WE STOLE THIS SCENE FROM MELVIN BEAUREGARD’S FANFIC
“Hey man…why does everyone wanna kill you? Like, literally kill you?”
Fading in we find possibly the hottest trio in PRIME’s storied history. Like, the hottest. The gleaming smile that’s worth the while of Nate Colton. The hair to make ya stare and the buns built to stun of Jared Sykes. And the ‘stache that makes ya wanna smash from Hayes Hanlon.
The Golden Boys.
The Bold and the Booty-ful.
The Troppy Toppy Turmy Bois.
But tonight is not the night for shedding tears and grabbing ass, because tomorrow? These Grade-A cuts of BEEF are going to be staring at each other inside the ol’ squared circle. And assuming that Ivan and Paxton don’t commit actual murder, or Cancer stumbles across the ability to teleport opponents out of the arena, these boys may have to big all that beef to each other.
Usually you gotta pay extra for that kinda thing.
Hayes, somewhat aloof and pacing, arms crossed, takes a moment to turn and address the question posed by Nate Colton.
Hayes Hanlon: Yeah, that’s a pretty good question.
The target of that question runs a hand over his chin. It’s one of the few spots on his face where there isn’t a visible scar.
Jared Sykes: The short answer? Because there are elements to this business that are straight-up fucked, and that means some very broken people get to live out their worst impulses without fear of things getting all legal.
He shrugs, trying to hide the wince that the motion triggers.
Jared Sykes: But if I think about it that way then there are other questions that come up – existential stuff like, “if that’s the case then what does it say about me that I stick around.” So instead I try to rationalize it and say that it’s because they figure I’m someone they know they’ll have to deal with eventually, and it’s easier to do that if I’m dead. Maybe it’s misguided, but it’s how I cope.
Colton nods quietly. It’s more response than the others expected, to be honest. He’d been buried in his phone for most of the last three months, and the question he asked earlier was the most he’d said all night.
Sykes’ eyes dart between Nate and Hayes.
Jared Sykes: Besides, and let’s be real here… Would either of you really rather it was you?
Hayes Hanlon: …that was heavier than I expected.
The Event Horizon turns back toward the room.
Hayes Hanlon: I dunno, this is the kinda stuff I watched when I was kid, so none of it is all that surprising. But, it’s what I wanted. So to answer your question…kinda?
He takes a seat next to the Dragonslayer, giving him a quick slap on the back.
Hayes Hanlon: But sorry I haven’t been around to help you with your Bear problem.
Jared Sykes: Hey, just another chance to be the Good Guys, right?
Nate Colton: Never saw it that way.
Sykes and Hanlon look up to Colton.
Nate Colton: Being the ‘good guy?’ At best, it’s a duty. At worst, it’s a burden.
Not the positive speech they were expecting from the normally energetic young superstar.
Jared Sykes: I mean, you’re not wrong. It has its moments, but sometimes… I dunno.
Nate Colton: The cheers are great, sure. But is it worth having some asshole sucker punch you all the time, because they think they can get away with it? Or what Arthur Pleasant did to Tom?
Jared Sykes: And these are the thoughts I’ve had to grapple with for as long as I’ve been doing this. Here’s the kicker: it always comes back to the same answer.
Nate Colton: Because someone has to.
Jared nods and mouths a single word. “Yup.”
Nate Colton: If we don’t, if we just let them do what they want…hell. Look at the other guys in this match. Cancer Jiles, Ivan Stanislav, Paxton Ray. Do you want any of them representing PRIME? Showing the world that the way they act is how you get ahead? ‘Cause I sure as hell don’t.
Hayes Hanlon: They don’t represent PRIME, Nate. Not MY PRIME, anyway.
Nate Colton: Right. So we pick up the sword and shield, we play the role of the gallant knights. We take the beatings, we take the punishment…and hope we can hold out until someone else is strong enough to take our place.
Hayes Hanlon: Well, Ivan did throw me through the steel cage and I’m still around, so you’ve got a point.
Nate Colton: So let’s go out there tomorrow night and do our damn job.
Hayes Hanlon: Gonna show these pricks what it really means to be PRIME.
Hayes holds a fist up in the center of their circle. Colton brings up his own to meet it.
Jared hesitates a moment. His expression is hard to read. There’s the makings of a smile, but as for what lies behind it?
The energy and optimism of youth isn’t lost on him. He was this young once, and though he still doesn’t quite look his age the years of physical and mental wear make him feel every day of his forty-odd years. If you asked him, he’d tell you that his career is a cautionary tale of what wrestlers like Colton and Hayes should try NOT to be. Sure, the longevity is nice, but it comes at a cost that sometimes feels too high to bear.
Still, it’s hard not to appreciate the noble sentiment, and a chuckle escaped Jared’s lips.
Jared Sykes: You guys are nuts.
He brings up his hand to meet the other two.
Jared Sykes: Just make sure y’all invite me to the afterparty.
We then cut to ringside for our main event.