Now in the position of being able to select her opponents, she chose Tara Reid. The blond was a rising star, having found her niche in the time-honored tradition of playing none-too-bright bombshells. What was widely believed throughout the industry, however, was that Tara was very nearly as scatterbrained as the characters she played; leading one gauche producer to quip, "She's the ultimate Method Actor...she lives, breathes and sleeps her stupidity!" That's exactly the kind of challenge Suvari wanted, someone she could out-think, and maybe even embarrass a bit.
For her part, Tara was thrilled to have someone of Mena's stature select her. On the night of the match, which was held in the spacious living room of a leading screenwriter, there was none of the usual animosity found between combatants. In fact, Mena was greatly amused by how Tara fawned over her, thanking her profusely for the chance to wrestle and even suggesting they might become friends.
"Sure," the brunette cracked. "We can pal around, maybe hang out at the Galleria and scope hotties."
Missing the sarcasm, Tara replied, "Oh, goodie! I'm free to go this Sunday!"
Giggling, Tara went to her bedroom in order to change into her swimsuit for the fight.
"Well, I only hope this lasts long enough to be interesting for the rest of you," Mena said, half-apologetically and half-mockingly, to the assembled spectators.
Then she went to change for what she was certain was going to be a slaughter. She couldn't suppress a little grin at the thought of dominating the blond and wiping that insipid smile off of Tara's face.
Stepping out into the living room, Tara was dressed in a 60's style floral pattern bikini that complimented her trim figure extremely well. With her golden mane and toothsome smile, Reid looked as if she had just stepped out of an Annette and Frankie beach movie.
Mena emerged next, wearing a somewhat conservative royal blue tankini. She was aware that the suit helped make her look younger...and more coquettish...than she really was; that was the idea. She was already anticipating destroying Reid tonight, but she wanted to be careful not to cultivate a reputation as a vicious bitch. That's the sort of thing that leads to problems later, such as having ambitious "young guns" trying to take her down hard to make their own rep. Far wiser, she reasoned, to look more innocent and beguiling, more an ingenue than a shark.
As the two young women came together in the center of the room, the spectators were able to size them up. Each stood about five feet six and were of comparable weights. Physically, it looked to be an even fight. The real battle would be waged with skill, cunning and guile. And in all three areas Mena seemed to be light years ahead of Tara.
The signal was given and the two battlers stepped toward one another. Suddenly, with a broad smile, good sportswoman Tara stuck her hand out to shake. Mena hesitated for a heartbeat...could this be a trick? But the brunette decided that such a tactic didn't seem to be Tara's style, so she brushed fingertips with the blond. Then, it was time to get down to business.
The two young women circled one another several moments before Mena struck, grabbing the blond by the wrist and twisting her arm behind her. But, in a blur of motion, Tara reversed the hold and caught the brunette in a hammerlock!
"How the hell did she do that?" Mena asked herself.
Mena winced as Tara pushed her arm up further behind her back. Then, unexpectedly, Tara simply broke the hold and took several steps back, an innocent smile creasing her face. If Mena didn't know better, she'd swear that was Tara's way of saying, "You're mine. I can take you down anytime I wish." But Mena concluded Tara was just too dense to continue punishing her with the hold, that she was just lucky to have caught her in the hammerlock to begin with.
They began circling again, and once more it was Mena who launched an offensive. With barely five feet separating them, she lunged at the blond, intent on tackling her to the floor. But, just as she came into bodily contact with Tara, she executed a lightning-quick Judo maneuver, flipping Mena to the carpet. She landed on her butt with a thud and a grunt, stunned as much by what had happened to her as by the fall.
Ever the good sportswoman, Tara offered Mena a hand to help her back up to her feet. Mena took it, stood up, but then, still holding Tara's hand, tried to put her in an armlock. Once more, however, Tara reacted with blinding agility, lashing out with her foot to sweep Mena's legs out from under her. Again, she landed squarely on her derriere and many of the spectators couldn't suppress a chuckle.
Mena's face went red with rage! Tara was humiliating her in front of Hollywood's power brokers, and doing it at will! It was finally dawning on Mena that Tara was hardly the airhead everyone thought...she's actually a conniving combat expert cultivating a reputation as a ditz to lull opponents into a false sense of overconfidence. Tara saw realization suddenly come to Mena's eyes and her innocent smile gave way, for the briefest moment, to a wicked grin.
Mena knew she couldn't afford to play around with Tara any longer; she had to strike fast and hard, take the blond down quickly. She threw a wild roundhouse right, aimed directly at her foe's jaw. But unfortunately for the brunette, Tara ducked and when the momentum of her swing spun Mena's body around, Tara was behind her to catch her in a reverse bearhug.
Lifting the brunette off of her feet, Tara tightened her python grip. Mena thought her ribcage was going to collapse as the blonde's surprisingly powerful vice grew tighter and tighter. Mena knew that she had to escape quickly to have any hope of continuing the match and her mind began to race through a series of possible methods of breaking the hold.
But Tara wasn't about to give Mena the chance. Sensing Mena was preparing an attempt to escape, the blond suddenly shifted tactics. She lifted Mena even higher, then brought her crashing back down on her knee in an atomic drop. A devastating burst of pain shot from the brunette's tailbone up her spine and Mena couldn't stop herself from howling in agony.
The time had come, Tara decided, to put an end to this. Rolling Mena onto her stomach, she planted a knee in the small of her back. Using one hand under the brunette's chin and the other grasping her left ankle, Tara cruelly pulled both ends of Mena's body up and back until her toes were nearly touching the top of her head! Mena screamed as tears rolled down her cheeks. She was helpless to resist or stop the pain. In the space of mere seconds, Mena Suvari was yelling out her submission.
Tara released her shattered victim and let Mena's body fall limp on the carpet, then bent down and put her lips close to Mena's ear.
Using the same sing-song voice which had fooled everyone into believing she was a bubble headed blond Tara said, "See you Sunday, buddy! I hear there's a big sale at the mall. You can drive...and you'd better not be late if you know what's good for you."
Come Sunday morning, Mena was at Tara's front door bright and early, ready and willing to chauffeur her wherever she wished to go.