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Fanfic / The Fight Club

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The Fight Club is a Pokémon fanfic by The Fighting Irishman, published in 2013. The only thing it shares in common with that other Fight Club is its name. It follows the story of Trodaire Phoenix, a traveler from the region of Orre who decides to swoop in and purchase the decaying Fighting Dojo in Saffron City and whip it into shape as a gym for trainers to improve their skills. With the help of his wacky old partner Paulie, a Saffron native, Trodaire would've been content to just grind out a living doing something he loved. That all changes, however, when former Hoenn Champion Steven Stone blows in (along with his fiancee, Cynthia from Sinnoh) to his gym with a request: teach him to get into shape to defeat Lance, the nigh-unbeatable Kanto Champion who battered Steven's team senseless the last time they met. Trodaire accepts, and struggles with his own confidence whether he can help Steven achieve the impossible, as well as dealing with his haughty neighbor: the Saffron gym leader Sabrina, who isn't too pleased that someone bought the crummy old gym she'd been hoping to raze…


This fanfic has spawned a number of one-shots and vignettes taking place in the Fight Club's universe. Also, a fan, Black Lady Charon[1], has collaborated with The Fighting Irishman to make another fanfic called the Cost of the Crown[2], also taking place in the Fight Club's universe. It's about a boy named Nagi(based off of the player character in Pokemon X and Y), who, like Steven before him, also comes to become stronger. However, he has seen a lot on his journey, more than any 16 year old should have to, including death...


The Fight Club series provides examples of:

  • Accentuate the Negative: What Steven feels Trodaire's initial assessment of his team is. Though, as he finds out later, Trodaire was right to be critical...
  • Adorkable: Trodaire is pathetic around members of the opposite sex. Absolutely pitiful. He gets better.
  • Arc Words: "Let's build some hurtin' bombs!" which is used throughout the story by several characters including Red
  • Beta Couple: Steven and Cynthia are this to Trodaire and Sabrina.
  • Big Damn Kiss: "Arceus, you're clueless."
  • Bilingual Bonus: Trodaire is Irish for "fighter".
  • Cannot Talk to Women: Trodaire is this trope, especially to the sensational sisters, though they do invade his personal space. Pitiful, considering the fact he's not that bad-looking.
  • Charles Atlas Superpower: This is Trodaire's method of training in a nutshell. He knows as well as Steven that Steel-types aren't fast enough to chase down Dragons, so their only hope is to get them in close and beat the snot out of them.
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  • Combat Commentator: Chip Skarmory fills in this role for the battle tournament. He's essentially the announcer from the first two Pokémon Stadium games, if that guy didn't repeat the same five lines over and over again, and knew the ins and outs of every battle he called.
  • Cool Old Guy: Paulie Frank, full stop. Also, a rare Pokemon example with Sabrina's Alakazam. He is Sophisticated as Hell, a Gentleman and a Scholar, and absolutely prone to Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness. However, he is also without a doubt a…
  • Defeating the Undefeatable:
    • What this fic basically amounts to: Trodaire is trying to help Steven, no slouch himself, defeat Lance, considered the most famous trainer alive.
    • Yet even Lance pales in comparison to that of Red, whom it is mentioned is the only trainer that has ever defeated Lance.
      • And it's also implied in the epilogue that Red has never lost. EVER. He's beaten everyone.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: A running subplot with Sabrina
  • Determinator: Trodaire teaches Steven's team that the only way to defeat Lance is to outlast his team to the bitter end. No one takes this closer to heart than Aggron, who shakes off a Hyper Beam at point blank range from Dragonite in order to punch him out for the win.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Early on in the story, Sabrina shanghais Misty and Erika into a plan that basically amounts to "wear pretty clothing, and then humiliate Trodaire when he bumbles all over himself." Instead, they walk in on him whilst he's in the middle of a wing chun workout. Cue them being distracted by him, and completely forgetting about their original plan.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: The finale is pretty much one for Trodaire, Steven, Cynthia, and Sabrina. And especially Aggron.
    • Probably not for Lance, though.
  • Expy: Considering the running gag of sticking Professional Wrestling tropes into this fic, it would be easier listing people who DON'T qualify as one. Here's an (abbreviated) list.
  • Extreme Mêlée Revenge: After Haxorus and Salamence get taken out before any of Steven's, it falls to Dragonite to even the odds. Which he does. Brutally.
  • Fiery Redhead: Misty gets...upset when she thinks the referee doesn't do a good enough job protecting Excadrill from Dragonite's No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
  • Foregone Conclusion: Lance's victory over Steven is considered this by the public at large, so much so that the latter is willing to go to desperate measures (read: signing up to train with Trodaire) to get any edge possible. And all the naysayers are spectacularly proven wrong during the actual battle.
  • Funetik Aksent: Paulie Frank has this really bad, so much so that you'll without fail know it's him talking. Word of God is that he's supposed to sound like he's from Joisey. Or like Danny Devito.
  • The Ghost: How the author and the rest of the cast seem to treat Red, who is frequently referred to yet is never explicitly seen. Until the very end of the epilogue, that is.
  • Grappler In All Of Us: Steven's Armaldo becomes the closest equivalent to this over the course of the story, as his favored move is the belly-to-back suplex. As poor Haxorus found out firsthand.
  • How Much More Can He Take?: Aggron takes a beating from Dragonite, up to and not including being on the receiving end of a Close Combat, thrown into the air and landing hard on his back, and a Hyper Beam at POINT BLANK RANGE.. He doesn't get knocked out.
  • The Matchmaker: Misty and Cynthia eventually become this for Sabrina and Trodaire. Their machinating evenutally pays off, as it's responsible for the couple's first kiss.
  • Memetic Badass: An amusing In-Universe example with Red. There is evidence to suggest that he is the Chuck Norris of the Pokemon universe, at least if Steven and Cynthia's conversation about him is any indication.
  • Mood Whiplash: A particularly gut-wrenchingly evil version occurs after Steven beats Lance. The crowd is cheering, Steven's proposed to Cynthia, Trodaire found Sabrina, everybody's happy...and then literally the FIRST GODDAMN LINE of the next chapter reveals that Steven lost in the next round.
  • No-Sell: In-Universe, it is discussed that Lance's Dragonite is famous for not only being ungodly strong, but will refuse to react from an attack it thinks isn't worth its time. As poor Armaldo found out, this ain't hyperbole.
  • Oh, Crap!: Trodaire's reaction when he realizes exactly who Steven is going up against.
    • The poor guy gets this again after discovering the true extent of Aggron's grudge against Dragonite...seconds before the latter is about to throwdown with the former.
  • Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh...: Pretty much Armaldo's reaction when he finds out that his strongest punches aren't doing anything to Dragonite.
  • Only Knownby Their Nickname: Throughout the story, Red is only ever referred to as the 'Boy from the Mountain'...until the very last line.
  • Reality Ensues: As wonderfully fuzzy as it would make you feel, the probability of Steven moving on to the next round after beating Lance, but having his team get brutalized is catastrophically low. And Alder proves it in the first line of the epilogue.
  • Revenge: All of Steven's pokemon have this as their motivation to some extent, after suffering several humiliating defeats at the hands of Lance. Though none more so than Aggron, since Dragonite hospitalized him in their last clash.
    • Notably, Trodaire is not happy at the thought of Aggron going on a rage-fueled Roaring Rampage of Revenge against Dragonite, since that'll cause him to play right into the dragon's hands.
  • Rich Bitch: We don't see much of her, but all indications point to Clair being one. And that might be selling her short.
  • Rousing Speech: Trodaire can give these out with the best of them. Heck one of these (albeit slightly second hand) is responsible for prompting Aggron to get up and finish the fight.
    "Get up you son of a bitch! I didn't hear no bell! So get up and FIGHT... because Trodaire loves ya."
  • Rule of Cool: Come on, there is no explicable reason for Trodaire to take Steven and the team to a rock quarry instead of the gym other than to read the progressively more and more violent ways Armaldo, Aggron, and Excadrill dispose of a litany of Geodude and Graveller.
  • Running Gag: There are a couple of them.
    • Most prominently is Sabrina(or any girl, really)'s ability to pull a Stealth Hi/Bye on Trodaire as he's locking up the gym for the night. He gets progressively more annoyed with it. It gets so bad that even Trodaire hangs a Lampshade on it.
    • Trodaire practically falling off the boxing ring ropes in shock whenever the Fight Club gets a high profile customer.
  • Shipper on Deck: Misty can totally see Trodaire together with Sabrina.
  • Shout-Out: "Let's build some hurtin' bombs" and that entire speech at the beginning of Steven's team's training comes from the movie Rocky Balboa. The "Get up, you son of a bitch!" speech comes from Rocky V, and just like in that movie, comes back at a moment to rally the hero back to finish the fight.
  • Shown Their Work: The author is a martial arts practitioner and enthusiast, and it shows.
    • He uses the traditional Chinese name of "Zui Quan," which is, of course, Drunken Boxing.
    • Trodaire and later Sabrina utilizes a wing chun wooden dummy as a means to blow off steam and relax. One of the core elements of wing chun is the importance of being relaxed whilst fighting.
    • His fight scenes at least try to be something other than opponents trading wound-up punches back and forth, utilizing counters, body slams, elbow drops, and choke holds.
  • Will They or Won't They?: This becomes a running subplot between Trodaire and Sabrina, along with the obvious Defeating the Undefeatable main storyline.
  • Wrestler in All of Us: Oh God, the author really likes this.
  • You Get Knocked Down, You Get Back Up Again: Aggron takes everything Dragonite throws at him…and gets back up again. And then knocks him the fuck out with a Mega Punch.


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