(OOC: This is just part one, there will be quite a bit more coming. Just wanted to have something down)
Following the dramatic and obscenely violent conclusion of the XWA Omega Championship match between Jacob Eulson and Hall of Famer T.K., the Tokyo Dome was suddenly cloaked in a veil of darkness without warning. The titantron screen buzzed to life but only with backlight as the scene it portrayed was also awash with the cold emptiness of the void.
A yellowed, halfway burnt out iridescent light bulb flickered into existence at the pinnacle of the scene, illuminating a single beam underneath of it's housing. The lightbulb teetered back and forth gently, as if on Edgar Allen Poe's pendulum. Surely this wasn't what Edison had in mind for his cherished invention. Nevertheless, here we are.
The light refracted against a shape within it's cone. After a few passes of the bulb, the shape began to move, revealing the silhouette of a humanoid seated upon some kind of chair. The faint glint of gold could be seen reflecting and cascading off of the figure's scalp and waist with each pass of the bulb. Suddenly, the cloaked individual began to speak with a familiar malevolent tongue.
"I have waited… so… very long… to say two specific words. I've dodged the subject dozens of times, playing coy and dumb when I've had to. I've watched from the shadows, calculating the exact moves I would have to take to put myself in the position to say them. I've manipulated my way through the ranks of the competition, crushing any who came before me. I've brought legends to heel, and have arrived at the Tokyo Dome undefeated and malnourished for a true challenge. Until now.
I've waited a fucking decade to say these two words. And finally, tonight, RIGHT NOW, I will.
The lightbulb suddenly snapped into stillness, perfectly illuminating the figure beneath. As you may have guessed; the self-proclaimed 2WWF World Champion, XWA Tag Team Champion, and Lord of the Ring finalist… Ace Acid. The previous glints of gold were also revealed in turn; his waist covered in his coveted 2WWF belt, and upon his scalp sat a simple, yet somehow still regal golden circlet with small barbs every few inches. The Uncrowned King was crownless no longer. A maniacal grin formed from one of Acid's ears to the other in a display that would give even Joaquin Phoenix or Heath Ledger night terrors.
"Mark, Mark, Mark. After all this time, of course it comes down to you and I. Children of destiny, as we were. You know that, right? While the previous iteration of my career may have fizzled out like a snuffed flame, this chapter will come to it's close in a brilliant supernova. It was always destined to end with you and I, Mark. We're one and the same. Yin and yang. Fire and water. Abel, and Cain."
Acid's head twitched unnervingly as if he had a muscle spasm, and a small rivulet of crimson begins to trickle down his visage from the barbed circlet as a result. His deep, brown eyes gleam with madness in the yellowed light. The ecstacy of gold was an all-consuming lure, like a flame to a moth. Ace Acid just happened to be one of the most dangerous moths to ever grace the planet (sorry Mothra).
“I’ve moved heaven and earth for this to come to pass; returning to conquer the Supreme Champion in my return. Caleb Spires fell to Ace Acid. He recognized the misfortune of having me as an enemy and recruited me as an ally instead. The Guys With Masks gave it their all, but the tendrils of my power proved too much for them. They too, fell to Ace Acid. Sean Young tried to ascend to Olympus, but was cast down to Tartarus instead. Sean Young fell to Ace Acid. Joey and Alicia Miles tested their familial bonds against the absolute superiority of The Hierarchy. The Miles siblings fell to Ace Acid. Razor Xtreme decided to avoid falling to Ace Acid altogether -- can’t blame him, there. Lastly, “The Evolution of Man”, TK tried to crush me under the weight of his past decade of accomplishments. Instead, I crushed TK with a Muscle Buster and TK fell to Ace Acid. Hell! David Michaels pulled out of his title match at the mere thought that he could potentially fall to Ace Acid in the future.
Mark, do you see the pattern?”
All lives belong to Ace Acid. The Reaper takes you all, in the end.
But to reach the end, we’ve first got to see where we started, yeah? What’s a grand finale without an origin story, after all? Let me tell you a story…”
The screen fades out, and returns with clipped footage from the mid-2000’s shows a dramatically younger Ace Acid--then simply “Jeff Chandler”-- locked in mortal combat with the colossal form of Thomas Barnez. Barbed wire and thumbtacks were littered about the bingo hall they battled in, a hodge-podged “WWA” logo on the side of the apron to tell the fans where they were. Brief clips showing other stars of the time such as LPD and Tony Youll surfaced as well. Acid’s voice rang through, narrating.
“I was a young pup back then, ignorant of my potential. Ignorant of my destiny. But I had heart, as they say. And more importantly perhaps, a large tolerance for pain. Like the Mick Foleys and Terry Funks before me, I may not have been the most prolific performer of the time, but I could survive longer than my opponents, and that provided the stepping stone to my next paradigm shift.”
The screen flickers and comes back into view with clips of a promotion called FOW (Dean paid for all these tapes, right?), Future of Wrestling. Oh, if they only knew the future horizons that some of their talent would come to cross. An ethereal silhouette of Ace Acid walked amongst the rolling clips that showed names from the past such as Tommy Thunder, The Icon, and (regrettably) Lyxon Steel. One of the first appearances of the Ace Acid character aired.
“Still a young pup, but one that was evolving and learning day by day. FOW burned bright, but only for a short time; its light snuffed out to give genesis to another promotion shortly thereafter. We’ll get there as the time comes.”
The scene shifts again, this time showing a big-time promotion, fully equipped with two different brands -- Magnitude and Turmoil; Real International Wrestling, or RIW for short. A somewhat-more seasoned Ace Acid wrestled under the tutelage of industry legends such as MC Idol and Sean Shaddix. He went to war with icons like Carter Starr, Bullet, and Darc. But perhaps most importantly, RIW is where Acid met the man he’d face tonight, Mark Storey. As if on command, a ghostly simulacrum of “The Natural” appeared within the video just as Acid had, observing the clips with a fond smirk of nostalgia plastered upon his visage.
“RIW was where Mark and I both ’honed our craft so to speak. It was the breeding ground of stars-to-be and anybody who competed there came out the other end better off. Storey and I did our fair share of belt collecting there, both multi-time World Champions. We both had our fair shares of wars. Starr, Realist, Nightmare. All ghosts of the past now. Only we remain, standing eternally in vigil as the old guard of wrestling.”
The scene veered once more, this time to a setting familiar to most XWA viewers; 2 Worlds Wrestling Federation, or 2WWF for short. 2WWF was the stomping grounds for many XWA favorites and legends such as TK, Sean Young, Lx-Tim, Rob Chapman, Danny Diamond, Minkaro -- and of course, Storey and Acid. The simulacra of both men apparated into the scene again like Death Eaters and began to watch the tape of their histories unfold before their eyes. Acid’s rise from a lowly stablemate, to Internet Champion, to longest reigning World Champion in History. Storey followed a similar trajectory as his brother in arms. It didn’t take long for their paths to cross and intertwine, as star-crossed destinies often do. Acid and Storey fought legendary battles that would be talked about for a decade to come -- but also found common ground and slayed the masses as teammates in their stable, our World now (oWn). Perhaps one of the most dominant wrestling supergroups of all-time with the inclusions of Rob Chapman, TK, Danny Diamond -- and even current XWA Supreme Champion, Joey Miles.
“These, Mark. These were the best years of our lives, right? The constant battles, the quests for glory and acknowledgement. Cementing our names in the annals of history. Nobody can take away the ecstasy of these years, the addicting allure of chasing the top gold -- even if it meant going to hell and back with your own teammate and brother. Because when it all boils down, Mark, that’s what we are. Brothers. Forget Steven, forget Kaden. You and I are brothers in the truest, purest sense of the word. We’ve shared more than many trueblood brothers ever have or will, and that’s what makes our eternal battle such a draw. There’s emotion, history, and a familiarity that just can’t be shaken.”
Mark’s apparition nods in solemn agreement to Acid’s words, and the screen veers again. This time, we’re at home in the XWA Battlezone. Storey is throwing knives at playing cards, Acid is using a leaping cutter as a finisher. A shadow war of poking and prodding, pushing and pulling until the line has become taut with friction. Acid and Storey spent the entirety of 2021 sending each other smoke signals until finally, Lord of the Ring gave them the opportunity to come head to head at a proper stage. As no simple episode of Massacre would suffice to host a fight such as this. A montage of highlights leading up to this event played, including Acid’s undefeated streak, Storey’s Supreme title win, and all of their subsequent tournament matches that led to tonight’s finale.
“And here we are at long last. The illustrious Tokyo Dome. Where we’ll fight as Gods and Kings do. You know why I picked that name, don’t you Mark? It’s because even though we’ve both ruled professional wrestling as royalty for the last decade and a half, only one of us stayed in that position. You became comfortable and docile; content to rule from a throne I decided I was bored of. Me, on the other hand? I ascended. When I started using your finishing move upon my return, I named it “Apotheosis” for a reason. Because I’m done playing around as a monarch or despot. I challenged the current of infinity and won. I’ve advanced past this cradle of civilization into a more astral plane.
Mark, I’ve told you before, but I’ll tell you one last time.
I am Alpha and Omega.
The first and the last.
And the end.”