MATT MILLS MEETS THE LION OF LAREDO
Ringside, things haven’t gotten too loud yet, as fans are still pouring into the stadium. The camera is feeding live from the ringside commentary table.
Nick Stuart: And now we take you live to Matt Mills, who is out in the halls here at the MGM Grand to get a read on the audience and who they hope takes home a victory today.
Nick is all smiles – blinding white teeth against an unnaturally golden tan for November. He appears to be in a good mood, unlike his cohost, who seems to be practically sweating out impatience from his pores.
Richard Parker: Yessiree, I’m sure our audience at home will just love hearing what the audience that was able to actually afford tickets is thinking.
Nick Stuart: What’s it like down there, Matt?
Cut to the tunnels of the arena where Matt Mills is standing in front of a PRIME drop banner holding a microphone with a big foam ball on top. Matt is practically vibrating with energy as he can’t help but smile at the camera.
Matt Mills: Boy, I tell ya, Nick, I’ve never seen such an excited crowd. These people are PRIMEd (yuck yuck) to be here today, and the excitement just vibrates through your bones. Let’s have a chat with a few lucky ReVival 20 attendees, excuse me, miss!?
A young woman in her early twenties wearing a leather skirt, 4” platform army boots, fishnets, and a crop top shirt, continues walking at a brisk pace past Matt. She is carrying a sign that reads, “Anna’s gonna drink some Youngblood!” She spits out a rapid response.
Punk Rocker Attendee: I have a boyfriend.
Unphased, Matt seeks out another attendee to speak with.
Matt Mills: How wonderful for you!
He cups his hand to his mouth and speaks louder.
Matt Mills: Who are you here rooting fo- ok, she’s walking away, but she’s clearly thrilled to be here. Also, as you can see by the sign, she’s betting on Anna Daniels to come out on top over Brandon Youngblood in their match tonight. You, sir! In the white shirt! Yes, step this way please, over in front of the camera, perfect. What’s your name, sir, and where are you from?
Carlos De Leon stops walking through the arena and beams at Matt. He almost sprints over to the camera and matches Matt’s level of excitement, grinning from ear to ear.
Rocky De Leon: I’m Rocky De Leon, from Laredo, Texas. They call me the Laredo Lion!
Rocky bares his teeth and flexes for the camera. Matt appears to pay no attention to the flex. He relaxes a little, and moves on with his questioning.
Matt Mills: Great to meet you, Rocky! Here all the way from Laredo, huh? Boy, you must really be excited to get in there. I won’t keep you too long, I’m sure you want to get to your seat before the action starts, but let me ask – what are you most excited about today at ReVival 20?
Rocky De Leon: I’m just pumped to get a chance to scope out and study my competition. It’s one thing to watch the Luchador on TV, it’s another to analyze his every move from ringside. I’m going to study him like he’s my 11th grade physics final so after I fight my way to that title match, I’ll know exactly what it takes to beat him, and every. Single. Weakness. He might possibly have.
Rocky points hard into the camera on each of “every,” “single,” and weakness. He continues to look visibly elated to be there, like a college student that just got called onto The Price is Right.
Matt is momentarily visibly confused.
Matt Mills: Haha, you have quite the imagination, there, friend. I take it you have the PRIME PS5 game at home?
Rocky loses his edge for a moment, realizing the interviewer has no idea what he’s talking about. He briefly shows a tiny bit of embarrassment.
Rocky De Leon: Oh, no, sir, I’m sorry. I’m actually a wrestler. I’m new here – just not fighting tonight.
Matt Mills: REALLY?! Well that is just fantastic, I tell you what, son. It’s great to see new faces. You’re hoping to get in there with the Anglo Luchador himself, eh? Well, good luck to you! You’ve got a long road ahead and a lot of competition to get through first.
Rocky De Leon: Oh, I know it. I’ve been working out for months, but I’m looking to get in with a great trainer to nail down my move set.
Rocky flexes for the camera again.
Matt Mills: Well now, that’s just fantastic! What sort of wrestling style do you think you’ll employ, and why is it that you think you’ve got what it takes to take down the current PRIME champion without having ever wrestled a match?
Rocky De Leon: Honestly, it’s hard to say. I’m still developing my technique, which is part of what I want training for. I’ve been working on this awesome finisher I call the flying squirrel. As for why I think I can win? It’s because I want it, Matt. I *yearn* for it. Drive. Desire. Ambition. The current roster members are riding high, but they’ve started to forget what it’s like to be hungry, and Matt? It’s been a long time since I had a burger.
Matt Mills: Love to hear that unbridled optimism, young man. The flying squirrel, huh? Is that how you got your nickname?
Rocky De Leon: Unrelated. But hey, Matt – can I call you Matt? I feel like I’ve known you for years, watching all your interviews. Sometimes I feel like I watch your interviews as closely, or more so, than the matches. I have to tell you, man, I’m a huge fan of your work. I was just rewatching your interview of Dave Gibson introducing Eddie Cross. Dave is quite a character – how on earth did you maintain composure during that whole thing?
Rocky stops grinning and adopts a focused demeanor, clearly settling into the attitude of a trained interviewer and journalist. He maintains a pleasant smile, but no longer radiates puppy-dog like vibes, and begins acting every bit the professional Matt has to this moment.
Matt Mills: Really? You rewatch *MY* stuff? Wow. Honestly, maintaining composure just sort of comes with the territory. After you’ve been doing this as long as I have, you learn to quietly appreciate the wrestlers that engage professionally, and just let the negative ones roll off your back like water off a duck. I won’t pretend it isn’t hard sometimes, but hey – that’s the job.
Rocky De Leon: Absolutely. Would you be willing to tell me a bit about your process? How do you decide what questions to ask the wrestlers? What’s your preparation look like?
Matt loses a little poise and stumbles a bit for his words, clearly unprepared for someone to address questions to him.
Matt Mills: …Funny, you know, you get so used to asking questions, you don’t really know how to act when you have to answer them. I suppose it’s mostly instinct at this point. I just ask what I want to know and what enters my head on the fly.
Rocky De Leon: You always get to ask everyone who they think is going to win, but do you have a favorite wrestler to watch or anyone you’re rooting for today?
Matt Mills: Hah, well, as a PRIME employee, I’m not exactly allowed to pick (or at least, publicly announce) favorites.
Rocky De Leon: That’s understandable. What about stories? What’s your favorite PRIME story or match in your time working here?
Matt Mills: Gee, um, there are just so many to pick from… I don’t know if I can choose, but honestly, this entire year has been just amazing, and I’m thrilled to be back and a part of the magic again!
Rocky De Leon: Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but for me at least it’s always been apparent that you take immense personal joy from watching these wrestlers. Has it always been that way? Or did you develop your love of wrestling later in life? OH, it looks like the match will be starting soon. I better get to my seat. It was a real pleasure meeting you Matt – I’d love to get the chance to talk with you again sometime and pick your brain on interviewing styles!
Matt Mills: um, sure, yeah, I guess?
The camera cuts back to the ringside feed.
Richard Parker: What the hell was that?
Nick Stuart: Sounded like an up and coming challenger! Will he be the next amazing PRIME wrestler? Will he get CTE after his first match, then we never see or hear from him again? Who can say?
Richard Parker: I don’t know, but I *can* say he’s gone now, so it’s time to focus on the ring…