WADE ELLIOTT VS. SAGE PONTIFF
“Satori Part II” by Flower Travellin’ Band ushers in the arrival of one Sage Pontiff. Dressed in an open silk shirt matching his bottoms, the Bodhisattva of Transformative Experience traverses down towards the ring.
Nick Stuart: This is a big match for Sage Pontiff.
Richard Parker: Nick, Nick, Nick… When you’re connected with the universe the way Sage Pontiff is, there’s no such thing as a big match. We’re all just tiny pieces of this cosmos, floating together and colliding in happenstance that none of us can control.
Nick Stuart: … Did he pay you to say that?
Richard Parker: A cool $20.
Sage takes a short running start and slides into the ring on his back, under the bottom rope. He rolls onto his stomach and agily pops up to his feet before offering a prayer to each side of the squared circle.
Vince Howard: From Joshua Tree, California… Weighing 201 lbs… SAAAAAAGE PONTIFF!
“A Boy Named Sue” by the Man in Black carries on over the already rumbling crowd.
Well my daddy left home, when I was three,
didn’t leave much, to Ma an’ me.
Just this old guitar and an’ empty bottle of booze.
The lyrics scroll in white on the PRIME*View, and the MGM Arena starts singing along.
Now I don’t blame him ‘cause he run an’ hid,
but the meanest thing that he ever did,
was before he left, he went an’ named me-
And then, shit gets LOUD. Johnny’s strums are replaced by a distorted guitar with a southern twang, followed by a steady beat of the drums. The entrance strobes as “Step Up (I’m On It) by Maylene and the Sons of Disaster wails away. The PRIME*View rolls that footage.: a charging black pick-up truck. Vicious dogs snapping at the camera. Tipped over whiskey bottles. All mixed with a montage of ass-whippin’ before the music slows.
Nick Stuart: It’s been awhile since Wade Elliott has been in a PRIME ring as an active competitor.
Richard Parker: Damn near a year, Nick. He better be ready, too. Sage Pontiff is a hell of a talent and he’ll put Elliot out in a minute if he’s not on his game!
“Too long, and too little,
Tell me when you gonna bring it on.
Small fights, and big stages,
Never terrified enough to run.”
Vince Howard: From Pine Ridge, Alabama!!
A big frame in a wide-brimmed drifter’s hat hides in the strobe lights, that hat tilted down a touch.
Vince Howard: Standing six feet! Four inches tall! Weighing in at two-hundred and fifty-four pounds!
The smoke starts settling, the lights start trailing.
Vince Howard: A former PRIME Intense Champion!!
The chorus hits, and the Son of a Bitch himself strolls out to the top of the ramp, one fist in the air, and a grin on his face he just can’t shake.
Vince Howard: THE BAD DOG!!!!! WADE!!! ELLLIOTTTT!!!!!
The Blue Collar Brawler takes it in for a moment before making his way to the ring, the arena going absolutely ape-shit for the Southern Sparkplug’s arrival. Meanhile, the music rises as Wade climbs the far turnbuckle. He removes his hat, holding it high in the air as the chorus hits heavy.
“ALLLL LIIIINED UP AND BUILT FOR PRESSURE!
(STEP UP! I’M ON IT!)
SAAYY YOOOUUUR PEACE LIKE IT’S THE END!!
(STAND BACK! WE’RE MOVIN’!!)”
He drops to the floor, tossing his hat ringside, before taking place in his corner.
A determined looking Wade Elliot heavily steps to the middle of the ring. Sage Pontiff, face full of delight, is quick to meet him there. Near face to face, the two start jawing at each other.
Richard Parker: What do you think they’re saying, Nick?
Nick Stuart: I’m not sure, Rich. Wade isn’t a man big on talking. His fists do that for him.
Indeed, it doesn’t take long for Wade to uncork an overhead right. His fist collides with Sage’s jaw, stumbling the young man backward a few steps. He reaches up to check his lip. Pontiff finds no blood, but still chuckles, his tongue giving the battered spot a quick lick for extra confirmation. Nodding, still smiling, Sage slowly walks back up to where Wade still stands. Pontiff loads up and sends his own punch Wade’s way. Wade’s head jerks, but his feet stay planted.
Elliot slowly raises his head back up, staring a silent death threat Sage’s way. Another punch from Wade. Pontiff hangs tough this time, knowing what he’s dealing with. One back from Sage. Wade. Then Sage. The crowd starts buzzing as the two continue to exchange heavy punches. Wade. Sage. Wade. Sage. Wade. Wade. Wade.
Nick Stuart: Wade Elliot is gaining the advantage!
Richard Parker: Sage needs to switch it up! They’re aren’t many people that can stand toe to toe with Elliot and stay on their feet.
Parker’s words prove to be prophetic, as Wade winds back and clobbers Pontiff with a big right that sends him down to the canvas!
Wade goes to stomp away at the downed Sage, but the Bodhisattva of Transformative Experience wastes little time rolling to the safety of the floor. He manages to land in a standing position, shaking his head to regain his bearings. Pontiff looks up at the Bad Dog and smiles, offering a polite round of applause.
Sage saunters around ringside, occasionally peeking up at Elliot while doing so. He swings a leg onto the apron and near seamlessly slides into the ring on his back, using the ropes to pull himself up to his feet. Wade stomps forward but is met with a hard kick to the thigh. Wade flinches, but still throws another overhead right. Pontiff narrowly avoids it and sends another kick to the ‘Bama Bruiser’s hamstring. Wade throws another wild haymaker Sage’s way. Again, he dips and ducks, another kick targeting Wade’s leg connects.
Nick Stuart: It looks like Pontiff might have found his early match strategy.
Richard Parker: It’s not a bad one. It’s gonna take some work to be effective, though. You think Wade skips leg day?
Nick Stuart: If I had to guess, no. No, he does not.
Sage continues to chop away at the tree, the kicks connecting. Even for as tough as he is, Wade starts to show the effects of the targeted attack. Sensing the time is right, Pontiff takes off towards the ropes. He jumps up to the second and flies off, looking for a crossbody block. Unfortunately, what he finds is an elbow to the mouth, sending him crashing to the mat painfully!
Wade grabs Sage and drags the younger man towards the corner, a slight limp in his walk. He callously tosses the crawling Pontiff into the turnbuckles, Sage resting his upper body on the bottom pad. Elliot starts stomping away, the tempo increasing with each stomp. Elvis Nixon intervenes soon enough to back the Southern Sparkplug up.
Nick Stuart: Sage had control for a second, but he took a chance that backfired.
Richard Parker: You gotta be careful with Elliot. He’s like a pure power hitter. His average might not always be that great, but he can make you pay if you make one mistake pitch.
Nick Stuart: You got an example for those that aren’t baseball fans?
Richard Parker: He’s like a slugger in boxing-
Nick Stuart: Any non-sports examples?
Richard Parker: Hey, don’t cut me off, Nick!
Announcer squabbling aside, Wade drags Pontiff out of the corner and to his feet. He scoops Sage up and drops his back across his knee with a forceful pendulum backbreaker. Sage hits the mat, arching his back. He screams in pain before laughing briefly, seeming to alternate between the two. Elliot doesn’t give him much room to recover, dragging him up again.
The Bad Dog again goes to scoop Pontiff up for another backbreaker. However, Sage manages to swing up and around, onto his feet before Elliot gets a good grip on him. He takes advantage by swinging forward towards the mildly bewildered Wade, connecting with a koppo kick towards Elliot’s trapezius. The blow staggers Wade a few steps back.
Nick Stuart: The athleticism and quick thinking of Sage Pontiff on display there!
Richard Parker: Yeah, but the kid can’t waste time. He needs to take advantage!
A few more kicks to Wade’s thigh keep the Bad Dog from managing much movement. Sage sprints towards the ropes again. This time when he comes off, he connects with a sobat kick that finally puts Wade down. Pontiff quickly moves over and jumps backwards with a standing moonsault! Elvis Nixon flies into position!
Sage doesn’t waste time protesting, sliding over and away from Wade to put distance between them. Elliot climbs to his feet but is quickly put back down with a sling blade, the Cosmic Resonator! Pontiff goes to the nearest corner, swiftly leaping up to the top. He turns his back and flies off with a Stardust Press he calls the Electric Feel…
Nick Stuart: MISS! Wade Elliot moved!
Richard Parker: That’s what happens when you take too many risks! Just don’t leave your feet! Ever!
Nick Stuart: Did the boss ever get you that electric scooter you asked for?
Richard Parker: Not in the budget, or so I’m told.
Wade uses the ropes to get to his feet, temporarily struggling to do so. Pontiff pushes off the mat, stumbling to his feet as well. When he turns around, he’s met with a thunderous clothesline that sends the young man corkscrewing through the air before crashing to the ground! That’s Southern Hospitality for you.
The ‘Bama Bruiser pulls Pontiff to his feet, getting him into position for a powerbomb. He lifts Sage up… But Pontiff fires away with wild punches to the head. Wade staggers back, but keeps his opponent in position. Sage throws himself backwards, hoping to hurricanrana Wade. No dice, as the Bad Dog holds position to leave Pontiff hanging upside down helplessly. Elliot powers him back up before planting him down with a big powerbomb! Wade gingerly drops down for the cover!
Nick Stuart: That was a nasty powerbomb by Wade Elliott!
Richard Parker: You think Sid would appreciate it or be jealous?
Nick Stuart: Hard to tell. I can never read that guy.
Wade pulls Sage up to his feet. He roughly whips Pontiff into the ropes. As Sage comes barreling back towards him, Elliott lifts up his powerful leg for a big boot… that Pontiff rolls under. Wade tries to turn to stay ready, but it’s no use. Sage sends a quick dropkick to the ‘Bama Bruiser’s knee, putting Elliot into a kneeling position.
Pontiff takes a few steps back and charges forward, smashing Wade with a jumping forearm that takes the thicker man down. Sage doesn’t stop there, scurrying over to climb on top of Wade with a mount. Pontiff grabs him by the hair and cracks Wade with a hard headbutt. Then another. Then another!
Nick Stuart: A vicious display from Sage Pontiff with those headbutts.
Richard Parker: We all know this guy thinks differently than your normal wrestler. He’ll take a punch as long as he can give one back. Those headbutts might have hurt him as much as they did Elliot. I think he’s even bleeding!
Indeed, Sage has managed to bust himself open while using his skull as a weapon. He reaches up and finds a small trickle of blood seeping from his forehead. That draws a big smile and slight chuckle from the Bodhisattva of Transformative Experience.
Pontiff leaps up to the top once again, with Wade still groggy on the ground. A second try at the Electric Feel is successful! Sage stays on top for the cover!
Nick Stuart: That was close! It seems like Wade can’t keep up when Sage picks up the pace.
Richard Parker: Both guys are about the same height and they both like to brawl, but that’s about where the similarities end. Hey, you think if Pontiff wins, he’ll get Lindsay Troy’s Love and Admiration?
Nick Stuart: I’m going to tell both her and Wade you said that.
Pontiff stays on the attack, pulling Wade up by the back of his pants. He hooks one arm up, maybe looking for his Atharvaveda release Dragon Suplex. Elliot has other ideas. He struggles as Sage tries to hook the other arm, blasting him with a back elbow that momentarily stuns the younger man. A second elbow frees Wade completely.
Wade turns around, just in time to be met with a spinning wheel kick to the face! Sage is quick to get to his feet, raining down stomps on the Bad Dog. He ends his flurry with an impressive jumping leg drop. Pontiff chuckles before turning to the crowd. He pantomimes towards the fallen Elliot in a mocking manner. Except… Wade isn’t down for long. He sits up and rubs his head, getting to his feet. Pontiff turns around and his smile fades every bit as quickly as it appeared.
Nick Stuart: Well you know what they say, Rich…
Richard Parker: If You’re Gonna Be Dumb, You Gotta Be Tough… Damn it, why did I play into that?!
A big right hand sends Pontiff to the canvas, but he’s right back up. Another. Back down and up. A third. Wade grabs Pontiff by the hair and starts hammering him with elbows. By the time Elvis Nixon steps in with a warning about the hair, Sage is on weak knees. An empathetic headbutt puts him down again, but there is no bouncing back up this time.
The Southern Sparkplug drags Sage to the corner once more. Like before he just brutalizes his opponent with a hurricane of stomps, Pontiff not even able to cover up at this point. Wade gives a subtle look towards the crowd before pointing a finger in the air. The crowd explodes!
Nick Stuart: I think he’s calling for the Superplex!
Richard Parker: He usually keeps that in his pocket unless he’s in a hardcore match. But hey, with how worn down Pontiff is, that might be enough.
Wade tugs Pontiff to his feet, the ropes helping to keep him up. He scoops his lighter opponent up, setting him sitting down on the top rope. Elliot climbs up to the second rope as well, hooking Sage’s arm over his neck before he climbs to the top.
That doesn’t happen, though. Before the ‘Bama Bruiser can ascend any further, Pontiff comes back to life. He wildly swings, peppering Elliott with unfocused clubbing blows. A rake to the eyes gives Sage a fraction of separation. Enough for him to forcefully kick Wade in the leg, causing the vet to swing over, right hand gripping the top rope while his right leg precariously balances on the middle. Clutching the top rope, Sage blasts Elliott with a high kick that sends him crashing to the mat.
Pontiff grins as he positions himself on the top. As Wade tries to climb to his feet, Sage flies off. He lands on his feet, Elliot’s head between his legs… Sage flies up and over…
Nick Stuart: SHAMANIC DREAMEAVER!
… DENIED! Yes, Wade managed to stiffen up, keeping Pontiff from completing the rotation. He now holds him in an inverted back to belly position. The Bad Dog flings Pontiff’s leg up and over, so that he’s positioned on his shoulder. Pushing Sage’s legs up high, Wade twists before thunderously driving Pontiff down to the canvas!
Nick Stuart: The Roughneck!
Richard Parker: There’s the cover!
DING DING DING
Nick Stuart: What a match!
Richard Parker: Sage Pontiff was game, but the Son of a Bitch that is Wade Elliott pulled it out!
Vince Howard: The winner of this match… “THE BAD DOG” WADE ELLLIOTTTT!
Wade climbs to his feet and gives a nod towards the rackus crowd before throwing an arm up in victory.