You've heard of the Plane Ride from Hell,
Now get ready for the most dangerous cruise you've ever seen...
Broadcast exclusively on The Xperience
LIVE! From Xtreme Cruiselines, International Waters (1500 Capacity),
Theme Song: "He's a Pirate" by Hans Zimmer
The Main Event:
The Supreme XWA Championship
Rob Chapman vs. Declan James
Rob Chapman is our new Supreme XWA Champion, but in order to get there he had to do the unthinkable. Or it was the plan all along? Who knows, but the member of ELITE is holding our top prize and there's nothing we can do to stop him. Unless we find ourselves...a Defender? Declan James, an anti-heroic, self-professed "Gimmick Killer" and a former client of Richard J Maxwell has made his return to the XWA, and due to the hype has been put into the main event against the man who everyone's talking about.
Rob Chapman defends the title for the first time ever, and it's against the Defender of Reality himself. All on the line in this one!
-------- Deadline for matches is 26th August 2016 at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time.
Voting will start at this time and conclude on 3rd September 2016 at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time.
[CST is one hour earlier. GMT is five hours later.]
Hana Ramirez: Ladies and Gentlemen, this is YOUR main event of the evening! The following contest is set for one-fall and it is for the SUPREME XWA CHAMPIONSHIP!
The mixed reaction and the hype for the return of the Gimmick Killer from the dead as the announcement took over any programming on the Xperience. The madman style of the Gimmick Killer return promo was one of the most talked about moments in XWA history by those within the XWA Fan Nation. At ringside, Declan’s former enforcer and Tag Team partner Teddy Colton got a front-row seat to watch the return of the leader of the Anti-Gimmick Movement returning to the XWA.
Mark Sanction: This is set to be an excellent main event. Dare I say… it’s going to be GLORIOUS! And hey! Teddy Colton is at ringside!
Matt Steel: What the fuck have you been smoking in your cabin, Mark?! The only thing you and Declan’s fuck-buddy have in common is that you are both talentless losers. The only difference is I am stuck with you!
Mark Sanction: I hope for my sake that Declan beats Chapman’s ass and stop ELITE from attacking everyone like they did after Chapman beat Jerrod Barnez for the Supreme XWA title at the Lord of the Ring Finals!
Matt Steel: Declan winning the title will just make ELITE more aggressive! I am going to say now that the Gimmick Killer is going to wish he was killed off at LEGENDS! They sure don’t act like champions, now do they?!
“I realize the screaming pain,
Hearing loud in my…”
The music of FLOW’s “Sign” was interrupted and warped and distorted to the point where it was a shrill whine. Then instance silence overtook the Xtreme Cruiselines ship. The artificial lights shut down as the sound of a vinyl record scratches and pops.
"Nobody likes you...
Everyone left you...
They're all out without you...
... Having fun."
The lights start flashing to the opening riffs of Green Day's "Letterbomb," as the smokescreen conceals the entrance, and the XtremeTron flashes out words in Japanese before the drums hit and the huge screen shows...
"THE GIMMICK KILLER LIVES"
Mark Sanction: IT’S DECLAN JAMES! THE GIMMICK KILLER IS BACK IN THE XWA!
Matt Steel: And I think that Declan is fancying himself as Death Warmed Over tonight! And what is that on his face?
Emerging from below deck was Declan James, his metallic skull mask covering his entire face. He raises the remains of his XWA Gladiatorial Title belt, the one Jericho Shaw destroyed in a display of dominance. To Declan, this wasn't holding on to a remnant of his past, it was a symbol of his resolve, as well as the focus of his resurrection. As the lyrics started to be sung, Declan James walks down the aisle, his indifference to the cheers and the jeers being shown in his physical disinterest in interacting with the spectators at ringside. He enters the ring and stays still, until the lyrics 'you better run for your fuckin' life!' ring out from the sound system. That was Declan's cue to jump to a corner and raise the remains of the title high! The fans give him more cheers than jeers, as Declan uses his free hand to remove the mask, revealing a face of staunch determination, and the killer look in his eyes.
Matt Steel: There’s that high school delinquent look that we know and loathe from Deck! And the unwashed masses want him to be the Supreme Champ. Why the fuck does he keep that destroyed strap formerly known as the Gladiatorial Title?! It was destroyed after he lost the title to Razer!
Mark Sanction: Remember that Jericho Shaw had stolen the Gladiatorial Champion from Declan James after beating him in a Champion vs. Champion match at Lord of the Ring 2015, where Declan not only lost, but the Jackal made away with the Anti-Gimmick Champion’s physical belt!
The Defender of Reality jumps down to the canvas, the turnbuckles not piquing his interest anymore. He shoves his mask and ruined strap on senior referee Jack Tickles, whom quickly puts them away, as Declan sits on one of the bottom turnbuckles, waiting for the opponent to arrive and the slaughter to begin. The music dies down, but the overwhelming adulation by some for the Defender of Reality doesn’t die down just yet.
Matt Steel: Wish the fans would just go fuck themselves over their graven images of the Gimmick Killer instead of ejaculating out here in public! On the other hand, I hope the Defender of Reality kills Chapman tonight! I can’t stand a THIRD kick in the jaw!
As WOODKID's "Iron" hits the personal announcement system, horns blaring through the arena air, the lights darken as the stage fills with fog. After seconds pass in anticipation, "Lionheart" Rob Chapman emerges from behind the curtain with the XWA Supreme Championship slung over his shoulder. Eyes closed as he saunters to center stage, serenaded by heavy wooden drums and a droning organ in the background.
Matt Steel: There’s a man unbecoming of the Supreme Title! And a former 2WWF Internet, World, and Lionheart Champion to boot! And on his third match in the XWA, he WON our top prize, and had his friends in ELITE destroy Lord of the Ring after beating Jerrod Barnez!
Mark Sanction: No outside accolades matter to Declan James. Before his debut in the XWA, Declan destroyed all the mediocre titles he’s had in the past! So it was ironic that his favored title, the XWA Gladiatorial Championship was burned to a crisp by Jericho Shaw.
Matt Steel: This is the ELITE member Rob Chapman we are talking about, numb-nuts! Not the Gimmick Killer!
Cracking his knuckles, "Lionheart" casts a quick glance around the arena at the fans, then raises the XWA Supreme Championship high above his head as the fans jeer. Rob begins a slow, relaxed walk towards the ring. The look on his face is focused and intense. As he reaches the squared circle, he sets the Supreme Title on the ring apron, then braces off of said apron with both hands and swings in underneath the bottom rope feet-first. Chapman slaps the canvas, scoops up his Championship, and pops up to his feet hastily. He looks to Teddy Colton, whom is at ringside spectator seats, and taunt him with his usual “Headshot” taunt. The former Anti-Gimmick Juggernaut gave him a double thumbs-down.
Matt Steel: See? Even that no-gimmick cocksucker Teddy thinks that Rob Chapman is shit!
Mark Sanction: Finally we get on the same page about ELITE! Those motherfuckers have NO RESPECT for commentary!
Walking over to a nearby corner of the ring, first checking over his shoulder, Rob hops up to the second rope and raises the Supreme Championship up over his head, nodding his head in time to his entrance music. Hopping down and turning towards the ring, Chapman casually deposits his entrance jacket over the ropes, letting the ring attendants return it to the backstage area. He paces about in the corner, giving the ropes a tug, and then begins to shadowbox as his music fades out and the lights come back up.
Matt Steel: Declan James better make quick work and get out, otherwise they will be chanting “We want Declan” for the next six months whenever ELITE is around.
Hana Ramirez: Introducing the challenger in his XWA return! From Tokyo by way of San Diego, weighing in at 216 lbs! He was the First XWA Gladiatorial Champion! This Man Needs No Gimmick… DECLAN JAMES!
Declan jumps to his feet and raises his fists in the air before crossing them in the Straight Edge pose, and giving the two-fingered salute to the Supreme Champ while holding the pose. Though it got a cheering uproar from the fans, Chapman walked up looking ready to knock the Gimmick Killer’s teeth out of his skull. Senior Referee Jack Tickles holds the champion back, reminding him that there are no cheap shots before the match.
Hana Ramirez: And his opponent! From Halifax, Nova Scotia in Canada, weighing in at 247 lbs! He represents ELITE, and is the current and defending Supreme XWA Champion… the “Lionheart” ROB CHAPMAN!
Once again, Rob Chapman raises his title up over his head to jeers. Declan faked a yawn out of blatant disrespect for a cheap pop. Declan gets ready for the match, removing his deadly-looking black leather jacket and handing it to Hana Ramirez after she made her exit. “Declan’s gonna kill you!” chants are being sung out in chorus, getting on Chapman’s nerves as he surrenders the title to the elder Tickles. Declan touches the title after it being shown the strap and returns to his corner, as Jack Tickles raises the strap high in the middle of the ring for all to see what’s at stake.
Mark Sanction: It took unifying the Hardcore Title, the World Title and the Gladiatorial title to make this title belt. At one time, Declan was the first official Champion of one third of what made that belt come to be. Declan was the first and last true Gladiatorial Champion, where Razor had Bella Quinn for cheating tactics, and Laurel Anne Hardy never even defended the title after it was unified!
Matt Steel: Still wish she was here. I’d like Declan to kick her ass into the sea!
DING! DING! DING!
CROWN KICK! THE CROWN KICK OUTTA NOWHERE! “Too easy!” Chapman said as Declan crumples up to a sea of boos. Declan gets held down in a pin with only one boot.
DECLAN KICKS OUT!
Matt Steel: Oh thank God!
Mark Sanction: Right at the bell, Rob Chapman hit the finisher stolen from Diamond Jack Sabbath, and thought he would get an easy win from decking someone with a history of head injuries like Declan James!
Matt Steel: I’d say it’s a gimp defending the gimp, but this time I agree with you. Rob Chapman is thinking he is too cocky if the leader of the Anti-Gimmick Movement is going to go down with one attack as if it was the Fingerpoke of Doom!
Chapman is doing something unbecoming of a Supreme Champ; he stomps a mudhole into the Gimmick Killer, stopping momentarily to shout as he lets out his anger at the holder of the Gladiatorial Remains.
Rob: You think you’re clever, flippin’ me off?!
More mudhole stomps.
Rob: ELITE owns you, bitch!
More mudhole stomps, and a Gutwrench Suplex drives Declan down! A Lateral Press pin…
Declan let out a howl of pain, as Rob Chapman poses to soak up the jeers and the heat. Gimmick Killer chants started to echo throughout the International Waters.
Rob: ELITE owns EVERYONE!
Matt Steel: Big talk for such a small man with a big belt!
Mark Sanction: Maybe he should stop to look behind him!
Rob turns around, but a moment too late. A quick kick to the gut, and Declan wastes no time in hitting a Twist of Hate! Declan saw that the Supreme Champion was still standing when he quickly gets up. He uses that initiative to rebound off the ropes and hit a Corkscrew Flying Forearm SMASH! Declan with his first pin attempt…
T-KICKOUT BY ROB CHAPMAN!
Matt Steel: The Twist of Hate would’ve done another person in!
Mark Sanction: Declan’s trying to keep Chapman grounded now, and puts in the move formerly known as Shorty’s Revenge!
The Anaconda Vise move was enough for Declan to attempt to weaken his arm. Declan is a sadist with the move. “Tap out, you elitist fuck!” He wrenches further, but decides that it would be even more punishing to Chapman if he shifts his hold into a Bridging Crossface! Rob shrieks out a painful howl, his back being worked on relentlessly under the tender mercies of the Anti-Gimmick Crusader. Declan is quite a sadist in the moves affecting the head and back of Chapman! The crowd loves it, though! Sadly enough so-called “Straight Edge Warrior” had the wherewithal to hook his boot on the bottom rope, causing the elder Tickles to call for a rope break, and Declan does as much damage as he could before Jack Tickles can count to five. Declan lets go of the move, and as Rob is writhing in pain and tumbling to the corner. Declan got a far better advantage than he could ever ask for. He goes to the opposite corner, and runs across the ring! Jumps to the middle turnbuckle, and…
Mark Sanction: TASER SPLASH! Declan hits the Taser Splash!
Matt Steel: Change your contacts, fuckhead! Declan hit a Starship Pain! I didn’t know he would be capable of that move!
Mark Sanction: A split-legged corkscrew moonsault off the top rope in the corner?! He never used that flashy of a move before!
Matt Steel: Pin him, Gimmick Killer!
Declan does so with an immediate cover…
SHOULDER UP AT TWO AND A HALF!
Declan growled at the elder Tickles, whom explained to him that that was not a three-count. Declan pounds the canvas, and then noticed Lx-Tim, Ace Acid, Mark Storey, and Sean Young walking down the aisle.
Matt Steel: Maybe we should’ve invested in a mini-steel cage to keep us safe from ELITE…
Declan gets up and curses ELITE out as he gives them a crotch-chop and the double bird as a taunt. Chapman distracted the ref feigning a dislocated shoulder when Mark Storey tried to get up on the apron. The Gimmick Killer ran up and did a basement dropkick on his left leg, knocking him off the Ring! Sean Young took exception to that as Declan rebounded of the ropes for a Suicide Dive, but he was given a kick to the head! Teddy Colton spits venom at ELITE from his ringside seat, and got flipped off for his troubles. Security stops him from jumping the barricade and helping the Defender of Reality!
Mark Sanction: What the FUCK! THAT’S CHEATING!
Matt Steel: As long as the ref doesn’t see, Young won’t get away with it, but I’d rather he get suspended, or fined rather heavily.
Mark Sanction: And security won’t let the Anti-Gimmick Juggernaut in because he was let go before he could have his first live match!
Declan slipped down from between the ropes to the apron at ringside. Jack Tickles takes notice of the men about to attack the Gimmick Killer and warned them, calling security to get between the ring and the non-participants of this match. Young, Tim and Acid raise their hands up as the ref yells at him, and Rob Chapman comes down to ringside to get Declan in a powerbomb hoist, but he took too long… CLANG! CLATTER! Declan just hit a headscissors takedown on the Supreme XWA Champion, and knocked him head-first in the steel steps. After that headscissors, the Gimmick Killer is suffering the effects of being kicked in the head a little worse than usual. Declan was holding his head to stabilize the ringing in his ears after getting kicked by Sean Young, he slides into the ring, as Chapman tries to use the steps and the apron to get back to his own senses. Cruise security starts marching in to make sure ELITE doesn’t get involved in the match or attack non-wrestlers blatantly. The Referees have learned their lessons from letting ELITE decimate everyone the last time the Supreme XWA Title was defended.
Matt Steel: Looks like it may be the Champ that is calling it quits!
Mark Sanction: It would be a wise thing to do if you want to screw over your opponent. Have the title back and let the Declan have the W, but Chapman would go home with the title! STOP THAT TITLE HOLDER, GIMMICK KILLER!
The ref was working on counting out the Lionheart for not entering the ring. If Chapman is counted out, then the Gimmick Killer would win the match, but not the title. Chapman is wanting to keep his title for longer so he staggers his way up and slowly gets himself to the timekeeper’s area to retrieve his title, and go back home to ELITE, where they flaunt their outside achievements. Declan’s personal retcon has made them look like a bunch of thugs, and that was something that Declan can see right now as he uses the ring ropes for support. He bounces off of them and leaps through the ropes… SUICIDE SENTON SENDS BOTH COMPETITORS THROUGH THE BARRICADE WITH A BONE-RATTLING CLATTER!
Crowd: HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT!
Mark Sanction: WHAT THE FUCK?! DECLAN DECIDED TO TAKE CHAPMAN OUT! SCREW HIS HEALTH AND HISTORY OF HEAD INJURIES!
Matt Steel: Declan’s a fuckin’ lunatic, but he’s pulling out all stops in this match! And that makes the ref restart the count!
Declan stirs, trying to force himself to not succumb to the pain he was feeling. But Chapman is not even trying to move. Declan is first up at the FIVE! Declan pulls up the Supreme Champion and saw that the scalp of Rob Chapman was doused with blood. Declan grins sadistically, as he shoved the Champion under the bottom rope into the ring to break up the count at Nine! Declan slides in after him, and lays across Rob in a lateral press.
SHOULDER UP BY THE CHAMPION! DECLAN IS LIVID!
Declan pounds on the mat, and argues about the count to the ref, but with Chapman still down, Declan thought it was time to choke Chapman out like a bitch!
Matt Steel: That sadistic look has never been a favorite of mine, but this is against ELITE!
Mark Sanction: He’s got one of the Champion’s arms and he’s dropping down… BACK TO REALITY!
What a sadistic move it is, too! The variation of the triangle choke is a modified gogoplata submission that Declan is a sadist about using! He’s got it locked in tight and Chapman starts bleeding from the mouth! The shin pressed against the throat is guaranteed to crush the windpipes and cut off air supply! The Gimmick Killer was rocking left and right, making sure that Chapman can’t pin him, but it looks like the weight of Chapman shifted enough to pin the shoulders of the Gimmick Killer down!
KICKOUT AT TWO, AND DECLAN BREAKS THE HOLD!
Mark Sanction: Looks like Chapman won’t be going back to a harsh reality! THIS SUCKS!
Matt Steel: At least they are both in the ring, and the title is still up for the Gimmick Killer’s grabbing!
Declan holds on to the ropes to get ready, thinking of a high flying attack to topple Chapman with, he jumps onto the top rope, and flies… DIE TONIGHT! THE DISCUS LARIAT ALMOST TAKE DECLAN’S HEAD OFF! It triggered a lot of heat for the Champion! Chapman pins Declan, grinding a forearm into the face of the Gimmick Killer!
SHOULDER UP BEFORE THE REF CAN COUNT THREE!
Matt Steel: That was a close one!
Mark Sanction: And ELITE is getting stir-crazy with the security blocking their access! Declan better hurry up and win this match!
Chapman wants to end this, the taste of blood still strong on his tongue. He wants to end this sooner than later. He goes to a corner and gets ready for the move that he is well known for, and wishes to put Declan out of his misery. He points a finger at Declan’s head and cocks it up. “BOOM!” Rob Chapman and the fan nation both know what is coming to a staggering Defender of Reality! “HEADSHOT!” Rob bellows, and readies himself for a running Yakuza Kick…
Mark Sanction/Matt Steel: URUSAI!
Matt Steel:] This marks the beginning of the end for Rob Chapman.
Mark Sanction: As long as ELITE doesn’t get through security, we’re golden!
Declan countered with the Pele Kick to the top of the skull, making the head would on Chapman open up again and cause more blood to drip down onto his face as he topples down to the canvas. Declan kips up and the fans in attendance in this cruise were all in support of the Gimmick Killer!
Out of his peripheral vision he could see that Tim and Young have both made it through Security with distraction from Storey and Acid! They were distracting the ref through his peripheral vision The Gimmick Killer rebounds off the bottom two ropes and run over Chapman… TIGER FEINT KICK! The move common to Luchadors as a move for inside of the ring was used to kick Sean Young into Lx-Tim, and the Gimmick Killer is back in the ring!
Mark Sanction: That is one way to stop interference before it happens!
Matt Steel: End it! End Chapman’s reign of terror, Gimmick Killer!
Declan James sees Chapman staggering up, he forces the Champ in an inverted headlock. Declan is bloodthirsty, as he spins out! DEAD WEIGHT IMPLOSION!
Mark Sanction: It’s OVAAAAAAAH!!!
Matt Steel: Declan is looking for more tonight than just a pinfall… look at what he’s doing now!
Declan grabs the limp arm of Rob Chapman, the Supreme Champion is getting more of the iron-rich bloody taste in his mouth to end the night. Declan drops to the mat, and turns Chapman on top of him for another taste of BACK TO REALITY! Declan is rocking and wrenching, making sure that Chapman is getting extreme pain. His face is starting to turn blue, and the Gimmick Killer has Chapman dead to rights. His face is turning blue, but he didn’t want to give the satisfaction of losing to the Gimmick Killer, his consciousness is starting to fade, but he used the last bit of strength…
Mark Sanction: CHAPMAN IS TAPPING OUT LIKE A FUCKIN’ BITCH! THE LIONHEART STOPPED BEATING!
Matt Steel: A fitting end for one of the members of a group of thugs, as Declan sees them! And a Gimmick Killed!
DING DING DING!
Declan gets out of the ring, as the rest of ELITE tries to run to the ring after attacking security! He grabs his charred Gladiatorial title, as the ref goes down to get the Supreme belt and places it on Declan’s shoulder.
Hana Ramirez: Here is your winner by submission… and NEW SUPREME XWA CHAMPION… DECLAN JAMES!
Declan James gets over the barricade before Mark Storey can get him, the rest of ELITE checking on Rob Chapman as Declan runs to increase the degree of separation. Declan raises his broken belt up high, and struggles to hold up the extra-bulky Supreme Belt in his arms, while “Letterbomb” plays once more. Having two heavy straps and pain from the kick to the head, Declan had a lot to contend with as the people started to crowd around him!
Matt Steel: I don’t think Declan would want to stay Supreme Champion for long, Mark!
Mark Sanction: One less title for ELITE is a victory for the XWA! I wasn’t looking forward to getting attacked again by those 2WWF Assholes! A wonderful end to such a roller coaster of a night!
Matt Steel: That is not what I’m fucking telling you, Gimpy! Declan James would not want that belt for long… with Jerrod Barnez out for blood and making an enemy out of ELITE, Declan’s going to have the cards stacked against him!
As Declan joins Teddy in this victory for the Anti-Gimmick Movement, the cruise continues on with a new Anti-Gimmick Champion and what the future has for the XWA is not up to the Gimmick Killer. As Declan gets assistance of getting the new belt wrapped around him like a sling, the Gimmick Killer is not too pleased with his victory, despite the chants of “You deserve it.” All he does is flip off ELITE and the crowd, as On Stranger Tides comes to a close.
The Gimmick Killer LIVES!
The ONLY Gladiatorial Champion that Matters
An aerial camera from above the ship slowly pans around the "arena", before we transition to a nearby camera, greeted by the sight of Hana Ramierez standing in the ring. Microphone in hand. It's time for the main event!
Matt Steel: “Main Event time! Now the fans on board the Xtreme-Liner and the masses watching at home will get to find out if the returning Declan James can live up to his own hype and take the Supreme Championship from Rob Chapman, or if ELITE's reigning Champion will stop that hype train dead in its tracks.”
Mark Sanction: “I'm surprised you're not more opposed to Chapman after what ELITE did to us last month. Usually I'm the objective one.”
Matt Steel: “As much as I want Rob Chapman, and at the very least, Sean Young, to eat an entire bag of dicks through a straw by the end of tonight, Declan James doesn't do much for me, either.”
Hana Ramierez: “The following contest is scheduled for one fall... and IS FOR the XWA SUPREME CHAMPIONSHIP!”
Spotlights at the head of the ramp start flashing to the opening riffs of Green Day's "Letterbomb," as the smokescreen conceals the entrance, and the XtremeTron flashes out words in Japanese before the drums hit and the huge screen shows...
"THE GIMMICK KILLER LIVES"
Hana Ramierez: “Introducing first... from Tokyo, Japan, by way of San Diego, California... weighing in at two hundred and sixteen pounds... this man needs no gimmick! DECLAAAAAAAN JAAAAAAAAAMES!”
Emerging from the curtain is Declan James, his skull mask covering his entire face. He raises the remains of his XWA Gladiatorial Title belt, the one Jericho Shaw destroyed in a display of dominance. To Declan, this wasn't holding on to a remnant of his past. It was a symbol of his resolve, as well as the focus of his resurrection. As the lyrics start to be sung, Declan James walks down the aisle, his indifference to the cheers and the jeers being shown in his physical disinterest in interacting with the spectators at ringside. He enters the ring and stays still, until the lyrics 'you better run for your fuckin' life!' ring out from the sound system. This is Declan's cue to jump to a corner and raise the remains of the title high!
Matt Steel: “Okay... maybe he does do something for me! He looks like a legitimate badass right now. with that mask and that destroyed title belt.”
Mark Sanction: “I mean, that's one word for it. Unsettling is another. Especially after that scathing promo he cut on ELITE earlier. But I don't think that even phased any of them.”
The fans cheer loudly, as Declan uses his free hand to remove the mask, revealing a face of staunch determination, and a killer look in his eyes. Determined isn't the right word. This goes beyond that. Tonight, Declan James has an opportunity to take something from Rob Chapman, from ELITE... nay from XWA, to replace the burnt fragments of glory held high in his hand, and start new again at the pinnacle of the sport. This opportunity would not be squandered. Declan jumps down to the canvas, the turnbuckles not piquing his interest anymore. He shoves his mask and ruined strap toward the official, who quickly puts them away, as Declan sits on one of the bottom turnbuckles, waiting for the opponent to arrive... and the slaughter to begin. Or so he thinks.
Mark Sanction: “Declan James looks absolutely ready for this battle. I don't think the Gimmick Killer is going to take this opportunity lightly.”
Matt Steel: “Just so long as he focuses on winning this match, sure. Rob Chapman doesn't really have a gimmick for Declan James to kill. And with Rob Chapman, it's kill or be killed.”
As WOODKID's "Iron" hits the personal announcement system, horns blaring through the arena air, the previously flashing strobe lights spread across the deck, as far as the entrance stage, turn off completely. The staging area begins to fill with a thick fog. After seconds pass in anticipation, "LionHeart" Rob Chapman emerges from behind the curtain with the XWA Supreme Championship slung over his shoulder. Rob's eyes are closed as he saunters to center stage, serenaded by heavy wooden drums and a droning organ in the background. A grand entrance that Rob once made four years ago. Only now has he earned it.
Matt Steel: “Man, if you thought Declan James looked ready... one look at Rob Chapman is all you need tonight. He looks almost as furious as Jerod Barnez did on the way to his match against LX-Tim.”
Mark Sanction: “That match, like many of history's battles, was brief, terrifying, and caused a lot of collateral damage. Something tells me this won't be over so quickly.”
Hana Ramierez: “And his opponent... making his way to the ring... from Halifax, Nova Scotia... weighing in at two hundred forty-seven pounds... he is the XWA SUPREME CHAMPION... "LIONHEART"... ROOOOOOOB... CHAAAAAAAAAAPMAAAAAANNNN!”
Cracking his knuckles, "LionHeart" casts a quick glance around the ship at the 1,500 fans in attendance- a rather small crowd compared to the company's usual turnout, understandably- and raises the XWA Supreme Championship high above his head. There's a mixed reaction for the Champion. A sixty-forty split sounds about right. The former against him, and the latter with him. Tuning the fans out, this polarizing individual begins a slow, relaxed walk towards the ring. The look on his face is focused and intense. The camera pans back to Declan James in the ring. The two wear an eerily similar expression. As Chapman reaches the squared circle, he sets the Supreme Title on the ring apron, then braces off of said apron with both hands and swings in underneath the bottom rope feet-first. Chapman slaps the canvas, scoops up his Championship, and pops up to his feet hastily.
Walking over to a nearby corner of the ring, Rob stops for a moment to look over his shoulder at Declan. Dark brown eyes shoot a shockingly icy stare at the challenger. Rob hops up to the second rope and raises the Supreme Championship up over his head before hopping down and turning towards the ring. Holding the belt up again right where Declan can see it. "This is what it looks like when your belt actually means jack shit." barks the Supreme Champion, taunting his equally tenacious challenger from across the ring. Declan advances out of the corner with his fists clenched, shouting some kind of a retort at Rob, but senior official Jack Tickles is able to hold the wiry Californian back, by some miracle. Chapman relinquishes the Championship belt to the referee as he turns to face him, and casually deposits his entrance jacket over the ropes, letting the ring attendants return it to the backstage area. He paces about in the corner, giving the ropes a tug, and then begins to shadowbox as his music fades out and the lights come back up. Jack walks to the center of the ring and raises the title up high, turning to face each side of the ring, before handing it to the timekeeper over the top rope. The time is now. And the place... no one knows. No one may ever know. In International Waters, they could be anywhere. And they may do anything. Well... except, that, you know... for some reason this is a routine singles match. So, in fact, the same thing you'd see in a regular match. Not quite anything. But... things, for sure.
Mark Sanction: “This is for the Supreme Championship... and these guys look ready to throw down.”
Matt Steel: “Look at that staredown, Sanction. Look at it, and thank God we're out here and they're in that ring.”
Champion and challenger face off, staring down one another in opposite corners of the ring. Rob Chapman, the ten year veteran with a whole new world to prove himself to. Declan James, in search of redemption, and moreover, validation. The bell tolls thrice.
Mark Sanction: “And here we go!”
The bell doesn't echo much tonight; in International Waters, there's no walls for it to echo off of. The bell simply tolls into the night, and with its dissipating ring, the riled up "Gimmick Killer" charges across the ring towards his heavier set opponent. He doesn't realize there's no gimmick to kill. Kill or be killed, Declan... as Chapman comes thundering out of the corner, stuffing the Californian's attempt at a lock-up and taking him straight down to the mat with a nasty Lariat! The back of Declan's head smacks off of the mat with a nasty THUD while Rob looms over him with a scowl on his face. “Time to go to school, motor mouth," beckons Chapman, before picking him up by the head, wrapping an arm around it, and taking the challenger right back down with a smooth Side Headlock Takedown! Keeping a tight hold on his opponent from the ground and cranking mightily on the neck of the "Defender of Reality".
Mark Sanction: “Looks like Chapman decided to wait until they were in the ring to respond to Declan's remarks in person! And he's got a headlock cinched on Declan.”
Matt Steel: “Hey, don't dish it out if you can't take it, right?”
Mark Sanction: “Does that mean you're going to stop taking shots at Sean Young so that he doesn't kick you again?”
Matt Steel: “I'll kick you right out of your fucking chair again.”
Although he's been taken down hurriedly, the "Gimmick Killer" is able to turn the tides just as swiftly, swinging his legs back towards his head and wrapping them around Rob Chapman's neck in a headscissors, using an unanticipated amount of leg strength to pull him off. With his neck in a vice, Chapman acts quickly, lest this hold take too much out of him; leaning back onto his neck, Rob braces off of his hands and kips up, powering out of Declan's hold with the type of athleticism fans have come to expect out of the Supreme Champion. This counter isn't anything new; Declan's seen it before, and he's just as quick as his foe is to get back to his feet in response to it. This time he's the one waiting for his opponent; as Chapman attempts to lock up with James, it's the smaller, slicker wrestler who takes advantage, pivoting right into a Side Headlock and proving that turnabout is fair play with a clean takedown to the "Straight Edge Outlaw"! Rob grunts, reaching up to try and pry Declan's hands apart. Probably possible, though not the most effective strategy. Within a few seconds of realizing this, the Supreme Champion has switched gears. Swinging his legs backwards toward Declan's head, it looks as if Rob is going to try and counter the hold the same way, but instead of locking on a Headscissors, the defending champion instead just straight up kneebutts Declan in the back of the head! Once! Twice! Third time's the charm as the hold breaks, and Rob rolls back to his feet again, taking a deep breath as a slightly dazed Declan James comes right back at him in a ferverous frenzy... and gets stuffed again, as Rob goes down low, hooking James' legs and pulling the ground out from beneath him with a crisp Double Leg Takedown. As Declan lands on his back, he's put immediately in a precarious predicament, as Rob keeps a hold on his legs and somersaults over him to land in a bridge! Jacknife pin! Jack Tickles steps in to count the pin attempt: "One! Tw-" Kickout by Declan James at one and a half! The "War Machine's" size advantage isn't going to be enough to steal a victory right out from under the "Defender of Reality".
Mark Sanction: “A nice takedown into a Jacknife pin, but it doesn't even come close to putting James away.”
Matt Steel: “That fast kickout was on the ball, but Declan's not looking like a winner right now. He needs to use his speed, and more importantly, his maneuverability against Rob Chapman. Otherwise he's going to get walked over.”
Mark Sanction: “True. James is very, very agile, but while Rob doesn't display as much technicality these days, boy oh boy does he know how to take it to someone on the mat when the need arises. Especially when he's the one with the size advantage.”
Once more, Rob rolls right back to his feet. Declan isn't far behind, showing the fans exactly what they can expect from the early goings of this one. A fast paced, high energy test of cardio, endurance, and athleticism. Using the brief advantage of being the first on his feet, Rob greets Declan with a forearm to the jaw, then sends him hurdling towards the far ropes with a very quick Irish Whip. Very quick are also words to describe the reaction time of Declan James; without so much as a blink, "The Man Who Needs No Gimmick" steps up onto the middle rope as if it were a simple stair, and then throws himself backwards in a graceful arc, spinning his body like a throwing star as he extends his forearm towards his opponents cranium... and then sails through the air, crashing violently into the mat as Rob Chapman his head down and nonchalantly past his opponent's attempt at offense, letting Declan's own momentum completely wipe him out! James rolls as he hits the canvas before settling on his back, groaning in agony and breathing heavily. Meanwhile the Supreme Champion goes from zero to sixty as he throws himself to the ropes, and rebounds at high velocity towards the challenger, launching himself into a lightning quick no-handed somersault and crashing down across the throat of Declan with a Leg Drop! The "Warrior" leaves his legs draped across his opponent as the official drops down to count the pin, but Declan defiantly throws his arm up just before the count of one, tossing Chapman to the side and sitting up on the mat! Certainly audacious, but not necessarily the smartest move, as Rob is able to recover within a matter of seconds and take his opponent's back, wrapping both of his legs around the challenger's abdomen, squeezing hard with a nasty Body Scissors! He braces off of his hands for extra leverage, so he can dedicate his entire lower body to crushing Declan's ribs.
Matt Steel: “Rob's squeezing Declan James' ribs like he's trying to pop bubble wrap!”
Mark Sanction: “You pop bubble wrap with your legs?”
Matt Steel: “At least mine work, shitstick.”
Declan groans loudly as precious oxygen is forcibly squeezed out of his lungs by Rob's legs, like somebody forcing the air out of a balloon. Rob's legs are firmly locked in a figure-four; James attempts to pry the foot 'latching' his legs together away, but has little success, as Rob sits up out of his bridged position, and fights off James' escape attempt by throwing a punch that rakes across the face of his opponent from behind. Normally performed prior to his signature Dragon Clutch maneuver, Rob follows up with a second cross-face from the opposite side, followed by a third! A fourth, however, proves to be overzealous; In desperation, the "Defender of Reality" manages to catch his opponent's arm. Struggling to hold it in place with one hand, James throws his other arm up, elbowing his opponent in the side of the head with a glancing blow. Not enough. A second, more directed blow follows, catching Chapman between the eyes. Rob's grip weakens a little. Declan goes to town! Firing off rapid elbows in a manic attempt at escaping, but Rob still won't let go of the hold! Declan finally shoves the caught arm out of his face and reaches down with both hands, grabbing his opponent's legs in both hands. Swinging his head backwards, he connects with a backwards headbutt in the worst way, smashing the bridge of Rob's nose and doing some undesired damage to himself in the process. In spite of it, he manages to lean back as he actually pulls Rob's legs closer into his body and folds him up so that his shoulders are pinned to the canvas! Jack Tickles, already standing vigil over the competitors, drops swiftly to count the pin fall attempt! "One! Tw-" Rob gets the shoulder up just before two as he rolls to the side, unwrapping his legs from James' body and finally kicking him away! Both take a moment to breathe in the salt-heavy night air, filled with applause for the back and forth action between the pair of them. Being only a fraction of the usual XWA fan base, the audience tonight is much quieter than usual. But they applaud none-the-less.
Matt Steel: “That was a clever pin by Declan James, but Rob still kicked out before two. Rough... and... are you going to say anything?”
Mark Sanction: “... I'm sorry, I still can't get over the fact that you said you pop bubble wrap with your legs.”
Matt Steel: “I WILL LITERALLY BREAK WHAT IS LEFT OF YOUR BACK.”
It's not long before both men make it back to their feet. After all, this contest has been as brief as it has been intensely back and forth. Declan is up with a few seconds to spare at his opponent's expense, and he takes the opportunity to launch himself across the ring, bouncing off of the ropes. Though Chapman is on a knee as James begins to rebound, the "Gimmick Killer" sees the focused look in his opponent's eye- no grogginess or glazed over look here- as he bounds back, and he knows; Rob launches himself off of one knee and throws out a vicious, hooking blow, trying to take Declan's head off with another Lariat, but the Californian ducks that attack and spurs past Chapman, coming to a screeching halt a step and a half away; the momentum of Chapman's demand for Declan to Desist sends him spinning on his axis, and as he stops himself, facing the back of "Defender of Reality", he's abruptly having to face something else entirely, as James gracefully performs a standing back flip and catches his opponent right across the cheek with a picture-perfect Pele Kick! James rolls as he lands on his stomach and kips up without so much as a second thought, and throws his arms out to his sides as he looks down at his opponent, thoroughly unimpressed. "This is it?!" he dares, earning a mixed, though mostly positive reaction from the fans in attendance.
Mark Sanction: “Pele Kick! And Declan James is not impressed! But I don't think this is wise, he should be following up!”
Matt Steel: “I don't think Declan James is ever impressed. He's like the Grumpy Cat of wrestling. But, you know, blond.”
"I've taken shits that are more elite than this!" he brags aloud, earning a less positive reaction. The odd chuckle and cheer, and a lot of groans and eye-rolls. But that doesn't matter; more than anything, it's an attempt to goad his opponent into making a mistake, or at least being his predictable self. And it seems to work, as Rob dutifully rises back up to one knee, as before. Declan runs the near-ropes this time, gaining just enough momentum as he rebounds to take the newly-standing Chapman right back down with a textbook Swinging Neckbreaker! With the Supreme Champion on the ropes- metaphorically, of course- the challenger scrambles to the nearest corner of the ring, ascending hurriedly with his back to the ring! As he reaches the top rope, "The Man Who Needs No Gimmick" catapults himself into a mesmerizing back flip, only to catch sight of Rob rolling towards the corner of the ring, out of reach of the Moonsault! Panicking, James has to right himself in mid-air to land on his feet, and he does, but he's momentarily shaken; just long enough for the resilient champion to pop back up to his feet, and in one motion, vault up onto the top rope, and show Declan how its' done, flying backwards off of the top rope with a Moonsault of his own... only for the standing "Gimmick Killer" to scramble again, this time out of harm's way, and now it's Rob landing on his feet as James sprints towards the corner again, opting to use the adjacent middle rope as a step again...
Mark Sanction: “Moonsault after Moonsault, and nobody's... wait! Declan James-!”
Matt Steel: “DDT! Lights out!”
Where he catapults himself into another Moonsault, vaulting over his opponent's head and grabbing it on the way down, driving the base of "LionHeart's" skull into the mat with an inverted DDT! There's an unpleasantly loud CRACK as Chapman makes contact with the canvas, and Declan positions himself for a lateral press, beckoning the referee with a frantic hand. Jack Tickles slides in from his safe distance like he's taking home plate and begins to count! "One! Two!" Kickout! No luck for Declan as Rob kicks out right on two. "LionHeart" is known as such for a good reason. James is irked, but not enough to throw him off of his game. Rolling aside, allowing Rob to dazedly get back to a vertical base, he backs off a good four or five feet before charging in headlong yet again; wrapping an arm around the neck of his opponent, Declan rests horizontal atop his opponent's shoulders- briefly suspended in mid-air- before he begins to descend! Instead of the DDT that many are likely anticipating, however, the "Defender of Reality" uses the momentum of his fall to turn his body, hooking his legs underneath Chapman's arms in a wheelbarrow, and somersaulting to steamroll his opponent onto his back! Victory Roll! The official drops to count the pin again, but again it's a disappointing"Two!"for Declan James. The crowd, too, is disappointed, but now, they're making a lot of noise for 1,500 people!
Mark Sanction: “Declan with the two count off of the Victory Roll following that beautiful DDT, it's not quite enough! But he's got an opportunity!”
Matt Steel: “And you don't get very many opportunities against Rob Chapman! Keep it up!”
James is on the move again, as the "Straight Edge Outlaw" presses on and begins to stand again. With Declan flying at him every which way, he's not sure what else to do other than weather the storm. James once again runs towards the near ropes, ready to both repeat and make history as he launches himself off of the middle rope in a springboard, as if it were just something normal people do; this time he catapults himself into a twisting somersault, flipping right over the head of Chapman and rolling down his back, pulling the Supreme Champion to the mat with an impressive variation of a Sunset Flip, but the "Warrior" is able to use the momentum James gives him by rolling backwards to his feet! With a head full of steam, he lunges as James pops up to his feet again, only to get caught as Declan grabs his arm and flips him overhead with a Japanese Arm Drag! Rob hits the canvas, and... doesn't quite roll with the impact as much as he usually would from a simple takedown like that. He sits up quick enough, but with a hand clutching at his shoulder, the realization that something is very wrong spreads rapidly throughout the crowd. He rises back to his feet amongst murmurs, expecting James to be running or flying at him from some direction as he has been since the moment the bell rang to start this matchup. He's not wrong, either, as Declan comes charging off of the far ropes towards the potentially injured Chapman and wraps himself around the Supreme Champion with a quick headscissors floatover! He keeps the momentum going, floating over Rob a second time before securing a hold on his shoulder, as he attempts to take "The War Machine" down with a Reverse Armbar... but like any well-oiled machine, the Canadian is efficient, and he uses James' momentum to swing him around, spinning and dropping to the mat with a hard Sidewalk Slam! Before Rob can follow up with the pin, Declan begins to roll towards the apron. Not wanting to afford the Supreme Champion the opportunity.
Matt Steel: “Awesome counter, after playing possum, by Rob Chapman, unfortunately for Declan...”
Mark Sanction: “That it was, Matt. Also, that was a smart followup by Declan, not letting his opponent cover him!”
As Declan rolls away, he begins to pull himself underneath of the bottom rope head-first, likely trying to slide out onto the apron to go for a springboard maneuver, but Rob is on top of him much quicker than he expected, and he rains hard stomps down to both of James' knees, trying to take away the key component of the "Gimmick Killer's" ring style! It works- enough to slow him, at least- as James is prevented both from fleeing the ring, and from standing up on the apron. Instead, he's left draped across it with his upper body hanging out of the ring. And Rob has no problem with that; the "Warrior" makes his way out onto the apron, and in a matter of seconds, lines his opponent up...
Mark Sanction: “Uh-oh, Declan's in a precarious position...!”
Matt Steel: “Bam! Right across the chest!”
... and drops down, slamming the point of his elbow straight across the chest of Declan James! The challenger topples out of the ring, falling onto the light padding surrounding the ring on the ship's deck. As the "Gimmick Killer" rolls around, trying to regain his faculties, Rob takes a few steps back... and settles into an unsettlingly familiar pose.
Mark Sanction: “Oh no... Headshot incoming...!”
Matt Steel: “Ohhhhhh fuck. Declan, if you can hear me, I'll tell your wife I love her.”
Mark Sanction: “Matt, Declan isn't married... and that isn't even the first thing that's wrong with that...”
As the Champion begins to line up his challenger for that fateful, finishing kick, the crowd in attendance begins to boo relentlessly. Is Rob Chapman really going to go for a count-out victory? Or does he just want to kick Declan James in the head that badly? Hard to blame him if it's the latter. The referee's count is at two. As Rob prepares to give Declan a new exit wound on his infamously scarred face, he reluctantly realizes that the Californian is getting back up just a little too quickly. He's just out of place. James hits all fours, but Rob can tell he'll be on his feet before he can clear the distance. An alteration is in order; Chapman takes off like a shot- pun intended- and as Declan stands promptly, expecting to avoid the dreaded Yakuza Kick that put the retired Thomas Barnez on the disabled list, he's caught very, very unaware as Rob hops up toward the ring apron, plants off of it with one foot, and launches himself right back at James: CRACK! A flying kick right across the orbital bone renders the "Defender of Reality" defenseless! Declan crumbles to the floor. His base is broken. His brain is rattled! The crowd gives the Champion a commendable pop, both for their size, and for his standing among them. Chapman doesn't seem to care much, however, as he stands and grabs a handful of James' blonde hair, yanking him back to his feet single-handedly. Just as the referee's count hits six- previously ignored- Rob tosses "The Man Who Needs No Gimmick" back into the ring, rather unceremoniously. He slides back in immediately and pulls the challenger away from the ropes before covering him with a lateral press, and a hook of the leg! Jack drops to count the pin attempt: "One! Two!" Denied, as James kicks out half way to three! The crowd cheers for the match continuing, but falls rather quiet after the anticipation is broken.
Mark Sanction: “Two-count only, but what a kick! Can we get a replay of that?”
Matt Steel: “No. Also, have you ever seen anyone win a match by pinfall after doing literally any move outside the ring?"
Chapman stands, rather un-enthused as he lifts the scraggy remains of his opponent from the mat, and hooks his head beneath Declan's arm in a Northern Lights setup. Rather than a suplex, though, Rob is looking for something much more final; Reaching down, Rob feeds his opponent's other arm through his own legs in a Pumphandle clutch, before powering the Gimmick Killer up his finishing Sunday Crush; Right before Rob can bring James down for the Neckbreaker, however... like Diamond Jack Sabbath, and Jerod Barnez before him, the wiry Californian manages to escape from the jaws of defeat, sliding down over Rob's shoulder at the highest point of the move and landing on his feet behind the Supreme Champion! Once more, he reaches up and wraps his arm around Rob's head in an inverted facelock; The crowd comes alive, fully expecting James to pull out his finishing DWI... but whether he thinks it's too early, or risky... or he simply wants to spite the fans... instead of delivering that Rolling Cutter to end it, he spins the "Warrior" into a front facelock, and finally into a three-quarter facelock, as he leaves his feet... only to have his patented Twist of Hate blocked, as the Canadian Competitor furiously ignores his opponent's reversal and deadlifts the airborne challenger directly into a Backdrop Suplex! WHAM! As Declan is driven spine-first into the canvas, Rob holds him down and bridges directly into a pin! Jack Tickles is right on top of the action and drops to count: "One! Two!" Kickout by the challenger!
Mark Sanction: “What a counter; a picture-perfect Backdrop Suplex in every sense of the word, but Declan, out at two!”
Matt Steel: “Have you ever seen anyone win a match with a Backdrop Suplex?”
Mark Sanction: “Actually, yes. Tons of people.”
Matt Steel: “Damnit Sanction, you ruined my Family Guy-style gag. I'll remember this day.”
Frustration is beginning to build. Not at the inability to put his opponent away, but simply because of his opponent in general. Everything about Declan James, from his demeanor, to his look, to his in-ring style is annoying Rob Chapman to his core. When he looks at Declan, Chapman sees himself during his early career. He sees the mistakes he made, and the risks he took... the pointless, disrespectful shit that he talked, and then had to eat, after. But... this isn't his early self. Declan James isn't the man in the mirror. Declan James is Rob Chapman's opposition. A former Gladiatorial Champion... one far more arrogant than Rob has ever had the audacity to be, over the course of the last decade. For better or for worse, this is the man that XWA has deemed worthy to challenge for the Supreme Title, based on hype alone. So be it. Since returning, Rob Chapman has consistently delivered great matches... but his match with Jerod Barnez was too personal to be the standard bearer. No... Rob Chapman versus Declan James is going to be that standard bearer. From this point forward, Rob isn't going to be wrestling his opponent, at which James stands a significant chance. He's going to be dismantling his opponent. While his inner monologue rages on, the "Gimmick Killer" has wearily begun to rise to his feet. Rob is ready for him. As James achieves a vertical base, he's quickly doubled over by the two-hundred forty-seven pound Supreme Champion drilling him with a swift spinning back kick to the gut. Taking a calculated step back, Chapman sizes up his opponent, before pulling an old friend out of his arsenal, and lurching forwards, throwing a sickening punt straight into the face of Declan James as if he were going for a field goal! The kick snaps James' head up, but it's yanked right back down as the "War Machine" cinches a front facelock, then finally dumps Declan right on the top of his head with a DDT! As Declan flips onto his back, the Halifax native is quick to go for another cover. Jack is ready, and the count commences: "One! Two! Th-" No! Kickout just before the three count! The crowd is raucous, cheering as the match goes on once more!
Matt Steel: “JESUS! What a DDT! No flash, no finesse, no backflip... Rob just dumped him right on his scarred-ass head!”
Mark Sanction: “That was a real close call for the challenger! But he's still in it!”
No hesitation. No hesitation whatsoever to follow up; the Supreme Champion hauls Declan James back to his feet, wrenches his arm, and sends the "Defender of Reality" packing into a nearby corner with an Irish Whip. Declan tries to turn to stop himself, but ends up slamming against the top turnbuckle spine-first! As he rests against the source of his most recent back pain, "LionHeart" builds up a head of steam and bolts across the ring, but just as he brings his arm up for a Clothesline, Declan manages to grab the top rope and raise both knees, causing Chapman to run smack into a double knee butt to the face! Rob stumbles away, clutching at his jaw as he's spun around by the blow, and somehow, Declan has the wherewithal to follow up immediately, stepping out of the corner and clubbing the back of his opponent. It looks a bit on the weak side, but for somebody who's had his head treated with as much care as a U.S. Postal Service ground delivery, it's an admirable followup nonetheless. With his opponent now doubled over from the back club, "The Man Who Needs No Gimmick" promptly steps over his opponent's body and situates himself perfectly for a Sunset Flip Powerbomb, aimed directly at the turnbuckle! Raising two middle fingers to the sky, what follows is not one, but two equally impressive displays... as Declan, with no feet on the ground, flips over Chapman and prepares to bash his skull off of the corner of the ring with the Gimmick Eclipse... he's stopped dead in his tracks, suspended upside down over the canvas as the Supreme Champion effectively sandbags Declan's attack, and takes a step out of the corner, holding James' legs tightly beneath his arms. There's a gasp of awe from this capacity crowd! But... that's not the second impressive display. This is: As Rob takes a single step forward, one by one, he modifies his hold on each of his opponent's legs to be over his shoulders instead of under them... and then, nearly from ground zero, powers Declan back the way he came, up over his head, and plants him into the canvas with an Alabama Slam! There's a sickening THUD accompanied by a distinct WHOOSH as the blow forcibly evicts the air from James' lungs!
Mark Sanction: “Rob Chapman with an Alabama Slam, also known as a Waterwheel Slam, driving Declan James into the canvas! Rob Chapman continues to show us new depths to his arsenal, every time he gets in that ring!”
Matt Steel: “Hey, give Declan James some credit, he had that corner clothesline well-scouted, he just went for the Gimmick Eclipse a little too early that time!”
It doesn't get any better for the challenger from here, as, after driving him into the mat, he keeps a hold on Declan's legs. For a brief moment, it looks as if the Champion may be about to attempt a Boston Crab, but that's not the case. Instead, he casts a quick glance over his shoulder, and then falls backwards to the mat, catapulting Declan James straight into the top turnbuckle, face-first! SMACK! Gimmicks flash before Declan's eyes as Rob maintains his hold on the Californian and pulls him back down into a seated pin, sunset flip style! The consummate professional, Jack Tickles, is right on top of the action again and proceeds to count: "One! Two!" WHAT?! No! Kickout at two by Declan James, who rolls over onto his stomach and proceeds to lie flat, his back heaving as he desperately tries to breathe. The "Warrior" is in shock over this... not even because Declan kicked out, but because his progress towards winning seems to have somehow backpedalled. A look of dismay overtakes him completely as he rises up to his feet and stares down at the un-moving body of James, perplexed.
Mark Sanction: “Kickout at two! I don't think Rob Chapman's used to being the one in this position! It's like he's facing his past self!”
Matt Steel: “Definitely not. Declan James is one tough bastard. I don't know if he's got a "Lion Heart", but he's tough.”
Mark Sanction: “Especially when you consider that Rob's been targeting that previously-concussed head of Declan James whenever he has the chance.”
Matt Steel: “Declan's a thick-skulled motherfucker, Sanction. I mean that in the best possible way.”
That perplexity leaves as quickly as it's come on. In fact, it only serves to fuel the Champion's determination. Which is never good news for the person on the recieving end. Reaching down, Rob grabs Declan by the head, yet again. In the ring, he makes sure not to grab the hair this time; Jack's too nearby for him to risk wasting any time with questionable tactics. Just as Declan is helped to his feet, however, another surge of energy pulses through the challenger, and it manifests in the form of an elbow strike, clean across the jaw of Chapman! The Canadian staggers, but fires back with a stiff, closed-fist punch that nearly drops James back to the mat from whence he came! Following the punch- Jack lets this one slide- Rob follows up with a hard knee to the stomach, and then hooks Declan's arm around his head for a suplex. Backpedalling- there's that word again, but this time literally- "LionHeart" positions himself with his back to the ropes, about two and a half feet away, and hoists the "Defender of Reality" up onto his shoulder, starting out like a suplex, only to let go as he tosses him backwards in a manner similar to a Back Body Drop! Declan doesn't go out of the ring, though... no. This is much worse, as Declan's legs land across the top rope, and the challenger is catapulted back the way he came for the second time... as his body is involuntarily thrown into an Arabian Press-esque back flip, Rob is waiting, kneeling, with one knee extended for James to land across in a Gutbuster! James comes down harder than hard, and there's that distinct, frightening WHOOSH again as Rob forces more air out of his opponent's lungs! Even the crowd gasps in horror, and with only 1,500 people on board, there's a lot less ambience to drown out the stunned silence that ensues.
Mark Sanction: “Good god!”
Matt Steel: “I think that's the nastiest version of a Gutbuster I've ever seen! Jesus Christ!”
The Californian falls and lands on his back, rolling to lay adjacent to the ropes, with his ribs and his lungs screaming in absolute agony. He can't maintain a straight face, but he can't scream, either, as he doesn't have the air to. And there's about to be even less of it, as, immediately following that horror show, Chapman deliberately catapults himself into an Arabian Press using the same rope; a slingshot into a Moonsault... into a Double Knee Drop right across the "Gimmick Killer's" chest cavity! What little air Declan's coerced into his body is released as the scream he couldn't manage before! With a blank expression on his face, the fighting champion grabs his challenger and yanks him away from the ropes before dropping to cover him, again, remembering to hook the leg for the Lateral Press. The referee has to come in from a distance, this time, having stayed far away from Chapman's slingshot antics, but he begins to count the pin right on time, none the less. "One! Two! Three-" KICKOUT! Last second kickout by Declan James! It really was like looking into a mirror to Rob Chapman's past.
Matt Steel: “Say what you want about Declan James, the kid won't die! And those were some absolutely sick knees by Rob, in quick succession! The Gimmick Killer's got heart!”
Mark Sanction: “There's no doubt of that, Matt! But I have a feeling things are going to get worse for Declan James before, and if they get better.”
Disbelief turns to rage, unsurprisingly. "WHAT?! How in the actual, living, FUCK!?" Chapman roars furiously, as confused as he is livid. Two balled, Canadian, glove-adorned fists slam against the canvas in petty anger. The 'straight edge' X marks on the back of his own gloves catch Rob's eye... and serve to motivate him in a way they never had before. Declan James had the nerve, earlier this evening, to call Rob a rip off of him for wearing these. Rob Chapman had worn these gloves, ever since 2007, when an embarrassing, televised match with an old mentor had caused him to denounce the consumption of alcohol. His personal choice- one he and others had always considered admirable, were suddenly a link between him, and this loudmouth punk laying in a writhing pile in front of him. Trying to rip off his Lion Heart. He begins to unfasten those padded gloves, and tosses them to the side as Declan begins to stir, but not to rise. "Okay. You wanna call me a ripoff? Fine. The gloves come off. We'll see how you like that, you fucking disrespectful little prick." Chapman spits, grimacing as he watches Declan struggle to grab the ropes in an attempt to stand. Something in the "Straight Edge Outlaw" has changed again, for the worse. As James reaches up with a trembling hand to grab the middle rope, a hand wraps around the top of his skull, yanking him away, albeit back to his feet. Suddenly, a right hand clocks him right across the jaw, snapping his head to one side. Declan almost goes down again. Rob's other hand holding his shoulder prevents that. It prevents it again, too, as the Canadian follows up with a shot to the body, followed a second, and a third... Jack Tickles finally approaches and begins admonishing Chapman for his use of closed fists. A bit on the late side, but fine by him. With Declan doubled over and coughing for air, Rob's fine with doing anything else. Hooking his arm for a suplex once more, the Supreme Champion follows up that heavy-handed, borderline-disqualification assault with an incredibly clean and crisp Snap Suplex! Rob doesn't go for the pin; he keeps a hold on the "Defender of Reality" as he rolls over and rises right back to his feet with Declan in tow, and in position for another Suplex!
Mark Sanction: “Beautiful Snap Suplex by Rob Chapman, and I think he's going for another one!”
The "War Machine" doesn't go where the commentators think he's going to go. As he lifts the pliable body of Declan up into position for another Suplex, he hastily spins the challenger around, but rather than plant him with what appears to be a Falcon Arrow, instead, he drops the two-hundred and sixteen pounder onto his shoulder, and brings his other arm up underneath James to put him in a scoop position. Powerslam?
Mark Sanction: “Turns him around, and... what is Rob going for here?”
Matt Steel: “Nothing good.”
No... Rob begins to pace around with Declan on his shoulder... and stops abruptly as he comes face to face with a far corner of the ring. What happens next is as violent as it is sudden; Rob takes off with "The Man Who Needs No Gimmick" over his shoulder, but instead of ramming him into the turnbuckle, he literally pitches the challenger across the ring! The upside-down Declan sails through the air, before making hard, frightening contact with the corner turnbuckles! If that doesn't knock the air out of him, the proceeding fall, straight onto his neck and shoulders, absolutely will. Declan James lays decimated in the corner of the ring. And still, the "Straight Edge Outlaw" doesn't go for the pin. In fact... he's actually dropped to a knee in the center of the ring, and he's begun to clutch at his shoulder. The shoulder that Declan was just suspended over, and the shoulder that was apparently hurt by an awkward Arm Drag earlier this evening. So, Rob wasn't playing possum earlier, after all. The camera switches to show Declan, who we see folded up like an accordion, and most notably, bleeding from the mouth. Whether it's internal, or a result of Chapman's shot across the jaw remains to be seen, but it's smeared across the corner of his mouth.
Mark Sanction: “Oh... I'm beginning to think that Rob wasn't playing possum, earlier... I mean, he beat Jerod Barnez on what I'm amazed wasn't a fractured ankle, so we know he can fight through pain!”
Matt Steel: “They're both hurt, Declan's bleeding out of his mouth! He could have internal injuries because of those knee attacks before!”
Still, Rob recovers from this far sooner than Declan James is likely to recover from anything in this match. Rising back to his feet, the Supreme Champion crosses the ring, and slowly lifts the broken frame of his opponent back to something resembling a vertical base. Pushing him into the turnbuckle, Chapman manages to fire off a few more closed fist shots before Jack Tickles insists he stop, or else. Rob knows his limits. And after last month, he's not willing to test Jack Tickles' patience. Holding up his hands in an offensively innocent manner, to which the crowd boos fairly loudly, the Champion proceeds to grab the "Gimmick Killer" by the head, and pull him back out of the corner by approximately two steps... and then proceed to head to the opposite corner. That same crowd quickly turns around and "OOOH's" with anticipation. The volume rises and the cheers mount as, after several seconds of stalking, Rob explodes into action, darting across the ring and leaving his feet, leaping high into the air and extending both of his knees outwards for his signature Meteora, also known as the Shining Friday... only for Declan James to come alive at that very moment, retreating out of the way! James collapses forward at the same time that Rob flies straight into the top turnbuckle knees-first and stops dead, only to drop backwards right onto his neck, mirroring Declan's ugly fall a moment before! Rob's face is frozen in an expression of wide-eyed, open mouthed horror as he gasps on the mat, trying and failing to move his body as he's overcome with pain and shock!
Matt Steel: “Ooh! Damn, Rob's knees just got wrecked!”
Mark Sanction: “You're not kidding, holy shit!”
Both men are down just long enough for the referee to check on the two of them, but not long enough for him to start a count towards a double knockout. Yet, both of them look like they're suffering from shell-shock as they reach a vertical base. Rob more than the exhausted "Gimmick Killer". The Californian is able to take full advantage of this as simply and as effectively as possible, as he throws his leg out in a low roundhouse kick and sweeps his opponent's feet right out from beneath him. Rob lands hard on his back, adjacent to the corner of the ring! The crowd begins to cheer again, as they realize exactly what he's in position for! They know it, and Declan James knows it; Hobbling as far away as he can, the former Gladitorial Champion steels his nerves and takes off at a run in spite of the pain, vaulting onto the middle rope, grabbing the top rope, and lifting himself up high in a handstand... before dropping down just as quickly to the mat below, crashing down belly to belly across the Supreme Champion with a beautiful Corner Slingshot Splash! Straight into a pinning attempt!
Mark Sanction: “Taser Splash by The Gimmick Killer! Taser Splash and a cover!”
Matt Steel: “One! Two, and... hey his foot's on the rope!”
Mark Sanction: “It is! Jack, don't count it!"
The crowd is dismayed as Chapman gets his foot on the bottom rope right at the count of two. In spite of the fact that he's completely frozen in place, Rob still has the wherewithal and the ring awareness to save himself. It's commendable, but in this particular scenario, it's also detestable. Ten seconds feel like ten minutes as Declan James slowly gets back to his feet. The "Defender of Reality" is finally back on the attack. And looking for revenge. As he haggardly reaches his feet, a look of pure anger flashes across his face. For a moment, the Gladitorial Championship... the Supreme Championship, ELITE, and even his own redemption fall away from view. They don't matter. All that matters is the respect that he's about to beat into Rob Chapman. Lifting him by one arm, the Californian gives Rob's arm a particularly nasty wrench, and drags him towards the center of the ring before drilling him with a knee to the midsection. As Rob doubles over, Declan takes off into the far ropes like a rocket only to bound back twice as fast. As he clears the distance in a hurry, he leaves his feet, leaping forwards and rearing his fist back in a modified version of a Superman Punch! But before Declan can strike with Extreme Prejudice, the defending "LionHeart" ducks out of the way and steps forward. Declan lands on his feet like the professional athlete that he is and even more remarkably, manages to keep his momentum going! Recovering hastily, Rob takes off after "The Man Who Needs No Gimmick" in hot pursuit; as Declan bounces off of the ropes, Rob is a step behind him; Declan skids to a halt and turns to face his oncoming opponent as the Canadian rebounds and tries to take Declan's head off one more time with a Lariat, but now, it's James who ducks down and avoids the attack, taking off towards the rope again. Rob recovers quickly and likewise takes off after James, only for the challenger to vault through the middle rope feet first, and then swing his entire body back towards the ring, ultimately driving both feet into the face of his oncoming opponent with a well-placed Pendulum Kick! Rob is knocked away, toppling over backwards, but recovering into a roll and ending on his knees, where he clutches at his aching jaw with his hands.
Mark Sanction: “Great counter by Declan James, staying out of harm's way, there!”
Matt Steel: “Nuh-uh, he sure as hell didn't stay out of harm's way, Sanction! He brushed past it repeatedly, got right in harm's way, and defied it! That was really, really well scouted!”
As the Gimmick Killer swings himself back into the ring, he approaches the kneeling Champion, only to, again, get caught as Chapman throws out a desperation forearm as he pops up to his feet! James stumbles away, and Rob is right on him, following him from behind. Grabbing Declan by the wrist, the "Straight Edge Outlaw" attempts an Irish Whip, only to be reeled back in...
Matt Steel: “Rob clocked him, goes for the Irish Whip, no!”
Mark Sanction: “Cutter! Declan James hit the Cutter!”
... and dropped face first with a picture perfect Cutter by the "Gimmick KIller"! The crowd comes alive! Rob is down and Declan turns his attention to the top rope... only to turn back around and see the Supreme Champion rolling towards the apron. James doesn't even think, he just runs; As the Californian heads for the far ropes, Rob, now on the apron, shifts to a seated position. With his back to the ring, he reaches for the top rope... just as Declan comes roaring back, and drops down low with a Baseball Slide... only to miss the target on Rob's back as the two-hundred-forty seven pounder from Halifax pulls himself up, backwards, over the top rope, skinning the cat! Declan goes straight through the bottom rope, but manages to land on the floor, feet first, just as Rob lands on his feet in the ring! Declan quickly slides back in under the bottom rope as Rob hops back towards the center of the ring! He pops right back up and bulrushes the Champion throwing out a rare clothesline, only to have his arm ducked and hooked, as the Canadian catches James in a Half Nelson, powers him up, and drives him down across a bent knee with a beautiful Backbreaker modification! Rob immediately proceeds to cover Declan for the pin! Jack TIckles is never far away: "One! Two! T-" No! Declan James gets the shoulder up! The crowd cheers gratefully, only to have their excitement dashes as Rob doesn't even move from the cover position; instead, he begins throwing absolutely savage knee strikes into the body of the "Defender of Reality"!
Mark Sanction: “We saw this earlier from LX-Tim! Rob is going nuts in there, hitting him with any part of his body in range!”
Matt Steel: “And right now it's those damn knees again!”
(Formatting put me just barely over the damn character limit... I'll add what's left in a new post. I don't want it to broken up by DJS' post, but oh well.)
Last edited by Rob Chapman on Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Rob Chapman Win/Loss Record (2005 - 2020) | 74 - 48 - 2
Two, three, four, five... Chapman's assault is relentless! Until he goes for knee number six, and the challenger does what he's tried to do for the last three, and catches Rob's knee, wrapping his right arm as tightly around it as he can manage! With grim determination, the challenger rises to his feet, still clutching Rob's leg... and uses his left arm to hook the Champion's arm around his neck, before abruptlly swinging towards and canvas and crushing him with Fisherman's style Swinging Neckbreaker! He's not able to bridge, but he is able to flop down across his opponent's chest, back-first. Gasping for breath as Jack Tickles drops to count the pin yet again. The crowd chants along with the senior official: "One! Two! Thr-" Kickout at two and a half! Declan James rolls away in pure, resentful awe. What does he have to do?
Mark Sanction: “Near-fall for Declan James! The Supreme Championship was so close!”
Matt Steel: “It's no closer than it's been since the match started, Sanction! Declan's got to do better than that! The only person to hold a victory over Rob Chapman in 2016 is Diamond Jack Sabbath! Rob might be a colossal asshole, but that's a hell of a high standard to meet!”
Mark Sanction: “Yeah, but if anybody can do it...”
By the time Mark and Matt have finished saying their piece, Declan his figured out exactly what he has to do. To hell with the chip on his shoulder. Grievously, he sits up, ignoring the burning in his lungs, the burning in his back and shoulders, the burning in his neck... the Gimmick Killer stands, ready. He pushes himself wearily to his feet as he watches the Champion sit up in similar agony. Time to put this mirror match to rest. To send the Gladiatorial Championship, and his past mistakes to a watery grave, and to become the Supreme Champion. Approaching Chapman from behind, he reaches down and wraps an arm around the head of the "Straight Edge Outlaw", locking on an Inverted Facelock, and lifting Rob up to his feet! It's time! With a shrill roar, Declan swings his body to deliver the Rolling Cutter- the DWI- to the Supreme Champion... and keeps swinging, as Rob Chapman uses Declan's momentum against him and reverses the position, spinning the Gimmick Killer all the way around and wrapping an arm around Declan's head to secure a tight inverted facelock! He raises an arm high above his head and roars! Could it be?! The DWI? Or...?
Matt Steel: “I think this finisher-stealing asshole is about to add another one to his list!”
Mark Sanction: “Wait... no, Matt! I think Rob's going for the Heathen Chemistry!”
Matt Steel: “Oh god, you're right! That's bad news for Declan James!”
Rob begins to power James up high, lifting him towards that Inverted Brainbuster that Jerod Barnez reminded him of exactly one month ago at the conclusion to Lord of The Ring... suspending him... and then brings him right back down, slamming him across a bent knee and suspending him over it in an Inverted Backbreaker Hold, combined with a Dragon Sleeper! There's half a WHOOSH, followed by a scream of agony as Rob chokes the life out of the GImmick Killer! He has to shift it back to an inverted facelock in a hurry as the referee approaches, but even so, how can Declan stay alive in this hold? Somehow... some way, he does. Reaching, scratching, clawing for his opponent's face, just beyond reach, Declan James does everything in his power not to tap. To defy his opponent's "LionHeart". Out of options, Declan can do only one thing. He brings his arms as close to Chapman's face as he can get them and flips the Supreme Champion the double bird. Rob, for the first time in this match, actually laughs.
Matt Steel: “Look at the audacity of Declan James! Chapman's doing his damndest to get Declan James to submit and all The Gimmick Killer has to say to that is 'Fuck You'!”
Mark Sanction: “And he's still hanging on! But I don't like his chances right here...”
That laugh is a bad sign for Declan James. Rob relinquishes the backbreaker, but keeps the inverted facelock secured tightly; rising back to his feet, the Canadian powers James up, over his head, and then finally down to the mat with a deadlift version of an Inverted Suplex! James hits the canvas chest-first and rolls involuntarily up onto his knees, where he remains, waiting, Perfectly positioned. "This ain't no place for no hero," Chapman rambles, as he pushes himself back up to his feet, and turns to face his opponent. The Supreme Champion begins to turn on his axis, throwing himself into a full three-hundred and sixty degree rotation; "SO GO HOME!" The scream- a reference to his former partner, Danny Diamond, precedes what is undoubtedly the stiffest strike Chapman has dealt since he stepped foot in XWA, as he comes out of his spin and drops down, connecting with a sliding version of a Discus Lariat that manages to echo in the night with a disturbing CRACK! Die Tonight! Whether that's the move name, or an instruction, Declan does exactly that, as he's knocked onto his back and stares up at the bright lights, for once, real stars. Rob doesn't go for the cover. No, the Supreme Champion is, in fact, back on his feet. Raking a hand through his unruly, matted hair, he comes to notice a spatter of blood across his inner bicep, at the point of impact. He wipes it off and laughs; the camera pans back to Declan. The bleeding from the shot across the jaw earlier seems to have worsened, as there's now spatters of blood on the mat, as well, right beside his head. He's going to be tasting that for awhile.
Matt Steel: “Holy shit!”
Mark Sanction: “Good God almighty! If you want blood, you got it! What a Discus Lariat!”
Rob crouches down, watching Declan closely. Unsurprised, amused, and prepared when the Californian finally, eventually rolls over and makes his way up to all fours. Spitting out old blood onto the canvas... that's his cue! Chapman storms across the ring like a man possessed, bearing down on Declan like a mack truck about to hit a deer on the highway.
Matt Steel: “Oh god. This is it.”
Mark Sanction: “Headshot! Chapman got all of it!”
BOOM! Headshot! Rob connects flush with the Yakuza Kick, right across the prone skull of Declan James! James' head snaps to one side, and he begins to slowly fall to the ground. That's it. It's over. There's a loud POP followed by a steady stream of disappointed boos from the capacity crowd in attendance. Rob stands over Declan for a minute, breathing heavily, before dropping to the mat and covering the "Gimmick Killer" with the lateral press. Jack Tickles slides across the ring to make the count in epic fashion: "One! Two! Three-" No... Rob suddenly breaks the pin up, lifting Declan's blood spattered, broken head off of the canvas. It may be over, but he's not done. Rolling Declan over onto his stomach, Rob rises to his feet, takes several steps back, and drops into that stance again...
Mark Sanction: “Oh come on! What the hell is this about?! Rob just had the match in the bag and he just put his Supreme Championship back up in the air!”
Matt Steel: “He wants to re-injure Declan James... kill off the competition. The same way he and ELITE put Thomas Barnez in the hospital.”
Mark Sanction: “This man is sick.”
It's a good ten seconds before the "Gimmick Killer" even begins to writhe... fifteen to twenty seconds before he moves. He doesn't know where he is. No music is playing. And he can't see anyone or anything. He slowly, weakly begins to rise. To all fours. Again. Rob Chapman is ready. Just as Declan's limbs co-operate enough for him to get into place... Rob launches himself across the ring. One more time. One more shot. The leg comes up... and Declan goes down, ducking beneath the blow! The challenger finds the wherewithal to pop back up as Rob sails past him, swinging an arm out and clipping Chapman's leg out from underneath him! The "Defender of Reality" finds his feet somewhere underneath him and rises to a base as vertical as he can muster. The Supreme Champion is up in a furious hurry, lunging at Declan...
Mark Sanction: “Oh my god!”
Matt Steel: “Holy fuck, that was so ugly it was beautiful!”
Mark Sanction: “Declan James outta nowhere!”
And Declan plants him one more time with a Cutter! A butt ugly Cutter, but not everything has to be pretty. If it works for Rob Chapman, it can work for Declan James. But... he knows. He knows this won't do it. And he knows that after having the DWI countered, he'll never get another chance like the one he has right now. Hobbling as fast as his tired legs will take his broken body, "The Man Who Needs No Gimmick" clambers up to the top rope, like a squirrel scurrying up a tree. He wobbles as he reaches the top... but keeps his balance. And as he rises, so too do the fans in the crowd! Out here, on international waters, beneath a starry sky, Declan James casts his body to the wind; he leaves the top rope and begins to twist... somersaulting, spinning seven-hundred and twenty degrees in a corkscrew! The Grave Driller connects... right across the bent knees of Rob Chapman! Declan James screams as his body is contorted by those piercing knees; he rolls forward, clutching at his spine as he flops onto the canvas face-first! Rob Chapman slowly rises back to his feet, glaring down at the "Gimmick Killer" with an expression of pure hatred. Standing in the corner of the ring, the "Warrior" reaches down... and taps on his kickpad.
Mark Sanction: “Oh god, I think we're gonna see it, Matt!”
Matt Steel: “Brace for impact, Sanction!”
As Declan James eventually rises, fresh blood seeping from his mouth, he turns around to face his opponent one last time.
Mark Sanction: “Crown Kick!”
Matt Steel: “R.I.P. Declan James!”
Crown Kick! Declan goes down like a ton of bricks as the Roundhouse kick batters his skull with decapitating power! Rob falls to his knees as the Gimmick Killer falls... but again... he doesn't cover him. Instead... he puts his hands on Declan's shoulders, and begins to forcibly lift the Californian onto all fours. At this rate, there's not going to be much to send back to his home state. Once Declan is in position, and not simply collapasing in a limp heap, as he does on the first two attempts, Rob takes a couple of steps back... and then launches himself full on into the opposite ropes! As he's flung back across the ring by the draw of the ring ropes, Rob bears down on Declan like a fired arrow; He waits until the last second, this time, to kick as hard, and as quickly as he possibly can to deliver that piercing strike! The Headshot connects again! James' body is forced into a tailspin before collapsing lifelessly on the canvas, while Rob catches himself on the top rope, nearly spilling to the outside! The crowd is jeering Chapman voraciously, but it's such a moot point.
Mark Sanction: “And another Headshot by Chapman! This is sick!”
Matt Steel: “I agree, that was completely fucking unnecessary!”
The "Straight Edge Outlaw" turns around as he rights himself, and looks down at the defeated body of Declan James. There will be no redemption, no salvation. Declan James can consider that gimmick killed. Buried at the bottom of the ocean. Sauntering toward the challenger, Rob Chapman simply puts his foot on the head of the challenger, and growls for the official to count the pin. The foot should be on the chest, but Declan's shoulders are down, so... "One! Two! Three!"
Removing his boot from the blood spattered head of Declan James, Rob wipes it off on the mat as the official brings him the Supreme Championship.
Hana Ramierez: “Ladies and gentlemen, your winner, by pinfall... and STILL XWA SUPREME CHAMPION... ROOOOOOOOOOB... CHAAAAAAAAAPMAAAAAAN!”
Matt Steel: “Thank God that's over.”
Mark Sanction: “I second that. There better be some goddamn medics aboard this ship!”
Matt Steel: “Or an undertaker.”
Mark Sanction: “This is a dark scene to depart International Waters on, Matt...”
Matt Steel: “On Stranger Tides, indeed.”
"Iron's" horns continue to blare as the other members of ELITE... Mark Storey, Ace Acid, an exhausted LX-Tim, and Sean Young all make their way out onto the stage. They look to Rob, as if asking whether or not they should hit the ring. Chapman shakes his head, slinging his title over his shoulder and rolling out of the ring. On Stranger Tides... Declan James is a broken man. James my be the Titanic, but Rob Chapman is the fucking Iceberg. Heading up the ramp without so much as a backwards glance, the Supreme Champion makes his way to the top of the entrance stage and joins his compatriots. Standing in the middle, as he did last month at Lord of the Ring Part II... he raises the Supreme Championship high above his head as the rest of ELITE finish applauding, and raise their own fists high. Rob takes a deep breath and savours the cool, night air. As salty as Declan would likely be whenever he woke up. Chapman smirks victoriously, as the copyright logo appears in the corner of the screen... and the image fades to black.
(Finished! As usual, commentary and the rest of my formatting after the fact. I just needed to make sure I got this done. I would have actually started much sooner, but for some reason I thought the deadline was actually Sunday, and didn't see it was Friday til the middle of the work week. Thanks for the extension, DJS.)
Rob Chapman Win/Loss Record (2005 - 2020) | 74 - 48 - 2
DECLAN JAMES: THE GIMMICK KILLER RETURNED! The Suicide Senton through the Baricade was quite a nice touch. My favorite part of the match was when you call Chapman an "elitist fuck" :lol: The match overall was great, I liked the commentary. Well done. :)
ROB CHAPMAN: My friend, you have a thing for writing I'll give you that. :lol: Your matches are long, but the description is always there. I've said it once in the LX-Tim match, but I think this Elite storyline is incredible. The match was amazingly long but it was a good read, overall. The commentary was equally as good. Very Entertaining. :)
THE WINNER: Although both matches were great reads, I went with the one with, well the most effort. And not that there wasn't in both matches, obviously there was but i felt one had a little more "oomph". So the winner in my opinion is... ROB CHAPMAN.
"ALROIGHT MATE OIM A GEEZER INNIT, AHM GOIN THE PUB. LUV ME BIG BEAUTIFUL BRITISH BOLLOCKS AND
ME QUEEN GOOOODDD SAAAVVVVVEEEEEE OOOOOOUUUURRRRR QUUUUEEEEEENNNN
Declan James There's some good with this match but a lot that's bad.
I like the Gladiatorial Championship situation. Just the continuity shown with it and the idea of Declan keeping it, all of that. Description-wise, wording and the such, was good. I do have a complaint here but I'll save that for the later part of this vote. Some of the action was also pretty interesting. As much as I disliked the involvement of ELITE (something else I'll get to later), the Tiger Feint Kick spot to keep them out was really cool. Honestly, I feel like you have potential to be really good, but there are a lot of big problems in this post that you need to work out in the future.
First of all, my biggest problem with this match. Much-like my problem with the promo you posted leading to this match, this felt like a complete burial of Rob (and, to some extent, the rest of ELITE). Declan got a lot more offense in than Rob and Rob didn't feel at all like he was a defending champion. Declan felt like a super megastar with how big of a reaction he got from the crowd, how much he dominated and all that. Even both commentators were completely biased against Rob. Matt makes sense because one of ELITE's members attacked him at the last show, but Mark being this biased is wrong to me. He was also kicked by Sean, but he's supposed to be the fair one, the good guy. He shouldn't be rooting for Rob, but he also shouldn't go the entire match completely shitting on him and not saying anything positive. Meanwhile, Mark screams over Declan's entrance as if he was making a huge surprise return and not coming out for a match he was scheduled to compete in. It was just way too one-sided, not only in terms of the action itself, but the vibe in general. Declan felt like the best, most over wrestler ever while Rob felt like some loser who got lucky as fuck while cheating to become champion.
Your usage of the Rob character was also not very good, outside of the fact that you made him look like shit. His early dialogue, particularly "ELITE owns you, bitch!" isn't something Rob would ever say and him being a chickenshit heel who tries to grab his title and leave is completely wrong. Rob just went from being a complete badass face going toe-to-toe against the likes of DJS. Not every heel is a chickenshit.
I didn't like how you had the entirety of ELITE (or any ELITE, really) come out to try to help, especially as early in the match as you did it. Again, it just makes Rob look like a chickenshit who can't do anything on his own.
I didn't care for most of the commentary. Matt was somewhat fine to me, but as I mentioned with Mark, him being that biased just seemed wrong. Not to mention, I think you had Mark cursing way too much and, according Declan's profile the Taser Splash is a Running Corner Slingshot Splash (I assume similar to the move Vader/Jack Swagger use). Mark would need to be a really bad play-by-play commentator to confuse that with a Starship Pain. The one bit of commentary that I disliked the most, though, was "CHAPMAN IS TAPPING OUT LIKE A FUCKIN' BITCH!" With how bad the post made Rob look, that bit of commentary just took it a different level. Rob is literally called a fucking bitch for tapping out by the face commentator. Having Rob tap out in his first title defense alone is kind of bad, but something I'm not /too/ against. Having him tap out and seem like a complete bitch for it, though, is different.
The problem I had with your description, mentioned earlier, is that you have a lot of moves called by the commentators but not actually written in the descriptions. I'm, personally, hugely against when people do this. It just takes me out of the match. Plus, a lot of the time it leads to me not knowing what the move actually is because there's little to no description there to help me other than whatever signature name the writer came up with.
And finally, I don't get the very end. Declan wins, decisively, by submission with the crowd cheering the fuck out of him, yet he's not happy with the win and even flips off the fans while they're chanting "You Deserve It". I get that Declan's meant to be an anti-hero, but he shouldn't be getting cheered so massively throughout the entire match if he's that much of a dick. It feels like the crowd has Stockholm Syndrome. And why wasn't he happy with the win? He just won XWA's biggest prize, in the most decisive manner he could possibly win it (via submission) and yet he's not happy about it. The only possible reason I could see him being unhappy about the victory is if he thinks he beat an undeserving champion to win it, which again shits on Rob, as well as Jerod (who he took the title from) and DJS (who he took to the very limit).
Also, Jerod's name has one r. Not anything I'm taking points off, it's irrelevant, but you made the mistake numerous times so I'm just saying for future reference.
To sum everything up: I think you need to work on how you describe your signature moves. Instead of setting them up and then the commentator says someone does the move and people are left wondering what move actually happened, you simply say what the move is and explain it well enough in the action and then have the commentators act accordingly. Try to make Mark curse a bit less and just, in general, be less biased. Study your characters a bit better so you can learn how to use them well. And, the most important thing, make your matches more even. Don't just make Declan look like a complete beast but then his opponents look like absolute shit. Whether you're facing an XWA legend, a legend elsewhere or even someone newer and less proven, nobody should come out of a match looking like absolute crap unless that's the point of their gimmick. You have good description outside of when you're doing that commentators thing I mentioned, your character is interesting, the Gladiatorial Championship situation is really unique and makes me want to see more of your character and you can come up with some cool spots. You just really need to push your opponents as well as yourself.
So ... Jesus Christ. Where to start here? I'm just gonna throw in all the notes I took of the match while reading it.
- As always, your description is amazing. I genuinely believe you're the absolute best at descriptions. I mean, I think you're the best match-writer in the game today in general, but your descriptions are just ridiculous. You paint such a vivid picture and you do it in a way where your descriptions not only get across what's happening, but the descriptions themselves are almost as entertaining as what's actually happening, if that makes any sense.
- Commentary was great. Matt was hilarious throughout, especially when poking fun at Mark's handicap. "You pop bubble wrap with your legs?" "At least mine work, shitstick." I fucking lost it. Also, unlike Declan's commentary, you actually had the commentators sell both wrestlers and not just your own.
- Rob does a much better job of making both men seem legitimate in this match. Rob has a bit more offense throughout, but Declan always feels like a genuine challenger. In a match with a badass heel champion defending his title, the challenger should feel like the underdog and this match accomplished that, while making James feel like a threat at the same time. The action was really even for a while and then turned to Rob starting to kill Declan later on, after his little inner monologue bit, but even after that, Declan isn't just dying. He's taking a majority of the punishment, but he's showing heart at the same time by staying in the match. He ends up getting more offense even further down the road in the match. I absolutely loved Rob wanting to do more damage than he needs, breaking up his own and pin and ending up eating shit for it with the second Cutter. I also loved how ugly you made it. It fits with how exhausted the two would be by now.
- I liked the personality you showed both men. Declan goading Rob on and even the defiant middle fingers he gave when it seemed like he was as good as done. Then, with Rob, getting pissed with Declan refusing to lose was great and I really loved the storytelling with Declan's earlier "ripoff" comment regarding Rob's straight edge lifestyle being used. It's not often that people use stuff that happened in promos for match storytelling if it wasn't between two people in a genuine feud.
- The action was great throughout. Backwards swinging headbutt to the nose made me cringe. The repeated Moonsault misses bit was great. The DDT transitioned into the Wheelbarrow read a bit hard to understand, but I was able to picture it and really liked the spot. I loved the Twist of Hate getting reversed into a Backdrop Suplex. I don't believe I've ever seen that before and it was really cool. Was that a Field Goal Kick? Did Rob just do a fucking Field Goal Kick? BRO, DID ROB CHAPMAN JUST DO THE FIELD GOAL KICK AGAIN? Also, Rob just being like "No, you're not selling that shit, take this DDT" afterwards was great. That fucking Alabama Slam reversal spot. Jesus Christ, that was brilliant. My favorite spot of the match, though, has to be the Back Body Drop that threw Declan into an involuntary Arabian Press onto Rob's knee. That was just so innovative. There was just so much good, creative action.
- And some final things. I just want to point out the irony of a gif of Rob's picbase being used to show Declan doing a move to Rob. I'm still not really a big fan of gifs in match posts, but I know why some people do them and I'm fine with it. I just thought that was funny. "Gimmicks flash before Declan's eyes" I don't know whether to laugh or applaud. This is biased, but I marked so fucking hard for the Danny tribute with the lyrics from their theme. <3 Holy fuck that ending. Just holy fuck. And then the most assholish of pins to finish it. This match legitimized Rob as a 100% heel.
Honestly, I wish I could give you some constructive criticism. I really do. I just can't. There's nothing I can criticize in this match. You told an amazing story, you made both men look legit as fuck in different ways, solidified Rob as the top heel in the company, the action was amazing, description was amazing, even the commentary was great. The only thing I didn't really care for was the gifs and, as I said, that's just a personal thing I dislike and I know others like it. This match should undoubtedly prove, if your post against me that was unfortunately won by no-show or your match against DJS somehow didn't, that you deserve the Supreme Championship. There's a reason I say you're the best match-writer in the game today (and possibly that I've ever seen). Posts like these are that reason.
I think it's obvious that I'm going with Rob Chapman here. Declan, I honestly feel like you have the ability to be very good, but you're not gonna earn too many wins if all you do is focus on making your own character look great and making your opponent look horrible. Rob has definitively earned his spot as the Supreme Champion and you made him look like complete shit. I said the things I think you need to work on in your portion of the vote, but that is definitely your top flaw for me. Rob, as I said, holy shit dude. Great match. You're better than you've ever been right now.