There’s no complicated setting. No professional interviewer with a microphone and a bucket full of hard questions. No angry Russians are going to try and perfect their attempts at teleportation via ceiling. The fans who tune in aren’t about to see someone die in a conference room again. No forklifts will be harmed in the making of this exchange.
It’s just two people in front of a PRIME-branded backdrop.
Dressed to compete and with titles on full display, the longest-reigning Tag Team champions in PRIME history look mighty serious ahead of tonight’s match.
Jared Sykes: So, this is it. We’ve known it was coming for a while now, but that doesn’t make this any easier. Tonight these championships get defended for the last time, maybe ever. One way or another everything we’ve accomplished over the last nine and a half months comes to an end.
Behind him, Justine Calvin adjusts the strap she holds over her shoulder and holds it a little tighter.
Jared Sykes: I’ve spent more than half my life associated with this business. I’ve been real fortunate in the things I’ve been able to do and have been lucky enough to travel around the world doing it. There are things I’ve seen which I’ll never be able to forget, for better or for worse, but in all the years since I first stepped foot in a ring there is nothing – nothing – that I am more proud of than making this our division.
Despite being something of a spectacle, Sykes has never been one to be boastful about his career accolades. Tonight that’s all cast aside.
Jared Sykes: And don’t get it twisted. Don’t let whatever might happen tonight cloud your judgment or change your mind. If Joe Fontaine and Sid Phillips manage to walk out of here as the last champions of the ReVival, then so be it, and good on them for pulling it off. They’ll have earned every bit of it. But you’ll still be able to look at the record books and see that it was us who redefined what it meant to be a successful team here. Longest reign? The most defenses? The only team to main event a PRIME pay per view? Check, check, and check.
He starts to pace, the night’s emotion starting to build towards its inevitable crescendo.
No, I don’t mean crying. Shut up.
Jared Sykes: It wasn’t just us though, was it? Every team we’ve been in the ring with since Great American Nightmare has done just as much to elevate this division to what it was. I know not all of them are still here, or have gone on to find success in their own ways, but we can’t overlook what they all brought to the table. Solid Gold Rock and Roll. The Masters. The Mix. Every one of them gave everything they had and forced us to match it. Any one of them could have walked out of the ring with these around their waists.
Two hard slaps land on the faceplate of the title he carries before he adjusts it over his left shoulder. One of the side plates still bears the remnants of a foil strawberry sticker, one he added not long after defeating Fighting For Nora to claim the straps.
Jared Sykes: The Love Convoy? Forget winning a match, they almost took us out permanently, and if they’d had their way I’m sure they would have done. Vickie Hall can write as many retractions as she wants, but every time one goes up I read it with the knowledge that yes, it could have been them. They brought the fight. In their own twisted way they helped make this division what it was.
If it looks like Justine Calvin wants to spit, well, there’s a very good reason for that. She doesn’t of course, but only because her mother would never let her hear the end of it.
Jared Sykes: Joe Fontaine. Sid Phillips. “Coral’s kids.” We’ve come a long way since boulders on the strip, haven’t we? We survived minotaurs and mannequins. Puzzles. Slides. Whatever the hell everyone tried to poison us with. And now we’re here. In the end, the only ones who made it. We’re the real survivors, boys, because we’re seeing it end the way we saw it come in.
A grin, the first so far.
Jared Sykes: Though maybe we don’t try and kill any Enemigos this time, okay, Sid?
Until now Justine had been lingering a step or two behind her partner, bouncing from foot to foot to keep loose ahead of the match. She takes center stage as she slides past Jared and addresses the camera.
Justine Calvin: Just a few more minutes now, and then everything changes. For some of us what happens next is uncertain. Do we stay? Do we go? Is there even a spot for us, and what does all of that look like? I’ve been saying for weeks now that these titles aren’t going anywhere, but I can’t predict the future, boys. Wish I could, because it would sure as hell make all of this a lot easier.
She takes a quick moment to roll the wrists of each hand before continuing.
Justine Calvin: But I was your age when I started this journey, and this is my first shot at the big time, so you can be damn sure that if this is the end that I’m going to go out on my terms. And that means a rough night. That means that when this is all over, it’s not going to be “and new”. It’s not even going to be “and still.” We were the first Tag Team champions of the ReVival, and I damn sure intend to be the last. And that my friends means just one thing.
She pulls the belt from her shoulder and raises it into the air.
Justine Calvin: “And. ONLY.”
Fade to elsewhere.