THE TITLE’S NEW TITLE
Check the PREVIOUSLY RECORDED logo in the top right.
Now check the environs: dark wood, low sensual lighting, red crushed velvet on several visible surfaces. Very “the owners probably used to have shitty corporate jobs, then they poured all their money into this insanely high end cocktail bar” vibe.
“Oh, hey. I didn’t see you there.”
Pretending to be surprised at the camera is Chandler Tsonda in a black turtleneck that looks absolutely god mode soft. Lush like you read about. Thread count astronomical.
The Model Citizen leans back in a bar booth and peers right at the camera.
Chandler Tsonda: I’m so glad you stopped by the Model Citiz-Inn. This (gestures to the bar) is the type of place where a mature, seasoned veteran of 20+ years addresses a rabid PRIMEate faithful.
Chandler Tsonda: Technically, by the time you see this, I’ll be in full technology blackout ahead of my Almasy Round 1 match. Present Chandler, it’s your pal, Past Chandler, and I know you’re going to do great tonight. Kick that very rude harpy in the shins for me, you dirty dog.
An unseen hand places one of the crisper-looking old fashioneds of the 21st century on the deep walnut table next to Tsonda.
Chandler Tsonda: But first, join me in raising a glass of Kentucky’s finest to the end of the Gamble Championship, and the beginning of a new era.
The Model Citizen takes a very small sip of the drink in front of him. A champion must show restraint. In spite of the minimal sip, he still makes a face at the whiskey’s kick. He’s been the heavyweight champion of the world, but this man is undoubtedly a lightweight at any bar in America.
Chandler Tsonda: I said last ReV that the time wasn’t right, to unveil the new face of the Alias Title. The division is getting new duds, a fresh coat of paint, a little de-lousing powder for, ya know, Onytay Amblegay.
Just as the whiskey was brought in by an unseen hand, a very obviously belt-sized object is placed on the table in front of Tsonda. It is covered by a piece of crushed red velvet because Tsonda is many things, but “off-theme” is never one of them.
Chandler Tsonda: And I also said last ReV that the belt reveal would be worth the wait. I can say, without a qualm or a hesitation, that I am certainly using more of Dear Leader Troy’s production budget than I could’ve dreamed of two weeks ago. (points to glass) Shit, this is Pappy van Winkle, and there’s absolutely NO reason my drink should be anything but well liquor considering we’re in a visual medium here. But dammit, I know that Troy wants the best for us, and for PRIME, so we’ve spared no expense.
The million-dollar grin to punctuate this future headache for PRIME’s accounts payable department.
Chandler Tsonda: And speaking of the best, that’s what our new Alias belt is going to represent, babes. No, I’m not entering the dick-measuring contest between the two Glueys and our esteemed Bond villain Universal champion about “which belt is the real top prize.” Because the real top prize is that I wake up and not only am I not any of those three dorks, but bonus: I’m Chandler Goddamn Tsonda, and I’m your Alias champion.
Chandler Tsonda: Or should I say…
The Model Citizen reaches for the cloth on top of the belt. He offers a showman’s hesitation, and then pulls back the red velvet to reveal…
…a belt with the number 0 on it, among other things. It’s a classy-looking golden affair, and you can almost see the new belt smell. It shines in the low light of the Model Citiz-Inn.
Chandler Tsonda: The Numbers Don’t Lie Title. If you’re feeling informal, the NDL.
The camera goes for a close-up, showing some of the smaller flourishes, and spotlighting the aforementioned NDLT.
Chandler Tsonda: You might be asking why. Why not something more reflective of my personality? The Gold Narcissus for being the world’s greatest and most self-interested grappler? A belt to go around the waist of PRIME’s all-time best cruiserweight to celebrate the high flyers and short kings? Or maybe a trophy and title that bears the name “Tony Gamble thinks mild is too spicy” just because I can.
The camera cuts back to the satisfied Model Citizen.
Chandler Tsonda: But if there’s one thing that I know, deep down in the ol’ marrow, that makes me feel alive when I’m in the ring, it’s every time I get to prove that I am pound-for-pound, minute-for-minute the best damn wrestler on this floating blue marble.
The Sultan of Style taps the zero in the middle of the belt.
Chandler Tsonda: But the beauty of the NDL is that you don’t gotta take my word for it. See, this zero symbolizes how many title defenses I’ve made. Best believe this thing’s getting re-plated, and that number is going up, each time I can make a defense. If I’ve learned anything about this era of PRIME, title defenses are like Bigfoot sightings. But I’ll put my whole self into putting a big number on this baby.
He takes a sip of the exceedingly expensive old fashioned.
Chandler Tsonda: That’s the spirit of the belt. Be great, or get fucked. And wrestle every minute like it’s your last. Because, well, sometimes it is.
The Viet Viper cocks his head to the side.
Chandler Tsonda: Every time this belt is defended, a match isn’t defined as one fall, but for a set amount of time on the clock. Might be five minutes, might be fifty. PRIMEates at home and in the arena will find out the match length at exactly the same time that I do, and my opponent does. It’ll make for some of the best live TV in pro wrestling. C’mon, I gotta prove to Troy that I’m pure uncut rating spike, right?
The grin. You know the one.
Chandler Tsonda: So one of my esteemed colleagues and me might open ReV, only to find out that we’ve got a thirty minute Iron Man match on our hands. Or we might learn at twenty to midnight that we’ve got six minutes to try and find just a single pinfall before the clock runs. Luck of the draw. But here’s what you will know ahead of time: that you better pray to your gods. Pound for pound, minute for minute, I’m still betting the house, and this pretty little cumberbund, there’s nobody better than me. And if I’m wrong, you get to call this title yours and do your own HGTV job on it.
And now, the Numbers Don’t Lie champion puts two manicured hands on the belt, and hoists it onto the shoulder of that absolute supernova of a turtleneck.
Chandler Tsonda: We’re gonna have us some good ol’ fashioned scrambles for (taps belt) this. Let’s beat the shit out of each other and see who’s got the juice. As long as I’ve got it, the law of the land is…
A glance down at the belt, and then back straight to camera.
Chandler Tsonda: People lie. Numbers don’t.
Wink. Sip. And scene.