• Published 26th Apr 2015
  • 1,166 Views, 86 Comments

Champion's Road - OmegaPony11



Aria Blaze lost everything when the Dazzlings tasted defeat thanks to the Rainbooms. She escapes the winter into a gym where she is given a chance to become a pro wrestler. The road is hard, but with friends, love, and suplexes, she can be a champ.

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Burned

Chapter One – Burned

Aria grimaced as she kept her right hand clenched in a tight fist as she rubbed her swollen cheek with her left. She looked up at the brute that so clearly wanted to continue, only for his swinish friends to hold him back.

“Hey Bosco, this chick ain’t worth the time,” said one. The man named Bosco cracked his neck and turned away.

“Get out of here,” he called as he walked back into the bar, “Next time I see your face, a backhand will be the least of your worries.”

Aria cursed as she turned away from the bar, the one place she thought she could get some respite from the long, cold nights. A little buzz would have warmed her up, or at least allow her to forget that she was in such a destitute situation. Several months passed since she and her sisters failed plan to gain supreme magical power and the loss of their singing voices. The former stung as it meant they were reduced to powerless humans. The latter as it meant their one true gift and talent was just as shattered as their pendants. Without their singing voices, they were nothing.

She tried to keep their group together. Adagio did not have a contingency plan, but she also did not like being challenged. The two fought, and unable to stand the sight of her any longer, Aria walked away first. She expected Sonata to follow, only to discover that she was going to stay with Adagio. That clinched the break-up of their trio. Aria walked away without another word, hands in her hoodie pockets for who-knows-where.

The echo of a clock bell told Aria in eight straight strikes that it was eight o’clock in the evening. The cold winter wind brushed past her exposed face, leaving her to bundle up even more. Her tattered runners crunched the snow beneath her feet as she looked for a place to hide from the elements and get some sleep. Some place with cover and even bare heating like a bus terminal.

The rumble of her stomach gave heed that she needed food. Actual food, as her stomach constantly reminded her, not negative energy that Aria could drain. Fishing out her wallet, she looked to find not only the source of her long term troubles, that being a lack of funds, but also the source of her short term funds.

That being a lack of funds to pay for a beer and then walking out of Bosco’s bar.

Aria rubbed her cheek again and winced when she felt the flesh. How had she gotten to this low, low point in her life? She thought being banished by Starswirl the Bearded to this miserable world was bad enough, now she was penniless, homeless, and starving. Having sold the majority of her belongings, Aria now had little to her name but the clothes on her back, and they were doing a poor job keeping the winter at bay.

Thus, she continued to walk the streets of the city until she saw someone familiar hurry along in the same direction. Aria squinted and saw that the young woman had a brilliant mane of pink hair and yellow skin. It couldn’t be one of those Rainboom brats, she thought. Her teeth clenched at the possibility one of the perpetrators of her downfall could be right in front of her.

Aria Blaze held a lot of anger in her heart, this she knew. She needed a way to let that anger out. The animal-lover would be the perfect receptacle of her rage. It was not rational in the least, but venting her pent up aggression would do her some good.

She kept to the shadows as she followed canary-girl, not wanting a confrontation in the open streets where the likelihood of outside interference was high. No, Aria would wait until the right opportunity to scare the living daylights out of her now-nemesis.

Clutching a bright yellow duffle bag covered in a myriad of butterflies, the pink-haired girl quickly looked behind her. Aria dove behind some cover, hoping the darkness would conceal her. Her target’s eyes darted back and forth until she resumed her trek through the snow-clad city streets. With a deep breath, Aria continued to stalk her prey.

What felt like fifteen minutes of walking finally ended after canary-girl walked into a small building tucked away amongst the skyscrapers. Aria looked up to see a rather dilapidated sign reading “Haven Gymnasium” fade in and out due to shorted out electrical wires. Aria bit her lip as she looked at the entrance. Gyms meant people and Aria did not want to confront her target with a bunch of musclebound jocks around her. Her cheek stung again just by the thought.

That said Aria also wanted to know what the girl was doing at a place like this. She didn’t look like an athlete unlike the rainbow-haired snot who helped destroy the siren’s powers. Instead of rushing in, she opened the door slowly. All that lay before her was a stone staircase and a rusty guardrail leading to the underground. Was this some kind of underground fighting ring under the pretense of a gym? Aria had to admit, she was impressed if that was what canary-girl was going for. Didn’t think she had it in her.

Aria walked down the steps until the saw a pair of doors leading into the “gym” proper. A steel mesh protected the windows as well as blocking the view. With a tentative hand, Aria was ready to push the doors open when she stopped. Was it really worth all this time and effort just to get into the face of a girl who was scared of a spotlight shining on her? Aria had bigger things to deal with, like finding a place to sleep and getting some food to eat.

Yet another voice told her she needed to get into that girl’s face, to yell and scream and do whatever, to get the anger out of her system. She liked that idea more; it was easier and more immediate to accomplish.

With a confidence fueled by rage, Aria pushed the door open to see exactly what Haven Gym was all about. Much to her displeasure, it wasn’t exactly like how she imagined it. It was a gym, but an older one with old equipment and a few mats lying about. It wasn’t a fight pit either, despite having a large boxing ring as the centerpiece.

For the inhabitants of the gym, Aria could only see three people. Obviously canary-girl was there, all dressed up in a white t-shirt and track pants, running on a treadmill and working up a sweat. Ok, she’s just doing a bit of cardio, Aria examined, I’m sure she could do that at Canterlot High. Why come to this dump?

Nearby was a massive young man with white skin and blonde hair, but he also appeared to be a walking brick house. Muscles bounded on muscles as he worked the bench press. His red eyes appeared to bulge as he lifted what Aria counted as four hundred pounds of weight on the bar. He worked the weights in reps of ten, taking only a few seconds for a break between them before going at the bar again.

Near the bulky student was a woman acting as a spotter for him. Much older than canary-girl, to which Aria guessed she had to be late thirties to early forties, she guessed that the woman was some kind of trainer for Haven Gym. A tall athletic woman with incredibly pale skin yet brilliant red hair, she kept the bar from falling onto the buff guy’s chest.

Aria walked around the gym for a moment while everyone was busy training. Several posters lined a bulletin board. Most of them advertised athletic pursuits like group therapy to weight loss programs, but others hawked local events of the professional wrestling variety. One poster caught Aria’s eye.

Special Event for all the brave and the bold, Aria read, come down to the Rodeo House Event Center this Wednesday for a chance to win one thousand dollars. All you have to do is survive five minutes with Amazon Wrestling Championship pro Konstance Paine. Sufficiently impressive performances may even be considered for joining the AWC.

A thousand dollars, Aria though with a hand to her chin. I could really use that kind of money. Five minutes with a meathead chick? That shouldn’t be too difficult.

“That’s enough for now, Bulk,” the trainer said, effortlessly putting the bar back on the rest. “Get cleaned up so you don’t miss the bus. You have violin practice tonight, right?”

Bulk nodded. “Yeah!”

The trainer tilted her head towards the room marked “Men’s Locker Room”. “Same with you, Fluttershy,” she said, “Your mom will be here in a few minutes.”

“Alright Miss… whew… Miss Del Diavolo.” Fluttershy pressed a button on the treadmill to make it stop. She took a moment to catch her breath, her chest heaving in a rapid lungful of air. Once she picked up her water bottle and took a drink, Fluttershy turned to go to the women’s locker room when she looked across the floor to the gym.

Right in the direction of Aria. The two locked eyes for a moment and both appeared just as surprised as the other. Fluttershy instinctively took a frightened step backwards, alerting Miss Del Diavolo of a new presence. The trainer turned her icy blue eyes to Aria, and true to the description she froze under such a gaze.

“Is there something I can help you with, miss?” Miss Del Diavolo walked towards Aria and the closer she got, the more Aria could see just how toned and defined the gym’s sole employee muscles were. Aria thought she took care of herself, but even she had to admit she was envious of Del Diavolo’s physique. The older woman crossed her arms as Fluttershy approached carefully behind her.

Aria stammered as she looked at Del Diavolo. She wanted a piece of Fluttershy, not a tussle against a jock. “Uh…” Aria tried to find the words. “I was uh… I… I saw my friend Fluttershy come in and was just curious what she was doing.”

Del Diavolo raised a single brow. She turned her eyes to Fluttershy who looked on with confusion.

“W-well she’s…” Fluttershy was about to say something when her trainer interrupted her.

“Why do you smell like mildew and disappointment?”

Aria boggled for a moment. She didn’t know disappointment could have a smell. The mildew though she could attribute to sleeping in the same wet clothes for months. She felt both shame for her lacklustre appearance and anger at Del Diavolo for pointing it out.

“I just got in from the cold,” Aria said, “I fell into some snow. The smell probably comes from that.”

Fluttershy observed quietly from behind her trainer as she continued. “Well, this is Haven Gym, I’m the owner, Roza Del Diavolo. It’s a place for people to work out in relative peace and quiet, so I don’t typically have too many people here. I like to keep it that way. I’m closing up shop once Fluttershy and Bulk are done, but if you’re interested in joining up, I’ll be happy to talk to you tomorrow.”

I can barely afford a sandwich, I don’t need a personal trainer. Before she could retort, Roza pointed towards the showers over her shoulder. “Why don’t you get cleaned up before heading out? I have some gear you can have to replace those soiled clothes and--”

“I don’t need charity!” Aria shouted at Roza, which only furrowed the older woman’s brow. She quickly took a step back and a deep breath.

“I…” Aria never realized how hard it was to say one particular word. She had to admit, she could use the shower. “I’m… sorry. It has been a very long day. I could really use a shower, if you don’t mind.”

Roza nodded and stepped aside, allowing Fluttershy and Aria to head to the locker rooms. Fluttershy hurried ahead of her, which only pleased Aria further. She might not be able to ream Fluttershy verbally, but the fact that she could intimidate her made Aria quite happy indeed.

Granted, it seemed everything frightened Fluttershy. Take your small victories when you can, Aria.

Aria quickly showered and felt rejuvenated for the first time since the last negative energy drain. When she emerged with a towel wrapped around her, her eyes turned down at the memory of such. She missed her power. She missed her voice. She missed her purpose. She even missed Adagio and Sonata.


Fluttershy stood in front of a mirror brushing her hair having finished her shower first. Remembering everything she lost and one of the sources of her loss right in front of her acting like nothing happened? How Aria hated Fluttershy and all her stupid little friends.

“Um…” Fluttershy spoke up for the first time since the two were alone. “A-Aria…”

“What do you want?!” Aria snapped, causing Fluttershy to squeak in fright. Aria focused on putting on the new clothes Roza left for her consisting of purple sweat pants and a white shirt with “Haven Gym” printed on it. Roza even left a pair of clean socks. The cotton felt incredible on her feet, though she regretted that such clean socks would soon be soiled in her dirty runners.

Fluttershy mustered some amount of courage to speak again. “You… um… you don’t look like you are doing so well. Do you need any help with anything?”

“I’m fine,” Aria snarled, “Just perfect. You know, after losing my ability to sing, being destitute on the streets, my only allies walking out on me, oh, and it’s all thanks to you and your stupid friends. Yeah, I’m doing great. How does it feel knowing that you ruined three lives? I bet it feels awful, huh? All that talk of friendship garbage, and now look at me? I bet you’re really proud.”

Aria smirked. Maybe it wasn’t the exact tirade she had planned, but she felt much better. Soon Fluttershy would cry and run out of the locker room crying. Oh yes, she would savour any victory no matter how small.

Yet despite her verbal barrage, Fluttershy did not flinch. She took a deep breath. “I’m sorry about what happened to you and your friends, but I’m not sorry about stopping you and your plan to steal magic. Conquering the world is mean and nasty and… and not very nice! I hope that you can get your life back together again, and I’m sure if you need it, my friends and I will be more than willing to help. Well, Rainbow and Applejack might need some convincing, and Rarity has a very busy schedule for the next couple of weeks. Sunset Shimmer should be able to help too, I should ask.”

Aria stared blankly at Fluttershy. She didn’t think she had it in her.

“If you’ll excuse me,” Fluttershy said, packing up the last of her belongings before walking out. Aria gritted her teeth as she realized Fluttershy stole even the smallest of victories from her yet again. She hated losing, and the thought that such a meek little girl could tear her down embarrassed and enraged her.

Unable to do anything, Aria sat down on one of the benches in the locker room. She did not want to go back to the streets. What choice did she have though?

“I’m better than this,” Aria muttered, “I’m Aria Blaze. That has to mean something to somebody.”

Slowly as if to draw out time, Aria stood up and collected what few belongings she had to her name. As she approached the door she heard Fluttershy and Roza conversing. She pressed herself against the door to eavesdrop.

“Everything should be ready, Miss Del Diavolo,” Fluttershy said, “Aria has already left. You can close up whenever you like.”

“Alright then, Fluttershy,” Roza replied, “Your mom is waiting for you. Had a good talk with her. I’ll be leaving the furnace on overnight, keep things warm. The last thing I want to do in the morning is use freezing cold equipment.”

“What about your alarm system?”

“Still on the fritz. I should get that looked at one day, but it’s a pretty safe town. Anyways, have a good night.”

Aria could not believe what that Fluttershy twerp just did to her. She and Roza just left Aria alone inside a gym with nothing but—

She paused for a moment and then opened the door to look at the darkened gym. Only the secondary lights were on, giving only the bare minimum of light. Aria rubbed her bare arms as she felt the warmth from actually being inside a building, a proper building with a furnace and everything. The silence of the empty gym comforted her in its own way. It certainly beat listening to cars on the streets.

Aria walked around for a little bit when she spotted what must have been Roza’s desk. Nothing interest lay upon it as it seemed little more than a surface for her to put training regimens on. What did interest Aria was an apple and orange left alone along with a bottle of water. She devoured the food and savoured every bite. To eat something that wasn’t in a wrapper or worse, half-eaten and in a garbage can gave Aria a delight she never thought she would taste again. The water felt heavenly as it flowed down her throat.

She discarded her waste and resumed her short exploration, now focusing on the ring in the middle of the gym. A simple yet functioning centerpiece, Aria wondered why Roza needed something like this in her gym. Maybe she also trained boxers? Aria slid her hand across the canvas. It felt rough against her hands, but then maybe it was simply callouses caused by homeless living.

A set of steel steps took up two corners on the outside, and out of mild curiosity Aria decided to walk them. She wanted to know what it would be like to step between the ropes and stand in the middle of the ring, if she was really serious about trying for that thousand dollars tomorrow.

Standing on the apron, Aria held on to the top rope and looked over the edge. The actual inside of the squared circle seemed much larger from here than it did when she stared at it from the inside. Slowly, Aria stepped under the second rope and into the ring proper. She walked around a bit, feeling the way her feet seemed to bounce off the canvas. She jumped on the mat and rather enjoyed the sound of the entire ring echoing from her bouncing feet.

Aria sighed as she leaned against the top rope. A thousand dollars was a lot of money. She would be able to get out of this wretched city with that kind of money, go somewhere else, and start over maybe. All she had to do was “survive” five minutes in the ring with someone named Konstance Paine.

“How hard can it be,” Aria muttered as she exited the ring. She needed to find a decent place to sleep for the night and the bench press did not look particularly comfortable. Aria looked back to the ring and flipped over the apron. She saw that there was plenty of room underneath; she could use a mat for bedding and her hoodie for a blanket. All that lay under the ring was a ladder, a table, and a few folding chairs. Good enough place to store stuff in.

Once she was under the ring and the apron back down, Aria could not help herself from falling asleep quickly. She clutched her hoodie close to her. Soon enough Aria would be out of this town. She just needed to last five minutes.

***

Aria awoke to the sounds of shoes walking about the gym. She peeked out from under the apron to see Roza unlocking the door of her office. With not a lot of time before Roza came out to open her gym proper, Aria slipped on her hoodie and quietly made her way towards the exit.

The door opened to reveal the bright morning sun and a clear blue sky. A cold wind still blew in from the north, causing Aria to bundle up. She walked down the street towards the Rodeo House Event Center, her mind racing at the thought that she would be competing in the evening. All she needed to do was survive for five minutes. No big deal.

“I’m Aria Blaze,” she said to herself as she walked past the crowds of people in the downtown core. “I can do anything. I’m tough. I am a mean, bad girl who doesn’t take anything lying down. I’m going to win. I’m getting the money. I’m getting out of this city. I can do this. I’m Aria Blaze.”

Aria stepped inside the building and looked around for where to register. What she found quite a large lineup of prospective competitors for the cash prize. Aria took her place in the line-up and spent the next few hours waiting in line. She spent the time daydreaming about what she would do with the money all over again. New shoes… new shoes were definitely on the agenda.

When it was her turn to register, Aria looked over the contract quickly before signing it. It required all the of the most basic information such as her name and age. Some of the blanks needed a bit of embellishment of course. Sirens from Equestria born centuries ago did not fit into a registration form easily.

“Do you have a ring name?” the registrar said in a rather uninterested tone. Aria blanked for a moment. A ring name?

“You mean like a stage name?” Aria asked. She didn’t think she needed a different identity to compete in the ring, but supposed that was just as much a part of the game as anything. She racked her mind for a good name when the registrar spoke up.

“Same difference,” he replied. He looked at the registration form closely. “Aria Blaze, huh? That sounds like a good enough ring name to me. Might as well keep that. Don’t forget to sign the contract and pay the entry fee.”

As Aria signed the contract, her hand froze. “Entry fee?”

“Twenty bucks.” The registrar pointed to a segment of the poster Aria did not read. “We have to pay for the prize money somehow. Tickets cover the cost, entry fees are for profits. Twenty bucks up front, come on.”

Aria paled. She did not have a red cent to her name nor could not just hand the clothes off her back. All she had left were her silver star hair pins, her most prized possessions. The last remnants of Sonata and Adagio. Gifts from a long time ago. Gifts that reminded her of better days with the closest thing she had to family.

She hesitated as she thought about how much the hairpins meant to her. Memories of Adagio and Sonata rushed to the fore, memories of all the good times they had together. Those memories quickly darkened as she remembered how Adagio took Sonata and abandoned her. Anger boiled inside her at the memory of their supposed “leader”. The pins would pay the price.

The fee needed payment though, and the thousand dollars would help in the end. If she won, she could buy them back. She unclipped the silver stars and handed them to the registrar. Her purple hair fell across her back as waited she for the registrar to accept them.

“What am I supposed to do with these?” he asked.

Aria sighed. “They are made of real silver. They should be able to cover the entry fee.”

The registrar simply raised an eyebrow and shrugged, putting the hairpins into a box with the rest of the money. “If you say so, kid. The order of competitors is determined randomly. You’ll be getting your number in the next hour.”

Aria nodded and headed to a back room where other challengers stood waiting. She took a place in the corner of the waiting room, crossed her arms, and simply waited for the competition to start. While she waited, a worker for the AWC approached her with a small booklet. Aria rolled her eyes but accepted the booklet, finding it a to be a set of rules and guidelines for the upcoming match.

By signing the contract, you agree that any harm to your physical being is not the fault of Amazon Wrestling Championship Inc. You also agree that your likeness and any audio or video recording may be used without compensation. The most important rule observed in AWC is the safety of all competitors. Our referees will ensure your safety.

Tonight’s open challenge is a singles match. The objective is to remain in the ring without getting pinned or submitted by your opponent within a five minute timer. You may also attempt to pin or submit your opponent to win. To pin, you must hold your opponents shoulders down for the referee’s three count. To force your opponent to submit, you must apply a legal submission maneuver of which the opponent will then submit by slamming their hand on the mat in rapid succession. All competitors must stay in the ring. Exiting the ring by any means will lead to a disqualification, which will cause the competitor to lose the match and therefore the prize money.

The following cannot be performed in the match. The official will give a warning, but repeated use will lead to a disqualification: gouge to the eyes, blows to the genitals, and the use of foreign objects. A pinfall or submission attempt cannot be made if the opponent is touching the bottom rope. Any holds or pinfalls must be released by the count of five. Failure to heed these regulations will be met with a disqualification.

Well, she did not make it this far and sell off her hairpins to get disqualified. She spent the next couple of hours poring through all the rules and regulations the ACW wanted her to abide by. As she read, some of the other competitors tried to talk to her. Some asked her out, some said good luck, while others boasted that she did not stand a chance against them or Konstance Paine. Aria ignored most of them, but the more obnoxious competitors got her iciest of stares.

She was not here to make friends. She was here to win the prize and she would have it.

“I thought the ACW was a women only wrestling promotion,” Aria overheard, “Awful lot of guys here.”

“Well, they did say it was open challenge. The actual league is exclusive to women. This is just a publicity stunt to attract attention. They do these once every four months as part of some scouting tradition. I heard the current world champ got her start here.”

Aria did not pay too much attention to the conversation, but could not help but have some mild interest. She was going to be in front of a crowd for the first time since the Dazzling’s disastrous defeat. She might as well know a little bit about the company that was going to pay her the big bucks.

When she finished reading the booklet, Aria looked up to see some of the ring crew passing around numbers. She took her number tag and noted it said “Three.” The clock on the wall said four o’clock. An hour until showtime.


“Competitors, please remember the regulations of the ACW as indicated by your booklet,” the ring crewman said, “Everyone please file into the arena in the order you have been given.”

Aria stood behind two large men and suddenly realized just how out of place she was in this competition. Everyone appeared as proper athletes ready to enter a contest of the utmost physicality. Compared to Aria, they were true warriors heading into the field of battle. She was a bum off the streets hoping to strike gold within a field of broken bones.

Loud heavy rock music spilled from past the curtain and once Aria was through, she saw exactly what she signed up for. While the arena was not large, it still held at least a couple thousand cheering fans, eager and ready for the mayhem to begin. Her heart skipped a beat at the sight of so many spectators. Never before did she perform in front of such a capacity crowd. Canterlot High only boasted a few hundred.

Her elation at being back on stage deflated when she saw exactly was the stage was. While it was a wrestling ring like the one in Haven Gym, this one was also surrounded by a steel chain link cage that stretched all the way to the ceiling. Only a single solitary door allowed anyone in or out of the cage.

Aria swallowed hard. What did she get herself into now?

“Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the ACW quarterly open challenge!” A loud man with a microphone and a garish suit shouted to the arena. “Tonight, you will see the brave and the bold take on former National Champion Konstance Paine for the prize of one thousand dollars. All they have to do is survive for five whole minutes. Competitors… I don’t like your chances. Let’s introduce your collective opponent… at a height of six feet and eight inches, Konstance Paine!”

Aria gasped loudly as the ACW pro Konstance Paine stepped from behind the curtain and slowly walked towards the ring. A theme song played on the arena’s PA system, a rock song that instilled dread as Konstance made her way through the competitors. Red light only made the entire arena look like Hell itself, with the spectators being demons cheering on the devil himself.

She never met a woman of such stature as Konstance, and she could feel her heart beat rapidly out of pure terror. Wearing attire of black and red and razor wire as a decal, Konstance’s brunette hair cascaded down her most distinguishing feature; a cracked mask in the shape of a doll’s face with pitch black eyes. A single glove covered her right hand while athletics tape covered her left.

Konstance walked up the steel steps and into the ring by stepping over the top rope. Her muscles shone in the lights of the arena as she stepped in the center of the ring. She brought both of her hands up above her head before slamming them down to her sides. This motion seemingly caused fire to burst from pipes from the corner. An impressive pyrotechnics display that did their job well. Aria’s terror only grew.

I can do this, she told herself. I’m Aria Blaze. I can last for five minutes.

Aria watched as the first competitor entered the ring. The noise of the arena faded out around her as she focused on the upcoming match. A man wearing a black muscle shirt and matching track pants walked into the ring. Once inside, the ring crew closed the steel cage door and the ring bell run.

At the bell’s third strike, Konstance Paine moved faster than Aria expected from a woman so tall. Konstance charged the first competitor with her arm outstretched, slamming her considerable bicep into the man’s face. He fell over out cold, leaving Konstance to fall onto him with one arm pressed against his chest while the other mashed against his face. The official slid down to the mat and slammed his hand three times. In less than a minute, the first match was over.

One more and Aria’s turn was next.

The second competitor, another young man who looked more like a wrestler stepped into the ring. He tore off his shirt and tossed it aside. Wearing bright blue wrestling tights, he looked more prepared than the last athlete to challenge Konstance Paine, though to Aria, not by much.

The bell sounded and with the match underway, the second competitor moved to attack early. He started with some kicks to Konstance’s legs but that was as far as he got. Konstance replied with a backhand across his face, sending him staggering backwards and dazed. She then picked him up and hoisted him over her head, showing off her incredible strength. The second competitor kicked and screamed, but this only urged Konstance on.

With a shout from behind her mask, Konstance threw the man into the steel cage. He bounced off the cage wall and back onto the mat, allowing Konstance to go for the pin. The referee’s hand came down three times and called for the bell. The second match was over in a little over a minute.

Now it was Aria’s turn.

“And now introducing our next challenger! Please put your hands together… in prayer… for this brave young woman, Aria Blaze!”

The raucous chorus of boos and jeers resounded throughout the small makeshift arena. Aria swallowed the lump of nervousness that formed in her throat as she slowly entered the caged ring. She stopped in front of the ropes, finally getting a good look at Paine. She never met a woman as tall and imposing as her before and now Aria expected to be locked inside a steel cage with her for five minutes.

“Think of the money,” Aria told herself. “Just think about the money. You can do this. Just don’t let that masked mastodon take hold of you for five minutes. I’m Aria Blaze. I can do this.”

Slowly, Aria stepped under the second rope and into the ring. She took off her hoodie, tossed it to one of the ring crew, and then tied her hair back with an elastic band. With the two combatants ready, the crew closed the steel cage door. Aria felt cold sweat drop down her face and she did not even done anything yet. Konstance Paine continued to stand perfectly still in the meantime, leaving Aria feeling incredibly vulnerable thanks to the blank stare from the doll-face mask.

A chilling flush flowed through Aria’s blood. She swiftly turned to the ring announcer. All the talk about being a tough girl was just that; talk. “I don’t think I can do this! Can I go home now, please?”

“Sorry kid, you signed a contract!” The announcer smirked. “Not only that but the crowd craves carnage and we’re the ones that are going to give it to them! Ring the damn bell!”

DING DING DING!

Aria quickly turned to see Konstance charging at her with a head full of steam and a meaty arm outstretched and eager to take her head off. On pure instinct alone Aria ducked her head to avoid getting smashed by the oncoming forearm and quickly scrambled to create some form of distance between her and her opponent.

Konstance turned around, her mask completely shrouding any emotions. Aria only felt even more unnerved by the lack of emotions from Konstance. Only empty black pits stared back at Aria. The giant woman walked across the ring with methodical steps, taking the time to readjust her leather glove. Aria’s mind raced as the doll’s mask quickly shifted in front of her eyes into that of a hissing cat, with her playing the role of a frightened mouse.

As she lumbered forward, Konstance swung a backhand at Aria’s face. Again, she narrowly avoided the blow. The back of the giant’s hand smashed against the steel cage, causing the entire structure to rattle and shake. Like the competitor before her, Aria tried to take advantage of her small size and quickness and she delivered a few short kicks to the side of Konstance’s legs.

Yet each kick felt like she was kicking a brick wall. Aria chided herself as she created more distance between her and Konstance. She was not here to win; she was here to last five minutes. The need to anger Konstance by acting like a biting gnat was not there nor should it be. The tenacious Konstance never gave up the chase though.

Konstance clenched her fist and outstretched her arm again. Seeking another clothesline attack, she charged towards Aria and again Aria ducked underneath the arm. This time, Aria ran towards the one of the cage walls and begun to climb, scrambling to secure a hold on the chain links. Screw the money, she thought, I need to get the hell out of here!

Try as she may, escape would prove impossible as Konstance reached up and took firm hold of Aria’s shirt. With a great pull, she wrenched Aria off the steel cage and down towards the mat. Gravity and the hard surface rattled Aria’s very bones as she groaned in agony. Every nerve in her body screamed at the punishment it received. Aria turned her head to see Konstance lumbering towards her unflinching and uncaring. When she felt the padding of the ring’s turnbuckles, Aria knew incredible danger befell her.

Fists clenched, Aria stood ready for the inevitable doom that was Konstance Paine. With her arms outstretched, Konstance lunged for Aria in a grappling attempt. Aria back peddled into the turnbuckle and scrambled to the top rope. Konstance fell forward from her failed attack allowing Aria breathing room.

In the few seconds that Aria had, she saw an actual opening to attack Konstance. She stood up on the top of the turnbuckle and took a deep breath. This was her moment to shine. Adagio did tell her that the best defense was a good offense. All she needed to do was to keep Konstance dazed.

Aria lifted her fists above her head. With all her might, Aria jumped, bringing her fists down onto Konstance’s skull.

Only for Konstance to use that beguiling swiftness Aria saw earlier. Konstance thrust her gloved hand upward and caught Aria by the throat. Aria’s momentum died immediately and all she could do was squirm. She punched and kicked at the massive woman to no effect, as Konstance held and maintained a sizeable reach advantage. Aria choked, the grip on her neck cutting off her lungs from precious oxygen.

Konstance then hoisted Aria into the air, the sudden strength catching Aria completely off guard. Aria swivelled her head around, trying to find some way out of her predicament. Suspended seven feet off the mat, Aria looked around to the crowd. They looked even more demonic than when she first entered the ring.

They all clamoured for her downfall. They wanted her to crash and burn. They were just like the audience of Canterlot High.

The worst part? Aria could not do anything to stop Konstance Paine.

Konstance slammed Aria down back first to the mat. The shockwave reverberated throughout her body and Aria’s eyes dazed over. Everything became a blur and she could not even keep her eyes open. She felt Konstance cover her for the pin, but Aria did not respond to that. She faded from consciousness with only one thought on her mind.

I failed…

“ONE!”

I failed…

“TWO!”

I failed…

“THREE!”

DING DING DING!

Author's Note:

All wrestler statistics for matches and unique information not fit for a story format will be posted in the Author's Notes.

Aria Blaze
Theme: None
Professional Record: 0-1
Signature Moves: Top Rope Axehandle
Finisher: None

Konstance Paine
Theme: Slow Chemical by Finger Eleven
Signature Moves: Powerslam, Iron Claw
Finisher: Chokeslam

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