We return to the in-ring area as a technician lays flat on his back on the entryway ramp. The camera remains there as the technician rolls over and crawls on his hands and knees, fearfully, away from the backstage entrance.
Nick Stuart: Folks, we just saw a technician fly out from the backstage…
Richard Parker: There’s another one!
Sure enough, another technician, dressed in all black clothing, flies through the air from backstage and lands on top of the ramp. Like the previous tech, he crawls up to his hands and knees and scurries away just as The Russian Bear, Ivan Stanislav, emerges with a look of pure, unquantifiable rage on his face.
Richard Parker: Get the yeet counter up!!
Ivan tromps down the entryway as the crowd immediately begins to boo him. His music does not play, nor do the lights turn crimson as is typically the case. He simply thunders towards the ring with heavy, stomping footfalls, his eyes glaring with barely contained anger.
Nick Stuart: This isn’t on our sheet everyone, I have no idea why Ivan is even here. He’s not even scheduled to wrestle tonight.
Richard Parker: We can always use more Ivan though, I mean c’mon Nick, the guy brings in some big ratings!
Stanislav steps, yes, steps up onto the apron and over the top rope in a frighteningly fluid motion. He barks near the timekeeper and a microphone flies through the air, which he deftly catches. It’s at this time that the production team finally realizes what is going on, and the “Soviet National Anthem” blares and the lights immediately turn red, but it’s too little too late. Stanislav roars into the microphone and the sound system crackles and pops under the sheer weight of his voice.
Ivan Stanislav: SILENCE!
The music stops immediately and the lights return to their normal shade, as if to transmit the fear of the poor folks in the production truck. The canvas ring flexes and bounces as Ivan stomps around near the ropes, pacing like a caged animal.
Nick Stuart: I don’t see Alexei Ruslan with Ivan… that’s a little strange, isn’t it?
Richard Parker: Everything Ivan Stanislav does is carefully calculated, no doubt by design!
Stanislav finally stops in the middle of the ring and stares towards the hard cam.
Ivan Stanislav: Since I have come to PRIME, I have done nothing but honest best to be cordial, statesmanlike representative of my Motherland! Ivan Stanislav has tried, time and time again, to advocate for those who may be disenfranchised. I have done what I can to show caring for those less fortunate. I have argued, in positive manner, for those who have been wronged by those who are in power. And yet, throughout it all, I have been met by blind fools who do nothing more than wag their tongues and make morons of themselves in vain attempt to insult The Russian Bear! And why do they do it? Because they hate my country? Or is it me? Or their fear of my greatness? Regardless of the reasons, it is well documented that Lindsay Troy and PRIME as whole begged Ivan Sergeiovich to come to their flagging aid, and since doing so, I have demolished Hayes Hanlon…
Nick Stuart: It is well documented that Hanlon defeated Ivan at UltraViolence…
Ivan Stanislav: …annihilated Shawn Warstein…
Nick Stuart: Warstein wasn’t annihilated. If anything, he could have beaten Ivan, who showed a lot of ring rust still…
Ivan Stanislav: …and castrated Coral Avalon!
Nick Stuart: An interesting choice of words considering how hard Ivan kicked Coral in the testicular region…
Richard Parker: Propaganda. You know, Nick, some day your words are going to get you in a lot of trouble.
Ivan Stanislav: And still, the idiots and fools wish to insult me. Me! I try to impart my wisdom, and try to make their lot in life better! And these idiots are not willing to even grant me the simplest form of human decency! I am walking legend in the realm of wrestling! The single greatest entity to come out of PCW and OSW! I am a veteran of foreign war. I am champion and hero of Russia! And each and every one of you dogs spit upon me, my people, and my MOTHERLAND!
The sound system struggles not to self-destruct as it works overtime to handle the roaring of The Bear. Stanislav, despite his near nuclear meltdown, suddenly grins. Is this where the term “Crazy Ivan” comes from? No, that’s a submarine term. But he is looking fairly manic.
Ivan Stanislav: Some of your memories may be short. Perhaps, just perhaps, you are unaware of what I have done in the past federations? Perhaps, you foolishly forget the peril one puts themselves in when they are stupid enough to prod the Bear? The young, stupid idiots on this roster think they can throw barbs at me from afar, and not risk retribution? I assure you that each and every one of them will pay a terrible price! That is an inevitability. I will make each and every PRIME viewer cry for their heroes while I demolish them!
Ivan smirks to himself, his rage has been bottled, but it clearly simmers beneath frustrated eyes.
Ivan Stanislav: I have learned great many things here in PRIME since coming back. I have learned that you can paralyze someone, and after weathering vacant threats, you can be allowed back! I have learned that if you tell the truth, and do your best to let individuals think critically, you are berated for your efforts. Perhaps my biggest takeaway thus far since coming back? Nothing, at all, has changed.
Ivan’s anger starts to cloud his face again and frowns.
Ivan Stanislav: Those wrestlers will get their due, absolutely. But any individual who dares to speak ill of The Russian Bear… any tiny, miniscule ant who thinks it prudent to get in my way, physically or verbally, is considered an enemy. There is one person, one damned person, who is not back there on the roster, who has particularly insulted me…
Nick Stuart: Let me just say that whoever that person is, I feel sorry for them. Ivan looks like he won’t be contained tonight.
Ivan Stanislav: This person has audacity to use their station to parrot lies and fabrications regarding The Russian Bear. They do it behind the protection of their position and would-be “history” in this company. They do it for their own betterment and self-fulfillment. This… wrecker… thinks they are shielded by their own “prestige” in PRIME. You all know who I am speaking of:
Ivan turns, walks over to the corner of the ring, and points an accusatory finger down at the announce table.
Ivan Stanislav: NICK STUART!
We cut to another camera near the announce table, where Nick’s eyes bulge out of his head and he brings his hands up.
Nick Stuart: What? What’s he talking about?
Richard looks over at Nick, and then up at the ring. Despite the bright lighting, Stanislav casts a long shadow as he steps over the rope and exits in their direction. Richard cannot hide his fear.
Richard Parker: Oh crap here he comes!
Stanislav no longer is holding his microphone, but his voice is easily heard from the other mics in the immediate area. He bellows in Russian.
Ivan Stanislav: Ты сукин сын Ник Стюарт! (switching to English) You have audacity to presume I cheated in my match against Avalon?!
Nick rises as Ivan looms on the other side of the announce table. He brings his hands up in front of him. Richard nearly trips over his chair and stands as well.
Nick Stuart: Calm down Ivan, I was just calling the match, nothing more than…
Ivan Stanislav: RRRRAAAAAARRRGGGHHHH!!!
It is so chaotic, it’s hard to keep it all straight. In an instant, Stanislav grabs the entire announce table with both hands and flings it up and over his head, backwards, without even watching it. The table lifts into the air, ripping the monitors, cables, and wires with it. Nick and Richard scream as their headsets rip from their heads. High overhead, the announce table lazily sails through the air, past the ropes, and comes crashing down inside the ring itself. It explodes in a torrent of wood and hardware, bursting outward in a mess of debris. All around Ivan, Nick, and Richard, the three monitors fall like meteors.
One monitor narrowly misses the timekeeper and instead hits the bell with a loud CLONG! Another lands farther off to Ivan’s right. The third… doesn’t seem to fall? Everyone around the ring, save for Ivan, Nick, and Richard, flee. They drop their clipboards and papers or drinks, and evacuate. One brave cameraman moves in close to get a shot of Ivan’s angry face. The Bear bellows as his huge paw of a hand engulfs the camera lens.
Ivan Stanislav: Get out of my fa–
Static fills the tv screens after Ivan’s huge paw obliterates the front half of the camera. Production switches to another camera, whose operator runs down around the ring, almost simulating an earthquake from all the bouncing. As this new cameraman rushes around the ring, the first cameraman is running past him. The camera, which Ivan crushed, careens over his head much like the table, past the entire ring, and explodes into plastic and metal on the entryway.
We see Ivan from the opposite side with this new camera angle. His shoulders rise and fall and tug on his red suspenders, which work the front of his pants slightly higher around his solid waist. Nick tries to back away, but he’s all but trapped by the guardrail. The crowd hurls insults at Stanislav, who is unfazed. Ivan reaches out and snatches Nick up by the front of his smart, expensive shirt and jacket.
Ivan Stanislav: Silk shirt and supple tie, Stuart. You reek of bourgeois filth!! You need to learn to speak the truth!
Nick screams as he is slowly lifted by the shirt.
Nick Stuart: Mr. S…Stanislav….
Ivan snarls through gritted teeth as Nick continues his ascent at Ivan’s massive hand.
Ivan Stanislav: PRAPORSHCHIK!
Nick coughs as Ivan wraps his huge hand around his neck. He kicks his legs feebly and tries to push at Ivan’s enormous forearm.
Nick Stuart: Praporshch.ik…
Ivan effortlessly shakes Nick forward and back. The hapless announcer struggles not to ragdoll and fails.
Stanislav turns and carries the flailing Nick with him. He steps up onto the apron, and up over the top rope into the center of the ring. His feet kick at the debris that once was a fully functioning announce table. Somehow, the third and final monitor finally falls from on high, crashes into a turnbuckle, and explodes. The ring looks like a warzone.
Ivan shakes Nick again, to and fro, as the poor announcer continues to paw at the enormous Russian forearm.
Ivan Stanislav: Come on big mouth, you always like to talk, I cannot hear you, dog! You apologize for lying to everyone, eh? Or else I make you scream!
Nick Stuart: S….srryy….
Surprisingly, Richard snaps out of his shock and slides into the ring. Ivan stands amidst the wreckage of the announce table, for all to see, while still easily holding a now purple-faced Nick Stuart by the throat.
Richard Parker: Ivan! Comrade! Put him down!
Ivan gives no indication that he is going to let go of Nick. If anything, he throttles the hapless announcer more. Richard decides to act.
Richard Parker: That’s enough Ivan, stop it! Let him go!
Bravely, Richard Parker jumps and grabs onto Ivan’s arm in a futile attempt to make him lower Nick. The crowd pops loudly for Richard, who attempts to help his friend in spite of this overwhelming, angry Russian. Instead, he hangs there and kicks his legs. Ivan grits his teeth and jerks his elbow to the side, jostling not just Nick, but also sends Parker falling and haphazardly rolling into the corner. Richard calls out towards the entrance.
Richard Parker: We have to get some help down here!!
Help arrives in the form of PRIME Head of Security Dametreyus and Head Referee Timo Bolamba. The crowd immediately cheers upon their arrival, which draws Ivan’s attention. The two men slide into the ring as Ivan now holds Nick firmly around the neck and turns to face them. Both Dam and Timo keep a safe distance from Stanislav, but neither look like they’re willing to back down. Richard makes it up for them as he dabs his forehead with a handkerchief in the corner.
Dam: Put him down, or I’m gonna put you down.
Timo Bolamba: Ivan, what the hell man? Don’t make us do this.
Ivan bellows in Timo’s direction, but he has Nick in a very precarious position.
Ivan Stanislav: I will not stomach a vile lie-monger. He spreads lies about you as well, Bolamba, and criticizes your hard work. He has even already apologized. It is a confession to his disparaging attacks! You should be helping me wring his little neck!
Despite Stanislav standing several inches taller and being several points heavier than Dam, the PRIME Head of Security squares off against Ivan. Though the statistics state that Ivan would be just fifty pounds heavier than Dam, he looks a fair bit bigger. Is he really only 400 pounds? Regardless, Ivan points a threatening finger towards Dam, who stops just short of closing the distance.
Ivan Stanislav: You take another step, little man, and I will make Nick Stuart’s poisonous voicebox regret it! Any fool who wants to have the nerve to criticize Ivan Stanislav risks his retribution!
While Ivan speaks, Timo checks on Richard Parker, and as he notices the situation unfolding, he says something to Richard. Richard runs like hell up the ramp. Ivan shakes Stuart a few times, who weakly paws at his forearm, but is fading fast. It’s a standoff. The boos grow as Ivan raves. He points at Timo and Dam.
Ivan Stanislav: Timo, you know what I can do! This piece of filth deserves everything I give him. And you!?
Ivan points directly at Dam, who is just aching to attack him, were it not for Nick’s precarious position.
Ivan Stanislav: I stopped dropping cruiserweights in kindergarten!
Dam looks at Timo, weighing his options, before taking another step forward. Ivan sneers and is about to open his mouth again when “Put ‘Em in the Grave” blasts through the arena. Lindsay Troy, looking murderous, walks swiftly through the curtain and down the ramp, sliding underneath the bottom rope. She gets to her feet and storms over to Ivan, positioning herself in front of Dam. Her voice is a low, deliberate growl.
Lindsay Troy: Put. Him. Down.
Stanislav continues to hold Nick aloft as his face twists into a grin. It’s been a long time since Ivan Stanislav and Lindsay Troy have been in the ring together, but the tension between them is clearly still there. Ivan barks at her.
Ivan Stanislav: DYAAHAAHAA!! The “Queen” descends her lofty throne, finally. You do not want to shuffle me off to your assistant now, do you?
Ivan brandishes Nick in his huge hand and shakes him a few times.
Ivan Stanislav: Take your lapdog! Now I have the true spreader of disinformation and deceit. I should have buried you twenty years ago!
The Samoan Silencer takes a step forward to try and diffuse the situation, but Troy holds her arm out to stop him. She keeps her eyes locked on Ivan and unbuttons her suit jacket. The PRIMEates let out a roar as the garment is tossed to the mat.
Lindsay Troy: Should’ve. Didn’t. You’re about to be reminded why.
Ivan glances to his right towards Nick in his hand. He considers his options for a moment, grins, and with one motion he tosses him toward Troy for her to catch. Stanislav tilts his head to the side and cracks his neck, as one hand pulls his left suspender off his shoulder, and his other tugs the right off his other shoulder, letting them dangle alongside his legs. He roars.
Ivan Stanislav: You were little girl in big ring back then, Lindsay Troy, and you are still little girl in big ring! Regardless of what you think, you are out of your depth. I will bring you back to reality!
Richard finally emerges from backstage with none other than Alexei Ruslan, who looks as confused as ever. He widens his eyes as he sees the carnage and situation in the ring, and admittedly, he grins to himself with amusement. But he jogs (not runs) down towards the ring. Ivan looks past Lindsay, Dam, and Timo to see him.
Ruslan slides into the ring and warily walks a wide circle around the PRIME staffers while pointing a finger upward towards them, as if to tell them to wait. Ruslan speaks in his native tongue to Ivan.
Alexei Ruslan: Иван, какого черта ты делаешь?
Ivan Stanislav: Унижай эту собаку, как будто она этого заслуживает. А потом подавить этих троих, Алексей!
Ruslan nods his head and lifts both of his hands towards Ivan, as if to defuse the situation. He then looks over at Troy, Dam, and Bolamba and frowns.
Alexei Ruslan: Распространитель лжи усвоил уроки. Мы уложим его, если он пересечет нашу красную линию.
Stanislav nods and replies, and oddly enough, it is almost conversational now.
Ivan Stanislav: Очень хорошо. Ты видишь маленькую Линдси Трой? Она чуть не испачкалась, она так трясется!
Lindsay Troy: Скажи это по-английски, трус.
In unison, the two Russians go from smirking and smiling at one another, to frowning as they mechanically turn their heads towards Troy. Rage seems to bubble up in Stanislav’s prodigious frame as she speaks -their- language, but more so for whatever she says.
Ivan Stanislav: I have put far greater people far deeper in the ground for calling me far less…
His military boots crunch as he bends his feet to move forward, but it’s Alexei, of all people, who intervenes. With an almost gentle touch, he grips Ivan’s huge wrist, with as much as his hand can allow. Alexei dispenses with the Russian.
Alexei Ruslan: Ivan Sergeiovich, why bother? We take her out, we have to take both of them out. Fact is, they are just pawns in her game, eh? They should not have to suffer. She comes out when she has numerical advantage, and she is shaking. Let us not terrorize the little girl. I remember how she squealed when I choked her with flag, she is probably still in therapy for it.
Ruslan sneers at Troy and Ivan seems to calm a little bit. He pulls one suspender up, and then another.
Ivan Stanislav: All right… all right. You are right. No reason to drag the tin soldier security guard and Bolamba into conflict of her making.
Ruslan reaches into his trench coat pocket and produces a card. He flicks it towards Troy.
Alexei Ruslan: Ms. Troy? You have a problem with all this mess, you can call Ivan’s aides in Kaliningrad.
Lindsay Troy: (sarcastically) I’ll have my assistant get right on that.
The Russians smirk. Some of the PRIMEates boo, as they clearly wanted to see the throwdown. Ivan lumbers to the edge of the ring and points at Richard Parker, who stands in the corner.
Ivan Stanislav: You continue calling what is correct about Ivan and Alexei. Turncoats are not, shall we say, celebrated.
Ivan allows Alexei to climb out first. Somehow, Ruslan has a steel baton in his hand. Where did it even come from? Nevertheless, Ivan steps over the top rope and down to the floor. They trudge up the ramp, with Stanislav turning around to point at the three in the ring. He jaws at them in Russian, but it’s more roaring than intelligible. Timo and Dam check on Nick, who isn’t unconscious, but is coughing heavily and blinking rapidly. Stanislav makes it to the top of the entryway, turns, and bellows one more time.
Ivan Stanislav: DYAAHAAHAA!!
Ruslan beams to himself and to Ivan. He removes his hat and bows towards the ring, then flips the hat back up on his head with a cocky grin. The two turn, in lock step, and exit. Dam checks on Nick while Timo throws up an X hand signal to indicate a medical crew to come down and check on Nick.
Yeet Count: 3 (4 if you count the announce table)