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The SWF presents..



LIVE to DVD from the Trent FM Arena, Nottingham, England at 9pm GMT on Tuesday 6th January, 2009!

Yes, after the festive siege that is Christmas and New Year it's going to be time to lose (or ignore) the hangover and get back into shape after all that turkey and mince pies, as the SWF hops across the pond to ring in 2009 in the General Manager's home city! 10,000 of Toxxic's fellow countrymen will be raising the roof as the SWF superstars do battle...

Taiga Star© vs Tod James Stuart

Well now, who'd have thought it? The SWF's Cruiserweight Champion goes head-to-head with one-half of the team currently Number One Contenders for the Breslins' Tag Titles. Taiga defeated fellow DVS star Kevin Riggs, then beat out the enigmatic MANSON and former World Champion Thoth to reach the final, while Tod defeated Riggs' tag team partner X-Punk, handed Luke Breslin his first singles loss and finally took out former World Champion Michael Alexander. With Taiga having failed to capture the DVS European Title from Va'aiga, will she have more luck in her attempt to get a chance to take his SWF World Title? Meanwhile Tod wants to prove that he's capable of more than just the brave showing he put in against Insane Luchador the last time he went up against a reigning World Champion. The winner of this match gets the World Title shot... in the stipulation of their choosing.

Rules: Two-out-of-three falls. Count-outs and DQs apply as usual.
Word Limit: 9000
Send To: Toxxic

HELL IN THE SAL (Non-title)
Va'aiga© vs Luke Breslin

In Nottingham, on the street known as Maid Marian Way, there is a pub. This pub is known as Ye Olde Salutation Inn (aka The Sal). It claims to be the oldest in Nottingham (and it's a damn liar, because both Ye Olde Trip To Jerusalem and The Old Bell are older), and upstairs every Friday night it has Rock Karaoke where some of Nottingham's most drunken show-offs bellow out raucous renditions of classic rock tracks.

What a perfect place for a barroom brawl!


See that upper floor? That's where it takes place. The contestants will enter next to the DJ booth where DJ Dave will announce them. There is an open area with some tables before you get to the stage where the singers do their stuff at the other end (the left, as we look at the photo). To the right of the stage is a bar, usually manned by a guy with ENORMOUS hair who looks like he's wandered in out of a Motley Crue video. There's a passage down to the gents lavatory which is by a fire escape. If you go back past the DJ booth there's some stairs down to the main part of the pub below, with more drinkers. The object is to fight until someone gets pinned, or alternatively drinks so much they pass out. This match will take place (and will be filmed) on Friday 2nd January, then edited into the show. Because live satellite broadcast to the crowd in the arena is beyond budget for us these days.

Rules: One pinfall to a win, don't hit on the barmaids
Word Limit: 6000. That might be far too much. This match isn't that serious, just run with it.
Send To: King Cucaracha. Will knows this venue like the back of his hand, and I'm pretty familiar with it. At least Landon won't have the bias of knowing what's where, which I would.

Team Canada (Kevin Riggs & X-Punk) vs The Sensational Academy (Panic & Danny Meadows)
DVS's Team Canada assure us that this time, they really are going to turn up and fight. To break them (back) in as a team in the SWF they get Toxxic's two students, as hapless and hopeless as ever.

Rules: Standard tag. Use the tag rope.
Word Limit: 4500
Send To: Toxxic

Thoth vs Michael Alexander

Uh-huh, you read that right.


Back in the day (well, 2004), a match was booked between Landon 'La Cucaracha' Maddix and Annie Eclectic. That match was a Mousetrap Match, which Landon eventually won. And the person who booked that match? Well, rumour had it that it was none other than everyone's favourite former DDRing Tag Team Champion, King Of Fighters wardrobe-stealer and general all-round badass, Thoth. Now, that wasn't the last time that Thoth's legacy would cause Landon trouble - his crazy booking skillz were after all the justification for Joe Peters shoving arch-enemies Landon and Toxxic together as a tag team under the 'Crazy Tag Partners That Hate Each Other' school of logic, for which Landon's suggestion of team name was 'Turn Your Head And Thoth' - but tonight it looks like someone's out for revenge.

It's probably just Michael Alexander's bad luck that he's been landed in this mess as well.

Rules: In the middle of the ring is a circle with a large cage suspended above it. All around the ring are items of equipment that can be fitted, slotted, duct-taped or whatever together to make that famous mousetrap mechanism. The person who manages to lower the cage using the completed mechanism and trap their adversary under it (hint, you'll probably have to knock them out first, or some approximation thereof) wins the match. If the cage is lowered and the opponent avoids it, it will be reset by the ring crew while you knock each other around some more. The actual mechanism is up to you, and can bear as close or as distant a resemblance to the game as you like.
Word Limit: Uh... 5000? Whatever you need, really
Send To: Toxxic

Ahh, ice hockey. Nottingham has a fairly decent team by UK standards, which means they're about equivalent to a Canadian fourth-grade highschool team. Right next door (and I mean RIGHT next door) to the TrentFM Arena is the Nottingham Ice Arena, where teenagers go to flirt on Saturdays with bits of metal attached to their feet. However, on this Tuesday evening it will be hosting a very special event organised by the Nottingham Panthers. Now, any self-respecting team of Americans or Canadians who know one end of an ice skate from the other should be able to whip this lot.

Unfortunately, what we've got includes two Japanese, one Brit and a possible robot.

Five minutes of non-stop action involving twelve men, two nets and a puck. The winner is the team to score most goals. Anything approaching normal ice hockey rules has been suspended apart from that, although dropkicks are discouraged for obvious reasons.

And now, the teams!


Goal: Davis Parley
Defence: Danny Meyers, Corey Neilson
Wingers: Jade Galbraith, Robert Lachowicz
Centre Forward: Dan Tessier


Goal: 'The Japanese Hammer' TORU Takahara
Defence: The Galacticos (Landon 'La Cucaracha' Maddix and 'The Straight-Edge Sensation' Toxxic)
Wingers: Ghost Machine IV, Dance Dance Dragon
Centre Forward: JJ Johnson (hey, at least the Canadian might be able to skate)

Rules: Most goals in five minutes wins, other than that: nada.
Word Limit: Whatever we come up with.
Writing: Tom, Landon, me... anyone else fancy joining in?
Send To: Me, of course.

ANYONE ELSE WHO WANTS A MATCH, LET ME KNOW. Also, I'm in the mood for some more non-too-serious matches, like the Hell In The Sal. Anyone who wants something a bit silly that won't really effect anyone's standing in the fed, let me know.

Send all marked matches, promos etc to Toxxic

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JJ Johnson looks at Toxxic and Maddix.


"Aren't you guys a little undersized for defencemen?"


Toxxic and Maddix look at each other.


"Uh, I think we're a little unable to skate for defencemen," Landon points out. JJ shrugs. "Fine, just get the puck to me," he says, and walks away.


"Puck?" Landon asks Toxxic.


"A fairy in Midsummer Night's Dream," Toxxic assures him, then sighs. "Look, I was waiting for Tom to tell me the rules of this damn game. Do YOU know how it's played?"


"No," Landon admits.


"OK, we're screwed then."

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The cameras return to ringside in the Trent FM Arena, a welcome respite from the horrifying hockey escapade that opened the New Year's Party. “Welcome back to the Trent FM Arena for the first match of our card tonight!” Mak Francis says happily.


“We're of course using the word 'match' in its loosest sense,” the Suicide King grouses. “This had to be Maddix's idea to bring this fiasco back...and to put Michael Alexander into it! This is the grossest waste of talent! This is the kind of match you put sideshows like El Hombre Sin Nombre or Dance Dance Dragon into, not an actual wrestler!”


“Oh, King, stop complaining. You should relish this – it's the first meeting between the returning Thoth and Michael Alexander. We're going to see a recent World Champion go up against an SWF Hall of Famer.”


“Yes, but it's a freaking Mousetrap Match! For MANSON's sake, Francis, that's a children's game, not a wrestling match!”


Referee Matt Kivell is checking the cage drop catch above the ring as Funyon clambers up the steps. The big man raises the microphone to his lips for yet another moment in the spotlight. “Ladies and Gentleman, this will be a Mousetrap Match! The first person to drop the cage onto their opponent will be the winner!”




“Obviously these people are still recovering from New Years,” grumbles King.


A resounding bell heralds the beginning of “For Whom the Bell Tolls” by Metallica, and a video montage of Alexander’s previous in-ring exploits interwoven with a new branching double-helix fractal graphic. The montage has been updated to include bits that feature Toxxic, MANSON, and Insane Luchador. Blue and white strobes flicker in the arena, and as the guitar kicks in...




Alexander steps out onto the stage, and the flicker lighting stops dead. He gazes out over the crowd, smirks, and makes his way to the ring. The crowd responds in a predictable manner.




Michael, for his part, ignores them as he rolls into the ring and proceeds to his corner. He looks up at the Mousetrap cage mechanism and dubiously examines the various ringside implements to be used to activate it. His disgust is evident.


The nostalgic refrain of “The Touch” fills the arena as Thoth stomps out onto the stage. Nathaniel Kibagami staggers after him, waving to no one in particular. At one point Thoth has to start pulling Kibagami down the ramp, as the big man seems listless. The former Clan leader seems more than a little perturbed, but whether it's the match or his companion is impossible to guess.




Funyon stops tapping along with the song to continue. “And his opponent, from Kobe, Japan...weighing in at 251 lbs...THOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOTH!”


As Thoth climbs into the ring, he points angrily at his corner, and Kibagami happily leans on the ring apron beside the post, blissful ignorance plastered across his face. Thoth snarls something at him, and Kibagami stands up a little straighter for a few moments, then promptly slumps again when Thoth turns his attention to his opponent and the mousetrap mechanism.


“Looks like Nathaniel Kibagami is still out of it, despite Thoth's attempts to *-manage him,” Mak remarks.


“It's just weird, Francis. I mean, why keep bringing him out here to the ring...he was nothing but a liability against Taiga Star. He seems to be more of a distraction for Thoth than for Thoth's opponent. He's like the anti-manager or something.”


Michael Alexander glances at the slumped form of Kibagami dubiously. Thoth seems to be fuming, pointing at the cage hanging above the center of the ring and griping to Referee Kivell. He waves Thoth away as the final check is done on the cage drop mechanism. Funyon exits the ring as Matt Kivell asks both wrestlers if they are ready to go. The two men sneer at each other and nod their assent.




Alexander and Thoth circle each other warily. The two collide in a collar-and-elbow, and Michael takes the early advantage with a side headlock. He chains this in a quick takedown and grinds on the side headlock.


“Michael starts things out true to form, with some serious mat wrestling,” Mak observes. “This is not really Thoth's element.”


“Thoth's strong point is not technical expertise,” King agrees. “Michael's going to keep the upper hand unless Thoth changes things up.”


Thoth growls angrily and starts to force his way up. He struggles up to his feet and grabs Michael in a side waist lock, attempting to lift Alexander into a backdrop. Michael blocks this with a hook of his leg inside Thoth's own leg, drawing a snarl of frustration from the veteran. Alexander then uses the inside leg hook and the headlock to vicious effect, whipping Thoth down to the mat with a surprise Russian leg sweep. However, Michael isn't done – he rolls over, pulling a stunned Thoth with him and cinching in a modified crossface! Thoth's feet begin hitting the mat in anger and pain as he struggles.


“Wow! Thoth tried a classic backdrop counter to the headlock, but Michael blocked it and has locked Thoth into a Michael Alexander special!” Mak says, impressed.


“This is when Michael's at his most dangerous, Francis,” King comments. “Thoth is letting himself be drawn into Alexander's game - he's enough of a veteran to know that you don't arm-wrestle Bruner, you don't outfly Wildchild, and you don't try to go hold-for-hold with Michael Alexander.”


The veteran is not in this predicament long, however. Thoth deftly reaches up to his opponent's face and, with the impeccable instincts of the greatest of heels, pokes Michael right in the eye. Alexander snarls in surprise and pain, releasing the hold and rolling away.




King laughs. “That's what Thoth needs to do, Francis! Take Michael off his game, and capitalize on that.”


Mak groans. “As much as I dislike Alexander personally, I have to say that at least he tries to wrestle his matches and not resort to those kind of tactics.”


Meanwhile, on the outside of the ring, Kibagami is wandering around ringside, staring at the various implements that can or could be used for the activation mechanism. He takes a seat like a kid on the living room floor and begins cobbling some of the parts together. Thoth glances out of the ring for a moment and glares around until he sees his escort sitting Indian-style and taping things together. He growls at Kibagami, who seems too enthralled by his toys to notice.


“What is Kibagami doing over there?” King asks dubiously. “Should he be touching those?”


“I don't know, but there's nothing in the match rules that forbid him from working with the parts, but what is he going to build in his...ah...condition, King? That's the worrying part.” Mak frowns nervously. “And Thoth is letting Kibagami distract him again...he should be following up on his advantage.”


Michael Alexander blinks his eyes clear as Thoth is distracted by his escort issues. Thoth turns back to his opponent and is a little frustrated that Michael has recovered. The two circle again, and go in for another collar-and-elbow...or would have, had Thoth not planted a solid boot in his opponent's midsection. Alexander doubles over, and Thoth pulls him into a front facelock, following up by whipping his opponent to the mat with a snap suplex!


“And Thoth is keeping to a sound game plan now; he teased the lockup and suckered Alexander into a snap suplex,” King says.


“Now if he can just keep his mind on the match and not on Kibagami, he might get a victory here, which would be a great way for Thoth to start out the year,” Mak muses. “Both men are looking to redeem themselves somewhat after their losses at the CFC.”


The veteran gets back to his feet and pulls Alexander back to his feet, lifting him up spinebuster-style. Thoth then charges into the nearest corner, driving Michael into the turnbuckle hard enough to blast the air from his lungs. The former leader of the Clan then begins to methodically crack his opponent with elbows and knees, keeping him pinned in the corner. Alexander slumps in the corner and Thoth turns away nonchalantly, yelling at the crowd and also at the still-engrossed Kibagami.


“Now Thoth is working from his own playbook. He's dominating Alexander in the corner, where he can put his size and strength advantage to the best use,” Mak observes.


“If he keeps that up, Michael's definitely in trouble. But, Kibagami keeps being a distraction for him when he should be pummeling Alexander. What is Kibs doing now?” King raises an eyebrow as he glances toward the drug-addled powerhouse.


At this point, it looks like Thoth's escort has managed to completely tape or screw together a complicated series of pole sections, gears, and cranks that appears lengthy enough to reach the drop mechanism atop the cage. Thoth shakes his head and turns around to charge into the corner for a flying forearm smash. Unfortunately, a turnbuckle is the only thing he finds, as Alexander dodges out of the corner!


“Again, Kibagami proves to be more hindrance than help! Thoth's efforts to keep Kibs under control are distracting from winning this match,” King moans. “What the Hell is wrong with Kibs? And why does Thoth keep bringing the idiot out here?”


“The distraction is particularly problematic against a competitor like Alexander,” Mak adds. “Michael Alexander only needs one opening to lock on one of his submission holds, and even if he can't win this match by submission, he can still do some serious damage with them.”


Thoth staggers out of the corner slowly, still managing to stay on his feet. Michael quickly remedies that by hurling himself bodily into the back of Thoth's knee with a chopblock! The Japanese man collapses with a snarl of pain. Michael doesn't give him a chance to recover, though, as grabs Thoth's injured leg and snaps the knee briskly, hyperextending it. Alexander smiles as his opponent grunts in pain. His grin broadens into a rictus of wickedness as he steps over into a toehold, rolling forward with Thoths' knee bent into a scissor hold in what might be seen as a modified leg cradle, were it not for the incredibly painful angle at which this holds Thoth's leg and the fact that there are no pins in a Mousetrap match. Thoth snarls in tortured fury now, as Michael grabs the ankle of Thoth's scissored leg and begins pulling it further out of its normal range of motion.


“And this is what I was talking about, King! Just that quickly, one mistake, and Thoth is trapped in one of the Mad Scientist's experiments!”


“Right, Francis,” King agrees. “Kibs is like Thoth's self-inflicted Achilles' Heel! He keeps distracting him and that leaves an opening for Michael to capitalize on, which is never a good idea unless you enjoy physical therapy sessions.”


The maddened Clan leader again goes to the eyes, this time with both hands, raking his fingers across Michael's face. This has the desired effect, as Michael is forced to break the hold to deal with Thoth's assault. The two roll apart again, with Alexander blinking and rubbing his eyes and Thoth slapping and working his leg.




“Thoth goes to the eyes again,” Mak bemoans. “At least he's consistent.”


“Look, Francis, you do what you need to do. Thoth can't afford to take the time to wrestle his way out of a hold like that. And it's all legal in this match, as long as you drop the cage on your opponent, right?”


“Yes,” Mak groans. “Although 'match' might be a strong word for this.”


This time Michael comes barreling at Thoth, driving a series of forearms into his opponent. Thoth staggers back into the ropes. Alexander moves to follow up, and Thoth snaps up a foot. Michael gasps and drops to the mat, both hands cupping his nethers protectively. Matt Kivell glares at Thoth accusatorily, but Thoth shrugs and points to his midsection, then just smiles. Kivell huffs impotently.


“Now we're talking!” King hoots. “Finally, things are getting interesting!”


“Oh, for God's sake,” Mak covers his head. “I knew things were going to go downhill...”


Thoth takes the opportunity to drop a vicious elbow into Alexander's head and neck. He gets back to his feet and yells at Kibagami to get ready. Kibagami dutifully rises and begins to maneuver his contraption into position. It's a laborious process. Thoth drags Alexander back to his feet, poses with him for a second before snapmaring him back to the mat, holding him in a seated position. Thoth then bounces off the ropes and smashes his knee into the back of Alexander head! Michael rolls away, clutching the back of his head. Thoth spreads his arms to the crowd, which howls in response.




“It looks like Kibagami might actually be making himself useful for a change,” King says.


“I'll believe it when I see it,” mumbles Mak. “But, Thoth just drove a vicious knee into Alexander's head. If he can follow that up with a Riot of the Blood, it might not matter, because Michael will be out cold.”


Shrugging, Thoth turns his attention back to his opponent. He drags Michael back to his feet and hoists him onto his shoulder, poised for that fateful setup. At this point, unbeknownst to Thoth, the big man outside the ring, perhaps in anticipation, perhaps out of sheer inertia, has begun his contraption's progress toward activating the cage drop. Strange perambulations and odd, unwholesome movements begin as Kibagami turns his makeshift crank and tries to get it rolling. The weird process has begun. Meanwhile, Thoth smiles broadly as he starts to pull Michael Alexander, the upstart, into position for a move that has broken necks and careers. This time, however, Michael Alexander goes to the eyes. While his thumb to the eye lacks the decided finesse and poise of a Thoth's classic optical occlusion, it is nonetheless just as effective. Thoth snarls in surprise and pain, and Alexander wrenches his body out of Thoth's grip, dropping down behind his opponent. Seizing the opportunity, Michael lifts Thoth up quickly, spins and plants Thoth on the mat in the center of the ring with his Blue Thunder Driver!


“Holy Crap!” Mak exclaims. “Alexander squirmed out of the Riot of the Blood and he just planted Thoth with the Event Horizon!”


“Hey, does Kibs know he's not supposed to start the cage thing until Thoth actually hits the Riot of the Blood?” King asks unrhetorically.




During this quick exchange, none of the participants in the ring have noticed that Kibagami's contraption seems to have worked, as the cage begins to drop.... In response, the audience begins to stomp its feet.




Alexander rolls away, knowing that a pin is useless. He gets back up to his feet slowly, rubbing his head, it still throbbing from its unfortunate encounter with Thoth's knee. Thoth seems to be taking his time, knowing instinctively that a pin is no danger. He begins to sit up, rubbing the back of his head, it now aching from being the chief impact zone for Thoth's recent fall to the mat. Both men notice the falling cage at about the same time. Unfortunately, there not much either of them can do about it at this point.






“Kibagami just dropped the cage on Thoth!” King howls.


“Well, to be fair, he started the whole thing when Thoth was poised to drop Alexander with the Riot of the Blood,” Mak replies. “Of course, I doubt that's going to appease Thoth at all...”


Thoth face is painted with utter horror as he looks out through the gaudily painted bars of the small cage. Kibagami seems to be clapping to himself, apparently only seeing that his contraption worked. Michael Alexander looks at Thoth, the cage, then at Kibagami. He blinks in surprise and amazement until the referee grabs his hand and raises it.


Funyon blares over the sound system once again. “Here's your winner...MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIICHAEL AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAALEXAAAAAAAAAAAAAANDER!”






“Well, it looks like Alexander won this one, King. Although it might be more accurate to say that Thoth lost it with an assist from Kibs.”


“A win is a win in Michael's book,” King replies. “Maybe this will convince Thoth to shed the deadweight, though, and get back to his winning ways.”


Thoth struggles angrily to shrug off the cage and begins yelling shrilly at Kibagami, who looks perplexed to see his boss in the cage. The big man begins to clamber up into the ring. Alexander, deciding that even a Kibagami blitzed out of his mind is still dangerous, particularly when coupled with an angry Thoth, takes his leave. Michael rolls out of the ring and walks up the ramp, looking back at the spectacle in the ring as Kibagami is looking confused and abashed as Thoth alternates between berating Kibs and glaring angrily at the departing Alexander. Michael shakes his head dismissively and turns away.


“Well, the Moustrap has been sprung,” Mak snarks. “And Thoth was the mouse.”


“Well, Michael is at least starting things off in 2009 on the right foot,” King pipes cheerfully. “Maybe this marks the first step on his road to recovering the title?”


As the camera fades, Thoth can be seen stomping on Kibagami's mousetrap mechanism while the big man looks on blearily.



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“Monster” by the Automatic is already playing as the screen fades back into the ring. Big Panic is in the ring, trying to motivate the crowd into a chant.


“The following contest is scheduled for one fall,” says Funyon. “Currently in the ring, from the Ninth Circle of Hell, by way of Loughborough, England, and weighing three hundred twelve pounds… PANIC!” Panic appears to be his usual jovial self, unconcerned with whom he will be expected to face in the ring, happy instead just to be collecting a paycheck.


As the opening strains of Busta Rhymes’ “Call the Ambulance” would prove, however, signing an open contract isn’t exactly the smartest thing one can do, as an angry Tracy Bruner storms down to the ring, barely restrained by his manager.


“His opponent,” says Funyon, “being accompanied by Sir Marvelous, from the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, in New York City, weighing four hundred fifty-five pounds… BIG Bully BRUUUUUNER!”


“Mak Francis back here with the Suicide King,” says Mak, “as Mister Bruner makes his way down to ringside for a one-on-one match with Panic. King, I wouldn’t want to be the guy standing in the ring against Bruner, with the mood he’s in!”


“Well, 2008, which was looking to be very promising for Mister Bruner around the summertime, ended on a very low note for him,” says King. “He had a very disappointing December, suffering what many people considered to be an upset in the Cold Front Classic against Michael Alexander, despite the fact that Alexander is a former World’s Heavyweight Champion. Obviously, he’s in a very bad mood, and he’s going to be looking to get the bad taste of 2008 out of his mouth, here in the New Year. And, unfortunately, that’s probably going to come at Panic’s expense.”


“I tell you what,” says Mak, as Bruner walks up the steel steps to the apron, “I can’t see Bruner’s eyes, and I’m not sure I’d want to right now, but I’d have to be pretty hard up for money to sign an open contract with a guy like Bruner even on the roster!” Bruner steps over the ropes to enter the ring, and removes his jacket and fedora, handing them over the top rope to Sir Marvelous, as “Call the Ambulance” fades out. Referee Matthew Kivell motions to the timekeeper to ring the bell, signifying the start of the match:






“Bell’s gone,” shouts Mak, “and we’re underway!” Panic and Bruner lock up in the center of the ring for a collar-and-elbow tie-up, but Bruner quickly shifts into a side-headlock and, while the referee’s vision is obscured, jams the flat of his hand into Panic’s throat! The Bully then punches the jolly Brit in the midsection to double him over, before delivering a sequence of punishing axe-handle blows that drop Panic to one knee; once he has his opponent to a knee, Bruner cranks the intensity up another notch, clasping his hands together and bringing them down repeatedly to the back of Panic’s head with clubbing double axe-handle blows that quickly leave him flat on the canvas!


“Whoa!” shouts Mak. “Mister Bruner wasting no time making Panic sing for his supper!” Bruner runs to the edge of the ring, picking up speed as he bounces off the ropes, and leaps into the air to deliver a devastating elbowdrop…






… But his elbow smashes against the canvas as Panic rolls out of the way! The Jolly Brit rolls to his knees and quickly charges towards Bruner on all fours, colliding into his with a crawling headbutt!


“Shades of the Junkyard Dog!” shouts Mak, as another such headbutt sends Bruner rolling over to the edge of the ring, “and Panic finding a little offense of his own!” Panic pulls himself to his feet to give chase; Panic meets up with Bruner as the Bully is using the ropes to pull himself back to his feet, and tries to keep him off balance with a few axe-handle blows of his own. He then follows up with a few standing headbutts as Bruner continues to rise, and then a rake of the eyes, before grabbing him by the wrist and whipping him across the ring.






Bruner reverses the whip, however, and runs Panic over as he bounces off the ropes with a Vader-esque running body-block!


“Well, give Panic credit for not backing down from Mister Bruner,” says King, “and he’s a big guy in his own right, but Bruner’s just on another level right now!” Bruner runs across the ring as Panic is getting to his feet, and levels him with a clothesline that sends him over the top rope and down to the arena floor! Bruner steps over the top rope onto the apron, and then drops down to the arena floor; he pulls Panic to his feet as the referee begins his count, and pushes him back-first against the hard steel edge of the ring apron! He pulls Panic away from the edge, only to throw him back into it several more times. Bruner then rolls underneath the bottom rope, and back onto the floor, to interrupt the referee’s count.


“Man,” reflects Mak, as the Bully drives his knees repeatedly into Panic’s midsection, “Bruner must be some kind of mad; it looks like he wants to inflict as much punishment as he can on Panic out there.” Bruner grabs Panic by the back of the head and leads him over to the corner of the ring, before smashing him headfirst into the solid-steel ringpost! He then grabs him by the wrist and whips him across the arena floor, sending him crashing into the ring steps! Bruner returns to the inside of the ring, and then deliberately interferes with referee Kivell’s count, forcing him to start again. Bruner sidles over towards the edge of the ring, and drops into a low crouch as Panic wearily pulls himself back onto the apron; the Jolly Brit meanders between the top and middle ropes to enter the ring…






And Bruner rushes across the ring to blast Panic in the side of the head with a running kneelift! Panic falls inside the ring, and Bruner kicks him until he rolls his head underneath the bottom rope. At that point, the Bully steps onto the bottom rope, using his immense weight to press the bottom rope against Panic’s throat!


“This is a mugging!” cries Mak, as Kivell begins to administer a five-count. “Bruner’s choking Panic with the ropes!” Panic flails his feet impotently, as he fights to remain conscious.


“You need to relax, Francis,” replies King, as Bruner takes his foot off the bottom rope just short of the five-count, only to press his foot back down immediately after. “He’s got until five to break… and there you go, breaking with plenty of time!”


“Yeah, but he went back and did it again!” complains Mak, as Bruner lifts his foot ahead of a second five-count, only to drop it back down again. Bruner raises his foot again, this time at a count of two, only to jump off his other foot, using the top rope to guide him as he crashes down onto Panic’s chest cavity!


“I tell you what,” says King, as Bruner pulls Panic back to his feet, “if I were Panic, I think I’d take a countout right about now; I mean, he’d end up going home with the loser’s share of the purse, but that was probably going to happen, anyway! I just can’t see him being able to be a match for Mister Bruner, with the determination that he’s showing here tonight!” Bruner leads Panic over to a nearby corner and props him up against the turnbuckles; the Bully rears back and delivers and open-handed slap to Panic’s chest with his skillet-like hands! The sound reverberates like a gunshot throughout the arena!






Bruner hits Panic with another slap, and then grabs him by the wrist to whip him across the ring; Panic crashes hard into the turnbuckles, but sees Bruner charging towards him, and somehow has the presence of mind to duck out of the way of a running avalanche splash, and roll Bruner up from behind into a schoolboy pin!













Bruner easily kicks out at two but, as he rolls over to his knees, the Jolly Brit stuns him with another crawling headbutt!


“Don’t count Panic out yet!” shouts Mak, as Panic gets to his feet. “He’s got Bruner off balance right now; this is the perfect opportunity for him to string together a couple of moves, and maybe even go for a finishing hold!” Panic runs across the ring as Bruner gets to his feet, picking up speed as he bounces off the ropes…






… But the Bully snatches him out of the air with a bearhug, and brings whatever comeback Panic may have been mounting to an abrupt end with a spinebuster slam! Bruner grabs Panic by the wrist and drags him over to a neutral corner; he then pulls him to his feet, before scooping him up for a slam! Bruner then eases himself up the turnbuckles to settle on the middle ropes.


“Mister Bruner looks like he’s getting ready to go for that legdrop!” shouts Mak.


“Well, if he hits it,” says King, “it’s going to be tough luck for Panic!” Bruner leaps from the second rope, leg extended to deliver the legdrop, but crashes into the canvas as Panic rolls just out of reach!






“He missed it!” shouts King, as Panic crawls over to apply a lateral press:










“We could have a big upset here!” shouts Mak.










Bruner kicks out forcefully at two, and Panic rolls underneath the bottom rope to the apron. “Not quite,” remarks Francis. “Did you see the ease with which Mister Bruner kicked out of that?”


“Definitely,” agrees King, as both men get to their feet. “He was at least four feet away from a pin there.” Bruner reaches over the top rope to grab a hold of Panic, but the Jolly Brit grabs him by the back of the head with both hands and falls off the apron, clotheslining Bruner on the top rope! Panic scrambles back up to the apron, as quickly as he can, and grabs onto the top rope, using it to propel himself into the ring and onto Bruner with a slingshot splash!













Bruner kicks out at two! Panic tries to keep the Bully off balance with a series of hard right hands to the side of the head.


“Interesting slingshot move there by Panic,” notes Mak, as Panic backs Bruner against the edge of the ring. “Makes me wonder whether he’s been studying any old Bam Bam Bigelow tapes.” Panic grabs Bruner by the wrist and whips him across the ring, only for the Bully to reverse it on him; he lowers his head to deliver a back-bodydrop as Panic bounces off the ropes…






… And the Jolly Brit makes him pay for it with a hard elbow to the back of the head! Bruner stands up wearily as Panic rushes to the ropes and blasts the Bully in the forehead with a running Bionic Elbow! Bruner staggers and falls backwards, only to bounce off the ropes and back to a vertical base, before dropping to a knee!






“That was a stroke of luck for Mister Bruner,” shouts Mak, as Panic slaps his thigh. “The ropes saved him from going into the fifth row! And now Panic is giving the sign for that patented running leg lariat!” Panic runs past Bruner, bouncing off the ropes, and then picks up enough speed as he rebounds a second time to lift off the canvas to deliver Don’t Lose Your Head!









… But the mammoth enforcer of the New York Connection snaps out of his daze and grabs the three hundred-pounder out of the air, muscling him up into a powerbomb position, and spiking him down to the canvas with so much force that referee Kivell loses his footing, and falls backwards onto his posterior!



“Good Grief!” exclaims Mak, as the crowd collectively gasps in awe. “I think the ring just dropped an inch lower!”


“That was just brute strength, Francis,” adds an amazed King, as the Bully drags Panic over to the corner. “Bruner didn’t have any leverage at all; he just caught a three hundred pound man out of the air, and drove him into the canvas, almost like it was nothing!”


“And now, Bruner’s headed to the top rope,” says Mak, as Bruner steadies himself against the top turnbuckle. “Here comes the avalanche!”










Kivell just barely avoids falling again as Bruner dives down into the ring to crush Panic with the top rope splash! He remains atop his flattened foe as Kivell counts the pinfall:


























“Call the Ambulance” begins to play again, as Bruner gets to his feet; Kivell goes to raise his hand in victory, but the Bully scares him off, waiting instead for Sir Marvelous to make his way into the ring to do it.


“Another impressive win for Mister Bruner,” says Mak, “as he gets 2009 off to a good start; let’s go to Funyon for the official word!”



“Here is your winner,” booms Funyon, “BIIIIIG Bully BRUUUUUNER!”


“Mister Bruner doing away with Panic, and making it look relatively easy!” says Mak. “We need to take a break to check the structural integrity of the ring, and then we’ll be right back with more action!”



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“SWF fanatics and Sal regulars alike, you’re in for a treat,” DJ Dave announces over some generic music. “We’re about to see a brawl!”


About two dozen people cheer, most of who look aware and interested in SWF’s happenings. Otherwise, tables are filled with hardened veterans of a good brew and karaoke-crazed cranks. “Thunderstruck” by ACDC brings most of the mixed crowd to a common chant. Luke Breslin, all by his lonesome, stands from his seat at a table towards a back corner. He walks to the DJ booth, passing the entrance he’s supposed to use.


“There’s Luke Breslin. He’s one-half of the Tag Champions. But I don’t blame him for keeping his gold out of a place like this.”


Luke wears a form-fitting black t-shirt and a pair of stonewashed jeans. He walks over to the bar and knocks on it twice, wording an order to the bartender. Meanwhile, Savage’s music takes over the bar. Aside from a few diehard Va’aiga fans, the music confuses most of the patrons. They look at Va’aiga mostly out of curiosity. He emerges from the corridor beside the DJ booth, wearing his boxer’s robe over his newest t-shirt and a pair of black pants.


“This is… Vaaaay-gah… Toypo… Twoypel… fuck it, I don’t get paid enough for this. He’s the World Champion and not the kind of guy you’d mess with at a bar. And I think Luke over there at the bar has the same feeling, huh mate?”


Luke salutes DJ Dave with a vodka shot that goes down the gullet in a flash. Luke grimaces while he watches Va’aiga disrobe. Va’aiga gets most of the SWF fans behind him by giving some Shaka signs and shouting “BOO-YAH!” Luke looks on with a bit of indifference, unsure how to approach the big man.


“And I’ll be enjoying this just as much as all of you here. Because I’m not a play-by-play guy. And I love me a good fight. Uh… ding dong.”


Va’aiga takes a couple of menacing steps towards Luke. Luke holds up a hand in the internationally known fashion of “STOP” (I think that’s internationally known). Va’aiga watches curiously as Luke takes a step backwards to the bar and knocks it again. The barkeep is quick to pour another shot and hand it to Luke, who grabs it blindly behind him and shoots it down. He puts the glass down and shakes his head wildly, smacking himself in the face a couple of times. Looking fully aware and determined, he moves towards Va’aiga. The Maori Badass does the same, and meets Luke with a knife-edge chop that still sends a stinging slap through Luke’s shirt. A second one causes Luke to backtrack. He moves to the right, behind a table. Va’aiga stands across from him and swings very deliberately at Luke. Luke is able to back away from the hook thanks to the distance caused by the table. Luke backs up and lifts a leg, his foot finding the table’s edge and shoving it forward. It connects with Va’aiga’s upper thighs. It causes him to bend over just enough for Luke to grab his head and pull it down, smashing Va’aiga’s face into the wooden surface.


“She’s a good girl… loves her mama… loves Jesus… and America, too… she’s a good girl, crazy ‘bout Elvis… loves horses… and her boyfriend, too.”


Luke looks up at the karaoke stage to see a bumbling SWF fan starting Tom Petty’s “Free Falling.” Along with his SWF shirt, he also wears a Dallas Cowboys’ hat.


“DALLAS SUCKS!” Luke yells while the singer belts “freeee faaaallliiiin’”


It distracts the singer enough to make him fumble some. Parts of the crowd get a laugh out of Luke’s openness and disrespect for the brave singer. Va’aiga simply pulls his face away from the table he just ate and explodes with an uppercut that sends Luke stumbling backwards. He falls conveniently into a chair a few feet behind him. Va’aiga tosses the table in front of him aside. He runs the few feet necessary to connect his Yakuza kick with Luke’s face. Luke and the chair fall backwards, and he rolls out of it and ends up on his stomach.


“BOO-YAH!” Va’aiga yells, pointing at the singer finishing up on stage and some of his other fans.


Luke is slow to pull himself up. But when he does, he moves to the side of the bar and hurries the bartender over, another shot in hand. Luke takes it quickly and throws the glass at a rushing Va’aiga. It bounces casually off the big man’s chest and breaks on the ground. Va’aiga grabs Luke’s head and connects it with his own. The headbutt throws Luke off balance. Va’aiga kicks him in the gut. He wraps one arm around Luke’s neck and drops with a DDT. The sacrifice of Va’aiga’s back seems inconsequential as he stands immediately after the move and pulls Luke up with him.


A softer, perhaps unfitting, tune fills The Sal. “Imagine there’s no heaven… it’s easy if you try… no hell below us… above us only sky… imagine all the people… living for todaaaaay—I-hahhh”

Va’aiga only stares at the meek, freckled, 20-something singer. He looks confused by the peace-loving lyrics that only seem to demote his savageness. Still, Va’aiga lifts Luke up in a slam position, turns around, and finds another table to dump him onto. The table breaks upon impact and Luke falls through onto the floor, the second landing just as hard as the first.


“Imagine all the people, living life in peeeeace—BOO-YAH!” Va’aiga interrupts as loudly as he can, stopping the singer. The boy puts his microphone down after locking eyes with the Maori Badass and the song ends with no voice to accompany it. Most everyone’s eyes are on Va’aiga as he watches Luke crawl out of the table rubbish and try to get to his feet. Va’aiga stalks him and grabs an arm, helping him up. He whips Luke across the small area they’ve cleared. Luke’s back slams against a hard bar edge instead of a set of giving ropes. He screams in pain and grabs at his spine.


“Another, ‘keep!” Luke yells out of nowhere and tilts his head back. The bartender looks curiously at the situation before noticing Luke’s open mouth. He pours the shot from the glass into Luke’s mouth and watches him swallow it. Va’aiga grunts and runs full speed at Luke. He jumps up, looking to connect with a splash, but Luke cunningly evades. Va’aiga’s midsection lands on the bar edge, knocking the breath out of him and sending his chest and face into the hard surface.


Luke rolls over the bar and ends up behind it, directly in front of Va’aiga. The bartender smartly moves out of the way. There is a long rack of wine glasses hung upside down behind Luke. He lifts both hands up and finds them without looking. With his right hand first, he delivers one across Va’aiga’s skull. The glass shatters, followed by a glass from the left hand. The right hand finds another glass and repeats, followed by the left. Shards of glass sit on Va’aiga’s head, and the blood begins to flow off of him and onto the bar. Glass bloodies Luke’s hands just the same. The glasses finally run out and Luke has a surprising look of barbarism on his face. Such uncharacteristic behavior is marked by heavy breathing, his chest heaving up and down. He rips his shirt off and throws it, turning to the bartender and giving him a menacing look.


Another shot is soon inside Luke. Va’aiga slides off the bar and ends up on his knees in front if it. His hands on his head, he feels the damage and assesses the situation. Luke walks around the bar and moves towards the fallen Maori Badass. Va’aiga charges forward, head first, sending his skull directly into Luke’s belly. The blood leaves a mark on Luke’s stomach as he struggles for air. Va’aiga stands and grabs a stool on the way. He holds it over his head and slams it down across Luke’s back. Luke falls onto the ground. Va’aiga stands over him and lets a few drops of blood fall onto Luke.


Va’aiga pulls him up for more punishment. He moves Luke towards a table and turns his back to it. Va’aiga situates himself behind Luke and wraps his arms around his waist. Luke pulls out the most desperate of desperation moves and stomps Va’aiga’s foot with all his might. It causes Va’aiga to grimace and hesitate just enough for Luke to send a couple of elbows backwards into his face. Va’aiga releases his hold. Luke turns and gets a few punches in for good measure. He then grabs Va’aiga’s lower half and lifts him with a mighty yell. The sudden and sloppy spinebuster still sends Va’aiga through the table.


All of the crowd’s attention is now on the two men. Luke drops onto Va’aiga in the middle of the mess, looking for a pin. The ubiquitous referee, yet to be mentioned, suddenly appears and drops onto the floor. He counts to two, and then Va’aiga kicks out. Surprised? Luke crawls out of the wreckage and stumbles backwards a bit. He ends up at the bar again. The bartender places a shot glass down, but before he can pour, Luke snatches the bottle from his hand and takes a few swigs from it himself. He puts the bottle down with a thud and walks towards the recovering Va’aiga.


“Careful there, mate, that’s some top-shelf vodka. And if you’re having matches here, I don’t know how much they’re able to pay you,” DJ Dave intervenes.


Luke stops dead in his tracks. He looks a little disoriented. His eyes finally find DJ Dave, and he raises his middle finger. “Get mah shong ready, DEE-JAY!” Luke mumbles and stumbles. He moves over to Va’aiga, and at a much slower and less fluid pace, turns and attempts to hit Thunderstruck. Va’aiga shoves him forward before he can drop.


“I’ll just keep that song on hold, I s’pose.”


Luke finds himself leaning up against the bar. When he turns, Va’aiga rushes at him. The Maori bends and sends his skull into Luke’s chest, the brutish and calculated headbutt enough to send Luke’s body up onto the bar. Va’aiga climbs onto the bar. He stands Luke up and lifts him into a powerslam position. Va’aiga holds him in place and then drops, his 350-pound mass crushing Luke. The Maori Drop on the bar’s rich, sturdy wood crushes the life out of Luke. Va’aiga stays on top. The referee, for once, is able to stand. He relaxes against the bar and slaps it once… twice… not quite three times! Luke’s escape prompts Va’aiga to pull off Luke and turn him over onto his stomach. Va’aiga grabs Luke’s hair and his waistband. The obligatory bar slide sends Luke over full and empty glasses and bottles, knocking them off or bringing them with him, scratching and cutting his exposed upper half. Va’aiga’s frame takes down any stools in his way. The mess only falls onto the floor when Va’aiga comes to the end of the bar and keeps moving enough to ensure that Luke flies off the bar at top speed and crashes into a cache of wooden chairs, one of which shatters under his weight.


“That’s one cliché I don’t want to be on the receiving end of,” DJ Dave quips.


Va’aiga grabs Luke and pulls him to his feet, forcing him to an open area of the pub just in front of the stage. He locks his hands around Luke’s midsection and pulls him up and over with a German suplex. The hold stays locked as Va’aiga pulls Luke to his feet. He transitions to a dragon suplex that is executed just as flawlessly as the first. Somehow, even on the hard, unforgiving surface, Va’aiga is able to keep the hold locked and pull Luke up again. The Swiss suplex is locked and performed to complete the trifecta. Va’aiga drops for the pin attempt. The referee follows. ONE! TWO! THREE! No, not quite!


“Must be some cracks in the floor after all that. Poor drunks downstairs are probably out of their wits,” DJ Dave inserts himself again.


Va’aiga stands. Luke… laughs. It’s a quiet, nearly inaudible chuckle at first. But it evolves into a bellowing, hearty laughter that confuses the crowd. Luke remains on his back, rolling around and laughing. “I need THREE shots after that. Where’s that big-haired man!?” Luke lets out between laughs while he gets to all fours, then his knees, then his feet. Luke motions to the bar. “May I, Mr. Toypluto?” The slight only serves to contort Va’aiga’s face into a more furious glare. Indeed, the heavy thuds and commotion has brought another crowd from downstairs into the upstairs area. They surround the two men, and the circle they stand in becomes slightly smaller as the crowd becomes denser. The bartender’s hair serves as a buffer to get through the crowd with Luke’s vodka. He hands it to Luke. The bottle goes from just over half-full to just under half-empty. Talk about pessimism.


“Here’s one for you, Vanguh!” Luke shouts as he pours about a shot’s worth of vodka onto the floor. “The D.A.R.E. program in New Zealand must’ve been top-notch! Fuckin’ Lord of the Rings, too, man… good shit. Ents in New Zealand, who knew?”


Luke’s rambling causes Va’aiga to suddenly explode. Luke ducks under the impending lariat and the two turn simultaneously. He catches him in the gut with a kick and wraps his free arm around Va’aiga’s neck. He falls backwards and takes Va’aiga down with a snap DDT that smashes the head into the hard ground. The hand that holds the vodka remains high off the ground to prevent damage. The delicate yet impactful move gives Luke the opportunity to get to his feet, take another swig or two of vodka, and hand the bottle back to the bartender. Luke looks around at the crowd and spots a table a couple of rows back. He shoves the onlookers out of the way and climbs on top. Va’aiga gets to his feet, unaware of Luke’s location. He soon turns and catches a glimpse of Luke flying off a table, arm extended to catch Va’aiga’s neck with a flying clothesline that knocks the big man off his feet. Luke rolls out of the flight and bounces into the other side of the crowd. These onlookers give Luke a shove that increases his run towards Va’aiga’s fallen body. Luke jumps and drops a knee onto Va’aiga’s skull. He rolls on top of Va’aiga and hooks a leg. Somewhere from the crowd, that essential referee emerges and drops down. ONE! TWO! TH—Va’aiga tosses Luke off with a strong shove. Luke rolls a bit on the ground and begins getting to his feet, stumbling more thanks to the onset of his drunkenness.


“I got this, guys! I GOT THIS!” Luke yells triumphantly.


Va’aiga is on his feet at around the same time as Luke. Luke moves in and swings wildly. Va’aiga is able to block it with ease. The arm is thrown down and Luke is left defenseless to Va’aiga’s left jab. “ONE!” a handful of onlookers yells. The second jab elicits a louder, more boisterous “TWO!”from the crowd. Va’aiga kisses his fist. Some of the crowd lets out the “oooooooAAAAAA!” The big right hook draws out a combination of “BOO-YAH!” and “HOLY SHIT!” as Luke falls to the ground in a flash. His heaping mess of a body, bloody and mangled, is covered by Va’aiga. The crowd lets out another “ONE! TWO!” but is stopped short when Luke’s shoulder jerks off the floor just enough to stop the count.


Va’aiga brings Luke up with him. He pulls the Tag Champion through the small crowd and emerges just in front of the stage. A few punches knock Luke down so that he is hunched on the floor, his back against the stage. Va’aiga stomps Luke’s chest and midsection a few times to ensure he stays down. After taking a few steps back, Va’aiga rushes forward and sends a knee into Luke’s face. The back of his head smashes against the stage. Va’aiga grabs him by the hair and pulls him up, rolling him onto the stage and stepping up himself. Luke attempts to get to his feet on his own, but his stumbling drunkenness slows him. Va’aiga grabs Luke and bends him over, sticking his head between his massive thighs. He locks his hands underneath Luke and hoists him up onto his shoulders for a powerbomb. Va’aiga situates himself so that he stands just at the edge of the stage.


“This will kill a man,” DJ Dave says. “DO IT!”


Luke begins pounding at the top of Va’aiga’s head, aiming for the cuts made by glass earlier. The blood begins flowing more freely as Va’aiga loses his focus and stumbles backwards, tripping up and falling onto his back, Luke’s weight landing on his chest. Luke lifts his right hand high above his head and yells “How high can drunks count?!” He slurs his words a bit, but nonetheless starts the barrage of fists into Va’aiga’s face and skull. The crowd gets to thirteen when Luke decides to relent. He climbs off Va’aiga and indicates to the nearby bartender to hand him his vodka. Luke takes two swigs, then a short break, then another two swigs. His face puckers and he places the bottle on the stage. He grabs a fistful of Va’aiga’s hair. He pulls the Maori Badass to his feet and lets him stand. Va’aiga is just able to steady himself, but he is quickly taken down by a charging Luke who catches him with a sudden, spinning snap neckbreaker. Luke gets to his knees, then his feet. He stumbles backwards and to the left, barely able to stay up. The quickness of the neckbreaker has sent him into a swirling drunkenness. Soon, he’s bent over, his hands on his knees.


“Is the room spinning yet, mate!?” DJ Dave says.


Luke stands, still stumbling a bit, but staying mostly in the same spot. He flips the bird at DJ Dave again. Some of the crowd begins to boo Luke’s drunken stupor and disrespect for DJ Dave.


“Cheers to you, too!” DJ Dave responds. He is aware, unlike Luke, of Va’aiga’s quick recovery. Luke turns and, suddenly looking poised and ready, ducks Va’aiga’s fully-charged Lariat. Va’aiga turns around and gets a kick to the gut. Luke’s drunken look has turned to one of determination and calculation. He turns and grabs Va’aiga’s neck while dropping, delivering a quick Thunderstruck that puts Va’aiga onto his back with perhaps the loudest thud of the night.


“Play my music, DJ,” Luke announces sternly. “Looks like you could use some water, Va’aiga.” Luke dumps the remaining liquid from his bottle over Va’aiga, and then bends down, slamming the bottle over Va’aiga’s forehead, the glass shattering into his hand and his opponent’s skull. Even more blood begins to spill onto the stage as Luke rolls onto Va’aiga for the pin. The referee slides onto the stage. ONE! TWO! THREE!


“Thunderstruck” fills the bar. Luke stands up, looking slightly worn, but fully attentive. He climbs off the stage and walks through the mostly silenced crowd. Luke slips a hand into his pocket and pulls out a crisp $100, handing it to the bartender and giving him an approving nod. The bartender puts the bill in his pocket and makes his way back behind the bar. Luke makes his way towards the stairs. “My limo better be waiting outside this dive,” he says as he descends to the downstairs area. Va’aiga is sitting up on the stage, the referee checking on him. He wears a disgruntled look as he wipes some of the blood off while it slides down his face. The scene from The Sal fades.

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The feed comes back to Nottingham, England, when the house lights grow dim, while the rumbling of an imminent storm shakes the Trent FM Arena and smoke rises from the stage. The crowd rises to their feet and ‘God is God’ by Juno Reactor soon begins while strobes begin to pulse and spotlights roam the arena. However, boos and hisses from the crowd soon overtake the arena as James Matheson enters the arena, followed behind by the shrouded Manson, who begin to make their way down the ramp.


“Here come Manson and the nefarious James Matheson, absent from the SWF for nearly two years, who put one over on Dance Dance Dragon at Night One of the Cold Front Classic!”


“It was a hell of a surprise seeing him not only in Manson’s corner but sticking it to that dancing fool in order to move Manson ahead in the tournament.”


Matheson heads up the steps and enters the ring, microphone and Halliburton briefcase in hand, and stretches out his arms, celebrating his return to the SWF, while the crowd showers him with even more jeers. Manson climbs up onto the apron a moment later and after Matheson sets down his briefcase, he moves over to hold the ropes open for his client’s entry. Manson enters, exchanging glances with Matheson and after looking over the crowd, who respond with insults and boos of their own, retreats to the upper-right corner of the ring, where he drops down and lays back against the bottom turnbuckle.


“I only hope they offer some reasonable explanation for what they’ve done to Dance Dance Dragon recently, but if there’s any consolation, it’s that Manson went no further than the second round versus Taiga, albeit losing in a similarly wicked scheme.”


“You should be glad you’re getting anything. He owes no one.”


Meanwhile, Matheson, now sporting a dark-hued suit to match Manson, allows the crowd to settle, before raising the mic to his lips.


“It’s been a while, hasn’t it?” he asks to more frothing from the crowd. “And I have to say I’ve really… really missed this place…”


“Well, I wish that was the case, but that would be a lie. Still, there’s nothing like the SWF atmosphere… the stage and lights, the large crowds, the jam packed stadiums and arenas, at least forty thousand in all every single night, all the world watching everything you do… or, at least, that’s the way it used to be.


“First, let me reintroduce myself. I’m James Matheson, one of the greatest tactical minds of this generation, Manager of Champions and Seer to the Stars. SWF greats like Tom Flesher and Charlie Matthews have used my knowledge to become better, faster, stronger, and because of that, I’ve also been called one of the best in my field. Frankly, it’s hard to refuse those accolates, because while talented enough on their own, it’s because of me that they reached the heights they did”


“However, in spite of my talents, the SWF isn’t grateful for my contributions. They’ve failed to utilize me and have instead paired me with jokes like Matt Myers! Meanwhile, the SWF… since the time I’ve been here has gone from media hubs and world renown venues to… well, Nottingham. And we still bleed money and lose the respect of the wrestling world at large. This once great organization is a shell of what it once was and it’s because of them that I’m not what I once was!”


“It’s clear the train ran off the tracks at some point… something went wrong somewhere. Now instead of being known for Matthews and Flesher I’m known for being second fiddle to curtain jerkers and comedy acts… which brings me to Dance Dance Dragon. The reason, Dragon, why you’ve seen your life turned into a living hell is because you’re one of the men I have a grudge against! It was one of those things that went unreported, but I’ve had my chance with you, if you remember, Dragon.”


“When the SWF called way back and said they wanted to bring me back and put a hot talent in my hands, when I asked who, they gave me a video. Once they called back, having seen that video seven, eight times, I couldn’t see what they did. So I said ‘To hell with Dance Dance Whatever, and to hell with you, SWF! I’m still a man with pride and a soul that I wouldn’t sell again! I’m better than this!’”


“Not setting foot in the SWF for so long and then being hit with another request like that made me sick to my stomach. THAT was the last straw. So while I searched for someone else to take under my wing, a light came down and changed my life forever. It was HIM, sitting over there, that made me turn around and come back! He’s my new client! MANSON!” he shouts fervently, as he turns and points toward Manson, still sitting quietly in the corner.


“What?” says Mak, interjecting. “It’s a vague situation, but this is what brought them together?!”


“While I was at the end of my rope, down on my luck, it was Manson himself to came to me this past summer and said that he needed me to serve at his side. He needed me for what I brought to the table and he realized. He and I… we have the same ideals, the same goals and philosophies, and we both know what has to be done here. It’s just what I thought when searching for my new protégé. Manson of the Slaughterhouse, the Savage Messiah, who’ll take charge this barren land, so that we may all change for the better! Together we’ll burn the SWF for everything they’ve done to us and our similarly maligned brethren, thus instigating the change necessary for the SWF…”


“Oh, he’s found his true, righteous path once more, and although it’s a radical solution, it’s something that needs to be done, Mak.”


“I don’t know if I’d go to such extremes, but if it’s Matheson, he could surely help Manson do it.”


“See, it’s Manson, through a storm of chaos and destruction, and with my guiding hand, that’ll grab the SWF by the throat once more! Of course, it’ll all begin with Dance Dance Dragon, who hasn’t even seen the last of his suffering, not by a long shot! Bringing the SWF in line and under Manson’s rule begins with you!”


“You’re the enemy, Dragon, albeit one of many. We’re drawing a big ol’ bullseye right on your back, but you definitely won’t be the last. We’ve both got a list of grudges and vendettas a mile long to shoot through, so be grateful that we chose you first! You’re the first casualty here… the beginning wave of a tsunami that’ll either accomplish in the SWF what should’ve been done long ago, bringing it together under Manson’s rule… or washing it off the face of the Earth… because either way is just fine and dandy with us.”


“Dragon! Either by breaking your spirit or your back, whatever happens, it’s because of your suffering that a shift in our climate will begin, one that’ll either force the SWF to stand under one or cause it be decimated. So, come to us, bow down, resign yourself to fate and be crushed underfoot, or fight against the coming tide, fail and die on your feet. Manson and I are fine with either one, really, but I’m telling you to make a choice soon, before we take the initiative and find you first,” he says, menacingly, “and Dragon, make no mistake, you won’t like the consequences if we have to come looking for you first.”


“It’s a word of warning to Dance Dance Dragon and the SWF!” shouts Mak, as Matheson drops the mic, also bending down to lift his briefcase, before Manson stands and the two leave the ring. “Either come to us or suffer a fate worse than death! Moreover, it seems Matheson’s misplaced grudge has led us to this point.”


“Dragon is the emodiment of all of Matheson’s hatred, but it may as well be the entirety of the SWF. However, everything you heard was straight from Manson’s mouth, there’s no doubt about that, he’s the one who laid down the gauntlet. The question is what Manson has to gain out of beating the hell out of Dance Dance Dragon besides instituting ‘change.’”


“He could just be looking for a fight, knowing the way he is, but the way we heard it, it could be Matheson’s own grudge driving this madness. Or, at least, giving Manson more reason to do all this. Still, he’s promised to be swift, brutal and indiscriminate in what he does from here. However, we’ll have to see to it later, because it’s time to move on with the rest of the show, right after this!”

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"Ladies and gentlemen, it's now time for our MAIN EVENT of the evening!" declares ring announcer Funyon, who is then instructed through his earpiece to remain quiet.


The silence allows for Hole's Be A Man to fire up on the speakers. Just as the lights dim and the usual accompaniments of purple lasers fill the arena, this allows the usually jovial Taiga Star to step through the curtains with a slightly more determined expression than usual. These are, after all, large odds that loom ahead. Noticeably conspicuous by his absence is her associate El Gordo; who seems to remain backstage for the time being. The people of Nottingham appear to be split on their reactions to the Hardcore Princess clad in her finest tank top and camos, but her mindset is in an entirely different timezone. Her focus is on the ring that sits several feet in front of her. With a mighty heave, her Cruiserweight championship belt is tossed high in the air and lands in the ring with a thunk and a bounce, where both referee and announcer were smart enough to step aside in time. Having stopped at the ringside area for an extra second, she uses this time to go through a brief breathing exercise. Mentally preparing herself, she uses the surging intensity to power-walk the remaining few steps and roll herself underneath the bottom rope. She foregoes her regular ritual of raising her belt up, opting to simply pick it up and pace around while her music fades away.


"This has been the recurring theme for Taiga Star's climb up the C.F.C. tournament; a challenge to overcome." states Mak Francis. "She's overcome her former DVS colleague Kevin Riggs. She's defeated Manson; as well as the former World champion Thoth. This earns her the biggest challenge so far: a championship opportunity against one of the most determined competitors this year. As she stands in the ring, she is the definition of focused as she awaits her opponent."


Warming up with some light stationary shadow-boxing, she barely reacts as the crowd erupts to The Beatles' Helter Skelter starting to play. As the blue and white spotlights dance about the crowd, the man known as Tod James Stuart walks through the curtains with a determined pace of his own. Stopping on the way for some fist bumps and hand slaps, Stuart makes a quick beeline for the ring steps. After a rapid climb, wiping his feet on the apron and crossing the ropes; Stuart offers a quick acknowledging general point to the crowd before shedding his Wrestling Clinic t-shirt that adorn the white variant of his tights, and tossing the garment behind him to the first fan that catches it.


"We've seen a hell of a resurgence from Tod Stuart over the summer and fall season." says Suicide King. "I know I get on his case a lot, and I can't promise I'll ever stop. But this bastard went from the bottom of the proverbial food chain, to competing for World title shots in just months! He beat X-Punk. He beat one of the men he originally had his eye on in the form of Luke Breslin. And he beat the impressive Michael Alexander to get to this moment. For all his faults, I've very rarely seen Tod underestimate an opponent, and I don't think he's about to start with Taiga Star. This man is so close to having his career come full circle, and in his way stands an opponent with an equally iron will."


Stuart has retreated to an opposite corner while his music had faded. The silence allows for Matthew Kivell to conduct a quick object search on both competitors, and for announcer Funyon to take center ring.


"Ladies and gentlemen, THIS is the final match of the Cold Front Classic tournament, scheduled for the Best TWO out of THREE falls! There will also be a 30 second rest period between falls. Your referee for this contest; Senior SWF referee: Matthew - Kivell!"


Brief applause are heard in scatters as the official acknowledges the reaction with a salute and a nod.


"Introducing first. From the Helltown district of Haverhill, Massachussetts. At an unknown weight, and standing at 5'4". She is the current SWF Cruiserweight Champion, ladies and gentlemen... Taaaaaaaaaaaaaaaiga - Staaaaaaaaaaaarrr!" bellows the announcer with as much lung power as he can.


Upon the sound of her name, the crowd responds with a respectful dose of cheering, while the champion steps forward to raise her belt up to the skies. The confident stare she sends her opponent's way conveys perfectly the message that he's not in for an easy match. She hands her title belt off to Matthew Kivell as she steps back to her corner.


"Her opponent." continues Funyon. "From the metropol city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. At 6'2", weighing 237 lbs. He is the founder of Toronto's Wrestling Clinic, and the current number one contender for the SWF World Tag Team championship. He is one half of the GTA Fight Team. He - is Tooooood - Jaaaaames - Stuaaaaaaaart!!"


Stuart steps forward in turn, raising a proud fist in the air, which he turns into a stretching routine for his arms while he steps back in his corner. Matthew Kivell has both wrestlers detained in their corners until Funyon finally retreats to his table. And just as soon as the ring contains nothing but two wrestlers and a referee, the fateful call is made.


"Ring the bell!!"


Not a second later, Stuart and Star are already circling and sizing each other up. After a full revolution, the two freeze for an instant before connecting into the first collar-and-elbow tie-up of the match. Stuart looks to take it to the corner right away, but to his surprise, Star is more than able to hold her own. Rather than force the hold into the turnbuckles, Stuart switches to his favorite initial hold: the headlock. To avoid being pushed back into the ropes, Stuart eases down to one knee and puts the majority of his body weight in the move. This effectively gives Taiga a harder time dealing with the pressure on her neck, but she nevertheless fights to remain standing. Using her strength that's hardly failed her, she begins to twist her way out of it. Straining against Stuart's power, she manages to turn the thing into a top wristlock. Impressively enough, she muscles Stuart all the way down to the mat, forcing him into a bridge! Rather than lift him back up, she unclasps her hands and drops a quick elbow to the chest. She dives on top and hooks the leg for the flash cover!







But it's not to be, as Stuart rolls off the body on top of him, rises up to one knee, immediately throws up his guard with one hand, and rubs his stinging chest with the other. This effectively halts the pace to a stop, as both wrestlers regain their feet and prep for another tie-up in center ring. The two quickly converge into another lock-up. Stuart is quicker as he latches on another headlock., that he's quick to turn into a rear hammerlock. Star surveys her options as to escape the hold. She fakes an elbow to the temple, but then opts to twist herself free with a drop toehold! She quickly floats into a front facelock. Not one to be grounded this early in the match, Stuart muscles his way back up and twists out of the facelock and back into his hammerlock! After a bit of straining, Star manages to reverse it into her own. Stuart explores the same escape routes, but he never expected Star completely switching ideas and taking him down with a schoolboy!...Schoolgirl.







Following the fierce kick out, both competitors share the same look once again. Taiga Star overflowing with confidence, and Tod James Stuart with a hint of disbelief.


"That's now two consecutive nearfalls from Taiga Star." offers an impressed Mak Francis. "She really wants this, King."


"And she's not afraid to step on some toes." replies King. "The mat game is Stuart's M.O., yet we just saw Taiga pull off two quick pincovers. And I'm pretty sure she's restraining herself from laughing in his face right now."


With an acquiescing nod, Stuart calmly regains his feet again and cracks a small crimp in his neck. Taiga mirrors the maneuver, getting set for a third lockup. Both advance, but Stuart surprises her with an elbow strike to the head! This sufficiently staggers her, but Stuart deems it necessary to stun her with two more strikes. Holding onto her wrist, he shoots her off into the rope with an Irish whip. Upon her rebound, he welcomes her by planting a boot into her midsection. Grabbing her head in a front facelock, he immediately turns her over and drives her to the mat with a swinging neckbreaker! He adds a front elbowdrop to the forehead, before applying the lateral press for his first pin attempt.







Taiga's shoulder rocketing up to the skies does nothing to deter Stuart as he quickly has her back up, and taken back down with a snapmare. Following his obligatory two-step head start, he then drills her in the back of the head with a low dropkick! He falls on top again with another lateral press.







Opting for the (somewhat) more respectful method of the scruff of the neck, Stuart has Star back on her feet and backed into a corner. He further stuns her with two more elbows, before prepping her for an Irish whip to the opposite corner. Stuart executes the maneuver, but Star spins her hips just in time to reverse it. Rather than propel her opponent to the turnbuckle, Taiga instead reaches as high up as she can, connecting with an elbow of her own to the head! She then completes the move, sending the Canadian towards the turnbuckles as intended. Rather than crash back first into the corner, Stuart quickly puts on the brakes and hops onto the second rope. This effectively baits his opponent into charging after him, only for her head to meet the sole of his boot! While Taiga staggers briefly from the blow, Stuart repositions himself on his perch so that he faces towards the ring. He spots Taiga charging again, and gets set to give her another meeting with Dr. Foot... but to his surprise, she catches it! With a quick yank, Stuart is pulled back down to the mat where he falls victim to a vicious dragon screw legwhip! Without wasting motion, Taiga quickly grabs the targeted left knee and drops a series of elbows into it. She then opts to wrap the limb into a basic leg lock, but Stuart uses his free right leg to push Taiga off of him, halting her assault briefly. Relentless, Taiga latches on Stuart's leg like a blood-hungry shark but he refuses to let her have her way with him as he slightly pushes off the mat with his forearms and blasts Taiga on the side of the head with a roundhouse kick! She crumples to the mat, allowing Stuart to shoot the half nelson and land another lateral press.







"Two count!!" says Kivell.


Stuart muscles Star back up to her feet, but Star takes by force the nanosecond she needs to pick him off his feet with a double leg takedown and drop another elbow to the knee. Following a second elbow, she wraps the leg around her own body in an effort to wrench it past its full capability.


"Impressive work thus far by Taiga." says Mak Francis. "She's just been absorbing all those blows to the head, and she's remained true to one of her favorite strategies, which is working on the leg. Which is always sound strategy against an opponent the caliber of Tod Stuart."


"In most cases, sure." agrees Suicide King. "It's the ideal strategy against taller opponents and a great way to chop them down. But you'll note Tod Stuart isn't exactly fond of using his legs in a wrestling match. Except for a few key moves; the Silent Scream, the B.G.S., the way he wrestles you down to the mat, all of these primarily use up your upper body strength. I hope Taiga has a decent gameplan. Because taking out Tod Stuart's leg would be akin to, say, ripping the rear spoiler off a Mustang. Sure, it might affect the performance but the car still gets you from point A to point B, point C on weekends!"


Immobilizing Stuart's left leg for the better part of 45 seconds, Taiga releases her hold and forcefully brings Stuart up with a handful of hair. Backing him into a corner, she first drives the air out of him with a pair of clubbing forearm blows to the chest. Pushing his face back, she then unloads with a stinging knife edge chop that's approved by a wooing crowd. She smirks at the reaction, and decides to give them some more as she pushes Stuart's head back again, letting loose with another chop!


"For someone with such girly hands, she sure makes a hell of a lot of noise." says King. "But if you can spot the look on Stuart's face, he's never been too fond of being chopped."


Indeed, as the Canadian's face has rapidly risen in annoyance levels as he rubs his stinging chest. Before Taiga can strike again, Stuart quells her offense with a heavy forearm to the head! This works in staggering her away, but Stuart decides to pile it on as he resumes his barrage with a series of rapid fire forearms to the head! Stopping after six blows, Stuart grabs her wrist again and this time succesfully shoots her into an Irish whip. He attempts to figuratively behead her with a heavy clothesline, but the shorter Taiga is able to duck under it. Bouncing back, she also finds herself ducking under Stuart's attempt at a back elbow. Upon her third bounce, she spots Stuart bent over in hopes of a back bodydrop, but she lifts up her heavy boot and cracks it against his shoulder to counter it. Shaking the cobwebs loose for an instant, Taiga is the first to react as she leaves her feet and snaps off a dropkick to Stuart's left knee! The Canadian collapses face first to the mat. Taiga doesn't allow him to regain a knee, as she slithers behind him, only to drop him on the mat with a belly-to-back suplex. Her opponent sufficiently dazed, Taiga once again grabs her target of choice; the left leg, and lays it against the mat. Immobilizing it by planting her foot against his ankle, she then takes off towards a set of ropes and leaps up as high as her legs will allow with a senton back splash... into nothing but mat!


"I know what you're gonna say, Stumpy!" warns King. "I just know you were gonna come up with an empty pool reference, and that's just gonna make us all picture Taiga Star doing cannonballs in a bikini. That's a mental image we don't quite need right about now!"


"Nevertheless," replies Mak. "Taiga just took a chance and it did NOT pay off. She's a very tough competitor, but one of her weaker spots IS that back of hers. Let's see how Stuart can capitalize on it."


"...Great, now I'm picturing it. Dammit, Mak!"


Shaking some feeling back into his leg, Stuart is back on his feet and welcomes Star with an inverted atomic drop. He backs into the ropes and snaps the dazed Star off her feet with a running clothesline! Rather than go for another cover, Stuart has her back up and into a reverse gutwrench. He immediately drops to a kneeling position, dropping her with a vicious backbreaker. Noting her prone positioning, Stuart regains the same corner he was forcefully yanked from earlier. Hopping onto the second rope, he quickly dives off and nails her on the forehead again with a forearm drop! Positive that he hit his mark, Stuart lays on top with another lateral press.







"Only two!!" claims Kivell.


Taiga looks to regain her fire inside following her kickout, but Stuart has other ideas in the form of another drop of the point of the elbow to the temple. This calms her down just enough to allow him to get her back to her feet, and into the ropes and for another attempt at an Irish whip. Stuart peels her off, but Star twists her way out of it and stops Stuart in his tracks with a well-placed knee lift to the gut! She then grabs both sides of his head, but it's not to give him a big juicy kiss. With their heads joined, Taiga quickly drops to her knees and connects with the headbutt-breaker! She further knocks some bad taste into his mouth with a pair of forearm blows to the head, and then pulls him off the ropes with an Irish whip. Taiga bends over in hopes of sending her opponent flying high with a backdrop, but Stuart abruptly stops in his tracks so that he can rain down a single -but stiff- clubbing forearm blow to her upper back. This effectively dazes her long enough for Stuart to grab her head and take her down with a swinging neckbreaker! Rather than land on top for a pincover, Stuart picks her up from the mat, trapping her in an arm twist along the way. He briefly considers the usual chest kicks that usually precede what comes next, but the abuse his knee earlier took at the hands of Taiga puts a damper on that plan. Rather, he cinches in the arm twist a little more and places his boot on the side of her head, setting up for a destabilizing Slapshot. But Taiga Star shows she has deceptively fast reflexes. She sees the opening and deftly slips out of the Slapshot, countering it into the Muffler Stretch! Taiga quickly drops to her knees, the submission hold cinched in tight!


Matthew Kivell is quickly in position, but before he can ask his first question; Stuart… taps out! To the surprise of many, the bell confirms it with a quick chime. Kivell is quick to force a break of the hold, as he backs both participants into their respective corners.


"The winner of the first fall: Taiga – Star!!" confirms Funyon to the masses.


"A surprising turn of events," notes Mak. "as Tod Stuart concedes the first fall by submission, of all things!"


Their eyes are locked. Taiga Star sits on the bottom ropes, resting up against the turnbuckles and catching her breath. Tod James Stuart is also sitting, testing the mobility of his knee by flexing it, but he can't help being a little upset at being down a decision.


"I think this is more Tod Stuart playing it defensively, here." notes King. "He had Taiga working on his knee for a while, so he had to expect this sooner or later. Unfortunately, that Muffler Stretch came sooner than he thought, so he had no choice but to tap out in order to avoid serious injury. The downside is now that he has to score two decisions in a row if he wants to win this."


With Matthew Kivell keeping both competitors at bay for the duration of the 30-second rest period, Tod James Stuart's monster glare directed at his opponent is a sight to behold. Whereas Taiga's confidence remains unflinching, she can't help but think about just how much she's just angered her opponent and what retribution, if any, will entail. Seconds later, Matt Kivell orders both wrestlers to center ring and orders the start of the second fall with a quick bell chime. Meanwhile, the helpful graphic sponsored by Circle K Convenience Stores displays the current score. Try Our New Thirst Buster Flavors Today.






Kivell has barely given the signal to begin the proceedings that Stuart is already advancing towards Star. Instinctively, she reacts with a wild right-handed lunge but Stuart ducks under the blow, locks on a rear waistlock and delivers a sky-high German suplex! Holding onto the move, Stuart spins his hips, rolls to his side and forces Taiga into a second suplex! And a third! This one he manages to bridge into a pin attempt.







The raising of Taiga's shoulder gives her the momentum needed to topple out of the hold at the same time that Stuart releases her. Back on her feet, Stuart has her into a corner once again and set to peel her off into another Irish whip. The move is succesfully reversed one more time, sending Stuart into the opposite turnbuckles. Taiga charges full speed ahead, but we never get to find out her intentions as Stuart snaps off a back elbow at the last second to fend off the potential attack. He uses her dazed state to his advantage to finally send her into the ropes with a strong Irish whip. He quickly catches her with a fist to the midsection that doubles over the female grappler once again. Stuart wastes no time adjusting his position, driving Star into the mat with a side Russian legsweep! He floats over into another lateral press.







He expected this. Stuart immobilizes Taiga's shaking right arm as to avoid any potential errant strikes, and has her back up once more. Trapping her into a front facelock, he backs into a corner and boosts himself up to the second rope, sitting on the top. Like everyone else, Taiga Star manages to detect an impending Tornado DDT and she wants no part of it. She furiously throws some forearms and punches into Tod's ribcage that manage to break her free. But once she charges forward to remove her opponent from the turnbuckles by force, her face once again meets the business end of his boot. He then appropriates her back into the front facelock, and leaps off for his intended Tornado DDT... but she shoves him off in mid-move! Stuart tries to salvage the situation by quickly latching onto her with the initial hold for the Brain Go Splat (drawing a quick cheer from the crowd), but Taiga cleverly spins out of the move before he can get a full grip on. Ending up behind Stuart, Star pushes her opponent forward and forcefully shoves him into the turnbuckles he had just leapt from. Before he can get a counter going, Star is quickly on him, driving the air out of him with a series of shoulder blocks. Heeding the referee's call to break her onslaught at 4, she then switches her attack to a series of mudhole stomps that gradually drive the Canadian to a crumpled position on the mat.


"Listen to me, Star!!" orders Matthew Kivell. "You got till 5, and I start disqualifying!"


"You're the boss!" replies a heavily breathing Taiga. "Do you mind?"


Politely brushing the official aside, she applies the sole of her boot against Stuart's face and proceeds to forcefully wipe it off, not unlike a bad mother mistreating the dirty face of her child. She repeats the maneuver three times until Kivell finally gets annoyed with her insistence on staying in the corner.


"I'm getting out now, look!"


She takes off towards the far side ropes, ready to punt the remains of Stuart's face into the front row. But during her course, she never saw her opponent spring to his feet and catches her full speed with his own running big boot to the face! Stuart takes a second to rub some feeling back into his aching jaw, and then wastes no time lifting Taiga up into a fireman's carry. Cradling her neck and exposing the back of her head; Tod suddenly takes off towards the furthest set of turnbuckles and smashes the back of Taiga's head into the top turnbuckle! He aligns his positioning to repeat the maneuver, and charges forward into the opposite corner, crushing the corner pad with her skull! With a quick switch of his hand positioning, he pushes her off his shoulders and has her land face first into the same turnbuckle! While she attempts to count her remaining teeth, Taiga is helpless as Stuart wraps his arm around her head in a very basic headlock. He takes a running head start from the corner and plants her face first into the center of the ring with a bulldog! He falls on top once again, this time laying his forearm against her face.







Upon seeing Star's persistent kickout, Stuart has to mentally restrain himself from loudly cursing. He appropriates her back into a standing position, but Taiga goes back to what worked for her minutes earlier, in the form of a knee lift to the stomach. This briefly turns the tide in her favor as she starts hammering Stuart with another series of heavy forearm shots to the side of the head. She punctuates the assault with a heavy knife edge chop, and repeats the attack when the crowd once again woos in approval. With Stuart appropriately stunned, Star backs off into the ropes behind her. Bouncing back, she tries to dive on top of her opponent with a crossbody, but Stuart is able to use her momentum against her and has her landing on her feet behind her. This is the ideal position for her, allowing her to leap off her feet, clasp both hands on top of Stuart's shoulders, bend at the knees and drive them into Stuart's back with a crippling lungblower! While he contorts around the mat in agony, Star takes a few seconds to catch her breath, and then send out a brief "That's IT" motion to the crowd.


"Just as she scores with that back cracker, " says Mak. "Taiga looks to put this one away in two straight falls! We could see momentarily that classic but effective piledriver that inevitably leads to that double stomp off the ropes."


Taiga Star partially confirms The Franchise's prediction as she has Stuart back on his feet, two handfuls of hair and into a bent over position. The crowd starts to buzz in anticipation of the piledriver, but the reaction instantly rises up when they see her do a quick 180 and hook both of Stuart's arms with her own.


"Wrong, Stumpy!" declares King. "She doesn't just want to win this in two falls, she wants to make sure Stewie doesn't get UP! This is what the puro freaks know as the Kudo Driver, one of the most devastating and potentially crippling moves ever imported into North America! She hits this, and the little girl will soon have visions of one confident Maori Badass dancing in her head."


Step 1 is complete, in the form of securing both of her opponent's arms. Step 2 is in the process of being completed, as Taiga spins 180 and bends over in the process. Step 3 begins as she impressively lifts up 237 lbs across her back. But before she can complete Step 4 and drop the son of a bitch head first into the mat, Stuart has very different ideas as to his fate. Once he realizes his predicament, he begins furiously kicking his legs and eventually manages to shift his weight completely backwards. This results in him landing on his feet and breaking free. Ever opportunistic, Stuart sees the giant proverbial door opening in front of him, slips his left arm under Taiga's armpit, joins it with his right arm that applies against her neck! This is the Silent Scream, and Taiga Star's odds have just taken a hell of a nosedive.


"And there's the opening Tod Stuart needed!" shouts Mak Francis over a suddenly cheering crowd. They cheer even louder once Stuart completes his deadly finisher with the body scissors. "The unforgiving Silent Scream is being applied to the extremely resilient Taiga Star and now this is a battle of the wills unfolding before us!"


Matthew Kivell is faithfully at his post, grilling Taiga with interrogations as to her potential submission. Her staunch refusal in giving up can only further anger the Canadian, who applies as much pressure as he would if he were to tame a wild animal with his bare hands. The primal roar he unleashes is only further testament to this.


"Cm'on talk to me, Star!!" yells Matt Kivell over the wild atmosphere. "Whaddya say!!... Answer me, Star!! All right, she's gone!"


The referee now pays attention to her free right arm and raises it up to the skies... and it plops lifelessly down to the mat.


"That's one!!"


He grabs her limp arm once again, raising it approximately to his shoulder level. The majority of Taiga Star followers begin to worry once they see her arm fall back down a second time.


"That's two!!"


"Get on with iiiiit!!!" shouts Stuart in a rare display of impatience.


Kivell raises Taiga's arm up for a third and final time... and many jaws drop as the limp collapses to the canvas. Matthew Kivell has no choice but to call it and order another ring of the bell.


"The winner of the second fall, by submission: Tod - James - Stuart!!"


This makes the Stuart contingent of fans happy as the official now hurries to separate the two once again and usher Tod towards a corner. Taiga Star is immobile on the mat.


"Taiga Star is one of, if not the most stubborn competitor I've seen around here. We've seen it in the past, she does not usually tap out. She's too PROUD to tap out! Well now, look at what this pride has gotten her. She is counting the honey glazed hams and now we got ourselves an even playing field!"



Boddington's Pub Ale. You're With Friends With Boddington's.



Matthew Kivell first tries to ascertain Taiga's condition, but he suddenly finds himself brushed aside by Stuart, who seems to want to get this over as quickly as possible.


"Back it up, Stuart!" orders Kivell. "You got thirty seconds before we continue!"


"I'm not touchin' her, ref. Step aside." replies a calm Stuart, who then abruptly explodes inches in front of his opponent's face. "WAKE UP!! WE FINISH THIS NOW! WAKE UP!!"


"The hell is he doing!" shouts Suicide King. "Taiga is out cold! He should just wait out the end of the rest period, and THEN cover her!"


"You heard what he said, King!" replies Mak. "He wants to finish up this match as fairly as possible! And I don't think Tod Stuart wants to take advantage of an unconscious opponent. You can't help but respect that!"


"It wouldn't have been the first time Taiga's had things done to her while she was unconscious... We'll find out sooner or later if Stewie's just shot himself in the foot or not!"


Amazingly enough, Taiga begins to stir. With the rest period about halfway through, Stuart is being ordered back to a corner, while his glassy-eyed opponent is barely sitting up. Stuart wildly paces around and awaits the all-clear while Kivell is checking on Taiga to see if she wants to continue. Despite her brains being the equivalent of pancake mix, the fact that she brushes Kivell aside is enough to convince him of her resolve.


"Final fall. Ring the bell!" orders the referee.


Stuart advances... but actually waits for Star to finish regaining her feet. It takes a few seconds, but eventually she takes a knee.


After enough taunting and goading, she finally gets back to her feet... but Stuart immediately grabs her in a front facelock and plants her with a snap DDT! He quickly floats over into a lateral press.










"NO!" shouts Matt Kivell, pointing out Taiga's raised fist.


Mouth agape, Tod Stuart is shocked at his opponent's legendary stubbornness, but he rapidly finds that misdirecting his anger towards the official will yield no positive results. Instead he gets back to his feet, dragging her along in the process. She tries to break free with a pair of knife edge chops (woo!!), which partially works as it backs Stuart into a corner. She takes an all too important second to regain her bearings, before yanking Stuart into another Irish whip. Unfortunately for her, the move is reversed as she instead takes the trip to the opposite corner. Stuart immediately charges ahead, which prompts Star to call upon her resiliency, boost herself up the ropes and throw her huge boot into Stuart's face! Just as he recoils from the blow, Taiga hops onto the second ropes, ready to throw all of her weight at him. As he comes within range, she leaps off into a crossbody... a second too late. Just as she jumps, she spots Stuart also leaving his feet. The end result is Stuart's both knees being mercilessly driven into Taiga's midsection!


"That's gonna wreak havoc on those Angus burgers I saw her wolf down before the show!" quips Suicide King.


"Quite unfortunate for Taiga." says Mak Francis, as the instant replay flashes on the screen. "You saw it on her face just as she leapt from the turnbuckles. She took a risk and it didn't pay off."


"Or, in her case, taking a risk could also entail attempting a Dine & Dash at the Olive Garden!"


Rather than go for the cover, Stuart has his opponent back on her feet once more, trapping her into a front facelock. Tossing her arm up over his head, he grabs a handful of camo and quickly snaps her into a crisp suplex! He then lays there, holding onto the move and spins his hips around, getting back to his feet in the process. Still holding onto her, he lifts her up once more... and drops her into a gourdbuster!


"We haven't seen this in a long while." notes Mak. "That triple suplex Stuart used to call the Sara Sequence!"


"Back when you still had full use of your legs and back when Tod Stuart was taking this company by storm... until, ya know, he pissed it all away by getting sad and depressed and taking his ball home for five years."


Stuart isn't quite known for his strength, but he manages to impress a few when he has Taiga back in the air in a vertical supex and maintains her there. Rather than drop her back to the mat, he takes a few steps forward and drops her stomach first onto the top rope! After listening to Matt Kivell's token warning of keeping it away from the ropes, Stuart then takes off with a run to the opposite ropes. Bouncing back, the camera flashes from the crowd soon erupt in unison as he suddenly leaps in the air, performing a Sunset flip over the ropes!


Many life changing crucial decisions have been made in the span of a split second. In 1957, John Lennon met a chap by the name of Paul McCartney, and it just happened they both had an interest in music, which eventually lead to one of the greatest bands in music history. In September 1964, at the Railway Tavern in Harrow and Wealdstone, England; Pete Townshend smashed his first guitar. This led him to become the guitarist of one of the most influential bands on the planet.


In a split second, Taiga Star realizes that she's about to take a very unforgiving trip to the thin ringside mats. Despite her impressive strength, her grip is not enough to counter the momentum of her larger opponent's weight pulling her into a powerbomb to the floor!! Kneeling beside her, Stuart shoves her unconscious body aside and takes a deserved breather as Matthew Kivell begins his 10 count.


"That's another one we haven't (1) seen in a good while!" says Mak, while we're once again treated to various angles of the instant replay. "A Sunset flip with your opponent draped over the ropes, that's then turned into an unforgiving powerbomb (2) to ringside!"


"You can't help but think that bastard means business whenever he busts it out." replies King. "We're talking a shot at the World title that (3) hangs in the balance. The only possible way to counter that move is to grab onto those ropes and hang on for dear life, but unfortunately Taiga could NOT get a good grip and it's cost her dearly. And if T.J. (4) is any smart, despite being Canadian; he'll slide back in that ring and take the count-out win! From there it's smooth (5) sailing all the way to a championship match! Taiga is OUT! She's had enough, just let her honorably end her evening and let her get taken to a hospital!"


Stuart seems to heed the Gambling Man's advice as he gingerly gets back to his feet and rolls back inside (6) under the bottom rope. This seems to draw a few feint boos from some members of the audience, who apparently wish to see an honest conclusion to this contest.


"What's so goddamn honorable about a countout win?!" retorts Mak. "What kind of satisfaction do you get from leaving an opponent on the floor?! You call that a way to defeat a worthy opponent?! I don't think so!!"


"Seveeeen!!" shouts Matthew Kivell.


As Stuart watches the count happen, you can almost witness the conflict in his face. This match means everything to him. He wants to win. He has to win. And the girl is giving him more than the competition he so thrives on. What to do? Leave her out there for a few more seconds and get the guaranteed title shot? Or finish this the only way he knows how...?




Now back to his feet, Stuart throws a quick glance towards Taiga. Beginning to squirm, but still very much out of it. And then a glance towards some front row fans. Some of them are actually chewing him out for considering the infamous "cheap way out". With his split second almost up, Stuart finally decides to make the fatefull call... and slides out of the ring. The crowd approves with a proud cheer while Stuart now works against the clock.




Hooking his arms around her head and under an armpit, Stuart muscles his smaller opponent onto her feet and dumps her onto the ring apron, pushing her in. And just as Matthew Kivell's last pinky goes up to signal 10, Tod Stuart is back in the ring before the referee can throw up the signal. This has been an exposé on split seconds. Thank you for reading. Back to the action.


Stuart yanks Taiga by the foot into the center of the ring, and lands on top with a lateral press, along with hooking the leg.


"This is it, it's over!" says Mak.










The collective gasp of the crowd devolves into a groan of shock and disbelief that is shared by fans, announcers and Tod Stuart alike. Even the official can't believe it.


"Taiga Star will! Not! Be! Denied!!" shouts Mak.


"You stupid Canadian fuck!!" snarls the King. "You had her!! He had her, Stumpy!! He finally shut up her whole "I am woman, hear me roar" diatribe and he had her BEAT!! But NO! He had to go on and be a nice guy about it!! This is gonna bite him in the ass. It should bite him in the ass! I HOPE it bites him in the ass!!"


"I couldn't disagree more, King." replies a calm Mak Francis, offsetting his partner's outrage. "If Tod Stuart goes on to win this match, then he has the satisfaction of knowing he did it the way he wanted: clean, honest, and no interference from anyone whatsoever. So far, Daniel Smith and El Gordo are respecting the wishes of both competitors. We haven't seen neither hide nor hair from either of them tonight and hopefully it stays that way."


Having shaken off the initial shock, Stuart is back up and watching his opponent trying to regain her footing as well. He maneuvers himself behind her... and puts the arms out.


"This could end very quick right here." says Mak. "Taiga Star hasn't been the same since succumbing to the Silent Scream earlier. And I think Tod Stuart just needs to land that one big move in order to take the third and final fall. The Scream's worked for him tonight, and now it appears he's going back to the well once again!"


Finally taking a knee, Taiga doesn't realize her opponent is creeping up behind her. Before she can even regain a standing position, Stuart finally moves in... but locks in an arm twist? Wasting no time, he peppers her with a series of shin kicks to the chest, and finally completes the sequence with the Slapshot! Instead of covering, he quickly gets back up to his feet and takes a second to shake loose his knee that's still bothering him from earlier. Quickly crossing the ropes, he begins a steady climb of the turnbuckles, while Star still lays within his sights; down on the mat and clutching her jaw. Crouching on the top rope, Stuart busts an old favorite of his out of the mothballs: the flying elbow off the top. Attaining picture perfect hang time, Stuart springs into position at the last second, ready to drive his elbow into his opponent's chest... but Taiga rolls aside! With the air having been fully driven out of Stuart, he's suddenly immobile on the mat and trying to catch his much needed breath. A half-dazed Taiga crawls over and lays an arm on top of him.









Lifting his shoulder up, Stuart also shoves aside Taiga's arm and works on resuming his breath catching. Focusing his wavering attention on denying Matthew Kivell's inquiries about continuing the match, Stuart fails to notice a Taiga Star that's fully back on her feet several meters away from him. He also doesn't notice her charging ahead and driving her big black boot into the side of his head with a mafia kick! This effectively puts a hold on Tod Stuart's plans of taking over this match for good. Grabbing two handfuls of long black hair, Star has Stuart gingerly back on his feet somewhat. Ignoring Matthew Kivell's warnings of staying off the locks, she cranes her neck back and rears her skull only to crack it hard against Stuart's forehead with a punishing headbutt! Refusing to let go of his head, she rears back and connects with a second headbutt! Stuart looks to suddenly break free as he rears back his own elbow and cracks her on the side of the head! Staggered but clearly unfazed, Taiga replies with another cracking headbutt that definitely seems to do the job. The Canadian obviously doesn't have a head as hard, seeing as the blows feels like the proverbial shovel to the face. Mustering up a reply, Stuart fires up and sends a series of three rapid elbows to the head! But he might as well have been hitting her with a pillow. With a defiant roar and the proverbial fire in her eyes, she begins punching her own forehead! With an intense "Come oooooon!!", she invites her opponent to literally give all that he's got. Returning the stare of defiance, Stuart reaches for his right elbow pad, and slips it off in one motion. With a confident roar of his own, Stuart unleashes his mightiest elbow yet, connecting bone against bone, elbow joint against temple. Stinging at best for Taiga, she returns fire with a more powerful head thrust that hits Stuart right on the eyebrow! This one seems to be the most effective of the bunch, as the Canadian crumbles to a knee. Upon checking in with Stuart if he wishes to continue on; you, me and everyone at home can detect a trickle of blood forming on his eyebrow. Not massively flowing, but very noticeable.


Matthew Kivell is dilligent in surveying Tod Stuart's condition, but he soon steps out of the way once he spots Taiga Star five feet behind him, stomping her large black boot in preparation for what appears to be another jaw crumbling boot to the head. She dashes forward, but Stuart has enough awareness to roll out of the way and send his opponent into an awkward stagger when she kicks nothing but empty air. Once she spins back around to focus on him, he catches an errant swing and drives the back of her head into his knee with an STO! He then muscles her back up to her feet and completes the sequence, sweeping her feet out from under her and driving the back of her head into the canvas! Both competitors collapse to the mat in exhaustion, for a much needed breather.


"Oooone!" shouts Matthew Kivell, upon seeing both wrestlers immobile on the mat.

















Both Stuart and Star begin to stir at the sound of the even number being called out. But rather than one trying to go for a pinfall attempt on the other, both simply opt to gingerly get back up to their feet, staggering into opposite corners. Once the two converge their positions, Taiga is the first to strike as she captures Stuart's head one more time, and scores with a basic jawbreaker! Stuart recoils from the move, which allows Star to take a few steps back once more and finally achieve the kick she earlier attempted. Gaining impressive height for a 5'4" girl reaching the head of a 6'2" man, Taiga raises her heavy boot and cracks it against Stuart's forehead, sending him back down to the mat! She collapses with her back on top of him, for the definitive pinfall attempt.










"Shoulder up!!" shouts Matthew Kivell amidst the emotion swelling from the crowd.


"What!?!" is all Taiga can muster up, to which the referee retaliates by pointing at the outstretched shoulder that's high up in the skies.


Rather than let her temper get the best of her, Taiga opts to conserve her patience and bring Stuart back up to his feet. Trapping him in a side waistlock, she neutralizes him with a very basic belly-to-back suplex that leaves the Canadian sprawled out in the center of mat. Wasting no motions, she makes a beeline for the nearest corner, crosses the ropes and begins a steady climb of the turnbuckles of her own. Steadying herself on the top strand, Taiga Star leaps off and soars in the air for what appears to be an eternity. For all of two seconds, she shuts out all sounds, all noise that surrounds her. She lets the air carry her entire body. For a moment, she can almost feel her imminent triumph. It feels good, like the stuff dreams are made off. The pessimist in her actually believed he would avoid this one and roll aside. But every once in a while, reality deals you a fair hand and DOESN'T slap you in the face like it's prone to do ever so often. The groan of sympathizing pain erupting from the audience is enough to bring her back to her own generous reality.


"Taiga SCORES with the senton back splash from the top rope!" shouts Mak Francis. "We could be looking at our newest number one contender momentarily!"


"She's got to get her mind off the twinkies and do what she can't be bothered to do on most nights: Get! On top! Of the guy!!" replies Suicide King. "She's probably hurting, sure! She needs to get her considerable weight on top of Stuart and GO FOR THE COVER!"


"She's got an arm on top! Matty's in position!"








"Thre-! No!!"


Upon witnessing the referee flashing the peace sign and the Ever So Close symbol, shocked would be but a mere understatement on the face of Taiga Star. This shock quickly morphs into determination, as she gets back up to her feet, and she gets that certain look in her eye.


"Visions of piledrivers must be dancing in her head," says Mak. "As Taiga Star is in definite control of this match. Tod Stuart is in serious trouble and without a strong retaliation, I'm afraid it's not looking too good for him! And from the look of things, he does not appear to be in any condition to mount an offensive."


Riling up the crowd with the universal I'm Gonna Piledrive That Guy double-arm pumping motion, Taiga muscles up her opponent by the hair and eases him into a standing headscissors. She wraps her arms around his waist and lifts him up with the slightest of efforts. This looks to be curtains for the Canadian.


...But new life springs into him as he suddenly wiggles his leg free and begins plastering Taiga's head with the back of his calf and heel! The five-hit striking combo is enough to loosen her grip and let Stuart's feet fall back to the mat. He completes his reversal by hoisting Taiga up and over him with a backdrop! Not waiting for her to get back up, he lifts up by force and traps her into an inverted fireman's carry hold, the precursor for the Brain Go Splat. Before the crowd can erupt the sight of the move, Taiga has one more trick in her bag as she fights off the move with a clever spin of her heels, breaking free and ending up behind Stuart. She spins the man 180 and plants a toe kick in his stomach, putting him back in the standing headscissors. In one fluid motion, Stuart is back off the ground and PLANTED into the mat with the piledriver!


"That's step one!" says Mak. "Now all she needs to do is get on those ropes and score with the Double Stomp. But can she do it? Fatigue has gotta be setting in right now in both competitors."


Tod Stuart appears immobile. With a slow crawl, Star heads for the nearest corner. She takes an all-too-important second to catch her breath one more time, and then proceed with an ultimate climb of the turnbuckles. Before she can steady herself on top... she sees Tod Stuart on his feet and staggering towards her! And then, before she can switch strategies on the fly, Stuart has her ankle in his grip, ready to yank her from her perch of offense. Star rapidly counters it with an ugly but effective punt to the head that shakes off the Canadian. Knowing that she's limited in her aerial arsenal, Taiga chooses to hop back down to the canvas. This is the opening that Stuart needs to take this home. As soon as her feet come into contact with the mat, he springs into action and captures her into the fireman's carry... and then crushes her skull with the Brain Go Splat INTO THE SECOND TURNBUCKLE!! Running on instinct, Stuart yanks the corpse of Taiga Star by the leg into center ring, and falls on top of her, hooking the leg.










The bell rings. The crowd erupts. There's music that plays that will certainly endear itself to most of those in attendance tonight.


He's done it.


"Here is your winner..." confirms Funyon. "Toooooood. Jaaaaaames. Stuaaaaaaaart!!"


While Helter Skelter blares inside the Trent FM Arena, Tod Stuart rolls off his defeated opponent and takes a while to let it sink in, while Taiga Star is being escorted from the ring by the official to have her checked out. First staring at the mat in disbelief, Stuart quickly explodes to his feet with an intense and triumphant pump of the fist. His look of relief quickly turns into a smile once he spots five familiar applauding faces walking down the aisle.


"Here comes Daniel Smith to congratulate his partner!" notes Mak. "And the other four with him are Tod Stuart's actual students at the Wrestling Clinic!"


The five individuals sporting the Putting On A Wrestling Clinic t-shirts and hoodies ease into the ring. Chest slaps, hugs, smiles are the norm as the instructor has made the students proud. Despite being among a sea of 30 000-plus, this is a moment for them and them only.


"Daniel Smith told me tonight that he wanted to surprise his partner, should he win tonight." continues Mak. "He flew in the rest of the Clinic to offer moral support and it has paid off tonight! Daniel Smith, Antonio Carson, Matthew Jones, his brother Michael and Tara McGovney. These five hopefuls comprise the Wrestling Clinic, proudly congratulating their mentor tonight!"


"Sure tonight is a night of celebration for the Wrestling Clinic, G.T.A. Fight Team, whatever." says King. "But soon enough, the celebration will have to end and Tod James Stuart will have to realize just who the hell he's got to face next. Since this past summer, he's had an impressive climb up the SWF mountain. Sitting at the top of that mountain is the 6'7", 350 lbs Maori Badass. The World Champion Va'aiga. I hope he's got some oxygen tanks..."


"Folks, we're just about out of time for New Year's Party. We hope you enjoyed the show. The Cold Front Classic is now over and done with. We've just had a stellar main event. We'll have an even bigger one in the not-so-distant future when Tod James Stuart collides with Va'aiga for the SWF World Heavyweight championship! But for now, we leave you with these images of a man at the heart of his redemption, surrounded by the people he holds most dear. For Suicide King, I'm Mak Francis. This has been New Year's Party. So long, folks."



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