WHOSE MASK IS IT ANYWAY?
The camera cuts immediately from the ring to Argyle Position, where The Anglo Luchador, wearing cargo shorts, a t-shirt that reads “PRIME: Number One By Definition” in larger print and “As Seen on Warrenburg, MO COPS” in smaller print beneath it, and of course, his Intense Championship, awaits. After a few moments, Ria Lockhart steps through, fresh from her return match to PRIME. She’s startled to see her complicated friend waiting for her.
TAL: Hey you! Welcome back!
Ria Lockhart: Thanks… Didn’t exactly go the way I wanted it to. That’s life sometimes, I guess.
TAL: It’s alright. You’re back. That’s all that matters right now. C’mon, we’ve gotta catch up.
Loud Voice Off-Screen: NOT SO FAST, CHEAP MASK.
TAL: Oh Jesus…
The camera pans over to catch Hoyt Williams, Joe Burro, Hoyt’s father Duke, and the hulking Mask of Malice, Balaam making their way into the frame.
Hoyt Williams: We’ve been waiting for a response on a mask vs very, very cheap mask match. The wait is over.
Hoyt raises his arms and the lighting turns to red and starts to flicker.
Joe Burro: You still got it *CLAP CLAP*
Hoyt smirks and positions himself near TAL’s face.
Hoyt Williams: Give me the mic backstage interview lady.
Hoyt holds his hand out flat towards Ria, not breaking eye contact with the Intense Champion. Balaam moves in behind TAL crowding him.
TAL: First off, Buddy Christ, lay off the giardiniera, Jesus, your breath could wake the goddamn dead.
Hoyt glowers at him.
TAL: Second, how many masks did you commission stolen to replace the one you lifted from the realm of the dead? None of them belong to you. THIRD, that’s not “backstage interview lady,” that’s Ria Lockhart, and she’ll cave your skull in her-damn-self and leave nothing for me if you don’t show respect.
Ria turns towards Hoyt, staring a hole through him. Slowly, a smile spreads across her face.
Ria Lockhart: Ya know what, Hoyt? You can go ahead and disrespect me all you want. That ain’t gonna help your boy there beat The Anglo Luchador. You haven’t learned yet… You will, though. I’ll leave you to this, Tom.
Ria pauses and leans in close towards Hoyt.
Ria Lockhart: I won’t be far, though.
With that, Ria takes her leave.
Hoyt Williams: I mean from disrespectful face painted refs to letting the interview women have names. Rio what is that?
TAL: (cutting Hoyt off) Ria. You should remember her, she put hands on John Boy, made him recoil a bit on more than one occasion.
Hoyt ignores the luchador’s interjection.
Hoyt Williams: This place is a madhouse. As for the masks, I won the underworld fairly. Those masks are all mine and given the fact you’re a common thief I understand why you feel the need to appropriate culture. If I was you I’d hide my face too.
TAL: Listen, I don’t have the Tupi Mask of Horrors. Or this jaguar mask you keep yammering on about. You’re telling me you had nothing to do with them being stolen?
Hoyt Williams: No, because it’s you who’s behind it, Cheap Mask.
TAL: I’ve had nothing to do with what you’re saying. But if you really want masks other than the stolen property you have on your golem there, you got it. Mask vs. Mask. You win, you get my face shown to the world, and your boy can be Intense Champion. I win though, I keep the Mask of Malice. Forever.
Hoyt Williams: Excellence! Because if Balaam can’t beat you the mask and him are worthless to me. Instead of collecting masks I think it’s time to start collecting and unifying them all under the God’s title championship. By the way, you are standing in my HALL of FAME hallway. So move along.
Balaam lifts a life-like severed replica of TAL’s head with the mask half ripped off. Hoyt just laughs. The Intense Champion shudders slightly, as if the specter of doubt is creeping into his head.
TAL: Your Hall of Fame Hallway? Hoyt, let me lay it down. I respect what you’ve done in this ring. PRIME is part of your DNA just as much as your pruno-soaked raiments are forever in the closet here. But it’s a new day. If you want to claim these hallways? Do what Youngblood and Nova are doing. Get out of the luxury box and fight like a man instead of lounging like a pig. Until then, leave the possessives to those of us who run this place.
The luchador tries to exit brushing past PRIME’s Personal Jesus, but Hoyt stops him.
Hoyt Williams: If he don’t get the job done, I just may have to, but that’s a reckoning you don’t not want to witness. One way or another at Ultraviolence things will get biblically violent. Peace be with you.
Joe Burro raises his book and leads the procession away from Argyle, followed by Hoyt, then Duke, and finally Balaam, carrying the effigy of the luchador’s head and giving his Ultraviolence opponent one last snort before being led away. The Intense Champion stares them down until they’re further down the hallway out of sight before letting out a mammoth exhale.
TAL: What the hell did I get myself into.
The camera cuts back to the ring.