We open tonight’s show with a shot of the parking lot of the MGM Grand. Immediately we see a silver pickup truck pull onto the level and find an open spot. The camerman runs up quickly, presumably because he thinks it’s someone we want to see.
He’s wrong, though. No one wants to see Paxton Ray.
The Bayou Butcher opens the door and sees the camera, then looks away with a small smile on his face. He steps down and slams the door, then grabs his gym bag out of the bed of the truck.
He walks towards the entrance, whistling a tune which quickly dies in his throat as he sees three people standing by the entrance. Let’s go over them in order, shall we?
The first is Enemigo XVII. No further information required.
The second is the former Co-Head of Security, and the evening’s main event. His name is Wade Elliott, and he’s angry.
The third is the CEO of PRIME, and judging by the look on her face, Lindsay Troy is angry too.
Paxton Ray: Ah, the red carpet treatment. Hey y’all.
Visible steam rolls out of the ‘Bama Bruiser’s nostrils. The Queen has her arms folded over her chest, and the fingers on her left hand drum against her right bicep.
Lindsay Troy: Going somewhere?
This makes the Lafayette Bruiser raise his eyebrow.
Paxton Ray: Uh, yeah. Got a match. Ya hired me back, ‘member?
Lindsay Troy: Oh, I remember. So you figured you’d mosey on into the arena, do your little stretches, and then go wrestle. That about right?
Paxton Ray: I ain’t much of a mosey-er, nah. But yeah, pretty much.
Lindsay Troy: Mmhmm. Well, I think you can do all that out here. You haven’t really earned the right to be welcomed back fully. What do you guys think?
Wade Elliott: (Growling.) He ain’t earned th’right t’be welcomed back at all.
Enemigo XVII says nothing, naturally.
Paxton looks at his three bouncers refusing to permit entry. There is — for just a second — the beginnings of a snarl on his lips. Then it quickly morphs into a smile.
Paxton Ray: So I’m just gonna stay in the parkin’ lot til it’s time to beat up Mephisto?
The silence they give him is more than enough answer. He nods.
Paxton Ray: Aight. Fair enough.
He swings his gym bag over his shoulder.
Paxton Ray: Hey, good luck in your match, Wade. Ya ever want a bigger challenge than Ol’ Dusty, ya know where t’look.
As Ray turns away, Elliott releases an amused, audible snort. The Bayou Butcher pauses his stride, looking over his shoulder back at the Blue Collar Brawler, who is wearing a rare, wide grin.
Wade Elliott: (Genuinely chuckling.) You really think yer made’ve nails, don’tcha Ray?
And then slowly, that grin fades, and Wade reverts to his thundercloud glare.
Wade Elliott: Son, you’re the softest sum’bitch on the roster.
Lindsay Troy: Oh, one more thing, Paxton, before you find a corner to squat in.
A sly smirk finds its way to her lips.
Lindsay Troy: If I see anything I don’t like out there tonight, or at the Belmont, or…well, anywhere, really…you’ll be making yourself at home back in the New Orleans mud pits.
Paxton doesn’t smile as turns back around, giving a mock salute.
Paxton Ray: Aye aye, cap’n.
And with that we go inside.