One Year Earlier—
The hustle and bustle of ReVival 5 is winding down—everyone begins to pack their belongings. REAL LOVE Darin Zion’s ready to head home after a boring day in catering. Zion’s collected all his belongings, cramming them into his generic #97Red HOW duffel bag. Darin lets out a giant sigh.. The jaded veteran grumbles inaudible words under his breath, walking out the door.
REAL LOVE turns around and heads towards the door. As his gruff hands reach for the solid steel door—it suddenly flies open with force.
Zion’s shocked to see PRETTY PINK Vickie Hall standing in front of him. REAL LOVE thought his meetings with the Hall Clan in catering went well. A heavy look resides on Vickie Hall’s face. Jonathan-Christopher’s main squeeze masks it with a glee-filled squeal.
Vickie Hall: ZIIIIIIIIIOOOON!! I thought you’d have left by now, hon!
Darin Zion: No…I stay around late every show…
Cutting off Darin midsentence, Vickie wastes no time in wrapping her PRETTY PINK claws around Zion’s stiffened body. Vickie pulls Zion over to a nearby bench. The down-on-his luck veteran stares off into space rather confused. Vickie looks Zion square in the eyes. Her poisonous smile fades away.
Vickie Hall: Look—I know my husband and I might’ve come off a little strong earlier…
Darin Zion: What gave you that idea?
Both Zion and Hall share a surreal moment. Chills go down the back of Zion, remembering that awkward ending to the interaction. Vickie’s beady eyes reconnect with Zion’s downtrodden face.
Vickie Hall: My husband and I want what’s best for you. It’s obvi that the wrestling world doesn’t respect your 17 year storied career.
REAL LOVE pulls away from Vickie. His face turns beet red. JC’s cunning manager rests her arm against Zion’s shoulder before speaking.
Vickie Hall: We understand you might have some qualms about forming another tag team. PSTD from HOW…
Darin Zion: It’s not ideal…but what else do I have at this point?
Vickie Hall: Really? You have so much to offer to this business. I half expected you’d balk at me.
Vickie Hall rests her hand on Darin’s shoulder. REAL LOVE focuses more intently to PRETTY PINK’S words.
Vickie Hall: I want to make sure to start this partnership off on the right food. I don’t want any hostility from your past seeping in. Jonathan-Christopher and I promise we have your best interests at heart.
Vickie’s eyes start shifting around the room. A small tear forms in Zion’s right eye. While Darin’s heart melts, his eyes glow with reverence for his new partner’s wife. Zion’s tight, muscular arms squeeze Vickie in a warm bear hug.
Darin Zion: Thanks, Vickie. I appreciate the warm welcome. I gave you my word at lunch. I pride myself in honoring my word. Rest assured–Jonathan and I will start with a blank slate. I appreciate you considering my feelings. It means a lot to me.
As Zion continues embracing PRETTY PINK, we see Vickie isn’t sharing the same elation. A conniving, cold sneer wraps around PRETTY PINK’S face while she rests her head on Darin’s shoulders. Vickie expresses an inaudible, light, sinister chuckle to make certain she doesn’t disrupt this warmhearted moment.
It’s been a hellacious start to March for Darin Zion. Business has picked up for TOUGH LOVE®️ in HOW and PRIME. While travelling exhausts our hero–tonight made it all worthwhile. Zion officially punched his ticket for an LSD Championship match. Now Zion has the potential to become Darin Two Belts. A whirlwind of emotions hits TOUGH LOVE®️ all at once. Happy tears roll down Darin’s face. As Zion emerges to the backstage area at Old Trafford–he rellishes this moment.
Darin Zion’s come a long way in the last year–thanks all in part to The Halls. However, a more important challenge awaits. The Mauler from Mort-Waukee approaches and stands in Zion’s way. Morti’s record conceals the challenge. Zion understands the gravitas of a losing streak presents for Morti. But our vigilant TOUGH LOVE®️ will conquer all. Darin’s Conquest For Gold®️ will pay off…
Unfortunately for Zion–he didn’t expect this new road block. TCG and JCH lunges towards their victorious friend. Both men jostle around the new LSD Title Contender, leaping in the air for joy.
Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy: TOTES AMAZING PERFORMANCE ZION TWO BELTS! You’re the real deal now, bud! TOUGH LOVE’S GOT DIS!
Jonathan-Christopher Hall: My BFF did it!!! Proud of you Dare-Bear! Keep this momentum goin’. DARIN TWO BELTS COMING SOON Y’ALL! Now mow down that worthless Morti fella. He’s such a disgraceful lover…
Darin Zion: Guys–
Zion gets cutoff mid-thought by his family rushing at him. Little Easton Thakker darts towards his uncle’s legs, grabbing them with such might. A smile cracks over Zion’s face. Gina fights her way into the group hug as well.
Easton Thakker: SO POWD OF YOU UNCLE DARIN! Y’er da bestest rassler eva!
Jonathan-Christopher Hall: Oh! He is Lil’ Dude! Zion’s gonna give Morti the ole’ one-two punch like he did to…
Zion shoots a death glare towards JCH, letting him know there’s a kid here.
Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy: Come on bro! Don’t let those vibes kill the moment. Let’s speak it into existence: TOUGH LOVE’S GONNA WIN!
After all the commotion, Gina gets her firsts words in edgewise.
Gina Thakker: Jackson’s gonna be sooooo proud of ya! It’ll lift his spirits for sure. Great win for the family for sure…
Zion’s ears perk up after hearing this. REAL LOVE®️ eyes flitter to and fro around the Old Trafford corridors. The smile melts off Darin’s face–Vickie Hall’s nowhere near the action. With PRETTY PINK®️ making all the arrangements for the Thakker’s–Zion expected Vickie to gloat like hell.
Something feels definitely off…
Vickie’s checked out in the corner, checking her phone. Ms. Hall raises her head for a moment–locking eyes with Zion–before disconnecting again, tapping away at her phone.
Zion’s Family and the LOVE CONVOY®️ continue heaping their praise over Darin. Finally after enough of their adoration, Zion bursts through the GROUP HUG. An unenthusiastic smile is plastered on TOUGH LOVE’S®️ face. Darin’s tone is more deflated than usual. His glowing, dreamy hazel eyes keep focused on Vickie…distracted from the moment.
Darin Zion: Guys! One step at a time. We all know I wanna celebrate like hell. I’m the world’s most modest person….
JCH pulls Zi-Guy in for the good ole’ fashioned friend side hug. Zion looks less than amused by this move.
Jonathan-Christopher Hall: Live a little tonight, friendo. TOTES OBVI you deserve all the love. Morti Knightendelig still gonna be there for you tomorrow to thwart. BELIEVE IT! SPEAK IT! Let’s party first, bro.
Darin pulls The Vow of Virtue’s arm off his shoulder, scowling at him.
Darin Zion: There’s a time and a place, man. I’ve got a 5-2 record since October 2022. I look to keep that pretty impeccable heading into my next two matches. Plans make the man. Not that “Speak It into Existence” bullshit.
Tristan-Crispin Gladhappy: Chillax dude! Quit killin’ the vibes.
Zion’s palm smacks right against his forehead. Rolling his eyes, Darin succumbs to the peer-pressure.
Darin Zion: Alright, I want a simple celebration. Let’s grab a pint along with some Fish and Chips. Darin wants to go to catch some Z’s. I deserve some rest.
Everyone continues to jabber on about the great match Zion had and all of the highlights. But Zion couldn’t focus on that. The calloused, vindictive blonde bombshell of Mr. Hall kept glaring daggers at Zion.
Zion’s had quite an experience on his English trip. Before heading out–Zion trained with a couple English brute. Darin wanted to really hone in his punches and kicks using the British Strong Style Method. REAL LOVE®️ figures he can knock Morti’s gelatinous skull around more with those strikes. The vigorous training the day before really turned this into Zion’s Plane Ride From hell.
Darin couldn’t sit still, tossing and turning around in his seat. The 18-year veteran’s joints SCREAAAAAM out loud. Zion hopes some ice would calm the pain down.
Unfortunately, it isn’t doing the trick. Throwing in his Airpods–the future 4EVA Alias Champ blasts some rock to tune out the world around him. However, a surprise notification pops up. Darin’s eyes glimmer with joy when he see a FaceTime request come up from his half-brother Jackson.
It’s a sight for sore eyes for our hero. Zion could tell Jackson’s condition improved since their last conversation. After the stroke, Darin didn’t expect Thakker to make a full recovery from the stroke. No longer was Jackson’s face pale, eyes dim, or body convulsing. A nervous tick is the only remaining symptom. A twinkles in Zion’s smile while he talks to Thakker.
Darin Zion: Man! This trip was exciting. It was good seeing Gina and Easton make memories throughout their entire experience here in England. Warmed my heart you let ‘em come overseas to watch me.
Jackson Thakker: They–they been through the ringer the past few weeks. They don’t need to watch pa suffer more. They deserve the world. ‘Sides..gotta give the nurses HEEEEEEELLLLLLL.
Thakker twitches for a moment while watching his brother explain his recent match. However, Thakker can place something’s off.
Behind those hazel eyes–something’s eating at the pit of Zion’s stomach. Thakker can tell from the lack of zeal and passion in Zion’s voice. Jackson twirls his mustache waiting for Zion to finish his story. But Darin catches onto Jackson.
Darin Zion: What?
Jackson Thakker: Somethin’s off about ya…
Darin’s eyes shift away from the screen.
Jackson Thakker: Talk! Spill dem beans boy. I a’int got all day.
Zion’s face contorts into a weird shape. REAL LOVE®️ eyes dart to the floor while his face blushes.
Darin Zion: Nothing…I won my shot at the LSD title. I’m inches away from the Alias Title. I’m happy…
Jackson Thakker: Don’t play games with me right now. I ain’t got no patience for y’er stupid city games. I can read my own brother like a GODDAMN book. Speak up.
Darin Zion shrugs his shoulders and straightens his posture. Zion gulps before speaking what’s on his mind.
Darin Zion: Something seems off about Vickie…
Jackson Thakker: You two been fightin’ a lot lately. Been seeing it all over the TV screen. Seems like ya were a bit too harsh with that TOUGH LOVE ya dished out.
Darin Zion: I—
Jackson Thakker: AAAAAH! Cut the bullshit. NO EXCUSES! Ya almost struck an innocent woman. Control that temper of y’ers. Don’t end up like that dead beat loser father of yours.
Darin folds his arms against his chest and grimaces for a moment. Biting down on his lip–he tries to combat his brother.
Darin Zion: It’s just I need to get my spin…
Jackson Thakker: Get y’er house in order. The Love Convoy’s done a lot for your career. I may not like ‘em city slickers. But anyone who does right by my kin–them’s good peeps.
Darin Zion’s voice is heavy from the gravitas.
Darin Zion: You’re absolutely right, bro. I can’t let this shit bleed over anymore. I can’t let anything distract me from the Alias or LSD Title. It’s my destiny to reclaim glory.
Jackson Thakker: Damn straight! Don’t put this shit off.
[Jackson Thakker has signed off FaceTime.]
Darin’s thick skull slams against the pillow while he rolls his eyes. Zion runs his fingers through his head, stressed, trying to put the pieces together. Darin saw the cracks and while the confrontation weighed on him–Darin Zion knew exactly what to do.
After a long, tumultuous week of training, preparing for The Morti-lorian, Darin Zion could not wait for Vickie’s Team Building Night ®️. 70’s Love Songs blares across the new fancy speaker and bass system Vickie installed on the PRETTY PINK EXPRESS®️ bus. Alongside the boys (Tristian and Jonathan) all three men kept bobbing their heads while grooving to the fresh beats.
Everyone poppin’ bottles of Root Beer and Pepsi like it’s 1999 again…
It’s the first time Zion’s really cut loose in front of THE LOVE CONVOY®️ maybe ever. Zion donned the crazy outfit and whole nine yards for whatever shenanigans his cohorts had up their sleeves. Jonathan-Christopher hands Tristian the microphone and the Nuzzle Lord shrieks
Tristian-Crispin Gladhappy: STAAAAAAYYYYYIN ALLLLLLLLLLIIIIIIIIIIIIIVVVVVVEE!
Darin grabs the microphone joining in the fun. As Zion’s shaking his groove thing around–the bus comes to a sudden stop. Zion stumbles forward, regaining his stance on one of the polls in front of him.
Vickie Hall: Alright my lovies! Time to build the team ahead of all the wonderful stuff in our future. World Titles, More Tag Gold…ALIAS CHAMPIONSHIPS! We gotta amp up the LOOOOOOOVE.
Zion lets Jonathan-Christopher and Tristan-Crispin exit the bus before him. As TOUGH LOVE®️ approaches the front of the bus–Vickie attempts to shoot down the stairs. But before PRETTY PINK®️ can get down the stairs–Zion slithers right by her. Ms. Hall rolls her eyes.
Vickie Hall: COME ZION…outta the way. Let’s kick the LOOOOOOVE UP a notch.
Darin Zion: Please sit down. We need to talk.
Vickie scowls at Zion before she slams the door behind Jonathan-Christopher and Tristian. Vickie slides back into her seat, her arms cross against her chest. Both of them sit in awkward silence for a moment. Zion’s eyes dart around while he takes a deep breath into his lungs. Darin approaches Vickie and rests his arm against her shoulder.
Darin Zion: We kosher after the last few weeks? I’m still sensing a bit of a disconnect here.
Vickie Hall: Please….everything’s fine…that’s what you wanna hear, right? Woo hoo! Everything’s peachy, hon. Can we get off now?
Zion folds his arms against his chest–the vein begins pulsating in his head. The rosy red cheeks came back. Biting on his upper lip, Zion maintains his cool.
Darin Zion: Look, I get it. You’re frustrated. I’m coming off too strong lately and I’m undermining your value…
Vickie Hall: Please Zion…not now…
Darin Zion: Vickie, you know this dynamic needs to change in our group. Everyone’s annoyed with us. Someone in this group has to crack some skulls in and break some damn spines. Someone has to put the healthy fear of LOOOOVE into all the hearts of the PWA roster. It’s not my typical image, Vickie. But I’ve gotta grind my axe and bury it into all these schmucks who stand in our way to GLORY. Be honest with me…
Vickie Hall: I don’t wanna talk about it…really…don’t do this…
Darin Zion: You and JC promised your honest, true feelings every time in this Tag Team Covenant. Remember a year ago…
Vickie Hall: Zion—NO!
Darin Zion: Look, I am sorry I came across rigid. But for my sake–I’ve gotta grow some god damn balls and a spine. I’m tired of people walking all over us—all over me.
Vickie Hall: FOR ONE GOSH DARN MINUTE CAN YOU LISTEN FOR ONCE?!
Zion’s hushed while Vickie’s steaming mad. Her red face does not match the bright pink outfit she’s wearing.
Vickie Hall: It’s hard seeing who you’ve become. I don’t like to be sentimental. But I miss the quiet awkward Zion in the corner. You’ve grown so much in a year since we found you. It’s still hard for me to grasp all your changes. You’ve grown up so much–it’s definitely taken me some time. But more than anything, Jonathan-Christopher and I are proud. I just don’t like your sass at times in our little family unit.
Vickie wipes away one small tear.
Vickie Hall: But it’ll be okay…I’m so proud that you and Jonathan-Christopher are the 4EVA PRIME TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS®️, Mr. TOUGH LOVE®️ and…
Vickie pauses waiting for Darin Zion to correct her. This time he doesn’t. Behind the driver’s seat, Darin Zion pulls out a giant PRETTY PINK BOX®️. Zion snuck it onto the bus earlier. After opening the box–Vickie’s eyes light up.
Vickie Hall: YOU GOT THOSE FOR US?
Darin Zion: Figured we could meet in the middle. Since we didn’t win these…
Vickie glares at Zion while he talks.
Darin Zion: I thought…fuck it. Let’s make our own little custom belts. We can say we won these in Rio De Janeiro or make up some other promotion. But now it’s official..we…
Vickie Hall: THE 4EVA TAG TEAM CHAMPIONS OF THE WOOOOOOOOOOOOOORRRRLD!
Vickie busts the door open and shows off the belts to her bae and his other BFF. Zion rests arm against the bus and watches the threesome leaping up and down, celebrating their new gift.
“I am surprised they let a fired man like you compete this week. After what you did to Ms. Mori–I’m surprised promotions not only cut ties with you, but burn your pathetic career down to the ground.
That’s GRADE A Fisher Price Indy bullshit you pulled on live TV. Striking a woman OUTSIDE of a wrestling match. Did the “Brusin’ Butcher” teach you how to pull that shit? Because the Berry Lanske I’ve heard stories about would consider your actions disgraceful.
Am I hurting your little feelings? Good! Here’s some honest to GOD TOUGH LOVE®️ for you shit for brains…
I don’t give a flying fuck about your pretty little girlfriend, Morti. Seriously, I don’t. She’s the last concern I have when I step into that ring at ReVival 25. I’m not even thinking about which ways to contort or harm her until she’s officially standing across the ring from me at the Pay-Per-View.
I’m not some low level hack trying to PROJECT SA/PA accusations onto someone else. No those feelings of guilt and torture, Morti–those are yours. You’re the low life who doesn’t respect and honor the sanctity of love. You broke it in a moment of weakness because you fear what I’ll do to you in that ring.
You’ve seen the change in my eyes over the past year. You damn well know I’ll cause you immense physical pain. I know it’s tough for some people to believe. But it’s true! Go watch March 2 Glory. Look in my eyes as I made Xander Azula pass out. Watch how TOUGH LOVE’S®️ eyes beam while Xander’s face turns PRIME BLUE.
That’s you this week, Morti. Rick Sanchez can’t jump through one of his portals to save you. You’re stuck in a PRIME BLUE hell the moment that bell rings. And someone worthless like you–probably shat himself when he saw he drew a 17 year veteran with 26 championship accomplishments to his name. You’re some piss pants old man wanting to live out his wildest dreams. You fell in love and let those emotions take over your brian like a parasite. You’ve spiraled out of control and become emotionally distraught.
You’ve done stuff for some great run to have a PPV dinner with Kohime in the middle of the ring? So you can gaslight her into taking you back?!
That’s not love. And I won’t stand for THAT shit. You’re all over the place on your roller coaster ride of emotions. You’re lost, dazed, and confused like one of those coke heads on the street.
But me–I’m focused. I know how to keep my house in order. I know how to make amends and admit my failures. It’s what I did with Vickie to ensure the LOVE CONVOY’S ®️ future for years to come.
I’m hellbent on achieving one of my greatest career accomplishments. I see nothing but gold. I want to hold more than the 4EVA Tag Team Titles. I want the LSD Championship. And most importantly I CRAVE the opportunity to become the first Alias Champion ever. I crave the destruction of anyone who stands in my way to achieving that goal.
So my only concern this week is you. You’re the last man standing in my way to restoring my career. And I won’t let your bullshit, sad lust triangle affect what me and the LOVE CONVOY®️ will accomplish. We’ve worked too damn hard for our HALL-MARK moment. Our Crowning Achievement! So unlike you who has 99 problems. I only got one!
YOU, MORTIMER KNIGHTINGALE.
You’re the man standing in my way to achieving one of the greatest accomplishments in my career. I could have all the glory and honor by holding HOW and PRIME gold at the same time. I can spread MYLOVE to all the corners of the world.
By dishing out some TOUGH LOVE®️ to you, Morti. Not your girlfriend, Morti–YOU! You will suffer at my hands–and bitch I promise you—I will choke your ass out. And not in the way you dream Mori would do to you in bed.”