BRANDON YOUNGBLOOD VS. MATT WARD
From backstage, we’re taken to the interior of AT&T Stadium (not Center) in Dallas (not Houston), Texas where over 80,000 screaming PRIMEates are more than ready to get this supershow weekend underway. As always, the cameras pan around the arena to show some of the more clever signs from the fans.
I THINK THE TWO PUNCH GOBLINS SHOULD HAVE TO KISS
KOHIME VS MORT FOR THE TITLE? THIS IS CLEARLY SCRIPTED
ALEXEI RUSLAN SOLD ME RUSSIAN NUKE CODES ON JABBER
STEVE SOLEX IS A FASCIST
I JUST WATCHED SERGIO LEONE’S THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY AND SUDDENLY THIS MAIN EVENT MAKES A LOT MORE SENSE
WHEN YOU HAVE TO REZINSAULT, REZINSAULT. DON’T TALK
THERE ARE A LOT OF INTERESTING VARIATIONS IN REGIONAL BARBECUE AND IN THIS ESSAY I WILL (1/78)
IF YOU ARE CLOSE ENOUGH TO SEE IVAN STANISLAV’S NIPPLES, STRAP IN YOU’RE GOING FOR A RIDE
THE FIRST RULE OF POWERBOMB CLUB IS POWERBOMB
THE SIXTH RULE OF POWERBOMB CLUB: DON’T BE THE ONE POWERBOMBED
THE FOURTH RULE MOSTLY HAS TO DO WITH PARLIAMENTARY PROCEDURE
SID IS THE ENTIRE POWERBOMB PARLIAMENT
HAPPY EARLY EASTER!! JESUS HAS REZIN!!
I’M HERE TO PAY THE TAB
MY OTHER SIGN GOT CENSORED
I HOOKED UP WITH NATE COLTON OUTSIDE THE SUGAR FACTORY
NATE COLTON SHOWS HOG BY APPOINTMENT ONLY
I’M NOT YOUR COMRADE, FRIEND
PLEASE SEND WHAT YOU CAN [QR CODE POINTING TO FOSTER NACKEDY’S VENMO]
I PUT ON THE BALAAM MASK AND ALL I GOT WAS A HERNIA
CAN SOMEONE GET ME IN FOR NIGHT 2?
And now, over to Nick and Richard.
Nick Stuart: Fans, WELCOME TO CULTURE SHOCK! I’m Nick Stuart and alongside me, as always, is Richard Parker.
Richard Parker: Hold on, Nick, I have to save that Spotify playlist in the signs to my favorites…
Nick Stuart: While Rich is momentarily occupied, we’re getting ready to kick things off tonight with a huge opening match between two PRIME legends: “The Tower of Babel” Brandon Youngblood and “The Inhuman Being” Matt Ward. This is Ward’s first supershow match in a decade, and he’s looking to reclaim his crown and his spot at the top of the mountain. For Youngblood, he’s looking to get back to his winning ways at PRIME’s big dances. Between the two of them, we’ve arguably got the two most long-standing PRIME figures to go against each other.
Richard Parker: With Ward, it’s a self-proclaimed crown, let’s be honest. Yes, we can’t discredit his history but in today’s PRIME, but Youngblood is ranked #2 overall and is coming into the show hot.
Nick Stuart: In Ward’s defense, you can’t be ranked anywhere near the top if you’re just returning now.
Richard Parker: I understand. And a win over Brandon Youngblood will go a long way.
Nick Stuart: Let’s go to the ring!
Vince Howard stands in the center of it.
Vince Howard: This is the opening match!
The crowd cheers.
Vince Howard: Introducing first… from Columbus, Ohio… weighing two-hundred-twenty-seven pounds… MATT WARD!
“No Limit” by Wiz Khalifa plays on the PA as the vet walks out to a strong ovation while making his way down to the ring.
Nick Stuart: Big match feel to kick off a huge two nights!
Richard Parker: These two better leave something for night two.
Ward enters the ring as Howard repositions in the center of it.
Vince Howard: And his opponent… hailing from Bandera, Texas by way of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada… weighing in at two-hundred-sixty-five pounds… he is…THE DIIIIIIAMOND! OF THE REVIVAL! BRAAAAAAAANDON! YOUNGBLOOOOOOOOOD!
The Arena darkens. The shift in ambiance has the fans rise to their feet, the sound rising. And then, cutting through it all, The Battlecry.
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 and into the well of sound filling the arena. Through the blinding blue and white strobing light cutting through the darkness, the Tower of Babel powerwalks, his eyes trained forward, an oppressive scowl of intensity a hallmark painting his face.
His shoulders sway with the bravado of his BMF walk, a spotlight lighting his path. The 2022 Wrestler of the Year is quick down the ramp, his gait swinging him around the arena floor, to the ring steps. There is no slowdown as his feet pound the steel, stepping between the ropes and exploding upright. Once inside, he begins pacing around the outside perimeter of the ring.
The lights return, and as they do, the Suplex Daddy readies himself in an amateur stance, his hands on his thighs, a snarl of disdain curling his lips…
Looking dead at Matt Ward.
Nick Stuart: We’re not wasting time! Let’s get at it!
Youngblood meets Ward in the center of the ring as they stare each other down. The tension within the stands rises but it isn’t able to build for long when the two can’t hold back and begin knocking the hell out of each other.
Blow for blow they go, the crowd shifting their time from anticipating to witnessing first hand what’s in front of them. Youngblood goes for a forearm but Ward blocks it and hurls the former champion into the ropes. He catches Youngblood on return and connects with an exploder suplex!
Youngblood is right back up but he walks into another exploder suplex!
Nick Stuart: That’s not easy to do! Brandon is a large man!
Ward stands and pounds his chest. Once Youngblood is on his feet, Ward runs at him with a clothesline attempting to snap Brandon’s head from his neck but not to be outdone, the Canadian ducks at the very last second, reaches out and takes hold of Ward’s trunks, reeling him in…
Youngblood holds on and tries for another but Ward performs a standing switch. He attempts a German suplex but Brandon powers forward, breaking free from the hold and hitting the ropes.
Youngblood with a knee to the side of Ward’s temple. This is followed by an explorer suplex of his own.
Nick Stuart: Brandon almost sent Matt out of the ring! The ropes saved him from falling out.
Youngblood bursts forward but Ward is right back up. The two continue to go blow for blow and work this crowd into a lot more cheers.
Finally, it’s Youngblood who delivers the most impactful blows, sending Ward retreating into a corner. Youngblood moves his large, right forearm back…
And then hammers it across Ward’s chest.
WHACK! WHACK! WHACK!
Again and again and again.
Youngblood is going for another but Ward moves and throws his opponent into the corner. Now it’s his turn…
WHACK! WHACK! WHACK!
And then Ward delivers a jumping knee strike, hitting Youngblood flush under the jaw. He pulls the Almasy Tournament winner to the center of the ring and connects with a sit down gut wrench powerbomb!
Nick Stuart: We’ve got a pin!
Ward doesn’t argue with the referee. He agrees with the call and is ready to inflict more damage. He pulls Youngblood up along with him and tries for another gut wrench powerbomb but Brandon slips away! Youngblood retreats a few steps and lightly bounces off the ropes… in return he absolutely CRUSHES Ward in the side of the head with a forearm blow. The shot nearly echoes throughout all corners of the arena… and it has Ward on roller skates. A chop block to Ward’s right leg follows as Youngblood stands and the crowd cheers him on.
Brandon works the leg and more specifically the knee. He kicks at the side of Ward’s right knee and then drives an elbow into it with all his weight. Youngblood does this two more times as Matt shouts out in pain.
Brandon measures his opponent and drops a knee across his forehead. He pulls Ward upright but he’s stunned with a desperation jaw breaker by Ward.
Richard Parker: This match isn’t pretty but both men are going full tilt on their impact moves.
Youngblood and Ward lay on the mat, trying to recover as the crowd chants on. The referee begins a ten count but only gets to four before each man starts moving. Ward is shaking his right leg, hoping to get blood flow back into his knee while Youngblood is rubbing his jaw, trying to get the feeling back there.
The ref reaches a count of six and he stops the count entirely because each man is semi-on their feet.
Ward and Youngblood turn towards the center of the ring at the same time. Ward looks for a lariat but Youngblood avoids it. Ward stumbles a few feet forward and as he repositions himself to find Brandon again, he walks right into a spine buster slam!
Nick Stuart: You could see the ring shake on impact!
Richard Parker: I could practically feel the arena crumble. Are there earthquakes in Texas?
Youngblood wants to go for the cover but realizes too much time has ticked off the clock. Instead, he waits on Ward to get onto his feet, or at least begin to stir on the canvas… Brandon walks in, easily collects Ward and connects with a snap suplex. Youngblood holds on and hits a second snap suplex.
The recent former champion rises, glaring down at the former three-time champion.
Nick Stuart: Matt Ward isn’t going to stay down.
He’s not. As the play-by-play announcer explains, Ward is on his feet. The veteran is struggling, no doubt, but he’s still looking to go.
Youngblood kicks Ward in the stomach and wraps his right arm around Matt’s right shoulder and head. He’s looking for a half-Nelson suplex…
But Ward breaks free and clubs Youngblood in the side of the head. He follows with a belly-to-belly suplex and then Ward rolls over, both he and Youngblood lay beside each other, on their backs, gasping for air.
Nick Stuart: This hasn’t particularly been a long contest but make no mistake, these two are still in their PRIME. However, when you’re using your most impactful offensive maneuvers…
Richard Parker: The PRIME comment was weak, Nick. I expect better from you.
Ward is up but Youngblood isn’t far behind. Matt charges at Brandon and opens himself up into a running release half-Nelson suplex by Youngblood!
Nick Stuart: Oh there it is!
The crowd comes out of their seats as Youngblood falls to his knees and crawls towards Matt Ward. At first, he drapes an arm over his chest but then he eventually hooks a right leg.
Nick Stuart: NO! We continue!
Youngblood nods at the kickout and then immediately proceeds to pumping Ward’s skull with knees. Eventually, The Tower of Babel goes back to working the right knee of Ward.
Nick Stuart: I like this call. Work a body part. Keep Ward off his feet. It’s clear these two want to wreck each other but then return to your game plan. Merely brawling isn’t going to finish the match.
Richard Parker: Ah I don’t know. I just want to see these two kill each other. The last thing I want is a technical masterpiece, save that for later.
Youngblood pulls Ward to a corner, proceeding to wrap Matt’s right leg around the second rope. Brandon stretches his opponent’s leg around the buckle but Matt uses his right arm to connect with a bionic elbow. Youngblood stumbles into the center of the ring and this allows Ward to spear his nemesis out of his boots! Ward reigns down punches soon after.
Brandon covers up well and finds a virtual base. Youngblood blocks a right hand attempt, then dishes out a hard headbutt!
Followed by another.
And thrice for good measure.
Ward falls on the mat and Youngblood applies the boots to Matt’s bad knee.
Nick Stuart: It’s personal, we know this. There’s an undermining mutual respect here and also a hatred. I never expected either man to let up one bit whatsoever.
Youngblood lets it rip. He shows no signs of quitting, he’s going to render Ward unable to walk for the foreseeable future.
Finally, Matt tries to break away but it only gives him a second to catch his breath and suck back the pain. However, that seems to be enough because when Youngblood charges at Ward, Matt drops down and takes the top rope with him, sending Brandon crashing out of the ring, landing on the apron and then fumbling to the floor.
Nick Stuart: For that split second there, Youngblood was off his game. He should’ve saw what Ward was about to do…
As Youngblood picks himself off the mat he’s stunned to see Ward drop kick him through the bottom rope! Both heels of Matt’s feet go straight into Brandon’s mouth. Ward falls out of the ring with the move, a very unlikely display of offense for him. Next, he takes Youngblood and hurls him into the ring post!
Nick Stuart: I see Matt favoring his right leg, though. You have to think Youngblood has limited him.
Ward charges in after with a lariat but Youngblood ducks and Ward’s right forearm wraps around the post as he shouts out in pain!
Nick Stuart: And there you go. Matt’s not going to win a 40-yard sprint but he’s also not that slow. Youngblood saw Ward coming and moved away in time.
A struggling Brandon Youngblood throws Matt Ward back into the ring with all of his might. He enters himself, only to see Ward find a second wind and bounce off the ropes…
Sidewalk slam by Youngblood!
The crowd can’t believe it! This time, neither can Brandon Youngblood but the rivalry takes over and he instantly attempts to drive his knees into Matt’s head.
However, Ward blocks the knees and lifts Youngblood into the air, smacking him out of the sky with a forearm smash that sends Brandon’s saliva into the fifth row.
Richard Parker: TKO!!!!
Ward covers and hooks a leg for good measure.
The crowd comes alive again as replays show Brandon Youngblood was likely knocked out cold but shot back to life right before the two count and maybe, just maybe, the kickout was instinctual.
Ward can’t believe it but just like his counterpart he’s not going to argue or waste time. He hammers Youngblood’s back with blows while dragging himself and his opponent upright.
Nick Stuart: It looks like Ward is trying to set Youngblood up for Weight of the World…
But before Brandon is on his rival’s shoulders, Youngblood slips free and takes a couple of steps back. He launches himself at Ward but it’s Ward who’s able to grab Youngblood first. Ward looks for a German suplex but Youngblood anchors himself to the canvas mat. Both men are trying to take hold of the other when, finally, Youngblood works Ward into a firm position and hits a devastating Karelin lift!
Nick Stuart: Great counter!
Richard Parker: You could see Youngblood resisting the German suplex but also Ward’s knee is damaged. He wasn’t able to use his full power and physically will Brandon Youngblood into the German. Instead, Matt’s in trouble!
A deadlift belly-to-back suplex by Youngblood follows. He’s looking to close out the match and potentially go for the finish, when the crowd booms in support because Matt Ward won’t stay down. He’s on a knee, shouting at Brandon Youngblood to bring the rest forward.
Youngblood encloses and he’s popped in the jaw with a forearm. A wicked German suplex follows. Both men are up, both men are struggling. Ward moves forward but his knee gives way, so Youngblood slips behind his rival, wraps his arms tightly around his waist and connects with a Randallplex, dropping Ward on the back of his neck!
Youngblood stays in position for the cover.
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: The winner of this match… Brandon Youngblood!
Youngblood’s theme plays but he’s certainly having a hard time getting to his feet for the typical hand raise.
Nick Stuart: A great match and solid victory for Youngblood. Matt Ward came back to play but in the end, working the knee paid off and Youngblood outlasted him.
The Tower of Babel is well enough now to stand on both feet as his hand is raised and we head backstage.