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| The Lord of the Reign: The Return of the King of the Ring|
Part III, Chapter Nine
“In Which the Ass Kicking of Vince McMahon Begins“
Inside the arena, Flair and Eddie sit in the catering room, eating the last of the Tootsie Rolls.
Eddie: I don’t know, holmes. This seems like an awfully stupid ending.
Flair: What do you mean, ending?
Eddie: I mean, we’re going to lose, esse vato. Why even bother with this storyline if the faces are going to lose at the end?
Flair: Sometimes, Eddie, it isn’t the ending that’s important. It’s what happens before it. Think about it. We’ve been at this for months, and so far I’d say we’re doing pretty well for ourselves. I mean, sure, you were kidnapped by rappers and I fell through the center of the earth, but what a ride that was, huh, kid?
Eddie: I guess.
Flair: Just think about it, Eddie. After the credits roll, the television shows and the Pay Per Views fade to black, the moment of clarity. The sense of accomplishment. The feeling that whatever you did today made some small difference in one way or another. Then it hits you.
Flair: That, unless you work for Heyman, we’re getting paid to do this. Getting paid to be jet-flyin’, limo-ridin’, kiss stealin,’ WOO awheelin’ and adealin’ son-of-a-guns!
Outside, Paul Heyman suddenly realizes that he’s surrounded by guys he owes lots of money to, and that he’s not really much of a wrestler.
New Jack: You owe us big time, homey!
Shane Douglas: Yeah, now pay up!
Rhyno: AH! I friggin’ hate this! Let’s just gore him and bathe in his blood and innards!
Heyman: Now, now. Guys. Let’s not be hasty! This is your Uncle Paul here! Huh? HELP!
Heyman turns to run, but he smacks right into a goblin. He throws a punch, but the goblin just shakes his hooded head. Another punch, and now there’s a finger waggling in his face. Another punch, no effect. Heyman tries to run, but he gets scratched in the back. Shane Douglas turns him around and pushes him forward. Hogan nails the big boot. As he lines up the leg drop, Stacy Keibler walks in front of him.
Stacy: I will not let you finish him.
Hogan: Raven, brother, you’ve got some nerve coming down here dude. Because the millions of Hulkamaniacs are coursing through my blood and into my bones, compelling me to drop the leg on that fat balding man over there, so that the Hulkamaniacs may look to the Pantheon of Hogan and see that all is good!
Stacy: Maybe you didn’t get the memo, but Hulk no longer Rules.
New Jack: OH SNAP!
Shane Douglas: No she did not!
Rhyno: GORE! GORE! I WANNA FRICKING GORE SOMEBODY RIGHT NOW!
Stacy throws the world’s lamest punch. Hogan is unaffected. She starts to wind up for a spin kick, but Hogan shoves her down. As he comes over to continue his attack, she nails him with a low blow. She sends a hard, jowl shaking slap into his face. Hogan hulks up.
Stacy: God. Stop that.
Hogan body slams her. Meanwhile, a bunch of novelty pirate ships, obviously stolen from the Pirates of the Carribean ride at Disney Land, limp into the port. Mike Awesome greats them.
Awesome: Finally. Welcome to the fight guys. Maybe now we can finish Foley off in time for me to find a fat chick and bring her to my 70s Love Shack!
Tazz, Orton and Jericho hop off the boat.
Tazz: Brotha, Tazz was not made for the sea. Hey, Awesome. The mood is about to change.
Tazz and Orton run ahead, while Jericho turns around.
Jericho: It’s time.
Back on the battlefield, Stacy and Hogan continue their epic struggle. They lock up in a test of strength. Stacy wins initially, until Hogan looks to an imaginary audience for support. With their imaginary cheers, he turns the tide and brings Stacy to her knees, a feeling with which she is not entirely unfamiliar.
Hogan: Brother, didn’t you know? No wrestler can beat Hulk Hogan.
Hogan stands her up to nail her with the Big Boot, but Stacy is quicker, unleashing a quick, furious spin kick that smacks the side of Hogan’s head. Hulk rocks for a moment, then finally falls, blood tricking off the side of his skull. Stacy pull off the wig and the flannel revealing black lingerie
Stacy: I’m no wrestler!
Stacy floats over for the pin. 1..2..3! Hogan has fallen!
Randy Orton and Tazz are moving through the ranks, attacking Vince’s men.
Tazz: Suplex. Suplex. This is too easy, brotha. I’m barely breaking a sweat.
Orton: Oh yeah! Well, RKO to this guy!
Tazz: No! Oh, brother, that was Paul London! He was on our side!
Orton: No he wasn’t! He was evil, I could tell!
Tazz: Take that stupid salad bowl off your head right this instant!
Orton: Let’s start what we finished first!
Orton nails an RKO on Eugene, who was attempting to carry a wagon of children and puppies to safety. Eugene, the Children, and the Puppies, have fallen.
Tazz: Oh no, no, no!
Orton: What? He was after you! I just saved your life!
Tazz: That was a cartful of children and puppies! And Eugene!
Tazz: Well, all right, but I’m only giving you one point.
John Cena comes up alongside Chris Jericho.
Cena: So where’s the group of retirees you were supposed to bring?
Jericho: They’re…uh…they’re not coming.
Cena: What? Why?
Jericho: Turns out they hate me and the industry and want to see us all dead. Plus, it turns out that a lot of them can hardly move, and as fun as it would have been watching Baron Von Rashke unleash the Claw on Rhyno, the old dude probably couldn’t handle it.
Cena: So we’re losers then.
Jericho: No, no. I called in another favor while I was out.
Somewhere in the distance, glass shatters. Stone Cold Steve Austin struts off the pirate ship. Booker T charges him, but is met with a Thesz press and a flurry of punches. Then Austin runs around the battle field, nailing Stunners on all of Vince’s men and a few of Foley’s for good measure. When he’s finished, he opens some cans of Steveweiser and poses on Mick Foley’s fallen body, crashing the cans together in celebration.
Orton: My hero!
Stacy Keibler rushes to Paul Heyman’s side. The blood capsule in his mouth has broken, a sure sign of internal bleeding.
Heyman: Stacy, my darling. Come closer.
Heyman: How about one last lap dance? For dying Uncle Paul.
Stacy: Ew. No.
Heyman: No? NO? Why you little ungrateful…I mean…cough cough.
Stacy: Don’t worry, Paul. We’ll get you to an Undisclosed Medical Facility.
Heyman: No. Don’t! It’s probably better this way. Now, I can go and live in a world where I had limitless supplies of money. Where I didn’t live in my parent’s basement. And where ECW lives on…forever.
Paul Heyman has fallen.
Stacy: Now where are all those shoe stores?
Jericho, Orton, and Tazz are with Austin.
Jericho: Thanks a lot, Steve.
Austin: Hell yeah. You think I’m gonna pass up a chance to screw with Vince again? EH-EH! Not gonna happen.
Tazz: That was awesome, Steve! Bettah than that time you said my watch speaks Spanish!
Austin: Who the hell are you?
Tazz: Tazz, brotha!
Austin: Do you wanna get Stunnered, Tazz?
Tazz: Well, no. I-
Tazz: I said-
Austin: Do you want to get Stunnered? What? Beaten down? What? I said do you want me to put my hand around your neck and pull you to the ground? What? I didn’t think so. What? I said I didn’t think so! And that’s the bottom line, cuz Stone Cold Said So.
Orton: You’ve still got it Cone Stole!
Austin nails the Stunner on Orton.
Austin: Now do you have those Stryper mix tapes for me, or not?
Jericho: Of course. Here you go, Steve.
Austin: Thanks. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve gotta go get in a knife fight with my new girlfriend.
Austin hops on an ATV and drives off. Tazz goes to pick up Orton, and sees that he has a goofy smile on his face.
Tazz: What the hell are you smilin’ about?
Orton: I got RKOed by my hero. Home Sold Steve Auction.
Tazz: Great. He told me to tell you to take that damned salad bowl off your head.
Orton: Oh he did not. You just want the lucky helm for yourself.
Tazz: Yeah, brotha. That’s it.
Orton: I knew it! Let’s go!
Orton stands up and falls headfirst into a ditch.
Jericho: He’ll find his way out. Come on.
While he is skipping across the war zone looting the spoils, Eddie comes upon a fallen Rosey.
Chavo: Uncle Eddie! It’s so good to see you!
Eddie: Rosey! What? You’re not my nephew!
Chavo: I’m not Rosey-
Eddie: The hell you aren’t. I see your plan, esse vato. You’re going to invade the city by pretending to be Chavito!
Chavo: I am Chavito. I’m just trapped under this fat guy.
Eddie: Chavo? Is it truly you?
Chavo: Yes, help me uncle Eddie!
Eddie: Where’s my watch, holmes?
Chavo: I’ll give it back to you! Just please get me out of here!
Eddie rolls Rosey off of Chavo.
Eddie: My watch.
Chavo: Here! Here!
Eddie rolls Rosey back on to Chavo.
In Bakersfield now, Val Venis and Luther Reigns are divvying up their loot.
Luther: Give me those mirror chaps. Those are mine!
Venis: No! Most of this crap is going to Vince.
Luther: He won’t know mirror chaps from no mirror chaps.
Venis: Yes he will, he knows everything. Or haven’t you noticed?
Luther: Then maybe he’ll know when I kick your ass!
Venis: That’s it, I’ve had just about enough of you.
They begin throwing punches. Chris Benoit looks around the room a bit, but he cannot see the Undisputed Title anywhere. He begins to panic. The brawl spreads down the stairs, where other wrestlers join the fray. Soon, however, everyone is too tired to continue, so nap time is announced. The wrestlers all gather in the main hall, and unroll blankies to snooze on. Meanwhile, Tommy Dreamer is climbing up the fire escape, throwing production people off left and right.
Dreamer: Where’s Benoit?
Tough Enough Jessie: Who?
Dreamer: Chris Benoit!
Tough Enough Jessie: (crying) I don’t know who that is!
Dreamer: I’m sorry then.
Tough Enough Jessie: Sniff. That’s ok, I guess.
Dreamer: Sorry you’re so stupid!
Dreamer begins wailing on her with the Singapore cane.
Dreamer: This is for Benoit! And for all the cruiserweights. And for everybody who deserved push but never got one! And for Bret Hart…Wait…maybe not that last one. But still!
Dreamer tosses her and finishes his assent. Chris Benoit lays in a kitchen, half naked, playing with the linoleum.
Sgt. Slaughter: What have we here? Just another maggot! It’s about time I introduced you to the Camel Clutch!
Sarge makes a grab for Benoit, but is clocked in the back of the head with Shawn Michael’s chair.
Dreamer: Yo, Joe!
Benoit: Tommy? About that thing earlier. I’m really sorry. I should have known not to trust Bret.
Dreamer: It’s all right, Mr. Benoit. I don’t blame you. I blame society.
Benoit: It’s not all right though. After I got paralyzed, they swiped the belt. Tommy, some stupid ass Heat wrestler is out there taking the Undisputed Title to Vince McMahon!
Dreamer: Well, I hate to cut a face promo here, Mr. Benoit. But you’re looking at a Two-Time, Two-Time World’s Heavyweight Champion.
Dreamer opens up his backpack and reveals the Undisputed title, the nameplate changed to say “Tommy Dreamer”.
Dreamer: Pretty cool, huh? Custom engraved. I thought you were dead, so I swiped it. Then I found out you weren’t dead, but I had them do the nameplate anyway, because, I wanted to take some pictures with it. For posterity.
Benoit: Hand it over, Tommy. Give me the belt. Give it to me. It’s my responsibility. My duty to carry the fate of the wrestling industry. Your back can’t stand that weight.
Dreamer: Fine. Take it, Needy Jones. Geez. Remind me never to take you out to eat. You’ll be picking at my plate all night. Hand them over, Tommy. Give me the peas. Give them to me! They’re my peas, my food to satiate the hunger I’m feeling. You could stand to lose some weight.
Benoit: Shut up, Tommy.
Dreamer: Well, better get you some clothes.
Benoit: What’s wrong with my ring gear?
Dreamer: To be honest, Mr. Benoit, we’re both due for a change. How long have we been wearing these outfits?
Later that day, Dreamer and Benoit are making the final march to Wrestlemania. Tommy is wearing a Mark Henry singlet, while Benoit is wearing a Mr. America disguise.
Benoit: This is less than convincing.
Dreamer: Don’t worry about it. We’ll be fine. Look, “Welcome to L.A.” We made it.
Benoit: This is a bad idea, Tommy. Very bad. Look at all those camera crews, we’re never going to get through. And look! The giant spotlight on top of the Staples Center! Vince McMahon is here! We’re gonna get killed, Tommy!
Dreamer: That’s the spirit! Let’s get going.
Dreamer and Benoit march on. In San Diego, the top wrestlers all sit in the booking room and frown at each other. Except Orton, who is frowning at the wall.
Flair: I wish we knew what the hell happened to Benoit. Damn Regal for canceling RAW.
Jericho: We could always watch Afterburn. Or The Experience.
Flair: You’re kidding, I hope.
Jericho: Yeah. Seriously, though, if Benoit had gotten caught, I’m sure we would have heard about it by now.
Flair: Vince McMahon, I fear, still has a few tricks up his sleeves. No Way Out was a success, but Vince could still dominate if he wins at Wrestlemania.
Tazz: Let him. I’m sick and tired of all this crap. I’m gonna go open a waffle house instead.
Flair: Poor Benoit. We sent him off to die so we didn’t have to.
Jericho: You’re right. We’ve got to help him. Clear the path for him to get to Wrestlemania.
Tazz: How’s that, brotha?
Jericho: Are you familiar with the old DX? We drive a tank right down there, but instead, we beat down their door. Vince will have to pay attention to us.
Cena: Man, you must be trippin’, Vince will kick out ass from here to next Sunday.
Jericho: Which gives Benoit plenty of time to slip in and destroy McMahon. Vince will never see it coming.
Orton: We’ll game him at his own trap!
Flair: Ok, now I know you guys are nuts. Fans…fans are stupid. Vince isn’t stupid. He’ll know a trap when he sees a trap.
Tazz: Like he sends friggin’ Rhyno and Viscera to try to take us down? I’m with Jericho, brotha. Let’s kick some ass.
The Lord of the Reign: The Return of the King of the Ring
Part III, Chapter Ten
“In Which a Winner is Those Guys“
What remains of the Fellowship of Nine (minus Benoit and Dreamer) marches out of San Diego in their full wrestling regalia. Jericho takes the lead, followed by Orton, Tazz, Flair, Eddie and Chavo. Then, the remains of Mick Foley’s superstars and Smackdown pour out, led by John Cena and Edge. In L.A., Vince McMahon’s troops begin to file towards the exits of the Staples Center, preparing for the face’s attack.
Benoit: My water bottle’s empty.
Dreamer: Maybe you shouldn’t have spit it all out into the air.
Benoit: You’ve gotta admit, that was a pretty dead on impersonation of Hunter.
Dreamer: Yeah. Here, take the last drink of mine.
Benoit: What about the journey home? What will we drink.
Dreamer: I know this great titty bar around here that serves two for one margaritas. We’ll go get totally blasted.
Benoit: We can’t. Flair said no titty bars.
Dreamer: Did he? When?
Benoit: Way back in Volume One.
Dreamer: I don’t remember that.
Benoit: Yeah, he sa-You know what? I don’t remember what he said, now that I think of it.
Dreamer: Let’s go, Mr. Benoit.
Meltzer: Does that mean we can get up and go to the titty bar?
Alvarez: I doubt it. You can’t feel your legs still. Besides, no amount of money is enough to make strippers dance for your ugly ass.
Meltzer: I swear, as soon as I regain control of my basic functions, I’m gonna come over there and rip your face off.
Alvarez: Big talk for a guy who can’t get up to take a piss right now.
Meltzer: Yeah, well you can move. Come over here and get your ass kicked.
Alvarez: Is this goddamn thing over yet?
Meltzer: Not even close.
Alvarez: Ugh! Die, Benoit, die!
Jericho and his men arrive at the doors of the Staples Center. Everything is quiet. Too quiet. Then, suddenly, accompanied by a helicopters and a generic beat track, Vince McMahon’s lieutenant, The Rock, makes his presence known.
Rock: Who in the blue hell are you?
Rock: It doesn’t matter who you are!
Rock: Actually, sorry. It kind of does.
Jericho: Chris Jericho, locker room leader. This is what is left of La Resistance.
Dupree: What happened to Rob and Sylvain?
Jericho: Big Show sat on them.
Dupree: Oh no!
Jericho: And ate them.
Dupree: Oh no!
Rock: Well, jabronies may be curious to see what some of our men found.
Rock tosses Jericho a pair of shattered mirror chaps.
Tazz: Oh, man. Benoit, brotha.
Orton: They turned Chris into a pair of mirror chaps?
Jericho: If you’ve harmed a hair on his head, I‘ll…uh…beat you up! Or something more threatening than that!!
Rock: If you ever want to see scruffy beard again, you’ll turn around, and march back to wherever you came from, or we’re gonna take the one title, shine it up real nice, and shove it straight up all your candy asses!
Flair: You don’t even have Benoit!
Rock: Oh yeah? Well the Rock would like to know how you figured that out.
Flair: Uh…hey, stupid, if you had Benoit, you’d have the belt and you’d be off killing us instead of cutting a promo.
Rock: Oh yeah? Well…your mom!
Orton: Ah, The Rock. Greatest promos ever.
Rock: Maybe you’re right. Maybe you’re not. Either way, The Rock says that he and his army are gonna whup your monkey asses all over Los Angeles. If you smelalalalalalalalalow. What the Rock. Is cookin’!
Chris Benoit and Tommy Dreamer are almost at the vent. Dreamer fidgets with his pocket screwdriver when suddenly, the giant spotlight swings their way.
Dreamer: Oh crap! Mr. Benoit, get down!
Benoit: This isn’t good.
Benoit and Dreamer dive behind a dumpster while the spotlight lingers. Benoit is sweating from the light’s heat. He clutches the title for support. Back outside the gates, the face army waits.
Eddie: Where the hell are they? Come out and fight, esse! You’re staring into the eyes of a Guerrero, now! Can’t you feel the Latino Heat, esse vato loco?
Jericho: Come out and face your fate like a man, McMahon! It’s time to find out if your grapefruits are really as big as you say they are!
The gates swing open and hundreds of wrestlers pour out. What was left from RAW, OVW, TNA, and dozens upon dozens of indy jobbers.
Jericho: Ooooookay. Retreat!
The faces break into a dead run towards the city limits, and the spotlight swings to find them.
Dreamer: See? He never found us. Stupid Vince. I guess whatever’s going on over there must be more important, huh? Maybe some girls are showing off their hooters or something. Man, it must be good to have a huge spotlight. Maybe I should get one installed on my roof when we get back.
Jericho has re-rallied the troops.
Jericho: Ok, false start, false start. We’re allowed one of those. Listen up. I know this looks hopeless. I know it looks like the faces will get beat down once again. Look at us. Collectively, we are hardly a stable to be revered. But you know what? This is Wrestlemania. The Show Case of the Immortals. This isn’t just some Pay Per View. This is the end of the line. We either put up or shut up, and I say we put up, because in the end, the faces should win goddammit! So let’s go stare Vincent Kennedy McMahon right in the eye and then spit in it.
Orton: I can do that!
Benoit and Dreamer are sliding through air vents. Dust and rat turds cake their bodies.
Dreamer: This plan sounded much better when I was talking about it.
The McMahon army marches out singing “No Chance In Hell” as they go. Jericho and his men prepare their assorted weapons. Tazz looks pissed.
Tazz: Why the hell do I always have to stand next to Orton when we do these things? Couldn’t Teddy Long stand next to Orton? Or Shannon Moore? I’m friggin’ sick to death of this guy.
Orton: I love you too, Test.
Tazz: That’s it! Now I need you to survive so I can pound your head in when we’re done!
Tazz: Take that goddamn salad bowl off!
Benoit is curled up into a ball in one of the vent shafts. Dreamer sits against a grating nearby.
Dreamer: Too tired to continue, huh?
Dreamer: Remember the good old days? When ECW was cool and both WWF and WCW were succeeding?
Dreamer: No, no. Not that WWF. The one we can’t talk about anymore. What the hell ever happened to those days, Mr. Benoit? We were on top of the world back then, even though I was jobbing to Raven every week and you were just another boring midcarder. At least the business had class back then. We can bring those days back, Mr. Benoit. You and I. If we get rid of the hold Vince McMahon has on this business, make it free and open and competitive again, we can make people remember why they loved wrestling in the first place. It wasn’t the promos…ok, maybe it was the promos, but it was also the awesome wrestling like what you did, and the take no prisoners attitude like we had in ECW. Do you remember full arenas, Mr. Benoit?
Benoit: No, Tommy. I don’t remember full arenas, or millions of Television fans or high Pay Per View buys. Look at us, Tommy. We’re in a pile of dust and rat crap, trying to sneak our way onto the card of the greatest wrestling event of all time. And here, only the thin walls of this vent separate me and the torture of Vince McMahon. I can feel him. Here him telling me I’m fiiiiiiiired!
Dreamer: Then let’s go stick a fork in him, you and I. Not a literal fork, I don’t mean, but the figurative one you use to put an end to somebody in the metaphorical sense. Though, the literal fork might help relieve a little tension. I’ll tell you what, if I have to, I’m gonna carry your ass on out of here. Come on.
Tommy grabs Benoit and pulls. Benoit barely budges.
Dreamer: Man, I’m gonna regret saying that.
Outside, Jericho raises the Bat of Sting, and prepares for battle.
Vince McMahon’s Voice: Tonight, in this very ring, Chris Jericho, your ass is mine.
Jericho: This one’s for you, Benoit!
Jericho charges ahead, swinging the bat and nailing jobbers left and right. The other faces follow, making a dent in the line of lower-class wrestlers that protect the upper carders. Dreamer and Benoit are now approaching the catwalk above the Mania ring.
Dreamer: Look at this, Mr. Benoit. Almost there!
Tommy continues to drag Benoit. Bret Hart lurks nearby in the rafters.
Bret: So, you made it here after all. Never thought that’d happen. Well, it’s Hitman time!
Bret nails a flying elbow, knocking Dreamer into the railing and causing the scaffolding to sway. Benoit starts to get up, but Bret cuts him off with a punch, and then a hard backbreaker. Bret starts to choke Benoit, but Tommy knocks him off with a running tackle. Bret recovers and nails Tommy with an atomic drop. Tommy and Bret roll off back into the vents. The faces have control at the gates, as Tazz and Orton have found a rhythm, in which Tazz suplexes people, and the Orton RKOs them in midair while Tazz complains that the Suplexes are knocking people out just fine. Things get worse, however, when the eight remaining hoodied riders storm out and start wailing away. Meanwhile, the epic Dreamer/Hart scaffold match continues. Tommy is knocked back onto the catwalk and almost falls off after Bret hits a legsweep, but he manages to hang on. A Drop Toehold by Dreamer makes Bret wobble on the edge, but he recovers and hit’ a running bulldog. Snapsuplex by Bret to Tommy. Tommy is shaken. Bret goes for the Sharpshooter to finish him off, but Dreamer grabs his Singapore Cane and jams it right into Bret’s ass. Bret staggers around in shock for a moment, and then retreats back into the vent.
Dreamer: Run, Chris! Run!
Benoit runs out towards the area directly above the ring. Outside, Ric Flair is using is Five Star Broomstick to smite the wicked. One of the riders moves to hit him with a Diamond Cutter, but Flair swats him away with the broom and impatiently checks his watch. Eddie Guerrero is reading the paper.
Eddie: Forget fighting, holmes. Let’s see what my horoscope says. “Today, your contributions to a long ass, meandering story will finally come to an end.” Thank god. Hey, look! The Flock!
Raven and his men swoop in from the north and begin brawling with the upper card, outflanking them every step of the way. Raven hits Kevin Nash with the Evenflow. Inside, Tommy Dreamer rushes out to meet Benoit.
Dreamer: Mr. Benoit?
Benoit stands above the ring, overlooking a dozen flaming, barbed wire tables, stacked above a small trashcan. Benoit shakes his head.
Benoit: I can’t believe it. Here we are.
Dreamer: Great, great. Now just…toss it down there.
Benoit holds the belt over the edge. The ring posts explode in flame, singeing Benoit’s hand.
Dreamer: Careful now, steady. Just like Plinko. Throw it! Finish this mess so that we can go get drunk!
Benoit holds the belt out, but suddenly catches his name glaring on the face plate. Not Tommy’s, his. Benoit takes a moment to admire his accomplishment.
Dreamer: Yeah. I got that fixed on the walk over here. I know a guy who knows a guy who makes house calls. On further review, that was a bad idea, I know. Listen, Benoit, this angle has gone on way waaaaay too long. I’m sick of being here. Drop the belt. Do the right thing.
Benoit continues to stare at the name plate. He realizes for perhaps the first time, that he holds all the power. He is bigger than McMahon. Bigger than Triple H. Bigger than Hogan or Austin or Rock. Chris Benoit is the Undisputed Heavyweight Champion of the World. He draws back and snaps the belt around his shoulder.
Benoit: The belt is mine.
Benoit unsnaps the belt and starts to fit it around his waist while Dreamer looks on in shock.
Dreamer: God, I thought this was the end. How much longer do I have to sit here?
Alvarez and Meltzer: Totally!
Benoit hooks the belt around his waist and the lights in the arena go out. Benoit begins walking back towards the vent. Outside, the spotlight points straight up, and a WWE logo appears on the smog above. Receiving this signal, the remains of the hoodied riders run back towards the arena. Inside, Dreamer searches in the dark for Benoit. When the flood lights come up, he turns just in time to get a brass knuckle punch in the face from Bret Hart. Bret then dive tackles Benoit, and tries to rip the belt off of him. Outside the arena again, Chris Jericho is taking batting practice on the Ring of Honor dudes. On the scaffolding, Tommy Dreamer awakes just in time to see Bret Hart chomp down on Benoit’s ear. Benoit instinctively reaches up to feel where his lovely aural receptor once was, and totally misses the Hitman swiping his belt. Benoit drops to his knees, and Bret slaps him down. Near that gates, Orton hears Benoit’s scream and looks up for a minute, allowing Tazz to come up from behind him and hit a low blow. With Orton incapacitated, Tazz rips the salad bowl from his head. After a moment’s thought, Tazz plops it onto his own.
Chris Benoit writhes in pain, trying to find the rest of his ear, while Bret Hart struts with joy, the precious title finally back in his possession.
Hart: Yes! Finally! I really am the best there is, the best their was and the best there ever will be. In your face Michaels!
Bret prances around. Benoit pulls himself up and storms towards him.
Hart: I’ve got the precious! I’ve got the woah-
Benoit grabs Bret and turns him around, then chops him so hard Bret’s chest bleeds. They lock up. Benoit slides behind Bret and hit’s a brutal release German suplex. The momentum carries them both over the side. Bret, however, is too far off to grab the support girders from the scaffold, and he crashes through the tables as the ring explodes around him, and both Bret and the Belt land firmly inside the trashcan, which then falls through the ring. Bret’s hand comes up out of the wreckage, he grabs his sunglasses that had fallen off during the explosions, and pull them back in. Bret Hart has fallen. Dreamer walks over to Benoit.
Dreamer: What a shot! Man, I can’t believe he and the belt fell right into the trashcan!
Benoit looks down at the ring and sees the hole where the trashcan once was. He tries some mental math magic to gauge the trajectory of the fall.
Dreamer: Don’t be stupid, Mr. Benoit. Just give me your hand.
Benoit reaches up to grab Dreamer’s hand, but his arms are too stubby.
Dreamer: Crap. Hold on.
Dreamer pulls out the broken handle of a Singapore Cane.
Benoit: Ew! I know where that’s been!
Dreamer: Oh, come on, Mr. Benoit. We don’t have lots of time here.
Benoit: I’m not touching anything that’s been up Bret Hart’s ass.
Dreamer: Fine. Then die. Whatever you do, do it fast.
Benoit thinks for a second, and then reaches up to grab the shaft. Suddenly, the whole arena starts to come apart, as the explosions in the ring broke the sewer and gas lines, so the Staples Center quickly fills with burning sewage. The girders for the scaffold begin to creak and give way as Tommy and Benoit dash back towards the vent. Outside, Vince McMahon’s army is in a panic, as the spotlight tries to isolate various problems Vince wants them to fix. Soon, the roof gives way, however, and the spotlight crashes down into the arena. Vince McMahon has fallen. Jericho and Flair share a teary, exultant glance.
Eddie: What about Benoit?!
The Fellowship suddenly all look very concerned, as the shockwave of the collapse travels through the city, knocking down lesser characters who are no longer important to the story. Inside the ventilation shaft, Dreamer and Benoit try to scoot themselves away from the flame. They escape just as the vent belches out a huge column of flaming poo, and they fly into a dumpster, which promptly closes over their heads.
Benoit: Ow. Holy crap, Tommy. Look at us. We did it. We actually beat McMahon and destroyed WrestleMania. Who the hell would have ever seen that one coming.
Dreamer: We did, Mr. Benoit. Somehow, I think we always knew this is how it would end.
Benoit: I can see it now, Tommy. The glory days of wrestling finally returning. Good wrestling too, with great writing and angles. And the matches, Tommy, oh how there will be matches.
Dreamer: I can see it now. Beulah and Kimona making out. Me saying, “I’m hardcore.” If I was ever to marry someone, Mr. Benoit, it would have been them. But I’d have to move to Utah first.
Dreamer slides aside some moldy hot dog buns and sits down next to Dreamer.
Benoit: I’m glad to be here with you, Tommy. In this dumpster at the end of the World.
Dreamer: Seriously, Chris. I’ve gotten this weird vibe from you for months now. I swear you keep coming on to me. Whenever I try to talk about my threesome fantasy, you always change the subject to talk about what kind of oils I use to grease up or whether or not I thought Hanson was a good band. What is your deal, anyway?
Benoit: Oh, I don’t know, Tommy. I guess…have you noticed there are no women in this story?
Dreamer: Not in our part anyway.
Benoit: What is up with that?
Dreamer: Are you suggesting we-
Benoit: Oh no, no, no, no, no. God no. No offense to you or anything, but I could do better. I’m just saying, is all.
Dreamer: Mr. Benoit?
Benoit: Yeah, Tommy?
Dreamer: What in the hell are we doing in a dumpster in L.A. while a building shoots flaming crap at us?
Benoit: That’s a very good question, Tommy. A very good question indeed.
Meltzer: Oh, they’re so totally gay.
Alvarez: How do you know? Is it “gay” for men to share an emotional bond, especially during such a traumatic time? Especially when they’ve spent time with nothing but each other and a whacked out old man for months on end? Sure they love each other, but that doesn’t mean that they’re in love. Not that there’d be anything wrong with that if they were, but Tommy and Chris are obviously straight as an arrow.
Meltzer: Do you love me, Bryan?
Alvarez: Now that I’ve spent months locked in this room with you, having to watch this overly long, overly dramatic, trite piece of crap with you, I think I understand you so much better. I know the ins and outs of what it’s like to be Dave Meltzer. And I’m secure enough in my masculinity to tell you that, yes, Dave, I do love you. In the same way that a man might love his brother or his father or his cousin.
Alvarez: All right, that’s it. It’s clobberin’ time.
Suddenly, the dumpster creaks to life around them, and Benoit and Dreamer feel themselves lurching forward. They share a weary but excited glance and scramble to open the hatch on the dumpster. There they see Ric Flair standing with Raven as he hands a check over to Duke “The Dumpster” Droese. They cheer the transaction and the resurrection of the Nature Boy, until they find themselves upside down, spit out onto the top of their heads into the steel bottom of the empty truck.
To Be Concluded….
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