5 Shawn Warstein vs. 12 John Kennedy Royko Jr.
Back ringside, it isn’t long before “Centuries Remix” blares over the PA system. The PRIMEates get loud at the opening but are quickly reminded that the man that follows isn’t one of their favorites. The curtain gets swiped to the side as Shawn Warstein steps through, to a full chorus of boos. The hood on his hoodie is up as his face stays pointing towards the ground.
Nick Stuart: Warstein certainly carries a reputation with him wherever he goes.
Richard Parker: Well, good thing this isn’t a popularity contest, Stuart.
As the song begins for crescendo Shawn lifts his head and pulls the hood down. The widest, most arrogant smile is on his face. It’s as if the jeers are fueling him. The louder they get, the wider his smile goes. As he walks down the ramp several fans heckle him, but with the back of his hand he waves them off and continues, sliding under the bottom rope and into the ring.
VInce Howard: Introducing first, hailing from CHICAGO, Illinois! Shawn WARSTEIN!
Casting a sneer to the ring announcer Warstein continues towards the far corner and climbs up sitting on the top turnbuckle.
Richard Parker: This man is all about business. You have got to appreciate that.
The rest for the PA system is brief, as “Possum Kingdom” by Toadies kicks the crowd into gear as the open guitar riff rocks the arena. A moment later out enters John Kennedy Royko Jr. clapping hard with enthusiasm doing his best to hype the crowd. The 6’7” thickly built youngster equipped plainly with black trunks and a large knee brace on his left knee is all smiles.
Nick Stuart: A highly recruited youngster from the independent wrestling scene is here!
Richard Parker: The talent in PRIME is top notch across the board but he’s going to have a Hell of time stepping up to a veteran like Shawn Warstein.
Nick Stuart: A master of the chop, look at the size of those ham hocks.
Richard Parker: Nick if you had hands like that you would never leave the house. You’d be doing your paper folding voodoo tricks all day!
Nick Stuart: It’s called Origami.
Richard Parker: Keep your perversions off my wrestling show!! Big hands sure, but also a big knee brace that if I’m Warstein I’m going to lock my target right on that left knee.
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 tests his knee some and seems rearing to go.
Nick Stuart: As you said that knee is a question after getting into a horrific car accident that ended his NFL career.
Richard Parker: ATK all the way. Attack the knee.
Nick Stuart: This has all the makings of a banger. Let’s go..
With a look to both competitors, Timo Bolamba motions for the bell.
As Warstein hops down from his perch, the two make their way center.
Nick Stuart: A sign of respect here from the rookie, offering a handshake before the fists start flying.
Richard Parker: No room for honor in that ring. Look at the veteran!
After laughing off the display, Shawn quickly ducks behind the larger John Kennedy and synches a waistlock. Transitioning swiftly into the side headlock, Warstein grinds his forearm in. Not going to get caught in a resthold, Royko Jr uses his strength to lift Warstein off his feet, a quick elbow to the back of the head stops that, though. Picking up the pace, Shawn bounces off the far set of ropes to fire a shoulder that barely makes the former tackle stumble.
Nick Stuart: Royko Jr.’s power on display here. And look, he’s inviting Warstein to try it again!
His pride tested, Shawn doesn’t seem above such notions and takes off once more. Again his shoulder makes solid contact, but both men stay standing. Frustrated as the larger man smiles, Warstein unleashes a knife-edge chop, and tries again for the ropes. Instead John Kennedy shows some quickness in grabbing his wrist and pulling Shawn in for the short-arm clothesline.
Nick Stuart: Warstein the first to the mat. And look out, elbow drop! No!
Richard Parker: Alright, there you go.
Warstein, having rolled from Royko Jr.’s elbow, returns his own that finds the middle of the chest. Another. Then into a series of stomps that takes the advantage. Pulling John Kennedy up by the ears, the big man still has some fight, which Shawn intends to beat out with a few heavy clubbing blows that only serve to refuel the resolve of the former day 2 selection.
Nick Stuart: Warstein pushed back to the ropes, and now over! What a lariat!
Quickly back up to his feet, Shawn rubs his jaw and glances back into the ring.
Shawn Warstein: Lucky shot, kid.
This seems to be Royko Jr.’s invitation to the outside. Warstein keeps his distance, and ducks back under the bottom rope as John Kennedy’s feet touch. JK shakes his head before returning to the apron.
Richard Parker: Caught coming through with that knee lift. Light him up, Warstein.
Guiding Royko Jr back the rest of the way in, Warstein’s first chop sends a spray of moisture into the air.
The second, third and fourth produce less mist, but the same sickening smack. JK has found himself walked into the corner, and angry. He hoists Warstein in a standing switch and returns an overhead open hand that nearly caves in Warstein’s rib cage.
Warstein will find no relief trying to walk out of the corner, as Royko Jr. just tosses him back into the tight quarters. JK fires in a more parallel chop catching high on the chest, both men’s now progressing swiftly to a shade of deep pink. JK takes Warstein out of the corner hard, with a Biel throw.
Nick Stuart: Shawn sailed almost three quarters of the way across the ring. I don’t think Warstein is used to being out-powered this way. How does he overcome this, partner? And he better think quick, Royko Junior is picking up steam.
Seeing the human phone booth picking up pace, Warstein reaches for the closest thing available, which just happens to be the official.
Richard Parker: By being smarter! That’s how!
JK has to slam on the brakes to avoid a considerably appreciative Timo Bolamba. It is in this moment of Royko Jr. checking the sudden stop didn’t tweak anything that Warstein launches forward with the chop block. Ignoring the admonishing from the zebra, Shawn lays in a series of elbow drops to the inside of the left leg.
Richard Parker: It’s about time he got to that glowing target. And what comes next, but the Figure Four!
Nick Stuart: Not so fast, Royko Junior using that good leg to shove Warstein clear. He just has to get up now.
And vertical JK does get, but he’s followed closely behind by Warstein, who lays in a kick to the back of the leg. Feeling the stinging in the leg, Royko Jr’s instinct is to grab hold and close the distance, Warstein reacting to get even in this collar and elbow tie up. Again, it’s the veteran that maneuvers his way out, Shawn taking wrist control. Once more, back to that left leg, as he lands a pair of outside thigh kicks further knotting up the tree-trunk-like legs of JK. Step through and around, wring around the arm wringer.
Nick Stuart: John Kennedy taken down, again, with that judo toss. Warstein just got lower and used his momentum to send them both to the ground.
Richard Parker: That sounds a little too close to Physics for my liking, Stuart. Save that for the Pfefferman match, would ya?
Things slow down as Warstein has kept a hold of wrist control, and pulled Royko Jr. into a painful hammerlock. Shawn leans his full bodyweight in, but the 6’7”, three hundred plus pounder makes his way, little by little, cheer by cheer, back to a knee. The PRIMEates begging for it, Royko Jr finds the escape by tumbling forward and sending Warstein along for the ride.
Shawn comes back, but is scooped from his feet. Escaping out the back, Warstein wraps an arm under JK’s chin and grapevines the body.
Nick Stuart: Slick reversal, going from that bodyslam into the sleeper. That’s hooked in deep. This could be dangerous. Royko Junior down to one knee!
Air supply slowing to the head, JK in a moment of desperation stands back up and squishes Warstein behind him into the turnbuckles.
Richard Parker: That’s one way to do it. Eek.
Trying to shake loose the cobwebs, the first boot in from JK is lazy, and caught by Warstein. With bad intentions, Warstein pulls Royko Jr. into a Dragon Whip, colliding awkwardly in the corner. With a sense of urgency, Warstein pulls at the leg, positioning JK just far enough away from the ropes before pretzeling him into the figure four!
Nick Stuart: Figure four synched in, and the ropes are as far as they can get, even for a 6’7” colossus.
The pain is painted clear across JK’s face, his knee being hyperextended, while the ankle joint of the right leg is used as the fulcrum. Warstein laughs in Royko Jr.’s face as each swing just misses.
Bolamba pays close attention to the shoulders, as JK shoots back up. His hands shake, but he grabs them together when they get a little too close to the canvas.
Richard Parker: Not long now.
Proceedings not going as quickly as he could hope, Warstein decides to apply a little extra pressure by reaching up to the ropes he’s positioned purposefully close to.
Nick Stuart: Come on, ref! You have to see that!
But as Timo checks to see what the fresh agony in JK is, Warstein plays innocent, getting just his hands free in time. Royko Jr. fading, Timo slides back into the count.
Pulling the ropes for all he has, Warstein looks incredulous when JK refuses to quit. Double taking, Bolamba finally catches the underhanded play.
Timo Bolamba: Quit that. Break the hold!
But getting caught, Warstein is in this for all he can, and waits for a five count that doesn’t come.
Nick Stuart: Shawn would be smart to remember just who The Samoan Silencer is.
Timo kicks Shawn’s hands from the rope, the opening this crowd, and Royko Jr have been waiting for, as that’s enough momentum to allow JK to roll into the reversal.
Richard Parker: A lousy cheater that just gave the advantage to the rookie! Remind me again, who decided this guy would make a good referee?
Rather than take any of what he was putting JK through, Warstein is quick to get to breaking the hold and pulling free his legs. Warstein retreats to a corner and searches for what it is that might put away this goliath, as John Kennedy is slow and uses the ropes to get back vertical. JK barely has time to look around before Shawn is screaming in with a high boot. Rather than topple, Royko Jr. opts to return a headbutt.
Nick Stuart: Headbutt just rocked Warstein!
Signs of the battle now clear on both competitors, Warstein tosses a lazy overhead that JK just accepts. A body shot the volley back, Shawn winces at that one. Defiantly, he turns with a roaring elbow strike that John Kennedy seems happy to eat.
Nick Stuart: We’re deep into the 4th quarter now, and the big fella has just got his second wind. Lefts and rights. Open palm strikes to the head, chest, midsection, and this crowd is going ballistic for it.
The last in the series of sumo strikes finds the breadbasket and is the one to double Shawn over. Warstein quickly finds his head between Royko Jr.’s thighs.
Richard Parker: Cradle piledriver!
Warstein planted to the canvas, JK takes a moment to point down, and build anticipation from the crowd. Gassed and dripping with sweat, Royko Jr. sends a wink to someone-in-particular and pulls Warstein the rest of the way up. Giving the left a good shake, JK points to the corner and bounces Shawn off one turnbuckle.
Nick Stuart: Oklahoma Stampede! Warstein planted dead center of the squared circle.
Richard Parker: Warstein had this thing won, until somebody forgot they were supposed to be a damned impartial referee!
Talked about, Timo slides back into position to make the count.
The crowd cheer with every count.
JK bobs his head up and down with every slap of the canvas.
DING DING DING
Nick Stuart: He’s done it.
Vince Howard: The winner of this contest, and moving forward in the Almasy Invitational! John Kennedy ROYKO JUNIOR!
Richard Parker: Yeah, but you have to wonder what condition he’ll be in after the number that Warstein did to that already weakened knee.
Not waiting for Timo to lift his arm, Royko Jr. is out to ringside to try to celebrate with/calm the concerns of his fiancee as we cut to commercial.