Fanniversary cold opened on a wide shot of a BMP-23 tank sitting backstage. Austin and Colten Gunn were standing nearby pointing at the military vehicle and slapping one another in the chest. Austin ran up and knelt next to the tank tracks, letting out a gasp. He ran his hand along the metal treads. Colten calmly sauntered around to the back of the vehicle. The camera pulled in tight on Austin as he traced the individual treads with his fingers.
Austin Gunn: What is this doing here? Man, this is the coolest thing I have EVER seen backstage!
Austin stood up and walked toward the front of the tank, touching everything on his way around.
Colten Gunn: Dude! Check it out!
The camera tilted up to reveal Colten standing on the top of the tank next to the closed hatch. He pointed.
Colten Gunn: This is where you open it!
Austin Gunn: Pop the top, we’re going in.
As Colten knelt next to the hatch Austin scurried up the front of the tank in a rush to reach him. Colten tugged and strained against the mechanisms, but they refused to budge.
Austin Gunn: Here, let me try!
Austin took hold of the hatch and pulled. Nothing. He stood up and attempted a dead lift motion and it still held tight.
Austin Gunn: Get in here!
Both brothers pulled and tugged and strained with no movement. The hatch held firm. Austin started looking frantically around the area.
Austin Gunn: I bet the ring crew has a crowbar or something. Let’s go, I’m getting in here before the end of the night!
Colten and Austin leapt from the side of the tank and the camera followed them to the ground.
Colten put his hand on Austin’s shoulder.
Colten Gunn: Did you see a keyhole on that thing?
Austin Gunn: Nope.
Austin went to walk away but Colten caught him by the shoulder again.
Colten Gunn: How do you figure someone locks and unlocks that hatch?
There was a loud sound, like metal on metal.
Austin Gunn: From the inside, why?
Colten Gunn: Again.
Austin Gunn: From the… inside.
The Gunn Brothers whipped around to look at the tank and the camera followed their gaze. The hatch was standing wide open. Austin let out a grunt off screen. The camera snapped back to the brothers in time to see Miro level Colten with a short clothesline. Both members of the Gunn Club were lying on the floor with Miro standing over them. Miro hoisted Austin up on his shoulder and marched back toward the tank with ease. He climbed the ladder at the back of the tank and lowered Austin into the hatch. He returned to pick up Colten as the scene faded to an EBWF logo.
An EBWF logo flashed on the screen before an upbeat instrumental began to play. A date was displayed on the screen.
News clips and voice overs could be heard as footage of St. Louis and bygone eras of EBWF were displayed.
Local Newscaster: We have learned today that two regional wrestling promotions, the Extreme Wrestlers Federation and the Best Wrestlers Organization are merging to create one as-yet named organization. The organization boasts such superstars as Chris Jericho, Triple H, Chyna, Lita and Raven…
Local Newscaster: Just two weeks ago, we learned that Tony and Ashlee Ikeda are merging their wildly popular regional wrestling promotions, and tonight we’ve learned the organization’s new name: The Extreme Best Wrestlers Federation or EBWF…
Local Newscaster: Local St. Louis wrestling organization, EBWF, has announced that their first show under their new merged banner will be a pay-per-view event held Saturday, October 28 at the Savvis Center here in St. Louis…
Local Newscaster: Big news today as plucky wrestling upstart, St. Louis based EBWF, has announced the hiring of a new CEO. EBWF President Tony Ikeda announced the hiring of his brother, multi-time World and Hardcore champion, Wes Ikeda in the executive position. The brothers, life-long wrestling fans…
ESPN Broadcaster: Huge news today in the Neilsen Global Ratings, EBWF has overthrown WWE in the ratings war for the first time in their six year existence as the new Monday Night Wars heat up…
Local Newscaster: Shocking news tonight as EBWF has announced the tragic death of its president, “The Badd Boy” Tony Ikeda passed suddenly after a car accident downtown this evening…
ESPN Newscaster: Ashlee Ikeda sold her shares of EBWF to her ex-husband which made him majority owner of EBWF upon his death. An EBWF spokesperson has announced that Ikeda’s last will and testament leaves 100% of the successful company to his brother, current CEO, Wes Ikeda. Wes will serve as acting Board President until the estate has been settled…
ESPN Newscaster: Wes Ikeda has been named permanent EBWF CEO and Chairman of the Board as EBWF continues to dominate WWE in the ratings war…
Local Newscaster: EBWF has announced a rebranding of sorts this morning as Wes Ikeda has announced that the organization is discontinuing the use of Extreme Best Wrestlers Federation and referring to itself only as EBWF. Ikeda stated in a press conference that this move is to more align the organization with its venture into becoming a multi-media and international production conglomerate. In his announcement today, Ikeda said, quote – “EBWF doesn’t stand for anything.”
ESPN Newscaster: For the first time in history, EBWF has defeated WWE in the Monday Night Wars for 52 consecutive weeks with investors evaluating EBWF as the most lucrative sports organization on the planet.
Local Newscaster: Citing wise investments with money inherited after the deaths of his brother, Tony Ikeda, and his former business partner Ashlee Ikeda Levy, Forbes Magazine is reporting that St. Louis native, Wes Ikeda, has achieved billionaire status with his most valuable asset being St. Louis based EBWF. At just 34 years old, Ikeda becomes one of the youngest billionaires in the country…
Local Newscaster: A huge shakeup at EBWF tonight as Wes Ikeda has named Joanie Laurer, better known to wrestling fans as the 9th Wonder of the World Chyna, to the EBWF Board of Directors. Also named to the board were, Jim Ross, Shane McMahon, and Stephanie McMahon. The four executives join Chief Financial Officer, Kurt Schneider and General Manager of Advice and Counsel, Richard Roberts…
ESPN Newscaster: In news that has rocked the industry tonight, NBC Chairman of the Board Dick Ebersol has removed Wes Ikeda from the EBWF Board of Directors, effectively firing him from all leadership positions in EBWF. Ikeda is still 100% owner of the EBWF Brand. Dick Ebersol will be acting CEO moving forward as the network intends to move in a new creative direction…
ESPN Newscaster: Just one month into the NBC takeover of EBWF management, EBWF’s flagship program, Warfare slipped in the ratings, coming in second to longtime rival, Stamford, Connecticut Company WWE.
ESPN Newscaster: Wes Ikeda has taken what some experts are calling an unfathomable financial risk. The 37 year old entrepreneur has bought his international entertainment company, EBWF, out of its multi-year broadcasting deal for an undisclosed amount. Sources close to the situation say that Ikeda has put up his personal fortune, including his home, against the company’s future success. Sources close to the situation say that Ikeda understood the risks but believes firmly in EBWF’s ability to succeed…
ESPN Newscaster: Just one month after EBWF canceled it’s long standing television deal on NBC Universal owned USA, the international wrestling organization is reporting a multi-year deal with ABC owned A&E….
Local Newscaster: After near ratings ruin last year, EBWF has again topped the ratings in its time slot, moving ahead of WWE and reasserting itself as the number one wrestling brand on the globe…
Local Newscaster: Tragedy this afternoon as a gunman opened fire inside EBWF Headquarters. 48 people were injured, and 11 are confirmed dead. Sources say, fatally wounded in the massacre was EBWF owner and CEO Wes Ikeda…
Local Newscaster: A correction to a previous report, EBWF Chairman and CEO Wes Ikeda is in critical condition in an area hospital tonight after being shot by an intruder who opened fire in EBWF Headquarters, killing 11 people and injuring 48 others. Confirmed dead is 16-year-old, Isabella Ikeda, daughter of Wes. Also in critical condition tonight, Ikeda’s sister, Nicole Ikeda-Orton…
ESPN Newscaster: After what can only be described as a hellacious Fanniversary week, celebrating the 11th anniversary of EBWF was bittersweet with Wes Ikeda and his sister, Nicole, still in recovery. EBWF announced today that Chris Jericho has been named acting CEO with Joanie Helmsley serving in an assistant role.
Local Newscaster: Sources in EBWF report that Wes Ikeda and Natalie Neidhart, known to wrestling fans as Natalya, welcomed a child, a boy, earlier this week. Ikeda and Neidhart have been quietly dating for over three years. Ikeda is rumored to have been released from the hospital just last month, following the shooting at EBWF Headquarters this past October. Ikeda has not been seen in public since.
ESPN Newcaster: Word out of St. Louis is that Chris Jericho is having a difficult time corralling Randy Orton. Orton and Jericho are said to be arguing in front of staff. Despite a recent photo of Wes and his newborn son, posted by Natalie Neidhart on Twitter, rumors are circulating that Ikeda’s prolonged absence signals that he is far more injured than previously reported.
Local Newscaster: More shocking news out of EBWF tonight as EBWF spokeswoman Lynne McClinton has announced that Randy Orton has asked for and been granted his release from EBWF…
ESPN Newscaster: According to Joanie Helmsley, Wes Ikeda has returned to EBWF as CEO, relieving Chris Jericho of his acting role. Jericho will continue to serve as Head of new Talent Development running EBWF’s performance center BCW…
Local Newscaster: In a shocking reversal, Wes Ikeda has been able to retain the contract of Randy Orton. Orton had briefly parted ways with his longtime wrestling home, where his wife Nicole Orton, serves on the board of directors. After a long negotiation, Orton has agreed to return to EBWF…
ESPN Newscaster: In more evidence that EBWF is returning to normal, after a two-year hiatus, EBWF is returning to international touring. Wes Ikeda said in a statement today that EBWF is looking forward to returning to countries where the international wrestling juggernaut isn’t usually able to perform…
ESPN Newscaster: Tonight’s EBWF show is live from St. Louis, and news coming out of EBWF today is that after four and a half years, and one child together, Wes Ikeda and Natalie Neidhart were married this afternoon. According to the press release the couple got married at their estate, where after the ceremony they had lunch, and immediately reported to the Scottrade Center for work.
Local Newscaster: EBWF is being celebrated tonight as Wes Ikeda has named four women to the company’s Board of Directors. The company has more female leadership in their board room than any major professional sports company in the nation. Ikeda said of the new board members, “If the fact that they’re women makes everyone pay attention, then so be it. My only concern is being unbeatable, and they’re going to help me stay that way.”
ESPN Newscaster: Wes Ikeda rocking the boat again tonight. The CEO of EBWF commented to Forbes Magazine, “There’s another product out east that is kind of going with a PG theme in their programming. I’d rather throw a middle finger in the air on TV and lose Kraft than compromise my principles and pretend I’m not trying to make a program for a slightly older demographic.”
ESPN Newscaster: In more heartbreaking news for EBWF, EVP of Production and Programming, Joanie Laurer-Helmsley, better known to wrestling fans as Chyna has passed away unexpectedly leaving what staffers at EBWF are calling a “chasm” in the day to day operations of the company…
Local Newscaster: EBWF is celebrating 15 years this year at Fanniversary. The once up and coming company has since become the largest international wrestling conglomerate…
ESPN Newscaster: Last night at Fanniversary, Chris Jericho became the most decorated EBWF World Champion of all time…
ESPN Newscaster: EBWF CEO Wes Ikeda is refusing to take EBWF public, citing not wanting to answer to shareholders. Ikeda is currently 100% owner of EBWF which employs over 1000 people locally…
ESPN Newscaster: EBWF continues to be the pinnacle for professional wrestlers with an estimated 150 applicants to the Canadian based performance center, Border City Wrestling…
ESPN Newscaster: EBWF may have one of the best rosters it’s ever had, headed by Randy Orton, The Miz and Aiden English. It’s no wonder they continue to beat WWE in the ratings. Newcomers like Becky Lynch are bringing new life to the organization, and with Randy Orton as the Gateway Champion a new threat is looming over the roster…
Local Newscaster: EBWF has managed to hold its sponsorship interest without going public. Wes Ikeda has not released earnings reports for EBWF in years, but Forbes magazine continues to evaluate the company higher than WWE, and has done so 9 out of the last ten years. EBWF is said to add millions into St. Louis’ local economy…
ESPN Newscaster: After a successful Wrestlemania 20 in March, EBWF has announced that Fanniversary is returning to St. Louis this year. In October, EBWF will celebrate 20 years, and eleven years of being the premiere wrestling company in the world…
“THANK YOU FOR 20 YEARS OF EBWF”
Party People by Nelly and Fergie began to play for the viewers at home and the crowd inside the arena. The camera panned the arena, focusing on celebrating fans with their signs and t-shirts.
“Let’s Go! St. Louis! I told ya I was gonna change the game. They can’t stop ya boy. Ya’ll mother fuckers ain’t ready….”
The screen suddenly faded up from black, showing Wes Ikeda from the chest up. His face was partially in shadow, and he wore a proud smirk.
Wes Ikeda: Welcome to Fanniversary.
As soon as Wes’ face faded from the screen, Christy Hemme was shown standing in the center of the ring. She smiled broadly.
Christy Hemme: Yes, EBWF Fans, welcome to Fanniversary. Please, put your hands together for SHINEDOWN!
The crowd moved to their feet and applauded as a spotlight shone on the stage and Shinedown began the opening riffs of “Sound of Madness”. When Brent Smith finally hit the “Oh My Here We Go”, Wes Ikeda came out from behind the curtain to wild applause. He went to lean on Zach Myers' shoulder as he jammed out on guitar, and then ran over to greet the audience in the cheap seats, waving up in their direction. He ran to the other side of the stage and did the same on the other side of the arena. When he started down the ramp, Christy Hemme began to speak again.
Christy Hemme: Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome, if I may be the first person in his entire career to say… FROM ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI…. He is… Wesssss Ikedaaaaa!
Mauro Ranallo: Normally billed from Detroit, Michigan, Wes is letting these EBWF fans know that he is home.
Wes got into the ring and took the microphone from Christy. The fans were on their feet and the camera found the Ikeda family in the front row. Wes waved at his children, before raising the mic to his lips.
Wes Ikeda: Hello, St. Louis!
Wes waited for the pop.
Wes Ikeda: I can’t tell you how excited I am to be here with you on the 20th Anniversary of EBWF. Not only is this EBWF’s 20 year celebration, but it’s also my 25th year in professional wrestling and…
He got interrupted by another cheer, and he paused for a moment gathering his bearings.
Wes Ikeda: Thanks. You know, I could come out here and run my mouth. I could talk about how great everything is. I could talk about how I have developed the best wrestling organization in the world.
A “Thank you Wes” chant tried to get started, but Wes put his hand up.
Wes Ikeda: No, no. Thank you. Thank you guys, seriously. You’ve kept me going this whole time, through things that were pretty hard to overcome, and EBWF is still here. Fuck, I’m still here.
He paused for more cheers.
Wes Ikeda: It’s pay-per-view right? We’ll say whatever we want to say, and ain’t a god damn network gonna fine us. Now, now… I don’t want to dwell on the fact that I almost died for this shit, but I need you all to know… I’d do it again. I’d do it again 100 times if it meant you were all here tonight. If it meant that over 1000 men and women that work for this company could take care of their families. I would, I’d do the last twenty years of my life over again.
He paced the ring a bit.
Wes Ikeda: I can’t tell you what this means to me. I didn’t start this company, but I’ve been running it for 14 years. I skyrocketed it into the stratosphere. It is mine. MINE. And I haven’t let outside interests skew me. I haven’t been tempted by money. Though you’ve all helped me earn a ton of it. I’ve done my best, and love it or hate it, I couldn’t be more grateful that you’re here. Second only to my family, I know that all of you got me here today.
He looked down the camera lens.
Wes Ikeda: My family is here.
He gestured to the front row as it was brought up on screen.
Wes Ikeda: You all know Natalya. The First Lady of Professional Wrestling who has somehow put up with being married to my dumb ass for the last six years. She lets me be me, and she lets me pour out for all of you.
A “Thank you Nattie” chant went up and Wes let it simmer for a moment.
Wes Ikeda: You don’t even know. She keeps this whole…
He gestured to himself.
Wes Ikeda: …operation running, so I can run this company and I can promise you EBWF, we don’t deserve her.
The crowd cheered.
Wes Ikeda: Y’all know Blaine. And next to him is his sister, McKenzie. I’m a proud, proud dad of those two young adults. Next to McKenzie is CJ, enjoying his first front row in St. Louis experience so make it a night he won’t forget, will ya?
A cheer went up again, as the camera went back to Natalie.
Wes Ikeda: And that rambunctious toddler on Nattie’s hip is the pleasant surprise that is Finlay, who is the perfect completion to our family. My family, which is the only thing that is more important to me than all this. So, let me tell you what I want to do tonight.
He leaned on the top rope, talking to the crowd.
Wes Ikeda: I just want to do what I love, and be a fan of this business? That good with you? I want to sit out there with you for some matches. I want to see what you say. I want to feel all of this with you. That good? That’s my goal tonight. To just be the biggest EBWF fan in the room. Because I fucking love this. All of it. From putting that rigging up up there, to signing the checks. It’s nearly all of me.
He scratched his head for a moment.
Wes Ikeda: So, since that’s good with all of you, what do you say we get this party started?
Wes pointed toward the ceiling and a huge carabiner with the Gateway Championship began to lower.
Wes Ikeda: Christy, if you please?
Wes gestured toward her as he got out of the ring, and started up the ramp.
Christy Hemme: Gateway City! This match is a ladder match for the EBWF Gateway Championship! The winner will be entitled to a shot at the EBWF World Championship.
The lights went down following Christy’s announcement. After a few moments of darkness and silence, “Cult of Personality” by Living Colour hit and the crowd went wild. A spotlight lit up the top of the ramp where CM Punk was sitting cross legged with a huge smile on his face. He made a fist with his right hand and stared at it. As he stood up the crowd said it with him, “It’s Clobberin’ time!”
Christy Hemme: Out first from Chicago, Illinois. Six time EBWF World Champion… C M PUNK!!!
Punk started down the entrance ramp interacting with the fans. He ran around the outside of the ring past the handful of ladders around the ring. He took off his shirt and passed it over the barrier to a kid in the front row before rolling into the ring. CM Punk stood in the center of the ring looking up at the Gateway Championship suspended above it. “Metalingus” by Alter Bridge hit and the camera cut to the entrance. Edge ran out to the top of the ramp with the tag title strapped around his waist and the crowd erupted.
Christy Hemme: Now making his way to the ring from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, one half of the EBWF Tag Team Champions… EDGE!!!
Edge back peddled across the stage to one side and riled the crowd up, motioning for them to get louder. He ran to the opposite side of the stage and did the same over there. He walked back to the entrance ramp and pointed toward the ring. Edge ran down the ramp and slid under the bottom rope. Edge got to his feet and unstrapped the tag belt from his waist. He jumped up in a corner and held the belt up over his head. His music died out but Edge continued to pose in the ring. “Psycho Killer” by Talking Heads hit. The crowd booed as Tommaso Ciampa stepped out of the back.
Christy Hemme: And next making his way to the ring from Boston, Massachusetts… TOMMASO CIAMPA!
Ciampa was laser focused on the title hanging above the ring as he made his way down the entrance ramp slow and methodically. He climbed the steps up to the apron and walked out to the center. He wiped his boots before climbing in under the top rope. He leaned against the corner without stairs and stared up at the Gateway Championship.
The camera cut to the entrance as the lights in the arena pulsed. “The Heat Goes On” by Asia hit as a familiar box started to rise out of the ground on the entrance stage. Just as it settled to a stop a door burst open and Paul London stepped out. He bolted toward the ring.
Christy Hemme: And finally, making his way to the ring from somewhere in space and time... PAUL LONDON!!!
Paul slid into the ring and jumped to his feet. He looked at the other three men standing in different corners and made his way over to the empty one. He jumped up on the bottom rope and held his hand up to the crowd.
Mauro Ranallo; Well here we go, Nigel… what a match to kick off Fanniversary 2021!
As the referee called for the bell, the four superstars looked up at the Gateway Championship hanging above the ring, then looked around at their opponents, waiting to see who would make the first move. Tommaso Ciampa locked eyes with CM Punk, and began walking towards him, but as he did so, Edge charged towards Ciampa, hitting him with a Spear! Edge grinned as he got to his feet, but his joy was short-lived as CM Punk grabbed him from behind, lifting him up onto his shoulders and hitting the GTS! Both Edge and Ciampa rolled out of the ring, leaving CM Punk and Paul London as the last two standing. Punk and London exchanged right hands back and forth, and after gaining the upper hand Punk whipped London against the ropes. As London ran back towards him, Punk went for a clothesline, but London ducked out of the way, ran against the ropes on the other side of the ring, then took Punk down with a slingblade. As both men got to their feet, London set Punk up for the Legsweep DDT, but Punk blocked it, before hitting an arm trap swinging neckbreaker. Punk then rolled out of the ring, grabbing a ladder from ringside. After setting up the ladder, Punk began to climb, but before he could reach the top of the ladder, Edge and Ciampa re-entered the ring and pushed the ladder over! Punk landed on the ring ropes, then fell to the outside. Ciampa and Edge exchanged punches, and after hitting Edge with a stiff uppercut, Ciampa went to lift Edge over his shoulder to hit the back-to-belly piledriver… but Edge countered it into the Edgecution!
Nigel McGuinness: Edge drills Ciampa’s head into the mat! That’s twice now he’s bested the Sicilian Psychopath.
Edge set the ladder back up in the center of the ring, but as he began climbing it, Paul London climbed up the other side. Edge reached the top of the ladder first, but as he reached up for the Gateway Championship, London hit him with a punch to the ribs, causing Edge to lose his balance. London followed up with several more punches, trying to knock Edge off the ladder, but Edge held on defiantly, much to the frustration of the Intrepid Traveler. After slamming Edge’s head off the top of the ladder, London reached up for the Gateway Championship, but Edge grabbed him, pulling him back down. London cried out in frustration, then grabbed Edge and hit a tornado DDT off the ladder!
Mauro Ranallo: Mamma Mia! London went high risk to try and take Edge out of the game… but he might have taken himself out in the process!
The crowd began chanting “Holy Shit!” as both London and Edge lay motionless on the mat. At this point, CM Punk slid back into the ring, but as he walked towards the ladder Tommaso Ciampa grabbed him, dragging him towards the corner and slamming his head off the top turnbuckle. Ciampa hit Punk with a series of punches and kicks in the corner, knocking Punk down into a sitting position, then took several steps back and hit a knee smash to the face! Ciampa then turned away from Punk, and began to climb the ladder… but as he did so, Paul London got to his feet and grabbed Ciampa, pulling him off the ladder. London hit Ciampa with a series of punches, but Ciampa fought back with some right hands of his own, then set London up for Project Ciampa. He lifted London up… but London countered with a Frankensteiner! Both men got to their feet, and London hit Ciampa with a Superkick, then followed up with a standing shooting star press!
Nigel McGuinness: Incredible athleticism by Paul London!
As London got back to his feet, he walked towards the ladder, but Punk shoved him away from it and shook his head, as if to tell him “you’re not climbing that ladder”. London responded by nodding, as if to say “yes I am”, then shoved Punk back. The two men got into a shoving contest, which quickly turned into a punch-up. As the two men continued fighting, Edge got back to his feet and grabbed the ladder that had been set up in the ring. London and Punk were too focused on each other to notice, and Edge took full advantage, charging towards them and hitting them both with the ladder! As Punk and London fell to the mat, Tommaso Ciampa got to his feet, and Edge drilled the ladder into Ciampa’s midsection, knocking the wind out of him. Edge placed the ladder down on the mat, then lifted Ciampa onto his shoulders, hitting an electric chair drop onto the ladder! Paul London then got to his feet and went to hit Edge with a Superkick, but Edge ducked out of the way, before running against the ropes and hitting London with a Spear! Edge threw both Ciampa and London out of the ring, then set the ladder back up underneath the Gateway Championship… but before he could begin climbing, CM Punk grabbed him, dragging him down to the mat and locking in the Anaconda Vise!
Mauro Ranallo: CM Punk trying to choke Edge out here… that’s one way to take him out of this match!
Nigel McGuinness: And there are no rope breaks either, so if Edge can’t escape the hold he’s in trouble!
Edge was able to roll out of the ring to get out of the hold, but as he tried to take a moment to recover, CM Punk followed him to the outside. Punk hit Edge with a series of punches, but Edge fought back, throwing Punk into the ringside barrier then hitting him with a Spear through the barrier!
Mauro Ranallo: Oh my god!
Edge looked dazed as he got back to his feet, but there was also a look of determination in his eye. He grabbed a steel chair, and hit both Ciampa and London with the chair before re-entering the ring. Once he was back in the ring, Edge began climbing the ladder, and the crowd began cheering in anticipation as he reached the top. Edge unhooked the title and the referee called for the bell.
Christy Hemme: Your winner… and the NEWWWWWWW EBWF Gateway Champion… Edge!
“Metalingus” hit and Edge held up the title, smiling.
Nigel McGuinness: For the first time in his career, Edge is the Gateway Champion, but will he cash it in for a shot at the World Title?
Mauro Ranallo: That might depend on whether Randy Orton retains the title tonight, Nigel!
Edge continued to celebrate as a video package recapping the feud between Alexa Bliss and Leva Bates began to play.
The lights went out and the crowd sounded confused. Not knowing what was happening.
Nigel McGuinness: Why are all the lights out?
Mauro Ranallo: I have no idea, Nigel.
"Gun" by CHVRCHES began to play.
Nigel Mcguinness: This sounds familiar.
A spotlight appeared on the stage and standing in the middle was a woman dressed in a blue cheerleader inspired outfit. The woman cupped her hands and blew glitter into the audience before the spotlight shut off as well as the music. After a few seconds of darkness, "Crushed" by Parkway Drive began to play and the spotlight returned, this time showing a woman dressed in a pink outfit with slash marks on it.
Nigel McGuinness: I'm starting to think we're seeing a Blissful career retrospective.
The spotlight and music shut off again and after more seconds of darkness the very familiar song "Papercut'' by Linkin Park played and all the lights came back on as Alexa Bliss finally walked out to cheers from the crowd. Bliss was wearing an Iron Man inspired version of her ring gear and also had her left knee bandaged.
Mauro Ranallo: Alexa's left knee was injured by Leva Bates on Warfare. Will her injury cost her tonight?
Nigel McGuinness: Well Mauro, it very well could be because you know Leva will target it.
Christy Hemme: This match is scheduled for one fall. On her way to the ring first, from Columbus, Ohio and representing the Coalition, she is ALEXA BLISS!
Alexa entered the ring and turned her attention to the stage.
The cheers of the crowd brought a smile to Alexa’s face. Suddenly the music switched to “Geek” by MC Chris. The crowd turned just as quickly to boos. Leva Bates emerged out onto the stage with a book clutched to her chest. She stood at the top of the ramp and opened the book. She ran her finger across the page to her left.
Christy Hemme: And her opponent from Madisonville, Kentucky, she is LEVA BATES!
Leva snapped the book closed and pointed toward the ring. She sprinted down the ramp and stopped just short of the apron. Bates hopped up to a seated position and opened the book again. She turned the opened book to the camera. Inside was a picture of Alexa Bliss and a definition for the word loser that took up an entire page. Leva laughed at the camera and snapped the book closed again. She laid back and rolled under the bottom rope. She placed the book in the corner and walked to the center of the ring. Alexa followed suit and the two met in the center of the ring with the referee.
Mauro Ranallo: I can’t imagine what’s going through the minds of Leva Bates and Alexa Bliss!
Nigel McGuinness: There’s a lot on the line tonight. One of these women is going to Christmas Eve of Destruction to face the Women’s Champion.
Mauro Ranallo: Whoever that is after tonight!
The referee called for the bell to start the match. The two women circled one another several times and then shot into a collar and elbow lock up. They struggled back and forth, Alexa backed Leva toward the ropes. Leva turned the tables and backed Alexa up several steps. Alexa spun to the side and pushed Bates into the corner. She delivered a series of four quick chops to Leva. Leva shoved Alexa back toward the center of the ring and followed out by diving low.
Mauro Ranallo: Just as we thought, Leva Bates wasting no time attacking the injured knee of Alexa Bliss.
Alexa flipped completely over as Leva clotheslined her injured knee. Bates got back to her feet quickly and stomped repeatedly on Alexa’s knee and leg. She pulled Alexa back to her feet and hit a DDT back to the mat. She went for the pin.
1… Alexa kicked out before the two.
Nigel McGuinness: It’s too early to be looking for the pin!
Leva and Alexa climbed back to their feet and locked up. Alexa ducked under a wild right and hit a quick neck breaker on Bates. She followed it up by lifting Leva up and whipping her into the ropes. Alexa hit a scoop slam on Leva in the center of the ring, using the momentum to drive her into the mat. Bates arched her back in pain. Alexa went for the pin.
1… Leva rolled Alexa into a pin of her own.
1… Alexa kicked out.
Leva and Alexa both sat up and looked at each other. They climbed to their knees face to face. Leva threw a punch at Alexa. Alexa returned a punch of her own. Leva hit Alexa with her forearm. Alexa mirrored the attack. Both women put their left foot out in front of them. They continued exchanging blows from this new platform. After several exchanges they made it to their feet.
Mauro Ranallo: Both these women want that shot at the title.
Nigel McGuinness: It’s a huge opportunity!
Alexa took an elbow that staggered her. As she turned her back on Leva she got hit with a belly to back suplex. Alexa landed hard on her neck and shoulders. Leva took hold of Alexa’s leg and rolled her into a single leg Boston crab. Alexa cried out in pain.
Nigel McGuinness: This is how she injured Alexa’s leg in the first place!
Alexa’s instincts kicked in and she turned slightly to take hold of the closest available ropes after only seconds in the hold. The referee pulled on Leva to get her to release before starting to count.
1..2..3..4.. Leva broke the hold and backed away with her hands in the air.
Alexa rubbed her knee as the referee made sure she could continue. Leva took her foot and pulled her back to the center of the ring. She stomped on Alexa’s back causing her to arch upward. Bates drove a knee into Alexa’s spine and grabbed for her face and neck. She twisted Alexa’s head to the side. Alexa struggled to free her head. She slipped free but Leva caught her hair and used it to pull her head back.
Mauro Ranallo: You can’t pull hair in wrestling.
The referee warned Leva about pulling hair. Leva shrugged and used her hold on Alexa’s hair to drive her head first into the mat. Leva stood over Bliss and held her hands out to the side. Alexa started to push up onto her elbows and Bates stomped on the back of her neck. Leva pulled Alexa back to her feet. Bliss struck Bates in the stomach but Leva grabbed her hair. Alexa repeated the blow to the stomach. And a third. She broke Leva’s hold on her hair and whipped her into the corner. Alexa charged in and hit a drop kick.
Leva dropped to the mat and rolled out of the ring to regroup. Alexa followed her outside the ring and pressed the advantage. She whipped Bates into the apron. Alexa delivered a forearm to Leva’s chest and rolled her back into the ring. Bliss rolled back into the ring.
Nigel McGuinness: Intelligent strategy from Alexa Bliss, you can’t let Leva take a break here!
Alexa pulled Bates to her feet and hit a snap ddt. She mounted Leva and struck her repeatedly in the forehead. She covered.
1...2.. Leva Bates kicked out.
Alexa Bliss pulled Leva back to her feet and hoisted her up on her shoulders hitting a quick fallaway slam. Britt Baker came running down the entrance ramp and jumped up on the apron. The referee turned his attention to stopping Baker from getting into the ring. Alexa turned and yelled at Britt. Leva took advantage and rolled Bliss up from behind. Britt jumped off the apron and the referee started counting.
1...2… Alexa kicked out.
Bates slapped the mat in anger and told the referee how to count to three. She looked back at Britt outside the ring and shouted at her. Baker started pulling the padding up off the floor outside the ring. Leva rolled Alexa toward the ropes and shoved her out of the ring. Outside the ring Leva pulled Alexa to her feet and set her up for a suplex. Bliss blocked the move by wrapping her leg around Bates’
Nigel McGuinnness: This is a scary situation with that exposed concrete.
Alexa countered into a suplex of her own. Bates landed back first on the concrete and arched her back in pain. Britt put her hands on her head and walked away. Alexa took the chance to breathe and gather herself before rolling Leva and herself back into the ring. Both women got to their feet. Alexa took Leva’s hand and spun, she brought Bates’ arm down over her shoulder into a nasty arm drag.
Alexa followed this up by attempting to pull Bates back to her feet. For her trouble she took a quick thumb to the eye. Leva took hold of Alexa’s hair and punched her in the top of the head flattening her to the mat. Bates put Alexa’s foot under her shoulder and fell back to the mat, stretching Alexa’s knee.
Mauro Ranallo: Right back to that injured knee.
Leva rolled Alexa onto her stomach and lifted her leg and knee high into the air before driving it back down into the mat. Leva took hold of Bliss’ hair and pulled her up to her feet. She used the hair hold to sling Alexa around into the ropes and then gave a short clothesline to send her rolling over the top. Alexa caught herself just enough to land on the apron instead of cascading to the exposed floor.
Mauro Ranallo: Bliss just saved herself from a serious injury!
Leva taunted Bliss, calling for her to get back into the ring. As Alexa got to her feet Bates made her way to the other side of the ring. She leaned against the far ropes and shot herself across the ring toward a recovering Bliss. Alexa jumped up on the bottom rope and hit Bates with an elbow that sent her reeling backwards.
Nigel McGuinness: Don’t count Bliss out yet!
Leva stumbled back toward Alexa and into another hard elbow. This time the shot turned her to the side. Alexa springboarded over the top rope and hit Leva Bates with a double axe handle to the back of the neck that sent her sprawling on the mat. Alexa rolled Leva over, limping on her first couple of steps.
Mauro Ranallo: Alexa looks to be setting up for the Twisted Bliss!
With Leva Bates laying on the mat Alexa looked to the cheering crowd. She took a deep breath, nodded, and climbed slowly up the turnbuckle. As she turned around at the top her knee buckled slightly and she had to grab the top rope to keep from falling headfirst into the ring. She collected herself and tried to stand back up. Just as she made it to her feet a recovered Leva Bates hit her in the injured knee with a forearm. She took hold of Alexa and tossed her off the top rope.
Nigel McGuinness: That injury caught up with Little Miss Bliss.
Bates pulled Alexa to her feet and set up for the Book End. She turned to put herself between the referee and the corner, locking eyes with Britt Baker. Britt slid the book into the ring as Leva picked Alexa up. She slammed Bliss down, driving her spine into the book. The crowd booed as Leva hooked Bliss’s legs and rolled into a pin with the book still under her back. The referee counted.
The referee called for the bell.
Christy Hemme: Your winner and new number one contender to the EBWF Women’s Championship, LEVA BATES!
Mauro Ranallo: Can you believe this? Leva Bates has just stolen this match with help from Britt Baker!
Nigel McGuinness: And now she’s the number one contender for the EBWF Women’s Championship!
Leva Bates got to her feet and forced the referee to raise her hand. When he did, she used his grip on her wrist to turn him and face away from Alexa. Britt Baker slid into the ring and retrieved the book from under Alexa. She took the book to Leva and replaced the referee at her side. The referee turned to check on Bliss. Leva Bates opened the book up and turned it to face the camera again. This page had a picture of her and a fake definition for Future Women’s Champion. The camera cut away to a EBWFShop promo starring Austin and Colten Gunn wearing a multitude of merchandise for other EBWF superstars to give the ring crew time to reset the ring.
The crowd had only just settled back into their seats after the promo for EBWFShop when “Hart Attack” hit and they moved to their feet again.
Mauro Ranallo: Could it be, Nigel!
Nigel McGuinness: It’s Bret Hart!
Mauro Ranallo: The Hitman is here!
Bret surveyed the crowd for a moment, before going up the stairs and getting into the ring. EBWF Legend Bret Hart stood in the center of the ring, with a microphone in his hand and a look of utter amazement and joy across his face as he glanced out over the thunderous roar of the sold out EBWF crowd.
Bret Hart: I can’t tell you what it means to me, to stand here, in this ring, in front of all of you. Twenty years ago I signed a deal that I didn’t think much of. I was, admittedly, in a bad space. Screwed over, misused, mistreated, and forgotten. I was pissed off, jaded, and I had a massive chip on my shoulder with something to prove.
And prove it I did. I held every championship, won every crown, and I climbed every mountain. I beat the unbeatable, I conquered the unconquerable, and I became everything I always said I was. I became the Excellence of Execution. I did it here, in this very ring in front of all of you.
But I didn’t come here tonight to remind you of my accomplishments. I didn’t come here because Wes suggested I come after a boisterous Thanksgiving dinner. - Canadian Thanksgiving. It’s in October, look it up, it’s much better, you should all try it. No, the reason I came here tonight was to do one thing.
I need to thank each and every single one of you. The EBWF Fans from 20 years ago, 10 years ago, and right through to today. All of you made the EBWF the entertainment force that it is today, and you made Bret Hart into who he is today. From the very bottom of my heart, you have no idea the impact you’ve had on my life.
And lastly to all the guys and girls in the back, I have one last thing to say to each of you. A bit of friendly advice, if you will. And remember, I’m Canadian, we’re always very friendly.
Be honest in defeat. Be humble in victory. Be appreciative in public, and celebratory in private. Sign the autographs and shake the hands. Breathe in the special moments. Do not wallow in defeat and don’t get lost in a win. There is no shame in losing a match, it’s an opportunity to get better. Do not be too proud to pin your opponent, or make them tap out because there is always someone better.
Most importantly? Never. Ever. Think that you are the best.
Bret gave a dramatic pause that the crowd met with cheers.
Bret Hart: BECAUSE I AM THE BEST THERE IS, THE BEST THERE WAS, AND THE BEST THERE EVER WILL BE.
“Hart Attack” hit again and Bret left the ring to thunderous applause.
Mauro Ranallo: The living EBWF legend reminding everyone who they can thank for the past and current success of EBWF!
Nigel McGuinness: What a treat it is to see Bret Hart tonight!
Brent went behind the curtain.
Mauro Ranallo: Up next is our Triple Threat match for the Breakout Championship!
"Nation Of Violence" began to play as Samoa Joe made his way to the ring.
Christy Hemme: The following contest is a Triple Threat match, and it is for the Breakout Championship. Introducing first, representing the Nation Of Violence. He is the Samoan Submission Machine…. SAMOAAAA JOEEEE.
Mauro Ranallo: This is the second opportunity for Samoa Joe to win the Breakout Championship after losing to Christian Cage at Summerslam.
Nigel McGuinness: Joe was extremely close to winning the title that night. He might accomplish that goal tonight.
Joe entered the ring as "Unbreakable" by Cage9 hit and Stone Cold Steve Austin came out to a huge reaction from the St. Louis crowd.
Mauro Ranallo: Stone Cold has been on a roll since returning at Summerslam and tonight he has the chance to win championship gold.
Nigel McGuinness: Austin stood tall on Warfare this past week. Could we see that again tonight?
Austin climbed the turnbuckle before he raised his arms in the air. When he climbed down Samoa Joe met him with a punch to the face and Austin responded with one of his own as the two began to brawl.
Nigel McGuinness: This match hasn’t even started - Christian Cage isn't even out here yet - and these two are already going at it!
Austin clotheslined Joe over the top rope and when Joe got to his feet Austin dove off the apron with another clothesline. "Take Over V2" finally hit and Christian Cage came out.
Mauro Ranallo: Here comes the Breakout Champion.
When Christian arrived at the bottom of the ramp Austin nailed him with a series of punches before driving him into the ring post. Austin grabbed Christian and threw him over the barricade and into the crowd. Austin climbed over the barricade and Christian hit him with a dropkick and followed up with a suplex. As the two men got to their feet Samoa Joe ran and dove over the barricade with a suicide dive to them.
Mauro Ranallo: GOOD GOD!
Joe tossed Christian over the barricade and went to grab Austin, but the Rattlesnake hit him with a low blow. Austin saw a fan drinking a big 20 ounce, and asked him if he could have it. The fan obliged and Austin took a drink before nailing Joe in the head with the beer can.
Austin clotheslined Joe over the barricade and when he climbed over he grabbed a chair from under the ring and nailed Joe in the back. Austin grabbed Christian and threw him into the ring and went to enter, but Christian stunned him with a knee and brought him back in with a vertical suplex before going for a pin.
Nigel McGuinness: It's gonna take more than that to put Stone Cold down.
Christian hit Austin with an elbow drop then climbed to the middle rope and when Stone Cold got to his feet Cage hit him with a corkscrew european uppercut. Joe came into the ring and took Christian down with a clothesline and followed up with a running senton. Joe picked Cage up and sat him on the top turnbuckle. He went for the muscle buster, but Austin got to his feet and hit Joe in the gut with the edge of the chair. Joe let go of Christian and Austin hit him with the Stunner.
Mauro Ranallo: Stunner! Austin’s gonna win!
Nigel McGuinness: But wait, Christian's behind him!
Indeed Christian was behind Austin and took advantage by hitting the Unprettier. Austin rolled out of the ring. Cage climbed to the top rope before hitting Joe with a frog splash and went for the pin.
Nigel McGuinness: He's done it. Christian Cage is still the Breakout Champion.
Mauro Ranallo: It's just like you said at Summerslam, Nigel, at the right place and time Christian is not afraid to take advantage.
Christian was handed the title and celebrated as a commercial for Christmas Eve Of Destruction began to play.
After the Christmas Eve of Destruction video, the lights inside the arena dimmed. A voiceover began as new footage began to play.
Voiceover: In 2012, tragedy struck EBWF when a gunman seeking to put a stop to an upcoming pay-per-view match, opened fire inside EBWF Headquarters in St. Louis. 48 EBWF Staff were injured and 11 were killed. The gunman was also shot dead at the scene. Nine years later EBWF continues to extend our immense gratitude to the EBWF security team, the first responders in the St. Louis Police Department’s SWAT and Hostage Negotiation Units, St. Louis County Police, St. Louis Fire Department, St. Louis City and County EMS, and all of the employees at St. Louis Area Hospitals. Many of whom are here with us tonight.
The camera focused on an area of the arena where several people were standing in uniform. They cheered for a moment as they were shown on the large screen. Then the crowd began to hush as the timekeeper’s bell began to sound. After a ten bell salute, the screen lit up again.
A somber crowd came back to life as “Aphrodite” by Kylie Minogue started to play. Torrie Wilson hit the ramp at a sprint. She proceeded to interact with the crowd lining the ramp on her way to the ring. She rolled under the bottom rope and waved to the cheering crowd.
Christy Hemme: This match is scheduled for one fall. Already in the ring, from Boise, Idaho. Ten time EBWF Women’s Champion, TORRIE WILSON!
“Time to Rock n’ Roll” hit and Trish Stratus came out to the entrance stage. She held up her finger in her typical entrance. The crowd cheered as she started down toward the ring.
Christy Hemme: And her opponent, making her way to the ring, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Seven time EBWF Women’s Champion, TRISH STRATUS!
Trish slid under the bottom rope and jumped to her feet. She and Torrie met face to face in the center of the ring. They exchanged words and shook hands before walking to opposite corners. Trish warmed up by pulling on the top rope and stretching. Torrie stretched her legs by putting her right foot on the top rope.
Mauro Ranallo: Universe, you’re looking at two of the most decorated women in EBWF.
The bell sounded to start the match and the two women took their time to stop their warm up routines. They both stuck close to the ropes and circled right to adjacent corners. They closed in toward the center of the ring as they continued to circle. Trish shot in looking for a takedown but Torrie stepped out a second before she could grab her leg. Wilson came back looking for a knee strike but Trish rolled out of the way and sat up on a knee. Stratus clapped.
Nigel McGuinness: I’m beginning to worry that these two are going to be too nice to one another.
They locked up in the center of the ring. Trish pulled Torrie down into a side headlock. Torrie pushed Trish off and whipped her toward the corner. Torrie followed. Trish lifted herself up and over Torrie landing on her feet and rolling to the center of the ring. Torrie turned around and clapped in the corner.
Mauro Ranallo: Veteran awareness on display from both Trish and Torrie!
Trish ran toward the corner and caught a boot from Torrie Wilson. Torrie stepped out of the corner and pushed Trish into it. She stepped onto the second rope and rained down punches on Trish as the crowd counted them. 1...2...3..188.8.131.52.8.9.. Trish managed to push Torrie out of the corner. Trish stepped out and hit a clothesline.
Trish mounted Torrie on the mat and unleashed a flurry of her own punches with crowd backing. 1...2...3...4...5..6..7.8.9.. Torrie pushed Trish off. Both women climbed to their feet. They locked up. This time Torrie took control of the hold swimming behind Trish and locking her in a hammer lock. Trish tried to reach around and take hold of Torrie. Trish swept around behind Torrie and reversed the hold. Torrie moved in the same motion but instead of locking in another hammer lock she pulled Trish into a clothesline.
Nigel McGuinness: These two are so well matched.
Torrie pulled Trish up off the mat. She hit a DDT. Torrie covered.
1...2. Trish kicked out.
Torrie picked Trish up again and set up for a suplex. She tugged but Trish adjusted her center of balance and stayed grounded. Torrie made another attempt and Trish blocked it again. Wilson hit a knee raise on Trish to stun her long enough to hit the suplex. She made the cover but Trish’s foot was already tied up on the bottom rope. Torrie pulled Trish out to the center of the ring and covered again.
1...2.. Trish kicked out.
Trish was quick to her feet this time and she caught Torrie in a standing rear headlock. Trish turnt and pulled Torrie down over her waist in a back breaker. She stood up and hit a flatliner. Trish pulled Torrie up off the mat and hit a bridging suplex into a pin.
1...2… Torrie kicked out at the last second.
Both women were slow to climb back to their feet. Wilson and Stratus met in the middle of the ring. Trish threw a hard right. Torrie landed a right of her own. Stratus retorted with an elbow. Wilson put a knee in Trish’s ribs. She stepped back and kicked Trish in the stomach, doubling her over. Torrie took hold of the back of Stratus’ head and motioned to the fans. Trish dropped to her knees.
Mauro Ranallo: Great way to avoid the Nose Job!
Nigel McGuinness: These two women know one another like the backs of their hands.
Trish pushed up to her feet and hit a European uppercut on Torrie. Wilson spun around and stumbled toward the ropes. Trish wrapped her arm over the back of Torrie’s neck and pointed. She pushed off the ropes looking for the Stratusfaction but Wilson tossed her out into the ring.
Torrie leaned against the ropes while Trish climbed to her feet. Torrie whipped her into the ropes. Trish ducked a clothesline and hit Wilson with a cross body on her way back. She pulled Torrie to her feet and kneed her in the gut. Trish put her arm around Wilson’s neck again, rushed toward the ropes and pushed off.
Nigel McGuinness: STRATUSFACTION! That’s it!
Trish Stratus hooked both legs and rolled into the pin. The referee slid down next to them.
1...2...3! The bell sounded!
Christy Hemme: Your winner, TRISH STRATUS!
Trish stood and had her hand raised by the referee. She pulled Torrie to her feet and they stood face to face in the ring. The two women hugged and the crowd let out a near universal cheer. Torrie raised Trish’s hand and pointed to her.
Mauro Ranallo: These two women are the definition of good sports!
Nigel McGuinness: They are two of the best female wrestlers to ever lace up a pair of boots!
Trish and Torrie climbed out of the ring and walked up the ramp with one another.
After the match ended- the camera cut backstage. There was a huge reaction as Layla El stood in center frame. She wore a very nice black and pink top and had black pants on. She looked extremely beautiful and wore a big smile on her face. The cheers grew louder as Trish Stratus entered the scene, she was dressed in her ring gear, she looked extremely happy to see Layla.
Trish Stratus: Hey Girl! How are you!?
The two embraced in a hug. After breaking the hug Layla began to speak, except no sound was coming out of her mouth. Dead silence. Trish looked extremely confused as did Layla. She tried to clear her throat and try again , but still nothing. All of a sudden the crowd erupted in cheers as Kaientai entered the scene. Their abrupt entrance almost knocked Trish over and exited her promptly from the scene. Taka took center stage. He began furiously mouthing words with no sound. Until that very familiar voice over was heard.
Taka: (voice over) Honeyyyyyyyy we’re homeeee!
Taka had a goofy smile on his face as he turned to Funaki. Funaki mouthed a couple of words himself, and much to their delight the crowd joined in on what was about to be heard over the PA.
Funaki and crowd: (voice over) INDEED!!
Layla was smiling and laughing at the return of her former partners. She comically got very serious and started mouthing words herself. Her goofy girly voice over was heard.
Layla El: (voice over) Aw you called me honey ! That’s so nice.
Taka looked troubled. He began to scold Layla for her comment, mouthing a reprimand. Way off beat moments later. His voice over was heard.
Taka: (voice over) Sweet? Sweet!? The only thing sweet is the Halloween candy that we enjoyed tonight. That’s right Funaki and I went out Trick or Treating and we got by far the most candy. We didn’t go to houses ourselves.. we instead waited for children to get candy.. then we stole it from them. It was like taking Candy from babies.. because.. that’s exactly what we did.. A HA HA HA!!
Funaki was seen eating a Snickers bar. He burped and it was heard off cue. He had chocolate all over his face.
Funaki and Crowd: (voice over) INDEED!
Taka smiled at Funaki. Layla wiped Funaki's face like he was a toddler. Taka continued to mouth words that were heard off cue.
Taka: (Voice over) All week all we’ve heard everyone do is congratulate each other, pat each other on the back, kiss each other on the lips, about making it 20 years as a business. I know many feel it would be NICE if I did the same.. to that I say.. it would be NICE if you would just..
A clip of The Rock saying “know your role and shut your mouth” was heard. Taka hilariously tries to cock an eyebrow. Funaki did as well as he mouthed words quickly. His voice over again was joined by the crowd.
Funaki and crowd: (voice over) INDEED!
Taka continued this ridiculous segment with more animated “talking”
Taka: (voice over) You see if you’ve been living under a “Rock” …
Taka laughed. That came in off cue, obviously.
Taka: (voice over) you see what I did there, Funaki?
Funaki seemed impressed. He mouthed words.
Funaki and crowd: (Voice over) INDEED!
Taka: (Voice over) As I was saying if you were living under a Rock, you might not know, so I’ll let you know, so that you know that we know that you know. We are Kaientai and even though you think it would be NICE if we came out here to congratulate EBWF on 20 years.. we NEVER..
“And The Rock Means Never” was heard. Taka sported a goofy grin.
Taka: (voice over) Do the “nice” thing.. and that is because even after all of these years, after all this time, we can’t do what’s nice because.. EBWF fans we are FAR.. FAR too committed to doing
Taka and Layla had almost identical looks on their faces as Funaki took center stage to bring it home. He pantomimed speaking for what felt like a full minute.
Funaki and Crowd: (voice over) INNNNNNDEEEEEED!!
The goofy trio quickly exited the scene as we cut back to the ring.
“Are You Ready?!”
The crowd was on their feet yet again as ‘BREAK IT DOWN!’ overcame the PA. D-Generation X, Shawn Michaels and Triple H came onto the stage. Michaels danced around the stage as the fans cheered louder, and Triple H surveyed the crowd. He was carrying the Chyna 9000, and each wore DX shirts.
Mauro Ranallo: A surprise appearance by one of the most prolific EBWF Tag Teams of all time!
Shawn pulled a microphone out of his waistband.
Shawn Michaels: St. Louis! We have one question for you! Are you ready?
There was a pop in the stadium, and Triple H snatched the mic from HBK.
Triple H: No, no, no, no, no St. Louis! I don’t think you heard us. We asked you, ARE….YOU….READY!?
The pop was louder.
Triple H: Now that’s more like it! Shawn and I have been pulled off the ranch in Texas to be here to celebrate twenty years of EBWF with all of you. We both came to EBWF in 2001, and have exclusively appeared here ever since.
Shawn Michaels: And it feels like a very long time, but it’s also gone by in the blink of an eye. We’re awfully proud of everything we’ve accomplished here, and we’re awfully grateful to all of you. From the bottom of our hearts, for always remembering DX, for always remembering Joan, the 9th Wonder of the World, Chyna! It means more than you know. So let me close up by stating the obvious, St. Louis…
Shawn cleared his throat.
Shawn Michaels: If you’re not down with twenty years of EBWF, we got two words for ya…
Shawn threw the mic in the air as the crowd yelled “Suck It!”. “Are You Ready?” hit again and Shawn began dancing around the stage again, greeting the crowd. Triple H raised the Chyna 9000, shooting pyro on both sides of the arena to massive applause before the tron lit up and they exited the stage.
A startling explosion echoed across the Dome as smoke poured out from behind the tron. Cracks formed across the screen as a seam appeared in the dead center. Red light escaped the seam as it continued to spread, and smoke billowed. The BMP-23 seen earlier in the show slowly rolled out onto the stage with Miro standing on top of it. He had a Bulgarian flag held in his right hand. As the tank escaped the rolling smoke Aiden became visible standing in the top hatch of the tank. He pointed to Miro and clapped. The tank came to a lurching stop. Miro came as far forward on the tank as possible and waved his flag violently above his head.
Christy Hemme: Representing King….
A loud pop sounded as Christy’s mic suddenly shut off. Chavo Guerrero Jr. walked out from behind the tank twirling two lengths of black cable in either hand. Elias Samson came from the other side wielding a comically large pair of golden scissors that might be used for the opening of a building site. Aiden climbed out of the tank hatch with a microphone in hand.
Aiden English: Sorry, I’ll take it from here. Ladies and gentlemen, this man is a physical specimen that requires no introduction! A talent that needs neither pomp nor circumstance! But, please I beg you, spare me your ears anyway!
The crowd booed.
Aiden English: This man has been known by many names as he’s led conquest after conquest in venues all over the world. He’s dominated rosters. Eradicated enemies. Destroyed records. And now he’s in EBWF as a representative, NO, a member of Kingdom! And on this day, this oh so special day, we honor him. Not because this is the twentieth anniversary of EBWF. Who fucking cares? No, today is something so much more important for this company, for this universe, for all of you! Today we proffer a proportionate pound of pride to the proven powerhouse of protection! We honor the heroic hunter of hedonistic holdouts. Beg for mercy from the mighty mountain of measured momentum! Today on this day, we celebrate not anniversaries, not costume parties, nothing of that ilk. Today is a day of retroaction. A day of retrospection. A day of RETRIBUTION! TODAY IS…..
The crowd bought in and yelled RUUUUUUUUUU.
Aiden English: The destruction of Chris Jericho. It’s the day you all witness the glory of God’s greatest glory. MIRO!
The tank shot smoke and a flash from the barrel with another shocking explosion. Elias dropped the oversized scissors and ran toward the ring. Chavo followed him, throwing the ends of cable into the crowd on his way down to the ring. Aiden walked up next to Miro and posed with him to the displeasure of the EBWF Universe. Miro pressed the flag into a holder at the front of the tank and jumped down to the stage. As he landed, pyros went off on either side of him. Aiden rolled off the side of the tank and joined him. He called for the crowd to get loud, inviting another wave of overwhelming boos. “Hell Unleashed” by EVILE started to play. Aiden stared down the ramp where Chavo and Elias were already climbing into the ring. He patted Miro on the back and started to walk down toward the ring.
Miro stood at the top of the ramp taking in the EBWF crowd gathered for the twentieth anniversary show. Their hatred of Kingdom was obvious in their reaction to the Bulgarian Brute. He looked back at the entrance package playing on the tron and back petaled toward the ramp. The crowd didn’t let up as Miro made his way down to the ring and walked up the stairs to enter. He joined the full-time members of Kingdom in the center of the ring as they hyped him up for his match.
Mauro Ranallo: Aiden English doing what he can here to keep Miro focused.
The crowd was booing Miro and Kingdom when the lights cut out and the arena went completely dark. The boos turned to deafening cheers that echoed off the dome in thunderous waves. The tron lit up and the audience’s loud response continued as the screen showed
Mauro Ranallo: Oh, EBWF! It’s been a while since we’ve seen this!
Nigel McGuinness: The fans love it! The countdown is on.
Mauro Ranallo: This match is going to be one of the most physically brutal of Chris Jericho’s career.
Nigel McGuinness: And his family will be in the front row to see it. Will he be victorious tonight?
Words flashed across the screen.
“There Can Only Be…”
“You know I got you. Yeah
BREAK THE WALLS DOWNNNNN”
The crowd roared as the tron dimmed to find Jericho with his back turned to the ring. His arms were outstretched in his signature pose, and he was wearing one of his iconic light up jackets. Energized, he did his standard turn toward the audience, pumping his fist as blue and silver pyro exploded from the stage. As the pyro died, the house lights flooded the dome and the music bled into the familiar guitar intro of “Judas”. Jericho started the long walk down the ramp.
Mauro Ranallo: This crowd is on cloud nine.
Nigel McGuinness: And they are firmly rooting for Jericho.
The camera found signs reading “Le Champion” and “20 years of EBWF and Jericho!”. A young fan holding an “I Came to See Jericho” sign jumped up and down excitedly when they realized they were on the big screen. The crowd began singing “Judas” at the top of their lungs as Jericho paused to take it all in. The camera panned over the crowd, and found the front row it had been visiting all night.
Mauro Ranallo: And there you see the family of Chris Jericho.
The camera focused a moment on a pretty blonde woman quickly wiping tears away from under her eyes.
Mauro Ranallo: Chris’ wife on the left with his twin daughters. There in the center is his son, Ash. Of course we know Blaine Ikeda, and his sister McKenzie, seated there with their mother, Natalya and their little brother, named after Chris Jericho, C.J. Ikeda. All singing along and settled in for this matchup here tonight.
Nigel McGuinness: What’s this?
The camera had caught a quick movement as Wes slid in beside C.J and Nattie, wearing a Chris Jericho t-shirt just before the chorus hit and he shouted along with the crowd.
WHAT HAVE I BECOME? NOW THAT I’VE BETRAYED…
Mauro Ranallo: Wes said at the top of the show that he just wanted to be a fan tonight, and feel things with these fans.
Nigel McGuinness: He is the self-professed biggest Chris Jericho fan on earth, Mauro.
AND I HAVE BEEN A SLAVE. TO THE JUDAS IN MY MIND…
Jericho slapped the hands of fans in the front row, and then went over to hug his wife and children, hugging Wes’ kids too before fist bumping his friend who was singing himself hoarse. Jericho turned and went up the ring steps. He stood at the top and put his hand behind his ear which only made the crowd get louder.
JUDAS IN… JUDAS IN MY MIND!
The music faded and the singing turned to cheers as Jericho stepped in the ring and stared down Miro and Kingdom. A “Kingdom Sucks” chant went up as Christy Hemme tried to make herself heard over it.
Christy Hemme: This match is scheduled for one fall and it is a Trick or Street Fight!
Mauro Ranallo: I’ve had so much fun I forgot it was Halloween!
Nigel McGuinness: Trust Chris Jericho to be festive in the face of a big fight!
Christy Hemme: Introducing…
Christy smiled at Chris, and took an exaggerated deep breath. The crowd cheered her good natured introduction with each phrase. Miro, to his credit, looked very bored and equally perturbed in his corner. The rest of Kingdom had exited the ring, and Aiden could be seen rolling his eyes at ringside.
Christy Hemme: The Lionheart. The Man of 1,004 Holds. Y2J. The Ayatollah of…
Crowd: ROCK N ROLLA!
Christy Hemme: The Best in the World at What He Does. Le Champion. The Demo God. The Painmaker.
A “Jericho” chant became the musical undercurrent of Christy’s speech as the crowd showed their enjoyment of the bit.
Christy Hemme: The MOST decorated EBWF World Champion in Company History. THEE EBWF Original and THEE GREATEST OF ALLLLLLL TIIIIMMMMEEEEEEE…..
The cameras panned the crowd as people threw their hands in the air in excitement of the acknowledgement.
Christy Hemme: CHRRRRISSSSS JERRRICHOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Jericho looked around at the crowd and grinned. Miro charged towards him, knocking him down with a clothesline. As the referee called for the bell, the rest of Kingdom entered the ring and began pummelling Jericho. The crowd booed and began calling for Jurassic Express. A few moments later, Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus ran down the ramp towards the ring.
Mauro Ranallo: Jurassic Express coming to Jericho’s aid, but the numbers are still in Kingdom’s favor!
Nigel McGuinness: No sign of Paul London… he’s probably still feeling the effects of that ladder match earlier.
As Jurassic Express entered the ring, Aiden English attacked Jungle Boy, while Chavo and Elias double-teamed Luchasaurus. Meanwhile, Miro still had Jericho down on the mat and was hitting him with repeated punches. The camera cut to Wes at ringside, who appeared to be contemplating whether or not to hop over the barrier… when suddenly the lights in the arena went out. As the lights slowly came back on, snow could be seen falling from the sky, and an old theme that sounded a lot like the music from The Crow began to play…
Mauro Ranallo: Is this who I think it is?
When the lights came up, STING was standing in the ring, holding a black baseball bat. The crowd erupted, and everyone in the ring seemed to freeze momentarily. Chavo was the first to react, and he ran at Sting, but Sting swung his bat towards Chavo, smacking him across the face with it! As Chavo rolled out of the ring, Sting swung the bat at Elias, hitting him in the ribs, then dropped the bat and went after Aiden English, hitting him with a series of punches. Luchasaurus turned his attention to Miro, pulling him off of Chris Jericho and throwing him into the corner, where he hit him with a series of punches and kicks. Across the ring, Jungle Boy hit Elias with a dropkick, knocking him out of the ring. To the delight of the crowd, Sting then hit Aiden English with the Scorpion Death Drop! English rolled out of the ring, regrouping with Chavo and Elias at the bottom of the ramp. As the three men began retreating up the ramp, Jungle Boy and Luchasaurus climbed out of the ring, standing at the bottom of the ramp to make sure the three male members of Kingdom didn’t come back to the ringside area. Back in the ring, Sting handed his bat to Chris Jericho, then exited through the crowd, passing Wes Ikeda and patting him on the back as he did so.
Nigel McGuinness: Tonight has been full of surprises, Mauro… but the appearance of Sting might just be my favorite one yet!
Mauro Ranallo: Do you think Paul London summoned him, Nigel?
Nigel McGuinness: You know what, Mauro? I’m in such a good mood right now, I’m not even gonna argue with you.
After Jurassic Express had followed Kingdom to the back, the camera cut back to the ring. Miro moved out of the corner towards Jericho, and Jericho swung the bat at him… but Miro blocked it, then snatched the bat out of Jericho’s hand and threw it away from him. Miro hit Jericho with a series of punches and whipped him against the ropes, then lifted Jericho up onto his shoulders, hitting a Samoan drop. Miro stomped on Jericho several times, then rolled out of the ring. At ringside, there was a table containing various Halloween themed “weapons”, including several orange kendo sticks, a metal cauldron, a skull and pumpkins. Lots of pumpkins. Instead of going for one of these weapons, Miro reached underneath the ring, grabbing a steel chair. As he re-entered the ring, he drilled the chair into Jericho’s ribs, then hit him across the back with it, knocking Jericho down to the ground. He then tried to lock Jericho in the Camel Clutch, but before he could lock it in, Jericho broke free and got back to his feet. As Miro tried to grab him, Jericho hit a knee to the midsection, then threw Miro shoulder first into the corner. Miro’s shoulder collided with the ring post, and as he stumbled out of the corner clutching his shoulder, Jericho ran against the ropes, taking Miro down with a one-handed bulldog. Jericho then ran back towards the ropes, springboarding off the second rope and hitting the Lionsault!
Mauro Ranallo: Jericho rolling back the years there with that Lionsault!
Nigel McGuinness: That might be the first time in about 20 years he’s actually hit it!
Jericho hooked the leg and the referee counted…
Miro kicked out!
As Jericho got to his feet, he grabbed Miro by the legs, putting him in the Walls of Jericho… but Miro was able to roll over and kick Jericho away, knocking Jericho back against the ropes. Miro got to his feet, and charged towards Jericho, going for a clothesline… but Jericho ducked out of the way and pulled down on the ropes, sending Miro to the outside. Jericho then leapt over the ropes, hitting Miro with a springboard plancha! As Jericho got to his feet, he walked over to the table of Halloween weapons, grabbing a couple of pumpkins. He threw one pumpkin at Miro, but Miro was able to dodge it. Jericho then hit Miro with the second pumpkin, smashing it over his head!
Mauro Ranallo: I hope Miro likes the taste of pumpkin, Nigel… he just got a face full of it!
Some of the innards of the pumpkin seemed to have gotten in Miro’s eyes, temporarily blinding him. As Miro rubbed his eyes, Jericho picked up the cauldron and placed it over Miro’s head. He then threw Miro into the ring post, causing a loud BONG as the cauldron hit the post. Miro fell to the ground, looking dazed. Jericho dragged him to his feet, rolled him back into the ring and hooked the leg. The referee counted:
Miro kicked out!
As Jericho got to his feet, he walked over to the ring and picked up the bat Sting had handed him earlier… then shook his head, dropped it and exited the ring. Jericho walked over to his son Ash in the front row, and could be heard asking him for “Floyd”. The crowd began chanting “We want Floyd”, and they cheered as Ash handed his dad another black baseball bat. There didn’t seem to be much difference between Jericho’s bat and Sting’s, except for the fact that Jericho’s bat had the name Floyd in gold letters down the side.
Nigel McGuinness: I don’t get it, Mauro… what makes “Floyd” any better than Sting’s bat?
Mauro Ranallo: Of course it’s better, Nigel… it has a name, so it must be special!
As Jericho turned around, Miro was rolling out of the ring. Jericho hit him with Floyd several times, but then Miro was able to snatch Floyd off of Jericho and he pressed the bat into Jericho’s neck, choking him with it.
Mauro Ranallo: I can’t believe what I’m seeing here… Floyd just turned on Jericho!
Nigel McGuinness: I’m gonna turn on you if you don’t stop being ridiculous, Mauro!
As Jericho began to fade, Miro moved the bat away from his neck. Jericho slumped to the ground, looking woozy. Miro dragged Jericho towards the table where all the Halloween weapons were, then lifted him up, powerbombing him through the table! Miro let out a triumphant cry, then threw Jericho back into the ring. As Miro re-entered the ring, he stood in the corner, waiting for Jericho to get to his feet. Jericho slowly got up, but as soon as he did so, Miro charged towards him, hitting the Machka Kick! He then hooked the leg, and yelled at the referee to make the count.
The referee called for the bell and went to raise Miro’s arm in victory. Miro shoved the referee away, then stomped on Jericho several times before turning him over, locking in the Camel Clutch! Luchasaurus and Jungle Boy immediately ran back to the ring, but as soon as Miro saw them he broke the hold and exited the ring. As Jurassic Express checked on Jericho, Miro walked around the ring, stood at the bottom of the ramp and raised his arms triumphantly. The rest of Kingdom joined Miro on the ramp and celebrated with him before heading to the back.
Mauro Ranallo: Kingdom have shown once again that they are a force to be reckoned with… and now they have an advantage going into Warfare Games!
Nigel McGuinness: They say be careful what you wish for, and I think Jericho may come to regret challenging Aiden English to a Warfare Games match!
Fans were still on their feet screaming in excitement wondering what the next surprise would bring for the evening. The lighting in the Dome at America's Center dimmed and the music kicked in loudly
GET READY TO FLY
The trademark intro blasted through the arena and the fans popped almost singing THEY DON’T WANT NONE to the sounds of “Phenomenal” by CFO$ the song went on for a few moments to build anticipation.
Nigel McGuinness: Can it be?!?
Mauro Ranallo: It is! The Phenomenal One is here! AJ STYLES!
Nigel McGuinness: Oh my God! It has been rumored for weeks that we would see former superstars return tonight but this is one I did not expect!
Mauro Ranallo: I don’t think any of us expected this! Especially the fans, they’re loving this!
AJ Styles walked out on the Fannivesary stage to a great ovation even with his past of being one of the most controversial figures in the company’s history. The crowd played him up as he stood tall taking it all in. There was a smile on his face through his thick beard and he brushed his long hair out of the way before he raised his arms out in his signature pose to another pop from the St.Louis crowd. Styles made his way to the ring, stopping to receive a microphone before getting inside. The crowd was still loud from all the excitement and even Styles himself appeared to be having a good time.
AJ Styles: DAMN THIS NEVER GETS OLD!!!
The crowd continued to cheer for him, further stroking his ego as he walked the ring.
AJ Styles: 20 years! That’s amazing, hell that’s phenomenal! I can’t believe it’s been this long and I’m proud to have been with this company for the past decade! If we are being honest, I probably should’ve been locked away for 20 years for some of the things I’ve done in this company. But that’s a different story for a different time. Tonight is about Fanniversary! Tonight is about the EBWF! Some people in the back like to think of me as a historian because I remember everything and always hold a grudge. So who better than me to come out here tonight and give you all the best history lesson of all time!?
Styles was still feeling himself, however the crowd was beginning to simmer down the more he talked.
AJ Styles: Once upon a time there was a Badd Boy... I never got to meet him but I heard he was a cool guy. He used to run this place and basically helped give birth to this brand we all know today, The EBWF and that man was from right here in St. Louis, Missouri. Let’s give it up for him!
A lot of people wouldn’t get the reference but the ones who know would appreciate the shoutout. Nevertheless the crowd still gave a cheap pop.
AJ Styles: A few years later this other guy took over. Don’t really care much for him but he did hire me, and I went on to dominate this place. I made the EBWF the best wrestling company in the world. I won multiple World Championships. I’ve endorsed this place for others to come and build this brand. I put this place on my back during dark times and I made this company a shit ton of money! I’m the reason everything you see before you is taking place! And do you think the man I made rich has EVER for once thanked me!?!?
The crowd was starting to shift as Styles was beginning to show his true colors.
Mauro Ranallo: There he is, that’s the AJ Styles we all know.
Nigel McGuinness: It didn’t take long either.
AJ Styles: Nope, not once. But it’s okay. I don’t expect it. See, being in a place for 10 out of 20 years you kind of learn how things work. Have you ever heard the phrase some things never change. Well that holds true here. For instance, Randy Orton, he is still the longest reigning World Champion. Chris Jericho still has the most World Championship reigns. The Miz, well he is still tryna catch up with me. It’s okay, buddy. I’m rooting for you later tonight. You got this... Hell, I’ve been out here for 5 mins and I’ve already turned heel.
The crowd popped as Styles broke Kayfabe with the smart fans really enjoying themselves.
AJ Styles: So in the spirit of things never changing I didn’t come back tonight to have a reunion with The Trilogy. I didn’t come back to win the World Championship and I didn’t come back to have a nostalgic experience with you dirty ass fans in this dirty ass town.
The cheers were gone and the boos were loud. It was almost magic how Styles controlled the crowd. The look on his face said it all.
AJ Styles: Of course, the reason I’m here is to challenge WES IKEDA to a fight!
Nigel McGuinness: Of course that’s the reason he is here. Styles has been challenging Ikeda for years!
Mauro Ranallo: Styles was right, some things never change. Wes has always said no. I don’t really expect that to change if you want my opinion.
Nigel McGuinness: Well nobody asked for your opinion! I for one would love to see this rivalry finally come to an end!
AJ Styles: The way I see it, What better night than tonight to finally make this happen?! 20 years of the EBWF! Tonight we are celebrating the greatest wrestling company in the world. Why not have the greatest wrestler to ever grace this company and the greatest wannabe in the history of wrestling finally finish what we started half a decade ago!? I know you’re back there Ikeda! I know you’re watching! I’m not leaving this ring until I get what I want so IKEDA GET YOUR ASS OUT HERE!
The crowd was on their feet expecting Sound of Madness to hit. Nothing happened. Styles paced the ring waiting for a response.
AJ Styles: Come on Ikeda, I’m tryna make this easy on you. The longer you let me stay out here with a live mic the more I’m gonna get under your skin. You can’t cut me off, I came prepared with my own mic. I figured you’d leave me hanging. See some things never change. Hmm.. who should I disrespect first? Hmm.. Your best friend? Nah not good enough. Your sister? Pass on her. Maybe your wife. Wait. I’ve done that before, didn’t work. Right, I need to bring up the one person in this world that you’d hate for me to bring up, your daughter... Bella…
The crowd booed.
Mauro Ranallo: The audacity. We saw a tribute to Isabella earlier tonight, and Styles is going for the low hanging fruit here.
Nigel McGuinness: Sometimes you just have to see what works, Mauro.
AJ Styles: Now, Wes, I know…
“Cash money’s still a company and bitch I’m the boss… and I’ll be stuntin’ like my daddy… I’m stuntin’ like my daddy…”
Mauro Ranallo: Well, this isn’t who AJ was expecting!
Blaine Ikeda stepped from behind the curtain and onto the stage, holding an EBWF branded microphone. Dressed in mildly distressed dark jeans, and wearing a “25 Years of Ikeda” t-shirt. The crowd gave a surprised cheer at his appearance. His music faded.
Blaine Ikeda: Hold up. Hold up. Hold up.
He put hand to his brow as if searching for something and peered down to the ring.
Blaine Ikeda: That you, A.J? I’m not sure anyone was looking for you, but here you are. Welcome to the party! We’ve been here all night, man!
Blaine gestured to the crowd which made them pop.
Blaine Ikeda: You’ve been here a hot minute, haven’t you? Ten years…
AJ nodded in the ring.
Blaine Ikeda: Off and on… off and on, let’s tell the truth. But you’ve been around, and you’ve been iconic. I was TWELVE when you got signed to EBWF. You’ve basically been here since I can remember. And since I can remember, you have been the most bitter, bitchy, impossible person backstage.
The crowd popped at that too.
Blaine Ikeda: And I’ve heard people use a lot of words to describe you. I’m trying to remember some of them right now. Charming? No, no that isn’t right. Charismatic? Damn that wasn’t the one. Clever! Shit, that’s not right either. Oh…
Blaine peered down at AJ, his intense green eyes and tightly knit brow a little too reminiscent of AJ’s most notable foe.
Blaine Ikeda: Classless. That’s the one.
Styles peered down at the young man.
Blaine Ikeda: The funny thing is that you’ve been droning on and on for the last five years about how my dad has been ducking you. Let me explain something to you, A.J.
A.J paced the ring, and the camera found him pointing at Blaine on the stage and picked up a faint “Oh, you think you can explain something to me?”
Blaine Ikeda: Dad isn’t ducking you. Dad has absolutely nothing to prove to you.
Blaine’s family was still seated in the front row, and someone must have shouted something at them, because AJ turned to lean over the top rope and mouth off in that direction.
Blaine Ikeda: Hey, hey… forget them. Right here. Right here, buddy. Don’t look away from me when I’m telling you the truth.
The crowd “ooohed”.
Mauro Ranallo: Blaine Ikeda is fearless right now.
Blaine Ikeda: My father has nothing to prove to you or anyone else, because he’s already beat you. At Wrestlemania no less. Been there, done that, bought a t-shirt to commemorate it. It’s been done. They’ve seen it!
Blaine pointed out to the audience.
Blaine Ikeda: And if they want to see Wes Ikeda kick your ass again, they can look it up on YouTube. My old man ain’t one for looking back, ya know? Especially on the likes of you.
AJ leaned against the ropes again, and the left side of his mouth drew up in a smirk. He raised the mic to his lips.
AJ Styles: I’mma let you finish, kid, but only because you’re not half bad on the stick.
Blaine smirked slightly too.
Blaine Ikeda: Well, I’m not tryin’ to punk you out right now, AJ, but that would only mean something to me if I hadn’t heard the same compliment from damn, hmm.. Ummm.. Chris Jericho…
The crowd popped with each name Blaine mentioned.
Blaine Ikeda: Randy Orton… Edge… Bret Hart… Shawn Michaels…
He clicked his tongue as he held eye contact.
Blaine Ikeda: And that’s what it’s always been about, right AJ? It’s not about beating my dad. It’s not even about fighting him. It’s about some of those names I’ve just mentioned. It’s about you never making it into the inner circle. It’s about you never being a Curtain Jerk. You don’t want a bunch of victories over my dad. You want his respect. You want to be like Triple H, like Shawn Michaels, Chris Jericho, John Cena, Randy Orton, Edge… your friend, The Miz? Shit, I don’t mean to break kayfabe, but Dad and I ordered pizzas and watched the Packers Cardinals game with Mike after the Make a Wish party Thursday night! That’s your problem, isn’t it? You want the invites to the summer bar-be-ques and the family weddings. But that never happened for you, did it AJ? It never will. Dad never respected you. And you could kick his ass from here to Detroit, from Detroit to Atlanta, and Atlanta to Japan and you couldn’t beat the respect into him.
Blaine Ikeda: So I suggest you stop begging. It’s starting to look a little sad. Pathetic really. Chasing an enigma that wants nothing to do with you. Dad ain’t interested.
The crowd stirred a bit, a mixed reaction started to go up at the thought of not seeing Wes -v- Styles.
Blaine Ikeda: But I might be. If you’re planning on stickin’ around. You know where to find me.
“Stuntin’ Like My Daddy” hit again, and Blaine made a show of dropping the mic as he disappeared behind the curtain and a Christmas Eve of Destruction hype video began to play.
The camera panned to the ringside area as the Hell in a Cell cage was being lowered.
Christy Hemme: Ladies and gentlemen… This next contest is the I Quit match, and it will be contested inside of the Hell in a Cell. The rules are simple. There are no pinfalls, there are no count outs, and there are no disqualifications. The only way to win this match is to make your opponent say “I Quit.”
“Celtic Invasion” by CFO$ hit the PA System and the lighting in the arena changed from normal to shades of orange and green. The crowd instantly rose up, the entire crowd, and they started singing along. The entrance curtain opened and out walked Becky Lynch, dressed like Dark Phoenix, and the crowd cheered unanimously as she made her way down the entrance ramp.
Christy Hemme: Introducing first, the challenger… From Dublin, Ireland… BECKY LYNCH!!!
Mauro Ranallo: Here comes the young woman that thinks that this company has slighted her at every turn. She thinks that this company never gave her a fair shot. Tonight, she gets the so-called fair shot that she’s earned. The question is, will she emerge from the Cell triumphant?
Nigel McGuinness: It’s very possible. I mean, she has all of the confidence in the world and she’s extremely motivated. A motivated Becky Lynch is an extremely dangerous Becky Lynch. Look at the Queen of the Ring tournaments that she participated in. Look at everything she’s been through and everything she put other people through. Her motivation is the Women’s Championship, and she won’t be stopped until she gets the title that she believes was stolen from her at WrestleMania.
Becky Lynch approached the Hell in a Cell and without a second thought, she walked right through the doorway and climbed up onto the apron before she entered the ring. Becky walked to the center of the ring. Her theme cut out and the lighting returned to normal. The crowd cheered Becky before they broke out into chants of “BECKY! BECKY! BECKY!” With the crowd chanting, Becky turned her attention to the entrance, and waited on the champion.
The lights in the dome cut off. The clattering sounds of a music box playing “The Swan Theme” by Tchaikovsky played in the dark arena. The EBWF Universe was confused. The entrance stage was dimly illuminated by soft white light. A ballet dancer emerged from the back in a solid white outfit and tutu. She danced across the stage as a stunned fanbase sat silently. After several moments of dancing beautifully the song started to slow to a near halt. The dancer grabbed at her outfit amid a turn and tore it off revealing a black outfit underneath.
Mauro Ranallo: Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re confused, you’re not alone.
The song transitioned into the opening of “Better Without You” by Evanescence. The dancer turned toward the curtain and bowed to her knees. The lights on the stage suddenly changed to a bright red. Raquel Diaz stepped out from the back wearing black and silver ring gear covered by a shiny black suit jacket with long tails. The EBWF Women’s Championship was wrapped around her waist and she had a sugar skull in her right hand and a cane in her left. The crowd booed loudly for the champion. She walked toward the dancer and took a knee in front of her. She lifted the woman’s face up to meet her gaze. She touched the skull to the woman’s forehead and then placed it in front of her.
Raquel looked down the ramp at the caged structure surrounding the ring. Raquel looked to either side of the ramp at the booing members of the Universe and shook her head. She walked to the top of the entrance ramp and held the cane over her head. She slammed it down into the floor and bright red pyros exploded on either side of the stage in time. She left the cane standing there and started toward the ring.
Christy Hemme: Her opponent… From El Paso, Texas… She is the EBWF Women’s Champion… RAQUEL DIAZ!!!
Raquel stopped on her way down to the ring and looked at a fan holding a sign for Becky Lynch. She tore the sign from the man’s hands and stared at it intently. She looked at the ring and Becky standing inside. She tore the sign in half and handed the man back the pieces. Raquel inspected the door to the cell before entering the structure. She walked up the steps into the ring and climbed in between the middle and top rope, keeping her eyes locked on Becky Lynch.
Mauro Ranallo: At WrestleMania, Raquel Diaz was awarded the Women’s Championship after the confusion over who pinned Tam Nakano first between her and Becky. Becky thinks that she won the match and Raquel was awarded the title due to bribery. They were supposed to fight at SummerSlam, but Becky torched a couple of cars, one of them belonging to Raquel herself.
Nigel McGuinness: Both women believe they have a rightful claim to the Women’s Championship. Tonight, there will be no excuses, no matter who wins. The winner will have definitely earned the title, but the question is, who will it be? Well, we’re a few short minutes from finding out.
Inside the ring, Raquel unfastened the belt and looked at it. She held it up over her head and the crowd booed even louder. The referee took the belt from Raquel and showed it to Becky. He went to the center of the ring and held the title up over his head. The crowd cheered for the referee displaying the belt. He walked to the ropes and handed the title to another man who sprinted out of the cage. A second referee shut the cage and started to lock it. The music cut out. Raquel rushed at Becky looking for a chop block but Becky sidestepped and dropped an elbow across her neck. This caused Raquel to fall to the mat. Raquel pushed herself up to all fours and Becky dropped another elbow across the back of Raquel’s neck, causing Raquel to drop to the mat again.
Mauro Ranallo: And there they go. Becky Lynch wasting no time in starting off what will be a brutal war. The pain that these will endure will be inhuman.
Nigel McGuinness: We’ll need the EMTs on standby for this one.
Raquel got up to her hands and knees again, and Becky dropped a third elbow across the back of Raquel’s neck, causing Raquel to drop to the mat again. Becky got back up to her feet and started stomping at Raquel’s ribcage, causing Raquel to try to roll away from her. Becky gave chase to Raquel, stomping at her with each instance that she caught up with her. Raquel managed to roll toward the Southwest corner and started to pull herself up. With Raquel on her feet in the corner, Becky started stomping at her. Becky stomped at Raquel - one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten times - before she backed off.
Mauro Ranallo: This match is starting off as we expected. Very aggressively.
Nigel McGuinness: Yeah, no kidding. With all of the bad blood between these two, you had to know that it would be aggressive.
Back in the ring, Raquel pulled herself up in the corner again, and Becky approached her. Once Becky was close enough, Raquel ran at her and knocked Becky down with a clothesline. Becky quickly got up and Raquel took her down with a spear before she started punching Becky in the face. Raquel punched Becky - one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten times - with piston-like punches. This caused Becky to cover up.
Mauro Ranallo: Now, we’re seeing Raquel showing aggression.
Nigel McGuinness: Both of these women very aggressive, but whose aggression will outmatch who?
Raquel continued throwing punches until she got up and started stomping on Becky, and Becky started rolling away from her. As Becky rolled away from her, Raquel gave chase. Raquel stomped on Becky each time she caught up with her until Becky managed to roll out of the ring. Raquel wasted little time in leaving the ring in pursuit. With Becky’s back to her, Raquel grabbed Becky by the back of the head and ran her face first into the Southwest ring post. She followed it up with slamming the back of Becky’s head against the cage. This caused Becky to slump to a seated position on the floor.
Mauro Ranallo: Raquel is now in firm control of this match.
Nigel McGuinness: She might be for now, but she needs to stay on Becky. Becky is very resilient.
Raquel looked at the referee. “Ask her!” The referee approached Becky. “What do you say?” Becky winced and held her head. “Fook off!” The crowd cheered.
Mauro Ranallo: Well, it’s a good thing this is on pay per view.
Nigel McGuinness: Yeah, no kidding.
Becky used the cage to pull herself up to her feet while Raquel lied in wait. Once Becky was on her feet, Raquel ran at her and hit her with a shoulder block, causing Becky to slam against the cage. Becky slumped down again while the crowd chanted “Becky! Becky! Becky!” Raquel backed off and motioned to the referee. The referee approached Becky.
Referee: What do you say?
All Becky did was flip off the referee much to the delight of the audience.
Mauro Ranallo: Like earlier, a simple “no” would have sufficed.
Nigel McGuinness: That’s Becky for you. She has a hell of an attitude and that’s what people love about her.
Becky used the cage to pull herself up to her feet again while Raquel lied in wait. Raquel ran at Becky and attempted another shoulder block. This time, Becky sidestepped. The speed and velocity of the charging Raquel, along with Becky pushing her by the back of her head, caused Raquel to collide with the cage as the crowd cheered. Becky grabbed Raquel by the hair and started to rake Raquel’s face against the steel mesh.
Mauro Ranallo: We see some life from Becky.
Nigel McGuinness: What did I tell you? She’s very resilient. She’s crafty. Then again, so is Raquel Diaz.
Becky raked Raquel against the steel mesh until they reached part of the frame. With both ladies in front of the frame, Becky rammed Raquel face first into it and Raquel fell to the floor as the crowd cheered. Becky climbed up the cage panel and when she was high enough, she pushed herself off and landed on Raquel with an elbow drop. Becky looked at the referee.
The referee approached Raquel.
Referee: What do you say?
Becky grinned with sadistic pleasure, happy that Raquel wanted to be tortured more, at least in the Lass Kicker’s mind. Becky got up to her feet and grabbed Raquel by the hair and pulled her up to her feet. Becky looked behind her and the steel steps caught her eye. Becky tried to run Raquel face first into the steel steps, but Raquel slipped out at the last second and pushed Becky face first into the steel steps instead. The camera zoomed in on Becky and it was revealed that Becky’s forehead was bleeding.
Mauro Ranallo: Becky Lynch is busted open! That’s an unfortunate side effect of this kind of environment.
Nigel McGuinness: I hope it’s not serious enough to damage her looks. She’s a movie star, after all.
Raquel looked under the ring and she pulled out a folded up steel chair. With the steel chair in hand, Raquel waited for Becky to get up. A few moments later, Becky used the steel steps to get up to her feet. She turned to face Raquel and Raquel hit Becky in the head with a stiff chair shot. Raquel looked at the referee and told him to ask her. The referee approached Becky.
Referee: What do you say, Becky?
Becky: Hell no!
The crowd cheered at Becky’s insistence that this match continue much to the chagrin of Raquel. Becky slowly started pulling herself up. Once Becky got up to her knees, Raquel swung the chair and Becky pulled the referee in front of her to shield her from the chairshot, thus the referee was knocked out.
Mauro Ranallo: The referee is out! What’s gonna happen now?
Nigel McGuinness: We’re gonna need another referee out here.
Becky got up to her feet and Raquel ran at her. Before Raquel could hit Becky with the chair, Becky kicked her in the stomach. Raquel stumbled a bit and backed off before she ran at Becky again. Once again, Becky kicked Raquel in the stomach. This time, Raquel dropped the chair and Becky rammed her head first into the cage before she rolled Raquel in the ring. Before Becky entered the ring, she picked up the chair and slid it into the ring before she entered the ring. Raquel and Becky got up to their feet and they started trading punches.
Mauro Ranallo: They’re back in the ring now and there they go again.
Nigel McGuinnes: Yeah, and there’s officials coming out here with a new referee.
While Becky and Raquel continued brawling, the camera caught a glimpse of the officials coming out with a new referee to replace the other one and to help the other referee to the back. Raquel kicked Becky in the stomach and whipped her to the ropes. After Becky bounced off the ropes, Raquel jumped up and knocked the oncoming Becky down with a dropkick. With Becky down, Raquel climbed up to the top rope in the Northwest corner and she jumped off before she landed on Becky with a Frog Splash.
Mauro Ranallo: FROG SPLASH!
Nigel McGuinness: If there was a referee in there, it’d be a good time to ask Becky.
The door to the cage opened and the officials helped the referee out. In the ring, Becky kipped up and the crowd cheered. This caused Raquel to look around with a shocked expression on her face. Raquel ran at Becky and attempted a clothesline. Becky dropkicked Raquel’s legs which caused Raquel to collide face first into the middle turnbuckle. Becky grabbed Raquel and threw her through the ropes right into the officials. On the outside, Raquel slowly pulled herself up to her feet. Becky backed up and ran toward the ropes. Becky dove through the ropes and landed on not only Raquel but also the officials.
Mauro Ranallo: Becky, through the ropes with a suicide dive, took out Raquel Diaz! Mamma Mia!
Nigel McGuinness: Not only that but we have officials down. This fight has spilled out of the cage.
In the outside of the cage, Becky and Raquel slowly got up to their feet, and they continued throwing punches. When Raquel was getting the upper hand, Becky kicked her in the stomach before she hoisted Raquel onto her shoulder. With Raquel on her shoulder, Becky ran toward the Cell and rammed Raquel face first into it. Becky pointed to the new referee and told him to ask her. The referee approached Raquel.
Referee: What do you say, Raquel?
The camera zoomed in on Raquel, and it was revealed that Raquel was now busted open. Raquel shook her head “no.” Becky palmed her bloodied face and shook her head. Becky approached Raquel and positioned herself in front of the cage. Raquel slowly pushed herself up to her feet. Becky brought Raquel up to her feet and placed Raquel’s head between her legs. Becky hoisted Raquel up for a powerbomb, but at the last second, Raquel grabbed a hold of the cage and started climbing. Becky turned around and grabbed Raquel’s right leg in an attempt to pull her down. Raquel kicked Becky in the face with her free foot - one, two, three times - before Becky released her leg. This gave Raquel the freedom to climb up to the roof of the cage.
Mauro Ranallo: Raquel’s on the top of the cell! This can’t be good!
Nigel McGuinness: Only bad things can happen now.
Becky started climbing up the cage in pursuit of Raquel. When Raquel saw Becky about to make it onto the roof, the two started exchanging punches. Raquel threw a punch and Becky jumped up to throw a punch. The two went back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. Becky threw a punch and then another and then another. This caused Raquel to back off. With this opening, Becky climbed up to the roof of the cage.
Mauro Ranallo: Now, Becky’s on top of the cage with Raquel.
Nigel McGuinness: I said that ‘bad things can happen.’ Now, it’s ‘bad things will happen’.
Once Becky climbed up to the roof of the cage, Raquel dropped an elbow across the back of Becky’s neck. Raquel grabbed Becky by the head and pulled her up to her feet. Becky threw a punch to Raquel’s face, causing Raquel to back up a few steps. Raquel threw a punch to Becky’s face, causing Becky to back up a few steps, close to the ledge. Becky threw a punch, and then Raquel, causing Becky to stumble. Becky stumbled to keep her balance.
Mauro Ranallo: Becky teetering on the edge here.
Nigel McGuinness: She’d better be careful or else one wrong move, and splat.
Becky and Raquel continued exchanging blows with Becky teetering on the edge of the entrance side of the roof of the cage. Raquel grabbed Becky by the spandex and attempted to throw Becky off of the roof of the cage, but Becky pushed Raquel away from her. Becky shook her head and collected herself enough to approach Raquel and she threw a punch, causing Raquel to stumble back and Becky advanced. Raquel threw a punch and then Becky threw a punch. Raquel stumbled back and Becky advanced again.
Mauro Ranallo: They’re continuing their fight on top of the cage.
Nigel McGuinness: No matter what happens, I hope both of these ladies survive this.
Becky and Raquel continued exchanging blows, and Raquel had been backed against the ledge on the opposite side of the cage, the east side of the cage. Becky approached Raquel, and Raquel grabbed Becky in a collar and elbow tie-up. Raquel managed to push Becky back a couple of steps before she placed Becky into a side headlock. With Becky in her grasp, Raquel attempted to throw Becky off of the roof. Becky had the wherewithal to slip out and move behind Raquel. With Becky behind Raquel, she grabbed the champion by her top and bottom before she sent Raquel flying off of the cage. Raquel crashed hard into the announce table. The entire crowd stood up and let out a gasp.
Mauro Ranallo: OH MY GOD!!! RAQUEL JUST WENT FLYING OFF THE CAGE!!!
Nigel McGuinness: I TOLD YOU SOMETHING BAD WAS GOING TO HAPPEN!
The officials poured out of the locker room once more to check on Raquel while the replacement referee looked up at Becky. Becky yelled at the referee and pointed at Raquel. The referee approached Raquel, who was barely conscious.
Referee: What do you say, Raquel?
Raquel was hurt and hurt bad.
Referee: What do you say, Raquel?
Becky rolled her eyes and shook her head.It took a solid five minutes before Raquel would start to pull herself up by the use of the guardrail. A few more minutes of recuperating and Raquel slowly but surely started climbing up the cage again.
Mauro Ranallo: How? How in the world is Raquel still conscious?
Nigel McGuinness: And climbing the cage, no less. Raquel should be getting attended to by EMTs, not climbing up the cage.
Becky backed up and allowed Raquel to climb up to the roof. Once Raquel somehow made it to the roof of the cage, Becky grabbed her by the hair and pulled her up to her feet. Raquel threw a punch to Becky’s face before collapsing. Becky stomped on Raquel’s ribcage. Becky approached Raquel’s head and grabbed her by the hair. Becky brought Raquel up to her feet and placed Raquel’s head between her legs. Becky attempted to lift Raquel up but Raquel started fighting out of it. Becky clubbed Raquel’s back - one, two, three times - before attempting the powerbomb again. Raquel fought out of it again. Becky clubbed Raquel’s back - one, two, three times - before she attempted the powerbomb a third time. Raquel kicked her legs before she was dropped to her feet. Raquel then lifted Becky up over her head and Becky landed on the roof panel. The roof panel gave way and Becky fell all the way down to the ring with a hard smack as the crowd let out a collective gasp.
Mauro Ranallo: BECKY JUST WENT THROUGH THE ROOF!!!
Nigel McGuinness: She’s gotta be dead!
The officials and the referee scurry to enter the cage and check on Becky while Raquel laid on the roof panel, clutching her right arm while she looked down into the ring. Raquel yelled down at the referee to ask Becky. The referee approached Becky.
Referee: What do you say, Becky?
Becky was in an entirely different world. Her body was near lifeless. She could barely hear the referee.
Referee: Becky, do you quit?
Becky slowly lifted her head and whispered into the referee’s ear.
Becky: Nuhhhh… nuhhhhhh… Nuhhhhhhhhh… NO!
Then Becky went limp and coughed which caused blood to come pouring out of her mouth. The crowd cheered in response to her refusal to quit.
Mauro Ranallo: How in the hell did she not quit after that?
Nigel McGuinness: The same way that Raquel didn’t quit. I think either Becky or Raquel would have to drop dead in order for this match to end.
Raquel crawled over to the open roof panel and she started climbing down it. Once she was low enough, she dropped to her feet on the mat before she collapsed on the mat. Both women were fighting pain and exhaustion and Becky started to stir.
Mauro Ranallo: How is Becky moving right now?
Raquel sensed the movement, and found the energy to grab Becky by the leg.
Nigel McGuinness: No, no, no…
Mauro Ranallo: Raquel is locking on the Lasso from El Paso.
Becky cried out in agony. Raquel cinched in on tighter, and the crowd grew uneasy as Becky screamed in pain.
Nigel McGuinness: Becky has been through so much in this match.
Referee: What do you say, Becky.
Becky Lynch: Um… uh...ummm… n-
Voice: She quits! She quits!
The began to boo, and Raquel didn’t let go of the hold as the camera found Winter, mic in hand.
Winter: She quits, Raquel! It’s over.
Mauro Ranallo: Is this legal?
Nigel McGuinness: We’ve seen managers quit on behalf of their clients before. But is Winter really her manager?
The referee looked from Winter to Raquel and then rang the bell.
Mauro Ranallo: That’s it. The referee has called the match.
Raquel released the hold, throwing Becky’s leg down as she let go. Becky was motionless on the mat. Raquel was still on her knees when the referee brought her the women’s championship and she cradled it against her chest.
Christy Hemme: Your winner, and STILL the EBWF WOMEN’S CHAMPION, Raquel Diaz!
Winter entered the Cell and moved to Becky’s side as Raquel got out of the ring and another Christmas Eve of Destruction promo began to play.
Nigel McGuinness: What a night it has been, Mauro!
Mauro Ranallo: And it’s not over yet, Nigel. This crowd is ready for our main event!
Christy Hemme: This match is scheduled for one fall, and it is for the EBWF World Championship!
As the main event was set to begin- the lights went dark in the arena. A video montage started to play on the Tron. It showed various clips at a high speed of The Miz both in and out of the ring. There was the sound of a camera snapping pictures as the images rolled across viewers eyes. The two words that were heard throughout the montage were “The Miz” by various voices of both entertainment reporters and wrestling announcers. The clips slowed down as they were now rolling through various in-ring moments of Miz's career. His first world title, groups like Trilogy and Vertex. Highlights of memorable promos in the ring. The words “Must See” were heard across these clips once again by various voices. More clips of on ring action paced the screen once again with the words “your favorite wrestlers favorite wrestler” as the back drop from various voices but then a clip of him delivering the line was the tail end of this portion of the on screen video. Clips shifted to Miz turning on stable Mates, attacking people from behind, and holding championship gold up over fallen victims, with the words “Be Jealous” being uttered this time by Miz's voice on an echo effect. The video abruptly shut off and the arena was pitch black. Boos rained in from the St Louis crowd during several beats of silence.. until.
“AWESOME! I CAME TO PLAY!”
“I Came to Play” by Downstait boomed through the arena as the Miz exploded out of the back to an electric reaction. Mostly negative as he sauntered aggressively down the ramp talking trash to seemingly every fan he passed.
Christy Hemme: Introducing first, he is the challenger… from Hollywood, California by way of Cleveland, Ohio. He is the most must-see professional wrestler in EBWF History. He is THE MIZ!
The boos continued and he entered the ring in typical Miz fashion, hopping up on the ring apron and staring out at the crowd, his mouth never stopped as he was quite visibly fired up. He entered the ring and removed his long trench coat. He then started running the ropes at a high speed. He looked towards the curtain, screaming for Orton to “get his ass out here.”
The lights went out in the arena and a hush came over the crowd until an inaudible chant started somewhere in the cheap seats and soon the whole Dome was chanting, “We want Randy!”
The tron lit up with the nWo style RKO logo, and then began to cycle through a series of RKO Logos in rapid succession before clips of Randy defeating challenger after challenger in his 3 EBWF World Championship reigns. The crowd was cheering as gold lights began to dance around the arena.
“Heeeey! Nothing you can say...”
‘Burn in My Light’ began to play as the iconic voices of Jim Ross and Jerry “The King” Lawler were heard through the PA.
Jim Ross: I can’t get over the look of this kid!
Jerry Lawler: This is a third generation superstar like none other.
Jim Ross: Bar none the best wrestler in the game today. No wasted movement.
Jerry Lawler: THIS is why they call him the Legend Killer!
‘Burn in My Light’ was reduced to static and scratches before it expertly bled into an all new sound.
“I hear voices in my head. They counsel me. They understand…”
‘Voices’ played as Joey Styles and Corey Graves took over the announcing duties as the commentary.
Joey Styles: The ring awareness of Randy Orton!
Nigel McGuinness: Randy is more unhinged than ever before!
Joey Styles: Orton is the world champion! He’s the world champion!
Nigel McGuinness: Randy Orton has laid waste to every man in his path!
A bass drum was heard in a solid “boom, boom!” and the crowd went wild as ‘Voices’ remixed into Randy’s most popular theme song.
“Go Back to Sleep!”
But still the commentary continued as “Counting Bodies Like Sheep” played, this time Mauro and Nigel McGuinness were on commentary.
Nivel McGuinness: So much more than a third generation superstar….
Mauro Ranallo: The absolute legend Randy Orton…
Nigel McGuinness: Arguably the greatest of all time…
Mauro Ranallo: Future Hall of Famer…
There was another loud boom and the screen and the arena went dark again before the iconic Orton Pyro began to rain down in gold from high above the staging area. That double thump of the bass drum hit again. Boom. Boom.
“I said knock knock let the Devil in.”
“I said knock knock let the Devil in.”
The crowd’s cheers became louder as the pyro was still falling and the lights flashed with every kick of the bass. Boom. Boom.
“I said knock knock let the Devil in. Malevolent as I’ve ever been…”
Eminem’s bars from “Venom” continued to play as the crowd became unhinged when the stage opened up, and Randy Orton rose from under the stage. He was dressed in his standard trunks with gold tribal design. He wore the EBWF Tag Championship around his waist and carried the World Championship on his left shoulder. At his right side was none other than Nicole Orton, who had risen from the stage facing the audience to her right hand side. Her butt was against Randy’s hip, and she had arched her back slightly so her head was leaning back toward his shoulder. Her layers of hair were down, framing her face and accenting a torn up oversized Randy Orton t-shirt that had been fashioned into a short dress. She stood just a little taller than usual, in a pair of thigh high leather stiletto boots. Randy took his tag title from around his waist, and then took his World Championship. He snapped them together at the buttons to make one long belt, draping both around his shoulders as Nicole stepped a few paces away. She applauded him as the crowd reached a fever pitch as Randy’s upper body transitioned into his signature taunt. After a moment of holding the pose the sheet of pyro behind him ended, and his wife beamed up at him as he reached over to take her by the hand. ‘Venom’ continued as Christy Hemme made her announcement.
Christy Hemme: And his opponent, FROM ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI…
Christy allowed the crowd to pop for that before continuing.
Christy Hemme: He is the longest reigning World Champion in EBWF History, THE VIPER…. Raaaannnnnndy Orrrrrton!
The camera caught Randy wink at Christy as he stopped in front of the barricade. In the front row was Natalya, with Orton’s nephews, Blaine and C.J. Ikeda, and their sister, Randy’s niece, McKenzie. Seated next to Blaine was a small little girl who Randy and Nicole both said something to before Randy helped Nicole slip over the barricade in rather lady-like fashion in her short skirt. Once Nicole was stood next to the girl, Randy leaned over and took the EBWF Tag Championship placing it on the kid’s shoulder and giving her a fist bump. She held the belt close to her upper body, as it nearly covered her. Nicole put a tight arm around her as Randy ruffled her hair.
Mauro Ranallo: Seven-year-old Karlee Orton making her EBWF debut here tonight as the protector of the uncontested gold, and with that business settled, it looks like Orton is ready to get started.
Indeed Randy rolled into the ring, still holding the World Championship, and the music faded as he got to his feet and relinquished the championship to the referee. The referee held the belt above his head and presented it to the crowd, before handing it to Christy Hemme as she exited the ring. The bell rang and Randy and Miz stood in the center of the ring, marveling at the crowd for a moment, before circling each other and locking up.
Randy immediately leveraged his height to maneuver into a headlock position while the Miz pushed him towards the corner. As soon as Orton’s back touched the turnbuckle, the referee called for a break and Randy released the Miz after a 4 count. The Miz went for a chop while the referee was admonishing Orton, but Orton ducked underneath it and clobbered the Miz with a hard right in the corner. Randy then gave Miz several boots to the gut before dragging him out of the corner and hitting a scoop slam.
Mauro Ranallo: Randy already trying to frustrate the Miz here.
Nigel McGuinness: Orton is probably one of the most underrated in the business at the cerebral aspect of wrestling. He can get you flustered and make a mistake, and then he’ll capitalize. Because Randy Orton doesn’t make mistakes in that ring.
Randy went to drag Miz back into the corner, but Miz clotheslined Orton outside the ring. Randy tumbled out onto the ringside area. Miz immediately pursued the champion, sliding underneath the ropes and going at Orton with several punches. Randy countered with a knee to the gut and threw the Miz into the barricade, causing a loud thud. The referee called for both wrestlers to get back into the ring, but did not start a ten-count.
Mauro Ranallo: Our referee tonight is letting these guys go at it on the outside.
Both Orton and Miz exchanged blows back and forth outside until Miz raked Orton’s face and then dragged him over to the announce table as Mauro and Corey looked on. Miz went to slam Randy’s head into the table, but Randy blocked it and slammed Miz’s head into the table instead. Randy walked off, still selling the face rake from Miz, when he turned around into a clothesline by the Miz. Miz was fired up as he rolled Randy into the ring and went in after him, picking him up and hitting a swinging DDT. Miz hooked Randy’s leg and got a 2 count.
Nigel McGuinness: You can tell how important this is to the Miz. The man might be obsessed with winning the EBWF World Championship.
Miz quickly hurried to try and pick Randy up off the mat. Randy was slow to get up, so the Miz helped him to a vertical base so he could get him into a grapple when...
Mauro Ranallo: RKO!
Randy caught Miz entirely by surprise by grabbing his head and hitting a textbook RKO out of nowhere, with enough force that Miz tumbled out of the ring underneath the bottom rope, hitting the mat outside. Randy sighed as the crowd popped huge for the move.
Nigel McGuinness: The Miz survives the RKO by rolling out of the ring! Brilliant!
Mauro Ranallo: I don't know if he even knew what was happening, Nigel!
Miz was very slow to move outside as Randy slowly slid out of the ring and began stalking him. Miz, glassy eyed, got up to one knee as Randy grabbed him by the head, slamming his forehead against the barricade several times. Miz stumbled away from Randy, trying to put some distance between himself and the Silent Assassin. As Randy pursued him, Miz slid into the ring and quickly headed over to the opposite end and slid out as Orton went around, picking up speed. As Randy was about to catch up to The Miz, Miz flipped around and grabbed Randy, hitting an over the head belly-to-belly which sent Randy back first into the ring steps outside, a sickening crash reverberating throughout the arena. The crowd audibly gasped at the visual as Randy clutched his shoulder in agonizing pain.
Mauro Ranallo: Oh my god! The Miz has turned this one around in a hurry!
Like a man possessed, The Miz grabbed Randy and rolled him into the ring and got in after him. He immediately went after Randy's shoulder, stretching his arm out and stomping on the shoulder socket multiple times. Randy tried to roll away, but Miz grabbed his arm again and dropped all of his weight down, wrenching it back into an inverted armbar. Randy was close enough to the ropes that he got his fingers on them promptly, at which point The Miz released him after 4 and a half seconds. Now it was Randy's turn to distance himself, trying to shake some feeling back into his arm. Miz went back after Randy, but the 3rd generation wrestler whipped around and decked The Miz with a hard right cross.
Mauro Ranallo: My how the picture of this match has evolved. The Miz now has a target and he is going after it like a madman.
The Miz was already up and pursuing Orton again, grabbing Orton's wrist and twisting his arm around, putting stress on the injured shoulder. Randy sank down to one knee trying to maneuver out, but Miz drove his knee directly into Randy's shoulder again, causing him to wince in pain. Before Randy could react, The Miz hit another swinging DDT and at a near fall out of it. Incensed, The Miz argued with the referee about his counting speed. He turned around and Orton went for another RKO, but Miz countered it into a Skull Crushing Finale, but Randy wriggled out of it at the last second, barely dodging a bullet. Miz whipped around and walked into a crisp snap suplex. Randy, mustering up the strength, slithered down and began pounding the mat, a little more gingerly with his bad arm. The Miz slowly got up and Randy leapt up, but Miz countered again, and this time he nailed the Skull Crushing Finale!
Nigel McGuinness: HE GOT IT!
Miz slowly rolled Orton over and hooked the leg.
3--Randy kicked out! The Miz looked aghast as Orton's shoulder came up at the last possible microsecond.
Mauro Ranallo: Orton kicked out! Orton kicked out! The Miz doesn't know what to do!
The Miz scooted back to the corner, resting against the turnbuckle as he stared at the vulnerable Orton. His look of shock and awe quickly gave way to rage and he charged out towards Orton, but Orton met him halfway with a wicket lariat that sent Miz careening to the mat head first. Both men were down as the referee looked on.
Mauro Ranallo: This is Fanniversary, and you're always going to get the best--
Mauro fell silent as the lights suddenly went out, casting the entire arena in total darkness.
Nigel McGuinness: You don't think…
Mauro Ranallo: These lights have been going on and off all night in anticipation of big entrances, but this is ominous.
After almost an entire minute in pitch black, the lights came back on and now the referee was unconscious as well, and the crowd audibly gasped as The Fiend stood in the center of the ring. His gaze was locked on Orton who was still down. The Fiend whipped his hair back behind him and pulled on his leather glove before picking Orton up and jamming two fingers down Orton's mouth.
Mauro Ranallo: The Fiend has locked the Mandible Claw on the champion! Why are they ruining a good match?! Someone get in there!
The crowd booed as Orton slowly lost consciousness and collapsed in the ring, The Fiend keeping him firmly locked in the Mandible Claw. A smug Paul Heyman slowly began walking down the ramp to the raucous jeers of the crowd, watching the events unfold.
Nigel McGuinness: Wait, does this mean what I think it means?! Is The Miz a Paul Heyman guy?
The Fiend finally let Randy go, who was completely motionless at this point. He laughed as the lights went out again. When they came back on, his laughter reverberated throughout the speakers in the arena and he was gone. The referee stirred as The Miz slowly draped his arm over Orton's chest.
NO! Randy's shoulder got up!
Mauro Ranallo: I don't believe it! Randy is still in this! How is that possible?!
The referee signaled a two count to the time keeper as Miz looked on, completely mystified. Orton was slowly beginning to move, but The Miz was on him without hesitation. Miz started laying in furious stomps on Orton's injured shoulder, going right back to the spot he wounded earlier in the match. Holding Orton's hand in a wrist lock, he laid in several kicks to Orton's arm, kicks that made sounds audible by the crowd. Finally Miz dragged Orton up by his bad arm and hit another Skull Crushing Finale with deadly precision.
Mauro Ranallo: I think this is it.
The Miz put his entire weight on Orton's shoulders and hooked the leg.
The crowd booed vociferously as the referee called for the bell and "I Came to Play" blasted out of the speakers. Paul Heyman snatched the EBWF World Championship from the time keeper's desk and got into the ring, folding it up neatly and handing it to The Miz. The Miz stared down at the EBWF World Championship as Randy remained motionless. Heyman raised The Miz's hand in the air as the crowd booed.
Mauro Ranallo: I cannot believe what I just saw!
Nigel McGuinness: Can you feel it, Mauro? The winds of change are here! And they're… awesome!
The Miz mounted the turnbuckle and raised the EBWF World Championship in the air, in front of the stunned St. Louis crowd as Fanniversary went off the air.