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Faith The Nurse Chapter 3: Old School Beatdown

I. JEN BRAUN

Cassandra Sanchez was in pain. Upright on her knees in the center of the ring, she felt her opponent dig deeply into her trapezius muscles in a paralyzing nerve hold. The pain bore through the pretty Latina’s shoulders to where it was virtually impossible for her to lift her arms. Her lovely face contorted into a hideous grimace. Two and a half minutes into the match, nothing was going well for the Mexican wrestler. She had endured several throws and painful holds, some she had never seen before. Her body had been peppered with blows, kicks, and boot stomps. At 5’7” and 140 lbs, dressed in a black two piece suit, only slightly less revealing than a swimwear bikini and boots, the black haired woman was systematically being taken apart – old school style. And her opponent, Jen Braun, would want it no other way. Jen pulled her victim up to her feet, wrapped her arms around the torso, then lifted her up into a bear hug, before spinning around, driving Cassandra into the canvas with a belly to belly suplex. The aggressor, stood up and took a breather as her opponent writhed at her feet.

At 5’7” and 145 lbs, Jen Braun was a powerful woman. Dressed in a black one piece suit, sporting black knee pads and black wrestling shoes over white socks, her brown eyes, complementing the reddish brown hair, glanced at the crowd. The look on her face said she was all business. Jen was new to the promotion but was certainly well known in wrestling circles. She had been in the sport for years. For most of her career, she had been based on the US east coast but had appeared in numerous promotions around the US. She won many regional titles and had several world title shots. Now in her mid-forties, she showed no signs of slowing down. In any promotion, Jen was considered a dangerous force and a serious threat to any title.

Jen Braun’s philosophy of wrestling was straightforward. Two combatants meet in a ring. They trade throws, holds, and blows until one of them is pinned or submitted. It’s that simple. That’s wrestling done the right way. The old school way. Go to an arena today and what do you see? Pyrotechnics, Jumbotron, dancing, skimpy outfits, and circus acrobats and stuntwomen passing themselves off as wrestlers. What happened to plain old competition? Dick the Bruiser, Harley Race, Bruno Sammartino, Killer Kowalski, Fritz Von Erich – did any of them ever do a hurricanrana? Of course not. Imagine what these men could have done in the ring to today’s high fliers. Jen took another look at the fans. Pathetic. They know nothing about the rich history of the sport. These losers think they’re actually watching wrestling. As Gorilla Monsoon used to say, “They wouldn’t know a wrist lock from a wristwatch.”

Walking over to her fallen opponent, Jen methodically positioned herself and waited. As Cassandra valiantly attempted to rise, Jen seized her by the waist, lifted, arched her back, slamming Cassandra’s back and shoulders down in a textbook German suplex. Hovering over the Hispanic woman as she shakily got up to her feet, still doubled over, the veteran rough houser hooked the arms behind the back and pulled backward, throwing her woman down with a double arm suplex, the third suplex variation in the last minute. Weak and battered, Cassandra felt herself yanked to her feet again and Irish whipped into the ropes. Rebounding off the ropes, her head and neck became engulfed in Jen’s arms, trapped in the dominant woman’s favorite finisher, a sleeper hold she calls The Dream Catcher. The overmatched Latina quickly dropped to one knee as Jen kept up the pressure. Cassandra helplessly waved her arms around before dropping them in unconsciousness. The referee quickly checked three times for active arm movement before calling for the bell. Jen allowed the defeated woman’s limp body to fall before stepping back in victory. With a look of disgust on her face, she refused to allow the referee to raise her arm. She grudgingly gave her victim a reviving slap on the back before issuing a parting stomp on the spine. Seemingly offended by the lack of competition, she exited the ring to a chorus of boos.

II. THE INCIDENT

As Cassandra received assistance leaving the ring, the crowd readied itself for the next match. First in the ring was Rose DiFazio, an experienced but unheralded, tough, trash talking grappler from Queens, NY. Entering the ring was 21 year old promising wrestler, Jordan Lee. The slender young Asian woman climbed to the apron, and accepted the loud cheers as she was introduced. The cheers grew into roars with the announcer’s next statement, “Jordan Lee is accompanied by her trainer and manager……Chrissy Chang!” All eyes were on the long time fan favorite walking down the aisle, but this time not as a wrestler. Chrissy was semiretired, only making sporadic ring appearances. She now devoted herself to her new career of running a wrestling school and training and managing young wrestlers. The fans noted a cast on her right leg as she made her way to the ring with the use of crutches. No stranger to broken bones, Chrissy had suffered an ankle injury practicing a top rope walk. True to form, she insisted she’d be 100% in no time. Tonight, nothing would keep her from the arena to support her protege and niece, Jordan Lee.

Jordan and Rose met in the center of the ring for the referee’s instructions. The two women were physically matched at 5’4” and 120 lbs. Both had black hair pulled into a bun and both wore black sports bras and yoga shorts. Rose wore black boots while Jordan was in bare feet. The match started as a “scientific” bout with both wrestlers trading moves, counter moves, takedowns and escapes. Gradually, Jordan began to dominate, taking control of her opponent. Frustrated, Rose changed tactics, backed her opponent against the ropes and fired a punch to the body, followed by a series of uppercuts. Then came a rake of the eyes as Jordan slumped to the canvas. “Go home to your mother, baby girl,” Rose taunted. “ What’s Aunt Chrissy gonna say when I kick your ass right in front of her?” She fired a series of blows to the back before flinging Jordan into the corner. The young Asian crashed chest first into the turnbuckle, falling over backward onto the canvas. Determined to ruin the young woman’s debut, Rose dropped a series of elbows to the chest. Jordan was pulled to her feet, her chest in agony with each breath. Rose wound her up again sending her barreling into the corner. This time, Jordan was able to halt her momentum, jumping into the corner, her feet landing on the middle rope, her hands holding the top rope. As Rose ran in, Jordan nailed her with a mule kick to the chest, knocking her on her back. Jordan circled around her foe as Rose slowly stood up. Then, taking a page from her aunt and mentor’s playbook, Jordan fired a sweet chin music high kick to the jaw, sending the New Yorker crumbling to the canvas in a heap, before rolling on her back. Like Chrissy had done so many times, she pointed to the fans, then pointed to the top rope. “Yes, do it,” they cried out. In a flash, Jordan climbed to the top rope. She spread out her arms, acknowledged the fans, then took to the air. Her graceful form looked like it was gliding through the air until gravity sent it down splashing on Rose’s supine chest. Superfly Snuka never made it look this pretty. The referee dutifully counted to three as the crowd stood and roared over the new high flying sensation.

After the ring was cleared, an announcer from the broadcast table took the mic in the center of the ring. “Ladies and gentleman,” he started, “we have a special presentation. The commissioner has ordered that a special honor be awarded tonight. That honor will be given to a wrestler who has contributed so much to the sport for many years. She’s a wrestler who is a consummate professional. She has had a stellar career having won several titles. She embodies what it means to persevere despite adversity and setbacks. She exemplifies what it is to have courage, honor and integrity. She’s an athlete who has given so much back to the community working with young people and becoming involved in many charitable causes. She has thrilled us, entertained us and inspired us. I have here a gold plated plaque mounted on a marble block. It my pleasure to give this award of lifetime achievement to none other than …..Miss Chrissy Chang!”

The arena lights darkened. Chrissy, with the spotlight on her, hobbled to the ring on crutches, accompanied by her young protege, Jordan. The video screen displayed a montage of clips showing highlights of her career including her most memorable high flying maneuvers. She took the mic. Her acceptance speech was full of praise and thanks to the fans. She assured everyone her leg was healing well. She expressed her excitement over her new role as teacher, manager and mentor.

As Chrissy was speaking, a disturbance arose in the stands, originating from the back area and spreading forward. The crowd’s tone was confusion at first, then turning to shock, then anger. The fans realized the source of unrest – Jen Braun emerged from the dressing area and was headed for the ring. Her face had a stern stoic expression as she purposefully marched forward. Boos and bitter jeers erupted. The announcer took the mic back from Chrissy. “Hey, this is Chrissy’s time. You don’t belong here. This is an award ceremony.”

“Yeah, yeah, yeah,” said Jen dismissively. Now in the ring, she grabbed the mic from the announcer and began to address the crowd. “I want to tell all you people that I’m disappointed…Very disappointed. I came to this stinking dirt water town expecting to find some competition. So far, my opponents here have all been pansies who couldn’t fight their way out of a paper bag. And you know what? I feel bad for you people. I really do. All you dollar store shoppers sitting at home living your failed miserable lives spending your meager income to come here. You spend your money on tickets so you can sit in these seats and watch the crap that goes on this ring. Don’t you morons know you’re being deceived? They tell you you’re watching wrestling because they know you’re too stupid to know better. They tell you it’s wrestling but it’s really just a bunch of little girls doing gymnastics and dancing. And you think it’s wrestling.”

She then turned to Chrissy. “And you…you. You should be ashamed of yourself. You’re teaching kids sideshow acts and making them believe they’re wrestlers. And your being honored tonight for what? A lifetime of breaking bones? Just look at you. Look at that cast. You’re going to be a cripple in a nursing home before you turn fifty. And we’re honoring that? That’s what I call stupidity. So I came hear to educate all of you dimwits in what a real wrestler looks like. I came to show you there’s only one real way to wrestle. That’s the old school way…”

At that point, Chrissy lunged forward on her broken ankle to seize the mic. “We’ve heard enough of your drivel,” she responded. “You want competition? If I didn’t have this cast, I’d take you on right now.” The women struggled for control of the mic. Jen reached at the announcer, ripping the marble based plaque from his hands. They grappled for the mic for a few more seconds until Jen swung the plaque, striking Chrissy in the head. Chrissy collapsed to the canvas. She was out cold. Shrieks and gasps filled the arena as the fans stared in horror.

Jordan instinctively rushed at Jen grabbing the larger woman’s throat. With her size and strength advantage, Jen shook off her attacker and the two women exchanged blows. Jordan, no match for Jen’s power, was absorbing the harder punches. Jen fired a series of unanswered punches, then lifted her foe up to chest level, and drove her into the canvas with a sidewalk slam. The veteran pro pulled the young woman up to her feet, positioned her arms around Jordan’s neck and clamped on the feared cobra clutch. The new rookie pawed at Jen’s arms ineffectively as she slumped downward. Panic filled the arena. The useless male announcer cried out, “We need help. Somebody needs to stop this.” Jen bore down harder, slightly swinging her victim back and forth. It was hard to tell if Jordan was still conscious.

Fear and desperation flooded the crowd, prompting concerns of a riot. From the back of the arena, a ray of hope emerged from the despair. There was a new activity, a new commotion. The confused fans sensed something special was about to occur. They could feel it. They could hear it. Heads turned. They didn’t quite understand it. But they saw it. It’s someone. It was a woman. She was heading toward the ring like a goddess warrior descending from Mount Olympus. At first they didn’t recognize the identity. Dressed in tight fitting blue jeans, cowgirl boots, and a tight T shirt, maybe she can stop the carnage. Maybe she’ll bring justice to this travesty. But it can’t be. Is it? As she passed the rows of seats, they all saw her. It is her. It really is her. Their hopeful savior is …Faith? “No, we can’t trust her”, some thought. “Maybe she’s a predator coming for her share of the spoils. Maybe she came to gloat over their heroes misfortune.” But no. This time something about Faith seemed different. She looked graceful, like a sinewy panther racing toward the ring. With determination and urgency, her face had the countenance of a nurse running to a cardiac arrest. Or a mother bear rescuing her cubs. Her hair splayed out behind her as she ran. Her 36C breasts bounced with each step. She looked magnificent – or if they dared say it, sexy.

Displaying her athleticism, Faith lifted on to the apron rolling under the bottom rope. Coming in from Jen’s blind side, the muscular legs leapt high like a power forward going to the rim. In mid air, the knee lifted high to the sky driving squarely into the middle of Jen’s shoulder blades. Jen jolted forward, forced to release Jordan from the cobra clutch. Faith jumped on Jen like a cat, firing a volley of punches with her hefty fists. She pulled Jen up by the arm and whipped her into the ropes. Jen barely rebounded when Faith’s size 12.5 cowgirl boot caught her in the face. Faith waisted no time pulling the older pro up again, sending her hurtling into the ropes a second time. To the fans’ surprise, she sprung her 5’11” 160 lb frame high in the air, kicking into a horizontal position, nailing Jen in the chest with a beautifully executed flying drop kick. Jen fell flat on her back, then rolled to safety out of the ring.

The two women stared at each other; Faith in the ring, Jen outside. Faith took the mic. “Listen, whoever you are. If I learned one thing wrestling Chrissy Chang, it’s that the woman deserves respect. The fans deserve respect. I’m not going to let some old troll from Pennsylvania come in here and insult our town, our people, our wrestling, our lives. For what you did here tonight, I promise you will pay for it with your blood. You want competition? Bring your ass to this ring next week. You and I will settle it.”

“Sweetheart,” Jen answered, “you’re making the biggest mistake of your life. Chrissy Chang may have showed you what pro wrestling is all about. Next week, I will show you what old school is all about. I’ll give you a hint. It’s about pain. And this time, your opponent won’t fall off the top rope.”

“Bring it on bitch, I’ll be here,” Faith replied as Jen headed to the back of the arena.

Faith then turned her attention to Jordan who was awake but woozy from the cobra clutch. She then went to Chrissy who was waking up. The nurse in Faith shined through. Taking a blood pressure cuff and penlight from the first aid station, the healthcare professional went to work. She checked Chrissy’s vital signs. She performed a neurological examination, then evaluated the cervical spine. When all was clear, she lifted Chrissy up, draped her arm around the shoulder, and held her at the waist. With her opposite arm, she held Jordan. The three women left the arena in that position, arm in arm, with Faith in the middle supporting the other two. The fans were amazed but perplexed. Since when did Faith ever care about the fans? About respect? That image of the hated mean spirited arrogant wrestler performing a rescue operation on two of their favorite wrestlers was one the fans would not forget.

III. THE MATCH

Tickets for next week’s match sold out within minutes. All week, Faith vs. Jen dominated the discussion between pro wrestling fans. Predictions were split with fans divided according to age. The younger fans overwhelmingly favored Faith. She’s younger, larger, very athletic. To them, Jen is a delusional relic clinging to the past. The older fans weren’t so sure. Especially the parents and grandparents who remembered watching wrestling from the 1950s to 1980s. To them, Jen had a point. Sure, wrestling today is faster, more athletic, visually stunning, and the aerial maneuvers test the limits of the human body. But it’s just not the same. Not like the days when wrestling was a contest of holds, counter holds, and throws; a physical and psychological chess game between two competitors. The old men told the kids stories of Buddy Rogers, Pat O’Conner, Verne Gagne, Lou Thesz, Jack Brisco – many exciting nights at the arenas. And no one needed a corkscrew splash or a Frankensteiner. According to these fans, Jen would wear Faith down with old school wrestling skills, then go for the finish.

And there was a another debate. What happened to Faith? Did she change? To be sure, they appreciated her heroics and her standing up for them. But was it real? Will it last? Should they trust her? So many questions going into the match, and the fans couldn’t wait.

The arena was filled to capacity. Outside, many fans were turned away. Opportunists resold tickets for several times the face value. Inside, electricity and excitement grew as fans anticipated the night’s events. First, the prelims. Then the midcard. Jordan Lee continued her undefeated streak pinning her opponent with a shooting star press off the top turnbuckle. Finally, the main event.

Jen Braun entered the ring first with little fanfare. She could’ve cared less, for she was there to take care of business. Wearing her one piece black suit, white socks, black shoes and knee pads, she climbed up to the apron. Looking supremely confidant, she stood in her corner with her arms folded. And waited. With each passing second, the air grew thicker with expectancy. Finally, a roar started from the seats near the dressing room door and spread throughout the arena. Necks stretched and heads turned. “There she is. She’s here. Here she comes,” they said collectively. Faith descended toward the ring until she was in full view of all the spectators. “She’s changed. She looks different,” they observed. Indeed, Faith presented herself in a way not previously seen. The familiar brown tank suit was replaced with a brown crop top and matching booty shorts exposing her rock hard abs. Her long legs sported brown boots and knee pads. She did not smile or wave. The arrogance and dismissive expression were gone. Her face was an expression of determination. And there was another shocking change. Faith was not alone as she walked down the aisle. Someone was behind her. A shorter person. A woman…hobbling on crutches. As if there was any doubt, the announcer made it clear to the delight of the fans. “Faith is accompanied by her manager….Chrissy Chang!”

Faith and her new manager exchanged last second pre-match strategy as they entered through the ropes. A wagon of five watermelons was brought to the ring. Chrissy held one of them. Faith positioned herself, her eyes the very definition of intensity. “You know what to do,” Chrissy said softly, “focus, girl.” The Asian legend gently tossed the melon in the air. Faith let out a shriek as she drove her fist through the rind, shattering the fruit in midair. Then another. Then another, and so on, until the assistants were called to clean the shredded rinds, juice, and pulp off the canvas. Faith threateningly showed her large fist to Jen who remained expressionless.

The referee called both wrestlers to the center. The two women stood chest to chest as the bell rang. For the first several seconds, neither one moved. Jen’s piercing brown eyes beneath her trademark reddish brown hair fixed like lasers on Faith’s brown eyes. Finally, Jen moved first, placing her hands on Faith’s chest and shoved her backwards. The taller woman barely moved, then reciprocated with her own shove. Jen went backwards just a few steps and recoiled with her own second shove. Then Faith shoved again with neither woman gaining ground. Jen turned and ran toward the ropes behind her. Using the rebound for momentum, she lowered her shoulder and dashed toward her target. Faith did not move but readied herself for the incoming missile. Lowering her own shoulder, she dug in and braced her body. Jen crashed her shoulder into Faith’s with a force that would have made a middle line backer proud. The crowd winced, and then to their relief, Faith…didn’t move. Then she took her turn, running into the ropes, using them as springs, ready to shoulder block Jen to the ground. Jen, in the center of the ring, accepted the challenge and bore down. Again, the women collided. Faith, with her size advantage, moved Jen a few yards, but overall, Jen stood her ground, remaining on her feet. The women locked eyes again. Then, as if by mutual agreement, they both galloped to the respective ropes behind them. Bouncing off the ropes, the two women sprinted toward each other, heading for a terrifying collision. Like two locomotives racing toward a head-on crash, both wrestlers lowered their shoulders and……WHAM! The fans recovered from their wincing to see Jen hurtled into the air, landing on the seat of her pants. Slightly embarrassed but unhurt, the red headed wrestler rose up and prepared for another face-off.

Initiating another challenge, Jen lifted her arms into the air and wiggled her fingers, proposing a test of strength. Faith, confident in her power was happy to oblige. The two combatants interlocked fingers overhead and pressed into each other, pushing into each other’s, hands and upper body. Jen held off Faith’s clear height advantage, but the former basketball star kept up steady pressure. Jen felt herself weakening, her arms trembling. Faith forced her opponent’s wrists backward, dropping Jen to her knees. Fearing she’d soon end up on her back, the crafty veteran lunged her head forward, butting Faith in the midsection, forcing a break of the hold. Quickly springing to her feet, Jen seized her opponent’s left wrist, looping the arm with a twisting motion into an arm wringer. The nurse felt sudden pain from her shoulder to elbow. She tried to reach her right arm around to grab Jen’s hair, but Jen wrenched down harder throwing a forearm upper cut into the twisted arm. “An arm wringer,” Faith thought, “ how simple, how old school, how…utterly painful.”

She tried driving her powerful legs forward reaching for the ropes with her right arm, only to be pulled back by Jen who was easily controlling Faith’s ring position. Feeling desperate, the 5’11” beauty considered another escape plan. Placing her right hand on the canvas, the athlete forward rolled, flipping her legs over head reversing the twist. Jen, on the alert, kept hold of the wrist. As Faith rose to her feet, Jen twisted the arm again, this time folding it at the elbow, as she moved behind her opponent’s backing, cinching in a hammerlock. Intense pain shot through Faith’s shoulder as the old school wrestler applied the pressure. Again, Faith tried to drive toward the ropes as Jen hung on. She slowly seemed to be gaining ground, but felt her shoulder might dislocate. The referee asked for her submission as she raced against time to reach the rope. In agony, the rising star swung her elbow backward. It only grazed Jen in the head but it was enough to cause her to momentarily relax the hold to allow Faith to reach the rope. The referee called for a break but that didn’t prevent Jen from throwing a parting punch to the inflamed shoulder.

The contestants faced each other in a neutral position. Faith went for a collar and elbow lock up. Jen, using her experience, easily ducked under, positioned herself behind her opponent’s back and slapped on a full nelson. The bigger woman felt her head forced down as pain shot through the back of her neck. Faith raised her arms, braced herself, then yanked her arms down as hard as she could in order to break the hold. Jen managed to keep her hands locked and the hold intact, applying as much pressure as she could. Two more attempts to break the hold yielded the same results. Jen was in total control. Her strategy was now apparent: wear down her opponent with a variety of old school holds, then go for the kill. Faith declined the referee’s offer of submission but by now her confidence was waning as was her strength. Realizing her dire need to escape the hold and mount an offensive, she relied on one of her best assets – her long powerful legs. She dug her feet in and pushed backward against her opponent. Slowly, she drove Jen back toward a corner. As Faith was weakening, Jen also dug in, effectively blocking her victim’s progress to the ropes. Feeling, she was about to drop on one knee, effectively ending the match, the younger woman swung her shoulders hard to the right and left, slightly pulling Jen off balance. Faith then kicked her leg behind her, landing it into her opponent’s crotch. Releasing the full nelson, Jen doubled over in pain.

Faith, finally seeing an opportunity to seize control of the match, went to work. A knee lift to the chest knocked Jen on her back. She wobbled as she tried to get up, allowing Faith to scoop her up and execute a full body slam. The rookie sensation chose to use the moment to try to rub the pain from Jen’s traditional holds, walking around the ring taking deep breaths. She paused to watch her opponent pull herself up. Crouched like a lioness, relying on the skill and agility from her basketball days, the former Division II star leapt high in the air wrapping her legs around her standing victim’s neck. Twisting her 160 lb. body, she forced Jen to fall head over heels forward and onto her back with a flawless flying head scissors. Faith quickly sprung up eyeing her prey trying to lift herself off the canvas. Then with perfect timing, she bounced herself off the ropes, springing high into the air, propelling her horizontal body into Jen’s chest with a flying body press. The impact sent Jen stumbling uncontrollably backwards. She managed to stay upright but the momentum of Faith’s body sent both women into the ropes tumbling over the top and falling onto the concrete floor below.

But it was Faith taking the harder fall. Jen, getting to her feet first took advantage. With Faith still on her knees, Jen fired several blows to the head, then managed to lift her heavier opponent for a body slam to the hard floor. Quickly pulling her opponent up and gripping her by the arm and neck, the old school warrior ran the nurse into the ring pole. The sickening clang sound of a skull striking metal drew gasps of horror from the fans. Jen mercilessly continued the attack, pulling Faith up by the hair before landing more shots to the head. The veteran looked down on her opponent and then at her own hands which seemed to be smeared with a red substance. Faith staggered up in full view of the fans who shrieked at the site. It was too apparent. Faith’s forehead was busted open. Blood collected across her eyebrows, while rivulets trickled around her eyes, down along the side of her nose. Jen lifted her bleeding opponent to the apron, pushing her under the bottom rope before climbing back into the ring herself.

With both women in the ring, Jen sought to end it. She delivered several more shots in attempt to widen the wound, then picked her up again for another body slam. Circling behind her dazed wounded opponent, she grasped the waist and lifted back, throwing Faith down on her upper back and shoulders with a perfect German suplex. Covering her victim with a cross body press, the referee counted; one…two…a kick out. “Fight through it, Faith. Fight through it,” Chrissy exhorted. “A matter of time,” Jen thought. She allowed Faith to stagger to her feet before lifting her by the waist from a frontal position and throwing her down hard with a German suplex. Another cover. One…two…another kick out as the elite athlete showed her resilience. “It’s getting close,” Jen assured her self. She pulled her opponent to her feet, displaying Faith’s enlarging crimson mask to the revulsion of the fans. The reddish brown haired gladiator Irish whipped her weakening foe into the ropes, before thrusting a knee to the abdomen on the rebound. “Now it’s time,” Jen said.

Another Irish whip sent Faith careening off the ropes. Jen positioned herself perfectly, wrapping her arms around Faith’s head and neck, sinking in her patented Dream Catcher sleeper hold. Already feeling her strength drained, Faith ineffectively groped at Jen’s arms, before her movements noticeably became slower. She again chose to rely on her strong legs, attempting to drive herself and Jen into the ropes. Slowly, she made progress. Determined to end the match, Jen dug in as hard as she could, finally halting Faith’s progress several feet in front of a corner. Feeling herself slipping away, Faith reached out for the ropes but found them just inches out of reach. She reached again, driving the legs and stretching out the arm. And stretching. Still short. Her candle going out, Faith dropped to one knee. This was the moment Jen waited for – her weakened opponent trapped in her favorite finisher hold. True, Faith had the height and strength advantage but Jen brought down larger women before. Faith’s athletic All-American championship basketball body can only function as long as the brain has a blood supply. “Get them to their knees,” Jen thought, “and it’s over.”

Slowly, the outstretched arm fell. So did the crowd’s spirit. The referee raised the limp arm and watched it fall upon release. Then a second time. Chrissy felt a tight lump in her throat, seeing her woman helpless and nearly unconscious. “Fight it, Faith. Fight it,” she called out. Then a third raise. The arm began to fall…then stiffened…then raised up on its own. “Faith, the turnbuckle. Use the turnbuckle,” Chrissy shouted. In her final moments of wakefulness, Faith gave her all. She powered herself back to a standing position. Using her strong abs and legs, she pulled her knees to chest level, then kicked at the corner, her feet striking the top turnbuckle. The force of the kick, sent both women toppling over backward onto the canvas. It was enough to break the hold. Jen got up first pulling Faith up with her. The tall beauty’s face was covered with blood, her eyes looking out though a mask of red. The blood by now had reached her neck and shoulders. Frustrated, Jen ran her battered adversary to the ropes, throwing her between the top and middle ropes onto the unforgiving floor.

Jen, determined to continue her brutal onslaught followed. Outside the ring, she again threw a volley of punches to Faith’s laceration, certain the match would be stopped. To add to the fans’ abhorrence, she picked up a metal folding chair. Taking aim at Faith’s head, the long time heel reared back, holding the chair over her head, then came down hard. And then…nothing. No chair. It’s gone. Someone or something took it. Jen turned around. She never saw it coming. For behind her, the chair was in the possession of Chrissy Chang. With all her weight on the casted leg, Chrissy swung for the fences, driving the metal seat to the front of Jen’s head with a velocity that caused a loud wack sound to reverberate upon contact throughout the arena. Jen immediately dropped to the floor. Chrissy assisted Faith back to her feet. Faith revived enough to deliver several boot stomps to Jen’s head. Now it was Faith’s turn to batter her groggy opponent with blows to the head. After a few punches, the nurse noted fresh blood on her hands. And it wasn’t her own. Indeed, Jen now also sported a crimson mask. Ignoring her medical calling, Faith pounded away hoping to widen the cut.

Faith rolled her opponent back into the ring as she followed in pursuit. With both women badly cut and bleeding, It was Faith with the advantage at the moment. Locking in a front face lock, she pulled Jen to the center of the ring. Swinging back and forth three times, she executed a nasty neck breaker, sending the seasoned pro flat on her back. Pouncing into a lateral body press, the referee counted: one…two…kick out. Her own strength fading away, Faith decided to draw on what she had left to bring out the heavy artillery. Holding Jen’s head between her thighs, she lifted the waist for a power bomb. However, Jen managed to hold her arms tightly around Faith’s legs to block the maneuver. From this position, Jen managed to reverse the move into a back drop, flipping Faith over on her back. Too battered to follow up, Jen also collapsed to the canvas as the two bloody wrestlers lied beside each other.

Slowly, both women shakily arose, staggering at each other. Their eyes stared at each other through blood soaked faces. The precious substance of life now reached their waists, as the canvas was diffusely dotted with their splatter. It was a war of attrition and they both knew it. They swung at each other like drunks, staggering from the force of their own swings. Most of the punches were wild. Determined and delirious, they both wailed away, neither one really able to see. Jen reared back, throwing her best haymaker. The round house punch caught the referee on the jaw sending him staggering toward the ropes before he collapsed cold onto the canvas. As the oblivious combatants continued their wild brawl, Faith saw an opportunity. She waited for Jen to throw another wild looping punch, then used the opening to clamp her huge hand onto Jen’s forehead in her dreaded claw hold. Jen’s bleeding scalp was now further traumatized by the intense pressure on her temples. Faith walked her prey to the corner, converting the claw hold into a side headlock. Now it was time for her favorite finisher. With Jen’s head firmly secured, the former power forward ran toward the center of the ring, leaping high into the air, then coming down smashing Jen’s head into the canvas. The brutal bulldog maneuver left Jen lying on her back motionless. Faith briefly collected herself, then pointed to the top turnbuckle. “Yes, do it,” yelled the crowded.

“No Faith, don’t,” cried Chrissy. “You’re too weak right now. And there’s no…”. Too late. Perched on the top turnbuckle. Faith, her face and body a bloody mess turned to Chrissy.

“This one’s for you,” she said. Calling on her legs one more time, the new wrestling star sprung into the air, shifted into a seated position in flight, then crashed her muscular thigh across Jen’s chest with Chrissy’s trademark flying leg drop, shaking the ring with its forceful thud. Faith draped her body over Jen’s supine form as she and the crowd counted. One…Two…Three! No bell. Faith pinned her again. One…Two…Three. Still no bell. Where’s the referee? Finding him behind her, Faith tried to revive the knocked out official. She gently propped his head as he began to awaken. She checked his eyes, his orientation. On her feet, she attempted to lift him, hoping he’d be fit enough to count her victory. Suddenly, she felt an arm hook her leg, pulling her down and tripping her over backwards. On her back with her legs held over her head, Faith barely had time to realize Jen rolled her into a matchbook pin. The now awake referee began to count. One…Two…

Chrissy was heartbroken. Her new friend and protege worked so hard to prepare for this match. After Faith surprisingly rescued Chrissy and defended the honor of the fans, it was crushing to see her defeated this way.

Thre…No! Somehow, Faith, running on fumes managed another kick out. Both wrestlers got to their feet. Barely able to stand, their faces and bodies caked in blood and clots, they again traded wild swings. Neither one could see. Their own swings nearly knocked themselves over. Their eyes rolled into their heads. The referee would allow no more. “Ring the bell.”

Neither woman heard the final bell but they remained intent in destroying each other. The referee tried to intervene, only to get knocked down again. The fans were both intrigued and mortified by the butchery in the ring. Help was needed. And help came. About a dozen women wrestlers raced down the aisle to separate the combatants before one or both became permanently injured. All dozen were needed as the two strong women would not quit. The chaotic brawl continued out of the ring and all the way back to the dressing room before order was finally established. The decision: the match was stopped due to excessive blood loss by both wrestlers. The match is declared a draw. Will there be a rematch? “Hopefully not,” thought some of the fans.

IV POSTMATCH

“Good work, Faith, let’s take a break, then run some more reps,” Chrissy exhorted.

“What are we doing today? The moonsault? The flying senton?”

“No. Today, we’ll work on the hammerlock and the full nelson.”

“Really Chrissy? Isn’t that old school?” Faith asked.

It is. But you know what? We need old school. Wrestling doesn’t really work without it. Everything we do came from old school. Antonino Rocca was doing hurricanranas in the 1950s. The greatest old school wrestler of all time, Lou Thesz, invented the flying body press. Each generation builds from its predecessors. We owe them our gratitude. Now twist that arm, girl. We got a title drive coming.”

V. EPILOGUE

The couple sat in a darkened corner of the five star restaurant trying to look inconspicuous. That was impossible. Not when you’re seen arriving in a stretch limousine. Not when you’re a tall beautiful woman. Not when you look drop dead gorgeous dolled up and wearing a high slit black evening gown showing off a long sexy leg. Not when you’re adorned with silver earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Not when your dinner companion is a mystery man, his face mostly hidden underneath his large black cowboy hat.

The rumors had been brewing for months. Faith had caught the attention of every rival promotion. She was being scouted. In particular, the owner of Hellcat Wrestling, a man known as Texaskid, had been attending Faith’s matches from the beginning, watching intently. Or at least so said the gossip. The wrestling fans in the restaurant tried not to stare. Is the man with her a promoter? A scout? A negotiator? Is it Texaskid himself? Papers were taken from a briefcase and shown to Faith. It was said her eyes became as large as saucers when she read them. Chatter circulated among the fans. Is Faith leaving the promotion that first signed her? Will she leave the fans who started to embrace her for a rival promotion? Will she continue her face turn? Or will the lure of money revert her back to her despicable ways? Maybe the answer will be in the next Hellcat Wrestling News.

Faith’s Adventures Will Continue in Chapter 4! Click Here to Go There!

Thank you for reading! For more of Kiva’s Stories: Click Here!

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