[FADE-IN: on AGGRESSION 71 on a shot of TEDDY ALEXANDER in action, rising to his feet and shaking the cobwebs.]
DM: Alexander’s getting up now, and there’s a noticeable limp... he’s STILL not completely recovered from that fall, but he’s fighting the pain, intent on leaving EVERLASTING PAIN on Karl Brown as he puts one vicious boot after the next into the back Empire Pro legend’s neck!
MN: STOMP HIM, Teddy! He’s no dragon; he’s a SNAKE!
[FLASH CUT-TO XXXTREME CLOSE-UP: TEDDY ALEXANDER’s face twisted into a snarl. Beads of sweat line his forehead.]
“They all told me dat yesterday was FAAAAR too strong for tomorrow.”
[FLASH CUT-TO: a shot of TEDDY dead lifting two punching bags, gaffer taped crudely together, and tossing it over his head almost mimicking a belly-to-belly overhead release suplex.]
[FLASH CUT-TO: OTAKU on the top of the cage wall.]
DT: Hang on just a minute... we’ve got Otaku, still at the top of the cage wall, pulling himself up and perching his feet! My God, is he going to COME OFF OF THERE?!
DM: You KNOW it, Dave! Otaku looking down at Teddy Alexander, as the Philadelphian Nightmare looks down on Karl Brown! He better NOT look up!
[FLASH CUT-TO XXXTREME CLOSE-UP: of TEDDY’s neck brace. Scrawled across the front in Sharpie reads “King of the Cage”.]
TEDDY ALEXANDER: (voice-over)
“They say da legend never dies. Dat da legend will ALWAYS overcome tomorrow.”
[FLASH CUT-TO: a wide shot of TEDDY, snarling at the camera and slapping at his chest and biceps as he bounces on the balls of his feet.]
[FLASH CUT-TO: TEDDY in the ring, relinquishing his stomps on KARL BROWN and gauging the audience’s reaction to something overhead.]
DT: Alexander looking into the audience and hearing the commotion... but he just starts pointing to his neck! He doesn’t suspect a THING! He’s waiting for the killing blow, and coaxes Karl Brown back to his feet...
DT: Otaku just got his attention -- AND HERE HE COMES OFF THE TOP OF THE CAGE WITH THE SHOOTING STAR PRESS –
[FLASH CUT-TO: a tighter shot of TEDDY’s upper body. He shakes his head with a sadistic grin stretched across his face.]
“Nobody ever said anythin’ about tomorrow. They all ignored what da future would hold.”
[FLASH CUT-TO: OTAKU mid-flight with a Shooting Star Press, flying down toward the standing TEDDY ALEXANDER.]
-- AND TEDDY CATCHES HIM!!!
DM: OH NO!!
MN: Oh YES! YES! YES!!!
DT: Otaku came down WITH ALL FORCE, and Alexander just plucked him out of the sky like a FLY...
[FLASH CUT-TO: ALEXANDER rolling his arms in his sockets before making a snapping motion with his hands.]
“They ALL ignored what tomorrow would bring.”
[FLASH CUT-TO: TEDDY standing in the centre of the cage with OTAKU trapped in his grips.]
DT: Otaku getting wrangled onto the shoulders... Teddy REACHES UP AND CLINCHES THE HEAD -- OH MY GOD, HE NAILS THE RAGEKILL DRIVER!!
DM: I DON’T BELIEVE IT!! TEDDY ALEXANDER, with an UNBELIEVABLE COUNTER, utterly DESTROYS OTAKU with the FALLAWAY PACKAGE PILEDRIVER!!
[FLASH CUT-TO: a close-up of TEDDY staring at something in his grips with a glaze of animalism in his eyes.]
“NOBODY – LISTENED!”
[FLASH CUT-TO: TEDDY trapping KARL BROWN in the corner. FLASH CUT-TO: SAM TURNER JUNIOR pinning the broken OTAKU. FLASH CUT-TO: REFEREE striking the mat once. FLASH CUT-TO: the REFEREE striking the mat a second time. FLASH CUT-TO: the REFEREE mid-strike of the canvas for the third time when the scene freezes.]
[FLASH CUT-TO: TEDDY, a wide shot to show what he was looking at. In his hands is an Empire Pro World Tag Team Championship belt. He shifts his grip and holds it up by a strap and raises a defiant fist with his free hand.]
“I BET YOUR LISTENIN’ NOW!”
[FLASH CUT-TO: the frozen scene of the REFEREE slapping the canvas for a third time. FLASH CUT-TO: SAM pushing himself off of the unmoving Otaku and joining ALEXANDER in celebration, who practically throttles his own neck in sick pride of his finishing blow. FLASH CUT-TO: TEDDY dropping the neck brace onto the body of OTAKU. FLASH CUT-TO: BROWN slapping the brace away and getting in TEDDY’s sick, smiling face. FLASH CUT-TO: officials getting between them as BROWN shouts in TEDDY’s face while he just grins that sick grin.]
[FLASH CUT-TO: TEDDY ALEXANDER wrapping the Empire Pro World Tag Team Championship belt around his waist.]
“You ALL should have listened.
“See, you could HEAR me. But none of you were listenin’. Da Empire wasn’t listenin’ to what Sammy and I were sayin’ and it PAYS to keep a close ear to da ground when there’s a stampede of buffalo comin’ through to tear apart da forest.”
[Pounds his chest.]
“And we tore apart da forest. We tore apart da history books. We tore apart da record da Animezin’ Dragons were settin’ ALL – BECAUSE – ya never listened to a word we said.
“Hi, Karl. Can Otaku move yet? Has he got feelin’ in his toes? Can he wriggle them for ya? Is your bed a little emptier now ya boyfriend at there to spoon with? Y’know, since he’s up in traction at da Emory University Hospital in downtown Atlanta, Georgia?
(snapping) “DOES HE STILL SCREAM MY NAME IN HIS SLEEP?”
[TEDDY stands there, eyes wild and breathing erratically. Hands balled into fists. Title belt glistening in the set lighting.]
“I WARNED you, Karl. I warned you dat if you kept runnin’ your mouth you were gonna have a bad day. You underestimated what Sammy and I could bring into dat cage in Atlanta. You underestimated just what it felt like to be hit by a tonne of bricks and Otaku got smashed to smithereens with da Ragekill Driver for one reason only...
“You just HAD to keep runnin’ ya damn mouth.”
“Da kings sat on their throne and looked down at da peasants scornfully expectin’ them not to revolt...
“But they NEVER thought they’d see da paupers sittin’ on their thrones.” (slaps the belt)
“I told you, Karl. I fuckin’ well told you dat if you poked da monster with da stick he was gonna come out from under da bed. He was gonna come out from under da bed and break your God damn neck. When Otaku flew from da top of dat cage down towards me you probably got half a boner expectin’ him to drive me into da canvas and dat it would ALL be said and done. Dat it would ALL be over.
“And it was.
“Not in da way you were expectin’. You never expected me to catch your little toon lovin’ boyfriend and pulverise his existence into dust right before your very eyes, did ya?”
“Ooooh, da look on your face. Da look on your face when I dropped dat neck brace on Otaku’s chest. I thought I almost saw a tear in your eye.
“Da tear steamed up and evaporated when dat fire lit in ya belly. When dat anger boiled it inta nothin’ and you had a fight in your heart, Karl. A fight you couldn’t win. A fight you’ll NEVER win. Because you’re yesterday.
“And I’m tomorrow.
“Me and Sam... we’re tomorrow. We’re da future. We’re da future of dis company and we’re da ones dat will rise Empire Pro Wrestlin’ BACK to da pinnacle of dis business.
“You’re a skid mark on da ledgers now. You’re legacy will be remembered as da turnin’ point for Teddy Alexander and Sam Turner Junior. Or as Neely calls us, da Ragekill Rednecks.”
“Ha. I kinda like da ring to dat.
“And we close your book and open another book. Another history book to burn to ashes. More of yesterday comin’ to fight tomorrow. More of da Empire’s legacy comin’ to fight da future.
“Triple X Sean Stevens and Impulse.
“Two men who have been synonymous with da success of dis company. Two men who are shinin’ beacon of what all Empire Pro fans aspire to be like. Two wrestlers who have climbed da ladder here in da Empire and stood on top of da mountain.”
[TEDDY spits on the floor, snarling again.]
“Two more candles to extinguish. And we will blow – you – OUT!
“See, it’s funny. Da two teams da experts in da Empire wrote off as never-will-be’s, in me and Sammy along with Dirk Dickwood Presents are BOTH in da finals of da King of da Cage. BOTH of us stand across dat ring from Impulse and Triple X, da team all da smarks on da Interwebz are callin’ as da winners of dis tournament.”
[Shakes his head. Clucks his tongue.]
“I think we’ve all seen what me and Sammy are capable of. I think we’ve all seen da rags to riches story of Dirk Dickwood Presents. I think we all know dis fairytale all too well.
“Dis is real life. Dis ain’t no kiddie’s story. There’s NEVER a happy endin’. Right?”
“Maybe not. Maybe Impulse and Triple X will squash da hopes of all those who dare to dream. Maybe da legends of da Empire will carry on to claim victory over da Cinderella stories dat DARE lick at their heels.
“Or maybe I just break two more necks in dis tournament. Maybe me and Sammy keep rollin’ through dis tournament to victory as da legend killers dat we are.
“Maybe I’m done givin’ two shits about da heroes of dis company and what they’ve done to stand here today and I wipe my ass on their history books.”
[TEDDY’s breathing begins to grow more and more erratic.]
“Ya see, Trip... Impulse... after you two boys are done sluggin’ it out against Cameron Cruise in New Orleans you have to get inside da cage and face me. After you’re done tenderisin’ each other to face da First at Unleashed, you’ve gotta get through me. And I’ve got bad news for you...
“You won’t get through me and Sammy.
“And you won’t get through da First.”
“Because not only am I goin’ to focus on makin’ sure dat me and Sam leave Louisiana with those Empire Pro Tag Team World Championships but I plan on makin’ sure dat whoever da poor sonofabitch is dat goes on to face my mentor, da First, faces him with a severe limp.
“And when I say limp... I mean I’ll have shattered your spine so severely you’ll have to drag your legs down da ramp to get pinned by da First.
“Is dat clear enough for you? Do you need me to draw you a fuckin’ picture?”
“Teddy Alexander... Sammy Turner Junior... Empire Pro World Tag Team Champions... facin’ Impulse and Triple X... facin’ Dirk Dickwood Presents... New Orleans, Louisiana... Aggression Seventy Two... MAIN –E – VENT!
“Dirk Dickwood Presents... Dirk Dickwood presents two more causalities in dis contest. I’m sorry Cecilworth... Hank... but you’re story ends here. Da feel good story of those lucky losers overcomin’ da odds finishes at Aggression. It’s all over.
“I want it to be clear... I’ve got no problem with you. For like myself, I see da future of dis company when I stare across at you. I see future success.
“But not da immediate future. Not Aggression 72.” (slaps the belt)
“Not in Louisiana, gentlemen. Unfortunately, like your little boss.... you’re gonna come up short. VERY short. So if I can offer you any advice for longevity in dis business it’s dis...”
[TEDDY gets right up close into the barrel of the camera.]
“Stay da fuck outta my way and you’ll be fine. Because if you do get in my way... if you do run your mouth... if you do ANYTHIN’ to piss me off I’ll end you both.
“Dis is my night. OUR night. Mine and Sammy Turner Junior’s night. You’re just there to make up da numbers for da caterin’. It’s our party.
“And you’ll cry if I want you to.”
[ALEXANDER steps back and slaps the face plate of the belt.]
"You made a few errors in your grand, sweeping statements, Teddy."
"But that's okay: you're just the newcomer."
(FADEIN... on an Olympic sized swimming pool as seen from a second - or even third - story balcony. There's two women and a child swimming: the women appear to have several tattoos each.
Stop gawking. Perv.
Pulling back, the horizon shows a clear blue sky, dotted in part with white fluffy clouds, and the city of Orlando.
Pulling back even more, there's two lounge chairs with a table between them. On the table is a pair of drinks.
In the chairs... one has the King, Triple X Sean Stevens.
The other has the Marathon Man, Impulse.
Apparently they've arrived.)
IMPULSE: "You're telling us that you're going to win because you're tomorrow's stars. That you can take anything the legends of yesterday can throw at you and give it back tenfold? Because you're tomorrow's legend and tomorrow is always better than yesterday?"
"Paraphrased, of course."
"I'll shut up for a second and let an actual legend talk for a minute."
Impulse tilted his head toward Triple X, who took a long drink from his cup, taking his time, making us all wait.
Because he can.
TRIPLE X: "Excrement."
"Your entire case is nothing but a steaming pile of shit, Teddy."
That's more like it.
"Trying to dictate the roles for this match, when you don't even rate a 'Story By:' credit. When your destiny in this match will bring out only two reactions from you."
"One, you're not gonna like it."
"Two, you're not gonna be able to stop it."
The sun hid behind a cloud, and Triple X removed his sunglasses for emphasis.
"Now, you called me a legend, Teddy. Not only am I a legend in Empire Pro Wrestling, I am the legend of Empire Pro Wrestling."
"And, as the saying goes, legends never die: because those of us who are this fucking good don't have to worry about Johnny-Come-Latelies coming in and making their name at our expense."
He put his sunglasses on and sat back.
IMPULSE: "Congratulations are in order, by the way, for winning the Tag Team Championship, Teddy. I mean, it's a pretty big deal to me - the Dragons have been holding those belts for almost the entirety of my time here."
"In case you're keeping track, by your own definition that means you've got potential until the next King of the Cage. After that, you're yesterday's news."
"Winning the belts are the easy part, Teddy. Keeping them is a whole different ball game. You see, you can be an unknown, untested athlete and come out on top in a title match on the element of surprise alone. Maybe Brown and Otaku said 'Teddy Alexander? Sam Turner? Who are they and why should we care?' And you capitalized."
Applause. I don't think it's meant sincerely.
"The flaw in your plan is now, not only is everyone watching and giving you their full attention, but you have the two best wrestlers in this company in the ring with you."
"As well as Dirk Dickwood presents."
"The bravado? Doesn't impress. The threats? We've both heard worse from opponents with the means to carry them out, and we've both come out on top."
"And you're right - this isn't a fairly tale. Dirk Dickwood Presents, the Cinderella Team, though I hate that expression, aren't going to make a miraculous eleventh hour comeback and beat the odds."
"This match is going to go to the two best wrestlers in it."
"The two best wrestlers simply aren't holding the tag team belts."
TRIPLE X: "This may be your party, Teddy, but it's our ring, in our arena, surrounded by our fans."
"You're just temporarily moving in, and the rent is due."
IMPULSE: "And as far as dealing with Cameron Cruise and each other before we even step into the ring with you, Teddy?"
Trip and Impulse did one of those single - take looks at each other before turning back to the camera.
"That'll be yet another example of the fact that Triple X and I are exactly what we say we are."
"And a fair bit better."
TRIPLE X: "Do you know the catch - 22 with calling yourself a Legend of Tomorrow, Teddy?"
"By the time tomorrow gets here, it'll be today again."
"And today... you're looking at the Best in the World."
"Today... you're looking at the two men who are going to become the Kings of the Cage."
IMPULSE: "And I've got bad news for you, Teddy... tomorrow don't look that much better for you."
Teddy Alexander’s voice bounced off the walls. Veiled threats, meaningless promises, and silly rookie guarantees echoed, to the chagrin of all of those in attendance – mainly, EPW superstar, "TRIPLE X" SEAN STEVENS, Poison Ivy, "IMPULSE" RANDALL KNOX, and his better half Calico Rose.
"Oooookay, can somebody please cut this bullshit off? I’ve seen enough." Triple X cringed.
"Told you it was bad," Knox interrupted, from his last row seat, where Rose sat on his lap, as he clutched her waist, gently.
The scene opened up in Orlando, FL … inside of Sean and his wife, Poison Ivy’s home – more specifically, their theater room.
Poison Ivy held the family’s camcorder in her hand, raised it to her eye, knocking her glasses to the ground, as she temporarily forgot that they were on. "Crap," she uttered. "Are we doing this or not, Sean? It’s almost time for Shannon’s dinner. You know how cranky he gets when we procrastinate on Mac and Cheese night."
"I’m ready, dear. What I’m looking for, mostly— wait, I’m sorry … am I telling you what to do with our family camera, like you’re not responsible for us having footage of all of Shannon’s epic moments from his first steps, to his first tooth being pulled?"
"Not to mention, she’s one of the most brilliant minds in professional wrestling," Knox chimed in.
Stevens nodded in agreement, "Carry on, love."
"Thank you, babe. You’re so cute when you’re submissive," everybody in the room laughed.
"What I was thinking was a close up, face shot, not too much panning, and fancy lighting. Just a quick message. No need to show off our surroundings or anything. The tripod is in the attic, so be careful with those quick, sharp movements you like to bust out every now and then."
"Ivy … everything that I’ve got to say will be said from this chair. Just say when…"
"Alright, Sean … you’re on in 5… 4… 3… 2…" Poison Ivy made a hand signal, signifying that we were officially live.
TRIPLE X: So that’s going to be your angle, huh, Teddy? You’re going into this match as one of those guys, eh? One of those 'I’m going to kick your ass, because I’m a better ass kicker than all of the other ass kickers on the planet' type guys that calls everybody else gay. "
Stevens raised both arms in the air submissively.
TRIPLE X: Oh, no, no, no … First impressions are everything, Theodore … can’t back away from what you started now. This is your hand, it’s been dealt, and you’ve got to play it now. That’s the effed up thing about first impressions … you fuck it up, you’re fucked for life.
"You don’t know a damned thing about Impulse and I, outside of the fact that we’re popular, and you always seem to hear about how we win matches. And, it didn’t take a visit to a psychic for me to understand that. You talk about us being yesterday’s legends like Impulse has reached his climax, when that young man has yet to even taste the eventual greatness that his potential suggests he'll achieve. In fact, everything that you described yourself as? All of that mumbo jumbo about being tomorrow’s legend? You’re looking at him. That’s my partner. In the flesh.
"Then you talked about me, as if I can’t come to grips with the fact that the game has passed me by. You seem to think that I want to run roughshod over the EPW until I die, well, I don’t. I applaud you for being fresh, for being new, and for having the cojones to enter the King of the Cage tournament to begin with, because as a veteran of this tournament, that’s no small feat. I applaud you even more for taking on some of the best superstars in the greatest wrestling promotion on the planet, and coming out of the entire ordeal with fifteen pounds of gold to call your own. But, don’t you dare let those belts get to your head, little man. Don’t think for one single solitary second, that I won’t break your nose, and take pleasure in watching you Hickenbottom flop all over the ring, as the blood trickles down. Don’t think that because I’m a family man, and a little more PG than I was two years ago, that I’ve changed my cerebral approach to professional wrestling, and that I won’t know everything there is to know about you by the time that bell rings.
"And, don’t gas yourself up into believing that you bring something to the table that so many others, with more talent, more charisma, who were more of a threat to me and Impulse couldn’t.
"Yeah … do you feel that, Teddy?
"Shit just got real, real quick, didn’t it?
"Ever heard of a Fujinami Arm bar, Teddy? Yeah, me neither 'til I experienced it, and had it applied on me. It’s when your opponent sits on your shoulders, and locks your– eh, fuck it … it hurts. A lot. And, once locked in it, there’s no escape. The more you wiggle, the tighter it gets. And, if you’re lucky – if you’re lucky, you’ll escape with your shoulders separated from their respective sockets, and you get to go on an all-expense paid – and by paid, I mean paid out of your pension – vacation to wherever in the hell you came from. If you’re unlucky, your career is over.
"I say all of this to say, the man who applied that hold on me is my best friend in this business ... I say all of that to say, I’ve forgotten more wrestling than you will ever know.
"When you were in your backyard rolling around with your buddies for paper belts made out of your Mom’s grocery bags and aluminum foil, I was in the trenches surviving Fujinama arm bars by wrestlers who currently reside in the professional wrestling Hall of Fame.
"So, having been there, having done that, having seen it all, I promise you, I’m not just talking for my health when I tell you that this match is going to end one of a few ways for you. A.) With you coming in overconfident and leaving very, very hurt. B.) With you coming in overconfident, quickly getting exposed, stunting your growth as a wrestler, until you eventually fade away. C.) With you coming in overconfident, leaving the ring hurt, career likely over, title less, the topic of conversations in barbershops across the world, as you watch your KOTC dreams and big game guarantees go up in smoke.
"Not that I blame you for being stupid, I mean, after all, your mentor is my bitch."
A female snicker was heard in the background.
TRIPLE X: But, however it is … one thing is for certain, two things are for sure … this ain’t what you’re thinking it is, and as impressive as you were in beating Karl and Otaku? You are miles – MILES – away from the Junior Varsity section of our roster, and you’ll know it the moment that cage door is locked, and I stare directly into your eyes, and I begin to abuse you in ways that no man should ever harm his child.
"And, yes … you heard that correctly. Empire Pro Wrestling is MY throne. You wrestling beneath it’s banner, which makes ME your King and YOU my disciple. And, at Aggression … I plan on dishing out a LOT of child abuse. And, you’ll fight back, of course you will, I expect it ... you’ve already proven that you're far too stupid to sit there and take it, so that it ends quicker ... but you’ll soon learn that there isn’t a thing in your arsenal capable of slowing us down, and eventually, like everyone else, you’ll succumb. And, don’t be surprised if it’s in the fetal position, with your thumb in your mouth.
"I am the Greatest EPW superstar of ALL TIME … that’s not just talk, that’s fact. You want another fact? I am a different animal inside of a steel cage … and, you can try to deflect our attention to other matches, and other people, but the fact remains the same, I want to be King of the Cage … I need to be King of the Cage … and, I will be King of the Cage for a second time.
"It’s just too damned bad it had to come at the expense of another promising young superstar, who won't know how to handle it."
"This would be one of those 'life isn't fair' moments. Chapter three in the how to be a successful wrestler handbook. You should check it out. Page twenty."
The pride of Harlan County runs through the veins of their chosen country bumpkin, Sam Turner Jr. He loves the county and everything it’s given to his family over the 100 years that they’ve dwelled there. The land that they’ve farmed on has been handed down for the past two generations, Sam hopes to be the third generation or possibly making his own destiny/history and being the first at something.
With the entire town knowing of Sam’s winning of the Empire Pro Wrestling World Tag Team Titles with his newly found tag partner Teddy Alexander, the town is ready to celebrate.
Sam is now one of the most notable people to ever come out of Harlan. He ranks up there with Bernie Bickerstaff (NBA coach), Wallace “Wah Wah” Jones (UK multi-sport star and NBA player), Nick Lachey (or Mr. Jessica Simpson, who was born in Harlan and was in a boy band, 98 Degrees), and Cawood Ledford (he was raised in Harlan and became the University of Kentucky’s play-by-play announcer starting in 1953 till 1992).
Now as Sam and Teddy arrive in Harlan Co. a line of people start to form as they hit the bypass after turning of the b ridge at Sookey Ridge.
“Sam, what’s going on here?” Teddy asked in confusion.
"Uh, welp, I gots no idear." Sam replied even more confused that Teddy was but he liked seeing everyone from the community lining the road and waving at him.
Teddy continued to watch out the window at all the country bumpkins lining the road, his only thought was Deliverance. He was hearing banjo music as they drove by.
"Look'ere, at's Mr. Tommy and Mrs. Jackie." Sam said as he pointed out the window. "I can't believe theys out an about. They nev'r leave tha house much."
Sam continued to look at the people as they stopped at the red light at the corner of Smokin' Joe's and Dairy Queen.
"Tom, ask that man there whats going on." Teddy told the driver.
"Pardon me, sir." Tom said as he rolled down his window. "Sir!"
There was mo response from the man sitting on the median in his outside lounge chair.
"At's Mr. Tim, holler at'em again an say, 'Hey Red Bird, seen anythin good?' He should answ'r ya." Sam informed Tom.
Tom cleared his throat. "Hey Red Bird, seen anything good?" Tom shouted.
"Hey, boy howdy, I seen me a perty'n tha otha day'at I wouldn't kick outta tha hay pile if'n she wore'd barbware nipple clamps." Tim responded as he got up off his chair.
Tim approached the cars driverside window.
"So what is all this? Whats going on?" Tom asked as his noses tarted to detect the foul smell of cheap whiskey coming from Tim.
"They's a feller named Sam Turner Jr. whose from here'at won some kinda rasslin title an we's showin him sum support. I reckon'at mayor Danny Howard is gunna giv'em tha key ta tha city. Er so I hear'd." Tim said spewing vile and foul smelling breath over him.
Tom wiped the door with a napkin he had in the console to keep himself from having to touch it. "Well it just so happens that I'm bringing Mr. Turner and Mr. Alexander back from their journey of winning tag team gold." Tom boasted.
Tim paused for a split second and suddenly started waving his arm in the air and whistling. "He's got Sam in here. He brung home tha boy."
The crowd cheered excitedly and waved their hands wildly.
Tom cracked the partition. "Mr. Turner, I'll open the sunroof and let you stand up there if you'll fit and enjoy the ovation/reception."
Tom rolled back the sunroof and Sam squeezed his barrel chest through the opening. As soon as his trademarked John Deere hat, the already roaring crowd got a whole lot louder
"Howdy y'all!" Sam yelled as he waved foolishly.
The crowd continued to roar as Sam sat back down in the car.
"So, where should I take them Tim?" Tom asked.
"Well now I rekon ole Sam's maw an paw is'a down tha road a piece an theys can tell ya mo'r than me." Tim explained. When he was done he pointed straight down the bypass to show Tom the way to go, as if Tom didn't realize the road was straight.
Tom drove down the road and passed even more people down the road that were waving and yelling.
As they approached another red light a mile and a half down the road there stood Sam Sr. and Susan Turner, Sam Jr.'s parents.
"Stop, theres ma par'nts." Sam shouted.
Tom slowed down and stopped in front of Sam's family.
Sam opened the door and jumped out of the limousine and ran ofer to Susan and bearhugged her, lifting her off the ground with her legs dangling in the air.
"I miss'd ya maw, I miss'd ya too paw." Sam said to his parents who had smiles plastered on their faces.
"So I hear'd I's gettin some kinda key, what's'at bout?" Sam asked confused. "I kindly like livin wiff y'all."
"Junior, it ain't no key ta a house er nuttin, its justa somekinda big ole gim'iky thang fer ya ta show they preciate ya." Big Sam mumbled through the chaw he had in his jaw.
Sam just looked at his dad more confused than ever. He still couldn't understand what this key was for. Sam would've much rather had free meal out of it for his family and Kim but he'll take an oversized key.
"Uh, ok, I rekon at's cool." Sam said.
While Sam was talking to his parents Teddy stepped out of the limo holding his shiny tag team title over his right shoulder.
"So dis is a celebration, Harlan Co. style, huh?" Teddy amusingly said.
The crowd reacted with oohs and ahhs at the sight of the title belt.
Teddy walked over to Sam's parents and shook big Sam's hand then Susan hugged him.
"So is dis gonna be a hootenanny or a hoedown or something like dat?" Teddy asked as he was unsure if these people were referred to as country, hillbillies or just backwoods.
"We may have a lil sumptin after tha ceremony." Big Sam replied.
"Cool. Sam if you don't mind... I'm going to go to da hotel and rest a whilethen meet back up with y all after the ceremony. I think you just need t'have ya moment in da Kentucky limelight to yaself, Sammy. Just don't forget in da a.m. we start our trainin' so try not to eat and drink too much tonight." Teddy told them, flashing a wink at Sam Sr.
"I wish ya was gon wiff us Teddy, but we understand." Susan said as Sam Sr. and Sam Jr. nodded their heads.
Big Sam shook Teddy's hand again and Susan again hugged him.
Teddy was entering the limo and Sam Jr. bellowed. "Tell ole Matilda I said hey."
Teddy turned his head and said, "Yeah, I'll do that," as he got in the limo.
Susan looked at Sam Jr. and asked, "Who's Matilda?"
"She's jus'a woman hes tryin ta court." Sam replied with a smile on his face.
Teddy rode away and the family headed down to the ceremony, where Sam will receive his key to the city.
Dickwood: Cecilworth, Hank, you WILL go to the ball!
(FADEIN: On Dirk Dickwood standing with his back to the camera, facing a black King of the Cage backdrop... and waving around a party store fairy wand in front his two clients, Cecilworth Farthington and the ever silent Hank. Dirk spins back around to face the camera, an ever expanding grin remains permanent on his face as he tosses towards Hank, who dutifully snaps it in two and tosses it to the floor. Cecilworth just looks down at the wand with abject disgust, shoving it off camera with a horse riding crop he just seemed to have in his inside jacket pocket.)
Dickwood: Sometimes the easiest way to make your point is with the cheapest fucking imagery you can lay your hands on. Seriously, one of Cecilworth's interns insisted that this would send a deep and meaningful message to our inbred and Plutonian sized ego opponents... I'll leave you wordsmiths to battle out which one is which. I suppose Alexander, Impulse, Stevens and Turner are still caught up in this idea of making a good first impression when it comes to these, the grappling arts that we hold dear. I can only assume so the way they've been rushing to make strip teases in front of these oddly ever present cameras as soon as they possibly could. Guys, it's a wrestling match, not your audition to be a Dating Game contestant. We don't really need to know about your history or your dream aspirations. Cecilworth for example, could not possibly give a shit about your keys to the future.
Farthington: Farthington men, yah, we live in the here and now. Best not to think about our past... genocide can really have a stinging effect on a families reputation. Blood diamonds, still running hot though, papa is making a mint on his last run. We don't look to the future either, why pretend to be an astrologe?. Sure, my dear mother is rolling in it from his horoscope hotline but we don't convince ourselves that it's the real deal. That's for men like Teddy Alexander to fall for. Getting their chubby fingers all ready to set and dial, ready to find out that Jupiter aligns with Mars and thanks for the dawning of the age of Aquarius, him and Sam Turner are going to be infused with the power of voodoo to become the ultimate victors of the King of the Cage.
Dickwood: Who do?
(Cecilworth rolls his eyes.)
Farthington: Dirk, please. You promised.
(Dirk waves off to try and signify an apology but at the same time, his eyes roll into the back of his head, pulling a thought back to the front of his lobe.)
Dickwood: Wait, Blood diamonds? That's a messy industry for Lord Farthington...
Farthington: DiCaprio man, DiCaprio.
(Farthington tilts his head down in sad remembrance of better times. Dirk looks momentarily befuddled before continuing on.)
Dickwood: What I think this fine, strapping young talent is trying to say is... this mindless bickering about being legends, about being the future, about being the present, it's all vapid. It's idle chatter. It's the kind of conversation you find on the golf course between fifty something close to retirees. It's an unwinnable pissing match. Yet, the thing that intrigues me is that's what you all want to spend your time doing. You want to sit there clucking away like a group of old hens about to be lead to the abattoir, it almost gives me pause for thought. Surely... surely you can't all be that dense when your powers combine. Surely you can't all be that wasteful, we're talking about the current tag team champions and two certified living, breathing, EPW legends and you're still playing that old cat and mouse game? Impulse and Stevens, you survived the bracket of death, you conquered EPW's finest and you want to celebrate that by whipping our your wangs and comparing them to Teddy Alexanders? From what my son tells me, that's an unwinnable battle. My son really needs to learn some better bathroom etiquette.
(Cecilworth pulls out a red handkerchief from his front pocket, gently unfolds it and begins to wave it in front of the camera.)
Farthington: Do you get it dudes? One would think and yet one now begins to wonder if all that hard work inside the steel cage hasn't scrambled your already low combined intellect. Right now, this...
(Farthington waves the handkerchief closer in front of the camera)
Farthington: …that's all your doing. Running towards this.
Dickwood: I think the point my esteemed colleague is trying to make... you should all have realised by now. We didn't get to this final by being the greatest technicians in the business, we didn't get here through a burning desire and a pinch of fighting spirit, hell we didn't even get here because we've got a muscular bonecrushing giant with a damn tight ass as part of our cohort. We got here because our opponents to date, they've all been bulls to that red rag. They get all caught up in their own desires and interests, their own antiquated and false machinations of what is wrestlers is and what a wrestler should be. You all set forth your own individual criteria for why you'll be successful, you all want to assure yourselves you meet your own criteria but guys... surely you're all smart to realise that it's your own criteria. You can't fail what you set yourself to pass. Me, C-Money and Hank? We like to consider ourselves just a little bit above that game.
Cecilworth: We get above your heads, yo!
(As Cecilworth interjects with that yell, all Dirk can do is stop in his tracks and glare at Cecilworth with a slight hint of despair and disappointment.)
Dickwood: ... thank you, Cecil. The kid, he makes a good point, albeit in the most stupid manner possible. Seriously, "yo", C-worth? I thought a Farthington man would be above such things. Still, credit for content, we're here because we have tossed out the ancient notions of success in this business out of the window from the fiftieth floor, looking down from upon high as those notions as one big exploding jelly filled water balloon on the streets below. It's easy to point to Farthington, to Hank and say, hey, those guys lost in round 1, it was only thanks to an amazingly alignments of both the stars and the immaculate power of fate that by the grace of god, they still stand here in this tournament. After all, Impulse and Stevens managed to achieve something that these two...
(Dirk shoves him two thumbs and begins jerking them in Hank and Farthington's directions.)
Dickwood: ...failed to manage. They took First and Cruise out of this tournament. By transitive property, they much surely be superior to Dirk Dickwood Presents. Farthington and Hank? They're the sacrificial lambs in this bout. Yet, thanks to my guidance, to my tutelage and my moral support at ringside they managed steal the Dreamstealer's dream of tag team dominance, they managed to crush Viagra into a fine paste. See, that's the thing, look at Viagra, they had that match won, they had the victory in their grasp, they were seconds from becoming part of the King of the Cage final, that dream, it was an arms length away. Yet, that pride, that pride that consumes you Triple X, that desire of righteousness that is the very core of you Impulse, that “NO, FUCK YOU DAD” that works away at your very hearts Sam and Teddy, they just started to itch away at Tony Davis. He had something he wanted to prove, something he wanted to show everyone watching, an ultimate message, a feather in his cap... he ended up with his neck snapped in two. These guys, they're not looking to go toe to toe with you, they're not looking to out muscle you... they're waiting for your inevitable mistakes. They're waiting for that bravado that shines through to finally run off the humility cliff. They're very quick learners, with First and Cruise, the just couldn't quite hammer in that wedge, they couldn't quite break down the parts. For the money Cecilworth pays me though, they're a quick learn. They know that you all wish to be those magnificent stand alone talents you see yourselves as. They know that just like Jack Harmen and Tony Davis, there's always cracks in a brave front... these two gents though, they know to drive a chisel the minute that crack appears.
(Hank glares at the camera making a hammer and chisel motion towards it with his extraordinarily large hands)
Dickwood: Now, I'm sure what's going to follow is the classic cliché, the one you hear from everyone trying to convince these fine viewers that this isn't bravado, that Sam Turner and Teddy Alexander are sure to assure us that they are that dangerous and malicious, that Impulse and Triple X are just that good. The dog and pony show to impress the ten beers deep mentally deficient EPW viewer is something I've never quite understood. It's watching these little self-esteem building clips that make me wonder about a man like Triple X, a man so self-assured in his own actions and abilities that he would gladly classify one of longest reigning EPW Tag Team champions as baby town frolics, maybe he just doesn't understand he's switched from baseball to cricket. You've got to admire that him and his partner are SO confident in those bill paying skills that they've got themselves double booked at Aggression, that they fancy themselves as a cohesive unit and yet at the same time they can have a friendly battle. Two dogs fighting over the last pork chop are going to play nice thirty minutes later? Boys, and I call you that because if you're going to act that way...
Farthington: Just like Lady Farthington!
Dickwood: There's confidence then there's arrogance. They sit on a fine line. Arrogance is thinking you can enter a company and take down their champion on your first day. I'll admit it, DDP were arrogant in round 1, we paid for it dearly. We also learned from it. The art of a team, that's a science. I've been hard work getting MAH BOYS up to that level, to get them to realise that in Dirk Dickwood Presents, they are parts to a whole and perhaps it is true that when Triple X and Impulse whip out their claimed 8 foot longs in singles competition, it really does measure up but it seems apt they've been spending some time at a pool because when it comes tag teaming, there's significant shrinkage. Teddy and Sam, thrown together as we entered round two, and through sheer force of will, power and drive, they've landed themselves with Dirk Dickwood Presents' ultimate goal, those tag team belts. You are all proven individuals, I mean we just have to ask you to find out. Yet when that bell rings, there is only going to be one whole in that ring. There's only one team in this match, one unit bonded by a common purposes...
Farthington: Yah, Farthington money can really tie up a tight bond.
Dickwood: We know where Impulse and Steven's heart is at Aggression, it ain't in the cage. We know that Teddy... well Sam... he doesn't have friends for long, you'll disappoint him, you'll wear that neck brace soon enough. All of these flaws, all of this awful humanity, it's all going to come out in the wash of the cage and when it does, Hank, Cecilworth, they're ready to hang you up.
"The roles have been cast, and we're all here to do what we're all here to do."
"Triple X and I are here to win."
"If for no other reason, than our opponents lack imagination."
Still in Orlando.
On one hand, it's much warmer here than in New York. On the other, it's one less stopover for a flight to New Orleans for Aggression.
And it's a chance for myself and Trip to both team up and face off against each other. Whoo.)
"You wouldn't think so, but it takes an experienced eye. Teddy Alexander set the tone early on for this King of the Cage final: pitting the Cinderella Team of Dirk Dickwood Presents against the established legends, Triple X and myself, against Teddy and Sam Turner Junior, the upstart rookies that lucked into the tag team belts that nobody expected to make it this far. It truly is the feel - good story of the year and you'd be a fool not to root for one of those two underdog teams against the evil, selfish established stars who refuse to get out of the way."
"Except that it's been done before."
"Over and over and over, and by men with more creativity."
"Not to say that the parts aren't brilliantly cast: Teddy and Turner weren't supposed to be the ones to finally unseat the Dragons. They came out of nowhere to defeat the previously unbeatable Champions."
"Dirk Dickwood Presents? C'mon. They lost to First and Cruise in the first round of the Bracket of Death and certainly made the most of their second chance. Cinderella never looked so good."
"Which leaves Sean Stevens and myself. The legends."
"Except, I'm not a legend and never claimed to be."
"Triple X is a different story: he is the greatest wrestler in the history of this company and I'm fortunate to have been partnered with him. His star is as high as it can go and the only real questions there are about him are: will he ultimately retire before time begins to take his ability, and how many years does he have left?"
I think it's pretty safe to say, based on the buzzsaw we cut through to get here, that he hasn't lost a step.
"Apparently I'm given the status of legend based on what I've done so far in this sport, not based on how long I've been here or how much gold I've held around my waist."
"I'll take that compliment."
"But the illogical conclusion that being the 'legendary team'"
Finger quotes apply.
"means that it's our destiny to make way for the young upstart renegade Cinderella team is wishful thinking at best, slanderous at worst."
"How do you think Triple X and I earned this reputation?"
Here's a hint: it wasn't by being easy to overcome.
"Teddy, you've decided that we're the legends, so I'll tell you exactly what's going to happen in the King of the Cage finals."
"We're going to wrestle like legends."
"We're going to win like legends."
"For Triple X, this is just another day at the office. This is just another accolade to add to his list: he'll be in exclusive company with a second King of the Cage victory on his run sheet; for myself, this will be my becoming."
"Forget about the fact that I was the Empire's Intercontinental Champion for more than a year."
"Forget about the fact that the only times my shoulders have been down for three in this company I was either on the wrong end of a five on one mugging, or a cage, a taser and a woman who can apparently be bought and sold for shiny things."
That's right, I just called Caitlyn Daymon a whore. What is she gonna do about it?
"No, Teddy - what you'll remember about this night is that Impulse and Triple X wrestled each other and Cameron Cruise for a World Title shot - and then after I earned my shot, after Triple X and I took each other to the absolute limit, we'll turn around and win the King of the Cage."
We return once more to the company of Dirk Dickwood Presents, starting again in front of a beautifully crafted and hand stitched King of the Cage banner.
Dickwood: I suppose this is the part where we're supposed to play along and complain about being overlooked. Maybe doing that old shuck and jive about being a force to be reckoned with? Ah, Impulse, there's a reason that the minstrel shows died off. We've moved beyond those days...
Farthington: We have? Because the boys at the Bully done the most HIlarious Black and White Ministrel act for Olaf the Otter's big bachelor bash. The tears Dirk, the tears streamed right down my face. The minute they broke into chorus on Mammy...
Dickwood: Al Jolson? That's where we're going?
Farthington: I will not hear a bad word said against him, yah? He is my fav fav artist, came up to the summer residence time and time again when I was a boy...
Dirk pauses for a moment and lets that statement slowly begin to seep through.
Dickwood: Didn't he die in 1950?
Farthington: ...maybe it was a tribute act.
Dickwood: STILL! This isn't a minstrel show Impulseywulsey. We're not going to join in on this big game of striving to prove ourselves through the petty back and forth that those stuck in the old ways of this industry have a hard time detaching themselves from. MAH BOYS, they are slightly above the tried and true. I mean, hell, Cecilworth came into this shindig labeled as a money mark, the guy out of his depth, didn't know the first thing about EPW, couldn't give a damn about the industry. Cecilworth Farthington came to EPW only to see his name in those glimmering, shiny lights outside the arena. Yet, he spent the Farthington wealth, he spent it well, he got me, he got Hank...
Farthington: I got this girls wicked digits!
Cecilworth begins to dig into his pocket, trying to tug out a slip of paper some lady at a bar gave him, Dirk makes a nod to Hank who stops Cecilworth from progressing.
Dickwood: It is amazing, ASTOUNDING, fucking mind bending what you can achieve with a wealthy backer. Now I'm sure cynics would say that wealth may have been the reason that these two bad dudes with attitude were plucked from the doldrums of the bracket of death and launched one more as the unfortunately named “Lucky Losers”. I couldn't possibly comment on such matters.
Cecilworth: Yah, I didn't spent the Farthington cause wad to let this blow up on all of our faces. I didn't spent day upon day in the gym with the finest trainers and fitness experts that money could
Dirk slaps Hank and Farthington on the chest.
Dickwood: These two, they certainly aren't the best wrestlers, they aren't guys who honed their craft traveling up and down the highways, they didn't waste time wrestling in front of a smattering of an audience, killing themselves as they tried to catch the eye of some big league scouter...
Cecilworth: Actually, Dirktrude, I did spend some time in Seatt...
Like a steamroller, Dirk continues.
Dickwood: They didn't have to make that same journey Randall Knox went on, that Triple X went on. They didn't have to overcome the crippling poverty and lack of mental faculties that have besieged Teddy Alexander and Sammy Turner Jr. from birth. They ain't journey men, they ain't mentally maladjusted with a thirst for violence looking to prove that the principles of eugenics shouldn't be applied to them. Yet, to get to this point... they didn't need to be that, they didn't need all that wealth of experience or personal anguish weighing down on their shoulders. All this big lug and this... fine young man... needed was a little bit of guidance, a training regime and intimate knowledge of Dirk Dickwood's Rasslin' Playbook. They don't need to be the best, the need to be the smartest, they need to press those buttons that need to be pressed, they need to drive that little piece of inner turmoil that you all bury deep down. Jeez, with all the time Randall and Stevens have spent in this little sport of ours, you think it would've finally sunk in that the best pure wrestlers... they don't always win. What's that old saying? Pride comes before you launch yourself off a cliff due to the shame you brought upon your family? Something like that anyway...
Farthington: It's impossible to bring shame to my family after my sister got caught with that horse...
And another gentle squeeze from Hank.
Dickwood: Stevens, Pulse, how long are you going to slap on those false smiles? How long are you going to put on your brave faces in front of the camera to assure everyone that the team comes before any kind of personal lust for gold. How long are you going to ignore that elephant that is already gnawing on the back of your heads? How long are you going to lead us down the garden path that you're little meeting in the ring with Cameron Cruise, that ain't going to affect you as a team one little bit? I'm not sure if it's false pride or you're outright lying to yourselves. Moments before you enter the cage, moments before you try and establish yourselves as Kings of the Cage, you will put your lives on the line in an attempt
Now I'm sure our dearest Marathon Man, I'm sure he'll let us know that it ain't no thang like a chicken wing but really... how are you going to bury . Stevens, he's a creature of pride, he loves his accolades, he loves to assure us he's the best... what if he isn't the . There's a brave face now, of course there is, you can play nice before that adrenaline begins to flow, before you start to picture yourself as the next EPW World Heavyweight Champion... one of you still has to lose. Hell, both of you could lose to Cruise and boy, will one of you be ready to blame the other. Facades, the always topple gents, we'll be ready with the pick-up truck when the dream team, the survivors, the legends... when one takes away the dream of being top of the pile from the other... I CAN'T WAIT! Ohhh, it just gets me hyped just thinking about it.
Farthington: So, should I call the truck rental guy or....?
You know the drill.
Dickwood: As for our current tag team champions, the adorable, yet violent bumpkins, god knows guys are surviving with a Teddy Alexander shaped sword of Damocles slowly trundling right on top of the noggin' of poor Sam Turner Jr. Y'see, I know Teddy, Teddy works rather closely with my own idiot son... I don't stand here and state that Farthington and Hank are the only unit in this final on a wish and a prayer, it is most certainly concrete fact. Being bonded by belts doesn't mean you boys that yer actually a team. I've said it before, I'll say it again, Sammy, you'll disappoint Teddy, to may nudge him the wrong way, you may spill some coffee on him, you may accidentally bang his mother... I'm not sure what you'll do but you'll do it. When you do... well... I suppose you already know what he's capable of, you've stood shoulder to shoulder with him since round two of this shindig. I gotta ask you though Sammy, do you want to be there when the bomb goes off?
This match, this match ain't about being the better wrestler, it's about being the better team. All I see from my opponents is dysfunction, dysfunction, dysfunction. The brave faces of today... they won't last and when that nuclear bomb explodes at Aggression... we're ready, we've built our bunker, we can weather the storm. Hank is ready, Cecilworth Farthington, the most gifted student of this game that I have EVER seen is ready. We're going to be Kings. I'm going to be King. I CAUSED ALL THIS AND YOU CAN'T STOP IT.
[FADE IN: on the Spinal Smash Monger, TEDDY ALEXANDER, wearing a SAM TURNER JUNIOR-esque John Deere t-shirt with the sleeves crudely cut off. He’s sitting in a field somewhere in Harlan County, presumably on the Turner’s farm, with a crop blowing in a stiff wind, dancing as it laps across the field. He looks off into the distance, not directly into the camera.]
“It’s true. Sometimes my temper REALLY gets da better of me. Sometimes I put too much pressure on those around me. See, for me, dis is everythin’. I’ve set my goals and I stick to them. I’ve got a glass ceilin’ all of my own to smash through and unfortunately... sometimes people get in my way.
“People I hate.
“People I like.
“People I’ve found myself in allegiance to.
“Sometimes they just... get in da way. And I think we’ve all grown accustomed to how I deal with people dat get in my way. Just take a look at da aptly named Oblivion. He stood in my way, round one of dis tournament, and found his lifeless carcass bein’ dragged over da top of da cage to seal my victory.
“Then Dan Ryan, by an act of da Empire Pro World Champion, my mentor, da First... pushed me together with Sam Turner Junior and we haven’t looked back since.”
[Rummages around beside him in the field to produce a previously unseen item: one half of the Empire Pro World Tag Team Championships. He rests it over his shoulder.]
“Haven’t – looked – back.
“And da only direction from here is to look forward. Will Sammy wear dat neck brace one day? I hope not. I like Sammy. I really do. He’s a sweet guy. There’s not many people in dis industry who are true and wholesome but I would dare anyone to defy me when I say dat Sam Turner Junior is.
“I dare you.
“I hope Sammy doesn’t wear da neck brace one day but it’s fair to say dat perhaps one day it could happen. And when it does, while I’ve got any sense of sensibility, I tell you now, Sammy, dat I’m sorry for if and when dat day comes. Well, it’s probably more when than if. But I can tell you now... I’m sorry for dat day.
“Because me, Teddy Alexander, sittin’ here right now in your hometown of Harlan, I gotta say dat I like you, man. I feel a brotherhood with you. Your family are great and they’ve taken me in like their own son. And you don’t know how much dat means to me. But dis...”
[Pats the tag team belt on his shoulder.]
“Dis means MUCH, much more to me. My success. Gold. My OWN legacy. It all means dat much more to me than friendship. See, all my life I’ve looked out for number one because nobody else saw it in their hearts to do it. I did EVERYTHIN’ for me because I knew dat I would die starvin’ if I didn’t.
“And it’s a sorry way to live, some might say. They might say it’s difficult to find love in your heart when you’ve lived a life as far away from it as possible. Some might say it’s no way to live.
“Dat doesn’t mean when I join forces with you, Sammy, dat I’m not committed. It doesn’t mean dat I don’t have Sammy’s back because you’ve seen... you’ve ALL seen... dat when we step inside dat ring together we’re an unstoppable force and we’ll stop at nothin’ – NOTHIN’ – to take da next step.
“And when we take dat next step you’ll see dat we’re not only just da Empire Pro Tag Team Champions of da World.”
[Waggles a finger at the camera.]
“Oh no. We’ll be da God damn Kings of da Cage.”
[TEDDY rises to his feet, adjusting the belt on his shoulder as he does.]
“People sit up there on their pedestals. They expect us to bow to them, Sammy. Triple X calls himself da King of da Empire. He calls us his disciples. But when he stands across da other side of da ring, starin’ us dead in da eye, expectin’ to see our knees knockin’ and da fear risin’ up through us da King’s gonna be starin’ across at a revolution he never knew existed.
“Da day I take da knee to someone like Triple X Sean Stevens is da day you can shut da lid on my casket.
“You think you standin’ inside a cage frightens me, Trip? Dat your threats of throwin’ down and breakin’ my nose frighten me? Trip – you want a fight you’ll get a fight. You wanna throw down... man, I’ll throw down. You wanna take all of dat ring experience and step inside da cage on MY terms then dat’s just fine with me, old man. You’re wrinkled, old ego doesn’t stand a fightin’ chance against six feet and two bucks eighty of beast mode standin’ on da other side of da cage. Doesn’t – stand – a chance!
(thumb to chest on each point) “I am – legit – fuckin’ – beast mode.
“Legit. You’ve seen it. Dirk Dickwood can attest to it. He’s seen it firsthand. Sammy’s stood alongside of it. But you just DON’T seem to get it... so dat means I just have to make my point a little louder and a little clearer to you when your kingdom comes crashin’ down around your ankles in New Orleans, Louisiana.”
[TEDDY adjusts the belt on his shoulder. The smirk on his face is slowly twisting into a sadistic grin.]
“Puff up your peacock feathers, Trip, and KEEP tellin’ yourself dat my threats of breakin’ your neck... of breakin’ ‘Pulse’s neck... are all just idle chit chat to make me look bigger and stronger. But you can’t tell me for one second dat there’s not dat stray thought flickerin’ through Impulse’s skull where dat threat lingers just a LITTLE... too long.” (snicker) “You can tell me my words just bounce off you like you’re rubber ‘til your blue in da face, Trip, but I know for a fact dat there’s just dis little glimmer of understandin’ in Impulse’s mind dat what I’m sayin’ is real and he’ll spend ANOTHER twelve months on da shelf.
“Believe dat.” (points sternly down the camera’s barrel) “DAT’S a fact.
“And I don’t need any imagination to paint da picture me and Sammy are gonna paint in Louisiana. All we need is RED. And lots of it. And fortunately we can paint da canvas with da supplies Triple X and Impulse bring. I might use Farthin’ton as my God damn brush.” (shrug) “I’m no artist... but by da time my masterpiece is done you’ll get da picture clear enough. You’ll understand da subtext.
“And da message will be clear as day. We didn’t need ANY luck to get where we are. We did it by sheer determination and more power in a tag team than da Empire has ever seen before. Luck isn’t catchin’ a flyin’ Otaku and deliverin’ da biggest Ragekill Driver dis industry has ever seen.
“You make your own luck, Impulse. And your shit out of it. You’ll be lucky if you walk out of dat cage. You’ll be luckier if you ever step inside dat ring again.”
“I like how yourself and Trip both think dis is SOOO academic. I like how you both think dat after you tear each other limb-from-limb, battlin’ Cameron Cruise, softenin’ yourselves up for your own massacre at da hands of da First, dat you’ll be able to take care of Sammy and I... take care of DEE-DEE-PEE... take care of business SOOOO easily in da Aggression Main Event.
“It’s mindless self-indulgence to believe dat, Impulse. You’ve said so yourself. I’ve set da tone. And da tone dat we’re all listenin’ to is sheer carnage.
“It’s bloody terror.” (tone intensifying)
“It’s warfare.” (words like venom)
“And me and Sammy are ready for war. If you think we’re not gonna do whatever it takes to hold down our first Championship titles in dis industry against da likes of you and DEE-DEE-PEE you’ve got rocks in your head and I’ll be happy to crack your skull open and pull them out for you.
“I pray dat you wrestle like legends. I can only hope dat you turn up with everythin’ you’ve got. Because I don’t want anybody takin’ anythin’ away from me and Sammy for da bloody victory dat we’ll have come da final bell toll in Louisiana.”
[Enter. Stage left... er... field left. Another man. Another Champion. THE FIRST wearing the EPW World Title over his shoulder, his face painted in the “Eye of Horus” motif, black dress shirt and pants, his hair dyed all sorts of colors with a majority of green in the bangs.]
“I’ve heard some men talking bad about me. Saying how they’ll take my title, how they’ll expose me for a fraud...Big talk...Let’s see how you go about backing it up...You see the thing here is you boys have stretched yourselves mighty thin...You get to fight each other and Cruise...Listening to the two of you dogpile on that stupid bastard...It reminded me of Impulse demanding I put the belt up in what would have been a three on one...Now the man and his buddy who’s putting him up in the nice plane and the nice house think they have a handicap match...
“But you two have to go to war and it will happen in that ring, and when it does I’m going to enjoy it seeing you two self righteous pricks tearing each other down just for the honor of losing to me at Unleashed...Warms my heart...But the fun thing is that after that match happens...Even if one of you does manage to win...Well then your dreams of winning King of the Cage...Are finished...You two even on the top of your games couldn’t beat this monster standing beside me and Sam Turner Jr. and let me assure you that while Cameron Cruise might be a stupid man, he might be a man who is easy to trick and was just a useful fool to get me my third title reign...The man still hits like a truck...And I know the pride you two have...And when you two are done tearing each other apart and then you have to suck it up and get in that cage...That’s just blood in the water for this Great White to hunt after”
[FIRST turns and looks at TEDDY.]
“Did you know Impulse already broke his neck once? Did you know every time he gets in that ring he is just one move away from not just his career being ended, but his ability to walk being taken from him? I’d think Impulse would be concerned about that when he knows you like dropping men on their heads, you like trying to break people’s necks just for sport...And when it comes to a man with a neck weaker than balsa wood. I think he’d be really concerned about that. But men talk big and don’t think about their actions...I wonder what Impulse will think when they put that neck brace on him, when he can’t feel his legs...What will be going through his mind? How quickly Rose will leave him to start screwing the other boys in the back or the new bartender they just hired...How quickly his career will be forgotten about in the history of this sport, maybe he’ll be wheeled out to ringside for moral support for Stevens when he loses to me at Unleashed...Teddy will break Impulse’s body and I’ll break Triple X’s will...Seems fair to me...
“Unless of course the weight of this cage match is too great for you and you crack and let Cruise win that three way...Even with the two of you clearly working to destroy him before you have to face off, even with that match hopelessly rigged in your favor, I can see the worry, the FEAR of having your careers ended by this beast might put you into gag mode like Peyton Manning in the playoffs. And if so...I can think of nothing more shameful than losing a glorified handicap match to Cameron Friggin Cruise.
[FIRST smiles at TEDDY and steps back to let the Spinal Smash Monger have the stage again.]
“Hey First... Lucky for Impulse...”
[Bends down and picks up a neck brace, wrapping it around his own neck. Scrawled across the front in Sharpie reads: “IMPULSE”.]
“Here’s one I prepared earlier. Because I’m dat kinda guy. I’m a team player. Much to da contrary to one Mr. Dirk Dickwood.
(waves) “Hi, Dirk. I don’t want to disappoint you. I know how much you’ve already been disappointed in your life already. What with your son ridin’ da short bus for most of his years. And dat’s da story of your life, too, Dirk. Comin’ up short.”
[TEDDY chuckles to his joke on DICKWOOD’s stature, looking over at FIRST for his reaction who adds a laugh of his own.]
“Always comin’ up short. And Louisiana isn’t goin’ to change any of dat. I know you don’t think much of me as a team player. I know you’re waitin’ for dat time bomb to go off. We can ALL hear da tickin’ from here, Dirk.
“Even I can hear da tickin’.
“It’s loud. There’s an explosion waitin’ to happen. There’s a big, bad explosion goin’ to happen one day and JUST AS LONG AS Sammy stays on da same page as me we can keep dat tickin’ goin’ for just another day. Maybe another week. Another month.
“But keepin’ these belts around our waists is goin’ to help delay da inevitable. Winnin’ da King of da Cage tournament is goin’ to push it back further. NOT steppin’ on my toes keeps him safe and sound which I cannot say for Hank and Farthin’ton.”
[Shakes his head. Waggles his finger.]
“Because for your boys, Dirk... for your boys da explosion happens in Louisiana. For Dirk Dickwood Presents dat bomb goes off in da Main Event at Aggression Seventy-Two when Sam Turner Junior and I RETAIN our Championships and win da King of da Cage.
“You’re not bein’ overlooked, Dirk -- though I’m sure you’re probably quite used to dat, too -- I’m just not worried about your Lucky Losers. See, you’ve admitted you don’t need to be da best wrestler to win. Dat you have to be da smartest. Dat your mind is da weapon of choice headin’ inside’f dat cage. A weapon dat, when sharp, is da most vicious weapon this industry could ever see.
“Da only problem with dat, Dirk, is dat for you to use those smarts inside dat ring...” (points to his own temple) “...you need to be awake. You need to be movin’. You need to be on your feet, soldier... not knocked da fuck out from an Angerbash dat kicked da silver spoon right out of Cecil’s mouth.
“Don’t fool yourself, Dirk. You know what I’m capable of. You know what I can do. And when I’m teamed with Sam Turner Junior there’s only one word to be said about da power dat will be unleashed upon your men.
“You KNOW it’s goin’ to happen. You KNOW it’s goin’ to hurt. And you know I don’t give a good God damn about leavin’ your boys in traction for da rest of their natural lives JUST to keep my steam train rollin’.
“Dirk. Cecil and Hank. Trip. Pulse. When all of this fuckin’ comes to climax in Louisiana, in da main event, for da EPW Tag Team Championships of da World...” (thrusts his belt into the air) “...for da KING of da CAGE it’s gonna be one big, bloody war dat leaves Sam Turner Junior and me standin’ atop a pile of bodies.
“And there will be bodies. There’ll be plenty of bodies.”
(Snatches the neck brace from his neck and steps toward the camera viciously. In the background, THE FIRST adjusts his own belt on his own shoulder and grins knowingly in the background.)
“Let da bodies hit da floor.”
[FADE to BLACK!]
***appearance by the First was written by Mike Stanton
"Do I need to stop what I'm doing and talk to you like Ferris Bueller to let you know when sarcasm happens?"
The future Kings of the Cage, Triple X Sean Stevens and Impulse, standing in front of a large, colorful King of the Cage splash, complete with bracket information.
Yes, Sean Stevens has a green screen in his basement. To be fair, I think Ivy ordered it because she's the computer nutcase in this family, but it doesn't change the fact that nobody needs this kind of hardware.
But it is convenient.
For purposes of this submission, we decided to do the old school tag team thing where one of us talks and the other stands in the background looking intimidating. Trip is doing a decent job of it.
Later, I'll get to fail miserably at looking threatening. Watch for it! )
IMPULSE: "Sometimes it applies. The word applies to my tag team partner, two straight years at the top of this company certainly adds to it."
"Sometimes it doesn't apply. I'm in the finals of the King of the Cage tournament on this go - round, when I was eliminated in the second round of the last tournament in what was my second match ever with this company."
"Do you, Dirk - or you, Teddy - know why you're grouping me in with the word Legend? It's not because I'm teamed with Trip - Mike Neely showed his colors against Nark and Rezin where he theorized that I'm riding his coattails. Misguided and horrendously inaccurate, but I appreciate his honesty."
"No, you've grouped me in with Triple X - even calling me a pillar of the Empire or some equivalent - because none of you seem to have the ability to look at professional wrestling with a different set of eyes. None of you seem to be able to comprehend of a wrestler who has just arrived - relatively speaking - has never had a World Title shot in this company and yet carries himself like he's already carrying the gold, and has readily acknowledged where he's come up short in the past. This wrestler should be mired in the midcard looking for a chance to make his mark, and yet here I am, on the verge of winning the most prestigious tournament in this company, potentially walking out of the next pay - per - view with two title belts to call my own."
"The perception exists because I earned it. The reality will exist because I will earn it."
"And as far as human nature is concerned, what does it say about the Cinderella Team of Dirk Dickwood Presents that it's simply assumed that Triple X and I won't be able to get along in our top contender's match, and that this hatred and competitive jealousy will spill into the King of the Cage finals."
I looked at Trip.
IMPULSE: "Is that how fragile your teams are? You've got a goal of winning the King of the Cage, but you're that easily distracted? If someone came up to you, Teddy, and said you could have a shot at the Empire World Title, and all it took was destroying your partnership with Sammy, you'd do it?"
"Dirk? Hank? Farthy?"
"If the answer's yes, then I pity all of you: you don't know what it's like to be part of something. And if the answer's no, then why would Trip and I be any different?"
"Since you're so worried about our mental state, I can ease everyone's mind by guaranteeing that no matter the outcome of the Number One Contender's match, Triple X and I will be a well - oiled machine when it comes time to take the King of the Cage."
"Even if Cruise ends up with his hand raised."
I cracked my neck.
IMPULSE: "Also, Teddy, you might want to take what The First says with a grain of salt. Because while it's true, I've officially broken my neck in the past, what we had here was a hairline fracture of my C3 that required no time in a soft cast, no physical therapy, and no change to my style. More to the point, I've been wrestling nonstop for almost three years and I'm glad to report that there hasn't even been a single moment of discomfort since I was back in fighting shape."
"Your concern is heartwarming, however, as is your assertation to let da bodies hit da floor. I promise you we'll make you proud by doing just that."
"On the outside of the ring."
IMPULSE: "That is, unless we decide we want your titles, too."
It’s just a few days until Sam and Teddy have to jump in that unforgiving steel cage and defend their EPW World Tag Team Titles against Impulse teaming with Triple X and Dirk Dickwood Presents. It’s a match that Sam doesn't look forward to, but he's ready to wreck some people and unleash his unbridled beast mode on them.
Sam's trained harder, lifted more weight, and has tried to learn more psychology than ever before. He's actually read Rick Ulfric's 'Train to win. Not to just beat someone' book. It may not be the correct way to learn, but he's not the typical wrestler.
Sam's sitting on a bale of hay in his barn reading his newly purchased 'The Only Star: Eric Dane is it...PERIOD' book, he's on the chapter titled 'Trash talking, my way'.
"Wow, he sure do use'a awful lot of prof'n'ty. I don rekon I coulda ev'r say sumptin'n like at." Sam mumbled slowly. "He's'a ole potty mouth."
Sam stood up and walked over to an old mirror that was being stored in the barn and looked at himself. His red unkempt lead down to his blazing muttonchops and lead on to his bushy mustache. His green eyes pierced the glass like bone daggers through your soul. His large frame gave him the confidence that he needed to think about getting the job done.
He knew he was ready for EPW and the two teams Dirk Dickwood Presents and Impulse/ Triple X. He knew he had something they didn't and it was something that they wanted so bad they could taste it.
To Impulse and Triple X this was their next crack rock to be smoked, their next meth hit, and their next joint to be rolled. This was what they desired to have and they were going to get it by any means necessary.
As Sam goofily looked in the mirror his composure changed from happy-go-lucky to a frown and then pure evil rage. His face lit up red, almost making it hard to see where his hair ended and his face began.
"Them ole idiots!" Sam blurted out loud. "Who does them fellas thank they is? They thank me an ole Teddy is gonna be sum ole easy fight an we's jus gonna hand over er tag belts ta them. Well I've give stuff away before but nuffin worff'is much. This mean tha world ta me an ma family and I'll be durned if I jus give it away ta y'all."
He goes over and picks up the EPW World Tag Team Title and grips it by side of the strap and just holds it as he grits his teeth.
"Grrrrrr." He growled much like an angry junkyard dog ready to fight for its food. "This...this is wahtcha wont. Well fine, I'll give ya tha belt but ya won't be a real champ'on like me an Teddy. Ya'd be tha pap'r champ'ons. Ya'd be worff less'an them ole int'rnet nerds'at play rassel on tha comput'r. Ya'd be tha nuffin from tha Nevaendin Story."
He shifts his focus from Impulse and Triple X and gets ready to explode his rage on Dirk Dickwood Presents, but realizes that they aren't worth all his time nor his energy.
"I ain't takin y'all ta seri's. Y'all ain't gonna be ta hard ta beat. Now ole Dick, Jerk an Dirk I know you'ins was so lucky jus ta be here in tha finals. I fer one ain't thank y'all'd be here..." He said with a smile. "...but'en again I rekon none y'all thunk Me an Teddy'd be here neither, did ye?"
He paused to rest his mouth and to think about what he wants to say next.
"Ya see all four of ya's thank we's just gunna lay down fer ya. Well I ain't. If'n i was'a bettin man I'd say ole Triple X would be tha one ta lay down fer y'all. From what I hear'd ole Farthin'ton may take ya up on it. Well I rekon he got Pois'n Ivy's didg'ts tha other. Good luck wiff her Triple X, she's a sluty slut slut, at means a tramp."
He breaks out a smile as he amused himself with actually being able to say something like that and on camera too.
"Wait now, I dunno if I shoulda said all'at their stuff. Whatcha thank Frank?" He asked.
Frank is the cameraman that drew the short straw and had to drive all the way to Harlan, Kentucky and miss the birth of his daughter just for this promo. He's already pissed off and wants the promo to be over so he can drive back home to New Orleans, Louisiana.
"Yeah, it was fine Sam. Are you about done?" Frank asked.
Sam nodded, "I will be in a few minutes."
Frank picked up the camera and put it back on his shoulder. He pointed at Sam to signal him he was ready.
"Y'all best be gettin ready." Sam said as he tried to work his anger back up to trash talk his four opponents. "Dickwood, ya boys ain't ready fer'is ole hillbilly when he's pissed off. Ya boys is ta worried bout gettin in some girls pants an addin anoth'r notch in'ere belt. They ain't ready ta be no champi'ns. They's ready go bar hoppin er whatev'r it’s called."
Sam clinched his canned ham shaped fists tight and looked in the camera. His chin stained brown from the Stokers Apple Tobacco he'd been chewing.
"Impulse, ya an Triple X may be tha fav'rites ta win'is who thang but dreams they's just dreams. Real'ty at's where we is right now. When we gets in at cage, I'm comin fer y'all. If'n Dickwood's boy get tween us, well its er fun'ral. I'm ready ta duct tape ma wrists up an get'is thanks on an poppin!"
Sam ends the promo he walks off, grabbing his book off the hay bail and leaving the barn.</SPAN></SPAN>
TRIPLE X: I took a couple of days off, because I wanted to hear what everyone involved in this match had to say, uninterrupted. I wanted to take it all in, see things from your perspectives, and formulate my response based on truths, not off of what I needed you to say in order for me to come off as the more effective speaker.
"Here's my issue with the direction as to where this entire thing has gone - it's become less about the sport, less about the competition, about knowing who the better man, the better TEAM, and more about titles.
"And, I'm not talking about the tag team titles that Impulse and I are going to leave the arena with."
Trip sat on the edge of the ring, drenched in sweat, breathing heavily. After working out for two and a half hours - the first session of his daily two-a-days being complete - the former EPW World Heavyweight Champion decided to prepare an ice bath, to heal his joints.
TRIPLE X: I'm talking about titles like "legends", "legend killers", "the future of professional wrestling", creative little buzz words designed to sell tickets, t-shirts, and create interest in a bunch of plain-jane vanilla wrestlers who couldn't do a damned thing without a hype machine churning behind them. They, like everything else that takes place, and goes on the week before the match actually takes place, mean nothing, but you guys are putting stock in them like they mean everything.
"Teddy Alexander's going to break everyone's neck, because, well ... it sounds cool. And, don't get me wrong, I'm sure if you go through the Sean Stevens sound vault, you'll see a couple of threats of similar magnitude, but I assure you this, when I've gone there ... when I go there ... it's typically with an enemy. With someone who has crossed a line, by disrespecting my wife, my child, or my family.
"You just say things just to say them. You're gonna break mine and Impulse's necks? Care to place a friendly wager? You break either of our necks, I retire. You fail, you retire? I mean, you exude so much confidence when you're standing in secluded locations, with no one to combat you, or refute your claims, right?
"That's what I thought.
"This isn't about old and new, legends and beginners, this is about who the best is, and the reason why Impulse and I can walk through the fire that was the Bracket of Death unscathed, is because we are just that. So kill all of that noise about it being about the hype ... I've wrestled on rosters where every single individual in the federation hated my guts, and I survived, not on my looks, or reputation, but because when all of that is stripped away? I can fight.
"I've been the measuring stick for so long, that -- like with most legendary tales -- the stories began to take a life of their own, and somewhere hidden beneath an avalanche of lies stood the truth. Do I think my status makes you afraid of me? Do I expect you to stand across the ring from me shivering, cowaring in fear? No. I expect your loud mouth, and youthful exuberance to allow you to have a false sense of security, and I'm going to do my part in shoving your head up your ass.
"I'm so consumed by my ego, yet every five seconds, I defer to my partner, willingly admitting that he is the best wrestler in the world. Make that make sense to me?
"You need me to say certain things in order for your talking points to be effective. From the moment Randall and I were announced as teammates, every other person in this tournament began crafting their promos because you all expected us to be here, just as much as we expected to be here ourselves.
"We haven't overlooked you, we don't look past you. Nothing is given, and we take none of you for granted. But, if you think for one single, solitary second that we're going to take it easier on you because you're young, and because you're the underdog, then all of you are on drugs.
"That King of the Cage crown changed my career.
"And, I want it again. End of story.
"At Aggression, Impulse and I are walking out of that cage as it's Kings, and there's not very much any of you can do about it.
Dickwood: I'm amazed that Sammy boy could even find his way towards a microphone with what appears to be a sandwich shoved down his throat at all times... I mean surely that isn't his natural dialect. That isn't ANYONE's natural dialect. Still, I suppose when the cameras start rolling, we all play our little roles in the play. The ever humble Impulse, bashing down these complimentary words thrown his way because really... the guy, he don't have much else. You can't be this down to earth, rational, man of the person people with a big ole belt around your waist now can we? That starts to feed certain thoughts into a man's mind. Randy, the humble act, it works when you're the starving artist trying to claw your way into a slot of relevance... not so much when you're battling it out for a chance, a shot if you will at everyone's favourite buddy and pal, The First.
Dirk Dickwood, ladies and gentlemen, once again in front of the beautifully designed King of the Cage banner that seems to be in gradually increasing state of decline. The manager behind the tandem of Dirk Dickwood Presents is once again flanked by his personal bodyguard the wonderful ass having Hank and the rumoured by be inbred former socialite Cecilworth Farthington.
Dickwood: And lest we forget the Intercontinental Title reign of our dearest Mr. Knox. How long was that belt in your filthy grasp Randy? Perhaps this was a trap all along, perhaps the idea was for me and C-money to come here and list off your impressive statistics, perhaps we were meant to openly state you've been part of this industry, how you're no fresher off the turnip truck that the racid bag of questionable meat that seems to permanently reside outside of Hank's hotel room. Maybe we're not meant to compare how long it took you from those heady struggles to get recognised in DA fWo to standing one match away from being a title contender, from being King of the Cage. Maybe I'm meant to point out how long it took MAH BOYS to get to the same point...
Farthington: Three months, BOYEE!
Dickwood: What did we say about that?
Cecilworth begins to kick away at the ground like a naughty schoolboy being told off for talking out of turn.
Dickwood: Maybe this is all an elaborate game of wits and I'm playing directly in to your hands. Perhaps the Dirk Dickwood family just isn't as much of the intellgencia that you the mighty Impulse pictures himself as.
Farthington: Etonian, Oxonian, it all begs to differ, the Farthington money, yah, it has brought C-diggity a WEALTH of knowledge.
Dickwood: Wait... did you ever meet Blaine Hollywood?
Farthington: THAT PLEB? He didn't want a warm crumpet up his bum. CAN YOU IMAGINE? It boggles the mind Dirk.
Dirk looks visibly vexed from his charges outburst.
Dickwood: What interests me though putting aside that cute deferential act, peaks my curiosity if you will is this endless talk from our slap dash “established” teams in this little ultimate affair is their steadfast certainty that when things start to go awry, that when the plan begins the deviate, and let us be honest, your plans, they WILL deviate, how when it all comes crashing down, when it begins to hurt inside, you will all continue to be a unit. Teddy and Sammy, the minute Sammy makes a wrong step, looks at Teddy the wrong, has some kind of hillbilly spasm and calls Teddy's mother an unspeakable word... whichever one of these events happens, how solid is the foundation you guys have laid? How strong are the ties that bind you together? That's what interests me. There's an awful lot of confidence, an awful lot of confidence when people have a microphone shoved in their gullets. Words, that's all it is. Words attempted to be said with a high degree of confidence but words none the less.
Farthington: Yah, y'know, a Farthington man, when he talks, the chattering classes, they tend to listen. You gents, you rapscallions, you haven't opened your ears to your master, to your superior. You're too busy trying to convince these mouth breathing loons of your abilities, you just haven't quite understood the dynamics have you? Lady Farthington paid good money for my dynamics lessons!
Confusidigust would be the best way to describe Dirk Dickwood's face.
Dickwood: As for Impulse and Mr X himself... I wish I had your dealer, I wish I knew what you guys were on. It must be some magnificent shit to have the ability to projectile vomit all over my poor unsuspecting computer monitor, as you try and convince me that it tastes better than regular chicken soup. The deference, the backdoor brag, the false modesty that immediately turns on a dime when it's time to GET REAL. It's a mask, it's the facade I spoke about before. Sure, put on the brave face, tell the world that you are united, that you are a team, that this little affair with Cameron Cruise, that's friendly competition, it won't put you out on your asses. It won't let all these feeling FESTER as you try and bury them deep down. One of you gets their shot at The First, the other, he tries to convince himself he's happy for his buddy, his pal but then you enter the cage, things get a little tense, the cracks, they begin to show, they begin to develop. It's the older story in the world, it's one of the most common events to ever happen and yet you stand ever convinced that you will be the two to finally rise above it.
I don't say MAH BOYS are the sole team in this competition out of sheer wishes and candy drops. See, Cecilworth and Hank...
Dirk once again slaps the chests of his charges.
Dickwood: They already had a test of resolve, they had the test to see if they were unified, they had their long dark night of the soul. To survive the famed Bracket of Death, it's impressive but it never really tested The Impulse and Stevens Express... you were never pitted against each other, the strength of the foundation... never checked. These guys, C-Money, Hank, they lost, they had to take long hard looks at the team, they had to evaluate if it was worth carrying on, they had to come together as a team and accept that second chance that came their way. You guys, Teddy and Sammy, none of you have had that bump in the road. None of you have yet to meet that team test but if you want to hold on dearly to those crowns, if you want to cling to those titles, you'll have to check those cracks because from where I stand, they are already developing. Repeat yourself, over and over, it's the oldest trick in the book. Words are words are words are words.
The truth is always the same as it has been since the minute this final came to pass, there is one, ONE single actual team as we reach the conclusion of King of the Cage. Not two people thrown together with the happy faces slapped in to hide the resentment, not a Mice and Men re-enactment with quite possibly the lowest production values I've ever laid eyes on. Those aren't teams, those are one night stands. These are things you will all toss away when you're done with them, Impulse and Stevens, Alexander and Turner... used condoms, that's all they are. Teddy and Sammy, they may be enjoying a climax now. Impulse and Stevens, I'm sure the thought of rolling in as the conquering heroes has already set 'em off...
But all this talk, all this reassurance you wish to make in front of the ever present camera. Who are you trying to convince? Us? DDP? We know the truth, we know the reality. So if it's not us, who are you trying to convince... is it... it couldn't be... would it be yourselves? Are you trying to beat the idea into your ever numbing minds that you are the real deal that will stand the test time of time?
At Aggression 72, the end of the King of the Cage, one team will enter that ring, will watch that cage door close and will get ready for war. One team will enter, one team will leave... the Kings of the Cage and the EPW Tag Team Champions.
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