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Posts : 2467
Join date : 2010-10-09
Location : London, England

PostSubject: CXA REUNION SHOW - PART 7   Fri Apr 01, 2011 1:32 pm

“Ok boys” says Maxine “This is it, main event time. I can’t tell you guys how excited I am about this”

“Well” comments Reynard “You have every right to be Môn Cherie, because even with the incredible match we have just seen, matches don’t get a lot bigger and badder than what we are about to witness. 90 minutes of absolute hell, Jason”

“And not just hell Robinson, but hell guarded by Satan himself”

“Jason, what would it take for you to take Reto’s place tonight and face Shand in this match?”

“An act of God and more money than there is in the Vatican vaults. Seriously, every now and then a promoter offers a wrestler a match where you just take a look and think - that isn’t worth the risk. We need to wake up the next morning. In a Trinity of Iron match against Shand, you can’t guarantee that - ask Derek Verona.”

Further debate on the subject is rendered mute when there is suddenly a loud explosion on stage. Fire and flames shoot up from the stage and the top of the castle, and as it does so, very familiar music kicks in.

“Well, here we go” comments Tarsh “Here comes Reto”

Sure enough, Chio Reto jogs out onto the stage, shouting out to the audience as he does so. He stands on the stands and spins around, his arms outstretched, before he stops looking back at the flag bearing his own logo, which is sliding into place. He nods approvingly, and then begins to walk quickly down the aisle.

As Chio walks down the aisle, the commentators muse.

“Seriously” asks Maxine “All kidding aside, what does Reto need to do if he wants to win this match? – And don’t say come back with an armoured tank division. Come on Jason, as a wrestler, what does he do?”

Tarsh thinks for a second “Well, Ok, if I have to pick a strategy for him, he has to use Shand’s size against him. He has to set a fast pace in the opening 30 minutes and hope that he can tire David out. He has got to use his speed, hit and move, and maybe work a leg or a knee. Something that stops Shand being mobile and being able to work off his power base. Because that is the most important thing – Reto cannot start getting hit with Shand’s power moves because he cannot take those for 90 minutes. No man on this earth can”

“Ok” comments Maxine “And Reynard, what does Shand have to do to win?”

Robinson shrugs “Be Shand. He need to use that power and strength and just batter Reto. Shand proved against Awesome that he can control the pace against a smaller guy, and that’s what he does here. He dictates pace, he uses his power, and he breaks Reto. Frankly, its like they said about Ivan Drago in Rocky 4 ‘whatever Shand hits, he destroys’ and if he cracks one of Chris’ ribs early, its over.”

Reto reaches the ring and climbs inside. He’s controlling his breathing, bouncing on the spot, and he looks ready. He walks over to the turnbuckles, climbs to the second one, and salutes the crowd.

“Chio looks good though Jason”

“He does Robinson. Look, I take nothing away from this guy. He looks in the best shape of his life and he’s a tremendous competitor. This will be a hell of a fight”

“Is he nervous, you think?” asks Maxine

“If you aren’t nervous going into a match like this, you shouldn’t be in the ring” replies Jason “Shand will be nervous as well, trust me. This is a big match”.

As Jason finishes speaking, the arena is suddenly plunged into inky blackness. A single spotlight illuminates the flag on the right hand side, and Shand’s scythe logo, silver and blue on a black background, slides into place.

“And his opponent, hailing from Oxfordshire, England, and weighing in at 344lbs. He is The Reaper, David Shand!!

Suddenly, from under the stage, a column of blinding blue light floods up like a searchlight, stretching to the roof of the massive O2 arena. As it does so, familiar music swells from the speakers.

“Hey” comments Robinson, isn’t that?”

“Sympathy for the Devil” finishes Maxine “Shand hasn’t used that theme in years. Since…..”

“Since he was last the Reaper” Tarsh finishes.

Then, in the middle of the column of bright blue light, a figure starts to rise from under the stage. Its head covered, it ascends slowly, forming the shape of a human man, but one so large as to appear almost non-human. His head bowed, and arms crossed over his chest, David Shand cuts one hell of a figure.

“Jesus Christ” comment Maxine

“Anything but” replies Robinson.

Shand pauses in the light for a few moments, and then slowly reaches up and pulls back the hood of the sleeveless zip-up sweatshirt he is wearing. He is dressed in a white all-in-one wrestling costume with black flourish decoration and a Grim Reaper logo on each hip, black kneepads, and new black boots which sport studded kickpads.

He looks out toward the crowd for a moment, his face impassive.

In the ring, Chio can’t help himself. He too stares at Shand.

Suddenly David steps one foot forward to stand at an angle to the crowd. He throws both his hands into air. As he does so, several blue rockets scream down from the ceiling, and smash into the castle set behind him in massive explosions. As they do, the set crumbles, the castle collapsing into rubble, just leaving the blood coloured sky behind.

Now Shand starts to walk down the aisle toward the ring, his eyes never for a moment leaving Chio. He doesn’t rush himself – where would be the point – and when he reaches the bottom of the aisle a dark smile spreads across his leonine face. He walks to the ring-steps, climbs them, and steps over the top rope. Pausing to unzip his sweatshirt and pass it to ring hand, he simply stands in the corner, rotating his neck.

Across the ring, Reto tests the tightness of the ropes, psyching himself up. Shand does seem to bother. He just waits for the referee to appear ready, and then moves to the centre of the ring.

Shand and Reto square off in the centre of the ring as the bell rings. The timer appears on the screen, displaying the time of this first round to be contested under conventional wrestling match rules; 30:00. The scores of both men currently register 0. For now.

“This is it, mon amies!” announces Robinson excitedly, “The third Trinity of Iron match is underway!”

There is a brief staredown between the two - the gigantic Shand towering over his more modestly-sized opponent - but it does not last too long, as the Reaper swoops right in with a collar-and-elbow tie-up. His bulging biceps and forearms engulf the head of Reto, but the smaller man shoves forward harshly, freeing himself from the deliberately loose grip. A smile crosses the face of Shand, and he takes a few steps back before pacing around. Reto responds by adopting a defensive stance.

“Shand’s playing those mind games early on,” notes Tarsh, “Little subtle tricks to get into the head of Reto, got to watch out for those.”

When it becomes clear that Shand isn’t going to make a move, Chio follows his lead and the duo circle one another. Finally Reto shoots forward and wraps his arms around Shand’s defined midsection, speeding around to the back with a swift motion. He tries to lift the big man, but Shand stands tall and doesn’t budge. 

“Not a very wise move by Reto there!” tuts Robinson, “Does he realise how much David Shand weighs?”

Chio strains hard, but it’s clear that this is not going to get him anywhere.  He lets go of his grip, charges backwards into the ropes, and comes off with a dropkick. It is swatted away by a quick-moving Shand who spins around to greet it.

“Wow!” exclaims an impressed Maxine, “Check out that speed!”

Reto’s up fast, twisting to a vertical base, but goes down again as Shand sweeps his legs from underneath him. The monstrous Reaper shows his agility, following the sweep up with a high-leaping elbow drop that buries itself in the sternum of Reto. All of the air is forced out of Chio’s lungs as the meaty arm of Shand crushes his chest. Instead of capitalising, David whips back to his feet and admires his handiwork. He places a hand on the top rope and simply looks down upon the still-writhing Reto, shaking his head in disappointment.

“Seems Shand was expecting more of Chio here,” Tarsh points out, “It IS still the early going after all, so if Chio’s slow to his feet now that’s not a very good sign for his ability to go another 89 minutes.”

Reto rolls back to his feet, still holding his chest. Shand takes him by the neck, hoists him up to a standing position, and hooks his arms around Chio’s entire chest and arms. He pops the hips, and Chio goes flying with a perfect overhead belly to belly suplex. 

“Whoa! What a suplex!” comments the enthusiastic Maxine.

He hits the mat hard on the back of his neck, but again Shand does not capitalise. Instead, he helps Chio up again, locks him just as he did before, and delivers another suplex. This time, however, Chio crashes into the nearby turnbuckle. He flops down hard, headfirst, and groans painfully.

“Oh, that was just nasty!” Robinson bellows with a grin, “I love it!”

Shand drags Chio along the canvas roughly, and kneels down to press an arm against his chest. The referee is down to make the count on this lacklustre cover, but he barely manages a one-count before Chio forces both shoulders off the mat. David promptly delivers a two-handed chop that sends him right back down, and this time uses both arms to pin Reto’s shoulders down. The ref counts again, but for a second time a one-count is all he can register. Shand stays cool, however. He rises, sizes his opponent up, and drops a knee right into the chest of Chio. His shorter foe spasms around as a result of that, and again Shand forces him downwards. The referee’s hand is about to hit the mat, but Chio forcefully kicks right out with a fluid, arcing motion.

“Have to give Reto some credit there,” Robinson admits, “He’s getting out of those pin attempts fast.”

“Yeah, but Shand’s making him expend energy without using much himself,” Tarsh is quick to note, “Smart strategy by the Reaper here.”

David takes some steps back to look upon Chio, and presses himself against a set of turnbuckles. He then swoops in once again with an attempted knee drop, and his knee connects with nothing but canvas as Reto has already rolled out of the way. Still cradling his sternum, Chio stalks Shand as he recovers, and starts to lay into him with low kicks to whatever he can hit. The Reaper does not take kindly to this attempted offence, and cuts it off quickly by intercepting Reto’s kicking leg. The massive arm of Shand locks tight around Chio’s knee, and leaves the Demi-Legend hopping to retain balance. Again the taller man shakes his head, this time in admonishment of his friend, and with a nudge of his leg he swipes Chio’s standing leg out of the way. Reto crashes to the mat spine-first, one leg still restrained by his opponent.

Shand begins to entwine the legs for a submission hold, but Chio struggles out of the attempt. He rolls backwards and then goes for a charge, but Shand cuts it short with a perfectly-timed elbow to the temple. Chio crumples to the canvas in a heap. No pin by Shand here, who paces around his opponent, seemingly waiting for him to revive before following up.

When there’s no movement, he simply places his large hands on his hips impatiently, before sighing and going back to a corner. He hops onto the top rope: not to attack, but to sit there and simply bide his time.

Soon enough a slightly dazed Reto is up again, and approaches Shand, who hops down from his perch. Chio proposes another grapple, to which Shand obliges with a confident smirk. The collar-and-elbow is reapplied, and David bears down on Reto, using his superior size and strength to drive him to one knee. Reto tries his best to stay in a vertical base, but the power of the Reaper is overwhelming. 

Before he can try anything else, Chio finds the ground escape from beneath him and he is dropped face-first as Shand applies a fujiwara armbar. It’s not held at a particularly sharp angle, but it’s locked in tight enough to keep Reto down. The referee slides in to check on Chio, who quite adamantly tells him he’s fine, despite the pain. Shand keeps it held in for some time, weakening his opponent with every passing second.

Reynard sighs “Shand owning Chio so far in this”

“Yup” Tarsh agrees “Reto needs to turn this around fast”

With a speed belying a man of his size, Shand switches from the armbar to a riding position, and this time underhooks both arms in a camel clutch variation. He pulls back on Reto, putting pressure on the arms and already-damaged chest. The ref asks Chio again, but he shakes his head to indicate that he still wants to go. David responds to that by arching his gargantuan head backwards and then driving it forwards across the back of Reto’s. The jaw of Reto clonks against the mat as a result. Shand releases the hold, but not after driving his boot into the back of Chio’s head to smash it into the mat again.

As Chio stirs and tries to recover, Shand points to the tron, which displays the timer; 23:20. He then grabs a handful of blue-dyed hair and lifts Reto up by it, causing his foe to yell in pain. Chio is quick to fight back with renewed vigour as a result of this nasty move, and hammers away at his opponent the moment Shand lets his hair loose. He strikes at every angle he can with kicks and punches, but David does not even cover up. He lets Chio keep at it, the blows seeming about as effective as mosquito bites on his chiselled physique.

Reto takes to the ropes, and comes springing back with a spinning wheel kick, which catches Shand across the jaw.

No effect; the big man simply smiles at the effort. He thanks his opponent with a kick of his own: one of the Yakuza variety. The wide-arcing strike catches Chio about the head and drops him hard. Shand follows it up with a headlock, wrapping those hulking arms of his around Chio’s neck and cranium. Again the referee dives in to check, but Chio is fine, even with the life being squeezed out of him.

Shand appears not to be putting too much effort into the hold, the mass of his arms being enough to encase Chio’s head. He keeps it gripped, happily wearing away at the struggling Reto and letting him work his energy away on his own. All of a sudden though, he notices his arms are empty as Chio has slipped out from the loose hold. A dropkick to the head later, and Shand scrambles up to his feet. Those ice blue eyes widen and lock onto Chio, giving him a surprised and almost furious glare.

“Good lord, I think that might have angered the Reaper there!” Tarsh yells.

“I guess he took being kicked in the head personally!” suggests Maxine.

Shand quickly goes after Reto, who evades the speeding demon with his advanced quickness, leading him towards the turnbuckle. David nearly runs right into it, but figures out Chio’s game quickly, and as Reto slips under the top rope to escape onto the apron he batters him with an overhand punch that rocks the whole of his body. Another grasp of hair later, he drags the addled Chio’s head and then his whole body along the middle rope, hooking in a front facelock.

“Oh, here we go!” Robinson shuffles in his seat in anticipation,

“I think Shand is looking for that London Bridge DDT!”

Chio regains his bearings though, and clubs Shand violently in an attempt to break his grip. Soon enough he does, and slips back under the rope. From his position on the apron, he drives his shoulder into a charging Shand’s midsection, which momentarily winds the big man.

“Oh hey, Chio chipped away at the big guy!” Maxine pipes in, surprised.

With Shand doubled over, Chio leans back, pulls the top rope with him, and then vaults high up into the air! He aims to drop a leg across the back of the leant Shand’s neck, but the Reaper recovers FAST. Both massive arms trap both of Chio’s legs, and David hoists him up onto his shoulders, standing up as straight as he can.

“Uh-oh,” Robinson says in a foreboding tone, “This can’t end well...”

Shand grasps Chio by the tights, lifts him up as high as his arms will allow, and goes to drive him down with a powerbomb...

...Except Chio slips out of it, landing on his feet. He catches Shand as he wheels around with a kick to the gut, but it doesn’t faze him. Nonetheless, Chio tries his best to get him up into a fireman’s carry position. Shand won’t allow it however, and he is too heavy for Reto to lift on his shoulders without some momentum. He puts an end to this pitiful charade by driving both fists into Chio’s back, sending him right down to the canvas.

“Ouch!” winces Maxine, “So much for that!”

“Double axe handle by Shand there, demonstrating to Chio exactly what happens when you try to manhandle him,” comments Robinson.

Shand turns to the tron, to see that it’s currently at 15:06. He scowls, realising that the scores are still tied.

“Nearly fifteen minutes have passed now, and not a single fall,” Robinson points out.

“It’s interesting that David Shand hasn’t gone for any serious covers in this match so far,” Tarsh notes, “It’s looked as though he’s been toying with Reto.”

Shand lifts up the fallen Reto and it’s his turn to try for the fireman’s carry, as if to show his opponent how it is done. He easily gets Chio up on his shoulders like he’s a bag of flour, and twists slightly in a familiar motion...

“Hey!” exclaims Maxine, “Look at what he’s trying now!”

After rearing back, he swings Chio’s entire body into the air and brings it down with tremendous impact as the fans let out a loud burst of excitement.

“Reap The Whirlwind!” Robinson blurts out, “There’s some classic Shand! Not seen him use that in a long while”

Chio’s body bounces off the mat with incredible force, and he lies motionless as a result of that high impact manoeuvre. Again Shand does not try for the cover, though. Instead he paces around Chio once again, waiting for him to stir. When there’s no reaction, he wraps both hands around Reto’s throat and without so much as a grunt of exertion, pulls the entire carcass of his foe right up to a standing position, much to the approval of the audience.

“The strength of David Shand is just plain scary,” Tarsh says, “Scary, I tell you!”

A dazed and barely conscious Chio is kept upright only by David’s hands. The Reaper snaps on a reverse waistlock in an instant, and forces Reto over his head with another suplex!

“German Suplex!” Maxine squeaks, “How does he do it so smoothly?”

Shand bridges and holds the suplex in place, pressing Chio’s shoulders into the canvas. The referee leaps into position and starts the count; 1.... 

...No! Chio kicks out! He does it with such force his body flips over onto its front!

“What?” Robinson says in surprise, “Where did Chio get the strength to kick out of that?

David Shand glares at the still motionless Chio. He raises an eyebrow, apparently surprised himself by this sudden burst of energy. He cautiously approaches the fallen Reto, checking to see that he is not playing possum, before wrapping an arm around his neck with a sudden movement. He eases Chio up to a vertical base, satisfied by the lack of struggling. He drapes a lifeless Reto arm over his neck, restrains a leg underneath the knee, grasps the tights and brings the whole of Reto upside-down into the air...

“Could be Fall of the Empire time!” Tarsh announces.

“Will this be the first fall of the match?” asks Robinson


...Shand drops to his back and brings Chio crashing down with him, executing a huge crossover fisherman’s brainbuster! The fans explode with adulation, and Shand makes the cover, being sure to put enough body-on-body and hook the leg this time. The referee starts the count...

1... 2... No! Chio forces the shoulder up at the last possible second!

“Did he just do that?” Maxine asks in disbelief.

“Reto’s more resilient than I gave him credit for!” Jason admits.

Shand is taken quite firmly aback by this. His eyebrows dart downwards in anger, but he refocuses himself and starts to lay elbows into the head of Reto, focusing on the region that took all the damage of the Fall of the Empire. The toughened joints of the Reaper begin to work away at the skin on Chio’s forehead, and droplets of blood appear on the surface. He keeps on driving those elbows into him, before cracking one, final emphatic elbow shot that seems to eject the life from Reto. He flops down, and Shand makes another cover, again hooking the leg. The referee is right in there...

1... 2... No! Chio gets the shoulder up for a second time!

“Mon dieu!” Reynard exclaims “You would think Reto would take that fall and give himself some time to recover and check out that blood, but he’s still fighting back!”

Shand frowns, but keeps his cool as per usual. He eyes the clock, which is now at 12:01. A moment later and he has Reto up again, scooping him into a slam. He forcibly drives Reto down and puts him into a seated headlock. It seems Reto really does have some life in him, as he’s struggling for all he’s worth with the arms of Shand around his head.

“You could see David Shand was getting frustrated, but he didn’t let it get to him,” notes Robinson, “He’s continuing on coolly, and doesn’t intend to do anything rash.”

“That’s Shand’s main asset” responds Tarsh “He’s been around the block. He knows never to panic during a match”

Shand continues to try to force Chio unconscious with his headlock, and the referee yet again checks on him. He has it cinched in for a while, and Reto keeps trying to get out of it with whatever strikes he can hit. It all seems for naught as Shand keeps the hold on tight in an attempt to shut Reto down.

“We’ve just over ten minutes left to this round,” Tarsh adds, “Still no falls, but it’s obvious who’s in the driver’s seat here.”

“David Shand has been dominant, no question about it, but I’m impressed by Chio’s drive,” Maxine is quick to say, “He may not be able to knock down the wall that is the Reaper, but he keeps on bringing it nonetheless.”

“But Chio can’t just spend this whole match on the defensive!” Robinson feels the need to state, “He has to score with a move sooner or later if he wants to at least get a fall!”

Finally, Chio begins to gain some ground. He’s able to get to his feet, and force Shand up in the process. The strength and determination is admirable, but David cuts him off before he can get anything going, tightening his grip of the headlock. Chio drops down to his backside again, unable to escape, let alone properly mount an offense.

“Time’s ticking away, and it’s interesting that David Shand is steadfastly holding onto that headlock,” Reynard muses, “You’d think he’d try for another pinfall attempt at this point.”

“It’s fairly obvious what he’s doing here, Reynard,” explains an unsurprised Jason, “He’s draining Reto so he has nothing left, that way he’s susceptible to whatever he tries next. Remember, I said Chio might have the endurance advantage. Obviously Shand realises that and is trying to negate it. Added to which, this also helps prepare his man for round two, don’t forget.”

Once again Chio forces himself upwards, and Shand has no choice but to go up again due to the unexpected strength of Reto. When both men are standing, Chio hits Shand with some elbows of his own to the midsection of the huge man. They seem ineffective at first, but slowly and steadily the grip of the Reaper loosens. One stiff shot later and Chio is free! He bounds off the ropes to capitalise with a running strike, but to Shand he’s telegraphed it. The big mans reverses by effortlessly twisting Reto around in the air and dropping his spine onto his outstretched knee! The fans let out a collective “oooh” at the sickening impact.

“Tilt-a-whirl backbreaker by David Shand!” yells Reynard, “So much for Chio’s momentum!”

Shand smartly goes right for the cover. The referee jumps in...

1.. 2... No! Kick-out by Reto!

“There we go again!” Mars reacts, “Amazing!”

“This is impressive, alright!” Tarsh confesses, “Seven minutes of this round remaining and still Shand can’t seem to put Reto away!”

Shand appears to be losing his cool a bit now, and drags Reto upwards for the umpteenth time. He makes a swift throat-slashing gesture and the crowd buzzes in response!

“Hold on!” Reynard declares, “I think we all know what this means!”

“Is he really THIS frustrated with Reto?!” wonders Tarsh.

He forces Chio into a front facelock, drapes the arm again and suspends the younger man’s body high up into the air!

“Tortured Soul, coming right up!” Maxine announces.

However, Reto knows that he absolutely has to act and act now. If Shand nails this, its goodnight. So before Shand can turn his opponent’s body to pull him in for the driver, Chio somehow blasts him in the head with a sharp knee strike, even while held upside down! This rattles the veteran, and he grasps his head!

“Wow!” an impressed Robinson lets out, “Chio’s finally breaking through that wall!”

Chio drops to his feet, having being let go by a preoccupied David Shand. Seeing that his foe is still bothered by the head shot - which must have hit him just right – Chio speeds forward and follows up with a jumping knee right to the damaged head! Shand is nearly toppled as a result!

“Tiger Knee!” Maxine says excitedly, “He nearly brought the Reaper down there!”

Chio sees his opportunity and takes it. He takes Shand by HIS hair, pulls him into a front facelock of his own, and the fans go wild!

“Wait a minute!” Robinson bursts out with, “Could it be?!”

Just as Chio goes to reach out for Shand’s singlet, the Reaper twists out of the hold, gripping Reto’s arm all the while. Before the smaller man can do anything about it, he is sent crashing down to the mat courtesy of a huge right arm clothesline.

“Ouch,” winces Reynard, “Never mind.”

Shand still keeps a hold of Reto’s arm, and with a simple yank he brings him upwards again, albeit dazed. Another waistlock; another overwhelmingly powerful German suplex. This time there’s no bridge and Chio is folded over himself before landing onto his stomach.

“This is becoming hard to watch,” comments a pained Maxine, “Chio’s tough, but he can’t get any solid and sustained offence on Shand!”

Shand stalks Chio, and to the Demi-Legend’s credit he is stirring. Eventually up to his feet but seemingly not all there, he falls into Shand’s massive grasp. A hand goes across the throat, and Chio’s being lifted up...

“Chokeslam!” exclaims Tarsh, “Classic ‘Big Man’ move here, and then don’t get much bigger!”

Then, whilst in mid-air, Reto’s last second survival instincts kick in again. He springs to life! He bats Shand’s hand away, twists around and wraps his legs around his enormous torso! He then flips forward, slides between the Reaper’s legs and as soon as he’s up, delivers a chop block on his unsuspecting foe...

...But it doesn’t work. Shand barely flinches. He simply turns and glares down at Chio, who is in a crouching position following that failed move. A stomp to the head from David and Reto is left prone. With that the Reaper takes a few steps back, and gets his opponent in his sights...

“I think he’s looking for something here!” Robinson calls out.

Chio coughs heavily and even with now shaking limbs, gets back to his feet. He’s taken a lot of shots to the head and really is worse for wear. Now even more so, as Shand springs forward with cat-like speed and almost wipes his head off with an incredible lariat!

“Oh my god, the Scythe!!” Maxine shrieks, “Chio’s done for now!”

Not wanting to waste any more time, Shand presses his giant frame onto Reto and hooks the leg. The referee charges in and counts...

1... 2... NO! Kick-out right before the three!

Tarsh is impressed, “Chio’s one stubborn fella. All the credit in the world for that!”

“How is he still conscious?” questions Maxine.

Shand’s eyes widen, not expecting this! The crowd are starting to really get behind Chio now, astounded that he’s not gone down yet. David eyes the tron, which shows the time of 5:02. Time is steadily running out in this round!

“We’re almost at the end of the Mind round, and neither man has scored a fall!” announces Reynard, “This is especially impressive because David Shand has been in control for the majority of the proceedings!”

“I really didn’t expect this” agrees Tarsh “Its quite startling.I would have bet big money on there being falls in the first third. I don’t think either of the previous two TOI matches were nil nil after 30 minutes”

Shand grasps Chio by the hair, drags him into the centre of the ring, and it’s clear from his expression that he’s starting to grow weary of this. He walks over to a turnbuckle, and slowly ascends it...

“What the...?” Maxine is astounded, “What’s the Reaper doing here?”

All seven feet and two inches of David Shand is now on the top rope, and the fans are rising as well, in anticipation of what will come of this unusual turn of events. He launches himself off the ropes with incredible height, and drives his extended elbow joint right into the midsection of his opponent!

“Wow! A big elbow from David Shand!” Robinson booms, “That’s the kind of agility any other man of his size would never be able to fathom- whoa! Cover!”

Sure enough, David is making the cover. The referee starts the count again...

1... 2... No! Once again, Chio Reto kicks right out!

“Unbelievable!” Mars shouts, “I just don’t.....How........How did he manage that after getting his sternum squashed by Shand’s arm?”

“You have to notice what move Shand chose to use there: the big elbow!” Jason points out, “That’s just like one of Chio Reto’s finishing moves! Talk about sending a message!”

Shand does not let this bother him too much, he’s too experienced for that, choosing to instead grasp Chio around the arm and pull him right up into the air from a belly-to-back position...

“Back suplex on the way!” says Robinson.

...But somehow, Reto manages to flip out of it, landing on his feet! As Shand turns, he is met with an impressive superkick right to the face! Shand hits the floor with a humongous THUD and the fans burst with surprise!

“Good lord, look at that bloody kick!” gushes Tarsh, “Shand’s down!”

“Chi-capitation by Reto!” calls Reynard, “And you’re right about it being bloody; Shand’s been busted open!”

Unlike Reto whose bandanna is absorbing the flecks of blood on his forehead, the exposed face of Shand is suddenly coloured scarlet! The kick hit him perfectly, busting open HIS forehead! The shock on the Reaper’s features says more than any words could!

“See Chio” yells Maxine “He is human, you can hurt him. Go for it!”

“Four minutes remaining to this round!” Tarsh informs them, “Shand’s rattled, I think Chio should go for the pin!”

Chio appears to be contemplating that, still getting to grips with the fact that a move finally paid off on the mountainous Shand, but before he can try to make the cover, Shand is easing himself back up. Going right in for the kill, Reto swoops in on his opponent, but the big man swats him away. Chio rolls backwards from the shove, and comes right back in with a dropkick to the knee. Shand topples slightly.

“Hello hello, Chio’s showing some strategy now!” analyses Tarsh, “With Shand on the ropes, he can use this chance to take away those all-important legs!”

Chio keeps at it, bashing the kneecap and shin of Shand’s right leg with kicks while he’s still crouched. This keeps him from rising, and Chio uses this to shove his foe into a standing headscissors.

“Is Reto really going for it?” Robinson wonders.

Perhaps so, but Shand won’t allow it. With brute strength alone he forces Reto over his head and sends him flipping over onto his back! As Shand tries to stand properly, however, he favours his right leg and hops a little.

“Chio’s made a difference here!” Reynard points out with vigour, “David Shand is finally showing signs of weakness!”

Nonetheless he presses forward on the fallen Reto. Its not the first time he’s been bleeding in a match, and he wipes some dripping blood from his forehead, splattering it against the mat, and takes to the air with a leaping fist drop right to Chio’s head! It hits hard, and he follows it up with several more punches, and then finally rips off the bandanna his foe is wearing with a simple tug! He looks at the blood-specked thing, shakes his head and tosses it onto Reto.

“Yikes,” Tarsh begins, “Bit of disrespect there from Shand, but this is no kiddie’s game, that’s for sure.”

“Three minutes and ten seconds left to the Mind round!” Robinson notes, “Shand has got to be thinking of getting a fall on Reto now!”

Shand reaches down for his old friend again, but his hand is knocked away by Reto’s. He is taken aback for a moment, when he is suddenly surprised by Reto kipping up to a standing position!

Maxine is shocked, “What the...? He’s up!”

Chio is wobbly, and obviously exerted some energy to pull it off, but it’s apparently worth it for how much it’s surprised his opponent! Taking advantage of this, he rocks Shand with a backhand slap, sending the big man reeling backwards! Then showing remarkable form for somebody in his situation, he slides under the Reaper’s legs, grabs his right ankle and tries to apply an ankle lock!

“Whoa whoa!” exclaims Reynard, “He’s going for that Chi-Lock!”

Reaper’s icy eyes become wide with panic, knowing the feeling of this sort of hold all too well. He rolls forward, pulling the stubborn Reto over and he tumbles through the ropes, to the outside! He hits the thin mats on the floor hard!

Tarsh shakes his head in disbelief,

“Blimey, Shand was quick to get out of that, and what a way to do it!”

“Not many people have the power and size for that, but I remember his feud with Lone Wolf Derek Verona; he had to suffer that ankle lock a lot back then!” Maxine notes.

Chio holds his chest on the outside, apparently having re-injured it in the impact. Shand takes a moment to stretch out his ankle and the rest of his body, before approaching the ropes. He stares down at Reto, considering his next action while the referee starts to make the ring-out count.

“Chio has ten seconds to get back into the ring, or he’ll suffer a count-out, which will be one fall in Shand’s favour!” Robinson lets the audience at home know.

Jason follows up, “Yeah, and he can’t score a fall himself out there, especially with Shand seemingly reluctant to follow him out.”

“What’s with that?” wonders Maxine, “Shand hasn’t seemed quite himself since that superkick.”

“My guess is its like you said Maxine, it showed everyone that he can be wounded,” suggests Robinson, “Certainly doesn’t help the big man’s aura of indestructability!”

Shand eyes the clock, as the referee’s count goes down to six. 1:45 remaining. It is then that he decides to venture outside, and grabs his fallen opponent.

“Hello, what’s here up to here, then?” asks Jason.

“Is Shand not happy with just a count-out fall?” Maxine offers.

It looks as though he’s about to toss his opponent back into the ring... when he wheels him around and chucks him right into the steel steps! Chio’s head and upper body smash into it hard and he tumbles down!

“Mon dieu!” Robinson shrieks.

Jason shrugs, “I guess a count-out is just fine for the Reaper...”

To confirm that point, Shand rolls back into the ring and allows the referee to restart his count while Chio lies motionless by the steel steps.

1... 2... 3... 4... Chio starts to stir...

“Looks as though Shand will claim a fall here!” announces Reynard.

“I’m surprised he didn’t get disqualified for that move,” Maxine groans.

“Ref’s allowing some latitude but its not a foreign object, strictly speaking so it comes under the rules, even during this Mind round,” Tarsh says.

The referee is still counting... 7... 8... Chio is getting to his feet, albeit shakily.

Suddenly, as the referee calls out 9, Chio rolls himself underneath the bottom rope and into the ring!

“Wow, he made it!” Maxine exclaims.

He is met by a knee drop to the head from Shand. Reto spasms upon contact, and (inadvertently) aids the Reaper by rolling towards the centre of the ring. Now he’s away from the ropes, Shand sees it as a perfect time to make a cover. He presses his three hundred and forty odd pounds on his opponent, and the referee counts...

1... 2... No! Chio fires the shoulder up from the canvas!

“Good lord! Just what reserves does Reto have?” Tarsh wonders.

Shand turns to the clock. 20 seconds remaining to this round! He narrows his chilling blue eyes and tries for another cover. The count begins...

1... 2... No! Chio gets the shoulder up again!

“I’m stunned!” exclaims Maxine, and she is, “15 seconds remaining, but Chio won’t stay down!”

The Reaper shoves Reto down again, and tries for yet another cover...

1... 2... No! Chio won’t let him get a fall!

“What is Chio Reto made of?” Robinson muses.

The timer ticks down. Ten... nine... eight... Shand presses against the ropes... seven... six... five... he charges forward and takes to the air... four... drops a leg onto Reto’s throat! Three... he makes a cover... the count begins...

Referee counts 1...


Referee counts 2...


Referee is about to count 3 but the buzzer goes off! He stops and informs Shand that the round is over!

“The Mind round has come to an end and the score is 0 all!” Robinson announces, “It looked so close there, but now pinning is out of the question! This next round, Body, is submissions only!”

I'm not climbing to the top of the mountain. I am the damn mountain!
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