JUST LIKE THAT
The sun dips below the skyline, bathing Las Vegas in yet another spectacular display of the color, starting to silhouette the buildings of the Strip. Inside the parking garage a white Audi’s engine cuts, and black dress shoes and slacks step out onto the concrete.
“Event Horizon” Hayes Hanlon takes a breath through his nose, reaching back into his car to retrieve his duffel bag and tossing it over shoulder. Closing the door and locking it with a couple beeps, his steps echo through the garage. Stone-faced and mentally preparing for the night.
Rounding a corner, he’s met with the mightiest of trios.
He lifts an eyebrow and slows his gait, re-adjusting his bag and approaching the Queen and her Heads of Security. The Lady of the Hour stands poker-faced, as do Dam and the Bad Dog.
Hayes Hanlon: Am I, uh…am I in trouble?
Dametreyus: Guilty conscience, Boss?
Hayes Hanlon: (rubbing the back of his neck) Listen, whatever they said about me at the Velvet Rabbit, I promise it’s not true. Not that I really remember anything…
Wade Elliott: Th’hell’s a Velvet Rab–
Lindsay Troy holds up her hand and shakes her head.
Lindsay Troy: You really don’t want to know.
The Queen sighs and lets her arm drop to her side.
Lindsay Troy: Listen, Hayes, there’s no great way to say this, and I’m sorry to have to break the news, but Knox is gone from PRIME.
A long pause. And Hayes blinks.
Hayes Hanlon: …why?
Lindsay Troy: Breach of contract. Cally’s gone too; she wasn’t going to stay without him. And on the advice of counsel, I’m not going to say any more than that.
Hayes Hanlon: Just like that? After the last two and half months? After everything?
Lindsay Troy: (nodding) Just like that. Believe me when I say this is not what I wanted to do, but it’s something that needed to be done.
He looks down and to his left, digesting, then turns back to the PRIME CEO.
Hayes Hanlon: So…what happens at UltraViolence?
A slow smile appears on Lindsay’s face.
Lindsay Troy: I’m working on it. You’ll still have a match; it won’t be the one you’ve been prepping for, but you’ll still be competing.
Hayes stands quiet, still dumbstruck. Wade takes a step forward and claps him on the shoulder.
Wade Elliott: Good luck, kid. Yer gonna need it.
Lindsay Troy: You’ve got a big match tonight in the meantime. I’d put my focus on that if I were you.
On that note, the three staffers head back inside and leave Hayes alone with his thoughts. He watches them disappear behind the entrance, then drops his bag to the ground, pushing both hands through his dark hair.
Hayes Hanlon: Damn.
We cut to the back where Matt Mills has Adam Ellis and Ginny Van Lear with him.
Matt Mills: Adam, about a week and a half ago, High Octane Wrestling’s Tyler Best jumped you on the ramp on Missouri Valley Wrestling’s TV show because Lee Best was upset you signed with PRIME. Let’s roll the footage for the fans.
(8/30-Wrestling Night in the Heartland- courtesy of Missouri Valley Wrestling)
Adam Ellis stops and turns back to see what’s going on in the ring. He takes a couple steps forward and… *WHAM!* … a man in a hoodie delivers a forearm shot to the back of the neck. Ellis tumbles to the steel ramp.
Thunderbolt Smith: THAT’S HIGH OCTANE WRESTLING’S TYLER BEST!
HOW’s God of Sons smirks and lifts up a stunned Ellis into a Fireman’s carry. Then… *BOOM* TY-BREAKER ON THE RAMP. Ellis is all but knocked out.
Best stands over him and delivers a few choice words to Ellis until he sees MVW Security FINALLY flying out from the back.
The shot returns to Mills and Ellis.
Matt Mills: First off, how are you?
Adam Ellis: Matt, I’m fine. Look. I’ve been hit a lot harder. I once got powerbombed three times in a row by a guy named ‘Redneck’ Bill Dickinson and that put me in the hospital. Tyler Best’s attack? I got checked out in the back after the show and that was all. Compared to what Dickinson did to me, this was nothing.
Matt Mills: Okay. Tonight is your first PRIME match. Any nerves going into tonight?
Adam Ellis: Sure. I’m always a little nervous when I go into a match but I’m ready to go.
Matt Mills: And no problems with wrestling a woman?
Adam Ellis: No, that won’t be an issue. Ria Lockhart is a really good wrestler. I’m just going to go out there tonight and do the best I can. Every match is a learning experience and tonight’s the beginning of the next step of my pro wrestling education.
Matt Mills: All right. Thank you for talking with us and good luck tonight.
ADAM ELLIS vs. RIA LOCKHART
We’re taken into the MGM Grand Garden Arena where another sold-out crowd is rowdy and ready for action. The camera does its usual pan-around to capture some signs.
ASK JACOB MEPHISTO ABOUT UNLIMITED BREADSTICKS
PRIME – WHEN YOU’RE HERE, YOU’RE FAMILY
BUCKY IS A GOOD BOY AND ALSO A LEGENDARY POKEMON
LET SID POWERBOMB
GIVE HANK AN HOUR OF POOL TIME
HEY YOU GUYS WANNA FORM A STABLE???
WELCOME BACK, RIA!
CECILWORTH FARTHINGTON IS MY FAVORITE GLUE BOI
GREAT SCOTT TAUGHT NICHOLAS PFEFFERMAN MATH
ASS NETWORK > HOT VEE
SO WHEN DO BRANDON YOUNGBLOOD AND NOVA KISS?
JPD EATS GLUE AND CRAYONS
TONY GAMBLE SHOPS AT HOBBY LOBBY
GIMME A HECKIN’ MIC
HOW DO I APPLY FOR THE COOLYMPICS?
PRIME HAS TOO MANY SIGNS
PriMe hAs TOo MaNy SiGnS
I WENT TO A SECRET TEMPLE IN SEARCH OF AN ENCHANTED MASK BUT I COULDN’T PUT THAT SILVER MONKEY TOGETHER IN TIME
LARGE MISBEHAVING FATHER OF BUTTS IS MY FAVORITE SGRNR ALBUM
I WOULD LIKE TO BUY TIME ON REVIVAL IS SEGMENT 12 AVAILABLE?
THE ONLY WAY TO STAY COOL IN VEGAS IS ABSOLUTELY ZERO MELVIN
Hey, that was fun, wasn’t it? For even more fun and frivolity, let’s take it over to Nick and Richard at the commentation station!
Nick Stuart: Hello again PRIMEates and WELCOME to ReVival 15…the UltraViolence go-home show!
Richard Parker: That’s ULTRONVIOLENCE.
Nick Stuart: No it isn’t. We’ve got a stacked card here tonight so let’s get right to it!
Garrett Biggs’ “Mama Didn’t Raise No…” plays over the sound system and on the video screen, a video plays showing a series of wrestling trophies on a dresser next to an old high school football uniform that has ‘Ellis’ on the back.
An acoustic guitar plays and the vocals begin.
“Mama didn’t raise no… quitter- guaranteed to get the job done.”
Adam Ellis and Ginny Van Lear walk out from the back hand in hand and stand on the stage.
“She didn’t raise no SOB who that can’t back himself up – been known to throw a good punch.”
The PRIME*View shows series of action shots of Ellis from his various matches
“And this ol’ boy gets going when the going gets tough- sundown to sun up.”
Dressed in a t-shirt, jeans, and her feet wrapped in tape the former MMA prodigy nods her head causing her bright red hair to flip and raises her left hand…
“Need a man with a helping hand – he’s always got one to lend.”
…and then brings it down as the chorus and full instrumentation hits- complete with pyro.
“Oh, I might be a little rough around the edges”
Adam’s wearing a pair of plain blue wrestling shorts. He starts forward across the desert ground towards the ring followed by Van Lear.
“From the outside lookin’ in it might seem helpless.”
The couple reaches the ring. Adam holds the rope open so Ginny can slide through.
“I’ve been blessed with a strong back bone – I never coulda made it on my own”
Adam joins her in the ring.
“But if there’s one thing that I know – Momma didn’t raise no…”
Adam climbs up the top turnbuckle and holds up his arms.
The opening riff to New Found Glory’s cover of “This is Me” blasts throughout the arena.
I am not a stranger to the dark
Hide away, “they say
‘Cause we don’t want your broken parts
I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars
Run away, they say
No one’ll love you as you are
But I won’t let them break me down to dust
I know that there’s a place for us
For we are glorious
As the chorus begins, Ria Lockhart slowly walks out. A pink and light blue jacket adorns her frame and a pair of pink mirrored wraparound sunglasses sit on her face. She remains motionless, stoic, for a moment. That changes in an instant as a wide grin breaks out on her face. Back and forth she goes on the top of the ramp, firing up the crowd.
Ria confidently strides down towards the ring, slapping hands and casually chatting with fans. Once ringside, she quickly traverses the stairs. Standing on the apron, she pulls off her shades, gazing around the audience. She flings the glasses into the crowd, again, a big smile on her face.
Lockhart grabs the top rope. She gives a small hop, bouncing off the bottom rope. She uses that momentum to flip up and over the top, landing on her feet in the ring. Almost as soon as she does, Ria bolts for a corner. She climbs it hurriedly, resting with one foot on the middle rope and one on the top rope. She flings her arms into the air to again get the crowd going. She hops down after a pause and backs towards the same corner, pulling her jacket off.
Vince Howard: This opening contest is scheduled for one fall. Introducing first, from Warrensburg, Missouri….weighing in at 226 pounds…ADAM ELLIS!
Vince Howard: And his opponent, from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania…weighing in at 155 pounds…”RAINBOW ROCK” RIA LOCKHART!
Ashley Barlow checks with both competitors before calling for the bell!
The bell sounds as Lockheart and Ellis begin to circle one another, each carefully looking for an opening.
Nick Stuart: We’re seeing a totally different Ria here right off the bat, folks. Normally, she’d come out swinging, but right now she’s taking a more cautious pace.
Richard Parker: That’s because we’re seeing Lockhart, not Nightshade.
The two step in to tie up, but Ria ducks under and picks Adam’s ankle. She hops forward and snags a headlock, cranking down as she does!
Ellis reaches up to pry Ria’s arm loose, turning in and coming up with a hammerlock, pressing Lockhart’s body into the canvas, but Ria gets her knees under her and turns back in before rolling through.
Adam loses his grip and both competitors pop to their feet in a stalemate to a chorus of cheers from the crowd!
Nick Stuart: Sound, fundamental wrestling there from both competitors. This one looks to be good!
Richard Parker: Give it time, Nick. One of these two is gonna throw a punch sooner or later.
The two circle again before stepping in. This time, Ellis fakes the tie up and shoots in, taking Ria down with a quick drop toehold. As soon as Ria hits the canvas, she rolls forward and pops to her feet.
But Adam follows through and SNATCHES her around the waist, bringing her up and over with a big German suplex! Ellis bridges!
Nick Stuart: Oh! An early near fall here by the newcomer to PRIME!
Richard Parker: It was a nice move, but it’s way too early. You’re not gonna get Ria Lockhart this early.
Adam doesn’t waste any time, he brings Lockhart to her feet and plants a boot to her midsection before hooking her head and WHIPPING her up and over with a snap suplex! Ellis floats over!
Ria kicks out with authority and Ellis immediately brings her back up for another suplex attempt, BUT RIA counters! The Rainbow Rock hooks Adam’s leg and rolls through!
Nick Stuart: LGBTQLUTCH! Ria’s gonna steal one!
Ellis kicks out before three and shoves himself away before pulling himself to his feet. But, Ria is right there! Lockhart fires two snapping kicks into Adam’s midsection before stepping in close and hooking him, bringing Ellis up and over with an exploder suplex!
Richard Parker: Here she comes, Nick. Ria’s getting into a rhythm. And that spells trouble with a capital Ria for Adam Ellis!
Lockhart comes back to her feet, measuring Ellis as he pulls himself up by the ropes. Ria charges in, but Ellis is ready!
Nick Stuart: Oh my! Did you see that impact!?
Ellis LAUNCHES forward and snaps an absolutely filthy super kick that connects with Ria’s jaw. Ria drops to the canvas as Adam shakes out any remaining cobwebs. He moves forward and drags Ria up by the hair.
Richard Parker: See, he should have covered her right there!
Ria knocks Adam’s hands away and grabs his head before sitting out with a nasty jawbreaker. Ellis staggers backward and Lockhart charges in, ducking under and hooking a full nelson.
Nick Stuart: SNAP DRAGON SUPLEX! Ria covers!
Ellis gets his shoulder up and Ria doesn’t even hesitate. She brings Adam to his feet and Irish whips him to the corner. Rainbow Rock charges in, executing a back handspring before delivering a back elbow to the corner.
She steps out of the corner before immediately turning back and connecting with a big roundhouse kick. Ria pulls Ellis out of the corner and hooks Ellis for a uranage, but Ellis fires a series of elbows to Ria’s head. She breaks the hold and Ellis ducks under again, grabbing hold of Ria’s waist and bribing her over for another German Suplex!
Nick Stuart: Ria lands on her feet! That takes tremendous balance!
Richard Parker: But can she capitalize?
Lockhart charges forward and SNATCHES Ellis by the head, snapping him down with a reverse DDT! Ria comes to her feet as the crowd cheers. She looks around at the PRIMEmates before pointing to the top rope!
Richard Parker: Don’t pander to these people, Lockhart! If you’re gonna do it, then do it!
Nick Stuart: I have to agree there. You never want to waste time.
Ria moves to the turnbuckle, stomping on Ellis on her way there. She positions herself in front of the buckles.
Nick Stuart: Looks like we’re gonna see that triple jump moonsault she calls the Hartbreaker.
Ria springboards twice and soars through the air as cameras flash in the crowd, BUT ELLIS GETS HIS KNEES UP!
Richard Parker: See? I told you! She wasted too much time!
Ria crashes and burns, rolling over and clutching her midsection. Ellis stumbles to his feet, snatching Ria by the legs. He elevates her up onto her shoulder and begins to turn, but Ria fights!
Nick Stuart: Ellis is going for that Elevated Boston Crab! But look at Ria fight it!
Lockhart scratches and claws, but Ellis is just too strong and manages to turn her over and cranks back!
Nick Stuart: He’s got that hook in good! Can Ria reach the ropes!?
Ria is fighting with all her might, but Ellis has the hold cinched in too deep. She has no choice but to tap!
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: The winner of this match…ADAM ELLIS!
Nick Stuart: An impressive victory for Adam Ellis in his debut match. Ria gave it all she had but Adam was a little bit stronger and a little bit better tonight. We’re going to take a quick break here…don’t go anywhere!
COMMERCIAL: ACE NETWORK
A FRUITSYLVANIAN LOONIE FOR YOUR THOUGHTS?
The locker room of the PRIME tag team champions is uncharacteristically quiet. The reason for this is simple: the loud half isn’t saying much. He sits on a chair slowly taping his left hand, flexing each finger as it’s wrapped. The old injury flares up from time to time, though it’s been less noticeable in the Vegas heat.
On the floor beside him is the latest in a string of anxiety-induced arts ‘n crafts projects. What appears to be the skeleton of a plastic bird (pigeon, if you must know) has been crudely duct-taped to both a fishing rod and half of a dark brown fright wig. If you’re wondering whether they make wigs small enough to fit a plastic bird corpse, the answer is no. This explains the scissors. For now, the Frankenstein’s puppet he’s named “Caw-Cawbry Deadbirds” lays still on the floor, but she’ll fly again soon, and when she does you will not be able to look at anything else that’s happening.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the sensible berry doesn’t think the whole thing is anything other than fucking bizarre.
Reina Raspberry: Okay, I need to know – where do you keep finding this stuff?
She nudges the bird away with her foot.
Reina Raspberry: And why do you keep looking for it in the first place?
The Blueberry doesn’t look up. He simply continues about his task, now having fallen into a rhythm. Wrap. Tear. Flex. Repeat.
King Blueberry: There was a crate full of swords in the middle of the hallway two weeks ago. Dead plastic pigeon doesn’t seem as weird in comparison.
The rhythm breaks just long enough to rub at the palm of his left hand, the wound one of those swords inflicted having only recently healed.
Wrap. Tear. Flex.
Reina Raspberry: I’m going to have to ask you to stop making sense. It’s very disconcerting. Think you can do that for me?
King Blueberry: Sorry.
Reina Raspberry: You never answered my question. Do you want me to second you tonight?
He sets the roll of tape aside, finally looking up at his partner.
King Blueberry: Always. Wanted to ask something in return. Is it cool if I borrow your walk-out song for this? Not really feeling the weirdo Russian dance pop tonight. I know we’ve been using it for team entrances and stuff, but I think tonight I could really use…
Baron von Blackberry: …A Fruitsylvanian loonie for your thoughts?
The camera pans suddenly to the side as Baron von Blackberry walks into frame. The Devil Fruit, whose presence is usually every bit as loud as King Blueberry’s, is unusually less animated than he usually is. Indeed, he is making no strange, grandiose gestures. He is not laughing maniacally. He is… calm.
This should worry some people. Probably.
He turns to Reina Raspberry, and nods to her.
Baron von Blackberry: Ah, yes. Hello, Calvin Raspberry. Love what you’re doing with the hair tonight.
For the record, she has done nothing of note with her hair. It’s just pulled back in a loose ponytail.
Reina Raspberry: Umm… thanks.
She turns a glance towards her partner.
Reina Raspberry: (mouthing the words) Calvin Raspberry?
King Blueberry: Joe and Sid think my name is actually Jared Blueberry, so welcome to the club. Having a second member is going to make the meetings a lot more interesting. Guess this means I have to start bringing refreshments.
Reina Raspberry: Aaaaanyway, what can we do for you, Co… umm… Baron?
Baron von Blackberry: Well, I was hoping to have a chat with this guy, if you don’t mind.
He gestures towards the blue of the berries.
Baron von Blackberry: Nothing untoward, of course. Scout’s honor.
He holds up his hand. No, we don’t know what “scouts” he’s really referring to. Knowing him, he probably got the “Lava Crocodile Observation” badge and he’s very proud of it.
Reina Raspberry: Yeah. Yeah, of course.
She stands, giving Ms. Deadbirds another solid kick as she moves towards the door.
Reina Raspberry: Be careful of whatever-the-fuck that thing is, though. I have a feeling I’ll be seeing it in my dreams. Or, if I’m really unlucky, the hotel room later on.
Or literally everywhere when it happens to be on screen.
She pauses at the doorway before stepping into the hall. And while she points to her partner, it’s Blackberry she speaks to.
Reina Raspberry: Try not to let him do anything stupid while I’m out, okay?
Baron von Blackberry: Ah, no promises. We are berries, after all.
With Reina Raspberry making her exit, Blackberry turns his attention to Blueberry.
Baron von Blackberry: So, what’s on your mind?
King Blueberry: Well that’s a loaded question. Not really sure it’s an answer you want, to be honest. There’s a lot swirling around in there about tonight, for sure. First time going solo on the big stage in over a decade. Looooot of thoughts about that.
It’s a brief pause, but a pause nonetheless.
King Blueberry: And what it means. Not just for me, but for the team. I don’t want Cal to think that I’m walking out on what we have, because I’m not. I just… I need to know if I can still do this, you know?
And then, a sigh.
King Blueberry: And then we can just file the rest of those thoughts under “other shit”, or whatever.
Baron von Blackberry: I mean, would you want advice on how to deal with surfer bros and their vicious hang tens, or do you think you’ve got that covered? Ah, who am I kidding? I believe you’ve got that covered.
There’s a pause.
Baron von Blackberry: So, I actually came here to apologize in advance. I mean, regardless of whatever happens at UltraViolence. Well, it’s kindasorta UltraViolence-related. Like, 50% related. I ran a poll, it was most enlightening.
King Blueberry: How many of the responses came back “powerbomb”?
Baron von Blackberry: Just the one, which… that wasn’t even an option in the poll, I’m not even sure how it came back as “powerbomb”. Hell, I’m not even convinced that the response itself wasn’t powerbombed into the poll box. The box definitely appears to have taken some powerbomb-related damages, so I might need to consult my powerbomb lawyer. Who might be the same person. His e-mail is at firstname.lastname@example.org if you must know.
King Blueberry: That’s… okay, sure. Is this a different lawyer than the one they had that sign for? The “Crimes” guy?
He shakes his head.
King Blueberry: You know what? Don’t answer that. A little confused though. Not entirely sure what you’re apologizing for. Wait. Did Sid learn another move? Am I about to be the first victim of “that other thing that Sid Phillips knows how to do now”? Is this how I die? Shit, I should have my will redone.
Blackberry throws his hands up into the air.
Baron von Blackberry: Who knows? It’s a mystery to me how he keeps turning the thing I’m teaching him into more powerbombs. Maybe he’ll be ready. Maybe it’ll just be “Oops! All Powerbombs!” again, and I’ll be very upset and write a strongly-worded letter to his dad. In 9pt Tahoma. That’s how you’ll know I’m serious.
Baron von Blackberry: No, actually. That’s not what I’m apologizing for.
King Blueberry: You’re going to make me come out and ask, aren’t you? Okay. What are you apologizing for?
Baron von Blackberry: Well. I both can and can’t tell you the exact thing I might have done with Joe. What I can tell you? He’s over the mannequin thing.
Blueberry leans back in his seat, takes a deep breath, and lets it out slow.
King Blueberry: Okay, so there’s a couple ways I can go with this. Either I can assume that the guy I know under that mask started leaning on the skills he’s known for, and turned Joe into a weapon. Like the swords he was strapped with a few weeks ago, only with wrestling. Or, and honestly I dunno if this is scarier, I can assume that the guy in the mask is talking, and Joe is now a cyborg.
Baron von Blackberry: So, would you want me to tell you that he now knows what Fruitsylvanian Scientific Strong Style is all about, or would you want me to tell you that he has been upgraded to be 60% more efficient and can now poop at greater capacity?
King Blueberry: How about “no”? Is “no” on the table?
Baron von Blackberry: No is on the table, but be quick. It is going fast.
There is a pause.
Baron von Blackberry: Seriously, though. I can’t tell you all of my secrets. But I know you. And I don’t know Cal very well, but you picked her for a reason. And Joe and Sid are very new at this, all told. So if I have to teach them things that might piss you off later, that’s something I’m going to apologize for early.
King Blueberry: There’s a new thought that just appeared in my head. One about what buttons a guy who made his name off leveraging other people’s moves might press. Few faces sprung to mind, and none of ‘em are particularly fun. But I don’t think you have to worry. My circle isn’t big. There aren’t a lot of folks that I invite in. The ones I do? It’s because I trust them. So, and you can choose to believe this or not, whatever happens in a few weeks? We’re good.
He sucks the next breath in through his teeth.
King Blueberry: But here’s the other thing… I know that Joe and Sid have been on an absolute tear. I know they had to beat genuine legends to earn this shot. They’ve got the pedigree. They’ve got the trainer. It is literally impossible for them to fail long term. And I don’t want to be in the position of having to slam the brakes on all that. But…
The Blueberry leans forward, elbows resting on his knees.
King Blueberry: I made a promise to someone, and it’s one that I take very seriously. Justine didn’t get the same opportunities that your boys did. Just weren’t there for her when she was that age. I told her that this team – regardless of what happens later tonight – is my first priority. I intend to honor my word. Whatever it takes. Joe and Sid? They might have to kill me.
The Blackberry nods, solemnly.
Baron von Blackberry: Well said.
He crosses his arms.
Baron von Blackberry: One other thing, then. It won’t be I, the great and mighty and absolutely PERFECT Baron von Blackberry, that shall accompany those two to the ring. Sorry to disappoint. The Berry Civil War, and he shall not be there to witness it.
King Blueberry: I’ve got a sneaky feeling like I know where this is going.
Baron von Blackberry: Oh, you probably do. You might know my replacement very well, seeing as he, too, is royalty.
The smile that spreads across the face of Jared Blueberry is bright, genuine. It doesn’t beam though; that’s someone else’s gimmick.
King Blueberry: In that case, if it’s what I think it is, then let me say in advance… It’s about goddamn time.
Baron von Blackberry: Tell me about it.
King Blueberry: Do me a favor, okay?
Blueberry runs a hand across his jaw, fingers dancing along the mask that covers his own face. There’s a new weight to it, one he’s only just noticing. One he’ll have to reconcile himself later on.
King Blueberry: Regardless of what happens in that match, lemme know how it feels.
Baron von Blackberry: Of course. Maybe someday, I’ll see that Jared Sykes fellow instead of that Jared Blueberry fellow. Sorry, King Blueberry. Getting my nomenclature mixed up. Sorry. I think I spoiled who you were under that mask. Ssh. Don’t tell anyone. It’s supposed to be a secret.
A single thought plays over and over inside Blueberry’s head: Don’t hold your breath.
WHOSE MASK IS IT ANYWAY?
The camera cuts immediately from the ring to Argyle Position, where The Anglo Luchador, wearing cargo shorts, a t-shirt that reads “PRIME: Number One By Definition” in larger print and “As Seen on Warrenburg, MO COPS” in smaller print beneath it, and of course, his Intense Championship, awaits. After a few moments, Ria Lockhart steps through, fresh from her return match to PRIME. She’s startled to see her complicated friend waiting for her.
TAL: Hey you! Welcome back!
Ria Lockhart: Thanks… Didn’t exactly go the way I wanted it to. That’s life sometimes, I guess.
TAL: It’s alright. You’re back. That’s all that matters right now. C’mon, we’ve gotta catch up.
Loud Voice Off-Screen: NOT SO FAST, CHEAP MASK.
TAL: Oh Jesus…
The camera pans over to catch Hoyt Williams, Joe Burro, Hoyt’s father Duke, and the hulking Mask of Malice, Balaam making their way into the frame.
Hoyt Williams: We’ve been waiting for a response on a mask vs very, very cheap mask match. The wait is over.
Hoyt raises his arms and the lighting turns to red and starts to flicker.
Joe Burro: You still got it *CLAP CLAP*
Hoyt smirks and positions himself near TAL’s face.
Hoyt Williams: Give me the mic backstage interview lady.
Hoyt holds his hand out flat towards Ria, not breaking eye contact with the Intense Champion. Balaam moves in behind TAL crowding him.
TAL: First off, Buddy Christ, lay off the giardiniera, Jesus, your breath could wake the goddamn dead.
Hoyt glowers at him.
TAL: Second, how many masks did you commission stolen to replace the one you lifted from the realm of the dead? None of them belong to you. THIRD, that’s not “backstage interview lady,” that’s Ria Lockhart, and she’ll cave your skull in her-damn-self and leave nothing for me if you don’t show respect.
Ria turns towards Hoyt, staring a hole through him. Slowly, a smile spreads across her face.
Ria Lockhart: Ya know what, Hoyt? You can go ahead and disrespect me all you want. That ain’t gonna help your boy there beat The Anglo Luchador. You haven’t learned yet… You will, though. I’ll leave you to this, Tom.
Ria pauses and leans in close towards Hoyt.
Ria Lockhart: I won’t be far, though.
With that, Ria takes her leave.
Hoyt Williams: I mean from disrespectful face painted refs to letting the interview women have names. Rio what is that?
TAL: (cutting Hoyt off) Ria. You should remember her, she put hands on John Boy, made him recoil a bit on more than one occasion.
Hoyt ignores the luchador’s interjection.
Hoyt Williams: This place is a madhouse. As for the masks, I won the underworld fairly. Those masks are all mine and given the fact you’re a common thief I understand why you feel the need to appropriate culture. If I was you I’d hide my face too.
TAL: Listen, I don’t have the Tupi Mask of Horrors. Or this jaguar mask you keep yammering on about. You’re telling me you had nothing to do with them being stolen?
Hoyt Williams: No, because it’s you who’s behind it, Cheap Mask.
TAL: I’ve had nothing to do with what you’re saying. But if you really want masks other than the stolen property you have on your golem there, you got it. Mask vs. Mask. You win, you get my face shown to the world, and your boy can be Intense Champion. I win though, I keep the Mask of Malice. Forever.
Hoyt Williams: Excellence! Because if Balaam can’t beat you the mask and him are worthless to me. Instead of collecting masks I think it’s time to start collecting and unifying them all under the God’s title championship. By the way, you are standing in my HALL of FAME hallway. So move along.
Balaam lifts a life-like severed replica of TAL’s head with the mask half ripped off. Hoyt just laughs. The Intense Champion shudders slightly, as if the specter of doubt is creeping into his head.
TAL: Your Hall of Fame Hallway? Hoyt, let me lay it down. I respect what you’ve done in this ring. PRIME is part of your DNA just as much as your pruno-soaked raiments are forever in the closet here. But it’s a new day. If you want to claim these hallways? Do what Youngblood and Nova are doing. Get out of the luxury box and fight like a man instead of lounging like a pig. Until then, leave the possessives to those of us who run this place.
The luchador tries to exit brushing past PRIME’s Personal Jesus, but Hoyt stops him.
Hoyt Williams: If he don’t get the job done, I just may have to, but that’s a reckoning you don’t not want to witness. One way or another at Ultraviolence things will get biblically violent. Peace be with you.
Joe Burro raises his book and leads the procession away from Argyle, followed by Hoyt, then Duke, and finally Balaam, carrying the effigy of the luchador’s head and giving his Ultraviolence opponent one last snort before being led away. The Intense Champion stares them down until they’re further down the hallway out of sight before letting out a mammoth exhale.
TAL: What the hell did I get myself into.
The camera cuts back to the ring.
NICE TRY, JIM JONES
It has not been a great start to the UV go-home for our beloved SuPRIME Overlord.
The cameras catch Lindsay Troy returning to her office after breaking the bad news to Hayes Hanlon about Impulse’s departure from the company. While she promised the Event Horizon that she’d make sure he still had a match at UltraViolence, the whole ordeal in and of itself has proven to be a massive headache, and the Queen of the Ring’s mood has taken a sharp nosedive.
Troy opens the door to her office and only makes it two steps before discovering she’s not alone. Her expression sours as she slams the door behind her and folds her arms over her chest, not pleased with the presence of her “guest.”
Lindsay Troy: Whatever you want, the answer is no.
Bruce “Violence Jack” Shanahan slumps in a chair before the desk, eyes dour. The eyes of a man pursuing sleep for weeks now and rarely finding it for long.
Bruce Shanahan: I’ve come to make a plea. I won’t take much of your time. I have my hands full these days.
His approach strikes Troy as uncharacteristically passive. Bruce is usually a boastful figure, seeking to dominate a room with his ghoulish personality. Every interaction the two of them have ever had has resulted in flared tempers and bared teeth.
Lindsay walks past him and sets herself down behind her desk, watching the grim guru keenly.
Lindsay Troy: Well?
Bruce Shanahan: Fire Julian Bathory immediately. Cut off his platform now before he gets more dangerous, more-
Lindsay Troy: More what? More of an asshole? My entire promotion is filled with them. I have one sitting in front of me right now. If I fired everyone for being an asshole, I’d be left with maybe three people and GREAT BEAR.
She leans forward, scrutinizing him.
Lindsay Troy: What’s this about, Jackie? You look like shit, and as much as watching you grovel tickles me pink I’ve never known you to do it.
He stays silent, shifts his eyes to avoid hers. A long silence draws out.
Lindsay Troy: Oh…I get it now. You want me to kick him to the curb for committing the cardinal sin of snapping the collar you put on him and cutting the strings so he can’t dance to your music. Nice try, Jim Jones, but he’s not going anywhere. Losing control of your puppets isn’t my concern.
The once feared Violence Jack seems almost panicked, adamant in the face of Troy’s dismissal.
Bruce Shanahan: You don’t get it! Something is terribly wrong and Julian is unhinged. If he finds what he’s after and achieves his goals then-
Lindsay Troy: This sounds like a problem you created and that you need to fix, not me. I have a company to run and my interest in your occult gobbledygook is at ze—
She trails off, shooting him an awkward look. The look in her eye is almost…pity?
Lindsay Troy: Are you drunk? You smell like a wino’s piss-soaked bed.
More silence. Bruce stands up and can’t hide a stumble: PRIME’s matriarch is right. The dispirited founder of MESSIAH turns to her again, scratching an unkempt and scraggly beard that’s usually kept well-trimmed. His face has become noticeably gaunt and pallid.
Bruce Shanahan: As long as he remains under contract to PRIME, I am obliged to be his second and act in his interests. His seneschal. It’s part of the oath. The essence of the brotherhood we keep and that everyone else loathes. Ignore my counsel but trust me when I say I take no pride in what he wants anymore.
Lindsay Troy: I’ve never trusted you before. Why would I start now?
Shanahan’s nod is nearly imperceptible. He turns to leave, ambling to the door and his hand gripping the doorknob.
Lindsay Troy: By the way…is this why you keep harassing Caesar? And why you and Julian wouldn’t take the hint with Shweta and the Foundation?
Shanahan tenses. Blinks. He turns his head and fixes his eyes on the Lady of the Hour.
Bruce Shanahan: MESSIAH has business interests that Caesar is threatening. Fighting For Nora insulted us. I don’t know what more you want. And I sure in the blackest of hells don’t like what you’re inferring. We’ll tend to matters as we see fit. I…politely request that you don’t interfere.
He exits the room. Lindsay Troy peers at the door through narrowed eyes, resting her chin on a propped up palm.
Lindsay Troy: (murmuring) Never known you to be polite either…
Cut to ringside.
BRADLEE NELSON vs. KING BLUEBERRY
“Nothin’ But A Good Time” by Poison hits and Bradlee Nelson steps out onto the entrance ramp and flexes, posing for a moment.
Vince Howard: Making his way to the ring from Pocatello, Idaho, accompanied by Bowie Abrams… He stands five feet and ten inches and weighs in at two-hundred and fifteen pounds… One half of MVW’s own Surf Express BRRRROOOOOOO! BRAAAAAAAAAAAADLLLEEEEEEEEEEEE NEEEEELSSSSOOOOOOON!
Bradlee and Bowie sprint down the ramp slapping hands. After a brief pep talk, Bradlee Nelson ascends up the stairs. He leaps over the top rope and spins, letting his gear swing around him. Bradlee looks up at the ramp awaiting his opponent. Blue and purple lights illuminate the entrance, as the first notes of Motley Crue’s “Knock ‘Em Dead, Kid” hit through the arena speakers. Tonight the PRIME Tag Team Champions enter the building without much in the way of fanfare, which is to say there are no forklifts, no mannequins, and no one is in imminent danger of being stabbed by a dog. Again.
Let ’em know, Vince Howard.
Vince Howard: Making his way to the ring from Boston, Massachusetts, accompanied by Reina Raspberry… He weighs in tonight at two-hundred pounds, with a…
PRIME’s ring announcer glances at disbelief at the card in his hand.
Vince Howard: Solo combined height of five feet and eleven inches?!
It’s immediately torn in half. Then again. Then a third time. Then he drops it to the ground and stomps on it for a few seconds.
Vince Howard: He is one half of PRIME Tag Team Champions… KIIIIIIING BLLLLUUUUUUUUUUUUEBERRRRRYYYYYYYYY!
Richard Parker: I think this kid is in for a long night.
Nick Stuart: I’ve heard a lot of great things out of Cleveland about the Surf Express Bro tag team, and specifically Bradlee Nelson. He might surprise us tonight.
Bradlee marches across the ring and holds out his hand for King Blueberry to shake. Blueberry takes a long look at it, before deciding to hell with it and shakes Bradlee’s hand. The two separate back to opposite corners.
Nick Stuart: What sportsmanship displayed by Bradlee Nelson.
Richard Parker: I heard he once gave his opponent one of those goofy foam surf boards.
Blueberry and Bradlee lock up in the center of the ring, the two men engaged in a collar and elbow tie-up push each other back and forth a bit. Finally Bradlee manages to transition to a headlock, but King Blueberry sends him sprinting to the ropes. Bradlee rebounds off and tries for a flying forearm. Blueberry ducks under and goes to the ropes himself.
Nick Stuart: Some high paced action tonight!
Bradlee lands and rolls to his feet, he turns around and gets absolutely obliterated by a swinging neckbreaker. Bradlee looks like he was hit with a stun gun and Timo looks at Blueberry a bit quizzically. Blueberry hooks the leg and covers Bradlee.
Richard Parker: Told you, long night for the kid.
Nick Stuart: He’s still got something left!
Bradlee shoots an arm up at the last second. Blueberry immediately transitions the pin attempt to a headlock as Bradlee tries to sit up. Bowie begins to pound the mat like a wild man trying to get the crowd to respond. Bradlee slowly struggles his way over to the ropes and is able to reach out and touch it with his foot. Timo steps in and the two separate without issue. KB back to his corner, and Bradlee back to his.
Nick Stuart: Does look to be a tough day at the office for the youngster though.
Bradlee comes back in with a head of steam for another lockup, Blueberry ducks under and tries for another neckbreaker but Bradlee manages to turn around and push King Blueberry away. Blueberry comes back in, and Nelson leaps into the air and hits him with a picture perfect drop kick. Blueberry stumbles back to the corner and Nelson runs over and leaps up onto the middle rope in one fluid motion. He starts to rain right hands down on Blueberry, but Blueberry shoves the young man off. Nelson tries to come back in but Blueberry absolutely devastates Nelson with a chop across the chest.
Richard Parker: Oooooh! That’ll leave a mark.
Nick Stuart: I thought you hated King Blueberry.
Richard Parker: Listen Nick, I like winners.
Nelson stumbles backwards and Blueberry is on him quickly, he lifts Nelson over his head and slams him to the mat with a snap suplex. KB rolls through and comes running in with an elbow strike, but Nelson is able to hit the deck and avoid it. Blueberry jumps to his feet, while Nelson kips up, Blueberry dives in and smashes Nelson with a diving cutter.
Nick Stuart: What a cutter!
Richard Parker: Eyes rolled up in his head, he might be dead.
Timo slides in for the count as Blueberry hooks both legs.
DING DING DING
Richard Parker: Oh look, he’s breathing.
King Blueberry jumps to his feet as Reina Raspberry runs into the ring. Bowie immediately checks on Bradlee.
Vince Howard: Your winner by pinfall…. KIIIIIIIIIIIIIIING BLUEBEEEEEEEEEEEERRRRRRRRRRRRRYY!
Nick Stuart: Well, I mean Bradlee at least has a great dropkick.
Richard Parker: Fantastic dropkick.
Nick Stuart: And I wouldn’t want to be that Berries next opponent, what a cutter.
Our scene fades to commercial.
PRIMEPORIUM: NOW WITH OTHER SHIRTS BESIDES ANNA DANIELS’!
PRIME THAT SHIT
From the unexpected singles debut of King Blueberry and commercial break, ReVival returns from black to see the sentient suplex machine, Brandon Youngblood, making his way down the MGM Grand Garden Arena’s backstage corridors. Still dressed in street clothes, the former Universal Champion is looking much less like a beaten down sack of potatoes, his face healed save a few negligible scars around the nose. He carries himself as always, with a distancing intensity. Knowing where he’s going, he stops, knocking on one of the locker room doors.
Brandon Youngblood: Caes?
The fans have been cheering from the onset of the segment, but hearing the name of Nova? That only keeps it going. From behind the door, we can hear the voice of the Risen Star.
Nova: What’s the password?
For a moment, the Tower of Babel pauses. He sighs, because, well, he’s not exactly renowned for his comedic timing. More his smashing timing. He opens the door, stepping inside, seeing Nova seated on the lone bench spanning the middle of the room, cigarette in hand, his eyes trained upwards.
Nova: I could have been naked.
Nova: I mean, I could have been.
The Risen Star takes a drag, the smoke billowing from his nostrils.
Nova: I think Lindz would probably have liked that. Get it on tape. Private collection stuff.
Brandon Youngblood: I’m not Karl Hungus.
Nova: So you’re not here to fix the cable?
Another pause. More smoking. More staring. And then…
Brandon Youngblood: Is hard to verk in zese clozes.
Nova, for his part, can’t help himself from laughing, coughing in the process.
Nova: Wasn’t…wasn’t expecting that.
Brandon Youngblood: Guess I’m full of surprises in my old age.
Just two dudes comfortable in their own skin. Nothing wrong there. Nothing to see here. Somewhere, in the Northeast, a certain young Italian woman is screaming at her screen, demanding these two kiss, all while she enjoys the rush of an edible high.
This says nothing of the Polish guy with the Kool-Aid blue hair saying the same thing, all while stone sober.
Youngblood suddenly stares around the otherwise empty locker room.
Brandon Youngblood: Isn’t Wade Elliott, like, your babysitter?
Nova: He’s otherwise occupied, but…
Nova gestures over at a baby monitor, positioned at the edge of a steel folding chair.
Nova: …if it picks up anything concerning, he has Dam on stand-by to come check things out.
The walkie-talkie next to Nova on his locker room bench crackles.
Dametreyus: Here if ya need me, boss. Over.
Nova takes a drag and holds it up to his mouth.
Nova: Roger that, Big Dog. Over.
He turns back to Youngblood, mouthing “Love that guy.” Then he takes another drag and pauses for a moment.
Nova: Obviously, you ain’t here to be bullshitting.
Brandon Youngblood: Not really…
He grabs his own chair, setting it up, taking a seat near his former arch rival. Something like this would have been unfathomable nearly twenty years ago. But a lot has changed. People change. But the memories? Well, they can leave scars, even if the wounds that caused them have long since stopped hurting.
Brandon Youngblood: Me and you…we ain’t been in the same ring since that night in Honolulu. A bunch of us…fighting to get a crack at the mountaintop. Hungry. Angry. Young. Ignorant.
The inference towards self is clear.
Brandon Youngblood: If I’m honest with you, this isn’t how I saw this going down. The run back.
Nova grins and shrugs, gesturing down to the GPS bracelet secured around his ankle.
Nova: Me neither, bud…but here we are.
Brandon Youngblood: What a time to be alive.
Nova: Beats the alternative. We have shuffled the deck chairs, and circumstances do not closely resemble the world we lived in back in August of 2005…
He takes a drag.
Nova: …but we have a job to do, and the outcome matters to us both. A lot. You’re looking for momentum to stay at the top…
The Risen Star’s eyes look away for a moment, then refocus. Another smile.
Nova: …and I’m just looking for a sign that I still belong.
Youngblood clasps his hands together, straightening his back.
Brandon Youngblood: You still belong, Caes.
Nova: (taking another drag) Then I shouldn’t have anything to worry about, right?
Brandon Youngblood: Wish I could say that…
He trails off for a moment, thinking how he wants to choose his next words carefully.
Brandon Youngblood: You should have won a few shows back. Regardless of bullshit platitudes about your opponent wanting to vacate tainted wins. We all know the only reason that went down like that was because of Shanahan…
A touchy subject? Maybe.
Brandon Youngblood: I know you’re at a bit of a crossroads. In a lot of ways. And I could bullshit and say I am too, but all I got to worry about are championship belts. You? You got people hounding for your blood…
Brandon Youngblood: Look, we both know how things are. We’ve never had anything handed to us in PRIME. Everything, we had to fight for. Scratch and claw for. Had to go through each other at times for. That’s just the sport. She knows us both. Is going to make us continue that to get what we want. And there’s a few ways that could go. It could go like it did back then…
He winces at the thought.
Brandon Youngblood: But it ain’t gonna happen like that. This is a dream match for a lot of people. The two pillars left. What we want…who we want…Atken…Shanahan…Bathory…the Glue Factory…MESSIAH…the Universal Championship…our own peace…there’s a chance what we’re fighting for has to go through the other. And we know that. But steel sharpens steel. I need you…you need me…to bring the absolute best out ourselves. To be the best versions of ourselves in that ring at Ultra Violence. Not to answer questions. Not to settle our score. But to face the monsters on our horizon.
His eyes look deep into those of the Risen Star.
Brandon Youngblood: And after we do? Who knows. Maybe it’s just a bump in the road. But I don’t think so. I know you. Know what you’re capable of. More than anyone here. You belonging? Heh. These walls stand because of you. I know you’re gonna bring it. And I am looking forward to it. Clean. Nothing getting in the way. You feel me? Because as much as they want to tear this all down…they ain’t PRIME. You feel me?
Having snuffed out his last butt, Nova shuffles another cigarette out of his pack. He lights it and gives Youngblood a nod before taking a drag and extending a gloved fist.
Nova: Well then let’s PRIME That Shit.
A rare grin from the Tower of Babel, who extends his fist to meet the Starchild’s.
Brandon Youngblood: PRIME That Shit.
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THIS IS…A SIMPLE BUSINESS MEETING
We find ourselves elsewhere backstage, the backside of the entrance way in line of sight as the Masters of the Multiverse appear to be making their way there…until they are stopped by Matt Mills, microphone in hand as he tries to get a hot scoop!
Matt Mills: Fellas, I’d like to get a word from you…but where are you off to?
Randall Schwartz and Kenny Freeman look at each other with a smirk, before Randall responds.
Randall Schwartz: Well, Matthew, if you must know…Kenny and I are heading out to cheer on our boy GREAT SCOTT, as he takes on Hayes Hanlon in just a moment. After all, we’re all about supporting a great cause, if you will.
Kenny nods his head in agreement, but before he can chime in and elaborate the pair is interrupted by the familiar voice of one David Fox.
David Fox: Your charity is as fraudulent as your intentions, boys.
Flanked by the familiar Kaiju in Mushigihara, the talker of the Dangerous Mix saunters on-screen towards their opponents at UltraViolence. Randall and Kenny, for their part, seem amused by the remark as the smirks on their faces widen to a full-on smile.
Randall Schwartz: Is that so, Davey boy? What are you gonna–
Randall is interrupted by Kenny, who puts a hand on the chest of his tag partner as he interjects.
Kenny Freeman: Entertainer, I got this.
Kenny stares down David, then Mushigihara, and then David again before continuing.
Kenny Freeman: Hey man, I’m a firm believer in hold off hostilities with rivals before an important match. Let’s talk peacefully for now, fellas. Let’s talk…business. We’ve named our charity to support come UltraViolence, have you two settled on yours?
A pause, as David and Mushi look at each other. The Soul Survivor gestures to the Kaiju, as if to say “the floor’s yours,” and Mushi smiles and nods before uttering…
The B-Team look at each other, fascinated by the response given as Kenny pulls out a notepad and pen, scribbling down a name as he nods his head.
Kenny Freeman: That, buddy, is a wonderful choice.
Kenny finishes scribbling the name down, putting the notepad back in his pocket before giving a knowing nod to Randall.
Randall Schwartz: Well fellas, I’m glad we could arrange this business easily and peacefully. Now, if you’ll excuse us, we’re off to…
Randall is cut off by Fox, who shakes his head as Mushigihara starts to square up…prompting the Masters to think better of it.
Randall Schwartz: …get on out of here, I could use a nice cold coffee right about now.
Randall and Kenny back away a few steps, before making haste the opposite direction from the Mix, the pair nodding with a smile before walking away as we cut to ringside!
GREAT SCOTT vs. HAYES HANLON
Back at ringside we see referee Elvis Nixon and announcer Vince Howard standing by in the ring before we cut to Nick and Richard at commentary!
Nick Stuart: Welcome back to ringside folks, we have one heck of a bout up next as Hayes Hanlon takes on GREAT SCOTT, and boy is Hanlon gonna be fired up after what happened to Impulse!
Richard Parker: Impulse is GONE, Nick, and there’s nothing Hayes can do about it! He better stay extra focused tonight, or GREAT SCOTT is gonna beat him…with his bear and his glare!
Vince Howard: The following contest is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first…
“Born for Greatness” plays over the sound system here in the Grand, but after recent events we see a changed man making his way out, a new look and attitude as GREAT SCOTT taunts fans on his way toward the ring. GREAT BEAR, for his part, is still seemingly rocking out to the music playing through his sweet Beats by Dre headphones, but the crowd is none too pleased with LARGE DADDY SCOTT, who couldn’t care less about their opinions as he rocks a championship belt that we probably shouldn’t mention further.
Vince Howard: Hailing from the Greater Metro area of Great Falls, Montana, he stands in at six feet, one inch and weighs in tonight at 276 pounds…he is the World’s Greatest Scott, the Large Daddy if you will…GRRRRREEEAAAAT SCOOOOOTT!
SCOTT and his BEAR (and presumably his glare, for that matter) arrive at ringside, continuing to taunt the booing fans with a flex of his arms as he enters the ring ready for this match!
Vince Howard: And his opponent…
We Came as Romans.
White flashbulbs flicker along with the music’s growing beat. The PRIME*View soars into the cosmos, passing planets and nebulas, picking up speed and shaking as it approaches a massive black hole. A wall of white bulbs ignite in the entryway as the song’s intro crescendos, the silhouette of Hayes Hanlon lifts both arms to the ceiling, fingers outstretched. The lights dim as the music quiets, and Hayes walks out to the edge of the ramp, soaking in the spectacle and cheers of the crowd. The music builds again, and Hayes thrusts one hand into the air with the chorus.
“I FALL INTO A BLACK HOLE IN MY HEAD!”
Vince Howard: From West Linn, Oregon, standing six feet, three inches tall and weighing in at 261 pounds…the Event Horizon…HAYES! HANLOONNNN!!
He immediately starts a quick and steady march down the ramp, another bright flash of white filling the arena. The Event Horizon slides into the ring and moves toward the far turnbuckle, stepping onto the first ropes and turning to face the center of the ring.
“I’M FIGHTING THE GRAAVITY, IT’S PULLING THE WORST PART OUT OF ME!
He leans back over the post, eyes closed with his torso aimed at the ceiling. The crescendo following the chorus blasts out through the arena among the flashbulbs.
Nick Stuart: Looks like Hanlon is trying his best to stay focused here tonight after all!
Richard Parker: If he slips up even once, it could all be over!
The bell sounds off…and in a way, so too does Hanlon as he unloads some hard-hitting punches on GREAT SCOTT, sending him toward the corner. The attack continues with some chops across the chest, really laying them on thick until Nixon starts the count, getting to four just as Hanlon breaks away clean.
Nick Stuart: Hayes Hanlon taking the action to GREAT SCOTT in the early goings here!
Richard Parker: You gotta wonder how long this will last though, Nick!
GREAT SCOTT is still feeling the effects of those chops to the chest as he steps away from the corner, but he muscles through it to charge at the former Five Star Champion…who turns things around with an Irish whip, sending LARGE DADDY SCOTT to the ropes and connecting with a spinebuster on the rebound!
The crowd is ecstatic for the Event Horizon’s offense as he gets back to his feet, sizing up his opponent as GREAT SCOTT stands back to his feet before going for a swing–but that swing is a miss as Hanlon dodges it, spinning him around before grabbing the waist and hoisting SCOTT up and over for a German suplex!
Nick Stuart: What a suplex there from Hanlon!
Richard Parker: Looks like he’s not done yet, though!
Hanlon holds onto the waistlock, looking for another German suplex…but is met with an elbow to the head by SCOTT, who quickly turns about face…only to be sent back down with an explosive belly to belly suplex by Home Run Hayes!
HAYES! HAYES! HAYES!
The crowd chants the former champ’s name as he gets back to his feet, bringing SCOTT back to a vertical position himself as he sends SCOTT to the ropes, looking for a clothesline on the rebound…but GREAT SCOTT ducks under! Hanlon with a second attempt opening up, but SCOTT ducks that as well…but he doesn’t duck a leaping shoulder block on the third attempt, as Hanlon brings him down to the canvas one more time!
The crowd once again roars in approval, as Hanlon feels confident enough to go for a cover as Nixon makes the count!
GREAT SCOTT not only kicks out, he shoves Hanlon off of him!
Nick Stuart: Close call there for Hanlon, but GREAT SCOTT is clearly still in this!
Richard Parker: Hanlon better be careful here, because SCOTT could easily turn things around here!
LARGE DADDY SCOTT gets back to his feet, as does Hanlon…who gives SCOTT a mighty harsh glare, mocking SCOTT in the process! The crowd is eating this up, but it only angers GREAT SCOTT, who charges at Hanlon…running right into a clothesline! This match has managed to stay in favor of the Event Horizon, who dips into the well once more bringing SCOTT to a standing position…only to take a thumb to the eye for his troubles!
Nick Stuart: What the…!?
Richard Parker: And there it is Nick, a turning point!
Nixon admonishes SCOTT for the maneuver, to which he simply…flexes his arms? That’s right, he flexes on Nixon, before turning to the fans, and flexes on the haters in the crowd, taunting them before turning his attention back to Hanlon…who catches LARGE DADDY SCOTT right in the chin with a solid punch! Now it’s Hayes getting a warning from the ref, for the use of a closed fist as SCOTT collects himself and rushes Hanlon, swinging hard with some lefts and rights in retaliation! This culminates in a superb belly to belly suplex by SCOTT, a response to the one he took from Hanlon earlier!
Nick Stuart: Oh my, what impact there on the suplex by GREAT SCOTT!
Richard Parker: The man knows what he’s doing, Nick, and Hayes Hanlon is finding that out the hard way here by good ol’ LARGE DADDY SCOTT!
Getting back to his feet quickly, SCOTT continues the attack with some hard stomps for good measure, before bringing the former champ up to lay in some elbows to the head of Hanlon before connecting with a snap suplex! You can almost hear someone in the crowd chewing gum, muttering “good snap” as GREAT SCOTT grabs Hayes by the head, looking for a repeat performance of the suplex. Hanlon tries to fight out of this one, but is smacked hard with a right hand to the ribs by SCOTT, who sends Hayes up and over with a vertical suplex proper! Hanlon is down, and SCOTT senses the opportunity to pick up a win here as he makes the cover!
This time it’s Hayes who manages to kick out, much to the chagrin of GREAT SCOTT as the crowd cheers Hanlon on. SCOTT goes to pick Hanlon back up, but the former champ wisely rolls to the outside to take a breather. SCOTT, for his part, doesn’t allow this to go on for long, as he quickly leaves the ring to go after Hayes…who catches SCOTT by surprise with a right hand! Hayes continues the flurry of offense as we can hear Nixon starting the count from inside the ring!
Hayes looks to bring SCOTT back in the ring, but the LARGE DADDY himself has other plans as he turns things around, sending Hanlon into the steel steps with an Irish whip!
The crowd’s really showing their disdain for SCOTT’s actions here, but he just responds to it with more flexing on the haters as Nixon can be heard continuing the count!
GREAT SCOTT takes notice of this, an angry glare on his face as he turns his attention to Nixon in the ring and starts shouting at him!
GREAT SCOTT: I’M GONNA NEED YOU TO STOP THAT COUNT REF, I’M TRYING TO FOCUS OVER HERE AND I CAN’T WITH ALL THAT NOISE OKAY?
Nixon is taken aback by both the glare and the odd demand coming from LARGE DADDY SCOTT, before shouting back to bring the action back into the ring! SCOTT takes a moment to consider this, before laughing at the admonishment and turning his attention back to Hayes! Unfortunately for the man with the greatest glare in the business, however, Hanlon is back to his feet and comes out swinging, lefts and rights connecting with the body of GREAT SCOTT as Hayes looks to get back in a winning position on the matter.
Hanlon realizes the imminent danger of being counted out, and opts instead to send GREAT SCOTT back into the ring as originally intended as he follows close behind. The crowd continues to cheer Hanlon on, but that switches gears quickly when SCOTT connects with a sucker punch to the gut of Hayes! The former champ doubles over, and that’s the opening SCOTT needs as he connects with a snap suplex that drives Hanlon down hard into the canvas! The crowd continue to shower hate upon GREAT SCOTT, but he seems to be feeding off of it like ham as he continues the assault on Hayes. Elbow strike after elbow strike connects to the back of Hanlon, really wearing him down before sending him to the corner!
Nick Stuart: This looks really bad for Hayes!
Richard Parker: SCOTT’s got him right where he wants him!
SCOTT charges toward Hanlon, squishing him into the turnbuckle with a running corner splash before immediately taking some more swings at the former champion. Eventually, Nixon has had enough and begins the count, reaching four as he shouts at SCOTT to get back and away from Hanlon. This is met with another glare from SCOTT, who lets Nixon knows what’s up.
GREAT SCOTT: I’M PRETTY SURE I HAVE UNTIL FIVE, REF, SO I NEED YOU TO SETTLE DOWN WITH–
SCOTT is interrupted by a right hand from Hanlon…who yells in pain, favoring the hand he just punched GREAT SCOTT with! After being so fired up to face GREAT SCOTT, the wear and tear on the hand that was injured by Bobby Dean is becoming all too evident here, and that gives the LARGE DADDY an opening to exploit! SCOTT sends Hanlon down with another snap suplex, before flipping Hayes onto his stomach! SCOTT flexes his arms at the haters in the crowd once more, looking poised to lock in a submission hold here and now!
Nick Stuart: Hold on, what’s going on here!?
Richard Parker: I think Hayes Hanlon is about to get his back broken and made hu–
Richard doesn’t even get to finish the remark before Hanlon weakly rolls out of the ring, trying to get his head back in the game as he checks on his right hand. SCOTT is more than a little frustrated by this, sliding out of the ring as Hayes tries to fend him off…only to be sent into the steel ring post by GREAT SCOTT, who quickly sends Hanlon back into the ring as he clearly wants to waste no more time dealing with the former champ tonight! SCOTT looks to take Hanlon back to the corner, but Hayes reverses with an Irish whip of his own! SCOTT hits the turnbuckle hard as Hanlon charges after him…but is met with a rough back elbow by the LARGE DADDY! Hayes is reeling after this, as SCOTT grabs him by his bad hand and pulls him in close, hitting a massive clothesline to drop Hanlon to the canvas! SCOTT drops down for a cover, looking for the win here as Nixon makes the count again!
Nick Stuart: Oh my, Hayes Hanlon just manages to kick out there!
Richard Parker: But he’s hurt bad, Nick! I dunno how much more Hayes has in him!
Hanlon is checking his right hand here, concerned about how much more punishment it can take as we see SCOTT arguing with Nixon over the pinfall.
GREAT SCOTT: SIR I REALIZE WE’VE BEEN THROUGH A LOT BUT I NEED YOU TO FOCUS AND DO YOUR JOB, THANK YOU.
SCOTT turns his attention back to Hanlon, who slowly rises to his feet before egging SCOTT on with a weak smirk on his face.
Hayes Hanlon: Is that all you’ve got, SCOTTY!?
SCOTT looks enraged by this for some reason, charging at Hanlon…who dodges at the last minute, forcing SCOTT to hit the ropes. SCOTT looks for a running clothesline on the rebound, but Hayes narrowly avoids that as well…which sends SCOTT right into Nixon, clobbering the referee in the heat of the moment! Hayes looks for the opening here as he spins SCOTT around, hoisting him onto his shoulder looking for the sit-out shoulder breaker! FLASH POI–NO! SCOTT slips out of it…and drops down to the canvas, slinging his arm up at the worst possible place for Hanlon to take such a move!
Nick Stuart: What the hell!? GREAT SCOTT with a low blow to Hanlon!
Richard Parker: Oldest trick in the book!
Nixon slowly manages to get back up, unaware of what went down as SCOTT rolls Hanlon up in the middle of the ring. Nixon drops back down, this time to make the count…not noticing the handful of tights SCOTT has on Hayes!
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: Here is your winner, via pinfall…GRRRRRREEEEAT SCOOOOTT!
The crowd is booing heavily as Nixon raises the arm of GREAT SCOTT in victory, only for the LARGE DADDY to pull himself away before leaving the ring, choosing instead to celebrate with his BEAR (and, again, his glare) as we cut back to commentary!
Nick Stuart: I still can’t believe that after such a hard fought battle here, that GREAT SCOTT would stoop to something so low to pick up the win over Hayes Hanlon!
Richard Parker: What are you talking about, Nick? It’s the most dangerous maneuver in all of professional wrestling, and if I was a betting man I’d wager that Randall Schwartz taught him that as a gesture of gratitude!
Nick Stuart: You know exactly what I’m referring to, Richard, and I doubt Randall had anything to do with this. That said, GREAT SCOTT does now hold a big victory as he looks to win the Five Star Championship from Rezin at UltraViolence…and the champ is in non-title up NEXT against FLAMBERGE!
Back in the ring, we see Nixon signaling for more officials as he checks on Hanlon, who still looks quite hurt as we cut to commercial!
THE GRIN HAS GAS
That damn grin.
Tony Gamble: You’re not a very smart man, are you Morty?
The damn Grin.
Tony Gamble: I’m going to assume the answer to that question is no, because a smart man would have realized the horrible mistake he was making by attacking me for no good reason last week.
Dressed in a black, long sleeved, button up shirt with a gold and black paisley tie and black slacks, Tony Gamble is standing in front of a PRIME backdrop. His jet black hair is slicked back and looks wetter than an actress in one of Bobby Dean’s top five movies.
Tony Gamble: You failed to understand that, and it has me really concerned. I’m starting to feel like we shouldn’t leave sharp objects around you, and should probably put the crayons away so you don’t start stuffing them in your mouth.
His grin slowly widens into a smile.
Tony Gamble: All kidding aside, it’s obvious you’re not thinking clearly. It seems as if you have taken things between you and I personal, because that attack last week was surely not about the shitty decision making of one of the most laughable teams in the league. It’s a shame really, and I want to make things real clear to you right now… my interaction with you has been about business. I was asked to handle a squeaky wheel that needed to be greased… to make sure you understood that family business is not to be spoken of in any means.
Two men walk up and flank Tony, also dressed to impress in black, long sleeved, button up shirts and black slacks. The top button on their shirts is unfastened and their sleeves are rolled up. The one on the left is the shorter of the two, but only by two or three inches. His head is clean shaven, but you can tell by the well groomed goatee that his hair is dark brown.
Tony Gamble: I was hoping that you had come to terms with that, that you understood what I had been telling you and taken it to heart. Then; out of nowhere and for no reason at all, you want to sucker punch me.
Tony shakes his head.
Tony Gamble: You’ve made this personal, but I need you to understand that you mean nothing to me. You have been nothing more than a job to me, a task to check off my list before moving on to the next one. My friends here…
Tony glances over each shoulder at the two men slightly behind him on either side, that damn grin as unnerving as ever. The taller of the two sneers as he cracks the knuckles on his left hand. His long black hair is slicked back and pulled into a ponytail that reaches his shoulders.
Tony Gamble: Well, let’s just say that they have taken it personal and would like to handle this on that level. I don’t want that. What I want, Rowe, is to keep this professional. The best way to do this, is to step into the ring at UltraViolence and settle this like men. It is what we do after all, isn’t it? If you somehow manage to win this match, I’ll let you off the hook and never bother you again. If you win.
Tony chuckles slightly as he brings his right hand to his face and brushes his index finger across the scar that runs along his cheek; a permanent disfigurement that he learned to embrace and make his name one of the most well known in PRIME history.
Tony Gamble: But when you don’t. Well, that is when you swallow what little pride you have been grasping to underneath that joke of a mask, and you come to terms with the fact that your relevance here in PRIME is what I allow it to be. You take your place here with us, as part of the Gamble Adoration Syndicate.
THE SEGMENT FORMERLY KNOWN AS SEGMENT 11
Previously on Dragonball Z, you saw ol’ Jake Mephisto nearly smash our skull to bits in the parking lot. You saw him smirk. You heard him snark “medic!”. And we haven’t floated around the PRIMEverse as much lately. You haven’t heard anything about the doc checking up on us or our condition or any real concern about our well being from any of you motherfuckers. And, ya know, honestly? That’s fair. We never expected anybody to care anyway. All you care about is the shirts and Bucky. Can’t blame you for that because Bucky is a good boi and the shirts cause us to make more money to give him more toys. It’s a win-win either way.
However, we’ve been watching. Oh, sure. We’ve been planning fights elsewhere. Sipping on tea. Causing chaos on bird apps. Falling in love with our husband day after day after day, over and over again. But even in silence, we still looked over things. So here we are in the shadows in front of a camera drone, doing what needs to be done.
In the chaos, dear PRIMEates, you may have forgotten the name of the big show coming up.
And now, here’s your wake up call that we didn’t forget. Not even once.
Anna Daniels: Jacob Mephisto.
He-Who-Hates is snarling in his cage. The Prime and thus the vessel smirks.
Anna Daniels: We must admit we were slightly shocked that you actually took our words to heart! After everything that we’ve done to you and yours, perhaps those words finally lit a fire under your ass. Which is a good thing for both of us. You actually got to do something around here and we weren’t bored in pushing you to this point. You rattled our brains good and proper. So much so that a lesser warrior would’ve had to take some time off after that attack.
Anna Daniels: Unfortunately, we are far from lesser. In fact, we applaud the act! A villain should always be willing to get his hands dirty when his minions prove incompetent. So in honor of you taking action, we have prepared a gift for you, Jake. Something that will look most lovely on you.
We step out of the shadows. We hold the present in our hands, watch as the light hits on it. The glistening of that thick and bulky silver chain not yet tainted by gore connected to leather at both ends. We’ll even pick up one of the beautiful collars and display it properly like one of Barker’s Beauties.
Anna Daniels: Oh, look. It even has your name on it.
So it does! Majestically burned into the cowhide is JACOB in the most bold, Old Westy font known to man. We thought about putting a little dog tag on it too, but that would be overkill.
Anna Daniels: Dog collar match. UltraViolence. If you still have it in you to set the world ablaze.
The smirk turns into a grin that can even rival Johnny Gamble’s as we drop our present to the floor. To a metaphorical Mephisto’s feet. The camera drone focuses on the dangerous dog collar.
New shirt coming soon.
MORE THAN A MARKETING SLOGAN
“Search and Destroy” hits the PA. Mushroom clouds and scenes of riots fill the PRIMEView. Without much pop and pageantry, “the Escape Artist” Rezin steps out onto the stage and immediately makes his way to the ring. It’s a mixed reaction from the PRIMEates as always, but tonight the cheers are drowning out the jeers.
Nick Stuart: Buckle up, Rich! The Five Star Champion is coming to the ring!
Richard Parker: Time for a contact high.
Rather than arriving in his usual unhinged fervor, the look on the Goat Bastard’s face is one of subdued, stoic anger. At his side, clutched in his hand, is the Five Star Championship of PRIME. On his face are the bruises of what must have been an absolutely ROYAL beatdown
Richard Parker: Oof man. His face looks like he tried to play kissy-face with a lawnmower. You think he had a bad night in Vegas?
Nick Stuart: You could say that. Word is, he’s coming off a hellacious match that took place in another promotion less than twenty-four hours ago.
Richard Parker: Who did he face off with? Freaking GOD?
Nick Stuart: Worse. Lindsay Troy.
Richard Parker: Oh wow… that poor, unfortunate man. I’m surprised he’s walking.
Along with his usual battle vest, he’s sporting a brand new muscle-cut t-shirt: On the front, a heart-shaped jerry can with a lit rag hanging out the spout and his name scrawled on a duct tape label. On the back, two simple lines: “If it ain’t burnin’, ya ain’t learnin’.”
Nick Stuart: What do you think the meaning of that line on the back, Rich?
Richard Parker: The hell should I know, Nick? What do I look like, a philosophical laureate? Probably just something he put on there cause he thought it sounded cool. Use your imagination, geez…
Rezin wordlessly retrieves the mic from Vince and rolls into the ring and gets up to his knees, remaining there for several moments while he collects his thoughts.
Rezin: Here I am, PRIME. Your Five Star DOPESMOKER, for better or for worse…
He cranks his neck, which is apparently still stiff from whatever went down the night before.
Rezin: I’ll be honest, gang… I ain’t exactly in a great mood right now. Which is gonna be bad news for FLAMBO here in a bit.
Jeers at the mention of the young Frenchman’s name. Rezin briefly glances at the belt in his hand.
Rezin: But he’s got every right to be in a bad mood himself, knowing that the powers that be won’t allow for this strap to be on the line tonight. Nah, seems they’re dead-set on giving the title opportunities not to the homegrown PRIME talents, but to the “superstars” that hop around from one fed to the other like kids in a schoolyard. Kids like GREAT SCOTT…
He sneers. Both in contempt of his upcoming challenger at UltraViolence, and also for the multi-federation alliance.
Rezin: Look, I’m gonna say this… what they got in Playground Wrestling Alliance is drawin’ a lotta money and innerest right now. And I love that we got guys and gals here that are out there, representin’ the ol’ blue and white. Mad respect for that. But from where I’m standin’, I simply don’t want PRIME to just have a seat at the table…
Confused murmurs ripple through the crowd. He shakes his head, and the wily grin materializes on his whisker-lined mug.
Rezin: I want PRIME to sit at the HEAD of that table!
The PRIMEates pop.
Rezin: I want that SWINE Melvin Beauregard, and those other fat cats in the PWA, to know that “Number One by Definition” is MORE than just a marketing slogan!
He again holds up the Five Star Championship.
Rezin: And I’m fixin’ to do that by makin’ sure that one of PRIME’s storied championships STAYS in the number one wrestling federation on the planet!
He straps the belt around his waist.
Right side up.
Richard Parker: Hey! The stoner got it right this time!
Nick Stuart: I think he’s sending a clear message tonight, partner! He’s telling the PRIMEverse that he intends to stand and fight for them! For ALL of us!
Richard Parker: You say that, but you can’t figure out the riddle on the back of his shirt…
The crowd is firmly behind him. Rezin, a raging symbol of wrestling defiance, looks point blank into the camera.
Rezin: So if you wanna take this title, PWA… you’re gonna have to do a LOT better than GREAT SCOTT! Send your legends! Send your stars! Cause I’m willin’ to bet the FARM that this company PRIME is gonna prove to be TOO F#$!CKIN’ PUNK ROCK FOR ANY OF THOSE PART-TIMER BITCHES TO HANDLE!!
Rezin: So long as this ol’ DOPESMOKER is wearin’ this belt… it STAYS in PRIME! And so long as the PWA exists, ERRYBUDDY’S GONNA KNOW that the ONLY federation that matters among its ranks is–BLEGHK!!
Nick Stuart: OH MY!!
Nuclear heat erupts through the crowd as Rezin goes down to a stiff-as-hell double axehandle smash to the back of his head and neck. His aggressor, standing over him, stomps the ever-loving bejesus out of the Goat Bastard.
Nick Stuart: GREAT SCOTT is HERE!
Richard Parker: And boy, does he look PISSED!
The World’s Greatest SCOTT is verbally savaging the Five Star Champion as he puts the boots into him. Finally, he pulls him back up. The crowd cheers briefly when Rezin attempts to rally and fight back, wildly swinging rights and lefts. SCOTT barely registers these strikes, and instead kicks the Escape Artist in the balls to double him over.
Nick Stuart: GREAT SCOTT BOMB!!
Richard Parker: Try throwing THAT bomb into a government building, Rezin!
Rezin bounces off the impact and flops onto his belly, coughing and writhing uncontrollably. SCOTT rips off the straps to his singlet as he paces the ring, redirecting his ire to the booing fans. Trash is volleyed into the ring as he quite audibly cusses out everyone and everything in sight.
Richard Parker: Man, the censor working for the ACE Network is earning his paycheck tonight.
Rezin tries to push himself up, but doesn’t get far. SCOTT gets his hands on him and the assault continues. Rezin’s battle-vest, adorned with so many rare and unique punk and metal flair, gets torn to shreds as SCOTT manhandles him around the ring. As does the new t-shirt.
SCOTT goes to work. German Suplex. Exploder Suplex. Tiger Suplex. ALL the Suplexes. The Goat Bastard is thrown and heaved every which way across the ring, bumping like a ragdoll.
Nick Stuart: Good GAWD almighty, the HUMANITY! GREAT SCOTT is whipping the Five Star Champion from pillar to post! What is the purpose of this malicious attack?
Richard Parker: You ask that as if GREAT SCOTT needed a purpose! Maybe he’s teaching everybody’s favorite punk that you DO NOT feed the bears. Especially the GREAT ones.
Rezin is motionless on the mat. GREAT SCOTT is huffing and puffing… but for now, his lust for violence has been sated. He leaves the ring, glaring into the loudly jeering crowd with pure animus while exiting up the rampway.
Richard Parker: Whelp… that happened.
Nick Stuart: I imagine GREAT SCOTT couldn’t wait until UltraViolence to get his hands on the Five Star Champion.
Richard Parker: Meanwhile…
NON-TITLE: REZIN vs. FLAMBERGE
And after all that, the lights fade. A certain telltale French voice can be heard throughout the MGM Grand Garden Arena.
Acheter de la colle
I AM dangerous
Nick Stuart: You have to be kidding me!
“Dangereux” by IAM. And across the PRIMEview?
The arena lights come back to life, and out comes the anointed French wrestling prodigy, FLAMBERGE. As he saunters from the back with his usual cool casualness, the roar of boos blankets him from all sides. Regardless,his eyes are trained on the ring, his power walk carries with it a weird charisma, a calm indifference, all before rolling into the ring. His head bobs the entire time.
Nick Stuart: This…this match…Rezin versus FLAMBERGE…after the assault by GREAT SCOTT…
There is no playing around. Instead, he stands above his fallen opponent, ready to strike. The music fades.
Nick Stuart: This…this can’t be…
Richard Parker: It is.
Nick Stuart: Less than 24 hours removed from a battle with Lindsay Troy in DEFIANCE, seconds after that VICIOUS assault by GREAT SCOTT…the 5 Star Champion TRYING to pick himself up…TRYING to get to his feet, and FLAMBERGE is just standing there, stalking him…
Richard Parker: Prey. Easy prey.
Nick Stuart: This isn’t right! Say what you will about Rezin–
Richard Parker: And I have no issues doing that–
Nick Stuart: For this ’match’ to start under these auspices? The 5 Star Champion can’t even get up under his own power!
Richard Parker: He put himself in this position. Came out and had to talk. Had to expose himself. Well, his parole officer is calling in, and his parole officer is a right bastard who lacks conscience or remorse!
FLAMBERGE merely dances around the form of Rezin. The Goat Bastard is trying to pull himself up, trying to fight, but wobbly hands and a foggy (well, more so than usual, anyways) mind make him utterly incapable of defending himself. Even saying this, The Escape Artist lunges toward the Plaster Prodigy, swiping, swinging wildly from his knees before once again collapsing to the canvas in a heap. And as he does? The cocky Frenchman puts his hands on his hips, all before pointing toward the pale back of his opponent.
FLAMBERGE: Pathétique salope de chèvre.
Richard Parker: And what was that?
Nick Stuart: Something disrespectful, surely.
Official Ashley Barlow is in a quandary already, not even sure if she should let this match start. She goes to her hands and knees, checking on Rezin, seeing if he can even give her a response so he can fight. Whatever he says is quickly garbled by a punt to his ribs, courtesy of the lanky French zweihänder. The boos rain down heavy, oppressive, and FLAMBERGE merely breathes it in, its scent sweet to his senses. As he breathes out, Barlow is up, forcefully pushing him back, warning him, but the Glue Factory’s Bond brushes her aside, giving his opponent another heavy punt to the ribs, all before launching himself downward with a heavy elbow to the back of The Escape Artist. The blows are heavy and constant, and as Rezin tries to turtle, FLAMBERGE rises back to his feet, spitting on his opponent, clapping his hands for him to stand. He even grabs hold of the cameraman on the ring apron, his words clear to all.
FLAMBERGE: Regarde la salope, Colton. Ça va être toi.
Richard Parker: This is a message. A brutal, violent message.
Nick Stuart: The Glue Factory’s prized possession, their future, the Bastard of PRIME…and he’s annihilating a defenseless 5 Star Champion!
Richard Parker: The future is now.
Would it shock you to know that the beating is enough to have a sloppy Rezin stumble to his feet? That the adrenaline has him moving forward, albeit blindly? And that the axe kick he is hit with is as brutal as any we have seen in PRIME? How shocking is it when FLAMBERGE looks to lock in the Marie Antoinette and make the most declarative competitive statement of his career? Can you see the smile on his face?
Watch it, as well as the blood in his face, drain.
BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD
SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE
LET THE GALAXY BURN
Everything stops. Especially FLAMBERGE. Who bolts upright. Who, if he was wearing white fight trunks, might have a massive brown stain growing in the back.
Nick Stuart: YES!
Richard Parker: UH OH!
Brandon Youngblood, wrestling gear, BMF walk, eyes locked from the ramp which he is striding down, no pause, nothing. FLAMBERGE’s eyes are locked on the encroaching Tower of Babel, hands out, the world suddenly having grown so small. There is no escape. Supplication to the Suplex God will not work, for he doesn’t speak a lick of motherfucking French.
YOU’RE A DEAD MAN!
YOU’RE A DEAD MAN!
YOU’RE A DEAD MAN!
And as this is all happening?
Nick Stuart: POISONRANA! POISONRANA!
Richard Parker: REZIN LIVES!
Nick Stuart: COVER!
Nick Stuart: JUST IN THE NICK OF TIME! Rezin took the moment afforded by Brandon Youngblood and hit FLAMBERGE with a poisonrana and we have ourselves a match!
Richard Parker: A damn literal escape from The Escape Artist! He took it upon himself to strike back as hard and unexpectedly as he could and he damn near hammered FLAMBERGE’s head down his gullet there!
Nick Stuart: And Youngblood is just standing there at the end of the ramp…
Richard Parker: Maybe your comment that we’re having a match was a bit premature there, Nick. Because the Suplex Daddy? He’s looking hungry for some Bret’s Chips…and revenge.
The intentions of the former Universal Champion seem to be clear, and yet he remains in place. In the process, FLAMBERGE tries his best to pull himself to his feet, only to get hit with a massive enziguri from The Goat Bastard, flooring him. While Rezin is nowhere near one hundred percent, you’d never know it from the way he gets up, ragged, punk rock as ever, dropping an elbow on the downed prodigy. He goes for another cover.
Nick Stuart: Rezin on the attack now, on the offensive, trying to hit FLAMBERGE and maybe get this match done with quickly. You have to imagine that’s foremost on his mind given what he’s been through.
Richard Parker: If he was wise, and let’s be honest, how wise is he? But if he was wise, that’s the tactic to take.
As Rezin looks to press the offensive, Youngblood finally moves, powerfully sauntering around the ring, to the announce desk. Once he gets there, he grabs a headset and takes a seat between the PRIME commentators, his finger pointing to the ring, a large smirk of violence plastered across his face.
Nick Stuart: And it looks like we’ve been joined–
Brandon Youngblood: I’m making this clear right here and now…Lindsay Troy, you want to fine me, then fine me. But what these jackasses need to understand is that they’ve spent months pissing on the floor, pissing on PRIME’s floor, pissing on my floor. And I ain’t letting some piece of trash like FLAMBERGE piss on this match, piss on the 5 Star Championship, think he’s gonna rocket his little French ass to the top the easy way just because he decides he’s gonna take the easy route!
Richard Parker: A little angry, huh?
Brandon Youngblood: How many times Cancer Jiles come out here to inject himself into commentary? You like that, Richard?
Richard Parker: Oh you know me…looooooove it.
Brandon Youngblood: Well that’s what FLAMBERGE did to me. Put his nose in my business. Put his nose in PRIME’s business. And what did I get for it? Surgery. Pieces of shit like him and GREAT SCOTT calling me a failure. Well, sons, your run of the place? Done. GREAT SCOTT wants to play that game? He lost clean and fair to Rezin. You know what’s punk rock? Dealing with it. You know what ain’t? Bleaching your hair and putting on a pair of shades and trying to throw bass in your voice because the first sign of adversity broke your ass.
As Youngblood goes on, Rezin has FLAMBERGE pushed into a near corner, and is launching into him with open hand palm strikes, all before hitting him with a close elbow, and then a kitchen sink knee before hitting the ropes and launching for a diving running forearm into the young prodigy’s face.
Nick Stuart: The tide is turning here! And Rezin, Rezin looks to be a house of fire! He’s beaten Hayes Hanlon. He’s defended his 5 Star Championship against GREAT SCOTT. He’s been as hot as a murder weapon and he’s doing all he can, what he can, to keep his momentum going into Ultra Violence.
Richard Parker: And FLAMBERGE has been just as hot. This…this match means a lot. It’s a litmus test. Two of PRIME’s best, different places, different perspectives, but good lord, they have brought it!
A Russian legsweep is quickly followed up by a springboard Rezinsault. Another cover!
Nick Stuart: FLAMBERGE thought he was coming out to pick Rezin’s bones. But he’s deep in survival mode now. Deep in choppy waters.
Richard Parker: But that could change on a dime…
Brandon Youngblood: FLAMBERGE has all the talent in the world. He does. Anyone can see that. And he’s run on Hall of Famers and PRIME Legends. But you know what he ain’t?
Richard Parker: I mean–
Brandon Youngblood: Punk rock. And Rezin is. He fights all over the world, fights all comers. You blink your eye, he’s DEFIANCE Champ. He’s a damn pro. And to think you’re just going to come out here and spit on him, piss on him? Nope. Not happening.
Nick Stuart: Rezin trying to press his advantage, trying to keep the pace, waiting for FLAMBERGE to get to his feet…
Brandon Youngblood: Stay on him! Squeeze the life out of him!
Richard Parker: I think the Suplex flavor of Bret’s Chips has to be salty as all get out.
Brandon Youngblood: You can’t give him quarter. An inch. Not an inch. Pressure him. Smother him and take away his lungs. That youth and athleticism fails when you don’t have air. Rezin has to keep it up.
Nick Stuart: At the same time, that volley of offense, after all he’s been through, took a tremendous amount out of him. You can see it in how ginger he’s moving. Yes, he can turn it on, but then, in the aftermath, you can see the wear and tear taking effect.
Richard Parker: FLAMBERGE is up. He’s…does he even know where he is? Is Ashley Barlow going to check and see–
Brandon Youngblood: Rezin needs to keep pressing.
Nick Stuart: And he is, he’s got FLAMBERGE in the corner, he’s pushing his forearm into his throat, oh man, I don’t know about–
Richard Parker: Ashley is pulling Rezin away without making the count–
Nick Stuart: And FLAMBERGE fires out with an elbow of his own! Oh man you can tell the training difference there! Rezin throws his whole body into his strikes, but when FLAMBERGE hits, it has such a crispness, such a surgical precision.
Richard Parker: Rezin bringing the heavy artillery back!
Nick Stuart: These two striking each other, back and forth, back and forth, and Ashley Barlow is trying to get these two separated–
Richard Parker: HEADBUTT!
Brandon Youngblood: She needed to let them fight their way through this!
Nick Stuart: And in that space, FLAMBERGE with a heavy headbutt that sends Rezin to the mat! But Rezin uses the ropes to pull himself up OH HIGH ANGLE HIPTOSS!
Richard Parker: What a pop of the hips!
Nick Stuart: And another! Rezin trying to stagger back up but OH! Elbow to the throat! Hammerlock! Suplex!
Richard Parker: He’s staring at you Brandon!
At the very last moment, kickout!
Nick Stuart: Oh wow, I didn’t know what to expect here between these two, but they’ve really gone at it. Hammer each other. Doing what they can. When they can. It’s not been pretty. It’s not been conventional. But man oh man…
Richard Parker: FLAMBERGE getting a mount–
Brandon Youngblood: And that’s not where Rezin wants to be–
Nick Stuart: FLAMBERGE just slapping Rezin across the face. Powdering him with those open palm strikes. And he looks to be going for an elbow–
Richard Parker: OH!
Brandon Youngblood: Rezin with the surprise!
Nick Stuart: He’s got the arm and Rezin looking for the armbar! Looking for the armbar!
Richard Parker: Oh it just went to crap–
Nick Stuart: An escape. Rezin worked that to escape the mount, and now, FLAMBERGE is trying to wring his arm in recovery, and as he does, he sees he has a chance–
Brandon Youngblood: That’s a set up–
Nick Stuart: Forearm strike failed, Rezin caught him AND OH! OH!
Richard Parker: Black Thunder Bomb!
AT THE LAST MOMENT!
Both men lay out, heavy breathing, trying to catch themselves, to pull themselves up. After a few moments, both men on their knees, they begin hitting each other, smacking the other, throwing forearms, and Rezin looks to have the advantage with a headbutt of his own that has FLAMBERGE wobbly. To the point where he looks knocked out. He flops awkwardly, his body limp. Referee Ashley Barlow looks to see if he’s knocked out completely, and as she does, Rezin gets to his feet. Maybe he’s willing to bowl them both over. We will never know, because the acting job of FLAMBERGE allows him to act as though he is startling himself back into consciousness. In reality? He’s made it so Barlow can’t see him hitting Rezin with a massive low blow that drops the Goat Bastard to the canvas in a heap.
Nick Stuart: Damnit! Low blow by FLAMBERGE and he used the referee to hide it!
Brandon Youngblood: That son of a–
Richard Parker: That’s a pretty savvy move.
Rolling out of the ring, FLAMBERGE drops to his knees. Another show being put on. He reaches underneath the apron, pulling out something.
A bag of Bret’s Potato Chips.
With Phil Atken’s smiling face on them.
FLAMBERGE puts the chip bag on the apron, reaching in, pantomiming that he’s eating from it.
Richard Parker: Well, I mean, Popeye needs his spinach.
No crumbs. No nothing. Cradling the bag in his chest, he rolls into the ring. Barlow is looking at Rezin, checking on him. Perhaps this match isn’t her finest hour. Brandon Youngblood has left the announce position, his instincts firing. And as FLAMBERGE rises, he readies his bag of chips. Youngblood begins smacking the ring apron, roaring to get Barlow’s attention. The effect works, all as Rezin is trying to pick himself up from the eye crossing low blow he suffered. The referee looks at Youngblood, sees him wildly pointing, and when she turns her head, she sees FLAMBERGE standing there, Bret’s bag in hand. His eyes go wide. She rises to her feet, quickly making her way over, demanding he put the chip bag down. He refuses. She reiterates. He refuses again. That’s all it takes. She grabs at the bag, trying to pull it free from him. He tries to yank it back. The bag tears.
And onto the canvas, a damn brick made of hardened glue.
Ashley Barlow is quick to kick it out of the ring.
FLAMBERGE stares with fury towards the man who ratted him out.
His attention should have been on the 5 Star Champion.
Nick Stuart: INTO THE VOID! INTO THE VOID! COVER!
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: Your winner…by pinfall…REZIN!!
Nick Stuart: FLAMBERGE was going to brain Rezin with that brick of glue!
Richard Parker: And he’d of gotten away with it too…if he hadn’t picked himself a fight with a suplex crazed diamond!
“Search and Destroy” by Ministry blares through the MGM Grand Garden Arena as Rezin, flopping onto his back, thrusts his arms in the air. Youngblood power walks up the ramp, a knowing smirk spread across his face. FLAMBERGE is out cold. When he comes to, he’s sure to be livid.
He’d just been punked by the Escape Artist.
COMMERCIAL: SHOOT PROJECT
VISIT SHOOTPROJECT.COM FOR IRON WILL 2 RESULTS!
EGGSCALATION – THAT WAS AWFUL, I’M SORRY
We come back from commercial to find Angelica Brooks standing next to the members of Fighting For Nora. Jonathan is smiling politely. Paxton Ray is snarling.
Angelica Brooks: Welcome back to ReVival. I’m joined by Tag Team Survivor runner-ups Fighting For Nora. So guys, while you’re not in action tonight, you are booked against the eGG Bandits at UltraViolence. The two of you have gone back and forth in recent weeks. Are you looking forward to the matchup?
Jonathan Rhine: Of course, Angie. I love competing in PRIME, and it’s going to be nice to get back in the ring with Pax. We’ve had a few singles matches recently, so it’ll be good to get back to building our chemistry together.
Angelica Brooks: I noticed you didn’t actually mention your opponents. Aren’t you ready to get them in the ring after all of the back and forth you’ve had?
Paxton Ray: Ya better believe I am. Can’t wait to get my hands on those bastards.
Angelica looks from Paxton back to Jonathan.
Angelica Brooks: And you, Jon?
Rhine looks from Angelica to Paxton, then shrugs.
Jonathan Rhine: I mean…yes. They’ve been a nuisance. Spraying us with eggs, trying to prank us. But the way I see it, Paxton…handled that on the last show.
Paxton Ray: That was jus’ half’a what they deserve.
Jonathan Rhine: I honestly don’t know what the Bandits have against us. And I don’t really care. I’m just ready to fight again. They’ll be in the ring with us. End of story.
There’s an awkward pause as Angelica looks at her subjects, then at the camera. Then, the professional she is, she trucks on.
Angelica Brooks: Last ReVival, you came up short against Julian Bathory. Is this perhaps why you are trying a more businesslike approach to the Bandits?
The question surprises Rhine judging by his reaction; his eyes go wide for a second, then he raises his eyebrows and nods slowly.
Jonathan Rhine: That’s…a very good question. Maybe? I’m not sure. It hurt to lose to Bathory, especially since I had harbored so much animosity for him. And I don’t think I’m done with him, but I also don’t really know where to go from here. So am I treating the Bandits like any other match because of that? I don’t know.
He turns to Paxton.
Jonathan Rhine: What do you think?
Paxton Ray: Me?
Jonathan Rhine: Yep.
Paxton Ray: I think that those Bandit chumps are gonna get more than just business from me at UltraViolence.
Angelica Brooks: So, wha–
Angelica decides her attire is more important than her professionalism and runs, after seeing an egg explode right on Paxton’s forehead. Beneath the oozing yellow, Ray’s face turns beet red. Jonathan Rhine spins toward the direction where the egg was thrown. So do the cameras.
There stand Bobby Dean and Doozer.
Faces even painted to match.
Deans holding as many 30 pack cartons of eggs as he can balance with his left arm, while his right is busy picking them from the top case and feeding them into the Weapon of Mass Yolking that can only be described as an egg Gatling gun that rests atop Doozer’s shoulder.
SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT SPLAT
The rapid-fired eggs cover Paxton Ray in a split second. Rhine quickly moves to take Doozer out, but just before he can, Bobby Dean jumps forward faster than he’s ever been recorded moving, and shoulder blocks Jonathan sending him to the floor with a thud.
Bobby’s momentum takes him straight past Rhine’s fallen body. He lowers his head and delivers a spear right into the yolk covered gut of Paxton Ray, taking him straight to the ground. The two roll over, exchanging blows, back and forth while grounded.
Doozer, looking a little disappointed, lowers the eGG Gatling and turns his focus toward Rhine, who’s just starting to get back up on his feet.
Bobby ultimately gains control and plants himself onto of Ray’s stomach, causing Paxton to wince in pain just from all the weight on his midsection. Dean begins throwing down rights and lefts, one after the other, like a man possessed.
He lands a hard right.
Bobby Dean: NEVER!
He begins to shout down at Ray, spittle accompanying every word, in between haymakers.
Bobby Dean: EVER!
Another big hit lands square on the side of Ray’s slimy chin.
Rhine finally gets back on his feet.
Bobby Dean: ABUSE!
A big right lands again.
Rhine moves to grab Dean from behind, but Doozer grabs him and pulls him back.
Bobby Dean: CHOCO!
A hard left.
Jonathan fights loose from Doozer’s grip and he immediately swipes, but the Elder Bandit leans back to avoid the shot, then immediately raises both hands up as if to say he wants nothing to do with the fight.
Bobby Dean: TACOS!
Another right, this one drawing blood from the side of Paxton’s mouth and his face starts turning a blaze orange from the mix of yolk and blood.
Rhine shakes off his onset confusion from Doozer’s actions, and spins back toward his downed partner, but Doozer quickly grabs his shoulder and spins him back… then picks up one of the cartons and… offers it to him?
Bobby Dean: AGAIN!
That might’ve been accompanied by the hardest left hand the Obese Bandit’s ever thrown.
Rhine, annoyed with the offering, throws a right at Doozer, but it’s blocked. The Elder Bandit uses his right, not to send back a punch of his own, but again to offer the carton to Jonathan.
Bobby continues to throw right after left while muttering monstrosities ala Ralphie’s Christmas Story fight scene against his bully.
Jonathan, in an unexpected twist, slowly pulls his punches back. Doozer smiles, nods, then grabs an egg.
Doozer: One point for hitting your own teammate, two for hitting each other’s?
Rhine raises an eyebrow, still unsure about… well, everything.
The Dooze tosses up the first egg, landing square on the back of Bobby’s head.
Dean, who’s knuckles are also blaze orange from blood and yolk, doesn’t even notice it.
Doozer swipes at the air, disappointed by the one pointer.
Rhine begins to reach for an egg, only to swipe his straightened arm toward Doozer. The savvy vet, anticipating the possibility of the sneak attack, ducks just in time. Dooze quickly straightens back up, shaking a finger at Jon. Then before Rhine can blink twice, Doozer drops a right heel on Jon’s foot, doubling him over. The Old Bull quickly throws his knee up to meet Rhine’s face, sending him flying backward and falling to the floor.
Meanwhile, Paxton Ray, using the last of his strength, turns over on Dean and takes mount. His moment on top isn’t long, though, as the dropping of blood, sweat, and yolk hits Bob’s face and trickles into the big man’s mouth.
Bobby Dean: TOO MUCH SALT!
Bobby wrestles his way back on top, probably to avoid any more savory snacks. We all know he’s a sweets guy.
The scene fades as Dean resumes his barrage of rights and lefts down upon Paxton and Doozer picks up his game where he left off.
WHAT IS YOUR PRIME AMBITION?
We cut to the backstage area, where we come across Ria Lockhart. Dressed in tight, torn up jeans and an Anna Daniels t-shirt, the Rainbow Rock is staring down at her phone. Sniffling, red eyed and soggy cheeked, it’s clear she’s in distress. She slips her phone into her back pocket. Deep breath in, deep breath out. In with the good, out with the bad. Ria grabs the handle of her pink rolling suitcase.
Melvin Beauregard: Hey Ria!
A voice calls out. Ria’s shoulders sag a bit as the voice is all too familiar. The trans woman doesn’t so much turn around as she does stagger in place until she’s facing him; Melvin Beauregard, in all his glory. A Neck brace around his neck, and still walking on crutches, Melvin hobbles over.
Ria Lockhart: Hi Melvin. Look, I’m having a really bad night. Can we keep this brief?
Ria’s request lacks energy. Melvin smiles, revealing a chip on his right canine.
Melvin Beauregard: Of course, where are you headed with that bag girl? Off to see the lights of the city? To another wonderful PWA promotion to wrestle?
Melvin, finally sees the visual cues of the situation.
Melvin Beauregard: Oh no hon, here…
Melvin struggles to get into his suit jacket pocket through the metal of the crutches. He pulls out a package of kleenex, and fumbles trying to open them before just handing them to Ria.
Melvin Beauregard: Chin up Ria, there’s great things planned. Great things to do. We have to keep fighting to make PRIME great!
Ria looks down at the kleenex, opting to slip them in her pocket. She takes a deep breath.
Ria Lockhart: Melvin, I don’t think you and I hold the same opinion on what would make PRIME great. In fact, I think PRIME is great as is.
Melvin Beauregard: PRIME is already great Ria, but could you imagine.
Melvin wraps his arm around Ria’s shoulder, still maintaining usage of his crutches to stabilize himself. He waves his hand out in front of them.
Melvin Beauregard: The return to glory Ria, the return to billboards and movies. The flashing lights of Hollywood, the thousands of screens of New York, the streets of Tokyo to the alleys of London… That’s my PRIME Ria, that’s the future I see. The biggest wrestling company in the world, finally returns. That’s my PRIME Ria, and we still have a lot of work to do to get there. But it all starts with the Phoenix Wrestling Alliance.
Ria gives Melvin a small smile.
Ria Lockhart: That all sounds ambitious, Melvin. I think we all want what’s best for PRIME. Keep the story of Icarus in mind, though. Trying to fly too close to the sun can be dangerous.
She gently slips out from Melvin’s arm and looks the man up and down.
Ria Lockhart: I think you’re pushing too hard, ya know? Look at what happened to you already. You’re rubbing people the wrong way, even if your heart is in the right place. I trust what Lindsay is doing. You should work with her, not around her.
Melvin Beauregard: Oh Ria, I already tried to work with her. Look where it got me!
Melvin points to the crutches, and then to the neck brace.
Melvin Beauregard: Ria, sometimes you gotta grab the bull by the horns and lead it to the promised land. And that’s what we’re trying to do with the PWA. You should get in while the getting is good! Soon enough, you all will be beating down my door to sign a PWA contract.
Ria gives Melvin a shrug.
Ria Lockhart: Look Melvin… I appreciate the offer. But if it weren’t for Lindsay Troy, I wouldn’t be here. I don’t have a lot of friends. I’ve lost a few of them along the way. Maybe you’re right. Maybe the PWA is the horse to bet on. Regardless, I can’t and won’t willingly turn my back on a friend. Sorry.
With that, Ria walks away, leaving Melvin looking slightly disappointed. It’s fleeing, however, as he chuckles and shakes his head in bemusement. Melvin begins crutching his way down the hallway, doing a little dance as he goes.
Melvin Beauregard: You’ll be sorry!
Our scene fades to black with Melvin mid pirouette.
THIS IS ONE KOOSHY OFFICE
Elsewhere backstage is a smugly smiling Mortimer Kjedelig, sporting a black and teal tracksuit, sitting in an empty office, leaning back in an office chair with his Nikes resting atop the desk, tossing a Koosh ball up and down.
Mortimer Kjedelig: Tony, Tony, Tone-Tone! There was this guy, this associate of my cousin’s, let’s call him, “Bruno,” he had a weird thing about teeth. Freaky ass shit. If there was a serious issue, someone failed to pay certain hefty fiduciary loans, my cousin would say “They need an appointment with the dentist.” Bruno would be called in, he would take the pliers and extract a molar or perhaps an incisor. I like that word “incisor.” It sounds menacing, like a supervillain. “Bow down to me, for I am the Incisor!” But I digress. So Bruno collected these teeth because….I don’t know, it’s too fucked up for me prostulate.
Mortimer Kjedelig stops tossing up the koosh ball, takes his feet off the desk, and leans forward in the chair. He begins staring at the Koosh ball as he continues.
Mortimer Kjedelig: One day, this big wiseguy from Atlantic City, he requests some assistance handlin’ a particular financial issue and requested a referral from my cousin. To make a long story short, Bruno is sent in to, let’s just say, incentivize someone to pay certain debts. Unfortunately, the person of which Bruno was to have incentivized turned out to have had certain martial arts training, and this person also had a certain attachment to his teeth in that he would allow them to be forcibly removed from his mouth. This person, by all accounts, knew what mayhaps could have occurred, so he roundhouse kicks Bruno in the fuckin’ mouth, I’m talkin’ like real Patrick Swayze type shit! Bruno lost six teeth that evenin’. The irony is not lost on anyone involved or anyone familiar with this story. The point, Tony, is this….you came at me once and injured my mouth and gums, you came at me twice and humiliated me with a punch with your fist that was drippin’ nacho cheese and tortilla chips, treatin’ me like I’m your bitch. Well, I think I proved to you that…heh…heh heh….I’m “nacho” bitch!
Mortimer cannot help but chuckle to himself.
Mortimer Kjedelig: Tony, you got some balls callin’ me out. What? You think, just like Bruno, I’m just gonna allow you to yank my pearly whites from my mouth and join your bullshit syndicate? Well, you can go fuck yourself. At “UltraViolence,” Tony, this squeaky wheel is gonna run you down like fuckin’ roadkill!
Mortimer proceeds to go back to tossing the Koosh ball up and down as the scene comes to an end.
Uneventful and PRIME are two words that simply don’t go together in the same sentence. Unless you’re saying that PRIME and uneventful are two words that simply don’t go together in the sentence. But that seems like a Catch-22 and we are not here for Catch-22s. Or are we?
The Lost Soul himself, Dusk, emerges from the dressing room, ready for his upcoming match against the definition of Cool, Cancer Jiles. As he does, there is a quick roar from the crowd, but we don’t have time to dwell on that. No, not at all. We instead have more pressing matters to attend to.
Each step he takes, he takes with a purpose. His mind is focused on the task at hand: dispatching of Cancer Jiles and claiming victory in his final ReVival match.
As he turns the corner though, he nearly runs into one of his few friends in the backstage area, the Intense Champion himself, The Anglo Luchador. Cue another roar from the crowd as they see the Intense one himself.
Dusk wraps his arms around TAL’s shoulders.
Dusk: Sorry about that, buddy. I almost didn’t see you there. Mind focused on other things, in other places, doing other things.
TAL: Been there, done that. Besides, I’d be distracted if I had to dispatch a carton of eGGs.
He looks TAL over.
Dusk: So, you look to be doing okay. Why don’t you walk with me to the Argyle position?
TAL: Sure. Look—
They turn a corner and begin to walk past catering.
Dusk: You know, I’m always surprised when I walk by this place and it’s not devoured. Like, does Bobby Dean not realize we have catering?
TAL: This is the fourth time they restocked everything here. Buffet staff is starting to get testy.
Dusk pauses in his tracks and looks at TAL.
TAL: It’s like this every show that Bobby is at. He arrives like four hours early for the show, which is probably twelve hours early for him.
Dusk: Seriously? How did I never notice that?
Dusk places his hands on his hips, ponders that for a moment, and then shakes his head.
Dusk: The amount of information that is useless and yet needed all at the same time. It’s wild. Okay, let’s continue.
They continue their walk towards the Argyle position.
TAL: So yeah, just wanted to thank you for coming out to help me with Tact last week. Did me a real solid with everyone else wanting a pound of my flesh lately. Tact’s a real sore loser, huh.
Dusk: No kidding. Still, not a problem, my friend. Look, I’ve been watching Tact and know what he is capable of. He is on the precipice of cracking, his frustration has built to a point that he has no hope of bottling it. I knew you had it in the bag, but I knew if he didn’t win, that he would snap. Sure enough, he did just that.
TAL: Not many people I can count on to help me out when I need it. You know, there’s Ria. Rezin, maybe. Fighting for Nora. Probably Anna Daniels depending on what mood she’s in. Colton and the Mix Boys for sure. You know, maybe I should form a stable. What do you think?
Dusk gives the old luchador the side eye given the climate in PRIME lately.
Dusk: I mean, it sounds like you probably didn’t need me after all last week and I don’t think you included me in that stable of yours, but that’s okay. I was still happy to be there.
TAL nods his head, placing his hand on Dusk’s shoulder.
TAL: I was joking about the stable. I don’t think it works logistically. Lots of big egos, y’know? Still, thank you, glad your ego still isn’t as big as your age.
Dusk shoots a look back that says “really?” while the old luchador smirks. As the two look at each with the moment turning a bit awkward, Angelica Brooks turns up at just the right moment.
Angelica Brooks: Dusk, you have a moment before your upcoming match?
Dusk looks at Angelica and then back at TAL, who slowly removes his hand.
Dusk: Yeah, sure. Anything else?
TAL: Yeah… you sure about this retirement thing? Is this really it for you?
Dusk’s smile slowly vanishes as he can feel the seconds winding down upon his skin. He slowly nods his head.
Dusk: Yeah, I think it is.
TAL nods his head one last time.
TAL: Well, if I don’t get to see you at UltraViolence, just know it’s been a blast having you around again. It’s always good to have a friend to count on, y’know?
TAL extends his arm, his fingers curled into a fist bump, and Dusk matches it.
TAL: Alright, let me get out of here. I’ll see you around man. Enjoy your interview.
TAL then exits from the screen and Dusk turns his attention to Angelica, his smile returning to his face.
Dusk: Angie… not too many more times we get to do this.
Angelica Brooks: No, not at all. Obviously, we just saw TAL and you walking together. You came out at ReVival 14 as Tact, post-match, started a vicious attack on TAL after losing the Intense Championship. You seemed ready for Tact compared to ReVival 13. What was the difference?
Dusk: You know, Angie, I’ve been trying to play diplomat since returning to PRIME. Trying to not get into backstage brawls and let my emotions get the better of me. In some ways, I wonder if that was the right way to go about things. Look at Phil Atken. Look at Larry Tact. Enough was finally enough. These fans, they know who I am. They know that I’m a no bullshit kind of guy and when it came to it, it was time to remind them, everyone exactly who I am. Let me tell you Angie, that steel chair colliding with Tact felt so sweet.
Angelica Brooks: Oh, I bet. I’ve wanted to take a steel chair to a few pe— you know what, never mind. UltraViolence is going to be here before you know it and you have your chance to settle things in the ring with Larry Tact once and for all, in your final match. What are your feelings going into that match.
Dusk slowly shakes his head.
Dusk: Not time to talk about that yet, Angie. I can’t look past my match tonight or else I’m going to be caught on my back foot against Tact. Time will come for you and I to talk about Tact though.
Angelica Brooks: Fair enough. So then, you have Cancer Jiles tonight. This is a huge match for you, going up against someone who will be main eventing UltraViolence, his second PPV he will be headlining in three such events. How have you prepared for him tonight?
Dusk: You know, Angie, many people look at Cancer Jiles and think that he’s a joke and wonder how he has gotten to exactly where he is today. And that’s how he did it. By making everyone believe he is a joke when he is nothing of the sort. He’s dangerous in that ring. He’s conniving and always three steps ahead. He’s not afraid to do what it takes to win in that ring. The moment you underestimate him, that you give him an inch, he is going to take it and you’re going to wonder how you just lost to someone that you believed you shouldn’t have lost to. So my preparation these last two weeks is simply that; to take him seriously.
Angelica Brooks: And how has that translated to what we will see in the ring tonight?
Dusk: If anything, Youngblood gave us the blueprint for Jiles. Remain physical with him, stay in his face, and just extract punishment upon him. Even with that, it’s going to be an uphill battle, but I didn’t come back to PRIME to simply coast. If I wanted to be World Champion, be the top dog, I could be that anywhere else. Instead, I decided to continue to test myself. Cancer Jiles is a test, but unlike Cancer, I have nothing to lose tonight. Cancer has to win and desperation makes people do funny things. He absolutely cannot go into UltraViolence with a loss under his belt. That’s the one thing we know about Cancer, he has an ego the size of Texas and it is every bit as fragile. That’s how I attack him tonight, making him have to earn his victory tonight.
Angelica Brooks: Your final ReVival match—
Dusk: Not tonight, Angie. Not tonight
Angie nods her head as Dusk turns and finds himself face to face with the Suplex God himself, Brandon Youngblood.
Brandon Youngblood: The Bandits are feeling frisky tonight. Been feeling frisky in a lot of places lately. They ain’t doing no more of that shit like they just pulled on Paxton and Rhine. Bobby Dean or Doozer come around the corner? They’re going through the wall.
Dusk smiles as he looks at Youngblood.
Dusk: Appreciate it.
Brandon Youngblood: Craig, this is your last stand. Might not be by your own hand. Might not be by circumstances any of us want to face. From Atken on out…I know how much PRIME means to you. Know if you had it how you want, you’d be going out on top with the Universal Title. You might not get that storybook ending, but you can…you will…go out there and show you belong…that you always have. Take a piece off Cancer Jiles? You can’t kick Father Time’s ass, but you sure as shit can his.
Dusk is touched by the sentiment and places his hand on Brandon’s shoulder.
Dusk: Thanks. Look, sorry about what happened with Atken–
Youngblood holds his hand up.
Brandon Youngblood: Tonight ain’t about him. Right now, it’s about you. Your time. Your moment. Go out there and do what you do. Make a statement. Make sure they will always remember you.
Dusk nods his head before he finishes his walk towards the Argyle position and prepares himself for his final ReVival match. Each step feels heavier than the last, until there are no more steps left to take.
CANCER JILES vs. DUSK
We come back to the arena to the lovely voice of Vince Howard.
Vince Howard: This match is scheduled for one fall, and coming to the ring first, standing at six-feet four inches and weighing in at two-hundred twenty five pounds… he is… DUUUUUUUUUUUSK!
“Death Grip” by Watt White plays and Dusk walks out. We’d write more here but Craig is too lazy to save an entrance to Dusk’s bio. Dusk stands in the corner and gets ready for his opponent to come to the ring.
The lights slowly draw to a dim.
A COOL, unnerving chill moves through the air.
The PRIMEates occupying the MGM Grand Garden go upright, eager to uproariously pound on their chests.
Then, Screamin’ Jay takes it away.
I’m the one your mama warned you about
When you see me, I will leave you no doubt
I’m the coolest man that ever walked this earth
I’ve been the coolest since the day of my birth
Usually there’s a series of pyros here but since this contest is ANOTHER slap in the face dark match, Jiles gets a sparkler and a couple of bang snaps instead.
I am the cool
Out from the back steps Cancer Jiles, only one of his name.
Richard Parker: Not this bit again.
Nick Stuart: My guess is if it’s not the MAIN EVENT he’s going to do this every time.
The COOLympian lumbers his way down the aisle like he’s Frankenstein’s creation. He breaks character to argue with a MESSIAH sleeper incel sitting ringside, and then quickly picks back up with the lost bit.
Richard Parker: I absolutely despise him.
Before sliding under the bottom rope, Jiles stumbles towards the ringside camera and says, “HEY TIMO, WANT TO RIDE ON MY JET?”
Nick Stuart: I said it before and I’ll say it again, one of these days he’ll get what’s coming to him.
Jiles ditches his shades, and awaits the bell from the comforts of his corner. Dusk takes the moment seriously, walking towards Jiles crouched with his arm extended. Jiles simply smirks at the elder statesmen of PRIME, barely acknowledging him.
Richard Parker: Knock the smirk off of his face Dusk!
Nick Stuart: Only two men have been able to do that so far Richard.
Dusk finally gets close to Jiles and reaches out to grab ahold of him, Jiles side steps but Dusk fires a right hand at the same time catching Jiles across the chin. Cancer continues to side step but Dusk is firing on all cylinders and manages to grab Jiles around the waist. Jiles slips an elbow backwards and catches Dusk in his mouth, Dusk holds on though and tries to lift Jiles up for a German suplex.
Richard Parker: Ha! The old man is going to kill him!
Jiles kicks his feet and manages to slide out of Dusk’s grip. Dusk forearms Jiles in the back twice and manages to regrip the slightly smaller man. Jiles slips another elbow in, but Dusk pushes Jiles forward to the center of the ring. Jiles tries to fire another elbow, but Dusk rotates out of the way and finally plants Jiles to the mat with a quick forward judo trip.
Nick Stuart: Dusk is plenty game tonight in the face of Cancer Jiles!
Richard Parker: You might be right, the old man might be able to handle this!
Jiles rolls to his feet and tries to snap off a Terminal Cancer, but Dusk steps under the kick attempt and tosses Jiles over his head with a huge exploder style suplex. Dusk spins around looking for Jiles, but the salty one is already gone, on the outside nursing his back. Elvis Nixon walks to the edge of the apron and begins counting.
Jiles keeping an eye on Dusk begins to walk to the steps. He starts to walk up them but notices the camera focused on him.
He looks down and smirks at the camera.
Dusk marches over to the corner but Nixon has to stop his count and march Dusk back across the ring. Jiles makes his way up to the apron, even taking a moment to show the camera lens the bottom of his salt shoes. Nixon finally turns around.
Richard Parker: What a slimeball.
Nick Stuart: The formula works for Jiles, you can’t hate a man for doing what works.
Richard Parker: I can, and I will.
Cancer steps back through the ropes and smirks at Dusk from across the ring. Dusk once again takes his time coming across the ring. Once Dusk has made it part way across, Jiles catches him by surprise by coming after him. A kick to the midsection, and a rake of perfectly manicured fingernails across the back later and Dusk is left walking around the ring holding his back.
Nick Stuart: Despicable.
Jiles pulls back and unloads with a knife edge chop right into Dusk’s chest. Dusk stumbles backwards but Jiles unloads a second, and a then a third. Jiles chops Dusk all the way back to the corner. Dusk is reeling and Jiles pulls back for another, but instead of slapping Dusk across the chest, he unloads with a backhand across Dusk’s mouth.
Richard Parker: I think that finally woke Ol’ Red Eyes up.
Dusk fires back with a forearm to Jiles face that sends him stumbling. Dusk comes roaring out of the corner with a knee lift to Jiles’ face that doesn’t take the ascendant of coolympus down, but does keep him reeling. Dusk keeps coming, hammering Jiles across the face with forearm after forearm.
Nick Stuart: You were right Richard! Here comes Dusk!
Just as the words leave Nick Stuart’s mouth, Cancer Jiles manages to slip a thumb into Dusk’s eye. Dusk stumbles backwards blinking rapidly with his hand covering his eye, and Jiles dives at Dusk’s knee bringing Dusk down to the ground.
Richard Parker: Here we go with this.
Nick Stuart: There’s nothing illegal about it Richard, it just is what it is.
Richard Parker: Oh yeah Nick, that’s not what you say when Hoyt does it.
Nick Stuart: Pot. Kettle. Black.
Dusk holds his knee, but Jiles is like a vulture picking the bones of carrion. He grabs Dusk’s injured knee and falls down with a knee drop right across the side of it. Dusk grabs ahold of it, yelling but Jiles doesn’t relent. He holds the leg down, lifting himself up, and coming back down with a second brutal knee drop.
Richard Parker: Ouch! Dusk’s bones are brittle! You can’t do that to him!
Jiles walks around Dusk and drives a salty shoe directly into Dusk’s throat while holding the rope. Nixon starts his count and Jiles is shouting his count along with him. As Nixon gets to five Jiles releases and Dusk rolls away holding his throat. Nixon is lecturing Jiles while he just smirks.
Nick Stuart: I get it, I see why you hate him.
Dusk in the meantime gets his footing, wobbling a bit on the knee. He spins Jiles around and smashes him with a huge right hand that staggers him and the crowd explodes.
Dusk fires off right hands like he’s possessed, driving Jiles down to one knee. Finally he grabs Jiles’ head and places it between his legs. He lifts Jiles into the air and drops him to the mat with a piledriver. The ring shudders as Dusk hooks the leg and goes for a pin.
Richard Parker: RIGHT ON HIS HEAD! THIS IS IT!
Nick Stuart: Jiles is like a twinkie during nuclear winter. It just refuses to decompose and die.
Dusk takes a moment to catch his breath, before trying to cinch in the Anaconda choke. Jiles scrambles away quickly to the ropes. Dusk backs off while Jiles gets to his feet, Dusk doesn’t let him have a moment and starts driving right hands into Jiles’ midsection.
Richard Parker: Just like Youngblood did! DO NOT GIVE HIM A CHANCE TO BREATH!
Nick Stuart: I don’t know if Dusk can keep this pace up.
Jiles grabs Dusk by the face and rakes his eyes. He tries to Irish whip Dusk into the corner, but Dusk manages to put on the brakes. Instead of a full rotation, he Irish whips Jiles back into the corner they came from. Jiles slams face first into Elvis Nixon and stumbles back out. Dusk picks him up and drills him in the center of the ring with a spinebuster. He folds Jiles’ legs over his head and looks around for the count.
Richard Parker: NO ONE’S HOME YOU OLD MAN! YOU KNOCKED THE REF OUT!
Nick Stuart: Dusk had this thing won!
Dusk frustrated stomps over to Elvis Nixon, trying to get him up to his feet, but Nixon just lies there. Jiles, ever the opportunist gets to his feet and plants a double ax handle across the back of Dusk’s shoulder blades. He drives Dusk’s head into the turnbuckle a few times before Dusk finally pushes him away.
Nick Stuart: Jiles back on offense!
Richard Parker: DESTROY! KEEP YOUR EYES ON HIM AT ALL TIMES! NEVER LET HIM OUT OF YOUR SIGHT!
Jiles and Dusk both separate and throw picture perfect superkicks at the exact same time. The balls of their feet connect midair, the two men grimacing at each other angrily. Nixon is still down in the corner, they press their feet back and forth like it’s some type of duel for a moment. Dusk’s knee starts to wobble, but Jiles drops his foot letting Dusk come at him, and spits the yellow mist directly into Dusk’s eyes.
Richard Parker: HOYT DAMMIT!
Nick Stuart: Oh no, that Coolympian Yoljk is in Dusk’s eyes.
Richard Parker: He’s stumbling around like Mr. Magoo
Dusk is blinded wildly flailing around the ring, Jiles sizes him up, and absolutely demolishes him with his ‘Terminal Cancer’ superkick. Dusk almost leaves his feet as the boot hits him right under the jaw. Dusk is sprawled out in the center of the ring, and Jiles jumps on top of him hooking both of his legs, and even grabbing the tights for good measure. Nixon crawls over from the corner and counts.
DING DING DING
Richard Parker: I wanted nothing more than for that puke of a human being to go to UltraViolence after having been beaten by someone’s Pappy.
Nick Stuart: It wasn’t meant to be Richard, and Cancer Jiles moves on.
Jiles gets to his feet, and is handed his sunglasses by Vince Howard.
Vince Howard: Your winner by pinfall CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANCER JIIIIIIIIIIIIIILES!
Jiles steps through the ropes and starts heading toward the commentary table.
RIchard Parker: Oh no… oh shit… think he heard me?
Nick Stuart: I hope he didn’t hear either of us…
COMMERCIAL: MISSOURI VALLEY WRESTLING
The backstage area is a milling of the usual personnel that keep the show going smoothly and steadily as can be, putting out fires and rushing to the occasional emergency to handle a brawl, injury, or even bad lighting. Amidst the fracas of activity is one Simon Tillier, standing in front of a backdrop with the UltraViolence logo. He has his trusty microphone in hand, and a smile on his face, weathering the storm of assignments and tasks on his list with a sunnier disposition than others.
Simon Tillier: Well, PRIMEates, I think we should pause and appreciate that previous match, which was the final ReViVal match of Dusk’s career. It’s a bittersweet moment…
Out of his peripheral vision, he catches sight of someone who is off camera and further perks up.
Simon Tillier: Wait, hold on a second, please!
Giving chase, Simon closes the distance in short order. We find the intended recipient of his calls is none other than Larry Tact, who stops and casts leery eyes upon the junior interviewer of PRIME.
Larry Tact: What is it now? … Oh, Simon. I barely even saw you down there.
He gives a quick look downward before wincing and reaching for his neck, which has a soft brace around it. Larry’s face is not without bruises, but the brace is a glaring new accessory, and perfect bait for an intrepid young journalist.
Simon Tillier: Mr. Tact, I couldn’t help but notice your neck is in a brace. Is that a result of last week’s main event match for the Intense Title?
Larry Tact: Ever the observant reporter, aren’t you?
Simon Tillier: Actually, right now I’m just an intervi—
Simon finds himself spoken over by Larry, who completely ignores his response.
Larry Tact: It’s a fast-paced role, and you need to find your scoops, I’d imagine. Fortunately, you’ve found yourself in the right place at the right time.
The young interviewer raises an eyebrow, hopeful.
Simon Tillier: Why is that, Mr. Tact? Oh, you’re on your way to make some breaking news! Does it have anything to do with the last match, Cancer Jiles vs Dusk?
Larry shoots Simon a look at the name of The Lost Soul, but again raises his head back up and hisses, clutching his neck.
Larry Tact: Somehow I can’t remember to stop doing that when you make a dumb comment. Yes, I’m going to find that man, the one you just mentioned.
Simon Tillier: You mean Du—
Simon finds his mouth covered by Larry’s hand before he can finish. Tact motions with his other hand for Simon to follow, then proceeds down the corridor.
Larry Tact: I have to say, the timing is unfortunate. I suffered some contusions in my neck that were more serious than initially believed, according to my doctors. It’s even possible that I won’t be able to compete at UltraViolence.
Simon Tillier: That is big news! We wouldn’t want to miss such an anticipated match, especially with Dusk’s impending retirement.
Larry Tact: That’s why I want you to see this moment, and frame it as you reporters do.
Simon Tillier: I’m flattered you think highly of me, Mr. Tact, but I really am just an int—
Larry Tact: Don’t get chummy. Here we are.
Turning around a corner, we find ourselves near the Argyle position. There, Larry waves an arm in the air, getting the attention of a wrestler who just finished being administered their standard post-match check by the medical staff.
Larry Tact: Hey hold it just a second, Dusk!
Dusk turns and looks at the approaching Larry, with Simon in tow.
Dusk: You looking to fight now, Larry? Because I’ve got no problem going right here, right now. I don’t need to wait for two weeks, I don’t need to wait for a referee.
Surprisingly, Tact holds his hands up to relieve the tension.
Larry Tact: I only want to discuss the circumstances around our match. I know a lot’s been said, and done, and I’m sure you intended on making your retirement match one that would shut me up.
Dusk: No, Larry. I intended to retire 56 days ago. I intended to walk away from this sport until a pompous jackass decided that he couldn’t handle the spotlight not being on him for a fraction of a second. I intended to let my loss against Atken be the last time I stepped foot in that ring, only for you to decide to make everything about you.
Larry Tact: You’ve got it wrong, though. That’s why I wanted this meeting between us. I’ve got an injury here that could endanger all of your plans, and mine. I’m sure I’m not the lone wrestler to want to challenge your mettle, claim that you’re past your time in the ring. Dusk, understand that was merely a way to get your fire lit. You even had to admit that the flame has been flickering for some time. You know what it means to be on the other side of the horizon, am I right?
Dusk: Larry, walk a mile in my shoes. I didn’t join PRIME to coast by. I came back to PRIME to be challenged against the very best. I could be World Champion just about anywhere else, but I chose to be here, knowing that every match would push me to my very limits. This was a choice for me much like it was a choice for me to announce my retirement back on July 15, because I knew my body wasn’t going to rebound the way that I needed it to. Because Phil Atken was the first one to decide I didn’t belong. You’re just the latest in a long line of people who think they get to decide for me. Phil didn’t. You don’t.
Tact nods with a look that, for the first time, doesn’t hold animosity towards Dusk.
Larry Tact: I don’t know if we’re going to even have a match, at this point. I think, maybe, it’s time to de-escalate, in case we cannot have the match. I don’t want you to walk into the sunset on a countout victory. I never wanted your final moment at UltraViolence to be bland and dull. Believe me, if we had a match, it would be anything but. I think you’d agree with me there. Let’s sit down and hash things out.
The PRIME Faithful begin booing as they see Larry extend a hand outwards. He doesn’t look happy about it, but holds his hand out for Dusk nonetheless.
Larry Tact: All the aggression and differences? They need to be diffused if we aren’t going to compete. If I end up able to compete, I’m positive it won’t be anything less than a match worthy of UltraViolence, but with things up in the air, I don’t want to leave things the way they are now.
Dusk looks at the extended hand of Tact and then at his face.
Dusk: If you’re serious about this Larry, then I appreciate it.
He then shakes Larry’s hand.
As they break the brief handshake, Simon Tillier comes into picture, looking like he won a lottery.
Simon Tillier: Exciting news, PRIMEates! It looks like Dusk and Larry Tact are reaching common ground. A big change ahead of UltraViolence.
Larry gives a nod to Simon and pats Dusk on the shoulder as he leaves the picture. Tillier turns to Dusk with the mic.
SImon Tillier: Dusk, what do you think this means for UV? Will there be a match between you and Larry?
Before Dusk can respond, Larry Tact blasts him from behind and almost sends him into Simon, who manages to get away. Instead, Dusk goes smashing into a pile of steel beams and wiring. He’s slow to get up as Tact approaches, holding the brace around his neck.
Larry Tact: I don’t suppose any of your moral angels are still swimming around in that otherwise vacant space between your ears. If they are, you can thank them for convincing you no one will make you pay for your piss poor takes, and this myth that you had a one-of-a-kind legendary career. If they don’t believe me?
With a rip, the brace comes off from around Tact’s neck. From inside, he picks out brass knuckles and puts them on, discarding the brace as Dusk gets to his knees.
Larry Tact: I’ll bludgeon them into silence, right through your skull. Like always, you’d fall short of the mark. Just like you would even if given a Universal Championship match. Just like you will at UltraViolence, when I power pound you into silence. In fact, I’ll give a sneak preview, right now.
Pulling back his hand with the brass knuckles on, Larry’s other hand grabs Dusk’s ear and forces his head up. Suddenly Dusk comes alive and charges on Larry, catching him in the midsection with a takedown! Larry immediately flails with the loaded fist and Dusk catches him with an elbow to the shoulder that sends the strike off course. Larry bucks Dusk off of him and neither one gets to full standing before charging at the other.
After an exchange of blows, Larry manages to lift Dusk onto his shoulder, looking for a running powerslam. As he runs, Dusk elbows him in the neck and Larry halts. Dusk lands another elbow to break free. He looks for a superkick, but Larry swats it away and upends Dusk onto the ground. The two begin throwing hands with fury at point blank range.
Suddenly, the Enemigos are on the scene and begin intervening and separating the two. They briefly lose grip of the situation, as Tact powers free and charges at Dusk. At the moment Larry was about on top of Dusk with a clean shot, he opens his guard. Dusk launches himself, fist cocked, and crushes Tact with a European uppercut! Larry’s bowled back, taken by surprise and stunned. He falls to the ground and as Dusk goes to pounce, the Enemigos regain control, dragging Larry backwards while he’s still on the ground, and holding Dusk in containment.
At that moment, Lindsay Troy steps into the space between the two restrained wrestlers. She gives a cross look to Tact, one that roiled ominously. She then shoots Dusk an equally disdainful look.
Lindsay Troy: Y’know, I haven’t had a very good night, and this bullshit isn’t helping.
Her scowl intensifies.
Lindsay Troy: I’d advise you both to take a hike for the remainder of the evening and start prepping yourselves for UltraViolence, because you two are going to be dancing in a Last Man Standing match.
The PRIMEates in attendance pop BIG for this announcement. Larry’s not happy at this decree. Dusk, however, looks pretty pleased.
Lindsay Troy: Enemigos, please get them out of my sight and out of this building.
The security squad hauls Tact and Dusk away with Troy looking after them.
THE PENNY DROPS
The garage at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. ALWAYS with the garage.
Freshly showered and changed into his civvies – tonight, a black hoodie with the sleeves cut off and slender-cut jeans – walks FLAMBERGE. He’s carrying a shoulder bag as he flips his keys around in his hand, clearly in some deep thought – likely about his match with Rezin. He is too lost in said deep thoughts to notice a pile of five discarded 5-gallon plastic buckets, or to notice anything odd about the hushed voices raising quiet alarm (with quick pitter-pattering footsteps to boot).
It’s an almost unblinking stare as he continues his key-twirling march to the FLAMBO. He takes notice of the camera following him.
FLAMBERGE: The hell are you following me for?
The cameraman apparently takes a few steps back to gain some space, but otherwise doesn’t respond. Finally, he gets to his beloved Lamborghini, and notices two things right away.
First – it looks like it’s sagging – maybe it’s time to check the tire pressure?
Second – there’s an envelope tucked into his front windshield wiper blade with a bright yellow sticky note on top.
He grabs the envelope and reads the sticky note aloud first.
FLAMBERGE: “It’s all there kid. Count it.” Ha-haaaaa, alors! Colton finally came through. Can’t wait to count his money…
He opens the envelope – sure enough, it’s a follow-up notice from Goodlife Credit Union. He received a similar notice a couple weeks prior that a cash payment would be delivered today – though why is it on his car? More importantly – why is the envelope so light?
FLAMBERGE continues reading his note as he presses a button on his key fob. He scoffs and crumbles up the letter, tossing it over his shoulder.
FLAMBERGE: Stupid envelope, there was no cash in there…
He reaches for the car door. The moment he presses in the latch, the door flies open of its own accord, and something comes out.
It’s a penny.
And it brought friends.
Almost a quarter million of them, to be precise.
FLAMBERGE barely has enough time to step away from the copper-but-actually-zinc flood that comes pouring out of his car and onto the concrete with a deafening roar. Imagine if you had four or five of that Micro Machines guy, but all they said was “plink,” over and over again.
It sounded like that.
Two hundred thirty-four thousand, seven hundred and fifteen pennies, give or take. That’s almost 1300 pounds. Over twenty-one and one-half gallons of coins, covering his seats, his floorboards, his cupholders…and now, the ground.
FLAMBERGE: AAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!! MERDE MERDE MERDE MERDE!!!! COLTOOOOOOOOOOOOON!!!!
It’s true, FLAMBO – your car’s tires are fine. Your car just wasn’t designed to carry 21-plus GALLONS OF PENNIES inside.
Is the “plink”-fest still going?? It’s still going!
His body is almost fighting with itself as the emotions clash with each other – rage at what’s happened to his car, embarrassment that everyone is going to see how Colton got one over on him because of that damn cameraman, panic that there’s over $2000 in front of him and he has no idea how to move it, dread at the idea of trying to count every damn one of these things because he doesn’t trust any of this. Finally, he sprints to the pile of five-gallon buckets from before and frantically starts shoveling ground-pennies inside one with his arm. It’s not efficient, but it’s something – and then…
Something catches his eye.
He reaches onto the driver’s seat, which still has a large heap of coins on top, and grabs something. He pulls his hand back, the item in his closed fist. To his abject horror, he slowly unfurls his fingers to reveal the cruelest cherry on top of this world-class prank…
We Came as Romans.
Nick Stuart: Folks, welcome back to ringside at ReVival 15 as we approach our main event! And in what’s been an already eventful evening for the rookie Hayes Hanlon, it looks like he wants to address the elephant in the room.
Richard Parker: Looks like it, partner. A loss to GREAT SCOTT has to sting, even worse is getting the news that he won’t be facing Impulse at UltraViolence.
The lights flash and the music blasts, but Hayes avoids the fanfare with his black mustache covering a stiff upper lip. Still in boots and wrestling tights, but with a black shirt with “eGG Beater” across the chest. He must be a coward.
Taking a mic and sliding into the ring, he makes the motion to cut his music, leaving a cheering and rumbling MGM Grand. He paces in a circle, pushing hand through his hair before lifting the mic.
Hayes Hanlon: Well, Vegas, this night’s been disappointing to say the least.
A pause, and a twitch of the ‘stache.
Hayes Hanlon: I disappointed you earlier. Had to take the “L” against “GREAT” SCOTT.
Hayes Hanlon: But worse, disappointed to know that I won’t get my chance to take on Impulse.
The boos turn into a low murmur. Hayes shakes his head, then holds out his arms.
Hayes Hanlon: Knox is gone. Breach of contract. And so is our match at UltraViolence.
Nick Stuart: A huge bump in the road for the young star. That was going to be a big match, Richard.
Richard Parker: It was, Nick. I was looking forward to watching Hayes splatter him Youngblood-style.
Hayes Hanlon: Troy tells me they’re “working on it,” but man? I’m just not a very patient guy, so I needed to come out here and get some answers. Because I deserve it, Vegas, YOU deserve it!
But before the MGM crowd can pop for the Event Horizon, the PRIME*View suddenly lights up in a bright, piercing crimson color. The Event Horizon turns and stares up at it, as does the rest of the audience.
Nick Stuart: Folks I apologize, I think we’re having some technical difficulties…
But as everyone stares up at the crimson screen, the camera view pulls back to reveal more of what they’re actually looking at:
A crimson flag…
…with a golden hammer and sickle.
Nick Stuart: Oh no…
Richard Parker: Oh…YES…
Many attendees don’t know what they’re looking at. Many don’t even know what that flag means nowadays. Yet Nick finishes his thought a raucous, jarring, grating, seismic, and wholly unmistakable laugh echoes through the arena. Some still are unaware, but older attendees raise their hands in the air with confusion as they stare at one another, dumbfounded.
And as the mountainous man, who can only be the Russian, Ivan Stanislav, walks from off screen into view, his comrade in arms, the smaller Alexei Ruslan, follows. Stanislav, a bear of a man, is over seven feet tall and clad in his black t-shirt, red suspenders, and his black pants with a red line running down the outside of each leg. The yellow hammer and sickle of the Former Soviet Union rests proudly over his left pectoral as he assaults the crowd with another booming guffaw while Ruslan, wearing his white shirt, black tie, brown trench coat, and peaked brown military cap (of course with hammer and sickle on the side) grins deviously next to him.
Ivan Stanislav: DYAAHAAHAA!!
Alexei speaks first, his English certainly passable. He feigns confusion. Badly.
Alexei Ruslan: Oh ho! We do so hate to interrupt this moment, Hayes Hanlon, but perhaps myself and Comrade Stanislav can help illuminate your current predicament! What do you say, Ivan Sergeiovich?
He peers up at his larger, looming comrade. Stanislav runs his hand through his gray/black beard and glowers at the camera. The two stand there and it is, truly, the setup of a classic promo from yesteryear. Two combatants standing in front of a background speaking their mind. No frills required. No fancy camera work needed. Just the sheer force of will of two pissed off Russians. Stanislav’s angular Russian accent bleeds through his English.
Ivan Stanislav: What do I say, Alexei Gregorovich? Well, little bird flew all the way to Russia to tell me that someone on roster needed thrashing. And who else to give a thrashing but Ivan Sergeiovich Stanislav? Eh?
Alexei Ruslan: And where else to do it but at UltraViolence!
Ruslan fishes into the breast pocket of his coat and produces a paper. He looks down at it and reads the contents.
Alexei Ruslan: The new match for UltraViolence? Ivan Stanislav versus Hayes Hanlon. Signed by Lindsay Troy herself!
He looks up at the camera and waggles his finger in its direction.
Alexei Ruslan: The front office must really despise you, Mr. Hanlon. Because there is nothing that can stop The Russian Bear from absolutely annihilating you come UltraViolence.
Stanislav motions for the camera to pan up closer to him. This removes all but Ruslan’s hat from the frame.
Ivan Stanislav: I thought it would only be fair, Hanlon, to give you enough time to alert your next of kin prior to our match. Because you will have far worse than that limp wrist of yours once I get my hands on you. Rest assured, I am not flying across world, into United States of America, and not utterly obliterating you. Any attendee at UltraViolence, I warn you all that if you’re within first ten rows, be aware I may Red Scare that pathetic excuse for wrestler directly through your seat!
Stanislav’s angry, creased face fills the frame now with just the red of the flag barely visible behind him.
Ivan Stanislav: PRIME! Stanislav and Rulsan invaded your airwaves long ago and you barely survived! Come UltraViolence, The Russian Bear returns! I will be there. Alexei will be there. And little Hayes Hanlon? You’ll be leaving arena sipping through straw!
The camera zooms out to show the two Russians. Alexei looks so giddy he might explode. He looks at the camera and points up at his massive comrade. He’s waited a long time to say this once more. He stares intensely at the camera, with a crooked maniacal look in his eyes.
Alexei Ruslan: I am sure that if you are such great fan of our sport, you know this already, Hanlon. But perhaps it bears repeating! You are looking at The Russian Bear, Ivan Sergeiovich Stanislav. He is unstoppable! He is unbeatable! He is indefatigable! Hayes Hanlon? You will be just another casualty in our Great Patriotic War!
Stanislav looks over at Alexei, who looks back at his best friend. And the two Russians laugh and laugh and laugh.
Ivan Stanislav: DYAAHAAHAAAA!!
Alexei Ruslan: Hee hee haa!!!
The camera doesn’t fade to black.
It burns to red and bathes a wide-eyed Hayes, and the MGM crowd, in crimson.
Richard Parker: Ohhh YESSS!!
Nick Stuart: This is WILD, folks!! Hayes Hanlon may not get his shot at Impulse, but he may have MUCH bigger problems on his hands!! By all accounts, the Russian Bear will meet the Event Horizon at UltraViolence!!!
Richard Parker: MUCH BIGGER PROBLEMS!
Nick Stuart: Stick around! We’re heading to commercial, and Bobby Dean vs. Brandon Youngblood is waiting on the other side!
COMMERCIAL: SANCTIONED VIOLENCE ORGANIZATION
BOBBY DEAN vs. BRANDON YOUNGBLOOD
The show comes back from commercial break and picks up with Nick and Dick.
Nick Stuart: What a night it has been thus far! I still can’t believe what I just saw. Ivan Stanislav is BACK and will be in action against Hayes Hanlon in just two weeks!
Richard Parker: Nothing could put me in a bad mood after seeing The Russian Bear up on the PRIME*View. Absolutely nothing.
Nick Stuart: We’re still one match away from UltraViolence, Rich, let’s try to keep our composure. But before we get there, we’ve got a good one. Bobby the Bandit and Brandon Youngblood!
Richard Parker: Dare I ask what could possibly go wrong?
The lights dim. A tremor shakes the building. The smell of BBQ chips and poutine permeates the air. “The Best Around” by Joe Esposito takes over the airwaves.
The Beaute from Honalee emerges from the back to a gargantuan set of pyros. The crowd, by default, cheers the Bandit Wonder Boy.
Nick Stuart: How does Bobby Dean win here tonight?
Richard Parker: He needs a miracle. Wait, scratch that. He needs two miracles.
Cancer Jiles: Well, he just got one of them!
Cancer Jiles: HELLO AGA!N BOYS! Looks like I’m back in the MAIN EVENT where I belong!
Cancer Jiles: Not to mention someone had to wash the Brandon Youngblood taste from the announce booth’s mouth.
Dirty Dick Parker legit scoffs.
Cancer Jiles: And some people have the gall to say I don’t care about PRIME. HA!
Nick and Richard share a look of concern, but quickly realize their hands are tied and there’s nothing they can do. Jiles is back on commentary, and his greatest adversary is coming down to the ring next.
Richard Parker: But…
Bobby takes the ring steps up and enters between the top and bottom rope. Vince Howard introduces him while he’s making the arduous, minute long three step trek.
Vince Howard: Walking up the steps and weighing in at UNKNOWN, From New Honalee, he’s the Beautiful Bandit, BOBBBBBBBBBBBY DEAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNN!
Bob finds the middle of the ring and calmly disrobes. He strikes a pose that no one wants to remember seeing, and then moves over to his corner where he shares a brief word with his Bandit brethren sitting ringside.
Nick Stuart: What did you say to him?
Cancer Jiles: I told him not to forget he’s a Bandit, and as such just off speculation alone he’s got the bigger, dirtier, aqua sock between his legs. I then told him Crumbblood is eggsactly that– a crumb. And if there’s anyone anywhere who knows how to handle a crumb it’s a Honaleean fucking Prince.
Richard Parker: Of course you did.
Parker’s eyes roll all the way onto the floor.
Nick Stuart: And what about the kiss on his forehead?
Cancer Jiles: That was for good luck.
Nick Stuart: You used your tongue.
Cancer Jiles: He had some chocolate there.
BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD
SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE
LET THE GALAXY BURN
From the very start of Bloodsport (World Domination) by HEALTH, Brandon Youngblood surges from the curtain, the fans in the MGM Grand Garden Arena exploding in a seismic ovation. There is no pomp, no circumstance, no delay. Through the blinding crimson and white strobing light cutting through the darkness of the arena, the Tower of Babel powerwalks, his eyes trained to the ring, toward Bobby Dean. His expression is devoid of all joy, only offering an oppressive scowl of intensity.
Nick Stuart: Listen to this crowd for the former Universal Champion!
Richard Parker: He looks naked without the Championship Belt.
Cancer Jiles: Keep your pants on, crumb.
Richard Parker: …
Cancer Jiles: Need them to catch all your pre-cumb.
Richard Parker: …
Nick Stuart: This is… about what I expected.
Richard Parker: I’d rather be caught in a damn jet engine right now.
Cancer Jiles: Just so happens I know a guy.
The arm sway and bravado of the BMF walk. Youngblood can’t hear the COOLYMPIAN’s jabs at his expense, but knowing his presence, that is already assumed. The Hall of Famer is quick down the ramp, his gait swinging him around the arena floor. His stride along ringside brings him ever closer, and once he makes the turn near the announcer’s table, after acting as if he doesn’t see the crew, his head shoots towards them violently, eyes locking on one man. He stops, merely staring down Jiles, who remains seated, T-Shades, headset not misplacing a single strand of his impeccably slicked back hair. There is no quarter given. And then, Youngblood flips him off.
Richard Parker: Oh Hell yeah!
Cancer Jiles: What?
Nick Stuart: If looks could kill…
Cancer Jiles: What?
Richard Parker: That’s your daddy right there. Why don’t you go say hi? Get reacquainted. As in get the hell out of this damn booth.
Cancer Jiles: What?
Nick Stuart: This is liable to get ugly reaaaaaaal fast.
Cancer Jiles: What?
Seeing the COOLYMPIAN and preeminent Bandit seemingly unphased, Youngblood turns his full body and takes a few steps towards his arch rival. And as he does? There is no backing down. Jiles shoots from his seat, looking like he’s ready to go. The headset has flown from his head, probably because of the Deepwater Horizon level of oil in his gorgeous blonde locks. That’s the only reason we don’t hear the two, jaw jacking with each other.
And as this is going down, Bobby Dean stands in the ring, hand inside a box of Little Debbie’s, which he’s pretty much smashed, the cellophane wrappers being swept out of the ring by the boot of an annoyed Ashley Barlow.
Nick Stuart: These two… oh my God the verbal exchange!
Richard Parker: I… I think I need to go pray.
No resolution. The tension between Jiles and Youngblood pauses, only because the Tower of Babel is sick of it, flipping him off again before rolling into the ring. He explodes to his feet as Vince Howard makes his announcement.
Vince Howard: Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada… weighing in at 280 pounds… THE LAST DIAMOND! BRANDON! YOUNGBLOOD!
The bell needs to ring fast, because it looks as though Brandon is ready to make a beeline right for The Man From Honalee. On cue, Ashley Barlow calls for it.
Nick Stuart: And we’re underway!
Youngblood charges in showing no signs of caution. He firmly plants his shoulder into Bob’s gut, and drives him back into the corner. He then quickly steps back like he’s taking a three pointer, and lights up Bob’s chest with a chop so thunderous it cracks the mirror-tint on the guest commentator’s T-Shades.
Nick Stuart: DEAR GOD HE MIGHT HAVE KILLED HIM.
Bob’s eyes go wide, and mostly lifeless.
Richard Parker: WOW. You can see Youngblood’s fingerprints on Bob’s boob! I bet you could unlock his iPhone with Dean’s nipple!
Bob pushes his way out of the corner as if he were drowning; causing the ref to check in on him and make sure his heart is still working. Youngblood shows no remorse for what he’s done. He grabs Dean by the arm, wrenches back, and whips him hard into the opposing corner.
Nick Stuart: Never knew Bob had that kind of pep in his step.
Cancer Jiles: You should see him at a breakfast buffet.
Bob crashes into the corner chest first. There he stays, leaning on the top turnbuckle until Brandon charges in yet again and delivers a stiff clothesline to the back of his neck. Comically, but also very much still lifelessly, Bob slowly rolls down the turnbuckles until he finds the mat.
Richard Parker: Well at least we won’t be here all night.
Nick Stuart: I’m Nick Stuart, he’s Richard Parker, thank you for join–
Youngblood reaches down, and when he crouches, Bobby kicks him in the side of his knee. The very same knee Jiles almost destroyed all those months ago. The Tower of Babel moves away from his ferocious plan of attack to gather himself.
Cancer Jiles: I did that.
Brandon tries to walk it off, and vigorously shakes the pain from his lower extremity.
Bob gets to his feet using the ropes to pull himself upward. He clears the webs, and slides in behind Brandon who is still tending to that pesky knee of his. Bob wraps his arms around Youngblood’s waist, hoists, and then bends the Suplex Daddy in half with a Belly to Back Honaleean Powerplex!
Richard Parker: Wow. That was…
Nick Stuart: Impressive.
Bob scurries upright, and then drops that massive leg across Youngblood’s throat, returning the decapitation favor from moments prior. Youngblood chokes for air, and rolls out of the ring to find a spell of respite. Out there waiting like a coiled snake, still with the headset and T-Shades on, is the COOLympian.
Richard Parker: HEY! GET BACK HERE!
Nick Stuart: LOOK OUT!
Cancer Jiles: Come get a taste you fucking crumb!
The former UNIVERSAL Champion gathers himself after finally coughing up his lung. He turns, looks up, and right as Jiles is about to blind him with the precious YOLJK, Senior Referee Ashely Barlow slides to the outside and gets in between them.
Nick Stuart: Whoops!
Richard Parker: Poor kid.
Jiles misfires and winds up spraying the only MESSIAH fan to ever sit ringside, or to have ever existed. One of the two. Or both. For the folly, Barlow tries to send him to the back, but the native Philadelphian no sells her decree and sits back down at commentary.
Nick Stuart: Welcome back.
While all of that is happening, Bobby Dean slyly positions himself on the outside of the apron. Youngblood, whose attention is focused on the snake in the grass, doesn’t know it yet, but the whole world is about to see something special at his expense.
Something that just doesn’t happen.
Bob soars through the skies, like a meteor plummeting to the Earth, and lands the worst body splash in the history of body splashes. The move, as ugly and graceless as it is, totally engulfs Youngblood. He vanishes underneath Bob’s massive girth.
Nick Stuart: He got like a negative millisecond of air time!
Richard Parker: Where is Brandon Youngblood? Can anyone see Brandon Youngblood!?!
Ashley Barlow vomits, and coincidentally it’s on the same, lone, MESSIAH fan that accidentally got misted.
Nick Stuart: Poor Ashley, she’s not going to be able to unsee that.
Eggshausted, and double jet lagged, Bob slowly rolls off of Youngblood. A ringside doctor quickly moves in and checks for a pulse. Suspense builds. Then, the doc signals he’s alive.
Cancer Jiles: Damn it!
Richard Parker: THANK GOD.
Bob lazily reaches down and pulls Youngblood upright. He lands a few punches that would comfort a gnat, and pushes his foe back first into the barricade. Barlow finally recovers from witnessing that which words can not describe, and instructs both men to get back into the ring. Bob, because deep down he’s a good person, listens, and climbs under the bottom rope. It takes him such a long time to do so that Youngblood is able to recover enough to actually beat him back inside the ring.
Nick Stuart: Stamina is not a strong suit.
Cancer Jiles: You should see him at the breakfast buffet.
Nick Stuat: You said that already.
The two meet up in the center of the ring. Nose to nose. Brandon Youngblood and Bobby Dean. Granted there is a three foot space between them because of Bob’s carriage, but it is to be considered nose to nose. Bob winds up, and slaps the sweat from off of Brandon’s bald head.
The entirety of the MGM Grand gasps.
Youngblood’s entire face turns murder red. Like, get that guy some blood pressure medicine.
If it wasn’t bad enough that Bobby had impersonated him at ReVival 7.
If it wasn’t bad enough that Bob suplexed the Suplex Daddy.
If it wasn’t bad enough that Bob hit a high risk maneuver which turned the Almasy Invitational Winner into a pancake.
But, to slap him.
Like a bitch.
Nick Stuart: That was a mistake.
Richard Parker: A big one.
Bob goes to slap Youngblood again, but this time Brandon catches the attempt by grabbing Bob’s wrist in midswing; causing the Honaleean to quiver in fear.
Nick Stuart: Looks like he shit his pants, and not in a fun, happy go lucky type of way.
From out of nowhere.
Bobby Dean mists Brandon Youngblood.
Cancer Jiles: GOT EM! NOW STUFF HIS FUCKING ASS.
Richard Parker: Wait. What did you just say?
Nick Stuart: You all can do that?
Cancer Jiles: You can’t see it when Doozer does it but yes, we all can. Mine just has a cool name and is marketable. Plus, as you can see, Bob’s is more of a mayonnaise base.
Youngblood releases his grasp, and reels back in pain. Bob doesn’t blink, and quickly moves in on the Pillar of PRIME, former UNIVERSAL CHAMPION AND ALMASY INVITATIONAL WINNER, Brandon Youngblood.
Cancer Jiles: FINISH HIM!
Bob pulls out his trunks, stuffs Youngblood’s head down them, and looks over at Jiles who has a tear rolling down his cheek. The COOLympian is either laughing too hard or he’s crying since Bob is about to return the favor.
See, earlier in the night Jiles beat the guy who knocked Bobby out of the Almasy. Now, Bobby is about to beat the guy who knocked Jiles out of it.
Cancer Jiles: FOR THE FUCKING BANDITS!
Before Bobby can spike Youngblood with a Deankosher Driver, Brandon powers the fuck up, and stands upright shouldering all of Bob’s weight with relative ease. Of note, Brandon’s whole head is still stuffed down Bob’s trunks so I’m sure that is stoking the flame, too.
Cancer Jiles: That’s not good.
Richard Parker: Bringing back old memories?
Both men crash down to the mat, Bobby’s back and neck taking the absolute worst of it. Luckily for Youngblood he slips out of Bob’s trunks on the way down, and emerges from the dark abyss not only with a clean face but a souvenir.
Nick Stuart: Oh look! Brandon found the other aqua sock.
Cancer Jiles: *sobbing*
Youngblood, like Hayes Hanlon before him, throws the aqua sock to the crowd. The camera stays with it and by sheer coincidence it strikes the same MESSIAH fan who was misted and puked on.
Richard Parker: For the who? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
Youngblood doesn’t try to pin Bob. He’s not finished. He has a message he wants to send. The Tower of Babel rolls him out of the ring, grabs him by the hair, and drags the Bandit’s remarkably rotund butt to where the announce team is. Once there, Youngblood coldly gazes into Jiles’ soul — as if he had one.
Richard Parker: Look at him you coward!
As soon as Jiles looks up to meet his eyes, Brandon swiftly and devastatingly Belly to Back Honaleean Powerplexes Bob through the announce table. Everything goes everywhere. Parker and Stuart get blown back from the impact. The table pretty much disintegrates. Papers and other items float around like a plane crash. Bob’s boots are still flying through the air. Jiles, though, remains seated amongst all the debris. His Bandit Brethren motionless at his feet.
Brandon rolls out of the mayhem, and takes the steps back into the ring.
Barlow starts to count.
While she counts, Youngblood stands with his arms resting on the top rope. He smiles for the first time in a while. Turns out cracking the shell of Cancer Jiles is quite the remedy.
Who’d have fucking thought?
Bob moves. It’s involuntary. Trapped air. Between his cheeks.
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: Your winner by unanimous and unequivocal count out– The Tower of Babel, Brandon Youngbloooooooood!!!!
With no commentary team to close the show, ReVival awkwardly cuts to a commercial.
SEPTEMBER 23, 2022
When ReVival comes back to life, Youngblood is gone. He didn’t bother to celebrate. He did wish Jiles luck against Phil and Julian.
It was not well received.
Bobby Dean still lays among the debris of the broken table. Dooze is now out from the back and checking in on his fellow Bandit in crime.
Jiles is pacing around the ringside area, not really sure of what to do next.
Eventually, Richard Parker and Nick Stuart work their way out from the mess. They head back up the ramp, doing their best to avoid Jiles. Well, Nick does his best. Richard waves goodbye, and then has to hastily rush up the ramp to avoid his wrath.
The fans, who just LIVE for this type of meltdown, really start to boo the beleaguered COOLympian, hoping to pop his top if you will. Their plan works, and it drives Jiles into the ring with a live microphone.
Cancer Jiles: I HOPE YOU’RE ALL REAAALLLLL HAPPY. YOU PIECES OF SHIT. EACH AND EVERY ONE OF YOU.
A “we are happy” chant breaks out which causes Jiles’ hair and personality to go radioactive.
Cancer Jiles: Make sure to take a selfie so you can go back and remember what it feels like then, because it’s not going to last. I PROMISE. In two weeks time I’m going to win at UltraViolence. I’m going to become the UNIVERSAL Champion because I’m the MAIN EVENT and no one else is. Not Phil. Not Julian. Not that bald crumb who I hope gets a cold sore just like Hayes did so I can ask them if they kissed. JUST. ME.
A serenade of boo’s brings a smile to Jiles face.
Cancer Jiles: Yeah, good. Get it out. Release, because after I win and take the beating heart of PRIME in my grasp, I’m going to drive a stake through it by leaving. That’s right. Good. Bye. Mr. PWA sends his regards, but the answer is no. Please tell Jillybean, Braindung, the Glue Guy and everyone else for that matter that they’ll never see me or my precious little title again. And I mean it this time!
Jiles shrugs like he doesn’t care about repercussions. He is melting down so most of everything he is saying should be taken with a grain of salt. In other words he definitely means it. However, before he can spike the microphone one last time, out from the back the Champion of both PRIME and Glue comes walking out. He calmly makes his way down to the ring; the Universal Championship fastened around his waist. No Hank, though. He’s probably out swimming with Farthington.
Phil walks up the steps, enters the ring between the top and second rope, looks at Jiles and before he can say or do anything…
…Julian Bathory, not wanting to be left out of the theatrics, steps through the curtain and stalks down the aisle. Before joining both of them in the ring, he stops to check in with the MESSIAH fan who had a rough main event, and offers him some punch. No Violence Jack. He’s probably out caroling.
Cancer Jiles: WELL GOOD. I’m glad you both are out here. Nothing like a Jiles meltdown to end the show, right? You fucking scabs. Detestable. Fuck you Phil for robbing me of my honor! I was supposed to be the one! ME! Not you. But no. You just had to eat a stick of glue. Now it’s ruined. The whole goddamn thing. RUINED. And you–
Before Jiles can cut down Bathory, the director of MESSIAH attacks.
Surprisingly, it’s not Jiles who he attacks.
He blindsides Phil, knocking him down.
Jiles can’t believe his eyes. No one can. The whole joint is hush as Bathory mounts Atken and rains fists down upon him. Cancer lifts the microphone to speak, opens his mouth, and nothing comes out. One of the first things to still the tongue of the most myopic prick in PRIME is the head of MESSIAH brutally raining down elbows on a prone Phil Atken, wordless all the while and completely disregarding the dumbstruck Greek God of Cool.
Bathory relinquishes his assault and stands, glowering down at the bloody-faced champion, leaking from a gash above his left eye. With one boot he rolls Atken over, planting more heavy stomps into his back and head, and hastily reaches down to tear the title belt from his waist. He casts the gold aside and pulls the barely conscious champ to his feet. Taking a position behind Atken, arms gripped to open him to attack, the Carpathian Devil finally fixes his eyes on Jiles. Cancer doesn’t move. The microphone dangles at his side. The moment draws out, surreal.
After a few stretched out and awkward seconds, Bathory releases the Proprietor to slump to the mat. He shoots toward Jiles and…
Grabs the mic.
Julian Bathory: If you’re done being a petulant little fuck, pull your big boy pants back up and do what has to be done.
He drops the mic and yanks Phil back to his feet, returning to the same stance as before. His gaze settles back on Jiles and he waits.
The lightbulb pops in the COOLympian’s head. Expediency. Common ground. He rushes forward and unloads a barrage of closed fists to Atken’s face, opening the cut deeper, spattering crimson across his own hands.
Julian Bathory pushes the champion into the side ropes, slipping his arms into a position where he’s again open and defenseless. The MESSIAH director slides out of the ring, leaving the keystone of the eGG Bandits to release his frustrations on Atken. Cancer shouts and roars in between measured shots to the head and kidneys.
Cancer Jiles: You took it away! It was my right! Mine!
Bathory pauses a moment, watching Jiles as he further vents his hate. Pushing ringside personnel aside, he grabs a metal chair and returns to the ring.
Jiles has nearly exhausted himself. The Humble Proprietor of the Glue Factory is a mess, and his head hangs listlessly. His eyes flutter and close. Through the haze of blood everything is tinted red. Bathory unties Atken and positions him middle of the ring; it’s a minor miracle and testament to his will that Atken somehow can stand after the punishment he’s endured from his villainous colleagues. It also leads to what happens next, his undoing.
Jiles takes a step back, snarls, and blasts the champion with Terminal Cancer flush on the jaw. Atken stiffens like a board, turns slightly before toppling over.
Bathory strikes with an equally violent chair shot to the skull before Phil hits the mat. The sound is sickening, reverberates through the MGM, and there are audible gasps from the audience. Bathory examines the chair before dropping it to his side. It sports a deep and bloody dent, the metal warped beyond repair. Atken doesn’t move any more than the broken steel does.
It’s pandemonium. Ringside personnel are scrambling, yelling into headsets, angling to enter the ring only to balk at the still-imminent threat of an unhinged Cancer Jiles and a baleful Julian Bathory. The two stare at each other from across the ring, each competitor sporting droplets and smears of Phil Atken’s blood.
The Enemigos, Wade, and Dam have finally assembled at the curtain. Better late than never. Strength in numbers established, they muscle their way to the scene of the crime with EMTs in tow to extract the unconscious champion.
The Cool One is the first to pry his eyes away from his foe. He spies the unattended Universal title belt and lifts it by one end, knuckles tight over the leather. Bathory snatches the other side, reciprocating, and the duo glare at one another with near-perfect symmetry of stance, prize suspended between them. There is no agreement here, no treaty or accord. Only common grievances and ruthless ambition.
Security arrives and encircles the pair, leaving the medical crew to tend to the champ’s injuries. He still hasn’t moved; for all of the enmity Atken has attracted in his short tenure in the promotion, legitimate worry furrows a lot of brows. Cancer Jiles and Julian Bathory have nearly sparked a riot and they may ultimately have achieved the only thing they wanted.
At UltraViolence, this can only end one way. Regardless of the winner, all of PRIME will suffer.