Posted on 10/29/22 at 2:23pm by Mushigihara
Event: ReVival 18
March 11, 2022.
New Orleans, LA.
Saori Kazama had just come home from walking her and David’s pet corgi Albert, and made it two steps into the front door before being confronted by Mushigihara. He had a somber look on his face, like he had just dealt with some heavy inner turmoil. It hadn’t been long since Sam Hashimoto was buried in Hawaii, and Mushi had sat with his family back home and come to terms with who he is and what he could no longer pretend to be.
“I… haven’t been honest with you and David about me.”
Clear, perfect English came from the maw of the Kaiju, for the first time Saori could remember. They had conversed in Japanese before, but Mushi clearly blindsided her by cutting to the chase and coming forward.
“Wait, wait, waitwaitwaitwait… are you fucking with me, Eiichiro? Because I swear I just hard you say, ‘I haven’t been honest with you and David about me,’ in English.”
A pregnant pause, as Mushi sighs and nods, before saying “yes, I did.”
She stared at him like she’d just seen a ghost.
“So… I take it you haven’t told David yet.”
“No. And I need to talk it out with you before I can… you’re the one I trust the most.”
“And if you’d like, you can also call me Henry.”
We’re not greeted by the sarcasm-drenched, anarchic voice of the Dangerous Mix’s David Fox, nor his intense, battle-ready face.
No, today we’re greeted by his tag team partner, the 6’4”, near-300-pound powerhouse Mushigihara, fresh off his recent revelations that his vocabulary actually has more than one phrase. The Kaiju actually appears… friendlier? He greets us with a smile; not the slithery grin of his partner, but rather a warm, welcoming countenance.
Mushigihara: It’s not often that I do the talking for my matches, but since I’m the only member of my team slated for action at ReVival 18, it only seemed fair that I do the work for our match. It already feels a lot easier not having to pretend all I could ever say is “osu.”
He briefly places his thumb and index finger on his chin, contemplatively raising an eyebrow.
Mushigihara: Hmm. Might take some getting used to, still, but I’m sure I’ll get there.
Mushigihara: Anyway. It looks like you and I are locking up at ReVival 18. I know that David asked for a tag match, eGG Bandits and the Mix, but Bobby Dean said no. I suppose he was able to get that challenge swatted down in the booking office, but it doesn’t matter, because I’m going to treat this match the same as if it were a two-on-two situation.
Mushigihara shrugs and nods, looking off to one side briefly, before looking back at us.
Mushigihara: Which, I’m sure I don’t need to tell you, isn’t going to be a very good time for you.
He’s so friendly about kicking his opponent’s ass, isn’t he?
July 25, 2011.
Los Angeles International Airport.
Ryan Andersen stood in line at the coffee stand with his newest acquisition, a former sumo wrestler named Eiichiro Yamazaki. Ryan stared intently at the menu, and figured he should offer to buy something for his new protege, though the language barrier would likely be a hurdle.
He turned to the big man and politely asked, “would you like me to buy you something? Uhhhhh, kohii o nomimasuka?”
Eiichiro turned to Ryan and blinked, before responding in perfect English, “actually yes, I’d like a double latte if that isn’t a problem.”
Ryan tilted his head in befuddlement, responding to the crisp, accentless English he just heard.
“Wait,” Ryan blurted, “you speak English perfectly!”
“Oops,” Eiichiro peeped, “I guess Alex never told you about that.”
He was right. Alex Markham never told Ryan about his actual origins.
“I’m actually American by birth,” Eiichiro quipped, “my bloodline’s all Japanese. I had family in the internment camps in the forties.”
The long-time veteran wrestler-turned-manager-trainer pursed his lips trying to take it all in.
“So if you’re American, how did you last so long in Japan without them kicking you out? I know they… don’t have the best opinions of foreigners.”
The big man shrugged, “they must have assumed I was native when I did sumo, since I speak Japanese too. And once I left sumo Alex figured me out and agreed to keep the secret going so I could keep training under him in Japan.”
Ryan stared, as the barista called out for the next in line.
“Let’s get back to Philadelphia,” Ryan said as he sauntered to the counter, “then we’ll talk about planning out your presentation. And, well, how you speak.”
Eiichiro was confused, but nodded in acquiescence as Ryan ordered them some coffee.
“In a way, I kind of feel for you, Doozer.”
Back with Mushigihara. He’s casually pacing around, looking into the camera lens as if he were staging an intervention.
Mushigihara: Being the lesser part of a tandem that includes Bobby Dean can’t be good for the ego. I’ve wrestled Bobby Dean before. I know the kind of things he’s capable of, and somehow, despite himself, he’s had success in this business. You? Floundering about for how long now? Riding Cancer Jiles’ coattails not just in PRIME, but also, well, elsewhere? In your shoes I’d be pretty demoralized. And even so, only a fool would underestimate the eGG Bandits, whether in a team or solo battle. After all, what the Bandits lack in skill in the ring, they make up for in cunning, cleverness, and a lack of disregard for the rules. And since David will be out nursing an injury, that leaves me alone to face you, and potentially all three Bandits at once.
Mushi sighs, then cracks a playful smirk.
Mushigihara: I guess I’m going to have to borrow some of David’s luck against the odds, huh?
The smirk vanishes instantly, and Mushi’s eyes glimmer as if he was getting back to business.
Mushigihara: I’ve been trained and managed by people who wore both white and black hats all throughout their careers. I was trained to know every possible angle, every view from every corner, and to always expect the unexpected. “You’re wrestling some untalented bum, Mushi? Untalented like a FOX.” That’s what my trainer used to say.
Mushi purses his lips.
Mushigihara: Poor choice of words there. I hope David doesn’t think that was a diss on him.
October 27, 2022.
DEF WrestlePlex, New Orleans, LA.
Leon Van Zandt was one of the few wrestlers in the business that Mushigihara feared. The two men had been a tag team in the past, wrestling under the name of The Foreign Legion, owing to Mushi’s Japanese ancestry and Leon’s homeland of Belgium. They proved an effective tandem, with Leon’s crippling old-world grappling style complimenting Mushi’s bone-crushing power offense, leading to them winning championship gold together.
Today, they were on opposite sides of the ring, sparring. Leon had just recently taken a position wrestling for DEFIANCE Wrestling’s developmental brand, BRAZEN, and the two had enough of a rapport with each other that they knew they would be able to do a lot of sparring without doing too much damage to each other.
At this moment, Leon just drilled his massive former partner and current friend to the mat with a punishing saito suplex that took a lot of wind out of the Kaiju. Mushi managed to roll onto his belly and start crawling to the closest corner he could, too rattled to hear Leon calling out to him, “Mushi, it is not a tag team match!”
By the time he managed to pull himself back up to his knees by the ropes, he looked around, only to find David Fox staring at him from the floor, not dressed in his ring gear. He was so stunned that he didn’t notice Leon sneaking up behind him, latching into position to do another saito. Mushi gasped in surprise, and Leon immediately let up.
“That would have been the end, my friend,” Leon muttered with his thick Flemish brogue, as he patted Mushi on the shoulder.
The Kaiju was stunned. He had been training for some time to get back into singles action against Doozer, and he knew the chances of Dooze facing him without any “help” was slim to nil. But he just could not shake off those old habits, no matter how hard he tried.
“C’mon, big man,” David called out, taking a sip from his Mandala chai latte. He was in the process of talking to DEFIANCE management to bring Mandala products into the catering section, both as a favor to his friend Mandala CEO Jason Patel and as a way to boost his own income, and negotiations were about to start soon. That said, David still made time to check on his partner’s progress, even setting up a training session with Leon to both pressure-test him, and also make sure he wouldn’t hurt himself training.
“I know, Dave, just…” Mushi trailed off, looking back at Leon, who was taking his time with some dive-bomb pushups in the center of the mat.
“I know it ain’t gonna be easy, Moosh, but I know you can handle Doozer in there solo. I believe in you.”
Mushi looked at David, who stared back with the most confidence in him since Mushi came clean about being an American-raised, English-speaking everyman as opposed to some mysterious monosyllabic monster.
“And remember,” David followed, “I might not be in the ring with you at ReVival, but I’m always in your corner. We’ve been a team for how long, big guy? After all we’ve been through, and we’re still standing.”
The self-proclaimed Fox Among the Lions smiled and nodded in reassurance to his partner, who simply responded with a thumbs up, before turning back to Leon, who springs up from resting on his knees and rushes in for a collar-and-elbow tie-up, which Mushi easily overpowers by SHOVING the Belgian to the mat with enough force to make him roll backwards.
“Well, then,” Leon exclaimed, “I see you’ve got your confidence back, old friend.”
“Sometimes a little pep talk’s all it takes. You know that as well as anyone, Leon.”
“Excellent. Let’s get you back into fighting form then, eh?”
With a warlike shout, Leon the Professional rushed back in for Mushi’s legs, and the struggle began anew.
“I have to admit it’s kind of funny, the way that David and I have become hell-bent on climbing our way up the tag team division, only for me to face you one-on-one, Doozer.
The Kaiju nods and mulls it over.
Mushigihara: Well, one-on-one in the way that a match with any one of the eGG Bandits is one-on-one. As in, you can never be too sure. Bobby Dean could very well be lying in wait. Shoot, we might even get a visit from the Universal Champion if we play our cards right!
Mr. Akagi himself chuckles at his own cards joke.
Mushigihara: But no matter the odds, I’ll be ready. The Dangerous Mix may be a tag team, but the parts of the whole are no weaklings, and staring down PRIME’s biggest pack of miscreants, while no small task, is something I’m ready for. You know, it’s funny. Halloween is around the corner, and the big focus there, of course, is people wearing masks and costumes, pretending to be something they aren’t, for fun and profit.
The camera pulls back, giving us a full-body shot of the Kaiju in his suit.
Mushigihara: And here I am, stepping in the ring to show PRIME who I really am. I may not be that monosyllabic enigma anymore, but I AM still a monster of a man in the ring. And at ReVival 18, I’m going to demonstrate it to all of the PRIMEates when I lay Doozer to waste like so many others. See you then, Doozer.
Mushi looks off to the side, before snapping back towards us and triumphantly thrusting a fist in our direction, before letting out that signature you’ve probably been waiting all day for…
July 25, 2011.
Outside Philadelphia International Airport.
The taxicab had just departed for I-95, carrying Ryan Andersen and Eiichiro Yamazaki to the north. Eiichiro had just come off a pleasant mid-air nap, and was a bit grumpy; Ryan seemed to acknowledge this, as he gently tapped his big protege’s shoulder before speaking.
“So this… little revelation about your linguistic capabilities, huh?”
“Wha– oh, yeah,” the big man responded with a nod.
“Well, it’s certainly going to make training you a lot easier if you can understand what I’m saying, but for the finished product, so to speak? I don’t know if you talking like every other guy is gonna help you stand out.”
The gravity of Ryan’s words nailed Eiichiro in the chest, as he suddenly perked up and snapped at his potential trainer.
“Oh, so what, now I gotta go out there talking like Mr. Miyagi? Is that what this whole thing’s about? How about I tell you to go fu–”
“No! Not at all! I would never do anything like that! I’m talking about being a mysterious monster type that doesn’t speak much at all! No stereotypes, none of that crap!”
“Look, Eiichiro,” Ryan continued, “I’m sure you know as well as anyone how important character is in wrestling, even where you were training in Japan. But it’s especially important here. And thankfully we’ve moved on from a lot of the harmful stereotypes, even if there’s still work to do.”
Eiichiro smoldered as he stared daggers at his trainer.
“I’m just saying that a big guy like you, big guys aren’t really associated with being… well, charming talkers, y’know? So sometimes they either don’t talk at all, or they say maybe three or four words, tops. And that becomes their catchphrase, something to put on T-shirts.”
“T-shirts,” Eiichiro scoffed.
“Nature of the game, I’m afraid,” Ryan sadly replied, “so I dunno, something like, ‘HUSS,’ or, ‘GYAAH,’ or even that one from those karate classes I took as a kid… ‘OSU,’ something like that.”
An awkward silence as Eiichiro Yamazaki turned his head to look at the Philadelphia skyline passing by.
“Do you trust me, Eiichiro?”
Eiichiro turned back to Ryan, his expression softening, as if to say he was listening.