THE ANGLO LUCHADOR ADDRESSES HIS ENEMIES
Nick Stuart: Back from break, and we’re about to get a visit from the NEW PRIME Intense Champion.
Richard Parker: Oh no…
The smooth organs of “Oye Como Va” begin to play on the PA system at the MGM Grand Garden Arena, as the PRIMEview shows the headless lucha masks dancing about. A cheer begins to erupt from the PRIMEates in the audience.
Richard Parker: I can’t believe he’s going to show his face here after taking that flogging at Great American Nightmare!
Nick Stuart: Well, Richard, The Anglo Luchador is the PRIME Intense Champion. I don’t think someone of his intestinal fortitude would be swayed by a cowardly post-match attack.
Richard Parker: Well, he should be. It’s only a matter of time before Balaam takes that belt off him.
The Anglo Luchador appears at the top of the ramp wearing a purple custom t-shirt that reads “Exploding Cyclone Homicide Driver!” jeans, sneakers, a bandage over his forearm where he self-inflicted a blood source at the pay-per-view, and of course, the PRIME Intense Championship belt fitted snugly around his waist. Belts are meant to be worn, not slung. At least that’s what a tecnico is taught. The old luchador slaps hands and waves on his way down, smiling and laughing.
Nick Stuart: A distinct change in mood from the old luchador after the last couple of months. I guess whatever was on his mind is… gone?
Richard Parker: I wouldn’t be happy. If I had Hoyt Williams breathing down my neck, I would be scared to death. But he’d never come for me. I give him $500 every paycheck as tithe.
Nick Stuart: Richard Parker, folks, giving hope to everyone who wants to run their own Ponzi scheme!
Richard Parker: BLASPHEMY!
The old luchador hops up on the apron and enters the ring with a spring in his step, outstretching his arms and soaking in the cheers before heading over to the direction of the timekeeper’s table. He politely asks Vince Howard for a microphone, who obliges.
Richard Parker: Oh boy, here we go again…
The Anglo Luchador taps on the mic and holds it to his mouth.
TAL: Vegas! Hey, how the hell are you guys?
A healthy cheer rises from all levels of the Grand Garden Arena.
TAL: That’s what I like to hear! I got a lot to say, but before I get started, hey, what about Ria Nightshade, huh?
The crowd goes nuts again at the mention of The Toxic Queen.
TAL: Anna Daniels and Morty K pushed me to my limit, but it was Ria who is the real reason why I don’t feel any shame for having this…
He pats the belt on his waist.
TAL: …in tow. She’s a hell of a competitor, and before long, she’s going to be taking some belts off guys like Rezin or even Youngblood.
Another cheer for Ria Nightshade erupts.
TAL: But I mentioned that I won this belt here, and I gotta say, as much as it has felt like the culmination of the work of an entire quarter of a year, the way I won it has left me with a sour taste in my mouth. And what happened afterwards? Yeah, that was even worse. That’s why I’ve asked Queenie back there and the production team here at the ACE Network if I could have some time to address…
The old luchador turns dramatically to the hard cam.
TAL: …my enemies.
Richard Parker: audibly gulps
Nick Stuart: Relax, Richard, I don’t think he’s the kind of guy who’d hit a commentator. Yet.
TAL: I know some of you would expect me to address God first, since I grew up Catholic. However, since disowning the Church a while back, I have to say, I’m on good terms with all sorts of gods, both major and minor. Shouts to Eris, the Greek Goddess of Discord, not to be confused with the game streamer of the same name who operates mainly on the site Discord.
He pauses for laughs, few of which come.
TAL: Tough crowd, wish I could’ve gotten at least a smile out of more than a few of you. Smiles, those seem to be a sticking point. Phil Atken hates the smiles I put on faces, but no matter how much of a threat he is, I object to his protestations. I’m not a doe-eyed rapscallion set to make a mockery of this industry. I grew up in it. I lived it. It took a chunk from me that I’ll never get back, and I still sat up one day and said “I gotta give more.” You don’t like the hijinks? Go join Richie up there and stew on your bitterness. I have fun here because you need to be able to have fun at your job. If not, you’re sentencing yourself to a slow, boring death. Am I bringing the youth of this company down in the mud with me?
He laughs to himself for a second.
TAL: Well, I think everyone who’s been at one of my things is in a better spot than before they started. But if they have a problem with it, well, patting the Intense Championship I have no problems letting them take out their frustrations. That’s why anyone who has a problem with me, anyone who thinks I’m a joke, anyone of you wolf-eyed pretenders back there who wants to be my enemy, or, hey, anyone I’m cool with who wants a friendly competition that will end up in bloodshed, you got me. I’m a tecnico, through and through, so I’m going to throw down the gauntlet. A fighting Champion, here in PRIME. You want to get down and dirty with The Son of the Shogun? All you gotta do is get the Queen’s permission, hand to God. You can be as new as Mitchell Quinlan or as dyed in the wool as my pal Dusk. You can be fresh off a Universal Title shot like Randall Knox or a down on your luck desperado like Darin Zion. No matter what, you want it? You got it.
Nick Stuart: Oh wow! What a gauntlet by the new Intense Champion!
Richard Parker: I don’t think he knows what he’s doing.
TAL: The first person I expect to see at the front of the line is one Larry Tact. Larry, I’m designating you enemy number one, not because you wronged me, but because I wronged you.
The crowd gasps at the old luchador’s admission.
TAL: I admit I went overboard at ReVival 9 in our match, and I could give all the excuses in the world for why I did what I did. No one wants to hear those, especially since this is PRIME Wrestling, not PRIME Dialectical Materialism.
Richard Parker: Dialectical what?
Nick Stuart: Read Marx and Lenin, Richard; even if you don’t agree with them, it’s illuminating!
TAL: Larry, my good man, I don’t necessarily feel bad that I swung a piece of lumber wrapped in the good stuff at you, but I do feel bad that the only reason I had was some specious bullcrap in my own brain. Seems the wronger has become the wrongee, and I’m man enough to admit that you probably want another piece of me. Well, as long as Queenie back there allows it, you got it. Empire Boys gotta stick together, right? Even if they hate each other.
A few older fans who remember Empire Pro cheer.
TAL: Hate, hate, speaking of hate, Tony Gamble, Hall of Famer, back in PRIME, huh? Almost like he never left, waltzed into my match, my barbed-wire prison, my moment, and then waltzed right into a broom closet.
A smattering of cheers rises up in the hail of boos for the devious returnee’s mention.
TAL: Tony Wingtips, you gave me a reason to hate you, and you probably don’t even know why. In your mind, you probably thought you did me a favor, huh. The thing is, Tony, I’m trying to be a good boy now. I’m trying to walk a straight and narrow path, and as much as I’ve done that in my time away from this sport, well, when I get in the ring, it’s hard, man. It’s hard not to see a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire and refrain from using it when the rules say “not a chance, bozo.” It’s hard not to come out here every week and spit in the faces of people who do me wrong, who piss me off, who even annoy me off secondhand conversation, shouts to Chet Fleetwood.
Boos rain down from the rafters at the name of Shweta Kallemullah’s now-ex-boyfriend.
TAL: So Wingtips, put yourself on my shitlist. I may have the least reason to want to take a pound of your flesh, but you messed with my moment. You tainted it, even more than that big lummox John Boy did afterwards. You’re my enemy now. I don’t know when I’m giving you a receipt, but when I do, you’ll be wishing you were back in Henderson cleaning up from your superior’s legitimate business grunt work. Speaking of grunts, hey John Boy, can you hear me under that mask?
Boos rain down from the rafters for the former John Kennedy Royko, Jr.
TAL: You’ve been on my mind ever since your Buddy Christ and the rest of that band of misfits cold-cocked me and gave me Jesus hands at ReVival 5. You keep trying to end my career extracurricularly, and given that I’m a man, I’m forty, I don’t appreciate that one bit. Yeah, I keep getting back up, but I can’t live the rest of my career having to see Doc Astrid in the back and entering concussion protocol. That’s why this is going to end at Ultraviolence. You. Me. If I make it there with this…
He pats the Intense Championship around his waist again.
TAL: …you can try to Molon Labe it all you want, you thick slab of grade-F shin meat. Either way, I want the traditional rulebook thrown out. I need to see if the monster bleeds. Maybe I’ll make the old El Hijo del Merle Haggard and that book-holdin’ simp you got riding with you bleed too. Maybe I’ll march my way up to the luxury boxes and fix myself some of that pruno flowing through your boss’ veins.
Richard Parker: How dare he refer to Hoyt’s blood as prison wine! Everyone knows the blood of your own personal Jesus is a 1965 vintage Chablis from Bordeaux!
TAL: We’ve still got months to figure out the specifics, but all I know is this has to end. For me. For you. For… Aurora.
A gasp goes up from the crowd.
TAL: And for your baby, John Boy. I’m done seeing innocent people suffer at your hands. Ultraviolence, you are going to see the light, and when I’m done with you, the only thing your handlers are going to see is the red of their own blood.
The Anglo Luchador throws the microphone down and appeals to the crowd as “Oye Como Va” once again hits the PA.
Nick Stuart: Strong words from the Luchador here.
Richard Parker: Blasphemous words, Nick. Blasphemy! He’s signing his own death warrant!
Nick Stuart: Be that as it may, he threw down the gauntlet! Now, let’s go backstage where the new Five-Star Champion, Rezin, is standing by with Simon Tillier!