Back from commercial, we return to the ringside area.
Nick Stuart: Ladies and gentlemen, next up we have a real treat for you.
Richard Parker: Quit underselling it… HOYT IS HERE!
“Say Your Prayers (live)” by Neil Francis plays through the area. White and purple spotlights sweep over the crowd. Exotic dancers dressed like angels dance to the music inside the ring. A royal purple rug covers the canvas with the Williams family flying =W= crest pressed upon it in gold. 3 large slabs of stained glass windows about the size of a door, and a 4th boarded up broken window frame lean up against each of the four ring posts. A plump Black man in a tight suit, dripping sweat and dapping his head with a golden handkerchief, stands in front of a golden lectern raised above two wooden pews on either side at ring level facing the hard camera.
Reverend Nathaniel Clay: Ex-Saint Louis, Listen up. I said LOUIS listen UP. THE LAWD HAS HEARD YOUR CALLINGS. Your PERSONAL JeZusssssssssss. The Heavenly Hall of Famer. THE PONTIFF OF THE PILEDRIVVVVVAAA The swami of the sue-play! The miracle of the microphone. The holy ghost host of this here Conversational Confessionals, my savior and yours… HOYYYYYYYYT HAAAA BYGAWD WILLIAMSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!
Richard Parker: Hoyt BE WITH YOU!!!
The right reverend Clay throws his hands to the sky as the ring posts start pouring out bright white sparklers. Above him, being lowered down wearing Angel Wings, is Hoyt Williams. The Pontiff of PRIME is wearing a sparklingly black Richard Jewels (of Manchester & Stuart Hughes of Liverpool) cashmere suit made of the finest wool, silk, and best cut pure diamonds. Paired nicely with white unicorn skin boat shoes, matching his Hermes Jeu Du Fer tie and universal title cufflinks.
Most of the crowd is clapping along to the music and enjoying the spectacle. Once Hoyt’s blue suede shoes touch down he shares a hug with Reverend Clay as the dancing angels gavotte over to the Savior and quickly unhook the wings and harness. Hoyt does a few Jumping Jacks for Jesus while the girls and the reverend exit the ring, the smoke clears, and the house lights turn on.
Hoyt Williams: This morning I made it official and we have REMOVED the sainthood of that French loser Louis. So from this day forward this city is only to be referred to as Louis. So new Louis please raise and lift your heart up to the HOYT.
The crowd jeers.
Hoyt Williams: Last ReVival one of the stained glass masterpieces depicting the stages of my career was destroyed. I have sent a MASSIVE bill to Lindsay Troy and expect full compensation. The religious oppression in PRIME is real. Now let’s get down to the nails in the cross. My first guest probably can’t spell nepotism, but he’s sure benefited from it. Much like the rest of us he’s embarrassed by his fathers last name, and made the wise decision of using his mothers. He is known as the N-One, G-H-T, Craw-One-ER.
Hoyt looks cross eyed at his blue note card confused. He shrugs his shoulders.
Hoyt Williams: I don’t know what that means. Anyway here is the best booking we could do for a guest on this show.
The Pontiff of PRIME glares daggers at his producer outside of the ring, Joe Burro.
Hoyt Williams: He is Eddie CROSS!
“Cross-Off” by Mark Morton plays and Eddie Cross steps out of the back. He is dressed in full street clothes replete with his olive drab GG shirt (available at the PRIMEporium) as he is not competing tonight, but he is still wearing the eyepatch stemming from his wounds at UltraViolence.
The young man slaps some hands as he walks down the aisle and slowly makes his way up the steps. He pauses and wipes his feet before stepping through the ropes. Hoyt smiles his Cheshire grin and holds out a gold plated microphone for the youngster to speak into. Eddie takes the mic warily.
Hoyt Williams: Welcome to my confessional, sinner. Now I know you have a lot to confess, but we’re interested in one specific confession… your delightful betrayal of Dave Gibson.
As he speaks, he dabs his forehead with a pristine custom monogrammed white silk cloth.
Eddie Cross: Hold on a second, Hoyt, that isn’t what happened…
The savior looks down at his notecard and doesn’t hold on. In fact, he ramps his volume up and leans to the crowd in the front row.
Hoyt Williams: Oh really? Dave Gibson must have been beaten by oh-I-Don’t Know, Satan? Was it SATAN, or was it you Eddie? A man who acted as a father-like figure for you was beaten and thrown in an ambulance. Now this Godless brat wants to pretend I don’t know the goings on in my own ring? Remember Ed I know all and see all.
Nick Stuart: Yea, he bought the Pay-Per-View.
Eddie rolls his eyes and mouths the words “fuck this” before dropping the microphone and turning to walk out of the ring. Just as he steps through the ropes, the opening licks of “Paradise City” plays and Eddie closes his eyes hoping against hope he isn’t hearing the music that is playing.
The youngster turns and jawjacks with Hoyt before angrily snatching the microphone off the ground with slight feedback. Dave Gibson steps out of the back, still limping, with a bandage across his forehead and wearing a neck brace. Gibson has a box under one arm. The veteran slowly works his way to the ring, wincing as he steps between the ropes and grabbing at his neck before he produces a golden microphone of his own.
The young man looks at Hoyt and says something the microphones do not pick up. Hoyt holds up his hands and assures the youth that this is OK. He then pulls a cross out of his back pocket and holds it up like Hoyt is doing an exorcism.
Hoyt Williams: This is a sanctuary for wrestling conflict and violence will not be tolerated, nor will dirty language. It wouldn’t look becoming for the millions of children watching my show around the world, Ed, to see you act out like a delinquent. This man requested my presence to act as a broker of peace, a white dove, a biblical mediator, and I will not have his wishes tarnished by a youthful rebel full of lust, urine, and fury.
EC shakes his head, plainly not impressed with this whole situation.
Eddie Cross: There’s nothing he can say that I want to hear.
Gibson brings the mic up, and rapidly responds.
Dave Gibson: Well you’re gonna hear me out, whether you like it or not! I think I’ve earned that!
The kid squints his good eye and slowly reaches up, lifting his eyepatch to show Dave the gruesome injury that his bad eye sustained. Some people in the front row turn away and shield their children.
Eddie Cross: I don’t know Dave, I think you got enough of me already.
Dave shakes his head and throws out his arms in as much of a surrendering motion as he can muster.
Dave Gibson: Look, that match was your idea. You never would have let me live it down if I didn’t take it to that level, and you know it.
The microphone drops to Eddie’s side and he steps up nose to nose with Gibson, who isn’t backing down. The two are growing more and more animated in one another’s face until finally, Hoyt has seen enough.
Hoyt Williams: Gentlemen.
They continue to argue and seem to have forgotten about Hoyt’s presence. He sighs deeply and tries to interject once again.
Hoyt Williams: Gentlemen!
Still no luck. Eddie and Dave are now eye to eye and they are saying nothing with their nostrils flaring, as if they are ready to start the match all over again. Hoyt unleashes a deep, commanding, edict.
Hoyt Williams: GENTLEMEN!
HIS voice echoes through the arena, and both Eddie and Dave snap their heads back to him.
Hoyt Williams: David, he who has battled so many a Goliath. Lost a lot of them. I ask you now, in front of this assembly of Louis sinners, renounce the illness in your heart and tell Edward about your motivations. Confess, for the truth will set you free like a dragon disguised as a rat fly freely amongst us.
He turns to Eddie.
Hoyt Williams: And you, Edward, like Psalm 37:7 says, “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when people succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.”
Eddie throws a hand up and looks at Dave.
Eddie Cross: What the he…
Hoyt holds up a minding finger.
Eddie Cross: Sorry… I mean… What is he talking about Dave?
Dave Gibson: I’ve got just one thing to say to you, kid…
Dave Gibson: I am so proud of you.
Eddie looks at Dave with wariness in his good eye and confusion in his face. But he doesn’t interrupt his mentor this time.
Dave Gibson: That night when I came back, after we cleared the ring, do you remember what I said to you? I pulled you close and I whispered into your ear… “you’re ready.” And what I meant was, that you were ready for all of this. All of what has happened since. You had to learn that, in this business, you can’t count on anyone but yourself. You have to be willing to dig down deep, to put everything on the line, to pay the mental and the physical price, all to be the best!
Dave is now back in Eddie’s face, pointing at his former student.
Dave Gibson: And I had to teach you that, to make sure you had learned that, before I… before I leave for good. I’ve taught you everything I can. You… it’s time for you to stand on your own. This… this is for you.
Dave sets the box at Eddie’s feet. Then Gibson drops his microphone and heads for the ropes. After all, he’d rather die alone than admit in front of the world what he is facing.
Eddie Cross: Dave, wait…
The mentor turns and looks at his student. Eddie sees changes that weren’t present even a few months ago. The shaved head, the drawn skin, the weight loss, the fatigue in his eyes. Suddenly, the pieces of the puzzle connect.
Stupid! Stupid! It was there the whole time and he never noticed. Of course Gibson turned on him. Of course he orchestrated this entire scheme. It was the love a Father was supposed to have for their Son… their job in life… to make sure their kid was ready.
Because Dave couldn’t be there forever to protect him.
Eddie Cross: I’m sorry.
The man that is known to some as being sadistic, cruel, and calculating steps through the ropes with one leg then pauses. A million thoughts must be racing through his head as he considers the ramifications of staying and going.
Eddie Cross: Dave, please… don’t leave.
Dave takes a deep breath. He doesn’t owe the kid anything now. He did his job, and did it well. But there’s a feeling he just can’t shake, something deep down inside the dark heart he once put on display for the entire world. He isn’t the same man he once was.
He steps back into the ring and the crowd buzzes. He doesn’t seem to know what to do, and he looks at Hoyt, then out to the announcers table, then back to Eddie. The stupid kid. All Eddie had to do was let him leave.
A tear forms in the corner of Dave’s eye as he shakes his head and reaches his hand out to Eddie. The young man remembers mere months ago when he trusted Dave with a handshake that turned into a hug that turned into a double cross and ended up almost costing him an eye.
But this is different.
This time, he has learned the final lessons and he’s ready.
He takes Dave’s hand and Dave leans in, hugging his pupil. The crowd explodes as Dave holds up Eddie’s hand and Hoyt steps forward with his golden microphone glinting in the arena lights.
Hoyt Williams: So you see, my flock, all things are possible through Hoyt! A miracle only I could create. Go now in peace and remember to take care of yourself, and each other, and as always, fill the church basket! Ushers!
Hoyt raises his hands to the sky as a lady with an 80’s perm is shown shedding a tear in the crowd. Old guys wearing gray flat cap hats pass around collection baskets.
“Paradise City” by Guns n’ Roses plays as Dave breaks the embrace and turns, waving to the crowd and mouthing “Goodbye” a couple of times. Eddie watches Dave’s exit then finally notices the box at his feet. He starts to rip off the brown paper then pauses at the words scrawled across the plain wrapping.
Open this when the time is right. You’ll know what it means…
Hoyt continues to boast as Eddie ponders this gift– is it a gift?–and Dave Gibson exits the arena, perhaps, for the final time?
And with that, ReVival rolls on.