Got Blood? 

Mike Woods and Dayion Pruitt are good friends who share a common goal: To become famous by beating the crap out of each other.

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"Can I use one of the baseball bats?" he asks Tim.

The crowd murmurs while Tim grabs a bat and hands it to Woods. Woods walks off.

"They aren't going to actually going to hit each other with the bats, are they?" Tim's brother Chris asks. "I mean, bats will break bones. I'm just wondering about the bats."

"They won't hit anybody in the head," says Stone, who's filmed Pruitt and Woods countless times in the last year-and-a-half. "They might hit each other in the back."

"That'd be cool," Chris says.

Woods returns.

"Can I borrow your ladder?"

He hauls it to the woodchip pit.

Chris follows him with his eyes. "These guys got issues."

Christa, Woods' 24-year-old wife, stands off to the side, away from the crowd. She watches her husband from behind her wispy bangs, soft brown laced with gray. Her wide blue eyes suggest naivety, but her words don't.

The wrestling used to bother her, she says, back when she and Woods got together a year-and-a-half ago. But "now that he's learned to control the anger," she sees wrestling as his outlet. "When we first started dating, I was worried he'd take it out on me," she says. "But this is his only violence."

Christa does have worries about finances and hopes her husband's violence will turn a profit. They have a 7-month-old baby, Evan, to care for. "He's a good baby," Christa says. "He doesn't cry. He's not what you'd think, coming from Mike."

She assists however she can, driving Woods to matches, tending his wounds, playing the role of "roadie."

Pruitt got married in March, but his wife doesn't usually come to the fights. "She's not a big fan," he says. "She's more the parental type."

Pruitt puts on his gold-faced mask with black rope for braids. Woods tapes his mask to his head. Pruitt helps press the tape to the back of Woods' head and rips the excess away. That's the last of the preparation. They approach the woodchip pit.


The fight starts with Pruitt removing the wood-handled, rusty ax from its slim cardboard box.

Pruitt pushes Woods down and strikes the ground with the ax as Woods rolls away. They move like acrobats, all leaps and rolls and catapults. It seems choreographed, until Woods huddles on the ground and takes three blows from a baseball bat. Woods swings his leg around and takes Pruitt down.

Woods hits Pruitt with a road sign. The pain it inflicts is not as impressive as the noise of quivering metal. Then, Woods breaks sheetrock over Pruitt's head and back.

"Yeah," Chris says from the side of the pit. "I felt that."

"I know that shit hurts," Tim says. "I work with it."

Woods and Pruitt break florescent light bulbs on each other's backs. They pop and shatter. One blow burns Woods' right shoulder. Pruitt steps back and rushes at Woods, spinning to add momentum to a kick that lands on Woods' lower back. He whips Woods with barbed wire and stomps his shoulder.

The crowd laughs.

Pruitt hits Woods over the head with a street sign, mashing the barbed wire into Woods' skull. Barbed wire stuck to his head and forearm, Woods shivers, as if the wire carried electricity.

Pruitt dropkicks Woods' head. That was probably the blow that got the blood flowing, although the crowd can't know that. The mask hides the blood.

Woods gets up and motions to his wife for the lighter. She tosses it to him. He pours liquid from a gas can onto a ceiling tile and tries to light it. It doesn't light. Stone runs in with the camera and tries to light it himself. But before he can, Woods shatters the tile over Pruitt's head.

Pruitt's turn.

Pruitt climbs atop a woodchip pile and does a flip onto a folding chair and two metal signs. Beneath them is Woods.

"That was damn cool right there," someone in the crowd says.

"Yeah!" whoops another. "Kidd 19!"

Woods knocks Pruitt to the ground. He lifts the rickety ladder and climbs its rungs. He jumps from the top of the ladder and lands half-on, half-off, Pruitt. Pruitt moans and groans, holding his side and rolling back and forth. They are catching their breath. It's hard to breathe through the mouth hole in the mask. It's hot under those layers of clothing.

Pruitt crawls for the bat, hits Woods on the chest and drags him across the pit.

The moans, groans, holding and rolling continue, and the crowd gets antsy for a minute. They can't see the blood.



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