BRANDON YOUNGBLOOD vs. NOVA
Referee Elvis Nixon stands in the ring next to Vince Howard as we prepare for the next match.
Nick Stuart: We’ve got a real Big Fight Feel match coming up next, partner – two bonafide PRIME legends, two men with decades of history, two men with everything to prove are squaring off next…the former Universal Champ, Brandon Youngblood, taking on The Risen Star, Nova!
Richard Parker: What a history these two men share, Nick. For our OG fans, these two squared off in 2005 for the 5 Star Championship in an all-timer of a match, which saw Youngblood come out on top. Flash forward a mere month and a half later, they crossed paths again in a six-pack Turmoil Elimination Match in which Youngblood nearly CRIPPLED Nova. And do you remember the stipulation?
Nick Stuart: I don’t have to guess, I remember it well – it was for the number one contendership to the Universal Championship.
Richard Parker: Time heals many wounds, but it will be VERY interesting to see what Youngblood vs Nova in 2022 looks like. Tonight’s fight may not be for the number one contendership, but it’s hard to imagine the winner of this one not climbing near the top of the ladder right away!
Nick Stuart: A massive match with a TON on the line, let’s take it to the ring!
The lights cut out in the arena, and a stormy sky appears on the video screen.
As thunder booms over the speakers and lightning lights up the darkened clouds on-screen, George Clinton’s voice can be heard speaking in soft, reverberating tones.
“Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time…for y’all have knocked her up. I have tasted the maggots in the mind of the universe; but I was not offended, for I knew I had to rise above it all…or drown in my own shit.”
The stormy sky fades, replaced by a field of stars. One of the stars shoots across the screen, and as the field of stars comes together to form the word “NOVA,” Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain” lilts over the PA system.
Vince Howard: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is scheduled for ONE FALL! Introducing first, from PARTS UNKNOWN, weighing in at two hundred forty pounds…NOOOOOOOOOVAAAAAAAAAAA!!
The crowd roars its approval. At this moment, a spotlight hits the entrance ramp where Nova is knelt, one fist raised in the air. The smoke wafting up from the cigarette hanging out of his mouth swirls iridescently under the hot glare of the spotlight. After a moment, the Risen Star climbs to his feet and makes his way down to the ring, rolling under the bottom rope before standing and flicking his cigarette away.
The lights come up.
And now, the second participant in one of the most anticipated rematches in PRIME’s history. Seventeen years in the making.
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 massive ovation. 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 Nova. His expression only offers an oppressive scowl of intensity.
Nick Stuart: Listen to this crowd!
Richard Parker: I’ve been waiting for this for what seems like forever.
Nick Stuart: The Dream Match. We never thought we’d see it again. And we never thought it would be under these circumstances. These two…no championship on the line…no hatreds…a mutual respect. A demand to bring the best out of one and other as they look to face their own personal challenges moving forward.
Richard Parker: And the way there is through each other. This is going to be good!
His shoulders sway with the bravado of his BMF walk. The Hall of Famer is quick down the ramp, his gait swinging him around the arena floor, to the ring steps. There is no slowdown as the Universal Champion stomps his way up the steps and steps into the ring. Once inside, he begins pacing around the outside perimeter of the ring, his eyes locked on Nova the entire time, all as Vince Howard makes his announcement.
Vince Howard: Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada… weighing in at 280 pounds… he is the former Universal Champion, a three time 5-Star Champion, the 2009 Jewel In The Crown, PRIME Hall of Famer, winner of the Almasy Invitational…the LAAAAAAAAST! DIIIIIIAMOND! BRAAAAAAAANDON! YOUNGBLOOD!
The fans are on their feet and roaring in applause at the sight of these two gladiators sharing a ring. Both Nova and Youngblood take a moment to look into the crowd and soak in the love before the hard reality before them sets in.
Nick Stuart: Two surefire hall-of-famers, partner.
Richard Parker: Nova would probably be in the Hall of Stoners too, but I digress – there’s a reason these two had bounties on their heads in the Almasy tournament. They’re Rushmore-worthy.
Youngblood is the first to stop absorbing the love as he begins circling his opponent – Nova, catching on, circles the ring as well. Both men’s arms are raised defensively, and finally to much crowd anticipation they lock up in a strong collar-and-elbow. Both look to use their power to gain an advantage, twisting and turning on each other, before Youngblood’s size advantage becomes the deciding factor as he presses Nova into a corner. Referee Nixon approaches to start a count, but before he can even get to two, Youngblood raises his hands and takes a step back out of respect – only for Nova to launch himself forward and gain side headlock control!
Nova throws Youngblood over by the head and goes for a rear chinlock, only for Youngblood to reach over and launch Nova forward by the head and onto the mat. Youngblood attempts to exert some pressure grappling from a dominant position, hands interlocked, only for Nova to kip up to a vertical base. Youngblood breaks the grip first and launches a hellacious CHOP! Nova shakes it out and responds with a BIG ASS LARIAT that sends Youngblood to the floor! He goes for the cover, but Youngblood kicks out before Nixon can slap his hand to the mat even once.
Nick Stuart: Technical exchanges to start things off!
Richard Parker: That’s the experience shining through, neither man wants to make the first big mistake!
Both men scramble up to their feet with Youngblood being the first up – he wraps his arms around Nova’s waist and HEAVES – Belly to Belly suplex! A quick cover is once again averted before a one count. Nova shoots behind Youngblood, then in front in a dazzling display of technical prowess – T-Bone Suplex! Youngblood is planted and covered once again – one and a half count!
Youngblood gets to a knee and before going fully vertical, bull-rushes Nova into the ropes, using his massive frame to press into his ribcage. A few shoulder-drives into the stomach later, Youngblood whips Nova across the ring into the ropes – as Nova bounces back, Youngblood simply presses forward and hits his opponent with a charging headbutt! Another cover, another quick kick out.
Both men rise to their feet and decide to take some space between each other as the fans rise to their feet in appreciation for the effort.
Nick Stuart: I don’t know about you, partner – but after that exchange, it’s hard to believe these men are both north of 40, both two decades into their careers. They’re really showing the spark of wrestlers half their age!
Richard Parker: Spark, sure, but veteran experience too – neither man is allowing the other to sustain a significant advantage in this stage of the match.
The Last Diamond charges forward and clinches his opponent, pressing Nova into the corner. Before Nixon can intervene, Youngblood throws a heavy chop into Nova’s chest; he follows it up with a chop to Nova’s throat, which elicits some OOOOOOHs from the crowd. Nixon intervenes and tries admonishing the former Universal Champ, only for him to be unbothered and swing for a third chop into Nova’s face – Nova ducks! He repositions himself and shoves Youngblood into the corner! After a few strikes to the head, Nova leaps surprisingly high – calf kick to Youngblood’s head! He falls to a knee! Nova runs back into the ropes to gain momentum, returns, charges – DYING STAR DROP TO YOUNGBLOOD! A DEEP cover!
Nick Stuart: Nova looking to press his advantage here!
Indeed, the grizzled vet throws Youngblood into the ropes, and on his return, launches a kick forward and connects with the Kitchen Sink! An immediate mount follows and Nova rains down strikes to the prone Youngblood! The crowd roars, as the man that many perceived to be the underdog going into this match looks to continue applying pressure!
Richard Parker: He’s beating Youngblood like he owes him money!
Nick Stuart: A little class, partner?
Richard Parker: What?? Youngblood probably DOES owe him money! Past hospital bills? Parking tickets? Who knows!
Referee Nixon begins a count and Nova is finally forced to dismount. Youngblood is staggering at this point, and Nova catches him – clutching both arms, he absolutely SPIKES the former champ with a Double-arm DDT! Another cover!
Nick Stuart: Youngblood looks to be in the deep waters first, partner!
Richard Parker: Indeed, but if any active PRIME wrestler knows how to swim in these waters, it’s Youngblood!
Nova takes a moment to gather his breath after such an intense flurry of offense – seeing an opening, Youngblood lurches forward and throws a hard elbow in to Nova’s mush! Another elbow! Another! He sends Nova into the ropes – Nova bounces back…and Youngblood teaches us the name of a major city in Poland…
The most BRUTAL and stiff knife-edged chop in the biz literally echoes throughout the arena, and the camera pans to several fans who cringe and clutch at their own sternums out of instinct! Perhaps guessing that Nova would kick out if he covered here, Youngblood instead picks up his fallen opponent and takes a few moments to throw him hither and yon…
Belly to Belly Suplex!
Snap Vertical Suplex!
Another German Suplex!
Youngblood then applies a rear chinlock to Nova, looking to hinder his breathing further. For his part, Nova looks pretty gassed.
Nick Stuart: What a veteran move here, partner!
Richard Parker: “You can’t fight if you can’t breathe” – Sun Tzu, 2022!
Nick Stuart: …2022? You sure about that one?
Richard Parker: Let me smother you for a minute and you tell me, how about that?
Seeing Nova struggle, the fans clap in rhythm, willing with every fiber of their being for the gladiator to keep the fight up. After a few moments, he gets to one knee – then a foot and a knee – then TWO FEET. Back elbow from Nova – another – ANOTHER! The grip is released! Nova decides it’s his turn and switches behind Youngblood…
Another German Suplex!
ANOTHER German Suplex!
…FUCKING ANOTHER GERMAN SUPLEX!
Both men are pulling deep to regain their air on the mat, but Nova’s wristlock around Youngblood’s waist remains strong. He’s determined, he’s fighting, he’s sure he needs to do something Youngblood didn’t do.
Nick Stuart: Youngblood hit Nova with four suplexes, then Nova hit Youngblood with four of his own…but he’s determined to go for five!
Richard Parker: Throw a man as much as you want, all that matters is the one two three, partner! You can’t let yourself get married to this stuff!
But Nova can’t hear Richard Parker…or if he can, he decides it’s surely bullshit. It’s important to him that he shows just exactly where he should stand in the pecking order of PRIME…whether his ranking or his record or his recent dark history shows it, he NEEDS to show these people just what he stands for. And so, his hands remain locked. His legs find a way to get vertical. His lungs find a way to breathe deeply…and his hips find a way to pop.
Bridging German Suplex!
Both men are down as the crowd once again rises to their feet in admiration of both competitors. Nova’s face is that of a man who might have shot his last bullet, Youngblood’s, the face of a man who can’t take too many more. Referee Nixon begins a count in order to get one or both men to their feet…at four, Nova stirs. At five, Youngblood rolls to his stomach. At six, both men technically have the soles of their shoes on their mat – when Youngblood LUNGES forward!
Nick Stuart: EUGH, that was a NASTY strike!
With Nova dazed, Youngblood locks his opponent’s arms, bends down, and lifts –
Youngblood wastes no time and top mounts Nova, throwing clubbering elbow strikes! Nova raises his arms to cover up, but some strikes definitely punch through his defense – including one particular rough strike to the temple that leads to Nova rolling away and clutching his eye.
Richard Parker: Looks like potatoes are on the menu tonight, partner!
Referee Nixon takes a moment to examine Nova as he continues to clutch his eye. Youngblood, for his part, chooses to respect his opponent and give him space…for a time. After a quick examination becomes twenty seconds of stalling, Youngblood steps forward to interject. Nixon, sensing his approach, leaves Nova to try to maintain their space – but before he can say word one, Nova launches forward with a sharp elbow into Youngblood’s nose!
Nick Stuart: What a strike! Fans will remember what Phil Atken did to that nose not long ago!
Richard Parker: It’s a literal bullseye, Parker, and surgically repaired or not, it’s as good a target as any!
Youngblood stumbles back and checks his nostrils for blood, luckily finding none – but in the moments that pass, Nova lurches forward and sends Youngblood ass-over-teakettle with a MASSIVE lariat! He covers!
Both men are exhausted on the mat, reaching deep for air, as the crowd showers them with applause and adulation.
Nick Stuart: What a battle!
Richard Parker: What a WAR! The old guard of PRIME showing what it means to dig deep!
First to stir is Nova, and soon to follow is Youngblood…but both men drop to a knee. Turns out, veterans know how to hit VERY HARD, and it’s also not so easy to get up when you’ve got this many miles on you. It takes time – conscious, heavy time – but both men are able to get to their feet and look into each other’s eyes across the ring from each other. A lot of historical weight seems to both keep them vertical and keep them from acting too quickly. The fans, already cheering, are now on their feet. They know where we are in this fight.
Something’s gotta give. And Youngblood believes Nova will give first. He pursues his opponent as if he was a wounded deer, looking to trap one arm, and indeed he is able to grapple Nova into a Half Nelson…as he attempts to pop his hips to lift him into a trademark Half Nelson Suplex, Nova blocks it by wrapping his left leg around Youngblood’s! Another lurching lift attempt, another block! Finally, Nova is able to reverse the momentum and wrap one arm, then another – DOUBLE ARM DDT ATTEMPTED – Youngblood reverses! Back body drop – Nova lands on his feet! Kick to the midsection – double arms hooked AGAIN – Youngblood twists out AGAIN! Russian legsweep to Nova! Nova kicks out quickly, throws some heavy strikes into Youngblood’s cranium, and hoos the arms for a third time – DOUBLE ARM DDT CONNECTS! Youngblood is SPLATTED!
THRE-NO!!! Youngblood kicks out!
Nick Stuart: TWO POINT NINE NINE!
Nova wastes absolutely no time as he scampers quickly to the top rope!
Richard Parker: What’s he doing up THERE??
Nick Stuart: Oh no, he’s turning his back on Youngblood, what is he THINKING??
He’s thinking about 2005. He’s thinking about what could have been.
He’s thinking about what he can reclaim, seventeen years later.
Nova, back turned to his opponent, leaps high into the air – moonsaulting – before thrusting an elbow forward…
Nick Stuart: CTRL+ALT+1337?!?!?! ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!
Unbelievably, Nova’s elbow connects FLUSH into Youngblood’s sternum – and instead of going for a pin, he looks out to the crowd. He spots a fan holding up a sign saying “WE REMEMBER TROPICAL TURMOIL”, and the camera catches it and lingers.
Richard Parker: Tropical Turmoil – in 2005, Youngblood nearly ended Nova’s LIFE when he went for a Shooting Star Press! SURELY he’s not thinking about THAT, is he??
Before Parker can even get the whole sentence out, Nova’s back on the top rope. It’s clear that history is on his mind.
You can’t fix every past mistake – some things live with you forever, they’ll define you, and they’ll make you the person you are forever. For good and for bad. For sinner and for saint. For convicted drug dealer and for Universal Champion.
But what if.
What if you could rewrite the past…
Nova might wonder too.
And he hits the move he COULDN’T hit at Tropical Turmoil 2005…
Nick Stuart: SHOOTING! STAR! PRESS!
Richard Parker: I can’t believe it!! The cover!
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: Here is your winner! NOOOOOOOOOOVAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!
Nick Stuart: I am SHOCKED!
Richard Parker: NOVA DID IT! HE REALLY DID IT!
Nick Stuart: MY GOD! MY GOD!
The PRIMEates are UNGLUED at the result. Nova takes a few moments to register what the hell he just did – after a beat, Youngblood is able to recollect himself and get to a knee. He locks eyes with the Man Who Made Good tonight. Nova, for his part, checks on Youngblood to make sure he’s not seriously hurt. The two men lock arms in the kind of gladiatorial embrace only war-sharing wrestlers could share. Youngblood, for his part, raises Nova’s arm in victory and gives an honorary point to his torso.
Nick Stuart: I don’t feel comfortable calling this an upset given Nova’s legacy, but I think we all assumed this was going to go Youngblood’s way tonight!
Richard Parker: Never discount the weight of the past, partner.
We cut to black.