“Duuuuuuude, this is gonna be SO BADASS!”
The agape, youthful face of Chris Chickentenders is bright and full of wonder as he exits the cab and steps out onto the sidewalk, taking in the surrounding skyscape of Ciudad de México.
“And to think, my school was gonna do their senior trip in Daytona. More like DUMB-tona, am I right? I’m in partying in fucking MEXICO, dude! I can’t WAIT to tear this place up!”
His excitement can’t be understated. To an eighteen-year-old high school grad, the city is a veritable cornucopia of pleasures and debauchery. A place of escape for bored Americans looking to break loose and find a few things that are harder to come by stateside.
“Dambit, kid, keep it in your pants,” chides Erik Black, his resentful travel companion. “I ain’t your fuckin’ chaperone here, and I don’t intend to be down here any longer than necessary!”
Grunting, he removes the luggage from the trunk and pays off the cabbie. The vehicle pulls away, and the two of them turn their attention toward the building where it left them.
Arena Mexico looms over them, massive PWA banners hang from its concrete walls, featuring the names and faces of wrestling talent from across the world.
“We’re just here for this PWA bullshit, and then it’s back stateside. No fuckin’ around, ya dig?”
“Seriously, dude?” whines the teen. “We came all the way down here just so you could be in a big, crazy match that nobody asked for and nobody cares about? That’s sooooo lame…”
Truth be told, the only reason he brought the kid along as a favor to his father, Christiano Chickentenders (attorney at law for the Hotdogs, Hamburgers, & Chickentenders Law Firm), who hooked him up with a phony passport and paperwork to get his INTERPOL-aggravating ass across the border.
Also, he managed to snag tickets for EYEHATEGOD tickets, in NOLA, which was pretty cool.
Still, it meant having to spend the entire trip putting up with someone who was in the running for one of the most obnoxious human beings to ever walk the planet.
“Take my word for it, Chris,” says Erik. “Things have a way of escalatin’ down here in Mexico. Especially when I’m involved. So I ain’t riskin’ anything before this match. Even if it really is kinda dumb and pointless, I ain’t the kinda normie who backs down from a fight when I’ve agreed to one.”
A fight he honestly wasn’t looking forward to. Rocko advised him to back out, and keep his focus on the more pressing efforts in PRIME. A part of him would have gladly done that, rather than share a corner with the giant Russian blowhard who had been busting his balls on Jabber these past few weeks.
But despite being a full-fledged agent of chaos and anarchy, the Escape Artist was not without his own code of standards. Whatever the case, if he signed his name on the dotted line, he was going to see that shit through.
Regardless, Chickentenders snorts dismissively.
“Whatever, dude. If I knew you were gonna puss out on a wild time, I would’ve called Cancer and flown in on his jet.”
The spoken name of his future opponent elicits an annoyed groan from Erik.
He looks back up at the banners hanging from the arena walls, and picks out the supersized, puckered face of the COOLympian from the rest.
Even in the promotional still, Jiles’ expression seems to be arrogantly looking down upon him.
“Okay, Chris… tell ya what. We’ll go across the street, and…”
DOS MINUTOS DESPUÉS…
…they’re in the cantina across the street.
“…we’ll do literally JUST ONE shot of tequila, then it’s back to the arena. Cool?”
“Fuckin’ A, that’s what I’m talking about!” exclaims Chickentenders, grinning ear to ear, as he raises a filled shotglass.
“Here’s to finally bein’ outta school,” commends Erik as they clink their glasses together. “And comin’ into the wild and crazy world of adulthood. Salud, kid.”
They throw them back.
The powerful taste of agave hits.
Erik, a connoisseur of many things considered harmful to the human body, manages to down the liquid fire without more than a slight facial spasm.
Chickentenders, on the other hand, becomes a mess of boisterous coughing and gagging.
Can’t blame the kid. He’s probably never had a drink in his young life, except for the slim leftovers from his dad’s spent beers. Now he gets hit in the gullet with a shot of Mexican mouthwash.
Erik pats him on the back to help him breath. “Yeah… might wanna take it slow.”
He snaps to the bartender.
“Hey, man… can we get some agua over here?”
UN TIEMPO DESCONOCIDO DESPUÉS…
…a bucket full of cold water to the face pulls Erik back into reality.
Blubbering, spitting, and stammering, he realizes he’s no longer in the cantina.
“The FUCK is goin’ on?!”
Frantically, his head darts around to take in his new surroundings. He finds himself tied to a chair within a cone of light. In the shadows beyond, his eyes can scarcely make out the crude walls of what appears to be a dingy cellar.
Figures are standing in the dark, although
Next to him, Chris Chickentenders is tied to his own chair.
“Are we totally getting kidnapped by the Cartel?! Man, this is so BADASS!”
“Dambit, Chris, there is nothing badass about this!” snaps Erik. “What happened at the cantina?!”
“Well, first, I ordered us another round of tequila, and then–”
Black furiously shakes his head.
“NO!! NO!! I said JUST ONE! Ya NEVER take the second shot of tequila, Chris! ESPECIALLY in Mexico! That’s like openin’ a forbidden door! After the second shot, ANYTHING fuckin’ goes! Goddambit, kid, this is EXACTLY what I was trynna avoid! I gotta get back to the arena before–”
He’s interrupted by the sound of low and sinister laughter coming from the shadows ahead of them. The cherry of a lit cigar is all that can be seen of the dark outline of a man standing before them.
“It has been many years… El Cabron.”
Recognizing the voice of a ghost from his sordid past before him, Black groans with contempt.
“Almost twenny if I ain’t mistaken… Montoya.”
The speaker slowly steps into the light to reveal himself. Hernando Montoya is an aged and stately Mexican man with a rat-like face embellished by a crisp, pencil-thin mustache over a twisted grin lined with golden teeth.
It doesn’t take an idiot to know that he’s obviously a man of power within this country.
“Who’s THIS dude supposed to be?” asks Chris, solidifying the aforementioned point. “Scarface?”
Puffing off his cigar, Montoya ignores the teenager’s blithe comment and remains focused on the Goat Bastard. He leans in close, mere inches from the face of the Escape Artist.
“Did you really think you could show your face here in Mexico again without my knowing about it, Cabron?”
Erik shrugs. “Kinda hoped ya were gettin’ senile at your age, and maybe ya forgot.”
The sharp sound of metal being removed from a sheathe pierces the air. In a heartbeat, Black’s crossed eyes focus in on the point of a blade pricking the very tip of his nose.
“Forget, Cabron?” Montoya shakes his head. “No… a man of my stature and influence can never forget such an offense. Nor can he forgive…”
Groaning, Erik leans his head back to pull the prick of the knife out of his skin.
“Look, Montoya… where’s this goin’? Ya wanna cut my balls off and sew ‘em to my head? Feed me to your pet gators? Maybe fire up the ol’ chainsaw? Whatever gets your rocks off, hermano. I know it’s prolly hard at your age to please that dried-up mummy upstairs ya call your wife so she can get outta your ear and back to her Telenovellas, so do what ya gotta do.”
“FFFFFFUCK, dude!” Chickentenders reacts beside him in stunned astonishment. The smile leaves the Cartel leader’s face.
“But as it stands, I gotta family of four to fuck up tonight. So if ya ain’t gonna make your move, then stop wastin’ my time and get the fuck outta my face, cause your breath smells like a public restroom at a chili festival.”
Montoya straightens up to his full height.
The knife settles at his side, ready to slice at a moment’s notice.
As he stares down at the Goat Bastard, his eyes are cold and empty.
“…you know something, Cabron…?”
TAL VEZ UNA HORA O DOS MAS TARDE…
“…YOU HAVE JUEVOS!!”
In unison, Black and Montoya boisterously cackle.
Like kings of the world, they are now sitting together in the latter’s hot tub on the balcony of his chateau, smoking cigars, copper-skinned beauties in bikinis cradled in their arms.
“Ay, Cabron…” says Montoya, winding down. “That’s what I always liked about you! Fearless in the face of death!”
“Who, Death?” Black scoffs. “Fuck her! I don’t just defy her; I make her my BITCH!”
The two throw their heads back and laugh again.
“It is good to have you here again, El Cabron,” says Montoya. “I apologize for my behavior earlier…”
Erik dismisses him with a shake of head. “Agua under the bridge, Hernie. No problemo, whatsoever.”
“For a gringo luchador, you were quite a reliable mule,” Montoya waxes on, referring to a time long ago when a younger and much more desperate Goat Bastard came south of the border looking for any opportunity to get into the wrestling business. “I always wondered, though… why did you leave? If you had continued working for me, I could have made you a very rich and powerful man.”
Erik takes a ponderous drag off of his cigar, thinking of the life he could have had.
“Couldn’t ignore the call of the ring,” he says with a shrug. “Smugglin’ drugs across the border for the cartel is fun and all, but wrestlin’ is where my heart is.”
A realization suddenly hits him.
“Shit, speaking of… I still have that stupid match tonight! I should prolly get back to the city…”
He ponders for another moment…then looks down at the ample cleavage on display at both his right and left.
“But ya know, on second thought… FUCK IT!”
Again, they cackle.
“Ay, Dios mio, Cabron! You crack me up! I feel absolutely terrible to have been holding onto this grudge for so many years…”
“Nonsense, Montoya! Ya had erry reason to be angry. I didn’t do right by ya, and for that, amigo, I’m sorry.”
Montoya nods sullenly. “You left one day without notice, like a thief in the night. I could not find an equal replacement. My business suffered greatly. But… that is mere dinero. Not worth ending a beautiful friendship.”
“PFFT! Geez, Montoya… is THAT it? For a minute there, I figured this whole thing was about me bustin’ in your daughter!”
Erik throws his head back again and laughs…
…only to realize that his host has remained silent on this round.
“It was YOU who corrupted my darling Isabella!?”
¿QUIÉN SABE? EL TIEMPO ES UNA CONSTRUCCIÓN, HERMANO…
…back on the streets of Mexico City, night has fallen. The streets are mostly empty.
Erik Black and Chris Chickentenders come scampering around the corner of a building, running away from the faint sounds of gunfire and explosions somewhere far in the distance.
“OKAY, I think we’re clear!”
They skid to a halt, and stand for a moment with their hands on their knees, desperately trying to catch their breath.
“Holy shit…” exclaims Black through heavy pants. “THAT… got pretty hairy back there!”
“Duuuuuude…” says Chickentenders. “You weren’t kidding about how things escalate down here! Mexico fucking rules! This has been the most BADASS night of my life!”
The remark prompts the “are you fucking serious right now?” face from Erik, but he lets it slide with a roll of his eyes. The dull roar of a cheering crowd gets his attention. He looks up to see that they’ve returned to the Arena Mexico–inexplicably in the exact same place where their wild journey began.
“Well I’ll be dambed!” he exclaims joyfully at this random turn of events. “We didn’t miss the show! I can still fight tonight!”
“Which I guess means no yeeting for that Stainslob guy, huh?” remarks Chickentenders, who at some point throughout the evening, lost his shirt, got some ink on his chest, and acquired an oversized sombrero.
“Maybe…” Erik replies ominously, being all too familiar with the towering Russian’s temperamental side. “In any case… thanks, kid. If you hadn’t distracted those bikini assassins back, I dunno how we woulda got outta that pickle!”
Chickentenders’ copiously lipstick-marked face forms into a proud smile.
“Heh… I’m not a ‘kid’ anymore, dude! One look at this BADASS Tyler Adrian Best tattoo, and those babes couldn’t resist!”
He points to the freshly inked outline of an eagle on his chest. A nice little souvenir from his voyage south of the border. Though when and how he got it throughout the chaotic events of the day is anyone’s guess.
A DOS MIL MILLAS DE DISTANCIA…
…in Erik’s house in suburban Indiana, the live broadcast of the PWA 02 event is playing on the flatscreen.
“Has it started yet?” inquires someone in the kitchen.
A graphic appears on the screen: the four Colton children, standing together in unity, their faces featuring their father’s familiar confident smile. Across from them, looking anything but united, a hodge-podge assembly of colorful characters, of which Rezin is included.
An agency of order and a byproduct of chaos, standing face to face.
“Just about,” calls Rocko Daymon from his seat on the couch.
Olvir walks a moment later with a couple of fresh beers.
“Well, I suppose here goes nothing,” the Norseman says begrudgingly, tossing a can to Daymon and seating himself into the adjoined loveseat. “Although I still have no idea why he didn’t just back out. Feels like he’s risking a lot for very little reward.”
“I’m inclined to agree…” Rocko groans. “The focus should be on Jiles, and getting himself a step closer back to the title. But… you know how he is.”
Olvir nods. “Always thinking it’s better to double-down on a mistake rather than admit he made one.”
Two thumps at the door rock the house. Daymon and Arsvinnar exchange confused looks.
“…are we expecting company?” inquires Rocko.
“Not that I know of,” admits the Viking. “Maybe Suzie changed her mind?”
Daymon rises and goes to the door.
The moment it opens–
A melon-sized fist knocks him under the chin and sends him crashing into the wall.
“Caan’ eben take uh HIT,” bellows a voice as ancient and beaten as Baghdad. “Fuggin’ puh-theddick!”
An old man in a biker vest built like a Tolkien dwarf strides through the open door. His pair of eyepatches blindly scan the room.
Olvir jumps to his feet.
“By BROKKR’S HAIRY NUTSACK!”
In a matter of moments, the living room becomes a scene of chaos. The stout stranger moves through the room like a human wrecking ball. Anything his massive hands grasp themselves upon find its way smashed on the floor or flung against the wall. Any piece of furniture that obstructs his path of destruction is recklessly overturned out of his way.
“WHURR IS HE?!”
Fade to VOID.