"When you lose something precious, you just need time to regroup. But any rumors of my departure are HIGHLY unfounded...."
FADE IN: on the Manhattan suite of Larry Tact. The former NEW World Heavyweight Champion sits on his plush living room sofa, looking surprisingly calm after suffering defeat to Shawn Hart.
LARRY TACT: "After all false prophets out there, who preached about how I 'dropped out' after losing the NEW World Championship, years ago, maybe people got similar ideas. Of course, that was never the case... and, quite frankly, I have no intentions of being a victim, or wallowing over what happened."
"Meaning... there are many ways wrestling matches can go. It's part of what makes this industry so tantalizing, and KEEPS you coming back for more. And for just once in his career, Shawn Hart can even manage to squeak one out over me in the ring. Anything can happen in wrestling."
He raises his hands and slow-claps briefly.
"Congrats, Shawn. You'd better hope WFW:NE keeps us apart, as they're now doing... because you we do... you won't find yourself on the same side of the coin flip, next time... and you'll be ten pounds lighter."
"Not to say I'm surprised that they ARE keeping us apart..."
He shakes his head.
"I had to reclimb the ladder all over again, in order to get another shot the last time. And even then, that came in a six-man match of my own design... brilliant as it was, showcased on WrestleSTOCK, it still took some time. I have no intentions of that being the case again. This time, it's going to be a much more direct course to the title. I don't care who the hell thinks they're 'better' than me. The fact is, for all the talk, few have proven as much when it comes time. When I'm HALF on my game, I'm still better than most. And now, with the... WFW:NE World Championship.... I won't stop even once I'm back on top."
"So then, what in the hell am I doing in a match, to determine... Cameron Cruise's tag partner?"
"I guess WFW:NE has been watching me taking on the task of resuscitating another tag division... and figures, 'Let's jump on!' Not that I can really blame them."
"But if there was ever a THINNER VEILING on a 'consolation' for losing the title, I'd like to f***ing see it. And that... that has kept me thinking this entire week."
He massages his face for a moment.
"I mean, on the one hand.... I can take on this little sidebar, run through this little 'tournament' and add another notch to my WFW:NE legacy. I'll be one step closer to a Grand Slam Champion here, for sure. And once that tag title is in my possession, I'll be eligible to be a double Champion. There are enticing possibilities to it.... and you have to appreciate how this company is now practically begging, after what they've seen elsewhere... for something to take this company on its shoulders, since Shawn Hart has never done that anywhere... he is no Anthology....."
"On the other hand... what kind of joke is this week? It's not a knock on tag team wrestling... no doubt, it's a lost art. It takes a combination of wrestling acumen and, well... TACTFUL strategy... to make it as a tag team. And looking around at what's out there... that may be WHY it's a lost art, these days."
"I was World Heavyweight Champion, and clearly have the wrestling acumen and intelligence to succeed. I'm plenty qualified. What I've been utterly baffled by, this week... because it seems like a joke on WFW:NEs part.... is my opponent this week."
"I mean, I haven't heard anything back from the office, so... am I supposed to seriously wrestle Jason Payne?!?"
He looks appalled.
"Let's look at this tactfully. I was recognized for being the best by wrestling my way to the top.... not being the best at shoving light tubes in people's faces."
"Of course Jason Payne 'respects' me... I bet he does, considering I was at the top while he may have been reliving his childhood dreams, playing with the Michael Jackson impersonators."
"He did come up with the match stip, anyway...."
"But I don't question your personal choices, Jason. I don't even question your choice to swim in the Ohio River, or whatever the hell your point was about that. Pollution? YOU are part of the pollution in WFW:NE. Don't kid yourself if you think otherwise, when you're the one who's greatest moment in NEW history could be parading around like Madonna Wayne Grossard, just so you could put him on his back."
"And 'not wanting' to meet you in the ring now? Yeah, I've heard that one before. It's called ARROGANCE. Verbal pollution. Do you think FOR ONE SECOND... that I am NOT ready to go off on someone, after losing the chance to be the inaugural WFW:NE WORLD HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPION?! Do you even know what that MEANS?"
"No, of course you don't. You're too tied up in being stripped of the chance to be dropped through ten tables in your matches, now."
"Before you go talking about pollutants here, Jason, take a good, hard look in the mirror. What have you really been other than a s***stain on this place?"
"Respect is the last thing on my mind. And you haven't earned a shred of mine."
"Save your generic banter on vengeance, because you won't be getting it this week, anyway. You want Vengeance? Go back to the trash bin throwing and manure-slagging matches."
"What I will give you a healthy dose of, though, is a reintroduction to something I like to call... the WRESTLING ring. It's not meant to be the scene of otherwise illegal acts of violence, if it weren't sanctioned by the P©X. It isn't meant to be littered with glass and garbage. It's a place to demonstrate REAL SKILL in the craft called WRESTLING."
"Don't think I'm not aware of your 'sacrifices' for being the the P©X. Just don't think I'm impressed, either, Jason. I've tangled with the so-called standard bearer of that division, Chaos, and won. I've had extreme rules matches, and won. I entered those matches simply to make sure, when I came across people like you, who will try to act like you've made some great contribution to wrestling, by competing in these asinine matches.... that I know your 'sacrifices'....."
"And they amount to s*** in my mind. Because it's really what you're good at... what you love to do... and what I look down upon and despise. You're the type of person who takes what I do, in wrestling... and bring it down. You desecrate the purity of wrestling, tainting it and loving it all the while."
"But the BEST part... the ICING on that is... then you expect people to 'respect' you when you enter the wrestling ring to...*gasp*... WRESTLE!"
"Well f**k you."
"I'm going to show you what it really means to have SACRIFICED for a title. I'm going to show you how the PAIN of losing your title, Jason... it's nothing compared to being knocked off from the TOP."
"Because you may have enjoyed having your little contests of 'who can slam the other into more tacks?' contests... but I had no choice but to WRESTLE to get my title. I had to gain mastery of the pure craft of this sport, not read "The Complete Idiots Guide on How to Use a Barbed-Wire Baseball Bat." I needed the skills I learned through challenging my body and mind, and not in ways Michael Jackson impersonators, and midgets, and lawyers could ever do."
"And along the way, I shed blood, too. I had harm done to my body, too. But I didn't win by just bashing someone until they stopped moving. I had to actually OUTTHINK them, and then keep them down when they still had the ability to get up."
"I had to break them in a way the P©X would never understand. I had to do it so thoroughly that they wouldn't get up, WHILE conscious and cognizant. I couldn't just beat them with weapons to get it done."
"So when you LOSE that way, Jason... you learn to not just b***ch about it. You appreciate that you need to work even harder at what you do, in order to get back on top."
"And you don't talk about how it's a 'bad time' for your opponent to be wrestling you. NO TIME is a GOOD time for my opponent to be wrestling me, Jason, because I'm ALWAYS capable of BREAKING THEM DOWN."
"Maybe you'll appreciate that, after I'm done with you."