As the bell tolls thrice, Vladimir is the first out of his corner, pacing to the center of the ring with a hand stretched out before him. Chris slowly steps up to meet him, an eyebrow cocked as he glares with fixation on the kindly gesture. He looks up to the face of the Romanian and back down to his open palm, obviously finding it incredulous. Strife pushes the hand out even further, goading his opponent to take it, but the Bat has done his homework and is all too aware of the unscrupulous tendencies of the Barbarian Lord and refuses to meet him with a show of good sportsmanship that he knows his foe doesn't share. Instead, he gives Vladimir his open palm across his jaw, a loud slap filling the still air and causing the GodKing to take a step back as he tries to process what has just happened. Most individuals would never dare to slap Vladimir, but the Dark Sense of Justice not only dares, he has an encore to deliver as well. Incensed by the disrespect he's receiving, the Bambi Killer goes after Knight, only to find a change in tactics from the younger man and the flat of a boot in his gut. He lurches forward as if chasing after the wind driven from his lungs and his rival wastes no time in slamming an elbow against the length of his jaw, sending him stumbling back into the ropes. Chris Knight, perhaps in the interest of the sportsmanship he refuses to show previously, steps back and watches, allowing the Czar of Scars to recuperate a moment as the crowd begins to get a bit pumped up from the efforts of the Canadian.
Eyes glaring toward the opposition, Vladimir takes a second to rub his tender jaw, a smirk upon his face as the fire in the younger man garners his interest. He takes a step toward him and begins to strafe, circling around him and forcing Knight to do the same, their motions looking almost like a ritualistic dance. They gradually close the gap between one another, each sizing one another up with every step and looking for some kind of weakness to exploit. When they've almost reduced the space between them to striking distance, the men pounce in toward one another, each bringing their arms up to greet one another in the traditional collar and elbow tie up. They jockey for advantage, pitting one another's strength against the other, but it is ultimately brains and not brawn that takes the upper hand. Vladimir shifts his upper body to the side and pulls in his arms, bringing the former law enforcer in close and on track for the sharp knee that rises to meet his midsection. As he doubles over, the right arm of the Barbarian Lord wraps around his head in a side headlock, pulling him in close to his ribcage. The detective quickly seeks an out, placing his palm on the lower back of Vlad and trying to push him off, but he finds no give from the veteran, every attempt seeming to instead tighten his grip until the smaller star can begin to feel the pulsation of his own blood in his skull. Only once he thinks he feels Knight begin to fade does the GodKing transition from the hold, firmly jutting out his hip and pulling the 200 pounder in to leverage him across it and flip him down onto his back in the middle of the ring. Vladimir drops down with him, still keeping him in his vice-like grip as he now is pressing down upon his chest, prompting the referee to drop into position in search of an early fall. He slaps the mat once, but it is Vladimir; not Knight, who cuts him short, lifting up his catch enough to end the attempt and drilling him with a hard punch as he releases him. With that, the Romanian comes back up to his feet and, in spite of his usual nature, relents to return the opportunity to catch one's breath to Chris.
While the former officer of the law begins to peel himself up from the mat, the GodKing watches on silently, stretching and twisting his neck to limber himself up for the remainder of the battle. Once he has gotten back to his feet, Chris glares at his opponent, the two locked on and fixated upon one another like rivals in the animal kingdom ready to fight to the death. They begin to circle about yet again, proverbially wearing a groove in the canvas. This was a key match for both men and each run through scenario after another in their head as the prepare to engage one another again. For Chris Knight, a man who'd come to prove that there was no tolerance for corruption and evil; a man devoted to bring even the most heinous and vile individuals to their knees regardless of what it took - there could be no better medium to transmit his message to the world than through quite probably the most morally reprehensible on the roster. For Vladimir Strife, a violent individual with far less of a proclivity towards such matters of morality, this would be a grand opportunity to capture his 12th championship and put himself in a position to have further opportunities to unleash his barbaric tendencies upon the roster.
The men rush one another again, but as Chris goes for a second showing of the collar and elbow tie up, Vladimir grabs him by the back of the head and pulls him into another stiff right hand. The former officer returns fire, rattling a ball of knuckles across the fuzzy jawline of Wrath Personified. The battle tested and hardened Strife is hardly phased by the blow and the men again trade a round shots to the delight of the crowd. Still at a stalemate, Vlad steps in even closer for his next at-bat and brings his fist in towards himself, driving his elbow into the cheek of his opponent and causing him to stagger a second before he is able to produce one of his own in exchange. Fueled by pride, the men go another round of elbows, both coming away from it on shakier ground. Chris raises his foot, the wing of it poised for the gut of the Romanian, but Strife catches it as if to refuse taking the strike out of turn. He steps in close to Knight yet again, this time slipping his leg behind his foe's last support and removing it from under him. Chris drops down hard to the mat, but swiftly clutches onto Strife's head as he does. As they plummet towards the canvas, the Bat recalls some of his training and expertly presses his caught boot into the gut of the Barbarian Lord, using it and his hold upon his cranium to flip the heavyweight over his head and onto his back. The enforcer flips over with him, coming down on his knees into the pectorals of the Czar of Scars and positioning himself for a pinfall attempt. It takes the official a moment to process this, the information temporarily lost to his mind in the shuffle of incredible counter he's just witnessed, but he drops down to the canvas, striking it once as he lands and yelling out "ONE!". He sharply gives another crisp slap upon it, the excitement of the fans rising with the count. He ventures the third, but stops shy as Chris Knight gets bucked aside by the dazed, but still very much contentious, Bambi Killer. An exasperated collective "Awwwww" goes up around the ring, but the match must go on as the pair pick themselves up, dust off and ready another go at each other, more warily than before.
As the two combatants begin to shrink the distance between themselves once more, Chris is first to strike, lashing out with a low kick that catches the GodKing across the side of the knee, torquing it and bringing a wince to his features. Pouncing upon the opening, the Bat takes Vlad by the wrist and pulls him in hard, sending him past himself and soaring into the ropes. The Romanian bounds and comes barreling back toward his opponent, hunkering down under an outstretched arm to avoid the clothesline. He runs to the opposite side of the ring, throwing himself against the ropes once more. Coming back toward the center, he finds Knight still turned away, but gazing back over his shoulder as he raises his boot back and connects with Vladimir's midsection. The Barbarian Lord lurches forward, holding onto his stomach and sets himself in perfect position for the superkick that catches him on the chin and sends him down to the mat with a thunderous clatter. The seeker of justice falls back, collapsing onto the veteran and scoops his leg, again seeking the coveted three-count.
Vlad powers out again, shoving the rookie off of himself before rolling away to the outside of the ring to catch his breath. While Chris has failed to cinch the bout, he has won over more of the audience, fans chanting "KNIGHT! KNIGHT! KNIGHT!" as he brings himself back up to his feet and cautiously eyes the Bambi Killer, not allowing himself to be caught up in the excitement of the crowd. Strife looks near ready to climb back into the squared circle and take another go at his foe when he instead grabs onto the apron and flips it up, drawing a rise from the fans of his own as he begins to bring out the full potential of the contest's lack of stipulations. He takes hold of a steel chair, determining to begin with a classic, and pulls it out from the undertow of the ring. He tosses the weapon up and over the ropes, allowing it to land in ring with a plop before returning his attention to the storage area. On this venture, he comes away with a far more extreme selection: a handful of fluorescent tubes taped into a bundle. He slips them under the bottom rope and incidentally upon the steel chair before continuing his search with the casualness of one looking for the remote under the couch cushions.
While the Czar of Scars digs around for another equalizer, Chris Knight takes to the outside of the ring as well, opting to simply pluck a chair from the bell keeper's station and fold it shut before making his way toward his ultraviolent competition. Vladimir, focused upon his hunt, doesn't seem to even register the incoming danger until the flat of a steel seat crashes down upon his lumbar, dropping him to his knees and coaxing an animalistic groan from deep in his throat. Chris swiftly follows up, reigning another blow across his shoulders that calls out toward the rafters like a gunshot. The blast, typically enough to flatten a foe, fails to have such results on the man who has taken more chair shots than alcoholic shots in his lifetime and forces the Bat to reel back and wind up for another. As he lets fly with it, the GodKing twists back toward him and juts his hand out into the stomach of the younger star. Surprisingly, this simple gesture is more than enough to force Chris to relent his seat in favor of the ringside padding. He drops flat, shuddering mildly as a hush comes over the confused crowd and his opponent pulls himself back up to a vertical base.
With whispers abound in the arena among a confused crowd, Vladimir rises up and towers over the squirming Knight, who fights his way up to his hands and knees. The Barbarian Lord clarifies the previous events for everyone as he holds the taser up before him and approaches his opponent from behind, a series of jeers going through the stands. Strife, unfazed by their disapproval, touches the prongs atop the weapon to the side of Chris's neck and, with a click, sends him sprawling face down onto the padding. The relentless tormentor cackles with glee at the irony of utilizing a taser against a former officer of the law before tossing the weapon into the crowd and giving one lucky member of the audience a one of a kind souvenir. He bends down to meet Knight as he is again scrambling to get to his hands and knees and takes him by the back of the hair. He guides him to his feet before tossing him into the guardrail, the young rookie turning to meet it with his lower back. The dull thud from this soon erupts into full blown misery as the strong arm of the 234 pound Romanian slams into Chris's chest like a baseball bat, bending him back against the barricade. The seeker of justice doubles over and raises his arm, barring it over his lower back, but his position is taken as an invitation from his adversary, who hooks his arm around the Canadian's head and rotates him around before grasping the side lip of his tights. Knight has little time and less wherewithal to protest and, with a mighty heave, the GodKing rips him clear of Terra Firma and drops backwards, suplexing him onto the guardrail. The Bat's battered back takes the brunt of the impact, his tender lumbar coming down nigh perfectly aligned with the top of the rail. His body bends about the landing site, looking as though it'll wrap around it before he slumps forward into a heap before the feet of the front row attendees. As he grunts and groans upon the floor, sticky with the residue of overzealous toasts and dropped sodas, fans of the Bat corral about him, offering words of encouragement to him.
Vladimir takes his time getting back up, knowing his opponent won't be quick to do so. He stretches his neck, then calmly walks over to him. He reaches over the rail and grabs onto Chris, who suddenly spins toward him and chucks a clear plastic Solo cup of Budweiser into the Behemoth's face. The Romanian quickly releases his hold to comfort his stinging eyes, wiping furiously at them to work out the overpriced booze. Strife raises his head, the world before him still quite blurry, and is only just able to make out the fuzzed form of a steel chair before it crashes down upon his crown. To the frustration of Knight, the Barbarian Lord only drops to a single knee, having been more than accustomed to chairshots at this point in his career. The rookie back away from his opponent and the rail, making some distance between them. As Vlad at last rises back up, Chris goes on the attack, rushing toward him. He throws caution to the wind and himself to the air, coming over the barricade with a reckless suicide dive, the steel chair clutched tight and held before him as he drives it into the visage of the Bambi Killer with all of his weight behind it. The impact is heard well into the stands as the men collapse in a heap at ringside. A small round of "Holy Shit!" comes from the crowd as the pair lie around, neither seeming in any hurry to get back up as Vlad stares blankly at the lights and Chris squirms about on the mats.
Most of a minute passes before the men begin to stir, each coming up to their feet, slowly but surely, near simultaneously. It is Vladimir who throws the first strike this time, pounding a clenched fist into the forehead of his opponent that sways him. Chris responds with a sudden jolt of energy, rushing forth and lowering himself as he drives his shoulder into the gut of the Behemoth and sends him into the guardrail with the Gore, both men spilling over it in front of the audience, who are ecstatic to see the up close and personal. The men are quicker to their feet this time, both fired up and ready to take the fight to the other. They trade punch after punch, making their way deeper into the crowd as the sea of fans diverts about them. As they approach the steps, Strife finally starts to take advantage in their slug fest, a hard haymaker dazing Chris momentarily and breaking the rapid succession of blows. Vlad, looking to extend his advantage, pulls him toward the handrail and bends him back against it, aggravating the lumbar he worked over earlier in the contest. The seeker of justice squirms uncomfortably, but before he can get away, Strife leaves him with a huge forearm down across the chest.
With a grand wave of his hand and a few choice words, Vladimir shoos away a section of the crowd, clearing the way of any collateral damage for what he has planned in his dark and sadistic mind. He pulls Chris in close, stepping in behind with their backs to the vacant rows and the Barbarian Lord reaches around his waist, locking his hands together before Knight's stomach. Cameras begin to flash all around them as the Behemoth lurches back, whipping his catch off of his feet and into the air. The desperate Canadian struggles, managing to flip himself around toward Vlad and wrap his arm about his head as he does so. His deathlike grip allows Chris to divert their momentum and turn the GodKing around instead of being chucked overhead and he comes down upon his own two feet in a familiar position. The rookie grabs tightly onto the beltloop of the Barbarian Lord, excitement in his eyes at what he's managed to do. He pulls up with all of his strength, lifting Vlad's feet off of the ground for a split second before twisting with him and driving him down face first into the stairs. The momentum of the duo carries them on, causing them to tumble head over heels down the flight of steps gracelessly, their motions looking almost strobbed from the flicker of camera flashes. Almost every fan in the house comes up to their feet, their collective calls of "HOLY SHIT!" deafening all other noise in earshot for the time being.
Chris, starting to finally come to after a moment, looks over to observe an advancing pool of crimson spreading out from the Behemoth's downturned head. As it dawns upon him as to where he is and what the situation is, a sense of urgency overcomes him and he presses up to a standing position despite his throbbing body. The purveyor of justice takes a clump of Strife's slickened hair into his hand and begins to tug it in the direction of the ring. He finds no purchase for ground until the Behemoth, feeling the strain on his scalp, lethargically scrambles up to his feet and follows mindlessly, revealing a face half flush in a deep red to scattered gasps from the crowd. Knight gets sight of the gore, but presses on, towing the GodKing behind him on his way towards victory and immortality. The Romanian stops in his tracks, weakly trying to muster up a resistance, but the Bat refuses to have any of it. He takes Vlad by the arm and jerks hard, whipping him about himself and right into the guardrail once more, sending the Czar of Scars tumbling outside of the ring one final time. He follows over gingerly, carefully coming over the rail with his eyes fixated on the downed legend.
Chris takes Vladimir by the back of the pants and head as he squirms around, using them to leverage him back up to his feet long enough that he can roll him back into the coveted squared circle. He follows him in, his heart pounding as he rests himself upon the nearly unbeatable veteran and the referee slips into place besides them. The fans scream along with him, hoping the unconventional hero can take the victory today.
The Czar of Scars twists himself sideways, forcing his shoulder off of the mat and granting himself a momentary reprieve. Chris looks beside himself with shock, not able to comprehend how Vlad could kick out of it. He looks around in search of anything to help him seal the deal, when a glint catches his eye. He pulls himself up and takes the Romanian by his hair yet again before once more setting his sights on the steel chair midring and the lighttubes rested upon it. He drags the unwilling Barbarian Lord up to his feet, who seems barely unable to stand upon them until he suddenly hunkers down and moves in, wrapping his arms around Knight's midsection and lower back. He squeezes as hard as he can, lifting up the lighter competitor in a rare bearhug out of desperation. Initially panicked, Chris quickly remedies the situation with two stiff rights to the bloodied forehead of the veteran, forcing him to release him. With a kick to the gut, Knight doubles Strife over. He grabs his arm and pulls it back through his legs, setting up the common and yet incredibly significant Pump Handle position. His fans begin to go wild as the Bat leverages the GodKing up and onto his shoulder for the Batwing, but it soon goes awry as a sharp pain returns in his lumbar - the minute and momentary lapse into agony being all it takes for Vladimir to go over Chris's shoulder and land on his feet.
Refusing to let his back pain keep him from putting down one of the most vile persons to ever step into the ring, Chris spins around - only just in time to meet the wing of the GodKing's boot as it slams into his gut. He nearly folds over upon himself, but the Czar of Scars is more than happy to help keep him afloat by hooking his arms under Knight's and tucking his head between his thighs. With a mighty heave, things go upside down (And all too literally) for the Bat before coming crashing down (also quite literally). The shattering of glass rings out, drawing the crowd to their feat as a cloud of fine particulates rises into the air from the wreckage of the Skesis Driver. Vladimir hooks his opponent's leg and glares out intensely as the official plops down beside them and makes the count.
The bell calls out as Vlad releases the latest in a long line of men fallen at his hands and slips out of the ring, coughing and sputtering from the effort he's put forth. In spite of the performance, the fans jeer on, showing their disdain for the morally unscrupulous Strife as he raises his favorite finger to them and staggers his way toward the back.