After Impulse and Hayes Hanlon left Angelica Brooks, but before we return to the ring to see Hanlon take on Bobby Dean, Impulse walks backstage, shaking his head.
Impulse: Man that kid’s got a lot to learn.
The Marathon Man rounds a corner and stops in his tracks. Ahead of him, Nova sits on a stool next to a nacho vending stand. Nova is noshing a tray of nachos but stops when he meets eyes with Knox. Impulse pauses for a moment, then approaches.
Impulse: No getting around it…hey, man.
Nova grins and nods before holding up a tortilla chip soaked in nacho cheese.
Nova: Nachos are the best. And it’s not really a secret or anything, we know why. They plug in the nacho cheese to the dispenser, then pour in all the juice from a giant jar of jalapenos, and it adds just the slightest kick that brings everything together.
The Risen Star lights a cigarette and turns back to the vendor.
Nova: Am I wrong?
The vendor nods bashfully, not expecting to feature in this exchange. Nova shrugs, clearly satisfied in the vindication.
Impulse: Nah, you’re not wrong on that. Listen, sir – I don’t like how our match ended. LT won’t toss the result like I asked her to… Not sure where to take that from here.
Nova nods slowly, taking another drag.
Nova: Goes without saying that it isn’t how I would’ve chosen it.
Impulse: I know. I know. I just…
He takes a deep breath, then suddenly throws up his arms.
Impulse: Fourteen years since the first time we were on the bill together and finally we get the chance to square off. More as equals than we would’ve been back in the day, a legend and ak id. We get the opportunity, we put it all on the line, and someone else decides to ruin it.
Knox turns away, shaking his head, then looks back to Nova.
Impulse: Dude, I just really wanted this.
He grins in spite of himself.
Impulse: And I felt like I had it.
Nova takes a drag and grins in return.
Nova: Yeah, I bet you did.
The Risen Star snuffs his cigarette in his container of highly-lauded nachos and hops off his stool, placing a hand on the Marathon Man’s shoulder. Impulse appears taken aback as Nova stares him in the eyes.
Nova: We were robbed at the end there, no question. They’re already coming for me.
Knox’s eyes widen.
Impulse: I’m not sure I…
Nova leans in.
Nova: They’re already coming for me. But eventually they’ll come for you. It doesn’t end here.
Knox nods and slowly removes Nova’s hand from his shoulder.
Impulse: Right. I get that. But like any other ‘they’ – they’ll eventually collapse under their own hubris. You’re better than them and you’ll show it in the end.
He turns to leave, and again feels the grip of Nova’s hand on his shoulder. Knox turns around, and Nova’s eyes are still locked on his.
Nova: It doesn’t end here, Randall. And if you ever want anything to end on the merits again, there may come a time when you need to stand on it.
Knox shrugs off Nova’s grip.
Impulse: Alright, man, alright. Calm down. Things will get sorted.
He puts his own hand on the Risen Star’s shoulder and gives him an affirming nod.
Impulse: Good to connect up. I’m glad we had a chance to talk.
Knox walks off and Nova stares after him for a moment.
Then he resumes his seat at the nacho stand, lighting another cigarette and turning to his would-be server.
Nova: I know I’m preaching to the choir, but nachos really are the best stadium venue snack.
The nacho vendor grins in response, and they exchange a high-five.