Posted on 04/01/23 at 4:40pm by Nova
Event: CULTURE SHOCK 2023 NIGHT TWO
December 1, 2004 – ReVolution 49
In a locker room at the Arco Arena, Sean Page stares at Nova in disbelief.
“What the fuck?” he shouts. “First Brad flakes out, now you tell me you aren’t going to help me out?”
Nova takes a drag of his cigarette. “I don’t see why you’re so shocked, Page. You know me. You know this run-in, gang-banging bullshit isn’t my style. I helped you out last week, but that’s where it stops. If it’s one thing I’ve been doing lately, it’s thinking. And I think this isn’t how I want to jumpstart my career.”
“You think? You THINK?!” Page replies incredulously, “I don’t give a fuck what you think! You owe me, you sonuvabitch!”
Nova shakes his head. “I don’t owe you shit, Sean. I’m not your lackey. I’m not gonna handle your dirty work for you. You can go out there and handle Vetra yourself.”
Page stares at Nova for a moment before storming out of the locker room, slamming the door behind him.
A wide grin spreads over the face of the Rising Star.
“I’m fucking here,” Nova says out loud, looking around. “This place is awesome!”
He walks over to a table where bottles of water are neatly lined in rows. “Yoooooo, these are free?”
He looks around the room and catches his reflection in a full-length mirror.
A wave of gratitude washes over him.
February 25, 2023
Nova and Sonny’s Hotel Suite
New Orleans, LA
“Have you gotten your shit together?”
Sonny Silver shoots a questioning glance at the Risen Star, who is carefully running his fingers through finely-ground Durban Poison in anticipation of rolling a joint.
“What’s that?” Nova asks absently.
“Nov, we’re bouncing out of here,” Sonny replies, “we’re headed to Houston.”
“I like New Orleans,” Nova says, sprinkling the weed over the rolling paper. “What if we hung around for a few? Take that LSD you were holding on to and camp out at Fritzel’s for a spell? Whaddaya think, old man, huh?”
Silver nods. “That does sound pretty good…”
“Right?” Nova answers with a grin, taking a sip from the drink next to him.
“LIVE! FROM THE AT&T STADIUM ON APRIL 6TH AND 7TH! PRIME PRESENTS CULTURE SHOCK 2023!”
The TV in the corner of the suite barks at them both. Silver winces and looks around for a remote. The advertisement continues, rattling off the card for night one. Then…
“NIGHT TWO! A BATTLE ROYALE FEATURING EVERY COMPETITOR ON THE ACTIVE ROSTER!!”
Nova’s head whips around to the TV. He drops the joint in his hands. “Sonny, what the fuck did that TV just say?”
Silver’s eyes go wide, first looking left, then right. “I didn’t hear anything.”
“INCLUDING COMPANY LEGENDS PAST AND PRESENT!”
“Sooonnnnnnnyyyyy,” Nova groans.
“Don’t know what you’re talking about,” Silver shrugs.
“LIKE THE RISEN STAR! NOVA!!!!”
“Aw, what the fuck, man!” Nova throws up his hands, “I have to do that shit, too?!”
“I meant to bring it up,” Sonny starts, “‘cuz it seemed like you had forgotten…but yes. You’re doing that, too.”
Silver shrugs. “Don’t shoot the messenger. Which is the TV. Don’t shoot the TV. Or me. Got a problem? Call the Boss Lady.”
“Y’know what?” Nova says defiantly, “I think I will.”
He walks into his bedroom and flops like a total diva onto his bed, pulling up Lindsay Troy’s contact info on his phone.
FaceTime, baby. When ya gotta talk shop with the Big Cheese.
The Queen of the Ring’s face pops up on-screen. She’s walking somewhere.
“What’s up?” Troy asks.
“I just heard on the TV that I’m in the Culture Shock Battle Royale on Night Two,” Nova says, “and I’m not really about that, TBH. I’m focused on Pax on Night One…so I’m’a have to sit this one out, I think.”
“No, you’re not,” Troy replies, her eyes staring ahead as she appears to round a corner.
“Um, yeah, I am,” Nova says, “I’m telling you, I have enough on my plate.”
Troy rolls her eyes and sighs. “What is everyone’s deal? We announced this in January. Everyone on the roster is entered into it. You’re all doing it together. End of story.”
“Lindz, I…,” Nova begins, and Troy cuts him off.
“Caes, I love you, but look at the bigger picture,” she says. “We’re here. It’s PRIME, back and better than ever. We’re doing this all over again and it’s fuc-”
She catches herself, ducks around someone important, and looks down at the screen.
“Fucking amazing,” she whispers. “Besides…what do you think comes after all this?”
Nova is taken aback. “Huh?”
“We exist to do this,” Troy explains, “to show up. To compete. Without these opportunities, who are we, Caes?”
“I…” Nova is suddenly at a loss for words. He also notices that his skin feels kind of wet, and sparkly.
“What do you think comes after all this?” Troy repeats, the tone of her voice stretching and dropping.
On Nova’s phone screen, her face twists and melts. Nova lays his phone down, his head dropping back against his pillow as he stares up at the ceiling.
In the other room, Sonny scratches the back of his head and looks around.
“What did I do with that LSD?”
March 1, 2030 – ReVival 200
MGM Grand Arena
Las Vegas, Nevada
Nova leans back against the ropes, exhausted. He stares across the ring at Hayes Hanlon, and can’t help but grin.
Nick Stuart: It feels like we’re reaching a tipping point here, Rich! Something’s gotta give!
Richard Parker: Something should give, Nick! We’re all trying to get out of here before we’re bogged down in late-night Vegas traffic!
The crowd roars as Hanlon paces back and forth, a smile turning up the corners of his famed ‘stache.
Nick Stuart: How could you say that? This has been an absolute CLASSIC! The Risen Star is going out on an epic note, and who better for a send-off than his protege?
Nova takes a deep breath, and then pushes himself away from the ropes towards Hanlon. They lock up, and Nova drives a thigh into Hanlon’s midsection. As Hayes doubles over, Nova goes for the scoop and the crowd murmurs…
Nick Stuart: BOURB-
…but Hayes drops behind and spins Nova around.
Nick Stuart: NO! OUTTA NOWHERE! HAYES OUTTA NOWHERE AND HE GOES FOR THE PIN!!
The crowd erupts as Hanlon rolls off of Nova and briefly raises a clutched fist in the air before helping the Risen Star to his feet. Hayes takes Nova’s hand and thrusts it into the air as the crowd continues to roar.
Nick Stuart: Well it’s not a ‘W’ for the Risen Star on his way out, but what a showcase to end the Hall of Famer’s career here!
Richard Parker: I gotta admit, it’s been fun…
Tears well up in Nova’s eyes as he nods to the fans.
Nova turns and wraps Hanlon into a hug, exchanging words with him. He backs away, nodding as Hanlon keeps talking to him, and then one more time they raise each other’s hands as the crowd cheers.
Nova makes his way through the back, shaking hands and hugging staff as he heads for the exit.
He rounds a corner and sees the red EXIT sign above a set of double doors at the end of a hallway otherwise empty of traffic.. He approaches the doors and stops, looking back with a closed-lipped smile at the walls around him.
Nova lights a cigarette, takes a long drag, and pushes open the doors.
A bright white light envelopes him.
A wave of gratitude washes over him.