Author Topic: Starmaker Ladder Match  (Read 52 times)

Offline Joe

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Starmaker Ladder Match
« on: January 09, 2018, 09:33:04 PM »
Standard Match!

1 RP Limit
4000 Word Limit

Please check your word count

Deadline: Sunday, January 21, 2018 at 11:59pm Eastern

Good Luck!

Offline James Ceno

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Re: Starmaker Ladder Match
« Reply #1 on: January 10, 2018, 10:43:00 PM »
A new opportunity, a new beginning, a new chance at greatness: this is what James Ceno recognized in reading through his contract for Carnage Wrestling. He just had to mail it in afterwards, after all the signatures are put down on the paper.

The contemplation started after finishing a training session at the Mean Machine School of Wrestling. Even after working up a sweat, even after dipping into the ice bath to shock the muscles into recovery, even after signing HSW autographs, it all felt so quiet. It wasnít more obvious or apparent as he packed his gym bag with his dirty clothes for washing, as he looked at the North American Heavyweight title. It was a blank stare; nothing compared to what he felt when he first won it. After the Winter Survival PPV, things went dead: no card, no talking to anyone, no pay. He left the North American belt in his locker as he packed his things to head home, but it wasnít the home that he made in Vegas to stay close to the school. In his apartment, he had bags packed to fly back to Hamilton, Ontario, to be at home and find some work to keep him occupied and paid. It wasnít like there was anyone waiting for him anywhere.

However, a cryptic text from Jack caught him off guard.

Jack Michaels, The Blast From the Past: he became Cenoís mentor, although the age gap wasnít huge; the man just had more credentials and better results. It honed Cenoís ground work and striking, while strengthening his grappling and technical skills. It allowed James to give up on most of his flying through the air, especially since, at his age, the beating a body takes performing those manoeuvres was just not worth it anymore.

As for the text, Ceno couldnít make heads or tails of it at first, but it included a phone number to a Human Resources team. He didnít know who it was, until he called.

HR: Hello, Carnage Wrestling Human Resources.

It took James a second to process to whom he was talking, but the conversation went as it usually does for a wrestler looking for work. The questions were just as trivially boring as well: going through company history, achievements, draw rates, etc. But the questions werenít as probing, as if there was already a reference in line. After giving his address to the HR person on the other line, the address where he lives in Ontario, they had a pleasant, short conversation and they ended the call.

JC: Jack, did you just get me another job?

James asked himself this question and shrugged, getting on his flight to Canada on time, no significant delays.

Back to where the scene was before: the contract in James Cenoís hands, as he reads the fine print and sign off. He made sure to analyze every detail, as he has seen a few contracts pass through his hands enough to know. Then again, he had a lawyer acquaintance of his ready for speed dial if and where needed, highlighter next to him so he knew where to look.

There was an email sent to him by the Carnage administrative group, since he was a prospect still, regardless of his contract being signed. The next pay-per-view was coming up already: Act of Defiance. His name was already on the card of the Starmaker match, a ladder stipulation match that looked and sounded similar to Money in the Bank. The names were listed on the card sample as well, one of them being Eli Goode, another being Kelsi Parr but Eliís name meant a little more to him. James smiled and he signed off on the last few lines of the contract after reading them over five minutes.

The email was encouraging, and, as he slipped the contract into the protective envelope provided by Carnage via FedEx, he knew he had to get into a ring and get himself back up to fighting form, and he knew just who to call. Best part of it, he could get a decent promo out of it as well.

However, from what he has seen from Amber, from Jack and from Leon, hell, even from Eli, he had to change his style, mix it up and bring it back in a new way, a fresher way, a way that strengthened his game enough to push himself to another level. That level may not guarantee championships, let alone promote himself enough for victories, but at least it will be enough of a change of pace to give him that early push.

He called FedEx for the pickup, and while he waited, he called the indie fed where he worked for a small amount of time before he joined HSW, asking them if they want to have him do a few guest spots. They were quick to say yes, since James was always a professional inside and out of the ring. James wrote down all the dates they were offering, and he mentioned that he could only be there when he can be available. After negotiating pay rate, which Ceno took at a flat rate based on appearance and draw rate, they agreed to Jamesí terms of appearing on what dates he could, unless Carnage called him up for a promo or an appearance, considering the pay-per-view was taking place in Baltimore.

Of course, the appearance of Ceno in the indie fed was going to be a surprise match for the championship in the territory, and the minute his music, ďHellĒ by Disturbed, played on the speakers, it took the duration of the song before the fans started to calm down, the champion in the ring, a new kid that won the title through the string of events that Ceno was absent for, starting to panic, as he was a heel champion and the fansí reaction spoke of a superhero babyface. The music died down and the referee started to count, and then the music restarted and Ceno burst through the curtain, standing at the top of the stage. Of course, the heel started to freak out as the ref stopped his count; the heel urged the ref to start counting again as Ceno slowly walked, at a Deadman pace, looking into the ring and staring at the heel as he moved like a cornered prey animal. By the time Ceno got to the apron, he leaned against the ropes on the opposite side of the ring, ready to run away. The on-air commissioner (which was an angle they were using), a former wrestler of note in the area, stood up from the commentary table and confronted the heel, who was distracted enough for Ceno to enter the ring, much to the fansí adoration, and the bell to ring. The heel, a good seller and actor according to everyone Ceno talked to, froze and turned slowly, as if it was the Undertaker himself in the ring across from him. Ceno just smiled and stood there, and thatís when the offence started.

It was a gruelling 60 minutes of catch as catch can wrestling, Ceno also keeping up with some of the heelís acrobatics. The climax and finish came to Ceno hitting the Electric Fire, leaving the heel in a crumpled-up heap, prompting Ceno to just take a tired knee and fold him up. However, just as the two-count was seconds from a three, the bell rang. James got up and raised his arms, but he saw the ref shake his head, flooded over by the fansí adoring cheers. Ceno lowered his arms once the ref told him what happened, which was discussed: the three-count fell after the 60-minute time limit, and the match ended in a draw. Ceno wasnít pleased, but he took a deep breath and crossed his arms, the fans not knowing what was going on, until the ring announcer took over.

RA: Due to the 60 minutes elapsing before the pin fall could be counted, the match is a DRAW!

The fans were in uproar, booing as the ref was about to give the belt to a slowly rousing heel, but Ceno ripped the title away. The fans were booing, but, as the Firestorm pulled the heel onto his feet, he handed him the belt and let him run away, and the heel laughed at Ceno, as if he won the match. James was given a microphone, and the Firestorm lit it up.

JC: Now now, people, let the baby run away with his belt. He fought, and he got lucky that time was on his side. So I think a more appropriate chant is merited here. How do people actually feel about him?

The fans followed Jamesí coaxing, and the ďassholeĒ chants, reminiscent of the Attitude Era, echoed through the small venue. He smiled as the heel scowled and ran into the back, behind the curtain. James has his own turn to laugh.

JC: Thereís nothing like beating a dog into submission, but I was a second too late. Next time, and there will be a next time, I will make it so youíre not so lucky, kid! But I know what the rest of you people are thinking.

No longer facing the stage, he turns to look to the fans, facing them as much as he can without spinning around like an idiot. He wanted to make sure he had the eye contact of at least 75% of the people there, which was easy for a building capacity of just over 2000. While James did love the bigger crowds, the intimacy of the small crowds made for a more thrilling atmosphere, especially for testing new strategies or moves.

But he wasnít in for practising anything new. He was here to hone, to perfect, to remember what it felt like to be the hero and the babyface after playing a heel in HSW. Sure, he was going in neutral into Act of Defiance and Carnage as a whole, but he needed to remember what it was to be a winner to the fans.

JC: Where is the North American Heavyweight Championship I won in HSW? Where did I leave that title? Quite frankly, I left it in Vegas, where it belongs, with HSW. Yes, Iím still HSW and active there, but until it wants to be active for me, Iím not only here, but Iím going to be wrestling in Carnage Wrestling!

Some of the fans cheered; they were definitely the smarks, but even they didnít know that James literally signed his contract the day before.

JC: I hear a few smarks in the audience who watch Carnage Wrestling. Given its general size, I can assume that you watch it online. Personally, I wouldnít know how to watch it, but soon, Iíll be watching matches from backstage, kicking my feet up until I need to do my pre-match warmups, and then I jump in the shower and get into my clothes before watching the rest of the show. That is, of course, unless Iíve earned my spot in the main event, which came quick in HSW. However, Carnage is brand new to me. HSW, I knew people there and they knew me, so they knew how to book me for maximum effect, and it worked, and I drew. But this is a new creature that I must learn, so I can ride it hard or get bucked off, and I expect to be bucked off a few times before I figure out how to stay on. Thatís why my first match is going to be a critical showing.

The fans stay quiet, as Ceno takes a deep breath. It was still a lot for him to digest: already signing to a new contract within a group of mostly strangers, and he was in the match equivalent of their Money in the Bank, where he could take any opportunity for any title at any time. It was the big time.

JC: The Starmaker, Carnageís equivalent match to the Money in the Bank, which every promotion seems to be incorporating, will have names like Eli Goode and Kelsi Parr in it, but no match and no card has the same drawing power or name recognition, especially after I make my presence known, as James Ceno, the Firestorm!

The fans start cheering, as they know exactly what heís talking about after the reference to the Money in the Bank. He raises a fist and takes another deep breath.

It was almost overwhelming, because it had been a good long while since the fans actively cheered him on. He swallowed back the tears, but he also knew that he had to steel himself to the inevitable boos that would haunt him if he deposes the favourite babyface that will be in the match. But it was all a part of the game.

JC: This is where the real fun begins. This is where the Firestorm will pick up all that fuel and run amok across Carnage Wrestling, and I will truly show them what Carnage is! I will leave no one safe and nothingness in my wake, nothing but the victory I fight to achieve! You know me; they donít. You know what Iím capable of; they donít! You know how many people Iíve destroyed; they DONíT! Well...

James took a deep breath, slowly bringing his heart rate down and cooling himself off, as if a splash of cooled water was being thrown onto something or someone overheating. A fan in the audience could swear that all he or she saw was Ceno blowing off steam.

JC: The Firestorm found his way to a new home, and they will soon learn what I can do: burn everyone to the ground!

He threw the microphone aside and looks out to the fans. Well, it was more like looking past the fans. His music started to play as he exited the ring, head down in quiet contemplation as he slipped into the backstage area.

He woke from his reverie to the sound of applause from the other wrestlers. He smiled and waved to people, thanking them as he continued to the private locker room they gave him. The heel walked up to him and thanked him for the strong showing. James smiled and shook his hand.

JC: Just keep it up. The angle says youíre dropping the title; as Iím sure you know, but let it give you that push to shift or to get better as you are.

Ceno gave him a courtesy smile as he was thanked for the advice, slipping into the private locker room, quietly locking the door. He sat against the door and tried to slow his heart rate, closing his eyes and taking deep breaths. It was an intense feeling: anxiety and excitement and panic all balled up and being forced down his throat...

He reached over to his bag and pulled out his phone, reading that his FedEx was received, only for the next email to be from Carnage administration again, welcoming him to the roster. It was official: James Ceno is now a member of the Carnage roster.

There was a postscript in the email, asking James for a video package and video interview talking about his career in the past and what got him to this point. That would be an activity for another day. He got his shower and dressed, heading home for a good but restless sleep.

The next morning, James gathered his ornamental titles, all of which were kept in the loft where he was currently residing; he had moved to it after some of the money was earned from his work in HSW. He set up a camera, showing his trophy cabinet, where he placed all the title belts. Getting into the shot, he had to take a deep breath to contain much of his giddy nervousness and overwhelming anxiety before hitting the record button on a remote connected to the camera; he waits for the red recording light to come to life.

JC: Welcome to Hamilton, Ontario. I am James Ceno, the newest member of the Carnage roster and, as you look at my little trophy case here, a future champion in the organization. My career has seen many ups and down, more downs than ups of course; you canít win them all, but my record might as well be 0-0 now, because Iím new to Carnage, and I will be remiss if I start my record with a blemish, especially with my first match taking place live at Act of Defiance. Instead of starting me in what we on the inside call a dark match, Iím diving straight into it; Iím taking part in the Starmaker. For those of you new to Carnage Wrestling, the Starmaker is essentially the Money in the Bank: a ladder match where the winner gets a shot at any given champion at any given time for that championís title.

James also speaks with his hands, being part Italian; he couldnít help it. He was trying to contain his emotions as best he could, given the circumstances.

JC: There are names I donít recognize, so theyíre not very committed to my memory. Iím sure, if and when given the chance, I will have some great matches with them, whether they are beloved superstars or hated villains. However, there are two names I do recognize: Kelsi Parr and, a favourite rival of mine, Eli Goode. Knowing theyíre in this match, it excites me to be facing two people I have known since my time in EWE before it folded, which allows me to segue into my story.

Ceno takes a pause and a deep breath, looking still at the camera, before turning to each title.

JC: I started here, at Blood ĎNí Guts Wrestling. This was my debut. This is where I first cut my teeth. Eventually, I made my way into a match against the champion and won this: the bNg Hellís Championship. I also became the longest-running champion with this belt, one of my accolades being able to last in a 5-way match, essentially a championship scramble, retaining the belt with style.

I then moved on to the organization and family I knew for most of my career: EWE, Extreme Wrestling Entertainment. I got to be in some really high-profile matches to prove my mettle, and, while I was relegated to dominate the midcard, I faced the likes of Jeff Payne, Christy Clark-Chaos, Jack Michaels, CM Punk, Android 18, Kris Jaxson and Alessandro Quagliaterre. I was in main event matches and I held my own, earning the respect of my peers through my perseverance and professionalism, as well as earning the All-American and X-Division Championship titles.

And from the ashes of that organization came the one that many Carnage competitors might be familiar with, or at least aware of: High Stakes Wrestling. It encouraged wrestlers to come in and explore their best sides, coming from all over the world of wrestling, as well as sending its wrestlers as ambassadors for HSW and to improve the pedigree of said wrestlers to allow for more captivating and competitive angles and stories. It was here, in a competitive match with Eli Goode, I captured the North American Heavyweight Championship title. Sure, I used heel tactics, but that was my character at the time.

Ceno pauses for a moment, catching his breath and making sure he was talking clearly, by slowing his breathing.

JC: But this is where the new chapter starts, Carnage Wrestling and Carnage fans. The Firestorm has come into your midst, nothing more than a spark catching on some kindling. Itís a small thing at first, but the fire grows hot, burns hotter, and begins to swallow everything whole. It sucks in victims into fire tornadoes and spits out smouldering cinders. It surrounds you, it encapsulates all, leaving nothing but ashes in its wake. The heat alone is enough to conjure its own lightning out of nowhere, shocking you before you have a chance to get away. The smoke chokes you, the wind dries your body because of the intense heat, and you will crumble into dust.

Ceno chuckles to himself.

JC: And thatís on a good day, but Iíve said enough. Iíll let my actions do the rest of the talking. Thank you for listening, Carnage. This is the Firestorm, James Ceno. I will see you all at Act of Defiance, on Sunday, January 21, live on pay-per-view.

Ceno presses the remoteís stop button, and the recording light shuts off. He takes a deep breath and sits down in a close-by chair. He leans back in his seat and thinks. Starmaker... facing Kelsi Parr and Eli Goode... new beginnings, new opportunities...

Everyone had better watch themselves, whether he exists to Paragon or not.