Angus Skaaland taps his foot impatiently from his place just inside the hotel room door of the Bombastic Bronson Box. The aforementioned Scottish Strongman is standing in front of a large mirror slowly fastening the last small silver cufflinks on his shirt sleeve. In one smooth motion he scoops up his watch and both fastens it to and slides it into his vest pocket. As he goes about unscrewing the lid on the small tin of mustache wax we hear Angus groan under his breath, shaking his head in impatient disbelief.
Angus Skaaland: Are you fuckin’ serious…
The DEFIANT former World Champion gives the bleach blond motormouth a blistering sideways glance as he dabs two fingertips into the wax and gives his handlebar a little twist.
Angus Skaaland: Can we goddamn go?! You take longer to get dressed than an old lady on Sunday, anyone ever tell you that, ya’ primadonna?
Obviously unamused by Skaaland’s presence this morning, Boxer scoops up his suit coat on his way towards the door. As he passes by he scowls at Angus. To his credit Skaaland stands his ground, showing far more backbone than the last couple times we’ve seen these two interact.
Angus Skaaland: Yeah, alright, about that shit. Hold up.
Sliding on his coat The Banff Brawler comes to a halt out in the dimly lit hallway of the boutique hotel Bronson insisted on staying at during this… as Eric put it a few days ago “Mandatory publicity stuff, photo shoots, all the shit I got you out and did for you back in NOLA.” It was during this exchange Eric might have mentioned Boxer would have company on the trip.
Box eyeballs Angus who steps up, obviously psyching himself up for this particular conversation. Angus’ other gig as long time color commentator for DEFIANCE Wrestling has left him often at odds with the oft times volatile Original DEFIANT. There’s been instances where Angus has had to say some less than flattering things about Bronson in the heat of the moment. “Clear the air.” Eric says. Easier said than done. He steps up to Boxer and raises one unsure finger, ready to “clear the air” once and for all...
It’s just then.
Bronson Box: Angus, lad… do you like pie?
We hear the unmistakable sound bouquet of flatware scraping across a cheap ceramic plates, general human murmur and Roy Orbison’s hit single “Crying” playing over the jukebox perched somewhere in an unseen corner of the room. Our view is from directly behind the two men. Angus and Bronson are both perched on stools at the counter of a very traditional looking diner.
As we swing around we see Boxer has nearly polished off what looks to be a third piece of apple pie, if the empty plates stacked beside him are to be believed. A… well, lets just say bewildered looking Angus Skaaland is still pushing the last quarter of a piece of Boston Cream around his plate as he takes in his surroundings… and his company.
The waitress swings by on the other side of the counter. “Florence” reads her nametag.
Florence: You got room for this here last piece? They sure grow ‘em big in Enga-land, my word, honey.
She asks with an amused raised eyebrow as she seductively looks the massive Scotsman up and down for the umteeth time since they sat down. Before Bronson can answer Angus interrupts, almost as though snapping out of some sort of trance.
Angus Skaaland: No! No *heh* no thank you Flo, can we please have a minute? Thank you dear, thanks bunches…
As she walks away Skaaland turns suddenly towards Bronson. Ready to speak his mind.
Bronson Box: I’m not going to hurt you Angus. If that’s what you’re bloody worried about.
He nonverbally signals the waitress that he would indeed like that last piece of pie.
Eyes wide and blinking, Angus shakes his head.
Angus Skaaland: Come again?
As Flo sets the last piece of apple pie in front of Boxer, The Wargod immediately tucks in.
Angus Skaaland: And more pie, right. Twin Peaks over here with the pie. We goin’ to the Black Lodge to see Laura next Agent Cooper? Your opponent this week gets off on all that spooky shit, ya’ know. You given him any thought between polishing your buttons and figuring creepy road trips for the two of us? Not that I’m not enjoying myself, mind you…
Boxer finishes his pie, wipes his face and then gingerly stacks the empty plate atop the rest before turning to face Angus.
Angus Skaaland: Oh, finally something to say, uncle creepy? We’re going to be goddamn late for that photoshoot, I swear Eric’s going to snatch me bald if we…
Bronson Box: Stop.
His voice is quiet and unwavering. Forceful enough to cut Angus off into absolute silence.
Bronson Box: Look, lad. You’re Eric’s right hand, obviously I know that. Seein’ as he’s felt obliged to foist us upon one another… and, well… I do like someone bookin’ my fookin’ flights an’ acomidations an’ all. I felt we needed to, perhaps, get on the same page. As it were...
It’s more than obvious Boxer is uncomfortable with all this necessary human interaction. Angus is just goddamn slack jawed at what’s happening right now.
Bronson Box: Since we’re out here in the real world, away from the uniqueness of the Wrestle-Plex I thought it prudent to reassure you I wouldn't be laying hands on you, Skaaland.
Angus nods at Bronson but meditates on that for a moment before speaking.
Angus Skaaland: Listen. You want me to be honest? I can handle gettin’ my ass handed to me, by the by. Wouldn't be the first time.
Boxer raises an inquisitive eyebrow.
The self proclaimed “motormouth” sits in silence for a tick, choosing his words carefully.
Angus Skaaland: Alright, stick with me here. See… when you make a deal with the devil. You know the devil’s going to follow through with the deal no matter what. No double cross. “But he’s the devil” you might say… well, exactly. The devil’s gunna’ follow THROUGH. Otherwise, who’d ever make a deal with the devil again if the son of a bitch can’t be trusted? That’s smart business. That’s Eric Dane. He might be a vile, ruthless son of a bitch, but he’s the kind of vile, ruthless son of a bitch you can count on. Each. And Every. Time. That ‘aint you, Hollis.
Bronson’s shoulders shift a little. He sits up a little straighter. A little more tense.
Skaaland senses this and immediately holds out his hands, palms out.
Angus Skaaland: Now before you go gettin’ all hot under the collar, let me say something. I’ve been around this business for most of my fantastic little life, feel me? I’ve literally seen ‘em all. I’ve seen ‘em come and I’ve seen ‘em go. I’ve seen the best. I’ve seen the worst. I’ve seen staying power and I’ve seen ‘em burn out bright quicker than a hiccup. I’ve been up and down these roads with Eric Dane for a very long time and please take it from me, the attention he’s givin’ you is special.
He stops for a moment, rolling his eyes up, looking like he’s pre-regretting the sentence he's about to unfurl.
Angus Skaaland: Because you’re special, Boxer. The last almost a decade I’ve known of your existence, calling almost each and every one of your matches? Sitting there with the best seat in the house as you tear and burn and gouge and raise cain? Fuck, man. I mean. Yeah, I can’t trust you. And from where I’m sitting Eric can’t either… but that’s the bosses call. And I trust him... so when he says “what’s Box up to, I wanna’ bring him in” I don’t question that shit I just say “yes sir” and he and I go about dragging you out of your little self induced pity party and back at it, feel me? Because I know Eric’s got a PLAN. Eric’s always got a plan.
Angus pulls his billfold out of his pocket and tosses a wad of cash down for Flo.
Angus Skaaland: A whole goddamn pie, what the fuck… Can we get goin’, this settled?
Bronson is still processing Angus’ words. Skaaland hops down from his place at the counter and looks The Wargod straight in his permanently bloodshot brown eyes.
Angus Skaaland: You’re the wildest fuckin’ wrestler I laid eyes on in YEARS, brother. This week you’re facing a legitimate schmuck. Run of the mill, seen it a million times, bottom the of the barrel SCHMUCK. A big lazy mook in pancake makeup and a Halloweentown, bargain-bin-ass “spooky guy” robe. He’s even got a “boo-hoo lost my honey” goddamn backstory like he just walked off the set of goddamn Supernatural. Those dang ol’ Winchester boys are gunna’ stab this prick if he’s not careful.
He puts a hand on Bronson’s shoulder and leans in.
Angus Skaaland: You use this idiot to show these CWF dick-weeds why they need to start paying CLOSE goddamn attention to you, Bronson. You perpetrate on this clueless Shadow prick the kind of violence you perpetrated on CWF’s new golden boy ANDY MURRAY a number of months back when you took he and his shit-eating little brother through the ringer.
The mere mention of Andy Murray’s name makes the Wargod visibly bristle.
At that The Bombastic Bronson Box stands up from his stool.
As he does the whole room almost shifts around us. It’s later that same day. We aren’t in the quaint little diner anymore. The counter is gone. Florence the waitress is gone. Even Roy Orbison’s melody is vanished from the air around us. Angus Skaaland stands back and to the left of his charge now, arms crossed. Bronson has shed his coat, his shirt sleeves now rolled up his simply massive forearms. He gives Angus a sideways glance…
Angus Skaaland: Tell ‘em.
Bronson Box: I can’t say Golden Intentions wasn’t a wee disappointin’. Gettin’ rolled out with a low bridge from the likes of this Shadow prick, painfully embarrassin’ that… but even that I can handle. And will, mind you, come Evolution 24 when I collapse the lungs of that wholly unoriginal, opportunistic little edgelord and any of his flock that make the poor life decision to get in my way. No, what truly left me in a state was watchin’ that walkin’ talkin’ human STD Andy FOOKIN’ Murray walk back into my life and steal my bloody thunder. YET AGAIN.
He chuckles almost maniacally and shakes his head as he slowly rubs his giant lunch pail sized mits together.
Bronson Box: I was here on a lark… “get back out there” Eric says. “It’s just CWF” he says to me. I was going to set a few small fires here and there. Shake things up a little. Maybe even win myself a World title. Who knows…
His face twists up slightly.
Bronson Box: Seein’ him march down to that ring, seein’ his… FOOKIN’ SMUG FACE. Shadow, lad. When you’re sittin’ in yer’ hospital room after your match at Evolution 24? Cracked ribs, shredded flesh, concussion. When the nurse is wipin’ all that ridiculous paint from yer’ face and asks if you were in a bloody car accident and you have to sheepishly mutter “no, one fella’ did this to me” you’ll have one man. ONE FOOKIN’ SELFISH MAN TO THANK… an’ it won’t be me. No ol’ Andy’s presence has got Boxer in a bit of a state... an’ you’re about to pay the two fisted price.
Sour. Bitter. With obvious violent intent dancing around his wild bloodshot brown eyes.
Bronson Box: It’s huntin’ season for goth cult PRICKS… and when I’m done? Ooooh boy’o when I’m DONE! When I’ve scraped the likes of The Shadow and these Ouroboros BASTARDS off the bottom of my fookin’ boots. When I prove to the short sighted pricks who own this company the bloody GIFT Eric Dane handed them in the shape of ol’ Bronson Box and I EARN my shot at that title? By God, Andy… you better have scooped up that belt lad. What a turn of events. What a tale it’ll be, aye? Couldn't of written a better ending… eh? Old pal?
Boxer’s wide frame looms over us like a goddamn mountain.
Bronson Box: Regardless of all that though. Shadow. At 24 yer’ facin’ a legit empty, soulless demon of a man of the realist persuasion, boy’o. Dab on that facepaint and think one last time of yer’ long lost love ya’ ridiculous boy… ‘cause after I’m done droppin’ you on yer’ daft prick head? Ye’ can write yer’ spooky goo-goo fan fiction from the bloody ICU at the nearest FOOKIN’ HOSPITAL.
He palms the camera. Our view goes dark.
The last thing we see over Bronson’s shoulder is Angus Skaaland’s smiling face.