“What muscles, Chick Grillbreast. I am impressed… on an aesthetic level, at least.”
The familiarly thick Flemish accent of Leon Van Zandt greets us before the cold open.
We are looking into a wrestling ring in the main training room of the reputable Icebox training facility in Bristol, PA. Leon greets us, leaning into a corner and dressed in simple training gear, as his once-again tag team partner Mushigihara watches from a row of chairs opposite our hero.
Van Zandt: But my question to you is, ‘how do you intend to use them, Meneer Grillbreast?’
Leon gives us a knowing smile as he stands erect and stares down an erstwhile sparring partner across the ring; a stocky, fat even, scraggly fellow in an Icebox T-shirt and knee-length shorts. He looks not at all adjusted to the rigors of the ring, but determined all the same.
Van Zandt: I’ve faced men of all shapes and sizes, and the larger ones may boast of great strength, but the excessive mass that provides them strength is in itself a weakness! That is a philosophy most exemplified in martial arts such as jujutsu, but even in wrestling it is a very sound theory.
With a nod, the Professional beckons his sparring buddy/hapless victim forward, as he rushes forth with a clothesline, only to be tripped to the mat with a drop toe hold, after which Van Zandt mounts his back and cinches in a rather painful-looking armlock.
Van Zandt: Now, my friend Robert here may not have QUITE the same kind of body composition as you, but he does have bull-like strength, as well as bull-like STUBBORNNESS, so he has been gracious enough to assist me in demonstrating your fate in the ring in a few short days, Meneer Grillbreast.
Van Zandt releases the armlock before he can do any permanent damage, and gives Robert a friendly pat on the back before aiding him back to his feet.
Van Zandt: I know I will be facing a man with the strength of a bull. However…
The camera manages to pick up a smirk on the face of the Professional, suggesting the reformed Flemish taskmaster still has a little bit of that sadistic streak in him after all…
Van Zandt: As my mentors back in Ghent were fond of saying, “bulls are killed on the floor.”
A chuckle. Van Zandt places a hand on Robert’s shoulder, and seems to be giving it the lightest of massages.
Van Zandt: Robert here, he has some considerable muscles, even if his body isn’t quite up to the rather ludicrous standards of aesthetic appeal that often has a premium placed on it in this sport, but he is rather strong.
Robert looks mildly offended, but Leon smiles at the lad and nods. Almost as if it were a signal, Robert responds by reaching under the Professional’s center of gravity and hooking him up for some variety of a suplex throw. Robert even manages to get the veteran wrestler off his feet, but almost immediately after, Leon Van Zandt forces his own weight back down, and cinches his arms around his sparring partner’s head and neck that shuts the attempt VERY quickly. Robert even lets out a little wheeze before rapidly tapping a hand on Van Zandt’s chest, after which he releases the hold and sends the young man collapsing to the mat.
Van Zandt: It’s just too bad that all strong men who use their muscles have the same weakness; those muscles need oxygen. They need blood flow. And I am HIGHLY disciplined in the ways of shutting down that flow of blood and oxygen. Just ask Mushigihara.
Mushigihara objects from the seats, though Van Zandt just responds with a playful shrug and a chuckle before reaching down to help Robert back up to his feet.
Van Zandt: Thank you, Robert, go ahead and take a break, alright?
You don’t have to tell the kid twice, as he rolls himself out of the ring and towards the big water cooler by a wall covered in framed pictures.
Van Zandt: Though I am in a rather unusual position as a singles participant in this coming episode of Classic Wrestling, I am nevertheless confident in my prowess on the mat that the loss of Meneer Dante will surely be of no detriment.
With a smile, Van Zandt and Mushi both look at a particular wall in the training room, and chuckle.
Van Zandt: Good luck, Meneer Grillbreast. You’ll need it.