MadDog: It’s now time for the Champions Challenge.
Mark Sanction: As many of you have seen that steel cage has been hanging above the ring all night, just waiting for this match.
MadDog: It promises to be a brutal match as the Demon battles the Monster with the opportunity for Trace Demon to make his name against the XWA World Champion.
Hana Ramierez: The following match is the champions challenge steel cage match! The only ways to win this match are via pinfall, submission or escaping the cage! Introducing first...
The opening chords of ‘Destabilise’ hit the speaks as the lights in the area turn off. Crimson spotlights begin shining down upon the arena and as the bass hits all of them combine on the rampway where Trace Demon walks out onto the stage, his face obscured by a hood. Trace walks out onto the ramp before holding out his arm, his fingers pointed like a gun at his opponent. His free hand grasps the hood as he simultaneously pulls the hood down and throws his hands up, mouthing “Boom” as a huge wall of flame shoots up from the stage as the lights turn back on.
Hana Ramierez: Hailing from Ontario, Canada, he stands in at 6’4 and weights 240lbs, he is the King of Demons... Trace... Demon!
Trace stands on the ramp, looking around at the crowd as they hurl abuse at one of their favourite new villains. He begins walking towards the ring, ignoring their shouts. He stops the foot of the ring but instead of his usual leap he walks round to the side and stops in front of a female audience member. A pretty women with red hair. He winks at her and blows her a kiss, confusing many including the fan. He turns around before leaping up onto the apron, entering the ring between the top and middle rope. Now inside the ring the King of Demons ascends the top rope. Pointing out at the fans Trace smirks before leaping off of the turnbuckles. He glances up the cage while he waits for the Champion.
Mark Sanction: Trace Demon is coming off of a count out victory over his long time nemesis Drake Dysfunction. He accepted this challenge sure that it would be his way to solidify his name as a main event presence here in the XWA.
MadDog: Trace Demon is a very impressive competitor but even he is going to struggle in this match.
Mark Sanction: He does hold victories over both Rose and Hutton Brown and is looking to add the current XWA World Champion to that list but yes, this is going to be a difficult one.
Hana Ramierez: And his opponent...
The arena lights once again go out as the entire arena is plunged into complete darkness. The fans begin to boo and scream in excitement in equal measures as Angelus’ theme music begins.
“AYO, I GAVE YOU FAIR WARNING, BEWARE”
As the song kicks into it’s lift a spot light beams down upon the stage as a second of the blackness begins to take shape, Angelus slowly entering onto the ramp from the dark as he slowly comes into the light taking form.
Mark Sanction: XWA’s resident monster, the XWA World Champion, Angelus ladies and gentlemen.
MadDog: This man won the XWA World Championship from none other than Hutton Brown. He’s a dominant figure and he’s looking for competiton.
Hana Ramierez: From London, England, weighing in at 325lbs, he is the XWA’s resident monster and is the XWA World Heavyweight Champion... please welcome... Angelus!
As the platform reaches it’s peak Angelus waits, not moving, instead soaking in the atmosphere of the occasion. As he steps off the plate a plethora of spotlights kick in weaving and roaming all over the stage and ramp way. Angelus slowly strolls down to the ring avoiding any interaction with any fan stupid enough to reach out to him. On reaching the ring Angelus climbs purposefully through the ropes and gets into the ring, standing in the middle he stares down Trace Demon who simply smirks.
Mark Sanction: Angelus has demanded competitors to step up to him and Trace Demon has stepped up here tonight.
MadDog: And Richard Maxwell figured it’d be more suiting inside the cage.
Both Trace Demon and Angelus look up as the cage is lowered down. It takes a few moments to reach the ring as it clicks in, the cage firmly locked down for this match. Referee Kirk Samson nods to outside referee Tommy Tickles and the bell is rung.
DING! DING! DING!
Mark Sanction: With the cage lowered and the bell rung this match is officially underway.
MadDog: This one is going to be ugly.
Trace Demon’s eyes dart around the ring at the cage, analysing the structure that he finds himself in for the first time. Angelus on the other hand seems perfectly at home in the steel structure. Yes, he’s a caged animal but Trace Demon is very literally caged in with him. Knowing full well that he can’t let Angelus get any momentum Trace moves first, leaping at Angelus with a forearm that connects with the jaw of the monstrous world champion. Angelus is knocked a step back from the sudden blow as Trace keeps up close and personal unloading with elbows...
Mark Sanction: Trace Demon really getting in the face of Angelus here. Maybe he can hold his own in this environment.
Another forearm connects and Trace is already lashing out with his forearm again. Angelus, barely rocked by the early blows, forces Trace back with a double handed shove that sends Trace flying across the ring.
MadDog: Well that lasted.
Trace, not lacking in the athleticism department, rolls through with ease and is immediately back up on his feet. He sprints forward before the slower Angelus can make a move and once again leaps forwards with a forearm, sending Angelus dangerously close to the steel. Another forearm connects but yet again Angelus forces him back with the double handed shove. For a second time Trace goes to ground but rolls through onto his feet. Only this time he doesn’t move forward and instead lets an enraged Angelus come to him. Charging forward Angelus looks to grab Trace but the King of Demons goes to ground with a low dropkick that connects with the right knee of the champion, dropping Angelus down.
Mark Sanction: Trace Demon is giving it everything he has to try and finish this one early.
MadDog: Angelus has nearly a one hundred pound weight advantage over Trace Demon. He’s strong, he’s smart and he can crush you with ease. Trace knows that if he lets Angelus build momentum he is done.
With Angelus down on one knee Trace is on his feet immediately, sprinting past Angelus, hitting the ropes, and unloading with a boot to the back of the monsters head. Angelus takes the blow but doesn’t drop, a fact that Trace Demon is equally amazed and pissed off about. Sprinting past Angelus again Trace looks to connect with a boot to the front of Angelus’ head but as the boot gets close Angelus’ hands come up, grabbing Trace by the boot. Holding onto the boot Angelus rises onto his feet, Trace Demon trying desperately to pull away. Angelus shakes his head but isn’t ready for what is about to come. Figuring that he has no chance of forcing the break Trace leaps up, flipping backwards. His other boot rises and strikes Angelus clean in the jaw, forcing the release of the foot, and Trace Demon completes his back flip by landing on his feet.
Mark Sanction: An incredible counter by Trace Demon just when you thought that Angelus finally had him in his grip.
MadDog: People take Trace’s athleticism for granted but this kid can strike you from just about anywhere. Something which will come in useful inside the cage.
The blow sends Angelus stumbling backwards and Trace isn’t done. Leaping up again Trace sends both of his boots into the chest of Angelus with a beautiful dropkick. The move connects and Angelus is sent stumbling further back just inches away from the cage. Seeing the effectiveness of his tactic Trace leaps up again and connects with another dropkick to the chest that sends the XWA World Champion into the cage. The blows may not have been enough to drop him but it seems like Trace has Angelus exactly where he intended. Running off the ropes for some extra momentum Trace leaps up with a running crossbody looking to force Angelus into the steel.
Mark Sanction: And we’re seeing the cage come into play for the first time here.
MadDog: That cage can turn the simplest of moves into a match ender but if it backfires then it backfires hard.
As Trace is about to connect with the crossbody Angelus comes to life, grabbing him in mid air. The King of Demons struggles to break Angelus’ grip but this is a man who could probably crush him if he wanted. Angelus takes a stop forward and lifts Trace up overhead. He roars and throws him backwards in the direction of the cage but instead of hearing the collision of bone and steel that he was expecting Trace instead manages to get his hands out and grab onto the steel rungs, placing a foot on the ring ropes to steady himself. Angelus turns and Trace leaps backwards, grabbing him by the head and spinning him around somehow managing to drop Angelus to the canvas with his momentum in a sublime hurricane DDT.
Mark Sanction: This match has been all Trace Demon thus far. He seems to have found a way to keep the monstrous Angelus from getting any offence in what so ever.
MadDog: He’s smart. It’s one thing everybody knows – Trace Demon is a very smart man, especially when it comes to figuring out exactly how to beat the odds. He is more than capable of using that cage in ways that Angelus just can’t do because of his size and weight.
Mark Sanction: He is doing a very good job of restricting Angelus here. The World Champion just hasn’t had the chance to get in any real offence and when he did Trace Demon turned it around on him in the blink of an eye.
Trace Demon drops down onto the body of Angelus, looking to get the pinfall and end this early...
But he hasn’t done nearly enough as Angelus powers out of the pinfall, throwing Trace up and off of him. Trace lands on his hands and knees and immediately pushes himself up. Seeing Angelus pushing himself up into a sitting position Trace leaps at him and connects with a forearm. The King of Demons unleashes with rights and lefts to the downed Angelus before once again being thrown off and across the ring. Trace once again gets himself onto his feet and is on Angelus immediately, throwing punches mindlessly like a rabid dog. This time Angelus doesn’t push Trace off, knowing that with his speed he will be back immediately. Instead Angelus grabs both of Trace’s hands and then drives his skull into the King of Demon’s forehead. Trace drops backwards like a fly who has just been swatted.
MadDog: A head butt! Angelus just head butted Trace Demon!
Mark Sanction: Well what were you expecting? Angelus has been doing this for a while now; he knows how to stop people. It may not be pretty but is sure as hell is effective.
Trace is on his back, his head in his hands, as Angelus climbs onto his feet. Trace backs up so he is sitting close to the cage as he brings his hands down and finds Angelus staring down at him. Trace throws his hands up, pleading with Angelus to leave him alone but the monster simply grins. It’s this split second action that gives Trace the moment he needs as he brings a boot up into the lower abdomen of his monstrous opponent before grabbing the cage directly behind him and using it to pull himself up. With the cage still in his grips Trace pulls himself up again, bringing both boots up and aiming them at Angelus’ jaw. Angelus is ready however and grabs the boots. Now with both feet captured there is literally no escape from the King of Demons as he is yanked from the cage and tossed across the ring, getting some serious air before crashing to the mat with a thud.
Mark Sanction: Trace Demon thought he’d gotten out of yet another bind there but Angelus was ready for it.
MadDog: And boy did that look like it hurt.
The tables have turned now as Trace Demon is the one trying desperately to get onto his feet before Angelus can reach him. He manages the first part but isn’t so lucky at escaping Angelus, the monster kicking him in the ribs before grabbing him around the throat. Angelus sneers at Trace before launching him across the ring, the King of Demons once again hitting the mat hard. Trace grabs his back in pain as he tries crawling away from Angelus. But there’s nowhere to go, a steel cage separating him from any chance at escape as Angelus is upon him, grabbing him by the hair and yanking him up onto his feet with one hand. Angelus drives a knee into the abdomen of the King of Demons before once again grabbing him by the throat, this time launching him into the steel behind him.
Mark Sanction: And Trace Demon is the first man to really feel the wrath of that steel.
MadDog: It’s a painful experience Mark, especially when you’re being thrown into it by someone with as much power as Angelus.
Trace collides with the steel in style, smashing into it back first then flopping forward, somehow landing on his feet and managing to keep upright, although in noticeable pain. Angelus doesn’t care, he’s just happy to finally have the opportunity to do some real damage after an undeniably frustrating opening to this match. Grabbing Trace by the shoulders he spins around, building up more momentum in the process, before once again launching him into the steel mesh of the cage. This time Trace hits it and falls face first into the apron. He grips his back which is burning after colliding with the cage twice in quick succession.
Mark Sanction: Angelus is unrelenting in his assault.
MadDog: He’s taken control and it isn’t looking good for Trace Demon. He’s got to do something quick if he even wants to survive this match in one piece.
He does do something but it isn’t anything that is going to help. As Angelus reaches for Trace the King of Demons manages to kick his hand away and quickly crawls across the ring. He ends up behind Referee Kirk Samson, holding onto his trousers as Angelus looks at him with a mix of pity and fury. Samson tries walking away but Trace keeps hold as Angelus approaches. Angelus screams at Samson to move and he tries to but Trace keeps his grip as he uses him as a shield in the corner of the cage. Angelus goes to grab Samson to move him by force but Trace suddenly pushes Kirk forward into Angelus. The monster is caught by surprise but pushes Samson aside and ends up the victim of a low blow courtesy of the King of Demons.
Mark Sanction: Kirk Samson found himself in the thick of the action there and... he just hit Angelus with a low blow!
MadDog: There are no rules inside that cage Mark, Trace Demon is just doing what he needs to.
As Angelus backs up in severe pain after finding his family jewels the victim of a vicious low blow Trace Demon gets to his feet, his back still in pain after meeting the steel moments ago. That pain seems to motivate Trace as he brings his boot up, driving it straight into the nether regions of the man mountain Angelus. The second low blow sends Angelus down to his knees as Trace screams that he isn’t afraid of the world champion. Moving behind the kneeling Angelus Trace grabs him around the throat from behind with one hand before raking the eye with the other. The move looks painful as it’s being carried out and just as painful after as Angelus’ hands come up to the eyes, doubling over as he blocks them from further damage.
Mark Sanction: Trace Demon showing that ruthless streak that has gotten him so far in this business.
MadDog: When you think about it him and Angelus aren’t that different. They both don’t give a crap what the fans think of them and they’re perfectly willing to hurt their opponent.
With Angelus doubled over on his knees Trace Demon stands over him in a rear kneeling mount. He throws out a side elbow that hits the side of Angelus’ skull hard. A second elbow follows, this time to the opposite side of the skull. A third and a fourth connect before it becomes evident that Angelus has had enough. He suddenly rises up, Trace Demon grabbing him around the throat to stop himself from being knocked off balance. The additional weight doesn’t faze Angelus as he rises to his feet, Trace Demon hanging from his back with his arms wrapped around his throat. Attempting to turn this into a positive Trace wraps his legs around the waist with a body scissors and tightens his grip around the throat, locking in the chokehold.
Mark Sanction: Trace Demon going for the chokehold. We spoke about this in the build up to this match – the size of Angelus means some of Trace Demon’s submission holds are going to be ineffective.
MadDog: Trace Demon’s submission game is one of, if not the, best in the business but I don’t even think he can make Angelus tap out.
Mark Sanction: But with a choke like this he could potentially make him pass out, an action that would give him the victory...
If he can it won’t be now as Angelus reaches back and gets a hold of Trace’s hair. With one swift powerful yank Trace’s grip is broken and he is flipped over the top of Angelus and crashes to the mat back first beneath the larger wrestler.
Mark Sanction: ...or not.
With Trace Demon at his massive feet Angelus brings a foot up and looks to simply crush Trace’s skull beneath it. Seeing the boot coming downwards Trace manages to roll out of the way a split second before the boot smashes into the mat where his head had been. He doesn’t get a moments respite though as Angelus grabs him as he attempts to make it to his feet. Angelus spins Trace around and grips both hands around his throat. Lifting Trace up everybody in the crowd know what’s coming as Angelus brings Trace down, slamming the King of Demons into the mat with the Baldo Bomb. His hands still wrapped around the throat Angelus goes for the cover.
Mark Sanction: The Baldo Bomb! This one could be over.
MadDog: Trace Demon hit the mat hard but I think he has enough to kick out here.
Mark Sanction: Trace Demon gets a shoulder up at the two count to keep this match going.
MadDog: But that Baldo Bomb is one of Angelus’ old signature moves, it takes a lot out of anybody he hits it on.
There’s no reaction on Angelus’ face as he pushes Trace Demon away, all business as usual. Trace is still showing some fight as he tries pushing himself up to his feet. Angelus sees this and grabs him by the back of the neck, yanking Trace to his feet. He pushes him forward, the momentum carrying Trace to the ropes just inches away from the cage. Angelus charges at Trace and brings his boot up, looking to crush the King of Demons’ skull again the cage but Trace sees it out of the corner of his eye and ducks under it. Angelus kicks nothing but the cage, Trace Demon coming out of nowhere with a chop block to the knee that drops the one footed Angelus to the mat.
Mark Sanction: Trace Demon ducks under the boot... and takes Angelus to the mat with the chop block!
MadDog: A terrific counter that could get him right back in this match.
As a stunned Angelus gets onto his hands and knees Trace Demon drives a boot into the ribs that has the duel effect of sending Angelus sideways into the cage and no matter how much of a strength advantage he has steel still hurts. It’s apparent that Trace has found a new focus in this match as he steps on the right ankle of Angelus, using the ropes to propel himself up before dropping down with his knee right onto the ankle. There are no cries of pain, simply a cringe on Angelus’ face. He reaches out for his right ankle but isn’t quick enough to stop Trace propelling himself off of the ropes and dropping a second knee down onto the ankle.
Mark Sanction: Trace Demon now turning his attention to the ankle of our World Champion.
MadDog: If Angelus can’t stand then he can’t climb. Which also means he can’t stop Trace climbing.
Again Trace places a foot on the ankle of his large opponent. As he uses the ropes to push himself up Angelus suddenly turns onto his side and uses his left leg to deliver a boot to the back of a descending Trace. With no way of blocking it Trace is caught in the back and flies forwards straight into the cage, his skull colliding with the steel. He falls backwards, landing partially on top of Angelus who pushes him off and uses the ropes to get to his feet. Trace Demon rolls onto his knees, his hands held against the spot where flesh met steel.
Mark Sanction: Angelus countering with pure brute force and Trace meets the steel once again because of it.
MadDog: He didn’t even get an opportunity to protect his face so that blow was sure to be painful.
Angelus knows that capitalising on the counter would likely lead to victory and that is exactly what he intends to do. Grabbing Trace by the hair he pulls Trace onto his feet before dropping him with a vicious right hand. Trace once again tries crawling away but Angelus is ready, grabbing him by the foot to thwart the escape attempt in this inescapable situation. With his leg captured Trace rolls onto his back and brings his free foot up attempting to deliver a kick to the arm which holds him. Instead all he succeeds in doing is freeing his own foot up for Angelus to grab hold of it with his other arm. Angelus grins as he now has both of Trace’s legs in his grip.
Mark Sanction: This one isn’t going to go well for Trace Demon:
MadDog: There’s no counter for this one.
Trace Demon doesn’t even get the opportunity to try for one as Angelus begins spinning around. The pure strength of the big man lifts Trace off the ground as he is spun around at a rapid pace. Trace is flailing wildly but there’s no chance to escape until Angelus decides, a situation which comes far sooner than Trace would like. Angelus releases his grip mid spin, Trace sent flying across the ring and crashing in a messy heap. Angelus grabs him, pushing him onto his back and going for the cover...
Mark Sanction: What a brutal spin from Angelus as Trace Demon hits the mat in a mess of body parts. Angelus goes for the cover... but Trace Demon gets the shoulder up!
MadDog: It looked like a very forced kick out though, that impact must have taken a fair amount out of him.
Angelus kneels over Trace Demon, his hands on his hips surprised over the kick out. He pushes himself up onto his feet and grabs Trace by the hair, slowly pulling him up. As he is pulled onto his feet and his face meets Angelus’ Trace decides on an impromptu form of defence, hurling a gob of spit into the eyes of the monstrous man standing over him!
Mark Sanction: Did he just... he just spat in Angelus’ eyes!
MadDog: Well that’s a death warrant signed.
Hitting smack dab in the eyes of Angelus the champion can’t help but release his hold and wipe it away in order to see. Trace, knowing full well that he needs to do something to keep his head from being ripped off, runs the ropes and connects with a low dropkick to the right ankle of Angelus, the same ankle that he had been working on earlier tonight. The accuracy of the blow is perfect and Angelus’ leg gives out beneath him, dropping him down to one knee. Trace doesn’t follow up, instead choosing to try and ascend the cage. He reaches the midpoint before Angelus is back up onto his feet. Trace glances up then down and, judging that the distance to climb is too much before Angelus would reach him, turns round and leaps. Angelus doesn’t see the sudden leap coming and doesn’t react in time before Trace lands on top of him with a huge crossbody that sends both men to the mat, Trace on top of Angelus for the pin...
Mark Sanction: Trace Demon is trying to escape but Angelus is up and... Trace Demon comes off of the cage with a massive crossbody!
The crossbody isn’t enough to get the three as Angelus pushes Trace up and off of him once again. Trace is on his feet immediately and like a shark tasting blood is immediately on the attack once again, driving a boot into the shoulder of the big man. A second kick follows, this one hitting straight into the jaw of the world champion whose head snaps back. Kirk Samson gets involved, warning the King of Demons about such dangerous behaviour but he is shoved out of the way for his trouble. Trace grabs Angelus and, while a struggle, manages to lift him up enough to push him onto the middle ropes, his head hanging on the rope facing the cage. Trace backs up, smirks and hits his boot against the mat before charging forwards.
Mark Sanction: Is he going for a kick against the cage?
MadDog: Not quite!
Halfway through his run Trace decides that winning this match is more important than injuring Angelus and uses Angelus’ back as a springboard, leaping up onto it and then up onto the cage. He begins climbing and is over halfway before Angelus reaches his feet and goes after him. On this occasion the size and reach of Angelus exceeds the speed of Trace Demon as Angelus manages to grab a leg of the King of Demons. Trace kicks out with his other leg trying to knock Angelus away but it’s not enough as Angelus yanks down, Trace dropping down and crotching himself on the ring ropes in the process, every man in the crowd letting out a collective groan.
Mark Sanction: Angelus stops Trace’s assent with that tug.
MadDog: He might have stopped him having any more kids as well.
Angelus climbs a bit higher so that his feet are precariously perched on the thin ring ropes and, with a venomous look on his face, returns the earlier favour and delivers a horrible looking boot to the skull of Trace Demon that sends him off the ring ropes and falling to the mat. Angelus looks up at the top of the cage and then down at Trace and, seemingly remembering being spat at, decides to drop back down to the mat. Angelus walks over to Trace, leans down and grabs him around the throat, pulling him up while not releasing his grip. Angelus snarls something at Trace before throwing him face first into the cage. Trace bounces off of it and straight back into the grip of Angelus who again sends him bouncing off of the cage wall. Trace drops to the mat but Angelus isn’t done. Grabbing Trace he lifts him up with brute strength above his head. Trace is motionless in the gorilla press position as Angelus throws him back first against the cage wall, Trace smashing into it then dropping behind the ropes to the very edge of the ring.
Mark Sanction: Trace Demon is learning what happens when you mess with a monster of a man like Angelus.
MadDog: He’s been split open, he’s likely out cold and Angelus doesn’t look like he’s done yet.
As Angelus walks over to Trace a close camera shot shows a growing cut on the King of Demons’ forehead, the two repeated cage shots having split him open. As a thin streak of blood begins trickling down his forehead Angelus pulls Trace out from under the ropes, once again lifting him up onto his feet. Kirk Samson tries to stop it in order to have a look at the cut but Angelus simply glares at him which is more than enough to turn a mans blood cold. Samson backs away as Angelus shouts abuse at Trace before wrapping his hand around the smaller mans throat. He drags him to the centre of the ring and lifts him up looking for a slam but suddenly Trace comes to life. His legs shoot up and around the neck and outstretched arm of Angelus while his arms grab hold of Angelus’ arm. The sudden movement allows Trace to claw at the hand and break Angelus’ grip on his throat. Trace leans backwards, his weight forcing Angelus to drop down. Trace’s back hits the mat but he doesn’t release his hold while Angelus drops down to one knee from the building pressure on his neck. The sudden movement becomes a very recognisable move.
Mark Sanction: Trace Demon is still conscious and he’s... he has the Triangle Choke locked in!
MadDog: We’ve seen him do this before, coming from nowhere to lock in that signature submission hold.
Angelus tries getting back onto his foot but a swift tightening of the legs cause more pressure to the windpipe forcing him to drop back down to conserve his energy. Trace screams at the referee to ask him if he quits but the obvious answer is no – a no that comes in the form of a roar.
Mark Sanction: Angelus is not just going to quit. If there is one breath of air left in his body he will keep fighting.
MadDog: But that’s the point of this hold. If it stays locked in there won’t be any breath. If Angelus can’t breathe then he will fall unconscious and Kirk Samson will have no choice but to call it.
That definitely seems to be Trace’s intention as he continues increasing the pressure on the throat with every passing moment. Angelus reaches up with his free hand to the legs and tries prying them away from his throat but the hold is far too tight for that. Trace has practiced this and it’s going to take more than breaking the leg scissors on the neck to break this move.
Mark Sanction: Angelus is definitely looking to escape this hold. He won’t be going down just like that.
The crowd aren’t entirely sure who to cheer for. They hate both of these men but right now the consensus seems to be that they’d prefer to see Angelus, a man who can win through his own brute force, come out on top against a cheating opportunist like Trace Demon. The crowd’s encouragement do little to help Angelus. If anything he couldn’t care less as he tries a second time to break the grip but to no avail.
MadDog: Angelus is trying is hardest but he needs to do more!
Angelus doesn’t go for the legs again. Instead taking a different approach. Leaning forward on his knee Angelus pushes Trace back slightly, the King of Demons’ shoulders touching the mat...
But Trace Demon has some experience of his own. Four years of it in fact. He ridges his back, pushing upwards so that his right shoulder lifts slightly off the mat. This is not only enough to break the count but also twists the legs slightly into a position that adds even more pressure on the neck. As more blood leaks from the cut on his forehead and onto the mat below Trace Demon shows no signs of releasing the hold.
Mark Sanction: Angelus attempted to break the hold with that pinfall but if anything he has just made it worse for himself.
Angelus has one last card up his sleeve – his pure unrivalled strength. He manages to lift his leg up so that he now has both feet on the mat. Next he places his free hand under the body of Trace Demon. Trace seems to see what’s coming but doesn’t panic, instead keeping the grip firmly tightened. Angelus lifts up with the arm, taking Trace up with it.
MadDog: This isn’t good for Trace Demon. A drop from that kind of height could break his back.
Mark Sanction: When Trace Demon first introduced this Triangle Choke the second opponent he tried it on was this man, Angelus. This is the very same way he broke it then, it could be how he breaks it now.
Angelus lifts Trace Demon up with a vertical lift, holding him as high as he can with the restrictions that the Triangle Choke create on the trapped shoulder. With his breath going he is unable to roar as he would likely want but he settles for dropping Trace full force onto the mat. The King of Demons back slams into the mat and a cry of pain escapes his lips but he doesn’t release the hold. He doesn’t even loosen it.
Mark Sanction: Somehow Trace Demon has kept the hold locked in, but surely it can’t last.
A fair amount of damage has already been inflicted on Trace’s back but he doesn’t look ready to relinquish the hold, not yet. Angelus lifts him up vertically a second time. The two seem to meet eyes for a split second before Angelus drops him down with such force that the cage itself shakes around them. Life seems to fade from Trace’s face for a second as he hits the mat but he immediately comes to and tightens the grip again despite the pain.
MadDog: He’s still holding on?
Mark Sanction: Another slam could damn well lead to a knock out right here.
As Angelus lifts Trace again the grip around the neck seems to loosen somewhat. This allows Angelus to lift Trace up even higher but it quickly becomes obvious that it wasn’t an accidental release as Trace unwraps his legs and uses his grip on Angelus’ arm to leap frog over the titan of the XWA. Trace somehow manages to land on his feet and as Angelus turns around he is met by a vicious superkick that nearly takes his head off. As Angelus drops backwards to the mat Trace drops face first, the preceding action having taken a lot out of both men.
Mark Sanction: Trace Demon purposefully released the submission enough to get over the top of Angelus and unleashed that superkick. Now both men are down and we’re no closer to a victor.
MadDog: There can be no draws in this one. One of these men needs to get onto their feet.
Both men are on the mat and showing no signs of getting to their feet. A small pool of blood is settling on the mat by the head of Trace Demon as Kirk Samson checks both men for signs of life. He seems to consider throwing the match out but realises that if he did that he’d be stuck in a cage with a Demon and an Animal. Instead he stands between the two, waiting.
Mark Sanction: These two men have given so much already, how much can they really have left?
MadDog: I don’t... wait, Angelus is stirring.
And so he is. Angelus rolls over onto his front while at the same time Trace Demon seems to look up out of blurry eyes. He begins clawing his way over towards the nearby ring ropes while Angelus pushes himself up onto one knee. Trace reaches the ropes and begins to climb up via them. Angelus is onto his feet first and sees Trace with his back turned to him. Angelus immediately sees the opportunity to lock in one his favourite moves and he takes it. As Trace reaches his feet he is suddenly grabbed from behind, Angelus wrapping his arms around the arm and throat of Trace with his own signature submission – The Curse!
Mark Sanction: Angelus is going for The Curse!
MadDog: If he locks this one in it’s all over!
But Trace Demon reacts on instinct, grabbing the middle rope and using it to pull himself down, stopping the move from being fully cinched in. Angelus tries yanking backwards but Trace isn’t letting go of that rope as a tug of war develops between the two. It’s Angelus strength that wins that but Trace’s intelligence and ring awareness that takes the true victory. As Angelus yanks him up Trace leaps upwards and hits his boots to the cage, using the steel structure to push himself backwards. The sudden extra momentum drops Angelus backwards to the mat with The Curse still cinched in. Angelus hits back first while Trace drops on top of him, rolling legs over head so that he can’t simply be turned sideways while also pinning Angelus’ shoulders to the mat.
TH... KICK OUT!
Mark Sanction: What a counter to The Curse as Trace Demon forces the release with the innovative pinfall.
MadDog: He’s kept himself in this one but how much longer can he realistically go?
With the forced release of The Curse Trace rolls back and quickly scrambles for his feet. Angelus too rolls over near the cage and pushes himself up but is met by a boot to the gut. Angelus doubles over and Trace hooks the arms, clearly intending to attempt the Demonstration of Hell, a move that would be near impossible on a man of Angelus’ size and weight. We don’t get a chance to find out as Angelus suddenly grips the legs of the King of Demons and lifts up. Trace loses his grip and finds himself in position for The Blessing.
Mark Sanction: Angelus counters the Demonstration of Hell setup and now has The Blessing ready to be hit. This could be all she wrote.
But it’s not. Trace Demon is far too close to the cage and as Angelus prepares to hit The Blessing he finds it blocked by Trace Demon holding on to the top ring rope. Trace pulls on the rope and manages to yank his legs away from Angelus’ grip, taking Angelus by surprise.
MadDog: Trace Demon once again escaping at the last second. I swear this guy has like a dozen lives.
Trace Demon lands on his feet and as Angelus turns around to grab him the King of Demons leaps up onto the middle rope, using it as a springboard to leap backwards with a roundhouse kick that collides with the side of the skull of the champ. Angelus stumbles backwards as Trace bounces off of the ring ropes and drives himself into the ribs of Angelus taking him to the mat with the Spear!
Mark Sanction: What athleticism from Trace Demon with that kick... and now he hits the Spear!
MadDog: But why isn’t he going for the pinfall?
Trace Demon doesn’t move for the pinfall. Instead he scrambles over to the edge of the cage and shouts something out. Suddenly the female fan that he blew a kiss at during his entrance stands up and leaps over the security barricade, confusing everybody... but Trace Demon.
Mark Sanction: What is this? Can’t Trace Demon do anything on his own?
The woman is holding a bag in which she quickly pulls bolt cutters. Trace glances back at Angelus to make sure that he is still grounded. He is but Kirk Samson isn’t and he’s no having any of this. As the women begins cutting through the steel mesh Samson demands that she leaves. Trace reaches his feet and grabs Samson by the collar, throwing him to the floor as the women cuts a small whole through the mesh. As security rush to grab her she gets enough time to push the bag through the hole before she is grabbed and dragged away kicking and screaming.
MadDog: Who the hell was that chick?
Mark Sanction: I have no idea but it can’t mean anything good.
During the commotion Angelus is now onto his hands and knees as Trace unzips the bag. He quickly slips something into the side of his tights before taking out what appears to be a water bottle. As Angelus reaches his feet Trace Demon drinks from the bottle, his back turned to his opponent. Angelus, having no idea what has just gone on, grabs Trace by the shoulder and spins him around only to receive a dose of some kind of red substance as Trace spits it into the eyes. Angelus stumbles backwards raking at his eyes, blinded by whatever Trace just spat at him.
Mark Sanction: Trace Demon just spat some kind of red mist into the eyes of Angelus!
MadDog: Angelus is working blind and... what has Trace Demon got there?!
Trace Demon proceeds to pull out the object that he had hidden in his tights moments ago – a thin railroad spike. The entire arena seems to go silent before exploding in boos as Kirk Samson tries to push Trace Demon back. Trace pushes him aside and seems to begin stalking the blinded Angelus.
Mark Sanction: He isn’t... he can’t...
He can. He does. As Angelus turns around Trace strikes him in the forehead, plunging the spike into his flesh. Angelus immediately drops to the mat with his hands held against his forehead, Trace Demon holding up the spike which is now dripping with blood from a gouge in Angelus’ skull.
MadDog: He just mutilated the world champion! What the hell is this?
Trace looks at the spike, thinking about another blow, but instead pockets it and turns to the cage as Kirk Samson drops next to Angelus who is writing in pain, blood dripping onto the mat from the gouge in his forehead. Trace Demon begins climbing the cage, not wanting to take the risk of a pinfall. Trace quickly manages to reach the top of the cage and perches there for a few seconds looking down at his handiwork as Samson throws the emergency sign up for medics. Trace begins climbing down the cage and as he gets three quarters of the way down simply drops. Both feet touch the ground but the commotion of Angelus in the ring stops Samson from calling for the bell. Trace grabs outside referee Tommy Tickles and screams for the bell, even threatening him with the spike. Tickles calls for the bell and we have a winner.
DING! DING! DING!
Mark Sanction: Well this is just disgusting. First that mist and then that... that spike. What the hell has Trace Demon done here tonight?
MadDog: I’m just hoping that Angelus is okay. That looks like a pretty bad cut.
Hana Ramierez: Ladies and gentlemen, you’re... your winner of the match, the King of Demons... Trace... Demon!
‘Destabilise’ hits the speakers as the cage is raised allowing for a medical team to enter the ring. Trace Demon walks around the ring, bathing in the abuse that he receives from the ringside fans. He raises the spike high which still has some of Angelus’ blood on. Trace reaches the bottom of the ramp and wipes the blood of the spike with his hand before ‘painting’ his chest with it.
Mark Sanction: I think he has finally lost it. Trace Demon has gone off the deep end.
MadDog: There were no rules though Mark, he didn’t technically do anything illegal.
As the medics try checking on Angelus he pushes them away and staggers onto his feet, blood covering his face. He stares intently at Trace on the ramp who grins sadistically, licking the end of the spike. Angelus moves to go after him but the blood loss means he reaches the ropes and nearly falls over. Trace begins laughing as he reaches the top of the ramp.
Mark Sanction: I don’t think I have ever seen anyone do something like this to Angelus.
MadDog: Trace Demon is either very brave or very stupid.
The shot fades to black with Trace Demon laughing maniacally, his chest glistening with Angelus’ blood while the big man himself stares furiously up the ramp at him, bloodied, battered, but not truly defeated.