“You again, eh, Billy-San?” chuckles Sensei Abe Lincoln, as a shoe-less Billy Fields steps onto the mats of the smoke-ladden Yama dojo. Lincoln makes a final adjustment to a banner adapted from the Japanese flag, the symbol of Yama emblazoned over top. “Always you, mmhmm. Never the others. Disrespectful. No matter, I shall inform him that you’re here. Please, as a guest, help yourself to Japanese delicacies.”
As Lincoln makes his way to a side door, Fields follows his point towards a banquet of food spread across a table.
“I wish there was some of that American food Schwartz was offered…” Fields mumbles under his breath, referencing the women who were present when Randall Schwartz visited the dojo.
“The Mexican is still available, mmhhm!” Lincoln yells back.
A donkey brays.
Fields, red-faced at being heard, looks up to see the Carlos Ruiz Suite still in place.
While Fields blushes, Lincoln slides open a door. Standing on the other side – robe wrapped around his leviathan frame like winter’s snow atop Mt. Fuji – is Shujin Yama. The human monolith steps out onto the dojo floor, and as Lincoln moves towards the banner, a gargantuan arm blocks the path.
“No,” Yama growls. “You leave.”
From underneath his bowler hat, Lincoln’s brow furrows. In another silent exchange, the look from Yama sends a very clear message. Obediently, Lincoln steps into the side room.
Alone with Fields, Yama stalks his way to the banner with plodding steps that quake the ground. Fields edges closer.
“Sensei Lincoln won’t be…?” he asks.
“He’s done enough talking,” Yama flatly replies. “It’s my turn now.”
“Oh… umm…” Fields stammers over his words. He hadn’t prepared to talk directly to the behemoth himself. “You… you have a chance at SLAM-A-THON! to become the first ever Premier American Cha…”
“Stop.” The interruption throws Fields, and coming from Yama, the curtness freezes the would-be interviewer in place. “Listen to that name. The Premier American Championship. As if this nation is something that we should celebrate. Tell me, little man, what do you know of my story?”
Fields isn’t sure whether he should answer. Spoiler: He shouldn’t.
“I wasn’t born Shujin Yama,” the man-beast explains. “I was born right here in the ‘good ol’’ U-S-of-A. High school wrestling superstar, state champion down in Florida, on track for bigger and brighter things. But all of that was ripped away from me. By this country! Freddy Kilgore wants to give pep talks to kids about the dangers of drugs, but what does he say to those of us who woke up with those dangers on our doorstep every morning? A wild heart only gets you so far. I fought. I survived. But at the end of the day? No college would touch me! So I had to find another way. I had to become…
“I…” Fields stutters once more. “I… I didn’t know.”
“Save your pity,” Yama snarls. “My life made me who I am. I’ve been forged in fires that Kilgore could never dream of. And when I see somebody like Carlos Ruiz, thinking the world is full of rainbows and butterflies, it disgusts me, because I know that’s a fiction! He may be on a roll right now, but the rising sun always sets. As far as he’s concerned, it’s setting behind a mountain this weekend. Same goes for people like Vito Valentino. Last week he had the gall to throw stereotypes my way? Way to prove me right about this country, bozo! This time he can save his breath. I’m Godzilla, and Metro Avenue will be my Tokyo. Who’s going to stop me? Who’s going to be able to throw me over the top rope? Jack Fargo? He spent all his life wrestling people to the mat. I went to Japan and learned how to stop that happening. Or maybe Randall Schwartz? Please let him try. Of all the disrespect shown to me in Classic Wrestling, what he did in the ring last week was the most insulting. It’s time for that little pimple to be popped once and for all, and I want to take my time in doing it.
I’m going to prove a point at SLAM-A-THON! The disrespect will end! And if anybody tries to dishonour me again, I promise to take a vow of silence until I have wreaked havoc across this company and have forced the recognition that I deserve!”
His foot stamps. The tides shift. The world breaks.