SAGE PONTIFF vs. JONATHAN-CHRISTOPHER HALL
You know that you’re in for a time, baby, when you hear that Flower Travellin’ Band and their “Satori Part II”. Within moments of the song’s guitars hitting, Sage Pontiff steps through the curtains and makes his way to the ring.
Vince Howard: The following contest is scheduled for one fall! Making his way to the ring… from Joshua Tree, California! Weighing in at two hundred and one pounds… SAAAAAAAAAAGEEEEE POOOOOOOOONTIIIIIIIFFFFFF!!!
Pontiff rolls into the ring, then takes a seat in a corner in a lotus position and awaits his opponent.
Nick Stuart: One of the most dangerous men in all of PRIME right now, Sage Pontiff. A true enigma.
Richard Parker: So, I’ve done some research on our boy, Sage Pontiff, and here’s what I’ve come away with through an ancient, primordial text known as Countdown to Ecstasy.
Nick Stuart: I’m going to stop you right there.
Richard Parker: What? I did, like, five minutes of research. That’s four minutes and fifty-six seconds more research than I’d normally make!
In the ring, Pontiff is cool. Serene. Patient. Even when Aerosmith’s classic “I Don’t Want To Miss A Thing” hits the PA system, his expression never changes. He’s only here to guide Jonathan-Christopher Hall to the next stage of his life. You know, a hospital bed.
The Halls come out together, because when you’re Amazing Life Partners, you go together like peanut butter and jelly! Like pepperoni and pizza! Like Fruitopia and international shipping! Vickie Hall seems especially jubilant at the idea of her ALP taking the flower child population of the world down by one, and Jonathan-Christopher has an expression of grim determination. He can’t disappoint Vickie again. He won’t. He refuses.
Vince Howard: His opponent, being accompanied to the ring by his Amazing Life Partner, Vickie Hall! From Folsom, Louisiana… he weighs in at two hundred and twenty pounds! THIS IS JONATHAN! CHRISTOPHER! HAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!
Vickie Hall screams almost before Howard is done.
That’s because Sage Pontiff decided to take a cue from Jonathan-Christopher’s last opponent, FLAMBERGE, and immediately attacks before Hall even thinks about getting into the ring. Sage leaps over the top rope and comes crashing down on top of Hall, limbs flailing as he flies. Vickie is sent screeching away in a panic, as Pontiff lands on top of Hall and beats the poor guy senseless with his fists.
Referee Timo Bolamba immediately exits the ring to try and restore some order, get everyone back in the ring, and have a good, clean wrestling match. And to that, Sage Pontiff rejects the entire notion. No. There needs to be blood. It doesn’t matter whose.
Nick Stuart: Sage Pontiff is not even waiting for the bell to ring!
Richard Parker: Oh no!
Pontiff unloads on Hall with his fists, perhaps hoping to sculpt such a pretty face into something unrecognizable. Jonathan-Christopher is yelling from underneath Pontiff, trying to cover up. Vickie is screeching banshee noises at Pontiff, but Pontiff is mentally somewhere far, far away from Vickie, his opponent, or even Timo. He’s finding his enlightenment right now, please call again later.
Referee Bolamba doesn’t call again later. He forcibly pulls Pontiff off of Hall, which breaks Pontiff out of his trance. There’s a heat in his mismatched eyes for a few moments before he calms himself. Peace.
Hall is in a bad way as he crawls away desperately from Pontiff. Pontiff’s blows had already done a number on poor Jonathan-Christopher’s face, and Pontiff is looking to dish out more. He stalks after the Timid Tiger, who is definitely being more timid and less tiger in this moment. Now, things are looking bad for the Hallmark Journey right now, and you might understand if we might have to put a hold on this whole thing.
But see, that’s why Jonathan-Christopher Hall has an Amazing Life Partner, able to tag in when she pleases. Regardless of the rules, situation, logic, intelligence, or even the cursed barriers of reality itself! Which is why Vickie takes the opportunity to jump on Sage’s back to deter him.
Richard Parker: No, Vickie! Don’t do that! You don’t know where he’s been!
Nick Stuart: Referee Timo needs to step in here and get these two in the ring so we can actually start this match!
Indeed, the fact that the match hasn’t begun yet is the only reason why Timo isn’t disqualifying the Halls right here and now for Vickie’s blatant interference. For his part, Sage Pontiff treats the extra weight on his back like she’s a backpack. In fact, he might welcome the opportunity to give Vickie a front row seat to the Sage Pontiff School of Facial Reconstruction.
It’s only when the Vow of Virtue escapes to the relative safety of the inside of the ring that Pontiff feels it necessary to shed the weight. He shrugs Vickie off like a coat and jumps up on the apron. That’s when JCH meets him with a hard knee as he tries to come in. He batters Pontiff, all the while pulling the Bodhisattva into the ring.
Timo takes this as a sign to ring the bell.
Nick Stuart: The match has started, and Jonathan-Christopher Hall is already busted up!
Richard Parker: Not fair!
Indeed, Jonathan-Christopher Hall has a gash across his eye, and the side of his lip is puffed up. His eyes are wide with equal measures shock and fear. The fear is not of Sage Pontiff. The fear is of what Vickie would think if she got a good look at the state of his face. God, what would she think!?
He kicks Pontiff in the head in disgust.
Pontiff responds to it with a serene smile, one that makes Hall react as though he’s actively being haunted by a malicious ghost.
Nick Stuart: Sage Pontiff is not a man who is easily phased by a little pain!
Richard Parker: Oh, I think it phases him. He just enjoys it.
Hall pulls Pontiff to his feet and shoves him into the corner, before kicking him in the corner enough times that referee Timo Bolamba has to admonish him to let Pontiff out of the corner. Hall turns to argue with him. As he does, Pontiff calmly walks out from the corner and rips Hall back into the same corner, before beating him in the face with more fists until Hall collapses into a seated position in the corner.
Richard Parker: Oh no!
Pontiff has a sick smile on his face as he looks down at Hall. He leans down, and asks him a question.
Sage Pontiff: Can you truly achieve your dreams looking like that?
Hall responds by trying to hit him back. His slap sails and hits a spot about six inches in front of Pontiff’s face. Pontiff smiles and punts him in the face again.
So, things are looking not great for the Hallmark Journey. Timo gets between Hall and Pontiff so that Hall can be given some room to get to his feet. Instead, while Timo’s back is turned, Vickie Hall pulls her Amazing Life Partner out of the ring and to the floor. Pontiff watches this with a smile, and positions himself at the center of the ring.
Jonathan-Christopher Hall slowly gets up. Vickie helps him. When he’s back up, the Amazing Life Partners get a moment to look up and see Sage Pontiff running the ropes at them. He jumps up onto the second rope from the inside and then springboards over the top rope in a flailing somersault plancha…
Nick Stuart: Oh my god…
…and goes splat on the concrete just in front of the commentary desk.
The Halls had seen what was coming for them, and they both bailed out of the way just as Pontiff executed the springboard.
There’s a stunned silence among the crowd. Murmurs. Watching an actual human man do a pratfall on concrete will do that, even if that human man is as crazy as Sage Pontiff.
Richard Parker: I think we need a doctor out here! Or a priest!
Vickie screeches at her Amazing Life Partner to get Pontiff in the ring to end this thing right now. It takes the Timid Tiger a little time to clear the cobwebs and get his mind out of how much his face throbbed from the beating Pontiff already delivered to him, but he scrapes the Bodhisattva of the Transformative Experience off of the floor mat like he’s about to flip a burger, and throws him into the ring.
He quickly crawls in after him and makes a cover.
Richard Parker: How the hell, no… better question, just now thought of it… WHY the hell did Pontiff kick out!?
Nick Stuart: Sage Pontiff is not built like most men, Richard.
Hall looks to Vickie for guidance. He needs to. He almost has no idea what to do next. His best shot so far had been what amounted to a self-inflicted wound, and Pontiff still kicked out. In response, Vickie is all but barking orders at Jonathan-Christopher, making exaggerated pantomimes at ringside on what he should do next.
The Timid Tiger nods his understanding.
Nick Stuart: One wonders who the actual wrestler of these two is…
Richard Parker: Uh, it’s the one actually wrestling, Nick. Duh.
Jonathan-Christopher pulls Pontiff up to his feet. A DDT follows, and the Vow of Virtue quickly floats over into a cover. It only gets two, however, as Pontiff defiantly shoots his shoulder off of the canvas. Hall looks to his Amazing Life Partner with the widest eyes. He’s got the advantage and she’s watching him! Judging him! He pulls Pontiff back up again. Pontiff is smiling at him the entire time. As if telling him that he’ll disappoint Vickie! How dare him!
A snap suplex. Another cover. Another two count.
His hands are in his hair now. He’s got this. He knows he’s got this. Vickie has to know he’s got this! His face hurts. Is that blood? That’s blood, isn’t it? Oh no. No, no, no. That won’t do! He pulls Pontiff to his feet, and goes for a second snap suplex. Pontiff, however, uses his agility to shift his weight as he’s lifted up and lands a knee to Jonathan-Christopher’s head!
Nick Stuart: Unique counter by Pontiff!
Richard Parker: Oh no! Vickie! Your boy toy’s getting face-punched by a man’s knee!
Pontiff lands on his feet in front of the stunned Hall, then snaps off a DDT to put him down. He’s slow to recover because even a sadomasochist like Sage Pontiff might need a minute after crashing and burning earlier in the contest like he’s been ejected from a car crash. When he does, he’s throwing Jonathan-Christopher Hall across the ring with a series of gutwrench suplexes. He gets up to three, and he goes to keep doing them. Perhaps he’s working in the 32 Signs of a Great Suplexer, and they’re all gutwrench suplexes.
Either way, Hall blocks, grabbing Pontiff’s leg as he goes for the fourth one. Pontiff tries, but Hall manages to lift him up and backdrop him over his head. Pontiff’s quick to get to his feet, and…
Nick Stuart: CHASING VICKIE!
Richard Parker: HE GOT ALL OF THAT ONE, NICK!!
The flying back elbow cracks Sage in the jaw! Vickie Hall, on the outside, jumps for joy! Her Amazing Life Partner quickly goes for the cover!
The Alpha Male Love Boat, of which Vickie’s clearly the captain, can’t believe it. Pontiff is dazed from the blow, and unable to return to his feet right away. Vickie is shouting at her ALP to take advantage of Pontiff’s downed state and do something else to pick up the win!
And what he decides to do is go to the top rope.
As he climbs, the blood seeping from the wound over his eye clouds his vision. He needs a moment to wipe that away. Hall gets to the top rope, takes another moment to measure it, and leaps off for the frog splash.
Nick Stuart: THE SPACE BETWE—NO!
Turns out, it’s very hard to complete a frog splash when there’s no one to receive it except empty mat. Vickie screams in horror as Jonathan-Christopher Hall hits the mat and bounces up, holding his abdomen. He’s in a daze, doubled over. He never sees Pontiff coming until it’s too late.
Nick Stuart: SHAMANISTIC DREAMWEAVER!
The Canadian Destroyer spikes Jonathan-Christopher Hall on his head in brutal fashion, and he crumples to the mat like cheap cardboard. Pontiff rolls him over, placing a forearm on the battered face of his opponent.
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: Ladies and gentlemen… the winner of this match… SAAAAAAAAAAGEEEEE PONTIIIIIIIIIIFFFFFFFF!
“Satori Part II” hits as Pontiff slithers off of Jonathan-Christopher Hall’s body. The dreadlocked warrior doesn’t wait to have his hand raised in victory. Instead, with one arm close to his abdomen, he slides out of the ring and starts making his way to the back, leaving the Halls behind him to convalesce in the ring.
Richard Parker: Man, the Bodhisattva of the Transformative Experience just transformed Jonathan-Christopher Hall from a conscious Amazing Life Partner into an unconscious one in the blink of an eye!
Nick Stuart: Yeah, but you gotta believe that if Hall hadn’t taken so much time trying to hit that frog splash that it’d be his hand raised here tonight, Rich.
Richard Parker: I’m just so sad for Vickie! Her man should be victorious! And, y’know… not bleeding or anything. Is that so much to ask?
Nick Stuart: …Apparently, it is.
And with the image of Pontiff heading to the back with his head held high, ReVival 25 moves on…