VVHETTING THE BLADE
We go backstage to Argyle, where we are greeted by our favorite boy in blue.
Simon Tillier: ReVival 38 continues, ladies and gentlemen! Simon Tillier here backstage, and with me now is one of tonight’s competitors in the Almasy Tournament… Kerry Kuroyama!
Standing astride the junior reporter is the aforementioned Emerald Apex. Clad in his silver-and-green robe, Kerry looks loose and focused in the minutes before his second-round venture. The picture of pre-match preparedness.
Standing close at his shoulder is his unwitting assistant, Scott Hunter, holding ready a towel and water bottle.
Simon Tillier: Kerry, how are you feeling tonight?
Kerry draws in a breath, gazing into something a million miles away. Heavy calm-before-the-storm vibes.
Kerry Kuroyama: Tranquil and tenacious, Simon. And hungry. Like an animal, waiting to be set free from its cage. Ready to extend my claws…
Seattle’s BEAST rubs his palms together.
Kerry Kuroyama: I’ve been waiting weeks for this moment, Simon. To take the next step forward in this tournament, and one step closer to the endgame. To be given the next opportunity to prove my level of exceptionalism, as a powerful and pure professional wrestler.
He rolls his neck and snorts with all the fury of a stallion.
Simon Tillier: Since you arrived in PRIME, you’ve made it no secret that you are a person of great ambitions.
Kuroyama concurs with a slow and deliberate series of nods.
Simon Tillier: It certainly showed back at ReVival 36, with the relentless performance we witnessed in your debut match… coincidentally, against the man currently standing behind you.
Hunter is aloofly staring at the boom mic hanging offscreen over their heads.
Simon Tillier: But do you feel you can maintain that level of momentum against the high-flying and popular fan favorite, Rocky de Leon?
Kerry lets out a low, singular chuckle.
Kerry Kuroyama: We’re in Greensboro tonight, Simon. A city where the tradition of professional wrestling runs deep. The people here don’t suffer fools gladly. Regardless of whatever buffoonery happens here tonight, whether it be in the ring or back here, you can expect the action to be the consistent center of attention. And as a man you yourself describe as someone of great ambitions, I’m counting on that.
Kerry’s determined eyes find the camera.
Kerry Kuroyama: Because I define myself by my actions. Not what I dress up as. Not what I shriek out to the fans. What I do. And regardless of what happens tonight, I can promise you, Simon, that what I do to the ptera-dork out there tonight… will not be pretty.
The junior reporter shifts his attention over to the sycophant hovering close by.
Simon Tillier: Scott, considering you were his first opponent here in PRIME, I would make the case that you know this man’s abilities in the ring better than anyone else in that locker room right now. That said, how do you feel about Kerry’s chances against Rocky de Leon?
Scott Hunter: I have full confidence that my best friend Kerrance Kuroyama can easily handle the lion puncher. You can’t punch lions and get away with it! This cannot stand! We will protect the lions if no one else will, whether they are from Detroit, or they’re cowardly, or they are being punched by Sylvester Stallone.
Kuroyama gives Hunter a brief side-eye, but says nothing.
Simon Tillier: And what would it mean to you, should the Pacific Blitzkrieg take the next step forward tonight? Will you continue to support him the whole way?
Scott Hunter: Are you dumb?
Scott looks at Kerry.
Scott Hunter: Is he dumb?
Kerry Kuroyama: (shrugs) Probably.
Scott Hunter: Yours is a question that is both infinitely stupid and ill-formed. Your brain is likely made out of mashed potatoes, and you probably put white gravy on those mashed potatoes instead of brown, like some sort of barbarian. Listen here Hungry Jack, my support of Vae Victis and specifically Kerry Kuroyama is absolute. Do you hear what I said?!?! SPECIFICALLY!
Simon arches his eyebrow back to Kerry.
Simon Tillier: Well, Kerry… I suppose you should consider yourself fortunate to have such loyalty at your back in your journey to the top.
Kerry Kuroyama: “Fortunate”… sure, I guess that’s one way of putting it. Still, there’s no harm in having some back-up…
He casts another doubtful side-eye toward Scott again.
Kerry Kuroyama: …yet.
Simon Tillier: In any case, Kerry, I suppose I should wish you the best of luck in the ring tonight against Rocky.
Kerry Kuroyama: I don’t need luck against cosplay creeps, Simon. I just need five minutes between the ropes, and a ref that can do their job. If that’s all you got, then please pardon me… I have a flyboy to fossilize.
Simon’s expression sours. Kuroyama nods to Hunter.
Kerry Kuroyama: Don’t wait up, Scott. I don’t think I’ll be needing that towel when I’m done. See you back at the clubhouse.
Scott Hunter: ON IT, KERRANCE!!
Kerry holds out his fist for a bump. Scott covers it within his hand and gives it a firm, supportive shake. Kuroyama can only clench his eyes shut and shake his head before heading toward the curtain, Simon scornfully watching him exit.
We then cut… elsewhere.