KANSAS CITY’S LEGENDARY ALLIGATOR PROBLEM
Moving from the aftermath of Sykes v. Pleasant, our friendly backstage camera finds that growing old is not for sissies.
That sounds means that, technically speaking, the camera finds Chandler Tsonda.
Growing old is not for sissies. Nobody knows that more than Chandler Tsonda, forty-seven years youngish, and his first PRIME match in a decade and a half in the books. But that was over an hour ago. Tsonda is not showered and fresh as a daisy, and he steps gingerly through a nondescript backstage area of the T-Mobile Arena. It would be generous to say that he’s doing anything other limping.
Chandler Tsonda: (yelling) ICE PACK! ICE PACK NEEDED FOR HALL OF FAMER!
It’s not exactly silence in return, but there is no one else within the camera’s view nor does anyone appear.
Chandler Tsonda: (still yelling) HELP! ALLIGATOR ATTACK! OH NO SHE’S GOT MY BABY! WHY IS THERE A VICIOUS AQUATIC REPTILE CHOWING DOWN ON POOR BRAYDEN?!
Still nothing. Could be that the backstage staff have been warned that Tsonda is…a bit of an attention-seeker. Or maybe they can’t hear. Or don’t care. Lots of good reasons that the Model Citizen is still standing by himself.
He limps along a bit further, only to stop when he sees familiar surroundings.
Chandler Tsonda: Oh, for fuck’s sake.
The camera pans to show that Tsonda has arrived back at the area just outside the curtain and the Arygle position. There is two weeks’ worth of evidence that Chandler Tsonda does not know his way around the bowels of arenas anymore.
Movement catches his eye from off to the left. Tsonda slowly turns, an ungraceful move to face where he sees the flicker of motion.
Chandler Tsonda: You there! Esteemed roster member in need of dynamic stretching and a cold tub! Where can I…oh.
The flicker of motion reveals itself to be Nate Colton. Five Star Champion, Next Diamond, etc. etc. He’s doing all those little things we often see him do while getting ready for a match. Hopping up and down a bit, shaking out his head and hands, double-checking that he’s not about to go in front of a live audience with any unfortunate stains on his trunks.
It takes a moment for him to register that the Model Citizen is (a) there, and (b) talking to him, but he eventually figures it out.
Nate Colton: Oh, hey. Umm…I think all that stuff is back by the locker rooms.
If either wrestler notes the electricity of two stars of different eras running into each other by happenstance, it goes unremarked.
Chandler Tsonda: Uh, thanks for the directions. I was just messing around and am entirely sound of body and mind. Body especially. Very sound.
The Sultan of Style lets a beat pass.
Chandler Tsonda: Nice to meet you and all the pleasantries and shit. Nate Colton, isn’t it? (points) Nice title.
Nate looks down at the shiny gold belt around his waist and pats it a couple of times.
Nate Colton: Thanks. I’m pretty proud of it. Hoping I still have it when I come back here later.
He’s about to go back to his mental preparations, when something dawns on him.
Nate Colton: So if you didn’t get lost looking for the trainers…what are you doing back here?
Tsonda takes on just the slightest, if well-intentioned, air of a used car salesman.
Chandler Tsonda: Don’t stress about me, champ. Let’s get you ready for this big defense. You know that’s the second most important belt in the business.
Any person with a modicum of familiarity with CT knows, given that “mom, look at me” is 96% of his personality, where this is heading.
Chandler Tsonda: You know that big gold boy was my first singles title? No, I know, hard to believe that a dyed-in-the-wool Aitch Oh Eff-er started in the very same spot you’re in right now. Here, crowd in, I’ll pull up my ReVolution 100 match against Johnny Noble. No no, you know what, you’ve got a big match, so I’ll just text you the link. Here, throw your number in there, big dog.
Tsonda hands his iPhone to Colton, who dutifully taps at the screen.
Nate Colton: I’ll give it a watch later, thanks. This is my first title too; I just hope I’ve been living up to the standard.
Chandler Tsonda: You’re really it, huh? Just a fuckin’ wholesome amiable dude who’s gonna sell t-shirts all over the Midwest until the heat death of our universe. Well, go give the fine corn-and-cattle enthusiasts of Kansas City a show.
Nate Colton: I dunno about all that. I just try to keep in mind something my dad told me once. “Don’t be a douchebag; the world’s got enough already.”
The Model Citizen gives a peppy little two fingers to the brow salute to the Next Diamond.
Chandler Tsonda: Genuinely rooting for you, kid. Go nuts out there.
Nate Colton: Thanks, man. Gonna be a hell of a match.
The Tsuperstar walks away from the Argyle Position, leaving Nate Colton alone once more. He goes back to psyching himself up…but he’s smiling a bit more.
Nate Colton: Damn, now I got Hall of Famers coming up to me. This place is wild.
All right, Colton. Back to business. You’ve got the fight of your life tonight.
Which starts… right… now!