DUSK VS. WADE ELLIOTT
Vince Howard: The following contest is our MAAAAAIN EVENT OF THE EVENING and is scheduled for one fall with a thirty minute time limit!
Without much more to do, we are getting this bad boy underway.
Vince Howard: Making his way to the ring from Los Angeles, California and weighing in tonight at two-hundred and twenty-five pounds…DUUUUUUUUUUUSK!!!!
The lights dim, there is a long pause. Just as the crowd grows restless, fireworks explode all around the MGM-Grand Arena and “Death Grip” by Watt White engulfs the arena in sound.
And I’m fire
From the backstage area emerges “The Lost Soul” Dusk, who looks ready for a fight. He stands at the top of the ramp and looks out at the fans, many of whom are on their feet and chanting his name.
DUSK! DUSK! DUSK! DUSK!
Nick Stuart: The last stanza of Dusk’s career, his list of opponents, and this time, he faces someone from the old guard who hasn’t been active in the ring in the ReVival Era.
Richard Parker: Metamucil time!
Nick Stuart: Dusk chose Wade Elliott for this battle. Once before, they fought for the Intense Championship, with Dusk coming out on top. Will we have a repeat? Or will The Bad Dog avenge that prior loss?
The Lost Soul makes his way down the ramp, extending his arms and high-fiving the fans along the aisle.
As “Death Grip” trails off, it’s replaced by the steady strum of a guitar that could only belong to Johnny Cash. A curious start to most in the crowd, but older fans may harken back to ReVolution 184. Regardless, “A Boy Named Sue” by the Man in Black carries on over the already rumbling crowd.
Well my daddy left home, when I was three,
didn’t leave much, to Ma an’ me.
Just this old guitar and an’ empty bottle of booze.
The lyrics scroll in white on the PRIME*View, and the MGM Arena starts singing along.
Now I don’t blame him ‘cause he run an’ hid,
But the meanest thing that he ever did,
Was before he left, he went an’ named me –
And then, shit gets LOUD. Johnny’s strums are replaced by a distorted guitar with a southern twang, followed by a steady beat of the drums. The entrance strobes as “Step Up (I’m On It) by Maylene and the Sons of Disaster wails away. The PRIME*View rolls that footage. A charging pick-up. Vicious dogs snapping at the camera. Tipped over whiskey bottles. All mixed with a montage of ass-whippin’ before the music slows.
Too long, and too little,
Tell me when you gonna bring it on.
Small fights, and big stages,
Never terrified enough to run.
Vince Howard: And his opponent!! From Pine Ridge, Alabama!!
A big frame in a wide-brimmed drifter’s hat hides in the strobe lights, that hat tilted down a touch.
Vince Howard: Standing six feet! Four inches tall! Weighing in at two-hundred and fifty-four pounds!
The smoke starts settling, the lights start trailing.
Vince Howard: A former PRIME Intense Champion!!
The chorus hits, and the Son of a Bitch himself strolls out to the top of the ramp, one fist in the air, and a grin on his face he just can’t shake.
Vince Howard: THE BAD DOG!!!!! WADE!!! ELLLIOTTTT!!!!!
The Blue Collar Brawler takes it in for a moment before making his way to the ring, the MGM Garden Arena going absolutely ape-shit for Wade’s return to the ring. Dusk waits with a smile inside the ropes.
Nick Stuart: Partner, I had a feeling we’d see Ol’ Wade get into a tussle or two for PRIME’s return, but I can honestly say I never expected to see the ‘Bama Bruiser in a match in this ReVival era!
Richard Parker: Old habits die hard, Nick!
Nick Stuart: At ReVival 18, Elliott agreed to Dusk’s request for a match in this farewell. Those who watched the ReVolution Era may remember an Intense Title match between these two, where a red hot Wade Elliott fell to the Lost Soul in what many called an enormous upset. And tonight, while no bad blood remains between these two, you have to think Wade would like to settle the score.
Richard Parker: Let’s hope nobody breaks a hip, first and foremost.
Meanwhile, Wade gives Dusk a friendly point of the finger before climbing the turnbuckle. The music rises, and Wade removes his hat, holding it high in the air as the chorus hits heavy.
ALLLL LINED UP AND BUILT FOR PRESSURE!
(STEP UP! I’M ON IT!)
SAAYY YOUR PEACE LIKE IT’S THE END!!
(STAND BACK! WE’RE MOVIN’!!)
The crowd? Bellowing. The roof? Shaking. The opponent? Ready.
Let’s do it old school.
Nick Stuart: The Lost Soul and The Bad Dog! All these years later! Soak it in, PRIMEates
Wade hops down, and immediately removes his shirt. Those paying attention will notice that on his left pec, where two Confederate flags once waved, is now the image of Wade’s dog, Angus the Bluetick Hound, the original Pup of PRIME, and one that Bucky would approve of. The light show ends, the music trails off, and Wade hands his hat off ringside.
Once back in the ring, head official Timo Bolamba calls for the bell.
Nick Stuart: And here we go.
Richard Parker: This match is sponsored by The Old Country Buffet.
Nick Stuart: I can’t believe you here…
Richard Parker: Let’s make sure they get applesauce and lots of bland oatmeal. Nothing spicy. Old people’s bowels don’t react well to cayenne or chili.
All jokes aside from Richard Parker, Dusk and Wade Elliott stand across the ring from each other, staring toward the other, a slight smirk spreading across both their faces. 2008 is a long time. A variable lifetime ago for both of them. And yet…as they draw closer and closer to one another, that sense of the old fight feels all too familiar. Elliott is in his fighting stance, which isn’t at all scientific, but rather influenced by a lifetime of brawling and bar room battles. Dusk, meanwhile, giving up near thirty pounds, is looking ready to grapple. He goes for a collar and elbow tie up, with Wade doing nothing to avoid it.
Nick Stuart: There two locking horns…
Richard Parker: Must be for the last bit of prune juice…
The ‘Bama Bruiser quickly starts exerting his strength, backing Dusk toward the ropes as the two aggressively jostle in their tie up. However, with a surprisingly quick burst of movement, that bullishness is used against Wade, as Dusk snaps him over with a deep armdrag. Back to his feet, Dusk looks at the downed Elliott, who starts wringing his arm, hand flexing from fist to open. The smirk on his face becomes a smile, then a nod.
Richard Parker: I mean, all my jokes aside, and I know they’re absolutely terrible, but Wade Elliott hasn’t actively wrestled in a PRIME ring since the end of the Revolution Era. He’s a fixture of our security staff now, and yeah, he’s an imposing force…
Nick Stuart: Many men in their early fifties would pay to be anywhere near Wade’s condition.
Richard Parker: But that right there? That armdrag? You see how effortlessly Dusk was able to hit it? How natural it was? He’s not on the outside of the gate…he’s still IN the game. His ring legs aren’t muscle memory.
Wade rises from the canvas, this time being the aggressor of a collar and elbow, but just as quickly as he locks up, Dusk once again hits him with another armdrag. Quick. A puff of smoke. The Bad Dog sits up from the canvas. There’s no smirk this time. No smile. He looks to Dusk, who beckons for him to get up.
Nick Stuart: There is something to be said about activity. Then again, all we need to do is look at UltraViolence. Ivan Stanislav came back from well over a decade out of the ring, and at a much older age than Wade Elliott, and he looked like an absolute force.
Richard Parker: Ivan is also a mountain of a man. Someone of mythological stature in the sport of professional wrestling. Wade’s a former Intense Champion. Jewel In The Crown Finalist. He lasted longer in the Dual Halo than anyone ever has. And in his time, he was one of the toughest competitors there was…
Another rise from the canvas. Wade’s feet are heavy as he drives forward, once again locking horns with Dusk. The once Lost Soul tries for another armdrag, but Elliott blocks it off. No matter. He just as easily uses the momentum shift and grabs hold for a neckbreaker, dropping the Drifter to the canvas with a sharp thud.
Nick Stuart: Running knee strike right off the neckbreaker!
Richard Parker: …but that time has past…
Nick Stuart: This is nothing like I think we were expecting. Not deep into this one, but Dusk is showing a level of ring generalship that has to have people questioning if he should be hanging his boots up in a few short weeks.
Richard Parker: He picked this match. There’s history there. And this is one of his last times out here in front of the fans. Wade Elliott? This is a fling. He goes back to putting on a security shirt and breaking up fights. Or not doing a good enough job stopping them…
Nick Stuart: You better hope he doesn’t play this back.
Richard Parker: Sue me. Hell, even before UltraViolence, our security has had their hands in too many cookie jars…and the MGM security team? Crack individuals. As in I think they’re all on crack.
Maintaining his attack, Dusk keeps on Wade, throwing a stiff kick to his spine. The Lost Soul, then grabs The Bad Dog by the head, lifting him up, and, with surprising ferocity, begins laying into him with a series of forearm smashes to his jaw, rocking the ‘Bama Bruiser back against the turnbuckle. Dusk lowers his head and grabs the ring ropes, driving his shoulder into his midsection, then again, then once more, driving the wind out of him.
Nick Stuart: Dusk the aggressor here early on.
Richard Parker: In a Wade Elliott match in the past, I’d say this might be foolish. But he needs to keep pressing. He has the advantage with ring legs, and as he’s driving that shoulder in his lungs? He’s got ring lungs too.
However, Elliott does his best to push Dusk away, and then throws a wild haymaker that connects and drops his opponent to the canvas. On the rebound, finally, Dusk is blasted with a shoulder block, and then another, all before Wade launches into the rising Dusk with a series of haymakers. Each one connects with a snap, starching the former PTC Extreme Champion, only to then be slung across the ring with an irish whip. Elliott follows behind, nailing a clothesline into the opposite corner.
Nick Stuart: Oh what a clothesline by Elliott!
Richard Parker: You can never count a brawler out.
Floored, Dusk gets a belly full of stomps, the Drifter grabbing the top rope as he does so. He continues, driving his chest into the mat with a series of boots. Head official Timo Bolamba starts a five count, and even though he wants to continue the fight, Wade backs off before five, taking a few steps back, motioning for Dusk to get back to his feet.
Richard Parker: Stopping just short of walking that mudhole dry.
Nick Stuart: This isn’t pretty, but then again, Wade Elliott was never a ring technician like Dusk was. He got by on his guts and his bar room brawling skills.
Dusk, a bit staggered from the onslaught, reaches for the ropes and pulls himself up. Once back to his feet, Dusk sees Elliott as he charges toward him, and in response, drops to the mat, reaching out with his legs, catching hold of a drop toe hold that slams Elliott face first into the bottom turnbuckle.
Nick Stuart: What turnabout!
Richard Parker: And that’s what awareness of the ring can do for you.
Wasting no time, Dusk drags Elliott back from the turnbuckle by the ankle before lifting his opponent up by his foot and driving his knee into the mat. Elliott yets out a yell (not of the rebel variety), clutching his leg, only for Dusk to grab at the knee and hit a heavy whip into the canvas.
Nick Stuart: Targeting the leg now.
Richard Parker: You know what they say about a one legged man in an ass kicking contest.
Dusk continues his targeting, pulling The Bad Dog’s leg straight before burying his elbow into the ‘Bama Bruiser’s thigh muscle. Wade tries to roll out of it, but Dusk is on him like a python, maintain a hold, rolling over with him, spinning around and wrenching back with a single leg crab.
Nick Stuart: Smart strategy being exhibited by Dusk. That isolation of the knee could be a game changer.
Frustration etches across Wade Elliott’s face as he reaches for a rope, not quite able to reach it. For his part, Dusk sits down, wrenching back further, and wrenches back even harder, smoke billowing from his ears as he yanks back with all his strength. If Wade wasn’t going to submit, he was damn sure going to make sure Elliott was down one of his mudhole stomping knees, especially after what he had felt earlier.
The thing about Wade Elliott, though, is that while he’s been away from the ring, his fighting spirit has never wavered. He drags himself toward the rope, inching closer, fingers almost reaching it. Dusk senses how close he’s gotten. He stands up, throwing Wade’s leg hard against the canvas with another whip, and then grabs hold of the leg again, attempting to drag him back to the center of the ring. However, knowing he might be in big trouble if this happens, Wade wildly kicks and uses his legs to push Dusk away with all his force.
Richard Parker: We got a stubborn mule here!
Dusk tries to smother Elliott, but he gets an elbow to the jaw for his troubles, hitting with such ferocity that it drops him to the canvas. Wade hangs against the rope, favoring his leg, trying to shake what he’s feeling. Rising up, Dusk goes again, trying to take the fight to Elliott, and as he does, he’s surprised as Wade lowers a shoulder, lifting him up and sending him over the top rope.
Nick Stuart: Dusk sent to the floor…wait…
Dusk doesn’t go to the floor, however. He managed to hold onto the rope as he was slung over, rising to his feet on the apron. Wade turns around, but is caught off guard when Dusk reaches up and grabs the back of his head, dropping off the apron and snapping his neck across the top rope. Elliott staggers backwards, clutching his throat as the Lost Soul rolls back into the ring. His blind charge comes to a near dead stop, all as Wade throws a wild clothesline, but he ducks, and then hits a running knee strike to his stomach, sending Elliott stumbling back to the corner.
Nick Stuart: This is…again…not pretty. An economy of physical offense utilized by the former Intense Champion.
Richard Parker: Not pretty, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s smart. Calculating. Legal.
Dusk charges, but when he arrives, all he meets is turnbuckle. The ultimate Halo survivor side stepped out of the way. The Bad Dog then grabs Dusk by the arm, blasting him with a clothesline that nearly takes his head off. Instinct is the only reason Dusk can stand, and as he does, he’s blasted with a big boot to the chest.
Nick Stuart: OH! Trademark Bad Dog there!
Richard Parker: Not much you can do when you get blasted by the sole of a Wolverine!
Dusk struggles to his feet, but Elliott is quick to follow. An errant punch from Dusk connects, and the favor is returned, then another, and another, and another, all before grabbing him and whipping him across the ring with an irish whip, nearly taking Dusk out of his boots with a HEEEEEAVY spear.
The Blue Collar Brawler keeps up, grabbing hold of the top ropes, raining down more mudhole stomps to Dusk’s stomach. After the onslaught, Wade forces Dusk to the canvas, hooking the near leg.
Wade isn’t stopping, not ceding control, and brings Dusk to his feet, keeping tight and blasting him with heavy forearms to the former PTC Extreme Champion’s back. After a good five blows, Wade hoists Dusk up across his shoulders–it’s Roughneck time!
Just as Elliott throws Dusk onto his shoulders, he deadweights, grabbing a front facelock, and plants a DDT. As if sprung from the DDT, Wade stands, only to get blasted in the jaw with a patented Dusk superkick!
Wade falls down.
After the kickout, Dusk stands, waiting for Wade to get up as well. Eyes locked on him, he readies himself, about to land another superkick.
Nick Stuart: Could this be it? Could this be it?
Richard Parker: He’s loading up!
Elliott struggles to get up, punching at his weakened leg, his jaw sore as Hell, seemingly unaware. Once to his feet, the loaded up Dusk is ready to uncork another superkick, but before he can launch, Wade blasts him in the chest with a powerful boot to the chest that absolutely levels him.
Richard Parker: Another heavy boot! That one was devastating!
Dusk nearly collapses back to the canvas as he tries to rise. Wade is huffing and puffing. Narrow eyes. He knows the longer this goes, the more his wind and his legs will give out. Instinct takes over. Dusk tries to catch Wade with another superkick by surprise, but all he manages to do is put himself in great position for Wade Elliott to grab hold of him and absolutely spinebuster the hell out of him.
DING DING DING
Nick Stuart: And Dusk kicks out JUST after the three! Wow! What a battle between these two PRIME stalwarts!
Richard Parker: All those old jokes from the beginning, scratch that. These two can still fight, and everything being fair, that’s awesome to see.
Vince Howard: Your winner…by pinfall…WAAAAAAAAAAAAAADE! ELLIOOOOOOOOOTT!
The match settled, Wade Elliott stands up, hands on his haunches, drawing in as much air as he can. Dusk staggers to his feet, using the ropes for leverage. He shakes his head, and obviously feels a little disappointment in the result, but before he can linger on these feelings too long, Wade is in front of him, hand out.
There’s no thinking about this.
Two of PRIME’s past Intense Champions shake hands, all as the fans in the MGM Grand Garden Arena cheer. And after a few moments? The pair embrace in a hug.
A toast to the old world.