Event: CULTURE SHOCK 2022
Event Date: 04/08/2022
Richard Parker: I am SO EXCITED about this next bit, Nick – we have a piece of gen-you-wine journalism!
Nick Stuart: That’s right, partner. On ReVival 5, we saw the much-ballyhooed debut of the very dangerous FLAMBERGE, and in the ring he certainly didn’t disappoint! However, a low blow from the ever-conniving Genevie Carlson was his downfall, and the journey for his first win has been forced to take a side track.
Richard Parker: We heard the rumors that Henri Lavigne was rage-fueled about the loss. Justified, in my opinion, and the Frenchman’s fury caused a major scene backstage, but our one cameraman with a SPINE decided to get the real scoop, and we have it here now!
Nick Stuart: You’re way too excited about this.
Richard Parker: No one gets angry quite like the French! I live for this stuff.
We cut to a video feed that, for now, is outside a set of double doors with a sign reading “MALE TALENT”. The cameraman inches closer and closer to the door, but before we see anyone, we hear them.
“Foute toi and your ‘bright side’ so-and-so, Monsieur Darby!”
“Henri, we’ve been over this, we knew that going undefeated was never realistic-”
“IMBECILE, THIS IS NOT ABOUT THE UNDEFEAT! THIS IS ABOUT THE SPORT! L’ATHLETIQUE!”
Though we don’t hear it, a subtle raising and lowering of our point of view indicates the cameraman’s deep breath as we see a hand lightly push one of the double doors ajar. The camera, sneakily as possible, finds its way into viewing a sliver of the locker room. Fuzzy for a moment before refocusing, we see the figure of Henri Lavigne pacing up and down a row of lockers. Nearby, Mr. Darby has removed his bright suit jacket and rolled up his dress shirt sleeves to the elbow, and he stands with hands on hips, following Henri as he paces back and forth.
Henri Lavigne: For over twenty years, Monsieur Darby, this boy has been my PROTEGE. We have built this moment, OUR moment, por VINGT ANS! And this, the ramshackle, the PRIME Wrestlings refuse to enact the overturn, malgré la tricherie évidente.
Mr. Darby: Wins and losses aren’t everything, Hen-
Henri Lavigne: Do not. Lecture me. About the losing.
It’s only now that we see a third figure, sitting on a bench in front of an open locker some distance away from the conversation. The camera zooms in a bit, and we see FLAMBERGE. An ice pack, presumably for his groin, sits on the bench next to him. His expression remains stoic, if a bit tired and disinterested. After a few moments of lingering, it’s unclear if he’s blinking or even breathing as he stares into the locker.
Henri Lavigne: You’ve never lost, Monsieur Darby, the way that I have lost. I know what it is like to have the career and the dream and the culmination of the decades of the hard work and the sacrifice, end like nothing. Poof, gone. No one remembers you! May as well be un fantôme.
Mr. Darby: ENOUGH.
Mr. Darby steps forward, which is more than enough cause for Henri Lavigne to puff out his chest and step forward with crazy eyes.
Mr. Darby: You either can’t or won’t see the machine that’s in motion here, Henri. That Brets sponsorship – do you think that was an accident? The chants, the “FLAMBO’S GONNA KILL YOU” stuff before he’s EVER wrestled on a major professional broadcast, who do you think got us here??
Henri’s still bug-eyed, though he raises his eyebrow at this comment.
Mr. Darby: You’re so stuck living in the past, so focused on retaking some “win” that you think was stolen from you 16 years ago, and you’re sabotaging the most sure-fire cash-cow-in-the-making for the professional wrestling business in a GENERATION.
Henri Lavigne: SABOTAGE??
Henri slaps Mr. Darby in the face, HARD. Mr. Darby reels.
Mr. Darby: OW!!
Not the cool retort he may have wished to have preloaded for such a moment. Henri’s eyes catch something out of the corner of his eyes-
Henri Lavine: …merde.
-the camera. Henri sheepishly turns his face away, making a beeline for his son. Darby holds a hand to his cheek and watches Henri walk away before straightening out his shirt and tie (for something, anything, to control at this moment). FLAMBERGE has reached into the locker for a travel-size pack of Brets chips (onion and balsamic vinegar flavor, because that’s Brets for you), and he’s working on opening them from his seat on the bench as his father approaches him. The feed cuts.
Richard Parker: Give that cameraman a raise!
Nick Stuart: I can understand why our reporters expressed concern about approaching FLAMBERGE with that loose cannon around. We appreciate Mr. Darby’s professionalism in being able to compose himself for his post-ReVival statement.
Richard Parker: These two need to sort this out fast, I want to see more FLAMBERGE on my screen as soon as possible!