Cut to the ring where Harold Robbins stands center stage with a microphone in hand.
Harold Robbins: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN…IT IS TIME…FOR YOUR MAIN EVENT!
Moss: This is a matchup I’ve been waiting for all week, Thunderbird.
Howley: You’re seeing two phenomenal athletes going fisticuffs, one-on-one, mano-e-mano, looking for one thing and one thing only: to advance and fight for that glorious strap.
Moss: My favorite part of this match? Really – these two men are not far apart when it comes to size. Valentino is an inch taller and about 23 pounds heavier, but that shouldn’t be a problem for All Business here tonight.
Howley: In my day – an inch and 23 pounds could make or break a man. We definitely know it could make and break your mother, Moss.
Moss: I’ve gone most of this show without your mom jokes…
Howley: It’s the main event, Moss – I’m not leaving this arena until I atleast slip one in.
The crowd begins to cheer as Robbins continues.
Harold Robbins: The following contest is for one fall with a thirty minute time limit. This is the SECOND ROUND of the Classic Wrestling REAL World Championship tournament. The winner will ADVANCE to the THIRD ROUND!
The famous guitar solo opening of the Eagles’ classic “Life in the Fast Lane” hits the speakers and the crowd goes bananas! Vito “Metro” Valentino makes his way to the ringside area, wearing a green, white, and red short-legged singlet, with black fingerless gloves and white boots with the letters “VV” written in classic cursive handwriting on each side. With a fish in the air, he stops at the steps where the roar of the crowd washes over him like a warm blanket.
Harold Robbins: Coming to the ring first and weighing in at 261 pounds; he hails from BROOKLYN, NEW YORK…this is VITO…METRO…VALENTINO!!!
After pounding the steps three times for good luck, he quickly gets into the ring, ascends a turnbuckle and raises another first for the crowd. Climbing back down, he stretches his arms, shoulders and neck as he awaits his opponent.
Harold Robbins: And his opponent…
“All Business” Alex Bruder walks out to “Train of Consequences” by Megadeath, the lights lowered and a single spotlight on him.
Harold Robbins: From Hillsboro, North Dakota, weighing in at 238 pounds, he is…ALL BUSINESS…ALEX…BRUDDER!
He ignores the crowd, not returning their insults. He enters via the stairs, wipes his boots on the apron, and goes to his corner, pulling against the top ropes, a mixture of last minute stretching and testing the rope’s tension.
Moss: As the referee checks to make sure these two studs are sans illegal items, let’s talk a little bit about where we stand in the brackets.
Howley: How about, instead, we discuss the fact that Alex Bruder’s discourse this past week might be resonating in Valentino’s skull.
Moss: Well, Thunderbird, that’s a good point, because Bruder really put it out there on the line. He didn’t cut any corners. However, that’s the purpose of being All Business when it comes to Alex Bruder. He’s the epitome of the nickname.
It doesn’t take but a second after the bell rings for Valentino and Bruder to immediately lock up. The two superstars are strapped at the collar and elbow. They circle, pushing back and forth, back and forth, both men seemingly trying to outpower the other, as the referee walks around them to study the tie-up. The fans cheer as Valentino, the heavier of the two, gets the better of Bruder after a minute of being locked up. Metro pushes down on All Business with a nice presentation of strength. The Brooklyn Italian sends a side-knee into Alex’s bread basket and Bruder hunches forward. Vito grabs Alex by the back of the head and walks him over to a corner. The crowd is cheering as Valentino tosses Bruder back first against the buckles and then Metro steps up onto the second pad. Vito looks out to the crowd with a smile and shows the fans his fist. He follows that up with a five knuckle pounding to Bruder’s forehead! He slowly raises his fist again and yells out “HOW ABOUT A FEW MORE?” The crowd eats that up but Bruder isn’t waiting for more!
Howley: You gotta be better than that, Vito! You can’t let a geek like Bruder catch you off guard!
Alex lifts Vito away from the turnbuckle and hurries to the center of the ring where he drives Metro back first into the canvas with a beautifully executed slam! Metro hits the ring awkwardly, his lower back taking most of the force, and Bruder hurries to his feet as he’s showered with boos. The referee is at the aid of Valentino as Bruder shrugs off the crowd’s dissatisfaction and turns around to view his opponent in a heap of pain. Bruder begins to unleash a set of stomps! One! Two! Three! Four! Five! The referee counts along as Bruder continues to stomp a crater-sized mud-hole into Valentino. The Italian pushes himself toward a corner with every stomp. Vito is pulling himself up by the buckles as Bruder continues to punish him with remorseless boots. Vito blocks a final stomp and grabs Alex by the ankle. He pushes All Business away and Bruder doesn’t hesitate to drive forward and splashes against Valentino in the corner! Alex peels Vito away front he turnbuckle and walks him into the center of the ring; he scoops Vito from the canvas and slams the 261 pound cabbie!
Moss: Bruder is showing incredible speed. He must’ve picked something up after that great match against Jack Fargo…
Alex Bruder runs toward the ropes and bounces off. He hurries toward the fallen Valentino and drops a slicing leg drop onto Vito’s clavicle! He spins off Metro and immediately reaches to hook the leg. The referee falls for the pin!
Howley: Don’t waste any time with wasted pins. This isn’t amatuer hour!
Moss: After a kick out it looks as if Bruder is showing a smidge of frustration at the official.
Vito kicks out and Bruder slaps his hands together three times to signal to the referee that he’s looking for a far more swift three count. Bruder turns to look at Vito but is met with a punch to the lower jaw! Bruder hops back and onto his butt. Valentino rolls onto his knees and lunges toward the seated Bruder and wraps his arm around Alex’s throat! He spins around Bruder and has a sleeper hold applied! The referee is asking Bruder if he’s ok. The fans are cheering and yelling “LET’S GO METRO!” and “SHOW THAT BRUDER WHO’S BOSS!”
Moss: It’s a lively crowd tonight, Thunderbird.
Howley: I used to hear these chants all the time, Moss. All the time. The fans love the Thunderbird. So, I know what it’s like to be loved.
Moss: You were hated just as much.
Howley: It’s “revered”, Moss. We don’t use the word “hate” with the Thunderbird.
It’s been nearly two minutes in the sleeper hold and Bruder is fading. Vito’s arms are wrapped extremely tight. The referee grabs Alex’s left arm and lifts it. It falls! The fans cheer as the referee holds up one finger. He lifts the arm again. IT FALLS! He holds up two fingers. Vito nods his head and presents a tooth grin to the very happy crowd. The referee lifts up Bruder’s arm and…Alex holds it! He holds his arm up! The referee leaps to his feet and calls off the count! Bruder sends an elbow into Valentino’s ribs! He’s pushing himself onto a knee! Vito’s eyes are wide! The fans can’t believe that Bruder is battling through it. Vito applies more downward pressure but Bruder is using much of his strength to power through! Alex shakes his arms and slides to his side with the hold still applied, but he’s now at an angle to drive a couple more elbows into Vito’s abdomen! Valentino let’s go! Bruder stands up and slaps Vito in the face! The crowd jeers, and as Vito stands up with a look of disgust from ear-to-ear…he’s met with an athletic standing drop kick that sends him backfirst into the ropes and he flips over and out of the ring!
Moss: What a dropkick! The force sends Vito to the outside!
Howely: You can use these few seconds to recuperate, but you better get back in that ring and get your act together, Metro!
Valentino’s back lands against the barricade and the fans pat him and send a litany of good praise in his direction. Vito shakes off the drop kick as the referee continues a count while he’s out of the ring. Metro slowly walks to the apron as Bruder stands in the center of the ring; he yawns and checks an imaginary wrist watch. The referee is now at five as Vito guides himself onto the apron and then bends through the ropes. Alex is very speedy, and he races toward Valentino and begins to rain hammering blows upon him! Vito eats every single blow and then stands up straight and punches Alex in the throat! The referee begins to shout and discipline Vito directly after the vicious throat shot, but Vito isn’t arguing, and hurries toward Bruder who is choking and coughing just a few feet away. He spins Alex around and scoops him up! He lifts the 230 pound Bruder up, and above his head! He’s pressing him! One! The crowd is going wild! TWO! THREE! FOUR! FIVE!
Moss: Look at that power!
Howley: Yes, but can he do that to Dr. Devastation? Or, Shujin Yama? This is child’s play, my man! I can bench press 230 pounds in my SLEEP! (we hear a lip smacking sound through the speaker that signifies he just kissed his bicep.)
SIX! SEVEN! EIGHT! NINE! TEN! And then he simply drops him with ease and Bruder falls to the canvas face first and flops around like a fish out of water! Valentino walks over to the turnbuckle and steps onto the second buckle. He sits on the turnbuckle and waits for Bruder to lie on his back, and when Alex does Vito then points at his elbow and dives off the second buckle to send a falling elbow spiked directly into Alex’s forehead! Vito goes for the pinfall, hooking the leg.
Bruder kicks out and Vito wastes no time to peel Alex from the canvas. He whips Bruder toward the ropes and All Business comes flying toward Metro. LARIAT! NO! Bruder ducks under the swing and then bounces off the ropes once more! Metro spins around. LARIAT! NO! Bruder ducks under the swing yet again, but this time he’s standing directly behind Valentino and immediately reaches for Metro and HOOKS HIM!
Moss: NO WAY!
Howley: Unless Valentino can slip through the sweat and baby oil…this match is over…
Moss: THE CLUTCH IS APPLIED!
COBRA CLUTCH! He kicks Vito in the back of the knees and Valentino falls onto the canvas as Bruder has the COBRA CLUTCH applied!
Moss: In your time, Thunderbird, have you ever been able to get out of the cobra clutch?
Howley: That insinuates I’ve been in the move, and I have not.
Moss: What about the match against Igor the Ruthless down in the New Mexico territory?
Howley: What? That match was stricken from the record when it was realized Igor was using pine tar on his forearms! DOESN’T EXIST! NEVER HAPPENED!
The referee is communicating with Valentino, but the Italian is in pain as Bruder applies more and more pressure with the clutch in place. The crowd is yearning for Valentino to gain momentum and bust out, but Metro is looking very weak at this moment. Vito is trying to wave his free arm and reach for Bruder, but with every flail it seems that Alex applies more and more pressure to Vito’s neck. It’s apparent that Metro is getting desperate, and he’s trying hard to stand.
Howley: That’s right, Vito! SHOW’EM YOUR MUSCLE!
Moss: CAN HE DO BREAK FREE!?
The crowd is cheering him on. Could he gain composure? Vito is slowly standing! He’s going to break out of Bruder’s COBRA CLUTCH! He’s up! Bruder can’t believe it, but the clutch is STILL applied! Bruder jumps onto Vito’s back and wraps his legs around Vito’s waist! Vito falls sideways to the mat and Bruder continues to keep the clutch applied. With more pressure…it seems like Vito is realizing his neck could snap at any second. The referee negotiates with Vito…and it’s with that…Metro’s free hand taps three times against the canvas and the referee immediately signals for the bell.
Moss: NO! NO! NO!
Howley: Bruder’s done it! Alex Bruder was ALL BUSINESS, baby!
Moss: I can’t believe it.
The crowd is in disbelief as Alex Bruder pushes Vito’s body away from him and he sits up onto one knee with a brief look of perplexity followed with a rather odd half grin…
Moss: He’s smiling now, Thunderbird.
Howley: He said he wouldn’t, but it looks as if he’s trying to. He loves this, Moss. This is Bruder’s time!
Harold Robbins: The winner of the match by submission, and advancing to the THIRD round of the Classic Wrestling REAL World’s Championship tournament…
The referee aids Vito Valentino as Metro rolls under the rope and rests on the ring apron while holding the back of his neck. It’s apparent that Bruder’s Cobra Clutch is truly a brutal hold.
Alex Bruder realizes the referee is with Valentino, so he walks over to Harold Robbins and asks that Harold hold up his arm to signify victory. He does just that.
Harold Robbins: …ALL BUSINESS…ALEX…BRUDDER!
Many fans boo, but there are a handful of the crowd paying more attention to Metro Vito Valentino as he hops down from the apron and slowly walks along the ring while holding his neck. He’s disappointed, but more worried about his physical well being. The referee guides him along as the front row claps for Vito and some can be heard saying “Future World Champ…” Meanwhile, Alex Bruder shrugs off the boos and poses in the center of the ring.
Cut back to the commentary table.
Moss: It looks as if Alex Bruder is heading to the third round of the tournament! He’s one more Cobra Clutch away from heading to the BIG SHOW!
Howley: Until then, I’m the most legendary man in this building…
Moss: And I’m Patrick Moss! We’ll see you next time for more unbelievable action here at…
Moss and Howley: CLASSIC WRESTLING!
Thunderbird kisses his bicep once more as the show ends.