KINGS NEVER DIE
Somewhere in the backstage area inside Madison Square Garden, is a room that is dark and menacing. A man appears in the frame of the camera, dressed and ready for his upcoming match.
His final match.
I’ve never quite known what to call you.
We’ll go with LT. All week, everyone has been asking me why I picked you to be my final match. In addition, everyone has been asking me why we have never been able to find ourselves on the same page.
I might be able to answer one of those questions. The other one… is a bit more complicated. That’s the one that I will start with.
Dusk takes a deep breath in before continuing.
I’ve always felt protective of you. You never met my late wife, but you look far more like her than I wish to admit. More importantly, though, you two have similar spirits. I was always in the background, ready to protect when need be and she was always the sharp tongue and wit that was always ready for a fight.
Sound like anyone we know?
I guess you could say she was the sword, and I was her shield.
Dusk shifts his position slightly.
There is no question, LT, that you are the sword. You have always been the sword, and you’ve always been ready to plunge it into anyone that got in your way. That’s why the fans love you. That’s why you’re The Benchmark in PRIME.
For some reason, I thought I had to be the shield, even as you were trying to plunge the aforementioned sword into me. It’s okay; I get it. It took a long time for me to understand it, but I get it now.
Hell, maybe I always understood it.
In this business, everyone wanted to put you down. In an industry full of testosterone-filled assholes, you had to carve your own path. You didn’t want anyone to be your shield because you wanted to carve up the competition in front of you.
LT, you’ve done just that, and your resume more than speaks for itself.
He pauses as he considers what he’s going to say next and when he opens his mouth, he’s contrite.
Too many times, I voiced opinions that you could care less about, and for that, I’m sorry. You didn’t need my opinions. You didn’t need my thoughts. You needed to know that I respected you in and out of that ring.
Well, you had my respect from day one. When I debuted at ReVolution 116, that was the first time I got to see you wrestle. Teaming up with ol’ Sonny Silver against Olsig and Gamble. I watched you wrestle, and it reminded me of the love I have in the ring. You were graceful and not afraid to be in the face of whoever wanted to get in your face.
You battled against Fuck You. You were aptly named Queen of the Ring for a reason.
It’s hard not to want to stand next to you and battle whatever is coming for you.
As I said, you are the Benchmark.
He then looks back into the camera and the red eyes are back, though only for a brief time.
It is that reason why I needed my final match in my career to be against you. Because every time I’ve stepped foot into the ring this year, I wanted to be tested. Look at the list of people I’ve faced this year.
Garbage Bag Johnny.
And now you, LT. This year, I wanted to face the very best that PRIME has to offer, past, present, and future. Look at that list again.
Hayes Hanlon may be the next Universal Champion tonight.
Garbage Bag Johnny is a former Dual Halo winner.
Great Scott nearly captured the Five-Star Championship twice.
Phil Atken, former Universal Champion.
Nate Colton, current Five-Star Champion.
Cancer Jiles, current Universal Champion.
Tony Gamble, PRIME Hall of Famer.
Wade Elliott, new inductee into the PRIME Hall of Fame.
Nova, PRIME Hall of Famer.
There never could be anyone else, LT. You were always the Final Boss. I may not have won every one of those matches, but I know I gave every single one of them one of the toughest matches they’ve ever had.
The red eyes are then gone once again, a question never to be answered.
This past year was not about climbing mountains and capturing the Universal Championship. It was about cementing my legacy, about who I am in PRIME, what I’ve meant to PRIME, and there’s only one person who can help ensure that happens.
I needed you on the biggest stage of them all. I needed you to close out my year, to close out my career.
He then takes another deep breath in, steadying himself.
Imagine my surprise, though, after my match with Nova and finding out I’ve been inducted into the PRIME Hall of Fame. Shock can’t even begin to describe the feeling. Because my goal was accomplished, and now I get to face off against the person I respect the most in this business.
Thank you, LT. Thank you for stepping out of your owner’s chair and gracing me with this match. It’s the kindest thing you’ve ever done for me.
Win or lose, this match will be remembered forever. Knowing that I’ve earned your respect means more to me than you will ever know.
Just remember, LT, you may be the Queen of the Ring, but Kings Never Die.
And just like that, The Lost Soul disappears as we cut back ringside to Nick Stuart and Richard Parker for our next match.