As the show returns from commercial, a man is already standing in the center of the ring, with a microphone in his hand. There is no fancy entrance. No pageantry, even though that’s exactly the type of thing that his family is known for. There is also no PRIME Five Star Championship, despite him promising that one would accompany him to the ring tonight. But there’s a simple explanation behind that— the man standing in the ring is not the Five Star Champion.
No, he’s something more.
TAB: My name is Tyler. Adrian. Best.
The words leave his mouth with intensity, as the camera gives us a close up view of the Culture Shock Battle Royal winner. His opening introduction leaves the crowd mostly quiet— it’s clearly the first half of a statement, and the fans give him enough rope to hang himself with.
Tyler does not smirk. He doesn’t smile. He isn’t making a joke of anything. The next words that leave his mouth have something that sounds unfamiliar coming out of his mouth since his debut in PRIME.
They have actual gravitas behind them.
TAB: And I am a fucking. Survivor.
There is a strangely mixed reaction from the crowd, much more so than one might expect for the son of Michael Lee Best. But then, the man has been through a war.
Everyone saw that match.
Everyone saw the hell that he and Cecilworth Farthington went through, after outlasting 39 other wrestlers just two weeks ago. Amidst a sea of boos, a lot of people seem to respect that, and they aren’t shy about vocalizing it.
TAB: Forty one competitors. Forty one people entered that ring at Culture Shock, and only one of them survived. Survived with a damned near broken neck, after that completely reckless, unsafe worker Nate Colton suplexed me into the corner on Night One and nearly paralyzed me. Survived my Uncle, Cecilworth Farthington, who was not only unscoutable as he was not advertised as a forty first man, but who is also a REAL Hall of Famer from a REAL wrestling company.
The boos are deafening. The crowd may have shown some mixed reaction to Tyler before after a heroic effort at Culture Shock, but he’s managed to use up all that good will in less time than it takes most people to order lunch at a drive thru. He’s clearly not out here for a long time, he’s out here for a good time.
And if you pay the right attention?
He’s out here for a purpose.
TAB: Boo all you want. Shit, I’ll boo right along with you. BOOOO! BOOOOO! This changes absolutely nothing but BOOOOO!
He rolls his eyes unceremoniously, basking in the disdain that radiates from all around him. It feels like they’re throwing money directly into the ring.
Carnies gonna carny, yo.
TAB: Keep right on booing, because it is my intention to keep on giving you something to boo about. Keep on booing while Hayes Hanlon tries to limp his way into our Universal Championship match with that belt still around his waist, just so I can snatch it out from underneath him and fulfill my goddamned destiny. Keep booing when I raise that belt high over my head and display it for all the world to see. And keep booing when I take that championship… my Universal Championship….
He gets quiet now, leaning into the microphone as his last words are nearly a whisper.
TAB: …and march it straight to Lee Best’s front door.
He sneers out at the crowd, but it isn’t even completely clear if he means the words he’s saying. The youngest Best drops the mic in the center of the ring, glances at his watch as though he was timing his own promo— the winner of the Culture Shock Battle Royal drops to his back and rolls out of the ring, seemingly enjoying the negative attention as he makes his way back up the ramp.