The greeting of Katrina followed up by the horn section of the Waves gives us our lead in. Out from behind the curtain? It’s your boy Abe Lipschitz! Once again, he seems to be sans the Black Metal Friends – almost as if this were like the Saved By the Bell episodes with Tori and the audience is just supposed to assume that Jessie and Kelly are foreign exchange students for that particular semester. Which is exactly the logic that I’m using. This too explains the deviation in theme music. Much like his t-shirts, Abe always wants to mix it up. Last week was “Shiny Happy People,” and keeping with the mantra, it’s now “Walking on Sunshine.”
Richard Parker: I never thought I’d say this, but I really do miss those goths. This has gone from annoying to unbearable in the matter of two shows.
Nick Stuart: Would you have preferred another song choice?
Richard Parker: An infant screaming on repeat would be better than this.
The crowd certainly is having a fun time with it, as is the Babe. He’s stepping in tune with the music, taking the occasional break to slap some fives and let some of the lucky folks run their fingers through his well-conditioned hair. And as for #whatsabewearing #abelovesshirts this fine evening?
Well, it’s not something we’ve seen before, that’s for sure. It’s tye-dyed, and features a cartoon drawing of a woman who is slightly bent over at the knees, hiking up her skirt to reveal an overexaggerated pair of butt cheeks. Just behind those cheeks is a cartoon man who looks strangely similar to Abe himself, only his eyes are bugged out and tongue extended in preparation for an act not suitable for a PG audience. Real subtle, Abe.
Nick Stuart: I’m not sure who the lucky lady is that’s about to receive rear entry on Abe’s shirt, but it seems like he’s making his intentions known.
Richard Parker: Doesn’t look much like Lindsay Troy, so I’m gonna assume it’s not her. Otherwise he’d have been decapitated long before he came out here. Which makes me wish it were Lindsay Troy on his shirt.
Eventually, he moseys on into the ring and calls for a microphone, no doubt to try and continue to goad a certain man named Ned back into their bitter blood feud.
Abe Lipschitz: Oh NEEEEEEEEEEEEE-ED! Come out, come out wherever you are!
Abe pauses to let the crowd murmur for a minute, as well as give Reform some time to answer the call. It’s pretty apparent that isn’t going to happen, though.
Abe Lipschitz: I know you’re back there, Neddy. I could smell ya comin’ up the elevator! Get on out here, and let’s settle this, mano ‘e mano.
Again, he stops, beckoning the empty entrance platform with his free hand.
Abe Lipschitz: Dangit, Ned! You don’t mean to tell me that I had this shirt custom-made for tonight and you won’t even take a few steps to come admire the artwork? Hey, I know it’s not Japanimation – more of an old school Merrie Melodies flair – but I think the designer really nailed the idea of me having an Almond Joy for dessert courtesy of Mrs. Frieda Reform!
The audience seems to have loved that one. Well, some probably gagged. Hard to distinguish laughter, cheers, and puking when they’re all mixed together.
Richard Parker: I can’t believe the audacity of this! That’s a man’s wife he’s talking about! There’s no way Ned can ignore this!
Nick Stuart: He’d probably be more upset that Abe just revealed his wife’s actual first name on live television.
Abe Lipschitz: To be honest, I’m normally more of a Mounds guy, but sometimes you need to open your taste buds up to new flavors. I’m trying to develop a more cultured palate, now that I’m a college student and all. Yep, as you all probably heard on social media, I enrolled at the prestigious Hollywood State University a couple of weeks ago! GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO Fightin’ Celebrities!
Lipschitz begins a slow little pace inside of the ring as he begins to explain a little more about the HSU curriculum.
Abe Lipschitz: Now I already know what our wrestling professor is gonna say about this. ‘Hollywood State University is a fake institution of higher learning,’ or ‘they don’t even have instructors with anything higher than a bachelor’s degree,’ or ‘real colleges aren’t located in strip malls in between an Ulta Beauty and a Ross Dress for Less.’ Well, I got news for you, Ned. Not only is HSU accredited by the California Association of Colleges and Universities Eventually Seeking Accreditation Someday…
Nick Stuart: Ah, I thought that school sounded familiar. I’m on the board at CACUESAS.
Abe Lipschitz: …but they also offer all of their courses ONLINE. On the Internet. Without the need for live instructors. Because if someone actually goes to the trouble of writing a book on a particular subject matter, what is the point of actually having a teacher? Make it make sense, Ned! Much like Latin translators, slap bracelet manufacturers, Sage Pontiff’s loofah, and Cancer Jiles’ penis – there’s no use for you anymore! All you have is ME, Ned. So why don’t you come on out here, and let’s freakin’ do this.
Abe again turns to wait expectantly toward the entrance… but no sign of Reform. What does happen, however, is Ned appears on the big screen, drawing a round of boos from the PRIME fans in attendance. Reform sits in an office – behind him stands a bookshelf and a window with large curtains. On the wall are hung several degrees, although the specifics of what’s written on them is not in focus. Reform is dressed as you’d imagine your typical “I’m a stuffy academic but I also can be relatable, kids” figure would be. He removes his large, black rimmed glasses, wipes them on his button-up shirt, and smiles into the camera.
Ned Reform: Hello, Mr. Lipschitz.
Abe puts his mouth up to the microphone to respond, but is immediately cut off at the pass.
Ned Reform: Aren’t you just the little eager beaver? A real “little engine that could” archetype, yes? Contrary to what you may think, I have received your multiple emails. And phone calls. And messages. Also, I saw you outside my window two nights ago. I’m not sure how you evaded the police, but I at least have to admire your cunning! Ha ha!
Reform slaps his hand together in amusement.
Nick Stuart: This is a far, far different demeanor than we’ve seen out of Ned lately. Last we saw, he appeared to have completely given up. But this… he seems downright jovial.
Reform continues to grin widely.
Ned Reform: I understand that comprehension is likely not your strong suit, so it appears it falls under my umbrella to be the one who makes this abundantly clear to you: I quit. I am done. I quit PRIME two weeks ago on live television. Let me perhaps repeat that to ensure understanding: I quit PRIME two weeks ago. As in, I no longer work for that company. Now, that fiendish and wicked Lindsay Troy is holding up the actual completion of the contract termination – likely hoping to retain a talent such as myself until the next big pay per view event – but nonetheless, for all intents and purposes, Dr. Ned Reform has left PRIME.
Shaking his head and lifting a finger up, Abe starts to correct him. But yet again, he’s cut off.
Ned Reform: HOWEVER! Wait. Allow me to finish. You see, I’ve appeared tonight because it occurs to me that like the clingy undergrad who waits outside your office the day before final exams, you are not going to go away. I could likely pretend that you don’t exist until the heat death of the universe, and I’d imagine you’d still find a way to annoy me. And if you’ve been paying attention to the events of the world of professional wrestling outside your bubble, you likely know that I have much, much bigger fish to fry than yourself. It’s funny you should say “go fighting celebrities” – as fighting celebrities is exactly my plan. I’m hunting for the Great White Sharks of the world, dear boy, I have little time for a minnow.
Abe Lipschitz: You’r…
Ned Reform: Alas – since you are never going to take even the most glaringly obvious of hints, I have decided to concede: if you are so desperate to attach your name to a figure as large in this sport as Dr. Ned Reform… I will oblige.
The crowd likes that!
Nick Stuart: Sounds like Abe is getting his match!
Ned Reform: However… this shall be marketed by the trained chimps in the office as my official PRIME retirement match. After it, I walk out the door never to return, and focus my attention on know-it-all would-be millionaires. And I hope you are not under the delusion that you will be getting a true athletic contest… I have no interest in wasting my energy on you or PRIME in general. I will come to the ring, the bell ring, and I will allow you to pin me. Big victory for you – “arch enemy” vanquished by the triumphant hero. You’ll get what you want, and you – and PRIME – will be out of my life forever. Good day.
Before Abe can say anything in response YET AGAIN, Ned disappears off the screen.