Backstage. Just behind the Argyle position.
The Champ stands back. Belt on his shoulder. Shirtless and in his ring gear. Eyes dead ahead, grit teeth hiding behind a frozen expression.
In front of him, the challenger. The Ace.
The Tower of Babel.
Youngblood pays him no mind, loosening his arms. With what is on the line, with what is about to take place, to say his attention is elsewhere is an understatement. Even there being this little space between them is a shock. He readies himself, about to go through the curtain to the Argyle Position, but something stops him.
Hayes Hanlon: Hey. Youngblood.
PRIME’s Ace takes pause, turning his head back toward the Event Horizon.
Brandon Youngblood: If you’re lookin’ for pre-match slap, now ain’t the time.
Hayes Hanlon: (smirking) No, nothing like that.
He shifts his feet, and clears his throat.
Hayes Hanlon: I just wanted to say that if I don’t walk out of there with the belt on my shoulder, I’ll be proud that I lost it to you.
Youngblood offers the smallest of nods, not in the mood for pleasantries.
Hayes Hanlon: But I need you to know…
The shift in tone catches more of his attention however.
Hayes Hanlon: …that this is my chance to prove that I don’t just belong at the head of the ReVival. That I can stand with the ReVolution, too. And I’m not gonna pull any punches.
Youngblood scans him up and down, stepping toward him.
Brandon Youngblood: I’ve waited nine months for this moment…and if you think you’re getting anything but my absolute best? You got another thing coming.
The time has arrived. The Anger Golem’s music has started to rise out in the arena. Youngblood gives himself a couple chest slaps, and moves to disappear into the Argyle position.
Hayes Hanlon: Pariah.
…but he’s forced to take one more pause.
Hayes Hanlon: Why’d you name Nate Colton the Next Diamond, and not me?
Youngblood looks over his shoulder, his eyes wide.
Brandon Youngblood: Because I owe his old man more than I could repay. Because he’s a workhorse.
He snorts, spitting off to the side.
Brandon Youngblood: …and because you should know…better than anyone…that you don’t want to be me.
He turns his head, hand ripping through the curtain.
Brandon Youngblood: …because you have the chance to be better than us all.