Title: Jokes.
Featuring: Bronson Box
Date: DEFtv 149 Night 1, post match.
Location: Gorilla position.

We can hear a commercial for DEF on DEMAND cue up over the tron just above our heads for the WrestlePlex crowd still buzzing from what they just witnessed. The shocked, excited murmurs from the faithful as Cristiano Caballero is carefully rolled to ringside by referees and medical staff. We’re backstage, right behind the curtain. A barely breathless Bronson Box is already unwinding his wrist tape as he pushes through the second curtain that empties into the backstage area proper. The intensity with which he ended his re-debut on the show he made famous recedes not unlike an apparently still very lively volcano suddenly and uncomfortably going very quiet. He stops in his tracks as something from off camera draws his gaze. With a nostalgic look in his eyes he (far less aggressively… and with the finger not caked in blood) motions for the person to step into frame.

Bronson Box:
I ‘aint gunna’ hurt ye’ lass.

Stalwart DEFIANCE original staffer Christie Zane takes a visible deep breath as she clipclops her wedge heels across the concrete and beside a man someone in her position has a lot of reason to fear if you’re one to believe the history books. She seems to be struggling somewhat for the right words. Shock, fear, just a general feeling of “uncomfortable uncle” that follows Boxer around wherever he goes. She’s struggling.

Bronson Box:
Christie dear, how do you think the unthinkable?

The buxom little interviewer is caught off guard by the odd question.

Christie Zane:
How do you… pardon me?

He asks again. His dry delivery combined with the aura of his return is doing nothing for Christie’s nerves.

Bronson Box:
How do you think... the unthinkable?

She pauses, deep in thought. She plunges into what she knows about Bronson. The violence and terror he created over the near decade he gave to DEFIANCE. His blood is DEFIANCE’s blood. They share the same DNA. DEF’s legendary reputation for boundary pushing and line crossing is the exact same reputation Bronson carved out for himself. Two separate masterpieces created from a single stroke of genius from one of the most diabolical minds professional wrestling has ever churned out. Christie muses to herself how easily it is for a man like that to think the unthinkable. He must do it every day. It must be as easy as breathing.

She gives up. She asks the question with every ounce of journalistic inquisitiveness as she can muster given the circumstances.

Christie Zane:
How DO you think the unthinkable, Bronson?

He purses his lips, leans in and as dryly as possible.

Bronson Box:
With an itheberg, Christie. … big fookin’ itheberg.

It takes her a beat. The joke is a clumsy affair with Boxer’s accent, but when it lands it makes her genuinely laugh. Probably harder than it should have. She even snorts. The Wargod entertains her giggles for a few beats but with the ice effectively broken he uses his brow to silently make it clear he’d very much like her to get on with her hopefully very succinct interview.

She’s taken so off guard by the interaction she’s blushing. She finally just asks what the Darren’s, Lance, Brian Slater, Doc Iris and probably every single member of the DEFIANCE faithful have wanted to ask for the entirety of the previous DEFtv segment.

Christie Zane:
What the hell, Bronson? What inspired all of… all of this? Are you back for good?

He rubs his chin and settles into the question thoughtfully.

Bronson Box:
I think so. Sorry if that sounds a bit wishy washy, but it’s the best I’ve got at the moment lass. I’m actually sort of playing this run by ear, as it stands. As for what the hell inspired me? Health. Legacy. Compatriots. Some that walk these very halls. They convinced me it was time I quit swillin’ myself away in an ocean of golden liquor and got myself up and swingin’ again. Convinced me DEFIANCE could use a little stirrin’ up like in the old days.

He cracks his giant gnarled knuckles loud enough to be picked up on camera.

Bronson Box:
I listened. As evidence by what’s left of… ahh! Speak of the devil himself. Good outing lad.

Cristiano Caballero hobbles through the curtain with one arm draped over referee Brian Slater, obviously not expecting to see his tormentor standing there waiting for him. DEFIANCE Doctor Iris Davine is close behind. She shoots Boxer the kind of exhausted slash disappointed look your mom might give you. Her words are icy the way wildfires aren’t.

Iris Davine:
So good to have you back, Hollis. I was getting so bored without all these creative injuries to treat. It’s been ages since I had to stitch up a tongue.

The mention of mouth stitches makes Cristiano Caballero whimper like a wounded puppy. A former wrestler himself, referee Buffalo Brian Slater looks down at the teary eyed Spaniard cringing in his arms with disgust.

Brian Slater quietly:
Jesus Christ. Man up like ya’ been here before, son. 

Bronson returns Iris’ comments with a wry smile and a wink as she, Slater and the still blubbering Cristiano Caballero head off towards medical.

Bronson Box:
My favorite person that works here, that one. Don’t fret. You’re a close second dear, we’re just of an age Iris and I. Poor woman has spent many an hour stitching ol’ Boxer back together over the years. You understand. Blast… where were we, lass? Ahh. Stirrin’ up things ‘round here. With my head clear for the first time in months I decided to start payin’ attention again. Payin’ attention to the company I consider home. The company I helped create. You were there in the beginning of this place, Christie. You, Keebler, Slater, Warner, Iris. You watched… brick by bloody brick.

He looks towards the camera. At us. Into us.

Bronson Box:
I won the first match ever aired on DEFtv. I unified the WWA World title and the DEFIANCE Crown and became this company's first recognized World champion. I turned the FIST from a fookin’ TOY into the achievement everyone seems so keen to crow about these days. I dragged that belt all over Japan and Germany, all over fookin’ creation on that blasted Grindhouse world tour. The reason that FIST’s leather strap is red is from the blood spilled by the likes of Dan Ryan and, aye, Eugene fookin’ Dewey. The men I beat and that beat me. We fooked with each others heads, ran through each others friends and family, stepped over every line imaginable. Made that fookin’ strap, ourselves and by extension the whole bloody promotion infamous.

Christie Zane:
There’s no denying you’re a cornerstone, Bronson. 

Bronson Box:
No. There’s bloody not. The FIST is held by the prissiest little sot I’ve ever seen. And to make matters worse the young fella’ I personally grabbed by the scruff of the neck and made into the champion and the man he’s so proud a’ bein’ is lickin’ that idiots arse. He’s reverted from a man capable of takin’ me out… to the same lazy, pathetic, all-talk little prick I always knew he was deep down. It’s sad, Christie. And disappointin’ as hell.

Christie Zane:
Care to comment on what we saw earlier between Cayle and your other old nemesis, Lindsay Troy? With what you just said, it seems like you and Troy’s goals are somewhat aligned.

The mere mention of her name makes the gnarled scar that extends from above his right eyebrow down to his nasolabial fold twitch. Flashes of Bronson’s creation, the WARCHAMBER. His own precious Spike carving up his face like a piece of meat. Her face as she did it. Like looking in a mirror. The same side of the proverbial coin.

You know. Sociopaths.

He swallows. His one visible tell when he’s uncomfortable. Or lying.

He smiles disingenuously.

Bronson Box:
Gosh. Wouldn't that be somethin’, Christie. Back to back, aye? Like in an action movie.

The put on levity drops away suddenly before he spins on his heel and leaves Christie hanging in mid interview.

Over his shoulder and loud enough for Christie, the camera, and probably everyone backstage to hear.

Bronson Box:
WOULDN'T THAT BE SOMETHIN’ INDEED.

He violently whings the wad of used athletic tape aside as he stomps off down the hallway away from the gorilla position. Christie Zane lets out a long cheek puffing sigh, her mic hand going limp at her side. She looks back over the camera to the crew with wide “yeah, did you see that shit” eyes. We hear the voice of what must be the cameraman.

From behind the camera:
Sooo… is he a good guyyy or...

Christie Zane:
You’re a recent hire, yeah?

From behind the camera:
Yeah, last couple years.

Christie Zane:
Or. Decidedly Or. Just keep your head on a swivel when we’re filming with that one, okay?

From behind the camera:
Yes ma’am.

Christie Zane:
Now follow me. We should get some footage of Caballero’s mouth stitches for the social media guys to play with.

End.



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