AS 126 - Jabari vs Grindhouse vs Flex
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Reinstate The Fox!
Flex Fitness Industries in partnership with NBC Jive Present
The State of the Flex Address
A packed conference room full of reporters, employees, and a bunch of people who signed up for a free day trial of Flex Fitness can all be seen conversing. The stage in the front room quickly begins to fill up with business officials followed closely by Maria Mussel and her new fiance Charles ďNo Longer The CheesecakeĒ Chesterfield sporting a much slimmer physique and a Flex Fitness muscle shirt. Maria is in formal business attire as she has become co-owner of the Flex Fitness brand during her brotherís absence. As all the officials become seated and the massive crowd quiets down Maria takes to the podium to start the conference.
Maria: First and foremost Iíd like to thank you all for joining us here. A lot has happened in the last few weeks, and as you all know by now weíve asked everyone here because of the return of Fle-
Before Maria can finish her sentence the mic is covered by the moisturized yet rugged hand of Flexís new assistant: Suzius Maximus. The crowd wonders whatís going as the two can be seen talking but the mic being covered doesnít allow for much of their conversation to be heard.
Maria (whispering): What the hell are you doing?
Maximus (whispering): My apologies, but King Mussel has made it very clear he would like me to introduce him.
Maria (whispering): King?
Maximus (whispering): Yes, itís what he wants to be addressed as, now if you would excuse me you are holding up the conference and King Mussel does not want to be kept waiting.
Confused by whatís going on Maria is brushed aside as Maximus takes up the podium leaving an annoyed Maria to sit back down next to Charles at the table of executives.
Charles (whispering): Whatís going on?
Maria (whispering): I donít know, but I donít like it.
Maximus: Sorry for that interruption folks, first and foremost we are all glad you can be here for what is a momentous occasion. It has been six long months since the mastermind and proprietor of this great company has been seen. And while the interim leadership has done the best they could we all know Flex Fitness Industries has not been the same.
The annoyed look on Mariaís forms into one of irritation as Maximus continues her introduction.
Maximus: However, due to the wonderful supplements and work of the Flex Fitness medical unit we have been able to bring the fearless leader of this company back to perfect health, so without further ado, for the first time making a public business appearance, allow me to introduce KING MUSSEL!!!!
The crowd seems a bit confused by the new naming conventions of Flex but they all clap nonetheless as the self-made business man walks out from behind a curtain in a three piece buttoned up suit. As he gets onstage he shakes the hand of every executive and board member he passes but walks right past Maria and Charles and goes to greet Maximus.
Charles: Well that was rude.
Maria: And intentional.
Flex spends the next minute soaking in the adulation until it simmers down, and he raises a single hand in the air signifying the crowd continue clapping. It doesnít catch on at first until the crowd realizes he wonít speak unless they do, leading to another round of applause until Flex quickly cuts them off with a wave of his hand that would make the most skilled of opera conductors jealous.
Flex: Yes, you all did hear my wonderful new assistant correctly. From now on I will indeed be called King Mussel. But do not take my new moniker as a sense of false entitlement and superiority. Instead, remember it as an earned sense of entitlement and superiority. You see I worked my way up from a poor overweight child and created a business empire that has come to the rival the success of Apple. Not only have I used my brain as a muscle to earn everything I have now, but I also balance a brutal rigorous training and travel schedule to bring my knowledge all around the world using the platform known as WZCW.
A quarter of the room breaks out into cheers and claps at the mention of the wrestling promotion.
Flex: During my time in WZCW I have not only used my brain to rally and form the most successful team in history but I have also become successful in my own right. Winning the World Title was supposed to be my crowning achievement until it was stripped away from me. But fear not, they can never take away the real prize.
Flex unbuttons his jacket revealing the FlexAmerican World title strapped around his waste.
Flex: This is a symbol of not only everything Iíve worked hard for, but everything my friends, my fans, and my business have achieved these past few years, this is something that can never be taken away from us!
The same quarter of the room continues to clap while the rest arenít sure whatís going on
Flex: Now I can tell by the looks on some of your faces that youíre a little confused. For a few years now I tried to separate the business side of myself from the WZCW side. But you see thatís where I failed, because not being myself in both environments is a disservice to not only my business, but my professional career as a whole. So from now on during these addresses, I will be answering any and all questions regarding both Flex Fitness Industries and WZCW!! BEGIN!!!
The crowd erupts into a frenzy as the wrestling fans begin to tweet and try to yell over the reporters who are in competition to ask the first question. Flex motions to Maximus who quickly scans the crowd and points to someone to ask the first question. She eventually decides on a female reporter.
Female Reporter: Fle-um Mr--King Mussel, how will your WZCW business affect your day to day duties as Co-CEO of Flex Fitness?
Flex: Nothing will change in the day to day operations other than possibly more partnerships with WZCW should they be smart enough to begin advertising our products. Secondly, I am not Co anything, as of today my sister Maria will be stepping down leaving me as the sole CEO of Flex Fitness.
Maria: Excuse me?!
Maria attempts to interject by standing up but is stopped by Charles.
Charles: Just relax and wave, he doesnít have as much power as he used to. Weíll deal with it after this.
Maria heeds the advice of her lover and begins to wave as the crowd gives her a standing ovation. Flex turns around and gives a half-assed clap as well making eye contact with his sister before turning around and quickly cutting off the applause. Maximus makes another pick and a male reporter asks a question.
Male Reporter: Can you explain how you spent six months in a coma and still looked jacked as ever?
Flex: I work my body harder in one year than most people do in their entire lives. Six months of downtime ainít nothing to me.
Male Reporter: But it wasnít so much downtime as it was your inability to move-
Flex: NEXT QUESTION!
Maximus points to a WZCW fan in the back wearing a vintage Krypto t-shirt.
Krypto Fan: What are you gonna do at Kingdom Come since you didnít win the Lethal Lottery?
The question takes Flex back a bit, and a moment of silence fills the room until Flex finally addresses the question.
Flex: Ah yes, in the excitement of everything that has transpired I have almost forgotten about what happened at the Lethal Lottery. To be perfectly honest Iíve tried to put it out of my mind. You see for those who are not aware I was well on my way to winning the Lethal Lottery and go on to reclaim the World championship that was stolen from me. However, I was unfairly eliminated by Batti who should have been ejected from the match after her elimination.
Krypto Fan: Why do you think she did it?
Flex: Well other than her need to please men out of her league such as Tyrone and Ramparte, I canít think of anything other than pure jealousy. She had failed to win the world title earlier in the night, she once again failed to win the Lottery. And seeing me be well on my way to victory she felt compelled to stop me. Just another example of an injustice placed in my path to disrupt me from achieving my true goal. You see despite me being the hottest commodity WZCW has to offer itís been made very clear that they do not want me to succeed. After being unjustly eliminated do they give me a chance to redeem myself by facing the winner? Maybe even put me up against the new World champion? Or at least allow me to punish the cretin who robbed me? No, Iím instead in a match against two virtually unknown rookies.
Maria (whispering): Is he really just going to talk about WZCW? What about our rising stock prices that Iíve helped grow?!
Charles (whispering): Thereís nothing we can do right now, everyone is eating this up.
Flex: And by no means is there any disrespect towards Jabari or Grindhouse, but I know for a fact that I deserve stronger competition. And to be perfectly honest Iím not very comfortable with the low standards WZCW has implemented in order to grow their very thin roster. Do we know if Jabari has the proper paperwork to even compete in America? Is he vaccinated? What supplements is he using in Africa? Iíve seen the recent documentary known as ďBlack PantherĒ and Iím very well aware that those people are hiding some very powerful performance enhancing medicine.
Female Reporter: What do you mean ďthose peopleĒ?
The crowd turns into a bit of frenzy at the very questionable comment of Flex.
Flex: Everyone calm down, your reaction to what Iíve just said is the type of fake news that CNN feeds off of. The simple fact is that I feel the borders that are the WZCW application process need to amended and protected! For instance my other opponent Grindhouse, is a 7 foot man who is 428 pounds of ripped muscle despite spending a majority of his time sitting in front of a TV. You trying to tell me heís on something? You trying to tell me he has the mental fortitude to sign a WZCW contract and understand everything thatís going on? WZCW needs reform, not another generic CEO or authority figure, it needs a King that will bring order to things.
Male Reporter: How do you respond to claims that youíre intimidated by the size of your opponents? This is one of the rare times you seem to be physically outmatched.
Flex: One, Iíve never been intimidated by anything in my entire life. Two, I refuse to let what seem to be the questionable circumstances of my opponents physiques stop me from doing what I was destined to do: be the absolute best. People keep doubting me and I will continue to prove them wrong. Come Ascension I will topple two giants at once and continue the same path of destruction I was on last year. And people will continue to get hurt, people will continue to leave WZCW, people will bow down to their King until I get what I rightfully deserve: the WZCW World title.
Female Reporter: Do you have any thoughts on your former friend and partner Ramparte managing one of your opponents Grindhouse?
Another moment of silence goes by as Flex stares a hole through the woman.
Flex: No comment, and no further questions will be taken at this time.
The monisuer of muscle immediately leaves the podium and exits offstage as the crowd continues to hurl questions his way. Maria and Charles immediately follow him through the curtain to talk to him.
Maria: What the hell was that Flex? Iím not stepping down at Co-CEO!
Flex: I own this company! Youíre just a vulture using my last name to keep your relevancy!
Charles: Donít talk to her like that!
Flex: And you! You traitorous bitch! I was gone six months and you get with my sister and help her try to take my company away from me? I gave you a job! I gave you a newfound purpose in life and this is how you repay me?! You both make me sick!
Flex begins to walk away and before Maria and Charles can respond theyíre interrupted by Maximus who hands Maria an evelope.
Maria: What is this?
Maximus: Youíve been served. King Mussel will see you in King's court.
Maximus follows Flex as Maria and Charles open the envelope.
Charles: Heís suing you? For control of the company!
Maria: What the hell has gotten into him?
Charles: The Flex I know wouldnít do thisÖ
Maria: I donít think thatís the Flex we know...
Make America Healthy Again! - King Mussel
Credit to Dave
Chapter 4: The Fallout
"Who the heck is that?!"
"At 7 foot tall he's making his debut tonight too. His name is Grindhouse."
After the elimination, the giant sauntered through the WZCW curtains, pulling the dark drapes aside with a cold force. The rings of the curtains whined painfully against the steel barrier. Grindhouse passed the technicians, walked beyond the medical team on stand-by, and towards the halls of ANZ Stadium. His counselors were quick to keep up, dodging staff along the way. Grindhouse stepped into the lobby with several fans gawking at his massive size, but wise enough to clear a path. The large man stood by the entrance in silence. He tugged at his mask with shaking hands.
The counselors tried soothing him with calm words. He shook his head, but they continued telling him how good he did, and how close he came. Grindhouse shoved them aside, lunging for the tallest among them. He lifted him by the throat and shoved him against a wall.
"It feels good, doesn't it!?" a familiar voice shouted. He turned and saw Ramparte by the gate. Grindhouse applied pressure to the counselor's larynx.
"Feels good, doesn't it?" Ramparte repeated, "I remember my first loss in the company, and it wasn't against 29 other men, either. I found it liberating. Do you feel liberated, Grindhouse?"
The giant kept the aide pinned to the wall, but his attention was on the former tag team champion.
"Of course you do. You like taking on armies at once, don't you? Good. You're going to need to do it again. While you were tossing out Ace Stevens I pulled some strings together. You'll be facing The Nigerian Giant, Jabari. I am aware you two became acquainted moments ago."
Grindhouse breathed heavily, and nodded. The aide squirmed while the others ran off. Ramparte chuckled.
"The Man That Towers The Grindhouse. That's a marquee fight. But he's not the only freak you'll have to contend with."
The Recluse cleared his throat, eyeing the aide that was still choking to death. Grindhouse released his hold. The counselor smacked hard against the linoleum floor, coughing in hysterical fits. Ramparte walked over, pulled his wallet out, and threw a few Benjamins onto the aide's chest.
"For your troubles, Greg. Now get out of here."
Grindhouse kept his gaze on his manager. Ram grinned.
"You haven't met the third man, but lucky for you I am very, very familiar with him. Nobody in this business knows Mussel better than I do. Nobody. You're gonna have to be careful with him. He isn't some newcomer like you and Jungle Boy. Flex knows his way around a ring, and has the strength to lift both of you off the ground. Probably at the same time. If you think you're embarrassed losing the Lottery, wait until you are carried around like a child, Grindhouse. Do you want him to do that to you?"
"Do you want a self-proclaimed king tarnishing your Ascension debut?"
"What about the savage? I don't think he can even talk!"
"NO!" Grindhouse growled, hammering his fist across his own face. His eye started to swell.
"You want them to hurt, don't you? You want them to feel what all those people feel in your movies. That agony. That blood. Wrestling isn't like how it used to be, Grindhouse. Mayhem is a shell of its former self. But as Ecclesiastes says, "What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again." I don't believe the Mayhem Revival is some strange coincidence. You will have your day in the sun, my friend, and so will I. It can happen next week. It can happen in Milan, Italy. It can happen with blood-"
"Do you know what was popular in Italy?" Grindhouse asked in a conspiring tone, his hands still shaking. The Recluse eyed him questioningly. The giant tilted his head, staring up at the fluorescent lights.
Chapter 5: The Found
"Isaac, be a good boy and hand mommy the hacksaw."
The child squirmed and pleaded.
"Isaac, it's not nice to keep me waiting. Go get me the hacksaw or mommy will have to get mean..."
"You sure it's safe to go in? I've heard stories."
"Don't be a pussy, Linda."
"Fuck you, Blair! This has nothing to do with the sorority, does it?"
The two cheerleaders bickered among themselves as they came close to the broken entrance. A slab had the title "The Town That Dreaded Sundown" in bold, interchangeable letters. "G_in_h_ _se _resents" laid diagonal where the ticket booth used to sit. Blair pressed her shoulder into the door.
There was a creak and debris was pushed aside. The door hung agape, open to the young women. Blair smirked at Linda.
"You think anyone is home?"
"Isaac Giallo, if I have to ask one more time..."
The child ran off to find the instrument. He left the room, sprinting passed the cinema's maroon halls, and came to the concession. On the table next to the cash registers there was a handsaw, some duct tape, and pliers. Isaac grabbed the handsaw, and thought to pocket the tape.
He started towards Momma's special theater room when the world collapsed around him.
"Wow," Blair gasped, her flashlight bouncing from one stack of rubble to the other. "Yeah, the earthquake did a good job here. Amazed it didn't take the whole place down."
They walked cautiously through the passage. Linda searched for Blair's hand. To her surprise and relief, Blair took it and held on tight.
"What...what is this?"
Blair swung her light on to a door. It was covered in duct tape.
"ISAAC! ISAAC, MOMMY CAN'T OPEN THE DOOR!"
He stood behind the exit, hacksaw and duct tape in hand.
"Isaac, can you hear me? Help me get the door open."
The child, shaking and numb, stayed put.
"If you're there, and not minding mommy, oh boy Isaac. Oh Boy!"
Isaac tugged at the tape. The sound echoed through the ruins of the movie theater.
"I'll use lemons, Isaac. Pour some salt on it, too. For good fucking measure!"
He winced at the thought, gripped the tape firmly, and applied it to the door.
Blair threw her body into the door, but it wouldn't cave.
"Must be some stuff blocking it on the other side. Help me get this open."
Linda did as Linda had done all her life - obeyed. Together they brought the door down with a resounding CLASH. Dust and mold plagued the air, causing them both to cover their mouths. They stepped inside.
"Ewww this is sick," Linda stated, holding on to Blair.
"I...I think, wait. Are those bodies?"
There was a howl that made the cheerleaders jump out of their skins. They impulsively turned to leave, but darkness swallowed the exit.
Chapter 6: The Film
Grindhouse sat rigidly in his theater seat. Aides stood around the exit ramps, keeping a close eye on the demented man. Ramparte was in the projection room, putting in a film reel. From above he shouted down at his client.
"Tonight I'm going to show you a home movie. Sadly I couldn't get my hands on any Jabari footage, but that's for the best anyways. This is a closed viewing, but we could still get sued by several people, including the NAACP. So let's just stick with the devil we know, shall we?"
Ramparte ran the video. It was a badly spliced and edited journey of Cerberus, from the first time they tagged and fought men like The Demon Foreigners, to Los Magnificos Dragones and the Lick of Death to Amber Warren, to Young Justice, to Anal Penetration, Team Russia, and finally Live Mas. Nobody noticed Ramparte looking away from the screen when the mystery man attacked him in the parking lot in front of Batti Otaku. Grindhouse showed no emotion as it unfolded.
"This man named King Mussel, or Flex, was once a friend of mine. A vain glory hog who retired Hall of Famer Showtime and has come close to winning the World Championship. He prides himself on his training, a man of physique and discipline, or so he'd have the world believe," Ramparte paused the reel, Flex half-way taking off weights inside the ring, "but don't let his appearance fool you. He's a glutton. And now he's become a megalomaniac. Truly a freak that deserves to be put down. Isn't that something your mom would want - for you to rid the world of greedy, ravenous freaks of nature?"
Grindhouse stiffened at the mention of his mother. He took a gargantuan hand and placed it on the cuff of his coat.
"That jacket...it belonged to Her, didn't it?" Ramparte asked. He remained silent. "Good. I never knew my own parents. Was an orphan for the longest time, and was adopted into wealth. But you...you know what it means to suffer, don't you? How long did you stay in the Starbreak Cinema after it came down? Fifteen, Twenty years? You think Flex could have survived where you've been? On fucking popcorn and stale soda? No. You didn't do that. I know what it means to push oneself to the limit. You hunted rats, didn't you? You found proteins. You found ways to stay fit. There's no denying that just by looking at you. Mussel would have died in the place you called home. He knows it, too. And this Jabari...well he may be a bit of a hunter himself, but you really think he can adapt to wrestling like you are? Where are his handlers? Where is his team of counselors to help him rehabilitate into society? The people he is with are content with making his transition a fucking documentary. But yours is gonna be a cinematic masterpiece, Grindhouse. Without his size, Jabari is a lost man in a tribeless land. Without your size, you're still a goddamn killer."
The giant grunted uncomfortably, shifting in his seat.
"...I bet you could torture the both of them into submission. Torture is in your blood, isn't it?"
The counselors took a step towards the man as Grindhouse lifted himself from the chair. Ramparte watched as the brute pulled the theater seat out from the flooring, causing the entire row to come out of its bolts. He grimaced in pain, curling the seats into his arms before raising them above his head. With all of his might, Grindhouse threw Row F into the projector's wall, coming feet from hitting the projector itself. The aides went to work subduing the enraged monster, tranquilizing him in the process.
"It appears," Ramparte smiled, "that Flex isn't the only freak that can lift."
"Jabari, Jabari, calm down!"
A chair was thrown across the room and crashed into the wall, breaking on impact.
"Someone subdue him!"
Ode and a couple of the film crew ran to Jabari and threw themselves on him. There was a struggle, Jabari was winning.
Babalawo, Jabari's native handler, shouted something in their native tongue and Jabari calmed down and let the men go free.
"Why is he so riled up?"
"Mr. Dewey, I do not know. He seems agitated today. Maybe something upset him?"
"I don't know, but WZCW management isn't going to be happy that he has destroyed the entire catering area."
Jabari paced around before trying to fit his giant frame into a chair. He picked up a slice of pizza off the floor and began to eat it.
"Mr. Dewey, I have some objections to placing Jabari in the ring again. He is still trying to adjust to the modern world. He is a fish out of water."
"I know Ode, I know. Maxwell insists that we allow WZCW to continue to book him to recoup the costs of the expedition. I'd be massively in debt otherwise."
As Jabari continued to chew the pizza, he picked up a soda and tried to open it. Dewey motioned for Ode to show him how to open the soda. Ode mimed the motion to open the drink and Jabari seemed to understand. The soda was shaken up though and exploded in Jabari's face. The giant was enraged and began to terrorize the film crew again.
Jabari's path of destruction continued until Ode came back with a soccer ball.
"This might help."
Ode began to kick the ball off a wall and juggle it around. It caught Jabari's attention. He dropped one of the crew face first into a giant bowl of spaghetti and walked over to Ode. He and Jabari began to kick the ball back and forth until Jabari got too excited and kicked the ball as hard as he could. The ball slammed into a nearby trophy case with jerseys, a piece of the glass catching and deflating the ball. Ode ran over and grabbed the ball from the wreckage.
"Mr. Dewey, who is Marco van Basten?"
"Grab Jabari and Babalawo. we need to get out of here, fast."
Ode grabbed Jabari and Babalawo and the giant lumbered down a hallway and out of the arena. A few moments later, Leon Kensworth came onto the scene.
"Hello, Jabari? Dewey? Anyone?"
Just then, arena security came to the scene. They saw the wreckage and saw Leon and assumed the worst. They put Leon against the wall and placed him in handcuffs.
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