BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE!
The feed switches to a pair of smiling faces. One of them is PRIME’s star reporter, Angelica Brooks. The other is some hick doofus in a blue jacket with his name on it.
Yes, Richard Parker helped with this part of the script; why do you ask?
Angelica Brooks: Thanks guys, I’m backstage with the Five Star Champion, Nate Colton.
Nate Colton: Always a pleasure.
Angelica Brooks: Tonight’s the first PRIME show since Colossus, where you won the title. How has the holiday break treated you?
Nate Colton: It was great…relaxed a bit, healed up from Colossus, spent a bunch of time with family. But I’ve had this night circled on the calendar the whole time; I’ve been looking forward to coming back to PRIME and defending this title.
He pats the faceplate of the Five Star Championship belt, currently strapped around his waist. It’s even got snazzy new side plates on it.
Angelica Brooks: Speaking of which, earlier tonight we saw a pitched battle between Eddie Cross and Tyler Adrian Best for the right to challenge for the championship you currently hold. I trust you were watching it?
Nate Colton: Of course. I never miss a chance to scout the competition. But they might not end up being my competition. I’ve got a big challenge of my own in two weeks, with…
Nate’s amusing little interview gets altered when he suddenly turns into a pterodactyl! Oh…wait. That’s just a mask. How’d that get there? Colton scrambles in confusion, nearly dropping his shiny title as the cause of all this mess pops up right beside him.
Anna Daniels: LADIES AND GENTLEMEN! NEW YEAR, NEW ERA, NEW MERCH! Look at him. That majestic movement! That determined look on that rubber sculpted face! Rocky de Pterodactyl masks available now! But that’s not all! For a limited time only, we have shirts for all nine thousand four hundred and fifty-two wrestling children of Timo Bolamba including THE SID PHILLIPS POWERBOMBOLAMBA SHIRT! Collect them all! Or don’t. That Hentai Bolamba’s shirt is disgusting. But do you know what isn’t?!
This inevitable flurry of promotional word vomit ceases momentarily as the Muse gathers the main attraction of the PRIMEporium (for this week, at least): the cotton, cartoony duplicate of the Anglo Luchador.
Anna Daniels: THE FIRST WAVE OF PRIME WRESTLE BUDDIES! Some of them including the Anglo Luchador, Jared Sykes with optional bubble butt fidget toy add on, the not at all life size Ivan Stanislav…
The camera pans over a few feet away to said not at all life size wrestle buddy laying on its back like a not as fat but equally massive Soviet Snorlax that is, apparently, currently being used as Bucky’s dog bed. Awww. And just as quickly, it pans back to Anna with yet another wrestle buddy swaddled like a baby. Looking at its face, you can tell it looks like Nate Colton sort of. The Muse pulls the mask off of the actual Five Star Champion and gently hands over his look-a-like.
Anna Daniels: Congratulations. It’s a boy!
An airhorn sounds off in the background as Colton hesitantly(?) holds his doppelganger. Ms. Brooks, being somewhat baffled by this onslaught of a sales pitch, uncharacteristically mutters…
Angelica Brooks: Only at the PRIMEporium, in person and online.
Anna Daniels: THAT’S RIGHT! HIGH FIVE!
The Muse holds up a hand for said high five. And the interviewer accepts it. Now with all of that out of the way, Anna Daniels turns to the champ with her arms folded.
Anna Daniels: Now. You were about to say our name.
Maybe he was, before the sudden appearance of…all of that. But now, Nate Colton has no idea what’s going on, and might not even know where he is anymore. All he knows is that there was a whole bunch of noise and words just happened, and now he’s holding a tiny version of himself.
Nate Colton: Sorry, gonna need a minute.
It’s OK, Nate. Take a deep breath. Center yourself. You’ve had conversations with Rezin before; you can handle weird stuff. But maybe lose the Wrestle Buddy; you look like a dork.
Nate slowly hands Li’l Nate to Angelica Brooks, whoe refuses to take it.
Angelica Brooks: Nope.
Resigned to his fate as a new father, I guess, the champion turns back and faces his challenger.
Nate Colton: …Anna Daniels. Won’t lie; I’ve been looking forward to this since it was announced. We had a hell of a fight last time. But something tells me that with the title on the line, this one’s going to be even better.
There’s a smile on the vessel’s face followed by a nice little nod.
Anna Daniels: Well, that’s only obvious. Just look at you. Five Star Champion. An absolute rising star in the business! And look at us with a chip on our shoulder and a point to prove. Heard we do better when we’re like that. Considering we have fought before, that means we’ve had a small taste of each other’s potential. A little sampler plate.
She brushes some debris off of the satin jacket.
Anna Daniels: But we gotta ask. Do you think that what you’ve learned from that one little match would be enough to get us a second time? Or even what you’ve learned from every match after that? Is that enough to slip on by once again? Personally, we don’t think so. But you’re welcome to try.
She pats Big Nate on the shoulder, pats Li’l Nate on the head as if trying to keep the self-confidence from turning into cockiness by being a little bit awkward. Why no, we are not projecting! Why do you ask?!
For his part, Nate is smiling a bit more, his own confidence rising to match Anna’s. He knows how the game is played…but he also knows that it’s a pretty fun game.
Nate Colton: I appreciate that, Anna. But I think I’ve learned a little more than you realize. So maybe we shouldn’t be asking if I’ve got enough to keep this belt from you. Maybe we should ask if YOU’VE got enough to take it from me.
There’s a chuckle that comes from somewhere inside the Muse as she scratches the back of her head. The pause comes from the flurry of who is stepping up to the microphone in response. But when it is figured out, the cadence comes out somewhat slow.
Anna Daniels: But you’re not asking, are ya, Nate? Because that would be…that would be the absolute dumbest question anybody can ask. And we don’t really think that you know what you’re getting into. It isn’t just the fact that you beat us before. It isn’t the fact that you have–
A knock three times on the prize of choice.
Anna Daniels: –this belt, though that certainly helps. This isn’t about Next Diamond versus New Era. Not to us. We have a burden that’s a little bit bigger than that and we’re going to throw that entire weight onto you. Because we can. Because we’re the only one left that can.
The two combatants–champion and challenger–lock eyes. Somewhere in that roulette wheel that makes up Anna’s brain, she knows he doesn’t understand. But that’s okay. He doesn’t need to. She shakes her head.
Anna Daniels: Or maybe we’re just thinking a little bit too much. Either way, we’re either going to win or we’re going to raise hell. One of the two. We just wanted to tell you that.
Nate Colton: Sounds good to me. Lot of people in this business, they’ll try to talk someone down, or cheap shot ‘em before the match, like they’re scared of losing. But I’ve always thought that the best way to find out how good I am…
Once more he pats the title belt, before pointing a finger at the Muse.
Nate Colton: …is for you to show me how good you are.
Anna bats his finger away.
Anna Daniels: You’ll see it when you see it. Point like that again and we’ll bite it off.
Hell, why not bite it off now? Can’t really do that after saying it though. So plan B is to just simply turn around and walk back to the merch stands leaving Angelica to attempt to put a button on it.
Angelica Brooks: Sounds like this is going to be a war. Nate Colton, Anna Daniels, Five Star Championship. I might need a drink after all of this.
Nate looks down at the Wrestle Buddy that is still in his hands.
Nate Colton: So, do I have to pay for this, or…
We then cut to elsewhere backstage.