A STAR IS BORN
Nick Stuart: Up next a word from our UNIVERSAL Champion, Cancer Jiles.
Richard Parker: Can’t wait.
The lights dim.
A chill moves through the air.
Before any music can play, and any pomp can circumstance, Dametreyus, Timo Bolamba, Enemigos IV and V, and an unknown, large, chisel jawed, scary looking man who if one had to guess goes by the name of Laser, all come walking out to make sure the coast is clear. Laser is wearing a blue tracksuit while Timo is in his referee gear and Dam and the Enemigos are in their security clothes.
Richard Parker: This guy really thinks he’s the damn President!
Nick Stuart: I’m being told the unknown man that is a part of Jiles’ security detail goes by the name Laser, and he once patrolled the decks of the USS Octane. He also has his pilot’s license.
Without warning or pause the opening guitar riff of “I am the COOL” by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins hits. Bobby the Bandit and Doozer the Abuser join the security detail out on the entrance ramp.
…I’m the one your momma warned you about…
As does the Beltkeeper herself, The Queen of the Ring, Lady Troy.
When you see I’ll leave you no doubt
I’m the COOLEST man to walk this Earth
I’ve been the COOLEST since the day of my birth
Pyros erupt that melt the ceiling inside the MGM Grand. They are so intense and bright you can see the look of utter disdain on the security detail’s collective face among the dark. Mom, of course, gets caught rolling her eyes. Doozer is picking his nose, and Bobby roasts a marshmallow.
I AM THE COOL
Another, somehow bigger, hotter, louder, volley of pyrotechnics scorches the ceiling. Out from back, to an unholy amount of BOO’ING, steps the PRIME UNIVERSAL CHAMPION. Hair, T-shades, electric blue tracksuit, all in play.
Richard Parker: I would have shit right here on the desk if Lindsay and the PRIME contingent matched Jiles.
Nick Stuart: Same.
Richard Parker: How the hell is this cretin the UNIVERSAL Champion? Someone make it make sense.
There’s a brief interaction between Lady Troy and Jiles where it appears as if he asks her for the belt, but as Lindsay reluctantly goes to hand it to him he waves her off and tells her to carry it for him instead.
There is a gasp.
An audible one.
Troy’s eyes go wide and her nostrils flare, but Jiles quickly spins on a heel and bebops his way down the ramp before Dam can correct his tone. Once the COOLYPIAN does get down to the ring the security detail surrounds the outside. Bobby, Dooze, Mom, and the proud champion all stand inside.
After all these years, the family is finally together.
The BOOs are near deafening inside the MGM Grand. If the whole scene and moment feel surreal, it’s because it is.
Nick Stuart: This is surreal!
Richard Parker: I count NINE people down here! NINE!
The COOLympian this time around accepts his UNIVERSAL Championship. He holds it high above his head, his smile wide, his mission accomplished.
The vitriol really crank up, and could rattle the dead.
Jiles manifests a microphone, and turns his attention to Lady Troy.
Jiles: I could have had you strap it around my waist like you did for Brandon. Remember? I was laying down in the ring still; you were blushing. I’m just saying it could be worse.
The Queen looks at her Champion wondering when in fact he will be done.
Jiles: Hello PRIME! Eggknowledge me!
Jiles: HA! You crumbs don’t know just how lucky you are, do you? Not only did I stay, but I even came all the way down here from COOLYMPUS to entertain you; to show you what a true and worthy and just CHAMPION looks like.
Jiles: You should be crying tears of joy, and sobbing thank you at my feet for being so kind. But no, you are PRIMEates. Of course your brains are too small to comprehend.
Jiles: Silly, little, animal brains. Oh well. Go on. Boo. I guess you can lead a horse to slaughter… oh wait, I mean water.
Jiles: Nevermind. Truth be told, I really don’t even know what to say to you.
An inquisitive Maestro of COOL taps the mic against his head.
Jiles: Told you so? Now you can’t leave? I’m feeling much better a month after my UltraViolent bloodbath? I’m looking forward to adding to my MAIN EVENT tally? The next time Hayes Hanlon wants to look up at me he better have his shoe shine kit?
Bobby snorts. Dooze pats him on the back. The Champ holds out a finger as if to signal he has thought of something better.
Jiles: I know! I know what to say to you. I’ll even promise it will be something truthful, and something earnest. I will not lie. Scout’s honor.
A suspenseful pause.
Jiles: Are you ready?
Another pause, to build off of the last one.
Jiles: I’m proud to carry the distinction of being your Champion.
Jiles: Yeah, you got me there!
If only for a moment all of the pressure, and all of the tension is briefly let out. Everyone smiles. Everyone laughs. But only for a small, miniscule moment. If you blinked during said moment you would have missed out on the gas.
Jiles: You shitbag crumb cowards.
Like I said, if only for a moment.
Jiles: Your homage, forced or not, will be vast and never ending. I am the CHAMPION of PRIME. I am number one by definition. I have a fleet of people who like it or not would jump in front of a glue stick for me, and there isn’t an apt contender in the back who can change that fact.
Jiles: Face it. Belly up. Buy a Snickers. I’m not going anywhere any time soon.
Lady Troy reassuringly shakes her head no.
Jiles: I even got my own perch right up there above all of you.
The UNIVERSAL Champion points to COOLYMPUS, which is what we’re calling his skybox this week. The camera then pans up to the box, and while it should be empty… it is not. Sitting there, to an absolutely rousing ovation — like holy shit — is Nova.
The Pillar of PRIME yawns, as if he had just woken from a deep slumber. When he opens his eyes the lights are bright, but luckily for him there’s a spare set of T-shades on an end table next to his chair.
Jiles: Don’t even think about it you—
Nova puts on the spare set, and looks down at the ring to see the commotion. He nonchalantly waves to Lindsay and Dam. Wade Elliott, the Risen Star’s dutiful custodian, steps into view behind him and flips Jiles the bird.
Jiles: Hey you take them off! MOM! He’s wearing my—
The Queen steps in to make things right.
Lindsay Troy: Well. So he is. Would you look at that.
She shields her hand over her eyes, making a show of looking up at The Risen Star. Nova gives her a thumbs up.
Lindsay Troy: I have an idea. Maybe Caes can give them back to you. How about on the next ReVival, while you’re defending the Universal Championship against him.
The crowd goes full berserk. So does Jiles, just not in the enthusiastic way. Up in the chamber of COOLYMPUS, Nova props his feet up on the table in front of his cushy nap-time chair and shuffles a cigarette out of his pack.
Jiles: Oh, no you don’t…
The Champ looks around at his entourage in desperation. Nova holds up his lighter.
Jiles: THERE’S NO SMOKING IN COOLYMPUS!!
Indeed there are several “No Smoking” placards hung around the walls of the skybox. Nova must’ve accidentally overlooked them. Jiles looks over to Troy in a panic.
Jiles: Isn’t there a municipal ordinance that also covers this?! Shouldn’t someone be issuing a fine or something?!
Troy smirks and shrugs her shoulders. Up in COOLYMPUS, Nova lights up, takes a drag, and blows a cloud of smoke into the air, still rocking his bonus pair of the COOLympian’s trademark shades. Without another word, Jiles storms out of the ring, his triumphant mockery of the PRIME Faithful spoiled by the Starchild’s intrusion. The eGG Bandits follow suit.
Nova raises a walkie-talkie to his mouth and his voice can be heard through the walkie attached to Dam’s hip.
Nova: Meet up in the locker room for Yahtzee, over.
Dam unclips his walkie to respond.
Dametreyus: Roger, boss. Be there in five, over.
The camera cuts to backstage as Nova and Wade disappear from view in the skybox.