MAX KAEL? VS. HAYES HANLON
Nick Stuart: Fans, we have once again been joined by Ivan Stanislav here at ringside.
Richard Parker: Well given his history with Hayes Hanlon, I’m not surprised. Just do me a favor, Nick, and let me know if I might get trampled by an angry bear if things spill out this way.
Vince Howard: The following contest is scheduled for one fall!
Don’t do it.
C’mon, crowd. Don’t be those people.
Vince Howard: Introducing first…
Oh, thank god. We totally just dodged a beating on that one.
Vince Howard: From Arkham, Massachusetts he weighs in tonight at two-hundred and twenty pounds… MAAAAAX KAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAELLLL????????
The lights slowly faded in the arena as an ominous piano trilling rose over the P.A.
“I’ve just closed my eyes again.. Climbed aboard the Dream Weaver Train..”
Gary Wright’s voice crept over the sound system, a soothing, soft sound that matches the soft pale light that touches the stage. Yes, indeed, it is in fact Dream Weaver, specifically the Wayne’s World version.
“Driver take away my worries of today.. And leave tomorrow behind..”
As the music swells Max Kael? can be seen rushing out onto the stage, straight to the center of the soft pale light. He raises his arms in unison with the music as it reaches its height aaaannnd…
“ooooOOOOOH DREAAAAM WEAVER!”
The stage comes alive with a single burst of glittering white pyro as Max Kael? poses with his hands held high above his head. The silver haired crone, U.N. Couth, crept out to his right while Max’s bodyguard, Violent Purple, stepped to his left.
As Gary Wright continued to serenade the crowd Max swaggered toward the ring with a massive smile stretched across his face. While the fans booed him, the music and the catchy bass line muffled their discontentment. For his part Max doesn’t appear to pay them any attention as he strutted up to the ring steps.
Kael climbed up the ring steps before reaching the apron where he swiftly wiped off his feet. Stepping between middle and top rope Max ran in a circle inside the right until the timing of Wright’s famous song until another repeat of the stanza rolled around..
“ooooOOOOOH DREAAAAM WEAVER!”
He immediately thrusts his arms up into the air, palms forward as a singular pillar of light shines down on Max Kael?. The formerly dead man then pulled his arms into a flex. As he did so he bared his pearly white teeth toward the camera in the form of a predator smile, his brown eyes wild and wide.
As his music dies down Max slunk toward his corner apparently saddened his music was no longer playing.
Vince Howard: And his opponent…
Distorted guitar heralds a black hole emerging on the PRIME*View, dangerously close to the screen; hanging in the void among planets and nebulas.
Sirens accompany as the screen shakes, pulling us in violently, until the lyrics scream throughout the PA system.
“WHEN MY BACK’S TO THE WAAALLLL!!!”
And huge, white block letters fill the screen:
The speakers and amplifiers hold on for dear life as “Daggers” by We Came as Romans absolutely bludgeon the eardrums. And speaking of explosions, those planets and stars on the PRIME*View do just that, bursting into blinding eruptions of violent light. It carries into the arena, rumbling flashbulbs explode in various points throughout the building; in the ceiling, in the stands, one after another.
And then, from the ramp, The Event Horizon. He marches forward, those dark eyes focused, ‘stache on point. The eruption of lights and noise makes the building feel like a mosh pit. If the fans are booing, you’d never know.
Vince Howard: FROM WEST LINN, OREGON! STANDING SIX FEET, THREE INCHES AND WEIGHING IN AT TWO-HUNDRED AND SIXTY FIVE POUNDS!!
Hayes climbs the apron, steps through the ropes, and b-lines for the turnbuckle.
Vince Howard: The Event Horizoonnnnnnn…HAAAAAYESSSS!! HAAANNNLLOOOONNNNN!!!
Up one rope, then the second, chest and jaw jutting out, and a thumb across his neck.
“DRAW! THE! DAGGER!
CUT OUT THE PAIN! TO FIND THE POWER!”
He hops down, making way to the next post to repeat the process one more time.
“DRAW! THE! DAGGER!
CUT OUT THE PAIN!”
He remains on the ropes, and in timing with the song, beats his chest four times while roaring out the crescendo.
The Comeback Kid stays for a moment, eyes scanning the arena, allowing the music to reach its breakdown. He hops to the mat and takes his place in his corner, ready to go.
Richard Parker: Lotta bodies out here at ringside, Nick.
Nick Stuart: There definitely does seem to be some heightened interest in this match, Richard. But I guess you could say that’s true for everyone competing in this tournament.
The two men circle, feeling each other out. When it looks like both are about to meet for a collar and elbow tie-up, Kael? ducks under Hanlon’s grip and slides past him, delivering a quick jab to the abdomen on his way. Hayes turns and sees Max grinning with his palms up. Another attempted lock-up, and another dodge by Kael?. This time he rolls under Hanlon’s arms, rises, turns on a dime and delivers a kick to the bigger man’s thigh.
Nick Stuart: Smart move by Max Kael to stay out of Hanlon’s reach.
Richard Parker: Of course, the man wasn’t born yesterday you know.
Nick Stuart: Never said he…
Richard Parker: He was born in June.
Nick Stuart: …
Richard Parker: What?
Hayes, clearly frustrated, does not try for a third lock-up. Instead he charges across the ring and blindsides Max, scooping him up and driving him back into the corner. A hard forearm connects, and then Hanlon unloads with a series of hard chops to the chest.
Hayes puts one hand on Max’s chest, and with the other he gestures to the crowd to quiet down. Some listen, not out of respect for the Glueminati’s newest member, but because they know what’s about to happen next.
Hanlon’s chop cuts through the silence, the force of it sends Kael? reeling. Max stumbles out of the corner, his chest a vibrant red, before dropping to one knee in the middle of the ring.
Nick Stuart: Hanlon exerting his will here in the early going.
Richard Parker: Not sure I feel about him beating up a toddler like this.
Nick Stuart: What the hell are you talking about?
Richard Parker: He’s only four months old, Nick! This is child abuse!
As Max regains his bearings, Hayes is busy jogging in the corner. His legs pump faster, and he begins windmilling both of his arms to get loose, before bolting across the ring. Max turns just in time to be turned inside out with a running lariat. Hayes’ momentum takes him through the move and into the opposite corner. He crashes in chest-first and has to hold on to the top rope to prevent himself from falling to the mat himself.
Richard Parker: That’s it, I’m calling DCF.
The Event Horizon steadies himself, and then jubilantly starts shaking the top rope before pounding one fist on his chest. He looks to the crowd, points towards Max, and then makes the universal gesture for “I’m gonna bodyslam this dude.”
Richard Parker: You know, I think he’s gonna try to bodyslam that dude.
He’s met with jeers.
Max rises to his feet looking a little woozy from the big lariat, and is immediately scooped up by Hanlon and slammed.
Richard Parker: Guess I was right again, Nick!
Hayes pulls Max up and then slams him again. On the third slam, U.N. Couth starts waving her arms outside the ring. On the fourth, Max tries to call a time-out. He is not successful. The fifth involves an impassioned plea to reason that is not heeded.
Nick Stuart: Scoop slam party! Shades of last year’s Colossus!
Richard Parker: Mmm. Hold on a minute, I’m just going to close my eyes and remember what it was like watching Jiles bounce around.
Nick Stuart: Richard, are you okay over th…
Richard Parker: I SAID I NEED A MINUTE!
Hanlon makes the cover, but just as Timo gets down to make the count he has to pop back up to his feet to try and shoo Violent Purple down from the ring apron.
Hayes begrudgingly stands up, and tries to bring Max with him, but Kael? is able to use the distraction to gouge at Hanlon’s eyes.
Nick Stuart: The numbers game is starting to pay off. Max Kael? using everything he has to his advantage tonight.
Richard Parker: Real talk, I wonder where the rest of Team Glue is hanging out. Except FLAMBERGE. I’m just going to assume he found a nice hot rock and an endless supply of leafy greens.
With Timo still occupied, Max follows up his eyeball assault with a strike to a different set of balls. Legit, it’s just a war on orbs in that ring right now.
The crowd reacts as one might expect, because professional wrestling skews heavily male in the demographic, and it doesn’t matter if someone is a good guy or not, they all understand what it’s like to get punched in the bing-bing.
One person seems to be enjoying what just happened a great deal.
Ivan Stanislav: DYAAHAAHAA!!!!
Yeah, it’s loud enough that the arena mics pick it up.
That gets Timo’s attention, and he turns away from the distraction. But Max is crafty. He quickly scoops up Hayes in a double leg pickup, and hits an inverted atomic drop to cover for his cheating. Because it’s not cool to punch a guy in the pills, but it’s totally okay if he falls dick-first on your knee.
Wrestling, am I right?
Nick Stuart: Smart move to cover for his cheating there by Max Kael?
Richard Parker: Genius level intelligence for someone so young.
Nick Stuart: …
Richard Parker: Really, they should get him enrolled in the gifted program at school.
Hayes’ body goes completely rigid. He leans forward slightly with his arms out in front of him at an angle. HIs legs seem locked at the knees, and then they bend outwards. He’s on his tiptoes. It looks like a zombie taking its first baby steps on a balance beam.
Rick Rude would be proud.
Nick Stuart: Max Kael with a chop block taking the Event Horizon down.
Richard Parker: It’s okay, you don’t need your knees to offer mustache rides.
Nick Stuart: Richard.
Richard Parker: Or do you? I don’t know how those work.
The force of the move drives Hanlon to the ground, and he lays with his upper body draped over the second rope while he reaches for his knee. Kael? steps back, playing the part of a good sportsman to give Hayes some time to recover. This is when U.N. Couth steps up onto the ring apron, which also draws the attention of Timo Bolamba. With the distraction now firmly in place, Violent Purple moves over to where Hayes is recuperating and starts pulling down on his neck, effectively choking him against the ropes.
The crowd has no idea how to respond to this. Normally they would boo, but that was for the old Hanlon. The pre-Glue Hanlon. Now there’s just indistinct noise.
Richard Parker: No! Not his throat. I’m pretty sure he needs that for mustache rides unless everything I just googled is a lie.
Nick Stuart: I can’t with you right now. I genuinely can not.
Kael? makes his way over to the ropes just as Purple breaks her hold. With Hanlon on the mat gasping for air, Max drapes Hayes’ leg over the bottom rope and then begins stomping the inside of his knee. Referee Bolamba, who is for sure earning his paycheck during this match, is forced to admonish Kael? for illegal use of the ropes. Max backs off, which allows Violet Purple to reach into the ring, grab Hanlon by the ankle, and then snap his leg down against the corner of the ring apron.
A group of fans close to ringside begin a “You deserve it” chant, but it doesn’t get much traction with the rest of the audience.
We get a brief picture-in-picture shot. Backstage, Jared Sykes is watching this match unfold on a monitor. In case you’re wondering, he’s staring at it head-on like a normal person would watch television.
From his seat at ringside, Ivan Stanislav seems to be relishing in Hanlon’s current predicament.
Nick Stuart: The right knee of Hayes Hanlon now has a great big target on it.
Richard Parker: That’s not true, Nick. If there was a Target on it then Hayes wouldn’t be able to move. Also that’s like an entire store, and for that to be on top of someone means there was a horrible accident.
Nick Stuart: I’m going to pretend I didn’t hear that.
Richard Parker: Hey, you’re the one talking about imploding department stores with people inside them. Also do they have Targets here, or are we in Walmart country?
Hayes hobbles up on one leg, but is taken right back to the mat by a Max Kael? slingblade. He makes a quick cover and hooks the leg that’s been targeted so far.
Outside the ring, Ivan leans forward in his chair.
Nick Stuart: And Hayes Hanlon was able to roll one of his shoulders up off the mat!
Both men are up on their feet again, but Hayes looks to be stepping lightly on his right foot. Kael? charges in, but Hayes is able to scoop him up in a fireman’s carry. Before anything can come of it…
Nick Stuart: Did you see that knee just buckle? It looks like Max Kael?’s strategy is paying off!
Kael? slides right off of Hanlon’s shoulders and lands on his feet behind him.
Richard Parker: Maybe Hayes can ice it later while he’s…
Nick Stuart: If the words “mustache ride” come out of your mouth again, so help me, Richard.
Hayes tries to get some sure footing underneath him, but he doesn’t get long before a roaring elbow connects with the back of his head. Hayes lurches forward from the blow, then stands straight up, turns.
Richard Parker: Timberrrrrrr!
And falls, stiff as a board, face-first onto the canvas.
Nick Stuart: Kael? with another cover!
Nick Stuart: Could this be the one?!
Once more Hanlon is able to roll up a shoulder, breaking the count.
Kael? is to his feet first, and he once again starts stomping at the right knee of Hayes Hanlon. Shot after shot connects, and then he draws the former champion up to his feet. He creates a little distance and builds up some speed, perhaps looking for another knockout shot.
Nick Stuart: Hanlon with the counter!
A huge spinebuster takes Max Kael? up into the air, and then down hard onto the canvas.
Nick Stuart: But that move looks like it took its toll on Hanlon as well. He’s really favoring that right knee.
Richard Parker: Like I said. A little ice. A little elevation. Maybe some rest, and…
Nick Stuart: Richard, no!
Richard Parker: I wasn’t going to say anything!
Nick Stuart: Oh, what the hell is she doing now?
The woman in question is U.N. Couth, who is once again standing on the ring apron and drawing Timo’s attention away from the match. With Timo occupied, Max reaches into his tights and retrieves a small bag of powder. He fumbles with it for a moment, the sweat from the match making it difficult to open.
And then it’s swatted out of his hands. Kael? stumbles back. Violent Purple uses this opportunity to get onto the ring apron opposite where Couth is busy distracting Timo.
Nick Stuart: Hayes just knocked it away, and now Hanlon’s got a handful of… something.
Richard Parker: Pocket glue!
Nick Stuart: Never say those words in that order ever again.
The bag is torn open, and a handful of what looks like sand is thrown square in the face of Max Kael?. Once again, the crowd isn’t quite sure how to react.
Kael? staggers back as he wipes at his eyes, bumping into Purple. She loses her balance and hops down to the arena floor, and a blinded Kael? turns into the waiting arms of Hayes Hanlon.
Nick Stuart: The Epoch!
The chokebomb connects in the center of the ring. Between the sudden vibration in the ring and the shout from Hayes Hanlon, Timo turns away from Couth to see the cover.
Hanlon makes sure to hide the now-empty bag near his body.
U.N. Couth tries to protest, but it falls on deaf ears.
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: The winner of this match, and advancing in the Almasy Memorial Tournament… HAYES HAAAAAAAAAAAANLOOOOOOON!!!
Nick Stuart: Hayes Hanlon hands Max Kael? his first loss in PRIME, and will move on to the next round!
We then cut to commercial.