JARED SYKES VS. ABE LIPSCHITZ
The lights fade to nothing, and then the first note hits. Deep, resonant, and with it there’s a flood of white light that washes over the crowd for a second. As the sound fades, so does the light. It’s a new track for a new year, and a new lease on life in professional wrestling for the man once called “The Black Sheep.”
I’ll never be ready to meet a memory
Vince Howard: Making his way to the ring…
A steady rhythm follows, building to something. With each note comes a pulse of white, like a heartbeat slightly out of time.
Vince Howard: Hailing from Boston, Massachusetts…
The only thing louder than the thundering guitar coming through the speakers is the explosion of the crowd. It’s not the entrance they’re used to, but they know who’s coming.
Vince Howard: Accompanied by Justine Calvin, and weighing in tonight at 201 pounds… He is one half of the PRIME World Tag Team Champions…
The guitar rips into frenetic tapping riff, and with it blue and purple lights begin pulsing over the crowd in time with the beat.
Falling silent, going mad
I’ve gone walkabout with the parasites in my head
Far too quiet, it’s deafening
As I pick away at the surface the itch burns through my skin
Two figures appear at the entryway, and the cheering gets louder.
One half of the longest reigning Tag Team champions in PRIME history.
One half of the all-time defense record for those same titles.
The 2022 Face of the Year.
The man who conquered the Bayou Butcher in a bloodbath to close the first night of Colossus.
Sorry, Dusk. You have been usurped.
Vince Howard: JAREEEEEEEEEEEEEEED SYYYYYYYYKES!!!
Nick Stuart: Jared Sykes has been on an absolute tear since coming to PRIME.
Richard Parker: Yeah, yeah, yeah, but they aren’t even the REAL tag champs.
The pair make their way to ringside. As she’s not scheduled to compete tonight, Justine isn’t dressed for combat. Despite having cast aside the mask of King Blueberry months ago, Jared still keeps the hood of his sweatshirt down low so that it obscures his eyes.
Nick Stuart: Oh, they got to you? Did Vickie get your phone number or something and start blowing you up every chance she gets?
Richard Parker: No. Of course not.
Nick Stuart: What was that?
When the dirt crushes my bones
And the worms call me their home
If I’m asked to start again
I can’t pretend I’m ready
I can’t pretend
I’ve had plenty
A few feet away from the ring, Jared springs up onto the ring apron with his left foot, and then bounds to the second rope with his right. In two steps he clears a vertical distance of six feet, because there’s a reason the man doesn’t skip leg day.
Nick Stuart: What a way for Abe to debut, taking on Jared Sykes…
The first chorus draws to a close and he snaps the hood back. The grin on his face is plain as day. It’s not the first time he’s stood like this in front of a crowd since returning, that honor goes to Colossus, but tonight marks something new.
Richard Parker: Yeah, yeah, let’s just get him out here.
Sweatshirt removed, and with his half of the Tag Team championships now safely in the care of his partner, he crouches in the corner with his forehead resting against the second buckle as he waits for his opponent. The black metal guitar and drums of “Hel II” by Melencolia Estatica begins blaring over the PA system as Abe Lipschitz steps from behind the curtain. SELMA and Miserée step out to either side of Abe.
Richard Parker: Well that sure is a crew.
Nick Stuart: Me and my black metal friends make their debut here in PRIME, with one of their members taking on possibly the most dominant force in PRIME since the restart, Jared Sykes.
Abe is all smiles as he walks to the ring sipping from his coffee cup, SELMA and Miserée look as menacing as humanly possible. SELMA lunges at a group of fans bunched up into the corner. Abe seems to ignore the surroundings, and heads for the ring steps while SELMA and Miserée roll into the ring.
Richard Parker: He looks a little out of place with those two.
Nick Stuart: You don’t say?
Abe climbs up the side of the turnbuckles and poses for a moment before hopping down and into the ring. He smiles and looks across the ring at Sykes, setting his coffee cup down under the bottom turnbuckle. Jimmy Turnbull ushers Miserée and SELMA out of the ring, SELMA jumps at Turnbull briefly before finally getting to the outside. He stops over and checks Abe over before finally calling for the bell.
Richard Parker: Finally.
Abe walks to the center of the ring and extends his hand out to Jared Sykes. The tag team champion raises an eyebrow curiously.
Richard Parker: Sykes knows better, that’s clearly a trap.
Abe points to his hand smiling, and Sykes shrugs his shoulders. He’s clearly been through worse than a fake handshake and has come out the winner. He meets Abe in the center of the ring and the two men shake hands. The crowd lets out a small cheer as they separate back to their respective corners.
Richard Parker: I’m going to be sick.
Nick Stuart: While my partner finishes his retching caused by the display of sportsmanship, these two are going to get it under way!
Jared and Abe both come across the ring and lock up, typical collar and elbow tie-up. They lean into each other, Jared gets a little lower and is able to move Abe back a step, but Abe rotates and is able to match Sykes’ attempts for leverage, finally the two men break off and both take a few steps back.
Nick Stuart: Pretty easily matched here in the early going.
Richard Parker: One just needed to kick the other in the stomach. That’s all. Then they’d have an advantage.
Sykes and Abe meet up again, and are right back in the collar and elbow tie-up. This time Sykes goes low, and Abe manages to grab an arm and spin behind Sykes with a hammerlock. Jared feints with his left leg, then uses his right leg to step behind Abe and reverse the hammerlock. Abe drops to the mat and tries to send Sykes flipping over with a monkey flip but Sykes lands on his feet. He smiles and shoots a hand down to help Abe to his feet.
Richard Parker: I’m dry heaving. The guy from HOW used to drink during matches, can I start drinking during matches?
Nick Stuart: No Richard, no, you cannot drink at work. What an exchange early on. Abe is keeping right up with Jared Sykes.
Abe takes Sykes hand and gets pulled up to his feet. Jared and Abe share a nod as the two men separate again. This time Abe goes for the lockup but Sykes bypasses right around and tries for a leg, Abe hops backwards managing to sprawl and grabs Sykes around the waist. Abe tries to pull up and lift Sykes into the air, just as it looks like he’s going to get Sykes airborn, Jared scrambles through Abe’s legs. Abe spins around and in a flash has Sykes’ leg and spins them both to the ground with a dragon screw leg whip.
Richard Parker: Finally, some damage.
Nick Stuart: I think that shows how evenly matched they are Richard.
Abe rolls through to his feet and tries to grab Sykes’ leg in an ankle lock type position, but Jared grabs one of Abe’s heels and rips him to the ground with him. Jared kips up, keeping ahold of Abe’s leg and drops a leg drop down across the side of his knee.
Nick Stuart: Sykes maintains the hold on that leg though.
Jared is right back up, leg in hand, and drops a second leg drop down across Abe’s knee. Abe manages to pull away after the second leg drop and goes to the corner holding his leg. Jared, not wanting to lose momentum goes into the corner with a low drop kick attempt but Lipschitz rolls out of the way and Sykes winds up kicking the turnbuckle. Both men arrive at their feet at the same time, Abe pulls back and unleashes a short arm clothesline but Sykes ducks under and grabs Abe’s head and yanks him down for a thunderous neckbreaker.
Richard Parker: Thank Hoyt, we’re finally doing the wrestling moves.
Nick Stuart: Big neckbreaker there by Sykes, but Lipschitz is back to his feet just after Sykes.
Abe is wobbling and Sykes fires off a right jab, then another, then another, and he’s clearly got Abe rocked. Sykes rolls and smashes Abe across the mouth with a right hand. Lipschitz drops to his knees and is clearly out of his mind. Sykes grabs Abe’s head and pulls back to fire off another right, but Abe yanks Sykes forward by his trunks to stop the blow. Sykes pushes Abe off and takes off to the ropes, or at least he thinks he does. Abe grabs hold of anything he can, and gets the waist of Sykes’ trunks. Sykes keeps running but Abe apparently has tremendous grip strength.
Richard Parker: Based on the textile strength, that is the same waist band the astronauts at NASA use, Sykes has been making his clothing out of it for years to make sure to hide whatever ginormous thing that is.
Nick Stuart: It’s all encompassing, like an eclipse.
Richard Parker: There’s only two in our known universe that could be bigger.
Nick Stuart: What?
Richard Parker: You ever look at Hayes Hanlon or Sid Phillips from behind?
Nick Stuart: …
Richard Parker: Listen, I’m just saying if the three of them are ever in the same room that’s probably where an actual event horizon starts forming.
Abe yanks Sykes back towards him and grabs him around the waist. Abe tosses Sykes back quickly with a snap german suplex. Abe heads to the ropes and scales them quickly. He waits for Sykes to get to his feet and comes off the top rope with a bulldog. Sykes’ face smashes into the mat as Abe is suddenly all over him.
Nick Stuart: Abe Lipschitz is really taking control of this one.
Richard Parker: The best part of this kid wrestling is going to be hearing you struggle with saying Lipschitz for an entire match.
Sykes is back to his feet a few moments after Abe, but it’s his turn to be on the back foot and Abe sends him flying into the ropes. Abe runs to the opposite ropes and meets Sykes in the middle with a spinning heel kick. Sykes is back to his feet, and stumbles over into the corner. Abe points into the corner and comes sprinting in.
Nick Stuart: ABE-ALANCHE!
Richard Parker: Did you say ambulance?
Nick Stuart: Shut up Richard.
Abe runs to the far corner and collides with the turnbuckle before sprinting back looking for a second splash.
Nick Stuart: Here we go!
Abe leaps into the air and Jared Sykes drop kicks him square in the chest. Abe hits the mat in a heap, struggling to breathe.
Richard Parker: HERE WE GO ALRIGHT! SYKES CAUGHT HIM!
Nick Stuart: What a dropkick by Jared Sykes.
Sykes takes a moment to regroup, he waits on one knee for Abe to get to his feet. Abe drags himself up using the ropes and Sykes explodes forward jumping onto the middle rope and using it for a step up hurricanrana. Abe goes flying across the ring, and once again starts to get to his feet. Sykes sprints forward and smashes him across the chest with a european uppercut. One, then another, driving him back to the corner. Sykes grabs Abe and sends him flying with an irish whip across the ring. Abe smashes into the corner, but bounces out of the corner and tries to come back with a short arm clothesline to a returning Sykes. The clothesline misses, and Sykes manages to stop the rebounding Abe in his tracks.
Nick Stuart: ANGEL HALO!
Richard Parker: WHAT A MOVE!
Nick Stuart: That’s a new one for Jared Sykes! He must have added that one to his moveset over on the BANG! Tour.
Sykes holds the move for a pinfall attempt as Jimmy Turnbull slides in.
Nick Stuart: Abe gets his shoulder up at the last second!
Richard Parker: That move looked incredible. If I had watched a MASTER of that move do it, I would have wanted to learn it too. I also would have won the race to update my bio before everyone else. I mean…
Sykes nods and goes back to his feet. He drags Abe Lipschitz up behind him and irish whips him into the ropes. Sykes goes for a drop kick, but Abe ducks under. Sykes kips up as Abe comes off the ropes with a cross body that connects! Abe springs into action and jumps up to the top rope. Sykes gets to his feet just as Abe hits the peak of his leap.
Nick Stuart: BIG CROSSBODY BY LIPSCHITZ!
Sykes and Abe crash to the mat. Abe hooks both legs, and Turnbull runs in and counts.
Richard Parker: DAMMIT! I THOUGHT THE KID HAD HIM!
Nick Stuart: Now you’re into it!?
Richard Parker: This is like watching Duke lose Nick, nothing is more satisfying than watching Duke lose.
Abe has his head in his hands, and he has no idea what else he needs to do. Sykes is fighting his way back to his feet. Abe takes off at a full sprint away from Sykes. He comes off the ropes looking for a forearm, Sykes ducks under while wrapping an arm around his waist, he stops Abe in his tracks and whips him overhead for a german suplex. Abe manages to finish the rotation and land on his feet, as Sykes crashes to the mat, Abe drops down on top of him pressing his knees to Sykes’ shoulders and pulling both legs down as hard as he can. Turnbull slides in for the cover.
Jared Sykes kicks out right after the three.
Nick Stuart: HE GOT HIM! HE GOT JARED SYKES!
Richard Parker: Oh! SOMETHING HAPPENED!
Jimmy Turnbull calls for the bell.
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: And your winner by pinfall… AAAAAAAAAABBBBBEEEEEEE LIPSCHIIIIIIIIIIIITZ!
Abe is shocked, Sykes is stunned. Sykes gets to his feet shaking his head as Justine jumps into the ring, SELMA and Miserée also jump into the ring and celebrate with Abe.
Nick Stuart: I can’t believe what I’m seeing. A new debut to PRIME is the one to conquer Jared Sykes.
Richard Parker: I’m actually stunned.
Nick Stuart: The potential career that lies in front of this young man…
Abe is helped to his feet and immediately goes over to Jared Sykes, he joins the small huddle of Calvin and Jared and the two exchange words. They walk out of the huddle, Sykes shaking Abe’s hand, he holds his arm up and points with a smile.
Nick Stuart: What a moment.
Richard Parker: THERE IS NOTHING IN MY STOMACH! NOTHING LEFT!