“We rolling, Fincher?”
Right to the point, with the camera framing the face that launched a thousand crushes. Your boy, your Alias champion, your recent run-in haver with Ivan Stanislav: Chandler Tsonda.
Chandler Tsonda: Ladies and gentlemen, babes and baddies, dudes and guys. I am coming to you live at ReV 36 from the summit of Mount Fuckyeah.
This mountain looks suspiciously like a professional, but otherwise kind of nondescript, part of the Enterprise Center. Eggshell colored wall. A PRIME logo on the wall, next to a couple Stanislav-coded victory flyers.
Chandler Tsonda: You’ve seen plenty of goofball dipshits come out to the ring and proclaim this or that tonight. But I don’t need the ring. I can hear the sweet sound of my St. Lunatics back here just fine.
The cheap pop is alive and well.
Chandler Tsonda: At UltraViolence, I handed over a briefcase to Tony Gamble, inside of which was a healthy, robust, girthy L. And because the wrestling gods were so happy with me playing exterminator on PRIME’s rodent problem, I got my holiday bonus early.
The Model Citizen lifts his “holiday bonus” and drapes it over his right shoulder. The gold looks good on top of the perma-black athleisure that seems more or less part of Tsonda’s chromosomal structures, with how often it drapes his form.
Chandler Tsonda: I fought for this belt once before. Eighteen years ago, and everybody else in that match is long retired. But everybody else in that match, only mild disrespect intended, isn’t Chandler goddamn Tsonda.
Chandler Tsonda: I’m on my sidequest shit, scooping every every title and every scalp I didn’t get the first time around. Almasy Invitational? Sure. Why not. Let’s go nuts. The Alias belt? Couldn’t be more proud to restore its good name and keep it (taps the belt) right here, while I expand the Tsuperstar Empire. Might as well get my tailor to remove the right shoulder of my formalwear, the amount I’m gonna be toting this around.
A platinum smirk. He’s their scumbag, or something like that.
Chandler Tsonda: That’s why here, tonight in St. Louis —and trust me, I’m only doing this inside the arena at all because Troy said I absolutely under no circumstances could announce this bad boy while dangling upside down from your bigass arch.
He milks the moment. Dramatic stroke of the chin as he stares right into living rooms across America.
Chandler Tsonda: I’m ready to declare the new name of the Alias title as….(distracted by something off camera, loses his train of thought)…a real asshole.
The camera now follows Tsonda’s eye line. And who has walked unceremoniously into the shot, into the pomp and stomped the hell over the circumstance?
Why, it’s only former Intense Champion and current angry man Paxton Ray. He will soon tell Chandler he didn’t mean to interrupt, and it is heavily dependent on his tone and word choice if the Model Citizen will believe or forgive him.
Paxton Ray: My bad I guess.
Chandler Tsonda: Well if it isn’t the mangiest mutt in the kenn…wait. Did you say “my bad?” Like, you know, how a human person would do it?
The Model Citizen’s face is pure puzzlement.
Chandler Tsonda: What’s your game here, swamps?
Now at this point Paxton has spoken to another person who was puzzled and downright hostile to Paxton’s new, less aggressive approach. And to be honest, the sensation is losing its shine for the Bayou Butcher. He snarls and shakes his head.
Paxton Ray: No game. Jus’ tryin’ t’get t’my match and wasn’t thinkin’ bout nobody else. Didn’t realize ya were doin’…
He looks over to the camera and shrugs.
Paxton Ray: Whatever this is.
There’s a strange look on Tsonda’s face. Could it be disappointment? A cold shock of FOMO at not getting to go barb-for-barb with the Bayou Butcher?
Chandler Tsonda: You’re just…going to the ring? To fight that pygmy menace? Without, I dunno, threatening to rabies punch me or put a water moccasin under my pillow?
Paxton sighs, looking down at his feet.
Paxton Ray: Jeez, ya paralyze one legend…
He meant it as a joke. No one laughs.
Paxton Ray: Here’s the thing, model boy. I don’t like ya. I think you’re annoyin’ as hell, and winnin’ any sort of gold is gonna make ya even more annoyin’, which we totally didn’t need more of.
He looks behind Chandler to the myriad flyers across the wall celebrating our new Universal Champion. He doesn’t pay any special attention to the gold across Tsonda’s shoulder.
Paxton Ray: But I’m just tryin’ t’get through tonight without lettin’ my anger get the best a’me. Don’t wanna do anythin’ stupid. So yeah. I’m sorry for interruptin’ and sorry for not gettin’ into those verbal things ya love so much. Now I got t’get to my match. Enjoy your announcement or whatever.
And with that he walks by, without even sending a shoulder into Tsonda. What progress!
Chandler Tsonda: Huh.
And like that, the Viet Viper sits there for a long beat. He watches Paxton Ray, one of the people for whom Tsonda’s never had anything but enmity, walk towards the Argyle position. Tsonda also seems so thrown off by the strange behavior that he forgets he’s ginned up this live announcement.
Chandler Tsonda: (to the cameraman) He just…what were we talking about?
Clearly, off-screen, the cameraman is pointing hurriedly at the Alias belt on Tsonda’s shoulder.
Chandler Tsonda: (mutters to himself) Right. Alias title. New and fantastic identity for the belt. Absolute phenom at head of the division.
The Model Citizen wags an index finger, and then holds it in place, as if he’s just thought of something.
Chandler Tsonda: You know what? Hold that thought. Hurray, Hurrah, Mizzou, Mizzou, and all that. But it’s gonna be worth it. Tell you in 2 weeks. Love ya, smoochies. Scorsese, will you fade cut us to the match?
Ask and you shall receive.
We then cut ringside for our next match.