We Came as Romans.
Nick Stuart: Folks, welcome back to ringside at ReVival 15 as we approach our main event! And in what’s been an already eventful evening for the rookie Hayes Hanlon, it looks like he wants to address the elephant in the room.
Richard Parker: Looks like it, partner. A loss to GREAT SCOTT has to sting, even worse is getting the news that he won’t be facing Impulse at UltraViolence.
The lights flash and the music blasts, but Hayes avoids the fanfare with his black mustache covering a stiff upper lip. Still in boots and wrestling tights, but with a black shirt with “eGG Beater” across the chest. He must be a coward.
Taking a mic and sliding into the ring, he makes the motion to cut his music, leaving a cheering and rumbling MGM Grand. He paces in a circle, pushing hand through his hair before lifting the mic.
Hayes Hanlon: Well, Vegas, this night’s been disappointing to say the least.
A pause, and a twitch of the ‘stache.
Hayes Hanlon: I disappointed you earlier. Had to take the “L” against “GREAT” SCOTT.
Hayes Hanlon: But worse, disappointed to know that I won’t get my chance to take on Impulse.
The boos turn into a low murmur. Hayes shakes his head, then holds out his arms.
Hayes Hanlon: Knox is gone. Breach of contract. And so is our match at UltraViolence.
Nick Stuart: A huge bump in the road for the young star. That was going to be a big match, Richard.
Richard Parker: It was, Nick. I was looking forward to watching Hayes splatter him Youngblood-style.
Hayes Hanlon: Troy tells me they’re “working on it,” but man? I’m just not a very patient guy, so I needed to come out here and get some answers. Because I deserve it, Vegas, YOU deserve it!
But before the MGM crowd can pop for the Event Horizon, the PRIME*View suddenly lights up in a bright, piercing crimson color. The Event Horizon turns and stares up at it, as does the rest of the audience.
Nick Stuart: Folks I apologize, I think we’re having some technical difficulties…
But as everyone stares up at the crimson screen, the camera view pulls back to reveal more of what they’re actually looking at:
A crimson flag…
…with a golden hammer and sickle.
Nick Stuart: Oh no…
Richard Parker: Oh…YES…
Many attendees don’t know what they’re looking at. Many don’t even know what that flag means nowadays. Yet Nick finishes his thought a raucous, jarring, grating, seismic, and wholly unmistakable laugh echoes through the arena. Some still are unaware, but older attendees raise their hands in the air with confusion as they stare at one another, dumbfounded.
And as the mountainous man, who can only be the Russian, Ivan Stanislav, walks from off screen into view, his comrade in arms, the smaller Alexei Ruslan, follows. Stanislav, a bear of a man, is over seven feet tall and clad in his black t-shirt, red suspenders, and his black pants with a red line running down the outside of each leg. The yellow hammer and sickle of the Former Soviet Union rests proudly over his left pectoral as he assaults the crowd with another booming guffaw while Ruslan, wearing his white shirt, black tie, brown trench coat, and peaked brown military cap (of course with hammer and sickle on the side) grins deviously next to him.
Ivan Stanislav: DYAAHAAHAA!!
Alexei speaks first, his English certainly passable. He feigns confusion. Badly.
Alexei Ruslan: Oh ho! We do so hate to interrupt this moment, Hayes Hanlon, but perhaps myself and Comrade Stanislav can help illuminate your current predicament! What do you say, Ivan Sergeiovich?
He peers up at his larger, looming comrade. Stanislav runs his hand through his gray/black beard and glowers at the camera. The two stand there and it is, truly, the setup of a classic promo from yesteryear. Two combatants standing in front of a background speaking their mind. No frills required. No fancy camera work needed. Just the sheer force of will of two pissed off Russians. Stanislav’s angular Russian accent bleeds through his English.
Ivan Stanislav: What do I say, Alexei Gregorovich? Well, little bird flew all the way to Russia to tell me that someone on roster needed thrashing. And who else to give a thrashing but Ivan Sergeiovich Stanislav? Eh?
Alexei Ruslan: And where else to do it but at UltraViolence!
Ruslan fishes into the breast pocket of his coat and produces a paper. He looks down at it and reads the contents.
Alexei Ruslan: The new match for UltraViolence? Ivan Stanislav versus Hayes Hanlon. Signed by Lindsay Troy herself!
He looks up at the camera and waggles his finger in its direction.
Alexei Ruslan: The front office must really despise you, Mr. Hanlon. Because there is nothing that can stop The Russian Bear from absolutely annihilating you come UltraViolence.
Stanislav motions for the camera to pan up closer to him. This removes all but Ruslan’s hat from the frame.
Ivan Stanislav: I thought it would only be fair, Hanlon, to give you enough time to alert your next of kin prior to our match. Because you will have far worse than that limp wrist of yours once I get my hands on you. Rest assured, I am not flying across world, into United States of America, and not utterly obliterating you. Any attendee at UltraViolence, I warn you all that if you’re within first ten rows, be aware I may Red Scare that pathetic excuse for wrestler directly through your seat!
Stanislav’s angry, creased face fills the frame now with just the red of the flag barely visible behind him.
Ivan Stanislav: PRIME! Stanislav and Rulsan invaded your airwaves long ago and you barely survived! Come UltraViolence, The Russian Bear returns! I will be there. Alexei will be there. And little Hayes Hanlon? You’ll be leaving arena sipping through straw!
The camera zooms out to show the two Russians. Alexei looks so giddy he might explode. He looks at the camera and points up at his massive comrade. He’s waited a long time to say this once more. He stares intensely at the camera, with a crooked maniacal look in his eyes.
Alexei Ruslan: I am sure that if you are such great fan of our sport, you know this already, Hanlon. But perhaps it bears repeating! You are looking at The Russian Bear, Ivan Sergeiovich Stanislav. He is unstoppable! He is unbeatable! He is indefatigable! Hayes Hanlon? You will be just another casualty in our Great Patriotic War!
Stanislav looks over at Alexei, who looks back at his best friend. And the two Russians laugh and laugh and laugh.
Ivan Stanislav: DYAAHAAHAAAA!!
Alexei Ruslan: Hee hee haa!!!
The camera doesn’t fade to black.
It burns to red and bathes a wide-eyed Hayes, and the MGM crowd, in crimson.
Richard Parker: Ohhh YESSS!!
Nick Stuart: This is WILD, folks!! Hayes Hanlon may not get his shot at Impulse, but he may have MUCH bigger problems on his hands!! By all accounts, the Russian Bear will meet the Event Horizon at UltraViolence!!!
Richard Parker: MUCH BIGGER PROBLEMS!
Nick Stuart: Stick around! We’re heading to commercial, and Bobby Dean vs. Brandon Youngblood is waiting on the other side!