The Anglo Luchador
“Hey guys, it’s me, The Anglo Luchador…”
He held the camera unnaturally for what it was, not his phone, but a GoPro, meant to be worn on his head.
“Biggest show of the year. Man, I haven’t felt this excited in like 15 years. I wanted to document it because, like, I didn’t even think I’d be back here in a place like this. Madison Square Garden. This is my Colossus diary. I hope we all get something out of it.”
“SHIELDS UP, SWORDS OUT! FOR THE BATTLE RAGES ON!”
The camera showed the PRIMEView at Madison Square Garden. Different position than at the MGM Grand, but still as big as what befit the company.
“Oh, I love these intros. The guy they got to make them, they really make these pay-per-views pop.”
He zoomed the camera to show sharply the action being displayed, Nova and Sonny Silver swinging their zweihanders with a mighty clang.
“Wow, what a match between Sage Pontiff and Ria Lockhart. Proud of my girl Ria. She’s come so far this year and…”
The camera picked up a familiar figure, PRIME’s liaison to the Phoenix Wrestling Alliance, Melvin Beauregard.
“Hey Melvin! You got any time to talk about that 20 percent raise I’ve been asking for?”
Melvin shielded his face trying to get out of the view of the luchador, who continued on.
“Nah, just kidding man. I just wanted to say thanks for hooking me up with that therapist. He really helped me out.”
“Oh, really?” he replied, stopping in his tracks. “Good. Mental health is just as paramount as physical help.”
A beat passed before the luchador spoke up again.
“So, Madison Square Garden. Really cool, man. Is this what you thought of when you wanted us on the road?”
“Oh yeah! Just you wait. If you think this is big, wait until I get us into the Tokyo Dome. Wembley Stadium… Hong Kong or Beijing!”
“Oh shit, man. If you get us a headline deal in China… wow. I love your ambition, man.”
Melvin cracked a smile he reserved mostly for his own devious machinations.
The camera’s gaze came upon the medical offices of Dr. Astrid Fihlguud, more temporary digs than her well-trafficked office at the MGM Grand. The luchador came across two inhabitants, one of which was getting treatment.
“Eddie,” the good doctor said sternly, “You need to be more careful with the fights you pick.”
“Now, now Miss Feelgood…” said Dave Gibson in his North Cackalacky drawl, “T’weren’t my boy here who started the fight this time. That prick McGee is the one who came upon him.”
“Either way,” she replied, “You’re lucky that laceration wasn’t a few millimeters over. Would’ve sliced a major artery.”
“Shit, I don’t think I wanna be transmitting people’s medical business,” whispered the luchador to his camera out of earshot of the people in the office.
Argyle position. The PRIMEview was slightly askew, but the GoPro got the gist of what “The Orange” was saying.
“Wow, I wonder if that’s a promo for Scurvy Jones? Man, I don’t know if I can take oranges popping up in random spots…”
“Scurvy? That sunnuvabitch…”
The luchador turned around to find the Slap-Fighting Champion of Nelson County, Kentucky, Garry Ray-Ray Nelson in the flesh.
“Hey, it’s Garry Ray-Ray Nelson! How are you enjoying your first Colossus?”
“Well Lunch Uncle, I reckon I’m havin’ a great time.”
The camera shot started to swivel back and forth.
“I told you, ixnay on the unch-uncle-lay for now, I gotta talk to Timo about all this.”
“Aight, aight, but I do like havin’ a rich uncle takin’ me out to lunch all the time. Where we goin’ tomorrow? And is that old guy in the Beetlejuice pants comin’ too?”
“Nah, it can just be us this time. How about we just get Shake Shack?”
“Your second inductee in the 2022 PRIME Hall of Fame is…” Vince Howard paused and pointed to the PRIMEView to show The Bad Dog himself, Wade Elliott with his own graphic.
“Oh wow, good for Wade, man. He deserves something good after the year he’s had.”
The GoPro showed a scene closer up in the arena this time. The luchador sat crouched nestled in a nook between seating groups right behind the guardrail. He was a wrestler first, but his fandom never left him, especially when it came to people he’d taken an interest in over the last year.
There was no way he was watching the fight of Jared Sykes’ life from Argyle or on a monitor.
The gore was impressive, especially from his view. He zoomed in on the bloody visage of Paxton Ray, messily and savagely doing the ring crew’s work for them cutting the canvas open with his crocodile tooth necklace, all on Flat Fuck Friday no less.
“Oh goddammit, Jared, get out of there, get out of there before he does something awful…”
But Jared wasn’t letting that bully plant him on the exposed wood. A flipped bird. A low dropkick. A knee to the face.
“YEAH! FUCK YEAH! GET HIS ASS!”
Then came the straightjacket neckbreaker. Even with all the enmity in his soul, the luchador’s heart stopped for a moment when he heard the thud of the Bayou Butcher’s head and neck on the exposed wood.
“Jesus, that was brutal.”
The camera trained on a hallway in the back of MSG. Night one’s festivities had ended. The hazmat crew had their work cut out for them cleaning the ring area of all the blood before the ring crew could start making repairs for night two.
“I never wanna see anyone go through that again. And how the fuck is Jared gonna defend his tag titles tomorrow…”
The luchador’s train of thought was interrupted by a sharp noise coming from one of the locker rooms.
He quickly turned around to find the door with the hammer and sickle affixed to it. Knock, knock, knock. Although he didn’t expect an answer, he got one.
He creaked the door open to find Ivan Stanislav seated upright on a folding chair, a grin as wide as the span between Moscow and Vladivostok on his mustachioed face. He faced the benches in the locker room, one of which held a clearly inebriated Alexei Ruslan, propped up by a half-empty bottle of Smirnoff.
“Luchador! You come at right time. Alexei is just about to sing a rousing proletarian hymn from the late ‘40s!”
“Shit, how much vodka has he had?”
“Enough to celebrate… *hic* the great and glorious victory of… of… Prapor….”
“Alexei! Alexei Gregorovich! Are you… sleeping?”
The luchador giggled under his breath, but even if he knew in his jellies what was coming next, the “DYAHAHAHAHA” that followed from Comrade Ivan shook him to his core.
The camera focused on Garry Ray-Ray Nelson with an inordinate amount of Shake Shack trash in front of him.
“Hey Luch, you gonna eat that?”
The luchador bowed his head to show his order of french fries, about a half-dozen or so left.
“Holy shit, you’re still hungry, kid? You had three double cheeseburgers, cheese fries, AND a mint chocolate chip shake.”
“I said what I said. Are you gonna eat that?”
“Oh wow! I did it…”
The GoPro showed the locker room, Intense Championship sitting on the bench. The sound of labored breathing permeated the scene with the camera shot shifting up and down with near hyperventilation.
“Ahhh tiocfaidh ár lá ye Englishman.”
The camera swung around to find David Fox and Mushigihara piling into the locker room.
“Big man, can you stuff this nerd into a locker for me?”
“I would, Tom,” the God-Beast replied, “But I’m more afraid of what Saori would do to me than anything.”
“Hey! I always say, never let anything get in the way of a good bit,” remarked David.
“Who said it was good?” the Intense Champ replied, shooting a playful slap to Fox’s shoulder with a hearty laugh. All three men chuckled simultaneously before the Kaiju spoke up again.
“We just wanted to be the first to congratulate you on going wire-to-wire with the Intense Title.”
“Hey, it’s not wire-to-wire yet. Gotta make it to, what, is it Tropical Turmoil this year?”
“Still,” David replied, “You made it to the break with the title. That’s… something. We’re both real proud of you, man.”
“Aww shucks. Thanks…”
The luchador glanced over at the monitor, noticing Scurvy Jones talking to three new faces he hadn’t recognized before.
“Shit! I gotta run, I wanna get out to Argyle before Coral makes his entrance.”
“Holy cow, look at all the people here for this. Coral isn’t screwing around. Hey, there’s the Codemaster! And the Falks… shit! Mega Job! STEVE! WHAT’S UP BUD?”
The shortest member of Mega Job turned to the camera and gave the most eloquent of responses.
The luchador chuckled, the camera indicated the familiar head nod greeting so common to many a white boy scumbag from Philly. He looked around at all the stuff Coral had planned, the people, the smoke machines, the armaments, everything. He found the Crownless King, head down, waiting for his music to hit, breathing heavily. The crowd roared as Allen Brown passed through the curtain.
“Coral! Hey, I just wanted to say good luck out there, man.”
“Thanks, Angelo. I hope this refrigerator with arms doesn’t throw me into hell,” Coral said.
“Coral did it! Wow, oh look!”
Lindsay Troy was spotted stretching her legs in advance of perhaps her final PRIME match ever and definitely Dusk’s. She was unaware of the luchador’s intrusion until he spoke up again.
“Hey Boss, finally doing what it is that brought you to the dance, huh.”
She leered at him icily.
“You act like I don’t do this regularly for no fewer than three other companies.”
“True that, but do me a favor. Don’t go out there and kill Dusk tonight. It’s his last match, but you know how finicky old people can be. You being one and all.”
She rolled her eyes and threw her towel at the luchador with a muffled laugh.
“Jackass. I’m gonna tell Craig you said that too.”
“Go ahead, I say it to his face all the time.”
OOF! A Queen’s Gambit crashed flush into Dusk’s face within moments of the match starting. The focus on the monitor shook as the luchador recoiled in horror.
“She never listens to me. Ever.”
Argyle position again. The sound from the outer stage is muffled for how loud it is, but the tune was immediately recognizable, The Real McCoy’s “Another Night.”
“I gotta see what horseshit…”
The curtain opened and the wall of sound caused a vibration. The luchador looked over to see Vickie Hall in her hideously pink wedding gown.
“ANOTHER NIGHT, ANOTHER DREAM, BUT NOT KING BLUE. LIKE A VISION OF LOVE AND FUCK LINDSAY TROY TOO!”
He quickly shuttled back into Argyle.
“Christ, she’s off-key as hell. This is worse than when they tried to murder Jared and Justine with rusty nails.”
Right back to Argyle position, the luchador never left, having watched the entire Tag Title match between the monitor there and peeking his head out the curtain.
“Man, Justine is a whirlwind of fury, isn’t she?”
The luchador quieted down, watching the people shuffle through the curtain. First, The Winds of Change. He nodded towards Joe and Sid as they walked past. Then, Darin Zion and JC Hall. After a painfully long wait, The Champions made their way through, Jared hobbling, a mess after two grueling matches in two days. As soon as they both made it fully into the curtain, Jared collapsed.
“SHIT! Are you alright? Can we get someone over here?”
Justine took a knee on the ground next to Jared, letting her belt clatter to the floor in the process.
“Fuck,” she spat. “Hey, c’mon… are you okay? Jared, talk to me.”
He rolled over onto his back with a groan.
“I’m alright,” he said. “I’ll be fine. Just gonna hang out here for a minute. They got a forklift here? Might need it to scrape me up in a minute.”
The pair shared a stifled laugh, and then Justine smacked him in the shoulder. The luchador shook his head, also stifling a laugh.
“Yeah, not filming this anymore.”
“Okay, Jared’s alright, Dr. Fihlguud and her team has him. Gonna get out here for the main event. Man, I can’t believe I missed TCHU coming back. Holy shit, that’s INCREDIBLE. Like, man…”
He returned to the same spot he watched night one’s main event from. The match had progressed quite a long ways. He missed Hayes Hanlon damaging his knee, so it came as a shock to him that he couldn’t follow up the HUGE powerslam late in the match too easily.
“Oh no, I hope the kid’s knee is alright.”
Cancer Jiles’ head bounced off the mat after Hayes spiked him with his rarely seen death finisher, the SUPERMASSIVE. The arena started to come unglued…
“HOLY SHIT! THE KID DID IT! WOOOOOOOOO! YEAH KID! FUCK YEAH!”
He turned around and slapped high fives with everyone else around him celebrating the Event Horizon ending his rookie year with winning the biggest prize in PRIME. In the ruckus of celebration, the luchador didn’t even notice his friend Brandon Youngblood had come out to celebrate with Hanlon or that Nova had finally broken his objectivity. The footage caught here was almost unusable for how much the luchador had jostled himself, bouncing around, slapping hands, hugging. After the fervor died down and We Came As Romans faded off the PA, he stood there, GoPro fixed on the ring that had emptied. The camera mic picked up an audible sigh.
“I want that to be me next year.”
The scene now was a dimly lit, smoky bar somewhere in New York, probably near Madison Square Garden. The camera was fixed directly on the new Five Star Champion, Nate Colton, who had an uncharacteristically sour look on his face.
“We only bet five bucks, Tom! What the hell is this?”
“It’s a bonus, first time Champ from the longest reigning singles Champ in the company. Take it!”
“No, man. That’s your money.”
“MORE SPECIFICALLY, YOUR WIFE’S MONEY” shouted Justine Calvin from the bar, a few drinks in and feeling a little more social than she was earlier when her tag partner was seemingly near death.
“Haha, very funny. But seriously man, I know how hard it is for a kid coming up. I’m set. I’m a vet, a name.”
“And I’ll get there on my own, man. You know that.”
“You know, you’re wrong, kid.”
Nate raised his eyebrow.
“You’re already here.”
Nate broke his glare and laughed, leaning in for a hug between champions.
“You know what, I’ll take that five hundred you gave me…”
His voice raised a few octaves.
“AND BUY A DRINK FOR EVERYONE IN THE BAR!”
The patrons all cheered in unison.
“Good man, Nate. Good man.”
“Hey Tom, something I’ve been meaning to ask.”
“When can I come down to Philly? You know, to visit, train, make up for missing your party.”
The luchador put his hand on Nate’s shoulder.
“Whenever you want, kid.”
Just as it was in the beginning, the GoPro fixed on the luchador at the end. This time, he had rested the camera on the dash of his Shitty Green Ford Explorer™.
“Well, I learned a lot from that. What a show, right?”
He adjusted his mask.
“I think the thing I learned… the thing I found out. Biggest takeaway. I finally found it.”
He cleared his throat and sniffled a bit.
“I think I’m finally home.”
He reached in to shut the camera off.