Get up! Get up!
Nona the Rocket’s head was spinning from Tulma the Star’s overhead slam. Nona’s black shorts and sports bra were soaked in sweat. Her feet felt itchy and uncomfortable in her laced up boots.
Outside the chain-link cage, the massive Cloudplex crowd of seventy-five thousand was going wild; everyone, except for her parents.
Nona’s father and trainer, Knunc the Trunk, stood at ringside yelling, “Shrug it off and counter!”
Her mother, Borga the Rocket, a celebrated cage brawling powerhouse and current Ryland Aerospace CEO, stood next to her husband, glaring at Nona. If Nona lost the match, she would not become a professional cage brawler and would have to wait another year for the next Cage Brawl Association’s professional tryouts. Borga wouldn’t disown the sixteen-year-old troll if she lost, but she would be very disappointed.
Nona had been groomed to be her mother’s successor and wrestled with it every day. While she loved and respected her mother, she also didn’t want to be her mother.
Across the ring from her parents, two ring commentators, a troll and a near incomprehensible ogre, were yelling the play-by-play into headsets. Camera pods floats inside and out of the cage, capturing the action.
Tulma smirked at Nona’s parents as she went for the pin. The tattooed troll was twenty-five years old with an 6-13 record, which is why she was wrestling the tryout matches, the CBA wouldn’t give her any other fights anymore. But as Tulma had stated in an interview, while beating rookies wouldn’t normally help her much, beating this particular rookie would help her gain regular matches again. She had as much to gain as Nona did from winning.
The troll female referee counted: One… Two… Kick out!
The crowd booed as it was a tradition to boo the rookie at the tryout matches until they truly proved their worth.
Tulma huffed and picked Nona up by her long black hair hair. She tucked the teenager’s head under her arm for a DDT. Nona summoned her strength and kneed Tulma in the stomach.
Nona then grabbed Tulma’s arm and tried to whip her towards the ring ropes, Tulma wouldn’t budge.
Crap! I need to stop watching theatrical wrestling the night before a match.
Cage brawling had grown out of theatrical wrestling, still popular among humans. Theatrical wrestling was fake fighting, where everything was choreographed and set up for maximum drama. Most of the flashy moves that characterized it required the defender’s help to pull it off, or sell, the move. For example, a clothesline, or running forearm to chest, required the one taking the move to fall back and flail on the ground, pretending it did major damage.
Then ogres discovered it, and found they could pull off most of the same moves simply via their own strength, though some things, like whipping your opponent around the ring, could never be replicated. They held their first real matches inside crude wooden cages with both sexes competing. The ogres introduced what they called cage brawling to the trolls during the late 9800s. Once this happened, the sport became even more popular, prompting its organization and the flimsy cages were replaced with steel chain.
When Nona realized Tulma wasn’t budging, she kneed her again and grabbed her torso.
Nona looked over at her parents, who nodded.
With every muscle so tense they bulged under her soaked green skin, she lifted Tulma up above her head, dashed three steps and threw her in air across the ring, over the ropes and into the cage wall opposite the ring entrance.
The cage wall snapped and literally fell over, lying flat as it was supported by the heavy, solid barricade. The rest of the cage stayed up due to very smart construction. The four walls were free standing, and latched to each other.
Tulma was writhing, gritting her teeth through the pain, trying to stand.
The ref ran over and seeing the nothing was actually broken and Tulma wanted to continue, signaled the match would continue.
If they were men, the match would have been over, with Nona disqualified and possibly arrested. This was because the male lying on the fallen cage would’ve been dead. Male cage brawling during its early days had an in ring fatality rate of forty percent. Once it became professional, a huge list of banned moves and disqualifications were introduced. Since the fatality rate in original female version was negligible, it had far fewer restrictions on the action, so it was vastly more popular. The CBA loosening the latches during the women’s matches so the cages split open more often, didn’t hurt.
The crowd was deafening. “Nona! Nona!’
I might actually win!
Nona took deep breath, bounced off the ropes and leaped into the air to splash her opponent.
Tulma put her knees up just in time.
Nona had the wind knocked out of her and doubled over onto the chain.
Tulma kicked up and leg dropped her younger opponent. Then she stood up and elbow dropped Nona’s head.
The crowd sounded distant, the overhead lights blurred and pulsed.
One…Two… Tulma pulled away!
Tulma wasn’t just going to beat Nona. She was going to humiliate a legend while doing it.
Borga had an amazing record of thirty-seven wins and eight losses and held the CBA Female Troll Championship title for eight of her fourteen years as a cage brawler. She also had two cage brawling gold medals from the 9993 and 9997 Hominia Athletics Large Hominid Games, and a silver from the 10001 Games. In 10005, she became pregnant with Nona, married Knunc, and retired at the age of thirty-one.
Tulma pulled a near unconscious Nona off the wall and walked her around the cage to her parent’s side.
Tulma hung Nona on the railing. Exciting onlookers tried to touch her but ogre security guards in the crowd quickly pushed them away. Tulma then picked up one of two steel folding chairs provided for Nona’s parents to sit on if they chose.
They glared at Tulma, but could do nothing.
“Watch her suffer!” Tulma cracked the chair across Nona’s back.
Nona screamed in agony.
The commentators wondered if they were watching a cage brawl or theatrical wrestling match.
“Your legacy ends here, Borga!” Nona didn’t scream the second time.
The ref checked and was about to end the match, when Nona stood up.
She turned, eyes burning with rage. “How dare you!” Nona hissed.
“Little Borga is pissed, how sad!” Tulma swung the chair, but Nona caught it, and pulled it away.
“I am not my mother!” Nona roared as she slammed the chair into Tulma’s forehead so hard the impact echoed throughout the arena.
The crowd was silent once again.
Tulma stood there for a few seconds, and then collapsed.
One… Two… Three!
The crowd cheered as the referee held Nona’s arm high in victory. Tears rolled down face as she had done it.
Borga finally smiled and hugged her daughter by the side of the ring. “Congratulations,” she whispered. “And you’re already not me because I lost my first tryout match.”
Nona pulled back, “Really?”
“Of course, you’ve seen that match several times along with the next one where I famously dived off the cage top and put my opponent through an announce table.”
Nona shook the ringing out of her head. “Sorry.”
“It’s alright,” her father said. “Neither of us remembered stuff right after match.”
“I’ll keep that in mind.”
“Regardless, I’m proud of you,” her mother said. “My cage brawling glory days ended long ago, while yours have just begun.”
Nona hugged her mother again. ”Thanks, mom!”
Her parents each draped an arm over their daughter and led her back to the locker room while medical personnel attended to Tulma and ring attendants repaired the cage for the next match.