Ever the dutiful and determined competitor, Dean Coulter is up early to greet the dawn over Cancun. The day of their first serious title defence in a while is fast approaching and it won’t do to not be at the top of their game. After all they did ask for this. Sam and Dean, the Lost Boys, openly proclaimed themselves the best tag-team the CWF has to offer and for all extents and purposes have proved their claims true, proven themselves fair dinkum. Eager to reinvigorate the tag division the Larrikin and the Battler dared anyone, established team or not, to prove them wrong and take their title belts away from them.
After bitter disappointment, the team formerly known as VENOM, consisting of Omar Martinez and Vince Espinoza, stepped up to the challenge and weren’t completely creamed. In fact each of their encounters was a trade-off of unofficial victories, resulting in essentially a stalemate between the teams. Paradise is the night they bring their blue to a definitive conclusion. At last the Lost Boys have found what they were asking for.
It feels good to be truly back in the action Dean thinks to himself, allowing a smile to creep across his face, bathed by the dawning light. The smile doesn’t last long however as he notices Sam’s vacant hotel bed. In a place like Mexico and Sam Braxton’s propensity for sex, alcohol and/or a fight (not necessarily in that order) there is no telling the kind of trouble he could get himself into. A concerned phone call goes unanswered and Dean casts his mind back to the night before. For Sam it had been a quiet night, drinking only a small handful of drinks, with no fists thrown and most importantly he had returned to the hotel room at a respectable (again in the context of Sam Braxton) hour. Truth be told, if Dean is remembering correctly his dear childhood friend and partner hasn’t been his usual unrestrained self since the match against Vince Espinoza. Dean can’t help but grow more and more concerned, expediting his morning and continually trying to raise Sam to no avail on the phone.
“Struth Sam. What the fuck you get yourself into this time.” He curses with a whisper, leaving the Casa Tortugas Boutique Hotel and into the Mexican morning. Only now does he realise he has no clue where to begin in his search.
“C’mon Sam mate, where the bloody hell are you?” He says to the horizon.
“Sleepin’ beauty is finally awake! You ripper!”
The horizon replies and Dean couldn’t be more surprised to see Sam jogging up to him wide awake. In fact it looks as if the normally aggressive and carefree has been working out, preparing himself.
“Sam? Are you…ah…feeling ok?”
“Defo mate. I’m aces.” Dean isn’t completely convinced “What? You think I was bailin’?”
“Well…I’m the one who plans and prepares, you know, as you say, worry too much. Wait. You’re not worried are you? You, Sam Braxton?”
“C’mon mate, give a bloke a fair go!”
“Can I at least grab a cuppa? It’s too early for this nonsense.”
Reunited, the Lost Boys, grab some wake-up juice and find a quiet and quaint beach-side spot to sit and appreciate the rising of the sun.
“Alright mate. What’s on your mind?” Dean finally breaks the silence.
“Crikey Dean! I just said-“
“I know you too well Sam. This ain’t you, so tell me what’s up?”
“C’mon mate, I’m the stoic one.”
“Buckleys. You’re the irresponsible one, using your vices to ignore your daddy issues and emotional problems. You’re actually kinda easy to read.”
“Fuck me dead and bury me pregnant.”
The friends chuckle warmly embracing their moment before falling once more into silence. Sam focuses on his coffee cup, taking the time to collect his thoughts.
“Alright, alright…Are we up the gumtree?”
“These Unknown drongos, Vinny and Omar, they’ve bloody nearly embarrassed us each and every time we got into a blue and I’m spewin’. This shit’s serious and I’m afraid I’m gonna fuck it up for us. Cause you know, I’m the irresponsible one.”
Dean isn’t sure if he should be relieved or worried that for once Sam is trying to acknowledge and come to terms with his thoughts and emotions. On one hand Sam realises the importance of this match, of the first serious challenge they’ve faced in a while, but also it seems he’s baulking under the pressure.
“You know I was just joshing. And you’re no more likely to mess up than I am. I know, for all your mucking around, when it comes to the squared circle, you’re bloody dead-set serious. There ain’t anyone else I’d rather have beside me in that ring than you Sam. You’re passionate for the fight and frankly you’re unpredictable nature is going to be a huge advantage against Vince and Omar. So don’t you start doubting yourself. Not now. Not after all we’ve done. We’re bloody pioneers of tag-team wrestling, the pinnacle of the division here in the CWF. That ain’t nothing.”
“I know mate. We’ve come so far since our dysfunctional beginnings. Me, a consummate failure in and out of juvie, and you, the upright citizen always pulling me out of trouble. We’ve been at it hard yakka for years.”
“You afraid of a couple of tables?”
“Piss off Dean! I’m tryin’ to be serious for a change. Back when these guys were VENOM they were somethin’ else. They could run with some of the best teams of the CWF’s past and present, capable of pretty much anythin’ to get those Ws. And now that Byson’s backin’ em, that list of what’s in their realm of possible is getting’ bigger. And then there’s us, a couple of idle Aussies in a holdin’ pattern.”
“Yeah can’t say it’s been great on the side-lines, overlooked. Not gonna lie, I was starting to get a little restless myself.”
“Dead-set? You? The enduring and tolerant Dean Coulter?”
“Easy, I wasn’t about to full Sam Braxton.”
“Yeah, never go full Sam. It ain’t gonna end well.”
“Oh I know, but then the same can be said for Vince, Omar and Byson. Cause full Sam is exactly what we’re gonna need at Paradise. We both know how much of a challenge they are gonna be, but then we asked for this. We wanted this. They are a well-functioning team, former champions, undoubtedly in synch, and have proven their effectiveness as a unit time and again against some great teams. It won’t be within coee of being a piece of piss, I won’t understate it, but isn’t that what we want? The mightier they are, the more satisfactory our victory will be! They’ve only got a taste of what the Lost Boys can do because they haven’t yet properly entered the ring with both of us.”
“I’ll drink to that.”
Sam raises his cup.
“Shame this coffee taste like shit.”
Dean follows suit.
“Wanna get a real drink?”
That’s a bit more like the real Sam Braxton.
“It’s still morning Sam!”
“C’mon, its beer o’clock somewhere in the world. But one last question, what if we win? What next?”
The question hangs between the two champions. Since their challenge, only the Unknowns have been able to successfully oppose the Aussies. What fate awaits them beyond Paradise? Are they destined to face the same team over and over? Or will they once again fall into obscurity? They aren’t very comforting questions, thought they have to admit they don’t have much to show for their efforts in reviving the tag-team division.
A time will come where ultimately the two have to concede the Lost Boys have peaked.
Bail/Bailing: To leave
Battler: Hard-working, middle class Australian
Bloke: Term for male/males etc
Bloody: Used to emphasis severity or gravity
Buckleys: No chance.
Cream: Beat soundly, thrash
Cuppa: Cup of tea/coffee
Dinky-Di/Dead-set: Genuine, the Real Deal
Fair Dinkum: Both an exclamation and question of seriousness and legitimacy.
Fuck me dead and bury me pregnant: An exclamation of amazement, frustration and/or surprise.
Give someone a fair go: Give someone a chance
Hard Yakka: Working hard.
Larrikin: Playful prankster and joker.
Mate: Friend/Generic identifier term
Not within coee: Nowhere near
Piece of piss: Easy
Struth/Crikey: My god!
Up the gumtree: In trouble.
You ripper: Fantastic.