"I left Unleashed, disappointed that I wasn't about to pin The First for the Empire's World Title, but intent on earning another shot."
"I'm glad to see that I'm getting another crack at The First so soon... to prove the words of Ruben Ross correct: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, THAT SPIT DON'T HAPPEN."
Shadowboxing on the roof.
In the rain.
We can probably posit from this that I'm narrating, not talking directly. And I'm covering most of myself with a hooded sweatshirt that would inhibit speech.
"The First likes to say that he hit me with everything he had which is why he won. Technically that's true - he hit me with everything he had. But he wasn't able to get the pin - or even put me down for more than two point five seconds - until his wife made the save and caused me precious seconds of focus."
"That's all it takes sometimes: a few seconds and your world can take an unexpected turn."
"I imagine The First is feeling much the same right now."
Think about it. Has he ever had to answer for his actions?
"The fact of the matter is that The First has never actually won a title match on his own merit. There's always his mist, there's his wife, there's Stalker, there's Stalker again, there's his wife again..."
"One could argue that the means don't matter. The First has been the Empire's World Champion every day of the calendar for almost a year and a half on his questionable tactics."
"But it's a house of cards being built on a shifting foundation of sand, and time is quickly running out for both the Empire and The First's title reign."
"Am I the one to end it? Given the chance, yes."
"Given the chance, more than ninety percent of the Empire's roster could do so on their first try. The trick is twofold: first, to get The First to agree to a title match against a qualified opponent at all."
Triple X is a bona fide legend and Cameron Cruise is a former World Champion and they needed to qualify for a shot in a match that I ultimately won. What kinda chance does the average wrestler or the newcomer to the Empire have?
"Second, you need to get The First to wrestle."
"Did you see Unleashed?"
"Whether you think I would've won that match--"
"--or not, what the fans remember - what the business remembers - is that I was in control until The First's wife got involved."
Because nothing labels you as a Champion like hiding behind your wife. Twice.
"So I'm calling it right here: the day someone is able to get The First into a title defense on a level playing field, there will be a new Empire Pro World Champion. The First is not good enough to fight his own battles.""
"Will it be me? Maybe. I'd like it to be. But maybe it'll be the new Empire Pro Television Champion, Malcolm Joseph-Jones."
"Congratulations, Malcolm, on taking the belt from Anarky. I hope your first title defense is against a talented wrestler so you can get a sense for what that feels like; I'm embarrassed on behalf of the Empire for how lackluster your title win was."
"I remember beating Michael Bastard for the Empire's Intercontinental Championship, and that was a war. Every title I've ever won has been won in a hard fought battle; the work simply made me appreciate it more."
"You didn't get that, because your opponent... well, not to put too fine a point on it, but your opponent was kind of a bitch who got slut shamed into showing up because he was all ready to take his ball and go home.""
As a wrestler - as a competitor - I will never respect that.
"I'm not gonna make any veiled threats or condescending commentary here, Malcolm - you know how to wrestle and you know how to win. If Rezin or The First decide to try something, I've got your back, and I ask you to get mine."
I won't be bashing either of their heads in with a chair, though. Because I don't need to.
"I've definitely got your back, though, Jones... because hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and Rezin was definitely scorned by the unceremonious way that his partner Anarky was removed from this company at your hands."
"But it's an opportunity, Rezin. Do you mourn him and miss him and cry for him, or do you see him for what he was - an anchor around your career's neck that weighed you down?"
Think about it.
"Anarky wanted to destroy the Empire. He made you believe in this cause, and then in the end, he showed the world it was a cause he cared nothing for. He wasted your time."
"This could be a new beginning, Rezin. Heck, you could be the one who ultimately takes the belt from The First."
It's true, when you consider the fact that you're a wrestler on the Empire's roster. Almost all the battle is won!
"You'll just have to ask yourself one hard question: are you the type to write your own history or agree with someone else's?"
I make my own history. Emm Jay Two has made his as well so far. The First's wife makes his for him; they have a nice setup, she wears the pants while he wears the makeup.
(CUE UP: "Temple of the Morning Star (Acoustic)" by Today is the Day.)
(Our shot opens on the Ballpark in Arlington, in the early, early hours of the morning following Unleashed. The fans have cleared out and clean-up crews have moved most of the major equipment off of the field, leaving only a few tidbits behind to take care of in the morning. The camera finds one such tidbit, and the shot fade-cuts a few times as the view zooms in little by little.)
"I wake in cold sweat"
"And there's no one"
"No one... who cares"
(Finally, we can make out the small but not entirely insignificant object left on the ground like a piece of garbage: an old-school indie-era Impulse mask -- THE mask worn by Muse, removed only after she had done enough to ruin the main event of Unleashed, and left behind without a second thought.)
"This life... no life"
"It's killing me!"
"I am slowly dying"
(A hand reaches into the frame, and black-stained fingers find the mask and pick it up.)
"I can't be what you want me to be"
"I am dead"
(The music and the shot both fade out, juxtaposed to a dry and intriguing chuckle coming from off-camera. Out of the silence, a voice greets us.)
Do NOT talk to me about "revolution".
(Our shot reopens on REZIN, seated on an old antique arm-chair that's looks rather worse for wear -- another priceless heirloom... ruined. The goat bastard is looking right at us from behind his shades, unsmiling. A freshly filled bucket of sludge sits next to him. It looks like there's something floating around the top, but engrossed in black pitch, we can't quite make out what it is.)
I started the revolution back in oh-four, with a seven foot tall Russian giant. That was back when I was the only small man in the Empire Pro locker room... and you were still yanking yourself in front of the computer, scouring the web through your fifty-six-kay dial-up connection in hopes of finding a Poison Ivy nip slip photo. I started the next revolution years after that, when I daringly blazed up in the middle of the ring on Pay Per View, to prove to the entire world that I was free to do whatever I want and live however I choose, and nobody was going to stop me.
And then I started the next one, back at Aggression 61 in Toronto, when I boldly proclaimed to the entire world that I would destroy this Empire.
For that matter, I was referencing Cthulhu back when you thought the letters H and P stood for Hewitt-Packard.
I've already written my history, Impulse. It's there on tape, and in black and white. It's not my fault that you haven't been paying attention... although maybe that's expected, since it seems you spend one half of your life in front of the camera, and the other half sitting on YouTube, looking for anything to give you a reason to get back in front the camera.
Honestly, dude... just get the fuck over yourself already.
Your idea of a "revolution" is to take the word and turn it into a catch-phrase... a philosophy that you keep shoving down everyone's throat like it has meaning, when in fact it's just as hollow as your grasp on the truth. Your "revolution" is something to slap onto a t-shirt and sell to the masses. You beat the drums, and they grab their torches and pitch-forks, and then a bit of a ruckus gets raised... and things just go back to the way they were. Big whoop.
That's the funny thing about revolutions. They come and go, like the wheel spins on its axis. And people like me just sit back watch it all build up, before it all comes crashing down, again and again. Just glance at the "esteemed" history of this company's Television Title. How do you expect me to take a guy like MJ2 seriously? For the past several years, I've watched one ham-and-egger after the next pass through the revolving doors of Empire Pro, taking Dan Ryan's money and leaving nothing behind but a brief and unremarkable stint as "champion".
And 'Nark may have been the closest thing to a friend I've had in a long time... but he's no exception. People come, people go... and the strong survive. Nobody understood that better than he did. But he's gone, and therefore, he should be a dead topic, and frankly, I have no idea why you'd even feel the need to take the time to bash a guy while he's not around to defend himself, other than maybe you just like being a typical New York asshole that likes to brag about how awesome you are, and how much everybody else sucks.
(He shakes his head.)
I don't need an annoying fuck-head like you to tell me what direction I should take my career... and Empire Pro doesn't need another revolution. I intend to give it something more... permanent. Call it a REZOLUTION. Picking up where I left off before Anarky and I decided to join forces.
Forget about destroying the Empire. That was just me talking out of my ass. Things change, with time. The wheel turns.
You can't even begin to believe the unfathomable shit I'm going to rain down on this Empire. The disease is already spreading... and the symptoms will begin to show at Aggression 73.
I don't care if you're a better wrestler, or more motivated, or whatever self-righteous shit you come up with to validate your being an obnoxious cocksucker... I will kick your goddamb face off, simply because I'm tired of looking at it.
(He reaches down into the bucket and pulls from the sludge the thing that's been floating in there. It's the Impulse mask from the beginning of the promo.)
And if that bitch stuck on your ass gets anywhere near my ring, I'll dunk her pretty little head into this bucket. And every time from that point on, when you lean in close to get a kiss, and that smell hits you... my face will be right there in your head, spoiling everything you could ever hope to enjoy in that single moment.
(He drops the mask back into the pitch, and this time it sinks to the bottom. He sits a moment longer staring at the camera, mouth stretching into a smirk? Sneer? Not sure, but not pleasant in any case. Slow fade to black.)
“Let me make one thing perfectly clear to all y’all – I don’t give one good goddamn about your opinions.”
(The camera opens to Malcolm Joseph-Jones standing in front of an EPW backdrop. A large table is set up before him, with an electric purple cloth covering a medium-sized object in the center. Malcolm wears a lavender button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up, top button undone, with white suspenders and black slacks. Simple black browline glasses and a neatly trimmed goatee complete the ensemble of this chiseled slab of man-granite. Manite? Manite.)
MJ2: “Impulse, I’m glad you’re saying you’ve got my back. For some reason, I get these weird flashbacks of Aaron Jones sayin’ the same shit to me back during King of the Cage, and then having absolutely no hope of backin’ it up. Yeah yeah, you’re the Marathon Man, you’ve been a champ around here, you were the last #1 Contender for the World Title – good on you. At the end of the day, you’ve been given a great opportunity for Aggression 73 – the chance to tag with the most competitive mofo the EPW has ever SEEN. You seem like you’ve got some of that same competitive streak, and at the end of the day, that’s all I’ve really ever asked out of any teammate of mine: match my talent, and match my drive, or you are less than nothing. It all boils down to one thing…
I don’t. Like. Losing. Larry Tact and ‘Nark know all about that – I don’t have to tell you that you aren’t seein’ either of those fools around here for a LONG time. And that’s because of me, and the way I handle my business when I get stuck with an L on my record that I shouldn’t have gotten.
And now, across the ring, I see two big ol’ targets, so it looks like our interests are aligned for the time being. You say you’ve got my back? Fine. Wouldn’t change how much ass I plan to kick. It’s going to be all in the name of that W. Just one thing, Impulse:
Don’t you DARE try to show me any more sympathy for the way I won my Television Championship, got it?”
(Malcolm exhales in a half-grunt, anger across his eyes.)
MJ2: “Law of the jungle, Impulse. I saw a sick gazelle and I turned him into dinner, and that’s that. The title is going to be prestigious once again, and that’s because I am the one holdin’ it. Anyone who thinks differently can behold all the fucks I give.”
(Malcolm motions towards empty space.)
MJ2: “And that includes you, Rezin. You want to disrespect me with one throwaway line about how you can’t take me seriously, and leave it at that? Fine, here’s yours: I hope you die quicker. Take your all-bark, wish-you-could-bite ass out of my building, and take your shit-bucket with you. Throw that bucket at me all you like – I’ll pin you, Greatness Choke you out, rub all that shit back on your body and spell out the words ‘Love, Mom’ to make you feel better.
You’re not gonna psyche anyone out of their real goal here – and that’s to make a damn statement of FACT, not opinion. Impulse wants to prove he’s better than The First? Whatever. If and when I pin either one of y’all, he’s still going to be stuck in these opinion-based shenanigans. I don’t got time for shenanigans. Because you see, REGARDLESS of which one of y’all I pin, it’s going to make these two facts known: my present is to make myself the greatest Television Champion that EPW’s ever seen, my future IS that World Title. Whether I have to go through The First, Cameron Fuckin’ Cruise, Triple X, Eli Flair, Rocko Daymon…
(FADEIN: Muse standing in front of the Gulu Gulu Cafe in Salem. She has on a "Boston Strong" T-Shirt and jeans shorts. Cowering behind her is The First, wearing a black wife beater and jean shorts, face painted in the Prince Nuada motif, the EPW World Title resting on his shoulder. "Same Love" by Macklemore)
MUSE: The hubby is cowering behind me, that's how he is and all, that big wimp...(Sneers) Of course that's not all he does. Impulse of course brought up the fact that...Umm well...Spits...And that this is an "alternate lifestyle" that I need to be made aware of. I don't get you Impulse, the whole gay bashing thing, I thought we were past that by now, guess not with you, guess you enjoy stoking the fires of homophobia for a cheap pop...So glad you won't close a fist or raise a weapon, but you'll hate with the best of them to make yourself look cool.
You took your eye off the ball, you were the one worried about the fact that your woman couldn't handle herself in a fight, you're the one that slipped up and got beat, that's all there is to it. Explain, justify and excuse it any way you want, you lost and that's the end of the story.
(First stands up straight and Muse steps to the side.)
FIRST: The sob story is touching Impulse...You and everyone else just keep moving the goalposts on what it means to be a success...I had to hold my own and not be deadweight for Felix Red...I did that and we dominated the tag scene...Not enough...Now I had to outshine Felix and become a star on my own...I did that and they said I needed to win the World Title...I did that but I didn't hold it long enough, didn't reign well enough...So I came back and dominated and as you said it, have reigned for a damn long time...But it's never good enough...It'll never be good enough...
The cynics, the critics, the haters can always nitpick, can always gainsay, you could always do better by them, always chase a perfection that can never be obtained...It's a fools game...You can't please those that seek to tear you down...All you can do is make it so that their voices are marginalized...That it is clear to the rest of the world that those who speak against you are seen as the fools they truly are.
It was all supposed to be gift wrapped for you, the conquering hero. You were supposed to come in and dominate the Empire and then when you called your shot, you were going to make it stick and reign as champion...
Didn't work out that way...I didn't play along...I wasn't so easy to vanquish...
But thanks to Dan Ryan's poor running of the place, the fact that the new blood like Boogie Smallz and MJ2 are just getting used to their new titles...While the old guard like Triple X is on the way out with injures...Cameron Cruise is lost in the fog of being Cameron Cruise and Rocko Daymon and Eli Flair have shown up for a trip down memory lane...You would be right to assume it seems likely you'll get another try at me...
MUSE: You forgot Stalker.
FIRST: No I know he is around, but he is no threat to me, the coward wouldn't fight me when he had the chance ages ago, he'll not trifle with me now either...
So the path looks clear for you to get at me again...We'll see how that all works out for you...For now we're going to have this match, and let me make this clear...I just want to hurt you...Rezin, I want to make this clear to you...You want to turn this match into a slaughter, if you want to get the match thrown out just to send a message and hurt these two...Go ahead and do it...I'm going out to that ring to do one thing and one thing only...Hit you in the head and neck and often as I can...Victory will be measured not by a three count or a tap out, but by how long it takes you to pass ImPACT testing, and how many doctors have to check the CT scans of your neck...
As for you MJ2, I respect you, you beat the shit out of Anarky and took his title, that's how a man handles his affairs in this company as far as I'm concerned...I'm sure you're thinking it's going to be that easy all the way up to the top of the Empire.
Well I'm here to tell you that it won't be, that when you get in the ring with me, you will have to elevate your game or you'll be laid out real quick...
Welcome to the next level...Let's see if you can handle it.
"Are you admitting that you're The First's beard? Did Stalker father the kid as part of the deal that gave The First his first title reign?"
"Clarification would be appreciated."
On The First and Muse. Muse is wearing pretty much the most outrageous outfit possible that is still in the galaxy of possibility, with enough zippers, straps, belts, and pouches to make the character designers of the Final Fantasy series shake their heads.
The First is sitting on her shoulder, with his face painted up like the 'Tragedy' face, holding up a sign that says "Poor little brian" on it. He appears to be dressed in Osh Kosh B'Gosh overalls, a striped shirt, and a diaper bulge.
The corner of the image has a stylized "MJF" scripted in.
It's a very impressive caricature: every feature is exaggerated but you can still immediately tell who they're supposed to be. Ten year olds should not be able to draw this well.
But it's currently being affixed to my refrigerator with a pair of magnets. I'm not one to turn down a gift, especially not from a young, talented artist like this.
"I know The First is trying to work well with Rezin, but going all 'Poor Little The First' is a little too close to an Anarky impression to be healthy."
But to address the issue at hand...
"What a person does defines them to me, not who they are. Does The First like boys? Girls? Both? Neither? Farm animals? Watermelons? White bread soaked in holy water? Playtpuses?"
Platypi? You get the point.
"How does any of this affect the fact that he's a disgrace to the Empire?"
"How does any of this change the fact that he's a worse Champion than Anarky ever was?"
"Look at me, I'm awesome. I'm the Champion and I'm better than all of you. Stop making fun of me, you're mean! You must be (insert whatever hate group we can bend reality the least in order to fit), you're a terrible person."
"Was that The First, or was that Anarky?"
I can't tell either.
"Where have the goalposts gone, The First? When have they ever moved?"
"I don't care about your tag teaming with Felix Red. I don't care about Forsaken and Hope and Dis and how far you think you had to go to overcome the odds."
"I asked one question that took many forms because I thought I could eventually nail the one that would get you to answer."
"How can you call yourself the greatest Champion in the history of the Empire when you've never won a title match without help?"
"Carrying the belt and being a Champion are two different things, no matter how long you do either one."
That's why Triple X was a Champion. That's why Anarky wasn't.
"What you did at Unleashed wasn't a marginalization of the voices critical of your title reign, The First - what you did was to legitimize every one of them."
"What the world saw was validation."
"You can't beat me without help."
"Just like you couldn't beat Triple X."
"Your title reigns all started on a lie, The First - and the Empire is bored with it."
"Almost as bored as it is with the idea of one wrestler being able to destroy it."
"Revolution, Rezin? REZolution?"
"Let me guess what your Revolution was, outlaw rebels who buck the system and don't play by the rules, creating fear and jealousy everywhere they go over how awesome they are?"
"Wow, I can't believe nobody ever thought of that before."
"Let me ask you something, Dopesmoker - Rezin? Is the biggest regret of your career the fact that someone else already wrestles under the name Token Weed?"
"What you do, Rezin, is make vague comments about revolutionizing - I'm sorry, REZolutionizing the wrestling industry. What you do is easy."
"When I talk about a Wrestling Revolution, I mean just that - wrestling. Listen to the fans, Rezin. Listen to what they want to see and don't want to see. They don't want to see a champion who can't defend himself. They don't want to see a champion who tells them their company sucks. They don't want to see some guy come out and make faux-stoner innuendo."
"They want wrestling."
"And let me ask you something, Rezin, why does your double standard not cover me?"
"I criticized Anarky one time as a man who didn't have what it took to carry this company and he subsequently brought my name up every time he spoke for six months."
"Three reasons I didn't care, Rezin."
"One, I don't need constant validation from the rest of the roster."
"Two, as a 'New York asshole', all I need to do is wrestle to show my quality."
"And three, I don't pack up my ball and go home when things don't go my way, which is the exact opposite of what the last two World Champions of more than ten minutes have a history of doing."
With apologies to Cameron.
"You watch my back and I'll watch yours."
"Wrestling the World Champion and Leader of the Rezol--"
I can't take that seriously.
'Rezolution.' All I can think of is Rezin wearing obnoxious sunglasses with a year on them, acting like a touristy ass in Times Square. Have you made your New Year's Rezolution yet? I have. It's to stop showing respect to my colleagues who clearly haven't earned it.
"So, Emm Jay Two, you're wrestling the guy who carries the world title belt around and another guy who clearly has a compelling and not at all derivative revolution planned, teamed with the wrestler who has proven his mettle against both on multiple occasions."
"It's in your best interest to get my back, just like it's in mine to get yours."
(CUE UP: "Good Hearted Woman" by Waylon Jennings... for a few seconds anyway.)
You think what I do is easy, Impulse?
Pff-huh... you have no idea what "easy" is, little lamb.
(The shot opens with the camera weaving through the labyrinthine hallways of the house Erik Black grew up in as a boy... the house he now owns, with the passing of his un-dearly departed mother. As the comforting sounds of country music fades into a din of static, screams, and chaos, we can see just how much the dwelling has fallen into ruin under the watch of its new owner, with walls showing rampant slash-marks and black smudge stains. It looks as if hell itself farted in here.)
Try standing up on that top rope for once in your life... knowing that everything could seriously fuck itself over if you don't land right, but also knowing that if you don't go all out, you'll never be able to live with yourself for as long as you live. Do it a thousand times, knowing you're only increasing the risk every time you take that chance with your body.
(The trail of destruction leads us into the den itself, where the ruined antique armchair is pulled up in front of a small tube television set, currently set at the static channel. A bucket of black sludge sits nearby.)
Try living your life without your friends and mentors there to pat you on the back and tell you you're doing the right thing. Try getting by without that pretty girl of yours stroking you off when your ego needs a bump.
(Somebody sitting in the chair notices the camera, and REZIN stands up to face the camera. On his chest, the words "REZISTANCE IS FUTILE" are smudged across his chest.)
But I know you won't... because for as much as you enjoy looking down on anybody who might need that extra equalizer just to get by, you yourself are too proud to admit how just easy it is to be Randall fucking Knox.
(The music abruptly cuts out.)
RIGHT NOW I WANT THE UNDIVIDED ATTENTION OF EVERY GOD-FEARING AMERICAN CITIZEN...
(CUE UP: "The Man Who Loves to Hurt Himself" by Today is the Day.)
What YOU do is easy, Impulse.
Being a great professional wrestler, when you've been trained by one of the greatest professional wrestlers the sport has ever seen, is not exceeding an expectation. It's simply living up to a standard.
No-selling the last move, kipping up to your feet, and kicking the other guy in the face to end a match is what some might call a cheap, easy way to win -- in fact, it's downright cliched. Yet, that pretty much sums up the bulk of your thrice-damned "wrestling" in the final moments of the majority of the matches you've been in.
This is to say nothing to the fact that virtually every situation you've been in has worked favorably your way, win or loss. Pretty easy to live your life with the mantra of doing things the hard way. That way, when things work out for you, you can have your gratifying "I told you so moment", and when they work otherwise, you can always argue that the other guy only won because you faced a greater challenge.
Been pretty much the exact opposite for me, in case you haven't noticed. When I lose, I always seem to lose clean. And in the rare cases when I actually DO win, it's always seemingly because the other guy got roughed up before the match, or he had a weak tag partner, or some other reason.
Funny, how things turn out that way. Going into pretty much every show for the past year, and being consistently faced with the task of trying argue what you're worth to this company? That ain't easy, Impulse...
(He holds his arms out and glances around his childhood homestead.)
Growing up in this house wasn't easy. Growing up in this shit-splat town in the middle of a hick fly-over state, getting pushed around all those years by the over-sized and the over-privileged like a scapegoat for their insecurities... that wasn't easy. Ending up in Japan, and scraping by just for any opportunity to get a few minutes in the ring... there was nothing easy about that either.
There was nothing easy about crawling my way out of the hell that spawned me, into the greatest professional wrestling promotion that ever existed. I had to bust my ass just to make it this far. I had to withstand pain that you can't even begin to conceive. Even after all that, I still consider myself lucky...
But even then, it's a funny kind of luck... because despite everything I've survived all these years, it still hasn't gotten an easier for me. And I can tell you right now, Impulse... there is nothing easy about waking up time and time again in this filth, completely alone and unloved, looking forward to another day of more assholes like you belittle me and spit on me, because no matter how much I want and try to change it all, you know there's little I can do to fight back.
And yet, you'll still probably look for every reason to brag about it.
But think about that, Impulse... put that stellar college education of yours to use, and do some deductive goddamb reasoning for once in your life. What would you and MJ2 really be accomplishing by winning this match?
After all, the two of you have already done a splendid job of depicting the First and myself as either cheaters, liars, miscreants, cowards, or complete wastes of potential. And if that's really the case, then I guess it should be a fairly easy task for a beefcake like Malcolm and a golden child of wrestling like yourself to just steamroll over the two of us.
On the other hand, if the Painted-Up Freak and I were to somehow rally together and beat the two of you supposed juggernauts -- and did it clean -- that would be something nobody would see coming. And everybody would understand that we overcame the greater challenge to get it done.
(He stops himself by rolling his eyes, as if his mind is shouting to himself, "Idiot! What the hell are you talking about? When does anybody EVER understand ANYTHING?!")
Or, you know... maybe MJ2 will just spin it around by saying he was once again held back by his partner.
(He reaches down and picks up the bucket, long enough just to dip his two fingers into the black muck inside. With his quill inked, he turns to a blank wall in the room and begins smearing the sludge into rudimentary letters.)
Here... since you apparently need of clarification to feed your bullshit.
(He steps away from the wall to reveal the message "Z = S, U F-N A-HOLE".)
I'm not promising revolution, Impulse. If anything, this is a resolution. The point to a pointless endeavor. The meaning to a meaningless existence.
Although I also like to think of it as the END to all revolutions... the silencer of all statements. It would perhaps be more appropriate to say that I am REZOLVED to spoil everything that the likes of you and Malcolm Joseph-Jones could ever hope to accomplish.
Simply because Empire Pro doesn't need another revolution. Apparently, you missed the part where I said that revolutions were worthless. Then again, you also missed the many occasions where Anarky came out and deliberately said that the destruction of the Empire was my idea and not his.
But it's the same old sad story. The oppressed revolt... and they become the oppressors. Look at yourself now, standing on top of the world looking down at everyone, compared to how you were when you first walked into this federation with something to prove.
You say the people want this pure, no-bullshit wrestling you keep selling... but it's not like it was never there to begin with. The likes of Cruise, Westcott, Sands, and Daymon had you beat there by a number of years.
Truth is though, that for as much as you like to make people think otherwise, you really don't know what those people want. Hell, even THEY don't know what they want! One day, they're cheering for guys like Anarky and spitting on Adrian Willard, and literally a week later, it could suddenly be the exact opposite.
Seriously... walk into the nearest trailer park you get a chance, Impulse. Ask the first guy you see in an ICP t-shirt what he'd rather see: two guys trading holds for a half hour, or two guys beating the shit out of each other from pillar to post. Sure, he's just some trailer park scum, who probably doesn't matter as much as the "people" you're talking about... but I'm sure Dan Ryan wouldn't mind having that guy's dollar.
(He glances longingly out the window, looking down the street of his hometown of Lebanon. Small and insignificant in the grand scheme of things... but still the home to the lifesblood of the American machine.)
See, there's a reason why this sport attracts a more blue-collar demographic than any other. It's because professional wrestling offers to them what amateur wrestling can't deliver. Professional wrestling gives them the drama... and that's what sells.
We're talking about simple hard-working people know exactly what it's like to be oppressed by assholes who will always have the money, the intelligence, and the support to keep them under their thumb.
People don't just tune in to Aggression just to watch wrestling, you misguided simpleton. They tune in to watch the great things that good, exceptional wrestling can accomplish, even in the face of adversity. People want to watch their heroes overcome that which cannot perceptibly be overcame.*All those people really want is to be told a story. Specifically, one that gives them the hope and meaning they can't otherwise get out of their miserable and insignificant lives.
And now they're watching your stand there, patting yourself on the back about what a great "wrestler" you are, even in the light of your failure. You're standing there coming up with reasons to justify WHY you failed, seemingly unable to fess up and admit that your great and all-powerful wrestling just wasn't enough to overcome the greatest schemer in the game. You promised to give those people what they supposedly wanted, and all you could give them was the same disappointment they could have just as easily found by living through the course of their regular shitty lives.
Sure, Impulse... you're a great wrestler. Nobody ever denied. Carmelo Anthony is a great basketball player too. But all the same, the both of you failed to bring any World Championships to New York this year.
Championships that matter, in any case.
(It seems like the moment he'd flash a smirk, but for some reason, he doesn't.)
All that talk about how other people "need" to swing chairs and "need" to take short-cuts and "need" help in their corner... and all you could do is prove that you need something yourself. You need a match without distractions.
And you've got a two-hundred-and-seventy pound distraction standing right there in your corner.
And don't worry, MJ2... I haven't forgotten about you. Hope you don't take that as disrespect, since you apparently find everything offensive.
I mean, sure, you're miffed because I said I don't take you seriously, but it's not like your partner takes me serious as well. In any case, how could ANYTHING be taken seriously? All of existence is a joke, and regardless of how many times we define this sport as the azimuth of human existence, there's always some group of douchebags out there guffawing over how gay we all are for engaging in a contact sport.
That's the ultimate paradox of your existence, Malcolm. Your idea of "greatness" is another man's idea of "gayness".
It's not that I won't credit you for being a big beefy badass. You're good at what your do, otherwise you wouldn't have worked your way up to the Television Championship. But pray tell, when you achieved your ultimate image of absolute badassedry... what comes next?
Will you pick up the pieces and move on? Will you move on up in the world? Or will you just be another beaten Television Champion slipping into the cracks of obscurity?
Explain to this poor, misbegotten waste of existence just how you are you going to be different from all those that came before you, tried, and failed?
I mean, look at the line of previous Television Champions, and notice how many of them actually built off of their stint with that title. Cameron Cruise made it happen... after many, many diligent years of persistence. Adrian Willard, Cthulhu bless him, is still trying.
I don't know, to be honest... but I DO know that you're not going to convince me otherwise by telling me things I've already heard.
And yeah, I know you're tired of hearing that... but don't blame me. Blame the legions of losers who came to this place before you, getting our hopes up with all their hollow promises and leaving us disappointed in the end.
That's not say you can't pick me up and choke me out, or whatever. There have been a lot of guys that have come through and kicked my ass. But they didn't stick around... which pisses me off, because it felt like I just sat there and took an ass kicking for nothing.
You hope I die quicker... and frankly, I'm right there with you. But life has a tendency to hand me a number of disappointments. I can't die quickly, it seems... not before watching the last things left in this world I have any affinity toward die first.
The jury is still out on whether MJ2 is the real deal or not... and given the circumstances of this being a wild card tag match, we may not even have an answer by Aggression 73. I guess we'll have to wait until you finally man up and put your new title on the line. But whether there's any weight to your promises, or if you're just another pretender promising changes and the making of statements, you couldn't have come into such a position at a worse time.
Why is that? Well, it's like this, Malcolm...
(He removes his shades, to show he's being serious... even if one does find it hard to be serious about anything.)
I'm tired of being walked over by bullies like you. I'm tired of people like you calling me a waste of potential, when you have no fucking idea what REAL potential is in the first place.
You've got size and you've got strength, and you've got some motivation... but I'm willing to bank that you're desire to kick my ass isn't quite as large as my desire to kick the ass of every person who keeps on doubting me as nothing more than a burn-out. Desire isn't everything, I realize... but when desire is all you've got to go by, you learn to take it for what is.
You don't think it could be done? That's fine... years ago, people didn't think The First could beat "Triple X" Sean Stevens. All the same, he found a way to get it done.
Of course, it wasn't all that legit of a win... but you knew that already of course. How could you not, by the way your partner keeps spouting off to the entire world what I've already known and been trying to tell people for years?
(He picks the bucket of sludge up again, swinging it around in his grip as though he's testing the weight.)
Frankly, though, I no longer care whether I can win convincingly, or legitimately, or however else. It doesn't matter to me what people have to say about my ability as a wrestler, or what they might say about my lack of a record. I don't care about the gratification I'd get if all this suffering somehow one day paid off.
Truth be told, I don't even care about wanting destruction anymore. I think everybody knows by now I'm not capable of anything like that.
But even with the whole world rooting for my demise, I keep on fighting... even when I know in all likelihood I'm just going end up being humiliated and beaten again, I keep fighting... just to show the world that I can still hurt the people that piss me off.
(He grabs the bucket by the base, showing the audience the black mess within.)
And the two of you have given me plenty of reason to be pissed off.
(He tosses the contents of the bucket directly at the camera. Beneath the sound of slopping, we immediately go to black.)
(The camera opens to Malcolm Joseph-Jones on a treadmill in the middle of a Gold’s Gym. A gray, sweat-soaked Millsaps College tank top, black gym shorts, purple Nike running shoes and browline workout goggles. A black armband with a white iPod nano, electric purple earbuds playing Tupac in his ears. Manite building time.)
MJ2: “You went a little crazy there, and I get it. You’re facing yet another crushing defeat, and you’re pissed.
The difference between a man like me and a man like you is really simple, brother. When I get pissed? I wreck the world. I find the next obstacle in my path, and I face it, level it, DOMINATE it. It’s the way I work – it’s the way I live my life. Weakness is NOT an option.
When you get pissed? You cry and moan about how life’s not fair to you. And THAT’S why I will always have a problem with you.”
(Malcolm turns off the treadmill and begins to towel off. The camera follows him as he ogles a lady or two on his way to the weight room.)
MJ2: “I can’t lie, man – I don’t think I get what you’re all mad at me for. I don’t think ANYONE does. Call me an egomaniac, fine. Call me arrogant, call me a dick, call me whatever. It’d at least make sense, even if it doesn’t bother me a bit.
Michael didn’t have any friends. Neither does Kobe. It’s lonely at the top, son.
I just don’t get why you think that there’s some big thing about how people might call my greatness ‘gayness’. It’s silly – and maybe it’s something you don’t understand about me specifically, so I’ll spell it out for you real quick:
I don’t give a damn what lesser people think of me.
Anyone who wants to throw shade my way can say it to my face and I’ll slap the taste out their mouth, or they can say it behind my back and show just how pathetic and jealous they are of my success and my greatness. I’m fine with either one, brother.
And yes – you ARE a waste of potential. You’re a man with talent out your ass but without the brains to figure out how to make it work for you. You either throw your saddle onto a man who will let you down, or you toss your hands up in a sea of self-pity and exasperated cries for understanding, and that’s NOT how winning is done.
This business is all about the W, Rezin. You don’t think I’ll stick around? You’re wrong. You think that my legacy is defined by the long line of losers who came before me? You’re wrong. You think the jury is still out on me?
You’re gonna end up on the wrong side of history. I will beat your ass silly and move on to the next fool in line without a second thought.
Law of the jungle.”
(Malcolm sets up a very heavy looking barbell on his shoulders, the weight bending the bar a bit across his back. Time for squats.)
MJ2: “Mr. First, I’m glad to hear you respect me. You’ve held the belt for a long time now – and whether or not my teammate feels the same way, I respect that too. You understand what I understand. History’s written by the winners, right? The rest can cry all they want, but you have the last say at the end of the day – that gold around your waist.
My legacy with the Television Championship won’t be EXACTLY the same…I don’t have a lady to hide behind, I don’t have a Dis mask to skew the world’s perceptions. It’s just me – the latest, most genetically gifted monster of EPW. They came before me, they left before me – they paved the way for the never-take-no-for-an-answer, take-prisoners-then-choke-em-out, purely competitive mofo that I am. I don’t need gimmicks. I don’t need tricks.
I will overpower any and all forces that stand before me…because I can. You say I need to take it to the next level?
When you face me in the ring at Aggression 73…you will fear the very thought of my next level.”
(Malcolm slams the weights to the ground, its resonant clang shaking the lens of the camera. He approaches the lens, flashing an incredibly self-confident grin.)
MJ2: “You’re lookin’ at the present and the future. EPW’s never gonna be the same.”
(FADEIN: The First and Muse sitting on the steps in downtown Front Street, same outfits as before.)
MUSE: What difference would it make if First was gay? We're really having this conversation today? We're really having the hero of the Empire and the leader of the revolution sit here and crack wise about how icky gay people are?
(Muse shakes her head)
You're supposed to be a hero...You're a disgrace...We're heading into Oklahoma City, not exactly the most open minded of cities and I bet there is a kid...Likely a bunch of kids that look up to you...And they are gay...And their hero tells them to be ashamed of themselves, to think themselves somehow wrong...That's the standard you're setting and you sicken me for having done it...My husband could hit a hundred men in the head with steel chairs, break a million rules and never fight a fair fight again in his life and I'd have more respect for him than I ever would you...
Because he doesn't use bigotry to make the hateful feel better about themselves...I honestly hope you look back on what you've said and regret it...
FIRST: He won't...Impulse's so confident and sure in everything he's ever said or done that mistakes are impossible...This is a man who claims I wanted pity, that I felt bad for myself...Well in the famous words of the other guy he was trying to compare me too...(First holds up the EPW World Title.) I never asked for this...
I DEMANDED IT...
I kicked down the door and took this belt...I've devoted everything to obtaining it and holding it...And you don't like the style in which I conduct myself...Well piss on that...All that matters is that I get my hand raised at the end of the night and my belt handed back to me...You had your chance to do something about it and you failed..
And of course you're the man who wants everyone else to fight on the up and up, but you only got your title shot because Cameron Cruise handed it to you...handed it to you by knifing your best friend in the back...And how did you react to that? Told Trip to go jump in a lake, you got the shot now, everyone else can drop dead.
If I'd stabbed my best friend in the back in that manner to earn a title shot, I think I could expect a half hour long promo about how much I disrespect the business, people in general, and the world at large from you...But you get such gifts given to you and it's just serendipity...
This is why I don't really bother worrying about what you think of me, you don't like me? That's great, I don't like you either. Difference between us is that I'm a honest man, I don't hide behind a code that only suits me when it's easy and is discarded when it's not, I don't lie about the reasons I say and do things...I'm straight up about everything in this business.
And Rezin wants to take the fight to you, to beat you at your own game? Well that's fine with me...We all talk the same talk about the man, but I've felt what he brings to the table when he wants to get it done...He talked a lot about not wanting to win this title from me...But when push came to shove...We went to war for this belt...Knowing he wants a piece of Impulse's hide...Music to my ears...
As for you MJ2...You're talking big...We all talk big...I threw up before the first time I fought for the EPw World Title...The bright lights and the big stage have a way of getting to a man...Admittedly you got the training wheels on for this match since it's a tag match and it's your partner who is hogging the spotlight...
But there will be a moment in that match where you'll have to go it alone...Where the beloved Marathon Man is down and out and all eyes turn to you to turn the tide against Rezin and myself...And that's when we'll get to see what you're really made up...Not winning a title off a man who had quit on the company before he even hit the ring...That was just taking care of business...This is the moment of truth, this is the moment where you are put into the fire and we finally see if MJ2 can take the heat...Or if he just turns to ash and is scattered to the four winds...
The First and Rezin are a pair of tools who wouldn't know talent if it hit them.
Are we really having this conversation?
No, we're not. But you are.
You talk about The First not playing ball with the narrative of Unleashed when there was no narrative. The burden of proof was on me as the challenger to beat The First. He didn't have to beat me.
The facts are what the facts are: I wrestled circles around your boy and he got the pin. The facts are what the facts are: your boys has proven himself unable to win a clean match, so the challenge is getting him to wrestle one.
The facts are that there shouldn't be gay marriage. There should be marriage and it should be between any two consenting adults.
I can't believe we actually have to have this conversation in two thousand thirteen. But who's the biggest fraud, Muse? The person who uses a play on words to make a point for about three seconds, or the person who takes those words out of context and pushes a conversation that wasn't even happening for five straight minutes?
I say it doesn't matter what The First is into because none of it affects the fact that he's a terrible wrestler, and you say that it's obvious I'm a bigoted homophobic hate monger. I can't even say you spun it because there's no connection in reality between the two.
People are smart, Muse. They can tell when you're reaching. The fact remains that the only people who actually bought what you're selling are The First himself and maybe your parents.
And I'm willing to bet they had a coupon.
But let's stay the course for a minute. Let's follow your narrative that would see me slowly lose my mind and my ethics like a real - life - wrestling version of Harvey Two Face.
What's actually happened that makes anything any different? Because I won a triangle match against two opponents who ended up working against each other to the point where they screwed each other out of a potential win?
I don't like outside interference, The First.
I don't like it when people not involved in my matches affect the outcome. I've asked for matches to be restarted, I've asked for wins to be reversed to no contests when a restart isn't a logical outcome.
That didn't happen here.
I won the number one contendership when I pinned Triple X and Cameron Cruise shoved his foot off the bottom rope. Now, while Cameron Cruise has gone on to brag about how he hand delivered me the number one contendership and I owe my entire career in the Empire and points north to him, he's forgetting the sad fact that he was a former World Champion here, and apparently felt that the only way he could be significant in this match was to hand me a victory.
He wasn't good enough to win it himself.
Somewhere down the line, Cameron Cruise and I are going to settle up. But the fact remains that as a part of the match, Cameron Cruise was allowed to get involved in the match.
These honest men conveniently forget that fact because it looks much better for them to say that I screwed Triple X out of a victory. That allows men like you, The First, to say "I'm honestly dishonest which is better than Impulse who is dishonestly honest." That's your narrative.
Of course, doing so overlooks the fact that, by your definition, Triple X screwed me out of a victory about ten minutes prior in that same match when he pulled Cameron Cruise's foot onto the bottom rope. That man didn't kick out, that man was lifeless. I would have one that match right then and there if it wasn't for Triple X.
People don't mention that because it doesn't make me look bad.
I don't mention it except for complete disclosure sake because...
(Are you ready for this? It'll blow your mind.)
... as a part of the match, Triple X is allowed to get involved in the match.
You can keep trying to spin it, The First, but the farther you move from reality the less credibility you'll have amongst the fans and the rest of the wrestlers here, until you literally are just some guy carrying around the title belt until a wrestler can take it from you. And that's a shame, because the Empire can't survive when the Emperor wears no clothes.
(That was also a figure of speech, Muse. No, nobody is peeping in your bedroom window.)
I'm sorry it had to come to this, The First, but this company has been good to me and it deserves better than you.
I'd also like to apologize to Rezin.
I had no idea, Rezin. I had no idea how easy I had it. I had no idea that I could step into this company a full seven years after you and immediately make you irrelevant. That having my best friend in my corner was a threat to your way of life.
At what point, though, do you intend to take responsibility for yourself and stop blaming everyone else for your own shortcomings, Rezin?
You take risks that you shouldn't, again and again, because it's how you get noticed?
Walking into hostile territory with no backup and no friends, relying on your own will to get the job done?
Listening to an entire roster - or a good portion of it - tell you that you're worthless, a joke, and a fraud?
Got the T-shirt.
But you don't see me getting all 'Poor Impulse' on the Empire, do you?
I wrestled the first year of my career under a mask for total anonymity; because of my trainers. Because I wanted to be judged on my skill and my skill alone: I didn't take off the mask until the first bit of gold was around my waist. Your comment that excelling in the ring when you consider who trained me isn't excelling, it's simply living up to a standard, just completely justified that decision.
I broke my neck during a title defense - a fact that I'm sure you were aware of when you consider the fact that The First brings it up at least once every eighty three minutes. To be fair it wasn't a full on break like you'd traditionally think; it was a hairline fracture of one vertebrae. But it still took over a year of rest and rehab to get back in the ring, because I didn't want any complications. That was over three years ago and I haven't had a single problem with my neck since.
Yeah, part of that is luck. Things have a way of falling into place for me. But let me ask you this, while luck can put me in a match for number one contendership to the Intercontinental Title, or for the World Title, or can give me Triple X as a partner for the King of the Cage... it takes a ton of work to actually follow through.
You can be lucky with situations and opportunities, but they're just that: opportunities. There's an awful lot of refining work that goes into making the most of those opportunities.
As far as the rest of the world belittling you and spitting on you?
Opponent after opponent after opponent.
The First to Cameron Cruise to Anarky to Rich Mahogany to Stalker and everyone in between.
Impulse, you suck. Impulse, you're a fraud. Impulse, you're a hypocrite.
Because the Empire's biggest names have the biggest insecurities, and continue this inability to understand how I do what I do. Why I do what I do.
Fortunately, my actions don't require their understanding. And they don't require their approval.
You want to be angry about people looking down on you, fine. You want to blame someone for your station in life, blame yourself. Only you can improve your situation, Rezin.
You live where you live because you choose to. After nine years of wrestling, if you're not making enough money, whose fault is that?
Why do you need a big house? Why do you need things to be happy?
I'm one company's World Champion and I still live in the same one bedroom apartment that I've been in for seven years. Why do I need something bigger, I'm never home.
There's a choice, Rezin: there's always a choice. You choose to live the way you do because it's easier than digging your way out. You choose to live the way you do because you think it gives you the moral high ground to tell everyone about the odds you have to battle.
Everyone battles the odds, Rezin. Everyone has something to overcome.
When I don't talk about 'em it's not because I've got it easy, it's because they're my odds and if I can't pass 'em, I don't belong in this sport.
Maybe I'll get another shot at The First for the belt and take it from him. Maybe I'll get another shot and come up short.
When it happens, if it happens, I'm going to do what I've always done: acknowledge what happened and go on to the next thing.
Maybe that's the problem.
There have never been any excuses or moving of goalposts. There's been acknowledgement of the facts, no matter what they are. When the facts state that I won a match because another participant in the match affected the outcome, or I lost a match because I got tased by a valet, I've never shied away from them.
That's where my frustration rises from: when I lose a match due to something other than my opponent's wrestling, I feel like me, my opponent, and the fans are robbed of seeing who the better wrestler at that moment truly is.
I feel the same if I win a match in that fashion; that has simply not happened yet in the Empire.
So let me ask you, Rezin; The First; Muse: do you really find being honest about the way things happen to be distorting the record? Are you actually saying that 'This is what happened' is a fraudulent statement? Because if you, do, you're in the wrong business.
(CUE UP: "Temple of the Morning Star" by Today is the Day. Electric version.)
(Our shot opens up in the living room once again. The message "EVIL REZIDES WITHIN" has been left on the wall, but otherwise, its author--and his bucket o' sludge--appear to presently absent.)
"No room for weakness?"
(The voice appears to be coming from the small tube set. The camera zooms in to get closer, focusing in on a field of eye-grating static.)
Ohh, I doubt that very much...
See, as a person who has an abundance of weakness, I've lived my life from a unique perspective. And that perspective helps me find the weakness that plagues other people. Even when they deny its existence. Try as you might to shut it out of your mind, you can't deny weakness. All you can do is try to hide it, and pretend the world won't notice.
(Through the static, a view fades in... revealing REZIN, all up in the camera's grill. He's shaking his head and clicking his tongue.)
But I bet if I dug down deep enough into your smooth, squishy skull, sooner or later, I would show this world what makes the great MJ2 shudder late at night when the eyes aren't on him. I bet I could scoop out a piece of your tiny little brain and show it back to you, so you see how small and insignificant it really is.
My heel will bore the hole.
You will know weakness when that bell rings, Malcolm... because to deny weakness is to deny humanity.
(He rips the shades off his face and dares the camera with reddened eyes.)
And you're not telling me you're some kind of pro wrestling cyborg, are you? Is MJ2 actually your serial number, or something?
I only ask, because I've sometimes wondered that about your tag partner. Long story short, let's just say I know this seven-foot-tall guy who screams a bunch and swears on his life that he ripped the head off a guy named Impulse back at some indie event in New York some years back...
I'ma have to shut you down if that's the case. You and Knoxbot's Robot Revolution.
Here's the inherent flaw with your logic, Malc... when I say one thing, you label me a weakling. When I say another thing, you label me a liar. You fault me for not doing enough, yet you say I'm mentally incapable of even being able to do enough. Damned if I do, damned if I don't, right?
I honestly can't decide what you want out of me. A confession that I'm a lousy talent, for you sneer over? A hollow threat, for you to call a bluff? Whatever the case, it's all meant to feed your raging superiority complex... and I won't abide to indulging your ego any longer. Fuck that noise. Do me a favor, and the next time you feel like telling me like it is, just assume that I might share your opinion in not giving a fuck about what you think of me, and save the both of us the time and the breath.
As far as I'm concerned, I was put on this planet to do only one thing: whatever I please. And what pleases me... is knocking over the Tower of Babel made out of your ego, and watching it crumble into a mound of dust and ash beneath the weight of your own hubris.
I mean, let's clarify something here: Who in the fuck are YOU to tell me what defines a waste of potential? Another dime-a-dozen Television Champion, making the same empty promises of long reigns and grandeur, just as his predecessors?
You're just building it up, and BEGGING me to knock it down.
(We flash cut to Rezin at a different angle, now standing over a cracked and ancient porcelain bathtub. He gives the faucet a crank, and resinous ooze begins seeping out, filling the white basin with black.)
I don't see myself as a waste of potential, Malcolm, and you know why? Because I think you simply are incapable of understanding that what potential I have isn't wasted... simply untapped.
(He dips his fingers into the muck and holds them up in front of his face, fixated on the residue...)
I could very well be the asbestos in the walls of this old Empire... the ancient and unstable sticks of dynamite kept deep down in Dan Ryan's gold mine... the toxic industrial sludge buried beneath the foundation of this professional wrestling Love Canal. All I need is the right stooge to pick away at the right place... and once the leak is sprung, there's no patching it up.
That's the funny thing about mankind... we have this altruistic urge to surpass our limitations, all in the name of progress and succession. Sometimes, we leap further than we anticipate... and reap the consequences.
I can save you the time and effort of having that soul-crushing failure though, MJ-Dub. All you have to do is give in... once this hand finds your tongue in its grip. A little pain today will save you a lot of pain tomorrow.
And if you refuse, well... I guess you'll feel pain in any case. TRUE pain, Malcolm... the kind that might go away, but will never be forgotten.
And as for you, Knoxbot...
Are you seriously suggesting that the First and myself aren't cut for this business?
(Flash cut again. This time Rezin is reclining in his old antique armchair.)
Well I'm seriously beginning to think that in your own ideal vision of this sport, it's just you, Eli Flair, and Sean Stevens filling the time with hour-long epic battles in front of fans who were practically swooning in the wake of such WREZTLING awesomeness. And that's coming from a guy who doesn't take many things seriously to begin with.
Yep, that's what the people want to see... good ol' WREZTLING... a sport so cherished and time honored, that it's in danger of being dropped from the 2020 Olympics.
You ask questions and you beg for explanations, all so you can turn them around and say we're making excuses. And I'm tired of this old fucking routine, Impulse. Being a great wrestler doesn't make you the fucking judge of what's appropriate for the sport of professional wrestling.
But since you're calling us politicians, then maybe you should be the one spending some time in front of the mirror. It's all there... the iconography, the platform, the message of hope... the latent disappointment to come... and of course, the ability to spin facts yourself. Winning matches and proving your wrestling ability doesn't give you the power to dictate history to your liking, however.
Sean Stevens was a prolific speaker of the truth, or so he claimed... and while I was never able to get the job done in the ring with him, even he can't deny the one simple truth I told him:
"I WILL outlast you..."
(He sits up, leaning forward, up in the camera's grill again.)
It's nice to know that you probably don't care that I'm saying this, but... I think you're full of shit.
The facts prove your full of shit. The copious minutes of Anarky on tape clarifying that he did NOT want to destroy Empire Pro in the literal sense that I wanted to proves it.
You tell me every situation has a choice... but then you fail to recognize that every choice has an influence. An influence you can't always control. Whether I'm making the right or wrong choice no longer interests me. Every choice I make seems right at the time.
I thought it was the right choice to drop the weed-smoking gag because it was distracting people from what I wanted them to see -- the weed-smoking wrestler trying to make a name for himself in the ring. Maybe the fact that you can't seem to move on from all that is proof that I was wrong?
I thought it was the right choice to move on and pursue the Tag Team Titles. I thought I made the right choice in a tag partner. I did NOT choose to lose in the fucking Bracket of Death.
Nobody willing makes a wrong choice, you fucking moron. By MJ2's logic, I shouldn't even be mentally capable of even knowing how to make a right one. But why does it any of it matter? Consequences only influence future choices... and regardless of how misguided you see them, you're still going to have to deal with that shit as soon as the bell rings.
I can't make promises, Impulse. All I can do is state desires. And I want to take a piece out of you at Aggression 73. Something that will definitely leave you feeling incomplete for an extended period. Whether physical or mental...
(Shot cuts to static as the camera pulls away from the television set. The room has completely been flipped: walls repainted, floors refinished, old furniture replaced. It almost looks like a habitable space. Almost looks normal except for the bearded doomsower in black stepping in the frame.)
(The camera opens to Malcolm Joseph-Jones, sitting in a leather-seated booth in a nightclub. He sits alone; it’s unclear whether he’s shooed away an entourage or he’s come here alone. He swirls a snifter of bourbon while wearing a simply stylish black suit with a neon purple striped tie. Thumping dance music in the background, though it doesn’t drown out Malcolm’s words.)
MJ2: “I never said you were mentally incapable of doing enough, Rezin. Go back and listen to what I said; all I ever did was bust your ass for all the things you’ve ever actually DONE wrong with your life. Maybe you ARE capable of doing what it takes to actually max out your potential; the thing is, it always seems like you’re more interested in bitching about how hard your life is and making sure all the world knows about your strife so when you make ‘righteous stands’ and showing the world all the perceived slights in your life, the world is keenly focused on you. That way, when YOU get your ass beat, you get to shove it in the world’s face as further proof of your unfair treatment in the world of wrestling. It makes me chuckle…the both of you like to say Impulse is the king of putting himself in situations where he always holds some sort of moral high ground; Rezin, given the chance, you’re just as bad.
You see, I know the real secret here. The real thing that, apparently, I’m the only one comfortable enough to admit:
WE ALL HAVE ENORMOUS EGOS. You don’t get to the main event of EPW without one.
I’m not ashamed of it. I told you all before – the best people in the business, no matter what the profession, are their own number one biggest supporters. At the end of the day, you can’t ride the freight train to greatness if you’re waiting for the rest of the world to push you up by themselves; all my life’s experiences have taught me the simple fact that people will dump your ass if they find it profitable. So you gotta TAKE. Run rampant. Bulldoze.
I acknowledge this side of myself, and I refuse to let anyone take that part of me away.
The First, he has every right to have all the ego in the world – he’s the damn EPW heavyweight champion after all. He knows how to hold onto that sucker, and at the end of the day, no one’s taken it from him.
Impulse? Of course he has a huge ego. He’s a man who will walk right up to you and tell you that he’s the damn Best In The World, with or without the strap to back it up. He has that confidence. Say all you want about the fact that he lost when the belt was on the line – he’s still got that swag out the ASS where, at the end of the day, he knows he’s got as good a chance as anyone on this roster of turning his next chance into a title. That shit’s important. Call him an egotistical dick all you want – you’re just hating on the fact that he’s ready to take what’s his if he gets the right shot.
Rezin…Rezin. Believe me if you want to, or not – it won’t change the truth.
Your ego is just as big as the rest of ours. Maybe worse.
The difference is, you need some sort of bass-ackwards validation about yourself; you have this need for people to listen to all the hardships and all the sadness you choose to carry with you all the time. And I find it pathetic, because there’s only one realistic reason I can come up with for what you’re doing:
You’re trying to get the world on your side, trying to make people feel for all the pain in your life because poor little old Rezin’s been pushed around by big bad ol’ wrestling bullies like me all his life, and poor little ol’ Rezin’s tired of it, and just look at you fight against the big bad ol’ meanies. If that’s the case, you’ve either got a worse attitude than goddamn Aaron Jones and need to get out of this business, or you are a miserable self-serving whiner who only finds validation when you’re pitied. Maybe both.
What’s sad is, I don’t think this is any sort of ‘I lost Anarky and now my life is in turmoil’ bullshit; I think you genuinely NEED people to listen to all your moans and groans and cries and lies, you NEED that atta-boy pat on the shoulder you’ve never gotten in the past because you’ve always been an insufferable prick who’s all bark.
So, I’ll answer your question once and for all, Rezin. What do I want out of you?
I want you to cut the bullshit.
I’ve got the Television Championship, The First has the World Championship, Impulse was the last #1 Contender and has titles to his name all over the world; then there’s you. You HAVE been a failure, you HAVE been a waste of life, you HAVE failed to do all the things you’ve ever promised in your career.
You don’t care about my opinion – that’s a good start, brother. But face those FACTS first.
And understand real quick – you shove your fingers in my mouth, you better not use any fingers you want back.”
(Malcolm swills his glass around and swigs the last of the bourbon down in one fell swoop. He cracks his neck violently before continuing.)
MJ2: “I’m the rookie, so y’all might have this misconception that I have the most to prove – really, I don’t view it that way. My standards for y’all ain’t any bigger than the standards I set for myself every damn day. Maybe nothing’s DIRECTLY on the line – yet. But since one of my opponents is so silly to ask what Impulse and I would accomplish by winning this match, I’ll spell it out once and for all:
It’s. All. About. The. W.
I’m not an excuse-maker. I’m pissed as HELL that Cameron Cruise rolled me up and that Aaron Jones got pinned when I was his partner.
Because of that, I took a damn battle-axe on the road to the gold I’ll be putting on display at Aggression 73. When you’ve got blemishes on your record, all you can do is bludgeon them away.
What would a loss to The First and Rezin mean to me, even if they ended up pinning my partner?
It would mean that the world champ and a goddamn flunkie got the best of me.
And it would NOT be OK.
The great winners? They hate losing more than they love winning – and that’s me, too. There’s a lot of PAIN on the horizon, boys – and anyone who says otherwise can go hang out with the last three guys I wrestled:
Off the show, beat up, and out of my life.”
(Malcolm stares coldly at the camera as it fades to black.)
(FADEIN: The First, he sits on the sidewalk in front of The First Church In Salem. First is in black dress clothes, no belt, no face paint, hair pulled back in a pony tail.)
FIRST: Took a few words and make them a promo…Yeah I did that…But there’s reasons for it…People say things all the time and it destroys them…Howard Dean shouted into a microphone and media declared him insane and sunk his campaign to be President…Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock said dumb things about rape and that cost them Senate seats…A deeply held view that slips out isn’t just something that should be glossed over…It’s something that needs to be looked at and explored.
I’m glad that Freedman or Ryan or whoever it was in EPW management got you the approved talking points to read through gritted teeth about how being gay is a-ok in this world and all that jazz…But we both know you don’t really mean it...Cameron Cruise lost a title because of the idea he was a racist…I’m sure nobody was thrilled with the idea of your career being knee-capped because you’re a homophobe.
Fact is Impulse I didn’t bother to debate the rest of what you say because it’s like debating religion…You’re a fanatical follower of your faith, you are a missionary in a savage land preaching salvation and forgiveness if only we would all embrace your code…Your way of life…Your way of thinking…
Instead of a God for us to all kneel down before…It’s you yourself that is the object of worship…The Messiah made flesh…We are to walk in your footsteps and follow in your path to learn of salvation via the glory of armbars and snap mares…To find atonement in the glory of a hard fought loss and vindication in our craft when we win only by allowing ourselves to do the things prescribed by your faith.
When your followers see a man smash another man’s head in with a chair and pin him to win a match, you furrow your brow and tell them that such actions are not the actions of those who follow the faith…
And you look at the madness and insanity of the world and seek to bring order to it, to make it all work out…But it never does…The masses tune you out, they ignore you…Your followers are few if any…Your religion is nothing but a cult and an unpopular one at that…
When I think about it, you’re the Westboro Baptist Church of wrestlers…You hold your signs saying “God (And by God I mean me) Hates Chairshots!” and piss and moan about how depraved and criminal the world has become and by the end of the day you’ve changed nobody’s mind, you’ve only pissed a bunch of people off and had many others point and laugh at you in your doomed crusade.
As for what you want…It’s not what I want…I live my life without rules, without the need to hold myself back…The unclean animals are things I dine on all the time…While the Jew and the Muslim would be horrified as I feasted on a lobster and pork chops…I enjoy them…I also enjoyed ripping off Cameron Cruise and crushing his dreams…I enjoyed having my wife help me beat Anarky…I’ve soaked in every moment of the glory of my run as champion and never for a second have I longed for some sort of validation that would come by playing by your rules.
And that’s all they are…Your rules…You are the religious fanatic promising me an afterlife of fire and pain if I don’t obey you…And all I hear is the rantings of a madman who seems the devil around every corner and sin in everything people do…You are a scared man Impulse…What is it you fear?
Do you fear that if you ever picked up a chair and hit me with it…That you might enjoy it? That you might find satisfaction in the act…That it might get the blood pumping and make you feel so good that you have to hit other people with chairs? Start pulling the tights and gouging eyes? Bringing buddies from Rosie’s bar out to jump people and maul them?
You are the fanatical preacher who screams that the demon run will poison us all…But you live in fear mostly of the fact that deep down inside you’re afraid that if you ever tried it…You would like it…And you could never stop doing it…
Is the code truly all that holds you back? Is there a beast inside you that longs to be freed? A monster that yearns for blood, a demon that seeks vengeance, not victory? What exactly is it that drives a man who wants to be the best to make the task even harder for himself…Do you think you’ll get respect or praise for what you’re doing? Do you think you’ll set an example that others will agree to follow?
Foolish dreams and stupid hopes Impulse…If you ever did pry the belt away from me the next five guys that would come after you would be looking to take your head off however they could…You might be able to look down your nose at them, but the rest of us just look back at you and see a fool blinded by hubris…A man so full of himself that he can’t accept a world that has passed him by…
Copycat once asked us to follow him, to believe in him and his plans to save the Empire…It was all a lie to get him a gig in Hollywood…I’d like to believe that such a payoff is in the cards for us with you…But I won’t hold my breath…The only thing worse than a con-man using religion as a tool to get what he wants is a fanatic using religion because he honestly believes in it…
You’re an insane, stupid, and bigoted man, and it will be my pleasure to beat you down again at Aggression…
MJ2…I’ve been thinking about you for a while…I’ve got something planned for you my friend…I’m pretty sure you’ll like it…and when the times comes…We’ll see exactly what kind of person you are…If you have what it takes to go to the next level…Or if you’re a fool like Impulse who thinks quaint notions like honor still exist in this world.
"I was wondering if you'd get to it, if you'd show your ass once and for all and let the rest of the world know what you're about so there's no question."
"See, if I said it, there's wiggle room. There's a chance that you can backpedal and say I took something out of context."
Irony, thy name is Brian.
"Should we go to the tape?"
A darkened room with a dozen televisions on the wall. Miss Ivy put this place together back in the day when Eli Flair was filled with potential but lacked focus.
The solution was twelve screens to study opponents.
The result was more than sixty championship reigns, including fifteen world titles.
Me, I'm plenty focused. I'm just making it easy on myself tonight. I'm sitting in a comfortable chair with my back to the card camera, so you can directly see the back of my head. My face is on screen four as well, so there's another camera on me out of sight.
And here we go.)
"For some reason, you've turned this into a political debate. Fortunately, you explained yourself."
THE FIRST: Cameron Cruise lost a title because of the idea he was a racist…I’m sure nobody was thrilled with the idea of your career being knee-capped because you’re a homophobe.
"That interested me, The First, because of all the things I've thought of Cameron Cruise, 'racist' was never one of them. So I went back to the footage from Black Dawn to see if I missed anything."
CAMERON CRUISE: You're a grown man wearing make-up....JAPANESE make-up at that; who's embarrassing who, here??
What's next, First?? You gonna cry out other blasphemy like "Us black folk ALWAYS have it worse...BLACK POWER!!! SAY IT LOUD, I'M BLACK AND I'M PROUD!!!"
All while wearing a "Hatebreed" t-shirt, to boot.
"Not the smartest things to say, though the black power statement combined with the Hatebreed T-shirt was pretty funny."
"And you... didn't pick up on it. Though you did have something interesting to say to Cameron with about a week to go."
THE FIRST: You’re REALLY coming at me over my looks when you’re the one who’s so VERY excited to be in The City By The Bay? You going to be posting photos on facebook from your stop at Powerhouse? Honestly Cruise, Anderson Cooper made it official a couple days ago, America’s moved on, you don’t have to be the last one out of the closet.
"It's that good-nature, golly - gee type discrimination that's the most dangerous, especially when you're cracking jokes on one hand and declaring offense on a comment that had nothing to do with what you're offended about on the other."
Hypocrite, The First. It's a real state of mind and it's not where you wanna be. Even if you believe something that's completely repugnant to the rest of us, you should at least be consistent with what you say.
"But it also got me thinking about everything you've been babbling about since this match was announced. To be honest, you've said nothing of substance, and you've managed to say a lot of words in declarative form that people can understand, but you're not answering the questions asked or responding to the things that your opponents are saying."
"You've actually reminded me of watching Sarah Palin during the 2008 Vice Presidential debates. Ironic, considering your title reign is one big Bridge to Nowhere."
"I say something about you wearing makeup, and you decide it means I hate gay people. I explain that no, you're taking what I say out of context and you say that obviously I was forced to say it."
"It's easy to twist meaning and context however you want, The First - but it gets harder when the people who would care about such things have access to all the information they want."
"He's a homophobe, says The First, and the people who would listen - not who would care but those who would listen - turn around and ask a few questions."
"What makes you say that? There's never been any words, action, or innuendo that would suggest that this guy, Randall Knox, is homophobic, except for what The First is saying."
"So even though The First has a reputation as a dishonest, scheming scumbag, even though The First proved that he can't handle Impulse in the ring and has a vested interest in getting inside Impulse's head and messing with his focus, clearly The First has the inside line on this one."
You're an idiot, The First.
"It gets even more interesting when we get into the Church of Impulse."
"I'm obviously telling everyone that everything would be all perfect if everyone wrestled just like me. Chairs are the Debil's Tool, God Hates Chairshots."
"The fans want to see wrestling, The First - they want to see a Champion who doesn't need to cheat to win every defense. Eventually, they get bored and they leave, and the promotion folds. Does that benefit you? Does it benefit any of us?"
Am I wrong? Tell me why all the dozens and dozens of promotions that close every year do so? If there's a paying audience for the product, the promotion should be able to remain open. Something's boring the people.
"And I wrestle the way I do for me. I've never pushed the way I wrestle on any other athlete in any promotion I've ever been part of. I criticize when I think it's appropriate: for example, as a World Champion, you're an embarrassment. As my opponent at Unleashed your cheating ways directly affected me."
I'll give you a minute to try and rebut that, fail, and declare with all confidence and no evidence, "Well, I know that Impulse pushes his attitude on everyone."
"But it doesn't matter how you win, right? Winning is everything. After all, you said it to me point blank: you're convinced that I don't hit my opponents with chairs because I'd enjoy it too much. As if my beliefs about wrestling are so weak that the slightest temptation would topple them over."
"It's not nearly that complicated: swinging a chair isn't wrestling."
"My mother can swing a chair, but I don't think she's ready to headline the Garden."
"This is an art form to me. The art is in the athleticism, both physical and mental. Swinging a chair is easy."
"Why don't I do it, even when someone like you screws me out of a victory? What would that do?"
"You like baseball, right, The First? You're from Salem, which is in Massachusetts, which is in New England, which, by process of elimination makes you a Red Sox fan, so you're at least aware."
"Back in 1947, Enos 'Country' Slaughter spiked Jackie Robinson when he was out at first. The Dodgers had come together in support of their teammate in the face of all the abuse he had taken that year, and made it known that they would retaliate."
"Robinson convinced them not to."
"Nobody called him preachy, trying to push his beliefs on everyone around him, The First: he was a man who had a lot of dignity who knew that 'an eye for an eye' simply leaves the world blinded."
"Me, I've got 20-20."
Screen Twelve: THE FIRST: That inference tainted win that you can’t even admit wasn’t earned fairly is all you have…
In your world you didn’t duck Stevens when he put the belt on the line and dared you to take a match with him…In your world your win over me at Wrestleverse III was clean as could be, the tag match you won over Impulse and Stalker was another clean win…
(First stares at the camera for a beat.)
Do you really think anyone believes that? Do you think if you got into a room full of EPW fans and showed them the tapes of those matches and then told them you won fair and square that they would believe you? I’d love to try to grasp why you feel the need to lie about these things, but truly it makes my head hurt just to think about it, because it’s so clearly fault, so objectively untrue that only someone who has had a lobotomy would believe for a second that any of what you said is true, yet these are lies you NEVER STOP TELLING.
"It's interesting to me that you'd bring up how matches are won or lost against Cameron Cruise, but it's immaterial when it comes to me. Or was it a different set of rules against Cameron, since you actually can make the argument that he hadn't earned something?"
Now that I can make the same argument toward you, the point is moot. I see how it goes.
THE FIRST: A Great Man doesn’t make a stupid argument that’s going to be crushed…
"By your own definition, that makes you not a great man."
"As if we needed any more proof."
"You can't argue my wrestling ability. You can't look at the tape of the match from Unleashed and lie to yourself and say that you had that one all the way. You can't look at that tape and come to any conclusion other than If Impulse gets me in a match where I don't have a Plan B in effect, I'm going to lose my title, so you went with the gay bashing angle."
"Even if you had to create it out of nothing to talk about it."
"What did you hope the endgame would be? An arena of fans booing me and cheering you? Anyone who actually believes you, I hope they come to the arena and boo me out of the city, because I do not speak for those fans. Anyone who sees The First for what he is - filled with horsemeat, hot air, and bitterness - I hope you also come to the arena and show yourself as part of Team Impulse."
"Actually, I just hope the fans show up and cheer and boo who they want."
"I'm all about freedom of expression like that, The First. I know you've declared yourself much the same, but the problem with your words is that while you're saying that you live with no rules, you're also telling the fans that they should hate me for what you're saying I am; thus promoting your own brand of discrimination."
As it stands, I already use foreign objects as often as I want. I curse as much as I want, cheat as much as I want, and murder as much as I want. That number is zero on all counts.
"But I've heard this bedtime story before, The First - about the temptation of foreign objects."
"From Cameron Cruise."
"So you're as great, in my estimation, as Cameron Cruise."
THE FIRST: A Great Man doesn’t avoid conflict when the stakes are high, he EMBRACES it…When faced with a challenge he accepts it and pushes forward to conquer it and prove himself the best…
"In 1941, going into a doubleheader on the last day of the season, Ted Williams was batting .39955, just below his goal. He could've sat out the two games and the average would round off to .400 because of the way batting averages were recorded, but Ted Williams himself said 'If I didn't hit .400 all the way, I didn't deserve it."
"He went six - for - eight over the course of the two games and finished off at .406 - Ted Williams was a great man."
"You've been sittin' on the bench since you won the belt from Nark - not surprisingly, with your wife's help. Eventually you'll need to step up to the plate and let us know whether you can hit .400, or if you're just holding onto the average for the sake of having it."
"Actually, we already know."
"It'll just be more satisfying when you fail on the biggest stage in professional wrestling."
THE FIRST: I spent my career in EPW lying to myself, lying to the fans.
"Well that makes more sense, The First. It's nice of you to admit to everyone that you're a liar, but if you'd just said that when this match was first announced instead of making me search for the sound byte... we could've saved a lot of time."
"Regardless, you're a liar by your own admission, and everything you've said has been a lie."
(CUE UP: A sludge-filled remix of PSY’s “Gungam Style”.)
(Our shot opens on Rezin, in his usual attire, doing the gallop-dance in front of the camera.)
Nothing is being made up here, MJ2. You flat out said, and I quote, “You’re a man with talent out your ass but without the brains to make it work you.”
Right there, you said it all... I'm a man who's just plain too stupid to improve my state of being.
But thing is... I am making it work. You’re just too blind to see it, and I haven’t even spat sludge in your face yet.
So you want me to cut the bullshit, Malcolm? Fine...
Cut the music for a second.
(It cuts, and he straightens up. Quickly, he takes off his shades, stuffs them into a pocket in his coat, and removes the coat as well. The coat gets tossed off to one side of the camera while he slides the sludge bucket out of the other side of the frame, leaving us with nothing but a bare-bones view of the man. Suddenly, he ceases to be Rezin anymore.)
No bullshit... this is the deal:
I just like to wrestle.
Doesn’t really matter if people think I’m talented or lousy... doesn’t really matter if I win or lose. I just love wrestling--it’s probably the only thing in this world I can say that about. And I take it personally, when guys like you and Impulse misinterpret that passion as weakness, or tell me its misguided, or tell me there’s no place for it in this industry.
For me, being between those ropes is like having a moment of Zen. All the pain I live with ceases to exist... and for once, I can unleash that pain. I can give my opponent a glimpse into the VOID of my mind.
The ring is the one place I can go to where I don’t feel like a failure... and sandbox of bodies and chaos, where anything can be made possible.
As I said, you can’t possibly comprehend it. All you care about, as you’ve said time and time again, is getting the win. And frankly, MJ2, that’s a mindset that I can’t comprehend.
It’s not that I don’t try to win... but people seem to have a problem with the fact that I’m comfortable with saying it’s not the end-all be-all for me. I try to be a man of modest desires. Unlike you and Impulse, winning is just something I want... but all I really need is the ropes, the canvas, the air, and a few quick minutes to blow your mind wide open.
Simply put, we approach the sport in two entirely different ways... and therefore it’s unlikely we’re going to agree on shit. Is it really THAT fucking hard for you to understand?
I don’t bring up all this shit about how my life sucks and has always sucked as a way of drawing pity, Malcolm. Honestly, who would give it to me at this point? No... I’m bringing it up simply to illustrate to you WHY the drive to compete was never instilled into me. All my life, I’ve known pain... and as long as I’ve been able to, I’ve strived to escape that pain. But the ring? That’s my escape. The ring is the great equalizer of this world.
You keep talking about how this business is all about winning, and anybody who doesn’t adopt that mindset can get fucked. But honestly, maybe you’re thinking about this business the wrong way.
You pointed it out yourself, Malcolm. Take a look at this match. There’s the First, the World Heavyweight Champion. There’s Impulse, the last number one contender. There’s you, the reigning Television Champion. And there’s me... seemingly out of place among so many accomplished stars.
And why is that? Did Dan Ryan make a mistake, putting this miserable “failure” and “waste of potential” in the main event with three of his top names? If you think so, then I invite you to walk into his office the next time and let him know he’s making a bad decision. If I was really in the wrong business, I would think he would have fired me long ago. Good luck in all your future endeavors, and all that.
But he hasn’t told that to me yet... and unless I do something to royally fuck up, I doubt he’s going to... and you know why? Because even though I haven’t exactly brought an overly positive rap to his federation, he understands that everybody plays a role in this company. Anybody can jerk the curtain, sure... but not everybody can do it make it look as good as I do, time and time again.
That’s what separates Empire Pro from the other federations. That’s what makes this company the premiere professional wrestling league on the planet. That’s what brought mooks like you and Impulse came here to begin with, thinking this would be the appropriate stage to prove yourselves as the top stars of today. Even the dark matches here in EPW are fucking five-star rated epic battles... thanks to guys like me, and my undying passion to just put it all out there once the bell rings.
But even then, it’s not enough convince people that I belong... and that’s what pisses me off.
For many years, “I don’t give a fuck what people think about me” used to be the motto I rocked, whenever people said I was wasting my time and my potential. Everyone’s entitled to their opinion... and it’s not like I was deliberately trying to stand in the way of legitimately motivated athletes from what they wanted.
But that all changed when people started telling me I apparently had no place in that ring. I started giving a fuck right then.
(He shakes his head, and reaches off camera, retrieving his coat and shades and putting them back on. Music continues.)
I REZIST the notion that anyone can think they have any right in the world to tell me how I should live my. Fuck that noise.
You aren’t going to run me out of this sport by simply beating me, Malcolm. You can try to break me... but many others have tried, and failed. You tried yourself, at Aggression 70, when I was alone in the cage with you and Jones. No matter how hard the two of you tried to break me then, I just kept getting up, refusing to go down.
I’m simply unbreakable...
...to anything that’s not a superkick, in any case.
But that won't be the case at Aggression 73. I've got the World Champion in my corner... perhaps the craftiest and most conniving bastard to ever grace this sport. Should I fail to find the win myself, at least I have confidence that he likely has an ace up his sleeve.
And, you can say whatever you want about how that makes us as competitors or people in general... but fuck your opinions, Malcolm. As long as we keep robbing you of the victory you so selfishly think you deserve based on your one-dimensional way of thinking, your words and your accomplishments will always be as hollow as the space between your ears.
(He reaches over to the other side of the frame and retrieves his bucket o' sludge, grinning as he holds it up to his side.)
Win or lose, MJ2, neither you nor your partner will be walking away from this match with a CLEAN conscience...
(He lets out a dry chuckle as he steps away from the camera and disappears. The chuckle slowly escalates into full-on maddened laughter as we eventually go to black.)
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