THAT’S GRATITUDE FOR YA
The scene is outside a random door in the hallways of the Grand Garden Arena. The Anglo Luchador is prepping for his non-title match against Anna Daniels, stretching his legs, knocking the cobwebs out, rolling his neck. A familiar voice from off-camera at the moment interrupts his routine:
Tony Gamble: I’m still waiting for my “thank you.”
The Old Luchador turns around, and the camera shows The Grin in the flesh, arms crossed over his chest, tapping his toe.
TAL: You’ll be waiting until the heat death of the Universe, or the end of your sentencing under the RICO Act, whichever comes first.
The former Jewel in the Crown champion’s left eyebrow peaks as he shrugs his shoulders slightly.
Tony Gamble: I don’t even know what that means, but I’m guessing it won’t be right now. Should I pencil you in right before the main event?
The Intense Champion rolls his eyes and sighs.
TAL: I think you should pencil me in between “when pigs fly” and “when Lindsay Troy trusts Jared Skyes enough to let him have the keys to the forklift shed when she’s not around.”
Gamble looks at him stone-faced.
TAL: That means “never,” capisce?
Nodding, Tony lets out a chuckle as he saunters a few steps closer to the newly crowned Intense champion.
Tony Gamble: Oh, yeah, I capisce. I capisce that you are one ungrateful son of a…
TAL: Whoa now, paisano, let’s not get in trouble with the new interfed overlords with misogynist language on our flagship program. But let’s play a little game, shall we?
Gamble does not look amused.
TAL: Let’s say I went out to your stately home out in North Henderson paid for with cash made from legitimate business? And I left a dump the size of the Sphinx at the Luxor on your lawn. Would you be mad at me defecating on your property, or would you be grateful that I helped fertilize your grass?
Tony Gamble: I’d thank you, of course. Have you seen the price of fertilizer lately? Even with my employee discount, that shit still costs an arm and a leg. But see, that’s the difference between you and I.
Gamble takes a moment, rubbing his hand across his chin as he smiles wryly.
Tony Gamble: I know not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. You take the good and the bad and you make lemonade, because it’s really hot in Vegas and people will buy it by the gallon.
The Permascar Superstar looks up and to the left for a second or two, a puzzled look in his eye.
Tony Gamble: I’m not sure where I was going with that, or if it even makes any sense. What I was trying to say was, that night had nothing to do with you or the other little girls in the match. I was there for one reason. I handled my business, and you took full advantage of the situation like a kid in a candy store with a blank check. If anything, the dump was taken in Morty’s lawn.
TAL: Perhaps. But I’m trying my best to do things the right way. Had I not had my brain knocked halfway to Reno during that match, I might have reacted a bit differently. Had you just stuck to stock rudo undignified cockiness afterwards, I might have shrugged it off and not diverted my already divided attention from Hoyt or Anna Daniels.
The Old Luchador takes a step that gets perilously close to being able to identify what odors are on Gamble’s breath.
TAL: But expecting me to be grateful? Get all the way outta here, wiseguy.
Tony backs away slowly, raising his arms up and out slightly.
Tony Gamble: If that’s the way you wanna play it, so be it. I’ve got a big plate to fill now that I’m back, but I like to eat my meals in portions so once I’m done with Morty… maybe I’ll finish off the scraps Balaam leaves behind.
The Intense Champion rolls his eyes and backs down himself, shaking his head.
TAL: Just don’t let your eyes get bigger than your stomach can handle. I’m not your nonna. I bite back.
With a wink, The Grin turns around and heads down the opposite hall while chunking up a deuce.
Tony Gamble: Oh, I’m looking forward to it. See you soon, old man.
The Intense Champion lingers for a bit.
TAL: Jesus, Hoyt, now Gamble, are all these PRIME Hall of Famers so… difficult?
The camera cuts to wherever it is Jacob Mephisto is lurking.