OPPONENT SELECTION GALA
We then cut to the parking garage of the Paycom Arena, the camera pans around to Nova approaching the Former Chairman of PRIME, Sonny Silver, who is standing next to a portion of the travel lane labeled “Lyft Pick-Up,” dressed in a jet-black suit with a blood-red button-up shirt.
Nova is clad in his wrestling gear, lightning bolt tights, pads, and boots. He doesn’t have a scheduled match on the card.
Nova: (Lighting a cigarette) Hey.
Sonny Silver: Hey.
The Risen Star scratches the back of his scalp awkwardly and takes another drag.
Nova: I, um…
Sonny Silver: You don’t…
Nova: …just wanted to thank you, man, for…for everything.
Sonny gazes back towards the entrance/exit lane of the garage, as if to look for anything to disturb the conversation.
Nova: I couldn’t have done this, stayed in this, without you.
Silver turns back to his friend with a grin that bears none of his signature mischief.
Sonny Silver: Brother…
Silver places a hand on Nova’s shoulder.
Sonny Silver: …you’re still that guy. You may not see it, but you are. So get after it.
The sound of a raucous SUV rolling up distracts them both. Two women hang their heads outside of back passenger windows, beckoning to Silver to join them. He gives them a wink before turning back to Nova.
Sonny Silver: If shit goes off the rails, you know how to get ahold of me, right?
Nova: (Taking a drag) Yeah.
Sonny Silver: And you’re good?
Nova takes a last drag, stomps it on the ground, and gives his friend a nod.
Nova: I’m good. Everything’s gonna be okay.
Silver pauses, gives him a nod, then walks over and climbs into the SUV as the women cheer him on. The vehicle pulls away and Nova can’t help but smile.
As he turns to walk inside, he looks up at monitors that hang over the outside back entrance. Inside the arena, the crew goes to work.
Nick Stuart: Up next, Hoyt Williams.
Richard Parker: With a very special PRIME production!!
Nick Stuart: “Special” being the key word…
Richard Parker: When your car needs a miracle don’t be caught faithless, have a guardian angel looking out for you with, CAR SHIELD. Call for a quote today and save 20% off the purchase of a new policy with the promo code “HoytSaves”!! Roll your chariot to the heavens with peace of mind, don’t get caught broken down on the side of purgatory road.
Nova stops in front of the back entrance just long enough to look up at the monitors, grin, and shake his head. Hoyt gonna Hoyt, almost no one knows that better than Nova.
He pushes open the doors and begins walking through the back hallway, the camera shifting to a rearview where Nova’s back is center stage and it captures his surroundings. Nova looks up at monitors that hang as he makes his way through the hallway.
The lights go dark as the crowd cheers, a single spotlight shines down on four timpani drums on a cleared off staging area near the back of the seating. A large man in a creepy mask recognized as Hoyt’s henchman, Brother Hypocrisy, sits down on the little seat as he pulls out drum sticks and begins playing a drum roll. Behind him in a suit and a producer’s headset is Brother Privilege who sends a cue to the ringside area where Joe Burro sits with a microphone in the announcer’s pit.
Nova stops and stares up at the TV screen in front of him.
Richard Parker: The great Brother Hypocrisy is not only a world-beater but an accomplished Timpani and steel drum musician!! Hoyt’s IMPERIUM is the tops!
Announcer (Joe Burro): LIVE FROM Oklahoma City, sixth to last in Education, it’s PRIME PRESENTS THE HOYT WILLIAMS Opponent SELECTION meeting 2023 Godly Gala of the Heavens!!
Piped in crowd cheers, overpowering the actual crowd sound fills the arena.
Announcer (Joe Burro): Now your host and savior, Current God’s champion, former Universal Champion, Former 5 Star champion, the 8th entrant in the PRIME HALL OF FAME, and ONE HELL OF A MAN!!! It’s Hoyt Williams!!!
Nova’s smile fades.
On-screen, game show music plays loudly as about thirty spotlights flash across the crowd. From the ceiling Hoyt Williams wearing a puffy baby blue tuxedo and large angel wings slowly lowers down to the ring. We go to ringside.
Nick Stuart: If he works on his in-ring work as much as he did on his “performances” this guy would be unstoppable.
The ring is covered in a golden carpet with a large randomizer raffle drum in the center of it. Two very pretty girls stand by the golden randomizer filled with balls with wrestlers’ names on them.
Nick Stuart: What is this, bingo night?
Hoyt touches down and removes the wings and unclips the lowering wires as the gear raises out of camera view. He smiles a big smile and kisses the girls on the side of their cheeks. He waves to the crowd which is cheering loudly (piped in) over the gameshow music. The Pontiff of PRIME does a few jumping jacks for Jesus before grabbing the mic.
Hoyt Williams: Tonight, WE find out WHO my opponent will be at Tropical Turmoil!! It will be my HISTORICAL Pay-Per-View return outside of a gimmicky battle royal. You sinners tonight will bear witness to MY singles in RING RETURN!!! TONIGHT!!!! AMEN!!
The crowd jeers loudly as Hoyt loses his game show host smile.
Backstage, Nova takes a step forward towards the locker room area before changing direction, heading straight towards the Argyle Position.
Hoyt Williams: I don’t have to even wrestle tonight if you people don’t want me to. I will take my crucifix and go home! I mean allowing the sinners of America to see me wrestle on free television is damn near criminal! But, being a man of the people I’m doing my friends at the ACE network a favor by allowing the “savior of ratings” to perform miracles here tonight. Now lets get down to crucifix nails and find out WHO I will be facing, but first a sermon.
Nick Stuart: Ugh.
Hoyt Williams: The book of Job. You see Job was a man who everyone loved. A man of wealth and happiness. A man with wonderful children. A real 1950’s television type family. You know the opposite of Rezin. One day the devil told God he could take Job’s faith. God being a fair and just man of the people agreed and let the devil kill Job’s family and take away all his wealth. In the end Job still praised God! Job was the world’s first Jobber. That’s where that wrestling term Jobber comes from the bible. A lot of people don’t know that.
Nick Stuart: Please.
Richard Parker: You learn something every show.
Hoyt Williams: Tonight I find my Job who I will torment, abuse, and then beat at Tropical Turmoil. Now given the fact I already beat the devil I can’t ask him to pick a Jobber, so I’m using the divine righteous randomizer. Each ball is crafted with a roster members name except for Brandon Youngblood WHOM I WILL NEVER FACE AGAIN!
Hoyt laughs while holding up a ball he pulled from his pocket and dropping it. The ball bounces almost in slow motion and rolls until it falls out of the ring.
Hoyt Williams: We have a red ball in there for Ivan. A plain boring ball for Nate Coleman. A balding ball with little strips of hair for Nova. A bald ball for Rezin. A ball with a Lucha mask for that loser guy. A dented-up ball for Wade Elliot. No balls for the ladies, sorry Troy. A gray ball for Matt Ward. A ball that just says “annoying” for Abe offensive last name. We forgot a ball for Chandler Tsonda, since he’s better left forgotten. I can go on, but most people aren’t worth my time. We got specialized balls for all the members of the roster. Now ladies; and I can call them Ladies since we couldn’t find any here in Oklahoma, we imported some Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders.
The crowd lets the savior know their dissatisfaction.
Hoyt Williams: Oh, real nice! Boo women. Ladies ignore these radicalized unrighteous roughnecks and jiggle my balls!
The girls start spinning the balls around in the randomizer. Hoyt has a big smile upon his face as the spinning stops and one of the girls opens the little hatch. The savior reaches in a grabs the red ball before dropping it for another one. It looks like a plain boring ball and just as he’s about to pull it out…
“Mother Earth is pregnant for the third time…for y’all have knocked her up.”
The crowd erupts as Nova steps out onto the stage, microphone in hand, waving off Hoyt’s presentation and the remainder of his entrance music.
Nova: (Raising the mic) Enough.
Hoyt’s head whips around at the disruption.
Nova: Hoyt, I love you, we came up together.
The crowd pops again for the two elder statesmen of PRIME.
Nova: BUT…(raising a gloved hand)…I’ve had enough of this shit. Really.
Hoyt slowly removes his hand from the randomizer and looks out at Nova. The savior has a panicked look in his eye as he realizes his security team Brother Hypocrisy and Brother Privilege are on the other end of the arena.
Hoyt Williams: Pardon you, the smoking section is out back. This is my time and you are, to use your nomenclature, “bogarting” my minutes. Now do us all a favor and skedaddle while I save the ratings.
The Risen Star shakes his head.
Nova: I don’t think so.
Hoyt Williams: Don’t you take a step closer, or I’ll have you fined!!! I’m calling Lindsey Troy and my friends at the ACE network, and I will be filing a grievance on this encroachment of my time. I didn’t pull your ball. I didn’t choo-
Nova waves an arm, cutting God’s Champion off.
Nova: You didn’t choose shit. I’m sick of this. I’m over this cult shit. I know it’s been your bag since I walked in the door, but MESSIAH and this shit, I just can’t anymore…so save it.
He takes a step down the ramp as the crowd pops.
Nova: Or…I can save it for you.
Williams offers a wild grin.
Hoyt Williams: Hey sinner I’m in a tuxedo and I know it’s colorful but I’m not your jive dealer I’m your savior.
Nova takes another step mockingly forward as the crowd starts a “Holy Shit” chant.
Hoyt Williams: You see your profanity now has them using profanity. Fate is going to pick my next opponent, not your free will!!! Although I still owe you for taking my 5-Star Title in 2005. GODS never forget. Now back out of here bub, before I use a miracle on you and grant you Crohn’s Disease.
Nova: (Shaking his head) I’m not listening to any more of this and I’m not letting you subject anyone else to it, either.
Hoyt Williams: I’m warning you I have a match later tonight and can’t risk getting hurt. You stay out of this ring, ya hear?
Nova enters the ring as Hoyt grabs the two cheerleaders by the back of the neck and positions them in front of him acting as a shield.
Nova: (Cracking his knuckles) Why don’t we catch up and talk about the good ole days?
Hoyt Williams: The world is sick of nostalgia and reboots, this isn’t a Disney property. GET OUT OF HERE SINNER!! AWAY WITH YOU.
Nova is not backing down and is getting near the Savior. Hoyt pushes one of the girls hard towards Nova as he drops down to the mat and rolls out of the other side of the ring.
Nick Stuart: Some savior using a cheerleader as a shield.
Richard Parker: She tripped!!
Nova catches the young lady and gently releases her unharmed as she and the other girl scurry away.
Hoyt Williams: I don’t think so. Not today pal, I can’t risk an injury! These people paid to see me wrestle. You ruined my segment!!!!
Hoyt gets on his golden segway. Nova goes over to the randomizer and pulls out a red golf ball. He has a hard time reading it, so he pulls a pair of spectacles out from inside his right elbow pad and squints down at the text on the ball.
Nova: “Ivan Stanislav”…hey, you sure this wasn’t the one God wanted you to pick?
Nova chucks the ball towards Hoyt as Williams attempts to flee on his scooter. It whizzes past Hoyt’s ear and makes a loud CLANG sound as it hits the guardrail.
A disheveled Hoyt throws his mic at Nova and continues segwaying away. Nova grabs another ball that’s painted with a green-and-black mask.
Nova: Rocky De Leon? Any takers?
He flings that ball at Hoyt, this time nailing him in the back of the head. The crowd pops loud. Nova smiles. Hoyt rubs the back of his head as he speeds away.
Nick Stuart: Where is your savior going to now, Parker?
Richard Parker: He’s protecting the integrity of his match with Anna Daniels later tonight. The man is in a tux and is not prepared for a confrontation. He may be concussed from that ball shot.
Nick Stuart: You mean he doesn’t have his stooges around to protect him. Another religious type caught with his pants down.
Richard Parker: Blasphemy!
Nova reaches into the randomizer and pulls out a ball with stars painted against a dark sky. He smirks as he looks down at the horseshoe of gray-blonde hair glued around the ball’s rim, and closes a gloved fist around it.
Nova: I think I’ll hang onto this one.
The crowd continues to rollick as Hoyt escapes to the back and Nova stands alone in the ring.