12 John Kennedy Royko Jr. vs. 13 Dusk
Nick Stuart: Next up, ladies and gentlemen, we have what on paper looks to be a hell of a match up when the big rookie John Kennedy Royko Jr squares off with fan favorite veteran Dusk. The winner moves on in the Almasy Invitational and the stakes couldn’t be higher in this youth vs. experience match up.
Richard Parker: I can’t say I’m becoming the biggest Royko fan, but I wouldn’t mind him squashing Dusk’s brittle old bones into dust.
“Possum Kingdom” by Toadies excites the crowd as the open guitar riff rocks the arena! A moment later out enters John Kennedy Royko Jr. who has a box in his hand and looks out the crowd with a smile. The 6’7” thickly built youngster equipped plainly with black trunks and a large knee brace on his left knee rips the box off his hand and exposes his fist. Some of the crowd cheers and more so do when he walks over a staff member who hands him a t-shirt gun. JK holds up the Almasy Invitational shirt to camera and yells something about going to the PRIME website. He tosses that shirt to a special needs child in the crowd and starts firing off shirts to cheering fans as he makes his way to the ring.
Nick Stuart: Royko tossing out some shirts tonight!
Richard Parker: We need to sell those Stuart, not bribe the crowd for cheers. I changed my mind, screw this guy.
Nick Stuart: Come on now – a great company man Rokyo has a bright future with us here in PRIME.
Richard Parker: IF his knee isn’t destroyed tonight by DUSK.
Nick Stuart: Now you’re pulling for Dusk? Well, this match is sure to be a war either way!
Vince Howard: From Prospect Height, Illinois, The 2020 John Lynch man of the year award winner! JOHN KENNEDY ROYKO JR!
The big man already in the ring makes a few chop motions to the crowd before blowing a kiss to his wife-to-be who is sitting in the front row cheering him on. He does some jumping jacks in the center of the ring to show he’s fine. He points and gives a thumbs up to a “Royko Rocks~!” sign done up in the old nostalgia “KANO ROCKS~!” font that some of the older PRIME fans would get.
Nick Stuart: The kid looks good to go tonight.
“Stronger” by Kanye West rips through the MGM Grand Arena as the fans immediately rise to their feet and start to chant.
DUSK! DUSK! DUSK! DUSK!
From the backstage area emerges the man himself, Dusk. He stands at the top of the ramp as the fans cheer him on and chant his name. He has on a pair of white pants with black stripes on them with Dusk running down the outside of both legs. He wears a long black trenchcoat as well. He methodically makes his way down the ramp, slapping the hands of fans on his way to the ring, before he slides in under the bottom rope.
Vince Howard: And his opponent… DUUUUUSK!
He makes his way over to one of the ring corners, makes his way up to the middle turnbuckle, and holds his arms out as the fans continue to chant his name
DUSK! DUSK! DUSK! DUSK!
Dusk hops off the middle turnbuckle and removes his trenchcoat before handing it over the top rope to a ringside attendant before slamming his forearms into his chest and making his way to his corner of the ring as Elvis Nelson signals for the bell.
Both competitors have their game faces on as they begin to circle with arms raised in the grapple position. While Royko appears to be a little more nervous, Dusk smiles the grin that only a cagey veteran can smile. As they circle, Dusk bobs and weaves, fainting in and out in an attempt to throw the bigger rookie off his game. Royko grows frustrated and lunges at Dusk, but Dusk leans back and into the ropes, causing Elvis Nelson to halt Royko’s momentum and tell him to step back. Royko grows impatient and Dusk turns to the crowd and riles them up.
DUSK! DUSK! DUSK!
Nick Stuart: That right there is experience you can’t get in a gym, folks. That’s pure ring time knowledge.
Satisfied that the support from the PRIMEates has made his point, Dusk comes out of the corner and signals to Royko that he’s ready to go. The big man doesn’t waste time as he engages the veteran in a powerful lock up. Royko tries to overpower the smaller man but Dusk is able to quickly twist the rookie’s arm back in a hammerlock. He has just a second to try to sync in the hold before Royko reverses into a hammerlock of his own! The powerful young wrestler has Dusk’s arm locked in tight, causing Dusk to fall forward and grab a hold of the nearby rope. Elvis Nelson moves in to force a break. Dusk shakes his arm and rotates his shoulder to shake off the pain caused by the bigger man’s hammerlock while Royko breaks out into a grin and makes the “let’s go” motion.
Richard Parker: Come on already!
Nick Stuart: This is called wrestling. It’s what the show is about.
Without warning, Dusk flies at Royko and unloads with a series of quick and stiff forearms to the head and the crowd lets out a cheer of surprise and approval!
Nick Stuart: Dusk certainly seems to be moving a bit more fluidly than the last time we saw him! He’s taking it to Royko.
Richard Parker: I gotta give it to him. Catching the rookie off guard was the smart play.
Forearm! Forearm! Forearm! Forearm! Forearm! Forearm! Forearm! Forearm! Slightly dazed by the sudden onslaught, JKR tries to answer with a clubbing blow, but Dusk is able to dodge. Forearm! Forearm! Forearm! Forearm! Another clubbing attempt, another dodge. Switching it up, Dusk transitions into brutal knife edged chops that echo throughout the MGM. Chop! Chop! Chop! Royko holds his chest and back peddles into a corner – Dusk follows. Chop! Chop! Chop!
Nick Stuart: Wait a minute – those chops seem to be having some diminishing returns!
Indeed they do. Oddly, as Dusk appears to be amping up the intensity of his chops… they seem to be affecting Royko less and less! The big man stands up straight and walks forward out of the corner with a look of pure anger on his face. Chop! He grows angrier. Chop! Even angrier. Growing concerned with the fired up big man, Dusk runs the ropes to try to put a little more ooomph into his chop… but he runs into a chop from Royko that nearly turns him inside out! Dusk hits the mat and pops back up in a daze… only to walk into a big bodyslam! The fans roar in approval at the display of power as Dusk rolls under the bottom rope to the floor for a breather. He looks into the ring with his hands on his hips as it’s now John Kennedy Royko Jr’s turn to fire up the PRIMEates!
Richard Parker: Stop playing to these people, you idiot! Stay on him!
Dusk remains outside the ring as Elvis sticks his head through the ropes to warn him that he’s going to begin a ten count soon. In response, Dusk jumps up onto the apron and shouts in JKR’s direction. The rookie’s head snaps around and he lunges for Dusk… but Dusk jumps down off the apron and grabs Royko’s legs! He pulls swiftly backwards, bringing the larger man straight down onto his back. From outside the ring, he pulls Royko into the corner, and swings his left knee into the unforgiving turnbuckle! Royko grabs his knee in pain as Elvis Nelson chastises Dusk who simply rolls back into the ring.
Nick Stuart: You had to know it was coming to this. Royko’s football career ended because of that knee injury, and there’s no way an experienced grappler like Dusk wasn’t going to use that to his advantage.
Richard Parker: I hate how he’s making me compliment him – but you’re right! Take out the knee, take away the kid’s size advantage. I approve.
Richard Parker: I’m going to need a shower after this.
Back in the ring, Dusk positions Royko’s hurting knee on the second rope, and leaps up and back down onto it with a senton. He puts it back up – one more time! Royko, holding his knee, attempts to crawl away to safety but Dusk is all over him, lifting his knee high into the air and slamming it back down onto the canvas. Again. Again! Royko cries in pain so much that Elvis actually moves in to see if the rookie wants to continue… he does. Dusk hangs up, seemingly allowing JKR to get up to his feet… but as he does, Dusk meets him right in the knee with a chop block! Firmly in control, Dusk grabs Royko into the center of the ring and falls to the mat, locking JKR in a knee bar! Royko begins to howl in pain as Elvis moves into position to hear or see a potential submission. Dusk’s face is a picture of concentration as he keeps the hold locked in. For close to two minutes, Royko attempts to pull himself toward the ropes, but he finds that his larger frame isn’t much help when he’s on the mat as Dusk’s ring awareness allows him to keep his opponent far away from the ropes. Royko appears to be getting desperate and his hand hovers ominously above the ring…
…he seems to be ready to submit…
…but instead of dropping the hand, he is able to twist and land a giant CHOP across Dusk’s face! Dusk is rocked and releases the kneebar, rolling away and holding his head in pain. Royko is slower to get his feet, and when he is able to pull himself up to a knee, his face is met with a Dusk shining wizard out of nowhere! Royko is down and Dusk covers!
Royko powers a shoulder up. Dusk gets up somewhat gingerly, the burst of energy taking a bit out of him, but he doesn’t allow JKR to get to his feet – instead going for the Anaconda Choke. He just barely has it set up when Royko powers up in a burst of adrenaline, lifting Dusk, still on his back, into the air…
…until the knee buckles. Royko crumbles, and Dusk bounces off the ropes and hits a running knee to the mush! Cover!
THRE – NO!
Nick Parker: Dusk is relentless in keeping the big man down.
Dusk again off the ropes, bounding toward Royko…
…when JKR lunges up outtanowhere and nearly takes Dusk’s head off with a big LARIAT! Dusk is down and Royko again falls before attempting to get to his feet while trying to slap some feeling back into his knee.
Nick Stuart: The PRIMEates are on their feet! Heck of a contest!
With the fans cheering them both on, both wrestlers are slowly getting back to their feet. They are up at the same time, and as they turn to face each other, Dusk goes for the superkick…
…but it’s caught! Royko has Dusk in a tough spot as he hops on one foot, and he spins the veteran around, catching him on the rebound and picking him up for the Oklahoma Stampede!
Richard Parker: He’s looking to end it here!
Royko’s knee causes him to be on shaky footing, but he is able to lunge forward and drive Dusk’s back into the turnbuckle! He spins, and although his knee DOES give out, he’s still able to fall forward and drive Dusk into the mat!
Nick Stuart: That’s it!! Oklahoma Stampede!!
Royko hooks the leg…
DING DING DING!
Vince Howard: Your winner by pinfall… JOHN KENNEDY ROYKO JR!!
Elvis Nelson moves in to hold John Royko’s hand, but the big rookie is having some difficulty putting weight on his knee. As Dusk rolls over to shake off the daze from being driven into the mat, the fans are on their feet to applaud and show respect for both men.
Nick Stuart: You have to give it up. Dusk wrestled a smart match and the knee work almost paid off, but in the end it wasn’t enough to stop that Oklahoma Stampede. Still… Dusk looked to be closer to his old ring shape as we’ve ever seen him tonight. I’d say both men have something to be proud of.
Richard Parker: In a very profound way… they’re both losers.