11 Cyrus O’Haire vs. 14 Teddy Palmer
Nick Stuart: We’ve got an interesting one coming up and, by interesting, I mean I’m not sure how much has been taken out of Teddy Palmer.
Richard Parker: Attacked by a six-foot-seven monster, who takes his matches as seriously as they come, I hear you. Teddy is no push over himself, though. I guess we’ll see what happens.
The scene switches to Vince Howard, standing in the middle of the ring.
Vince Howard: This is a second round match of the Almasy Invitational. Introducing first, from Cedar Rapids, Iowa… weighing in at two-hundred-sixty-five pounds… The Hardcore Messiah, Cyrus O’Haire!
“Blue Monday” by Orgy blares on the PA as O’Haire marches out with a dead serious tone. He ignores the fans within the MGM Grand, focusing all his attention on the empty squared circle in front of him. His body barely moves, his feet simply take him down the rampway and to the edge of the ring. He slides under the bottom rope and pushes himself to his feet before unleashing a roar with a fist in the air.
Nick Stuart: A weathered vet, no doubt and someone you don’t want to mess with.
The fans wait for Palmer’s entrance. They build an anticipatory cheer.
Vince Howard: And his opponent, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada… weighing in at two-hundred-fifteen pounds… TEDDY PALMER!
During Vince Howard’s announcement, the bouncing guitar lick of “Leave Me Lonely” by Hilltop Hoods vibrates through the MGM Grand. The PRIMEates are lively, erupting into cheers as Teddy Palmer bursts out onto the stage. He has a purpose to his step, his trademark smirk noticeably absent. Rather, it’s been replaced with a scowl, highlighted by the open wound on his upper lip.
Nick Stuart: That lip is looking gnarly. Cyrus’ cheap shot reopened the gash Palmer got in his first round victory against EVW.
Richard Parker: Teddy’s got his game face on. He looks ready to go, we’ll see if the shot has taken more out of him soon.
As the rolling lyrics pick up in pace, Teddy continues his march towards the ring, peeling off his tee. He spits out of the corner of his mouth before wiping the blood from his beard with the garment and tossing it to the ground. Hands reach out over the barricade but Teddy has blinders on, his eyes locked on O’Haire.
Nick Stuart: We’re in for a fight.
Richard Parker: Most definitely.
Rolling underneath the bottom rope, Teddy is quick to his feet, but his path to Cyrus is immediately cut off by Jimmy Turnbull, who orders the fuming Palmer to his starting corner of the ring. Except Teddy doesn’t want to listen… and Cyrus is also raring to go.
Richard Parker: Jimmy’s got his hands full already, poor guy.
The referee knows the sooner he calls for the bell, the better. Both men are off and meet each other in the center of the canvas. Palmer and O’Haire exchange merciless shots with each other and all the referee can do is watch.
Nick Stuart: Look, I get it. If I was Teddy, I’d do the same thing. I’m just not sure this is a smart call. O’Haire is twice his size!
Richard Parker: And yet… Teddy’s holding his own. Look!
Indeed, Palmer is. He’s driving hard forearm shots into the neck of O’Haire, staggering the big man back.
Richard Parker: It IS a smart move. It’s not only how hard you can hit sometimes, it’s where you hit. Teddy is clubbing his forearm into Cyrus’ neck!
While the strategy works, it only works for so long. Soon O’Haire drives his thumb into Palmer’s face and then pushes the Toronto native backwards. O’Haire bursts from the corner and crushes Palmer with an inside-out clothesline before shouting into the rafters. The bigger man snatches Palmer off the canvas and hurls Teddy halfway across the ring with ease!
Nick Stuart: The brawling-style offense from Teddy only lasted so long.
Richard Parker: I can’t blame him. Like you said, if anyone was knocked in the face backstage, they’d likely come for a fight, too.
Knowing he can’t out-wrestle Palmer, O’Haire keeps the impact moves coming. He blasts Palmer across the chest with a hard knife edge chop, which works Palmer down to a knee. Teddy tries to fight the pain inside his head but Cyrus, again, connects with a second thunderous knife edge chop heard all around the bleachers.
Nick Stuart: Sickening.
Palmer’s chest is beet red. O’Haire lifts him up without breaking a sweat and throws Palmer across the mat once again. Teddy, ever so resilient, gets to his feet and races towards O’Haire but eats a big boot to the face. This is followed by the Iowa native digging his right index finger deep into Palmer’s open face gash.
Nick Stuart: Okay, no. THIS is sickening!
O’Haire hurls Palmer to the canvas once more, this time in a modified hammer throw. Palmer, however, finds a way to his feet and asks for more.
Richard Parker: Really tough sledding for Palmer… but he won’t quit!
O’Haire hits the ropes and connects with a clothesline. A scoop slam follows and then an elbow drop into Palmer’s chest. Cyrus continues the onslaught. He throws Palmer over his shoulder and takes a run…
Nick Stuart: Looking for a powerslam… no! Palmer escapes!
The elusive Teddy Palmer bounces off the ropes and dropkicks O’Haire in the right leg.
Richard Parker: There we go! Teddy’s no idiot. Attack the base of the big man, then you can seek some redemption.
And Palmer does. O’Haire falls to a knee after the dropkick and Teddy plants the behemoth with a DDT.
Nick Stuart: A lot of Palmer’s typical moves may be out the window in a match like this.
Teddy drives his own elbow into the chest of Cyrus, only to do it three more times. Feeling more confident, Palmer drags O’Haire upwards while feeding him stiff arms in the process.
Richard Parker: Smart. You pull your opponent up AND connect with offensive moves at the same time.
O’Haire, however, starts driving Palmer away. The forearm shots by Teddy are hard but Cyrus shows his strength in absorbing the blows. O’Haire pushes Palmer backwards and Teddy flies into a corner. However, Palmer bounces off and dropkicks O’Haire in the same right knee again.
Nick Stuart: Another DDT by Palmer!
Teddy knows he’s nowhere close to a pinfall attempt. He keeps hammering forearms into O’Haire’s face but this time, The Hardcore Messiah explodes. The giant throws both arms forward and sends Palmer flying into the ropes. As Palmer bounces off them, O’Haire catches the smaller framed wrestler and connects with a powerslam!
The fans in the arena gasp as the move legitimately shakes the ring upon impact. O’Haire doesn’t waste a moment. He hits the ropes and lands a leg drop.
The Vyrus drags Palmer to his feet.
Nick Stuart: O’Haire might be looking for a powerslam again…
Placing Palmer onto his shoulders, O’Haire is not to be outdone. He drills Palmer’s body into the mat and hooks a leg.
The crowd comes alive as Teddy shows signs of life. O’Haire isn’t going to argue with the referee, though. He merely scoops Palmer off the mat and Irish whips the Toronto native into a turnbuckle. Palmer meets the buckle chest-first. Theodore hits and sticks from the sheer impact and O’Haire is ready to pounce. Looking to bulldoze his way through Palmer, Cyrus measures his opponent and is about to race in…
When he’s suddenly distracted. O’Haire places a hand on his head and starts screaming, eyes darting around the canvas.
Nick Stuart: What’s going on?
Nevertheless, it’s the opening Palmer needs. Teddy comes to, pulls himself from the turnbuckle and bursts across the canvas, delivering a wild knee strike to the side of O’Haire’s temple as the giant was bent over. O’Haire has a hard time recovering from this move. Replays show Palmer’s knee connects flush with Cyrus’ temple.
With O’Haire on all fours, Palmer goes back to the tried and true DDT for a third time in this contest.
Palmer is feeling it, the crowd backing him. The #14 seed lifts O’Haire upright, pulling with all of his might. Palmer attempts an Irish whip on The Hardcore Messiah but it’s reversed at the last possible second as O’Haire latches onto Palmer’s waist and hits a pop-up powerbomb instead.
The air is taken out of the arena. O’Haire, seemingly able to put aside whatever affected him earlier and is now back in control. He drives elbow after elbow into Teddy Palmer’s temple.
Richard Parker: I have to think these temple blows are payback for Palmer’s earlier knee strikes to his own head. O’Haire doesn’t seem like a guy who forgets easily.
The big man hits a delayed brainbuster followed by more stiff shots to Palmer’s head. Cyrus attempts to dig into Palmer’s gash once more but Teddy fumbles backwards, hits the ropes and ducks under a clothesline. The six-foot-one wrestler knocks the right leg from under Cyrus again with a kick placed flush on the popliteal area. It makes O’Haire wobble, losing balance and Palmer jumps into the air, kicking O’Haire in the side of the skull.
Nick Stuart: Teddy has two openings here. O’Haire’s right knee and the temple. Both areas he’s worked on exclusively.
Palmer tries for a triangle choke but O’Haire is into the ropes rather quickly. The hold is broken at the count of one, as Palmer takes every second of the match seriously. Not wanting to waste a second, Teddy hits the ropes-
But can’t avoid the big boot from O’Haire.
Richard Parker: I don’t know if you noticed but O’Haire used his left leg. I’m not sure the big boot will have as much impact. Cyrus did not use his normal leg.
O’Haire looks down at Palmer and scoffs. He grabs Teddy by his long hair and throws him into a powerbomb position. The crowd comes alive, trying to cheer Palmer on… knowing the jackknife powerbomb, The Injection, is mere seconds away.
O’Haire throws Palmer up onto his shoulders… however, Teddy isn’t going to die just yet.
Nick Stuart: Palmer throwing forearm smashes into the side of O’Haire’s temple. He’s furiously working away, knowing if O’Haire hits this, it’s over.
Palmer fights and fights… he’s clubbing the monster with many blows and finally…
O’Haire’s knee buckles.
Nick Stuart: Palmer escapes!
Teddy’s feet touch the floor. He takes hold of O’Haire’s arm and pulls the big man into a ripcord knee strike. This works Cyrus onto all fours. Palmer bounces off the ropes.
Nick Stuart: Nosebleed Section!
The curb stomp hits, the crowd erupts!
Palmer hooks a leg.
DING DING DING
“Leave Me Lonely” by Hilltop Hoods plays as Vince Howard stands up from the time keeper’s table.
Vince Howard: The winner of this match… TEDDY PALMER!
Nick Stuart: Huge win for Teddy! Of course, every win in this tournament is huge.
Richard Parker: Not a bad showing at all from Cyrus O’Haire. Both men wanted it. Both men worked extremely hard. In the end, it was the work Palmer put in on O’Haire’s knee and head which got him the W.
ReVival rolls elsewhere as the referee raises Teddy Palmer’s hand in the center of the ring.