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SECW: The Land of Opportunity

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"Yeah, Ali?"


"You know last time we talked, when you asked me if I missed wrestling?"




"Well, I caught your interview on Vibert's Voice... and hearing you talk about those days. And... I kind of been nostalgic, you know?"


It's been thirteen years that I've known Heather Gunnarson, better known as Honey Golightly. She was a showgirl in Vegas who worked her way through business school, got an MBA, and managed to buy a failing strip club and turn it into a success, repeating that all over the state. I worked in one of her clubs for a time, first as a waitress, then as a dancer. In the fall of 05 she asked me if I was a fan of pro wrestling. Well, I watched SWF now and then, so I said yes. She told me about her plan, Babes of Sin City. She called it "burlesque with wrestling added in". A few months later I wasn't just Ali Meyers, I was Alison Capone, the Gangster of Love. We made good money, enough that those of us who were dancers stopped entirely and focused all our energy on BSC. We only had one show a month but that one show was the end result of weeks of rehearsals. It wasn't just matches, it was musical numbers, it was comedy skits, it was a crazy show. It was my life, all our lives, for six years.


Heather broke us the news. We lost our chief investor in 2011. She was running the company out of her own pocket for a year but the debts kept piling up. By the time we held our last show, which I worked despite needing knee surgery due to a bad bump (Which was my fault, though everyone gave Cocoa De La Soleil hell for it), Heather was down so much that even after selling our tape library she was still eating five figure losses.


Most of us quit wrestling. I was one of them. Some work indy shows as valets, a few as wrestlers. Amy Galaxy and Roxy Kitten are regulars at conventions. I think Alexis Lee Littlefeather is in QAW, and Lora Washington is in USPW now, being our biggest success story by far. Heather runs a successful modeling agency now.


Me, I've gotten job offers to work at every burlesque show and gentleman's club in Nevada.


I've turned them all down.


I moved out of Primm after my knee healed. Wanted a fresh start. Moved to Florida, got a bartending license. Once every year or so someone recognizes me, but I always deny it. Only two links to my past life remain; my old costume (I didn't have the heart to throw it away), and my friendship with Heather. She comes to Florida now and then to scout talent, and every time she does she makes sure to visit. Not a lot of people knew this, but I was one of her "co-producers". Which basically meant that not only was I part of the creative team with Heather and Marilyn Stardust, but also if she had to step out during a rehearsal or needed some help setting up the show, I was her go-to gal. And we'd become really good friends because of it.


"If you want," she said. "I can talk to Claire (Alexis Lee Littlefeather), see if QAW's willing to give you a shot."


"Nah... I don't think my knee can take it and even then I was never that good. Besides, I'm not moving to ****ing Texas."


"Hm. Oh! I know, you ever heard of Ryan Holland?"


"No, should I?"


"He's a referee, worked for DAVE and is now working in Puerto Rico... BUT he's saved up his money and wants to run his own promotion here in Ft Lauderdale. He's never been part of booking before to my knowledge so he might want someone to help him with the creative side of things. He's called my agency to see if I could lend him some eye candy for our first show but I could introduce you instead."


"Cool, set it up."




Heather was right, Ryan Holland was looking for a head booker. But, Ryan was hesitant to accept me at first. He wasn't a fan of BSC and my not being part of the business since it folded wasn't exactly a plus for him either. However, when Fabulous Frank told him he was only going to be a road agent and not interested in taking the book, and nobody else in the Florida area with booking experience answered his calls, he decided to give me a trial run.


Our biggest name is Rayne Man. He was in SWF for a while, and the only one of our roster who got to that level of exposure. I suggested to Ryan that we don't want strict faces and heels for now, it'll limit our matchmaking too much with the size of our roster. With that said he's going to be our top draw for the time being so we're going to portray him as the fan favorite, especially considering who our other big name is...


Brandon Idol, a good high flier and decent technician. He used to be in RIPW, SWF's feeder league, and was passed by as Rayne went on to the main roster. So there's already history and bitterness there. Combine that with his signature 'boy band' gimmick and you've got a great rival for our top guy.


Now, the rest of our male roster. Ace Youngblood is a product of the MAW system. I was originally against the native american gimmick, but Ace's maternal grandmother was apparently Lakota and he really doesn't want to change his in ring persona, so I reluctantly go with it.


Fearless Blue was recommended by Kid San Juan of FCW, where Ryan works as a referee. He's a good high flier, and... that's about it. He's going to get a major retooling, putting him under a mask and calling him the Karma Chameleon. Apparently he did a couple comedy and dance offs in the indies where he showed some actual breakdancing talent, so we might work that into his character.


Hugh de Aske is someone I have high hopes for. He's tearing it up in Canada, so my only concern is that he might get scooped up by NOTBPW. He's an all-round talent, great athlete, and entertaining to boot. He also has a pirate gimmick, which he does pretty well, and claims to be able to trace his roots to Ned Low and Anne Bonny. And since nobody's likely to be offended by a pirate character, I'm going to have him go all out with it. Pirates are still cool with kids right?


"Regular" Joe Benning is someone that Ryan knew from FCW, though Joe doesn't wrestle there anymore and has been living in Ft Lauderdale since. Apparently we're neighbors, even. He's called Regular Joe because he looks like an ordinary guy and has a quiet personality. So he'll be an underdog everyman character, which should work even better when we're big enough to have definite faces and heels.


Seth Whitehead came recommended to us by our ring announcer Harvey Manners. He was a top NCAA Division 1 wrestler in college and eventually decided to go to pro wrestling over MMA because of his love for TCW. He's still green but Harv thinks he has potential. We'll play up his amateur background in his character, which works cause he wears MMA style ring gear anyway, so I told him to get a ChokeOut T-shirt, the tackiest one he could find, and act like he's about to step into an ALPHA-1 ring.


Last for the men is The Silencer. He's been working for only three years, surprising considering he's one of the two wrestlers older than me (Brandon Idol being the other; Ace Youngblood is my age but nine months younger). This was because he served twelve years in the military, some of that in Special Forces. So he's in great shape and while he's not the most spectacular wrestler in the world, he's good enough that SWF and USPW are reportedly scouting him. His "rogue spec ops" gimmick is also good enough that I don't feel a need to change it, either.


Now, we're also going to have a women's division, and Ryan Holland is of two minds of who to build it around. Laura Flame is his top choice, being the student of the cult favorite Hell Monkey (aka Reaver), who also has a great look to go along with her in-ring talent. His other candidate is Maria Guest, protege of Ferreh Hesketh (former AAA mainstay and currently running QAW), who has less in looks but might be better with a wider variety of opponents. We both agree we should keep the gimmickry to a minimum in the women's division, as BSC was considered a joke to most hardcore wrestling fans (A view that bugs me a bit with all the hard work we put in, but I can kind of see their perspective... they didn't see us rehearsing after all). After some deliberation, we figured we'd put them against one-off guests from QAW and AAA (Eve Runcord and Sarah Taylor respectively) and see how they do.



Main Event: Four-Way Dance For The SECW Florida Championship

Randomly Drawn Qualifiers for the Four-Way Dance

SECW Women's Championship Tournament Matches:

Laura Flame vs Eve Runcord

Maria Guest vs Sarah Taylor

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This looks FUN, cool roster!


Main Event: Four-Way Dance For The SECW Florida Championship

Rayne Man vs Brendan Idol vs Karma Chameleon vs Seth Whitehead

SECW Women's Championship Tournament Matches:

Laura Flame vs Eve Runcord

Maria Guest vs Sarah Taylor

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It's been four years since I wore the suit and fedora. I had put on some weight since then, but it still fits. Putting it on, brought back a lot of memories. After I left the ladies' changing room, I bumped into Seth Whitehead.


"Boss, hey. You wanted to see me?"


"First, you don't have to call me boss. Ryan signs your checks, not me. Call me Ali. Second... yeah, Chris B (the sound guy) tells me he doesn't have a theme song for you, you were supposed to get that sorted out."


"Oh, right. I was actually meaning to talk to you about that, ask for your suggestions."


"Well... you're gonna be an MMA guy. GAMMA guys come out to rap a lot right?"


"Yeah. I don't listen to much rap though."


"That's okay, Chris does. Tell him to give you a really aggressive rap song."


"You don't want to hear it first?"


"No time, doors open in 30 and I need to talk to Harv and make sure the lighting guys are done."


In retrospect, I probably should have made the time.




We started right off with action, "Larger Than Life" by the Backstreet Boys would play to as Brendan Idol came out, dancing and lip-synching to the song, Harvey Manners making sure to note that the winner of this match will go on to a four-way dance to determine our first champion. Karma Chameleon would, naturally, come out to a song by a Swedish death metal band. Just kidding, he came out to "Karma Chameleon" by Culture Club of course, also dancing to the song and getting a better reaction, irritating Brendan as we opened our first match.


MATCH ONE: Brendan Idol vs Karma Chameleon

Idol would be the aggressor for most of this contest, though making mistakes due to his being irked at being shown up allowing KC to get some offense in including faking a dive to the floor and then doing a parody of one of Brendan's entrance poses. The two would trade offense until Karma tries a cross body, Brendan counters with a midair dropkick, then delivering the Idolizer (Split Legged Moonsault) for the win.


Next up "You Are A Pirate" by Alestorm signals the arrival of Hugh de Aske, wearing long pants as well as a stereotypical pirate jacket and hat, giving the crowd a loud "AHOY!" as he climbed a ringpost for his entrance. "I Just Wanna Fly" by Sugar Ray brings out Regular Joe, who of course is wearing simple tights pads and boots.

MATCH TWO: Hugh de Aske vs Regular Joe

This match was a bit more competitive early on, though Joe kept a more low-profile approach to Hugh's more athletic offense. During the match de Aske applies an armbar, and sings "Drunken Sailor" until Joe gets out of it. Joe would try to throw Hugh to the ropes, but Hugh reversed it and used it to set up a lucha-style swinging armdrag, following it up with a "Cut Throat Driver" (Emerald Frosion) for the three count.


After Hugh celebrates his win, "Another One Bites The Dust" by Queen hits as I come out, microphone and title belt in hand.


"Ladies and Mooks, how ya doin? Havin' a good time? Good ta hear. Now, as Big H been sayin, Brendan Idol and Hugh de Aske will be back in the ring tonight, facing off against two more men for this..." Holding up the belt. "The SECW Florida championship. And who those two men will be we will find out later on. But now it's time to start the tournament for the women's championship. Now, runnin' my legitimate businesses in Chicago and Vegas makes me a very busy woman, but I got a hold of four of the best young female talent in America today. SECW is the new land of opportunity, so may the best woman win... well, second best, I'm retired. Now, let's bring on the next match."


"I'm A Cloud" by Boyhitscar brings out Sara Taylor, our AAA representative in the mini-tournament. "No Surprize" by Aerosmith signals the arrival of Maria Guest, the two shaking hands before the match.


MATCH THREE: Sara Taylor vs Maria Guest

This was a back and forth encounter of solid chain wrestling, with Maria focusing on legwork during the bout. Sara counters a shinbreaker with a bulldog and nearly gets the win with a top rope splash, but when she tries again Maria rolls away. Sara clutches her knee, and Maria wraps her up in the figure four for the submission win.


For the second of the women's matches, "You Give Love A Bad Name" by Bon Jovi signals arrival of QAW's Eve Runcord. "Domination" by Pantera brings in Laura Flame, who comes out weairng a Hell Monkey mask for a pop from the indy fans in attendance.


MATCH FOUR: Eve Runcord vs Laura Flame

Unlike the previous bout, this was more of a brawl, with Laura using an array of kicks and forearms (she's a legit amateur kickboxer) and Eve with more traditional pro wrestling offense (chops, open-hand punches, shoulder tackles, back elbows and the like). Eve went for a piledriver, but Flame hoists her up in a fireman's carry, delivering a gutbuster to set her up for a speeding roundhouse kick, the Flame Fire Kick, and getting the three count.



The song I'd later learn was Tupac Shakur's "Hit Em Up" would play as Seth Whitehead made his entrance, and I'd be spending the entrances and match calling Chris B an asshole for choosing this song when we've got kids coming to the show. I had to get on the house mic to apologize for the "technical error" and claim that a clean version was intended to play to try to cover it up. "Indians" by Anthrax would signal Ace Youngblood's entrance and at this point I didn't even ****ing care.


MATCH FIVE: Seth Whitehead vs Ace Youngblood

Luckily we had a camera crew to archive it for a DVD release, so when I saw this match later I was happy with what I saw. Whitehead would get to shine by throwing Ace around and work the arm. Ace responded with more crowd pleasing tactics, dropkicks and cross bodies and the like. Seth would try for a superplex, but Ace would headbutt him until he fell back to the ring, and Ace hit a flying tomahawk chop for the three count.


After that match I came back from my smoke break to see Rayne Man coming out to "Rain Wizard" by Black Stone Cherry, getting the biggest pop of the night. "Point" by Slayer would announce the arrival of The Silencer, carrying a rifle (airsoft, not real) to the ring to go with his urban camo fatigues he uses as ring attire.

MATCH SIX: Rayne Man vs The Silencer


Silencer would rush Rayne while Rayne was being checked for foreign objects and controlled this match from the start, muscling him around and dominating the majority of the match. Rayne would make a comeback after Silencer misses an avalanche, delivering his own brawling offense, but Silencer would counter an irish whip with a spinebuster to regain control. He would get to the top rope, looking for "Drop Zone" (Flying Elbow) but Rayne rolls out of the way, allowing him to hit the Rayne Fall (Reverse DDT) for the three count.


We'd have an intermission and afterward the four finalists would come out, Idol coming out and doing his routine, Hugh de Aske coming in and interacting with the crowd, Youngblood with a more low-key entrance and Rayne coming in looking shook up having the least time to recover. Harvey Manners emphasized that the first fall would win the title before we rang the bell.


MAIN EVENT, FLORIDA CHAMPIONSHIP: Brendan Idol vs Hugh de Aske vs Ace Youngblood vs Rayne Man

Idol and Rayne paired off as did de Aske and Youngblood to start this off, but this would change up as Idol would try to get both de Aske and Youngblood to ally with him, leading to them double teaming Idol instead. They'd get tense once they both tried to pin Idol only to break each other up, but managed to keep it together to double team Rayne. They'd argue again but Idol would try to egg them on, leading to both of them throwing Idol to the floor! Ace hit the ropes, baseball slide to Idol, but de Aske would hit him with a plancha! Rayne would be recovered in the ring, hits the ropes, suicide dive to Hugh de Aske! As Rayne appealed the crowd Idol would also recover and slam his head into the ringpost before throwing him into a row of chairs, seemingly taking him out of the equation.


This seemed to be effectively a three-way dance now, and falling into the pattern of "X gets offense on Y but then gets attacked by Z" until Idol manages to hit the Idolizer on Hugh de Aske. Youngblood hits a lariat on Idol sending them both spilling out to the floor, and de Aske rolls to the middle of the ring to try to recover...


but Rayne Man's back up, on the top rope... RAYNE DROP (Frog Splash)! One, two, three, we have our first champion!


"Rain Wizard" would play as Rayne celebrated his win to end the show, as I'd get on the house mic to thank the crowd for coming and inviting them to come back for next month's event.


Idol O [6:11- Idolizer] Karma X

de Aske O [8:09- Cut Throat Driver] Joe X

Taylor X [7:22- Figure Four Leglock] Guest O

Runcord X [6:33- Flame Fire Kick] Flame O

Whitehead X [5:51- Tomahawk Chop] Youngblood X

Rayne O [9:57- Rayne Fall] Silencer X

Florida Championship Decision Match: Rayne O [18:04- Rayne Drop] de Aske X (Rayne becomes 1st Champion)

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<p>"Actually, Seth, don't they play heavy metal at MMA sometimes too?"</p><p> </p><p>

This was the day before the event this time, Seth trying to come up with theme music that won't ruffle too many feathers. </p><p> </p><p>

"Yeah, they do," Seth, a heavy metal fan, replied. "But not good heavy metal. Really bland, generic crap that's only notable because it gets radio airtime."</p><p> </p><p>

"Okay, pick the most overrated heavy metal song you know, and make sure you get the radio edit if there's any F-bombs, alright?"</p><p> </p><p>

"...I got JUST the thing."</p><p>


<strong>SECW Still Waters Run Deep</strong></p><p> </p><p>

<em>We begin with "Karma Chameleon" as, well, Karma Chameleon makes his entrance. "Junk Food" by Sex Machineguns plays as our first newcomer, the GCG alum JOJI, makes his entrance, dressed in board shorts. </em></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>MATCH ONE: Karma Chameleon vs JOJI</strong></p><p><strong>


This was mostly a showcase for JOJI's brand of high flying to warm up the crowd, with KC getting some token offense to keep things interesting. After a brief back and forth exchange match would end when JOJI would follow up a Glittering Magician with the JOJI Miracle Explosion (Exploder Suplex) for a three count.</p><p> </p><p>


<em>"Rain Wizard" by Black Stone Cherry plays as Rayne Man comes to the ring with the Florida championship, microphone in hand.</em></p><p> </p><p>

Rayne: "Alright Fort Lauderdale! Now last month, I had a tough road to becoming your Florida champion. Silencer he's tough as nails and gave me a hell of a fight, and that four-way dance, well, there were a few times when it seemed that I was out of the match but I gutted it out and pulled though. All credit to Hugh de Aske, Ace Youngblood and..."</p><p>


"Larger Than Life" would interupt him as Brendan Idol comes out, also with a mic.</em></p><p><em>


Idol: "All credit SHOULD go to me... because I was the one who put down Hugh de Aske, and if it's not for the fact that I was sneak attacked by Ace Youngblood, I would be standing there with that gold. But that's how it always was, wasn't it Rayne? I was the harder worker of me and you, but you always got lucky breaks that got you ahead at my expense..."</p><p> </p><p>

Rayne: "You say that like it was my fault. I wasn't the reason that you missed a flight and I subbed in for you at an RIPW show that Eisen was watching, alright? It wasn't my fault that you also missed out on a championship because of a stinger. And it certainly wasn't my fault that Ace Youngblood knocked you out of your boots last month."</p><p> </p><p>

Idol: "Ohhhh, that's just adorable. You're trying to twist my words and saying I'm blaming you. No, no, no. What I'm saying is you don't DESERVE what's been handed to you. Because those opportunities were MY opportunities, and I had them taken from me for circumstances beyond my control... and yes, beyond your control too. I'm not blaming you or anyone else for my poor fortune. What I am saying is that I earned those spots. You? You just got lucky. But tonight Rayne, your luck runs out. Because tonight is me and you, one on one. No missed flights, no stingers, no Ace Youngblood. And tonight I prove that you don't deserve that title."</p><p> </p><p>

<em>The two exchange words off mic as "Larger Than Life" plays and eventually the two of them head to the back. "I Just Wanna Fly" brings out Regular Joe for the next match, then, probably the most unlikely entrance theme in "Gimmie Chocolate!!" by BABYMETAL signals a massive man in an elaborate studded leather jacket, identified as 'The King of the Wasteland, The Mutant'. Mutant eventually takes off the jacket to show his full-body suit, also leather, but with fringes and the "Me Gusta" meme face on the back.</em></p><p><em>


<strong>MATCH TWO: Regular Joe vs The Mutant</strong></p><p>

Joe tries to lock up with Mutant who simply uses the collar and elbow to SWING JOE 360 DEGREES and letting him drop on the canvas. Joe then tried a series of strikes but the Mutant shrugged them off, shoving Joe into the ropes for a spinning side slam. Mutant dominated the rest of the match, spending a portion of it asking a fan if he knew where a good rib joint is in Ft Lauderdale (it wasn't even a plant, he actually picked someone at random to have a conversation with). Joe tried to catch him with a schoolboy, but the four hundred pound Mutant simply sat on him, then picked up and put him on his shoulders for "The Tina-Turner" (F5) for the easy three count.</p><p> </p><p>


<em>"Nightmare" by Avenged Sevenfold would signal the arrival of Seth Whitehead, and then Slayer's "Point" for The Silencer and "Indians" for Ace Youngblood. Finally "You Are A Pirate" played for Hugh de Aske, who would come with a microphone in hand.</em></p><p><em>


Hugh: "AHOY THERE! Cap'n Hugh de Aske has arrived ta board yer ship and plunder yer booty. Now I be sailin' with Ace Youngblood here, but a good captain needs a good crew. So allow me to introduce to you landlubbers me Quartermaster, Jake Sawyer!"</p><p> </p><p>

<em>Veteran manager "Playboy" Jake Sawyer would come out, also dressed like a pirate, complete with a (plastic) parrot on his shoulder. </em></p><p><em>


<strong>MATCH THREE: Seth Whitehead and The Silencer vs Ace Youngblood and Hugh de Aske (w/ Quartermaster Jake Sawyer)</strong></p><p>

De Aske and Whitehead would start this match off fairly evenly, The Dread Pirate doing a good job of making Whitehead look good. Ace would tag in and take over, and de Aske would start singing the AC4: Black Flag version of Derby Ram (Hugh singing the verses, with Sawyer and eventually some in the crowd singing the chorus). Silencer would tag in to deliver some double team offense and make a comeback, Silencer trying to put Youngblood away but a powerbomb countered into a release rana letting him tag out to Hugh de Aske! Some fast and furious action with all four men followed, Youngblood eventually sending Whitehead to the floor with a dropkick while De Aske hit Silencebwith the Cut-Throat Driver for the three count.</p><p>


We'd have an intermission, and when we came back I'd head to ringside to oversee the contest with the SECW Women's Title in hand. Maria Guest and Laura Flame would make their entrances afterward, and I'd hand the title to the referee to hold it in the air before the match.</em></p><p> </p><p>


Flame would start off strong with her kickboxing-based offense, until Maria managed to catch a kick, ducking an Enzuigiri before going to work on the leg. The two would chain wrestle with Maria always being one step ahead, until Flame countered a kneebreaker with a bulldog to regain control. Flame couldn't put Maria away after several near falls, but when she goes for the Flame Fire Kick Guest ducks, German Suplex for a near fall! Maria would look for the figure four next, but as she tries to wrap the legs, Flame shoves Maria off with her foot, making her hit the turnbuckles facefirst! Maria stumbles forward, leaving her wide open for a Flame Fire Kick, hooks the legs, one, two, three!</p><p>


Flame celebrates her win and I present her with the title, Maria Guest looking dissapointed but giving a supportive clap for Flame before they both head out to make way for the main event. Brendan Idol would come out first, adding some belt motions to his dance routine. Rayne Man would make his usual entrance, just with the added benefit of having gold around his waist. </em></p><p><em>



The two would lock up and exchange offense with neither man getting a definite edge, that is until Idol poked Rayne in the eye and took control. Idol would continue to dominate until he tried to put it away early with a piledriver but Rayne back body drops him, Idol rolls to the floor and Rayne uses this as an opportunity to deliver a suicide dive! Rayne brings Idol back in, cover, two count, but the champ presses the advantage with more offense until he tries to put it away with a superplex only for Idol to counter with a tornado DDT for a near fall.</p><p> </p><p>

Idol dominates from this point on until he gets in an argument with the referee after choking Rayne with the ropes. He looks for the Tiger Driver, but Rayne counters with a hurricanrana! He goes for the Rayne Fall, but Idol gets his feet close enough to the ropes to use it to flip into a modified Shiranui! Idol uses this to set up the Idolizer, but Rayne rolls away, gets to the apron and climbs to the top for the Rayne Drop... but Idol gets the knees up! Idol gets up, Rayne slowly recovers bent over holding his ribs... Idol with a sunset flip... Rayne rolls through... stacks Idol up! One, two, three!</p><p> </p><p>

<em>"Rain Wizard" hits as Rayne rolls out of the ring to celebrate his hard fought win with the crowd, Idol is beside himself, arguing the result to the referee and to myself as we end the show.</em></p><p> </p><p>

<strong>Karma X [6:06- JOJI Miracle Explosion] JOJI O</strong></p><p><strong>

Joe X [8:07- Tina-Turner] Mutant O</strong></p><p><strong>

Whitehead/Silencer X[11:31- Cut-Throat Driver] Youngblood/de Aske O</strong></p><p><strong>

Women's Championship: Guest X [10:26- Flame Fire Kick] Flame O- Flame becomes 1st Champion</strong></p><p><strong>

Florida Championship: Idol X [14:47- Prawn Hold] Rayne O- 1st Defense</strong></p>

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