Post by Stuart Slane on Jan 24, 2016 17:17:39 GMT -5
Bad News Bearers
Sunday, January 17
Raleigh, North Carolina
In addition to being a frequent venue for Wrestling Championship Federation events, the PNC Arena is home to two local sports’ franchises: the Carolina Hurricanes hockey team and the North Carolina State University’s basketball program the Wolfpack. As such the site is equipped with state of the art training rooms and medical facilities; amenities that do doubt play a factor in Seth Lerch’s decision to run shows from it; not so much out of concern of his talents’ well-being, but rather his company’s bottom line. It’s a lot cheaper to commandeer someone else’s health care equipment and services rather than lugging your own around from stop to stop.
Fortunately for Stuart Slane, what brought him to the attention of the medical staff was nothing so severe that the more sophisticated and intrusive technology was needed. No need for the X-ray machine on trauma ward; just the standard CTE testing, which we are coming in at the tail-end of.
“-and can you repeat those words I said to you at the beginning of the exam in the identical order, please?” the intern asked.
“Torture, thirteen, helicopter, thickness, and boudle,”Slane recited the five words that would clear him from the concussion protocol.
“Alright then, Mister Slane, you should be good to go. However, if you do start to feel any symptoms of a concussion: headaches, nausea, dizziness, sensitivity to light or noise; please contact a doctor for further evaluation.”
“I will. Thank you,” Stuart slid off the examination table. A small jolt of pain shot up from his ankle when it was forced to bear his full weight. Slane’s face did not betray him however; remaining placid despite his injuries and the reason behind him.
“You’re welcome. And congratulations on your title win tonight,” the young doctor said before moving on to her next patient.
The barest of smiles crossed Stuart’s lips. He nodded, briefly, at the retreating physician before turning his attention to the man who up until now had been just an observer to the scene, “Odd. I don’t feel like much of a winner.”
Jeff Purse, former WCF superstar and current mentor figure for Slane, disagreed, “You should. You just beat one of the hottest acts in wrestling for the belt that made him. And you did it the right way.”
Leaning on his cane, Jeff raised himself from the chair he was sitting in before continuing his post-match analysis, “Yeah, it sucks Beaver jumped you after. But that’s part of the gig. Guy was going to do something to try and save face. Next time you’ll know better, and Be Prepared for it.”
Jeff grinned broadly over the chance to use the ex-Scoutmaster’s catchphrase against him. Stuart seemed to find it amusing at well.
“Heh. Still, given how long it’s been since I’ve held championship gold; it would be nice to literally have the title in my possession.”
“You’ll get it. Dustin Beaver knows the belt’s nothing more than a prop without him actually winning it back. He’s just using it as leverage for a rematch.”
“Oh, I know,” Slane agreed as the pair shuffled their way from the infirmary and out into one of the PNC Arena’s many hallways, “But I’m not interested in dancing to Mister Beaver’s tune. He wants a second shot at me? Fine. Go ask Lerch for one. In meantime, he needs to bring back what is rightfully mine.”
“So what are you going to do?” Jeff asked.
“Petition the Talent Relations Office.”
The statement made Purse do a double take. He was about to explain to Stuart why his chosen course was the worst of all possible ideas when he realized Stuart had noted his reaction, and was smiling broadly, “Dude, don’t even joke about getting those freaks involved.”
“Yes. Of course.”
“I mean, even if it wasn’t Henson and Phoenix running things over there, you should always avoid going to management about problems with another wrestler. That’s a stooge move. You got beef with a guy? Settle it in the ring.”
There was a buzzing sound from inside Jeff’s coat pocket, an indication he had just been texted. He checked his message, and gave a grim nod, “Stu, I have to go.”
“Yeah, no emergency,” the younger man explained while replying to whomever contacted him, “Just some old business to take care of. Old Pantheon business.”
Stuart Slane had never been a supporter of Pantheon; identifiying most of its original members as part of a conspiracy to destroy his career. That was why his next statement would come as something as a surprise to Jeff.
“Is there any way I can help?”
“What? Uh, no. I’m good. We’re just going to talk, some of us.”
Which was all Purse would say about his attempt to convince his former stable mate Jonny Fly to step back from the abyss he was gazing down into. This was a wise strategy; given that all prior mentions of WCF’s “One Man Dynasty” had caused Stuart to seize up like a Ford Pinto after an overnight freeze, “Thanks for the offer, though. It’s appreciated,” he told him.
“Of course,” Stuart replied with a short nod of the head.
The two would then go their separate ways: Jeff to his Face/Heel Intervention with Fly; Slane to his locker. Once there he removed a large duffle bag from inside. Inside that, under a change of clothing, was a thirty six inch ax handle. Setting the wooden bludgeon on his shoulder, Stuart approached one of the arena’s attendants.
“Where is The Beach Krew’s dressing room?” WCF’s current Television inquired politely.
*SCENE TRANSITION! FORMAT TRANSITION! Stuart is now trudging through a PNC Arena concourse, the ax handle still resting on his shoulder blade. He ignores the members of the WCF Galaxy he strides past, many of whom turn their attention away from the grim giant of a gentleman to focus on the souvenir kiosks, the food vendors, or the arcade games the PNC Arena has put in place to make an outing to their facility appealing to as broad a base as possible. Finally, someone does accost Stuart, though they are notably not a fan.*
Jesse “The Figure Heenan: Stuart Slane! Hello. Can we talk?
Slane: We can walk and talk.
*Indeed, Stuart doesn’t even slow his gait, forcing the WCF News reporter and her camera crew to hustle to keep up with him.*
Jesse: Ah, okay. Sure. First of all, congratulations on winning the Television Title this evening.
Slane: Thank you.
Jesse: Do you feel you deserve the title?
Slane: Of course. I won the match, didn’t I?
Jesse: Yes, but there are those who think you shouldn’t have been given the opportunity to compete for it in the first place. The WCF Television Championship is a belt normally for newcomers. It’s a chance for them to prove themselves. You’re neither a rookie nor an unknown commodity to the company.
Slane: Yes, but it was obvious I still had something to prove. Three years have passed since I last won a title in WCF. Facing, and beating, someone of Dustin Beaver’s caliber was a good way to remind people what I’m capable of.
*The interview continues West Wing style (Dated Television Reference #1), with Stuart marching towards his destination, and Jesse and her crew hustling to keep up. Unbeknownst to all is the increasingly growing crowd of people following them. Girls, mostly, ages 12 to 17.*
Jesse: Speaking of Mister Beaver, after the match he caught you unaware and successfully reclaimed the belt from you. Any comment on your lapse of ring awareness?
Slane: I made a mistake in under-estimating the lengths Dustin Beaver would go to in avenging his loss. It won’t happen again.
Jesse: Do you feel partially responsible for the assault, as some critics are calling your victory celebration ‘needlessly provocative’?
*Stuart’s blue eyes narrow and he casts as disparaging look at the interviewer.*
Slane: Of course not.
*There are at least two dozen teenagers stalking Slane and company now, their numbers increasing by the moment. Silently, purposefully, they pursue the new TV Champ, their focus only shifting when they make use of their social media devices to contact others of their kind in the WCF Galaxy, those True Beavlievers, and make them aware of what’s going on.*
Jesse: Regardless of who’s truly at fault for the physical loss of the TV Title, how are you planning to retaliate? I can’t help but notice that we are currently traveling in the general direction of the #BeachKrew locker room, and that you are armed with a dangerous weapon.
Slane: Your navigation skills haven’t failed you. I am indeed planning to parlay with Mister Beaver. As for this-
*Stuart took the ax handle and gave it a few absent twirls.*
Slane: - you have it all wrong. This is a peace offering. Or perhaps a better term for it would be a consolation prize. In exchange for the return of my belt, I am willing to autograph the handle for Mister Beaver and let him keep it.
Jesse: What? Come on.
Slane: It’s quite a bargain, really. I never sign anything; making this piece of memorabilia unique and as such, very valuable. Certainly more valuable to Dustin Beaver than a title he has no claim to. Only a fool would reject such an opportunity.
*Stuart’s tone turned very severe with the last line of his explanation, making his implicit threat very clear. However, Jesse realized she wasn’t going to get him to admit to his true intentions, and instead moved on to her last, and what she proudly felt was her most baiting question. The one designed to crack the façade Stuart had created and expose him as the fraud he was: the “Columbo Special” (Dated Television Reference #2). *
Jesse: Just one more thing, Mister Slane, and we’ll leave you to your business-
*A lie, as “The Figure” had no intention of letting any possible Slane/#Beach Krew conflict go undocumented.*
Jesse: - you said in your most recent promo that Dustin Beaver was a cipher. A drone. An empty suit whose success has only come because of his affiliation with #BeachKrew.
Slane: That’s not all I said about him, but your assertion is fundamentally correct.
Jesse: Aren’t you the same?
*Boom. The question made Stuart Slane stop dead in his tracks. He glared at the reporter wrathfully.*
Slane: I beg your pardon?
Jesse: We know you have former WCF World Champion Jeff Purse mentoring you; teaching you the ‘right way’ to do things. How is that relationship any different than what goes on between Dustin and #BeachKrew?
*BOOM. Stuart’s expression changed from anger to confusion. He began to blink rapidly. He rubbed his lower chin and face. His stance, too, became less confrontational, turning away from the camera that was recording his unease. Finally, he had decided on an answer. Stuart composed himself and got ready to respond to the charge leveled against him. But just as he opened his mouth to speak--- that’s when all those rabid Beaver fans made their presence known.*
Beavliever #1: Hey! Hey fuccboi! How the fuck do you think you’ll ever get your title back from Dustin?!
Beavliever #2: Fuck you, fuccboi!!! You ruined everything!
*Stuart, Jesse, and her cameraman now realize over thirty teenage girls have surrounded them. Thirty young women whose cognitive faculties are swept up in a maelstrom of hormonal induced passion and indoctrinated paranoia.*
Beavliever #3: Dustin was supposed to hold the belt forever!!
Beavliever #4: It’s Galactic Prophecy!! You don’t fuck with Galactic Prophecy, fuccboi!. That fucks everything up for fucking everybody!
Beavliever #5: The Owls are not what they seem (Dated Television Reference #3)!!!
*Stuart swiveled, watching in bewilderment as the young women worked themselves into a frenzy.*
Slane: What is wrong with them?
*Heenan eyed the encroaching crowd nervously. Without turning her back to them she answered.*
Jesse: Beaver Fever; they got it.
*The reply did not satisfy Stuart at all. He stepped up to the oldest girl, the one who had first spoken.*
Slane: Where are your parents?
*Her response was to kick Slane square in the junk, dropping him like a stone*
Beavliever #1: Ahhh! This pervy old dude grabbed me!
Slane: Argh!!! What?! No!
Beavliever #4: He did! I saw it!
Beavliever #6: Me too!!
*Slane was doubled over, clutching at his injured groin, face red with agony and rage.*
Beavliever #7: Ew, gross! Now he’s rubbing himself!
Beavliever #1: I need an adult!
Beavliever #6: Me too! He grabbed me too!
Beavliever #2: Gawd, Chelsi, don’t steal Tandi’s thing!
Beavliever #6: I’m not! Help! Dustin, save us!!!
*In truth, it did not seem like the girls had any intention of waiting for anyone’s protection, as they suddenly swarmed en masse over the crouching Stuart.*
Beavliever #8: Death to fuccbois!
Beavliever #9: Death to Owls!
Chelsi: He did so touch me. Right on the tit! I’m totally not making this up, you guys!!!
*Now, Stuart Slane wasn’t in any real physical danger. He’s a six and a half foot tall, 270 pound man whose life has been one long pissing contest against the worst Mother Nature can offer. He could snap these girls like kindling if he wanted. The issue, of course, was the optics. Stuart Slane’s reputation in regards to children was less than savory, not ZMac in the Closet bad, but still enough of a concern that getting filmed ‘disciplining’ several of them, unruly as they were, would not help his case that he’d reformed. So he shrugged free of the distaff rugby pile that had momentarily overwhelmed him and ran for the closest source of protection he could find, a hurricane simulator booth, and locked himself inside. The Beavlievers gave chase, with Jesse and her cameraman following right behind.*
Beavliever #2: Open up, fuccboi!
*Several tiny fists began to pound on the curved glass door to the hurricane booth. One girl tried prying it open, but even with one hand Stuart had enough strength to keep it closed.*
Beavliever #9: Yo, you faggot fuccboi creeper! You’re so busted!!
Beavliever #4: Dustin is going to kick your ass for perving on us! You #Shiprekt, fuccboi, and you don’t even know it!
Slane: Silence, you foul-mouthed harpies! If you were my children, I’d wash every one of your mouths out with soap!
Beavliever #8: Kinky creeper fuccboi with a neat freak fetish! Enjoy jail, faggot!
*Stuart looked past the Beaver brigade to where Jesse and her crew stood filming.*
Slane: Where is security?!
*Heenan’s response was to shrug good naturedly. She herself saw no need for them, once the object of the girls’ ire had been identified and targeted. Meanwhile, one of the Beavlievers had produced a credit card. She swiped it through the machine’s console, selected the amount of time she wanted, and then pressed PLAY.*
Beavliever #10: Feel the muthafuckin Typhoon, bitch!
*Stuart would spend the next ten minutes on his cellphone trying to call for help under Category One conditions. He eventually would get that, but not what he had initially had set out for: the Television Title would remain in Dustin Beaver’s possession.*
NEW DATE! NEW SETTING! NEW (OLD) FORMAT!
Sunday, January 24
“I’ve had a rough week,” Stuart Slane admitted to the camera. He was in one of the Siegal Center’s locker rooms, sitting on a bench as he laced up his boots.
“No need to bore you with the details. If you follow the industry you no doubt are aware of them anyway: the sordid accusations, the intrusive inquiries, the heated defenses; all culminating with a decision in my favor. It was a big, ugly mess, one I’m glad to put behind me. Now, I can focus on what matters: being WCF’s Television Champion. I do have a title match tonight, but before that I want to take a moment and give the former title holder his due.”
“Dustin Beaver, despite the fact you blindsided me after our match and took off like a thief in the night with the very thing we were fighting over, I want to congratulate you. Your run with the belt was remarkable. And you fought hard to keep me from taking it from you, which is what a champion should do. You made me work to win that belt, and for that you should be commended.”
The smile evened out.
“However, the fact is I did win it. The Television Title is mine, at least for a few more hours. We’ll see what happens later tonight, and of course, next week at Fifteen, where you have the opportunity to earn the right to carry that belt. For now, though, you owe it to me, to my opponent, and to the WCF Galaxy to return it. I will give you one more chance to do so during Slam. Refuse, and I will take more proactive steps to retrieve my property.”
He leaned closer to the camera.
“Yes. That is a threat. Take it seriously. You underestimated me once, Mister Beaver, and it cost you the Television Championship. Don’t make the same mistake twice.”
Stuart sat back up and adopted a more congenial tone.
“Onto the man I will be wrestling for the, ah, Ideal of the Television Title: Bad News Benson. I will admit to being surprised when I learned he and I would compete. Mister Benson lost his match last week. He lost his match the week before, and even worse, attacked and walked out on his tag team partner. Before that, he lost a Battle Royal, though I will admit, he was the last wrestler officially eliminated. At One: another Battle Royal, another loss. The best thing you can say about Bad News Benson’s record is that he hasn’t been pinned or made to submit in a month, which could explain why he is in his current spot instead of more deserving talent.”
Stuart went on. You know this, obviously, but telling you allows me to set up a space break.
“Perhaps this is the Booking Committee’s idea of a rib. I’ve been spending most of my week dealing with ‘bad news’; what’s a little more? Or it could be Seth wants to make sure the proposed triple threat title match at Fifteen with me, Dustin Beaver, and Number One Contender Andre Holmes goes as planned, and so the first challenger to my reign is one who on paper doesn’t look like much of a challenge at all. No matter the reason, I assure you, WCF Galaxy, I am taking this match seriously. I don’t just want to win it, I want to dominate it. Mister Benson has proved himself to be a poor sport with a foul temper and no real claim to my Television Title.”
A leer formed Slane’s face.
“Sound familiar? It does to me. Bad News Benson, tonight at Slam you become Dustin Beaver By Proxy; for me, and for any in the WCF Galaxy who side with me. I’m tired of the poor sports and cheap shot artists that dominate this company. I think everyone is. So winning my match is my way of striking a blow for the Right Way. You are not the worst of the bad apples in this fed, Mister Benson, but you will be the first to be put in your place by me as Television Champion. That place? Flat on your stomach while I torque your body into a pose that would make a Tibetan Yoga Master nauseous. Tonight, Bad New Beavson, you’re getting Knotted Up, and I’m keeping my title. And that’s the way it is (Dated Television Reference #4). “