After everything Chris Brookes and Lulu Pencil had been through, from the hat to Chris Pencil, the message from Brookes coming into this Iron Person match was clear: fairy tales aren’t real. Lulu can dream every dream she wants, but none of it matters. When she faces Chris Brookes, there is only one result. It was a claim that felt an awful lot like reality when not long into their thirty minutes, Chris cut off Lulu’s attempt to slide down a table and brutally suplexed her onto it, her thin body bouncing off the wood with a sickening crash. The three-count that followed was inevitable, and any hope of the impossible faded away.
But when the impossible ends, reality steps in, and what Brookes failed to take into account, what he still hadn’t figured out, is that Lulu is no fairy tale.
After their famous tag-team I Quit match, I wasn’t sure that Lulu had a performance in her that could rival the guts and bravery she showed that day, but this was on another level. Not only for the damage that she took but for what she gave out too. The match’s defining image came when Lulu grabbed a pencil that Chris was waving in her face, admonishing her for thinking that she was anything other than a writer, and snapped it herself. Then, in a moment of pure defiance, Lulu declared that she was a wrestler and drove that broken pencil into the bastard’s knee.
From there, Lulu was like a woman possessed, slapping Brookes across the face and pushing her body to do things it couldn’t do before. Never was that more clear than when she hit her first Pencil Splash, the trademark hop that she’s always used gone as she threw herself onto Brookes, desperate for a three. Yet, he wouldn’t stay down. Lulu was doing everything right, fighting this battle with every ounce of strength she had, but Chris is someone even the best struggle against. He has never lost in Ichigaya, so while Lulu threw everything at him, he held on, giving as good as he got and sometimes even more as he picked up another fall with a cutter over Ref Mei’s back. He was 3-0 ahead, and there was no chance of Lulu levelling it up.
This match was never about Lulu winning, though. Like any sporting minnow, all she and her fans needed was that moment, that moment where she bloodied Brookes’ nose and proved that on her best day, for all his accomplishments, he is no better than her. As the minutes ticked away, it danced just out of reach, tantalising us all. Near fall after near fall flew by, Lulu bundling Brookes into La Magistral time after time or wrapping her long, thin body around his arms, trying to get him to tap. When he brought out of a couple of chairs, it would be Lulu who took advantage, pulling him off the window sill and causing him to bounce off them. Even that didn’t do it, though. For all of Brookes’ bluster, he was as desperate not to take that fall as she was to earn it.
Then, it happened. Brookes, trying to put the final nail in the coffin, underestimated how hurt he was, attempting to hoist Lulu up for the Praying Mantis Bomb, but finding his body couldn’t do it. With seconds remaining, Lulu saw an opening, twisting around him as he desperately tried to shake her off only to spin her round into the perfect position to pull him over onto his shoulders, Lulu throwing herself on top of his legs to keep him on the ground. One, two, three, after 115 attempts, Lulu had done it. She’d pinned someone. In fact, not just someone. She’d pinned Chris Brookes, and while I’d already cried my way through most of this match, that was the moment where it upgraded to weeping.
In the aftermath, ten months after he’d taken that famous hat and started this whole thing, Brookes sat down next to Lulu and pulled her close, holding an ice pack to her head. It was hard not to feel a touch of nerves, fear that he had one more horrid comment to make, but no, it was a moment of sincerity as Chris told Lulu that yea, for better or for worse, she was a pro-wrestler. From the outside looking in, that might not seem like much. It wasn’t a title or a raising of the arm, but for Lulu, it is everything. She’s no fairy tale, she’s a wrestler, and no one can take that away from her.
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