SWEET MEMES ARE MADE OF THESE
Backstage, Simon Tillier stands quietly, microphone in hand. It was tough witnessing what just happened in the ring between Paxton Ray and Jonathan Rhine, but Simon is a professional and he knows he has to press on.
Standing next to him are two individuals we all know so well. One is wearing a gaudy-as-hell green suit, the kind you might see worn by someone who’s trying too hard to be Irish. The other is wearing a big red singlet, the words “HUGE POWERBOMB” written above a nuclear explosion and the word “SIDCRAFT” written below it.
Simon Tillier: Ladies and gentlemen… the Winds of Change.
Joe Fontaine: Ooh, I like that. It’s dramatic. It’s got that… Daniel Craig introducing the Weeknd kind of vibe.
Sid Phillips: No one should have that vibe.
Joe Fontaine: But we do.
Simon Tillier’s beaming smile falters a bit. He’s dealt with a lot of crap since PRIME’s reopening. Most of it from a certain Man What Smokes Dopes. But he’s definitely got the look on his face of a man who might not know exactly what he’s interviewing.
Still, he’s a professional.
Simon Tillier: We’re just minutes away from your tag team title match against the Kings of Popsicles, King Blueberry and Reina Raspberry. There’s been a lot of… shenanigans between your two teams over the past few months, ever since your first night in the company at Culture Shock, when Joe Fontaine took a Canadian Destroyer from El Hijo del Super Cool Guy.
Rare sentences, thy name is Simon Tillier.
Joe smiles back at him.
Joe Fontaine: Simon, old buddy, old pal… that’s all in the past.
Sid Phillips: Just like that dank syphilis.
Joe Fontaine: Yeah!
Simon Tillier: Dank what now?
Joe Fontaine: Don’t worry about it. All our preparations are set. You have no idea the rigorous struggle we had to go through to get here. Not just the matches with the Nates, the Novas, the Garbage Bag Johnnys, the Bandits, and those cool dudes that did Dirtbags and Vagabonds.
Sid Phillips: Joe, for the love of god, please don’t start launching into any more diatribes about Solid Gold.
Joe Fontaine: Sure, whatever. My point is, the Kings of Popsicles… okay, I don’t know what the hell’s up with those berries. Any of them. Not a single one of them, and that includes the one that’s aligned with us. We don’t care about any kind of Berry Civil War. Not really. And sure, it’s all been fun and games up to this point. Swords, mannequins, sofas, popcorn, whatever. But here and now, the moment where it matters most… things are going to change.
Joe grabs the microphone that Simon is holding, and pulls it closer to his mouth. The camera focuses in on him.
Joe Fontaine: And I mean that in a windy way.
Sid palms his face to hide his cringe.
Sid Phillips: Good lord.
Joe Fontaine: I mean that every storm needs a warning. This is ours. Because like it or not, through rain and shine, through tears and joy, pain and sorrow, victory and even cooler victory… the Winds of Change are going to keep blowing through PRIME. And we’re blowing straight through those berries and putting our names on those belts, baby.
He stands there smiling. Confident.
And then a big, meaty paw fit for powerbombs reached from off-camera and pulled the microphone away. Simon’s eyebrows raise with alarm as Sid pulls him towards himself. Fortunately, Sid was saving all of the powerbombs for every berry.
Sid Phillips: Great. Fantastic. Hey, Simon. You know what people like to call us? You know how seriously people take the two of us?
Simon Tillier: Um… no. I don’t.
Sid Phillips: They call us a “meme team.”
Simon Tillier: A what, now?
Sid Phillips: That’s exactly my reaction. They think that because the all-solving powerbomb solves all problems that we’re just a meme. A joke. People laugh, right up until they’re flipped up, turned upside-down, and driven through the ground like a railroad spike. And you know what? They’re all free to think that. Because not every meme dies in an instant.
He pauses dramatically.
Sid Phillips: Some memes are… forever.
Simon Tillier: …I’m afraid to ask, but… what do you mean?
Sid Phillips: Look. In AD 2022, the Berry Civil War was beginning. And you know what’s going to happen? Someone… someone is going to set up us the powerbomb. And you’re going to get signal. You’re ALL get signal. So you’d better turn on your main screen, because you’re going to see me there. And I’m going to ask… How are you gentlemen? Because all your base… are belong to us.
Simon Tillier: …What?
Sid gestures at himself and Joe, while Simon’s eyebrows are raised in sheer alarm at what he’s witnessing.
Sid Phillips: You are all on the way to destruction.
He points at the camera.
Sid Phillips: Jared Blueberry? Calvin Raspberry? You have no chance to survive, make your time.
Sid stares seriously at the camera.
To his right, Simon stares dumbstruck at what just happened. Joe stands next to him, trying to hold back his laughter.
Sid Phillips: …Oh, and powerbombs. Damn. Sometimes, I don’t get to the point right away and have to say other, not-powerbomb things. Do you know how annoying that is?
Joe Fontaine: Please don’t only say powerbombs. We already have one guy on the roster that says one thing, we don’t need two.
Sid Phillips: Meh.
Simon has the look of a man who feels like he’s only a spectator in this nonsense. So he swallows and puts the microphone back to his face.
Simon Tillier: Be that as it may, uh… I can’t help but notice that Baron von Blackberry isn’t here.
Joe Fontaine: Yeah, well. He’s not coming. We got someone else.
Simon Tillier: Who?
Joe Fontaine: Well…
As he’s about to say a name, a man walks into frame. Conveniently, only his body – adorned with a patchwork fur cloak – can be seen on frame. He doesn’t say anything. He walks past, and all eyes are drawn to him. Once he leaves, Joe and Sid exchange glances.
Joe Fontaine: …We gotta go.
Sid Phillips: Yeah. Getting close to that time.
Joe Fontaine: Say hi to Rez for us!
Joe winks at Simon, and then he and Sid leave in the same direction that the man in the patchwork cloak went. Simon stands there for a moment, in sheer disbelief.
Simon Tillier: (muttering) I’d really rather not.
And now, back to the ring for some violence.