Bella Quinn stands at a podium, poised to give out the next Piledriver Award as we return to Massacre following a commercial break. Far from the end of the night, but not quite at the start, the patient crowd sits with building anticipation as they await the recipient of another year-end award at the new year's start.
"Welcome back, lads and lasses, ladies and gentleman! Th' next award is aboot celebratin' nae only th'best of 2018, but also the future of the XWA as we know it! This award is fer the one t'watch! Who have ye voted the next possible breakout star in the XWA? Le's take a look at the candidates, shall we?"
The camera turns to face the XWA-Tron, as the faces of four of 2018's up-and-comers are each sectioned to a corner of the screen. From left to right, top to bottom, we see Ethan Cross, Jace Albright, Sarah Lacklan, and Vespertine. Four fresh talents who have made the most out of the opportunities presented to them.
As the poll numbers begin to display on the screen in the form of bars, poor Ethan is left in the dust almost immediately, as his number stops at a meek 8%. The other three continue to climb, remaining close. Vespertine's bar finally gives pause at 23% - just under a quarter of the total votes. The last two bars, Sarah Lacklan and Jace Albright, continue to climb neck and neck. It seems almost surefire that the XWA's Hardcore Champion will take the lead... when, from nowhere, Jace pulls ahead in the polls, beating out Sarah Lacklan's 31% with a shocking 38%! XWA's own "Starlight" has emerged the winner of the "One To Watch" Piledriver Award!
The thumps and clicks of an eighties drum machine proclaim the imminent arrival of XWA's dose of "Electric Love". As synthesizers and bass kick in, a casually dressed Jace Albright emerges from behind the curtain wearing a loose jeans, high tops, a black TWRP t-shirt, and a child-like grin. The twenty-seven year old's eyes are wide and excited in utter disbelief!
"Ladies and gentlemen... making his way to the ring, from New York City... weighing in at one-hundred and seventy-nine pounds... he is the recipient of XWA's One To Watch award for 2018... "Shining" Jaaaaace Albriiiight!"
"YEAAAAAAH!" Jace shouts excitedly, power-walking his way down the ramp towards the ring, clearly too startled and excited by the award to remember his own entrance shtick. Upon reaching the foot of the ramp, Jace jogs to the side of the ring opposite the stairs and continues to jog nearly a full lap around the ring, until he comes to the stairs nearest the ramp again. Continuing that jog up the steps, Jace vaults into the ring and approaches a patiently-waiting Bella Quinn with the most genuinely beaming smile one can imagine! As his theme fades out, Jace can be somewhat heard thanking Bella Quinn, who hands him the award, shakes his hand, and then steps aside, motioning for him to take the floor. Or in this case, podium. Jace shakily sets the trophy down on the podium, straightening out his shirt and fidgeting with the microphone, creating plenty of awkward, but amusing noise as he tries to compose himself.
"Uh... hi everyone! Holy shit, I won a Piledriver Award! I uh... didn't honestly see this coming so I don't have a speech prepared. I thought for sure Sarah Lacklan would blow everyone else out of the water with the super awesome year she had."
The crowd laughs at Jace's borderline adorable level of charismatic awkwardness. There's a mixed reaction for Jace's mention and praising of Sarah Lacklan; booed by the majority, but cheered heavily by the "smarks" in attendance.
"So I'll keep this kinda quick rather than stand out here and ramble forever. I just wanna say thank you to everyone who voted for me in the Piledriver awards... you've really, truly given me a reason to shoot for even bigger things in 2019! I also wanna say thank you to Bella Quinn for giving me and Ethan Cross an opportunity at Legends, to Ethan himself for giving me the best match I've had so far, and to that Toronto crowd for making my first Legends feel even more incredible! Words can't describe what that meant to me, man. I'd like to thank my family for supporting me in chasing this insane dream, everyone at C4 Wrestling School for giving me a place to train, and everyone in this arena tonight for being cool as fuck and a hundred percent rock solid!"
Jace raises his trophy up high in one hand as the crowd reacts to being thanked with a classic, Foley-esque cheap POP. Seeing as they've been softly cheering throughout the entirety of Jace's on-the-spot acceptance speech, it thankfully feels less forced and cringeworthy than it otherwise might. It's at this moment, as Jace sets his trophy back down on the podium, that the man who's normally a walking embodiment of the "sweet summer child" trope curls the corner of his mouth into an uncharacteristically sly smirk.
"Lastly, I'd like to thank Vespertine, and Smith Jones, who is sadly no longer with us, for giving me tons of exposure by fictionalizing a bunch of events involving me that only put more eyes on me. I'm sure this wasn't the outcome you were aiming for, but, uh... thanks for that!"
Jace's chest visibly heaves as he struggles to hold in a laugh. The crowd in attendance, on the other hand, laughs audibly, cheering and applauding the potshots taken at the recently-departed Smith Jones, and Vespertine's podcast.
"Anyway, thank you XWA, and enjoy the rest of the show!"
Jace holds his trophy high in one hand again, waving at the crowd in attendance with his free hand while Tupper Ware Remix Party's "FOOD BAR" plays over the PA system before Massacre cuts to a commercial break advertising the first Supershow of 2019... and what a Brave New World for XWA it is.
Rob Chapman Win/Loss Record (2005 - 2018) | 74 - 48 - 2 Win/Loss Record (Current Run) | 2 - 2 - 0