If Tod and I both could have won, the card might have looked a little more substantial. Alas, only Tod won. Kudos on that, buddy Enjoy, if you get through it.
“It’s time for our main event, fans!” Mak exclaims as the scene opens to the Taco Bell Arena. “The SWF Tag Titles will be defended here, tonight, in just a moment’s time!”
“My stomach’s not feeling too hot,” King intervenes. “Spicy goes right through me sometimes.”
“Wouldn’t it be sweet if they gave us a porta-potty next to the table?”
“…Onto the match…”
The Beatles’ “Helter Skelter” hits the speakers, and the audience rises to its feet. Most of the fans cheer, a few others boo, and others are silent. Tod James Stuart and Daniel Smith emerge onto the ramp, looking over the crowd. They have excited looks on their faces, and they exude coolness on their walk to the ring.
“See now,” Mak begins, “instead of sitting here watching these guys walk down the ramp, I could be releasing my bowels.”
“Ladies and gentlemen, tonight’s main event is for the SWF TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIP!” Funyon announces. “Introducing first, the challengers, from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, at a combined weight of 522 pounds… Daniel Smith and the SWF World Champion, Tod James Stuart… The G-T-A FIIIIGHT TEEEEEAMM!”
“Here they are, folks, the number one contenders whose title opportunity was forgotten for nearly six months. And they look just as prepared as you would expect.”
Smith high-fives a few lucky fans when he turns the corner and heads towards the steps. Stuart points to the nose-bleed seats and shows his appreciation for the distant fans before sliding under the bottom rope and hopping to his feet. He raises his arms in the air, his World Championship shining under the lighting. Smith finds his corner and adjusts the elbow pad on his right arm.
“Come on, King, tell me you wouldn’t love to be able to get this Taco Bell out of you, just feet away from where you’re sitting right now.”
“I’m consciously ignoring you and staying on task.”
“Knights of Cydonia” by Muse strikes a new chord in the audience as the lights drop and strobes dance around the arena. Luke and Leo Breslin walk onto the stage, Leo hopping up and down. Luke doesn’t look to share in the excitement. He walks mechanically down the stage, looking at the cheering fans and nodding his appreciation. Leo high-fives and smiles at nearly everyone he can get his hands on.
“And their opponents… they are the current SWF Tag Team Champions… coming to us from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, at a combined weight of 478 pounds… Luke and Leo… THEEEEE BREEEESSSLIIIIINNNSS!!”
“I’d like to take a shit on big brother Leo. Look at him hopping around like a fool,” King says.
“His excitement is showing me the same confidence that I see in the GTA Fight Team. The way Leo is holding his belt proudly over his shoulder and patting the gold plate, it looks like he knows he’ll walk out as champion. But Luke… he looks like a different man.”
“I’d be scared to step back into the ring, too.”
Luke walks up the steel steps and climbs through the ropes. Leo is on the apron and over the top rope in a few quick hops. He moves to the center of the ring, where referee Sexton Hardcastle stops him and takes his title. Sexton needs to walk to The Breslins’ corner to ask Luke to remove the title from around his waist. Luke does, looking down at the strap as he removes it and hands it warily to the referee. Hardcastle moves to the center of the ring and holds the titles high in the air. Leo stands beside him on one side, and Stuart and Smith stare him down from the other side.
“I’m not sure what to make of this, King. Three-quarters of the participants look pumped and ready. Luke remains in his corner… still, silent… it’s ominous.”
“I told you, he’s scared.”
“Luke did indeed suffer quite the mechanical dismantling of his shoulder at Northwest Navigation.”
“More like mechanical raping. Michael Alexander pretty much put him and his shoulder through hell.”
“It was a tough battle, but Luke did prevail. He’s the number one contender, but at what price? Do you think his shoulder is still hurting?”
*DING DING DING*
The bell sounds after Sexton hands the titles to the outside crew and gives the signal. Leo remains near the center of the ring, not even turning back to speak with his brother or watch him step onto the apron. Stuart and Smith share a few brief words before Stuart steps back and leaves his partner in a stare-down with Leo.
“I’m going to guess YES,” King says, “because Luke looks like he’s cowering. He’s shown me no desire to be in this ring. It looks like he’s throwing his brother to the dogs tonight, and their belts are going with it.”
“It’s interesting that Stuart and Smith are competing for The Breslins’ titles, while Luke Breslin will soon be challenging for Stuart’s World Title.”
“Well, it’s not that interesting. Remember, Stuart beat Luke in the Cold Front Classic on his way to the World Title. So… if Luke and Leo don’t win this match, I’m pretty sure Luke won’t have gold anytime soon.”
Leo and Smith begin making circles in the ring, matching each other’s steps as they inch closer and closer together. They both look for openings in the other’s defense. Leo shows some hesitation with a behemoth the likes of Smith in front of him. Still, he dives in head-first with a shoulder-and-collar tie-up. Smith quickly breaks the foolish attempt by Leo. He uses his sheer strength to shove Leo out of the hold and onto his back. Leo rolls backwards and gets to his feet quickly, not letting the big man deter him.
“I don’t like your assertion of Luke throwing his brother to the dogs, King.”
“Well, Luke looks like a statue on the apron. I don’t think he’s showed any discernable emotion since stepping out from backstage.”
“Remember that Leo is the veteran here. Luke might be the one with a looming World Title shot, but Leo is more experienced in life and in the ring. He’s the older brother, basically the spiritual leader of this duo. And even if Luke’s shoulder has recovered, I’m sure it was Leo’s idea to put himself in first and save Luke from the potential of furthering the injury.”
“That’s all good and fine… but he better wake up soon. This GTA Fight Team is no walk in the park.”
Leo returns to his stalking. He moves more spryly this time, his circles around the ring increasing in speed as Smith tries moving to keep up with him. Leo keeps him on his toes and then moves in again, passing on the tie-up to deliver a shoulder into Smith’s midsection in an attempt to move him to a neutral corner. It doesn’t quite work, as Smith remains immobile and takes the shoulder willingly, lifting his limb and sending his big forearm down across Leo’s back. Leo drops to a knee and Smith lifts his own knee to smash into Leo’s face. The Tag Champion drops to the mat, experiencing the pain that Smith can dish out. A big grin emerges over Smith’s face as he moves to the corner to tag Stuart in. Stuart’s own grin matches his partner’s.
“Smith and Stuart already look comfortable,” Mak says. “It only took one clubbing forearm to take Leo to his knee, and that stiff knee from Smith only knocked him down further.”
“And now it’s T.J.’s turn to work on Leo. If Alexander got to dismantle Luke last show, I only find it fair that Stuart gets to dismantle Leo.”
“No one’s being dismantled yet, King. Let’s not forget what these brothers did to climb to the top of the tag division.”
“I’ve forgotten. Moving on…”
Leo is on his feet by the time Stuart gets to him, but his back is turned. Stuart simply scoops him up from behind and drops him back down, only Stuart drops to a knee and juts the other one out to catch Leo with an inverted atomic drop. Leo stumbles off the knee. Stuart grabs the bumbling Breslin and wraps around him, flipping him up and over with a belly-to-back suplex that keeps Leo on the mat. Stuart stands over Leo and begins stomping away at him, making sure that he stays down. Finally, Stuart relents and turns to face Luke. The number one contender only glares at Stuart, who puts on a mocking pouty face and rubs his right shoulder, indicating Luke’s cowardice.
“The fans aren’t liking that very much. Luke sustained quite the beating and still came out on top with a hurt shoulder.”
“I think the fans will get over it. And I think Stuart is more interested in getting inside Luke’s head than he is with keeping a few fans on his side.”
“It’s smart to get into the head of the man who has the gold you want and wants the gold you have. But… he’s still got Leo Breslin to compete with, and that’s not a smart thing to forget.”
Leo is getting to his feet when Stuart turns around to acknowledge him again. Stuart sends a boot into Leo’s gut, but the wily Breslin catches it before it impacts. Leo holds the foot for a second too soon. Stuart is able to jump up and deliver a standard enziguiri that is enough to knock Leo back down to the mat. Leo is somewhat quick to get up, but Stuart takes the opportunity to tag in his partner. He takes it.
“No one’s really safe when Smith’s in the ring,” Mak says. “I hope Leo realizes that.”
“He’s a Breslin, but he’s not that stupid.”
Leo seems to understand the direness of his situation. As he’s getting up and Smith lumbers towards him, he lunges forward at the right height to send a shoulder into Smith’s right knee. Smith has no choice but to stumble onto the ground. Leo gets up quickly, glad that his resourcefulness paid off. He begins stomping away at Smith much like Stuart did to him. However, the impact is not as serious. The stomps deliver, but they seem to be absorbed quite quickly by Smith’s massive frame. Leo gives up and moves to a neutral corner, hopping backwards onto the second turnbuckle. He doesn’t waste a moment as he leaps off and sends his elbow directly into the knee that was just nearly blown out.
“Smith’s grabbing at that knee, and Leo is… grabbing the other leg?” Mak asks, confused. “A figure-four leg lock! Just what the doctor ordered against a man like Smith who relies on his towering frame. Take out the foundation and the rest will crumble.”
“God, Leo is slow with this. As you’re babbling and Leo’s spinning around Smith’s log of a leg, he just kicked him in the ass and shoved him off.”
The force of Smith’s reversal sends Leo face-first into the ropes, his chest bouncing off the second rope. He keeps his footing and turns around to see Smith getting to his feet. Leo leans into the ropes and runs forwards, leaping as he nears Smith. He connects with a jumping clothesline, but it’s not enough to take the big man down. Smith falls into the ropes behind him. Leo lands on his feet after bouncing off Smith. He meets the big man against the ropes and sends a few fists into Smith’s face. Leo’s tenacity wears Smith down enough for Leo to whip him across the ring. Leo bounces off the ropes Smith just left. The two men meet in the middle. Leo ducks under a stiff attempt at a clothesline. They bounce off the ropes again, and this time Leo’s flying clothesline has enough momentum behind it to knock Smith onto his back.
“Yes!” Mak exclaims. “Leo going for an early pin attempt here.”
“And Smith’s out before two. Foolish…”
“Hey, any chance at victory is smart, if you ask me.”
“I didn’t ask you.”
Smith’s kick-out sends Leo over the big man’s head, almost a foot from him. Smith sits up and gets to his feet at the same time as Leo. He looks fed up with Leo’s offensive prowess. Smith moves towards him and delivers a heavy forearm shot to Leo’s face. He sends four more forearms into the same spot, making Leo stumble deliriously. Leo’s resilience and ability to stay on his feet might be the foolish move. Smith begins pummeling at Leo’s chest with three palm strikes that put Leo in GTA’s corner. Leo leans into the corner a little too comfortably. Smith turns around and backs into Leo. He sends alternating elbows backwards into Leo’s temples. Smith steps forward and Leo slumps down. He sits on the second turnbuckle, opening the door for Smith to move to the middle of the ring and then charge forward. The crescendo of offense is capped off by a powerful running knee.
“Me Hitting You!” King yells. “That’s a pummeling if I’ve ever seen one.”
“Not only did Leo just take one of the worst beatings anyone in SWF has to offer… but he’s now in GTA Fight Team’s corner. And the World Champ is back in.”
“If there’s anyone that knows what to do with a near-comatose victim of Smith’s onslaught… it’s his very own mentor, Mr. Stuart.”
Stuart only pulls Leo out of the corner a bit, and then turns him over with a snapmare. Leo sits up and is about to fall onto his back, but Stuart catches him with a sharply accurate shin of the top of the spine that sends Leo forward… and then backwards. Stuart looks up from his fallen opponent and stares at Luke again. He skips the mocking of the shoulder, opting for a confident smile instead. Luke’s eyes wince a bit, and he glares. His attempts to stab through Stuart’s confidence fail. Stuart simply turns away and leans down to pull Leo to his feet.
“Tod lifts Leo into an effortless fireman’s carry,” Mak says. “Running to a neutral corner… smashes Leo’s head into that top turnbuckle!”
“Aaaaaaand… to the opposite corner! Another head smash!” King says giddily. “I swear, sometimes this federation borders on inhumane torture. I love that it’s legal, and I love that I’m part of it.”
“Tod tosses Leo off… snake eyes into the turnbuckle… catches Luke as he’s falling, rolling him into a fluid small package pin attempt!”
“One! TWO! THREE-SHIT ON ME!”
“You and I both thought that was the end.”
Stuart doesn’t look the slightest bit deterred. In fact, he takes his time walking to his corner, looking over his shoulder to let Luke know that it’s only just begun. Stuart tags Smith, and shares a few words with the big man. Smith nods and climbs into the ring. He stares at Luke much like Stuart did, though his face shows much more sternness. Smith finds Leo and pulls him off his knees as he attempts to get up. With a hand between the legs and another on the chest, Smith hoists Leo up with ease. Smith holds him high in the air, his arms extended fully upwards. He holds him there for a good ten seconds and then begins bringing his arms up and down in a military press. This all happens just feet from Luke. Smith stares at him the entire time. He holds Leo as high up as possible again before stepping forwards and dropping Leo down behind him at the same time.
“Leo landed on his feet!” Mak says. “The time Smith wasted, the distance of the drop, the quickness of Leo… he’s… another shoulder block to the knee!”
“Did Smith just howl?”
“THAT was a full-on shoulder-to-knee collision. Smith falls backwards and Leo scurries under him… Luke sticks his arm out—”
“And Luke’s in! He’s in! The crowd’s ready to see him in action! Get some retribution for Leo!”
Luke climbs through the ropes. He stands in his corner while Leo slides under the bottom rope and onto the apron, remaining in a seated position to recover his strengths. Smith gets up slowly, favoring the knee a bit. Luke stands still. The explosion that came from the crowd begins to dissipate. They’re unsure how to react by Luke’s lack of offense.
“Uhh…” King stutters.
“Smith is on his feet… and he’s got his eyes on Luke.”
Smith raises his eyebrows curiously. He then looks over his shoulder at Stuart. The foolish lapse in judgment gives Luke the moment he wants. He lunges forward and catches Smith in the face with one hell of a hook. Smith steps backwards, but Luke steps forward to stay with him. He lays into Smith with another hook, and another. Smith is close to his corner, so Luke grabs his arm and whips the bewildered big man back into The Breslins’ corner. Luke runs in after him at full speed, bending down and sending his shoulder into Smith’s midsection with a serious spear.
“Christ… he’s back,” King says.
“Was he ever really gone!?”
Luke pulls out and climbs onto the second ropes, his feet on either side of Smith. He grabs a fistful of Smith’s tousled hair and pulls his head back. Luke sends a series of right fists into Smith’s face. The ten-fist salute is too fast for the crowd to keep up with. It also exceeds its usual quota as Luke continues the assault until most of the crowd gives up on counting entirely. He only stops when Sexton Hardcastle is able to get an arm between the two men and effectively pry Luke away, knocking him off the ropes in a rather ugly fashion. Luke backs off enough to satisfy the referee, but he is quick to grab Smith by the hair again and pull him out of the corner.
“If this is what Luke’s been holding in this whole match…” King begins. “…He should do it more often.”
“He definitely looks to have Smith’s number right now… surprisingly. I thought he would be holding back, really wary about his shoulder. But… he’s come in here full-force and he’s taking it to the giant.”
Luke is able to bend Smith over without much effort. Luke pulls both the arms awkwardly over Smith and then drops backwards, the double-arm DDT successfully taking Smith down. His head crashes into the mat and he remains rather still as Luke gets to his feet and turns to look at Tod James Stuart. Luke only offers the same stare he’s been giving all night. Stuart’s eyes are fixed on his downed partner, but he slowly raises his head and shifts his eyes to meet Luke’s. Stuart seems to realize his mouth is slightly open in a bit of shock, but he quickly closes it and returns Luke’s cold stare. Luke breaks the stare and turns to flip Smith onto his back. He hooks the leg and waits for Hardcastle to drop.
“One… Two… Three, no, not quite!” Mak says. “I don’t know if that exchange with Tod was so smart.”
“He’s only returning the headgames, Mak. I quite like it.”
“I don’t think you like either of these men, do you?”
“Eh, probably not.”
Luke isn’t thrown off Smith like his brother was earlier, a possible indicator of Luke’s effective offense. Still, Smith begins getting up on his own accord once Luke gets off him. But he’s stopped short as Luke grabs him and pulls him up the rest of the way, quick to Irish whip him across the ring. Smith bounces off the ropes. Luke catches him in the middle of the ring and lifts him up with an impressive display of strength. He stays steady on his feet until he’s ready to drive Smith down onto his back with a spinebuster. Luke makes sure his shoulder digs into Smith. He lays atop him again for another pin attempt.
“ONE!” the majority of the crowd shouts. “TWO! THREE!”
“Open your eyes, audience. He kicked out,” King says.
“Smith escapes again. That was a very sound spinebuster. I wonder if Luke’s shoulder is hurt at all,” Mak comments.
Luke pulls off of Smith again, this time assisting him to his feet without a chance for Smith to move on his own. Smith is on his feet, and Luke whips him this time into a neutral corner. Smith stumbles out of the corner, however, tracing the ropes towards his corner. Luke bounces off the adjacent ropes near the corner Smith just occupied. He rushes forward to catch Smith’s head in a bulldog, but Smith gropes the top rope with his large hand and steadies himself. He uses his other arm to scoop under Luke’s back and shove him forward, his momentum sending him forward and onto his ass. Luke uses the ropes to get up as quickly as possible, but Smith approaches from behind and gets him in his grasp. He wraps around Luke and flips him over fluidly with an exploder suplex, the impact of which is delivered mostly onto Luke’s right shoulder.
“Whether Smith intentionally dropped Luke onto that shoulder or not… it still might have done the trick of re-aggravating that injury…” Mak says.
“Who cares about that? T.J.’s back!”
Smith does indeed tag his partner. Stuart is quick to climb into the ring and even quicker to move in on Luke. He grabs the right arm and drags Luke to the middle of the ring. He drops, making sure the arm is secure between his legs. The armbar is locked in tight, and Luke begins to wince in pain. Stuart applies as much pressure as he can. He looks over at Leo, who doesn’t hesitate for a moment. He jumps into the ring. Stuart’s anticipation of the intervention gives him enough time to release the hold. He’s getting to his feet at the same time Leo gets to him. He only gets one shot in on Stuart, but it’s weakened by Sexton Hardcastle’s intervening. The referee holds Leo back, and Stuart hurriedly nods at Smith to reenter the equation. He meets Stuart in the middle of the ring and the two men dish out a flurry of stomps. Smith, with the heavier foot and stronger impact, stays locked on the shoulder. Stuart dances around Luke like a witch doctor, his foot hitting here and there, chipping away at Luke with each furious stomp.
“Leo’s given up his resistance to Hardcastle,” Mak says. “And now the referee is restraining Daniel Smith. But not before the damage was done, I’m sure.”
“Leo had no right to intervene. It is well within Tod’s rights to exploit a potential weakness. Luke entered this match knowing full-well his shoulder might not be one-hundred percent.”
“Like I said… I’m sure Leo was skeptical about Luke’s condition going into the match. That just cemented it. Unfortunately, Leo allowed the GTA Fight Team to wreak more havoc than he was expecting.”
Sexton has Smith back in his corner and onto the apron. The referee turns around and catches Stuart as he looks at him. Stuart nods courteously at the referee, almost as if apologizing. Sexton simply looks at Stuart, and then at Luke, and then back to Stuart again. Stuart grins and moves to pull Luke to his feet. He pushes Luke into a set of ropes and wears him down some with a few forearm shots. Stuart whips him off the ropes across the ring, bouncing off the ropes himself to meet Luke in the middle with a clothesline. Luke ducks it and turns around as Stuart bounces off the ropes again. The back body drop Luke hopes to achieve is cut short. Stuart reads him easily and stops his momentum slightly before reaching Luke, hooking the neck and dropping backwards to hit a snap DDT.
“Stuart going for a pin here… two… thr—”
“Luke gets out!” Mak interrupts.
“I like how Stuart and Smith went to work on Luke like that, especially on the shoulder. That was ruthless on their part.”
“It was smart, but yes… also a bit ruthless. This is a big match, and they’re going to do what it takes to win.”
Luke rolls around on the mat, a bit disoriented, after Stuart climbs off him. Stuart moves to his corner and casually tags Smith into the match. The big man moves to Luke and pulls him the rest of the way to his feet. Smith hoists Luke up with ease, the tag champion hardly offering much in the way of resistance. Luke’s stomach rests of Smith’s left shoulder and his head dangles slightly under Smith’s chest. Smith slides Luke down, low enough to execute his smart move. He drops onto one knee with an unexpected quickness, and aims Luke’s bad shoulder onto the jutted-out leg. Luke lets out an agonizing scream as he is dropped onto the mat, favoring his shoulder.
“That shoulder breaker had to hurt,” Mak says.
“Smith is just as good at focusing on that shoulder as Stuart is. I’m surprised.”
“And look at Leo. He’s standing on that bottom rope outside the ring, his arm outstretched as far as possible, beckoning Luke to get to him.”
“It seems pretty hopeless. Every time they hit that shoulder, Luke’s practically immobilized.”
Smith pulls Luke off the mat, realizing that now is no time for mercy. He whips Luke into a neutral corner. Smith moves to the opposite corner. He signals to the crowd for some cheers, and then points at Luke, getting ready to nail his Domi Special combination. It’s only a few seconds before he runs across the ring at full speed and leaps into the air just before reaching Luke. Luke drops onto his ass in the corner. Smith’s chest lands hard on the top turnbuckle. Referee Hardcastle moves into the corner to assess the situation. He’s so close to Smith, checking on the big man, that he’s unable to see Luke’s arm raise between Smith’s legs and deliver an uncharacteristic low blow. Smith lets out a howl and backs out of the corner.
“Hey!” King protests. “What was that?!”
“Payback for the two-man stompfest?”
“That’s not how men fight.”
Luke pulls himself up and climbs backwards onto the second turnbuckle. Smith has his back to Luke a few feet out of the corner. Luke jumps forward and catches Smith’s neck, pulling the big man down with a bulldog that electrifies the crowd. Their new-found spark pushes Leo to start smacking his turnbuckle and stomping his foot on the apron. Luke inches little by little towards his corner. He makes it his priority to find Leo’s hand. Once he does, the crowd gets even louder. Leo jumps into the ring, clearing his still downed brother and rushing towards Smith. Smith just gets to his feet as Leo runs to him. Leo lifts a leg, but looks to expect it to be caught. When it is, he jumps up with his other foot and knocks Smith back down with a running enziguiri.
“Leo’s got a fire lit under him!” Mak yells.
“But he can’t keep Smith down!”
Smith is indeed quick to get up. Leo is faster, however. He bounces off a set of ropes and is able to send a dropkick to the side of Smith’s head as he’s halfway to his feet. Smith is knocked down again, but he still is able to start standing almost immediately afterwards. Leo notices the convenient positioning of himself and his opponent in the ring. He runs towards the ropes and climbs quickly to the outside. After a hurried hop to the top rope, Leo springboards off and hits another, stronger dropkick, this time to Smith’s head. Leo crawls over Smith to pin him.
“ONE!” most of the crowd yells. “TWO!”
“Smith’s out at two!” King exclaims.
“Most men would be deterred by their inability to keep Smith down.” Mak says. “But I think Leo realizes he’s a big, resilient man. And he’s already got another plan.”
Leo moves to a corner and climbs onto the apron once again. He ascends to the top turnbuckle and perches there, watching Smith get to his feet. Smith is a bit slower this time, and he’s unsure of Leo’s whereabouts. He turns and is caught by a high missile dropkick that sends Leo’s feet into Smith’s chest at an impactful angle. Smith drops onto his back harder than he did the first three times. Leo is quick to go for the pin once again.
“Must be Dropkick Day for Leo,” King jokes.
“It’s worked, no matter!” Mak says. “One! Two! No, not quite! That was close, but Smith still powers out!”
“I’m not sure Leo has the physical power to keep Smith down for three.”
“Well it’s not like he’s going to give up. And I doubt he wants Luke back in the ring.”
Leo goes in for more. He pulls Smith to his feet. The big man is still disoriented enough to take an Irish whip into the corner. Leo doesn’t move to the opposite corner for a big wind-up. Instead, he runs towards Smith and jumps onto a middle rope. He uses this footing to raise his other leg, driving the knee into Smith’s head and nearly knocking him out cold. Leo hops down like a cat, this time moving into the opposite corner. He rushes across the ring and leaps, connecting with a quick splash. Smith instinctively steps out of the corner to avoid more abuse, but Leo’s offense is enough to send him to the mat. Leo grabs a leg and an arm and pulls Smith to the proper position.
“Leo to the middle of the ring… and he runs… leaps over Smith, onto the second turnbuckle… MOONSAULT! That was beautiful!”
“He’s not going for the pin,” King mentions.
“You just said he can’t keep Smith down. Don’t you think he should do more?”
Leo avoids the leaping theatrics this time. He carefully climbs to the top turnbuckle and turns his back to Smith. It only takes him a few seconds to catch his bearing. He stands straight up and then bends his knees a bit to allow for some springing action. His rotation is flawless, his height impressive, but the landing is devastating. Smith has both knees raised, and they smash Leo’s ribs as he lands. The silences most of the crowd, but GTA Fight Team’s fans make their presence known as significant cheering continues. Leo rolls off Smith. He grabs at his midsection in pain and looks at his corner. His ring knowledge is enough that he knows Smith’s heading to the corner for the fresh man.
“Leo is probably a little hesitant to let his brother in, but he’s definitely in no condition to face Tod when he gets in.”
“These tags are supposed to be suspenseful and exciting, Mak. You’ve just ruined it for all of our fans.”
“Leo’s moving towards Luke… but Smith gets to his man first. Tod is in… moving at full speed and… Luke’s in! But Tod gets a stomp in on Leo’s ribs at the same time.”
Luke swings a vicious left hook over the ropes while he’s still on the outside. It catches Stuart and disorients him long enough for Luke to climb safely into the ring. Luke bends down and sticks his head between Stuart’s legs. He stands up, bringing Stuart with him and holding onto the legs to keep him from dropping off. Stuart dangles in his precarious position long enough for Leo to recover on the apron. Luke stands close enough to his brother so that he can tag him from the outside. The referee recognizes the tag. Luke pushes down on Stuart’s legs with strength and speed, bending at the same time to pull Stuart over onto his back with a sickening thud. The Alabama slam is capped off when Leo bounces onto the top rope from the apron and leaps in with a leg drop across Stuart’s neck.
“What a springboard leg drop!” Mak yells. “The quick pin… ONE! TWO! THREE!”
“So close! Poor Leo…”
“That was great teamwork, and a smart way to keep Luke out of the match. And Leo looks as fresh as ever. And he won’t be as worried about the massiveness of this opponent.”
Leo climbs off Stuart and pulls him to his feet. He faces Stuart and sets up for a suplex. Before Stuart takes off, Leo hooks one of the legs and floats Stuart over with a fisherman suplex. He keeps the leg held in place, locking Stuart into another pin. Leo holds the leg as tightly as possible while Hardcastle drops to the mat and slaps it once. The crowd gets a little bit louder in anticipation when Hardcastle slaps a second time. His arm is dropping for the third slap when Stuart convulses strongly enough to break Leo’s hold on his leg and get his shoulder into the air.
“Leo’s offense is much more practical on a man like Tod,” Mak notes.
“He was making some progress on Smith. Just not enough.”
Leo gets to his feet. Stuart begins making the same progress, but he’s stopped short when Leo jumps into the air and drops a fist into Stuart’s face. Leo insists on controlling the pace. He brings Stuart to his feet and whips him into The Breslins’ corner. Leo tags Luke, and the two men together lift Stuart and hook his leg into the Tree of Woe. Leo steps onto the apron with confidence. Luke moves about three-quarters of the way to the other corner, just out of Smith’s clutches. He runs forward at full speed towards Stuart, dodging to the side at the last instant to raise a knee and send it into Stuart’s gut. Stuart’s movements in reaction to the impact almost allow him to escape, but Leo slyly holds the foot tucked under the turnbuckle. Hardcastle is quick to reprimand Leo, but not quick enough to allow for Smith’s escape. Luke tags his brother into the match.
“The Breslins have Tod exactly where they want him, and Luke can execute some offense without the risk of further injuring his shoulder,” Mak says.
“Leo’s pulling Mak up,” King notes.
“And Luke unhooks the leg.”
Leo tucks Stuart’s head under his arm and drops down, sending Stuart to the mat with a reverse DDT that has no chance of being weakened by Stuart’s legs. Leo skips the pin attempt. He pulls Stuart to his feet and whips him across the ring. Stuart ducks under a clothesline, stopping his momentum. He turns around slowly, still a bit weary from his beating. Leo sends a boot into the gut. Stuart finds himself bent in the middle the ring. Leo bounces off the ropes and leaps up to hit a bicycle kick over Stuart’s skull. But Stuart manages to move out of the way and Leo lands awkwardly on his ass and lower back. He sits up, and Stuart is able to get a quick, almost instinctive, shin kick to the back of Leo’s head before dropping to his knees, and then all fours.
“Tod was able to stop Leo’s momentum pretty effectively there. And he’s almost literally crawling towards Smith.”
“This time, when the big man gets in, it’s bad news for Leo.”
“Well, Leo’s not down and out. He’s moving towards Luke just as well.”
“Going to be a pretty even double tag here…”
Both Leo and Stuart get to their partners at nearly the same time. Luke is a bit quicker to get through the ropes and across the ring, but the two clash nonetheless. It only takes one hammer-like arm across Luke’s right shoulder to stop his ceaseless flurry of fists. Luke drops to one knee. Smith moves behind him and waits for Luke to get back on his feet. As soon as he does, Smith hops onto Luke’s back and wraps his legs around him, hooking his feet around the thighs. Smith grabs Luke’s wrists and pulls them up and forward, stretching the arms and putting an indescribable strain on the shoulders.
“Me Stretching You!” King yells. “Well… Smith Stretching Luke. Either way, OUCH!”
“This is a move that, even if Luke’s arm isn’t as bad as it was last show, it’s just as bad now, if not worse.”
Smith’s head is tilted backwards as he lets out a guttural noise. His veins are straining as he puts all his strength into Me Stretching You. Leo climbs into the ring. The change in the crowd causes Smith to look down. Hardcastle isn’t quick enough to catch Leo. He raises his leg and sends a strong superkick into Smith’s face. Smith drops off Luke and crumples to the mat. Luke falls just as deliberately. Hardcastle doesn’t need to hold Leo back as he returns directly to his corner. Instead, Hardcastle has to hold Stuart back as he goes after Leo. The two men tussle until Stuart gives up and is pushed back into his corner. He climbs onto the apron as Luke and Smith get to their feet, Luke a bit quicker.
“Luke’s getting up,” Mak says. “Me Stretching You definitely hurt his shoulder and strained him, but Leo’s superkick seemed to take Smith out. He was not expecting that.”
“What’s Luke doing? He’s just watching Smith get up. At least tag your brother in and—”
“The boot to the gut! THUNDERSTRUCK! Smith onto his back like a bag of bricks!”
As the Thunderstruck takes place, Stuart is ascending onto the top rope in his corner. He looks poised and ready to leap as Luke drops on top of Smith. Sexton slaps the mat once as Leo unexpectedly hops over the bodies and climbs onto the second turnbuckle, catching Stuart’s arm before falling backwards and pulls him down with an arm drag that drops him to the side of the pin attempt.
“THREE! The Breslins retain!”
*DING DING DING*
“What the hell? When did all that happen?! How could Sexton have let Leo go unchecked like that?!”
“Tod was clearly up to no good… and Sexton had a pivotal three-count to execute! No tag gold for the GTA Fight Team on this night. But I’m sure Tod is more than willing to defend his gold against Luke now! Goodnight, fans!”
Leo gets Luke to his feet and takes him to the outside. The two men get a hold of their straps and make their way towards the ramp as the GTA Fight Team gets to its feet inside the ring, just as surprised by the suddenness of the ending as the announce team and the electrified crowd. They stare at The Breslins as they back up the ramp. Stuart moves to the ropes and points at Luke, sharing some unheard words as the scene fades.