A RED DECLARATION
The MGM Grand is bathed in red lighting. That means only one thing:
“The Soviet National Anthem” by the Red Army Choir explodes over the PA system. The crowd immediately erupts into boos and jeers as the flag of the Soviet Union appears on the PRIMEtron.
Nick Stuart: I never thought I would say it, folks, but Ivan Stanislav is indeed here in PRIME!
Richard Parker: Yes, and coming off of a great win at UltraViolence against Hayes Hanlon!
Nick Stuart: What are you talking about? Hanlon defeated The Russian Bear right in the middle of the ring.
Richard Parker: That’s not what the Russian newspaper says!
Nick Stuart: I don’t even know what to say to that…
The negative reaction intensifies as Ivan Stanislav and Alexei Ruslan emerge from the backstage area. The Russian Bear raises his arms high in the air and bellows defiantly as the entire arena battles against him. Stanislav is undaunted as he walks down the aisle way scowling. Halfway towards the ring, a particular PRIMEate with an American flag shirt flicks Stanislav the bird. The Bear turns and yells at him, and another member of the crowd launches his full soda cup at Ivan. It explodes as it hits his chest and sprays all over the Russian, soiling his black shirt and suspenders. Ivan grits his teeth and kicks his foot out, nailing the barricade and collapsing several sections of it.
Nick Stuart: We might have a riot here folks!!
Richard Parker: That idiot would deserve it! We are all lucky to have such a legend here in PRIME!
Security rushes to block Ivan and Alexei from advancing into the crowd, and also to hold back the tide of fans. The soiled Stanislav instead turns and makes his way to the ring while the ring crew helps restore the barricade to working order. Ivan steps up onto the apron and over the top rope and raises his arms into the air again and roars, while Ruslan procures a microphone.
Alexei, in his trench coat and hat, walks in front of Ivan and paces while the music dies down and the lights raise.
Alexei Ruslan: Oh! How nice it is to be back in America with such warm welcomes!!
Alexei Ruslan: Every single one of you ingrates should be cheering myself and Ivan Stanislav. We are some of the only people who actually fight for YOU! And here you are, belittling yourselves!
Stanislav’s beard drips from the soda and he takes the microphone. His voice booms and causes the PA system to crackle.
Ivan Stanislav: After twenty long years, we have finally returned to wrestling ring. And indeed, this is how the masses greet us? When last I stood in ring like this, I was cheered! You howl at Ivan and Alexei because you are frightened, just like all members of PRIME roster! Your brains have all turned to mush. You are all complacent!
Ivan is furious and it clearly shows. He reaches up to his beard and wrings it out with one hand. Soda drips from it.
Ivan Stanislav: PRIME came begging for Ivan Sergeiovich and Alexei Gregorovich to come to roster. After flakey, lazy roster had hole in it, they needed true dependable men to bring some level of legitimacy to this flagging organization, and so here we are! DYAAHAAHAA!!
Ivan’s grating laugh pops all throughout the speakers of the MGM Grand as he grips his suspenders and tugs on them.
Nick Stuart: Stanislav may have come to help with a gap in the roster, but I don’t think it’s a real good idea to bash your employer.
Richard Parker: Comrade Stanislav will do what he wants. He’s afraid of nothing!
Ivan stares directly at the camera and points, his face filled with rage.
Ivan Stanislav: There is nothing fancy about what is to be done here tonight. Later this evening, I will annihilate Shawn Warstein, but I wish to speak on something far more serious! Clearly, wrestling product in these modern times has waned. Look at what PRIME has to offer!
Ivan wrinkles his nose.
Ivan Stanislav: The roster wishes to all be friends! They tippy tap on their jibber Jabber clamoring for attention and giggles! They want to go out to eat with one another. Go to the gym together. They want to loan things to one another. It makes me think they wish to all hold hands and dance in circle. When did so many men lose their testicles?!
Alexei shrugs and smirks at the rhetorical question.
Ivan Stanislav: When Ivan Sergeiovich tries to talk sense into them and truth, they attack with hurtful remarks towards myself and my people. Easy to do behind computer monitor. Harder to do in this ring, eh Alexei?
Ruslan simply laughs and nods his head.
Ivan Stanislav: It makes Ivan Sergeiovich sick. The abject disrespect from roster to management is unfathomable!
Ivan hocks and spits on the mat and thumbs at himself and Alexei, who stands to his right and has his hands behind his back.
Ivan Stanislav: We are not here to make such friends. We are here for comrades. Individuals who show the ideological and physical prowess to stand for something greater than themselves. The collective is always more powerful than the individual. There is, and will always be, a Red Army so long as Ivan Stanislav is active. Even if it is just myself and Alexei here. A two man army is more than enough. But I am calling upon entire roster, for those who wish to have more than just a casual friend, but rather a comrade, to consider coming to Ivan Stanislav to be part of movement far greater than any other!
Richard Parker: See!? Ivan is giving members of the roster the chance to be part of something greater than just themselves! Who wouldn’t want Ivan watching their back?!
Nick Stuart: If memory serves, back in PCW Chris Sloboda was in the Red Army and after he started becoming popular, didn’t Ivan Stanislav throw him out? And by throw him out, I mean physically attack him?
Richard Parker: Revisionist history!
Ivan Stanislav: I think of poor young bastard in hospital bed who shares same name as myself, Jonathan! If he had true friends, perhaps he would have not been brutalized so terribly, eh? A member of Red Army would never go through such horrible tribulations. He would be ready for such underhanded tactics! But no, his friends are “fashionably late” to his aid!
Ivan huffs and stomps to one side of the ring and elevates his voice.
Ivan Stanislav: The owners of PRIME grow fat off of every dollar they make, not just from you fans, but from us hard working wrestlers. They and their ilk sit in their fancy glassed boxes high above your heads, looking down upon you with derision!
Ivan points up around the arena at some of the glassed in box seats.
Ivan Stanislav: UltraViolence was resounding success. Estimates show that the inclusion of Ivan and Alexei are driving force for this success. However, the same wealthy bastards book the unequipped in matches too brutal for them to handle. Such as main event, dog collar matches, and the like. The current roster lacks the fortitude for such endeavors and they find themselves in hospital. Those mindless puppets behind the curtain continue to dance to the tune. Ivan Stanislav dances for no one!
Still, Ivan isn’t winning over any converts. He’s roundly boo’d by the audience.
Nick Stuart: As a matter of fact, I will go on record for saying that PRIME is paying for all relevant medical bills related to the Jonathan Rhine situation.
Ivan Stanislav: If you people are too stupid to listen, then Ivan’s actions will speak louder than his words! Entire PRIME roster is cowering in the back, but there is nowhere they can hide. Each and every one of you back there, mark my words, if you are not part of The Red Army, you will be considered an enemy!
Stanislav stands in the middle of the ring and grows less animated, and more solemn. The boo’s continue.
Ivan Stanislav: Finally, I want to speak on something very important and serious, regardless of where you stand on whatever spectrum. Yes, there is conflict raging in Europe, and yes, brave boys and girls are losing their lives. I am veteran, I can relate to grave situation at hand.
Ivan nods his head. The crowd does silence slightly.
Ivan Stanislav: Which is why I simply wish to say that despite it all, I stand by my beautiful brothers and sisters in Russia. Ivan Stanislav stands wi—
The microphone cuts out as Ivan looks down at it. The crowd immediately erupts negatively towards Stanislav. Ivan stomps his foot and his face twists into a grimace as he shakes the mic. Alexei walks over and taps the mic with his hand. Nothing.
Nick Stuart: Folks, we must be having some sort of a technical problem with our microphone.
Ivan snarls and bellows and points off to the side of the ring, beckoning for another microphone. He hands the “faulty” one to Alexei, and catches another that is thrown in.
Ivan Stanislav: As I was saying, I stand by my bro—
Again, the mic cuts out. He snarls and looks down at the microphone and hollars into it, but to no avail. The Russian Bear gazes around the arena with frustration, before eyeing the box seats high up in the air.
Richard Palmer: This is the most dastardly censorship I have ever seen!
Nick Stuart: Do you agree with what he’s saying?
Richard Palmer: I… well… I mean… er….
Nick Stuart: Stanislav is looking around the arena now, and he doesn’t look happy.
Indeed, Stanislav eyes the fancy box seats that rise high above the general public. He grips the microphone, reels back, and launches the microphone through the air. It flies like a dart and smacks into one of the glass walls and disintegrates into plastic. The people inside instinctively drop to the floor as Ivan laughs.
Nick Stuart: I suspect he’s going to have to pay for that…
Stanislav stands defiant as the Soviet National Anthem blares through the arena one last time. The crowd doesn’t let up with their displeasure, and unfazed, the two Russians make their way out of the ring.
Richard Palmer: I wholeheartedly welcome The Red Army to PRIME. It’s about time!
Nick Stuart: So you’ll sacrifice your paycheck to split it evenly amongst everyone?
Richard Palmer: Well…
Nick Stuart: Either way, I don’t think we’ll be rid of these two for some time. What was this, a declaration of war? Against everyone? I guess only time will tell!