Your recommended audio addition: Pyramid Song.
Or how about Hook, you fucking marks.
Listen to Hootie and the Blowfish for all I care, we’re not here to yuck that yum if that’s your deal. It doesn’t matter. Nothing matters until you look, or stare, even…deep, beyond the eyes and into the void of the Kid. The one who changed the landscape in PRIME at a moment’s notice.
Nick Stuart: FLAMBERGE! WHAT IS THIS!
Richard Parker: FLAMBO NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!
A man many once considered invincible, turned away at the final, most critical pass by the simplest of actions. A new champion crowned.
The void in his eyes runs deeper than ever these days. A lifetime with Henri Lavigne as a father, a spell with Daniel Darby looking to steer his cash cow – child’s play by comparison. He’s all in, ALL in, at this moment. There’s no taking it back. Three quarters of the roster wants him dead, and the other quarter is envious that they lacked the courage in their convictions to make THIS kind of seismic impact in the most shark-infested waters of professional wrestling today. Maybe take a sliver off of that last quarter – after all, Phil Atken laid this out from the beginning. He’s here as a beacon. THE beacon.
Ironically, a man old enough (if he was American) to have voted for Walter Mondale had the clarity to advocate for the future of this industry above everything else. The ones who took him seriously vowed, instead, to stop him. To defeat him.
What power there is in FLAMBERGE’s open mind. What power there is in not giving a shit about anyone else – ANYONE, ELSE – and amplifying the beacon.
The first one through the glass is always going to get bloodied. There’s a price, and FLAMBERGE knows it. If Brandon Youngblood had the book, ReVival 15 would be a 30-man gauntlet match with FLAMBO’s hands tied behind his back, Youngblood would be at least 20 of those men, and he would attempt new, experimental, and multi-faceted ways to drop a wrestler on the top of his head.
But Brandon Youngblood doesn’t have the book, does he?
Lindsay Troy has the book. And she’s a coward.
Shit…don’t tell her you’re thinking that, FLAMBO.
…Henry Keyes isn’t listening, is he?
Did you know that the MGM Grand’s Grand Pool Complex is 6.5 Acres of Fun? Acres always threw FLAMBERGE off as a unit of measurement. He was no farmer, there were no oxen to set forth for a day to see how much they could plow before they called it quits. Plus, there are all these twists and turns in the Lazy River, and one wonders if they’re including the poolside masseuses in the acreage.
FLAMBERGE finds himself in an inflated pink flamingo pool float with a plastic glass of red wine in his hand. With each sip, the thousand yard stare seems to grow longer. Even the yuppie couple with their brat child splish splashing about can’t break him. He’s pretty sure a group of hooligans are attempting a fantasy football draft in homage to The League way further down the Lazy River, though if their current rate of progress continues, it’ll take at least four days before they’re done.
It had been days since FLAMBO sat poolside with the members of the Glue Crew in Atken’s preferred locale, which to be clear is NOT 6.5 Acres of Fun. That afternoon was really revelatory for the Phenom. For whatever reason, he had in his head going in that there would be long, philosophical talks sprinkled with heavy doses of nihilism.
Turns out, the real nihilism is the friends you make along the way.
Hank’s a toy. FLAMBERGE wished he had deeper thoughts about him – for that matter, he wished Hank had deeper thoughts of his own. Then again, what a great burden to be lifted by a simple life. Hank lacks FLAMBO’s burden of greatness, and thus, he can freely somersault underwater like a child and not give a fuck about anyone else’s thoughts on the matter.
Cecilworth is…well, FLAMBERGE and Cecilworth haven’t been able to bond much. He seems like a sweet lad, but his concerns are elsewhere. It’s gonna take some time before that ice ever breaks at all.
If ice is even worth breaking.
Phil, on the other hand…the immediate generosity, or at least, the immediate choice to tell the Frenchman – “Kid, I’m not here to make your decisions for you”. Wow. Honestly, the first older person FLAMBERGE has attached anything towards who has expressed that sentiment. That’s all he’d ever wanted.
Darby wanted him to be a Billboardsman. Henri wanted…actually, he never really figured out what Henri wanted. Henri may have not known what Henri wanted. Maybe that’s the best case scenario.
Does the flamingo float want anything?
Nope. The flamingo float’s desires are nil.
This glass of Bordeaux is WAY easier to deal with than Henry Keyes’s Green Fairy…then again, it’s harder to escape the void to which his gaze returns.
Stare into it. Meet the gaze where it floats.
Not the flamingo’s gaze, you goon. The Kid’s.
How many acres is the Lazy River? Do oxen plow rivers? Unlikely, FLAMBERGE thinks, though he’s prepared to put a pin in it.
There must be two hundred people in his eyeline, easily. None of them know him – or, if they know OF him, they’re too nervous to make the introduction. You’re his only friend right now, pink flamingo floatie.
Richard Parker: FLAMBO NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!
Hold on – that looks like Nate Colton on the bank over there – hold on hold on hold on. IS THAT NA-no, no. Thank god, it’s some other douchebag. You can’t stare into the vast expanse of producing glue from dying horses properly and ALSO be forced to look over your shoulder at the thorniest thorn in your side.
Damn it, why did he have to ALSO beat Tony Gamble? FLAMBO was ready to hold that accolade high and mighty over his head, The Hall of Famer who fell to the Frenchman but not that corn-tooth sonofabitch who won’t leave him alone. FLAMBERGE knows just how good Gamble is, and just how deep he had to dig to pull out his own victory…shit. Nate Colton can dig equally as deep.
This is a problem.
Brandon Youngblood practically pulled out his bare ass and told Colton “behold, this too could be your ass one day”, and the world rejoiced at the sight. He might think he’s carrying some sort of torch on behalf of the man Phil Atken murked. No – FLAMBO, NO. Fight this thought. Take a sip.
There it is.
Void time. Consider the glue from which the stock you have been presented, you must produce.
FLAMBERGE digs deep into the memory banks of his Hazy Maze Cave experience with Henry Keyes and could SWEAR there was some mention of Rezin in there…but the specifics evade him.
All he has to go on in what he’s seen in PRIME, and while he’s not marked on FLAMBERGE’s List that he set for himself earlier in the summer, boy howdy is this a challenge. Rezin is cut from the Atken cloth – a win is a win is a win, is a win.
The thought can’t escape FLAMBERGE’s mind – pink flamingo floatie still holding strong, glass of Bordeaux once-emptied but since-refilled by poolside service – that there is cowardice afoot.
He’s sure that the booking against a top-flight member of PRIME’s roster is on the one hand, a vote of confidence…and on the other hand, a BIG ol’ slap in the face. And as the void in FLAMBERGE’s eyes attempts to coalesce, it finally centers itself around what many would consider an afterthought in the runsheet.
FLAMBERGE sought the void, in his pink flamingo floatie, with his ever-replenishing plastic glass of Bordeaux, to find meaning in this particular stipulation. If he had an ox to pull him, he may be able to articulate how many acres of floating it took – best way to put it in layman’s terms would be, “bout halfway”. The floating revealed the answer in time.
Lindsay Troy is scared that FLAMBERGE will fuck up her Pay-Per-View plans.
Banners for ULTRAVIOLENCE are all over the place here at the MGM Grand – nay, the Vegas Strip. Posers that include Rezin with the Five Star Championship on full display.
These motherfucking marketing ASSHOLES getting in the FUCKING WAY of the sport.
Lindsay Troy is scared that FLAMBERGE is going to choke out one of her title holders and her ULTRAVIOLENCE books will become the tipsy-turvy.
Nevermind the fact that FLAMBERGE vs Nate Colton is one of the most electric feuds in wrestling today.
Nevermind the fact that FLAMBERGE is PRIME’s Most Wanted and has created as many headlines as there have ever been in PRIME, past or present.
We all have seen what happens when FLAMBERGE is near a major title scene, the risk he presents, and therefore, we must mitigate the risk and make this a nothing match for shits and giggles.
FLAMBERGE lifts his plastic glass high, and most of its contents make their way down his gullet. He floats and floats and floats his way near a reprieve on the river – SHIT, it’s all deep in this section, hang on – AHHHHHHH WHY DO WE DROP HERE – ok, he sees a bar area, time to take a moment.
What a show of respect for your skills and abilities, Kid.
That’s what he wished at this moment Henri Lavigne would say. He’s aware it’s never coming.
Wait – was that not Henri, but Henry? FLAMBERGE looks around for that pirate bastard…no, he’s not there. Maybe it’s the Bordeaux talking.
If he inspected his surroundings better, he would have clocked the bachelorette bikini party giving him the once over, or the pocket of friends on poolside benches whispering to each other, or even the genuine kind eyes of one or two of the bartenders he’s come across – maybe he would have even clocked Rezin half-drowning while attempting some secret Las Vegas Tri-bongining technique. When you’ve considered yourself a victim for years, rightfully or not, there’s a circle around you that’s super-hard to consider.
The flamingo hasn’t done him wrong yet, at least. Neither has Phil.
…the river has an end. Who’d have thought. FLAMBERGE’s most recent plastic glass of Bordeaux isn’t empty yet – hopefully staff won’t give him shit. They won’t? They won’t! Great. He takes two meaningful strides before realizing this is NOT where he wants to be, stumbling into a poolside-adjacent reclining chair. He looks to his right, hoping to find something familiar – no one is there. He raises his glass to cheers anyway – shock upon shocks, no one cheerses him back.
Nothing to fear, nothing to doubt.
You have to be all in now, Kid.
No one has your back. Except, MAYBE…