The Last Bout of the Night
And the lights went out, and the chattering slowed to a low murmur, to a deathly silence, and the void of noise was filled with a flood of expectation, and anticipation, before the perfect silence was punctured by a burst of pyrotechnics, and the crowd came to life again.
The roar was tribal, the roar was animal, the roar was war, an army of supporters, readied for battle.
A tall, athletic figure, burst from nowhere, a hooded figure, standing 6 foot 2 inches, and the crowd went wild.
He whipped back his hood, to reveal his face, and posed, arms held aloft, as the cheers from the crowd reached a crescendo, and then strolled, with purpose towards the ring.
As he entered the ring the spotlight fell on him, and he acknowledged the support, from all four corners, as he readied himself for his opponent.
Meanwhile, in the center of the ring, the announcer shuffled his cards, and took up his mic, and turning to the audience, with a clear, rising voice, he announced the next man to the ring.
Suddenly the wave of love turned to a tsunami of hate, as the sea of cheers morphed into a cacophony of boos, and catcalls, and a giant of a man appeared.
6 foot 6 inches, and as broad as an ox, the giant stared down every man in the place, before slowly making his way to the ring, returning the taunts to the fans brave enough to lean across the security railings, and to jeer him.
He clambered into the ring, and the two gladiators started to circle each other, before locking up.
The crowd favorite pushed hard, and at first appeared to be making some progress, until the giant pushed back and sent him sprawling across the ring, and into the ropes.
He charged forward again, a brave, and valiant move, but the giant was waiting, and whipped him across the ring, to the other side, and on the third approach the giant caught his opponent, scooped him up, and slammed him into the canvas.
The crowd was not happy, and screamed at the ring, channeling its hate towards the behemoth that was towering above their hero, and the giant responded by flexing his muscles, and laughing at the onlookers.
He grabbed his opponent's head, and raised him to his knees, before launching a vicious head butt against him, that sent him back down to the floor.
Again he raised him up, and again he put him down, and then a third time he raised him up, but this time, as he pulled him up from the mat, he was caught by a blow, and reeled back, giving his opponent time to recover.
Now the crowd's mood was changing, as the fans cheered their recovering hero, and his moment in the spotlight.
He charged once more against the giant, and caught him with a combination of moves, that sent him across the ring, and into the turnbuckle, before falling to his knees in the corner.
Once more, the seemingly un-tamable giant rose to his knees, only to be met with another flurry of moves, and victory looked assured, for the crowd favorite, until, in a moment of desperation, the giant reached out with a low blow, that left his opponent doubled over, and he followed this up, with a poke to the eye, and a giant choke-slam, that left crowd feeling that maybe their hero was a beaten man, and that this wasn't going to be his night, after all.
As the giant preened himself, and taunted the crowd, the ref stood over his fallen opponent, and began a slow count.
...and then there was movement, as the battered warrior started to raise himself to his knees.
Seeing that his opponent was not as damaged as he'd thought he was, the giant raced in, and lashed out with a pump kick, but the crowd favorite ducked under the outstretched leg of this man monster, and scrambled across to the other side of the ring, before composing himself, and charging in once more, to catch him with a drop kick, that left the giant flat on the floor.
He saw his opportunity, and climbed to the top rope, from where he launched a corkscrew moonsault, but the timing was wrong, and the giant managed to crawl out of the way just in time, leaving both men stricken and prone, on the floor of the ring.
The ref began another count
...and both men started trying to clamber to their feet.
...and they were up, and the crowd favorite raced in towards the giant, ready to finish the job, but as he approached, the giant reached into the back of his trunks and, unsighted by the referee, whose view was obscured by his opponent, rushing in on him, he produced a set of brass knuckles, swung, and knocked his opponent out.
This time the refs count was final, he reached the ten count, and amidst a sea of disapproving chants he raised the giants hand, and the giant sneered, and taunted the crowd, before withdrawing from the arena, as his beaten opponent was helped to his feet.
The house lights went off again, and the audience was reminded of next month's promotion, when a rematch was scheduled, that would decide the fate of the local championship.
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