While not taking great risks meant never being catapulted into the upper ranks overnight, her diligence had at long last paid off in the most recent league rankings when Cameron was listed at number two which meant her shot at the HWA World belt was imminent. It was the moment she had long been working for. Her steadfast rise up the HWA ranks was matched with a thoroughgoing analysis of her rivals so that now, on the cusp of potential greatness, she felt she knew as much as possible about the ring deficiencies of champion, Halle Berry.
Calculating. Canny. Steady. Methodical. Cautious. Cameron’s plan had been masterminded and enacted at the expense of quick fame and fortune. But now, it was on the verge of delivering the hugest dividends of all. But not this week! That honor would be going to the current Number One contender, Angelina Jolie which suited Cameron just fine. With her usual analytical skill, she’d concluded that, barring an unforeseen element, Jolie would most likely not beat Berry. But, roughhouser that she was, Angelina could inflict some damage on the champ which could help tip the scales ever so slightly in Cam’s favor when she faced her the following week.
With her schedule open for her own Monday evening match, Cameron decided to accept a challenge from Jaime Pressly. Jaime was brand new to the league, this would be her first HWA match. But she was hardly new to wrestling, having spent her early years in Mexico, where her high flying acrobatic style made her a big success. She’d also gotten a reputation for ruthlessness making her one of the most despised... and thus most bankable... rudas in the sport. Her reputation had traveled north of the border and the HWA came knocking. Anxious to translate her Mexican success to her own native country, Jaime accepted...but with the proviso that her inaugural match be with Cameron Diaz.
For while Cameron had been studying her rivals, Jaime had been studying Cameron. She appreciated the slow, systematic way Cameron had engineered her rise in the league, but in it Jaime saw a fatal flaw. Cameron’s whole style was founded on rigid order. Smash that order and she would be vulnerable...or so Jaime was gambling.
Going into the match, Cameron was hardly uninformed about her opponent. She made a point of studying tapes of some of her matches in Mexico and she was impressed. Jaime was a skilled gymnast and wasn’t reluctant about breaking rules when it suited her. She’d be a formidable opponent but she was hardly unbeatable. Cameron had faced plenty of high flyers before - and plenty of rulebreakers!. She figured her odds against Jaime and concluded she’d win - which is exactly what Jaime wanted her to think for she needed Cameron to be over-confident, to believe that Jaime was a ‘manageable threat.’
Monday night couldn’t come soon enough for Jaime. Due to Cameron’s exalted status in the HWA, the match would be the next-to-last bout with the finale reserved for the title fight. That was an intimidating berth for a newcomer to the league, but Jaime relished the opportunity to make a name for herself in such a high-profile way and, if her plan succeeded, it’d be a fearsome name indeed.
As the lesser-ranked wrestler, Jaime was announced first and she strutted down the runway to the ring with a feline grace. Stepping into the ring, she climbed up to the top turnbuckle in her corner to acknowledge the cheers of the crowd, then executed an impressive backflip, landing lightly on her feet to a huge pop from the fans.
Then came Cameron as the arena exploded into a chorus of cheers while she literally bounced down the runway, slapping outstretched hands, her beaming smile lighting up the entire stadium. She’d long been a fan favorite and her legion of supporters were thrilled she was so close to a long-awaited title shot.
The two wrestlers met in mid-ring for the final instructions from the referee. To Cameron’s mild surprise, Jaime offered her hand for a quick ‘good luck’ shake. Cameron hesitated momentarily, wary of some trick, then cautiously accepted the hand briefly. But Jaime’s friendly gesture had served its purpose...Cameron now believed Jaime would wrestle essentially fairly in the match and that belief would lead her to dropping her guard ever so slightly as she turned her back to head back to her corner to await the opening bell. Precisely as Jaime had planned!
Without warning, Jaime rushed at her unsuspecting opponent and launching herself into the air, landed a sledgehammer dropkick to the back of Cameron’s head. Cameron was flung forward by the impact and crashed into the turnbuckle. Dazed, her knees buckled under her, although she was saved from collapsing to the canvas by her arms which were draped over the top ropes. The referee quickly and impotently called for the opening bell to start the match.
Even with her senses reeling, Cameron was veteran enough to know she had to get some breathing space. Even with just a few precious seconds, she could recover enough to put up a proper defense. Instinctively, she threw herself to the mat and rolled towards the ropes to get out of the ring and gather her wits. Her feet had just touched the floor at ringside when Jaime grabbed her by her golden mane and painfully pulled her back into the ring! Jaime as well as Cameron that the secret to beating her was never to let up on the attack even for a moment!
Pressing her advantage, Jaime pulled Cameron to her feet only to slam her back down again with a DDT. The crown of Cameron’s head bore the brunt of the impact, further stunning her. What followed was a symphony of devastation, as Jaime subjected her hapless victim to an unrelenting series of maneuvers, each more damaging than the one before. Never before had the fans seen Cameron so helpless. She was subjected to bodyslams, bulldogs, frog splashes, snapmares and a host of others; each robbing her of a little bit more of her strength and acuity.
There was no perceptible pattern to Jaime’s offensive, nothing that Cameron could anticipate and prepare for. Jaime simply pounded away at her with every weapon in her arsenal, never once giving the veteran even the barest moment to regroup. But no one could keep up such a relentless onslaught without interruption forever. When Jaime finally pauses to catch a breath and survey her handiwork, Cameron’s battle instincts flared and, virtually without thinking, she threw a punch into her rival’s stomach.
Had her effort come earlier, it might have been effective but Cameron was so weakened by that time the blow was easily absorbed by Jaime’s taut abdomen. Jaime smiled wickedly, realizing she had Cameron completely at her mercy. And Cameron seemed to realize it too for her entire body seemed to visibly deflate. A hush fell over the thousands of spectators, they all realized they were witnessing a hitherto-impossible-to-conceive event ...the total domination of Cameron Diaz.
Jaime knew the time had come to finish! She hoisted Cameron up and draped her body across her shoulders, then began to twirl around and around in an airplane spin. Weak, helpless, her battered senses further dazed by the spinning, Cameron let out a pitiful howl like a wild animal in its death throes. It was music to Jaime’s ears!
Cameron was slammed down to the mat and Jaime went for the coup de grace...a Boston Crab - a real slap in Cameron’s face - it was her own favorite finisher and she was widely respected as the best practitioner of this crippling maneuver. Jaime made sure to apply the maximum pressure, the kind which, if left unchecked, could snap the spine of a luckless victim.
Cameron snapped out of her stupor as if jolted by electricity, but was unable to escape. The agony was so great, it was only a few seconds before she began to frantically slap the canvas with her palm signaling her surrender.
“NO!” screamed Jaime and the timid referee acceded to her demand, refusing to accept this surrender.
Everyone in the arena knew what Jaime really wanted. Cameron knew it too, although her pride at first refused to allow her to even consider it. But with her back on fire with pain, she really had no choice.
In a voice cracking with shame and pain, Cameron cried, “I...submit!”
Jaime instantly released the hold. She had what she wanted and was no longer interested in Cameron so had no further thoughts of torturing her any longer.
What Jaime had was more precious than the satisfaction she’d gain from such torture …. a victory so spectacular, over so highly regarded an opponent, that she was instantly vaulted into the upper echelon of the HWA. In a single match, Jaime Pressly became the ‘Woman to Beat’ in the league.
As for Cameron, she had to be helped out of the ring and up the ramp to the First Aid Center. She refused to be taken out on a stretcher, although each step she took was blindingly painful and she feared she was doing even greater damage to her body. Yet, she was desperate to preserve and retain at least a small shred of her dignity by walking out of the arena on her own two feet.
As she slowly trudged back up the long aisle, her mind raced with thoughts of what had just happened. And despite herself, she couldn’t help being impressed by how Jaime had turned her greatest strength into a fatal weakness. That would be a flaw Cameron intended to remedy before their rematch. But a rematch would be a long way off. First, Cameron knew she would have to rebuild her reputation and her standing in the league. That would take quite a long time, but Cameron didn’t care. She was a patient woman.