HAYES HANLON vs. IVAN STANISLAV
Nick Stuart: UltraViolence rolls on, and folks, our next matchup is a special one.
Richard Parker: Ivan Stanislav is in the building, Nick! After nearly twenty years!
Nick Stuart: And he steps into the place where Randall Knox was meant to be; face to face with “Event Horizon” Hayes Hanlon. A loooot of questions coming out of this one, partner.
Richard Parker: Plenty, Nick. Questions like, “how long will it take to scrape Hayes off Ivan’s boot?” And, “how far can a seven foot Russian throw a two-hundred and sixty pound man?”
Nick Stuart: I won’t lie, those could be fair questions. But there are also questions out of the Stanislav camp. Ivan is over sixty years old, and hasn’t seen the ring in near two decades. Which version of Ivan will we see tonight? The monster that once terrorized Primetime Central in the early 2000s? Or a man slowed by age and time away from the business?
Richard Parker: And will Hayes be able to keep his head on straight?
Nick Stuart: And speaking of the young Hanlon, I think he’s ready to say hello.
The light dims and fades, almost choked out of the arena, leaving it in darkness, with only the sounds of the UltraViolence crowd stirring to break the stillness.
Then, faint words whisper through the speakers.
“Do not go gentle into that good night.”
And then, a small, white light. An orb hanging in the center of the ring.
“Rage. Rage against the dying of the light.”
It hangs in the air for a while. Shimmering, bobbing slightly. Then, in a sudden burst, the orb explodes into thousands of individual specks, spreading in every direction through the arena. They start to turn, swirling counter-clockwise. The voice over the speakers rising gently with a stylized, fragmented version of the poem by Dylan Thomas.
“Do not go gentle.”
A pulse. The lights flicker a moment before continuing their orbit around the Garden.
“Do NOT go gentle.”
Another disruption, harder and sharper. The voice grows louder.
Another. The lights shudder to fight back. Louder.
Vibrating, oscillating. LOUDER.
Unable to hold any longer, the thousands of white fragments rush back in, returning to their original form as the floating orb in the ring.
Silence, and one last whisper.
“Rage against the dying of the light.”
And then, the music.
“I FALL INTO A BLACK HOLE IN MY HEAAAADD!!!!”
The chorus to “Black Hole” by We Came as Romans erupts, and with it the floating orb, this time completely filling the arena with that bright white light, forcing those in attendants to shield their eyes.. A broad figure, a silhouette against the brightness, has taken place center-ring, rising from one knee and reaching one hand to the ceiling. And at this, the MGM Garden bellows with the music.
Vince Howard: OUR NEXT MATCH IS SCHEDULED FOR ONE-FALL!!
Vince Howard: Introducing first! From West Linn, Oregon!!
The light gives way, and the frame of the Event Horizon reveals itself. He spreads his arms to the crowd, tilting his head back and drawing a deep breath through his nose, eyes shut.
Vince Howard: Standing six feet, three inches tall! Weighing in at two-hundred and sixty-one pounds!!
Hayes brings his head forward, opening his eyes, followed by a small smirk behind his mustache.
Vince Howard: Former Five Star Champion! The ReVival Era’s FIRST Champion!
He rolls his shoulders back, and lifts his eyes to the ceiling once more.
Vince Howard: THE EVENT HORIZON!!
His big arms shoot to the sky, fingers spread, and the music thunders once again.
Vince Howard: HAAAAAAAYYES!!! HAAAAANLLLOOOOOONNNNNN!!!!!!
Nick Stuart: Home Run Hayes is here, and after the whirlwind that was ReVival 15 for the young man, he looks ready for the challenge!!
Hanlon makes the rounds, ringpost to ringpost. He breathes in the spectacle, and smooths out his mustache, beating his chest to a roaring crowd, his standard flickering flashbulbs taking over in the MGM Grand.
Nick Stuart: The young career of the Oregon native has not been defined by his successes, but by his response to defeat. Julian Bathory pushed him from the Almasy early in the second round at the start of the year, and Hayes went on to win the Five Star Title at Culture Shock. Rezin defeated him at Great American Nightmare, and the Event Horizon came back immediately with an enormous win over Cancer Jiles at ReVival 11. And now, on the back of a frustrating loss to GREAT SCOTT at ReVival 15, Hayes now has the opportunity to rise up again, but against an opponent unlike any other.
Richard Parker: Consistency, Nick. The kid needs consistency. He’s got the chops, he’s got the talent, but he’s gotta learn not to take his eyes off the prize.
The music trails, the flashbulbs fade, and the house lights come up. Hanlon falls back against the ropes in his corner, and sets his sights to the top of the ramp. He is deadly serious as he surveys the entrance to the arena waiting for what seems like an eternity, but really only takes moments.
The arena darkens and the voice of Stu Nahan plays over the PA, crackling with static befitting history.
“And now the entrance of the Russian National Champion.”
The crowd looks to the top of the ramp and waits for the terror of PCW old. Crowd noise pumps in from the movie clip and the fans stir.
“Ivan Drago, a man with an entire country in his corner.”
The crowd roars, figuring out the reference to the classic Rocky IV. A beam of light shines to the entrance of the ramp just below the screen.
“Look at the expression on the face of Ivan Drago who seems impervious to the madness of this crowd.”
Another beam of light and the Soviet flag, in all its Red and glory, replete with the golden hammer and sickle begins waving on the screen.
“Like a volcano… just waiting to erupt”
As the word “erupt” fades into the darkness, the horns of The Red Army Choir signal the arrival of legend itself as The National Anthem of The USSR signals a bath of red light to envelope the arena. The two beams of light cross at the top of the ramp, and Ivan Stanislav steps out from Fynmore position to take his place once again in the spotlight. Alexie Ruslan shadows him from a few steps behind, keeping pace but making sure that the focus is on Ivan.
Nick Stuart: Here we go ladies and gentlemen! This is a man who is as dangerous as he is decorated in the annals of history! Doug Troy, Trash Can Man, Boda, Jeremy Howard, Kremmen, Tyler Nelson, Meanstreak, Miyagawa, Jason Snow, Kid Wonder, Clyde, Ed Novak, Big Alan Steele, Duke Williams, and he personally pinned our own Senior Officiant Timo Bolamba in Alliances 2001…the list of legends Ivan has beaten is almost as long as his list of nicknames!
Richard Parker: But can he beat Hayes Hanlon? Can he keep up with the new age of wrestlers or is he just a relic of the past?
Nick Stuart: We are about to find out!
Ivan and Alexie slowly make their way down the ramp. At the crescendo of The Soviet Anthem, Ivan reaches the ring. He and Alexie turn and stand at attention to the flag which is still waving on the screen. As they do, an explosion rocks the arena as pyrotechnics blast in the shape of a hammer and sickle.
The crowd reacts with a mixture of cheers and boos as they remember the legend.
The red bathes over Ivan and he steps to the mat, and over the top rope. He holds his spectacular fist up in the air with a mighty roar and the red light dissipates as the anthem comes to an end. Vince Howard steps forward to announce the Russian.
Vince Howard: And his opponent, from Arkhangelsk, Russia!!
The fans, many of which have never seen anyone of his stature before, are awestruck at the size of The Russian Bear.
Vince Howard: Standing seven feet, one inches tall! Weighing in at four hundred pounds! Former PCW Continental Champion, PCW Tag Champion, PCW World Champion, 4 time PCW National Pride Match winner, PCW Wrestler of the year…
Ivan stands as still as a stone as his accolades are read, measuring young Hanlon.
Vince Howard: OSW Wrestler of the year, and the longest reigning OSW World Champion of AAAAAAALLLL TIMMMEEEE….
Vince waves his hand toward the monolith from Communist Russia.
Vince Howard: Ladies and gentlemen…THE RUSSIAN BEAR…IIIIIVAAAAAAAAAAAN!!! STAAAAAANISLAAAAV!!!
A man in the front row stands up and points at an American flag tee shirt that he is wearing only for Alexie Ruslan to give him a lecture in Russian and Ivan to bellow in the man’s direction. This is enough to elicit more boo’s from the crowd. Both men step forward, and Ivan simply towers over Hanlon.
Nick Stuart: This has an incredibly palpable big match feel! There is a buzz in the air and electricity in the ring.
Richard Parker: Do the tale of the tape, Nick!
Nick Stuart: Hayes Hanlon, 6’3” 261 lbs. Ivan Stanislav 7’1” and a positively ursine 400 lbs. Forget about David and Goliath folks, this is shaping up to be a modern day retelling of classic Bible study!
Richard Parker: But can David do it twice?
Timo Bolamba brings each man to the center of the ring and checks both over for foreign objects before Vince Howard brings the mic in for the Prime Senior Officiant.
Timo Bolamba: Gentlemen, we have gone over the rules backstage and I expect a clean match. Listen to my instructions at all times. If you want to show respect, now is the time to do it.
Hanlon holds out his hand and Ivan laughs before backing away slowly, never letting his eyes leave the mustachioed warrior. The fans boo heavily as Hayes is left hanging with his hand in the air. He shakes his head as he walks back to his corner.
Hanlon pumps himself up and points at Ivan, eliciting a reaction from the fans. Ivan smirks and tells him to “come on” by waving his massive hand. Hayes charges forward and lifts both hands over his head to double axe handle smash Ivan, only to be caught with a giant palm around his entire face. Ivan cocks his head back and headbutts Hanlon, knocking him half across the mat with one shot. The monstrous Russian stalks forward adamantly and grabs Hayes by the neck. A massive knee lift knocks Hanlon off his feet onto his stomach and takes all the wind out of his young sails.
Nick Stuart: Early domination by Ivan here, hopefully he doesn’t hurt Hanlon.
Richard Parker: Hanlon is out of his league here. Ivan may be sixty but he doesn’t perform a day over thirty!
Hanlon lays flat on the mat and Ivan steps up and on his competitor with one foot planted squarely in Hanlon’s back. As he does, Hayes squirms and yells out in pain. Four hundred pounds of Russian pauses before turning and dropping a huge elbow to his fallen opponent.
Ivan grunts as he stands up and brushes his hands together. He sees Hayes stir on the ground and reaches down to pick him up. The young man tries to lay a hammering shot to the mid-section, but Ivan shrugs it off and throws Hayes end-over-end across the ring for the temerity of the blow.
Nick Stuart: Ivan just will not let Hayes have a moment to build momentum.
Richard Parker: Solid strategy against a guy who can turn into a walking hype train at a moment’s notice.
Hayes makes it up to a knee and shakes the cobwebs loose in his head. He knows that so far it has been ALL Ivan and he has to try something else. There is no way he can match power with the monstrous Russian Bear, but he does have the advantage of youth. Hayes rushes at Ivan once again and leaps at him throwing all two hundred and sixty one pounds at the behemoth in suspenders with a flying cross body, but Ivan catches him in mid air!
Ivan shifts, turns Hayes, and locks his arms around the smaller man with a gigantic Bear hug! Timo steps in and begins to check on Hanlon as the younger man gets ragdolled back and forth by Stanislav. Outside the ring, Alexie Ruslan is delivering encouragement in Russian to his charge, Ivan.
Nick Stuart: Hanlon is fading fast here folks. I am not exaggerating when I say that Hayes Hanlon has had absolutely no offense in this match and is being completely dominated.
Richard Parker: I haven’t seen this kind of Russian dominance since John Wick 3!
Nick Stuart: Well Richard, consider that Balaam is 6’7” and 345 lbs, and Ivan makes him look like a toy in the ring. Hanlon is simply in over his head and I hope the young man can find his stride soon!
Ivan leans on Hayes and flexes his arms with brute power, sapping the life from the young man. Hanlon is trying to fight the much much larger man but he just doesn’t have the strength to break the hold. After several failed attempts, it is clear he isn’t going to power his way out.
Timo checks Hanlon as he appears to be losing the fight to stay conscious. The Samoan checks his arm and it drops once. The fans cheer as they rally behind Hayes and the dull roar becomes quite a stir as his arm goes up and drops a second time. Ivan readjusts and squeezes harder.
Timo reaches down and pulls up Hanlon’s arm and just as it is about to drop for the third time, he somehow stops and makes a fist.
Hayes’ fist clenches so tight that the knuckles are white and he shakes it with energy as Ivan’s eyes go wide. Hammerin’ Hanlon measures, cocks back his fist and begins to drive it home into the watermelon sized skull of Ivan Stanislav. The Russian shrugs it off, but he can’t shrug off the second, or third and before long he is forced to let go of Hayes. The younger man wastes no time at all in going to work on the body, laying clubbing blows into the huge target that is Ivan’s midsection. The Bear grunts and takes a wild swing at Hayes, who easily dodges and lays a blow into the other side of Ivan’s midsection.
Nick Stuart: Beautiful Strategy here by Hanlon, take the older wrestler’s body and you take his stamina!
Richard Parker: I am led to believe Ivan has fortified his diet with Tvorog, Sour Cabbage, and Beetroot. If you are what you eat, he is a walking superfood.
Nick Stuart: That may be true but let’s not forget that Ivan hasn’t seen a ring in two decades. There is nothing that can replicate the feel of the ring or the fists of an opponent.
Hanlon pushes the action, throwing all his weight into a shoulder block into Ivans gut which causes the large man to stumble backward. Hayes steps forward and tries to use his knee to strike the big man’s torso, but as he tries to lift his leg, Alexie Ruslan has reached up and is holding his foot.
Timo circles and sees the interference. As he admonishes and warns Alexie, who drops the foot and argues in Russian with the Samoan officiant, Ivan grabs Hanlon by the head with both hands and bites down on his cheek with his huge pearly whites. As Hayes screams in pain, Timo turns his attention to Ivan and throws himself between both the competitors to separate them. As Ivan stands over Timo in his corner being admonished by the referee, Hanlon fumes and holds his cheek.
Nick Stuart: Dirty tactics by the Russians!
Richard Parker: That is Ivan 101 right there!
Timo finally backs off and tells Ivan to continue and follow the rules. The big man stalks forward and holds out a hand in the air to invite Hayes into the classic “test of strength”.
Nick Stuart: Hayes can’t seriously be thinking about doing this can he?
Richard Parker: I think Hayes can’t help himself under these bright lights, he has to put on a show!
Hayes reaches up tentatively and locks one hand in. He slowly reaches outward and locks his second hand inside of Ivan’s monstrous paw and immediately regrets his life decision as Ivan cranks down with all his force and pushes Hanlon down to his knees. The smaller man turns three shades of purple as he tries in vain to fight the Russian juggernaut bearing down upon him.
Before long, Hayes is in another bad position and his fingers start to turn odd colors as they poke out between the paws of The Russian Bear.
Richard Parker: What was he thinking trying to match strength with a guy nearly twice his size? Comrade Stanislav, even at sixty, is a man that knows no equal.
Nick Stuart: Comrade, eh? When did that start?
Richard Parker: Pretty much when he made Hayes Hanlon look like a plaything.
Nick Stuart: So the whole time then?
Richard Parker: Da.
Nick Stuart: Wow. Just. Wow.
Hayes screams and shakes his head in defiance as Timo asks him if he wants to quit. The pain looks to be absolutely searing, but he refuses to let go and before long he musters all his strength to plant one foot on the canvas. He pushes back with everything he has and starts to raise to his feet shakily.
The goliath Russian can’t believe it as Hanlon is battling back and before the smaller man can gain traction, he plants his feet, drops one of Hanlon’s hands, lifts the younger man with the hand still locked up, then finishes with a short arm clothesline that nearly takes Hayes out of his boots.
Nick Stuart: IRON CURTAIN! THAT MIGHT BE IT!
Richard Parker: That is the efficiency of Communism hard at work!
Ivan drops to the mat for the pin and Timo slides into place.
Ivan’s ring awareness shows rust as Hanlon’s foot reaches the ropes! Timo stops the count and points at the ropes even as Ivan protests to the referee. Alexie Ruslan fumes and screams to the referee and anyone who will listen about foul play. Fresh from a dressing down in irony, Timo warns him to keep away from the ring and turns back to attention.
Ivan tries to pick up Hayes and the young man seems to be in another universe at the moment. Hayes falters, falling to a knee, and Ivan forces him to his feet and showboats, raising his arm above his head, believing he is moments away from victory.
Hayes is clearly worse for the wear, yet he is just coherent enough to take another thudding blow to Ivan’s body while his arm can’t protect his side and the Bear winces, dropping Hayes long enough for Hayes to spit out a gob of blood and take another swing at Ivan’s body.
Nick Stuart: Hanlon is chopping the great oak down blow by blow it would seem!
Ivan is really favoring his ribs now, and Hanlon has definitely noticed. The sixty year old Russian is huffing and puffing more than he was at the beginning of the match. Hayes ducks under a clumsy grapple and grasps Ivan lifting him up…
And delivering a monstrous Belly to Belly suplex. The entire front row shudders from the impact of Ivan hitting the mat with ferocity. Before Hanlon can capitalize, Alexie is back on the mat and pulls something from his coat pocket. He snaps out a steel baton and tries to swing it at Hayes, only for the younger man to catch his hand and twist it, making him drop the baton.
The crowd is going ballistic as Hayes, who is suddenly wide-eyed, holds Alexie’s left hand and pops off with a series of powerful rights, putting flair behind each one. As Ruslan is dazed on the mat, Hayes lets go and spins his right arm up like Popeye before POW! He drops Alexie off the mat and out cold on the floor!
Nick Stuart: Alexei Ruslan getting his just desserts for his cheating ways!
Richard Parker: That’s debatable!
Nick Stuart: No, it isn’t!
Hayes has little time to celebrate as Ivan stalks behind him and wraps a suspender strap around his neck and drags him to the center of the ring. The younger man fights and grabs vainly at the strap. Timo steps in to issue a warning to the Russian for using his suspenders as a weapon, but is met with a hearty DYAHAHAHA!!! As he slowly untangles Hanlon and spins him around toward the ropes.
Ivan throws him into the ropes with a Russian Whip (it’s like an Irish Whip but you use Vodka instead of Bailey’s) and charges after him. Ivan tries for a lariat and Hayes ducks under. In so doing, Ivan shows his years and stumbles, hitting the ropes and tumbling over in a calamity of negative physics as the Russian hits the ground with a lack of impunity. Both Alexie and Ivan lay on the floor.
Nick Stuart: This is clearly not where the returning champion expected to be during this match!
Richard Parker: I don’t think he expected Hanlon to be more than a bloody speed bump for his T34 tank!
Nick Stuart: Hayes Hanlon is anything but a speed bump! This young man is the future of wrestling!
Ivan shakes the cobwebs loose as he stands up and rolls back in the ring slowly. Hayes stalks behind him as the Russian tries to get to his feet. Hayes Hanlon bends down and positions himself under the side of Ivan Stanislav’s torso.
Nick Stuart: He cannot be serious! Ivan is “billed” at four hundred pounds and that was during his prime!
Hayes lifts for everything he has and picks Ivan up across his shoulders in a Torture Rack. He trudges toward the corner, one foot in front of the other, struggling and shaking the entire time. As he gets to the corner, he tries to step up onto the first turnbuckle, but he fails and almost drops Stanislav.
The Event Horizon tries again, this time successfully climbing to the first rope. Wobbly, tired, bleeding a little from what appears to be a cut inside his mouth, Hayes ascends to the second rope with one foot, the lower rope shuddering as he does from his other foot as he tries to stabilize himself. Even as Ivan begins to figure out what is about to happen and struggle, the aptly named Home Run Hayes steps up with his second foot and shouts in pain as he pushes off with everything he has.
Flashes all over the arena go off as he leaps off, driving Ivan’s shoulder and neck into the mat with a Burning Hammer from the second rope! The entire ring shakes with a clamorous and resounding THOOM! as the force of the impact blows all the ring aprons up in the air.
The fans are going berserk! All the ropes continue to vibrate with stunning energy as Hayes crawls toward Ivan.
Nick Stuart: THE SUPER MASSIVE! I CANNOT BELIEVE I JUST SAW THAT HAPPEN! IVAN IS IN DEEP TROUBLE AND THE FANS ARE ON THEIR FEET!
Richard Parker: NO! PRAPORSCHIK STANISLAV!
Hayes falls down on top of Ivan and laboriously hooks his leg. Timo slides in for the cover. The fans count along with the referee…
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: Here is your winner by pinfall…HAAAAAAAYES HAAAAAAANLON!
The entire arena seems to crackle with energy as the ring has finally stopped shuddering and the fans clamor. Hayes stands in the ring with his hand being held up and before long he is met with a towering yet somewhat hunched figure in Ivan standing in front of him holding his ribs gingerly. The Russian Bear pauses for what seems like decades, but it only took a moment, and reaches out a paw.
Hayes looks down and nods. His mustache bristles with patriotism as he shakes the legends hand and holds it up to the crowd, who shows their appreciation.
Nick Stuart: What a match! That was one of the greatest finishes I’ve ever seen! I’ll be shocked if the ring wasn’t damaged structurally from that impact!
Richard Parker: It is classy of Hayes to acknowledge the better man at the end of the match too.
Nick Stuart: You know Hayes won right? That, by definition, makes him the better man tonight.
Richard Parker: I see that the propaganda has reached your ears as well.
Nick shakes his head in disbelief.
Nick Stuart: And on that terrible disappointment, it is time for UltraViolence to continue!