Imagine if you will, an interstellar arena somewhere in the cosmos. Broadcasting across all of the multiverse, thousands of men, women, and whoever else go walking toward a giant ring. Each and every one of these potential combatants identifies as some version of a Kenny Freeman or a Randall Schwartz, and they all have one goal in mind…to be the sole survivor.
And then, the bell rings.
It turns out to be the biggest battle royal you can imagine, as these Kennies and Randalls start trading fists and kicks. Maybe even some flips, because why not? Anyway, all these folks square off, and eventually the eliminations start. I watch as Kenny after Kenny gets thrown over the top rope…but not me, ‘cause like Reba McEntire I’m a survivor.
Randall manages to throw quite a few of his contemporaries over the top rope to the outside, and that’s when I notice what happens when they get eliminated…they vanish. Like some Crisis on Infinite Earths anti-matter shit, except they just…fade away.
I yell to Randall, “We gotta get through this together bud,” and we do just that…we start kickin’ ass and takin’ names, except every name is Kenny Freeman and Randall Schwartz. Yeah, I realize how that sounds, but whatever. Anyway, we start hitting the ol’ double clothesline on everybody, and these Kennies and Randalls start flyin’ over the top rope and vanishin’.
Eventually, we find ourselves across the ring from our last two opponents. These two have been on a roll themselves, but we know what we have to do…so Randall hits Kenny with the one-two punch and I lay Randall out with a leg lariat. Don’t give me that look, you know what I’m talkin’ ‘bout. Anyway, Randall and I trade off, and I deal with the other Kenny by throwing him over the top rope…but he lands on the apron.
So then, we start trading punches and forearms, and the dude pulls me over the rope to the apron. We’re both in a precarious spot as we exchange more forearms, and the other Kenny goes for a lariat…but I catch him with a drop toe hold right onto the apron. Homie goes face-first onto the hardest part of the ring, falling off to the floor…but never actually landing on it before he fades into nothingness.
I slip through the ropes back into the ring, cause something inside me says the match ain’t finished yet…and sure enough, I see my buddy Randall about to get eliminated. He and his doppleganger have been giving each other low blows on the apron for who knows what reason, and I get sick of seeing Randall in that much pain…so I hit a shotgun dropkick on the other guy, sending him flying toward the floor before he too fades away. I pull Randall back into the ring as the bell sounds off, and some strange voice shouts out…
With that interjection, we find ourselves inside what appears to be a medical facility of some sort, something in psychiatry judging by all these diagrams of people’s brains affixed to the walls. One can only assume the real subject matter of these charts, because all of the writing is in Russian and there was no room in the budget for a translator. Seated on a couch are Kenny and Randall, the latter wearing a proud grin on his face after making the off-hand reference that surely no one is going to understand aside from Kenny…least of all, the young woman staring the pair down while scribbling some notes in a journal at her desk.
“No,” Kenny says, shaking his head before continuing. “The voice announced us as the sole survivor of the Culture Shock Rumble and the PRIME representatives of the multiverse. At least, I think that’s what happened, the trip back has my head in a bit of a fog.”
All the doctor can do is nod her head, feigning some understanding of what Kenny’s been talking about as she scribbles some more notes down. We get a glimpse of it, realize the notes are also in Russian, and are left to assume that it translates to “these guys need a good, long nap and some therapy.”
“Well, Mister Freeman,” she says, shifting her focus between Kenny and Randall. “It seems you and Mister Schwartz have been through a great deal of trauma the past several months. I understand not all this ‘multiverse’ business, but it sounds like the best thing you’ve done is make Moscow your home.”
“Moscow roads, take me home,” Randall chimes in, but a glare from Kenny quickly cuts the Entertainer off at the pass before the doctor presses on.
“Tell me, how long have you two been dealing with this supposed multiverse?”
The Masters look at each other, thinking carefully they’ve been through signing with PRIME last last March, all the way back to the Tag Team Survivor challenge.
“Well, we had to deal with a villainous Rubik’s cube about a year and a half ago, or so,” replies Randall, as Kenny nods in agreement.
“I see,” says the doctor, scribbling another note down. “And when was the last time you traveled to this multiverse?”
“Made a trip to ol’ Darinville,” states Randall with a smirk. “And that’s out I found out the portal gun we had wasn’t a time ma–”
Kenny snaps at his compatriot, visibly annoyed to no end at the bit that’s been beaten into the ground by this point, before turning his attention to the doctor.
“Say, doc, are we just about done here? Randall and I need to get ready for Colossus, we have a very important match and we don’t want to disappoint the Starshy Praporshchik.”
Randall looks at Kenny with a stunned smile, proud of his comrade finally addressing Stanislav properly as the doctor nods in understanding.
“Yes, I think you two are okay to leave…for now. Good luck out there, bring home the victory for the Red Army.”
Kenny and Randall nod before rising from the couch, the Entertainer giving a double thumbs up as if to assure the doctor they’ve got this under control before they take their leave from the office…and just as quickly, the doctor picks up her phone, apparently making a very quick call.
“Mr. Ruslan? Yes, this is Doctor Nikitin, the Masters have just left my office and have been cleared for the time being…though you might have to monitor them closely. You were right about the multiverse thing, they’re still going on about it.”
With that, the doctor ends the call, placing the phone back down before scribbling just a little more with another shake of her head.
Colossus. A chance to finally, finally make things right. What do I mean by that, you ask? Well…last year didn’t go so well for the Masters, as I’m sure you’ll recall. The loss in that three-way tag match has been haunting me ever since…but now, we have just one pair of opponents to worry about.
Glue Man Group.
A lot of questions were thrown our way about the Gentlemen’s Games over the past several weeks, namely…why not just face them in a match and get it done with? Why play these silly Games at all? And my response to those questions is thusly: do you know who you’re talking to? We’re the motherfuckin’ Masters of the Moscowverse.
Purveyors of the Food-O-Matic 3000. Raisers of funds for a GREAT HOME. The winningest tag team to represent PRIME in…uhhh, never mind. We are a team that has persevered since the absolute death of the tag team division in this company. A team of two very important halves. Half of which is a man who got to the second round of a tournament people thought he would be knocked out of immediately, and the other half is Randall Schwartz.
We know what the hell we’re doing, folks.
Joe Fontaine and Sid Phillips are two very talented, very capable men who similarly have been a mainstay of a division that never should’ve gone away. I’d call them equals, but…frankly, I think Randall and I look cooler. Anyway.
In this final Gentlemen’s Game, we will see who will prevail in one of the biggest challenges we’ve ever had to tackle. We’ve had our shot at tag title glory, we’ve had extreme encounters, but we’ve never had to figure out how to win a Best of One Fall Match.
Shut up, I know what it is.
New Orleans is gonna be the battlefield for one hell of a fight, fellas. The crowd at the Superdome and everyone watching at home will bear witness to one big ol’ chunk of Glue armor getting cut away, when keep you down to take the one and only fall that matters in this match. And then, we will root on our Starshy Praporshchik when he tramples your neck-loving pal FLAMBERGE…and then, all will be right.
Because all will be Red.
All things must pass…and at Colossus, that is precisely what happens to the Glueminati’s tight, sticky grip on PRIME.
See you then, boys.
~ Kenny Freeman