(The plane touched down in McCarran International, and Terry Anderson was home at last. He stepped through the gate, into the airport, with his young prodigy, Stephen Waltz, alongside him, smiling as always. Stephen took a deep breath of the hot Nevada air.)
Waltz: Well, we're back in Las Vegas. Does it feel good to be home again, Terry?
Anderson: Heh, I don't know... Northern Ireland had some fine looking women, if you know what I mean!
Waltz: I hope you enjoyed yourself.
Anderson: Yeah, it was one hell of a week there in Belfast. But don't let it get to your head...
Anderson: Oh, don't give me that! This is your first victory, and it was flawless. You can't tell me you have a bit of an ego over that...
Waltz: Not really, Terry. It just sort of happened. I was surprised myself.
Anderson: Well, it either means you are invincible--which believe me, would be GREAT--or you simply got lucky.
Waltz: It was probably the latter, then. You can't really say that I'm invincible, as young as I am. You also can't say that Styles is untalented. I mean, who knows... maybe it just wasn't his night. Maybe he had something serious on his mind, and he just didn't have his head in the ring. It's only human. Either way, it was an honor, and great experience, to fight him.
Anderson: So, now you know what it's like to be out there among all of those people, huh?
Waltz: Yeah, it's pretty exciting. I mean, I did expect more from my opponent, but the experience alone was enough for me to get comfortable in that ring, in front of everybody.
Anderson: Well, like you said, maybe it wasn't Styles' night. Quite frankly, I think he's just a talentless nobody...
Waltz: Don't say that, Terry. I know you think I'm good, but let's try to be rational with how we think.
Anderson: Oh, fine. But don't get comfortable with this. You debuted with a flawless victory, and that's good to get you off at an explosive start, but I garuntee the next guy you face will require a bit more effort... and it's going to get even harder after that, with every man you go up against.
Waltz: I'm ready for the challenge.
Anderson: That's good to hear. Here's the plan for right now. A few friends of ours are throwing a party celebrating your first match back at the gym. Let's just kick back today, and tomorrow... we wait.
Waltz: Wait for what?
Anderson: Well, word from GXW, I guess. Sometimes a fed will try a rookie for one week, and if he isn't up to their caliber, they're likely to drop him. I doubt that will happen with you though, so we just need to wait until you're booked again.
Waltz: I see.
(Almost on cue, a beeping can be heard within Terry's jacket. He pulls out his ringing cell phone.)
Anderson: Ah, I better take this...
(They come to a stop at the luggage carousel. Stephen focuses on looking for their bags as Terry takes the call.)
Anderson: Hello, this is Terry Anderson...
(The person on the other end introduces himself.)
Anderson: ...oh, hello!
(He listens for a few moments more.)
Anderson: Ah, really? That's great news!
(Smiling, Anderson catches another string, then interrupts.)
Anderson: Hold on a minute, let me write this down...
(He pulls out a pad of paper and pen from his pocket, and begins jotting down a few important notes.)
Anderson: Oslo, Norway... Oslo Spektrum... who was that? Derrick Rodgers? ...okay, I got it.
(He listens a moment more.)
Anderson: Okay, thanks for the info, Steve. I'll book a flight for Norway as soon as I can, and I'll put his ass back into the ring. Talk to you later.
(Terry turns off the power to his phone and puts it back into his jacket, along with the pad of paper and pen. Stephen, now with their suitcases at their feet, looks at him with a youthful and curious gaze.)
Waltz: So who was it, Terry?
(Terry grabs the bags and starts for the exit.)
Anderson: Steve Preston, talent rep from GXW. Seems the guys really liked your stuff in the ring, kid.
Waltz: Wow, that's good news!
Anderson: You're booked for the next Onslaught, in Oslo, Norway. Change of schedule, then; tomorrow, we hit the gym and bust our asses...
Waltz: Sounds good. Who's my opponent?
Anderson: Steve gave me the name Derrick Rodgers... I'll do some research tonight. And we'll shoot a promo tomorrow. Cool?
Waltz: Sounds cool, Terry.
(Outside, Terry signals a taxi. The cab pulls up next to the curb, and pops the trunk. Anderson tosses in both bags and slams it shut, looking to his young student one more time before leaving the airport.)
Anderson: This is where it begins, Steph... you're on the road to the top.
Waltz: As long as I have you to take me there, I have little to worry about.
(The older man let out a jovial laugh, handing a high-five to the young prodigy before the two stepped into the cab, and rode away from McCarran International Airport.)
(The scene begins, returning to the familiar setting of Terry Anderson's private gym, furnished to train his young prodigy, the explosive Stephen Waltz. The promotional segment fades in over the floor, looking down at the rapidly pumping, sweaty body of Waltz himself, engaged in a fierce drill of push-ups. Standing above him, with his feet in the shot, is his trainer, Anderson, encouraging his every triumphant push off the ground. Waltz shows no signs of fatigue, but he has obviously putting a lot of work into the exercise.)
Anderson: That's it, Steph! Gun it! Keep it up! Do it, Steph... take it by the reigns and ride that stuff to glory! Ha ha!!
(The camera pans up to get a shot of "The Idol" Terry Anderson, wearing his million-dollar smile as he looks down at his young student. Then he sees the camera.)
Anderson: Huh? Hey, I know I look damn great... but get a shot of the kid! Come on!
(The camera sweeps back down to the pumping figure of Stephen Waltz, and Anderson continues his encouragement for a few more moments, then tells him to let up. Waltz rises to his feet, Terry beaming at his side, then he holds out his arm.)
Anderson: Come on, kid... show him that bicep!
(Stephen flexes his arm for the camera, his rippling bicep rising out of his muscular arm like a swell in the ocean.)
Anderson: Yeah, look at that! Just look at it!
(Terry moves his pupil to face the camera, and puts him into a pose.)
Anderson: Look at this body! You can't deny that this boy is impressive, no sirree! You're looking at the next legend, ladies and gentlemen out in TV Land! Behold... Stephen Waltz, the prodigy of "The Idol" Terry Anderson! Ha ha!
(With a prideful laugh, Stephen steps back to throw an arm over his teachers shoulder. Then he takes over the monologue.)
Waltz: Heh... what my friend and manager fails to address, however, is that looks are nothing when it comes to being in the ring. Yes, he may exalt me for my size and physique... and maybe he has more to brag about considering I walked away from my debut match without a scratch... but don't go off the end and say I'm getting an ego. Trust me... I understand that I have a long road to go, and I've merely taken the first step.
Anderson: Eh, step shmep. You're the best, kid!
(Stephen merely rolls his eyes to show that he clearly disagrees with that statement. He then continues.)
Waltz: The wrestling experience... that's my goal, and let it be known. I want to know what it's like to be a professional wrestler. Forget the glam, pop music and firework entrances, with flashy names and outfits, and hours of talk boiling down to five to ten minutes in the ring. Professional wrestling... the sport, the psyche, and the way of life. That is my pursuit, and hopefully, I'll find that here in GXW.
Anderson: And he's on the right track, especially under my wing!
Waltz: On the right track is the right thing to say, Terry... but that same track isn't what you think it is, Terry.
Anderson: It isn't?
Waltz: Nope. The road isn't paved by a flawless record, ceaseless winning streak, and enough gold over your shoulder to make Fort Knox jealous. Everything happens... in that ring. The match, the opponent, and the game we all play. A long string of experiences, salted with wins, losses, feuds, allies, the good, the bad, and the ugly. That's the road I'm on, Terry.
Anderson: Well, when you say it that way, I guess I can't argue with me.
(Stephen gives his trainer a respectful nod and a smile, then looks back to the camera.)
Waltz: At Onslaught, I took my first step down this road, against my first opponent, Jay 'The Reaper' Styles. I found it to be quite an honor to go up against Mr. Styles. The match... the whole feeling of being in that ring, competing against another man for the coveted victory... it's something I'll never forget.
Anderson: Yeah, me neither! You're damn lucky to have gone into the ring with a dead sack of potatos! I nearly went to the HOSPITAL after MY first wrestling match...
(Stephen gives the veteran his typical "You're So Crazy" look, responded by Terry with a foolish grin and shrug. Waltz turns back to the camera.)
Waltz: Terry brings up an interesting point. The match was short, and sweet... in something I guess a few would refer to as a 'squash'. Though it may be that Styles hadn't much of an offensive run when we met in the ring... I still look at it as a learning experience. I really can't pound down on Jay... cause, who knows, it may have not been his night to wrestle.
Anderson: So what you DID learn, Steph, is that you now know what it's like to be in the ring, in front of everybody, in front of thousands of people... and also that you're absolutely unstoppable!
(Another one of the usual looks from Stephen, then back to the camera, with a smirk and a shrug.)
Waltz: Heh... for the record, I only agree with the first thing he said. Unstoppable? Not at all. Rather, I'm vulnerable. I'm fresh meat in the den of lions, amidst so many great GXW superstars. I'm hardly worthy to be here. I just got a lucky break on my debut match. There's no denying that many matches down the road will be great challenges... many of which I won't come out with a win. But that's just the experience I'm in search of.
(Terry cuts in.)
Anderson: This week, Stephen... you go up against Derrick Rodgers.
(Waltz looks right into the camera.)
Waltz: As with everybody else in GXW, Mr. Rodgers... from the young rookie to the seasoned and experienced veteran, you have my dearest respect. I hope our match is dynamic... truly what the fans expect from the federation. I also wish to you the best of luck. It will be quite an honor to step into the ring with you... a total stranger, but also a man who has valiantly worked his way here through several independent federations.
(Stephen gives a nod of respect to the camera. Unable to hold it in any more, his manager bursts out with laughter.)
Anderson: Ha ha ha!! Mr. Rodgers... NEIGHBORHOOD! Oh man... you called him Mr. Rodgers, Steph!
Waltz: Pipe down, Terry!
(Controlling himself, Terry stops laughing to let Stephen go on.)
Waltz: You'll have to excuse Terry, Derrick. The man's been wrestling for over twenty. I guess with time, a veteran like that develops QUITE an ego...
(He throws a low-browed smile to his teacher, who mischeviously gives off another innocent shrug. Stephen then turns back to the camera.)
Waltz: But don't worry about him, Derrick. I'm the man you're going up against! Better than you? No. I claim to be NOTHING more than you, Rodgers. You've got experience, drive, and a good mentality. But I'm bringing a few of my own good points into the ring with me to go up against all you can offer. I have determination, spirit, and a positive outlook. Of course I want to win... and I will pursue victory. What happens in the end, though, is entirely in your hands.
(Stephen smiles, nodding with optimism.)
Waltz: I'll be damned if you walk over me like a bug, Derrick. I can put up a fight, and even if you walk out with the win for the evening, I hope I give you something to remember by. I hope you look back as you walk up the ramp, and respect me for the great effort I put up against you. But whatever happens, I hope neither of us forgets the reason why we're in this industry...
Anderson: Yeah... to win matches, and kick a whole lotta ass!
Waltz: No, Terry...
Anderson: What-what-what? What's wrong now?
Waltz: Every wrestler's purpose exists for the fans who pay money to see him or her. This isn't a selfish sport... and any man who wrestles for his own gain or charisma simply doesn't belong, especially in such a fine and prestigious federation as GXW. The fans are the ones who matter, because without them, professional wrestling wouldn't exist. My purpose in that ring, other than taking my second step down the road of experience, is to give those fans a show to entertain. By God, in whom I trust, those fans will get their money's worth!
Anderson: Oh, okay, what you said is better...
(Terry rolls his eyes, and Stephen gives him a smile in thanks. He looks to the camera one last time.)
Waltz: I'll see you in Oslo, Derrick Rodgers! Hold nothing back in that ring, cause I promise to give you everything I have! Remember me, Stephen Waltz... and once again, good luck to your performance!
(With a final nod, Stephen cues the camera to fade to black. Scene ends.)
*The rookie newcomer came, he saw, and yes, in his first match in the big leagues he defeated his first opponent. D-BOMB, 'nuff said. Of course he took a hell of a beating at the hands of Dean Matthews, Eric Davis and Gemini. Most men would want to give them a receipt for such actions, but Derrick Rodgers isn't like most men. As the late Dr. Martin Luther King would say "turn the other cheek." Afterall, Rodgers stood toe to toe with Matthews and the only result that mattered was what the record books will always show. Rodgers beat Matthews.*
*Feb. 4th, 2003*
*Afternoon, about 1 PM*
We find the man by the name of Derrick Rodgers doing what he's always doing. Training. Well, he was anyway. Right now however he's seated on top of a hill that overlooks the capital city of the country of Norway.
He's in a pair of black and white Adidas warmup pants, a black hooded sweatshirt with the GXW logo on the chest and a pair of black Reebok cross trainers.
He sits atop of this hill in peace. He's calm and even has a slight smile on his face as he looks down at the city from this hill. He sighs and then begins to speak.
"Thank You, Stephen."
"Respect is a such lost quality in our sport, is it not?"
He let's the question linger for a moment.
"Case in point my former opponent, Dean Matthews. Classic bonehead mistake, that so many make now days. Simply put, he underestimated me while over rating himself. All because he made a splash on his own debut night through acts of deception and cowardice."
He smirks at these acts of DISrespect.
"More of these same tactics were used on me. Dean, how can you be a show stealer when you were defeated by a nobody? For all of your derogatory comments about me, you were put in your place by the better man. Your only recourse?"
Rodgers clinches his fists in anger.
"A three on one attack."
He breathes in, closes his eyes and then exhaled the anger away. He shakes his head no, as if dismissing any thoughts of vengeance that were trying to invade his mind.
"No. I will not retaliate on you or your buddies, it's not worth my time to waste anymore on you. Afterall. I got the only victory that mattered. A three count and my hand raised by the referee."
A grin that tells us more about the satisfaction of that victory than any words he could speak would ever tell us.
"Which brings me back around to the point."
"My opponent, Stephen Waltz."
Letting the name of his opponent almost echo from his voice.
"You are clearly an exact opposite of Matthews. A man of honor, of respect and of class. I expect a good fight and your absolute best when we lock up in the squared circle. I would expect nothing less from you and I would hope that you expect the same from myself. Victory is nothing to me if it's cheapened by underhanded tactics or by lack of effort on the part of an opponent."
He scans the sky momentarily, inhales and then exhales. He then stands up
"Thankfully for the both of us, that doesn't look like it's going to be a problem. A good thing too. Because after my short term dealings with Dean Matthews, I was beginning to worry that this would be a long road of fighting guys who clearly more style and very little substance when it really counted."
He begins to walk off.
"A good fight makes for a good show, I anxiously await our chance to show the world that you can be a warrior first and an entertainer second. Good luck to you, Stephen Waltz, you'll be needing it..."
His stride slowly becomes a jog as we hear these last words.
"As will I."
And now he finally breaks out into a steady run and then soon disappears out of sight.
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