Nate was already in Gorilla position, and he looked elsewhere once Mitch and Avi joined him.
“Why’s he here?” he mumbled.
“He’s my tag partner, he’s allowed.” Mitch responded curtly, putting strong emphasis on ‘partner’. That was only half true. The other half was that Jodie wanted The Hunter to come across as looking strong and relevant, regardless of the match’s results. But this answer either satisfied Nate’s curiosity, or he didn’t have a better response prepared. Not that his approval mattered to Mitch, and he preferred the absence of conversation anyway.
After the announcement from Desiree that it was time for the main event of the evening, the familiar guitar riff of Yours Truly’s theme started; when the drums kicked in around the 30 seconds mark, Nate was out of the curtain and met with loud boos and jeers. Mitch wondered if Nate would miss this, and what role The Fed would have him play on their already bloated roster.
Then Nate’s music faded and Mitch sharply inhaled, his entire body vibrating.
A single piano note played, followed by another. Avi raised an eyebrow, for it wasn’t Mitch’s usual theme. “Thought I’d switch things up,” Mitch winked. Florence Welch’s strong voice sent chills up his spine, and he could hear the crowd clapping and stomping along to the beat, and he grinned despite himself. He waited until the chorus before bursting out the curtain, one arm extended while the other clung to the kendo stick that he held across the shoulders. Applause erupted when he appeared, but rather than savor it he marched forward; one eye on his opponent that loomed, and the other on the chain that lay in the center of the ring.
Avi trailed behind, his saunter slow and deliberate while Mitch climbed the steps and passed between the ropes. Desiree announced the respective stats: Yours Truly’s first, and he climbed onto the turnbuckle and antagonized the audience, whipping them into a frenzy.
He’d be fine in the big leagues, Mitch thought.
Zevon’s introduction followed, which included “accompanied to the ring by The Hunter” (of course the crowd booed Avi’s character, even more deafening than they had Yours Truly); but once she resumed, so did the excitement.
Mitch took to the ropes and hoisted the kendo stick up high, then jumped down and immediately got into Nate’s face, chest to chest and already snapping at one another. When they made eye contact -the first time in over a month- the gravity of the situation unfolding dawned on both of them. Conflict and regret reflected back at Mitch, how senseless this all was. Those late night conversations and all that time spent together and the tenderness and the bonding meant nothing now.
The referee wedged himself between the two to create some separation. Once there was order, he attached the respective collars to their necks. He checked his handiwork, then gestured for the bell to be rung.
Unsure if I mentioned this in a past update, but Gorilla/ Gorilla position is the area behind the curtains where wrestlers wait for their cues. Named after Gorilla Monsoon, a famous wrestling personality (wrestler, commentator, booker), who established the position.