LIVE! From the Rogers Centre in TORONTO, CANADA! (54,000 Capacity)
Ace Andrews vs. Dante Cross
Ah, success eh? Isn't it funny? You can have it one week and then completely lose it the next week. In fact, both the men in the match could probably tell you a bit about the latter following our last episode. Dante Cross returned to an overwhelmingly fast loss to Danny Diamond, whereas Ace Andrews main evented Massacre last week, losing the Television championship to Blake Jones.
Now, with both of them in the ring, there is literally no excuse. Only one man will come out of this victorious, but who? Dante Cross or Ace Andrews?! The fight for success is far greater than ever...
Deadline for matches is October 21st 2013 at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time.
Voting will start at this time and conclude on October 25st 2013 at 11:59 Eastern Standard Time.
[CST is one hour earlier. GMT is five hours later.]
And with Toronto already losing their minds over the huge card so far, the action looks to pick up even more as Hana Ramirez stands up at ringside.
Hana Ramirez “Ladies and Gentlemen, the following contest is scheduled for ONE FALL and will be fought under Traditional Rules.”
Hana steps back now, and the lights flash on and off for the first few seconds. And as 'White Knuckles' by Alter Bridge starts playing, the crowd, expecting Dante to appear from anywhere in the arena, are looking around frantically. The skylights are zipping in and out of the crowd, trying to spot Dante in the crowd. The lights are black, white, and blue, shining and flickering from here to there. But none have yet to catch sight of Dante Cross.
ARE YOU STILL LOST TONIGHT? LIVING BUT DEAD INSIDE!
THIS IS A PROCLAMATION! THIS IS A CALL TO RISE!
Suddenly, the lights stop and they set upon the entrance stage. All eyes are on the stage as Dante slowly turns the corner holding his head down as he comes out of the tunnel. The crowd has a mixed reaction of boos and cheers but Dante pays neither any mind. He is clad in his black buckle ring cloak, which is a black hooded cloak, under which he wears his black boots and shin guards with a red Gothic style cross on either leg. His trunks are black with a red star on both sides, and stop just where they meet is shin guards. As Dante stands tall at the top of the stage, Ramirez raises her mike again.
Hana Ramirez “Introducing first, weighing in at One Hundred and Ninety Five pounds, standing at Five feet Ten inches. He is “The Crucifixionist”…Dante…CROSS! ”
He begins to walk and does not even seem to notice the people trying to grab at him, to just touch this man, or simply punch his lights out. He slowly makes his way to the ring as he can be seen slowly moving his mouth in what can only be a silent prayer. He keeps his eyes on the ring as he ascends the steel steps. He gets into the ring, only after the referee opens the ropes so that he may go through. Stepping to the center of the ring, Dante spreads out his arms, and his cloak slips off of his body and slowly falls to the floor. His hair, reaching just below his neck, is wet and straight. A few strings have gotten in his eye; he slowly brushes it away with his index and middle finger. After a few moments Dante steps towards the corner as White Knuckles stops playing, and a moment later the smooth violin opening of the Bittersweet Symphony/Remember The Name remix hits the PA System, and the lights cut out.
You Ready??? Lets Go
This is Ten Percent Luck, Twenty Percent Skill
Fifteen Percent Concentrated Power Of Will
Five Percent Pleasure, Fifty Percent Pain AND A HUNDRED PERCENT REASON TO REMEMBER THE NAME!
And as the delicate tones of Mike Shinoda scream the chorus, a single set of flashing lights hits the stage, in the shape of a Spade. After a few more moments the lights go up to reveal Ace Andrews standing tall in his Flashing Jacket, while at his side is Isabella Raye. The Mistress of Whispers War is applauding, but she's the only one as the rest of the arena drowns Ace in boos. Andrews doesn't seem fazed though and after a moment he spins around to face the Toronto crowd, all of whom are still raining down their hatred on Ace. After a brief pause to look around the arena, Ace starts pacing down the ramp, Isabella Raye a step behind him the entire way, as they approach the ring.
Hana Ramirez “And his opponent. Standing in at Six Feet Two Inches Tall, and weighing Two Hundred and Forty Pounds. Accompanied by Isabella Raye Sanchez, he is “The Billionaire Brawler” ACE........ANDREWS!!!”
Ace and Isabella reach the end of the ramp, and Ace stops, glaring in the ring at Cross who has backed up to a far corner, his own eyes glaring out at Andrews. The Corporate Cutthroat sneers a little, and turns his back to Isabella, who slips Ace's jacket off. Ace now turns back to glare at Dante for another moment, The Crucifixionist not breaking eye contact at all. Slowly Ace walks towards the ring-steps, ignoring the hatred being descended upon him by the Canadians, and slowly walks up the steel until he's on the apron. Andrews stops on the apron, rubbing at his jaw momentarily as he keeps glaring in at Dante, before stepping between the top and middle ropes. Ace doesn't waste time stepping to the center of the ring either, stepping back towards a neutral corner, though still glaring at Dante who glares right back.
Mark Sanction “Rose, I'm going through my notes, and I don't see any history between Ace and Dante. Yet in that ring, you can clearly see a whole lot of tension. Could it be residual tension from Ace losing his title last week?”
Rose “Not everything is in your books, Mark. I've heard rumors that Dante was a big reason why Ace quit that other XWA. He's probably seeing this as a chance for revenge.”
Indeed, when the ref finishes checking both men and stepping away, neither man has stopped glaring at the other, and each barely nods when the ref asks if their ready to start, but even a slight nod is a nod, and the ref turns and calls for the bell.
DING! DING! DING!
The bell rings, but neither man moves right away, each trying to stare the other down. After a long few moments, Dante makes the first move, stepping towards the center of the ring, and Ace is only a moment behind him, the two men meeting in the center of the ring and going nose-to-nose. Ace has the size advantage, and leans over Cross a little, but Dante doesn't back down just glaring right back. The tension holds still for moments, Toronto watching intently to see who fires the first blow, and unsurprisingly it's Ace who rears up and slaps Dante across the face! The Crucifixionist's head rears back, but only for a moment before it snaps back to glare at Ace who is still glaring Cross down. Dante wastes no time firing back with his own slap, the sound of skin meeting flesh echoing around the arena as Ace takes a step back from the force of the slap, before he snaps his own head back to glare at Dante. Two slaps has been the entire extent of the offence in the match so far, and yet already the tension is growing, as both men's cheek burn red.
And with a roar Ace rears back and slaps Dante again! He doesn't stop at one though, reaching up with his left hand to grab Dante by the throat and shove him against the ropes. The Billionaire Brawler fires off a big right hand into Dante's unprotected face, followed quickly by a second, but as he fires a third, Dante reaches a hand up to block it, and then smacks Ace's hand off his throat and unloads with a series of right hands of his own to Ace's jaw! Ace staggers back from the impact, and Dante promptly grabs Ace's arm, yanks him in, and drills him with a European Uppercut, staggering Ace back again! With some space now between The Crucifixionist and The Billionaire Brawler, it gives Cross the room to fire off a hard shin kick right into Ace's thigh, the sound of shin pad meeting flesh enough to make half the crowd wince, while Andrews himself grunts in pain. Dante is quick to fire off a second shin kick, hitting Ace's thigh once more, but when he fires off a third Ace throws a hand down and catches Dante's ankle. The Billionaire Brawler grins right at the hobbling Dante, and before Dante can try to Enziguri him, yanks Dante in and throws a Stiff Lariat, drilling Dante right in the throat and sending him flipping him over and crashing to the mat!
Mark Sanction “Holy Cow! Dante may have just been knocked into next week!”
Rose “These two men aren't trying to win. Its more like their trying to knock each other out.”
As if marking Rose's words as true, Ace doesn't waste time going for a pin, instead pacing over to Dante's head and stomping the downed Fallen One in the face. Ace doesn't stop at just one either, booting down a second time, the sickening crunch of boot meeting nose echoing throughout the Rogers Centre. With Dante grabbing at his face in pain, Ace backs up to the ropes, pushes off, jogs forward, leaps up, and drops a knee on Dante's face! This time Andrews wastes little time draping himself over Dante and hooking the far leg.
Dante throws a shoulder up quickly, showing Ace will need to do a lot more damage if he wishes to best Cross. Ace doesn't seem too fazed by the early kick-out though, dragging Dante back to his feet and kneeing him in the guts to wind him some more. With Dante gasping a little, Ace wraps his arms around Cross's chest, ducks his head under Dante's arm, and then raises The Crucifixionist and drops him, crotch first, across Ace's extended knee with an Atomic Drop! Ace doesn't stop with one though, instead picking Cross back up, taking another two steps forward, and then dropping Cross's crotch across his knee with another Atomic Drop!Giving just a moment to let the pain grow in Dante's crotch, Ace lifts him up for a third time, only this time he charges across the ring and drives Dante back-first into the corner! Ace steps back after crunching Cross into the steel, but only so he can reach down and lift Dante's legs over the middle ropes, propping The Fallen One in the corner with his crotch wide open as a target!
Mark Sanction “Oh no! Dante Cross has been left wide open! You weren't kidding when you said Ace wanted to hurt him!”
Rose “Hurt him? At this point I think Ace wants to make sure Dante never fucks with him again.”
Ace finishes backing away from Dante, and then turns, a sick grin on his face. The Billionaire Brawler starts charging in, picking up steam for the massive running kick into Dante's testicles, but just as he gets a few feet away, The Referee throws himself in Ace's path, cutting him off! The ref gets in Ace's face, stop him from Teste kicking Dante, and reminding him that he'll be disqualified if he does. Ace pauses for a moment, then shrugs and shoves the ref aside. “Totally worth it!” Ace takes a step towards Dante again....and is greeted by a Flying Clothesline off the second turnbuckle from The Crucifixionist! Cross scrambles to his feet, turning to see Ace pushing up as well, and as Andrews stumbles up to a vertical base, Dante greets him with a dropkick to the jaw, knocking Ace down again! Dante practically springs up, running into the ropes, and as Ace pushes up to his knees, Dante comes crashing in, drilling Ace in the side of the head with a running knee! Ace crumples to the mat, and Dante drops down, rolling him over and draping himself across Ace's shoulders.
Mark Sanction “Ace kicks out! Oh so close for Dante!”
Rose “Dante is quick. I don't think Ace was anticipating just how quick, and he may pay for that now.”
Dante climbs to his feet again, and this time steps out onto the apron. Watching Ace closely, as Andrews gets to his knees and starts pushing himself up shakily, Dante slingshots in, pivots his body around so his feet can land on the middle rope across from Ace, and then springboards himself backwards, hooking Ace's head with a reverse headlock in mid-air, and then driving it into the mat with the DDC! Dante is quick to float over into a cover, hooking Ace's legs as the ref slides in.
Ace throws his shoulder up, breaking the pin. Dante sighs, shaking his head at Ace's insistence on not staying down. The Fallen One now climbs to his feet, drags Ace up with him, and boots him in the gut to double him over. Cross back pedals into the ropes and then charges forward, leaping up and scissoring his legs for a Scissor Kick to the back of Ace's head, but Andrews pulls himself up, Dante's legs missing him entirely, and instead as Dante lands he stumbles forward....right into Ace's arm! The Billionaire Brawler throws Dante's arm behind his neck, lifts him up, kicks the legs out, and then drives Cross into the mat with the Sin City Slam! Now its Ace's turn to drape an arm across Dante's chest, and again the referee slides into place.
Mark Sanction “Now Dante kicks out! Both men are using their big guns early!”
Rose “Both men want to finish this quick. But neither man wants to be the one going home with a loss either.”
Ace shakes his head, not believing that Dante kicked out, and instead pushes back upto his feet. The Corporate Cutthroat drags Cross up after a moment and drills him with a knee to the midsection to double him over, and then slams Cross's head between his legs, and calls out for the Flavius Effectus! Ace starts double underhooking Cross's arms, but The Fallen One fights back, struggling and squirming until Ace lets him go....and Dante roars out and lifts up, backdropping Ace! The Vegas native staggers up, clutching at his back, and from behind Dante grabs his legs, tripping Ace face-first to the mat. Dante doesn't stop there though, pulling Ace up into a wheelbarrow position, and then smirking out at the Rogers Centre, who watch Dante starts lifting Ace up for the Cross Rate but Ace wraps his legs around Dante's waist, stopping The Fallen One from tossing him up. After a momentary struggle, its the former XWA Television Champion who gets the momentum, rolling forward and pulling Dante down into a Wheelbarrow Victory Roll!
Dante manages to kick out, throwing Ace forward a few steps. Both men scramble to their feet and charge at each other. Dante throws a clothesline, but Ace ducks under it, hits the opposite ropes, and as Dante turns back around, he gets caught in the jaw with the Roaring Elbow that Ace calls The Flop! Dante crumples to the mat ,and again Ace drops down on top of him, hooking the far leg.
Mark Sanction “Ace goes for the big guns again, and again Dante kicks out! What more can he do?”
Rose “You don't want to know, mark. Ace will go as far as he has to.”
Ace slowly pushes himself up, shaking his head at the close fall, but then reaches down and drags Dante across the ring so he's resting near the corner. Ace paces over to the nearby corner, stepping between the ropes, takes a deep breath, and then climbs to the top rope. Andrews starts readying himself to take flight....and completely misses Cross stumbling to his feet, until Cross drops himself over the top rope, crotching Ace on the top turnbuckle. Now its Ace's turn to have some groinal pain, wincing and groaning as his crotch is dropped on steel, and Cross takes the advantage, crossing over to corner nearest Ace. Cross climbs to the top rope, but unlike Ace, Dante is easily able to stand up on the top rope. The Crucifixionist has more in mind though, and he starts walking across the top rope, heading over towards The Billionaire Brawler! Cross finally gets a few steps away from Ace and then leaps up, wraps his legs behind Ace's neck, cross his ankles, and drops back, looking to throw Ace across the ring with the Walk of Fate Rope-Walk Rana.....only Ace doesn't go anywhere, as Isabella Sanchez has Ace's ankle and is weighting Ace down!
The Fallen One is left dangling from Ace's neck, unable to let go or he'll fall right on his head. Unfortunately for Dante, he's still in a horrible position, and a moment later it gets a whole lot worse, as Ace pulls his legs inside the ropes, and stands up on the second turnbuckle. Toronto watches in shock, almost unbelieving as to what they see next, as Ace pushes up off the turnbuckle, leaping out into the ring, and driving Dante down ON TOP OF HIS HEAD! The Crucifixionist is driven right down on his head by Ace with a SECOND ROPE GANSO BOMB! Dante just crumples completely to the mat, unmoving, and after a brief pause Ace drops on Dante's chest and looks at the ref, who drops down and makes the count.
DING! DING! DING!
WINNER: via pinfall – Ace Andrews
There's no immediate commentary though. No big influx of noise. The crowd and everyone is busy watching Dante, hoping for some sign of life. A finger moving. A slight wave. Anything. Ace rolls away from Cross, rolling out of the ring to Isabella Sanchez who wraps herself around him in celebration. Ace raises an arm, a slight smile on his own face, but the focus is mainly on the ring where Tommy Tickles has now dropped down to check on Dante.
Mark Sanction “.....Rose....wh.....I....”
Rose “I don't know Mark. The refs trying to get him moving, but....”
EMT's come sprinting down the ramp, heading towards the ring and passing Ace and Lya who turn to watch the ruckus. Ace is now full smirking, raising an arm with a grin, while Lya wraps an arm around him and smiles as well. In the ring, the EMT's finally get Dante to move a hand, and the crowd seems to breathe a sigh of relief, but the damage has been done.
I had trouble knowing when to finish this match. This would have probably gone on past 5K words or more if I didn't think that as I was writing this that Ace was going to no-show so I wrapped it up at the point where I closed. If he was showing then that ending would have been only the opening still, maybe halfway point. I used to be able to write more with less but I've gotten to the point where it's lengthier matches with less action. So advice is great here.
EDIT: Ace posted at the same time I was about to post this. Okay then, let's see what happens.
Sanction: Right here in Toronto, Canada we have up next, Ace Andrews versus Dante Cross in singles action! Ace Andrews and Dante Cross, two guys who came out on the bad end of matches last week and both are entering this pay-per-view match looking for a much needed victory.
Rose: As a former wrestler myself, I think if you don’t go out to that ring every night with the intent to win, you may as well not go out there at all.
Sanction: That there is some fine wisdom by Rose folks. Let’s take it to the ring.
Dante Cross is sitting in the corner of the ring in brooding fashion, glaring across the white canvas ring at his opponent, Ace Andrews. His brother Kris is at ringside, close to Dante and wearing an expression that tells little to nothing of what he is thinking. For his part, Andrews is looking quite smug for a man who lost a Television title match just last show. He stands in his corner of the ring and holds the ropes, stretching and loosing up for the match at hand. The referee calls for both men to come forward. Dante grabs the middle ropes and pulls himself to his full height and walks to the center of the ring, while Ace saunters up to stand in front of the Son of Sin. The referee calls for the bell.
DING! DING! DING!
At the sound of the bell, both men go low, bent forward as they begin to circle each other.
Sanction: Alright, here we go. Two technically sound wrestlers in the ring now, this has all the working to be a very sound matchup.
Rose: I agree with you there Mark. We’ve seen a lot of Ace Andrews here in XWA and we know that he is a capable wrestling machine, but though he’s been on and off in this company for a number of years, we haven’t really seen a lot of Dante Cross. I’ve seen his work on other companies and Cross may look like just another high flyer, and he does hit the air a lot, but his ground game, his technical ability, that’s something of a marvel and I’m sure that tonight with these two men we’re going to get a stiff and technically rigid match.
Done with the circling now, the two men eye each other and lock up in the center of the ring. The much bigger of the two men, Ace Andrews holds a 45 pound weight advantage over Dante Cross as well as being 4 inches taller. He overpowers Cross and pulls him roughly into a Side Headlock. He holds tight on the head of Cross but then switches over and spins around, bringing Dante’s arm around and pulling it behind the back of Cross for an Arm Wrench. Dante grunts and slaps the arm that his being wrenched as he is on the tips of his toes. He moves around as Ace tightens his grip on the arm, yet Cross is able to swerve under the arm of Ace, move around and reverse the hold, now with Ace’s arm being wrenched behind his own back by Dante Cross. With the situation reversed, Ace struggles against the hold by Dante and with his free arm, swings it back and over the head of Dante, putting it behind his neck as Dante releases the hold to counter, but Ace goes to a knee, brings an arm between Cross’s legs and while holding the other arm, sends Dante over the shoulders with a snapping Fireman’s Carry Takedown. Dante hits the mat back first but spins around almost immediately and gets to a knee as Ace takes a step back and the two men stare at each other as the fans clap at this early display of skill.
Dante rises to his feet and the two men move forward again to lock up in the center of the ring. Clasped together in an Elbow-Collar-Tie-Up, Andrews looks to once again overpower Dante, but Cross pulls back and lets go off the hold. He leaps into the air, spins and brings his leg out for a Leaping Side Kick to the chest of Andrews that puts the Billionare Brawler on his rear end. Dante runs to the ropes and bounces off, running back at Ace as Andrews is getting off his rear and to a knee. Cross comes forward for a kick to the face of Andrews but Ace catches the boot and swipes it away, spinning Cross around in the process. Dante pivots completely on his heel and turns back to Ace only to receive an STO that sends him hard to the mat. With Dante on his back, Ace takes some steps back and bounces gently off the ropes, coming forward and with a leap into the air, lands onto Cross’s head with a Leaping Knee. Dante holds his face, but Ace pushes him down against the mat and hooks the leg for a quick cover. The referee slides to the mat to make the count but Dante Cross kicks out before the referee can slap his hand onto the mat for the one count.
Ace pulls Dante to his feet and whips him to the ropes. Cross hits the ropes and rebounds, coming back at Ace who leaps into the air for a Spinning Heel Kick, but Dante ducks and in Baseball Slide form, avoids the kick by Ace, who lands on his feet facing the crowd. He turns around to meet a Superkick from Cross, but is able to duck and move under the kick. Cross turns around and Ace sends a Superkick of his own, but Dante avoids the kick and goes under the leg of Andrews and behind. Ace turns around and Cross once again goes for a Superkick, yet this time Ace catches the leg. Dante is on one leg now and hopping. He hops once and then sends a kick from his free leg to the head of Ace Andrews and Andrews ducks the move, now still holding Cross’s leg but Dante is facing away from him. Andrews drops the held leg and as Cross turns around, Andrews wraps him up and sends him up and over with a Belly-to-Belly Suplex that sends Dante to the mat with a thud. Cross has his body arched and holding his back after that move.
Sanction: The early goings of this match seem to be fully in the hands of Ace Andrews right now.
Rose: Both these men have been in the ring with some of the best but right now this is going to be a test for Dante Cross. If he can beat Ace Andrews he will be one step closer to solidifying himself among the top talent, something he has been eager to do for some time. Right now though as you said Mark, things seem to be favoring Andrews and if Cross doesn’t change that soon, he’ll be just another name in the list of people Ace Andrews has put away in his career.
Dante tries to get to his feet as Ace Andrews draws near. Ace grabs Dante by the hair and goes to pull him up, but Cross grabs Ace’s arm and twists it around, going under the arm and wrenching on it as he rises to his feet. Ace bends forward from the twisting of his arm and Dante brings his leg up and begins to send kicks up to the innermost part of Andrews’ left arm just away from the armpit. Ace cries out and reverses the hold, now with Dante’s arm in his grasp and sends one hard kick to Dante’s underarm before spinning around and kicking Cross in the back of his leg, sending Dante to a knee. Ace holds his arm, the place where Dante struck him visibly reddened by the kicks. He limbers it up as he swings out his own leg and strikes Dante in the chest with a stiff kick. Dante stumbles back and almost falls to the mat but catches himself. He scrambles to his feet from the kick and holds his chest, using the ropes to get to his feet. Ace grabs Dante by the head and goes to pull him off the ropes, and Cross brings his hands in between the arms of Andrews, opening them and breaking free of Ace’s grasp only to grab Ace’s head and with a quick glance back, slink through the middle rope and send Andrews neck first into the second rope. He doesn’t let go, as he hangs over the side and begins to choke Ace Andrews while the referee is calling for Dante to let go. The referee begins to make the five count, but Dante only tightens his grasp as Andrews flails, his feet kicking against the mat and his hands beating upon those of Dante to relinquish the hold. The referee is just starting to say “five” when Dante finally lets go, leaving the breathless Andrews hanging over the middle rope, his mouth agape as he catches his breath. Dante turns around, an open mouth grin on his face as he takes a few steps towards the crowd who have chosen to Boo both men. Dante turns back around as Ace seems to be rising from the ropes. Cross runs forward and grabs the left arm of Andrews and pulls it through the ropes. He wraps his legs around the arm, trying to go for an innovative form of the Cross Armbreaker, but Ace is on it, clasping his own hands together to keep Cross from trapping his left arm over the side of the ropes. Dante is hanging upside over the side of the ring with Ace holding the bulk of his weight as Andrews tries to fight against the hold. Cross lifts himself up partially and with his free hand, he tries to pry loose the locked hands of Andrews. He begins punching his locked fists, but Ace isn’t loosing. He wraps his legs tighter around the arm of Ace to keep himself from falling to the floor below and takes to scratching at the hands of Ace but to no avail. He then spits in the face of Andrews, hocking a wet one square in his open mouth. Andrews coughs and chokes on the loogie. Dante takes advantage of the loosened grip and with a cry of success, grabs the left arm and snaps back over the side of the ring and begins pull back the arm. Amid the spitting of Ace trying to cough out the wet loogie that had been given to him, Andrews is trying to brings his legs up to that the shifting of weight can feed him through the middle rope and send him to the outside with Cross, but Dante knows this and with the legs wrapped around Andrews’ arm, he pressures down on Ace’s chest to keep him from gaining the force needed to shift the necessary weight.
Rose: When you think Ace has Cross’s number, the tide changes and now not only does Cross have Ace in a bad position, but he’s also stopping Ace from getting out of it on his own accord.
With one of the two men finally in control of the other, the referee has started the five count for Cross to release the hold. Cross looks to be trying to tear off the arm of Andrews as he tightens the hold, but finally releases the hold just before the five count.
Sanction: Cross cutting it close with that last count there. Needs to watch out or he’s going to get himself disqualified from this match.
Ace slumps to the mat in a sitting position, holding his left arm as he leans against the ropes. Dante climbs onto the apron from the corner and runs along the side. He holds the ropes and goes for a sort of Swing Dropkick to the back of Andrews, but Ace ducks to the mat and rolls over onto his back as Dante misses the kick through the middle rope. Andrews grabs Dante’s legs and pulls him through the ropes and back into the ring. Still holding Cross’s legs, he gets to his feet and walks backwards into the center of the ring and in a show of his power, he holds Cross by the legs and begins to spin him around, and around, and around, and around, and around. After what could have very well been a dozen rotations, Ace Andrews releases his grasp and Dante goes flying into the corner turnbuckle, hitting the bottom buckle hard with the back of his skull. Cross holds his head as he uses the ropes to get to his feet. Ace runs forward and jumps forward with a Corner Avalanche, smashing Dante into the corner. As he backs away from Cross, Dante begins to slump, but Ace positions him in the corner and turns his back to Dante. He grabs Cross by the arm and whips him well across the ring to the opposite turnbuckle, following close behind. Cross turns around to see Ace charging at him. He moves out of the way at the last second and causes Ace to hit only an empty turnbuckle. Ace turns around to face Cross, but Dante pushes him back into the corner and follows with a resounding Chop to the chest. Ace cries out and Cross sends another hard Chop across the chest of Ace Andrews. Cross goes for another chop, but Ace ducks and gets behind Dante. Dante is only able to catch a glance behind him before Ace has him up and heaves him over with a Half Nelson Suplex that looked like it put Cross right on his head. Dante popped right back up from the move, springing off of his head and landing on his feet in wobbly fashion. Ace charges forward and smashes his forearm into the face of Cross with The Flop. Dante stumbles back, dazed, before he hits the mat and Ace goes for the cover. ONE! TWO! Thr--Dante gets the shoulder up!
Cross rolls onto his front and tries to get to his feet, but Ace runs to the ropes and comes off. He runs forward and lands a Double Foot Stomp to the back of Cross. Dante goes to the mat and Ace wastes no time capitalizing. He places both of his feet just above the back of Cross’s knees and wraps Dante’s legs around his own. Dante looks around from right to left as Ace grabs both of his arms and with a superior smirk to the camera, Ace pulls back, and rolls backwards onto his back, bringing Dante into the air. The fans in the arena clap as Ace holds Dante up in the Romero Special. The referee asks Cross if he wants to submit, but Dante shakes his head through gritted teeth. This doesn’t seem to be all for Ace as he pulls back on Dante’s arms and brings them closer. In a prime example of Dante’s flexibility working against him, from the Romero Special, Andrews grabs Dante’s head from behind and it is placed under the Billionaire Brawler’s arm as Ace locks in the Dragon Sleeper/ Romero Special Combination in the center of the ring.
Sanction: I didn’t even know a man’s body could contort like that Rose.
Rose: You’d be surprised what guys can do in that ring since your time Mark. Right now Ace Andrews is taking advantage of something that usually works in Dante’s favor with that flexibility. Even still, it’s got to be putting some pain on Cross.
With his nearly completely vertical, while Andrews is on the mat, Dante pulls himself back even more, and with that slight shift, Ace’s shoulders are on the mat. ONE! TWO! Ace rights himself and shifts the weight out of Dante’s favor, removing his shoulders from the mat.
Sanction: Would you look at that.
Rose: Even in that position, Cross still has the ring awareness to know where he is and attempt to get the pin, but that still doesn’t help now as Andrews is in full control.
Ace shifts again and lifts himself up fully off of the mat and into a sitting position with Dante Cross now with his knees on the mat and his head still under the arm of Andrews. From the transition, Cross is able to free his legs but Ace still has control of his head. Dante’s eyes go wide as Ace uses his right arm to tighten the hold on Dante whose legs are kicking against the mat as Ace chokes him. He struggles against the hold, bringing his hands up and taking to clawing at the face of Andrews. His position terrible, his shots aren’t having the desired effect on Andrews. He scratches at Ace’s eyes, but Ace, annoyed now, bites the fingers of Dante, who cries out in both shock and pain. He pulls his fingers back and away from Ace but takes to pummeling the left arm of Andrews that had taken some damage earlier.
Rose: Now that move would do wonders to freeing Dante, but seeing how Andrews has him held up with that right arm it’s not going to do him any good here.
Calming himself now, Dante uses his lower body, lifting himself up by his legs in an attempt to rise to his feet and maneuver out of the submission. Ace is on it as he too rises to his feet and once upright, still holding Cross under his arm, he wraps his legs around the body of Dante and falls back to the mat.
Sanction: Just when it looked like Cross was out, Ace has him back in the hold.
Rose: He’s wrapped the legs. Dante’s going to have to get out of that move or he’s done.
Cross places his hands on the arm that his around his neck and is finally able to squeeze his head out of the hold. He rolls forward and gets some distance between him and Andrews. Ace hurries to his feet and is on a knee when Dante comes forward and swings a kick at the side of his head. Andrews easily ducks under the strike, but Dante comes back with another kick to catch Ace Andrews with his patented Return to Sin Kick that slumps Ace sideways, his face hitting the mat. He could be out as Dante rolls him back onto his backside and hops over the former Television Champion to run to the ropes. He jumps onto the middle, then the top, springing backwards off the ropes in what can only be a thing of beauty, the Corkscrew Moonsault otherwise known as the Deadliest Moonsault Evermore. Ace brings his knees up at the last second—No Wait! Dante moves off of Ace and now is seen to have grabbed Ace by his legs, countering Ace’s own actions against the DME. Ace struggles as Dante looks to turn him over from the move. In what can only be said as ingenious, Ace puts his arms around his own legs and grasps his hands together. From there, he begins to pull himself up off the mat with Dante still holding him. Dante shakes his head and mouths “No”, a look of glee on his face as he pops his hips and heaves the much larger Andrews up and slams him down with a quick Powerbomb. Ace holds his back as he scrambles to his feet, but Dante sends a kick that doubles him over. He grabs Ace’s arm and whips him to the ropes. Upon the rebound, Cross meets Ace with a Reverse STO, slamming Andrews down hard into the mat headfirst.
Rose: Cross may be about to put him away with that Sinner’s Sorrow submission hold here.
That was what it looked like, but Cross seemed to think better of it and instead, deciding to roll across the back of Andrews and grab the left arm of the Billionare Brawler. He wrenches on the arm, pulling it backwards as he locks in the Fujiwara Armbar. Hurt from all of the damage that arm received in the match, Andrews can do nothing but tap.
DING! DING! DING!
Kirk Samson goes to raise Dante’s arm in victory, but Cross pulls his hand away. He rolls out of the ring.
Ramierez: And your winner, the—
Before she can finish, Dante Cross snatches the microphone away from her. Sweating, tired, and out of breath, Dante looks into the camera with the mic in hand.
Dante Cross: Your winner…and future….XWA World…Heavyweight Champion…
The next word comes out in almost a whisper as the mic closes in on his face even moreso.
Not your best work here. I've concocted a bunch of scenarios in my head on why this felt a little rushed, but you have your reasons as I have read at the beginning of Dante's post. The "big moves" in the early-goings of the match SCREAMED desperation to make it to a finish for me, because Ace Andrews isn't really one to end a match that quickly. I feel like he'd take his time in torturing his opponent for his sake, for the sake of Isabella watching on as the guy she's managing gets to act violent in front of her, and for the sake of showing us why Whisper's War isn't to be taken lightly in any circumstance. However, I DO feel that the big middle turnbuckle Ganso Bomb did that for you and it saved you there, but you could have done more had you been given the time (I assume you were under time).
I did like the little story behind it, though, with Rose saying "Dante's a big reason why Ace left the other XWA in the first place, and he's seeking revenge.". I loved it not because I was present when that "drama revolving around the PM" shit went down and all, but how you had decided to turn it into something else for fed purposes, such as "disagreements backstage" or whatever it was and "Dante doing him dirty". So yeah, on that note, you basically got your revenge by pretty-much ending the career of Dante Cross with that Ganso Bomb from the middle turnbuckle as I don't really see Dante coming back next show or the show after all fine and dandy. It's a pretty dangerous move, and at first, I saw it as pretty much over the top, but a guy like Ace Andrews who could care less what happens to his opponent, whether it be good or bad, he's just there to win and go home with his fat paycheck.
Overall, though it wasn't your best effort, it was a pretty damn good one. At least I thought it was OK for me. I really didn't like the big moves being incorporated so soon because THAT'S what gave me the vibe that it was rushed. Still, I can see it as you managed to turn it into something totally different, making it seem like Ace wanted Dante in the worst way after drama from elsewhere went down.
Xtreme Wrestling Association's style of absolutely NO ENTRANCES in your matches. I once tried that HERE, and I got a bad review for it. I'm not telling you to change up your writing or anything like that; you write how you damn-well please. If someone jumps on you for not incorporating entrances and that becomes one of the factors that cause you to lose or something, take it from me, you might want to incorporate some entrances to your matches. It doesn't have to be a gripe, it doesn't have to be a chore. I'm just telling you what I think. Now for the match:
Your match, of course, started off with both men standing in the ring. One thing your match didn't have that Ace's match had that I really liked was interference. I say if someone's in your corner and they really care about you and all that shit, they'll maybe--just maybe--lend you a helping hand while the ref's not paying attention. Reading through your match, it was basically a one-on-one battle with two guys being competitive with one another. Kriss Cross wasn't really needed there, so introducing him at the beginning of your match proved to be pointless. Also, there can't be a Kriss Cross for Dante Cross in this match without an Isabella Raye for Ace Andrews, but based on your before-the-match, OOC comment, I totally understand. Now, the match in itself was good. It had nice pacing at the beginning with the collar-and-elbow and the arm wrenching. Some spots I found unrealistic and couldn't really picture them in my head while some spots WERE realistic and I could picture in my head. One spot in particular, the transition into the Cross-Arm-Breaker with Ace hanging from middle rope. You basically had Cross fly through the rope and just happen to catch Andrews' arm with the Cross-Arm-Breaker to perfection. That wouldn't happen anywhere else because of the danger of taking a bad fall to the back of the neck on the hard outside floor. I've just never seen that kind of transition nor can I see it happening, but I digress. Dante Cross managed to pull it off and had Ace in a precarious position...on the ropes. Another gripe I had was that during all of this, the ref was in la-la-land until he FINALLY decides to incorporate the 5-count. I may need to read that over again to see what you did there, but again, we all want to do something cool and the referee always serves as the buzzkill. Another spot that definitely had me saying "WTF" is that whole DME business where Ace had his knees up and you clearly landed on them--wait, no you didn't, you actually KNEW he was going to do that and caught them BEFORE you landed on the-- wha- what? I kinda saw that and had that reaction, I don't know if anyone else did. Feel free to hate on me for it, but I just don't see that.
When a person lands on the opposition's knees, ESPECIALLY after a Corkscrew-sault like that, you're expected to crash and burn, but Dante Cross is made out to be more aware in that moment despite a risky move like that. I don't know, man. I just felt like you could have done that differently unless you were giving the impression that he only did that to bait Ace and all that. Overall, the intelligence level was pretty equal with one person getting over on the the other, and the other coming back with something else to where he had to top it with something else, which was good. Great respect there on the constant back and forth, but you have to be careful with constant back-and-forth counters like that "Who's gonna superkick who" spot you had in the match, because it gets a little boring after a while. Like, picture RVD and his opponent going at it counter after counter at the start of the match. Now, picture him and his opponent just doing that for a full 20 minutes or however long the match is. Yeah, not as entertaining. After all, I went in there expecting someone to get superkicked, but alas, no one got superkicked after all, which is a BIG letdown.
The Romero Special spot was a definitive OK for me, I liked reading it and your description of it was good. It didn't feel like it dragged on at all because a move like that is hard to get out of, especially if you apply it like you had Ace apply, showing us his superb submission-style wrestling. So, you're supposed to take your time to describe that kind of move, which had you sell it fine. Well done with that.
In the end, I thought both of you had great matches here overall. I do feel like you two can do a lot better and I hope I see that "a lot better" in the future should you cross paths again. It all really comes down to the ending, for me. When it came to endings, I felt like Ace had a better one. On the other hand, Dante, you sold Ace getting you in the Romero Special along with it's modifications and junk better than your end-match submission win that didn't quite do it for me. I felt that Ace's ending was more controversial and, thus, had me see it as the better ending.
Winner: Ace Andrews
Dante, aside from some criticisms I had made of your match, it was still a pretty good read. I do hope you can bring more to the table now that you've basically proven to me, your opponent and to the higher ups that you can show up and put on a good show at that.
@Nate, I'll answer a few points that you questioned--also if other graders wondered as well.
--Regarding the Cross Armbar manuever, I reread it and Dante's transition was fluid and sensible. There was no real problem with a fall as he was hanging by Ace's arm (who due to his larger weight I had holding the bulk of Dante's weight but also if this was real, Dante would have been putting some pressure on the ropes to carry a portion of the weight). Cross would have been maybe two feet off the ground at best.
--The five count seemed reasonable as I had the referee start the count as soon as Dante had control of Ace.
--On the note of the DME, in short, as Dante was in the air, he could see Ace bring his knees up so upon landing it is the only thing to do and bring the arms in front of the body to grab Ace's legs and move into position to lock in the Liontamer style finisher. I'm sure Jericho has done it before.
--Finally, on the back-and-forth. I had read a match review on the other XWA where I lossed against Ian and the grader stated that the back and forth in his match was good. So I tried that here.
You guys are hardcore with the feedback. This is my first vote so mine will not be so involved until I get more acquainted with the place.
I agree that the finish is the most important thing and no matter what kind of finish you go for the match should support the finish by properly setting up for that big a finish. I feel you did a much better job than your opponent of setting up the finish you had planned. Dropping a guy on his head off the top rope takes some building up to and you did that. Oh, and making the ref open the ropes at the beginning, very nice. Love that #heel shit.
I looked over your match a couple of times just wanting to give you this win. I like your style and find your pacing to be realistic. Your ring psychology is solid in my book. But it did lack a bit of flare or something. It wanted to be a mat classic but just needed a stronger finish. I think if you'd had a bigger finish in mind the match would have built up to it more.
I will disagree with anyone who says that either of you should have gone longer. I think the story is over when it's over sometimes and quality beats quantity any day of the week in my book. I don't want to be shown a barrage of stunts and tricks in every match. Just tell a story well, no matter how long or short the story is and that makes me smile every time.