SHOVE THAT ORANGE UP YOUR ASS
And shortly after our opening contest, we return to the Amway Center with the ever so sharply dressed Simon Tillier standing in the middle of the ring, microphone in hand.
Simon Tillier: Fans, at this time, I would like to introduce the man I will be interviewing. He is a PRIME Hall of Famer, the only three time 5 Star Champion in promotion history. The 2009 Jewel in the Crown. And in the last year, he has taken his legacy to new heights. The winner of the Seymour Almasy Invitation Tournament. A former Universal Champion. To date in the ReVival Era, the only competitor to successfully defend the Universal Championship multiple times. The 2022 PRIME Wrestler of the Year. Fans…he is…Brandon. Youngblood.
BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD
SKULLS FOR THE SKULL THRONE
LET THE GALAXY BURN
From the very start of Bloodsport (World Domination) by HEALTH, Brandon Youngblood surges from the curtain and into the well of sound filling the Amway Center. Through the blinding blue and white strobing light cutting through the darkness, the Tower of Babel powerwalks, his eyes trained forward, his hallmark scowl of intensity painting his face. He isn’t dressed to compete, but he’d be quick to be able to throw down if needed in his street clothes. There is no hesitation in his movement, and without a second thought, he climbs the ring steps, stepping between the ropes, and as he does, he explodes upright. Walking over to Tillier, the music and the roar of the fans continue, causing the Diamond of the ReVival to flash a quick smirk before returning to Anger Golum state. Hands on his hips, the music fades, but the cheers do not, going on for several more seconds, chanting his name before, finally, all that is left is a buzz.
The size difference between the two in the ring is almost comical. All the same, Simon stands firm, microphone drawn to his lips as the Tower of Babel stands within reach.
Simon Tillier: Brandon, on ReVival 21, before your match with PRIME Hall of Famer Tony Gamble, you were approached by myself for an interview about a myriad of topics. Understandable given your notoriety to try and focus. But you did say that you would appear on ReVival 22 to answer any and all of my questions. I appreciate you coming out and being a man of your word.
All Youngblood offers is a nod of acknowledgement.
Simon Tillier: That being said, tonight, Nate Colton, the 5 Star Champion, is in action, defending his newly won title against The Time Lord, Anna Daniels. It would be remiss, however, to not note…that one of the reasons Colton was able to secure the championship at Colossus is because you, rather than attempting to break up the pinfall on Rezin, grabbed hold of then champion FLAMBERGE and locked him in the Kata-Ha-Jime…The Gridlock…forcing him to watch as the title changed hands. The fans around the world want to know…why? Was it your personal relationship with Colton? Were you focused solely on revenge on FLAMBERGE for his role in costing you the Universal Championship? Or did you believe yourself to be above the 5 Star Championship?
The sharpness of the questions causes some in the audience to boo. In the past, this would be a terrible strategy. But after a few moments, the Hall of Famer looks to the fans, and begins to speak.
Brandon Youngblood: OOOOOOOOOOOOOOORLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANDO!
The roar brings another volley of cheers. Smiles all around. And once they dim, Brandon’s eyes fall, meeting Tillier’s.
Brandon Youngblood: You don’t want to pull punches?
There is no comical gulp. Maybe it is thanks to the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Maybe it is thanks to so many run-ins with a certain Goat Bastard. But what happens next surprises him. An extended hand from the Tower of Babel for a handshake. Simon takes it, and the pair nod at each other, letting go before Brandon goes about speaking.
Brandon Youngblood: I like that. I respect that. And you’re right. I did say I’d answer any and all of your questions. What I’m saying in this ring? It ain’t bullshit. People might not agree with it…I don’t care. A year ago, when PRIME returned…
A slight pause.
Brandon Youngblood: When PRIME returned…when I returned…
He turns his eyes to face toward the Orlando crowd.
Brandon Youngblood: I made it a point to be honest. To be transparent. So when you ask a question like that, as uncomfortable as it may be, I’m going to give it to you straight. I’ve been 5 Star Champion three times over. Only one man…Killean Sirrajin…can say he ever took it from me in the ring. That Championship is tied to what I am in PRIME. And I ain’t foolish enough to ever turn my nose up to it. Not then. Not now.
The meaty paw of Brandon is overtop of Simon’s microphone gripped hand.
Brandon Youngblood: Going into Colossus, all I wanted was FLAMBERGE. Just FLAMBERGE. So when he beat Rezin…when he won the 5 Star Championship…that just became part of it. Me and him. One on one. After what he did…after what he cost me…after how he used me to try and make his name…I wanted to hurt him, Simon. I wanted to hurt him bad. And you know…taking his title…my whole thought process…I wanted him at Colossus. Him…the future. The upstart. The French Super Athlete. But the 5 Star? No.
A slight chuckle.
Brandon Youngblood: No…taking the title from him wasn’t going to be enough for me. He tried to jumpstart his career on my back. Tried to make his name on my bones. And I was going to take that back. I was going to hurt him in a way he’d never…ever…be able to recover from. I’m called by many the best 5 Star Champion there ever was. How damning would it be for Julien…for little ole FLAMBO…if he LOST to the best 5 Star Champion at Colossus…yet still had to lug around that title knowing…knowing…it didn’t matter. That his reign, it could last forever…and it wouldn’t…matter. Paper Champion. A ceiling he could never break.
His eyes narrow.
Brandon Youngblood: Then…while that title belt sat at my house…while me and Nate Colton were preparing to kick the shit out of the Love Convoy…and kick the shit out of them we did…
That gets quite a loud cheer. Then again, rubbing it in the faces of PRIME’s ‘Real Tag Team Champions’ is sure to be a hit in most arenas and stadiums.
Brandon Youngblood: Royal decree. It’s a four way. And then I have to look beside myself, to the young man eating my food, watching my tape, the man I counted on to have my back in the ring against Darin Zion and Jonathan-Christopher Hall…and wonder…wonder if his eyes are getting bigger than his stomach. Thankfully…Nate Colton is built out of stronger stuff, but after we took care of that business, I was…like I’ve been since Phil Atken kicked me in the face and broke my nose…left adrift. Trying to figure out the path forward. See, my thoughts, my plan, it didn’t mean shit anymore. So I tried to say to myself…that 5 Star Championship match at Colossus was to determine who was truly…truly…the best WRESTLER in the world. That was going to be what I constructed in my head to do what I had to do. A fourth reign with the 5 Star? Great. But I’d win. I’d make the statement. And FLAMBERGE?
His eyes narrow.
Brandon Youngblood: He’d be laying on the mat…everything. Lost.
Somewhere in the midst of all this, Tillier has given up his microphone willing to Youngblood, allowing him free reign. After all, given the bullet points Simon laid out on ReVival 21, the Tower of Babel naturally was going about hitting each one.
Brandon Youngblood: Nate Colton didn’t win because I took my foot off the gas. Nate Colton didn’t become 5 Star Champion because of any relationship I have with him or his family. He won it because, on that night in Madison Square Garden, he was the best man in the ring. And I can accept that. I can accept that because, the reality is…since 13, I can’t say I’m the best. Not because I lost the Universal Title. Not because of what Atken and FLAMBERGE did to me. It’s because, on that night, I stopped being transparent and honest. To PRIME. To the fans. To myself.
The notion draws a pause before he can gather his next thought.
Brandon Youngblood: I needed to build up this world of hate inside myself, because when faced with adversity, when faced with challenge, that’s the Youngblood default. Because I was able to say…coming in…this time…it was different. And it was. Because I took every match as it came. I took every challenge as it was presented. But then…that path took a hard turn left, and I couldn’t turn that wheel quick enough before hitting the barrier. And ever since…grand statements…sweeping hatreds…anger…rage…despair. I cared more about preventing FLAMBERGE from winning than anything else. And that’s why I didn’t stop that pin. That’s why I sat out there, making that little bastard watch as his dreams turned to piss. And then I was out there the next night…hoisting Hayes Hanlon up in the air as he achieved his dream…Universal Champion.
He paces toward the closest corner, continuing to speak as he circles the perimeter of the ring.
Brandon Youngblood: The Ace Network has some fliers they’ve distributed around the country. ‘The Future Is Already Here’. Colton and Hanlon. Two young, handsome Champions. Not jaded. I’m sure down the road…we’ll see something with Justine Calvin and Jared Sykes and their record setting reign with the Tag Team Championship. The whole world wants to tilt its axis for Ivan Stanislav. Faces like Violet Samuelsson…Adam Ellis…Kohime Mori…Tyler Adrian Best…fresh, new car smell. And what about the path for Coral Avalon…for The Anglo Luchador…Nova…the veterans who have spotlight are facing adversity and legacy defining challenges? I spent the last few months watching Dusk main event after main event in the MGM Grand. All that spotlight, elsewhere. All the marketing, all the spotlight…I’m only human…and all that leaves a competitive burr in my ass!
On that note, he stops dead center in the ring, the lens of the ring apron camera drawing tight on his face.
Brandon Youngblood: I rushed back after 13 before I should have. I was cleared…but I was told “Brandon, if you don’t take some time away, if you don’t let these injuries heal, you’re not going to get back to one hundred percent”. And I didn’t listen. I didn’t listen because I was lost. I am the 2022 Wrestler of the Year…and I ended that year with nothing. Empty. Staring off into New York City, after months not sure if I was even going to keep going…after months of flapping my gums to management like a whiny bitch because I lost control of MY Camelot…I signed a fifteen year contract and after PWA 1 I was asking Killean if they thought they signed a lemon. Because why? Because that’s the easy path. Self deprecating. Beat yourself up. Say you’re not good enough. Get angry. Try to start a war with everyone. And it don’t matter. It don’t matter!
A deep exhale.
Brandon Youngblood: I rushed back because what I want…history shows, I ain’t getting it handed to me. History shows that I’m not Cancer Jiles…where when you piss it away…when you lose…when you as much as go to a draw…there’s always another pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. I’m not Hayes Hanlon…given the shot because of stringing together wins. I’m not Rezin…losing the 5 Star and given the chance to move up for the Universal off the heels of being pinned. And that sounds like me bitching, but the fact is, I didn’t make Lindsay Troy’s job any easier because when the ball was in my court these last few months, I was the one who fumbled it away. And you people didn’t accept me because of any of that. And you’re not paying your damn money for me to come out here, sit in an old rocking chair…“aww geez guys, let’s remember them good ole times” and play the greatest hits and take a bow. I was afraid. Afraid that I didn’t have it. That I couldn’t get it back. And you know what? To Hell with all that. To Hell with all that shit!
So in the zone, he is caught off guard by the immense roar from the fans. Once it peters down, he continues.
Brandon Youngblood: I’ve let a lot of people turn me into their sign post. Anna Daniels fights tonight for the 5 Star Championship…and I gave them a wide birth for a long time. But you’re in that match NOT because you beat me…but because you SURVIVED me…SURVIVED me kicking rocks and being all beat up. Rezin? I wasn’t the man pinned for the 5 Star Championship…YOU were. I watched Nova finally come around to PRIME being his home…that was enough for him to get a Universal Title shot. Clay Byrd…you said you were gonna hurt me…but here I am…five pounds lighter than I was that night…feeling pretty damn good about myself. How about your jaw? You didn’t hurt me…you survived. Nate Colton…you realized some of that immense potential you have, but it wasn’t me you pinned or went through.
The pointed finger is for emphasis.
Brandon Youngblood: And good on all of you. Because the land of the grand statements…of self doubt…of saying you better watch out…of saying “This week is the first step to once again being the Universal Champion”? They’re done. And they’ve been done. I’m not Daniels. I’m not going to hock shirts and talk about how I’m a sleeping beast when the reality is I’m pissing away my potential being the aloof wrestling hipster you accuse me of being. I’m not going to run across the border after I get hurt and lose and try to pick a fight to shore up fractured bullshit pride. I’m Brandon Goddamn Youngblood. The signpost you’ve been kicking? It’s the Tower of Babel. Nobody here…nobody in the present…nobody in the past…is enough of a goddamn Wrecking Ball to bring it down. Which brings me to you…Ward.
Another heavy roar, with enough Tchu chants to make it known just exactly what the fans would like to see go down tonight. Unfortunately for them, Ward’s dance card is filled by Sage Pontiff later in the night.
Brandon Youngblood: The orange comes around. And so did you. Colossus. Sam Elliott’s words etching the monument to your return. And you drop my name harder than you did Kaiser Vashaun’s head. The people ooh’ed and aww’ed. The very thought of it. Never happened before. One on one. Matt Ward. Tchu. Against Brandon Youngblood.
A thumb dug deep into his own chest before relaxing and continuing.
Brandon Youngblood: You said that Hayes Hanlon is the right guy at the wrong time. You said you aren’t here to kiss babies and say goodbyes. You came back to do what you do. Wreck. Destroy. Dominate. Cold blooded. You’re the constant. That’s what you’re telling the world. That’s what you’re telling yourself. You are here for number four. And the Diamond? He’s a speed bump along the way.
He snarls at the notion.
Brandon Youngblood: If you think all the pomp and circumstance means a hill of shit to me? It doesn’t. You’ve held the Universal Championship three times…and it’s my bones you think you’re gonna use to bake your bread? The path in this PRIME is dark and full of terrors. There aren’t any easy outs. And if you think you’re going to call your shot on MY mountain…if you think you can stand in this ring on what you did and that’s going to be enough? You’re in for a rude awakening. And that’s even more so by you daring to put a damn target on me. Diamonds don’t break, jackass. The Tower ain’t taking tickets for people trying to matter in the ReVival. You want me? You want my attention? You got it. Challenge accepted, Ward. Just know one thing…
Wherever he is right now, the finger being pointed is for Tchu.
Brandon Youngblood: You’re not the constant in PRIME. I am.
Finished, Brandon turns to Simon Tillier.
Brandon Youngblood: Answer your questions, Simon?
Simon Tillier: Every one of them.
Another quick handshake, before handing off the microphone. Bloodsport (World Domination) by HEALTH once again begins to play, and as Youngblood steps between the ropes and out of the ring, the last few moments we catch are of the Tower of Babel as he makes his way up the entrance ramp.