ABSOLUTELY AN ISOLATED INCIDENT
The camera goes backstage, outside of the employee entrance. Humming along to the melody of Rihanna’s “Only Girl In the World”, reigning Universal Champion and all-around public malfeasance REZIN enters the Freeman Coliseum.
Waiting there by the entrance is head of PRIME security, Dametreyus, who looks quite less enthusiastic.
Rezin: Dam, ol’ buddy! How are the Enemigos?
Dametreyus: Mr. Black.
Rezin: Ya know, it’s funny… they say the stars at night are big and bright out here, but it all kinda looks the same to me! Anyway, I got some chalupas to wreck down in catering…
Dametreyus: Boss Lady wants to see you in her office.
The Goat Bastard groans. Definitely not something he’s interested in doing.
Rezin: Well, I’d like to see her strapped into a guillotine, but wish in one hand and shit in the other and see which one fills up first, know’m’sayin’?
He attempts to walk by, but the PRIME Head of Security stops him with a hand on the shoulder.
Dametryus: Boss’s office. Now.
Rezin looks questionably at the hand on his shoulder.
Rezin: Well DAMB, Dam! Is this gonna get ugly? Cause here I was in sort of a good mood tonight, and now I got ya shovin’ your authority all up in my face.
He brushes the hand aside.
Rezin: Tell ya what… I’ll go see what “hEr MaJeStY” wants, and in exchange, ya can prepare a room for me where I won’t be disturbed. One with a monitor hooked up to the live feed… and at least two dozen chalupas.
The Goat Bastard turns to leave…
Rezin: Most importantly, though, I want SIMON in that ring at the top of the hour, so that the ANTI-Champion may address the masses!
…but something stands in his way.
It’s not very punk rock to block the Universal Champion. Especially when he’s on his way to his personal dressing room. It’s just one of the many perks of being the Universal Champion.
But back to the obstruction in the hallway.
- He’s over seven feet tall
- Exactly one-fifth of a ton
- Thinks Lennon is a cheap knockoff of the OG Lenin.
Ivan Stanislav thunders down the back hallway of the Freeman Coliseum. He’s been looking for Alexei for the past thirty minutes. Ruslan’s task was simple: buy five hotdogs, two pretzels, four cheese cups, four buckets of popcorn, and a box of Raisinets.
Still, for a hungry Russian, what’s better than finding your closest friend carrying 10,000 calories in grease form? Finding the Universal Champion backstage all alone.
Ivan Stanislav: Well, well, well, look who it is. The failure of PRIME. I forgot to ask, Rezin, did you get frequent flier miles while flying Air Russia?
Rezin turns back to Dametryus.
Rezin: See, this is EXACTLY what I was trynna avoid!
Dametryus shrugs, and, realizing this is no longer his problem, saunters off. Rezin turns his attention back to the Russian towering over him. Despite the fact he has to look up quite a ways at him, there is nevertheless a ferocity showing in the eyes of the Universal Champion.
Rezin: Ya wanna see some real flyin’, Ivan? All ya gotta do is look UP at Culture Shock! Just in time to see ME droppin’ a bomb on ya! Cause I don’t play “cold war”, comrade, NAWW… I get DOC STRANGELOVE on that shit!
He readjusts the burlap sack hanging over his shoulder and clears his (overly phlegmy sounding) throat.
Rezin: Now if ya don’t mind, I have an audience with the tsarina. Unless ya got your cossack handy, and we can totally go Bolshevik on her ass. Otherwise, go piss up a rope, ya tyrant…
Stanislav doesn’t make room for Rezin. As a matter of fact, he does just the opposite. He squares his shoulders and shifts to the center of the hallway, thus making one have to move through him to continue. He grinds his teeth and narrows his eyes as he contemptuously stares down at Rezin.
Ivan Stanislav: Do not bring Lindsay Troy into this either. The Scarlet Sickle would never be related to a tsar. Some Imperialist force of evil! You are lower than dog, Rezin. Why, you not even thank me for softening Hanlon up for you to win that title. You know you only win title because of luck. Because of ME. (he tsks) Look at you. No self respect. No dignity whatsoever.
Ivan crosses his arms over his chest. He must not hear what he’s saying, because did he just defend Lindsay Troy?
Ivan Stanislav: I say we have a problem, Rezin, because Praporshchik Stanislav is not moving. So you turn your hide around and go find alternate route, unless you want to get where you need to go in pieces.
Stanislav waves his large hand and motions for Rezin to leave, but his eyes travel beyond The Escape Artist, and the Russian Bear’s eyebrows furrow. They have company.
The Event Horizon. Hayes Hanlon.
Stanislav growls as Hayes marches forward, rolling up the sleeves of his black dress shirt, lip curling behind that dark ‘stache.
Ivan Stanislav: Когда идет дождь, он льет… (When it rains, it pours…)
Hayes Hanlon: You and Alexei feeling good about yourselves, Ivan? Feeling real smart? I don’t give a shit what you have to say about me, but bringing my brother into this last week? MY. BROTHER? That’s some SOFT. DICK. SHIT.
Rezin: Yeah, and the same with gettin’ me during bath time! Ya coulda at least got me while I was doin’ the Black Eyed Peas!
Ivan’s mood grows worse. He just wants to eat. Where IS Ruslan with his snack? Like it or not, squaring off against one of the men is one thing. Squaring off against two is a little more challenging.
Ivan Stanislav: I hear they had to dismantle fountain after you bathed in it, Rezin. All the shit that washed off of you clogged up the plumbing! And as for you, Hanlon, are you angry because you and dear brother were grounded by mother and father for public vomiting? How many skeletons you have in your closet?!
Hayes Hanlon: Plenty. And I’m real close to throwing another one in there with the rest. And it’s about seven feet tall!
While tensions build between the three Culture Shock Main Eventers, other forces are in motion. But first, a small history lesson. Did you know it took just one flashpoint to start World War I? Someone threw a bomb and it blew up Archduke Ferdinand and the rest, as they say, is history. Our three wrestlers have no idea what they’re about to start.
Neither does Alexei Ruslan.
But Alexei knows that Ivan is going to be angry without his snacks. He carries a tray stacked with so much arena junk food that it can instantly flatline a healthy circulatory system. He can’t see Ivan due to the food, but he hears him and calls out from behind two precariously balanced buckets of popcorn.
Alexei Ruslan: Praporshchik? Is that you? They were out of Raisinets!
Stanislav turns with irritation and exposes his back to Hanlon and Rezin. If only Ferdinand was alive to warn him. For as Stanislav’s back is turned, there is a scuffle between Hanlon and Rezin.
Rezin: Ahh, fuck this…
The Goat Bastard piefaces Hanlon. Blatantly, and without warning. And Hayes reacts as anyone would after having a filthy hand pressed into their glorious mustache.
Hanlon’s swings angrily at Rezin, who deftly dodges to the side, and instead buries the fist deep into the unprotected Stanislav’s kidney. Ivan responds in a guttural, painful ursine manner.
Ivan Stanislav: Urrrruhhgggg…………
He turns, and Hanlon stands with a sincere look of regret in his face. Rezin has the look of an absolute angel, and Ivan looks hungry for blood.
Ivan Stanislav: You son of bitch, Hanlon. You hit me in back?
Hayes Hanlon: Shit…no, I was swinging at this asshole…
Rezin: Dude TOTALLY just hit ya in the back, Ivan. Completely unprovoked. Saw it with my own eyes!
Hayes Hanlon: …shit.
Ivan chooses not to consider that Rezin might be lying and Hanlon is innocent. He’s too hungry. That punch hurts too much. And let’s face it, he’s been aching to get his hands on Hayes. This is as good an excuse as any. Stanislav barrels past Rezin and is on Hanlon. He lifts The eGG Beater by the shoulders and chucks him through, you guessed it, a wall into the adjoining room.
Ivan Stanislav: GRAAAA!! I’ve been waiting for this!!
Stanislav tears out the Hanlon-sized hole in the wall and barrels in, and like a true Escape Artist, Rezin watches quietly and turns to leave. Those chalupas won’t eat themselves.
Ivan’s ham-sized fist emerges through the hole and grips Rezin by the beard.
Ivan Stanislav: (off camera) Where do you think you are going?
And just like that, Rezin is dragged into the hole and into the melee in the adjoining room.
Ruslan has since put the food down and looks around in the now, suddenly, empty hallway. He peers into the hole and sees what amounts to a hurricane of violence. There’s yelling, fists, elbows, and limbs. It’s a buzzsaw of painful humanity. He purses his lips.
Alexei Ruslan: Uh, I will just hold onto the food for you, Ivan. You are busy!
Ruslan’s deeply repressed and stymied conscience tries, desperately, to counsel him. He should try to intervene, even if it’s risky, right? At least find Dam and let him know there’s a problem. Maybe Lindsay Troy herself? Yes, that would be the responsible thing.
Annoying conscience. Ruslan looks left and right. No witnesses. He whistles, picks up a bucket of popcorn, and makes himself scarce. Besides, Ivan needs to let off some steam.
I mean this certainly couldn’t get out of hand.
We then cut back to the ring for our second match of the evening.