Tonight on Gut Check

Set-up:

"Gut Check" is a new "physical-challenge" game show on cable. The host, "Fearless" Freddie Fallon, is a good-looking moron with the usual wind-tunnel-tested hairdo and 1000-watt smile. The studio audience could be accurately described as "the lowest common denominator;" they would cheer at a nun-beating. Contestants, called "Gut Check Challengers," are generally young and in good health and between 18 and 35 years old, and for prize money, they take challenges that range from eating cockroaches to roller-blading down the side of a mountain to one-on-one contests with a show "Champion." Naturally, the show doesnít want to pay out too many large prizes, so the challenges often have a trick or hidden detail that makes it much more difficult to win, if not impossible. Thereís also an element of "Letís Make a Deal" in that the host usually offers little wagers and "sweetens the pot" to tempt Challengers into a greedy mistake.

This weekís show is nearly over. So far, a 19-year-old lacrosse player tried to run a mile on a treadmill in under 6 minutes and failed because the treadmill was rigged to grow hotter the longer he ran. At the end, he was practically hopping. There was also a guy who was suspended upside-down from a crane. He earned $10 per foot as he was lifted and would have won $5000 if he reached the 100-foot mark, but the show only put him in this particular challenge because he was deathly afraid of heights. By about the 15-foot mark, he was in screaming hysterics and urinated all over himself. There have been three other short, low-payoff challenges, and itís time for the final challenge of the show, always the biggest (and trickiest).

 

"Okay, ladies and gentlemen, itís time for this weekís last big Gut Check Challenge right here in out very own studio!" Freddie waves his arm back (like the teleprompter tells him), and the giant curtain behind him is swept away to reveal a wrestling ring with four attractive women standing inside it. Each is wearing black ankle boots and a black robe that comes down to about mid-thigh. There is a black woman, a brunette, a redhead, and a blonde, going by size from smallest to largest. Behind the ring, there was a large black curtain with the letters, "GCLW," on it. "Tonight, we bring you Gut Check Ladies Wrestling!" The studio audience erupts in applause and chants of "Freddie! Freddie!" Playing along, the idiot host pumps his arm a few times, and then he was signaled to quiet them down and continue. "Letís bring out our Gut Check Challenger! Who do we have, Bobby?"

Bobby, the showís announcer, booms out over the speakers. "Entering the Gut Check Arena, our Challenger hails from the sunny state of Florida at 5í5" and a fit and feisty 118 pounds and has measurements of 34C-22-33! Letís hear it for Rowdy Rachel!"

The audience again grows deafening as a beautiful, girl-next-door-type brunette jogs into view and goes over to "Fearless" Freddie. Sheís wearing a snug-fitting, white athletic bikini that is full cut to cover her firm breasts and bottom, and it makes a nice contrast to her tanned skin. Her hair has an amber tone to it and is tied back into a ponytail. Rachel is 19 and a college freshman on her schoolís swim team so she is in excellent shape.

Freddie puts an arm around the teenís waist and gives her the blinding smile. (The teleprompter doesnít say anything about that, but he likes to get his hands on the attractive contestants whenever possible.) "Hello, Rowdy Rachel! Are you ready for a Gut Check?"

Rachel, not sure if this guy is supposed to be groping her, forces a smile of her own. "Bring it on, Freddie!"

Using his arm to turn her around, he begins to walk her over to the ring. "As youíve probably guessed, youíve got some wrestling to do, and Iím sure youíre wondering about the four lovely ladies in the ring! Now, donít worry! We donít expect you to take on all four of them!" Thereís some laughter from the crowd and some moans of disappointment. "Youíll only have one of three possible opponents and a referee in the ring with you!" They reach the ring and the teleprompter tells Freddie to have her facing him at ringside. He reluctantly lets her go. The four ladies in the robes climb out of the ring and stand behind Freddie. "As always with the final challenge of the show, we have a choice for you to make about your Gut Check Challenge! Your choice effects the amount of prize money on the line and your opponent for the challenge! Of course no matter what you choose, you get the full prize if you can beat our wrestler!" Freddie points into the ring. "As you can see, GCLW is a little different than most wrestling federations! Our ring doesnít have padding in the corners, and our girls donít hold anything back in a match! On top of that, we have three different levels of match to offer you!" He turns his smile on the audience to get a pop and brief chant of his name. "First, we have the easy way out, the rookie level. Youíll get into the ring with our rookie and earn $50 per minute for up to three minutes. If you make it the whole three minutes without being pinned or giving up, youíll win an additional $100 to bring the total to $250!" The audience begins to boo, showing their opinion of the rookie level. "Then, we have something a bit more challenging. Youíll face an experienced opponent and earn $100 per minute for up to five minutes! Again, if you make it the whole five minutes, you get a bonus! Weíll double your earnings and award you $1000!" Again, the crowd is booing because they know the third option is the toughest. Thatís the one they want to see. Rachel is interested in the $1000 payoff, but the pressure from the crowd is hard to ignore. "Last and certainly not least, every federation has its champion, and GCLW is no different! Thatís your third option, Rowdy Rachel! Face the Gut Check Ladies Wrestling Champion for $250 per minute to a time-limit of ten minutes, and weíll double that $2500 and make it $5000!" Of course, the audience is cheering now and chanting "Champion!" to make it perfectly clear what they want to see.

Rachel has no delusions about how tough the third option must be, but the crowd is putting a lot of pressure on her to choose that one. Sheís also figured out, though, that she only has to last four minutes to earn a $1000 prize, as opposed to five minutes with the second option. Considering her own toned body against the four women in the robes, sheís pretty sure she can last that long, even against the blonde. Smiling at the crowd, she yells, "Give me the Champion!"

"All right, letís hear it for Rowdy Rachel!" Freddie pumps his arm in the air again as the audience chants Rachelís name. "Okay, hop into the ring, Rachel!" The cute brunette climbs onto the apron and rolls in under the ropes. She stands and grabs the top rope to look down at Freddie and the four girls in the robes. "Itís time for some introductions! If you had chosen the first option, you would have faced the lovely Lisette!" The black wrestler, a girl about Rachelís height, opened her robe and let it drop to the floor, getting a loud ovation. Sheís slimmer than Rachel, but sheís wearing a very daring black bikini that shows off her body to the max. She obviously didnít think she had to worry about wrestling in it because it probably wouldnít last more than 10 seconds in any match. "If youíd gone for the second option, youíd be facing the exotic Evonne!" This time, the brunette dropped her robe. Maybe an inch taller than Rachel, her body was proportioned almost exactly like the Challengerís body, and at first, it looked like she was wearing a black version of Rachelís white outfit. Closer inspection revealed that Evonne was wearing two bikinis, a full cut sheer bikini over a much smaller bikini like the one that Lisette was wearing. Evonneís outfit was almost as sexy and revealing as her friendís, but if Rachel had ignored the crowdís peer pressure, there wouldnít be much risk of indecent exposure during their match. That left the redhead and the blonde, both a few inches taller than Rachel but not very heavy-looking. They both moved so they were standing on either side of Freddie. "Now, you know one of these two ladies has to be your referee, and youíre wondering about the Champion! Before I continue my introductions, let me offer you a little wager! Our champion usually feels cheated if her matches end in anything but a knock-out! Sheíd like her match with you to be a no-disqualification, knock-out match, and I have this offer for you!" The redhead and the blonde dropped their robes. The redhead had a black-and-white striped bikini, smaller than Rachelís but not too skimpy. The blonde was dressed like Evonne, a sheer bikini over a tiny one. Both were full-figured, athletic, and very sexy, with the blonde a bit bigger and built more like a fitness model. Freddie held out a hand to the blonde and said, "Heidi will climb into the ring and put you in a full-nelson!" He held out his other hand to the redhead. "Monica will join you in the ring to officiate! When I give the signal, youíll have sixty seconds to escape from Heidiís hold, and if you do, weíll change to the match so that the time-limit is cut down to five minutes instead of ten! Youíll be five minutes closer to $5000 before the match even starts!" The teleprompter told him to pause, letting Rachel think about the offer while the crowd chanted "Knock-out! Knock-out!" After about thirty seconds, Freddie said, "If you donít escape, the match will be no-disqualification to a knock-out with a ten-minute limit, AND," a brief pause, "youíll only earn $100 per minute! Youíll still get $5000 for the full ten minutes, but if you get knocked out before then," he let the statement hang.

Again, Rachel was forced into a tough decision while hundreds of people pushed for her to choose the harder road. She studied Heidi carefully. She was bigger than Rachel, definitely, and probably stronger, too. But there were much tougher holds than a full-nelson, and cutting five minutes off of the time-limit was so tempting! Even if she lost, it didnít seem that likely that Heidi could knock her out, especially if she was fighting back. Rachel knew she was stronger than she looked. She made the crowd roar to shake the rafters by saying, "Youíre on!"

Heidi slid into the ring quickly with Monica, and Monica brought Rachel into the middle of the ring. Heidi came up behind the young brunette and put her arms up under Rachelís arms, clasping her hands behind Rachelís neck. Rachel squirmed a little, feeling out how firm Heidiís grip was. The blonde had a solid grip on her, but not an unbreakable one.

At ringside, Freddie asked, "Heidi, are you comfortable with your grip?" The blonde nodded. "Rachel, are you ready?" Rachel found that she couldnít nod, but she said she was. Monica heard and nodded for her. "Okay, START!"

Instantly, Heidiís arms tightened their grip ten-fold, and the blonde threw her shoulders back and yanked Rachelís feet right off of the mat. Rachel started to scream as her shoulders and neck registered the sudden surge in pressure, but it was cut off abruptly as the hold drove her chin into her chest. She couldnít see Heidiís arms, but the blondeís biceps had just swelled to the size of grapefruit. The Challengerís feet touched the mat again after a few seconds, but Heidi yanked her into the air again, this time swinging to the left and taking Rachel face-down on the canvas. The blonde quickly shifted so she was lying on top of the smaller brunette and put another burst of power into the hold, grinding Rachelís forehead into the mat. Rachel kicked in agony, but Heidi quickly felt her resistance fading, like the teen was giving up. Smiling, she put her mouth next to Rachelís ear and whispered, "Youíre getting a beating tonight, little girl, and maybe after itís over, Iíll have a little fun with you back in the dressing room." Chuckling, she nibbled Rachelís ear a little and rubbed her crotch against the girlís tight ass. She was rewarded with a quick revival of resistance in Rachel as the brunette started flailing her arms and legs to be free. Heidi didnít mind and gave her another thrust of painful pressure. The kid was pretty strong but didnít have the muscle to break Heidiís grip, and Heidi wanted to keep her struggling so Rachel would waste energy. She was already panting from the restricted breathing that the full-nelson caused. By the time 60 seconds had passed, Rachel hadnít budged Heidi even an inch, but she was sweating and gulping air on the mat after Heidi released the hold. The blonde sat up so she was straddling the girlís thighs and gave her a sharp slap on the rump. She wasnít even breathing hard.

Freddie was screaming at ringside, "Heidi wins the wager! We have a no-DQ, knock-out challenge!" He wildly gestured to the audience where people planted by the show lead a chant that went: "D-Q!" (clap, clap) "N-O!" (clap, clap) "LETíS GO!" (clap, clap) "K-O!" (clap, clap) They went through the chant five or six times, but Heidi started glaring at Freddie, knowing that Rachel wasnít supposed to have a lot of recovery time. The producers behind the teleprompter felt the same way. Freddie was instructed to get the match going. "Letís get this match started! Monica, please help our brave Challenger to her corner!" Rachel was still trying to catch her breath as she felt Heidi get off of her legs with another slap on Rachelís bottom. The little brunette felt someone grab her left arm and lift gently, helping her to her feet (Monica, of course). The redhead turned the brunette around and walked her over to one of the corners on the side of the ring closest to the audience, putting her arms over the top rope so she could rest. "Now, Bobby, would you please give our champion a proper introduction as she takes her place in her corner!" Monica patted Rachel on the back and encouraged her breath deeply and get her strength back. All the while, she was keeping Rachel facing away from the opposite corner, where Heidi was holding the ropes open for a woman in a long, hooded robe who came out from behind the black curtain.

The mystery woman took her place in the opposite corner from Rachel as Bobby boomed out of the studio speakers again. "Our GCLW Champion has been called the worst monster to come out of Japan since Godzilla and has been banned from professional wrestling on six continents! (This was mostly bullshit, and the last piece was a joke from the writers since there are only seven continents and Antarctica isnít known for its pro wrestling. Maybe one out of every 50 people in the studio got the joke.) Standing 5í11" and weighing in at almost 200 pounds, she is HORROR HAGAMA!" Rachel turned, wide-eyed, as the mystery woman threw off the robe. Horror was actually a former pro-wrestler that had been black-listed in Japan for dangerous tactics and injuring opponents after the bell. She had the thick, mannish body-type of some Japanese lady heels, very barrel-chested and wide-hipped with tiny breasts. Her legs and arms were thick around, and her face was broad and scowling. Her hair was short and green-tinted, and her face was painted with a mask of green and black. She wore black wrestling tights with no sleeves and green slashes on the torso and legs, and she had fingerless black gloves and black wrestling boots.

Her robe had barely touched the canvas before Horror screamed a war-cry and charged across the ring. The bell rang, and Monica, playing her part in this ambush, stayed in close to Rachel until the last second, preventing the Challenger from dodging out of the corner. The little brunette was crushed into the bare steel turnbuckles by the heavyweight, discovering that Horror was like many of the large Japanese wrestlers. She looked fat but was actually very solid. She was also unbelievably strong as she lifted her knee six times into Rachelís unprepared stomach. Each blow lifted Rachelís feet off of the mat and drove her cute butt between the turnbuckles until it hit the steel ring post. After the sixth knee-lift, Horror took one step back to let the girl drop to her knees and stepped back in with another knee-lift that took the brunette right under the chin, snapping her head back into the ringís steel hardware. Rachelís eyes started rolling back into her head, but Horror grabbed her by the ponytail and pulled her up out of the corner. Using the hair, she snapped Rachel over onto her back and then dropped a knee on her windpipe.

Throughout all of this, the crowd was cheering and yelling, "Kill the Challenger!" ("The lowest common denominator," remember? Springer would be too high-brow for these people.) Now as Horror choked the wildly kicking coed, Freddie shouted, "ONE MINUTE! Nine minutes to go!" The idea of calling out the passing minutes of this match had two purposes. One was to work up the crowd even more. The other was to let Horror know how much time she had to play. She could put this kid in dreamland at any time, but beating her to a pulp first helped the showís ratings. She held the choke for about 30 seconds more and then shifted so she was straddling the girl and pinning Rachelís shoulders under her knees. Horror cracked the knuckles of her right fist and pounded it down into the left side of the coedís face until Freddie called out the two-minute mark.

After only two minutes, Rachel totally dazed and glassy-eyed, and the left side of her face was red and beginning to puff up. Horror used the ponytail again to pull her up, getting her into a sitting position, and she drove her left knee into the right side of Rachelís face. She did about as much damage with that one shot as she did to the other side of Rachelís face with a dozen punches. The blow snapped Rachelís head over onto her left shoulder and knocked her onto her side. A kick to the small of Rachelís back put her face-down, and the girl threw her head back and shrieked as Horror dropped a knee into her lower back. Moving very fast for such a large woman, Horror shot her big hands forward and caught Rachel under the chin from behind. Interlocking her fingers, the Gut Check champion used that wicked strength she possessed to bend Rachelís spine into a tight "C" with a chin-lock, the pain made worse by the fact that Horrorís knee was still posted in the small of Rachelís back. Enduring horrendous pain, Rachel barely heard Freddie shout, "THREE MINUTES!"

Though it felt like forever to Rachel, Horror released the hold after about a minute, not wanting to waste too much time on any one move. Once again, Rachelís ponytail was grabbed and used to lift the coed, this time until she was standing. Horror could see that the girl was already in too much pain to remain standing without help so she quickly threw her thick right arm around the brunetteís head and held her bent over in a side-headlock. Swollen-faced and rattled by head-shots, Rachelís vision was blurring as Horror cranked up the pressure on her throbbing skull, and she trotted along behind the big woman as Horror ran her into the corner and slammed Rachelís forehead into the hardware. Not content with a single shot, the Japanese monster continued beating the girlís head into the steel with the studio audience counting along so loudly that they almost didnít hear Freddie call out that the match had reached four minutes.

Horror stopped the head-shots when the crowd reached number 15. Rachel was literally hanging in Horrorís hands and had been cut at the hairline so blood seeped and trickled down her face. Her eyes were still open but vacant. That didnít change much when Horror turned her around and sank her teeth into the cut on her head, gnawing it into bleeding about four times as much. Now that blood was dripping from Rachelís chin and staining the white bra of her bikini, Horror ran her into the middle of the ring and threw Rachel chest-first into the opposite corner. Following the coed, the champion lunged and smashed her shoulder into Rachelís damaged lower back. The impact bent the girl backward like she was being snapped in half. Freddie called out five minutes passed.

Rachel wasnít allowed to fall as Horror straightened up, instead being grabbed around her slim waist and picked up off of the canvas. Horror raised her until she was almost on the Japanese wrestlerís shoulder and sat the beaten girl on the top turnbuckle facing outward toward the back curtain. Hooking Rachelís ankles, Horror let her fall backward so she was hanging in the dreaded Tree of Woe, in full view of the audience. The audience had to see the tortured expression on the girlís face as Horror slammed her booted left foot into the brunetteís breast-bone over and over. After six kicks, the Japanese sadist jammed her heel against Rachelís trachea and tried to crush it until she heard the six-minute mark called.

Bending down, Horror grabbed that handy ponytail, now slightly bloody, and pulled Rachel up until she was sitting on the turnbuckle again. Holding Rachel steady, Horror climbed up to the second rope behind her and grabbed the girl around the waist. With a bounce and hoist, the monster plucked Rachel off of the turnbuckle and threw her backward to the mat, crashing on her head. Limp as cooked spaghetti, the coedís legs flipped over the rest of her body and left Rachel lying face-down on the mat. Rolling over onto her hands and knees, Horror pounced on the unmoving girl and wrapped up her head in a twisting front face-lock, wrenching Rachelís neck and hiding her face from view. As soon as sheíd looked at the girl, Horror knew she was unconscious, but the wrestler wasnít done with her yet. Holding her right arm up, Horror held out her thumb and stabbed it down into the muscles of Rachelís neck, digging deep into the pressure points and nerves. Rachel was conscious (somewhat) and kicking her legs in wild spasms a few seconds before Freddie announced, "Seven minutes!"

Now that Rachel was moving and whimpering again, she was pulled up by the ponytail until she was vertical and caught one more time around the waist. Horror lifted her about two feet into the air and slammed her downward onto an outstretched knee, smashing the poor girlís pubis with a Reverse Atomic Drop. Her head hanging back with her mouth open, Rachel let loose a short shriek. That was good enough to get her lifted back into the air and smashed between the legs with the other knee in another Reverse Atomic Drop. Keeping her up, Horror stood with her victim and shifted her arms so she had Rachel by the shoulder and crotch, and she lifted Rachel into the air. With a roar, Horror heaved Rachel up over her head and brought the girlís spine down across her right thigh with a hideous back-breaker. She pressed down with both hands on the brunetteís crotch and throat, bending her again into a tight "C" curve. She felt, rather than heard, Rachelís spine pop with the roaring audience and Freddie screaming "Eight minutes," into his microphone.

Damage done, Horror grabbed that ponytail again and stood, holding Rachel up like a puppet. She walked the broken coed to the ropes on the curtain side of the ring and hung her arms over the top rope to keep her up and in full view of the crowd. Once Rachel was secure, Horror slid out of the ring under the ropes and slipped behind the curtain. The crowd murmured for a few seconds over the championís disappearance and then roared again as she reappeared with a folded steel chair in her hands. Tossing the chair into the ring, Horror slid in after it, picked it up, and carried it over to her victim. Playing to the crowd, she raised it slowly over her head and suddenly drove it downward like a sledgehammer on the top of the teenís head. She raised it slowly again to hit the bloody girl over the head a second time, and then a third.

Freddie called out, "Nine minutes!" That was the signal to finish the game. Dropping the chair so it was lying at her feet, Horror reached over it and grabbed that bloody ponytail to pull Rachel off of the ropes and bend her over. She knew Rachel was already unconscious again, but it was time to give this girl a spectacular end. She pushed the coedís head between her knees and hugged Rachelís gut, lifting her into an inverted bearhug. The crowd could see what was coming and roared their approval. With a final roar of her own, Horror dropped to her knees, planting Rachelís head into the chair with a piledriver. Horror slipped to the side and let Rachel drop, spread-eagle and covered with blood for the audience to see. Horror put a foot on the chest of the devastated girl.

Once Horror did that, Monica left the neutral corner where she had been watching the slaughter and chatting with the three other girls. She knew the whole time that Horror was going to string the girl along for nine minutes of torture to fill the show and feed the crowdís blood-lust. The foot-on-the-chest was the signal for Monica to do her job as "referee." She walked over to the human wreckage, lifted her arm three times, and dropped it with a dull "thud" each time. Test done, Monica signaled that Rachel was out cold, and the bell rang. Monica raised Horrorís arm in victory.

The curtain closed, hiding the ring again so the studio audience wouldnít see the paramedics rushing to the ring to begin treatment on the injured Challenger. Freddie, smiling like the brainless goon that he is, raised his microphone and said, "Oh, so close! Rachel came within seconds of that $5000 prize, but Iím sure she can be proud of the fact that sheís earned $900 with her performance in our Gut Check Challenge! Well, thatís our show for this week! If you or any of your friends think youíre up to the challenge, send in your name, age, and phone number, and you may be one of our Challengers for Gut Check! Good night, folks!"