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In professional wrestling, they often say that all roads lead to Wrestlemania. In our case, all roads of Mania Madness lead to the Final Four.
We have four deserving champions, each victorious in their individual regions over the past month. But in the end, only one can win the ultimate crown of Mania Madness champion. All four competitors have storied careers and decorated resumes. But none of that matters now. What matters is who can come out on top when all four meet.
We considered the options for what type of match they should face off in and there was really only one possible conclusion.
So join us as we take the champions of the Paul Bearer, Mae Young, Von Erich and McMahon regions of Mania Madness and put them not only into the ring…but the Elimination Chamber.
Mania Madness Championship Round
ELIMINATION CHAMBER MATCH
The Undertaker vs. Ric Flair vs. Bret Hart vs. Stone Cold Steve Austin
The fans wait with fervent anticipation. In front of them sits the Elimination Chamber, covered in a black tarp. A normal chamber features at least six participants but there’s only four this time. All four men will start in their pods. When the bell rings, two pods will open and the match will begin. There will be no intros, no promos, no interference. This will be a straight up fight.
The tarp starts to raise. The four pods in the corners of the ring become visible. In one corner, Ric Flair lets out a thunderous “Wooo!” towards the fans, who echo him back. In another, Bret Hart waits calmly. To his right, The Undertaker stands perfectly still, staring straight ahead. In the final corner, Steve Austin paces back and forth, uncomfortable with being caged.
The bell rings and the crowd erupts in a cacophony of cheers and screams. The lights dim and the lights above the pods begin flickering, tantalizing both the fans and the competitors. All four men are anxious to get into the ring, but they all know starting first is a disadvantage. Finally the lights stop and two pods are illuminated.
The crowd explodes as Bret The Hitman Hart and Stone Cold Steve Austin’s pod doors open.
Hart steps through the ropes, looking to size up Austin. But Austin isn’t interested in assessments. He charges straight at the Hitman, bodying him into the corner and laying into him with right hands. Hart is clearly overwhelmed by the sudden onslaught and is dazed by the Rattlesnake. He clings to the ropes, refusing to slide down, knowing Austin will start stomping if he becomes horizontal.
Hart counters with an elbow to Austin’s jaw and stumbles out of the corner. Austin lines him up and charges for a clothesline, but Hart’s technical instincts kick in and he counters with a drop toe-hold. Austin goes to pop up quickly but Hart scrambles onto Austin’s back, trying to lock in a rear naked choke hold. Austin battles back and Hart can’t get the hold fully locked in but he’s determined to not let the Rattlesnake get vertical.
Austin crawls his way to the ropes, forcing Hart to break the hold. Austin gets to his feet, only to be met by chops and kicks from the Hitman. Austin is leaning against the ropes and Hart tries to clothesline him over them, but Austin ducks and flips Hart onto the steel grating. Austin follows him and starts stomping a mudhole, with Hart’s back loudly echoing off the metal. Austin then picks Hart off the floor and starts grating his face off of the steel chains that encircle the ring.
After a few seconds, Hart is busted open, his face a crimson mask. It looks like it could be an early end for the former World Champion. Gathering some intestinal fortitude, Hart battles back with elbows to Austin’s midsection, finally getting some separation. Austin swings with a haymaker, but Hart ducks it and gets behind him and counters with a back body drop onto the steel grating.
As both men lay motionless outside the ring, the lights dim again and the countdown to the next entrant hits zero.
Hart and Austin both rise to hands and knees in time to see The Undertaker striding across the ring towards them.
Hart tries to beat the Deadman to the ropes, hoping to get back into the ring before he can be caught outside of it. But he’s too slow and winds up with a mouth full of the Taker’s boot for his efforts. Taker is now on the apron, eyes set on Austin. A flurry of body shots rattle Austin off the steel chains. Austin tries to battle out but The Undertaker catches his right arm. He torques it twice, and then starts ascending the ringpost.
The crowd starts chanting “Old School! Old School!” as the big man from Death Valley walks the tightrope, holding Austin helpless on the apron. He comes down with a thunderous forearm to Austin’s shoulder, dropping the Rattlesnake to the steel.
He drags Austin into the ring and goes for a pinfall, but Austin kicks out after two. As he tries to pick Austin up, Austin retaliates with a low blow. The Undertaker staggers and turns directly into a spear from the recovered Hart.
Hart grabs the big man’s legs and tries to lock in the Sharpshooter, but the Phenom is able to roll onto his back and puts a boot right into Hart’s backside. The Hitman ricochets off the ropes and gets caught by a Lou Thesz Press from Austin. Austin hammers away at Hart and starts getting riled up the way only Austin can. The Undertaker charges him but Austin counters into a massive spinebuster.
The crowd starts screaming “What?! What?!” over and over again, their allegiance now shifting back to Austin. Hart is gathering himself near the ropes when Austin kicks him in the gut. The crowd gasps, expecting the Stunner, but instead Austin starts setting Hart up for a piledriver.
The Hitman is ready for it and blocks Austin’s lift. With a display of power he muscles Austin up over his shoulders and drops Austin over the ropes and onto the steel grating.
When Hart turns back to the center of the ring he’s met by a skull-rattling clothesline from the Deadman. The Hitman, dazed, pulls himself up in the corner. When he turns around he’s immediately caught by the throat. The Undertaker lifts him for a chokeslam but Hart kicks the Taker in the sternum as he’s lifted up. As the Phenom loses his grip, the Hitman catches him in a headlock on the way down and swings his momentum into a DDT. Hart then rolls under the ropes, completely exhausted.
The clock ticks down to zero for the final time and the arena is filled with one sound: “WOOOOOO!”
The Nature Boy enters the ring with a smile on his face as all three of of his opponents are on the ground. The Undertaker lies in the center of the ring and Flair goes to work on him with a series of kicks and standing elbow drops. He takes his eyes off the Taker and starts showboating, strutting and egging on the crowd. Behind him, The Undertaker sits up.
Flair’s eyes go wide as he sees the Deadman rise to his feet. Flair attacks with a series of chops but the Undertaker is unphased. Now Flair is on the receiving end of jabs and body blows from Taker. Taker grabs Flair’s arm and starts torquing it, setting up Old School again.
Flair counters with a thumb to the eyes. Both men stumble backwards into opposite corners. There is a swell of noise from the crowd as Austin and Hart both climb back into the ring. All four competitors are in opposite corners now and there is pandemonium in the arena.
Flair starts suggesting to Hart and Austin that they should team up on the big man. The tension is palpable. The Undertaker stands in his corner and waits. Hart seems to be in agreement, but Austin stares a hole through Flair. Austin flips Flair the bird and levels him with a clothesline. He follows up with one to Hart.
Austin then charges at The Undertaker and the two lock up near the ropes. They’re fighting for the advantage when Hart hits the Undertaker with a standing dropkick, sending him through the ropes and taking Austin with him. Flair follows and a brawl erupts on the steel grates.
Suddenly Hart has Austin locked up and hits him with a vertical suplex, dropping Austin over the ropes and back into the ring. The Undertaker charges Flair but the Nature Boy slides into a drop toe-hold, sending the Phenom through the walls of one of the pods with a sickening crash. Blood starts seeping from the Undertaker’s forehead.
Back in the ring, Hart locks the Sharpshooter in on Austin. The Rattlesnake is facing the center of the ring with no chance to get to the ropes. Flair drags The Undertaker under the ropes by an ankle, turns him around so he’s facing the center of the ring, and locks in the Figure Four.
The Undertaker and Austin are both writhing in pain from the submission holds, facing each other. With no way to reach the ropes, they lock hands and use each other for leverage and use their legs to power out of the holds, sending Flair and Hart sprawling in opposite directions. Austin pounces on Hart and they both roll under the bottom rope. The Rattlesnake gets the Hitman against the steel chains and starts hammering away with right hands. Hart battles out with an elbow, then hits Austin with a running bulldog on the steel. Austin is a bloody mess on the ground.
The Undertaker grabs Flair, but the Nature Boy hits him with a low knee. He backs the Deadman against the turnbuckle and starts landing chops, the crowd letting out a deafening “WOOOO!” after each strike. Flair climbs to the second rope and lays ten punches to the Undertaker’s bleeding forehead.
Suddenly The Undertaker rallies and tries to get a grip on Flair’s legs. Panicked, Flair scrambles upward, trying to climb on top of the pod. But the Phenom never lets go of Flair’s ankle, climbing to the top turnbuckle. The Undertaker, showing his trademark balance, gets his feet under him on the top rope and tightens his grip on Flair’s legs. He lifts Flair up and delivers The Last Ride off the top of the pod, nearly sending Flair through the mat.
The Deadman hooks the leg of the unconscious Flair. The count is purely performative.
Ric Flair Eliminated
The Undertaker tries to take a minute to collect himself after scoring the first elimination of the contest. But he’s out of luck, because Hart is back in the ring and all over the Phenom. He tries to whip him into the ropes but the Deadman reverses, then comes off the opposite rope looking for a diving clothesline. Hart ducks it, comes back off the rope and lands a swinging neckbreaker on the staggered Taker.
A bloody Austin re-enters the ring and lands a series of right hooks and chops on Hart. Austin goes for a vertical suplex, but Hart powers out, sidesteps and drops Austin with a Russian leg sweep. The Undertaker comes at the Hitman but Hart counters with an inverted Atomic drop.
Adrenaline surging, Hart turns The Undertaker over and locks in the Sharpshooter. The Undertaker puts his power on display, pulling Hart towards the ropes. But Hart digs down deep and pulls him back to the center of the ring. He knows it will take everything he has to get the Deadman to tap. He pulls back further, grimacing and closing his eyes.
The deafening crowd somehow gets even louder. Hart thinks its for him because with his eyes closed, he doesn’t see that Austin is standing right in front of him.
Stone Cold taps the Hitman on the chest. Bret opens his eyes to see double middle fingers flashed in his face. Austin delivers the kick to the midsection, followed by a devastating Stunner.
Austin hooks the leg and The Hitman is headed to the showers.
Bret Hart Eliminated
Now it’s down to just The Rattlesnake and The Phenom. They stare each other down. All their history stands in the ring between them. The crowd is screaming “THIS IS AWESOME! THIS IS AWESOME!”
The tension finally explodes, as they meet in the middle of the ring with a blizzard of exchanged punches. Every time it looks like one has the advantage, the other counters.
A back body drop from Austin is answered by a sidewalk slam from Taker. The Deadman scores a big boot, only to quickly wind up on the wrong end of Lou Thesz press.
Austin climbs to the second turnbuckle in one corner, looking for a bionic elbow. But suddenly Taker is up and catches Austin and lines him up for snake eyes in the corner. But he doesn’t drop Austin onto the top turnbuckle…he launches him headfirst into the wall of the pod.
Austin appears to be unconscious…the plastic cracked but didn’t break. He’s prone on the top turnbuckle, his back facing the ring. The Undertaker gets underneath him and lifts him up for the Last Ride. Somehow Austin stirs and gets out of the Undertaker’s grip, landing on his feet behind him. The Undertaker turns around and Austin hits him with a desperation Stunner.
Austin crawls towards the prone Undertaker and drapes an arm across his chest. One….two….The Undertaker sits straight up.
Austin looks completely spent, unable to stand. The Deadman somehow seems fresh, despite the punishment he’s taken. He stands up and lifts Austin to his feet. He drops Stone Cold with a chokeslam…Austin offered no resistance. The Undertaker looks at the crowd and signals for the Tombstone.
He lifts Austin onto his shoulder, locks his arms, and plants Austin firmly in the center of the ring. He folds Austin’s arms across his chest and goes for the cover.
Austin kicks out at two.
There are screams of disbelief from the crowd. The Undertaker has a numb look on his face. He lifts Austin off the ground again and sets him up for The Last Ride. With a sudden burst, Austin fights out of Taker’s grasp and slips behind him. Taker powers backwards, slamming Austin against the turnbuckle. But Austin gets his feet on the second rope and locks in the Million Dollar Dream.
Austin is pulling back with everything he has, trying to take the Deadman’s breath away. Taker staggers out of the corner with Austin draped on his back. With all his strength, he shakes Austin off. He turns to deliver a clothesline that Austin ducks. The Rattlesnake delivers the kick and another Stunner to the Phenom. But he doesn’t go for the cover.
Austin takes hold of The Undertaker’s legs and steps through. He turns Taker over and locks in the Sharpshooter.
He sits back and pulls with every ounce of strength he has. He knows The Undertaker won’t tap. He also knows he doesn’t need him to.
Austin lets out a scream as he applies the pressure. The Undertaker reaches towards the ropes but they’re too far, even for his long arms. Austin holds for what seems like an eternity.
Finally, The Undertaker passes out.
The glass breaks and Austin’s theme music blares throughout the arena. Austin lets go of the hold and drops to his knees, exhausted. After a few minutes, he gets up and signals for the beers. He chugs several. The Undertaker eventually rouses and Austin helps him to his feet. Two more beers are thrown in and The Rattlesnake and The Deadman chug them together.
The Phenom takes one for the road. At the top of the ramp, he’s met by The Hitman and The Nature Boy, each with a can of their own. They all raise them in salute towards Austin, who raises his in return.
WINNER AND MANIA MADNESS CHAMPION:
STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN