Angus Skaaland turns the corner into one of the back hallways of the expansive Mellon Arena, where a lot of the talent have been set up with private dressing rooms. He scans a few doors as he shuffles along, hands in pockets.
As he comes closer we start to hear what he’s been muttering under his breath.
Angus Skaaland: Where the hell, Bronson, Jesus…
From a few paces down the hallway we hear the sickening sound of splintering wood and metal debris clattering out into the hallway. Angus stops dead in his tracks and purses his lips and he begins nodding to himself.
He points an exhausted looking finger gun in the direction of the chaos.
Angus Skaaland: … right. Obviously, right…
As he approaches the dressing room of one CLEARLY pissed off Wargod he steps gingerly over the… well, what looks to be an entire locker that has been LAUNCHED through the locker room door.
The door itself is half off its hinges and leaning at an odd angle out into the hallway. Angus stops for a moment to observe the scene before letting out a little sigh and entering the locker room proper where you know who is currently violently shoving his belongings into a duffel.
He stands quietly watching The Wargod for a few moments before carefully opening his mouth to speak.
Angus Skaaland: Not the night we were expecting.
Boxer pauses packing for only a moment. A silent response to Angus’ statement.
Angus Skaaland: Listen man, we can’t...
The metallic crunching sound of a very nice dress shoe SLAMMING into the nearest locker door bounces around the locker room for a moment.
Angus Skaaland: HEY! Goddamnit. HEY! STOP. Just… stop, fuck.
He looks around the room, he spies where Box pried loose the lockers that now find themselves against the opposite side of the hallway outside the room.
He looks down at the locker Bronson just effortlessly caved in with his foot and mutters to himself, quietly.
Angus Skaaland: Kicked it off its goddamn hinges… how… just how?
He runs his hand back over his head with an exhausted sigh, calculating the check he’s obviously going to have to cut both the arena and probably the CWF itself for the trouble of it all.
Angus Skaaland: He got the jump on you man, it goddamn happens… fuck me, you just tossed those things like nothin’ huh. TITS your strong, I mean my goddamnit Hollis, shit.
As Skaaland stress calculates the damage, slash how he was going to break that to Eric we notice Boxer’s furious packing slow down slightly.
His eyes go from intense to almost unfocused.
The camera focuses on Bronson’s face, so close it’s all we can see.
“GODDAMNIT Hollis… “
As The Wargod turns we’re suddenly no longer in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the hallowed halls of the famed Mellon Arena.
It’s actually several months ago, not long after Eric’s initial contact with Bronson to bring him into the CWF.
The surly voice we hear echoing Angus’ goddamnit albeit in the thickets Welsh accent you’ve ever heard belongs to Bronson’s original trainer and current head coach at Bronson’s training school in Banff, Spud Collins.
The grizzled old journeyman grappler with his stooped posture and permanent scowl is the picture of an old, mean, retired wrestler with a chip on his shoulder.
He also happens to be the person Boxer is closest with in the entire world.
Spud Collins: Yer’ too old. Ye’ bloody fool. I thought you’d put all this mess behind ye’. Bloody ERIC DANE comes strollin’ back into yer’ life and off ya’ go back to America.
Bronson rolls his eyes as he packs the very same duffel his future self was shoving gear and clothing into so forcefully.
Bronson Box: It’s some ho-dunk fed Eric’s kickin’ around in. I ‘aint even gunna’ break a sweat.
The old grappler purses his lips and shakes his head.
Spud Collins: Why are you so bloody eager to kill yerself fer’ that fookin’ man? Aye?
He grabs Box by the shoulder and spins him around to face him.
Spud Collins: You ‘aint got nothin’ to prove to him, me, anybody.. You keep on like you were you’re gunna’ end up bloody BROKEN.
Ye’ can’t burn the candle at both ends anymore, lad.
”Old before your time and broken beyond comfort is no way to live son.
… Take it from someone who knows.”
We’re back in Pittsburgh. The Motormouth of Malcontent is still in shock calculating the damage to the locker room.
Angus Skaaland: … fuuuuuuuck why can’t you control yourself, goddamn everything, everything is broken, man! Eric is going to lose his mah…
It all happens so fast we don’t even process it’s occurred before it’s done. We can tell by the look in Bronson Box’s eyes he’s… well, he’s not quite “there” right now. The Wargod’s honey baked ham-sized mits are wrapped around two huge fist-fulls of Angus’ shirt.
If Angus wasn’t a trained, albeit very retired, former combatant himself the shot the back of his head he takes as Boxer mindlessly lifts him up and slams him into the already dented bank of lockers might have knocked him out cold.
Angus Skaaland: Man, I’m sorry about the loss, okay?
The normally exuberant platinum blond business manager is calm, quiet, and VERY careful with his words.
Angus Skaaland: Just put me down and we can ta…
The words sputter out of Bronson’s mouth before he can fully form them. The intensity with which he delivers them almost startles an absolutely gobsmacked Angus Skaaland.
Bronson Box: I ‘aint broken. You hear me? I ‘aint too fookin’ old.
The Wargod’s lip quivers with emotion, his eyes still unfocused.
Bronson did feel old though. Especially after a night like tonight.
Bronson Box: I ‘aint cut out for this shite anymore, Skaaland.
He slowly sets Angus back down on his own two feet. Skaaland narrows his eyes at the beast standing in front of him as he smooths out his shirt and gets his wits back about him.
Angus Skaaland: So is this it? Where you legitimately lose it and we all have to ship you off to the funny farm? What the absolute shit, man?! Didn’t we like JUST powwow and make nice?
Boxer rubs a frustrated hand back over his sheared head. He turns away from Skaaland as he does it.
Bronson Box: Take whatever you need out of my pay to cover all this.
Skaaland is in complete shock.
Angus Skaaland: Wait… wait wait wait wait did you? Did I catch you say you weren’t “cut out” for this? You’re really going to let that yammering robe wearing STAIN shake you like this? Are you off your meds or something? Or on them, for that matter?
Bronson don't utter a word, he just picks up his duffel and slings it over his shoulder.
He points himself towards the door.
The locker door Boxer just kicked off its hinges sails JUST past his head, passing through the open doorway and claters into the now growing pile of ruined lockers out in the hallway. Bronson turns astonished to see an absolutely FURIOUS Angus Skaaland staring back at him.
Angus Skaaland: FUCK you.
Boxer raises one curious eyebrow and slowly turns back around.
An emboldened Motormouth takes a few commanding steps towards his charge.
Angus Skaaland: What is it? Huh? What is it really? Boo-fucking hoo you LOST. What happened to building your goddamn legacy on BLOOD AND FEAR not gold, huh? All this violent poetry you wouldn't shut up about the last eight years? What? ANDY MURRAY showing up in CWF got you all shook, baldy?
The mention of Murray’s name bristles the Wargod.
Angus Skaaland: “Not cut out” for this? You remember what you did to Andy fuckin’ Murray the last time you and he met in a wrestling ring? …Yeah. See, what I want is for you to take that memory and hold it tight. Okay?
Angus digs down deep and finds a boldness and a bravery he hasn’t had to call upon in years as he “pulls a Bronson” and takes one deliberate step juuuust inside Boxer’s personal space.
Angus Skaaland: It wasn’t that long ago you were eating guys the calibre or Andy Murray for breakfast. You spreaded that prick on toast. And then, to dig your heel deeper? You beat his brother down into the canvas like a bitch for months. Forced that little prick through fear and fuckin’ sheer will to goddamn DISCOVER his next level to even come close to taking you down.
He cocks his blond head to the side and looks right at Bronson.
Who, by the way, is looking right back.
No more sad eyes.
Angus’ words have drawn back out those wild, angry eyes we’re so used to seeing.
Angus Skaaland: I don’t know who’s had your ear since you wandered away from active competition last year like Bill Bixby at the end of an episode of The Incredible Hulk. Goddamn vanishing off the face of the Earth and shit. But tellin’ you your old and broken? FUCK them. And fuck you for listening to them, man.
Skaaland sighs and steps back.
Angus Skaaland: You need to shake this brother, and fast. You hear me? I’ve already heard through the grapevine you’re going to get another shot at makin’ The Shadow kneel, you feel me? You and the bossman versus Shadow and one of his. So, decision time… do I need to call Eric? Tell him you’re fucking bailing? That you threw a tantrum a bolted… ?
He looks and motions around him at the chaos and destruction filling the locker room.
Angus Skaaland: Or will you screw your head on straight, replace all these mopey ass thoughts with THIS sort of carnage and direct that GORRAM RAGE CANNON right at those two glorified HOT TOPIC employees and make them scared, terrified and maybe even a little ashamed they had the gaul to even have yours and Eric Dane’s names in their fuckin’ mouths?
“Ya’ feel me hoss?”
We know in an instant where we are.
The Wrestle-Plex in New Orleans Louisiana.
The facility where DEFIANCE Wrestling has held a majority of its shows. Arena, gymnasium, training facility, offices, nightclub and restaurant. We’re in the arena proper, moving slowly down the ramp towards the ring where we see the familiar silhouette of the Bombastic Bronson Box.
The Wargod is dressed down in a black polo, black slacks.
He’s leaning against the top rampside rope, deep in thought.
As we make our way around, up the steps and between the ropes Boxer doesn't move a muscle. He speaks still facing away from us from his place against the rope.
Bronson Box: I’ve got a friend who’s worried about me. He’s worried because when I get goin’... when I really get goin’ at this. Fer’ good or fer’ ill I don’t really have an off switch. As it were. As a man north of forty and the survivor of matches as violent as the ones I had its understandable the one folk truly close te’ me would worry. Worry about be grindin’ myself into a pile o’ dirt… because that’s what he did in this business.
He rubs the back of his neck as he stands up straight, still facing up the ramp.
Bronson Box: “Old before your time and broken beyond comfort is no way to live… ” Gettin’ in the head space to ignore all that bollocks takes me a little longer now days. The common sense that just naturally comes along with age is a bloody bastard to shake.
As he turns around and we get a clear look at his gnarled mustachioed visage we see that certain… twitchyness... that allowed him to freak out and pin Angus against a bank of lockers is still there abouts his eyes and mouth. He’s shaken. Almost desperate.
Bronson Box: I reigned here. I spilled so much blood in this ring.
He looks up and around the Wrestle-Plex.
Bronson Box: It was a palace I built brick by bloody chaotic brick. Years of unhinged fookin’ madness. Doin’ whatever whenever to elicit the BIGGEST reaction, no matter the cost. I stripped my soul bare for this business. I did it gladly.
His eyes resettle on us.
Bronson Box: Shadow. I don’t hate ye’ ye’ stupid flowery prick. I hate what you represent. All the lazy painted up pricks that rely on trite, tired tropes and bloody drama school theatricality to get by in this business. I underestimated you. And you picked me off like low hanging fruit. That’s on me. I let a decent athlete with a shite GIMMICK pull the wool over ol’ Boxer’s eyes. See… that ‘aint happenin’ again.
He takes a few steps towards us.
Bronson Box: Come Evo 25… well, I start at the bottom. See Shadow. Between Golden Intentions and now our little tryst last week you’re right and truly stepped right into the middle of my ass, son.
Bronson Box: You’ve laid me low… You’ve bloody cornered me. You’ve surprised me. Never in all my days did I even think I’d develop a need to hurt another human being so badly… not here, not in CWF.
A strange little unhinged smile develops just below his trademark mustache.
Bronson Box: So let me make this perfectly clear to you and your… ridiculous little giggling lady friend, Shadow. You’ve mindlessly provoked me. You stole from me not only a shot at the World title but a chance to embarass ANDY FOOKIN’ MURRAY… then, THEN you make an ass of me on live television, boy’o.
A laugh. A strange, almost… psychotic laugh.
His mouth snaps shut so suddenly we’re not unconvinced he didn’t crack a tooth.
Bronson Box: I… Shadow, I am going to wrap these diligent hands around your FOOKIN’ throat and squeeze ‘til something goes crunch… lad. See? See how quickly I got to that point, boy? That’s how you bloody intimidate someone. You’re right. Eric shouldn't trust me. And he doesn't. What he trusts is that when properly motivated I can and will unleash everything I am upon those that need it.
Bronson Box: He trusts that if there is anyone who’ll stand beside him and will go cacklin’ and pumpin’ his bloody fists as he RIDES screamin’ into ruin it’s the Bombastic Bronson FOOKIN’ BOX! So long as I take a piece of a sorry SHITE like you with me? Every risk, every flying leap into the jaws of vile, violent bloody combat is worth being OLD BEFORE MY TIME and BROKEN BEYOND COMFORT because I’ll DIE in that ring before I let a disappointing, castle dwelling PLEBEIAN get another over on me...
He trails off. It’s not an empty threat
Bronson Box: I’ll answer at the gates for the things I’m about to perpetrate on you and yer’ lass, Shadow. Shameful, vile things that’ll see me burn. I ‘aint got any other choice.
We can feel the intensity. The sincerity of his words.
A wild Wargod. An unhinged Wargod. Always.
But a Wargod with something to prove? A desperate Wargod?
God help us all.