It had been a long few weeks.
Since I took that bet on myself and signed up for a wrestling event that was happening well before my graduation from Hero Academy I had been training hard at Hell’s Gate alongside Jessie and (unfortunately) Krystal but it was all with one goal in mind, making sure I was ready for the big day!
It’s been four weeks since I left Las Vegas for Grand Junction, Colorado and now I was back, ready to face a challenge that no other graduate had faced, Cassie had faced Keira alone, Sarah had taken on her now with Chelsea, me? I was facing Jessie, Keira and Roxi in a gauntlet match. If I failed just one, that was it, I was going back to square one.
“I’m here.” I called out to the dark academy and glanced around, then the lights came up. It shows the three women in the ring, Jessie, Roxi and Keira. The three look at Harper as Keira says
Keira: It’s time. I hope you got enough training for this. Cause going to be honest with you. We’re not taking it easy on you. AT ALL!
I did my best to hide my nerves under a veil of confidence as I removed my jacket and entered the ring. I watched the three veterans talk amongst themselves before Jessie started the match for them and Team Hero retreated to the outside.
“So, whenever you're………” Jessie didn’t even let me finish as she charged in for a clothesline, my training from my amateur wrestling days kicked in and I ducked the attack before grabbing Jessie’s arm and locking in an arm bar before transitioning into an arm drag.
“Well, at least Whisper’s trained you well.” Jessie commented before she rolled me over and went for a kick, I ducked and we were at a standstill. “But don’t forget, I trained at Hell’s Gate too, kid!”
Keira and Roxi watch as she could see Jessie giving Harper the fight of her life. At the moment, to show that anything could happen, Keira reached out and grabbed Harper’s ankle. She looks up and says
Keira: You took your eye off the ball!
“Oh, we’re playing it like that huh?” I asked with a scoff before Jessie charged in with a dropkick, connecting to the butt of my jaw and sending me rolling to the apron, Jessie went to continue the attack but i could her with a jumping kick before leaping into the ring and hitting Jessie with a DDT spiking my older cousin down, I glanced over at Team Hero and saw that they were chatting amongst themselves and grinned. “What was that about taking your eyes off the ball?” I called out to them before running up the turnbuckle and hitting both members with a flip dive knocking them down.
“Not bad, but maybe take your own advice!” Jessie called back and before I knew it she had floored me with a dive of her own, this time over the top rope. Keira slowly gets up, helping Roxi up at the same time. She sees Jessie entering the ring and Harper slowly getting up, but her back turned. Keira, to show that anything can happen in a match if you’re not careful, goes over and shoves Harper into the turnbuckle post, making sure she hits it, but not getting injured. Keira backs away, giving a smirk from it.
Keira: Always be mindful of your surroundings. Especially in a no-win situation.
Roxi takes the chance and grabs Harper, throwing her back into the ring. I looked up and saw Jessie giving Team Hero a disapproving look, apparently none to thrilled about the outside inference, then I saw the clock.
“One more minute…….” I muttered and the three veterans noticed the clock.
“Huh, so it is.” Jessie commented before grabbing my arm. “Good luck surviving one minute in this!”
It was The Punishment Due, Jessie’s tribute to Megadeth and more specifically, her favorite song by them! But rather than being an amazing Thrash Metal track, it was a Triangle Choke! The same move she had just beat Georgie Robertson with on Climax Control.
But i was out to show that i wasn’t a choke artist like Georgie was, i immediately started fighting the submission hold trying to get out of it lest i gave whoever was coming in next an advantage.
Then the buzzer went off right as I was about to fade, Jessie’s five minutes were up and she released the hold. “Are you still with us, kid?” Jessie asked and I groaned in response. “Okay, who’s up next?”
Roxi goes up to the edge of the ring and enters. She places her hand on Jessie’s shoulder, nodding as Keira looks on. Jessie exits as Keira quickly goes to her, whispering
Keira: I’m sorry for that. But you and I know too well these things happen, sadly. I’ll make it up to the both of you.
I overheard Jessie and Keira talking as I used the ring ropes to pull myself up, Roxi waited for the timer to reset before she went right at me but acting on instinct I dropped the top rope down at the last second sending Roxi to the outside, by this point Jessie and Keira had left the ring and rather than dive out after Roxi i opted to follow her out finding her leaning against the ring steps in a seating position! I delivered some martial arts kicks to Roxi whilst she was down but on the last one? Roxi moved at the last second and I kicked the steel steps.
“FUCK ME THAT HURT!” I groaned as the sharp pain shot up through my leg, Roxi wasted little time in throwing me back into the ring and whilst I could still move about, I was hobbling on that leg, I bet Whisper would be none to pleased about this! Keira and Jessie would come back, seeing that 2 minutes were left. Roxi looks at Harper and slowly grabs her by the hair. She gives her a hard DDT to knock Harper down. Roxi slowly climbs up and sees Harper still down. She wastes time, but still launches the Ray of Hope and hits Harper with it. Before she could pin, time was up. Keira sighs as she knew she was next. She looks at Jessie and nods, knowing that this won’t be easy. Keira rolls under as Roxi rolls out. She looks down at the prone Harper, saying
Keira: Are you still with us? Cause you still got me….
I grit my teeth as I felt the pain in my leg and pretty much had to use Keira’s outfit to pull myself up at this point because it was the closest thing I had.
“Oh yeah? Let’s see how you like this!” Without hesitation I tripped Keira up and locked her in the elevated knee bar submission that I had developed, on the Suplex Island app I had called it “Sorry About Your knee” because I didn’t have an official name for it, but I was now calling it the Slaytanic Panic.
And i didn’t even care if i was using my bad leg to apply the hold because I was running on adrenaline at that point! Keira does groan at this, but she turns herself slowly to see the flaw in it. She takes the leg that was free and positions it. She takes her foot and kicks Harper’s bad leg a few times to get out of it. Keira was in a bit of pain, but she stands and grabs Harper by the hair. She takes her foot and hits Seven Sins on Harper, the edge of her boot accidentally cutting Harper’s forehead. Keira could be seen muttering a “Shit!” in a mouthful tone because of it, Jessie seeing it, knowing Keira didn’t mean to. She looks down to see if Harper was bleeding cause of it
As soon as the Seven Sins hit I could tell that Keira had cut my forehead open, of course as a martial artist I knew that getting kicked in the head was not fun but on the other hand? Yeah, I was bleeding! Not heavily but still bleeding quite a bit.
I glanced at the clock and saw that there was just under a minute left, I pulled myself up to my feet and returned the favor with my own Taekwondo style kick to Keira spinning her around! At that point I grabbed Keira’s arms and hit her with the Ripcord Cutter that I had named the Crowd Killer, but as I spun her around into the ripcord I saw that my kick had cut her open as well.
Remembering the horror stories I had heard from Cassie’s match? I went for the Slaytanic Panic again, this time out of a panic. Keira could see her own blood dripping. She looks and before she could try to hit her finisher, Keira backs away and slaps Harper across the face. She rushes, grabbing Harper by the head, bouncing off the ropes and hitting the Deadly Sin. 20 seconds left, Keira doesn’t go for the pin, instead, she grabs Harper’s legs and wraps them, getting ready. She looks down and says to Harper
Keira: It’s over….
Keira turns and locks in the sharpshooter, making sure Harper was near the middle of the ring, I could see the time above me just under twenty seconds left, I wasn’t about to be the first student to fail their first graduation match, leg pain or no leg pain, blood or no blood.
Somehow I managed to get one leg free and kicked Keira's leg to knock her off balance. She still had a grip on my bad leg though and I kept kicking away.
Right when it seemed hopeless? The buzzer went off, I had survived the full five minutes. Keira finally lets go and stands. She leans down, helping Harper up as Roxi and Jessie get in the ring to help as well. They help Harper to the ring ropes, letting her out as they all were now on the floor, standing. Keira smiles, saying
Keira: Sorry for going all out like that. We’ll fix you up. Congrats, kid. You passed. You’re now a graduate of Hero Academy as well as the first woman to survive three of the best women in Wrestling History!
“Somehow I doubt they’ll be students lining up to be the first to beat four of the best, or even five!” I joked as I tried my best to not put weight on my bad leg, my wrestling career was in front of me, but I still had one last thing to do. “My parents’ funeral is tomorrow, I bet that will make this look like child’s play.”
Keira: You got this. You’re one of the strongest trainees I have ever had the honor of training.
Keira: Just be careful tomorrow. That’s all I ask
Harper nods on this as the scene fades