The Anglo Luchador
THE FOLLOWING IS AN EXCLUSIVE PRIME WRESTLING VIDEO, FOUND ONLY ON ACE NETWORK. ACE: STREAMING FOR YOU.
APRIL 15, 2022 – 4 AM
A scarlet Ford Explorer, not shitty in the least, pulled up in front of an ornate storefront. The camera panned up to reveal that it is a Taco Bell, but not just any Taco Bell but the infamous Vegas Taco Bell Cantina, replete with a VIP Lounge in an exclusive dendrite inside the building, one that is only able to be accessed by the cultural and culinary elites. People were still milling about in front of the store. Vegas never sleeps, after all. However, the milling of people was not nearly as teeming as it would have been two hours before. Perfect time for two members of wrestling’s most inspirational and, to be honest, messily weird comeback story to make good on an embarrassing snafu for a head referee and a comeback luchador to be involved in.
No one else in the company knew they were there. CEO Lindsay Troy expressly forbade them to make the trek. She would smooth things over, she said. However, neither The Anglo Luchador nor Timo Bolamba believed in her ability to make things right. It’s not that they necessarily had no faith in their boss. Bolamba, a steadfast and by-the-book official, had the utmost respect for the erstwhile Queen of the Ring. The old luchador, an old colleague of PRIME’s head lady, also respected her for accomplishments inside and out of the ring. However, he knew more than anyone that following the rules was not paramount in the grand scheme of things. Making things right was. He didn’t think Lindz knew the gravity of the situation, nor did he think she estimated the danger that the actor who played Al Borland on the hit ‘90s sitcom Home Improvement posed. She was office now, he thought. She was disconnected from the ins and outs of what it meant to be a wrestler, even if he knew she was active in places like SHOOT Project and DEFIANCE. Once you get a taste of the bureaucracy, it changes you. Never for the better either.
So the referee and the luchador, having exited the not-shitty Ford Explorer, stood in front of the Taco Bell Cantina. Bolamba was clad in his facepaint and a black sweatsuit. The old luchador wore a black lucha mask, black gear pants and boots, and no shirt. It’s Vegas. Even if the desert got cold at night, the old luchador knew they probably wouldn’t make it out of there in time to slip back into bed before sunrise.
“Are you sure about this,” Bolamba asked the old luchador?
“Oh yeah. Money talks, and right here in this bag,” the luchador replied, holding up a brown paper bag (obviously), “is enough money to cover the damages from the other night PLUS all the stuff you and your refs incurred plus interest.”
“I don’t know,” the ref interjected. “You really did a number the other night.”
APRIL 12, 2022 – 9 PM
“You know what, bud…” There was audible slurring in the old luchador’s voice. After a long flight from Tokyo, seated next to a passenger with bad hygiene wearing a shirt of a disgraced, deceased former PRIME wrestler with a punny ring name, The Anglo Luchador was ready to get shitfaced. By this time, he’d already drank five sake bombs and three beers at Morimoto Las Vegas, all on Bolamba’s dime. Lindsay Troy was also at dinner with the two, but she had stepped away to the bathroom, or to get away from the hot mess that was the comeback luchador.
“I don’t know, friend,” the ref replied.
“We gotta make things RIGHT with you and Taco Bell. You know I’m a platinum member, right?”
“I don’t know how you can be a platinum member for a fast food chain, but I guess I’ll listen.”
“Trust me on this,” he said, slugging from his fourth can of Sapporo of the night. “We just need to get there, and I’ll smooth things over.”
“Not tonight, friend,” said Bolamba, with a sternness in his voice usually reserved for scoundrels like Cancer Jiles or Balaam in the ring. “You’re drunker than a wayfarer on shore leave, and we’re out to dinner with our employer.”
“So whaaaaaaaat,” the words dripped from the old luchador’s mouth like drool from a sleeping dog. “Lindz may be a square now, but EVENTUALLY she’ll understand. She knows me. Before she became office, she used to get wild. Better to ask for forgiveness than permission.” He slugged the last of his can, crushed it on his head, and tried flagging down the waiter for another Sapporo.
“You need to get back to your hotel room and sleep this off,” Bolamba replied to his friend. “We already had the chef’s tasting, all we’re doing is drinking now. And you’re doing enough of that for all three of us.”
The old luchador wasn’t even paying attention to his referee companion. He’d found their waiter. “Yeah, I’ll take two cans of Sapporo. Need to put this to bed.”
“Rough time in Japan?”
The old luchador stared a thousand yards through Bolamba. “I told you, guy in an Angelo Deville shirt on the plane. Stunk like sharp provolone and donkey shit.”
Bolamba shook his head. “Absolutely not, no way a bad flight is going to trigger this kind of reaction. I’ve seen you drink before, but never like this. And I’ve seen you have bad ideas before, but never like this.”
The waiter returned with both cans of beer. The old luchador grabbed both without breaking eye contact with Bolamba and drank from both simultaneously like he was a bald-headed Texan from another dimension. Beer foamed on his face, he coldly replied to his friend, “I don’t want to talk about it.”
“Okay then, I won’t…” Bolamba was interrupted by the old luchador reaching for his Jitterbug 3 cellphone. “What in the name of Kāne are you doing?!”
“I’m ordering an Uber! I can’t find my phone!” The old luchador’s phone was in his pocket the whole time, mind you. “Okay, it’ll be here in five minutes. Pay the check and let’s roll.”
The old luchador finished both his cans of Sapporo like he was Dana Jacobsen downing vodka on live television (that’s a deep cut for you old ESPN heads out there) before heading outside to wait for his vehicle. Bolamba slapped a pile of Benjamins on the table and left.
A few minutes later, Lindsay Troy reemerged from the women’s room to find both her dining companions had gone, a pile of money hastily plopped in the middle of empty plates and beer cans.
“I’m going to kill that luchador,” she muttered to herself.
APRIL 15, 2022 – 4:08 AM
“Look, bud, I already apologized verbally,” The Anglo Luchador said half under his breath so as not to let anyone hear what any of their plans would be. “I would’ve done this by myself too, but you insisted on coming along.”
“All of this started because I wanted to try a Crunchwrap for the first time anyway,” Bolamba replied. “I feel partly responsible.”
“Well, I appreciate it, but you didn’t steal someone’s phone when you were shiftaced and escalated a situation that didn’t need escalating.” The old luchador took a deep breath. “Let’s just finish this.”
The two composed themselves and went to the door of the Taco Bell Cantina. Outside of it was a mountain of a man, barrel-chested and shaved bald. He wore sunglasses and a black Secret Service suit like Cobra Bubbles from Lilo and Stitch and spoke in a voice that sounded deep and bass-heavy like Ving Rhames. That’s right, this Taco Bell had a fucking bouncer.
“Hold on,” he said as the two PRIME personalities stepped towards the door. “I’m under strict orders not to let anyone from PRIME inside of this establishment, and I recognize a crusty old luchador and a messy-faced old referee.”
“Look, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jr.,” sassily retorted the old luchador, but he was caught with an IMMEDIATE correction from the bouncer.
“Cornelius,” he said. “My name is Cornelius.”
“You know what, I’ll remember that,” the old luchador said, tugging his non-existent collar. “Anyway, I’m not here to cause any trouble. I’m here to make the trouble I’ve caused right.” He held up the bag and shook it. “This bag here ain’t got my lunch in it, you know.” The old luchador opened the bag and the bouncer peered inside.
“That’s… a lot of money.”
“Yeah, that’s what happens when you put a healthy sum down on a Brandon Youngblood/Hayes Hanlon/Tapioca Puddings parlay that nets you +3600 on BetMGM.”
Cornelius looked puzzled. “Wait, how is it legal for a wrestler to bet on wrestling in the company he works for?”
“Hey, I don’t bet on my own matches, and I don’t interfere in matches I bet on. Easy-peezy.”
Timo shook his head. “It doesn’t sit well with me, but I mean, it technically is legal.”
“Well,” the bouncer interjected afterwards, “I don’t know how much good it’ll do, but I can’t ignore that much money. Maybe the Karn-man will be lenient. You may enter.”
The two started to walk into the Cantina, but Cornelius stopped them short of the door.
“HOWEVER,” he added, “if anything goes down like it did Tuesday night, I am going to have to get involved personally.” He cracked his knuckles. “And you don’t want that.”
APRIL 12, 2002 – 10:12 PM
The VIP Lounge at the Taco Bell Cantina was hoppin’, as the kids would say. In one corner table, Wayne Newton chatted up a comely divorcee with a martini in his hand with another, much younger woman, on his other arm. Allen Covert was having an animated conversation with a Baja Blast mojito in one hand and the other pointing his finger into Ozzie Canseco’s chest. At the center of the room, in the back, on a metallic throne with bedazzled tacos adorning it, sat Richard Karn.
Most people know Karn from his turn as Al Borland. Others might recognize him from his stint as host of Family Feud. His image shows him dressing modestly, either in flannel and jeans, or in a finely-appointed, mid-range level suit from Men’s Wearhouse or K&G. Yeah, that image was not projected by Karn here, no sir. He wore glasses darker and hipper than Cornelius had been wearing, adorning a face with a well-manicured, Just for Men-treated beard and a shiny silver godfather hat with a leopard print band around the base. His suit was the same shiny silver his hat was, while he wore a leopard print oxford button-down shirt. The jacket was unbuttoned completely, while the shirt, no tie to be seen, was unbuttoned down to the third latch. He held a 24K gold cane with a bedazzled metallic taco on the top that matched his cufflinks. HIs outfit was topped off with alligator skin shoes.
“Eat, drink, be merry!” was his command from the throne, watching the room full of C- and D-list celebrities and the people who found their way into that company mingled, flirted, and conversed under his watchful gaze.
That is, until one drunken luchador and his embarrassed referee friend burst into the room.
“Where is the third-best host of Family Feud? I need to speak with him at once!” The Anglo Luchador shouted to a room that stopped dead in its tracks at his exclamation.
“I’m sorry,” Timo said, “He’s loaded…”
Karn took notice of the kerfuffle and stood up. “Who let HIM in here?” he shouted, pointing at PRIME’s senior official. “I banned him and his entire cadre of referees from this establishment.”
“Al, Al, look man, he’s my plus-one,” said the luchador. He pulled out his wallet and removed a card that said Taco Bell Platinum Member No. 4381 Since 2009. “I’m a Platinum Member, and I’m allowed a plus-one.”
“Not if that member is banned, you presumptuous wastrel,” said Karn, annoyed at the luchador’s continued references to him by the media in which he has appeared.
“I don’t know who died and made you boss of Taco Bell…”
Karn interrupted. “Meat Loaf.”
“Huh?” answered the luchador, puzzled.
“You asked who died and made me the dean consigliere of the Taco Bell Cantina VIP Lounge,” Karn explained. “Meat Loaf died, and I took over his role after a vote among the members of the consortium.”
“What the fuck, man.”
Timo interrupted his friend, “I know, I had a similar reaction, but it’s all real.”
Before the old luchador could continue, Karn interrupted him. “SILENCE. Now, why have you brought this scofflaw back into my establishment? He was told in clear terms he was not allowed…”
“Look, I don’t know what exactly happened here, but…”
“ONE OF HIS MINIONS PUT ME IN AN ARMBAR.”
“Excuse me,” Bolamba butted in, “But it’s actually a keylock, or a kimura…”
“SILENCE! Violence against one of the consortium, LET ALONE the dean consigliere, is strictly forbidden in this establishment.”
“I heard Wayne Newton punched you in the face last month, and he’s over there trying to score a threesome,” said the luchador.
“Yeah I did,” Newton said from his corner booth, hand creeping closely to committing sexual harassment against the divorcee, who didn’t seem to mind, to be honest.
“That was completely different,” Karn replied.
“How so?” Timo surprisingly spoke up instead of an increasingly agitated and slowly losing-his-buzz luchador.
“Because I said so, that’s why,” Karn put his foot down.
“ALRIGHT, YOU LISTEN HERE, MR. ‘I DON’T THINK SO, TIM,’” the luchador burst into Karn’s face. “YOU’RE GONNA LET MY FRIEND HERE COME BACK INTO YOUR ESTABLISHMENT AND EAT ALL THE INDIGESTION-CAUSING FOOD HE WANTS, OR I AM GOING TO GO FULL WILSON ON YOUR ASS…”
Karn looked as if he was going to speak up, but the luchador continued on.
“AND DON’T GIVE ME NO SHIT ABOUT WILSON, YOU BEARD-DYING SON OF A TOOL MAN. HE WAS EX-CIA. I KNOW IT. HE COULD HAVE FUCKED TIM’S RAT SNITCH ASS UP ANY DAY, AND HE PROBABLY WOULD HAVE IF IT WEREN’T FOR…”
“These are all fictional characters, you buffoon,” Karn assertively and abruptly stopped the luchador’s rant. “You have had too much to drink and clearly are showing signs of brain damage from years of being dropped on your peanut-brained head. Now get out of here, or else.”
“C’mon, Anglo, it’s not worth it, really it isn’t…” Bolamba’s words did not reach the rage-seethed brain of the old luchador.
“Or else what, you flannel-humping codpiece?”
Without a word, Karn reached in the direction of The Anglo Luchador, snatching from his hand his platinum membership card. He held the card aloft with one hand, and after handing off his taco cane to Ozzie Canseco, he took his other hand and tore the card in twain.
“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, YOU BASTARD! YOU RUINED IT! MY LIFE’S WORK…”
“Don’t mess with the Taco Bell VIP Lounge, you pathetic troll,” Karn dismissively stated before turning and walking away.
The old luchador, rage welling in his eyes, spittle leaking from his halfway-pursed lips, lunged forward seemingly to attack Karn. However, at that moment, Canseco and Allen Covert both accosted him, holding him in place. Karn turned back around, sneering at the feeble attempt at an attack on his person.
“Here’s something on the house, to go,” Karn said before…
He drove his cane from below into the luchador’s jaw. Covert and Canseco let him go while all the other patrons in the bar except Newton and the MILF he was feeling up looked upon him with wide-gaping jaws.
“Get these two outta here.”
Timo responded. “No need, I’ll just take my friend and myself out of this filthy establishment.”
APRIL 15, 2002 – 4:21 AM (sorry, Rezin)
“You ready for this, bud?” The Anglo Luchador sensed the nerves in Timo Bolamba’s brain misfiring synapses like the exhaust pipe on a raggedy old car on its last wheels. Timo didn’t become a referee for a payday. Even discounting the ups and downs of the crypto market and his Bolamba Bucks, the former highly decorated PTC legend was independently wealthy. HIs love for wrestling was only superseded by the resistance of his body to work even a biweekly schedule that PRIME had provided. Plus, he always had a deep and abiding respect for order and justice. Refereeing was a salve that hit all of his deep desires without having to stare down the barrel of tricksters like Jiles, technicians like Youngblood, or monsters like Balaam. Returning to the scene of several altercations that got him banned? This shook him to his core on the surface.
But like the old luchador, Bolamba always had a sense of what was right, and there was trust that that old luchador wouldn’t act unjustly. Rashly? Maybe. Stupidly? Almost definitely. But no matter what, he knew The Anglo Luchador was a tecnico.
He was finally ready to answer. “Yeah, let’s do this.”
“Oh,” the old luchador said before they went up the stairs and down the hall into the VIP Lounge. “I figure if we’re friends and stuff, you shouldn’t have to call me ‘Anglo.” My name’s Tom.”
“Oh, cool. Thanks for that.”
They shook hands and started up the escalator, not looking at anyone else in the Cantina who might eye them suspiciously. Luckily for them, most of them were drunk, and most importantly, not VIPs either. They didn’t care about the clandestine and bacchanalian goings-on in the lounge. The old luchador clutched the paper bag full of cash close to his chest as they walked down the hallway and up to the door that read simply “VIP lounge,” guarded by two bouncers this time, both bigger and meaner looking than Cornelius at the front door.
“Hey guys, what’s up. We have a delivery,” the old luchador said shaking the bag in front of him.
“DoorDash or cannabis?” one of the bouncers asked.
Timo interjected immediately after, “Drugs, we are here to deliver Richard Karn his drugs.”
“Well,” the other bouncer said, “Rich isn’t here, but there are a few patrons inside who would appreciate a nice smoke right now.”
They opened the door to find a smaller coterie of patrons still mingling. Wayne Newton was still in the corner booth, this time getting handsy with a set of twins wearing the same getup his backup dancers wear. Michael Rapaport was at the bar, impatiently awaiting whatever it is he ordered. There were three other people who stuck out, all of them faintly resembling people viewers of the ACE Network may have seen before. However, none of them resembled anyone that gave their identities away.
The old luchador raised the bag in the air and shook it. “Hey, hey fuckbags! Whoever’s here, Richard Karn, Wayne Newton, whatever grand poobah of whatever little club you have here, me and the Samoan Silencer are here to make things right. Come on out.”
“Make things right, huh?” a surprisingly familiar voice slyly called out from behind a curtain. “I’d like to see that.”
The figure, dressed in a mustard yellow suit, red shirt, and black shoes, moustache formed in perfect Snidely Whiplash with wax, hair parted neatly down the middle, turned around and stopped the Anglo Luchador DEAD in his tracks.
It was Roderick McRatrick.
MARCH 25, 2022 – 9:46 AM
The sun on the Nevada desert gets hot early. If you don’t find shelter within 30 minutes of sunrise, good luck trying to treat sunburn. Roderick McRatrick, wandering the desert after circumstances led him from a cushy scam attempt at one of his only friend’s press conferences in PRIME to a lifetime ban from the MGM Grand Casino and an ersatz fatwa handed down from CEO Lindsay Troy herself if he’s seen anywhere near PRIME proceedings, had been in the wastes west of the Vegas/Henderson metro area for a couple of days now. Texts he sent to The Anglo Luchador indicated he somehow made his way to the border or whatever, but rule number one of Con Man Club is never tell the truth unless it’s the last possible option. Even then, there’s no one a good lie can’t stun in the moment.
He had made his way back to the road at least. He didn’t even know how he got so far out of Vegas’ gravity that he ended up near a town called “Goodsprings.” To be fair, he did meet the fist of Balaam while in that press conference room. He also liked peyote. Like, way too much for any normal human being. Joe Rogan might even think Roddy liked his hallucinogens too much if he paid attention to anything but his grift. Rogan was a personal hero of The Last Con Man, but that’s besides the point.
As he strode along Nevada State Route 161, a limousine that had been strolling down the road pulled off to the side across from where McRatrick had been lurching along. The window in the back rolled down.
It was Richard Karn.
“Hey, need a lift?” the former star of Home Improvement asked.
“What’s the catch?” McRatrick replied with his own question in disbelief.
“I’m looking for someone to do a job for me, and I think you’d have a vested interest in it.”
“Why?” again, McRatrick’s disbelief informed his facial expression, well, that and the 72 hours of temperature cycling in the desert he’d been exposed to.
“You have a vendetta against PRIME. My boss has one against someone who works for PRIME.”
McRatrick’s ears perked up. “Go on.”
“Well,” Karn continued, “I think you should get in the limo. By the way, do you like Taco Bell?”
“Do I! Sure I do!” McRatrick said out loud. Under his breath, he muttered “Taco Bell fucking sucks. I’m a Chipotle man.”
APRIL 15, 2022 – 4:43 AM
“The hell are you doing here?” The Anglo Luchador’s shock beamed through his mask to the point where it was surprising the thing didn’t disintegrate. However, contrary to all Hoyt Williams’ protestations, his masks were anything but cheap.
“I could ask you the same thing, ol’ buddy, ol’ pal,” replied Roderick. “You and your friend here have been banned from this establishment.”
“I got all the restitution, the money for the stuff we broke, emotional damages for the kimura, 10 years of membership dues for the platinum membership that I am not even asking for reinstatement, plus interest!”
“Do you really think money can win me over?” McRatrick said before snapping the bag out of his betrayed friend’s hand. “Yes, it can win me over, obviously. I love money. I would fuck a being made out of cash if it had a vagina or a butthole. Money me now.”
Timo groaned and the old luchador rolled his eyes.
“However, my bosses, well, they’re well beyond the pale. Money won’t save you with them.”
“I don’t understand how it got this far,” the senior ref lamented. “I just wanted a Crunchwrap and…”
Roddy interrupted. “This was never about a Crunchwrap. C’mon now. Do you really think things would have escalated to the point where,” McRatrick gestured all around him, “THIS would happen? This wasn’t evolution, no, it was intelligent design, motherfucker. We laid the trap and you fell for it.”
The old luchador perked his head up in surprise while Timo slyly smiled.
“People much higher up on the food chain than me have wanted to nail you for a long, long time, Mr. La Bamba.”
“SHUT UP WHEN I’M DOING MY VILLAIN MONOLOGUE.” McRatrick cleared his throat. “Anyway, all of this has to do with one thing and one thing only.”
Timo’s eyes widened.
Roderick continued. “Bolamba Bucks.”
“What? Crypto? I knew you were into using that avenue to do scams, Rod, but I didn’t…” the luchador was rudely interrupted.
“Shut up, Tom. This doesn’t concern you. You just happened to stumble into things because you’re a nosy Nathan who has to be all goody-two-shoes now that you’re a dad and dedicated to being a tecnico and not concerned about going to federal prison.”
“Those are all good things to be,” the luchador retorted.
Bolamba spoke up next. “Just tell me, Roderick. Who’s your boss? The CEO of Taco Bell?”
McRatrick let out a belly laugh. “Oh no, we commandeered this place from Taco Bell a long time ago. They supply the grub, but that’s about it. I could tell you who my boss is, but I haven’t been dropped on my head as many times as this cretin over here has. And now, I have you right where I want you. We have breaking and entering. Assault. And my favorite, bribery of an elected official.”
The luchador rolled his eyes. “You’re not elected of anything.”
“No,” replied Roddy, “but he is.”
Out from the shadows walked Devin Nunes, sitting Republican congressman from California. McRatrick gave him the bag with the money in it, and the two began laughing hysterically.
“WE GOT YOU TIMO AHAHAHAHAAHA. Sorry you had to get caught up in this, Tom, but you should’ve helped us when you could have.”
The old luchador and the senior ref looked at each other. Timo then looked back as to signal to someone. “Okay guys, did you get all that?”
One of the three familiar figures in the room threw off a wig. Ashley Barlow replied “Yup, boss, every angle.”
The second tore off a fake moustache and goatee and tapped the Google Glass that had been surreptitiously attached to his baseball cap. Elvis Nixon said “Yeah man, I got it all.”
The third one also tore off fake facial hair, this time a beard and also a wig, and held up a new Platinum Member Taco Bell card for The Anglo Luchador. “Here you go, pal,” said Jimmy Turnbull.
“AAAAHHHH! I can’t believe it! I’ve been counterstung!” said Roddy as Devin Nunes threw a smoke bomb and escaped through one of the fire exits.
“And now you’re also banned from Taco Bells all over the world under pain of death,” said Timo.
The two bouncers from the outside of the VIP lounge and Cornelius all filed into the room to remove Roderick, as The Anglo Luchador and Timo Bolamba shook hands on a job well done.
APRIL 15, 2022 – 8:21 AM (Central Daylight Time)
In a control room, somewhere in Austin, TX, a figure sat back in a chair in front of a wall of monitors. Each monitor showed a break room from a different location around the country, but the figure, whose face has been obscured, was only interested in the computer monitor in front of him. On it displayed a Google Chrome browser set to Twitter Dot Com. A dialog box was open with picture previews in it, all reaction macros from the show Rick and Morty. The cursor on the screen wandered atop a picture of Rick Sanchez as a pickle before he double-clicked on it.
“Yes, this is epic bacon,” he said to himself before he was interrupted with a loud crash through the side door. It was star of NCIS Mark Harmon.
“Sir, the Taco Bell Cantina VIP Lounge has been compromised!”
“COMPROMISED?” he shouted from his high-backed gaming chair. “This is not good. This is not epic bacon. Who compromised it?”
“You’re not going to like the answer, Mr. Musk.”
The chair turned around. Richest man in the world and SpaceX and Tesla chairman Elon Musk clenched both his fists and slammed them down on the armrests. “I’ll get you for this, Bolamba.”
=fade to black=