A RANDOM DOOR
The scene opens to a random door in the bowels of the MGM Grand. Melvin Beauregard barrels through it and directly into the office of Lindsay Troy. She looks up from the papers on her desk, completely confused by the intrusion.
Melvin Beauregard: Glad we could do our staffing meeting today, thanks for making time for me.
Lindsay Troy: I…
Melvin Beauregard: So far we’re really happy with how things are going with the product and the promotion for the MGM. We’ve seen increased attendance and future ticket sales to every show we host, while that could be Usher doing his show, I like to think it’s because of the hard work we do.
Lindsay Troy looks like she’s been ran over by a motor mouthed salesman at her front door, and Melvin is continuing his magnificent tirade as he pulls up a chair and sits down.
Lindsay Troy: That’s…
Melvin Beauregard: GREAT! I KNOW! And while El Hijo Del Super Cool Guy was clearly a bad pick for duty bartending at the pool… (whispering) You know… because he’s a thief…
Lindsay Troy blinks, clearly amazed at the stupidity of the MGM Liaison.
Melvin Beauregard: Anyway, we’ve looked through the roster and everyone seems to have their own issues. We talked about having Balaam host a night, and that won’t work with Hoyt talking about being the son of God all the time, and we thought about Bathory but nobody wants a spooky cult leader to give them Kool-Aid… And Bobby Dean… We all know what issues THAT would bring…
The stare that emanates from Lindsay Troy would kill a normal person, but we all know that sales people aren’t really people.
Melvin Beauregard: So, per our agreement the MGM is allowed to make talent recommendations. And for our first recommendation, we really scoured the wrestling world. We wanted to make sure the wrestler in question had a huge, known, name. And had worked at one of the major promotions in the past.
Melvin pulls out a print out with a headshot paper clipped to the corner.
Melvin Beauregard: As you can see, he’s a great competitor, and has a fantastic resume. He’s worked in a ton of major promotions, like many of your other hires he worked for High Octane Wrestling…
Lindsay Troy, the stone cold killer herself removes the glare from Melvin and looks at the headshot. She immediately begins laughing.
Lindsay Troy: Yeah sure, we can bring him on…
Melvin fist pumps while Lindsay keeps shaking her head.
Lindsay Troy: One condition though, we’re not paying the bear.
Melvin Beauregard: Already under control, the MGM will pay the bear.
Lindsay tosses the print out back across the table to Melvin, and the camera focuses in on the heading.
A knock at the clearly not so random door interrupts the talent meeting.
Lindsay Troy: (still laughing) Come in, door’s unlocked.
Poking his head from behind the door is the mustachioed face of “Event Horizon” Hayes Hanlon, easing his way into the room and closing the door ever so gently behind him.
Lindsay Troy: Ah, the new Mister Five Star. Come and sit. Melvin was just leaving.
Melvin Beauregard: I was?
Lindsay Troy: Don’t you have a new hire announcement to help the web team write? Go.
Melvin Beauregard: Oh….right. Right.
Melvin gets up from his seat, scurries past Hayes, and takes his leave.
Hayes Hanlon: Um…I uh…
Lindsay Troy: Better tell the cat to let go of your tongue, Hanlon.
Taking a deep breath, Hayes takes his seat across from The Queen of the Ring, carefully adjusting his Five Star Title on his shoulder and fixing the cuffs on his black dress shirt.
Hayes Hanlon: …hi.
Lindsay Troy: Well that’s a start.
Hayes Hanlon: I’m sorry, I don’t know what to say. Because, you know, you’re Lindsay Troy and you’re sitting right there and I’M sitting right here and…
Lindsay Troy: (smiling) …and you need to breathe.
Hayes Hanlon: Okay, got it. Can do. I’m just a HUGE fan. I mean, you’re such a badass…sorry! That’s unprofessional, I meant that you’re a total babe WHAT THE HELL AM I SAYING I’M SO SORR…
Lindsay Troy: I take it back, you should find that cat again.
Hayes starts to turn white in terror, but Lindsay simply laughs.
Lindsay Troy: I’m kidding. Seriously, though, you need to chill out.
Hayes Hanlon: (taking a comically big breath) Okay, I’m good. My bad.
Hanlon laps his fingers on his knees, nervously looking around the room, sweat already showing on his brow.
Hayes Hanlon: So…you wanted to see me?
Lindsay Troy: I did. I know you’re still adjusting to being on a bigger stage, and I’m sure your Culture Shock win has finally sunk in by now, but I wanted to tell you that you’ve got a bright future here, Hayes. It’s not just because you’re the Five Star champion. You’re incredibly talented, and in a company full of talented people, to start making your mark this quickly is an accomplishment.
Hayes Hanlon: Thank you. Thank you for giving me a shot. This is so effing unreal. I’m still waiting for someone to come and tell me I’m on some weird reality show and all of this is staged and this belt is made of plastic and…
Lindsay Troy: Can you keep that momentum going, though?
Hayes Hanlon: Yeah! Of course I can!
Hayes takes a beat, cocking an eyebrow.
Hayes Hanlon: …like…tonight?
Lindsay Troy: Like, in two weeks.
Hayes Hanlon: Thank GOD…I mean…yeah. That’s cool.
Another awkward pause. Hayes pats his thighs uncomfortably.
Hayes Hanlon: And…who’s my opponent?
Lindsay Troy: I’ll announce it later. Until then, you’re free to go.
The Event Horizon stands from the chair, adjusting his belt and smiling at The Lady of the Hour. He turns, walks across the room, and opens the door halfway before turning back.
Hayes Hanlon: Hey, Ms. Troy?
Lindsay Troy: Yes, Hayes?
Hayes Hanlon: Did Sonny Silver really put in a good word for me?
Lindsay Troy: He did. And a good word from him is hard to come by, so you should be proud of that.
Hayes smiles wide behind his dark mustache.
Hayes Hanlon: That’s pretty damn cool.
Hanlon waves sheepishly, then closes the door behind him.
ALEXANDER REDDING vs. JACOB MEPHISTO
For the first time tonight, we get a look at the packed house that is the MGM Grand Garden Arena, the crane camera panning around to the PRIMEates. Now, a selection of the wittier phrases Sharpied to bristol board:
I WANT TO BE CANADIAN DESTROYED BY A MANNEQUIN TOO
THE HOUR IS SOON UPON US! HOYT SAVES!
CANCER FREE FOR 14 DAYS!
I SAW HAYES HANLON ON THE HUB
GBJ MUSSY SEX TAPE WHEN
HOPING FOR A LESS RACIST HEAD
FLAMIN HOT CHEETOS > BRETS
NATE DAYS A WEEK
I BANKRUPTED PRIME IN MY TEW SAVE
Nick Stuart: Welcome to ReVival! And on our 6th episode back! One show removed from Culture Shock!
Richard Parker: CANCER JILES IS DEAD! THAT EGG THROWING IDIOT IS DEAD!!!
Nick Stuart: What a show it was, we saw The Anglo Luchador survive Balaam, Hayes Hanlon capture the Five Star crown, and Brandon Youngblood finally crowned Universal Champion. And his challenger for Great American Nightmare has been set! The Marathon Man will challenge for the Universal Championship!
Richard Parker: Don’t forget about the first eliminations for Survivor!
Nick Stuart: Tonight we start off with Redding and Mephisto! Then we’ll be going to 2become1 vs The Bruvs.
Richard Parker: Then we’ll be going to our next Survivor show… I don’t think that’s wrestling though…
Nick Stuart: After that we’ll visit the glue factory for Larry Tact vs Phil Atken then we have Whealdon and Richards colliding! FLAMBERGE and Ria Nightshade will take us into our main event!
Richard Parker: JULIAN BATHORY HAS ARRIVED! FOREVER THE CROWN BABY!
Nick Stuart: Bathory will take on Shawn Warstein in our main event!
“TIIIIIIIIME… IS ON MY SIIIIDE…YES IT IS!”
The MGM Arena kicks off their evening with a chorus of boos, “Time is on My Side,” by Wilson Pickett sounding throughout the Garden. Flanked by Patience and Decius Montgomery, Jacob Mephisto strides casually onto the ramp, soaking in the crowd’s ire.
Nick Stuart: The buzz from Culture Shock still lingers in the air in the Garden, but it’s time to get back to business! Folks, welcome back to ReVival!
Richard Parker: I’m still buzzing from the after party!!
Nick Stuart: It was worth the hangover, partner. We kicked off the Survivor Tag Team Series, established Impulse as the #1 Contender, crowned Hayes Hanlon as the Five Star Champion, and to top it off, Brandon Youngblood defeated Cancer Jiles and held the Universal Championship over his head for the first time, winning the Almasy Invitational! But not to go unnoticed, Jacob Mephisto met Solomon Richards in the ring, and with help from his lackeys saw him crumpled to the mat via double chair shot.
Richard Parker: You call a man out, you’d better be ready to answer, Nick.
Vince Howard: Tonight’s opening match is scheduled for one fall! Introducing first, accompanied by The Twins, from Nazareth, Pennsylvania! Standing six-feet, three inches tall and weighing in at two-hundred and sixty-five pounds…Jacob! Mephiiistoo!!!
Mephisto takes his time climbing into the ring while The Twins take their place ringside, stepping toward center with arms outstretched. He can’t help but crack a small, wicked grin as The Garden continues to jeer, until the twang of “Love Spreads” by the Stone Roses takes over.
Vince Howard: And his opponent, accompanied by Teddy Palmer and Grady Patrick! From Kitchener, Ontario, Canada, standing six feet, two inches tall and weighing two-hundred and thirty-three pounds…he is one half of Red and Ted…Alexander! Reeedddiingg!
Out walks Red, receiving a marginal pop from the MGM crowd, looking focused as he marches down the ramp, Teddy and Grady following behind on either side. Mephisto locks a pair of cold eyes while Red climbs the steel steps.
Nick Stuart: An important opening match-up tonight, as both competitors are looking for a little traction in their short PRIME journeys, and both looking for that first win.
“Love Spreads” fades from the speakers, Ted and Grady keeping tabs on The Twins as they park themselves on the opposite side. Ashley Barlow checks with both competitors, then calls for the bell.
The two opponents circle a moment before meeting mid ring for a lock up. Both opponents drive for leverage, the larger Mephisto earning the upper hand and pushing Redding into the corner. Gripping the ropes, Jacob drives a hip into Redding’s abdomen, followed by another, then a knee to the belly to take the wind out of Red’s lungs. Mephisto backs away toward the center of the ring before running forward once more, slamming Red with a big lariat. Redding stumbles forward after the collision before falling forward onto the mat.
Nick Stuart: Jacob Mephisto going to work early here against Redding! Mephisto with the cover.
Red pops his shoulders off the mat, and Mephisto is quick to guide him upright. After a hook of the arm, Redding finds himself abruptly brought to the mat with a snap suplex, into a sitting position and clutching his back. He doesn’t have long to think about it, however, as Mephisto rises up and clocks him with a soccer kick to the lower back.
Nick Stuart: And a sharp kick from the boot of Mephisto!
Richard Parker: Ol’ Red better get something figured out!
Red flops onto his stomach after the kick, clutching at his back. Mephisto circles a moment before dropping an elbow. He connects another, then stands tall before dropping a heavy knee to his opponent’s lower back. Jacob rolls Redding onto his back, hooking the leg.
Nick Stuart: Mephisto clearly targeting the back of Alexander Redding! Looking for another pin!
Mephisto, unappreciative of the kickout, flips his hair back with a snort before standing, taking a fistful of Redding’s hair and bringing him to his feet, then guides him to the ropes, placing his neck on the middle rope and pressing a knee to his shoulder blades. Red squirms to break free from the choke, while Ashley Barlow warns Mephisto by starting the five count.
Nick Stuart: Mephisto stooping low with the choke, Barlow’s not having it…and neither is Teddy Palmer!
Seeing his friend in trouble, Teddy runs from the far side of the ring and hops onto the curtain, striking Mephisto with a forearm before hopping away. Jacob glowers at Ted while they exchange some choice words, then turns to Decius and Patience, hollering at them to deal with Teddy and Grady. The Twins nod in response.
Richard Parker: Stay in your lane, Teddy, or you’ll be taking another nap in that ring!
Teddy points a finger at Mephisto as he returns to the side of Grady. Jacob turns back to the recovering Redding, taking another fistful of hair and standing him up.
Nick Stuart: Mephisto brings Redding to his feet, looking to lay on the punishme…OH! TOE STOMP FROM REDDING!
Richard Parker: That’ll do the trick!
Jacob quickly releases his grip after a hard stomp of the toes from Red, who is quick to take advantage by sprinting into the ropes. He rebounds off the ropes, and claps Mephisto in the head with a leaping Enzuigiri. Jacob falls back dazed into the ropes, but remains on his feet, only to stumble forward into the waiting arms of Redding, who twists him into a hammerlock before planting his head to the mat.
Nick Stuart: Devil Lock DDT! Great turnaround for Redding! Now Redding for the pin!
T…leg on the ropes!
Red looks up, confused, to see Jacob’s leg resting on the bottom rope. Barlow throws up two fingers to the agitated Redding. Outside the ring, Decius retreats away after assisting The Family’s Patron.
Richard Parker: It was only two, buddy!
Nick Stuart: Two, only because Decius put Mephisto’s leg on the rope!
Richard Parker: Hey, if Teddy’s going to get involved, so will The Twins.
Teddy and Grady decide to interject, making their way around the ring toward Patience and Decius. In the ring Red had stood to get back to work, laying a few boots to Mephisto’s side, following up with an elbow drop. Redding runs to the ropes for momentum, charging back on the return, but is met with a running high knee as Mephisto is able to burst to his feet and kill any momentum from Red.
Richard Parker: Mephisto isn’t going to give Redding the edge just yet!
Nick Stuart: And referee Barlow better stay on her toes before things get out of hand outside the ring!
Outside, a shoving and shouting match has grown between Grady, Ted, and The Twins. Inside the ring, Mephisto has locked Redding into a clinch, striking his stomach with a series of knees. A quick push against the ropes brings momentum forward before Mephisto delivers a stiff short arm clothesline to Redding, sending him to his back.
Nick Stuart: Pride Before the Fall from Mephisto! He drops to a knee, Redding in a headlock, holding on and standing him up…
Mephisto twists, hooking the arm over Red’s neck, looking for a DDT, but Redding summons the strength to push him away and quickly jumps up with a spin.
Nick Stuart: WHEEL KICK FROM REDDING!!
Richard Parker: He clocked him good!
The two opponents fall to the mat, breathing heavily, and outside the ring the shoving match has subsided, both groups returning to their spots ringside. Redding and Mephisto stir, both slow to their feet. Red is up first, delivering a forearm shot to the side of Mephisto’s head while he stands. A second, and a third forearm staggers him against the ropes. He comes forward, Redding whipping him across the ring and off the opposite ropes. Red charges forward to meet him and brings him down with a stiff running STO.
Nick Stuart: GRADY SPECIAL II! Big chance for Redding!!
Redding pops to his feet, still woozy. Mephisto struggles to a knee. Catching his breath, Red rests his hands on his knees, allowing Jacob to get upright. Once standing, Red wraps his arms around Mephisto’s waist, heaving upward.
Nick Stuart: Red looking for the Grady Special III, BUT MEPHISTO WITH THE REVERSAL!
He heaves again, but Mephisto resists, instead squatting down a bit and looping an arm, reversing into a fireman’s carry, and swiftly spinning it into a lungblower.
Nick Stuart: MEMENTO MORIS! REDDING IS IN TROUBLE!
Richard Parker: Red’s gonna need an inhaler after that hit!
Red clutches his chest as Mephisto rolls from his back and onto all fours, still catching his own breath. He crawls toward Red slowly, and fails to see Teddy Palmer slide into the ring. Seeing this, Decius and Patience both leap onto the apron, followed by Grady hopping onto the same corner, bellowing at The Twins. This attracts the attention of Barlow, who keeps everyone at bay and warns them to stay out of it.
Nick Stuart: And here comes Ted!
The Twins start pointing into the ring and shouting at Barlow to turn around, but not before Teddy leaps, connecting a curb stomp to the still downed Mephisto, driving his head into the mat.
Nick Stuart: NOSEBLEED SECTION FROM TEDDY! What’s THAT about??
Richard Parker: I don’t know, Nick, but I like it!
Teddy quickly rolls Mephisto on his back before sliding out of the ring. Redding, still out of air, sees the downed Mephisto and crawls forward, throwing an arm over the chest. Barlow sees the cover, and starts the count.
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: Yoooouurr winner…ALEXANDER! REDDIIIINGGG!!
Nick Stuart: And Alexander Redding getting away with the win thanks to his tag partner! Questionable activity from Teddy Palmer and Grady Patrick!
Richard Parker: Can you blame them? Patience and Decius were trying the same thing! Fire with fire, buddy!
Nick Stuart: They didn’t do anything Richard! Hang tight though! The Hollywood Bruvs against 2Become1 is coming up soon!
Richard Parker: On the ACE Network!
Murmurs chase Redding up the ramp with his arm over Teddy’s shoulder, Grady walking backwards to keep eyes on Mephisto’s contingent, who assist him in the ring.
Nick Stuart: What a way to kick off ReVival 6 with that amazing match between Redding and Mephisto.
Richard Parker: Praise Hoyt for such classic action.
Nick Stuart: Speaking of Hoyt, his most recent nemesis, The Anglo Luchador, sent some footage to the PRIME office from earlier today outside the MGM Grand. Folks, you’re going to want to see this.
The screen fades into the area outside the MGM Grand with an “Earlier today” disclaimer at the top left corner of the screen, on a makeshift stage festooned in American flag bunting. A classic marching band recording of “Stars and Stripes Forever” blasts on the speakers set up bookending a banner that has “TAL for Intense” crudely painted on it. Campaign volunteers, all wearing red, white, or blue polo shirts with khaki shorts and wearing “TAL for Intense” buttons, hand out campaign literature to passersby. Some have even gathered around the stage, waiting to see what will come next. Among the throng are PRIME wrestlers Ria Nightshade and Dusk, Winds of Change manager Baron von Blackberry, PRIME backstage reporters Simon Tillier and Angelica Brooks, independent wrestling reporter Jax Mollineaux, and various liaisons from Melvin Beauregard’s office. Also, there are three men holding sniper rifles wearing hi-visibility vests that say “Roderick Control” on them.
A man in a three-piece suit waltzes onto the stage to the podium.
Campaign Manager: Hello everyone, and welcome to The Rally to Make The Anglo Luchador’s Match at the Great American Nightmare the Intense Championship Match, or, for those who like shorthand, the “TAL for Intense” rally! I know you’re all here because you either support our friend and hero in his quest to win the most extreme belt in PRIME or because you saw a big spectacle and got some free swag from our staff. Either way, we hope that by the end of this, you’re convinced that The Anglo Luchador should compete for the Intense Championship at the Great American Nightmare!
The crowd gives a tepid cheer, partly because they’re still processing this information, partly because Vegas is uncharacteristically overcast and yet still hot enough to choke an armadillo.
Campaign Manager: And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for, it’s the Anglo Luchador!
“Oye Como Va” by Santana starts playing on the speakers, and The Anglo Luchador steps out from behind curtains wearing a snazzy pinstriped suit with an American-flag variant of his lucha mask. His arms are outstretched welcoming a reaction he expected to be a little more enthusiastic.
Baron von Blackberry starts vibing. Nobody asked him to.
The old luchador meanwhile steps to the podium.
TAL: Friends, PRIMEates, countrymen, lend me your ears! I have an important announcement to make and a campaign that I need your vital support for. Four score and seven years ago, give or take the four score at least, PRIME was the standard-bearer in all of professional wrestling. Wrestlers like Brandon Youngblood and Karina Wolfenden, Jason Snow and Doctor Curiosity, Nova and Tchu, all of them shed blood and sweat and tears in service of providing the best gladiatorial action the world has seen since the epic rivalry of Christians vs. Lions in the Roman Coliseum.
Jax Mollineaux: (interrupting from the crowd) How DARE you make such an insensitive comment about Christianity mere five days after Easter Sunday!
TAL: (ignoring him) Throughout her storied and wondrous history, the Universal Champion of PRIME, held now by Youngblood but in the past by such luminaries as Chandler Tsonda, Killean Sirrajin, and the current CEO of the company, Lindsay Troy, has denoted a standard of excellence that has rarely been surpassed in the history of this great sport. However, there are two other titles that denote excellence in specific disciplines within the squared circle. The first is the Five Star Championship, held by plucky upstart rookie Hayes Hanlon. Can we get a round of applause for Mr. Hanlon, who worked hard to get to levels some wrestlers work their entire careers to get within sniffing distance of?
Most of the crowd applauds except for Mollineaux, who is disgusted by the pandering, and Ria Nightshade, who isn’t impressed by anything it seems.
TAL: The Five Star Championship, which by its name denotes a mastery of technical wrestling as outlined in star ratings by luminary journalists like Tim Tillinghast or someone in the audience here…
Mollineaux’s face starts to beam.
TAL: …Angelica Brooks, lead broadcast journalist and podcaster, is but one such division that recognizes excellence in a specialized category. The other is the Intense Championship.
Some hooligans in the back of the crowd, already day-drunk off the free beverages served to gamblers on the casino floor, start chanting “HE’S HARDCORE! HE’S HARDCORE!”
TAL: That’s right my good friends back there, I can be pretty hardcore, but don’t blow my spot. Anyway, throughout my career, I’ve prided myself on technical excellence, which is why I have dedicated my life to the art of lucha libre. However, there is a darker, seedier side to lucha that is just as vibrant as the colorful masks trading submission holds and cleanly tossing opponents with armdrags. And this history of violence in lucha, whether it be in bloody luchas de apuestas in main events of the most sacred halls down to companies like Club de Matanza de Baja California Sur, where battle takes place in a junkyard, is where my heart tells me to pursue. And it all has roots in the Aztec culture that has adopted me, the progeny of Italian immigrants…
Ria: Hey! I’m looking around and can’t find the point. How ‘bout you get there, grandpa?
TAL: You’re going to have to let me finish. This would never happen to Abraham Lincoln, who was a fellow wrestler and who probably would be the only person ever to hold public office who would have a chance at dethroning Youngblood for the Universal Championship right now. I digress. The Aztecs were a society where violence was ingrained in the culture. It’s only right that I honor that violence by throwing my hat into the ring. I want my match at Great American Nightmare to be the Intense Championship Match. That’s where you, the voters, come in. Melvin Beauregard has announced that the match that wins a fan vote. I need you to let me spread my wings, my bloody, ultraviolent, wrapped-in-barbed wire wings. Now, I see there are some journalists, peers, and other concerned onlookers in the crowd. I open the floor to my constituency.
Simon Tillier is the first to raise his hand, but independent journalist Jax Mollineaux belly bumps him and raises his hand.
Mollineaux: Excuse me, Mr. Luchador.
TAL: Anyone but him.
Mollineaux: YOU WILL RESPECT MY AUTHORITY. I AM AN INDEPENDENT JOURNALIST.
TAL: Will you stop printing lies about me in your newsletter if I let you ask a question?
TAL: Good enough for me.
Mollineaux: Okay then, you repeated the right wing talking point that the Aztec culture is barbaric. When will you come to court for your racism?
TAL: I really should not answer this question, but I didn’t say their violence was bad. They waged ritualistic war and sacrificed humans because they thought it would make the sun come up. That’s not an opinionated statement; that’s fact. Personally, I think they would have evolved past the need for waging war as a religious ceremony had they gotten the chance, but the Spanish made sure they wouldn’t have that. I am just honoring their dedication to spilling blood by making sure mine and various opponents of mine spill ours. Next question.
A man wearing a lab coat and no shirt rises to his feet, raising his hand as he does so. Also, he has a fruit on his head. Probably should’ve led with that.
Baron von Blackberry: AHAHA! Yes. Hello. I am the great and mighty and absolutely perfect Baron von Blackberry, representing the scenic, yet diabolical nation of Fruitsylvania, and its newsletter, the Daily Banana. HELLO. Anyway, as a keen observer of the goings-on of everything that has to do with Intense, I must ask if you will be bringing back the dreaded Pyramid of Peril, a setting so extreme that nobody has thought to ever again bury an evil pyramid underneath an actual sports arena so that two combatants can attempt to escape its confines despite booby-traps, mummies, and diabolical curses. Your thoughts?
TAL: Ah, yes, glad to finally see your… fruited face? Is that the right word? Anyway, Herr von Blackberry, I enjoy our interactions on Jabber. As for your question, um, well, I think if we were in the elden days of PRIME where the money flowed independently of streaming sources or venues, we might be able to have an arena built upon a buried pyramid. Given that I’m not entirely sure the MGM Corporation would approve of such an undertaking for a singular match, I regrettably must doubt that this match could come to fruition. That is, unless I can somehow convince Lindsay Troy to dump a bunch of dirt on Chichen Itza and let us have that match there. I make no promises though.
Baron von Blackberry places a hand under his chin, deep in thought.
Baron von Blackberry: Hm, yes. I may have severely overestimated the budget of PRIME. I may have to cancel my own ambitions to fund a pay-per-view taking place in a nuclear submarine. No further questions, I suppose.
Simon Tillier: Good afternoon, Simon Tillier with the PRIME interview crew. What do you think…
Right then, from the back of the crowd, a giant soda comes flying to the front, nailing Tillier in the back of the head. The junior interviewer collapses almost in slow motion from the cup containing at least 20 oz. if not more of diet cola.
TAL: DEAR GOD, someone get this man a medic!
Tillier: No, no, I’m fine, just wet, and totally dissuaded from asking my question now.
Baron von Blackberry: No, seriously, see a doctor. You might think you’re okay, but you might have type 2 diabetes now.
Tillier: I think it’s diet soda anyway, I’m fine!
Baron von Blackberry: Dear god, that might be worse!
Tillier: Wait, why?
The crowd grows restless, but The Anglo Luchador spreads his arms out to calm them down.
TAL: Let the good Baron explain himself. I’m actually interested to hear this too.
Baron von Blackberry: I mean, in a lot of ways, artificial sweetener is worse than sugar. Also, it tastes like rubbish. This has been your intense soda opinions with the great and mighty and absolutely perfect Baron von Blackberry.
TAL: You know, I have heard about the destructive effects of aspartame on the body. We should…
Tillier: JUST LEAVE ME ALONE. GAWD. I deal with enough of this as Rezin’s personal interviewer.
TAL: Fine, fine. Any more questions?
Out of the corner of his eye, the old luchador notices a large pine box sitting by the stage.
TAL: Is that a… coffin?
Guy in the Crowd: Yeah, and there’s a post-it note on there.
The guy snatches the note off the box and hands it to the old luchador.
TAL: The coffin belongs to… DUSK? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
The crowd gasps except for the drunk bros in the back laughing at the sheer absurdity of a coffin being labeled only with a post-it note.
TAL: Poor Dusk, I knew him so well. He was kin to me in this promotion, a man who was fighting age and mockery and Lindsay Troy’s fickle temper. I weep for his death. WEEP!
Angelica Brooks: I don’t mean to rain on your parade, but I don’t think he’s dead, or else Phil Atken wouldn’t be on the show this week?
TAL: Good point. So I assume you have a question?
Brooks: (remembering back to the ReV 5 press conference fiasco) I don’t know, are you going to let me ask it?
TAL: Yeah, sure. I’ve learned the error of my ways, and I sincerely apologize for my rude treatment of you. Truce?
Brooks: Truce. Anyway, you are campaigning for the Intense Championship match at Great American Nightmare. Do you have an opponent lined up?
TAL: Good question. Really good question, and I have an answer for you on that. Ready? Here goes.
The crowd waits with bated breath.
TAL: And that answer is “no.”
The crowd is flipped into confusion. Baron von Blackberry, who had been drinking a spot of tea in that moment, spits out his tea in a spray that just happens to catch Simon.
Tillier: OH GODDAMMIT NOT AGAIN.
The chatter gets loud but then is cut from the sass and vitriol of one Ria Nightshade like it was from the switchblade she carries on her person.
Ria: So lemme see if I got this right… You want the Intense Championship, a title I made my desire for clear very early on. Not only that, you don’t even have an opponent lined up?! What a load of BULLSHIT! I might not have the record to stake a claim here, but my ring work should speak for itself. That belt was MADE for someone like me!
I’ve been playing nice with you up to this point. I’m not gonna sit around and let your old washed up ass just arbitrarily decide you’re going for something I want! You want the Intense Championship? That’s fine, but you’re gonna have to go through me! Drag that decrepit bag of bones you call a body to the ring and try to keep that belt away from me!
TAL: That sounds like a challenge. One I’ve actually been waiting for. You heard it here first, folks. The Anglo Luchador vs. Ria Nightshade at Great American Nightmare. Vote for us to take it home.
Before Ria can speak up, the crowd starts roaring. She looks… happy at the news. Above the roar, Angelica Brooks gets on stage and grabs the microphone, knowing that’s the only way anyone can hear her.
Brooks: One more thing… what about Hoyt and Balaam? Things aren’t finished between you two!
TAL: (grabbing the microphone) Sorry, Brooksie, I, uh, I have nothing left to say at this rally. Vote TAL and Nightshade! Let the Intense Championship actually be Intense!
The old luchador escapes from the stage. The crowd begins to disperse, but not before ANOTHER masked individual walks by. Gordon Oliver Powell, known to fans who were around Primetime Central for GTT7 and the Infinite Gauntlet as the Phantom Republican, gawks at the political rally that has just taken place with his mammoth bodyguard Jeffords and his press secretary who oddly resembles Lisa Ann-playing-Sarah Palin Miss Maverick.
GOP: Ugh, it’s been done.
He walks off with the rest of the crowd as it disperses. The camera fades back to Nick and Rich.
Nick Stuart: Wow, huge news from earlier today!
Richard Parker: Every time I watch something featuring that imbecile, I get stupider, I swear to Hoyt.
Nick Stuart: No comment on that, Rich. Now let’s throw it backstage with a word from the Halls and Darin Zion.
The scene switches to inside the MGM Grand atrium where Vickie Hall stands, directing her Amazing Life Partner, Jonathan-Christopher and Darin Zion. The boys are setting up a large display off to the right hand side. It’s a homemade billboard with leaflets and numerous fan signs stacked up in the corner. Text at the bottom of the screen reads “EARLIER TODAY”.
Fans are about to file in for the show, the doors haven’t opened yet. Vickie turns to Jonathan-Christopher and snaps her fingers.
Vickie Hall: Now, now, Jonathan-Christopher. I thought I mentioned I would like the leaflets a little closer to the front of the table.
Although Vickie could likely take two simple steps forward, reach out and move them herself, she waits for her man to stop reorganizing the signs. The Forever Man lifts up the pamphlets and places them closer. Vickie shakes her head.
Vickie Hall: A little more to the right.
Jonathan-Christopher does so.
Vickie Hall: Nope. Now a little more to the left.
Jonathan-Christopher does so.
Vickie Hall: And closer still.
Obviously, this is a VERY specific area Vickie needs them in.
Vickie Hall: And closer still.
Vickie Hall: There you go.
Pretty Pink turns to Darin Zion who has finished his task of making the display board pop out. There are four hot pink letters hanging off the top of the display, L.O.V.E. and the display board itself is littered in love photos from Jonathan-Christopher and Vickie. The Woman of Wonder claps at a job well done to DZ.
Vickie Hall: I just love to sit back and watch. I enjoy being pampered.
At least she’s honest.
Vickie Hall: Jonathan-Christopher, please fetch me those signs. When the doors open we have to start handing them out!
Vickie smacks the side of her head. She almost forgot.
Vickie Hall: And get me the loud speaker. There will be a lot of commotion when the doors open and I want my voice to be heard by all!
Jonathan-Christopher walks behind the display, revealing a hot pink, Hallmark branded loudspeaker. Vic asks him to hurry back. Even though Jonathan-Christopher is only a few feet away he SPRINTS the megaphone to her as if this is life or death. She blushes.
Vickie Hall: Okay boys, places. And just so you know, I will not be out there tonight for your tag team match.
Jonathan-Christopher looks shook as fuck.
Vickie Hall: Because I will need to be here, promoting our future. Promoting our change. We have been so wronged by this dog and pony show. I am absolutely sick of it!
Vickie looks at the MGM Grand security who are down the hall and at the entrance doors. There’s a medium-sized crowd waiting to get in. Pretty Pink shouts towards the staff.
Vickie Hall: When are the doors opening? It’s almost time!
One security member says they are unlocking the doors in one minute.
Vickie Hall: Okay… (turning back to her team) but that’s about thirty seconds late.
Jonathan-Christopher tries to smile, although he’s still shaken up about not having his ALP at ringside for a match against two former World Champions. REAL LOVE Darin Zion, however, is ready to go, leaflets in hand.
The security members make a play to unlock the doors. Vickie readies.
Vickie Hall: Okay, PLACES EVERYONE PLACES!
The doors are unlocked. Fans are screened, tickets are taken and the people begin wandering into the atrium. Vickie slaps Zion on the chest and asks her to be lifted up. He does so, placing Vickie on his shoulders… and the dainty woman with bushy eyebrows puts the megaphone to her mouth.
Vickie Hall: EVERYONE HELLO. It’s your favourite ALP here, Vickie Hall and I am alongside my loving man, Jonathan-Christopher and his best friend, Darin Zion! Please come take a sign and show support tonight for your passionate Hallmark Journey!
She has captured everyone’s attention, at least for a moment. Some fans move past, others are intrigued and walk over. Zion hands out pamphlets and Jonathan-Christopher distributes signs. A few of the visible signs handed out:
“NEED MORE LOVE!”
“HALL’S WERE SHAFTED!”
“LOVE SHOULD BE FREE!”
“LOVE IS ESSENTIAL!”
“THEIR BODY, THEIR LOVE!”
“HONK FOR THE ALPs!”
Vickie Hall: Since Jonathan-Christopher and I can no longer show our love for each other in the way we were supposed to, by winning either the Almasy Tournament, the 5-Star Championship OR SurViVor, we are asking YOU, the fans, to support us in our most important journey yet! From here on out, myself, Jonathan-Christopher and Darin Zion will occupy this space! We will promote our love against those in PRIME who have threatened our expression! We are here! We are hungry! We want the truth to be told!
For as tiny as the woman is, her voice is BOOMING. She doesn’t even need the megaphone.
Vickie Hall: Welcome PRIMEates…
Vickie looks down at her man. He gives a thumbs up.
Vickie Hall: To THE LOVE CONVOY!
Most fans aren’t paying attention by now. Although some have taken a sign or two.
Suddenly, Vickie is tapped on the leg by a delivery man.
Delivery Man: Excuse me, Vickie Hall?
She nods and pats Zion on the top of his head.
Vickie Hall: Put me down, Darin.
Delivery Man: I’m a little confused. I have your delivery outside. We’re supposed to bring it… in here?
Vickie snatches the paperwork from the man’s hands. She scans it over and a devilish grin crosses her face.
Vickie Hall: Yes. Yes this is correct. Please bring it in. Right here. There’s a hookup off to the right hand side.
The delivery man still looks unsure but he’ll take her word for it. He whistles to his crew from outside the entrance doors as fans continue to wander into the atrium.
Delivery Man: Okay guys, bring the portable hot tub in!
Vickie rubs her hands together. She pulls the speaker to her face once more.
Vickie Hall: This is a movement! Let the LOVE CONVOY… BEGIN!!!
Pretty Pink turns to 2Become1.
Vickie Hall: And good luck in your match tonight, boys. Let’s start our Hallmark Journey by OUR means.
Doozer’s Undeterred Idiots
We cut backstage to a shot of a random door.
This particular door leans against a wall, with all of its hinges still intact. It appears to have been removed from its frame and left here in the interim. Why? Because it was the only way that 55-gallon drum of Astroglide was going to get into the room, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
The largest tribe in Survivor stands gathered once more. Among them are 8 grown men, their cheering section of inanimate mascots, and yet somehow not a single adult among the lot. Despite Doozer closing in on five decades young.
So. About that Astroglide.
To the folks at the MGM Grand, the young man wearing heavy latex gloves and working the pump on the industrial-sized tub of lube is known as the “poor son of a bitch responsible for making sure King Blueberry doesn’t accidentally burn down the casino.” His friends and family just call him Mark. Today, Mark has the dubious responsibilty of squirtig heavy globs of sex grease into his hands so that he can lube down “Beautiful” Bobby Dean.
Don’t get weird. This has everything to do with reducing the coefficient of friction on the slide, and nothing at all to do with the big man’s big thirst.
Probably a little bit of the latter, if we’re being honest.
Nearby, King Blueberry looks up from filling the gas tank of a weapons-grade leaf blower and shares a quick glance with his beleaguered babysitter. After tonight, Mark’s friends will also start calling him “Doctor Lovejuice.”
King Blueberry: (mouthing the word) Sorry.
Mark, no doubt questioning every life decision that led him to this point, squirts another glob of goo into his hand and gets back to lubin’.
For the viewers at home, an inset clip appears in the lower-right corner of their screen, showing the stone-faced visage of El Hijo del Super Cool Guy in front of a Survivor-themed backdrop. There is a noticeable lack of tiki torches, and no, we cannot imagine why. A warning appears along with this feed:
The views expressed by El Hijo del Super Cool Guy are his own, and do not reflect the opinions of PRIME, the MGM Grand, or the Ace Network. Viewer discretion is advised.
Can’t imagine what that might be about.
El Hijo Del Super Cool Guy: …
For the next few seconds nothing happens, until whatever is propping the mannequin up gives way, and the dummy topples over. The inset clip ends.
Meanwhile, back in the room where these fools are gathered, King Blueberry takes a break from using the leaf blower to reenact scenes from Predator to suggest a thing. A very, very dumb thing.
King Blueberry: So how do we feel about distractions? Because I’ve got a thought. What if – and hear me out on this one – Colton makes good on his threat.
A moment of confusion falls over the group.
King Blueberry: From Jabber.
And then, for at least one of them, it starts to click.
King Blueberry: To show hog.
Another inset appears, this time showing the masked visage of over-all bad idea machine, King Blueberry.
King Blueberry: What? Don’t pretend that wouldn’t confuse the shit out of people if the guy just started helicoptering his happy ass off in the middle of the Baron’s slip ‘n slide spectacular. You gonna tell me you’d be able to solve a puzzle in that case? Because I bet you’d be legit mesmerized. Transfixed. Hypnotized.
King Blueberry: I have given this way too much thought, haven’t I?
Nate Colton: I swear to God that wasn’t–
With a deliberate clearing of his throat, The Elder Bandit also known as Doozer slowly stands to his feet and politely gestures to the Blue One.
Doozer: May I?
King Blueberry nods, reciprocating the respect shown from The Dooze.
Doozer: I think what this all boils down to, and honestly it’s right in line with the wishes of our very own Team Nate-
The Old Bull shoots Filmix and Colton a look of admiration.
Doozer: Is that our strategy here for this next challenge is simple.
The bold statement catches the attention of Tribe DUI.
Doozer: It’s safe to say, most of you couldn’t put a puzzle together if it came with instructions. Personally, I’ve seen Dean in action and I have a hard time believing the majority of you others could do any better. And I’m pretty sure there’s some monkeys who could, with their eyes closed.
Some seem to take a little offense. Bobby shrugs in agreement.
Doozer: EXCEPT… for those two.
The Boston Bruiser raises his right hand, pointing its index and middle finger toward each member of Team Nate.
Doozer: So, while the Nates and I tackle the puzzle. The rest of you idiots need to sabotage. Just so we’re clear, the other teams. Like Bobby, you’re fat, do fat stuff. Maybe eat some cake while hovering over their puzzle pieces, getting crumbs all over so they can’t recognize patterns.
The scene quickly cuts to Bobby Dean, sitting on a stool in front of the tribal council set. He’s devouring chocolate bundt cake.
Bobby Dean: BEST. ASSIGNMENT. EVER!
It cuts back.
Doozer: Team Canadian Pornstars, do weird Canadian stuff. Ask them a bunch of weird questions, ending with that loud, annoying “EH?” crap every time. Then just keep apologizing until they lose it. Maybe they’ll apologize. And you can apologize for making them apologize. Whatever works.
King Blueberry: Isn’t just the one guy Canadian?
Doozer: Blueberry… well… just be yourself, alright?
King Blueberry holds his leaf blower aloft. He cocks the barrel, making the accompanying KA-CHAK sound with his mouth.
Doozer: That all being said, it’d be remiss to go without thanking our Canadian brothers for the final push last contest.
King Blueberry: Seriously, I think Trent’s from California…
Doozer: Solid Gold, you two crazy Canucks are the reason we’ve got the advantage in numbers going into this challenge. I might hate your hockey teams, but hats off fellas.
The Elder Bandit grows a smile and literally lifts the cap atop his head for a moment, before returning it home.
Doozer: And lastly, moving focus from the past to the future…
His smile quickly fades as his blue eyes light up, focused.
Doozer: Filmix. Colton. I’ll be there to help. But you two own the only sane, fresh minds in this group. This challenge is ultimately on you.
The smile returns, but looks different in nature this time.
Doozer: I’d just think of it like… If we lose… and if you two are the main reason why… I’d wonder… You know, if it were me… who’d get voted off?
The Dooze winks toward the Nates, stretching that peculiar smile.
Another inset clip pops up on the screen, this time featuring the face of PRIME newcomer Nate Colton.
Nate Colton: It was tough to hear, but the old man wasn’t wrong. We need to make ourselves indispensable to the tribe, so that even if we don’t win the game, we get to stick around. Boogie and Boots showed everyone how it’s done at Culture Shock; Filmix and I need to do the same thing tonight. We’re going to show the world that we’re not going anywhere, and in a few months you’ll see us with those tag team titles.
He sets his jaw, hoping to project confidence and conviction to the viewing audience.
Nate Colton: Also, that Mark kid needs a raise. Whatever he’s getting paid, I can promise you it’s not enough.
No one disagrees.
Doozer: Let’s do this, fellas! Here’s to DUI! Doozer’s Undeterred Idiots! ONWARD!
Somewhere in the backstage area at the MGM Grand, we hear the arena erupt at the appearance of “The Innovator” Brock Newbludd and “Black Out” Pat Cassidy… The Saturday Night Specials. Both men are dressed in a manner that suggest they’re ready to compete in the Survivor challenge later tonight and Pat is carrying a small red cooler. The two men walk briskly down a random hallway.
Brock Newbludd: Okay… I’m pretty sure it’s right up here… yep! Here we are.
We see that both men have stopped in front of a door with a nameplate that reads: Lindsay Troy.
Brock turns back to his partner.
Brock Newbludd: We clear on the plan?
Pat Cassidy: We are. I do all the talking cause I’m pretty sure she’s still mad at you about…
The Milwaukee Made Man interrupts The Scrapper from Southie, making a quick “cut it” motion and gesturing to the camera.
Pat Cassidy: Right. Gotcha. Anyway…
Cassidy walks past his partner and plants three loud BANGS on the black door. From inside, a woman’s voice…
Lindsay Troy: Door’s unlocked!
Cassidy takes that as a permission to enter. Much like Hayes Hanlon did earlier in the evening, he opens the door and pokes his head into the Queen of the Ring’s backstage “office.” Troy isn’t behind the desk as she was with Melvin and Hayes. Instead, she’s sitting on a leather sofa, phone in hand, the ReVival proceedings on a big screen TV mounted on the wall and on low volume.
Pat Cassidy: (imitating a fake Southern accent) Well, I do DE-clare, if isn’t Lindsay Troy.
Lindsay looks over to her friend and sometimes-SHOOT Project tag team partner with a smirk.
Lindsay Troy: (amused) Cass. I know that accent. You want something.
Pat Cassidy: Well… two things, actually.
He and Brock walk all the way into the office and shut the door behind them.
Pat Cassidy: The first… we bring good tidings! We wanted to be here in person to introduce you to…
Cassidy pops open the little cooler he’s carrying and produces a silver and purple large beer can. He holds it up so the camera can read the label, but he also helpfully says it out loud for us as he does…
Pat Cassidy: It’s the new Ballyhoo Brew “Queen’s Gambit” Red Ale!
Cassidy hands it to her.
Pat Cassidy: Huh? Huh?? Not bad, huh?
Troy takes the can and admires the label. There’s a quick flash of surprise across her face, and that knowing smirk of hers softens into a smile as she pops the tab and takes a swig.
Lindsay Troy: This is really good guys. And you didn’t have to do that.
She takes another sip. The smirk returns.
Lindsay Troy: Not a bad gesture for a bribe, though. Now what’s the real reason you’re here?
Cassidy and Brock exchange a quick glance before turning back to LT.
Pat Cassidy: OK, it’s not totally a bribe, Lindz, c’mon. You know we respect you, right? Props on a long and badass career. And as someone who settles all her problems in the ring… and quite well, mind you… we gotta ask:
Both members of SNS drop to their knees, clutching their hands together in a mock show of begging.
Pat Cassidy: Please, please, please… can’t we just fucking wrestle for the tag team titles?
Cassidy and Brock get back to their feet.
Pat Cassidy: You got us running around with rocks, putting puzzles together… I know it’s only a matter of time before we’re running over some hot coals! Come on! Obviously Newbludd and I love to party, but we signed up to fight! This ain’t fighting!
Lindsay Troy: You’re right, it’s not.
Pat Cassidy: So we’re off the hook?
Lindsay Troy: (laughing) The hell you are. Part of becoming and being a champion is doing what you have to do to win. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fight in the ring or running up stairs, sliding down slides, and putting puzzles together….you need to use your mind as much as your body. If Survivor doesn’t challenge you to do that then you’re sunk before I even book you two in your first actual wrestling match.
She downs the rest of the beer and tosses the empty back to Pat.
Lindsay Troy: Now stop whining and go solve a puzzle, kid.
Cassidy looks at the can. Shakes his head.
Pat Cassidy: Going with the “tough but fair” approach, huh? Bold move, Troy. Well… if that’s how it’s gonna be… Newbludd and I are about to go fuck some people in puzzle putting together. Right, Brock?
Brock Newbludd, who has been very intentionally trying to keep quiet this whole time, simply offers..
Brock Newbludd: Yep.
Cassidy points to the (seemingly still full) red cooler that he took the beer out of.
Pat Cassidy: I’ll go ahead and leave the rest of that here for you to enjoy… let me know when you’ve had a couple, maybe we’ll come back and ask again. Let’s go buddy.
The Saturday Night Specials make a quick exit, stage left. Lindsay shakes her head as they leave, then turns back to her phone and dials a number.
Lindsay Troy: Hey, where are you?
She waits a moment for the other person to answer.
Lindsay Troy: OK. Well grab Dam and drift on over to my office. You two gotta see this beer…
THE HOLLYWOOD BRUVS vs. 2BECOME1
Our scene opens up to Vince Howard in the center of the ring and then… “Wannabe” by the Spice Girls plays over the PA as a nervous looking Jonathan-Christopher Hall emerges with his “best friend”, REAL LOVE Darin Zion. DZ has a confident smirk on his face and tells the crowd in the front row what type of man he is. He also tells everyone if they wanna get with him, they gotta get with the Hall’s first. Clearly. Meanwhile, because Vickie has decided to be part of the LOVE CONVOY back in the MGM Grand atrium, The Timid Tiger is more timid than he normally would be without his security blanket. He pussyfoots down the rampway, well behind REAL LOVE. Zion slides into the ring and hops up and down in the center of the mat, making sure the blood flows through his veins. The Vow of Virtue simply rolls under the bottom rope and finds their corner. Zion smacks Hall in the back like they’ve got this and Jonathan-Christopher gives a nervous smile upon return.
Vince Howard: Introducing the team of Jonathan-Christopher Hall and Darin Zion
Zion nudges Howard pretty hard, as if he forgot a part of the announcement.
Vince Howard: Introducing JC Hall and REAL LOVE Darin Zion
Hall nudges Howard, although it’s much weaker than Zion’s.
Vince Howard: Introducing the team of Jonathan-Christopher Hall and REAL LOVE Darin Zion… TWO BECOME ONE! Zion gets all jacked while Hall returns to his corner.
“F*cking in the Bushes” by Oasis hits the system and the fans boo out loudly. Through the curtain comes the smell of an Abercrombie store and way too much see through silk clothing. The pair of “Bruvs” hit the top of the ramp and look over the crowd. Unlikely with his aviators, JFK with the bug eye glasses.
Vince Howard: Coming to the ring, weighing in at a total combined weight of 480 Lbs. The team of Jesse Fredricks Kendrix, and Mikey Unlikely…. THE HOLLYWOOD BRUVS!
They saunter down the aisle, walking as if they were on the catwalk. The reach ringside and JFK pulls himself onto the apron, Mikey takes the stairs. They each wipe their feet before entering the ring. Once inside the pair climb opposite turnbuckles and pose for the fans. Expecting bulbs, and receiving none they head to their corner to stretch.
Nick Stuart: AND WE’RE OFF IN A FLASH FOLKS!
The teams quickly sort out who the legal man is, Mikey Unlikely leads off for The Bruvs and Darin Zion leads off for 2Become1. The two men march to the center and Zion goes for a lockup but Mikey Unlikely slips away, a bit confused at Zion. Zion doesn’t give him any room and smashes him across the chest with a huge chop. Unlikely stumbles backwards into the corner, already begging off.
Nick Stuart: Looks like The Bruv’s want nothing to do with Darin Zion.
Richard Parker: I don’t think The Bruv’s want much to do with anything.
Mikey slips a thumb into Zion’s eye and walks away holding his chest and tags in Kendrix. JFK comes into the ring on fire, and hammers Zion with a few right hands before Zion manages to slip behind JFK and throw him to the ground with a huge german suplex into the 2Become1 corner. Zion tags in JCH who steps through the ropes and starts stomping away on JFK’s chest.
Nick Stuart: Quick tag for 2Become1
Richard Parker: Vickie Hall seems to be enjoying this.
JCH tags Zion back in and he brings JFK to his feet by his hair.
Richard Parker: THE HORROR!
Nick Stuart: He probably deserves it.
Zion goes for a right hand but JFK ducks under and hammers Zion with a chop to the chest. Zion stumbles backwards and Kendrix is back on him with more chops backing him back into The Bruv’s corner. Zion turns away looking for relief but Mikey Unlikely delivers a thumb to Zion’s eye for the trouble. Darin turns around into a boot from Kendrix that sends him right back into the corner.
Richard Parker: What a tag team these two are!
Nick Stuart: Yeah… I think they are doing wrestling moves for the first time ever in there.
Mikey holds Zion’s arms while Kendrix unloads with a series of chops and kicks to Real Love Darin Zion. Zion cringes holding his chest while Kendrix makes a tag to Unlikely. Mikey comes into the ring and immediately locks Zion into a headlock. Zion struggles against Mikey who looks absolutely shocked that Zion has anything left. Zion kicks Unlikely in the stomach and delivers the RATINGS SPIKE!
Nick Stuart: WHAT A MOVE FROM ZION!
Richard Parker: OH NO! SAVE HIM KENDRIX!
Kendrix does exactly that, while Darin Zion recovers Kendrix scoops Unlikely up and pulls him out of the ring. Kendrix tosses Mikey over his shoulder and marches up the ramp.
Nick Stuart: You have got to be kidding me.
Richard Parker: LIVE TO FIGHT ANOTHER DAY BRUVS!
Turnbull shakes his head and counts The Hollywood Bruvs out.
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: AND YOUR WINNERS… 2BECOME1!
Nick Stuart: This quitting thing is getting absurd.
Richard Parker: I’ve been trying to do it for fifteen years Nick, and they won’t let me get away from you either.
Nick Stuart: And with that we’re off to commercial.
The scene fades away from the arena to commercial.
Keep it Old School all the time with OSW.
What’s In The Box? Is It Puzzles!?
“This meeting will have to go better.”
“There’s no way it can’t.”
We cut backstage to an open door that has the nameplate TEAM V.I.A.G.R.A. The six members of the team are milling about. There are actually eight chairs, and the two empty ones have pictures of sad faces on them. Standing in front of the wrestlers are Shweta Kallemullah, the Chairperson of the Fighting For Nora Foundation, and Baron von Blackberry, the manager of the Winds of Change. Shweta’s hands are behind her back and she’s looking over her charges with grim determination.
Shweta Kallemullah: Hello gentlemen of Team V.I.A.G.R.A. We called you here for a brief motivation and strategy session before your challenge. We were not here last week, but we understand the planning meeting went…awry.
Joe Fontaine: Okay, so it didn’t go well. Gosh. You know, if what happened to me happened to you, you’d understand why it went so poorly.
Sid Phillips: I swear to God, what happened to you does not happen to anyone else but you.
Shweta Kallemullah: To that end, we are going to, pardon the phrase, but let the adults in the room handle the planning for this challenge
Paxton Ray looks up and snarls.
Paxton Ray: I ain’t no baby.
Baron von Blackberry laughs. Because of course he does.
Baron von Blackberry: Yes, I know. You are a big strong boy, Mr. Ray. No one is debating your bigness or your strongness. However, as Culture Shock has definitively proven, planning is not your strong suit. Or anyone in this room, apparently, Shweta aside, anyway. Love what you did with your hair, ma’am. Anyway, my point is, you cannot simply punch your way out of this. Nor can you powerbomb your way out of this, Minion #2.
Sid Phillips: Are you still on about that?
Baron von Blackberry: I would ask what your strategy is, Minion #2, but anyone could see that from the Hubble Space Telescope! But enough about that.
Shweta Kallemullah: What we need for this challenge is cohesion. A unit with a singular purpose. We can’t afford to bicker amongst each other. Isn’t that right, Paxton?
Paxton Ray: That ain’t gonna be a problem this time, Shway. Lover boy is gone.
Shweta Kallemullah: Be that as it may, we still need some unity here. So let’s find something the six of you can agree on. Anything?
Joe excitedly raises his hand.
Joe Fontaine: Ooh, ooh, ooh. Me! Me! Uh. Let’s see. I’m fabulous. I think we should all be fabulous. We could coordinate our fashion and blow the other tribes out of the water with how cohesive it all is.
Sid palms his face.
Sid Phillips: Can I get a new tag team partner? Preferably one with an IQ that isn’t in the single digits?
Baron von Blackberry: Permission denied.
David Fox shakes his head and puts a hand over his face.
David Fox: Yeah, Mushi. This is gonna be a looooooooong night.
Shweta Kallemullah: Moving on…who here has experience with putting together puzzles? It may be prudent to have that person stationed at the bottom to really get the puzzle working. Anyone have good experiences at an assisted living center, or perhaps had a great relationship with their grandmother?
Jonathan Rhine raises his hand.
Jonathan Rhine: I think I’m pretty good at them.
Shweta Kallemullah: Good. Anyone else have any relevant skills they want to bring to the table?
Sid Phillips: I can powerbomb the other team so hard that their souls will depart into the afterlife screaming. Every single one of them.
Joe Fontaine: You must say that to all the girls.
Baron von Blackberry: FOOL! Everyone in this company already knows that it’s all you know how to do!
David Fox: That’s a good idea. Mushi was never much of a climber, but he’s pretty good at puzzles, so he could stay on the ground and put pieces together, and maybe rough up the other teams and keep them away from their puzzles while I climb.
Shweta Kallemullah: There we go. A good answer. A sound answer. An answer that shows a bit of mental ability.
She stares at the members of the Winds of Change, who look over their shoulders at Paxton Ray.
Joe Fontaine: Think she’s talking about you.
Almost everyone rolls their eyes.
Shweta Kallemullah: So I hope that you have understood the idea here. Play to your strengths. Find a role you excel in. Help the team by fulfilling your role. Do we have any questions?
Jonathan Rhine: Yes. Who’s that?
Everyone follows Jon’s finger, which is pointed at the locker room door, which suddenly slams shut. At the foot of the door is a big box.
Shweta Kallemullah: What is that?
Mushigihara and Jonathan Rhine shrug and go over to the box, then move it to the front of the room. Rhine looks down and frowns.
Jonathan Rhine: It’s addressed to Paxton.
Everyone looks at Paxton, whose eyes widen.
Paxton Ray: Me?
Joe Fontaine: Well, gosh, if it’s address to you, you should open it. Right?
Slowly, Paxton stands up and walks over the box. He takes a knife out of his back pocket.
Jonathan Rhine: Woah, buddy! Did you sneak that knife in?
Paxton Ray: No one searched me.
He uses the knife to open the box, then opens it and looks inside. For a second his eyes widen again, and then he snarls and kicks the box. He walks out of the room, snarling.
Shweta Kallemullah: What…
Joe Fontaine walks over to the box and lifts out two things. One is a yellow piece of paper. The other is the detached head of El Hijo Del Super Cool Guy. Confused, Joe reads the note.
Joe Fontaine: To Paxton. From your pal, the idiot. Kissy face emoji, kissy face emoji, kissy face emoji.
Jonathan Rhine sighs, then walks over to Shweta.
Jonathan Rhine: Jared is going to get pummeled, isn’t he.
Shweta nods slowly as we cut.
Is that a banana in your pocket?
Our scene cuts to Garbage Bag Johnny, with a half eaten banana in his front bathrobe pocket, is digging through a suitcase in his suite on the 28th floor of the MGM Grand. He tosses its content aside as he looks for something very specific. He’s throwing various bathrobes, stray raisinettes, decorative soaps, prescription drug vials that make maraca sounds, maracas that don’t make a maraca sound because they’ve been hollowed out and filled with primo grade kush, actual maracas, a pinata, the Muriel lighter–which he catches before it hits the ground, breathes a sigh of relief, gives it a kiss, and gently places it next to him–a telephone book, another pinata, what appears to be an eyepatch but is conspicuously too oblong, and finally, a helium tank. He takes another bite of his pocket banana before reaching into his other pocket and pulling out a pack of balloons.
Garbage Bag Johnny: That should do the trick.
GBJ stretches the first balloon out and inserts the helium tank’s nozzle into the opening of the balloon. While it inflates, GBJ finishes the banana and discards the peel. He then reaches into his side pocket, produces a bunch of bananas, and rips one off. He unpeels the new nanner and sticks it in his pocket before grabbing the balloon from the nozzle and pinching it. He ties it off, lets it rise to the ceiling, and goes to work on a second balloon. The Bagman alternates back and forth between balloon and banana, an efficient machine if ever there was one. His attention to the task at hand, however, is interrupted by a knock on his hotel room door.
Garbage Bag Johnny: It’s open!
An arm reaches in and offers a friendly wave.
Voice: It’s Nova.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Why did you knock? This is your suite too, bro.
Nova opens the door wide and steps inside.
Nova: I know, I was just concerned – no, that’s bullshit, I was scared, that I would, um, walk in on…something.
GBJ walks over and claps his teammate on the shoulder.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Well let me validate your fears, my man. If there’s no sock, you don’t have to knock, but you’re right about something because something is exactly what we have here!
GBJ gestures to the bizarre smorgasbord of helium balloons he has assembled around the living room. Nova is quiet. GBJ looks at him, his eyes glistening with pride, a broad toothy grin stretched over his bearded mug.
Nova: (Nodding) Fuck yes.
GBJ pumps a fist and spins, his bathrobe flourishing as he karate-kicks thin air. He grabs Nova by both shoulders.
Garbage Bag Johnny: I KNEW you’d get it. You’re the “won’t stop” to my “can’t stop.”
GBJ punches Nova in the chest. Nova knows he’s hyped, so it’s not a thing.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Let’s get to work, Nov!
Nova: I guess we’re…(looking into the camera with a smirk)…raising the stakes, amirite?
Garbage Bag Johnny: Don’t do that. You’re better than that.
Nova: I’ll help you with your balloons.
Johnny holds up a halting finger.
Garbage Bag Johnny: But first…
GBJ reaches into his banana pocket, rips another one off the bunch, and tosses it to his tag team Survivor partner.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Have a nanner. We’re going to need to harness the power of potassium if we want a chance at this challenge tonight.
Nova stares down at the nanner in his grasp.
Nova: I already hoover gummi multi-vites just for the taste, but when in Rome…
He takes a few bites, then sets his banana on top of a stack of 1940’s slapstick DVD compilations that GBJ brought from home. Nova grabs ahold of the helium tank and inhales on the release valve.
Nova: (Waving his arms) Hey look, we have to be part of a tournament with a bunch of weird rules and stuff…heeheeheeheeheehee…
Garbage Bag Johnny: Whoa, there, buddy. Save that for the balloons. Remember how good we got at running up the stairs?
Nova nods. GBJ continues to talk while filling up balloons, sealing them off, and letting them float to the ceiling of the room.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Now imagine that we take all that training and we combine that with the power of balloons, it’ll give us even more of an edge.
Johnny sinks his teeth into a new banana in between balloon fillings. He notices Nova’s banana on his Dickey and The Knuckleheads DVD.
Garbage Bag Johnny: You good, bro? Need some more of that sweet Chiquita?
GBJ holds up the bunch, which has been chowed down to its final fruit. The mission refocused, Nova grabs the rest of his nanner and gives it the business. He looks into the camera with a mouth-(and beard)-full of nutritious fruit.
Nova: I gueth oo cud thay tha wurr wike potass…assins?
Nova winks at the camera.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Don’t do that. You’re better than that.
Nova: Owl hep oo wiff urr bawoons.
Johnny tosses Nova the last banana.
Garbage Bag Johnny: But first, we gotta go on a banana run. Gather the balloons. We don’t want anyone pinching them when we’re gone.
The duo wrangles the balloons–about fifteen of them in all–and because they’ve gotten so great at operating stairs from training all week, they descend the 28 floors so quickly and masterfully that they’re outside and it feels like barely any time has elapsed. Both have balloons in hand, cigarettes lit, and sunglasses for the heck of it to look cool.
Nova: Can’t help but notice that these balloons don’t seem to be lifting me, like, at all.
Garbage Bag Johnny: That’s because I’m carrying half of them. If we didn’t split them up, I’m sure one of us would be floating away into space.
Nova: Well, don’t you think we should see how many balloons it takes to lift one of us?
The Garbage Man shrugs. Why the hell not? He begins handing the balloons to his tag team partner one by one. Unfortunately, since their hands at this point are now coated in banana slime, one balloon gets away. And as GBJ tries to jump to catch the straggling balloon, he loses grip of the remaining balloons in his hand.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Ah, shit!
Nova tries lunging at the flock of floating balloons, but he misses out and lets go of a few of the ones he’s holding in the process.
The duo looks at each other and hatches the same plan at the same time.
GBJ & Nova: Back up the stairs!
An impressively short amount of time passes, and GBJ and Nova are back up in their suite. They’re out of breath and trying their damnedest to recover, but with no time to lose, they press on. They both look out the window, and lo and behold, the balloons are still on the rise…but the window won’t open.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Damn jumper-proof windows!
Nova picks up a chair and slams it at the glass, but it just bounces off. Garbage Bag grabs at whatever discarded luggage is lying around and whips it all at the window, but nothing gives.
Nova: Damn break-proof glass!
And with that, the balloons float up, past the window, and off into the distant reaches of the sky. Both GBJ and Nova look dejected. But GBJ looks at the helium tank, and then he looks at Nova.
Garbage Bag Johnny: I might have an idea.
Nova: Is it a power nap? Because that stair climb took a lot out of me.
Garbage Bag Johnny: No, but that’s a good one, too. How about this…we take a quick 20 minute power nap, go get more bananas, and then come back and get the helium tank.
Nova: Sounds like a plan.
GBJ and Nova spin and whip out of their normal attire to matching full body pajamas and tuck on into their respective beds.
Garbage Bag Johnny: May your dreams be ever buoyant.
Deuteronomy 25:2 and a Whitman’s Sampler
Nick Stuart: Up next, we will finally hear from John Kennedy Royko Jr. unmasked and here to tell all. His Fiancée Aurora has been begging for this to happen, and our own Angelica Brooks, a friend of Auroras, has managed to secure the interview!
Richard Parker: Aurora is a jaded crazed ex-lover and I’m sure that will be explained here tonight. Hopefully Brooks will ask Royko about the Timo’s fast count at Culture Shock.
Nick Stuart: Buying into the propaganda again hey Saint Parker?
Richard Parker: I have it on good authority that The Anglo Luchador and Timo Bolamba went out to dinner the other night, and that crooked Bolamba picked up the tab. Collusion at Culture Shock I tell ya.
Nick Stuart: You mean you saw it on Jabber? That’s your good authority?
Richard Parker: I mean the arrogance of being that open about their relationship is telling. You’ve never seen Tom Brady having dinner with NFL referee Tony Corrente!
Nick Parker: Let’s send it to the entrance way where Angelica Brooks is standing by.
The camera cuts to the top of the entrance ramp where two director style chairs are situated with Angelica Brooks in one, and the other empty. The camera cuts to the crowd where Aurora Jennings the fiancée of John Kennedy Royko Jr. is in her seat just off to the side of the ramp way set up.
Angelica Brooks: Thank you Nick and Richard. On March 4th John Kennedy Royko Jr. spoke for the last time as he put on a mask and seemingly become the monster known as Balaam “The Mask of Malice”. We found out a week later that Hoyt Williams was behind it, and many have questioned if John Kennedy Royko Jr. has ben wearing the mask of his own free will, or if he has been brain washed by Hoyt’s Witnesses. JK Rokyo’s fiancée the beautiful Aurora asked me to get to the bottom of the mystery and now almost two months after putting on the mask, here is John Kennedy Royko Jr. to speak for himself.
“Possum Kingdom” By the Toadies starts to play as the entrance way has blue smoke pouring from it. The crowd waits with anticipation as all eyes are on the entrance.
Richard Parker: When did Angelica Brooks become Angela Lansbury in Murder, She Wrote?
Nick Stuart: Glad to see you keeping up with the times Richard.
Richard Parker: You like your Orgasmi, folding things. I like classic television.
Nick Stuart: Origami.
The lyrics “Do you want to die” echo through the arena as the song is playing for an uncomfortably long period of time with nobody coming out. Angelica Brooks can be seen trying to look behind her from her sitting position when suddenly the song ends cold as the smoke starts to fade away.
Nick Stuart: Come on now.
REACH OUT AND TOUCH FAITH….
The first line of Depeche Mode’s “Personal Jesus” starts cold. Suddenly a strobe light starts flashing to the rhythmic beat of the song. The crowd jeers loudly at Hoyt’s music.
Nick Stuart: I should have known we’d get some b.s.
Richard Parker: Stand up Nick, our Savior is here!!! He has risen!!
Nick Stuart: Not my savior.
“Your Personal Jesus” Hoyt Williams enters from the back wearing a white suit with a gold cape. A snow-white owl sits on his shoulder, he walks with a golden cane with a skull head that resembles PRIME’S first booker Sebs. Hoyt makes his way to the chairs. He looks at them and wags his finger “No” at Angelica Brooks. He taps his cane twice on the ground and from the back enter two followers wearing Angelo Luchador masks who pick up and take the director like chair away. Angelica Brooks does not look happy. The Pontiff of Prime taps the group four times and four bigger men, again in Angelo Luchador masks, carry out a throne of gold with a very comfortable looking red cushion. The masked men set the throne next to Angelica Brooks. Hoyt places the owl on top of the chair and does a few Jumping Jacks for Jesus before hiking up his pants and sitting down. He has a big smile on his face. Aurora Jennings is shown in the crowd, and she looks pissed.
Nick Stuart: What a smug pud.
Angelica Brooks: You ARE NOT JK ROYKO JR.
Hoyt Williams: You have slightly better vision than the PRIME refs. I am NOT John Kennedy Royko Jr. for he is no longer. I AM your savior, the PONTIFF OF PRIME, and the GREATEST wrestler to ever grace the PRIME ring. I am HOYT WILLIAMS. Would you like to do some jumping Jacks for Jesus with me? Because remember, God doesn’t let the obese into heaven as clouds have a weight limit and looking out at this Vegas girth, I know most of you are going to sink to hell. By the way WE have decided to sell our T-shirts, the NEW Hoyt Williams WWHD 2022, ONLY in sizes Small to Large. I don’t want to contribute to the unhealthy state of wrestling any longer.
Hoyt stands up and does a few more jumping jacks before laughing and sits back down.
Hoyt Williams: It’s ok Brooks we also don’t let in the red hairs in either.
Hoyt stares at the interviewers’ roots.
Angelica Brooks: Where is JK Royko?
Hoyt Williams: Funny you should ask. He is way too sore to travel after taking his flogging thanks to the horrible Bolamba Botch. Because of the Bolamba ten count debacle at Culture Shock Balaam had to learn a lesson, so he was sentenced to ten floggings.
Hoyt smacks his right hand into his left hand hard ten times as he stares off to the side into the eyes of Aurora Jennings.
Hoyt Williams: Ten floggings. Ten times a day. Ten days straight. Look at that back!
ASSHOLE ASSHOLE ASSHOLE
The PRIMEView shows a picture of Balaam’s back slashed up and bloody. Aurora loses it and jumps the guard rail with tears flowing from her eyes. Security grabs her and takes her away as Hoyt just shakes his head in disgust and points at the graphic photos laughing. He waves goodbye to Aurora mockingly rubbing fake tears from his eyes.
Hoyt Williams: Can you please get your show under control Brooks? I knew I shouldn’t have granted you an interview and should have left it to a creditable journalist like Saint “Big” Dick Parker.
Nick Stuart: Please.
Hoyt Williams: Balaam’s demented psycho ex-girlfriend spreading more lies about the freedom of Balaam. Laughable. So, thank the “Samoan crowd Silencer” Timbore BoLAMMMMBa for the punishment that prevented Balaam from being here. Timo’s to blame, like always.
Angelica Brooks: No man would take a lashing like that freely. Have you enslaved John Kennedy Royko Jr?
Hoyt Williams: Like Bobby Dean and a chicken leg you just won’t let this go. You could be stuck interviewing some dullard like “Simple” Sid Phillips but instead you have the SON OF GOD and yet all you do is ask about my ward? I don’t know how many times I have to say this. Balaam, like all wrestlers, is an independent contractor. I don’t own him. The man can sing Lesley Gore all night long if he wants. He just must do everything I say when contracted, plus I don’t have to provide him health insurance that’s how independent contracts work. It’s a great deal for everyone. Of course, he’s “free” the word “Independent” is in his title. Now we can sit here and quibble over contracts and magical masks OR I can give these fans a gift and the PRIME roster a major opportunity.
Angelica Brooks: Next REVIVAL can I speak with John Kennedy Royko Jr? I just want to hear it from him it’s my moralistic, and journalistic responsibility, to make sure this man’s well being is answered for in his own voice.
The savior of wrestling rolls his eyes as he pulls out his iPhone.
Hoyt Williams: Hey Siri open calendar.
Hoyt takes a moment to look at his phone while the crowd uses the silence to jeer.
Hoyt Williams: Yikes. Turns out he’s getting some dental work done the same day as the show. We don’t want him drooling like Bobby Dean at the moon pie factory. We have decency. So, no. It’s just not going to work. You know I’m actual offended. You sit on your high horse and talk about “moralistic responsibility” yet where are you on that Timo Ten Count controversy? Where are you on Timo and Anglo having dinner together like the Seinfeld crew at the diner? Where are you on the religious oppression I have faced since returning to PRIME? I’m appalled. I spoke today with PRIME’s archivist, and he agreed with me that Anglo’s win will forever be in the record books with an asterisk.
YOU’RE AN ASTERISK *CLAP CLAP* YOU’RE AN ASTERISK…
The Pontiff stops for a minute to listen to the crowd.
Hoyt Williams: I don’t even know what that means? You know what it’s true I am a symbol, a sign, A STAR!!
God’s champion stands up and curtseys to the crowd sarcastically.
Hoyt Williams: Also until the Snoreoan crowd Silencer Blimpo boLAMMMMBa brings me a Whiteman’s chocolate Sampler and an apology card for his fast count, there will be NO John Kennedy Royko Jr. interviews.
The blue-eyed angel looks dead eye into the camera.
Hoyt Williams: TAL. Cheap Mask. I know you have been flirting with the God’s and that’s a death wish for a mortal. You think it’s over, but the opera is just getting started. For the holy ghost will haunt you until the moment of your judgement returns. Go on in peace. Peace be with you…until I decided to take it away.
The owl turns its head sidewise as Hoyt smiles an evil looking grin.
Hoyt Williams: As for Balaam’s next victim I want temptation to bring the gluttony out of our next damnation. I want the cheese to lure the rat before the metal snaps and their neck broken inches away from their desires. So, a bounty is to be placed on the back of Balaam.
Richard Parker: A bounty on his own guy? What a selfless man, a deity of delight!
Hoyt Williams: I want my hunter to be hunted for that will strengthen his senses. 50 thousand to the first MAN to pin Balaam legally in the ring. Take him down, and 50 thousand is yours. But be warned for Balaam will break the weak and stomp the faithless. ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK.
Angelica Brooks: Well, the challenge is set. As if he has a choice in the matter. I would say thank you for your time, but I feel like you wasted all of ours.
Hoyt Williams: Rude. Even the press here in PRIME push an agenda against me. I know we have some of Hoyt’s Witnesses in the crowd who stand by me and believe. I know you all crave my body! You too Brooks.
Hoyt tugs on his suit coat and raises his eyebrows seductively at Brooks who looks repulsed. The owl is not amused.
Hoyt Williams: How could you not when I treat my body like a temple and you people treat yours like a tent. I have given my body to wrestling. Tonight, right now, a will give you all my body again!!!
Hoyt stands up tall and looks up to the roof like he’s in a community theater play.
Hoyt Williams: Look up to the skies!!!! Tilt your head back!! Stick out your tongue like you’re trying to catch a snowflake and wait for my load!! Oh yeaaaa.
From the heavens, or more so cargo nets attached to the rafter, round holy wafers spill out fluttering down towards the crowd. It’s raining Hoyt sacrament.
Richard Parker: I want one!! The crowd is literally eating this up!!
Nick Stuart: I apologize to our viewers for the behavior of Hoyt Williams. Absolutely disgusting.
Richard Parker: He’s giving us his body!!! What a legend.
Hoyt Williams: Enjoy the body of Hoyt!!!! AMEN!! As a matter of fact I’m not done yet how about a second load???!!! OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Hoyt raises his hands and this time the crowd actually cheers as more wafers start their journey fluttering down to the masses. Hoyt spins around like he’s Bruno Mars, drops the microphone, and moonwalks to the back.
Some in the crowd are catching the wafers on their tongues, some are collecting them, some are throwing them at others. One fan holds one up to the camera and we see it has the “WWHD” carved into it. Angelica Brooks just looks defeated as she starts walking to the back.
Nick Stuart: We just learned nothing on the condition of John Kennedy Royko Jr. what a waste of time.
Richard Parker: Waste of time? We just received the body of Hoyt and there is a 50-thousand-dollar bounty for the first person to pin Balaam. Amazing.
TAG TEAM SURVIVOR 2
The front of the MGM Grand is cast in shadow, and looming large in that shadow is a large, horrible structure. Dark and foreboding. And standing at the top of that shadow is a man.
Nick Stuart: Folks, I’m getting word that we’re about to start with the second round of the Survivor competition.
Richard Parker: Okay, but… what the hell am I looking at?
The structure becomes far less menacing in a dazzle of light. A single tall staircase built from blue steel rises twenty feet into the air, leading to a platform large enough for several large, angry men to grab colored puzzle bags. Aligned along the sides of the stairs are two half-tube slides, like the kind you find on a playground. The thing was absolutely covered in strange cardboard constructs, like something an elementary school student would’ve constructed. Nonsense crafted in a grade schooler’s art class lines the safety rails of the staircase.
The platform at the top of the structure has the largest piece of cardboard, which has been glued together with the loving cooperation of the Glue Factory and their latest product, Civil Dusk. If you happen to be there, you would notice the strange scent of French toast. That is Civil Dusk. Drawn on this cardboard, somewhat crudely, is the shape of a berry. Three sets of bags of puzzle pieces sit on a table at the top. Blue, for Team VIAGRA. Red, for DUI. Yellow, for Crudely Civilized.
As for the man standing at the top of the structure, he is familiar. Maybe. All you really need to know about him is that he wore no shirt, save for a lab coat. And the top of his head is a blackberry.
Nick Stuart: Uh, I think I know who’s responsible for the décor…
Richard Parker: Jesus Christ, no, is that another fruit guy? Seriously? One was already two too many!
The man raises a microphone to his lips.
Baron von Blackberry: AHAHA! BEHOLD! I, the great and mighty and ABSOLUTELY PERFECT Baron von Blackberry, stand here as your master of ceremonies! Soon! SOON! Ten teams of seventeen men, two rock gods, and one mannequin shall rush to where I am, collect puzzle pieces, and then return to construct their DIABOLICAL work!
He pauses, soaking in the adulation from the dozens of people who have gathered to bear witness to the disaster about to unfold.
Baron von Blackberry: You will be constructing 100-piece puzzles from the hit cartoon, of which I so gloriously star in, “Mega Job and the Ten True Fruits”. The first tribe to successfully puzzle their way to a solution shall be victorious! AHAHA!
Richard Parker: Okay. Uh, Nick?
Nick Stuart: Yeah, Richard?
Richard Parker: I need to know something. What the hell is “Mega Job and the Ten True Fruits”?
Nick Stuart: I was told it was a very popular cartoon on YouTube. We’re talking millions and millions of views, here. Yes, it’s the same Mega Job that was in PRIME before. And their production company has graciously provided the jigsaw puzzles we’ll be using tonight.
Richard Parker: Okay. I want to know if I’m in hell. I want to know if this is hell and I am living in it. And what the hell does King Blueberry have THIS time?
The camera has cut to the competitors as they start lining up in front of the structure. Most of them are there, except for Joe Fontaine for Team VIAGRA, Pat Cassidy of Crudely Civilized, and El Hijo del Super Cool Guy of DUI. Evidently, they are all on puzzle duty. In the background, Shweta Kallemullah of the Fighting For Nora Foundation is operating a sports drink stand, and is doing charitable business with the fans who’ve come to watch this fiasco.
More importantly, King Blueberry has a mechanism strapped to his back, with a hose that he waves around in his hand.
Nick Stuart: I think that’s a leaf blower, Richard.
Richard Parker: Oh, hell no.
After several tense moments, the sound of a fog horn reverberates in the night of Las Vegas.
Nick Stuart: And it begins!
Have you ever seen those videos of people getting in the store as it opens on Black Friday? So many people, moving forward in the name of holiday consumption. If they are to fall, they would be crushed underfoot in the name of the gaping maw of the holidays. It isn’t uncommon. Such a rush would surely suggest a mistake on the part of the store ownership, underestimating the basic principles of supply and demand.
Anyway, here’s Bobby Dean rubbing himself down with some sort of strange, gelatinous substance while everyone else rushes up the stairs.
Doozer hangs back, making sure that Bobby is properly lathered down with the type of practiced motion that came from this not being his first time he’d ever had to lather Bobby up in questionably slick substances. Now he’s beautiful and somewhat shiny.
Richard Parker: I feel like I need to put in for therapy after this contest, and it only just started.
The rush up the stairs is rough for the people not hanging back. Sid Phillips and Mushigihara, the two biggest men on the Team VIAGRA side of things, barrel forward like holiday shoppers looking to score a Playstation 5. Their collective size makes the prospect of stopping them seem ludicrous.
But then, one man manages to shove them both aside and put himself out into the lead.
Nick Stuart: Barry Delgado’s shoved his way up front! He’s taken an early lead!
Richard Parker: Man’s built like a fire hydrant, of course he did!
There’s a lot of elbows and shoving going on in the frantic climb up the stairs. Kenny Freeman takes one from Nova that knocks him over the railing. Fortunately for him, he lands on the slide and slides down to the bottom again.
Meanwhile, Nathan Filmix outright attempts to grab a waistlock on Brock Newbludd, as though he’s going to suplex him down the stairs. Brock responds by hitting him in the face with an elbow, and then slamming his head into the rail.
Baron von Blackberry: Ooh! Good one, ‘ol Brocky boy! You take it to that wrestle pervert!
Nate Colton then picks a fight with Brock in defense of his partner, and the two exchange punches even as they climb up the stairs. Behind them, King Blueberry is walking casually up the stairs, like he’s going to fetch a carton of milk from an upstairs neighbor instead of rushing to be the first up the platform.
The first three to make it up to the platform are Phillips, Mushigihara, and Boogie. Boogie grabs his first set of puzzle pieces, only to turn around to see two very large, very angry men looming over him.
Just when things are about to go very wrong for the bassist, his partner Trent Sadikaj immediately enters the fray. Sid, sensing something is wrong, turns around only to find out exactly why the lead singer is called “Electric Boots”. Because he got kicked in the face. Very, very hard. Obviously.
The sumo half of the Dangerous Mix turns around to engage Sadikaj, but doing so allows Delgado to throw himself down the slide like he’s trying to score a touchdown. A poke in the eye from Sadikaj allows him the opening to snatch a second red bag for his team, and make a stylish escape by sliding down the slide by his feet, arms outstretched.
Nick Stuart: Solid Gold Rock n’ Roll have taken the early advantage for DUI!
The showmanship of Boots is his downfall, however. As he slides down, he doesn’t see David Fox come flying over the rails with a swinging 619-style kick as he’s halfway down. The attack clotheslines Trent, and sends his puzzle bag flying out of his hand and down into the crash mat below.
Nick Stuart: Oh my god!
Richard Parker: Oh no, not Boots!
Trent’s body continues to slide down, but in far more pain than you should be when going down a slide. Fox hangs on to the railing, and manages to clamber back up to the staircase.
Meanwhile, Bobby Dean and Doozer are making progress up the stairs. Well, slow progress. Well, okay. Bobby has to stop halfway up because he really needs to rehydrate. Doozer pulls out water bottles from his jorts with considerable annoyance, clearly prepared for this problem.
Don’t worry, Bobby! We all believe in you!
The next one to manage to get up to the platform is Nathan Filmix. The product of the Kabal Training Grounds looks contemptuously at the bags of puzzle pieces, and then at Baron von Blackberry, who’s standing in a corner with his microphone still in hand.
Rather than go for the pieces, Filmix casts a glare at Blackberry.
If Blackberry is intimidated by the death glare, his maniacal laughter in the face of it says otherwise. Rather than go for one of the red bags remaining on the table, Filmix takes a step towards Blackberry.
Richard Parker: Gonna say that I don’t think Nathan Filmix appreciated that “wrestle pervert” comment.
Fortunately, before things get too out of hand, Nate Colton reaches him and points repeatedly at the red bags, guiding his tag team partner to win the match rather than take out his excess aggression on the fruit that wasn’t participating in the match. Eventually, Filmix relents and snatches a red bag. Then he goes to the slide and glares at it, like he’s above doing such a stupid thing as going down a fun ride for children. He has to be persuaded by Colton to go down, but he relents.
Nick Stuart: DUI is out to an early lead here, with Delgado—
Richard Parker: Boogie.
Nick Stuart: –and Filmix retrieving bags before the other tribes have gotten hold of one!
At the top of the ramp, Sid Phillips has recovered from getting stomped in the face by a guy often called Boots – who’d have thunk it? – and is handed a blue bag by the other big man that joined him up there, Mushigihara. Together, the two hulking brutes of DUI make their escape down the slides.
Nate Colton realizes far too late that Mushigihara is careening down the slide far faster than he was. The sumo manages to barrel into him, and both men tumble off of the slide in a heap.
Meanwhile, the two members of the Fighting For Nora Foundation, Jonathan Rhine and Paxton Ray, make it up to the platform to retrieve puzzle bags for DUI. Likewise, so does Randall Schwartz. He begins to take all of the bags for Crudely Civilized.
Nick Stuart: Uh, I don’t think Mr. Schwartz understands the rules!
Richard Parker: The damn fruit didn’t say he couldn’t do it, though! Wait, why is he in charge of this, anyway?
As if hearing Richard’s comment that he’s in charge of things, Baron von Blackberry steps in and informs Randall Schwartz that he can only take one bag. Randall is furious, yelling at Blackberry. However, Blackberry matter-of-factly starts taking bags from Randall until he’s left with only one.
Nick Stuart: Referee Elvis Nixon is on the floor observing the construction of the puzzles, so… I guess Blackberry is taking care of things on the platform?
Richard Parker: This is highly irregular! Why aren’t there two referees?!
As Randall is arguing with a man that literally has a fruit on his head, Paxton and Rhine both grab their puzzle pieces, and make for the slides.
And then, a lot of bad things start happening at once.
Let’s start with down at ground level.
Trent Sadikaj has recovered from getting clotheslined by David Fox on his way down the slide. The worst part is that, knowing this man, he would do it again. But his real concern is trying to find the bag he lost getting kicked. Unfortunately for him, someone else hanging around at ground level has decided to join him in the search.
They’re not in his tribe.
That’s because they’re Garbage Bag Johnny.
To explain, GBJ behind the structure before the contest started, telling his partner that he had a grand plan that’s much better than any shenanigans involving a jetpack. Said plan? To fill himself with helium, so that he became lighter than air, and then he could simply float up and grab the puzzle pieces.
GBJ: Oh, hey, what’s good?
This plan, as you can imagine, just makes GBJ sound like Mickey Mouse. If he chuckled right now, Disney would probably sue somebody. They’re litigious over there.
Trent gawks at GBJ like he’s seen a very high-pitched ghost. Then Nova punches him in the face. Why’s Nova here? Because he just came down from retrieving a puzzle bag of his own, obviously. Was that not mentioned? Sorry. A lot’s happening.
Nova raises an eyebrow at GBJ, who gives him a goofy thumbs-up in response, and then the two make their way back to the stairs to make their next ascent.
Meanwhile, their fellow tribesmen, the Masters of the Multiverse (well, the B-Team of it, I suppose) have returned with two more puzzle bags between them. As do Jonathan Rhine and Paxton Ray of Team VIAGRA. King Blueberry lingers conspicuously at the top of the slide, watching intently for something to happen at ground level. Once he’s certain that the sweet Fighting for Nora boys are on their way back up for another go, King Blueberry goes down the slide.
Nathan Filmix gets into it with Brock Newbludd again on the stairs, and the two men battle back and forth over a suplex that Filmix definitely wants to do but Newbludd won’t allow. Nova and GBJ start running up the stairs, past the two grapplers. Halfway up, GBJ stops to pull out a banana. For the potassium, you see. Once he pulls the peel off, he just tosses it over his shoulder onto the stairs. This spells bad news for David Fox, who takes a wrong step on the banana peel and pratfalls down the stairs because of it.
Baron von Blackberry: Kids, if there’s any advice I can give after this match, it’s that you shouldn’t litter!
Richard Parker: Not sure I’d take advice from a berry, but even I’d agree with that.
Up top, Bobby Dean and Doozer have reached the promised land of the top of the platform. Somehow. Blackberry gives the two of them a thumbs up. Bobby, though out of breath from his climbs, manages to return it. Doozer just shakes his head. The two eGG Bandits then grab their puzzle bags, and go down the slide.
Hey, have you ever heard the sound that a very greased up Bobby Dean makes when he goes down a slide? It’s pretty gnarly. He goes pretty fast and actually makes it to the bottom of the slide before Doozer does.
Elsewhere, things have devolved into a melee. The Fighting For Nora boys end up getting to scrap with the Multiverse boys, exchanging blows between them as they slowly climb the stairs. Boots and Boogie have managed to recover from their early setbacks, only to find a new setback in GBJ’s ever-increasing number of banana peels. Seriously. Man’s got the munchies.
All the while, Joe Fontaine, Pat Cassidy, and… uh, El Hijo del Super Cool Guy are busying themselves figuring out the puzzles with what pieces they’ve gotten so far. Unsurprisingly, the DUI table hasn’t made a lot of progress so far. EHDSCG should probably get on that.
Anyway, how shall we mess things up from here?
Enter King Blueberry.
No, wait. Check that.
Enter King Blueberry and his goddamn industrial leaf blower.
Blueberry immediately points the business end of his leaf blower directly at the VIAGRA table, and the pieces start to go flying off. Fontaine yells and covers what remains of the puzzle with his body. Among other things that go flying from Blueberry’s antics include Joe’s fabulous cape, some of Shweta’s sports drinks, and at least one life-sized cardboard cutout of beloved English actress, Dame Helen Mirren.
How did that get there?
Well, you’d have to ask Timo Bolamba, his Google Assistant, and maybe Baron von Blackberry.
Joe manages to put himself between His Highness King Blueberry, First of His Name, and the VIAGRA table. That’s when Blueberry simply points the leaf blower in Joe’s face. Folks, don’t do this. It’s very mean. Anyway, Joe gets disoriented from the sudden rush of air in his face, and it allows Blueberry to hip-check him right into the table.
Nick Stuart: There has to be something in the rules against this, but our referee on hand, Elvis Nixon, is allowing it!
Richard Parker: Technically speaking, and I can’t believe I’m saying anything positive about something King Blueberry is doing, but I don’t think it’s against the rules to blow all of your opposition’s puzzle pieces away with a leaf blower!
King Blueberry hums a tune to himself that only he can hear, because leaf blower. And it makes him very unaware that one man is approaching him that is very big, very mean, and very unhappy. His name is Sid Phillips, and he wants to do exactly one thing to King Blueberry.
Blueberry realizes the danger immediately before Sid has him by the throat.
Nick Stuart: And here’s Sid Phillips, Joe Fontaine’s tag team partner! He’s looking to deliver a powerbomb to King Blueberry!
But it isn’t to be. Not yet. Before Sid could place Blueberry’s head between his thighs, Blueberry shoves his leaf blower’s hose into Sid’s face. This disoriented Sid just long enough for Blueberry to make his escape back up the stairs, with Sid in hot pursuit. Blueberry dodges around the brawling going on up the stairs, and then dodges past Mushigihara to the point that Mushi manages to slip on one of the banana peels left behind by Garbage Bag Johnny.
Sid is unfettered, though.
The big man pushes his way through the throngs of very punchy professional wrestlers, gets over Bobby Dean who’s just now coming out of his nap, and rapidly catches up to Blueberry at the top of the platform. Blueberry grabs one of DUI’s last remaining bags of puzzle pieces, but as he’s about to escape down the slide, he’s suddenly grabbed by Sid.
Sid actually knees him in the gut the moment he gets close enough, and then puts him in position for a powerbomb. Considering the leaf blower is still strapped to Blueberry, this is easier said than done, but he has the berry up and…
Nick Stuart: Oh dear god! Sid Phillips just delivered a sitout powerbomb on King Blueberry! On the slide!
Sid and KB take a leisurely trip down the slide together, only one is in considerably more pain than the other. I mean, you try taking a powerbomb with that thing on your back. Not fun!
Richard Parker: And down they go…
KB tumbles out from between Sid’s legs when they reach the ground, but before Sid could even fully get off of the slide, he is met by Nate Colton.
Nate grabs him by the waist, and despite the size difference, Nate roars and throws Sid over his head with a belly-to-belly suplex!
Nick Stuart: What a suplex from Nate Colton!
Sid hits the ground in a painful roll, momentum carrying him back up to his knees. That’s when he’s met with Pat Cassidy, who takes one look at the big man, picks up one of his empty bottles of booze, and cracks it over Sid’s head.
Richard Parker: That’s gonna leave a mark, Nick!
Sid is wobbly after all of that, and then Cassidy grabs him from behind and delivers a belly-to-back suplex, sending Sid careening down to the ground next to the DUI table.
What I’m going to tell you next is going to sound absurd.
Which says a lot, considering the braintrust involved in this mess.
Sid’s momentum takes him into El Hijo del Super Cool Guy, who’d definitely been hard at work on DUI’s puzzle this whole time and hasn’t been sitting there being a mannequin. Sid, in his flailing from being hit with two suplexes and a beer bottle, manages to grab the son of Super Cool Guy as he’s landing, flinging him up and towards Team VIAGRA’s table.
Joe Fontaine, who by this point is back to his feet and trying to find lost puzzle pieces, has the misfortune of being exactly where EHDSCG is about to land.
Legs landed between Joe’s head, and suddenly…
Joe Fontaine: *WILHELM SCREAM*
Nick Stuart: …
Richard Parker: …
Nick Stuart: Did… did I just see…
Richard Parker: Yes, Nick… I think we did…
Nick Stuart: Joe Fontaine just found out what lightning is like when it strikes twice, and he’s been hit with a Canadian Destroyer by El Hijo del Super Cool Guy! He’s down!
Richard Parker: I don’t even any more. I just don’t even. I can’t believe he’s been made into a Larry.
Back at the stairs, Bobby Dean had heroically attempted to make a second climb up the stairs. But he gets tired two steps up, and decides to take a nap on the third. Doozer yells at him to get up and keep going, but Bobby’s snores inform him how well that’s going. So Doozer loudly curses – don’t worry, the censors picked it up – and marches up the stairs without him.
Richard Parker: Wait! You can’t just sleep there! You idiot!
This has some problems going forward for the tribes looking to grab the last puzzle pieces. Bobby is very large-boned, and very greasy. David Fox and Mushigihara confer with each other, and then Mushi steps forward while Fox takes a few steps back before running.
David Fox flies several feet over Bobby Dean’s corpulent form, and lands on the stairs running. Kenny Freeman and Randall Schwartz also confer, and attempt to do the same thing, with Freeman trying to launch Schwartz.
Schwartz… doesn’t make it. He pratfalls right into Bobby’s prodigious belly and falls on his ass, far slicker than he ever wanted to be in his life.
Brock Newbludd approaches, and attempts to make it over the old fashioned way. He’s maybe halfway past Bobby when he’s suddenly grabbed from behind by Nathan Filmix. With a roar of his own that matches that of his tag team partner, Filmix launches Newbludd down the stairs with a German suplex, landing the Milwaukee native on his stomach right by the base of the thing.
Pat Cassidy, in the middle of drinking his third bottle of beer at that moment, gulps significantly. He knows he has to replace his partner for now.
He looks up the stairs, and makes the sign of the cross.
Then he slowly makes his way up the stairs, managing to get around Bobby somehow.
Back at the VIAGRA table, Joe Fontaine has managed to crawl back to the table to put together the puzzle some more. Or at least, he would… but a certain someone and his certain leaf blower keeps interfering. King Blueberry, despite standing like his spine is misaligned after being powerbombed by Sid, is firmly making the VIAGRA tribe’s life a living hell.
Then he feels a tap on his shoulder.
King Blueberry: Oh, shi—
And Paxton Ray punches his ass to the ground.
Paxton Ray: Been waitin’ all day to do that.
Sid Phillips, meanwhile, has crawled over to Shweta’s sports drink stand. His face is red from anger and exhaustion. That’s when he spots a man in a mask, and instantly puts two and two together.
He gets five.
As in, Enemigo #5.
Nick Stuart: Uh oh…
He grabs the masked man by the sides of his head, and puts him in position for a powerbomb.
Richard Parker: Oh, man, can’t wait for the fine on this one.
Before Sid can go throug with what’s sure to be another fine, he’s suddenly kicked in the chest so hard with a yakuza kick that he falls backwards and nearly lands right on Shweta’s sports drink table, much to her distress.
Who could have stopped him?
It’s Baron von Blackberry.
How did he get there so fast?
Don’t ask too many questions.
Nick Stuart: Uh, did Baron von Blackberry just… kick his own guy?
Richard Parker: Think he saved him from a fine. Seriously, though, that dude’s a manager. How’d he kick him so hard?
Blackberry turns to Shweta with an apologetic shrug, helps Enemigo #5 up to his feet, and then runs back up the stairs of the competition.
It’s too late, though.
Blackberry leaving his post allows most of the puzzle pieces to be taken at once. Doozer has all of DUI’s bundled in his arms as he comes down the slide. As does Nova and Garbage Bag Johnny, who’ve successfully procured the remaining bags for Crudely Civilized and are making a daring escape down the slide.
David Fox doesn’t do this. He grabs the one puzzle bag and makes his way down, and only realizes his mistake when he sees what the other tribes had done.
That leaves one man left at the top of the platform.
Bobby Dean has managed to reach the top of the stairs.
How did he do that? He’d been asleep the whole time?
Well, what did I say about questions?
Bobby takes one look at the DUI table, and realizes that he’d climbed up the stairs for no reason. Doozer already has all of DUI’s puzzle bags. So he goes over to the slide, takes a seat, and grabs his own legs. Then he rolls down the slide.
At the bottom of the slide, David Fox is getting into it with Barry Delgado. Brock Newbludd is fending off both Nathan Filmix and Nate Colton, and is helped by his tribemate, Kenny Freeman.
And then Bobby Dean flies out of the slide and crashes into all of them.
The sound of bowling pins could be heard by anyone nearby.
Richard Parker: …I don’t even have a witty remark for that. My wit is dried up. It’s a desert now.
Nick Stuart: You and me both, buddy.
Mushigihara seems frustrated watching this unfold below him. Visibly so. You wouldn’t think it from a guy as stoic as him, but then, you didn’t normally see steam flying from a man’s nostrils, either. He shouts a defiant “OSU!” and goes flying up the stairs, at a speed you wouldn’t expect from a former sumo wrestler. He reaches the top, snatches up the last of VIAGRA’s puzzle bags, and launches himself down the slide like he’s E. Honda.
As it so happens, the slide he goes down is crowded by more brawling wrestlers. Doozer and Trent Sadikaj have teamed up to take down Pat Cassidy, who’s fighting the two of them. Randall Schwartz eventually comes over to help. El Hijo del Super Cool Guy’s right leg is in there, for some reason, too. It’s a good time.
And then Mushigihara comes flying off the slide and crashes into all of them.
More bowling pin sounds.
Nick Stuart: Carnage abound!
Richard Parker: I don’t think this happens in actual Survivor. Like, the reality show. Pretty sure nobody gets punched. Or powerbombed. Or gets rolled over by Bobby Dean. Or take an Ultra Combo from Mushigihara.
It takes some time before wrestlers start to recover from all the shenanigans, but all of the shenanigoons eventually start trying to figure out what puzzle pieces go where. Team VIAGRA has the extra problem of trying to find all of the pieces that’d gone flying from Blueberry’s leaf blower. Sid Phillips eventually attempts to powerbomb a puzzle piece. It goes poorly.
Crudely Civilized, meanwhile, have the twin problems of no one knowing how to put together a puzzle, and the Saturday Night Specials possibly being too drunk and disorderly to see things straight. For DUI, Doozer is doing his best, even when people around him are very confused about how a puzzle is solving itself.
Look, these are professional wrestlers, not members of MENSA. Besides El Hijo del Super Cool Guy, anyway.
The puzzle solving is frantically paced, and there aren’t a lot of suplexes going on. I’m sorry. We hit our suplex quota for this match. If you’d like to see more suplexes, please complain to your local suplex requisition office.
Eventually, Jonathan Rhine and Joe Fontaine start to make good headway on the puzzle, and start to pull ahead. At least, they did, before King Blueberry suddenly fires up the leaf blower one last time. Before the two of them realize what’s about to happen, their remaining pieces go flying into Shweta’s drink stand.
Joe Fontaine attempts to dive and catch some of them, and accidentally knocks over the stand in the process, much to Shweta’s screams of anguish.
With VIAGRA unable to proceed, King Blueberry picks up the last piece that DUI needs and slams it down on the table. Elvis Nixon comes over, examines their work, and raises Blueberry’s hand in victory.
Nick Stuart: Tribe DUI have won the challenge, with a huge assist from King Blueberry, who’s won it for his team!
Richard Parker: DUI won again? What’s… what’s going to happen to the other two tribes? They’re going to be down to two teams each!
Nick Stuart: It remains to be seen, Richard, but for now… DUI’s victory ensures that all of its members will remain safe. We’ll have to see who survives to see the next show!
DEFCON Night 1 and 2 are on the air! Stream all the action live at defiancewrestling DAHT CAHM!
Vegas, Can You?
We come back from commercial immediately into:
We Came as Romans.
A hard hitting drum roll joins with a wall of white flashbulbs, igniting outward inside the darkened MGM Grand Garden Arena. A broad-bodied silhouette rises against the white light, hands rising outward and up. He walks forward slowly as the first verse takes over, the wall of light giving way to reveal the clear image of “Event Horizon,” Hayes Hanlon, clad in street clothes, including his usual black button down dress shirt. But most notably?
The Five Star Title around his waist.
His arms rise to the ceiling once more as the chorus strikes through The Grand Garden Arena.
“I FALL INTO A BLACK HOLE IN MY HEEAAD!
REACH INTO THE DARKNESS FOR WHAT’S LEEFT!
I’M FIGHTING THE GRAAAVITY! IT’S PULLING THE WORST PART OUT OF ME!
Hayes removes the title and slowly reaches it overhead with one hand, eyes closed as he tilts his head to the roof, the chorus blasting out heavily to a roaring crowd. Hayes drapes the belt across his broad shoulders as the chorus shifts back to verse, holding straps down his chest like a towel before making his way to the ring, a small smile creeping underneath his dark mustache.
Nick Stuart: Folks, if you ever doubted that dreams really can come true, look. No. Further.
Richard Parker: Or, look away!
Nick Stuart: It was this young man’s dream to become a wrestler; he did that. His dream to join the ranks of PRIME; he did that. His dream to WIN inside that ring, and he’s done it multiple times already in his short career. But most of all, his dream was to become a champion…
Hanlon steps through the ropes, the music rising once more. He steps to the first ropes in the far corner, turning around to face center-ring, then leans his back over the post, placing the belt across his chest and aiming it to the sky. His arms stretch out wide to meet another flash of light accompanying the chorus.
“I’M FIGHTING THE GRAAAVITY! IT’S PULLING THE WORST PART OUT OF ME!
Nick Stuart: And at Culture Shock, he. Did. That.
The lights trail off along with the music as Hayes rights himself and hops down to the mat, placing the belt on his shoulder and retrieving a mic from a ringside assistant. The music fades off, leaving only the cheers of the Garden crowd. The Event Horizon takes it in, turning and addressing each angle of the arena. The young star takes his time, because after all…
…Hayes Hanlon, has arrived.
With a gleam in his eyes he brings the mic to his lips.
Hayes Hanlon: Las Vegas! Can you HEAR it!?
The Arena responds with a wave of cheers. Hayes smiles, sticking a finger in his ear as if to clean it out before speaking again.
Hayes Hanlon: Vegas! Can you…
Hayes closes his eyes, taking a long, drawn out breath in through his nose.
Hayes Hanlon: …SMELL it?
And again, they roar for The Event Horizon.
Hayes Hanlon: Now tell me, Vegas! Can you FEEEEL it?
Another heavy wave of cheers. Hayes shimmies like a shiver shot through his body. He holds a bright white smile and takes a lap around the ring, while the cheers die down.
Hayes Hanlon: Well that’s good, Vegas, because at Culture Shock I could HEAR that bell ring and I could SMELL that win comin’, but you wanna know what it FEELS like?
Richard Parker: It feels pretty cringey to me.
Nick Stuart: Quiet. Let the kid have his moment.
Hanlon grips his belt in one hand, and holds it high overhead once more.
Hayes Hanlon: IT FEELS FIVE FREAKIN’ STAR, baby!!
He lowers the strap to his shoulder, basking in another wave of cheers from The Grand’s audience.
Hayes Hanlon: After I got knocked out of the tournament I had a loooot of questions, Vegas. I wasn’t sure I belonged here, thought I was over my head, thought I’d have to turn around and head back north to Oregon. But two matches and nine opponents later and HERE. WE. ARE! This one’s for YOU, Vegas!
A roaring ovation cascades through the arena, Hayes taking another lap with his belt held high, cheering back at the rowdy crowd. He rests the belt on his shoulder as they simmer before returning to his monologue.
Hayes Hanlon: Earlier tonight, Lindsay Troy asked me if I could prove it, if I could run it back and show that my win at Culture Shock wasn’t a fluke. After I lost in the Almasy Invitational, I might have said “no, I can’t prove it.”
The crowd boos, disagreeing with his comment. Hayes nods, however, mouthing “it’s true, it’s true” before returning to the mic.
Hayes Hanlon: But here’s my answer for you TODAY, Boss Lady!
The Event Horizon pauses for dramatic effect, the crowd rolling and rumbling until he bursts forward toward the ramp.
Hayes Hanlon: WHO. YOU. GOT!?
Hanlon grips the top rope, wide brown eyes staring up the entrance, ready to receive his opponent for ReVival 7 with the Las Vegas faithful cheering behind him.
The Stone Roses.
There’s a look of surprise on Hayes’ face as Alexander Redding walks slowly out onto the stage, microphone in hand. He’s not alone, either, as both Grady Patrick and Teddy Palmer accompany him.
Nick Stuart: Wait. This can’t be right.
Richard Parker: What was your first clue, Nick?
Nick Stuart: I mean, yes, Alexander Redding did beat Jacob Mephisto earlier this evening for his first win of the ReVival Era, but it was not without help from Teddy Palmer. Not only that, but it’s pretty clear there’s no love lost between this group and Lindsay Troy.
Richard Parker: You can’t blame the Queen for looking out for the company’s best interests, given the past reputations of Redding, Palmer, and Grady Patrick. Hell, they should feel lucky they even have a job at all!
The PRIMEates are also a little confused by this turn of events, and their reaction is decidedly mixed. “Love Spreads” fades out and Redding puts the microphone to his lips.
Alexander Redding: Oh don’t worry, I’m not going to take up too much of your precious time. I’m quite confident I’m not Her Majesty’s choice of opponent for you, Hayes, but since no announcement has yet to be made, I’m taking this opportunity to call my shot. You and me, ReVival 7, for the Five Star Title.
The Event Horizon smiles and bows his head a little, shaking his head slightly.
Hayes Hanlon: You know, Redding, I worked pretty damn hard for my shot at this strap. Can you say the same?
Red lifts the mic to respond, but is quickly cut off by The Five Star Champ.
Hayes Hanlon: Don’t answer that.
A pop from the arena, and unappreciative glares from the trio on the ramp.
Hayes Hanlon: You can call your shot all night long, but let’s see if you can shoot it. I’ll see you in two weeks, right here in Vegas, baby!
Nick Stuart: A challenge offered, and a challenge accepted!
Hayes Hanlon: And you know, dude? I’ve been getting pretty good at dealing with three or four at a time, inside the ring and out if you catch my drift. So Ted and Grady? Feel free to join the party! There’s plenty of me to go around!
With a roar of the crowd, “Black Hole” hits the speakers one more time as Hayes grins behind his ‘stache.
Nick Stuart: Oooh my! I don’t know if Lindsay Troy is going to be happy about this.
Richard Parker: Doubt it, but I don’t think it matters now, does it? And Hanlon better check himself with the extra invites, clearly Palmer’s not afraid to accept!
The music continues to blast out while Red, Ted, and Grady stare down the Five Star Champ before we fade elsewhere.
Resistance Is Futile
The feed cuts to outside the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Our dear junior reporter Simon Tillier is there with a mic in his hand, expectedly wearing his standard powder blue suit. He would typically be smiling, were it not for his present interview subject. “The Escape Artist” Rezin stands beside him, a perturbed scowl etched across his grizzled face. Behind them in the background, we can see the entrance to the parking lot area.
Simon Tillier: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Simon Tillier on the scene here, once again in the company of the ever infamous Rezin… who I should point out, is not scheduled to be here tonight, but is… quite regrettably here in any case.
Rezin: Here like a STAIN ya can never wipe out, Simon!
Simon Tillier: Rezin, first of all, I need to ask… what the heck happened to you?
Rezin: Drugs and Sabbath. What more needs to be said?
A beat of silence follows, and Rezin realizes the reporter is referring to his appearance. The Goat Bastard is barely half visible beneath a seemingly random spattering of blood-and-sweat-stained bandages. He’s been cut open in many areas on his torso and arms. The reddened, swelling skin creeping up around his neck and shoulders would suggest he’s been or dangerously close to being on fire at some point.
To put it simply, he looks like he’s been through hell and back. It doesn’t seem to be affecting him.
Rezin: Oh, you mean all THIS? Long story… had to kick some rip-off wannabe edgelord off my turf. It was a rather un-PLEASANT experience, to say the least. Just another day in the life of being the most PUNK ROCK wrestler on the planet.
Simon Tillier: But, I mean… should you be here right now? As opposed to, I don’t know, seeking some sort of medical attention? Aren’t you in pain?
Rezin: YES, Simon!! EX-CRU-SHE-AIN’T’N PAIN!! PHYSICAL!! MENTAL!! ALL of the PAIN, ALL through my rotten life! But I ain’t ever let it stop me from BLAZIN’ IT UP! Not while there’s still a world to BURN! PAIN ain’t nothin’ when you can drown it out with SHEER RAGE… and RIGHT NOW, I am ENRAGED, Simon!
Simon adjusts his tie, as if bracing himself for what’s to come.
Simon Tillier: Dare I ask why that’s the case, Rezin?
Rezin: I DOUBLE-DOG DARE YA, Simon! I tell ya am straight-up PISSED OFF!! Cause sure, I could be sittin’ in some hospital right now, gettin’ pumped with morphine and tellin’ the quack doctor why I ain’t got health insurance, and how the whole corrupt system is just a tool of the corporate parasites! But instead I decided to come HERE tonight, to show all these normies WHAT FOR…
He angrily points at the line of Enemigos standing guard at the entrance to the parking lot. Standing between him and his beloved freedom to commit acts of indecency and domestic terrorism.
Rezin: …only to find out that THOSE mute bootlickers won’t let me in the building tonight!
Simon Tillier: I mean, I think that’s somewhat understandable, considering you did reportedly destroy some expensive production equipment after your tantrum at Culture Shock.
Rezin’s feet leave the ground as all of his limbs explosively thrash through the air.
Rezin: “TANTRUM?!” WHAT!? I was EXPRESSING MYSELF!! That was a PERFECTLY REASONABLE emotional reaction, given the circumstances!
Simon Tillier: Well… what can be said, Rezin? We’re all very sorry you lost, but someone with your years in this business should know well and accept by now that sometimes you fall short of your ambitions.
Rezin: NO, Simon! I didn’t fall short of ANYTHING! In my breakout moment at Culture Shock, I was ROBBED of my chance to be the Five Star Champion! I should be one holding that title, Simon! I should be the one standing in that ring right now, giving the heart-felt victory speech, getting the RESPECT and ACCREDITATION that I DESERVE!! Instead, they throw me in the GUTTER like some disposable piece of TRASH!
Simon Tillier: I’m sorry you feel that way… but the fact remains, Hayes Hanlon worked hard to win that title, and most would say he deserves every bit of the recognition he’s getting right now.
Rezin: HA!! That’s a company line if I ever heard one! Well, the fact ALSO remains that he didn’t pin ME to win that belt!
Tillier’s eyebrow arches as he processes the sheer irony of that statement. Before he can get a word in, however, Rezin snatches the junior reporter by the lapel and yanks him in close.
Rezin: WHAT, Simon?! WHAT!? Are you about to tell me I’m being HYPOCRITICAL right now?! Well GO ON!! SAY IT!! TRY ME, SIMON!!
Simon’s attention turns from Rezin to someone standing behind him, off camera.
Simon Tillier: Umm… who is this?
The shot pulls back to reveal a towering, bearded man. His straight-laced business-casual attire is absurdly undercut by a novelty horned Viking helmet resting on his head. Somewhat apprehensively, he waves nervously to the reporter.
Ollie Arsvinnar: Oh, hey, uh… pleased to meet you. I’m Ollie Arsvinnar, the Viking… accountant, I guess?
Simon’s eyes flash with a look of familiarity.
Simon Tillier: Have I… seen you somewhere before?
The Viking accountant’s eyes widen with alarm, but before anything can come of it, Rezin interjects.
Rezin: OLVIR!! Did ya find an alternative route into the building?
Ollie Arsvinnar: Well… technically, yes, I did.
He holds up a pair of tickets. Rezin’s eyes bulge to Nic Cage proportions.
Ollie Arsvinnar: I thought about it, and realized it would be a lot easier if I just bought a couple tickets from the gate. Not the greatest seats, but we can still see most of the action from the PRIMEview, right?
Rezin furiously rips the tickets out of his associate’s hand and throws them to the pavement.
Rezin: DAMBIT, OLVIR!! We’re supposed to be BRINGIN’ THIS PLACE DOWN, NOT fillin’ their pockets!
Ollie shrinks as the much smaller man admonishes him. The Escape Artist turns his attention back to Simon.
Rezin: MARK MY WORDS, Simon… my WAR with PRIME has only just begun! This REZISTANCE can’t be stopped!
Rezin storms out of the frame, leaving the other two men to awkwardly linger for a beat…
…then he briefly slips back in to retrieve the tickets he threw to the ground.
Rezin: Okay, Olvir, let’s go watch the rest of the stupid friggin’ show…
The Goat Bastard makes his exit, with the Viking eagerly following close behind. Simon breathes a sigh of relief and shakes his head while looking into the camera.
We cut backstage to a shot of a random door but we aren’t able to bask in the majesty of the door for too long as it violently swings open, almost knocking the camera man over in the process. After a few seconds of shaky cam, we get to see the source of the potential camera damage – a balding, middle aged man trying his best to carry three large cardboard boxes stacked atop each other. He stumbles to the left and to the right as he walks towards a small folding table that has been set up in the concourse of the MGM Grand. As he places his stack o’ boxes down, the poor soul takes a deep breath but his moment of quiet doesn’t last for long as outside of the camera shot, the clapping of hands can be heard. A voice follows the clap of the hands, clearly belonging to the proprietor of The Glue Factory, Philip Martin Atken.
Phil Atken: Hop to it young Gary, can’t you see that you are already making our loyal consumers wait?
Atken walks into camera shot, adorned in a fine ass powder blue three piece suit that we have to assume has some form of tearaway function considering his match against Larry Tact is scheduled in mere moments. Atken’s hand wildly gestures in the direction of three to four fans that are awkwardly milling around the folding table, most of them trying to work out what’s even happening in the first place. The identified Gary wearily sighs and begins to tear open the box, gently placing bottle upon bottle of Civil Dusk upon the table.
Phil Atken: That’s the stuff Gary, these people are our eager beavers. They certainly want to lay claim to the first batch of our BEAUTIFUL Civil Dusk brand crafting glue.
Atken smiles and waves to the fans who are a little bit confused about the stack of glue that is being presented upon them.
Phil Atken: I feel like this occasion calls for an opening address…
Atken rummages around inside his jacket, producing a pair of half-moon spectacles and a small series of notes attached by a small ring.
Phil Atken: het HEM… It brings a tear to the eye of your humble Glue Factory proprietor to see so many of you here for the launch of our first product. I know how powerful word of mouth has been around our brand and I am immensely overjoyed that soon our product will be in the hands of the consumer. The Glue Factory continues to influence the world. Why, just recently I had a very productive conversation with Ms. Muriel Puddings who wished to pass on the intense and immense gratitude from her brother about our intervention at Culture Shock. It seems that Mr. Puddings indeed agreed with our assessment that Dusk was making a mockery of him and was stealing the spotlight from the Puddings family. We are honoured to have the support and approval from one of the most popular talents in PRIME, and her brother. It is exciting to consider building our brand together with a marketing genius on the level of Ms. Muriel Puddings. There are no egos at The Glue Factory, we are team players and we fully accept that Tapioca Pudding’s victory could not have been achieved without the excellent guidance of Ms. Puddings.
Atken flips over a few pages on the note cards, mumbling to himself as he does so. The audience present seems closer to a hostage situation than an eager crowd at this point. They are too polite to leave but clearly do not want to stay.
Phil Atken: Our gesture to our dear friend Tappy is something I hope all of the young and eager talent of PRIME appreciate. He was clearly being manipulated. Dusk attempted to use his veteran authority to snuff out the bright shining light that is Tapioca Puddings and I’m glad that I could be there to tip the scales of the universe towards justice. Mr. Puddings, if you’re watching, the Glue Factory remains open in both heart and business for you. As it does for any star who feels the foot of the past standing on the airway of the future.
Atken stops for a few moments, and the camera clearly picks up that his set of note cards has “APPLAUSE BREAK” written next to his last statement. There is no applause break but that does little to dissuade the proprietor. He disposes of his notes and glasses as the group around The Glue Factory’s table increases by a literal handful. This does not stop the address from continuing.
Phil Atken: Tonight we look to extending our product range upon the completion of my sporting bout with Mr. Larence Tact. Mr. Tact issued a statement earlier in the week making a mockery of my age and well… that got this old veteran thinking about a very important question…
The salesman smile vanishes in an instant from the face of the Glue Factory’s main man, replaced by a sneer.
Phil Atken: Mr. Tact, how humiliating is it going to feel for you when the bell rings at the end of this match? How awful is it going to be for this career correction you are seeking when a decrepit old fart like myself chokes you out in the middle of the ring? What are going to be your final thoughts that rattle around in your skull as the inky blankness descends upon you? As you fight to cling to consciousness and the roar of the crowd begins to fade to nothingness, I hope you have just enough presence of mind to realise that I haven’t been sitting on my couch for the last ten years. Just a little thought, a mere dash of pepper to add to your mind stew.
The anger in the eyes of Atken melt away like butter, quickly replaced by the false pleasantries of a man just trying to sell a little bit of glue. Atken produces a small bit of ribbon from his pocket and a pair of nail scissors. He holds up the ribbon and starts to snip away.
Phil Atken: It brings me immense joy to declare The Glue Factory stall officially… oeuvre! Please come back later this evening where young Gary here will be more than delighted to provide you our newest brand “Tactless”. That’s The Glue Factory’s “Tactless”, for when little blue balls just aren’t good enough.
We cut away as a small line of around ten forms at the folding table. Where do we cut to? Perhaps another random door, who knows, stay tuned!
LARRY TACT vs. PHIL ATKEN
We come back from commercial to Nick and Richard sitting at the announce table.
Nick Stuart: Up next we have Larry Tact taking on the debuting Phil Atken. Phil is new to PRIME, but is no stranger to the squared circle. Larry is looking to get on tract by picking up his first victory. Should be an interesting contest.
Richard Parker: Wait, did you just say tract instead of track?
Nick Stuart: I don’t think I did.
Richard Parker: I think you did.
“(I Want to be The One) To Watch You Die” by The Megas begins to boom all over the sound system, heralding the arrival of The Proprietor of The Glue Factory himself, Philip Martin Atken. The veteran athlete steps out and heads directly to the center of the entrance way, not paying much mind to the reaction of the crowd at the MGM Grand. Atken is quickly joined at his side by his Chief of Security, the seven foot monster known as Hank. The tandem begin their march towards the ring with clear purpose and clarity of mind.
Richard Parker: Did you know that Hank was once called Laser? I think he was living on a boat at the time.
Nick Stuart: Really?
Richard Parker: Hell if I know.
Upon reaching the ring, Atken leaps up on top of the apron and the camera catches him giving a small little self satisfied smirk to himself as he wipes his boots on the edge of the canvas. Chief of Security Hank holds open the ring ropes and allows his boss to enter the ring. Hank takes his place in the corner of the ring as Atken gladly welcomes the referee to check him for any contraband items.
Richard Parker: He doesn’t look fifty-seven to me.
Nick Stuart: No?
Richard Parker: Fifty-six
Nick Stuart: Of course.
“Pieces of Man” by Drown plays over the arena speakers as the lights cut out. Royal blue lights flicker on the stage while golden spotlights scan the crowd. They settle on centerstage where Larry Tact now stands. He opens his arms and puffs out his chest, soaking in the crowd’s reaction before bellowing and making his way down the ramp, the spotlight following him.
Nick Stuart: Oh look, Larry know’s a group of young fans sitting ringside.
As he walks, Larry critiques some fans at ringside with petty insults before arriving to the ring, glaring at his opposition. He pulls himself up using the ropes and walks slowly along the apron before wiping his boots and entering the ring. He stretches using the ropes before bouncing from side-to-side.
Nick Stuart: Hey, what happened to Vince Howard?
Richard Parker: Impromptu bathroom break. Hank scared the shit out of him. Guess it’d be more of a costume change then, huh? Poor guy.
Timo Bolamba calls both men to the center of the ring, quickly runs down the rules, and then in somewhat of a surprise sends the massive monster simply known as Hank to the back for doing Vince dirty. Phil protests the decision, but it is to no avail.
Nick Stuart: And just like that we’re underway! Look at how much bigger Larry Tact is than Phil Atken. Are we sure Timo didn’t send the wrong guy to the back?
The two lock up in the center of the ring. Larry uses his size advantage to quickly push Atken into the corner, and then slaps him across the chest a couple times, lighting up The Humble Proprietor.
RIchard Parker: I bet they heard them over in Scotland Yard.
Tact swiftly scoops up the Stumpy Scottish Bull as he drunkenly stumbles his candied cardinal colored chest out of the corner, and then stiffly powerslams him onto the mat. The native New Yorker holds the finish for a quick cover.
Atken powers out much to the dismay of Tact. The two quickly get to their feet, and lock up in the center of the ring once more. Atken uses his vast years of mat prowess to slip behind the much larger Tact. He hides in his shadow for a second before wrapping his little T-rex arms around Larry’s waist.
Nick Stuart: Is this guy drunk? Tact must have eight inches and fifty pounds on him!
Richard Parker: He is Scottish so chances are…
Atken’s face is flush red, like he’s had too much Scotch to drink. With all his might he hoists his much larger opponent into the air, and after a second of hanging out at the bar, he German suplexes him as if they were the same size.
Nick Stuart: Crazy Scottish strength there!
Richard Parker: Crazy Scottish OLD man strength is more like it. Plus he’s probably drunk. Beer muscles can make a man do crazy things. Trust me.
Nick Stuart: WAIT! In a show of one upmanship Atken holds the finish!
Timo quickly drops down to count…
Tact wrangles out at the count of two. Then, once again, both men find their feet and clash in the center of the ring. Instead of locking up this time around they resort to throwing rights and lefts. After neither can gain an advantage, Tact tackles Phil to the mat, and the two start to roll around while exchanging rib and kidney shots. Eventually, they roll out of the ring and both go thump on the outside.
Nick Stuart: Stiff landing there.
Richard Parker: Something, something, bar room brawl and glue.
Timo reaches a count of five before Tact is able to get to his feet. He lands a few stiff kicks before picking up Atken and throwing him back into the ring between the top and second ropes.
Nick Stuart: PURE power from Tact! That was impressive!
Richard Parker: It looked like, and would appear that Larry got the better of the prior exchange. He used to break boards if I’m not mistaken.
Atken rolls around on the mat, grabbing at his back in agony. Tact slides in the ring behind him stopping Timo’s count. He eyes up his opponent and moves in for the kill. He goes to reach down and take not so much a seat atop Larry’s Throne, but when he does Phil manages to surprise him with a quick roll up.
NOT SO FAST!
Tact powers out after almost falling victim to the surprise pin. He slaps the mat in frustration, and steams his way over toward Atken who is still prone on the mat. Larry goes to stand in his throne once more, but Atken’s old Scottish senses again flare up, and he manages to desperately twist his way into a rear naked choke.
Nick Stuart: That’s THE SHOTGUN! And Atken has got it synched in! I can’t believe it. Tact looked like he had this match won a second ago!
Richard Parker: And with him struggling to break free like he is, well, I have to believe it’s only making things worse for him.
Timo is right there checking on things. Atken wrenches back with all his might. Tact’s face is red, and getting more Scottish by the second. He is struggling to get to the ropes, or find a way out of the hold.
Nick Stuart: I can’t believe he’s still hanging in there! Crazy willpower here by Tact!
And then, of course because of the announcer’s jinx, Larry Tact taps out.
Richard Parker: Way to go, Nick. Don’t worry. I won’t tell him.
DING DING DING!
Timo calls for the bell. Atken FINALLY releases the hold and pushes Tact off of him. The Proprietor of The Glue Factory stands almost tall in the center of the ring with his hand raised in debut victory.
Richard Parker: Hopefully Vince makes it back out here and hasn’t decided to take the night off. Just saying, I shit my pants too if that is the case.
Nick Stuart: Well I’m glad we’re not going right to another match. We’ll see you all right after this commercial with some words from Impulse!
AVAILABLE IN STORES SOON!
That Much More
“Cannonball” by SIRSY fills the air as the arena fades in from its previous break, and the fans erupt in cheers.
Nick Stuart: Welcome back fans, and before we can get you to our next match it looks like we’ll be hearing from the new NUMBER ONE CONTENDER, Impulse!
Richard Parker: I’d love to throw that back in his face, but he showed us what he’s made of at both ReViVal 5 and Culture Shock. Half a second either way, and he’s in that match with Cancer Jiles instead of Brandon Youngblood.
There’s no waiting or theatrics this time around – Impulse enters the arena in street clothes and makes his way towards the ring, slapping hands as he goes. There’s the barest hint of a smile on his face, but he gives nothing away until Vince Howard hands him a microphone and he steps through the ropes.
Richard Parker: Points in his favor, he left the Human Glitter Bomb at home.
Nick Stuart: You don’t like Calico Rose?
Richard Parker: She’s so friendly and upbeat, she makes it impossible to dislike her, which makes me dislike her all the more.
The music dies down as Impulse soaks in the cheers that have quieted a bit – but still significant. He leans against one of the turnbuckles, and, like he’s done in a dozen different promotions on a hundred different nights, climbs up and takes a seat.
Impulse: Pour one out for the new PRIME Universal Champion, Brandon Youngblood, hmmm?
There’s a huge pop at the name drop, and a “THE-LAST-DIA-MOND” chant circles the seats.
Richard Parker: Mutual admiration society here, huh?
Nick Stuart: He earned it.
Impulse: It would’ve been easy for me to go into Culture Shock with some hard feelings, or a sense that I was robbed in some way, but that ain’t me and that ain’t the truth. And the fact of the matter is, everyone left Culture Shock with exactly what they needed.
He pauses, letting it sink in.
Impulse: The Anglo Luchador left with his hand raised. Brandon Youngblood left with the Universal Title that should’ve been his years ago. Teddy Palmer had a ready made excuse all built in and ready, and Cancer Jiles was dealt a long overdue lesson in humility.
Richard Parker: Can I get an amen up in here?
Impulse: Me? I took with me, the only thing I’ve ever needed in this sport.
At that, Impulse climbs down from the turnbuckle and returns to the center of the ring.
Impulse: An opportunity.
Another pop from the fans. Impulse gives them a few seconds to get it out.
Impulse: I don’t know who will be the Universal Champion walking into the Great American Nightmare on July 1, 2022. I don’t even know how many times Brandon Youngblood is going to defend his championship between then and now, but from what I’ve come to know of the man, if it’s up to him it would be literally every ReViVal from now to then. The only thing that’s set in stone is that, in the opposite corner of the shoulder with the title belt… will be me.
The hard camera zooms in on Impulse as he leans on the top rope.
Impulse: I was THIS CLOSE to wrestling for the Universal Championship at Culture Shock, ya know?
He’s holding his fingers millimeters apart.
Impulse: And I gotta say… it just makes me want it. That. Much. More.
His grin turns into a full blown smile.
Impulse: The Great American Nightmare is coming… and my eyes are wide open.
“Cannonball” fires up one more time as Impulse drops the microphone into Vince’s waiting hands and exits the ring, only this time he leaves through the crowd with as many handshakes and high fives as he can muster
Nick Stuart: Powerful words from Impulse, Richard!
Richard Parker: He’s got the chops to win the big one, Nick – jury’s still out if he’s got the desperation to win that he’s gonna need.
Nick Stuart: Standing by right now backstage is Matt Mills! Matt?
The scene cuts backstage where a smiling and energetically cheerful Matt Mills, PRIME interviewer extraordinaire, stands next to a rather averagely dressed man wearing a nondescript teal luchador mask.
Matt Mills: Good evening, Matt Mills standing next to the newest member of the PRIME family, Mortimer….Uh, I apologize, but how do you pronounce your last name?
Mortimer Kjedelig: Kig-jig….Ki-jinn-dill….eh….”Smith”.
Matt Mills: Can you not pronounce your own last name?
Mortimer Kjedelig: Do I need a lawyer?
Mortimer Kjedelig pulls out of his pocket his flip phone, flips it open….
Mortimer Kjedelig: I have him on speed dial…see? Right here….
Mortimer Kjedelig shoves the open phone in Matt Mills’s face.
Mortimer Kjedelig: “ROSENCRA”….The full name wouldn’t fit. It’s the Law Offices of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. Contrary to what you may have heard, they are not dead. Only Guildenstern, God bless his soul. Fishin’ accident. But Rosencrantz? He’s—-
Matt Mills: There’s no need for that. I just didn’t want to offend you and I found it odd that you couldn’t….nevermind.
Mortimer: Hey, fuhgeddaboudit.
The six-three masked wrestler ruffles Matt Mills’s hair with one part humor and three parts disrespect.
Matt Mills: So, Mortimer, it says you recently moved to Horace, North Dakota. Where are you from originally?
Mortimer Kjedelig: New—ehhhhh…Dez Moins.
Matt Mills: New Des Moines? Never heard of it.
Mortimer Kjedelig: Yeah, no, it’s a regional thing, to you it’s just Dez Moins…it’s New Dez Moins to us from, uh….Io-dah-owa
Matt Mills: You mean Iowa?
Mortimer Kjedelig: That’s what I said!
Matt Mills: You actually said—-
Mortimer Kjedelig: You callin’ me a liar? Where else did I spend the last five to five and a half years in the insurance industry sellin’ and servicin’ Property and Casualty policies, namely Home and Auto, and, before you accuse me of lyin’ again, I have the Agents License to prove it.
Matt Mills: You…sell….insurance?
Mortimer Kjedelig: Only until recently, where tragically, one day, my fiancee of three years, Esther Vander-Something….whom I met at a dog park with my dog at the time, Vampire Nuts, to which I called “Vampy” for short, left me for a yoga instructor named Lance, Esther, not Vampy, the emotional devastation that she caused me was immeasurable. I quit my job to follow my dream of becoming a wrestler. But I don’t like to dwell on things like that. It’s whaddya call it, counterproductive.
Matt Mills: Very profound, Mortimer. Now, what are your plans moving forward, here in PRIME?
Mortimer Kjedelig: To do my job.
Matt Mills: That, uh…that’s it?
Mortimer Kjedelig: What? If I kick someone’s ass or if someone kicks my ass, the money’s the same, am I right?
Matt Mills: I suppose.
Mortimer Kjedelig: Sure, there’s the adrenaline of beatin’ the shit outta some mook with a big mouth. But, Matty, the thing is, when all is said and done, green is god. A god. Not the God. Don’t need to get struck down by a lightnin’ bolt, am I right?
Mortimer Kjedilig let out an obnoxious laugh and claps Matt Mills on the back, jerking him forward. Mortimer then takes a more serious tone.
Mortimer Kjedelig: But make no mistake, I might not have the experience of a Teddy Palmer or a Doozy but whomsoever the powers that be place across that ring from me, it ain’t gonna be pretty. It’s gonna be ugly. It’s gonna be nasty. It’s gonna end with someone layin’ out in a pool of their own blood.
Matt Mills: Thank you, Mister…Mortimer.
Mortimer Kjedelig: Hey! No probs. Here….
The masked man reaches into his pocket and pulls out a wad of cash and places some money in his hand.
Mortimer Kjedelig: Get yourself something nice.
Mortimer leaves the frame as Matt Mills looks at the cash in his hand. A single dollar bill.
Matt Mills: What am I going to do with a dollar?
Matt Mills waves the dollar bill into the air and looks off into the direction where Mortimer Kjedelig has walked off as the scene ends.
We Need To Talk
The scene opens up on a familiar spot with a familiar visitor. Sitting on a stool at the Lobby Bar is Ria Nightshade. The seat is situated right up front, giving her easy access to call out for any desired drink. With ReVival going on, the bar is a bit less populated than normal. Thanks to this, Ria has both stools next to her available. She sips from a glass containing rum and coke, taking the occasional peek at one of the television screens showing the event.
???: Is this really the best place to be before your match?
The voice is a familiar one to Ria. Her expression is a mix of anger and annoyance. She shifts her eyes to the left before turning her head slightly. Sitting on the stool next to her is… Ria.
Her hair is brown with blonde highlights, much more well-kempt than her usual. There isn’t a trace to be found of Ria’s usual facial piercings. While her skirt and top combo could be called flirty, it’s far more restrained than her usual. Her ice blue eyes frame a face that has a look that could best be described as stoic sadness. This is Ria Lockhart.
Ria Nightshade: Screw off! I don’t recall asking your opinion, bitch!
Lockhart rolls her eyes and shrugs.
Ria Lockhart: Do you ever?
Lockhart gives a slight, but disappointed shake of her head before taking a short drink from the red solo cup in her right hand.
Ria Nightshade: Wait, where the hell did you get that drink from?!
Ria Lockhart: I’m a corporeal projection of our mind. I can have whatever drink I want. Hell, I can even have a cigarette if I want.
Milliseconds after the words leave Lockhart’s mouth, a lit cigarette appears between the index and middle fingers on her left hand.
Ria Lockhart: See?
The earlier disapproving look hasn’t left Nightshade’s face. She gives her other half a dismissive wave.
Ria Nightshade: Seriously, go hide away and cry. That’s about all you’re good for. I have a match to worry about.
Lockhart lets a forlorn sigh escape her lungs.
Ria Lockhart: You know, I’m trying to help you.
Nightshade shoots a hate filled glare Lockhart’s way.
Ria Nightshade: Who the hell asked you?!
Lockhart gives a relaxed, but confident shrug.
Ria Lockhart: Say whatever you want. You might hate hearing it, but you actually have friends here.
Nightshade unsuccessfully tries to stifle back a chuckle.
Nightshade: Oh really? Such as?
Ria Lockhart: The Anglo Luchador.
A smile does cross Nightshade’s face, but it’s combined with a dismissive eye roll.
Ria Nightshade: You must’ve been drunk earlier, cuz I made my feelings VERY clear on that lucha dumbass! If we meet in the ring, maybe I’ll send him a discounted fruit basket for surviving.
Ria Lockhart: Sure… What about Timo?
Nightshade gives Lockhart a look as if that was a stupid question to ask
Ria Nightshade: He’s a jacked ref who wears face paint. While kinda cool, he’s still a referee. Therefore, he also sucks.
Lockhart takes another sip from her cup. The brief drink gives her a moment to present her next thought.
Ria Lockhart: Baron Von Blackberry?
Ria Nightshade: I’m pretty sure that guy’s not an actual Baron.
Lockhart shoots Nightshade an expression even more deadpan than her usual.
Ria Lockhart: That’s his first… Whatever. King Blueberry?
Ria Nightshade: Funny guy. Blithering idiot, but funny.
There’s a moment of silence after this. If this were a game of poker, Lockhart’s poker face would have to be called excellent. She was about to drop pocket aces.
Ria Lockhart: Okay… Calico Rose?
Nightshade’s eyes grow wide for a second before returning to normal. After a few attempts that produce mouth movement, but no words, Nightshade closes her mouth and sulks.
Ria Lockhart: Well?
Ria Nightshade: Shut up.
Ria Lockhart: That’s what I thought. Face it, people actually like you, and you like interacting with them.
A sneer crosses Nightshade’s face.
Ria Nightshade: No, I like the attention. I don’t give a shit about a single one of them!
Lockhart sighs in exasperation with a hard roll of her eyes before glaring at Nightshade.
Ria Lockhart: So you were totally cool with what Balaam did to Anglo?
The mention of Balaam’s name and the pain he brought upon The Anglo Luchador sends Nightshade’s face contorting in anger. Once she realizes this, Nightshade grunts in frustration before allowing her facial muscles to calm.
Ria Lockhart: You know what? I can’t force you to accept anything. I might’ve actually made things worse popping out for a few. I just think you have some serious thinking to do.
At this point, Nightshade is no longer looking at Lockhart. Instead, she stares down into the drink she’s now holding in both hands. It wouldn’t matter if she was observing her other half at this point regardless. Just as suddenly as she had appeared, Ria Lockhart was gone. After a few moments of reflection, Ria Nightshade’s eyes pan up. She notices a very confused and slightly terrified bartender staring at her.
Ria Nightshade: The fuck you looking at?! You never see someone argue with themselves before?!
We cut to our befuddled announce team at the commentary table.
Nick Stuart: I’m not terribly sure what we just watched.
Richard Parker: Best to just treat it as a fever dream, Nick. Nothing happened, there is no man behind the curtain!
Nick Stuart: Right. Anyway, we’ve got a big match between Pete Whealdon and Solomon Richards coming up next!
PETE WHEALDON vs. SOLOMON RICHARDS
ReVival returns to the ring as a jam-packed night of action continues to march forward. The large frame of Solomon Richards is caught by the cameras limbering up inside the ring as we get eyes back on the action.
Nick Stuart: As we see Solomon Richards in the ring, I have to wonder if he’s been fully cleared for this fight. At Culture Shock, his brain was rattled and I have to hope he’s fighting fit for this match.
Richard Parker: He’ll be fine, bigger boys have thicker skulls.
Nick Stuart: Thank you for that diagnosis Dr. Parker.
Vince Howard moves towards the middle of the ring to start the ceremonies for the match.
Vince Howard: The following contest is scheduled for one fall… standing in the ring at this time, standing at six foot ten inches and weighing in tonight at three hundred and thirty two pounds… SOLOMONNNNNN RIIIIIIIIICHARRRRDS!
The big frame of Richards doesn’t quite match the tepid wave he gives to the smattering of cheers he gets from the MGM Grand. He is quick to return to his corner, with his eyes hyper focused on the entrance way as The Thumping Bass line of “Never Fight a Man with a Perm” brings Pete Whealdon out from behind the curtain. Hair done up slick, wearing aviator sunglasses, he has his hands in the pockets of his Members only Jacket. He strides down towards the ring, Green kick-padded Boots slamming confidently into the ground.
Nick Stuart: Pete Whealdon is a surprising name to see on ReVival, I understand that his PRIME contract has come with quite a few conditions.
Richard Parker: And the man accepted each and every one of them, Nick. He is here in PRIME to remind everyone just exactly what Pete Whealdon can do in that ring.
Nick Stuart: Do you think there’s any concern with Whealdon that Richards has an entire foot and one hundred pounds on him?
Richard Parker: A veteran doesn’t let statistics get in the way of a battle plan.
“Never fight a man with a perm!”
Whealdon slides under the bottom rope as the song starts breaking down into tremelo’d chaos.
Vince Howard: And his opponent, standing at five foot eleven inches, he weighs in tonight at two hundred and twenty nine pounds… PEEEEEEEETE WHEAAALLLDONNNNN!
He moves to his corner and starts removing his excess gear, revealing green floral print tights and starts to take in the scope of his opponent. Richards for his part remains in the corner, carefully studying every small movement of Whealdon. Jimmy Turnbull performs his final checks on each competitor and calls for the bell.
Soloman Richards marches out from his corner, looking to meet Whealdon in the middle of the ring but Whealdon seems quite happy to stay in his corner, thank you very much. He waves off Richards’ call to battle, laughing at his much larger opponent. Jimmy Turnbull gestures for Whealdon to the middle of the ring and Whealdon…
Rolls out of the ring instead, much to the intense irritation of the MGM Crowd, referee Jimmy Turnbull and Soloman Richards.
Nick Stuart: Pete Whealdon is in no rush to go toe to toe with Solomon Richards in the early ongoings of this match.
Richard Parker: Whealdon is being careful here, he knows Richards’ clear advantages in a test of strength. Plus, there’s always the chance the lumbering giant will trip over his bootlaces.
Jimmy Turnbull wastes no time starting to count Whealdon out.
Whealdon starts to walk back towards the ring and Soloman Richards goes to meet him, causing Whealdon to wave the whole thing off and back away.
Richards starts to walk towards Turnbull, trying to voice his frustrations and make it clear that he wants an earned win in this match. As Solomon’s attention is taken out of the action for mere seconds, Whealdon spots his opening and rushes back into the ring. He rushes towards Richards’ and drills an elbow right to the back of his neck. As Richards quickly spins around, clutching his neck, Whealdon goes in and…
Nick Stuart: That was not a crisp athletic move from Pete Whealdon, he just drilled his head against Solomon Richards and the microphones picked up an incredibly uncomfortable sound.
Richard Parker: I take back my prior statement on big boy skulls. The combination of the assault from Mephisto and the Montgomery Twins and Whealdon’s vicious headbutt has put the big man on jelly legs.
Whealdon looks delighted as Richards starts to wobble and goes in for a second headbutt but as he leans in, he meets an uppercut that hits him straight across the jaw. Whealdon takes a few steps back to nurse his jaw as Richards tries to shake off the glassy look in his eyes. Whealdon tries to continue his advantage and rushes back in at Richards, only to be taken over with a belly to belly suplex that sends him sailing high and crashing down to the mat. Richards staggers over to Whealdon and grabs Whealdon’s arm, looking for some form of armbar. He doesn’t manage to make much progress in locking it in as Whealdon kicks Solomon Richards square in the face.
Richard Parker: It’s like when a shark smells blood, Nick, Pete Whealdon has spotted that Richards may not have fully recovered from the Culture Shock assault and he knows just how to take advantage of it.
Nick Stuart: It may be a veteran tactic but Whealdon has to be careful, Richards will smash through any opening given.
Whealdon scrambles back up to an even base as Richards tries to shake off the cobwebs. Jimmy Turnbull quickly checks on Solomon Richards’ condition but Richards nods that he’s still fine to fight. Whealdon tries to keep momentum in his favour and drives a flurry of elbow strikes into the chest of Richards, turning his chest a deeper shade of red. Richards certainly feels the power behind the elbows but is able to absorb the blows, leaving a rather frustrated Whealdon backing off and trying to figure out his next steps. As Whealdon steps back, Richards swoops in with a successful double leg takedown.
Nick Stuart: A little bit more confidence for Solomon Richards with that takedown. It would seem that he’s finally getting a bit of a measure of his opponent.
Richard Parker: He’s a submission expert Nick but I have to wonder whether it is wise to keep putting Pete Whealdon in a situation where he can keep up his cranial assault.
Whealdon and Richards struggle in the mat, with Richards dropping clubbing blows targeted to Whealdon’s face but Whealdon has enough freedom to dodge the majority of the blows as he drills his knee continuously into the spine of his much larger opponent. Richards starts to clutch at his spine with one hand, while using the other to keep up his hammering on Whealdon. Richards tries to use his free arm to hook around the neck of Whealdon, trying to position himself for a chokehold of some sort but the slippery veteran is able to wiggle out of it. Whealdon scrunches up his face and drills a final knee into the back of Richards with as much force as possible and Richards finally relents in his assault, giving Whealdon enough scope to free himself from the mount of the mountain of a man.
Nick Stuart: Pete Whealdon was struggling to break free from the tight grip of Solomon Richards there but a well placed knee may have given him another opening.
With Richards still on the mat, Whealdon hoists himself up rapidly using the ring ropes and has already planned his next course of action. He rushes into the ropes, bounces back off them and with the momentum provided, he drills a shotgun dropkick straight to the skull of Solomon. Solomon collapses to the mat in a heap.
Nick Stuart: Again Whealdon targets the skull of Richards. This had to be premeditated, he’s focused on little else in the match.
Richard Parker: I know we’ve both been out of the sport for a while but when did we ban perfectly acceptable kicks to the skull?
Whealdon creates distance between Richards and Jimmy Turnbull who clearly wants to check in on the man from Kermit, West Virginia. Whealdon shoves Turnbull out of the way as Richards slowly rises back to his feet, slowly stalking his opponent around the ring. Once Richards is fully upright, Whealdon spins around and smacks Richards upside the head with a spinning backfist.
Nick Stuart: That’s Pete Whealdon’s spinning backfist, he’s called it… err…
Richard Parker: You can say pricks on the ACE Network, it’s fine. He calls it “Cheers Pricks!”
The big man goes down like a ton of bricks and Whealdon leaps upon him for the pin.
Turnbull calls for the bell.
DING DING DING
Nick Stuart: The veteran came in with a clear game plan and it worked. He knew that Solomon Richards could still be feeling the effects of the chair sandwich provided by the Montgomery Twins at Culture Shock and aimed almost every single blow towards exploiting that weakness.
Richard Parker: All above board, all perfectly legal. Pete Whealdon showed tonight that he knows how to navigate that ring and take advantage of any opening. That is the kind of competitive spirit that I certainly respect.
Whealdon throws one arm up in the arm in victory as the MGM Crowd begins to toss a selection of jeers in his direction, doing little to impact his buoyant state.
Vince Howard: Here is your winner by pinfall at a time of eight minutes and seven seconds… PETE WHEAAALLLDONNNNN!
Whealdon leaps back up and demands that Jimmy Turnbull raise his arm.
Richard Parker: One match in and one win for Pete Whealdon, he will be a figure to watch as we head towards the Great American Nightmare. As for Solomon Richards, he tried to fight through it but it’s clear that the Culture Shock assault still lingers…
The camera fades away on a dejected looking Solomon Richards clutching the back of his skull, a distant look in his eyes.
Don’t miss MVW, where the very best in minor league wrestling comes to you live from the nation’s heartland!
Unfinished Business Tour
We come back from our commercial break with the ever effervescent Angelica Brooks, dressed to the nines in a sporty blazer and designer jeans, set against the PRIME backdrop in the backstage area. She can barely contain the smile plastered across her face.
Angelica Brooks: Ladies and gentleman…the Universal Champion…Brandon. Youngblood.
The MGM Grand Arena crowd roars at the announcement, and after the introduction, he steps into the picture, a form fitting dark grey henley not nearly as stark as the Universal Championship belt slung over his shoulder. There is a smile between the two, an extended hand followed by a handshake, all before the two get into a more natural position to conduct the interview.
Angelica Brooks: I know this is the boilerplate question, but I have to ask…after everything…after so many close calls…after being known for so long as the best in PRIME history to never win the Universal Title…how does it feel to finally achieve the goal you set out for the day you came here all the way back in 2005?
The Diamond looks away from her for a moment, off into the distance, thinking of the words, all before returning to meet her gaze.
Brandon Youngblood: Angelica…there’s sometimes in life where you envision a moment…you dream about it…you want it so much…and when you get there…when you finally get there…it doesn’t measure up. What you built in your mind doesn’t match up. And you’re left a little empty. A little hollow. I got to say…it feels pretty damn good. Everything I wanted, that I dreamed about, how I envisioned it…that moment…it’s bigger than anything I’ve felt in my entire career. Finally winning the Universal Championship…having to go through and win it this way…the right way…I couldn’t have asked for anything more. It’s incredible. And the outpouring of well wishes…of support…it’s been overwhelming. From some of my peers past and present…and the fan letters–
She seems genuinely surprised by this to cut him off.
Angelica Brooks: Fan letters?!
Brandon Youngblood: I mean…I used to hear stories, but good lord…I’m trying to keep up. I’m trying to respond to each letter personally, and between that and training, it’s a lot. But I appreciate it. I appreciate all the support, because if it wasn’t for people believing in me, in giving me a chance, there’s no way we’re standing here now.
Angelica can’t help but chuckle. Just as quickly, though, she’s back into interview mode.
Angelica Brooks: Coming out of Culture Shock, there’s been a lot of talk, a lot of scuttlebutt, all around your knee. It’s made the rounds that you struggled to walk after your victory, that you may have won the Almasy Invitational…but that in doing so…you might have injured yourself in the process. What’s the status on your left knee? We all saw Jiles make a point in attacking it in the main event.
Brandon Youngblood: The knee is fine.
Angelica Brooks: But is it really though?
A brief moment to ponder. And then, the truth.
Brandon Youngblood: If I’m honest with you, Angelica, maybe not. Maybe not. I’ve had to get it drained, I’ve gotten multiple MRIs, it’s not comfortable. I’m definitely having some issues with stability and making sure everything feels right. But that’s the price of professional wrestling. You’re rarely going to be all the way one hundred percent fresh…especially off a tournament…especially after being away from the sport for so long. But I want to make this clear…if I needed to defend this Universal Championship tonight, I would. If I didn’t and I was scheduled for a match, tag team, singles, whatever, I’d be out there, in that ring, ready to go. I’m cleared. There’s no structural damage. And maybe having a bum wheel makes for a great target…chop down the big oak…but I don’t care. You hold the Universal Championship, you already have the biggest target in the entire industry square on your back. The knee’s gonna get better. And I got the shoulders to carry the burden of being the standard in this sport regardless. So if someone wants to try it, think they’re gonna clip my knee and make a statement off my expense? I’m begging you. Go ahead. Try it. You’re not gonna like what happens.
Angelica Brooks: I want to make sure we’re clear. We’ve heard from the number one contender to your championship, Impulse, just a little bit ago. His intentions are clear. His position in the Great American Nightmare pay-per-view main event is set. How do you respond to him saying his eyes are wide open…that he wants this Championship all the more after coming so close to beating you in your first contest?
Brandon Youngblood: As much as I want to focus on Great American Nightmare…I can’t. He won his opportunity. He can sit back if he wants and prepare. I doubt that he will…Impulse is a pro. He’s going to fight and wrestle and make sure everything is all tuned up for his chance. And he wants this chance. He deserves this chance against me…not just for the Universal Championship…no he’s a wrestler’s wrestler. And I know it’s got to be eating a hole in his gut thinking about the what ifs the last time we faced off. Randall…let’s be clear…my hand might’ve been raised…I might’ve beaten you…but there’s no resolution. You german suplexed me. I didn’t beat you. I survived. And that’s got me thinking…how close were you to being where I am now? People are patting me on the back…congratulations…a redemption story for the ages…the Pariah made good…you want my Universal Championship. Me? I want five more minutes. I want to know…truly know…what would’ve happened had we both gotten to our feet and continued the fight. And that’s enough to drive me. But before I turned myself into a liar and focused on Great American Nightmare…I can’t focus on just you. That’s the price of being the Champion. Because before I get to you…before we get those five minutes and that resolution…I got another man…man…heh…piece of trash…that needs to be taken care of. A different resolution.
Angelica Brooks: Cancer Jiles.
The roar of boos is relentless at the mere mention of the COOLYMPIAN.
Brandon Youngblood: Mister Golden Ticket himself. And I can’t believe I have to say this…but credit where it’s due. You got to the main event of Culture Shock. You took your shots at me and tried to piss on everything I’ve been here. That I’ve fought for. And you brought the fight. More than I thought you ever could, you brought the fight. You ever had a needle jabbed in your knee, Jiles? Draining all that pus and fluid out? That feeling of relief before it starts to burn again? Where you clench your teeth and try to block out what you’re feeling? I took you for granted on that night at Culture Shock because I didn’t respect you because you’re not a wrestler. But there you were, like a rabid dog, on my knee, doing everything you could.
The Last Diamond focuses at the camera, his expression stern.
Brandon Youngblood: But that don’t make you a wrestler. And that don’t make us equals. We ain’t jersey swapping and I ain’t giving you your roses. See, I’ve seen enough of you to know that on that night? That was the best you got. I got a needle in my knee. You? They had to scrape you off that canvas with a spatula. I turned egg into hamburger meat and turned that skull of yours into smash burgers. And everything about you, how you talk, how you carry yourself, it’s enough to piss me off. But what gets me even worse? That you get to stick to the front of the line. Humpty Dumpty gets put back together again and a whole roster…Anna Daniels…Teddy Palmer…The Anglo Luchador…hell, Dusk until Phil Atken decided to bring his ass out of a ditch and make his mission statement clear…and Phil, we ain’t met before, until Culture Shock I got no issue with you, but you and that mute try me…see where that gets you…you have people like Garbage Bag Johnny…monsters like Balaam…Impulse…they take a backseat because you won a bounty. Maybe you think that’s earned…but I don’t. And that’s fine. I don’t have to agree with circumstance…just like you don’t have to like the fact that the click you’re gonna feel in your neck for the rest of your life was from me.
He resets his posture, the position of his Universal Championship, before concluding.
Brandon Youngblood: The Diamond Age starts by tying up loose ends. The road to the Great American Nightmare is the Unfinished Business Tour. Jiles…you’re gonna sit there and get yourself built up thinking you’re gonna get me this time. You’re not. I’m a better wrestler than you. I’m a better man than you. Randall…Impulse…after I’m done with him…we get our five minutes. We get our answers. And we accept them…whatever they are. As much as I respect you…I’m looking forward to it.
There is no closing statement from Angelica, instead, the intensity of the Champion’s words cuts to something perhaps even more intense; Garbage Bag Johnny and Muriel Puddings. May God save us all…
It’s date number three for PRIME’s hottest new couple. Potato fans will not be happy to hear that this time, they are not at a local spud hut for yet another round of buffet-style carb loading. No, as third dates often go, Garbage Bag Johnny and Muriel Puddings have moved past the point of formalities. While the respective blazes still raging on in their hearts and loins, the two find themselves cozied up on a loveseat together this evening.
Those in the know would recognize the room as Melvin Buearegard’s office. Muriel discovered its furnishings just this morning when she was called inside for an “important meeting regarding your professional behavior in public.” Apparently, word had gotten to him that she’d once again barged into one of the men’s rooms at the MGM Grand trying to pickpocket drunken high-rollers the night before. This time, instead of pleading the “tenth amen-ment,” Muriel argued that the closed circuit footage looked nothing like her. And that it was “some other really hot blond bae” that also happened to be wearing the exact same outfit she had on at that very moment in his office (Soffe shorts and a pink T-shirt that read “Big Appetite” with an image of a covered dish on it.)
As they lounged on the couch, we find Muriel wearing the exact same shorts. She’d at least changed her shirt, though: today opting for a plain white one with “Women’s Rights” and a screened photo of Lorena Bobbitt’s mugshot on the front. Johnny in turn had changed into a pair of plaid pajama pants after his match that looked strikingly similar to ones we’ve seen Muriel wear before, as well as one of the “Never underestimate a MUSSY…” text-barf tees.
Speaking of vomiting, the two are stretched out on opposite ends of the furniture, giving one another a footrub. Lovely.
Muriel Puddings: Can you press a little harder on that bunion, stud?
Garbage Bag Johnny: Anything for you, my little candied yam. How’s that planter’s wart look today?
Muriel brings her face up closer to his foot, examining it as if it were a science project.
Muriel Puddings: I think there’s a new hair on it.
Remember that you all asked for this. There are no complaints allowed going forward.
Garbage Bag Johnny: So what do you want to watch on the ol’ boob tube tonight? Binge the first season of the Knight Rider reboot? Teen Mom 9? Or maybe that new Hoarders dating show, where hoarders find their true love in piles of each others’ old junk?
Muriel Puddings: I’m not really in the mood for anything romantic tonight. Besides, it’s more fun for me when you gotta work to get my ol’ gooch toggle at attention.
Johnny begins to shift a bit in his PJ pants as Muriel bites her lower lip seductively at him.
Muriel Puddings: You know what I haven’t seen yet, though? Culture Shock.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Yeah, I guess we both were a little busy during the biggest night since PRIME came back, huh? Busy having the time of our lives, that is.
Muriel Puddings: I wouldn’t trade that night for anything in the world, cutie patootie. Except for a lot of money and complete power over the universe. No offense.
Garbage Bag Johnny: None taken. I know you’re a material girl, and I’m just glad I can be a part of your material world. Either way, sure. I’m down to watch a little ‘rasslin history, even if there’s some going on right now we could watch.
Muriel sticks out her tongue in faux disgust.
Muriel Puddings: Yeah, but I’m not on tonight’s card, so no thanks. Culture Shock has me on it, though, and I need to see how cute I looked.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Well, take it from me, a man with high taste and sophistication – you were an 11 out of 10. A real au gratin in a sea of inferior side dishes. The perfectly baked tuber that engulfs the butter, sour cream, and chives with your beauty.
Muriel coos and plants a big wet kiss right on Johnny’s pinky toe.
Muriel Puddings: You know just what to say to make a gal blush. And create a marsh for my lily pads to float in. But take control of your toad for a second and let’s watch the show! Or at least fast forward to where I’m on camera.
The President of Idaho reaches for the Apple remote to flip on the very expensive television set mounted on Melvin’s office wall. Using it as a tool to scratch an itch behind her first, she navigates through the apps and finally comes across the replay of the inaugural pay-per-view.
Muriel Puddings: Ugh, there’s something wrong with this stupid thing. Can you try to play it?
She hands the remote to Johnny who quickly sneaks a sniff of it before mashing random buttons, which miraculously ends up being the right combination.
Garbage Bag Johnny: What can I say? Magic touch.
Muriel Puddings: Can’t wait until those Houdini hands cast a squirt spell on me later.
The very sharp opening video package kicks off as the two romantics continue to fondle each other’s hooves. Muriel holds up a pair of “devil horns” that is actually just the universal symbol for “surf’s up” as she slightly nods her head to the beat of Skillet. Johnny, not wanting to come off as uncool, replicates the action himself.
Muriel Puddings: I love a rocking beat! This looks pretty good so far. Hope they gave the guy who put this introduction together a big fat raise. As long as it doesn’t cut into what I’m making, of course.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Should I fast forward to the good part where you come out?
Muriel Puddings: No way, honey. Let’s keep watching this. Pretty sure I’m near the end where they usually put the major stars.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Uh…yeah. Okay.
The truth in the matter was that GBJ had already seen this particular vignette. In retrospect, he likely should have just skipped ahead to the opening match without even allowing Muriel the opportunity to see it. However, it was too late. As the clip package continued, Johnny’s mind began to race as to the best possible method to diffuse what emotional reaction was likely to come when she found out.
Muriel Puddings: What? There…there must be some mistake! Did I miss me? Or did they just forget to put me in there? That has to be it…right, babe?
But it was too late. The revelation that Muriel had been left out of the promo did not go unnoticed by the self-absorbed Trashed Potato. Johnny held his breath momentarily, silently hoping that she at least failed to notice that he had been featured on it on two separate occasions. However, he knew he needed to act quickly to make sure that it didn’t detract her from the real issue at hand (and thus avoid her getting mad at him for no reason.) Yes, now was the time for him to make sure he calmed his new lady friend down and try to look at the situation with both reason and logic…
Garbage Bag Johnny: I can’t BELIEVE they would do that to you! Those scoundrels. We need to have someone fired for this. As well as banned from ever making television again, or even watching television again!
…or, just enable her narcissistic behavior and thereby draw her that much closer to him.
Muriel Puddings: I mean, I…I…I know! At first I thought I might have been overreacting, but it’s good to know that I’m not the only one who’s ticked freakin’ off about this!
Garbage Bag Johnny: Oh, I’m more than ticked off, dumplin’. I’m peed off. I might even be a little bit queued off. And you know what really chews my chimichanga…that last clip they used of me was from that Dual Halo I won and got released before I could use the ticket. That’s what they call insult to injury right there.
Johnny notices that Muriel could care less about his problems right now and moves to loop things back around.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Why, if I had that ticket now, I’d demand that all future PRIME intros only include your scenes.
Puddings pouts and folds her arms across her chest. Johnny is quick to pivot and move next to her, putting his arm around her shoulders and pulling her in for a hug.
Muriel Puddings: This is all my brother’s fault, you know.
Internally, GBJ questions where his turtledove is coming from with this statement. However, he needs to be her rock in this delicate moment.
Garbage Bag Johnny: I completely agree. Maybe if he had a cool beard or a vintage Dallas Cowboys Starter jacket, he’d be a lot more marketable.
Muriel Puddings: Those are both great ideas, but I don’t think it’s enough. I’m starting to think that my training program isn’t as effective as I thought it was.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Well, don’t sell yourself short, my little sweet potato pie. After all, he did beat Dusk. Thanks to you, of course.
Muriel sighs and smiles, leaning in to give Johnny an Eskimo kiss. Innocent and cute enough until she then moves her nose down and tries to slip it inside of Johnny’s mouth. Which he allows her to do, thereby topping the mutual canker sore therapy as the most disgusting thing that’s ever happened in only three minutes’ time. “Eh, that’s not that gross,” you say…
Muriel Puddings: Feel free to do a little panning for gold in there if you want, Prospector. Either way, a win over that silver fox was fine, but he was more lucky than good. Lucky that I was there, that is. All I’m saying is I think he would really benefit from a more seasoned wrestling veteran helping him out. Do you get what I’m saying?
Johnny pulls back, releasing Puddings’ nose from the reaches of the tip of his tongue. The look on his face is a clear indicator that he was not paying attention, so he nods his head to cover it up.
Muriel Puddings: Great, then you’ll help me train him, then! Plus, it’ll give me a little bit of a break during the week. And lord knows I need some more time for self-care. I haven’t been able to get blackout drunk at the Chubbuck Sudsuckle in like a week trying to get him ring ready!
GBJ furrows an eyebrow, now realizing what he’d inadvertently signed up for.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Wait. So you mean I’m going to have to drive back and forth from Vegas to your place during the week?
Muriel Puddings: Of course not! Now that I’ve banned Tapioca from sending money to his (beep) of an internet girlfriend, there’ll be plenty for airfare to get you up there. And as for accommodations, well, I have just the place for you to stay. A real five-star resort. The finest lodging that Southeast Idaho has to offer.
Garbage Bag Johnny: The Pocatello Shoney’s Motor Inn and Breakfast Buffet?
Muriel Puddings: Okay, the second finest lodging that Southeast Idaho has to offer. It’s got the most comfortable queen-sized bed you’ve ever slept in, and the best part is that you’ll get a snuggle bunny free of charge!
Johnny knows exactly where she’s going with this, but there is still one thing a little bit askew about the offer as he scratches his scalp.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Um, Muriel…I don’t think your mother wants to share a room with me, much less her bed.
Muriel Puddings: Crap. Sorry, I forgot to tell you, she upgraded to a California King and gave me her old one.
Garbage Bag Johnny: Oh, thank GOD. I mean, no offense to the lovely Ms. Karen, but there’s only one woman in my life that I want to be my big spoon. But a Cali King, eh? Moving up in the world, good for her.
Muriel Puddings: Yeah, ever since Bobby started randomly dropping by a couple of weeks ago, she decided to reinvest in something a little more sturdy. She kept the polar bear hide comforter though, which I’m a little upset about, but what can you do? So, you in?
Johnny grins. How could he turn down an offer like this? Still, he didn’t want to come off as too eager, or worse yet, make it seem like he was just freeloading off the fine comforts that the Puddings Residence had to offer. Lifting an index finger, he delivers his answer.
Garbage Bag Johnny: I’m in. But on one condition.
Muriel nods, waiting for the contingency.
Garbage Bag Johnny: My training regimen is rigorous and a little unorthodox. Tapioca waives all legal rights against me, so he can’t take me to court for anything I do, no matter how normally illegal it would be outside of my tutelage. And if he calls me Dad before I feel it’s appropriate, I’m gonna put a whuppin’ on him so fierce, he’ll have to sit to take a whiz and stand to drop a deuce.
Muriel Puddings: I already told you, Junk Daddy, Tapioca’s my brother. So that’d make you his…uh…
Garbage Bag Johnny: Uncle? No. Cousin? Wait, not that either. Second Uncle once removed.
Muriel Puddings: Take your pick. He just needs a positive male role model to unlock his potential. Or just a male role model in general, even a negative one.
Garbage Bag Johnny: I’ll make a man out of him just like you made a man out of me.
Johnny grins, oblivious to how his phrasing may have been interpreted.
Muriel Puddings: I love the sound of that. And speaking of, how about we shut this not-enough-me pay-per-view off and leave a few man streaks on Melvin’s fancy couch!
We fade from this disaster back to ringside
FLAMBERGE vs. RIA NIGHTSHADE
Our scene fades in from backstage and the MGM Grand goes black before being bathed in neon green lighting as the synthesized drum beats of “Tonight (Well Make Love Till We Die” by SSQ fill the arena. After about 40 seconds, guitars and vocals join the drums.
♫ In darkness you will find me
I dance among the dead
But very soon I’ll need to hunt the scent of blood instead
Rising from your earthbed
It thickens in the air
A smell both sweet and rancid, I know that you are near ♫
As the chorus begins, Ria Nightshade finally saunters out from backstage. As she stands near the entranceway, she drinks in the crowd while wearing her usual smirk. She confidently strides down to ringside, stopping at the apron. She swings her right leg up, her heel resting on the apron. She turns her head back towards the crowd, giving a wink before swinging her left leg up into the apron.
Vince Howard: Hailing from PIIIITTTSSSBUUUURGGGHHHH… RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIA NIGHTSHADE!
She stays in the split for a second before sliding under the bottom rope. Ria then sits up on her knees before bouncing up to her feet. She picks a random corner, sashaying over that way. Once there, she leans back against the turnbuckles in a seductive pose, waiting for the match to begin.
FLAMBO’S GONNA KILL YOU
FLAMBO’S GONNA KILL YOU
FLAMBO’S GONNA KILL YOU
And then, the lights fade.
I AM dangerous
And across the PRIMEview?
The arena lights come back to life, and out comes the prodigy, the man of the hour, FLAMBERGE. He saunters from the back with a cool casualness, loudly chomping on a wad of gum, “Dangereux” by IAM blaring as the fans cheer the newcomer. The anticipated debut comes with an expectation toward greatness, and to say the Frenchman is cocky confident would be an understatement. His powerwalk carries with it a weird charisma, and as he takes his lap around the ring, he refuses to look up toward his opponent, despite natural male instinct. Genie isn’t making it easy, seemingly pushing out her ample chest to try and get his attention, but the Strasbourgis native refuses to get caught up in the sexuality fueled mind games. He, instead, rolls into the ring, standing opposite of her, his head bobbing the entire time.
Vince Howard: And her opponent, from Strasbourgis, France. He is… FLAMBERGE.
Nick Stuart: Flamberge looks like he’s ready tonight.
FLAMBERGE steps out of his corner and raises his fists, ready to scrap. Ria regards him with a bemused evil half-grin as she slinks out of her own. As they slowly circle the center of the ring, Nightshade quietly taunts her opponent. Then a smirk forms on FLAMBO’s face as he pushes forward on the balls of his feet and becomes a moving volley of rights and lefts that connect as quick and painful as snakebites.
Ria spills through the top and second ropes, prompting the break. FLAMBERGE obliges, backing up and hopping impatiently between both feet. Nightshade now regards him with revulsion as she takes her time stepping out of the ropes. FLAMBO comes at her again with another flurry of jabs, but she quickly goes low when he goes high and seizes him around the waist, digging her claws into his lower back!
FLAMBERGE yells in pain and anger before throwing her down with a side rolling legsweep. Nightshade rolls back to her knees, grinning savagely.
Nick Stuart: I have a feeling we’re going to see an usual clash of styles between these two, with Ria’s tendency for playing mind games tasked to break up the straightforward, no-nonsense style of FLAMBERGE.
Richard Parker: I love FLAMBERGE being managed
Both opponents again begin circling one another for a beat, before Ria springs back to avoid a low sweeping kick. Seeing her chance to make a move, she rushes in clinches FLAMBERGE by the head and gets in a few good knees to his face! FLAMBO’s legs wobble, and she takes him down the rest of the way with a snap DDT before hooking the legs to cover!
They scramble to their feet, and Nightshade locks up the Frenchman’s arms before he can get to swinging them again. FLAMBO pivots, sweeps, and takes Ria back down to canvas, going right into the mount and relentlessly pounding away with rights and lefts!
Nick Stuart: FLAMBERGE finally on top, whittling down Ria Nightshade’s defenses!
Richard Parker: You could say he’s… CHIP-ping away at her?
Nick Stuart: Hardy-har, Rich.
Nightshade can only cover up and weather the storm until the official makes it to the full count and orders FLAMBERGE to break it up. The young Frenchman obliges and pops back to his feet, confidently running his hands up his elevated hair.
Ria shakes it off and quickly gets back to her feet, cranking her neck and wiping her jaw as she readjusts her gameplan. A sneer forms on her face before she unexpectedly charges at FLAMBERGE with an insane barrage of clawing rights and lefts of her own that put her opponent on his heels!
FLAMBO deflects a left and pops Ria in the cheek with a straight jab of his own. Nightshade reels… and bites back with a headbutt! FLAMBERGE reels, and Ria pounces, bouncing him off the ropes and yanking him into a sit-out uranage slam! She makes the cover…
FLAMBERGE is up quickly and fires off some right hands into Ria, Irish whipping her into the ropes. Nightshade hits the buckle hard but ducks an attempted Pele kick by FLAMBERGE. Ria spins to the middle of the canvas, waiting for her opponent to come at her. FLAMBERGE races over, Ria jumps up and connects with a sit down uranage! She doesn’t go for a pin. Instead, Nightshade bounces off the ropes and lands a leg drop. She’s about to pop back to her feet when FLAMBERGE grabs her arms and turns it into a backslide pin.
FLAMBERGE and Nightshade are on their feet. They exchange a fury of punches and kicks, neither backing down but also neither of them gaining the advantage. Nightshade ducks a lariat attempt, bounces off the ropes and hits FLAMBERGE with a springboard elbow smash. She tosses FLAMBERGE into a corner and races in with a handspring elbow smash and then a bulldog to get out of the corner. Once again, Ria tries to keep things going. She finds the ropes, FLAMBERGE leaps to his feet and nails a Pele kick under Nightshade’s jaw.
German suplex follows. Bridge. Pin.
RIA ROLLS THROUGH.
Nightshade kicks FLAMBERGE but he blocks it. He finds a high angle hip toss, then tosses Nightshade into the ropes and performs a roundhouse kick. FLAMBERGE waits on his opponent to rise…
Nick Stuart: I think the Frenchman is looking to close things out here.
He races towards Ria with the axe kick but she moves! Nightshade tries for a suplex but FLAMBERGE blocks it, standing switches and lands another German suplex. He pops to his feet and rifles a fury of kicks into Nightshade’s skull. This is followed by dragging Ria up and knocking her back down with a hard out headbutt.
FLAMBERGE slides into position for the guillotine choke!
Richard Parker: Does he have the hold applied!?
Nick Stuart: No! Ria Nightshade is in the ropes!
FLAMBERGE lets go of the half submission he wasn’t able to lock in yet. He waits for Ria to turn around and then dropkicks her in the shoulder. Nightshade bounces off the ropes from the impact and right into an exploder suplex!
FLAMBERGE looks for a triangle choke but Ria’s in the ropes again. The France native slides back to the center of the ring but the moment Nightshade is up…
He boots her with another roundhouse kick.
Nick Stuart: That knocked the spit out of her!
FLAMBERGE follows with a judo throw… followed by another… and another…
Nick Stuart: He’s totally overwhelming Ria right now!
But Nightshade is showing fight. Each time she’s tossed across the ring, she gets back on her feet. Ria, eventually, escapes a judo throw, looks for a kick of her own but it’s caught.
Nick Stuart: There it is! Just like that, FLAMBERGE has the guillotine choke applied!
Nightshade falls to the mat but she refuses to submit. FLAMBERGE has her dead to rights in the center of the ring. She’s fading… fading… fading…
She moves an inch closer to the ropes! FLAMBERGE’s eyes go wide as he tries to reposition so she can’t move anymore.
Richard Parker: Only so much time you can spend in a move like this!
The color commentator is right. There’s only so much time… and Ria Nightshade is running out of it.
She reaches forward. She’s nowhere near the ropes. The referee slides into position and checks on her. He raises her arm.
Nick Stuart: Ria is out!
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: The winner of this match via submission… FLAMBERGE!
Nick Stuart: Solid win by FLAMBERGE but a hell of a fight put up by Ria Nightshade!
FLAMBERGE’s arm is raised as ReVival goes to commercial.
COMMERCIAL: CLASSIC WRESTLING
CHECK OUT CLASSIC WRESTLING 17 OVER ON http://classic-wrestling.com
Our scene opens to a random door…
With Melvin Beauregard standing outside of it. A hazmat team walks in and out of his office in full gear, frantically removing plastic wrapped furniture. Melvin holds up two envelopes and smiles.
Melvin Beauregard: Thank you all for joining us for another fantastic episode of PRIME’s ReVival. I apologize for our setting here in the hallway, but as you can see we have a little work going on behind me.
A man runs into the room carrying a shovel, another carrying a chain saw, and lastly a man with what looks like a flamethrower.
Melvin Beauregard: So anyway, onto business for the evening. Two more teams are leaving our fantastic Survivor competition. Congratulations to the morons behind team DUI on another hard fought victory. I’d like our leaf blower returned by the end of the night, or I’ll be billing you all for a new one…
Melvin beams at the thought, his bald head glistens in the light of the hallway as he flips the envelopes back and forth.
Melvin Beauregard: So V.I.A.G.R.A. and Crudely Civilized… you all have decided not to live up to your legendary names and instead have posted another loss. So two more of you will fall out of this magnificent contest and will find yourself competing against 2Become1 on ReVival 7.
Melvin opens the first envelope labeled CRUDELY CIVILIZED.
Melvin Beauregard: I guess Survivor isn’t the right place for a B team, maybe if you had sent the A team you’d have had a better chance in this one. Thank you for competing Randall, and what’s that other guys name again? Eh, it really doesn’t matter.
Melvin smirks and opens up the baby blue envelope.
Melvin Beaurgard: And apparently the Dangerous Mix in this competition was the two of you and your team mates. Sorry Mushi, you’ll have to OSU! yourself on over to the match against 2Become1 and Masters of The Multiverse B-Team.
The camera starts to fade but Melvin holds out his index finger to indicate he has something else to say.
Melvin Beauregard: Oh… And the tribes are gone for the next challenge. It’s every team for Itself. Good luck.
With that our scene fades as we hear the sound of the chainsaw roar to life and screaming ensue from Melvin’s office as he walks off down the hallway shaking his head.
A GREAT DEBUT
The camera cuts backstage to the parking lot, where a giant limo pulls into frame. The limo keeps going and going, and going and going, and it’s a really long limo so you know the person in the back must have a lot of money because limos charge by the window. Anyway this limo finally stops, and a man, nay a YOUNG GOD steps out of the back with a majestic haircut that looks kind of like a mullet except cooler.
Mysterious Man: HI EVERYONE I HOPE YOU ARE HAVING A GOOD DAY WAIT NO
He smiles and his teeth are fucking amazing.
Mysterious Man: A *GREAT* DAY.
He is wearing a fancy suit with fancy shoes and fancy sunglasses and also he had a briefcase full of money and the phone numbers of lots of hot girls. This guy definitely fucks girls.
Mysterious Man: THATS RIGHT EVERYONE IT IS ME GREAT SCOTT MGM LEGEND AND MAN WHO BEAT SCOTT STEVENS ONCE. I AM HERE IN PRIME WRESTLING FOR ONE REASON AND THAT IS TO BECOME CHAMPION AND TO BE THE BEST AT FIGHTING AND YES THAT IS TWO REASONS BUT ONE JUST ISNT ENOUGH WHEN YOUVE BEEN WITH GREAT SCOTT BABY.
He turns very serious now because he is a serious wrestler and it isn’t all jokes with Great Scott.
Great Scott: I AM GOING TO WIN ALL OF THE BELTS AND I AM VERY SERIOUS ABOUT THAT. I DONT JUST BEAT WRESTLERS I ALSO WIN MATCHES AND IF YOU DONT BELIEVE ME THEN MAYBE YOU SHOULD ACCEPT MY OPEN CHALLENGE BECAUSE I DONT GIVE A SINGLE HECK WHO YOU ARE. I WANNA FIGHT ON THE NEXT SHOW AND I WILL FIGHT FREAKING ANYONE. I WILL FIGHT BOOB DAN RYAN OR THE SHAWN WARSTEIN’S VERY TIGHT SWEATSHIRT OR THAT TAN MICHELIN MAN BOBBY DEAN. I WILL EVEN FIGHT BEL AIR THE MASK OF MAYONNAISE I DONT GIVE A HECK CAUSE I AM GREAT SCOTT.
He lowers his sunglasses and smiles at the camera and all the girls get wet in the places their wieners should be.
Great Scott: AND I AM GREAT.
He turns around to walk away but then thinks of one more thing.
Great Scott: SORRY I THOUGHT OF ONE MORE THING. THIS IS A REAL CHALLENGE SO SOMEONE ACCEPT IT PLS OR I WONT BE BOOKED AND I NEED TO BE BOOKED OR I CANT WIN ALL THE BELTS. OKAY BYE HAVE A GREAT SHOW.
Great Scott gets back into his limo and it drives away and we see even more windows passing because the limo was huger than it looked and he actually got out of the middle of it just to flex. We cut to commercial because nothing could follow that except for a commercial for cereal or something.
COMMERCIAL: HOW WARGAMES
TUNE INTO HoTV FOR REFUELED THIS SUNDAY ON THE ROAD TO WARGAMES! http://howrestling.com
SHAWN WARSTEIN vs. JULIAN BATHORY
Nick Stuart: And next up, our main event of the evening. Two men on paths they surely didn’t envision for themselves going into Culture Shock.
Richard Parker: Nobody envisions themselves as the fall guy.
Nick Stuart: To be clear, Shawn Warstein and Julian Bathory aren’t beloved figures here in PRIME. Warstein is someone who simply doesn’t care, he wants to get into the comfort zone of others and burst bubbles. Bathory, his statement was that he would be on his way to the Great American Nightmare to compete for the Universal Championship. And Warstein? He envisioned nothing but 5 Star gold.
Richard Parker: I imagine there’s going to be a lot of viciousness here.
The Enigma TNG.
The Prince of Tears emerges alongside Bruce “Violence Jack” Shanahan. The roars of the MGM Garden transition to heavy boos as the two take their time on their way down the ramp.
Vince Howard: This next contest is our MAAAAAIN EVENT FOR THE EVENING! This match is one fall with a thirty minute time limit. On his way to the ring, accompanied by Violence Jack, hailing from Szeged, Hungary, standing six feet, one inch and weighing two-hundred and twenty-six pounds…The New World Savior…JULIAN! BAAAATHORYYY!!”
Bathory slides into the ring, getting to his feet and going to the closest corner, resting his head on the turnbuckle pad. A silent prayer? Hardly. When he looks up and turns around, his expression is taut, his focus narrowing. His manager, Bruce Shanahan, is at ringside, hands folded in front of each other.
The proceedings are cut off when “Centuries Remix” begins to blare.The curtain gets swiped to the side as Shawn Warstein steps through, also receiving a full chorus of boos. The hood on his hoodie is up as his face stays pointing towards the ground.
Nick Stuart: The fans aren’t for either man here…
Richard Parker: They will be when the fists start flying.
As the song begins for crescendo Shawn lifts his head and pulls the hood down. The widest, most arrogant smile is on his face. It’s as if the jeers are fueling him. The louder they get, the wider his smile goes. As he walks down the ramp several fans heckle him, but with the back of his hand he waves them off and continues, sliding under the bottom rope and into the ring, keeping his distance.
VInce Howard: His opponent, hailing from Chicago, Illinois, standing six feet four inches and weighing two-hundred thirty-four pounds…SHAAAAAWN! WAAAAAAARSTEIN!
Casting a sneer to the ring announcer Warstein continues towards the far corner and climbs up sitting on the top turnbuckle, before hopping down. Timo Bolamba is quick to check both men, and then signals for the bell.
Nick Stuart: And here we are. Main event time. And there’s an eerie feeling coming over the crowd here as these two just stand here, looking through each other from their corners.
Richard Parker: There’s a lot of tenseness here. Two men who want to get on the right side of things, get back their momentum.
Warstein and The New World Saviour. To say the fans are mixed is an understatement. The two peer through each other, a sly smirk spreading across the face of Shawn, the countenance of Julian stone. After a few moments, the two begin to draw close. Bathory is the first to initiate, locking to go for a collar and elbow tie up, but the larger Warstein side steps, keeping on his toes. Flat footed after the missed grapple, Bathory turns his head slowly at his opponent, expression unfazed, and perhaps to make a point, goes for the tie up again. This time, though, Warstein lights his chest ablaze with a razor sharp knife edge chop that sounds throughout the MGM Grand Arena, moving to distance from the Carpathian Devil with a few mock jumping jacks as Bathory stares down at his reddened chest, his hand drawing close to the impact point.
Nick Stuart: Shawn Warstein isn’t here for a wrestling match. I can understand Bathory trying to maintain a methodical pace, but I don’t know if he’s going to find that here.
Richard Parker: Maybe that Sudden Impact took the steam out of him. Made him start to doubt himself.
Nick Stuart: There’s no shame in what happened at Culture Shock, not for either man. Contenderships and championships, if you’re fighting for those, you’re on the right path.
Richard Parker: And if that was truly the case, there wouldn’t be such an urgency here.
Nick Stuart: Both men have something to prove. Shawn Warstein, from what we’re to understand, perhaps he rather have had a recharge. I can’t even imagine what resulted from Bathory’s not winning the number one contendership.
Richard Parker: Surely MESSIAH is great with pep talks.
Nick Stuart: Another hard knife edge chop lashes across the chest of Julian Bathory! And the Prince of Tears…he’s…what is he doing?
Richard Parker: Taking the beating.
Nick Stuart: And oh! OH! A slap across the face of Julian Bathory by Shawn Warstein! He’s just mocking him with how he’s able to dart in and get these free shots!
Bathory seems transfixed on the pain he is receiving, the blatant showing up, the caustic disrespect. This is easy. On the outside, Bruce Shanahan is unmoving, uncaring, unflinching. There are no shouts of encouragement, no coaching. It is clear his charge is on his own this evening. Perhaps to prove himself? Bathory cracks his neck, the imprint across his face causing a grimacing smirk to form in the corners of his lips. And when he charges with a sudden burst, his momentum is caught with a quick snapmare takeover into a grinding reverse chinlock.
Richard Parker: For a guy wanting a recharge, Warstein sure looks like he’s ready to go. He’s just outclassing Bathory here. We might get a live flaying on ACE if this continues.
Nick Stuart: I can imagine…
Richard Parker: I’m being facetious. MESSIAH isn’t barbaric. They just want to show us a different way forward.
Nick Stuart: One that you’re willing to follow?
Richard Parker: I just like to keep my options open. And maybe one of those choices is going with whatever Warstein believes. Can’t hurt given how he’s doing…
Nick Stuart: Bathory fighting back to a standing base before being dragged back down by his opponent. Shawn Warstein, burster of bubbles, we’ve seen him compete for 5 Star Championship gold. And with his size and skill, maybe we see that again. Julian fighting upward again, but Warstein snaps him back to the canvas with a side headlock takeover. He releases and there’s a scramble to the feet. Bathory maybe a little flustered KITCHEN SINK KNEE and OH! Heavy brain buster! And Warstein hooking the leg!
Warstein expects this. Bathory is on his knees.
Nick Stuart: AND KINGS CROWN! BATHORY BARELY ESCAPES!
Richard Parker: Julian almost had his head taken clean off!
Nick Stuart: Warstein quickly scrambling to his feet and he’s met by Bathory…jumping leg lariat!
Richard Parker: So nice of you to finally join us…
Nick Stuart: And Bathory follows up with a running neck snap!
The sudden need for a chiropractor makes sense. Julian Bathory is on his feet, looking to the fans, but quickly bringing his attention back to Warstein, who is clamoring back to his feet holding his neck. Gone is the smirk, the disrespectful cocksureness. Bathory closes the gap, blasting his opponent with a strong forearm strike. The sharpness causes Warstein to stumble backward, before firing off a quick punch in retaliation. Head Official Timo Bolamba is quick to chastise, demanding open fists. Shawn shrugs this off, but is hit with another hard elbow smash. The striking contest turns up with Warstein firing off another knife edge chop, this one bringing a grimace from the Carpathian Devil, who thrusts forward with a nasty headbutt, dropping the larger man from the velocity and from the point of contact of the jaw.
Richard Parker: Oh, that was…
Nick Stuart: Violent.
Richard Parker: Practical.
Nick Stuart: A dropkick nearly sends Warstein spilling through the ropes!
Richard Parker: He’s all tangled up!
Nick Stuart: An open palm strike across Warstein’s chest! And Warstein fires off a headbutt of his own! Bathory wasn’t expecting that! A quick go behind GERMAN SUPLEX! BRIDGE FOR THE PIN!
Richard Parker: So close to another controversial fin-
Before Parker can finish his statement, the two men are back up to their feet, a quick moment of catching their bearings, with Warstein looking to throw a loaded punch, only to whiff as Bathory sidesteps and catches him with a heavy knee to the midsection, grabbing hold and jerking his opponent upward with an Exploder Suplex. There isn’t much distance between the two after the collision, and with awareness, Bathory grabs hold of one of Warstein’s arms before getting up.
Nick Stuart: Oh what a nasty 12 to 6 elbow to Warstein OH! CHAOS REIGNS! BATHORY FOLLOWED THE BLOW WITH CHAOS REIGNS!
Richard Parker: That was absolutely brutal!
Nick Stuart: Bathory with the cover!
DING DING DING
Vince Howard: Your winner…by pinfall…the Carpathian Devil…JUUUUULIAN! BATHORY!
Warstein tries to kick out, but the one-two punch he suffers takes too much out of him with the vicious suddenness lashing out through him. Bathory sits on the canvas, one hand planting to brace himself up, his chest slightly raw, absolute menace in his eyes as he stares at his downed opponent. He looks toward his mentor, receiving acknowledgement only in the form of a nod. All that mattered was getting back on the right path.
Forever The Crown.
The Return Of The Yolk
The shot opens up on a closed door. Behind said door the rumblings of heavy machinery can be heard. In front of said door stands Doozer and Bobby Dean. Well, Doozer is standing at least. Bobby is sitting.
Doozer: I can’t believe he’s still in there. It’s been close to a week now. Does that thing even have a toilet?
Bobby Dean: His mouth.
The two chuckle.
Bobby Dean: He did get planted three times so maybe it’s taking longer than it should?
Doozer: Man, how long’s it take to fix a busted ego?
Bobby Dean: Ask Dan Ryan.
The two chuckle again.
Bobby Dean: Though I will say… and as much as I hate to admit it– he does have a point. He wasn’t at a hundred percent.
Doozer: True that, Bob… but I still think we should have pulled the mask off of Balaam and let Jiles heal that way. It would have been cathartic. Now, he’s going to be in the sequel to Demolition Man, and it might not even work.
The two ponder, if only for a second.
Bobby Dean: I’ll say this much, Doozy. I’m not sitting around here much longer. He gives me this lame folding chair– it’s not even an egomatic! Not to mention I’ve bent the legs three different times!
Bobby Dean: I said that. Plus, I saw a hot wife backstage that appears to be in need of a stalker.
Doozer: Good luck with that.
Suddenly, and ridden with eerie suspense, the closed door starts to creak open. Once it is fully ajar a cold burst of chilled air followed by a dense cloud of smoke passes through.
Bobby Dean: Uh? Cancer? Buddy? You okay?
The humming of the machinery cuts off.
Then, a whoosh.
Bobby Dean: (covered in yellow mist) Well, I guess it worked.
Doozer: Sure fuckin’ looks like it.
Jiles emerges from the room. His blonde hair is immaculate. His shades are fit to the T. Most importantly his mouth is foaming yellow.
Cancer Jiles: That was the longest four hours and twenty minutes, EVER! Felt like I was in cryo for days! Worth it though! I’m back, baby!
Doozer does what he does best and instantly evaporates, leaving Bobby to sit there befuddled.
Bobby Dean: Happy for you. I am, but about that.
Cancer Jiles: About what?
Bobby Dean: (diverting) On second thought, say don’t you have a golden ticket?
Cancer Jiles: Not for long.
FOR REAL THIS TIME