Classic Wrestling TV.
Some time after the assault perpetrated by a man who turns out not to be a lovable cowpoke, “The Texas Stampede” Gordy Lovett.
King Kong Frank sits hunched over a triage table in the trainer’s room backstage at the Classic Wrestling studio. His hair is a sweat soaked squirrel’s nest and his beard is a wiry mess. The look on his face means serious bodily harm for somebody in the very near future.
For now, however, he retains a modicum of control.
Outwardly, at least.
If you look close you can see the rope burns across his face and neck along with the raising welts across his arms, shoulders, and back. All of this damage was of course done by Lovett in an attack that shocked not only the Classic wrestling fans in attendance, but even the wily veteran of a thousand ring wars that up until about a half an hour ago considered the cattle rancher from Cut and Shoot a friend.
The medic on call, a middle-aged woman with a gaunt face and a squat frame, dabbed at his skin with cotton balls and antiseptic. A lot of wrestlers would end up wincing in pain, mewling like a newborn even, but King Kong Frank ain’t a lot of wrestlers.
As it happens, the Classic cameras just happen to be rolling, and the Smoky Mountain Savage just happens to have something to say.
Ya shook my hand.
An’ ya drank my beer.
Then ya turned yer back on me. I should’a seen that yella streak runnin’ up yer spine right then an’ there, but naw, I thought we was friendly, me an’ you. We been up’n down the roads together, jammed right up nex’ ta one another on them teeny-tiny busses over in Japan and ridin’ in my old Ford here in the States…
Hell, son, you done been to my house an’ ate supper that my wife cooked.
So, ‘scuse me fer overlookin’ that little stunt in the locker room. I ain’t stupid, boy, I know that shrew of a manager’a yours done got ya by the short’n curlies. I figgered you was jus’ tryna look good in front of her an’ I lef’ it alone…
But then ya came out there and ya jumped on me from behind.
Frank gives a gravely, dangerous chuckle. He glares through the camera with wild eyes and the kind of unnerving presence that lesser men find horrifying.
An’ that there’s when I knowed…
Gordy Lovett ain’t nothin’ but a egg-suckin’ COWARD!
Frank is seething.
Spittle flies from behind his bristle-topped lips.
The squat nurse-lady ignores his outburst, going about the business of patching up the burly bruiser from the backwoods. She’s no stranger to doctoring up raving lunatics as they rave with lunacy.
An’ that’s a’ight, big’un.
Hell, maybe it’s better this way.
Now when I get my hands on yer big goofy-lookin’ backside there won’t be no more hesitatin’, I’ll just smash yer face up like the rest of ‘em an’ go on about my bid’ness. You might’a whipped my ass out there tonight, boy, but ya didn’t do the one thing that would’a kept ya safe in the future…
Ya didn’t FINISH the GYAT-dang job!
Behind Frank’s mange of a beard, his smile is genuine.
Which, if you think about it, is terrifying in and of itself.
You gon’ find out real soon what happens when ya make that kinda ijit mistake! As a matter’a fact, you gon’ find out a lotta things sooner rather than later, boy, but the first thing… Hell, maybe even the most important thing…
Ol’ King Kong Frank is the WILDEST man walking’ in perfessional rasslin’, an’ now that you done crossed me maybe you wanna marinate on that’n fer a while ‘fore you bring yer fat body back ta Clevelan’ next week!
The door blasts inward.
Frank snaps his head in that direction just in time for Doris Hilton to sashay her way in like she owns the place. Behind her by half a step is the Cowpuncher himself. Doris grins like a cat the minute she sees the Mastadon.
Well I’ll be, it’s your drinkin’ buddy from earlier.
Frank stands. Gordy squares his shoulders and plants his feet.
COME ON BOAH!
The Stampede sticks his chin out defiantly.
The nurse picks this instant to develop a sense of self-preservation and skedaddle. The tension in the room is instantaneously thicker than Frank’s mama’s tater soup.
…to be continued