Twilight Sparkle sat in her office, looking over her files and papers. Her office was simple, with nothing more than her desk, two seats in front of her for her employees during evaluations, a filing cabinet, and a row of photos on the wall. The photos depicted several wrestlers, each posing with the prestigious EWF World Championship. Among those champions were herself and, at the very end, Trixie Lulamoon. Every now and then, Twilight would glance at Trixie’s photo and grimace, then return to her paperwork.
A knock at the door stole Twilight’s attention away from her work and her reminiscing.
“It's open,” she said. The door blew open, and Starlight Glimmer stormed into the room. She glared at Twilight, who peered back at her over the frames of her reading glasses.
“May I help you?” said Twilight.
“Ember Torch screwed me over,” said Starlight. “I got disqualified for interference even though I obviously had nothing to do with Ember attacking Pie! Now, I'm out of a title match that I earned, fair and square.”
“I understand your frustration, Starlight,” said Twilight. “And yes, I'm aware that you did not condone or command Ember’s attack on Pinkie. Unfortunately, I cannot change the rules. An outside force struck a competitor, therefore, the attacked competitor receives a disqualification victory.”
“That's completely unfair!” shouted Starlight. “I deserve that title match!”
“I can see why you believe that, but I don’t think that we can ever be sure. I watched that match and, from where I was sitting, it seemed as if Pinkie was about to put you away,” said Twilight. “But, as I said, we'll never know for sure. Now, I don't feel comfortable granting Pinkie a title match for that win. That said, you lost the match, regardless of the circumstances. So I can't really give it to you, either. That wouldn't be fair.”
“‘Scuse me, Twilight!”
Pinkie slipped into the room, all but dancing her way to Twilight’s desk.
“Ah, Pinkie, good of you to drop in. I needed to speak with you,” said Twilight. “It's about your match with Starlight this past Monday.”
“Whoa, that's crazy! That's what I wanted to talk about, too!” said Pinkie. “Are we, like, psychically linked or something?”
“I don't think so, Pinkie.”
“Look at her! She's a joke!” growled Starlight. “She's not worthy of the title!”
“I'm not a joke, silly, I’m a wrestler! But I know a bunch of good jokes! How about this one?” said Pinkie. “A Starlight and a Pinkie walk into a ring. The Pinkie offers to shake hands, but the Starlight is a bad sport and doesn’t wanna. So, the Pinkie hits the Starlight with an Equestrian Destroyer and pins her in the middle of the ring!” Pinkie giggled, genuinely amused by her own “joke”. “Isn't that funny?”
“I'm going to eviscerate you, Pie,” snarled Starlight.
“Easy, girls,” said Twilight. “Jumping at each other's throat won't bring us any closer to a solution. Now, as far as I'm concerned, your performance Monday was amazing enough to earn either of you a title shot. However, I cannot in good conscious give either of you a title opportunity because of the… shaky outcome of the match itself. Pinkie technically won on Magic, but there's nothing to suggest that you would have done so without interference. So, like I said earlier, I cannot comfortably grant either of you a title shot.”
“I have an idea!” said Pinkie suddenly.
“Cram it, Pie,” snarled Starlight. “If your idea is as bad as your joke, I think we'll actually get further from a solution.”
“Look, Starlight, I'm not entirely sure of the ins and outs of how Trixie runs her show,” said Twilight. “But, here on Ascension, everyone's thoughts are considered and everyone's ideas have merit. So, Pinkie, what's your idea?”
“Alright, so you say you can't give either of us a title match,” said Pinkie. “But what if you gave both of us a title match? At the same time!”
“A Triple Threat match…” Twilight tapped her chin in thought. “Well, that would give you both the opportunity you deserve… Plus, it'll make things a bit more difficult for Ember. I needed to have a chat with her about her interference anyway. What better way to make a statement?” She smiled, pulling her glasses and folding them over her shirt. “Brilliant, Pinkie. I'll put the match together now: Ember Torch versus Starlight Glimmer versus Pinkamena Pie for the Nationals Championship!”
“Awesome!” cheered Pinkie. Starlight nodded slightly, her face blank and even.
“I suppose that'll do. But understand this, Pie,” said Starlight, pointing threateningly. “This is not your second chance. This is not your shot at glory. This is the story of my victory, and you're going to stay in the footnotes. Where you belong.”
Starlight stormed out of the office before Pinkie could respond. Pinkie shrugged, then resumed chatting with Twilight about the upcoming main event match.
“Welcome all, to Friday Night Ascension!” said Celestia, the blistering energy of the capacity crowd infecting her as it normally did. “The most explosive part of your Friday nights! I am Celestia Regal, joined as always by my broadcasting partner, Discord Redrum.”
“We have a massively stacked card tonight!” said Discord. “First, fresh new talent is hoping to topple the Monster Amongst Men, Tirek Crimson!”
“Then we have the hottest young star in the EWF, Diamond Tiara, versus the spry and scrappy Scootaloo,” added Celestia. “Diamond, of course, one of our most promising young stars in the EWF. A win for Scootaloo could slingshot her into the title conversation.”
“All of that, and more, starting now!”
A sound akin to a cannon firing rang throughout the arena, followed by the deep pounding of a bass drum and the clash of cymbals. Slowly down the ramp stomped a massive mountain of a man, somewhere around seven feet in height. His black tank top could barely contain his sheer mass as he stepped up to the apron and climbed over the top rope.
“The following contest is scheduled for one-fall! Introducing first, from Tartarus, weighing in at 392 pounds, TIREK CRIMSON!”
He silently raised his fists above his head, waiting for his opponent.
A slick guitar riff floated out, which was immediately followed by a small, green-haired wrestler who ran from backstage as if his life depended on it. Behind him, a man about as tall as Tirek, strolled up next to him, his jeans torn and his t-shirt struggling to contain his toned, muscular chest. They stopped halfway down the ramp, the smaller of the two pulling a microphone from his pocket.
“And his opponent, from—”
“Cut it!” shouted the man with the microphone. “Now, for those of you who haven’t had to pleasure of meeting me, allow me to introduce myself. From the Badlands, weighing in at 199 pounds, I am The Future of the EWF, The Brave, The Glorious SPIKE EMERALD!” He pointed threateningly at Tirek. “And you, my friend, are a dead man walking! If I were you, I’d give up right now, and I’m gonna tell you why. You may be the biggest dude in the locker room, and you may have decimated most opponents who came through, but let me tell you something: I'm not like most opponents! Now, my buddy Big Mac here, he said to me ‘Hey, Spike, you know that this Tirek guy has only ever lost twice?’ Ain't that right, Mac?”
Big Mac leaned in to the mic, uttering a single word.
“And you remember what I said back to you, Mac?”
“You wanna tell the people what it is I said to you, Mac?”
Big Mac leaned forward, staring silently at Tirek. For almost a full minute, the entire arena was silent.
“Nope,” he said. Spike nodded, patting Mac firmly on the back.
“I wouldn't want to say it, either. These good people don't need to hear those gory details. I mean, come on, there are kids watching,” said Spike with a grin. “So I'll give you the PG version: Get ready to add a third loss to your record.”
He dropped his microphone, marching towards the ring with Mac by his side. Spike scaled the apron, staring up at the massive mountain of a man that was just a few feet from him.
Spike dropped down, then walked back up the ramp. He bent down and picked his microphone back up.
“I dropped my mic,” said Spike. “Can't be littering, y’know? This is our only Earth, gotta take care of it.” Spike returned to the apron, passing his microphone to Big Mac. Spike tugged on the ropes before ducking beneath the top rope. He paused halfway through, then pulled out and dropped down to the ground.
Spike slapped his chest, hopping in place to get himself psyched up for the match. He looked up at Tirek again, then dropped down and pumped out a few push-ups. When he was finished, he slowly climbed back to the apron and into the ring.
As soon as the bell rang, Tirek ran forward like a semi-truck. He raised his boot, kicking Spike so hard in the head that the Future of the EWF flipped backwards twice and landed on his stomach. Tirek tossed Spike onto his back, dropped to one knee, and pressed a palm against Spike’s chest.
“And absolutely massive boot from Tirek Crimson!” said Discord.
One! Two! Three!
“The winner, TIREK CRIMSON!”
“And, just like that, this match is over!” said Celestia. “That’s gotta be some sort of record. Do we have an official time on that match?”
“From bell to bell, Spike Emerald lasted exactly… Fourteen seconds,” said Discord, after a cursory check of the time. “All it took was fourteen seconds for the beast that is Tirek Crimson to end a career, almost before it even started.”
Tirek climbed over the top rope, then slowly stomped up the ramp. Big Mac slid into the ring, trying to stir his friend. When it was clear that Spike wouldn’t be getting up anytime soon, Mac hoisted Spike onto his shoulders and carried him out of the ring.
Ember Torch sat in the locker room, her Nationals Championship resting on her shoulder, as she laced up her boots. The title was in inverted pentagon, the front plate decorated with a circle split down the middle; one half was of the sun, the other of the moon. A large set of golden wings spread from either side of the sun/moon, with a spiraling unicorn horn emerging to the top. Ember strapped the title around her waist, grinning sinisterly as she did.
Ember stood up, turning to face none other than one of her opponents in the main event.
“Hiya, Em,” said Pinkie brightly. “Getting ready for tonight?”
“What do you want?” asked Ember, resting her hands defensively on her title.
“Welllll, I was thinking about Monday, and how you messed up my match with Starlight,” said Pinkie. She took a seat on the bench that was formerly occupied by Ember. “And, I realized that I should probably thank you. So thanks.”
“Yeah, silly, for trying to get me to win. It’s obvious, really.” Pinkie’s grin never seemed to falter, no matter how annoyed Ember clearly was. “That’s why you hit me first, so Starlight would get DQ’d. And, of course, you beat down Starlight to stop her from coming for payback. You wanted to make sure you fought me, which, I gotta say, means a lot. I’m honored, really, knowing that you wanted to fight lil’ ol’ me.”
“Heh. Is that so?” snickered Ember. “Lil’ ol’ you…”
“Yeah, I wouldn’t say it if I didn’t mean it, silly! I mean, your plan kinda didn’t work, cause Starlight is ready to go and she’s super-duper peeved, but your heart was in the right place. But… Even though I appreciate you wanting to fight me, you really shouldn’t have gotten in the way. If you would’ve waited just a bit, I would’ve won anyway.” In a surprise to Pinkie, Ember started to laugh. She adjusted her belt, noting Pinkie’s almost hungry gaze.
“Maybe you’re not as stupid as Glimmer makes you out to be. You were half right, anyway,” said Ember. “You’re right, I did want to fight you tonight for the championship. But not because I’ve had this big dream of facing you, or because I thought you’d bring out the best in me, or any stupid crap like that. I wanted to fight you because you’re an easy win. Glimmer might have given me troubles, but you’re a free title retention.”
“And just how do you figure that?” said Pinkie, her smile everpresent. Ember grinned evilly, pointing to her belt.
“You’ll never touch this. You’ll never taste gold. All these years in the EWF, and not a single championship to your name,” said Ember. “That’s pathetic. You’ve never won before, you’ll never win in the future, and you’re damn sure not going to win tonight. So what do you got to say to that?”
Pinkie chuckled, pushing herself to her feet. She patted Ember’s shoulder, her demeanor shifting slightly. Her smile was still there, but there was this new layer of determination and fire. She had slipped into game mode.
“Like I said, I appreciate what you did, even if I didn’t ask for it. So, to thank you for your trouble, let me give you some advice,” said Pinkie. Suddenly, her smile dropped completely, leaving her with a glare of laser-focus. “Next time you attack me and ruin my match, make sure I can’t walk out of that arena that night. You know why?” She tapped the championship, then gestured to her waist. “Because if I step into the ring with someone who ruined my match, I Pinkie Promise you that that someone won’t be stepping out.” And, just as quickly as it vanished, her smile reappeared. “See ya, Em, and good luck. Between me and Starlight… I think you might just need it.”
The angelic hum of a harp floated weightlessly throughout the arena. A woman soon joined it, dressed in light blue ring gear. She carried herself with an air of superiority, rolling into the ring as if the match was beneath her.
“The following contest is scheduled for one-fall! Introducing first, from Ponyville, weighing in at 186 pounds, LYRA HEARTSTRINGS!”
Lyra leaned against the turnbuckle casually, waiting for her opponent to make herself seen.
A bright, colorful pop song blared loudly, contrasting starkly with Lyra’s classy, harmonic tune. A bright, cheery woman ran out, carefully clutching a bowl filled with candies. She tossed fistfuls of candy into the sections of the crowd that were cheering loudest, chucking sweets all the way down to the ring. She discarded the bowl and hopped up to the apron, raising her fists above her head.
“And her opponent, from Fillydelphia, weighing in at 159 pounds, BON-BON!”
Bon-Bon slipped into the ring, immediately strafing her opponent. With a confident smirk, Bon-Bon pointed to Lyra, then pointed to the mat. Lyra returned the smile, then beckoned for Bon-Bon.
“And we're off,” said Celestia as the bell rang. “What can we expect from these two competitors, Discord?”
“From Lyra, I'm sure we can expect surprising feats of strength and unsurpassed ring smarts,” said Discord. “From Bon-Bon, I imagine we can expect three cavities and a root canal.”
“Ah, who doesn't love candy?”
“People with three cavities and a root canal, for one.”
Lyra rushed forward, ducking under Bon-Bon’s wild swing and wrapped her arms around her waist. Lyra hoisted her opponent up and slammed her down onto her stomach. She rolled around and grabbed her opponent in a front facelock, then harshly brought her knee against Bon-Bon’s head.
“Lyra Heartstrings taking control early on here,” said Celestia. “Heartstrings, former Intercontinental Champion, something of a veteran here, while Bon-Bon can be considered the young blood.”
“Which is why Lyra is at a distinct advantage, I think,” said Discord. “There are things that one only learns from years in the ring. Heartstrings knows how to wrestle on the mat, on the ground, and in the mind.”
Lyra dragged Bon-Bon to her feet, then tossed her into the corner. She ran forward, ramming her shoulder into Bon-Bon’s middle. Lyra grabbed Bon-Bon by the hair, threw her to the ground, and scaled the turnbuckle.
Bon-Bon scurried to her feet, rushing to stop Lyra. She swung her fist into the side of Lyra’s head, stunning her on her perch. Lyra shoved Bon-Bon away with her foot, preparing to leap. Suddenly, Bon-Bon jumped up and wrapped her legs around Lyra’s head, swinging down and dropping them both to the mat.
“Lyra in the high-rent district and made to pay by a beautiful hurricanrana,” called Celestia. “Bon-Bon goes for the cover, one, two, and a kickout at two.”
Lyra stood up, clutching her neck gingerly. She stared down her opponent, trying to find a way to outsmart her. As a plan was forming in her head, Bon-Bon rushed forward and hooked Lyra in the side. She let out a quick barrage of punches before kicking Lyra in the gut, bending her over at the waist, and planting her with a DDT.
“Bon-Bon on the offensive here, and Lyra needs to think of something, anything to turn this match around,” said Discord. “Use some of that veteran know-how.”
Bon-Bon went to continue her offense, but Lyra rolled out of the ring to catch her breath. Lyra held up a finger, clutching her chest tiredly.
Lyra leaned against a nearby barricade, watching Bon-Bon pace anxiously in the ring.
Lyra nodded, then hopped up onto the apron. Bon-Bon backed up to allow Lyra into the ring, then immediately ran forward. Lyra dropped down, rolled out of the ring a second time, strolling around the ring.
“I think someone needs to remind Lyra Heartstrings that she’s supposed to be wrestling,” said Celestia restlessly. “This is supposed to be a match, not a game of tag.”
“And this is why you’d never be successful in this business, Regal,” said Discord. “This is obviously all a part of Lyra’s strategy. There is more to wrestling than hitting your opponent. It’s as much mental as it is physical, and Lyra is dominating the mind games.”
“True as that may be, I find it hard to imagine Bon-Bon being pinned by mind games.”
Bon-Bon stomped her foot, then headed for the ropes. The referee grabbed her before she could leave the ring, urging her to stay in and allow him to finish the count. As the two argued, Lyra saw her opportunity. She jumped to the apron and shoved Bon-Bon as hard as she could, knocking both her and the referee to the ground. Lyra quickly raised the ring skirt and retrieved a steel chair, which she brought with her into the ring.
“The referee down, Lyra Heartstrings planning to use that illegal foreign object in this match,” said Celestia. “Is that strategy, Discord? Is that behavior befitting a two-time Intercontinental Champion?”
“You do whatever you have to do to win, or else you lose. It’s really that simple,” said Discord.
Lyra held the chair at the ready, waiting for the perfect opportunity. By the time Bon-Bon was nearing vertical, the referee had only made it to his hands and knees. Lyra grinned, knowing that she had the match in the bag.
She tossed the chair at Bon-Bon, who caught it easily, then fell flat on her back, feigning unconsciousness.
“What in the world?” said Celestia. “What is she doing…?”
“Winning the match, Regal, isn’t it obvious?” laughed Discord. “Brilliant move by Lyra Heartstrings!”
Bon-Bon looked at the chair, then at Lyra, utterly perplexed. She turned to toss the chair out of the ring, nearly bumping into the referee. The referee’s gaze bounced from Bon-Bon, the chair in her hand, and Lyra’s apparently unconscious body. He pointed to the chair, then called for the bell.
“The winner by disqualification, LYRA HEARTSTRINGS!”
Lyra rolled out of the ring, smiling at the boos from the crowd, as well as Bon-Bon’s angry scowl. She raised her hand above her head in victory as she headed up the ramp and backstage to the locker room.
Twilight Sparkle had finally finished her paperwork, and the show was going well. For the most part. She wasn’t fond of how Lyra had won, but she knew that there wasn’t much she could do about it. Technically speaking, Lyra had done nothing wrong. There was no rule against faking an injury. In the end, though, it didn’t matter. Bon-Bon would get her rematch, and now she knew what to expect.
Twilight decided to utilize this rare break in her schedule to grab some much-needed coffee. She grabbed her cane and slowly limped to her door. As she grabbed the knob, she heard a knock, which probably meant that her coffee would have to wait. She opened the door, then stepped out of the way to let Diamond Tiara into her office.
“Please, take a seat,” said Twilight. “What can I do for you, Diamond?”
“I have a match next, so I’m going to keep this brief,” said Diamond, ignoring the seat entirely. “I am quite possibly the greatest performer you have on your roster.”
“I’m sure that can be argued, yes.”
“My win-loss record is impeccable. In my first year, I’ve beaten the EWF’s best. Any promotion in the world would be clamoring to have me. When my contract expires, I’ll have twelve different offers before I even pick up my pen to resign here.”
“What part of this is brief?” asked Twilight. “What exactly is your point?” Diamond Tiara scowled at the General Manager, but managed to keep the bulk of her anger contained.
“My point is that I’m not champion. Why am I not champion?”
“Well, as you no doubt have heard, Ember, Starlight, and Pinkie are due for a Nationals championship match,” said Twilight. “So you’d have to go to the back of the line. I could pencil you in for the IC title, but Rarity is due her rematch, and then who knows who else could be contenders. I could put you in the tag title picture, but you’d need a partner and—”
“You know what I meant, Sparkle.”
Twilight sighed, her gaze falling to the last picture on her wall. Trixie’s mocking grin did nothing to improve Twilight’s mood.
“Diamond, I want to give you a shot at the World Title. I really, really do,” said Twilight. “I want to give a shot to anyone who deserves it. But, unfortunately, I cannot. This situation of the champion being the General Manager… It’s unprecedented. I can’t book her into a title match. And I understand, it’s frustrating. Trust me, few people know what it feels like to have the title just outside your grasp better than I do.”
“Is that supposed to make me feel better?” scoffed Diamond. “I came to the EWF because I was promised opportunities, a chance to prove that I’m the best in the world! But, because you screwed up, I’m stuck being on the level as all the rest of this mediocre roster!”
“Wait a moment…” said Twilight, an idea forming in her head. “Say that again…”
“The rest of this mediocre roster!”
“No, no, before that…”
“I’m the best in the world?” Now, Diamond was more confused than angry. What was this dusty old bat going on about now?
“No, before that, even.”
“Er… I was promised opportunities?”
Twilight grinned, then quickly hobbled back to her desk. She immediately drew up documents and drafts, a devious glint in her eye.
“Go have your match, Diamond,” said Twilight. “And I promise, I’ll have an opportunity for you by next Friday.”
“You better,” said Diamond. “Because my father is good friends with the owner of Crystal Empire Wrestling, and I can have myself a World Title shot from day one if I wanted to.”
“I don’t think this’ll disappoint you, Diamond. You wanted an opportunity?” Twilight grinned. “I’m about to give you the ultimate opportunity.”
A cold, mechanical electronic track slammed against the eardrums of the capacity crowd. Down the ramp came a small, purple-haired woman in purple tights with black trim. She made her way down to the ring to moderate cheers from the crowd. The crowd liked her well enough. They just didn’t expect her to last very long.
“The following contest is scheduled for one fall! Making her way to the ring, from Cloudsdale, weighing in at 130 pounds, SCOOTALOO!”
Scootaloo raised her hands above her head, grinning with anticipation. She beckoned for her opponent to make her way down the ring.
A classical fanfare blared, like the sort to precede a princess’ arrival. Diamond Tiara stomped down the ramp, wasting no time in getting into the ring. She slid inside and immediately jumped onto Scootaloo, battering her with clubbing blows.
“And before this match can even get underway, Diamond Tiara is in the driver’s seat!” called Discord. “Battering strikes to the head, bringing Scootaloo to the ground!”
Diamond continued beating down her opponent, stomping on her remorselessly. The referee tried and failed to pull her off, struggling to separate the two. Diamond pushed the referee away, then dropped down and rained vicious fists onto Scootaloo’s head. She slammed her head against the mat viciously, not satisfied until Scootaloo remained laying on the ground, nearly motionless.
“What is this?!” demanded Celestia. “This is supposed to be a fair contest, and Diamond Tiara beat down her opponent before the match even began!”
“You can understand why, can’t you?” asked Discord. “Diamond Tiara is a world-class athlete, and she deserves better than this! She deserves the World Title and, when Twilight Sparkle refused to give it to her, she decided to let her frustrations be known!”
“But this is too far! That’s no way to go about getting a chance at such a prestigious title!”
Diamond stomped on Scootaloo’s head one last time before stomping away and rolling out of the ring. She strutted up the ramp, serenaded by boos, but she couldn’t care less. She had made her statement.
“The hell are you going!”
Diamond stopped in her tracks, slowly turning on the spot. To her surprise and mild annoyance, Scootaloo was pushing herself to her feet. She had acquired a microphone, and struggled to stand.
“You think you can just jump me and walk away?” huffed Scootaloo. “Why don’t you come fight me face to face? You scared? You wanna fight, then come fight!” She dropped the mic, beckoning for a real fight. Diamond scowled, then ran back to down the ramp. She slid into the ring and, before she could do so much as take a step, was clubbed repeatedly by Scootaloo.
“To hell with a match!” laughed Discord. “We’ve got a brawl on our hands! No rules, no regulations, just sheer violence! I love it!”
Scootaloo’s burst of offense was short-lived, and Diamond quickly turned the tables. She hoisted up the significantly lighter Scootaloo up and threw her into the corner. She rushed forward, her face met with with Scootaloo’s boot. As Diamond staggered, Scootaloo pushed herself to the top rope. Diamond rushed forward, elbowing Scootaloo and dropping her to a seated position. Diamond jumped to the middle rope, grabbing Scootaloo around the neck, then bounced into the air, twisting and slamming her down to the mat.
“Girl’s Best Friend!” called Discord. “She’s done! Scootaloo’s gotta be finished!”
“She can’t be finished if the match never started!” said Celestia. “This is not a contest of strength or skill. This is an assault!”
“But whose fault is it, really? I mean, she already got her ass kicked, so why would she invite another beatdown?”
Diamond dragged Scootaloo to the center of the ring, yelling at the referee to start the match. The referee stood, confused, until Diamond shouted at him to “ring the goddamned bell”. He reluctantly called for the bell, then stepped out of Diamond’s way.
Diamond stomped on Scootaloo’s unmoving body for a few moments before dropping down for the cover.
One! Two! Three!
Diamond stood up, then left the ring with her fist raised in victory. The boos were thunderous as Diamond ascended the ramp and disappeared backstage.
The sharp, militaristic march theme of the Equalizer drummed through the arena. To the crowd’s great displeasure, Starlight Glimmer stomped down the ramp, sliding into the ring. She was out for blood, by the look in her eye, and she wouldn't be leaving without it.
A peppy polka tune hummed throughout the room, drowned out almost entirely by the crowd’s raucous cheers. Pinkie Pie cartwheeled down the ramp, any of her anger from earlier in the night totally gone. She flipped into the ring, rolling to a stop just a few feet from Starlight. Pinkie offered her hand, and, for the second time, Starlight refused it. Pinkie shrugged, found a corner she liked, and leaned herself against the turnbuckles.
The screech of an electric guitar marked the arrival of the EWF Nationals Champion. Ember raised her title over her head before slipping into the ring. She stared down her opponents, Pinkie in particular, before handing her belt to the referee.
“The following contest is a Triple Threat match, scheduled for one-fall, and it is for the EWF Nationals Championship! Introducing first, the challenger, from Our Town, weighing in at 152 pounds, The Equalizer, STARLIGHT GLIMMER!”
Starlight rotated her shoulder, her eyes bouncing between her opponents. She had her work cut out for her.
“And her opponent, from Rockville, weighing in at 266 pounds, The Outrageous, PINKAMENA DIANE PIE!”
Pinkie pulled herself up from her corner, raising her fists to the sky. Her trademark grin was ever-present, despite her fierce competition.
“And, finally, from The Badlands, weighing in at 132 pounds, she is the current EWF Nationals Champion, The Dragon Lord, EMBER TORCH!”
Ember pointed to each of her opponents, then to the mat, then finally pantomiming a belt around her waist. The three women stared each other down, waiting for the match to begin. The referee showed each competitor the belt, raised it high to the crowd, and then handed the belt to the timekeeper. He called for the match to begin, setting off the main event of Friday Night Ascension.
The bell rang, and Ember immediately rolled out of the ring.
“Smart move by Ember Torch, removing herself from the equation,” said Discord. “No point in tiring herself out now.”
“For those unfamiliar with Triple Threat rules, it's simple,” said Celestia. “No countout, no disqualification, the first competitor to pin or submit either of their opponents walks away with the gold. The champion, Ember Torch, does not have to involved in the end of this match to lose her championship.”
“Which I'm sure just rubs you the wrong way, Regal. No DQ? How will we possibly keep order?!”
“I actually don't mind in these sort of matches, because it removes Champion’s Advantage,” explained Celestia, ignoring her colleague’s mocking. “This match is going to end with a pin or a submission, no ways about it. But, back to the action, Pinkie and Glimmer in a stiff lock-up, Pinkie trying not to fall victim to the same tactics as Monday.”
Pinkie overpowered Starlight, throwing her to the ground. She backed up and ran forward, jumping into the air and falling back onto Starlight’s chest.
“And a rib-shattering senton from the Outrageous Pinkamena Pie,” called Discord. “Over 250 pounds directly onto Glimmer’s chest.”
Pinkie dropped to a full mount and rained heavy strikes down into Starlight’s head, eventually dragging her up and tossing her to the ropes. Starlight slid out of the ring before she could rebound, stopping just a few feet from Ember. The two stared each other down, Glimmer pointing to the ring. Ember refused, gesturing for Glimmer to get back into the ring herself.
“And it appears we've got a disagreement at ringside,” noted Celestia. “The champion and the challenger both want the other to face Pinkie, making it clear that neither wants to be in the ring with her.”
Pinkie didn't mind that nobody wanted to share the ring with her; she was headed out anyway. She bounced off the ropes and ran, throwing herself out of the ring and into her opponents. Pinkie barreled through them both, toppling all three competitors to the ground. Pinkie emerged the sole survivor of the encounter, hopping to her feet to a thunderous applause. Pinkie tossed Ember into the ring, and followed suite.
“Suicide dive from Pie!” called Discord. “No one that large should be able to move so nimbly! She drops for the cover, and a kick out at one!”
Ember scurried to her feet, just to be knocked down by a stiff forearm bash. Ember hurried up, then was knocked down by another heavy smash. When she returned to her feet for the third time, she made a poor attempt at offense; Pinkie blocked her punch, then smashed her head against Ember’s.
Starlight rushed into the ring, gunning for Pinkie. Pinkie blocked her punch as well, grabbing Starlight around the back of the neck with her left hand, then Ember in the same way with her right. She smashed their heads together, holding them close, then grinned.
“And the Stun Gun Headbutts!” called Celestia as Pinkie bashed her head against her opponents’ skulls again and again. “You can almost hear the brains bouncing around skulls!”
Pinkie smashed her forehead against her opponents’ skulls one last time, dropping them both to the ground. She pushed Starlight onto her back and went for the pin.
Starlight just barely brought her shoulder up in time, clearly still rattled from the rapid, repeated introductions of her head to Pinkie’s. When the pin was broken, Pinkie simply rolled over and tried Ember.
Another kick out, just as close as the last. Pinkie stood up, hands on her hips. She smirked confidently, then pointed to Ember. The crowd cheered moderately, which made Pinkie smile and shrug. She pointed to Starlight, and the cheers were even louder. Pinkie danced in place, pointing to each of her opponents.
“Eeny-meeny-miney…” Pinkie ran and dropped a heavy senton onto Ember. She leapt up and dropped onto Starlight. She looped around, dropping all 266 pounds of herself onto her opponents four times each. She pinned Starlight, resulting in another near-fall. Pinkie slapped the mat, then leapt to her feet. She turned around and was immediately leapt on by Ember, who twisted around and bent Pinkie back in an inverted facelock. She hooked Pinkie’s arm and stretched her over her knee.
“And Ember Torch with the sneaky Bloodstone Dragon Sleeper!” called Discord. “She’s cutting off all of the oxygen to Pie’s head, which is a problem I’m sure she had to begin with.”
“Reminder, if Pinkie Pie cannot continue, Ember Torch will retain her championship with a knockout victory,” added Celestia. “Pinkie doesn’t have long in that hold before her light goes out.”
Pinkie struggled in the hold, fighting to stay conscious. Slowly, as the energy left her body, she went limp. Ember shouted at the referee to check her, and he grabbed Pinkie by the wrist, raising it above her head. He released her hand, which fell limp to the side. The referee raised it again, and again it fell limp.The referee grabbed Pinkie’s arm one final time, dropping it down. Before her arm hit the mat, Pinkie raised it to the sky, eliciting a cheer from the crowd.
Pinkie jerked and twisted, pushing herself to a more upright position. Ember clubbed Pinkie in the chest, trying to force her back down into the hold. Pinkie’s will was too strong; She fought and struggled, breaking free with a firm strike to the head. As soon as she was free, Pinkie gave Ember a firm boot to the gut. She bent her over at the waist and slipped Ember’s head between her legs. She punched the sky, then grabbed Ember around the middle and jumped forward, flipping them both through the air and driving Ember’s head into the mat.
“And Pinkie with an Equestrian Destroyer!” called Celestia. “It must be over! Ember Torch is definitely, without a doubt, finished!”
Before Pinkie could go for the pin, she felt something grab her by the hair. Starlight yanked her up, spun her around, and kicked her hard in the middle. She bent Pinkie at the waist, slipped an arm over her back and grabbed it her own hand from beneath Pinkie’s middle. She hoisted Pinkie vertically, then dropped straight down, slamming Pinkie directly onto her head. Starlight let Pinkie slump, then hooked her leg for the pin.
“Neutralizer! Starlight shocks Pinkie with a sudden Neutralizer!” said Celestia.
One! Two! Three!
Starlight Glimmer raised her fists above her head, a satisfied, superior grin on her face. She sat on the mat, bathing in the boos from the crowd. The referee presented her with the championship, which she greedily snatched and rested on her shoulder.
“The winner, and the new EWF Nationals Champion, The Equalizer, STARLIGHT GLIMMER!”
“We’ve got ourselves a new champion!” cheered Discord, clapping at the display. “A spectacular main event, no matter how you feel about the result.”
“Ember Torch and Pinkie Pie cannot be happy with this result,” said Celestia. “We’ll have to see the fallout next time on Monday Night Magic.”
“Until next time, EWF Universe, this has been Discord Redrum and Celestia Regal,” said Discord. “As always, we’ll be seeing you on Monday. Good night!”