WORST HOT ONES INTERVIEW I’VE EVER SEEN
Paxton Ray is annoyed.
Over the past month, he has lost his first round match to Tony Gamble, and he has had terse interactions with Jared Sykes, Chandler Tsonda, and now Nate Colton. The night is nearing its end, and he just wants to go back to the catering table and eat his wings in peace.
As he walks towards the catering table, he sees someone standing in his way.
Rich Patterson, likewise, is annoyed.
Not only had he been dismissed in the first round of the Almasy at ReV 37, but he’d lost his PRIME debut — an opportunity to make a splash in a marquee organization after years of toiling in regionals — to Jonathan-Christopher Hall, partially, and Vickie Hall, primarily. Unbooked, he’d had half a mind to find the Halls and field-dress them in some anteroom of the Yum! Center. Instead, he’s loitered at the catering table most of the evening, putting work in on a crudité platter.
Of course he knows who Paxton Ray is. Bayou Butcher. Alex DeLarge devotee. Not in possession of a Father of the Year mug.
The two men share a look before Paxton nods his head.
Paxton Ray: Hey. Mind movin’?
Rich Patterson: You put on a good show at 36. Shame how it ended.
Paxton mutters in response, then steps past Patterson. There is incidental contact between the two.
Paxton Ray: Yeah, sucked.
Reaching over Patterson, Ray picks up some buffalo wings and puts them on his plate. He looks over at Patterson, who is watching him.
Paxton Ray: Ya were in a match too, right? Did ya win?
Rich Patterson: Right until I didn’t. That’s cheats for you, though.
The Bayou Butcher nods and brings his plate up, but his hand slips and a bit of buffalo sauce flies off of his plate and onto Patterson’s new PRIME-branded shirt.
Paxton Ray: Lotta those here. Aw, shit. Sorry. Guess it wouldn’t have happened if you’da moved when I asked, though.
Patterson looks down and wipes away the little droplets of sauce from his shirt.
Rich Patterson: I was making smalltalk. Don’t worry over it. It’s your way to ruin nice things. It was only a matter of time it’d happen to me.
To this point, Paxton had been stiff, but cordial. As soon as he hears the word “ruins,” though, he stands up straight and takes a deep breath.
Paxton Ray: Ruin things? ‘Less I forgot, this is our first time meetin’, but you’re talkin’ like you know anythin’ ‘bout me.
Rich Patterson: Happy to meet a colleague, but don’t walk round like your reputation doesn’t precede you here to the hospital you put your friend in.
Okay, we’ve now reached “put your wings down because you might need your hands for something else” territory. Paxton bites his lower lip as he sets his plate down, then cracks his neck.
Paxton Ray: All right. I ain’t really enjoyin’ the way this conversation is goin’, ‘specially since it shoulda ended when I said to move and then ya could scurry off somewhere where your mouth won’t get ya in trouble. Yeah, I did some things. But I’m tryin’ t’be better. Been tryin’ to make things right, though nobody seems willin’ t’meet me halfway.
Patterson laughs through his nose.
Rich Patterson: No points for guessing how come. How many bridges you burn here? I’m not using that phrase idiomatically, by the way. What’s halfway without a bridge? Middle of a river? Middle of the interstate? Halfway with you’s still a fine way to get hurt.
Paxton shakes his head.
Paxton Ray: I can think’a couple other ways t’get hurt. Like runnin’ your mouth ‘bout somebody ya say ruins nice things. So whaddaya think, new guy? Are ya a nice thing?
He takes a step towards Patterson.
Patterson meets him. The two stand chest-to-chest.
Rich Patterson: Nicer than you.
He pokes Ray.
Rich Patterson: You don’t know a thing about me — but you know that. Because you’re Paxton Ray, and you’re the worst of us.
A few fans can be heard from the arena saying “oooooooh.” The Sneer, which had been missing from Paxton’s face for most of his last few appearances, returns to its rightful place, and let me tell you, it fits like a glove.
Paxton Ray: The worst’a us.
He looks down at the table.
Paxton Ray: Been tryin’ t’be nice t’everyone, but fine. Let’s be the worst’a us.
Quicker than a flash, Paxton flings his right hand up, sending the plate of wings into Rich Patterson’s face, giving him the opening to begin to push Rich back with punches. But the rookie quickly recovers, and they both trade punches until they fall into the catering table. It breaks fairly easily, sending food to the floor with the two brawlers.
This scene only lasts for a few more moments before a gaggle of Enemigos swarm in, grabbing both men and pulling them apart. For his part, Paxton immediately stops trying to go for Patterson, but he doesn’t drop the sneer.
Patterson allows the Enemigos to keep him at bay. He reaches over them, pointing at Paxton Ray.
Rich Patterson: You “did some things,” Paxton, but I don’t have the first clue why you think you’re going to make them right. Look at this — (broadly gesturing) — you couldn’t get through some pleasantries without going feral.
Paxton Ray: Pleasantries. Whatever.
Wiping his face, Paxton turns, raising his arms so the Enemigos let go of him. He then takes a few steps away.
Paxton Ray: You an’ I ain’t done, new guy.
The Bayou Butcher looks over at the fallen table. He just wanted some hot wings.
Paxton Ray: God, bein’ nice is so fuckin’ hard.
He walks away as the camera stays focused on Patterson.
Rich Patterson: Ain’t it, though.
The camera cuts back to ringside.