THE FOXLESS BEAST
Mushigihara stares into a mirror, alone. Without his Dangerous Mix parter present, the Fox-less Kaiju is looking a bit nervous.
Mushigihara: C’mon, Mushi, you got this. You’re the Kaiju. The God-Beast. The fact that you can actually talk to people now doesn’t change that. C’mon, man, get that war face going…
He smacks himself on either side of his face, and tries to cop a mean mug, but he’s clearly not comfortable in what he sees.
He looks over to the side, looking at a plain black duffel bag, which he reaches into and pulls out a stylish black hat and a pair of sunglasses, and puts them on his head before taking another look into the mirror.
Mushigihara: …God, I look ridiculous.
He scoffs and shakes his head, before pulling the accouterments off.
“If you want some perspective, I carried around a mannequin for half the year.”
Behind him, King Blueberry casually leans against the door frame. He’s dressed in street clothes, hands tucked into the pockets of his sweatshirt. He seems almost relaxed despite the events of the last few months, a man either content in knowing his enemies have all been barred from the building, or perhaps resigned to the idea they’ll find him regardless.
King Blueberry: I guess what I’m saying is that “ridiculous” is relative.
He gestures to the mask that covers most of his face, the one that is now dotted with stains of chocolate, coffee, and blood.
King Blueberry: But I get it, man. The nerves can be a real bitch, especially when you’re flying solo for the first time in a while.
King Blueberry: Sorry, I may have overheard, like, all of that.
Mushigihara: Thanks, King. I’m just trying to get into the right frame of mind here. You know how those eGG Bandits never play fair, so I just gotta get into that mode where I just smear Dooze in the ring before anyone can help him out.
Just then, a loud rapping arises from the outside of the locker room.
Voice Outside: Open up, it’s the Meme Police. Here to make an honest man… OSU.
Mushi groans as he ventures over to the door, opening to find a bag-carrying Anglo Luchador on the outside, same getup as he was wearing the last time he was seen on this very program.
Mushigihara: Oh, hey Tom.
TAL: Sorry it took me so long. Had some navels I had to be gazing. I know you’re serious… oh, hey Jared.
King Blueberry nods at the token greeting.
TAL: AAAAANYWAY, I know you’re serious about this solo debut, and all I gotta say is, Bandits or no Bandits, you’re gonna do great. You’re up against the old fart, not Bobby, so you got the weight advantage. That’s huge.
TAL: Skill means a lot, but you also need motivation. What motivates you, Hank?
Blueberry mouths the word “Hank?” while Mushi furrows his brow and rubs his chin.
Mushigihara: That’s a good question.
TAL: I know. Not everyone has that pot o’ gold at the end of the rainbow they can look forward to. For some, they don’t even have the treasure map. Tell me this. I know, uh…
The luchador looks over at Blueberry knowing the next name he was thinking about uttering could be a trigger, and he didn’t wanna trigger anyone, at least not in that dressing room.
TAL: …that guy with the sick daughter, we were both into the charitable donation thing. That’s a good quality, and not exactly one that isn’t useful in other avenues, right?
TAL: So think about it like this. You’re in a singles match. Higher profile. The bonus purse after winning, you don’t have to share with Kickpads, right? More for you. More for Mr. Akagi to wager and send off to some other noble cause. I mean, there are abortion funds across the country. I like the Trevor Project. Jared, I’m sure you know a charity or two.
King Blueberry: For me it’s the Mass General Cancer Center, but that’s because I’m a local. Heifer International is another one I dig. Paws With A Cause. I’ve got a list.
TAL: See? Even if you’re not greedy, well, the extra fiduciary benefit can be rewarding when you’re flyin’ solo.
A shuffling of feet and another knocking is heard before the door opens.
Timo Bolamba: Hey Mushi, I’m supposed to stop by and let you know they’re almost ready for you.
The Senior Referee pauses as he sees TAL and King Blueberry in the room with Mushigahara.
Timo Bolamba: What’s going on here guys?
TAL: Crisis of confidence. Nerves. You know the deal.
Timo Bolamba: Man, there is an awful lot of that in this company isn’t there?
King Blueberry: Probably a lot of that everywhere, it’s just folks are talking about it now instead of trying to hide it.
Timo steps forward and looks at Mushigahara with his mentor’s gaze. His usually blazing bright green eyes are a bit dull and seem quite caring at the moment.
Timo Bolamba: I’ve worked with some of the greatest big men of all time, Mushi. Azala Zameer, Kimbusa, Ivan, Hessian, Meanstreak…the list goes on and on. The point is they are always dangerous and always put on a good showing. And I’ve seen you work. You’re right up there with any of them! You know your strengths, just go out there and do what you do best. I am sure you will give the fans one hell of a match, even if you are flying solo!
He looks at Jared and Tom.
Timo Bolamba: Right guys?
They both agree with the Head Referee and he smiles at Mushi.
Timo Bolamba: I gotta go, big guy. Good luck!
With that, the referee turns, nods to the other two in the room and bolts out the door, no doubt on his way to make sure Jimmy Turnbull is ready for the match.
Mushigihara: …thanks, fellas. I think I’m feeling ready to go out there and scramble that egg in front of all of PRIME.
Mushi looks at TAL and King, with a smile.
Mushigihara: You’re all right. I’ve got what it takes to hang here. And I’ve got why it takes to win.
He looks back to the mirror and nods.
Mushigihara: I am Eiichiro “Henry” Yamazaki. I am Mushigihara.
Mushi looks back towards two of PRIME’s most dominant champions, who clearly have his back.
Mushigihara: And I am the Kaiju of PRIME.
He now pivots his whole body around, facing the door, before letting out a mighty…
Mushigihara stomps his way towards the ring, TAL and Sykes each giving him a supporting pat on the back as he passes them. The camera focuses on them, as they look towards their friend.
King Blueberry: Ohhhhh, I get it. He’s Hank because he’s Henry.
TAL nods with a smile, as we cut.