The scene opens with Ria Nightshade standing next to a lonely table, deep in the back of a bar. She’s in a tight black halter dress and knee high boots. In her right hand is a cigarette. In her left is a bottle of beer. Her purse is on the table next to her. As she takes a swig of beer, her eyes dart back and forth constantly. To the unaware, it might look like she’s paranoid, nervous. In truth, she’s people watching. This goes on for a moment until her eyes lock on to a certain point.
A woman is seated at the actual bar. To her left is a man, chatting her up. By her body language and strained expressions, she’s clearly more tolerating his presence rather than enjoying it. Ria puts the cigarette out in an ashtray. She starts to move, making her way to these people. She stands just next to the man as he continues to prattle on, unaware of her arrival. She finally taps the man on the shoulder, causing him to turn towards her.
[Man] Oh hello there!
He wears a goofy grin on his face.
[Ria] So are you that hammered or are you just oblivious?
A look of confusion crosses the man’s face.
[Ria] This whole thing here. This woman clearly isn’t into you. The only way you could’ve missed it is if you’re drunk or an idiot. Might be both in your case. It’s pathetic!
The man glares at Ria’s words and rude tone.
[Man] Yeah? Well I don’t think it’s really any of your business!
[Ria] Listen you neanderthal looking dumbass, why don’t you just screw off and find some other sloppy slut to boost your fragile ego?
[Man] Screw you, bitch!
Ria’s eyes grow wide and a disturbing smile creeps across her face.
[Ria] You know, I’ve got a switchblade in my purse. Keep running your mouth and I’ll make sure I leave here wearing your testicles as earrings!
[Man] What the hell’s your problem?! Crazy bitch!
The man wanders off, looking over his shoulder as he does. The woman lets out a sigh of relief and her posture relaxes after the tense situation. She smiles.
[Woman] Thank you so much!
Ria’s head snaps to the left to look at the woman before her body turns to meet it.
[Ria] You know, if you had some semblance of a spine, I wouldn’t have had to step in there.
The woman’s smile fades and she stiffens back up a little.
[Woman] Excuse me?
[Ria] You heard me. Maybe next time, you’ll actually stand up for yourself instead of waiting for your white knight to save you. You’re just as pathetic as that loser is!
The woman recoils back, offended.
[Woman] Okay, wow… Maybe he was right about you!
[Ria] Yeah? Well I know I’m right about the switchblade in my purse. I’ll be happy to give you an amateur hysterectomy if you wanna keep running your mouth!
The woman storms off with her drink, a combination of fear and anger radiating off her as she does. The bartender, having seen all of this, leans over the bar.
[Bartender] Alright miss, I’m gonna have to ask you to leave.
Ria slowly turns to face the bartender.
[Ria] Oh yeah? You gonna make me?!
The bartender reaches to his belt and pulls off a walkie talkie. He speaks into it.
[Bartender] I’m gonna need you over here, Bruno.
[Ria] Bruno, eh?! We don’t talk about Bruno…
Not long after that joke leaves Ria’s mouth, a massive man is standing behind her. Her eyes slowly shift to the side before she whips around to face the man.
[Ria] Hi! You must be Bruno!
[Bruno] I’m gonna need you to come with me, ma’am.
[Ria] Yeah, sure, just lemme grab my shit.
Ria goes back to the table and grabs her purse. As she draws close to Bruno again, he puts a firm hand on her shoulder.
[Ria] Hey now, that’s not necessary. I’m gonna be good. You can be my escort! I’m not paying you, though.
Bruno follows Ria to the exit. Ria takes another drink of the beer still in her hand. She holds it up, seeing about a quarter of the alcohol left. She shrugs and hands the bottle to Bruno before fully exiting the bar. Ria wanders down the street before coming to an empty bus stop. She takes a seat on the half bench, leaning back against the glass and crossing her legs.
[Ria] Hi there PRIMEates or whatever the hell the other idiots call you! Some of you trash monkeys have been asking about my past… Where did I come from? What led me to PRIME? Is this all just an act? How do they get the peanut inside peanut M&Ms? Maybe… Maybe I lived a normal life? I could have grown up a wrestling fan. I could have had loving and supportive parents that had my back when I decided to pursue this crazy dream. Everything you see about me could be an act, a way to get noticed in the rather wild world of professional wrestling.
Ria adjusts so she’s resting more of her upper back against the glass.
[Ria] Maybe, though… Maybe I grew up in a broken home. My biological father could have left the family at a young age. My mother might have been left trying to raise two children. She could have met a man that she’d eventually marry. This man may have verbally abused her while physically abusing my younger brother and myself. It could be that trauma that eventually caused me to snap and create what you see before you as a coping mechanism.
Ria pulls a cigarette out of seemingly nowhere and lights it up.
[Ria] Maybe… Maybe it’s a combination of the two. Maybe I came from a broken home, but the love and support of my mother helped me rise past it. The trauma may have caused some problems for me, but not rule my life. I could use my anger over everything in the ring, just letting it all go to get it out of my system. I might actually be very nice and calm away from the ring. Who knows? Maybe I’m just playing a character here while acting a COMPLETELY different way in another promotion. That one sounds kind of stupid, though.
Ria flips off a random passerby that stares at her a bit too long, flashing her devilish grin their way. She then turns her attention back to her camera.
[Ria] Or perhaps… I am exactly what I’ve said. Maybe I’m a supernatural manifestation of all the wickedness of man. Maybe I live off of hate and pain. Maybe some of you need to open your eyes and see the unbelievable truth. The truth is it doesn’t matter. Who I am, what I am isn’t what’s important. I’m here now. I’m full of rage and have a platform on which to show it off. That’s what needs to be worried about. If you forget this… Well, I hope your immune system can handle a large dose of poison!
Ria readjusts again, leaning forward now. Her right elbow is on her thigh, her chin resting on a clenched fist.
[Ria] ReVival 4… My freakin’ lord! I can’t tell if I’m being rewarded or punished here! Considering my naughty disposition, I’d guess punished, but hey… Who doesn’t like a little bit of pain here and there?
Ria cackles and flashes a flirty grin.
[Ria] So let’s take a look at who I get to play with! Two dudes and a chick… Not my first time, but I assume there’s gonna be more clothing involved here. And less lube. Or more, depending on if you count baby oil. We got an old dude, a baby girl and a refrigerator disguised as a person, with the personality to match! Despite our differences though, we all have one thing in common; we’re losers. Yep, all four of us fell in the first round of the tourney. So this is not only for a chance at the Five Star championship, but it’s to prove you’re the best of the worst!
Alexander Redding… Aspiring capitalist, has been wrestler. I think it’s fair to call you that because I’m not even sure why the hell you’re here! Like, seriously. You’re not thrilled with the pay day. You don’t seem to particularly like Nevada. It also sounds like you haven’t been in the ring much lately. So I have to ask, why are you here? Chasing old glory? A favor to your partner? Just a way to get your name out there so you can hock more of your crappy merch?
I’m not much of one for capitalism. Any system that places money above human lives is a bit flawed from the get-go, wouldn’t you say? Now that might come off as more than a bit cynical, but this is me we’re talking about here. Cynicism is a constant state of mind for me. I’m not saying you think the almighty dollar bill is more important than some sick child withering away in Arkansas. I do think that you’re more concerned with getting yours over most of the rest of us, though.
I’m gonna make you work for it, sweetie! That’s something I’m not really convinced that you really want to do. You seem more like the ‘make a few appearances, get a couple bucks and move on’ type. Am I wrong, Reddy? I don’t think I am. In fact, I’m pretty sure I’m hitting the nail right on the goddamn head! I get it to a degree. I’m a bit of a slacking procrastinator myself. I eventually do get things done. I get the feeling that’s not the case for you. Half-assing it is probably about a quarter more ass than you’re interested in giving.
I’m probably being too hard on you. You probably had talent at some point. You might even still have some! Before you get all huffy and indignant, I’ll point out again that we’re all in the same shitty lifeboat here. We’re in a lifeboat that’s really only big enough for one. Yet there’s four of us crammed into the damn thing. Do you have enough desire to push the three of us out? Are you invested enough to brave the waters ahead after that? Pretty sure I’ve already given my opinion on that.
Putting those questions aside, I do have one more burning inquiry that I have to ask… How do you feel being the lesser half of the whole Red and Ted thing? I’m sure you probably play it off as no big deal. After all, Teddy is your friend, right?! It’s great that he’s finding success! Sure, he’s leaving you in the dust like an afterthought… But man, he’s doing great! Hell, he might even make it to the finals. Wouldn’t that be something?! What would that mean for you, though?
Let’s be real here. There’s gotta be some level of resentment on your end. You didn’t have to be here, after all. Now, you’re just some schmuck thrown in some random ass match while your partner continues on to greater glory. If you don’t have a bit of frustration over that, then maybe it’s depression? Maybe you’ve known for a while that Ted is better than you. Maybe you’re content being the sidekick that gets to bask in the occasional spotlight your partner brings. Either way, he’s gonna be watching… Don’t get your ass whipped too badly!
Ria stands up, her cigarette about spent. She flicks the butt into the street.
[Ria] Then we have Cecilia Ryan. There was a point where I thought maybe we could be friends. There were some similarities there, after all. But I’ve learned the truth. What truth? The truth that Cecilia Ryan is just a spoiled little bitch with a temper. Entitled, arrogant, you really do think you’re hot shit! You’re all aboard your own hype train, with a head so damn big that there ain’t room for anyone else! I’ve heard your name. I’ve seen warnings. ‘Oh, don’t cross Cecilia Ryan! She’ll make you regret it!’ Meh.
I guess I’m supposed to be impressed. I’m supposed to be impressed that a rookie with access to great wrestling minds with great wrestling talent might actually have some herself. Excuse me for not erupting with applause! Here’s the thing… What you’ve done, the violence you’ve spread? It’s my understanding it was against top level talent. Have you worked an indy show in your life? Have you wrestled in front of a crowd that didn’t break double digits? How much of what you do is out of love and how much is out of expectation?
That top level talent, that probably made for some tough matches here and there. How many of them actually wrestled a violent, chaotic style? How many of them were fueled by anger and hatred? How many of them were desperate? I sure seem to have a lot of questions for you. I can’t be the only one either. As a reminder, you’re in the loser muck with the rest of us.
I can tell you that prior to joining PRIME, I didn’t wrestle anyone with any name value. I’ve fought plenty of people, though. People that needed that winner’s purse to provide for them. They may not have been as talented as your high end buddies, but they sure as shit were desperate. The lengths a man will go to when his back’s against the wall can be astounding. I’ve been cut, stabbed, concussed… Broken bones, torn muscles… I’ve gotten my ass kicked more times than I can count. I give as good as I get, though.
What about you, Cece? You can dish it out, sure. Are you a glass canon? Can you handle a beating? How tough are you, really? You might be convinced of your greatness. You might think you have some grand destiny. It’s gonna take more than words to change my mind. As the old saying goes, actions speak louder than words. This is the point where I get excited though!
Strength on strength. Steel on steel. Violence against violence. I want to see what you can really do. I want to see your dark side! What I saw from your last match left me wanting. This is what I should be worried about?! I’ve been hit with exploding barbwire bats, but I’m supposed to be afraid of getting knocked out?! Bitch, please! You wouldn’t be the first and you won’t be the last.
I want you to give it your all, Cece. Slap me hard enough to break an eardrum! Try to shatter my ribs with a kick! Break my jaw to pieces with an elbow! Hit me as hard as you can. I’m certainly gonna give that courtesy to you. I wanna leave scars on you, babe. The kind that you see later that make you remember the fun we had! Don’t disappoint me, Cece… I don’t handle disappointment well.
Ria stretches out a bit, cracking her knuckles. She lights a third cigarette up.
[Ria] Last of my victims is ‘Mr. Zzzquil’ himself, Solomon Richards! I gotta be honest, I think you intrigue me most of all. It’s a shame we have to share the ring with the two other twits. Sure, I wanna make Red’s nickname apropos and there’s a certain fun to be had with Cece. You, though? You may very well be my polar opposite in just about every way.
You’re physically massive. You feel people deserve love and kindness. You’re respectful, in the ring and out. It makes me wanna vom, if I’m being honest. That’s who you are, though. I’d respect it a bit if you weren’t so pathetic. Like, your father named his church after a freaking muppet! Before you try to tell me it’s named after a town, the town is probably named after the muppet too! Because it’s in West Virginia, and West Virginia sucks.
That’s just the start! You look at Jacob Mephisto as a source of purpose for you. What, you have a humiliation fetish or something? This guy drove you outta one place already. You really wanna repeat history that badly?! If it’s not a humiliation fetish, then you must be a masochist. If you are, we’d have that in common! Joking aside, we do actually have something we share; a desire to be in the ring.
For you, it seems like you’re driven by competition. You want to win, you want something more than the life that was planned for you. You ran away to get something else than this semi-charmed kind of life. Thing is… You ran away. I get it. Like I said, West Virginia sucks. And rural West Virginia?! No thanks. But you took the path of a coward. You just couldn’t tell daddy you weren’t a man of God.
I get in the ring to hurt people. I wrestle to spread the truth to the slobbering morons that watch us. They’re trash, you’re trash, ninety nine percent of humanity is trash. I wanna make you a bit of a case study in that. Sure, you’re all about submission wrestling but you’re something of a gentle giant. I need to know how deep that runs. Which kind of bear are you? Are you a black bear or a brown bear?
As a certified bearologist, I have some bear facts for you! Black bears are the smaller of the two. They tend to be timid and can usually be scared away by one being loud and making yourself look as big as possible. Brown bears will tear your ass to shreds if you try that with them. You’re better off playing dead. Don’t do that with a black bear, they’ll just try to eat your dumb ass.
There was a reason for that tangent. I’m gonna make it a point to poke you, Solomon! I wanna see what kind of bear you are! Black? Brown? Leather bar? We’ll find out. If it’s anything other than a brown bear, I’m gonna eat you alive! Even if it is… Enough poison will kill even the largest of predators! I promise you I’m packing tons.
I’ve decided I’m taking the 5 Star championship for myself. I’m gonna curse the shit outta that belt! It starts with an appetizer; Three heads on a platter. I look forward to the eventual main course!
Ria takes one last long drag on the cigarette before letting it fall to the ground. With a wink and kiss, she takes her leave.