(FADEIN: The First standing in front of the Gulu Gulu café in Salem. His face painted in the motif of the Japanese battle flag from World War II, a black circle around his left eye that radiates black lines around the rest of his face with white filling in the places not covered. His hair is black with blotches of green, blue and purple, black wife beater, shorts and sneakers, his personalized EPW World Title over his right shoulder.)
FIRST: Lies hurt us, they never do anything for us in the end…You tell lies to avoid facing hard truths and excepting the facts of the world…I spent my career in EPW lying to myself, lying to the fans, I told them and myself a pleasing story, a story about how I was just like them, an underdog just trying to get my shot at greatness, an upstart trying to upset the balance of power and to usher in a era where the little guy was the winner, when those who fought scratched and kicked were the ones rewarded with victory and glory…I wanted that to be my story…
But none of it was ever true…I liked to call myself the Outcast Hero…I was never an outcast, there was never a moment of doubt as to where I’d be by the end of my career…Everything I’d told the world was a lie I told to make myself feel better…Because deep down it hurt me to face the truth…
The truth is I’m just better than everyone else because of who I am, some are born into wealth, I was born into a destiny, a destiny that was assured to me from the first time I drew breath on this planet…Every time I have existed on this world, I have mattered, I have made an impact…I don’t live the life of the mundane. I live lives that change the world, that shape and define it…
When Caesar declared himself ruler of Rome, I was one of the many Senators who rose up to slay him…My blade may not have drank as deeply as others, but it did partake the blood of the tyrant and aided his removal from this world…
At the Council of Carthage I was one of the wise men who decided what made it into the Bible and what got left on the cutting room floor…That holy book might have been written by the Lord…But I was his editor…
And that’s the truth Cammy…That little 6 year old kid who paints his face like me…He’s never going to amount to anything except being a crushing failure in the eyes of his partners…The little goth girls who get all dolled up to see me will be little more than broodmares for Juggalo’s so they can make sure the world is always chalk full of Faygo drinking morons.
These are the people I carried on my back, these are the people I lied to and tried to reassure that they would be important, special…That we’re all beautiful unique little snowflakes in this world…(Smiles) thanks Felix…But the truth is…Some of us will always end up being more important than others…We all have our place in the pecking order of the universe…It just so happens that I’m at the top of it…
And now you want to feed them a new lie Cammy. You want to lie to them and tell them that you deserve this title shot, that you are supposed to be here…That this is how things should be…When we both know it’s a farce…That you have done nothing to earn this…You had one whole singles match since Russian Roulette, and it was against me…I remember it well, you were so badly outclassed that you got yourself disqualified rather than be beaten decisively by me…So then you whined and b*tched to Dan Ryan who threw you a bone, you had to beat Impulse and Stalker to get a re-match against me, and thanks to Jared Wells clocking Stalker in the head with a belt, you got the win.
That’s you Cruise, a man who’s done literally nothing for himself…A man who’s barely put in any work at all, but you’ve been forced into this moment for one simple reason.
The rest of the locker room has been cowed into submission.
They talk about me, sneer and insult me, but none of them have the guts, the nerve to step up and DO something about me holding this title…Your moronic self-confidence crazed desire to hold this title make you the perfect opponent for me at Black Dawn Cammy….
Because this time it’s going hurt real bad…I know you want this (Taps belt) you live and breathe holding it, to complete the cycle, to have held every title in this company, to vindicate yourself and your career
(First shakes his head)
It’s never going to happen…You’re the whipping boy Cruise, you’re the message I send to the World about how dominating I am as champion…You are how I shall prove to the world that I am in fact The Greatest Of All Time…You will be my springboard to the pantheon of legends…
I can’t use the mist? I don’t need the mist to beat you…I lose the title on a count-out or a disqualification? That’s fine…Dan Ryan can stack the deck in favor of you all he wants to…He can set it up so everything is in your favor Cammy…There is just one problem…
You’re still Cameron Cruise…And that means you’ll always be Destined To Fail….
You can’t escape it Cammy…It’s who you are, it’s who you’ll always be…You’re the lovable loser, the little engine that can’t…You exist so that others can look at you and be grateful that their careers didn’t end up like yours…You are the cautionary tale for everyone who’s ever laced up a pair of boots…That if things don’t break the right way, that you could end up like Cameron Cruise…
I’m going to outclass you so badly, everyone will see it…That I can beat you any way I want to at any time I want to…I’m going to show everyone who thinks they have a chance at beating me exactly how far the bar has been elevated, and that they all need to step up their games if they don’t want me to embarrass them in the ring when we meet.
Black Dawn was the night I accepted the truth about my career…The night I fell short and saw Lindsay Troy steal my thunder, I saw the King and the Queen getting ready for the Feud That Never Was…I learned that night that the lies I told myself about how I was going about doing business were what was holding me back…I return to Black Dawn smarter, wiser, now fully understanding of the what I must do…That to be the man I was always meant to be I had to tell all those fans who cared about me the truth no matter how much it hurt them...Once I freed myself from that burden my destiny fell into my hands...And at this Black Dawn it will be you that will have to accept the truth about your career…
That you’ll always be an also-ran…
That you’ll always be a never-will-be…
No matter how hard you hit me, no matter how much you throw at me, it’ll never be enough…
Because I am your better Cammy…I’m everyone’s better…At Black Dawn you’ll see the truth…Everyone will understand my greatness…
"The time is drawing near, every day, every hour, every second...becomes more intense than the last."
(Fadein at about mid-morning outside AT & T Park in San Francisco, but in front of the statue of Hall of Fame player Willie Mays, stands Cameron Cruise, dressed in black slacks and "Home Jersey" of one "Matt Cain", who two and a half weeks ago threw a Perfect game against the Houston Astros, along with fourteen strikeouts, which in of itself is impressive. Sunlight flashes across the lenses of his shades, his arms crossed over his chest. While looking up at the statue....)
CRUISE: When this company first started years ago, I was looking to make a name for myself. I was looking to make a change for the better in this business, make an impact on how things happen; prove that I'm better than not just my opponent, but EVERYBODY.
And it started with my arrival.
Suicide was running around not just making his own impact, he was INTENT on injuring the competitors in this company. Never mind the situation, his belief was that he could walk around the place and intimidate people by the sheer fact that he would either get what he wanted the easy way...just giving in to his wishes, or threaten with other means.
Like ending careers with reckless assault or eventual paralysis, and I did exactly what I wanted to do in the beginning: I stopped him and ran him right out of Empire Pro Wrestling.
Now before anyone gets any ideas, when I faced Troy Douglas for the Intercontinental Championship, I nearly BROKE HIS NECK in the process of winning the Intercontinental Championship. But for the purpose of setting the record straight...that was a PURE accident, it was NOT my INTENT to injure Troy Douglas when I faced him on Aggression.
But that's also why there's a clause in the contract before hand, releasing liability from action; it's for such reasons that Dan Ryan made sure that there's an Ambulance "On-Site". I maintain the fact that I'm STILL better than Troy Douglas, always have been and always will, and I WILL NOT apologize for it either. Troy, much like every other competitor under contract to Dan Ryan and Empire Pro Wrestling, knows it too.
But I digress, the fact is that I dismantled Suicides' mission to become the best in this company by way of malice and malcontent. My reward for such an act...facing off against three other men for a shot at the World Heavyweight Championship, at EPW's first Pay-Per-View, "Black Dawn".
Being that I've mentioned this before, and ensuing result of the shot aside, the fact is that it was Black Dawn that things got started for me, in Empire Pro.
But you'll have to allow me a minute, there's just one thing I need to get off my chest.
(Cruise stops to think, looking down a second. Then, looking back up at the camera, he takes off his black Anarchy-style shades.)
GO **** YOURSELF.
You ***** and complain because I've taken on the opportunity of my LIFE, hell, my CAREER, by going after the one thing left in this company I haven't accomplished, the Empire Pro World Heavyweight Championship.
You ***** because after the First insisted on putting his OWN career on the line...
(Cruise rolls his eyes)
CC (Sarcastically): A brilliant move by the way...he FINALLY beat you.
Granted, you both had quite the back-and-forth prior...I mean, you pretty much downgraded anything he had to say against you the entire time, and it was even better when it was things that I had said WEEKS prior, but you really showed him "what for".
And then...you took your ball and went home, convinced that it was all garbage what had happened.
However don't worry...you and everyone else knows that The First did the same thing as well, only unlike you...and VERY MUCH like him...he took the Chicken-**** way out and hid behind all that make up and mascara, behind a mask to go after Anarky and the Empire Pro Championship.
A real masculine move, by the way First.
But I gave you credit, Sean.
You came back, removed from the garbage that was the attitude you had while myself and Anthology TOOK your thunder, the thunder that you had garnished while thriving as the Empire Pro World Champion...and you willed yourself to become a better man.
(Cruise holds up a finger)
And I know...you're gonna bring up the fact that you challenged me in a "Champion Versus Champion" match, intent on trying to "steal" the thunder that was TAKEN from you....and I declined.
I was "scared" according to you, "afraid to step up" and give you back what you so DESPERATELY needed.
But as I said before, to set the record straight...
I've NEVER been afraid of you, Sean.
Anarky seems think he can do what he wants by joining Rezin and jumping myself and Jared in Detroit when we weren't looking but the fact is that it's pretty apparent...it ain't pretty when those two get a dose of their own medicine.
As far as kicking me out of my own "club"??
Yeah...a lot good that did, right??
Nevermind the fact that we both had to deal with First and Shawn Hart, but facts are facts; I proved that aside from the two titles you have on the resume...you're REALLY not that great.
You lost the World title to the First in the same tournament that I had to be given a SECOND RANDOM OPPONENT....and I still had to practically win the Tag Team titles, by myself.
I'll say it again, this time keeping in mind that I *AM* good at what I do...but I didn't "lose" the tag team match against Stalker and Shane.
I didn't get pinned, and I refuse to acknowledge the fact that I didn't win the Tag Team title for a record third time.
It was DONOVAN ASTROS that lost that match, not me, and I proved it against him at Wrestleverse IV, when I took the Television title, and until then, I wasn't even remotely INTERESTED in it.
What happened after that is irrelevant, the fact is that while Williard did win the Television Championship, he didn't TAKE IT.
In the meantime...you're in the Empire Pro Hall of Fame, an achievement seldom is given.
But yet...somehow, I'm still a step ahead of you, just like I was before you faced off against him, before you told him what I'd said weeks before.
All it takes is being declared the winner and my hand being raised....and I'm better than you in just about every way possible, save the King of the Cage tournaments.
You weren't "automatically" ushered into the Hall of Fame, Sean, but once I defeat The First at Black Dawn...
(Cruise smiles a "Million Dollar Smile".)
There's nothing in the entire WORLD that can keep me from getting in, in fact...I'll be a viable GUARANTEE.
I'm going up against The First, and for once in his career AND MINE...
There's nothing that doesn't say I can get the job done again.
Before telling him basically everything that I'd told him before....I beat The First for MY...Intercontinental Championship.
And I didn't need a cage or a weapon of some sort to do it.
(Cruise puts his shades back on.)
I hammered the fact into your skull before, but I'll grind it into you again....it wasn't about Copycat interjecting into the match and shoving you off the top turnbuckle, the fact is that I still picked your eye-shadow-ridden, mascara-wearing carcass up off the mat and finished a job I said I would do.
And that's to make sure you went home WITHOUT the Intercontinental Championship.
In the meantime, you think my entire time here, I've been telling lies.
You come to the realization that everything that I'd said before about you not being who you THOUGHT you were, doing what you THOUGHT was the right thing, making with the fans because you wanted them to feel what you felt.
Dressed up, adorned with mascara and eye-liner, making you out to be a garbage leader that you ALWAYS WERE...it's what you were with Felix, what you were with HOPE, Eddie Burns, and what you are NOW.
Welcome to the truth INDEED.
You couldn't POSSIBLY be better than everyone else, First.
Taking and damn-near BEGGING for five title shots, swearing off anymore title shots before being thrust into the tournament that would eventually award you a title you don't deserve....I still hold a measure of discontent about how Sean conducted himself, but the fact is even EYE know you're not better than him, and I know you're not better than me.
Not when you feel the need to blind me with the garbage....LITERAL GARBAGE that comes out of your mouth, so you can cheat your way into another victory...video tape evidence doesn't lie, First.
Even after you spit in my face, you tried to hit me with the title that you taint with the paint you put on your face, the illegitimacy that is your entire CAREER...and you dropped the ball.
You talk about how I've done nothing since Russian Roulette to deserve a title shot at the most prestigious title in this company, a shot at proving to the ENTIRE WORLD, that eight years of my life is NOT a waste of time, that coming back to where it all started at Black Dawn is where I show that I AM the best this company has to offer.
You state how much I DON'T deserve this shot because I've done nothing to earn it.
(Cruise starts to pace abit in front of the statue)
Funny thing is....I was given the same chance that Dan would've given anyone else...and a fair one at that.
"Beat Stalker and Impulse, and you can have another crack at belts"
We DID that....EYE STILL finished the job that I started.
But I bet that you felt alittle deja vu watching what happened, watching as Stalker was made a fool AGAIN, before I hit him with a Reality Check...in fact, I'll bet that really forced you to go powder your nose, in the little girls room.
The fact is that it's not that people don't have the guts to face you...they DO; but it's YOU that fails to supply the courage keep going every year. It's YOU that fails to keep things going, despite winning or losing a match.
It's like an over-grown toddler throwing a temper tantrum, really, because Mommy won't buy her that lollipop you so desperately need to be spoiled with...and when that happens, that makes you want to QUIT. I've said plenty of times..."Nobody likes a Quitter", and just like Chief Grady says "Desperation is a stinky cologne"....my point is, I've been an employee of Paul Freeman, Dan Ryan, and Empire Pro Wrestling for a long time...and I've never seen ANYONE look the part of a loser the way you do.
People don't want to have anything to do with you, because quite frankly...you look and play the part of a P*SSY.
YOU are the one at the top of the mountain, First, staring down at Dan Ryan and making him look like a fool....a big "No-No", if you ask me, because I DO want that title...and becoming the World Heavyweight Champion in Empire Pro IS what I've dreamed of accomplishing since I arrived almost ten years ago.
I don't care if you or Sean won it a second time, holding it over my head is the pure motivation I need to win it for the FIRST time.
Look at what happened to you at Aggression Sixty-Five, hell...look what JUST happened at Aggression Sixty-Seven!!
Does it REALLY look like to you...that I'm the "Whipping Boy"??
I not only won the Intercontinental Championship and the Television Championship titles on my own and in convincing fashion, but the men I defeated for the titles, Troy, Sebastian Dodd, Donovan Astros, all three were driven OUT of Empire Pro Wrestling and hasn't been seen since...and that was with the same drive and the same focus I had that accomplishing that I have right now.
You want to send a message to everyone watching?? Try beating me without cheating.
Because the stipulations of the match at hand are what I've wanted since the beginning, and it gives me every advantage I could possibly ask for.
You blind me with that mist...I become Empire Pro Champion.
You hit me with a chair, ignore the referees' simple instruction, I become Champion.
You try running away with that title or get counted out on purpose, and you not only look the part of the loser you play so well...
But I STILL become the new World Heavyweight Champion.
While you believe a victory over me will "springboard you" to legendary status....a victory over you practically opens the door for me to walk right in.
But you're right in one aspect, First.
I AM Cameron Cruise.
The same man who defeated you once for the Intercontinental Championship, a title that you swore I wasn't going to hold onto when the match was over.
But I did, and if you really think someone in this company is always destined to fail, then maybe you need to "take a powder" for real, and look in the mirror.
You're gonna make others like me an embarrassment??
You're a grown man wearing make-up....JAPANESE make-up at that; who's embarrassing who, here??
You drove everyone in HOPE insane with frustration, flustered with the ideal that you actually BELIEVED that they would follow your every word without question; that was the difference between HOPE and Anthology, First.
In your eyes, HOPE was a dictatorship, not a democracy....all we wanted in Anthology was a chance, and we ran with it so much that it turned the Wrestling World completely upside down.
I KNOW the truth about my career as a wrestler in Empire Pro, and I've known it for the better part of ten years now:
I'm someone in this business, unlike you.
I've made and am STILL making an impact on this business.
The closest impact you've made was done behind a mask, which was done once a few years ago, and quite frankly...it was a bigger shock then too.
"you'll always be a never-will-be"....
Boy that sounds familiar, First?? I mean, Sean told you those same words I'm sure at least FIVE TIMES, but by some Disney-Miracle-On-Ice....
...I feminized it for you, since you're the only guy I know in this business that looks, acts, walks and talks like a girl. A Gothic one at that, but nevertheless...you managed to pull it off and a second time under chicken-**** circumstances.
Now that you mention it, I've been in this company almost ten years, and you STILL have more title shot opportunities than I do, and that's not to say that I'm not good enough.
EVERYONE knows that if anything...I AM, and my track record in this business says so in big bold lettering.
If you're better than me First, it's because of that title you wear around your waist, but NOT the methods you used to attain it.
And believe me...I intend to remedy that problem at Black Dawn.
Two and a half weeks ago Matt Cain proved why he SHOULD be the starter for the National League All-Star team in Kansas City next week. In a short amount of time, he's struck out dozens of batters and made even the top offensive baseball team humble to his efforts on the mound and earned a pitched a Perfect game in the process.
Now, in a short amount of time I'm going to be on the mound.
I've shut you out before, First, I did it before and I can and WILL do it again.
But you see....what Matt Cain did for the San Francisco Giants, he pitched that Perfect Game and CEMENTED himself as a candidate for the starting Pitcher spot in Kansas City, an All-Star for the National League team and for fans everywhere.
At Black Dawn, winning that Empire Pro Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship, that moment when it's handed to me and I know that it's truly mine...not just a title to hold up and taunt with, but MINE...
That caps off MY Perfect game, First.
Winning every major title in Empire Pro, at least two of them twice...that makes ME an All-Star as well as that puts ME into a category all by myself.
I'm already in San Francisco, First.
I'm ready for the biggest match of my life and my career, but most of all....
I'm ready to beat you AGAIN.
I don't need chairs, I don't need weapons or Jared to back me up to win that World Championship title.
And that's a Reality Check that you just...won't like.
(FADEIN: The First now sitting on a bench next to the Bewitched statue in downtown Salem. The First’s personalized EPW World Title belt lies resting on the lap of Samantha’s statue form.)
FIRST: I am hopeful that EPW sends that tape of your promo to the Smithsonian to save it for forever, this truly was a Cameron Cruise promo that encapsulated your essence so perfectly that I can not imagine you ever being able to talk that way again. Let’s go over the laundry list of ways you unleashed that oh so Cruiseian nature of yours upon the world.
Do we have Cruise doing mental gymnastics to reverse and justify a long held talking point? We got that…You’ve spent the past forever bragging about maiming Troy Douglas and how you put him out with a broken neck, it was an achievement you seldom left out of any interview you’ve done since the day you laid him out and took the IC title from him, of course now you have to contrast yourself with that big meanie Suicide who exactly NOBODY in EPW cares about at all, so well, the whole broken neck thing with Troy Douglas was an accident, the sort of misunderstanding that just sort of happens between friends, get well soon Troy!
Does it feature you going on and on and on and on? Of course it does…One can always tell when Cameron Cruise is bound and determined to win a match, it’s when he decides to just bombard the viewers with a never ending stream of babbling nonsense…I get it Cammy, you think if you hit them with gibberish for so long you hope folks will lose the ability to reason, to process facts, to even be able to function like human beings...It’s a shrewd move for a man who knows he has nothing to lose by going for it…The problem with this tactic is that long drawn out periods of stupidity really don’t make you look any less dumb than the short, to the point stupidity that you’re so well known for. It just makes people wish you would stop insulting their intelligence and let them get back to America’s Got Talent or Ancient Aliens…Which for the record, is complete nonsense, I was around during that time and we never had aliens come down and help us with anything.
Does this promo have Cameron Cruise unleashing a long winded tirade at somebody you’re NOT fighting at the next show? Survey says?! DING! Number One Answer! 45 points! I’d hate to be Sean Stevens right now after that brutal verbal beatdown you put on him…Of course he has nothing to do with our match, he’s not going to decide who wins or loses between me and you, but you just can’t ever stay on topic can you? You have to lash out at anyone and everyone, it’s just what you do…You are fighting for the EPW World Title in the Main Event of Black Dawn, so of course you would spend your time calling out a man you’re not fighting, who wouldn’t?
Of course in the middle of that endless tirade against Sean Stevens we came to another one of your favorite things to do, and that’s rewriting history in a way nobody will ever believe. I mean this honestly when I ask this Cammy…Who are you trying to kid with this sh*t? Seriously I want to know if you think ANYONE would ever believe a word of the nonsense you have to say about the stuff you try to gloss over and change when you begin your ever so implausible revisions of history.
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.
These are the childish games you play, this is why I know what you’re going to say before you even say it, because you’re a man who hasn’t had a new idea in his head for over a decade. You’re a moron who thinks if he just does the same things over and over again that maybe somebody will mistake you spinning your wheels for progress, that maybe you’ll stumble your way into glory…Well it’s not happening at Black Dawn Cammy, it’s never going to happen while I’m champion.
The last time we fought I heard this sh*t…You went on and on explaining it in painful detail to me and I rolled my eyes because you’re not even arguing with me, you’re denying reality itself and you think if you keep stomping your feet, if you keep repeating these lies, you’ll break me, you’ll break everyone, by sheer force of will you can undo all the horrible mistakes you’ve made in your past.
Problem for you is the past is a perfect prison none of us can escape it. It’s the truth in it’s purest form. What we have done is laid bare for the world to see…You and I, anyone in the public spotlight, all our failures and successes are captured by the unflinching gaze of the camera…Yet you pretend it’s not so…You pretend that you can make Copycat’s interference not matter…
(First shakes his head.)
You’re little more than a troll in the Youtube Comments. Somebody goes to watch our match at Wrestleverse III and there’s “DangleBrothers69” trolling all the whiny Goth’s lamenting my defeat by saying “Shut up losers, Cruise won fair and square!” and “Copycat didn’t factor into the end, Cruise had him the whole way!” That’s who I’m fighting right now, some idiot who has nothing better to do than argue for the sake of arguing, a guy who doesn’t even believe his own bullsh*t but says it anyhow just to try to get under the skin of the other person.
Well I’m not some 16 year old girl dressed in all black and wearing too much make up…I’m a 28 year old man in all black and wearing too much make up…(Smiles)
And the other difference is I get to beat your ass…See Cammy, you talk all you want about what happened before, you re-invent history however you want, but this time, there is no Copycat to run in and throw me off the top rope…This time there is no Jared Wells to crack your opponent in the skull with a belt…You talk such a big game about fighting straight up…But you can’t back it up…
(First takes the belt off the statue and drapes it over his right shoulder.)
This match matters for a lot of reasons, it’s for the most important title in this industry (taps belt)…And that makes it deadly important by itself, but beyond that we got a whole new locker room full of men. Returning legends like Boogie Smallz and Gabriel Poe, a bunch of young talent joining up with the Empire for the first time, like Kendall Codine, and Classy Mike C. There’s all sorts of people who only have a vague idea about the fact that there is a man who calls himself The First and he’s the champion of this company…They all need a demonstration of my power to really learn the truth…Why I’m holding this belt, why I am in the main event, why I will reign for as long as I feel like reigning…
That’s where you come in…
You’ve seem the movies where we see some bad-ass looking guy who looks all tough, and then somebody comes along and just whips that guy’s ass, and the crowd now understands that the guy standing over the broken body of the bad-ass is someone to take seriously…
What I’m trying to say here is this Cruise…In the credits of Black Dawn, “Bouncer at Nightclub” is played by Cameron Cruise and “Main Antagonist of the Film”…Well that’s me…
You’re here to let everyone know that by signing up with EPW, they’ve been asked to step up their game in a major way if they ever want to get in the ring and even be competitive with me…That chasing this title is asking to be humiliated and disgraced…That you better be damn sure you have the skills and the talent to be able to stand up to me or it’s going to end really badly for you…
Oh there will be those who’ll say it couldn’t happen to them…That they won’t be left in a fetal ball in the middle of the ring sobbing for their momma the way you were at the end of Black Dawn…They’ll blame you for sucking instead of giving me credit for being awesome…That’s human nature, we all have to think we can win a fight when we sign up for it…And I understand that’s how they’ll try to spin it for themselves…But I promise that my crushing of you will be but one of a series of such drubbings I shall inflict upon the locker room to make sure everyone understands that it is my iron fist that holds EPW by the throat.
And you will be left weeping and crying this time Cruise…Just like you tapped out to Christian Sands when you got your first crack at this belt…Just like when Beast laid you out and pinned you on try number two…Just like how Stevens and myself discarded you the worthless piece of trash you were in attempt number three…And it will be nothing like how you got the match thrown out in try number four…
You whine and pout like a child about the fact that I spit mist on your face…I spit mist in everyone’s face, it’s a part of the match when you fight me, you better be ready for it...But you, you delicate little flower you, you had to throw a hissy fit and clock the ref because I happened to blast you with some mist…Other people, people who want to be EPW World Champion, they fight through adversity to try to obtain their goals…You pack it in the second it gets tough...It’s the title of your ghost written autobiography “Quitting when things get tough: The Cameron Cruise story.”
You know what will make beating you all the sweeter Cruise? The fact that you hate me so much, always saying how I act like a woman, that I’m some sort of freak that you just can’t abide by because I wear eye liner and lipstick…Your blood just boils when you hear about how I always make time for a weekly mani-pedi…And yet you’re cutting a promo bragging about how you couldn’t wait to get out to San Francisco and you’re now in your beloved city and rip roaring and ready to go…Did somebody not get the memo around here? 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.
Or don’t I really don’t care…I’ll just keep making you look like a fool in this little debate we’re having, and then we’ll get to Black Dawn and they’ll make the announcement for the main event, they’ll list all the things that have been put in place to screw me over…Put in place to give you a chance in hell of beating me…And odds are the crowd will rally to you…Wanting to see a title change, wanting to see the big jerk get put in his place…But in the end they all know they are rooting for that which will never happen…
"You're the one that wears the mascara, eyeliner, lips-stick, and lord knows what else while having tea parties with dolls while wearing a hat rigged to look like a FAIRY-tale character...and you crack Gay jokes at ME?? NERD-AND-SIPPER-ALERT!!!"
(Fadein, Cameron Cruise in hallways of the Giants Clubhouse, dressed in black slacks and a white shirt, with an orange sports jacket and matching black Anarchy-style shades.)
CRUISE: But please...make the sterotypical "Checklist" on my expense, First, it's not like it hasn't pulled on you before.
Do we have First sound like a complete IDIOT with a "Cosby Sweater"....
(In true Jack Black form)
AH CAHS-BEH SAH-WETAHH!!!...while imitating that other moron that never showed up on Television from "Amazing Discoveries"?? YOU BETCHA!!!
I mean...I know this has been said in the movies already as well, but the fact holds true..."Richard Dawson, go back until we're ready to play the Feud".
I positioned myself in the past as someone that was proud of the fact that I nearly broke Troy Douglas' neck, but the point is that it WAS an accident. However, even if the kid is a "tough out", for lack of better wording, as much success as he has...he's NEVER...EVER beaten me.
As far as Suicide goes...yeah, Suicide was a pretty big piece of garbage that didn't deserve anything but the worst out of any TSA personnel agent before a flight. But you're right that no one cares about Suicide, I mean...it was because of ME that he's gone, and you weren't even CONSIDERED for an Empire Pro Contract yet, but sure...as of these days, the threat of Suicide is a fairly dormant issue.
You see, I actually do agree with you, I can get alittle..."wordy" sometimes...but at least the things I say are TRUE.
You sit there and claw and pry your way into peoples' attention span long enough to spout off garbage about how you and Julius Caesar used to be boys, and how you were the fourteenth Apostle and Christ owes you TWENTY bucks?? All this and you admit that you're merely the better part of a decade YOUNGER than me.
Tsk, tsk, tsk....
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.
As far as Sean Stevens is concerned??
Since when do YOU care??
You luck out one time out of the five times you beg him for a title shot, and when he finally comes back and beats your carcass like everyone ALWAYS does..myself for the IC title, Sean and Anarky for the same title I'm gunning for now...you bail, just like you did when you lost the title last time.
I called Sean's bull****, because I'm tired of the shots that he takes just because he's not the center of attention anymore.
Sean never made Anthology legitimate, that was Dangle Brother property from the start. But you go ahead and stick your nose where it's chicken**** to go when the title is on the line. Maybe you forgot...but Jared and I??
We do exactly WHAT we want, WHEN we want.
I didn't "duck" Stevens when he challenged me to put the Intercontinental Championship on the line, I told him NO.
The same two letter word you ask yourself every morning when you "put your face on" if-and-when it's enough.
Because at that time, just like now...Sean needs to understand that HE doesn't run things around here, like he thinks he does and like you think YOU DO NOW.
Fact is, you got your panties in a twist because I've taken a different booking schedule as of late and still have a title shot over the likes of just about ANYONE ELSE who could've received the same deal....too damn bad, First, there's nothing you could do about it. I mean, you could get on you knees and BEG Dan Ryan, but you might as well turn in your "Man-Card" if you do that....if it hasn't been taken from you already....but really, I think we can both agree that that'd be nothing short of amusing for Dan, given the past history. That's just about the only thing left you could do to get out of it.
I mean, you saw PERSONALLY what complaining to him will do for you.
(Cruise makes a fist and smacks his other hand with it, smiling)
I won fair and square when you challenged me for the Intercontinental Championship back then, video proves it. I could careless if Copycat pushed you off the top turnbuckle BEFORE I dragged your feminine carcass up BEFORE I hit you with a Reality Check, for the win.
I keep reminding you of it because of the fact that you could...COULD HAVE kicked out of it, but you didn't.
Where in all that am I lying??
I don't care if roll your eyes, the fact is if I do, it's going to be when they roll in the back of your head after I give you ANOTHER Reality Check, and the referee raises my hand in victory.
A picture perfect "Kodak Moment" that'll be, indeed.
Especially when the fact is that you admit OPENLY that you spit mist in competitor's face, how you're able to get it consistently past the referees, I'll never really know. But the fact is that doing that means that you HAVE TO...HAVE/I] to cheat. Nevermind what happened last week against Impulse and Stalker, the fact is that just like I did with you, I still picked his worthless carcass up and hit him with a Reality Check, and we got the one-two-three victory.
I might not have had the perfect record in Empire Pro, and everyone knows it, but at least I go down FIGHTING AND FIGHTING FAIRLY. In the meantime, you bitch out because in your crazy-mascara-caked-with-blush mind, I hit the referee on PURPOSE??
I can show you the tape again, First...maybe you selectively forgot the part where you CHEATED IN MY FACE, to blind me, and that wasn't enough so you tried to hit me with the title.
Never satisfied with cheating just once...there's no way it was happening twice.
some people..."they fight through adversity to try to obtain their goals", is what you said, no??
(Cruise slaps himself in the chest afew times)
"Other people", First.
(Slaps himself in the chest again)
"Fight through adversity", First.
You MISSED with the title and I hit you with a REALITY CHECK.
But my fault was that I hit the referee, and it WAS a mistake, but my silver lining is that he SHOULD'VE KNOWN I couldn't see.
But I'll take the punishment, because I've done the time.
But Black Dawn is up next, and it's a different story, because the fact is that everyone ALREADY KNOWS your autobiography.
Maybe Stephen King wrote it for you instead though, and you erased the title before it went to print, because I'm NOT a career Quitter, like you are.
Taking a show off every now and then...that can be expected and understood.
But I don't QUIT when I don't get what I want, First, not like you.
I push myself even HARDER to get it.
It's no secret that I hate your guts, First, in fact if I had Aggression Sixty-Seven to do all over again, I wouldn't change a thing. I'd beat your ass everyday of the week, I'd punch you in the face and put you down on the mat three times on Sunday.
It's only right that you'd reach for the Gay joke though First, you look the part and act it already, it's only right that you'd try to punk me for getting to San Francisco early than the rest of the athletes competing that night, because you've nothing else to fall back on BUT Gay jokes.
Nevermind the fact that what still holds water in the bucket is that the San Francisco Giants KNOW what it's like to be a Champion in their sport. Call it inspiration, motivation, whatever it is you can grasp with your painted fingernails, I don't care; until you become a World Champion, you do what you can to learn how it is to BE a Champion.
Couple that with the fact that the very stadium where they competed for the most prestigious championship in Major League Baseball is the same one I'm competing in for the most prestigious championship title in Empire Pro Wrestling at the SAME event where I made my in-ring debut eight years ago...there's only so many coincidences that can occur before you look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that the time to step up and deliver is NOW.
Make no mistake about it, First, you ARE the Empire Pro Wrestling Champion, you're not the first woman to hold that title here, and facing you in the Main Event at Black Dawn is probably the biggest night of my life. But you are a jerk, the fact that you actually argue FOR wearing make-up as a grown man is about as ludicrous as it is you making excuses for not taking on opponents like a MAN, and I don't mean it in a way that you can spin it because Stevens didn't get what he wanted.
I'm coming to the ring here, at A T & T Park at Black Dawn, and I'm facing you in a Championship title match where the bottom line is that EVERYTHING IS FAIR.
I'm going to bust my ass like I never have before, and I'm going to put you down and become the next Empire Pro Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion. Dan Ryan made stipulations in this match where if you try to cheat or escape in anyway possible...I'll become Empire Pro World Champion.
Keep telling me that I'll never be EPW World Champion, because I've heard nothing but the same thing for the past eight years.
Times ticking away, First, before you and I pair off again.
The Main Event of Black Dawn.
Cruise Versus First III.
There's no way out of this, and no HOPE, pun intended, for you to leave San Francisco with the Empire Pro Wrestling Heavyweight Championship title.
And that is a REALITY CHECK that you just...won't like.
(FADEIN: The First and Muse in the same place as First was before, only now Muse is sitting beside him with an acoustic guitar and is playing “Somebody That I Used To Know” on it.)
FIRST: The History of the World is but the biography of Great Men…Great Men make this world what it is…When the colonies rebelled to drive back the British it was the Great Man George Washington who led our armies to victory over them…When the Union was being torn asunder it was the Great Man Abraham Lincoln who saved the Union and brought an end to the Original Sin of the nation, for this he was dubbed the Great Emancipator. Great Men rise up in moments of crisis when the world cries out for leadership and guidance.
Great Men from the dawn of the age of Humanity to this every moment come forward to shape and guide the world, to direct it and move it forward as judged proper by their wisdom…Sometimes those men enter into conflict with each other and wars are fought, the losers demonized the winners lionized…This is our world, the one in which we live to emulate the best among us. To aspire, to lead, to engage, to inspire as they have…
Then we come to the Empire…Our stomping grounds, forged from it’s former companies and reborn anew…
EPW was adrift till one day Lindsay Troy came and seized control of the company…She became the Great Person this company needed to make it something more than your run of a mill company, the Queen reigned and the Empire flourished…Then she was deposed by lesser lights, and the Empire spiraled into mediocrity and worthlessness…Till finally Sean Stevens found that fire, that spark inside him to take control of the company…To become that Great Man and to be the focus of the Empire…We had found our Great Man…Long Live The King…
Till he fell…He fell at my hands but I can not deny that I was weak…I was foolish and I too fell shortly there-after…And then I watched my beloved Empire fall into the same sinkhole it did those times before when there was not a Great Man to lead it, to guide it and bring it to new heights…I saw the awful truth and I resolved to fix it…I resolved to become The Great Man this company needed…The Great Man you’ll never be…
You ducked Stevens when he asked you for a title match...A match that if you had merely won it...You would have been thought a hero...I on the other hand took up the mantle of Dis...I called in my marker for a re-match to get back my title and in doing so I risked everything, a loss on that night and I'd forever be a laughingstock, I'd forever have been a flash in the pan, a fraud who stole his short reign as champion...And beyond that, by wearing that mask I put nearly unbearable weight upon myself...The whole locker room...The internet dirt-sheets...Everyone watching was calling it a 're-hash' that it could be nothing but a failure, that expectations were so high that whoever was revealed when the mask came off would be at best merely disappointing...At worst they would be deeply offensive...And yet on that night...I won back my EPW World Title...And when the mask came off, the masses came to their feet in celebration...They had been saved...The Great Man had returned…
That is the massive chasm that separates us…You fight for the vain hope that you might grasp my World Title but for a fleeting moment, that you might obtain even the most flimsy of victory and that will be good enough for you…It is why you’re so excited that any win over me will be enough to have the title given to you…I on the other hand seek out challenges above and beyond the ring itself…I dared ask the world the question “Am I worthy of greatness?” and when the mask came off, they said “Yes”
You would never put yourself in such a spot because you know the answer already, you’re unworthy you’re incapable of being great. For you just getting your name in the record books with Christian Sands, JA, Rocko Daymon, and the others who crashed and burned with the EPW World Title would be enough, would be vindication for a career spent being a middling talent and the butt of so very many jokes.
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…You slink in the shadows, deflecting, spinning, LYING…And only now that you’ve gotten your Goldilocks title shot…The champion you hold a win over…The stipulations stacked in your favor…A match not to cold nor to hot…Only now will you deign to enter the ring and fight for the title again…
Are these the acts of a man ready to usher in a golden era of excellence in EPW? Or is this the pathetic grasping of a man who knows he even by seeking the EPW World Title, is going beyond his depth? You are every bit of the pathetic men who conspired to sink this company with their ineffective and bumbling reigns with the title…That’s the person you are Cruise…That’s the man I can’t let near this title.
A Great Man doesn’t make a stupid argument that’s going to be crushed…A Great Man would never in a million years get red in the face and start screaming and yelling about some sports team with 1 championship to its name being a symbol of greatness and excellence…
At least he wouldn’t do that against an opponent from Boston. Or at least you would think somebody with half a brain cell wouldn’t think to get up in the face of a Boston sports fan and tell them how their plucky band of players, led by a tiny pot smoking idiot won a title…Where I come from, the Bruins are a clear fourth best team in the city, and they STILL won a Stanley Cup. I come from a city where every team every season is driven by the goal of being a World Champion, anything less is a failure. Those are the stakes I play by...Go big or don't even bother showing up.
A Great Man focuses on the task at hand, he seeks to accomplish his goal and ignores everything else…A Great Man doesn’t spend his time bothering to let us know that somebody not involved in the match is still driving them mad, still upset over past slights real or imagined that he can’t get over…You insult me and you insult this title every time you veer wildly off topic to try to prove your point about how Triple X hurt your feelings and he’s a bad person…Cause this match has nothing to do with him at all…
You’re going to need laser like focus to beat me and you don’t have it Cruise…You can’t spend your days without being caught up in past opponents, my personal appearance…All these distractions that prevent you from getting down to the truth of the matter…You’re going to need the night of your life to beat me…
In your beloved town of San Francisco I’m going to walk into that stadium…And I’m going to crush your dreams…This is where the Great Man shows his quality…This is the night where you learn the hard truth about the world and your place in it…You’re not my better Cruise, you are not even my equal…You’re just another lesser light in this world put here to make me look even better by comparison…This is the nature of things and the way it must be…Your defeat this night is the path our two destinies must take…
For you are incapable of being what EPW needs in this day…You can not lead the Empire…You’ll spend your days making your eye rolling claims, your pathetic lies, all of what you are makes you unfit to lead this company, unfit to be it’s champion…I made the mistake once before of believing I could not be defeated for this title….I paid a price that night, but EPW paid an even higher one…
That mistake will not be repeated…I will not falter or waiver…I will not be broken…This time I prove my worth…This is where I leave that baseball park with the EPW World Title held aloft and the crowd, hate me or love me…Will look upon me and know that they saw a Great Man in his element, giving a performance to be remembered for a lifetime…They will be grateful for you as well…For your defeat will be so total, so complete, that there will be those that will admire your bravery in ever getting in the ring with me, to even attempt such a foolish errand…
Black Dawn is where you step into a trap…And I will slam the jaws shut on you…
"We're getting ready to headline one of Empire Pro Wrestling's biggest events of the year...and you're spouting of about Abraham Lincoln?? I mean, really First, eight years ago Jonathan Marx and Troy Douglas sat there and argued over "Passion of the Christ", like it was gonna make a difference when the bell rang to square off...eight years later, here we are again. What's next?? You gonna flex poetic about a garbage movie, like "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"??
(Fadein, Cameron Cruise dressed in black slacks, a blue sports coat with a white undershirt with a matching Anarchy-style pair of shades, as he leans over the dugout barrier, arms crossed over the rail.)
You tell me how my flexing about what a piece of garbage Suicide was and nearly breaking Troy Douglas' neck wasn't anything but basically an apparition of what I should and shouldn't do as a CHAMPION, and that I waste everyone's time reminding people...but really, First, that's just the Pot calling the kettle Black.
Ever since you first went after Sean Stevens the initial time...all I heard when I turned on Empire Pro Television, is you complaining about Sean Stevens and how he needed to be removed as World Heavyweight Champion. You took after the title with HOPE, and demanded that people like Anarky, Layne Winters, and the rest of those hooligans lay down for you, to just forget about any success that they could have so you could flourish in their 'stead. You call Sean Stevens a "Great Man" until he fell at YOUR hands...I mean, what...Rocko Daymon didn't have any kind of affect on him?? J_A didn't give Triple X a hard time??
You tell me I'm not ready to become the man that this company needs, but the fact is that you're not exactly a pillar of strength better than I am yourself, First. Sure, you're the World Heavyweight Champion, that's obvious enough.
But I'm no where stupid enough as you are to put my career on the line for the sake of a mere SHOT at the title, when there's just as much chance of me winning the title as there is of my career ending. After all, as you can see, I've received a second shot at winning that title in as many weeks...what brilliance would it be for me to put my entire career on the line, when I know I can earn another shot at it, just as anyone else??
As I said before, First, only a man of pure desperation would do something as ludicrous as to risk ending the one thing he loves to do, professionally, for a living...
And a man as young as you are, as misplaced mentally as you are, adorned in makeup and eyeliner, face paint...you fit the part, quite nicely.
Now, before you get into another tiffy over "High Risk for High Reward", let's remind you of something else everybody already knows, shall we??
I've beaten you before, and I've beaten you when it's counted, so I don't need to even consider putting my career on the line.
In turning down Sean Stevens...
(Cruise steps down from the rail, walking the pathway of the dugout, towards the steps leading onto the field.)
And I think I was pretty ****ing clear when I said turn down, not "duck"...
(Stepping out of the dugout, towards the "On-Deck Circle".)
That back then, as well as right now...I'm not about to give the prick the satisfaction.
Maybe I would've won..."shocked the world", as the saying goes, and maybe not.
But the point, at least I thought...is pretty simple.
Anthology wasn't made legitimate based on what he did, I mean after all...once Stevens "took over" Anthology...everything that we'd put work into...turned into a pile of shit in a short period thereafter. It was the precursor that put the wrestling world on its' head, not him.
But I turned down Sean Stevens because even though he was the World Heavyweight Champion, by achievement that's true; but he didn't run things around here, just like YOU don't run things around here.
Not everybody gets what they want, First, not without earning it.
Triple X, even though he was the World Heavyweight Champion, hadn't PROVED that I needed to face him back then. It wasn't until I got thrown out of Anthology that that had occurred, and that's when I stepped up into what would be the Four-Way match that NEITHER of us would win.
But I know I can take him First, just like I know you thought you could, and albeit I failed as you had that night...I never got my one-on-one match then, like you would several times thereafter.
But I've proved myself worthy of it now, whether it's by Dan Ryan's decision that I earn it or by the sheer resume I hold, and I know not just deep down that I can defeat you; I've DONE IT.
I didn't use a weapon, I never cheated by blinding my opponent, and I never hid my intentions with a mask, and I won't now.
You claim that I ducked Sean Stevens, but the simple fact is that you clearly DO.
Before you cheated your way out of my last attempt to win the World title, you faced Sean Stevens in a title match on his return; you fought him for an HOUR before the referees registered it as a time-limit DRAW.
You claim yourself as a "Great Man", but where was this "Great Man" that night?? The fans begged for the match to re-start, that they would see a clear cut winner...but they didn't get it, and you never even tried to persuade the referee either; you never got the microphone and called out Dan Ryan to ask for more time.
But what you did INSTEAD, was RUN.
You took off with that title and wanted no more part of Sean Stevens than you do with a fair fight.
Taking that mask off First, you're not "worth greatness", but you ARE worth giving you the worst beating of your life.
I've spent eight years, a good portion of it away from my main goal I wanted to achieve when I got here.
I teamed with a LEGEND, made Tag Team wrestling what it's SUPPOSED to be...and then he turned on me, turned on me because I took a fluke situation and became the Intercontinental Champion.
Joey Melton, a LEGEND IN THIS BUSINESS...JEALOUS of me to the extent that I was accused of part-taking in the Kay-Kay-Kay.
You don't know what it's like to be stripped of the Intercontinental Championship, hell, you don't know what it's like to have a title stripped of you AT ALL, much less being accused of being a Klu Klux Klan member.
You can wax forever on how you were there when the slaves were freed, First, nobody likes hearing it because everybody already knows it's garbage; it's partially why you have virtually no friends outside of Muse. And I know the schtick: when you're the World Heavyweight Champion, you DON'T have friends.
Except, I know for a fact that Jared Wells has no desire to compete with me for the Empire Pro Wrestling Championship, the desire just isn't there. The fact is that while we might not be brothers by blood, it's the next best thing, and the Dangle Brothers will ALWAYS look out for each other.
But it's about time that I take on the one task I've missed for almost ten years, and that's become and BE the next World Heavyweight Champion, a Champion that can compete like Sean, and avoid being like YOU.
You talk about embracing things, then fine.
Outside of defeating YOU as the Intercontinental Champion, my title reigns hasn't exactly been impressive, it's true, and I embrace that fact with open arms.
But you see, unlike you...at least I can't be labeled a fluke like YOU.
Yes, I know this is the SECOND time you've held the most prestigious title Empire Pro has to present to the best man competing for it; but you're kidding yourself if you won it on your own merit.
It's no secret, you know what I think; it's pathetic that as old as you are, you're still wearing "Mommy's Makeup", still putting on her high heels and having conversations with kids and dolls.
And if you wanna be REALLY technical about it, the fact that you do all that and you have no children of YOUR OWN.
EYE, as well as everyone else you don't know...thinks that that's just alittle creey, just saying.
As far as the Giants are concerned...you're damned RIGHT I'm proud of them.
With players that teams didn't want and pitching that is STELLAR, they won the World Series, the greatest prize in baseball, and they SHOULD be proud.
They didn't compete with the Dodgers to see who could spend more money; they simply OUTPLAYED everybody else. But don't you worry about this teams' "tiny pot smoking idiot", as you call him. I never said I condone the act, but the fact is that same kid??
That same kid is a TWO-TIME Cy Young Award Winner, which means he beat out at least a dozen of other elite pitchers in the National League.
Now, I never said anything about the Bruins, hell, I never even mentioned the San Jose Sharks, because we're not in Boston, and we aren't competing in the infamous "Shark Tank", in San Jose, we're facing off in AT &T Park, in San Francisco.
But you're right...I'm gonna have to pull out all the stops to beat you, there isn't any excuses as to why I can't, because I've done it before. But being focused...this is probably the most I've ever prepared for an opponent with a title on the line in this business EVER.
However where you're wrong, as you usually are...is that being focused means paying attention to EVERYTHING.
My environment, your personal appearance, a nervous twitch, anything that you might give away and present as a weakness for me to take advantage of...I'm going to TAKE IT AND USE IT AGAINST YOU.
Because I AM your better, First, you know it, I know it and the entire world watching KNOWS IT but you. That's why it's going to be the biggest REALITY CHECK of your entire life, and it will be one that you just...
(Cruise grabs a nearby bat, walking up to home plate and sets his stance. Then, in what is meant as the most sincerest form of flattery, he points the barrel end of the bat towards Center Field a la Babe Ruth.)
(FADEIN: The First sitting in the seats near McCovey Cove…First is wearing white face paint with the “Eye of Horus” pattern around both eyes. He has on his “Destined for Greatness” T-shirt on, black jeans and sneakers, his custom EPW World Title belt rests on his shoulder.)
FIRST: I want you to tell me a story…Tell me the dream…Your day driving to AT&T arena here, waving to a few fans hanging out back waiting for the wrestlers to get to the arena, hitting the back, having some bro hugs with Jared Wells…Doing the pre-show media….Getting into your locker room and changing for the match…Watching Jared get his head caved in by Impulse, cause I mean, even in your wildest dreams let’s be honest here, Jared doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of beating Impulse…
Then we have the rest of the night, you do whatever rituals you do, stretch, warm up and get ready, then they tell you that we’re up…I imagine you think long and hard about what Giants jersey you wear…Cain? The Freak? Or do you go old school and put on Bonds? Cause while cities love their heroes…They worship their villains…You slap on your Giants jersey and make your way to the curtain, you wait a few moments as “Killing In The Name Of” plays and then you go through the curtain…How does that feel Cruise? 50,000 people on their feet cheering for you, chanting your name…The man in his adopted home town now making good after 8 long years in EPW, this is your night, your moment, you’re going to be EPW World Champion…You can feel it…
And you hit that ring and the crowd is still going crazy…It’s a love-in at AT&T Park…Then my music hits, and the crowd boos loudly, and here I come, the guy wearing his mom’s make up…This little freak you can’t stomach, can’t stand the success I’ve had, can’t stand that I’ve outshone you all the time…Now is the night of payback, now is the night where you get revenge.
How do you beat me Cruise? A Reality Check? A Shipwreck? What does it for you? What’s the magic move that finally makes you World Champion? When you see it in your mind’s eye, how perfectly do you hit it? I bet you stick me like a tack and I go limp…I’m just completely out cold and you know it’s over, but you still make that cover and hook that leg and pull on it for all you are worth, and Pat Jones drops down…The crowd counts along…ONE!! TWO!!! THREE!!! And then the bell rings, your music plays, Tony Fatora yells “And….NEEEEEWWWWW!!!!” and really the rest of it is all a blur, you have the gold in your hands, stomping around the ring, the celebrations that night will be wild and joyful, you won’t sleep for a day or two…It’s all a beautiful dream isn’t it Cruise?
All it ever will be....A beautiful dream…
Cause the truth is while those fans might cheer you…On this night they are not fans of the Giants who’ve won a World Series recently, they are fans of Cameron Cruise, who has never won the big one, that makes them Chicago Cub fans…Makes them fans that have their guard up, makes them resist giving themselves over to you completely because they don’t want to be hurt…They don’t want the pain of having believed and then been let down…There will be a tension in that crowd, you’ll be able to feel it every time you miss a move, every time I’m on offense, they’ll be nervous and tense…Even when you’re in control and winning, they won’t fully believe it will happen, they’ll be waiting for the other shoe to drop…
But I believe in you Cruise, I believe on this night you’ll find a way to hit a move so big, so devastating and powerful that they’ll jump out of their seats and cheer, they’ll finally let down their guard and say to themselves “Cruise can do it! He can win this thing! He’s going to be World Champion!”
And then I’m going to kick out, I’m going to get back up, and I’m going to take control…
I’m going to silence 50,000 people…I’m going to break their hearts, and I’m going to batter and beat you like you never have been beaten before…I’m going to teach you a lesson Cruise…I’m going make you pay the price for daring to even get in the ring with me…
And as I’m beating on you…You’ll hear a deafening silence in that crowd…Because they know it’s over and you’re finished …They might try to get another “Let’s go Cruise” chant going, but it will fade quickly, they’ll hold out hope for a rally, a miracle comeback, but deep down they’ll know it’s not coming…
They’ll know it’s not going to happen because it’s just me and you in that ring, none of your friends to help you out like you always seem to need them for all your ‘clean’ victories you brag out…They’ll know it’s going to happen because you’re fighting the EPW World Champion in the prime of his career at the height of his powers…The tears will flow from the kids and the women, the men will get more drunk, and I’ll revel in every second of it.
Every rationalization and excuse you’ve ever made will be meaningless, every win you’ve ever scored over anyone in this business will matter not at all nothing will matter except for the fact that I’m beating you senseless in that ring and there is NOTHING you can do to stop me.
I’ll lean over you as your bleeding and helpless and ask you to tell me all about Troy Douglas and how you hurt his neck and if you meant or not, or Donovan Astros or Joey Melton…And I’ll laugh as I stomp you and beat you, because the big secret you never figured out is…I’M NOT ANY OF THOSE GUYS…
I’m not even the man you beat at Wrestleverse…I’ve moved forward in my career…And you’ve done nothing but spin your tires and try to make a living off that win…
And then I’ll climb to the top rope and hit the Cut The Thread and cover you in the middle of that ring, a few die-hards will scream for you to kick out, but it will be mostly silence…The masses resigned themselves to your defeat, angry at themselves for ever thinking for a moment that a man of your limited skills could ever best me no matter how rigged the deck was in your favor. They will boo as I take my title and hold it aloft, some will cheer because greatness such as myself does command respect and even people dumb enough to support you can understand that concept…
I won’t stay in that ring long, no…I want to give you a gift Cammy…I want that stage to be all yours…I’ll head to the back quickly so that you can make your way to your feet, the crowd will give you a bit of a cheer, but you’ll feel their pain…You’ll feel that kick in the gut from throwing everything you had at your opponent and you came up short…
That’s my gift to you Cammy, that pain, that horrible pain…I felt it after the last Black Dawn…And that pain propelled me to greatness, to hold this belt twice…To being the face of this company and the Leader of the Empire…I am the Great Man because of what happened to me…That pain drove me, inspired me to push forward to embrace my true destiny and to impart the truth to the world…
I don’t give you this pain to make you a better wrestler or a better man Cruise…I give it to you so that you can understand that it’s truly over for you, that there is nothing left here for you, only more pain, only more sadness, only more defeat…You can’t beat me…You never could beat whoever the EPW World Champion was…You’ve spent 8 years having the critics tell you that you can’t do this…Well guess what? They were and still are right…
You can’t do this…
And that’s why I’m going to crush you at Black Dawn…It’s like the ending of Old Yeller where they have to put the dog down…I’m going to put you down…I’m going to make you face 50,000 of your fans and tell them “I couldn’t get the job done.” I’m going to give you no excuses, no justifications, no way to spin what happened…It was just you and me and in the end, I was the better man…
You said you never would put your career on the line to fight for this title (Pats belt) where does your career go after this Cruise? What you going to do after this defeat? Hang out with Wells and fail to beat the Dragons? Maybe get your teeth kicked in by Impulse? Go after Teddy Alexander’s newly won TV Title? If you do anything of these things, I’d have to ask you to look in the mirror and ask yourself a question.
“What’s the point?”
Cause there is none…That’s the big punch line at the end of the joke that is Cameron Cruise…You have no reason to exist, no purpose to your career…The 8 long years you’ve spent here, are literally 8 years of you middling about doing nothing, every now and then sticking your head up to ask for a chance to fight for the World Title, and then being violently slapped down and told to go away…Never did you ever challenge for the belt when Lindsay reigned, never did you have a one on one shot for the title against Stevens, which we all know was the way you wanted it because you had better things to do with your life than fight Triple X for the World Title. When the EPW World Champion gave you a crack at his belt, you said you had other priorities…That will be the subtitle of your ghost-written auto-biography when it’s re-released “He Had Other Priorities: The Cameron Cruise Story.”
This is the night the house of cards that is your career comes crashing down…When that night is over your failure will haunt you for the rest of your days…You’ll think back and question if you had only gone for this move instead of that, if only you hadn’t done that one thing and instead had done another, maybe things would have turned out differently…Like Chael Sonnen will always question why he threw that spinning back fist at Anderson Silva…But don’t beat yourself up to badly Cammy…Because the truth is that you NEVER could beat me…It’s not in your Destiny for such a thing to happen…
Rest assured no matter what you do against me, it won’t be enough…
"You're a twenty-eight year-old man, dressed up in Mommy's Mascara and Eyeliner. You wear outfits from fairy tales and have teas parties with dolls and little girls...and now you want me to tell you a story?? If I wasn't certain about it before, I am now...you are ACTION-PACKED with issues."
(Fadein, Cameron Cruise, dressed in black slacks, black sports coat with a white dress shirt underneath. Wearing a backwards Giants ballcap, his matching Anarchy-style shades on the table next to him, he sits inside the San Francisco Giants Clubhouse, in the Media Room.)
CRUISE: It's pretty bad ya know...when my jabs at the fact that you wear Women's make-up and apparel hit hard enough that you reach for the fact that I pay homage to the players that made history, became role models for so many, inspired those who would grow up to learn from their idols.
But don't kid yourself, First.
You know as well as others that I'm good at what I do, as I beat you once before, no matter if you're the "same guy".
How do I beat you?? It's not unheard of, as I said you already know what I'm capable of. Not to wax poetic, but let me count the ways...
(Cruise picks up a remote control and hits 'play' as it cues up highlights of Cruise' career. He hits 'pause' periodically, focusing on his finishing moves.)
A Reality Check; driving your by the neck face-first to the mat, something you've been privy to on occasion. Perhaps a Shipwreck? Throwing your overly feminine-illegitimate-delusional carcass over my shoulder, and driving your open-exposed-neck straight down in to the mat.
Or maybe I go with door number three; the Cruise Control submission. The one I very much hope to find an opportunity to take an advantage of, so I can yank back on your skull hard enough to narrow your beliefs down to two options....you either slap the mat in a non-vocal admission of your failure or you take the direct approach and say what everybody has been longing to hear from you since you ran out on your match with Sean....the two words I want to hear you say the most when we meet in the Main Event.
I want that the most because I can finally and once and for all, out you as the Fake-Artist of your own world, FORCE YOU to admit that you're the lesser man, and me the better.
To realize that after eight long years...all the hard work I put in, busting my ass night in and night out...I can beat the best this company has to offer.
(Cruise presses 'Pause' on the remote and sets it down on the table next to him.)
I AM better than you, First. It's not just in my minds' eye, that Pat Jones hands me the Empire Pro Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship, Tony Fatora and David Rosenkrantz did it before when I was the Empire Pro Intercontinental Champion, three years ago.
But you're right, it's a beautiful dream, a dream that as I've said before is what I've had since I came to EPW all those years ago.
However one of the very few things I believe in, is that "dreams come true to those who wait", and I've waited a long damn time, First, I've never wanted anything more. Just like the San Francisco Giants, who hadn't won a Championship in the Bay Area until recently, hadn't won a Championship since nineteen-fifty-four, they couldn't have wanted it more.
No excuses about the offense, embracing the faults and failures of years past.
You talk about the fans and how they pine for me to become victorious, overcoming a last obstacle that's loomed overhead for so long, and it's true....I couldn't have more support behind me than ever before. You know the feeling, although not directly...you know what it's like to have the fans turn on you, sick of the torrid obsession you have with becoming the Empire Pro Champion.
I don't...and I won't.
I won't let them down because I know that they too, know that I'm ready to ascend to the next level.
You don't know of what it's like to become a Champion of Singles competition before winning "The Big One". Knowing that as well as you dominated the other man, that despite holding up the trophy admiring the fact that you bested your opponent and that you have something to show for it...that there's still somebody BETTER.
But I know I'm better than you, First, as you do.
I didn't "cheat" in the last opportunity, I was CHEATED, and the fans know it.
I said before that it wasn't going to be perfect going into this match, I expect you to be firing on all cylinders, but you see First...I WANT YOU TO.
Because with the stipulations of this match against you, it truly makes it a fair fight.
But that's what I want First, that's what I've wanted all along, because then it'll not only be official...it'll be UNDISPUTED.
I CAN do this.
There won't be a book written or ghost-written about my quitting, because the fact is that I've never quit anything in my life, like you have.
There won't be a book written or ghost-written about my priorities in Empire Pro, because when it comes to competing in the squared circle...I've only one priority, and it's the only one I have left: The Empire Pro Wrestling Championship.
The most prestigious title in Empire Pro which is the same one you hold in possession, regardless of how you won it.
You asked me to tell you a story, and to appease the illusion that is your common sense. I'll tell you a story, one that ends with a bedtime curfew on your reign as the Empire Pro Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion.
Back in October Third, Nineteen-Fifty-One, then known as the New York Giants, faced off against the Brooklyn Dodgers for what would later become an a hundred-twenty-two-year old rivalry. Facing off in the third game of a playoff series to decide who would move on to the Post-Season playoffs, the series was tied a game apiece, moving into the ninth inning.
(Cruise cues up the next clip.)
The one thing that sticks with me though First, is that you are UNDOUBTEDLY right in one respect.
This is Black Dawn, not only one of the biggest pay-per-views of the year for Empire Pro Wrestling, but by far one of the biggest nights of my entire LIFE, and I can't...I WON'T hold anything back.
What I'm about to play for those who aren't aware, is a significant piece of footage of Giants history, and one that symbolizes what I hope happens, here in San Francisco. In either case, it's going to be a night I won't forget, not now, afterwards or for the rest of my natural-born life. I'm going to step forward and win the most prestigious prize left in Empire Pro and change the course of history FOREVER, as the Giants did with a swing of the bat against their most hated rival in the Major Leagues.
I just wish Dave Thomas would have the honor of making the call...and believe me...what you see is indeed a REALITY CHECK....and one you just...won't like.
(FADEIN: The First standing in front of the Black Dawn 2012 poster. His face painted white with the “Eye of Horus” motif around both eyes. He is in all black with the EPW World Title over his shoulder.)
FIRST: The climb Cammy, it’s been so long…From that wrestling school I busted my ass in, to those indy shows all around New England, sometimes New York…To UWC deciding to give me a look, to me seizing that company by the throat…Then walking into Dan Ryan’s office and being told that Felix Red wanted to wear a mask and wrestle tag matches in EPW and they wanted me for his partner…To surpassing Felix and fighting for the EPW World Title…To winning that title…Then falling….Only to be reborn as Dis and to reign again….What a long strange trip it’s been for me Cammy….
I’m sure your story is longer and more winding and I’m also sure you would tell in a way that would bore almost all of our audience to death and that it would be full of random asides where you lashed out at people who didn’t really matter to the story at all, or went on and on about my make-up…Cause it really seems to upset you…Honestly man, do you like to play dress up or something? What about my face paint hits to close to home with you?
But the difference between our two stories is that for me, Black Dawn is another battle, another fight to try to keep this belt for another show or two longer to extend my reign, to try to build a legacy…For you, this night is everything…You win here and it’s end of your saga, the warrior finally becoming champion…Finally you have your happy ending…
Or so you think…
There is no happy ending Cruise….This belt isn’t the end Cammy, it’s the beginning, you win it and you get a night to celebrate and then everyone in that locker room wants to knock your block off…Some will plot and scheme and bide their time, others will just grab a mic and call you out, but rest assured everyone wants to see you fail, and they all want to be the one to bring you down…
The Empire is a land full of people who have plans and ideas, they are all seeking ways to further their own agendas each and every day…It’s like a spider web of intrigue and deceit and you’re right in the middle of it…Are you the spider spinning the web, or the fly who’s caught in it? That’s the life of a champion, always struggling to stay ahead of the next plot twist, the next shoe to drop, the next enemy to reveal himself.
I won this title in my hometown, I was celebrated and hailed for my triumph…What did the Empire do to honor me? They unleashed Sean Stevens on me with no advance warning on the next show, threw me into the ring with the man so many claim is the greatest of all time and didn’t even bother to say ‘good luck’ as they did it.
You wouldn’t even fight the man when you KNEW he wanted a crack at you, I get him sight unseen and have to fend him off to keep my title…
That’s the life of the champion Cammy, threats you can’t even imagine are unleashed upon you and you’re expected to handle the challenges they throw at you...Sink or swim…No middle ground.
You ready for that burden Cammy? You ready to be the hunted? I ask you because if you doubt for even one second that you can handle this responsibility then you should step aside and let me continue to reign…Because I LIVE for this…
I’ve already defended the belt 4 times before Black Dawn…You ready to show up to each and every arena and put the gold on the line? You ready to accept the challenge from anyone who wants to take you on? You got it in you to take the A-Game of every opponent you face, because rest assured when you’re the World Champ everyone’s bringing all they got to the table against you because they want what you have and they’ll do anything to get it…
I want everyone to take a shot at me, I want people to stand up and be counted, to try to pry this gold out of my hands and make themselves champion…I live to put them down, to show them that they can’t beat me, that I am what this belt says I am…The World Heavyweight Champion, the best this company and this industry has to offer…
This is what I’m all about Cruise…Showing it night in and night out…You brag about your win over me all those years ago and tell me it’s proof that when we fight this time around you’ll win the title…But we just fought at Aggression 65, and last I checked, I’m still holding this belt…
Guess that win didn’t get you the belt that time…Guess that win doesn’t mean that you have my number and can kick my ass and beat me whenever you want…I think the truth is more simple…
That win was a fluke and you know it…
That inference tainted win that you can’t even admit wasn’t earned fairly is all you have…You’re like how I was all that time ago when I hung my hat on a hard fought loss to Sean Stevens..I know how it is when you need something, anything to give yourself credibility in the locker room, you need a reason, any reason to puff out your chest and tell folks you’re a bad man who can put a whipping on somebody…
Half the damn locker room wasn’t here for that match, they don’t know a damn thing about it, and they don’t care about it…More importantly….
I don’t care about it…
You got to prove yourself here and now, and you have to do it against me…And you’re going to fail…This is the night where I give YOU the Reality Check that you’ve been long overdue to receive….This is the time I finally wake you up to the fact that you’re just not in my league, that when the chips are down, you crumble…I’m going to show everyone that Cameron Cruise has been and always will be a FRAUD…
It’s going to feel so good when I lay you out and Pat Jones moves into position and the count starts…Maybe old Pat will feel a ting of sadness over the fact that you’re going to lose…But he’s a professional, he’ll do his job and count you out…And it will be all over, your brush with Greatness will be complete…You’ll be able to go back to the bar and get drunk and tell people that you fought the best and you did your best, but it wasn’t enough, because it never is for you Cammy…You’re just not cut out for this..
I told you when we started talking that I was just Destined for better things than you, it’s always been the truth, it’s the nature of who I am and who you are…The world smiles upon me, it spits upon you…It is just how things are, nothing can change that…We’re slaves to our Fate, we are bound to it’s will…And at Black Dawn, Fate shall cast you down, and you shall lay defeated and broken before a Great Man, and while the crowd might resent it, while they might wish it didn’t end that way…They will know things went as they had to…As they needed to…Because no one as pitiful as you could ever topple somebody as blessed as me…
(First slides the EPW World Title off his shoulder and looks into the headplate.)
(Fadein, the San Francisco Giants Training Room. Cameron Cruise, dressed in sweatpants and an EPW Black Dawn Sweatshirt fixated with the logo on the front as well as a backwards black San Francisco Giants hat on. Stretching out on an orange-and-black floor, Cruise reaches forward for his left foot and stretches out the calf.)
CRUISE: At the end of the day, even though I defeated you to retain the Intercontinental Championship, perhaps you're right...maybe you are a different person.
Because when it concerns the Empire Pro Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship, you don't know me AT ALL.
The fact is that my story couldn't POSSIBLY be boring or stagnate, it couldn't POSSIBLY subside what I've worked so hard to achieve and it couldn't POSSIBLY be ignored.
Everybody KNOWS, from all the fans in the seats to the man who made this opportunity possible, Dan Ryan, just how much this World Championship Match means to me. From the antics that you pull, to the makeup that you wear, ALL OF IT...stands to be taken account of, because the fact is...it DOES make the difference, it sets the TONE.
Wearing that stupid mask that tricked Anarky like the one-trick pony he is, upset people and just like you do with your makeup, it upsets ME. You're a grown man perched up top the Empire Pro Mountain...and you got eyeliner, blush, and who knows what else you got caked on there....and it looks like GARBAGE.
Maybe you've seemed to forget what being the Empire Pro Champion means to the person holding the title, but the fact is...it's part of what runs through my mind EVERY DAY.
You are the face and lead representative for EMPIRE PRO WRESTLING, and the fact that you believe the trash that you do while wearing make-up on a daily basis is not only is ridiculous, but it's EMBARRASSING AND IT NEEDS TO STOP.
To you, Black Dawn IS just another battle, it IS another challenge for you to prove that your so-called "Greatness" is a premonition...or however you want to continue to put in an effort to continue the WHALE OF A LIE that you keep trying to tell yourself.
But for me...it's different.
You said it before, for me, facing you for the biggest prize in this company is EVERYTHING.
From my initial intent in arriving in EPW, winning the Four-Way Elimination match at the INITIAL Black Dawn.
To taking on the nightmare that was teaming with Joey Melton and taking Tag Team wrestling to heights this business had never seen before.
To every singular obstacle put in front of me and every piece of trash that told me that "I wasn't good enough", and proved them wrong by winning the Intercontinental Championship twice as well as the Television Championship...and that includes you too.
Hell yes, I AM.
But for me...winning the Empire Pro Wrestling World Heavyweight Championship title...it does complete the gauntlet of Championships worth competing for in this company, it does put me at the top of Empire Pro Wrestling world as the VERY BEST.
But it doesn't stop there, First, it's not "the end of my saga", even though winning the EPW World title would be the "feather in my cap", so to speak.
It doesn't stop there, not due to a Marketing-and-Racism Scandal, not because I'm surrounded and at a numbers disadvantage or anything else for that matter.
It goes on, because I'm out to prove that I'm EXACTLY what I say I am, which is better than you, and everyone else that wants to step up to me. I know everyone wants to see me fail, it's the "broken record" of my entire career, but that's okay because it's part of what I'm going to keep with me every time I step through those ropes.
You think I wouldn't fight Sean Stevens because I was afraid, but the fact is that like you...SEAN DOES NOT RUN THINGS IN EPW.
When I become Empire Pro Champion, if Dan Ryan sees fit that I need appease your need to pick at me "for telling the 'King' *NO*"...then I'll do it, I'll do it without skipping a beat or a second of hesitation.
Because that's what's put in front of me as a challenge, a challenge to prove that I'm THE BEST.
And I won't run from it either, not like you.
You're ready to have everyone take their best shot, everyone except Triple X, that is.
I brag about that win "all those years ago", because it WASN'T all those years ago that I beat you, and as of late...I'm one of the very few that DID.
It doesn't matter if you think that Copycat interfered, the fact is that I still got the job done.
But hey, don't worry your little mascara-ridden head First, Copycat ain't around anymore. Maybe half the EPW Locker Room here wasn't there back then But the excuses that you make for my beating you STOP AND STOP NOW.
Maybe what happens IS 'Fate', it was Black Dawn when this first started for me, and here we are now eight years later.
The World Heavyweight Championship on the line.
Am I ready for the burden that is the mantle of a EPW Champion??
Am I ready to be "The Hunted"?
(Cruise reaches back and stands up, his muscles relaxed and loose.)
I've never been more ready for an opportunity like this in my ENTIRE LIFE.
And that First...is a REALITY CHECK that you just...won't like.
(FADEIN: The First somewhere in the back at AT&T Ball Park, he is in his ring gear, black wife-beater with “Destined for GREATNESS” in white, black gi pants, black ring boots, right hand taped up almost to the elbow, EPW World Heavyweight Championship belt across his waist, his face painted as before. First paces around for a moment before talking.)
FIRST: You take away the champion’s benefits...You take away the mist…I’m surprised you didn’t put in the rules that I couldn’t paint my face since that seems to upset you so much…You got all you could ever ask for and then some and tonight Cameron Cruise, you got the shot of your lifetime to finally join the most exclusive club in the world…Christian Sands, Marcus Westscott…Lindsay Troy…Joey Melton…Triple X…JA…Rocko Daymon…Anarky…And ME…The chosen few who’ve held the title, the elite this sport has produced….You think you’re worthy of this list, you think you deserve to belong among us? Well you better PROVE it…Cause nobody gets in the door without paying their dues…
You beat me? Well I beat you to buddy, as far as I’m concerned it’s 1-1 and we’re heading for the tiebreaker, and it’s the only one of the three anyone is going to remember, because at the end of this night, one of us is EPW World Champion and the other man has a lot of crow to eat…We’ve talked a big game but the hour is running late and soon enough the talk will turn to action, we’re going to see which one of us can back it up in that ring when it counts the most….
Personally I’d bet on myself…
When was the last time you had the world in the palm of your hand, when was the last time you were the center of attention and the reason every seat in the building was sold? That’s my life Cruise, I’m the engine that drives Empire Pro Wrestling, I’m the focal point of it all…The crazy seven way match, Impulse trying to fight two men in one night, the hair Vs hair match, the Dreamstealers finally showing up, Boogie Smallz and that Poe fellow getting back in the ring…It’s great and all, but it’s all prologue…It’s all just an appetizer for the main course…
That’s us Cammy…You and me settling the score for the world to see, for boys in the back to gather around the TV’s and get ready to watch some action, to see who will lead them onward past Black Dawn and towards the King of the Cage…Who’s going to be the one to hold the title and be the Leader of the Empire…
I’ll let you in on a secret…It’s not the guy who’s been living in the past this whole time…Day dreaming about a win that he got years ago mattering, it’s not the guy who brags about retiring a bunch of men who didn’t matter when they were here and whose names have been forgotten by everyone but you, because YOU have to keep them alive to give them meaning for your career…
I don’t need to brag about anyone I’ve beaten, I don’t need to embellish my resume for one simple reason…When we get in that ring and are eye to eye…Tony Fatora will tell the crowd that the man fighting out of the red corner from Salem Massachusetts who weighs in at 199 pounds is your EPW World Champion…
(First takes the belt off and holds it in his right hand)
Everything you’ve ever done in this company is nothing compared to this…You’ve NEVER achieved ANYTHING until you hold this belt, and then you only begin the battle to make it worth something…
So tell me the stories about all the things you’ve done and how amazing you are…Because in the end it all comes down to one word…
(First points at the belt)
This makes me better than you and everyone else…You have to take it from me for you to even argue you’re in the same league as me…And lord knows you’re trying to make that as easy as possible…I can’t wait to land a kick to your gut and to watch you drop like you’ve been shot and start screaming that I kicked you low, to see if you can dupe Pat Jones into handing you the EPW World Title….Because that’s the kind of lowlife scum that you are, you’ll take this win any way you can get it and then re-write the history of it to justify it in your own mind…”Cruise wins EPW World Title on dive that would make an Italian Soccer Player proud” will read the headlines, but you’ll argue to your dying breath that you were in fact struck illegally and that you earned your reign…
That’s how pathetic you are, you don’t want to earn this title, you want it given to you…Well I’m sure as hell not about to hand it over…You’re a desperate pitiful creature that just wants to be champion no matter how badly he tarnishes the title, no matter how badly he disgraces himself or the company…You’ll do anything to win this and you know it…
It’s always been the defining trait of your career, win within the rules if it’s possible, but if the other guy is too much for you, cheat like hell to get the decision…That’s how you operate…I don’t expect Black Dawn to be any different…The sad thing is they’ll all make excuses for you, when Pat Jones goes down and you pull out that baseball bat Melky Cabrera hit the home run in the all-star game with and crack me in the skull, that whole arena will cheer, Dean Matthews and Dave Thomas will clap, everyone will say how fitting it was that Cameron Cruise finally won the big one…And you’ll explain how we were in a baseball stadium so of course hitting me with a bat was just as legal as a headlock…
Cause everyone wants it to happen, so they don’t care how it happens…So long as little Cammy Cruise finally gets his brass ring it’s all OK.
Hit me with a bat, try to bait the ref into awarding you the belt, do whatever you can, come up with any trick in the book, have Jared Wells come out in the Giant’s mascot outfit and clobber me, I don’t give a damn what you throw at me, at the end of the night you’re going to learn one simple truth…
IT’S NOT ENOUGH…
I’m walking into that ring and I’m walking straight THROUGH YOU…You are going to be mowed down and exposed as the sham you are…Nothing you try is going to work, nothing you do is going to keep me down…You’re going to understand that when I say you can’t beat me that it’s the Gospel Truth…This night ends all delusions you have about ever standing in that ring holding the EPW World Title aloft and being declared the best in the world….
When the bell rings to begin our match you should relish that moment, because it’s the high water mark of your career…After that it’s all downhill, it’s all pain, suffering, and your dreams being crushed…
Welcome to the first day of the rest of your life…
Where I confirm to the world once and for all that you’ll never be EPW World Champion…
(Fadein, the site of the Main Event. The ring is set up, flyers, banners, lights, the rampway, the whole shebang. Down the entrance and rampway walks Cameron Cruise, in black warm-up gear from top to bottom, including his trademark, Anarchy-style shades.)
CRUISE: What is it you want to hear, First??
You tried to strip me of my title shot, a shot that I won as about as fair and square as I could make it. You fussed at Dan Ryan so much that I couldn't lay a finger on you to BITCHSLAP the mascara off your face during the show...so you did the stupidest thing in the world that you could do, by pissing into the wind.
Not only did it backfire, you dug your own grave.
By not heeding word, not knowing when to step back, you pretty much forced yourself to do the one thing you seemingly CANNOT; and that's take me on in a fair fight.
BEAT ME...without cheating.
I told you before, I know what winning this title means.
Seldom have I the opportunity to succeed in such a contest, but this one....no pun intended...Dangles the carrot in front of my face the most.
You wanna know if I've paid my dues, First??
The answer is simple: Yessir, the check is in the mail.
I'm one of the few people employed in this company from almost the VERY BEGINNING, and I've busted my ass every time I stepped inside this ring.
But at least we agree on one thing; no one else is going to remember who won the first match.
No one's gonna remember how you CHEATED to win the second, but they WILL remember the third.
We've both eaten our fair share of crow though, not just after this match, but the difference between you and I First, is that you actually DESERVED IT.
You've got all your money on you and you'd be stupid if you didn't.
But you see First...there's something in the air.
Something in the atmosphere, something in the environment, maybe it's a lucky Rabbits foot come to life once again or even the Curse of (Cruise finger-quotes) "Giants Torture"....when it comes to my "not being able to win 'The Big One'"??
Something tells me...my luck is about to change.
I'm EPW World Heavyweight Champion, every seat in this stadium, every Casino, arena, Backyard, Grotto, and swamp that I fight in, every seat is sold because the people watching know that I'm going to try my damndest to BE that reason that they COME BACK.
Everyone's a critic though, I know it too...but that's okay.
Let me have it, and shout it from the rooftops.
One by one, I'll shut every mouth that doubts me.
The fact is...I'll let YOU in on a secret, First.
I told you, you've every right to pick yourself to win.
Me?? I'm picking the guy that doesn't dress up in drag, have tea parties with little girls that he doesn't know or God-Forbid stole from loving Parents, or even thinks that he was around when Jesus was walking on water or Moses led the Jews out of Egypt, at twenty-eight years old.
I'm picking the OTHER GUY, and I'm doing it every day of the week and three times on Sunday.
You don't brag about guys that you've beaten First, because the fact is that you brag about the ones that are ALREADY DEAD FOR YEARS.
But again...you're right, which is compelling to ponder because that almost NEVER happens, in your case.
Nothing I've achieved at this point matters, when the bell rings.
Not the Millions of dollars I've made, not the ratings I've scored for Dan Ryan, not the miles I've traveled or the Championships I've won. None of it matters, if I don't pin you, make you submit or the one thing that's even greater....
Pat Jones catches you CHEATING, and you're DISQUALIFIED.
Because at that point, nothing you can say can disprove it, especially with it because shown WORLD WIDE, and on recorded on tape.
But I hope you don't First, I really do.
That way I can show the world how hard I've tried all these years, how much effort I put in day after day.
I've never won a title match via Count Out, or a DEE-CUE in my life, and I'll be damned if it starts now.
I've worked too hard for it, First, too hard for it to be given to me on a technicality.
I've always taken the hard road when it counts, that way I can honestly say that it was worth it in the end, and I won't cheat myself out of it, I can't.
Not now, not when the one thing I've wanted the most in my career is this close to becoming a dream come true, a Mirage come to fruition...so close that I can TASTE IT.
You're going to do everything within your power to make sure that I don't walk out of this ring when it's all over, I get that, I do. But the one thing you fail to realize, the one thing that you fail to see that I've seen....and I've seen it for eight years now, is that it's not going to be that easy.
Every time you put me down, I'm going to get up.
I'm going to get up and I'm going to hit you BACK.
I'm going to hit you back, and I'm doing to do it again, and again, and again until YOU go down.
And then I'm going to make sure you STAY down.
I told you before First, you may not like it...this is the REALITY CHECK you have for you:
(FADEIN: The First sitting in a chair in his dressing room. The EPW World Title rests on a table next to a mirror, it’s reflection seen in the glass.)
FIRST: You love your sports stories, well here’s one for you, right before the Super Bowl against the supposedly unbeatable Rams, Tom Brady was so cool and collected he took a nap a few hours before kick-off…Not a care in the world before the biggest game of his life…But you, you before Black Dawn…I can feel it…The nerves, the fear, the doubt is starting to creep in…The moment is becoming too big for you…You’re lashing out at the stipulations you’ve been so proud of having in your favor, you’re contradicting yourself…The reality of the moment is sinking in…
You can’t handle this…
Before when this was so far away it was easy to talk big and act like a tough guy…But now the sand has all but run out of the hourglass…Now the final hour is about to begin, the Black Dawn is about to engulf the Empire and usher in a wave of bloodshed and carnage, and we are at it’s forefront, and one of us is calm, composed and ready for war…The other one is sweating bullets and scared of his own shadow…
Sun Tzu said that every battle is won before it is even fought…Our battle was concluded long ago…I enter that ring only to collect the spoils of my victory….You are a defeated man who knows in his bones that the task before him is one beyond his means…
Perhaps you cling to the hope that some lucky break will save you, a rope I climb might be slippery and I tumble from it, a chance clash of heads leaves me with a horrible bloody wound that impacts the rest of the match, some moment of happenstance leads to you having an advantage you press to secure victory…
These are the last refuges of a doomed man who knows his time is up…The music they play to send you to the ring may sound in your ears as if it is your theme music, but it is truly the bells tolling for another public execution…And I am the hand of justice assigned to hand out your punishment.
It was customary for the condemned to bribe the one sent to hand out their sentence because he had the power to grant them a swift death or a long and painful one…A hangman could tie a knot that would break the condemned person’s neck and end their pain, or make it so they had to be strangled by the rope, thrashing and kicking as the air was taken from their lungs…While the latter was unpleasant for the victim it made for a good show….
Sadly for you I want a good show for the public…And there is no price you could pay to have me make this quick…No…I am beyond being bribed, or begged for mercy…The beating you are going to take will be long and grueling…The chapter in your ghost written auto-biography that tells the tale of this night will be simply titled “The Passion Of The Cruise.”
Do you regret it now Cammy? In these final moments before your grand unraveling is complete do you wish you could turn back? Do you wish you hadn’t demanded this rematch? Do you think to yourself how you could have spared Wells and yourself the humiliation this night will bring to the Dangle Brothers if only you had kept your trap shut? Do you think maybe it would have been better if another had been given this chance?
(First smiles wide.)
But this is not your doing…While you might think you were the one making demands of Dan Ryan for a tag match to earn the Dangle Brothers shots at the titles they didn’t win at Aggression 65, it was really Fate that held you by the hand and carried you into that office…It was Fate that put that belt in Jared Wells hand to clobber Stalker with so that you could Reality Check him…You have been a Pawn in this game…We are all but pieces on the chess board of life…But there’s one thing I’ve learned in this game we play…
It’s good to be the King…
More than being the King, I see the board Cammy, I see the moves before they happen, I see Fate and Destiny in their dance…What looks like chaos to the uninitiated is so truly beautiful to behold when one can understand it…I see those who are being led along the path and those who fight and struggle to avoid it…I see those bound for greatness, and those who are but lambs to the slaughter…And you my friend are wearing a fine coat of wool…
Do not curse Fate for putting you in this place…Do not howl at the moon or protest what is about to befall you, for this is just the way of the world…The zebra does not begrudge the lion when it is killed, the fish does not resent the shark for feasting upon it…For this is just the natural order of the world, the way things are meant to be…For one such as you to best me would be as a worm killing a hawk…It would antithetical to nature itself…I will beat you because that is the way things have to be…
It is the woven into the very fabric of the universe itself that I am superior to you…
In reality there are so few that are my equal it makes me sad that so many will even attempt to face me…I wish I could tell them not to bother, to not suffer the pain, the heartbreak, the agony that confronting me will bring, but I know the siren’s call of being EPW World Champion is too great, that my pleads for them to save themselves will be seen only as the acts of a man trying to preserve his title and not the unfathomable mercy that I offer to those who seek to harm themselves in the fools quest of attempting to unseat me as champion…
The worst part about Black Dawn for you is that after this night is over, after I’ve dispatched you, that your beloved Giants and their ball park will be but memories of this crushing defeat…You may come to visit San Fran, or turn on the TV and see a Giants game on, and you’ll think about how you could see the area where home plate was when I threw you into that corner…Or you could see the left field stands when you went sailing over the top rope and went crashing to the floor…And every time you see an outfielder looking up into the sky to catch a ball you’ll be able to think to yourself that was the same sky you were gazing up into when Pat Jones counted you out and ended your hopes of holding the EPW World Title…
Black Dawn may not be the worst day of your life, but it will be the one that will fill you with the most regret…The pain of your defeat will ache in your body like a dull throb, never fully going away, and just about anything will bring the nightmare back…I know the feeling, it’s happened to me before…Those losses that haunt you….Only difference between us is that I can also reflect upon the fact that I’ve had won this title twice…And that eases all my pain…As for you…You’ll never find relief
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