• 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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She Looks Good

Summer fast approached with warmer temperatures and clear blue skies greeting Aria's every day. Only less than two months of regular classes remained, followed by final diploma exams. Aria had to admit she never thought she would make it this far, let alone care for her academics. However, she did make it this far, and she felt determined to not only see it through to the end, but to succeed with a gold standard.

On this Saturday morning, Aria poured over a history textbook when Roza entered her peripheral vision. "Hey there kiddo," she said with that lopsided smile. "What kind of busy are you today?"

Aria looked to Roza, to her book, and then promptly closed it. It wasn’t really that interesting to begin with. "Got a clear schedule for today," Aria replied, "what did you have in mind? More training?"

Roza shook her head. "Not quite. Was thinking that if this whole wrestling thing is gonna work, we need to get you some appropriate attire. Just one issue."

Aria raised her brow. "What issue?"

Roza sat next to Aria. "Thing is, the chick I worked with to get all my gear done up nice has long since retired and moved out of the country. That leaves me in a bit of a bind. We could hire someone else, but no one like her lives in the city, and it would take too long to get the stuff here. We need local."

Aria immediately had someone in mind, though the thought of her making wrestling clothes amused Aria to no end. "There is someone I go to school with... A friend. She's a great seamstress who should be able to help."

Roza turned her head and looked at Aria incredulously. "She work on gear before?" Aria only shook her head in response.

Taking a deep breath, Roza could not help but chuckle. "What are the chances? A rookie helping a rookie. Alright, wait for me outside."

"Where are we going?" Aria said as she got to her feet.

"Going to see your friend," Roza answered, "like I said, need to get this done sooner rather than later. Call her up, tell her we're coming, or else you’re running the bridge again. Either way, something wrestling related will be done today."

Aria could not really argue with Roza's logic. That and she really did not want to run the full length of the High Level Bridge another twenty times both ways. Nodding in acknowledgment, Aria went to grab her cell phone and text Rarity.

hey do u mind if i come over? need fashion help

Knowing that a gossip like Rarity would not be far from her main source of information, it did not surprise Aria when her phone chimed that it received a reply.

Of course, darling! Come over whenever you can!

Rarity then sent her address of which Aria scribbled onto a notepad for Roza. Slipping on some jeans, a tshirt, and her boots, she gave the note to Roza, who merely replied with a thumb to the outside.

Aria and Roza left Haven Gym and proceeded to head to Roza's car. Once she took shotgun, Aria waited for Roza who jumped into the driver’s seat and started the engine.

The drive was short, taking only fifteen minutes from downtown to the suburbs where Rarity lived. Aria marvelled at the house in all its splendour. The place was massive and she could not help but think her eyes turned green with envy if for a moment.

Roza shut off the car and whistled. "Friend has nice digs," she said. Aria silently agreed.

Aria led the way up the steps and rang the doorbell. Loud chimes emanated from the house, with a mouth louder voice calling out "I got it! I got it!"

The large double doors swung open revealing Rarity's younger sister Sweetie Belle. The excitement in her eyes immediately died when she saw it was Aria and an older woman at the door.

"Oh, it's you," Sweetie Belle said coolly, "the girl who faked it at the battle of the bands."

Aria tried to smile in an effort to be polite, but it felt like she was baring her teeth. Roza only looked at her with a quizzical brow.

"I'm here to see Rarity," Aria said, "I texted ahead."

"Coming," a voice all but sang. Rarity suddenly appeared, pushing her sister out of the way and welcomed Aria with her biggest smile. "So wonderful to see you, darling! I simply cannot wait to get started!"

Rarity then noticed Roza. Her eyes lingered on Roza’s ratty leather jacket. "Oh my, I thought you would be by yourself. Is this... Your mother?"

Aria half expected that to be an insult, but Roza only gave her vintage smirk. "Nah, I'm her boss and wrestling coach. We came by to get her some proper attire but all my usual contacts are out of the game. Aria said you were pretty good, so I was hoping you could help her out."

Rarity's smile faltered for a moment as she registered the request made to her. "I'm not really one for designing wrestling attire," Rarity admitted, "and I am really ill prepared to start work on such. I don't even have any references."

"Got a computer?" Roza asked. When Rarity nodded, Roza clapped her hands. "Then the Google will be all the reference you need."

Aria looked at Rarity and shrugged and the latter simply replied in kind. Rarity then welcomed Aria and Roza into her home and led them upstairs.

With the push of a button mounted on the wall, a staircase leading to the attic slowly lowered. Aria saw the excitement return to Rarity's eyes as she bounded up the stairs. The wrestling pair followed only to be met with a surprise.

The entirety of the attic assaulted Aria's eyes with a cavalcade of colour and pristine white walls. Mannequins stood tall wearing various garments of a variety of styles. Large wooden shelves lay stocked with any and all tools and materials needed for fashion. In the centre of the room near a large circular window sat a desk stacked with paper and pencils for the design phase.

"Like a vogue magazine exploded in here," Roza said.

"I will take that as a compliment," Rarity replied, "Can I offer you any refreshments to start?"

Both Aria and Roza shook their heads. Rarity turned on her computer and in a moment's notice opened the browser to the search engine.

"Very well," Rarity said as she turned to Aria. "How shall we begin?"

Roza interjected before Aria could say a thing. "All material will be compensated by me, as well as five hundred dollars commission for each set of attire that Aria and myself approve of. We give you full creative control but final approval belongs to Aria. To begin, we will ask for three outfits. We will need them by early September, so due to the short notice I will include a bonus of two thousand once the job is done. Is this arrangement acceptable?"

Aria's eyes went wide at Roza seemingly throwing money around and for her benefit, but Rarity had her beat in the saucer ocular department.

"That is... That is..." Rarity stammered, losing her composure in the process. Aria would have found it funny if not for the fact she was stunned too. "I mean... I can do it, yes of course."

"Great!" Roza said with a big smile. She offered a hand to Rarity who tepidly shook it. "The deal is done, let's get to work. Get to the ACW website and look to the roster."

Rarity complyed and typed in the website. One click later and she was looking at the roster of over forty professional wrestling women. Aria took a good look at them as well, a slight sense of intimidation creeping along her spine.

That feeling turned to dread when she saw the doll face mask of Konstance Paine. Aria quickly turned away while the other two were distracted.

"Quite the array of styles," Rarity said, actually sounding interested. "I suppose it helps with the presentation. Some look like they prefer form over function, others carry a look of flash and mystery. Is... Is that a dominatrix?"

"Never mind her, she's a jobber and I don't train any jobbers." Roza pointed at one of the wrestlers named "Octane." "Like her for example. Lots of talent but far too nice. I've seen her get mean once and it was scary. She doesn’t get mean often though and it costs her some pretty good matches. Shame to see such talent go to waste."

Aria turned to look at the picture of Octane and saw a yellow skinned woman with platinum blond hair. She smiled her photo so wide that Aria could imagine her and Pinkie Pie having a smile-off. The fact that they both had striking blue eyes only helped the comparison.

Aria the focused on the attire Octane wore. It was mostly a black top that looked more like a sports bra followed by booty shorts and black boots. Her name was embroidered on the chest in red sequence, while she wore armbands with red tassels. Her knees and elbows were also covered with pads, each with a burning "O" in the centre.

"Elbow and knee pads are a must in my opinion," Roza said, "want to protect your joints at all costs."

Rarity put on her red glasses and began to take down notes. "What about the basic form? Those shorts are a bit risqué for my liking, but I think they could help mobility."

Aria only silently nodded. Rarity moved on to another wrestler, this time looking at someone named "Kass." Aria noticed right away two defining characteristics about this one. First, her portrait told that she held the ACW World Championship.

The other was that she was seven feet and an inch tall.

"Current top dog of the ACW," Roza added, "and unlike some giants, she is very much in her prime and can snap her legs like a whip. Get hit by her Decap Attack and you will learn why that move got its name. And that isn’t even the most deadly technique in her arsenal.”

Aria noticed that Kass wore long camouflage sleeves on her arms as well as a single strap on her white top. Her skin shone like gold while her hair was more a dirty blonde. She also word long white tights with large red biohazard symbols on the front. Black pads across her shins and boots completed the ensemble.

"You'll be facing someone... Like that?" Rarity gave voice to Aria's concerns, but Roza waved them off.

"When she makes it that far, she'll be able to take Kass." Roza looked to Rarity and asked, "You’ve seen two sides of the spectrum, but I'll leave the rest of the research to you."

"Of course," Rarity replied, "I'll try to get some designs to Aria by Tuesday at the latest. I would like to take some measurements today though."

"Will leave you to it then," Roza said as she walked towards the staircase. "Need to get some air anyways. Too much lace, not enough leather."

With Roza gone, Rarity raised the staircase ensuring some measure of privacy. In an instant, she began to giggle with glee, though Aria simply continued to stare at the rather unladylike display.

"You seem awfully happy," Aria said, and Rarity replied with a happy sigh.

"Oh but I am darling! I have never had a commission like this before! Sure, it is a bit unorthodox, but now I see it as a challenge, one that says if I can overcome this, nothing is too difficult for me! It's just one step closer to being a fashion icon extraordinaire."

“And it has nothing to do with the money?” Aria said with wry smile.

Rarity matched it with one of her own. “The money is a definite plus.”

Aria could not help but smile. For some reason it felt good to see Rarity to get closer to accomplishing her dreams that Aria chided herself for not having any of her own. When she was a siren in both Equestria and this world, her only concern was where the next meal ticket would be. Then Adagio put it in her and Sonata's head that they could conquer the world. It seemed possible with Adagio's leadership, but now, so long after their defeat, how possible was it really.

Thinking about Adagio only soured Aria's good mood, so instead she focused on Rarity. However, her distracted mind only heard one word.

"Strip."

Aria's eyes widened. "Excuse me?"

"I said you can go ahead and strip so I can take exact measurements," Rarity said. She gave Aria a coy look. "What did you think I meant?"

"N-nothing just..."

Rarity tittered. "Is big, tough, professional wrestler Aria Blaze a little shy? Really it's nothing I haven't seen before, and you can keep your undergarments on."

With her cheeks on fire, Aria kept an eye on Rarity as she pulled her shirt from over her head. She quickly scrambled out of her jeans when she heard an audible gasp from Rarity. She quickly covered up with her discarded clothes and glared daggers at Rarity.

"Getting weird here!" She barked. Rarity took a deep breath and motioned Aria to calm down.

"Please, darling, I meant no disrespect," Rarity said, "it's just, while at first I thought you were evil monsters, I thought you were at least very attractive, if not pretty in your own way. Now seeing what all that training has done... Well... How to put it succinctly..."

Rarity rubbed the bridge of her nose. "I suppose if Rainbow she would say 'Damn.' I mean, Aria, have you looked in the mirror lately?"

To prove her point, Rarity pushed a full-length mirror in front of Aria. Taking a moment to look at her own body, Aria realized exactly what Rarity was talking about. She had not look at herself in a mirror, but now she saw the fruits of her labours. Her body was lean and toned with only the barest hint of body fat. Her abdominal muscles showed clear definition that they would give her the proverbial six-pack. And her legs!

"I guess..." Aria took a deep breath. "’Damn’ is right."

"I thought you'd see the difference." Rarity looked at Aria with concern. "Why haven't you looked in a mirror?"

Aria turned away from Rarity, her darkened mood returned. She covered herself with her arms, a new shame now risen. "Maybe I was afraid of what I'd see."

A warm hand held Aria's, and only for a brief moment she wanted to pull away. However, the look in Rarity's eyes told Aria that her new friend only had her best interests at heart.

"I see a stunning woman who received a second lease on life and is taking full advantage of it," Rarity said with a smile. "You'll do wonderfully in whatever you set your mind to, and the other girls as well as I will cheer you on from the stands.

Despite being in her underwear, Aria acted first and pulled Rarity in for a hug. This friendship thing wasn't so bad, Aria decided. She never felt so accepted before in her life. With Sonata, Sunset, and the others, Aria actually felt happy. While Adagio may have rejected her, Aria was now convinced more than ever to rekindle the bond they had, no matter the cost. She wanted to share this feeling of proper friendship.

Rarity proceeded to take Aria's measurements, and soon compiled a list of design choices for the appropriate attire. Aria put her clothes back on and went back to the computer. While Rarity reviewed her notes, Aria finally took the moment to look at her competition. Some looked like characters from a comic book, while others looked like they ate bowls filled with nails for breakfast, without any milk. It was only now that it dawned on Aria that she was woefully unprepared to face such women in the wrestling ring.

They all looked strong and confident, having trained to be in this business, while Aria acted the part of the outsider, stepping into the squared circle with little more than a few months of training. Sure Roza put her through the ringer and said that this method of training would bring Aria up to speed very quickly, but she still felt like she walked the road to the lion’s den with a dozen steaks strapped to her body.

A few clicks did not help her confidence. She saw a punk with a bright blue mohawk named Anarkee. A stout yet powerful looking woman named Siege. Apex, who appeared to enjoy breaking limbs for a hobby. Hardened veterans of the wrestling business, all of them, and Aria meant to jump into the thick of it only because Roza said she could hang.

Another click and Aria’s blood ran cold within her veins. On Rarity’s computer screen stood an image of Konstance Paine, her black, soulless eyes from her doll’s mask staring back at her. Aria wanted to close the window, to look away, to do something, but the image of Konstance and her eyes bored their way into Aria’s psyche.

Flashes of the night she first encountered the monster sent pangs down her back. Aria felt everything from that night as if she relived it there and then, despite the safety of Rarity’s home. The roar of the speakers as Konstance’s music hit. The heat from the flames as her pyro erupted from the pipes on the turnbuckles. The tight hold of her gloved hand around Aria’s throat. The pain Aria felt as she was chokeslammed all the way to hell.

The image of Konstance began to move and she raised her gloved hand above her head, just like the night Aria crossed her path. She appeared to come closer to the screen and for a moment, Aria thought she would reach out and grab her by the throat once again and drag her into Rarity’s computer.

“Aria?” Rarity’s voice broke Aria’s concentration on the computer screen, making Aria blink rapidly. She looked back on the website and saw Konstance back to her usual pose, unmoving but still threatening. Rarity looked over Aria’s shoulder, her nose wrinkled in disgust.

“Is that another one of the… wrestlers?” she asked, “How bizarre. She looks monstrous. Those black locks appear to never seen a decent shampoo and her outfit screams ‘axe murderer.’ In addition, that mask, ugh, hideous! I certainly hope you never have to cross paths with such a beast.”

Rarity noticed the perspiration on Aria’s brow as well as her rapid breathing. “Are you OK, dear? That woman looks frightening but it’s just an image.”

Aria looked at Rarity and then back to the image of Constance. “Just an image, right,” she said, not wanting to let Rarity know that she already crossed paths with the masked monster. “Just an animated image. Right. So, what’s up?”

“Well darling, the Friendship games are starting soon with those rather pompous Crystal Prep students.” Rarity took off her glasses and placed them on a nearby table. “With your new physical training, I bet you’d be a star in the games. Sonata already said she won’t be able to make it due to her work experience course, so I’d thought I’d offer it to you. If not me, then be sure Rainbow Dash would say something in the coming days.”

It did sound interesting, but Aria felt she needed to decline the offer. With a shake of her head she said, “I’d like to help out the school, but I have to do all this studying and training, I don’t think I’d have time to help out. Besides, after I get tossed around the ring a few times, my body feels like it needs an ice bath just to numb the pain.”

Rarity bit her lip at the mention of pain. She put away her pencils and other implements, tucked away her paper, and then took hold of Aria’s hands. The sudden contact surprised her, but the look in Rarity’s eyes gave Aria pause. They held fear. Fear for her.

“Aria, I know I’m a little biased when I say I think this professional wrestling business is completely uncouth and hardly dignified.” Rarity’s hands squeezed Aria’s and her gaze took on a pleading look. “But I must ask if you really thought this through? This business you are training to enter is dangerous. You could get seriously hurt! Crippled even! Are you sure this is what you want?”

That was the million dollar question to Aria, wasn’t it? Was this really what she wanted? It was one thing for her to question the decision to be a wrestler; it was something else entirely to have someone else entirely ask her if this road was in fact the one she wanted to walk. Aria admitted silently that she still held doubts, but this… after everything she’s been through and all that Roza gave her, she felt she needed to at least try to make this work.

Of course, that meant she needed to assuage Rarity’s concerns on the matter.

“I’ll be fine, Rarity,” Aria said, “I got this. I’ll do what I can to protect myself, but I’ll also do what I can to succeed. I am… I was a siren. I belong on a stage. I can’t sing anymore, but I can still perform and if that means stepping between the ropes, then so be it. But it would mean the world to me if my friends were in my corner.”

“We’ll be with you every step of the way,” Rarity confirmed, “Friends are there for friends no matter what the circumstance.”

The two talked for a little more, just about anything and everything that came to mind. Aria enjoyed the conversation when her phone buzzed, signalling that it was time to go. She thanked Rarity for all her help and made her way out of the house and to the car. Once she sat inside and buckled up, Roza pulled out of the driveway and headed back to the city.

They drove in silence for a little bit when Aria finally spoke up. “You… you really are going to pay that much money to Rarity? For me?”

Roza did not turn to look at her. “I am,” she said as she made a left turn “I’m hoping maybe one day you’ll remember the woman who took a chance on you. But seriously, I want you to succeed. You are going to go far, so it is about time I teach you the last tools of the trade: how to throw someone else around. When we get back to the gym, I’ll show some of the best moves in the business. We’ll get you ready in time for some independent leagues in the summer, get you experience. However, I will need to put you under a special test, a final exam match as it were against an opponent of my choosing. I need to be absolutely sure you are ready.”

Aria nodded to her trainer and then turned to face the city as it blurred by the car. Things were coming to a head. The question was if Aria was ready? She did little else besides train and study. She hardly had time to see the new friends her helped her on her road. Now Roza was talking about independent leagues and an actual match to test her abilities.

What if she failed? What if she really was the chaff in the wheat? What hope was there for her then? Roza would not let some vagabond like her stay at the gym forever. She needed to succeed for her own sake.

Taking a deep breath, Aria looked up to see the car approach Haven Gym. Time to get to work.

Author's Note:

So then, I hope you liked this chapter. The next chapter will have an actual wrestling match, so I'd like to hear what you think Aria's entrance theme should be and her finishing move. I'll give anything and everything consideration, though I do have ideas myself. Let's have some fun with this. Please share in the comments.

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