[The set up is much the same for Haughton. Dark Room, single spotlight aiming straight down from the ceiling, Haughton is sitting at a table this time, Hammer held firmly in his right hand. Underneath his tweed ring jacket he wears a shirt and tie, and once again he looks straight down the camera.]
Before anything else, I have to start with thanks. Aaron thanks for a damn fine first match. I asked if you were one of the good guys and answered with a fine display of skill and grace. You nearly had me a few times too. You proved your mettle, but judgment swung in my favour that night, and now I am set up with an interesting problem.
[No longer looking down the camera, Haughton’s eyes began to wander round the room as he recounted events]
If you recall to when I first announced my presence in the Empire I said that that with all the power I could muster I would cut through this company an rain down judgement on the unworthy for the hardworking individuals who pay, day in and day out, to see good wrestlers fight head on and instead have to watch men and women walk to the top, not by wrestling, but by cunning and deceit. I said that I would stop these people in their tracks, hunt them down, find them out...
...I promised Judgment was coming...
[Haughton stopped still and looked straight down the camera, pointing the hammer straight forward]
...And it is...
But as I can only deliver judgement to those who deserve it, and I happen to be placed in a match with two rather fine men.
[the hammer swings to the left]
On one hand we have Christian Light, the Master of Wrestling, the Last Nighthawk, one of the finest men to step into the ring and take up the majestic sport that is professional wrestling. A proven class act, a proven champion, an all round great guy who doesn’t need to resort to barbaric tactics, cause he’s already good enough.
[and then right]
And on the other Malcolm Joseph Jones, a man who had I faced a couple of weeks ago I would have laid Judgement upon. A man who a few months ago was the very kind of man whom I have come here to stop. But right now Malcolm you seem to have turned over a new leaf, so I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt. Be warned though, your still very much on my radar.
[and back to eyes front]
You’re both men who I have come to respect, be that over the course of years or weeks, you’re both men I’m glad to share a ring with and you’re both men I hope to see in a ring again in the future.
But I still have to beat you.
When I came here I said I would cut the rot from this empire, that I would stop those who would prey on injured opponents and lurk in the shadows ready to strike. But I’m not going to do that from the bottom of the card. For me to truly make changes, truly strike down judgement, then I have to do it from the top. And to get to the top you have to win matches.
So I’ll start by winning this one.
But I have yet another greater problem to face at Aggression 75. A far more difficult challenge but one I relish far more.
[Haughton’s wandering eyes and gesturing hands returned once more to centre]
(FADE TO: An isolated weight room in the back corner of a small gym. The lights are bright indoors but the windows display a dark night sky. The room is absolutely trashed - dents and holes in walls, racks of barbells upended, a large bench press plate embedded into the display of a treadmill, a large segment of carpet ripped from the floor. Alone sits Malcolm Joseph-Jones on the one piece of intact equipment in sight: a bench press, with a cartoonish amount of weight racked upon the bar. Malcolm is drenched in sweat and is wrapping bandages around his bloodied knuckles, a wry grin cracking through his otherwise monstrous appearance. A palm-shaped mark of black tar is still not completely washed from his face.)
MJ2: “Judgment, huh? You’re gonna sit way up high on your ivory pedestal, look down upon the world, all that?...I get where you’re comin’ from, believe it or not. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, my life has been shaped, really, by people tryin’ to hold me down, tryin’ to tame the beast that I am through any means necessary. Undercut my swag. Keep me back from opportunities.
Throw sludge in my face and steal a championship they don’t deserve.
So you want to take shit into your own hands, mold the world how you see fit, raise a big ol’ middle finger to people who go against your beliefs, all that? Kudos. Because fuck all these haters, am I right?
But there’s something you really…and I mean, REALLY…need to understand, Haughton. You’re not lookin’ at some sort of changed man here. There is no ‘new leaf’. There is no smiley, slap a buddy on the back, put-on-my-hat-and-shiny-shoes song and dance man over here. There’s only one reason the arenas switched from boos to cheers:
I’m too damn awesome to boo.”
(Malcolm’s eyes turn dark as he stares hard into the camera.)
MJ2: “I’m still the same ass-kicker who will slam a man on his dome again, and again, and again, and again to get the W. I’m still the same ass-kicker who is the strongest damn warrior in EPW. And look around me - I’m still the same man who doesn’t. Take. Losing. Well.
I’ll even point you to the last guy who faced me after I lost a match - buy yourself a ticket to New Orleans, and check the hospital records for a guy named Larry Tact.
So don’t come in here with this preconceived idea that I’m suddenly some sort of Mr. Nice Guy that’s just super happy to be here and ready to give Judge Haughton a big ol’ hug in the locker room - I’m coming to deal out pain. And I’m leaving this match with a win.
Christian - Christian. Your reputation precedes you, brother, but I’m starting to wonder if it’s all hype. DO SOMETHING. Or else, I’m walking all over your broken, bleeding body to the next level of this company, and you won’t MAKE it to the Battle Royal. I am not bragging. I am not saying this outta some sense of self-importance. I’m saying this because I’ve DONE this before, and I have zero problem doing it again. Old timers like you are always lookin’ to waste the primes of people below you, just to hold onto your spot - and if you don’t prove you deserve it, I will take EVERYTHING.
And I will break EVERYTHING in my path.”
(Off-camera, a voice rings out with a shaky “What the…”, before a middle-aged man in a polo shirt and jeans walks on camera. He surveys the damage with jaw agape, then sees Malcolm stand up and completely dwarf him. The gym employee tries to keep a straight face, before Malcolm chuckles and walks by him, bumping a sweaty shoulder hard into the employee.
Another man enters from off-screen: a short African American man with close-cropped hair, white framed glasses, and a dark suit with a black-and-purple striped tie. He walks up to the employee, pulling out a checkbook. He writes something on it and sticks it in the employee’s chest before following Malcolm off-screen. The employee looks at the check and goes completely wide-eyed before steadying himself on the bench press.
[Black screen, the sound of hammering getting progressively harder and harder can be heard. Soon the noises are followed by grunts of effort.]
[The screen cuts to James’ hammer swinging full belt repetitively at a something off screen. Each time it the swings get fast until finally the hammer lingers centre screen for a second. Finally it swings lightning fast down and the camera to a further zoom out again, to show James Haughton bashing a nail into a newly made bench.]
[He’s clearly in a gym, and it’s soon apparent that it’s none other than the one that MJ2 cut his last film in. All around him repair men are busy fixing Jones’ mess. Rainwoods rather dressed down since his last appearance, choosing to wear some jeans and an old black t-shirt that seem to be his “DIY gear” due to the tell tale paint splatter on them. Looking pleased with his work, Haughton grabs a seat on the bench.]
Nice of you to pay to repair you mess Malcolm, but I thought that I’d come down off my “ivory pedestal” and take a second to help these good people to fix up they’re rather fine establishment. As I’m sure you’ll agree actions do so very often speak louder than words in this business.
[In the background a builder shouts, asking if Haughton wants a tea, which he gratefully yells back a yes in acceptance before continuing]
Nice blokes on the repair team too, Jim makes the best cup of tea I’ve had in ages. But back to the serious business of Agression 75, and my poor lack of Judgement (for lack of a less punny word). See Malcolm, as you so kindly corrected me last week, I may have got your current MO a little off kilter. But you have to forgive me. See when you come into a big company like this trying to make some changes, then you focus your sights of the meanest and nastiest competitors there. Men like Rezin, who I think we can both agree is a truly despicable piece of work. It seems in my research, you my friend have slipped through the net.
See, I’ve done some double checking and the some of the things you’ve pulled as of late are pretty damn nasty. You’re ruthless, you’re aggressive and you’re a self confessed sore loser as big as they come. But let’s face is Malcolm, there’s a hell of a lot worse in this company. I still even garner some mutual respect for you. You have a drive and ambition that is courageous and a fighting spirit that’s very admirable. Shame your arrogance is so monstrous, but I’ve been given an opportunity to knock some of that out of you come our match.
[Last times wide eyed employee swings by with a tea that Haughton accepts with a “you legend Jim” and the continues on]
Which leads me on nicely to the one thing you should know about me. It appears we’ve both made some snap judgements as contrary to your beliefs I’m not on some self obsessed one man revenge mission right here. I’m not trying to shape the world my way. I’m not even the one judging your actions. I’m just the man who lays down the Judgement and I’ll do that by any means necessary too.
See I’m in it for the fans and. They choose what’s right and wrong and they’re the ones making the calls out there in the ring. Every wrestler can here the roars and jeers of the crowd and every single one of us has a chance to respond. And if the day comes that pounding my fist three times ends in not cheers but boos, then I will stop until I once again hear they’re approval. But while they’re still cheering I will do everything in my power to cast their judgement down upon those who scheme and prey on the weak.
Come aggression Malcolm, I hope they’ll be cheering as I pin you or Christian down for the three count.
[Haughton turns for one second before looking back at the camera.]
Oh, and if you try another incident after this loss, know that I’ll be there to stop you.
[FTB as Haughton swigs tea]
(OOC: sorry for this going up so late in the day Brusch, hope you have time to reply, that last RP was sweet)
OOC: Kirby, no worries whatsover, man - I haven't exactly had the most writing-friendly schedule over the past couple weeks, and I'm fortunate to have an evening tonight to be able to put something up .
(FADE TO: Malcolm Joseph-Jones in front of an EPW banner. Full wrestling regalia – electric purple tudo trunks, white sports goggles. The mysterious advisor standing behind him, nodding occasionally, rubbing Malcolm’s shoulders occasionally. An incredulous look across Malcolm’s face.)
MJ2: “The truth hurts sometimes, Haughton. One’s own weaknesses and flaws can just be a real bitch to deal with. And you know somethin’? You’re absolutely right about me.
My ego is fucking EVEREST.
But it’s the reason I was able to go out there and become a champion within SEVEN MONTHS of my debut here. It’s why I was able to take a legend – an ICON – in Anarky and send him home on his ass with his tail between his legs and his will to continue at the bottom of the most bottom barrel that has ever bottomed.
Do you think I had any support in the beginning? Because the truth is, I was thrown together in a worst-case scenario with the worst goddamn wrestler on the roster during King of the Cage because the ‘powers that be’ thought HYUK-HYUK, THEY BOTH HAVE JONES IN THEY NAME, I BET THEY COULD MAKE A TEAM TOGETHER. KEEPIN’ UP WITH THE JONESES. They wanted to screw with me from the start, and I said NU-UH. NONE OF THIS.
And I look at you, Haughton, and I see a problem.
You say actions are more powerful than words – I say my words ARE the power. People believe what I say, because they see this…” (Malcolm flexes his right bicep.) “…they see this… “ (Malcolm flexes his left bicep.) “…they see this…” (Malcolm points to his unnatural looking eight-pack.) “…they see this…” (Malcolm draws an invisible circle around his chiseled face.) “…and they see truth here. This ain’t no costume, boy. These words ain’t hollow.
I SEND PEOPLE SCATTERING ACROSS THE WASTELANDS OF THEIR BROKEN DREAMS. And I get that you’re tryin’ to prove some pluck and some mettle here – I don’t think you’re lying when you say you’re gonna give it your best. I’m just tellin’ you – I’m just WARNIN’ you – your best just ain’t good enough.
But I’m a firm believer in one thing – once you’ve made your point, there’s no use in makin’ that point over and over and over and over again until the world’s fast forwarding through your little soliloquy. Actions do have merit. You say you’re gonna clean up after all the destruction I leave in my wake, that you’re gonna keep me from doing what I do best?”
(Malcolm’s advisor pulls down the EPW curtain hard, revealing an alley. Behind the pairing stands a massive purple-yellow-and-white monster truck, its wheels a solid five and a half feet high. The word ‘GREATNESS’ is graffiti’d in white across the side, the number 1 on the hood. The advisor tosses a set of keys towards Malcolm, who catches them suavely without looking.)
MJ2: “Good luck keepin’ up.”
(Malcolm strides manfully towards the monster truck, leaping from a standing position into the cab. The engine roars powerfully and drives off at an unsafe pace.
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