JUST DO IT ALREADY
From Bobby Dean’s pathetic display, we go elsewhere in the backstage area.
Outside the door of PRIME’s CEO and President, the “Queen of the Ring” Lindsay Troy, PRIME’s current ex-Universal Champion and company frontman, Brandon Youngblood, emerges from a long hallway, his face looking as rough as it did in the pretape near the start of the show. On the opposite side of said hallway, the Risen Star, Nova, pops up as well from a connecting hallway and they both find themselves awaiting entry.
Nova gives Youngblood a nod and lights a cigarette. The presence of the two PRIME Hall of Famers creates a loud cheer that can be heard even this deep in the backstage area.
Lindsay Troy: (from within) Come in.
Brandon gestures in return, and follows Nova into Troy’s office. They take seats in front of the Queen, who glares an owl’s glare at Nova smoking in her office. The Risen Star ignores this and begins to speak.
Nova: (taking a drag) I’m glad we’re having a dialogue about this. This MESSIAH shit is out of control, we all know it. It’s going to escalate, I’m going to push back, and I recognize that the fragile reopening of this place we all love shouldn’t be jeopardized by a war I didn’t choose with these cultists.
He takes another drag.
Nova: So thanks for sitting down to talk it out. And we can figure out the whole jail thing later.
Youngblood, his eyes blackened and swollen, the wrap on the bridge of his nose weeping, cranes his head to the Queen from the Risen Star.
Brandon Youngblood: I know there’s questions about whether I was being genuine with Caesar weeks ago about MESSIAH. Shanahan. Bathory. I got his back. That ain’t no lie.
He eases forward, heels of his hands on his thighs.
Brandon Youngblood: But I got problems of my own. Big ones. You know what I’m talking about. Atken beat me for the Universal Championship. I can live with that. But you…Nova…you both know…them circumstances…you’d both demand a pound of flesh. You’d both demand a damn rematch. Even knowing that, I know I ain’t getting one. That ain’t how PRIME works.
The Tower of Babel cracks his knuckles.
Brandon Youngblood: FLAMBERGE is on borrowed time. Beyond that? I’m cleared. Tell me what the mountain is…so I can get to climbing and get round two with Atken.
Troy is stone-faced. Couldn’t read her with a set of James Webb-level bifocals.
Lindsay Troy: I called you here, together, because it isn’t about any of that.
Brandon Youngblood: ???
Lindsay Troy: I’ve booked you against each other at UltraViolence.
Brandon looks at Nova.
Nova looks at Brandon.
They look at Troy.
Troy looks at Nova, and then at Brandon.
They look at each other, and then again at each other sequentially, then back to each other.
Lindsay Troy: People have been talking about it, and you two have been hinting at it, since I reopened the place. I think everyone would be relieved if you just…went for it. Did the thing. Sealed the deal. See what happens.
Nova: (taking a long drag) This line of conversation is making me uncomfortable.
Brandon Youngblood: Uh…same.
Lindsay Troy: I care about your feedback, truly.
Lindsay Troy: And, this is not a democracy. Nova/Youngblood. UltraViolence. The Dream Match, Round Two. Seventeen years in the making.
Lindsay Troy: Now, I have some things I have to tend to, guys.
After an awkward moment, Nova and Youngblood realize they are being jettisoned from the President/CEO’s office, and they get out of their chairs and exit. Outside in the hallway, they look at each other.
Brandon Youngblood: So…all that…UltraViolence…
Nova: Yeah. Yeah, bud. That’s apparently happening.
Brandon Youngblood: So…they’re…they’re gonna make this happen again. Do we…like…need to talk first? Or…because…like…we ain’t the same people we were back then…and I ain’t going back to that dark shit again…
Taking a drag, Nova picks up what is being laid down.
Nova: I mean, you know how to reach me…
Brandon Youngblood: Ain’t that a rotary phone next to a bodega in downtown Seattle?
Nova: I have a new number, I’ll text you – it’s the same?
Brandon Youngblood: Since the Dark Ages.
They pound fists and part ways.