UNIVERSAL TITLE PRESENTATION
Finally. After sixteen years. He walked into PRIME with this goal in mind. The need to be Universal Champion. And in those early days, he declared it to everyone. A destiny to be fulfilled. How many people did he climb over to try and get there? Nova. Karina. Deville. Aimz. Olsig. An entire company at his very whim. And when it came time to fulfill that destiny, the final mountain, Hoyt Williams, took it all away. Left him in ruin. An outcast. A pariah.
That Pariah would return, wounded, humbled. And under a vow of silence, he rebuilt that destiny. A Jewel in the Crown. Chainz. Hessian. Rayne. Ares. He stood in the ring against the longest reigning Universal Champion in history and pushed him beyond any mortal limit. And yet, on that night, on his final chance to ascend to the very top of PRIME, he fell.
The explosion of the crowd fuels him, brings everything to reality. He’d won. He’d done it. And not just any way. He earned it the hard way, outlasting thirty-one others, battling against the young and hungry and the grizzled. He’d fought the specters of the past and the memories they dredged up. He’d accepted the pressure of saving PRIME from an egg shaped future. And unlike those early times, he’d accomplished this moment the right way.
Letting out a primal roar, his chest heaving, bruises, sweat, every bit of him feeling the wear and tear of years. And then another. His arms drop to his sides, and he begins slowly moving around the perimeter of the ring, his music, his victory, his night, washing over him. He can barely contain himself. He catches himself before the overwhelming sensation to let every bit of pent up emotion explode from him. Finally.
He sees movement along the side of the ramp out of the corner of his eye; catches the Queen approaching. No music, no fanfare to signal her arrival. Lindsay walks gracefully over to the timekeeper’s table, takes the Big Gold Belt and a microphone to hand, climbs the steps and enters the ring.
The Lady of the Hour regards the Last Diamond with a neutral expression for a moment…before she unfastens the belt’s leather straps, a smirk appearing on her face.
In that distant past, a moment between these two would be an impossibility. She’d tossed so many knives in his direction, practically all of them hitting between the eyes. But now, in the moment, in the place and time, everything had changed. It changed before they became an inner circle. Friendship. But in this squared circle, Lindsay Troy is a different animal. Her smirk, her unfastening the belt, and Brandon knowing what is coming next…it meant everything. She had to see the tears shrink-wrapping his eyes. He plays it off like he’s wiping sweat away for a moment, before drawing close, mouthing so only she can hear him. “Thank you for everything, Lindz.”
“Knock it off,” she murmurs, smiling as she does, which garners a chuckle. “You did this. You.”
Lindsay deftly fastens the Universal Title around Brandon’s waist, then places both hands on his shoulders.
“I’m proud of you. Take your moment; we’ll talk more later.”
PRIME’s Leading Lady hands Youngblood the microphone and moves to the background next to Timo Bolamba.
Brandon Youngblood: Before I get too far ahead of myself…I want to say thank you to everyone who has donated or given their time to ProLiteracy. This is real and it’s from the heart…this charity means a lot to the man that was…is…Seymour Almasy. It means a lot to his family. And all the amazing things that group does for people, for communities…it’s awesome. So thank you, every single one of you. Thank you.
The PRIMEates cheer in response to this, and Youngblood nods.
Brandon Youngblood: I also want to take some of this time to talk about the man this Invitational is in honor of. Seymour Almasy…I know you’re out there…and I know you can hear this. When I began my career, you were well on your way to making your mark in wrestling history. You weren’t the biggest guy…but everyone knew…in the crowd…in the locker room…on televisions all across the world…that you would give everything you had to this sport. You became a legend before I even laced up my first pair of boots. You carried a target on your back…and beating you was as important as any tournament…any championship…this sport had to offer. And we might not have had the best history…but fighting you…trying to get to your level…it was one of the defining moments of my career. Every time we stepped in the ring to face each other…you demanded I bring my all. And in that, I have nothing but respect for you, for the legacy you left behind, and the man you became. To fight in honor of your life…is one of the most important things I’ve ever done in my life. I hope I did your memory proud.
Brandon takes a breath. Collects his thoughts.
Brandon Youngblood: When I came to PRIME in 2005, I didn’t know if it was just another stop…another connecting flight. It became home. It became where I planted my roots. Where I made my legacy. And it wasn’t always easy. Nothing here is given. I wanted this moment from day one. Wanted THIS Championship. And for everything I took, everything I fought, I was so selfish. Never gave back. Took it all for granted. When I thought I made it to the top…I lost so much. I was fired. Outcast. For a long time…I became a punchline. People like Lindsay here…like Rayne…Deville…Ferguson…I was easy pickings. Cannon fodder. And for so long…so so long…I wanted this moment just so I could cram it down their throats. To say ‘look at me now’. But the thing is…they were right. I deserved every bit of it. I deserved to be a damn pariah.
A light smattering of boos from the fans who don’t agree with him. Youngblood shakes his head, laughing to himself. There’s a lot of emotion here for a man who isn’t known for showing much at all.
Brandon Youngblood: But I missed my home. I missed PRIME. More than anything, I missed this ring…this company…the standard it meant. I wrestled other places…but my heart was always here. I went through Hell to come back here. Humbled myself. Did what it took to come back. And I did. It didn’t matter how humiliated I was. It didn’t matter how much of my pride I needed to swallow. I needed to be home. And I made it. But it took me this last decade to become something more. Something better. A better person. A better father. A better man. And I’m still on that path…and I’m still fighting to become the best version of me…outside this ring…in this ring…to my friends…to my fans…to my family…to all those that have supported me. Thank you. Thank you for being there at my lowest points. Thank you for helping me when I needed you the most…when I didn’t believe in myself. Thank you. Thank you so so much. This is for you. This road isn’t easy, but for tonight…but for tonight…it don’t matter. We’re Universal Champion baby, and we’re gonna party tonight!
The PRIMEates erupt into cheers, happy to see a man accomplish his dream tonight.
Brandon Youngblood: And before I go…I want to make this clear. To be the Universal Champion here means you have to be the standard in this sport. It’s hard. Harder than anything you can imagine. To get here, you have to fight like Hell. To win it? It takes even more. This is the standard in professional wrestling. It always has. It always will be. You carry the torch. You can take nobody, no opponent, no challenge for granted. The entire sport has a target on your back. And now that I’ve won this…now that I’ve achieved this goal…finally…by God finally…I’m going to do everything I can to keep the standard that has been set before me. Snow. Troy. Ward. Sirrajin. Tsonda. So few others. If you’re on this roster…if you’re out there watching and wanting this Championship…bring everything you got. I’ll be waiting. Whether it’s Impulse or Julian Bathory. Whether it’s Anna Daniels. Even if it’s a piece of trash like Cancer Jiles…whether it’s Cyrus O’Haire or Solomon Richards or Cecilia Ryan or Ria Nightshade…to challenge for this Championship…MY Championship…means you better be ready. The summit’s here. Welcome…to the Diamond age.
Brandon drops the mic and unclasps the Universal Championship from around his waist, then holds it up high for all to see. Lindsay Troy and Timo Bolamba look on as Culture Shock comes to a close.