Sweeping over the crowd we get the sense of the atmosphere of the fans buzzing off a high from the action so far tonight unable to remain still or quiet during this silence in between matches. The camera goes to Matt Steel and Mark Sanction at the ready to introduce the next bout. Up on the XtremeTron appears Blake Archer with his wife Mary-Jane, the arena’s seats are empties as people jump up with a roar. The XWA athlete is seen walking down the hallway to the locker rooms as he is intercepted by Holly Hunt.
“Blake, that was really an incredible show of guts and heart getting that victory over Levinator at Legends. What can fans expect to see out of the King of Canines here tonight at Brave New World when you take on The Prized Gem, Danny Diamond?”
There is a pause, Mary-Jane puts her hands on her husband’s shoulders. He takes a deep breath in his face staying serious as he replies.
“Face Your Demons was just the start of my path, this is my journey. My story I have been writing as I wake up everyday. Eventually the day will come when Saint Peter will read back to me what I have written and I will be judged. For now I am just a man fighting that battle Holly, that is what finally took me to Legends. To challenging Levinator for his career and putting mine on the line.”
“Were you ever worried about losing?”
“Heck yes! Fear is an emotion that makes you know you are alive, you’re not insane. I guess unless you are afraid all the time. I am still hurting from the beating he put on me, you don’t just run head first at an obstacle like that, that would be like running face first into a brick wall. That is not to say to can’t overcome that mental wall. Andrew Dufresne did it with a rock hammer, go look it up kids. The point is Holly… uh.. What was the point Holly?”
He ask standing up straight and looking lost and confused like he is not even sure where he is at the moment.
“You were telling Holly here about Levinator and overcoming mental walls and your match tonight against Danny Diamond, do you remember no sweetie?”
As if the light bulb went on hearing his wife refresh his memory brought it all back to him putting a large grin on his face.
“Ah yes! Point is Holly, I let guys like Levinator play with my mind and I am done with that. I am done being the mental punching bag. Tonight fans can expect to see the same heart and determination that went into fighting Big Lev. Sure is a down right no good Son of a …”
She says tugging on his arm and giving a coy little grin that meets his eyes before pointing her’s towards the cameras which as he spots. Blake instantly remembers they are live!
He rubs the side of his nose with his thumb realizing that he has a line to watch now days that he never had before. His hand travels over his mouth as his thoughts dwell on his own morality before stepping into his wrestling boots. His hands grip his bag tighter clinging to his mental security blanket packed safely inside.
“I want fans to not just hear me say I am changed, but to SEE that I have changed Holly.”
He turns now to look directly at the camera, suddenly his spine straight making him his tallest. He is not speaking down in his tone surprising as it is, but direct. The sincerity showing his fatherly side that seems almost to be sheltered most of the time.
“I could do anything to win, I have done anything to win. I will go right through the fat to the bone. That is the man I used to be. That is not the man I am today. Legends that was personal, what I care about is wrestling. I care about fighting, that is my drug and I need it, I just can’t kick the addiction. Danny Diamond showed how dangerous he can be didn’t he? He won that street fight by knockout against Sean Young! Holly the reason I am here is because I love the fans, I love competing and because I love XWA. I have my losses like anyone else but just like I showed at Legends when it matters I get the job done. That is what the fans can expect not just tonight Holly, but EVERY NIGHT! WOOO! It feels good to be ALIVE! I LOVE MY JOB HOLLY!”
He shouts enthusiastically slapping his hands together. Holly nods her head and thanks him.
“Well thank you very much Blake and good luck tonight. I will give it back to you Mark and Matt as I look to see what Blake’s opponent Danny Diamond also has to say about tonight.”
As the cutaway Blake is hear hooting and whooping himself up into a frenzy with his wife giggling about it right behind him.
“Such a nice fella huh Matt? Certainly seems to me that Archer is still riding high off that victory at Legends.”
“That was a nice fairytale for then Mark, but this is now. Danny Diamond is back and looking better than ever after his Street Fight against Sean Young which I have to tell you I never doubted him for a second. The brass of him bringing his family to the event so they could watch him punish Sean, he knew what he was doing”
“Uh...Matt, you remember Sean also brought his fam…”
“My God why are you so hung up on the past Mark?! I want to live in the moment right now.”
“Ok. Well I am sure that for some of you catching up unlike my partner here. That what Matt says is a trend. Eyes are on Danny Diamond now after many XWA viewers voted on Danny and Sean for the Piledriver awards, the two of them taking three. I wouldn’t say that either of these two men could be considered the most clinically stable Matt, but they both Blake and Danny have a burning passion to be the best. Blake is a slow and steady worker, but he will certainly have a handful with the Prized Gem tonight at Brave New World. What do you think Matt?”
“I think after the depth of brutality I seen come out of Danny Diamond at Legends that he has evolved to a whole new level that us and fans might not have even known exist. It doesn’t matter who Blake retired at Legends because that person wasn’t Danny Diamond and even if it had been Mark, it would have been the old Danny Diamond. I am interested to see if that mean streak is still in him tonight Mark, that is the type of things that make me love my job.”
“I know buddy. I am getting word that Holly Hunt is standing with Danny Diamond at ringside as we are set to begin the next match.
At gorilla position stands Holly Hunt with Danny Diamond. Profiling for us his black and pink attire and V-neck logo hoodie. His wounds from Legends healing up now, but not seeing to be of much concern to him at all.
“I am pleased to have caught you before this match starts Danny, it looks like the effects of that street fight are still fading? I caught up with Blake Archer tonight who seems very excited about this match up after the showing the both of you had in your respective matches at Legends. Please tell me what thoughts do you have about your match against The King of Canines tonight?”
She points the mic to Danny. He looks down at it and just gives an arrogant snicker and shakes his head before ignoring the question altogether to walk through the curtain to make his entrance. Holly stands there jaw hanging open taking offense at being snubbed like that.
“Ladies and gentleman it is now time for one of our headlining matches. This bout is set for one fall and fought under regular stipulations. Please allow me to introduce to you first, Co-Winner for XWA Piledrivers of Promo of the year, Feud of the Year and Best single moment of the year for 2019. Hailing from Cheshire, England and Now residing in Los Angeles, California. He is The Prized Gem, DAAAAANNY DIIIIAMOND!”
♫ "He who makes a beast out of himself ... gets rid of the paaain of bein' a maaan." ♫
The inhalation scream of Avenged Sevenfold's "Bat Country"
hits the PA system as Danny Diamond steps out from behind the curtain, his head covered by the hood of his lowly zipped v-neck hoodie. He stands on the stage, pulls back the hood and throws his hands into the air to form a diamond. Danny soaks in the reaction, mostly boos with some cheers from the smarkier fans, before lower his hands and making his way to the ring. Upon reaching the squared circle, Danny takes his hoodie off and tosses it nonchalantly into the crowd, before doing the same with his sunglasses. He runs and slides into the ring, under the bottom rope. Quickly, Danny hops back to his feet, makes his way to the nearest turnbuckle and repeats the diamond pose from the second rope.
“There he is the Prized Gem, I must admit he looks in better shape than I thought he would so soon after Legends.”
“Because you are a doubter Mark. A majority of the people here are idiots and they boo him because he might be a bit what, mean? So what that is what gets things accomplished, and you know something else I can tell that Danny is enjoying it. Right now we are looking at a man that doesn’t have to work a day in his life, because he enjoys himself.”
“That is one way to put it.”
The faint echoing of the opening chimes to Depeche Mode's Personal Jesus
plays. That fans start to cheer in a high pitch shriek that causes Hana to speak a little louder then normal announcing Archer just as loudly as she has Danny.
“And his opponent he is the current XWA Golden Ticket holder, hailing from the Hall of Fame city, Canton Ohio. He is the King of Canines, BLAAAAAKE ARRRRCHER!”
♫Your own, Personal Jesus.
Someone to hear your prayers.
Someone who cares.
Your own Personal Jesus.
Someone to hear your prayers.
Someone who's there.♫
The imposing Archer emerges out from behind the entrance, standing there in the shadows. The music droning on over his masked figure. His wife Mary-Jane now safely back at his side since Levinator is no longer a threat. The spotlight highlights him showing his crimson attire and matching mask, his emotions are not hidden as he still makes his way to the sidelines holding affectionately to his wife’s hand as he gives young fans high fives. One of them he takes off his mask and leans in to whisper to them before giving the lucky young person his replica mask. The kid shouts and woots gleefully as his parent holds him back down. Blake’s eyes turn back towards the ring his wife taking his real mask and giving him a kiss. He feels a few of the fans leaning over the barricade patting his back from behind in support.
Feeling's unknown and you're all alone
Flesh and bone by the telephone
Lift up the receiver
I'll make you believer. ♫
"I am getting the feeling that Blake always has a demon over his shoulder Matt, is that what his mask means?"
"I have no damn clue, I stopped trying to make sense of the guy Mark! I can only hope that Danny Diamond doesn’t fall for all the smoke and mirrors like the rest of these people. He obviously has no sense of welfare for his wife Mary-Jane bringing her out here knowing how unethically Diamond will look for a win."
He stops and hits the steel rings steps, bending down and letting out a taunting roar that the crowd mimics. He climbs to the ring apron, stepping over the top rope into the ring, rushing from one side of the ring to the other using the ropes for the momentum as his music creeps into silence. Archer has an ear to ear grin with the fans chanting his name loudly as they too are riding high with him.
“(ARCHER) SUCKS, (ARCHER) SUCKS,(ARCHER) SUCKS”
The fans there for Danny become inflamed shouting in between their gleeful young voices even louder in hopes that it will shut up the Blake fans.
"The crowd is split age seems to play a big factor in this one for who is cheering for who.”
"I think it only matters about who is bringing the butts to those seats, everyone is here to see ONE of these two men walk out of here tonight with a victory and no matter what some people will not be happy about that.”
Jack Tickles singles for the bell and Danny dashes in at Blake diving down and hooking his arms around Blake’s left leg. Blake punches Danny in between the shoulders and he lets go of him putting his hands up to block a left jab from the King of Canines. Danny boots his foot into Blake’s shin and then delivers an uppercut that THUDS off Blake’s bottom jaw. His body is whiplashes back into the ropes while Danny spins around aiming to catch him off the rebound with a Discus Lariat, but Blake ducks Danny’s arm!
Blake hits the second set of ropes turning his back into them with precision timing, he leaps high into the air coming down hitting Danny with a leaping punch! Danny staggers away from the momentum of the shot, but Blake stays right on his heels colliding hard with a clothesline to the corner sandwiching Danny into the turnbuckles. As Danny is dazed Blake lifts him up with a military press seeming to lift the 213 pounds like a feather to the amazement of the fans. Danny shakes off the proverbial cobwebs realizing just high high up he is with Archer hoisting him in the air, he wiggles around with panic elbowing Blake in between the eyes. He drops Danny right away holding his face, Danny swings his right leg around into a low kick cracking off the back of Blake’s left calf. The King of Canines winces sharply side stepping away. Right away Danny rushes him trying to capture that same leg for a take down, Blake swiftly traps his arm between Danny’s neck and his leg forcing the Prized Gem to choke himself the more he tries to fright the limb away from him.
"Two fine grapplers on display right now jocking back and forth. I am suprised at how tough Diamond is against Blake's power."
"Almost like a real wrestling match isn't it Mark, come on fellas nobody wants to see that Olympic stuff they want to see fist a cuffs!"
Danny shoves Blake into the corner pressing one of his hands into Blake's face nearly blinding him as Blake struggles to keep a grasp on his opposition. Jack Tickles gives them a few seconds of shoving before he breaks the two of them up from the corner. Danny keeps shoving Blake refusing to give him any leverage. Blake lets go of Danny without hesitation at the orders of the official, Danny sees Blake put his hands up and takes the FREE SHOT, he hits a THUNDEROUS european uppercut knocking Blake back off the top ring post and flopping down to a prone position near the bottom turnbuckle. Majority of fans boo the cheap shot just taken by Danny, but his loyalist applaud his lack of conscious. Tickles warns Diamond to watch himself.
"What a cheap shot!"
"That is the spirit! Keep on him Diamond!"
Danny lets a smirk cross his lips as Tickles verbally scolds him, behind the two of them Mary-Jane checks on her husband pleading with him to nod to her that he is alright. Blake comes out of the dazed confusion upon hearing her and nods his head up and down before pushing himself to his feet. He puts his hands above his head to tie up with Danny only to receive a sharp kick in the gut. Danny grabs him by the arm pulling him into an Irish whip situation only to leap up last second wrapping his legs around Blake's neck and yanking him forward over onto his back using a Hurricanrana. Blake's stomach goes into his throat from the sudden 360 he just took the queezy feeling keeping him pinned to the mat as it sinks in what just happened. He doesn't get much time to recover as Danny stomps him hard on the right shoulder, Blake instinctually grabs his left shoulder without thinking. He finds his feet and Danny pushes Blake around delivering a chop to the chest. Danny grabs Blake's left arm and yanks down hard on it thrusting his shoulder into it nearly jarring it out of socket. Blake shouts out in pain retaliating quickly with a stiff headbutt!
Danny stumbles back not expecting the sudden backlash, Blake keeps a hold of Danny's arm like he had him pulling him back towards him into a powerslam his body impacting into Danny's like a woopie cushion. Blake tucks his arm behind Danny's neck and his other arm around his outside leg lacing his hands together to lock in a strong pin. Tickles is down on the mat quickly.
Danny uses all his muscles to kick out!
Blake is pushed off him, the cult following of Danny's sounding nearly as loud as the squeaky ones that have been screaming for Blake this whole time. The bigger man catches his breath taking a few seconds less than Danny but still finding his vertical base first. He grabs Danny only to get an elbow to the gut, Danny hits a Dropkick taking out Blake's knee dropping him back down to the ground. Quickly Danny rolls over the big man and hooks his arms around his head, but Blake panics! He fights to block Danny's hands with his from locking in The Silencer.
Kicking his feet Blake manages to get them in front of himself and pins Danny's shoulder's back down to the mat.
It is only good for a one as Danny lets go pushing Blake off him.
"Blake is seeming to get desperate to put this one away you think Matt?"
"Well the way Danny is targeting that leg of his I can see why. Things are growing lethal for the King of Canines real fast with the Prized Gem smelling blood in the water."
Blake jumps on Danny as he is to his knees, he locks him into a side headlock that Danny tries to push himself out of. Blake tightens his grip and loosens his knees using his weight to keep leverage on Danny's neck. Diamond holds his hand up feeling a sting go down his vertebra. He balls up his fist and takes a blind jab at Blake's back trying to hit him as close to the kidney as possible. Blake senses what he is doing letting go before Danny can land a shot, which is good enough for Danny as he lets his body stumble forward. Blake hurries to stay on him, as his shadow engulfs Danny he reveals he is playing possum tripping Blake back down onto the mat and this time managing to lock on THE SILENCER firmly!
The youngsters cry as terror overtakes them seeing Blake locked into Diamond's submission, his large body is just inches away from the rope. Blake tugs on Danny's arms trying to alleviate some of the pressure of the hold that Danny struggles to keep on the giant sweaty swine. People creep closer to the edge of their seats standing as those in front of them get in their way. Danny's arms and hands hide Archer's mouth leaving only his panic stricken eyes searching around calculating how to reach the bottom rope. Mary-Jane rushes to his line of sight hitting the ring apron to let her husband hear over the fans just how close he really is to his goal. Blake groans and cries as he lifts himself into the pressed Danny is applying to him nearly snapping his spine before letting his large frame fall forward and reaching his finger tips out his hand bouncing onto the bottom rope as he grasp it.
"HE DID IT! Archer managed to get to the rope!"
"Yes he did, but in just that short desperate amount of time for him The Silencer did a lot of damage to him. Diamond has this match as good as won Mark."
There is a mixture of boos, and energetic cheers at Archer reaching the break. Diamond is not releasing though he wants to keep this high ground. He rocks forward and back continuing to torque onto the middle back where Archer is hurt. Archer shouts. AHHHH! Danny playing him like a musical instrument and seeming to enjoy it. Tickles warns Danny that he has to break for the rope still unheard to Diamond. Tickles gets hot with anger and starts a LOUD count to get his attention. ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR...
Danny releases Blake giving Tickles a disgusted look that he would even consider giving this match to Archer. He gets into a heated discussion with Tickles not completely caught on the ringside mic.
"DON"T TELL ME HOW TO DO MY JOB DIAMOND!"
Danny turns away from him still with a look of disgust. Blake is leaning on the middle rope listening to his wife encourage him as he gasp to regain his breath through all the pain surging over his back right now that makes it harder to breath. Danny stomps directly into the middle of his spine and Blake jolts up to his feet and falls straight over like a tree. Danny looks behind and pulls his body up on the top rope with Archer on the mat where he needs him.
"This seems like the Diamond Press is coming...
Mary-Jane quickly jumps up on the ring apron uncharacteristic for her. Danny looks at her giving her a stiff kick in the face as she stepped closer to him knocking her from the ring apron and down viciously to the padded floor. Danny looks back at Blake their eyes meet as Archer is kneeling. Danny takes flight changing his thoughts to an unorthodox looking senton press. Archer leaps up hitting Danny with the SILVER BULLET!
"NO! GET UP DIAMOND!"
"Archer's spear seemed to come out of nowhere, but taking a look at the replay. It seems like Archer might have knocked himself up pretty good with that one just as well.
"He should learn to hit his own move correctly!"
The replays show fans how Archer went right through Danny and knocking his head right off the mat looking like he nearly bounced it off. The several shots over and over and freeze frames really make the agony seem that much more prolonged. Blake rolls over staring up at the lights flashbacks of last year playing past his eyes as the fans attention is drawn off the replays and back to real time and what is happening in the ring. Danny is hurting holding his ribs and clinching his eyes tightly together as he rolls around kicking his feet doing anything to distract himself from the sharp shooting pains each time he takes a breath. The low volume of the crowd comes up as voices are heard entering a battle.
"LET'S GO ARCHER! ... LET'S GO DIAMOND! ... LET'S GO DIAMOND! ... LET'S GO DIAMOND!"
Archer stands up, he winces at first but forces it outta his mind. Holding his lower back to support his standing up, before reaching down and grabbing Danny, he lifts him up unable to get him up for the usual routine of following his Silver Bullet with The Decent. He again whines the weight of Danny causing a shooting pain to hit him. Danny knees Blake in the stomach and takes a swing this time hitting a discus lariat. Blake wobbles nearly cut in half with the agony. He stands back up though shouting to hype his mind past the mental threshold. Danny being persistent goes for another, this time Blake wraps Danny's arm into a trap takedown. He hooks one arm between his legs attempting rapidly to lock on The Sagittarius Bow even though in pain. Danny stealthily wraps his feet around the bottom rope before Blake can fully lock on the hold and then lets him. Blake's face seems to be relieved until Tickles pats him on the shoulder and points out Diamond's legs and the rope break.
"Them are tough breaks for Archer. The Silencer versus the Sagittarius Bow. Right away Danny Diamond knew where he was and made sure he had himself secured with a rope break."
"Archer has to stay sharp to things like that."
"You nervous there Matt?"
"About what? Are you kidding me Mark, I have seen Danny Diamond comeback from way worse than this, I can't think of anything specific right now, but I am sure people could tweet me about it and I would come up with something. Besides worry about calling this match, the action is so tight I fill like I am in a subway here!"
Blake lets go of Danny much faster than Danny had given him a break. Quickly Danny scurries to his feet he once more goes for Blake's leg met this time with an axe handle to the back. Blake Irish whips Danny into the ropes rushing off the opposite side of the ring himself ducking down and surprising the Prized Gem with another SILVER BULLET!
"I wouldn't bet on it Mark, you see how slow Blake is getting up?"
With the arena in a stir of noise Blake sits up shaking his head trying to drown out that chaotic energy all around him. His eyes search around for Danny laying down on the at, but Blake thinks back to earlier when Diamond caught him by playing possum. Blake pushes himself up giving Danny a good rushing stomp to the face before leaning against the corner to regain his air. Blake looks back at Danny and crawls out through the middle rope, he seems to count to three and bit his bottom lip as he lifts himself to the top rope from the outside. Danny looks around unawear Blake is in a precarious perch behind him. Archer stands up leaping high into a Frog Splash. Danny rolls to his back finding it too late as Blake's body splatters right into Danny's. His large weight stamps down hard onto Danny as the wind is knocked out of the both of them, Tickles with his perfectionist eagle eyes gets into perfect position.
"Can you believe it Matt?"
"NO?! What, I mean how? How did something like this happen, things were going so right in this one for Danny."
“here is your winner, by pinfall. The King of Canines. Blake Archer!”
Even some haters give a slight applause to Archer for gutting it out in this match even as the irritated Danny Diamond is being checked to make sure there are no concussion. He pushes them away not even giving a second thought to looking back to Archer as he exits leaving him to celebrate for now. Mary-Jane enters the ring with her husband smiling happily as he embraces her tightly as Tickles finishes the rituals by raising his arm victoriously.
"I don't think anyone has anything to be embarrassed about tonight. Both men showed how much they scouted one another, but I think Archer just happened to get a bit of luck here and there that really helped him in this one. How will Danny Diamond bounce back from this? Still not taking anything away from either men this was a great contest, great job to Archer pulling out that victory."