WHAT’S YOUR RECORD, BRO?
Nick Stuart: We’re minutes away from our penultimate match this evening, fans! Cecilworth Farthington, the acclaimed Financier of the Glue Factory, is about to face off with PRIME’s own fly in the ointment and former Universal Champion, “the Escape Artist” Rezin! But first, let’s head to the back where Simon Tillier is standing by to get a word from one of the competitors!
Richard Parker: Best of luck, kid! We hardly knew thee.
The feed cuts backstage, just outside the Argyle position. A smiling Simon Tillier, in his PRIME blue suit, appears before the camera.
Simon Tillier: Thanks, fellas! Ladies and gentlemen, joining me at this time… “The Escape Artist” Rezin!
Behind him, his interview subject has been restlessly pacing back and forth like a hungry tiger waiting to be set free from his cage. Now that he hears his name mentioned, the Goat Bastard takes a drag off the burning spliff clenched between his lips and saunters into the shot, leaning an arm on the young interviewer’s shoulder.
Rezin: Sup, Simon? What’s good? What’s real? What’s FAKE, for that matter? Or, I guess, just how ya doin’ in general?
Simon Tillier: I’m fine, Rezin. Thanks for asking. Speaking of, I should ask, how are you after that battle two weeks ago against the Intense Champion?
Rezin looks up, with what can be called a typical amount of confusion on his head.
Rezin: Shit… did actually happen? Damb… dude really did a number of memory, hittin’ as hard as he does!
Simon Tillier: In any case, though you may have survived total destruction at the hands of Paxton Ray, tonight, you find yourself in an almost equally dire set of circumstances, going into the ring against the leader of Glue Point Oh, Cecilworth Farthington! A vastly different caliber of opponent, I think many would agree, but by the same token, potentially just as dangerous!
Trails of smoke cascade through Rezin’s flaring nostrils as he nods with intensity, taking in Tillier’s rundown.
Rezin: It’s a sticky situation, to say the least, Simon! Pun quite intended! But ya know what I always say: “A SITCH without STICK ain’t any different than a SATIVA without STANK!” Ya follow me?
Tillier, a well-adjusted human being when you count out his bi-weekly run-in with professional wrestling insanity, shakes his head, as any sensible person would.
Simon Tillier: I literally don’t recall you saying that ever…
Rezin: Really? DAMB! I guess Paxton Ray hits so hard, he causes FAKE memories to happen! That shit is kinda second level, if ya think about it!
Simon Tillier: Back on the match at hand, are you at all concerned about the Glue Factory–
“Oh wow, this is shaping up to be a classic pre-match interview. Sure would be a crying shame if somebody interrupted and made it all about them.”
Only one guy would do that.
Ye olde Model Citizen, seen earlier brain-melding with Coral Avalon. And now, traipsing right into what is supposed to be a spotlight for Rezin.
Rezin: Simon, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal?
Simon Tillier: Yes, Rezin?
Rezin: As we’ve just established, my ability to recollect certain people, places, and things ain’t quite on the up and up.
Simon Tillier: Yes, I’m inclined to agree.
Rezin: That bein’ said, can ya remind me of the preferred nomenclature of this cherub-faced fella here?
Simon Tillier: Sure, although if I’m sure of myself, I’d say this is your first formal introduction to former Universal Champion, Chandler Tsonda.
Simon Tillier: Tsonda.
Simon Tillier: Tsonda.
Simon Tillier: TSONDA.
Rezin: (to Chandler) My dude, help us out here, how do ya pronounce the name?
Chandler Tsonda: Rhymes with Honda. I’m sure there’s a helpful pronunciation guide on my Hall of Fame plaque?
Rezin: TSONDA! THERE it is! Jeez, OBVIOUSLY! C’mon, Simon, how hard was that?!
With superheroic patience on display, the interviewer bites his lip and rolls his eyes. Meanwhile, the Escape Artist whips his head back in the direction of Tsonda.
Rezin: FORMER Universal Champ, huh? Ya actually PROUD to be called that?
Chandler Tsonda: I like to think of it as “once-and-future Universal Champion.” And funny enough, the thing you and me got in common is that *neither* of us is wearing the big belt. Although for you, maybe that’s… (insincerely wincing) a little too soon?
Braincells going into Singapore sweatshop levels of overtime, Rezin’s eye twitches as he tries, and fails, to process this logic.
Rezin: EHCHWFMBLE… ugh, sure Tsonny Boy. To each their own. But in case ya didn’t notice, there’s a dude here with a mic askin’ me questions, and a camera pickin’ up on it, and you’re kinda traipsin’ in on my time! So if ya could, make like this joint I’m smokin’, and get your ASH outta my interview!
Chandler Tsonda: Hey man, I know the feeling. Hard to lose the big belt, isn’t it? Although when I lost it, I had already completed a record-breaking reign, and then rounded out a Hall of Fame career with several classic moments. But I’m sure you’ll…(gesturing to Simon Tiller and Rezin with both hands) have a nice little time with whatever stage of grief this is.
The Escape Artist throws his head back and groans.
Rezin: Look buddy, ya really wanna do this now? Fine…
He reaches for his belt buckle.
Rezin: (unbuckling) Let’s do this!
Simon Tillier: Rezin, what are you doing?!
Down go the Goat Bastard’s pants, to shrieks of revulsion (and maybe some joy?) from the PRIMEates watching in the arena and the millions more watching at home across the world.
Rezin: What’s it look like, Simon? I’m WHIPPIN’ IT OUT, so we can just have the PISSIN’ CONTEST here and now and have it settled! Fuck, ya think I wanna drag this ‘who’s reign was better’ bullshit any longer than necessary?
Rezin is struggling with his fly.
Rezin: C’MON, CHANNY! WHIP IT OUT! Think ya can beat MY record of FOUR FEET and TWENTY INCHES?!
Simon Tillier: That’s five feet and eight inches, you lunatic! For God’s sake, pull your pants up! You have a match in just a few moments!
Grumbling, Rezin obliges. When the sight of his pallid, hairy legs disappear, the crowd breathes a sigh of relief. In that moment, Simon Tillier is the undisputed hero of PRIME.
Meanwhile, Hell’s Favorite Hoosier wags a finger toward the returning Hall of Famer. Tsonda wears a smirk, the universal meaning of which is smug satisfaction (and pretending not to be shook by a grown man flashing him).
Rezin: Ya got lucky tonight, Tsonda! Only cause I gotta certain elitist entrepreGLUEr to introduce to the heel of my boot! But if it weren’t for that, so help me, I’d be PISSIN’ ALL OVER THE PLACE right now! And probably all over Simon’s shoes too, for good measure!
Chandler Tsonda: (smirking) I think this could be the beginning of a beautiful friendship. See ya in the funny papers, former champ.
As Tsonda slides out, Rezin’s face twitches and shakes in absolute perturbation.
Rezin: OOOOH, that word REALLY gums up my grinder, Simon! It WRINKLES my WRAPS! It DRIES UP my DANK! It HANKERS my HASH! It–
Simon Tillier: Yes, Rezin, we get it. Any final thoughts about the match before we wrap this up?
Rezin: (confused) …match?
Simon is about to say something in exasperation before lighting strikes and Rezin slaps his forehead.
Rezin: MATCH! FARTHINGTON! Right. YEAH, here’s a final thought!
The Escape Artist’s defiant and fiery eyes stare down the camera.
Rezin: Listen up, PRIME! Despite accomplishin’ what over half of ya can only DREAM to accomplish, and by sheer ACCIDENT I might add, the most of ya can still barely see me as anything more than a JOKE in this company! Way I see it, that’s YOUR problem, as I honestly ain’t got anything left to PROVE in this federation! I told ya two weeks ago, that with or without a title around my waist, I am STILL and will FOREVER BE the most PUNK ROCK MUTHAFUGGER to fight and bleed on the white and blue! And I’ll be DAMBED if I didn’t back up that claim gettin’ one over on the Impulse Champ!
Simon Tiller: Intense.
Rezin: INTENSE CHAMP! Right! I guess we’ll find out here in a few if ol’ Farthy is just like the rest of ya, or maybe one of the few that will actually take me SURRIOUSLY between those ropes! Either way, the rest of ya normie shitheads can just keep fuckin’ laughin’ it up to your hearts content, cause ooner or later, y’all are gonna learn that hard way that the circus has left town, and this “clown” ain’t here to amuse ya anymore!
He pitches what’s left of his joint and approaches the curtain. Simon turns back to the camera to sign off.
Simon Tillier: You heard it here, ladies and gentlemen! We’ll see how this shapes out as I turn it back over out there to Nick and Richard!
We then cut back to the ring.