The cameras cut back to the announce position on-board Xtreme Cruiselines.
Sanction: Welcome back to Massacre everybody. Coming up now is the main event for the evening.
Tempest: Oh yeah. The new Lord of the Ring--though I guess her Twitter name now says Lady of the Ring, so should we call her that?
Sanction: I think either is fine honestly. She won the tournament called Lord of the Ring.
Tempest: Whatever. Albion Gale’s on a tear, but she’s up against her biggest test to date.
Sanction: Literally. The Lynx is a two-time Hardcore Champion and a former World Television Champion, so he knows what it takes to succeed.
Tempest: Plus he’s just huge and ruthless. He’s the biggest opponent Gale’s had yet, and she has no one as a buffer between her and the Architect of Destruction.
Sanction: Very true. It’s time to find out how she’ll get on, as Hana is standing by on the deck.
The camera cuts to Hana Ramirez standing in the middle of the ring, with the huge expanse of ocean stretching out behind her.
Ramirez: The following contest is scheduled for one fall, and it is a Number One Contendership Match for the XWA World Television Championship!
“Invidia” starts playing over the speakers, and during the slow open, the sounds of distant thunder and wind are piped in as well. There is a louder thunderclap at the drop, and water starts to pelt the stage in a simulated downpour. Albion walks out onto the stage, a black trenchcoat on over her ring gear, and she stands proudly with her arms out in the deluge. She turns her right arm a bit towards the stage lights rigged above the stage so the shiny gold ring on her right ring finger will catch the light. After a few seconds, the “rain” stops, she stops trying to catch the light with her new ring, Kaji emerges from behind the curtain, and they stride down to the ring.
Ramirez: Introducing first, being accompanied to the ring by Kaji Fireson, from Evansville, Indiana, weighing in at 164 pounds, she is the 2018 Lord of the Ring winner...Albion Gale!
Compared to when her entrance theme started and all the storm sounds, the arena feels positively calm for Albion now. As the song’s tempo increases, Albion’s pace quickens until she slides into the ring, with Kaji staying outside it. At this point she pops up and dramatically tears open her trenchcoat, revealing her ring attire underneath. She holds her arms out as though soaking in some sun (once again twisting her right arm to try and make her ring glint in the powerful lights) before removing her coat and draping it over the top rope, to be retrieved by a stagehand. She then does some last minute stretches to prepare for the upcoming match.
Sanction: I don’t think anyone in XWA--
Tempest: Um...if you kept up with Twitter, you’d know Austin Carter had her pegged from the beginning.
Sanction: Phrasing. Also, he’s got his own shit to deal with right now, but my point stands. Albion Gale was the darkest of dark horses, especially after losing her initial contest with Mark Storey, but she surprised everyone by persevering and conquering two much more experienced competitors in Madison Square Garden.
Tempest: I admire her dedication and fortitude, but bouncing back from the belt crack is not quite the same as staring down The Lynx. Plus, she made a good show of it just there, but we know her knee got savaged by Jerod Barnez at the supershow, so we’ll have to see how that plays out.
The stage lights go out completely. This doesn’t leave the ship in total darkness, only mostly darkness with a bit of glittering moonlight reflecting up off the water. The sudden guitar riffs of “Repentless” by Slayer sound across the ship. Four separate 'priests' come out with three foot sticks having a jack o'lantern hanging on the top, all four lit with candles. The usual fog machine makes no appearance, but a strong wind suddenly whips up and blows everyone’s hair about as well as causing the candles in the jack o’lanterns to flicker wildly, but none go out. After a moment of this, out comes the dominant force "The Lynx". He flips the orange and black cloak back and raises an arm up in the air. He marches his way down the ramp with the crowd hissing at him.
Ramirez: Her opponent, from the Trenches of the Abyss, weighing in at 360 pounds, the Architect of Destruction...The Lynx!
The Lynx walks up the steel steps and steps over the ropes, prompting Gale to slide under the bottom rope to give him room. He drops down to his knees in the middle of the ring, arms outstretched and looks downward like he was peering down into the abyss. He drives both fists into the mat and fire shoots out of the ring posts. Hana and Tommy Tickles, the official for this match, both flinch, while Gale and Fireson both stare up at him stoically. He then stands up, ready to waste away anyone that should get in his way, which tonight will be Albion Gale.
Sanction: I’ve seen that entrance several times but I always flinch when the fire shoots out. I’m impressed that Albion and Kaji are so comfortable with that.
Tempest: Well Kaji has Fire in his name, son. I’ve got nothing for Albion, but maybe she’s just so far into her pre-match mindset it doesn’t phase her?
Sanction: Possibly. She will need to have her head fully in the game to withstand the assault of such a powerful foe.
Kaji gives Gale a last minute pep talk before she nods and slides into the ring. Lynx steps back, and though he allows Tickles to separate them to begin the match, it’s clear he could throw Tickles into the ocean from here if he wanted. Tickles knows that as well, so he gets the match started as quickly as he can so he can get the hell out of the way.
*DING DING DING*
As soon as the bell rings, Lynx charges toward Gale, but Gale baseball slides between his legs, avoiding a nasty lariat. Lynx turns around as fast as he can, but by the time he’s whirled around, Gale is on her feet again and starts launching into him with low roundhouse kicks to his legs. She gets off several kicks before he swipes at her with one of his massive arms. Gale ducks the haymaker attempt and keeps kicking away, but before she can make much ground, Lynx reaches down and catches her left leg, leaving her hopping on her right to maintain balance, which is hard with the height difference. Gale is quick to leap up and nail Lynx with an enzuigiri in response, but it only causes him to stagger a step or two, letting go of her other leg in the process. She scrambles to her feet, knowing her speed has to save her. She runs against the opposite ropes, but suddenly a bunch of sparks erupt from the other side of the ropes, making her pump the breaks. She has her back to Lynx, so she can’t see his hand up in the direction of those sparks. She only sees it when she whirls around and that hand comes careening towards her face in a huge chop right on top of her head! The assembled crowd howls with boos as Lynx drops into a lateral press.
Gale kicks out! As soon as she does, her hands and arms are up around her head to cover up.
Sanction: Gale with the speed advantage got off to an early lead, but the Lynx showing why he is so dangerous. Just one strike and the Lady of the Ring crumbles in a heap.
Tempest: The tricks are coming out of the bag early as well. I hope Albion and Kaji have something in the works to counteract this stuff, because even if you don’t believe it’s magic, it’s still very distracting, which could be just what Lynx needs to get back into the TV Title picture.
Lynx doesn’t hesitate when he only gets a two-count. He immediately stands up, then stands over Gale, with one leg on either side of her chest. He bends down, grabs Gale with both hands by the throat, then lifts her straight up into the air with no apparent effort. He doesn’t lift her to her feet, he lifts her straight up into the air, then sinks back down with a two-handed sitout chokeslam!
Sanction: Lynx with the Hellzone Grenade early!
Tempest: He caught her completely off guard! Is this enough!?
Sanction: Tickles is there, we’re about to find out!
Lynx raises up Gale’s legs and scooches forward into the sitout pinning predicament.
Gale kicks out! Lynx growls audibly as he twists Gale around to try to put her shoulders back down, but Gale just twists her other shoulder up to keep herself out of that position, so Lynx throws her legs forward off of him, the power of his seated throw forcing Gale to roll backwards over her neck before coming to rest on her stomach. Lynx stands up angrily and stalks Gale as she starts to stand. He extends his arm, making large circles with it to indicate another clothesline attempt coming, and when he feels the time is right, he backs into the ropes and comes barreling off of them as Gale turns around sluggishly. Gale quickly ducks out of the way, reaching up for Lynx’s incoming tree limb of an arm, and twists herself around until she is on his back in the Crucifix position! She is trying to bring him down but can’t shift her weight hard enough to make him lose his balance. She tries an extra large roll of her body, but only winds up getting herself on Lynx’s shoulders in a good Samoan Drop position, and a moment later she takes that trip, getting planted in the center of the ring. The crowd cringes, then boos again as Lynx goes for another lateral press.
Gale rolls a shoulder up!
Sanction: No one is surprised by now at how resilient Albion is, but she’s taken some blows that could flatten lesser women, and she hasn’t really been able to get out of the gate so far.
Tempest: She looked like she might have been about to build some momentum until those sparks happened. Do you think Lynx spooked her?
Sanction: Maybe, but if so, she really needs to get it together if she wants to have enough strength left to face Blake Archer later on in the cruise.
Lynx lifts Gale up as he gets to his feet. She struggles to get free of his grip, punching at his stomach and kicking at his knees, but she doesn’t get free. Lynx just turns her around until her back is to him, wraps a massive arm around her neck, and wrenches back in a Dragon Sleeper! Gale starts struggling wildly, not wanting to spend too much time in the Lynx Lock, but as strong as she is, she can’t push on Lynx’s arm enough to get an opening, and she starts turning colors.
It isn’t until Lynx starts roaring and wrenching Gale this way and that while maintaining the Dragon Sleeper that Kaji leaps up onto the apron to admonish him. Kaji’s eyes are as wide as they can be as he shouts at Lynx, and while a lot of it is hysterical and indecipherable, sound bits like EASY ON HER NECK, YOU SICK FUCK! and TRY THAT ON SOMEONE YOUR OWN SIZE! are easily picked up by the mics. With a shortage on people Lynx’s size to pick on, he looks at Kaji, who is smaller than him but larger than Gale, and even though his mouth is not visible through the mask, the crowd in attendance and Kaji himself seem to feel the evil intentions in his eyes as another ominous, chilling wind whips up. Kaji goes suddenly very quiet as Lynx drops Gale to the canvas in a heap and advances on her manager menacingly. The fear in Kaji’s eyes is apparent, but he does not back down from the monster, even as he looms directly over him. Quiet words are exchanged, none of which are loud enough for any microphones to register, but the result is a visibly large swallow from Kaji. Despite this, and also despite the pleading of Tickles, Kaji stays on the apron. Lynx shrugs, then roars and charges back against the opposite ropes. Kaji looks like he’s going to eat nearly 400 pounds of Lynx on the rebound, but just before the Yakuza Kick makes impact, there’s another, greater gust of wind that sends Lynx suddenly staggering forward to drape his leg over the top rope, crotching him on it! It’s not even worth it, because the gust also blew Kaji off the apron, toppling to the ground until he tumbles into the barricade, dizzy, disgruntled, but largely unharmed. He furrows his brow as he looks at Lynx trying to gingerly extract himself from this position, then to Gale, who is prone on the mat but has her right arm stretched out towards Lynx, and Kaji’s former location.
Tempest: That was nearly it for Kaji. He calls himself “The Phoenix” but I don’t know if he could have revived himself after that went down.
Sanction: I think you’re right. He looked ready to stand there and take it though, if not for that strong wind that blew him off.
Tempest: You don’t think...? Nah, that’s silly.
Sanction: Is it? We’ve watched Lynx shoot fire out of the ring posts and disappear behind his cloak.
Tempest: Well if she does have magic, she needs to start using it to get the upper hand, or however powerful she is, Lynx is going to squash her like a bug.
Lynx is tall enough to step over the ring ropes so it’s not that big a deal to get off of them and into the ring. Gale is still struggling to push herself up to her hands and knees, occasionally rolling her neck around to ensure that it still works the way it should. Lynx doesn’t seem to have reached the same conclusion Tempest has, instead staying on the assault. He reaches down to grab Gale by the hair, earning a fresh hail of boos from the assembled crowd, but as he pulls her to her feet, she reaches up to wrap her arms around the back of Lynx’s neck. She then leaps up and swings her legs behind her for extra momentum to pull Lynx down as she blasts his jaw with a split-legged jawbreaker! The crowd cheers as Lynx reels back, not downed but stunned enough to release his grip on Gale. Gale leaps up to her feet and nails a big dropkick to the jaw that sends him reeling back into the ropes, dazed but still not downed! Gale sets herself, ducks an attempted Death by Design clothesline, runs against the ropes behind Lynx, and launches herself at his left knee before he’s able to turn around in the biggest chop block of her life! This brings him down to one knee, and when Gale sees this, she leaps to her feet and runs at the ropes again, this time jumping up to the second rope before twisting herself around to nail Lynx in the back of the head with a Springboard Dropkick! This STILL isn’t enough to make Lynx completely prone, as he’s caught himself on his hands and knees, so Gale charges the ropes once more, and this time launches herself over Lynx’s back as he tries to push himself up, grabbing his head on the way by and driving it down into the canvas with a full speed DDT! The crowd roars as Lynx is finally fully down! Gale sets to work rolling him over onto his back to try to pin him, and with no small amount of effort, she manages to flip him over. She falls into a cover, reaching for a leg and trying to bring it closer to her.
Lynx kicks out with authority. How much authority? Enough to make Gale lose her grip on his leg as she goes flying through the air. She gets launched horizontally with such force that if she hadn’t caught herself on the middle rope and slipped through to the apron, she might have kept going until she went overboard...or at the very least, had a tragic impact with the portable barricades.
Sanction: A powerful kickout from Lynx, plenty left in the tank it would seem.
Tempest: She got him off his feet, though! If that’s not proof of supernatural prowess I don’t know what is.
Sanction: It could just be that she’s very good at professional wrestling...?
Tempest: Why not both dot jpeg?
As powerfully as he kicked out, Lynx still looks dazed as he rolls over onto his stomach. Gale perches herself on the apron and clutches the top rope, clearly waiting for her moment. She waits as he pushes himself slowly up to hands and knees, his huge chest clearly heaving, and as he makes the final push to get upright, Gale leaps up onto the top rope, then launches herself off in a huge springboard! It seemed like she was going for a Frankensteiner, but we’ll never know, because Lynx rushes forward and catches her around the waist before turning around and planting her in the center of the ring with a ship-shaking spinebuster! Gale cries out in pain and arches her back as Lynx sits, remaining on his knees for a moment to catch his breath before shifting into a cover while hooking a leg.
Gale kicks out! It isn’t much, but rolling her shoulder up is good enough to break the fall. Lynx pounds on the canvas in frustration.
Sanction: Lynx trying to send Gale to her Eternal Rest there, and for the life of me, I do not know how she kicked out of that.
Tempest: I think the big guy’s a little flustered. He got brought down for that near fall and now things are starting to unravel.
Sanction: That may be, but I fear for Gale’s safety if Lynx loses his temper much more.
Lynx takes a deep breath and pulls himself to his feet. He glares at Gale, then looks at her leg, which draws boos from the crowd. He lifts her right leg, the one weakened at Lord of the Ring, but as soon as she feels his huge hands on her ankle, she springs to life and starts frantically kicking at Lynx with her left leg. Most of her kicks are ineffectual as she flails, but one kick catches Lynx right under the chin, and the resulting shock is enough to cause him to lose his grip on her leg. She quickly rolls backwards onto her feet, and as soon as she is up, she ducks another attempted Death by Design. She charges the ropes, but so does Lynx, and they both bound off of opposite ropes at the same time. It looks bad for Gale, but she’s faster, and she leaps up into the air so she can nail Lynx in the head with her charging boot! Lynx doesn’t fall down from heading Back to Black, but he does stagger back into the ropes hard enough to fall over the top rope and onto the deck! The crowd cheers as Gale looks down at Lynx as he tries to pull himself together. Gale starts hopping on the balls of her feet as she waits for the monster to find his, and when he’s struggling to get up from hands and knees, she times it to bounce on the ropes behind her before charging forward. Seeing where this is going, Kaji shouts “NO!” a moment too late to stop her, but his protestations are misplaced. Gale was tempting Lynx, who answered by shooting to his feet with arms outstretched to catch her, but she rolls herself through and over the top rope, landing on the apron. She grabs the top rope and pulls herself up to spring off, at which point Lynx shows surprising quickness to dodge out of the way, except that Gale has predicted this as she hops not backwards, but onto the top rope to fire off a quick springboard dropkick to the back of Lynx’s skull!
Sanction: A brilliant fakeout at the last moment there by Albion, and that may be the opening she needs to put Lynx away.
Tempest: Let’s hope it’s soon, before one of them fights the other off the boat.
Lynx staggered forward but did not fall when the dropkick hit, so Gale goes for another chop block, once again hitting the left knee. This makes Lynx falter, falling to his knees, and before he can push himself back up, Gale backs into the ropes for momentum before charging at the back of Lynx once again. This time, instead of going for the diving low DDT, she does a sort of half Slingblade thing, leaping and twisting around to pull Lynx down with her in a reverse STO! The impact of the Cacophony causes a cacophony, mostly of cheers but supplemented by the monster’s roars of pain as his head whips against the canvas, then back as he flips onto his back. Gale holds her back a bit, then rushes to a corner, and even before she starts climbing, Kaji gets that wide-eyed look on his face again. He doesn’t say anything as she climbs up to the second, then top turnbuckle. When she gets there and sets herself, Lynx starts stirring like he’s going to get up again. Gale glares down at him, and at that exact moment, one of the lights shorts out.
Sanction: Oh no, not more lights shenanigans...
Tempest: I don’t think this one’s intentional, Mark. Look!
A few sparks fall from the lighting rig and land on Lynx, causing him to spasm and shudder. It’s only the briefest of shocks, but it’s enough for Gale to leap off and twist herself around in midair to hit her Shooting Star Press onto the Architect of Destruction! She sticks the landing and tries desperately to hold Lynx’s arms down while Tickles counts.
3! The bell rings as she leaps off of Lynx just before his body instinctively kicks out and sends her flying again.
Ramirez: Here is your winner and the number one contender for the XWA World Television Championship...Albion Gale!
Kaji rushes over to where Gale has slid out of the ring, looking like he wants to usher her to the back, but Gale remains standing at ringside, staring up at Lynx to see if he does anything stupid, but after glaring at the official and roaring in anger, he pulls one of his white pellets, throws it down, and summons the puff of smoke that spirits him away.
Sanction: Another impressive display from the Lady of the Ring, and she’s earned herself a shot at the TV Title.
Tempest: That’ll be interesting to see, given she’ll have to run up against hashtag #Vaughnemous one more time. You have to wonder what will change with no Jerod involved, and with the title on the line.
Sanction: I’m wondering about a lot of things, but it’s time to go. Be sure to tune in next week for XWA On a Boat! Albion will face Blake Archer in a showcase of Supreme Title contenders, Dom Harter answers Emery Layton’s open challenge, and of course, all eyes will be on the epic clash between Dan Bennett and Rob Chapman.
Tempest: All that and more to come soon. Don’t miss it!
XWA’s end screen logo comes on screen as the camera angles up to the faulty element in the lighting rig, which sparks again, but afterwards everything seems alright, and the final image is of the sea as the camera drifts down to focus on its shimmering moonlit brilliance.
OOC: Apologies for taking so long. As I mentioned to Swift, work has been pretty hellacious lately. Hopefully it's up to snuff, even if it's a little shorter.