NOVA VS. IVAN STANISLAV
Nick Stuart: Next we have an incredible matchup between two very accomplished performers. Nova and Ivan Stanislav both have very impressive careers, and it’ll be interesting to see how this match turns out.
The lights cut out in the arena, and a stormy sky appears on the video screen.
As thunder booms over the speakers and lightning lights up the darkened clouds on-screen, George Clinton’s voice can be heard speaking in soft, reverberating tones.
“Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time…for y’all have knocked her up. I have tasted the maggots in the mind of the universe; but I was not offended, for I knew I had to rise above it all…or drown in my own shit.”
The stormy sky fades, replaced by a field of stars. One of the stars shoots across the screen, and as the field of stars comes together to form the word “NOVA,” Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain” lilts over the PA system.
At this moment, a spotlight hits the entrance ramp where Nova is knelt, one fist raised in the air. The smoke wafting up from the cigarette hanging out of his mouth swirls iridescently under the hot glare of the spotlight. After a moment, the Risen Star climbs to his feet and makes his way down to the ring, rolling under the bottom rope before standing and flicking his cigarette away.
Vince Howard: Introducing first, from Parts Unknown, weighing in at 240 pounds…NOOOOOOVAAAAAAAA!
The lights come up.
Next, “The Soviet National Anthem” by the Russian Red Army Choir erupts as Ivan Stanislav and Alexei Rulsan emerge from the backstage area. Stanislav and Ruslan raise their arms, side by side, roar at the crowd, and pointedly make their way towards the ring. Stanislav points and jaws at several fans along the way, while Ruslan points and hawks at the greatness of the Russian Bear.
Stanislav steps over the top rope and thunders into the ring. He raises his arms over his head and bellows at the camera.
Vince Howard: And his opponent, from Arkhangelsk, Russia…weighing in at 400 pounds…IVAAAAAAN STAAAAAANIISLAAAAAAAV!
Nova runs in for a shoulder tackle, but the big Russian is ready, swatting Nova off like a bug. The Risen Star gets to his feet but is immediately scooped and slammed by Ivan, who lets out a huge laugh as the fans boo.
Richard Parker: Ha! Ivan is treating the Hall of Famer like yesterday’s garbage!
Ivan doesn’t spend much time gloating. He immediately begins to stomp on Nova’s body. The viciousness in Ivan’s snarl is apparent as he goes to work.
Nick Stuart: The seven footer is angry, Richard. Ivan Stanislav and his mouthpiece Alexei Ruslan have said several bad things about Nova recently, and Ivan finally gets him in the ring now.
Ivan clubs Nova on the back, then another. Nova flattens onto the canvas, and Ivan lifts Nova up before grabbing him.
Nick Stuart: Is it time for the Red Scare already?
It is not.
Nova escapes from Ivan and sends a dropkick to his knee. Ivan stumbles, and Nova bounces off the ropes and knocks Ivan back with a shoulder tackle.
Nick Stuart: Nova getting some offense in here, but it’s so hard to take the big Russian off of his feet.
Richard Parker: It’s because he’s strong, it’s because he has an undeniable will, it’s because…
Nick Stuart: It’s because he’s 400 pounds.
Richard Parker: Yes, that too.
Still Ivan stands. Nova kicks him in the thigh, and then again, and then he runs to try another tackle.
Rather, I should say he tries to run. Because Ivan grabs the hair sprouting out of both sides of Nova’s head and pulls down. Nova crashes hard onto the mat, grabbing his head, and once again Ivan lets out a laugh. Alexei laughs as well.
Nick Stuart: It’s a tough task to take down a man that large, and The Russian Bear certainly uses it to his advantage.
Richard Parker: What is he going to do, Nick? Shrink down eight inches?
Ivan lifts Nova up, then slams him down in a backbreaker. He barks at Jimmy Turnbull to get in position as he covers Nova.
Nova gets the shoulder up.
Nick Stuart: We knew that Nova would have a tough time with this mountain of a man, but make no mistake, Richard, The Risen Star is more than up to the task.
Richard Parker: Nova is a Hall of Famer, a multi time champion in this federation, and honestly he has some big wins on his resume in the ReVival era, but this is different, Nick. This is the man who should be the Universal Champion!
Ivan rolls Nova onto his back, then grabs his arms before standing on his back in a standing surfboard. Nova screams in pain as Turnbull asks him if he will give up. Everyone knows he won’t, of course, most of all Ivan. So Ivan eventually releases the hold and turns to the crowd, raising his fist in the air.
Nick Stuart: This man is incredibly full of himself.
Richard Parker: Of course he is, and he has reason to be!
Nova slowly tries to get to his feet. Ivan meets him and tosses him into the corner, then follows him with a running splash into the corner. Nova slumps, but doesn’t get a chance to do much else as Ivan tosses him to the other corner. Ivan waits a moment before running after him, but it was exactly the moment that Nova needed.
Nick Stuart: The Risen Star moves! Ivan crashed into the corner!
Ivan turns in time to eat a kick from the face, which gets him out of the corner, dazed. Nova comes from behind and grabs him.
Nick Stuart: Dying Star Drop! And the big man is down, Nova with the cover!
Richard Parker: Woah!
Ivan kicks out forcefully, leaving Nova to fly in the air for a moment. Alexei claps on the outside.
Richard Parker: Does that count as a yeet? I think that counts as a yeet.
Ivan gets up, but Nova has already recovered. Nova blasts him back with a kick, then tries to lift Ivan over in a T-Bone suplex – which he sort of does. He doesn’t get all of it, but Ivan does fall backwards.
Nick Stuart: What strength from Nova! That’s a lot of man to be tossing around.
It seemed to take a lot out of the Starchild though. He stands slowly, winding his arms around as he approaches the fallen Bear. As he attempts to grab Ivan, though…
Nick Stuart: Stanislav was playing possum! He’s got Nova by the throat!
Richard Parker: He was hibernating!
Nick Stuart: What?
Richard Parker: You know…bear. Sleeping. Hibernating.
Ivan stands up with his hand still around the throat of Nova. He lifts him up and slams him down in a chokeslam, then covers.
Nova kicks out.
Nick Stuart: Nova has fought hard tonight, and Ivan has certainly taken his fair share of damage, but right now the Starchild is in a lot of trouble.
Ivan steps on Nova, then puts all of his weight on him as he steps across, unleashing another laugh. He does it a second time, and Nova convulses.
Nick Stuart: The full weight of the Russian Bear right on Nova’s sternum! That can’t feel good.
Richard Parker: …I’d let him do it to me.
Nick Stuart: What?
Richard Parker: Just once. Just to see how it would feel.
It appears that Ivan is going to give Nova another taste of Richard Parker’s dream as once more he puts his foot on Nova’s chest. But this time, Nova is ready.
Nick Stuart: Nova grabbed the ankle and took Ivan down! And now he’s moving to the front…he’s got it locked in! It’s the Horizontal Face-Pull Neck-Stretch Inverted Hurt-Plex Lock Bomb!
Richard Parker: You know, if someone wanted to hit their word count easier, Nova should just use that move like sixteen times in a match.
Nick Stuart: What?
Richard Parker: What?
As the boys banter about whatever weird shit Richard just said, Ivan is in pain. Nova is applying the arm-trap crossface, straining. Ivan is nowhere near the ropes, but unfortunately for Nova, the ropes are not the only way Ivan can break a hold.
Nick Stuart: Ivan bit him! Nova is breaking the hold!
Both men get to their feet around the same time, but tie goes to the Russian. He grabs Nova and very quickly lifts him up, then flattens him with a clothesline.
Richard Parker: Yes! Iron Curtain!
Nick Stuart: Nova looks to be out of it, and Ivan’s not done!
He grabs Nova, then throws him.
Richard Parker: That DEFINITELY counts as a yeet.
Nick Stuart: Red Scare! This one is over!
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: Your winner…IVAAAAAAN STANIIIISLAAAV!
Junior referee Jimmy Turnbull stands with the victorious Ivan Stanislav and he raises the enormous Russian’s arm up high by the forearm. Alexei Ruslan immediately leaps to the apron and climbs into the ring for what one might think is a chance to celebrate. But no. It’s a chance for revenge. Instead of joining Ivan, Ruslan, with contempt in his eyes, puts the boots to Nova instead. Turnbull catches the attack and tries to intervene, but Stanislav places one big hand over Turnbull’s chest and glowers at him. The junior referee is out of his depth, not to mention the match is technically over, and he shrinks back.
Nick Stuart: Come on!
While the crowd boos, Ruslan hefts Nova up and holds him in a full nelson. Stanislav stares and laughs.
Ivan Stanislav: DYAAHAAHAA!!
He points at Nova and laughs again, before turning his back to him and looks to the crowd.
Nick Stuart: Why is Ivan doing this? I mean besides being a jerk!
Richard Parker: I mean, he did piss Ivan off attacking him in that brawl a few weeks ago. Not to mention he took out Alexei. Still, I dunno about this…
Ivan Stanislav: Here is your Hall of Famer! Here is your hero! PRIME’s own! Nova!!! DYAAHAAHAA!!
Nova is down, but he’s not out. He stirs and struggles while Ruslan tries to interlock his fingers. One mule kick later and Ruslan is doubled over and grabbing his rubles. The crowd pops, and it clues Ivan into the fact that something is amiss. Nova plants Ruslan with a stiff double arm DDT just as Stanislav turns to see the commotion.
But as Nova rises and turns, Stanislav completely annihilates him with a roaring lariat. The Risen Star corkscrews in the air and falls on his side. Stanislav curses down at the downed Nova in Russian, before he leaps and drops the full four hundred pounds of his left knee over The Starchild’s chest. Nova grabs his chest and flops about like a fish as Stanislav rises.
The Bear roars to the crowd once more.
Ivan Stanislav: Maybe he should not have gotten in our way!?! DYAAHAAHAA!! Maybe I should have been Universal Champion?! You asked for this, PRIME! I am just getting started! Cry for your hero!
Then it gets ugly.
Stanislav brutally stomps Nova, over and over, without any hesitation or restraint. He drives his full weight and strength behind each stomp, moving from his chest up to his head, and boots his left temple with a sickening CRACK. He lifts Nova and slaps him across the face, before sending him across the ring into the turnbuckle. Nova hits with tremendous velocity but refuses to go down, instead staggering out into Ivan’s huge arms. The Russian Bear lifts him with one hand and launches him across the ring.
Nick Stuart: He just threw Nova like a shot put!!
Nova sails slowly through the air and lands hard on the mat. Ivan walks over, almost nonchalantly, and wraps his huge hand around Nova’s throat. He starts to lift him, but The Starchild is a stubborn man. Through sheer reflex kicks Ivan in the knee and claws at his huge forearm. Alexei watches, but doesn’t intervene while Ivan shakes Nova forward and back by the throat, throttling him, and chokes the fight out of him.
Richard Parker: Okay this is probably enough now, uh, comrade…
Nick Stuart: Why don’t you get in there and calm them down, huh? You’re their friend, right?
Richard Parker: I don’t want to forsake my journalistic duty by leaving my post! Let someone else be the hero!
Turnbull has little options at his disposal, but he does call for the timekeeper to ring the bell. The bell clangs over and over, but Stanislav doesn’t care. He headbutts Nova once while still choking him and wraps him up in a side headlock.
Finally, someone from the backstage area emerges to try to bring this to an end.
The Dragonslayer rushes down the entryway and the crowd roars.
Nick Stuart: I have no doubt that with the size of this show most of the roster is busy preparing for their matches, but at least someone can help put an end to this!
Stanislav watches Sykes run down from the backstage area and cranks the headlock on Nova. When Sykes slides into the ring he makes to approach. Stanislav laughs uproariously, almost madly, and cranks the headlock on more and punches Nova with his free hand. It’s a warning that Jared immediately recognizes, and he takes one step backward. Ruslan twirls his baton and stands next to Ivan as a standoff ensues.
Nick Stuart: I’m not even sure Nova is conscious!
Sykes yells at Ivan to calm down, but the Russian Bear just laughs. His deep, bass voice cuts through the booing audience.
Ivan Stanislav: Who is laughing now? Not you, Sykes?! Not Troy! Not Mr. Hero, Nova!! DYAAHAAHAA!! This is what happens when one interferes in our business!!
Jared tries to approach again, and Ivan once more brutally punches Nova with a sickening crunch. Then, he hooks his fingers into Nova’s mouth and wrenches it open painfully wide.
Ivan Stanislav: GRRAAAAHHHH!!!! Do you want him? Do you want Mr. Hall of Fame?
Sykes nods, hands outstretched, with concern, frustration, and rage in his eyes. Ivan torques Nova’s head again and bellows.
Ivan Stanislav: No funny jokes, Jared? No silly drawings, hm? Not so funny when I can rip his head off?!?! It is serious now, is it not?!
Jared bites back his anger and nods while watching Nova’s unconscious, battered face.
Ivan Stanislav: Take him!
Ivan is the first to make his move. He turns slightly to the ropes next to him, and while holding Nova effortlessly with one huge hand, pulls the middle rope above the top rope and shoves Nova’s head through the ropes and releases. The top and middle rope constrict around Nova’s neck and he kicks helplessly. Jimmy Turnbull rushes to try to pull the tightened ropes from Nova’s neck, with no luck. Stanislav boldly walks straight towards Sykes, as if daring him to attack…
Richard Parker: What the hell?!
Nick Stuart: Nova is being choked by the ropes! He’s barely conscious already!
…and Sykes rushes past Ivan to help Nova. The two Russians walk up the entryway while Sykes and Turnbull work to open the ropes and free the Hall of Famer. By the time the battered, beaten, and semi-conscious Hall of Famer is free, Stanislav is standing at the entryway. He stares at the crowd and raises both of his arms high above his head as Nova collapses to the mat in the ring. Turnbull and Sykes check on him before Sykes climbs to his feet, staring up the entrance ramp at the Russian Bear as the scene fades to commercial.