Marie stood at the top of the hill, looking over her hometown. The sun was beginning to set over the ocean, forcing her to shade her eyes a little. She used to like this place, the noise of the city not quite making it up this far, and even the nearby high school - her high school - was silent for the summer. She and her mom had gone hiking up here so many times - but that was the problem now, wasn't it? Now, all this hill was to her was the place where her mother was laid to rest.
It wasn't a grave; her mother had been quite clear in her will about being cremated. But they had scattered her ashes here, six years ago.
Six years didn't seem right. Was it possible for something to seem like it was both more and less time ago that it actually was? Because on one hand, it seemed like just yesterday that she got the worst phone call of her life. She had been preparing for an interview with a museum in San Diego when it happened. Needless to say, that didn't end up happening. Marie barely remembered anything of the month or so afterward; it was like she was working on autopilot, existing one day at a time, so overwhelmed by grief that she could barely function. Her dad had flown down to help her out, but even then, it was like weeks had vanished into a fog.
On the other hand, so much had happened to Marie since then that it felt longer, almost like ten or fifteen years. She had gone from working towards making something of her anthropology degree to going into the business of wrestling that her mother had loved so much. She had trained for it back when she was a kid, but lost her interest as she grew older. So when she took it back up, she wasn't expecting to get into it as much as she did. One show became two, two shows turned into a contract, and now... now it was her career. Which still felt strange to her, even five years after her first match. And for it to be in AES, which her mother tried to get into three times... that was something, wasn't it?
A breeze snapped Marie out of her thoughts, and she brushed some stray bangs out of her face. She watched the sunset, the sky turning orange and red over the Pacific, the buildings casting shadows away.
"...I did it, Mom," she said, quietly, her voice heard only by herself and the wind. "I... just wish you could have seen it." She closed her eyes, vision blurring from the tears. "I know you'd have been proud. I would have loved to see that myself." She wiped her eyes. "...I miss you." She stood there for a while longer, the sun beginning to duck below the horizon, before she turned around and walked down the hill.
And life went on, one day at a time, and the sixth year since had ended.
But yes, welcome to new booking. Here's a quick runthrough on how this works: - Anyone new starts with 2400 Double Fake Dollars to spend on whatever bets. If you're really bad at picking winners like I am, once you get below 1000 DFD, we'll give you 350 DFD per show you're below it, up to 1000 DFD. - You can only bet on one person per match. - Since this is me doing it and I'm not as busy as Tan is, for 1v1 contests, including tag contests, odds will be variable based on ELO. They'll be listed as the percentage chance that they have of winning, as determined by ELO ranking.
So take the Scene 7 match between Grigori and Manderson. Grigori had an ELO of 2564 and Manderson an ELO of 2501. I can plug these into an ELO calculator and see what percentage chance they had of winning; in this case Grigori had a 59% chance of winning to Manderson's 41% (which is about 69:100, and that's just nice). A bet of 100 DFD on Grigori would have paid out 69 DFD, whereas if Manderson had won, the same bet on him would have paid out 144 DFD.
- If one or more of the contestants has their identity unknown for any reason, so are the odds; you bet on those at your own risk. - I don't think it'll ever come up, but if it does, the absolute minimum payout you can get is an additional 10%. - Contests involving more than just two people (or groups) are still fixed odds - a triple threat would pay out 2x your bet, a fatal four-way 3x your bet, and a six-man contest 5x your bet. If I can ever figure out how to calculate odds with these instead, I will.
The TL;DR here since I know I was kinda rambling on there is that underdogs may have less of a chance to win - but they'll net you more CASHMONEY if they do. Scene 7 Night 2 had two contests thrown out and money returned: Alexis Riot v. Baby Wolf and The Hook-Up v. En Garde!. (I'm still debating whether or not to transfer bets on the Hook-Up to the Wrong Crowd, but that only affects Sam.)
Standings: Sam: 30250 Kawada: 12100 (NC) Def: 6900 (+2200) Stardy: 5801 (NC) Verylost: 3100 (+700) IDBC: 2900 (NC) AKNL: 2800 (NC) TBK: 2700 (NC) Franco: 1000 (+350, +300 regen to cap) Hinoa: I AM THE TABLE HOUSE
Everyone else: 2400
Biggest winner by percent: Franco (+100%!) Biggest winner by numbers: Def (+2200) Biggest single winning bet: Hinoa x2, Def x1 (1000) Biggest loser by percent/numbers: The house Biggest single losing bet: Def (1000) 9 In the Afternoon Matches Pre.) Unknown 1 (Odds TBD) Unknown 2 1.) Ichiro Kurotsu (57/43) Ciaran Fawkes 2.) Jiro Kurotsu (60/40) Snakeman 3.) FLAME MAN (Odds TBD) GETTING THE FLAME 4.) Holly Hawk (50/50) Chandelier 5.) Unknown 3 (Odds TBD) Unknown 4 6.) Winner Match 1 (Odds TBD) Winner Match 2 7.) Jeongyeon (54/46) Arceus 8.) Isaiah Carver (Odds TBD) Unknown 5 9.) Emily Rykren (51/49) Robin Reflex
I'll close this up like the Wednesday before the next show, so 9 23 August at Fed Time.
Hi lads, I'm jumping the queue. Franco can still run Dayfed 10 though, I'm not going to be a jerk.
The Hardest Sale Cage Match Francis Ugondus v. Aurora Rivers As a thanks for letting me jump ahead of him in queue, I told Franco I'd book him, and here we are. Franco, as we know, is a shoes enthusiast to put it lightly. Contrast that with Aurora Rivers, who famously doesn't like shoes, and I figured we've got a match on our hands. In fact, to give them both the incentive to fight their best, I'm putting a wager up: if Franco wins, Aurora has to wear shoes on her next Dayfed appearance; conversely, if Aurora wins, Franco has to go barefoot his next Dayfed appearance. Provided we remember, anyway.
Strange Bedfellows Four-Way Dance Jiro Kurotsu v. Dr. Main Event v. Rose Parker v. the Red Blazer Two heroes. Two villains (okay, technically only one, but Rose is close enough for our purposes). Only one winner. This will be contested elimination style, so it's entirely possible that, for instance, the Red Blazer and Dr. Main Event could team up against Jiro, only to turn against each other an instant later. Cooperation is key here - as is knowing when to stop cooperating.
Dayfed Championship Match Big Boy Gladwin (c.) v. ??? Honestly, I couldn't pick just one person to fight the self-proclaimed "Professional Fucking Wrestler." So I didn't.
I picked seven.
This match will be a true Battle Royale. Anything goes here - pinfalls, submissions, knockouts, and throwing your opponent outside are all valid means of elimination. Can Big Boy Gladwin successfully defend his title, or is he doomed to lose his title on his first defense like everyone else but KAWADA and Franco?
Where: Probably the AES Synchtube When: uhh, probably Thursday 13 July at Fed o'Clock. Why: Because why the fuck not
"Looks good back here." Marie tapped at her monitor as a few more people filed into their seats. They weren't starting early, were they? She set down the radio and picked up a pen, twirling it in her fingers. Opening the show was a big enough task as it was, but with what she was going to say...
"Well, you look nervous."
Marie nearly jumped out of her seat, the pen slipping out of her fingers and clattering on the desk. "Dammit, May!" She swung around and stood up. "I'm really not in the mood for this crap right now."
"Sorry, mate." May held her hands up. "Didn't mean to startle ya."
Marie exhaled. "No big deal," she said, sitting down. "You're right, though. I'm hella nervous. This is going to be the biggest change in my life since I started wrestling again, and... and I'm not sure what I'm going to say." She turned and looked at the monitors. "Honestly, I almost feel like I'm betraying everyone by doing this..."
"Ah, for fuck's sake." May spun the chair around so Marie was facing her again. "You'll be fine. 'Don't worry about how you think the crowd will react. Just be yourself and the words will come.'" She smacked Marie's shoulder lightly with the back of her hand. "Best advice you ever gave me. Why are you so fucking awful at listening to your own advice?"
"Because I'm scared, is why." Marie looked up at May. "That's the truth of it. I'm scared that this is all going to blow up in my face, that no matter what I do, I won't be free of my mom's shadow."
"You know what?" May folded her arms. "If anyone's still comparing you to your mum after all this time, fuck 'em. And if it doesn't work out, fuck 'em too. Just do what you do, and it'll be right." She grinned. "'Course, if you start choking, I can always run out and smack you with a chair a couplea times. You always were better at improv."
Marie stood up. "You don't need to go that far, May. Besides," she said, grinning, "I seem to remember the last time you did that. Ended with you being put through the barricade." She bent down and gave her a hug. "Thanks, though. I needed that."
"No problem. Just... leggo already, I can barely breathe." ----------------- And so, an hour later Marie Connor stepped out from the shadows of backstage and into the light of the stage, mic in hand and belt over her shoulder. The arena was a converted warehouse in the Flats, on the small side but functional for the smaller NEOW crowd, but the noise echoed off the walls to make up for it.
"Thank you all for coming out tonight!" she said, once she got in the ring. "I know we've got a great show for you all. But before we get started, I've got an announcement I want to make."
She closed her eyes briefly. Breathe. Be yourself.
"I know a couple of you out there might have heard a couple of rumors floating around the Internet lately. No shame in it, I keep an eye on rumors, and I've laughed at some of the stupider ones. I mean, really, who would think that I'm some sort of alien for a second?
"But the latest one, that I've been offered a contract with AES..." Another deep breath. "I hate to say it, but it's true."
A gasp from in the audience. Marie continued on. "Last weekend, after NEWDay, I got on the phone with the owner of Revolution X about working there. The paperwork was just signed last Friday. My last show here will be March 24th."
She held up her free hand. "I know, I know, it sounds like I'm selling out. It kinda feels like it, too, if I'm being honest. But let me explain why I'm moving on." Hopefully before you boo me off the stage, she thought.
Marie started pacing around the ring. "Six years ago, when my mom died, I was in shock for a good week. I had to do something to get some closure for her. That thing, it turned out, was wrestling. I picked up a two-month contract to close out her stories.
"Needless to say, I stayed after those two months passed," Marie said. "But over the course of the last five years, I've started to feel like I've been trapped by the past. I've begun to worry that I'll only ever be known as 'Violet's daughter' and not just as... as me. As Marie. Heck, my real last name's Connor; 'Hearn' was my mom's.
"So I'm moving on. I'll miss all the people I met here in Cleveland, I'll miss the friends I made here... but it's time."
Marie scanned the crowd, a smile returning to her lips. "'Course, there's a tiny problem with me just walking out, and it goes like this. What, exactly, am I going to do with this?" she said, lifting her belt off her shoulder and into the air. "See, it just isn't fair to you all for me to walk out the door at the end of March with this title. But just stepping aside kinda cheapens the entire point of a championship." She shrugged. "So what I've decided, with the blessing of the management, is this - and I hope my fellow wrestlers are paying attention -" Marie turned towards the stage. "From my match tonight to the day I walk out the door for the last time, every time I step in this ring for a match, this title is on the line. Doesn't matter who's there, or how many people are in it with me. Every. Single. Time." She set the belt back on her shoulder. "But just because I'm leaving doesn't mean I'm about to go easy on anyone. So everyone who wants this title for themselves?" She held out her hand towards the stage, palm up, and curled her fingers back towards her.
"Now's your chance. Come and take it." -------------------------- March 24, 2017
"One! Two! Three!" The bell rang, and Marie's final match came to a close. Even if she felt it would happen, staring at the lights was never fun. She rolled out of the ring and, shrugging her shoulders, walked back up the ramp.
She had lost her championship long before; May had followed through on her joke and ran out to beat her with a chair after all. A week and a half late, but she had. It had cost her the match, but she got her revenge on May in time. And the girl that had beaten her - Teresa - had wanted a rematch.
But now, it was all over.
It felt bittersweet, knowing that one chapter in her life had ended. She would miss her friends here, and even the city - butt of every joke, including several from its locals - had grown on her. But still, she knew she had better things ahead of her.
She slumped in a chair backstage to unwind a bit before she started packing her gear (such as it was).
"Good fight out there, kid." In entered one Teresa Pontarelli, NEOW Women's Championship located firmly on her shoulder. She offered forward her right hand, somewhat of a rarity for the 35 year old.
Marie took her hand with her own, shaking it. "Same to you," she said, getting back to her feet. "Nobody's going to doubt you deserve that now. I mean, I never did, but you know how people can be."
"Sure. To be fair though, it's not like they weren't given plenty of reason. I'm still bloody pissed about that whole affair." Teresa sighed before taking a seat on another nearby chair. "Still, it feels like everyone I come across is either in AES or going there now, innit?"
"It kinda does, doesn't it?" Marie sunk back into her seat. "Me, your two friends... next thing I know it's going to be May being called up." She leaned forward. "Or, you know, it could be you. You've definitely got the talent for it."
"Don't need to tell me that, I'd be in the Grand Prix if not for this bloody no-compete clause I'm sittin' on." She took a sombre expression. "Just sittin' around until August. At least I can still work the indies, right?" A rare laugh, deep and coarse, emerged from Teresa's throat.
"Hey, the indies aren't so bad, really." Marie smiled. "I'm just lucky I didn't end up in a noncompete myself. As it is, I still have to move back to LA and get set back up there. Probably not going to be back in action for almost a month." She made a face. "Wow, here's me talking like an actual wrestler, even." She never thought she'd say something like that five years ago.
"General word of advice for when you get there, there's big downtimes on the big time. With AES it's not so bad because they've got around a hundred companies under their banner, so you can sign up to multiple places and you'll work fairly frequently..." Teresa paused to catch her breath for a moment. She'd just had a match after all.
"But if you're only working for one, I'd say either pick up a hobby or apply yourself to trainin' like crazy." She stood up and began to stretch herself, the adrenaline from the match receding and with it, aches setting in.
"Huh." Marie rolled her shoulders. "I'll keep that in mind. Right now it's only RevX, so I'm probably going to have to go full-bore into training for a bit. Try to get up to speed with the big leagues and all, y'know?" She smiled. "But that would be interesting to do. I've only worked one fed at a time before. Maybe in a couple of months, though."
"Honestly, with RevX it may be best to just train like hell. Lotsa hungry people there. Though, at the same time, the practical experience from bein' elsewhere too's a big thing." Teresa gave a slight shrug. "Either way, it's up to you now. Good luck, kid, we'll miss you around the locker room." She gave a wave before walking out, leaving Marie on her own.
"Take care yourself!" Marie called after her. "See you in August!" Optimism was Marie's strong suit, after all. She peeled herself out of the chair and headed down another hall.