JUST A TEASE
We open the twelfth edition of ReVival with a shot of the backstage area of the MGM Grand Garden Arena; more specifically, the loading zone area. The garage doors are lifted and there are people milling about, talking, and making important (very important) things happen. One guy is carrying a mannequin that looks like he has a pp, but we are not talking about that right now.
We are talking about other things.
Like the baby blue Audi R8 that’s driving up the ramp into the loading zone area and passing the people in the vicinity. As the car whips around a corner, it stops on a dime, in front of a man wearing a pair of black slacks that match a black vest that sits on top of a white linen shirt. The man stands there, with a smile on his face, as he walks around to the driver side door and opens it. A man then exits the car.
That man is none other than Dusk.
Cue average (read: massive) pop from the fans in attendance.
The Lost Soul stands next to Jimmy (let’s be real, Jimmy is about five and a half feet tall, Dusk is quite large in comparison) and pats Jimmy on the back. Dusk stands there wearing a pair of dark blue jeans with a PRIME t-shirt, which is tucked in. What does it say on that t-shirt?
This receives another pop from the fans, as they’re a sucker for merchandise that truly is amazing.
Dusk: Jimmy, good to see you! You know, I’ve been meaning to ask you, how long have you been working here?
Jimmy the Valet: I’ve been working here for about five minutes sir. I received a call from Mr. Melvin Beauregard, my boss, and he told me to come out here and valet your car.
Dusk: Oh, I see. And what do you normally do?
Jimmy the Valet: I don’t know, Mr. Dusk. I do whatever he tells me to do.
Dusk gives Jimmy a sideways look and leans in, whispering to Jimmy.
Dusk: And… what exactly does Melvin do?
Jimmy simply shrugs his shoulders.
Dusk: That sounds about right. And people get on me because I tell him to book me in matches and to not worry about the runtime when I’m out there in the middle of the ring. How am I supposed to know what he does if you don’t even know what he does?
Jimmy slowly nods his head.
Jimmy the Valet: Sure, Mr. Dusk. Whatever you say, Mr. Dusk.
Dusk slowly nods his head along with Jimmy.
Dusk: That’s good to hear, because Jimmy, my man, this place is wild. I mean, just about anything can happen here. Like Time Lords.
Jimmy the Valet: Yes, Mr. Dusk. I saw Miss Anna earlier and I’m very happy she didn’t punt me.
Dusk: Just make sure you buy her t-shirt, got it?
Jimmy the Valet: Always, Mr. Dusk. Miss Anna scares me.
Dusk: She scares all of us. [beat] And we’ve got a mannequin that steals… genitals.
Jimmy the Valet: Oh yes, I remember that Mr. Dusk. That made me laugh. First he has no pp, then he does. How does he do that?
Dusk opens his mouth and then shuts it. He realizes he has no good answer for this.
Dusk: We’ve got a man who wears a mask that apparently controls him—
Jimmy the Valet: Oh yes, Mr. Balaam scares me. Not as much as Mr. Cancer. You should see the things he does to his dressing room each week.
Dusk looks at Jimmy with a peculiar look on his face.
Dusk: Each week? But we’re only here every other week.
Jimmy the Valet: I don’t know, Mr. Dusk. I just always see him around. I think he lives here or something.
Dusk: Good to know, good to know. Jimmy, you seem to know a lot of what goes on around here. Would that be correct?
Jimmy simply nods his head.
Dusk: Good, glad to hear that. There is a particular person that I think I should see. About my height, sometimes has really curly hair, likes to look at people until they spontaneously combust, hates ketchup on her hot dogs—
Jimmy the Valet: Oh, you mean Ms. Lindsay! I sometimes call her Mom.
Dusk pauses for a moment, looking at Jimmy as if something doesn’t add up, but decides to not go down that particular path of conversation. At least, not today.
Dusk: Yes, yes. LT. What would you say that her mood is like today?
Jimmy the Valet: Well, you know, she didn’t seem to be very happy when I saw her. She kept cursing, my mother told me cursing is bad, but I like PRIME so I don’t care about the cussing. Though I have to say, everyone here is quite creative with their cursing. There was one time, I heard The Anglo Luchador call everyone a—
Dusk holds up his hand to stop Jimmy.
Dusk: It’s okay, I don’t need to know what he called everyone. So you would say she is in a bad mood?
Jimmy the Valet: Maybe? You know, I think if you went and saw her, she would instantly improve. Everyone likes you, Mr. Dusk. Except for Mr. Atken. But he likes glue, so I’m not sure if that counts.
Dusk stifles a laugh.
Dusk: Jimmy, LT and I… we don’t exactly play nice with one another. It’s a whole thing… and a Cozen. Definitely a Cozen involved. Very confusing, but we don’t talk about that, now do we, Jimmy? No, we don’t talk about that because we had it erased from the libraries. So if LT is in a bad mood, I don’t think I should go see her about this issue I have.
Jimmy the Valet: Is it hemmaroids? Because Mr. Rezin has a giant tub of cream in his locker room that he applies to his—
Dusk raises his hand again.
Dusk: No, Jimmy, no. We’re not going there.
Jimmy the Valet: Good idea, Mr. Dusk, because that was disgusting. What is your issue anyways? Maybe Mr. Jimmy can help!
Dusk: Did you just refer to yourself in the third person?
Jimmy the Valet: No, I mean my Uncle Jimmy. He owns a law practice in Albuquerque, he’s very good at getting people out of trouble.
Dusk is starting to regret his conversation with Jimmy.
Dusk: Yeah, I think I’m good.
Jimmy the Valet: Can you at least tell me about your issue?
Dusk thinks about it and shrugs his shoulders.
Dusk: You see, I came out last week looking to retire—
Jimmy the Valet: Oh yeah, that was sad Mr. Dusk. My mother cried for hours.
Dusk: Thanks, Jimmy. Anyways, Larry the Cable Guy decided to come out and interrupt my retirement. Look, I get it. Larry has done jack shit in his time here and he’s a little sensitive about that. Instead of looking himself in the mirror, he decides to make a name for himself at my expense. That part, that’s not cool. Wouldn’t you agree, Jimmy?
Jimmy the Valet: Oh yes, Mr. Dusk. Very not cool. There is nothing cool about Mr. Larry Tact.
Dusk: Exactly. Now, he wants to come around and threaten me, tell me he’s going to make things worse for me. That’s all fun and stuff. I wouldn’t mind attacking him backstage with a baseball bat. Dragging him through the parking lot. Reminding him of his place around here. Except, I’ve turned a new leaf. No more of that, I’m trying to do things the right way. He wants to make a name for himself? No problem, I’ll even help him out and make him famous.
Dusk holds up his hand as he’s miming the marquee on the front of the arena.
Dusk: UltraViolence 2022. Dusk vs. Larry Tact. Dusk’s final match. Larry Tact’s latest embarrassment.
Jimmy the Valet: Ooh, I like that Mr. Dusk. What do you need from Ms. Troy though?
Dusk: Well, I’ve learned she makes matches around here. I guess I always knew that, but you know, we don’t exactly get along. But, I figured she would sign this match and let it be my last match. Don’t you think?
Jimmy the Valet: Ooh, I do Mr. Dusk, I do. Go and tell her! I can’t wait to see what happens!
Dusk nods his head, his confidence restored.
Dusk: Then that’s what I’m going to do. I’m going to march right over to her office and get this thing squared away. Thanks for your help, Jimmy.
Jimmy the Valet: No problem, Mr. Dusk.
Dusk begins to walk away from the car and towards a giant sign that reads LINDSAY TROY’S OFFICE, THIS WAY. DO NOT KNOCK. As he is walking though, he realizes someone is half-a-step behind him. He looks and sees Jimmy following him.
Dusk: Jimmy, what are you doing? Aren’t you going to park my car?
Jimmy the Valet: Oh, later Mr. Dusk! I want to see what happens with Ms. Troy and you.
Dusk slowly nods his head and continues to walk.
Dusk: So, Jimmy. What’s your last name?
Jimmy the Valet: Oh, it’s Jimmy Bona—
Before he can finish getting his last name out of his mouth, seventeen of Wade Elliot’s finest security guards tackle Jimmy and haul him out of sight. Dusk looks around, confused, before he shrugs his shoulders and continues his walk down the long, long hallway. He’s pretty positive this was a trick, but eventually he reaches a door that clearly says Lindsay Troy.
He goes to knock and pauses before his hand touches the door. He takes a long, deep breath as he stands there before shaking his head, thinking better of this idea. The longer he stays away from LT, the better for everyone.
He then sighs and begins to walk away from Troy’s door. As he is halfway down the hall, the door slowly cracks open.
We then see the back of Dusk’s shirt.
It reads: BUY THE SHIRT, YOU FUCKING COWARDS.
Now hit the intro.
COMMERCIAL: ACE NETWORK
BUSTER GLOVES vs. MORTIMER KJEDELIG
The camera cuts from backstage to the sea of fans inside the MGM Grand Garden Arena, all yelling and cheering as a pyro explosion erupts from the stage. The cameras pan around to catch the signs from the PRIMEates.
MELVIN’S GONNA DIE
DO I THROW MY PANTIES AT GREAT BEAR OR DO I THROW SALMON?
REZIN IS MY LEAST FAVORITE CHARACTER IN THE MCDONALD’S EXTENDED UNIVERSE
MY BOLOGNA HAS A FIRST NAME IT’S M-O-R-T-I-M-E-R
MY BOLOGNA HAS A SECOND NAME IT’S K-J-E-D-E-L-I-G
DID YOU KNOW CHET FLEETWOOD CAN MELT STEEL BEAMS
SIGN THE KNIFE BANDITS
OPEN THE RESTRICTED PORTCULLIS
PHIL ATKEN IS MY FAVORITE WATCHMAN
EGG BANDITS FEAR MENOPAUSE
KING BLUEBERRY MUFFINS – SIX FOR $4.99 OR BEST OFFER
KING BLUEBERRY STUD MUFFINS – SEX FOR $4.99 OR BEST OFFER
AIRHORN: LONG LIVE THE NEW FLESH
BRING BACK MURIEL
THANKS TO FOOD-O-MATIC 3000 I NEVER HAVE TO STARVE
FLAMBO’S MOM HAS GOT IT GOING ON
I’M HERE FOR HOT V AND A PIECE OF ACE
AT LEAST WE AREN’T ON HULU
LET CALLY SAY “DANG”
SIGN THE LUCKY SEVENS
KING BLUEBERRY IS AN OVERRATED MEME DOG
SOME OF MY BEST FRIENDS ARE SHADOWY FIGURES
JONATHAN RHINE IS LIKE A SEXY DUMBO
I CAN’T BELIEVE IT ONLY TOOK 14 YEARS FOR SOMEONE TO CALL HIM KING DINGLEBERRY
DO IT FOR YAHWEH GOD
Richard Parker: He introduced himself in a compelling segment on our last show, but fighting in the ring is a little different than saying a few words to the camera.
Nick Stuart: Indeed it is, Richard, and he’ll be in the ring against Mortimer Kjedelig, a man who has a lot of talent and is still seeking his first victory in PRIME. Now let’s go to Vince Howard for introductions.
The lights go out. An electric guitar strums a chord before a single word appears on the Jumbotron. “BUSTER”. Then another guitar riffs and the word ”GLOVES”. The lights return to the arena and Buster Gloves emerges from the tunnel. Guile’s theme song from Street Fighter II is being shredded on the guitar and Buster Gloves burst emerges from the tunnel, shadow boxing.
Vince Howard: Our introductory contest is for one fall! Making his way to the ring first, making his PRIME debut, he weighs in at 152 pounds…from Vero Beach, Florida…BUSTER! GLOOOOVES!
Wearing a black hoodie reading the words ‘WRESTLING IS FOREVER’ on the back, Buster Gloves has a black and blue training mask attached to his face. You can’t see many of his facial features, but it’s undoubtedly him. He wears those black leather gloves that he loves so much, with the letters W.I.F.E. on the left hand.
Buster descends the ramp high fiving kids and posing for pictures with sign-holding fans. He works the crowd and they respond.
Buster climbs the ring apron, wipes his feet, and enters the ring through the second rope. He removes his shirt and ascends the second turnbuckle to play to the crowd one last time.
The music fades as Buster removes his training mask and shakes hands with Jimmy Turnbull.
Richard Parker: Looks like the rookie is trying to suck up to the ref for an advantage.
Nick Stuart: It’s also possible that he’s a good person being nice.
Richard Parker: I prefer my reality.
The opening riffs of “You’re Nobody Til Somebody Loves You” by Dean Martin begins and the masked man emerges from the curtain as the lights dim and the spotlights shine on the ramp. Mortimer Kjedelig begins making his way down the ramp, pointing to the fans in attendance. As he walks by, he pays no attention to the fans, he’s there to a job and his gait shows it. He slides into the ring under the bottom rope, step up to the middle turnbuckle and raise his hands in the air as the spotlight shines upon him. He hops off the turnbuckle and readies himself for the match as the music fades.
Vince Howard: And his opponent, weighing in at 248 pounds…from Horace, North Dakota…MORTIMER KJEDELIG!
Nick Stuart: Kjedelig is all business tonight.
Richard Parker: Yeah, no sucking up to Turnbull for this guy.
In fact, Turnbull and Kjedelig have some words as Kjedelig points at Buster and claps his hands angrily.
Richard Parker: He’s reminding Turnbull to have a steady count and not cheat for the rookie.
Nick Stuart: I don’t understand why that would be a concern. Turnbull has a well reported record of being fair and impartial.
Turnbull calls for the bell and we are underway.
The men circle, Gloves reaching in tentatively as Kjedelig beckons for Gloves to get closer.
Richard Parker: I feel like the challenge for Buster Gloves tonight is the amount of size he gives up to Mort. He’s only an inch shorter, but he’s almost one hundred pounds lighter.
Nick Stuart: This is true, Richard, but Gloves also has a vaunted mixed martial arts background, specifically designed to negate any sort of size difference. It’ll be an interesting match-up.
The circling soon stops as Gloves finally gains purchase on Kjedelig’s leg, diving in and attempting a takedown. Mortimer stumbles for a second, then catches his footing and sends a double axe handle into Gloves’ back. As the smaller man struggles to get to his feet, Kjedelig sends a kick to the side of Gloves’ head. He reaches down and lifts him up, then sends him into the ropes and catches him with a powerslam.
Nick Stuart: Early offense and strength from Kjedelig, and a cover!
Gloves kicks out quickly. Kjedelig nods as he gets to his feet, grabbing Gloves with him. He grips the pants of Buster Gloves and takes him over in a quick snap suplex.
Nick Stuart: Mortimer Kjedelig has a mastery of the quintessential professional wrestling style, Richard. Suplexes, headlocks, strikes – he’s great at all of them.
Richard Parker: As you can clearly see from all of his wins in PR-NO WAIT.
Nick Stuart: He has the early advantage of Buster Gloves here, though, making his PRIME debut, the young man out of Florida is struggling against the size of Kjedelig.
Mortimer drops to his side and immediately locks in a headlock against Gloves, who swipes at his attacker but can’t get him off of him. Mortimer wrenches on the neck, looking at Jimmy Turnbull and muttering “ask him, ask him.”
But before Turnbull can ask anything, Buster rolls over, pinning Mortimer’s shoulders to the mat.
Kjedelig releases, knowing that if he didn’t, he’d lose the match. Buster rolls over and hits Kjedelig with a quick elbow, then mounts his opponent and continues to attack him with strikes.
Nick Stuart: And this is where Gloves shines. His mixed marital arts and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu background gives him a grappling advantage, even with the size disadvantage. If this were an MMA contest, Jimmy Turnbull might call for the bell now!
Richard Parker: Fortunately for everyone watching, it is not.
Eventually Kjedelig kicks Gloves off of him and scurries to his feet. Gloves advances, but before he can press his advantage Kjedelig holds the ropes and shakes his head, causing Turnbull to hold Gloves at bay.
Richard Parker: Smart move there!
As soon as Kjedelig sees Turnbull’s back turned, he lets go of the ropes, pushes past the referee and levels Buster Gloves with a huge clothesline. Turnbull starts to lecture Kjedelig, who holds his hands up innocently.
Nick Stuart: Kjedelig is going to do whatever it takes to get his first victory here, including bending the rules to get a leg up on this newcomer.
Richard Parker: It wasn’t even bending the rules! You’re not allowed to attack someone during a rope break. The rope break was over!
Nick Stuart: Technically you are correct.
Richard Parker: That sounds like angels coming from your lips, buddy.
After a few more moments of enduring Turnbull’s ire, Kjedelig loses patience and pushes him aside, grabbing Buster Gloves and lifting him to his feet. He lifts him up with a quick combination of atomic drop and clothesline, leveling the smaller man. He gestures Turnbull over and goes for the cover.
Nick Stuart: And another kickout by Gloves, but Kjedelig is already on him!
Indeed, the bigger man kneels down and lifts Gloves up, then applies a front facelock to Buster, then begins to club him in the back with his forearm. After four of these, Gloves drops to his knees again, and Kjedelig knees him in the face, causing him to drop to the ground. Buster Gloves rolls over and checks his nose.
Nick Stuart: Looks like Buster Gloves is busted open!
There is a pregnant pause in the commentary.
Richard Parker: Why are you looking at me? You expect me to make some dumb Buster-busted joke?
Nick Stuart: Well, I…
Kjedelig is on top of Gloves, giving him no time to breathe before slapping in another sleeper.
Richard Parker: What, just set up really bad wordplay lines and wait for silly old Richard to come in and perform parlor tricks?
Nick Stuart: Richard, it was just…
Richard Parker: I’m a human! A fully realized human with opinions and dreams, not just some automatic alley-oop machine for your sophomoric setups!
Nick Stuart: I…
Richard Parker: Look, Kjedellybelly has Buster Gloves in a sleeper hold! He might tap! Why not focus on the action, Nick?
Indeed, Buster looks like he’s fading as he tries to escape the sleeper hold, but Mortimer has it locked in tight. The fans begin to clap to give motivation to the young rookie.
Nick Stuart: I’m sorry, Richard, I just thought we were having fun.
Richard Parker: Well now you know. And one more thing, Nick?
Nick Stuart: Yes?
Richard Parker: MORE LIKE BUSTERED OPEN AM I RIGHT?!
Nick Stuart: Sigh.
Buster Gloves can hear the cheers. He feels the adrenaline. He knows that his first match can’t end like this. And so he clenches his fists, and he begins to summon the energy to stand. He gets to one knee, and then the other. Then he is able to stand and shift his body as Kjedelig tries to hold on…
Nick Stuart: Saito suplex! Buster gets back on his feet, pressing the advantage…he flips Kjedelig on his back with a judo throw! Tries to cinch in the armbar…Kjedelig escapes!
The bigger man slides back and pops to his feet, then runs against the ropes to charge at Buster. But when he goes, Buster grabs him and hits a big sidewalk slam.
Nick Stuart: Cover for Buster!
Kjedelig kicks out. Buster doesn’t give him any time to recover as he locks in an abdominal stretch. Mortimer groans in pain as Buster continues to stretch. Eventually Kjedelig reaches for the ropes, but Buster anticipates it and adjusts his arms, lifting him up and hitting a pump handle slam. Without hesitation Gloves climbs the turnbuckle.
Richard Parker: Big risk here for the rookie!
Nick Stuart: He’s going for the elbow drop!
Nick Stuart: He connects! Another pinfall!
Nick Stuart: Mortimer kicked out just in time!
Richard Parker: Kjedidah-was-a-bullfrog better find something in the tank here, because the rookie has taken away all of the momentum!
Buster Gloves, for his part, looks a little surprised the elbow drop didn’t end it. He doesn’t complain, but he does shake his head as he guides the bigger man to his feet. He puts Kjedelig in the corner and hits him with a vicious chop across the chest.
Nick Stuart: That looks like it stung!
Richard Parker: I like this tactic by the rookie. Usually you see chops in the earlier part of a match, and it helps to weaken your opponent. But when he’s already tired and has sustained a bit of offense, those chops are even more devastating.
Buster delivers another, and another. Then he leans his body against Kjedelig’s, preparing to toss him to the other turnbuckle. Before he can, though, Mortimer reaches up and pokes him in the eyes.
Nick Stuart: Dirty play by Kjedelig!
Richard Parker: Like I said earlier, he had to find something and he did.
The fans boo as Buster leaves the turnbuckle, wiping at his face and blinking. Kjedelig grabs him from behind and starts rubbing his hand all over Buster’s face.
Nick Stuart: What is he doing?
Richard Parker: Oh, this is genius! Buster was still bloodied from the knee to the face earlier, and Kjedhead just rubbed the blood in his eyes!
Buster continues to rub at his face, unable to see, and Kjedelig grabs his arm and wraps it around his neck before taking him down.
Nick Stuart: Bust Out! Kjedelig with the arm wrap neckbreaker on Buster Gloves, and this may be all!
Nick Stuart: Buster kicks out! He won’t go down easy!
Richard Parker: I have to say I’m impressed by the heart he’s shown in his first match.
Mortimer gives the universal “it’s over” motion and lifts Buster up. He hooks both arms, going for the DDT. However, Buster twists his arms and stands up, sending Mortimer over the top of him. Mortimer gets to his feet, and on instinct Buster reaches forward…
Nick Stuart: The Heartbreaker! Buster rocked Kjedelig with that heart punch! And now he’s locking him up…he’s looking for the move he calls The Soul Crusher, that Standing D’Arce Choke! If he gets this locked in, it’s all over!
With his free hand, Mortimer flails. For a second, it looks like Buster is going to lock this in and get his first win, to send Mortimer further down the path of second place finishes. But before he can fully lock him in, Mortimer escapes and sends a knee to the groin of Buster!
Nick Stuart: Low blow!
Richard Parker: More in the tank!
Nick Stuart: And now Kjedelig rolls Buster up in a school boy!
Nick Stuart: Jimmy, check the tights! He’s got a grip!
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: The winner of this match…MORTIMER…KJEDELIG!
The winner doesn’t let Jimmy Turnbull raise his hand. Instead, he nods and exits the ring, making his way back up the ramp Buster Gloves tries to recover.
Nick Stuart: Well Mortimer finally got his win, but you have to be impressed with Buster Gloves. He showed a lot of heart and talent in his first match. I think he’s got a great future in PRIME.
Richard Parker: I agree, but I also think you have to like Morty’s future too. He was getting title shots before ever winning a match. What’s going to happen for him now that he’s won one?
Nick Stuart: All right, let’s catch up with Simon Tillier, who is standing by with FLAMBERGE.
WHAT’S THE LADDER?
Nick Stuart: Before we continue on with the action, our intrepid reporter Simon Tiller is standing by!
We cut to backstage as Simon Tiller, microphone in hand, stands in front of a logo-emblazoned PRIME backdrop. He’s as dapper as ever with a broad smile across his face.
Simon Tiller: Ladies and gentlemen, joining me at this time – FLAMBERGE!
FLAMBO enters the frame in a teal zip-up hoodie and navy jeans, munching away on a bag of Cheddar and Sour Cream Ruffles.
Simon Tiller: I can’t help but notice – it looks like you’ve ditched your previous partnership with the French brand, Brets Chips – would you care to comment on what sparked this decision?
FLAMBERGE doesn’t respond, instead choosing to pull another orange-dusted chip from the bag while giving Simon a saucy wink.
Simon Tiller: …fair enough! FLAMBERGE, despite being one of the youngest faces of the PRIME roster, you’ve had a fair amount of success in the shark-infested waters of PRIME. Ever since your win over Darin Zion at Great American Nightmare, you’ve made it clear that your eyes are set on climbing the lad-
FLAMBERGE: There are five names on my list. They know who they are. Darin Zion was not one of them. Garbage Bag Johnny was not one of them. Both are worthy competitors with the pedigree, both are distinguished fighters; PRIME seems to insist I “prove myself” until the five get their due. This is fine – I accept this.
Just then, we hear a voice.
Nate Colton: You call the last show “proving yourself?”
Nate is in his gear and ring jacket, ready for his match later tonight. FLAMBERGE eyes Colton with a heavy amount of distrust.
FLAMBERGE: I called my shot at ReVival 11 – you think you can do the same?
Colton chuckles a little. He’s obviously trying not to let the young French phenom get under his skin…but he’s hyped up for tonight, and lets his confidence show a little.
Nate Colton: Oh, I know better than to make guarantees, especially when my opponent’s been wrestling longer than I’ve been alive. But if you want a promise, how about this…by the time that bell rings, Dusk’s gonna know damn well what I can do in that ring, and so will everyone watching.
FLAMBERGE: Dusk’s partner learned I can put him in the ground…I wonder if you have the same fire yourself.
Nate, still smirking, takes a step towards FLAMBERGE. The younger man’s fists tense, but he makes no other move.
Nate Colton: You don’t have to worry about that, pal. Just ‘cause I keep it under control, that doesn’t mean the fire ain’t there.
He looks down at his wrist to check his watch, which he is not actually wearing.
Nate Colton: If you’ll excuse me, I have to go fight a legend. See you around, pal.
He continues down the hall, not actually looking away from FLAMBERGE until he is past him. Finally, Simon Tiller works up the courage to interject.
Simon Tiller: FLAMBERGE, what is the root of the issue between you and Nate Colton?
FLAMBERGE looks at Simon, scoffs, and shoves the remainder of his bag of chips into Simon’s chest, spilling them everywhere before he storms off.
Simon Tiller: …shoot. I didn’t get to ask him my Glue Factory question…back to you guys.
A NEW FACE
Random hallway backstage – the usual hustle and bustle that goes into producing a live wrestling television show. Among the stagehands and technicians going about their duties, a particularly well dressed individual comes into focus. Dressed in khakis and a light blue tucked button up, the man is bald with a well groomed but long beard. While he’s a no name here in PRIME, fans of the larger wrestling scene might recognize him as Ned Reform! Reform sidesteps the PRIME employees going about their duties as he moves forward, scanning the mass of people for… something.
Finally, Reform manages to catch a PRIME employee who appears to have a moment of downtime. The Sage on the Stage roughly grabs the stagehand by the shoulder and spins him around. While Ned isn’t the biggest in the world by wrestling standards, he’s an imposing figure over this skinny kid who shrinks back a bit.
Ned Reform: Hello, friend! I need something from you.
The PRIME employee is about to respond, but Reform cuts him off.
Ned Reform: No, no, no, no. No need for you to speak here. We’re just listening right now, yes? I need you…
Jab into the chest… rather roughly.
Ned Reform: …to find Lindsay Troy in whatever broom closet she calls an office. Understand? And then I need you to tell her that Dr. Ned Reform is here to see her. Can you handle that?
Again, the man tries to respond, but he’s cut off.
Ned Reform: Good boy! Run along, now. I’ll be right here.
The boy is off – half because he wants to get out of there and half because Reform quasi-shoved him to be on his way. Smiling, The Good Doctor scouts a nearby crate – and he sits, folding his legs and eagerly awaiting his requested one-on-one with Lindsay Troy.
ADMIRAL ACKBAR WAS RIGHT!
The scene cuts backstage to Mortimer Kjedelig walking down the corridor, his mask obscuring his expression. Is he happy? Is he sad? Is he constipated? Who knows? (Other than the man himself). He passes the catering table, does an about face and walks back to it. He stares at the items on the table. What is he in the mood for? Chicken wings? Nachos and dip? Donuts? Eclairs? Pasta Salad? Coffee? In the middle of his decision making……
IT’S A TRAP!!!!
A forearm to the nape of the neck sends Mortimer crashing into the dessert table, which in turn sends a tray of eclairs flying through the air before hitting the ground with a splat. The owner of the aforementioned forearm drops down to a knee next to Kjedelig, pulling back the hood of the black knit zip up jacket with the Las Vegas Aces logo on it. The devilish grin formed by the scar on the left side of his face is instantly recognizable, but it doesn’t look like he was trying too hard to conceal his identity. A few more forearms to Mortimer’s back are unleashed in rapid succession before the former 5 Star champion stands up, swatting away a glazed donut that had managed to cling to his knee in a last ditch effort to avenge his brothers that had become collateral damage during the assault.
Tony Gamble: Hey there, Morty.
Slightly out of breath, Tony delivers a swift kick to the back of Mortimer’s head.
Tony Gamble: I guess I didn’t make myself clear at the Great American Nightmare, so here I am having to remind you again to keep your damn mouth shut.
Gamble uses his foot to kick Kjedelig over onto his back, then drops down to one knee before grabbing a bowl of tortilla chips and starts crushing them.
Tony Gamble: I get it, I’m not known for keeping my mouth shut either. But you see, there’s things that don’t need to be brought up… like your past, for instance.
The Grin shoves his right fist into the bowl of melted cheese dip, then rolls it around in the crushed chips.
Tony Gamble: You’re a mysterious masked wrestler with an equally mysterious past.
Tony grabs Mortimer’s mask and lifts his head up as he rears his arm back, ready to unload with a cheesy chip shot to the jaw.
Tony Gamble: It’s time you start focusing on your future, before you end up not having one.
Mortimer Kjedelig: Fuck your moth—
Tony Gamble clobbers Mortimer Kjedelig with a “Nacho Punch” in the middle of his face. Red mist flies from Morty’s mouth and nose, drizzling onto the ground. The Grin looks down at Mortimer, covered in tortilla, processed cheese, and blood and walks off with a grin and cocky gait. Mortimer rolls on his stomach and pushes himself up, blood and drool ooze from his mouth as he stares in the direction of Tony Gamble as the scene ends.
NATE COLTON vs. DUSK
Nick Stuart: Well, PRIMEates, that was an interesting exchange, and now we take the action back to the ring where the veteran, Dusk, looks to bounce back from a tough setback at Great American Nightmare, where he fell to Phil Atken.
Richard Parker: Really, it’s Dusk’s own fault. He shouldn’t have been looking to score payback on Phil Atken for Culture Shock. Move on, and really, move out of everyone else’s way! Larry Tact had it right: Dusk needs to give his last pound of flesh to PRIME and ship out.
Nick Stuart: These fans would heartily disagree, Richard. They love Dusk and don’t want to see him go, much less by the hands of a disgruntled and petty man like Larry Tact. Meanwhile, Nate Colton would like to get back in the winning track, himself. Although he did not come away victorious at Great American Nightmare, he also wasn’t pinned by GREAT SCOTT, who came away with a Five Star title shot.
Richard Parker: Whatever, Nick. You can put a sympathetic spin on it, but Nate couldn’t get a Dub that would have put him in the Five Star title match. On top of that, he couldn’t end the insane scourge that is sweeping PRIME, in one GREAT SCOTT. I’m hoping Rezin can hold it together to take care of that in the Main Event, but Nate should go back and nestle a bosom or whatever the Colton family does to soothe their losses.
Nick Stuart: I think the antidote would be a win, Richard, and Nate is aiming to do just that against the seasoned vet, Dusk. Let’s kick this one off with Vince in the ring!
Vince Howard: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is scheduled for one fall with a thirty minute time limit. Introducing first…
The opening guitar riff of “Death Grip” by Watt White sounds throughout the arena’s sound system, alerting fans to popup from their seats with an ovation for PRIME’s grizzled veteran, who strides out from the Argyle Position and makes his way towards the ring as he is serenaded with a familiar chant.
DUSK! DUSK! DUSK! DUSK!
Richard Parker: I don’t think these PRIMEates could be any more faithfully boring and predictable than cheering this old timer.
Nick Stuart: They don’t get tired of it, nor should you be tired of hearing it, Richard. They’re showing respect and admiration for someone who’s been in the ring longer than we’ve been calling matches here.
Richard Parker: Is that supposed to impress me? Anyway, my commentary is riveting whereas Dusk moves like a sloth man.
Dusk gets into the ring and applauds the fans in return for their support. As Timo Bolamba walks over to give Dusk the usual pre-match schpiel, the music fades and is replaced with a classic rock riff, signaling the beginning of “Tryin'” by the Eagles. Moments later, Nate Colton emerges from the arena’s entrance with his raised high, to cheers of his own from the crowd. He shows off his blue satin jacket— his family name emblazoned on the back; his first name stitched on the front.
Nick Stuart: Speaking of riveting, Nate Colton has that and more with his potential range of outcomes in PRIME. With his background grounded in wrestling, I’m excited to see what he can do against the long tenured Dusk.
Richard Parker: I wish I could be optimistic here, but I’m afraid this kid is going to have the green behind his ears show against a crafty cockroach who won’t be stamped out for good.
Nick Stuart: That seems a bit harsh, Richard.
Richard Parker: So is having to watch Dusk for as long as I have!
As the younger Colton family member makes haste towards the ring, he’s sure to high five any fans who reach an outstretched hand for some interaction. Dusk allows him space to enter without interruption, and Nate climbs the steps, ducks between the top and middle ropes, and enters the ring.
Nick Stuart: The fans should be in for a competitive match between these two, and I’m looking forward to it myself.
Richard Parker: I bet this is right up your alley, Stuart. You need someone to jolt your life with a little excitement. Then you’ll realize this snoozefest isn’t good enough for PRIME.
Nick Stuart: Agree to disagree, Richard. I think wrestlers like Dusk and Nate are representative of how PRIME has and will continue to be about what happens in the ring.
Richard Parker: Okay, but there’s so much they won’t do in the ring that makes it interesting!
Nate heads directly to his corner and undoes his jacket, showing off his gear– white trunks that reach his upper thigh with a blue stripe down the side, white boots with blue trim, white MMA gloves, and blue elbow and knee pads. After handing his jacket to a ring attendant, he makes another appeal to the fans, then stretches in the corner while he mentally prepares for his opponent. He is given the rundown by Bolamba before the Senior Referee does a final check of both competitors, and motions to the timekeeper.
As the two step to the middle of the ring, it is Nate who reaches out a hand for a traditional test of strength. Dusk regards him cautiously for a moment before giving a short nod and locking hands with the equally statured and slightly bulkier Colton, who immediately pressures Dusk, pushing him back a couple steps. Nate attempts to torque the arms of Dusk downward, but the veteran fights back as the crowd throws the weight of their support behind him. It’s rewarded with Dusk pushing back and forcing Nate all the way to one knee, as both men exclaim from exertion. Dusk looks to continue pushing downward, but it’s Nate who battles back and more than evens things out, in fact turning the tide on Dusk for a moment. The Elder Statesman sees what’s happening and decides to tuck his head under one of Nate’s arms, sending him up and over with a Northern Lights Suplex with a bridge.
Kickout at two.
Nick Stuart: A conventional start to this one sees Dusk take the early edge with a well worn Northern Lights Suplex. Nate gets a taste of what’s in store.
Richard Parker: You know, long long ago, Dusk would have done craftier things than sneak a move into a test of strength. How far he’s fallen.
Dusk grabs Nate’s head and brings him up in a side headlock, which Nate is quick to push him off and into the ropes. Dusk comes back and floors Nate with a Shoulder Block that surprises the bigger Colton. Dusk follows up with an elbow drop and then brings Nate up again, slinging an arm over his shoulder and landing Colton on his knee with a Gutbuster. Nate hits the mat on his back and Dusk is there to drop a knee into his midsection before making another cover.
Richard Parker: Better rename this place Polite Routine Interlocking Mundane Exhibition because we have a lot of holds and counters to stomach with these two traditional turds.
Nick Stuart: Richard, can we keep this a little more high brow? PRIME is about all different styles and matchups. Let’s enjoy the high level of competition.
Richard Parker: High. Now there’s a state I could get behind to endure this.
DUSK! DUSK! DUSK! DUSK!
Richard Parker: Oh keep it to yourselves, yokels!
Despite Richard’s protests, the PRIME faithful do as they please. Hearing the crowd behind him, PRIME’s Elder Statesman brings Nate up by the arm and bores his shoulder into the midsection of the younger man, clearly targeting a specific area– Once. Twice. Three Times. Dusk then sends Colton to the ropes with an Irish whip— Reversal! Nate twists his body and it’s Dusk who smacks into the corner. Colton immediately follows in with a clothesline that rocks Dusk before Nate goes body-to-body and sends Dusk careening into the opposite corner with enough force to sends him staggering back out as Colton comes charging with a Running Forearm that knocks Dusk down. The Elder Statesman isn’t flat-back for long, as he rolls to his knees and stands too quickly for Nate to go for a cover. Dusk throws a haymaker that Nate ducks under, hooking Dusk for a Back Suplex. Dusk refuses to stay down and swings again at Nate as he rises. Colton manages to corral the arm Dusk took a swing with and wrenches it around, halting the veteran momentarily. The youth of the Colton family then transitions into a hammerlock for a few seconds, moving Dusk towards the center of the ring before slipping next to him and hooking a leg with his own for a Russian Leg Sweep. Nate immediately rolls back over to Dusk and twists him up with an Inside Cradle.
Nick Stuart: Nate trying to pull a fast one!
Kickout by Dusk.
Nick Stuart: A good try by Nate, who scores a two count and looks to build some more momentum to put him over the top.
Richard Parker: I’m going to tell Troy I need hazard pay for the PTSD these people are giving me with these reactions.
Nick Stuart: I thought you were just asking for a more lively experience, Richard.
Richard Parker: I’d like to see some life in the ring, but these PRIMEates should take a page from Japan and sit quietly!
Appreciating the hardened resolve of Dusk, Nate is undeterred as he brings the Elder Statesman back to standing. Nate looks to lock in an Abdominal Stretch, but is a bit lackadaisical and soon finds himself flopping to the canvas from a Hip Toss counter by Dusk. Nate pops back up and lands a forearm to the face of Dusk, who was leaning in and takes it flush. He stumbles back a couple steps and Nate lashes him with a knife-edge chop. He then backs Dusk against the ropes for another. He moves Dusk’s arm from his reddening chest and goes for a third chop, only finding air! Dusk evades underneath and places Nate against the ropes to deliver a series of chops of his own. Colton recoils and moves to a corner with his face telling the story of stinging pain he feels. Dusk follows and lands a deep forearm shot to the abdomen of Nate before leaning down and thrusting in with his shoulder, burying Colton against the turnbuckle. Colton has the air taken out from his lungs, which allows Dusk to lift him without resistance to sit on the top turnbuckle.
Nick Stuart: Dusk looking to go high risk here, not always something he chooses to do.
Richard Parker: Maybe the old bag still has a little spirit to live dangerously in him!
Dusk aims a forearm to the midsection of Nate again, but finds Colton returning fire with a forearm. Dusk tries again for a chop, but Nate swipes it away and flicks his boot up with a toe kick that lands on Dusk’s chin. PRIME’s Elder Statesman is turned around after being surprised with that blow, and Nate sees the opening. He stands on the second rope and leaps over Dusk, grabbing his neck and nearly turning Dusk inside-out with a Super Snapmare!
Nick Stuart: You don’t see that one everyday!
Richard Parker: Dusk getting flashbacks to the whiplash Hank laid on him! Maybe this kid ain’t half bad. But can he actually put this old dog down?
The PRIMEates gasp as the force of rotation is so great, it sends Dusk ricocheting off the mat and back to his feet. As he turns in a daze, Nate is right there to grab Dusk and drills him back down with an Exploder Suplex! Nate rolls over to cover Dusk!
THR— NO! Dusk slips a shoulder up.
Nick Stuart: Nate scores a nearfall, but he’s learning firsthand how tough it is to put away a proud PRIME veteran like Dusk.
Richard Parker: Incredibly, Dusk actually seems to want to continue suffering. If I were him, I’d let this end before my brain juices start leaking out from my ears.
Nick Stuart: Exactly my point, Richard. Dusk is too proud to give up like that.
Richard Parker: Wait, no, I’d like to change my answer!
The PRIMEates hang onto each moment seeing their veteran fan favorite, but we also hear a smattering of “NATE!” chants in appreciation of the young man’s taking the fight to the Elder Statesman. Colton waits on Dusk to stand as he spreads his arms wide to his body, looking like he’s ready to put a finishing touch to this match. When Dusk is up, he sees Nate’s arms wrapping him up for a Colton Clutch! Instinctively, Dusk senses the peril he’s in and jolts Nate with several back elbows to the head. Nate tries to hold on but Dusk manages to turn around and land a knee to Colton’s unprotected ribs, doubling over his younger opponent. Dusk wastes no time driving Nate’s head down with a DDT to the mat! Dusk forgoes a pinfall attempt, instead standing and heading off the ropes as Nate rolls onto his back. When young Colton sits up, he finds Dusk sailing towards him with a Shining Wizard. Dusk stands again, the PRIMEates buzzing as they sense something in the works. Nate uses the ropes to pull himself up and when he finally does, he turns to find Dusk’s boot compacting his midsection with a Superkick! Feeling the adrenaline from the PRIME faithful’s burst at the first one, Dusk fires a second Superkick to the head of Colton and Dusk covers!
Nick Stuart: A chain of signature Superkicks by Dusk!
Richard Parker: Kickout you little brat!
NOO! Nate flails a shoulder up moments from the three!
Richard Parker: What would these guys do without my guiding voice?
Nick Stuart: I’m pretty sure he didn’t hear you there.
Richard Parker: Pretty sure, but not 100% sure! Good enough for me to take credit.
Nick Stuart: Both men down, and… wait, what’s Dusk thinking here?
Dusk mounts Colton and gator rolls him over, then slides his arms under Nate’s, squeezing and rolling him back for the ANACONDA CHOKE!\
Richard Parker: Nooo! Not that!
Nick Stuart: Fluid roll into the submission attempt by Dusk! Does he have it locked in?
Nate bridges and puts Dusk on his shoulders!
Richard Parker: Yes that! Do it!
Dusk releases the hold and gets his shoulder up.
Nick Stuart: A great counter to Dusk’s finishing submission, with Colton just about scoring a three count.
Richard Parker: Almost doesn’t count. Finish off this codger! And stop chanting his name!
DUSK! DUSK! DUSK! DUSK!
The PRIMEates begin clapping in unison for both competitors. They spot the veteran rising first, albeit a bit slower than at the start of the match. Nevertheless, this has become the new normal for Dusk, fighting for every advantage, looking to gain an edge to close hard-fought matches out in this era of PRIME. While he awaits Nate, who is only beginning to stir, he turns his head at a disturbance in the stands and the sound of a less-than-supportive fan standing in an aisle near the barricade.
Larry Tact: OLD MAN DUSK, YOU NEED YOUR WALKER? I’VE GOT SOME PEDIALYTE AND WARM COLD RIGHT HERE FOR YA!
Nick Stuart: Where did Larry Tact come from? He has no business in this match.
Richard Parker: He’s the only one willing to call Dusk out on how selfish and outdated he is, Nick. He’s the one we need to bravely vanquish this windbag once and for all!
Dusk shakes his head and scoffs at Tact. Yet as the Elder Statesman brushes off the taunts and reaches down for Colton, those precious seconds were just what Nate needed. Playing possum, he rolls up Dusk!
Nate releases at one, unconventionally not forcing a kickout. As the two get back up, Nate has a moment’s headstart and uses it. He sees Dusk shoot up with another Superkick aimed at the midsection area, and Nate rolls around it to end up behind his opponent. He bends him back by the neck and latches on with a Dragon Sleeper. That, too, is short-lived as Nate skillfully transitions again, lifting Dusk up and over with an INVERTED SUPLEX! The mat batters the incoming Dusk, while Nate pops up with a focus. He rolls Dusk up and pulls him into a rear waistlock, then traps Dusk’s arms. PRIME’s Elder Statesman tries to shoot a back elbow.
Nick Stuart: Dusk can’t connect with a back elbow. He’s in trouble here!
Richard Parker: Don’t let his brittle limbs squirm out of this!
Dusk finds himself trapped by a Colton family trademark. One that’s been honed for years, passed along for as long as Nate Colton has lived.
He knows it well.
Nick Stuart: COLTON CLUTCH SUPLEX!! Dusk is unable to counter as Nate slams him to the mat!
Richard Parker: If this young fool knows what’s good for him, pin him!
Unbeknownst to Nate, he complies with Richard’s instructions, sliding over Dusk and hooks a leg while Timo slides in for a count.
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: Your winner of this match… NATE COLTON!
Nick Stuart: This match was about at a stalemate until Larry Tact had to show up in the crowd with a couple barbs. Unfortunately, the unexpected intrusion caught Dusk’s attention just long enough. For Nate Colton, that chance was too good to pass up.
Richard Parker: Thanks for stating the obvious, Nick. For once, Nate made a smart decision for his PRIME career, and showed he’s got something between the ears. Hopefully he remembers Larry’s generous spirit.
Nick Stuart: I highly doubt Tact was doing anything more than antagonizing Dusk. In his mind, Larry believes Dusk deserves to be punished, despite the fact this man has given his body and soul to PRIME. It’s really despicable if you ask me.
Richard Parker: Thankfully, nobody did!
Nick Stuart: Even though it probably wasn’t the circumstances either wanted, Nate Colton comes away with a tough win and deserves credit for it. I’m hearing we have something brewing backstage, so let’s take it in back!
THAT’S GRATITUDE FOR YA
The scene is outside a random door in the hallways of the Grand Garden Arena. The Anglo Luchador is prepping for his non-title match against Anna Daniels, stretching his legs, knocking the cobwebs out, rolling his neck. A familiar voice from off-camera at the moment interrupts his routine:
Tony Gamble: I’m still waiting for my “thank you.”
The Old Luchador turns around, and the camera shows The Grin in the flesh, arms crossed over his chest, tapping his toe.
TAL: You’ll be waiting until the heat death of the Universe, or the end of your sentencing under the RICO Act, whichever comes first.
The former Jewel in the Crown champion’s left eyebrow peaks as he shrugs his shoulders slightly.
Tony Gamble: I don’t even know what that means, but I’m guessing it won’t be right now. Should I pencil you in right before the main event?
The Intense Champion rolls his eyes and sighs.
TAL: I think you should pencil me in between “when pigs fly” and “when Lindsay Troy trusts Jared Skyes enough to let him have the keys to the forklift shed when she’s not around.”
Gamble looks at him stone-faced.
TAL: That means “never,” capisce?
Nodding, Tony lets out a chuckle as he saunters a few steps closer to the newly crowned Intense champion.
Tony Gamble: Oh, yeah, I capisce. I capisce that you are one ungrateful son of a…
TAL: Whoa now, paisano, let’s not get in trouble with the new interfed overlords with misogynist language on our flagship program. But let’s play a little game, shall we?
Gamble does not look amused.
TAL: Let’s say I went out to your stately home out in North Henderson paid for with cash made from legitimate business? And I left a dump the size of the Sphinx at the Luxor on your lawn. Would you be mad at me defecating on your property, or would you be grateful that I helped fertilize your grass?
Tony Gamble: I’d thank you, of course. Have you seen the price of fertilizer lately? Even with my employee discount, that shit still costs an arm and a leg. But see, that’s the difference between you and I.
Gamble takes a moment, rubbing his hand across his chin as he smiles wryly.
Tony Gamble: I know not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. You take the good and the bad and you make lemonade, because it’s really hot in Vegas and people will buy it by the gallon.
The Permascar Superstar looks up and to the left for a second or two, a puzzled look in his eye.
Tony Gamble: I’m not sure where I was going with that, or if it even makes any sense. What I was trying to say was, that night had nothing to do with you or the other little girls in the match. I was there for one reason. I handled my business, and you took full advantage of the situation like a kid in a candy store with a blank check. If anything, the dump was taken in Morty’s lawn.
TAL: Perhaps. But I’m trying my best to do things the right way. Had I not had my brain knocked halfway to Reno during that match, I might have reacted a bit differently. Had you just stuck to stock rudo undignified cockiness afterwards, I might have shrugged it off and not diverted my already divided attention from Hoyt or Anna Daniels.
The Old Luchador takes a step that gets perilously close to being able to identify what odors are on Gamble’s breath.
TAL: But expecting me to be grateful? Get all the way outta here, wiseguy.
Tony backs away slowly, raising his arms up and out slightly.
Tony Gamble: If that’s the way you wanna play it, so be it. I’ve got a big plate to fill now that I’m back, but I like to eat my meals in portions so once I’m done with Morty… maybe I’ll finish off the scraps Balaam leaves behind.
The Intense Champion rolls his eyes and backs down himself, shaking his head.
TAL: Just don’t let your eyes get bigger than your stomach can handle. I’m not your nonna. I bite back.
With a wink, The Grin turns around and heads down the opposite hall while chunking up a deuce.
Tony Gamble: Oh, I’m looking forward to it. See you soon, old man.
The Intense Champion lingers for a bit.
TAL: Jesus, Hoyt, now Gamble, are all these PRIME Hall of Famers so… difficult?
The camera cuts to wherever it is Jacob Mephisto is lurking.
A DEVIL AND A TIME LORD MEET AT A CROSSROADS
We cut backstage where Jacob Mephisto is stalking the halls, flanked on his left and right by Patience and Decius Montgomery. The reigning SHOOT Project Iron Fist Champion is fresh off his first victory in PRIME, but looks almost bored as he watches road agents and other PRIME staffers rush to and fro.
He rounds a corner, sending an annoyed glance at the camera crew following him for half a second before almost running directly into Anna Daniels, who seems to be preparing for their upcoming match.
Mephisto stops, a light smirk that never quite reaches his pale, gray eyes playing at his lips.
Jacob Mephisto: Well. Anna Daniels. I’ll be damned.
To this, the vessel of Anna Daniels looks at him. There is some internal deliberation about this turn of events and exactly how to react. On one hand, we are supposed to connect with these people, yes? Get into the depths of this place? On the other hand, cult leaders and professional wrestling make for explosive results (sometimes literally if a former version of Vegas was any indication). Her head is forced to shake off that potential ramble as the pale green eyes of the Multitudes match up to the gray of Mephisto’s, seemingly ignoring the other two beside him. In terms of approaching the matter, Firebug’s snark barely gets beaten to the punch by the Prime’s caution.
Anna Daniels: Mister Mephisto. What can we do for you?
As civil a response as can be given. Ultimately better than the first thought of “you very much are damned” by a country mile. Her back leans on a wall, as if expecting some type of nonsense to go down.
Mephisto takes in the pale greens as they survey him. The expressions on Anna’s face are miniscule, but this man is well versed in the art of reading body language. He sees the subtle shifts, almost sensing the internal conversations.
He knows to tread carefully around this one.
Jacob Mephisto: What can you do for me? Not much. I’m simply an admirer. I even ordered the shirt. I’m a really big fan of how you ran off Ria Nightshade. That must feel like a real feather in your cap.
He pauses for half a beat, searching for a reaction.
Jacob Mephisto: Still, you have a match coming up, yes? Don’t let me… distract your collective consciousness from that. I’m just, you know, acquainting myself with PRIME and its… inhabitants.
He puts a subtle emphasis on the last word, a slightly bitter tinge accompanying the final syllable.
Anna Daniels: Mmm-hm.
That “mmm-hm” has a subtle coat of doubt to it. That little comment about Ria only makes it obvious that ol’ Two Face is trying to start some shit. A part of her wishes to suss out the why of it. But knowing how the human condition is and observing the man in front of them, there’s this funny little feeling that if he really wanted to tell the why, he will do it on his own time. Not to mention that slight emphasis on ants.
Anna Daniels: Bold of you to assume we could run off Ria in anything. All we did was fight. Ya know, that thing most everybody does around here. And you’re absolutely right. We do have a match coming up.
The vessel plucks her crown from its resting place and gently places it on her head.
Anna Daniels: We have a masked head to collect. Whether that be solely figurative or literal…
The Prime lets that hang with a smirk as the cape comes around. Her eyes finally drift to acknowledge the twins that revolve around the Iron Fist Champion.
Anna Daniels: So forgive us for this being such a short acquaintance period. We’re sure you and your entourage will gain your intel in due time. And thank you for buying the shirt.
He most likely didn’t, of course. But one must attempt to keep some form of manners until further action deems the abandonment of such.
Patience Montgomery starts forward, anger etched on her features.
Patience Montgomery: Do you have any idea who you’re…
Mephisto extends an arm, stopping her in her tracks.
Jacob Mephisto: Not the time or the place, dear.
He never takes his gaze off Anna, making a point to keep eye contact. Of course he didn’t buy the shirt. He knows she sees through this facade. The Patriarch finds this most intriguing.
Jacob Mephisto: Best of luck collecting your mask, dear. I’m a bit of a collector myself. Maybe one day we’ll have a chance to compare collections.
He offers an obviously insincere smirk before turning on his heel and stalking off, The Twins falling in beside him, Patience Montgomery scowling over her shoulder. And over her shoulder, she no doubt sees Anna smiling widely and waving at her. Patience probably thinks the New Era is mocking her. She would be right.
Anna Daniels: Yet another fine mess we’ve gotten into simply by existing.
Just like that, the waving hand goes down. A glance at the camera. A shrug.
Anna Daniels: But first thing’s first.
This is the part where the Time Lord spins on her own heel. She gives a peace sign to the camera as she walks to…do we even call it the Gorilla position in this ‘verse? We need a glossary of words here, chief. The scene fades to black, but not before one last bellow.
Anna Daniels: BUY THE SHIRTS, YOU FUCKING COWARDS.
Backstage in the area that is very much still hotel territory, a door swings open and Nova shoulders his way through, duffel bags of wrestling gear under each arm. As the door swings back to, PRIME’s Co-Head of Security, Wade Elliott, catches it and follows the Risen Star into the carpeted hallway.
Nova looks back and grins at The Bad Dog.
Nova: In case I missed it, the Court didn’t order you to help me with my bags, right?
Wade Elliott: If they were tellin’, I weren’t listenin’.
Nova: Yeah, I didn’t remember that part, either.
They keep walking, and before long the hallway opens up to a centralized hub that extends in different directions…but primarily houses the Glue Factory’s merch center. Nova and Wade look around at the display stands.
Nova: Feels a little ‘Squid Game’ in her if I’m being honest…
Wade Elliott: Never liked seafood anyways. We can hustle our asses right on through s’far as I’m concerned..
“Well, hold on.”
Phil Atken steps into the path of the Risen Star and his new custodian, Hank shuffling behind him with narrow eyes and bad intent trained on the Glue Factory’s visitors.
Phil Atken: Relax, no harm will come to you here. I’m not going to risk precious stock getting wrecked up by the likes of you, Nova. In case you haven’t noticed, I spread my message in the ring.
Atken nods at Hank, who immediately switches from a tense guard dog posture and whatever levels of relaxed that a Hank can look. Atken for his part doesn’t even seem to have noticed that Wade Elliott is even part of this group, his eyes locked firmly towards Nova.
Phil Atken: It’s just a shame that you haven’t had the opportunity to contribute towards the Glue Factory brand yet. I was actually hoping to make you part of the founders club but they really wanted you tucked away safely in that Survivor floor of the hotel. Still, the company is always seeking fresh products…
Atken looks almost a little too proud of himself, there’s a bit of anxiety running through his voice, as if a mixture of nerves and excitement have taken him over.
Phil Atken: I really do have more important matters to attend to… I just wanted to make you aware that The Glue Factory remains very excited for a future collaboration with Nova. Dusk was a business decision, but to sell a fine line of Nova products… that’s a passion project.
Nova looks Atken up and down, spares a glance for Hank, then back to Atken.
Nova: Gonna need you to take it down about ten-to-fifteen there, Phil. I’m not interested in whatever book club you’re trying to start, and last time “Nova merch” made headlines, my action figure’s turn-and-crank joint-smoking feature was revealed to contain a fatal manufacturing defect.
Phil Atken: I…did not hear about that.
Wade Elliott: Settled out’ve court.
Phil Atken: How…would that even…
Wade Elliott: Damn…they were good kids, too…
Nova stares off distantly.
Nova: We honor their memory…within the terms and conditions of the non-disclosure agreement, of course.
He looks back to Phil.
Nova: So that’s gonna be a hard pass from me.
Atken stares at Nova quietly for a moment…then smiles and steps out of their path, waving them on.
Phil Atken: Sadly, it’s not really your choice to make. I thought we’d be able to take the easy path on this one… well, if circumstances change…
He gestures around at his tiny fiefdom.
Phil Atken: …clearly you know where to find me.
Nova stares at him for a moment longer as Wade side-eyes Hank, then they make their way on towards Nova’s locker room area.
THE ANGLO LUCHADOR vs. ANNA DANIELS
Nick Stuart: This one folks is going to be a good one, we see two of the contenders for the Intense Championship, one of them being our current champion, square off, one on one.
Richard Parker: I wonder if Hoyt will be out here, I hope so.
Vince Howard: This match is scheduled for a twenty minute time limit and is a non-title encounter. Our first competitor, from Mount Perdition, Galifrey, standing five-foot seven inches and weighing in at one-hundred thirty-five pounds ANNNNNNNNNNNNNNAAAAA DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANIELS!
The entire area fades to black, causing the PRIMEates in attendance to steadily come to a hush. After a moment, the beginning guitar notes of Solid Space’s “A Darkness In My Soul” begin. Nothing comes on the PRIME*view to note exactly who is coming out. Suddenly, a spotlight pierces through the dark pointed to the top on the entrance ramp. Anna Daniels stands there, her profile positioned towards the light. She lets it wash over her while letting the fans get a good look at the merchandise. Finally, she glances at the ring with a small smirk on her face.
Nick Stuart: Remember everyone, Buy the *bleep*ing shirt, you cowards.
Richard Parker: Huh, never knew we had that button.
Nick Stuart: I just made the noise.
As The Muse takes her time heading to the ring, she wistfully observes the goings on around her as if getting into a certain type of groove that only she can hear. Her strolling sways almost like she’s dancing from time to time. Her robe and headpiece–once more regal and dazzling artifacts from her homeplanet–are in various stages of disrepair and utter damage. Anna slaps a hand or two, nods a little to those in attendance. Once ringside, she motions for somebody to take the robe and headpiece which when taken nearly make the poor sap fall over.
She makes her way to the stairs and slinks along the apron, wiping her feet before entering the ring. Immediately after, she nearly chases off the ref in a suddenly blur of action before smiling yet again. Casually, she strolls to a corner with her head bopping before perching herself onto the top rope laid out like a French girl people like to paint.
Vince Howard: Making his way to the ring, from the hell known as Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, standing at six-feet, and weighing two-hundred and eleven pounds, THE INTENSE CHAAAAAAMPION! THE AAAAAAAAAANGLO LUUUUUUUUCHADOR!
The arena darkens. The first dabs of the organ intro to “Oye Como Va” by Santana fill the arena as purple and green lights strobe while the telltale mask of the Anglo Luchador rotate on the PRIMEview behind. Smoke begins to waft across the entryway as the instrumental beginning of the song swells into its big climax. Right before the lyrics sound, The Anglo Luchador appears from the back, looking out at the crowd. He exhales and bows his head before he takes his final stride towards the ring.
Anna Daniels and The Anglo Luchador stare each other down for a moment. The two come closer to the center of the ring and Anna Daniels unloads a right hand that staggers The Anglo Luchador. She’s on him right off the bat, a series of lefts, rights, and kicks are coming in succession. TAL does his best to block the blows, but Daniels keeps raining them down. The Anglo Luchador backs himself back into the corner as Daniels continues to press.
Nick Stuart: Great offense from Anna Daniels here, coming out firing on all cylinders.
Richard Parker: Hoyt probably gave her magic powers or something for tonight. She’s showing no signs of that horrific Intense Title Match from Great American Nightmare.
Anna Daniels tries one kick to many and the old luchador pounces, catching the kick and following up with a dragon screw, taking Daniels down to the mat. TAL keeps the ankle and rolls back to his feet, dropping an elbow on the inside of The Muse’s knee. TAL gets to his feet and starts eyeing up another elbow but Daniels kicks him in the thigh just above the knee, TAL is forced to back off to avoid hyperextending his knee and Daniels is right back to her feet.
Nick Stuart: Great scientific wrestling here by TAL.
Richard Parker: You mean the devil’s work?
The two once again are back to their base, but TAL doesn’t wait for Daniels to strike first. He moves in for a collar and elbow tie-up. The two grapple with it for a moment, but finally TAL manages to back Daniels into the corner. Daniels tries to slip a knee in, but TAL blocks and fires a knee of his own into Daniels’ midsection. He takes the opening and sends Daniels flying across the ring into the corner. The old luchador is right behind her, and as Daniels connects with the corner TAL jumps up onto the middle rope and pulls Daniels down monkey flipping her. Daniels flips all the way through, landing on her feet. She tries to punt TAL in the head as he gets up, but the Intense Champion manages to roll under her swinging leg.
Nick Stuart: Incredible wrestling here from these two.
Richard Parker: It’s weird, when you don’t put barbed wire ropes on a ring, you get to see actual wrestling.
The Anglo Luchador is up quick and this time delivers a striking combination of his own. Right jab, left jab, he goes for the right cross but Daniels ducks under. The old luchador uses the momentum from the miss to spin into a headlock and flips Daniels over onto her back with a headlock takeover. He can’t hold the headlock as Daniels is quickly back to her feet. She tries to sweep TAL’s leg on the way back up, but TAL jumps over her outstretched leg and fires off a kick to her ribs. Daniels manages to catch the kick, but TAL unloads with an enziguri that finally puts Daniels down on the mat.
Nick Stuart: Both wrestlers are breathing hard here folks, and were only a few minutes into the match.
Richard Parker: Do you see how fast these two are going? Luchador is like a hundred and fifty and moving quicker than I’ve ever seen. If the old man doesn’t slow down, he’s gonna have a heart attack.
TAL slowly starts to make his way to his feet, he drags Daniels to her feet with him. She fires back with an elbow, and then a second elbow to the stomach that staggers the old luchador. Anna is quick to go to the ropes, she takes a short step back and bounces off coming at TAL with a headscissors. Anna begins rotating around TAL’s head multiple times and ends by planting the older man with a DDT.
Nick Stuart: What a DDT by Anna Daniels!
Richard Parker: Hoyt has delivered against his adversary!
Nick Stuart: I wouldn’t count that old crusty luchador out yet.
Richard Parker: Nobodies counting him out, Elvis Nixon is right over there. See!
Yes, Richard Parker points at Elvis Nixon even though you can’t see it at home. But in case you were wondering that totally happens. Anna is back up in a hurry, and now measuring The Anglo Luchador for a punt. The Intense Champion is on all fours and Anna Daniels almost decapitates him with a punt that causes TAL to shoot up right, then fall right back down on his face. Anna Daniels covers up.
Nick Stuart: SHE CONNECTED! SHE PUNTED THE ANGLO LUCHADOR!
Richard Parker: PRAISE HOYT! HE’S DEAD!
Richard Parker: NO! NO NO NO! THAT CRUSTY OLD MAN CANT KICK OUT! NOT NOW!
Nick Stuart: Our Intense Champion has the heart of a champion.
TAL barely manages to get a shoulder up, Daniels gets to her feet, moving right along with beating the piss out of Anglo Luchador. She lifts the old Luchador up by his mask, and goes for a Muay Thai knee, but TAL pushes himself forward, catching it on the pectoral instead of with his teeth. He pulls the leg up, and Daniels goes for an enziguri. TAL ducks under, but Daniels lands on her free foot. TAL lets go, and sends Anna Daniels careening into the corner. He follows her in with a huge elbow in the corner. The old Luchador drives his shoulder into her midsection once, then twice, and then ascends the ropes.
Nick Stuart: The Intense champion has taken control of this match again!
Richard Parker: NOOOOOOO! BUY THE FUCKING SHIRT YOU COWARDS!
Nick Stuart: Were you paid for that advertisement?
Richard Parker: Maybe.
The Anglo Luchador drives a few fists into Anna Daniels’ face, before pulling her up onto the top rope by her hair. TAL grabs a front face lock and tries to get Anna Daniels up for a superplex, but Daniels manages to grab ahold of the ropes and stop herself from going over. TAL, clearly frustrated unloads a few more right hands but Anna Daniels doesn’t let go. The Intense Champion drops down to the mat and pulls Anna Daniels down with him. The two start exchanging strikes in the middle of the ring, the blows are once again fast, right hands and feet flying. TAL manages to duck under a strike.
Nick Stuart: Back to the ropes we go.
The Anglo Luchador tries to irish whip Anna Daniels, but she puts the brakes on and manages to send TAL sprinting to the ropes. The muse takes off right behind him though, he hits the ropes and she hits almost right after, she leaps going for a poison rana. The old Luchador leans forward enough to shift her weight, grabbing both of her arms and yanking Anna Daniels down.
Richard Parker: NO! NO! NO! NO!
Daniels rolls through the Japanese Ocean Cyclone Suplex, landing on her feet. As quick as Daniels touches down she fires back with a back kick to The Anglo Luchador’s stomach, she grabs both underhooks and drives The Anglo Luchador to the mat with the original michinoku driver.
Richard Parker: SHE DROPPED HIM RIGHT ON HIS HEAD! PRAISE HOYT! PRAISE HOYT!
Nick Stuart: She calls that move Oncoming Storm! Elvis Nixon slides in to count the cover!
Anna Daniels pulls both of The Anglo Luchador’s legs back above his head, and sits her knees on his shoulders.
DING DING DING
The Anglo Luchador weekly tries to kick out as Anna drops his legs to the mat, the old luchador rolls over with his face down as PRIME’s resident timelord gets up with her arm raised by Elvis Nixon. She walks over to the camera and mouths “Buy the fucking shirt, you cowards.”
Vince Howard: The winner of this match by pinfall, ANNA DAAAAAAAANIELS!
Nick Stuart: Huge win for Anna Daniels tonight.
Richard Parker: BALAAM IS GONNA KILL THAT OLD MAN! And yeah, sure, big win. Buy the shirt.
Our scene fades to commercial.
TWO CARTONS OF TERROR
We come back from commercial to see Angelica Brooks holding a microphone.
Angelica Brooks: Welcome back to ReVival 12. I’m joined by Tag Team Survivor finalist Fighting for Nora.
The camera pans to the tag team. Jonathan Rhine is smiling at Angelica while Paxton Ray is looking at his feet, a snarl on his face.
Jonathan Rhine: Hi Angelica. Thanks for taking the time.
Angelica Brooks: Same to you. Now, in a matter of minutes you’ll be in only your third match in PRIME, facing off against the Masters of the Multiverse…B Team. How important is this match to you?
Jonathan Rhine: Incredibly important. Despite making it all the way to the finals of Tag Team Survivor, we had only been in one match together before Great American Nightmare. And though we fought well, we lost. So we need to regain our focus so we can try and challenge for those belts again down the line.
Angelica Brooks: Speaking of the titles, on our last show you and King Blueberry seemed to bury the hatchet after months of discord between you two. What led you to trying to mend those fences?
Jonathan Rhine: I spent a lot of time thinking about the match after we lost. And I was disappointed. And after a while I realized that I wasn’t upset that we lost the gold. I was upset because I was so angry at Jared and wanted to hurt him because of that. And that really made me pause.
They all pause, for a second, as an odd groaning noise comes from the ceiling. They all look up, then continue as the noise subsides.
Jonathan Rhine: What kind of person am I that I let a grudge with a friend blind me? That I actually want to hurt someone I once thought of as a brother? That’s not why I got into this business. It made me realize I had been doing a lot of things here for the wrong reasons. And so I’m trying to change that.
Angelica Brooks: That’s certainly admirable. But speaking of grudges, I wanted to deliver some information to you from Lindsay Troy. She wanted me to tell you that at ReVival 14, you’ll be getting your one-on-one match with Julian Bathory.
When Angelica delivers this news, Jon closes his eyes and smiles.
Angelica Brooks: Viewers know that you have wanted a shot at Bathory for a while since he showed up at your Foundation Dinner as a guest speaker. And now you’ll finally get the chance. Your thoughts?
Jonathan Rhine: Well, I’m certainly thankful to Ms. Troy for granting me the opportunity. And I’m excited. I’ve loved working with Paxton as a tag team partner, but those of you who followed my career will know that I’m a pretty accomplished singles wrestler. And it’ll be nice to go back into that world, if only for one night. Julian Bathory has shown to the world what we all already knew. And when I step into the ring with him in two weeks, I’m going to show him what happens when you mess with Nora, when you mess with the Foundation, and when you mess with me.
Angelica Brooks: Finally, I want to ask you about something else that happened on the show, right after your reunion.
Paxton shakes his head as Jonathan continues to smile.
Angelica Brooks: I’m talking, of course, about the egg and blueberry attack from Bobby Dean and Doozer, the eGG Bandits.
Paxton punches his hand. Jonathan chuckles.
Jonathan Rhine: Yeah, that was weird, wasn’t it?
Angelica Brooks: You don’t seem like it bothers you at all.
Jonathan Rhine: I mean, I’m not going to start wearing eggs out to dinner or anything. It took a while to clean, and it was annoying. But it didn’t ruin my day because I didn’t let it. The Bandits are nuisances. They like to cause chaos, and it’s just a bit of fun.
Paxton mutters, shaking his head again. Angelica notices and moves the microphone towards him.
Angelica Brooks: Do you disagree, Paxton?
Paxton Ray: Yeah I disagree. Look, I ain’t a vet like Jon, so I dunno if this is just something that happens in this business or not.
Angelica Brooks/Jonathan Rhine: It does.
Paxton Ray: But where I come from, we don’t let our friends get punked. So yeah I’m mad, and I wanna get my hands on those jackoffs so I can show ‘em what happens when…
“JACKOFFS? That’s it, lower the boom Bobby!”
Suddenly the ceiling creaks again, and all three look up. Angelica and Jonathan are able to move quickly, but Paxton Ray is in a bad position and therefore can’t avoid it.
What can’t he avoid, you ask?
Eggs. More eggs. More and more eggs.
Yolk and shell rain down upon the Lafayette Bruiser as Jon and Angelica watch in horror. A few seconds and 48 eggs later, Paxton Ray looks down at his feet, then clenches his fists. Bobby Dean’s giggles ring out in the ceiling above.
Paxton Ray: I’ma kill these assholes.
He walks off, egg slime trailing behind him. Jonathan sighs, then looks at Angelica.
Jonathan Rhine: I’m going to go help him clean up. Talk to you later Angelica.
Brooks watches the team trudge off, then looks at the camera with a grimace disguised as a smile.
Angelica Brooks: All right, guys, back to you.
A GREAT CAUSE
As we cut away from Fighting for Nora and Angelica Brooks, the PRIMEview suddenly flickers on revealing a now-familiar graphic…
…before cutting to the studio kitchen we’d seen before with the Masters of the Multiverse dressed to the nines in suits, Randall Schwartz in a baby-blue getup and Kenny Freeman rocking a nice orange number with a smile on his face as he speaks.
Kenny Freeman: Hello, PRIMEates! Kenny Freeman here with my pal Randall Schwartz, and I wanna thank you all for the tremendous support for the Foodie Magick Food-O-Matic 3000!
Randall chimes in, a rare smile on his face matching that of his tag team partner.
Randall Schwartz: That’s right Kenny, thanks to the outpouring of love and respect from you, the fans of PRIME, and a select few of our colleagues, we have been able to shift–excuse me, sell–over FIVE THOUSAND units since our infomercial two weeks ago!
Kenny’s eyes widen, showing a sense of surprise at the numbers.
Kenny Freeman: That’s amazing! Thank you so much! With that in mind, we want to raise awareness for a special cause. You see, Randall and I were so inspired by our opponents this week, Fighting For Nora, that we’ve partnered up with Foodie Magick to help someone in need!
We cut to a video package highlighting one man in particular, a familiar man…a man challenging for the Five Star Championship in tonight’s main event. We soon hear Randall’s voice playing over the montage, featuring footage from the man’s PRIME career to date.
Randall Schwartz: Ladies and gentlemen, GREAT SCOTT is a brave, bold man who speaks his mind at every given opportunity…and due to recent tragedy, is a man without a home. So, in association with Foodie Magick we are donating ALL proceeds from Food-O-Matic sales to a new charity, A GREAT HOME FOR GREAT SCOTT.
Kenny Freeman: Thank you, SCOTT, for being a shining example of honesty in these trying times…and we hope you enjoy both your new Food-O-Matic and your new home in due time!
With that, we cut back to the studio kitchen.
Randall Schwartz: What can we say? We know when to do the right thing…
Kenny Freeman: …and we hope that others in PRIME will follow our lead.
Randall Schwartz: Especially you, David Fawkes and Yoshigiroshi.
Kenny just stares at Randall with a heavy sigh.
Kenny Freeman: Randall, we talked about–
As if clearly trying to hide the ensuing conversation, the screen cuts to a graphic hyping A GREAT HOME FOR GREAT SCOTT and the number one can call to order their Food-O-Matic 3000:
And with that, the PRIMEview cuts to black!
The scene is the hallway in the locker room area in the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Many random doors are in view, but The Anglo Luchador has not entered one yet after his brutal match with Anna Daniels. He’s walking slowly with an icepack on his neck when he slows in his tracks to a stop. He looks up to a figure off camera at present.
TAL: I thought I smelled myrrh and sanctimony.
The camera pans over to his right to show the looming figure of Hoyt Williams, the keeper of Balaam, the savior of PRIME, and Richard Parker’s personal Jesus.
TAL: What made you grace us with your presence in leaving your luxury box?
Hoyt’s cheeks are filled like a blowfish while the white owl on his shoulder hoots while eyeing The Anglo Luchador. Suddenly, Hoyt spits out a blue stream of water like a garden hose. The water falls to the ground in front of the luchador.
Hoyt Williams: Forsaken by the Wrestling Gods again. I’ll never understand how the Japanese navigate that mist. Last time I buy a dokugiri kit off of Wish. Listen, Cheap Mask. I know what you’re up to, trying to upgrade that mortal mask for something stronger, and playing politics with the “officials” here in PRIME. The trade papers made millions writing about my politics backstage. I’ll Hoffa you before you can Clinton me. I’m also going to get your buddy the face painted putz wearing the stripes fired. You crossed a line more crossy than a crucifix and now damnation shall engulf you in a typhoon of holy water.
The Old Luchador looks at The Pontiff of PRIME like he’s a Biblically-accurate Old Testament angel.
TAL: What in the name of Xipe Totec are you talking about, you stark-raving mad egomaniac? Did you hit the Vatican’s secret stash? The only mask I have is covering my face right now.
The Pontiff of PRIME gets in the face of the Luchador slightly towering over him. He points in his face.
Hoyt Williams: Don’t use drug humor with me! It contributes to the delinquency of society. Be a role model like me. I’m going to get right to the point. I don’t like you. The Taco Bell luchador, an embarrassment to two cultures. A hard shell with rancid ground beef and fricking lechuga. Cilantro and onions on a corn tortilla El pastor. Authentic. I see you walking around here making friends and it’s disgusting. I see the Thomas the tank engine never die attitude, and I want to cleanse my eyes. Pimples are bacteria that fill empty pores just like the fans fill the empty seats until we pop them. In fact, pimples like you say it all. You have a choice. Leave PRIME in peace. No harm done. Get out of these halls I built, a once mighty empire now a shell of itself with rats like you infesting it. Prancing around for yucks. I’ve seen a prophecy of you lying beat in the ring. Blood spilling from you left ear. The mask gone from your face. Suddenly swallowed into hell. The future is in your hands.
The old luchador looks hella disinterested in what Hoyt has to say.
TAL: As much as I’d like to bend over backwards for the guy who gave me a stigmata because I made fun of him on the in-house social media, I’m the Intense Champion. I plan on having a pretty long reign, and if I’m leaving this company before Ultraviolence, it’s gonna be in a bodybag. So, now that you have been given the Mutombo, what in the dusty plains of Mictlan do you want with me?
The savior of the suplex flashes a wry smile.
Hoyt Williams: The stigmata is a walk in a middle class midwestern park compared to what’s coming. When you get to the Universal Championship level, we can talk titles. Show some respect when talking title reigns, as you are speaking with your GOD and the longest reigning God’s Champion in the history of PRIME, no, in all of wrestling.
TAL: You show me some respect, you halfwit blasphemer.
Hoyt is taken aback by the luchador’s brazen callout.
TAL: You want to get in my face and denigrate me, that’s fine. That’s pro wrestling. I’m going to paint Vegas with John Boy’s blood as a price for your hubris. But accosting me after I went out there and wrestled one of the toughest assholes in this company just to throw false accusations in my face and pretend like I owe you ANYTHING because a long time ago, you beat a less mature, more reckless Brandon Youngblood? Get out of my way. I don’t know a goddamn thing about this mask you talk about, and I sure as hell do not want to deal with you or your hot air tonight.
A tear of blood starts leaking from Hoyt’s eye.
Hoyt Williams: Parum luceat! Prepare for the darkest days of your life.
Hoyt walks off as the bird on his shoulder squawks menacingly at the PRIME Intense Champion.
TAL: I swear to God, if I don’t end that weirdo and his gang at UltraViolence, I am going to have myself committed.
He walks off.
FIGHTING FOR NORA vs. MASTERS OF THE MULTIVERSE…B-TEAM
ReVival 12 returns to ringside, just as the pianos of Robbie Williams’ “Let Me Entertain You” hit, heralding the arrival of the Masters of the Multiverse. The B-Team, natch.
Nick Stuart: Here come the Masters of the Multiverse…
Richard Parker: The B-Team.
Nick Stuart: …still looking for their first victory here in PRIME!
Richard Parker: Wait, what the hell does Randall Schwartz have in his hands?
The cameras cut to Randall Schwartz, who is lagging a little behind Kenny Freeman as the pair make their way to the ring. He is holding a frosty treat in his hand. A certain… recently discontinued frosty treat.
Nick Stuart: Is that… a Choco Taco?
Yes, it is.
…Let’s go to introductions!
Vince Howard: Ladies and gentlemen, the following contest is scheduled for one fall with a fifteen minute time limit! Introducing first! At a total combined weight of 336 pounds, and… (sigh) a total combined height of 11 feet and 7 inches tall! KENNY FREEMAN! RANDALL SCHWARTZ! THEY ARE THE MASTERS OF THE MULTIVERSE! …B-TEAAAAAM!
Freeman slides into the ring and raises his arms for everyone to see. Schwartz, meanwhile, is enjoying his frosty treat and is more than happy to go to his team’s corner and half-heartedly raise his arm into the air.
The Robbie Williams song is immediately cut off by Strata’s “Piece by Piece”.
Usually, when the singer starts screaming, Jonathan Rhine emerges first. Instead, it’s Paxton Ray who marches through first, marching to the ring in a power walk sure to fill the pants of anyone at his destination. The man is dripping wet, more than usual in this Vegas heat, anyway. Probably because of the pre-match, post-egging shower.
Rhine only has a moment to raise his arms in the air before he moves to catch up with his partner, with Shweta Kallemullah following behind him.
Vince Howard: And their opponents! At a total combined weight of 475 pounds, and… seriously? A total combined height of twelve feet and eight inches tall! JONATHAN RHINE! PAXTON RAY! THEY ARE! FIGHTING! FOR! NOOOOOROHGODWHY!
Richard Parker: I don’t think that’s the name of the team.
That’s because Paxton Ray made a beeline for the ring and immediately decked Kenny Freeman so hard that he almost got sent into another universe. Jimmy Turnbull calls for the bell in a panic.
Randall Schwartz stands there with half of a Choco Taco in his hand, frozen in fear like a man who’d just seen a velociraptor performing Singing in the Rain. Nervously, he offers the Taco to Paxton as a peace offering.
Nick Stuart: This… seems unwise of you.
There are three hits. First hit, Paxton slaps the Choco Taco out of his hand, and fans in the fourth row have to dodge out of the way of an ice cream treat made into a projectile. Second hit, Paxton punches Randall in the mouth. Third hit, Randall falls to the ground.
Richard Parker: Hey, come on! My man here was enjoying himself a frosty treat, and instead he’s being fed a full course meal of hands!
Randall takes his sweet time getting to his feet, because he’s dazed and he’s exercising plan #42-B of the Multiverse handbook: playing dead. For the record, all of the plans in the handbook end in “-B”. Because B-Team. Paxton doesn’t buy it for a second. Either that or Paxton doesn’t care and just wants to punch people. Probably the latter. Actually, definitely the latter, because he starts punching Randall while he’s down.
Nick Stuart: Referee Jimmy Turnbull’s definitely got his work cut out for him today.
Richard Parker: I wonder if the referees draw straws to determine who gets the matches. Never really thought about it before now. Just an idle thought.
To his credit, Jimmy’s not an idle referee. He’s trying to get Paxton to stop face-punching Schwartz long enough to establish some kind of order. Paxton can’t hear him. He’s too busy imagining the face of Bobby Dean superimposed over Schwartz’s. Probably.
Jimmy has to step in and start a five count. Please stop face-punching this man after five seconds.
Paxton’s response is to bolt up off of Schwartz and turn to face him with his fists clenched, backing Jimmy all the way to the Nora corner. Rhine, recognizing the danger of Paxton getting the team disqualified, tags himself in and tries to convince Paxton to stand down.
Give the B-Team some credit, though.
You might punch them until their brains leak out, but they’ll somehow get back up. With Jon and Paxton’s backs turned politely discussing the merits of face-punching non-combatants, both Freeman and Schwartz run up and jump the two of them from behind. They manage to push Paxton out of the ring, and while Paxton is quick to recover and try to get back in to resume the punching, the referee is there to stop him. He’s no longer the legal man.
Nick Stuart: The Masters of the Multiverse have taken control here, somehow!
Richard Parker: Well, the B-Team. Where’s the A-Team? Or the C-Team? Do they have different letters of the alphabet? I hope there’s not more than twenty-six. Then you have to get creative and use Greek letters, like you’re naming hurricanes.
This lets the B-Team double-team Rhine, hitting him with stomps and kicks in the middle of the ring. This only serves to piss off Paxton more, which in turn distracts Jimmy, and creates an almost infinite stomping loop. In another timeline, in another multiverse, Jonathan Rhine is still getting stomped. Possibly forever. In this one, though, Freeman and Schwartz break off. Schwartz goes back to the corner, still wobbling from all that face-punching, and leaves Kenny in the ring to grab a half boston crab.
Nick Stuart: Kenny Freeman’s got that submission on lock.
Richard Parker: And that idiot, Paxton, isn’t helping his cause!
Paxton attempts to enter the ring in order to punch Freeman in the mouth and break up the submission. However, the referee intervenes and puts himself between Paxton and the submission. This allows Schwartz to re-enter the ring, take up Rhine’s other leg, and apply his own half-crab. It’s a surprisingly competent one, if a little sticky because of the ice cream he had punched out of his hand.
Paxton really, really wants to punch them all in the face. Like, so much. You have no idea.
Eventually, Freeman releases his half of the twin half crabs, and goes back to his corner. This happens just as Paxton is finally convinced to return to his corner and not punch anyone quite yet.
Nick Stuart: Is Schwartz even the legal man?
Richard Parker: Legality is a bit of a tricky thing to discuss in times like these.
Nick Stuart: I don’t even know what that’s supposed to mean.
Schwartz wrenches back on his hold, hoping he could make Rhine submit. Behind him, he’s unaware that Rhine can see someone cheering him on. Shweta is standing directly in front of Rhine by the apron, pounding on it and cheering for Rhine. Rhine sees her, and crawls over to the ropes. Schwartz tries to wrench the hold harder, but Rhine manages to reach Shweta. Also, the ropes. Equally as important.
Shweta grasps Rhine’s hands after he makes it to the ropes, and holds on to them as Jimmy makes the five count to Schwartz.
At four, Schwartz releases and raises his arms in celebration! Yeah! He’s won! He thinks. When Jimmy tells him otherwise, he tries to claim his case. When he realizes that Rhine didn’t tap out and all of the cheering isn’t for him, he tags in Freeman.
Freeman comes over and kicks Rhine off the ropes, which also makes Shweta have to pull back before she can catch any of that. Fans around her boo.
Freeman pulls Rhine back to his feet at the center of the ring, and manages to heft the taller man up into a scoop slam.
Nick Stuart: Kenny Freeman with an impressive scoop slam on Jonathan Rhine, and…
Richard Parker: …What is he doing?
Freeman runs into the ropes, and on the rebound, he stops and does a dance not unlike the one from Thriller. You know the one. Then he drops the leg. This has been your moment to Follow the Freeman. Like, share, and subscribe!
He goes for the cover. After two, though, Kenny tries to go for a sleeper hold.
Rhine’s not really having it. He throws Kenny off of him with something of a judo toss. When Kenny gets to his feet, Rhine meets him with a dropkick. And let me tell you, Rhine throws a mean dropkick. Just ask Kenny Freeman. Freeman flops on the canvas as though shot by a cannon, and he is only able to barely make a tag to Schwartz because that’s where momentum carried him.
Schwartz enters and makes a mad dash…
…to Paxton Ray.
Nick Stuart: There’s a tag to Paxton!
Richard Parker: Uh oh, get out of there, Randall!
Schwartz holds his hands up in a pleading gesture. Oh, how he wishes to not be face-punched. Paxton does not oblige. He immediately hits him with a right hand, and Schwartz drops like a sack of potatoes. He gets up, somehow, and then Paxton drops him again with a left. This happens a few more times, with alternating fists. Kenny Freeman eventually gets back into the ring. He gets one, too, and Freeman flops through the top and middle ropes and out onto the apron.
Schwartz finds himself in the corner, and Paxton comes in with a big right hand that rocks Schwartz so hard that his legs fly out from under him and he lands on his back.
Nick Stuart: BIG right hand from Paxton!
Richard Parker: No such thing as a small right hand from that guy, you know.
Schwartz finds himself being hefted up to his feet. An Irish whip sends him to the opposite turnbuckles.
Freeman moves in to take the blind tag, but he’s met by Jonathan Rhine, who pushes Freeman off of the apron and to the floor. Then he dives after Freeman, taking him out with a clothesline.
Schwartz manages to move out of the way of the charging Paxton Ray, who only barely stops himself from crashing into the turnbuckles with his sternum.
And that’s when Schwartz goes for the most devastating move in all of sports-entertainment: the Schwartz Special. He also grabs the jeans and puts his feet on the ropes, much to the displeasure of everyone in the crowd.
Paxton pushes Schwartz off of him, and rolls backwards to his feet. Schwartz is wide-eyed. He had that one! So he does what anyone would do in his situation. He tries to take advantage of his opening, and…
Nick Stuart: LAYFAYETTE LULLABY! He got all of that one!
Richard Parker: We may need to make funeral arrangements for Mr. Randall Schwartz.
Paxton drops to his knees after popping up and knocking out Schwartz, and then covers him. Outside of the ring, Freeman is trying to get back in to save this one, but he’s easily being stopped by Jonathan Rhine.
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: Ladies and gentlemen, the winners of this match… FIGHTING! FOR! NOOOOOOOORAAAAAAA!
Rhine rolls back into the ring, and all Kenny Freeman can do is pull his incredibly unconscious multiversal pal out of the ring before Paxton Ray decides that he needs to face-punch him some more.
Nick Stuart: Big win for Fighting for Nora here. They’re still a huge threat in the tag division, and it might not be that long before they’re back in the hunt for the titles.
Richard Parker: Wouldn’t want to be anyone in the way of Paxton Ray, though. Man’s got a mean left punch.
And with that, ReVival moves on.
COMMERCIAL: SHOOT PROJECT
SO THAT’S HOW IT IS
Joe Fontaine: We cut backstage after the thrilling conclusion of the Fighting for Nora and Masters of the Multiverse B-Team match to discover that Jared Blueberry’s pp has been stolen, and the culprit is suspected to be El Hijo del Super Cool Guy!
Baron von Blackberry: Ah. So that’s how it is.
Okay, but seriously. ReVival 12 indeed cuts backstage after that match, and we’re treated to the sight of Joe Fontaine, Baron von Blackberry, and Sid Phillips walking. Each of them are dressed in their entrance attire, and they’re on their way to stand by for their match with the eGG Bandits.
Sid Phillips: Are you eight or something? Nobody calls it a “pp” at our age. We use more sophisticated words like “tallywhacker” and the eggplant emoji now.
Joe Fontaine: Look, I have opinions that have to be stated, and they all involve the 16th letter of the English alphabet and how they relate to that terrible man and his even more terrible mannequin, forged from the worst Canadian malice ever found in a Tijuana Macy’s.
Baron von Blackberry holds his hand out and physically stops Joe Fontaine from walking further. Joe actually continues walking for several seconds, genuinely confused as to why he wasn’t making any more progress in walking, until he realizes that Blackberry is actually stopping him. So he stops.
Baron von Blackberry: Back up. Time out. Perhaps you could enlighten me a bit on how El Hijo del Super Cool Guy could be forged from Canadian malice when it is a Mexican mannequin?
Joe Fontaine: I don’t know. How do you explain all of the Canadian destroyers he’s done on me? I’m sick of it. I’m sick of seeing his stupid, featureless face. I’m sick of your weirdo friend who keeps shoving him in my path, too. He is a big mean jerk. I hate him. A pox on his soul!
Sid Phillips: Uh, we’re still talking about the mannequin, right?
Joe Fontaine: No! I’m talking about that Jared Blueberry. He’s a dumpster man most foul. I hope he stubs his toe. I hope his car gets towed so he has to spend the whole day at the DMV. I hope he gets deported to Fruitsylvania.
Blackberry grabs Joe by the shoulders, shaking him a bit. He ragdolls quite a bit as he’s been shaken.
Baron von Blackberry: Okay. Stop. I am the only native Fruitsylvanian here. Jared Blueberry is not from Fruitsylvania. That’s a terrible stereotype to assume that everyone with a fruity name comes from Fruitsylvania, and I will have you apologize for your berryist behavior before I have you sent to the Exploding Soul Mines for your treachery and your berryism.
Joe Fontaine: …Sorry?
Baron von Blackberry: Good. I’m glad that we have settled this like adults. Or something resembling adults. Something within a hemisphere of adulthood. You foolish child.
The camera draws back just enough to reveal two additional figures standing off to the side. Both in fruit-themed masks, one because he makes bad decisions, and the other because she’s supportive of her friend who makes bad decisions, even if sometimes those choices come with their own blast radius large enough to kill the dinosaurs and create a black hole into which slowly falls all hope of rational thought. If you think there’s not a part of her that’s counting the days until she can take the damn thing off, then you’re fooling yourself, and probably not doing a very good job at it.
They’re also chatting with each other, just loud enough for the cameras to hear. Think of it like Mystery Science Theater 3000 if someone thought, “you know what would be cool, filming this with crazy people at a farmer’s market.”
Reina Raspberry: Are any of them actually adults, is my question.
King Blueberry: I mean, you are. The rest of us not so much, no.
Reina Raspberry: And does he really think your name is ‘Jared Blueberry’?
King Blueberry: No idea. I thought about asking, but they were all mid-monolog, and then we got into berry racism and at that point I just needed to see where that train went.
She nods, as if this is a perfectly normal conversation for fruit-themed Gen X’ers to have. It isn’t, but you know what they say: When in Rome… fuck a Roman.
Reina Raspberry: Joe’s got a point though. You are most certainly a dumpster man. Maybe even THE dumpster man.
King Blueberry: Look, that’s just sound logic. No arguing with the truth.
Reina Raspberry: Do you think they can hear us?
King Blueberry: Cal, they’re staring at us, so I’m going to go with a hard ‘yes’ on that one.
Joe Fontaine looks around for several seconds, and then turns to his compatriots.
Joe Fontaine: Anyone else hear that?
Baron von Blackberry: Yes. I’m going out on a limb and say that my fellow Popsicle monarchs are right here. Watching us. Talking about us. And definitely questioning why we call one of them Jared Blueberry, as though that isn’t his full legal name that I thought about on a whim one day in the MGM Grand in a story that was definitely cut for time.
Sid Phillips: …What?
Baron von Blackberry: Let’s just go say hi.
The three of them walk up to the Kings of Popsicles. For a moment, there’s silence between the five of them. A tension in the air that comes from months of mannequin-based psychological warfare. You know how it goes. First it’s just an innocent little Canadian Destroyer from a mannequin, next is sparklers and roller skates, and then we may get into some thermonuclear mannequins if we mess around and find out.
Anyway, it’s Blackberry who breaks the silence.
Baron von Blackberry: Hi.
Raspberry uncrosses her arms just long enough to offer a little wave.
Reina Raspberry: Hi.
King Blueberry: Yeah, so, hope you don’t mind but we were thinking of doing a little scouting tonight. Not planning on getting anywhere close to the ring, and you don’t have to worry – there won’t be any mannequins. Dude is staying in his storage locker tonight. Granted, we’ve got a defense on the next show, so there’s a chance you’re wrestling someone else at UltraViolence, but…
Reina Raspberry: You wouldn’t believe the amount of tears when I told him he had to actually act like a professional for this.
King Blueberry: …dude.
Reina Raspberry: Seriously, it got pretty uncomfortable for a while. Like I thought he was going to dehydrate, or something.
King Blueberry: Cool. Can’t wait to live with this meme forever.
Baron von Blackberry: Ah, the dreaded raisin situation. I’m familiar. ‘Tis what claimed my grandfather, Corbin von Blackberry, now interred in the Grand Blackberry Mausoleum. He now permanently haunts the place, always screaming. Never ceases screaming. We had to soundproof the walls. To be fair to him, to heck with raisins. I wouldn’t want to become that.
Joe and Sid, ignoring the ramblings of a possibly insane berry, eyed the other two berries suspiciously.
Joe Fontaine: So, no mannequins?
Sid Phillips: And no shenanigans?
Joe Fontaine: No.. shemannequins?
Sid Phillips: Why do I find that hard to believe?
King Blueberry: I don’t know if you’re aware, but we have this rumor report that comes out every few weeks…
At this, Reina Raspberry tries to stifle a laugh, fails, and within seconds it takes her over.
King Blueberry: And apparently there’s someone in the company that believes I am harboring a – what was the phrase? – oh, yeah, “penis gremlin” that has stolen and run off with, you know… things.
She is all but doubled over, howling at his misfortune.
King Blueberry: So the absolute last thing that I need right now is to be seen in public with him.
Baron von Blackberry: Ah, yes. I am quite familiar with this filthy sheet, full of dirt and other pieces of the earth. Honestly, they should clean it up before they send it out. This is what happens when you trust owls to deliver the news to you. Anyway, I also saw something shocking in that same report.
He brings his voice down to a whisper, which is to say that it’s still at conversational volume.
Baron von Blackberry: It said that Timo has a jet.
Joe and Sid both gasp audibly.
Joe Fontaine: No way.
Sid Phillips: That Timo?
Baron von Blackberry: The same!
Reina Raspberry: (under her breath) At least no one “stole his pp”.
And then she’s back to laughing.
King Blueberry: So that’s how it is.
The King pivots and begins walking away, mumbling something to himself that the camera can’t pick up. Not one to let an opportunity like this slip away, his partner offers another shot.
Reina Raspberry: Make sure and let everyone know if you find it!
Eventually the laughing stops, and she’s able to compose herself. Her attention returns to the other collection of man-children before her.
Reina Raspberry: No, but seriously, no mannequin tonight. It’s creepy, and it’s weird, and to be honest if I had my way it would have been thrown in a wood chipper by now. So we’ll see you out there, from a distance so that no one gets distracted, but now I should probably go track him down before he… You know it’s probably safer if I don’t imagine what he’ll get up to.
And then it’s her turn to exit the frame.
The Winds of Change watch her go, and then Joe points in the direction that she departed towards.
Joe Fontaine: Okay, I like her.
Sid Phillips: Stop.
Joe Fontaine: What? She doesn’t like the mannequin either. A+ in my book.
Let’s… go back to the ring.
A MESSIANIC PACT
Nova sits on a bench in his locker room, making final adjustments to his gear. Wade Elliott isn’t there, having gone to attend to one of his security duties. Nova tightens his gloves, checks his elbow and knee pads, then stands and stretches out one last time. He nods to himself.
Nova: Let’s do this.
He heads out of the locker room area and the camera follows him down the hallway until he reaches a larger room connecting multiple backstage corridors. A series of monitors are grouped together, all showing various angles of the arena and ringside area and throngs of fans cheering and waving signs. Among a few crew members, the PRIME Universal Champion Brandon Youngblood stands, belt slung over his shoulder, eyes scanning the action on-camera. He looks back as Nova approaches, and they lock eyes for a moment before Youngblood offers a nod.
Nova walks up next to him and for a minute they watch the monitors in silence. Then Youngblood turns to him.
Brandon Youngblood: I just want you to know…if…IF…I get through Phil Atken still holding the Universal Championship…it looks like we both have something of a MESSIAH problem on the horizon.
He snorts and spits off to the side.
Brandon Youngblood: We don’t like them. We don’t respect them. We won’t fear them. All that bullshit they want to spout about making this world a better place…it don’t matter. Because I want you to know…need you to know…that when it comes down to it? I’d be glad if we gave those bastards the Hall of Fame ass kicking they deserve. You feel me, Star?
Brandon extends his hand to Nova, and in the background the fans in the arena can be heard roaring approval. Nova doesn’t hesitate in returning the gesture, and the arena POPS~!
Nova: Love the energy. Love where your head’s at. Just spent the better part of a month reacquainting myself with local lock-up because of those motherfuckers, and I intend to thank Violence Jack in person for that when I have a chance. If he wants to put Bathory in my way, I’m happy to pass the message through him, too.
Nova looks down at his ankle bracelet, calmly blinking green.
Nova: Lindz may have bought me a little time from MESSIAH breathing down my neck, but this isn’t over with me and them.
He lights a cigarette and takes a drag.
Nova: Not by a wide fucking margin. But right now…
He points down the hallway towards the staging area.
Nova: …I have a date with the Marathon Man.
The Risen Star takes a few steps in the direction of the arena and turns back.
Nova: Brandon, if they come for you…holla atcha boy.
Brandon grins and adjusts the strap on his shoulder.
Brandon Youngblood: I will. Good luck out there.
Nova grins and shrugs before turning and continuing down the hallway.
Backstage, where the hard-working PRIME camera crew is ready for action (and deserving of a raise, hint hint.)
The action that they find–and show to you, our beloved viewers–is a man walking through the halls. The man in question is Nate Colton, back in his street clothes after his match earlier in the evening. Is that the same PRIME polo he wore at Rev11, or did he just stock up on them? We may never know.
Normally, Colton would find a quiet spot to watch the rest of the show after he’d finished his own match. But he’s just coming off a hotly-contested fight against Dusk, and right now all he wants is to get back to his suite, kick his feet up, and relax.
All he doesn’t want to do is talk to this man.
Phil Atken: Calm yourself young man, I’m simply passing through to check on the BOOMING business. No need to put up your defenses.
A rather arrogant and self satisfied smirk sits up the face of the man due to challenge Brandon Youngblood for the Universal Championship on the next ReVival. Atken continues to be decked out in the finest mid-brand three piece suits you can find. Colton looks at Atken as if he’s about to join the conversation but is immediately spoken over by the Glue Factory’s Humble Proprietor.
Phil Atken: A lot of the hungry young talent have the exact same look as you. I know the expression. You’re wondering if the offer was real at Great American Nightmare. You’re also wondering if I may actually have something to offer after you witnessed me battering the hell out of a sentient fog machine.
Once again Colton is about to interject and is immediately cut off.
Phil Atken: …a corridor is not a place to make any rash decisions. I think it would do you better to take some time and think about the wealth of rich knowledge that could be imparted to you. Take some time. Not too long though. Offer ends at the next ReVival.
Atken gives Colton a cheeky lil nod and a wink of an old man’s eye as he starts to walk away.
Now, Nate Colton knows that the smart thing to do right now is to bite his tongue. After all, the Humble Proprietor will have his plate full by ReV13, and there’s decent odds that he’ll have forgotten all about this meeting by then. Besides, after the match he just had with Dusk, Nate probably doesn’t have another fight in him tonight.
But maybe he’s still riding high off the adrenaline from that match, just a little bit. Or maybe he’s still riled up from his run-in with FLAMBERGE earlier in the night. Hell, maybe he just doesn’t care for people who wear suits when they don’t have to. For whatever reason, instead of the smart thing, Nate does…this.
Nate Colton: Actually, Mr. Atken, I can give you my answer right now. The answer is “no.”
You may expect Atken to be a man outraged by such a flash speed retort, but his step remains unbroken. As Atken disappears out of sight, Colton can hear him shouting out as his voice reverbs around the narrow hallway.
Phil Atken: For now. Just remember when the offer ends.
Atken’s irritating chuckle is the last thing the man says to Colton. Nate shakes his head before continuing toward his own destination.
Nate Colton: I’m sure that’ll turn out fine.
THE EGG BANDITS vs. WINDS OF CHANGE
Vince Howard. Ring. Microphone. You know what’s up.
Vince Howard: The following contest is scheduled for one fall…
“Banditstruck” begins playing over the arena speakers, as from the entryway approaches the team of Doozer and “Beautiful” Bobby Dean. Doozer stomps his way down the ramp, all business and ready to fight, while his partner happily whistles as he walks.
Vince Howard: At a total combined weight of 642 pounds, a… (sigh) total combined height of 12 feet 3 inches, and (visibly frustrated) …total combined age?!
That could very well be because he’s pushing a large flatbed cart, not unlike what you’d see at a big box hardware store. What’s on the cart? Oh, just an industrial tub of what looks to be marshmallow fluff. And when we say “industrial tub”, what we mean is “imagine someone sawed a refrigerator in half and filled it with sugary goo”.
Vince Howard: The team of Bobby Dean and Doozer… the EEEGGGGGGGGG BANDIIIIIIIITS!!
Hypothetically, if someone were to – say – build a giant penis cannon that could shoot people to the ring, this would be enough fluff to make sure they were well and truly lubricated for the ride.
You know, as a thought experiment. Totally an academic exercise.
Also there’s a ladle.
Nick Stuart: Two weeks ago, there was an altercation backstage between the eGG Bandits and Fighting For Nora…
As Nick speaks, there’s an inset replay of the event, showing Jonathan Rhine and a blue-masked moron being pelted with eggs and berries. It then switches to a shot from earlier tonight, when Paxton Ray found himself on the receiving end of an egg shower.
Nick Stuart: We heard from Fighting For Nora earlier this evening, and once again Bobby and Doozer made their presence felt, this time against Paxton Ray.
Richard Parker: I’m pretty sure he threatened murder. Does that make us accomplices?
Nick Stuart: I… no?
Vince Howard: And their opponents…
“I’m all dressed up with nowhere to go…” The beginning of Oingo Boingo’s classic “Dead Man’s Party” hits the PA system, and out from the back runs Baron von Blackberry. He stands at the middle of the entryway with his arms outstretched. Behind him, Joe Fontaine runs out in his bedazzled poncho while Sid Phillips simply marches out in his plain brown poncho with the calm of a man who only has one thing on his mind, and that is powerbombs.
Vince Howard: At a total combined weight of 480 pounds, and…
Vince glances at the rest of the card in his hand, decides that, no, he is in fact not reading this nonsense, and tears it in half.
Vince Howard: Accompanied to the ring by Baron Von Blackberry…
Joe raises his arms several times into the air to hype up the crowd, while Blackberry begins the walk to the ring. Joe and Sid slide into the ring together, while Blackberry walks around and hops up on the apron. He spins to place his back to the ropes, and holds his arms out with his palms out to pose. To his left and right, Joe and Sid climb up the turnbuckles to raise their arms for the crowd.
Vince Howard: “Tempest” Joe Fontaine… “Riot” Sid Phillips… The WIIIIIINDSSSSS OOOOOOF CHAAAAAAANGE!!
Nick Stuart: At Great American Nightmare, this young, upstart team…
Again, we get an inset replay of some of the events of the Winds’ match against the team of Nova and Garbage Bag Johnny.
Nick Stuart: …pulled-off what some called an upset when the beat the team of Nova and Garbage Bag Johnny to earn themselves a shot at the tag-team championships at UltraViolence, titles currently held by Baron Von Blackberry’s old running mate King Blueberry, and the revived Kings of Popsicles.
Hey, speak of the devil.
The first few riffs of Motley Crue’s “Knock ‘Em Dead Kid” hit the arena, as two figures in street clothes and fruit masks step out onto the stage. Reina Raspberry holds her championship belt slung over her shoulder, and the Blueberry has his strapped like a bandolier across his chest like a shitty Chewbacca.
Richard Parker: And speak of the devil.
We literally just said that, Richard!
They make no effort to move beyond the bounds of the stage; after all they’re here just to observe. And true to their word, there are no mannequins in sight to rattle Joe Fontaine.
Nick Stuart: Doozer and Fontaine to start for their respective teams. What some fans might not realize is that almost twenty years ago Doozer held tag-team championship gold in the Legends of Wrestling promotion with Joey Malone, the father of Joe Fontaine.
Richard Parker: If anything that puts the Bandits at an advantage. They know that Phillips has only one bullet in his gun. They know first-hand the knowledge that Malone passed on to his son. And if you add that with the tricks they’ve picked up hanging around that no-good, rotten, egg-sucking, two-faced, old-dumpster-juice-on-a-mid-July-sidewalk-in-Arizona asshole Jiles…
There’s a pause.
Nick Stuart: Richard?
Richard Parker: Sorry. I said his name and felt a little something come up in my throat.
It’s your typical start of a match, despite the overall weirdness of the two teams involved. There’s some circling, and then some attempts to feel each other out, but not in a weird, creepy way. Eventually some punching happens. Maybe a little light kicking. Maybe a little heavy kicking. But the size discrepancy between Doozer and Fontaine means you already know how this goes.
Nick Stuart: And it’s not just knowledge that the Winds have to contend with. Sid Phillips is a big boy, but Joe Fontaine is still giving up almost 90 pounds to the smaller of the two Bandits, a man who has been wrestling longer than Fontaine has been alive.
Richard Parker: Dusk’s not in this match, Nick.
Nick Stuart: Will you stop?
Richard Parker: And I’m pretty sure that guy’s been wrestling longer than any of us have been alive. Oh, hey! I just thought of this one… If Atken gets his hands on him, then do we have to change his name from Doozer to – wait for it – Gluezer?
Apologies to anyone who made this joke already. Or anyone reading it now, to be honest.
Nick Stuart: I’m not answering that.
Seeing his partner gain the early upper hand, Bobby hops down from the ring apron and dips his ladle into what can accurately be described as a metric fuckload (that’s a one-quarter shit-heap if we’re using imperial measurements, which we’re not) of marshmallow fluff in a large plastic drum. It slips from his hand and slowly sinks to the bottom, Terminator 2’ing the entire way.
Doozer lifts up Fontaine for a gorilla press, but the smaller man slips behind him and lands a staggering superkick when the Old Bull turns around.
Bobby dunks one of his arms in the fluff up to the elbow.
Nick Stuart: Fontaine showing off that agility early. A second kick lands, and…
Richard Parker: No way this is going to work.
Nick Stuart: The Tempest-
Richard Parker: (interrupting) Worst Shakespeare play.
Nick Stuart: -trying to hoist Doozer up on his shoulders in a fireman’s carry pickup.
The move, the Malonestrom – his father’s finisher – doesn’t connect, as Doozer very easily uses his size and strength to muscle his way back to the ground. He spins Fontaine, and then drops him immediately with a hard right hand.
Nick Stuart: I know we’ve said it already, folks, but it bears repeating – Doozer teamed with Joey Malone, the two won gold together, so it’s safe to say he’s going to have any of his old partner’s tricks scouted.
The Boston Bruiser shakes his head and wags a finger at his younger opponent before dragging him up to his feet by the arm, and pulling him in for a snap scoop powerslam.
Nick Stuart: Bobby Dean back up on the ring apron, offering his hand for a tag. Looks like he wants a piece of the action as well.
Richard Parker: Yeah, except his hand is covered in marshmallow. Though to be fair, it’s probably not the worst white sub-
Nick Stuart: Do NOT finish that sentence!
Doozer, now firmly in control, sees his partner with his hand out for a tag, then shakes his head and points to Bobby’s other arm – his clean arm. The Beautiful man from Honalee obliges, offering his other hand for Dooze to tag while licking away at the last of the fluff until it’s gone.
Richard Parker: This was not on the list of things I expected to see tonight.
Nick Stuart: And yet, here we are, Richard.
Richard Parker: And yet… here we are.
Dean traps Fontaine’s head between his ample arms and even-ampler bosom, cinching his younger opponent into a remarkably quick snap suplex, and then in DEFIANCE OF GRAVITY AND GOD’S LAW the bigger Bobby floats over.
Nick Stuart: Textbook suplex delivered by Beautiful Bobby Dean! I know it’s sometimes easy to forget because of the antics he and his stablemates sometimes get up to…
Richard Parker: (exaggerated gagging noises)
Nick Stuart: …but that doesn’t mean Dean doesn’t have a legitimate in-ring pedigree.
Dean transitions into a mount, then sticks both of his index fingers into his mouth, savoring the last drops of marshmallow fluff that may be caked under his nails, before unloading on the hapless Joe Fontaine with the dreaded double wet willie, a move that is illegal in 13 states and punishable by jail time in Nebraska.
Richard Parker: You were saying, Nick?
Nick Stuart: I mean… my point still stands.
Instead of going for the cover, Bobby rises to his feet, leaving Joe to continue flailing his arms around his head as if under siege by a swarm of angry, Karen-esque bees. Sure, the bees may be imaginary, but they ALL want to speak to your manager right goddamn now, or ELSE.
At the top of the ramp, there is a whispered exchange between two weirdos in fruit masks. Or, more accurately, one weirdo and someone too loyal for her own good.
Nick Stuart: That move may have been unorthodox, but it put Bobby Dean in a position to press the advantage.
And press Joe Fontaine.
Just squish the shit out of him.
What we mean by that, is while Joe was flopping about like a fish trying to rid himself of The Big Ick (which is an actual parasite that fish can get, only that one’s shorthanded as “ich” and is just as gross), Bobby hit the ropes, rebounded, and connected with a move that is commonly known as a seated senton. Fans of a certain video review podcast that may or may not exist in this reality would refer to it as a “big whoopsie”, but for the purposes of this match let’s say that the young Mr. Fontaine just got all up in dat ass.
Richard Parker: I think I can hear all of Fontaine’s organs screaming.
No, that’s just all the air being violently driven from his body. Like what happens when you cook a lobster. With your butt. As one does.
I’m so sorry.
Nick Stuart: Referee Elvis Nixon with the count!
If you think Sid Phillips is going to stand idly by and watch his partner pressed like a flesh tortilla underneath the biggest Bandit, then you would be mistaken. Which is why he’s in the ring, and making his way towards his partner.
Hey, pop quiz: how many moves does Sid Phillips know?
Thanks, timely referee count! Alas, it does no good here, because Bobby is a thicc lad – dummy thicc, you might say – and has zero desire to be powerbombed. None. Not even a little.
Is the actual number of moves Sid knows, but this is not the time for Exploding Cyclone Homicide anythings.
Nick Stuart: Sid Phillips trying to grapple Bobby Dean, but once more Bobby showing that deceptive agility by sneaking away, essentially breaking up his own pinfall!
With Bobby scurrying off and Elvis Nixon trying to shoo Sid Phillips out of the ring like a possum in a trash barrel (just tip the ring over, Elvis; he’ll scamper away at night on his own when no one is around), this provides an opportunity for Fontaine to pull himself up with the ropes for leverage. As soon as his partner is able to make a legal tag, Fontaine slaps skin with Phillips and brings the Padishah Emperor of Powerbombs into the ring.
And, naturally, the first thing he does is try to grab Bobby Dean again.
Nick Stuart: Sid Phillips in hot, and you know what he’s trying to do, Richard.
Richard Parker: Throw his back out?
It does not go well.
Richard Parker: Maybe herniate a disc?
The combination of sweat, marshmallow, kicking, and screaming is enough to prevent the Powerbomb Laureate from getting a hold. Bobby executes a picture perfect forward roll, and tags Doozer back in.
In the crowd, a local high school student decides to apply to Cal Tech and major in fluid dynamics.
Richard Parker: Get Freeman and Schwartz out here NOW! I need to know which universe this version of Bobby is from so I know to never go there!
Nick Stuart: Doozer back in, and we’re going to get a showdown of two heavy-hitters.
Bobby, fresh off a few displays of athletic prowess, goes right back to the fluff bucket, which is a phrase I’m adding to my daily lexicon.
The exchange that follows between the two generations of hosses is a burst of offense. There are no strikes from the Phillips camp; that would just be absurd. Here there are only powerbombs and despair, and the despair is really just code for “more powerbombs”.
In and amongst the Many Powerbombs of Sid Phillips, Doozer lands some heavy shots of his own. A spinebuster, backbreaker, and thundering belly-to-belly suplex all find their mark, but no matter how hard the two men smash each other (or smash the other into things) neither is able to hold the other down for very long.
But the Old Bull is wily, a veteran of the ring with more experience than his opponent has years of life, and tonight there is no quit in him.
Nick Stuart: Doozer trying to pick up Phillips, but Phillips fighting back!
Not with any actual wrestling moves, mind you.
Richard Parker: I don’t know if “flailing” counts as fighting back.
Nick Stuart: It’s certainly working, though.
Some space opens between the two men, and Sid Phillips gets an idea. He looks at Doozer, and then at his elbow, then back at Doozer, then… look, you get the idea. Outside the ring and seeing this all unfold, Baron Von Blackberry becomes more animated. He slaps the ring apron and punches the air as the thought of Sid doing an actual wrestling move becomes all consuming.
It should be noted, however, that he doesn’t Retcon Punch the air, because we’re only 6 months into the ReVival Era, and no one’s ready for any of us to break reality yet.
At the top of the ramp, King Blueberry and Reina Raspberry stand in rapt attention.
Nick Stuart: Oh.
Richard Parker: Well.
Nick Stuart: Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t see this coming.
Richard Parker: It was a nice idea while it lasted.
…grabs Doozer around the waist, and connects with a gutwrench powerbomb. Outside the ring, Blackberry kicks the dirt in frustration.
Rejuvenated from his snack, and a few minutes of recovery spent watching from the ring apron, Bobby Dean moves into action. After all, his partner is currently in trouble, and there’s a loyalty in the Bandit locker room that can’t be denied.
Nick Stuart: Both Bandits trying to wear down Phillips, but here comes Fontaine! Fontaine getting into position…
Smooth Joe Cool – which is the kind of nickname a man only gives himself – springboards to the top rope and launches himself feet first at Bobby Dean, laying him out with a blindside dropkick.
Nick Stuart: Fontaine trying to take out the illegal man, and Dean is down, but Doozer won’t just let this slide!
The Old Bull charges, absolutely drilling Fontaine with a running clothesline with enough force that both men tumble over the top rope to the outside. Elvis Nixon, torn between dealing with the situation outside the ring and the illegal Bobby Dean inside the ring, tries to regain control. He fails. But hey, at least he tried, and dammit that counts for something.
Richard Parker: Uh oh. I think Sid Phillips just saw his Christmas wish come true 5 months early.
Sid Phillips’ eyes go wide as the situation before him registers. There, on the mat, Bobby Dean rests on all fours, panting as he pushes himself to his feet. The crowd within the MGM Grand can sense it, seeing into the future as if staring collectively into a crystal ball, or perhaps the swirling maelstrom of the Time Vortex that roils at the heart of Anna Daniels’ TARDIS. Whatever the case, they know.
Nick Stuart: I don’t know if I have ever seen a man as eager as Sid Phillips right now, Richard.
Richard Parker: We’ve called Roxy Phoenix matches before, Nick, so let’s not get crazy with the hyperbole.
Professor Powerbomb, PhD. reaches a hand to the top of his singlet. The first strap goes down, then the second. The crowd reacts in kind. There are gonna be some kids made tonight for sure, you guys.
Nick Stuart: Bobby Dean has managed to elude Sid Phillips’ best move all night, but could this finally be the time.
Richard Parker: Correction – Bobby Dean has managed to avoid Sid Phillips’ ONLY move all night.
And then it happens. Phillips gets the Beautiful Man From Honalee into position, and channeling the energy of the great precursor powerbombs that came before, locks his arms around Bobby’s waist and lifts.
Impact in 5…
Nick Stuart: He’s done it! Sid Phillips has got Bobby Dean up!
Richard Parker: Only one way to go now.
Baron Von Blackberry’s eyes go wide. At least, they probably do. Honestly who can tell what’s going on underneath that freaky-deaky sex mask of his.
Bobby Dean hits the mat. So does Elvis Nixon, the force of the impact is that strong. Joe Fontaine and Doozer, both climbing onto the ring apron, are knocked back to the arena floor. Even Baron Von Blackberry has to steady himself against the guardrail from the concussive shockwave that emanates out from the blast.
In the second row, a young boy’s hair will prematurely go white because of this move, and he will tell the story about that “bad mamma-jamma” Sid Phillips. That’s what he’ll say, too. “Bad mamma-jamma.” Because this child does not believe in potty words, and because the lines of mams for Sid to consensually jam will be out the door and around the block.
At the top of the ramp, far away from ground zero, the woman in the raspberry mask stands with her jaw agape. Her partner, the dipshit in blue, very obviously mouths the words, “Holy shit.”
Nick Stuart: Sid Phillips trying for the cover, but Elvis Nixon reminding him that Doozer is the legal man… And here comes the Old Bull!
Despite still being a bit oily from the Great Fluff Incident of 2022 – at this point, they’re gonna need to hose down the ring between matches – the Boston Bruiser descends on Phillips with a series of clubbing shots. Bobby, his self-preservation instincts still well and truly intact, rolls towards the bottom rope and safety.
Nick Stuart: The Bandits have still got some fight left in them. Doozer landing shot after shot, backing down Phillips…
Richard Parker: Was that a blind tag by Fontaine?!
Nick Stuart: Doozer putting some distance between Phillips and himself. He charges in… Pop-up powerbomb by Phillips!
Richard Parker: And now Fontaine’s in!
Nick Stuart: The Old Bull is starting to regain his sens-OH! ONCE UPON A TIME IN FORTNITE!
Complete with the dab and everything.
Nick Stuart: Elvis Nixon to make the count! Joe Fontaine looking to pin the man that won tag-team gold with his father!
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: The winners of this match… The Winds! Of! Change!
“Dead Man’s Party” kicks back into full swing as the post-match celebration begins in the ring. At the top of the ramp, King Blueberry offers a nod of respect and recognition before he and Reina Raspberry head back through the curtain.
Nick Stuart: And the streak continues for the team of Phillips and Fontaine, as they rack up their third straight win and cement their places as the number one contenders. I have to say Richard, I don’t know if we can call them upstarts any more.
Richard Parker: Look, I may have my issues with their leader – a man who probably enjoys the smell of porta potties on humid August afternoons…
Nick Stuart: Jesus.
Richard Parker: But the Bandits are veterans of this sport, and a win over them is an accomplishment in and of itself.
Nick Stuart: Fans, don’t go anywhere. We’ve got more action up ahead right after this message!
THINGS KNOWN, AND THINGS UNKNOWN
Backstage. Outside the medical bay. The door is closed and there’s been a few people milling about, but only Impulse and Calico Rose have been waiting. He’s in his wrestling gear, bouncing his knee up and down nervously while Cally scrolls her phone.
Calico Rose: Dr. Fihlguud’s been here long enough, there should be magazines in her waiting room.
Impulse looks at her and smiles.
Impulse: You should fill out one of those “How are we doing?” cards.
Calico Rose: She ain’t got ‘em! Ooooh, I’ll make one.
Their conversation is broken by the sudden sound of the door opening. Dr. Fihlguud steps through and Impulse immediately stands up, paperwork in his hand. He stops his forward step when he sees the doctor speaking with “The Event Horizon” Hayes Hanlon, his hand wrapped in an ace-bandage.
Dr. Fihlguud: …so yes, the wrap should be plenty fine for the next couple weeks of healing. Just don’t punch anything in the meantime. We’ll confirm its status as early as we can in case you get booked at ReVival 13.
Hayes Hanlon: Thanks, doc, I hope you’re right. It’s been a long couple weeks without Old Reliable here.
Dr. Fihlguud: Watch it, buddy. See you in a couple weeks.
Hanlon smirks, throwing his hands up in defense while Astrid turns to address Impulse.
Dr. Fihlguud: Knox, I’ll be with you in a couple minutes, hang tight.
Impulse nods as she disappears back into her office, and the Marathon Man turns to the Event Horizon.
Impulse: We need to stop meeting like this.
Hayes Hanlon: I’m starting to think you two kinda like me. Getting the head checked out?
Calico Rose: I got X-rays but they showed nothing.
Both men stop and stare, with Impulse smiling and shaking his head while Hayes laughs.
Impulse: I’m all good, sir. Just need to file the paperwork with Doc so she can officially clear me for tonight.
Hayes Hanlon: Glad to hear that, nobody wants to go up against Nova with their bell still rung. Good luck tonight. I’d say I’m rooting for you, but..
Hayes shrugs with his palms up.
Hayes Hanlon: …it’s Nova.
Impulse nods in response.
Impulse: Smart kid. Picked a hero who actually is what he says he is.
Hanlon tilts his head with a quizzical grin.
Hayes Hanlon: Are those grapes still a little sour, ‘Pulse?
Impulse: Hmm? OH… Nah, never met any of my heroes, it’s probably better that way.
Hanlon nods at the deflection, maintaining his small smile.
Hayes Hanlon: Hey man, I get it. Rezin got my number that night, too. But as far as Youngblood goes…that’s a PRIME Hall of Famer you’re talking about, dude. Just like Nova. You gonna feel the same way when you eat a little Bourbon for Breakfast tonight?
And Impulse’s face immediately switches from neutral to… not.
Impulse: If you really think that was about a belt, sir… you… really need to cut back on the drugs. I’ve met enough Hall of Famers in my life for the majority to be a massive disappointment. The Champ is there, Nova isn’t.
He steps towards Hayes.
Impulse: There’s a good lesson in there, kiddo.
And he pauses.
Impulse: Disrespect is a two – way street.
Impulse steps off and walks into the room with Dr. Fihlguud. Cally turns toward Hayes before stepping through the doorway herself, and flashes a thousand-watt smile.
Calico Rose: Good to see you again! Take care of that hand, mister!
Hayes lifts his wrapped hand to Cally with a wink before she closes the door behind her.
Hayes Hanlon: (rolling his eyes and muttering to himself) “Kiddo.”
A BIT OF THE OL’ REZZLE-DAZZLE
Hard cut to backstage, before the interview backdrop. Standing there is the Five Star Champion REZIN, impatiently tapping his foot with a smoking doob clenched into the corner of his sneering mouth. Tonight, the Goat Bastard is thankfully covering up his chest, albeit barely, with a Nails muscle shirt.
The Five Star Title is strapped around his waist, upside down.
Rezin: HERE I AM, Simon, ya turd! But where are YOU?!
Sighing with what can be considered a heroic amount of patience, Simon Tillier steps into the frame with mic in hand.
Simon Tillier: …hello, Rezin.
Rezin: THERE you are! What’s this business makin’ me WAIT all the time?! I swear, ya should be FALLING OVER YOURSELF for the opportunity to interview a CHAM… pee…
He trails himself off and double-takes, noticing something different about the junior reporter. Uncharacteristically, he’s not wearing his traditional blue suit, but instead wearing a more casual gray sweats and blue polo combo.
Rezin: HhhWHAT… the hell is THIS?!
Specifically, he’s referring to the plastic face shield worn on the junior reporter’s face.
Simon Tillier: You mean this? This is protection. In case you decide to… you know, project more bodily fluids during this interview. I took my suit to the dry cleaners twice now, and they still can’t get that stain out!
Rezin rolls his eyes.
Rezin: Ugh… you need not worry about basting in my salivary glory anymore, Simon! I’m OVER IT! Especially after I found out some other dude does it. Kinda ruins the fun of it…
Simon Tillier: That’s a relief. Although, I’m pained to say, I feel the damage has already been done. Thanks to your impulsive and provocative nature, you have incurred the wrath of the challenger to your Five Star Championship tonight, GREAT SCOTT!
Rezin scoffs. Thick and wet, as usual. Fortunately for Simon, the face shield catches most of the spray.
Rezin: Ya mean GREAT SCUM? BAH! Let him bring the wrath; I got plenty of my OWN to give HIM in that ring! I’ll have you know, I ain’t the old, beaten DOORMAT this company took me for when I first arrived! Not anymore! I’ve been working hard to take myself to a HIGHER level!
Simon Tillier: Yes, Rezin, we all know by this point that smoking marijuana is the only thing you work hard at.
Rezin: NO, NOT THAT! …I mean, yes, BUT NO!! I’m talking about hittin’ the gym! Improvin’ my game in the ring! Pushin’ my limits and honin’ my skills! Gettin’ help from none other than Rocko Daymon in my off-time!
Simon Tillier: Rocko Daymon?!
Rezin: Yeah! The man himself!
Simon Tillier: …is that literally his name?
Rezin: I mean… yeah? I think so?
Simon Tillier: It must be Italian!
And just like that, our “A Christmas Story Reference Quota” has been fulfilled. In bars across Vegas, dude-bros watching the live broadcast cheer and take their shots.
Rezin: My point is, SCOTT may be “GREAT,” but ya know what, Simon?!
His grin widens as he runs his hands across the belt on his midsection.
Rezin: I can be BETTER than GREAT! That’s why I’m wearin’ this NOW, and why I’ll still be wearin’ it TOMORROW!
Simon Tillier: So you say, but against my better judgment, I really have to ask, what happens in the unfortunate scenario where you aren’t wearing that championship tomorrow?
The Escape Artist flashes him a glare as a warning.
Rezin: Careful now, Simon! I may be done spittin’, but I will gladly PISS all over you if ya push me hard enough!
Simon’s face contorts into revulsion. Still, Rezin’s entire demeanor seems to soften. No more wild eyes and growls and sneers; perfect composure. He unstraps the Five Star Title from his waist and holds it in his hands, looking it over like it encapsulated his entire life struggle for acceptance.
Rezin: …but I’d be lying if I told ya the thought has been spinnin’ around my mind. Could this be it? Could this ol’ Five Star Dopesmoker just be a one-hit wonder? Will I come to regret pokin’ the bear? Figuratively, not literally; I ain’t goin’ anywhere near that friggin’ animal. I’ve seen Grizzly Man.
And just like that, our ‘Werner Herzog Film Reference Quota’ has been fulfilled. In bars across Vegas, nobody is cheering, because nobody knows who the hell that is.
Rezin: I know I have this rotten habit of gettin’ triggered and actin’ out of turn. Been a curse my whole lifetime. Trynna work on controlling these emotions, but it’s an uphill battle. Hard as any fight in that ring… but in there, that curse can be my strongest weapon!
He drapes the belt over his shoulder.
Rezin: It’s the exact reason why I’m holdin’ onto this. So tonight, against SCOTT, I’m fixin’ to scrape up a bit more of that ol’ REZZLE-DAZZLE once more. To prove to PRIME, regardless of how long it lasts, this championship run is the real deal.
He looks point blank into the camera.
Rezin: …and regardless of what anyone thinks, so am I.
Rezin plucks the spliff, burned down to a roach by this point, out of his mouth and flicks it into Simon’s face shield before wandering off camera. Even with the added layer of protection Simon can’t help but flinch.
IMPULSE vs. NOVA
Nick Stuart: This one…should be a barnburner.
Richard Parker: A main event anywhere out there.
Nick Stuart: Impulse and Nova. Two of the very best the sport has to offer…and they are about to tangle up here on ReVival!
The lights cut out in the arena, and a stormy sky appears on the video screen.
As thunder booms over the speakers and lightning lights up the darkened clouds on-screen, George Clinton’s voice can be heard speaking in soft, reverberating tones.
“Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time…for y’all have knocked her up. I have tasted the maggots in the mind of the universe; but I was not offended, for I knew I had to rise above it all…or drown in my own shit.”
The stormy sky fades, replaced by a field of stars. One of the stars shoots across the screen, and as the field of stars comes together to form the word “NOVA,” Funkadelic’s “Maggot Brain” lilts over the PA system.
Vince Howard: This contest is for one fall and has a thirty minute time limit. Introducing first…from parts unknown…standing six feet three inches and weighing in at two hundred forty pounds…he is a PRIME Hall of Famer…one of the longest reigning Universal Champions in PRIME history…his accolades are numerous…he is the RIIIIISEN STAR! He is…NOOOOOOOOOOOOOVA!
Nick Stuart: Nova’s run in Survivor almost saw he and Garbage Bag Johnny become the first PRIME Tag Team Champions in this era. But at the end, a few hiccups managed to cost them. The Winds of Change managed to score an upset win at Great American Nightmare, and we haven’t heard from Johnny since. But tonight…Nova looks to get on track in the biggest of ways. Few men have been as hot since the return of PRIME as the Marathon Man. But the PRIME Hall of Famer is one of the very best…is tonight the night where he gets on track and sets his path forward…
At this moment, a spotlight hits the entrance ramp where Nova is knelt, one fist raised in the air. The smoke wafting up from the cigarette hanging out of his mouth swirls iridescently under the hot glare of the spotlight. After a moment, the Risen Star climbs to his feet and makes his way down to the ring, rolling under the bottom rope before standing and flicking his cigarette away.
The lights come up.
“Cannonball” by SIRSY fills the arena, and a blue – and – purple strobe combination lights up the entranceway.
As the first verse hits the midway point, the second set of “HEY HEY,” Impulse walks out to the top of the ramp, absent Calico Rose. He stops and looks around, nodding his appreciation.
Richard Parker: Oh man no Cally…
Nick Stuart: Conspicuous by her absence…but perhaps with good reason? Impulse is coming off a devastating loss to the Universal Champion Brandon Youngblood…having suffered a concussion in the process.
Vince Howard: And his opponent…from New York City New York…standing five feet and ten inches and weighing in at one hundred ninety-one pounds…a master in the ring…THE MAAAAARATHON MAN! IMMMMMPULSE!
The song hits the chorus at about the time he begins to walk to the ring. Impulse slaps an errant hand here and there. On reaching the ringside area, Impulse is up on the ring apron handing his leather jacket to a ring attendant, and takes off his T-shirt and tosses it into the crowd, ready for action.
Nick Stuart: Only one man has managed to defeat him in PRIME, but here, he faces off against a man he has stated he’s wanted to face from the beginning. What better place than here? What better time than now?
With the bell ringing, we are officially underway. As we are, Impulse and Nova draw close to each other, a sizeable gap between the pair, Nova taking more of a combat stance while Impulse tries and swoops in, his knee hitting the canvas, coming in low in a wrestling stance. Nova narrowing avoids the attempt at a sweeping lock up, side stepping, the pair circling before finally locking up in the center of the ring with a collar and elbow tie up.
Nick Stuart: Collar and elbow tie up here, these two have solid fundamental bases behind their arsenal, and here, we are seeing that on display.
Richard Parker: Nova’s size already playing a factor.
Nick Stuart: Nova quickly getting the advantage here, able to get a side headlock off the muscle, but OH! Impulse picks his leg and trips him to the canvas, following him down to the canvas with a headlock of his own!
Richard Parker: Say what you will about the Marathon Man, at least he’s got a bit of pitbull mentality in him. He’s going to need that here.
Nick Stuart: There’s been many times in the past with Impulse that his skills as a grappler have been tested. He’s extremely talented in this environment, but he’s had to swim uphill thanks to the size of his opponents. Youngblood nearly outweighed him by one hundred pounds. Nova here…he has an almost fifty pound weight advantage as well as nearly half a foot.
Richard Parker: Keeping hold of the side headlock, but Nova’s rising from the canvas.
Nick Stuart: The Risen Star has seen his share of challenges. Trying now to grab at Impulse’s hands as they are now both to a stand, trying to pull that grip free, but he’s struggling, it’s like a vice. Backing into the ropes, Timo Bolamba is on it, looking to see if he needs to administer a count, but in the wake of this Nova is fighting his way free, trying to fight his way free, tries to whip his way clear but Impulse is maintaining that headlock OH SUPLEX! Back drop suplex but Impulse maintains the hold! And you can see Nova’s frustration grow with him smacking the canvas! Float over COVER!
Nova bridges his shoulders up, but Impulse is there to quickly smother with another headlock.
Richard Parker: Nova is going to have to work his way through this. Impulse…he looks like he’s a man on a mission here.
Nick Stuart: Coming off his Universal Championship match loss at Great American Nightmare, Impulse might be considered a bit rudderless, a man without a path forward. But as we heard earlier, he’s a man undeterred, a man ready to make his own path. And he’s showcasing his wrestling acumen here to full effect.
Richard Parker: I don’t know how much of a path forward the man has, and I can’t lie…I miss Cally not being out here to serve me drinks. I was really looking forward to that.
Nick Stuart: Nova trying to muscle his way up and Impulse staying with him…staying with him, oh MY what a reversal! The small bit of spacing is enough for Nova to get those hands free, and now he’s quickly chasing Impulse to the canvas, wrenching on a hammerlock, VICIOUS hammerlock, Impulse in tremendous pain here, oh my! Nova is on him like a junkyard dog, the hammerlock, looking to wrench his head with his other arm, and Impulse diving to the ropes, and Timo is there!
Richard Parker: I heard the man has a jet.
Nick Stuart: Will you stop!
Richard Parker: Hey, I wasn’t the one who was annoyed at learning this fact!
Nick Stuart: Timo calling for the clean break here! And he’s ready for the count, but Nova relents, oh using Impulse’s body to push himself up and to his own feet! A little testiness from the Risen Star as he tries to loosen up his neck. And Impulse is looking over at him, more than a little annoyed.
Richard Parker: I think we have a sensitive little boy right here…
Nick Stuart: Impulse picking himself up now, dusting himself off, Nova calling for him to come over. And OH! Impulse coming over with a sharp forearm strike! That rocked Nova back, and Nova with one of his own that flattens Impulse!
Richard Parker: Looks like these two are looking to prove something to the other.
Nick Stuart: Impulse right back up and he’s grabbing hold of a side headlock but Nova turns and launches him across the ring in a whip…Impulse rising and kneeing the corner and explodes out with a nasty European uppercut of his own!
Richard Parker: A striking contest breaking out?
Nick Stuart: Nova scrambling to his feet and IMPULSE exploding with a front dropkick that sends Nova into the ropes!
Richard Parker: Nova grabbing his chest here…
Nick Stuart: And Nova springing off and dropping a heavy elbow and all he hits is the canvas! Impulse on his feet and ANOTHER dropkick! Both men down and scrambling back up, and Impulse going for another dropkick but Nova avoids this time!
Richard Parker: Timing is everything!
Nick Stuart: Nova turning and hitting a wicked leaping knee! And dropping one on Impulse’s chest! Grabbing Impulse by the head and bringing him up to a stand, and even with Impulse holding his chest, he gets a forearm shiver in there! And another! Nova grabbing a side headlock but Impulse quick to lift and hit a back suplex!
Richard Parker: This is what I like to see! Two men just beating the hell out of each other!
And the fans are going wild as the two continue the frenetic action.
Nick Stuart: Impulse trying to bring the two back to a stand, snapmare by Nova and a sharp kick to the spine of Impulse! He runs to the ropes and hits a baseball slide dropkick! Oh man! This is looking like old school Nova here! Body splash! Cover!
Richard Parker: Nova going to need more than that!
Nick Stuart: But he is back at it, lifting Impulse off the canvas, front chancery, lifting him up for a vertical suplex but OH Impulse slips out and behind! Lands on his feet. OH SCINTILLATING RUSSIAN LEGSWEEP by the Marathon Man!
Richard Parker: There’s no defense here, just a wild sprint!
Nick Stuart: Impulse maybe thinking twice after his match up with Brandon Youngblood, throwing caution to the wind.
Richard Parker: Not laying around here like he said Brandon did to him at Great American Nightmare…
Nick Stuart: Dropping an elbow on Nova, and another! He’s backing up and springing off the ropes and WOW! WOAAAAH!
Richard Parker: Nova was ready there!
Nick Stuart: Exploder suplex! Exploder suplex and both men are down! Trying to catch their breath. But this one, this one, I don’t see this one ending without a bevy of offense. This is what you look for when you watch PRIME, fast, hard hitting action from two of the best the sport has to offer, perhaps two of the best the sport has ever offered! And this isn’t even our main event! Still to come, Rezin puts his newly won 5 Star Championship up against the undefeated phenom GREAT SCOTT! Both men rising to their feet, on their knees, reaching for each other, grappling, still grappling, and Nova thrusts his hip into Impulse’s stomach, kitchen sink knee, a european uppercut!
Richard Parker: These look like killing blows!
Nick Stuart: Impulse is up but he’s flattened with another european uppercut! And another! Another! Another! Shoulder block takes Impulse down this time, and Nova off the ropes and IMPULSE CATCHES HIM WITH A BACK ELBOW!
Richard Parker: Nova wasn’t expecting that!
Nick Stuart: And Impulse grabbing the arm and wrenching it back in a hammerlock of his own, the messenger is important here, OH, Nova with a punch to the kidney to break the hold quickly! But Impulse thrusts his shoulder into the jaw of Nova! This is looking more and more like a british styled wrestling contest and these fans are here for it, they’re loving every moment of action here! What a display by both men!
Richard Parker: Impulse looking for the advantage!
Nick Stuart: Impulse launching himself over Nova off the carom of the ropes, sunset flip attempt, he’s got Nova by the legs but OH! 12 to 6 elbow puts a stop to that! Oh that one has Impulse grabbing his head and kicking at the canvas hard, and he’s stumbling to get up, but he falls right back down!
Richard Parker: Uh oh. That’s…that’s not looking good…
Nick Stuart: He can’t get to his feet all the way after that elbow…I’m…I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention…Impulse is coming off a concussion from that brutal contest at Great American Nightmare. I don’t know if it came off that hellacious spinebuster that’s been plastered all over social media, or at another point in that match, but Randall Knox was cleared for action tonight, but did he rush back? Did he rush back too soon? Timo Bolamba isn’t checking on him…
Richard Parker: I think Timo needs to get in there, Impulse isn’t looking so great, even if he’s on his feet and Nova isn’t about to give him any quarter!
Nick Stuart: He is not! He is not! Front facelock and A DEVASTATING SPIKING BRAINBUSTER BY NOVA! OH MY WORD! OH MY WORD!
Richard Parker: That was almost more DDT than anything!
Nick Stuart: And Impulse, Impulse is splayed out, he’s grabbing at his head, oh my word he’s rolling away from the impact, grabbing at the ropes, and Nova…Nova…Nova…The PRIME Hall of Famer…the former Universal Champion…he’s had a rough road both outside the ring and in it…we just saw a massive upset last ReVival when Hayes Hanlon defeated Cancer Jiles. Impulse has only lost to one man since coming to PRIME. This would be a massive win here and would give him so much momentum moving forward–
Richard Parker: But Randall’s hurt!
Nick Stuart: Timo is checking on Impulse, oh my, this is…I don’t think Nova wants to hurt the man, but Timo is protecting him, checking on him, making sure he is able to see…WAIT!
Richard Parker: What the hell?!
In the midst of all this, from out of the crowd, a shadowy figure. And as Nova is resting against the ropes, this figure quickly scurries to the ring apron, and smashes a fist into the back of the Risen Star’s head, dropping him instantly. The figure drops from the apron, the boos pouring down, and they saunter over the barricade, one of the camera’s trained on them as they walk up the steps of the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Nick Stuart: What the hell was that?! What the hell?!
Richard Parker: And everything here was cooking so damn well!
Impulse didn’t see it. Neither did Timo. Nova is staggering, glass eyed, his legs wobbly. The Marathon Man is finally deemed okay enough to continue the match, the concern over another concussion ebbing away after plenty of protests that he is fine, that he is ready to go, that he was fine right off the jump. Regardless, it is Bolamba’s job to protect the wrestlers from themselves in such instances. Impulse uses the ropes and gets to his feet, the pair in the ring mimicking each other unknowingly on not such great footing. A crying shame.
Nick Stuart: Nova…Nova…he’s barely cognizant…
Richard Parker: I think the same could be said of Impulse…
Nick Stuart: Nova trying to grab onto Impulse…but oh my, he’s damn near tripping and falling as he does so…and Impulse is able to evade SUDDEN IMPACT! SUDDEN IMPACT! SUDDEN IMPACT!
Richard Parker: Nova took every bit of that one! Oh my Hoyt!
Nick Stuart: A damn shame! A damn shame! Cover!
DING DING DING
There isn’t a grand explosion, instead a well of boos at how this contest, action packed and furious as they come, now has a disgusting shadow lingering over it.
Vince Howard: Your winner…by pinfall…IMMMMMMMPULSE!
And as if to throw salt in the wound, the puppet master makes himself known.
Nick Stuart: BRUCE SHANAHAN!
Richard Parker: Well I’ll damn well be…
Nick Stuart: That son of a bitch Bruce Shanahan was the one who hit Nova!
Richard Parker: It just…ehhh…
Nick Stuart: Bruce Shanahan ruined this match! I just…you know…YOU KNOW…Impulse isn’t going to be happy to win like this. And Nova…
Richard Parker: I think pissed is an understatement…
In the ring, Impulse struggles to his feet, his head rocked, and Timo is there, raising his hand in victory. But none of this seems right. He quickly pulls his hand down, and with glassy vision, after seeing the crumbled form of the Risen Star, his eyes catch, for a moment, the spotlight in the crowd that illuminates Bruce Shanahan. The words he spits would surely have Cally aghast.
Unfortunately for all, the scene fades to a commercial, a spectacular showdown ruined by the machinations of MESSIAH.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2022
NO WAS NEVER AN OPTION
Buster Gloves is seen backstage, wearing a black “Wrestling Is For Ever” shirt, and walking down a dimly lit hallway. He nods at the backstage crew as they move an equipment case down past him. He’s looking down at a cell phone in his hands, typing messages, most likely about the outcome of his match earlier in the night. Without even noticing them, he runs into three cloaked men who block the way. They range in size from small, big, and really really big. The smaller man snarls a nasal comment towards Buster.
Little Cloak: You should watch where you’re going. It’s dangerous to be wandering around aimlessly.
Buster is a bit startled and stops in his tracks. He reacts as if he’s interrupted an important interaction between his new co-workers.
Buster Gloves: Oh, yeah. That’s my bad. I’ll… uhhh.. I’ll keep that in mind.
Little Cloak: You should find some people to watch your back.
The comment seems curious to Buster.
Buster Gloves: Nah… I’m good. I think I can handle my own. You guys take it easy. I gotta run.
Buster gives the men a nod of acknowledgement and takes a few steps beyond them, leaving his back exposed. Suddenly Buster is blasted by a steel chair to the back of his head. He hits the floor in a crumpled heap, cell phone sent sliding across the floor. All three cloaked men rain down kicks and punches to the prone Buster. To his stomach, to his ribs, to the back of his head. Buster turtles up, defending himself from the blows, but a big boot catches him right in the face and he goes limp. A fourth man intervenes and peels away the other three men.
The cloaked figure, presumably the leader of the group, stands over The Bull of the North. The henchmen stand sentry behind him, daring not to make a move. The camera zooms in on the shot as he squats down next to Buster’s face, which is dripping blood on the floor. The cloaked man bounces on the balls of his feet and tilts his head quizzically. His voice is deep and bold, but it sounds oddly familiar.
Lead Cloak: Aww, poor, dumb, naïve Buster. ‘No’ was never an option.
The Cloaked Man toys with his prey, flicking him on the cheek before chuckling to himself in amusement.
Lead Cloak: We will be seeing you again, very, very soon. Until then…. Rest up.
The camera zooms out to a shot of the Cloaked Man with the three henchmen behind him. The Lead Cloak snaps his finger and the other three turn their backs to walk away. The Lead Cloak takes a final look at his handiwork before turning and following them. The camera pans back to Buster, who is bloodied and wincing in pain on the concrete floor.
THE VOLLEY BEFORE THE BATTLE
And from Buster Gloves, we return to the MGM Grand Garden Arena, quickly followed by an unmistakable cry that sends the entire arena into a frenzy.
BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD
SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE
LET THE GALAXY BURN
Bloodsport (World Domination) by HEALTH surges through the arena, the entrance ramp bathed in blinding crimson and white strobing light. The ovation only gets more frenetic as the PRIME Universal Champion pushes his way through the curtain, a daunting, powerful stride to his manner as he begins to make his way to the ring.
Nick Stuart: And here HE is!
Richard Parker: The Cancer Killer. The Winner of the Marathon. PRIME’s Tower of Babel.
Nick Stuart: These fans are going wild as Brandon Youngblood makes his way to the ring! Undefeated since the ReVival. The Almasy Tournament Champion. And as of now…with two successful defenses to his name. He’s faced all comers. But tonight…we know…we know what is on the horizon.
Richard Parker: Glue. A world of glue.
Youngblood isn’t dressed to compete, but he’d be quick to be able to throw down if needed in his street clothes. The Universal Championship slung over his shoulder, there is no hesitation in his movement, his expression stern, and without a second thought, he climbs the ring steps, stepping between the ropes, and as he does, he lifts his title into the air, facing the hard camera, then turning toward the entrance ramp, lowering it and slinging it back over his shoulder. Turning his head, Vince Howard goes from his place and hands the Only Diamond a microphone, receiving a nod in acknowledgment. As his theme downshifts and begins to climb again, his arm explodes upward once more, letting out a mighty roar that is matched by the fans in attendance.
Nick Stuart: Last week, Youngblood said he would come out to the ring…and he wanted the current number one contender…the Humble Proprietor of The Glue Factory, to meet him. And while he is here tonight, we don’t know if he will accept the challenge.
Richard Parker: Phil Atken isn’t a coward. He’s going to be here. We know it. Thinking he won’t be…that’s a mistake I’d expect from Dusk. Not from Youngblood.
The theme fades, but the cheering barely ebbs. Standing in the center of the ring, Brandon looks to the crowd, smirking, bringing the microphone near his lips, ready to speak. But before he can…
This causes a wide smile to break across the Tower of Babel’s face. And from the depths of his powerful frame, he lets them know his appreciation.
Brandon Youngblood: HELL YEAH TO THE BEST FANS IN THE WORLD!
Brandon Youngblood: LAS VEGAS IS DIAMOND COUNTRY!
Another massive ovation.
Extending the microphone, he swings around the ring, letting it all soak through to the fans at home, everything fueling an unmistakable intensity as the Universal Champion slams his massive fist into his own chest, his head shaking, unable to contain his joy.
Brandon Youngblood: That’s what I’m talking about! That’s what I’m talking about! PRIME just got a lot of friends out there, but they got to know…they’re on notice…because this place…here…what WE have in the MGM Grand…that’s what they’ve got to get up to! That’s the level they have to reach! Here…PRIME…after being silent for a damn decade…and in less than a year…it’s like we never left! And it’s because of the awesome wrestling talent we have that fills every part of our roster…
PRIME PRIME PRIME!
Brandon Youngblood: It’s rising stars like Hayes Hanlon!
After a monumental, career defining victory over Cancer Jiles, what else can you expect? Youngblood nods his head.
Brandon Youngblood: No slaps needed, Hayes. Picked up the pieces after losing the 5 Star Championship to Rezin–
Brandon Youngblood: Hey…he’s got his coming in a few moments. GREAT SCOTT…you got guys like him coming on your heels! It’s guys like Nate Colton ready for anything! It’s Ria Nightshade and Anna Daniels and The Anglo Luchador and Mortimer Ka-Jet-Lag throwing down in barbwire…kicking ass…putting their hearts and their BLOOD on the line to make a statement! It’s tag teams doing what nobody else in the history of PRIME were able to do…main eventing Great American Nightmare! Fighting For Nora–
Brandon Youngblood: And The Kings of Popsicles–
Brandon Youngblood: Every tag team in the world? You’re on notice. You want to prove you’re the best? You do it in a PRIME ring. Against the best! And while they take Tag Team wrestling to a new era…if you want to prove you’re the best wrestler in the world…there’s only one way to prove it.
A dramatic pause. A few steps forward. And as he speaks, he raises the Universal Championship.
Brandon Youngblood: Beat me.
Another raucous ovation at this. And once it dissipates, he continues, throwing the title over his shoulder.
Brandon Youngblood: Since I became Universal Champion…I haven’t come out here a lot to flap my gums. Maybe I didn’t feel like it was my place. Let others take some of the spotlight we have here because it sure is wide enough. I figured I’d do most of my talking in the ring. Fighting. Each time I’d step in here, I’d make all the statements I’d need. But when I did that…I made a mistake.
He clears his throat momentarily.
Brandon Youngblood: Other people started talking. Making assumptions. Big assumptions. Big bets on themselves. And that spotlight, some of them…they wanted it to shine brightest on them. I said I was on an Unfinished Business tour, and now that that’s done, it’s time to take stock.
He looks at the crowd eager to hear what he has to say.
Brandon Youngblood: Cancer Jiles. Temper Tantrum man. Everything before you. Nothing but excuses. Suplex after suplex. Your insides cracked and broken. You got my blood, you got my knee…but I got you. I put you down again. And again. And I’ll do so. Again. And again. Everytime you step into my ring with me…again. Impulse? You got your answer. And I ain’t gonna say much more…but you can deal with it and live with it however you want.
A sly smirk, only to quickly dissipate.
Brandon Youngblood: I let you guys dominate a narrative. Let you both take shine. Make a lot of assumptions. And that’s fine. But it’s not how it’s gonna be anymore.
He saunters to the near corner, looking out toward the fans.
Brandon Youngblood: When you talk about the best…when you look out on that wide horizon and want to know where you stand? It’s not them that are the measuring stick. It’s Brandon Youngblood.
The focus is made with a snarl.
Brandon Youngblood: And that carries something real heavy moving forward because as much as I’ve rambled, I’m out here to deal with the biggest threat to date. The biggest one I’ve had since years ago…when I faced off against Jason Snow…Phil Atken! Atken! At Great American Nightmare, you said your hand was gonna be raised in a month’s time. Same as the rest of them. You talked about a better PRIME. You ain’t a coward. You’re gonna say it to my face.
(I Want to be The One) To Watch You Die by The Megas begins to boom all over the sound system, the boos raining down heavy. It’s not as though Phil Atken needs to be told to come out; he’s been letting this little scene play out, readying how he’ll strike toward it, being as quick as he is vicious. The Proprietor of The Glue Factory finally arrives, the resplendent Philip Martin Atken dressed in a dashing violet three piece suit, joined at his side by his Chief of Security, the seven foot monster, Hank. The tandem begin their march towards the ring, expressionless, their glowers threatening as ever.
Upon reaching the ring, Atken leaps up on top of the apron, wiping his shoes on the edge of the canvas. Hank has procured a microphone from Vince Howard, who is shaking from the experience. Making his way over, the Chief of Security holds open the ring ropes and allows his boss to enter the ring. Hank takes his place in the corner, handing the microphone off the Atken as his boss makes his way to the center of the ring, coming within arm’s reach of the Universal Champion.
The Megas fade away. The tension is palpable. And in the midst of all this, Youngblood extends the Universal Championship toward the face of the Humble Proprietor.
Brandon Youngblood: You called this a bullhorn. Your fifteen minutes have started. Better make them count, Ozymandias.
Atken’s face curls up in a manner implying we’re uncertain if snarling or smirking. Atken gives a gentle golf clap as he raises the microphone to his facehole.
Phil Atken: Nice to see you so energetic Bloody. I was just standing in the back and I truly felt moved by your kind words to the hungry talent of the PRIME roster. It’s a shame it took you so long to find that voice of yours. I mean, some would say the timing is awfully convenient, wouldn’t they? I have to wonder if you’re perhaps concerned that many of the people you’ve just mentioned are beginning to think I have a point.
Youngblood doesn’t move an inch, just looking at Atken with a bemused expression that could be interpreted in a million different ways.
Phil Atken: It’s a little bit upsetting that you left Great American Nightmare with the Universal Championship. I liked my odds better with someone who would certainly underestimate me. Unfortunately, the title had to remain in the hands of the one man who has been paying attention from the start. Still, my expectations for the Universal title remain the same.
Atken tilts his head a little and glares at the Universal Championship, almost completely taken in by it for a few moments before he snaps back to attention.
Phil Atken: Sometimes an old face can be a fresh face. There’s a lot of talent from an endless sea of promotions who are watching PRIME with a lot of interest right now. They want to find out if this company provides real opportunity or platitudes. It’s nice for a Universal Champion to come at and volley a lot of attaboys while still feeling vastly superior deep down, and people can tell, people can tell it’s all politics. Meanwhile, Phil Atken as Universal Champion? That opens the floodgates of potential and imagination. PRIME no longer mired in the swamp of the Old Guard. Bloody, buddy, I appreciate you slayed the gatekeeper. It means I can kick you right through that gate to a bold new tomorrow.
The title descends, then falls to the canvas. And it’s holder? He draws ever closer. As he does, Hank steps forward from his corner, but Atken puts his hand out toward him, assuring him, having him stand down.
Brandon Youngblood: Make no mistake…when it comes to this ring? I take pride in my accomplishments. Take pride in the work put in to be everything I say. Is there arrogance there? You’re damn right. My words? I don’t do politics. I speak from my gut…from my heart…because when I came back to this? I was gonna do it a better way. You got that arrogance in you too. And your past…my past it brings us here. To this moment. To our paths colliding. But make no mistake…you’re not building your new world off my bones. I’m like no one you’ve ever faced. That goes two ways. What fuels you? I know. I was there. But that Championship? It doesn’t care. It will never care.
Atken looks out at the crowd of the Grand, and there’s a clear buzz of anticipation, they see Youngblood edging closer to Atken’s face and are expecting some action. Atken’s eyes gaze upwards, his bottom lip curling in as he bites down upon it. Atken begins to nod his head up and down, clearly trying to either amp himself up or calm himself down, but there’s a clear nervous energy about the normally composed competitor. Youngblood doesn’t back down an inch.
Phil Atken: We’re not doing this here. We’re not doing this now.
Atken takes a few steps back and rolls out under the bottom rope, Hank taking to his side as he looks back up at Youngblood.
Phil Atken: Nothing for me to gain right now. You’ll get to work me out when we step in the ring for the title.
Atken gestures to Hank to follow as he slowly turns his back on Youngblood and heads back to the ramp. The previously excited crowd is now showering boos down upon Atken, who seems incredibly unperturbed by the reaction.
Cracking his head, the expected thing would be to call Atken a coward. Or perhaps try to goad him in other ways. But in truth, as imposing a threat as Youngblood may be, he never sought or anticipated violence in this night. Instead, as the behemoth Hank exits the ring, Brandon just nods his head.
The fans might be booing the lack of action, but as the Universal Champion scoops up his belt and pumps it skyward, the mood changes into a roar of cheers.
They were ready for a battle before.
Like the two men about to face off? They’re ready for an absolute war.
YOU DON’T WORK HERE
We’re backstage – and hey, we’re re-joining Ned Reform. He… well, he still sits on the crate that we saw him on earlier in the show. But his smile has faded… now, he strokes his beard aggressively and looks rather annoyed. He checks his watch impatiently… when he notices a shadow has fallen over him. He looks up to see the looming figure of Dametreyus with arms folded. Reform scrambles to his feet and composes himself, looking Dam in the eye. Reform taps a finger against his chin thoughtfully.
Ned Reform: You. Do I know you? You look vaguely…
Reform looks Dam up and down. For his part, Dam continues to stare stoically with arms folded. The Good Doctor snaps his fingers.
Ned Reform: Yes! That’s right. You used to work at that den of debauchery in New Orleans, didn’t you? Shame about what happened, yes? Perhaps they should have employed better security.
Ned Reform: Regardless, I have been waiting here for upwards of two hours now. I cannot begin to express how unprofessional and discourteous it is to keep a man of my busy schedule in limbo like this – but I supposed I should expect nothing less from a company run by Lindsay Troy. Now, can you direct me to her office? I shall take matters into my own hands.
Dametreyus: You got a backstage pass?
Ned Reform: What? Don’t you know who I am?
Dametreyus: I know you don’t work here. You don’t have a pass, you can’t be back here.
Ned Reform: Listen, my good man… if you simply tell Troy that I’m here…
Dametreyus: Oh, Boss Lady knows. She asked me to escort you out.
The bald man’s brow furrows. He tilts his head slightly as if thinking about this ridiculous statement that clearly makes no sense. Then it clicks!
Ned Reform: Ah! Perhaps the trained chimpanzee I sent to deliver a message wasn’t clear. Wires were crossed, yes? Tell her that it’s DOCTOR Ned Reform. That should do it.
Dam cracks his knuckles – and he is suddenly surrounded by the Enemigos.
Dametreyus: Well, “Doctor”… it’s time to go.
Ned studies Dam. Looks at his backup. Weighs his options in his mind. For a split second we see the hint of an indignant rage building… but he quickly squashes that, readjusting his posture and countenance and attempting to maintain his dignity.
Ned Reform: Very well. But I want you to deliver a message for me: tell Troy that this is not over. She can send her hired guns all she wants, but Dr. Ned Reform is coming to PRIME. It’s only a matter of time.
Dametreyus: Sure it is. LT wanted me to give you another message: I see you back here two weeks from now, and I’m not going to be so nice about this.
Reform appears to be not impressed.
Ned Reform: Charming.
Adjusting his shirt and cracking his neck, Reform reluctantly allows himself to be carted out. As he’s lead out of sight, we can hear his rantings as they fade out ever so slowly.
Ned Reform: You people have no idea what I could do for you. PRIME doesn’t have to appeal to the lowest common denominator, you know. I have a lot of experience – we can rectify that. We can elevate this product to…
His voice fades away.
FIVE STAR TITLE MATCH:
REZIN (C) vs. GREAT SCOTT
Nick Stuart: It’s Five Star Title time, folks, and we’re in for a wild ride! In just a few moments, newly crowned champion, Rezin, will be putting his title on the line against fan favorite GREAT SCOTT, who won this title shot at Great American Nightmare by defeating Nate Colton and Balaam the Mask of Malice.
Richard Parker: How this simpleton has managed to get to this point is beyond my level of understanding.
Nick Stuart: You may not care for his personality, partner, but it’s hard to argue against GREAT SCOTT’s talent.
Richard Parker: He hangs out with a BEAR, Nick.
Nick Stuart: Well, I hang out with you, and sometimes I wish I was hanging out with GREAT BEAR instead. Let’s kick it over to Vince Howard for the intros.
Cut-to the ring, where Vince Howard’s ready and raring to go.
Vince Howard: Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time for your main event of the evening! Introducing first…
“Born For Greatness” by Papa Roach begins to blast over the speakers, as GREAT SCOTT emerges from behind the curtain carrying a nondescript championship belt over his shoulder. The PRIMEates go goddamned ballistic, and get even louder as GREAT BEAR steps out behind him, rocking out to some EDM on his sweet Beats By Dre headphones.
Vince Howard: …From the Greater Metro Area of Great Falls, Montana, being accompanied to the ring by GREAT BEAR, weighing in at 276 pounds…GREAT SCOTT!
GREAT SCOTT and GREAT BEAR make their way down to the ring, where GREAT BEAR starts doing awesome dance moves at ringside. Pretty soon, the entire crowd is dancing along with GREAT BEAR as everyone does the GREAT SCOTT!
GREAT SCOTT beams as he climbs up into the ring and goes up on all four ring posts, basking in the adulation of fans and holding up his championship belt.
The lights cut.
“I AM BECOME DEATH, THE DESTROYER OF WORLDS”
Off the sound bite, an exploding pyro rocks the arena, leaving behind a rising mushroom cloud of smoke over the stage.
Ministry’s cover of “Search and Destroy” pumps in over the PA. The PRIMEview cycles through footage of nuclear explosions, weapons of war, burning cities, riots in the streets, and in-ring highlights of the Goat Bastard being his daring and dastardly self.
Blinding white light fills the entry-way as the silhouette of a man slowly strides out onto the stage. Then when the solo hits, the backlighting cuts out as a wall of FIRE rises up from the ground. The stage lights pop on to reveal Rezin standing on his stage.
The Escape Artist is greeted by a deafening chorus of boos from the PRIME faithful. He scans the jeering crowd for several moments, arms outstretched at his sides in a antimessianic show of defiance.
Around his waist hangs the Five Star Title, profanely worn upside down.
Richard Parker: …is he aware he’s got that on the wrong way?
Nick Stuart: I just assumed he was doing it intentionally, to send some sort of message.
Richard Parker: What message? That’s he’s dyslexic?
Rezin makes the trip down the rampway, cool and methodical, completely ignoring the fans heckling him as he walks down the aisle. He has a deathgaze locked in on the challenger waiting for him in the ring.
Reaching ringside, the Five Star Champion does a loop around the squared circle, looking like a crooked buzzard closing in on its prey. He’s unphased by bits of paper and styrofoam trash that bounce off of him from some of the overzealous fans standing at the barricade pepper.
To him, they are mere flies. His attention is solely on GREAT SCOTT, staring daggers back at him.
Nick Stuart: I gotta say, Rich, I don’t think I’ve ever before seen this level of composure and focus from the Escape Artist. He has a real aura about him tonight. Dare I say, he almost looks like…
Richard Parker: Were you about to say ‘a champion’, partner? Sure, he’s getting the swagger, but let’s see if he can get through the night without projecting any bodily fluids onto anyone first.
Finally, the Goat Bastard ascends the corner steps with hard, pronounced steps, and scales the turnbuckle. Physically and mentally HIGH above, he unstraps the Five Star Title and holds it inverted overhead, inciting a roar of seething hate from the crowd!
After milking the moment for all it’s worth, Rezin resets himself onto the top rope and REZINSAULTS into the ring! He eventually finds his corner and paces in place there, eyes never leaving the challenger.
Nick Stuart: And here we go… Rezin vs GREAT SCOTT, Five Star Championship on the line…
Richard Parker: I can’t wait for the GOAT bastard to smash GREAT SCOTT into oblivion.
GREAT SCOTT looks intensely into the eyes of the reigning Five Star Champion, who… actually looks game for a fight? The two competitors nod toward each other, and rush into the center of the ring…
AND GREAT SCOTT WAFFLES REZIN WITH A NASTY CLOTHESLINE THAT SENDS REZIN FLOPPING LIKE A FISH AROUND THE MAT! The crowd goes wild as the challenger reaches for a begging Rezin, pulling him to his feet by the hair and taking him up and over with a THUNDEROUS SCOOP SLAM! Rezin scrambles for refuge, and eventually finds it by rolling under the bottom rope and onto the arena floor, where he now has a chance to regroup!
Nick Stuart: What a slam by GREAT SCOTT there.
Richard Parker: Why, why does Rezin always have to suck at the beginning of a match?
As GREAT SCOTT panders to the crowd, Rezin pulls himself up by the ring apron and tries to get his bearings. GREAT SCOTT beckons to the champion to get into the ring as Ashley Barlow starts to count the champion out!
Nick Stuart: Rezin seems to have decided he doesn’t want any of this tonight, and he wants out!
Richard Parker: Well, you know what they say, Nicky, he who decides to run away, lives to fight another day!
Nick Stuart: The crowd in the arena is giving Rezin the what for, but if he gets counted out Rezin would still be our Five Star Champion.
Rezin smirks at the crowd, before springing onto the apron and looking at his challenger as he lunges forth…
Nick Stuart: Here we go!
…and misses as he steps back down, drawing even farther ire from the Vegas faithful! He slowly steps back from the ring even farther, as Ashley keeps counting!
Nick Stuart: I lied.
GREAT SCOTT has had it, as he rolls out of the ring and STORMS toward the champion! As he rushes to Rezin like a locomotive, Rezin looks on in panic, before stepping aside and tripping GREAT SCOTT head-first into the guardrail, Rezin looks up with a smirk.
Richard Parker: Now THAT’S a little savvy from the Five Star Champ, and he just might be too good in the mind games department for this challenge!
Nick Stuart: Oh, you mean playing dirty tricks?
The champ picks GREAT SCOTT up and drags him back towards the ring, where he SLAMS the challenger’s face into the apron and sends him staggering. Rezin stays on the offensive, grabbing SCOTT’s head again and signaling towards the ring POST…
But GREAT SCOTT BLOCKS THE THROW! He nails Rezin in the ribs with an elbow, before grabbing the champion by the hair and SLAM him into the post face-first! The champion plops onto the ringside mat, and GREAT SCOTT lets out a mighty roar, before grabbing Rezin by the waist in a wheelbarrow position…
Nick Stuart: OHHHHHHHHHH MY, what a display of POWER from GREAT SCOTT!
…AND PLANTS REZIN ONTO THE GROUND WITH A SUPLEX!
Richard Parker: Not a smart move, though, Nicky, because he can’t win that title on the ground, he’s gotta get him back in the ring!
Almost as if he were listening, GREAT SCOTT picks Rezin up like a feather, and rolls him back in, under the ropes and following suit himself! The crowd goes wild as GREAT SCOTT gets back into the ring himself, and Rezin just lays on the mat, showing the slightest signs of life!
Nick Stuart: Business is picking up!
GREAT SCOTT stares down Rezin as he struggles to rise, relying on the ring ropes this time to prop himself up.
Richard Parker: It’s not fair, Nick, Rezin was caught unaware of this whackadoo, and he’s at an unfair disadvantage!
GREAT SCOTT sees an opening and pushes Rezin onto the ropes before whipping him HARD into the opposite side, and rushing in for a clothesline, which Rezin ducks under, and on the rebound he goes low and NAILS GREAT SCOTT in the abdomen with a kitchen sink knee! GREAT SCOTT flips over onto his back, and Rezin follows up by dropping the leg across GREAT SCOTT’s throat for the cover!
GREAT SCOTT manages to kick out pretty easily, and Rezin is annoyed, but unfazed! The Five Star Champion pushes himself back up to his feet, and takes to stomping on the back of his challenger!
Nick Stuart: Is it just me, or has Rezin been more “game” for these encounters since his match with Hayes Hanlon?
Indeed, Rezin reaches down and grabs GREAT SCOTT by the hair, before waffling him with a salvo of palm strikes and a few kicks to the legs, before pushing SCOTT into the ropes and whipping him. Rezin attempts to leapfrog his challenger on the rebound, but GREAT SCOTT CATCHES HIM AND KEEPS HIM IN PLACE!
Nick Stuart: THE GREAT SCOTT BOMB! REZIN IS LAID OUT ON THE MAT!
Richard Parker: Awww, man, I got a bad feeling about this doofus winning the title… I think I’m gonna be sick.
GREAT SCOTT throws his arms up and lets another yell loose, before going for the cover!
Rezin kicks out, but he’s still clearly rattled from being slammed to the mat! GREAT SCOTT grabs Rezin by the wrist, and YANKS HIM back to his feet, before pulling him into a crushing bearhug and pivoting into a THUNDEROUS belly-to-belly suplex! GREAT SCOTT with the cover!
REZIN JUST BARELY pushes out of the pin, agony clearly carved onto his face as GREAT SCOTT is on a roll and drawing from the cheers of the crowd! SCOTT smacks the mat with his hands, and beckons Rezin to get back up, before locking on a full nelson and looking to the crowd!
Richard Parker: Oh man, whatever GREAT SCOTT’s got planned isn’t gonna be good for the champ!
And Richard is right, as GREAT SCOTT hoists Rezin up before driving him back down with a NASTY release dragon suplex!
Nick Stuart: You definitely called that one, Richard!
Richard Parker: No bridge, all impact, as I like to say, and Rezin looks like he’s out to lunch!
GREAT SCOTT is fueled by adrenaline, and he lunges onto Rezin’s carcass for the cover!
Nick Stuart: And Ashley Barlow over to tell SCOTT that Rezin’s foot is on the ropes.
Richard Parker: HAHA! Great work!
She tells him that the pin was broken up, and points to the ropes where Rezin’s left foot rests! GREAT SCOTT is a bit emotional, as he puts his hands on his hips and looks up to the lights while on his knees. Beside him, Rezin is just hanging on to consciousness, and the camera gets a good, close look at his loopy eyes as he rolls over onto his hands and knees, and GREAT SCOTT slowly gets to his feet and stalks to the corner, before stomping his foot and striking up the band!
Nick Stuart: Looks like GREAT SCOTT’s gonna play a tune for the Five Star Champion!
Rezin manages to get to his feet, albeit without any semblance of balance, JUST as SCOTT lunges forth with some GREAT SCOTT MUZIK!
However, Rezin manages to see the kick JUST in time, and sidesteps at the last possible MICROSECOND, before grabbing the challenger’s leg and tuck his head under SCOTT’s arms, using the momentum of the superkick to lift him up and spin him out onto the mat!
Nick Stuart: BLACK THUNDER!
Richard Parker: Gotta hand it to Rezin, Nick, he’s the champion for a reason, because he manages to see opportunities like that one, and he TAKES them!
Ashley Barlow is on the case for the pin!
Nick Stuart: AND A KICKOUT BY GREAT SCOTT!
Richard Parker: Thought he had him there.
GREAT SCOTT, with a burst of adrenaline, manages to roll out of the sitout pin, and lands on his hands and knees as a drained Five Star Champion falls splat on his back! The challenger slowly pushes himself back up to a standing position, as Rezin himself slowly gets onto one knee, and SMACKS GREAT SCOTT across the face with an open palm!
Nick Stuart: That might not have been a good call on Rezin’s behalf, because he’s just made GREAT SCOTT mad!
Richard Parker: GREAT SCOTT needs some sense smacked into him, I don’t hate it.
Sure enough, GREAT SCOTT seems to have been knocked out of any trance he might have been on, and is looking on at the Five Star Champion with a look of rage as he hits Rezin with a HARSH forearm to the mush and pulls him back up to his feet! GREAT SCOTT whips the champion into the near corner, but Rezin manages to catch himself and climb up the turnbuckle, and launch himself at GREAT SCOTT with a full-force Rezinsault that takes him down and in a North-South position for the cover!
Nick Stuart: GREAT SCOTT KICKS OUT AGAIN! Rezin is clearly frustrated!
Rezin snarls at nobody in particular, as he eyes the corner again and starts planning his next move!
Nick Stuart: I don’t know what Rezin has planned, but I do NOT think he’s going to think it through!
Richard Parker: TOP ROPES ARE BAD! GET DOWN!
Rezin pushes through, and makes it onto the top rope, while waiting for GREAT SCOTT to rise to his feet, and stuns the crowd with a flip!
Nick Stuart: REZINRANA!
Rezin lands on GREAT SCOTT’S shoulders and is about to finish the dazzling hurricanrana, but GREAT SCOTT manages to hold on tight and keep him mid-air, before trudging toward the turnbuckle, and SETTING REZIN ONTO THE TOP ROPE!
Richard Parker: Oh, no! Is this weirdo going to finish Rezin off?!
GREAT SCOTT follows Rezin to the top, and signals for the SCOTTACANRANA!
Nick Stuart: This could be it!
The crowd goes wild, only to be deflated when Rezin headbutts the challenger and knocks him back and off the ropes! GREAT SCOTT staggers on the mat, and Rezin dives off and hits GREAT SCOTT with a flying body press, but he rolls off before he can make a tight cover!
GREAT SCOTT staggers back to his feet, just in time for Rezin to let a CLOVEN HOOF KICK rip…
BUT GREAT SCOTT GETS A HOLD OF REZIN! He has him cradled in his arms like a small child, and Rezin is PANICKING! Seeing an opening, Rezin chuckles at Scott, before shaking his head and tapping his cheek!
Nick Stuart: Rezin might be thinking black sludge again!
GREAT SCOTT remembers what happened at the last ReVival and manages to put a meaty hand over the champion’s mouth, keeping him from spitting any gunk out! In fact, the camera picks up a swallowing motion at Rezin’s neck, and it isn’t long before Rezin is COUGHING up the goo safely away from the challenger’s eyes!
Richard Parker: Oh, gross.
Nick Stuart: Rezin’s looking desperate, trying to break free!
Rezin tries to get away but GREAT SCOTT has a death grip on him, and the champion is helpless as GREAT SCOTT lowers him onto the mat, and gets him in a precarious position before…
Nick Stuart: SAITO SUPLEX! SHADES OF SONNY SIL–
Richard Parker: –MISTER SILVER, SPORTS ENTERTAINMENT LIAISON OF PRIME!
Nick Stuart: –VER.
Rezin is shattered on the mat, and GREAT SCOTT has a glow in his eyes! He pumps up the crowd, and digs deep down, pulling Rezin up by the beard and locking his head between his knees, before hooking the arms for the SCOTTAGREE! However, Rezin droops to the mat, sandbagging as GREAT SCOTT tries to hoist the champion back up to his feet, but Rezin just won’t come up. Frustrated, SCOTT lets go of the arms and reaches down to grab Rezin…
BUT REZIN LANDS A STEALTHY LOW BLOW WHILE WRAPPING SCOTT IN A SMALL PACKAGE ROLLUP AT THE SAME TIME! ASHLEY BARLOW WITH THE COUNT!
GREAT SCOTT just barely manages to explode out of the pinning predicament, but is clearly in a bit of pain at the moment, which Rezin takes advantage of by lining up his shot before bouncing off the ropes and LEVELING HIS CHALLENGER with a Cloven Hoof Kick! Rezin is looking around deliriously for the corner, but he makes it and looks down at his opponent!
Nick Stuart: That kick nearly took GREAT SCOTT’s head off!
Richard Parker: He’s wasting time though, he should’ve gone for the cover and put this to bed.
As GREAT SCOTT struggles to get to his feet, Rezin sees an opening and high-tails it to the nearest corner and climbs onto the top rope, first taunting the jeering crowd before lining up his shot as SCOTT slowly rises.
He waits for GREAT SCOTT to walk right into range of his somersault hurricanrana, but as if on instinct, GREAT SCOTT lunges towards the nearest ropes, knocking the Five3 Star Champion off balance, and crocheting himself right onto the turnbuckle!
Richard Parker: OHHHHHH, MAMA! REZIN WILL BE SINGING CASTRATO FOR A MONTH!
Nick Stuart: I’m shocked you even know what that is, Rich.
Richard Parker: I am a man of culture and many surprises, Nicky ol’ pal.
The crowd goes wild as Rezin holds his groin in agony, and GREAT SCOTT sees the opening he needs, and climbs up the ropes to meet the champion face-to-face!
Nick Stuart: Could this be the SCOTTACANRANA?
Richard Parker: Goddammit, Rezin, get your shit together!
GREAT SCOTT lets out a mighty yell, before leaping up and wrapping his legs around the champion’s head…
The crowd buzzes, as GREAT SCOTT lands on his feet and looks behind him on the mat…
…only to see nobody there! He impulsively looks at the top turnbuckle, where Rezin, with hands full of ring ropes, has managed to stay put! SCOTT pushes forward, only to be pushed back by a Rezin kick to the chest. GREAT SCOTT is now clearly angry, as he makes a MAD dash to the corner, only to be stopped by Rezin’s desperate clutches…
As the Five Star Champion manages to hook his arms around his challenger’s head, and step off the ropes for a leverage-assisted version of Into The Void! The champion is running on pure adrenaline now, as he rushes over for a cover!
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! Your winner, and STIIIIIIIIIILLLLLLLLLLLL! FIVE STAR CHAMPION OF PRIME… RRRRRRRRRRRREZIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIN!!!
Rezin momentarily lays on the mat in disbelief before starting to laugh. He gets himself to a sitting position as Ashley Barlow raises his hand and hands the Five Star Title to him. He yanks the belt away from the official and stands up, lifting the gold strap over his head and reveling in the jeers.
Nick Stuart: What a match to end ReVival! Rezin retains the Five Star title by the skin of his teeth. GREAT SCOTT has nothing to be ashamed about here, he put on a masterful performance.
Richard Parker: Yeah, but it wasn’t enough for the little nerd. Too bad so sad.
Nick Stuart: Folks, we’re out of time. Join us again in two weeks for ReVival 13, where Brandon Youngblood will defend the Universal Title against Phil Atken! Goodnight!