, I will be able to lead us to a mutual understanding where everyone is able to thrive while achieving success and maintaining their dignity. I speak not just for my fellow competitors, but for the fans both here in the home of SSW and ones who watch abroad! To our fans here, there will be days where right next to you’ll find someone from across the world who came to Japan just to see us!  Everyone is part of what will make SSW special, every fan is going to be fought for when I step into that ring! I will pour the contents of my soul into that ring to do it, I will sweat and bleed in that ring in my pursuit to craft SSW into being the great new home of professional wrestling that I know it can be! Craft it like ancestors of old who made marvels with blades. Understand, a samurai always has a weapon, the sword merely an extension of oneself, I alone with my body am a blade, and like any warrior I have honed my skills to protect what I value and destroy everything that threatens it. Make no mistake ever thinking otherwise, though I am a welcoming face into this land, anyone who acts in pursuits against SSW shall be struck down without mercy!

I hear your words Jun Nobunaga, and they only temper my resolve much like fire to a blade. With every petty word you speak you prove that the heart is not the only part of you that you should admit to being childlike in nature, for it is only undeveloped minds that attribute loss of wonder and appreciation for art as marks of adulthood. To be a child is only to be undeveloped, like a child you can call me names and find comfort suckling on the tit of this protective “guard” you’ve imagined Tres Comas to be, but none of this will save you from being tried as a man, none of it will save you from that which cleaves the unworthy off the coattails of SSW….me. Perhaps you don’t know me very well, but I know your kind, I knew from the moment lord Daniels allowed you to present yourself as you disgraced your own person by showcasing nothing but self importance and lack of gratitude for those that attempted to give you the honour of properly introducing yourself. Your insecurities are what expose you, your obsession with proving how unique you are reveals how utterly typical your existence is, like every unfulfilled individual who do actions to cry out for attention, you are what happens when someone is raised without discipline. You can create the false pretense that the Jr Heavyweight Championship and its initial crowning process are not of great interest to you outside of monetary gains to mask your lack of confidence in winning the gold, but I am proud to openly state my mission to be a Jr Heavyweight Champion in this industry, much like Shoot Nation’s mentor and heroic figure, Kawada Sama, before me in the lands he conquered. It is shameful that taking on the mantle of past greats in this artform is too much of a heavy task for you to even attempt. I pity creatures such as yourself, but through your tales of failed projects and rich investors not giving you a second look in the past before finding wrestling, I take solace that failure is something that you are accustomed to through your art and you will feel right at home underachieving in this battle of martial arts.

Then you’ll know what to call me, and you’ll tell it to all your vile friends. And the name you speak will not be Hafu Samurai, nor Jaydayne Pendragon. For those who have no concept of valor, and therefore fall short of obtaining my protection and high esteem, have no need to consider me their samurai, nor know me on a first, or even last, name basis. Those like you need only know me by the war waged upon you, to you I am Red Strife.

⚔️Pendragon swipes his hand slowly over the red streak in his hair before abruptly making a diagonal cutting motion at the end and the screen cuts in half, and the view goes to black.⚔️
on January 20th 2018, 7:02 pmMasanori Kawada

Versus Khmaoch Sângkât for the SSW Heritage Championship
Entry: 2 -- Word Count: 1,714

"Khmoach, you are a very foolish man if you believe I possess no knowledge of what it means to go to war. For the last twenty plus years of my life, I have been a soldier in many ongoing wars that span years. My tenure with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces were only three of those years, and they were anything but spent firing pellets at fictitious enemies. Laugh at it if you will, but the bullets that were fired back were not ones made of rubber. They were very much real, bullets that can and did take away lives of many. I was lucky to escape the battlefield with my life. Japan has lived in a somewhat state of peace over the years, but it hasn't always been that way. This nation was deemed a threat by others, and sometimes that was true. But for many, this was our one true home, no where else would suffice. For my father, that was his reason to take arms and go to war. And the man that came home to me as but a mere child was different than the man that left for years. Thanks to a rogue bullet finding its way into the center of his spine, he was forever bound to the seat of a wheelchair. For over thirty years now, he hasn't been able to feel the ground under his feet, all because he went to fight on the frontlines. I remember asking him if he had any regrets. He always told me no, though he wished every day he was more fortunate to come home with the ability to walk. He found justice in the sacrifice he made for this nation in the line of fire. And when I took up the same responsibilities he did all those years ago, to stand on the front lines with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces as a soldier for this nation, I believed there to be justice for the service even if I had to make a similar sacrifice. And it took some time for me to realize it wasn't my justice to deliver. I found that out the day I saw the life of a man drain from his eyes. And I knew him well, a fellow soldier in the ground-defence unit. We told each other the stories of our lives, and I learnt of his dreams, I learnt of his family that waited for him at home. And the day I saw him clenching his abdomen, trying to stop the blood from flowing out of the bullet wound in his lung, I questioned the idea of Justice. Where was the justice of a man with a wife and kid at home dying without seeing their smiling faces one last time? Where was the justice in a man never being able to live his dream as his life was cut far too short in the line of fire? But in his dying breath, he told me he had no regrets doing his duty for this country. He found justice in his own dying moments. I was the soldier that chose to deliver the bad news to his family. I was one of the men who carried his casket at his funeral. I was one of the soldiers that saluted him, not as a soldier but as a man who respected and understood the decisions he made and the ultimate sacrifice he was willing to make for his dreams and his family. "

Masanori takes a second, pulling at the chain that was wrapped around his neck, revealing the dog tag that was hidden underneath his shirt. He looks as the engravings on it, a solemn expression on his face before it went to a faint smile.

"Ryota Mitarai was his name. He died in a hailstorm of bullets for a cause that he believed in. He put his life on the line for this country to keep it a safe home where his wife and son can live a life without fear. Although they mourned his loss, they remember him as a hero. And so do I. In the end, I came to learn that war was not the justice I wished to persue. I was not going to serve justice through the barrel of a smoking gun and taking lives. I made my choice, and I resigned from duties under an honorable discharge and enlisted into the police force of my hometown in Setagaya. I didn't need to take a life for the sake of justice, instead, I would be the muscle that took injustice down by the book. Instead of taking lives, I saved them. Instead of using firearms, I became the arm of the law that kept crime down. Those who broke the laws that kept Japan a safe and thriving country to call home were prosecuted. I grew up on the ideals of justice, and to this day I still hold those values close to my heart like the dogs that hang from my neck. I was a dog of the military, and then a dog of the Japanese law enforcement. But professional wrestling has always been my passion. And even in the confines of a wrestling ring, I was still lacing up my boots to go to war. When I stepped between those ropes and the bell rang, I had no less valor than any soldier in the trenches. I faced the same hazards as one too. I still had that feeling of constantly being under fire, albeit to a lesser degree. I consider the possibilities of any move being the move that confines me to a wheelchair like my father before me or even takes my life like the man whose name is engraved on my dog tags. But I have toughed through those wars, and I don't plan on stopping anytime soon. I am still here to fight for justice and in SSW, against the likes of you Khamoach Sangat, I will uphold the values of justice.

And I have never shied away from making those sacrifices. I have never taken a back step when threatened with agonizing pain. I could never retreat from a battle because there is no threat strong enough in this world that could ever deter me from the goals I seek to achieve. That includes the fight that you bring to my front door, Khmoach. I can outlast any pain you try to dish out. I will fight till the oxygen drains from my entire body, swinging until I am rendered deceased. But that is no easy task. If you want to know how I will take control of this situation, it is quite simple. Like the bombs that have scared your emotions and mind, I will lift you to the highest of points and drop you to the mat with the hardest of magnitudes. And until I know with absolute certainty that you will not find your way back to your feet, I will not stop this process. Your barbaric rituals will not prepare you for that. Blood will not be spared willingly, it will be extracted by force to smear our faces like warpaint. And I wear it with the intention to come out on the winning end and nothing less. All in the name of the justice I will deliver in this newfound land, to prosecute the underlying threat that lurks in the shadows of my new home promotion.

The key difference between us is not the reasons we have to walk away from our bout on the 21st as the inaugural Heritage Champion, but the reasons we have if we don't. I have no reason to be defeated at Yokohama. You, however, are fighting two wars at the same time, one that has been your cross to bear for the longest time, the other a new line of fire. I have no mettle to test, for the past 10 years I have been an active heavyweight in several promotions across the country. What I am fighting for is to accomplish the one thing that has evaded me for all those years; the top prize, the title of company ace. In SSW, I am sure that I will earn that title. This week, I take the first step towards it by claiming the rank of Heritage Champion. My goal is something direct, something I have the drive to achieve. Yours is a war that can't be settled in this ring, though that won't stop you from trying. That sounds like justice to me. Justice for the mental anguish you have been feeling for all those years, the losses you have suffered, the nightmares that you witnessed and the nightmares of the events that rattle you awake in the night. And you believe that some accomplishments in this profession will appease the ghosts of your past that you give so much power to. You wear those tragedies on your sleeve, giving them so much power that it has you in the palm of its hand instead of the other way around. Though it is noble, it is foolish. Something like that cannot be won so easily, and against me for that title, it will be anything but an easy war to win. Make no mistake about it, on the 21st in Yokohama, you and I will once again be going to war. And if you choose to make this match of ours a matter of life and death, then I won't be held responsible for how you choose to cope with defeat. Because I won't pull any punches or bend the knee regardless of the situation. If you are the phantom menace that casts the shadow of war across Strong Style Wrestling, then I will be the beacon of Justice that will push the shadows away in retreat. I will not allow you to pedal your propaganda of fear onto this promotion and have it rewarded with championship glory. For I do not fear the war you bring or the stories of demise you pedal. Disqualification or not, the end result will be the same. Justice will prevail."

Masanori strikes his dynamic pose while staring deep into the camera as if talking to his opponent directly.

"Khmaoch Sângkât..."
on January 20th 2018, 3:21 pmKhmoach Sangkat
SSW Heritage Championship: 2

Sȃngkȃt is shown seated in candlelight. He is “cupping”. Several glass jars are seen stuck onto his chest, the skin underneath appearing a deep red where the blood has been pulled to the surface. Finding a bare patch of skin, Sȃngkȃt presses another jar there and affixes it with a vacuum pump. He closes his eyes, tilting his head backwards to take a labored breath before looking back into the camera

Father came to visit again last night. Clutching me against his breast more tightly than he has done in quite some time. He knows, you see. Tomorrow night is the night that he has so restlessly awaited for a lifetime and beyond. Why, to see his son crowned as Champion at such an august occasion, the Main Event in very first of many Strong Style Wrestling shows… It undoubtedly means more to him than it does to each of us combined. It IS his dream, after all. For I it is but an inherited will. For him, it is everything that he ever desired beginning to come together. He has even forsaken rebirth just to be close at hand to see it happen.

Alas, the dead are not meant to be in such close contact with the living. As he whispered his praises into my ear I could feel the khyȃl, the wind rising within me and where it goes, blood will surely chase it. I could feel the pressure building as my chest tightened. My hands and feet grew cold and numb. I grew dizzy, half expecting that I was living my final moments. That is the nature of ghosts, after all. Each touch is the touch of death. Each warm embrace squeezes the soul from your bones and pulls you down into the cold void. Even now I am still out of sorts and my body does not quite function the way that it should. Not to say that it is his fault. Like all spirits he is chained to the attachments that keep him here. He is not in control. Besides… what the dead do lack is the advantage of the living. For however tortured and wretched we may suppose that our own spirits our, we still have the freedom and the means to wrench back control for ourselves.

Sȃngkȃt presses another jar against his forehead, affixing it like the others with the vacuum pump.

Khyȃl circulates. It flows. That is the nature of the wind. When the air is sucked from the jar, the excess Khyȃl follows it and is expelled. Where Khyȃl rises, the blood will surely chase it. But here it does not gather and weigh against the heart to cause blockage. Stagnant blood is brought to the surface to breathe. From there one performs the vessels. Massaging the blood back into the proper channels to restore balance and re-establish proper flow. Few these days believe in the traditional methods. Yet, that I am still alive to keep fighting is only testament to the wisdom within them. When the flow of khyȃl is at odds with the body and spirit it is the very Prince of suffering and the sire of decay. But when properly harnessed and directed properly by the compass of one’s will, the opposite is true. Then so life is brought to dying flesh, pain is relieved, and vigour is restored. There is a lesson for life to be learned here. Untold evils haunt us all and if the mercy of the heavens shan’t banish them, then the only thing is to take control. Bring it to alignment with the rushing river of your will that it may become your blessing and another’s curse. Tomorrow night, when I step into that ring I shall be followed there by a ghost that has haunted me since childhood. Followed… for I take the lead. I bring the hammer to bear. I open my sails to catch the wind. And it is I who is thrust forward to conquer this virgin territory.

Blood and fire. My heritage and that stoked flame which drives me headlong into the future. These what I bring with me tomorrow night. These are by what right I claim the SSW Heritage Championship, Kawada. Every nightmare that has ever haunted me and all the anguish of decades that I have endured. It is only the beginning, the smallest tip of the iceberg to say that they have calloused my flesh and strengthened my resolve. For while I have grown stronger by them, it is not right to say that they have been left behind me. No. In my right and in my left, they are in my hands. Now I will bring them to bear. The question still left unanswered to me now is, Kawada… How do you intend to take control? When pain envelopes all of your senses and you cannot breathe for the tightness in your chest, what then? When your body fails to work as it should and your mind fades to lightness, what have you to restore the balance? You see, when we step foot into the Yokohama Arena, it will not be for us a house of justice and veridiction that cares whose reasons for fighting are most pure or worthy. It will instead be a charnel house where spirits of the damned meet to congregate. That is, a place where every touch is the touch of death and every warm embrace squeezes the soul from your bones and pulls it down into the cold void. Only one may keep his head above the surface, Kawada. And it is I who holds the advantage. Yes, I feel it. With each step that inch towards that fateful moment, the Khyȃl rises like steam in my body.

And where the Khyȃl rises, the blood will surely follow.
on January 19th 2018, 1:28 pmAndré Virgo

Mr. Montana. I am humbled to be welcomed into Tres Comas. I respect Mr. BANG as our leader and I don’t wish to undersell his “greatness” but I wouldn’t be in this Club if I was going to lay down and show my belly like an obedient animal. I find it disrespectful not only to myself but to this entire Club that you ask that I “accept” defeat for the sake of allowing our faction leader to advance. In fact it would be disrespectful for me to stand by and just let BANG take this opportunity. If BANG is as great as you claim then he needs to prove it and I’m the man to make him. I might have the most charisma, I may be the most captivating man in all of sports AND entertainment, but that is only what you see on the surface.

Montana, BANG, Tres Comas Club, and everyone else: Listen up.

This match isn’t just about a win or a loss. This match is not just a match that will decide who will be SSW Jr. Heavyweight Champion. This is a civil war. This is a battle for dominance.
BANG is the leader of Tres Comas Club. I’m in no way challenging him for that position nor am I disrespecting his position. But there is a big difference between a leader and an Alpha. I will not stand by and let our leader simply be deemed the cream of the crop because that’s a position reserved for myself. I’m not just smoke and mirrors. I’m the real deal and I’m ready to prove it. We’re here to pioneer and shape SSW and nothing yet has been set in stone! This is the beginning of a long and spectacular story and I will happily pen my name into the very important first chapter whether you like it or not. This is a battle between the best men of the best faction in SSW. I’ve spent my career kicking around nobodies and being the best everywhere I go. Will I see those days end the moment I stand across from BANG? Gladly. I will not be proving I’m better than some nobody, I’ll be proving I’m better than one of the best. I’ll be proving that

André!.. Vir!.. Go!..

Is the Alpha of Tres Comas Club.

Mark Montana refers to BANG as the villain while deeming me only supporting cast. Unfortunately that’s a statement I take issue with because honey, I’m a star! I will carry this faction to the promised land because not only am I the center of attention everywhere I go but I will prove to everyone that I am the most dominant force in all of SSW! You want to take me down BANG? You wanna put me in my place and make me bow down to your beautiful grace? You want your titles to not only include ‘leader’ but Alpha and Jr Heavyweight Champion as well? Titles that are destined to belong to me? Then you’re the one who has to overcome.

But enough about BANG, there’s something else I need to say. Mark Anthony Montana, it’s an honor to be in Tres Comas Club. This is a fantastic opportunity. But you’re looking at

André!.. Vir!.. Go!..

There will come a day when I have ascended! I will soar beyond expectations and before you know it Tres Comas Club will need me a lot more than I need you. So I suggest you adjust your tone when you speak to me because I can make this faction the most dominant force in SSW or I can take my aesthetic, my fashion, and my… Tenacity, elsewhere. So you better do a bit more to make me happy in this group and as for this Sunday, you’ll get a taste of what it’s like to be on the opposite side of the ring of

André!.. Vir!.. Go!...
on January 19th 2018, 8:40 amThe One True Pairing
(The camera opens up to the scene of a luxurious wrestling facility, complete with a custom-made ring with golden ropes as a middle-aged male man - presumably a trainer - is shown standing in the ring, dressed in sweats with his hands at his hips and an unamused expression on his face)

Trainer: … So what is this? Are we doing this or not?

(The camera slowly pans to the left, revealing BANG in the corner of the 20 x 20 ring, rocking back and forth with his stuffed partner in crime, Minerva, clutched against him)

Trainer: Kiddo, you with me or not? Don’t you got a match coming up?

(BANG slowly looks up at the Trainer, looking more through him than at him. BANG slowly raises an index finger)

BANG: …. André!..

(BANG raises a middle finger)

BANG: Vir!..

(BANG lastly extends his thumb)

BANG: Go!..

(The Trainer stares at BANG in disbelief for several moments before putting his hands up and shaking his head)

Trainer: Alright, I’ve had about enough of this. How bout you call me when he’s ready to actually train…

???: Hey, hey, hey…

(The camera pans further to the left, revealing Mark Antony Montana, dressed in an Armani suit as he gets next to BANG in the corner from the outside of the ring)

Mark: Relax… Relax… BANG here will do what he needs to do when the time is right. He always has, and he always will. You see, my friend, this young man here has something far beyond what you or any other mediocre, old, pathetic trainer long past his prime ever had… He has that sixth sense.

Trainer: … Sixth sense? What the Hell are you going on about? You paid me to train him--

Mark: Wrong, my friend. So very wrong. I paid you good money to do what he needs of you, and from the looks of things, what he needs of you is to silence yourself and understand the words coming out of his mouth.

Trainer: Words coming out of his mouth?... Are you serious? He isn’t saying anything! He hasn’t hardly said jack shit since he got here!

BANG: André!.. Vir!.. Go!..

(Mark looks towards the Trainer with a smug expression)

Mark: Yes, you see? He speaks. He speaks when he needs to speak, and he says only what needs to be said. You are so very focused on him, but you know what he’s focused on? Do you know who’s on his mind? His opponent. The man sitting before you is far more talented than you or anyone else to have ever soiled a professional wrestling ring, and you would do best to simply accept it. Accept that there are those naturally born better than you. Men such as myself and BANG here - we are beasts born at the top of the food chain. What is it they say? Some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them? It’s those born great that survive when the chips are down, my friend. It’s why he was deemed an outcast by his peers. Every single one of them fueled by envy, because they knew what he had. They could feel his potential the very same way animals can sense danger. The way they understand there are predator in the World who they simply must avoid at all costs.

(Mark chuckles as he reaches into the ring, patting BANG on the back)

Mark: Of course, humans are no animals like this, yes? Animals are smart. They have a sense to retreat when they know they cannot win, but humans? Humans do no such thing. They attempt to fight to their very last breath in the slight hope that they can overcome what nature intended the very moment they first drew breath. It can’t be denied there are people out there that overcome the odds and live their cinderella story, if only for one day, but more often than not, their hopes and dreams become weights that crush them. Every ounce of pride they is edged out by sheer humiliation, and the World watches when despair takes over until he utterly self-destructs! My friend, don’t you understand? That is precisely why I chose him to lead us - to lead professional wrestling into the future. He is a predator that more inferior men fall prey to because of their meager ambitions to be successful! To be a winner! To be a CHAMPION! They want it all! Everyone in the World wants something they don’t have, do they not? Yes?

BANG: André!.. Vir!.. Go!..

(Mark Montana chuckles as he continues)

Mark: They do not understand what they’re getting into, and they never will. To them - in their clouded eyes - they see no more than a crazy man who does not deserve to be in their presence. What they don’t realize is that this man was born to step on them like the cockroaches they are. He was gifted by God himself to conquer those who stand in his way, and that is precisely what Tres Comas Club is about. We invest in the future, and this, my friend… This is the future.


Mark: Oh yes, that’s exactly right, BANG. You’re so very right. Andre is all that stands in the way between you and gold. Of course, even you must keep in mind that he is a brother to you. He represents Tres Comas just as you do, but only one can taste gold. Just one.

(Mark glances at the camera, his serious expression shifting into a devilish grin)

Mark: André… My friend… I couragely welcome you to your home at Tres Comas. You are everything we look for in our investments and more. You carry a mountain of charisma, a plethora of talent, and so very much more than makes you unique to anyone that steps within these ropes. Yet, you still stand here. You still stand in front of this man, BANG, none the wiser of what awaits you. Your mind is focused on winning, plain and simple. You are a winner, my friend, but not everyone can win all the time, I fear. You don’t feel this aura - you don’t sense the danger in front of you. You aim only to fight and walk out victorious, and it’s a wonderful thought. Truly, it is. Nothing would please me more than to see you flourish like the showman you are, but not on this night. On this night, you will simply fall in line. You will obey your Leader, not by will. You will not choose to stand behind him. You will be forced, my friend. You will be made into an example. You’ve wandered in front of a beast you should have avoided at all costs, and no ounce of brotherhood amongst our members is going to stop him from eating you alive.


Mark: Now you may not know this, but I spent many, many years as an actor. I won every Award I possibly could, and I walked away when it was all worthless to me. I see so much of myself in young BANG, and I even see it in you just as well, André. I see what potential you have. When the smoke has cleared here, I truly hope you hold nothing against BANG for what he’ll have done. It’s not anything personal against you or whatever it is you represent. It’s just in his nature. His instincts tell him to hurt others, because in his fragile mind, his nature dictates he take his role as the villain of this story and the next, and accept it with open arms. I spent many years acting in films and television, and seeing for myself those villains that come and go, one after the other. A revolving door of truly vile character, you see? But not him. Not BANG. I came to know so very much about what he believes in, and let this all be a notice to each and every man on this roster - he is everything he believes he is. He is the vile creature God intended him to be. He is the antagonist of this story, but you, André, you are not the protagonist. You are just the supporting cast when it all comes down to it. You are just a man with greatness thrust upon him. Not, not even that. You are just a mere man pursuing greatness. Well, congratulations. You’ve found it. You have FOUND greatness! And he’s sitting in this corner behind me! He is beyond gold, power, and fame! He is a man without desire for any of it, and yet it all still comes to him so naturally. Minimum effort has brought him this much despite all odds, while men like you have struggled your entire life, my friend. As much as it breaks my heart to say, your struggle does not end tomorrow. This is no more than just another chapter of it. You stand by us, and your struggle will end, but not so long as you stand across the ring from this man. I do not ask you to do something as cowardly as retreat. I do not ask you to avoid him even if you were to realize what’s coming. All I ask of you, my friend, is that you accept it. Accept that some things are inevitable, and no amount of charisma oozing from your pores or colorful ensemble will ever make you the better man in this ring. Accept that some things are written in stone. Accept that there is at least one you can know for certain you can’t overcome. Tenacity - it only prolongs the inevitable.

(BANG jumps up to his knees, holding up the index finger, middle finger, and thumb for the Trainer to properly see)


Mark: That’s right, BANG. He is very talented, isn’t he? Well, don’t you worry, deep down he knows what’s coming. And what exactly IS coming, BANG?

(BANG looks at his hand, contemplating something before he slowly turns the two fingers and thumb into the shape of a gun. BANG slowly turns towards the camera as the Trainer looks on; BANG points the gun gesture directly at the camera as a devious grin appears)

on January 19th 2018, 2:50 amCM Nas
[[The camera opens up to a brightly lit room with paint splattered all over the walls, mostly a violent red color. The floor is riddled with smashed and torn paintings, sculptures, and what look like poems tossed all around the place. In the middle of it all is a man who turns eccentrically to face the camera with a devilish grin on his face.]]

Hehehe...well, well, well. Who would have guessed? It seems you have finally come to join me. I doubt any of you understand the extreme amounts of loneliness I put myself to when I am at work. An artist at work. I just can't seem to find my niche in the world of the arts however. My paintings are subpar. My sculptures always fall apart before I can show anyone. My poems never get published. Woe is me, woe is me. What is a man to do. A child at heart at the end of the road. Dreams shattered, hopes crushed. Nothing but misery, despair, and pain remain within my body and spirit. I travelled the world far and wide. All my efforts in search of my niche. Seeking out what my undeniable art is in this world. Searching to see what true eternal beauty is, and how could I create it? I tried to become a puppeteer, I tried to become a chef, I even dabbled in a bit of graffiti. All my efforts once again wasted. Until...that is...until I stumbled upon these two young men grappling each other on the streets, with a crowd of other people around them tossing money at the two strapping young lads. I wondered just what exactly were they doing? And why were so many people enticed by if it were I had put two and two together. I learned from one of the screaming patrons that this sport was referred to as wrestling. I did as much research as I could to absorb as much knowledge as I could about this new art I had discovered, and I looked for the highest rated trainers I could find. Once I learned the trade and honed my skills I went far and wide sharing my art with the entire world. With the cameras rolling every time I stepped inside of a professional wrestling ring, I knew the art I was producing would last forever. I had found what true art is!

[[Jun maniacally laughs as he holds his arms out to his sides and begins spinning around the room. He stops once he knocks over one of his sculptures and it shatters to pieces.]]

Eventually my worldwide escapade led me here. To Strong Style Wrestling. One fateful day while I was travelling around the world still perfecting my art...I met a man who would become instrumental in my path from then on out. A man that goes by the name of Mark Anthony Montana. Better known as the brainchild behind this Tres Comas Club phenomenon that is extending its all powerful reach across the globe. Influencing all of those who come into contact in it in some shape form or fashion...whether that be positively or negatively. For myself...that result should be quite obvious. Yes...YES INDEED! I became a believer in the vision of Mr. Montana. Now several of those very same billionaires who claimed my paintings and sculptures would never find a place in any halfway decent gallery are NOW paying top dollar to bet on my performances inside of the ring. However like I was alluding to earlier, it is for the reason of creating true art. My art is not just what I do in this ring. More specifically it is, What I do to OTHERS inside of this ring. And just who am...I? Well for the longest time I did not know myself. However I now realize just who I am. I am the one, the only, The Artist!...Jun Nobunaga!

[[Jun eerily saunters closer to the camera as he holds it right up to his face. You can see his creepy wide grin as well as his left eye constantly twitching. He then suddenly shoves it back and goes down to his knees and looks at the floor covered in sculpture shatters, globs of paint, ripped pieces of paper, and more.]]

Which now leads me to exactly why I am here of course to speak to you all. For you see In my first active contest here in Strong Style...I shall be competing for the opportunity to compete for gold. Quite a convoluted process would some of you not agree? Although I suppose it DOES make a lick of sense when not a single man is established in this place yet. Although that shall very rapidly change as the guard will present itself. And by THE guard...of course I am speaking of Tres Comas Club. I shall come out and be quite honest with you all upfront. The idea of chasing after championship gold because it is significant or meaningful in the way that you are presented as the so called greatest of a time period is quite laughable to me. In the end I only desire to hold gold for one reason and one reason only...TO EARN A GREATER PAY FROM MY INVESTORS! However I realize much like any other wrestling promotion in the world...Strong Style is filled with a plethora of tough guys who think they want to go blow for blow with The Artist. However I assure you all that it could not be any further from the case. And poor poor Jaydane Pendragon shall be the example. do not mind if I refer to you as that by the way do you? It’s a force of habit I have had since I was a little boy. Pendra-Kun...from what little I have been able to dig up of you. You are a man with quite the peculiar upbringing. Taking values from both our native japanese culture and the english. Well I am what very disciplined people such as yourself would refer to as a rebel...a delinquent who should have no significant future in this world. However there is one thing I’m secure in. And that Pendra-Kun is that I am very comfortable with who I am and where I have been up to this point. People say I am quite eccentric and zany. Loopy in the head if you would. However I at least can sleep at night confident in myself and my past. Someone such as yourself who bares the burden of living to please two different cultures, but failing to appeal to either will never understand how that feels. I truly do sympathize for you Pendra-Kun...however something must give. And unfortunately for you it shall be your head once I knock it off. Oooo and then that’s when the true art comes out! WHEN I HIT YOU REALLY HARD! THE BLOOD WILL GUSH FROM YOU LIKE A STUFFED PIG! IT WILL SPREAD ALL ACROSS THE RING SO BEAUTIFULLY! JUST THINKING ABOUT IT NOW IS GIVING ME GOOSEBUMPS WITH ANTICIPATION! Pendra-Kun...It will be a pleasure to deal out pain to someone such as yourself. Just make sure to leave some of the blood on my fingertips please...I always love to savour a bit from my opponents before I put them out of their misery!

[[Jun then kneels down and runs his finger in some of the deep red paint. He lifts his finger up and licks it off. The young man then winks at the camera as it fades away to black. The last thing heard is the cackle of Jun Nobunaga.]]
on January 18th 2018, 5:00 pmKhmoach Sangkat
SSW Heritage Championship: 1

Why am I here?

That question has been asked of me many times since that first press conference standing alongside Brian Daniels. This is of no surprise. It has been asked of me before and there have been times that even I have asked myself that same question. I asked and found myself silent, barren of answers as the doubts danced around me like grains of sand on the wind. I have broken 50 now. The past takes its toll and grows only heavier with each day and fearful night that it consumes. I asked the question of the wiseman and the mystic and each replied with a mixture of pity, concern, contempt and prayer; but no answers. I went to the temple and threw myself down in devotion before the thousand-armed idol of compassion and mercy. I guess I figured that it may have a hand spare to lend me. Hah. It observed my cries though little else. Even its many hands to full to deal with my plight. Or so it seemed. A kindly monk was watching and came to my side, pulling me to seclusion and thrusting a tea into my hands. We began exchanged questions. He asked me what was wrong. I asked for the answers that I had needed for so long. And he responded most astutely:

“Why do the ghosts of the past still wander this earth?”

What drives any soul to damn itself to a half life of suffering in place of just letting go… being born anew? There may be as many answers to that question as needed to number each of the Bodhisattva’s fingers twice, but they are knowable. Some spirits linger here bound by a purpose, by some good left undone, to witness a dream now inherited by the living. Others are chained down by their own attachments. That is, their excessive love, their obsession. They are as moths drawn to a long and slow burning flame. Only when the embers die will they finally find peace in the heavens. And then, even more tragically, there are those cursed to remain not by their works in life but by the evil manner of their deaths. A suicide. An execution. A murder. A corpse left unburied in the ditch, fed upon by the dogs and the worms because he has been so cruelly denied those sacred funerary rites intended to ease his passage through death and into the next life. Such souls are damned to earn rebirth by likewise feasting on the filth of this earth. All the while they remain lonesome and envious of the living that damned them to this fate. My father could be any one of these spirits. I suspect that he is all of them. When I sleep, my soul leaves my body and wanders to some unknown field. There amongst the tall grass, I see my father standing there, just as I always remember him. He smiles at me. He raises his arms to meet me with an embrace but I cannot move. I wish to call out to him but I cannot breathe. I can only watch as his eyes well with tears… then with blood. My heart burns with agony. A sympathetic gesture to the pain of the bullet that pierced his chest. The wind rises, ringing in my ear with his screams. All at once the darkness washes over me. The guilt and despair. The envy and contempt. Every sorrow and anger that he must have suffered in those last moments.

I cannot say for certain whether victory on Saturday, or even going on to prove myself the ace of this promotion, will help at all to ease my Father’s torment and send him on his way. This I say with a weight of regret that pushes my heart out of place. That said, I have come to recognise that there is in fact another phantom that deserves my mourning. Kawada, you have spoken of ‘lineage’ and ‘heritage’, the respect for those gifts that we have inherited from our fathers before us. But do you know what are the gifts that I have been bequeathed? They are blood and fire, Kawada. The one leaves a trail of tears behind me that I dare not walk again. And the other paves the path before me with burning coals lest I should ever dare to think about resting where I stand. You see, I too am a restless spirit. I am too am guilty of having loved excessively. I am shackled by the time we shared and all those dreams that we had. Now it is as though during my dreamy wanderings some daemon came to cut the silver cord. I am trapped, lost in the nightmare and forced to eat of the darkness before having earned a light. Yes, my innocence died as well all of those years ago. With just as little ceremony and even less tears of mourning.

Do you really presume to know war, Kawada? Do not make me laugh. I has been a long time since this country’s self-defence forces have been called to war. You think a few drills, a few exercises firing at phantom foes with rubber bullets qualifies you to speak of warfare? You fall short of your own esteem, Kawada. But I am hardly surprised. Men who have seen the true face of war do not speak of justice. They know that justice does not exist, and that karma is far too slow to be timely. Because when the lines are drawn in the sand, any notion of a “just” war is the very first victim to take a bullet. It dies without ceremony, without remorse. Living on only zombie-like upon the lips of those too remote to know the truth. You have not seen a nation consumed by the pyre, Kawada, but I have. I have seen that Lady Justice is blind because her eyes have already been put out. And I have seen that she wields no sword nor balance aloft for she lies limp, pale as bone, and bloated by the rot.That is the harsh reality of this samsaric existence, Kawada. It is beyond your reckoning, although you have stumbled upon a truth. As you stand to greet the Rising Sun, I shall stand before you casting the shadow of war. No disqualifications. A whole hour to cause as much havoc as we can stomach. Now I cannot say that I relish the stipulations that Daniels has set for us. But I can say that I have survived worse and have no reason to fear.

I sense that in your naivety you would like nothing else. This is what you came for after all. To prove yourself. To test your mettle as a Heavyweight against the very sternest challenges possible. But here is the difference between us and the reason why I will be walking out of the Yokohama Arena as the inaugural SSW Heritage Champion… For you this is all a matter of pride. But for I this is a matter of life and death. It is the culmination of decades of suffering and doubt. At once a guilty sentence and the making of merit in preparation for the next life. And, of course, above all it is the last will and testament of a beloved father. My love. My obsession. My reason to continue walking this earth when deep slumber would be far easier. And for it I will become every terror that has ever gripped me in the night.

So let this be a warning heeded by all. A ghost from the past is come to make Strong Style Wrestling his haunt. A phantom menace whose presence devours dreams and leaves you paralysed in a cold sweat. As the sun rises, the ghost pushes you down...
on January 18th 2018, 2:55 pmSteven Cassidy
••This has all been such a blur. There's no other way to put it. It seemed like it was just yesterday I was pursuing a career in this profession. Getting yelled at by my trainer/manager, Bruce Whitmore - which he still does on a daily basis in hopes to toughen me up. Yep, my trainer is THE Bruce Whitmore, as he refers to himself as. That's Bruce right there, sitting to my right, as we make the drive to the Yokohama Arena. He's a former wrestler himself. He debuted in 1990. Back in his prime, he had loads of talent and just oozed charisma whenever he spoke into a mic. He was also an artist in the ring with innovative high-flying moves that would leave the audience in awe. He never got the recognition he deserved, at least that's what he tells me. He was never able to capture the big one. He was in and out of the world's top federations at the time. He often tells me stories about how management screwed him over, but we both know he was the one standing in his own way. Drugs and alcohol got the better of him. His beer belly today is proof. You look at him and analyze his bitter attitude, it leaves you with the question as to why I would want him to mentor me? It's simple, I looked up to him in a way after watching all of his highlights on YouTube. He had the it factor. He had the ability to captivate the audience, something I am still very much struggling at. Being a larger than life star is something that I aim to become. Just like I hope the name Steven Cassidy becomes household known. But first, I must improve in all facets of professional wrestling. I know I am very much a work in progress. A raw and young prospect. Which makes me wonder how Bruce pulled all of this off. How in the world did he get me a spot on the Strong Style Wrestling roster? Maybe he still has connections in the business? But that has to be unlikely since he burned every bridge possible. Blackmail maybe? That sounds like something Bruce would do. It wouldn't surprise me if he got a hold of some scandalous pictures of Brian Daniels or a recording of a secret phone call. He would stoop that low. Yet, I am appreciative of this opportunity. An opportunity I will do everything in my power to not squander. With that said, it appears we have arrived to our destination. There it is, the beautiful and historic Yokohama Arena. The butterflies are starting to set in. This is real. All of it. I am a part of Strong Style Wrestling.••

Bruce: What the f*** are you staring at? And why do you look so pale? Your legs are shaking too. Stop being a p****, Number 9. Snap out of it! Look, do you want some words of encouragement? Would that make you feel better?

Steven: Maybe...

Bruce: Okay, then here it is. Whatever you do, don't - and I repeat DON'T, f*** this up!!! My reputation is at stake. No pressure, alright?

••Now you can understand what I'm dealing with. It's his reputation at stake, not mine. I'm not stupid, I get what this is. I know that any amount of success I obtain here at SSW, he'll take credit for. This is an ego boost for him and nothing more. I've come to terms with this. And as you heard, Bruce rarely refers to me as Steven or Cassidy. Nope, it's usually Rook or Number 9. I know there's some confusion as to why he calls me number nine. Is it because he's a big fan of Stranger Things? Is Eleven my little sister?! No, the origin of this nickname is back when I was a student at his wrestling school. There were around 50 total aspiring professional wrestlers there. Since Bruce was too lazy to learn and remember all of our names, he would just call us the number we had on our shirt. Which was okay with me.••

Bruce: Hey take my luggage. I need a quick smoke break.

••I have no other choice but to comply. I take all of the luggage to the entrance. It's a struggle to say the least as I keep dropping one of the bags while I make my way over to the entrance of the arena. I'm met by two large security guards making sure no intruders enter. I appreciate that because safety first. Before I even reach into my pockets for my ID, both men look confused and disgusted. They point to tell me to get out of here. I finally find my ID, proving I'm meant to be here, that I am on the SSW roster, but they are having none of it. I don't blame them though because let's be honest, I don't have the typical professional wrestler look. Instead I look like an Average Joe. Luckily, Bruce comes over to see what's all the commotion about. Unlike myself, Bruce actually speaks Japanese after spending five years of his career here. After a few moments we get everything sorted out and now we are backstage. As I begin to walk, I see some of the other wrestlers and I'm not going to lie, they are intimidating. They are all way bigger than me and I know they have a lot more experience than I do. It's just another reminder that I have my work cut out for me.••

Bruce: Can you pick up the pace? You're walking so damn slow. Chop f*****g chop rook, we are on a schedule here.

Steven: Oh right, sorry.

Bruce: So I got word that your first opponent is Koji Senju. You remember him right? We studied every single person on the roster, to help make it easier for you today. So yes?

Steven: Yes Bruce, I remember.

Bruce: Okay great because see that cameraman coming over here?

Steven: Yes..

Bruce: Good because you're going to cut a promo on your match right now. Respond to Koji's words. Let that old geezer have it!

Steven: Wait what? I don't think—

••In professional wrestling you are always told to have your head on a swivel, yet right in this exact moment, I feel blindsided. I wasn't all that prepared for this. Not so soon and unexpectedly at least. Sure I studied up on Koji, a man I have a lot of respect for, but the words of what I want to say to him are escaping me. I'm like a deer in headlights because I'm not really good at the talking aspect of wrestling. Just breathe, Steven! I quickly do some breathing exercises to help calm my nerves down. I also keep telling myself over and over again that I will do fine, that I won't mess up when there's a microphone in my hand or a camera in my face. But even I can't convince myself. Not now at least. And here is the camera, getting shoved in my face, with the light nearly blinding me. Being the polite person that I am, I go to shake the cameraman's hand, to thank him for taking time out of his day to help film my message.••

Bruce: What are you doing? He's filming you right now! You are live!

••I have never felt more embarrassed, but I don't think I have to point that out with my face turning red and what not. You only have one first impression and that was mine to the SSW fans. Just knowing that all eyes are on me is causing my palms to sweat and my head to spin. I'm pretty sure the audience can hear my heart beating faster and louder by the second. Soon it will beat straight out of my chest. However, I have no other choice but to "man up". I have to do this. My public speaking needs to improve in the worst way, so I'm hoping with more repetition, I'll improve. At least I hope so. But for the time being, I must power through my stumbling on words and awkward long pauses.••

Steven: Um hey Strong Style Wrestling fans, it's me. And today I'm here to talk ab— right, you don't know my name yet. My name is Steven Cassidy and uhhhh I'm here to wrestle. Of course I am, because this is a wrestling company! What else would I be doing here? Well some of the people back here thought I was here to clean the toilets but no, I am in fact a professional wrestler. I have a lot of heart and stuff. Ummm I want to thank Brian Daniels for giving me this opportunity to wrestle on a grander scale. I will disappoint. WON'T! I meant I won't disappoint, sorry. So like Strong Style Wrestling has their first show this Friday on the 19th. It's gonna be huge. Lots of great matches are lined up and – no wait, the 20th. Which is Saturday! Yep, this Saturday I take on Koji Senju.  It's a big match for me. My SSW debut. His SSW debut. Battle of the debuts. Make sure to tune in to watch it. Unless you don't want to then that's fine as well. I'm not going to tell you what to do. But if you do decide to watch, you'll see me facing Koji Senju — which is something I just said,  freakin' dang it. Can we cut? No? Okay yeah that's cool. Yeah that works as well. Koji, uhhh I know some stuff about you. Stuff you briefly went over. You mentioned some of the things you accomplished as a wrestler. Winning world titles all over the globe. I don't know what that's like. Just like being the face of a company is an honor I have yet to experience and who knows, maybe that'll never be in the cards for me. But all I can do is claw and scratch and hope that one day, whether it be tomorrow or five years from now, that I am one of the best in the world. Did that sound good? Oh cool I just asked that out loud instead of in my head. Nothing awkward about that.

With that said Koji, I'm going to do everything in my power to beat you this week. Which is something you probably weren't anticipating to hear from me because.. I don't know man. I didn't know where I was going with that. Obviously the goal is to win. And I know it won't be easy. I know you aren't a pushover or some newbie at this professional wrestling thing..which I guess I am. I'm still a rookie at this. I'm still learning and adapting and I can admit that I have a ways to go before I perfect my craft. I firmly believe that I have untapped potential, and I'm aware that's all I am at this point..just potential. Whether I pan out or not remains to be seen. While you Koji, with all due respect, you are more of a finished product. What you see is what you get and when the world looks at you Koji, they see dominance and rightfully so. Your reputation speaks for itself. While my reputation? Quite frankly, I don't yet have one. I guess for now I'm just the vanilla high flyer. Which uhhhh reminds me, you talked about my style of offense and you don't see the need for it. Thinking I will always have to one up myself, else the fans will get bored of seeing the same moves over and over again. But I'd argue that goes for most wrestlers. Most wrestlers stick to their comfort zone. They could go into a match thinking they'll break out a bag of new tricks, to bring a fresh and innovative offense that has never been seen before, but once they get punched in the mouth, they enter survival mode. Once you find yourself in this unfortunate position, with your back up against the wall, you do what's familiar to escape. You do the moves that you have experience in doing because when it comes to professional wrestling, you can't afford many mistakes, else you're easy pickings for your opponent. In some cases all it takes is just one little slip up,  and it's as if your opponent becomes a shark sensing blood in the water and they end it right then and there. Koji, you are that shark. And I know, I'm actually kind of on a roll right now, I haven't stuttered in the last two minutes or so and I hope that will continue so in the meantime I'll just keep talking so I don't mess up my rhythm. Koji, you are a dangerous man when it comes between those ropes. You've done it all. I've seen what you are capable of after looking up some of your highlight clips. You have the unique ability to visualize how the match will go down before the bell even rings. You have thought about every scenario so you aren't caught off guard. Just like you have done your due diligence when studying your opponents. You have mapped out the perfect counter to each of their signature moves. So I'm willing to bet that being the seasoned veteran that you are; a man that's faced every style of offense..that you're confident heading into this match. As you should. You practically guaranteed yourself the victory when you talked. I wish I could do the same. I wish I could match your unwavering confidence, but I can't. I can't promise anything right now. Promises actually mean something to me. I don't just flush them down the toilet like most today. That's why that—

Cameraman: No more time.

Bruce: Way to go rook. You took too much time. Now get changed. It's time to train.

••And just like that, the promo is over. After I calmed my nerves, I felt like I did okay. Improvement still needs to be made, that's for sure. I guess I'm going to go train now. Usually Bruce doesn't let me stop until I've puked three times, so this will be fun no doubt. See you later. Camera fades to black.••
on January 18th 2018, 2:46 amMasanori Kawada

Versus Khmaoch Sângkât for the SSW Heritage Championship
Entry: 1 -- Word Count: 1,263

The flashbulbs of several cameras ignite the white backdrop of a conference room, the wall dawned with the Strong Style Wrestling emblem. On both sides of the emblem are two banners in a red and black checkered pattern, each square allocated with the logos of the various sponsors for the company. Beneath them is a long table dressed in a black cloth that stands prominently across the stage area, on top of it is a clear plastic podium. Presented on the podium, glistening with the flashes of the cameras, is the SSW Heritage Championship belt. The attending journalists are murmuring amongst themselves, talking with one another before Mark Stephans, SSW's English play-by-play commentator takes the stage with a microphone in hand, dressed sharply for the occasion. Beside him stands a middle-aged Japanese man, appointed to serve as the English-to-Japanese translator and vice versa for the evening. After clearing his throat, Mark Stephens welcomes the journalists in attendance.

"Welcome and Good evening members of the press! On behalf of Strong Style Wrestling, I would like to welcome you to a special press conference for our inaugural event to kick off our Rising Sun Tour. We have a fine line-up of some quality matches for you all to sink your teeth into that hopefully will make believers out of our non-believers that SSW is the home of quality Puroresu wrestling! With that being said tonight, we have one of the two competitors set to compete in the main event of the evening for this lovely prize right here -- the SSW Heritage Championship! A huge acquisition to this promotion, being a veteran of the sport for over 20 years! Please help me welcome The Everlasting Hero, The Absolute Justice; All-Might! MASANORI KAWADA!"

Following translation, "Forces" by Susumu Hirasawa plays over the PA system with cameras flashing left and right. From behind a black curtain emerges Masanori Kawada, wearing a grey suit with a pinstripe dress shirt beneath. Smiling as he walks across the stage, he does his signature dynamic pose which gets all the cameras flashing from the room. He extends a handshake towards both Stephens and his translator, which both accept before Kawada turns and takes his seat at the table. Mark Stephens would take the mic once again.

"We will be opening up questions to the floor. Please be respectful and ask questions only concerning Mr Kawada and his upcoming match."

A youthful woman stands up, being given a microphone by one of the members of the crew to ask her question.

"Ms. Takanawa from Tokyo Sports. My question to you Masanori Kawada is what you seek to achieve in Strong Style Wrestling, different than the accomplishments you have made everywhere else?"

Kawada took a moment to ponder a response to her question.

"For the majority of my career, I was a junior. I wrestled under the Jet Jaguar persona for over ten years. In that time, I captured every prestigious Junior Heavyweight or other named championship for that weight class from around the world. I unified them to create the J-Crown before it was later abolished. I achieved everything there is to achieve in the Junior Heavyweight world. After my absence, I returned with a new physique and without the identity of Jet Jaguar. I passed that legacy on as it was passed onto me. And for the last 10 years, I competed as a Heavyweight wrestler under my real name. My time as a heavyweight has yet to be as fruitful as my Jet Jaguar days. I won the sporadic title in the weight class but never captured the grand prize. I have yet to become a company Heavyweight Champion. I have yet to become a companies ace. That is why I am here in Strong Style Wrestling. To become the ace. Some people question my ability to do it because of my age. I am pushing into my 40's. But I am still going as strong as ever. Until I achieve that goal, I still have plenty to fight for in this business."

The microphone is handed to a balding man sitting further in the back.

"Jiro Tsuda from Weekly Pro-Wrestling magazine. My question concerns the recently announced factions in Strong Style Wrestling. Do you have any comments on the faction you have been placed in?"

"Truth be told, I don't know any of my fellow stable mates personally. Like most of the factions created in this company, we are a bit of a ragtag army. We have been allocated teammates and de facto leaders that we don't necessarily know all that well. But as I have experienced several times in this line of work, you can't always do things on your own. I appreciate that I will now have people watching my back. Although I do not know them well, with Candice Blair, Ken Matsuda, Jaydane Pendragon and the newly signed Satoshi Yoshida & Tetsuo Miyashiro, I have no reason to believe we are lacking some serious strength in our ranks. Time will only tell how right I am. They will sooner or later prove that for themselves. As for me, on January 20th at the beginning of The Rising Sun tour, I will be proving the exact same thing. I'll be doing so by bringing the SSW Heritage Championship to the Shoot Nation camp!"

The microphone is once again passed around, landing in the hands of a younger gentleman dressed in a dress shirt and slacks.

"Hiromu Genba from STEELCHAIR Wrestling Magazine. Your opponent in the Heritage Championship bout is one Khmaoch Sângkât. Do you have any comments regarding him as your opponent?"

"Khmaoch Sângkât is a bit of an enigma, isn't he? I don't know very much about him either. I know as much as his father being one of the first wrestlers in his home country of Cambodia. Lineage is very important. How he has carried that lineage up till now will be tested on the same night that Heritage Championship is on the line. It will test the man that he is, then I will have a complete understanding of the man I am fighting. I know he has seen his fair share of warfare. And so have I. In my absense from professional wrestling, when I was serving time with the Japanese Self-Defense Forces, I saw warfare. I toughed through that as I will tough through this fight. Make no mistake about it, Khmaoch Sângkât and I will be in warfare once again with that championship hanging in the balance. When the match was signed as a No Disqualification match it made it very clear. There has to be a winner. And as I promised, I will be bringing the championship to the Shoot Nation. "

Masanori stands up from his chair, taking the microphone with him as he walks around the table as he stands next to the championship belt on display with the camera lights flashing rapidly in anticipation of the signature All-Might catchphrase.

"There is no greater justice in this world then to assure the safety of our future. In my hands, the future of that championship belt, the future of this company, they will be safe. Despite the leniency in the rules, despite the mysteries that have started in Strong Style Wrestling, I will ensure that the future is bright and that SSW will stand strong for years to come. So I have only one last thing to say..."

The violent flashes of hundreds of cameras ignites as Masanori Kawada displays his dynamic pose and catchphrase.

"Khmaoch Sângkât..."

on January 16th 2018, 11:32 pmSaul Omen
The Song of Saul Omen: Chapter II

[Distorted voices echo through the void of darkness, rising in volume to an almost chaotic state to where the voices almost start to transform into white noise, before finally the droning sound of these voices cease with the familiar image of the inside of the Gothic church. The candles painted in the color of crimson with the wicks lit with flame, the wax running down the pillar to show that they have been lit for quite some time, and the tone has been changed from to one of a sepia tone. Under this tone, a dark smoke can be seen in the humanoid shape with tendrils lashing all around its form and for a brief moment, the darkness turns it head to show a visage of its sight. Gnashing teeth and a gaping mouth of hunger shown before the darkness coils back and turns away to revert back into the vessel known as Saul Omen. The sepia tone remains on the picture to where Saul is shown to be wearing a black leather jacket, imprinted on the back with a new symbol to match with it, as it’s almost being flaunted. The symbol is the purple insignia of the recent faction that he has been forced to become a part of in The Phantom Troupe. The sound of his throat clearing with a monstrous hum precedes Saul turning to reveal his face to where he shakes the jacket to get some air underneath his skin, rolling his neck to ease the tension there, as his eyes open up for the dark pupils to revert towards a more human nature.]

Saul Omen: Pride is an affliction that has infected the entire world with its maddening disease. Pride leads men down paths that they aren’t meant to walk, forge alliances with men that they truly do not wish to align with, and hold desires for trophies and renown that would normally be out of reach. Pride is the ultimate anchor for man to sink under the ocean of life and that’s what afflicts you the most, Levi Maximus. For you see, every man wears a mask to hide his pride and vanity away from the world, to protect his ego from the harsh reality of the inhabitants of this planet. For the reveal of the face behind the mask, it would allow the world to be able to see the true face that lies underneath it and Levi, you don’t want the people to see the mortal man that you are. You want the world to see a deity, a god that should be worshiped for the talents that he possesses, and even made the boisterous claim that even I have come to serve you. Adorable. You decide to don the mask of god to have that sense of pride over you, to have that power that you feel when knowing there are followers around the globe to surround you, to worship the ground you walk on. Even the astronomical lengths you take to secure that role in blasphemous claims to be Death itself, it’s almost laughable to the point where it brings a smile to my face, but I’m not smiling. In fact, my body has been festering to bridge the divide between Death and this mortal plane to introduce himself to you, to allow you the audience of what a true god is. However, he has allowed me to handle this insult of yours personally, like the acolyte of his will that I am. For Levi Maximus, you want to preach about suffering and agony. You want to sing this song to the world about how you are the mortal representation of all of the calamities and catastrophes that have been created in my life, but we know that’s just the mask that you wear. The mask that you hide behind to protect what lies beneath all of the proud bravado that you hold, for the only thing I look at when I peer into the windows of your soul, is just a mortal man. No spark of divinity, no angelic grace to put to use, no celestial harbinger to call upon, just the soul of a mortal man that lies behind that facade of a mask that you don. Don’t stress about this, however, for you aren’t the only soul that wears a mask. You’re not even the first soul to don the mask of a god to allow the foolish and the weak to cower before you, but there’s nothing weak about the vessel known as Saul Omen. I have been gifted strength beyond the comprehension of the mortal mind due to the numerous tributes of blood and broken bones that have been delivered to Death, strength that a man like you certainly wouldn’t be able comprehend, because I’m a different person than any that you’ve experienced before. However I’ll be honest with you, Levi, you’re not even the only person to wear a mask in this match.

[Saul chuckles at the last statement that he made, a snarl escaping him as his face winces to where his veins start to be visible, almost looking to be containing something behind his very skin. Recoiling back and letting out a breath of relief, he seems to control himself to where he can continue his song.]

Saul Omen: Even I wear a mask on this existence, one to hide the nature that is underneath, but there’s a difference between my mask and yours. The mask you where of feigning to be a god, condemning yourself as a blasphemer to the true god that lurks in the darkness, you use that for leverage to find your way to all of the carnal vices in the world. Fame, fortune, gold, women, whatever sin that you intend to stain your soul with, you use that golden mask of yours to shelter the real man behind it. A man of fear, a man intimidated by the world around him to create a fabric of his imagination to liberate him from that hopeless shell, a man that used the visage of god to create a false idol to gift him with the brash confidence to not be intimidated by any mere mortal that stood towards his throne. It would have worked with most men to where you could fashion this story about being the god of puroresu, but not with a man that has experienced a deity. For your boastful pride that you have, it’s not one that a god would truly demand. A deity doesn’t desire the irrelevant badges of merit that you pursue, the worthless paper and metal currency that is exchanged between mortals, and they certainly don’t obsess about the lesser beasts. The only thing a true deity desires is the tributes they demand from their followers and what is the tribute that mine demands? Violence. Blood, broken bones, screams of anguish, the stare of fear that looks across the ring unto me, that and more is what quells the thirst of my god to where he can be sated. Here recently, we haven’t really gained the opportunity since the signing of this Strong Style Wrestling contract to be able to feast on that delectable suffering. Your suffering, Levi, will have to be found to satiate this entity that dwells within me because the fact remains, you’re just a mortal. Mortals aren’t useless to the omnipotent force that I have become a servant for, through the tributes that I create, he devours the fragments of the soul itself to where he can thrive off of it. Your eternal soul, the one to demand to dash away for the guise of a deity walking among the Earth, shall be a tribute for him to feast upon through every ounce of anguish that I meet you with inside of the arena of violence. Your mask will be shattered, the face of the mortal man behind Levi Maximus shall meet the light of the world, and you will know the true face of Death. For my mask isn’t pretending to be a god like yours, but mine is the mask of being a mortal man that walks among you. My mask is being the average outcast that has been insulted and persecuted by the societal laws of this planet for the deity that dwells within is vicious sight to become beholden to. While your mask is to be this god that has descended from the heavens, mine is of the mortal man. For I am simply a vessel, but what I prove to be a vessel towards exceeds every limitation that you have on yourself. Call it delusion if it makes you sleep better at night, madness if it can keep your head on your shoulders, but you know this to be true just from looking into the windows of my soul. As black as the void that all life shall be cast in at the end of their walk on this plane, they stare back at you with no fear, no trepidation, and no remorse.

[Saul’s eyes are brought into focus to where they stare almost if they are staring right into the soul of his opponent at his debut in Strong Style Wrestling. He removes himself back to where the familiar diabolical grin that we’ve seen of his has been revealed.]

Saul Omen: I know that you will continue to hide behind the charade and mask of being known as a deity that should be showered with the respect and admiration of all beings. I know that you will continue to blaspheme at the name of my own deity and he knows that to be true also, but that’s why we have this confrontation leading up to the arrival of Saul Omen. This is not an introduction of what Levi Maximus can bring to the table because as much as you want to struggle, as much as you might impress with the fight that we will have, there’s a certainty and absolute in life that can’t be escaped no matter the response. Death is an absolute and I serve as its Reaper when I march into the stage of war. It’s a reality that even the greatest of men, the most invincible of foes, and the men of longevity through all trials must eventually meet. Neither you nor I will be able to avoid the fate when our time comes, but yours comes before the time of your rise can even be started. As a chosen disciple for the great deity of Death, I shall represent him in my desire for conquest in his name to honor him. I don’t chase for the golden plates that are attached to a leather strap, the money that I will be paid for receiving the honor of laying waste to your mortal coil in a bitter fight between us both, nor the adulation of the people that will revel in the way that you’re broken before their eyes. I don’t care for faction wars to where this will prove to be a glorious victory for The Phantom Troupe, but my deity has commanded your death and intend to deliver. All of those distractions from the task at hand, they are what you’re obsessed with, Levi. Let these words hollow through into your mind, echo around to where it will be constant reminder of what you’ve learned from the vessel of Saul Omen, and never forget what I’ve taught you.

All that glitters is not gold, its siren song shall pull you under into the rocky depths, and that shall be where your death of hubris shall be made. Your death has been preordained and I’m the one that shall carry it out when we meet.

[Saul Omen turns his attention back towards the crimson lit candles to where he sits himself down into a meditation stance, making what sounds to be monstrous hum that we heard from before, as the smoke of darkness begins to envelop around him and into the church. Eventually, the darkness begins to consume everything to make it fade into the black.]

Last edited by Saul Omen on January 19th 2018, 8:37 pm; edited 1 time in total
on January 16th 2018, 9:42 pmKoji Senju
Is it too little too late? I've wrestled all around the globe for so long, that I kind of lost the feeling of excitement. I've won world titles, made a name for myself, but maybe I waited too long to pull the trigger on taking that next step. I've taken on the best of the best all around the world and I've beaten them, and I enjoyed it so much that I got caught up in the lifestyle. It became second nature to just pack my bags and be gone for months on end. I became somewhat of a cowboy, someone that could never settle in one place. The glory of it all never interested me really, it was all abut the thrill of the next challenge. Going into different countries, different organizations, and taking on there best guy and taking him down. It didn't matter if I got my name out there, all I wanted was my own personal success, and if people wanted to acknowledge my talents that was fine. But that was never what I was after. I always knew that the recognition would come regardless, but it was never the priority. That is until recently. I've made my fortune, I've accumulated my titles, and the recognition came, but it was never with the eyes of a global audience on me. So now I make the jump, at the age of 37 I make the jump. People may call me crazy, and not understand why I'm doing this, but understand that it's just what I have to do. I don't want to live with what if's, I don't want to look back at my career and say yeah that was good.. But it wasn't exactly what it could've been. The fear of what if's. I come here more seasoned than most wrestlers; whether that benefits me or not, only time will tell. I look around at all the talent around here, and I know I have my work cut out for me, and I wouldn't want it any other way. In my opinion this is what I need to bring meaning to my career again. Yes I know that I've beaten some of the biggest unsigned names in wrestling, but it comes to a point where you need more. The youth movement is here in SSW, and that's an exciting feeling. There is a bunch of guys that I don't know, there's a bunch of guys that can test me to the best of my abilities; and there's a bunch of guys that are young, and need testing. I'm here to be a measuring stick for you youngsters. If you want to prove yourself, to get to that next level, to be the next in line for the World Title, beat me. I know I'm no spring chicken and most of you probably scoff at the idea of me being the guy to test yourself against. But with my age comes experience. Experience that you can't learn without traveling the world, battling a whole menagerie of opponents, taking your lumps, paying your dues. I rarely make mistakes in that ring, but if you doubt me, then I guess I'll just have to prove it. Wrestling is a game of respect, and honor; but that respect and honor isn't given, it's earned. I understand that better than anyone. You see I've had to earn my honor, and respect every step of the way. Every single company that I stepped into, I had to take my lumps, and pay my dues. A new company, same thing, doesn't matter what I did in the past, because no one cares. Nobody cares what you've done in the past, because if you're that good, then you should have no problem doing it again. Nothing was ever given to me, and nothing will be given to any of you. That's why if any of you younger guys want to make a name off of me? You're going to have to bring it. I have no problem seeing the youth of this sport passing me by, because I know that that time comes for everyone at some point. But what I'm saying is, I won't go down easy, because I want the same thing that you do. I want to be the World Champion win this company, carrying it to lengths unseen by any other. You want to make it, you're going to have to get past me, and with my wealth of knowledge, and ability, even at my age it won't be easy.

As for my opponent this week, Steven Cassidy. I guess you can say that everything I talked about before was directed to you. You're a young guy trying to make it in this big world of professional wrestling. I understand you have stars in your eyes, and a fire in your belly that can push you to lengths unseen. Steve I know you have talent, I do. I've seen the video of you on youtube, I've seen the acrobatics, it's very flashy. I'm more of a meat and potatoes kind of guy, I like the technical aspect, but whatever gets you noticed I guess. I don't necessarily believe in your style, I don't really think it's real wrestling. Your style can be classified as gymnastics, all for show. You're just looking for a reaction, you're not actually looking for a victory, or success. You think that as long as the people react, and go oooh, and awww, that you're doing great. But I want to tell you something Steve, That makes you a one trick pony, once the fans have seen you do it, that'll be it. You know what I mean? Once someone sees a trick, it gets a little less interesting as time goes on, so you're going to have to be willing to kill yourself in order to keep getting the fans behind you. You want to know how to actually get fans with substance? Fans that care about what you do for the long run? Have success. Sure all the moves, and flips that will get you noticed at first, but it's way to high risk, and it's not worth it. I've had a decently long career, because I know the basics, I know how to take it easy, and win. That's all you need, wrestle at a pace that doesn't take so much out of you; because when you do what you do? You're just softening up yourself for your opponent. Honestly, when you do those flips and dives, doesn't that hurt you more than it even hurts your opponent? You have to think smarter man. But hey you don't have to listen to me. I am just a crazy old man after all. Don't worry, even if my words are falling on deaf ears, you'll learn the lesson in time. Perhaps you'll learn it a lot faster than you even think. I have a lot of experience Steve, and I can help you. What's the point of having all this knowledge if you're not going to use it after all? You can learn from me just by competing, but hey if you impress me, maybe I can even give you an even more hands on approach.

There's a lot of talent here Steve. Have you thought about what's going to tear yourself away from the pack? How are you going to get noticed by the higher ups? You think the flashy moves are going to be enough? I mean, I don't know; to be the guy carrying a professional wrestling organization you're going to have to do so much more than just do moves. You need to do press, you need to do charity events, talk shows, and make time for training, working out, and all the hard work. Are you ready for all of that? Are you someone that's capable of that high pressure? Probably not yet, but that's ok, because you can get there. Anyone can get there with time, and practice. I'm guessing that you hate what I'm saying to you, right? You hate the fact that I'm saying that it takes time, no young guy wants to hear that. You want everything now, you want to do all your moves now, you can't be patient because you want everything instantly. That is a huge problem with your generation, you're spoiled. This generation only knows instant gratification. You want to learn something? You look it up on your phone on google. You want a date? Go on tinder. You want that new song? illegally download it. You want to see a naked girl? Go to a porn site. Everything that you could possibly want is at the snap of a finger for everyone now. So when something actually takes time, and patience, that becomes an issue. Are you different Steve? Are you someone that has the patience to actually wait for your turn? Or do you think that it's your time now? Think though, how likely is it that it is your time right now? How likely is it that you will come into this company, and just beat everyone they put in front of you? At your age, I'm sure you're thinking that the likely hood is very good; but I'm telling you it's not. You're going to have your failures Steve, it's how you deal with those failures that make you a champion. So Steve, when I beat you this coming week, don't get too discouraged ok? This is only the beginning of your stellar career. I am one of the best that you will ever step in the ring with, so there really is no embarrassment in falling to me. I may be on the older side, but that will not be my crutch. I will use it as my advantage, and I will be a World Champion again!
on January 15th 2018, 6:27 amKeelan Callihan

I have never been one for meeting new people. Walking into a crowded room full of strangers that you’ve never once associated with and more than likely will never attempt to associate with again. What is the point? What is the point of playing the polite, well-mannered individual when you know for a fact you will never talk with them ever again? Acting like somebody you’re not is meaningless, and to me, it’s just a waste of my time. Time is a precious commodity to me and I would rather not spend it talking to a bunch of men and women in this new promotion who I know damn well for a fact are beneath me. I would rather shit in my hands and clap than sit in a room for more than sixty seconds with all of you pricks on this Strong Style Wrestling roster. I signed to this company for one thing and one thing only and that’s to have my best interests at heart. Success. Money. Fame. Not friendships, not friendliness. I didn't even come to this company asking for a contract; this company came to me because the people in the higher ups knew just how fucking talented of an in-ring competitor I am! Not only that, I am an individual a promotion can build around. That’s not to say this roster doesn’t have some incredible talent, but I am here to showcase to the world that I will be the face of this place in due time. For a company just starting off, they knew they need talent, charisma and star-power and I am all of that wrapped into one. You mother fuckers will just have to deal with this fact. I am not here to make friends, I am not here to attend backstage meetings management may hold before shows, I am simply here to show up to my job, kick some ass, win some matches and earn my paycheque. I’m going to run through Strong Style Wrestling like a fucking freight train and get to the end of the line holding as much fucking gold as I possibly can carry. If my arrogance pisses you off, then I will kindly direct you to my two middle fingers as I hold them up for you thusly. Just by my words right now I am sure I am putting a target on my back but it doesn’t matter to me one bit. The more moronic people that want to step up to Levi Maximus the more mother fuckers will get knocked down right back onto their ass.

Introductions, man… who needs them.

Not when you’re Levi Maximus. Not when you are a fucking GOD.

And here, the debut show in Yokohama. A beautiful city, and a fantastic choice of venue to hold the first ever show for SSW. Yes… this will be a perfect beginning to the tribulations of this roster. Saul Omen, aye? Man, you sure had a fucked up childhood. I almost feel sorry for you, but man I really could not care about your personal upbringings. I couldn’t care about whatever ventures you may have in SSW. Quite frankly, I just don’t care about you. I’m going to put a stop to whatever you may have planned during your time here. You sure seem to have a lot to say for a bunch of topics you know nothing about, Saul. It’s almost as if you pretend to know absolutely everything about me, but you couldn’t be more delusional than you are being right now. Don’t even try to fucking understand where I’ve come from you piece of shit. I don’t care if you were raised in some blood cult. I don’t care about your religious choices praying to Death.


You’ve been praying to ME this whole time, and perhaps that might have been your truest calling so far in your life. Look at me, Saul Omen. Look into my eyes. See that I am your god. I am your deity. I am your religion. I am your suffering, your pain, your agony. I am your shimmering light, your bleakest moment of darkness. I am all your hopes and dreams and all your catastrophes and calamities. Know this, Saul. Know who you are preaching to. All of it… it’s me. I will take it upon myself to have you down on your knees kissing my feet and praying for forgiveness for ever attempting to provoke me. I am going to beat you senseless until you are willing to admit that I am your one and only god, Saul. And with that, I will show the world with a single victory why I am the face of wrestling in not only SSW, but in Japan as well. For you may try as you might Saul, your realization that I am everything I say that I am will be your downfall in our eventual meeting.
on January 15th 2018, 4:19 amMaximus Grier

I’m a man of conviction.

I suppose that’s what it has always been since the day I was first birthed into this world by my mother, floating around in the womb. Maybe even then, I had dreams. Desire. The neverending, unceasing lust for more within me. It is a hunger that grows continuously, yet it never fades away even if you try to wish it all away. Each and every one of us has that desire - that longing for more tangible objects, ideas, and concepts that can help propel you further towards your goal. Sometimes, I wonder if my conviction may be too much; I wonder if I had taken the right choices, the right paths to where I stand today. I wonder if the men and women that I’ve wronged over the course of my career deserved it. The companies I’ve destroyed. The careers of individuals who would’ve had great lives, feeding their families if I hadn’t sabotaged it all - was it all worth it, in the end? That’s the million dollar question, people: has everything that Maximus Grier, CEO of Maximus Incorporated, and powerful millionair - has everything that I’ve done been worth it? When you’re a child, you’re taught that there is a fine line between good and evil, that everything is black and white and that it’s your choice whether or not what side you land on, but as I grew into the man I am today, much like everyone else, you realize that that line? It barely exists. Instead of a fine, subjective stroke between what is considered moral and immoral, it’s a blurred, gray gradient area - a limbo that most of us don’t seem to understand. I’m one of those individuals, living on the edge of what is considered to be “good” and “evil.” I’ve done good for this world. I’ve done some bad. And every time I ask myself that question of “was it all worth it,” I always find myself going back and coming to the realization that what I’ve done is a means to an end. Tools, collectives and events that all occurred because I orchestrated it to happen for me, and me alone. I ask myself that question….and then I look around myself. I see what I’ve built. My empire. My connections. My allies, even my enemies. I see the pools of money that grows with each waking second that I walk on this beautiful, green earth. Fine wine and dining that surrounds me, my employees and my brand - I see it all and I forget about the past. I lay it off to the side because I know it has moved past me by this point; it matters little to the grand scheme of things. My scheme. Most of you are probably wondering why a man like me, with wealth and status, would reach out of his seat in the office and turn to a career of professional wrestling - or “puroresu,” as they call it here. Simple answer. I’m a man who holds the conviction that when one sets out to achieve something, you do it no matter the cost. Take risks, see if you hit or miss. If you miss, gather your rubble and build yourself back up so you can attempt that shot once more, and if you hit, then watch as the glory unfolds. Trust me - if I never took risks, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I wouldn’t have this massive, multi-million dollar company with hundreds of employees under my whim. I wouldn’t be as privileged as I am to have met some of the individuals I’ve met as well as achieved what I’ve achieved, and if I never took risks, I certainly wouldn’t be here with you all today, having ventured beyond my generic comfort zone and into the realm of the unknown; a realm of violence, of blood and pain, and through it all….glory for the highest.

You can’t help but be allured by those leather gold belts seated atop a red pedestal. The designs. The prosperity it could bring to an individual….but it’s that desire that I’ve began to notice recently, is what leads to some preconceived notions created by the ones who oppose me. When people hear my name and the profession associated with it, their mind comes up with such simple neanderthalic terms. When they see the suits I wear, the class I bring and the wealth I own, their monkey minds always jump to the conclusion that I’m some sort of man hell-bent on ruining the entire world - but tell me this, Ryojin…..why would I do that? If I ruined this world, what would be the purpose for it? A king can’t rule without a kingdom to reside in, and a man like me can’t be successful with my so-called “evil nature” if the world has gone to complete hell. But evil….now that’s a strong word. Me? Evil? Tell that to my employees. Tell that to the other businessmen and women I’ve encountered. Tell that to my friends, my allies. Call me evil and see where it gets you, Ryojin - into a dead end, because I can assure you that evil? It’s all so...subjective. Am I truly evil, Ryojin? Am I truly a bad man for having money? For being successful? Am I the one in the wrong here because I pushed through the odds that the world forced upon me since the day I was born? You don’t seem to understand - I’m not evil. I’m not good, either. I’m just a man fending off against the dogs of this world atop a golden throne, because you should know better than anyone that if you let your guard down for even one split-second, those hounds will drag you down and scramble until another man takes their place on what was previously my throne. As you grow into adulthood, you’ll find that within that blurred line between the so-called “right” and “wrong” sides, are men like me who have no allegiance except to themselves, and their brand. And when you stop looking at the world from your one and lone point of view, that’s when you’ll realize how frail that concept of morality really is. This is a world where you must learn how to survive. You’re thrown into the battlegrounds and you must learn to fight with what’s been given to you, learning to adapt to any situation or else those monsters will tear you apart the second they can sense weakness. I will be the first to admit - I’ve done things that most condemn me for. I’ve lied to my enemies, even my allies. I’ve betrayed those who I once considered partners, burning those bridges down after I had crossed them….but do you know why I did it? It was so I could survive. It was in order to further reach towards my goals, because if I hadn’t turned my back on them first then I know they would have done the same if I had kept my trust within them. But you? You condemn me for my actions because you see things so shortsightedly - you don’t see the bigger picture. I lie, I cheat, I steal, but it’s all a means to an end, steps that lead to a bigger and grander plan that is bigger than you or anyone you know. If we took time out of your days to ponder and punch ourselves in the chest over our choices, then we’d never get anything done, so what did I do? I stopped the whines, the cries, the screams and I pushed forward. I pushed forward, past any enemy and obstacle of mine, so I could stand here today with everything that I’ve built for myself.

Every great empire falls, you’re right. Even mine will fall, one day.

But the day we battle will not be that day.

How will I rebuild everything I’ve lost? Simple - I won’t. Because they won’t need rebuilding, because your flames aren’tt enough to burn everything I’ve made for myself to the ground. Let us think realistically here - this Saturday you won’t take away my money. You won’t commit arson and burn my mansions to the ground. You won’t take away my connections and tools. You won’t stop the empire I’ve built, because one professional wrestling match in a nation that isn’t even my home base will not change the trajectory of my career. The worst you could do is somehow shatter my pride, but as long as I live and breathe there will not be a soul on this earth who will break the grip I have over people like you. Marionettes tethered to my string, dancing the dance that I want you to dance. I’m the master manipulator, Ryojin, and you’re just a puppet who can never see behind the curtain. But, to tell you the truth - I do believe you, my friend. I believe that you experienced seeing a dragon. I believe the story that you looked into its eyes, before being engulfed by it’s devastating flames. As a matter of fact, I’m glad that you’ve found reaffirmation in your goal and choice; that’s the best feeling a man can get. You’re a noble man who has lived a good, honest life - but unfortunately for you, this world doesn’t accept those kinds of individuals. That’s why you need to learn how to not choose a side, but stick to yours - your own personal agenda, so you can further your own brand. This might be the biggest match of your career but for me? I’ll watch as you are twisted and turned by yours truly, before I use the carcass of the dragon to build upon my kingdom even more. I don’t regret what I’ve done to be who I am today.

And I certainly won’t regret having to slice off the wings of the dragon before he even has the chance to take flight.

Last edited by Maximus Grier on January 16th 2018, 5:52 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Formatting.)
on January 14th 2018, 11:41 pmCandice Blair
My last name needs no introduction. My first name? Well…

Hello, I’m Candice Blair and I’m from Long Beach, California. I’ve been wrestling for more than four years now. I worked small promotions across the United States. It was quite nice to use that as a way to gain experience skills, but I always desired to become better. I went to a wrestling school in San Francisco and stayed there for a year while I focused on training. In order to pay for my training school, I worked as a waitress. It taught me how to balance my dreams with trying to be financially stable. The first time I came to Japan was because I got booked in an all-female wrestling show. It was one of the first times where I experienced the hard-hitting and strong style wrestling that Japan was known for. I had known about strong style from other wrestlers. They would come backstage with marks on their chests from the harsh kicks. There was even a guy who got a concussion from a headbutt. It was a total cultural shock for me, but the more I began to watch these strong style wrestlers compete, the more I fell in love with this type of wrestling. I had grown up with the ordinary style of wrestling. I would briefly watch whatever wrestling tapes my sisters watched, but it did not fascinate me as a child. It wasn’t until I had gotten older that I wanted to watch men and women beat the crap out of each other. Whenever my sisters had a show in California, I was always in the front row supporting them and just rooting them on. Within the last ten years, the Ava last name has somehow made an impact in the wrestling industry. It may not mean as much in Japan. I’m not going to walk into Strong Style Wrestling and claim that I’m the best thing in this place. I plan to prove that to everyone. People from around the world have been blessed with this opportunity to make a name for themselves in Japan. Japanese wrestling has gotten bigger and big these last few years. Other wrestling companies are beginning to notice that there’s a pretty good talent pool and Strong Style Wrestling is capitalizing the opportunity to not only be the best in Japan, but in the world.

Why did I take this path? Why not fall in my sister’s footsteps? Why not take the easier road? There’s going to be people that believe that I don’t belong here. To them, I am not a creation of what Japanese wrestling is all about. How many wrestlers have white hair? How many women do you know have the opportunity to wrestle the opposite gender in a giant Japanese promotion? Strong Style Wrestling is here to break barriers. It is here to prove that you can be a guy or girl and still be equal to one another. No one is going to look down on me because of my gender. If they even do, then I’ll be more than happy to prove why Candice Blair is superior to them. The White Canary? Why is my nickname The White Canary? It’s not because of my hair color. There is a lot more meaning to that. Being a Canary gives you a chance to be free. It gives you a chance to be yourself and be around people that can either love or hate you for that. This Canary flies on the 20th of January and I am more than excited to show the world who I am.

Ken Matsuda? The last name is quite familiar to me? Does he have a sister named Stephanie? It almost seems like it was faith that made us compete against one another. Why not make the two individuals with significant last names square off against one another? It would be quite interesting to see an Ava and Matsuda face one another. I assume that his last names holds more value here than mine. His sister was a star in Japan. He? I don’t think I know much of him. I was unaware of his existence. He could say the same thing about me as well. I happened to be a very private person. There came a point in my life where I wanted no one to know about me or my last name. I did not want to live up to the comparisons and live up to the disappointment of not being good enough. I’m older now. Not as old as some of our seasoned wrestlers, but I hope by facing and surrounding myself with these amazing talents that I will push myself to the limit. Ken Matsuda should feel the same way. There is not knowing what I expect in Strong Style Wrestling? Will this be a temporary promotion? Will it be gone by the end of the month? Only time will be able to answer my doubtful questions. I have full faith. I have full faith in Brian Daniels’ vision for Strong Style Wrestling. Everyone who has signed up for this place has faith in his vision. I want to be one of the people who brings it to life. This faith will take me far. My passion for Japanese wrestling--no, for wrestling in its entirety is going to be a good thing for this place and I cannot wait to show the world what Candice Blair is made out of. On January 20th, this white canary is ready to take flight.

*blows kiss*
on January 14th 2018, 6:25 pmGuest
(The camera fades into scene to a Strong Style Wrestling presented press conference. A empty chair sits behind a table, and behind it a banner showcasing the SSW logo. You can hear whispers and murmurs from reporters and those in attendance as a Japanese Producer steps out from behind the curtain. He holds a microphone in one hands and notes in the other; he looks out at those who have attended, which seems to be a full house from what we can see from the camera.)

Producer: Thank you, ladies and gentlemen for joining this press conference presented by Strong Style Wrestling. There is no doubt that there are questions that you have been all waiting to ask, but haven't had the opportunity with the recent introduction for the company that we had seeing it was more about what SSW as a company was going to showcase and the championships that would define this company. I ask you all to be patient, we will try to answer as many questions as possible. Today, you have the chance to speak to one of the wrestlers that spoke at the inaugural press conference a few days ago. While we weren't particularly too fond of the things we said, being one of our more experienced talents, he's one fitting of this role. So, please welcome at this time - Tetsuya Ishimori.

(“Through Rain and Snow” hits as Tetsuya Ishimori casually makes his way through the curtain. The producer extends his hand, but Tetsuya brushes past it and takes a seat. He leans back in the chair and kicks his feet up onto the table as he turns his head towards the producer.)

Ishimori: You can leave.

(The producer looks at Tetsuya confused.)

Producer: I'm here to run this event; to make sure that this all goes to plan.

Ishimori: No, all you're going to do is waste time and I'm not particularly in the mood to stay here long. It makes my life so much easier if you're gone.

(The producer turns around and drop his head; he slowly walks off the stage as Tetsuya laughs. He turns his attention to those out in attendance.)

Ishimori: Who’s first.

(Ishimori scouts the crowd as a man finally makes his way to his feet.)

Reporter: Mr. Ishimori, sir - over here. Firstly, I'd like to wish you congratulations on signing with Strong Style Wrestling--

Ishimori: Like it’s some form of accomplishment.

(Tetsuya shakes his head as the reporter stumbles over his words before finally regaining his composure.)

Reporter: It's unfortunate that you feel that way - but, what do you plan to accomplish here in SSW?

Ishimori: I plan to become everything that I know I am. The same things that people like you always said I held the potential to become.

Reporter: Being? World Champion?

Ishimori: Becoming World Champion means nothing to me; I simply plan on becoming the biggest star in Japan.

Reporter: With your failures in the past - can you actually achieve that goal? You have opportunities to become just that elsewhere and were unsuccessful - how does SSW change any of that?

(The hint of a smile crosses the face of Ishimori.)

Ishimori: They said if you listen to the right people; smile at those who are willing to spend their hard earn money on this profession, that in the long run it will help you become a star. They like to believe that this business is built on respect and honor; they love “fighting spirit” - forcing ourselves to push our bodies further than we should on a constant basis. But, all of that does nothing. You play their games; do everything that they want you to do. You try your very best to become a star through their methods. It's all fine until those methods don't work. The people that touted that you had the potential to become the biggest name that Japan had to offer, suddenly begin to say that you don't have what it takes. The things that once impressed them no longer does you any justice. It breaks you down. You question everything that you've been working towards and you find yourself standing at a crossroad. You can continue trying to do things their way and continue failing, or - you can understand the real power they hold over you. The power people like you hold over us. You understand that you don't hold any power. You realise that you never needed the people that turned their back on you, and in fact, it was them who needed you. Now, I'll do things my way.

Reporter: That way being?

Ishimori: Tranquilo.

(Ishimori begins to scout around the room again as the next reporter gets to their feet.)

Reporter: It's been announced that you will participate in a match to determine who will go onto a triple threat to crown the first Jr. Heavyweight Champion. What are your thoughts heading into that, and also who you'll be facing?

Ishimori: Who am I facing?

Reporter: Vanessa Santiago.

Ishimori: Oh, right. I don't care. I'm not going to sit here and talk about how badly I want to be crowned the first Jr. Heavyweight Champion. I don't want to be the champion. I'll win the championship simply because I can.

Reporter: And your opponent?

(Ishimori digs into his pocket before pulling out a scrunched up piece of paper.)

Ishimori: I was told that it would be smart to prepare some notes on this woman who thinks she's a man. She has a “legitimate” combat background--

(Ishimori shakes his head and throws the paper over his shoulder.)

Ishimori: I'm not wasting my time on it. I understand that they thought it would be a great idea to open up the doors to whoever wanted to compete in this company. I know that there are a lot of people pushing for equal rights, but this isn't competition. This is a lamb being lead to its slaughter before it had even been given the chance to walk.

Reporter: Isn't that the kind of attitude that can cause you to take someone too lightly?

Ishimori: Who said I was taking her lightly?

Reporter: Those words seemed like--

Ishimori: Just because I don't see her as a threat doesn't mean that I'm taking her lightly. I'm certainly not going to allow her to kick my legs out from under me the moment I walk through the doors of the company, am I?

(The reporter goes to take a seat, but stops himself before asking one last question.)

Reporter: I just wanted to ask one last question; we saw the spark of something between you and Brian Daniels at the press conference a few days ago - what was that about?

Ishimori: I'm done here.

Reporter: But, Mr. Ishimori - the question-

Ishimori: I've said everything that I want to say. I said that I didn't intend to be here long and I've given you more time than I was going to. Be grateful I gave you this at all.

(Ishimori gets back to his feet and begins to make his leave as the producer makes his way back out from behind the curtain.)

Producer: Ladies and gentlemen, this brings an end to the proceedings. I'd like to thank you on behalf of Strong Style Wrestling and would like to ask you to tune into the inaugural show to see Tetsuya Ishimori and more compete. Goodnight.

(The camera fades to black while shuffling is heard as everyone gets back to their feet.)
on January 14th 2018, 6:58 amSaul Omen
The Song of Saul Omen: Chapter I

[Just as the birth of the universe began, the birth of Shinigami in Strong Style Wrestling begins with only two aspects: silence and darkness. In a moment of revelation, a crimson tone takes over to where a lone man standing in a suit colored in shadows standing inside of what could be considered hallowed ground. Evident through the stained glass windows that surrounded him to paint the floor with the light of the sun, the lit candles with wax cascading down like rain through the heat of the flames, the colossal door crafted from the finest of wood to stand as a gateway to the heart of the divine, it would be deduced that he had been inside of a church of Gothic architecture. As the man situated the tie that was wrapped around his neck, a dark aura in the form of smoke hummed around him before he turned around, shrouded beneath the darkness with the light only revealing enough to reveal the face of the man in black. Saul Omen. A stare of grave intent was donned on his face with the crimson tone still made around the entire setting except for this black spot that stood out among the red.]

Saul Omen: I am not a hero or a villain, not saint nor sinner, I am only a humble servant of the sacred deity that has allowed me to be drenched in their gifts. This deity that I have pledged my life to, delivered my entire soul unto to serve as a vessel of violence onto those that dare to trespass on their dominion, it has given me passage to enter a domain riddled with sin that shall be purged in their name. I have traveled the world, stood against the greatest of warriors inside of arenas more dangerous than this new den of beasts that I walk towards, and each one has grown to make me stronger. However, what does drive me to be in this business that everyone has been clamoring towards? Fame? I don’t desire the voices from sheep that follow blindly towards the next charismatic phrase that has been utter or the proud song sung by the blind fools that are hopeless in their aspirations. Money? I had enough money that I could live comfortably in, I’m content with the meager living that I had, as long as my god was pleased with the line of worship that I gave unto it. Gold? What meaning does gold have towards me, a useless plaque to hold on my shoulder or waist as a weight to burden me, a burden that I don’t hope to hold unless commanded to by the most divine. None of that has been the reason that I have been employed by Strong Style Wrestling, when my name of infamy reached across the seas to these foreign lands of Japan, to where scouts would watch the carnage that I laid into a sacrifice saw the potential of something they could stand behind. The reason that I’m here is because the omnipotent force that I worship has mandated me to do so, decreed for me to draft my signature onto the contract to arrive here under the Strong Style Wrestling banner, in the pursuit of exploring the landscape for exquisite and lavish souls to serve unto him as a tribute. The tributes of the dark underground to where rules have been abandoned, the street fights that left men lying in a pool of their own blood and other fluids, brawls from the pubs with shattered glass and the wretched stench of booze were king, their souls became bland and vanilla to his taste. A repetition of the same men that coasted through careers, men of pride that saw themselves as indestructible and the best in the world, souls ruined with greed and lust that were stained like the livers of the drunkards that became offended at the sheer sight of my deity’s greatest servant, it grew tiresome. He requires souls with a bit of flavor marinated into them, something that allows them to stand out of a sea of mediocrity that he has become accustomed to, and he heard that this was the temple of perfection when it came to be the residence of the greatest collection of fighters. My god was pleased and commanded me to sign my name onto this contract at the moment’s notice and that’s why when I introduce the world to what their apostle can create as tribute unto their name, the blessing I shall be rewarded with shall be… extravagant.

[Saul give a bestial snarl and sniff, shuttering in ecstasy with a hum escaping his lips, as you can suddenly see a darkness start to emit and paint his skin. It suddenly starts to die down once he opens his eyes again, clearing his throat and controlling himself, as he returns to the gaze that he gave prior to that moment of weakness.]

Saul Omen: The question I have been left with for days leading onto weeks since the signing of my contract to Strong Style Wrestling has been who would be the first tribute to fall onto the glory of my deity? Who did the powers that be decide would be the first to be sacrificed to my god? Luck would have it that there would be a man of immense pride that has been chosen. A pride that can be marked has blasphemous for the fact that he has proclaimed himself to be a god, one that has been marked as folly by this devout disciple of the one true deity, and that we meet in gratitude to those who have been brought to this decision. This heretic that has walked onto this stage with the boisterous claim to be a god walking among mortals, he doesn’t know the truth about what gods are, as his eyes have yet to be seen the Stygian void where they slumber. He is oblivious to what lurks in the abyss because he has been captivated by the allure of championship, the scent of cash, and the song of controversy that has tainted his soul with the disgusting rot of greed. My god is not worried about the filth that has soiled your soul, for that shall be purged out of you before he feasts upon the golden grace that does dwell within you, for you must have a sliver left to make it to this house of violent worship that has enlisted us. This poor soul has been given the name of Levi Maximus and with that, I will speak directly to Levi. He’s the soul that has been chosen to stand before me in combat, he’s the chosen tribute to be gifted upon to my deity, and he shall be the one that hears my song without a choice being made from him. Levi, hubris has caused the great fall of many men. For pride is a form of idolatry in which you make yourself the object of worship. You worship yourself to where you are the god that generates the blessings in which you reap, but you have to pay tribute to the one true supreme being for allowing breath to continue to fill through your lungs or your heart to continue to beat. For one moment that his wrath decides that it wants to be incurred onto you or the time has arrived when your name has been written into his book, all of it will cease and you will fall to him. Pride is the invisible dragnet that captures even the most confident of mortals and Levi, I’ve been shown that you have been known as the most brash of them all. The deity has been pleased to hear that because it makes it where the carnage that I will be made to inflict upon you, the ruins I create from your shambled corpse shall be the graven image of glory unto their name, and reward me with gifts that shall exceed all that I have attained before! Words straight from the voice of the deity itself! Once I make my debut into the land of Japan, walk into the Yokohama Arena for the very first time to stand against you, the world will experience my deity in a world that he has never been introduced into prior to this. My deity, my shining light in the darkness of this disgusting plane of existence, my god… Death.

[Saul closes his eyes once more and lifts his hands up in a sign of prayer, muttering to himself a prayer directed to his god of Death, before he bends his head down in respect. He raises himself up to look ahead, at this moment with a smile on his face, showing a true malevolence hiding behind those eyes of his.]

Saul Omen: Death holds the world in the palm of his hand and as his mortal vessel, the bridge between his domain and ours, I allow him to show his will through the brutality in that arena. There’s no escape from this fate as death will always be certain, Levi. Your death has only been preordained to you by the deity itself.

[The smile of malevolence quickly turns back into the stare of grave intent to where Saul Omen turns his back away to walk towards the great wooden doors of the Gothic church that he dwelled in. He used both of his hands to push on this gigantic doors, cracking open to let in the rays of light, as the light devours everything before returning to darkness.]
on January 13th 2018, 5:03 amStark
How can I expect you to comprehend that which cannot be comprehended? What can I expect you to understand, when even I don’t know what exactly happened? My… experience. That’s all that seems to be there for me right now. I wouldn’t let anyone simplify it down to a mere tale of fiction. Nor would I let anyone claim that it is the truth. Whether or not it was just a product of my mind is irrelevant - to me, I saw it. I looked it in the eyes. I felt its presence. When people speak of communicating with gods and deities, I now understand what they mean. Irregardless of the validity of the story, it is no less impactful on the individual’s mind and soul than if it was all a fabrication. Yet ask yourself this, what do I gain out of making this up? What do I gain from you believing in this experience of mine? I’m a pragmatic man. While I’ve never cared what people truly thought of me, there’s one thing I have always been proud to not be - a liar. While the line between good and evil is drawn by a subjective brush, morality a concept that can only be viewed through the subjective eye, I have always found there to be a special place in Hell for men who are not of their word - for men who the lack the moral convictions to be honest to the world. Now I know, there is much to gain by going down the path of treachery and selfishness. It is one that all man considers - the good man, however, does not go down it.

It takes willpower to deny the rewards of that path. Glory, fame, riches, and women. The greediest most rotten part of our soul is sated by these materialistic rewards. We focus not on what makes us whole, rather on that which makes us better, better than who, though, is anybody’s guess. That is what makes the businessman’s mind though. That insatiable, infinite lust to obtain that which belongs to everyone else. No, not even that. It doesn’t stop there. Your kind is not simply content with ruining humankind. Do you understand what the your ideology does to this world, Maximus Grier? I tried to avoid saying your name, first to deny you the satisfaction of me acknowledging your existence, and then to spite your selfish nature that I personally blame for the suffering in this world - you and the other thousands of you bastards - but since you’re the only one I get to lay my hands on and personally harm, I’ll settle for you, Grier. Allow me to ascertain my situation, by going with the notion that my experience with the dragon is what my mentor claimed it to be - the truth. As absurd as it sounds, as made-up folklore bullshit-like as it may sound, just humor me. Because Grier, at its core, life comes down to is this; there are more things about our existence that we don’t know than things that we do know. There are no guarantees or certainties, nor are there any impossibilities. Just because something is beyond the realm of things I know to be true, does not mean it’s false. So while my experience was improbable, you just never know.

And perhaps then, if it is the case that the dragon chose me, as my mentor put it, the next question I need to ask is why? I am neither righteous or worthy, as far as I think. I’m just a normal man like all others, a servant to life, and a guest in this house known as Earth. There have been millions like me in the past, millions like me now, and millions more to come in the future. Life is so cyclic that nobody, not even the most remarkable people of this time, can ever truly be considered special in the grand scheme of things. So do you understand Maximus, how much this means to me? At the end of the day, all I want to do is leave this world a better place than it was before I arrived here. If I had the powers of a cosmic deity, I would do everything I’d ever wanted to in order to help the world. But I am no God - but that doesn’t make me feel powerless. In fact, it’s just more motivation for me to push my human limits. I wasn’t the smartest kid, so I went with my capabilities and followed my dreams of becoming a professional wrestler. Maybe I’m not curing cancer in a lab, and that’s fine. If I can inspire just one person in a crowd on any given night, that’s enough of a victory for me.

Like I said, I am no more righteous than any other man. I still have those same material ambitions to a lesser degree. I want to be champion, I want the recognition, but as the best, of my own merit. To you, Grier, I may just be a rambling fool. I know you won’t understand these things, not because you’re not capable of it, but because you haven’t experienced what I have. It wasn’t just a dream. I felt it. Not in a lucid sense, but in the physical tangible… I felt the heat of the flames engulfing me. I felt the comfort and awe of being in the presence of a god damn dragon! You want to know why as a rational, non-believing man, I can truly choose to believe in the reality that a dragon came to me and showed me the way? It’s because above all, the most overwhelming feeling I felt in the presence of the dragon… was reaffirmation. Reaffirmation that the ideals I have in my life are the right ones to follow. Reaffirmation that the path I chose for myself was the right one to take. In the face of - what I thought in the moment - was imminent death, I found myself at my core. And that made me stronger. That’s when I knew without a doubt that it was time to end my excursion and find my home in Strong Style Wrestling.

This coming Saturday is my first opportunity to prove myself here in the Land of the Rising Sun. After a year training in my Dojo, it’s finally time for me to make my mark in this industry. When you’re not living in conflict with yourself like you are Maximus, this is effortless. There is nothing within myself that I must fight, no distractions to my mission - I’m going in with everything I have in the biggest match of my career to date. Despite your flaws, despite your nasty attitude towards life, there is potential in you Maximus. You built yourself an empire on lies, manipulation, and deceit. You’ll find that the easier an empire is built, the easier it is to tear it down to nothing. Every great empire falls, Maximus - my question for you is this; how will you rebuild everything you lose when your empire burns by the fire of the Dragon Reborn?
on January 13th 2018, 12:51 amAndré Virgo

You might not know my name but after January 20th you will never forget the name of

André!.. Vir!.. Go!..

Because I am not like any man, woman, or being that you have ever experienced. I am an experience! I am a spectacle who turns heads when I am simply walking down the street. When you gasp in disbelief I am that Stolen Breathe. My name is André Virgo and I am here to win.

“But André. Everyone is here to win.”

I know I know I know! That’s exactly why I’m here, because winning in the same old places against the same tired old opponents gets a person nowhere. I’m here for the challenge… For the honor of competing in the home of the most athletic, competitive, professional wrestling in the world! For three and a half years I got in my car every week and drove around the United States beating guys in community centers, banquet halls, and bars. I astonished and mystified crowds across the country. Hoping for a challenge, someone who might be so bold as to one up me but no! I continued to dominate and win and succeed and like a drug every hit I was getting less and less distance into the atmosphere. I’d win championships with no prestige and tournaments that nobody has ever heard of. I was a whale in a koi pond!

I was walking up a flight of stairs in the dark and stumbling to find I had run out of steps. Yet I’d look up and see the lights and glamor of the federations above me just out of reach. I’d go to tryouts and wow the room only for them to tell me that they don’t have a place for me on their roster, but the truth is I’d embarrass every bit of “talent” they had in that joke of a developmental brand. I’d have the crowds swooning for me harder than any of their golden boys. I was willing and able to learn and put in all of the work needed to be the biggest thing any of them had ever seen but it doesn’t matter what you can do if you never have the opportunity to do it! So I walked out of their to go back to my underwhelming existence of bookers putting forgettable names across from mine on their marquees. That was until I got a call from a mentor of mine.

He told me how a friend of his had called him and invited him to work for his new wrestling company and that he was turning it down because of his current commitments. At first this sounded like nothing but a humble brag, but then he said the reason he called me was that he didn’t want to leave them with nothing. He told me to come here and work under Brian Daniels and be the star that he always knew I could be.

Now I’m here! I see the lights, the camera, and on January 20th I will be the action! I left behind nowhere to be on a world class stage and compete against world class competitors and my smile is spread from ear to ear! André Virgo has arrived!

The aesthetic.

The fashion.

The emotion.

It is here and I have decided to be so generous as to share it with every single one of you! Don’t be afraid to shed a tear if your emotions get the best of you, that’s a normal reaction to

André!.. Vir!.. Go!..

If your feet feel too weak to stand but your heart feels compelled to do so anyways that is only natural in the presence of

André!.. Vir!.. Go!..

There is nothing to be ashamed of because I am simply out of this world. I exist beyond the dimensions of mortal understanding and that’s clearly understood by my gracious employer as I am scheduled on January 20th not to face a man… but a sound!


Well, Mr. BANG, there is so much for me to learn about you. Maybe even from you. You may even put me in a position where I am fighting an uphill battle as you expose to everyone the effects of being unchallenged for so long and Mr. BANG I’d be happy to let that happen if it wasn’t for a small problem. Which by small I mean big. Massive even. The problem is I don’t exactly care to lose to you. I don’t see myself letting you or anyone else take me out. I know there may be some desire to initiate me into this new level of competition that I’ve been sheltered from by beating me and breaking me down to be built back up but quite honestly there’s nothing to break down. I’m spectacular as I am and over time I will only get more spectacular. So I don’t plan on losing next Saturday. I actually plan on taking the pen from my cap and writing my name into history myself by becoming the first ever SSW Jr. Heavyweight Champion!

Mr. BANG, I have high hopes for you. Believe me I do. I can see your beautiful soul, the light of your spirit is peeking through. Your skin is so clear and your stride so crisp, so effortless. But there can only be one first SSW Jr. Heavyweight Champion, and his name will be

André!.. Vir!.. Go!..
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