Title: Kill
Featuring: Brandon Youngblood
Date: Timeless
Location: Ageless
Show: Paradise 2019



Cigar smoke billowed from the nostrils of Brandon Youngblood, his fingers scratching through his graying beard as the camera focused in. Most have taken to the pleasures of the beach, perhaps enjoying the nightlife around Cancun, or grabbing food and acting like tourists. Up to this point, he’d been doing the same, taking the Championship Wrestling Federation up on their offer to vacation in the Caribbean and suplex fools on a night to night basis, getting fat off the land and chuckling it up with one of the few friends he actually had in the business; Lindsay Troy. Tonight was different; he gripped a hunting knife, ashed his cigar on the surface of the table he sat at, all before slapping his palm onto the gold varnish and widely spreading his fingers.

 

“Let me stop you before you start, Autumn Raven.” With a jerk, he pulls the knife out of the table, his eyes scanning downward at his hand before he raps the tip of the blade on the varnish, just outside the middle knuckle of his thumb. “I’m pretty sure I know what you’re gonna say. Pretty sure. Know why? ‘Cause someone like you, wired the way you are...” his eyes came back upward, looking directly toward the camera lens, “...there’s only certain things you can come up with. You’re gonna talk about how far you’ve come, how much the Impact Championship means to you, how you aren’t letting it go. Not to someone like me.” He took a deep breath, shaking his head. “You’re gonna say these things, and you’re actually gonna believe them, because that’s how every single other person who has faced you since you became a champion has approached you. Actin’ like you’re chum in the water. You might talk about how it’s you against the world. Hell, you might even bring up being an underdog, though I don’t know about that.” He flashed a quick smirk, but it leaves just as quickly as it appeared. “You surely got a little too much pride to admit that. But clichés are clichés, and, surely, you’re gonna be spouting off a full on ‘me taking that belt over your dead body’ type deal. I can hear it already.”

 

The tapping of steel so close to flesh was made all the more uncomfortably alluring when Brandon lifted the blade up just barely enough to clear the top of his thumb before rapping the tip on the inside portion of his digit. “Let me be clear with you, Raven. I don’t give a shit about your belt. Uh oh...already got ourselves a bit of divergence here, huh?” He tapped the tip of the knife back to the outside portion of his thumb, quickly, before stabbing the blade into the tabletop near the inside of his index finger. “You see, there’s a lot of people in this wrestling business that preoccupy themselves with a lot of the semantical bullshit about what this sport represents, what we do, and why we fight. That’s why I elbow Lindsay Troy and laugh every time I hear one of you one-note wannabe dipshits talk about the fans, about your legacy, about your accolades, like any of it or you amount to a hill of shit. And that’s what I see in you, Autumn; human shit. Beautiful Psychopath. Anti-Anti Hero. What does that even mean?”

 

While others were out getting a tan and enjoying margaritas, he was playing Five Finger Fillet just for the hell of it. “What, you a shut-in or something? Anti-Anti Hero just makes you a hero. Two negatives make a positive and all that, you know? Simple mathematics? Maybe them earbuds you been screwing into your head been eatin’ your brains, or maybe them LA County schools need better standardized testing to weed out the gutter trash. But that’s cheap heat. That’s what you think I’m gonna hit you with because I’m playing bad guy and that’s what we do.” He toyed with the tip of the blade between the inside of his ring finger before stabbing it back to outside his thumb. “Let me hit you between the eyes with the truth; your belt truly don’t mean shit to me. This ain’t a change in mission statement. It could be yours, or Lindsay Troy’s, or Dan Ryan’s. None of those belts mean jack shit to me. That ain’t what gets me out of bed in the morning. Their absence doesn’t leave me wanting and awake at night.”

 

By now, he’s finished a single circuit, and even at his lazy pace, the fact that he's managed not to stab through his own fingers while cutting a promo and not looking downward is all the more impressive, if not disconcerting. He begins again, his pace leisurely once again, his eyes narrowing as he continues to speak. “I’ve won belts and accolades and tournaments and been in Hall of Fames. And that’s from what I did damn near a decade ago. I had already had a career you could only dream about before you could even wear a bra. I walked away at the top of this profession with a championship from Primetime Central that said I was the absolute standard bearer in wrestling. You know where that belt is now? It’s with all the others I’ve won...buried in some clearing out in Bexar County, Texas. Burnt. Busted. Chipped. Not even fit for scrap because I drove the spade of a shovel into the face plates and marked them up.”

 

Another circuit finished. He stops for a moment, picking the cigar up with his free hand, taking a long drag before putting it back. “And legacy?” He chuckled, smoke escaping from his lips before plumes oozed from his nostrils. “I don’t care what people like you think about me. And, again, that isn’t me being a bad guy. That’s me, standing here, knowing what we do here doesn’t matter. That it’ll all be forgotten and lost soon enough. So if it ain’t your belt I’m after, then why am I even fighting?”

 

He takes a deep breath. “I’ve made a lot of comments in the past about beating people up. Hurting ‘em. Dropping ‘em on top of their heads. I told PJ Blake she’d be shittin’ in a bag for the rest of her life two weeks ago, that she’d never move her fingers or toes again. And why? She’s a kid. Just some stupid kid. Now, is she having a handicap ramp put on her daddy’s mansion so their butler can wheel her back home? No. But you, Raven?” A quick chuckle. “She wasn’t fighting me in a Hell in a Cell. She just wanted to have fun. To hear the-the roar of the fans. See...you...you’re different. Now I said you’re all clichés, and the fact is, you are...but you...you think you’re some kinda tough gal. That you got some dark world you can take me to...to destroy me in. Like you’ve got some tortured soul Bullet for my Valentine bullshit that’ll turn my hair white or something? Put a half veil over your face and slap some marketing slogans on a tank top and get in a few dust ups and you think the moment that cell door shuts and it’s me and you that I’m gonna suddenly start quivering, thinking ‘oh no...whatever did I get myself in to’?”

 

He narrows his gaze, his glower that of stone. Up to this point, the CWF had seen The Last Bastard as little more than a trash talker trying to get a rise out of people, playing funny little games between striking at opponents of the Inner Circle. In truth, Dan Ryan didn’t know about this Brandon Youngblood because their paths had never crossed. But Lindsay did, knew it all too well, his focus, his smothering ruthlessness and unrepentant mean streak that left behind broken bodies and shortened careers. “Bitch, you don’t know the half of me. What I’ve seen. What I’ve done. I got seven inches on you and I’m twice your bodyweight. I do warm up sets of curls of you. And you’re gonna lock yourself in a cage and fight me? Give me free reign to throw you around into that mesh and cut your flesh to the bone? Make it so EMTs have to use bolt cutters to get to you after I fold you your neck and break it, and that’s IF I let ‘em? You talk about the cage being your weapon. Yeah? Me? I AM a WEAPON! I don’t need chain link to break your skin, just the side of my hand to your chest. Once. That’s it.” He lifts the knife out from the table once again, beginning another circuit of fillet, the pace quickening. “Now let’s do a little rewind...Golden Intentions, you were in some tiff with Bryan Ford, some one-note mental Special Olympian, and you had to fight with all you had. You won. Hooray you. After he ran you through and belted you with a chair, you won the final battle. The next week, Bryan Ford is in the ring with me. He talked about how he’s the Innovator of Greatness, and how wonderful it must feel to be on the Bryan Ford Show. What did I do to him? I’d tell you to ask him, but he’s no longer here...because I dropped him on his head and his legs don’t work and he can’t get his dick hard anymore. He announced his challenge of you with a steel chair and you won. Me? All it took were the opening chords of my music to have you loading your britches with shit before PJ Blake pinned your shoulders to the mat. You know this is different. That you’re facing off against a different breed now. You can talk about how this is hell on earth and how I either need to step up to your challenge or get left behind, but it’s you needing to psych yourself up with bullshit platitudes when the very threat of my presence is enough to beat you.”

 

The pace of the knife constant, his shoulders slouching. “I’m in that ring to hurt you. Do you understand me? Am I clear? This isn’t a game for me. This isn’t some ends-justify-the-means deal. You’re in that ring with me, and it’s a fight. That’s it. Everything else? That’s extra. That belt that you cradle... the one you’re pressing against your chest, right now, after the adrenaline come down from your in-ring promo wears off, as you listen to what I say, your limbs numb because of the ferocity of your heartbeat from the panic attack you’re having, all because of some stupid lark you had leading you to this...the years I’m gonna shave off your life with my fists and my knees and me slamming you on your head...I’m gonna use it underneath a toilet seat to soak up my piss. It means nothing to me.”

 

He’s scowling now, the quick rapping of the knife hitting a rapid fire beat. “Well that’s not true. See, I lie. I lie because the Impact Title does matter to me. It matters to me because it means so much to you. And I just want to take it away from you. I want to take that treasured accomplishment away and wipe my ass with it. To show that every single step you took to get to where you are, every inch you scraped and clawed, that it don’t matter. That it never mattered. Because it’s weakness. It’s you underneath that toilet seat I’m pissing on. That belt wears you. Not the other way around. And that’s how it is with all you pieces of shit here. You care so much about the things that don’t matter that you don’t even know how to survive and fight just for the sake or the spirit of the fight. I’ve spent my life building my home on the bones of those greater than you could ever be. Yours? I’m just gonna grind them to dust. Smoke ‘em. Rend them to ash. And then be done with ‘em.”

 

Another circuit done. And for the moment, silence. He breaks it by slamming the blade into the table, sinking it deep into the wood. His chin rests on the handle head of the knife, his tone guttural as he growls. “Autumn Raven...‘Quote the Raven, forever more’? Yeah? Well, I’m Rufus goddamn Griswold, and I’m worse than Hell; I’m oblivion.”

 

With a quick turn of his wrist, he bends the steel violently to the side before rising from his seat and walking away. “Game over that, trash.”



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