From one interview to another, the feed cuts to the grey felt walls of the cubicle erected in the halls of the MGM Grand Arena, and the dashing rogue in khaki knee-length trench, underneath the matching khaki fedora with a placard reading ‘AP’ stuck in the band.
???: Hello sports-fans, this here is Lex Maroon, the only professional in this business. I am standing by with, if the cameraman would so kindly pull back the shot a little…
Interviewer and director, the shot does indeed pull back to reveal, the dressed ready for combat…
Lex Maroon: One Theodore Lynn Palmer.
The mention of his full legal birth name produces a look of ‘what the fuck’ across Teddy’s face and a condemning finger point.
Teddy Palmer: Not cool.
Lex Maroon: My apologies, if I’m mistaken. Would you like to clear the air? Is your middle name NOT Lynn?
Palmer side eyes Lex.
Lex Maroon: We’ll circle back. A fortnight has passed since your fellow two-man stablemate…
Teddy cocks his head and purses his lips with reservation.
Teddy Palmer: Tread lightly my journalistic friend, you might trigger some folks with that terminology.
Both men offer a sarcastic glance towards the camera.
Lex Maroon: Great catch. Many within the industry can, for a lack of a better journalistic term, be ‘little bitches’ about such inconsequential things.
Teddy Palmer: Talk about a sad state we’re currently navigating. I mean, we’re both accomplished singles competitors. We’re more than a formidable duo within the tag team ranks.
Lex offers a short shrug in agreement.
Lex Maroon: Yet nonexclusive to either division. What’s so hard to understand about that?
Teddy Palmer: Right? We swing both ways!
That regrettable entendre not going over his head, Lex tucks his chin in, shaking side to side, no.
Lex Maroon: I’m not sure Red would phrase it quite like that.
Teddy Palmer: Stay in your lane, Lex! You don’t speak on his behalf.
Lex Maroon: Listen, we got off track. Your running mate experienced an unfortunate, some might even say, ‘unfair,’ loss to The Anglo Luchador, leaving you as the sole representative of Red & Ted in the Almasy Invitational…
Teddy is quick to cut off the familiar faced reporter.
Teddy Palmer: He definitely shit the bed.
A face palm almost removes the thick, black and now skewed moustache from Lex’s upper lip.
Lex Maroon: He wasn’t a real luchador!
Teddy smirks as Lex adjusts his fedora and clears his throat.
Lex Maroon: Errrhmm…regardless…do you feel any added pressure going forward?
Teddy Palmer: Psssssshhht, naaaaah.
Teddy swats away the ridiculous notion.
Teddy Palmer: I ain’t one to carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. Time, place, opponent, stipulations, odds…they’re forever changing. The game plan though? It’ll always stay the same.
Lex Maroon: And that would be…
Lex’s voice lingers in the air as his fingers dance along the break line of his trench coat with anticipation.
Teddy Palmer: To put ‘Face To Fuckin’ Canvas’.
As if today’s ‘word of the day’ was called, Lex flashes the crisp new Teddy Palmer tee previously concealed under his trench, striking a ‘heroic’? pose. After a few tries, Teddy Palmer manages to unfurl the rolled canvas display: a selection of greatest hits of Red & Ted merch of yore and the new editions, too.
Lex Maroon: And you can put ‘Face To Fuckin’ Canvas’ too, with this brand new tee, exclusively from ProWrasslinTees! The only reputable Red & Ted merchandise vendor!
Teddy Palmer: Don’t be fooled by, or support, those hucksters at EWrestlingTees, and their cheap fabric made from non-renewable fossil fuels. Unless, of course, you also support destroying Mother Earth.
An editor’s note scrolls past the bottom of the screen quickly: “PRIME is not affiliated with, nor will care to substantiate the service of either merchandise outlet.”
Lex releases his clenched pose, and Teddy, with little care, drops the display onto the ground.
Lex Maroon: Now, where were we before we got all excited about the cheap plug?
Teddy Palmer: About to segue into hyping tonight’s real Main Event.
Lex Maroon: Ah, yes! Everybody knows PRIME positioning on any card is second to last. I respect a company that knows its audience is about beating the traffic. Take two weeks ago, when nobody thought that yuppy himbo stood a chance against Youngblood.
‘Lex’ turns to Teddy Palmer as the two share a laugh, “ALP.”
Lex Maroon: What can the Faithful gathered here in beautiful Las Vegas expect tonight?
Ted takes just a moment to reflect and get all earnest.
Teddy Palmer: In the words of one, Billy Idol, ‘I’ll do anything for my Sweet Sixteen’. If that means I gotta send Van Warren crawling back to the projects, well SHOOT.
Lex Maroon: Spoken with such confidence. This wouldn’t have anything to do with Eryk with a ‘Y’s advanced age, would it?
Teddy Palmer: How dare you suggest…
Lex Maroon: I only bring it up because It’s been a hot topic most recently. And by hot topic, I mean Eryk has been the only one to mention it. It’s almost as if he’s creating a built in excuse. Nonetheless, has he tempted you, even the slightest, to reach for that low hanging fruit?
Teddy Palmer: I never look to take the easy route. I’m a man who proudly occupies the moral high ground most of the time. I will not, I repeat, WILL NOT…speed bag old man balls, no matter how low they may hang. End of question.
OSV: What the hell are you two doing?
The easily identifiable hoarse voice of Grady Patrick prompts both men to look off screen. The little Irishman bursts into frame, looking less than impressed.
Teddy Palmer: Improvising. Three backstage reporters roaming these corridors, and not one of them could gimmie the time of day.
Lex Maroon: And that, dear sir, is where yours truly enters the picture.
Dipping into a pocket of the table in the middle of the cubicle, Palmer produces a pack of Lucky Strikes. Teddy lights one, and goes to take a drag from the cancer-stick, but Grady rips it out of his hand. ‘Lex’ laughs, and Grady rips clean his moustache.
Grady Patrick: This is your idea of keeping a low profile?
The commotion of the well-meaning manager is drawing eyes. Sure enough it isn’t long before security is headed over to take a look. Specifically, it is Enemigo IV who enters, and just as the cigarette rests in Grady’s hand.
Teddy Palmer: Just in time. Can you believe this guy? I told him no smoking backstage, especially after that incident at The Whiskey Down.
Grady Patrick: Wait, what?
Teddy Palmer: Anywho, he’s your problem now. I’ve got a match to prepare for.
Teddy pats Enemigo IV on the chest, and exits stage left. ALex disapprovingly shakes his head, departing in the opposite direction. Grady nervously looks at Enemigo IV, who takes and crushes out the cig.
Teddy Palmer O/S: Oh, sweet sixteen…Oh sweet sixteen…Oh-oh…