The opening roar of “Sirius” by the Alan Parsons Project begins to hum across the Classic Studio. The crowd begins to rise up on their feet cheering as a fog machine does its job pumping out smoke that fills the entrance area.
DUN DUN DUN, DUN DUN DUH!
A white strobe begins to flicker through the thick fog with the beat as Rush Starling walks out to the roar of the fans in attendance.
DUN… DUNN… DUNNN… DUNNNN!
He doesn’t waste time and marches towards the ring, slapping hands with fans and making sure to grab a fan sign of support to wave, rallying the crowd.
Robbins: Making his way to the ring, weighing in at 240 pounds he hails from Allentown, Pennsylvania. This is Rush Starling!
Rush sprints up the steps, slips through the ropes, and immediately mounts the turnbuckle pumping up the crowd. The guitar solo of “Sirius” begins to shred as he points to the fans closest by, giving them warm smiles before he steps down and faces the referee to be checked for combat.
Ripping bass riffs and a brief burst of snare lets the crowd know that “Ace of Spades” by Motorhead is playing. Walter Wehzl pops out from behind the curtain first, to a cavalcade of derision.
This hushes noticeably as Lemmy begins to intone about snake eyes watching you and Lord Colossus steps out. Wehzl points at the big man who is wearing a studded leather vest and armbands over his one-shoulder black wrestling singlet. Blonde curls poke out from under his leather hood under a 1970s style hockey mask. A Black Gorget wraps his throat. He slowly makes his way down to the ring, before handing off his vest and armbands to Wehzl, stepping _over_ the top rope and moving to his appointed corner.
Moss: Well Thunderbird, we’re still reeling from that huge announcement and the debut of Griffin “Gruff” Myers as the Commissioner here at Classic Wrestling!
Howley: [under his breath] *grumble grumble*
Moss: What’s that T-bird?
Howley: I said it’s “great” to have Gruff here in Classic Wrestling, and he’ll surely be a fine addition to the team!
Moss: Something tells me you’re a little salty there, big chief. What’s the deal?
Howley: [flat] Nothing. Can we get on with the show please, Moss? I’m all of a sudden not in the mood for what you call “witty banter.”
Both wrestlers stand solemnly in their respective corners, Lord Colossus doing his usual pre-match stare-down and Rush Starling taking these final short moments to psych himself up to the task at hand. With Walt Whezl uncharacteristically quiet at ringside, the referee calls for the bell.
DING! DING!! DING!!!
Lord Colossus doesn’t move a muscle. Starling steps into the center of the ring, as ready as he’ll ever be. Leery of being drawn into the obvious trap of rushing the giant Colossus, Rush does what only a Starling would do in this situation, he calls the big man out!
Starling: Come on then, big fella, come at me!
Slowly, and with the cadence of a serial killer, Lord Colossus stalks toward the center of the ring to meet the youngest of the Starling clan. Colossus closes the space between them and the two competitors go face to… collarbone…
Moss: Look at the size difference!
Howley: That’s right, Moss, Colossus has nearly a foot on Starling and you can better believe he’s gonna use all of that mass to have his way with Rush Starling tonight!
Moss: Yeah, that’s sort of been his M.O. throughout this entire tournament.
Colossus makes a slow, threatening “cut-throat” taunt that sends the fans at ringside into a tizzy. Rush, getting caught up in the moment, turns and hoots at the crowd, throwing up both hands to the adulation of those same fans terrified of his colossal opponent!
Howley: Well this is a mistake.
And Lord Colossus makes him pay for it, snapping into motion and delivering a clubbing blow to the back and shoulders that sends Rush sprawling toward the ropes. The Towering Titan follows up with another couple of heavy blows before grabbing Rush and whipping him to the opposite ropes. Colossus swings for the fence with a massive clothesline but Rush ducks and hits the ropes again, this time launching himself at Colossus with a high cross body block!
Moss: Look at the aerial mastery on display Thunderbird!
Howley: Bah, in my day we didn’t bother with any of that flip fly and flop nonsense…
It’s for nought, however, as Colossus catches Rush the way a toddler would catch a wiffle ball. The Monolithic Monstrosity stumbles backward with Starling up in a precarious position and ends up dumping the smaller man over the top ropes to keep himself from going over as well. Starling, to his credit, shows excellent awareness by managing to keep himself from going completely backside-over-tea-kettle and landing in the least painful way possible when being thrown by a seven foot tall lunatic.
Moss: Lord Colossus is insane! He could have killed Rush Starling!
Howley: I’m pretty sure that’s the point, Moss!
Rush backs away as Colossus steps over the rope and drops down from the apron. Rush lets the larger opponent get close before taking off at a dead sprint around the ringpost. As he’s just about to slide into the ring he looks back over his shoulder expecting to see a chasing giant, but there is no Colossus behind him as the big man only now begins stalking around ringside.
Moss: Wow! We saw Randall Schwartz get the better of Colossus just last week with a similar ploy but it looks like the giant has it nice and scouted this week!
Howley: You know the saying, Moss! Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice and get thrown into an active volcano!
Moss: Get all the way out with that!
Howley: What? I’m almost positive that’s how I heard Colossus explaining it to Whezl back in the locker room!
By the time Rush figures out that he’s fallen for a trap it’s too late. He dives under the bottom rope just in time for Colossus to catch a vice grip on one of Rush’s ankles before yanking him right back out and to the floor! The referee re-starts his count at one as Colossus goes on the attack by picking Rush up and throwing him back-first into the ring-apron.
Moss: THAT’S THE HARDEST SURFACE OF THE RING!
Colossus continues to dominate Starling with a series of clubbing blows ratcheting up in intensite as the referee does his slow, deliberate count! Walt Whezl stays just out of the blast zone at ringside as he watches his Walking Apocalypse lay the leather to Rush Starling all the way to the last possible moment before the ref calls ten and throws the match out.
Howley: You know, I’m still not sure whether Colossus is calling the shots or if Walt Whezl is pulling the strings, but this expert manipulation of the referee’s count is just the kind of smart strategy that you wouldn’t expect from a hulking monster like Lord Colossus! I can’t help but respect that!
Back inside and Colossus continues the assault for another couple of minutes, taking his time to inflict as much punishment as possible. After a bit, Starling gets in a couple of shots to the mid-section, enough for hope to flicker in his eye, but Lord Colossus ain’t havin’ any of that and he cuts it off in a hurry with a double axe-handle smash to the back that flattens Starling.
Howley: What was that, Moss?
Howley: Not this lunatic! WE’VE GOT A TOURNAMENT MATCH GOING ON!
Moss: It’s King Kong Frank!
Howley: If I know Gruff Myers, and BELIEVE ME I KNOW GRUFF MYERS, he ain’t gonna stand for this hillbilly idiot running around causing a riot everywhere he turns!
Moss: Speaking of riots…
Gordy Lovett is out right behind King Kong Frank! The action inside the ring comes to a dead stop with Lord Colossus cocking his head inquisitively down at the action at ringside while absent-mindedly releasing Rush Starling from his chaotic clutches. On the other side of the ring Walt Whezl is apoplectic, stalking around the corner-posts toward the two big burly beef-slappers distracting his giant from the task at hand.
Howley: You’d better take cover, Moss, it’s about to get physical out here in a hurry!
Gordy grabs Frank by the shoulder and whips the burly brawler around just in time to catch a wild haymaker right upside the noggin! Lovett responds in kind and the two big beef slappers start slapping big beef right down in between the ring and the commentary desk!
Moss: IT’S PANDA BEAR LINOLEUM, THUNDERBIRD!
Howley: Do you mean “pandamonium?”
Lord Colossus watches the fight unfold in front of him. Meanwhile Rush Starling has managed to get his wits about him just enough to put a plan together! He reaches up and grabs Colossus, applying every bit of torque and scientific know-how that he can muster to bring the big man backwards and down into a schoolboy roll-up!
Moss: Wait a tick!
Howley: What? NO!
The referee, as always, is quickly in position to slap the mat!
DING! DING! DING!
Moss: Rush Starling has done it! He’s given Lord Colossus his first loss here in Classic Wrestling!
Howley: I can’t believe this, Moss! WHERE’S GRUFF MYERS?!
It’s right here that things start getting out of hand. Walt Whezl has blown his entire lid, screaming and yelling and brandishing his umbrella about in the broadest of manners. Doris Hilton has made her way out to stand between Whezl and the fight going on between Gordy Lovett and King Kong Frank that has now found its way into the ring. Rush Starling, unnaturally aware of his surroundings, finds just the right gap in the chaos to bail. Lord Colossus gets to his feet and bellows, enraged at being cost his proper spot atop the mountain as the Real World’s Champion! Just as Colossus is about to engage both Frank and Gordy the referee jumps in front of him and starts waving his arms like a wild man!
DING!! DING!! DING!!
Moss: It’s about to break down in there Thunderbird?
Howley: About to? Are we watching the same donnybrook?
King Kong Frank flattens Gordy Lovett with a straight headbutt just as Lord Colossus goozles the referee and lifts him up teen feet into the air.
Moss: Here comes Gruff! And from the looks of things he’s rounded up a posse!
Gruff starts barking orders with no need for a microphone! His voice booms over the buzz of the audience, the shrill voices of Whezl and Hilton, and the bedlam inside of the ring.
Gruff: PUT THAT REFEREE DOWN!
The grizzled former ring general strides up the steps and right into the fray! Gordy Lovett scrambles to his feet just in time to be backed down by Gruff’s stony glare, and as King Kong Frank turns his attention to Lord Colossus, who has only just released the referee, Gruff grabs Frank by the overalls and with a mighty swing tosses the Smoky Mountain Mastodon up and over the top ropes to the floor.
Howley: Yep, that Gruff don’t take no guff from NOBODY! That much I can personally attest to…
Lord Colossus takes a neutral step backward, seeing no reason to engage with a man so clearly intent on flexing his authority for all to see. At the behest of Doris Hilton Gordy Lovett steps backward through the ropes to the apron, and an enraged King Kong Frank finds his footing and snarls up into the ring where Gruff Myers cows the Hillbilly Hellraiser with a single pointed finger.
Gruff: Now Frank I’ve known you since you was knee high to a grasshopper! You know I used to rassle your daddy back in the 70s and you know good and well that I’ll whip your big behind if you don’t bring it down a few notches!
This does not sit well with Frank.
He doesn’t push his luck.
Gruff: Now you go on an’ git! An’ I better not see you out here again until your REGULARLY SCHEDULED MATCH! You understand?
King Kong Frank stares up at his new boss in defiance. A tense moment passes as Frank decides on whether or not this is a hill worth dying on as an entire battalion of Riot Gear clad security types flood the studio around him.
Moss: We’ve got to cut to break!
Howley: What? We can’t cut to-
Abruptly, the feed cuts away to a commercial for non-filtered cigarettes and malt liquor.
We’re back from commercial break. The chaos has subsided and the ringside area has been cleared save for The Texas Stampede Gordy Lovett, standing center ring with a microphone clutched in his cow punchin’ hand. Doris has materialized at his side, arms crossed, lips pursed, narrowed eyes scanning the crowd.
Gordy: WEEEEEEEEEEELL WE’RE BACK ON TRACK, AIN’T WE DORIS?! Ol’ Gordy Lovett’s exactly where Gordy Lovett SHOULD BE which is right here… under these here big ol’ lights, in front of these here television cameras, in this here ring holdin’ all these folks attention. After rompin’ and stompin’ all them fellers outta here! BECAUSE OL’ GORDY’S THE BIGGEST, MEANEST, COW PUNCHIN’ S.O.B. TO EVER LACE ‘EM UP! This here little lady gathered me up and she done aimed me like a rifle RIIIIIGHT at Classic Wrasslin’… took a little oilin’, little tender lovin’ care… but I’m finally priiiiiimed and ready to get me that there Real World’s title…
Doris nods along, pride in her eyes that her charge has finally found his sea leg at long last.
Gordy: AHHHHHHHHHHH don’t give two turtle dumps who’s holdin’ that sucker at the end of the day either. Besides becomin’ CHAMPEEEEN ol’ Gordy’s got a few things to suss up now that he’s done got his head on straight. FIRSTLY that two ton stack of leather and DAWG FECES Lord Colossus has a dang ol’ RECEIPT comin’ his way fer’ catchin’ The Stampede sleepin’… I’mma get that loss BACK, you S&M lookin’ FREAK! And as for you, FRANK…
The big bad Texan chuckles to himself and smoothes out the front of his brand new “GORDY LOVETT: COW PUNCHER” t-shirt… now on sale at your nearest merch stand.
Gordy: I got this funny feelin’ you and me is juuuuust gettin’ started, you appalachian IJIT! I swear, you people give rednecks a BAD NAME, lemme tell you what! If’n you can quit sniffin’ yer’ cousins panties fer ten seconds, hoss, you and me? ANY TIME, ANY PLACE, WHATEVER KIND A DANG OL’ MATCH YOU CAN COME UP WITH! Ol’ Gordy ain’t a’scared of no barefoot, inbred HILLBILLY, NO SIR!
The Stampede hands off the microphone to his manager. Doris looks towards the entrance curtain.
Doris: Let’s try not to lose sight of the matter at hand! Back there in the back ladies and gentleman is a scaaaaaared little Olympian… well, a third place Olympian anyway. Both he and my client stand with a record of one win and one loss. A precarious place for any competitor. The razor’s edge for a rising star… and regrettable afterthought. I’ve made it VERY clear to my client that if he doesn’t start producing results… well, suffice to say his home life gets far more complicated. So the proverbial fire is lit under his keister, Mr. Fargo… What about YOU, dear? This man is fighting for his HOME…
Gordy snatches back the microphone with fire in his eyes. Doris smiles… obviously knowing exactly what buttons to push to get her client primed and ready to fight.
Gordy: ENOUGH GOL-DERN JAWIN’… GET THAT LITTLE NORTH DAKOTA DINGUS OUT HERE TO TAKE HIS DANG OL’ MEDICINE, MAN! I’MMA RIP THAT BOAH IN TWAIN, BAH GAWD!