[FADE IN. “The Dragon” is sitting on the bed in his hotel room. Next to him sits the Empire Pro Wrestling Intercontinental Championship, whilst at the desk, sits Matt Matteson, looking for another interview]

MM: Great match last night Karl.

Karl: It was a good one – hardly spectacular though. But thanks.

MM: Well, my first question is pretty much as expected – how’s it feel to finally have a title around your waist?

Karl: I won’t lie to you. It still hasn’t sunk in that I’ve got a championship, but at the same time, I don’t see it as a be all and end all. It’s not as special for me as it would be for a lot of other wrestlers, because I knew it was only a matter of time before I held a title.

MM: Why’s that?

Karl: I’ve wrestled for Worlds Titles and title opportunities so many times. To me, last night was just another one of those. I never tell myself I am going to win, only that I’m going to go out there and wrestle.

MM: Were you surprised when JA came out to face you?

Karl: Definitely. I’d been round the locker-room a few times during the day, and at one point, Dan came and told me that no-one had seen Sebastian, so he was trying to find someone to take his spot in the match. I guess it made sense for it to be a former Intercontinental Champ, and the only one on the roster who wasn’t wrestling was JA, but at the time, when he came down the ramp, it was a huge surprise.

MM: So you didn’t know until he came out that you would be wrestling him?

Karl: Hadn’t a clue. I think that’s why the match started so slowly, with the lock-ups – he hadn’t been expecting to wrestle and I had been working on the premise I was facing Sebastian, so it took a few minutes for each of us to figure out a game plan. It was only after he sent me to the outside early on that I figured out how to take the match to him, and under the circumstances I was right.

MM: A lot of people have e-mailed me about this one part, when you got backdropped onto the chairs. What was going through your head?

Karl: Obviously, it hurt like hell. I was moving in to clothesline him over the barricade, then I was hoping to take the match through the crowd a little, where there’s less padding. When he backdropped me, my first thought was surprise, and before I knew it I was collapsing chairs back-first. The ref came over afterwards and told me my eyes were glazed, and he’d been tempted to call out the EMT’s, but after a couple of minutes I started to think clearly as the shock of the impacts wore off. Then JA went and suplexed me to the floor.

MM: Now, as champion, you’re suddenly the hunted rather than the hunter. How’s that going to change things for you?

Karl: It isn’t. As far as I see it, the one person in Empire Pro who’s hunted is the person wearing the Worlds Title, so right now, it’s Lindsay. She’s going to have her hands full with Troy Windham, but somewhere down the line I’m sure she and I are going to have the match we didn’t have at Summer Solstice. As far as defending my title goes, if people think I’m going to sit around and rest on my laurels, letting people come to me, they’re mistaken. I’ve never cared who Dan Ryan puts me in a match with, and that’s not about to change now I’ve got a title to defend.

MM: Anyone you’d like to wrestle?

Karl: Everyone on the roster is a potential opponent. Naturally, I’d like to have a match with Cruise somewhere down the line so I can prove that I deserve the title, but other than that, there’s no-one specific I can think of who I’d ask for a match with. Dan can book me against whomever he wants.

MM: My final question is how long do you think it will be before you get another chance at the Worlds Title, and do you think you’ll still be a champion in your own right when that happens?

Karl: That match will happen when it happens. I’d love for it to be tomorrow, but that’s not for me to say. As for whether I’ll still be the Intercontinental Champion when that match happens – all I can say is everyone is more than welcome to try and stop that from happening. Someone may, sooner or later, take the gold from me, but they’ll certainly be worse for wear if they do.

MM: Thanks for that, Karl.

Karl: Any time Matt. Now, if you’ll excuse me.

MM: Sure thing, champ.

[Matt leaves the room quickly, leaving Karl on his own to reflect in his win. He picks up the belt, looking at his reflection in its polished surface]

Karl: So that’s how far I’ve still got to go.