XWA Lord of the Ring Final: Press Conference

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XWA Lord of the Ring Final: Press Conference

Postby RevolutionJones » Mon Aug 06, 2018 11:44 pm

We're live from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, and the room is already set up with a small stage, a wooden podium front and center flanked by two long tables with plenty of chairs and microphones set up, and an XWA Lord of the Ring banner hanging from the wall. This being New York, the place is already packed with journalists and diehards, and chatter fills the room.

As soon as XWA's Scottish spitfire of an owner, Bella Quinn, steps through the curtain in a crisp pantsuit and carrying her a stack of papers in one hand, the cameras up in the front row start going off. She takes the stand up front, and taps the mic for a quick sound check before she starts to speak.


BELLA QUINN:
Settle in, settle in...how's everybody daein' this evenin'?

The audience gives a general muddle of assent as the commotion in the room starts to settle. As Bella addresses the room, the passion in her voice is clear, and that passion creates a certain respect from the audience.

BELLA QUINN:
Now, me an' Ace Andrews ne'er exactly got along as co-owners o' XWA, given our ideas for this company's direction wur nae exactly compatible. But Ah will give Ace credit, his idea tae hauld a Lord of the Ring press conference last year was a good'un, an' since the Lord of the Ring finals will be XWA's first Supershow since No Man's Land, Ah figured it was an idea worth keepin' aroond. So ye'll all get tae hear from some o' XWA's brightest stars tonight an' ask them aboot whatever ye wish. Jist keep in min', these press conferences tend tae get a wee bit...rowdy, so dinnae be surprised if they spen' more time bickerin' wi' each other than takin' questions.

Bella pauses a moment, just to let the mini-flashbacks to last year's press conferences wash over her, before she resumes.

BELLA QUINN:
Right then...Ah ken yer not here tae hear me babblin' for 20 minutes, so let's get this underway!

Bella steps back from the podium, and all eyes turn to the curtains behind her, waiting to see who gets in the first word...

XXXXXXXX

It's Open Press Conference time! This is basically a preshow for our LOTR: The FInals supercard, so if you're doing anything at all for that event, feel free to jump in. If you've never done one of these before, basically, it's an open mic where your character can say anything and respond to anyone, just as long as there's no physical violence involved. Good? Good. Let's go!
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Re: XWA Lord of the Ring Final: Press Conference

Postby Dan » Wed Aug 08, 2018 9:35 pm

A bit of a quiet settles in as Bella waits patiently for someone to make their presence known, and after a moment, the quiet is dispelled by the Hall of Famer and Grand Slam champion, Dan Bennett, stepping out from behind the curtain, his glare fixated on Bella Quinn. With the few fans in attendance hurling hate at the man, he paces past the Glaswegian woman and toward the podium, where he looks out upon the many reporters with disgust. Tapping the microphone floating in his face lightly as a gentle sound check, he begins.


Dan Bennett
Well, hello there, Bella. Long time no see.


She opens her mouth to respond-


Dan Bennett
Hep-ep-ep, none of that.

Listen, I’m not here to take questions from you fucks out there in the audience, I am here to address the Scottish elephant in the room. So forgive me if I completely ignore your questions. Or not. It’s a free country.


He turns to the side, letting him both speak into the microphone and look back at the target of his ire.


Dan Bennett
Bella Quinn. Can you do me a favor, answer a question for me? Can you answer me the question as to why, in the eight months following Legends, there have, including Austin Carter, now been three challengers for the Supreme XWA Title that were NOT number one on the XWA Top Ten list?


Bella tries to reply, but he doesn’t even hesitate to let her do so.


Dan Bennett
No, better yet, can you explain to not only me, but the XWA Universe, just how our Supreme XWA Championship hasn’t been defended on either a Supershow or on Massacre SINCE MAY?!


The room fills with murmurs and Bella doesn’t even bother trying to interject her opinion, as she already knows Dan’s just gonna talk over her or interrupt her. She crosses her arms and stares back at him as he continues on.


Dan Bennett
...or how exactly two, TWO, people that have topped the XWA Top Ten since November have received their title shots? Those two being Smith Jones and Lx-Tim, who cashed in his opportunity and won that title off of Emery Layton at No Man’s Land, just for the uninformed out there.


A couple people boos that asshole Lx-Tim, but overall, a mostly silent group of stunned reporters look on and record the fracas.


Dan Bennett
It’s okay, Bella. I know what it is. You won this whole war thing last year with your merry band of underachievers and losers and now, now you think you can just rest on your laurels and give all your friends an easy way of it. That is, until I showed up. Because ever since I’ve been here, aside from Hammerstrap, I’ve had to face nothing but former and current champions, but never had a sniff at the Supreme XWA Championship. Why is that, Bella? Can you explain that one?

I believe I can. And it’s not what you want to hear.

Believe it or not, my dear audience, the truth is that Bella Quinn is good friends with Amy Taylor. The very same Amy Taylor that watched as I put her client, A.J. Morales, through a table and took his Hardcore Title from him in a match I DIDN’T ask for nor did I want, and a match that clearly benefitted the much younger and more agile Morales than myself. This very same woman had to watch as I, Dan Bennett, walked into Legends six years ago and, as every single advert and attitude said that the show was all about her then-husband, proceeded to demolish the man and take his XWA Heavyweight Title away from him.

How does that link to Quinn, when all of that is about Amy Taylor? Easily. Like I said before, she’s giving her friends an easy ride and for the majority of the last nine months, her friends SLASH clients have held gold. For example, Emery Layton was champion up until May, while facing people that hadn’t reached the top of the XWA Top Ten for their proper title shot, and when she finally did face those Top Ten guys, she was absolutely destroyed. Smith Jones left her in a heap, and Lx-Tim took her title.


He steps back, letting that one breathe. It’s something he’s said many times, but not directly to the face of the boss and certainly not to her in public.


Dan Bennett
So that’s my opinion. That’s why I believe that I’ve been left in the cold while people like Blake Archer, Jessica Tendonin, and now Austin Carter have been gifted a chance at a title that I’ve fought and clawed to get my chance at, only to be told, “You’ll get your shot next time, slugger!”. If I’m wrong, then by all means, Bella, please, correct me. Tell me what I don’t know. Explain to me and these people why Dan Bennett, the most tenured and most successful member of the current XWA roster, has not received a title shot in the year twenty-eighteen?

Or would admitting that collusion has occurred cost you your job? You know what, at this point, I couldn’t care less what your answers are. You're just gonna feed these people what you think they want to hear and continue to push your friends to the title and keep me in the corner.

You know what makes this all funny to me? At any point, I could have and likely should have left and gone to PRW, or WFWF, or anywhere else, and continued my hall of fame career wherever I went and let the XWA fail into oblivion like it had every right to do. Instead, I toughed it out, for thirteen years I've toughed it out. I just don't know if I should even be wasting my time being a huge draw and making tons of money for this company if it doesn't give a shit about me, which it clearly doesn't.


He steps back from the podium and turns to Bella Quinn, his lips tightened and his eyes narrow, almost as if he were an angry child glaring at his mother. As she stares back, nonplussed, she doesn't move or say anything. He stares for a second, then leans into the microphone...


Dan Bennett
...this is the part where you bring your ass over here, open your stupid fucking mouth and respond. Or didn't they teach you that in whatever gibberish broken English class you went to in Scotland?




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Re: XWA Lord of the Ring Final: Press Conference

Postby Smith Jones » Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:31 am




‘Carmina Burana’ by Carl Orff plays as Smith Jones appears at the back of the room behind all of the reporters. He’s dressed in a charcoal suit with a dark tie, topped with a smug smirk. Jones meanders his way past the wall of cameras and through the sea of reporters until he is in the very front row, directly in front of Dan Bennett, who still stands facing Bella Quinn with his head turned to face the approaching Jones. Bella stares at Jones as well, stepping back from Bennett.

SMITH JONES:
Hey, Mr. Bennett! Smitty, down front! How did it feel to defeat Smith Jones in round one of the Lord of the Ring Tournament? No, wait! Let me redirect my question towards Smith. Hey, Smitty!! How has that crushing loss to Dan Bennett affected your psyche going forward into one of the biggest matches of your entire XWA career at the Lord of the Ring Final Supershow??


Smith’s face contorts in confusion at how to possibly reply to his own question. He stares deep into Dan Bennett’s eyes, searching desperately for an answer.

SMITH JONES:
It was a painful loss that sent my mind into a veritable tizzy. I HATED losing to you, Bennett!! And the fact that you went on to throw away your shot at becoming the 2018 LotR AND becoming XWA TV Champ in a single match in the second round against then Television Champion Jake Rogers… [ he whispers ] That would’ve been a dream match to me. And you just threw it away!!! Does that make you better than me? Does it? Does that make everyone else in this year’s Lord of the Ring BETTER THAN ME??!!? DOES IT??? Now I hear you, Daniel. I know you're going through bigger boxes of Fish Crisp than you'd need to properly fry me. You're above me. I get it. But, you aren't a complete fool. You know that if you bounce around the XWA locker room long enough, you will inevitably wind up toe to toe with yours truly at some point. Losing that match nearly wrecked me, Dan Bennett. The world has no idea how close they just came to losing the incredible Smith Jones. This left elbow? Ouch. And how has that crushing Lord of the Ring loss affected my psyche? Let’s just say… I haven’t been in a very good place. I feel like the cage I’ve chosen for myself gets smaller and smaller by the day. The need to tear into it against the absolute best wrestlers in the world consumes me. I feel the urge for a purge. I don’t know what’s going to happen the next time I step into the ring. But we all now know across from whom I will be standing when that day comes. But that’s enough about that for now.


The scowl on Smith’s face lifts to become a warm smile. Remaining on the lower level with the media, he turns to face their cameras. Jones uses Bennett’s remaining sneer as his out of focus background. Smith’s off-kilter grin trembles ever so slightly before catching its footing and standing firm. His eyes are wild as he leans ever so slightly backwards, drawing all lenses into him.

SMITH JONES:
Smith Jones LIVE! is coming to The XWA Xperiencethis fall! It will be a regular segment on XWA Massacre when I make my return to XWA Massacre in September!!!


REPORTER #2:
Smith! Few details have been made public regarding your new show! Just… what is it… exactly…? Is it a talk show? Who will your first guest be?


SMITH JONES:
What is Smith Jones LIVE!?


Smitty raises his hand to his chin and stares off at nothing for a time. A light bulb appears above his head as he leans into the microphones with a broad grin.

SMITH JONES:
It’s… organic. I can’t explain it. You’ll just have to see it for yourself. But I can tell you this: my first guest will be… you.


The reporters chuckle and mumble amongst themselves.

REPORTER #2:
Me?


SMITH JONES:
Could be! The announcement that I flew here to hand deliver to you ravenous voles is that I will not be hand picking my guests. They will be a surprise to you and they will be a surprise to me. My first guest will be whoever has something interesting to do or say. It will be someone who wants to make a clear statement and be seen by the entire wrestling world. I have a name that you know well enough. I’m Smith Jones. The buzz is already growing as to whom will share the screen with me when Smith Jones LIVE! hits the airwaves. Everyone in the XWA and beyond will be watching that VERY FIRST episode and they will all cast their eyes upon whosoever steps out of the shadows and into the bright spotlight that I am intensifying right before your eyes. Will it be you? Will you have the world’s ear in the debut episode? I've given you all something to ponder, now haven't I?


REPORTER #3:
Are you avoiding talking about AJ Morales?!


Jones starts to laugh to himself a little. He stands a little taller. He growls a bit then takes a deep breath.

SMITH JONES:
AJ Morales is… insane. And not in a good way. He is exactly what I loathe about the future on this business. He’s a flibbertigibbet. He's a joke. I mean, sure... he has... talent! I have to give him that. He’s got that intangible “it” factor that we all look for in entertainers; he’s got that uncontainable fire that always propels him from challenge to challenge to challenge, always coming out smelling like roses. Ever the darling, that AJ! Eh? Hey, look. AJ Morales is what’s wrong with my XWA. My XWA does not include AJ Morales. He must go to HELL. I’m gonna take him there myself.


With that, Jones pushes his way past the reporters, past the cameras, and out the back of the room where he first appeared.



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Re: XWA Lord of the Ring Final: Press Conference

Postby Will Neilson » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:13 pm

The curtain flies open and out emerges Will Neilson with his usual plain black fedora sitting on top of his head, which is accompanying a light blue suit jacket over a neatly buttoned up white shirt and a pair of black slacks. Before stepping up to the podium, Will reaches up towards his shirt and undoes the top two buttons whilst also proceeding to pop his collar. He flashes a smile towards Bella Quinn and steps up with his hands on the podium, leaning forward towards the microphone.

WILL NEILSON
Alright?

He takes an opportunity to look around the room.

WILL NEILSON
I'm still new to this whole thing so if I get a bit out of hand then that's probably why, so yeah! Lord of the Ring could have honestly went better for me in terms of where I got to, a win over Rivers King in the first round was for sure a confidence boost considering the size difference between the two of us. Then I got to Cosmo Cooper and just... damn, when people speak of this guy as the real deal they aren't lying at all. I'm not saying it's an acheivement to knock me out cold in the middle of the ring, but he managed to do just that and I couldn't tell you anything that happened five minutes after that. That's all done and finished now though, so I've got other things to focus on and that includes my next match which takes place at Madison Square Garden. HUGE!

A smirk comes to Will's face as he reaches up with his right hand towards his chin.

WILL NEILSON
I've wrestled in a lot of places in my career so far and I really only started to hit the big time back in 2016 with Precision, but you know I've evolved from then. This ain't no obnoxious and naive Neilson anymore, this is the Will that I've strived to be since starting out. I'm not saying that I've hit my peak at all because there's still bright things in my future and many, many years to come, however I don't think I've felt more comfortable in a wrestling ring than I have this year wrestling in Canada, the United Kingdom and of course over here in the States. To have a chance to wrestle here in XWA and more specifically MSG is awesome ya know? I've fought A.J. Morales for the Hardcore Championship on a moving train which also resulted in both of us getting arrested with the whole preacher incident, but that was just the start of the crazy stuff I am willing to put myself through in order to succeed. Blake Archer is someone I shouldn't underestimate whatsoever, and to open the show as well could be considered as big as competing anywhere else because we are setting the pace. We're the fans first impressions for the action going to be taking place later on in the night so I'm holding nothing back, all guns blazing and fully loaded.

He steps back slightly and readjusts the suit jacket he's wearing, before leaning forward once again with the same smile painted on his face.

WILL NEILSON
I suppose this is the time I answer questions right? Go on then, just shout them out.

REPORTER #1
Will, we've seen you win championships in other places such as Canadian Championship Wrestling, is there a title you would want to pursue here after this Lord of the Ring event?

WILL NEILSON
There's the big one which is of course, that XWA Supreme Championship held by some lad called Tim, but of course with my dropping out of the Lord of the Ring tournament it's going to take a lot of work before I can get up to challenging for the belt. For now? I'd honestly have another crack at the Hardcore Championship due to the 24/7 factor of the belt, I could be getting a coffee in the morning and someone like Morales or Del Presagio could be cracking a stool over my back.

REPORTER #2
Is there anyone in particular you'd want to face here in XWA?

WILL NEILSON
Austin Carter, no doubt about it.

REPORTER #3
What's your opinion on a man we just saw come out here in Smith Jones?

WILL NEILSON
Smith Jones Live is... a thing that I've been hearing too much about, and if I'm being honest it does confuse me. He's facing A.J. right?

REPORTER #3
Yes.

WILL NEILSON
Perhaps he can have some sense knocked into him, Morales is a crazy fucker I can say that much. So perhaps after Lord of the Ring we can make some sense out of the words Smith Jones speaks. Is he crazy? I really don't know but still, I feel stepping into the ring with him would be pretty dope for everything he's done in XWA.

REPORTER #4
Who do you think is going to win the Lord of the Ring tournament out of the remaining three participants?

WILL NEILSON
Ah... well of course I'd be going with Cosmo if he didn't lose to Jerod in the semis, and to beat someone like him? It takes a lot of effort, strength, skill so my money would be on Barnez, but I'm going with Angelica Vaughn on this one. Reigning ACM World Champion, XWA Television Champion and someone I've seen around the wrestling world for quite a bit now.

Neilson takes a look at his watch for a second after answering that last question.

WILL NEILSON
Well lads and lasses, it seems my time here has come up. I'll be seeing what I presume to be most of you at Madison Square Garden for the event itself. Anyway, have a good day and all that.

Waving goodbye to the crowd, Will looks to exit back through the curtain before being interrupted by the next person to come out...


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Re: XWA Lord of the Ring Final: Press Conference

Postby RufusMGS » Fri Aug 31, 2018 11:36 am

Part I: The Statement

As Will Nelson looks to exit the area, Turning Point by Hidenori Shoji begins playing, the reporters present for the press conference fly off their seats, eager to get some answers out of Kaida Kagome, Matriarch of the Chicago-based Yakuza organization: "The Kagome Family". Kaida steps through the curtains before quickly getting flanked by multiple Kagome Family "soldiers". The only recognizable face we see in the middle of the mini crowd Kaida brought with her is Junichi Sasaki's, Kagome Family Captain. Will Nelson locks eyes with the Yakuza Captain as Kaida and her family block the exit. After a few tense seconds pass by, Kaida raises her hand in the air to signal her men to step down. Almost instantly, the men clear out a way for Nelson, who begins to walk past them, his eyes still locked with Junichi's. The camera moves to focus on Kaida, who has got a huge, unsettlingly innocent smile on her face. Donning a black suit with a dark red dress shirt covered by her black blazer, Kaida grabs a chair and takes her seat, grabbing a microphone as her theme song dies down, her "family" members forming a line behind the entire table as if they are guarding their leader. With her music completely killed off, Kaida brings the microphone up to her smiling red lips:

KAIDA KAGOME
"How's it goin'! What have you all been up to!"


The entire room, full of journalists for various combat-sport related websites and magazines, discover that their love for this business isn't the only thing they share, but also a feeling of sheer confusion. Confusion caused by the eerily cheerful and casual leader of an actual Japanese Mafia family. As if her goal was to mentally break and confuse the questions out of the journalists and reporters, Kaida pulls out a pack of Camel Crush menthol cigarettes, pulls a cigarette out and sticks it in her mouth. She follows this up by concealing the pack in her blazer, but not before she pulls out a lighter. As she grabs the lighter with one hand, she brings the mic back up to her mouth with the other hand.

KAIDA KAGOME
"So here's the deal: None of what I'm about to do here is representative of the XWA in any shape or form. I have it on paper. And don't blame them for giving me a platform because, heh, they didn't. I kinda had to muscle my way here as you can see."


Kaida points to her men, who have formed a human blockade both in front of and behind Kaida. The Gokudo brings the lighter up to the cigarette before flicking it on, lighting her cigarette as she smirks at Bella. With the cigarette lit, Kaida pulls it out of her mouth, chasing it with a cloud of smoke before tossing the lighter on the table. Kaida leans back and slams her feet down on the table, cigarette in her mouth, mic in hand and her expensive Gucci boots shown off. With a smile on her face, Kaida brings the mic up to her mouth once more.

KAIDA KAGOME
"I know. Smoking indoors. Again, please direct all legal concerns at The Kagome Family. But do make sure that you understand what'll happen if you do. NOW: Bring on the questions! You! In the shitty glasses! Use your words!"


A rather well dressed reporter confusedly stands up, recorder in hand and held up toward the "Gokudo" Kaida Kagome. The reporter begins asking his question:

REPORTER
"Miss Kagome, I apologize if I'm overstepping my boundaries, but we've all been asking questions about why you weren't there at Massacre for your tag team match with Joey Miles? You've gone silent shortly after defeating Rob Chapman and Alex Kincaid in a triple threat match. Have there been any off-screen developments for you or your, erm, family, perhaps?"


KAIDA KAGOME
"Simple answer! Who was I facing?"


REPORTER
"Erm... it says here, uh, Terrance Ainley and "Regular" John Johnson."


KAIDA KAGOME
"Fuckin'... WHO?! Do you assholes realize who I beat on the previous Massacre? Rob Chapman. A so-called Hall of Famer. Yeah, sure. If he's a Hall of Famer then my Gucci boots cost less than $5,000. Oh and, they didn't, by the way. They were very pricey. But yeah! I just wasn't interested in competing against literal nobodies when I could've been training and doing further research on Sean "Dad" Young and that orange-haired wretch."


REPORTER
"That's not what the public opinion has been, Miss, uh, Kagome. Many members of the audience and the fans at home pointed out the fact that you kinda left Joey Miles in the dust and that you might've been too... uhm... "beaten up" to compete in a match..."


Junichi Sasaki raises his eyebrows, almost shocked by the balls on this reporter. Kaida quickly feeds off of Junichi's energy and brings her hand up in the air, signaling him to stand down and not act. With the veins almost popped out of his skin, Junichi begins to breathe heavily and stand in his place. Kaida takes a huge drag out of her cigarette before blowing the smoke at the journalists in attendance. Kaida ashes the cigarette on the table, half of it still intact and lit. Kaida, as she laughs, brings the microphone back up to her mouth.

KAIDA KAGOME
"Wow... I like you. You actually said that in my presence. You implied that I'm... weak... huh. Fascinating. Please... do come up here and say that again."


REPORTER
"I-- I-- no-- those weren't my words, I was merely echoing what the, the fans on social media were--"


Before the reporter can finish his sentence, two gangsters storm into the crowd of journalists and grab the guy, pulling him over to the press conference table which Kaida is now leaning over, cigarette in hand. With the reporter on the verge of tears, a Kagome soldier yells "Shiri o te ni ireyou, boke!!!", Japanese for "Get your ass up here, dumbass!!!". With the reporter within reach, the room filled with panic and XWA owner Bella Quinn held back by Junichi, Kaida grabs the reporter's tie and harshly pulls him over to her. A nearby Kagome Family goon holds a microphone close to his leader's lips.

KAIDA KAGOME
"Hi. Say that last part again."


The reporter, fully panicked, breathes heavily as nobody as able to stop Kaida or her men, outnumbered and outclassed by the brutes accompanying her. Kaida, unsatisfied by the scared reporter pulls him by the tie even harder than she already is, screaming in his face now:

KAIDA KAGOME
"Say that shit again!!! You know damn well what you just said. SAY IT AGAIN!!! Eh?!"


With the reporter's brain unable to process the predicament he finds himself in, Kaida grows tired and shoves her lit cigarette into the reporter's forehead, putting it out in the process as the innocent man's screams of agony echo throughout the room, sending the reporters into a frenzy as a few of them leave, not knowing whether they're witnessing an act set-up by Kagome to send a brutal message to her detractors and rivals, or if she and her family just legit attacked a reporter. With Kaida still surrounded by her men, she stands up, pushing her chair out of the way before bringing the mic up to her mouth:

KAIDA KAGOME
"Let that be a lesson to anyone else who feels like they can get away with not showing me the respect I have earned. Understand? Now. For the rest of you, I'll answer the coherent part of the so-called "question" I was just asked. Don't you worry your heads over Joey Miles. He's fine. He's a big boy. He took an ass-whooping courtesy of yours truly and survived to talk trash on Twitter for yet another day. He's fine. My organization is in contact with him. As for you idiots... This is all I will say now before going back to doing what I've been doing for weeks. Studying. Learning. Adapting. Adapting to the weaklings I will face at Lord of the Ring. I'm glad I didn't win that tournament because if I did, I wouldn't have this opportunity to finally destroy Sean Young who, for the record, didn't even survive the first round in 2016's Lord of the Ring, meanwhile over here, it took Jerod Barnez to keep me down for three seconds. But that's not all. I also get to expose the fake, repulsive creature that is Emery Layton. I spit in that woman's face and what does she do? Nothing. She just goes off and makes her in-ring return somewhere else. Wins a title. Congratulations, Layton-chan. But winning that title is gonna be a walk in the park compared to what you're going to feel when I get my hands on you. And that's taking into consideration that I'll have already destroyed Sean Young before our battle!"


With the intensity in her voice slowly building, Kaida motions at the closest cameraman to zoom into her face.

KAIDA KAGOME
"You may be off your commentator-leash, but all that means is that your protection won't be there. Mine won't, but you'll wish they were because they might actually feel sorry enough for you and stop me from ending your career after I pin you in the center of the ring. As for you, Sean. I really, really hope you've gone out to do everything you wanted to do in this lifetime. Kiss your kids goodnight. Kiss Destiny. Hug them. Hug them as tightly as you possibly can. Because I heavily doubt you'll be able to consume solid food after I'm done with you."


With pure rage and determination, Kaida slams the microphone down the table, almost breaking it as it emits a loud, ear-piercing hiss thanks to the impact. As she ever so slightly shakes out of the adrenaline, that innocent, creepy smiles returns to the face of Kaida Kagome. After staring a hole through the camera and through the viewer's soul, Kaida grabs her lighter and begins to exit through the crowd, followed by the soldiers of the Kagome Family.

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Re: XWA Lord of the Ring Final: Press Conference

Postby RevolutionJones » Fri Sep 07, 2018 2:29 am

“A’right, stop, stop, hold on, hold on, hold on—”

With that one voice clip, the room’s attention goes right back to the main stage even before “Reverse This Curse” starts to play. After a few seconds’ waiting, A.J. Morales steps through the curtains, looking confident as ever, and finds his spot at one of the tables. He taps the microphone in front of him, just to check if it’s working, and once that’s confirmed...

A.J. MORALES:
Man! My name’s coming up every single speech, it’s like they’re tryna summon a demon or somethin’. What’s good, Brooklyn?

As usual, the crowd answers the Revolution’s question with cheers.

MORALES:
So...obviously, the tournament was a mixed bag for me this year. On the one hand, I picked up a claim to a GWP world title shot in the first round of the first match. On the other hand, I only made it to the quarterfinals this year, and the record books don’t exactly put an asterisk if the other guy cheats to beat you. But I don’t have time to dwell on all that, ‘cause I got a match with Smith Jones to get to, so I’m just gonna start taking questions…let’s see, uh...you there, in the third row.

The reporter A.J. called on stands up.

???:
Jessica Blazh, Brooklyn Eagle...A.J., you predicted last month that whoever won the Group 1 final, Jake Rogers or Angelica Vaughn, would ultimately be the one to win Lord of the Ring. Do you stand by that statement?

MORALES:
Hell yeah, I stand by it. And I’m not just saying it ‘cause that match was for the TV title or because Angie and I are both champions in ACM or anything like that. When I say Angie Vaughn’s gonna win Lord of the Ring, I’m speaking from a position of experience. I’ve fought her three times this year, I’ve defended my belts against her, she’s defended hers against me, and I’m telling you right now, it is insane how quickly Angie’s reached the level of skill she’s at and how well she converted her athletic background into an effective fighting style. And I’m not taking anything away from Albion and how fast she put her name on the map, or from Jerod and all he’s accomplished, but the more they underestimate Angie out there, the faster she’s gonna run through ‘em and become Lord of the Ring.

A moment’s pause, and then A.J. starts scanning the crowd again.

MORALES:
A’right, next question…

A.J. points at the first hand he sees, and a familiar face rises to meet him.

???:
Scott Lupinacci, Baumer Network...

MORALES:
Scotty, my guy! You finally get that press pass situation sorted?

SCOTT LUPINACCI:
Fuckin’ right I did! So Scotty wants to know...you got any more predictions for Friday night?

MORALES:
Yeah...my squad’s going three-for-three out there—first I’m gonna beat Smitty, then Emery’s gonna leave whatever’s left of Kaida in a heap...and then after that? Lx-Tim, you better cherish that Supreme Championship while you’ve still got it, ‘cause mi hermano’s gonna kick your ass.

There’s an immediate, vocal reaction from the crowd, and the superfans in the place quickly hone that noise into something more guided.

CROWD:
OZZO! OZZO! OZZO!...

A.J. can’t help smiling as he leans back and listens to the chants for Austin. He lets them go on until they’ve finally died down, at which point he leans in towards the mic.

MORALES:
A’right, who else has got somethin’ to ask...how about you in the 5th row?

This time, a young fan in a Jake Rogers T-shirt stands up. She looks about 15 or 16, and her mother, still sitting down in the next seat over, clearly has no idea what the hell is going on.

???:
Hi A.J.! I’m Kamala!

MORALES:
Hey Kamala, how you doin’?

KAMALA:
I just wanna know...what do you actually think of Smith Jones?

MORALES:
Y’know, it’s interesting...the more I see of Smith Jones lately, the more I inch back towards respecting him. I mean, y’all saw him out here a few minutes ago, right?

A.J. looks over at Dan for a moment.

MORALES:
I know you saw it, ‘cause he was screaming at you from like three feet away.

A.J. turns his head back to the crowd and keeps talking, not even bothering to wait for Dan’s response.

MORALES:
This isn’t the same Smith Jones I was calling “Geoffrey” at the start of this year. This isn’t the guy who wants his whole life to be so orderly and scheduled that all he ever has to do is fly to Chicago every two weeks and work the same spot on the card in the same building over and over again, all while two idiots pretend to be LAPD at ringside so he doesn’t have to get better as the competition gets tougher. Nah...this is a hungry Smith Jones. This is a fired-up Smith Jones. This is a Smith Jones who’s trying new things, running towards the chaos, chasing something more instead of being satisfied with what he already has. And I know that doesn’t make my job any easier out there, but if I’m gonna fight somebody like Smitty, I want him at his best, ‘cause after I beat him this Friday night, he’s not gonna be able to get in front of a camera on Massacre or Smith Jones LIVE! or whatever show it turns out to be and go…

A.J. screws up his face and starts speaking in an exaggerated Toronto accent.

MORALES:
Oh, I only lost ‘cause I was holdin’ back, eh? I’ll get A.J. real good next time, eh?

A.J. shakes his head, as if snapping himself out of the impression, before he gets back on track.

MORALES:
…’cause he’ll know everyone will see right through him. So Smitty can keep saying all the way up until the bell rings to start the fight that I’m beneath him, that I don’t belong here, that I’m just an “entertainer,” but when that match is over? When he’s staring up at the lights, and he realizes he just lost? All he’s gonna be able to call me is better than him.

A.J.’s supporters erupt into cheers, and as they chant his name, the Revolution nods his head in time with the rhythm. He knows he doesn’t need to say anything more, at least not for now. The only question is who’ll step up to respond…

[OPEN]
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