“Braxton.” The gruff voice is meant to rouse Sam Braxton, but the free-spirited Aussie is regrettably already awake, unable to achieve anything more than fitful slumber on the cold, utilitarian bed available in the Little Rock police department’s overnight lock-up. With a profound groan and trademark string of expletives the larrikin forces himself to stand, fighting against the profound hammering in his skull, a souvenir of his nightly activities. To go with the few cuts and bruises upon his body. Sam’s three favourite things are
“Struth. Could you turn the bloody lights down.” He grumbles, assailed by the poorly lit glow of the police station’s electric lights. “And what about some food, I’m so hungry I could eat a horse and chase the bloody rider.” The police officer, one grizzled, Officer Jeffords growls at Sam, who is either too hung over and tired to notice, or chooses to be ignorant.
The receiving officer turns to Dean Coulter standing beside, pausing to consider the pros and cons of accepting Sam’s release or letting him stew a little longer. Unfortunately for the Aussie Battler, his sense of duty wins out and concedes to Sam’s release, yet again taking responsibility to the man-child. After all he’s going to be needed in the weeks to come.
“Fair dinkum Sam?” Dean sighs in disbelief. Looking between the two close friends, the Little Rock police officer just shakes his head, dumbfounded and confused by the lingo. “Just get your things, we’ll grab some tucker on the road.” The more mature and responsible Lost Boy groans in exasperation, a constant state of being.
Since the quiet weeks with no activity on the CWF front, these morning visits to local police stations has become something of a ritual for the dinky-di duo. If Sam were able to string comprehensible words together normally, he could write a tour guide and rate all the precincts from California to Maine the rate he’s been going.
Hopefully though, things are changing.
“Just when I think you’re starting to grow up. You surprise me yet again.” Dean scowls.
“At least I keep things interestin’” Sam retorts.
“Can we keep things legal instead?” He’s practically as they two Australian Champions finalise the process of Sam’s release. Luckily Sam Braxton hadn’t had much on him when he got into the drunken brawl the previous night.
“Can’t promise nothin’” Sam seethes as he exits the police station, replacing the ocular assault of the electrical lights, with that of pure unadulterated sunlight from the mid-morning sun.
Dean pushes Sam towards their car and they scramble into the black Chevrolet impala, Sam lunging for the safety and reprieve of his sunglasses, but turning down Dean’s offer of bottled water.
“Why’d you even wake me at this hour?”
“Cause we’ve actually gotta work for a living and thankfully a couple of blokes have taken up our challenge.”
“Fair dinkum? You ain’t pullin’ my leg are you mate?”
“Wrestling isn’t something I joke about.” Dean starts up the car as he responds. In their own ways both Lost Boys take active competition seriously. It’s just the down time you have to worry about.
“It’s about bloody time. I’m dying here.”
“Yes…you’ve clearly been suffering.” The tone of his voice makes is clear enough even for someone as unobservant and insensitive as Sam Braxton to realise Dean’s patience with constantly coming to the rescue is wearing paper thin.
The rebuke falls on deaf ears and amidst Sam Braxton’s loud snoring the Lost Boys drive their way through Little Rock, Arkansas and hitting I-530S towards Mississippi for their first bout as a tag-team in a little while. If not for the hangover, Sam would be beside himself with anticipation. Dean on the other hand is relieved. Firstly it’s an advantageous direction and release for Sam’s disposition towards physical violence, but it’s a chance for Dean to work through his own thoughts, grim memories of his time as Judas, under the sway of the evil Ouroboros.
The truth is, though the Lost Boys put on a façade of well-meaning joviality, it’s been a bit of a tough run, complicated by their lack of in-ring activity. They need this more than ever.
“So who are the unlucky drongos up against us this time? Sam asks in between bites of his burger lunch at a roadside restaurant called Wright’s Ranch House. It’s a smaller, unknown place, but serves its purpose well, replacing the traces of alcohol in Sam’s veins with fat and grease.
“It’s a bit of an odd couple of two equally odd blokes.”
“Odd as in…you know…they ain’t got all their roos in the top paddock?”
“More like unique. Different. Take the first of our challengers; bloke’s name is Thomas Roll. He believes that disco is still alive and going strong.”
Sam scoffs at that remark.
“Tell him, he’s dreamin’!”
“You’re not far off. He claims to know all the right moves, promising we’ll all feel he fever again, but so far he’s only got one solid victory to his name. He’s been involved in some pretty intense, high-profile matches against some of the top competitors and has had some moments in the spotlight, but it’s still early days and he’s off to a rough start.”
“Well I got all the move we’re gonna need to cream that galah, and it won’t even be Saturday Night! Nothing beats the good ole traditional Aussie Male Two Step straight to the face! From the sounds of it we ain’t got anything to worry about from that bloke. Even you, the sanctimonious goody-two shoes is havin’ a hard time findin’ nice stuff to say about him.
“Like I said…early days. The bloke could surprise us and steal the win. You know how this business works. Just because he’s yet to make his mark doesn’t mean he couldn’t do it at our expense.”
“She’ll be right.”
Sam shakes his head at Dean’s constant desire to maintain honour, decorum and rectitude towards any and all opponents. The larrikin has no time for such nonsense, either throwing all manner of insults at whomever they’re facing, or dispensing with words altogether and throwing punches. The two friends and partners sound like almost exact opposites and wouldn’t really function well as a team on paper. Their friendship and loyalty to each other runs deeps, dating back to their childhood days, growing up together. In their own words they were each saved by the other.
“Thomas’ dance partner has been around for a bit longer and has fared better in the ring. It’s a bloke named Scourge. He’s bi-”
Sam almost chokes on his very non-alcoholic cup of coke (Dean has disallowed any further intake of alcohol until AFTER Evolution).
“Scourge? What’s his schitck, besides sounding like a Saturday morning cartoon villain.”
“Well he’s big and mean.”
“Built like a brick shithouse?”
“With a bit of a dark edge about him. Scourge also run with some of the best, alongside and against, and though his successes are also limited, he’s a regular punter. If nothing else, I feel Scourge will be the foundation of this strange team-up.”
Sam shakes his head.
“What’s with these wankers who reckon they can just grab any Thomo, Dick or Barry off the street, call themselves a team and stand face-to-face with the likes of us? They’re gonna have to work their arses off to try and claim our tag-titles . The whole bloody reason we came to the US was for a challenge, to show the yanks, how the rest of the world can kick it. But it ain’t fun kickin’ when there’s no one tryin’ to fight back.”
“Let’s not look a gift horse in the mouth. We laid out a challenge and someone has answered. We’ll be stepping back in the ring, thank god. Gotta get you back in action before we really come a gutser and I send you back home on a hospital bed. Don’t forget, as much as I may doubt our opponent’s abilities, we haven’t exactly been keeping ourselves in tip top shape. Our form may be off. We may be out of synch. We could costs ourselves the match”
“Still the worrying Wanda.”
“Just keeping it real Sam. Now hurry up and finish eating, I want us back on the road. When we get into Mississippi we’re gonna be training.”
Sam Braxton groans.
“Don’t think I haven’t noticed that gut forming.” Dean proclaims slyly, changing the dour mood with a joke, one that Sam buys into full sale, responding with a loud proclamation of protest. Weeks of pent up frustration and boredom soon to be brought to the fore and released upon the likes of Thomas Roll and Scourge.
The Lost Boys have found their way back into the ring.
Aussie Male Two Step: A very basic dance move where you step and sway from side to side.
Bazza: Australianised abbreviation of Barry.
Bloke: Male identifier.
Bloody: Uses to emphasise severity or magnitude
Built like a brick shit house: Big and strong/Has a solid physique. Shithouse is another name for an outhouse (a separate outdoor toilet)
Come a gutser: Have a problem/Get into trouble
Cream: Beat/Kick his arse
Eat a horse and chase the rider: More than just hungry
Fair Dinkum: Question or assertion of authenticity. Depends on context.
Haven’t got all the roos in the top paddock: Retarded/Brain Damaged
He’s dreaming: No chance. Quote from the Australian film “The Castle”
Mate: Friend, generic identifier.
Pulling my leg: Joking around/Fooling me.
She’ll be right. It’s fine/It’ll work out.
Struth: Exclamation of surprise/indignation
Thomo: Australianised abbreviation for Thomas.
Wanker: Generic insult OR term of endearment. Depends on context.