POSITIVE DETERMINATION SEEKING
We return to ReVival 13 – and to a shot of our esteemed announce team.
Nick Stuart: Welcome back to PRIME, ladies and gentlemen. While we have one heck of a card still to come… during the break, we have… what’s the term? A situation? Yes… a situation has developed in the ring. The show has come to a bit of a halt while we deal with it, and for that we sincerely apologize to the viewing audience at home.
Richard Parker: A situation? Tell it like it is: some nut job hopped the guardrail. Where are our boys to clear him out?
Stuart’s hand goes to his ear and he listens intently for a few minutes.
Nick Stuart: I… I’m being told we’re going to… what? Is that right? Yes… we’re apparently going to show the gentlemen in the ring…
Richard Parker: Brilliant move.
The camera cuts from the announce team to the PRIME squared circle. In the middle, pacing back and forth and gesturing toward the fans, is a muscular bald man with a long brown beard. He’s dressed in khakis, a blue button up, and a dark blue tie. His eyes squint toward the PRIMEates in a distrustful and suspicious manner, while his mouth forms one of the most punchable smirks you’ve ever seen.
Despite not being under contract, standing in the center of the PRIME ring is Ned Reform.
Nick Stuart: Wait… I… we know him. At least, he’s made a name for himself in other organizations.
Richard Parker: But not in PRIME… so who cares? Where are the Enemigos?
Reform is smiling and mouthing something to the ringside fans… when a stagehand jogs out from the back. The stagehand hits the ring, walks briskly up the steps and… hands Reform a mic!? Ned smiles, thanks the lad before snatching it out of his hands and then quickly dismissing him. Reform taps the mic a few times, causing it to echo throughout the arena unpleasantly. He then raises the mic to his mouth as his smile widens. Before he speaks, he turns to take in the entire arena of fans, moving in a slow circle. There is a small smattering of jeers from those familiar with his exploits in DEFIANCE and SHOOT Project, but as a newcomer he met with almost entirely no response. When the circle is complete, he finally breaks his silence.
Ned Reform: …children! For those of you who are not familiar with my many great deeds in the world of professional wrestling, please allow me to introduce myself. It is I!!
Reform noticeable puffs out his chest a bit.
Ned Reform: DOCTOR Ned Reform! And I would be remiss if I did not first acknowledge that it is my absolute pleasure to be in front of you all here tonight… as well as being broadcast for the fine viewing audience. I want all of you…
Again, Reform spins in a slow circle around the entire arena, but this time with a single finger outstretched.
Ned Reform: …as well as all the individuals at home, to take in this moment. Really look. Create a snapshot in your mind and sketch it on your brain. For you see, these are the closing moments of the “old” PRIME. For all intents and purposes, you may consider this episode of ReVival as your metaphorical “big bang.” This universe is about to begin anew. Forget what you knew, because PRIME is about to shift and change… for the better. You see, I have a plan. Not only that, I have a strategic plan.
That draws a bit more of a negative reaction. Not so sure the audience thinks PRIME needs any changing.
Ned Reform: Now, now. I know it’s a difficult concept to wrap your head around. We often lash out when we’re going to lose the familiar and safe. Even when said “familiar” is unfiltered and harmful garbage television that insults our intelligence. For most of you, the way PRIME exists in its current state is “the norm.” It must be said: the issues in PRIME are systemic and run deep, and it’s likely many of you lack the critical reflection skills and larger context to even understand why PRIME is so desperately in need of… well, reform. Little pun there, you see. But I cannot fault any of you for being prisoners of your own narrow minded encephalons, can I? You’re all products of your environment, after all, and I should not expect…
Okay. Now this is really rubbing people the wrong way and the boos intensify. Reform pauses as he hears the negative reaction. He shakes his head and smiles wistfully before continuing.
Ned Reform: Yes. Undoubtedly this is unpleasant to hear. But as I go about my mission to educate PRIME, I want you all to remember one simple fact. You didn’t do any of this. In fact, you’re prisoners. Trapped in a never ending cycle of mediocrity and anti-intellectualism. But this was done TO you. This… is not your fault.
Reform walks over to the camera positioned on the ring apron and gets close enough that he nearly fills the entire frame.
Ned Reform: It is not your fault.
Reform nods, allowing the “gravity” of that very generous statement to really hit home. He then moves away from the lens, looking out into the sea of people opposite the hardcam. He points at them.
Ned Reform: It is not your fault.
Points to the nosebleeds.
Ned Reform: It is not your fault.
Another section. Every time Reform says the phrase, he adds more gravity and “sincerity” to it.
Ned Reform: It IS NOT your fault!
Point to the crowd on the hardcam section.
Ned Reform: It. Is. Not. Your. Fault.
Reform is now seemingly near tears as he offers this extremely magnanimous phrase that absolves the PRIME fans of any wrongdoing. The people, however, are not as enthralled with Reform’s “moving” speech as he would have liked. Either they can smell a poor movie parody when they hear it or they’re just finding this newcomer to be an obnoxious jerk. Either way, the entire arena is now letting him have it with jeers. Reform’s movements gain more intensity and his voice seems about to hit its dramatic crescendo.
Ned Reform: IT! IS! NOT! YOUR!
The ominous opening chords to “Put ‘Em in the Grave” by Jedi Mind Tricks blasts through the Grand Garden Arena’s speakers. The PRIMEates erupt into cheers as the curtain parts and Lindsay Troy walks out onto the stage, microphone in hand and she does Not. Look. Pleased.
Nick Stuart: We wanted the Enemigos and instead we’ve got The Boss!
Richard Parker: God, about time.
The Queen signals for her music to be cut and gives Ned a glare that, if we lived in a just world, would evaporate him on sight.
Lindsay Troy: Nedward.
Lindsay Troy: I see nobody attended your office hours again.
Reform smiles – finally, he’s gotten the person he’s been looking for.
Ned Reform: Yes! Ms. Troy! I trust that you looked over the PowerPoint that I emailed you. I believe that if begin right away, we can…
With a quick flick of her hand, Lindsay signals the production team to cut “The Good Doctor”’s mic. He looks down at his hand, raps on the head of the mic to no avail, and then starts screaming in the middle of the ring.
Lindsay Troy: Can it, dickwad. Everyone’s heard enough out of you tonight.
Reform is yelling at a stagehand for a new mic, but he finds no assistance, so he looks toward the stage in a rage.
Lindsay Troy: I thought I made it clear two weeks ago that your presence isn’t wanted in my company and yet, here you are again, skittering around like a cockroach. Since you didn’t seem to take the hint at ReVival 12, maybe you will at ReVival 14.
Nick Stuart: What is she saying? She can’t be thinking…
Richard Parker: By the grin on her face, Nick, I think she is thinking what you’re thinking…
Lindsay Troy: Let’s see if you still want to work here so badly in two weeks. The PRIMEates are gonna love seeing you get beaten from pillar to post, and I promise you….you’re going to wish you never found your way into my house.
“Put ‘Em in the Grave” plays once more as Troy smirks from her place on the stage. In the ring, Reform’s brow furrows as he appears to process exactly what this means for him. He begins to pace and rub his chin thoughtfully.
Nick Stuart: I think… I think in two weeks time, we’re going to see Ned Reform in a PRIME ring.
Richard Parker: Sounds like the boss has got something special planned for him…