Yes, we know how ironic that is given we’re the Merch Czar of the PRIMEverse. It seems like a dumb thing to say, but the stupidity of the phrase doesn’t make it less true. See, we don’t mind shilling t-shirts, dumb masks, and makeshift video games that piss off owls. That makes us money, makes the talent money, and that only takes a little bit of energy to do. It’s the rest of it that is absolutely bothersome. We still hate dumb questions. Most importantly, we hate how it’s the same questions that keep getting vomited out of different mouths. Truth is we would kill a bitch to have something different–something interesting–to ponder over. Instead, we’re here.
HERE IS ANNA DANIELS, MISCREANT, DOING PROMOTIONAL FOR PRIME’S ALMASY TOURNAMENT IN A MOST RIDICULOUS FASHION WHICH IS IN OUR NATURE AT THE PRESENT TIME is printed in faded letters on the left side of our little exhibit.
TAKE PICTURES IF YOU WANT (NO FLASH PLEASE). PRESS WITH QUESTIONS CAN CALL 605-475-6972 is freshly printed on the right side.
And it almost feels right being here again in this bulletproof see through box. Like we’re starting all over again except this time, we’re a little bit wizer. Last time we were here, we knew nothing about the PRIMEverse. We knew nothing about its ways, its formation, what new adventures awaited us. We didn’t know anything about Seymour Almasy. Now we know…a little bit more. He was a man worthy of respect, even if he did act like an absolute cunt. What did he call himself near the end? The Dyna-king? Something ridiculous like that. But even in the complete goofyness in which he presented himself, he was still taken seriously as a competitor. At least, he was respected enough to get a whole tournament in his name after he kicked the bucket.
How far this ‘verse has slid. And don’t get it twisted. We’re not faux-nostalgic for a time long gone. Old must give way to new and the lessons we learn through failure are how we grow. That’s why Time moves forward and rarely back. We’re nostalgic for the mythos of respect. We look around at the roster and see a scant few we can maybe even consider worth a half-assed monument in their name. That’s what this tournament is. That’s what this tournament has always been.
Can this universe go back with those respectful vibes? We doubt it strongly. Even so, this is spooky season. This is the right time for the spirits of the dead to start haunting fools and since we’re already a cluster of dead, what’s one more? Man was a gamer, right? We’ve never played a Final Fantasy game to save our fucking life. But even though we’ll never match the frequency beat by beat, if we find something similar…
How do you summon the vibes of the ghost of a guy you never met?
You start where you are.
We turn on our freshly fixed and modded Game Boy Color and press start.
No shit. We’re starting right here with a game we just started a day before. Though given that this is the Crystal version, the music is a bit too cheery for the vibes. But it’s night time, it’s October, and it’s close enough. We just emerged from our penthouse and who in the fuck thought it was a good idea to turn a mass gravesite of dead animals with superpowers into a radio station? Are the straights okay?
O hai dere, Buckaroo. Who’s a good boi? You are! You’re the best boy! Cecilworth’s a fake and we all know it. Yes, we do! Yes, we do. Where’d you get that skull on your head, boy? Did you steal it from a Skull Kid?
(let’s be honest, he probably did. a regular rapscallion just like his father.)
Okay. So if we head to the left, that’s Saffron City, right? Sabrina and her psychic ‘mons would be a perfect first badge for us given you’re a dark type and all. A few pursuits and maybe a swords dance or two and we can really rip that place a new asshole.
But mom, isn’t that…
Illegal? Yes, Bucky. We did give you a move you don’t normally learn in any way, shape, or form. That’s called commitment to the bit. Besides it’s a hack. We’re passed the point of legality and already primed to have Mindento’s owls coming after us next. Those ones might be bigger and tastier than Athena or any of Lady Troy’s idiot birds.
We can has owl for breakfast?
Why not. There has to be a Noctowl or a Hoothoot somewhere. Even in a completely different game in a completely different genre, the hunt never ends…
We just got a letter. Which is odd because who sends letters anymore. It gets odder the more you look into it. First, note who it’s addressed to.
Mathews (ONE T, MOTHERFUCKER) is the surname we stole when we came to Earth. We can’t remember where we saw the damned thing or even why we chose it. Ultimately, none of that matters. All you need to know is that we used that nom de plume up until we finally got married. A glow up, namewise, for everybody’s sake because at least you can’t misspell Daniels without looking like an invalid. But there’s more to this that might confuse you, dear reader. So let us take a look at who sent it.
No, not that PWA, PRIMEverse. Believe it or not, the wrestling multiverse does not revolve around you. This is a different one. The Pioneer Wrestling Association was part of a multi-fed situation. But it hasn’t been a thing ever since those Straders burned what little bones it had. The envelope in question isn’t even using the Strader era logo. This is an older brand, clearly some overstock that got tucked away some place and never used until this moment. Now here’s the part that confuses us.
St. Louis, MO
Rob Robinson is a lot like Tom Battaglia. Average dude filled with all types of shenanigans that likes to be a masked wrestler. For Tom, it’s getting visitations from Aztec gods to be the best Anglo Luchador he can be, promoting Bolamba Crunchwrap Supremes, and nowadays dealing with stalkers that want to kill his entire family. For Rob, it’s getting drunk/high off of Yoohoo, forming a split personality known as the Phoenix, and being an egomaniacal jerkoff. If these two men existed in the same universe, we have no doubt they would be best buddies and bowling every weekend.
Did we mention that he (or at least, the Phoenix side of him) hates us? We’ve never had much in terms of rivals. Most people don’t last long enough. But Rob-Rob was one of four that came perilously close to becoming so in terms of being somebody whose head we wanted to cave in. Him having power in the multi-fed by way of owning the Pioneer Wrestling Association did not help matters. It’s been years since we’ve given so much as a thought to the man. He sold his stock, retired, and everything he was in the realm of wrestling is now in the history books forgotten by everyone except the few who are left that were there.
So what in Rassilon’s hells would this asshole want with us?
Well, it’s not a personal note, that’s for true. It’s clearly connected to the dead fed. Bucky, fetch the letter opener.
Just as suspected. Typed on unused letterhead. Signature at the bottom. We can snark about Rob all day but when he’s not indulging in his chocolate drink of choice, he can be professional. Let’s see. Dear Anna blah blah blah. Very good businessman yadda yadda yadda. Committee something or other.
Oh. Here we go. The point of the matter.
It has come to our attention that the former owners have stricken you and others from your proper places in the PWA Hall of Fame. Upon further examination, no adequate reason was found for these actions. We are led to believe they had done this with malice
(No shit. This is what happens when a vindictive ex-girlfriend finds out you’re happily married and gains a little shred of power to try and fuck with your legacy. Joke’s on her stupid ass. She’s dead and we’re GLaDOS. Everybody knows that outlasting your haters is the second biggest W you can gain in life. The first, naturally, is snatching their soul while they’re living. Buuuut we digress.)
and said actions were done without the knowledge or support of the executive committee. As a result of these findings, the committee has ruled that your status will be reinstated.
Finally, some Otherfucking recognition.
It’s been a long year of one step forward and a hundred steps back, promotions going into impromptu hiatus, and us getting unbelievably close to going apeshit on everything and everyone. So we’ll gladly take this moldy ass crumb from the cobweb ridden pantry, thank you very much! However, we take it knowing that the rush is temporary. Like an addict, it’s only a matter of time before we end up craving more. Even if we have to create it wholesale ourself.
Anyway, here’s Buckymon.
It was easy as fuck getting to Saffron City. We had to deal with a few numbskulls along the way, but it wasn’t anything we couldn’t handle. Even with only one ‘mon to our name, it was a breeze. But now comes the “hard” part.
Those miserable ass warp panels.
Bucky loves riding the warp panels. To him, they aren’t different from the way he slips through the shadows. The battles with the gym trainers are a good warm-up for him, even though all of them are wearing the exact same face. Boy. Girl. Beyond the binary. Children or elderly or in between. They all wear the same, strangely youthful waxy Asian mask. Of course we’re in Kanto which is equivalent to the Earth’s version of Kanto, so the Asian part isn’t the issue. It’s the fact that they all look like dead eyed knockoff Ken dolls that are the problem. It doesn’t fit the style of their otherwise pixelated bodies.
THERE ARE NO FACES.
THERE ARE NO FACES.
THERE ARE NO FACES.
Knock it off.
Who are you talking to?
Nobody, Bucky. Let’s keep going. You take the lead this time. Our head hurts.
Okay! I like taking the lead. I can step on the things that go ZIP and try to sniff out the ones we’ve already tried. Mom can’t tell the difference, but I can. This one smells like that stuff that one masked guy used to eat. Blech! That’s not food! And then this one is that POWERBOMB stuff that got disken…disca…disco…yeah! Disco’d!
Same thing, right? And this one here…pew! Smells like incense.
So that’s the Pontiff-Hoyt-Bathory route. Much cult. Very disappointing. What’s the last one?
Smells like scat.
Scat from a male cow.
That’s the right one! Let’s go, Bucky!
I̸̧͓̰͗̒́ ̷̗̭̈́ķ̵̖̣̥̑͆ñ̸̺̲̝̉e̸̮̯͠w̷̹̩͛̄͂ ̶͍̠̱̗̳̂̀y̷̨̗̗̟̣̿̈́͛͌ṓ̷̖͊͠u̴̲̗̠̍̇ ̶̝͉͉̣̈́̃̈́́̓ẃ̸̭̱̳̫̏ȩ̵͉͚͔͋͜͠r̴̯̻̯͇̎̔̌͝è̸̲̖͑̈͆ ̸̟͕̰̇͛̀ç̸̱͔͌ǫ̸̬̙͋́̍m̷̩͐̑̑̽̈́ì̸̝̏̾͘n̸̗̈́͋̔g̴͚̮͇͐̿.̶̧̝̞̻̈́͜.̶̩͖̜̟̲͠.̴̹͈̺͔̱̈́ ̵̞̘̇͒͝
Well, no shit, Sherlock. The brackets have been public for weeks. But listen, bud. We don’t know who you’re trying to fool. We all know you’re name is
On the other side of the video call, the interviewer (whose name we don’t remember or care for) looks perplexed. Or about as perplexed as a fragmented blob with shitty internet can be. “Excuse me?”
“There is no Chandler Tsonda in PRIME. There’s a guy pretending to be him.”
“Wait. I’m confused. He got rid of the Tsondaganger.”
“Omega’s ghost. Media literacy truly is dead.” The Prime sighs and starts again. “The guy you all pretend is Chandler Tsonda brought in his little friend to mock you numbskulls. The real Tsondaganger is the one that has stolen the actual man’s name. Since he sullied the phrase Tsondaganger with that nonsense, we have taken to calling this fraud Pseudo-Chandler. Sue, for short.”
“Anna, you can’t possibly believe that.”
“Because there’s no reason not to think that he isn’t the real Chandler Tsonda.”
“And there are absolutely zero reasons to believe that he is. All we have on that matter is the word of Lindsay Troy and given that she promoted a roided up nepotism hire and a tulpa she allegedly helped train, her word is meaningless on that front.”
“You really think it’s a wise idea to defame your boss live on the air?”
“According to your human law, truth is a defense against defamation. Not to mention we don’t believe that she’s quite as stupid as some of her actions make her to be. For instance, Sue. She booked a man pretending to be another man who recently performed with a different man pretending to be him in a match for the Alias title. The fallacy is so damn dumb, but she found a way to slide it back into brilliance all the while making people like you look like an idiot. If nothing else, Lindsay can turn chicken shit into chicken salad within reason.”
“I can’t even follow that. It gives me a headache.” The glitchy blob of a person moves. We can only guess they’re rubbing their temples. “Anyway, you’re booked against…er, Sue in the first round of the Almasy. How do you feel about it?”
“We don’t feel anything for Sue.”
“…nothing? But he’s a PRIME legend and you just mentioned the Alias championship which he won, by the way.”
“A legend in his own mind. A fraud in reality. A bland dude with some talent and half the wit getting faux-nostalgia pops. What’s to feel?” We shrug. “And outside of the synchronicity of the name of the title and the person currently holding it, we don’t care about the Alias belt. We don’t have to.”
The blob nods. “Right. Because you banned yourself from contendership for any championship in PRIME after that loss to Jared Sykes. That actually brings me to my next question. Why are you even in the Almasy in the first place? I mean, the winner gets a shot at Ivan Stanislav and the Universal title. Surely you don’t think you should win…”
“On the contrary. We’re definitely aiming to win.”
Given the movement the blob is doing, they seem to be baffled.
“Let’s put our cards on the table, PRIMEverse. We’re in the tournament for the same reason we were in the last one. PRIME needed bodies to fill slots. We’re a body with nothing to do. So here we are. And at first, we were just as confused as you were as to what our aim would be this go around. What would be our reason for us to go for the jugular in every single fight placed our way. Then we had a thought.”
The Prime leans forward attempting to lock eyes with something that has no visible eyes.
“Tell us, miscellaneous podcast person, who won the Culture Shock murder rumble?”
We can hear the fluttering of wings from both sides of the flawed call.
“Well, um-“, the glitch shivers. They don’t know what to say.
“No one.” We say the correct answer. “No one won that rumble. Despite all the surprise entrants, hullabaloo, and hype, there was not a single living soul that won that match. And when we were proven right, Lindsay made the decree that ‘we must never talk about this’. She wants to ignore it. We don’t blame her! We understand why! It had to be heartbreaking to see the apple of your eye–besides your own children, of course–completely jump the fucking shark. Especially…”
From outside of our glass box, Athena and her crew are trying to peck out a warning. This will get us into trouble with the people who sign our checks. What else is new?
“Especially when you know in your heart that you’re part of the reason that happened. We sympathize. So we don’t blame her for trying to blot that sequence of events and we don’t blame the rest of the roster and the staff members for trying to move on and ignore it. There’s just one problem.”
We give a collective sigh.
“We can’t ignore it.”
There is a loud angry hoot and we cannot help but roll our eyes at her.
“Oh, puhleese. It ain’t from lack of trying on our part. Scout’s honor! You think we want to keep hearing the sirens and bells go off in our head every time this wax body forms around us?! Stupid ass humans have the defense mechanism of delusion and ignorance to keep themselves moderately sane when things like this happen. You–”
The vessel points accusingly at the bird.
“–have the gods damn luxury to make excuses and keep rolling! But we can’t look past the damage done because we see the remnants of that night still floating around to this very day. We feel the irreparable change in this place from the first moment it came back to life to that very night. It’s festering inside the soul of this place and everybody else is skipping around like it’s all sunshine and rainbows. It is not sitting well with us at all and we’re sick and tired of pretending that it does.”
At this point, the video call drops. And it doesn’t matter. We have the audience we need.
“Has your matriarch even considered what happens if we actually win, hm? Then the chaos starts all over again, doesn’t it? Once again, the Universal champion will be left without a contender to come after. Our dear buddy Ivan will have no target to aim for. You can only cover up flaws in the system for so long before they become glaringly obvious to all.”
With a kick, we roll our chair towards the owl. We look her in the eye.
“Come to think of it, Athena…wasn’t Sue one of those entrants? Number forty. Right? He ‘returned’ during that rumble.”
She tilts her head in confusion.
“Don’t act dumb, little bird. You know exactly what he is.”
The victory music plays.
We don’t have the victory yet. But we already have it.
As far as we’re concerned, starting over again is the victory.