TROPICAL TURMOIL 2023 NIGHT TWO
TROPICAL TURMOIL HYPE TIME
We’ve been here before.
Two separate flags.
One of the Soviet Union. Another of the Russian Federation.
Two united Russians.
Both ready for war.
Ivan Stanislav stands in his ring gear with Alexei Ruslan, in his brown overcoat and hat, at his side. It’s your standard, old school type promo that these two Russians just love to give.
They don’t have a lot of time, so Ruslan, with a grin on his face, explodes vocally while Stanislav scowls wordlessly.
Alexei Ruslan: And here we are, PRIME! The time of reckoning is at hand!! Yes! I can barely contain myself!! The main event….
A technician off to the side interrupts him.
Technician: Um, your match is not the main event.
Both Russians double-take off camera for an awkward moment, and then burst into angry, berating yells.
Ivan Stanislav: What is it you are saying?!
Alexei Ruslan: Not the main event, hogwash!!
Ivan Stanislav: Typical PRIME employee, not knowing anything!
Alexei Ruslan: Did Troy put you up to this?
Ivan Stanislav: What is your name? I demand to know your name!!
The poor technician says something but is drowned out by the two Russians, who look back at the camera. There may be a barely audible sob off camera.
Alexei Ruslan: You think the main event is Brandon Youngblood and Tyler Adrian Best? Give me a break!
Ivan Stanislav: DYAAHAAHAA!! Those two fools could not snap my suspenders!
Alexei Ruslan: But you know what we’re going to snap, Praporshchik?
Ivan Stanislav: We will be snapping the hopes and dreams of those pretenders trying to get shot at Universal Title in Main Event tonight! Then whether it be Best or Youngblood, we shall bring Universal Title to Russia! Let us go Alexei.
Ruslan leaves first and harasses the tech off camera while Stanislav turns his head and the camera moves closer to him…
Alexei Ruslan: You had better stop trying to grow a brain!
…and The Russian Bear then looks at the camera.
Ivan Stanislav: You know, if I am going to be fined for things I do not do? I had might as well make all these fines worth my while, eh?
He snatches the camera and lifts it high overhead. Skyward, we see Ruslan berating the tech at a crooked angle, and one of the rare views of Stanislav from overhead.
Ivan Stanislav: Time is up, PRIME. DYAAHAA–
The camera is obliterated, as if the feed.
Paxton Ray snarls at the camera.
Paxton Ray: I don’t like any a’y’all freaks. Y’all don’t like me. And after the last year I know I got a big target on my back, ‘specially from some of the goodie-goods.
Paxton Ray: But I like that. I like havin’ a target. I like when people want a piece’a me. ‘Cause title shots? They’re cool. Pride an’ glory? Not bad. But the meat of it all? Steppin’ inside a’that ring and just fuckin’ wailing on each other? That’s what I live for. Make no mistake, I’m tryin’ to beat every one a’y’all, but even if it ain’t my name called at the end?
Paxton gets closer to the camera, his nostrils flaring.
Paxton Ray: Y’all are gonna suffer.
“Sometimes, when I’m very, very lucky…”
The image on the screen is black and white, overlayed with static and visual artifacts, like the kind of image you’d get from an old CRT television.
Jared Sykes: (voiceover) Things go my way.
The scene is of the aftermath of the Tag Team championship match at Culture Shock, where Eminence retained their titles in a hellacious two-out-of-three falls match against the Winds of Change.
Jared Sykes: (voiceover) And others? Not so much.
The image switches to the following night. Having outlasted thirty-six other wrestlers, Sykes is finally thrown over the top rope to the arena floor by the eventual winner.
Jared Sykes: (voiceover) I could try and tell you all the ways that this could go.
Shots of the five other men in the Turmoil match flash across the screen in turn.
Jared Sykes: (voiceover) The good…
Nate Colton does the unimaginable and pulls the massive Balaam off his feet in the Colton Clutch Suplex.
Jared Sykes: (voiceover) …and the bad.
Ivan Stanislav lifts Rezin over his head at the edge of the balcony and heaves him into the air with no regard for the consequences.
Jared Sykes: (voiceover) But I can’t see the future, and there are some things none of us can predict.
Paxton Ray throws Jonathan Rhine into the air for the first of what will be seven Lafayette Lullabies. Fortunately, the rest are not shown. Neither is the move that took Rhine’s legs away.
Jared Sykes: (voiceover) Sometimes, the bad guys win.
Cancer Jiles stands with the Universal Championship after a brutal, bloody war with Julian Bathory only weeks removed from the two of them ending Phil Atken’s PRIME career.
Jared Sykes: (voiceover) But not always. Sometimes, we get our happy ending.
Hayes Hanlon holds that same championship in his hands in the final moments of Colossus. It’s what he dreamed of as a child, and now it’s his and his alone.
Jared Sykes: (voiceover) So how does this story end?
Color begins to bleed into the black and white. The static lifts. The rounded corners of the image flatten into something more modern.
Our narrator sits alone on a folding chair in a dark room. His head is tipped down, and a few strands of pink hair hang loose in front of his face. And as the camera moves in closer his eyes snap up so that they’re staring straight ahead.
Jump to an extreme close up of Cancer Jiles’ T-shades.
Then, after a slow pan out, there he is, The Greek God of COOL, Cancer Jiles himself. He’s dressed for battle and his hair is an immaculate oil slick. Also noticeable in the shot is Bobby Dean standing face first in the corner, the fact you can actually see Lunchbox Larry, and an emaciated Abe Lipshitz scratching the skin off of his arm.
Cancer Jiles: Greetings, PETCRUMB PARK. Hello, PRIMEates watching from home. Good day, my loyal brothers, sisters, and cardboarders of the shell. It is I, the only Greek God in all of professional wrestling. Please, get your cartons and popcorn ready because TropiCOOL Turmoil is almost upon us!
A wide, confident, arrogant, toothy grin.
So basically how Jiles normally smiles.
Cancer Jiles: That means in just a few short moments it’s going to be MY turn to take a trip around the bases. It’s going to be MY turn to be the bullet in the game of Russian Roulette. It’s going to be MY turn to finally get back to where I belong.
Lots of thumb jabbing accompanied those prior MYs.
Let the peacocking begin.
Cancer Jiles: I can only hope all of you are as excited as I am to say goodbye CURTAIN JERK, and welcome back MAIN EVENT.
A scared whimper escapes from Bobby Dean.
Cancer Jiles: Bandits, out.
“Tonight is about more than wrestling. More than championships.”
“Tonight, from first bell to last, is about the soul of PRIME.”
The video fades in, showing the face–and of course, the jacket–of Nate Colton. The Next Diamond’s face is set in a look of determination. It’s a far cry from his normal pre-match overexcitement.
Nate Colton: I thought I knew what I was getting when I signed on here. I thought I knew what PRIME meant. To me, it meant taking on the best wrestlers in the world, and finding out whether or not I belonged to be among them. But the last few months have shown me how wrong I was.
His face turns sour as he reflects on all the egregious acts that have taken place lately. Acts that have gone beyond the pale…and that he, like so many others, has been powerless to stop.
Nate Colton: How many shows have to end with the mat covered in blood? Multiple wrestlers going to the hospital? Somebody threatening a man’s family, for Christ’s sake?!
His face is turning red, and his shouts are getting louder. We’re used to seeing passion out of the Next Diamond, but not like this.
Nate Colton: Seems like half the people on the roster now just want to drag this place into the sewers. Things go on like this, and the name of PRIME won’t mean a damn thing; it’ll be just another garbage federation where dreams go to die…unless.
Finally, he pauses. He takes a breath. He tries to get himself back on the rails.
Nate Colton: Unless someone finally draws that line in the sand. Unless they tell this pack of psychopaths, “No more.” Unless they take a stand against the people who are more than happy to destroy everything just so they can feel important for a little while.
And finally, he holds out his arms, presenting himself for the viewing audience.
Nate Colton: Well…here I am.
Hey, the way he’s standing even prominently displays his name on the front of his jacket. That’s solid branding; Alexa Van Horn would be proud. But that’s not what this is about.
Nate Colton: I’m drawing that line. I’m saying those words. I’m taking that stand…and I’m not the only one. Jared, Hayes, Tom, Coral, Brandon…and so many others who may not know they’re in the fight yet. Because we know that PRIME–our PRIME–is worth fighting for. And that fight starts now.
All right, kid. Wrap it up.
Nate Colton: So first things first. Clean house in the Tropical Turmoil match. Make sure that whoever comes out on top is worthy of being the Universal Champion. I can live with it being Jared Sykes or Hayes Hanlon, but I’m going to do everything I can to make sure it’s me. Then? Then it’s time to make sure every last one of these gutless bastards knows that the next time they try to cross the line, someone’s gonna be there to stop them. And if you wanna know who that is…
A snarl. A clenched fist. A catchphrase.
Nate Colton: Say my name.
TROPICAL TURMOIL MATCH: PAXTON RAY vs. JARED SYKES vs. NATE COLTON vs. CANCER JILES vs. HAYES HANLON vs. IVAN STANISLAV
PetCo Park is ROCKING as Night Two of Tropical Turmoil is LIVE!
Nick Stuart: NIGHT TWO OF TROPICAL TURMOIL IS HERE! WELCOME EVERYONE WATCHING AT HOME!
Richard Parker: Why… are… you… so… loud?
Nick Stuart: Because we’ve got well over FIFTY THOUSAND PEOPLE in attendance and they are ROCKING THE PARK!
Richard Parker: Stop… yelling.
Nick Stuart: If you joined us for Night One, thank you so much for coming back for Night Two! That was a doozy of an evening that saw —
Richard Parker: Do you not care about spoilers?
Nick Stuart: Fair enough. Go back and watch Night One if you haven’t seen it! We crowned new champions and feuds were buried.
Richard Parker: Cool. Cool. What’s going on tonight?
Nick Stuart: Tonight! We’ve got some fun matches planned for you. Bobby Dean will take on Chandler Tsonda —
Richard Parker: Is Tsonda gonna get stuffed?!
Nick Stuart: Jonathan-Christopher Hall is going to battle with Rocky de Leon —
Richard Parker: A battle of who is going to annoy me the most, go on.
Nick Stuart: Plus, The Anglo Luchador and Arthur Pleasant are going to finally trade blows as they look to put their feud this past arc behind them —
Richard Parker: I hope Pleasant bites TAL and turns him into a werewolf.
Nick Stuart: I don’t think he can do that. Plus, we’ve got FLAMBERGE challenging for the Intense Title as Anna Daniels will defend her title for the first time. And in our main event! Brandon Youngblood will defend his title against the winner of the Murder Rumble… TYLER! ADRIAN! BEST!
Richard Parker: Groan.
Nick Stuart: Did you just say the word groan?
Richard Parker: I did and I don’t feel like talking about it any longer with you.
Nick Stuart: BUT FIRST! Oh man, we’ve got a doozy for you. Only for the SECOND TIME EVER —
Richard Parker: I am going to punch you in the throat if you don’t stop yelling in my EAR!
Nick Stuart: THE TROPICAL TURMOIL MATCH!
Richard Parker: Seriously, Nick. I hate you.
Nick Stuart: Let’s send it to Vince Howard for our wrestler introductions.
We then cut to the ring and see Vince Howard looking as dapper as ever.
Vince Howard: The following match is our TROPICAL! TURMOIL! MATCH! Six competitors will step through these ropes and wrestle in an elimination style match with the winner getting a shot at the Universal Title at ULTRAVIOLENCE!
Vince Howard: Introducing first…
The lights slowly draw to darkness. An unnerving chill moves through the air. “I am the COOL” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins and its coinciding electric guitar riff try to drown out the SOLD OUT crowd of PRIMEates in attendance.
Nick Stuart: Here we go! Tropical Turmoil time!
Richard Parker: Of course he’s out first. Hey, maybe this means he’ll be the first one eliminated?
Nick Stuart: Never know.
“I’m the one your mama warned you about”
“When you see me, I will leave you no doubt”
“I’m the coolest man that ever walked this earth”
“I’ve been the coolest since the day of my birth”
An intense, scorching, volcanic, hell fire volley of pyrotechnics illuminates the top of the entrance ramp.
“I AM THE COOL”
At the conclusion of the seemingly End of Days meteor shower taking place inside of Petco Park, and appearing at the top of the ramp as if he had just rode one of those space rocks all the way down from outer space is none other than The KING of COOL, Cancer Jiles.
Nick Stuart: There he is. Former UNIVERSAL Champion, Cancer fucking Jiles. Dare I say he’s one of the most hated and despised men in PRIME’s long history. Just listen to this crowd.
Richard Parker: Please let him get eliminated first. Please. He got his zillion dollar entrance, now go the fuck home.
Vince Howard: Hailing from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, CANCER! JILES!
“I am the COOL” is halfway over before Jiles even moves an inch towards the ring. Luckily, while he was in look at me mode, the heat from the pyro which of course only he can withstand because of his COOLYMPIAN blood lingered around him. As such, and there were few, all objectiles hurled in his direction vaporized before hitting him.
Richard Parker: Any. Fucking. Day. Now.
It’s obvious. Especially with how slow he is walking, and how he’s taking the time to berate anyone who wants a taste– not just the MESSIAH fan. If no one is out here to stop the CURTAIN JERK from doing so, he and his salted shoes are going to take their good old time.
Nick Stuart: You’d think Jiles had extra entrance time banked from this arc and that he needed to use it or lose it. This is the second time that he’s walked back to the top of the entrance ramp to hit a pose after already making his way down to the ring.
Richard Parker: I’m speechless. I am. Just when I thought I couldn’t hate him anymore.
The third time’s a charm for PetCo Park, Richard Parker, and those watching at home. Jiles makes his way back towards the ring, and slides under the bottom rope. For the first time ever the PRIMEates cheer something he does which brings a foul look to his clean shaven face.
Nick Stuart: HA! Got him!
Unimpressed, Cancer carefully removes his precious T-Shades and fakes throwing them into the crowd, which of course gets things back to normal.
Richard Parker: I’m feeling better already.
Vince Howard: Introducing next…
The lights of the Footprint Center once again go out.
The fans erupt in anticipation, and soon their energy is rewarded as the PRIMEView springs to life. On a field of white, three words appear
These fade away, replaced by a logo. It’s the letter C in the shape of a diamond, with a smaller N inside. The logo is framed by the name.
A classic rock riff signals the beginning of “Tryin’” by the Eagles, and the Kansas City fans give out a raucous cheer. Moments later, Nate Colton emerges from the curtain. He holds his arms up high, showing off his blue satin jacket–his family name emblazoned on the back; his first name stitched on the front.
Nate walks quickly to the ring, stopping periodically to point at groups of cheering fans, or waving his arms to hype up the crowd.
Vince Howard: Hailing from Evansville Indiana…weighing in at two-hundred fifty-five pounds…he is the Next Diamond! He is the former PRIME Five Star Champion! He is…NAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAATE! COOOOOOOOOOOOOOLTON!
Nick Stuart: Few have the record Colton has amassed during his time here in PRIME.
Richard Parker: Nor have any of them been as exciting as watching butter melt on toast.
Vince Howard: Introducing next…
“They say it’s good to start a story with a tragedy.”
The chunky guitar riff of “Fistfight” by The Ballroom Thieves kicks in as Paxton Ray walks out under the PRIMEView with Foster Nackedy behind him wearing his disco concussion helmet. Paxton sneers as the fans boo, then slowly holds his hand up in the air.
The day I finally met you like I knew I would
You raised me from the wreck of my doubts
You were smiling to yourself as if we both understood
The silent language of the anguish of a heart that sings but doesn’t make a sound
Foster gets ahead of Paxton, jeering at fans and shaking his head as if to show off his lovely helmet. Paxton slowly walks towards the ring, looking around as the crowd rains hate down upon him. He steps up to the apron and steps over the ring ropes, then leans back against them and closes his eyes.
Vince Howard: Weighing in at 245 pounds…he is The Bayou Butcher…PAAAAAXTOOOOONNNN RAAAAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYY!
Foster Nackedy then heads to the back.
Richard Parker: Talk about a guy I wouldn’t mind tripping and falling until he lands neck first on the barricade.
Nick Stuart: Well, that’s a statement that I don’t have a good segue for.
Vince Howard: Introducing next…
Distorted guitar heralds a black hole emerging on the PRIME*View, dangerously close to the screen; hanging in the void among planets and nebulas.
Sirens accompany as the screen shakes, pulling us in violently, until the lyrics scream throughout the PA system.
“WHEN MY BACK’S TO THE WAAALLLL!!!”
And huge, white block letters fill the screen:
The speakers and amplifiers hold on for dear life as “Daggers” by We Came as Romans absolutely bludgeon the eardrums. And speaking of explosions, those planets and stars on the PRIME*View do just that, bursting into blinding eruptions of violent light. It carries into the arena, rumbling flashbulbs explode in various points throughout the building; in the ceiling, in the stands, one after another.
And then, from the ramp, the Event Horizon.
“I SEE THE MOUNTAIN AHEAD, I FEEL THE THUNDER ROAR!
I FEEL THE FURY WITHIN, BUT LOUDER THAN BEFORE!”
Hammerin’ Hanlon marches forward, those dark eyes focused, ‘stache on point, while the fans around are on the brink of a literal mosh pit.
Vince Howard: FROM WEST LINN, OREGON! STANDING SIX FEET, THREE INCHES AND WEIGHING IN AT TWO-HUNDRED AND SIXTY ONE POUNDS!!
Hayes climbs the apron, steps through the ropes, and b-lines for the turnbuckle.
Vince Howard: The Event Horizoonnnnnnn…HAAAAAYESSSS!! HAAANNNLLOOOONNNNN!!!
Up one rope, then the second, chest and jaw jutting out, and a thumb across his neck.
“DRAW! THE! DAGGER!
CUT OUT THE PAIN! TO FIND THE POWER!”
He hops down, making way to the next post to repeat the process one more time.
“DRAW! THE! DAGGER!
CUT OUT THE PAIN!”
He remains on the ropes, and in unison with the crowd, beats his chest four times while roaring out the crescendo.
The Comeback Kid stays for a moment, eyes out to the roaring crowd, allowing the music to reach its breakdown. He hops to the mat and takes his place in his corner, ready to go.
Nick Stuart: You know that Hayes Hanlon is chomping at the bit to get back to the Universal Title.
Richard Parker: Joy. He can gain it and lose it for a third time. How wonderful.
Vince Howard: Introducing next…
“The Soviet National Anthem” by the Russian Red Army Choir erupts as Ivan Stanislav and Alexei Rulsan emerge from the backstage area. Stanislav and Ruslan raise their arms, side by side, roar at the crowd, and pointedly make their way towards the ring. Stanislav points and jaws at several fans along the way, while Ruslan points and hawks at the greatness of the Russian Bear.
Stanislav steps over the top rope and thunders into the ring. He raises his arms over his head and bellows at the camera.
Vince Howard: Hailing from Arkhangelsk, Russia! THE RUSSIAN BEAR! IVAN! STANISLAV!
Alexei then returns to the backstage area.
Nick Stuart: Lots of love for Ivan in PetCo Park. Kidding, of course.
Richard Parker: I’m surprised the hippy commies here in California don’t love him to be honest.
Vince Howard: And finally…
The arena lights dim until the crowd is bathed in darkness. The sounds of thunder over the speakers is accompanied by brief flashes of light over the audience before a loud roar echoes throughout the building.
When the PRIMEview flashes to life it shows a version of San Diego that is barely recognizable. The city lies in ruin, a lifeless husk of burning, smoldering ash. A shape flies across the blasted landscape once, then again for a second time. It spreads its wings wide as it approaches, and unleashes a torrent of fire towards the screen. A wall of flame erupts across the length of the stage, and the first note hits. Deep, resonant, and with it comes a flood of white light that washes over the crowd. As the sound fades, so does the light.
I’ll never be ready to meet a memory
Vince Howard: Making his way to the ring…
A steady rhythm follows, each note building and bringing with it a pulse of white, like a heartbeat slightly out of time.
I’ve gone walkabout with the parasites in my head
Vince Howard: Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts…
The only thing louder than the thundering guitar coming through the speakers is the explosion of the crowd.
Far too quiet
As I pick away at the surface the itch burns through my skin
Vince Howard: Weighing in tonight at 201 pounds…
The guitar rips into frenetic tapping riff, and with it blue and purple lights begin pulsing over the crowd in time with the beat. A gap opens in the middle of the wall of fire, wide enough for one person to walk through.
Vince Howard: JAREEEEEEEEEEEEEEED SYYYYYYYYKES!!!
When the dirt crushes my bones
And the worms call me their home
If I’m asked to start again
I can’t pretend I’m ready
I can’t pretend
I’ve had plenty
Tonight there’s a bit of an update to his standard ring gear, as his traditional pre-match hoodie is replaced by a vest whose upper back and shoulders appear to be covered in scale mail. A tattered hood hangs low over his face.
Nick Stuart: Abe Lipschitz. What does that name mean to you, Richard?
Richard Parker: The absolute worst decision-making skills imaginable. Like, just the worst. The absolute worst. Why?
Nick Stuart: Because in the eighteen months since PRIME has been open, he is the ONLY person on the roster to pin Jared Sykes.
Richard Parker: That sounds made up. I feel like you made that up.
Nick Stuart: He ran the Survivor gauntlet. Went wire-to-wire with Justine Calvin as half of a record-setting tag team. And make no mistake, when it comes to those titles Eminence holds all the records in PRIME that count. He made it to the final five at Culture Shock, and now tonight he gets another chance to punch his tickets towards a Universal Title shot.
And then there’s the matter of his right shoulder. The kinesio tape that covers it is clearly visible on his exposed skin. Tonight Jared Sykes may walk through fire to get to the ring, but the bullseye on his arm means he’ll have to fight through hell to get back out.
At the sound of the bell, the six men all glare across the ring at one another. None of them move out of their blocks, instead waiting as Tropical Turmoil Night Two is officially underway. Neither man wants to move too fast, understanding the way that this match is going to unfold.
Ivan then explodes with a mixture of speed and fury that is frightening to just about everyone in the ring. His shoulder explodes into the chest of Jared Sykes, sending him through the middle rope and crashing to the mat outside. As Ivan’s shoulder collides into Sykes, this signals the true beginning of the match as everyone else immediately finds someone they want to hit.
And they do just that.
Nate Colton makes a beeline for Paxton Ray, slamming open-handed palm strike after palm strike to the jaw of Paxton Ray while Hayes Hanlon chases Cancer Jiles out of the ring. He grabs Jiles by the back of his skull only for Jiles to spin around and slam the edge of his hand into the throat of Hanlon. Hayes, caught off guard, is then smashed head first into the ringside barricade.
Sykes sits up on the outside of the ring, confused slightly on how he got there, but that confusion only lasts momentarily as he scrambles out of the way of a charging Stanislav, looking to drive his knee into the chest of the man who nearly impaled him with a forklift two weeks ago in Arizona. Sykes scrambles to his feet and as Ivan turns around, Sykes connects with a stiff forearm that seemingly doesn’t do much to the enraged Ivan. Stanislav wraps his arms around Sykes throat and yanks him in to him before hoisting him into the air and slamming him back first across the ringside barricade.
Richard Parker: So, where do you start? Because this already feels significantly crazier than the Murder Rumble and that match had significantly more people.
Nick Stuart: You’re not wrong. Everyone in this match hates someone else in this match. The bad guys in this match, Ivan, Paxton, and Cancer have literally pissed off everyone else in this match.
Richard Parker: Don’t get me started on Cancer.
Nick Stuart: You know, I always thought you were kidding about your animosity towards Cancer, but you haven’t wavered once.
Richard Parker: NEVER WILL!
Paxton Ray pushes Colton into the corner and drills him with a forearm that sends spittle flying out of Colton’s mouth. Ray then takes a step back and presses his foot into the throat of Colton, lifting him off the ground in the process. Colton thrashes wildly until Paxton decides to end the torture. Colton collapses to his knees and as he does, Paxton reaches down, wraps his arm around Colton’s midsection and nails him with a gut-wrench suplex.
Cancer meanwhile presses Hanlon’s throat into the ringside barricade and holds him there. A few fans begin yelling at him and one produces a sign that says “RICHARD PARKER IS COOLER THAN YOU”.
Richard Parker: HEY! Those are my new favorite people in the world!
Nick Stuart: Are you that easily swayed?
Richard Parker: How do you think I put up watching some of these matches?
Cancer looks at the fans and gives them the finger, but by doing so, it distracts him long enough for Hanlon to plant his elbow into Cancer’s midsection. Jiles doubles over and Hanlon swiftly lifts his knee into the precious moneymaker of Jiles, which sends him crashing to the mat. Hanlon quickly mounts him and plants him with fist after fist, each stiffer than the last one.
Sykes plants his boot into the left hamstring of Ivan, causing the Russian Giant to howl in pain. Jared connects with another stiff boot to the hamstring, but is then pushed away by Ivan, his hand wrapping itself around the face of his foe. Sykes rolls backwards and to his feet before rushing at Ivan and connecting with a dropkick to his left hamstring. Stanislav drops to one knee from the shot and Jared follows it up with a rising knee to the face.
Nick Stuart: Stanislav being caught by some brutal strikes from Sykes.
Richard Parker: Well, after Sykes hit him with a forklift, I would imagine that Ivan is not at 100% tonight. Just call it intuition.
Nick Stuart: Probably not wrong. In the ring, Paxton Ray is reigning down boot after boot to the back of Colton’s skull.
Richard Parker: Well, not for long.
Sure enough, Sykes slides in under the bottom rope and rushes at Ray, connecting with a Sling Blade that sends Paxton to the mat. Jared hopes back up to his feet, bounces off the ropes, and goes for a springboard moonsault only for Paxton to get his knees up. Jared rolls onto the mat, clutching his ribs in pain, while Paxton climbs to his feet. He reaches down and grabs Sykes before tossing him into the corner. Paxton unloads on him with a series of body shots, targeting his kidneys, which causes Sykes to double over from the pain.
Hanlon, seeing his buddy getting mauled by Paxton, slides in under the bottom rope, but is met with a boot to the back of his head from Paxton. Hayes drops to one knee as Paxton puts both men into a front facelock. Paxton goes for a double vertical suplex only for Colton to come up behind him and slam his forearm into the back of his neck. Paxton is sent careening into the corner. As Sykes shakes off his pain, he moves towards Paxton only for Jiles to grab him by the boot and yank him out under the bottom rope where he mows him down with a clothesline.
Colton snaps his boot into the midsection of Paxton and Hanlon gets up to his feet. Both men put Paxton into a front facelock and connects with a vertical suplex out of the corner.
Nick Stuart: Pure pandemonium all over the place!
Richard Parker: What did you expect? We’re the people who did the Murder Rumble and we clearly just like taking our action figures and smashing them together. Repeatedly!
Nick Stuart: On the outside, Cancer Jiles goes to whip Jared Sykes into the barricade, but Sykes reverses it and sends Jiles crashing into it instead.
Richard Parker: Not only thicc boy, but also after my heart with stomping away at Cancer Jiles!
Sykes closes the gap between Jiles and himself, but as he does, Cancer fires away a boot into Jared’s midsection, slowing the giantslayer down. Jiles cocks back his right fist and fires away a jab that catches Jared flush on the jaw. Cancer then connects with a spinning back fist that forces Sykes into the ring post. As he leans against the post, dazed, Jiles runs full speed at him and goes for a splash against it only for Jared to move out of the way and cause Cancer to collide into it.
Hanlon gets back to his feet and goes towards Paxton only to be run into by a Russian Dump Truck known to the world as Ivan Stanislav. Ivan stands over Hanlon, hitting him with his shoulder having knocked him to the mat, and roars at the former two-time Universal Champion. Hanlon rolls back to his feet and the two men lock eyes. Hayes fires off a forearm shot that catches Stanislav in the jaw only for Ivan to smash his boot in between Hanlon’s eyes, sending him crashing into the ropes. Ivan closes the distance between them and slams his forearm across the upper back of Hayes, causing the former champion to arch his back in pain.
Colton turns to help out Hanlon only for Paxton to grab him by the boot and yank him back towards him. Ray then catches Colton with a stiff punch to the jaw before hot-shotting him across the top rope. Colton clutches as his throat in pain while Paxton lifts him up and slams him down to the mat with a sidewalk slam. As Paxton gets up to his feet, he makes his way over to where Ivan and Hanlon are duking it out, putting his boot into Hanlon’s midsection.
Nick Stuart: This could be a dangerous combo for everyone in this match if Ivan and Paxton team up together.
Richard Parker: Your astute observations Nick are outstanding.
Nick Stuart: Hanlon trying to fight back against both men, but the sheer strength and tenacity from both of them are too much for him as they just slam fist and boot into his body until he’s down on all fours. Paxton then punts him in the ribcage and sends him crashing to the outside.
Richard Parker: Welp, I guess this match is over.
Sykes dodges a forearm shot from Jiles and does a standing switch, getting behind the former Universal Champion. He wraps his arms around his waist and goes for a German Suplex only for Cancer to grab the ring apron, holding onto it for dear life. Sykes slams his elbow into the neck of Jiles before attempting to lift him again for the German Suplex. As he does though, he winces in pain from his shoulder and releases Jiles. Cancer, ever the opportunist, spins around and mows Sykes down with a clothesline.
Hanlon makes his way to his feet, but as he does, he’s met with a running boot from Paxton that sends him crashing to the mat. Before Hanlon can register where he’s at, Paxton reaches down and scoops Hanlon into his arms before slamming him back first into the edge of the canvas. Hanlon, lying on the apron, fires a series of fists into the face of Paxton, stunning the Bayou Butcher momentarily. Hanlon climbs to his feet while on the ring apron and goes for a clothesline, but before he is able to do so, he is grabbed from behind by Stanislav.
Stanislav wraps his arm underneath the chin of Hanlon and yanks back, lifting the former two-time Universal Champion into the air and cutting off his air supply. Ivan is only able to do his for a moment though as Nate Colton charges behind him, clubbing him in the back of the neck with a forearm shot. Ivan releases his hold on Hanlon, who falls onto the ring apron. Colton takes a few steps back and drives his boot into the side of Ivan, previously attached to a forklift. Ivan growls in pain as Colton steps back. Colton rushes at Ivan again, Ivan goes for a clothesline which Colton ducks, and Colton hops onto the middle turnbuckle before connecting with a flying clothesline from the second ropes.
Nick Stuart: Ivan may have been stunned by that move, but he’s not down!
Richard Parker: You need tranquilizer darts to take that man down.
Nick Stuart: Truer words never spoken. Colton is back up to his feet and connects with a chop block to the left knee of Stanislav.
Richard Parker: Those knees are reinforced with Russian vodka and Chernobyl steel. That’s never going to work!
Colton goes for another chop block to the knee of Ivan, but is stuffed in the process. Ivan slams his forearm into the upper back of Colton before pulling him into a standing position and connecting with a thrust to the throat that sends Nate crashing into the corner. Ivan takes the opening and runs full speed at Colton, connecting with a clothesline that sends Colton to a seated position.
Hanlon slams his forearm across the arm of Paxton Ray before climbing back to his feet and connecting with a running knee to the face that sends both men tumbling to the floor mat. Hanlon is the first to his feet and snaps his boot across the face of Paxton Ray before charging at a rising Cancer Jiles and spearing him into the nearby barricade. Hanlon rises to his feet, standing over Cancer Jiles.
Sykes grabs Paxton Ray and rolls him back into the ring before bouncing off the ropes and dropping a knee across his face. As Jared gets up to his feet, the meaty hands of Ivan wrap around his throat. Jared slams his forearm repeatedly across them, but is unable to break the grasp that Ivan has. Ivan lifts Jared into the air before slamming him to the mat. Ivan keeps his hold on Jared though and lifts him off the mat once again, hands wrapped around his throat before slamming him to the mat for a second time.
Nick Stuart: We might need to get someone to check on Jared Sykes with the way his body crashed into the mat the second time.
Richard Parker: This is why everyone should stay clear of Ivan. Wrestlers, referees, staff, janitors, catering crew. This is a man that has no regard for human life, period.
Nick Stuart: And Ivan just bounced off the ropes and delivered an elbow drop across the sternum of Sykes that — that is a four-hundred pound man dropping his weight across the body of Sykes!
Richard Parker: Did you want him to gently lay his body across Sykes? This is what Ivan Stanislav DOES!
Hanlon turns around and is met with a right fist from Paxton Ray. Hayes is stunned by the shot and Paxton follows up with another one. Hayes drops to one knee from the heavy hands of the Bayou Butcher. Paxton proceeds to drive his forearm into the upper back of Hanlon before yanking him up to his feet and delivering a side belly-to-belly suplex onto the stadium floor. Hanlon arches his back from the pain shooting through his body. Paxton gets to his feet and proceeds to drop three quick elbows across the chest of Hanlon.
Colton pulls himself up to his feet and catches a rising Stanislav with a forearm shot that rocks the Russian Bear, but is unable to follow up on it due to Ivan driving his knee into the midsection of Nate. Colton drops to one knee as Ivan reaches down and grabs him by the back of the head. Ivan drags Nate over to the nearby turnbuckle and slams his head into the top turnbuckle repeatedly until Nate is kneeling before it. Ivan takes a few steps back before running at Nate, slamming his knee into the back of Nate’s skull and driving his face into the middle turnbuckle.
Nick Stuart: Ivan Stanislav is decimating one challenger after another and at this juncture of the match, that could be dangerous for everyone else. He could start eliminating people rather quickly.
Richard Parker: I mean, he weighs four hundred pounds. I understand everyone in this match, save for Cancer Jiles, works out, but when lying flat on the mat, could they really kick out of Ivan if he just sat on them?
Nick Stuart: Obviously yes. You and I thought? Not in a million years.
Richard Parker: You couldn’t catch me that close to Ivan willingly.
Paxton reaches down and yanks Hanlon up to his feet, but as he does, Hanlon lifts Paxton into the air and connects with a tilting Samoan Drop! Paxton groans from the pain as the Event Horizon sits up, a little worse for wear, but locks eyes on the man in the center of the ring that has taken out two of his allies. Hayes rushes under the bottom rope, grabs Ivan by the shoulder before whipping him around. Hanlon fires off a succession of jabs to the jaw of Ivan that stuns the Russian Bear. Ivan goes for a wild swing of his own, but Hanlon manages to duck underneath it.
As Ivan turns around towards Hanlon, Hanlon connects with a jumping shoulder sit-out jawbreaker on Ivan, sending the Russian Bear crashing to the mat.
Nick Stuart: FLASH POINT! FLASH POINT!
Richard Parker: Hayes Hanlon may have just saved the day for everyone else in this match and taken Ivan Stanislav OUT OF THIS MATCH!
Nick Stuart: Hanlon getting back to his feet —
Richard Parker: Pin him, you fool!
As he gets up, his eyes focused on Ivan, he begins to move for said cover. Yet, as he does —
Richard Parker: MOTHERFU—
Nick Stuart: CANCER JILES WITH A SUPERKICK! TERMINAL CANCER! AND HANLON LOOKS OUT!
Richard Parker: SOMEONE KICK HIM IN THE FACE UNTIL HE IS BLOODY!
Nick Stuart: There’s been a fair amount of conversation about Cancer not being able to defeat Hanlon and he caught that superkick FLUSH on his jaw.
Jiles then hooks both legs as Timo Bolamba begins his count, begrudgingly.
Eliminated: Hayes Hanlon
Nick Stuart: A monumental elimination and it is our first elimination in the Tropical Turmoil match.
Richard Parker: Look, as much as I hated that it was Cancer Jiles who got the elimination, at least I don’t have to see Hayes Hanlon competing for the Universal Title for a third time.
Nick Stuart: As Hanlon rolls out of the ring, you can see the disappointment in his face.
Richard Parker: Especially considering he hit a massive move on Ivan Stanislav that could have seen Ivan eliminated from the match.
Cancer looks down, cockily, at Hayes Hanlon and waves goodbye to him. Jiles then looks over and sees Ivan still on the mat, stunned from the Flash Point. Jiles immediately jumps on top of him as Timo sighs and begins his count again.
Cancer’s body then lifts off of Ivan suddenly and Cancer goes flying over the top rope as Ivan sits up, beat red and angry beyond all belief.
Richard Parker: Favorite. Moment. Of. The. Match.
Nick Stuart: Ivan just pushed Cancer off of him and Cancer went flying OVER the top rope!
Richard Parker: I need replays of that, for life. Seriously, just play that for two hours straight on ReVival 31.
Nick Stuart: You are easily amused.
As Cancer’s body thuds against the ring floor and Ivan sitting up, Colton bounces off the ropes and slams his knee into the face of Ivan Stanislav. The Russian Bear falls backwards on the mat from the shot. Colton rises to his feet and catches Paxton Ray with an uppercut as he gets to his feet after sliding underneath the bottom rope. Ray is stunned from the shot and stumbles into the corner where Nate Colton stomps away at him until he is in a seated position. Colton stands above Paxton and lifts his body using the top rope before driving both feet into Paxton’s face.
Colton then reaches down and yanks Paxton up to his feet. He ducks a forearm from a dazed Paxton and slips behind him. He wraps his arms around his waist and goes for a side suplex only for Paxton to land on his feet. Colton turns around and is met with a devastating lariat from the Bayou Butcher that sees him flip inside out and land on his stomach. Ray, ever an opportunist, slams his boot repeatedly into the lower back of Paxton Ray. Cancer Jiles slides back under the bottom rope, but as he does, he is met with a stiff kick to the midsection from Jared Sykes.
Sykes then whips Jiles into the ropes and connects with a backbody drop. As Jiles stumbles back to his feet, Sykes drills him in the face with a forearm shot that sends Cancer crashing back to the outside. As Sykes turns around, his body stiff from the punishment he took from Ivan, he is mowed down by a clothesline from Paxton Ray. Paxton wastes no time as he mounts him and pelts him with a series of fists to the unprotected face of Sykes.
Nick Stuart: These two are revisiting their on-again, off-again feud since late last year.
Richard Parker: I mean, when someone paralyzes one of your closest friends, I don’t think the feud is ever off-again.
Nick Stuart: Fair enough.
Richard Parker: And Nate Colton is getting into the fracas.
Nick Stuart: Fracas?
Richard Parker: Fracas.
Colton drives his boot into the back of Paxton’s skull. Before Nate can follow up on it though, the Russian Bear scoops him up from behind and throws him onto the floor. Colton gets up and as he does, Ivan scoops him up and holds him above his head. He lifts Colton up and down as if he’s barbell before tossing him into the air and stepping out of the way, causing Colton to land chest and stomach first onto the mat.
Ivan then turns his attention back to Jared as Paxton pulls him up to his feet. Ivan slams his open-handed palm into the chest of Jared, dropping him to one knee. Paxton pulls him back up to his feet and drives his fist into the jaw of Sykes.
Nick Stuart: Poor Justine Calvin, having to take all of this in backstage.
Richard Parker: I would imagine someone is having to hold her back from coming out here with a machete or something.
Ivan wraps his arms around Jared, looking for his release suplex. Jared though drives his head into the skull of Ivan, forcing Ivan to let go. He then connects with a diamond cutter on Ivan, laying out the Russian Bear in the center of the ring.
As Jared gets up to his feet, he dodges a running lariat from Paxton Ray. Jared grabs Paxton and puts him into an inverted headlock before connecting with an inverted headlock backbreaker!
Nick Stuart: Paxton is going to need a chiropractor after that! I think Wyatt Connors used to use that move as his finisher and he could call that The Wisecrack!
Richard Parker: Whatever that is, and whoever that is, it seems like Jared owes somebody some money.
Jared then drapes his body across the chest of Paxton Ray as Timo Bolamba begins his count.
Eliminated: Paxton Ray.
Nick Stuart: And just like that, we are down to four! Nate Colton. Cancer Jiles. Ivan Stanislav. Jared Sykes.
Richard Parker: I… think we should just end the match here and no one wins.
Nick Stuart: What would be the good in that?
Richard Parker: Because I don’t want to watch any of these blowhards win.
Jared rolls off Paxton Ray, his body ravaged with pain. He rubs his right shoulder, feeling the pain he suffered from ReVival 29. As he tries to massage it though, a boot collides with it. Repeatedly. As if it’s on purpose or something. Since its Cancer Jiles doing it, it’s definitely on purpose. Jiles then reaches down and grabs Jared by the back of the head and lifts him up to his feet before pushing him into the corner and connecting with a knife-edge chop. Jared grimaces from the shot, but Jiles is keen to repeat it and does exactly that. Cancer then grabs Jared’s wrist and goes to whip him across the ring only for Jared to reverse it.
Cancer runs up the turnbuckles and lands behind a running-towards-Cancer Jared Sykes. Sykes manages to stop just short of running into the turnbuckles, but Cancer connects with a dropkick that sends him crashing into the corner. Sykes’ chest collides with the turnbuckle and as Jared stumbles backwards from the impact, Jiles wraps his arms around Jared’s midsection and connects with a release German Suplex that folds Jared like an accordion. Cancer then gets up to his feet and rushes over to Jared, going for the cover.
Nick Stuart: Sykes just gets his left shoulder up, but you can tell he’s not in a good way.
Richard Parker: You try tussling with the Russian Bear, or any bear for that matter, and see what happens to you. You’d probably limp out here with half your arm eaten and three toes between both of your feet.
Nick Stuart: And you would be much better?
Richard Parker: Helllll no.
Cancer gets to his feet and starts to drag Jared up with him when he is met with a spinning back elbow to the face by Nate Colton. Cancer stumbles away from Nate, who follows after him before smashing his head into the top turnbuckle. Nate spins Cancer around and drives his shoulder into Cancer’s midsection. Nate then connects with an uppercut that nearly sees Cancer come out of his boots. Nate mounts the corner and begins pummeling away at Jiles with the crowd counting alongside him.
Colton then hops off the turnbuckle and watches as Cancer stumbles out of the corner.
Richard Parker: I think even Timo was counting along!
Nick Stuart: I think that was just part of his job.
Richard Parker: Then why is he smiling?
Nick Stuart: Fair point.
Colton then slips behind Cancer and goes for a side suplex only for Cancer to block it, blasting Nate in the face with a flurry of elbows. Colton turns away from Cancer, who tries to put Nate into a reverse face lock, but Colton reverses it and sends Cancer flying into the corner. As Colton steps backwards, he is met with a massive force standing behind him. Colton slowly turns around to find himself face to chest with the Russian Bear. Ivan connects with a large paw to the side of Colton’s face, which drops Nate onto the mat. Colton doesn’t remain down for long though as he hops right back up only for the second fist to plant itself into his ribcage.
Ivan then connects with a headbutt that sends Colton crashing to the mat. Ivan then puts his boot onto Colton’s chest.
Ivan is then knocked off of Colton when Cancer rushes into the ring and shoves him in the chest.
“I’VE BEEN WEARING HIM DOWN! THAT IS MY VICTORY!”
Nick Stuart: This doesn’t seem to be the brightest option for Jiles.
Richard Parker: Don’t care, shut up. Hand me my popcorn. This is about to be the good part.
Ivan glares at Jiles and shakes his head before he lifts Jiles into the air with one hand, drops him, and short clotheslines him with the full power (and might) of Mother Russia.
Richard Parker: Just like I said! The good part!
Nick Stuart: Jiles just got hit with The Iron Curtain! Jiles looks like he might be, you know, dead.
Richard Parker: Doubt it, he’s a cockroach.
As Ivan goes to pin Cancer though, Sykes dives at him, slamming his fist into the face of Ivan until both men fall through the ropes and tumble to the outside. Timo looks around at the action and then sees Nate drape his arm across Cancer Jiles and begins his count.
ELIMINATED: Cancer Jiles
Nick Stuart: And just like that, we are down to three!
Richard Parker: The question I have, is Ivan stuck in there with Sykes or Colton, or are Colton and Sykes stuck in there with Ivan?
Nick Stuart: It’s a fair question, and one we’re going to have an answer to quite shortly here.
On the outside of the ring though, Jared Sykes is being smashed into the ringside barricade as if he made the mistake of saying Communism Sucks to Ivan. Stanislav grabs Sykes by the feet and whips him head first into the ringside barricade. His boot presses against Jared’s throat, not content unitl he extinguishes all life out of Jared. Sykes flails, looking for anything to help him escape from this situation, but is unable to find anything. Ivan relents as he reaches down and grabs Sykes, pulling him up to his feet and whips him into the ring apron. His back cracks against the edge of the apron, dropping him to his knees.
Ivan walks over to the nearby ring steps and grabs them with minimal effort. He brings them over to where Jared is standing. He places them on the ground and reaches down to grab Sykes. Jared fires back with a series of fists, but Ivan headbutts Jared and yanks him onto the steps with him. He lifts Jared onto his shoulders, looking to powerbomb him into (onto?) the ring apron. As he holds him up on his shoulders though, someone else has a different idea.
Nate Colton sprints off the ropes and dives through the middle ropes into a spear onto the ribcage of Ivan Stanislav. Ivan drops Jared, who manages to land on his feet somehow on the ring steps. Meanwhile, Colton and Stanislav crash into the ringside barricade. Jared gathers his wits as he looks at Ivan, leaning against the barricade, and launches himself off the steps and connects with a clothesline that sends both men crashing into the crowd.
Nick Stuart: Do we have enough insurance coverage for someone like Ivan collapsing into the fans in the front row?
Richard Parker: Probably not. That’s probably the end of PRIME after all the lawsuits we’re about to be hit with.
Nick Stuart: Sykes is climbing back to his feet, somehow, and is planting his boot into the face of Ivan while Colton is climbing over the barricade.
Richard Parker: Probably the only way that you’re going to take out Stanislav if we’re all being honest.
Sykes and Colton trade shots, each one landing flush on Ivan’s face as he gets to a kneeling position. Each shot is harder than the last one until the duo decide to start kicking him instead. Ivan roars in fury, refusing to be taken down any further and urges both men to come harder than that. Sykes and Colton respond with double kicks to his face that nearly rocks the Russian Bear onto his back. The duo then put him into a double front facelock before lifting him off the ground and connecting with a suplex back over the barricade and onto the ring steps!
Nick Stuart: That’s one way to take out a Russian Bear.
Richard Parker: Yeah, now get that Russian Bear into the ring and cover him!
Seemingly hearing what Nick and Richard are saying, they decide to do just that as they hop back over the barricade and yank him off the ring steps before rolling him back into the ring. They slide in after him and both proceed to cover him as Timo begins his count.
Nick Stuart: Stanislav manages to kick out! HOW?!
Richard Parker: Wrong place, Nick. We are PRIME.
Having managed to kick out, Ivan rolls onto his side, but Nate and Sykes are on top of him as they drop elbow after elbow onto his ribcage, trying to keep the giant down on the mat. Ivan continues to fight through it, shaking his head in the process. He makes it to a standing base and Sykes goes for a running clothesline on Stanislav only for the Russian Bear to move out of the way. Instead, Sykes connects with the clothesline on Colton!
Richard Parker: FRIENDLY FIRE!
Nick Stuart: Now look who’s yelling.
Colton crumples to the mat while Ivan grabs Jared and hoists him over his head. He walks around the ring before walking over to the edge of the ring and tosses him chest and ribs first onto the ring steps below.
Nick Stuart: Heinous! Jared could have multiple broken ribs, a collapsed lung—
Richard Parker: Ivan doesn’t give two flying fucks about that.
Ivan then turns his attention back to a rising Nate Colton. Stanislav quickly headbutts him before he connects with a Release Suplex, sending Colton crashing into the nearby turnbuckle.!
Nick Stuart: RED SCARE! Colton does not look good!
Richard Parker: About time someone sees it from my point of view.
Nick Stuart: Oh, shut up.
Ivan then covers Nate as Timo begins his count.
ELIMINATED: NATE COLTON
And just like that, there were only two. One, was the man rising to his feet in the ring. The other was the one lying prone on the ring steps outside of the ring looking as if he was a crash dummy in one of those vehicle test commercials.
Nick Stuart: And it comes down to these two men, these two that have been back and forth with one another since the ReVival after Culture Shock.
Richard Parker: The peabrain and the wrecker of everything.
Nick Stuart: Which is which?
Richard Parker: That’s… a good question. I guess it depends on the week.
Nick Stuart: You’ve had injuries, forklifts, everything you could imagine under the sun between these two and only one of them will secure their chances for a shot for the Universal Title at UltraViolence.
Ivan laughs as he makes his way to his feet and looks over at his final foe, the final person he must vanquish. He moves over to the ropes and points at the prone Jared Sykes. He looks over at Timo, who is checking on Nate Colton as he gets out of the ring, and yells at him to come over here. Timo begrudgingly does so and Ivan mocks Jared.
Ivan than climbs through the ropes, still laughing. As he stands on the ring apron, he looks over at Jared and shakes his head some more. He then decides to finish Jared once and for all as he leaps off the ring apron, looking to connect with a splash on the prone Jared Sykes.
Except Jared rolls out of the way.
And Ivan crashes chest first onto the steel ring steps.
Nick Stuart: JARED MOVES OUT OF THE WAY!
Richard Parker: That can’t feel good if you’re Ivan.
Nick Stuart: I wouldn’t think so.
Jared kneels against the ring steps and shakes his head as he rises to his feet and looks at the prone Russian Bear.
He then walks to the nearby corner and grabs a steel chair, folds it, and walks over to Ivan. He cocks the chair back and slams it as hard as he can into the back of Ivan.
Add another five times for good measure.
The groans emitting from Ivan suggest a man who is in considerable pain. As Jared grabs him by the back of the head and pulls him off the steel steps, the fans in the front row see a gruesome sight as blood stains the chest of the Russian Bear.
Jared though, doesn’t care. He rolls Ivan back into the ring. This is a man who hit Ivan with a forklift. Things had escalated to the point that limb and life were no longer considered in the two men’s actions. Ivan tries to push himself up to his feet, but struggles to do so, pain emitting through every ounce of his body. Jared helps him out, because he’s clearly a nice guy.
Nick Stuart: Jared has got Stanislav RIGHT where he wants him.
Richard Parker: Yeah, I’ve seen this movie before. This never goes as planned.
Nick Stuart: He’s got Ivan up to a standing base… Neckbreaker Driver on Stanislav!
Richard Parker: Well, I stand corrected. Congrats Jared Sykes!
As Ivan lies there on the canvas, Jared goes for the cover, seeing his destiny in front of him. Timo slides down and begins his count.
It should be three. It would be three. Ivan hasn’t moved. Jared is still on top of him. It takes a moment for Jared to realize that Timo though is no longer on the mat next to him, counting.
Instead, Timo is outside of the ring, looking bewildered at Alexei Ruslan. He looks bewildered because Alexei has yanked Timo out of the ring, saving Ivan from his certain loss. Jared gets to his feet and walks over to the edge of the ring, fire in his eyes at the enraging sight before him.
Alexei looks over at Sykes and hops onto the ring apron. As he does though, Ivan stirs to life. Jared looks behind him and then as he looks back at Alexei, he sees him digging in his pants to get something out. Before he can react though, the crowd roars to life.
Nick Stuart: THAT NO GOOD BASTARD!
Richard Parker: Nick, Nick! It’s about to get froggy in here! Justine Calvin is on her way down!
She hops onto the ring apron and grabs Alexei. Who then elbows her in the jaw. Which causes Jared to fire off a superkick to the jaw of the man who just attacked his fiancee.
Richard Parker: Alexei is OUT!
Nick Stuart: Oh no…
Oh no is correct because as he’s distracted by Alexei, Ivan has gotten up to his feet and wrapped his arms around Sykes. Jared’s eyes grow large and before he knows it, he’s connected with a Release Suplex that launches him across the ring, landing on the back of his neck and skull.
Jared lies there, motionless. Ivan then slams his fist into the face of Justine, sending her crashing to the ring floor.
“GET IN THE RING, TIMO!”
He yells at him and Timo obliges, begrudgingly, as Ivan walks over to Jared and covers him. As the tens of thousands of fans in the arena see what’s about to happen.
DING DING DING
The cacophony of jeers reign down upon Ivan, but he could care less. He’d earned his shot at the Universal Title.
Vince Howard: Your winner… IVAN! STANISLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAV!
Nick Stuart: And the fans are making it known how they feel about Ivan winning this match, especially in the way that he did.
Richard Parker: This is why Ivan is so difficult to defeat. Because he’s a seven foot giant that weighs over four hundred pounds and he’s got a man in his corner like Alexei who will do everything in his power to make sure his man wins.
Ivan stands up and as Timo tries to raise his hand in victory, Ivan yanks it away and lifts both arms in victory, proud of the victory that he is bringing back to his motherland.
Ivan then looks down at Jared, who is broken and battered. He thinks about exacting further revenge upon him, but Justine slides into the ring and covers his body with hers.
Normally, Ivan wouldn’t care about such a thing. But tonight, he is content with the victory he has earned and makes his way to the opposite set of ropes. He climbs through them and hops off the ring apron before helping his friend Alexei to his feet.
A smile appears on Alexei’s face as Ivan wraps his arm around him and gives him some stability before walking down the ramp at PetCo Park.
Nick Stuart: What an amazing match, but marred with—
Richard Parker: This was always going to happen, Nick. Ivan will do everything in his power to seize a victory and he reminded all of us of that here tonight.
Nick Stuart: Truer words have never been spoken. We open the night determining who will be one half of the main event at UltraViolence and tonight, we will close the night by finding out who his potential opponent will be. Could it be Brandon Youngblood who will defeat Tyler Adrian Best tonight and defeat his mid-arc challenger? Very possible. Or it could be Tyler Adrian Best, who will take the title back with him to HOW as he says. We’ve got a lot of show before we get there, but let’s cut backstage where I understand Matt Mills has one of the competitors from this match with him. Take it away Matt.
We see Ivan and Alexei standing at the top of the ramp, glorious in their victory, before we cut backstage.
We cut to Matt Mills who is standing by with Foster Nackedy and a very angry, very sweaty Paxton Ray.
Matt Mills: I’m here with Paxton Ray. Paxton, what do you have to say about your performance in the Tropical Turmoil match?
Paxton looks at Matt, then back at Foster.
Paxton Ray: Nothin’.
Matt Mills: Nothing?
Paxton Ray: Nope.
Matt Mills: Uh…okay. Well, it was a grueling match, and now that it’s over, have you thought about what’s next for you?
Paxton once again looks around, then balls his fists.
Paxton Ray: Ya wanna see what’s next? I’ll show ya what’s next.
Paxton then turns heel and dashes off. Matt Mills looks awkwardly at Foster Nackedy.
Matt Mills: Uh…Foster, do you know what that was about?
Foster Nackedy: Yes.
There is another awkward pause. Matt Mills shuffles his feet.
Matt Mills: Are you going to tell us what it was about?
Foster cocks his head to the side. He opens his mouth, then shakes his head.
Foster Nackedy: Like the man said. He’ll show you soon.
Foster walks off, leaving Matt Mills standing there awkwardly.
Matt Mills: Uh…okay.
THE ANGLO LUCHADOR VS. ARTHUR PLEASANT
“Immigrant Song” by Voodoo Prophet hits the speakers and a chorus of boos immediately follows.
Two words, followed by two letters, written in signature style, appear on PRIMEview with a bleeding effect; this is created by a machete that slices through the bottom of the screen with a violent effect. Arthur Pleasant, meanwhile, has already begun making his way out from behind the curtains.
Vince Howard: Making his way to the ring… from Under The Midnight Sun… weighing in at 225lbs…he is PRIME’s WORST NIGHTMARE… ARTHURRRRRRR… PLLLEEEAAASAAAAAAAAAAAAANT!!!
Wearing his black and red duster, Pleasant saunters down to the ring with the words “#RiseAgainstBullies” underneath a rather unflattering picture of TAL with a big red censor circle over his mug.
Nick Stuart: My God. COULD Arthur Pleasant get any more ridiculous?!
Richard Parker: Probably. I dare you to ask him that.
Nick Stuart: Hell no.
The floodlights above go out at Petco Park, and the big screen in the outfield serving as the PRIMEview for the evening shows a shadowy figure walking down concreted corridors. The ambient noise is mic’d up, and the drips of condensation reverberate through into the night sky. The feed flashes for a second, showing The Anglo Luchador tasting his own blood in the entrance to last year’s Great American Nightmare. Back to the hallway, then again a momentary smash cut showing the Luchador careening into Larry Tact into the steps with a tornillo. The hallway, then a cut of Ivan Stanislav completing the Fastball Special with the Luchador flying across the ring. Back to the hallway and one last cut to him shattering a plastic sword across Tony Gamble’s back. The PRIMEview goes static.
A single spotlight shines on the entrance from Argyle.
Not his normal entrance music. “Oye Como Va” doesn’t fit this match. The exploding guitars driven with frenetic drums, the opening of Local H, “Cynic,” fills the night air in San Diego.
YEAH! I made a promise to love myself. But somehow I don’t think I’m gonna make it.
The Anglo Luchador emerges from the back in the spotlight.
Nick Stuart: Listen to this crowd, Rich! They are ready to see the Anglo Luchador get his pound of flesh.
Richard Parker: Well, much like the NLCS last fall, Nick, a guy from Philly is going to leave them disappointed.
Nick Stuart: You don’t think he’s got extra motivation?
Richard Parker: He does. But that just means Arthur Pleasant is in his head.
The Luchador looks around, breathing in the sultry summer air. He briskly begins his gait to the ring.
An ego might not be so bad. It could be something I should have. I can’t make my mind up. Help me with this while I grip this.
He closes his eyes and breathes in the humidity, soaking in the cheers. He arrives at the precipice of the ringside area before slowly making his way to the ring, climbing up the apron, and flipping over the top rope…
Maybe I could be something you could stand.
…and then, TAL is immediately chop blocked by Arthur Pleasant! Referee Elvis Nixon signals for the bell!
The Provocateur frantically hammers away at TAL’s right knee, and after a few blows, Anglo is able to grab Pleasant’s head, pivot his hips, and reposition – now HE’S raining down shots! The two rivals roll around across the canvas, each jockeying for position and smashing the other man with closed fists! Soon they find themselves tangled in the ropes with Anglo in the dominant position, throwing stiff elbows as Nixon begins his count. TAL untangles himself and steps back per the referee’s instruction.
Nick Stuart: A violent clash to start things off, partner!
Richard Parker: What, you were expecting a collar-and-elbow? They’ve been at each other’s throats for MONTHS! This isn’t a match, this is a FIGHT!
Pleasant is able to get to his feet fairly quickly, and he waves his opponent back, insisting upon space. TAL isn’t having it as he charges forward, throwing more strikes into his opponent! Arthur backs into the ropes once again, and Elvis steps forward to physically separate TAL – Pleasant sneaks in an eye gouge! TAL clutches his face and staggers back, Pleasant quickly springs into action and follows up with a few stiff Muay Thai mid-kicks! They land with authority, and TAL is backed into a corner!
Pleasant throws kick after kick after kick, a blur of precision and chaos! Eventually, FINALLY, Anglo blocks! He blocks again, and follows up with a right jab! Then a left! A right cross sends Pleasant to one knee! TAL stumbles into position, hooks the arms, and lifts –
Nick Stuart: BUTTERFLY SUPLEX! He’s got the leg hooked, but no – Arthur Pleasant has kicked out!
Richard Parker: Cover by Philly Boy, and no surprise, he’s unable to finish the job.
Nick Stuart: A little harsh, there, Rich – we’re still in the early goings, here!
Anglo looks to press his advantage quickly – the grit in his teeth betraying just how much he wants to hurt this man – and he throws a stiff as hell knife edge chop squarely into Pleasant! Arthur staggers, then responds with a BIG headbutt! This sends Anglo back a step or two, before he rears back and throws a stiff elbow into Arthur’s mush – so stiff, in fact, that we see the faint beginnings of a cut on Arthur’s lip! The exchange continues back and forth, and soon the small cut has turned into a small trickle of red down the side of Arthur’s chin!
Nick Stuart: Heavy hands and heavy heads from both competitors! Pleasant’s got a split lip!
Richard Parker: All I know is, you don’t want to tempt a man with fangs like Arthur’s with the taste of blood!
Both men are starting to show significant welts and sweat, and even though they both need to take large breaths in the summer California air, neither man looks ready to back down. This has been personal – personal for a loooooooong time. One wonders how Craig Hamburgers must be feeling watching this brawl. Arthur taps a couple fingers to his chin, sees the red, and his face sort of twists – excitement in the lower half of his face blended with rage from the top half. He beckons TAL forward – seeing red himself and wanting nothing more than to turn that split lip into a full on Cosmetic Surgery Issue, he lunges forward with the heaviest strike yet….
Arthur ducks it! The momentum of the overhead swinging blow sends TAL tumbling into the ropes – Arthur springs forward – STIFF KNEE TO THE BACK OF TAL’S HEAD! TAL’s down to his knees! Arthur creates space, only to sprint hard once again – THRUST KICK INTO THE BACK OF TAL’S HEAD! Anglo is sent stumbling to the outside!
Nick Stuart: Anglo is down on the outside of the ring! He could be in real trouble here!
Richard Parker: That mask didn’t do a THING to protect him from those huge strikes!
Pleasant rolls under the bottom rope and stalks his prey as Nixon calls out to try to get the men back into the ring. Pleasant sickeningly licks his lower lip specifically, we assume for the direct tap into a source of blood, and he violently grabs TAL’s head, biting into the mask with his bitey bitey teef! Nixon isn’t having it and begins a count – and as soon as he does, Arthur transitions TAL into a standing headscissors, hoists – and PLANTS TAL WITH A PILEDRIVER ON THE OUTSIDE!
Pleasant menaces the fans in the front rows nearby, his mix of blood and sweat and insanity and giddyness causing quite a bit of distress in general. Nixon signals a count that is now at 6 for the men to re-enter the ring or risk double count-out…Pleasant regains his focus and he grabs the still-fallen Anglo by the head, rolling him halfway underneath the top rope so that Anglo’s chest and head are face-down outside the ring. With a lithe hop, Arthur now stands on the ring apron – then looking again, he decides to climb to the top rope! TAL is still face down underneath the bottom rope with his lower half inside the ring and his upper half outside it! PRIMEates make it to their feet!
Nick Stuart: Arthur Pleasant, thinking of going for the kill here!
Richard Parker: He’s not a top rope guy, this is something new! What’s he gonna do??
Nick Stuart: Here he goes!!
DIVING DOUBLE KNEE DROP~~~~
NOOOOOOOOOO! Anglo rolls out of the way!
Arthur’s knees slam HARD into the ring apron upon missing his dive, and he rolls to the outside, clutching his legs in serious pain! Ever the crafty veteran, Anglo is able to use the ropes for leverage to get to his feet…he steps to the inside and braces his hands and arms upon the top rope. Anglo pulls back on the rope, gaining leverage, leaping, TWISTING –
Nick Stuart: DO A BARREL ROLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!
Richard Parker: Look at this carnage! I don’t know who’s worse off after that move!
Nick Stuart: The Anglo Luchador knew he had to change the trajectory of this match! Even if it meant sacrificing his body!
Richard Parker: That’s the thing about sacrifice – when you sacrifice everything, what’s left to give?
Elvis Nixon has started up a new count directed to the two mounds of hurting bones and flesh. As Nixon gets to four, as if on instinct, both men begin crawling towards the ring – both scraping and scratching and clawing at the other, maybe in an effort to slow them down, maybe because that’s the only way they can make the other man hurt right now.
At eight, both men make it back inside the ropes. Arthur is still grimacing and clutching at his legs, and his lip bleed has not slowed. TAL is first to make it to his feet, and he sees what Arthur is currently favoring. With significant effort, Anglo steps, steps, reaches, and latches onto Pleasant’s left ankle! He wrenches it in deep – HIGH ANGLE SINGLE LEG BOSTON CRAB! Pleasant HOWLS in pain!
TAP! TAP! TAP! TAP! TAP!
Nick Stuart: CAN THE ANGLO LUCHADOR REDEEM HIMSELF AFTER HIS RECENT STRUGGLES WITH A SUBMISSION HERE?!
TAP! TAP! TAP! TAP! TAP!
TAL has the hold cinched in DEEPLY, but to his credit, Arthur is frantic and somewhat effective at thrusting his body hither and yon in an effort to break free. Arthur’s hand wavers, and it shakes as he holds it above the mat! Elvis launches into position, eyes on Pleasant’s hand, ready to accept the tap out!
Richard Parker: He might be really hurt after his knees said hello to the ring apron – I know it’s a pay-per-view, kid, but there’s no wrasslin’ if your legs don’t work!
Nick Stuart: It just goes to show how personal this feud has become for both men – I’m starting to think The Anglo Luchador is trying to injure his opponent with this hold!
Richard Parker: I’m sure he’ll explain it all away on Jabber later!
Arthur reaches out a few more times, his hand shaking, his eyes betraying a mix of desperation and anger – but he just. Refuses. To tap. Elvis continues his up close and personal position, and in a flash, Pleasant reaches forward and grabs the collar of Elvis’s shirt! Suddenly they’re face to face! Elvis yells at Arthur to let him go, Arthur yells and screams and locks eyes with the referee – and with the eyes of Elvis Nixon completely occupied, Arthur positions his free leg, angles his heel, and thrusts it like a scorpion.
Squarely into the back of TAL’s yam bag.
Nick Stuart: Aw hell, Referee Elvis Nixon didn’t see the low blow!
Richard Parker: GENIUS MANEUVER!
Nick Stuart: Arthur Pleasant drapes an arm over the crumpled body of Anglo!
Nick Stuart: Kick out at the last moment by Anglo!
Richard Parker: Knees shot, lip busted open – and yet, Arthur Pleasant has the advantage here!
Arthur gets to one foot, and the second – nope, just the first again, because that single leg Boston Crab has caused some real damage. He slaps his uncooperative thigh and yells at it in an effort to bully it into submission, and though it’s unclear whether or not thigh muscles can listen, he seems to have found some source of adrenaline that brings him vertical! He can’t walk much, he CERTAINLY can’t run – but he is measuring. TAL stirs, and soon, he’s able to push himself upright to his knees –
– and TAL is immediately met with a BUZZSAW KICK! TAL GOES DOWN LIKE A SACK OF POTATOES!
Nick Stuart: ARTHUR PLEASANT HAS A DEEP COVER HERE! CAN HE PULL OFF THIS HUGE VICTORY??
Richard Parker: TWO, POINT, NINE, NINE!
Nick Stuart: Arthur can’t believe it! He’s arguing to get his hand raised by Referee Elvis Nixon!
Richard Parker: The job’s not done kid! You almost have him! Finish it!
It’s clear that Arthur can’t, or won’t, hear Richard’s advice – instead, he’s SCREAMING in anger in the face of Elvis.
Arthur Pleasant: YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO RAISE MY HAND!
Elvis Nixon: WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT! TWO, ARTHUR! TWO!
Arthur Pleasant: WHAT ARE YOU EVEN GOOD FOR??
The argument ensues more and more, and more, and more…and before too much time passes, the Crumpled Heap Of A Lucha Man has turned into a Standing And Ready To Attack Anglo Luchador.
And seeing more of Arthur’s bullshit, TAL decides to repay a favor from earlier in the night.
Nick Stuart: CHOP BLOCK BY ANGLO!
Richard Parker: Arthur’s legs! They have to be completely wrecked by now!
Indeed, the sum total of damage delivered to Pleasant’s legs seems to reach a tipping point. He is in agony, sprawled on the floor.
And without a word, without consideration, and without an ounce of anything besides the overwhelming feelings of finality and vindication, TAL wraps his arms around Arthur’s torso.
He lets out a mighty roar.
And he lifts and twists…
Nick Stuart: KARELIN DRIVERRRRRRRRRRRRR! HERE’S THE COVER!
DING DING DING!
Vince Howard: Here is your winner! THE ANGLOOOOOOO LUUUUUUUUUCHADORRRRRRRRRRR!
Nick Stuart: What a hellacious fight!
Richard Parker: As much as I hate to admit, the Philly kid finally finished the job. For once!
Nick Stuart: The monkey has been forcibly removed from The Anglo Luchador’s back! What a big win over a very game Arthur Pleasant tonight at Tropical Turmoil!
TAL is certainly beat up, but we see a sense of peace and re-centering wash across The Paladin of PRIME’s face (at least, the parts not covered by his mask) as Elvis Nixon raises his arm in victory. Arthur, lip still bleeding, fires daggers in the direction of his opponent tonight from the top of the ramp.
Richard Parker: Arthur Pleasant might have won this match on another night, no question.
The Anglo Luchador slowly and gingerly gets to the outside, leaning against the ring apron. A blur catches his eye, and he has enough time to look up before the blur bowls him over.
Nick Stuart: Wait, what’s going on at ringside?
Richard Parker: Oh no.
TAL falls over and the camera settles in on the blur, which is now stationary. Paxton Ray stands over The Anglo Luchador, snarling, and the crowd reacts accordingly.
Nick Stuart: What the hell is this! Come on!
Paxton grabs TAL and helps him to his feet only to send him into the ring steps.
The Bayou Butcher doesn’t let TAL recover. He’s immediately on top of him, grabbing his head and slamming it into the steps again and again.
Nick Stuart: He was just through a grueling match! He’s defenseless! Stop this, Paxton!
Paxton does not stop. He lifts TAL in the air in a military press, then drops him so that his head lands directly on the apron. TAL rolls over to the barricade, and as he tries to use it to climb to his feet, Paxton wraps his chain around his fist and delivers a left hand to TAL’s forehead, causing him to fall against the barricade.
Nick Stuart: Where is security! TAL needs help!
As TAL leans against the barricade, blood trickling from his forehead, Paxton smiles and takes a few steps back, then runs towards TAL.
Nick Stuart: The Anglo Luchador moved! And Paxton just went face first into the guard rail!
TAL instinctively starts to turn the tide around. He sends a few kicks to Paxton’s body, then looks over and sees an empty chair near the ring bell. He folds it up and holds it high, looking down at Paxton’s stirring body.
Then, suddenly, The Anglo Luchador’s expression changes. His eyes go wide, and then he backs up a few steps before dropping the chair.
Richard Parker: What are you doing? Just brain the bastard!
TAL shakes his head, then turns around and moves towards the back. He’s not exactly running, but he isn’t shuffling either.
Nick Stuart: What the hell just happened out here? Why did Paxton Ray try to take out The Anglo Luchador? And why did TAL not fight back?
Richard Parker: I don’t know the answer to any of those questions, partner, but if I know anything about the psychopath at ringside, I don’t think it’s over.
Indeed, the camera moves closer to Paxton as he rises, a sick smile on his face.
COMMERCIAL: 24 HOUR RULE
We come back from commercial and see a sweat covered Arthur Pleasant. His upper body glistens under the backstage lights as dried blood stains the area around his mouth. “My God!” he thinks, reflecting on the war with TAL he just went through. It left him feeling rejuvenated. Alive, even. After several weeks of irrevocably changing a man’s nature, the end result was a true blessing. He believed TAL left every bit of his strength, anger, and wrestling prowess on the mat in front of thousands, and Pleasant wouldn’t have it any other way.
In fact, TAL should be thanking him.
Slicking his long, black hair back and exposing more of his undercut, Pleasant smiles like a man who just had the best meal of his life. An equipment box on wheels sits idly by next to a steel frame designed to hold equipment for pyrotechnics that has gone unused throughout the night. Hopping up onto the equipment box, Pleasant reaches into the waistband of his wrestling gear and pulls out the same pack of Newports we’ve seen him pull out before.
As Arthur smacks the bottom of the pack, Yuri waltzes into the camera’s view looking as emotionless as always.
Arthur Pleasant: (wincing slightly from the aftereffects of his match) YURSTER, MY BOY! I was wondering where you disappeared to.
Yuri shakes his head.
Yuri: I had some things to take care of with our mutual friend.
The Siberian Silencer zeroes in on the cigarettes Pleasant is PRIMEing.
Yuri: Did you have a pack of cigarettes on you the whole match?
The gargantuan of a man leans back on the steel frame next to Pleasant. Arthur laughs as he tucks a cigarette between his crimson lips.
Arthur Pleasant: Haha. Of course not. I kept them at Gorilla. That’d be something, though, wouldn’t it? Especially if they remained intact after something like a shooting star press!
Yuri: Uh… da.
Arthur and Yuri just stand there for several moments. Arthur, enjoying his cigarette, finally breaks the silence once the orange glow reaches the halfway point.
Arthur Pleasant: I guess it goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway; I was telling the truth all along. The good guys just don’t win… even when they win.
Pleasant takes another heavy drag.
Arthur Pleasant: Not in a world this cruel and unforgiving. I’m willing to bet a month’s pay that the next person MASK introduces himself to, like the artificial pest that he is, won’t be as snarky about it. Because you just don’t know what someone might do when you show them a lack of respect.
Pleasant turns his head sideways and winks at Yuri with a contented aura about him.
Arthur Pleasant: Speaking of a lack of respect, I have half a mind to clean up the JABBERwockies from PRIME. Seems like birds of a feather truly do flock together here. What do you think, Yuri?
Yuri: Your call. You could always go after a championship.
Pleasant laughs and shakes his head.
Arthur Pleasant: Are you kidding me? I’m one loss away from being a punchline in this place like a Zion or a Mephisto. No, not yet. As much as I would love to throw my hat into the Intense or 5-Star title picture, it’s not the right time. I appreciate the confidence, comrade. Besides, there’s not a chance in hell La Presidenta would feel enough warmth towards me to give me a chance like that. So, no. I have a little cleansing to do around here. Maybe actually win a few more matches before I start collecting belts. Right now, I’m more than happy to collect some pelts.
Smirking, he finishes his cigarette and puts the lit end out on the equipment box.
Arthur Pleasant: One thing I do know for sure, though? I need to have a chat with Ivan.
Pleasant turns to walk away but stops once he realizes Yuri is still leaning on the steel frame.
Arthur Pleasant: Come along now, Yuri. You’re a part of this now, too.
Arthur and Yuri head off down the hallway of PetCo Park while we head back out to the ring.
I WOULD DIVE FOR YOU
It’s the 1980’s. Ok, it’s 2023, but the sound of these guitar riffs mean it feels like the 1980’s. That’s the opening ten seconds of “You’re The Best” by Joe “Bean” Esposito. Bean, of course, being the most common nickname for Joseph.
Nick Stuart: (audibly shuffling papers) Bobby Dean’s match is next, but I don’t have this accounted for on the call sheet.
Richard Parker: (totally unfazed) This song just makes me think of Karate Kid. Once drank a lovely Yamazaki scotch with Pat Morita. Real nice guy.
Not a karate kid, not even a karate man, is he who emerges from the top of the ramp. It’s Beautiful Bobby Dean, in all his glory. The robe. The matching shiny boots. The architecturally majestic swoop of hair that would be at home atop an SEC head football coach. And the people of San Diego…do not love it.
Nick Stuart: I can’t say I understand the reason for the season here, but the PRIME faithful are none too pleased at the early arrival of Mr. Dean.
Richard Parker: There’s a few nutjobs out there popping for this guy. And to those loonballs, most of whom seem headed for drunk & disorderlies tonight, I say bravo.
It seems like most of the announce team wasn’t ready for this because Vince Howard is still sitting in his ringside chair. The camera cut to him shows the head announcer looking confusedly up at the ramp. Here to cut aside the confusion, though, is Bobby Dean, who has a mic in hand and starts to address the Petco crowd as he strolls down the ramp.
Bobby Dean: I got some Cracking News of my own for y’all tonight. First: This has to be, without a doubt, the worst Tropical Turmoil of all-time. Did you know they’re not even serving frozen pina coladas back there? This just seems like totally REGULAR turmoil. How boring.
Nick Stuart: I…don’t think wrestlers are legally allowed to drink before their matches?
Richard Parker: I like a free thinker. Let’s hear him out.
Bobby Dean: Thirdly: I’m about to get a sweet supershow pay day, because I’ve been boning my body and honing my mind, while my opponent is certainly no match for me. If I were you, I’d go to DanDuel – that’s my friend Dan’s gambling website – and bet the house on Bobby Dean to show. Speaking of Cancer Sonada, let’s bring him on out so I can embarrass him on this here ole mic before I wrestle circles around him in the ring. And don’t play any good music for this guy, mister DJ.
“I said ‘kiss me, you’re beautiful’
These are truly the last days'”
Nick Stuart: That’s Chandler Tsonda’s music. But we saw that ludicrous stunt double of his last night, so I can only imagine…
Bobby Dean: NEXT!
On Dean’s command, instead of the expected Coheed and Cambria tune that would announce Real Chandler Tsonda, it’s…
… When Jason was at the table
I kept on seeing him look at me when he was with that other girl
Do you think he was just doing that to make me jealous?
Because he was totally texting me all night last night
And I don’t know if it’s a booty call or not
So, like what do you think?
Did you think that girl was pretty?
How did that girl even get in here?
…the intro to “#SELFIE” by the Chainsmokers.
Richard Parker: Love the Chainsmokers, man. Only their early stuff.
And instead of a real wrestler or person who would make any sense appearing at this show, out from the back emerges Doppeltsonda. The San Diego faithful, desperate to see their hometown guy, flat out do not like this.
Nick Stuart: Let me be the first person, but probably not the last, to apologize for what you’re seeing, fans.
Doppeltsonda does the dorkiest shit imaginable at the top of the ramp. He’s got a pale imitation of Tsonda’s gear, and he shadowboxes in place, as if he’s gotten the stage direction “look like a tough guy.” He’s got a mic, and he’s barely able to be heard over the boos as he tries to play his part in this farce.
Not Chandler Tsonda: Bobby Dean, you’re an incredibly impressive wrestler, and an even more impressive man. I have to admit: I’m quaking in my boots right now. I’m scared. I’m afraid. I just want you to take pity on me. Let me leave with my dignity.
Bobby Dean: Afraid I can’t do that, Definitely The Real Chandler Tsonda. You’re going to have to come down here and collect this whooping.
Not Chandler Tsonda: Is there anything I could do to make you show mercy?
Bobby Dean: (forgetting his part for a second) Yeah, did you see anywhere to get a frozen pina colad…no, you know what, Definitely The Real Chandler Tsonda – a guy I am totally about to beat and have all the record books show it – I have to put on a show for these great wrestling fans here in San Francisco and put you down.
Not Chandler Tsonda: (sighs) Alright, but I’m just begging you to go easy on me.
Doppeltsonda jogs down to the ring.
Nick Stuart: Surely, this is not going to be allowed. This is an obvious ploy by Bobby Dean to take advantage of Chandler Tsonda’s absence and earn a win.
Richard Parker: Dean could’ve just gotten a forfeit win, since Tinkerbell isn’t showing up. At least we’re getting this messed up stage play out of the whole thing.
Doppeltsonda enters the ring. The bell hasn’t rung, but it seems like mere ceremony. Bobby Dean takes one small step towards Doppeltsonda, and gives a two-finger poke to the chest. Doppeltsonda goes down like he’s been hit by a sniper. He does a very theater kid death spasm, lets out a howl, and then falls onto his back, eye closed, tongue lolling out of his mouth.
Nick Stuart: Oh, come on.
Bobby Dean: Here you have it, San Junipero. “Beautiful” Bobby Dean has felled the mighty Chandler Tsonda. Now all that’s left to do is ring that bell and we can all count to three together.
BBD takes one step towards the prone Doppeltsonda. Forgetting to play dead for the cameras, the Tsonda double looks up at Bobby and does a cornball wink and a thumbs up, then goes back to being fake unconscious.
“I said ‘kiss me, you’re beautiful’
These are truly the last days'”
Bobby Dean: (turns to the PRIME*View) You are screwing up music cues left and right, now’s not the time to play crappy music!
That’s the sound of a lightly-but-violently plucked guitar. The first tiptoeing notes of Coheed & Cambria’s “Welcome Home.”
Welcome home, indeed.
Nick Stuart: The jig is UP! Ladies and gentlemen, that is a sound we describe in this business as a roar, and it is for none other than…
Richard Parker: (interrupting) A way to ruin a perfectly good night.
Bobby Dean: Uhm, I think the ‘beetus is flaring up because I’m seeing double here. And one of them is looking really mean. Like bad mean. Ellen Degeneres mean. This can’t be—
It’s really him. Top of the ramp. Here in his home city. Looking plenty mean. In the pinstriped Padres jersey, number 11. Yu Darvish, that’s the homie.
And on the bottom: yeah, that’s his ring gear. Which means, importantly, that he’s looking ready to fight.
WEL-COME HOME! WEL-COME HOME! WEL-COME HOME!
Nick Stuart: Chandler Tsonda hasn’t said a word, and this place is absolutely electric! The roof is going to come off!
The Model Citizen has a mic. Of course he has a mic. The feedback of the crowd buzzes as he raises it to his lips. He stares lasers in both his body double gone wrong and Bobby Dean.
Chandler Tsonda, For Real This Time: (points to the ring) …you. (points to Doppeltsonda) That guy’s gonna run away. (points to Bobby Dean) And then I’m gonna flay you. (points to the crowd) And all these people? They’re gonna lose their goddamn minds.
Chandler Tsonda: Now ring that motherfucking bell.
The Model Citizen, drunk on the hometown pop and with a noticeable edge, is sprinting to the ring before mic hits the ground. And in the corner of the frame, as Tsonda slides in under the bottom ropes, is the sight of the body double he once hired, scampering away into the night.
Nick Stuart: Well it’s not how we would’ve predicted getting here, but we’ve got our two competitors in the ring, we’ve got a livewire crowd, and we are ready to go here in San Diego!
BOBBY DEAN vs. CHANDLER TSONDA
As Tsonda and Bobby eye one another up, Jimmy Turnbull calls for the bell and the match starts.
Nick Stuart: This is a mismatch of a battle in size but not in allure. You have the Beautiful Man from Honalee vs The Model Citizen in what is sure to be a classic in looks, if nothing else.
Richard Parker: That’s true, but the question is, can they match up stylistically? These two are very different in that regard.
As the bell rings, Tsonda goes straight to work, peppering the lower extremities of Bobby. The beautiful one winces cartoonishly with each strike and hops on each foot as he gets struck. Finally, he seems to have had enough and lashes out as Jimmy Turnbull is circling behind Tsonda and pokes him in the eye.
Tsonda recoils, and Dean is quick in the way only he can be to close the distance, and grabs Tsonda in a side headlock. As Bobby grinds Chandler’s head into his ample torso, the Model gets a full look at Bobby’s underboob. The horrors within cause him to recoil and start to drop sharp elbows into Bobby’s breadbarrel which breaks the hold.
Nick Stuart: There’s a sight no man should have to endure.
Richard Parker: You ever wonder what is trapped in there?
Nick Stuart: I try not to think about it, partner.
Richard Parker: I bet it’s cheese doodles.
Chandler goes on the attack again, trying to effectively snuff any attempt at offense by the much slower Dean by feinting, sidestepping and lifting kicks into his torso. The rotund mass jiggles with each strike, but before long, the effect is felt and Bobby start wincing and trying to block. It’s then that Tsonda launches a Question Mark kick that snaps past Dean’s torso defense and catches him behind the ear and puts him on the mat.
The Viet Viper is quick to keep on the assault, eschewing his normal tendency to go for the big spot and instead goes for efficiency, going for an early pin.
Bobby kicks out and Tsonda looks to Jimmy Turnbull, but the ref holds up a finger so Chandler accepts the count.
Nick Stuart: Chandler is on his game tonight. No wasted movement, no wasted time.
Richard Parker: Well, Nick, maybe he realizes that there is a huge weight advantage and with the history he has with back injuries, he has to get this over with quickly before Bobby has a chance to start leaning on him.
Nick Stuart: That seems likely. The eGG Bandit knows his strengths, or lack thereof, and it’s only a matter of time before he leans into that tactic.
Chandler decides to stomp on Bobby, but after laying in the first boot, Bobby shouts in pain and starts rolling around on the ground evading Tsonda’s attacks. Jimmy Turnbull tries to make sense of the situation as one stomp after another lands on the mat, but none seem to find purchase. Finally a frustrated Viper telegraphs a stomp and Bobby catches his foot. The much larger man grabs Tsonda’s leg and begins to grapple his way up, slowly putting more and more weight on the smaller man.
As Bobby works his way up, he begins to drag Chandler to the mat and now that Bobby has all of his leg and is slowly working his way up to his waist, Tsonda just does not have the mass to escape. Soon he finds himself seated on the mat and his legs are completely encased in the slow moving entity that is Bobby Dean. He tries desperate palm strikes and punches, but there is little to no effect on the creeping mass that is engulfing him.
Nick Stuart: This is a new tactic! Bobby is very nearly twice the weight of his opponent and he is attacking almost like a gelatinous cube in Dungeons and Dragons!
Richard Parker: ROLL A DC 12 DEX SAVE CHANDLER!
Nick Stuart: Wait, shouldn’t it be a DC 12 strength check?
Richard Parker: No, that is to break out when completely engulfed, not when trying to escape being engulfed.
Nick puts up a finger and reaches down, rifling through something below the desk. He pulls out a 5E Monster Manual and starts flipping through pages as Richard watches.
Richard Stuart: I believe you will find what you are looking for under “oozes”.
Nick flips to the page and looks up at Richard who gives a knowing nod. Nick starts mouthing words as he reads.
Nick Stuart: I stand corrected, sir.
Meanwhile back in the ring, Bobby has almost made it to strength check level engulfment and has dragged Chandler to the mat. Tsonda looks completely out of his depth on how to handle this kind of mass, let alone escape the hold.
Jimmy Turnbull checks on the competitors, looking to see if Tsonda is going to submit to this bizarre tactic. However, as Chandler feels the impending creep of doom, he has an idea and starts to throw his head backward, smashing it into the face of The Beautiful Man from Honalee. The hometown crowd starts to get behind Tsonda as he hits Bobby again and again.
Bobby begins to shake his head and realizes he can’t keep this attack up any longer or he will look more like the Michelin Man from Honalee. He finally releases his grip and trundles to his feet slowly holding his snout. Tsonda springs up faster than any old man should and bounces off the ropes into a bulldog to the floundering Dean.
Nick Stuart: Another attack on Dean’s face! It’s almost like Tsonda is trying to show him who is the one who will walk away still looking good!
Richard Parker: You’re right Nick, he really does seem to be favoring Bobby’s face.
Bobby gets to his feet, hands on his knees huffing and puffing as Chandler runs to the rope, bounces off, and Sunset Flips into a pin!
Nick Stuart: That was a close one and Tsonda has to be feeling himself right now with this burst of offense. He is a lot more focused than usual in there!
Richard Parker: For someone of his caliber in this company, it has to be difficult to come back and not have a win yet.
Tsonda doesn’t let up, pulling the much larger man to his feet and going back to work on his torso with snap kicks and constant movement. Bobby does the exact same thing as before and shrieks as he protects his torso with his hands. Chandler smirks as he tries to snap another Question Mark kick, but Bobby ducks and pushes him forward into the corner hard, causing Tsonda to stumble out holding his back before he falls to his knees.
Bobby seems to understand it’s “now or never” time as he picks the Model Citizen to his feet and pushes him back into the corner. He turns and blows a kiss to a lady in the front row before grabbing the ropes and plowing into Tsonda with his ass repeatedly.
Nick Stuart: That cannot feel good. That’s a lot of weight and despite the cushion, people aren’t meant to absorb blows like that.
Richard Parker: Someone should put a sign on that rear end and declare it a weapon.
Nick Stuart: I can’t believe you would think that it isn’t already thought of as a weapon. Plus, he’s an eGG Bandit, the odds are good SOMEONE has already done so.
Richard Parker: Let’s not ruin a perfectly good match by bringing HIM up.
Nick Stuart: Agreed!
Back at the action, Bobby grabs Tsonda by the scruff of the neck and spins him in a circle three times with showmanship while he pulls his trunks open. Tsonda’s eyes go wide, and with audible (and not a small amount of physical) protest, Chandler’s head is stuffed inside Bobby Dean’s No-No Zone.
The Beautiful Man lifts Tsonda up for the Deaner Weiner and holds him in place struggling.
Nick Stuart: Tsonda is fighting back! But all Bobby has to do is drop into place and he could take him out of this match!
Chandler flails his hands and starts grasping for anything to get him the hell out of this predicament when his hands go into Bobby’s shorts, and he comes up with a handful of hair. Bobby’s eyes go wide as he realizes what is about to happen and Chandler rips two voluminous handfuls of Bobby Dean’s luscious lower mane.
Bobby howls in pain and drops Chandler. Tsonda looks at his hands, horrified and shakes them out as soon as possible. Dark hair scatters all over as Tsonda tries to get it off his hands.
Richard Parker: The carpet doesn’t match the drapes!!!
Tsonda takes advantage of the moment to run to the ropes, springs over Bobby as he does. He leaps to the highest rope he can to get max height and flips with a high angle moonsault!
Nick Stuart: The Model Citizen! That has to be it!
Tsonda wastes no time in going for the pin and Jimmy Turnbull slides into place.
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: And your winner…. CHAAAAAAANDLEEEEER TSOOOOOOONDAAAAA!!!
Nick Stuart: I’ve seen a lot of things, but I’ve never seen that set-up move before! Chandler Tsonda gets his first win in PRIME!
Richard Parker: And Bobby Dean might be bald… well, his majestic man forest might be anyhow.
Nick Stuart: Let’s agree never to talk about the things we’ve seen today, shall we?
Richard Parker: I think that’s for the best.
The match ends with Chandler’s hand raised victoriously. Bobby is kneeling, trying to shovel his hair back in his trousers. And on that terrible disappointment, Tropical Turmoil heads to commercial.
COMMERCIAL: NEW PRIMEMPORIUM MERCH
You know, we aren’t sure exactly why Abe’s here again tonight. His match was yesterday, dammit! But yet, there he goes just walking down the hall backstage at the Petco Arena in his casual wear, not a care to be had.
Abe Lipschitz: Tonight just feels like one of those nights where nothing at all possible can go wrong! Time to get my rizz on, because I’m feelin’ lucky! Where’s Lindz’s offi…uh.
Never turn the blind corner, Scenery Boy. You should know better than that by now! What were you thinking?
Wade Elliott: Well, if ain’t just the kid I’m lookin’ for!
The presence of the Bama Bruiser in and of itself is generally an 8 on the intimidation scale. When you’re someone who’s been pining after his significant other since the day he set foot in PRIME? It’s a 10.
Not even the fact that Wade is holding a rope attached to the reins of a pony makes it less than that.
Abe Lipschitz: Butter Pecan? What are you doing here?
Wade gives Abe a glare as he pats the horse on the snout.
Wade Elliott: You two’ve met, huh?
In a panic, Abe does what he does the worst. He lies.
Abe Lipschitz: Oh, no! I’ve just heard a lot about him from my identical twin, Rudy Lipschitz. Looks just like me, except I wouldn’t be caught dead in a pool without a swim cap. Or a pool that wasn’t mine.
Wade Elliott: Rudy Lipschitz, huh?
Elliott takes a step toward Abe. Again, doesn’t sound that threatening, but considering he was standing about half a step away? A little.
Wade Elliott: Well, why don’t you deliver Rudy a little message fer me? Spent a lot’ve of time cleanin’ up horse apples this week. Not t’mention havin’ to get out on the Cub Cadet to cut over some yard art he left.
Abe tries to take a step backward to put some distance between them. Only he can’t, as he backs right into Butter Pecan.
Wade Elliott: Hedge was nice, though.
Abe Lipschitz: Got it. Happy to relay that to him. Take care, Mr. E!
Lipschitz attempts to walk in the other direction, but the other direction is blocked off by the wall that’s been there the entire time. He then tries to squeeze through the very tiny sliver of space between the pony and the man made of stone. No such luck.
Wade Elliott: Just one more thing, Abe.
Wade balls up his fist…
Abe Lipschitz: Oh no…
…around the rope, just before slipping it into Abe’s hands. Who is now covering his face in a defensive position.
Wade Elliott: Have Rudy take ‘im back where he belongs.
With that, Abe lets his guard down, breathing a sigh of relief. Exactly what Elliott wanted him to do.
A big ol’ kiss on Abe’s cheek from out of nowhere is the goodbye delivered from the Blue Collar Brawler. He grins and walks out of view, leaving Abe and Butter Pecan to try and interpret what just happened.
Camera opens on Stu and Rocky sitting in the locker rooms at Petco Park. Rocky keeps eyeing the monitors, his knees bounce rapidly..
Rocky de Leon: I’m feeling a bit of nervous energy. Gonna go take a walk.
Stuart Weiler: Good idea – while you’re at it, why don’t you go check how sales are doing at the PRIMEporium? Maybe stand there a few minutes, too – might drive some people to buy a few more pterodactyl heads if you’re there.
Rocky de Leon: I’m not a salesman, Stu.
Rocky dons his mask.
Stuart Weiler: That’s right. You’re a mascot.
Rocky de Leon: Hey!
Stuart Weiler: In character, please.
Rocky growls and leans in toward Stu, his fists clenched.
Stu is unphased, does not flinch, and raises one eyebrow above the rim of his glasses.
Rocky slumps, clearly defeated, and sighs.
Rocky de Leon: Skree.
Stuart Weiler: Once more, with feeling.
Rocky de Leon: SKREE!
Stuart Weiler: There’s a good mascot, now go find out if I need to order more shirts.
Stu opens his laptop and begins to type furiously. Rocky turns and exits the locker room.
Rocky de Leon: [grumbling] I’ll show you who’s a good mascot…
Camera follows Rocky through the tunnels and down the halls of Petco Park. He signs a handful of autographs and SKREEs for a few selfies/snapchats with fans. Several of them follow him to the PRIMEporium where the Merch Tsar/current champion of ongoing death has mysteriously popped up in a cloud of confetti.
Anna Daniels: Greetings, mortals! Money, like your lives, is fleeting. Would you care to spend some of yours on our wares? Everything is Buy Ten, Get One free tonight!
Rocky de Leon: SKREE!
Rocky leans in over the counter and whispers.
Rocky de Leon: Uh, hey, Anna – I just came by to check on how sales of FDP merch are going.
The camera pans left as Rocky speaks with Anna to include a McSkree and Me shirt which has been bedazzled and besequinned in a manner most pink. Rocky notices the shirt and stops whispering.
Rocky de Leon: Daniels. What the hell is THAT?!
Anna pulls the shirt down and hands it to Rocky.
Anna Daniels: We were fairly certain you would recognize a shirt, even if you elect not to wear one in the ring.
Rocky de Leon: No, Anna, come on – I mean why is it… WHAT THE HELL!?
Rocky moves further left. The camera follows. Rocky finds a display of foam pterodactyl heads which have been completely coated in pink glitter.
Anna Daniels: Don’t look at us, buddy. We didn’t do it. It’s yet another classic case of people fucking with the merchandise. We really need to invest into some security guards or something.
The vessel shrugs much to Rocky’s frustration.
Anna Daniels: Buuuut if it helps, they were nice enough to leave a note. And hey, we can always sell these as a limited edition thing. Tonight only. Just say the word!
She winks to him as she slides an envelope across the glass case-counter. The camera zooms onto the envelope in Rocky’s hands. The envelope is made from a base of black glossy paper. The edges are rimed with pink glitter, a wax seal closes the envelope with an imprint of lips. The wax seal has been trimmed such that the exterior wall is in the shape of a heart. The envelope reads:
Rocky opens the envelope and pulls out a card. It is printed on bone cardstock. The font is something called Silian Rail. It reads:
Camera fades to black.
JONATHAN-CHRISTOPHER HALL vs. ROCKY DE LEON
The lights dim and “Me And Julio Down By The Schoolyard” by Streetlight Manifesto begins blaring as green lasers flash around PetCo Park.
The mama pajama rolled out of bed
And she ran to the police station
When the papa found out he began to shout
And he started the investigation
Vince Howard: The following contest is scheduled for ONE FALL… making his way to the ring first… weighing in at 215lbs… he is… THE LION OF LAREDO… ROOOOOOOCKY DEEE LEEEEEOOOOOON!
Nick Stewart: Looks like Mr. Nice Guy is on vacation!
Richard Parker: Oof. Rocky looks pissed. Safe to say that he’s still reeling from the loss to Mort.
Nick Stuart: I agree. It might’ve been what he needed for this match, though! I’d hate to be Jonathan-Christopher Hall right now!
Richard Parker: JCH lost too, dummy! Did you forget that mauling he received by Ivan at ReVival 30?! I’d say both guys have equal claim to being fired up for this match.
Rocky comes out from the back in his full costume. With a look of ill-intent poking out through his mask, he flaps his arms on the ramp and lets out a mighty SKREE~! The crowd SKREE~!’s back. Rocky SKREE~!’s again, this time sounding like an angry pterodactyl about to descend upon his prey.
Nick Stuart: Even his SKREE~!’s have a certain malice behind them. This is gonna be GOOD.
“I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” by Aerosmith hits the speakers and the fans immediately react as Jonathan-Christopher Hall emerges at the top of the ramp. Vickie Hall is in front of him, raising her arms, smiling, portraying the essence of confidence.
Vince Howard: Making his way to the ring next, accompanied by Vickie Hall, he is a member of the Love Convoy…from Folsom, Louisiana and weighing in at 220 pounds…JONATHAN! CHRIIISTOPHERRRRRR! HAAAAALLLLLLLLLLL!
Her husband, in a stark contrast to his match at ReVival 30, looks to be brimming with confidence. He smiles as he follows her towards the ring, happily ignoring the taunts from the San Diegans. They both reach the ring and Hall quickly rolls under the ropes, jumping up to his feet as Vickie Hall looks at her husband lovingly.
Nick Stuart: Well Jonathan-Christopher Hall looks like he’s got a bit more confidence tonight than he did the last time he stepped through those ropes!
Richard Parker: If you were about to be annihilated by a seven-foot two, four-hundred pound Russian monster you wouldn’t look too confident either. JC’s got this, though. His confidence is unmistakable!
As soon as Jonathan-Christopher Hall and Rocky De Leon make it to their respective corners, referee Ashley Barlow asks if both competitors are ready. Then, as they both nod their heads, Barlow calls for the bell!
Rocky bursts out of the gate, utilizing his great agility to evade Hall’s initial attempt at a quick double-leg takedown. Rocky’s fluid movement in evading the double-leg takedown brings a smile to his face, despite showing a sense of bitterness during his entrance. Motioning that he is “ready”, Rocky gets inside Hall’s head a bit as he smiles.
Nick Stuart: Ooh! Rocky playing some early mind games in this thing!
Richard Parker: What a moron. Jonathan-Christopher Hall is The Alpha Male Love Boat and if the Lion isn’t careful, he’s going to drown under the hull.
Nick Stuart: Wow, you’ve really been practicing that one, haven’t you?
Richard Parker: So what. You’re not my Mom.
JCH and Rocky then begin circling each other around the ring before locking up in the center. Hall starts with an arm wringer, but Rocky reverses it into an arm wringer of his own. Hall slaps his own shoulder and counters the arm-wringer into a go-behind hammerlock. Rocky, looking for a way out, cradles JCH’s head. Jumping off of the mat, it looks like Rocky’s going to get slammed by Hall, but the Lion of Loredo turns it into a snapmare that throws the Forever Man against the turnbuckles!
Looking slightly less confident than he did upon entering the ring after that exchange, Hall tries to shake it off as Vickie claps and yells for her husband. Rocky, looking as focused as ever, leans in on JCH before whipping into the opposite ropes. Hall off the recoil, Rocky jumps up and uses both legs to flip his opponent onto the mat with a hurricanrana! Rocky has both legs hooked and Barlow is right there!
JCH kicks out just as Vickie screams at him to get up!
Nick Stuart: Rocky with a really nice looking Pterricanrana!
Richard Parker: Jesus Christ. It’s a hurricanrana. These dinosaur references are really getting old.
Nick Stuart: Tell that to the merchandising team. I hear Rocky’s shirts are a surefire sell-out every event!
Richard Parker: Well, you won’t find me buying one!
Hall, looking further perplexed that he can’t seem to gain an advantage, shakes his head. Vickie, meanwhile, slams the apron, trying to get something going for her man. With the incentive of Vickie going all-in with her cheerleading, JCH goes for a soft reset by circling Rocky again. Rocky takes the bait and both men go in for a collar-and-elbow tie-up. JCH knees Rocky in the gut, doubling him over. Grabbing his head, Hall snaps down with a vicious DDT! Not wanting to waste a moment, Hall goes for a cover. Barlow counts!
Rocky kicks out at one and Vickie is PISSED!!
Nick Stuart: That was quite the DDT Hall hit Rocky with. Can’t believe Rocky managed to kick out at one!
Richard Parker: Given how thick Rocky’s head is, I’m not surprised.
Realizing that he is going to need far more than a single DDT to put Rocky away, Hall doubles down on the DDT by setting Rocky up for a second one. Rocky elbows JCH in the gut, escaping the second DDT, but as soon as Rocky goes for the ropes, Hall brings Rocky down to the mat by grabbing his mask and pulling!
Knowing that he cannot outmatch Rocky De Leon’s athleticism, Hall resorts to more flagrant cheating. JCH gets down onto the mat and chokes Rocky right in front of the ref! The crowd boos this immediately as Hall releases the choke on the count of four and a half. Hall drags Rocky to the side of the ring where Vickie is standing, gets down beside Rocky again and begins choking him again, as soon as he does, he throws his feet up onto the bottom rope where Vickie holds them for added effect. The crowd boos vehemently, expressing their disdain for Hall’s egregious tactics.
Richard Parker: Hahahaha! I LOVE. IT.
Nick Stuart: This just goes to show how desperate the Timid Tiger is to win this thing. Can’t say I agree with it, but I understand the pressure of needing to win a match on a PPV. Especially with the level of talent here in PRIME.
Vickie lets go at three so Barlow doesn’t see her helping her husband, and Jonathan-Christopher releases at four to avoid the disqualification. The damage is done, though, as Rocky chokes and sputters on the mat, beating his boot on the mat in obvious pain from his affected throat. Despite Hall’s desperation though, Rocky refuses to succumb to JCH and Vickie’s machinations. Displaying unwavering determination, Rocky kips up from the mat and unleashes a barrage of hard, stiff shots to Hall’s head!
Nick Stuart: Rocky’s rallying back and JC looks rocked!
With Hall reeling, The Lion rallies with an indomitable spirit. Ignoring the pain of his throat, he musters the strength and resolve to deliver an uppercut right to Captain Love Shack’s button! Hall drops and Rocky immediately begins tying up his opponent’s legs with a sharpshooter. With a resounding roar, the fans scream for Hall to tap!
TAP! TAP! TAP!
Richard Parker: You gotta be kidding me. No way does Rocky beat JCH here with the-
Nick Stuart: Pterrishooter! That’s right! I’m naming it right here and now!
Richard Parker: Sometimes I hate you. With every fiber of my being.
The irony of the situation remains; Rocky De Leon has the Pterrishooter locked in right in front of Vickie Hall! Rocky SKREE~!’s at Vickie. Vickie screams back about as loud as a woman could. Barlow keeps checking on Hall, who holds his hand out as if he’s about to tap. JCH holds on, though, and starts pushing himself up from the mat. Having enough strength in his upper body, he breaks the Pterrishooter, causing Rocky to go forward into the ropes.
With Barlow checking on Hall, this gives Vickie the opportunity to reach into her top and pull out a set of brass knuckles!
Nick Stuart: Oh my God! Ashley! Turn around!
Richard Parker: This is FANTASTIC!! Hahaha!!
Rocky, seeing it coming, is one-second too late as Vickie nails him across the face with the brass knuckles, sending him crumpling to the mat!
Hall, not even realizing what just happened, starts to turn around. Realizing Rocky is out, Vickie screams at Hall to make the cover. JCH drags Rocky away from the ropes and makes the lateral cover!
THREE- NO!! Barlow’s hand nearly comes down for the three before Rocky kicks out emphatically!
Rocky looks pissed.
JCH begins begging off as Rocky looks out at the PRIME Faithful. Having enough of JCH’s begging, Rocky lays some stomps down on Hall, much to the chagrin of Vickie. Guiding Hall back up to his feet, Rocky lays in some serious knife-edge chops that echo throughout PetCo Park arena! Grabbing JCH by his wrist, Rocky whips Hall into the opposite turnbuckle so hard that he hits them chest first! As Hall staggers backward, The Lion jumps up and nails a dropkick to the back of JCH’s head!
Nick Stuart: Rocky has ALL the momentum right now! Even after the illegal knucks from Vickie!
Richard Parker: As much as I hate to admit it, Rocky showed a lot of fighting spirit there. Vickie has a HELL of a right hook!
With Hall on the mat, he rolls over, holding the back of his neck. Rocky leaps over the top rope and runs up to the top rope with great agility. Measuring up The Love Break Boy (LBB©), Rocky SKREE~!’s to the masses, leaps, and NAILS a high angle senton bomb!
Nick Stuart: THE DIVING DINO!
Richard Parker: Ugh. He might have him.
Hooking a deep cover by holding both legs, the crowd counts along with Barlow!
THREE- NO!! JONATHAN-CHRISTOPHER HALL KICKED OUT!!
Richard Parker: YES!!! LOVE WILL NOT DIE, NICK!!
Rocky can’t believe he didn’t get the three-count and holds up three fingers for Ashley to see. She insists it was a very close two-count, though, and Rocky pounds the mat in frustration.
Nick Stuart: Rocky can’t take his eye off the ball here!
Rocky is up first, despite being crestfallen for the close two-count. As soon as he guides Rocky to his feet, Hall expertly sneaks in a small package attempt!
Rocky kicks out and the entire arena is going wild for the Lion of Loredo!
“LET’S GO LION!”
CLAP, CLAP, CLAP-CLAP-CLAP.
“LET’S GO LION!”
CLAP, CLAP, CLAP-CLAP-CLAP.
Nick Stuart: Wait a second… what the hell?!
Darin Zion and Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy suddenly appear at the top of the ramp to a chorus of boos as they walk down to the ring.
Richard Parker: The entire Love Convoy is in full support! I love it!
Nick Stuart: This is a bunch of garbage. Pure and simple.
Vickie looks over at Zion and Gladhappy making their way to the ring, and she’s all but literally jumping for joy. Darin Zion stays on the side closest to the ramp while The Nuzzle Lord makes his way to the right; the side opposite of Vickie Hall.
Nick Stuart: I don’t like this. I don’t like this at ALL.
Richard Parker: You don’t have to like it. Because it’s gonna happen regardless.
Rocky and JCH get to their feet simultaneously, and it’s at this point that Hall notices the rest of The Love Convoy joining him in support. Turning to Rocky, Hall goes for a right, but the Lion counters with a right of his own! Followed by another! And another! With Hall reeling, Rocky runs a quarter of the way across the ring. He then leaps after planting his left foot on the middle rope and his right foot on the top rope. Rocky turns and launches back toward Jonathan-Christopher with a spread eagle crossbody!
Nick Stuart: FLYING SQUIRREL!
Hall ducks and Rocky lands flat on his stomach and chest with great impact.
Richard Parker: Nope! Not today!
All of a sudden, Vickie Hall hops up onto the apron, but “slips” and “twists her ankle”. Barlow sees this and immediately goes over to her to see if she’s okay. Meanwhile, Gladhappy enters the ring and immediately HUGS Rocky De Leon…
…before lifting up underneath him for an electric chair. Carrying him toward Darin Zion, TCG releases Rocky into the electric chair drop, where Rocky’s back catches the edge of the ring apron, flipping him backwards, causing him to land on his stomach on the outside mat!
Nick Stuart: HOLY SH-
Richard Parker: SHIT! OUR NUZZLE LORD JUST HIT THE “BUILDING SOMETHING GREAT TOGETHER” ONTO THE RING APRON! ROCKY’S DEAD!!
As if that fall onto the edge of the apron wasn’t bad enough, Darin Zion is right there. Picking Rocky’s lifeless body up from the outside mat, Zion cradles Rocky’s head into a headlock and SPIKES him down onto the thin mat!
Richard Parker: RATINGS SPIKE!
Nick Stuart: GET THAT DAMN VICKIE OUT OF THERE!! COME ON, ASHLEY!!!
As if on cue, Zion deadlifts Rocky’s unconscious body, scoops him under the bottom rope and shoves him back inside the ring.
Suddenly, Vickie’s foot is fine and she has a smirk on her face the size of California itself.
“FUCK YOU, VICKIE!”
“FUCK YOU, VICKIE!”
“FUCK YOU, VICKIE!”
“FUCK YOU, VICKIE!”
Nick Stuart: Couldn’t have said it better myself, San Diego.
Richard Parker: Well, that’s gotta be the rudest chant I’ve ever heard.
As Vickie bows to the crowd, proud of her actions in helping her husband, JCH grabs Rocky de Leon in a double chicken wing. Slowly turning around, thereby turning it into an inverted double underhook facebuster, Hall drops to the mat.
Nick Stuart: He didn’t even need to do that!
Richard Parker: I mean, might as well make sure, no?
Hall hooks a leg.
Barlow is there.
The crowd is still booing. Some even throwing trash.
Ashley Barlow calls for the bell!
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: The winner of this match… JONATHAN… CHRISTOPHER… HALL!
The crowd cannot believe the level of egregiousness they just witnessed. Their anger is palpable as Vickie climbs into the ring and rushes her husband, showering him with kisses. Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy and Darin Zion both climb into the ring, clapping for their Love Convoy brother, as if Jonathan-Christopher Hall just defeated Rocky De Leon all by his lonesome.
Nick Stuart: I got nothing. Rocky De Leon did NOT deserve that.
As JCH gets up, he is joined by The Nuzzle Lord, The Zionator, and finally… Mrs. Hall herself.
The Love Convoy all raise their hands in victory as we go to the backstage area.
Returning backstage after the thrilling contest between a Fully Dicked Pterodactyl and the conductors of the Love Convoy, we find the Winds of Change as they enter the parking lot of PetCo Park. Neither of them are dressed for action, with Sid having an appearance close to a Secret Service agent (if said agent specialized in taking down the president’s enemies with powerbombs) and Joe… Well, Joe still likes wearing ridiculously gaudy bedazzled suits.
Sid Phillips: You know, I’m not that sure FLAMBERGE is going to want to talk to us.
Joe Fontaine: Why not? We’re on the same glue team now. Remember the group hug earlier in the month? That was awesome. Best group hug ever!
Sid Phillips: Okay, but he barely wanted to do it. Neither did Tyler. Or me. It was just you and Cecilworth out there wanting all of the hugs, and since it was the heat of the moment after what we did to Avalon, the only thing we could do was acquiesce.
They look around, passing by several of the parked vehicles, but haven’t seen FLAMBERGE or his vaunted FLAMBOrghini yet.
Joe Fontaine: Admit it, it was awesome.
Sid Phillips: It was something. I mean, I’m still not sure about this whole glue thing, honestly, but… oh, there he is.
Sid points in a direction, and the camera pans to find FLAMBERGE. He’s in the front seat of the car that has probably always been too much for him, or anyone; bright teal with bronze swords painted up the sides, FLAMBO vanity plates and all. And he turns the key with vigor, revving the engine loudly.
FLAMBERGE begins navigating his music library as Sid and Joe approach.
Joe turns to Sid.
Joe Fontaine: I got this.
He turns to FLAMBERGE and clears his throat.
Joe Fontaine: Salutations, ami lézard! Moi, c’est Joe Fontaine! Mon aéroglisseur reste plein d’anguilles!
Sid places his hand on his forehead. He doesn’t speak French, but he’s very positive that Joe doesn’t either.
Sid Phillips: …What.
The good news for Joe is that the FLAMBOrghini’s engine is loud. Quite loud. FLAMBERGE sees the tiny mirrored reflection of Joe and Sid in his side mirror and quickly turns with some surprise, and it is quickly clear that the Neck Collector didn’t hear a single thing Joe said. He shouts:
FLAMBERGE: Alors! Sid! And Joe, hello! Hold one moment!
The Frenchman turns off the car’s engine, and I’m not a car guy or anything but I hope he’s not hurting the engine when he does this so willy-nilly, it’s a very expensive car even with the permanent scent pollution Nate Colton caused.
FLAMBERGE: What word?
Joe Fontaine: I said hello!
Sid Phillips: He said something, a hello might have been in there somewhere.
Joe Fontaine: Yes. well…
Joe mutters something under his breath about his crash course in his French elective for his online college, before he smiles cheerfully at FLAMBERGE.
Joe Fontaine: We thought we’d come here to give you some moral support against the weird head-punting nihilist time chick.
Sid Phillips: Anna Daniels. And you thought this. I’m here to make sure you don’t do or say anything stupid, and clearly I’m doing a bad job at this since you’ve already done both of these things.
He nods to the FLAMBOrghini.
Sid Phillips: Sweet ride, by the way.
FLAMBERGE quickly eye-scans Sid from head to toe to head again before slowly blinking.
FLAMBERGE: Ouais, she is my pride and joy. And she will be the chariot I ride as I am forced to snuff out the flame of the Anna Fucking Daniels, and, eh, I think I have picked the war music to do this thing. Do you wish to listen?
Joe gives FLAMBO a cheesy thumbs up.
Joe Fontaine: Hell to the yes, my dude. Give us that siren song of her oblivion.
Sid just nods. FLAMBO grins and revs the engine a second time, and for goodness’ sake, won’t SOMEONE think of the high-end automotive machinery??
The French Phenom presses a button on his digital dashboard hub, and we hear a simple piano and drum loop, and then it fully kicks in…
♫ “ooh la la (feat. Greg Nice & DJ Premier)” by Run The Jewels ♫
OOOOOH LA LA, AH OUI OUI!
OOOOOH LA LA, AH OUI OUI!
OOOOOH LA LA, AH OUI OUI!
OOOOOH LA LA, AH OUI OUI!
FLAMBERGE: Want a ride to the Pier Six?
Joe smiles his stupid smile.
Joe Fontaine: Oui oui, my friend! Digging the tunes.
FLAMBERGE: I bet you do, biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-
The remaining letters and/or syllables of his last word fade into the night and are left to wild imaginative speculation as FLAMBERGE peels out of the parking lot, leaving Joe and Sid behind. The last we hear of the car’s soundtrack from our current vantage point is the start of Killer Mike’s first line:
FIRST OF ALL, FUCK THE FUCKIN’ LAW, WE IS FUCKIN’ RAW…
And we cut back to Joe and Sid. Joe stares off in the direction that the FLAMBOrghini has driven off to, confused about this turn of events.
Joe Fontaine: …He’s going to come back for us, right?
Sid stares at Joe, and then starts walking back into the building without another word.
Joe Fontaine: …Right?
He isn’t, but this information hasn’t dawned on Joe, who keeps asking “right?” all the way until we cut away from the scene.
‘TIL THERE WAS YOU
The scene cuts backstage to Arthur Pleasant who is walking down the corridor. Does his gait signify a self-assured confidence or perhaps a determined march? He pays no mind to those around him. Juan, the maintenance worker sipping a cup of coffee while discussing his day with Mark from engineering or Cathy from Accounting arguing the cost of buying bulk versus retail with Mike from Sales. Either these people mean nothing to Arthur Pleasant or they are nothing to Arthur Pleasant. Arthur Pleasant passes a few bystanders and wallfowers before make a right turn dow—–
Arthur Pleasant has been smashed in the face with a rusted piece of rebar. Arthur Pleasant staggers backwards, blood trickling from his mouth. He staggers a moment, confused and startled. He sees the man holding the long metal—-
BAM!!! BAM!!!! BAM!!!!!
Arthur Pleasant gets struck in the kneecap, then in the back, followed by three successive blows to the shoulder and back as he drops down to one knee.
The man tosses the rebar to the cold hard ground. The man retrieves something from his pocket, a very special black satin tie, and wraps it around Arthur’s neck. He pulls back on the tie while driving a knee into Arthur Pleasant’s back, squeezing the life from him. The man, whose maskless face is unfamiliar to those around in PRIME, is letting out a rage-filled scream as Arthur’s face goes from a red to a blue to a deep purple.
How long has he been strangling Arthur? Thirty seconds? Two minutes? Enough for Arthur’s eyes to roll into the back of his head. He looks less like a man and more like a Deadite as the man releases the grip of his very special tie.
Arthur Pleasant drops face down on the ground emitting a faint wheezing and gurgling sound. The man wraps the tie around his hand before pulling a mask from his pocket and putting it on. He looks down at the bloody, battered, and wheezing body in front of him, for a moment he looks as though as he is about to spit on Arthur, but something catches his eye.
Mortgomery Byrnes picks up a single, bloodied metal fang from the ground. A slight smile crosses his face and he pockets the tooth before stepping onto the back of Mister Pleasant and walks calmly down the corridor whistling a tune that sounds somewhat like “Till There Was You” from “The Music Man”.
INTENSE TITLE MATCH – PIER SIX BRAWL: ANNA DANIELS (c) vs. FLAMBERGE
We don’t cut back to the arena, because the next match isn’t actually going to happen there. No, the scene we see after Joe, Sid, and FLAMBERGE do their thing is that of Anna Daniels.
The Time Lord. The Muse. The PRIME Intense Champion.
She walks, but not towards the ring. The ring matters little when the match you’re about to participate in requires no ring. Just a humble pier, where violence shall be meted.
The path that Daniels walks has always been tumultuous.
Just one month ago, she fought – not wrestled, fought – to take the Intense Championship from the grasp of the monstrous Paxton Ray. It had been a match that few thought Daniels could win. Too big, too powerful, too dangerous, too monstrous. Those are all ways to describe Ray, the man who made himself infamous by crippling his own mentor just a year ago at UltraViolence. And yet, Daniels overcame. She proved that she’s as dangerous as anyone can be in PRIME. Fuck all y’all.
But though the path she walks on is tumultuous, she has yet to arrive at her destination.
One man who has is FLAMBERGE.
Rolling up in his FLAMBOrghini, Le Protagoniste arrives on the scene. His new theme music – “Ooh La La” by Run The Jewels – is pounding bass as he violates several noise ordnances without a single fuck to spare. He only knows he’s where he’s supposed to be because Elvis Nixon is standing by, the man who’s here only to call for the match to stop when there’s a winner. He sits in his beautiful car that he probably shouldn’t be driving and debates for a moment whether he should keep driving and run him over.
Nah. Maybe later. He has stupid hair, though.
FLAMBERGE gets out of the vehicle, lips smacking from his chewing gum. He looks for all the world like a man who’s here to pick up some milk while trying to haggle down its price. The milk in this analogy is the Intense championship and he’s about to have a very polite disagreement with the store owner of the PRIMEporium. The type of polite disagreements that might involve trying to choke someone unconscious.
Nick Stuart: We’re seeing FLAMBERGE out at the pier for the Intense championship match, and we understand that the champion is on her way now.
Richard Parker: Two of the most dangerous human beings in all of PRIME Wrestling. One of them collects necks, the other one collects souls. I’m not sure what the market value of either of those things are.
Nick Stuart: I think if anyone knows, it’d be Anna Daniels.
Richard Parker: She gave me a good deal on my Farthington merch!
Nick Stuart: Great.
The camera cuts back to Anna Daniels as she continues to make her leisurely walk towards the pier where her match will take place. The camera cuts to a side view as she walks past a sign post… and disappears behind it.
We cut back to the pier, and Anna Daniels is just there. Her theme music isn’t even playing (not that you’d be able to hear it considering that FLAMBERGE left his goddamn radio on like the French lizard delinquent he is). Her Intense championship is held in one hand. Her other hand is clinched into a fist. She’s here to fight.
Of course, we needed some announcements, but Vince Howard is still in the arena. That means that we need a special guest pier announcer for the occasion. This announcer gets his own entrance, walking onto the pier to a loud ovation from the gathered fans that have the cool tickets that say that they get to watch this mayhem unfold. This announcer usually comes out to a version of “Shout at the Devil” where all of the lyrics, every single one of them, is replaced with one word. That word is “shark”.
That’s because this announcer is also a shark.
His name is Nishiki Nanakusa, better known as Lord Kurosame-sama, and he is the most qualified “pierside announcer” that anyone in PRIME knows. Unfortunately. The King Invoking Shark Style stands there with his shark facepaint and black T-shirt depicting his own shark face, emblazoned with the words “K.I.S.S. ME, FOR I AM SHARK”. Lord Kurosame-sama smiles for the camera – it’s hard not to when your whole jawline is painted like a shark’s mouth – and proceeds with his introductions.
Lord Kurosame-sama: Shark sharktest is sharkuled for one shark! Sharkiducing first, from Sharksbourg, Shark France! Sharking in at two hundred and six sharks… SHAAAAAARKBERGE!!!
If you want to parse what any of that meant, be my guest.
Even FLAMBERGE looks in the direction of the shark with bemusement, as though wondering if he could get a two-for-one deal on the necks he’s collecting tonight. What’s the going rate for shark necks? Wait. Sharks aren’t really supposed to have necks.
Lord Kurosame-sama: His sharkponent! From Shark Perdition in Sharkefrey! Sharking in at one hundred and thirty-five sharks! SHAAAAARK! SHARKIELS!
Again, this is the quality you get when you decide to hire Lord Kurosame-sama as your special guest pier announcer instead of one of the legions of professional wrestling pirates. Maybe they don’t know the way from Chicago.
Nick Stuart: We thank Lord Kurosame-sama for his service here tonight, swimming here all the way from Sapporo to be with us tonight.
Richard Parker: Nick doesn’t speak for me.
FLAMBERGE and Anna Daniels approach one another, with Elvis Nixon standing between them being the only reason they aren’t already attempting to punch one another. Not that Elvis could stop either of them, no matter how jacked he looks, but at least some semblance of decorum is being observed by the two alien pro wrestlers (as we all know, FLAMBERGE is from Space France).
Daniels hands the Intense Championship belt to Nixon, who holds it up for everyone to see. Then he hands it off to, for the lack of anyone better to hand it off to, Lord Kurosame-sama for safekeeping.
Richard Parker: Please don’t hand anything to the shark. Jesus.
After a few moments where Lord Kurosame-sama passes the belt to another PRIME official for even safer keeping, Nixon calls for the match to begin.
The timekeeper in PetCo Park gets word to ring the bell for those watching on video screens.
FLAMBERGE does not start fighting Anna Daniels. In fact, he holds up a hand as though asking her to wait. Daniels wants to start doing the thing where she shouts “FUCK YOUR HEAD” and then, in fact, starts fucking heads by kicking them excruciatingly hard. However, for the moment, she wants to see where this goes.
Where this goes is that instead of FLAMBERGE starting the fight, the French Phenom turns and makes a beeline for Lord Kurosame-sama. The shark does not realize what’s coming for him until he’s blasted with an uppercut that might better belong anti-airing silver-ranked idiots in Street Fighter than in a professional wrestling scenario. The uppercut sends Kurosame flying backwards, over the safety railing, and into the San Diego Bay. Only bubbles remain where the shark lands, never to be seen again (or until he miraculously appears on the next Bang! show).
Nick Stuart: Uh, what was that about!?
Richard Parker: He deserved it.
If you’re wondering, and I’m sure you are, that happened because lizards and sharks are natural enemies. Can’t fight it, it’s science.
The fans gathered at the pier are shocked by what’s just happened. Many start booing FLAMBERGE as he cockily walks back over to where Daniels is waiting for him. Daniels, for her part, is relatively amused by what just transpired. The pair have a strange kinship. A healthy respect for one another. It’s not going to stop them from face-punching each other, but there is at least some semblance of professionalism about it.
Also, Anna probably doesn’t like the shark.
FLAMBERGE nods to Anna. Anna nods back.
And then they start punching each other like one of them is Don Frye and the other one is Yoshihiro Takayama.
Nick Stuart: And it begins! These two are battling it out here on the San Diego Pier!
Richard Parker: Don’t talk like you aren’t just watching this from the comfort and safety of a monitor, like I am. I’m safe here. This is my happy place where Anna Daniels can’t hurt me. She kinda scares me.
FLAMBERGE, the bigger and stronger of the two, gains the upper hand in the Frye-Takayama reenactment, and Daniels backs off temporarily. He goes to press his advantage, only for Daniels to lunge forth and hit FLAMBERGE in the face with a headbutt. Even the French Phenom isn’t expecting that one, and he backs off, stumbling back in the direction of the FLAMBOrghini.
Which, as you already know from the cacophonous rap, is still blasting “Ooh La La” on an infinite loop. Gotta say, bold of FLAMBERGE to leave the FLAMBOrghini running while he decides to fist fight a Time Lord and all of her multitudes.
Daniels stalks after him, and grabs him by the back of his head before committing vehicular homicide in reverse, attempting to bludgeon the FLAMBOrghini to death with FLAMBERGE’s head. She does this twice, but a third attempt is blocked by FLAMBERGE, who answers by slamming Daniels’ head against the hood of the luxury car. The momentum puts Daniels halfway on top of the vehicle, so FLAMBERGE decides to climb up on top of the hood himself. He drags Daniels up, and for a few terrifying moments, it looks like he’s going to suplex her off of the hood and onto the concrete pier.
Daniels fights him for it, though. A headbutt rocks FLAMBO, and because of the poor footing, he slips off. Daniels stands, sets her feet, and comes flying off of the hood of the car with a knee to the face! FLAMBERGE spins around from the impact, and falls to his knees in front of the car. The headlights shine upon him as Daniels lets out a warcry (that can’t really be heard because Sweet Jesus FLAMBERGE, turn down the volume).
“FUCK YOUR HEAD!”
The kick comes screaming at FLAMBERGE’s head, who only barely dodges it. He’s put into a retreat, though, unable to take advantage of making Daniels whiff.
Nick Stuart: I’m not sure FLAMBERGE was expecting Daniels fighting back like this.
Richard Parker: He should’ve! She shouts what she’s going to do to your head and then she does it! And it’s not the good connotations of fucking one’s head, either!
I don’t want to know what Richard thinks the good connotations of that is. Let’s just go back to the action.
FLAMBERGE staggers away from his FLAMBOrghini in a haze, and Daniels stalks after him ready to do terrible things to his skull. The crowd, gathered to watch this match from a safe distance, realizes that maybe it’s not such a safe distance when FLAMBERGE reaches them and Daniels catches up. FLAMBERGE turns and hits Daniels with a back elbow, which rocks the Time Lord and sends her to the ground on all fours. You could’ve heard the smack from it if it hadn’t been for the noise pollution from FLAMBO’s ride.
FLAMBERGE turns and grabs Daniels by her hair. He looks around, and spots a food truck. He drags her over and then shoves her into the side of the truck. The line formed to order food scatters as the French Phenom keys up several kicks to Daniels’ chest, causing her to slide down into a seated position. FLAMBERGE walks some distance away, and then builds up a head of steam and tries to crush Daniels’ head between the food truck and said knee.
Daniels moves, though.
FLAMBERGE falls to the ground clutching his knee. Not in the habit of wearing kneepads, Le Protagoniste is definitely not happy about what just happened.
Richard Parker: That can’t feel good!
No shit, Sherlock.
Daniels gets up and walks back towards the FLAMBOrghini, because none of us are done with the FLAMBOrghini and it isn’t done with any of us. Look at it, all smug and French, just like its owner. Let’s forget that Lamborghinis are Italian for a moment when I say that. Thank you. I appreciate it. How’s everyone doing, anyway? It’s hard out here at the San Diego Pier.
Anyhoodle, on her way towards the FLAMBOrghini, Daniels knocks over a large wooden sign meant to direct the crowd to watch this madness unfold. This places it on a lean against the guardrail. With that done, Daniels climbs into the FLAMBOrghini, puts it into gear, and backs up. FLAMBERGE, angry that his ride is getting commandeered by someone who likely doesn’t have a license to drive his car, limps towards the FLAMBOrghini with a look in his eyes that suggests that he might actually try to collect his own car’s neck if it comes for him.
Richard Parker: Hey, come on! That’s a vintage FLAMBOrghini! One of a kind!
As she stops backing it up, Daniels finally places what the smell inside the FLAMBOrghini is. It’s the smell of hundreds of pounds of pennies (and one nickel). She hesitates, possibly consulting the multitudes about the exact quantity of pennies, before she puts the vehicle into drive and sends the FLAMBOrghini towards its owner.
A lot of things happen at once.
First of all, the crowd scatters. Because oh shit, that car’s coming their way and Anna Daniels doesn’t seem to have a vested interest in the health and safety of people in this doomed ‘verse. Second, FLAMBERGE recognizes that his human body (in the process of becoming a lizard) versus cold, unfeeling steel engine is possibly one of the few matchups in PRIME he can’t win, and gets the fuck out of the way. Third, Daniels isn’t actually in the vehicle any more. She’s placed something on the accelerator to keep it going. Fourth, that makeshift ramp is perfectly capable of, if only for a few moments, supporting the weight of a luxury car.
Fifth, and most important, the FLAMBOrghini is neither aerodynamic, nor is it…
Nick Stuart: THE FLAMBORGHINI JUST JUMPED THE GUARDRAIL, AND IT’S IN THE BAY!
Richard Parker: NO! THINK OF HOW EXPENSIVE IT IS! IT COSTS MORE THAN YOUR SALARY! AND MINE!
So, on the bright side, that’s one way to get the penny smell out of the FLAMBOrghini.
The French flag has three colors, but FLAMBERGE only sees the rightmost one right now. He ignores the crowd freaking out over what just transpired. He doesn’t even think about the kind of trouble PRIME might get over this incident. He’s not even sure he’d let go if he gets Anna’s neck. Before, this was just fun and games. Now? Now there might not be a power in this ‘verse that can help the Intense Champion.
His war music is drowned as the FLAMBOrghini slowly sinks into the bay, but FLAMBERGE marches towards Daniels as though the war’s only just begun. FLAMBERGE meets Daniels with a knee to the gut faster than even she can react, and then takes her down with a snapmare and starts uncorking elbows on the side of her head. Elvis Nixon, who’d barely avoided taking a FLAMBOrghini to the face himself, isn’t sure what he’s supposed to do in this situation. He can’t exactly stop FLAMBO, and FLAMBO won’t exactly stop. Can’t stop, won’t stop, non-stop, elbows into the night. It’s a violence party!
Midway into the party, though, Anna Daniels holds up a middle finger for FLAMBERGE to see. The universal sign of “fuck you”. The red in FLAMBERGE’s vision grows deeper, and he pours on the elbows. It blinds him to Daniels leaning away from the elbows to the point that she could scissor FLAMBERGE’s head with her legs and flip him over and off of her.
FLAMBERGE gets to his feet quickly, but being blinded by his rage, he fails to see Daniels’ kick coming until it’s already hit him in the head.
The crowd witnessing this madness shouts, in glorious unison, “FUCK YOUR HEAD!”
Nick Stuart: Enzuigiri from Daniels!
Richard Parker: Why are you still calling this like it’s a normal match!? There was an attempted homicide by vehicle, and then an actual vehicle was homicided!
That’s not a goddamn word, Richard.
FLAMBERGE falls to the ground, and Daniels quickly tries to snatch victory with a cover. However, Elvis Nixon only calls a two count before the French Phenom is able to get his shoulder up. Daniels stands and lines FLAMBERGE up for what might have been the Interrobang – the move that won her the Intense championship to begin with.
However, FLAMBERGE blocks it with his forearm and then hits Daniels with another elbow.
He backs off, looking for something to swing at the Intense champion. He finds it in a waste bin, which he picks up and hurls in her direction, unheeding of whether there’s anything inside of it or not. Daniels takes the hit and goes flying backwards, in the direction of the guardrails separating the pier from the ocean. With Anna’s back in the guardrail, FLAMBERGE tees off on her with more elbows.
He then does the very reasonable thing and tries to throw her over the guardrail and into the ocean.
Nick Stuart: FLAMBERGE is trying to throw Anna Daniels into the ocean, but she’s fighting him off!
Richard Parker: I don’t think you can win the Intense Championship if the champion drowns in the San Diego Bay, but I don’t make the rules here.
Daniels does in fact go over the guardrail, but she ably lands on the other side and smashes FLAMBERGE with her elbow when he tries to shove her off. It’s a good thing, too, we haven’t yet discounted the notion that Anna Daniels hasn’t eaten a Devil Fruit to gain tremendous powers at the cost of her ability to swim.
Anna then treats the guardrail like they’re ropes. She jumps on top of them, facing away from FLAMBERGE, and then leaps off with a spin. She catches his head and then finishes the 720 DDT that takes FLAMBERGE down!
The crowd loves it.
Nick Stuart: 720 DDT FROM DANIELS! INTO THE COVER!
Elvis Nixon is right there.
FLAMBERGE gets his shoulder up from the asphalt, somehow, and he’s trying very much to find his footing again. Daniels is relentless, though, and kicks him several times while he’s down. However, she gets uncharacteristically overzealous at all of the violence, and FLAMBERGE trips her up when she tries to punt him in the head.
He crawls away until he’s able to stand, and staggers towards the crowd. The crowd parts like the Red Sea as FLAMBERGE leads Anna Daniels on a short pursuit towards another part of the pier. This one has boats. When Daniels catches up, she does so by putting a flying knee in FLAMBERGE’s back that sends him in a tumble to the ground.
The Intense Champion pulls FLAMBERGE up to his feet and slams his head into a park bench. She goes to do it again, but FLAMBERGE swiftly buries an elbow in her gut and does it back to her. He takes a step back and then aims his Axe Kick at her head while she’s down on the bench, and she only narrowly avoids what would’ve been a surefire title loss by the skin of her teeth.
Daniels puts her back to the guardrail, and kicks FLAMBERGE in the gut when he goes after her. Behind her, there’s a pier that leads to a few docked boats. FLAMBERGE is not deterred by the kick, and clotheslines her over the guardrail and out onto the pier behind it. He then climbs over to join her out there. As the cameraman struggles to follow them, his camera catches sight of the most prominent of the boats on the pier.
It has a name written on it: “Beauregard”.
Nick Stuart: Oh no.
Richard Parker: Uh oh. It can’t be the same guy. Can it?
Nick Stuart: It probably isn’t a coincidence.
Daniels and FLAMBERGE meet again on the pier and start doing the Frye-Takayama punches again. This time, Daniels breaks it up with another headbutt, sending FLAMBERGE onto the deck of the Beauregard ship. Daniels follows after him, with Elvis Nixon following suit.
It’s here when Daniels makes a mistake. Anna Daniels does not account for what’s on the ship when she enters it. She never accounts that FLAMBERGE would grab a broom. She never accounts that he would swing it at her like a baseball bat. She never accounts getting it with the pole right in the side of her neck.
So, it stuns her, and sends her into a nearby table with a radio set on it. The radio starts up, and suddenly, the soundtrack is the very obvious Lonely Island song for this situation. You know the one. What, is this 2009?
Richard Parker: I don’t think we have the rights to that song.
Nick Stuart: Not yet, no.
Richard Parker: …Yet?
Daniels gets up, but FLAMBERGE comes after her with just his fists and feet. Knowing that she needs something here, she fires off the Interrobang again.
FLAMBERGE catches the leg as it makes contact with his shoulder, which absorbs the impact. Daniels has only a moment to realize what’s coming before FLAMBERGE drags her into a suplex that nearly lands her on her head in the boat!
Nick Stuart: I don’t think we’ve ever had a moment in the history of PRIME where someone gets suplexed into a boat, but here we are!
Daniels is rocked, and barely even gets into a seated position before FLAMBERGE springs on top of her. Within a moment, she’s ensnared in the clutches of Marie Antoinette!
Nick Stuart: MARIE ANTOINETTE! THIS COULD BE OVER!
The hold is somewhat awkwardly applied. Daniels is still seated, and FLAMBERGE doesn’t quite have the leverage he wants yet as Daniels is able to prevent FLAMBERGE from sitting in on it. It allows Daniels a fighting chance. It gives her hope in a hopeless situation.
She throws elbows and fists into FLAMBERGE’s guts. A year ago, this might’ve stopped him. A year ago, the French Phenom seemed mortal. But unfortunately for the Time Lord, FLAMBERGE is more lizard than man, now. He cranks the hold. He falls into a seated position. Daniels fades, and goes limp.
Elvis Nixon has seen enough, and he quickly moves to force FLAMBERGE to release the hold. There’s no way to call for a bell where he is, but the timekeeper in PetCo Park rings the bell instead.
DING DING DING
And so, La Madame Guillotine soon claims another.
Nick Stuart: FLAMBERGE HAS DONE IT!
Richard Parker: Another neck for the mantle!
We lost our special guest pierside announcer, so we’ll have to make do with Vince Howard for the official word.
Vince Howard: Ladies and gentlemen… the winner of this match, and NEWWWWWWWWWW PRIME INTENSE CHAMPION! FLAAAAAAAAAAAMBERRRRRRGEEEEE!!!
Nick Stuart: FLAMBERGE has been almost unstoppable since last year’s UltraViolence, and now he’s claimed another championship here in PRIME!
Richard Parker: It’s what he deserves after what happened to the FLAMBOrghini.
FLAMBERGE stands over Anna Daniels, and is handed the Intense Championship. He looks like a man who just had a bad encounter with a buzzsaw, but a man who still successfully built his model house with all of the best glue. He didn’t beat Anna Daniels so much as he survived her.
But now, Le Protagoniste is now Le Champion Intense.
The second night of Tropical Turmoil continues to rock and roll all the way across Petco Park, one night of exciting action already complete and another in full swing has really given the whole stadium a big buzz of overflowing anticipation.
That buzz continues to grow into mixed response noises as the cameras cut backstage to the smiling face of Dirk Dickwood, The Glueminati’s operations man. The camera is zoomed into his gleaming mug as he begins to speak.
Dirk Dickwood: Ladies and gentlemen, it is my extreme privilege to introduce you to PRIME’s NEW Five Star Champion, the visionary Financier of The Glue Factory, the head honcho of The Glueminati… CECILWORTH FARTHINGTON!
Although most of the crowd have a pavlovian response of booing Farthington as the camera slowly pulls back to reveal The 5 Star Champion standing to Dirk’s right, quite a few members of the crowd have broken out of the generic emotional state of the crowd and give respect to Farthington after his all out war with Coral Avalon in the main event of Night 1.
As the camera pulls Farthington into focus, we can see the results of the Night 1 action in his face and on his chest. His chest is still screaming red from the assault of Avalon, including some very nasty uppercuts that slammed into his chest. A blue/fading-into-black flesh pool sits under the champion’s eye. To complete the “beaten and bloody” summer fall fashion, Farthington also has a bandage across his temple with stitches presumably sitting behind the bandage.
The camera actually manages to fully zoom out to a full body shot. Farthington has the 5 Star Championship firmly around his waist, dressed in a plain black hoodie and track pants. Dirk Dickwood though? He’s clutching at the back of a wheelchair.
The wheelchair belongs to former PRIME Universal Champion, Phil Atken. Atken gets a surprisingly warm response from the Night 2 crowd as he pops up on the screen. Atken for his part is sitting pretty stoically in his chair, side-eying Farthington the entire time. Completing the ensemble, to Farthington’s right stands Hank, a good boy who just wants the best for everyone. It’s quite the sticky quartet.
Cecilworth Farthington: I’m sorry that these comments were unscheduled but I felt it was my duty, as your Five Star Champion, to reassure the concerned fans in the crowd tonight, as well as the many more watching at home.
Cecilworth smiles to himself as he looks down at what is clearly a thoroughly polished 5 Star Championship.
Cecilworth Farthington: Later this evening, my adopted nephewy thing Tyler Adrian Best is fighting the PRIME Universal Champion Brandon Youngblood and the two men are going to kill each other until only one survives. TAB is a generational talent and I will never hear anything otherwise. He is very capable of doing what many may feel is the impossible. Unfortunately, we can’t really enjoy this match, can we PRIME faithful, after all Tyler, in a fit of fatherly issues…
Cecilworth coughs a little and looks over at Atken, whose glare towards Farthington remains unbroken.
Cecilworth Farthington: …has decided that should he win the Universal Championship, he will abscond with the title and scuttle and scurry his way over to Chicago for a big party and celebration. Should this unfortunate event come to pass, and TAB does indeed win the Universal Championship, I just wanted to stand here tonight, and say to all of you fine fans that I PROMISE you, the most valuable title in the company will not go with him.
Cecilworth’s more solemn expression at the start of this little interjection, most likely from the immense suffering currently going on in his body after Coral Avalon’s brutal in ring assault last night has started to fade, being replaced with a cheeky lil grin from a cheeky lil boy.
Cecilworth Farthington: However, should Brandon Youngblood manage to scrape and claw and show everyone why he is still very much a threat… well… let me just assure all of you, the most valuable title in the company will not go with him.
Cecilworth starts pointing at the 5 Star Championship to help fill in the gaps for the high and distracted of the crowd.
Cecilworth Farthington: See, there’s been a lot of talk lately with the fear of what happens if TAB wins, what he’ll do, what his true motivation are, how many times he’s licked the inside of his grandpa’s eye hole. There’s been a lot of questions. They all operate under a false premise. The Universal Championship is not PRIME’s most desirable prize. THIS IS.
Farthington and Dickwood jointly gesture to the belt around his waist.
Cecilworth Farthington: Rezin. FLAMBERGE. Nate Colton. Hayes Hanlon. Coral Avalon. Cecilworth Farthington. This belt is only held by the best wrestling in this company. THE BEST OF THE BEST. The wrestler’s wrestlers. While the Universal Championship has been caught up in controversy and interpromotional wars, the men who came to PRIME to show what they were made of only had their eyes in one direction. The Five Star direction. Five stars. The best of the best, the top tier, only the most elite can tough it and now…
The small smile that has been building on Farthington from the outset forms into a full self-satisfied chuckle. There is at the same time a rather powerful scowl on the face of Atken, who clearly does not appreciate Farthington’s implications about the Universal Championship. He elects to continue giving his mentee a death stare instead of joining in on the conversation though, probably making the smart call for his own sanity.
Cecilworth Farthington: I’m its champion. I am the top of the pile. I am this company’s trump card. I AM NUMBER ONE. Whether TAB wants to run away from The Glueminati, whether TAB wants to move back to Chicago, that’s on him, that’s his future and I respect him enough to make that decision on his own. With or without him, with or without the Universal Championship…
Cecilworth gives a reassuring pat to the backs of Atken, Hank and Dickwood. You’ll never guess how Atken took it.
The answer is not well.
Cecilworth Farthington: PRIME will still have its tippity top tier champion, and The Glueminati will continue to rule the waves. I thank all of you, over these past few months, you have all started to view me as your hero and now, I can truly, truly claim to be your champion. No need to thank me, the gratitude of everyone in Petco Park is more than enough. So, sit back, relax, and don’t worry too much about tonight’s main event…
The camera starts slowly zooming in on the 5 Star Championship.
Cecilworth Farthington: Your champion will always be here.
And with those words, we fade to black and dance away to another part of tonight’s Tropical Turmoil event.
Nick Stuart: Hold on, hold on, I’m getting word Angelica Brooks FINALLY caught up with The Anglo Luchador.
Richard Parker: Good, we can see that yellow streak up close.
The camera cuts to the back where PRIME’s senior reporter has less caught up with the former Intense Champion but instead is ready to stop his charge from the front.
Angelica Brooks: TAL! TAL! Why did you run out like that from that brawl with Paxton Ray?
The Luchador is already dressed in his plainclothes, duffel bag slung over his shoulder. He’s clearly out of breath and out of sorts.
TAL: Can’t talk right now, Ange, I SWEAR I will get you the truth about all this when I’m sure they’re not in danger.
Angelica Brooks: They? Who are you talking about?
TAL: I can’t tell you right now. I gotta make sure they’re safe, but if you’re watching, Melissa, STRANGER DANGER, STRANGER DANGER.
Just then, a steel chair zips right by the Luchador’s head.
TAL: SHIT I’ve stayed too long.
He runs off, but shortly after, Paxton Ray comes into the picture, charging after.
Angelica Brooks: Paxton, what…
The Bayou Butcher ignores her and speeds by. However, Foster Nackedy trails behind and stops a few feet from Brooks. She looks at him and pivots towards him.
Angelica Brooks: Foster…do you know what’s going on here?
Foster Nackedy: I do, and I don’t have a lot of time to explain, because as much as I’d like to see what’s going to happen when Paxton gets his hands on Tom, I really don’t want to be an accessory to murder.
Angelica Brooks: Why is Paxton targeting TAL? Why did he attack him after his match?
Foster Nackedy: It’s all going to come out soon, but suffice it to say that there are two things you don’t fuck with: a man’s money and a man’s family. Tom fucked with the second.
Angelica Brooks: What does that mean? Why –
Foster Nackedy: Later, Angie, later. For now I need to reel in an angry crocodile.
He walks away, leaving Angelica looking confused.
THE PINNACLE OF ALL SPORTS
We return from backstage to Petco Park.
Nick Stuart: Ladies, gentlemen, nonbinary friends…we have one match left…and boy…is it for all the proverbial marbles.
Richard Parker: After everything, after two nights of what we’ve witnessed…and there’s still one last stanza to Tropical Turmoil.
The sun has long set in San Diego. The fans are buzzing in anticipation, knowing what is next. Suddenly, the stadium lights dim, a loud cheer erupting from the crowd. Out of the blackness, the PRIMEview comes alive, the PRIME logo displayed prominently. It fades, the opening tones of Rivalry by Colin O’Malley (
) beginning to play. With a lashing strike of blue, words fill the screen.
THE PRIME UNIVERSAL CHAMPIONSHIP
THE PINNACLE OF ALL SPORTS
Descending, a lone spotlight shines upon a table of velvet. Stood up for prominence is the PRIME Universal Championship belt, polished and shined. As the music continues, its contours and plates are scanned with care. Every detail is magnificent. The tension of sound rises, and with it, the camera pulls away from the majestic championship. The scene abruptly cuts to black.
And with the rising dramatic percussion, the still shots. Subtle movements slowly focusing upon the figures as they appear for a few moments, their achievement marked in text in convenient spaces.
The inaugural Universal Champion and final Global Champion. The bridge between the eras, cemented at King of Kings 2. He stands an enigma, a seeming average man in build, but what he lacks in impressive physique he makes up for in mystery. One championship belt for each trench coated shoulder. His eyes are focused and evident through the white mask absconding his identity.
A titan of muscle, massive in stature not just physically, but for his time in the sport. A once hero, now, he is a betrayer, joining the Dark Age. There is no sense of shame with his smirking expression.
A whirlwind of color, a form of taut muscle and artistic expression. She stands stoic, the championship belt over her shoulder. Does she care? Only she knows. Her moment has arrived, seemingly unstoppable, one of the greatest beginnings to a PRIME career of anyone. The Vanguard of the Golden Age. A trendsetter.
Behind crimson glasses protecting his eyes, a seminal figure. Chiseled from granite, his tattoos prominent, if ever a man stood as The Supreme Machine, it is he. The ender of the K-Wolf’s era before it even started. Later, the hand chosen by Tyler Nelson to put an end to a Universal charade. When one speaks of PRIME, his name is one of the first to come.
4th, 8th Champion
The winds behind him sweep about, blowing his majestic hair with perfect photogenic bravado. The only true Son of God. His appearance has not changed, even today, proving his parentage. The Last Judgment features prominently on his tights. Under his hand, you shall be crucified and saved.
Before him were titans in stature, but in their place comes one in sheer brutality. His fists and forearms are taped for battle, his muscle built for performance and savagery. Inhuman. A wrecking ball in human form. From nowhere, he arrives at this pinnacle, only to be knocked from it in the greatest upset in the history of PRIME. He will regain it from one of his greatest rivals, The Supreme Machine on the biggest stage. Years later, he returns from the sidelines, managing to defy expectations to put a temporary halt to The Murder Show. Rushmore features him prominently. He stands as one of the truest of greats.
6th, 9th, 21st Champion
A goofy wire of man. The most unassuming of all. So long of a shot, his chance comes in the middle of Revolution, a clear expectation of how easy he shall be steamrolled. A Christmas Miracle. Perpetually silly, the joke is not only the Inhuman Being, but also, all those who thought so little of him.
Born from the stars, beloved by all, charismatic, amongst the most skilled the sport has ever seen. He has returned from injury to claim his rightful place, but failure is all that meets him. In this moment, the drums of war sound, the very foundation of PRIME under threat from Machavallian forces. The star rises and turns his back on the fans and people who believed in him, joining the ranks of the devils who claim him to be their friend. Clean shaven, burned by the light. He fights off a record number of challengers. He is where the balance of PRIME rests.
The balance of power shifts. Her face, her essence, are intrinsically linked with PRIME, but in this moment, she is an assumed outsider. This moment changes not only her place in the company, but in her life. Home. The ultimate trendsetter. The Queen of the Ring becomes The Final Boss twice over. Her spot amongst the very greats is without question. Without her, where we stand today isn’t possible.
11th, 13th Champion
The rival to the Queen. Scum looks down upon him. A betrayer of friendship, of allegiance, all for self service. So many times, he fell, unable to answer the challenge, and in doing so, all rejoiced. Driven mad, Ahab manages to rise in his final stand, capturing his illustrious white whale.
Mismatched eyes, lacerating fingernails, and diminutive stature. In one night, she nearly conquers the Halo. In her next match, she manages to usurp the Queen. Scary and unknowable, a chameleon who can assume the identity of any she chooses. She lacks her own agency and identity, yet here, for a time, she can claim the Universal Championship as her own.
The Man in Black hides his pieces and scars under a dress shirt and slacks. A mess of black hair falls along the sides of his face. Many claim him to be emo, but they will come to know him as the ruiner, death incarnate. His war against PRIME will eventually lead to its closure. Even here, with a painted black middle finger, his detestment of PRIME is evident.
Charisma personified. In truth, his arrival to this pinnacle has been foreseen for ages. His potential is limitless, yet in critical moments, he falters. Until here. Until now. Until he realizes the promise after years of toil made to look like a designer accessory. His presence is legendary. His reign, to this point, lasts longer than all others before.
The Unbeatable. The Unconquerable. Awoken from dream, The Original Villain stops fighting with mere bits of his truth skill and strength. The path he cuts lasts over a year, and in its wake, promising careers, legendary challenges, and destinies all fall under his heel. Gone, but never forgotten. Though some draw close, he walks away into the annals of history never having lost the most prestigious prize in the sport.
From the distance, from the ether, his face painted with black, the oddest of sorts, his skin pale, he returns. The Intense Championship is marked as his in all of lore, but after conquering the Halo, he soon after fulfills an impossible destiny, capping off a Hall of Fame career with the final piece it lacked.
Hollywood beckons. A silver screen savant, he brings with him pomp, circumstance, and a director’s vision. An outsider who rises.
CASTOR V. STRIFE
The monster incarnate. The Murder Show. Burly, powerful, a viking from a long forgotten age who has spent an age in PRIME without realizing the fullness of his potential. It is remembering what it is to be dominant that he ascends to his throne, leaving behind a wake of broken bodies and dreams. For a time, the lineage ends with brutality under his knuckles. The oppressive, uncompromising final champion of the Revolution.
20th, 22nd Champion
The spear of the ReVival comes from the Revolution. Before this moment, he is considered the greatest to never win ‘the big one’. After over a decade away, the Tower of Babel rises, removing all doubt, finally taking his place amongst the true greats. The beginning. And after an odyssey of pain, the present.
23rd, 29th Champion
A life’s work. Destroy the past and present and burn it all away so the future can rise. The Humble Proprietor has spent his life as an afterthought, cast aside, treated less than human despite his love of the sport he has dedicated his life to. Their cackles and machinations forge an intensity fitting for a monster. The threat. The killer. Robbed of the result of it all. Even in the distance, his name brings chills to the air.
Lights, camera, pucker and kiss. The Anti-Christ. Under t-shades and salt shoes, he brings with him an apocalypse in tracksuit and baby blue. Despised and thought little of, the ultimate cockroach doesn’t just survive but thrive. His threats carry weight because he makes good on his promise. Nobody on this list has a hope of ever being this COOL.
The Event Horizon, the future, all of the ReVival’s promise and dreams comes in his chiseled form. His reverence to PRIME’s past is known, but he makes his own history, taking the Universal Championship for his own and under the most dire of circumstances. He stumbles, but in Hell, he overcomes not only the yang to his ying, but the oppressive boot of the Soviet state.
26th, 28th Champion
Punk rock in all forms, a fighter through and through. He doesn’t care about the championship, just what it brings to him in the ring. The greater fights. The ability to test his penchant for destruction. He snuffed out the promise of the horizon in his void. A goat kick to the head. A free spirit for rebellion against the norms.
With the final image fading away and the song having reached its crescendo, a final shot of the Universal Championship upon its velvet table is shown. And then, we cut to black.
A rich history of greatness.
Will a new name be added tonight?
UNIVERSAL TITLE MATCH: BRANDON YOUNGBLOOD (C) vs. TYLER ADRIAN BEST
The lights in the arena dim, as “T A B” flashes across the screen in bright gold letters. The letters suddenly drip 97Red, as “People I Don’t Like” begins to blast over the sound system.
Nick Stuart: Here comes the challenger.
The boos are near instantaneous. Guttural. Animal. An insane roar of pure, unadulterated hatred– this place is a bloodbath. Extra security filters out toward the guardrails as Tyler Adrian Best steps out from behind the curtain, slowly making his way out onto the stage. This is the traitor. This is the man whose head belongs on a pike here tonight, as far as the rabid PRIME faithful are concerned. He has threatened to steal their title. He has undermined their company. He is the antithesis of all things PRIME Wrestling, and now… he is here.
Nick Stuart: He hates all of us.
Tyler stares out at the sea of fans, a smirk lighting up at the corners of his lips as he flips double middle fingers out to the crowd. He is seemingly unphased by the wave of hate, sauntering casually down the ramp and almost seeming to enjoy it. Slowly, the number one contender rolls under the ropes and climbs up to his feet, ascending to the top of the turnbuckle and staring out into the fans.
TAB: 3-1-2 motherFUCKERS!
As he bellows the Chicago area code, he pantomimes the Universal Championship around his waist. The boos are even louder now, but he hops down from the turnbuckle and takes his corner, stretching out and getting ready to compete in what could be a defining matchup in his young career.
Richard Parker: He’s got the eyes of a killer. TAB wins. For sure. No doubt.
Nick Stuart: Over Youngblood?
Richard Parker: Pack your bags Nick, we’re going to Chicago tomorrow.
The PRIMEview shifts from the ring to the locker rooms, the percussive beat of Trust Me by Brad Fiedel powering through the Petco Park sound system. The capacity crowd of over 42,000 rises to their feet as a door explodes open, roaring when they see the PRIME Universal Champion, Brandon Youngblood, step through to the other side.
The mood and tenor changes, as inside the ballpark, the stadium lights have dimmed. All attention is paid to the screen, the stride of the Tower of Babel resolute, his expression focused and intense. The vaunted Universal Championship belt is fastened around his waist.
Nick Stuart: After months of waiting, we are finally here. The mood here has officially changed.
Richard Parker: Why do I feel like we’re about to witness either history or a crime?
Nick Stuart: The Universal Champion, Brandon Youngblood. He’s been in this position before. Last year, to the day, he successfully defended this very title at Great American Nightmare. On that night, he seemed invincible. Unbeatable. Unconquerable. But waiting in the wings was danger. A nine month trek to regain the title. But after all that fighting, after all that time and work…could his second reign end here tonight?
Richard Parker: Some people are thinking that’s all but a guarantee. Most of all…the man standing in the ring as we speak.
He moves, undaunted, through the hallway as it transitions from locker room doors to the backstage, to the metal supports and the black drapery making up the lead to the entrance ramp. The Universal Champion never wavers, always looking forward on the path he is on.
Nick Stuart: If Youngblood loses tonight, he loses more than the title. Lee Best has promised tomorrow night, on Chaos, that his grandson, Tyler Adrian Best, is bringing the championship to High Octane Wrestling. A grand parade and event is scheduled tomorrow in Chicago’s historic Grant Park. The champagne is on ice. A near million dollar bonus is waiting to be paid to Tyler if…IF…he is successful on this evening.
Richard Parker: And unlike Cancer Jiles…Tyler has the ability to ACTUALLY do it.
As he neared the steps leading to the Argyle Position, the camera stops, now shooting his back as he ascends and turns, his hand throwing back the curtain. He disappears, the cameraman lingering, the soundtrack having reached its final beats. The fans are ready. And as the show goes back to the arena, we can see the fever pitch is about to reach another level in a few short moments.
Nick Stuart: But beyond all the bluster, all the promises…what stands here tonight is a truly perilous position for PRIME. Few would be equipped to handle the daunting pressure. But Youngblood has shown, time and again, he isn’t one of the many. The greatest singles competitor in the history of PRIME. The only man to have successful defended the Universal Championship multiple times in the ReVival era. As brutal and uncompromising as they come. If anyone stands as the banner of the truly elite in all of PRIME history, this man is a smart pick. A safe pick. And…a confident pick.
Richard Parker: And that can all end tonight.
After months of anticipation and dread, finally, resolution.
The Murderer of the Murder Rumble beckons.
The very soul of PRIME is at stake.
BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD
SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE
LET THE GALAXY BURN
Bloodsport (World Domination) by HEALTH. A wall of dominant noise surges through the stadium, an absolutely raucous ovation erupting within Petco Park as Brandon Youngblood appears on the entrance ramp, bathed in flickering blue and white lights.
Nick Stuart: A raucous ovation for the Universal Champion!
Richard Parker: My ears!
There is no pause from the Universal Champion to soak in his cheers, instead, with purpose, The Last Diamond marches to the ring, his eyes toward Tyler Adrian Best. His oppressive scowl of intensity says it all. The challenger is all swagger. He knows within the next hour, he will realize his destiny.
All that stands in his way is the very embodiment of PRIME.
Vince Howard: His opponent…hailing from Bandera, Texas by way of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada… weighing in at 265 pounds… he is…the PRIME…UNIVERSAL! CHAMPION! THE TOOOOOOWER! OF BAAAAAAAABEL! BRAAAAAAAANDON! YOUNGBLOOOOOOOOOD!
His shoulders sway with the bravado of his BMF walk, a spotlight lighting his path. The 2022 Wrestler of the Year is quick down the ramp, his gait swinging him around the stadium floor, to the ring steps. There is no slowdown as his feet pound the steel, stepping between the ropes and exploding upright. Once inside, he begins pacing around the outside perimeter of the ring, his eyes locking on TAB, ripping the Universal Championship from his waist and pumping it skyward before extending toward his challenger. That’s one hand.
The middle finger.
Nick Stuart: Neither man is wavering here…and there is no place you’d rather be if you’re a fan of professional wrestling!
The lights return, and as they do, the Suplex Daddy readies himself in an amateur stance, one hand on a thigh, the other still holding the Universal Championship, a snarl of disdain curling his lips. If looks could kill, head official Timo Bolamba might be dead, as he asks for the championship belt. Youngblood hands it over, and continues his snarl. Timo shows the belt to Tyler, who doesn’t even look at it. He stares across the ring at Youngblood.
Nick Stuart: And we’re underway for the main event.
Richard Parker: The battle for PRIME has started!
Brandon Youngblood stares across the ring back, his eyes never looking away from Tyler Adrian Best’s. The young superstar smirks, and Youngblood returns the smirk with a snarl.
YOUNGBLOOD! YOUNGBLOOD! YOUNGBLOOD!
TYLER’S GONNA KILL YOU!
TYLER’S GONNA KILL YOU!
Nick Stuart: This crowd… listen to this crowd. It’s pure electricity.
TAB is the first one to twitch, and explodes forward. Youngblood fires off the blocks at the same time, and the two men collide in the center of the ring. Collar and elbow tie-up starts the encounter, and Tyler tries to push on the much larger man by getting low, but Youngblood manages to meet him. Tyler tries to whip Youngblood to the side, but Brandon heaves and throws Tyler Adrian Best across the ring. TAB lands in the corner, and takes a deep breath while Brandon Youngblood roars in the center of the ring.
YOUNGBLOOD! YOUNGBLOOD! YOUNGBLOOD!
Nick Stuart: Incredible strength on display from the Universal Champion.
Richard Parker: Brandon Youngblood is a very big, very strong man.
Youngblood takes the center of the ring and motions for Tyler Adrian Best to come to him.
YOUNGBLOOD! YOUNGBLOOD! YOUNGBLOOD!
Tyler pushes himself up off the mat, and brushes himself off in the corner. He nods at Youngblood before coming in after him again. This time there is no collar and elbow tie-up. Tyler Adrian Best instead tries to catch Brandon with a knee to the stomach, but Youngblood moves out of the way. Tyler pivots with a spinning backfist, Youngblood ducks underneath and grabs Tyler around the waist.
Richard Parker: HE’S GOT HIM!
Youngblood yanks on Tyler, but TAB manages to push his hands down to his side and rips his way out of Youngblood’s grip. He pivots, this time throwing a sidekick that catches Youngblood in the center of his chest. The Diamond of The ReVival Era stumbles backwards and Tyler comes forward in a flurry. A stinging lowkick to the calf of Brandon Youngblood, then a second, he feints a third but Youngblood lifts his leg to check the kick, but TAB swings through and sweeps the plant leg out from under The Ace. Youngblood hits the mat, and Tyler comes across trying to take his head off with a punt kick, but Youngblood throws himself forward and wraps Tyler up around the waist.
Nick Stuart: Tyler’s coming out fast here.
Richard Parker: He has to, that big behemoth could smother him!
Tyler starts rapidly throwing elbows downwards on the back of Youngblood’s head, TAB pulls Youngblood’s face back and unloads with a right hand, then another, and finally The Universal Champion’s grip falls limp and Tyler shoves the big man off of him and backs away. Youngblood slowly trudges to his feet. The grizzled veteran looks around at the crowd in Petco Park, before returning his eyes to TAB.
TYLER’S GONNA KILL YOU! TYLER’S GONNA KILL YOU!
It’s Youngblood’s turn to snarl, and he comes out of the corner quickly. TAB sticks him with a right hand to the orbital bone, and Youngblood staggers back. TAB loads up another right hand, but this time it’s Youngblood’s massive arm that fires first, planting a right hand right between Tyler’s eyes. TAB comes back with a right hand of his own, Youngblood fires back.
Nick Stuart: Back and forth they go!
Youngblood plants a huge right hand that causes TAB to hesitate, Youngblood fires a second that drives TAB back towards the corner. Youngblood sees the moment and barrels in, pushing TAB back to the corner with his shoulder. He stands up and fires off an absolutely vicious chop to the chest of TAB. Youngblood glares at Timo, who nods.
Richard Parker: You could hear that chop all the way back in Grant Park!
Nick Stuart: Oh and there’s another!
Youngblood fires off a second chop to TAB’s chest that leaves a massive hand print. Tyler clutches his chest, but The Diamond spreads TAB’s arms apart and leaves them resting on the ropes. He fires off another vicious chop that causes TAB’s feet to leave the mat. The Champion backs his way halfway across the ring, and takes off sprinting at TAB in the corner. He leaves his feet looking for a big splash, but Tyler ducks under and Youngblood crashes into the turnbuckle.
Nick Stuart: Two-Hundred and Sixty Five pounds of Brandon Youngblood crashing into the corner!
TAB yanks himself up off the canvas using the ropes, and turns back towards Youngblood. He comes in with a head full of steam and smashes Youngblood with a two footed dropkick to the chest. The Champion slouches and TAB takes the moment. He fires off a stinging welt into Youngblood’s chest. Bolamba goes to come in, but the glare from Tyler Adrian Best is enough to put the big samoan back into his place.
TAB’S GONNA KILL YOU! TAB’S GONNA KILL YOU!
Richard Parker: Oh…
A second chop comes flying in, and crashes into Youngblood’s chest. He covers up his pecs and grimaces. Tyler spreads Youngblood’s arms and fires off another insulting chop to the chest. He smirks, pulling down the straps on Youngblood’s singlet and fires another in on the bare chest of the Universal Champion.
Nick Stuart: A fourth stinging chop from Tyler!
Youngblood brings his arms back down to protect himself, and Tyler doesn’t pause to reposition him. Instead he starts driving boots down into Youngblood’s hands, and chest. One after another. Youngblood slumps from the middle turnbuckle down to the floor, Timo comes over but TAB doesn’t give a shit. He stomps away, even as Timo counts.
Richard Parker: I think Timo is just letting it all go tonight.
Nick Stuart: It’s for the greatest prize in all of professional wrestling. Whatever happens, happens.
TAB’S GONNA KILL YOU! TAB’S GONNA KILL YOU!
Youngblood takes the only escape hatch he has, and rolls to the outside. TAB looks at Youngblood, and then at the far ropes, he sprints and bounces off the far ropes. He comes back, and leaps over the top rope. He stretches out for a crossbody and connects, sending Youngblood crashing into the guardrail. Timo slides out of the ring and checks on Youngblood, while TAB yanks himself up to his feet with the ring apron. He wipes his face with the PRIME logo, before turning back towards Youngblood.
Richard Parker: What a disrespectful little…
Parker doesn’t get to finish as TAB slams a foot across Youngblood’s face. He brings the champion to his feet and smashes his head off of the guard rail before tossing him over and into the crowd. Tyler follows, smashing Youngblood with boots to the midsection. He grabs a fan’s folding chair and goes to hit Youngblood with it, but Timo reaches out and grabs the weapon.
Nick Stuart: Oh… Bad idea Timo…
TAB’S GONNA KILL YOU! TAB’S GONNA KILL YOU!
Tyler rips the chair out of Timo’s hands and hurls it backwards at Youngblood. He stomps after Timo who finds the quickest escape route possible. With Timo out of the way of imminent harm, TAB spins himself back around towards Brandon Youngblood, who is now on his feet and smashes TAB between the eyes with a right forearm that sends him staggering backwards. The 3rd generation Best finds himself up against the guard rail and Youngblood roars forward, smashing him with a clothesline, sending the two men flipping over the railing and back to the mat outside of the ring.
Richard Parker: And here comes the champion!
Nick Stuart: Brandon Youngblood’s the greatest competitor in the history of PRIME, this man is not going to go down without a fight.
Both men’s chests are heaving on the outside, but they slowly make their way up to their feet. Timo, finally satisfied that both men aren’t injured, rolls into the ring and begins to count.
Richard Parker: This fucking guy, these guys have been out here for what? Like three minutes?
Nick Stuart: Timo’s doing his job Richard, shut up and do yours.
Richard Parker: Slow fucking count.
TAB makes his way to his feet first and stumbles his way into Youngblood, who grabs him around the waist and delivers an earth shattering belly to belly suplex.
Richard Parker: HE PLANTED HIM!
Nick Stuart: Dear lord, you could feel that in the upper deck.
Youngblood stays on top of TAB, still breathing hard.
Youngblood presses himself up off of TAB, using TAB to do it. He stumbles over to the ring apron, he grins and slides in.
TAB slowly rolls over onto his side and clutches at his midsection.
Richard Parker: All that time outside, I just thought Timo forgot how to count.
TAB reaches his hands up and drags himself up to a standing position. He looks up at Brandon Youngblood, who’s made his way to his feet and is breathing heavily in the far corner.
TAB pulls himself up to the apron, and Youngblood comes storming across the ring, TAB stumbles to the corner, as Timo steps in front of Youngblood. TAB nods, and slowly steps foot into the ring. His hands are still across his ribs.
Nick Stuart: Looks like Youngblood really did damage to the ribs with that belly to belly.
Richard Parker: Have you seen that man? Of course he did damage. He does damage when he shakes my hand Nick, he’s going to practically kill a man when he slams him down onto a thin layer of padding on a concrete floor.
Youngblood storms through Timo and right back at Tyler, the youngest member of the Best family jabs Brandon between the eyes with his thumb and retreats across the ring. Youngblood turns around like Mutumbo going for a rebound. Tyler can’t capitalize for a moment as he continues to gather himself. Youngblood marches in the direction of Tyler’s blur but stops halfway and looks out into the crowd.
TAB’S GONNA KILL YOU!
Tyler springs from the corner and dives at Youngblood with a dropkick, but Youngblood takes the cue of the crowd and spins with his arms out, deflecting the kick attempt.
Nick Stuart: Unbelievable. Unbelievable timing there by the champion.
Tyler clutches his ribs and gets back to his feet quickly. He smashes the still blinded Youngblood with an uppercut on the way to his feet, he grabs him by the back of the head and slams him head first into the turnbuckle.
Nick Stuart: Ouch!
Tyler Best: CHARMIN!
Another slam into the turnbuckle.
Tyler Best: SOFT!
Another slam into the turnbuckle.
Tyler Best: BALD!
And the last one.
Tyler Best: FUCK!
Richard Parker: He called him a soft bald fuck.
Nick Stuart: Thank you for that, Richard.
Youngblood shoves Tyler off of him and covers his face in the corner. Tyler turns him around, and smashes him with an elbow to the face. Tyler grabs Youngblood by the arm, measures him, and sends him flying across the ring into the far turnbuckle with an irish whip. Tyler follows and smashes the back of Youngblood’s skull with a helluva kick to the back of the head. Youngblood slumps to his knees, and Tyler Adrian Best grins. He grabs Youngblood by the eye sockets and pulls his head back.
Tyler Best: HE’S FUCKING DONE!
Nick Stuart: This is disgusting.
TAB’S GONNA KILL YOU! TAB’S GONNA KILL YOU!
He drags his thumb across Youngblood’s throat as he shouts. He smashes his head off of the middle turnbuckle and turns him around, he flings Youngblood down to the canvas, and paces across the ring. He lines Youngblood up, and comes sprinting across the ring, looking for a modified version of Lindsay Troy’s Queen’s Gambit.
Richard Parker: MISS!
Youngblood rolls out of the way and Tyler’s knees crash into the bottom turnbuckle as Youngblood gets back to his feet. The Diamond brings himself up to his feet, still holding his face. Tyler is back to his feet and tries to jab Youngblood in the eyes again. This time Brandon is able to swat the hand away, but maintains wrist control, pulling Tyler into his grasp.
Nick Stuart: Tyler going back to those eyes, but Youngblood stops him.
Richard Parker: He needs a pen.
Nick Stuart: What?
Richard Parker: Grandpa uses a pen for that, he needs a pen.
Nick Stuart: If you throw a pen into that ring, I will fight you.
Brandon lifts Tyler by the waist, and tosses him over his head with a huge german suplex. Tyler crashes down on the back of his head and neck. He flips over onto his stomach and clutches at the back of his head.
Nick Stuart: What a suplex!
Youngblood slowly gets to his feet, reaches down and grabs Tyler by the back of the head. He pulls him to his feet by the hair and pulls him in close again. The camera can see him mouth ‘tell me how soft this is’ into Tyler’s ear, as he lifts him up off of his feet by his waist and drives him to the canvas with another belly to belly suplex. Youngblood snarls, and presses his hands into TAB’s chest.
Richard Parker: SHOULDER IS UP!
Tyler shoots his shoulder up from underneath Youngblood as Timo slaps the mat for the second time. Brandon smiles, gets to his feet, and reaches down to pull Tyler up again by his hair. Tyler’s hips are a blur, and he whips them up by his head and around Youngblood’s arm. He yanks Youngblood overtop of him, and down to the canvas. He locks in the armbar and Youngblood looks absolutely shocked.
Richard Parker: ARTICLE 51! ARTICLE 51! THAT’S FARTHINGTON’S ARM BAR!
TAB yanks back, and Youngblood begins to scramble, trying to take the pressure off of his elbow. Youngblood starts to use his legs to walk himself towards the ropes, he pulls himself over to his side, and starts to slide his feet across the mat. His teeth are gritted together, while Tyler pulls back and yanks on the arm. Finally Youngblood lunges to the ropes, and manages to get his bottom foot on them. Timo comes over and starts to pull TAB off of Youngblood’s arm, but TAB swats him away. Timo does the only thing he can do and count.
Nick Stuart: Come on! Let go of his arm already!
Richard Parker: HE HAS TILL FIVE!
TAB finally lets loose of the arm and begins to untangle his legs from Youngblood and get to his feet, Brandon pulls the arm to his side as he gets to his feet. He turns back towards Tyler and throws a right hand. Tyler circles towards the bad left arm and sticks Youngblood between the eyes with a jab. Youngblood staggers, and Tyler continues in for another jab that catches Brandon in the side of the face.
Richard Parker: That armbar hurt him, Nick.
Nick Stuart: Yeah, the extra three seconds sure didn’t help.
Richard Parker: Those are the rules Nick, Farthington told me that in the back. He has the book.
TAB takes a chance, and spins counter clockwise, smashing BY across the face with a roundhouse kick. Youngblood manages to lift his arm, but comes down from blocking the kick grimacing and grabbing his elbow. Tyler steps backwards into the ropes, and comes back with a head of steam, slamming a forearm into the left side of Brandon Youngblood’s face. Youngblood stumbles backwards and into the ropes, he comes back at Tyler and throws his right arm for a big clothesline, but Tyler moves out of the way and hits the ropes himself. Youngblood turns around and tries to catch him for a back body drop. Tyler sees it just in time, and kicks Youngblood in the face, sending blood spraying to the sky from Youngblood’s nose.
Richard Parker: TAB KICKED HIM LIKE PHIL DID!
Nick Stuart: He got all of it!
Youngblood’s head snaps back, and Tyler thrusts his head back down between his legs. He shoves Youngblood’s head between his legs and reaches down grabbing Youngblood behind the ankles.
Nick Stuart: NO! NO!
Tyler pulls with everything he has, Youngblood struggles as Tyler lifts him up kicking his feet and squirming. Tyler is forced to set him back down, Tyler lets go of Youngblood’s legs, leaps into the air, and rides Youngblood’s face to the canvas with his shin. Youngblood’s broken nose smashes into the mat as Tyler looks out into the crowd smirking.
TAB’S GONNA KILL YOU! TAB’S GONNA KILL YOU!
Richard Parker: Did he just try to?
Nick Stuart: Yeah, yeah he did.
Richard Parker: Trained by Lindsay Troy.
TAB gets to his feet and walks over to Brandon Youngblood. The champion’s face is still on the mat, his knees are still on the mat. He hasn’t moved since his face was impacting the canvas. Tyler stands with Youngblood’s head between his legs, he reaches down and pulls Youngblood back up and into position.
Richard Parker: NO!
Tyler reaches down and grabs behind Youngblood’s legs. He pulls Youngblood’s lifeless body into the air by the back of his legs, and drives him head first into the canvas.
Nick Stuart: Thy Kingdom Come…
Richard Parker: …
The arena is quiet.
Tyler Adrian Best sits with Youngblood still slumped in front of him. He starts to laugh as he rolls Youngblood over onto his back. He hooks a leg, and begins pumping his fist with each slap of Timo’s hand to the mat.
Richard Parker: Jesus Christ, High Octane Wrestling almost won the Universal Title with Lindsay Troy’s finisher…
Nick Stuart: Yeah… that just happened.
Tyler’s third fist pump turns into a look of shock as Brandon Youngblood’s arm shoots into the air off of the canvas. Tyler gets to his feet and pleads with Timo Bolamba that it was a three count, but Timo holds up two and shakes his head no. TAB huffs and turns around to a downed Youngblood. He grabs Youngblood by the singlet, and pulls his blood encrusted head up from the canvas. Tyler snarls and smashes Youngblood with a right hand, the Universal champion staggers backwards and Tyler comes forward. Tyler cocks back for another right hand, but Brandon Youngblood stumbles forward grabbing Tyler by the back of the head, and slamming his forehead into Tyler’s nose.
Nick Stuart: Big headbut!
Tyler stumbles backwards and reaches up, swiping his arm across his blood covered upper lip. Tyler looks down at his arm shocked, he turns towards Youngblood, looks down at his bloody arm and back towards the champion. He smears the blood across his face and steps back in and smashes his own forehead into Youngblood’s face. Youngblood stumbles backwards, Tyler pulls back again to deliver more punishment, but Youngblood shoots forward again and drives his head into Tyler’s nose for a second time. Tyler stumbles backwards and the two stare across the ring at each other.
Richard Parker: OUCH! OUCH!
The two men stare across the ring, blood running down their faces. They come back in for another clash, this times the hands fly. Tyler’s right arm extends towards the left side of Youngblood’s face. Youngblood takes the blow on the orbital bone, but steps through getting his hands onto Tyler.
Brandon grabs Tyler around the waist, Tyler tries to separate but Youngblood manages to spin around to Tyler’s back. He lifts TAB off of the mat, and spins him around. He drives him headfirst into the canvas with a vicious Randallplex. Youngblood stacks TAB up.
Richard Parker: RANDALL PLEX! THAT’S IT! YOUNGBLOOD GOT HIM!
Nick Stuart: TAB has been staying out of Youngblood’s grip all night, and this is precisely why! Anytime the champion gets his hands on you, it could all end in an instant!
Timo slides in for the count.
Richard Parker: KICKOUT!
TAB kicks out from the stack, sending both men sprawling onto the mat. They stay there, both breathing heavily. Youngblood slowly makes his way to his feet. He reaches down and grabs TAB by the back of the neck. He pushes him over to the corner, TAB leans against it trying to get his bearings, but the Universal Champion has other ideas, and he smashes TAB in the corner with a big splash.
Nick Stuart: What is Brandon doing?
Richard Parker: Trying to kill the kid.
Youngblood turns TAB around and lifts him up onto the top rope.
Youngblood climbs up onto the middle rope, and grabs TAB around the waist.
Nick Stuart: You might not be wrong Richard…
Youngblood pulls TAB all the way up to his feet, and steps up onto the top rope.
TAB throws an elbow that catches Youngblood on the nose, Youngblood steps down to the middle rope and lets TAB go. Tyler turns around carefully on the top rope, and starts peppering Youngblood with right hands from the top rope. The right hands turn into a downward elbow, and Youngblood stumbles, dropping himself spread eagle across the middle turnbuckle. TAB hops down from the top rope and crouches down behind Youngblood.
TAB’S GONNA KILL YOU! TAB’S GONNA KILL YOU!
Richard Parker: What is TAB doing…
He lifts Youngblood off of the turnbuckle and onto his shoulders. He takes a step to the side, and dives to the ground with Youngblood’s head aimed directly at the canvas. Brandon’s head bounces off of the mat, and Tyler rolls over on top of Youngblood. He hooks the near leg and begins to pump his fist.
Richard Parker: Was that…
Nick Stuart: Yes Richard, that was a burning hammer.
Richard Parker: FOOT ON THE ROPES! HIS FOOT IS ON THE ROPES TIMO!
Timo catches it just as his hand was about to hit the canvas. Tyler’s third fist pump is left hanging in the air.
Nick Stuart: My heart is in my throat.
Richard Parker: I thought I had to go to Chicago.
Tyler is sickened. He looks back at Youngblood, absolutely mortified. The leg is still on the rope, and Tyler shouts at Bolamba anyway. Tyler turns away from berating the official and back towards Youngblood. He’s running his hands through his hair, pulling at it. He reaches down and drags Youngblood up to his knees by the front of his singlet. Tyler steps back and lets loose another throat slash.
TAB’S GONNA KILL YOU! TAB’S GONNA KILL YOU!
Tyler comes forward, but Youngblood meets him in midair. He wraps Tyler up out of the sky, spins and smashes him to the canvas with his Spinebuster!
Nick Stuart: SPINEBUSTER! SPINEBUSTER! SPINEBUSTER!
Richard Parker: HE CAN’T COVER HIM THOUGH! HE CAN’T GET OVER!
Youngblood after the Spinebuster collapses to the side, and TAB is out on his back. Youngblood slowly pulls himself over and on top of Tyler Adrian Best. Timo slides into count.
Nick Stuart: Jesus…
Youngblood rolls off of TAB and over to the side. His hands are wrapped around the back of his head. TAB, amazingly, is the first one to get to his feet. All the lights aren’t on though, and he stumbles forward as Youngblood is getting to his feet. Youngblood turns around and TAB kicks him in the left arm. Youngblood grimaces, he spins and fires off a discus punch that catches TAB in the face. The two men stumble backwards before stumbling forward. TAB’s forehead finds Youngblood’s and the two stand in the clinch. Both mouths are not stopping, the words aren’t nice. Not at all. TAB tries to push himself away from Youngblood, but the big man wraps his arms around TAB and tries to pull him over for a belly to belly suplex.
Richard Parker: THAT’S THE YOUNGBLOOD I LOVE! HE’LL DO ANYTHING! WHATEVER IT TAKES!
Nick Stuart: We haven’t seen this… in a long time…
Tyler realizes the predicament and rakes his hands across Youngblood’s face. Youngblood stumbles away and Tyler sprints forward.
Richard Parker: Here we…!
Youngblood steps out of the way and Tyler hits the ropes, Youngblood takes off sprinting after Tyler, Tyler leaps up onto the middle rope to springboard but Youngblood snatches him off the ropes and slams him to the mat with a second Randall plex!
Nick Stuart: That’s it!
Youngblood stacks him up, and Timo slides in for the count.
Richard Parker: I… I don’t believe it…
Nick Stuart: Unreal…
Tyler kicks out and it’s Youngblood’s turn to be absolutely horrified. He wipes his blood covered face off with his hands and looks down at Tyler. He reaches down, pulling the kid up off of the canvas. Youngblood grabs Tyler from behind and smashes him to the canvas with The Gridlock. He maintains the kata-ha-jime choke and pins Tyler to the canvas.
Richard Parker: HE’S CHOKING HIM!
Nick Stuart: Farthington and FLAMBERGE choke everyone! What’s different here?
DING DING DING!
Timo calls for the bell and Youngblood lets go of the choke, falling over onto his side. Blue fireworks shoot off at Petco Park, as Brandon slowly climbs to his feet.
Vince Howard: The winner of this match… and STIIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL PRIME UNIVERSAL CHAMPION!!!!!! BRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANDON YOOOOOOOOOOOUNGBLOOOOOOOOOOOOD!
Timo hands Youngblood the Universal Championship and raises his right arm into the air. Youngblood keeps the belt over his right arm, but down at his side. Out of the back, Hayes Hanlon, Jared Sykes, Coral Avalon, Nate Colton, The Anglo Luchador… They all walk down the ramp, clapping their hands. Tyler Adrian Best rolls to the outside, while the other wrestlers climb into the ring and lift Youngblood up onto their shoulders.
Richard Parker: THERE HE IS!
The camera pans to a skybox, Cecilworth Farthington with his Five Star Championship, FLAMBERGE with the Intense Championship, and the rest of The Glueminati stand looking down from a balcony. The camera flashes over to another box, inside Ivan Stanislav is seen standing looking down, the camera flashes back to the men in the ring. Their champion on their shoulder.