(A voice - though not the blunt-force-trauma tones belonging to Malcolm Joseph-Jones. They belong to another man, one more enigmatic in nature…
...CUTTO: Malcolm Joseph-Jones, and you can easily buy the 290 pounds they’re billing him at these days. Shirtless and sweat-soaked, sitting at a lat pull-down machine. The shhhug-shhhug-shhhug of the heaping stack of weights that would fly off the machine were they not tied in. A twisted, rage-filled face that would seem typical, but there’s something missing - a cocky barb, a snarky pissing-contest one-liner.
Shhhug-shhhug-shhhug. CUTTO: black.)
V/O: “Malcolm Joseph-Jones has the physical gifts of a Greek god. The workouts, the testosterone, the inhuman feats of strength - these are nothing new.”
(Shhhug. Shhhug. Shhhug.)
V/O: “Malcolm Joseph-Jones is, without QUESTION, the most charismatic man in the locker room. People throw down dollar bills to hear the man talk, because Malcolm is afraid of NO MAN. He NEEDS no mouthpiece.”
(Shhhug. Shhhug. Shhhug.)
V/O: “But for all his natural gifts, he’s missing something. Not just the gold - though I’m here to fix that. Not just the wealth, though I’m here to fix that too. So why am I here?
Why...am I here?”
(Shhhug. Clank. CUTTO: A darkened room, slowly illuminating a silhouette.
Average height, average build. A light begins to frame an average-sized, average-built man in a dark suit. Deep purple geometric designs seem to pop out from his tie as he steps forward, and his electric-white glasses spark out of the frame. He stops.
(CUTTO: black. Only sounds. Shhhug. Shhhhhhhhhhug. Shhhug. A loud roar that is CLEARLY Malcolm’s voice, booming from the darkness.
V/O: “Allow me to introduce myself.
I am Elijah Joseph. Malcolm’s half-brother.
You see, I know Malcolm better than anyone on this earth...his incredible talents, the colossal physical strength he was genetically blessed with - the same type of strength that blessed my mind. I was there when our father moved from town to town, marrying wives number two three and four, the rage and the infidelity. I was in the room when it was Malcolm, our father, and myself in our old living room with an empty bottle of sweet Henny and a belt, and a motherfucker of a man looking to whup us like cattle.
We’ve been through shit together, me and him, that you only understand if you’ve been there yourself. He’s the tank, I’m the brains - been that way for twenty years.
Sob story, right?”
(The sounds of heavy fists into a body bag bursting through. Heavy, irregular thunks like a drunk man knocking on a door, but with a terrible power that would lead you to think the door would be splinters if that’s what Malcolm was hitting.)
EJ: “Let me tell y’all a story...we used to be on the same pee wee football team, back when Clinton was president. Our coach pulled me aside after my half-brother got his fifth sack in the first quarter and told me, ‘Elijah, your brother is going to be a superstar.’ And he was right - look at him now, won a coveted EPW strap less than a year after debuting, SHATTERED a man with two Greatness Busters back-to-back, then won a triple threat match with THREE CONSECUTIVE POWERBOMBS to one of the most respected fighters in the business, and THEN finished third in a battle royal on the SAME DAMN NIGHT. He is on the CUSP of pulling a reign of TERROR in the most RESPECTED wrestling company in the world, and you know why that is?”
EJ: ”...Later in the game, the coach finished his thought. ‘Malcolm will be the superstar...but you will be the one running the team.’
I’m the one who puts the puzzle together. I’m the one who accentuates the strengths, I’m the one who fixes the weaknesses.
I’m Malcolm’s one, true, trusted ally. I’m steering his ship from ‘fuck all yall’ to ‘the empirical destruction of every obstacle, one by one, until even HE struggles to lift all the gold around his waist’. And I’m the man who is going to take this already-great lump of clay and turn him into the most terrifying, most awe-inspiring, most dominating hurricane of force wrestling has ever SEEN.”
(Malcolm enters the frame, more beast than man. Elijah nods to his half-brother in approval.)
EJ: “And this is the last you’ll hear me say this much. Tell ‘em why, Malc.”
(Elijah exits, leaving Malcolm to encompass the entire frame. The backlighting and heaving of his monstrous frame gives the impression of Bruce Banner on a bad day.)
MJ2: “Cuz I got all the anger in the world at my back, and it’s pointed at the motherfucker I’m facing in Minneapolis. Because this...is...WAR.”
(The camera opens up on seasoned Empire Pro field reporter KENNY LOMBARDO, suited up for business and brandishing the stick with a purpose, standing beside the mother of all misery herself, CAITLYN DAYMON, sporting a new vampish look with her hair dyed black and sporting a cut-up Windhand t-shirt. A black curtain serves as the backdrop. Kenny begins looking right at the camera, addressing the audience...)
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen... it's been a few weeks since the historic Seventy-Fifth installment of Empire Pro's AGGRESSION, but there is no doubt that many out there are still reeling from the shocking events and revelations that unfolded that fateful night in the City of Brotherly Love!
Take, for example, the person joining me here at present... CAITLYN DAYMON! Is there just NO getting rid of you!?
Oh, go piss up a rope, Kenny... YOU KNOW as well as anybody else that I was DESTINED to be with this company!
Seriously, though... manager to REZIN?! It was bad enough that conspired with the mortal enemy of your ex-husband STALKER... but now you're both figuratively AND literally in bed with the Goat Bastard himself! What DEPTHS won't you sink to?! Is there no end to your insane quest for revenge!?
Ugh... being a little over-dramatic here, are we?
Listen, Kenny... an important thing a man like you should know is to never bullshit a woman with as many years in this business as I have. I take credit for building up TWO men from the slime that they originally were into full-fledged World Title CONTENDERS. And how did they repay me? One handed me divorce papers and tried to cut me out of this business that for so many years was my LIFE... and the other just left me high and dry, never to be seen again.
...but they'll learn soon enough, heh heh...
(Caitlyn's chuckle progressively gets louder and louder, until it becomes full-on insane laughter. Kenny looks very unsettled... but before he can react, she snatches the mic and GLARES into the camera with crazy eyes!)
THAT'S RIGHT, THEY'LL FUCKING LEARN!! THEY'LL SEE!! YOU'LL ALL SEE!! YOU'LL FUCKING SEE WHAT HAPPENS WHEN MOMMA BEAR DOESN'T GET HER FUCKING PORRIDGE!!
(Her unhinged stare lingers on the camera through a series of heavy breaths. Kenny is visibly cringing off in the corner of the frame, afraid of even making the slightest sound, lest he push her into something even worse. All of a sudden, Caitlyn realizes herself and straightens up... pretending none of that just happened, as chicks do.)
Now if you don't mind, Kenny... I'd like to bring out the REAL man of the hour... a man who will one day fulfill DARK PROPHECIES in that ring, with me at his side, motivating his every move, and giving him the vision and council he needs to conquer all of Empire Pro!
(In the background, Kenny rolls his eyes, as if already predicting that this can only end with disaster. Caitlyn is oblivious to the reporter at this point, stepping off to the other side and holding out her arm as the spotlight hits the center of the curtain. Caitlyn reads off of the plainly visible list written on the inside of her forearm...)
People of the World, please welcome... the MINISTER of MADNESS... the REVEREND of RUIN... the SULTAN of SLUDGE... the... (squints)... Caliph, of... the fuck does this even... uh, Coco-funny?!
(Something from behind the curtain CROAKS impatiently.)
(Caitlyn's venomous stare briefly cuts to the curtain before she resumes her duty.)
...here is your TELEVISION CHAMPION of EPW...
(The curtains pull aside from a part down the middle, revealing the unlit backstage. Red back lighting forms the crooked silhouette of a MAN IN BLACK... and stepping into the spotlight is the Escape Artist himself... REZIN, adorned in his new REAPER ROBE, toting twin SLUDGE BUCKETS, and bearing the inverted EPW TELEVISION TITLE around his waist. He approaches the foreground, taking the spot between Caitlyn and Kenny before dropping either bucket. Both manager and reporter skip out of the way to avoid the small spill made by the impact. The goat bastard smirks before the camera...)
You want a WAR, Em-JAY-TWOOL-AID?!
(He lets out a raspy cackle.)
You poor, blithering idiot... if ONLY you had the capability of understanding at this point! But clearly, your MIND is gone! You've descended into a blind, self-destructive RAGE... one that will spell your inevitable doom! All it took was taking the Television Title from you... and my black fingers reached right up into your HEAD and scraped out the last of what was SANE, when I brought you face to face with HUMILITY and DEFEAT!
Now you've got your brother looking out for you?! Well, that's just cute... the family that sticks together can SINK together! But none of that really matters to me... because I got someone BETTER backing me up!
(He reaches out and YANKS Caitlyn into the frame, drawing another ire-filled look from his newly appointed manager, but she nevertheless puts it aside and does her part before the camera.)
What I've got is a manager with PROVEN results! And TOGETHER... we are unstoppable! Whatever poor sucker strays in our path... whoever gets stupid enough to cross us... we will bring them to a world of muthafuggin' RUIN!
That's right, babe... and one at a time, every one of those bastards will get his just deserts!
But for you, Malcolm Joseph-Jones? Ruin comes at Aggression 76! Erik gave you the chance to save your dignity and GROVEL for his forgiveness... but instead, you chose to make matters worse! You chose to PISS OFF the CHAMPION!
Heh heh... I warned you about what would happen when you stepped into the quagmire, Malc! Now you're a whole leg in, and it's too late to pull yourself out! Slowly but surely, I'm going to pull you down the rest of the way in the ring there in Minneapolis... snuffing out all the life and hope in your ambitions of GREATNESS for once and for all!
As for this Television Title?
(SHOVING Caitlyn back out of the frame, he lets out another dry chuckle as he taps the inverted face of the belt around his waist.)
...this sits here for a while longer, as a standing reminder to the next poor fool who gets ahead of himself! What was once a championship for those awe-inspiring up-and-comers will now and forever be considered a BRICK WALL of DOOM and DESPAIR!
(He TEARS OFF HIS SHADES... revealing ANOTHER set of shades, with wide-open, bloodshot eyes painted over the lenses, giving him an almost cartoonish look of insanity.)
How do you DESTROY an Empire? Simple... you let it STARVE! You let future generations NEVER get through to the next level... and you let the veterans wear down and wither away over time. You slowly choke it out... until it becomes nothing but a wasteland of haggard has-beens, chasing ambitions and agendas that fulfill no purpose other than to satisfy their own inner emptiness...
(Tears off the seconds set of shades to reveal his ACTUAL crazed-looking blood-shot eyes.)
Rezin I am that emptiness, embodies in flesh and bone, and guided by a raging urge to fuck up everything that is beautiful in this world! And if that means snorting up a big ol' black loogie and spitting it into your delicious glass jug of GRAPENESS-flavored Kool-Aid, then so be it!
Your DEMISE only adds one more body to this federation's FUNERAL PYRE!
(Laughing maniacally, Rezin saunters off the stage. As his giggling recedes, Kenny and Caitlyn come back into the shot, with the reporter looking confused and dismayed.)
...so be honest here, you really buying into any of that?
(Caitlyn shrugs indifferently.)
Meh... he's a useful idiot, with an expensive bargaining chip. So long as he holds up his end when it comes time...
I just wish I could get him to SHOWER... ugghhh...
(No longer veiling her disgust, Caitlyn shudders as she wanders off camera. Kenny is left by himself, signing off to the fans as the camera goes to black.)
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