ARTHUR PLEASANT VS. JARED SYKES
Event: ReVival 27
Event Date: 05/05/2023
ARTHUR PLEASANT VS. JARED SYKES
As the show returns to inside the T-Mobile Arena for more in-ring action, we can see that people have already firmly plunked their little behinds down in their seats, as “Immigrant Song” by the Voodoo Prophets is already blaring out of the sound system, potentially deafening some of the older members of the Kansas City crowd.
Nick Stuart: Welcome back to ReVival folks. Tonight has definitely been star studded and our next contest is no different.
Richard Parker: That’s right, Nick! We’ve got the badonkadonk against the teeth, a main event in any other week.
Nick Stuart: I don’t want to hear the match described in such terms ever again.
The feed cuts to the ring where Arthur Pleasant has already placed himself in his corner, referee Elvis Nixon performing the final pat down of Pleasant. Or, he intends to but gets slightly scared off by Pleasant’s smile as Nixon gets nearer.
Nick Stuart: Elvis Nixon seeming a little bit reluctant in performing his final checks with Arthur Pleasant.
Richard Parker: I’d be on edge around Pleasant. He will not be happy about his performance in PRIME so far. He was caught by FLAMBERGE at the last second, he didn’t make quite the Battle Royal splash he was hoping for. He’s going to look to hurt Jared Sykes.
Nick Stuart: I don’t think he’s the only one itching to hurt Sykes right now…
The lights fade to nothing, and then 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, building to something. With each note comes a pulse of white, like a heartbeat slightly out of time.
Vince Howard: Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts…
The only thing louder than the thundering guitar coming through the speakers is the explosion of the crowd.
Vince Howard: Accompanied by Justine Calvin, and 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. Two figures appear at the entryway, and the cheering gets louder.
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
The duo make their way to the ring visibly on edge. Given everything that’s happened tonight with Ivan Stanislav, both Jared and Justine are hypervigilant as they walk the aisle. There is of course a degree of fan interaction, but every so often one of them will scan the crowd or glance back towards the entryway.
As Elvis Nixon performs his final pre-match checks, and Justine takes her place in Syke’s respective corner, it’s clear that Jared’s focus is not solely on Arthur Pleasant, who looks delighted at the levels of preoccupation on his opponent’s face. As Pleasant smiles to himself, Sykes does a quick headpan around the whole arena, snapping back quickly to check behind him. He looks down at Justine for a quick second and…
Arthur Pleasant doesn’t want for the formalities to get the match going, and collides into the side of Jared Sykes while he was still partially turned towards Justine on the outside. Sykes bounces off the ropes and Pleasant quickly hoists up Sykes, smashing him into the ground with a snap side suplex. Jared gasps for air as Pleasant attempts to float over and mount Sykes, but the attempt is unsuccessful, with Sykes managing to scramble backwards to the ropes while Pleasant left a gap during the mount attempt. Sykes holds the rope, as Nixon gestures for Arthur Pleasant to give Sykes space. Pleasant ignores this instruction, at his own peril. He pushes Nixon off to the side, and slightly distracted by the yelling in his ear that followed, finds himself collapsing chest first into the second rope, thanks to a trip from Jared Sykes.
Nick Stuart: Arthur Pleasant took quick action in the opening moments of this contest. He saw that Jared Sykes did not fully have his head in the game. A man like Pleasant isn’t going to let you away with that.
Richard Parker: Some may view it as underhanded, but Jared Sykes only has himself to blame. This man hasn’t met a windmill he won’t tilt at. He didn’t need to help Nova, he didn’t need to put himself in a Serbian watchlist. Now he’s in there with a dangerous man who wants to hurt him. He should stop worrying about the motherland and start worrying about his survival!
Sykes manages to roll back up to his feet, just in time to see Arthur Pleasant, clutching at his chest, turn towards him. Sykes bounces off the ropes and launches himself towards Pleasant, but as Sykes leaps towards Pleasant, he gets an elbow to the skull for his troubles. Sykes crumbles down to the mat and Pleasant gives the crowd a preview of his next plan, giving everything what could only be described as a “winning smile” by a loving mother, which I understand Arthur Pleasant did not have. So, in this case, no one would call it a winning smile.
Nick Stuart: We’ve seen the… alterations… that Arthur Pleasant has performed upon himself in his match with FLAMBERGE.
Richard Parker: After that match, FLAMBERGE got checked for rabies and tetanus, just to be safe. Jared Sykes moveset needs legs. How can he do his moves without legs?
Nick Stuart: Most wrestling moves require legs in some form… I think that’s fair to say.
Richard Parker: You know what I mean, Sykes uses legs moreso!
The T-Mobile crowd make it clear that they do not approve of Pleasant’s next move, his interaction last show with FLAMBERGE still fresh in their minds. Pleasant begins to open his mouth and lean over Sykes, but Sykes responds with a quick kick to the temple. A second, then a third follow, and as Pleasant, dazed, drops his head down, a final kick lands right into the back of Pleasant’s neck. The crowd roars in support of Sykes, as Justine gives him the all clear, her focus still remains on keeping an eye out for unexpected house guests. Sykes looks at Pleasant, who is already recovering too quickly for Sykes’ needs, and decides he needs a decisive move. He leaps up on Pleasant, looking for a step-up Frankensteiner, but Pleasant catches him up high and drills Sykes into the match with a Powerbomb. He almost folds Sykes in half as he jackknifes for the pin.
Sykes manages to roll his shoulder up and roll out of the pin.
Nick Stuart: Quick action from Pleasant there, he caught Sykes just as he was starting to gain some momentum in this match.
Richard Parker: He stacked Sykes up like a pancake, that could’ve been the match right there!
Nick Stuart: I’m more of a triangle sandwich guy.
Before any more of that conversation happens, we return to a frustrated Arthur Pleasant looking down at Jared Sykes and insisting to Elvis Nixon that it was a three count. Nixon waves him off, and Pleasant quickly returns to giving Sykes his whole focus. Sykes is leaned up against the ropes and Pleasant delivers a stiff knee to the side of Syke’s chest. He drills in a second knee, a third knee, a fourth knee. A pained Sykes winces with every blow from Pleasant, trying to figure out how to break up the assault. Realising that it may be the only way to get room to breathe, Sykes manages to duck under one of the knees of Pleasant, rolling under the ropes to the outside. Justine Calvin remains torn between supporting Sykes and keeping an eye on her surroundings. Her focus split between encouraging Jared back to the ring, and keeping a lookout behind herself.
Nick Stuart: It looks like Arthur Pleasant was looking to provide some of an exhibition of his mixed martial arts skills, but Sykes managed to show enough ring awareness to buy himself some breathing room.
Richard Parker: It’s a veteran move but I have to imagine that all Sykes is managing to do right now is frustrate Pleasant. Something tells me ole chompers in there doesn’t enjoy being frustrated.
Elvis Nixon immediately starts his ten count, but is as quickly interrupted by Arthur Pleasant pushing him to the side. Pleasant looks down and smiles at Justine, giving her a quick wave. Whether some sort of internal siren got set off, or he could just spot it from his angle on the ground, Sykes quickly spots Pleasant’s intentions. Calvin, for her part, looks almost ready for the challenge, the only thing holding her back is a potential disqualification for Sykes. Calvin doesn’t have to be conflicted for long, as Sykes manages to hop quickly onto the apron, then the top rope, and fires his forearm straight into the neck of Pleasant. Pleasant gasps for air and rebounds against the ropes, Sykes leaps up and drops Pleasant with a swinging neckbreaker on his return. Sykes quickly floats over on top of Pleasant for the pin, and Nixon is quick to the count.
Pleasant throws his shoulder up with such force that he manages to push Sykes off of him.
Nick Stuart: It’s going to be hard for Sykes to keep Pleasant down, Pleasant has the clear weight and height advantages here. He’s going to have to send Pleasant out cold for a chance to get a pin here.
Richard Parker: Sykes has the speed to take advantage of the moment, but the challenge right now is how to hold that moment down. Pleasant has a high pain tolerance, Sykes is going to need a big blow in this match.
Sykes takes a quick check of his surroundings, as Pleasant starts to stabilise. Taking his eyes off Pleasant for a second is enough to get a boot slammed into the side of his skull. Sykes skull bounces off the bottom rope, and Pleasant is ready for its return, slamming a second boot, this time right in the middle of the temple. Satisfied with the damage, Pleasant slowly lifts Sykes back up to even footing. Sykes stands in the middle of the ring, staggering around, held up by Pleasant at the hair. Sykes tries to swipe at Pleasant, but Pleasant tightens his grip on the hair. Pleasant does seem keen to prove he may not be a hair pervert though, so he releases Sykes’ hair.
So that he can ram his skull into Jared’s skull, with a sickening thud that reverberates around the T-Mobile Arena, Pleasant crushes Sykes with a full force headbutt. Sykes tries to keep his footing on the mat, but is suffering from a case of the ole leg wobbles. This allows Pleasant to see that his very sophisticated strategy is working, and so Pleasant slams his skull once more against Sykes.
Richard Parker: Does PRIME’s health insurance cover that surgery where they rinse off your brain? I’m asking for two friends.
Nick Stuart: You can actually sense how uncomfortable the crowd feels after those two headbutts from Pleasant. It was quite an unpleasant noise.
Richard Parker: An unpleasant noise? Think about how Sykes feels! Someone has to…
Despite every intention of standing his ground and meeting Pleasant for a fight, Jared Sykes legs have a different idea and decide they don’t actually want to hold him up anymore. Sykes crumbles once again to the mat, looking very much dazed by Arthur Pleasant’s skull assault. This time Sykes has less fight to give, and Pleasant manages to position himself in a mount. Sykes tries to break free, but doesn’t have the strength to do so. Pleasant doesn’t seem all that concerned about his opponent’s current health status as he lifts up his elbow, and brings it full force down on Sykes’ brow. Pleasant does this again, and again. Sykes tries to grab Pleasant’s arm, but Pleasant manages to control the situation. Mercifully for Sykes, he has enough self-awareness to know his proximity to the ropes. He manages to free one hand and outstretches it as much as he can, while Pleasant drops another elbow. The elbow misses as Sykes manages to use the ropes to his advantage. Elvis Nixon calls for the break and Pleasant weighs up his next move. Deciding to avoid disqualification, he lets Sykes pull himself back up on the ropes.
Nick Stuart: Sykes managed to show enough awareness to break free of Arthur Pleasant’s elbow onslaught, but is he able to continue?
Richard Parker: If Elvis Nixon had a heart, he’d be calling this one right now. He’s looking like a car full of pudding right now. His legs are like jello! Other things of his look like various deserts, I suppose!
Pleasant decides that he’s going to stop playing around with his food. He sees Sykes defiantly try to stand firm in the middle of the ring, but instead of engaging, he drops down and lifts the shaky Sykes up on his shoulders in a fireman’s carry position. Pleasant takes in the moment, he can smell the victory as Sykes rides across his shoulders. He swings himself to give lift to Sykes and looks to send him crashing down upon his knees. Pleasant has “Calamity Pain” in mind. As Sykes starts to fly into the air, he takes control of his body and manages to flip over and land directly behind Pleasant. As Sykes lands, he manages to hook him around the neck of Pleasant. Sykes digs keep and manages to hoist Pleasant up in the air…
Nick Stuart: OMEGA 13! HE DID IT ON PLEASANT!
Richard Parker: How? How did he manage this? Pleasant was about to send him to cyberspace!
A quick slow motion replay shows the fluidity presented by Sykes as he manages to slip behind Pleasant. The replay is cut short by Sykes keeping Pleasant’s leg hooked.
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: Your winner of the match by pinfall, at a time of thirteen minutes and twelve seconds… JARRRRED SYYYYKES!
Sykes immediately breaks free of the pin from Pleasant, scrambling up to his feet as Elvis Nixon raises his hand in the air. Justin Calvin joins Sykes in the ring, but the air of celebration feels slightly hollow, both parties still scoping out the T-Mobile Arena for any signs of the colour red.
Nick Stuart: You have to be impressed with Jared Sykes here. He can take a beating, but he keeps fighting until he finds the perfect opening he needs…
Richard Parker: He’s fast. He’s tactical in the ring. He’s also lucky. A breeze blows in a different direction and he’s crashing head first into “Calamity Pain”. Pleasant keeps showing that he will be a menace to the PRIME roster, and they’ll remember him, win or lose.
As Sykes and Calvin try, and mostly fail, to enjoy the victory, we cut to a smiling Arthur Pleasant nursing the back of his neck. Our final shot is on the couple, clearly caught up in mixed emotions as ReVival moves on.
We then cut backstage.