Paragon Fantasy Wrestling Part 2: New Blood

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Paragon Fantasy Wrestling ArenaWe are back with a new installment of Paragon Fantasy Wrestling from Peoria, Illinois.  In our last episode, Ricky Bolero lost his Paragon Elite title match against the reigning champion Clarion, generating a great deal of controversy among fans of the “Urban Cowboy.”  A mysterious individual in a green-and-gold tunic appeared at ringside and distracted Bolero long enough for Clarion to slip brass knuckles on and knock out his challenger with a sneak attack, picking up a cheap victory in the process.  Bolero was taken to a local medical facility where it was determined that he suffered a minor concussion as a result of that attack, effectively taking him out of action this week.  In the meantime, Paragon management, following the old showbiz adage, “The show must go on,” and wanting to insert some “new blood” into the title picture, has decreed that this week’s main event will feature the high-flying Alex Jumper taking on the super heavyweight Fire Sumo for the number one contender spot for the Elite championship.  In addition, the Paragon website has dropped hints in several high-profile articles that the person who ran interference for Clarion last week will have his official debut match as well.

 

Thursday, October 19- 8:00 P.M.

The Paragon TV show opens with a shot of the inside of the Paragon Fantasy Wrestling Arena in downtown Peoria shrouded in darkness.  The fans gathered here talk among themselves.  The commentators at ringside welcome the viewers watching at home to the show and briefly run down tonight’s card, emphasizing the Alex Jumper vs. Fire Sumo match as the start of a new era in the Paragon Elite title picture.  After half a minute of inky blackness, the lights in the arena come up to reveal the green-and-gold wearing mystery wrestler from last week standing in the middle of the ring.  His tunic is very recognizable, but now the fans also take notice of his bald head, the swirling tribal tattoos encircling his green eyes, and the simple brown sandals he is wearing.  Immediately recognizing last week’s culprit, the fans start booing him before he has even had a chance to speak.  Frustrated by their protests, he shouts back at them, “SILENCE!”  The audience only boos louder.

The man shouts again, “I said silence!”  Again, boos erupt from the crowd.  Struggling to maintain his composure, the man quietly recites a mantra to himself then says to the masses, “Allow me to introduce myself.  My name is Beacon.  I am an old friend of Clarion, and I answered what I thought was a call for assistance last week.  The champion invited me to the show as repayment for a favor I did for him long ago.  I was watching his title match on a backstage monitor.  I thought I saw Clarion give a certain hand signal indicating he was in serious jeopardy and needed help.  I see now that I was sadly mistaken and that my actions caused an unfair result.”  The fans give even more voice to their discontent.  In their minds Beacon is lying and committed a cardinal wrestling sin. 

Beacon continues, “I sincerely apologize to you all, to Paragon management, and most especially to Clarion and Ricky Bolero.  I should have known my place and allowed the match to proceed.  Please forgive me.”  The crowd shouts, “No!”

Beacon shrugs off their protests and says, “Fine, have it your way!  If you will not accept my apology through words, perhaps you will forgive me through action!  Tonight, I will show you my superiority in the ring by defeating three opponents at once, and you will surely be impressed!  Bring them out now!”

A lone spotlight darts to the entrance, signaling the arrival of the three opponents Beacon will face.  The fans groan as they instantly recognize, walking toward the ring as a group, the familiar forms of Hugh, Douglas, and Lulubelle (whose biography on the Paragon website states that his parents had expected a girl and stuck with the name – poor kid).  This trio of undersized wrestling brothers have been with Paragon since the beginning of the promotion, but have never once won a match.  There couldn’t be a more self-serving or one-sided way for Beacon to make an impression than by singlehandedly putting away three of the worst wrestlers in Peoria, let alone the entire country, the world, and possibly even the universe if one was feeling generous.

As soon as all of the match’s participants have sorted themselves out and the referee gives instructions, the bell rings and the contest begins in earnest. Beacon wears green-and-gold trunks and boots and Hugh sports red trunks and boots, while Douglas and Lulubelle, dressed similarly to Hugh but with blue and green color schemes, respectively, wait on the outside edge of the southeast corner for a tag from their brother.  They don’t have long to wait, either.   Beacon tosses Hugh hard into their corner with a mighty heave, and the red-clad brother, winded from the impact of this blow, quickly tags out to Lulubelle.  The brother repeatedly voted “Most Green” by Pro Wrestling Illustrated readers steps gingerly into the ring, only to receive a gigantic kick to the midsection which propels him into the air, only to come down hard after receiving a powerbomb from Beacon.  Lulubelle, having had enough as well, retreats to the corner and tags in Douglas, who by this time is sweating profusely and refuses to get into the ring.  Beacon walks over to the brothers’ corner and pulls Douglas in, then scoops him up, flips him around, and performs a piledriver in the middle of the ring, knocking his opponent unconscious with the meeting of his head and the mat.  Fearing for their lives, Hugh and Lulubelle merely look on as Beacon covers Douglas for the three count and the win.

Beacon grabs a microphone from the ringside announcer and asks the fans, “Are you not entertained?  I gave you the action you craved.  Surely you can forgive me now?”  The crowd boos him just as loudly as they did before the match started.  If they were supposed to be impressed, they clearly showed that they were not.  Beacon tries to get some more words in, but the crowd by this point is protesting too loudly for anything to be picked up by the microphone.  The green-and-gold wrestler gives up, dons his tunic once again, and takes his leave via the entrance ramp.  He appears to be visibly disgusted with the whole affair.  Meanwhile, the commentators inform the viewers at home that Ricky Bolero will return to the program next week and he has promised that he has something special for both Beacon and Clarion to hear.

 

Thursday, October 19- 9:50 P.M.

The Paragon TV show returns from its final commercial break with an image of Alex Jumper and Fire Sumo standing on opposite sides of the ring.  Jumper is wearing green pants with a stick figure in mid-jump with one arm in the air stenciled onto the back.  Fire Sumo is dressed in dark blue spandex pants with a yellow mawashi belt stretching around his lower half and a stylized flame graphic on his right pantleg.   If there wasn’t a rotund man in those pants, the fans could easily mistake them for the world’s largest present.  Jumper and Sumo are good friends who have often competed together both as a tag team and against each other in singles competition.  The referee knows these two will fight fair, but regardless, he checks both competitors for illegal objects.  Satisfied they are free of contraband,  he signals for the match to begin.

Jumper lays the pressure on Sumo early, upsetting his balance with repeated high kicks.  Sumo attempts to counter with several clotheslines, punches, and other impactful moves that can cover a large surface area, but Jumper dodges each attempt.  Eventually, Sumo appears to have become immune to the pain of the kicks and no longer winces when hit.  He grabs Jumper’s leg as he goes in for another kick and pushes him away, spinning Jumper around as he does so.  He goes for another clothesline and this time manages to knock Jumper down although his opponent gets right back up.  Two more clotheslines and two more recoveries later, Sumo picks up Jumper in a cradle hold and suddenly lets go, dropping Jumper hard onto his back.  Sumo drags Jumper’s limp body over to a corner post and slowly climbs the ropes to the top and readies himself  to drop his large frame onto his helpless opponent.

Jumper, jerking his head around in time to see Sumo dropping toward him, rolls safely away, leaving his opponent to land flat as a pancake on the ring floor.  Jumper gets up and, hopping over to the prone Sumo, kicks him in the back of the head, sending him off to a temporary slumber.  Jumper than ascends to the top of the corner post and launches off it into a shooting star press, turning a full somersault in midair and landing on top of Sumo, knocking the wind out of him.  He lifts Sumo’s massive leg for the cover and, much to the surprise of the crowd and especially Jumper himself, he manages to get a three count and the win after only six minutes of action.

Jumper celebrates a bit with the fans giving high fives to some of the children at ringside.  When Sumo comes to, Jumper heads back into the ring and shakes hands with him showing that there are no hard feelings between the two.  It’s an emotional scene which culminates with Sumo lifting Jumper up on his shoulders as cheers of joy rain down from the fans.  Jumper asks for a microphone which Sumo fetches for him.

“It’s an honor to perform for all of you guys,” Jumper tells the fans.  “Every match is so much fun.  But right now, we’re on a mission.  There’s a guy named Clarion who thinks he’s all high and mighty just because he’s got the title.  Well, I’m here to tell him and all of you that it takes more than gold to be great.  It takes heart, it takes determination, and most important of all, it takes love for everything you do to be great.  I promise you, I’m going to train my hardest to prepare for Clarion, and if I beat him…  No, when I beat him, I’m going to become the new Paragon Elite champion!”  With this thought, Jumper takes in the adulation of the fans, and the show closes with the fans going ballistic for their new top contender.

A commercial for next week’s show plays, stating that there will be a contract signing for Clarion and Alex Jumper’s Elite title match.  If professional wrestling contract signings of the past are any indication, this one will not be any more civil than the others have been.  In addition, a special edition of the interview segment, “The Cannon Ross Exam,” will be held with special guest Beacon.  Cannon Ross, a former professor of broadcasting at the University of Illinois at Chicago, has been known to ask hard questions to the Paragon stars, so there should be some promising revelations about Beacon, his relationship with Clarion, and what he thinks of Ricky Bolero.  Speaking of which, Bolero has promised to show up next week with a special message for Clarion and Beacon.  Will they like what he has to say, or will they be further enraged?

 

We crowned a new number one contender and introduced some new characters this week.  What did you think of them?  We’ve also got some huge events set up for next week, and even though there weren’t any actual matches mentioned in that commercial at the end, remember that anything can happen in pro wrestling (especially fictional wrestling!), and even the most civil interviews can turn into matches on a dime.  Leave your thoughts in the comments, and stay tuned for next week’s Paragon Fantasy Wrestling!

Paragon Fantasy Wrestling Part 1: Clarion vs. Ricky Bolero

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Paragon Fantasy Wrestling ArenaWhen I first thought about starting a blog, I wanted to make sure it reflected my interests.  I also wanted to use my interests as inspiration for new writing projects.  The following pro wrestling story is the first in what I hope will be a regular series.  The wrestling promotion and wrestlers featured within it are completely from my imagination.  Nothing in this story is meant to resemble any real-world wrestling companies or personalities; if they do, these similarities are purely coincidental.  Paragon Fantasy Wrestling is an idea that has been close to my heart for quite some time now.  I hope you like it.  If you would like to see more, please let me know.

First, a little background information to get us started.  Paragon Fantasy Wrestling is a small independent professional wrestling promotion based in Peoria, Illinois.  It has been operating for only five years, but it has already garnered some impressive reviews from fans and has been one of the featured promotions in the “indies”  column in Pro Wrestling Illustrated.  Its signature style is a hybrid of traditional Southern “athletic” wrestling and the entertainment-focused style of its more monolithic and world-famous neighbor, WWE.  This unique mixture has made for some interesting wrestling shows for Paragon’s fans.

Paragon Wrestling’s most notable competitor at the moment is a man simply known as Clarion.  According to the company’s programs and website, as well as various interviews he has given in the past, he believes himself to be a Greek god.  A strong man with a mighty right-hand knockout punch and surprising agility for someone of his considerable size and build, Clarion has fought his way to the top of the rankings and won the Paragon Elite Championship, the promotion’s highest honor.  He has held the title for the past four months, fighting off competition from both within Paragon and from other wrestling promotions around the country.  He appears to be virtually unstoppable.  Tonight, he is fighting the number one contender to his title, Ricky Bolero.

Ricky Bolero is a self-proclaimed “urban cowboy” from Peoria’s lower east side.  He is frequently seen at the city’s major social events, and, having endeared himself to children and adults alike, he is generally regarded as a likable fellow.  He is the fans’ favorite.  Normally filling a comedic role during most Paragon shows, Bolero has become a more serious competitor as of late, partly due to recent injuries taking out some of the more prominent wrestlers and partly because he is tired of being perceived of as a joke among the wrestling community.  With the fans’ ardent support, he has been on a fiery winning streak and recently won a battle royal to earn a shot against Clarion.  On the last episode of the local Paragon Fantasy Wrestling TV show, Bolero bellowed to all that would listen, “I appreciate all the support the fans have given me.  Now, it’s time to knock this so-called ‘god’ off his pedestal.  Let’s do it to it!  Awoooo, baby!”  All that is now left to determine is whether or not Ricky really can unseat Clarion and earn the title.  So, we begin.

 

Thursday, October 12-9:30 P.M.

It is exactly 9:30 P.M. on a somewhat chilly Thursday night at the Paragon Fantasy Wrestling Arena in downtown Peoria.  The crowd’s mood has risen and fallen as the heroes and villains of the promotion have exchanged wins all night long.  At the moment, they are  in good spirits, and they cannot wait for the main event to start.  The ring announcer, Johnny Mouthpiece, emerges from the curtains from the back of the arena and makes his way into the ring.  Holding his microphone very close to his mouth, his deep bass voice shouts to the crowd, “It is now time for our…MAIN EVENT!  Are you ready?”  The crowd responds with an emphatic “Yesssss!”

Jonny’s voice vibrates as he addresses the crowd.  “All righty then!  This contest, set for one fall with a one-hour time limit, is for the Paragon Fantasy Wrestling Elite Championship!”  The crowd erupts with applause and whoops.  “Rhinestone Cowboy” starts playing over the arena’s public address system.  “Introducing first, the challenger.  From the lower east side, weighing in at 256 pounds, the “Urban Cowboy,” Ricky Boooooolero!”  The crowd starts chanting in a steady rhythm, “Ricky! Ricky!” as the hero they have pinned their hopes on for tonight emerges from behind the curtain wearing a white Stetson cowboy hat, a black vest with the words “Let’s Get Wild” printed on the back, understated black trunks, and black old-school wrestling boots.  Bolero has a determined look on his face, as if to say, “I am going to make good on my word.  No fooling around tonight.”  He climbs through the ropes and ascends to the top turnbuckle of the northeast corner, takes off his hat, and waves to the crowd.  He works his way clockwise around the ring to the other three turnbuckle corners, greeting his fans at each.  He gets down from the final corner and turns toward the entrance way in anticipation of his opponent’s arrival.

“And his opponent, from the Hall of the Gods, weighing in at 262 pounds, he is the Paragon Wrestling Elite Champion, Clarion!”  The crowd boos the champion’s name as he steps through the curtain, resplendent in a silver silk tunic with gold trim, an ivy leaf crown, gold trunks, and red wrestling boots.  He boldly walks down the center aisle, ignoring fans’ outstretched hands and the derisive signs in the crowd with images of him in which his head is replaced by a toilet, accompanied by some very colorful phrases  – none of them flattering.  Clarion’s eyes remain fixated on only one person, Bolero in the middle of the ring.  He has been following this challenger’s progress for weeks, and he now realizes that there is no other recourse but for him to decisively beat Bolero tonight.  He has a rough plan in mind for how to handle this situation, but he will still need to fend off his opponent’s attacks until it is the right time to strike.

Once both opponents are in the ring, the referee takes the championship belt from Clarion and holds it up for everyone in attendance to see, just in case anyone doesn’t realize the title is on the line (of course, the importance of the match is universally recognized, but traditions like this are still carried out for the sake of formality).  The title is given to the timekeeper for safekeeping, the bell is rung, and the match begins in earnest.  Clarion gets in some early offense, landing several punches to Bolero’s midsection.  Bolero responds in kind with some blows of his own.  The champion goes for a simple armdrag takedown by grabbing Bolero’s arm and flipping him in a full circle, but the “Urban Cowboy” manages a catlike landing on his feet and hits a dropkick on Clarion’s chest, knocking him down to the ground.  Bolero goes for a quick cover, but the champ kicks out before the ref can even count to one.

Both wrestlers return to neutral stances, staring holes into each other’s heads from across the ring.  They approach each other slowly, locking hands in a test of strength in the middle of the ring.  Clarion looks to have the advantage due to his more developed musculature, but the crowd rallies behind Bolero who shifts the momentum and breaks the lock by turning the hold into an Irish whip and sends the champ into the ropes.  Clarion bounces back off the ropes and into Bolero’s waiting arms.  The challenger lifts his opponent into a fireman’s carry over his head and slams him hard onto the canvas.  He attempts another cover and gets past one before the kickout.  The crowd remains transfixed on the ring; they know it is still early in the match and that the champion is still fairly resilient at this stage of the game.

Clarion gets his chance for some offense by lifting Bolero up for a modified inverted neckbreaker.  The gentle arc of the champion’s cradle sends Bolero’s head crashing to the mat, causing some viewers to turn their heads away from the ring in fear.  Clarion scrambles to turn Bolero over for a cover; he gets a two-count for his efforts.  Undaunted, the champ backs up to the ropes.  While the challenger is trying to recover his balance, Clarion charges, with a wild clothesline targeting Bolero’s neck.  Bolero hits the mat hard on his back.  Clarion covers him again but only gets another two count.  Frustrated that he is only getting twos, the champ tries kicking the “Cowboy” in the head as he gets up from the canvas, but Bolero suddenly ducks the kick, grabs Clarion’s legs, and rolls him into a collegiate-style “schoolboy package” pinning combination.  This wrestling “ball” is maintained for only a two-count before Clarion kicks out, but the crowd erupts with excitement at the prospect of their hero having come so close to putting Clarion away.

The momentum shifts back and forth for the next ten minutes with every side of the ring seeing a little bit of action.  The fight periodically spills outside of the ring as a result of a suplex or whip from both opponents, and the crowd becomes more excited each time the grapplers get close to where they are sitting.  The action is fast and frenzied without any sign of the match ending.  Soon, however, Bolero begins chaining moves together effectively, slowly wearing down Clarion’s stamina.  The champion appears to be weakening; one big, impactful move from Bolero could spell the end for Clarion, a thought which is greatly appealing to the crowd.   

Bolero starts clapping in a steady rhythm, a signal for his fans to clap along with him.  Together, they start generating a loud, thundering noise which seems to fill the entire arena.  The challenger uses this great momentum to lift Clarion high over his head for everyone to see, in preperation for the patented, earth-shattering Super Stampede powerslam.  Just as he has the champ over his head upside-down and primed for the decisive move, however, another person, dressed in a gold tunic similar to Clarion’s but with green trimming, appears and starts down the entrance ramp toward the ring.  This unknown figure scrambles onto the outside ring ledge, and begins shouting loudly, “This match must stop!  Cease this contest immediately!”  The crowd begins booing  and the referee crosses the ring to him with an order to get away from the ring.  This is the planned distraction Clarion has been waiting for!  Still positioned over Bolero’s head and in front of the entire crowd, Clarion deftly slips brass knuckles, which have been well hidden in a secret pocket, out of his trunks and onto his right hand.  With a powerful knockout blow, he hits the challenger squarely in the head, knocking him out.  With the crowd roaring, they both fall to the canvas.   Clarion lands squarely on his feet, and just as fast as he slipped the brass knuckles on, he has them off and back into the secret pocket in his trunks.  Having sent the intruder to the back and oblivious to the illegal weapon which has just been employed, the referee turns his attention back to the match.  

With gusto, Clarion convincingly covers the already unconscious Bolero.  The ref starts counting, “One…two…three!”  and the crowd loudly protests the obvious miscarriage of justice which has just occurred.  Clarion, having successfully retained his belt, celebrates as only a “man-god” can, hoisting the title up, strutting about the ring, and giving mighty whoops of elation as if he had won the state lottery.  Bolero is still unconscious in the middle of the ring.  A team of paramedics bring a strectcher to the ring and work to lift Bolero onto it and back behind the curtain  – all to the anger and dismay of his fans.  Clarion takes the time to afflict mocking bows on the crowd as he taunts them saying, “Thank you!  Thank you for all of your rightful praise!”  He then leaves the ring and makes his way backstage.  He turns and makes one final bow to no one in particular before leaving through the curtains to a chorus of boos. 

 

Thus concludes the first episode of “Paragon Fantasy Wrestling.”  Clarion is still the Paragon Elite champion after a very exciting and chaotic match, but some big questions were raised as a result of what happened.  Will he be able to keep the title in the weeks to come?  Will Ricky Bolero seek revenge and a rematch?  Who else will rise up to the “Challenge of the Gods?”  Who is the mysterious gold and green-clad figure who helped Clarion to win his fraudulant victory?  Stay tuned for more!

I have plenty of other ideas and characters for future installments of Paragon Fantasy Wrestling.  If you are interested in seeing them, let me know in the comments.  If you have any ideas for characters you would like to see in this new world, please leave a message with the character’s ring name, hometown, and finishing maneuver (you can also give a brief description of his or her appearance if you wish).  Thank you for reading, and I hope to see you soon for more Paragon Fantasy Wrestling stories!