Private: Tyler Adrian Best
What is UP, man? So freakin hype about facing off against you this week, my guy. It isn’t often that someone like me gets to wrestle the forty second ranked member of the PRIME roster, let me just say, it’s an honor. A real life Master of the Multiverse… B Team.
Awesome. It’s just awesome.
After single handedly surviving forty other competitors and winning the Culture Shock Battle Royal— the single hardest match to win in all of wrestling— I assumed I’d immediately be promoted to number one in the rankings and tasked with facing someone like Jared Sykes, or Brandon Youngblood. But this? A midcard match against KENNY FREAKING FREEMAN?
Boy, I sure underestimated my trajectory.
We’re just two young guys climbing the ladder here in PRIME, Kenny. Sure, I’m nearing the final rung (despite somehow not cracking the top five even after beating literally the entire roster plus), and you’re still slipping off the bottom step, over and over and over again, but it’s the same ladder! That’s so cool! I feel like you’re picking up what I’m putting down here, but in case you aren’t, let me be clear.
I’m joking, Kenny.
I don’t fucking care about you.
You’re an influencer with zero influence on anything. You couldn’t convince me to drink water in the fucking desert. You couldn’t talk me into buying a shirt that was literally already in my shopping cart. You are on the B Team of the Masters of Absolutely Nothing, and the chip on my shoulder is only getting bigger with every single word I say about you.
Where the fuck is my main event spot?
I beat forty people. Thirty nine folks went over that top rope, and then I STILL survived a singles match against one of the greatest wrestlers in history. Do you know that even my dad never beat Cecilworth Farthington? Not once. Not even a single time. Cecilworth Farthington beat my fucking father at ICONIC once in seven minutes and fifty seconds, and I PINNED that man after wrestling thirty nine people and nearly having my neck broken by Nate Colton on night one.
And I’m wrestling Kenny Freeman?
Tell me why Brandon Youngblood is getting a fucking title shot this week. Is it because he earned a shot by winning the Culture Shock Battle Royal? Oh wait, I’m the one who did that? And I eliminated Brandon Youngblood? That tracks. That makes good fucking sense. I completely and explicitly understand why Brandon Youngblood is getting a shot at the Universal Title before I get mine and why I’m wrestling Screech from Saved by the Bell: The New New New New Class.
Look Kenny, I’m sorry, man.
I’m not saying you don’t have the talent to be something in PRIME. You can probably do big things here. Every show needs opening matches. Every show needs something in the middle to give the fans time to buy T-shirts and empty their tiny little underdeveloped bladders. They get tired. They burn out. If every single match is an edge-of-their-seat banger, then they’ll never truly appreciate it when they see something special.
You’re not special, Kenny.
And that makes you special.
It isn’t your fault that PRIME management continues to book me like I’ve lost more than two matches in my entire professional wrestling career. It isn’t your fault that these Pawn Stars ass carnies offer me $7.50 for once in a lifetime level, priceless ass talent. And it isn’t your fault that Brandon Youngblood is getting yet another opportunity to take back a title he’s proven over and over again he can’t hold on to. None of that is your fault, Ken.
But it is your problem.
An example needs to be made, Mr. Freeman. A message needs to be sent, and I wholly intend to send it in blood. A lot of these PRIME simps are just happy to show up every week and collect a fucking paycheck, but I’m nobody’s dancing monkey. I’m nobody’s huckleberry. I am not my father, but I am certainly my father’s son, and do you know what the Bests do to people? We end careers. Not just physically. We end them mentally. We end them emotionally. The horror stories about my father are mostly the stuff of myth these days, but I can assure you Kenneth Freeman that the things you haven’t heard about me are the most dangerous.
I’m tired of this.
I’m tired of Anna Daniels and her stupid “Tyler doesn’t exist” bit. I’m tired of seeing my name missing from the headlines, while everyone else gets their flowers. I’m tired of everyone around here pretending that I’m not King Shit. It’s time to hand me my fucking crown. It’s time to acknowledge what I’ve done since I stepped foot in this company, and I’m not waiting around for anyone to hand it to me anymore. It’s time for me to fucking TAKE my recognition. It’s time for me to make something happen for myself. And I’m not just talking about a Universal Title shot, Kenny. I’m talking about a complete and total reevaluation of the way these dumb fucks look at me when they pass me in the hallway.
Put me on the fucking posters.
Put me in the main events.
FUCK YOU, I WON THE FUCKING CULTURE SHOCK BATTLE ROYAL.
I’ve been on very good behavior since I joined PRIME, because I have a lot of respect for my Aunt Lindz, but I can feel the cracks starting to spread. The dam is getting ready to break.
And it might just break on you, Ken.
Until PRIME gets its shit together and starts treating me like the pedigreed wrestling royalty that I indisputably am, then I’m going to merc every could-have-been and bingo hall escapee that they put on the card in front of me. I’m going to start punching people in the face until it stops being fun for me. I’m going to start hurting people. I came to PRIME to smash motherfuckers and win championships, and with as little disrespect as possible, there’s only one of those things I’m ever going to accomplish by facing YOU, Kenny.
And boy, am I going to accomplish it.
“U got smashed on night 1, bruh.”
They’re the first words that Tyler Adrian Best reads as he steps backstage, fresh through the curtain. His mouth is full of iron, as he heaves a wad of sweat and blood out from behind his lips and onto the concrete floor backstage.
He can’t help but laugh.
“You motherfucker.” Tyler shakes his head, staring at the text message on the lock screen of his phone.
The smile only creeps across his face once he’s certain that there’s no one around to see it. Little dying bastard thinks he’s funny— it’s the closest thing TAB is going to get to a congratulations for the tremendous feat he’s just accomplished, but it’s more than enough. He pushes the soaking mass of hair out of his eyes, wiping his hands on his trunks as he leans against the entrance ring, staring down at his phone.
“Yeah, yeah.” Tyler mumbles the words as he types, hurriedly. “Maybe you can come watch me win the title, if you aren’t in the fucking ground yet.”
A typing indicator.
A text message.
“ur fighting hanlon bro I’d literally rather be dead. Madden later?”
The Grandson of God bursts out laughing, sending a quick “Bet” before tucking the phone away into the waistline of his trunks. He’s literally dripping sweat– it pours off the new number one contender, pooling on the floor beneath him. He feels like he could pass out right now, but none of it matters.
He’s done something incredible tonight.
Something unheard of for his age. Forty other competitors, and only one left standing. The very same man who stood tall at the end of War Games last year, in only his second ever professional wrestling match. Over the coming weeks, it would be almost completely unacknowledged by the rest of PRIME, of course— they’d be too busy giving everyone who came in fifteenth place their props for doing such a GREAT JOB— but tonight should be a moment of pride for Tyler Adrian Best. He’d beaten all of them. He’d beaten Cecilworth Farthington, one of the men who literally trained him to wrestle. He’d shocked the world and done what no one else on planet earth expected him to do, and he was still fucking standing.
But still standing.
“You did it.” He nods solemnly, speaking to no one. “You fucking did it, man.”
He can still hear the fans clearing out of the arena, the hushed wave of a thousand half conversations converging into one wordless mishmash of sound. It’s all just white noise to him, as he slowly slinks back past the production team. Everything is running together– he can barely remember even being out there tonight. A messy blur of being punched in the face and trying desperately not to be thrown over the top rope, all for it to come down to the single most difficult singles match of his career. He’s elated. High on adrenaline, but it’s beginning to dump and it’s dumping fast. As he leans against one of the equipment totes backstage, it begins to hit him all at once.
His body hurts.
He has a fucking headache. His neck still feels like it’s been torn straight out of the socket and was reattached with duct tape. Of course, that’s what happens when you fail to report an injury to medical and work with a concussion.
They’d have pulled him from Night Two.
No way he was getting pulled from Night Two.
He’d given up nearly a quarter of his life for this moment. Since the time he was fifteen years old, Tyler had forsaken any semblance of a normal life to dedicate himself to the craft of professional wrestling. Never went to so much as a single school dance. No movie nights with friends. No highschool parties. Every waking moment that Tyler Adrian Best wasn’t legally mandated to be sitting behind a public highschool desk, he’d been busting his ass inside of a wrestling ring. All for an opportunity like this. There wasn’t a chance in hell he was going to report a concussion and miss out on the chance to compete for the Universal Championship. No friends. No social life. No backup plan. If he didn’t succeed in this… in the only thing he’d ever dedicated himself to, then what was the point?
It would all be for nothing.
A waste of a fucking life.
He wanders through the backstage area like a ghost– not a single motherfucker in this building gives an actual shit about what he’s accomplished tonight. And why should they? He’s been nothing but a sociopathic nightmare since the day he sauntered in like he owned the place. In the moments that he hasn’t treated PRIME Wrestling with disrespect, it’s been because he was busy treating it with complete disdain. The truest form of being hoisted by one’s own petard, but the chip on his own shoulder only grows as he triumphantly limps out into the hallway that leads to the dressing rooms. Who cares if his father didn’t bother to fly in from Chicago to watch the match? Who cares if Penny had work to do at the office? She probably watched it on TV, right?
No way she totally missed it.
Not a chance.
“Fuck ‘em.” Tyler grumbles to himself. “This is my moment.”
He didn’t want to share it with anyone else anyway.
He didn’t need a ticker tape parade. He didn’t need a fucking trophy with his name on it, or a series of meaningless high-fives from people who were just secretly jealous that he’d beaten them out in the first place. One of the earliest lessons he’d learned in the wrestling business was that you can’t rely on anyone but yourself, and it was the one lesson he’d taken more to heart than any other. You don’t wait around for people to hand you opportunities. You don’t trust anyone any farther than you can fucking throw them. At the end of the day, and at the end of your career, all you can look back on is what you’ve accomplished for yourself, and tonight Tyler Adrian Best has accomplished one of the single greatest feats in the wrestling business.
He did it all by himself.
He was… entirely alone.