BRANDON YOUNGBLOOD vs. ANNA DANIELS
The entire area fades to black, causing the PRIMEates in attendance to steadily come to a hush. After a moment, the beginning guitar notes of Solid Space’s “A Darkness In My Soul” begin. Nothing comes on the PRIME*view to note exactly who is coming out. Suddenly, a spotlight pierces through the dark pointed to the top on the entrance ramp. Anna Daniels stands there, her profile positioned towards the light. She lets it wash over her while letting the fans get a good look at the merchandise. Finally, she glances at the ring with a small smirk on her face.
As The Muse takes her time heading to the ring, she wistfully observes the goings on around her as if getting into a certain type of groove that only she can hear. Her strolling sways almost like she’s dancing from time to time. Her robe and headpiece–once more regal and dazzling artifacts from her homeplanet–are in various stages of disrepair and utter damage. Anna slaps a hand or two, nods a little to those in attendance. Once ringside, she motions for somebody to take the robe and headpiece which when taken nearly make the poor sap fall over.
She makes her way to the stairs and slinks along the apron, wiping her feet before entering the ring. Immediately after, she nearly chases off the ref in a sudden blur of action before smiling yet again. Casually, she strolls to a corner with her head bopping before perching herself onto the top rope laid out like a French girl people like to paint.
BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD
SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE
LET THE GALAXY BURN
From the very start of “Bloodsport (World Domination)” by HEALTH, Brandon Youngblood surges from the curtain, the fans in the MGM Grand Garden Arena exploding in a seismic ovation. There is no pomp, no circumstance, no delay. Through the blinding crimson and white strobing light cutting through the darkness of the arena, the Tower of Babel powerwalks, his eyes trained to the ring, toward Anna Daniels. His expression is devoid of all joy, only offering an oppressive scowl of intensity.
Vince Howard: Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and weighing in tonight at 270 pounds…
There is no walking along the ringside area, no slowdown as the Diamond of the ReVival stomps his way up the steps and into the ring.
Vince Howard: The Last Diamond… BRAAAAAAANDOOOOOOOON YOUNGBLOOOOOOOOD!
Nick Stuart: There’s the opening bell, and this one is underway. This has been a dream match that a lot of people have been wondering about since the first time these two met backstage almost a year ago, and now it’s here!
Richard Parker: And at the start of Daniels-cember, no less!
Nick Stuart: Why are you calling it that?
Richard Parker: Because it’s the greatest month of the year! And for no other reason. Definitely not because I think that family will wrap me in unbreakable chains forged in the heart of a dwarf star, or trap me in the event horizon of a collapsing galaxy, or make sure I only ever appear out of the corner of your eye in the reflection of every mirror.
Nick Stuart: What are you…?
Richard Parker: And I definitely don’t think they’ll make me into a scarecrow and force me to watch over the fields of England forever. Nope, definitely not.
Nick Stuart: …
Richard Parker: ALL HAIL THE KING OF CHRISTMAS!
Despite what the banter between the broadcasters might infer, there is no hesitation here between Anna Daniels and Brandon Youngblood. Daniels closes the distance between them in a hurry, looking to put her considerable speed advantage to use early on. Side by side in the ring, the size disparity between the two is stark. A high feint leads to a basement dropkick, which clips the Diamond just above the knee. It’s enough to take his base away momentarily, and he’s forced to use his hands to brace from falling. Daniels is on him immediately. Shot after shot finds its mark. Rights and lefts to the jaw. An elbow for good measure. And before Youngblood can get back to his full height, a pair of rapid-fire knees from a muay thai clinch land on his face. The second opens a small cut just beneath his left eye.
He answers by stepping into one of her strikes, sending the punch off-target and leaving her wide open for a chop. The chop. It echoes through the arena and sends Daniels staggering back a few feet and down to one knee. She’s back up before Youngblood can draw his next breath, and ducks under a lariat swing that is centimeters away from separating her head from her neck. She pivots behind him, lines up her shot, and delivers an enzuigiri just as he turns. It connects just above his ear, and Youngblood steps away and tries to shake away the ringing sensation.
Nick Stuart: Anna Daniels with the advantage in the early going, and if I’m being completely honest, Richard, she might have the overall advantage as well. She’s used to fighting people bigger than she is, and every one of them has had to earn every inch against her.
Richard Parker: Also she’s from space and her husband could kill us all.
Nick Stuart: Whereas I don’t think Brandon Youngblood has been in the ring with someone this fast since the ReVival era began.
There is no pause in the Time Lord’s assault. She hits the ropes and uses the momentum to boost her speed, catching Youngblood under the arm. She spins herself around his back into a headscissors, only to continue the rotation twice more before launching herself straight up, and then down into a satellite tornado DDT.
Nick Stuart: Anna Daniels has been a house on fire since this match started, Richard. She hasn’t given Youngblood a chance to breathe. And we’ve got our first cover of the match…
Elvis Nixon: One!
Richard Parker: I would be stunned if it ended this early, Nick.
Elvis Nixon: Tw-
The kickout is forceful, as Daniels is shoved away from Youngblood. He gets back to his feet, but by the time he’s ready to square up again, the Time Lord has already used the second rope to springboard back towards the Ace. She turns in mid air, but is caught at an awkward angle. The move that follows has no official name, and won’t be found on any pro wrestling or amateur wrestling lists online, but is somewhere between a slam and a suplex. It’s delivered with enough force that the ropes jiggle for a moment before they settle.
Richard Parker: What do you call that one, Nick?
Nick Stuart: I’d call it something that I never want to experience.
Richard Parker: Okay, cool. Because those nerds on Wikipedia removed all the move names from everybody’s page, so I was genuinely curious what the name was.
Youngblood doesn’t give Daniels a chance to get back to her feet, or even escape. He doesn’t release the suplex, and instead uses his size advantage to try and move into a mixed martial arts-style mount. A series of elbows rain down onto the Muse, the point of one catching her just below the hairline and opening up a cut.
Daniels never stops moving, making it harder and harder for Youngblood to try and pin her down. She manages to sneak a leg free, and an upkick catches the Hall Of Famer along the side of his surgically repaired nose, widening the cut under his eye that her knee opened up earlier.
Richard Parker: Okay, real talk – is everyone on this roster trying to kill each other tonight?
Nick Stuart: This has been one of the more aggressive nights of wrestling that we’ve seen this year, Richard, I’ll give you that.
Richard Parker: No, I mean like literal murders. I don’t want to watch murders, because that would make me an accessory.
Nick Stuart: I think there’s a difference with what these two are doing. This match has been brewing for months. It’s only reasonable that neither would hold back here.
Youngblood catches Daniels in a waistlock, looking to take her to the mat in one of many violent suplex variations. Daniels loops her right foot around Youngblood’s calf, preventing him from planting so he can pop his hips for the throw. A headbutt to the back of Anna Daniels’ skull gets her dazed enough to let her defenses fall. The difference in size and power is on full display as Daniels is launched clear across the ring in a throw that sends her almost corner to corner.
Richard Parker: Do we need to start a yeet counter for this match? I’ll go first. One.
Nick Stuart: There was another suplex like two minutes ago.
Richard Parker: Yeah, but he didn’t let go. Wasn’t a yeet. There are rules to this, you know.
But the Muse does not crumble to the canvas in a heap. Instead she over-rotates in the air, landing in an Iron Man-esque three point superhero stance. The momentum is enough that it’s not completely graceful, and she staggers back into the near corner, but only for a second. That’s how long it takes before Daniels is on the attack, and a shining wizard introduces her knee to the face of a still rising Youngblood.
Richard Parker: It’s a Daniels-cember miracle!
Nick Stuart: I’m going to be hearing that all night, aren’t I?
Richard Parker: At least until this match is over, yes.
Daniels is quick to get back on her feet, and charges at Youngblood with a burst of speed before he can stand. Still on his knees, he’s caught by a lightning fast rana that doesn’t flip him onto his back, but instead spikes his face off of the canvas.
Nick Stuart: Youngblood not getting a chance to breathe here in the early going, as a flurry of offense has kept him at bay.
Richard Parker: And now Daniels is lining him up for something.
Nick Stuart: You know, it wasn’t that long ago that Brandon Youngblood claimed there were members of the PRIME roster who would pay to have Anna Daniels punt them, and now it looks like he might get to experience that for free.
Richard Parker: Yeah? Is there a list? Or like a website where I can sign-up for that?
Nick Stuart: Jesus Christ, Richard.
Daniels lines up her target and moves in for the kill, but this time Youngblood is ready. This sort of strike is a hallmark of someone he knows very well, Amy Campbell having used it to finish off opponents during her career. He springs to his feet before Daniels can plant her foot, and catches her around the waist, using her own momentum to add fuel to the spinebuster that follows.
Nick Stuart: A vicious spinebuster bends Anna Daniels in half!
Richard Parker: If, uhh… If her hands and face start glowing orange then I’m going to get the hell out of here.
Nick Stuart: Why would…?
Richard Parker: Do you not know how regenerations work, Nick? Aren’t you supposed to the educated one?!
Youngblood again tries to make the cover, but Elvis Nixon is quick to point out that Anna Daniels’ foot is on the ropes thus rendering it null and void. He draws Daniels to her feet, and a chain of suplexes follows. First is a variation on a belly-to-belly, but delivered in such a way that the Muse arcs diagonally through the air and is snapped to the ground. Without breaking his grip he lifts Daniels off the mat, adjusts the position of his hands, and crushes her with a gutwrench suplex.
Richard Parker: Suplex Daddy earning every bit of that nickname right now.
Nick Stuart: Eventually, I’m going to need you to explain this “daddy” thing to me.
Richard Parker: You know, I think it would be better if you just Google it yourself. Make sure that “safe search” is turned off, and that I’m there to watch.
He again keeps his hands clenched tight, pulling Daniels back up. The third suplex is an overhead belly-to-belly that sends Daniels across the ring. She hits the mat hard, and rolls through into an almost seated position against the buckles. The sweat mixes with the blood from her cut and plasters a mask of hair to her face, but through the strands-
Nick Stuart: I think Anna Daniels is smiling.
Richard Parker: And I am officially terrified.
Nick Stuart: It wasn’t that long ago when she told The Anglo Luchador that she was a veritable deathmatch legend, a fact backed up by her record in promotions around the world, so somehow this doesn’t surprise me. Between that and her openness on Jabber about wanting to leave everything in the ring tonight…
Richard Parker: Don’t say “ring” when she looks like THAT, Nick.
Youngblood prowls to the corner, bringing her back to her feet and landing two clubbing shots in the corner. He draws back for a third.
Anna Daniels steps forward and headbutts him directly on the bridge of his nose. A thunderclap of pain explodes in Youngblood’s head, starting in his forehead and spreading outward. His eyes begin to water, the natural response to a blow like that, and before he can clear his vision his world is suddenly inverted.
Nick Stuart: Poison rana by Anna Daniels! Where the hell is she getting this from?
Richard Parker: She’s a Time Lord. She’s from the planet Gallifrey in the constellation of Kasterborous. She’s however many years old, and is the person who is apparently going to punt all six billion people on the planet.
Nick Stuart: What is with you tonight?
Richard Parker: Also her dog has a sword, which is one more sword than The Anglo Luchador is allowed to own by law.
Anna is on her feet first, waiting for Youngblood to stand and get his bearings. As soon as he’s up, she plants one foot, and swings the other leg around. It draws a question mark in the air, before the kick lands hard across the Diamond’s jaw. He collapses.
Nick Stuart: Interrobang!!
Daniels also falls to the mat, the physicality taking its toll. Elvis Nixon does his due diligence, checking on both competitors to make sure they can continue. The Muse is slow to get to her feet, and when she finally stands has to take a moment to shake some feeling back into her foot.
Nick Stuart: Looks like Anna Daniels might have tweaked something on that kick.
Richard Parker: If she doesn’t get it sorted quickly, then she’s going to have to deal with, and I’m quoting Youngblood himself here, a “big bastard man.”
Nick Stuart: Appreciate how you had to say it was a quote. Also I think that was Rezin pretending to be Youngblood who said that.
Richard Parker: Look, there have been enough murders tonight. I don’t need to be one of them.
The Time Lord hobbles out of the corner, trying to get to Youngblood before he can regain full use of his faculties. Unfortunately, he’s able to get within grappling range yet again.
Nick Stuart: Youngblood looking to throw…
Richard Parker: Yeet.
Nick Stuart: …Anna Daniels again, but first he’s going to have to cinch in that grip.
The Diamond tries to press his advantage, using his considerable size advantage to attempt to smother Daniels on the canvas while he works to get his arms around the lower part of her torso.
Nick Stuart: We could be seeing a Karelin lift incoming, but Daniels won’t go quietly.
When trying to out-grapple the scrambling Muse fails, Youngblood releases his grip for a moment to deliver three clubbing forearm shots to the base of her neck. He slips his arm in again, locking his hands and powering her off the mat.
She tumbles a short distance to the canvas a moment later. Youngblood releases a growl born of pain and frustration, then brings up his left hand. Fingers are not supposed to bend that way.
Richard Parker: Ew!
Nick Stuart: I think Anna Daniels just managed to dislocate Youngblood’s little finger, which is as good a way as any to get out of that hold.
Richard Parker: Ew ewewewewewewewew!!
Youngblood clenches his teeth. Before Elvis Nixon can make it over to check on him, the Ace sucks in a sharp breath through his teeth. When next we see his hand, the finger is back in place.
Richard Parker: OH GOD WHY DID HE DO THAT!?
Nick Stuart: You have to wonder if that’s going to affect his grip moving forward, Richard.
Richard Parker: Oh do I? THAT’S what I have to wonder? How about nope. I saw that happen, Nick. I saw it, and now I have to live with it inside my brain until I die.
Daniels slips an arm around Youngblood’s throat, using her other for leverage as she tries to cut off the circulation flowing to the Diamond’s brain.
Nick Stuart: Shades of The Shotgun as Anna Daniels tries to tighten that rear naked choke. These two have traded bombs tonight, Richard. The question now is can the Time Lord hold on, and what does Youngblood have left in the tank.
Richard Parker: I thought the question was whether or not you’ve been naughty or nice.
Nick Stuart: Why would…?
Richard Parker: We’re in Daniels-cember, Nick! We’ve been over this. Do you have any idea what the King of Christmas puts in the stockings of the naughty?
Nick Stuart: No, I…
Richard Parker: No one does! That’s the point. Those people? They just go silent.
Youngblood claws at the arms of his smaller opponent, trying to break her grip. The throb in his hand from where his finger was dislocated makes it hard to get a hand in.
Richard Parker: Like they’ve been erased from existence.
Elvis Nixon hovers over the pair like a hawk, making sure that Daniels’ grip doesn’t change into something that cuts off Youngblood’s air supply. If he missed that call, it would mean a trip the boss’ office. No one wants to get called into head referee Timo Bolamba’s office around the holidays. Aside from the stern lecture and a review of tape, the whole place just smells like cinnamon and clove scented Powerbomb Cologne (new for the holidays).
Nick Stuart: Youngblood trying to fight out of this choke, but between the damage to his hand and Anna Daniels’ size it’s not proving easy.
Richard Parker: And do you know what happens to the really naughty? Are you at all familiar with the concept of Krampus? Well, it’s like that only…
Nick Stuart: Oh, will you stop with the damn Christmas talk!
Richard Parker: Hey now. I’m just trying to keep the Daniels in Daniels-cember.
If he was in the ring with someone larger, there would be something for Youngblood to grab ahold of, but the size difference means the Muse has the advantage. Youngblood swings behind him with an elbow, and where it would connect on a larger foe it instead finds only empty space.
Richard Parker: Guess what this reminds me of.
Nick Stuart: I swear to god if this is another holiday joke…
Richard Parker: You know how sometimes seals or turtles or whatever get stuck in those plastic soda can rings, and they need someone from Greenpeace to show up and cut the thing off? Kinda like that.
Nick Stuart: That’s… kind of fitting, actually.
A leg snakes around Youngblood’s torso as the world around him starts to lose focus. A second clamps over it, and the hooks are in. But the first champion of the ReVival era won’t be denied. Despite the pressure, a pressure he can’t rid himself of, he still refuses to go out. Sweat and spittle pool together on the canvas as he tries to force himself up to his feet. Unable to find purchase, he uses his body like a battering ram and throws himself back into the nearest corner in an attempt to knock Daniels free.
Nick Stuart: Youngblood throwing his weight around – literally, in this case – but Anna Daniels will not let go.
If anything, she tightens her grip. Around his neck her arms are like a garotte, depriving him of his senses. He drives them both back again, harder this time, and for a moment there’s a brief respite as her arms loosen. But only for a moment. When she tightens again it’s like an anaconda coiling around its prey.
Richard Parker: You know, “rocked gently to sleep by an alien punt goddess” is at the top of my Daniels-cember wish list, too.
Nick Stuart: I’m not dignifying that with a comment.
Richard Parker: I mean technically you just kinda did, though.
Youngblood pushes himself up and heaves his body back into the corner again. This time the back of his head collides with the bridge of Daniels’ nose, sending her world into a star-filled haze. The pair stagger out of the corner, Youngblood barely able to keep his feet. Instinct takes over when Daniels gets too close on wobbly feet.
Nick Stuart: Randallplex! Anna Daniels has been folded in half!
Richard Parker: The big guy doesn’t look so hot either.
Both competitors are down, each one trying to reclaim a tenuous grip on their surroundings. After checking on each, Elvis Nixon begins his count.
Elvis Nixon: One!
Nick Stuart: Youngblood was in that choke for a long time, Richard.
Elvis Nixon: Two!
Nick Stuart: Conditioning will get you so far, but struggling against something like that for so long has to take a toll on you.
Elvis Nixon: Three!
Richard Parker: You have to wonder what’s going through his head during all that.
Elvis Nixon: Four!
Richard Parker: Shades of Phil Atken. Can’t be a good memory. Or maybe not a shade. Maybe a shadow. Like the Vashta Nerada.
Elvis Nixon: Five!
Anna Daniels rolls on to her side. Her arm gently rises and falls from the canvas like she’s reaching for something, anything to help pull her up.
Elvis Nixon: Six!
Richard Parker: Kinda looks like she’s petting an invisible dog.
Nick Stuart: Looks to me like she’s searching for the ring ropes.
Elvis Nixon: Seven!
Youngblood rolls onto his chest and grimaces as he tries to get his hands under him.
Elvis Nixon: Eight!
He begins pulling himself towards the bottom rope, the throb in his finger making the effort all the more painful. He throws an arm over the rope, and reaches to start to pull himself up.
Elvis Nixon: Nine!
Anna Daniels has managed to get to her knees, and in a last ditch effort lunges for the ropes on her side of the ring. She doesn’t get very high, her shoulder only coming up to the second rope before rebounding back to the canvas.
Across from her, Youngblood has one arm draped over the middle rope, but the bulk of his body is still fighting to get off the mat.
Elvin Nixon: Ten! That’s it! Ring the bell!
Ding ding ding
The crowd reaction is predictable. These are two wrestlers who have spent the better part of the year paying their respect to one another: the Ace and the New Era. They wanted a winner. If nothing else, they wanted more time.
Vince Howard: Ladies and gentlemen, on account of neither wrestler being able to answer the ten-count, the referee has ruled this match a no contest!
Again the boos rain down.
Nick Stuart: Well fans, I don’t know what to say. I know that this result doesn’t put to bed any of those “who would win” questions that we’ve all fantasy booked, but if nothing else this just makes me want to see these two go at it again.
Richard Parker: Fantasy booking? Are you pretending to be a wrestler on the internet, Nick?
Nick Stuart: What? No.
Richard Parker: Because that would be weird. And I mean real weird.
Nick Stuart: It’s just an expression!