Many in the audience were impressed by this powerful man. He had totally dominated the circuit since his arrival by brutally beating down opponents with his massive arms and fists. But most of the fans despised him. Even though his superior strength and size were more than enough to defeat inferior wrestlers, he would always pummel them with a metal chair when they were prone and defenseless on the mat. After he got bored with that he would finally pin and put them out of their misery. His brutality offended a majority of the crowd and they booed him loudly, as he stood in the ring dressed in his size 14 boots with full length black tights tucked inside, and flexed his powerful bare chest while sneering at the audience.
The bell rang and Hodges sprang from his stool. He took a flying leap at Khan and drove both feet into the man's chest. The force of the blow sent the giant against the ropes, where he teetered over the top rope before falling to the floor below, crashing face down with a mighty thud. Now Hodges ran towards Bucksaw and immediately got him in the ankle lock once again. The lumberjack tried to hold on, waiting and hoping for his partner to rescue him, as Hodges expertly twisted the ankle more and more. Screaming in agony, Bucksaw raised his hand to bang the mat and signal his submission when suddenly the ankle lock was released - the result of Khan having re-entered the ring to viciously whack Hodges across his broad back with a metal ringside chair.
The fans screamed in protest. Why wasn't Khan being disqualified and Hodges declared the winner? The referee silently stood in the corner and watched what was happening, but made no effort to interfere. Even though Jimmy frantically paced the floor and pleaded with the referee to disqualify Khan, the official merely smiled at him and shook his head.
Dick Hodges lay chest down in the center of the ring. He groggily pressed with the arms to lift his torso and rise to all fours, while Khan tossed the chair aside and ran towards the ropes. He bounced off them and headed for Hodges in a full sprint. Lifting his right leg on the final step, he planted the instep of his size 14 boot into Hodges' rib cage, a blow which sent the dazed wrestler three feet into the air and rolling towards the corner, coming to rest on his back.
Now Khan stalked the prone man, grabbing both of his ankles and dragging him into the corner. Lifting Hodges up by the ankles, Khan draped the man's legs over the top rope, bending his knees over the rope on either side of the turnbuckle. Now he crossed and locked Hodges' ankles together, tucking them under a three foot long, woven steel cable. This cable horizontally connected the turnbuckle to its corresponding vertical steel post, one of four that supported the ring from the floor below. Hodges was now trapped. He was suspended upside down inside the corner of the ring, facing the center with his head six inches from the mat and forearms resting on it. He reached for the bottom rope one hand at a time and began to pull himself up, but Khan, who had left the ring and now was on the floor by the steel ring post, quickly grabbed Hodges' wrists and pulled the arms straight back towards the post, stretching them under the bottom rope outside the corner of the ring.
Now it appeared as though Hodges was vertically frozen in a mid-air hand-spring flip. His arms were bent at the elbows and pulled back at the same angle of his legs, which were bent at the knees. His forearms and shins were all turned upwards towards the ceiling of the arena. Khan held the wrists close together, causing Hodges deltoids and laterals to expand and form an inverted "V" shape from the black trunks to his bushy armpits. His back was arched, as it was pressed against the padding of the bottom and middle turnbuckles, while his chest and abdomen jutted out towards the center of the ring, hopelessly vulnerable to attack.
Bucksaw was still hobbling around the ring, but soon approached the suspended man and planted the gridded sole of his right logger boot into the center of Hodges' chest. The devastating kick drove the air out of the wrestler's lungs and left an imprint on his sternum. Khan continued to pull harder on Hodges' arms, forcing his back to arch and chest to protrude more and more.
The fans screamed for the referee to stop the match. By the rules, Khan should have been counted out for being outside of the ropes for more than ten seconds, but this referee continued to stand in the distant corner, oblivious to the illegal tactics being used on the helpless wrestler. Jimmy also relentlessly pleaded with the referee to do his job and count out the Mongolian, but his protests fell on deaf ears. The audience members were beginning to suspect that some sort of arrangement had been made prior to the beginning of the match, while Jimmy was sure of it, for no other reason could explain this referee's blatant disregard for the rules.
Khan pulled with all his might and Hodges groaned in agony, flexing his torso to prepare for the next assault. Bucksaw's ankle was now fully recovered and he lumbered over to the opposite corner, turned to face Hodges, then ran at full sprint towards the bound man. Gaining speed, Bucksaw came at him like a freight train and leaped into the air to deliver a devastating drop kick with both logger boots, one crashing into Hodges' chest and the other pulverizing his stomach. This caused a spray of saliva to spew from his mouth, as the air was pounded out of him. Now Bucksaw stood before the poor man and lifted his right boot, then repeatedly pounded Hodges' chest, stomach and belly with the sole of his logger boot. One devastating stomp after another rained on the helpless man's exposed chest and abdominal muscles, as Hodges groaned and grunted from this brutal punishment. Little red circles began to cover the front of Hodges' torso, imprints left behind from the thick sole of the gridded logger boot driving into his exposed chest and gut.
Finally, Khan released Hodges' wrists and left him hanging there upside down, desperately gasping for air. He lifted his arms and rubbed his aching chest with one hand and pulverized belly with the other.
As Khan stepped up to join his partner in the center of the ring, both men pointed to the helpless victim in the corner and started to laugh. These two brutes taunted their dazed opponent, while also teasing the crowd by raising their hands in victory as though the round was already over.
Jimmy jumped up to the ring outside the ropes and attempted to release Hodges' feet from underneath the steel cable securing them, but Bucksaw quickly moved toward him and planted a fist in the center of Jimmy's forehead, sending him back down to the floor, flat on his back.
Then Bucksaw reached over and unlocked Hodges ankles, allowing him to tumble to the mat, where he lay chest down groaning in pain. Khan joined his partner and picked Hodges up by his armpits to a standing position. Soon he had the crook of the wrestler's elbows locked with his. Placing his forearms into the small of Hodges' back, Khan locked his wrists together and pulled back the victim's arms, forcing his chest and abdomen to push forward. Now Hodges' was held in the classic position, primed for a series of gut punches.
Bucksaw placed his left hand on Hodges' chest and began the assault. He drove his fist into the stomach, just under the rib cage. Hodges had tightened the muscles there with all his might and the fist was received with a dull thud, causing Bucksaw's knuckles to feel like they had hit a brick wall.
Unfazed, he resumed the pounding, driving his fist into Hodges' mid-section again and again, working his way from the stomach down towards the navel inches at a time. Now he grabbed the rim of Hodges' trunks with his left hand and pulled the torso towards him, simultaneously delivering a punch with his right hand aimed directly at the man's belly button. He continued pounding Hodges' lower abdomen with repeated rights, while Khan pulled the victim's arms back with painful effect.
Hodges was slowly succumbing to these devastating punches. The only way he could defend himself was with the powerful muscles in his abdominal cavity, but they were slowly breaking down. The deep sounding thuds that accompanied each punch to his guts were now being joined by breath-heavy grunts, ooghs and ughs, so Bucksaw intensified the attack by including left hooks in his arsenal. He alternated right upper cuts to the pit of the man's stomach, followed by a left to the kidney and another right in the vicinity of the navel. Manly grunts echoed from the ring, as Hodges withstood a relentless flurry of blows to his exposed gut.
After pausing to catch the breath and admire his work, Bucksaw bolted for the far ropes, bounced off them and returned towards his victim. He leaped into the air and planted both boots into Hodges' mid-section with another flying drop kick. A huge wad of spit shot from the poor man's mouth as every ounce of air was driven out of him. Khan finally released the arms and Hodges fell to his knees with both hands clutching the belly, then lingered for several seconds before collapsing chest down onto the mat.
Again the hulks teased the audience. They pointed to Dick Hodges and laughed at him, ridiculing the man in front of his screaming fans. Scattered amidst the crowd were a few clapping hands and cheers, but nobody heard them. The vast majority was yelling at the referee, begging for him to do something.
Bucksaw and Khan probably could have pinned Hodges then and there, but they were not finished with him. Now it was Khan's turn. Bucksaw prepared Hodges for the next punishment by placing the crook of his elbows under the man's armpits. Locking his hands behind Hodges' head, he now secured him in a full-nelson, then rolled over onto his back and brought Hodges with him. Next, he brought his ankles from either side, placed them over the tops of Hodges' and effectively pinned the man's legs to the floor between his own.
Dick Hodges was held in a full-nelson while lying on top of the massive lumberjack. His chest rose high into the air as his arms, which together with his shoulders formed a "U" shape, were pulled down towards the mat.
Khan retrieved the chair that had begun Hodges' downfall and - after folding the metal seat to a closed position, he approached the helpless victim, raised the chair high over his head and slammed it down across Hodges' protruding chest with a tremendous blow. As Hodges howled in unholy pain, Khan turned to the audience and taunted them, pointing to the stricken man as a way to further belittle their fallen hero.
Some in the crowd were enjoying this spectacle and they cheered the mighty Khan, which caused small skirmishes to break out in the audience. The majority still wanted the beatings to stop and were outraged as to why anyone would be applauding the antics of these two monsters. Sure, there had been rule-breakers who had punished journeymen wrestlers before - jobbers they're called, but they were nobodies and the brutality had never reached this level. This was the number one good guy in the entire stable of wrestlers. How could it be that these men were being allowed to totally destroy him, with no sense of fair play nor an official who would enforce the rules? The fans were puzzled and beginning to fragment between those loyalists who loved Dick Hodges and those new to the sport who wanted something more exciting. With the outcome of the match still in doubt, the traditionalists held the majority, but little by little their numbers were dwindling.
Khan turned back to his victim and straddled him by planting his size 14 boots on either side of Hodges' hips. Holding the chair by its legs, he scrutinized the powerful chest and belly stretched and defenseless before him, then raised the chair and drove the edge of its seat back into Hodges' flattened abdominal muscles. He brought the chair up and down again and again, pounding Hodges from the pit of his stomach down to his belly and back again. Spit was spraying from Hodges' mouth like a fountain each time the seat back was driven into him and he let out a guttural grunt with each blow, as oxygen was crushed out of him as quickly as he could breath it in.
Kruil Li Khan was not yet finished pulverizing the helpless wrestler. He reversed grip on the chair and held the seat back with one hand. Using his free hand, Khan grabbed Hodges' trunks and lowered them to just above the pubic hair, then partially unfolded the chair to make the feet six inches apart. Placing two of the feet into Hodges' middle section, he began to lean on the chair. Now they were grinding into Hodges' abdominal muscles - one foot below the man's navel, the other in the pit of his stomach. His mighty chest expanded, while Bucksaw pulled down on his arms to further arch the back and stretch the abdominals.
Hodges sucked in and tightened his belly with every ounce of strength he could summon, desperately trying to withstand this horrific punishment. The groaning of the man was a pitiful sound, as he strained against Bucksaw's firmly clamped full-nelson and raised his head with lower jaw jutting forward. Gazing past his heaving chest, Hodges looked down to the sight of his own torture. He and his powerful belly muscles were locked in a battle against the feet of the chair, as Khan ruthlessly drove them deep into him like impaling stakes.
Soon, tiny lines of blood began to trickle from the corners of his twisted mouth. The grinding feet of the chair were slowly crushing his stomach and the organs in his belly. Seeing this, the giant raised the chair embedded into the man's muscles and tossed it to the mat. He gazed at the audience to see and hear a few cheering and applauding these antics, but most were shaking their fists at him and demanding that he stop torturing the poor man.
Khan knelt to the mat and positioned himself beside Hodges' abdomen. He stared at every line of the stretched muscles he had just ground to a pulp, while the helpless wrestler's chest and diaphragm rapidly rose and fell. He struggled to take in fresh oxygen in an attempt to bring renewed strength to his pulverized belly, then turned his head to find Jimmy standing at ringside.
With Khan on the far side from him, Jimmy had a full profile view of his helpless hero's tormented body, as it strained against the torturous stretching of the full nelson. He saw the line of Hodges' abdomen quickly and repeatedly rise and fall, noting at how It was caved in to such an extent that the massive, expanded chest cavity appeared to be miles higher than the belly itself. Add to this the drama of his muscular body gallantly struggling to escape the full nelson and Jimmy was mesmerized by the scene.
He marveled at the incredible power of the man, but at the same time was devastated by the sight of his hero's suffering. He so dearly respected and admired Dick Hodges, not only for his masculine strength and athletic skills, but also for his unwavering commitment to the sport they both loved, that Jimmy's eyes moistened, his face consumed with anguish.
With head turned, Dick Hodges cast his eyes upon his devoted assistant, and in a thoughtful gesture to console him, flashed a smile, coupled with a reassuring wink. This strengthened Jimmy and he resumed his attempts to persuade the useless referee to do his duty, but the fool made no moves to disqualify these two henchmen.
Just then Khan raised his arms high and formed two claws with his gigantic hands. He brought them down full bore onto Dick Hodges' belly and clamped on the abdominal claw. Hodges writhed in agony from this devastating hold. Few men had survived its paralyzing punishment under normal circumstances, but now Dick Hodges was forced to endure this agony with his arms and legs hopelessly pinned, chest raised high in the air and exposed abdominal muscles stretched, flattened and relentlessly ground to a pulp.
The hero let out a manly groan with each exhale, as Khan ruthlessly clutched his 10 powerful fingers into his flattened abdominals. Hodges clenched his teeth and raised his head to witness the grinding punishment.
Staring him down with an evil grin, Khan told the struggling man to submit, but Hodges shook his head side to side, as he groaned and grunted with lower jaw jutting forward in defiance. Khan then raised up on his haunches to increase the leverage, driving his fingers deeper into the poor man's belly muscles. He again demanded a submission, but Hodges held on with all his strength.
Illegal in almost every circuit (including Chicago - not that it mattered), the abdominal claw renders a man nearly lifeless. By attacking the muscles and nerve endings, a form of paralysis sets in, as the metabolism slows and organs begin to nearly stop functioning. The longer such an attack is sustained upon a man, the further his body becomes defenseless - that is if he merely lies flat on his back to withstand the punishment. The belly of Dick Hodges was in a far worse predicament and position of vulnerability, but still he somehow was able to maintain enough strength to flex his muscles in defense. This caused his mighty chest to expand and rise even higher into the air. The sight of this poor man's struggle was somehow both tragic and beautiful. He alternated his gaze, first looking to his tortured belly, then to the referee and Jimmy, then to different areas of the audience.
A few were cheering their approval of these tactics, while others seemed indifferent. A few cried - both men and women. It was painful for them to see their mighty hero's manly body punished in such an unjust manner. This man was the ultimate design of masculine strength and beauty, yet they were forced to watch as he was relentlessly beaten to a pulp - ruthlessly tortured before their very eyes. To them, this was not wrestling, but the unwarranted, undignified destruction of a magnificent athlete. They could not understand why nobody was willing to help him - why there was no one to stop this two-against-one torture in the center of the ring.
What they did not realize was that they were witnessing a rebirth of the sport. Just as surely as the fingers of Khan were slowly grinding the life out of Dick Hodges, so too was the life being drained from the scientific and legitimate sport of professional wrestling. As the outrageous, illegal assault continued to wear him down, this final bastion of pure wrestling techniques began to realize the outcome was unavoidable - his defeat inevitable - but not yet.
Despite the odds stacked against him, he silently vowed that as long as there was one ounce of strength remaining in his tortured body, he would never give in to them. They would be forced to beat him down until he could no longer move any muscle in defense. Until then, Dick Hodges was fully prepared to withstand any form of punishment they cared to dish out.
With newly-found resolve, Hodges turned his head, glared at Khan, and shot a wad of spit directly into his face. A bulls eye!
Immediately, Khan released the abdominal claw and stood in a rage, wiping the offensive saliva away from his eyes. Then, seeking revenge, he schemed for a new attack.
As Hodges relaxed his belly and continued gasping for air, Khan placed his hands onto the elevated chest of his victim, raised his legs in a handstand and brought both knees down into Hodges' abdomen.
The hapless wrestler grunted with a loud, echoing "UGH," as the air once again was driven out of him. The first blow had caught him off guard, knees plowing into his belly while his muscles were relaxed and innards unprotected. For the next, Hodges flexed in defense, as Khan unleashed a repeated attack by raising his legs again and again, bringing both knees down repeatedly into the stretched muscle.
Soon, the spit spewing from the mouth of Dick Hodges had a reddish tint, as blood intermingled with saliva to produce a pinkish spray.
Something inexplicable happened with many in the crowd when they saw these fountains. They forgot that they had come to the arena to see a wrestling match. Many more of them now had become excited by the violence, the savage assault and resulting blood being spewed up in the center of the ring. The audience began to count as Khan's knee-drops ruthlessly pounded the man's belly to hamburger: seven... eight... nine... ten!
The increased bleeding from the corners of Dick Hodges' mouth sent much of the crowd into a frenzy. These were the ones who had suspected for years that wrestling was fixed, but weren't quite certain of it - until now. Those fans were slowly becoming caught up in the violence - the brutality of the spectacle and they rushed closer to the ring, trying to get a better look at the relentless torture of Dick Hodges.
Some of the other fans tried to pull them back, but the audience was now split about 50-50 between those who were upset and those who were loving this drama.
Bigger skirmishes broke out as the people fought over who was right, and Khan, who sensed that things might get out of control, removed his hands from Dick Hodges' heaving chest and stopped his attack.
Khan stood gazing down at his pitiful victim, and then, he stepped up onto Hodges middle section. With both feet he stood, his full weight crushing down.
Hodges strained his arms and expanded his chest, while tightening his muscles in a valiant attempt to withstand the incredible load bearing down on him. His amazing strength caused his abdominal cavity to lift Khan's body up a few inches with his every tormented breath of air.
More and more people began to cheer the spectacle. One by one, they realized that this drama was no longer centered around who was the better man, but how the intense scene might play out. Good versus evil - athletic skills and masculine prowess versus illegal tactics and brute force - who would prevail? Because they no longer were concerned with what was right and what was wrong, they threw their support to the brutal duo. It stimulated them to see one man at the mercy of two and they urged the thugs to inflict more punishment to the stricken wrestler.
As Khan raised his arms in triumph, he looked down and nodded to the lumberjack. He was finally ready to put the finishing touches to whatever was left of the man beneath his boots.
Khan stepped off Hodges' belly, then Bucksaw rolled over on top, released Hodges from the full nelson and left him lying there face down. They both began mercilessly stomping on his back, until Khan poked his foot under Hodges' arm pit and rolled the beaten man face up and spread-eagle. Bucksaw stood on Hodges' chest. Khan stood on his belly. They both flexed their muscles to the crowd, as the referee counted very slowly: one...... two...... three. The bell rang. Round 2 had ended.
Round 3 in a week