View Full Version : PHILADELPHIA 2ND: Karl Brown vs. Steven Shane

11-21-05, 01:55 AM
The Dragon takes on the Sensational One.

Brown Beat:
Trevor Hawke

Shane Beat:
Steve Johnson

12-03-05, 03:46 PM
We open to a shot in the middle of downtown Philadelphia. We then see a limo pull up to the curb and stop. The driver then exits the vehicle and walks around to open the backdoor on the passenger side. A man dressed in a finely tailored black suit swoops in from off camera and slides into the limousine. The camera quickly follows in and we find our subject.

The man that entered the limo is none other than The Sensational One, Steven Shane. He reaches into the micro-fridge in the back of the limo and pulls out a bottle of water. He breaks the seal and then takes a drink before speaking.

Shane: Well, well…

Here we go again. Yet again, Steven Shane makes a promise, and yet again, he delivers.

You see, just like I’ve done every time here in my short stint in the FW circuit, I have won yet another match over Joe Nobody. Well, at least that’s what he looked like after Steven Shane got through with schooling him around the wrestling ring.

And now, the TEAM Invitational Tournament unsurprisingly gets to see The Sensational One in round number two.

But now in round two, the stakes are higher. The competition is greater. And Steven Shane’s opponent for this week is Joe What-might-have-been.

I’ve got to admit, Mr. Brown, I don’t know that much about you.

After a few years on the A1 circuit before making my way to the FW circuit, there just hasn’t been much time for Steven Shane to catch up on “The Dragon”.

Shane snarls his lip and scratches at the air like Owen Wilson on “Starsky & Hutch”.

Shane: And now that I am here on the FW circuit, I’ve already passed you up quicker than a fat girl going past a piece of celery when there’s a burrito right behind it.

I’m already going one-on-one with the number one contender to the biggest title in the same company that you’re trying to figure out where the ticket to the midcard is.

And that’s only in one place. Lord only knows how what would happen if I were to expand my horizons.

The fact remains that what everyone has predicted since the brackets were announced only gets one step closer to being true this week.

What’s the prediction you may ask?

It’s simply that the finals of this Philadelphia region is going to come down to Steven Shane and the winner of the Irishred/Hida match.

Everyone immediately saw the competition-less half of the bracket that was Karl Brown, Trevor Hawke, and Steve Johnson.

Half of the final was already decided before the matches even took place. The only question was who would face Steven Shane in the Philadelphia Regional Final.

But while they look past this match and easily chalk up the victory for The Sensational One, I take this match just as seriously as I did the last one. Just as seriously as I’ll take the next one.

And that is to win, no matter what.

The focus on this match is just like every other match, regardless of the other’s intimidation factor.

You’re still further in this business than most, but it’s not as much as Steven Shane. That’s where the props end for you, KB.

Because once that bell rings, your fate lies solely in my hands. The only question is how much pain I will put you through before I decide to finish the match. Make things as easy as you already have, and I’ll take it easy on you.

Try to get in my way of winning this tournament, and you’ll see what happens when you get on Steven Shane’s bad side.

The choice is yours, Brown. I look forward to you pleading for the easy road.

And that, my friend, will be something that will definitely be SENSATIONAL to hear.

Shane gives a smile as the camera fades.

12-03-05, 07:04 PM
[FADE IN. The shot opens to a river. On the opposite bank, some sheep are busy trying to gain what scarce nourishment they can from the late-Autumnal British landscape. On the river, two swans swim by – even though many may have flown to warmer climbs, a few know that food is plentiful so long as the nearby pub is in business. The camera pans round, noticing someone standing on a concrete jetty normally used by fishermen or boaters. Dressed in his typical fleece and jeans, is “The Dragon”, gone home for a few days rest and relaxation. The camera moves in closer as he stares across the water]

Karl: It’s strange, isn’t it? With all that’s happened so far in this tournament, you’d have thought there would be more of an air of caution about predicting the outcomes of matches. With Mister Entertainment, Frankie Scott, and Joe Average gaining the win over more experienced or more famous names, the bookies seem to have taken note. It’s a pity some of the wrestlers have yet to do so. Beast is being increasingly egotistical, which is, in the time I’ve known him, a surprise. And, of course, Steven Shane is being his usual self, even though his former tag-team partner lost to someone who had never wrestled a match in his life.

But then, that’s hardly surprising. He has to keep his act going. He has to pretend to be something he’s not.

Don’t get me wrong – Shane is a talent in the ring. But sensational, he’s not. He’s no better than many people I’ve faced, and beaten, in the two years since my debut. I would rate him no higher, certainly, than Maelstrom, or Lars Magellan, or Christian Sands. In fact, he reminds me a lot of the last two, especially in his attitude. Magellan and Sands both claimed to be the best in this business. Both men claimed they were going to mop the floor with me. And both men fell flat on their faces. Both made the mistake of underestimating me in much the same way Shane is doing.

[Just then, a Canadian goose that was swimming by is startled by a car backfiring in the distance, causing it to take to the air, the surface of the water rippling as tiny droplets fall from its legs. Karl watches it fly past before continuing]

Karl: What does his opponent on the next Aggression mean to me? I wrestle whoever Dan Ryan decides to put in front of me, in whatever match he puts me in. That is, when I’m working for Empire Pro Wrestling. Right now, I’m working for TEAM, so the exploits of Beast only matter to me insofar as there’s a possibility I’ll be facing him in the final. Shane’s match with Beast there is as inconsequential to me right now as my own match with Cameron Cruise. They are part of the path we walk, but the stop we’ll be making when we face off is not reliant on the outcomes of those matches, or even their existence.

But I can hear the thoughts running through your heads – that Shane has publicly stated that he’s treating this match as seriously as any other, so how can he be underestimating me? Simple. He thinks that in our match, my fate lies in his hands – that he’s going to decide how much pain I endure before he beats me. He’s got it so set in his mind that he’s going to be in the final, that he can’t see the danger he’s in. By looking to the future, he leaves himself vulnerable in the present.

I’m not overly surprised he thinks he’s making the Philadelphia finals. Vegas has him there already. Unfortunately for him, over ninety per cent of the time that Vegas has betted against me, some people have collected rather large winnings, whilst my opponent has ended up embarrassed. I would recommend you look through the tapes from EPW, and find my exploits in MCW, the NWL, and the two Natural Selection tournaments hosted by the HWF. You’ll find some things that might surprise you.

[Karl turns to the camera, hands in his pockets, a peaceful look on his face]

Karl: I said earlier you weren’t sensational, Steven. I stand by that. I’ve seen your act time and again, by people better than you. I’ve seen that disguise used by everyone from Eric Davis to Christian Sands, and it’s always the same. They claim to be great, mentioning what they’ve accomplished elsewhere, or what they’re doing elsewhere, as if it means something. That doesn’t make them great, or sensational – the fans aren’t stupid enough to believe them. They laugh at them, but those wrestlers are too wrapped up in their own defence mechanism to notice.

You want to be sensational? Drop the act, Steven. Spend more time in the gym, practicing your art, than in front of the mirror practising your pose. You have the potential to be one of the greater than you already are, but your ego is keeping you back. Your security blanket is holding you back. I’ve seen it time and again, Steven – those with the greatest egos also have the least confidence, deep down inside them. The quiet ones, the ones who get on with their job – the ones who don’t vaunt about their place, but have the confidence in their own skills and the will to improve themselves to become the best, they’re the ones who, in this business, rise to the top. They’re the ones who stay there, and are remembered through the years.

[Karl starts to move towards the camera , stopping just in front, looking straight ahead and standing to one side]

Karl: The road to the top is tough, Shane. The path to the finals of this tournament is equally as tough. That’s the way our match is going to be. Thank you for the offer, but you’re not getting off that easily.

It wouldn't be very sensational for you if you did.

[With that, Brown walks out of shot, as the camera pans round to the river again as a boat chugs past. FADE OUT]

12-06-05, 08:07 PM
[FADE IN. “The Dragon” is relaxing at the arena, a few hours before the TEAM second round Philadelphia matches are set to take place. He’s sitting on top of one of the empty flight-cases, one leg hanging over the edge, whilst his left leg is bent with his left arm resting on it. His eyes are closed and he’s taking deep breathes – one might think he’s meditating. A cough from the cameraman causes Brown to slowly open his eyes, his body still. He nods after a short murmur from behind the camera, before starting to speak]

Karl: The funny thing about this profession is that the best place to relax is normally at the arena. The best time is a few hours before the first match. After that, all hell normally breaks loose with technicians and staff running around. Before getting to the arena, there’s always training, interviews, and fans eager for autographs and photos. With the schedule I keep, there’s very little time to sit and rest. That’s why I normally tape these things in forests or by rivers – somewhere peaceful, away from the noise and bustle of the wrestling world.

These last few hours before any event, whether it be a Pay Per View bonanza watched by millions around the world, or an independent house show in front of a hundred and fifty, are precious. They help to focus the mind. Even when you’re inactive like I was recently, you don’t get much time to yourself. Tournaments always crop up.

Of course, this one is a little different to what I’m used to. The two exterior tournaments I’ve been in before were held on one night each, the winner decided via a series of elimination matches. This time the matches are one on one, held across four cities in the first three rounds, before we progress to the semi-finals and finals. This is a tournament in the more traditional sense, but still, everyone in it needs their moments alone, the time of reflection.

I would like to apologise to the fans, and to the TEAM management, for not being more vocal before the last few days. I don’t know what Shane’s excuse is, and I’m not interested. I have no real excuse besides training, and that is hardly an excuse. Almost everyone else has come out and had things to say to you, the fans. You expect it from the people you pay to watch. I promise I will make it up to you, whether you decide to cheer me or not.

I don’t offer any apology to Steven Shane, however. Outside of the ring, we can go for a drink together, socialise, whatever. Once we step through those curtains, however, it’s a completely different prospect. He and I will try to hurt each other. There are only a select handful of sports where the goal is to incapacitate your opponent for a length of time – and in professional wrestling we don’t get a couple of months off after a fight. All the old aches and pains roll from night to night, until our bodies shut down and can’t take it anymore. That can happen at any time. What stops it from happening is the mental strength and endurance we have. It’s the same mental endurance that stops mistakes from being made. Wrestling, unlike any other sport of its ilk, is as much mental as it is physical, perhaps even more so. That’s why, when I get the chance to, I train for extended periods that would damage the health of most people. I don’t do it always for the physical endurance – I do it to train my mind to push me further and further, keeping technique crisp and sharp so that at any point in the workout I hit for the same, full force that I did at the beginning. That’s what it takes to be better than the best, to improve day after day.

Of course, not everyone can improve day after day. If you practice sloppy technique, you don’t miraculously get perfect technique – you make permanent your sloppy technique. Practice only makes perfect if you can improve and fight the permanence practice strives for.

Only when you have crisp technique and a strong mind, able to shake the aches and pains, able to force the body to go harder and faster, are you able to set foot in that ring with the skills you need to hurt someone to the point their body and mind gives up. They don’t have to be unconscious – if they lose their mental strength and discipline, they make mistakes which can be capitalised on. Knocking an opponent out so they stay down for the three, or on the outside for the ten, or putting them in so much pain they fear for their own safety to the point they submit – those are bonuses brought about by sharp technique in the ring.

I spoke last time that Shane was far from sensational, and I still believe that. Until he proves to me otherwise, in the ring later today, he’s only above average. He has to come out and try and hurt me more than I can hurt him, and I don’t see how he can do it after the performances I’ve entered in earlier matches in my career. Not only have I taken hits, I’ve given them out. Some of the names I’ve defeated on the way to this match make pretty impressive reading. My path to this tournament has seen me fight on my own, week in and week out, against different opponents in different matches. Some would say that for someone with just over two years experience under my belt, getting to the second round of this illustrious tournament is a hell of an accomplishment. But, in reality, it’s another day for me. Another chance to go out to the ring, keep my technique crisp, and see where I am now. This match isn’t about who has beaten who before, or held what. Those who live their lives on past exploits, and those who dwell on them, are doomed to stay in the past. Those that look forward, those that look to their own self-improvement, and those who look to the future, those are the great ones. The past is the past – wins and losses of the past have no relevance on wins and losses to come. Shane may beat me, but the loss wouldn’t faze me. It was Shantideva who said that if there is a way to end the suffering there is no need to worry, and if there is no way to end the suffering there is no use in worrying.

I hope Shane takes that message to heart after our match. Win or lose, this match won’t me, and I would hope it wouldn’t break him. Whoever loses has no need or use in worrying – whichever of us loses tonight just knows where they are now and how far they have to still improve.

So, good luck Shane. And remember, when your body and mind tell you to stop, and mine is still fresh, that you’ll know exactly how far you’ve still to go before you can truly be called Sensational.

[He closes his eyes again. The camera stays on him for a few seconds, before we FADE OUT]