“Ladies and gentlemen…” The learned voice of “Big” Joe Geoue reaches out from behind the black of the television set. It forcibly grabs wayward Classic fans by the ear holes and pulls them in. Relying on classic (lowercase) audiovisual technology, the optics take a second to catch up, displaying a few stuttering frames before settling on the sight of “Big” Joe himself, standing in front of that ubiquitous Classic Wrestling banner, with a microphone in hand. “…at this time, allow me to introduce the Classic Wrestling Premier American Champion, Shujin Yama.”
A shadow falls over the banner, and Geoue too, eclipsed by the mere presence of the gargantuan Shujin Yama stepping into frame. He stands, arms crossed, staring through dead eyes at the former wrestler turned interviewer. The Premier American Championship looks more a toy than a championship resting over the boulders that he calls shoulders.
Slithering around the side, is Yama’s representative, Sensei Abe Lincoln. Rubbing his hands and baring his teeth, he coughs out a cackle as he slinks towards Geoue.
“Ah! Joe-San! No Billy-San, this time? Good… mmhmm.” he beams through his trademark, mildly-broken English. “Still… not only change needed around here…”
He motions off-screen, triggering several attendants, clad in robes near-identical to Yama’s albeit with only half the flair, rushing into view. They quickly set to dismantling the Classic Wrestling banner.
“What do you think you’re doing?!” Geoue objects. He steps towards them in an effort to stop them, but is quickly halted by what looks like smoke billowing from The Oni of Oblivion’s nose. Geoue considers his next move, but that’s all the time that’s needed for the banner to be taken down, and a new one to take its place.
The Banner of Yama.
“Better, no?” Lincoln asks, his grin warped and wiry. The massive champion takes position right in front of it, dominating the screen.
“This is a disgrace!” Geoue complains, trying to find whatever space he can in the shot. “Just like…”
“Mmm?” Lincoln interrupts, eyebrows raising underneath his black bowler hat. “Like what? Like what Shujin Yama did to Freddy-San?”
“Since you mention it, yes!” he does a poor job of hiding his disgust. “Your client is scheduled to compete against Freddy Kilgore in a tag team match this weekend, but nobody has heard from him in weeks!”
“Let me be clear,” Lincoln begins with Yama’s nonverbal permission, “Shujin Yama feels no remorse. Shujin Yama did exactly as promised. When he made vow of silence, he told you all what consequences of disrespect were. What happened to Freddy-San is simply what Shujin Yama foretold. Ask yourself, mmhmm, what has happened to anybody else who has stepped in ring ichi-on-ichi with Shujin Yama? Where is Richard K. Hunt? Gone. Where is Johnny Saint Nelson? Gone. Where is Freddy Kilgore? Gone! All who face power of Shujin Yama are changed forever. Freddy-San will not make it to this tag team match. This will be handicap, mmhmm. And King Kong Frank-San will be like all others. Squished and flattened like okonomiyaki!”
Shujin Yama’s mighty paws smack together in illustration.
“Even if Kilgore is unable to compete, King Kong Frank is not the kind of competitor to go down quietly!” Geoue says. “He and your client’s partner this week, Gordy Lovett, have been locked in what’s tantamount to a blood-feud for the past several months. Last time they met, it was Frank who came out on top.”
“Feeble American minds forget…” Lincoln shakes his head. He turns to Yama, who remains expressionless. “But Shujin Yama never forgets. Frank-San stepped in ring with Shujin Yama before too, mmhmm. On very first episode of Classic Wrestling, Frank-San brought his issues into Shujin Yama’s match. What did Shujin Yama say after?”
“Big” Joe goes to reply, but the mere movement of Yama’s arms dropping from their crossed position suggests he should reconsider.
“He promised Frank-San would bow before him. Before Yama.” Lincoln answers. “Gordy-San or no Gordy-San, this week, another prophecy of Yama will come true.”
“But it won’t be ‘no Gordy’, will it?” a feminine, Southern drawl calls from off-screen, as Doris Hilton leads Gordy Lovett into the frame. Her bright pink lips scowl at the seedy leers of Sensei Lincoln, while Lovett steps eye-to-eye with Yama. Geoue shuffles uncomfortably in the tension. Hilton snatches the mic from the interviewer’s hands, and passes it behind her to Gordy, still staring down his ‘partner’ for the week.