I’m going to be straight with you, kid – we’re a Phil Atken deal, not a Cecilworth Farthington deal. I have no idea what the hell is going on.
Maybe you missed a text? Check your phone. It’s on – you have to stand up, FLAMBERGE, you left it on the other side of the room, you can’t – you’re rolling. You’re rolling on the ground to get closer to your phone. That’s a choice. Cool. Very dignified. Good thing you’re alone here and nobody else can see.
Yes, keep rolling, try to keep up a little momentum – nope, you’ve stopped on the flat of your back. Shit hurts, huh? You fought for a really really really long time, not just in that battle royal and I know you know I know about the other battles. Kicked and punched and thrown and stretched and twisted and bashed for the better part of an hour, and then BANG – you’d remember that handsome best boy anywhere. You sunbathed together that one time (in better times, maybe).
Even though it’s been – how many months has it been, did we ever establish that? A thousand months? – a “while”…he had that aura you remembered. And even though Phil Atken was the most magnificent cold lumbering machine of inevitability in the ring we’ve ever seen, we’d be damned if Cecilworth wasn’t right at that same level himself.
Cecilworth was chosen by Phil. Feels even better to be chosen by Phil too, after seeing that. That could be us one day.
…did Cecilworth tell you he was going to be there? Did anyone? Hank, Dirk? Long shot, I know, but Phil?
Look at that – your phone lit up again! Allllllll the way over there on the floor 8 feet from you.
So keep on rolling kid – again, I remind you that you do have unbroken legs that you use every day, often for the very “walking” application I’d like to recommend. Barring that, sure, slomph on over there.
Left shoulder over, onto the belly. Right shoulder over, on to the back. Deep sighs all the time – really, kid? You’re not hurt THAT BAD. You’ve been through worse, and no I’m not cueing another flashback to your rough and rowdy past right now, it’s important that we get to your phone now. You need to know.
I need to know.
Ok, good, almost there. Swing your arm over, see if you can reach – there we go, very good. Way to slap your screen, glad you didn’t crack it – now unlock it, use your Face ID –
FLAMBO. You have to open your eyes for Face ID to work. And to read, I’m told. Good job. Look at that – 14 missed texts, 3 missed calls! Where should we start first? The texts? Cool, let’s see –
Ah, damn. There’s only a few unique people trying to get a hold of you.
Here’s an unknown number with a 702 area code who’s sent 10 of these messages. It’s very clearly Daniel Darby. He’s done this a few times, always going to the same burner phone guy in Las Vegas apparently. More of the same from ol’ Darby – new snack line opportunity here, really wants to meet for a coffee there, so sorry about betraying his trust blah blah blah, tremendous amount of legal debt – delete. Next.
Ugh. I know, I know. Fine, you can open this text chain. You did, after all, earn a shot at a shiny prize by throwing out that child abuser everyone hates. The letter, you ask? The one you got before Culture Shock? No, no. You can’t open the letter. Not yet.
After all – you didn’t win, did you? And you’re not the Universal Champion, are you?
Be thankful I’m being so merciful. It’s temporary.
“Bonjour mon petit épée, je suis tellement fier de toi pour avoir terminé aussi haut que tu l’as fait
Je ne peux pas croire que cela ne fait qu’un an que tu es en lutte professionnelle ! Tu as grandi si vite, comme tu l’as toujours fait
Merci de me dire si vous avez reçu ma lettre. Je me suis inquiétée.”
Don’t reply – stop it! Back out! …good. Good listening. That’s a FLAMBERGE right there.
Worry is…probably nothing. At least it’s not new, in any case. We could probably pinpoint the exact time in your life when that Concerned Protector Hen part of your relationship actually started if you did The Other Thing, yes, I know, but we don’t DO The Other Thing. And I know you’re trying to trick me into flashing your whole mind back to that moment, you sly little poodle you (FLAMBOODLE? …put a pin in that, could be a brand name for something).
Nooooo, I’m not going to flash you back to that one. It’s a similar path to how The Other Thing would do it. Proud that you’re trying to out-deviate ME, though, of all things. Means you’re learning.
Bottle it. Glue it. Cap it. Twist it. Put it on the shelf next to the rest of it. Contain our space.
Move on. Who’s left? Who else has texted you? Ah, there it is, another unknown number! Not a Las Vegas number, either!
Open it up, I’m sure it has to be –
Hello Julien – MIKE M. has dropped off your DoorDash order! Thank you for ordering!
Damn, it wasn’t Phil, but oh hell yeah it’s the opposite of emotional resolution – a #4 Jalapeno and Cheese Whataburger!
Yeah, you gotta stand up for this one I think. Hard to reach the doorknob from the floor.
Good job. Again, proud of you. You’re much taller this way.
Check those missed calls while you’re getting your cheesy greasy food therrrrrrrThe Other Thing, anybody we know?
SPAM risk SPAM risk SPAM risk, cool cool cool cool cool. Nothing from the Glue Boiz. Maybe that was some sort of vote of confidence, you know? Knowing you could do it if you thought you were on your own? They didn’t want you to feel like you had some sort of safety net and wanted you to go all out on your own, or something? That could be it. The element of surprise! Catch EVERYONE off guard!
…but hang on. Flash back to the match. After the shock of the moment wore off, you two must have bumped fists and talked strategy, right? No?
…rewind. There he is, he’s walking down, yeah yeah yeah Tyler Adrian Best, opposite rings, you’re fighting Coral Avalon for a loooooong time, yeah yeah – where’s the moment? Where’s the moment where you two at least lock eyes, or something?
Hang on, I get it now – maybe he tried locking eyes with you or something, but I remember how fugue-like you got in that moment. You were swinging at anyone and everyone! Even, yep, here it is – even you and Cecilworth got into a bit of a scrap. Did you know it was him when you started throwing hands? You took a lot of headshots, your vision may have been blurry.
Yeah, that’s probably it. Cecilworth probably wanted to communicate with you as soon as he entered the match, and it’s then, just, you know, blame is a little bit strong but yeah I’ll say it: you were to blame for that moment not happening.
It has to be something like that. It tracks with everything else that’s gone on ever since Phil went off to that sunny farm somewhere up north…Phil didn’t come back, again. You haven’t done what it takes to bring him back, again. And now, well…
Now you’re floating in a new pool of Uncertainty and you can’t see the edges. A new lake, even – dammed like all the rest and in which I will run the operation that breaks it when the time is right, when you need to crash over another PRIME wrestler like an unending wave of doom and glue and venom and judo throws because you don’t know where you stand in the world.
We don’t even know the dimensions of this lake yet, do we? How deep this reservoir goes, how crushing a wave we can generate?
We do know one thing about it, at least for now. Somewhere in your near future, all paths lead you to the foot of the Intense Title.
Different division than you’re used to, yeah? Starting out, they pegged you as a 5 Star Glue Boy. Pretty throws and graceful grappling transitions and all that. Banger matches in the form of a weird art class where everyone’s just mad and sad and only finding peace by bending joints in hurtful ways.
Now you’re an Intense Glue Boy. Blood and guts and weapons and fighting and werewolves with pointy teeth.
That last one’s not a joke, by the way – eat your burger, FLAMBO, it’ll get cold – and let me give you the brief.
I said at the top, I would be straight with you – it’s times like this where I wish you were more recently in contact with a few of the fellows in the Glue Factory because I’m pretty sure at least one of them has a Silver guy and it’s an even money bet that one of them knows a whole lot about wolfsbane. (Probably Hank.) (People know all about his looming figure, but they don’t give him enough credit for his trivia knowledge.) (Remember that time he told you that broccoli and Brussels sprouts were basically the same thing? You Googled it later.) (Son of a bitch knows his cruciferous greens.)
Back to the point – you can’t magic away a psychopath like Arthur Pleasant. He’s full of beans, you see. Big mean wolfy bitey snakey chokey beans, and it’s easy to laugh at someone who’s clearly trying so very very hard, but you need to understand this, kid: as crazy as he comes off, he means it.
This is your world now – how are you enjoying it, and I’m sorry. You’ve joined the Crazy Motherfucker Division of PRIME. The good news is that at the very least, there aren’t really secrets with Arthur…all his insanity is out there on the table for everyone to see. You’ve been hanging around BRAZEN and DEFIANCE talent long enough to realize that everyone’s got an Arthur Pleasant story over there, whether it’s about paying a guy to actually for realsies carve his teeth into fangs (Count Novick was especially pissed about that little bit of perceived gimmick infringement), or turning into a scary snake boy and going out there with a mission to steal the show and lo and behold he left with an honest to god title belt…I see a REAL weird memory in here, something about him maybe biting the heads off a couple of bats? Unclear. Might not have been him, that one. There’s been a few “serum incidents” after all.
You know he can go (and that he highly values just how much he WANTS to go) in the ring and you’re pretty sure he gets a boner when he chokes people…that’s intense (or Capital I Intense, I guess, for the branding), but it’s fine. Remember when you fought Brandon Youngblood? He has the choke out boner thing too, and he never beat you.
It’s going to be a storm though. It’ll suck, I don’t know how else to put it – the land always gets torn up whenever the Tasmanian Devil does the slobbery tornado thing in the cartoons. You’re going to get beat up, and maybe even bit.
Need I remind you: they’re very pointy teeth now. It’s not prosthetics.
…I wonder how that dentist’s office visit went. Hang on, one second, I’ll try to come up with it.
[In the dentist waiting room. Arthur Pleasant, frothing at the mouth for some reason and probably crushing a Monster Energy. He rubs his incisors and begins chanting.]
Arthur Pleasant: teeth, teeth-
[Other patients in the waiting room can’t help but be captivated by this weird lost-a-bet-haircut violence machine and join him in the chant.]
Other patients: teeth, TEETH
[The secretary pounds her clipboard.]
Secretary: TEETH, TEETH, TEETH!
Yeah, ok, fine, criticize the dialogue all you want. It may have even been a thing we saw on Jabber. How in the world is someone supposed to strike up that conversation, though?? And here’s the thing to grapple with – that crazy bastard FOUND A WAY TO STRIKE UP THAT CONVERSATION. AND THEN HE WENT THROUGH WITH THE PROCEDURE.
Again, it’s so easy to want to laugh at the lunacy of it all, but none of this is a joke to Arthur Pleasant. It never has been. He’s deadly serious about all of it, and he believes down to his wolfy beanie bones that he’s going to step into the ring against you at ReVival 26 and stop your whole heartbeat and drink your blood while the world throws roses at his feet, and he’s done it enough times in his career that he has no reason to want to believe otherwise.
It’s scary as hell to witness someone who’s completely lost the plot, and even scarier to try to fight them; who knows what fresh hell awaits you at any given moment? If he doesn’t know what the hell he’s going to do, how can you? And besides that, what if he hasn’t had his shots? You can’t get sick in America, everyone knows this. I don’t trust that he flosses enough.
How’s that cheeseburger? Feeling fat yet? Eh, it’s working well for me back here. I can use all sorts of shame switches to counterbalance the good brain juice if it starts getting out of hand, which…yeah, the reading’s a little high, all those California people like to talk shit but Whataburger is pretty tasty after all. Better recalibrate. Let’s see, new button new button, here –
TAB probably didn’t eat one of these after he won the Battle Royal, and if you keep stuffing grease down your gullet, he’s just going to continue becoming a handsomer and more effective version of you and he probably bucks like a stallion.
Sorry, the stallion bit was probably a low blow there, but to be fair – I thought things were maybe a little rocky with the whole Jordan situation that I refuse to investigate because love is dumb. TAB’s either hung or his dick has teeth, but either way, isn’t learning about having fun?
I promise to stop giving you shit about the cheeseburger. Probably milked all I could out of it, because let’s be honest – one look in the mirror with your shirt off and you’re going to forget I even said anything about you getting fat. You’ve been on the Protagonist Workout Plan, and it’s done wonders for your glamor muscles (I think) (I don’t actually know) (I’m a whole vibe, but not a personal trainer).
Never forget I control the reigns. This ship will arrive at its intended destination, hell or high water.
You will learn where you stand with Cecilworth Farthington soon enough – or you won’t, which is more difficult on my end for control purposes, but the possibility of really fully mapping out this new Lake of Uncertainty with you sounds marvelous.
Arthur Pleasant will try to bite your head off and destroy you, bury you, and straight up murder you as his opening statement to the rest of the PRIME roster – or he won’t, because he doesn’t have much to say after all, and that’s fine. We’ll charge for the glue later, but making glue is free.
Nate Colton will be the bitch for his entire life.
And glue. Forever glue – even if we aren’t making the same kind as Cecilworth anymore.
I leave you with this, and then you can drop back to the floor and slowly roll your way to your bedroom, and hopefully into the bed itself.
Whatever happens at ReVival 26, whether you’re peak chipper shredder again or you get choked and chomped on and nearly die and I have to latch onto a few witnesses to intrude upon their thoughts, one thing is coming no matter what.
An Intense Title Match.
Currently held by that child abuser, the man everyone around here legitimately hates even more than you.
There’s no Uncertainty there. Not when it’s a father becoming a monster and not a dad.
Give me eight seconds and we’ll fill and burst that emotional dam again and again and again and again and someone’s going to get very. Very. Hurt.
You’re in the Crazy Motherfucker Division, after all.
At ReVival 26, Arthur Pleasant can be the Crazy as much as he likes…
because we’re the Motherfucker.