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Guard Your Towers (TAG MATCH)

I.

It’s two days later, the Queen of the Ring is standing in Dan Ryan’s kitchen in Los Angeles.

“So…” Troy is surprised, then not so surprised. “Just like that huh?”

Ryan shrugs. “Why not?”

“Well,” she shrugs back. “You do have a main event to win later that night.”

“Here’s the thing…” Ryan gets that deep thinking expression on his face. “I just figured, why win one big title match when I can win two?”

Lindsay takes a sip of her iced tea and looks out the window to the sprawling hillscape. Her mouth twists in consternation.

“Under normal circumstances, I wouldn’t be as concerned about this,” she starts. “But this is gonna be gimmicked hell, Dan. Running up a guard tower and dealing with who knows what-the-fuck else along the way before we get there. Then you’ve got the Infirmary Match triple-threat. This won’t be your run-of-the-mill ‘double duty,’ and I think you know that.”

Ryan thinks this over. “Well, the running up the guard tower part I’m not worried about. I’ve got leg muscles for days. But you do make a good point about not knowing what else we could face along the way. There could be obstacles, booby traps… and I’ve heard there will be at least two incoherent, mindless idiots ambling around up there. We’ll have to think about a strategy. Do we have to kill the brains to take them down or….??”

“That’s a big assumption there, thinking Zion and Hollywood each have a brain. Or that they don’t share one.”

“Right.” Ryan nods. “Like two siblings sharing one toy, only neither of them can figure out how it works.”

“I like to think they’re akin to Lennie and George from ‘Of Mice and Men,’ except there’s nothing wrong with Zion other than this spell of muteness and Hollywood’s far from quick-witted.”

Ryan looks a little sad. “The real tragedy here is that neither of them are nearly smart enough to get that reference.”

She stifles a laugh. “Well look — jokes aside — and I know I don’t have to say this, but I want to… I really appreciate what you’re gonna do.”

Ryan gets serious as well. “Trust me, I’m taking everything about that night very seriously, and I would never leave you alone to deal with those two. I’ve got your back. That’s the way it’s always been and that’s the way it will always be.”

A wave of something resembling a warm feeling for her brother-in-law washed over Lindsay Troy. She shook it off.

“It damn well better.”

Ryan smirked. Troy heads for the door, giving a little wink as she goes.

II.

Go big or go home.

When I saw Eric Dane publicly quit, leaving Lindsay without a partner, I didn’t hesitate for a second.

I phoned the office. I asked if they had any plans in light of Eric walking away. They didn’t. So I stepped up.

This… is what I always do. I step up. Go big….or go home.

So many people shy away from these moments. Oh noes, I already have a match! Oh noes, I can’t focus on more than one match at a time! Oh noes, what’s gonna happen?

Me?

No problem. Like I’m really letting Lindsay twist in the wind like that, stuck going up against those two without a partner. I won these tag team titles in the ring, and I’ll defend them in the ring, or I’ll lose them… in the ring.

You guys want these belts? Darin? Brian? You want to be tag team champions? Come earn these belts. Come beat us for them. You’re not getting the gold on a technicality. This, unfortunately, is not your lucky day.

You thought this was gonna be a cake walk?

No dice.

Anyone who thinks I’m biting off more than I can chew defending these belts on the same night I get my shot at Halitosis’ World Title… at Cecilworth Farthington’s ICON…. Take notice.

This is what a champion does. This is what a champion looks like. We don’t wilt when the pressure kicks in. We don’t back down from a fight. We don’t cower in the corner while others step into the spotlight and take what they want. We step into that spotlight. We defend what’s ours, and we take what should be ours.

I look at you Darin, and I know you’re not ready. There’s this school of thought which says that your recent mental breakdown is nothing but a facade, a dramatic little ploy to make people think you’re doubting yourself. And then, just when the situation is most dire, it’s super saiyan Darin Zion time, you explode and toss both Lindsay and I from the top of a guard tower down to our doom, triumphantly holding up championship gold as the glow of victory shines around your head.

I don’t think so.

I think you are who you are.

I think you’re solid, Zion. You’re a solid professional in the sport and by no means do I want or need to destroy your future right now, unless you force me to. There’s risk for me at Rumble at the Rock to be sure. Yes, I have more than one match to think about, but no I will not hold anything back. You’ll get everything I have to give, believe me. I want to be the best. I plan to be the best, and if I’m to be the best, I need to be able to take care of business.

I’ve wrestled as many as four matches in the same night before, guys.

This is not my first rodeo.

Your logic is bizarre anyway.

Oh… Dan Ryan won’t be giving it his all. He’s got another match to think of, so he’ll just be there to protect Lindsay Troy!

That leaves her as easy pickings.

Dan Ryan….

…is just there to protect…. Lindsay Troy…

And thus….

…that leaves her….

…as easy pickings.

Are…. you guys sure about that?

Did you figure out some way to just Thanos me out of the match so she’s left on her own?

Brian, only a numbskull like you would put on video some nonsense like that, then pile on by suggesting that Lindsay Troy refusing to give in and hand you our titles is… pathetic. I’d call your comments pathetic, but I prefer “stupid”.

Unleash your buddy Zion.

Please oh please unleash him. I have so much to do that night, but I promise I will absolutely be there, fully present and in the flesh, and I will find nothing but joy in punching the two of you over and over in the face until your stupid little pie-holes cave in.

It’s what I want more than anything else in the world.

And if you think I’m holding anything back — if you think I’m distracted… please oh please….

TRY ME.

III.

POSTSCRIPT

Dan Ryan stands in the middle of a bedroom, his wife Alaina Troy-Ryan standing next to him. Ryan holds a note, reading it.

“Thought I’d help you prepare. Love ya, Cece.”

Ryan looks back up, where his daughter has created several “guard towers” out of pillows cardboard boxes. On top of one is a cabbage patch doll wearing star-shaped sunglasses. It has on a t-shirt with “Hollywood” on it. On the other, a “Grover” puppet with mom hair and the will to commit serious violence upon the general wrestling populace.

Ryan chuckles, despite himself.

“Perfect.”

Roleplay Countdown

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