Free the Narrative II: The Monster in Us All
October 2nd, 2021
SoundBar Orlando in Orlando, FL
The show starts with a disclaimer:
To #ControlYourNarrative is to “tell your story.”
In 2021, for a second time, a documentary team was sent to an undisclosed location to cinematically capture one night in “The Narrative.” The risks they accepted are very real.
Fights are decided by knockout, tap out, or one cannot stand.
There is no governing body.
“The NARRATOR” is your guide to these individuals’ stories, but the stories are the participants and theirs alone.
Projects WERE harmed in creating this feature – ec3
The Essential Character leads “The Neglected” through the streets of a city built on illusion and grievous sin.
They walk towards “The Narrative.”
A blank canvas that invites the purity of true self through combat.
“Independent Wrestler” Jake Logan is blinded with hands bound as he is led through the streets. Logan is made an example, for his childish ambition.
The feeling is foreboding and real.
THIS IS OUR REALITY
We see EC3 with a bunch of followers walking amongst a train track, walking one that is blindfolded (Jake Logan) as they continue to walk through the streets as we see glimpses of Adam Scheer, the former Braun Strowman. They lead Logan into a building where there is a ring set up and we get a graphic saying the music is by Tommy “Tanx” Shaffner and story by EC3 & JC.
EC3 asks Logan why he is here, and Logan responds because this is his passion and he eats, sleeps, and breathes this business for 28 years and it’s all he ever wanted to do and the only thing he’s good at. He won’t be a professional extra and this is why he’s here, to make his dream a reality. EC3 repeats everything he says but questions if he would do anything and stab his best friend in the back, spit in his dad’s face and let him sleep with his wife. EC3 asks Logan if he could handle this dream and his dream could be given to someone twice as we see Jeff Parker and Matt Lee of 2point0. EC3 continues to talk about all the advantages someone else might have over Logan and questions if this even looks like his dream. EC3 says he knows nobody truly makes it and they are all punished for the superficial and he tells Logan that nothing matters and a dream is fragile, greedy and it will betray you, but a purpose is worth fighting for. EC3 takes off Logan’s blindfold and tape and tells him if he wants to control his narrative then he has to fight.
Jake Logan vs. Fodder
We then see highlights of Logan fighting Fodder, who is described as EC3’s right hand. Fodder is in control but Logan comes back and hits a Samoan Drop as the narrator tells him ‘not to do it’. Logan says ‘I’m Jake Logan’ but then Fodder takes control and applies a half Crab as Fodder uses the rope for leverage. These matches are all shown and shot in cinematic fashion with no referee. Logan taps out and loses the match.
Winner: Fodder by submission at 2:09
2point0 is heard talking and echoing my thoughts of not understanding this match and saying there is no referee and ask who made the call. They notice if that was the real EC3 down there and ask if there’s a fake EC3 and ponder if there are any rules there and how there is one exposed turnbuckle, but they like it and want more.
Jake Logan is seen thrown outside by the trash.
We go to Westin Blake (the former Wesley Blake) who is doing some farm work and says right here is where he learned he was a prisoner of society. Society tells him lies as good things happen to great people, if you work really hard and you’re patient your dreams will come true, but maybe doing the right things hasn’t made it right by him. We cut to Blake meeting John Skyler and asking if they should do this, in which Skyler says ‘let’s dance’.
Westin Blake vs. John Skyler
This one is still filmed in cinematic style but feels more like a traditional match but still includes the narration over it as they lock up. Blake stays in control with a hip toss and a couple takedowns but Skyler hangs with him. The narrative says how being called a good hand is a backhanded compliment and these two are well-traveled. Still no referee in this match, as Skyler works on Blake’s arm. Blake comes back as he tells Skyler that ‘I am the star’, which causes Skyler to come back and hit a spinning uppercut from the top rope and knock Blake to the outside, says ‘Welcome to the Narrative’, but misses the dive to the outside. Blake starts tossing Skyler all over the outside and continues to stay in control inside. The narrator mentions how Blake is called one of the best by his peers but that’s got him nothing and now no job. Blake goes for a piledriver on the apron but gets reversed, but he stops Skyler with a dropkick. Blake takes off his belt and asks Skyler if he wants to learn how to win. Blake starts tying Skyler’s arm on the rope with the belt as the narrator says this wrestling match has now become a fight. Blake hits Skyler with a giant forearm to the back of Skyler’s head, tries to go for another one but misses it and ends up outside. Blake comes back in, and Skyler takes full control. Skyler tells Blake that he is not a star, and he himself is a star. Skyler tells Blake to stay down and hits him with a superkick. Skyler goes for another one, but Blake stops him and drops him on his knees. They both slowly get up and start striking each other until Blake hits a big forearm to the back of Skyler’s head and asks for the belt again. Blake starts choking Skyler with it, but Skyler reverses it into submission. Blake takes the belt buckle and stabs Skyler in the eye with it. Blake hits another forearm to the back of Skyler’s head, this one with the belt wrapped around his arm. Blake tries to jump off the top rope, but Skyler catches him and puts on a crossface until Blake taps out.
Winner: John Skyler by submission at 13:38
2 Thumbs Up
2point0 talks about loving that match but then says it wasn’t a fair fight because Blake has 5 or 6 kids and hasn’t slept more than 2 hours in 7 years. They question taking a man’s eyeball out and question if it came out or didn’t come out but give it two thumbs up. They get interrupted by ‘The Observer’ Mark Donica who tells them they have to use a star system and he’s being generous and that’s 3 and a quarter stars, but 2point0 calls him an idiot and says it’s two thumbs up.
The Unknown Hand
We see The Unknown Hand (fka Percy Watson) in the streets with a megaphone asking what motivates a man like The Essential Character and in his mind it’s controlled and he wants to control the narrative. He wants to control his way and portray it to you. Countless societies have met their demise by the idea of one single man and how pathetic is that. And when you stand before a man like EC3, how does that make you feel. He continues to proclaim the truth and the truth alone and could we say the same for The Essential one?
We go to William (Bill Carr/Dutch) who is saying how it’s hot without AC and is telling the unseen person next to him he’s glad he came with him tonight. As he continues to talk about brotherhood, he gets interrupted by Gentleman Jervis who says brotherhood is one of his pillars along with friendship, kindness, and respect. William says he’s not talking to him and continues to talk about fighting tonight and then meeting this unseen person for streaks, mudslides, and a gory horror movie. Jervis interrupts him again and tells William he doesn’t have to fight, and he’ll diffuse the situation, and William agrees to stay and finish his beer and says he has no idea what he got himself into.
By gum, by golly. Gentleman Jervis has entered “The Narrative!”
Jervis, that bright-eyed, daisy believes that conflicts can be quelled with “kindness”
Naivete at its finest!
Gentleman Jervis vs. Parrow
The Narrator describes Parrow as the gatekeeper through this living hell and has freed himself from the cliches and stereotypes that have defined identity and the stranglehold of his subculture and has found himself when the straightway was lost. Jervis tries to hug him but gets knocked down with a big boot and splashes in the corner. Jervis tries to escape but gets hit with a German suplex. Parrow goes to grab Jervis and his mask temporarily comes off with the caption What the BOTCH? Jervis has lost his mask! Popping up on the screen. It then says ‘In #psychology ‘masking’ is when an individual hides their true identity to conform to social pressures and appease others.’ Jervis tries to fight Parrow off with a cane, but Parrow grabs him and hits a sit-out powerbomb and a drill claw. Parrow starts choking out Jervis to end the match.
Winner: Parrow by submission at 3:47
His Name Was Roman
We see EC3 walking into a bar and sitting down next to Adam Scherr. EC3 says when you put so much into your work you invest your body and your soul, and your boss becomes more than a man. He becomes the model for your creator, and what do you believe about your creator when he disowns you, banishes you, and when he throws you away. If you are made in your creator’s likeness, your creator built a monster, not because of your size and strength but because of the jagged pitfalls of fame, the money consumed him, and the women infatuated him. The ego engulfed him and is his creator simply a man. Scherr is seen looking depressed in tears and drinking away. EC3 says the smaller he feels now only means the larger he can become, monsters can develop intelligence, they can have emotions and feel compassion, because monsters seek acceptance, and monsters can be killed. He is no longer controlled by the creator and now he has the freedom to fight for his battles and ideals and he can fight for himself. Through that all he can find purpose, not just who he is but what he truly is. EC3 ends it by saying Adam’s creator only had one son and his name was Roman.
We go back to The Unknown Hand who is talking about someone taking you and you becoming a slave mentally and physically and asks what kind of life is that.
William is still talking to the person off-screen asking if he just saw what happened, and if it would have happened to him it would have been different. A guy named Antonio walks in and asks William what’s it like being friends with the real EC3, but William slams his face down on the bar and starts talking about fighting Parrow a few months back and they start showing highlights of it and him saying he almost died, and he stared death in the eyes and death blinked first so he knew he had more to prove, and he smells fresh meat right now. We pan over to see the person he was talking to was Vincent, his fellow Righteous teammate from Ring of Honor who tells him to give him hell.
William vs. Stanley
William’s opponent is Nick (or Jamie) Stanley who has recently appeared for NWA who comes out in a nice-looking suit and the narrator says he represents the demented narcissist. Stanley tries to punch William, but nothing happens. William fights back but gets dropkicked. Stanley continues to try and take William down and starts using his shirt to choke him out. Stanley goes to jump off the top rope, but William grabs him by the neck and hits a sidewalk slam. William grabs Stanley’s face and repeatedly slams it on the mat until this match ends.
Winner: William by knockout at 2:40
Matt Taven vs. William
The place turns purple as Taven runs out to fight his ROH rival. Taven dives in and starts attacking him, but William heads over to the bar to drink a bar only to spit it into Taven’s face. As William and his beer try to go back in, Taven dropkicks him down. Taven hits a springboard kick and says now it’s time to teach him a lesson as he pulls off his belt and starts whipping William with it. Taven says he can smell the alcohol off him and starts choking him with the belt, but William fights out and starts splashing and clotheslining Taven ending it with an over-the-head suplex. Taven stops him in the corner and hits a spinning kick right into a crossface attempt, but William fights out. Taven misses a frog splash off the top rope, so William hits a powerbomb followed by another one. William goes for a Ripcord, but Taven reverses into a DDT. Taven hits three running knees as the crowd says he thinks he’s done. Taven hits one more and says that he’s Matt Taven before hitting the fifth and final one and says William is always going to be a disappointment and leaves.
Winner: Matt Taven by knockout at 6:23
2point0 asks if there’s a doctor as they saw a lot of death tonight and says their favorite characters have been the Bar Stool Brawler and the Handsome Stranger and don’t know what to think of all this. They ask for a medic for William and say this is interesting.
As EC3 makes his way into the ring he bumps into Tanga Loa who smiles at him. We cut to The Unknown Hand who talks about if you are a man to say you’re a man and do a man’s action and not follow like sheep. That is where you’ll meet your demise. We see Adam Scherr who has a man behind him playing the violin. The Narrator says those hands were created by another from the darkest parts of his hand, but monsters develop emotion, attachment, and feelings. We cut to Scherr who is heading over to the event on a motorcycle. Scherr stops in front of the Amway Center and the Narrator says that it’s one last reminder that in this corporate coliseum a family was slain to honor the chosen son.
EC3 vs. Adam Scherr
The narrator says it’s no longer about ratings, demos, or the gate, it’s not about trending, likes or views, this is where you break everything about yourself and become more. This is The Narrative. Scherr says he is here because everything he cared about in his life was taken from him and ripped from his hands, everything he worked for his entire life was taken from him. He did everything he was asked, and it wasn’t good enough. He turned into the monster that he wanted them to be and he ruined everything in his life that he cared about and he has to kill the monster they turned him into to become the man he was put on this earth to be, he’s empty and lost and has nothing and it ends here and now and the last time EC3 stood across the ring from him he got put on the shelf for a year and Scherr took away everything he cared about he became who he was supposed to be. Scherr says he was lost but he will find himself after he breaks EC3 and takes everything he cares about again. EC3 asks if he’s ready to control his narrative and Scherr starts attacking him.
Scherr starts tossing EC3, chokeslams him and asks if this is his chosen one. EC3 says he is here because of him, and this place was his creation spawned from the disinterest of his false idol. Scherr tells him to shut up and they start trading strikes. Scherr tosses EC3 against the wall and calls him a psychopath and says he’s taking everything he loves because he is miserable. Scherr asks if EC3 thinks it’s so funny and tosses him over onto the crowd outside. EC3 snaps Scherr’s neck on the ropes and they take it to the outside. EC3 grabs a chair and starts hitting Scherr with it before wedging it against the corner and throws Scherr into it. EC3 says ‘wake up Adam’, before continuing to hit him with the chair and says Frankenstein’s monster can die, Scherr fights back but EC3 stops him with a body slam. EC3 hits a DDT on top of the chair repeated by another one and the One Percent. EC3 gets on the back of Scherr, Scherr fights back but gets a big chair shot to the head that knocks him down. EC3 keeps talking trash while hitting Scherr with repeated chair shots. After about 20 chair shots or so and the video slowing down, we see Scherr in a bloody mess as we hear a slow rendition of EC3’s old Trouble theme. The Narrator says this monster’s end is written with blood.
EC3 tells him to bleed for all the sins he committed and the lives he’s destroyed, the monster is a victim of the worst case of manipulation and to bleed for his new life and the past and continues with more chair shots as he has no purpose and he failed like every one of them and just as he’s about to hit the final blow, the prodigies outside come in and stop EC3. Scherr starts to slowly get up, takes off his hoodie as the narrator says he is rebirthed and ‘Free the Titan’. The Titan starts taking out all the guys in the ring as we get a new Rise of the Titan music playing throughout. The Titan and EC3 go face to face as EC3 says, at last, he is free. The Titan grabs EC3 with a choke and drops him. Scherr now seems to go back to himself, gets on his knees, and starts crying while looking at his hands at what he’s done. The narrator says no matter who you are, the world will try and break you. Scherr exits the ring as the prodigies are comforting him.
Winner: Adam Scherr by knockout at 14:46
We get a couple of mid-credit scenes, including EC3 getting up and saying ‘It is mine now, you have been warned. Jake Logan gets up from where laying by the trash and walks in the streets until he bumps into The Unknown Hand. Logan starts listening to the motivational words as The Unknown Hand tells him that wasn’t his voice and EC3 has fought so hard and so long against the powers that be, he now has become the one thing he hates the most.
Marina Shafir is The Problem
After the credits, we get one final scene. A very Black Widow-inspired video with a subtitle that says, ‘come on darling, let’s get to work’. We see a female who is training in a gym as others are watching. It is revealed to be Marina Shafir. The unknown person observing turns off the music and says ‘sweety, we are not done yet.’ Shafir is seen sparring with another female who she easily takes down. We pan to see Shafir after smoking a cigarette, having a drink, and the words The Problem being shown from her gloves.
Siino Vision: This is my introduction to the Control Your Narrative product, and it was definitely interesting. Don’t expect a wrestling show, but just talent who are finally given the reins to show off their own ideas and characters without any shackles. The entire event is done in a cinematic style with narration throughout and some of the matches were shown in highlight form while the others were full-on matches in a sense. This isn’t something that would work for me in a weekly sense, but every couple of months I wouldn’t mind watching this mostly to see characters like Shafir and Scherr having full reigns. This felt more like an episode of Arrow with the flashbacks and dark and grimy feel to it, and the short run time of 90 minutes definitely works in its favor. Adding mid-credit and post-credit scenes definitely gave it even more of a superhero film or show feel, and the Black Widow-inspired introduction of Marina Shafir only solidified that.