STEP THE UCK FUP
We go backstage, just outside the Argyle position. Simon Tillier, clad in his PRIME blue suit and red horn-rimmed glasses, greets the camera with a smile.
Simon Tillier: Good evening, ladies and gentlemen! Simon Tillier on the scene here backstage!
Passing through the frame from right to left, none other than REZIN strides by, growling in his throat. Simon casts him a brief glance, but gets right back on track.
Simon Tillier: Right now, we’re just minutes away from our main event tonight! It’s anyone’s guess as to how this monumental of a match will turn out, but I can say in all confidence, given the names that will be in that ring together, we are in store to see a battle that may well be remembered for ages!
The Escape Artist passes by again, this time from the other direction. Over his shoulder hangs a burlap sack, within which we can presume is the Universal Championship.
Simon Tillier: : Here with me now, as you can well see, is one of the participants in this once-in-a-lifetime tag team spectacle… our very own reigning Universal “Anti” Champion of PRIME! Rezin, how are you feeling about this match tonight?
Rezin continues to pace back and forth between the camera and the erstwhile junior reporter, muttering unintelligibly beneath his breath. Even the mention of his name doesn’t seem to pull him from his percolating anger.
Simon Tillier: …a completely understandable reaction, I feel, given what you’re walking into. Across the ring, you are facing another fellow champion, and a man who has always been at the top of his game since the royal arrival of King Blueberry to PRIME… the one, JARED SYKES…
The Escape Artist walks from left to right. Snorting. Sputtering. Slobbering.
Simon Tillier: …and there in his corner is the former PRIME Universal Champion himself, the man that arguably led the ReVival era into the renaissance of top-tier professional wrestling we know today… the Tower of Babel himself, BRANDON YOUNGBLOOD…
The Goat Bastard moseys from right to left. Grumbling. Grunting. Growling.
Simon Tillier: …but of course, we can’t overlook the fact that there in your own corner will be a man you’ve had a growing tension with… the man who pinned you at UltraViolence, to become the Five Star Champion of PRIME… the Next Diamond, NATE COLTON…
Hell’s Favorite Hoosier wanders from left to right. Braying. Blubbering.
Simon Tillier: I think it goes without saying that almost any of those individuals could one day be challengers to your Universal Championship… which is not to overlook the oncoming rematch against the man you from whom you took that title, which I assume very much he wants back… Hammerin’ HAYES HANLON…
Rezin staggers right to left. Twitching. Tweaking. Ticking.
Simon Tillier: And as if that weren’t bad enough, you have to consider the man whose ire you raised, by interfering in his own ambitions for that title belt you carry in that sack… a man who threw you off the upper level two weeks ago at the start of ReVival 23… the Russian Bear, IVAN STANISLAV–
Rezin’s pacing suddenly ends in an explosion of limbs flailing spastically in every direction.
Rezin: OKAY, I GET YOUR POINT!!
Rezin gets in close to the reporter, holding up the burlap sack that carries the Universal Title, its light forever hidden from the world by a punk rock pro wrestling maniac on a death trip.
Rezin: Ya know what bein’ the CHAMP of a place like PRIME means, Simon, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal?! Well, I’ll tell ya, free of charge! It aint’ bein’ the “bEsT iN tEh WoRlD”, like errybuddy thinks! It ain’t bein’ the face of a franchise, or the guy that sets the bar! Ya know what it really means, Simon?!
He grabs Simon by the lapel and shakes him lightly.
Rezin: It means ERRYBUDDY is OUT TO GET ME!!
Wrapt with paranoia, his wild eyes dart around in every direction. Searching every dark corner for a would-be attacker.
Rezin: All night, I’ve been keepin’ on my toes… errywhere I go, there’s one eye over my shoulder… ain’t no tellin’ when some moustache twirlin’, or vodka swirlin’, or suplex hurlin’ WHATEVER up and throws me off the ROOF or a CLIFF or into a WOODCHIPPER or VOID KNOWS WHAT!
His leery gaze finds Tillier.
Rezin: Why, even YOU could be a DECOY! A DECEPTION! A CLEVERLY LAID TRAP! Tell me, Simon… do you speak RUSSIAN?!
Simon Tillier: Look, I told you, Alexei snatched by jacket and glasses while I was washing my face, and–
An irate Escape Artist loudly cuts him off.
Rezin: BOULDERDASH and BLACK HASH!! If ya CLAIM to be AMERICAN, then NAME FIFTY MOTORHEAD SONGS RIGHT NOW!!
Simon Tillier: …but aren’t they English?
Rezin: Oh… right… OKAY, I guess ya pass the test THIS time, Simon!
Simon Tillier: With all due respect, Rezin… you seem a little on edge tonight. I mean, you’re always on edge in some capacity, but what I’m seeing tonight is something else. And, to be honest, I can’t help but think that your Universal Championship is somehow the source of that anxiety.
Rezin looks stung.
Rezin: …MY Universal Championship?!
He clutches the burlap-shrouded championship belt close to his chest.
Rezin: Listen, Simon… I think we can all agree that this ANTI-Championship of mine, while unprecedented on like a whole LOT of levels, is something of uncharted territory for an indie pup like me! I ain’t ever been in this position before! For once in my miserable life, errybuddy wants a PIECE of Rezin! And even for me, a man of copious acts of indulgence, it sometimes almost feels like errything happenin’ right now almost feels like it’s just TOO MUCH!
Slowly, his eyes find the camera. Slowly, he transitions into something else. Something less paranoid, and more paradigmatic. The snarl of anxiety slowly pulls itself into a teeth-grinding grin of ecstasy.
Rezin: And the crazy thing is… I WANT MORE OF IT!!
He shakes the burlap sack containing the Universal Title out in front of him.
Rezin: THIS STRAP is my JET-BLACK TICKET to a BRAVE NEW WORLD of NONSTOP CHAOS and CARNAGE!! A WORLD where I am FOREVER HUNGRY! FOREVER ALERT! FOREVER… my BEST!!
A black-stained thumb sticks itself into the Houston-native Dirty Rotten Imbeciles muscle-cut shirt that thankfully covers the Goat Bastard’s unsightly chest.
Rezin: So if errybuddy’s HUNGRY for this OL’ DOPESMOKER? I say, FINE! Come TAKE A BITE, if YA DARE! Come and CHOKE ON IT, YA MISERABLE SUM’BISHES!!
He redirects his attention back to the interviewer.
Rezin: As for TONIGHT, Simon?! I ain’t givin’ a DAMB about WHO stands across the ring from me, or WHO sits in my corner! I HOPE they’re the biggest and best the sport has to offer! Even the GREATEST are nothin’ but FODDER to the VOID! As far as I’m concerned, this is just yet another opportunity for me to go out there and prove I’m the most PUNK ROCK UNIVERSAL ANTI-CHAMPION THERE EVER WAS!!
He reels it in a bit.
Rezin: Uhh, second to Nova, of course…
Gotta give credit where it’s due.
Rezin: BUT ALL THE OTHER NORMIES HERE IN PRIME ARE HEREBY ON NOTICE!! Here’s the Goat Bastard’s message to y’all: Either STEP! The F*CK! UP!! Or LIE DOWN and let the OBLIVION TAKE YA!!
Tossing the sack back over his shoulder, the Escape Artist disappears into the Argyle position.
Simon Tillier: Powerful words from the self-ascribed Universal “Anti” Champion, as he walks into this star-studded main event we are about to witness! Ladies and gentlemen, right now let me send it back to my associates Nick Stuart and Richard Parker at ringside, as we get this underway!