The Anglo Luchador
“I feel like a 737…”
Foxing had become a regular listen for Tom recently. Yeah, Nearer My God was a weird, wonderful standout record for the group, but Draw Down the Moon was in heavy rotation for him as he sat in his office, mapping out promos, watching YouTube videos of the greats of yore, Facetiming with Pom during the times of the day when Eastern Daylight Time lined up with Japan Standard for normal human interaction. The record, released the year prior, hit a resonant chord with him, amplifying feelings of loss, longing. It wasn’t a one-to-one reflection of his psyche, but when an album just finds a groove, when it’s so, for lack of a more flowery word, good, it can hypnotize you into thinking you’ve felt those emotions yourself.
“…painted over and over again, until the paint gets too heavy. Grounded there, no company on my side.”
The first track in particular haunted him. Normally, if someone says “you’re without peer,” they mean you’re a class ahead of everyone in your given field. Tom felt like he was without peer in PRIME. At 40, he was on the upper percentile of age, but unlike Brandon Youngblood or Nova, he had no prior history either in PRIME or the various sister feds in Primetime Central. Among those who were new to the company’s history, he had no camaraderie, no fellows from his past who ran with him. He had more war stories with Rocko Daymon, the junkie who ran a con on Erik Black, than the current Rezin himself in Empire Pro, and the less said about the erstwhile Randall Knox at this point, the better. There was no coterie of Bandits to surround him, no High Octane allies-turned-enemies-turned-allies again with which he could empathize even if there was no sympathy to go with it. The young’uns on the roster at least could build history themselves. He sat alone, on an island.
“I can’t do this alone.”
Even with Timo Bolamba and Ria Lockhart as confidantes, he felt isolated. Timo, after all, was a referee, insulated from conflict. He still felt immense guilt over the way he treated Ria before Great American Nightmare.
“I can’t do this alone.”
His thoughts of late would lurch towards dark places, lonely ones. If he had no friends to rely upon, was Tony Gamble right?
“You let me know which future hall of famer you want to represent you, and I’ll… Oh, you’re talking about yourself, that’s cute.”
“But alas, you’re a ‘tecnico’ so everyone falls for your bullshit. I’ve seen the real you, and while you pretend to be this good guy that is here for all of his friends and fighting for PRIME’s good name, you’re really only doing what you need to do to elevate your status.”
In reality, everyone knew Gamble was self-serving, full of shit, would say anything to get under an opponent’s skin. To a man going through his own crises, the Permascar Superstar spoke some truth. Moreover, it made Tom’s thoughts wander towards… him.
“Draw the moon to me.”
Each repetition at the end of the song hit like a sledgehammer to his brain, an interminable, immutable chant.
“Draw the moon to me.”
He expected his insecurities to pop out of his head fully formed, like Athena from the skull of her father Zeus.
“Draw the moon to me.”
He expected the next track to start, but it didn’t. Instead, an eerie silence permeated the room, and he felt a presence, as if he were no longer alone, as if his vibes drew the moon into his office.
“Niltse, o favored son of my brother.”
He swiveled his chair around to find, sitting on the loveseat behind his desk, a woman with two braided ponytails of jet-black hair hanging behind her head. Her face, pale and gray with lips as black as night. She wore a choker, poorly hiding scarring that circumnavigated her slender neck. Her black robes flowed even while seated, a selection from the Morticia Addams collections. She stared at him with icy gray eyes, slint and piercing.
“You’re not real,” he said bluntly, turning his chair back around, clearly not needing another intrusion from the Aztec Pantheon at this moment in time.
“Really?” she replied. “So I’m not real, but you treated the Unpronounceable and all those dead fighters and that bitch Mictecacihuatl as if they were real, but not me?”
“I gotta stop drinking,” he spoke dismissively, trying to get his guest to leave.
He tried searching for new match footage, Tony Gamble during his run with Devin Shakur mid-Aughts PRIME, but the browser froze up. Then the screen on his computer went black.
“You do need to stop retreating into your bottle,” she pierced, “but I have nothing to do with all that filthy maguey runoff you swill.”
She sneered at him as she rose from the couch.
“Don’t you even want to know who I am?”
He leaned back in his chair without turning around.
“Let’s see, the moon charm on that choker, the guillotine scars, the references to your brother… I know who you’d be if you were real and not a figment of my imagination.”
The myth of Coyolxauhqui is one fraught with jealousy and spite. She enjoyed the status of being the eldest and most favored offspring of her mother, the Earth goddess Coatlicue. One day though, her mother found a ball of hummingbird feathers and attached it to her pelt. The hummingbird feathers mysteriously impregnated her, which for all the modes of divine insemination seems to be the weirdest. Then again, Aztec culture held the hummingbird in the same regard as Hindus do the cow now. Either way, Mom was enamored with the baby who’d become Huitzilopochtli, the patron god of the Mexica people, even before she gave birth to him.
Here’s where the jealousy and spite come in. Coyolxauhqui didn’t like having a little brat supplant her as “favorite child,” so she hatched a plot to kill her mom and brother. Conscripting her 400 younger brothers, she marched on the sacred mountain of Coatepec, momma’s home. One of those brothers got cold feet and told mom that a battalion of her children were coming to kill her. Huitzilopochtli heard the warning from the womb, carved himself outta there C-section style as a grown-ass man, and, doing a triple lindy off the mountain, cut his older sister’s head clean from her shoulders, tossing it into the sky to become the moon.
There’s no truth to the rumor that Coyolxauhqui was dating Sokka of the Southern Water Tribe at the time of her transformation into the moon.
“Well,” she continued, “you can call me Coya if you want. Or anything you want, really, except for a loving sister and daughter.”
The old luchador tried his best to ignore the persistent moon goddess sitting in his home office, but she was as dogged as an intrusive thought left untreated by medication.
“You’re probably wondering why I’m here.”
Silence. She was talking to a brick wall.
“It’s because you stink.”
She finally got him to swivel back around.
“Alright, listen here…”
“Oh, now you want to talk, you katsuaitskuintli,” she chuckled. “I knew that would get a rise out of you. Every single testosterone-soaked warrior just hates when I call into question their auakameh.”
He closed his eyes and shook his head. Coya continued.
“My brother and I, well, we don’t exactly see eye to eye.”
“If he cut your head off, how are you even here?” he interrupted.
“Rude, but regardless, gods can’t die. It just took a few decades for my other brothers to get me my body up there on the moon, that’s all. Anyway, maybe ‘stink’ is a harsh word to use, but this quest you’re on that my brother gave you…”
He shook his head again.
“Going over that again, Jesus, it’s been how long?”
“Tenochtitlan wasn’t built in a day,” she replied. “Did you think you’d save lucha libre in America before the biggest show of the year?”
“I don’t know what ‘saving’ it would entail. Details are sketchy, you know? Kinda like figments of my imagination pulling garbage from my subconscious and throwing it at me after I’ve had a few beverages.”
“When was the last time you had a drink?”
“You’re dead sober, and I’m still here.”
“You’re probably a brain lesion, to be honest. You know how many concussions I’ve had in my career? I think ACE Network may have bribed Sunrise into saying the concussion they thought I had after that Mephisto match wasn’t one so I could be cleared for the next show.”
He stared a hole through the moon goddess before continuing.
“What I’m saying is they already think I’m an asset to the company, so yeah, I think I saved lucha in America.”
“Really? When was the last time you beat someone who could credibly challenge for a World-level championship without having someone do the heavy lifting for you? You always choked, now, decades ago.”
“You’re not real.”
“The Mictlan I’m not, Anglo Luchador.”
“Who uses ‘Mictlan’ and ‘hell’ interchangeably? Jesus…”
He swung his chair back around.
“Look,” she continued. “I’m not here to be a hater. I don’t like my brother one bit, but there’s merit in having a warrior with primacy in the biggest wrestling arena in the world, in his idea. I just think you’re going about it the absolute wrong way.”
His head slumped.
“I already said it during my promotional piece against Jakey Lecter. I’d rather lose a thousand matches as a true tecnico than win one going back and resorting to cheap tactics and deception.”
She laughed again.
“I don’t really give two spots off a jaguar’s ass how you do it. Clean, dirty. I just think what you’re doing now isn’t really cutting muster. Yeah, you defend that title, but they put it neatly off to the side, let you cut yourself and bounce balls off another wrestler’s face for the amusement of these jesters.”
She stalked closer to where he was sitting. Feeling her cool presence lurch closer, he swiveled back around in his chair to face her.
“But why do you think the Colton boy is adamant about going after the Five Star Championship? Anyone with two arms can grab a weapon and bludgeon a man half-to-death with it. True warriors, however, get the job done with their hands.”
She leaned in, her body completely enveloping the chair in which he sat.
“Where’s your ambition, Anglo Luchador? Where’s your desire? Are you content with being important enough to risk your health for a network rating, but not important enough to get a shot at something better than what you have?”
Just then, the door creaked open.
Tamara peeked her head into the office.
“Who are you talking to? Pom bending your ear again on Facetime?”
He looked up and saw he was alone. The blinds were opened all the way on his window, the faint glimmer of a new moon smeared upon the black, starless suburban sky.
“Yeah, you know how she gets sometimes. She had to run just now, uh, school emergency and all.”
Tam nodded as she shut the door to the office and went back to her business of putting out the fires that consumed more and more of her day at work. Tom took the phone out of his pocket and scrolled through his contacts. He stopped on a number of names… Colton. Youngblood. Vega. Bolamba. Lockhart. None of them felt appropriate to dial at the moment.
He then landed on “Mom and Dad.” He stared hard at that name on the list, as if there was something he had to ask. He couldn’t find the stomach though. Not now, not when business was the subject. Instead, he flicked down and found a name he could finally dial.
“Hey, Tariq… yeah, it’s me, Tom. Listen, remember what we were talking about at ReV in Vegas the other night? Yeah…”
Music for this RP – Foxing, “737”