REZIN vs. SAGE PONTIFF
We return from commercial and see the ringside area again.
Nick Stuart: Folks, we’ve seen two great bouts already, and if you believe that styles make a fight, we’ve got a barnburner up next.
Richard Parker: (chanting) We don’t need no water, let the motherf—
Nick Stuart: The FCC still monitors supershows, Richard.
Richard Parker: I am once again being censored by the lamestream media.
The lights go poof. And not because of Richard’s potty mouth.
“I AM BECOME DEATH, THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS”
Off the sound bite, an exploding pyro rocks the arena, leaving behind a rising mushroom cloud of smoke over the stage.
Nick Stuart: The pyrotechnics team certainly taking advantage of the spacious skies over Petco Park for Rezin’s entrance!
Ministry’s cover of “Search and Destroy” pumps in over the PA. The PRIMEview cycles through footage of nuclear explosions, weapons of war, burning cities, riots in the streets, and in-ring highlights of the Goat Bastard being his daring and dastardly self. Blinding white light fills the entry-way as the silhouette of a man steps through the curtain.
Vince Howard: Making his way to the ring, from Indianapolis, Indiana, at 205 pounds, he IS the GOAT BASTARD…REZIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN!
The solo hits, and the stage lights come up, revealing “The Escape Artist” Rezin. He stands in place for a few moments, defiantly staring down the jeering crowd with his arms outstretched into a cross pose, and then begins the trip down the ramp. Reaching the ringside area, he does a loop around the ring and works the fans standing at the barricade with a heat-inducing exchange of trash talk.
Satisfied by their seething hatred, Rezin slides into the ring, wraps his arms between the ropes when he stands up, and rolls himself back into an inverted cross pose.
Richard Parker: I like the one where he absolutely smashes the guy’s entire life in with his foot.
Interrupting Rezin’s moment in the sun is the opening chords of “Satori Part II” by Flower Travelin’ Band, which prompts a unique and different set of jeers.
Vince Howard: And his opponent, from Joshua Tree, California, at 201 pounds, the Bodhisattva of Transformative Experience…SAAAAAAAAAGE PONTIFFFFFFFF!
And then Vince Howard has to duck and roll, because Pontiff is in the ring at at Rezin’s throat, proverbially speaking. He’s actually at Rezin’s head. With his elbow.
Nick Stuart: Sage Pontiff looks shot out of a cannon! Leaping forearm strike takedown to start the match off hot!
As quick as Rezin goes down, Pontiff pulls him right back up. He goes to throw the former Uni Champ out of the ring, but Rezin reverses into an Irish whip and sends Sage to the ropes. Pontiff comes back at him full speed and take flight.
Nick Stuart: Cosmic Resonator!
Sage’s patented sling blade takes Rezin down once again. This time, Rezin is too stunned to ward off Sage’s second attempt to pull him up by the air and chuck him through the middle rope onto the floor outside.
Richard Parker: Sage looking like it’s an uppers day instead of a downers day.
Nick Stuart: He does seem a man possessed. Maybe it’s the Tropical Turmoil atmosphere, or maybe Sage isn’t as zen as he claims to be about this matchup, but he is hot to start.
With Rezin staggered on the floor outside, and Sage still in the ring, he bounces to the opposite rope, and then uses both hands on the top rope to elevate himself into one hell of a flip slash divebomb to the outside.
Nick Stuart: Tope con hilo! Did you SEE the air that Sage just got?
Richard Parker: I’m a simple man. And I like when a guy the size of an NFL player does a violence somersault to another guy.
Both men struggle to their feet, Sage slightly faster than his foe. With Rezin halfway up, Sage unleashes a vicious stomp on the back of the Escape Artist’s head.
Sage stomps into Rezin’s back relentlessly. He only stops when he has to catch his breath. The local bodhisattva’s chest heaves.
Richard Parker: Getting winded from stomping someone’s shit in? That’s a workout regimen I believe in.
Sage goes to grab at the risin’ Rezin, but Rezin’s now fully aware that Sage is selling out for vicious offense. He beats Pontiff to the punch, and as he gets up, Rezin drives forward with his shoulder into Sage’s midsection, sending both of them crashing into the ringside barricade.
Nick Stuart: Sage Pontiff took the worst of that, right on the small of his back.
Richard Parker: This thing looks like a car wreck. I mean that as a compliment to these psychos.
Rezin is first to his feet. He pulls Sage up by his gnarly hair that certainly looks like it smells of patchouli and mold.
Rezin: (shoving Sage into the ring steps shoulder-first) ONE GOOD TURN DESEVERVES A-MOTHERFUGGIN’-NOTHER!
Nick Stuart: And down goes Sage! Rezin’s on the offensive now.
The Goat Bastard urges Sage up with his right hand, daring his opponent back to his feet. And when Sage reaches full height, Rezin is right on him, taking two quick steps forward and punishing Sage.
Nick Stuart: Missile dropkick into the steps! Oh, this thing is all Rezin, and it looks like Sage is opened up!
Richard Parker: Blood? You’ve got my attention.
There is indeed a small cut just below Sage’s hairline on his left side that is producing some noticeable crimson. Sage shakes his head to clear the cobwebs, and uses the apron to get himself back on his feet. Rezin doesn’t give him an inch. The Escape Artist takes off and grabs Sage’s head in a front facelock just as he gets his feet onto the apron, then shifts his weight to push off the corner turnbuckle, and brings his competition to the mat head-first with a grotesque thud.
HO-LY SHIT! HO-LY SHIT!
Nick Stuart: That tornado DDT by Rezin was a masterstroke! And both men are down!
Richard Parker: Head wound, meet head injury.
Nick Stuart: Elvis Nixon starting the ten count, with both men down.
Rezin stirs. Sage not so much.
Rezin staggers up and rolls under the bottom rope to break the ref’s count. He rolls back to the outside, where he’s stunned to be greeted by the full force of a tackle from a now-aerial Sage Pontiff.
Nick Stuart: Flying crossbody from Sage! Using his body as a lethal weapon.
Both men once again hit the mat, Rezin this time taking the worst of it. Sage takes advantage of his prone opponent, with a stomp straight on Rezin’s right knee.
Richard Parker: Blood and wanton violence? You had my attention, now you have my focus.
Rezin grabs at the right knee, while Sage repositions the steel steps that Rezin previously loosened. Sage steels himself (get it?) at the base of the stairs. As he sees Rezin wobble to his feet, he runs up the short set of steps and takes flight towards his opponent.
Nick Stuart: Sage just spiked Rezin with a flying impact DDT! Rezin took that straight on the skull!
Sage stands to full height, blood now noticeably intermingling with his dreads to create a frightful violent mask. He rolls Rezin into the ring, and pounces on top of him, hooking the leg.
Richard Parker: I didn’t think these guys had a slugfest like this in ‘em. But we got plasma flowing, and my titillation level is spiking!
Sage doesn’t waste a second. He pulls Rezin up by the neck, basically raising the Escape Artist via a sloppy sleeper hold. Doesn’t have to be pretty, though, because it’s just setting up the dazed Rezin for Sage to capture both arms, then wrench back and…
Nick Stuart: Atharvaveda!
The release dragon suplex has sent Rezin across the ring, body ragdolling near the opposite corner. Sage stays on him. He pulls Rezin to his feet, and pounds on Rezin’s back, doubling him over. Sage has Rezin in a standing headscissors, and a look of righteous violence spreads across his face.
Nick Stuart: If he hits the Shamanic Dreamweaver…OH!
Nick doesn’t finish the sentence, because Rezin finds a reserve and upends Sage Pontiff with a back body drop that shakes the ring, and sends blood droplets in several visible directions. With Sage down, Rezin runs facing the ropes, jumps, and gets both feet to the middle rope, before powering himself backwards and up, up, up.
Nick Stuart: Rezinsault! He went lionsault-style, and here’s the pin!
Richard Parker: Not yet, crust punk. That was sick, though.
As Sage gets back to his feet, Rezin is already on the move, swooping in from behind and putting Sage back down with a slick one-handed bulldog. He takes a half-step to bounce off the nearest rope, and leg drops the fallen Sage.
Nick Stuart: I don’t think the man likes to hear it over and over but THIS is the Rezin who won the Universal Title.
With time on his side, Rezin ascends the corner turnbuckle. He crouches and waits. Sage gets to his feet, but he’s facing the wrong direction. He spins to try and find Rezin, but what he finds is the last step Rezin takes onto the top rope before launching himself at Sage.
Nick Stuart: An absolutely dazzling springboard hurricanrana!
Both men land on opposite sides of the ring. Every breath is hard now. Rezin has the clear upper hand, but he’s grabbing at the right knee Sage stomped on. He pounds a fist on the knee, willing it to be pain-free. Sage, meanwhile, is struggling. He’s on all fours. Rezin sees an opening, and grabs Sage’s head with one hand, a leg with the other, and he flips them both in an Oklahoma roll, leading to a quick pin attempt.
Nick Stuart: Shoulder up! Sage stays alive!
Rezin once again gets Sage to his feet, but this time the messianic hippie knows it’s coming. And he’s ready. Expecting a lock or the ability to get leverage, Rezin grabs at Sage, who swats his hands away, and follows up with an eye gouge that blinds the Goat Bastard. Blood more prominently drips from Sage’s hairline now.
Richard Parker: Eye for an eye! Or two eyes!
With a moment of separation, Sage gets back to the standing headscissors, and is lightning fast leaning his weight forward into a flipping mess of limbs and man.
Nick Stuart: SHAMANIC DREAMWEAVER!
Richard Parker: Sneaky, sneaky Rezin.
Elvis Nixon points to Rezin’s leg lazily dangling on the bottom rope. A few PRIMEates, frankly impressed by the effort of both men, give a round of applause for both men’s vicious efforts, and encourage them to fight forever.
Nick Stuart: What can you be thinking if you’re Sage? What else can you do to put Rezin down?
Sage’s response: more violence. He begins to savagely kick at the right knee of Rezin. When he’s tired himself out with kicking, Sage drops down into a knee bar.
Richard Parker: Not the prettiest submission I’ve ever seen, but man alive, he’s beating that knee like it stole from him.
Rezin endures fifteen seconds before he can scoot himself to the ropes. He grabs the bottom rope, and Elvis Nixon starts the five count. Sage only breaks the hold at the last second.
Nick Stuart: I’m not sure whether Sage knows that Rezin needs that right knee for the Cloven Hoof Kick, or if he’s just seeing red. Either way, he is a man obsessed.
Sage is up again, and again it’s the standing headscissors. He goes to wipe blood from his eye, but that provides a break for Rezin. The Escape Artist lives up to his name and ducks under Sage’s legs, emerging behind him. Sage goes to turn, but Rezin’s too fast. He lifts Sage from behind, and then spins his opponent mid-air, before…
Nick Stuart: Black Thunder Bomb!
Richard Parker: Not sure there was a lot of IQ to spare in the first place, but these two dudes are losing a lot of whatever they had.
Rezin doesn’t waste time being frustrated by the near pinfall. He’s up, and he’s got the drop on Sage. Pontiff woozily finds his feet in the center of the ring. That’s a bad place to be. Because that’s where Rezin’s foot, specifically his heel, is headed at terminal velocity. Sage’s jaw is wide open for the killing blow.
Richard Parker: CLOVEN HOOF KICK!
Nick Stuart: Sage is dazed! He’s out on his feet!
Pontiff is knocked back into the turnbuckle. Every fan in San Diego can see the light nearly gone out in his eyes.
Nick Stuart: You know what he’s looking for now!
Rezin steps in front of Sage, with his back to the maybe-cult-leader. He grabs under Sage’s chin, takes a step forward, and lifts off.
Richard Parker: INTO THE VOID!
Nick Stuart: No! The knee gave out!
Indeed, Rezin pitched forward to create the space to elevate for his finisher, but taking the extra step and putting weight on the right knee causes Rezin to stumble. And you can’t stumble against a man as bloodthirsty as Sage Pontiff is tonight.
Kick. Wham. Standing headscissors.
Nick Stuart: SHAMANIC DREAMWEAVER!
The second Destroyer finds its mark, and looks bad.
Richard Parker: I know this isn’t a FLAMBERGE match, but that neck might be too effed up to be collected.
Sage covers, with a deep hook.
DING DING DING
The rung bell causes Sage Pontiff to get to his feet. He’s only standing with the aid of the ropes, and blood now covers his forehead, matting his hair. His eyes blaze with the same intensity he’s had all match. He just barely smiles, though he’s clearly content. He hocks up bloody spit in the direction of Rezin, who has yet to move.
Nick Stuart: Unsurprising, but totally uncalled for from Sage. He said he was bigger than this, on a higher plane than Rezin. But what we found out tonight is that he was simply willing to go to more perverse depths than his opponent.
Richard Parker: Got the W, though.
Sage continues to celebrate, both hands raised aggressively. Rezin, meanwhile, is just barely able to roll under the bottom rope, and favors his right knee greatly as he begins the long slow walk back to Argyle.
Nick Stuart: A barnburner, as predicted. I’m not sure what the state of Rezin is, but Sage Pontiff is your winner. What a war.
Richard Parker: Revenue time! Smash that MF commercial button, showrunners!
We then cut to a commercial.