What’s the one thing more 80’s than Classic Wrestling?
The mall, baby.
The slow moving crowds. The fluorescent lights. The barely-there soothing elevator background music. Women holding bags. Men powerwalking. The elderly taking a stroll. Children running around and being loud for no reason. Tee angers huddled in groups. A big, bubbly fountain. The constant beep-beep-beep sound of a distant arcade. We’re at the mall – a quintessential slice of Americana.
Speaking of American icons – “Feral” Freddy Kilgore is also at the mall.
Our hero sits, in full wrestling attire with full face paint, on a slick faux-wooden bench. Next to him: an entrance to a store with a big sign that reads “CRAZY BRIAN’S SHOE EMPORIUM.” Behind him: a large glass window displaying several types of women’s shoes in white mannequin feet.
Despite his appearance, this is not the usual bombastic larger than life Papa Wild Thang. His body language – drooped frame, glazed eyes, rubbing his forehead – suggests that rather than feeling the call of the wild, right now he’s knee deep in the call of the mild.
Surely he’d love to talk about the beat down he’s going to put on Alex Bruder at Capital Clash. About what he’s going to do to stick up for both Otto Price and his little Wildhearts.
But instead, he yawns. Squints to look at a clock in the distance. Shifts in his seat.
Finally, his eyes light up. “Wild” Kat Diamond – it should be noted dressed like a normal person and NOT like a cartoon character – walks out from inside the store with her hands full of shopping bags. Kilgore breaks out into a smile as he stands, his fists clenched in anticipation.
“Sorry, babe,” says Kat. “But the guy is just going to the back to try to find the pair I have my eye on. It’ll be a bit longer.”
Never has an apex’s predator mood soured so quickly. As Kat returns to inside the store, Kilgore slumps back down on the bench, his eyes turned toward the ceiling in frustration.
I bet this is where he’d rather flex his gigantic frame in a combination of threat and promise to Alex Bruder. Likely he’d say something somewhat insane but still entertaining, like how he’s… oh, I don’t know… going to eat Bruder’s face at Capitol Clash or something.
But instead, he puts his head in his hands and leans forward. He sniffles.
Purses his lips.
Leans back again, this time with his hands folded around his head.
A mother and her son walk by – and the son is wearing a Classic Wrestling t-shirt. The boy smiles and points at Kilgore. Freddy sees the lad and perks up, ready to fly into promo mode for the boy’s benefit – but the mother, off-put by this muscled up man in his underwear, quickly shuffles the boy away. Kilgore’s face again melts into boredom as he sighs and sits back.
A fly lands on Kilgore’s shoulder. He swats it away.
He blinks a few rimes.
Taps his hand on the back of his neck.
Leans forward again.
Rubs his eyes.
He’s probably daydreaming about describing how he plans to bodyslam Bruder off a mountain into the depths of the darkest sea. But that’s not what he says. Instead, he clicks his mouth a few times before rolling his shoulder and readjusting.
The faint elevator music continues to play.
And then… it starts to get softer.
Or at least it does in Kilgore’s mind… cause Papa Wild Thang’s wild eyes are starting to get heavy, baby.
Blink. Hold it closed for a few seconds. Spring open.
Close. Hold closed now for about seven seconds. Spring open.
The faintest hint of a snore… and then…
Wild Kat’s voice brings Kilgore immediately back to consciousness. His eyes snap open. He stands up in full flight-or-fight mode. He takes a minute to regain his bearings before he realizes that Kat is standing in front of him, holding a new pair of high heels and beaming.
“All set. Let’s go!”
Kilgore has never looked happier. He smiles… and then snarls. He flexes. He turns to face the camera. This is it. The waiting is over. Now it’s time to get down to business, baby.
Except… we’re out of time.
See you at Capital Clash.