WHERE THERE’S SMOKE
Fading in from the commercial, we open on a tight shot on the face of Simon Tillier, standing backstage and looking straight into the camera.
Simon Tillier: Welcome back, PRIME fans! Still plenty of action left on this ninth edition of ReVival, but right now, let’s take a moment to hear from one of the stars scheduled to compete later tonight!
The shot zooms out to reveal two men standing nearby the junior reporter.
Simon Tillier: Standing here with me is the man who has quickly distinguished himself here in PRIME as one of the most detestable deviants to ever lurk out of the locker room… the self-proclaimed “Escape Artist” Rezin!
Before the camera is Rezin, his ever-paranoid eyes lost in a thousand-yard stare. At his shoulder towers the Viking account Ollie Arsvinnar, taking every opportunity to mug to the camera.
Simon Tillier: Rezin? I see you’re wearing a shirt! For once! Or at least, part of one!
He gestures to Rezin’s chest. The Goat Bastard looks down at the brand new “Anarchy ‘R’” t-shirts that he happens to be wearing, hanging loose with the sides cut out. Ollie is wearing one himself, perfectly fit to his muscular frame
Simon Tillier: Well, I suppose now you won’t have to go around defacing anyone else’s shirts, which I have to personally admit, is something of a relief!
Rezin’s laser-focused stare into the void slowly works its way over to Simon, as if to say “try me”. Then Ollie nudges him from behind. Rezin’s eyes roll in irritation, and robotically recites pre-approved words through visibly clenched teeth.
Rezin: (growling) …YES, Simon… and these shirts are available for purchase now, at the PRIME-Porium and all major online retailers. Come be a part of “the ReZistance”, for only fourteen-ninety-nine…
Ollie Arsvinnar: That’s right! And a big shout out to Timo Bolambo for doing the work on these! Buy one today, and prove to the world that even YOU can be…
The Viking spins, and uses his thumbs to draw attention to the six letters printed on the back of his shirt, which he reads aloud.
Ollie Arsvinnar: “TOO – PUNK – ROCK – FOR – PRO – WRESTLING!”
The smile on Ollie’s face as he turns himself back around to face the camera practically stretches from ear to ear. But then he sees the aggravated Rezin glaring up at him, and suddenly gets a sense that he’s done something wrong.
Ollie Arsvinnar: …what? Doesn’t hurt to put it ourselves out there a bit.
Rezin groans, and redirects his ire to the junior reporter standing near.
Rezin: …so can we get this over with?
Tillier awkwardly clears his throat and pushes forward.
Simon Tillier: Well then, Rezin… did you have anything to say about tonight’s match?
The Goat Bastard scoffs and shakes his head.
Rezin: Nah, I think I’ve already said whatever needed to be said on the subject of Anna Daniels. All that’s left is to go in that ring and pay ‘em the painful reminder that they ain’t as untouchable as they think they are.
Simon Tillier: What sort of statement are you hoping to make tonight, going into Great American Nightmare, where you’re said to be challenging for the Five Star Championship?
Rezin grumbles as he considers his answer.
Rezin: What’s the point in trynna make a “statement” when there’s nobody out there willin’ to listen, Simon? The people of PRIME has already made up their minds on me. Nothing I’ve willingly tried on my own has done anything to change that opinion. How is tonight any different? A win for me would just be seen as a fluke to them. They don’t see me as a wrestler. Not a “real” wrestler, anyhow. All they want to see is a filthy burnout enjoying a good luck streak, on his way to crowd-pleasing ass-kicking.
He shrugs, and casually lights up a spliff.
Rezin: So, to hell with making statements. To hell with trying to change minds. From now on, I’m just gonna do what I do. Hasn’t failed me yet. Here in two weeks, when the whole world sees me holding that Five Star Championship over my head, it’ll be a lot harder for all the high-and-mighty elitist scum to dismiss what I’m doin’ in this place.
He puffs a cloud of smoke into the junior reporter’s face. Simon wears a sour-milk expression as he covers his nose.
Rezin: They shouldn’t have ignored the smoke… cause here soon, they’ll be sitting in the fire.
The Escape Artist turns and leaves without another word, leaving a trail of smoke in his wake. Ollie nervously waves a goodbye to Simon and points at his shirt again in his final seconds on camera before following after Rezin. Left alone, Tillier breathes a sigh of relief.