Backstage in the halls of The Pit, God’s Champion makes his way towards the Argyle Position for his scheduled match. As he does, he cheerfully tosses and catches the bowling / ping pong-sized ball (depending on who you believe) with Nova’s name scrawled across it. With him is his fashion advisor Joe Burrow who is pushing a cart with a black sheet covering its contents.
“Your Personal Jesus” notices a mirror and takes a second to admire his hair.
Hoyt Williams: Ratings are rising as we speak!
He tosses the ball one more time in the air and opens his hand to catch it.
A blue gloved fist darts forward over Hoyt’s shoulder and catches the ball before it falls back to his hand, and he spins around to come face-to-face with the Risen Star.
Nova’s eyes are fixed on Hoyt’s and God’s Son takes a step back.
Hoyt Williams: NOVA! Hey! (holding out his arms) I’ve been meaning to talk with you…
Hoyt puts a hand on Nova’s shoulder and the Starchild’s eyes briefly dart over to it before returning to Hoyt’s sparkly blues.
Hoyt Williams: …I have a question. When the medical staff reinflated your windpipe in after the Big Red Brute tied a ring-rope-sized twisty-tie around it in Kansas City…did they do a good job?
Hoyt leans in to examine Nova’s neck, craning his own to different angles.
Hoyt Williams: I’ve heard mixed reviews, to be honest – not that I plan on ever having to write one myself.
He draws up to a rigid standing position, snapping a Soviet salute with a proud grin.
Hoyt Williams: FOR THE MOTHERLAND!!
Nova, having lit a cigarette during this nonsense, exhales an enormous cloud into Hoyt’s face.
Nova: They did fine.
“Your Personal Jesus” doubles over in a coughing fit, covering his mouth with an arm.
Hoyt Williams: Cancer-smoking cancer seems poetic, but poetry is the language of the devil himself. Kinda seems like a waste to fix your throat given the smoking habit. Anyway.
Hoyt makes a face of disgust.
Hoyt Williams: Tropical Turmoil is in San Diego in a few weeks. Now there is NOTHING tropical about San Diego so the whole theme is garbage. But turmoil. I can bring that, and sinner you are due for a spiritual awakening.
Hoyt takes a step forward. Nova eye’s God’s Championship on the shoulder of the Savior.
Nova: Hoyt, you may think because of what I’ve been through, you have a cleaner track record than I do…
He takes a long drag.
Nova: …but we both know you were peddling shit LONG before I ever got busted for having it.
Hoyt shakes his head in disbelief.
Hoyt Williams: Um, I’M SORRY, if you mean to suggest that God’s Love is a drug, then yeah, I’m Pablo Flipping Escobar! But that’s not what landed you in jail, Nova…it’s not what led to your disappearance from the hallowed halls of PRIME, it’s not what has led to your pathetic second act…that’s just…you, Friend-O.
Nova: Hey, bud, if that’s how you feel…
He steps forward and slaps his free hand on the belt slung over Hoyt’s shoulder.
Nova: …seems like you’re due to defend that title of yours. It’s been decades, right?
Hoyt recoils, aghast.
Hoyt Williams: You think this is an easy burden to carry? You think you have what it takes to be God’s Champion?
The Risen Star tosses his cigarette into a nearby bucket and balls his fists.
Nova: I’m gonna find out.
Hoyt Williams: You want to be God’s Champion? Then you’ll enter the Divine Realm the way our Lord and Savior did!!
The Pontiff of PRIME steps forward himself.
Nova: Oh yeah? How’s that?!
Another step forward for the Risen Star, coming almost nose-to-nose with Hoyt, who responds by butting his forehead against Nova’s and growling his teeth.
Hoyt Williams: CRUCIFIXION MATCH!!!
Nova: ALL! IN!
Hoyt’s eyes widen in a rage and his nostrils flare
A sadistic grin stretches over Nova’s face and he nods slowly, his forehead still pressed against Hoyt’s.
Nova: GONNA BE BRUTAL.
Hoyt’s eyes narrow.
Hoyt Williams: You…
Nova continues with the sadistic grin and slow nodding.
Hoyt Williams: …don’t know what a crucifixion is, do you?
Nova: NO I DO NOT.
Williams takes a step back, his arms outstretched incredulously.
Hoyt Williams: How do you not know what a crucifixion is?!
Nova takes another drag and shrugs.
Nova: Wasn’t a lot of Sunday school in my early years…
Hoyt Williams: Clearly. But crucifixes – our national flag, seal, bird, mammal, anthem, motto, flower, and tree – are EVERYWHERE! For crying out loud, man, there’s one over there!
He points and Nova follows his finger to a clock on the wall that happens to have a crucifix emblazoned behind the hands.
Nova: Oh yeeeeeeah, the Bad Religion symbol. (Cocking his head) Or at least part of it.
Hoyt’s face turns red and he begins to shake before taking a deep breath.
Hoyt Williams: Bad religion? I’m not here to talk about scientologists. Brother Burro, unsheet the display of accuracy.
The homely fashion director pulls the sheet off the cart to reveal a replica of the PRIME ring and ring side area. Just outside the ring is a giant cross laying vertically on the ground next to a big red button. Hoyt picks up the official Nova action figure and makes it seem like it’s walking to the ring.
Hoyt Williams: (impersonating Nova poorly) Oh I need a smoke, a square, a cancer stick and some bowling ball polish for my head. Hoyt do you know where I can get some bowling ball polish for my stupid, godless, bald head?
With his other hand Hoyt picks up the new Hoyt Williams action figure that comes with the custom God’s Title. Plastic Hoyt approaches the Nova action figure.
Hoyt Williams: (impersonating Hoyt perfectly) Nova smoking is a sin and you shouldn’t do it. Nor should you throw The Rock of Gibraltar at a biblical icon’s head. You must be punished. Now Nova pay attention because this is what a crucifixion match is!
Hoyt smiles at the real Nova who is watching this display not sure what to think. Hoyt takes his action figure and kicks Nova in the stomach before performing a Crucified and Saved on the toy.
Hoyt Williams: (Impersonating Richard Parker adequately) OH MY GOD he just destroyed Nova!! Our Savior has done it!!! What next? What is this, he’s strapping the arms and legs to the cross!! Yes!! Nova is secured to the cross. Hoyt is now walking over to the big red button! He hits it!! It’s over!!! Hoyt Williams wins again!!! They should give him the universal title!! He’s the greatest ever. OH MY GOD!!!!!
The real Hoyt pushes the red button and the cross springs to a stand up position where the plastic Nova hangs crucified. Hoyt grabs the little plastic God’s Title and straps it to the waist of plastic Hoyt.
Hoyt Williams: AND STILL CHAMPION!! Hoyt Williams! This is how it will work only a lot more violent. So it is written so it is Hoyt’s Truth.
Nova shrugs, lighting another cigarette.
Nova: Joke’s on you. I don’t read the matches. Just the segments.
Hoyt shakes his head in disbelief, his hands still clutching the figures in his display.
Hoyt Williams: What???
Nova turns and begins to walk away, spinning around as he takes another drag and pointing a finger at the Pontiff of PRIME.
Nova: Tropical Turmoil. God’s Championship. Cruciblipship match. You promised.
He disappears around a corner, leaving Hoyt with his action figures. God’s Son turns to Joe Burro, who has been silently white-knuckling his shrouded cart the whole time
Hoyt Williams: Solid work, Joe!
Hoyt pushes past him, stomping towards the backstage ring entrance for his match.