KOTC '09 ROUND 1 - ALAN SCOTT v HOOLIGAN

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KOTC '09 ROUND 1 - ALAN SCOTT v HOOLIGAN

Post  Stan Daniels on Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:26 am

DETAILS: The mind games started early for this one. Is Hooligan facing Alan Scott? Or are the rumors true? This will be a cage that looks just like the old NWA chain-link cage - except made completely of barbed wire - and with no door. The cage will be attached to the ringposts, so that the barbed wire just might reach out and bite you from a simple Irish whip. The fourth side will be attached AFTER both competitors make their entrance, and then the fight starts. This match will be an I QUIT match, the ONLY way you can win this match is to make your opponent say the words "I QUIT" into the referee's microphone.

RP RULES: ]: All King of the Cage tournament matches are seventy-two hours with a three posts per day hard cap. In addition, there is a two hour continuation rule, meaning that one wrestler may not post back-to-back flashes until at least two hours has passed from the posting time of the first flash.

RP JUDGES: Krusher/Mr. Francis I. Cartier - Tiebreaker Living Deadgirl

_________________

You don’t have to stay long if you don’t want to’ was the last thing that she said to Alan before Eve settled into the crook of his arm and wrapped her arms around him. Her world had been spinning out of control of days, if not for weeks, and what she really needed in that moment was a rock of stability. Alan had been prepared for the worst, and once more, like the beautiful, shining beacon that he considered her to be, Eve had shown him the very best of herself. He felt a small amount of shame for not trusting that what she was doing was healthy and constructive, but also a little bit of pride for having the courage to address it despite what he might well have lost.

Now, four hours later, he was slowly easing himself out from under her and lowering her onto the couch without disturbing the peaceful rest that she was at last getting. Their cuddling time had turned into the first real moment of relaxation Eve had allowed herself in a little while, and that alone had put Alan Scott into a better frame of mind. It was a boon for him, because he had allowed himself to become distracted from the pending issue of the King of The Cage and the showdown with wrestling’s most notorious bar room brawler. As Alan pulled the blanket off of the back of the couch and slowly covered Eve up, his mind was already coming to terms with what he had put in motion for that night.


Knock. Knock. Knock.


Alan heard the three soft knocks at the door to the Megasuite and looked around. Everyone else had politely stayed away during the time he had spent with Eve, which meant that there wasn’t anyone yet in the room getting ready for their matches on Storm Warning. That was probably for the best, because Alan had been expecting a very special visitor for the last few hours, and it would work best if nobody was in the suite when he arrived. Alan walked across the room and then looked back at Eve, and let a smile pull at the corners of his mouth one last time before he opened the door.

Alan: Hey. I was afraid you wouldn’t……you know……..come.

The man on the other side of the door just looked at Alan with a silent, unexpressive demeanor and studied him for what felt to Alan like an eternity. Alan’s heart was thumping in his chest so loudly that he was almost certain that his guest could hear it. He had reached out to the man, despite the terrible things he had said about him in recent months, because he had been told to by the one man you didn’t ask questions of. Their initial conversation had been awkward and difficult, with Alan stumbling over apologies and admitting that he had been unfair and rude. It had taken some effort just to get the man to listen to what Alan had to ask of him, but it had only taken three words to change all of that; Sigillum Militum Xpisti.

Alan Scott did not speak Latin.

Frank Terranova: Invite me in Alan. Our conversation isn’t for prying eyes or ears.

Alan stepped back, out of the doorway, and motioned for Frank to come in. Alan did not explain how he knew those words would get Frank to come and aid him, and for his part Frank did not ask. They both simply accepted that Alan had learned them somewhere, and that in speaking them he knew what it was he was undertaking. Frank had been abroad, in Scotland at the time, searching for something he knew with all of his heart he could find. Alan’s call had confirmed his hopes for him, and despite the tentative demeanor with which he approached the man who was once his greatest fan, he was glad to be back.

Alan shut the door behind him.

Alan: You brought it?

Frank unshouldered the backpack and dropped it on the floor in between them. He reached down and opened the flap, producing a package wrapped in finest lamb’s skin. He held it out for Alan, and the younger man reached tentatively for it, and slowly unwrapped it as Frank held it. When he at last could see what was inside, despite knowing what he had requested, his heart skipped a beat.

Frank: Are you sure you know what you’re doing? You’re playing a dangerous game with a very dangerous man.

Alan set his jaw and nodded his head. He lifted the finely woven micro-chain cowl off of the stack, revealing the crimson hauberk beneath. Alan’s hands trembled.

Alan: I’m doing what is required. I………can’t thank you enough for….

Frank shook his head.

Frank: You’ve apologized enough Alan. The past is done, and if you’re right……if you’re doing what HE wants……I’m here to help.

Alan’s smile slowly spread out across his face as the man formerly known as Reverend Future stepped back and let the uniform unfold from his hands. He and Alan both stared with awe as it displayed itself in front of them.

Alan: You have. You brought…………..that.

Alan pointed at the mantle of The Shepherd of Men.

Alan: That is going to unhinge the crazy bastard I have to fight. Its going to give me all the edge I need.

Frank: You need to understand Alan……it’s just a costume for you. Just an outfit. Beyond the natural protection it offers you because of its composition, it…….

Alan: It won’t make me like HIM.

Rev nodded his head.

Frank: Exactly. It will get you inside of Hooligan’s head, sure……but when it comes to HAWK, that isn’t necessarily an advantage. You’ve never seen what these two are like when they fight. You don’t understand what emotions you’re going to pull from your opponent.

Alan tried to slough it off, though it didn’t sound convincing given that he himself was currently in awe of the item being offered up to him.

Alan: As long as I’m getting him emotional, I’ll have the edge. Which is what I need. I want him fired up, and coming at me with everything he’s got.

Frank: Trust me…….you don’t. He isn’t like the others Alan. He doesn’t fight Hawk because they serve different masters, or because they have family issues or because he has fallen and blames The Shepherd. Alan……these men fight because they hate each other. What you’re asking for Hooligan to unleash on you………it isn’t going to make him weaker.

Alan understood that Frank was just trying to caution him, and prepare him, but he had been preparing for the strategy since the moment he had agreed to it. He didn’t need anyone to spell out for him the kind of trouble that he was getting himself into; but he had a plan. Besides, the natural properties of the costume alone would provide a serious benefit.

Alan: No, but the uniform…..

Frank: Costume. It’s only a uniform when HE wears it Alan.

Alan smiled and nodded, properly corrected.

Alan: The costume’s micro-weave mail will add a serious amount of protection from the barbs I’ll be afflicted with, and the cowl is designed to mitigate blunt force trauma. Given the number of concussions I’ve had this year, that’s something I could really benefit from. Besides……..I have a plan.

Alan took the costume out of Frank’s hands and set it down on the nearby arm of a chair. He extended his hand towards the man he once aspired to be like, not only because of what he had done in bringing Alan the secret weapon in his match, but because he had let Alan’s brash months be forgotten without a second thought. He was a bigger man than Alan had ever admitted in the past.

Alan: Thanks Rev.

The brother in-law of the Shepherd of Men just smiled and took Alan’s hand. The shake was firm, with just enough grip to let Alan know that Frank thought he was getting himself in over his head. The unspoken words were as powerful as anything that Frank had said to Alan while they spoke. Frank turned and made his way to the door, but as Alan reached out to close it behind him, the senior Terranova turned back and his brow furrowed.

Frank: Alan.........how exactly did you know where to call me? I was half a world away, and I didn’t tell anyone where I was going….

_________________


The camera light blinked a couple of times and then turned a solid cherry red as the feed went live again, and the cameraman swung around the front of the announcer’s table to reveal the smiling face of John Paragon and his grumbling cohort Hank Proctner. They had been on hand for some sensational first round matches of the tournament, but they felt like the big two were yet to come.

Paragon: Welcome back ladies and gentlemen! In just a couple of minutes we’re going to be getting under way in our second to last match-up of the night. We’re just waiting while the engineering technicians attach the barbed wire fence to the ringposts. There are midway steel posts on each of the four sides in order to give the structure enough stability that it won’t just give way under what we expect to be a hellacious amount of impact.

Proctner: I can’t believe they’re going to lock them in there! This is going to be the biggest gore fest of the night! I love the SBFF’s, but what Hooligan’s going to do to Alan Scott would put most men in jail for the rest of their lives! I get chills just thinking about it!

Paragon: There’s something wrong with you Hank. Folks, the competitors will take turns entering the ring through the side which is being left ½ open, but once they’re in the final clasps of the cage will be sealed up around them and nobody will be coming back out until one of them says ‘I QUIT.’ Frankly I’m not sure either man has it in his vocabulary Hank.

Proctner: I’m counting on that! Folks, set your PVRs because you’re about to see something that may be banned in the near future! Oh! Crap!

Paragon looked sideways and his eyes grew wide in muted horror. He covered the mic so that it wouldn’t pick up his voice and glared at Proctner in angry confusion.

Paragon: Why in the hell do you have a hard on Hank? What the hell is wrong with you?

Proctner: Hey…….I’m excited. Sue me.

John tried to recover smoothly, but how do you work through a raging woody?

Paragon: Folks, we’re about to head to the back, as they prepare the final side of the cage, and see if our own Shelly Simmons can shed any light on a rumor that is circulating all over the internet!


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He pulled the cowl into place and set the small locks that would make sure that it didn’t accidentally come off once he got into the ring. There was no point in letting Hooligan figure out his secret any sooner than was absolutely necessary. He paused for a moment, the transformation into somebody else now complete, before he set his shoulders and walked across the room. There was no point in playing games or raising eyebrows, so from that point onwards he would make sure that nobody suspected that he was under the cowl.

NOBODY.

The door to the Megasuite swung open as Eve Riley, Haley and Genocide all were talking about the final two matches, including Haley’s own against Storm. Haley finished up letting the production assistant in the hall know that they would tell Alan that he was needed at the gorilla position, while the other two stepped into the suite and stopped cold. Haley, who was still looking back over her shoulder, bumped into Genocide from behind.

Haley: Ouch! Geno!

Haley swatted her husband in the shoulder and then moved to push past him, and he and Eve parted slowly to let her through, which brought a scowl to her face until she understood why. As she stepped between the two of them and into the room, her words died in her throat.

Haley: ………………………..he’s……………..dead……………right?

Standing across the room from all of them was a figure who’s very presence was imposing, and whom each of them had encountered in their past, and even if it had been only briefly he had made an impact on them. Geno was the first of them to size him up, trying to figure out why exactly he was standing there, and if he was who he appeared to be. Whatever Alan’s plan was, he had not shared it, even with those closest to him. He hadn’t even explained to them how the plan came into being, or whose idea it was. The problem for Geno was that there wasn’t a big enough physical difference for him to be certain of who exactly he was staring at.

Eve: Is…..is that…..

He simply started to move across the room, taking the time to stop as he passed them and rest a hand on Eve’s cheek before he clasped Geno’s shoulder and walked past Haley on his way out of the room. As he stepped into the doorway to head for the gorilla position, Geno broke the silence that hung in the air.

Geno: It’s you…..isn’t it Alan?

Eve: It….is? But….

He didn’t look back, or make any motion that would answer their question. He couldn’t have activity going on backstage that would give anything away. His plan hinged on the uncertainty and confusion that he was going to create for everyone, not just for Hooligan. That was the beauty of the Shepherd’s alleged death; nobody ever found the body. More than once he had been declared dead, only to return at a time and place of his choosing. Was it really so difficult to think that it could have happened again? He was counting on that question. On the doubt.


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Shelly stared into the camera as the production crew cast the feed over to her. Over the course of the evening she had been insulted, vilified and mocked but she was confident that her next interview would give her the chance she wanted; to show the world her sharpened and honed skills. Alan Scott had been her boyfriend for three months, and even since then they had always found a way to remain cordial to each other, even friendly on some occasions. He gave her solid interviews and she asked intelligent questions.

She knew that she wasn’t just going to be broadcasting to the viewing audience at home, but that the company was featuring the upcoming segment on their live webcast as well, running up the hits because of the swirling rumors on the internet that Alan was acting as an agent of the presumed dead Shepherd of Men, setting a trap for Hooligan. She launched into her introduction as soon as the production assistant rounded the corner and gave her the thumbs up.

Shelly: Thanks guys. Well I think we all know that there have been…..

Shelly’s vocal chords simply stopped working as she cast her eyes off screen and saw the figure that was walking towards her. It wasn’t that she hadn’t seen him, or even interviewed him before…..it was that he was dead. Wasn’t he? Yet he strode onto her set as though he owned it and without so much as an ounce of hesitation in his gait. When the camera panned back to reveal his presence, zooming out of the close up on Shelly’s mystified expression, the crowd’s reaction was predictable.

The building shook.

He glared into the camera for a moment and then without a single word he stepped away from Shelly and out of the camera’s shot and the production crew began to run his entrance package. John was worked up and beside himself, and even Hank was swept up in the shock of it all. They were speaking over themselves in an effort to give context to the crowd who were watching at home. The building felt like it was going to come unglued, and every rumor that had circulated appeared true; the Shepherd had come.

And none of them were the wiser.

_________________


The lights within the arena went dark and suddenly out from the back emerged a lone figure with light shining behind him, he stood at the top of the ramp looking down towards the ring. This figure was wearing the familiar cowl, it was NightHawk. He made his way down towards the ring, he went to reach for the ropes, when he lost his grip and fell backwards. NightHawk was sprawled out on the floor as the crowd wasn't sure what to make of this...

Hank Proctner: Umm...

John Paragon: Something isn't right here. NightHawk would certainly never do anything like that. What the heck is going on around here?

Hank Proctner: Maybe death has affected him? All I know is Hooligan is gotta be foaming at the mouth back there right now, the last time he crossed paths with NightHawk, it was simply to send a message to the man. That was a couple of years ago, you gotta believe that he can't wait to get into that ring and rip NightHawk apart.

John Paragon: This isn't the first time these two have met up with the confines of a steel cage. Their first meeting was within a cage, a 3 level cage and in that match, Hooligan beat NightHawk. I believe Hooligan has won the 2 matches they've fought against each other and one has to wonder if Hooligan is going to pull off yet another victory or if he's going to pay the price for messing with the devil.

NightHawk is now standing in the ring, he looks over at the ref assigned to the match and waves at him.

Hank Proctner: The hell?

John Paragon: Uh...

You can see the confused look in the masked referee's eyes, Benito Jobber isn't even sure how to react. He looks around at the crowd and then at the ring announcer, who is also looking quite taken aback by the sudden friendliness of NightHawk. Benito waves back at him, which causes NightHawk to rush over and shake his hand repeatedly, the crowd is not exactly liking where this is going as some people are now booing.

John Paragon: Alright, something smells foul here. That is obviously not the real NightHawk. Which means we're being played for fools here...

The NightHawk standing in the ring makes his way back over towards the middle of the ring and waves at the crowd, which causes the bloodthirsty Chicago crowd to go completely nuts. Boos and garbage begin flying towards the ring as NightHawk stands in the ring, trying to plead with the crowd not to throw stuff.

Hank Proctner: I've seen it all...





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Alan Scott Post subject: Re: KOTC ROUND 1 - ALAN SCOTT v HOOLIGANPosted: Wed Jul 08, 2009 9:32 pm




Joined: Wed Oct 15, 2008 9:53 pm
Posts: 980 Proctner: I’ve seen it all now. You can only come back from the dead so many times John before your brain just doesn’t come back with you. That’s the only explanation right now…

Paragon: Come on Hank, you and I both know we’re not looking at the same man who just left the production area and a…..well it wasn’t exactly an interview was it? Anyways…..everyone in this place knows that isn’t the same person.

Proctner: Do we? Do we really John?

Paragon: Of course we do! The intensity of the man that was standing only a few feet from our own Shelly Simmons was almost palpable. The guy in the ring now might as well be Forest Gump.

Proctner: Or Mike Anthony. That guy’s retarded. Why a serious player like Hooligan wastes time with a chimpanzee’s dumber relative is beyond me.

Paragon: Can we focus on the farce in the ring Hank? We can talk about your hate on for the Baskin Robbins spokesman after we figure out why NightHawk is signing ‘I HEART YOU’ to the fans.

Proctner: I think I nailed it with ‘brain death’ earlier.

Proctner might well have been the only man in the arena who actually believed that the man in the ring was actually the Shepherd of Men, and the fans were making it clear that they didn’t like the deception. They had been caught up in a euphoric high when they saw the visage of NightHawk standing only a foot away from Shelly Simmons, and when the Symphony of Night started to play everyone had erupted from their seats, literally threatening to shake the newly named FoxNews Center off of its foundation. Their first clue though had been when the entrance hadn’t been everything that it once was. Gone was the crimson mist that marked his arrival, and the quasi-mystical nature of his appearance amidst the bloody fog. Gone too was the steady, focused march to the ring, and the patient examination of the battle ground that was laid out before him.

Too much was wrong, and it wasn’t simply the adolescent behavior.

The crowd lifted their voices as one, doing everything that they could to make it clear to the imposter in the ring that he was neither appreciated, nor welcome. They had been prepared to endure the speculation that it might yet have been somebody other than NightHawk under the cowl; he wasn’t the only man to have ever worn it after all. But the farce that was been paraded in front of them was beyond acceptable. It was an affront to every person who could see the ring. As ‘NightHawk’ got down on his knees to beg and plead with the near riotous crowd, and act which seemed only to further fire up the masses, the house lighting suddenly dropped.

It stayed off for a long period of time, and slowly the crowd began to quiet, letting their anger and the dull roar it was creating dissipate as they could slowly feel tension building in the air once more. Something was about to happen, and without their eyesight they would need their hearing if they had any hope of making out what it was. Eventually the arena was almost silent. That was when it started. At first it could have just been background noise, but slowly it rose over the building’s public address system until it could not be mistaken any longer.

The Symphony of Night was playing once more.

A murmur ran through the crowd as they wondered, almost in unison, if perhaps it was another mockery of their loyalty and hope. But when the house lights did not return, but rather the darkness was broken by spotlights crashing down on the runway to reveal a three foot high, rolling and bubbling fog that wafted along the runway as though it had a life of its own, the noise returned once more. The X-Tron came back to life, and the cameraman zoomed in on the bottom of the runway where a lone figure stood amidst the mist and slowly raised an arm and pointed at the man masquerading in the ring.

Paragon: THERE HE IS! THERE HE IS HANK! THAT’S NIGHTHAWK!

Proctner: I can’t tell the difference.

Paragon: Look at the calm way that he approaches the last remaining entrance to the ring. He knows that once he steps inside they’ll close the cage and he’ll be locked inside of a barbed wire deathtrap, but there is no sign of fear. No sign of weakness. He simply walks forward, never once taking his eyes off the imposter in the ring.

Proctner: I’m not convinced that guy in the ring’s the imposter. Look how happy and friendly he is! NightHawk was a good guy right? The guy climbing into the ring doesn’t look happy and friendly John……he looks like a douche.

Paragon: What he looks like is a man who’s going to exact a terrible toll on an imposter.

The banter continued but the fans weren’t listening. Not in the arena and not at home in front of their television sets. They were staring at the ring and waiting to see what would happen next. They were arguing amongst themselves about who was under the cowl of the first man to enter the ring. Some were certain that it was Mike Anthony, the ice cream loving retired wrestler and sidekick of Hooligan, while others insisted that it was Hooligan playing out a parody of NightHawk to get under The Shepherd’s skin. The man slowly climbing the steps didn’t care what the answer was, though he doubted that a straight ahead sociopath like Hooligan would lower himself to playing games and making a fool of himself.

He waited, pausing on the top step and then when the referee nodded at him, he stepped into the ring, slipping between the ropes. Behind him the technical crew scurried in an effort to properly seal the ring, pulling the barbed wire covered cage around to the final post, where they struggled to connect it and lock it into place. He didn’t care about any of that. Rather he focused on one simply thing; the man wearing his outfit.

As he walked into the middle of the ring, letting the tension build while he studied the cowled man who stood only a couple of feet from him, the first ‘NightHawk’ to get to the ring stepped closer and offered him a hand to shake.



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Stan Daniels

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Re: KOTC '09 ROUND 1 - ALAN SCOTT v HOOLIGAN

Post  Stan Daniels on Wed Jan 26, 2011 10:27 am

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Storm watched the beginning of the match as he prepared himself to participate in the main event with Haley. He was taping his fists and talking with Emissary when the Shepherd walked onto Shelly’s set and stared into the screen. Storm cleared everyone out of his room the moment that it happened. He had watched every second intently after that, right up to the moment that the ‘other’ Hawk had slipped into the ring first and made a fool of himself. That was when Storm first figured it out.

He chuckled as the goofy one stuck his hand out, looking for a handshake to open the match.

Storm: You idiot Alan……he’s seen through your game, and he’s calling your bluff. What an amateur move...

Storm relaxed the second that he determined that Hunter had not, in fact, come back. It meant that he didn’t have to worry about dealing with the man who had granted him a very precious gift once, and had made it known that it was also his to take away.

Still, he didn’t turn off the television.

He wanted…….even needed…..to see what would unfold.

_________________


The two NightHawks stood in the middle of the ring, the one that made his entrance first was extending his hand out for a handshake. The apparent real NightHawk or Alan Scott for that matter looked at the other NightHawk like he was completely off his rocker, but he played into the game by putting his hand out and shaking the hand of the "NightHawk". He pulled the goof closer to him.

NightHawk (Alan Scott): I know that's you under there clown...

NightHawk (?): WHAT!?!? How'd you know it was me?

John Paragon: I can't believe this. Now both of them are shaking hands...

While the two NightHawks appeared to be embracing each other, the cameras quickly cut to outside the ring as a man wearing a Fed X staff t-shirt and looking exactly like the ring crew that would set up the other side of the cage slid into the ring. He got his feet and began to walk up behind Alan Scott. He tossed his Fed X hat to the side and the crowd went ballistic as they quickly realized exactly who the ring crew member was...

Hank Proctner: It's Hooligan!

John Paragon: More importantly, NightHawk is oblivious to what is going on directly behind him.

NightHawk (Alan Scott): Simple, just your little mannerisms. Now Mike, why don't you tell me where Hooligan is?

NightHawk (Mike Anthony): Alright NightHawk, he's right over there...

Alan couldn't believe what he was seeing when the very child like Mike Anthony pointed towards the entrance. The only problem is, he never got to spin around to see what the clown was pointing at as he heard just one line come from a very familiar voice...

Hooligan: Mike...get the fuck out of the way!

Before Alan Scott could do anything, The Drunken Brawler shoved him from behind as Mike Anthony moved out of the way. The momentum send Alan stumbling towards the other side of the cage and he managed to put the brakes on, but only for a moment as Hooligan followed it up with a forearm shot to the back which caused Alan to fall to one knee.

Hooligan: I can't believe you fell for this Hawk, you must be fucking losing it after all these years...


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Hooligan slammed his boot into the side of ‘NightHawk’s head and sent his longtime rival crashing into the turnbuckle. It had been six minutes since he got the drop on ‘Hawk’ and had directed Mike Anthony out of the ring. Mike had walked out as the technicians closed up the cage and effectively trapped the two wrestlers inside with the referee, who’s only job was to hold the mic and let one of them say ‘I Quit’ when they simply could not endure any more. Taking off the cowl that he was wearing, Mike was pelted with trash from the fans as he moved to try and get a seat with Paragon and Proctner, but neither man seemed inclined to make space for him. In the end he simply took a chair and sidled up to the broadcast table anyways, ignoring the lack of welcome. Since that moment he had reached out for, and been refused access to, a mic on more than one occasion. Eventually the company’s broadcaster’s relented and let the former Wrassle performer get on the air with them. It was right around the moment that ‘Hawk’s head bounced off the second turnbuckle and his body crumpled to the ground.

Anthony: Wow, thanks for having me here guys.

Proctner: Really Mike, you need to consider that less is more.

Anthony: I………don’t follow.

Paragon: He’s asking you to be as quiet as you can be while we call the match.

Anthony: Right. Fine. I can do that. Listen guys, do you think I upset NightHawk by dressing up like him? He was never very nice to me, and I really felt like I paid tribute to him with the way that I embraced the fans while I was out…..

Mike’s mouth kept moving, but nobody heard the sound because John Paragon leaned in and flipped the switch that cut off the mic. Until Mike figured that out, Hank and John could go on about the activity of calling the match. It was one of the few times in the night that Hank and John would be in complete agreement.

Proctner: Hooligan is completely in control now John, and I don’t know what you ever saw in this NightHawk guy anyways. He’s been getting smacked around like my last date in there.

Paragon: Something seems……off, I’ll give you that Hank. I can’t deny that Hooligan’s been in control and he hasn’t slowed down for a moment. He just caught Hawk with a knee to the side of the head, and now he’s pulling his opponent to his feet. Hooligan’s got a sickening smile on his face…

Proctner: You’re being biased. I think he looks photogenic.

Paragon: He’s got something wicked planned here…..I can just tell! Irish whip……oh it has to hurt when Hawk’s back slams into the cage wall because of how close it is to the ropes Hank…….Hooligan goes for a simple hip toss……

Proctner: There’s nothing simple about it! He made sure he was close enough to the cage that Hawk just slammed back first into all of that barbed wire and then slid down it as gravity took over! God I love the way this guy works!

‘Hawk’s back felt like it was on fire, and despite the extra protection that the Mantle provided him, he was getting hammered too hard and too fast to clear his head and shake it off. He felt his shoulders slam into the canvas, and it took him a brief moment to realize what had happened and where he was. He looked out into the ring from under the bottom rope and saw only the boots of his opponent. Hooligan was standing over him…..

‘HAWK’: Arghhh!

The cry of pain escaped him despite his best efforts to remain silent and imposing. Hooligan had kicked him square in the hip, and driven his lower back into the barbs once again. A few had managed to find their way through the weave of the suit and had bitten into his flesh, taking pieces of it away as he slumped to the ground. The only thought he could process was that he needed to move away from the wire, and so he rolled under the ropes, exposing himself once more to the relentless attack of the Drunken Brawler.

He blinked and started to slip his hands in under his body, fighting to lift himself up off of the canvas, when a bludgeoning weight slammed down into the back of his neck and drove his head down into the canvas. Things went black for a moment and by the time that he fought through that curtain and got his eyes open again, Hooligan was pulling him off of the ground and back to his feet. He threw an elbow, hoping that he would catch his opponent in the throat or the temple and buy himself some truly valuable time. What he did was clip the notorious fight in the chin and piss him off even more.

Hooligan: I thought you were better than this. This……this is pathetic.

Hooligan reared back and slammed a hard overhand right into the jaw of ‘NightHawk’ dropping him back to a single knee. He followed it with a front facelock that he used to lift ‘Hawk’ back to his feet, before cinching it in deeply and heaving him up into the air. The crowd held their breath as they waited for the suplex to land, but instead of falling backwards with it and landing a traditional wrestling move, the twisted bastard leaned forwards and fell into the cage, exposing himself to the barbs simply because it meant that he could drag ‘Hawk’s entire body along them once more.

Hooligan was slow to get back to his feet, but when he did, his face was covered with gore. The crowd were eating it up, screaming and cheering for the mayhem that he was unleashing in the ring. They had forgotten which of the men was beloved and which was hated. All they knew at that moment was that the carnage was breathtaking and they didn’t want it to stop. Hooligan brought his hands up to his face and smeared the blood around before he lifted his crimson hands into the air and offered the crowd a gesture of contempt.

Paragon: This man is out of his mind Hank! I think…..I think NightHawk’s in over his head tonight. He’s hardly even moving right now!

Hank: Hooligan is AWESOME. Why don’t we get guys like this under contract anymore?

Paragon: He’s turning back to Hawk. He isn’t wasting any more time Hank. He’s just…..relentless!

Hank: What I….

Hank Proctner never got to say another word. Suddenly the X-Tron came to life with the sounds of Storm’s entrance package. The action in the ring never slowed down, not even a little bit, but the crowd couldn’t help but be drawn to the arrival of the Main Event’s star.

What the hell was Jason Storm doing?

_________________

Hooligan caught ‘Hawk’ in the head with a running elbow and then used the ropes for extra momentum and changed directions so that he could dive and clip the Shepherd’s left knee with his right shoulder. It brought the big man down hard and put an end to what was perhaps the briefest glimmer of hope that the fans had to cling to. For almost nineteen seconds ‘NightHawk’ had battled back against the fired up and bloody Drunken Brawler, and through it all Hooligan had taken every punch that was thrown his way with a sort of casual bravado. It was almost like a test. As though he was trying to find out something that he couldn’t learn any other way, he had left himself open for just a moment too long, and ‘Hawk’ had seized upon the chance to fire back.

That was over though, because Hooligan had learned what he needed to. As his opponent lay on the mat and clutched at his knee, the bloodthirsty bastard walked around him, taking his time and lining up stomp after stomp to attack vital parts of his opponent’s anatomy. It was about as close to scientific dismantling as Hooligan was likely to get. As he finally approached the head, he swung a leg over the battered form of ‘NightHawk’ and dropped down across his chest, pinning theman’s shoulders to the canvas with his knees. Reaching out, he grasped at Hawk’s cowl and pulled the man’s head up off of the canvas. His other fist slammed into the exposed face.

Hooligan: I have a secret….

The admission would have meant something if his opponent was in a condition to respond. He wasn’t. He had been battered for almost fifteen minutes and had done almost nothing to protect himself. The fury that was being unleashed on him was enormous, and his defenses were proving pitiful in comparison.

Hooligan: ……I know you’re not HIM. I know you’re under there Scott…….and I’m going to end your career tonight.

Hooligan had only fought NightHawk a handful of times directly, but he had learned all he needed to know about the man, including what kind of adversary he was. It didn’t matter how long they had been separated from each other, or how many battles they had fought in the interim; Hooligan would never forget his rival. He had suspected it from the beginning, but it had become arrogantly obvious when he had gotten the upper hand to start the match. Each move was slower, less crisp than it should have been. Their test of strength hadn’t been a test at all really. No, Hooligan had figured out quickly that he was in the ring with an imposter, and the very idea that somebody would attempt to toy with him was……infuriating.

Three more quick shots from his fist and the head inside the cowl sagged a little. He was dummying the poor fool, and making the kind of statement that would carry him far into the tournament. Who was going to stand in his way after the way he obliterated the company’s X-Factor World Champion? Aaron Action, the fat fuck from the south? Phil Stone? No, Hooligan knew that once he was done with Alan Scott, who had turned out to be a terribly unequal opponent, he was going to walk straight into the semi-finals. Maybe then his nemesis would deem it important enough to actually show up. Unless….

Hooligan got to his feet, dragging the prone body of ‘NightHawk’ with him. Stepping in behind the man he threw a kidney shiver and then draped an arm over his head, and wrapped him into a belly to back grip. Reaching down he clasped his victim’s left leg and with one smooth lift he had the body up into the air and over his head, all set for either a back suplex or an atomic drop. Two short steps allowed the atomic drop to constitute shoving the imposter between the ropes and the cage once again, and allowing the barbs to tear at his costume, and the flesh beneath it. That was when Hooligan got a sick grin on his face.

Paragon: What……what is that madman doing now?

Storm: I’d say he’s tying Alan up in the ropes. Trapping his arms between the top and middle rope while he faces out towards the barbed wire. Oh this is beautiful.

Paragon: I’ve already told you Storm…..there’s no way that’s Alan Scott in that ring. One look at that man and you know you’re looking at NightHawk.

Storm: You’re such an idiot Paragon. NightHawk wouldn’t be victimized like this. NightHawk is a dangerous man, while Alan Scott is a little boy trying to be something he’s not; a champion. What you’re watching right now? It’s called karma…..and I’ve been telling you all for weeks that it was going to catch up to Alan.

Storm stood up as Hooligan stepped back and made sure that everyone could see how helpless his opponent was, tied up in the ropes with the barbed wire cage only inches from his cowled face. Storm started to openly applaud the attack, which drew the ire of the fans onto him once more. That was silenced by the reaction of the contingent of IKI fans who had a block of front row seats on the other side of the ring. Seeing their leader applauding the efforts of Hooligan, they rose to their feet in unison and started cheering the man’s efforts on as well.

Hooligan motioned for the referee to bring the mic over, and when the ref got closer he pointed at ‘NightHawk.’

Hooligan: Ask him.

The referee started towards the trapped man, but the cowl simply shook back and forth, denying Hooligan the quick and easy win. He would not say those words. He would not give in. Hooligan nodded his head slowly, as though that was about what he expected, and then he walked up behind his helpless foe and grabbed hold of his head. With no hesitation he slammed the cowl forward, driving the protective mail into the barbs that jutted out from the cage. Hooligan made no effort to hide the strength and leverage he was exerting, pressing his victim’s face into the barbs over and over again and dragging it up and down on the chain link, hoping it would tear open and expose his flesh to gruesome suffering.

After ninety seconds of it, Hooligan stepped back. The cameraman zoomed in on ‘Hawk’ and the crowd gasped as they saw a few tears in his protective cowl. Blood oozed steadily out of the gashes as the referee stepped in and held the mic towards him.

Once more he shook his head.

Paragon: This is one of the bravest things I’ve ever seen. Look at the way he keeps fighting on...

Storm: This is amateur night at the Apollo you mean. Alan Scott tried to play mind games with Hooligan the way that I toyed with him, and he failed. Now he’s going to pay the ultimate price. What a loser.

Paragon: Now just…

Storm stuck a finger in Paragon’s face.

Storm: Hold on…..Hooligan’s not done with him. I want to see this.

The crowd were on their feet.

It appeared that everyone wanted to see it.

Hooligan was going to break ‘NightHawk’ for the third time.

_________________

Eve: I……….I can’t watch anymore. Turn it off! TURN IT OFF!

Eve Riley tucked her face into Haley’s bosom, while the newlywed’s husband sighed softly and put a hand gently on her the poor girl’s shoulder. As if everything else she was going through wasn’t terrible enough, she had been sitting watching the match with Geno while Haley prepared for her own match-up against Storm. Both parties had been concerned right from the outset because of the way that Alan never managed to mount any real kind of offense. When Storm had decided to make an appearance, Haley had joined them to watch what was transpiring and prepare herself in case she decided to start the main event a little bit early.

Geno: Shhhhh. He’ll be alright Eve.

Eve shook her head, but she would come out from where her eyes were buried. She didn’t believe Geno, and nobody could blame her. She knew that Alan was under the cowl, just like the other two did when they walked in earlier. Sure he wouldn’t speak, wouldn’t admit it, but they all knew. It made too much sense to ignore. Alan had said that NightHawk would be back for his match with Hooligan, and it was true. Just not in the way that Eve Riley had wanted it to be true, and now she couldn’t bring herself to watch Alan get maimed and injured any more.

Eve: Help him Geno….

Her pleading voice slipped out of the folds of the crook of Haley’s arm, and the lilting tone of her voice tugged at the man’s heart strings. He looked at Haley, knowing that if he was to go to ringside it might well spark off a confrontation with Storm; something that he had been trying to avoid. Haley just raised her eyebrow. She wanted him to do something as well, and not just because she had plans for Alan in the Network. There was no love lost between her and Hooligan either. Geno on the other hand believed that until it was over, Alan still had a chance. He had seen the kid fight back through some of the worst beatings in the history of the industry. He was young and resilient.

Geno: Girls……

??????: He’ll be alright.

The voice cut through the room and startled everyone. They turned, shocked that anyone else was in the Megasuite, only to find somebody standing behind them watching them watch the match. Eve snuck a peek out from her place cradled with Haley for protection and her eyes grew as wide as saucers. She sat dead upright, as did Geno.

Eve: ……but………………you………………he………………Alan……..

She turned and stared back at the television set, trying desperately to figure out what was going on.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Hooligan drove a third knee into the stomach of ‘Hawk’ and slammed an elbow into the side of his head a second later. As the man staggered, Hooligan jammed his fingers into the gashes in the cowl and dug around, trying to tear at the already perforated flesh beneath. It elicited a flail of hands in an uncoordinated defensive strike that brushed him away, but didn’t stop him from mounting a renewed assault. The Drunken Brawler stepped away from the stumbling man who could barely stay on his feet and laughed out loud as he reached into his tights and produced a set of brass knuckles.

Hooligan: You’re going to wish you were never born Scott.

He took a step in and slammed the knuckles into ‘NightHawk’s ribs causing a cracking sound that carried all the way to the front row. The smile on Storm’s face grew until it went from ear to ear, as he enjoyed the sight of Alan Scott being put humbly in place. The first round exit from the tournament not only would be something that he would never forget to mention in the future, but the resounding failure of his mind games would forever put a smile on Storm’s face. Hooligan swung again, and the second strike with the weapons on his fist dropped the apparent X-Factor Champion to the canvas in a heap.

Hooligan: You won’t just be quitting our match boy……when I’m done…..you’ll want to quit wrestling. Forever.

Hooligan meant what he said, and he set about proving it with fervor and determination. Without taking off the brass knuckles he pulled his opponent to a vertical position and shoved him backwards into the ropes, catching him coming forward with a spinebuster that certainly took what little resistance was left out of his victim. He knelt between the sprawled out body’s legs and made sure that the crowd knew that it was over. He motioned for the microphone once more, but not to challenge Alan to say the two words that would put an end to his suffering. What he wanted was to make sure people understood what he was going to do next.

Hooligan: Listen up!

The crowd was a roaring mass of chaos and emotion. They hated that they were seeing one of their idols torn apart, and hated even more that it might not be the real man, but they were also caught up in the incredible carnage and bloodlust that they were watching. The intensity of the match had them swept up with emotion, despite the fact that it was Hooligan that was winning.

Hooligan: Alan Scott……your champion…..tried to use NightHawk to get to me.

Hooligan leaned down over the prone body of ‘The Shepherd’ and slammed him in the face to keep him from sobering through the disorientation his body and mind were experiencing.

Hooligan: Now he’s going to be my tool to send a message to NightHawk.

Hooligan threw the microphone down and pulled the prone body at his feet up, draping it over his shoulder. He walked to the corner and dumped the limp form onto the top rope, and then balanced it there as he slowly made his way up the turnbuckle as well. More than once he reached out and grasped ahold of the barbed wire fencing to support his balance, only smiling as the barbs tore into his flesh and came away with little pieces of himself that he would never get back. Pain was his companion tonight. When he was standing on the top turnbuckle, he grasped the cowl in front of him and used sheer strength to pull his opponent into a standing position with him.

The broadcast team watched in shock, awe and amusement as he grabbed hold of the gauntleted left hand of ‘NightHawk’ and slammed it onto the barbed wire repeatedly until it finally caught on the barbs and hung out at a right angle from the body. The crowd began to slowly fall silent as he did the same with the right arm. The picture was starting to take shape and at last they understood the message that Hooligan was going to send;

He was going to crucify Alan Scott on the barbs.

Hooligan took one last grasp of the cowl and then wrapped his other hand around ‘Hawk’s throatlifting up and shoving backwards with all of his might. The barbs tore into the mail hauberk and the cowl, and while many of them were dulled, bent or turned aside, a few fought through the material and found flesh. Enough that when Hooligan let go, the body did not move, but simply hung in the corner of the cage, a morbid mockery of The ORIGINAL Shepherd of Men.

Hooligan jumped down off of the turnbuckle and threw his arms out, impressed at his creativity. The crowd’s roar had turned into a unified jeer, save for the IKI who were still cheering the infliction of karma on Alan Scott. Hooligan picked up the mic and pointed at the referee.

Hooligan: Ask him!

He pointed at ‘NightHawk’ hanging on the cage wall.

Hooligan: Ask Alan Scott if he’s ready to give up yet.

The referee meekly crossed the ring and took the mic from Hooligan, privately disgusted by the revolting display he had just been forced to witness. As he started across the ring towards the corner where ‘NightHawk’ was suspended, the X-Tron suddenly crackled to life. It caught everyone by surprise, especially Hooligan and Storm, because it was the back of a blond man’s head. Somewhere deep in the pit of their stomachs they already knew who it belonged to, even before he turned around.

Alan Scott looked out at the crowd and raised a spockian eyebrow.

Alan: Tell me something Hooligan…….

The sight of Alan on the X-Tron lead to an eruption of noise from the crowd, as the arena literally shook from the rafters to the floor.

Alan: …………..do you ever get the feeling you’ve been played?

_________________


Eve wrapped her arms around Alan, and buried her head in his chest as Geno slapped him on the shoulder. Reverend Future stood only a couple of feet away, smiling from ear to ear as he watched the expression on Hooligan’s face as he saw Alan go live on the X-Tron. Even Haley smirked, though probably more because of how amused she was that Storm had just been upstaged at ringside. Eve let out some of the tension that had been tightening her neck and jaw muscles as it sunk in that Alan was alright. She had been so worried.

Alan: Hey, I told you HE was coming back.

Geno: Yeah, you did. We just didn’t believe you. All the evidence…

Alan smiled as Geno’s voice trailed off. His adopted godfather had helped out enormously with the plan when he had confronted Alan about the phone call while the cameras were listening in. It hadn’t been planned, but it had worked out. Alan had chosen that moment to let it slip that he might just be…..setting things up. Everything that really taken off after that. Rumors swirled and people tried to get their heads around who it was that was going to be in the ring with Hooligan. Alan Scott……or NightHawk.

Alan: I never lie.

Eve lifted her head ever so slightly out of Alan’s chest.

Eve: I know……I know you don’t.

Rev: This is where the show really begins.

They looked up just in time to see the battered Shepherd tear himself free of the barbs that were holding him to the cage wall. Even Alan flinched a little bit as he envisioned the pain that went with that.


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Storm: No…..no…….no…..

John Paragon and Hank Proctner were ignoring Storm’s suddenly repetitive contributions to their show, and thankfully still hadn’t turned the microphone in front of Mike Anthony back on. They simply went on about doing what they did best as Paragon exploded into hyperbole at the sight of the Shepherd of Men peeling his wounded flesh off of the barbed wire cage wall and stepping down, even as Hooligan shook his head in disbelief. He might as well not have been talking anyways, since nobody could hear him over top of the climactic explosion of noise from the crowd.

NightHawk stepped off the turnbuckle and landed firmly on the canvas as Hooligan exploded at him, his body fired up as it hadn’t been since the early moments of the match. True he had wanted to teach the snot nosed Alan Scott a lesson for picking him first, and even more once the idiot tried to play mind games…but his adrenaline surged the moment he realized who he was actually in the ring with. All that abuse and all of that suffering he thought he had been inflicting on the kid, and he had actually had his arch enemy within his grasp! The clothesline didn’t put Hawk down, but it did drive him back into the turnbuckle. Hooligan threw two solid lefts to shake Hawk, and then mounted the second rope and hammered down on the man over and over again.

When Hooligan thought he had inflicted enough damage to take whatever fight Hawk had been holding back throughout the match out of him, he reached down and grasped the cowl. He gave a quick, sharp tug, hoping to spin it on Hawk’s head and leave him unable to defend himself. It didn’t budge. There had been improvements made to the cowl since the last time they had been in the ring togethers; vast improvements. Hooligan only just realized that the mask wasn’t going to shift when he felt a hand snake up his chest and wrap itself around his throat. He immediately brought his own hands up to fight it off, but Hawk close his fingers and would not relent. Air became a precious commodity.

Paragon: NightHawk has Hooligan up! He has him up…….chokeslam out of the corner! Hooligan is down, and he looks shaken!

Hank: I knew it was NightHawk all along…

Paragon: You might have Hank, but I don’t hear Storm…..Storm? Where did……ladies and gentlemen it would appear that our unexpected visitor has decided he doesn’t want to be around this match anymore…

The camera panned while NightHawk continued to attack Hooligan, and showed Storm slowly backing up the runway and shaking his head in denial. Hawk pulled Hooligan to his feet and then using both hands he literally flung the large man into the cage, without taking his eyes off of Storm. Storm just shook his head and back pedaled faster. NightHawk lifted a finger and pointed directly at Storm, which got a huge reaction from the crowd in the FoxNews Center.

Hank: NightHawk can worry about Storm at another time….Hooligan isn’t finished!

Paragon: True. While NightHawk finally seems to be letting himself go in there, Hooligan isn’t about to just bow out. He’s pulling himself out of the cage, and ignoring the way those barbs are gashing him…..the man’s an animal.

Hank: The man’s a warrior! I don’t care if NightHawk was holding himself back earlier, that damage he took has to have hurt him. He’s at a disadvantage now that the element of surprise is gone. Hooligan’s not 2-1 against him by accident. Look at the man!

Hank directed everyone’s attention back to the ring where Hooligan had his head down and was exchanging bombs with NightHawk in the middle of the ring. He was only landing one for every two that Hawk was landing, but he didn’t seem to care. Something about the revelation of the actual Shepherd being in the ring with him had him fired up to a whole new level. After landing two successive bombs, Hooligan jammed a thumb into the eye of Hawk and the pulled the cowl down with all of his might and brought up a knee to catch him right in the face. The impact sent NightHawk crashing over backwards onto the canvas.

Hooligan didn’t follow him, opting instead to go to the cage and find the corner where the cage was sealed. It took a quick second but he found the latches and unhinged them with one quick jerk of his upper body. He pulled the loose cage wall into the ring behind him and draped it on the far side of the ring. He had something truly sick in mind.

The crowd were on their feet as he approached NightHawk…

_________________
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Stan Daniels

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