“What was that?”
Backstage at the studio where Classic Wrestling has been airing its biweekly television programs. Eddie Dante is currently staring daggers at two men who easily dwarf him; “The Emperor” Mushigihara and Leon “The Professional” Van Zandt. Though they ostensibly form an elite tag team within the ranks of ClaW as The Foreign Legion, they currently have the fear of God in their eyes as Dante repeats himself.
What. Was. THAT.
Meneer Dante, I…
Before the Belgian grappler can get many words in, Dante points a finger at him, coldly interrupting him.
I’ll get to YOU next. Mushi. Answer me. What was THAT?
Mushigihara stumbles to gather his words, English clearly not being his first language, but Dante cuts in again.
What. Was that pile. Of brackish, week-old VOMIT. That YOU and HIM, unloaded in MY RING. And have the AUDACITY to call professional wrestling? WHAT WAS IT, “EMPEROR?”
Mushi looks downright humbled. He doesn’t dare respond to his manager, not even after he swings with a backhand to his face not unlike the one that felled him in tonight’s match against Bobby Dean and Lunchbox Larry.
Was that too much for you, huh? Enough to knock you down and get rolled up for the three?! I supposed if I did THIS, you’d be dead!
Without any warning, the manager and mouthpiece of the Foreign Legion raises his wooden cane and cracks his Japanese client right between the eyes. Mushigihara tries to grit through the pain, but the slightest hints of a grimace still show through the new stream of blood coming down his cheeks like crimson tears.
Just be glad we’re in a TV studio and not a stadium. I can’t promise I wouldn’t be tempted to use a baseball bat. AND YOU!
Van Zandt simply gulps as his manager’s fury comes down on him.
You had three seconds. To run in. And break up that pin. And you FAILED. What, do they not have tag team matches in Belgium?! Did the remaining three brain cells in your head take too long to fire up the synapses for you to wake up and smell the stroopwaffel, to make you run in there LATE?!
Dante pulls his cane back up, brandishing it as if to prepare to hit Leon between the eyes like he did for his partner, but he eventually relents.
That obese land whale and his “just happy to be there” partner were THE MOTHER of all tomato cans in this business. And you lost. You had those tag team championships in your GRASP. And not only did you just hand them over to Gruff Myers without a fight, but you went into that “qualifying” match and EMBARRASSED ME!!!
A deep, seething breath.
I will work your hands to the bone. Leon, that workout you like to do, with the deck of cards? Guess who’s gonna have to do it with you.
He points at the Emperor, who can only hang his head and groan.
Meanwhile, you can BOTH do wind sprints until your lungs are FLAT. And you will not get even a single day of rest between now and Slam-a-Thon.
Dante looks around and sees a sheet of paper taped to the wall, which he walks over to and reads aloud.
Scott Hunter and Rikki Roxx. They’re your opponents for Slam-a-Thon. And until then, I’m going to make you sweat until you are dry. And one of two things is going to happen, boys. One, you’re going to walk into Slam-a-Thon, and wrestle like one of the best tag teams in the world, and you’re going to WIN. Then, we’ll focus on our rise up the ranks, and getting those Tag Team titles under THEIR rules.
An awkward silence ensues as Dante’s fists tremble.
Or two, you’re going to Slam-a-Thon, lay another egg, and everything you will go through for the next two weeks… will be from now until you get a winning record.
In a fit of rage, Dante brings his cane down on Van Zandt’s face this time, also drawing blood like his partner.
And if you keep slacking? Let’s just say that I’ll put in a call to my boys to see about, ah, enforcing that injury clause in your contract, if you know what I mean.
The big boys look at each other as Dante mimics the sound of a bone cracking.
There are no alternatives, boys. You will either shape up, or you will be shipped out. What will it be?