The Lord of the Reign The Return of the King of the Ring Volume III, Chapter Three “In Which Trish Stratus Reveals the Mysteries of Life”
Trish Stratus is taking one last fateful journey, in a cavalcade of taxis, to the shores of Washington, on her way to Japan. Shane McMahon’s last orders echo in her head.
Shane McMahon: And you’ll go to Japan, and it’ll be like, BOOYAH, they love American girls over there. You’ll fit right in. So hurry up and get on the goddamn
boat already. The last boat ride for Trish Stratus. Trish: Why can’t I take a plane? Shane: I’m not paying for this crap. Trish: But the boat- Shane: You’re stowing away on an Anime Freighter.
Suddenly, mist swirls around the car.
Khosrow Daivari: Oh, no! I did not hear about any fog today! I’m sorry ma’am, we’re going to be a little late! Trish: That’s fine. This is just a flashback. Daivari: Huh?
Trish finds herself in a nice suburban home in rural Toronto. An aging Chris Jericho greets her with a smile and a hug, and their two ugly children run up and give her a hug. Suddenly, a very confused Adam Bomb appears and waves his hand in front of his face.
Adam Bomb: You can’t see me, Trish! You can’t see me!
Then one of the children choke slams the other. Trish sits up and she’s back in the cab.
Trish: I don’t get it. I thought mist signaled flashback and poofy clouds signaled fantasy. Daivari: You know, many people believe that, but actually the mist will sometimes appear if you’re remembering a past that hasn’t happened yet. Trish: Huh? Daivari: What, I can’t know things? Trish: Turn this cab around. Daivari: I was afraid you might say that.
They pull up to Shane’s hotel as Shane is checking out.
Trish: Exactly what the hell is going on here? Shane: Oh, boy. You saw the vision, didn’t you. Trish: You’re damn right I did. What the hell was going on there? Shane: What do you want me to tell you? That one day in the distant future, Adam Bomb, longing for his glory days will invent a time machine that will accidentally transport you and your husband into the distant past where you will conceive two children? Trish: And the children? Shane: You saw them. It’s Undertaker and Kane. Trish: I’m Undertaker and Kane’s mother? Shane: Yes. And you and Chris will both die in a fire. Think about that. And think about all the crappy angles we could prevent if you just left Jericho here and went to Japan. Trish: That doesn’t have to be the future and you know it. Shane: But, Trish dear, it’s already the past. Trish: Uh…. Shane: Exactly. Trish: Shut up and let me fix all this. I know! I’ll just kill Adam Bomb. Shane: Well, that just fixes everything, doesn’t it?
Meltzer: What the hell was that all about? Alvarez: I don’t know. Cheetos? Meltzer: Time travel and Cheetos? I don’t see the connection. Alvarez: No, Jackoff. Do you want some Cheetos? Meltzer: I can’t feel my face. How long have we been sitting here? Alvarez: Three months. Meltzer: Then where’d you get those Cheetos? Alvarez: I imagined them into being. Meltzer: There are no Cheetos, are there? Alvarez: Aren’t there, Dave? Aren’t there? Meltzer: If I could lift my hand, I would punch you. Alvarez: Just try it. I’m wearing my lucky salad bowl.
Shane McMahon is holding the shards of Sting’s broken bat. Trish is standing behind him.
Trish: All right, now put that back together. Shane: You want me to crazy glue an old baseball bat together. Trish: Yes. Shane: You’re just doing this to annoy me aren’t you? Trish: Yes. Shane: Dammit. Well, that’s it then. I hope you and Jericho are happy together. I coulda hooked you up with my boy Pete Gas, but nooooo, you’re all atwitter for this Canadian dude. Trish: Shane, don’t be jealous.
She grabs his hand.
Shane: Damn your hands are cold, what have you been doing, soaking them in ice? Trish: Just for you. Shane: God that’s cold. Damn. I’m really happy your career is over now. Thanks a lot. You try to help some people…. Trish: You’re the best sugar daddy.
Eddie Guerrero wakes up on the floor of the limo, as Ric Flair pokes him from the seat.
Eddie: What the hell is that? Flair: This here is my trusty broomstick. I carried this stick to more five star matches than you can count, fat boy. Now, I carry it into war. Eddie: Where the hell are we? Flair: This is San Diego, the home of No Way Out. Eddie: Yeah, there’s that entrance ramp I saw on TV! Flair: I can only hope we’re not too late to save it. Eddie: No offense, Naitch, but I know we’re popular and all, but are the two of us really going to generate many buys? Flair: I hope like hell we will.
They approach the arena.
Flair: Now, a word of warning, Eddie. Mick Foley, the booker for this show was kind of hoping that Christian would be the big draw- Eddie: They really are in trouble. Flair: So it’s probably best you not mention that he died. Just…let him think that Christian’s late or something. Eddie: Well, golly Mr. Flair, that would be lying! I never do that, holmes. Flair: Just shut up. Let’s go.
They enter the office, which is full of dying cacti and crudely drawn, ripped up children’s books. A bulky man sits huddled in the corner, tearing at his hair.
Flair: You’re a glorified stuntman, Mick! You’re also a terrible writer! But at the moment, you need a draw for your Pay Per View, so I’m here to help! WOO! Foley: Help? HELP?! You’re right, I do need a draw for my Pay Per View, because my old draw is dead. DEAD DEAD DEAD!
Foley throws a holey, bloody Christian T-Shirt at Flair.
Eddie: So I guess he already knows, huh, esse? Flair: I guess so. Eddie: I just thought you should know, holmes. Christian died trying to save my nephew Chavito and me from a bunch of rappers. Flair: Even I think that sounds ridiculous. Eddie: So, in honor of that, I’d like to offer to work for you at this Christian Memorial Show. Flair: Really, we don’t have time for any of this. McMahon is coming, and Memorial Show or not, he’s going to come down here and kick our asses, especially hard after we got one of his shows cancelled! So gather what wrestlers you can, and call on Smackdown! By right, WOO, this is a Smackdown Pay Per View anyway. Call on Paul Heyman! Make amends! Let him book this show! Foley: I think, Nature Boy, that you are full of CRAP! Do you think that I will so easily hand over the book to you and your cronies? You that would have prevented me from ever winning a world title? I’m just going to let you waltz in here and let you do that to me? A hardcore legend? Maybe you just want me to let your boy Jericho waltz in here and set up shop however he wants, huh? Flair: You know very well, you stupid sonofabitch, that this is Jericho’s territory to run. Jericho’s, not yours. Jericho’s! Foley: Be that as it may, Naitch, if Jericho wants to be in charge of my wrestling company, he’ll have to pull it from my cold, dead mandible claw. BANG BANG!
Flair storms out with a confused Eddie trailing behind. Foley continues rocking, cradling Socko in his arms. Later that night, Flair sits on his hotel balcony while Eddie models his new ring gear.
Eddie: I was kind of hoping that I could be a ring announcer or something, you know? Do you think I could get out of wrestling if I told them I was injured? Flair: Oh, I think they’d like to have the Undisputed Champion on their show, wouldn’t you? Eddie: But Chris isn’t here he…you’re talking about me, aren’t you. Flair: So smart. That’s why you’re the champ! WOO! Eddie: Yeah, well, quit rubbing it in. Maybe I don’t want to be the champ anymore. Flair: You should go get some sleep, get ready for your match. Eddie: I used to love it, Ric, the roar of the crowd. I wonder how Benoit is handling all this pressure. Do you think he’s alright? Flair: I never had much hope for Benoit as champion. That “silent but violent” stuff plays on the midcard, but to be the champion, you have to have that certain spark. But, what do I know, huh? Eddie: Yeah. Flair: Vince will do everything he can to shut this show down. He’ll bring what’s left of RAW, Indy guys, whatever he can raid from TNA, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t bring some lucha guys in from Mexico, sailing along the coast to avoid boarder patrol. That’s how you got here isn’t it? Eddie: Uh, holmes, I’m from Texas. Flair: Sure you are. One last house show to go, before the Pay Per View. And if that house show fails, we’re pretty much screwed. Eddie: No we’re not. We’ve got the Nature Boy, esse. Flair: We’ll see what that means here in a few days.
As Flair narrates , in L.A., The Immortal Hulk Hogan straps on his boots and his Bandana, pulling over his boas and his weight belt and his nWo shirt and then riding out on his Harley, jowls shaking in the wind.
Flair: Vince has one last trick up his sleeve, but it’s a mighty good trick. A servant that cannot be defeated, cannot be harmed by any wrestler. It is said that he once single-handedly slayed a giant by lifting him up over his head and slamming him through the Earth, in front of 355,131 screaming fans. I guess, as tough as it is for me to say, Hulk Still Rules. But you should know that. Benoit jobbed to him once, you remember? He still bears the scar. Hulk Hogan…the greatest of all the egomaniacs. Eddie: I thought that was you. Flair: Shut up.
The Return of the King of the Ring Volume III, Chapter Four “In Which Vince McMahon Strikes Back”
In Long Beach, Chris Benoit, Tommy Dreamer, and Bret Hart peer over some shrubbery at an old, dilapidated armory. Bret shakes his head.
Hitman: They still won’t let me in that goddamn place. Benoit: What’s that? Hitman: The Cauliflower Alley Club. Bunch of assholes is all they are. You hear that, Thesz?! Let’s get out of here, they wouldn’t be happy to see any “modern” wrestlers.
Suddenly, the roar of a motorcycle draws Benoit’s attention.
Hitman: Uh, hello? I said “Let’s go!” Geez. Right here, this is the highway that will take us all the way to WrestleMania.
They walk a few hours more, to Hollywood and the Hollywood Hills.
Hitman: Now we climb. Dreamer: Can’t we just go around. Hitman: CLIMB!
Benoit starts to walk back towards the ocean.
Dreamer: That’s right Mr. Benoit! Swim! Swim to freedom! Hitman: Shut up, Dreamer. Come back, Chris! Where the hell does he think he’s going? Mania is thataway!
Tommy runs up and grabs Benoit.
Benoit: I can hear them, Tommy. It’s time for me to join the Cauliflower Alley Club. Hitman: Not before me it’s not!
Benoit holds up the belt in the direction of Long Beach. The sounds of dozens of old men coughing and sputtering their way through promos fills the air, even Ric Flair hears them and joins in the rambling. What wrestlers have gathered for No Mercy shiver as the death rattle passes by them, reminding them where they will all be in a few years if they don’t die this weekend. The doors of the club open, and Hulk Hogan rides out, boas flapping in the wind, he revs his engine and drives south.
Hogan: WHACHUGONNADO, BROTHER?! Benoit: ARG! I can feel Hogan’s power…compelling me to job.
Suddenly, “No Chance in Hell” fires up and a stream of wrestlers traverse the highway south from L.A. to San Diego. In San Diego, meanwhile, Ric Flair is shaking his head.
Flair: That’s pretty much it, then. It’s time for the greatest wrestling war WOO of our time.
Bret Hart shakes Dreamer and Benoit.
Hart: We’d best hurry up.
They climb. Back to Eddie and Flair.
Flair: Well, we’ve had a good run. Sixteen times, WOO, World’s champion. Eddie, I’ve got a task for you to perform. Eddie: I’ve got…uh…choir practice. Sorry, esse. Flair: You can either do this now, or I’ll hit you with my broom stick until you do. Eddie: Geez, fine. Flair: Fail me, and die. Eddie: I said I’d do it, holmes, no need to pile on!
In Oceanside, California, a house show is underway. Vince McMahon’s army slithers outside the arena.
Rhyno: Quiet! When they come out…GORE GORE GORE!
Inside, Edge stands at the ready.
Edge: They’re outside. We’ll show those hosebags. Make for the parking lot! Rhyno: Screw this. Into the building!
Rhyno and his group charge in. When they pass, Edge yells for his men to start the fight, and he Spears Maven. Elsewhere, Eddie Guerrero is using suction cups to pull himself up a building.
Eddie: How did I get myself into this crap?
When Eddie gets to the top of the building, he presses the pyro button, and the Nitro sign above him explodes, throwing him off the building. With a smile, Ric Flair watches Eddie fall from below.
Flair: That’ll show him. The bastard. Now, let’s see if that did anything.
Several miles away….
Billy Kidman: Oh, snap! Did you guys see that? That giant inexplicable Nitro sign just exploded! I’ve gotta call somebody and tell them about this!
Kidman calls Akio who calls Spike Dudley who calls Danny Basham who calls Scotty 2 Hotty who calls Chris Jericho.
Jericho: How the hell did you get this number?
Jericho runs into the building and flags down Paul Heyman who is informing John Cena and Stacy Keibler that, unfortunately, he wouldn’t be able to pay them this week, but that next week he would surely give them double.
Jericho: Stop everything you’re doing right now! I just got a phone call from Scotty 2 Hotty! The Alamo in San Antonio exploded! Cena: Shawn Michaels? Jericho: I don’t know. Heyman: That’s it! You attack and kill my superstars, that’s one thing. But you attack random people I care nothing about? Now it’s personal. We’re taking the fight right to McMahon’s doorstep in San Diego, California! Stacy: Oh boy! I know this really cute shoe store there! Orton: Yay! Jericho: Stacy, I really don’t think you should be going with us. Stacy: Come on, Chris. Shoes! Jericho: Hey, it’s your funeral. Stacy: Yeah, and I’m not dying without really cute shoes. This company is yours to control, Chris. Everybody will follow your lead. Jericho: That was both meaningful and awkward. Stacy: We’re getting close to the end of the story. Such things can’t be avoided. Jericho: Buh? Orton: SHOES! Stacy: I know isn’t it great! Heyman: Come, men. It’s time to find out whether or not we’re going to die at No Way Out or Wrestlemania. Anybody who survives this one, I owe them a pizza!
John Cena moves up to the front of the pack to rally the troops.
Cena: What’s up with my CHAIN GANG?
Yo, yo, yo, yo, yo, yo, YO
McMahon thinks he’s tough But it’s not enough, He’s old school, All covered in drool.
It’s time to show him the new Time to show him how we do, We’re not gonna back down We’re coming with the Smackdown
San Diego, we make our last stand Time to find out if we Eminem or DJ Ran
Cena drives on.
Tazz: Brotha, I didn’t understand a word of that. Jericho: Just do what I do, Tazz. Nod and smile. Just nod and smile.
Back in Oceanside, McMahon’s troops have captured all the concessions and merchandise booths.
Snow: Without a steady supply of hotdogs and “619” Keychains, this whole thing is pretty much a lost cause.
Edge neatly dodges a bag of popcorn.
Edge: All right, round up the troops. We’re heading on to No Way Out. Screw the house show. Snow: But what about the fans? Edge: I don’t have time for those hosebags. Gather what food and booze you can and meet me at the emergency exits! Snow: Yes, sir!
A black-hoodied figure flies in out of nowhere, hitting Kenzo Suzuki with a Diamond Cutter.
Black-Hoodied Rider: BANG! Snow: Crap! The Black-Hoodied Riders! Edge: Run! Head to the parking lot, we’ll meet back in North Carolina!
Al Snow breaks into a run, but he trips over Head and gets hit with a Gorilla Press Slam and a Big Splash. Al Snow has fallen. Rhyno celebrates the McMahon victory.
Rhyno: This is awesome. Just fricking awesome. I feel like goring some crap. Maven! Maven: Yes, sir?
Rhyno gores Maven. Meanwhile, Edge and the rest of his men drive towards San Diego being followed closely by the black-hoodied riders. As they approach the San Diego city limits, the riders are cut off by a white limo. Ric Flair gets out and begs off. When the riders stop to check on him, Flair pokes them all in the eye. Defeated, the riders turn around and head back to Oceanside. Edge pulls up alongside Flair.
Edge: This sucks. Flair: You’re telling me. I have to share a hotel room with Eddie Guerrero. Scotty 2 Hotty: Man, Mick saw this coming, man. Vince is trying to kill us all. Did you see what he did to poor Al Snow? Scary, man! Flair: What has Mick Foley done to save this PPV? He’s nothing but an old retired garbage wrestler. And whether he wants to admit it or not, I’ve always been a better booker. Edge: I should have kept that scruffy bearded kid and the fat guy around. I bet they would have saved poor Al. Flair: What? Eddie: Have you seen Chris Benoit, holmes? And Tommy? Edge: Yeah. Flair: Well, geez, why didn’t you say so before? Where are they? Edge: I cut them loose in Arizona. Those chumpstains probably died in the desert. Benoit didn’t look so hot. Plus they were headed towards L.A., I think. But the scraggly looking one in Hammer Pants wanted to stop off in Hollywood. Flair: Hollywood? HOLLYWOOD?!
Flair takes off his tie and stomps around, knee dropping his tie along the way.
Eddie: What’d the tie do? Flair: Edge! Edge, by God, Tian! You’ve got to tell me what ever you know. Edge: I dunno, it’s pretty boring…. Flair: You’ve got something better to do? Edge: No, no. Just…bring something to drink is all I’m saying. Flair: And I’ll bring some fine ladies too! WOO!
Tonight I wanna ruin my life, I wanna throw it all away, In a spectacular way
It's very readable, & certainly up to your usual standard of excellence. For me personally, it's something that I might refer to about a specific match-up, but probably wouldn't read through as a regular thing.