FIVE STAR TITLE MATCH: CORAL AVALON (C) vs. CECILWORTH FARTHINGTON
The stage lights dim, and we get a lively tune. If you think it isn’t sinister, you’re fooling yourself. Just as sinister underneath it. “Choke” by I Don’t Know How But They Found Me. It heralds the arrival of the Financier of the Gluemaniti, Lord Cecilworth Farthington.
Nick Stuart: Folks, this is it. The main event of the evening. After all this time, finally, Cecilworth Farthington, who earned this opportunity by eliminating then 5 Star Champion Nate Colton in the Murder Rumble, will face Coral Avalon. After twists and turns. After betrayals. It all…leads to this.
Richard Parker: You make it seem so sinister.
As the riff reaches its peak, bright lights are cast down upon the entrance as the Financier walks out. Dressed in his plain black hoodie, his arms in his pockets, Farthington walks out with that easy, self-assured smile plastered all over his face.
Vince Howard: This 5 Star Championship match is set for one fall with no time limit and is THE MAAAIN! EVEENT! OF THE EVENING! Introducing first, the challenger…from Buckinghamshire in England, the United Kingdom… he weighs in tonight at one hundred and eighty-seven pounds… the Financier of the Gluemaniti… CECILWOOOOOOORTH! FAAAAARTHINGTOOOOOOONNNN!!!
Farthington’s shoulders shimmy and sway to “Choke” without ever taking his hands out of his pockets as he makes his way to the ring. He rolls under the bottom rope with the speed of a man who’s taking things a little leisurely before leaping up. Finally, he pulls his left hand out of one of his pockets to give the jeering crowd a cheeky wave before he sets himself in a lean against the corner.
The camera cuts to the Western Metal Company building in the outfield. To the luxury suite deck. Dirk Dickwood is there, but we aren’t paying attention to him. No…it’s the emotionless face of Phil Atken we are focused on.
Nick Stuart: This…is the first time we’ve seen the former Universal Champion since he suffered a potentially career ending concussion at the hands of Cancer Jiles and–
Richard Parker: ELEVEN HERBS AND SPICES–
Nick Stuart: And to say he looks none too pleased mighty be an understatement.,
Farthington removes the rest of his hoodie, grabbing his cellphone, and doing Cecilworth things. Which is either something fun or probably involves serial killing and fires. YOU DECIDE THIS IS YOUR OWN ADVENTURE INTO THE MIND OF A BROKEN MAN!
Darkness does not herald the arrival of the 5-Star Champion as it usually would, because it’s hard to turn out the lights in a baseball stadium, and it’s still dusk in San Diego.
A man walks onto stage. This man seems normal, except for the war paint on his bare chest and the fur armor worn over his shoulders and around his waist, along with the helmet with the spectacle guard around the eyes and nose. He carries with him a large hunting horn, and stands off to the side of the stage away from the entrance ramp. After a short pause, the man blows the horn. The sound travels through the building. You know what other sound travels through the building?
The sound of drums.
This isn’t the sound of drums as you might hear from a marching band. This is the sound of war drums. A cacophonous, intimidating beat. The camera catches sight of the source of the drums, just below the stage. Two ripped, burly men dual-wielding huge drum sticks and going to town on huge man-sized drums.
A procession of men and women stream out from behind the curtains. Some are dressed in furs, which can’t be great in the Tropical Turmoil heat, while others have visible armor. Some carry swords, others carry battle axes. All carry shields. There’s a veritable army here.
Cecilworth Farthington, in the ring, cares so much about all of this that he can be seen impatiently looking at his phone.
Richard Parker (squealing): HE DMED ME!
The sound of a man fainting can be heard in the background.
Nick Stuart: …Rich? Are you okay?
I guess he needs a moment.
The procession forms two columns, on each side of the entrance ramp, with the exception of a semicircle of a dozen of these “northerners” around the entryway itself. This semicircle is tightly packed, all of them carrying battle standards that obscure the area they’re surrounding. The drums intensify.
When the drums suddenly stop, and Monster Siren’s “Real Me” begins its opening melody, the semicircle parts and dividing itself into groups that blended into the columns by the ramp. What remains behind the semicircle are two individuals.
One is an ugly-looking man in a trilby and an ash-gray suit, looking for all the world like a man who seems uncomfortably giddy with the fact that he’s standing before a crowd of tens of thousands of screaming fans. In the ring, Farthington catches sight of him with an eyebrow raised, and has a sudden, dire need to see if he’d brought another copyright law book to throw at this man’s head.
The other man is, of course, the man of the hour.
Coral Avalon stands at the center of the stage, all eyes upon him at the eye of the storm. His lion-themed entrance cloak looks like it’s gained an addition in the form of a fur-lined hood, which shrouds his head from the audience. Underneath the cloak, the 5-Star Championship belt is wrapped around his waist, and he wears a version of his entrance gear that burns like a red sun that’s never been seen before this night.
All at once, every man and woman in the semicircle drops to one knee in reverence. Even the ugly-looking man does the same, though he cradles an object covered in a black cloth in his hands.
Avalon steps forward and Lord Gavin Yum, Esq. removes the cloth. There is a metallic object, one that Avalon has not been seen with since he started in PRIME despite a close association in Japan. The longsword gleams in the fading Californian sunlight when Avalon picks it up, just as the guitars of “Real Me” hit.
He raises it up, pointing it up at the sky, and a line of fireworks shoots out from behind him in a vertical line. The moment the fireworks hit their peak, an additional flurry of fireworks fire from the edges of the stadium itself.
Avalon holds this pose for a few moments, and slowly points the sword towards Cecilworth Farthington. Farthington responds only with the smirk of a man who can barely bother paying attention to whatever nonsense is happening before him, and goes back to his phone.
Avalon throws back the hood of his cloak, revealing that left half of his face has been painted red, as though stained blood. The face paint looks solid except for the parts that look like stylized as though it’s dripping off. He drops the hood to the ground. With another pointed look to Lord Farthington, he then drops the sword to the ground and begins his long march to the ring.
Vince Howard: His opponent… residing in Seattle, Washington! He weighs in at two hundred and fourteen pounds! THE CROWNLESS KING! THE FIVE-STAR CHAMPION! CORAAAAAAALLLLLL AVALOOOOOOOOONNNN!!!
The fur-clad men and women that line the ramp bow before him as he approaches. Avalon maintains a steady walk to the ring, his eyes never stop glaring at Farthington.
Nick Stuart: A look of determination on the face of the 5-Star Champion, Richard.
Richard Parker: …
Nick Stuart: Oh, for God’s sakes, wake up!
Avalon reaches the ring and walks up the stairs, stepping through the ropes. He approaches the hard camera and displays the hand symbol of the Crownless Kingdom – fists together, pinkies and ring fingers out. This symbol is matched by every “soldier” that Avalon walked by on his way to the ring. It’s matched by Gavin at the entrance ramp.
The king may have no true crown, yet he has a kingdom. It’s tens of thousands strong. It chants his name. It supports him every step of the way as he begins to remove his entrance cloak. There is a clear favorite here. The journeyman who hadn’t been seen at this stage of the game in almost twenty years. The biggest match of his life, against a foe he intends to bring ruin to.
Cecilworth Farthington, for the first time, finally put away the cell phone. Avalon’s kingdom starts to file out, leaving the man with only the championship belt in his hands and a determined stare.
Richard Parker: Cecilworth…HEY CECILWORTH! I can protect your phone! I promise I can protect your phone!
Nick Stuart: Will you stop!
Richard Parker: You…you don’t understand, Nick…this is CECILWORTH FARTHINGTON! In a PRIME Pay-Per-View Main Event! A once in a lifetime experience! I will tell my children…my children’s children…my children’s children’s CHILDREN…that on this night, at this moment…I was there. I was there for the spectacle that was Lord Cecilworth claiming the MOST PRIZED championship in all of professional wrestling…the 5 Star Champion.
Nick Stuart: Which acknowledges Coral Avalon as the holder of that prestige.
Richard Parker: Oh no. No no no. NO NO NO! Don’t you DARE Nick. Don’t even THINK of ruining this for me. For…for US!
Nick Stuart: These two have remained in their corners, and the tension here in San Diego? Palpable. In the last few months…so much has changed. The 5 Star Championship…has truly ascended to a championship at or near the level as the Universal Title. Fantastic bouts. The holders in this era of PRIME have been peerless. Hayes Hanlon. Rezin. FLAMBERGE. Nate Colton. And now…Coral Avalon.
Richard Parker: There’s a reason it’s where it is tonight.
Nick Stuart: Still no movement. There’s a buzz in the air. An air of uncertainty. So much at stake here. Fueled by ascent. By betrayal. By mission statements. And after tonight, only one will be left standing.
The painted Crownless King scowls in the direction of The Financier. Cecilworth, his hands clasping the ropes, stretching, ready to explode forward, wears a foreboding sneer, his eyes narrowed.
Ashley Barlow looks toward Cecilworth, then to Avalon. With a heavy clap of the hands, the bell rings.
Nick Stuart: We…are underway.
Barlow bounces on the balls of her feet from the center of the ring, expecting an instant clash. She, along with the fans at home and in Petco Park, are not disappointed. Both men aggressively part their corners, Cecilworth in a mid level jiu jitsu stance with his hands maintaining fluid motion ready to touch, while Avalon comes out in a bladed boxing stance. Once they are within reach, Farthington shoots with his knee sliding across the canvas looking to pick at one of Coral’s legs. Wrestler to wrestler. Anticipated because of all that is known from the twenty plus years the 5 Star Champion has spent in the ring. That Coral avoids isn’t surprising; what is, though, is how, off a pair of back steps from the dangerous hands of Farthington, him quickly exploding forward with a charging single leg dropkick that batters the chest of the unexpecting challenger.
The Glueminati Leader had been in the process of trying to reset himself, but found himself susceptible for a moment in trying to gather, and as a result, paid the price. Avalon’s boot burrows into Cecilworth’s sternum, powering him back violently with his arms flailing. The Crownless King is on his feet instantly, powdering the Financier first with a charging european uppercut that clobbers him into the corner, and, once there, laces them deep into his chest over and over.
Nick Stuart: AVALON! AVALON! AVALON is a man POSSESSED!
Richard Parker: GET OUT OF THERE CECILWORTH! YOU SAW THOSE RATTY FURS! RABIES! HE’S A JUNKYARD DOG AND YOUR LORDLY CHEST WILL NEED SHOTS!
The only shots that are happen are the ones the slightly heavier Coral Avalon absolutely blasts across the chest of Cecilworth, threatening to cave his chest in from the very get go. The longer limbs of Farthington reach out to stop the assault, but each blow punctuates his errant swipes. After the eighth consecutive blistering european uppercut lands, Cecilworth finally manages to lay his hands on the 5 Star Champion, but a palm slap across the chest connects before there’s any lacing of fingers around the neck of Avalon. The challenger winces, reaching instinctively for his glistening red chest, and in the process, leaves himself vulnerable.
Nick Stuart: SNAP KICK TO FARTHINGTON’S HEAD!
Richard Parker: THIS IS INSANE!
Nick Stuart: And Cecilworth Farthington can’t even stand up, he’s dropped right on his backside, and OH! ANOTHER SNAPKICK, this one landing with the chest and his knee connecting with the challengers face!
Richard Parker: Abort! Abort! Ground control to Lordly Farth…you’re dealing with a damn basketcase in there!
Upon the blow, Cecilworth bails, rolling underneath the bottom rope aggressively, clutching his face. He stumbles with a few steps, dropping to a knee before exploding back up, grabbing at his nose, his eyes watering.
Richard Parker: WATCH OUT!
Nick Stuart: AVALON LAUNCHING HIMSELF OUT OF THE RING AND BETWEEN THE ROPES AND OBLITERATING CECILWORTH FARTHINGTON WITH A DRIVING EUROPEAN UPPERCUT! And the challenger is scrambling to his feet but FALLS BACK OVER–
Richard Parker: Oh he’s getting back up–
Nick Stuart: But Avalon is already there to mee–Rhongomyniad! Rhongomyniad! That kick NEARLY took off Farthington’s head!
Richard Parker: I DON’T LIKE THIS ONE BIT!
Nick Stuart: Avalon following up and he’s got Farthington and HALF NELSON BACKBREAKER! FARTHINGTON IS APOPLECTIC ON THE OUTSIDE OF THE RING!
Richard Parker: This…this is his strategy…Avalon doesn’t care to make this a fair fight and HE KNOWS if he keeps my precious Farthy out of the ring then this match goes countout and HE RETAINS! What a damn gloryhound!
Nick Stuart: Avalon doesn’t need that kind of glory, Richard…he’s already there. He’s the one who’s driven the 5 Star Championship to pay-per-view main event status, a feat only accomplished twice before; Point Of Impact back in 2004 when Joey Troy upset the 5 Star Tzar, Ian English, to end his 158 day reign…and Jason Snow against Kaiser Vashaun in the main event of second night of Colossus VI in 2009…and that match pitted Universal Champion versus 5 Star Champion in a winner take all.
Richard Parker: And you know what all those have in common? The 5 Star Champion LOST! But Cecilworth has to get this back into the ring to accomplish that!
Farthington clutches his back, rolling around on the mats around the ring in Petco Park. His heels stomp against them, his face etched in a wince. Barlow is deep into her countout, but Avalon, despite what Richard Parker was inferring, has no interest in ending this battle in such a cheap manner. He grabs onto the head of Farthington, yanking him up to his feet before driving him into the ring apron, causing spit to fly from the Lordly mouth of the challenger. Grabbing Farthington’s legs, Avalon rolls him back into the ring, following up, Ashley stopping her count. Cecilworth is staggering in disarray, trying to gain some form of balance, only to have Avalon leap to the top rope and drive himself forward with a front dropkick.
Nick Stuart: Farthington is unprepared here…and it’s shocking. After all this time, after so much, how the lead up to this night had him seemingly five steps ahead of Avalon, in the ring, he’s proven to be no match.
Richard Parker: Are you…are you freaking kidding me? That’s slanderous. Disgusting. Uncouth. You need to stop spreading falsehoods!
Avalon keeps pressing the advantage he is building, running forward and throwing a knee into Farthington’s gut, making his challenger double over with another brutal spray of spit. Instantly, Avalon grabs onto him, double underhooking his arms and lifting him.
Nick Stuart: EXCALIBUR–
On the lift, Farthington starts kicking his legs with ferocity only seen with Hank at your local pool.
Richard Parker: REVERSAL–
The momentum makes for poor balancing, and Avalon has no choice but to let go. The Financier falls to his knees, and while Coral tries to strike right away, doing so causes him to get caught with a thrusting palm strike under the chin. The blow staggers the champion, and, doing what he can, he follows up with a pair of slaps to Avalon’s face, chipping away some of his face paint. Avalon fires back with a european uppercut, and while it connects solidly, Farthington connects with one of his own, his eyes having gone wild. Another european uppercut from Avalon is followed by Cecilworth, and before there’s another volley, Farthington boots the champion in the stomach and grabs him in a front chancery, planting his opponent to the canvas with a DDT.
There is no letting go of the head.
Richard Parker: OHHHHH guillotine choke!
Farthington wrenches hard on the hold, trying to separate Coral from reality. Sensing extreme danger, Avalon gets from his knees to a semi-stance, kicking up and rolling atop his challenger, pinning him to the canvas.
Farthington breaks the hold, both men splaying out on the release. Coral reaches for his head, and as he does, Cecilworth, flicking away strands of his hair, smothers his opponent with his arms, grabbing onto his neck with an attempt at The Tarp. Avalon throws his head back the moment he feels those hands and arms going for him, catching The Financier square in the mouth.
Nick Stuart: Coral doing everything he can to avoid falling into grapples with Cecilworth.
Richard Parker: And who wouldn’t? Man is an artist in torturing tendons, ligaments, joints, bones. A saint with a mean streak if you cross him. And Coral Avalon HAS crossed him!
Nick Stuart: Cecilworth grabbing at his mouth, and OH! Forearm shot to the head! And another!
Richard Parker: WHAT IS THIS STRIKING CRAP?!
Nick Stuart: The gameplan is clear. And it is working. And it looks like Cecilworth wasn’t anticipating ANY of this.
Avalon drives another forearm, and, with Cecilworth staggered, lifts him up to his feet, and goes for broke.
Nick Stuart: Camelot’s Turntable! That’s the first time we’ve seen this Armament in PRI–
Richard Parker: LOOK!
The wrist-clutch snap Angle slam indeed makes its debut. And Cecilworth smashes into the canvas. But upon the impact, and given the proximity, Farthington, in a last ditch gasp, grabs onto Coral Avalon before he can get in a more protected position. His body screaming in pain, it is time to make the 5 Star Champion pay, and like an unfathomable monster from deep in the sea, he manages to grab onto a makeshift octopus hold, his legs grabbing at Avalon’s head, snatching the arm. Like liquid. And with his opponent now in his grasp, Cecilworth roars as he does his damnedest to torque with all his might.
Coral roars as well. But his takes on a great definition of pain.
Nick Stuart: Farthington! Farthington! He’s doing this RIGHT OFF of a Coral Avalon armament!
Richard Parker: Such poise! Such presence! Such lordship!
Nick Stuart: To be grappled by Cecilworth Farthington might be to experience death. He’s known for breaking arms on whims. And it’s not like he’s a particularly large man, but his grip strength and knowledge of the human body in correspondence to submission wrestling and grappling is peerless in the sport. This man, love him or hate him, is a savant.
Richard Parker: And I love him!
Nick Stuart: But what he’s exuding here is a grit most people would not like to admit. And Coral is yelling out in pain, doing his damnedest to get out of this.
Richard Parker: Oh don’t you dare crawl! No!
Tangling himself in the ropes, Barlow has no choice but to call for the break. That doesn’t mean Farthington has to be in a particular hurry to. Waiting until four and a half. He finally lets go. But just because he does doesn’t mean is keeping away from the attack. Cecilworth starts throwing heavy elbows into the back of Avalon, over and over, the point of the elbow colliding with his spine, the back portions of his ribs. Grabbing the ropes and yanking himself up, he follows up by burying his knee into the back of the 5 Star Champion, and again, and again, all before the last strike drives Coral out of the ring in a heap.
Nick Stuart: Shades of what we saw Cecilworth do to multiple opponents in the Murder Rumble.
Richard Parker: If you want the hedge maze, don’t…um…minotaur horns.
Avalon struggles to get to his feet, clutching his midsection. After Sage Pontiff and the monitor, after being a suplex lawn dart for STRONK, his ribs and midsection is worse for wear. Farthington slinks to the ring apron, his eyes beaded on the 5 Star Champion, then, to the Western Metal Company luxury suites, toward the distant form of the wheelchair bound Phil Atken. And when he looks back toward Avalon, he takes a running start, throwing his leg wildly for a penalty kick.
It catches only air.
Cecilworth tries to turn somewhat after missing, discombobulated. As he does so? Avalon yanks him from the apron and onto the arena floor, and begins once again brutalizing him with european uppercuts.
Nick Stuart: Cecilworth stumbling, trying to get away…OH! Avalon using that apron as a weapon here…slamming Cecilworth’s body into the apron, again and again, grabbing him by the head and OH! He drove Farthington’s head into the edge of the ring apron with force!
Avalon rolls under the bottom rope to stop Barlow’s count, then rolls back outside.
Richard Parker: This…THIS IS NOT A SPORTING CONTEST!
Nick Stuart: Avalon knows what it will take. Knows what he has to do. He doesn’t just want to win over Cecilworth Farthington…he wants to batter him. Brutalize him.
Cecilworth is dazed, clutching his head, all as Avalon peppers him with a forearm strike. And another. Another. He punctuates everything with a hellacious european uppercut.
Nick Stuart: Farthington in real trouble here and–
Don’t count your chickens before they hatch, Nick. Because proximity allows Cecilworth to grab onto the arm of Avalon and, with all his force and dropping the mats, he whips him into the steel steps.
The blow is so massive that the top and bottom portions become disconnected, and Avalon, having landed with his body against the steps, is now ass over teakettle and writhing in pain.
Richard Parker: You see?! That’s what you get!
Cecilworth stalks over, falling to a knee once again before shooting up. The Financier lifts Avalon from the mats, then powers him into the guardrail. A shoulder blow to the midsection continues the onslaught. A heavy knee. And another. And then, he grabs hold of Avalon and forces him into a brutal submission hold.
Richard Parker: Bow and arrow hold!
Nick Stuart: And there’s no escape! Nothing! Cecilworth is yanking Coral Avalon to the breaking point, and no rope break can save him from this! Only the count can stop this!
Barlow chastises Farthington on the outside, but The Financier is more concerned with the count. When she reaches 8, he lets go and staggers to the ring apron, lifting himself up and getting into the ring.
Richard Parker: The presence. The presence of mind…what a smart man Cecilworth is.
Coral struggles to get up, his midsection now in tatters. He hobbles, following up, and as he gets on the ring apron, Cecilworth explodes, his lanky arms ripping at Avalon, clubbing him with a forearm before turning him around so he faces towards the crowd. A hammerfist to the chest is followed by a Farthington grabbing hold of Avalon and pulling his neck and head through the middle and top ropes. Another hammerfist blow gives Farthington the opportunity to grab at Avalon’s feet, yanking them between the bottom and middle rope.
Nick Stuart: Oh my word…what is he…
Richard Parker: OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOH!
Nick Stuart: FARTHINGTON IS LATCHED ONTO CORAL AVALON WITH A INVERTED FACELOCK, his knee…HIS KNEE in to back of Avalon! And he’s torquing him! Good lord look at the bend there!
Richard Parker: He’s pulling him apart like whole hog barbecue!
Barlow is quick to get in, trying to pull Cecilworth away, but she is no match for his grip. He just stares at her, watching as she begins to count. At the absolute last moment before disqualification, Farthington lets go.
Only to grab onto him again.
Nick Stuart: This…this is BARBARIC!
Richard Parker: It’s…it’s beautiful. Picasso in his element!
At another last moment count to five, Farthington lets go. But this time, as he goes to grab onto Avalon, the desperate 5 Star Champion grabs onto the back of his neck, yanking him down and guillotining him against the top rope.
Nick Stuart: Desperation! Pure desperation!
Richard Parker: But look at him!
Nick Stuart: Coral is grabbing at his ribs! He’s grabbing at his body! He’s struggling! Fighting. Kicking against the canvas and…and…he’s rising up!
Richard Parker: Farthington’s grabbing at his own jaw…
Nick Stuart: Avalon struggling…A BURST! Rhongomyniad! Rhongomyniad!
Richard Parker: BUT HE COLLAPSED!
Avalon did, indeed, collapse, but Cecilworth is once again out of sorts. Coral struggles, his entire body vibrating in raw intensity. He lets out a primal roar, throwing everything he has into a knee to the midsection of a staggering Cecilworth. Double underhook.
Nick Stuart: EXCALIBUR!
Richard Parker: NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Nick Stuart: EXCALIBUR! FARTHINGTON’S IN TROUBLE! HE’S IN TROUBLE!
There is no pin. Instead, Avalon, fighting with all his might, gets to his feet, and stumbles to the turnbuckle, lifting himself and perching at the top.
Richard Parker: NOOOOO! NOOOOOOOOO! CECILWORTH! PRECIOUS CECILWORTH!
Nick Stuart: CARNWENNAN! HE’S–
Richard Parker: OOOOOOOOOOOO–
Nick Stuart: AT THE LAST MOMENT–
Richard Parker: NOOOOOOOTHING!
Coral threw his heels heavy at the end of the top rope foot stomp. The only problem? Cecilworth rolled JUST in time. Farthington does everything he can to get up, and Coral, grabbing his legs, is doing the same. Cecilworth sees red. And in an instant, he latches onto Avalon.
Richard Parker: TARP TIME BABY!
Nick Stuart: OH NO! CORAL IS CAUGHT!
Coral’s eyes bug out as the constriction takes effect. Cecilworth isn’t playing. He’s doing everything he can to choke Coral Avalon the absolute fuck out. Brutally. He’s yelling. He’s screaming. He’s practically foaming at the mouth.
Richard Parker: HE CAN’T FIGHT THIS–
Nick Stuart: CORAL TRYING TO GRAB HIS HEAD–
Richard Parker: CECILWORTH HEADBUTTS HIM–
Nick Stuart: CORAL TRYING CORAL TRYING–
Richard Parker: WAIT WHAT’S HE–
Nick Stuart: AVALON! AVALON BURSTING TO THE CORNER! HE’S RUNNING UP THE TURNBUCKLES HE’S GOING TO BREAK THE TARP–
Richard Parker: NO WAAAAAAAAAAAAY!
Coral tries to moonsault to get full rotation. To break free from the hold choking the absolute life out of him.
There’s only one problem.
Cecilworth managed to maintain his grip.
Nick Stuart: OH! OH NO! THE TARP IS IN DEEP! FARTHINGTON MAINTAINED THE GRIP!
Splaying out on his stomach, Coral looks as best as he can to see where the bottom rope is. The movement was enough to loosen the grip slightly, allowing precious oxygen in his lungs. Enough for one last chance. He starts to crawl to the rope as The Financier latches onto him with all he has. So close. So close.
Then, he’s no longer on his stomach.
He’s on his side.
The choke is in full. Coral tries to move, but oxygen deprivation, his crippled midsection, and the immense grip of the best submission wrestler in the sport is locked tight. There’s two choices. One is the way so many have chosen to go out. With their own vanity. Ultimate badass. Unconscious. That is the most dangerous path. And with The Tarp in like it is…his airway could be collapsed.
He’s already died once.
Wounded as he is, he has a daughter on the way.
With no alternative, he taps.
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: YOOOOOOOOUR WINNER…AAAAAAAAAAND NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEW! 5 STAR CHAMPION! CEEEEEEEEEEEEECILWORTH! FAAAAAAAAAAAARTHINGTON!
A real piece of shit would keep the hold on. And as evil as some are, the moment Coral taps, Cecilworth releases. He slumps over, the two men fully and utterly spent. Laying on the canvas. Looking upward.
Nick Stuart: This…this was a sprint!
Richard Parker: What a turning point!
Nick Stuart: Farthington pulls this out…but man…nothing Coral Avalon did tonight can be held against him. He fought his ass off and if not for months of work done to his midsection…this match might be different.
Richard Parker: Maybe. In truth, maybe.
Nick Stuart: Perhaps a gameplan has developed for Cecilworth Farthington. He better hope not…the 5 Star Championship contender list is great…and Coral Avalon is still there as well…
Farthington finally stirs, nodding in acknowledgement to Coral. After all things, if you can see it, is a reassuring hand. A show of respect in the touch. Coral, slumps, rolling under the bottom rope. And as Ashley Barlow goes to raise the hand of the rising Farthington, he takes the 5 Star Championship, limply clutching it, nearly falling against the ropes.
That limp lift?
It’s pointed at the man in the wheelchair, looking on with only a stone expression.
FADE. TO. GLUE.