JULIAN BATHORY vs. JONATHAN RHINE
We return from the continuing hostilities between the Masters of the Multiverse B-Team and Dangerous Mix to the opening of The Enigma TNG’s “Shadow”.
Julian Bathory walks out without ceremony, a man driven by the insatiable need for violence and bloodlust. There’s no hesitation in his steps, just a man ready to do what he must. To make an example out of Jonathan Rhine. To vanquish his enemies and leave ruin in his wake. To take all that is into the clutches of MESSIAH.
Nick Stuart: Julian Bathory looks focused tonight, Rich.
Richard Parker: I think the word you’re looking for is “murderous”. Or maybe “homicidal”? “Killmongery”?
Vince Howard: Ladies and gentlemen, this contest is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, from Szeged, Hungary! He weighs in tonight at 234 pounds! JULIIIIIIIAN BATHOOOOOORRRRRYYYYY!
Nick Stuart: Julian Bathory has bulked up considerably since the last time we saw him.
Richard Parker: Yeah, and it shows. Look how jacked out of his mind this dude is. I wonder what kind of training programs MESSIAH has that could make me look like that?
Nick Stuart: Uh, don’t even consider it.
Bathory slides into the ring, and paces impatiently in front of referee Jimmy Turnbull, ready for action.
The rumbling bass line of “Piece by Piece” by Strata begins as the fans start to cheer. The Fighting For Nora logo flashes on the PRIMEView as the bassline gives way to a…
Scream. With the scream comes Jonathan Rhine, spinning on the entrance ramp, his arms out, until he sees Julian Bathory already in the ring. He points at him, shaking his head. Behind Rhine emerges his longtime friend, temporary rival, and current friend again, King Blueberry. The Tag Team Champion is wearing street clothes to go with his mask, and he looks supportive, if not a little unsure why he is coming out here.
Nick Stuart: Not the usual partner that Jon Rhine usually brings to the ring, but as we already know, Paxton Ray is…indisposed at the moment, so instead Rhine is taking King Blueberry to the ring with him.
Richard Parker: See, Rhine just proves again he can’t do it by himself!
Nick Stuart: That’s not it at all, Richard! Rhine just knows that Bathory will pull every trick in the book to score the victory here, and so he’s evening the score.
Richard Parker: See, you just said a bunch of words just now and I feel like we said the same thing.
Vince Howard: His opponent! From New Orleans, Louisiana! He weighs in at 245 pounds! This is JOOOOOOOHNATHAAAAANNNNN RHIIIIIIIIIINE!!!
Rhine loses his showmanship as he locks eyes with Bathory, and he begins to stalk the ring. As he approaches, he slides under the ropes and pops up, pointing at Bathory again.
Nick Stuart: This match has been building for a few months. Julian Bathory ruined Jon’s Foundation Dinner, and ever since then Rhine has wanted to get his hands on Bathory.
Richard Parker: Well Bathory is going to ruin Rhine’s face next when he wins.
King Blueberry walks around the ring as Rhine steps up on the turnbuckle to soak up the reaction before jumping down and focusing on Bathory again.
And then the moment the bell rings, the fight is on.
Bathory charges all the way across the ring, and the only reason why he doesn’t bury an elbow deep into the jaw of Rhine is that Rhine manages to sidestep him at the last moment. Rhine turns and blasts Bathory with right hands in the corner, pinning the Carpathian Devil against the turnbuckles and unloading on him with everything he has.
The crowd roars in approval, while referee Turnbull attempts to restore order.
Bathory is momentarily stunned by the offense, and things don’t get any better for him as Rhine takes him by the wrist and whips him into the corner on the other side of the ring. Rhine charges, but Bathory moves, and Rhine would have crashed into the turnbuckles if he hadn’t stopped himself at the last moment. When Bathory tries to press the advantage, he’s over-aggressive and Rhine low-bridges him, backdropping him over the top rope and out onto the apron.
To Bathory’s credit, his increased bulk had not come at the expense of his agility, and he lands on his feet on the apron. Unfortunately, being out on the apron means that he has nowhere to go when Rhine charges him with a dropkick. Bathory goes flying out to the floor, hitting the guardrail with a thud.
Nick Stuart: Rhine taking an early advantage here against his opponent!
Richard Parker: He’s just regrouping. Uh, you know, while lying on the floor.
Jimmy Turnbull tries to keep Rhine from going to the outside to join Bathory, but Rhine nudges him aside and stands at the ropes. When Bathory recovers from his spill to the outside, Rhine slingshots himself over the ropes and catches him with a crossbody!
Nick Stuart: What a pescado from Rhine! And now he’s laying in some shots on Rhine on the floor!
Richard Parker: Smooth move, ears! You need him back in the ring if you want to win!
Nick Stuart: “Ears”?
Richard Parker: …They can’t all be winners.
Rhine picks up Bathory, who is more than a little disoriented from Rhine’s flurry of offense. With his hands wrapped around his head, he gets a little hop in his step before flinging him into the guardrails near the entrance ramp. Bathory goes flying and lands hard against the guardrails, causing all but one of the fans in the vicinity to back up out of their seats and retreat from the scene of the assault.
But it’s the one fan that stays that catches Jonathan Rhine’s eye.
He’s standing there clapping like Jon Rhine just got out of a sand bunker and into the green.
Richard Parker: Why does that dude seem so familiar?
Nick Stuart: Wait, is that…
Jonathan Rhine knows exactly who this is, and his desire to punch a paying customer to a wrestling show instantly spikes, because that’s Foster Nackedy.
Rhine instantly forgets, in this moment, that he’s in a professional wrestling match against Julian Bathory. He’s less than thrilled to see Foster there, lurking outside the ring like this. And he’s so distracted by the unexpected sight of the man that it allows Bathory time to turn things around. When Rhine finally remembers he’s in a wrestling match, he goes to pick up Bathory so he can throw him into more things. Instead, Bathory hits him with a punch in the gut so hard that Rhine is instantly doubled over, unable to breathe.
Nick Stuart: What is Foster Nackedy doing at ringside!?
Richard Parker: He bought a ticket, that’s what he did. He’s a paying customer. It’s Rhine’s fault for taking his eyes off the ball.
Bathory regroups, and has the wherewithal to roll under the bottom ropes to break the count, before rolling back outside to grab Rhine by the head again. He quickly slams Rhine’s head against the ring apron, and then violently starts ramming elbows into his head while it’s still on the apron. It’s to the point that the referee changes his count from a ten count to get back into the ring to a five count to make Bathory stop trying to crush Rhine’s skull.
Eventually, if momentarily, Bathory relents. He pushes Rhine back into the ring, and aggressively slides in after him to start hammering at him with closed fists. Once again, Turnbull has to make a five count to get Bathory to relent. At four, Bathory stands and shoots a murderous look towards the referee.
Nick Stuart: Bathory doesn’t want to get disqualified here, but Jonathan Rhine is in a bad way!
Richard Parker: Well, yeah, I’d be in a bad way too if Julian Bathory beat me over the head with his big sweaty, strong arms, too.
Nick Stuart: …What?
Richard Parker: What do you mean, what?
As Bathory continues to glare at the referee, he makes a point to stomp down on Rhine’s hand as he’s trying to recover, and all while never taking his eyes off of Turnbull. Naturally, Turnbull is nonplussed by this, and starts counting to five again to make Bathory get off of Rhine’s hand. He does, in the end, and Bathory picks up Rhine and sends him into the ropes.
Sweat flies. The lariat connects on Rhine nearly the moment he takes a step away from the ropes after the bounce, and Rhine flies towards the center of the ring from the impact of the blow. Bathory doesn’t go for the cover right away, instead hovering over the New Life and waiting for him to get up. Rhine rolls onto his stomach and manages to get to his knees in front of Bathory, before Bathory unloads on him with more fists.
Nick Stuart: This is getting uncomfortable to watch, Rich.
Richard Parker: Yeah, but Jon Rhine’s been wanting this match for months. He had to know this might happen.
Bathory eventually pulls Rhine to his feet, and manhandles him into an exploder suplex. Rhine bounces onto the canvas like a basketball, and only doesn’t fall out of the ring entirely because his body gets caught against the bottom rope.
Bathory wants to be aggressive. His body language suggests as such. However, he can’t help but relent, just slightly, so that Rhine could get back to his feet again.
His attention is diverted, if briefly, by loud banging at the apron.
King Blueberry is pounding on the mat, and then he shouted a rallying cry.
King Blueberry: SEX-Y DUM-BO!
It’s almost mysterious how this, of all chants, starts catching on with the crowd.
CLAP, CLAP, CLAPCLAPCLAP
CLAP, CLAP, CLAPCLAPCLAP
CLAP, CLAP, CLAPCLAPCLAP
Is it dumb? Yes. Absolutely.
What do you expect from a chant started by King Blueberry?
Even Julian Bathory, or the monster that wears his body, seems baffled by this chant. He goes to pick up Rhine, but Rhine suddenly fires up in Bathory’s face, and rocks him with several blows to the head and face. This puts Bathory on the back foot, and backs him up into the ropes.
Nick Stuart: The Rhinestones with an unusual chant, but Rhine’s fighting back here!
Richard Parker: You and I are going to have a conversation about that name!
With Bathory rocked into the ropes, Rhine tries to whip him to the opposite side. However, Bathory reverses and sends Rhine into the ropes. This time, he catches Rhine with a knee to the gut almost as soon as Rhine’s back hits the ropes. Then the Hungarian pulls Rhine to the center of the ring. Single underhook…
Nick Stuart: Verzik Angyal! Center of the ring!
Richard Parker: Say that again? What?
With Rhine down, Bathory makes an easy cover.
Bathory looks at the referee with another nonplussed look. No matter. He’d bury Rhine in a different manner, then. He pulls Rhine to his feet again, and Rhine seems wobbly after the Carpathian Devil’s assault.
Bathory runs into the ropes, looking for the lariat again. This time, however, Rhine ducks under it. When Bathory turns, he’s met with a trio of left-handed punches from the New Life. Then Rhine turns and delivers an elbow right to Bathory’s face, which knocks him down.
Nick Stuart: There’s an elbow from Rhine!
Rhine stops, and paces around. The crowd comes alive, as Rhine attempts to shake off the cobwebs from Bathory’s assault. Bathory gets to his feet again, looking for another lariat. This time, when Rhine ducks under it, he hooks Bathory’s arm, twisting him around and disorienting him. That allows Jon to grab him and heave him up and over with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex.
With Bathory down, Rhine gets up, and finds Foster Nackedy standing in his corner of the front row. He narrows his eyes. That would have to come later. Instead, he raises his arms in the air as he puts himself in position, and delivers a standing moonsault right to Bathory, landing with his knee across his chest.
Nick Stuart: NEW LIFE MOONSAULT! Rhine with the cover!
Bathory’s arm shoots up off the canvas before the three count. Rhine doesn’t do more than pick himself up and drag Bathory up with him. He whips Bathory into the corner, and attempts to charge in. Instead, Bathory catches him with a boot coming in. This stuns Rhine, and allows Bathory the opportunity to…
…get the piss lariated out of him.
While Bathory is knocked down, Rhine finds himself picking him up again. The crowd comes alive as Rhine grasps the arms, looking for a tiger suplex. However, Bathory reacts by immediately backpedaling, ramming Rhine into the turnbuckles. This causes Bathory arms to get released, and he steps towards the center of the ring to regroup.
Unbeknownst to him, Rhine’s already up on the second turnbuckles behind him.
Nick Stuart: THAT’S THE BREATHTAKER!
Richard Parker: Well, of all the maneuvers I have seen, that was certainly one of them.
Rhine lands, get back to his feet, and appears to have all of the momentum. He paces around, pumping up the crowd. As he does, his eyes lock onto Foster Nackedy, again. Foster’s only response to this is the return of his golf clap. Congratulations, Jon. You made par.
Rhine put his eyes back on Bathory.
Time to finish this.
He goes to the turnbuckles, and starts to climb up. Pointedly, he chooses a corner where he’s not forced to look at Foster. And maybe Rhine should’ve been focused less on Foster and more on Bathory, because by the time he makes it to the top rope, Bathory meets him there and shoves his feet out from under him.
It’s a bad landing. Rhine’s thighs hit the ropes, and he falls backwards into the ring. Or at least, he would, if his foot didn’t get caught on the connecting piece between the turnbuckle and the post. Thus, Rhine was hung upside down in the ropes in the tree of woe.
Nick Stuart: Brutal landing by Rhine there!
Richard Parker: Yeah, right in the Rhinestones.
Nick Stuart: No, that’s the name of Rhine’s fans.
Richard Parker: Yeah, and I said we were going to have a conversation about that name.
Bathory immediately goes on the attack with Rhine suddenly all but helpless to fight back, first by driving his knees into his exposed gut, before dropping down onto his chin with an elbow. Then more elbows. More elbows. A MESSIAH-sponsored buffet of elbows. All you can eat.
Jimmy Turnbull administers a five count to get Bathory away from Rhine. It’s at a count of four that Bathory relents, only to bounce off the ropes on the other side and come back with a running boot to Rhine’s dome.
Nick Stuart: What a boot from Bathory! Rhine is suddenly in a lot of trouble here!
With Rhine suitably dazed, Bathory grabs Rhine by the head, and tries to pull him off of the turnbuckles in the position he’d need for Chaos Reigns. However, Rhine’s own predicament keeps up from actually getting him in position for the move. After two attempts to pull him off by force, the third attempt goes awry when Rhine unhooks himself from the turnbuckles before Bathory can make the attempt. Rhine turns and grabs Bathory’s waist, and then hits him with a German suplex.
By the way, there’s a whole corner in the way of the impact zone. Should’ve mentioned that sooner.
Nick Stuart: My God! Bathory could be done after that! Rhine’s pulling him away from the corner, he covers!
FOOT ON THE ROPES!
Richard Parker: Didn’t pull him far enough away, Nick!
Nick Stuart: He sure didn’t, Rich. Rhine’s out of it right now. He’s taken quite a number of hard shots in this contest, but he’s still alive!
Richard Parker: He should give up so he can remain alive.
After a moment to confirm that Bathory’s leg is on the ropes, Rhine takes a moment to regroup. In his corner, King Blueberry is encouraging him to press the attack, and Jon wasn’t about to ignore the advice of his friend. Even if King Blueberry is kind of an idiot who shouldn’t operate heavy machinery, he’s right.
Rhine pulls Bathory up, and tries to hook him in position for the Rhine Rewind. Sensing the danger, Bathory smashes him in the head with several repeated elbows. After several of these, he steps into Rhine and tries for Chaos Reigns again.
Rhine slips out, however, and hooks in a waistlock. The two men jockey for position for the waistlock, Bathory spreading his legs and taking on a low center of gravity to prevent another German suplex from happening. After a few moments of this jockeying, Rhine lets go of the waistlock and beats Bathory over the head with multiple forearms. When he hooks it in again, Bathory attempts to run for the ropes for a break.
But Rhine holds on to the back of his trunks and reels him back into the waistlock. He actually lifts Bathory up for the German this time, but Bathory kicks his legs out, keeping Rhine from bridging backwards with it. This forces Rhine to charge Bathory forward into the ropes, and roll him back into an O’Connor roll.
Bathory rolls through, however, and rolls to his feet behind Rhine. He tries to step into another attempt at the Chaos Reigns. This time, Rhine grabs the arm before Bathory can even pull him into position, and spins him back around into the waistlock. This time, when Bathory charges, it’s to the corner.
Where the referee, Jimmy Turnbull, is.
Nick Stuart: The referee almost got crushed in the corner, but he’s ducked out of the way!
That first sound is the sympathy reactions you might get you see someone get kicked in the nuts.
The second sound is the collective reaction of the Rhinestones as they witness their hero be the one to get kicked in the dick.
Nick Stuart: No! A low blow by Bathory! The referee didn’t see it!
Richard Parker: Oogh. Right in the Rhinestones…
With Rhine stunned, he’s helpless as Bathory steps into Rhine one more time.
Nick Stuart: CHAOS REIGNS! Into the cover!
Vince Howard: Here is your winner… JULIIIIIIIAN BATHOOOOOORRRRRYYYYY!
The moment the three count is registered, Bathory slithers out of the ring, and collapses to one knee on the outside. A mirthless smile appears on his face, satisfied at getting the better of his opponent. In the ring, King Blueberry slides in, and after tending to Rhine on the ground, pleads his case to Jimmy Turnbull about the low blow. Unbeknownst to all of them, Foster Nackedy has already left the ringside area.
Nick Stuart: A miscarriage of justice tonight! Jonathan Rhine had this match well in hand before Bathory hit him with a sucker punch!
Richard Parker: It was more like a kick, really. …I mean, I didn’t see anything! My monitor cut to static. What happened? You seem upset!
Nick Stuart: I can’t with you…
Richard Parker: So, about that conversation… the Rhinestones? Really?
Nick Stuart: Well, we’ll have to have that conversation after the break!