SAGE PONTIFF vs. EDDIE CROSS
As ReVival returns to the arena, fans are taking their seats and whisperingly excitedly about the next upcoming match of the evening, in this one, a curious affair of Eddie Cross and Sage Pontiff.
Nick Stuart: We had two brilliant nights at Tropical Turmoil, but for our upcoming competitors, they really put their bodies on the line in the name of victory. One was successful, one was cheated out of a rightful win…
Richard Parker: Hold on, hold on… you’re going to criticize a little tight tug? What about Eddie Cross’ actions after the match?
Nick Stuart: The passion was spilling out of him, Tony Gamble deserved everything that was coming to him, Eddie Cross was simply delivering it.
The announce team bickering is interrupted by a green screen.
Match Start in 10…
– Eliminate Other Players –
The opening guitar to Cross Off by Mark Morton (feat Chester Bennington) echoes, and the words repeat
“Cross Off the days gone…”
“Cross Off the days gone…”
As Mark Morton’s guitars sear through the arena, Eddie “n1ghtcraw1er” Cross steps out of the back and stops to survey the crowd before pumping a fist into the air. He adjusts his custom gaming glasses before walking down the ramp focused on the ring.
Nick Stuart: And here he is, I think it’s fair to say Eddie Cross is still seeking his own identity but as the young man explores the world, I’d say he has a strong sense of moral justice?
Richard Parker: Because he decided to assault Tony Gamble after his match? HE SHOULDN’T EVEN HAVE A MATCH! HE SHOULD BE SUSPENDED.
Nick Stuart: If we suspended every member of the roster who performed a post match attack, the show would be a two hour Melvin Beauregard one man show, is that what you want?
Richard Parker: I retract my prior comment.
EC pauses at the ring steps, taking off his backpack, unzipping the main compartment, and placing it in the corner of the ring. He waits for the transition between verses before psyching himself up. Vince Howard is waiting.
Vince Howard: From Charlotte, NC, standing six feet four inches and weighing in at 225 lbs, EDDIE “N1GHTCRAW1ER” CROSS!!!
Nick Stuart: You wonder if Eddie maybe feels a bit freer after opening up on Tony Gamble.
Richard Parker: If he wants to try that with Sage Pontiff, he’ll certainly find out very quickly if he’s a violent weirdo lad.
Nick Stuart: Eloquent as always.
He then runs up the ring steps, wipes his feet on the apron, and enters the ring as Chester Bennington screams into the microphone.
Making my way back from the madness
Shifting my thoughts from the blackness
And the sadness, but the fact is
I’m swinging through life like a clenched fist
Fuck sanity, I wanna bleed
Can’t kill the pain, it’s everything
It’s all I feel
It’s what I breathe
Turn the hate I breed into what I need
Heavy is the hand that points the finger (Finger)
Heavy is the heart that’s filled with anger (Anger)
Did you survey everything you laid to waste
And cross off the days?
Eddie rolls his neck and prepares for the match. As Eddie prepares himself for action inside of the ring, “Satori Part II” by Flower Travellin’ Band begins to play, signaling the arrival of Sage Pontiff.
Nick Stuart: People are looking at this man and pointing the finger at him for putting Rezin on the shelf…
Richard Parker: Point the finger? They should be singing his praises. Backstage smells are 1000% improved. Well… there’s still a matter of BO, but the shit smell has really decreased.
Nick Stuart: Our man in the field, Richard Parker.
As Pontiff has a look upon his face that could be called a smile but certainly belies a degree of menace, Eddie Cross glares at his opponent from the ring, clearly not overly impressed with the ways of the Boddhisattva, not that that bothers Pontiff for a single second.
Vince Howard: And his opponent, making his way to the ring at this point, he stands at six foot four inches and weighs in tonight at an even two hundred pounds, hailing from Joshua Tree, California… SAAAAAAGE PONNNNNTIIIIIIFFF!
Pontiff gets in the ring and referee Elvis Nixon conducts his last minute inspection of both competitors, quickly signaling for the bell.
The bell rings and the match begins. Eddie Cross charges at Sage Pontiff, but Pontiff ducks out of the way and hits Cross with a shoulder block. Cross gets up and charges at Pontiff again, but Pontiff hits him with a clothesline. Cross falls to the ground and Pontiff starts to stomp on him.
The referee tries to break it up, but Pontiff pushes him away. Cross gets up and hits Pontiff with a punch. Pontiff hits Cross with a punch of his own. The two men trade punches back and forth.
Cross hits Pontiff with a knee to the stomach. Pontiff doubles over in pain.
Nick Stuart: These two have wasted no time in going for it, I don’t know how much Elvis Nixon is going to be able to control these two, I think they may be spoiling for a fight more than trying to win a match.
Richard Parker: When tempers flare Nick, it can be a very dangerous game. With the adrenaline pumping through these two men, it’d be a wonder if both of them leave this match in one piece Cross hits Pontiff with a clothesline. Pontiff falls to the ground. Cross goes for the pin, but Pontiff kicks out at two.
Eddie Cross takes a few steps back and slams a kick straight into the thigh of Pontiff, who winces and smiles at the same time, perhaps in efforts to put Cross off. It doesn’t deter the young athlete though, as he follows up with two more forceful and solid punts right to the thigh, causing the leg of Pontiff to go rather red raw. Pontiff hobbles and takes a few steps back, with Cross trying to keep up the assault. Cross’ momentum is halted as he shoots in at Pontiff, only for Pontiff to reverse the momentum, leaving Cross to meet the top rope face first. Eddie Cross is quick to gasp for air and Pontiff is quick to follow with a snapmare DDT. He almost goes for a floatover pin, but stops himself and stomps in Eddie’s skull instead, much to the very loud disapproval of the crowd.
Nick Stuart: Quick acting from Pontiff got him out from Eddie Cross’ assault, he’s tall but he’s nimble.
Richard Parker: I almost asked him about his training routine once but then I realised I liked the red bits of my body to stay inside instead of outside of me.
A second attempt to cave Eddie Cross’ skull is less successful, as the young Cross quickly scrambles to his feet, nursing his head a little as he does so, glaring a hole directly through Pontiff. Pontiff nears Cross and gets an elbow smashed into his face as thanks for the proximity. Cross returns an elbow in kind and it quickly devolves into two men smashing elbows repeatedly into each other’s faces, much to the excitement of the crowd. After a series of elbows, Cross backs up, leaps, and smashes Pontiff on the face with a kick that cuts his cheek over a little. Pontiff feels his face and notices that Cross’ kick opened up his cheek a little. The bits of blood he can feel only strengthens his resolves as he rushes towards Cross and takes him to the mat with a slingblade.
Nick Stuart: Sage Pontiff takes down Eddie Cross with what he calls the Cosmic Resonator.
Richard Parker: I was about to start asking questions but I’ve not realised that… I don’t need to know. That man’s business is his business.
Pontiff looks at the downed Eddie and decides he feels like trying something new. Looking over his shoulder, he sees Cross flat out on the flat, rushes towards the ropes, leaps into them and then brings his entire body weight onto Cross’ chest, back first. Cross gasps for air and Pontiff decides to go for a pin.
Nick Stuart: Eddie Cross is able to power out.
Richard Parker: I don’t know how a man that size can twist his body in the air like that but I know I felt the collision. I’m surprised Eddie can still breathe right now.
Sage just smiles to himself as Cross kicks out and rolls off his opponent. He grabs Eddie’s hair and pulls him back up to an even base but Cross sees an opening and quickly sends a flurry of palm strikes into the chest of Pontiff, to create some distance between the two men. Pontiff lets go of Cross’ hair as Cross continues to jam palm after palm into Pontiff, his chest turning shades of red you wouldn’t think the human body could achieve. As a bit of distance is created between Pontiff and Cross, Cross once again takes measure of his opponent and takes a leap, this time landing a picture perfect knee strike across the chin of Pontiff, in a move that Eddie unfortunately decided to call “Trigger Warning”. Pontiff begins to look a little bit out of his feet and Cross knows this. He goes in for the kill, hoisting Pontiff in with wrist control and dropping him to the mat with a Regal Cutter.
Nick Stuart: I have to say, I’m a little bit surprised but Eddie Cross is more than standing his ground with Sage Pontiff right now. Maybe he feels freer after taking a measure of revenge against Tony Gamble.
Richard Parker: Or maybe he’s a horrible little goblin boy who should have been suspended without pay after Tropical Turmoil. Truly a thinker.
Cross decides not to go for the pin, instead electing to grab the legs of Pontiff, hooking him high and trying to turn him over into an elevated Texas Cloverleaf. The lighter Pontiff tries to use his lighter frame to wriggle free and Cross uses all his will to lift Pontiff and step over. The two struggle in the middle of the mat as referee Elvis Nixon looks on. To help give him a bit more control, Cross starts to use his free foot to stomp on the skull on Pontiff a few times, opening up the gash on his cheek over further. Even as Cross manages to turn Sage over and lock in the hold, there’s still a small smile on the face of Pontiff as he begins to struggle free of the hold.
Nick Stuart: The Fool’s Gallow! The lineage of that move… and he’s got it locked in tight.
Richard Parker: There’s something in Cross’ eyes tonight, he wants this win.
Cross leans back as far as he can to lock the hold in tight, but as he leans, his grip loosens ever so slightly and this is enough to catch a Sage Pontiff boot to the chin. Cross staggers but keeps the hold locked in as Elvis Nixon continues to check on Pontiff and whether he plans to tap. Pontiff more or less ignores Nixon as he tries to shift his weight, he manages to loosen Cross’ grip again, giving him a second boot to the jaw. This time, it’s enough for Eddie to lose control of the hold and Pontiff to break free.
Richard Parker: A few seconds and a snugger hold there and it’s over.
Nick Stuart: Eddie Cross fought to keep it locked in but perhaps Sage’s experiences with pain gave him a clear enough head to strategise a way to break free.
Pontiff gets back to his feet, clutching his back as he does so and immediately launches his body at the dazed Cross. Cross sees the frame of Pontiff heading in his direction and manages to catch him mid-air, slamming him down to the mat and driving all of the air out of his body. He quickly flips over and jackknifes Pontiff for the pin.
Nick Stuart: Sage Pontiff breaks free of Eddie Cross’ clutches at the last possible second.
Richard Parker: I don’t know how you prepare for someone as unpredictable as Sage Pontiff, but tonight, Eddie Cross is doing it.
A mildly frustrated Cross looks over to Elvis Nixon, who holds up the two. Cross looks dejected for a few seconds before building up his resolve once more and bringing Pontiff back up to his feet. He leaves the dazed Pontiff trying to regain his bearings in the middle of the ring and starts to take a few steps back. He rushes towards Pontiff and leaps up, looking for a second “Trigger Warning” but Pontiff drops down and ducks the knee flying towards his skull. Cross has enough control of his body that he’s able to stop in place and spin back around to face Pontiff. Unfortunately for Cross, Pontiff returns the leap, grabbing Cross at waist level.
Nick Stuart: SHAMANIC DREAMWEAVER! WHAT A MOMENTUM SHIFT!
Richard Parker: I don’t know where he pulled it out from but he’s crushed Eddie Cross’ skull right into the mat.
Pontiff almost seems surprised at himself as he scrambles over and hooks Cross’ leg for the pin.
Elvis Nixon’s hand slaps the mat for the third time, with Cross’ shoulder rolling off the mat seconds later.
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: Your winner of the match at a time of fifteen minutes and twelve seconds… SAGE PONTIFF!
Nick Stuart: He got there in the end, but I don’t think Sage Pontiff was expecting such an aggressive offensive to Eddie Cross here tonight.
Richard Parker: Eddie’s frustrations are starting to show themselves in the ring and it’s giving his offense a bigger snap. If he can channel this fully, I hate to say it but the roster might be on notice.
Nick Stuart: Be that as it may, the man who was victorious at Tropical Turmoil was also victorious here tonight. Sage Pontiff is once again etching himself as one of the top tier competitors in PRIME. We already saw just how close he got against Coral Avalon, I think it’s a matter of time before we see PRIME gold against this man’s waist.
Richard Parker: With our champions that is easier said than done, but Sage is a man who will not be concerned by such matters.
Just before the camera cuts away to our next beautiful scene, we are witness to two scenes, a victorious Sage Pontiff throwing both arms in the air in victory to the jeers of the crowd, and a frustrated Eddie Cross slamming both fists in the match, clearly thinking that he almost had Sage.
We then fade to commercial.