~Massacre fades in with a pyro display and Chicago fanatics cheering wildly and loudly. Cameras pan the arena to the screaming masses before settling ringside with Hood and Jones.
JONES: Hood, we’re live from the United Center!
HOOD: We’re in Chicago, Jones! Some of the most passionate fans in the entire industry reside right here in the Windy City!
~In the ring, a table draped in a red covering and a couple of chairs rest on either side.
JONES: We’re about to be joined by someone for something but Hood, neither of us have been clued in on our run sheet. What have you heard?
HOOD: Jones, I’m completely left in the dark on this one.
JONES: That’s the music of Majority Owner Thaddeus Duke!
HOOD: It’s starting to make sense, Jones! This past week, he’d been tweeting a bit of a countdown so maybe this has to do with that!
~Thad emerges from backstage wearing a Gucci suit. Open at the collar and no tie. Chicago pours their hate onto him as behind him, his big man blind side protector Cyrus Braddock emerges along with Marcus Welsh. Cy has a grip on the back of Welsh’s neck as they make their way toward the ring.
JONES: Hood, I don’t like the looks of what we’re seeing here!
HOOD: Thad has a plan! What that plan is, I don’t know! And whether people like him or hate him, he has OCW’s best interest at heart!
~Thad, Cyrus and Welsh by force, make their way into the ring.
JONES: I’m not sure he does, Hood! I think he has his own best interest at heart!
HOOD: He’s the majority owner, Jones! Those two things are not mutually exclusive! Whatever he’s doing, whether it’s benefitting OCW or himself, it’s always a benefit to him one way or another! That’s just the nature of business!
~Cyrus forces Welsh to sit in a chair. Welsh immediately tries to stand up, but big Cy places both of his bear mitts on either of Welsh’s shoulders, keeping him seated as Thaddeus takes a seat across from him. The music dies out as Thad smirks across the table at Marcus Welsh.
THAD: I told you last week that I was gonna make you tow the line. See Marcus, I know you’ve been working against me.
WELSH: That just isn’t true…
~Thad looks up at Cy and nods. Without warning, Cy forces Marcus face first into the table, bloodying his nose.
THAD: Only speak when I tell you to. Now Marcus, I have no problem with you. I have no problem with you being the OCW Roster Whisperer if that’s what you wanted to be but I have this suspicion that you were conspiring against me. That you were planting seeds in order to somehow some way take my majority from me. That you were planning all along to overthrow me.
What’s more is… the Strader’s were helping you do it.
HOOD: He’s got nothing to say because it’s true!
JONES: You don’t know that! WE don’t know that!
HOOD: Oh come on! Welsh has regretted selling off pieces of this company since the moment he did it!
JONES: I think it’s just paranoia!
THAD: This is where you talk.
WELSH: Thad, please believe me.
~Cy hands a handkerchief to Welsh as Thad stands from his seat. He slowly paces the ring as Welsh cleans himself up.
WELSH: I have not been conspiring against you. Doing that would be detrimental to OCW because there’s nothing stopping you from doing something drastic like shutting us down. Or worse yet, selling us to another promotion.
~Thad stops pacing and looks directly at Marcus.
THAD: OCW is not for sale.
~He points toward the entrance way.
THAD: THEY’RE mine.
JONES: I hate it when he’s right.
HOOD: All of us in OCW live by his grace!
JONES: Jesus Christ.
~Thad retakes his seat across from Welsh.
THAD: I’m a giving man, Marcus. This is the part of tonight’s proceedings where I give you the opportunity to prove to me that you can tow the line. This is the part Marcus, where you prove your loyalty to OCW and by OCW… I mean me.
WELSH: What would you have me do?
THAD: It’s really very simple. Tonight. Right now. You are going to announce to the world that OCW is terminating the contracts of anyone with the name Strader.
~Chicago boo’s loudly at the prospect of the literal backbone of OCW being terminated.
JONES: You have got to be kidding!
HOOD: YES! HAHAHAHAHA! I never thought I’d see the day but here we are! Thaddeus Duke has played his cards and is manufacturing the exit of the Strader’s from OCW!
~Thad flashes a smirk toward the booing OCW faithful. Welsh meanwhile, shakes his head.
WELSH: I won’t do it.
~The sold out United Center pops big for Marcus Welsh’s denial.
WELSH: You can’t make me do that, Thad!
THAD: That’s where you’re wrong. I can make you do anything I want and there’s nothing and no one that can stop me. I can and will act autonomously and above reproach from this point forward. Those ungrateful assholes in the back have not even once thanked me for saving their pathetic fucking lives Marcus. Instead, they chose to hate me based on… based on what exactly?
WELSH: That’s you! It’s how you carry yourself! You ignore everything if it isn’t about you! You can’t blame…
THAD: What I do is none of your or their concern. I haven’t ignored a single thing as it pertains to OCW and our television product. Just because I don’t make public mention of something doesn’t mean I don’t pay attention.
It’s my job to pay attention.
It’s my job to analyze the highs and lows of our broadcasts. However, it’s not my job to sell things for them. That’s why we have an advertising team. It’s why we have broadcasters sitting at ringside.
Well, a broadcaster and Jones, anyway.
WELSH: The Strader’s are central to OCW, Thad. You can’t make me fire them. Without the Strader’s, the entire roster falls apart. Morale drops. Thad…
THAD: The Strader’s are a fucking cancer to MY company. And we need to cure it.
THAD: Lucky for you, I planned for your refusal to do what is asked of you.
~Thad looks up at Cy who grips Welsh by the back of his neck. Thad then pulls a rolled up stack of pages from inside his jacket and slams it down on the table.
THAD: This ends tonight, one of two ways Marcus. You either fire the Strader’s… or sign that contract.
~Welsh unrolls the contract in front of him and closes his eyes in disgust.
WELSH: If I sign this, there’s nothing stopping you from terminating them anyway.
THAD: I got news for you, there’s nothing stopping me from doing it whether you sign that or not. So Marcus, you fire them now. Or you sign that contract. I am a man of my word despite what people might think of me. I’m giving you my word that I will not terminate the Strader’s as long as you sign that contract.
HOOD: What’s in the contract!?
JONES: That’s the million dollar question, isn’t it?
THAD: Do you think I’ve been a bad owner?
~Welsh shakes his head.
THAD: THEN SIGN THE GODDAMN CONTRACT!
~Cy forces Welsh’s face first against the contract and the table.
JONES: Oh come on!
HOOD: I just thought of something.
JONES: It’s about time.
HOOD: Thad’s goal was never to fire the Strader’s! His goal was to put Welsh in an impossible predicament. One where he feels like he has no other choice. Thaddeus Duke’s end game here was getting Marcus Welsh to sign that contract!
~After a nod from his boss, Cy lets up on Marcus Welsh. He grips the back of his neck and rubs his face. Reluctantly, Welsh flips through the pages and finally signs his name before sliding the contract back to Thad. Welsh sits back against his chair in total defeat. Thad jumps up out of his chair triumphantly.
THAD: I am a man of my word, Marcus! The Strader’s can keep their jobs. But now that this contract is signed and I am the 90% owner of OCW…
THAD: I hereby don’t give a fuck about your future endeavors. Marcus Welsh, you’re fired!
THAD: Stay tuned ladies and gentlemen. Later tonight I plan to hold my own coronation as the King of all things OCW now that I’ve consolidated power. Until then, last week I sent a message to someone. I gave them a green light on Marcus Welsh… so without further adieu…
~The sound of “KINGDOM” by Jaxson Gamble fills the United Center as the fans leap up to their feet.
JONES: This just went from bad to worse!
HOOD: Is it Christmas already?! THE KING OF EVERYTHING HAS ARRIVED!!!
~The crowd unexpectedly cheers wildly as HOW Hall of Famer and current HOW LSD Champion Jace Parker Davidson appears out on stage. Jace is dressed casually and has the LSD Championship belt around his waist. He looks out at the crowd and soaks in the approval as Welsh looks like he’s going to be sick.
JONES: For those of you that didn’t tune in last night to HOW’s Dead or Alive PPV. Our own Bob Grenier took on HOW HOTv Champion Clay Byrd in a bull rope match. Marcus Welsh showed up to the event and tried to help Grenier secure the victory and the title but was ultimately chased literally out of town by Jace Parker Davidson.
HOOD: Welsh has been ducking JPD ever since screwing him out of the OCW Savage Championship belt at Truth or Consequences. And now Thaddeus Duke is serving up Marcus on a platter to the most hated man in OCW history!
~JPD extends his arms and begins to bow to the crowd here in Chicago as members of HOW EPU file out on stage behind the LSD Champion. Jace begins his journey down the ramp followed by ten different EPU members. He reaches out and slaps hands with the fans while continuing his slow walk to the ring. JPD makes his way up the steel ring steps followed by two members of the EPU. The other eight circle the ringside area as JPD enters the ring. The two EPU members follow as JPD walks over and stares down at Marcus Welsh.
JONES: Thaddeus Duke is the 90% owner of OCW and just fired Marcus Welsh and now not only is Marcus without a job but he might end up in the hospital thanks to the former OCW Savage Champion.
HOOD: Stop! I can only get but so erect right now! Just shut up and let me enjoy this…
JONES: You’re sick!
HOOD: No, I’m aroused!
~JPD reaches down with both hands and grabs Marcus by the collar of his shirt. Welsh flinches as JPD yanks him to his feet out of the chair. JPD looks Welsh up and down as the crowd waits with a hushed silence. Suddenly JPD lets go of Welsh’s collar then brushes off his shoulders. JPD straightens Welsh’s suit and then pats him on the back gently. JPD gestures towards the two EPU members inside of the ring as Welsh is completely puzzled. The EPU members hold the ropes open for the former OCW minority owner and allow him to leave the ring unharmed and escort him to the backstage area.
JONES: What just happened? Did Jace Parker Davidson just do something…. Nice?!
HOOD: Our King is a generous man, he has allowed Marcus Welsh to live to see another day!
~Welsh makes his way up the ramp still completely confused but relieved that he didn’t get his ass handed to him on top of getting terminated. Inside of the ring JPD requests a microphone of his own as Thaddeus Duke doesn’t look too pleased at all. JPD gestures of Thad to take a seat as he sits down in the chair once occupied by Welsh.
DAVIDSON: Did I just let Marcus Welsh leave the United Center unharmed? Weird, right?
~Thaddeus doesn’t respond but he does take a seat across from JPD.
DAVIDSON: I’ll get to that in a moment but there is something I need to do first…
~JPD turns his head to look out at the crowd.
DAVIDSON: Hello Chicago!!!!
~The crowd cheers wildly as JPD waves his arms into the air hyping them up. After a few moments the crowd quiets down and JPD focuses his attention on Thaddeus. JPD reaches into his pocket with his free hand and pulls out his phone before showing it to the 90% owner of OCW.
DAVIDSON: That’s you, right? I got the message and let me tell you I was chomping at the bit at the prospect of beating the ever loving shit out of Marcus Welsh. Especially after last night in Tombstone but then I remembered I don’t give a shit about Clay Byrd or any of The Highwaymen. So, regardless of what I just did here a second ago I want to thank you Thaddeus Duke.
~JPD takes a moment to put his phone away.
DAVIDSON: And congratulations on becoming 90% owner of OCW. That’s a hell of a thing you managed to pull off. But honestly, I would have preferred it if you just fired all of the Straders. That’s neither here nor there but you Mr. Duke… I like a lot of things you have done and want to do with OCW. We are sort of cut from the very same mold and we both detest the whiny, soft, entitled nature of a majority of the OCW roster. I could see a very mutually benefitting partnership between you and I…
~JPD’s voice lingered for a moment as he leaned back in his chair.
DAVIDSON: But then you went and did something stupid.
~The crowd pops for a moment. Cyrus steps a step forward towards JPD but Thaddeus holds out his arm to keep his big man from making a move.
DAVIDSON: See last week you made a very theatrical performance where you opened the gates to High Octane Wrestling. Very well done, I can see why you’re a movie star and own your own production company or whatever it is that you do in your spare time. And I 100% agree that the OCW roster brought this upon themselves. Those that deny change, that refuse to evolve with the times should be rightfully punished but here’s the thing twinkle toes…
~JPD kicks his feet up onto the desk.
DAVIDSON: You didn’t have to open the gates to High Octane Wrestling because High Octane Wrestling was already here!
~JPD pats the LSD Championship belt around his waist as the crowd begins to chant.
CROWD: JPD! JPD! JPD! JPD! JPD!
DAVIDSON: I know you’re a cranky little guy because no one appreciates that you saved them from some island or something but see I wasn’t on that island Thad. And Marcus Welsh? He’s a fucking idiot no doubt but he was an fucking idiot that signed me to my contract. He was a fucking idiot that could be reigned in and lead like a lamb to slaughter. But you? You’re smarter than that, aren’t you?
~Thaddeus begins saying something to JPD that isn’t quite picked up by his microphone.
DAVIDSON: I was all on board with this entire thing. Seemed like a good deal but then you had to invoke the name High Octane Wrestling. You had to come here to Chicago of all places…
~Another pop from the crowd.
DAVIDSON: And slap your dick onto the table. You became the unquestioned owner of OCW and I have a problem with that. Chicago is HOW territory if you didn’t know that Thad. The Best Arena is right around the corner and if anyone is going to make a power move… if anyone is going to slap their dick onto the table it’s going to be me.
~Thaddeus goes to get up from his seat but JPD motions for him to sit back down.
DAVIDSON: I’ll make it simple for you Thad. You see, I just don’t want MY OCW Savage Championship belt. I just don’t want the OCW World Tag Team Championship belts. And I just don’t want the OCW Championship belt. I. WANT. OCW!
HOOD: THIS IS UNPRECEDENTED!!!
~Thaddeus shoots up to his feet in anger but JPD does the exact same thing and the two men meet face to face in the center of the ring.
DAVIDSON: Your little power grab here is cute and all but as a member of The Board, as the leading man when it comes to PWA talent. I came to OCW not to just win titles and be a part of the ‘gang’ backstage. I came here to plant the HOW flag and take complete control of this company. With the GOD of HOW backing me I’m going to do just that. So, consider me as your competition Thaddeus and enjoy your rule over this place while it lasts. So have your coronation and your celebration. Run amuck while you can… because time is ticking away.
~JPD turns to walk away from Thad but stops and turns his head to look back at the 90% owner.
DAVIDSON: Oh, and by the way if you think about firing me? You can’t. I signed a PWA contract and since Marcus and yourself agreed to put OCW under the PWA umbrella I have an iron clad status in this company. I was a part of the problem before Thad, but now? High Octane Wrestling and yours truly are the WHOLE GODDAMN PROBLEM!
~JPD drops the microphone then exits the ring as the crowd cheers wildly.
JONES: First Thaddeus gets Welsh to sign over his shares of the company to him and now JPD wants to take OCW as a whole in the name of HOW?! I knew this was a bad idea!
~Thad looks on at Davidson leaving ringside. A smirk appears on his face.
HOOD: What a way to kick off this show! Welsh has been fired and now Thaddeus Duke and Jace Parker Davidson are going to war over control of this company.
JONES: And Thad is… smiling!?
HOOD: Classic OCW, baby!
~JPD celebrates with a couple of fans at ringside before he and the other members of the EPU head backstage.