Chapter Twenty Eight
Friday September 24th, 2010. Mid-Late Evening.
Arena. Tag Team Championship Match:
“Here he is folks, Randy Rodriguez. Son of the legendary Robert Rodriguez and grandson to Patrick Rodriguez. Two of the most amazing athletes in this business, and this boy just seems to keep it going!” Sam exclaimed. Homer chimed in shortly afterwards, as Randy continued to walk down the aisle way. “He sure is quite a young prospect, with only twenty four other live shows, he’s already having a title shot. That has to be a record for this establishment. Let’s see if he can keep the Rodriguez bloodline going.” Randy was slowly tuning out the individuals sitting around the ring.
To him it was as if he could hear a pin drop. He was dazed at the start, stumbling onward towards the amber colored lights that lit up the ring. The seats wrapped all the way around the walls, with the opposite side of the arena being taken up by the commentator’s booth. This was just an overhang with glass around it. Inside were the legendary commentators, “Salty” Sam Samuels and Homer Finkel. The seats went all the way around the arena, leaving only a thin walkway in between the ones that surrounded Randy.
This just left room for the athletes to enter and exit the arena without having to step through the crowd. Tonight the room felt significantly hotter than normal, making sweat form on Randy’s brow. He stole a glance down at the ring, noticing Marcos already standing on the far right corner. The Salem twins were on the left corner, closest to him. Both of which looked so menacing underneath those hot lamps.
The more he jerked his head around the dizzier he felt. Randy continued to trek along the walkway, until he entered the ring area. Once he was here, he began to walk up the steps on the right side, slowly. He needed a glimpse of that wonderful face that he always looked forward to seeing each and every day. He strained his eyes, peering around the crowd, skimming through dozens of faces. Then he spotted her, that lightly tan skin, and beautiful smile that made his heart skip. Kolleen was sitting to his left, on the very corner of the stands, he just walked past her not noticing her at the start.
She waved at him, then blew a quick kiss his way. Randy felt his mouth twitch into a smile and made a motion to catch it. She crossed her hands into her lap, and watched with an intensified stare. He slid into the ring, then looked around the arena. Everyone continued to yell, cheering his name. His ears finally came back to full function, as if the volume of the area turned up abruptly. He raised his hands up to the crowd and then joined Marcos in their corner. “How are ya holmes?” he asked. Randy looked over and put both hands on Marco’s shoulders.
“I’m ready for this man, how about you?” “Man, I’m pumped! Let’s give them boys a taste of their own medicine. The odds will be stacked evenly, they can’t gang up on you this time man. I got your back.” Randy clapped Marcos on the shoulder then turned back around. John Salem was in the ring first, he could tell because John had an afro, whilst Jacob had cornrows.
The referee, and elderly overweight man, with a thick mustache, flabby face and big ears called them in. Randy walked towards the center of the ring, staring John right in the eyes. “Give us a good match and may the best man win.” John said. “Let’s do it.” Randy replied. The referee cleared his throat and began talking in a cracking raspy voice. “You all know the rules in this match. I call everything down the line. There are no disqualifications, no rope breaks and falls count anywhere. Despite all of this, I want a nice clean fight. Only one team member in at a time. Get to your corners and be ready for the bell.”
Randy stuck his hand out, waiting for John to shake it. They shook hands then went their separate ways. “What a display of sportsmanship between these two competitors.” Sam said. Randy returned to his corner with his chest twanging slightly painfully. Marcos whispered in his ear. “You got this man, let’s make this match memorable.” Randy nodded, and continued to stare John down as they waited for the bell. It took only moments until the referee swung his hands towards the bell keeper.
The bell rang, and suddenly he went into full alert mode. “Here we go all, the match that we’ve all been waiting for since the beginning of this show. Welcome all from around the state, watching at home and to those in the arena. We have a match between the team of Randy Rodriguez and Marcos Gonzales and the Salem Twins. The CSWS Tag Titles are on the line tonight in a No DQ, falls count anywhere, elimination tag team match.” Homer said. Randy tuned out the commentators, so he could be on his toes.
All the instincts that he learned and inherited were coming to him now. John immediately made his way over to Randy, with his hands up. Randy circled the ring so John couldn’t get a good grasp on his back. He knew that move he did all the time, the reverse bear hug; it hurts a lot. John jumped at him, which Randy ducked underneath. He turned quickly so his eyes were focused back on his target. “Nice dodge by Randy!” Homer said. “I agree, he’s going to need to use some form of speed if he wants to take this big guy down.” Sam replied.
Randy’s heart started skipping every few beats, as his adrenaline kicked into high gear. John quickly ran at him with full force. Before Randy could react, he slammed shoulder first into his chest. He was knocked back into the ropes, and then fell face first onto the mat. The wind was knocked completely out of him as he coughed hard. He felt John flipping him over onto his back and then the enormous mass that was his body, laying on top of him. If it weren’t for the ref’s hand slapping the mat twice, he wouldn’t have been able to kick out. At the very last second, Randy heaved with all his strength and rolled John off of him.
He then quickly jumped to his feet so he could ready himself for another attack. John slowly got back to his feet and stared Randy down. The look in his eyes set Randy off instantly. It was a mixture of astonishment and fear. “No one’s ever kicked out of that famous shoulder barge… Randy must have a lot of fight in him.” Sam exclaimed. The crowd was completely silent around them; each and every spectator sitting on the edge of their seats. Randy’s mind began to buzz with different moves he could do to try and get the big guy down. Surely he couldn’t spear him, his body was too big. No, he had to find a way to get him to his stomach.
Randy ran towards the side of the ring, closest to the commentator’s booth and slid out from under the bottom rope. He looked under the ring for some type of weapon, and there were tons of objects under there. Ladders, tables, chairs, trash cans, two by fours; anything a hardcore wrestler would ever dream of rested before his very eyes. He grabbed a trash can lid and pulled it to the very edge of the ring and then set the apron curtains back down. “Just in case I need you later.” Randy whispered. Before he could stand back up however, John was already grabbing onto him.
Randy tried to fight his way out of the man’s hold, but he had a firm grip on his hair. Struggling to fight back, Randy watched as John dragged him towards the steps and before he got a chance to retaliate, his face met steel. “OOH! That’s gotta hurt!” Sam yelled. That it did; Randy’s head was ringing loudly after the first initial slam, and an enormous headache formed inside his skull. John tossed Randy back into the ring, underneath the ropes, and slowly ascended into the ring himself. I need to get a tag, badly. He thought. His eyes were blurring at the moment, and made it hard for him to figure out where Marcos was. He groaned, turning onto his side so he could attempt to get up. “Where do you think you’re going?” John asked.
Just like before, Randy was flipped onto his back. This time it was a lot harder to hear the referee. He couldn’t tell if the ref counted to one or two. Instinctually, Randy lifted his legs and kicked as hard as he could, to raise his shoulder off of the mat. “COME ON REF, THAT WAS A THREE!” John yelled. “I counted two and a half, now get out of my way.” Randy groaned, and slowly crawled towards the ropes. He literally had to use them just to get to his feet. Once he was standing upright, something warm trickled down Randy’s face.
It was blood, his own blood. He reached up to find the wound and winced, once his fingertips met the top of his forehead. Randy, wobbly legged, he sloppily walked towards the dark haired friend of his, and tagged him. The only problem was, his skin was dark as well; too dark even. “Randy’s found his way into the wrong corner, this can’t be good.” Homer said. Shock hit Randy like a freight train; before he could react, Jacob had a beefy arm wrapped tightly around his throat. He couldn’t breathe and the lights above him were beginning to blur together. Meanwhile, John was punching him as hard as he could in the stomach.
Randy grunted, and clenched his teeth as he prepared for each blow from John. “That’s enough… That is enough already!” the referee yelled. “It’s a No DQ match, you can’t disqualify us.” Jacob chimed in. Just when Randy thought he was going to pass out, the punches suddenly stopped. Following this was a yell of anger, and then he was released from Jacob’s clutches. Randy fell to his knees, coughing and clenching his throat as air rushed back to his lungs. “That was a bold move that Marcos did there, he saved his partner.” Sam said.
Sure enough, Marcos was standing next to Randy, extending a hand out to him. “Get up, quickly!” he yelled. Randy reached up and grabbed his hand, allowing him to be pulled back to his feet. John and Jacob were outside the ring, both of which were rubbing their heads. “W-what did you do to them?” Randy asked, heaving in deep breaths. “I saw what you were doing outside the ring man, good thinking by the way. I used the trash can lid and smacked John on the back of the head, and when Jacob chased after me, I waited outside the ring and hit him too. Shortly thereafter, John came back around and tried to flank me, so I jumped to the side and he ended up spearing Jacob into the corner ring post.”
“Jesus Marcos, that’s some quick thinking there.” Randy said. “You’re welcome, now let’s get this match underway homes.” Marcos trotted back to his corner and stepped outside the ropes; keeping a close eye on the Salem twins. Randy turned around briefly to catch a glimpse at his girl, and sure enough Kolleen was right there, smiling still, but wearing a face of concern. He waved and then turned back towards Marcos. John was in the ring again, and was charging full speed towards Randy. He jumped to the right and then grabbed John’s left leg with both of his, tripping him to the mat.
“Nice drop toe hold by Randy.” Sam chimed in. “I wonder if he’s going to go for… and it looks like he is!” Randy quickly wrapped John’s legs and locked them with his own. He then reached back and wrapped both hands around John’s neck and began to pull with both sides as hard as he could. “He’s got it locked in folks…” Homer stated. Randy continued to pull, grunting all the while. He reared up, forcing John’s head to raise off the mat. “Randy has applied the maximum amount of pressure, John has to be in severe pain by now.” Sam said.
“UGH… IT HURTS!” John grunted. He began to wave his arms around, trying to find the ropes. They were nearby the Salem’s corner, close enough for John to reach and wrap his fingertips around the bottom rope. The referee leaned in, waving both arms at him and shaking his head. “There are no rope breaks John, do you give up?” he asked. “N-NO!” John replied. Randy heard the yelps of agony escaping John’s lips as he continued to try and wriggle his way out of the hold. “Ow… I c-can’t take it anymore…” John whimpered.
Suddenly the apron shook, as Jacob re-entered the ring. He screamed charging head first towards Randy. He leapt towards them, screaming all the while. Just before he made contact with Randy, John slapped the mat furiously. “HE’S TAPPED, JOHN SALEM HAS TAPPED! IT’S DOWN TO ONE MAN, CAN HE HELP HIS TEAM RETAIN THE TITLES?!” Homer yelled. “Calm down Homer, this is still a No DQ match and falls do count anywhere, Jacob may still have a trick or two up his sleeve.” Sam replied. “Ladies and gentlemen, John Salem has been eliminated!” the announcer said.
The referee rolled John out from under the bottom rope and then backed off from Randy and Jacob; who was already beginning to grab onto Randy. Randy felt himself being hoisted up onto his feet and then was thrown over Jacob’s head, flipping until he landed back first onto the mat. “That was a magnificent belly to belly suplex performed by Jacob.” Sam said. Randy’s lungs were aching as was his back from all the pulling he was doing on John. It still amazed him how he made a guy that big tap out. He leaned his head up, noticing that Marcos’ hand was reaching out towards him.
Jacob ran over and punched Marcos in the mouth and then continued to pursue Randy. The lights around him seemed even brighter than before, and the crowd once again was silent. That’s when it hit him, he was in the perfect position for Jacob’s finishing move, the Salem Slam. “I don’t know if it’s dawned on Randy, but he’s in a very bad position.” Homer said. No matter how hard he tried, he just couldn’t get up off of his back. The wind was knocked out of him again, and his stomach was aching from the punches he received earlier.
He watched Jacob’s blurry, hulking mass begin to climb the turnbuckle and once he was on the second rope, he began to jump on them. I can’t let him land this hit. If he does… I-I don’t know if I can kick out. Randy thought. Jacob bounced a few times and readied himself for the dive. Just when he was about to jump Randy heard a sickening smack of flimsy wood meeting skull.
He watched Jacob’s limp body fall towards him and tried to roll out of the way. It was too late, his huge body fell on top of Randy’s chest, blowing all the air out of his lungs. He started to kick his legs hard, and flipped back and forth to try and lift Jacob off of him. Then the ref began his count; his hand slapped the mat once. Randy grunted and groaned, shaking hard to try and break free. The hand slapped the mat a second time, Randy finally got one leg out from underneath; if he could just push up with it. Then the hand slapped the mat a third time.
“Randy Rodriguez has been eliminated.“ The announcer stated. A mixture of shock and anger hit him all at once. He was out of the running and now it was down to Marcos and Jacob. Damn it! Why did his big body have to just fall on me like that?! Randy fumed and waited until the ref got Jacob’s body off of him. Once he was released Randy stood up slowly and stumbled towards the ropes, catching a quick glance over at Marcos. He nodded which Marcos did in return and climbed the ropes. “It looks like Marcos is going in for the kill. Can it be…?” Sam stopped short. Marcos went to start his jump when John got back into the ring.
Randy’s head buzzed but somehow he was able to think fast and on edge. He slid back into the ring just before John reached Marcos. He tripped John as he did before and quickly locked in the Super Shooter. “Do it now!” Randy yelled at Marcos. “Right homes, thanks!” he replied. Marcos jumped off of the top rope, flipped backwards and landed onto Jacob’s chest. Please God, let him get the pin… Randy thought. The first slap met the canvas. Please, please, please! Randy begged. Then the second slap was made. At that very moment it was like time stood still. The crowd was beginning to cheer.
The third slap met canvas and then it hit him. “OH MY DEAR GOD IN HEAVEN! THEY’VE WON! RANDY RODRIGUEZ AND MARCOS GONZALES ARE THE NEW CSWS TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS!” Homer yelled. All of the people screamed in the stands, whistling and clapping. Randy stood up, leaning against the ropes as he was able to get a few calm breaths of air. He stumbled towards Marcos in the corner, and leant a hand to him. Marcos accepted it and allowed Randy to pull him to his feet. “Good job my friend.” Marcos said.
“Here are your winners and the new CSWS Tag Team Champions. The team of Randy Rodriguez and Marco Gonzalez!” The announcer chimed in. “Hey, you got the winning pin.” Randy replied. The referee walked over, holding the covenant Tag Team Championships and handed one to Marcos and the other to Randy. Then he grabbed one of each of their hands and lifted them straight into the air. “There you have if folks. We have new Tag Team Champions and rightly so. Here I thought the match was right up the Salem twin’s alley; I stand corrected. Good job you two.” Sam stated. “I can’t believe we’re tag team champions!” Marcos yelled. “I could fucking kiss you right now.” “Please, don’t.” Randy replied, chuckling at him. They both exited the ring and stepped down onto the floor.
Kolleen was standing, and clapping profusely. “Good job Ran-Ran.” she said as he walked by. She leaned down and kissed him then let him walk off with Marcos. Randy didn’t see it, neither did Marcos but the Salem twins were standing once more, in the very corner that Randy and Marcos stood a few minutes earlier. They weren’t angry, nor where they upset. Quite the contrary, they were both smiling and clapping slowly as well. “What a display of sportsmanship and athleticism Homer, I applaud both of these teams. Good job.” Randy let these words ring in his ears as he pulled the metal doors open and entered the back hallways.