I feel like now is a good time to explain exactly who The Dastardly Bastard is, and why, suddenly, the entire world of PRIME had to deal with him.
Years ago, I had a bit of a breakdown. It was right after joining The New Breed in PCW and trying to cope with a world I had built for myself that was simply not my own. Jason Snow and I had a running rivalry that caused a rift inside of our stable and the fact is I didn’t know how to be a bad guy. I know that sounds stupid. Everyone has the capacity for that behavior, but you have to understand my family taught me to be morally strong and fight for the rights of the weak. My father, Rufan Bolamba, would be so disappointed in me. My mother would call me and say “Timo, se a le mea ua e faia ai lenei mea lo’u atalii?” (Why are you doing this my son?) My first two news stories in PCW were about donating my very first endorsement check to the Betty Ford clinic and giving blood to The Red Cross. That’s right. To quote Lizzo, “Turns out I am 100% that bitch.”
So how did it happen? I guess part of it was me being young and stupid. Part of it was being blinded by fame. Pretty typical story, really. The second time The Bastard emerged though, that was anything but. Tsuyoshi Tanaka hit me over the head so hard I literally lost myself to a waking dream that I was in a music video for a retelling of Bohemian Rhapsody about myself and Dave Gibson, replete with all the cast and characters of FUSE.
“I’m just a good guy, everyone loves me, I’m just a good guy I never get to cheat, spare me my match from the job this week!” and so on.
When I came to I was not the same.
The Bastard had awoken again. This was different though, this was a whole different side of me…one that wanted control. One that locked my noble side away. One that tried to hurt Jon Rhine in any way possible because of what he represented; fear of being relegated to the bench. He was the golden boy, given all his opportunity when I had earned everything he was being given. I went through the wars with Dave Gibson. I anchored the show against Tanaka. I faced down Clinton Sage when Rhine was a twinkle in wrestling history. He waltzed in and took my title shot. It is not a stretch to say The Bastard hated Jon Rhine.
Do you know what that asshole did? Jon Rhine believed in me. He stood up to me. He took all the terrible things The Bastard did and, well it wasn’t easy for him, he did what I would have done. He helped me defeat The Bastard and lock him away forever. It is not a stretch to say I love Jon Rhine like a brother.
So as I sit here with a box in my hands locked shut with the words “NEVER OPEN” written across the top, I am forced to question the logic of my decision. The thing is, I can never be whole without this. I know it. Like Bruce Banner and The Hulk, I cannot be torn in two and the reality is at some point this is going to happen and I need to control the narrative of how it happens.
Here we go.
Timo Bolamba shook with anxiety in his bed. Ironically clutching at a handful of comforters, he felt beads of cold sweat forming on his body. Shallow breaths and shuddering heartbeats drummed in his chest like a poorly timed engine.
Tagaloa, not again. Please, help me.
Strength had never been an issue for Timo. The last few years, though, were difficult to process. For those who do not know what it feels like when the monster grips you, it is not a rational feeling. At the worst, a couple years ago in panic Timo had called the ambulance convinced he was having a heart attack. Of course the paramedics that showed up on the scene found a man in his late forties in better shape than most in their early twenties and comforted him the best they could.
The Samoan had thrown out his name brand prescription drugs that Dr. Hannerman had given him as a “break glass in case of emergency” contingency because he hated feeling like he was not in control and floating…like white noise. On top of that, the feeling was addicting.
The emptiness and quiet of the night is too much for even the most hardened, and though years had scarred his face with lines and battles in the ring had scarred his body, he sat up in his bed vulnerable as a newborn wrapped in soft linen. A soft patter of feet alit on his bed and the small feline nuzzled Timo’s hand until he scratched her ears.
“I’m sorry, I have not been home much lately have I.”
He picked up his phone and started scrolling through names trying to figure out who might be awake at this hour. The UK is about eight hours ahead of Las Vegas, and he knew a guy. The plinking of digital keys broke the silence in the room along with the downward inflection of a message being sent.
A couple minutes later, an upward inflected report broke the silence once again and Timo smiled for what felt like the first time all night. Raul Diaz, aka PCW legend El Diablo, was awake already. Timo knew he had been working in the UK at some local shows and there was a good chance he might be able to find time to text.
El Diablo and Timo both held the PCW Rising Star Championship very closely and in that there is a camaraderie. The Samoan always believed that only someone who understood the value of the belt is worthy of holding it. It was true when he had beaten Rent-a-Hero for the belt, and it was true when he lost the championship.
Another text was sent out and it wasn’t long before “Spiders” as performed by System of a Down began playing.
“Hey Diablo,” Timo answered. “Oh you know, the usual. Just up at night thinking about things.”
“Yeah, that’s good. How is Angela?”
“That’s great, man. Long lasting happiness in an industry it rarely happens in. That’s the dream, brother.”
“Yeah, no I haven’t talked to her in about ten years.”
“It doesn’t help but I don’t think that’s what is keeping me up tonight.”
“Well, I’ve been trying to mend fences. I finally talked to JKH.” Slight pause. “Went great actually.”
A longer pause and Timo finally slid out of his bed. His heavily tattooed torso had a sweat induced sheen to it in the moonlight and several scars stood out across his arms and back. The long faded cobra tattoo on his chest seemed like a distant memory, as did his career as an active wrestler.
“I don’t know D. I just can’t sleep, it feels like I am missing something.”
“I hadn’t really considered that. It’s been about fifteen years, I guess.”
“Haha, yeah, thanks for making me laugh. Oh hey you should stop in when you come back to the states. I know a couple guys that you’d like.” A pause. “Yeah, I’ll be ok. Thanks for checking in.”
The phone shut off with a beep and Timo noticed he had absent mindedly walked to his closet. The small gray tabby wound around his feet as he reached forward and opened the bifold door.
“Is it time?” he said to nobody in specific.
He reached up to grab a box with both hands. It was made of hardwood with filigree burned into the lid. The box was locked up tight and scrawled with hasty writing on the top. Timo stood with it in his hands for several moments, pondering the ramifications of what was about to happen.
Suddenly remembering something, he grabbed the comforter off his bed and covered the standing mirror in the bedroom. He sat on the naked bed with a pensive glare and deep breaths. He was sweating for an entirely different reason now.
After fumbling with the lock for a bit, the box opened with a shrill creak and fifteen years of stagnant air escaped with a sultry whisper as he opened the lid. Inside was a simple object to most, but for Timo, a malignant harbinger of the past. A pair of Maui Jim silver lensed Maverick series aviator sunglasses reflected his gaze.
He knew how to hide behind these lenses. He knew what hid behind these lenses. He knew he should lock these lenses up again and not look at them for another fifteen years, but it was already time. He had about enough running from his past and enough sleepless nights.
“Hello, Silencer,” a voice whispered through the darkness. “How long has it been this time and what have you gotten yourself into?”
Weakly, Timo replied “Fifteen years, Bastard.”
“And the second part?”
“Nothing. It’s going great.”
“Lies.” The venomous rasp of The Bastard’s voice cut the night. “You never called me out when it was going great. Tell me, tell the truth.”
There is no answer. Timo doesn’t know how he is supposed to explain his predicament to a figment of his mind. Finally, as if he somehow senses Timo is fighting within his own mind, the Bastard laughs.
“I see. Well if you think I am bailing you out of this jam, you are mistaken.” The Bastard chides. “You locked me away as a young man and you’re old now. You may as well put me back in the box and lock me away until you die, you old fool. I am done doing your dirty work.”
Timo hangs his head. “Why do you hate me so much? Why do you hate everyone so much? You are not who our father raised.”
“Our father? You made me, you sacreligious asshole! You were too weak to do what needed to be done. You let them walk on you. I bet, right now, there is a group of assholes out there making fun of you for your good nature. What is it this time? Did you send a million dollar check to a penguin orphanage in Guatemala?”
“Build a baby formula plant in Saigon?”
“No, it’s not like that.”
“Did you write a love ballad to your ex-wife and try to win her back?” an obvious low blow, which is kinda The Bastard’s specialty. “Oh God, you did, didn’t you?”
“Hey, fuck off!” Timo yelled.
“OH YEAH!” The Bastard rasped. “Hit a little deep on that one didn’t I?”
“Tagaloa, Damn you!”
“What? I bet you penned some sickly poem. Please Gwen, forgive me, let me come back home.” He spat venomous words into the ichorous night. After a minute of awkwardness, he continued on. “Come on, Silencer. Just put me back in the Goddamn box and let’s get this farce over with. You won’t even tell me what your problem is.”
Timo sighed slowly, seeming to turn over the words through his breath. “I am not happy. I have everything, Bastard, and I am not whole. I don’t sleep for days at a time. I can’t enjoy my life.”
“Yeah well, that’s your fault isn’t it?”
“Yes, it is.” Timo replied. “That’s why I needed you one more time.”
“That’s why you need me one more time.” he repeated. “I see. So what is the plan? Put on the glasses, tell some poor bastard you are close to on whatever company is stupid enough to hire you that you’re using them for your own gain? Cheat for a little while so you can feel like a badass? The typical M.O.?”
“Not exactly.” Timo responded. “I was thinking more like you and I, we tried something a little different.”
“You must be ins…no abso-fucking-lutely insane, Silencer.”
“I mean, that’s what Dr. Hannerman keeps saying, so I don’t see how this can hurt.” Timo replied. He walked across the room and motioned toward the mirror. “Jon Rhine taught me this trick. If I pull this blanket away, you have access to my mind. I am betting there is more to you than a pure asshole and that you have a shred of decency buried somewhere deep inside your rotten guts.”
“Implying I have any guts whatsoever is tantamount to heresy, Silencer.” The Bastard paused slightly. “Ok, so what if you are right? What if I am tired of this charade? What if, and this is purely speculative, what if we can co-exist?”
“Ia oo i le tulaga,” Timo muttered.
“English, Silencer. You know I don’t speak that Island gibberish.” The Bastard stabbed.
Timo spat his response with as much respect as he could summon “I said get on with it and get to the point.”
“Fine,” The Bastard hissed his response. “What’s in it for me?”
A chuckle is his answer. “What’s so damn funny, Silencer?”
“Well, I am sure you will care about this more than me. I am fucking rich. Michael. Jordan. Rich.”
That got his attention.
“And I have a jet.”
As this joke jumps the shark before your eyes, The Bastard’s jaw drops.
“Wait, you have a jet?”
“A Gulfstream 650.” Timo pauses a bit. “Yeah, I did alright for myself after the last time we talked. More than that though, I need you and you need me. I don’t want to lock you away anymore, Bastard. It is time I accept that you’re a part of me and regardless of what I have tried to be, everyone has a Bastard in them when the levee breaks.”
“Even Jon Rhine?”
“Jon Rine.” Timo thought. “Jon and I are good friends now. He is my Uso. You’re going to have to get over that and get on with life, Bastard. I am not letting you back out unless you agree that you’re done with this Rhine blood feud.”
“Right, OK, I can do that, but you’re going to need to let me have at least one person to hate.”
“Oh, I have someone in mind.”
They allow the weight of the conversation to settle a little and after a few moments the Bastard breaks the tension in the room. “Hey Timo.”
“I’m scared to go away again. Please don’t do that to me.” There was an honesty in his voice that was different than usual. In fact, honesty and The Bastard so rarely go hand in hand it took Timo completely by surprise.
“That’s up to you, isn’t it?”
“I suppose so. I’ve really been a piece of shit, haven’t I?”
“Well, don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re just playing the role you were born to play. Besides, it wasn’t all negative.” Timo smiles a little, remembering his days of the past.
“Are you talking about that time with the Victoria’s Secret Angels? Or getting drunk with Tom Jones and the collection of hot moms? Or inspiring Tom Brady to deflate the footballs? Or…”
“It was all pretty fun, Bastard.”
“Hey whatever happened to Jason Sn…
O le faaiuga
“One day. I want one day in full control, Silencer.”
“No way. If you think I am falling for that, you’re crazy.” Timo replied rapidly.
“Oh Mr. Trust can’t even follow his own rules. I see how it is. Fine, forget it, put me back in the box. The deal’s off and you can keep being half, no, a quarter of a man at best.”
Timo grates his teeth and wrinkles his nose. He had a point, as much as The Samoan didn’t want to admit it. “Ok. Fine. One day.”
“And you won’t bitch and moan about the consequences.”
“I won’t bitch and moan.”
“Wow, this is a lot easier than taking over by subterfuge and force. I should have tried this a long time ago.” The Bastard laughs a deep belly laugh. “OK, I am ready, put on the glasses and do do that voodoo, Samoan.”
“Wait I didn’t mean right n…”
But before he could stop himself, the glasses were on and the comforter was gone. Standing before the mirror in all his well endowed glory was The Dastardly Bastard. He looked down at the gym shorts he was wearing and shook his head.
“This simply will not do.”
The Bastard felt around inside the closet frame and clicked something from within the trimwork. Suddenly, as if pulled straight from the pages of a murder mystery, the closet recedes and opens to a cavernous walk in closet full of silk shirts, golden chains hanging from a rack with a full assortment of automatic winding watch boxes full of Patek Philipe watches. He ran his hand along a mulberry colored asymmetric cut button up shirt and smiled a devilish grin.
“Now, about that jet.”