World Warrior 2023 - R1: Unagi vs Zangief

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Description: The infamous Shinsekai District plays host to a match between wrestler Zangief and Unagi the humble fisherman. Who is this mysterious newcomer to the fighting circuit, and will he be able to weather the storm of the Red Cyclone? The answers to these and other questions may surprise you.

Shinsekai was tacky, to say the least.

The neon-lit streets of the aging Osaka neighborhood was generally alright at night, as long as you stuck close to the main roads and shops and guarded your pockets. But even for the big World Warrior match, you could see the shadows of thugs, toughs, and gangsters peering out from their loitering spots by the alleyways, ready to entice any wandering tourist into the nurturing embrace of several fine young gentlemen with a deal you can't refuse. The match itself would take place at one of the ritzy local fight sights. It was an elevated ring set up in the old foundations of a corner store that mysteriously burned down for insurance purposes, and just never was rebuilt. It was surrounded by Neon-lit Kanji of various levels of illuminations, and had four turnbuckles and three ropes surrounding it. Very traditional style fighting ring. Already an audience had gathered, since unlike the usual street fight fare, it was going to be a big headliner.

It was going a match with the Red Cyclone.

Zangief making an appearance was almost overfilling the area around the ring, the bleacher seats having long been filled up. Even the surrounding buildings had people in high places ready to watch the fight, getting to the ring would be a challenge to cut through the crowd. But the signs, the salesmen, the memorabilia. Everyone was excited to see the Red Cyclone who would be making his World Warrior debut. Who was the fight against?

Well some simple fisherman by the name of Unagi.

He was right there right now, sitting in the corner on a stool in the ring. He had been there for a while now. He is an older asian man with messy silver hair parted down the middle. His brown eyes seem tired, dark rings hanging under them. Salt and pepper beard cover his chin and face, and his skin seems rough and tanned from hard work. Despite the weathered toil that this man has clearly seen, he somehow seems younger than his composure should demand. A purple baseball cap sits on his head, bearing the symbol of a unicorn on it's center, with it's bill pulled over his eyes. He is dressed in a blue ryoshi's outfit, a blue water-proof jacket tied around his waist with a pair of overall bib pants. Underneath is a stained white shirt. He wears a pair of waterproof gloves. There is a faint smell of fish around him.

He is eating a bowl of ramen, as he waits.

COMBATSYS: Zangief has started a fight here.

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Zangief          0/-------/-------|

Fans filling the bleachers, crowding the streets. Peering out of alleys and hanging out of windows. So many people here to witness the glory of combat, of Mother Russia.
The feeling is electric, building up within him until he can't hold it in a single moment longer.
A great booming belly laugh rings out above the noise of the crowd, drawing their collective attention upward to a fourth-story balcony hung with paper lanterns of white, blue, and red. Surrounded by the colors of his country, great form shrouded in a loose draping of crimson cloth, Zangief clutches both hands to his stomach and laughs, head thrown back and shoulders shaking.
Taking a long moment to master himself, the great Russian steps to the edge of the balcony, tournament staff crowding around the open door behind him, and thrusts a finger down toward the old man eating noodles in the ring. Beard bristling around a broad white smile, he glances briefly around at the crowd, taking them in, before slamming his attention home on the target of today's match.
"Unagi! I hope that you are ready, for today you face the Might of the Red Cyclone!"
With that, Zangief bounds up onto the rail and crouches, arms sweeping wide, before launching himself forward into a great, spinning leap. Completing two swirling spins, he tears his cloak free and tosses it out into the crowd, muscular bulk descending to land in a ring-quaking crouch opposite Unagi's corner. Roughly seven feet of iron-hard, bear-wrestling Russian brawn, he flexes his hands in preparation, scars showing across his hairy hide.
"Brace Yourself. It is No Longer the time to eat, but to WRESTLE!"

Unagi didn't -seem- like he was ready.

The old fisherman clicks his chopsticks in his left hand, eating up the noodles as Zangief makes his big, flashy entrance. He doesn't look up until Zangief makes the leap. He bounces up with the stool as Zangief makes his thunderous impact right on the ring, going straight up into a stand. Quietly, subtly, his foot hooks upon the leg of the stool, sliding it alongside him as he looks up at Zangief. Mouth full of noodles, dribbling down to his bearded chin. Sucking them up, he looks at the Red Cyclone with a rather dazed appearance. He blinks.

"Time to... wrestle?"

The gaping stare flickers, as Unagi flashes a smirk. He slurps up the broth of the ramen in a single noisy gulp. Turning it upside down, he glances to the side, giving a small nod to show he was ready. He twirls the bowl and chopsticks around his fingertips, as he gives his opponent a wink. The bell rings, the fight begins, and he gives his acknowledgement as the crowd goes wild for Russia's Greatest Warrior.


There is a clattering sound as his leg kicks up the stool. The seat flies through the air... away from the towering wrestler, to his right flank. Unagi charges straight at Zangief, lunging straight for the nurturing embrace of the powerful grappler. Before he breaks to Zangief's left flank, the empty bowl flipping in the air. The stool comes to a rest standing on it's feet, as Unagi unleashes a flashy, high roundhouse kick of his own as he rotates around the wrestler. A stool, a bowl, and the fisherman. It is clear what the target should be, with the other two as mere distractions. But Unagi was on the move now, now clutching the chopsticks in his right hand. It was time to wrestle.

As soon as Zangief could catch him.

COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan has joined the fight here.

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Zangief          0/-------/-------|======-\-------\0      Lee Chaolan

COMBATSYS: Zangief blocks Lee Chaolan's Lee Screw.

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Zangief          0/-------/------=|=======\-------\1      Lee Chaolan

There are fighters in this world, hell, in this tournament, who would make it their business to keep track of every aspect of their opponent's style. Analyze and deconstruct their strategy, wonder at their tactics.
Then, there is Zangief.
Completely ignoring the bowl, stool, and the crowd that roars his name, he locks on to his darting foe with single-minded focus. The nimble approach is answered with a slight sway away, shoulder rising to catch the kick as he turns into the attack.
"You wish to match kicks?"
Right boot flashing forward, he stomps for the toes of the smaller man's planted foot. It isn't much of an attack, just enough to try and snag the silver-haired fellow's attention before he deepens his crouch, muscles flexing, and leaps straight up. Both feet swinging forward, muscular bulk twisting hard to the left, he aims a spiraling dropkick square toward Unagi's upper chest, catching a short moment of hang time before he begins to fall.

COMBATSYS: Zangief successfully hits Lee Chaolan with Russian Stomping.

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Zangief          0/-------/----===|=======\-------\1      Lee Chaolan

"Match kicks-?"

Unagi is quickly interrupted as Zangief, through that terrible balance of genius and directness, responds to his convoluted approach by immediately leaping in and drop-kicking him. Successfully, for that matter. The humble fisherman is caught out of his repositioning with a kick that sends him right to the ropes. Grunting, the clatter of the bowl comes crashing down on the mat. Unagi hangs on the ropes, the audience cheering the Red Cyclone. Any chance to exploit the opening a dropkick would give was delayed. A scowl of outrage flashes across his face as he pulls himself. But the anger fades quickly, as it turns into a coy smirk. He pulls himself up to the ropes.

"I thought it was time to wrestle."

Unagi comes into a stand on the top ropes, before leaping off. Bounding through the air, the simple fisherman attempts to throw himself on to the flank of the wrestler, hopefully before he fully recovers from the drop kick. Should he reach him, Unagi would swing his legs as he uses his hands to grip Zangief's neck like a bad tie. Swinging the momentum around, he would attempt to bring Zangief's back towards the stool to trip him up, before sending him forehead first down to the floor of the ring.

Specifically, head first into the empty ramen bowl.

COMBATSYS: Zangief endures Lee Chaolan's Lee Stunner.

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Zangief          0/-------/-======|=======\=------\1      Lee Chaolan

Striking the matt with elbow and hip, Zangief bounces once before exploding back to his feet with bestial vigor, whirling away from Lee's coy smirk to offer the cheering crowd a ferocious flex of his muscles. One knee forward, shoulders hunched and arm curled in, he gives a body-builder's flex, the raw force of his personality pouring off of him. It is a mighty display, but unfortunately not the best position from which to defend himself.
Landing squarely upon the Russian's broad back, Lee finds no difficulty in wrapping an arm around his neck, nor in setting him staggering beneath the sudden shift in momentum that swinging around him provides. Leg catching the stool, he sends it tumbling away as he topples, head descending to strike the wooden bowl with a violent CRACK.
For half a beat, the monstrous wrestler is still.
Arms flexing, Zangief pops from prone to half a kneel, left knee swinging forward while he shakes broken bits of stoneware from his bruised forehead. Skin blotching to an ugly purple, he sweeps an arm out sideways, attempting to hook it around Unagi's waist before he can escape out of reach.
"That," the wrestler growls, second arm joining the first in trying to wrap him up around the middle, squeezing the silver-haired fighter's rump in tight against his iron abs.
"Was," he continues, surging to his feet and swinging his captive high, offering a brief window of potential escape in which the lighter man might slip free.
Word booming out with genuine appreciation, Zangief brings Unagi crashing down, threatening to shatter his tail bone upon the mighty spike of his knee.

COMBATSYS: Zangief successfully hits Lee Chaolan with Atomic Drop.
Glancing Blow

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Zangief          1/-----==/=======|=======\=------\1      Lee Chaolan

It was a wrestling match after all.

The crowd eats it up, the unknown fisherman giving a taste of what the audience wanted against Zangief. As the fall comes, Unagi has everything ready. Zangief catches the stool, and comes down. AS he comes down to the bowl, there is a suddenly a flash of fingers. Motion comes, before Zangief hits head first into the stoneware. Landing on the ground roughly as well, he smirks at the damage, holding something just out of sight.

That smirk endures, even when Zangief gets up first.

The Red Cyclone's energy was contagious, and when he rises up, the old fisherman actually -stops- his recovery. He saves it for when Zangief scoops him up, saving it for the upswing. Fortunately, he takes the opportunity to escape, and his tail bone remains unbusted. Unfortunately, the opportunity to escape is being swung away. The fisherman gets his hat knocked off as he slams into the turnbuckle, cornered and caught on the -wrong place- to be with Zangief. Unagi is staggered and worse, tangled, his arms wrapped in the ropes. He manages to get one free... in time to pick up his purple hat.

"The pleasure is all mine."

Unagi finds himself unable to contain himself. Placing the hat on his head, he brings his other hand free. The chopsticks were at least still around. He taps his chopsticks on a bowl. ON a... wooden bowl. How many bowls did he have? What did Zangief hit his head on? Unagi keeps in a seated position, leaning against the turnbuckle post, as he beckons Zangief to come, before he places the chopsticks into the wooden ramen bowl.


COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan gathers his will.

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Zangief          1/-----==/=======|=======\======-\1      Lee Chaolan

Though Zangief is robbed of his finishing slam by the quick slip Unagi gives his grapple, the hulking Russian doesn't seem at all perturbed. Whirling around to face the seated trickster, he kicks the bits of shattered pottery aside without seeming to notice the swap, teeth bared in a grin of joyous confidence.
"You are a skilled fisherman, Unagi. There can be no doubt that your many years of work have given you great agility, BUT," and here the massive man's brown eyes glitter, chest hair fluttering and the cheers of the crowd rising up beneath him.
"What can you do against this Body Of IRON?!"
Clapping a palm to his peck with a resounding SLAP, he throws his other arm wide, extending the question out into the audience at large. And, in fact, it is a fair question. One that he doesn't seem to think is rhetorical, as he is suddenly thundering forward, red boot swinging in a heavy, punting kick that should send Unagi's back sliding up the post. Only then will his right arm come scything around, entire body twisting as he swings his forearm for the side of the fisherman's neck in a devastating lariat. But not just one. Completing the spin, he aims a reverse swing from his other arm, then a third from his lead, wind whipped into a swirling vortex as he spins and spins, hammering blow after blow toward the unfortunate old challenger, all the while his voice rises in a rasping roar.

COMBATSYS: Zangief issues a challenge!!

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Zangief          1/-----==/=======|=======\======-\1      Lee Chaolan

COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan auto-guards Zangief's Cyclone Lariat.

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Zangief          0/-------/-------|=======\======-\1      Lee Chaolan

For a moment, it's not clear what Unagi was doing.

When Zangief thunders in, he seems almost relaxed, studying Zangief quietly. Eyes dancing around to the movements. He taps the chopsticks on the bowl. Zangief closes in easily, and the audience begins to prepare for what was going to be the climax of this fight. There is even a sense of disappointment from the children, worried that their hero would not get the chance to perform a Piledriver on the fisherman before knocking him up. The lariat comes roaring in and.

And Zangief hits a plastic bowl.

Unagi suddenly brings out another bowl, and immediately deflects it cleanly as he springs up. The mystery of the switching bowls reveal themselves, as he pulls out a bowl nested inside the wooden bowl. Moving with the assault, a second bowl is whipped out, glass. The glass bowl easily shatters, until finally, the wooden bowl itself is splintered into pieces. Three impacts, three bowls. Unagi tut tut tuts with his tongue. "Looks like that Cyclone doesn't quite have the wind in it." The fisherman purrs.

Before throwing a backhand right at Zangief's chin.

Whether it connects or not, it would immediately become followed by a machine gun assault of high kicks into the wrestler's torso, attempting to drive him into the corner turnbuckle where he once was. Ending the assault with a driving kick, he would then take a moment to raise up a single chopstick, twirling it in his fingertips, before flinging it like a stiletto knife aiming right at the purple bruise the first bowl left. It wouldn't go very deep. But he would spring back to the middle of the ring, giving a thumbs up.


COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan successfully hits Zangief with Brilliant Rose.

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Zangief          1/---====/=======|======-\-------\0      Lee Chaolan

The look of earnest bafflement on Zangief's face when his whirling lariats are deflected is almost comical. Staring down into Unagi's smile with dumbfounded confusion, mouth slightly open, he eats the opening punch to the face without really seeming to notice. Knuckles strike his bearded chin, he grunts in slight irritation, and his eyes blink in dawning awareness.
Then, the kicks come.
One after another the blows drive into Zangief's chest, the first couple sending him toppling into the corner before he can really mount any sort of defense. After that, his brutish form flexes, coils of muscle hardening against the blows as he works his way back to a towering stand. It is a fully alert, glaring Russian who takes the thrown chopstick to the forehead, skin splitting before it bounces off of bone and tumbles off over his shoulder. Breaths rumbling in his chest, beard and mohawk bristling, he looms over the ring, gaze locked upon the silver-haired man who's thumb is up.
He isn't laughing now.
"Do you think you can face me with these Tricks? With Bowls? I am Zangief!"
Blood trickling down his face, skin purple across chest and forehead, the wrestler hurls himself forward in a mighty leap, left hand lashing out to grip at Unagi's right shoulder.
With a heavy tug, he attempts to drag the fisherman forward into a half spin, surging forward to lock him in a muscular embrace. If he can get that grip he will throw himself backward to the mat, shoulders impacting with a resounding BOOM as he sweeps the smaller man up and over into an opening suplex...

COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan dodges Zangief's Final Atomic Buster.

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Zangief          1/------=/=======|=======\-------\1      Lee Chaolan

Unagi chuckles cooly, when Zangief talks about those tricks.

Back in the center of the ring, he waits for Zangief to hurl himself straight at him. And when he comes to grip at his shoulder, with the hefty 'all mighty' baritone, Unagi brings his own hand up. With pinpoint timing, he pushes just hard enough to slip out of the grip, the tug coming with a hard pull and counter-momentum to it. Unagi carries himself way, but without pressing the advantage. Staggering back to the center, he begins to circle to build up speed.

And then jumping back in.

He throws a pair of punches. Both come short, pulling short. Feints. Circling, a stray hook comes, aiming to connect with the face. Unagi could hit a lot harder than he looked, but attempting to build bodyblows on the titantic wrestler seemed to be a fool's errand. Also a fool's errand? The taunts that was now coming from the stick and moving fisherman. "Come on, Red Cyclone! The audience wants to see the Atomic Buster!" He teases coyly, in a way that's very unbecoming of a humble fisherman. The audience was turning on Unagi, as two more jabs come to the face. There is a sweeping low kick that goes wide, another wasted attack that leaves him open... as he rises up however, he tosses something in the air. It's the stool. A distraction, right before he brings a high roundhouse kick right above it aimed right into the center of Zangief's chest. Wasp stings, harassing and heckling the stronger grappler.

Up until he caught him, of course.

COMBATSYS: Zangief endures Lee Chaolan's Revolution Zwei.

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Zangief          1/---====/=======|=======\=------\1      Lee Chaolan

Powerful fingers closing on only air, Zangief retreats a step to join Unagi in his darting stand off. Normal good cheer having subsided into an intense stare, he frowns at the opening feints, fingers curling as they circle the center of the ring.
Another darting punch, this time cracking hard into the wrestler's jaw, and a darting snatch of his hand toward the extended elbow, just missing in the scramble before they once more come apart. Circling, staring...
Each taunting word finds its home deep in the hulking Russian's ego, but despite the frustrated growl that erupts from him as two more punches hammer into his cheek and lips, he maintains his careful composure.
When the feint comes, Zangief takes a single step back, letting the missed kick sweep past without a glance. That is the only warning Unagi gets before the brute hurls himself forward, a sweep of his forearm smashing the stool into splinters as he barrels forward into the apex of the roundhouse. Taking the blow full in the chest, he charges through the pain, through the internal groan of another impact to battered bone. Coming on like a train, he reaches forth to try and hook the fisherman around the head and drag him along off balance, arm clamping down to crush the smaller man's neck and head against his ribs in a brain-popping headlock.
"You think you have won, Unagi? You think these blows will weaken me?"
Grip tightening yet further around Unagi's neck, the great Russian takes a stomping step forward, right shoulder leading, before whipping his entire body into a short, but whirlwind violent turn.
Unless he can pull yet another impressive escape, the silver-haired trickster will find himself whirled into a tight 360 by the grip around his head, legs thrown out horizontal by the raw centripetal force that builds before both men come crashing to the matt, impacting with a thunderous SLAM!

COMBATSYS: Zangief successfully hits Lee Chaolan with Bolshoi Russian Suplex.

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Zangief          0/-------/---====|=======\=------\1      Lee Chaolan

Oh no he broke the stool.

As the taunting and teasing comes out, Zangief shows he has no use for despicable heel tactics as he heroically destroys such distractions, and goes straight for the meat of the Unagi. The simple fisherman quickly finds himself in a headlock as he does his dance, immediately wriggling in the grasp of the powerful wrestler. To no avail, as he is whirled all the way around to a ferocious slam right on the mat.

To the thunderous cheers of the audience.

Staggered, Unagi stays down for a brief moment as he lifts his head up. "Impressive. Very impressive. It's been so long-" Unagi states with an unbecoming formal air, before coughing a bit. "I mean." He corrects, before falling back into that down-to-earth silence befitting a fisherman. He rolls over, and yet, there seems to be mischief in the air, as he works his way out of the slam. "But I don't think I felt that. Don't you have something with a little more kick in it, Mister Cyclone?" There was a bite to that comment, as he suddenly breaks from the on the ground situation with a backflip. Leaving a kick out in the air to catch Zangief as he makes his slip. The audience knows very well what, exactly, has a little more kick in it. And the energy was very high on their feelings on it.

They are practically begging to see Unagi learn what that was.

COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan issues a challenge!!

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Zangief          0/-------/---====|=======\=------\1      Lee Chaolan

COMBATSYS: Zangief just-defends Lee Chaolan's Lee Somersault!

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Zangief          0/-------/---====|=======\==-----\1      Lee Chaolan

Ring jolting beneath their fallen bodies, Zangief releases the smaller man and rolls to the side, listening to the mysterious words of the fisherman that reach him through the cheers and whistles of the crowd. Taking his time, great chest heaving, he rises back to his feet. Blood dribbles from his lips, and one cheek is already darkening to a greenish blotch that clashes with the purple of his forehead. Damage has been done to his burly form. And yet, it is not that which slows him. Not weakness which causes him to take his time, coming to a full loom with a muscular shoulder turned to his opponent.
It is Them.
"Aah? Yes? What is it? Do you think that I am forgetting something?!"
The words are directed up and out toward the crowd, brutish face scrunching as if unsure what that missing component could possibly be. Between the taunts from Unagi and the shrieks of children amidst the watchers, surely he must know. SURELY!
Throwing a squint-eyed look over at the silver-haired man's prone form, he begins his turn just as the smaller fellow leaps, right arm sweeping up on pure crowd-pleasing instinct. Big hand catching his foot beneath the heel, he drives the strike up and back, accelerating the single flip kick into a truly impressive triple backflip that flings the acrobatic fighter up and away.
"So!" he thunders, right finger thrusting toward his flipping foe as he comes to some semblance of a landing. "You wish to feel the True Power of the Red Cyclone?"
A pause, a moment for the crowd to cry out their suggestions and requests, for Lee to set himself.
"Fool! Fear the might of Zangief!"
For a big man, the Russian can move fast when he sets his mind to it. Exploding forward in a rush of sweaty muscle and scars, he spreads the fingers of his pointing hand in an attempt to palm the entirety of Unagi's skull, to grab his head and hold him still long enough to land the whirling lariat of his other arm, set to impact his upper chest like the grill of a run away truck. If that single, thunderous blow manages to lay the fisherman out, Zangief will turn, arms raised to the crowd who seem to be losing their minds at what comes next.
"You," he bellows, the crowd joining in an avalanche of voices, "are going for a ride!"
Then, unless he can make his escape, the Russian will round upon Unagi's prone form, stoop, and scoop him off the matt with insulting ease. Package in tow, he bends his knees, surging with pent up power, and hurls himself into a high, arcing leap that carries them both up and over to hang above the center of the wrestling ring.
Thrusting the silver-haired fellow downward, Zangief will clamp his head between the crushing pillars of his thighs. Arms will tighten like pythons around his doomed body.
They will fall, spinning toward the matt with ever increasing speed as he delivers a truly magnificent Screw Piledriver.

COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan endures Zangief's Bolshoi Storm Buster.

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Zangief          0/-------/----===|>>>>>>>\>>>>>>>\2      Lee Chaolan

As Unagi lands, Zangief was on the move.

Before he can fully react, the humble fisherman gasps out loud. "Wait, I just need to get my-" Moments before being slapped and beaten his way into the bear-trap thighs, Unagi makes his last dramatic effort. He is busy trying to undo his jacket, likely part of a last rites typical amongst men his profession. Even as the opening smack into his skull comes, he refuses to evade, refuses to even block, if only to ensure that his jacket becomes undone. The follow up slam to his chest, however, stalls the effort as he falls down. After the opening lariat, Zangief has ever more time to work the crowd, as Unagi, dazed, unties his own jacket. It is bulky, even for a fisherman's jacket. But there is no time left. As he is scooped up, all Unagi can do is throw the jacket into the air. That is all he has time to do, as the vice-like scissoring grips of the legs approach Unagi's head like a noose, the arms embracing him like a prison. And yet, Unagi lets it go, releasing the jacket high into the air above them both. And flug free, wrapped within the sleeves of the jacket, the fruits of Unagi's last-ditch effort before facing the awesome might of the Screw Piledriver are revealed.

Some wadded up t-shirts fall out.

They are merely a red and gold color, bearing an unofficially licensed insignia of a lightning bolt with a mohawk. In bright gold words, 'RED CYCLONE' in on them, though with Cyrillic letting. There are three of them, and they sort of spread out as they fall. The t-shirts lands with a plop by Zangief. Barely audible, especially after the Screw Piledriver is unleashed upon the mat, with Unagi's neck and spine taking the brunt of the impact. Harder still to hear, as the audience goes absolutely berserk. It is not just the women and children who weep with joy, even the manliest of men are moved to tears as the humble fisherman is brought to bear. Husband kiss their wives, cats and dogs suddenly mingle with each other, and at least three proposals are made right there, with boyfriends on their knees. The full sound of the Russia National Anthem plays to the rioting cries of the fans, when Zangief finally introduces Unagi to a little more seasoning, a little more bite. A little more kick, as he said. Unagi only has a simple smirk as he collides down, the injury very nearly breaking his back. But not quite. He was moving now. He was moving very fast now, almost like a snake as he lets the natural forces of the impact let him free. There were only three t-shirts in the ring.

And then another.

And then another.

The audience, fueled by the frenzy that could be only known as Russomania for the Zangief, was beginning to turn the entire ring outside into a practical Red Revolution in pure fandom. At the first t-shirt thrown in, more were being thrown in, as fans join in with the Red Revolution as they start taking off their shirts and clothing to join in with the frenzy. The ring begins to fill with shirts thrown in, as Unagi begins to move. Every movement comes with a pop, but faster. Faster. He might even be able to sneak how fast he could move, if Zangief was too enraptured with the pure force of the entire audience in absolute adoration... as well as the barrage of clothing that was now filling the ring. Unagi was in unimaginable pain. But the pain seemed to only fuel his focus and drive. Unagi would strike not like an eel, but a snake, whether or not Zangief picked up on it or not.

It would start with a kick.

A single straight kick. Hardly flashy, hardly distracting, though certainly fast and not lacking in power. It wouldn't break the audience's frenzy. Unagi would then follow up with another kick, this one high. Again, nothing too noisy or jarring. And then a low kick. And then a middle one. And then a middle one. Another middle one. At some point, the audience's energy would pick up too that Unagi had somehow slipped in back to the world of the living, weaving and dancing between the flung clothing, unleashing an endless barrage of kicks at the Red Cyclone. Body blows, head blows, shin blows. A thousand bites, buzzing and nipping as Unagi, with ironclad focus, simply unleashes endless kick after endless kick. There was no stop or break in the kicks, there was no opening, there was no end until Zangief could make one. If Zangief couldn't make one?

Then he would not stop until Zangief hit the mat and stopped moving.

COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan successfully hits Zangief with Infinite Rave.

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Zangief          0/-------/--=====|>>>>>>>\>------\1      Lee Chaolan

The legendary impact of Zangief's Screw Piledriver causes the ring to buckle in at the center, posts flexing and ropes sagging slack from the tremendous amount of force at play. Releasing his crushing hug on Unagi's body, the Russian rides that force as it reverses, ring snapping straight and flinging the hulking bear of a man to his feet while the fisherman bounces harmlessly away. Shoulders thrown back, bruised flesh swollen with pride and the ever-illusive Pump, he thrusts both arms into the air, throws back his mohawked head, and bellows toward the heavens.
There is no room in the mighty wrestler's brain for questions of where, or how. The crimson and gold cloth spread out at his feet is clearly a manifestation of his proud Russian spirit. Who hasn't piledrived T-shirts into existence at least once in their life? And with such a victory upon him, his advancement deeper into the world warrior tournament at hand, he basks in the rewards of what hard work and bear wrestling can bring.
Yet more shirts rain down around him, much of the crowd stripping to red and gold tights in patterns that mirror his own, and weirdly also Rainbow Mika's for some reason, but that's fine too.
It is a perfect moment of joy and triumph.
And then he is kicked.
Jolted out of his half-dazed and slightly dizzy celebration by the foot that smashes his gut, Zangief staggers backward into the rain of clothing and takes a falling shirt to the face, temporarily blinded as the second kick rises to catch him square in the chin.
Head rocked back, he claws the shirt away just in time to take a blow to the thigh, muscle throbbing, then three more to the gut, each battering him that little bit further off balance, driving the breath further from his lungs.
Another kick to the head sends the brute wobbling, a sixth to the gut hunches him, and a knee kick drops him to a kneel, two more striking him solidly in the chest and rocking him back on his downed knee, dazed and wheezing.
So much for that body of iron.
Slumping forward into another kick to the face, nose already knocked crooked and eyes dazed,the Russian bares his teeth and begins to tense. Already starved for oxygen, he lets out what little he has left in a rasping growl that brings steel back into his spine. Muscles flexing, he ploughs forward into the next kick, taking it square in the chest but bulling forward with relentless strength, lunging up into a reaching grasp for the silver-haired man's throat. Teeth bared in a brutal grin, he attempts to crush his fingers tight around the smaller man's neck and drive him up onto tip toes, deep breath filling his lungs despite another kick hammering into the mighty flex of his muscles.
Pivoting, he attempts to haul Unagi around in a single, powerful motion and drive the man's face into the corner post he was nearly kicked into. It may not be as impressive as the Screw Piledriver, or as iconic as the spinning Lariat, but the true Zangief fans will recognize the maneuver from the hundreds of times he's smashed challengers into the metal cage he so often wrestles in.

COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan full-parries Zangief's Improvised Throw!!

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Zangief          0/-------/--=====|>>>>>>>\>>>>>--\1      Lee Chaolan

The audience still wasn't done with their celebration.

The rioting cheers from the crowd was very nearly turning into a full riot, the kicking frenzy only slowly building up the idea that something had gone wrong with the heroic Screw Piledriver. It was practically an ambush. The rhythm is only broken when Zangief, in full defiance, powers through a single in the chain. Fingers surge for the neck, the Red Cyclone has overpowered the puny little fisherman.

But it's almost like hitting a tripwire.

Unagi almost seemed like he was waiting for this brief window of fatigue for the entire fight. When the clenching comes at him, the endless chain of kicks ceases. He steps in, and he doesn't merely bat away Zangief's arms. He leverages against them, pushing against them with his arms as he draws in his energy, as if an extension off of the endless kicks. Up close, the damage Zangief has done is so clear. The bruises, the sound of cracking bones popping. But for this moment, his eyes were no longer distant and tired. They were locked in, almost with a killing instinct. It's fast, and for that short window of time, the audience goes silent. There is only a sound, and it's from the humble fisherman as he dips under Zangief's arms, slightly off to his left flank.

"KIAI!" Unagi shouts, as he unleashes a singular, explosive palm strike aimed right at the bottom of the ribs.

COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan successfully hits Zangief with Death Touch EX.

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Zangief          1/---====/=======|======-\-------\0      Lee Chaolan

The short, sharp shout echoes in the suddenly deafening silence of the crowd. Breaths are drawn, held as Unagi's palm crashes into Zangief's lower ribs, the sound of bone cracking filling the square.
Everything goes very still.
Pained grunt choking from a suddenly tight throat, the wrestler wobbles, fingers clutching at nothing while the silver-haired assassin stands close, intimate.
This is the part where he should fall down.
The sound of his fist slicing the air can be heard all the way to the back rows. Left arm flashing down, he aims to catch the fisherman a heavy blow to the right shoulder, to stagger him so that the great Red Cyclone can lunge forward and hook his neck from behind, locking in a vicious rear naked choke that lifts his feet clear of the ground and crushes him back to front with the somehow still upright monster.
Breath escaping in a shout of raw defiance and might, he sets the crowd to screaming as he hurls himself into the air, taking his wily captive along for the ride. Up and up they go, strangle hold growing ever tighter, until they reach the peak of the leap some 3 stories up.
Tossing Unagi clear of the hold in a loose tumble, he opens the maneuver up for a brief but vital moment of escape, before reaching to snag him by both ankles. If he can get that grip there will be no escape from what comes next. Iron grip locked around his ankles and wrestling boots planting themselves in his armpits, the scheming fighter will find himself ridden out of the sky in a meteoric descent likely to smash a hole right through the ring and crater them both in the blackened cement beneath.

COMBATSYS: Zangief keeps on fighting!

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Zangief          0/-------/------=|======-\-------\0      Lee Chaolan

COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan dodges Zangief's Siberian Blizzard.

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Zangief          0/-------/------=|=======\-------\0      Lee Chaolan


There is the sound of broken ribs, as the audience holds dead silent. Unagi hangs his hand there for a second, and slowly, gingerly retracts himself. Smugly adjusting his hand, he steps back. A passive, almost thoughtless action, that would become very important in scant seconds. The audience's expressions are frozen in horror. Everything, everything had stopped except Unagi, who was almost dismissively looking over the audience, the judges, and then Zangief. He flashes a thumbs up, before he looks back over, away from Zangief.


And suddenly the sound of a slicing fist comes. Unagi barely has time to react, he doesn't even think. Punches fly and Unagi dips and weaves, then forced to deflect and escape. The Red Cyclone seizes him in mid dodge, and the duo are rocketed sky high in the air. The audience revives from their daze as they explode into a cheering frenzy. Unagi's mind quickly tries to find a way out, like a rat caught in a trap. The opportunity comes when Zangief releases him, ready to catch him back on the adjustment. Unagi suddenly does light quick taps, doubling back over as the wrestler goes for the ankles. Instead, he is face to face with his prey, his opponent. And staring straight back, high above the audience, just as gravity was beginning to take effect, he looks straight back. "That was the part." Unagi hisses, the mask slipping in close quarters. "Where you should fall down."

And he attempts to grab him. It was going to be a scramble now on the way down, a mess. Unagi was going to try and grab Zangief's shoulders, and get himself in a position where the wrestler couldn't just -rip him off- and reverse it. Should he get in position, he would get Zangief under him, and start to ready his arms for crossing. Should he succeed, he would execute the landing by giving a twist on Zangief, spinning him by the neck upon the ground. Whether or not he actually lands the hit, though, the problem of -how- he was going to land properly wasn't quite there yet. Only one thing was certain. By the time they hit the mat?

At least one of them was going to be knocked out cold.

COMBATSYS: Zangief just-defends Lee Chaolan's Axle Throw!

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Zangief          0/-------/------=|======-\-------\0      Lee Chaolan

"I am Zangief." is the grunted response, words gritted through pain and effort, teeth bared in a snarl of glorious defiance. Ribs creaking, he tenses as the pair of them begin to fall, huge hands slipping across the smaller man's body as he snakes lithely about his shoulders.
Ears vibrating with the fevered roar of the crowd, the wrestler closes his eyes, growl rising up behind his teeth. The wind tugs at his mohawk, arms curl themselves around his throat. The ground rushes up unseen to meet him.
"I," he grunts through the lock on his throat, bullish muscles flexing against the press of forearms, "Am, INVINCIBLE!"
Erupting in another surge of irresistible strength, the Russian gets hold of Unagi's left thigh and drags him free of his back. With the two of them already spiraling in a desperate, messy scramble, he throws his great bulk backward and swings his legs up, attempting to snag the silver-haired head between them. And, unless the slippery fisherman can make good his escape yet again, he will finish the corkscrewing back flip by sitting out, arms latching around the smaller man's body as they plough into the center of the ring in a thunderous, if sloppy, Screw Piledriver.

COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan full-parries Zangief's Screw Piledriver!!

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Zangief          0/-------/----===|=======\==-----\1      Lee Chaolan

Free Fall

Unagi is ripped off from Zangief's back, seized by the wrestler briefly as they fling apart. Almost instinctively, he reaches back, the ground coming faster, faster, as the fall from 3 stories becomes 2, with a rapidly approach 1 to 0. AN entire battle was unfolding in the fall, as intense as what was happening in the ring. As the legs come up, Unagi seems to only notice at the last second, the two spiraling around each other as they fall. Unagi's wriggling speed against Zangief's incredible power. Unagi had been darting and nipping at Zangief's defenses, hammering and biting. But the strength of the Russian was unbelievable. Zangief could very well take crashing on the mat wholesale. Unagi wasn't sure if the next attack could do it. And as for Zangief?

All he had to do was catch Unagi one more time.

Hand back, the fisherman grips the leg, and pulls. "I am... nobody important." THere is a tone of pain at that, a sense of pride swallowed. He slips right between the legs, narrowly evading the vice-like snap between them. Turning, he swings his leg with full force right for Zangief's neck. An airborne kick in free fall wouldn't be the real stinger. But if he hits, he would bend his leg across Zangief's neck, clenching it up with a grip. Locking his leg in place, he would use his momentum to orbit, and then attempt to end the fall with the slam in the middle of the mat. The audience howls, unable to comprehend fully the meteoric assault taking place.

But enjoying every second of it.

COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan successfully hits Zangief with Scatter Kick EX.

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Zangief          1/------=/=======|=====--\-------\0      Lee Chaolan

Mighty thighs clamping down on only air, Zangief flails around for his lost prey, ground only a story beneath them and closing fast. Reaching for some part, any part of Unagi he can grasp onto, he grabs at the flash of motion from the corner of his eye.
Leg scything into his throat with jarring force, the Russian gags and chokes. Too late to flex, to harden himself against the clutching scissor. But that doesn't mean he needs to impact alone.
Even as Unagi's legs clamp closed around his neck, Zangief attempts to coil his muscular arms about the fisherman's middle. Falling head-first toward the earth, he flexes every bit of muscle left to him, striving to bend the assassin backward, to put his neck and shoulders in line with the ground.
Vision fading to black, the Red Cyclone is not conscious for impact, but whether he alone is forced to absorb it, it will be mighty.

COMBATSYS: Zangief can no longer fight.

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Lee Chaolan      0/-------/--=====|

COMBATSYS: Lee Chaolan dodges Zangief's Russian Aerial Slam.

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Lee Chaolan      0/-------/--=====|

Deep Impact.

There is an explosion. A blast, as the littered clothing is blown off the arena. It's a testament of engineering that it doesn't collapse. Unagi lands shortly afterwards, away from Zangief. Rolling on impact, he groans as he lays there, tumbling over a pair of officially licensed Red Cyclone boxers and the shattered remains of splinters and shards. It hurt, but everything hurt. Rolling over, he lays face down for a second. Then he rises up.

Up on his forearms.

The last grips, the last struggles was when he released. It was the only way to escape from the defiant last attack from Zangief, the final move to determine who would take the brunt of the impact. And frankly, Unagi wasn't willing to share. He couldn't push away in any direction but up. A poor direction, when they finally hit the earth. In a better part of the fight, the Red Cyclone would have bounced back. And then, left exposed, Unagi would have been slammed. There is a murmuring from the crowd, as Unagi gets up to his knees, on all fours. The judges were murmuring. A little boy shouts. "Get up! Get up Zangief! And slam him! Get up!" Unagi lowers his eyes. He knew what was going to happen in a moment, if Zangief stayed down. He starts crawling towards the edge of the ring. It would best get a head start, before the audience realized what just happened to the Red Cyclone. He pauses. No. No. He had to do it the right way, or else the wrestler would never forgive him. TOo many problems. He turns around, crawling to Zangief. ANd then, avoiding his gaze on the boy who was -shouting- for the Red Cyclone to get up, Unagi throws his arms over Zangief. The judges stare for a moment, trying to understand why the fisherman was hugging the titan. ANd then, they realize.

It was a pin.




And the bell rings.

COMBATSYS: Lee has ended the fight here.

Log created on 10:48:23 09/07/2023 by Zangief, and last modified on 12:50:57 09/16/2023.