The Phoenix Wrestling Alliance opening video fades out and we cut inside to a live sold out Honda Center here in Anaheim California. All 18,097 fans are on their feet as the camera pans over the crowd as we are officially LIVE for PWA:01.
The crowd is absolutely buzzing as what was once rumored to be a two hour wrestling event but is now looking to last four to five hours due to the enormity of the card.
And that is alright with every single fan.
The huge video screen above the entrance ramp suddenly comes to life and the crowd hits another level as the action for PWA is OFFICIALLY underway!!
We’re taken to the backstage area, specifically the locker room of Lexi Gold where she is seen dressed in full gear with her foot on a steel chair, lacing up her boot in preparation for her imminent match against Kenny Freeman. Once she’s done lacing up her boot, she paces the room with her hands on her hip. Normally she’d be nervous facing someone new to her, but after the bit of tension her and Kenny shared on SHOOT’s internal social media platform, Lexi can’t wait to get her hands on him and show him what happens when you disrespect a determined wrestler like her.
The thought of her opponent tonight seems to manifest itself here and now, as we hear Kenny’s voice off in the distance…letting out a strange noise, almost a chant.
Kenny Freeman: Quack, quack, quack, quack…
Kenny’s voice is soon joined by two others, as the trio finally appear on screen…a trio nearly identical in appearance, as if three Kennys have just arrived at the Honda Center. They continue quacking as they approach Lexi, who looks at them with a mix of confusion and annoyance as she rises to her feet.
Lexi turns around and shakes her head, not surprised Kenny would show up to her locker room before their match. She crosses her arms and smirks.
Lexi Gold: I wasn’t aware they let animals in the building. What the hell do you and your goons want?
The trio look at each other with a smirk, before the Kenny in the middle speaks up with a playful tone.
Kenny Freeman: Hiya Lexi, just wanted to stop by and wish ya luck in our match tonight. Despite being your opponent this evening, I am lowkey rooting for ya. Lord knows you could use a better night than going up against Jamie Johnson.
This causes the other goofs to snicker, much to Lexi’s chagrin.
Lexi Gold: I see what you did there, and while I’m a little disappointed with the loss, I’m still chasing my dreams and it won’t stop me from kicking your ass. At least Jamie was a respectable opponent, but you on the other hand show no respect.
This causes Kenny to furrow his brow, the smirk fading fast from his face as he responds somewhat cooly to the statement.
Kenny Freeman: What’d you mean, no respect? I’m showing you a lot more respect than most of the other competitors are showing each other tonight. I, at least, have the decency to come here and wish you luck before we go out there.
A smile eventually returns to Kenny’s face as he continues.
Kenny Freeman: We’re gonna go out there and have a blast tonight. Any respect you might gain from little ol’ Kenny is totally optional, but the butt-whooping I’m gonna give is not. Then, you can go back to worrying about your rise back up the rankings in SHOOT.
Kenny raises his hands, making gun gestures as he points to Lexi, his smile widening to a grin as his pals join in the motion.
Kenny Freeman: Pew pew, be seeing you in that ring, Lexi!
The trio have a big laugh over this as they walk off, leaving a visibly angry Lexi Gold as the last thing we see before going to the ring.
Back from our quick advert for sVo, we immediately cut back to the ring where it is time for our next match of the evening where we will be seeing Dangerous Mix representing PRIME taking on DELAYED HEAT from SHOOT Wrestling.
Immediately after the match ends all attention turns towards the entrance area as a video begins to play on the PWAV.
That damn smile is the first thing fans see on the PWAV.
While PRIME fans are familiar with the scar that stretches across the left cheek of the Hall of Famer, Tony “The Grin” Gamble is unfamiliar to some of the attendees of tonight’s PWA-1 event. The Permascar Superstar enters the locker room he and his associates, Frank Pastore and Domingo Cruz of No Laughing Matter, are assigned to.
The Gamble Adoration Syndicate is in the house, wearing their new #Standing4Jon tee shirts; which will be available in the PRIMEPorium soon despite Lindsay Troy’s decree to the contrary. Frank Pastore closes the door behind him as Domingo Cruz takes a seat on one of the benches.
Domingo Cruz: This doesn’t even feel real, bro.
Tony Gamble: Soak it up, amigo, it’s real.
Tony drops the duffel bag on his shoulder onto the bench in front of him, then turns back to face the bald Latino.
Tony Gamble: You guys haven’t even had an actual match together yet, and here you are getting ready to represent PRIME against sVo’s tag team champions.
Frank Pastore: You really think we’re ready for this, Boss?
Tony Gamble: To go out there and do what I trained you to do?
Tony walks over and reaches up to put his hand on the taller man’s shoulder.
Tony Gamble: You’re damn right I do. I think you guys have a good chance to win, too.
Domingo Cruz: That’s what’s up, eh.
Frank Pastore: It’s nice to be confident in us, but if these paisans are champs it ain’t going to be easy.
Tony chuckles as he turns and walks away.
Tony Gamble: It’s never easy, Franky. Don’t think about the jewelry Barone and Moretti have, because right now you’re the ones with the advantage… They don’t know shit about you.
Domingo Cruz: Well they’re gonna learn today, que no!
Frank Pastore: Nothing left but to do it, brother!
Tony Gamble: Tonight we go out there and fight for more than ourselves…
The Grin smiles wide as he turns back to his stablemates.
Tony Gamble: Tonight, we do it for Jon!
No Laughing Matter: For Jon!
On that note, we head to the ring…..
“Me and Julio Down by The Schoolyard” by Streetlight Manifesto hits the PA and the lights shine down on Rocky De Leon who is standing with his back to the ring. When the trumpets play, both his arms go up, and he does a standing backflip right as the verse is about to start.
The mama pajama rolled out of bed
And she ran to the police station
When the papa found out he began to shout
And he started the investigation
Vince Howard: Introducing first…..FROM LAREDO, TEXAS… ROOOOOOCKYYYYY DEEE LEEEEEOOOOOON!
Rocky smiles and begins to work the crowd as he starts walking down the ramp to the ring. He runs up the ring steps quickly and wipes his feet on the apron before nimbly hopping over the ropes and waving to the crowd.
Joe Hoffman: That’s quite a getup Rocky is wearing, green scale pattern tights, fake wings attached to his torso under his arms, and a…pterodactyl mask?
Richard Parker: Anna Daniels is going to have a hell of a time selling this at the PRIMEporium stand.
As the first competitor’s music fades, the opening chords of REO Speedwagon’s “Keep On Loving You” hit over the PA system. On the HOV, a giant heart appears to beat to the song.
You should have seen by the look in my eyes, baby
There was somethin’ missin’
Emerging from the locker room is REAL LOVE Darin Zion, decked out in a pink and purple robe. The words REAL LOVE are printed on the back in sequins. The sequins sparkle in the pink spotlight hitting the superstar while he strolls down to the ring. A serious look is painted on his face as he gets down to the end of the entrance ramp.
And I’m gonna keep on lovin’ you
‘Cause it’s the only thing I want to do
I don’t want to sleep, I just want to keep on lovin’ you
Vince Howard: Introducing his opponent…..FROM SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA. REAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAL LOOOOOOOOOVE DAAAAAAAAARIN ZIIIIIIIIIOOOOOOON!!!!
Zion throws his robe on the ground, displaying his 8-pack abs. REAL LOVE starts counting them, flexing into the camera. Sliding into the ring, he never takes his eyes off his opponent. While the bridge finishes, Zion leaps up to his feet. He motions towards Rocky De Leon, taunting him.
Joe Hoffman: And a more serious Darin Zion tonight!
Richard Parker: I hope it stays that way.
Joe Hoffman: And there goes the bell, ladies and gentlemen. We have a stylistic clash tonight between a rookie and a long time veteran. This should prove to be a great matchup.
Richard Parker: As long as the honking is kept to a minimum, this should be fine.
Joe Hoffman: Well, Zion has promised a new version of himself for 2023, so maybe we will see less Honking and more Serious Business in the ring!
Zion walks with purpose around the ring, gesturing like a competitor who doesn’t acknowledge the opponent is on his level. Rocky looks at Ashley Barlow and she nods and, while looking at Rocky, motions her head at Zion as if to say “let’s go rookie.”
Rocky quickly peers to the corner where his manager, Stu Weiler, stands with a laptop in hand watching intently. Darin is now circling around the ring, looking like a predator.
Joe Hoffman: The rookie has to be wondering what the hell is going on. Last time he saw Zion, he was preening around the ring and honking like a buffoon.
Richard Parker: It’s a pleasant change, Joe.
The pair tie up and Zion immediately goes on the aggressive, whipping Rocky over in an arm drag. He maintains control of Rocky’s arm and wrings it causing a grimace on the face of the young man through his mask. Rocky turns out and gets to a knee, only to have Zion shift his hips, spin and try to go for an armbar.
At ringside, Stu Weiler is furiously pecking away at his keyboard and yells “Banana!” to Rocky. Before Darin can lock in the armbar, Rocky rolls forward and out of the hold. He breaks the grip of Zion and drops a fist into his ribs before somersaulting out of danger to a standing position, splaying his arms out and showing Zion the wings of his pterodactyl suit. Rocky bobs his head and yells SKREE! before rearing his head back, putting his hands on his hips, and laughing in an exaggerated manner.
Joe Hoffman: Zion has to be wondering what in the world is going on right now. I know he wasn’t too sure on the details of Rocky De Leon, but imitating a dinosaur has to be up there for ludicrous behavior.
Richard Parker: One time I dressed up as a corndog to win a free dinner, but that’s nothing like this.
Darin looks confused as well, but gets back up to his feet quickly. Rocky is on him in a flash, darting in and out, lashing blows at his midsection and getting back before Zion has a chance to grab him. Rocky dashes, strikes, and jumps back, all the while circling away from Zion’s lead leg.
As Zion continues to be flummoxed by the strategy, Stu Weiler looks up from his data and yells out “Pistachio!” Rocky begins to work in leg kicks to his body blows, thudding to the inside and outside of his opponents lead leg. Darin begins to look a little more winded and definitely not as quick as he was in the beginning of the match, but the fans are growing restless with the lack of action.
Joe Hoffman: While it is true that Darin Zion isn’t exactly Ivan Stanlislav out there lumbering around, he doesn’t seem to be able to match Rocky De Leon’s speed.
Richard Parker: This is a wrestling match, not a boring point scoring karate match!
Joe Hoffman: Maybe not, Richard, but those blows are starting to have an effect! Dinosaur costume or not, this is an effective strategy that is being employed by Rocky De Leon and Stu Weiler. He has effectively taken all that aggression and hype away from Zion and turned this into a match pace that favors the wrestler that is smarter with their energy reserves.
Darin is able to lunge forward, lock in a collar and elbow once again and throw Rocky into the ropes. The nimble de Leon bounces off, and ducks under a clothesline attempt, jumps toward the other side of the ropes and leaps off the second, splaying his body wide in an attempt at The Flying Squirrel. Darin Zion sees it coming and dives out of the way, leaving Rocky crashing to the mat with nobody home!
Joe Hoffman: An uncharacteristically wild attempt by Rocky that could change the tide of this match! Veteran experience wins out over rookie energy almost every time.
Richard Parker: Say what you want about Zion, and I know people have said plenty, but that was a smart move. I wonder if Rocky’s Number Muncher has an Excel sheet for that?
Stu must have heard him because he turns to Richard and pushes up his glasses with his middle finger. Richard’s microphone barely picks up the response over the din of the crowd.
Stu Weiler: With a Pivot Table.
Richard Parker: Nerd.
Darin is on his opponent quickly, taking advantage of the situation and sliding in and driving a dropkick into Rocky’s midsection. Zion zips to his feet and brings Rocky with him, hooking his arm and lifting him into a classic vertical suplex. They both drop to the mat with a crash and Darin is quick to keep the pace up.
He lifts Rocky to his feet and swings in one, two, three European uppercuts! De Leon stumbles into the corner and leans over the ropes. Darin grabs Rocky and whips him toward the opposite corner, chasing after looking for a clothesline, but de Leon nimbly leaps up the turnbuckles and jumps over Zion while he is in the middle of his attack!
Stu Weiler yells out “Braunschweiger!” and Rocky looks at his manager as if to say “now?” and Stu nods. Suddenly, Rocky runs forward, full pace and leaps, securing a head scissors and throws Darin with a hurricanrana! He kips up and the fans start to buzz. Rocky bounces off the ropes and builds a head of steam before running full tilt toward Darin and baseball sliding between his legs. Before Darin can turn around, Rocky pushes up with his arms and kicks his opponent in the back, sending him stumbling.
Joe Hoffman: Rocky is really picking up the pace now, much to the fans’ delight. They must have been puzzled by the slow play tactics early, but it’s clear he was trying to slow his opponent down.
Richard Parker: It’s that damn Stu Weiler! I know it!
De Leon picks up steam, running from one side of the ring to the other. He bounds off the ropes and sprints to the other side. Darin Zion shakes the cobwebs loose as Rocky leaps to the second rope, reverberates off of it while contorting his body to a spread eagle, aiming to plant his forearm in Zion’s jaw.
…But Darin Zion sees it coming and spins into a Ban Hammer discus clothesline! He catches Rocky mid-air and takes him nearly out of his dino-suit! Zion picks up his opponent, palpitates his hand over his heart three times, and spikes de Leon with the Tough Love headlock driver! Rocky flops like a fish on the canvas holding his neck.
He goes for the pin and hooks the leg for good measure…
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: The winner of this match…..REAL LOVE Darin Zion!
Joe Hoffman: This is a story of a wily veteran just having a little too much for a rookie. A good showing from both combatants, though, and a good way for Zion to get back into the win column!
Richard Parker: Oh no…
Darin is elated and begins HONKING! in victory! No, that’s not victory, it’s disbelief! He promised 2023 would be different and he has delivered in the first test!
Joe Hoffman: A game Rocky de Leon in his first major match tonight, but he comes up just short of the victory. Still, there is a lot to like about this kid!
Richard Parker: And one thing to hate! Damn that Stu Weiler!
Joe Hoffman: We’re going to take a short commercial break and be right back with more action on PWA-1!
Back from commercial and it is time for another tag team match as Blood Money representing sVo and SHOOT is set to take on No Laughing Matter representing PRIME…
Back from commercial and it is time for our next singles match of the evening as Raiko (SHOOT) is set to take on Tony Gamble (PRIME).
Blaire Moise: Ladies and gentlemen, right now I have with me the current, reigning Missouri Valley Wrestling Women’s Champion… Victoria McGill!
McGill joins Moise. Tori’s six foot two frame towers over her. She’s dressed for her match in a single strap black top with black wrestling tights and black wrestling boots.
Blaire Moise: Victoria, tonight you step away from Missouri Valley Wrestling and wrestle Anna Daniels from PRIME. Your thoughts.
Tori smiles and tussles her medium length blonde hair.
Victoria McGill: Thanks Blaire. I will admit that walking into this big building was a little overwhelming at first. But I got over it in about sixty seconds.
Blaire Moise: What do you think your chances are going up against someone who wrestles at a bigger company than what you’re used to?
Victoria McGill: You know, it’s still one versus one inside the ring. Where Anna Daniels works doesn’t make a difference to me. I still want to go out and do my best regardless of who’s standing across the ring from me.
Blaire Moise: Will the fact that you have a big title match coming up against Daryn Thompson at MVW’s St. Louis Supershow next week factor in what you do tonight?
Victoria McGill: Oh I’m sure it will be. But I’ll put it out of my mind when the bell rings. I can’t get ahead of myself. You always have to have patience and take it one match at a time. Tonight, it’s Anna Daniels who gets my full attention. It’s hard enough to win matches when I’m focused. It’s even more when I go up against a great opponent like Anna Daniels. So tonight is about Anna. Tomorrow, it’s back to the gym to get ready for my title defense against Daryn Thompson.
Blaire Moise: Are you nervous?
Victoria McGIll: No.Early last year, I felt like finally everything came together and I was finally wrestling at my best. Now that I’ve been champion for almost six months, I can say that I’m ready for the challenge tonight and I’m going to do everything I can to come away with a win tonight.
Blaire Moise: Good luck Tori.
Victoria McGill: Thank you Blaire.
We go to the ring where it is time for our next match of the evening.
We come back from commercial break to PRIME’s Angelica Brooks who’s hanging out backstage.
Angelica Brooks: Hello everyone, Angelica Brooks here and I’d like to bring out the owner of Missouri Valley Wrestling right now, Mister Ray McAvay! Ray…
The ominous, symphonic, bombastic opening to Star War’s Imperial March comes on. The camera pans over to reveal Ray McAvay… dressed up as Darth Vader complete with the helmet, the body suit, and the flowing black cape… joining her.
Ray McAvay: Angelica.
Angelica Brooks: Ray, can I get your thoughts on tonight’s show?
Ray McAvay: Well, from the Evil Empire’s perspective…
McAvay rolls his eyes.
Ray McAvay: …personally I think it’s great to see wrestlers from many different companies getting together for one night to put on a show. For example, we just watched one of our wrestlers – MVW’s Women’s Champion Victoria McGill – competing against PRIME’s Anna Daniels. We’ll see our Men’s and Women’s Heartland Champions Bracken Krueger and Daryn Thompson later on tonight as they team up against The Unholy Cyber Army from SHOOT. We’ll see the Alabama Gang challenging for the HOTv Tag Team title against HOW wrestlers Jace Parker Davidson and Scott Stevens.
Angelica Brooks Stevens wrestles in MVW as well, correct?
Ray McAvay: And so did Rah who faces Cancer Jiles tonight. Rah was a tag team champion in MVW. So yeah, this is a good thing for pro wrestling. I can’t wait for the main event between America and Stanislav. I can’t wait for Youngblood versus Clay Byrd. I really can’t wait for the Honor Society-stronk godson/GREAT SCOTT tag match. Angelica, we’ve got some really good matches to come tonight.
Angelica Brooks: Yes we do, Ray. After PWA-1 it’s back to regular programming from MVW. You have a big show coming up next weekend.
Ray McAvay: That’s right. Next Saturday, our St. Louis Supershow kicks off 2023 for MVW. The show features four championship matches. “Redneck” Bill Dickinson defends the Men’s Title against John O’Reilly while Daryn Thompson challenges Tori McGill for the Women’s Title. The Stevens Dynasty defends their Men’s Tag Team title against The Kardoucheian Empire and Women’s Tag Team Champions Jill Berg Enterprises faces The Hanson Sisters for their title. Then we hit the road again the next week with new house shows.
Angelica Brooks: That’s an action-packed show, alright. Folks, make sure you check out MVW’s St. Louis Supershow on PWAtv and HOTv. Ray, thank you so much for your time.
Ray McAvay: Thank you, Angelica. Oh and Lee…
Ray winks at the camera and grins.
Ray McAvay: …may the Force be with you.
We cut back to ringside to Joe and Richard…..
Joe Hoffman: Well folks, this next match might not seem like it belongs here since both participants are signed to SHOOT Project, but it should be interesting no less.
Richard Parker: You say “interesting,” I say “bloodbath.” Look, I subscribe to Peach’s OnlyFans and she has been impressive lately, but this is Jacob Mephisto. I saw him beat Anna Daniels in a dog collar match, and she’s literally like a dozen people stuffed into one body.
Joe Hoffman: I’m going to take your word for that, Rich.
“brutal” by Olivia Rodrigo hits the PA, and pink, purple, and silver lights strobe the entryway as Peach Backshots enters by herself, shaking her arms in the air and swiveling her hips to the beat of the song.
Joe Hoffman: Peach has kept herself busy lately, competing at the Belmont Classic and LUCHA ESPECIAL 1, both under masks that were unceremoniously ripped off her face.
Richard Parker: I don’t know why she’s the one that has to put the masks on anyway, Joe. I mean, have you seen her boyfriend-slash-tag partner?
Joe Hoffman: I have to look at Jace Parker Davidson’s face on a weekly basis, Rich. I have no time or capacity for even fresher horrors.
Vince Howard: This match is scheduled for one fall! Approaching the ring, representing SHOOT Project, hailing from her bedroom and weighing in at 135 pounds, the Strong-Style Streamer…. PEACH BACKSHOOOOOOOOOOOTTTTTTS!
Peach reaches the ring and takes a bow.
The arena lights die, leaving utter darkness in their wake. But, we’re in 2023, so total darkness no longer exists. Thousands of pinprick lights dot the sold out crowd as cell phone flashlights provide minor illumination.
A guitar riff blares over the speakers as Blues Saraceno’s “The Dark Horse Always Wins” begins to play, eliciting a chorus of boos and jeers from the crowd. The lights strobe wildly for several seconds until the lyrics begin and we’re left with a solitary spotlight shining onto the stage. In that spotlight? The Patriarch. The All Father.
Deliver me from evil
Deliver me, deliver me from sin
Deliver me from evil… yeah
Deliver me again
Jacob Mephisto slowly raises his head, opening his pale, gray eyes and fixing his gaze down at the ring. He looks to his left and right, where two additional lights have shone down, revealing Patience and Decius, The Montgomery Twins.
The Dark Horse Always Wins
Mephisto slowly brings his arms up and out to the sides, palms up. He closes his hands into a fist and we’re plunged back into darkness.
Joe Hoffman: Mephisto really looks like he’s got bad intentions on his mind here, Richard.
Richard Parker: Of course he does. The guy hangs out in the middle of the desert with a bunch of weirdos and incels. He’s my kind of sicko.
Joe Hoffman: Remind me not to spend too much time with you at the afterparty tonight.
Richard Parker: It’s okay, I’m not going to stay long anyway. I have a Friends of Hoyt meeting I have to run. You want to join?
Joe Hoffman: Think I’ll pass, but thanks for the invite.
The Dark Horse
The Dark Horse
The guitars kick again and the arena lights flare to their brightest for just a moment before returning to normal just as The Patriarch of The Family begins to walk forward toward the ring, leaving the Twins behind.
So take me to the water
And drown me in your reign…
As the song continues, Mephisto makes his way to the ring, occasionally smirking or sneering at a jeering fan. He stops in front of the ring, taking it all in as he licks his lips.
Vince Howard: And her opponent, representing both SHOOT Project and PRIME, weighing in at 265 pounds, hailing from the desert by way of Nazareth, PA, the All-Father… JACOB MEPHISTOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
The All-Father slithers into the ring and pops to his feet, throwing his arms to the side and tossing his head back as the lights strobe for a few seconds before returning to their normal state and the music fades. He stands center ring, lingering for just a moment. Peach meets Mephisto in the middle, the monstrous leader of the Family staring down to meet the eyes of the precocious rookie, as Jimmy Turnbull calls for the bell.
Joe Hoffman: OH MY WORD! Peach is not waiting for the first volley at all! She is punching upward and the big man is shocked!
Richard Parker: CHECK HER FISTS! SHE’S GOTTA BE HIDING A ROLL OF QUARTERS OR SOMETHING!
The shock sends Mephisto backwards and Peach follows it up, falling back into the ropes and using the momentum from the rebound into a leaping flying satellite headscissors takedown. Mephisto rises to one knee, holding his head, but Peach is relentless, charging in with a dropsault-style single leg kick to his face that sends him flying out of the ring.
Joe Hoffman: I think Peach heard you calling this match a bloodbath preemptively, Rich. She’s making a statement!
Richard Parker: Well, I just think she’s pissing him off, but hey, you say po-tay-toe, I say poh-tah-toe.
Peach follows the big man out of the ring but savvily, the veteran senses her behind him and shoves the ring steps into her knees. He shakes out the cobwebs and grabs her by the head, slamming it into the apron. He rolls the diminutive streamer into the ring and follows in, stomping her before she can get to her feet.
Joe Hoffman: That was an impressive opening flurry from Peach, but there’s a reason why Mephisto carries so much weight in SHOOT Project.
Richard Parker: Is that a fat joke?
Joe Hoffman: Uh, no? Haven’t you ever heard of that idiom before?
Richard Parker: Yeah, I just felt like screwing with you a little bit.
Mephisto picks Peach up into the seated position, makes the “SHHH” motion with his hand to his lips to the crowd, and lines up a Leo Messi-style penalty kick to her thoracic spine. She outstretches her arms and screams to the heavens in pain, but she doesn’t move from the seated position. Mephisto lines up again and sends another kick to the middle of her back. Again, she doesn’t falter until the third kick finds its mark and she is sent writhing to the mat like a fish off the hook.
Richard Parker: Now this is how I expected the match to go.
Joe Hoffman: I don’t know if Mephisto really wants to play with his food here though.
Richard Parker: Another cannibalism joke. You’re not even in either of the feds where Mephisto works! That’s our…
Joe Hoffman: I’m beginning to think you have a Drax the Destroyer-level grasp on idiomatic English here, Rich.
Richard Parker: …okay, let’s just get back to the match then.
Mephisto drags Peach to her feet and whips her hard into the corner. He sizes the e-girl up before charging in with a HARD lariat. Peach slumps to her knees and then on her belly before Mephisto drags her out, turns her over, and covers…
Mephisto grabs Peach by the neck and brings her to her feet in the Muay Thai cinch.
Joe Hoffman: I don’t like where this is headed, Rich.
Richard Parker: Look, Peach said she wanted to prove herself. Maybe she’ll go back to letting her boyfriend Felix take all the abuse in tag matches.
Deliberately, Mephisto drives the first knee into Peach’s midsection, then waits, sneering at the crowd raining boos upon him. The pauses between each successive kick get shorter and shorter as he relishes dishing out the punishment. After the seventh or eighth kick, he releases Peach as she crumples onto the mat in a heap. Mephisto sticks his tongue out to the crowd in a devilish grin before dropping a HUGE knee on Peach’s back. He rolls her over and covers again…
Peach BARELY kicks out before Turnbull’s hand reaches the mat for three.
Joe Hoffman: That look in Mephisto’s eyes is EVIL.
Richard Parker: Yeah, this match is gonna be over soon.
Mephisto lifts Peach up to her feet before putting her on his shoulders.
Joe Hoffman: Looks like he’s going for the Memento Moris…
Richard Parker: Yes, everyone must die…
Joe Hoffman: NO! Peach wriggles out into a sunset flip!
Mephisto kicks out before Turnbull can get down to count. As Mephisto rises to his feet, Peach greets him with another dropsault-style flying kick to the face. She bounds off the ropes…
Joe Hoffman: La Mistica! La Mistica!
Peach hits the tilt-a-whirl faceplant into an armbar while Mephisto has a look of utter shock on his face more than anything. He reaches his long leg to the ropes and forces a break. Peach waits for him to get to his feet before bounding back into the ropes again, this time going for a hurricanrana. But…
Joe Hoffman: Oh no. Mephisto counters that rana attempt! Big powerbomb!
Richard Parker: You’re going to have to do more than that to keep the big man down.
Mephisto bends down and barks something the cameras and crowd can’t make out at Peach before picking her up into suplex position. He holds her vertically perpendicular to the canvas for 15 seconds, 30 seconds, a minute, 90 seconds, two minutes before drilling her head to the mat with a brainbuster.
Joe Hoffman: Mephisto is almost pissed off that Peach is putting up a fight here. Almost like he expected Peach to roll over and die.
Richard Parker: Look, I’ve seen beatings in the ring. I saw Paxton Ray paralyze his own tag partner. But I have never seen someone die in a match with this little punishment.
Joe Hoffman: I gotta talk to Nick Stuart because I feel like you can’t be this dense all the time.
Richard Parker: It’s a gift.
Rather than go for a pin, Mephisto drags Peach to her feet without breaking wrist control. She rises unsteadily, on spaghetti legs, as the All-Father lines her up. With one breaking swift motion, he snaps his wrist, jerking her towards him…
Joe Hoffman: PRIDE BEFORE THE FALL! Peach Backshots drops to the mat like a ton of bricks.
Richard Parker: I know she recently announced she was going to stop doing her OnlyFans and concentrate on wrestling, but, uh, this match might send her all the way back to lascivious content on the web.
Mephisto cackles before making the cover…
THR… NO! Peach kicks out at the last possible second!
Joe Hoffman: Peach Backshots refuses to die!
Richard Parker: She’s only prolonging the inevitable! Where’s that Anglo Luchador with a towel to throw in when you need him?
Joe Hoffman: For those who don’t know, Richard is referring to the Belmont Classic, where The Luchador tried throwing the towel in when Peach was in the ring with Paxton Ray. But she refused because she’s got heart, Richard. She will not give up as long as she’s able to kick out.
Mephisto makes the throat-slash gesture before pulling Peach up to one knee. He dips back to bounce off the ropes, going for his shining axe kick known as the End of Faith, but just as he’s half-a-beat away from Peach, she tumbles perpendicularly. Mephisto lands awkwardly on the kick leg as Peach darts back over and uses the instability to sweep Mephisto onto his back. She grabs both legs and slides forward…
Joe Hoffman: ALLIGATOR CLUTCH! ALLIGATOR CLUTCH!
Turnbull drops to the mat to make the cover on the deep clutch…
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: Your winner, PEACH BACKSHOTTTTTTTTTTTTTS!
The crowd roars as Peach breaks the pin and slides out of the ring quickly. Mephisto pops to his knees with the shock of all shocks etched on his face.
Joe Hoffman: Peach Backshots just stole a win here, Richard!
Richard Parker: Dammit, Jimmy you had one job!
Joe Hoffman: I think he did his job, friend. Anyway folks, we have to step away for a commercial break! Don’t go away, we’ll be back with more interfed action, right here at PWA-1!
Back from the advert for tonight’s Main Event and the feed goes backstage to the staging area behind the curtain. A tight shot centers on a microphone-wielding and bespectacled young man in a sharp blue suit. The chyron sweeping by the bottom of the screen identifies him to the world at large: Simon Tillier, of PRIME.
Simon Tillier: Good evening, everyone! Simon Tillier here, on the scene backstage at PWA-1, proudly representing the PRIME media team at this monumental inaugural event!
His eyes, flashing a hint of annoyance, momentarily dart off camera in the direction of some form of unstable human movement nearby.
Simon Tillier: With me now is one of the… competitors in the following scheduled contest…
More off-camera shuffling perturbs the fresh-faced reporter’s on-camera poise. He subtly leans in toward the camera, face tensing up with a grave sense of somberness and desperation flashing across baby blue eyes. He looks like a hostage held at gunpoint desperately trying to send signals for someone to call the police.
Simon Tillier: I have had, some would say, the misfortune of coming to know this individual all too well over the course of this past year. And if this is a first encounter for any of you out there, please allow me to apologize on behalf of the blue and white brand…
Whoever stands near him scoffs. Loud, and absurdly wet. The shoulder of young Tillier unfortunately takes a light spray of spittle. But Simon grits his teeth and soldiers forth.
Simon Tillier: Fans of the greater wrestling world, allow me to introduce to you the one known in some circles as “the Escape Artist”…
He holds out his hand, his face pleading with the audience to mentally prepare themselves for something unpleasant. Some unimaginable trauma he himself has presumably been forced to live through on more occasions than he’d care to remember.
Simon Tillier: The aerial anarchist who was allegedly kicked out of ANTIFA for “being too punk rock”…
The camera has already begun a steady and slow zoom out, revealing the outline of the individual standing astride PRIME’s junior reporter.
Simon Tillier: The pyrophilic pugilist who has become infamous over the years for his countless acts of disruption, and downright desecration…
The camera eventually reveals the nuclear bomb in human form. A crusty, tattoo-covered warrior of the apocalypse, like something out of a Mad Max flick transplanted into the world of professional wrestling.
Simon Tillier: The dopesmoking daredevil who took PRIME by storm in the year 2022, with a series of phenomenal matches and a reign as the Five Star Champion.
Wide, bloodshot, and half-crazed eyes glare with insidious intent from beneath a cartoonishly bald dome. The rest of the head is lined with a wild and unkempt mane of black hair, through which we can see a hungry and maddened grin.
Simon Tillier: He is the Goat Bastard… REZIN.
Rezin, clad in a custom side-cut “FIRE WRESTLE WITH ME” black t-shirt, salutes the interviewer with an appreciative nod as he pushes into the frame with all the grace and finesse of a rotten barrel filled with leaky dynamite riding a unicycle and practically vomits his words over Tillier’s mic.
Rezin: ARRRRRRIGHT, YA SCUM, LISTEN UP!
The self-styled Escape Artist is something of a Houdini himself, as the speed in which the mic disappears from Simon’s hand and finds its way into his own is nothing short of magic.
Rezin: In case my boy Simon here didn’t make it clear enough for ya, the SHIT JUST GOT REAL here! From this point forward, PWA is now officially gonna be known as PUNKROCK WRESTLING ARMAGEDDONMANIA, cause HELL’S FAVORITE HOOSIER has finally arrived!
Rather than handing the mic back to PRIME’s junior reporter, Rezin recklessly pitches it into the air. Simon, seemingly fully used to this routine by now, deftly catches it on the landing as the Goat Bastard resituates himself beside him.
Simon Tillier: If I’m being honest, Rezin, I’m not even sure how you made it here for this event tonight.
Rezin: No biggie! Just hadda hijack an ice cream truck! Dude, you wanna LSD-laced red rocket?
Simon Tillier: No, I mean–wait, WHAT?!–NO! I meant I’m still in disbelief that you managed to make it on the card tonight!
Rezin: C’MAAAAAHHN, Simon! Did ya seriously forget who you’re dealin’ with here?! Do we need to track down GREAT BEAR and get him to vouch for me?
Simon Tillier: No-NO! We DO NOT need to involve GREAT BEAR!
Rezin: First of all, even though it’s well known by this point that hEr HiGhNeSs and I are mortal enemies beyond reproach, even she can’t deny my undeniable ability to bring her those precious, precious numbers! I pack houses like I pack bowls! I fill seats like I fill metal tubes with nitroglycerin! Ya pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down here, Simon?
Simon Tillier: Yes, all too well, which is scary to admit, but I meant–
Rezin: And B, when did ya lose so much FAITH in me, bro?! Of COURSE I’d be here! Did you forget that I’m the bong-rippinest, sludge-drippinest, acid-trippinest, BACK-FLIPPINEST, HOLD-SLIPPINEST, WITTY-QUIPPINEST SUM’BISH this sport has ever EXPERIENCED?!
Simon Tillier: Believe me, I haven’t forgotten. Nobody’s questioning your talent here, but what I’m saying is–
Rezin: Oh I KNOW what good ol’ SIMON SAYS! You’re sayin’, I DON’T BELONG! You’re sayin’, “Rezin, you ugly, smelly, pants-shittin’ OAF… this is the GRANDEST cross-promotional professional wrestling event the world has ever seen! A downright debaucherous LOWLIFE like YOU has no place among these KINGS and CALIPHS of wrestling nobility!”
Tillier’s eyes roll. He knows there’s no point in trying to interject now. The Goat Bastard is on a roll. His unhinged stare again finds the camera.
Rezin: And YEAH, I’m sure there’s a lotta NORMIES out there in Wrestle Land who’d agree with ya! They’re out there right now, probably thinkin’, “oH lOoK! iT’s PRIME’s fOuRtH oR mAyBe FiFtH-tIeR hOmElEsS sToNeR wHaCkJoB! lEt’S wAtCh HiM dO oBsCuRe DaViD lYnCh ReFeReNcEs AnD sPiT oN sOmEbUdDy I gUeSs! PaSs TeH cRaYoNs, PlEaSe!”
He’s practically frothing out the mouth at this point, ranting and spewing with such fervor that Simon is leaning over, trying to put as much distance between himself and the rambling lunatic he’s been tasked to interview.
Rezin: WELL ALLA YA MUTHAFUGGERS KNOW WHAT?! YOU are the reason I’m here! To SIT YOU the FUCK DOWN, and SHUT YOU the FUCK UP! I WILLINGLY and DEFIANTLY GO where I know I’m not wanted, cause I figure if ya wanna be the type that hates ME, then I’ll be DAMBED if I disappoint ya! So HERE I AM, PEE-DUBBYA-AYE! I ALL of my GRIMY, GANJA-INDUCED GLORY!
Grinning like a devil, Rezin holds up his hands to the camera. They are, unsurprisingly, caked in black filth. Unbeknownst to him, Tillier is checking his watch.
Rezin: Just like when I arrived on the scene in PRIME this time last year… if there’s ever an untouched frontier in this industry, then I’M THERE to DEFILE IT! If there’s ever a time or a place where history is worth makin’, then it’s only gonna get made TAINTED by MY SLUDGE-SOAKED HANDS!
A blackened index finger nearly decapitates the junior reporter, who ducks in time as Rezin furiously points to the part in the curtain behind him.
Rezin: And yeah, I may be HIGH as FUCK, but I still now I’m tramplin’ into unknown territory here! To that point, Simon, I have no idea what awaits me on the other side of that curtain! I don’t who Trey Willett is, other than he’s a SHOOT Project Hall of Famer, and I don’t know WHAT the hell a fuckin’ “Willenium” is supposed to be… and I DON’T CARE!
Simon’s eyebrows perk in mock astonishment, but he straightens up when the Goat Bastard turns his jackyl-like grin back to the reporter.
Rezin: Cause I ALSO KNOW that he DON’T KNOW ME! And KNOWIN’ that he DON’T KNOW ME, means that I KNOW what I DON’T KNOW… AND what HE DON’T KNOW! But what he DOESN’T KNOW is what I KNOW! Even though I DON’T! Either way you figure it, that makes me an UNKNOWN!
Tillier’s eyes dart around to various points in the room as he tries to follow along with the logic here. Finally, they appealingly fall upon the camera, completely able to relate to what the viewing audience must be going through at home.
Rezin: The supposedly “powerful” in this world FEAR the UNKNOWN, Simon! They FEAR what they can’t CONTROL! And that’s what I am… UNCONTROLLABLE!
The junior reporter solemnly nods in glum agreement. Rezin’s eye-popping stare, worthy of Nic Cage, is back on the camera.
Rezin: I don’t NEED to worry about what I’m walking into! I am the INSURGENT! The OPPOSITION! Professional wrestling’s premier AGENT OF CHAOS! TREY WILLET should be worried! Cause in UNKNOWN situations like this, it’s the crazy-ass, risk-takin’ sum’bishes like ME that have the advantage!
A tar-smeared thumb insistently juts its way into his chest.
Rezin: Make NO MISTAKE! For me, this ain’t about posterity or braggin’ rights! I ain’t got any beef with SHOOT Project or the people with it! But what the people of PRIME have come to understand about me is that I’m all about keepin’ this shit PUNK ROCK! And SPITTIN’ in the FACES of all this normie “WILLENNIALS” out there by SNUFFIN’ OUT that gingery bitch in the middle of the ring is about the most PUNK ROCK thing I can think of!
Livid by this point, he shakes his head with such animalistic savagery that it sends sweat, spittle, and God knows what else flying in every direction. The interviewer does his best to stay out of the splash zone, but is having little luck in the endeavor.
Rezin: ME BEIN’ HERE AIN’T got ANYTHING TO DO with REPRESENTIN’ PRIME! It AIN’T to see HOW FAR I can PUSH my STREAM here in the PISSING WAR ASSOCIATION! I’m here, on the GRANDEST STAGE OF THEM ALL, to light the BIGGEST GODDAMB FIRE THIS WORLD has EVER SEEN!!
A beat of silence while the Goat Bastard continues to huff before the camera like a wild man. Finally convinced the deranged monologue is over, Simon Tillier clears his throat and resets the interview.
Simon Tillier: Going back to what I said earlier, about being surprised to see you here at PWA-1… what I was referring to is, I distinctly recall seeing you smoke your PWA contract in the summer of last year. And yet, here you are.
Rezin’s entire demeanor melts, from insane and out of control to sheepish.
Rezin: Oh, yeah, that… here I am, huh?
He smirks and not-so-innocently shrugs.
Rezin: Turned out to not be that big of an issue. Just a simple task of making a phone call to Melvin to get something new drafted up, really.
He uncomfortably scratches the crumb-speckled scruff of his beard.
Rezin: That, and maybe I threatened to firebomb his condo, like the corporate, capitalist swine…
Tillier shakes his head.
Simon Tillier: Well, Rezin, good luck out there. And also, if you could do everyone a favor and stop causing all those FAA outages… that’d be much appreciated.
Rezin: NO PROMISES, Simon! CHAOS NEVER SLEEPS!
The Escape Artist disappears through the curtain. Alone, Tillier lets loose a sigh of relief and loses himself in a thousand mile stare.
Simon Tillier: Nor have I… since the day you walked into PRIME.
With that we cut back to the ring as it is time for our next singles match of the evening….
Back live from commercial and it is time for yet another PWA Tag Team match…..
After a few moments, we hear footsteps, and a few moments later we see the source of the footfalls as several EPU guards, the Elite Protection Unit of Lee Best and High Octane Wrestling, come walking toward the end of the hall. There are at least three, maybe four of them. Each wears their trademark masks with the 97Red blood dripping skulls painted on the front and riot gear with “EPU” across the chest on a small patch of more 97Red.
At the end of the hall, the biggest and most impressive door is in a recessed space on the left hand side. The oak door frame and metal door indicate that this door has been reserved for someone very important, for sure the most important person down this hallway.
The EPU continue their walk until they find themselves in front of the door. Others fall in line behind the first two, and one of the lead guards knocks on the door.
A voice comes from the other side of the barrier.
Lindsay Troy: Yeah?
The same guard who knocked speaks up, shouting to be heard.
EPU Guard: EPU, Ms. Troy. We have a visitor who would like to have a word with you.
On the other side of the door, the Queen of the Ring is finishing her pre-match warmups. Her bout with sVo’s Kyle McRae is next; a favor called in from McRae’s boss, Jon Page, at the 11th hour. Lindsay hears the request and, assuming the guest will be Lee Best, owner and GOD of High Octane Wrestling, she rolls her eyes and opens the door. She greets the EPU with a look of disgust, then turns back into the room and waves them in.
They start to file inside. The room has been set up as an office for an executive. A large desk is set against the back wall with just enough space for a chair behind it. On top of it are some nondescript papers, a heavyish looking marble globe, and not much more.
The Queen doesn’t go around the desk, but instead turns around and leans back, sitting just on the edge of it, and watches the guards enter. Two at first, then two more, then two more, and she crosses her arms, waiting for her guest to arrive. But the person who walks through the door last isn’t Lee Best. Her expression goes cold, and without realizing it, the two hands that have been gripping the front edge of the desk are going white at the knuckles. Instead of Lee Best, who she sees standing in front of her is Dan Ryan, her brother-in-law, former tag partner, a man just making his return to the business after an unceremoniously forced departure.
Dan looks around a bit, and the EPU guards stay between him and his sister-in-law.
Dan Ryan: I like the office. And the carpet out there… the PRIME blue suits you.
Troy doesn’t respond, but her face does. It continues to contort in anger, and her eyes are glued to Ryan’s. Dan knows the look, and breaks eye contact just for a moment. He looks down, and then, somewhat sheepishly and surprisingly sincere, looks back up at her.
Dan Ryan: Look Lindsay, I know you don’t want to see me. I know things are really bad right now. And I know it’s 100% entirely my fault. No one made me do what I did. I failed you, failed a lot of people. It’s just… I wanted to look you in the eye and say I’m sorry. I’m here and you’re here, so I decided to bring my wounded pride and sincerely apologize. I don’t know if you’ll ever be able to forgive me, but…
She doesn’t let him finish. Her sharp words break through the air and land like a ton of bricks.
Lindsay Troy: Fuck off.
Dan Ryan: I understand you’re upset. I just…
He obviously isn’t getting it, so Lindsay breaks in again, this time more forcefully. She stands up to her full height and leans forward.
Lindsay Troy: FUCK OFF, DAN. SINCERELY.
The venom in her voice could disintegrate stone.
Lindsay Troy: You think this is only about what you did, or how selfish you’ve been, or how you’ve yet again torn this family in two? Your “do whatever it takes, win at all costs” mentality isn’t news, Dan, but you know what is? How much that’s been passed on to your daughter. I’d ask if you’re the one who gave her the PEDs but it really doesn’t matter. Your choices and your influence has rubbed off on Cecilia and it’s, frankly, disgusting. You haven’t just brought disgrace to yourself…you’ve brought disgrace to your family. You helped wreck Cece’s career. So why don’t you save your “sorries,” reconcile yourself with that, and get the fuck out of my face. I don’t want to see you anywhere near me or mine again.
He stares in her eyes. If looks could kill, he’d be six feet under, maybe deeper. Instead he nods, then looks down at the floor.
Dan Ryan: You’re right. Cecilia deserves better. Alaina deserves better. You and your kids deserve better. The wrestling business in general deserves better. I made myself into what I became, and I can’t fix it with words. Only action.
Lindsay Troy: Oh yes…Leecifer is so magnanimous to be giving you this second chance. I, however, am not, because you don’t deserve it.
Dan Ryan: I know…
And he lets the words trail off.
He pauses, shaking his head. He doesn’t look her in the eyes again. But he sighs deeply, and closes his eyes for a moment. The last twenty-five years flash through his mind, and he winces, the self-inflicted wound too deep to bear.
Dan Ryan: Alright. I’m going. Hey, good luck out there tonight. Come on, guys…
He taps the back-most EPU guard on his shoulder.
Dan Ryan: Let’s go.
Dan glances up at her one last time, then turns around and leaves. Lindsay stands there, fists clenched, and watches as they all depart. The last guard pulls the door shut, leaving her alone, heart racing, rage building inside her until, finally, with a yell, she picks up the marble globe and hurls it at the door. Good thing it’s made of metal, because even so, it buckles slightly with the force of the blow, leaving a big dent dead center.
Back to ringside….
Inside the TV studio, the house lights are dim save the ones directly over the ring. MVW’s young backstage interviewer stands at the center facing a HOTv cameraman. Her blonde hair is done up in a bun. She’s wearing a simple plain black t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans.
Kellie Burkowski: Ladies and gentlemen. Right now, I’d like to bring out The Alabama Gang.
Chris Janson’s “White Trash” comes on over the public address system and serves as the entrance music for the Alabama Gang. Sunny O’Callahan is the first one who emerges from the back. She’s dressed in the fashion of a female background singer from a late seventies Southern rock band wearing a spaghetti strap top, a pair of jeans, and a pair of heels with her usually straight hair all frizzed out and curly.
Sunny takes a swig from a bottle of Southern Comfort and sways back and forth just outside the ring as R.G. Jenkins and Mark Hendry come out to join her and the trio then climb into the ring to do the interview with Kellie.
Kellie Burkowski: Happy 2023 to the Alabama Gang.
Mark Hendry: Happy 2023, Kellie.
Kellie Burkowski: We’re coming up on this whole big ass first-ever PWA supershow and it’s going to be a huge event.
R.G. Jenkins: Hell yes it is. So since it is gonna be a huge event… since Mark and I are getting a chance to wrestle in a big-time arena for the HOTv Tag Team title… we’re gonna have to make it count… right Mark?
Mark Hendry: Hell yes, R.G.
Kellie Burkowski: R.G., this Saturday night in Los Angeles, California, it will be absolute craziness when the Alabama Gang face their toughest test ever – the team of Jace Parker Davidson and “The Demi-God’ of HOW” Scott Stevens for the HOTv Tag Team Titles at PWA-1.
R.G. Jenkins: Thanks Kellie. I’ll tell ya this much, it will be crazy. I told Mark Hendry and I’ll tell all the wrasslin’ fans out there who know who the Alabama Gang are and those who don’t – when we get to LA and when that bell rings, we know Jace Parker Davidson and Scott Stevens will be a lot different level of opponent than we’re used to.
R.G. turns towards the hard camera.
R.G. Jenkins: And R.G. Jenkins and Mark Hendry will be a much different opponent than Jace Parker Davidson is used to.
Standing to the right of Jenkins in terms of the hard camera, Mark Hendry nods and Sunny raises her bottle of Southern Comfort to concur with R.G.’s remarks as he continues to speak.
Jenkins pulls out a piece of paper from his jeans pocket.
R.G. Jenkins: I don’t know how we’ll fare this weekend. But I do know this much.
Jenkins waves the paper in front of Kellie.
R.G. Jenkins: I have right here in my hand the signed contract for Jace Parker Davidson and Scott Stevens putting the HOTv Tag Team Title on the line against us. I signed it. Mark signed it. Davidson signed it. Scott Stevens signed it. That means come the PWA show… this Saturday night… in Los Angeles… (Hendry leans his head into the shot as well.) …Jace Parker Davidson. Scott Stevens. We don’t care that you wrassle for a big-time company.
Mark Hendry: YEAH!
R.G. Jenkins: We don’t care that both of ya have won world titles at your big-time company.
Mark Hendry: YEAH!
R.G. Jenkins: We don’t care that everyone in the wrestling world expects you two to stomp our asses into the ground at the PWA show.
Jenkins pauses and points to Hendry.
Mark Hendry: YEAH!
R.G. Jenkins: You both signed the deal. We signed the deal. That means…
He raises up one finger.
R.G. Jenkins: …one thing. The Alabama Gang is a-coming. The Alabama Gang is a-coming to Los Angeles, California this Saturday night. The Alabama Gang is a-coming to Los Angeles for a fight. The Alabama Gang is a-comin’ to the Honda Center… we’re gonna fight… and we’re gonna…
R.G. leans forward toward the camera.
R.G. Jenkins: …KICK… YOUR… ASSES!
Mark Hendry: YEAH! KICK BOTH OF YOUR ASSES!
Jenkins pats Hendry on the back. Then it’s time for the gun show. R.G. and Hendry both flex their arms while Sunny O’Callahan takes another healthy swig of Southern Comfort and continues to just sway back and forth looking serene and extremely relaxed as we head to commercial.
CLASSIC 97 ROCK MUSIC VIDEO
Joe Hoffman: After that message from the Alabama Gang, we now gear up for what looks to be a barnburner of a tag team bout as High Octane Television Champion GREAT SCOTT teams with former HOTv and LSD champion stronk godson to take on the Honor Society of Ned Reform and TA Cole!
Richard Parker: This’ll be interesting given SCOTT’s previous history with PRIME as he takes on one of our newer signees in Doctor Ned Reform. You’ve gotta wonder what we’re gonna see out of stronk godson tonight!
We cut to Bryan McVay inside the ring, along with referee Joel Hortega ready to officiate the upcoming match.
Bryan McVay: The following contest is a tag team match, scheduled for one fall, and is the first of three matches tonight between HOW and PRIME! Introducing first…
The very familiar opening chords of Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” echo throughout the arena as the lights take on a purple hue and the fans begin to jeer in earnest.
The piano transitions into a rock version of the classic – a modern rock version by Cole Rolland – as the man himself, Ned Reform, appears through the curtain. He’s dressed for action: purple and white singlet, white boots, and arrogant smirk. One hand is tucked behind his back as he scans the people, completely no-selling the rude gestures and boos. Behind Reform lurks his muscle, the uber athletic and no-nonsense TA Cole.
Bryan McVay: Representing PRIME, at a combined weight of 492 pounds…Ned Refor–oh, excuse me, DOCTOR Ned Reform–and TA Cole…the Honor Society!
Joe Hoffman: Ned and his, er, Teacher’s Assistant look ready for action here tonight as they look to represent PRIME in this tag team bout.
Richard Parker: Reform earned his degree from Yale and deserves to be called Doctor…but yes, he and Cole are ready and rarin’ to go!
Reform begins to walk to the ring, waving and smiling to his “adoring” fans.
He hops onto the ring apron, gives his feet a good wipe or two, and then steps through the ropes and into the ring. He makes his way to the turnbuckle, bracing his hands on the top rope and leaning back to test its integrity. While he’s doing this, he catches sight of the hard cam and gives it a little wink before the music fades out.
Bryan McVay: And their opponents…
“I’m The Greatest” by Ringo Starr plays over the PA system as GREAT SCOTT makes his way out, cheered on by the HOW supporters in the crowd while also being booed heavily by those in favor of PRIME. For his part, GREAT SCOTT does not really care about the reception, as he watches GREAT BEAR do his thing, bobbing his head to the music coming from his sweet Beats by Dre headphones before the other half of the team steps out…stronk godson.
Bryan McVay: Representing High Octane Wrestling, at a combined weight of 513 pounds…stronk godson and the High Octane Television Champion, GREAT SCOTT!
The pair make their way down toward the ring, GREAT BEAR following close behind still bobbing his head to the beat as they approach ringside. SCOTT and stronk enter the ring, where we see an amused Reform and Cole watching their opponents flex…and stronk having a bit of a struggle, given his decrease in mass and size.
Joe Hoffman: Reform and Cole seem to be taking some delight in the misery of stronk tonight, and I can’t say I appreciate that attitude from a man claiming to be a doctor!
Richard Parker: Listen, Joe, they’re probably wondering the same thing I am…what’s the deal with stronk? I was not expecting…well, this…when I was told he was competing tonight.
Joe Hoffman: Indeed, stronk is on a road to recovery since his return appearance at ICONIC, making him something of a wild card here tonight!
Richard Parker: Well, wild cards still have a chance of making it to the playoffs so that spells potential to me!
We see Reform stepping out to the apron as does stronk, leaving us with Cole and SCOTT as Hortega calls for the bell to start things off!
Just as quickly as the match starts, however, Cole immediately points to stronk on the apron, motioning for the former HOTv and LSD champ to enter as he shouts…
TA Cole: I want the big one.
This gets a chuckle from both Cole and Reform…but stronk, to his credit, stretches an arm out looking for the tag!
Richard Parker: What’s this, now?
Joe Hoffman: Looks to me like stronk is NOT having any of the Honor Society’s shenanigans over his situation tonight, and he wants to deal with them to start off!
SCOTT looks at the Honor Society, and then at stronk…and tags him in! SCOTT slaps stronk on the shoulder as he enters the ring, trying to reassure his tag partner that he’s got what it takes…but the slap on the shoulder knocks stronk forward by mistake, sending him right into a clothesline by Cole!
On the apron, SCOTT raises his arms onto his head in surprise at what’s just happened as Cole goes to work on the now much smaller godson, pummeling away with lefts and rights until stronk can finally dodge one and roll forward to evade further damage.
This only serves to frustrate Cole, however, who rushes at stronk before grabbing him by the hair, sending him into the nearest turnbuckle with a Biel throw! Hortega admonishes Cole for this as the TA walks over to his corner with a smirk, tagging in Reform who smiles as he goes to work on the worn-out stronk.
Joe Hoffman: Reform looking ready to take advantage of the weakened state of godson here.
Richard Parker: The good Doctor promised to give an education tonight, and as shocked as he might’ve been to see stronk’s condition, I think he’s eager to instill that teaching all the same!
Reform stomps away at stronk, who tries his best to build back to a vertical base…but Reform is having none of it as he gives a swift kick to the ribs, bringing stronk back down hard to the canvas! SCOTT has had just about enough of this, rushing into the ring to try and stop Reform…but Hortega holds him back, telling the HOTv Champion he needs to get back to his corner, much to the chagrin of the Master of the Bear and Glare.
This gives Reform an opening to exploit, as he motions for Cole to enter the ring before the pair double-team the former big man, pummeling away at stronk with some hard kicks and punches. SCOTT shouts at Hortega to see what’s going on, but just as the ref turns around Reform and Cole give each other a high five, indicating an audible “tag” just in the nick of time.
Joe Hoffman: What!? No, that wasn’t a tag!
Richard Parker: The ref can’t call what he can’t see, Joe! Same as it ever was.
Reform steps back out, cheering on Cole from the apron as his TA continues the attack on stronk with an elbow to his head, before sending him flying to the canvas with a belly to belly suplex! stronk bounces slightly from the impact, bringing another smirk to Cole’s face as he makes the cover!
Just shy of a two count before stronk is able to get a shoulder up, much to the annoyance of Cole as he brings godson back to his feet…delivering another elbow to the head of stronk before hitting a fireman’s carry takeover that sends him right back to the canvas. Reform applauds the work of his TA from the apron, as stronk tries once more to get to his feet…only to be stopped with a front headlock by Cole, who transitions into a gator roll sending stronk down hard one more time!
Joe Hoffman: stronk is really having a rough go of things here, struggling to mount much in the way of offense against the technical prowess of TA Cole!
Richard Parker: I have a feeling that stronk’s chances of winning this match drastically deflated when, well, he himself deflated Joe!
Cole can’t help but laugh at the situation stronk is in, egging the man on to try and get back to his feet…and eventually, godson obliges, wobbly as he stands in front of the formidable TA, who rushes toward stronk…only to grab absolutely nothing as godson narrowly dodges the attack! stronk tries to lift the TA off his feet for a backdrop driver…but Cole is too big for him, and stronk has to give up the attempt immediately with a look of disappointment on his face.
Cole just turns around after this, looking at stronk as a laugh escapes his mouth…which only manages to anger stronk, who charges at the TA at full speed. Cole is not shaken by this, however, letting stronk’s own momentum get the better of him as he hits the ropes, before Cole goes for a clothesline on the rebound…but stronk ducks that as well, and manages to reach out for a tag to GREAT SCOTT!
Joe Hoffman: stronk managing to get that tag in, and now GREAT SCOTT enters the fray!
Richard Parker: Don’t let him hear you say that Joe, he might get lost trying to figure out how to save a life!
SCOTT gives a big ol’ glare at Cole, who looks confused and almost dismayed by the gesture…but is soon blindsided with a clothesline from the big man! SCOTT follows up with some hard lefts and rights before sending Cole to the ropes, looking for another clothesline on the rebound…but Cole wisely ducks it, rolling out of the ring on the opposite side as he convenes with Reform to strategize on the outside!
SCOTT yells at the pair “HEY, THERE ARE NO TIME OUTS IN WRESTLING” before sliding out of the ring to continue the attack, but Cole is prepared as he grabs SCOTT, ready to send him into the ring post…but SCOTT turns it around on the TA, sending him colliding into the steel steps instead!
Hortega instructs SCOTT to get back in the ring, but the HOTv Champion pays little mind to it as he stays on the attack with some stomps to Cole…until Reform swings around, confronting the big man with a staredown. SCOTT doesn’t take kindly to this, giving Reform a glare out of intimidation…but the distraction is enough for Cole to send SCOTT face-first into the ring post!
Joe Hoffman: Oh my, SCOTT taking a face full of steel there!
Richard Parker: Sometimes you gotta get your full helping of iron, Joe!
Cole seems to shake the cobwebs out as he gets SCOTT back into the ring, sliding in close behind to get back to work on the big man with a waistlock takedown…but SCOTT breaks out of it, driving Cole headfirst into the canvas with a DDT instead! SCOTT gets back to his feet quickly, gathering his wits as he slams punch after punch on the TA before bringing Cole to an upright position. SCOTT grabs Cole and throws him back down to the canvas with a belly to belly SCOTTplex!
With the TA down, SCOTT flexes with a smirk on his face, letting the crowd know there’s plenty more where that came from before he grabs Cole, bringing the TA back to his feet. Reform yells at SCOTT before trying to get involved, but Hortega stops him, telling Reform to get back to the apron…and with the ref distracted, Cole nails GREAT SCOTT with a low blow!
SCOTT can’t believe what’s just happened, dropping to one knee as Cole grabs his head…but with Hortega’s back still turned, SCOTT quickly lands a low blow of his own, dropping the TA to his knees in the process! Hortega turns around just in time to see both men grabbing themselves, leaving him confused as to what just went down. Cole crawls toward his corner, narrowly avoiding SCOTT’s reach as he tags in Reform…who rushes SCOTT before the big man can tag out, nailing him with a boot to the back!
Joe Hoffman: Oh, come on! There’s no need for that, Ned!
Richard Parker: DOCTOR Ned, and all’s fair in pro wrestling, Joe!
Reform brings SCOTT to a standing position, looking to send the big man back to the ropes…but SCOTT reverses it, sending Reform to the ropes instead before hitting a big clothesline on the rebound! With the good Doctor down, SCOTT points to Cole on the apron…telling Hortega “HEY, I THINK THAT GUY IS UP TO SOMETHING!” Hortega is hesitant to respond to this, but Cole starts to argue, growing more angry by the second…even stepping into the ring to confront SCOTT about the situation, forcing the ref’s hand as Hortega tries to maintain order!
With the TA being reprimanded and told to return to his corner, SCOTT motions to stronk to get in the ring for an assist…and with Cole still arguing with the ref, there’s an opening for SCOTT and stronk to double-team Reform before stronk attempts to assist SCOTT with a double suplex…which the current HOTv Champion clearly carries the brunt of, but they get the job done regardless. Hortega is just about to turn around when the pair give a high five of their own, to signal a “tag” made
Joe Hoffman: Holy moly, stronk and SCOTT just gave the Honor Society a taste of their own medicine!
Richard Parker: Oh I see, is this where we get to have a conversation live on-air about the double standard being set by–
Joe Hoffman: No, no it isn’t, Richard.
Richard Parker: I’m kidding, Joe! One good turn deserves another.
SCOTT heads out to the apron, pointing to his head to indicate the brilliant strategy at work as stronk tries his best to lay in some punches and kicks on the still-fallen Reform. The sheer number of strikes does its best to make up for the lack of power as stronk brings the Doctor back up to his feet before locking in a sleeper hold…until Reform manages to slip out just in the nick of time, avoiding possible disaster from that Loop Hold!
stronk sends Reform to the ropes with an Irish whip, but on the rebound the Doctor stops, drops to a knee, and nails godson with a Thinking Man’s Uppercut uppercut that sends stronk reeling back! Reform points to his head with a smirk, much to the chagrin of SCOTT who yells “HEY, DON’T COPY ME” from the apron. Reform just chuckles at the remark, before turning his attention back to stronk…who surprises the Doctor with a jawbreaker against his head, dropping him to the canvas in the process!
Joe Hoffman: Wow, that’s gotta hurt! stronk might not be the big boy of old, but crashing your head against someone’s jaw is gonna be painful no matter what the size!
Richard Parker: Brilliant move there by stronk, I’ll give him credit!
Reform clutches his jaw as he rolls toward the corner, where Cole reaches out and gets the tag. The TA rushes toward godson, who tries once more to hit the backdrop driver…only for Cole to drop right on top of him! stronk narrowly manages to roll out of the way before Cole can go for the cover, but the TA is now back on the attack as he lays in some hard kicks to the sternum of stronk, before deadlifting him off the canvas and hitting an impressive suplex!
Cole thinks this could very well be over, a smile on his face as he lifts stronk up with ease…and right onto his shoulders, locking in the Letter Jacket torture rack! Cole’s got it locked in tight, but GREAT SCOTT refuses to see his new best friend give up as he runs into the ring, pulling godson off the TA! Reform is furious about this, rushing in to intercept…and chaos ensues as SCOTT and Reform trade punches!
Joe Hoffman: Things just got out of hand fast here, Richard!
Richard Parker: Leave it to GREAT SCOTT to cause such a ruckus, Joe!
Cole gets back to his feet, coming to the aid of Reform as they double-team SCOTT, sending him to the ropes to take him out of the ring…but SCOTT grabs Reform by his beard, managing to bring him over the top rope and join him in falling to the outside! Cole seems confused by this, and the distraction gives stronk a chance to roll the TA up! Hortega drops down to make the count, and we see stronk grabbing the singlet of Cole nice and tight!
DING DING DING
Bryan McVay: Ladies and gentlemen, here are your winners…the team of stronk godson and GREAT SCOTT!
stronk almost can’t believe he’s done it, as he lets go of Cole’s singlet to rise to his feet. Hortega raises his arm in victory as Cole gets to his feet, trying to argue with the ref as Reform slides into the ring to conspire against Hortega’s call…only to be stopped with a big right hand from GREAT SCOTT after he slides in, eventually sending the Honor Society out of the ring before Hortega raises his and stronk’s arms in victory!
Joe Hoffman: stronk did it! stronk pulls off a big win here in Anaheim, as he and GREAT SCOTT overcome the Honor Society!
Richard Parker: Credit where it’s due, Joe, these two held their own against a very game Doctor Ned Reform and TA Cole. stronk getting that rollup on Cole was the final straw, and I can’t really complain about him grabbing hold of an opportunity that came his way!
Joe Hoffman: What a match, folks! We’re gonna take a short break, but when we come back we have more in-ring action in store as RAH takes on Cancer Jiles!
Richard Parker: Hold up, you mean to tell me someone thought challenging Jiles to a match here was a good idea? I can’t believe someone agreed to wrestle that sorry sack of–
Parker’s rant is cut off as we go to another commercial break!
We return from commercial break and go right back to the ring where Missouri Valley Wrestling ring announcer Heather Cooper stands, looking a tad nervous and with good reason. Tonight is Heather’s first ever big, BIG show and it’s at a packed 20,000-capacity arena.
She steels herself and raises the microphone to her mouth.
Heather Cooper: Ladies and gentlemen, our next match will be one fall. Introducing first.
“I’m sinfully delicious!” (sung to the tune of the end of the Lucky Charms’s jingle)
Slowly slinking out onto the stage is a woman rocking a gold one-piece strapless mini-dress just barely covering her breasts and going down to mid-thigh level, gold high-heel shoes, copious makeup on her face, teased platinum hair straight out of the 1980s, and bright red lipstick on her lips.
Richard Parker: Wait a minute. I thought some sun god guy was coming out. Who’s this?
Heather Cooper: Accompanied to the ring tonight by former HOW LSD Champion and former MVW tag team champion, the woman who single-handedly ran Tim Shipley out of HOW…
BIG pop from both the PRIME and HOW Faithful, because fuck Hyde.
Heather Cooper: …and the former Demolition Machine. Now, she’s sinfully delicious as the eye candy of sports entertainment… ladies and gentlemen… Dawn McGill!
Richard Parker: Oh.
“I’m sinfully delicious!”
Dawn rolls her eyes as if she’s annoyed at the sound of her high-pitched, squeaky, annoyingly brainless blonde bombshell sing-song voice over the loudspeaker. She snaps back into her sports entertainment Barbie character and glides down the ramp stopping intermittently to pose for pictures by the fans.
Richard Parker: Well, at least I’ll get to look at something pleasant at ringside during this match instead of watching Cancer Jiles.
Halfway down, someone in the crowd holds up a bouquet of flowers and gets Dawn’s attention. She stops and motions to him to come to the guardrail.
Joe Hoffman: Well, it seems Dawn has an admirer in the crowd tonight.
The fan, who appears to be college student-age, meets her at the steel barricade. Dawn smiles and accepts the flowers from the kid.
Joe Hoffman: And he’s given her a bouquet of flowers. How nice is that?
Richard Parker: Real nice… WHOA!
Parker reacts when Dawn grabs the side of the kid’s face with both hands and plants a full-mouth, no holds barred kiss on the surprised student.
Richard Parker: Lucky kid. I wonder if there’s a flower shop open this late.
In the heat of this feel-good moment, the camera zeros in on the student who suddenly finds his hand, like a piece of metal hurtling towards a heavy-duty magnet, gravitating towards Miss McGill’s ample breasts.
Dawn slaps the hand away just in time.
Dawn McGill: Don’t touch those.
Lucky Student: Sorry.
Lipstick slightly smeared on her face, McGill snaps back into character and giggles in a high-pitched voice as she backs away from the college student. His face is also smeared with Dawn’s red lipstick.
Richard Parker: Can we have her stop by the broadcast desk on the way to the ring?
Joe Hoffman: Probably not.
As Dawn continues her way down to the ramp and the kid floats back to his seat, we cut back to the ring where a man dressed in an expensive suit and bow tie has just climbed in and approaches Heather Cooper.
Richard Parker: Wait. Who is this guy?
Joe Hoffman: Rah’s announcer guy.
The announcer guy motions to Cooper to take a temporary powder.
Richard Parker: Why does Rah have an announcer guy?
Joe Hoffman: Because he’s the one who’s been given the rare honor and privilege of introducing a living deity.
Richard Parker: Oh. Makes sense.
Announcer Guy: Hit it!
A trumpet fanfare plays over the loudspeaker followed by a dense, layered note on a synthesizer.
Joe Hoffman: Well, here we go.
Announcer Guy: (in a voice not unlike Michael Buffer) Ladies and gentlemen. Boys and girls. People of all ages. Tonight, I have the pleasure of presenting to you the almost universally-worshipped King of the Sun Gods over all creation.
This gets the attention of the Southern California fans attending tonight’s show.
Joe Hoffman: It looks like we’re getting “classic” Rah tonight- not the “Jimmy Buffet” Rah who had a nice run in HOW back in 2021.
Announcer Guy: That’s right. He commands the chariot that rode across the sky during the day. He is the great, fiery globe in the sky; a welcome, nurturing presence to honor the season. He is the divine inspiration for those people who would throw virgins into the gaping maw of a volcano – perhaps even an Icelandic volcano – though such shenanigans haven’t been acceptable since the 1950s.
Richard Parker: Wait… what?
Joe Hoffman: Just go with it.
Announcer Guy: And just for your reference, he is, for 38 years in a row, proven to be one of UC San Diego‘s most enduring traditions in the Sun God festival – an all-day music festival celebrated by more than 20,000 students, alumni, and friends.
He raises his hand to make a point.
Announcer Guy: But that’s not important.
The lights turn off and a spotlight illuminates the ramp where a group of former Arizona State sorority sisters gather.
Richard Parker: Wait. Who are these people?
Joe Hoffman: Rah’s loyal followers.
Richard Parker: Oh.
Rah’s loyal followers keep busy taking selfies of themselves with their cell phones to text to their Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, and other social media outlets while they meander down the ramp.
Behind them, two large, hulking men carry out a golden sedan chair transporting a six foot-eight inch, two-hundred-and-eighty-pound man regally dressed in a long flowing brown robe
Announcer Guy: Either way, you should thank your lucky stars and kiss his royal ass for gracing you with his presence here tonight. I give to you…the reason the Earth doesn‘t float away in the vastness of space…the reason it’s eighty degrees outside and not minus four hundred and fifty-nine point six seven…and the reason Brian Wilson wrote all those great songs… ladies and gentlemen…bow down before the Sunshine…
He stops as it appears there’s another person inside the ring.
Announcer Guy: …God- HEY! WHAT THE-
There is and after a brief scuffle, the interloper rips the microphone out of the hands of the stunned announcer guy.
Joe gets a glimpse of his face and he immediately knows who it is.
Joe Hoffman: Wait a minute…. Benny?
That’s right, HOW Hall of Fame announcer Benny Newell. He will be the one with the honor and privilege of introducing a living deity tonight.
Benny takes one deep breath and bellows loudly into the microphone…
Benny Newell: RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Benny Newell: RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
Benny Newell: RAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA-
Benny’s microphone is quickly cut off before he completely blows out the speakers.
The camera pans over to the sorority sisters who continue to make those ridiculously obnoxious duck-face expressions as they continue taking selfie after selfie of themselves.
Joe Hoffman: Rah has not been in the ring since 2021 so it will be interesting to see just how much ring rust he has to try to get rid of during this match.
Rah climbs out of his golden sedan chair at the ring steps and majestically raises his arms in the air to accept the acclamation flowing in from the crowd. Unfortunately, the rapid-fire flashing lights emitted from the cell phones of the sorority sisters taking endless series of selfies momentarily blinds Rah.
He reaches out with his hands… finds the ring apron… and climbs into the ring. Dawn McGill greets him with a big kiss.
Richard Parker: Think we can get Dawn McGill to come over here? She’ll kiss anyone.
Joe Hoffman: That’s her husband.
Richard Parker: That didn’t stop her from making out with that kid.
Joe Hoffman: The Sunshine God is in the ring right now after his very lengthy entrance and we’re now waiting for the former PRIME and HOW World Champion Cancer Jiles to come out.
Richard Parker: Ugh, don’t remind me.
An annoyed Heather Cooper has reclaimed the microphone and continues the pre-match introductions – which have now passed the ten-minute mark.
Heather Cooper: And his opponent…
The lights slowly draw to a dim.
A chill ominously moves through the air, and a bird, possibly a gull of sorts, can be heard beckoning amongst the night.
Heather Cooper: Hailing out of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and weighing tonight at 218 pounds. He is…
Heather’s voice rises in volume and excitement.
Heather Cooper: …THE CLOSER, THE COOLYMPIAN, THE GREEK GOD OF COOL, THE MAIN EVENT… ladies and gentlemen… CANNNN-CER JIIIIIIIIII-LES!
Joe Hoffman: Cancer Jiles is looking to bounce back from a tough loss at PRIME’s Colossus pay-per-view show last month when he lost the Universal Title to Hayes Hanlon.
Richard Parker: And I loved every moment of it.
Suddenly, the PWAVision jolts to life.
Up on the big screen the squawking bird, or possibly a gull of sorts, is seen flying high above a snow-capped mountain.
A bird’s eye view of COOLYMPUS.
There’s an audible groan heard from the broadcast table.
Richard Parker: Oh, not this again.
Joe Hoffman: Rah’s entrance was elaborate… and over ten minutes long. I’m guessing Jiles is also going to have a long entrance, too?
Richard Parker: Joe, I swear Jiles’s entrance was excruciating enough to sit through at Colossus…
Then, the drum of the wolf begins to beat.
Richard Parker: …but if I have to sit through it here again tonight? ARRRGHHHH!
The beat gets louder and louder until it becomes deafening.
A spotlight shines. There, standing atop the PWAVision is Cancer Jiles. His hair radiates with a golden glow of determination, or is it more like a glare from the hot ceiling lights? His T-shades are just waiting for someone to snort a line of coke off of them.
Joe Hoffman: But if he’s up there. How is he going to get down here?
Richard Parker: Well, if there’s any justice in this world, it’s by jumping off the video screen and falling to his death.
Joe Hoffman: That seems a little harsh.
Richard Parker: No. No, it’s not. Hoyt willing, we can only hope-
Parker’s comment is cut off by a 15-pyro salute with lots of bright lights and thunderous explosions. Then the lights kick back on and…
Joe Hoffman: Wait a minute.
…the camera catches something… or someone… plunging through the air below the video screen.
Joe Hoffman: Something’s falling to the ground.
Richard Parker: YES! THANK HOYT, THANK YOU INDEED!
However, when the camera zooms in and catches up with the falling object, it confirms that the “Cancer Jiles” perched on top of the PWAVision was nothing more than a lifesize “Cardboard Cancer Jiles” blown off the screen by a random gust of wind… perhaps from an air conditioning unit.
Richard Parker: NOOOOOOOOOOO!
Joe Hoffman: JILES IS IN THE RING!
In the confusion, Jiles slipped into the ring and blasted Rah over the head not once… not twice but…
…THREE times. The Sunshine God topples over, crumpling into a heap on the mat.
Richard Parker: I hate him.
Richard Parker: I hate him so much.
Joe Hoffman: The crowd is not happy with Cancer Jiles and I can’t blame them.
Joe Hoffman: Jiles snuck into the ring and brained Rah three times with a steel-folding chair before the match even began and you have to think this will be a no contest.
Throwing the bent-up chair down on the mat, Jiles looks over at MVW senior referee Davey Keels standing in the corner. He motions toward the timekeeper as if he’s directing Keels’s attention there.
Joe Hoffman: What is he doing?
Keels does a double-take.
Richard Parker: Typical Jiles. He’s telling the referee to start the match!
Jiles again points at the timekeeper.
Joe Hoffman: Rah has been knocked out and Jiles now wants the referee to ring the bell and start the match?
Jiles mouths “ring the fucking bell” to Keels.
Richard Parker: There’s not enough words that can adequately express just how much I despise Cancer Jiles.
Keels glances down at Rah. The six-foot-nine Sunshine God still isn’t moving a whole lot after taking the three consecutive chair shots.
Joe Hoffman: This is terrible. There’s no way Davey Keels can let this match begin-
A roar from the crowd interrupts Joe.
Joe Hoffman: Dawn McGill’s on the apron!
Richard Parker: Oh no, no, no.
Ripping the golden heels off her feet and slamming them down on the floor, Dawn McGill marches to the ring and climbs onto the apron. Her sports entertainment Barbie persona is gone. She’s ready to tear into Jiles.
Richard Parker: What is she doing?
Joe Hoffman: She’s royally pissed off at what’s just happened to her husband, that’s what.
Richard Parker: Bad idea. Bad, bad idea.
Dawn shouts at Jiles…
Richard Parker: Don’t do it!
…and gets his attention.
Joe Hoffman: This is not a good thing.
Jiles looks over at McGill and smirks as she verbally tears him a new one.
Richard Parker: Not good.
Jiles takes two steps towards her and…
Joe Hoffman: COOLYMPIAN YOLK!
Richard Parker: NOOOOOOO!
Yes. Jiles spews his lethal Coolympian Yolk into the eyes of Dawn McGill. Dawn loses her balance on the apron and has to jump to the floor. She lands awkwardly and inertia causes her to stagger blindly backward until she ends up laying on her back on top of the broadcast desk.
Richard Parker: Hello!
With the blinded McGill on the desk in her skimpy golden, one-piece, strapless mini-dress barely covering her breasts, Parker suddenly looks up into the sky like the kid did in the movie Animal House when a co-ed came flying through the window and landed on his bed and raises both arms triumphantly into the air and shouts out…
Richard Parker: THANK YOU HOYT!
Joe Hoffman: HE’S STARTING THE MATCH?
Back in the ring, Rah stirs and crawls to the ropes and that’s enough for Davey Keels to call for the bell.
Jiles just stands and waits as the Sunshine God pulls himself up one rope at a time until he’s finally on his feet but leaning up against a turnbuckle.
Joe Hoffman: I CAN’T BELIEVE HE STARTED THE MATCH! What do you think, Richard?
Joe Hoffman: Richard?
Dawn McGill: (voice off-screen) Don’t touch those.
Richard Parker: Sorry.
Back in the ring, Rah shakes his head to get the cobwebs out and pushes off the ropes.
Joe Hoffman: Um, Davey Keels has started the match and I guess Rah’s going to give a go-
Joe Hoffman: TERMINAL CANCER!
Eyes rolled up into the back of his head, Rah timbers over like a falling Redwood tree to the mat.
Joe Hoffman: Rah ran right into a perfectly timed superkick from Cancer Jiles and he was out cold by the time he hit the mat.
Jiles rolls him up and Keels makes the count.
DING DING DING
Richard Parker: Wait. Did I miss something?
Jiles celebrates in the ring as if he’s just won the biggest match of his life.
Heather Cooper: (spoken in the most unenthusiastic voice ever) Your winner at one minute and forty-five seconds…Cancer Jiles.
Richard Parker: Son of a bitch!
Cooper rolls her eyes… drops the mic… and hastily exits the ring just as debris begins to fly in from all over the arena.
Joe Hoffman: Well, suffice it to say the crowd’s not happy about what just happened here.
Even Richard Parker crumples up a piece of paper and heaves it into the ring.
Richard Parker: Yeah… BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Medical personnel race through the cups and other missiles hurled towards the ring down the ramp. Jiles is long gone leaving just the downed Rah unconscious in the ring with Dawn McGill with him.
They roll into the ring and immediately attend to Rah.
Joe Hoffman: Cancer Jiles gets the win in his first match since losing the Universal Title to Hayes Hanlon. Rah’s getting checked out in the ring by the medical folks right now.
A quick cut back to the ring confirms that fact.
Joe Hoffman: We’re going to cut to a commercial. We’ll have more PWA 1 right after these messages.
Richard Parker: BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
Cut away as the PWAV comes to life once again…..
Dominating the frame, positively filling it from end to end, are two massive forms. On the left, eyes dark behind a black half mask, is CYBER Superbeast, his mouth turned into something of a disgusted frown. On the right, CYBER Power Devil, his face painted and his eyes flashing unmitigated fury as he slowly bares his teeth. They are, in a word, mountainous, their expansive chests and boulderlike shoulders only accentuating the difference between them and their herald.
The Haruspex, as the entity has become known, stalks in between who they term their Lords. The thing’s frame is something from horror, all lank and bobbing skull, hidden behind a robe of black sackcloth, the face entirely obscured. From the ragged folds of the robe emerges an arm, skin ghostly pale but the fingers stained black, nails more like claws. It gestures towards the camera, shakily, accusatory.
The haruspex: The questions came from the crowds as we marched in victory from the ruined corpses of the last true heroes…they spake, impudent, to the Kings of Hell themselves, as if the ears of my lords were meant to hear the disease of common tongue! And what they asked, they said with such tone…the fires of the pit itself would be too great a mercy! They said that if my Lords were such conquering beasts, if they were the true rulers of these divisions like they claimed to be, then surely they would step out of the comfort of their home turf! Surely they would seek new bodies to break and new souls to claim, riding towards the horizon on steeds of fury across a field scattered with the rubble of the careers they have claimed!
Its voice is all rasp and gravel, and the breath is lost quickly, so that those final words are a strained croak. Still, the shoulders of this being heave high and low, the ragged breath returning what air it can to the haruspex.
The haruspex: Do you hold dreams of a future? A home, radiant in warmth. Your hearth always piping, your larders ever full, your children plump and joyous–your very strength enough to keep the cold fires of the world at bay. The wolves howl, but they are only ever that. Noise in the distance. Know your peace now–revel in it. Embrace it.
Superbeast and Power Devil begin slowly, methodically, steadily clubbing their meathooks into their expansive chests, a dull meaty thud echoing with each strike like a drumbeat. The haruspex begins to pace back and forth, three steps at a time, before holding their claws up as if testifying.
The haruspex: For the hour is upon us. The wolves have grown too hungry to care for your strength and your fires. The beasts of the dark have seen the comfort of your lives and how soft and comfortable you have gotten and have decided you are ripe for the harvest! We stalk in places that you don’t look at and rest in the dark corners of your nightmares–and you believe your strength will save you? You truly believe?! Your belief is your weakness! How do you plan to withstand the assault of the mighty Unholy Cyber Army?! My Lords have trampled greater than you under their feet with ease! You are not heroes, you are not champions, you are not demigods–you are cobble! You are paved stones on a road to total domination! You are but another mournful verse in the Edda of the conquering power of the Kings of Hell! Breathe your last breaths as men, for the hour of you becoming afterthoughts, ghosts of memory, is upon you!
With that last croak, their arms slump. The Cyber Army’s chest drumming stops. There is a silent moment where all we hear are the figure’s ragged breaths–and then a raspy proclamation.
The haruspex: Face this destruction–but do not pray for their mercy…
“SHOOT Project can go to hell.”
The shot switches to elsewhere in the Honda Center, where an indomitable mountain stands in front of a nondescript wall. He’s impossibly tall with muscles on top of muscles and bare-chested with a high fade accentuated by thick brown hair. His voice isn’t the one that made that proclamation, it was his partner’s…no shortcake herself at six feet tall, with blonde hair done in tight twin french braids. Those familiar with SHOOT Project will swear they saw her compete with the company once or twice, and Daryn Thompson wouldn’t argue the point.
She will, however, tell you all about it.
Daryn Thompson: I remember when I first stepped foot in the Las Vegas Epicenter two years ago, fresh off a successful stint in Japan with BK.
She motions behind her and “BK” – Bracken Krueger – subtly nods his head.
Daryn Thompson: Truth be told, I was real nervous about leaving the place we’d had so much success in. Multi-time tag champs. Multi-time women’s champ. BK, a multi-time heavyweight champ. But there was an opportunity for me back in the States, and while my partner was rehabbin’ an injury, I decided t’take a chance an’ give SHOOT Project a whirl. An’ y’know what I came away with?
The Texas Technician snarls.
Daryn Thompson: A losin’ streak an’ a broken leg thanks to that shitty Overlord of Overcompensation, Mister “I think bein’ an edgelord’s a good way to git over,” Arthur Pleasant.
Bracken scoffs behind Daryn, then looks down at the ground and shakes his head in bemusement.
Daryn Thompson: SHOOT Project brass might’ve paid my hospital bills – it was the least they could do – but what they didn’t do was make that sonuvabitch face any repercussions outside’ve facin’ BK’s and my mentor, Lindsay Troy, in a tag match. An’ all due respect to LT, but that “punishment” was horseshit. That “punishment” didn’t make up for the multiple surgeries I had to have. It didn’t make up for the months of rehabbin’ and wonderin’ if I’d ever be able to fight again. An’ it sure as hell didn’t make up for the darkness an’ the spite an’ the bitterness I’ve felt every day since. LT might’ve had his number that night, an’ multiple times after, but that piece’a shit’s still walkin’ this earth somewhere an’ it’s because nobody’s had the good sense to cut the head off the snake.
Bracken Krueger: Since no one can find that piece of shit, two Demons from Cyber Roppongi will have to take his place.
The Lakeshore Leviathan’s dark eyes bore like drills through the camera. Daryn’s hands instinctively ball into fists as her anger grows.
Daryn Thompson: I obviously got myself back into fightin’ shape and my leg ain’t no worse for wear. The docs say it’s as good as it’s gonna get. So I hooked back up with BK an’ we’ve torn through MVW like twin tornados through the Red River Valley. Beat a few of you HOW folks along the way.
Bracken Krueger: Took Scott Stevens’ lil’ belt from him, too.
Daryn Thompson: As soon as we heard this PWA deal was goin’ down, we went to Ray McAvay an’ I said, “Give us someone from SHOOT; I got unfinished business an’ a point t’prove. Don’t matter who, just so long as it’s a team that can take a beatin’.” An’ he gave us you, Power Devil an’ Superbeast.
Bracken Krueger: Along with some Ebony Maw-looking jackass who speaks in riddles.
Daryn Thompson: Well riddles ain’t no match for the language of violence. BK an’ I…we know what the UCA’s capable of. We’ve seen th’deathmatches and th’title wins. We’ve seen th’broken bodies left in their wake. We know they speak th’same language. We’ve done th’deathmatches in Japan. Our bodies’ve already been broken. An’ we healed from it. There ain’t nothin’ you two can do that’s gonna be any worse than what BK an’ I have already been through. An’ this time, I ain’t walkin’ into unchartered territory alone. I got my Day 1 by my side.
Bracken Krueger: And rest assured…Daryn and I…
He places his gigantic paw on his partner’s shoulder.
Bracken Krueger: We’ll see to it that the Unholy Cyber Army is given no quarter.
Daryn swats the camera out of her face as she and BK stalk off towards the ring as we cut back live inside the arena.
Coming back from commercial break we focus on a section of the backstage area here in The Honda Center. HOW Hall of Fame interviewer Blaire Moise can be seen standing in front of an HOW backdrop. She has her microphone in hand and her HOW Hall of Fame ring on her finger. She has on a beautiful 97red colored dress for the occasion. Blaire brushes her free hand through her hair quickly before the cameraman gives her the signal that they are live on air once again. Blaire smiles brightly and raises the microphone up to her lips.
Blaire Moise: Ladies and gentleman, my name is Blaire Moise. I am an HOW Hall of Famer…
Blaire pauses to raise her hand into the air and show off her ring to the camera. The smirk on her face is legendary as she lowers her hand.
Blaire Moise: And I’d like to welcome you back to this action packed first ever PWA event. At this time I ask you to please join me in welcoming the current HOTv World Tag Team Champions Scott Stevens and Jace Parker Davidson!
Usually, there is a look of disgust on Blaire’s face when it comes to either of these men but tonight isn’t about that. Tonight she’s proud and representing HOW no matter how she feels about each particular superstar. Scott Stevens walks into camera view on Blaire’s right with his HOTv World Tag Team Championship belt around his waist. Jace steps into camera view on Blaire’s right with his ICON Championship belt on his left shoulder, his LSD Championship belt on his right shoulder, and finally his HOTv World Tag Team Championship belt around his waist.
Blaire Moise: Gentlemen, we are moments away from you both putting the HOTv World Tag Team Championship belts on the line against the team of The Alabama Game from Missouri Valley Wrestling. I wanted to ask if you two have managed to put your differences aside ahead of tonight’s match?
Jace Parker Davidson: Our differences? Absolutely fucking not but that’s okay. We’re facing the likes of two hillbillies who just don’t measure up to me on a talent scale. As long as my ‘partner’ over there manages to stay out of my way and let me lead this ship then we’re bound to walk out of The Honda Center tonight with these belts still in our possession.
Scott Stevens: I don’t think Jace and I will ever be the best of friends but this isn’t about friendship. This is about proving that together we are the best tag team in PWA. You have talent from all the different promotions here tonight showing off what they can do inside of the ring. I’m impressed so far but these fans here tonight haven’t yet witnessed the pinnacle of tag team wrestling and that is myself and Jace.
Blaire goes to speak but Jace interrupts her. Something that happens very often in HOW.
Jace Parker Davidson: Hold on a minute… Why are you impressed with all the other talent here tonight? Don’t tell me you’ve been walking up and down these halls kissing the ass of each and every single person that already competed here tonight.
Scott Stevens: I’ve done no such thing. I’m not Darin Zion. I’ve just kept my eye on the matches so far tonight and been impressed with the effort that everyone has put forth inside of the ring.
Jace Parker Davidson: So, instead of focusing on what we have to do out there in the ring in just a few minutes you were busy being a fanboy of everyone else in the building tonight. Jesus fucking Christ, I’m teamed up with a glorified statistician. You can worry about compiling your date for your goddamn Stevenspedia page after the event is over.
Scott Stevens: I call it scouting out future opponents. Just because we have to defend these belts here tonight doesn’t mean we don’t face some of the other wrestlers from the various PWA federations down the road. It also doesn’t help to see just what stars would be fit to join The House of Best.
Jace Parker Davidson: Okay, that’s where you’re wrong. IF we lose these belts here tonight then we are DONE as a team. Your free ride on my back is over. You need to stop worrying about praising everyone else or trying to recruit for your goddamn bootleg House of Best. Worry about what YOU are going to do in the ring to put in the 20% effort needed for us to retain these belts and not lose to a god awful MVW tag team.
Scott Stevens: You want to know what I’M going to do? I’m going out there tonight and I’m going to get the win for our team. Just like I did at ICONIC. Then I’m going to march right into Chaos 19 and beat the hell out of Darin Zion. Then after that regardless if it’s Xander Azula, Steve Solex, or Bobbinette Carey, I’m going to win the LSD tournament and become the #1 contender to that belt that should already be mine.
Stevens points to the title belt on Jace’s shoulder. Tempers begin to flare as the two men try and fight each other but Blaire stands tall in the middle of the two men and tries to keep them apart.
Blaire Moise: HEY! Save it for March 2 Glory. Tonight is about HOW and it’s about the HOTv World Tag Team Championship belts. All I’m asking is for one night where the both of you don’t act like absolute morons. Can you both handle that?!
Blaire gives both men the evil eye. They both grumble under their breath before composing themselves. Blaire smooths her hands over her dress then raises her microphone again.
Blaire Moise: Now, speaking of the titles. Your opponents are R.G. Jenkins and Mark Hendry. It’ll be the match of a lifetime for these two men and there is no doubt that they’ve been coached out by numerous people. From Joe Bergman to Sunny O’ Callahan and even MVW owner Ray McAvay himself. What do you think the advantage is that you two have walking into this match?
Jace Parker Davidson: Isn’t it obvious? Talent. Pure and simple, Blaire. We both are Champions in the greatest promotion on the planet and in case you’re still confused. That promotion isn’t a shade of McKenna blue. R.G. Jenkins is pushing 40 years old and he’s never been in a federation that was worth a damn. He’s a career minor leaguer and now he’s relegated himself to live off of what little potential that his 25 year old partner has. If these guys were worth a shit then they’d be in HOW or PRIME or SOMEWHERE that wasn’t fucking Missouri. The lights are going to be way too blinding for these bumpkins and we’re going to roll onto the next challenge. Whoever that may be.
Scott Stevens: The advantage we have is experience in high pressure situations. Jace and I have both been the World Champion in a big time promotion. We’ve been the guy before but R.G. and Mark are nothing more than henchmen for the Dickinsons. Even with that being said I think WE need to take them seriously. Just because they wrestle in Missouri Valley doesn’t mean that they can’t bring it.
Jace Parker Davidson: Are you saying that because they are talented or because your bum ass also wrestles in Missouri Valley?
Scott Stevens: I’m saying that because arrogance never won anyone a match before.
Jace Parker Davidson: But you know what does? Talent and I have that in fucking spades. That’s where the arrogance comes from. You’d know all about that if you weren’t busy eating out of dumpsters just a few short months ago. Go run along, I don’t want to be caught dead walking out to the ring alongside you.
Davidson waves his hand dismissively as Stevens shakes his head.
Scott Stevens: I’m done arguing with you. I’m going to let my actions speak for themselves. I’m going to go out there and show that the pride of the GREAT STATE of TEXAS is better than anything that Alabama ever produced.
Stevens turns around and heads out of camera range as Jace scoffs before looking down at Blaire.
Jace Parker Davidson: The nerve of that guy, huh? At least High Octane Wrestling has real Hall of Famers like me and you.
Jace raises his fist and his HOF ring towards Blaire. The interview smirks and raises her fist and HOF ring into the air and bumps it against Jace’s fist. The PWA Triple Crown Champion smiles and walks off out of camera range. Blaire lowers her hand and looks towards the camera.
Blaire Moise: It’s time for tag team action as the HOTv World Tag Team Championship belts will be on the line. I’m sending it back to Joe Hoffman and Richard Parker at ringside. GO HOW!
Blaire pumps her fist into the air as we cut to the ringside area for the next match.
Back at ringside the fans here in the sold out Honda Center are ready for the next match to take place. It’s been an action packed night so far and the talent from all of the various PWA federations have put on the show of a lifetime. The camera pans the audience who are waving their signs in the air in support of any and all of the PWA promotions that they follow. Finally, the camera settles on the announcers table where HOW Hall of Fame broadcaster Joe Hoffman is seated next to PRIME Hall of Fame broadcaster Richard Parker are about to call the action.
Joe Hoffman: Welcome back to ringside ladies and gentleman and as Blaire told you just moments again it’s time for the HOTv World Tag Team Championship match here tonight.
Richard Parker: Doesn’t look to me like the HOTv Tag Champs are at all on the same page, Joe.
Joe Hoffman: Both Jace Parker Davidson and Scott Stevens are incredibly prideful…and incredibly arrogant. They’re going to have to put their egos aside if they want to hold onto the belts tonight against a very talented team from MVW in the Alabama Gang. Looks like the fans can’t wait any longer so let’s send it to the ring where HOW Hall of Famer Bryan McVay is ready to make tonight’s introductions.
The camera pans away from the announcers table where Bryan McVay stands in the center of the ring with his microphone in hand. HOW Hall of Fame referee Joel Hortega stands in the ring with McVay as he raises the microphone up to his lips.
Bryan McVay: Our next match is scheduled for one fall and it’s for The HOTv World Tag Team Championships!
The crowd roars with approval followed by a battle of chants from fans shouting either HOW or MVW. McVay pauses until the crowd quiets down a bit before speaking in the microphone again.
Bryan McVay: Introducing first the Challengers…
The fans in Anaheim go berserk as they await the wrestler’s entrances.
They don’t have long to wait as the slow burn opening to Chris Janson’s ‘White Trash’ sounds over the PA system.
“Between the trailer and the dog
And the cars on blocks and the hogs
Out in the front yard
Where us kids play
A bright flash of red, white, and blue light envelops the stage with fog billowing out from both sides of the stage as the song begins in earnest.
“Yeah there was mama
In her house shoes
Smokin’ Salem Lights with the tattoos
You add it all up
That’s why they call us white trash”
As the chorus starts, Sunny O’Callahan emerges from the back dressed in the fashion of a female background singer from a late seventies Southern rock band wearing a spaghetti strap top, a pair of jeans, heels. and her usually straight hair is all frizzed out and curly.
“Well if they’d had their way
They’d have thrown us away
Like an empty bottle of wine
We belong sacked up
Stacked on the curb
In their mind…”
Sunny takes a swig from a bottle of Southern Comfort and sways on the stage as a second round of red, white, and blue lights illuminate the stage. R.G. Jenkins and Mark Hendry come out.
“And their daddy’s didn’t want us
Hanging ’round their girls
And they told every son they had
Don’t even think about it
Taking out the white trash…”
Bryan McVay: From Monroeville, Alabama and Enterprise, Alabama respectively. At a combined weight of 472 lbs.
Jenkins has a black bandana over his bald head and wears a black sleeveless vest with black jeans. Hendry- full head of hair and full beard- raises his heavily tattooed arms in the air and sports a nondescript pair of basic black wrestling trunks and boots.
“Now between her Beamer and her Ray Bans
And her spring break seaside sun tan
Hell I could see she
Was on her own side of the tracks…”
Jenkins, Hendry, and Sunny are then joined by the 330 Pound Southern Brawler, ‘Redneck’ Bill Dickinson who emerges from the fog and ambles out onto the stage.
“Oh you know I knew her from school
Yeah she ran with the boys that were cool
Well as far as I knew she wanted nothing to do
With white trash”
Bryan McVay: Representing MVW and accompanied by Sunny O’Callahan and the MVW Men’s Champion ‘Redneck’ Bill Dickinson. They are THE! ALABAMA! GANG!
Dickinson gives Jenkins and Hendry a thumbs up as they look out at the packed house and the nearly 20,000 people packed into the Honda Center as the chorus of the song hits again.
“Well if they’d had their way
They’d have thrown us away
Like an empty bottle of wine
We belong sacked up
Stacked on the curb
In their mind…”
Joe Hoffman: This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for these two men and it looks like they have moral support from their fellow MVW stars along with a good portion of this crowd here tonight. Will the bright lines and the big moment be too much for them or will they rise to the occasion and walk out of here the new HOTv World Tag Team Champions?
Sunny takes the hands of both Jenkins and Hendry and they bathe in the atmosphere of the moment. Jenkins even cracks a smile. Hendry appears a little nervous.
Richard Parker: They aren’t PRIME wrestlers but if they can stick it to both Stevens and Davidson then they got my support. The fact of the matter is that they are playing with house money here tonight. They are walking into this match empty handed with nothing at all to lose but everything in the world to gain. They are the underdogs for sure but I’d put my money on them for the simple chance of a big payout.
“And their daddy’s didn’t want us
Hanging ’round their girls
And they told every son they had
Don’t even think about it
Taking out the white trash…”
Then the group begins to make their way down toward the ring as their music begins to die down. Jenkins and Hendry make their way into the ring as McVay raises the microphone again.
Bryan McVay: And there opponents…
The lights in the arena go black as a synthesized hymn begins to play as the High Octane Vision comes to life as an angelic voice begins to sing.
“Born from pain, inside my veins.
Bred for war, begging for more.
None shall mourn, I am reborn.
Live in sin. The House always wins.”
The hymn continues as the screen begins to show the Best Arena transformed into a style of a church and the screen slowly flashes the words…
WELCOME… TO… THE… HOUSE… OF… BEST
Lee Best’s infamous blood shot eyes hover above the top. The lights in the arena begin to come on in a shade of 97 Red as smoke and fog begin to fill the stage area as well. The sound of glass breaking is heard as the screen shows a crack over the mural of the Best Arena and Lee Best’s eyes as “O Fortuna Excalibur Remix” by Apotheosis begins. Lights above the ring shine down to create a 97 Red HOB. The stage flashes with alternating red and white lights as Scott Stevens makes his way out onto the stage.
Bryan McVay: Introducing first… from the GREAT STATE of TEXAS, weighing in at 256 lbs. Representing HOW and The House of Best. He is an HOW Hall of Famer and one half of the HOTv World Tag Team Champions. Here is SCOTT! STEVENS!
Stevens’ 97 Red circular sunglasses glisten in the light and his devilish grin plasters his face. Scott drinks in his own hype as he lifts his right arm and points to the heavens before he begins to slowly walk toward the ring. As he does so he carries the Book of Best front and center of his chest while he sticks as close to the center of the ramp as possible to avoid being touched by the heathens that line the barricade.
Joe Hoffman: Scott Stevens has been on a rollercoaster as of late. Teaming with Jace they managed to capture the HOTv World Tag Team Championship belts and even retain them at ICONIC. However, in two different attempts Stevens has failed to capture the LSD Championship belt from his now tag team partner. Is he eyeing a third shot at Jace’s title or will he be focused on the task at hand tonight?
As Scott climbs up onto the mat, the massive Cross of Best hangs around his neck like jewelry. Scott wipes his feet off on the edge of the ring, his smile never leaving his face. Moving towards the center of the ring, Scott bathed in the red lettering, drops to a knee before looking up with his eyes closed towards the heavens mouthing something as he is bathed in the sinister glow of 97 Red.
Richard Parker: Can’t even show a unified front against their opponents. Not a good look, Joe. I don’t care how good you are individually. If you can’t get along together as a tag team then you’re just setting yourself up for failure.
Once his prayer is done he slowly lowers the hood of his jacket and lifts his arm high into the air as the music dies and the house lights return signaling Scott to take off the Cross of Best and kiss it before making his way to his corner as his music dies down. McVay speaks into the microphone one more time.
Bryan McVay: And finally his tag team partner…
The lights in the arena go pitch black as the audience is lit up by thousands of lights from phones being held in the air. The HOV lights up as a large skull with a crown on its head appears on screen.
“THE KING… IS HERE!”
The sound of “HAIL TO THE KING” by Avenged Sevenfold blasts from the speaker system. The crowd begins a chorus of boo’s as smoke begins to build up on stage. Abdullah Choi makes his way out through the smoke first followed by STRONKETTE. They stand on either side of the stage as HOW Hall of Famer Jace Parker Davidson makes his way out through the smoke. Jace soaks in the hatred from the fans while covered in gold. The HOW LSD Championship belt displayed around his waist. The HOW ICON Championship on his left shoulder and his half of the HOTv World Tag Team Championship belts on his right shoulder.
“Hail to the King
Hail to the one
Kneel to the crown
Stand in the sun
Hail to the King
(Hail, hail, hail)
Bryan McVay: From Denver, Colorado, weighing in tonight at 253 lbs. Representing HOW, he is a HOW Hall of Famer. He is the greatest LSD Champion in HOW history. He is the King of Everything. Here is HOW’s Triple Crown Champion JACE! PARKER! DAVIDSON!
“There’s a taste of fear (hail, hail, hail)
When the henchmen call (hail, hail, hail)
Iron fist to tame them (hail, hail, hail)
Iron fist to claim it all”
Joe Hoffman: Jace was HOW’s Wrestler of the Year in 2021 but for a majority of 2022 people started to wonder if he still had it. Rumors of JPD’s best days being behind him ran wild but then he ended up winning the LSD Championship belt in August. He followed that up by defeating a War Games winner in Tyler Adrian Best…
Richard Parker: A brand new signing for PRIME you mean!
Joe Hoffman: …to win the ICON Championship belt and become the last ever holder of that title. Then after RATR just got the opportunity to defeat Joe Bergman and Steve Solex for the HOTv World Tag Team Championship belts. He walked into ICONIC and successfully defended both the LSD and HOTv belts in back-to-back matches. Now in his first match in 2023 he faces two men he’s competed against before.
Choi and STRONKETTE begin making their way down either side of the ramp to shield the fans away from Jace as he begins his walk to the ring. Once at ringside STRONKETTE makes her way up the steel ring steps as Choi argues with some fans in the front row. Jace slowly makes his way up the steel ring steps then slowly walks along the ring apron. Jace leans back against the ropes facing the crowd then lifts his Championship belts into the air as pyro explodes from high above the ring.
Richard Parker: I really can’t stand this guy. He might be a Hall of Famer and a man with three different belts, but what does any of that even matter if he can’t even tolerate his own partner?
“Hail to the King
Hail to the one
Kneel to the crown
Stand in the sun
Hail to the King
Hail to the one
Kneel to the crown
Stand in the sun
Hail to the King
(Hail, hail, hail)”
Jace lowers the titles then enters the ring while STRONKETTE holds the ropes open for him. He makes his way to the nearest corner then climbs the turnbuckle and poses for the fans as STRONKETTE hops down off of the ring apron. Jace hops down off of the turnbuckle and goes to his own separate corner. McVay exits the ring as Hortega takes the HOTv Championship belts from Jace and Stevens. Hortega holds the title belts high into the air to show that they are on the line in this match as Jace hands his other titles to Choi on the outside. Hortega hands the tag belts off to McVay on the outside then signals for the bell to start this match.
R.G Jenkins and Mark Hendry talk amongst themselves in their corner until it appears that R.G. will start the match for his team.
Richard Parker: Smart move letting the veteran start things out so that the younger wrestler doesn’t let his nerves get the better of him right out of the gate.
Jace and Stevens can be seen arguing with each other on the other side of the ring. Things get heated to the point that the two men begin to shove each other back and forth. Hortega comes over and keeps the Champions from having an all out brawl with each other. After both men calm themselves Jace flips off Stevens then steps to the ring apron leaving him to start the match for their team.
Joe Hoffman: Less than great start here for the Champions who seem more interested in fighting each other more than they do their opponents. Jace has elected Stevens to start this match for their team in a very disrespectful manner.
Stevens and Jenkins walk to the center of the ring then circle each other slowly. Jenkins leaps in and tries to sweep the leg of Stevens but HOW Hall of Famer is too smart to fall for that. After some posturing from both men that finally lock up collar and elbow then struggle for position. Stevens drives with his lower body and forces Jenkins back into a neutral corner. Hortega calls for a break as Jenkins lets go of Stevens. Scott does the same and backs away slowly before planting a boot to the midsection of the MVW star. Stevens unleashes a series of knife edged chops in the corner that lights up the chest of Jenkins. Hortega comes over and begins a five count.
Richard Parker: Come on Captain Texas, get it out of the corner.
By the count of four by Hortega the Champion backs away momentarily. Stevens grabs a hold of Jenkins and whips him into the opposite corner as hard as he possibly can. Jenkins hits the opposite turnbuckle hard as Stevens takes a moment to point to the sky and give praise to Lee Best. Stevens gets a full head of steam and races towards the opposite corner before leaping into the air.
Joe Hoffman: Stinger Splash.
Richard Parker: He missed it.
Jenkins moves out of the way which causes Stevens to crash into the turnbuckle head and chest first which gets a small pop from the crowd. Stevens staggers backwards out of the corner as Jenkins this time begins his own charge. The veteran member of The Alabama Gang goes for a spear but Stevens was playing possum. Stevens side steps and causes Jenkins to slam shoulder first into the steel ring post.
Joe Hoffman: That misstep literally caused the ring to shake from the impact.
Stevens crouches and watches as Jenkins slowly peels himself from the steel ring post. As Jenkins slowly turns around Stevens charges then leaps into the air and nails him with The Fist flush to the chin. Jenkins hits the canvas hard as Stevens admires his handiwork. Suddenly, Stevens drops to his knees in the center of the ring and begins doing a prayer.
Richard Parker: What the hell is he doing?! Praying? It’s not even Sunday!
Joe Hoffman: Stevens believes very highly in the GOD of HOW.
Richard Parker: Idiot.
Sunny O’Callahan points into the ring at Stevens and begins screaming at him. The Texan gets annoyed that his prayer is being interrupted and gets to his feet. Stevens begins to make his way over towards the ropes to argue with Sunny but Jenkins is back up to his feet. He grabs a hold of Stevens and spins him around then plants a knee to the midsection. Jenkins grabs Stevens by the arm then whips him into the ropes. However, Stevens reverses the whip and sends Jenkins into the ropes. Jenkins rebounds off the ropes but Stevens catches him and plants him with a Double S Spinebuster down to the canvas hard. Stevens gets back up to his feet but once again turns his attention towards O’Callahan instead of his opponent.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens needs to focus on R.G. Jenkins here not Sunny on the outside. He would have gone for a cover right there.
Richard Parker: One of two things are happening here. Either O’Callahan said something that got under the Texan’s skin like Republicans suck. Or that chick is drunk off of her ass thanks to that Southern Comfort and Stevens is trying to hook up with her after this match.
Joe Hoffman: He’s a married man!
Richard Parker: Oh… you think that matters here in 2023? Bless your heart.
Stevens points at Sunny and shouts at her before turning back towards Jenkins. Stevens pulls Jenkins back up to his feet then gives him a boot to the midsection. Jenkins is doubled over as Stevens turns to Sunny then runs his thumb across his throat. Scott grabs a hold of Jenkins by the waist then lifts him up into the air and spikes him with the Scorpion Driver down to the canvas. Stevens hooks the leg and makes the cover on Jenkins as Hortega slides in for the count.
Kick out by Jenkins at two.
Joe Hoffman: The sitout tombstone piledriver landed for Stevens but R.G. Jenkins still has enough fight left in him to kick out before the three.
Stevens gets back up his feet but on the outside Sunny is cheering and getting the crowd hyped up over R.G. Jenkins hanging tough. Stevens marches over then leans through the ropes and begins to shout once again at O’Callahan.
Richard Parker: There he goes again focusing on the girl on the outside instead of trying to finish off his opponent.
‘Redneck’ Bill Dickinson begins to pound his hands on the ring apron trying to will R.G. Jenkins back up to his feet. Sunny continues to mouth off to Stevens keeping him distracted until Jace has had enough. He reaches into the ring and slaps Stevens on the back hard, tagging himself into the match.
Joe Hoffman: And just like that Jace has decided to interject himself into the match while Stevens is busy having it out with the manager of The Alabama Gang.
Jace enters the ring and doesn’t even acknowledge Stevens. JPD goes over towards R.G. Jenkins before he can make the tag and begins laying in stomps to the back. Hortega forces Stevens to his corner as Jace grabs a hold of Jenkins and pulls him back up to his feet. Jace grabs Jenkins by the arm and goes for a ripcord clothesline but Jenkins ducks under it. Now behind Davidson, Jenkins grabs a hold of him and plants him with a belly to back suplex down to the canvas. The crowd begins to cheer as Hendry bounces up and down in his corner trying to will his partner over to make the tag.
Richard Parker: Is this what constitutes a Triple Champion in HOW?
Joe Hoffman: I think that even you have to admit that was a desperation move by Jenkins. The belly to back suplex brought him precious time but he needs to make it over towards his corner.
Jenkins begins to crawl over towards his corner slowly but surely as Jace pulls himself back up to his feet. Hendry reaches out for the tag but at the last moment Jace grabs Jenkins by the boot and pulls him away. Jenkins tries to pull himself up on one foot but grabs a hold of Davidson and rolls him into the small package as Hortega slides in.
Kick out by Jace.
Joe Hoffman: Jenkins almost caught Jace with the upset but the HOW Hall of Famer managed to kick out before the three.
Jace shoots back up to his feet quickly then charges and hits Jenkins with a V-Trigger knee strike to the face that staggers him back into the ropes. Hendry reaches out and tags Jenkins on the small of the back where Jace can’t see it. Davidson grabs a hold of Jenkins and whips him across the ropes. Jenkins hits the ropes but hooks both arms along the top rope to stop his momentum. Jace doesn’t see Hendry enter the ring behind him. Hendry charges and levels Davidson with a clothesline to the back of the neck that sends him crashing down to the canvas.
Richard Parker: Now that’s what I call being blindsided.
Jenkins and Hendry grab a hold of Jace and pull him back up to a vertical base. Jenkins grabs a hold of Jace from behind with a waist lock as Hendry races towards the ropes. Hendry bounces off the ropes and levels Davidson with a running clothesline and Jenkins uses that momentum to snap Jace over with a German suplex. Jenkins gets up to his feet but Hortega forces him to exit the ring and take his place in the corner. Hendry grabs a hold of Jace then whips him into the ropes. Jace rebounds off the ropes but Hendry hits him with a dropkick to the face that sends him back down to the canvas.
Joe Hoffman: Fresh off of that double team move earlier, Mark Hendry is rolling here against Jace Parker Davidson. The 25 year old competitor is letting it all hang out here in this match.
Richard Parker: You could see the nervousness on his face coming into this match but that’s the thing. He’s only 25. That means he’s too dumb to realize he has no business having control of this match at the moment.
Hendry gets back up to his feet then stalks around Jace as he gets back up to his feet. As Jace turns around Hendry grabs him in a tight waist lock. Jace struggles to free himself but Hendry lifts him up and over with an overhead release belly to belly suplex. Hendry races over towards the corner then levels Stevens with a shot to the face that knocks him off the ring apron and down to the floor. Stevens gets up to his feet on the outside as Hendry steps through the ropes and begins to climb the turnbuckle. Sunny comes over towards Stevens while taking a drink from her bottle. Sunny spits the alcohol into Stevens’ face which makes the Texan irate. Stevens goes after Sunny but she runs behind ‘Redneck’ Bill Dickinson who stands tall in front of Stevens.
Joe Hoffman: I think Sunny O’Callahan just baited Stevens in there and now he’s face to face on the outside with the MVW Men’s Champion.
Richard Parker: But inside the ring Hendry is almost to the top rope and Jace is in trouble!
Hendry makes it to the top rope and steadies himself as Jace remains on the canvas. Hendry leaps off the top rope and hits Jace with a senton splash down across the chest. Hendry rolls over to hook the leg and make the cover on Davidson as Hortega slides in.
KICK OUT BY JACE!
Joe Hoffman: That was close, awful close there but Jace managed to kick out before the three. Hendry needs to keep the pressure on here since he has the Triple Champion right where he wants him.
Richard Parker: It was too close for comfort but where was Stevens when he needed him? He’s on the outside playing ring around the rosey with Sunny and now Dickinson. Is this because they hate each other or is Stevens just dumb?
Joe Hoffman: There is a definite disconnect here and if I’m The Alabama Gang, I’m taking full advantage of the situation while I can.
Hendry gets up to his feet and measures up Jace as he staggers back up to a vertical base. Hendry grabs Jace from behind and locks him into a full nelson. Jace begins to scream bloody murder which gains Hortega’s attention. Choi grabs Stevens on the outside and lectures him to get back in his corner and help his partner. Stevens begrudgingly goes back to his corner as Hortega checks on Davidson. Hendry tries to lift Jace into the air for a full nelson slam but Davidson swings his leg backwards with Hortega in front of him and hits Hendry with a low blow. Hendry releases his hold on the full nelson and collapses down to the canvas.
Richard Parker: And of course the douchebag has to cheat to get out of a dire situation here in this match. If I didn’t hate this guy so freaking much I’d be impressed.
Joe Hoffman: Like it or not, that cheap tactic has brought Jace some precious time to recover from the earlier assault. Maybe he can make it to his corner and tag Stevens back into this match.
Jace uses the ropes to pull himself back up to his feet. Davidson begins to make it back over towards his corner but once again Stevens is distracted arguing with Sunny O’Callahan. Frustrated, Jace hits Stevens with a big boot to the face that knocks him off the ring apron and sends him crashing back first along the barricade.
Richard Parker: They’re imploding right before our very eyes!
Joe Hoffman: Stevens has been focused on Sunny O’Callahan for a good majority of this match and has been of no help to Davidson. I think Jace has decided to just go this alone since he can’t rely on Stevens!
Jace turns back around as Hendry is fighting his way back up to his feet. Davidson throws a boot to the midsection but Hendry catches it. Hendry has a wide smile plastered on his face over having Jace in a precarious position. Davidson leaps into the air and blasts Hendry in the back of the head with an enziguri kick. Hendry hits the canvas face first as Jace gets back up to his feet and races towards the ropes. Hendry begins to pull himself off of the canvas as Jace rebounds off the ropes. Jace lounges forward and levels Hendry with a V-Trigger knee shot to the back of the head. Jace turns his attention towards Jenkins in the corner then charges forward. Jace leaps to the middle turnbuckle pad and hits Jenkins with a step up V-Trigger knee that sends him flying off of the ring apron.
Richard Parker: He’s throwing knees like they are going out of style. Regardless, Stevens is down and now Jenkins is down. It’s one on one inside of the ring right now.
Joe Hoffman: You’re right about that and now Jace is primed to put this one away without any interference from the other members of this match.
Jace turns his attention back towards Hendry who is fighting his way off of the canvas. Jace grabs a hold of Hendry and shoves his head between his legs. Jace wraps his arms around Hendry’s waist then lifts him into the air. Jace turns towards the corner then hits Hendry with Off With His Head. Davidson connects with the powerbomb in the corner making sure to slam the back of Hendry’s head off of the top turnbuckle on the way down. Hendry rolls around on the canvas holding the back of his head in pain as Jace stalks around him. On the outside, Bill Dickinson checks on Jenkins and tries to get him back into the match. Inside of the ring, Hendry uses the ropes to pull himself back up to his feet. As Hendry staggers around Jace gives him a boot to the midsection that doubles him over. Davidson shoves Hendry’s head between his legs again then spikes him with a Canadian Destroyer down to the canvas. Jace hooks the leg and makes the cover on Hendry as Hortega slides in for the count.
NOOOOO! SUNNY O’CALLAHAN PULLS HORTEGA OUT OF THE RING BEFORE THE THREE!!!
Joe Hoffman: Sunny O’Callahan just saved this match for The Alabama Gang by pulling Hortega out of the ring!
Richard Parker: Sunny has made herself a major factor in this match. First, with throwing Stevens off of his game and now she’s yanking referee’s out of the ring to make sure her team doesn’t lose!
Hortega argues with Sunny about interfering in the title match but STRONKETTE comes barreling over and runs right through O’Callahan sending her to the arena floor. Jace gets back up to his feet and begins to yell at Hortega to get back into the ring and do his job. Hortega slides back into the ring as Jace turns his focus back to Hendry. Jace grabs a hold of Hendry and begins to pull him off of the canvas but Hendry powers up and lifts Jace into the air.
Joe Hoffman: He’s going for the Alabama Slam!
Before Hendry can hit the move, Jace manages to counter by rolling back and getting Hendry into a sunset flip. Hendry quickly gets himself out of the pinning situation and pulls himself back up to his feet. However, he gets cut in half by a big time spear from Jace. Hendry lies on the canvas holding his midsection as Jace gets back up to his feet. Davidson steps through the ropes and begins to climb the turnbuckle. Jace perches himself up on the top rope but Stevens makes his way back up to the ring apron then slaps Jace on the back.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens just popped up into the corner and tagged himself in right when his partner was about to end this!
Richard Parker: Again, he’s an idiot.
Stevens enters the ring but Davidson hops down off of the turnbuckle. Jace and Stevens begin to argue over who should be in the ring. Stevens rears back and hits Jace with a right hand that knocks him down to the canvas.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens just decked Davidson with a right hand. That’s retaliation from the boot earlier but at what cost?!
Stevens turns his focus back to Hendry who is staggering back up to his feet. Hendry turns around but Stevens is quick to strike.
Joe Hoffman: TOXIC STING!
Richard Parker: COUNTERED!
Hendry manages to push Stevens away before he can connect with his finisher. Stevens staggers towards the corner and right into a big forearm shot from Jenkins who has made it back up to the ring apron. Stevens staggers backwards from the forearm shot right into the arms of Hendry. The younger member of the Challengers lifts Stevens into the air and plants him with a full nelson slam. Hendry falls to his knees and begins to crawl towards the corner. Jace is back in his corner and yelling towards Stevens to get off of the canvas. The crowd begins to clap and stomp their feet as Hendry inches closer to his corner. Stevens gets up to his feet as Jace leans over the top rope and asks for the tag. Stevens completely ignores Davidson and goes after Hendry but it’s too late because he tags in Jenkins.
Joe Hoffman: R.G. Jenkins is legal but Stevens ignores Jace and is deciding to go it alone!
Richard Parker: Let’s see if Stevens’ talent matches his Texas sized ego.
Jenkins enters the ring and runs through Stevens with a big clothesline. Stevens is back up to his feet quickly but Jenkins plows through him with another clothesline that sends him right back down to the canvas. Jenkins grabs a hold of Stevens then spikes him back down with a DDT. Stevens begins to try and roll towards a neutral corner but Jenkins grabs a hold of him and hits him with a snap suplex back to the center of the ring. Jenkins gets up to his feet then stalks around Stevens as he staggers to a vertical base. Jenkins gives Stevens a boot to the midsection then hooks him up. Jenkins lifts Stevens into the air then connects with a screwdriver brainbuster down to the canvas. Jenkins gets up to his feet and gets the crowd into it as he signals for Stevens to get up to his feet. Stevens peels himself off of the canvas as Jenkins grabs a hold of him.
Richard Parker: He’s going for the Alabama Slam!
Jenkins goes to set Stevens up but in desperation Stevens rakes Jenkins across the eyes. Jenkins loses his grip and staggers a bit. Stevens gathers himself then gives Jenkins a boot to the midsection. Stevens shoves Jenkins’ head between his legs then signals that Jenkins is finished. Stevens grabs a hold of Jenkins by the waist and begins to lift him into the air.
Joe Hoffman: Stevens is going for the Game Changer!
Stevens gets Jenkins into the air but Jenkins kicks his legs and manages to make it more difficult for Stevens to get him into position. Jenkins plants his feet onto the canvas and hits Stevens with a big back body drop that sends him crashing down to the canvas. Jenkins makes it over towards his corner and tags in Hendry. With both members of The Alabama Gang in the ring they stalk around Stevens who has no idea what is happening. Stevens staggers back up his feet but Jenkins and Hendry grab a hold of Stevens and lift him into the air.
Richard Parker: DOUBLE TEAM ALABAMA SLAM!
Stevens crashes down to the canvas hard as Hendry hooks the leg and makes the cover. Jenkins places his hands on Hendry’s back as Hortega slides in for the count.
Jace steps through the ropes to break up the count.
Jace stops himself then exits the ring and hops down off the ring apron. Davidson orders both Choi and STRONKETTE not to get involved.
Joe Hoffman: Did Jace just abandon Scott Stevens?!
Richard Parker: NEW CHAMPIONS!!!
DING DING DING
Bryan McVay: Here are your winners… AND NEWWWWWWW HOTv World Tag Team Champions… THE ALABAMA GANG!!!!
The crowd erupts as Bill Dickinson enters the ring and celebrates with both Jenkins and Hendry. Sunny gingerly enters the ring as Hortega presents Jenkins and Hendry with the HOTv World Tag Team Championship belts. The Alabama Gang celebrates and exits the ring after pulling off the shocker. Jenkins and Hendry can’t believe they are holding HOTv gold as they head backstage.
Joe Hoffman: Mark Hendry and R.G. Jenkins are the new HOTv World Tag Team Champions. Lee Best is NOT going to be happy about this. I just feel like if Scott Stevens would have done his job in this match then this would have been an easy victory for the former Champions.
Inside of the ring Scott Stevens begins to pull himself back up to his feet completely livid over losing the titles. Stevens turns around when suddenly
Richard Parker: JPD just leveled Scott Stevens with a shot to the face with the LSD Championship belt!
Stevens hits the canvas like a ton of bricks as Davidson drops the title belt and backs away to the corner. The crowd boos loudly as Stevens tries to pull himself up off the canvas. Jace charges out of the corner then leaps into the air.
Joe Hoffman: BEND THE KNEE!
Davidson stomps the back of Stevens head sending him face first down to the canvas as hard as he possibly can. Jace grabs the LSD Championship belt then crouches down towards his fallen partner. Jace begins to shout and point towards the LSD Championship belt to a lifeless Scott Stevens.
Richard Parker: Dooooooooooooouche!
Joe Hoffman: Say what you want about what just transpired but I think it’s safe to say that Davidson and Stevens are done as a tag team. The two men just could not get over their differences and now we’ll see if Stevens can continue his goal of trying to take the LSD Championship belt from The King of Everything. We need to take a commercial break but we’ll be back with more action!
Back live and we head immediately to the ring for our introductions…
Vince Howard: The following match is one fall and is the second match of the evening between High Octane Wrestling and PRIME.
Joe Hoffman: And we’ve got a DOOZY of a match coming up next.
Richard Parker: And not a Doozer match, thankfully. Instead, we’ve got the Ace of ReVival against the Monster from Plainview who, I’m told, wears a stupid hat and pants that are three times too large.
Joe Hoffman: I’d ask where you get your information but truth be told I’m a little afraid to.
Richard Parker: Roxy Phoenix told me after she dropped off my Chipotle.
Joe Hoffman: Did she remember your fork?
Richard Parker: Of course she did, who do I look like? Melvin Beauregard?
The shot transitions to PRIME’s ring announcer, Vince Howard.
Vince Howard: Introducing first, representing PRIME…from Bandera, Texas by way of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada, weighing in at 270 pounds…he is THE TOWER OF BABEL! THE LAST DIAMOND! BRANDON! YOUNG! BLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!
BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD
SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE
LET THE GALAXY BURN
From the very start of “Bloodsport (World Domination)” by HEALTH, Brandon Youngblood surges from the curtain, the fans in the Honda Center exploding in a seismic ovation. There is no pomp, no circumstance, no delay. Through the blinding blue and white strobing light cutting through the darkness of the arena, the Tower of Babel powerwalks, his eyes focused on the task at hand. His expression is devoid of all joy, only offering an oppressive scowl of intensity.
Joe Hoffman: The first PRIME Universal Champion in the ReVival era, Youngblood recently competed at Colossus where he lost in the Five-Star Title match against three other competitors.
Richard Parker: The need to get revenge on the French Phenom, FLAMBERGE, for costing him the Uni Title outweighed his desire to become the first ever four time Five-Star champion.
Brandon marches into the ring and moves to a corner, nodding at referee Elvis Nixon as he peers down the ramp and awaits his opponent.
Vince Howard: And his opponent, representing High Octane Wrestling…from Plainview, Texas…weighing in at 295 pounds…he is THE COWBOY COLOSSUS! THE BEHEMOTH! CLAY! BYRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRD!
Guitar and harmonica begin to blare through the arena, and the start of “Gunning For You” by Nick Nolan sends a silence across the crowd. Red letters slash across the screen as “BYRD” is spelled out. Clay appears through fog on the entrance ramp, cowboy hat low over his eyes, a long black duster on and a rope in his hand.
My gun is loaded it’s getting time
Two shots of whiskey i’m takin’ what’s mine
Ain’t what you’re sayin it’s what you do
Your time has come boy i’m Gunnin for You
When hell is rainin down you’ll see my face won’t heara sound
You’ll feel that bullet burnin through
Take your last breath boy
I’m Gunnin for You
Clay begins his slow walk down the ramp. His eyes are fixed on the ring and he trudges on, not paying any notice to any of the fans in attendance.
There’s desperation deep in your eyes
No turnin back now no compromise
Cause only one of us walks out that door
The other bleedin out on the floor
Clay walks up the steps and climbs into the ring. He’s burning a hole right through Youngblood as Elvis Nixon issues his final set of instructions to both men.
Joe Hoffman: This is going to be a barnburner of a match if I’ve ever seen one. Neither of these men want to take the loss here tonight. Both were defeated at the biggest shows on the HOW and PRIME calendars.
Richard Parker: And we’ll see the HOW World Champ in our other co-main event as Christopher America, dumbest name I’ve ever heard, goes up against the RUSSIAN SAVIOR himself, Ivan Stanislov.
Joe Hoffman: Russian Savior? Really?
Richard Parker: Listen, when you see Ivan, you tell me I’m wrong.
Elvis Nixon then signals for the start of the match.
At the sound of the bell, the two men meet in the center of the ring. Even though Clay Byrd has four inches and twenty pounds on Brandon Youngblood, the look in Youngblood’s eyes tell you he doesn’t care in the least bit. The two size each other up, talking quietly so the mics don’t pick up what they’re saying, before each nods their head. Youngblood then unloads with an open palm strike to the jaw of the HOW star. Clay recoils, nods his head again in appreciation, then fires back with a forearm smash. Youngblood’s rocked now, but he meets Clay back at center with a smile on his face before throwing a big elbow into the mush of the Monster from Plainview.
Joe Hoffman: And we are OFF! Blows are now being traded by both men …. another elbow from Youngblood and another big forearm from Byrd!
Richard Parker: Neither are willing to give an inch, Joe. These are strikes that would put most men down to wait for an ambulance to come get them.
Joe Hoffman: These two know no fear and they’re willing to do whatever it takes to get the victory tonight.
Richard Parker: From what I heard in the lead-up this week, Clay’s not fighting for HOW pride or for Lee Best. Not like Brandon is for PRIME and for Lindsay Troy.
Joe Hoffman: Clay’s had trouble with Lee Best for the better part of a year, that’s true. Just like Lindsay Troy did during her time in HOW.
Richard Parker: Probably why the two of them were able to find a common ground. The enemy of my enemy is my friend, as they say.
Youngblood grabs Byrd’s wrist and whips him across the ring before connecting with a clothesline. The Last Diamond then rushes to the opposite corner and as he spins around, he’s met with a running boot to the face from the Behemoth. The shot sends Youngblood up and over the top rope, landing on the ring apron. As he stands up, Byrd mows him down with a clothesline, sending Youngblood crashing to the mat and falling to the outside.
Joe Hoffman: That’s not the place Youngblood wants to be by any stretch of the imagination
Richard Parker: You think Byrd’s ever drank out of his hat?
Joe Hoffman: Yeah, on more than one occasion
Clay watches as Brandon makes his way up to his feet and onto the ring apron. Byrd bounces off the ropes and slams his entire body into Youngblood, sending him flying and crashing into the ringside barricade! Youngblood lies on the floor, in a world of pain, as Elvis Nixon admonishes Byrd. Clay brushes him off and makes his way to the outside of the ring and begins to grab Youngblood by the back of the skull only for the Tower of Babel to slam his elbow into his midsection. He then grabs the back of Byrd’s head and smashes it into the barricade.
Joe Hoffman: Clay Byrd getting admonished from the referee; he’ll want to make sure he doesn’t get himself disqualified here.
Richard Parker: I think that’s one thing that we both can agree on, Joe. Let these two go how they’re gonna go and only step in if absolutely necessary. Byrd thought he’d gotten Youngblood there, but Youngblood is about as gritty of a wrestler as you’ll ever get.
Joe Hoffman: Byrd getting caught with that elbow into the midsection drove the wind out of him and is now going to have to clear the cobwebs quickly and not let Youngblood get a head of steam going here.
Youngblood grabs the back of Byrd’s skull and rolls him back into the ring, following behind him. Byrd begins to make his way up to his feet and Youngblood decides to help him out and connects with a release German Suplex that folds Byrd in half before rolling through his shoulders and onto his knees. Youngblood is on him before Byrd realizes where he’s at and Brandon puts him into a front face lock. The Tower of Babel yanks the Cowboy Colossus up to his feet and hoists him into the air. Youngblood holds Byrd up as he shows off his strength and tenacity, even dropping his arms as Byrd hangs in the air, his right shoulder resting on Youngblood’s left one. Youngblood then drives him to the mat, completing the brain buster.
Richard Parker: Oh BOY! That German Suplex, Youngblood picked him up like he was a rag doll.
Joe Hoffman: Impressive doesn’t even begin to describe it when you consider the fact that Youngblood is giving up four inches and twenty pounds here, but when you have muscles like that you can do just about anything.
Richard Parker: I used to have muscles like that.
Joe Hoffman: Sure you did, pal. Byrd, after that brain buster, is gotta be feeling disoriented and out of it. He needs to slow down Youngblood’s momentum somehow, and fast.
Brandon sits up and drags Byrd up to his feet with him, driving his knee into his midsection before whipping him into the ropes and connecting with a back body drop. Byrd soars through the air and lands hard on the mat. He makes his way back up to his feet and narrowly ducks a running clothesline from Youngblood. Brandon bounces off the opposite set of ropes and Byrd catches him with a snap bodyslam that leaves him planted in the middle of the ring. Clay gets up to his feet, shaking the cobwebs out, and then bounces off the ropes before dropping his left knee across the throat of the former PRIME Universal Champion.
Joe Hoffman: Youngblood continues his onslaught until Byrd manages to slow him down just enough and put that big body of his to great use.
Richard Parker: That’s the kind of thing that Youngblood needs to stay away from. Byrd could easily crack his windpipe or bruise his esophagus in a hurry if he’s not careful.
Joe Hoffman: Exactly. Byrd with that knee across the throat of Youngblood is something that could impact his breathing through the remainder of this match and that could spell trouble.
Byrd gets back up to his feet and slams his boot across the forehead of the Diamond of the Revival. He then reaches down and pulls Youngblood back up to his feet before cracking him across the chest with a knife-edge chop. Youngblood fires back with one of his own, which only angers Byrd and he headbutts Youngblood, dropping him to one knee. Clay then wraps his hand around the throat of Brandon and pulls him off of the mat, but before he can chokeslam him Youngblood plants his boot into the midsection of the Monster from Plainview. He then wraps his arms around the meaty body of the man whose skull was nearly caved in by Dan Ryan and connects with an overhead belly-to-belly suplex.
Joe Hoffman: What sheer power and determination from Youngblood there! I have no idea how you can pick Byrd up like that and throw him over your head, but Youngblood pulled it off and made it look easy to boot.
Richard Parker: Byrd will want to be careful dishing out knife-edge chops because if Youngblood gets his feet planted, he’ll make him howl like a wounded mule in the outback.
Joe Hoffman: And how do you know what a wounded mule in the outback sounds like?
Richard Parker: Saw it on one of those documentaries.
Joe Hoffman: Highly doubt it.
Youngblood muscles back to his feet and bounces off the ropes, catching his boot across the jaw of a rising Byrd. Brandon, with Byrd on both knees, slams his elbow against the crown of his skull repeatedly until Nixon admonishes him. Youngblood glares at Nixon, which is enough of an opening for Byrd as he drills his shoulder into Youngblood’s gut and rams him into the nearby corner, driving the wind out of Youngblood in the process. Byrd wails away at him, fist after fist until Youngblood is down on one knee. The Monster from Plainview grabs the back of Youngblood’s neck and begins to smash his face into the middle turnbuckle until Youngblood is slumped in the corner, looking out of it.
Clay slams boot after boot into the chest of Youngblood, threatening to concave it, before he runs to the opposite corner. He gets a head of steam and runs full speed at Brandon, crashing into him with a cannonball that has Youngblood half in the ring, half out of it. Byrd gets back to his feet and presses his boot across the throat of Youngblood until he’s fully out of the ring. Youngblood rolls to his knees, coughing as he does, while Byrd moves to the ring apron, and connects with a splash to the back of his opponent.
Joe Hoffman: I think I’ve seen Byrd leave his feet more in this match than I’ve ever seen him do in any other match before in his career.
Richard Parker: Maybe after losing to America at ICONIC, he realized he needed something else to help put him over the top.
Joe Hoffman: Very possible, but right now, hitting splashes and cannonballs in the corner is helping him have the advantage over Youngblood and I’m not quite certain he knows what to make of this change in Byrd’s style.
Richard Parker: Whatever he’s thinking, it’d better be some form of a new gameplan.
Byrd makes his way up to his feet, grabbing Youngblood along the way, but Brandon pushes him into the ring post, cracking his head against the unforgiving steel. Clay begins to stumble away as Youngblood follows behind him and smashes his head into the ringside barricade before whipping him into the ring apron, Byrd’s back cracking into the unforgiving edge. Youngblood walks up to the prone Monster from Plainview and cracks a brutal knife-edge chop that echoes through the Honda Center. Clay winces in pain, nearly doubled over, but Youngblood slams his knee into the face of his opponent, which shoots him straight up and into another knife-edge chop that reddens the Behemoth’s chest.
Richard Parker: What’d I tell you about those knife-edge chops.
Joe Hoffman: You weren’t kidding, Richard. Clay’s found himself in an unenviable position.
With Byrd’s chest on fire, Youngblood grabs Byrd by the back of the skull and slams his head into Clay’s. Clay’s head shoots backwards as there seems to be a fire in Youngblood’s eyes as he unwinds on Byrd, one knife-edge chop after another.
Joe Hoffman: Ouch.
Richard Parker: Ouch, indeed.
Youngblood looks out at the fans in attendance at the Honda Center and roars.
Joe Hoffman: That is the very definition of a worse case scenario for Clay Byrd because he may have some festering wounds.
Richard Parker: Please do not use the word festering around me. It is my equivalent of moist.
Joe Hoffman: That may be the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard. Anyway, moving on, Youngblood with cracking knife-edge chop after knife-edge chop has left Byrd in a delicate situation here and one that could change the very trajectory of this match.
Youngblood then spins Byrd around and begins to unload on him with a series of clubbing forearm strikes to the back of his neck. He follows that up with a Saito Suplex on the unforgiving ring apron! Youngblood then yanks Byrd off of the ground and rolls him back in before following after him and going for the cover as Nixon slides into position.
Richard Parker: Youngblood looking to put this away!
Joe Hoffman: And Byrd manages to kick out. As much pain as he may be feeling right now, he’s willing to take more of it if it means a path to victory for him.
Youngblood looks at Nixon who confirms the two count and Brandon simply nods his head. He gets back up to his feet, grabs the top rope, and proceeds to stomp as hard as he can across the face of The Monster from Plainview. Each shot is stiffer than the previous one until Brandon finds himself a rhythm and Nixon has to stop him from caving Byrd’s face into itself. The Tower of Babel marches around the ring, pulling down the top half of his singlet in the process as he proceeds to the corner and watches, like a lion sizing up his prey, as Byrd starts to fight his way back up to his feet.
Joe Hoffman: You can see that Youngblood has become possessed in this match and those stomps have done a number on Byrd.
Richard Parker: Youngblood looks like he is sizing him up for… something not good.
Byrd gets back up to his feet and turns around only to turn head-on into a charging Anger Golem who is running at him at full speed. Byrd, seemingly out of instinct, dips his shoulder down and lifts Brandon into the air and hot shots him across the top turnbuckle. Youngblood lands jaw first against the top turnbuckle and stumbles backwards into his own speeding train, where Byrd connects with a spear that folds Youngblood in half.
Richard Parker: Oof, he’ll be feeling that in the morning.
Joe Hoffman: I don’t think that’s what Youngblood intended to happen, but Byrd managed to dig himself out of the quite deep hole he was finding himself in and gave himself some space to pick up some momentum.
Richard Parker: These two have gone back and forth with one another and I think it’s going to come down to a moment like this, where someone makes a mistake and capitalizes on it.
Joe Hoffman: That was rather astute of you, I’m impressed.
Richard Parker: Thanks. Nick texted me to say that.
Joe Hoffman: Now it makes sense.
Clay moves against the ropes and watches as Brandon struggles back to his feet. As Youngblood manages to stand up, Byrd roars off the ropes and goes for The Texas Lariat, but Youngblood catches him with a stiff kick to the chest that doubles Byrd over. He then hooks both of Byrd’s arms and connects with a snap Butterfly Suplex, the ring shaking from the sheer impact. Both men sit up, aching in pain and feeling like they decided to put on a match determined to end one of their careers.
Joe Hoffman: It looked to be over for Youngblood as Byrd wanted The Texas Lariat and Youngblood just managed to deflect it.
Richard Parker: That might’ve been more out of instinct than anything.
As Youngblood makes his way up to his feet, Byrd drills his fist into his midsection, slowing Brandon down. Byrd grabs the back of Youngblood’s skull and drops him jaw first against his shoulder. Youngblood stumbles backwards into the ropes and recoils back into the waiting arms of Byrd who lifts him up and smashes him into the mat with a spinebuster that would leave any normal man flattened like a pancake.
Richard Parker: Not certain how the ring didn’t collapse after that one.
Joe Hoffman: The ability for these two men to instinctively react in this match is quite outstanding. These aren’t planned moves, but simply grasping for anything they can think of to give them enough time to set up their next match.
Youngblood rolls over onto his stomach, grabbing his ribs in the process. Byrd, smelling blood in the water, snaps his boot onto the back of his opponent. He slams his boot repeatedly against the lower back of Youngblood, each shot a bit more intense than the last one before he bounces off the ropes and splashes all of his weight across it. Youngblood groans in pain as Byrd makes his way up to his feet and drags the Canadian-American up to his feet before whipping him into the opposite corner with all of his strength. Youngblood crashes into the corner back-first, the impact causing the ring ropes to shake violently.
Joe Hoffman: And Byrd seems to be in complete control for the moment and Youngblood may have some serious issues to contend with, namely his lower back.
Richard Parker: Youngblood’s back is about as strong as they come, but even now you have to wonder how much more he’s going to be able to take.
Byrd, a smile on his face, army crawls over to Youngblood and leans next to him, sizing his opponent up, who seems to be far worse for wear. Clay rises to his feet and grabs the top of Youngblood’s tights and deadlifts him off of the mat. He swings him up into the air before slamming him back down to the mat. Youngblood’s body thuds into the ground and he lies there lifeless. Byrd flips a prone Youngblood over and goes for the pin.
Byrd reaches down to grab Youngblood only for the Last Diamond to pull him into an inside package as Nixon begins his count.
Joe Hoffman: This could do it!
Joe Hoffman: And Byrd manages to kick out!
Richard Parker: Barely, Joe. You can tell his gas tank is depleting. His and Youngblood’s both.
Clay pushes his palms into the mat and rises to his feet only for Youngblood to bounce off the ropes and connect with a shoulder tackle that sends him crashing to the mat. Byrd refuses to stay down, but the same could be said for Youngblood who cracks a spinning back elbow to the face of the rising Byrd, sending him into the ropes. Youngblood is ready as he recoils back and connects with a hip toss before firing off a kick into the spine of a sitting-up Byrd.
Richard Parker: Brandon trying to disintegrate Clay’s spine there, you hate to see it.
Joe Hoffman: How much more punishment can either of them take at this point?
Clay makes his way up to his feet and is met with a shoulder to the nose for his troubles. Youngblood then spins behind him and wraps his arms around Clay’s waist before dragging him down to the mat. Byrd desperately tries to break free from Youngblood’s grasp, but this is where Brandon has made his legacy as he tightens his vice on Byrd who is trying to out wrestle the Tower of Babel. Youngblood though rolls him around the ring until Byrd is dizzy and exhausted from trying to fight against the vice of Youngblood. Youngblood then makes his way up to his feet, arms still wrapped around Byrd, until he dead lifts him up and slams him down, violently driving Byrd’s head into the canvas.
Joe Hoffman: Sweet Mary.
Richard Parker: And THAT is why Brandon Youngblood is considered one of the best wrestlers in the world today.
Youngblood stands up and winces as he grabs his lower back, in a world of pain. He tries to shake it off, but still feels the tightness there as he leans against the ropes. Byrd sits up, grabbing the back of his head in the process, as Youngblood pushes himself off of the ropes and drags Byrd up to his feet. He cracks Byrd with an open-handed palm strike and Byrd retaliates with a stiff kick to the midsection before hoisting Youngblood into the air and powerbombing him into the mat. He then goes for the quick cover.
Richard Parker: Could this be it?
Joe Hoffman: And Youngblood is not done!
Byrd slowly makes his way to his feet and drags Youngblood with him. He goes to whip him into the ropes, but Youngblood reverses it and slams his knee into Clay’s midsection. Brandon then tries for a powerbomb of his own, but is unable to lift the Behemoth as his lower back gives out on him, dropping him to one knee.
Richard Parker: Oh, that’s not good.
Joe Hoffman: Youngblood fighting with his body here now as the assault from Byrd has left his muscles seemingly tightening to the point where it’s painful for him to move.
Byrd then roars off the ropes as Youngblood pushes himself up to his feet only to be mowed down from behind with The Texas Lariat!
Richard Parker: Good lord, that impact!
Joe Hoffman: Byrd just connected with that HUGE lariat off the ropes to the back of Youngblood’s neck!
Byrd then flips Youngblood over and goes for the cover.
Joe Hoffman: NO WAY!
Richard Parker: How did he kick out of that, Joe? How?
Joe Hoffman: Sheer force of will, Richard.
Byrd looks at Nixon in frustration, then pulls Youngblood to his feet. He whips him into the ropes, but Brandon reverses and sends Byrd into the cables. As Clay’s sent for the ride, Brandon bounces off the ropes closest to him and then mows the Cowboy Colossus down with a Texas Lariat of his own! Clay crashes to the mat and covers!
Joe Hoffman: AND BYRD MANAGES TO KICK OUT!
Richard Parker: How in the HELL?!
Youngblood muscles his way back up to his feet, spent. He leans against the ropes and orders Byrd to get up to his feet. As he does, Youngblood slips behind him and puts him into a rear naked choke!
Richard Parker: Byrd is DONE! There is no way that he is going to be able to pry Youngblood’s gargantuan arms off of him.
Joe Hoffman: Byrd struggling here as he’s desperately trying to find some kind of gap in the hold, some way out of this, but you can tell by how red his face is getting that he is struggling to do so.
Byrd flails his arms out, trying to use his size advantage to wrestle Youngblood off him, but Brandon continues to hold on for dear life as he climbs up Byrd’s body and wraps his legs around his torso. Byrd inches forward, feeling the life being squeezed out of him.
Joe Hoffman: Youngblood could do some serious damage to Byrd here. Clay might have to make a business decision..
Richard Parker: If he doesn’t tap out, he might pass out, and that wouldn’t be good at all.
There’s still a glimmer of light left in Clay, as he instinctively falls and rolls Brandon backwards into a pin attempt. Nixon drops down to make the count
DING DING DING!
Vince Howard: The winner of this match… CLAY! BYRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRD!
Joe Hoffman: I can’t believe it. Just when it looked like Byrd was out, he threw a Hail Mary in that pin attempt and was able to put Youngblood down for the three!
Richard Parker: Not many men can say that, Joe. It truly looked like it was over for Byrd.
Joe Hoffman: Elvis Nixon is checking on both men, who left it all on the canvas here in Los Angeles. Let’s head backstage now before taking our last commercial break before the main event.
“How can you be so sure, Ivan Sergeiovich?”
PRIME’s Russian Bear, Ivan Stanislav, thuds through the backstage area of The Honda Center with his smaller comrade, Alexei Ruslan, at his side. They walk past a few doors as they roam the halls, each checking placards on the doors.
Ivan Stanislav: No one gets paid $97,000 per appearance and dresses with other members of proletariat, Alexei Gregorovich.
Stanislav’s voice is a thundering growl as he nearly bowls over a stagehand, who awkwardly squeezes between the two Russians. Stanislav walks past a door, stops, and then takes two steps backwards. There, on the door, emblazoned with a special eagle plaque are the words “Christopher America.”
Stanislav frowns and looks at Alexei. Ruslan lets a collapsible baton seamlessly slide out of the arm of his overcoat, but Ivan shakes his head.
Ivan Stanislav: I am just saying hello, Alexei, no waffling required.
Then, the enormous Russian lifts his hand and pounds loudly on the door.
Ivan Stanislav: Christopher America! It is Ivan Stanislav and Alexei Ruslan!
There’s no answer.
Stanislav pounds harder, and harder, until his fist begins to dent into the steel door.
Ivan Stanislav: Come on America, do not be afraid!
The Russian pounds one more time and yet there is still no answer. Finally, he turns to face Alexei but looks past him. His expression flattens into more of a scowl while Ruslan looks over his shoulder and turns. There, standing in the hallway, petting his gorgeous #97Red leathered HOW World Championship, is Christopher America.
Christopher America: What a surprise. A Russian trying to get into someplace that isn’t his.
Stanislav smirks and ignores the comment as he moves Alexei to the side and confidently walks up to America. He extends his bear-like hand forward. America looks down at it, raises an eyebrow, and sneers. He then proceeds to look Stanislav up and down. Ruslan seethes behind his larger comrade, but remains silent. Upon realizing that America isn’t going to shake his hand, Ivan smirks and spreads his enormous arms wide and lets his voice boom down the hallway.
Ivan Stanislav: Ah! Christopher America. The High Octane Wrestling World Champion. Here he is, in the flesh! DYAAHAAHAA!
He lets out his raucous, seismic laugh and tilts his chin downward, glaring at the Champion.
Ivan Stanislav: Contrary to most beliefs, I prefer to look my opponents in the eyes before I send them into orbit in wrestling ring. But the problem?
Ivan flattens his hand at eye level and slowly lowers it down to the height of America
Ivan Stanislav: They are always so short!
Christopher America: That’s cool you send your opponents into orbit. I send mine to the moon. You know, just that little bit farther that makes us Americans number one. However, while you like to look your opponents in the eye, I like to get to know my opponents before my match. So indulge me.
The Flag Man takes a step closer to Ivan.
Christopher America: Tell me, how did you do that just now? I didn’t notice it until you looked down. How did you make your neck disappear? Like your head just sits on your shoulders. Was that the HGH or that super secret stuff your Olympians use? Or is that China? I get all the human rights violators mixed up. And your husband there, behind you, didn’t your country outlaw that? It’s nice to see your time in America has helped your progress with the rest of the intelligent and civilized world.
Stanislav pulls his head back and lifts a brow, before turning his head to look down at Alexei, who looks up at him. The two Russians blink in unison, before Ivan looks back at America.
Ivan Stanislav: That… is it? That is all World Champion of High Octane Wrestling has to say?
He smirks and chuckles to himself and points at America.
Ivan Stanislav: This is what one of best of PWA has to… to offer?!
He guffaws one last time.
Ivan Stanislav: DYAAHAAHAA!
Alexei chimes in.
Alexei Ruslan: The quality of quips, and champions, has certainly gone downhill, Ivan Sergeiovich!
Ivan’s raucous laughter slows as he shakes his head.
Ivan Stanislav: Chris, my boy, you fail to realize you stand beneath largest, strongest, and most seasoned wrestler in all of PWA. You may have coasted through life until now, but in scant few minutes you are about to run into an Iron Curtain. Your cute words and convenient last name will do little to avail you from the torture I shall put you through, dog.
Christopher America: Iron Curtain? Oh yeah, another outdated reference from a walking anachronism. How droll.
America rolls his eyes, unimpressed.
Christopher America: You see, Ivan, the funny part about you being the largest wrestler in the PWA is that when our match is done, when you’re staring at the lights, you’ll actually be only about… oh….maybe a foot tall… at best. Being the strongest? Means nothing when I break your arm or dislocate your knee. Being the most seasoned? Good. I like a challenge. My favorite kind is breaking down legends, Hall of Famers, icons, and most recently people who call themselves “Behemoth” or “Monster.”
The indifferent look on the HOW World Champion’s face disappears and is replaced by one of confidence.
Christopher America: But please, continue to underestimate me. Continue to belittle who I am and my accomplishments. Belittle my height and everything else so that you can help your little buddy there finally get a chub. Belittle all of that and more. Because if there’s one thing that your people are good at, it’s underestimating people to disastrous consequences. Just remember that I’m not in the main event because of you, you’re in the main event because of ME.
He pats his title belt proudly.
Christopher America: Now, if you’ll excuse me, I got to get ready for our match.
America pauses at the door.
Christopher America: I’d ask you to pay for the door but I hear the Ruble’s in the shitter.
Stanislav watches him, his expression stony.
Ivan Stanislav: Typical American response. You think this is all about you, eh? You are given patriotic name, chance to actually inspire people, and you let your ego piss it away. I show you how true patriot inspires the masses. You can watch a real national hero work. Not some pretender.
Stanislav shrugs, and he takes a few steps backwards, allowing America more space at his door. He nonchalantly tugs on his red suspenders.
Ivan Stanislav: You pay for the door, boy, you make enough money. I saw your eyes despite how small you are. I see the void behind them. I try to give you lots of hang time in Red Scare, eh? Da svidanya, Christopher.
Ruslan shakes his head and chuckles as he follows Ivan, speaking in Russian.
Alexei Ruslan: Подтяжки лучше ремней в любой день недели! (Suspenders are better than belts any day of the week!)
Ivan just laughs.
We cut to our final commercial break of the evening.
We are back live from our last commercial break of the evening and it is time for our main event.
Joe Hoffman: Welcome back everyone…….we appreciate EVERYONE who have been with us all night for this first PWA event. Everyone take a deep breath……refill the cold beverages….and settle in. It is time for the match we all have been looking forward to the most since being announced……Ivan Stanislav from……
“THAT PERIOD STAIN ON THE WORLD MAP…..RUSSIA!!!!”
Joe is taken aback as he looks he sees Benny Newell standing next to Richard Parker.
Joe Hoffman: Benny what are you…..
Benny answers the forthcoming question by gently pulling Parker up by his collar and pushing the man to the side.
The HOW Hall of Famer takes the seat next to Joe and puts on the headset.
Benny Newell: You honestly thought that I was only here to scream RAH? Get the fuck outta here. There was NO WAY in hell that Lee was going to have someone from PRIME calling the action for HIS World Champion Christopher America. This is OUR World Champion. OUR Announce team will be calling the action. Got it?
Joe holds his hands up in the air and both men then look over at Parker who can only shake his head in disgust as he makes his way back to the back.
The camera captures Benny smirking as he watches Parker disappear as the crowd serenades him on his departure.
Benny Newell: NOW….lets wrap this up these pleasantries…….its time for the WAR to begin!!!
On cue the Soviet National Anthem begins to play thru the arena’s PA system as the PWAV comes to life as the flag of the former Soviet Union is shown in all its former glory. The arena is bathed in crimson light as the hulking Russian Bear, Ivan Stanislav, emerges with his comrade-in-arms, Alexei Ruslan at his side. They raise their arms proudly and roar at the crowd before making their way to the ring. Stanislav jaws at a few crowd members.
Joe Hoffman: The crowd here in California is letting Ivan hear it. He might think he is the hero…..but the crowd is letting him know otherwise.
Benny Newell: No Shit Sherlock. It is going to be VERY HARD not to go back to the future in my HOW Delorean and go all 1984 on this dude.
As the second verse of the anthem begins to play, the tron switches to the Flag of the Russian Federation, and the lyrics switch to the current Russian National Anthem. Stanislav steps up onto the apron in one motion, and strides over the top rope while Ruslan takes the stairs.
Together, the duo stand in the ring and salute the tron showing their current red/white/blue colors of Russia, before the lights rise and Stanislav tugs on his suspenders and laughs raucously with a resounding “DYAAHAAHAA!!”
Joe Hoffman: The big Russian letting out his trademark laugh…
Benny Newell: Kudos to him for getting a fucking laugh over…..KUDOS….
Benny flips off the big Russian as they make eye contact. Stanislav just smirks as Benny leans back in his chair….clearly over this whole entrance.
Joe Hoffman: Be careful here Benny. Ivan is ALL of 400lbs in that 7’1” frame…..just look at the hands on the man.
Benny Newell: His hands are big…who gives a fuck. He can crack my lobster legs open later….
Back in the ring the Russian Anthem fades out and the crowd begins chanting….
Joe Hoffman: Wrestling fans are the most fickle……I can use that since we are on the west coast right?
Benny Newell: I am sure the tree hugger from Seattle did not copyright that Joe.
Joe Hoffman: Good point. But like I was saying…..Wrestling fans are the most fickle. They have been literally HATING and LOATHING Christopher America almost for a full year and the minute he goes up against a big man from Russia….they love him?
Benny Newell: It is called patriotism Joe. People might not like America. They might call him a no good cheating World Champion…..but you know what? He is OUR World Champion. He is an AMERICAN. Thus for maybe just tonight……he is our Hero?
Joe Hoffman: Hard to fathom….we shall see….
Suddenly the PWAV comes to life and all attention turns towards the entrance ramp as the World Champion of High Octane Wrestling’s music hits…
Joe Hoffman: Benny…….are you…..crying?
Benny ignores his longtime commentating partner and places his hand over his heart proudly as a single tear streams down his cheek.
Back at the top of the entrance ramp we see Christopher America has made his way out through the curtain. He bows his head and places his hand over his heart as he takes in all 18,097 fans chanting USA.
He slowly looks up and puts his arms out wide as red, white and blue pyro erupt all over the Honda Center.
Joe Hoffman: Well this is clearly a hero’s welcome for the High Octane World Champ. No doubt about it. I cant even lie and say this is a mixed crowd. Just listen to this crowd!!
Even America cannot help but smile as he makes his way down the ramp and slowly climbs into the ring and makes his way to the center of the ring.
He slowly takes the HOW World Championship off his waist and holds it high above his head as more pyro goes off behind him.
As “The Greatest American” slowly begins to fade out the crowd just gets louder.
Joe Hoffman: The crowd has been hot all night and its been a LOOOOONG night……this just shows how much EVERYONE has been looking forward to this match.
Benny Newell: Hopefully Ovechkin here is used to being booed and coming up short.
Joe Hoffman: IVAN. Are you really going to….nevermind. I know the answer to that.
We cut back to the ring where we see America handing over Big Red to High Octane Wrestling’s Senior Referee Matt Boettcher.
Joe Hoffman: High Octane Wrestling annnouncers……High Octane referee……..
Benny Newell: I mean what could go wrong for all Ivan Pudnik here?
Joe Hoffman: Well it is clear that you just Harrison’d our World Champ’s chances here……put your bets on Ivan everyone!!!
Benny scoffs at Joe but quickly pulls out his IPhone 97 and quickly opens up his High Octane Gambling app…
Joe can only shake his head as all focus now turns to inside the ring where Ivan and America are now standing within inches of each other.
Boettcher tries to separate the men but neither man is budging. Boettcher shakes his head, takes a few steps back and signals for the bell and the start of the match.
Joe Hoffman: HERE WE GO!!!!!
The crowd begins chanting immediately….
THIS IS AWESOME
THIS IS AWESOME
THIS IS AWESOME
Joe Hoffman: Not a single blink of an eye so far…..and the crowd is eating this up. What an atmosphere.
Inside the ring the 6’4” High Octane Wrestler is looking directly up to the 7’1” PRIME Wrestler. Neither man sneaking a glance at the crowd.
Both men remained lock on each other until finally America slowly steps backwards and starts nodding as he makes it back to the ropes and begins pulling on the top rope as he stretches his arms and shoulders.
Ivan has not moved. His eyes remain fixed on his opponent as the crowd slowly stops chanting as they anticipate the start of the physical part of the match.
Back in the corner, America moves his head back and forth and stretches his neck fully and he slowly starts to circle Ivan.
The big Russian turns with America….keeping his eyes on the man.
Joe Hoffman: America trying to stay loose here in the early moments of this match. He is clearly circling Ivan with an idea in mind.
Benny Newell: Ya….it is the ol’ can this big ass motherfucker actually move in the ring or can I just kill him with my agility and second greatest wrestling mind ever plan.
America continues to circle Ivan and with each circle he gets closer to the man……baiting him seemingly.
Out of nowhere Ivan swings at America and the HOW World Champion stumbles to the mat as he narrowly avoids the haymaker from Stanislav.
Joe Hoffman: America BARELY ducking that right hand……..
America rolls out of arms way as Ivan nearly connects with a kick to his downed opponent….
Joe Hoffman: America literally has just rolled all the way across the ring and to the outside. Only took a nearly landed right hand and boot to cause him to rethink his strategy here.
Benny Newell: America’s best ability is his adaptability. Second greatest wrestling mind Joe. 2nd!
Outside of the ring America paces as he looks on at the big man still standing in the center of the ring. The HOW Hall of Famer stops as he realizes how close he is to Alexei, and he motions for Ivan’s manager to move out of his way….or else.
Joe Hoffman: Alexei is NOT backing down from America here……..in fact he is engaging in some trash talking.
The ringside fans are eating it up as America and Ruslan begin going back and forth….quickly getting more and more animated.
Boettcher is screaming at America to get back into the ring and is set to start a count but that is quickly negated as Ivan leans thru the middle rope and grabs America by the top of his head and pulls the man up to the ring apron by his head alone.
Joe Hoffman: That big right hand of Ivan literally just plucked America up off of the arena floor!!!!
With one hand still clasped on the head of America, Ivan back peddles back to the center of the ring and promptly drops America with a viscous headbutt.
America falls back first to the canvas and grabs his forehead with both hands as his vision immediately goes blurry from the blow.
Ivan wastes no time as he drops down and delivers a knee to the sternum of America. After landing the move he keeps his knee on the chest of the American and delivers and heavy right hand to the left temple.
America, hands still on his forehead, covers up the best he can as Ivan continues to drop calculated and heavy right hands.
Benny Newell: Closed fist ref…..C’mon. Clearly illegal. Ring the fucking bell.
Joe Hoffman: I do not see the first ever PWA show ending in a DQ or a count out. I mean…right? There is no way this ends without a pinfall or submission….Boettcher clearly has had to have been told to be a little lenient with the rules tonight.
Benny Newell: I can neither confirm nor deny that I bet YES on DQ on the HOG sportsbook app. Just saying. Rules are rules. Take 24 hours and move on with your lives.
Back in the ring Ivan has pulled America back up to his feet once again and immediately begins choking the American with his 97red suspenders.
Ivan is looking directly at Boettcher as he begins choking the life out of America….testing the ref’s tolerance…..
Finally, Boettcher begins to count.
With a smile Ivan releases America and the man falls to the mat gasping for air.
Boettcher gets in the face of Ivan and tells the man to watch the count….but not in his normal aggressive nature….clearly he is not here to enforce the rules as strictly as he is used to.
Ivan waves off Boettcher as he turns and sees America literally crawling to the far side of the ring. Ivan walks briskly towards the HOW World Champion and just as America is set to slide under the bottom rope and to the outside he grabs the man’s right leg and drags him all the way back to the middle of the ring.
America kicks his legs frantically to free himself but it is to no avail as Ivan drops a heavy right elbow to the small of America’s back.
Joe Hoffman: The crowd is stunned and silent. The worst thing that could have happened to America has happened and that was the big Russian getting his hands on America and begin using his power game…..which is almost for ANYONE to counter.
Benny Newell: Rope a dope. It is clearly America’s plan here. Everyone knows the rules. I have said it during a million HOW Main Events…….America is getting his ass kicked now so he can make the huge comeback and win the match later as the crowd goes wild. Remember this moment. Bet it LIVE on the HOG now!!
Joe Hoffman: And with Benny once again jinxing America….please bet the opposite. Just because Ivan is dominating here does not mean America is going to….
Joe is stopped in mid-sentence as Stanislav is literally standing on the back of America. The Russian is smiling and motions to the crowd to look at their so called down hero.
Ivan scoffs at the crowd before taking one step to the side and dropping a huge elbow to the back of the head of America.
He rolls the man over and makes the first cover of the match…
Ivan nods. Impressed at the quick kickout by America.
The big man slowly gets back up to his feet, pulling America up with him, and walks him over to the ropes.
He leans in and proceeds to whip America hard across the ring and to the far ropes………America ducks under a clothesline attempt by Ivan, bounces off the near ropes and is met with a one handed scoop slam!!
Joe Hoffman: Was that with one hand??!!!
The PWATV quickly shows a replay of the move and the crowd is buzzing as they once again see that the 400lb Russian just slammed the HOW World Champion to the canvas with literally one hand.
Benny Newell: You think that is impressive. Ask Troy about the one handed move I used when…
Joe Hoffman: BENNY……NOT THE TIME OR PLACE BENNY!!!
The focus quickly goes back to the action in the ring where Ivan has hooked the leg of America again in another pinfall attempt after dropping a huge leg across the man’s neck after the scoop slam.
Joe Hoffman: Another quick kickout by America there…albeit a little slower than the previous one. This time Boettcher’s hand hit the mat for the second time before he kicked out.
Benny Newell: As long as it wasn’t the for the third time.
Once again Ivan nods his head….impressed with America kicking out.
Stanislav once again slowly stands up to his feet and once again he pulls America up with him.
This time America does not wait to be manhandled into the next move as he jabs his right thumb directly in the left eye of the PRIME wrestler.
Ivan stumbles backwards to the ropes as he holds his eye in obvious pain.
America wastes no time and rushes the big man and clotheslines him over the top rope. Ivan crashes to the arena floor as America falls to the canvas, resting his head on the bottom rope, happy to get a reprieve from the Russian.
Joe Hoffman: Desperation moves there by America, but they got the desired effect as Ivan is on the outside and America is trying to capture his breath on the inside.
Benny Newell: Stay on him America…..I got the under 31 minutes!!!!
America slowly pulls himself up with the help of the ropes as he keeps his eyes on Ivan who is using the ring barricade to pull himself up.
America climbs thru the ropes and stands on the ring apron as he waits for Ivan to turn………..and just as he does the World Champion runs the length of the ring and jumps off and drives both knees into the chest of Ivan.
The momentum and force of the blow causes Ivan to fly over the top of the ring barricade and into the crowd. America crashes on top of him and the nearest cameraman hustles into position to show the shot of both men laid out on the arena floor.
Joe Hoffman: What a move by America there……..he literally flew….
Benny Newell: Like a fucking American bomber. Nagasaki that motherfucker America…..USA USA USA!!!!
Joe, as he has done many times over many years, ignores Benny and focuses in on the action.
Fans are trying to crowd the two wrestlers as America is first to his feet and delivers a kick to the side of the head of Ivan as the man was trying to get back to his feet.
America pushes a fan out of his way and folds up the chair the man was just sitting on and raises it high in the air as Ivan’s back is exposed as he tries to gather himself.
The High Octane World Champion makes eye contact with the High Octane Referee and Boettcher shakes his head no…….but not convincingly.
America drives the steel chair down across the back of Ivan and the sound of steel meeting flesh echoes throughout the Honda Center.
ONE MORE TIME
ONE MORE TIME
ONE MORE TIME
The crowd chants for America to hit the man again and once again America looks at Boettcher to gauge the referees reaction……and again Boettcher shakes his heads no…….but with a smirk(?).
Again, America drives the chair across the back of Ivan and the crowd erupts into cheers.
Joe Hoffman: Well if that wasn’t a Michael Lee Best smirk I don’t know what that was……Boettcher has always been stand up……I find it hard to believe that he is NOT going to call this down the middle.
Benny Newell: The GOD signs his checks Joe……not some Russian fucks.
Suddenly we see Ruslan rush over to the barricade and he begins screaming at America to put the chair down.
While looking directly at Alexei, the HOW Hall of Famer pushes the edge of the chair into the throat of Ivan and leans onto the chair to put even more pressure on the throat of the big man.
Alexie turns to Boettcher and begins screaming at the ref to signal for a DQ……
Joe Hoffman: OH MY GOD!!!!!!
Benny Newell: YESSSSS!!!!!!
Alexei crumples to the arena floor as the chair shot to the back of his head has rendered him unconscious.
Cameras focus in on America who is now the one who is smirking as he looks at his damage as fans behind him pat him on the back.
Joe Hoffman: HOLY SHIT!!!!!!!NOOOOOO!!!!! AMERICA JUST HIT THAT FAN WITH THE STEEL CHAIR!!!!!
The fan who was just patting America on the back, and who’s chair America is holding in his hand, is now laid out on the concrete. Blood pouring from his temple.
America tosses the chair to the side and screams at everyone to move out of his way as he pulls Ivan up to his feet.
The crowd has turned.
They are booing America loudly as the man tosses Ivan over the barricade and back to ringside.
Several fans begin tossing their beverages at America as the World Champion tries to ignore them all as he struggles to pull Ivan up to his feet.
Joe Hoffman: Well, the good will America had is all gone.
Benny Newell: Fickle. You said it. Like they have never seen a chair shot before.
Joe Hoffman: The FAN ate the chair shot Benny!!!
Benny Newell: He probably is an asshole on twitter. Deserved it. Probably.
Joe can only shake his head as back at ringside we see that America has finally pulled Ivan up to his feet….
Joe Hoffman: CHOKESLAM!!!!!!!! IVAN JUST CHOKESLAMMED AMERICA ONTO THE ARENA FLOOR!!!!!!
Ivan, clearly selling his injuries worse than what they actually were, seized the opportunity and just delivered huge move to America.
Boettcher to his credit is still refusing to begin a count for the men.
Benny Newell: Well clearly Boettcher did not have the under. No count outs? Clearly no DQ’s. Did I miss a stipulation here?
Joe Hoffman: If you did I did as well. Boettcher has clearly been instructed to let the men go to war.
Back outside the ring we see America grabbing at his back in pain after the chokeslam and Ivan quickly pivots into action after seeing the desired effects from the chokeslam.
The PRIME wrestler yanks America up to his feet and whips the man hard and back first into the nearest ring post. The steel hitting America’s vertebrae causes the World Champion to once again crumple to the arena floor as he screams out in pain.
Ivan then pauses. He finally sees the medical personal caring for Alexei. They have draped the mans arms over the shoulders of a couple medics and are hastily carrying him up the ramp towards the back.
Joe Hoffman: Horrific chair shot that Ruslan took there. Medics are doing the right thing and getting him to the back before anything else could possibly happen. Normally we would see them waiting on a stretcher there.
Benny Newell: The live odds on the HOG changed dramatically AGAINST America when he hit that broke ass version of The Weasel with the chair. Its almost like the HOG thinks that because America got that big shot in that Ivan will ultimately get the win.
Joe Hoffman: Well look at Mr. Stanislav now……..he isn’t looking too happy and I for one would NOT want to be America.
Benny Newell: Move to Canada and play Zelda with Conor Fuse then asshole.
Joe ignores Benny for the 97th time tonight already as all focus turns back to the action at ringside where we see that Ivan is stalking America who is crawling on the arena floor until Ivan stomps him in the middle of the back…..and keeps his foot there as he bends down and pulls America’s head back with his right hand….
Joe Hoffman: God I cant even look at this on the monitor…..
Ivan continues to pull America’s head backwards as he applies more pressure with his right foot….holding the man’s back in place…..putting even more pressure on the already damaged spine of America.
He continues to pull the man’s head back until America is looking directly into Ivan’s eyes and then in that instant the PRIME stalwart drives America’s head downward and into the arena floor.
Blood instantly begins to pour from the forehead of America.
Ivan follows up his infamous laugh with a large roar as he screams at the American fans…..who are now clearly conflicted on who they should be cheering for in this match and are now sitting in stunned silence as the PWAV shows a replay of the World Champion’s head hitting the cold concrete floor.
Inside the ring Boettcher is now pleading for Ivan to bring the action back into the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Even though it is clear this match is operating under some very lenient rules…..it MUST end inside the ring.
Benny Newell: And quickly.
Joe Hoffman: Life is too short to bet the under Benny.
Benny Newell: Don’t Big Cat me. I know the rules.
Back on the outside Ivan has pulled America up to his feet and has propped the man up against the ring so that the American fans and the camera can see the bloody mess that America is.
Ivan sneers at Boettcher who continues to plead with the action to get back into the ring.
Stanislav waves off the referee as he looks at the ringsteps sitting next him.
He grabs America by the back of the head and screams out to the crowd and those watching at home…
The 7’1” Russian then promptly picks America up in a powerbomb position and promptly drives the man back first onto the top of the steel steps.
The thud resonates throughout the arena and the crowd goes deathly quiet.
Ivan begins walking up the steel steps and with each step the sound of his miliary boots hitting steel echoes throughout the arena.
He places one foot on the chest of America and places his hand over his heart and begins singing the Russian National Anthem.
Benny Newell: Really? This fucking idiot is pausing to sing his shit anthem? At least sing a Russian song I fucking know…you know….like Uno? DRAW 97 ASSHOLE.
Joe has nothing as he, along with the rest of the those in attendance, are focused on Ivan as he completely mocks America.
Ivan suddenly stops singing and looks down at America….his blood now covering the ring steps…and begins laughing.
Joe Hoffman: Ivan clearly happy with his work here….
Stanislav grabs America by his hair and pulls the man up like he is a ragdoll. He places America on his right shoulder and the 6’4” American’s limp body looks like a toy as the Russian walks to the middle of the apron and holds his arms out wide….with America on his shoulder….and shows his clear dominance to the crowd and hard camera focusing in on him.
Satisfied, Ivan tosses America into the ring violently, and climbs back into the ring.
Joe Hoffman: Well after GOD knows how long…we are finally back inside the ring.
Benny Newell: Got a couple parlays still in play and I did make a live bet just now……Ivan -970000 to win.
Joe Hoffman: How much did you just bet Benny??!!!
Benny Newell: To win $1. Focus on the match Joe.
Joe does just that as back inside the ring we see America lying bloody and unmoving in the center of the ring. Ivan walks towards the man and promptly just steps over the man and walks to the ropes and begins laughing once again.
Joe Hoffman: Ultimate show of disrespect there by the Russian.
Benny Newell: COME ON AMERICA JESUS H MICHAEL LEE TYLER LOVING BEST!!!!!!!!
But Benny’s plea’s go unheard as Ivan turns back towards America and stands over the man. He then reaches down and palms America’s head….
Joe Hoffman: IRON CURTAIN????
Just ask Ivan starts to pull America up the HOW Hall of Famer reaches up and yanks the big man down and rolls him up and Boettcher drops to count.
Benny Newell: NOOOOO!!!!!!!! HE ALMOST STOLE IT!!!!
A shocked Ivan quickly rolls away from America and gets up to his feet and charges back towards America but as he does he is met with a diving shoulder to his left knee.
Ivan flips due to his own momentum and lands on his back in the middle of the ring…..but now clutching his knee.
America, his blood dripping all over the ring, staggers up to his feet and turns to see Ivan holding his left knee in pain.
Benny Newell: Does not matter how big you are……when your legs are taken out you lose half your power. Great move there by America. GREAT MOVE…….LIVE BET ON AMERICA!!!!
Ivan see’s America is up to his feet and he hops up to his feet as well……and just as he does America dives at the man’s right knee and connects with another chop block.
Joe Hoffman: Normally we see chop blocks being done to the back of someones legs….but America is going right after the knees here. Clearly trying to render Ivan completely Harrison’d here.
Once again we see America smear the canvas with the blood from his head and Ivan rolling around in pain as he holds now his right knee.
Benny Newell: Chop that motherfucking Commie Redwood down!!
America climbs back up to his feet and goes to pull Ivan up but the big man pushes America off him with one hand. America tries again and this time Ivan pushes him more violently away and America falls to the man.
America begins laughing to himself out of frustration.
Instead of charging the man again he instead rolls out of the ring and heads over to the announce table. He motions at Benny and the Hall of Fame announcer takes off his customary Santa Hat and hands it to America who uses it to wipe the blood from his eyes.
“I LIVE BET ON YOU AMERICA…..DO IT FOR THE CHILDREN!!!”
America nods at Benny and then turns back towards the ring. He pauses and lifts up the PWA:01 branded ring skirt and pulls out a bag. He slides it into the ring and quickly follows suit.
On the opposite side of the ring we can see Ivan sitting in the corner. Trying to get his knees to operate properly.
Much like the very beginning of the match we see Ivan and America lock into a death stare at one another.
America does not take his eyes off Ivan as he opens up the bag and turns it upside down and its contents spill out in the middle of the ring.
The crowd is confused to what exactly just fell but then a cameraman is able to zoom in and EVERYONE watching at home and those looking at the PWAV see exactly America just brought into the match.
Hundreds of Army Men.
Hundred of Army Men covered in Barbed Wire.
Joe Hoffman: You have got to be killing me.
Benny Newell: Hey….America planned ahead. Do not hate on him for that. Those soldiers are going to do WORK for him. Maybe he asked a random kid who happens to be sitting next to a random nerd in a basement in Illinois what weapon he should use in this match and the kid said….Barbed Wire Army Men cause America! Ever think of that Joe? Huh?
Back in the corner Ivan has pulled himself up to his feet and he smirks at America as he starts to stumble towards the man.
America stands his ground, dried blood caked all over his face, and motions for Ivan to bring it.
Joe Hoffman: America is asking for Ivan to bring the fight to him!!!??? ARE YOU CRYING AGAIN BENNY!!!???
Benny just waves his hand at Joe as back in the ring Ivan reaches the center of the ring….
Joe Hoffman: BOTH MEN ARE UNLOADING ON EACH OTHER!!!!
There is no slow build to these right hands. Both men begin unloading on each other and as Ivan punches down on the shorter man he is met with a devastating uppercut from America.
America’s punches begin to slow and Ivan is able to deliver two in succession before America drives his knee into the stomach of the bigger man. Stanislav doubles over and America grabs his head and promptly drops him with a snap DDT….right on the barbed wire army men.
But Ivan does not stay down.
He quickly pushes himself back up and he turns towards America…..barbed wire Army Men sticking out of his face……and charges at America……..
Joe Hoffman: America sidestepped the rushing Ivan and just dropped the man back face first into the barbed wire toys with a drop toe hold!!!!!
Once again Ivan gets up to his feet……more rage in his eyes than ever……and turns towards America and swings violently……
America ducks under the right hand, spins Ivan around, and grabs the man and positions him for …..
Benny Newell: AMERICAN LEG SWEEP!!!!!!!
The crowd literally pops huge as America falls backwards executing perfectly what is normally called a Russian Leg Sweep.
Both men land back first on the barbed wire toys and both men roll away in opposite directions as they try and get the barbed wire to unstick from their backs.
We get an overhead shot of Ivan and America climbing up to their feet on opposite sides of the ring and fans are in shock as Stanislav begins plucking the barbed wire toys from his face…without any reaction.
Benny Newell: Fucking Rocky 4 vibes…
The PWAV shows a split screen of both men…….faces bloodied……and the crowd begins clapping in appreciation of their efforts.
Joe Hoffman: What a match. I take that back…what a fight.
Benny Newell: The first battle in the war…that is what GOD said and I have to believe he is right.
Back in the ring both men stagger towards each other once again and once again Ivan lands the first blow with a devastating right hand and America follows it up with an American Uppercut.
This time Ivan does not wait for the desperation move from America and headbutts the man violently causing America to drop to a knee.
Ivan then pulls America up and lifts the man high above his head……and then drops him unceremoniously onto the barbed wire Army Men.
Joe Hoffman: MILITARY PRESS ONTO THE BARBED WIRE ARMY FROM WHAT HAD TO BE 9 FEET IN THE AIR!!!!!
America’s face opens back up as it is now his face covered in barbed wire military men.
Stanislav, relentless, grabs America by the back of the head and begins walking him towards the corner.
Instinctively America kicks Ivan in the back of his knee and the man drops down to a knee.
America then grabs the man’s head and pulls it backwards and twists violently….
Joe Hoffman: FOR AMERICA!!!!!!!!! HE CHOPPED IVAN DOWN AND EXECUTED HIS FINISHER!!!!!!
America falls limply on Ivan as Boettcher slides into position and counts….
Joe Hoffman: IVAN JUST KICKED OUT OF AMERICA’S FINISHER AT ONE!!!!!???????
Not only did he kick out but he literally tossed America backwards towards the center of the ring where he landed back in the barbed wire toys.
Ivan stands up and turns towards America and grabs the man by the back of the head and once again start towards the corner.
Benny Newell: I am going to need a piss test and WHY THE FUCK IS LIVE BETTING OFF ON THE HOG!!!???
Back in the ring Ivan bounces America’s head off the top turnbuckle, driving the barbed wire deeper into this flesh, and then ragdolls the man so that he is sitting on the top turnbuckle.
Ivan climbs up to the middle rope and then looks back.
Joe Hoffman: Um………um………
Benny Newell: WHAT IS THE BACKUP PLAN HERE…PLEASE EXECUTE….ALPHA GO…..BRAVO FUCKING GO!!!!
Ivan does not stop at the second turnbuckle and climbs all the way to the top turnbuckle and pulls America up with him.
He lifts America high in the air……..
Joe Hoffman: THAT IS A 7 FOOT MAN HOLDING ANOTHER 6’4” MAN ABOVE HIS HEAD….THAT IS TOO HIGH…..OH MY GOD…..
Ivan falls backwards and release suplexs America from the top rope and the HOW World Champion goes flying……….and crash lands ¾ of the way across the ring and violently rolls into the opposite steel post.
Benny Newell: That dude just threw America across the fucking ring where he is lying against the opposite steel post…..really? What is this N64??
Joe Hoffman: He calls that The Red Scare…might as well be the 97 Red Scare. Jesus.
The crowd is stunned as Ivan staggers up to his feet and walks over to America and grabs the mans right arm and pulls him out from under the turnbuckles…..and then makes the cover.
Boettcher drops down and makes the cover.
Joe Hoffman: NOO!!!!!!! BOETTCHER IS WAVING IT OFF….FOOT ON THE ROPES….FOOT ON THE ROPES!!!!! AMERICA GOT HIS FOOT ON THE ROPES…….THE MATCH GOES ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Benny Newell: WHY IS LIVE BETTING OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!????????????????
Ivan can be heard laughing throughout the arena as he looks up at Boettcher and then at America’s foot on the ropes.
Ivan slaps the leg of America, and the foot drops off the ropes. He begins cursing at Boettcher in Russian as he pulls himself up to his feet and once again grabs America by his head and ragdolls him up to his feet.
Ivan looks out at the crowd and pulls back on America’s head back and executes America’s own finishing move on him…right in the middle of the barbed wire army men.
Both men are covered in barbed wire as Ivan makes the cover….hooks both legs…….and stares intently as Boettcher makes the count.
Joe Hoffman: FINALLY…….what a match…what a fight…..what a battle……..but Ivan Stanislav emerges victorious….what a great way to end a great first event for the Phoenix Wrestling Alliance. Thank you to EVERYONE for staying with us all night. For every company that took part tonight……THANK YOU!!!!
PWA 01 comes to an end as we see a seated and bloodied Ivan looking incredulously at America and the fight he just gave him as the crowd gives both men a standing ovation.
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