Private: Kohime Mori
Kohime Mori was surrounded. 4 opponents, all of them desperate for victory. Unfortunately, they had made the choice to take her out. She knew this would be a tough fight. If Mori could pull this off, she’d surely be considered legendary. Her eyes darted back and forth. She had to be ready, an attack could come at any moment.
Right in front of her, slumped against the wall was a foot tall pink teddy bear named Mr. Cuddles. He was a vet, having been owned by Kohime for over 12 years. His accomplishments include: surviving multiple washes and only losing one plastic eye, having his arm sewn back on after a catastrophic accident with a car door and retaining most of his color despite his long tenure. He was a formidable foe, to be sure.
Behind Mori was Plushie Goku. Though not as experienced as Mr. Cuddles (Kohime had bought him 3 years ago), Plushie Goku wasn’t to be taken lightly. One misstep, one false move and Mori could find herself on the end of a Plushie Kamehameha. Hell, he might even break out a Plushie Spirit Bomb! Ignore that the attack only worked once in the 291 episodes of Dragon Ball Z and that it’s designed to destroy evil, a thing Kohime very much wasn’t. At least she didn’t think so, but she wasn’t in a hurry to find out!
To Mori’s right was a giant Poo Emoji Pillow. She had bought it because she thought it was kind of cute and it made her giggle. If she wasn’t careful, those giggles would be cries of pain instead. It’s biggest strength was an obvious one; it’s theoretic smell would cause Kohime all sorts of issues. Sure, the pillow didn’t actually smell like poo, but its appearance alone would put the thought in her head. Psychological warfare at its finest!
Off to her left was Mori’s toughest challenge, the most diabolical of her 4 opponents… A life sized cardboard standee of Betty White. Why did she have this? Where did she get it? Did they ever even show Golden Girls in Japan? How about you stop asking so many questions, you nosey so and so?! At 5’4”, cardboard Betty was easily the tallest of her opposition. Sure, she only weighed about 2 pounds and had the durability of, well, cardboard… But it was good quality cardboard! Possibly even poster board!
Kohime knew she had to act quick. Trusting her instincts, she charged forward at Mr. Cuddles! She grabbed him, chucking him towards Plushie Goku! The throw was so fierce that the stuffed Saiyan had no time to react! Not that he physically could, but that’s besides the point. They smacked together, gently bumping against the wall!
Next up, Poo Emoji Pillow. This would be more of a challenge. Could Kohime withstand the not actually there odor long enough to flush this foul finklematter?! Could she make the right moves to eradicate this behemoth bowel movement?! She quickly snatched Poo Emoji Pillow by the top of his swirly form, landing several vicious (pulled) punches! Mori tossed the pillow right where it belonged! On the bed, of course.
Unfortunately, Kohime had her back turned for too long. The devious cardboard Betty White had snuck up and gotten the jump on her, battering Mori relentlessly! Now, to the untrained eye, it might look like Kohime was holding the support of the cardboard standee and smacking it into herself over and over again. Rest assured, that’s definitely an optical illusion stemming from their haphazard scuffle!
Mori managed to push/carefully place cardboard Betty away from her, giving the Moé Monster a moment to collect her thoughts. She knew exactly what to do. Kohime jolted forward, swinging her right arm powerfully. She connected with the Kawaiiat, crumpling the somewhat flimsy stand behind cardboard Betty. She fell to the ground with a mild thump!
The young Japanese woman surveyed the destruction. Mr. Cuddles and Plushie Goku were down and out, needing to be picked up off the floor and placed in their spots on her bed. The Poo Emoji Pillow was collapsed against the wall, in the bed but needing to be straightened up. Cardboard Betty White was demolished, necessitating being put back into the closet where she was normally kept.
“Well that was fun!” Kohime brightly exclaimed. With how things had been for her recently, she needed a bit of fun. The other side of the coin was that this didn’t really help her prepare. The Culture Shock Battle Royal was an opportunity to shoot straight into a guaranteed shot at the Universal Title. Such opportunities didn’t come around often. Playing with her stuffed animals might have improved her mood, but it wouldn’t help her win.
“I need to make a phone call…” Kohime grumbled, going over to her dresser and snatching her cell phone from on top.
Standing in a boxing ring in the middle of an empty warehouse, Kohime was dressed in her standard workout attire. She bounced back and forth on her feet, shaking out her arms. She flared her right leg to the side, bending down to the left to stretch it out. After 15 seconds, she leaned to the right and stretched out her left leg. When she was satisfied, she stood up straight, rolling her shoulders. “You ready?”
Mori spoke to a woman standing in the corner opposite of her, dressed in a purple and black sports bra with matching yoga pants. For PRIME diehards, this would just be some random Asian woman Mori met up with, an unknown person. For those that have been watching SHOOT Project, however, this woman was familiar. Kohime had reached out for help from her best friend: So-jun Lim.
22 years old, Korean, transgender, a former MMA fighter, So-jun was certainly a different kind of person. Would different be enough to aid Mori in her preparations for the battle royal? That certainly seemed to be the hope. Was this a misguided notion? Though happy to help her friend, So-jun seemed to think so.
“I am ready.” Lim replied, her words spoken slightly slow and with a faint hint of an accent. “I am confused, though. You are asking for help with training for a battle royal. I have been in very few. I certainly have not won any.”
Hands on her hips, Kohime gave a slight shrug of her shoulders.
“Maybe so. But you hit harder than Mr. Cuddles.” Mori reasoned. SJL’s eyes wander to the side, confusion taking up residence on her face. Mori continued. “Besides which, you wrestle a totally different style than I do. That can help me in some way!”
Lim titled her head while looking at her friend.
“That maybe be so, but does anyone on the roster wrestle like I do?” So-jun asked. Kohime’s eyes lit up.
“Yeah! Flameburgie!” Kohime exclaimed. “You two are almost exactly alike! Well, except he’s French and you’re Korean… And he’s black while you’re Asian… He’s also pretty sour while you’re polite and pleasant… But you’re both 22 and have MMA influences in your moveset!”
“We do not sound like we have much in common.” Lim cautioned her friend. Mori waved her hand up and down to dismiss the idea.
“I’m sure there’s more.” The Moé Monster reasoned. “Like, he probably likes cheese, right? You like cheese, I’m assuming.”
So-jun gave a noncommittal shrug.
“Cheese is fine.” Lim replied flatly. Kohime’s mouth dropped open, incredulous that such words were just spoken.
“What do you mean ‘cheese is fine’?!” Mori’s arms wave in an animated fashion, as if she’s a wacky wavable inflatable arm tube man. “Cheese is great! Cheddar is awesome! Provolone is bomb on the right sandwiches! Parmesan?! Also amazing! And what about cream cheese?! Though I’m not sure how it’s a cheese… It’s way soft. Can cheese be soft? Man, cheese is great!”
It might look like So-jun is judging her friend’s cheesey outburst, but she absolutely isn’t. Probably. Okay, maybe a little, but the friendship was still intact. She slowly made her way towards Mori. The size difference between the 5’5” Lim and the 5’9” Mori was blatantly obvious when the two were in close proximity. SJL looked up at her friend.
“Focus, dongsaeng.” Lim instructed. “This could be a very tough match for you.”
“I know!” Mori responded, the tiniest bit of petulance in her voice. “There’s a bunch of tough people in it! Like Brandon Youngblood, he has suplexes for children! There’s Nate Colton, who totally definitely absolutely does not have a stuffed piggy that I wanna hug. Jared Sykes is probably gonna be hard to throw out, he’s very bottom heavy. Then there’s Kenny Freeman, but I dunno which Kenny… Or how many Kennys… Oh my god, what if there was a Kenny Freeman battle royal of just Kennys?! What if that’s been the plan the whole time?!”
“Museun soliya?!” SJL belts out in Korean. For those not in the know, Kohime is Japanese. She does not speak Korean.
“What?” Mori responded, confusion obvious. Lim sighed and shook her head.
“Again, you must focus.” So-jun reminded her friend. “Is this a standard battle royal? How many people are in it?”
“No, it has timed entrances and a random order drawing.” Kohime explained, Lim’s eyes growing wide as she does. “There’s gonna be 40 people, counting me. Two of the spots are for the guys that don’t win the Universal Title on Night 1. There’s also probably gonna be super fun surprise entrants! It gets me kinda excited!”
While Kohime tried to keep a lid on her exuberance, So-jun let her gaze wander to the side while stroking her chin.
“This is not ideal.” Lim began. “In fact, this is not good. Not good at all.”
“But it’s gonna be great!” Mori assured her. Lim looked back over to her friend. The Korean woman reached up, placing her hands in Kohime’s shoulders.
“I do not think you fully understand what you are getting into.” So-jun said, staring up into her friend’s eyes. “There are bound to be people that want to hurt you. There will be people that will make it a very hard match. Those are the people you need to worry about. Is there anyone you are really focused on?”
The shift is noticeable. The giddy and goofy energy that surrounded Mori had seemingly retreated, sucked out of the room by a negative force. Mori’s eyes narrowed as she looked back at Lim. Her breathing quickened. Though still natural, it almost seemed… aggressive?
“Him… Him and his boss.” Kohime said quietly. “Mortimer and Tony Gamble. They’ve hurt me once already. I’m sure they’ll try to hurt me again.”
So-jun wrapped her friend in a tight hug, having the larger Mori rest her head on Lim’s shoulder.
“Do not show weakness to them.” SJL advised. “If they try, you must fight back. You must show them the strength I know you have. If they hit you, hit back harder. Show them your true fighting spirit!”
Mori clutched Lim tightly as the Korean woman spoke. The words of encouragement were nice, needed even. While online words and text messages were appreciated, having someone say such things face to face helped that much more. As the two separated, Kohime used her hands to dry her damp eyes.
“Are you okay?” So-jun asked, hands still on her friend’s hips. Mori nodded and flashed a smile. It had been awhile since Lim had gotten to see it in person. Though not a particularly exuberant person herself, she couldn’t help but smile as well. It was an effect Kohime had on her, one she had on many people.
“I’m okay, I promise.” Mori spoke. Her voice was still a bit on the muted side, but her demeanor had definitely changed. She wasn’t sagging her shoulders. She wasn’t looking downward. And the smile… You can’t fake the kind of sunshine that radiated from that smile.
“Good.” So-jun genuinely replied, her own smile a bit more subtle. “We should begin.”
They were exhausted. Kohime laid flat, looking up at the ceiling, her lungs trying to pull in as much oxygen as they could. So-jun was to her right in a sitting position, arms bracing her weight, legs splayed. Both glistened with sweat.
“Why did we use a boxing riiiiiing?!” Kohime whined, her voice heavy with fatigue. “It hurts falling in a wrestling ring, but this is WAY worse!”
“It certainly was not ideal.” So-jun agreed, her breath ever so slowly steadying. “Our options were limited. Just take what you can from this experience.”
“Like the fact that submission holds are totally not fun?” Mori groaned, drawing a light giggle from Lim. The area fell silent for a moment before she spoke again. “Do you think I’m ready? Do you think I can do it?”
So-jun moved her arm, taking Kohime’s right hand in hers.
“I am a biased party, so I do not know how much weight my opinion holds.” Lim admitted. “I do not just think you can do it. I believe you can do it.”
Kohime pushed into a sitting position, struggling in the process. She looked over to her friend, skepticism on her face.
“Why though?” She questioned. “Sure, I’m on a bit of a hot streak, but still…”
Lim shifted to sit on her knees. Both hands were now clasped around Mori’s right hand.
“You have grown so much.” SJL gushed. “You have gained strength and ability. Not only that, but you have not compromised who you are to do it. That is why you will win; You are Kohime Mori, and love will see you through.”
Kohime took Lim’s words in. It was heavy praise. Did others feel this way about her too? Was she too insecure to see the talent and potential others saw? Or maybe, that just wasn’t the way Kohime operated. Maybe she put equal value on being the best as she did having fun. Mori looked down at the mat, drawing small circles with her left hand index finger.
“I’m scared…” Kohime admitted. “It’s a big match, maybe the biggest one I’ll ever take part in. What happens if I blow it? I might not ever get another shot at the Universal Title…”
So-jun shrugged at the pessimistic words.
“If you do not win, you do not win. It is not the end of the world.” Lim reasoned. “We are young. We have full careers ahead of us. You could still do great things. You must believe in yourself, Kohime.”
Mori raised her head, no longer looking at the mat. She closed her eyes for a moment, taking in a deep breath before releasing it slowly. Her eyes opened and Kohime gave a confident nod.
“You’re right, So-jun!” Mori empathetically said. “So what if I don’t win the battle royal?! I could find other ways to get a title shot! What’s worrying gonna get me anyway?! Ulcers, that’s what! I don’t want ulcers! Then I’d have to pop Tums! I might get an addiction and end up on the streets, selling my ring gear for my next Tums fix!”
Another ‘not judging you but totally judging you’ look Kohime’s way from So-jun. This time though, a small smile accompanied it. That goofy stream of consciousness was the Mori she knew. That was the Mori she believed could do anything.
“I do not think Tums are addictive.” Lim said, trying her best not to laugh.
“Yeah, but can we be sure?!” Kohime cautioned. “Even still, just because I’m not gonna worry about winning doesn’t mean I’m not gonna try! I don’t care who gets in there with me! I don’t care if I’m first or near the end! I’m not gonna give up until my body does! My spirit won’t die!!”
SJL’s eyes grew wide as Kohime got more and more fired up. Releasing her friend’s hand, Lim pushed herself to her feet, offering a hand to Kohime after doing so.
“That is what I like to hear! We should celebrate you finding your confidence!” So-jun stated. Kohime took her hand, clumsily getting to her feet. Mori folded her hands together, eyes sparkling and a huge grin on her face. She clearly had an idea on how she wanted to celebrate.
“Can we get ramen?!” Mori excitedly suggested. “Please?! Pleasepleaseplease?!”
Lim had to shake her head. Kohime’s child-like exuberance could be a lot, but it was also infectious. It was pretty hard to be in a bad mood around her. The double edged sword in this case was that it also made it hard to say no to her, even if you weren’t in the mood for ramen.
“Fine fine.” SJL relented with a nonchalant wave of her hand. “As a matter of fact, I will even pay.”
If she had the energy to do so, Mori likely would have jumped up and down. Instead, a weary raise of her arms would have to suffice. It was a win in her book… And it might not be the last.
This is BIG! Super Mega Ultra BIG! The Culture Shock Battle Royal! The winner gets a shot at the Universal Title! I’m so excited! I know not many people will think I can win, but that works to my advantage. I can beat sneaky sneak and surprise everyone! You should’ve entered too, Diary. I know it would’ve been a challenge, you not having arms and all, but I bet you would do better than you think!
There’s gonna be 40 people in the battle royal, including me. Lots of tough names and some surprises too! There’s a random drawing on top of all that for everyone except Tyler Adrian Best. I’m gonna be honest, Diary… That guy is kind of a jerk. He’s always rude and sarcastic. Joke’s on him though, his nickname is the same as a mediocre soda!
Anna Daniels worries me a little. Like, she’s a time lord, right? So if someone did throw her out, could she just rewind time so that they didn’t throw her out? Is that abuse of time lord powers? With great time lord powers, comes great time lord responsibility! Or what if she can find a way to get us stuck in some crappy bowling alley that only serves eggs?! I can’t survive on just eggs! Okay, I COULD, but I don’t wanna!
Does Paxton Ray get to use weapons? Cuz I don’t really wanna get hit with random stuff. I’ve been hit with dodgeballs, softballs, field hockey sticks, books and a ham sandwich. I don’t think he’d have any of those items with him, though. They’d be less fun ones. Like chairs. And barbwire. Or A CHAIR MADE OUT OF BARBWIRE?! Don’t worry Diary, he’ll never make me sit on his throne of lies and stabby pokey owieness!
Would the Love Convoy give me a hug? Jonathan-Christopher Hall looks kinda like a wuss. You know, like he should be starring in an early 90s American family friendly sitcom. Tristian-Crispin-Danny Gloverhappy could be his comedic sidekick that gets into wacky shenanigans! And Darin Zion could be the grumpy neighbor! Vickie Hall could be the family dog. That was kinda mean, but she’s kinda mean to people, so…
Hoyt Williams is, like, 80, isn’t he? I realize we have a lot of legends and older wrestlers in PRIME, but can he really safely compete? I don’t want to see anyone get hurt. He should have a talk show instead. Then he could tell us how all the youths are misguided and that things were so much better back in his day! I bet it would do a great rating with the seniors.
There’s just so many other people in this thing… Like Rocky De Leon, Mike McGee and Violet Samuelson. I faced all three of them! Violet and Rocky are pretty good. Mike McGee is… odd. Very odd. He might throw himself out while talking about cocaine fueled dwarfs involved in a government coverup. I dunno, I kinda shut off my brain when he says things.
I hope Mr. Avalon does well. He seems very nice. Adam Ellis too. And Mushigihara. THERE’S TOO MANY PEOPLE IN THIS THING DIARY! How am I supposed to keep track?! Some people would probably be mad or upset they weren’t mentioned. There’s just… so… MANY. It’s gonna give me an aneurysm, and I’m already worried about ulcers! I’m gonna need a doctor… But like, a real one. Not a pretend one like Dr. Ned. I need to lay down and think… May the gods protect my vital organs!