Fighting For Nora
Nick Stuart: And now let’s go to a previously recorded interview, where head referee Timo Bolamba sat down with PRIME’s newest tag team Fighting For Nora, featuring former PRIME Intense Champion Jonathan Rhine.
We cut to a bright room with three empty chairs. From opposite sides of the room, two men stride forward and meet each other in the middle.
Timo Bolamba: Jonathan. It’s been a long time.
Jonathan Rhine smiles and shakes Timo’s hand. Rhine’s hair is a little thinner than it was 12 years ago, and he definitely looks stockier at 36 than he did at 25, but overall The New Life conveys youth and confidence in his smile. He’s wearing a tight-fitting button down shirt rolled up at the biceps and slacks.
Jonathan Rhine: Timo, great to see you.
Rhine looks over his shoulder at a third figure coming in from the right: he is tall and lean, wearing a tank top and jean shorts. The man rubs his hands together, which are covered up in peeling white tape. Rhine smiles and gestures to one of the chairs.
Jonathan Rhine: Here you go, Paxton.
All three men sit. Timo crosses his legs and leans forward.
Timo Bolamba: Thanks for coming to this sit-down interview, Jonathan Rhine and Paxton Ray. Together you’re Fighting For Nora, a newly signed tag team to PRIME. And I have a few questions for you, starting with the obvious: why did you request me to do this interview instead of our normal reporters like Matt Mills or Angelica Brooks?
Rhine smiles and matches Timo’s position, also leaning forward.
Jonathan Rhine: That’s a great question and confirms my choice, I think. You and I had our history in FUSE all those years ago, fighting for the Custom C.H.A.O.S. Championship. And even after we both retired and went our separate ways, we still kept in touch and I saw you as a symbol of the business that has given me so much, and has taken so much. So when I…
Rhine looks over at Paxton Ray, who is looking away, and chuckles.
Jonathan Rhine: When we decided to come to PRIME and I saw that you were the head referee, I thought there was no one better who could help introduce Fighting For Nora to the PRIME world.
Timo Bolamba: Well I appreciate the confidence and hope I can do you justice. My next question is about your team name: Fighting For Nora. What is the significance of the name?
Rhine gestures to Ray, who snaps to attention suddenly as if he were not fully there beforehand.
Jonathan Rhine: I’ll defer that question to my friend and partner Paxton.
Timo looks over at Paxton Ray, who despite his 6’6 frame seems to be shrinking under the intensity of Timo’s gaze. Ray opens his mouth, thinks, then closes it and looks away.
Jonathan Rhine: It’s okay, Paxton. I can explain it if you feel more comfortable that way.
Paxton Ray: Sure.
Jonathan Rhine: So, Paxton is an incredible young man, which you can clearly see by looking at him, but even beyond the surface lies someone who is truly special. When I met Paxton, he had been bare-knuckle boxing in seedy gyms for money. He was using that money to support his daughter, Nora, who unfortunately was stricken with cancer.
Timo Bolamba: Oh, that’s awful. Paxton, I’m so sorry.
Ray doesn’t look back at Timo.
Paxton Ray: ‘s fine.
Jonathan Rhine: This story touched the hearts of all of us at Gray’s Wrestling Academy, and so we took him in and honed his raw talent into a product that I think will surprise people when he steps into the squared circle. And once it was clear what a gem we had in Paxton, I started calling around to see who was interested. Imagine my shock when PRIME, one of the places I had made my mark, was re-opening and looking for talent. Initially he was just going to come in by himself, but when I found this out – well, I couldn’t help myself from getting in on the action.
Timo Bolamba nods, but he is still staring at Paxton Ray, who seems to be intensely curious about a loose thread on the edge of the chair, using his pinky finger to wrap the thread around it.
Timo Bolamba: Obviously not, you were always one of the fiercest competitors I knew. So, now that you’re here, and I know this is probably a silly question, but what is the goal?
Jonathan Rhine: Another excellent question, and you doubted yourself initially! Not silly at all, because I know what you were angling for. You thought I would say tag team domination, winning the titles, showing that together we are the most unstoppable force in PRIME. And yes, I think all of that will prove true. But the real goal is for my friend here –
Rhine slaps Ray on the shoulder, and Ray’s attention is diverted from the errant thread to his tag team partner. For a very brief moment, Ray’s eyes show something they hadn’t yet shown – a brief glimpse of fire flits behind his eyes. Then, he resets and nods.
Jonathan Rhine: For Paxton’s cause to be known. Gold is nice, fame is fine, money is essential, but the cause is the core. We are Fighting. For. Nora. Every time we enter the ring, every team we face, every rung we climb, we are telling the world that cancer is an abomination and that we will fight until the wonderful day when Nora no longer has to visit the hospital twice a week for treatments. To that end we will be launching a merchandise store at fightingfornora dot com, where you can purchase hats, shirts, and coozees with our team’s emblem on it, and all proceeds go to Nora’s fund. Again, winning is a great thing, but far from our main reason for being here.
Timo Bolamba: That sounds fantastic, and we’ll be sure to have the main PRIME website link to that site so PRIMEates can start helping out right away. Finally, is there anything you want to say to the roster, to the teams you’ll be squaring off against?
Timo pauses, then looks at Ray.
Timo Bolamba: Paxton?
Once again the tall man twists his body towards the head referee, studying him with slightly narrowed eyes. He looks to Rhine, who smiles and nods. Then, Ray moves his body to stare directly into the camera.
Paxton Ray: I don’t care who I have to face. I don’t care how long you’ve been fighting, how many titles you’ve won. When I am fighting, I will put everything I have on the line to take you out.
Both Timo and Rhine look at each other and nod.
Jonathan Rhine: Looks like he’s going to fit right in, right Timo?
Timo Bolamba: I don’t doubt it at all. Thanks for sitting down with me guys, and good luck to you and to your daughter, Paxton, in the coming months. Nick?