OH, YOU DIDN’T KNOW?
“Лично я считаю, что лучший наряд был у товарища Сталина, Алексей.” (Personally, I thought Comrade Stalin wore the best outfit, Alexei…)
“Нет, Иван, я сойду в могилу, предпочитая модные тонкости Ленина.” (No, Ivan, I will go to the grave preferring the fashion sensibilities of Lenin.)
Say what you will about how backward Ivan Stanislav and Alexei Ruslan are when it comes to most western topics, but they certainly know their Soviet fashion. The two men walk through the rear parking area of the Smoothie King Center. Stanislav has a duffel bag slung over his shoulder as he walks in lock-step with Alexei, though neither are paying much attention to what is in front of them as they carry on.
It’s not until the two exit the building that they both look up and across the outer lot. It’s illuminated by several large lamps, but other areas are blanketed in darkness. What catches their eyes, however, is the person standing in front of Ivan’s large, black bus that hauls him around:
The Event Horizon, Hayes Hanlon.
Stanislav looks down at Alexei and then back at Hanlon with an obvious look of bewilderment. Alexei takes Ivan’s bag as The Russian Bear slowly trudges towards the former Universal Champ.
Ivan Stanislav: I did not know cockroaches made their way this far out of building…
Hayes Hanlon: And I didn’t know they stacked communist shit that high.
Ruslan seethes behind Ivan and places the bag down next to him, but he allows Ivan to do the talking. Though Ivan scowls down at Hayes, there is a slight smirk in the corner of his mouth.
Ivan Stanislav: I know American’s like to have fights out in parking lots. Show how tough they are. But I have plane to catch. Besides, I would not want to mess up that pretty mustache. Not when I can do it in front of live audience at later date.
Hayes Hanlon: You’re looking forward to that, huh?
Hanlon, uncrossing the arms from his chest, takes one short step forward, craning his neck to look up at the Russian Bear.
Hayes Hanlon: Not as much as I am. And you know why.
Ivan Stanislav: Your fate was sealed, Hayes, when you were booked against me at UltraViolence. You should have known better than to accept tainted “victory” over me at that bout. You were too distracted thinking about yourself, eh? The young up-and-comer who beat all odds? You did not think ahead to the fact that you would have a “bear” of a problem on your hands later.
Ivan waves his hand across the parking lot.
Ivan Stanislav: Lindsay Troy parades you out like puppet on strings in her home town at ReVival 21. You are heroic new champion, yes? But where is Lindsay Troy now, eh? She gives not a damn about you. When you are not useful to her, she discards you like garbage. Typical capitalist. You should have let disqualification happen against Rezin! You would still have championship belt! Now look at you. Mustache has lost its luster, has it not?
Ivan spreads his arms wide and grins.
Ivan Stanislav: There is no parade now, is there? No pomp and circumstance for you. You served that belt up to Rezin on silver platter despite my trying to help you! You could have had one on one match against me and lost later, but instead chose to lose sooner. You lost that belt on first title defense against a degenerate!
Ruslan tsks gloatingly behind Ivan.
Alexei Ruslan: Poor, poor Hayes…
Hayes Hanlon: (Turning toward Alexei and interrupting him) Are you trying to get knocked out again, buddy? Because so far you’re 2 for 2.
Ruslan grouses and puffs up his chest. He looks around Ivan a bit and scoffs in Russian to his larger comrade.
Alexei Ruslan: Я говорю, мы вырубим этого крысиного ублюдка и покончим с ним, Прапорщик. (I say we knock this rat bastard out now and finish him, Praporshchik.)
Stanislav grunts but says nothing.
Hayes Hanlon: (Turning back to Ivan.) And I’m curious how yeeting me out of the ring and onto the damn entrance ramp was helping me, but I guess they do things different in Russia. Usually poorly.
Before Alexei can further make his case, Hayes claps his hands together.
Hayes Hanlon: Man, I know you’re supposed to be some kind of boogeyman, and I’ve heard the stories of your Red Army in old PTC, but that’s the key word isn’t it?
The ‘Stache curls, and those deep brown eyes narrow.
Hayes Hanlon: “Old.”
The Russian Bear’s broad chest fills at the notion, and his eyes widen, but not before Hammerin’ Hanlon can put up a hand.
Hayes Hanlon: It’s cool. I’m not gonna sit here and piss and moan about how you screwed me out of my belt. I’ll come back from that loss. And you may have everyone fooled around here, big guy. But not me. Because I already beat your ass once.
A long breath through the nose for Home Run Hayes, standing as tall as he’s able.
Hayes Hanlon: And I’m gonna do it again.
Stanislav sneers down at Hayes and closes what little distance there is between them. Ruslan skirts to the side, though he has no way of getting behind Hayes because of the bus at his back. Still, that leaves Hanlon with little options in terms of an exit.
Ivan Stanislav: Do it again? I give you this, Hayes, you have much heart. But you are delusional if you believe that Ivan will be as rusty as he was in our first match. Yes, I admit it. It had been twenty years since I wrestled and you barely survived and still needed to twist the rules to win. You would not be first to convince themselves that I am too old, or too big, to pose a true threat. You also would not be first to learn the hard way how wrong they are. I remember how you squealed when I bit your face and tasted your blood at UltraViolence. How you weakly flailed in ring when I revealed to everyone how impotent you and Rezin are.
Stanislav lifts two huge fingers and puts them in Hanlon’s face.
Ivan Stanislav: Two times in as many weeks have I rendered Rezin, and yourself, on your backs while I stood triumphant. Get used to it, child. Maybe you make yourself useful at Culture Shock and you catch Rezin again, eh? I then pin you both at same time. Rest assured it will take more than medics to help you up. It will take miracle.
Stanislav lowers his fingers and jerks his head to the side.
Ivan Stanislav: Now out of my way. I am sure you have whores to pay for and teeny boppers waiting to swoon for you.
As Stanislav moves toward the entrance to his bus, Hayes, perhaps recklessly, puts a hand to Ivan’s chest.
Hayes Hanlon: Oh, you didn’t know?
Ivan’s searing eyes turn slowly down to the former champion, offering just enough time before throwing him through said bus.
Hayes Hanlon: All I do is make miracles.
With a deep, fiery snort, Ivan shoves Hanlon’s hand away and lumbers to the bus door. Ruslan follows behind, glaring hard at the eGG Beater. In a few moments, the bus air brake releases, and rolls off out of the parking lot, leaving Hayes behind to watch it leave.