::FADEIN on the rickety, sagging ring at the Basham-Schultz Wrestling Academy, the drab and dingy haunt of MISTER DREAD. DREAD sits perched on the top turnbuckle of the ring, dressed as usual in jeans, harness boots, and a tattered 'Dogs of War' t-shirt. DREAD's left knee is heavily taped and braced. His ribs are also heavily taped, although hidden by the shirt. DREAD lifts his head to look into the camera. He smirks, eyes gleaming::
MISTER DREAD: I was wondering when you guys would show up. I've gotten a visit from every camera crew from Boston to North Carolina in the last few days. You guys ready?
::The camera bobs as CAMERAMAN nods his head::
CAMERAMAN (off-camera): We're rolling, bro. Shoot when you're ready.
:READ nods and lowers his head for a moment, collecting his thoughts. He raises his head to stare into the camera, and begins to speak::
MISTER DREAD: Great Lakes Championship Wrestling. You know, I came here not to win titles, or to prove myself to anyone, or to make my mark in professional wrestling. I think I've done those things already. I came to GLCW for one simple reason. I grew up just a jump away, in Cadillac, Michigan. I thought it would be fun to wrestle in front of a hometown crowd once in a while. Call it regional pride, I guess.
MISTER DREAD: Now, Hawk McDaniel. I don't know a damn thing about you, man. And I'm assuming you've never heard of me either. Well, let me fill you in a little. Yes, I've held a few titles. I've been in the ring with champions. I've been in the ring with legends. I've beaten some of the biggest and baddest men in the sport. I'm also one of the smallest ... non-midget professional wrestlers working today.
MISTER DREAD: Some people call me the Giant Killer. Some people have even gone so far as to call me the Future of Professional Wrestling. Do I deserve that? I'd like to think so. I am quite possibly the best pure wrestler in our great sport today. I'm also only 5 foot nothing, 180 pounds. I can't brawl. I can't go toe-to-toe with the big men. The good news is that I don't have to. You'll see what I mean.
:READ lowers himself gingerly to the mat, wincing slightly::
MISTER DREAD: But this brings me to a rather pertinate point. I recently had a little ... accident. Falling from the top of a thirty-foot cage a couple times in a row tends to sting a little. I distended my knee, broke three ribs, suffered a major concussion, and took better than a thousand stitches. There was a little barbed wire ... in fact, the cage was covered in it.
MISTER DREAD: I can't hardly walk. I haven't been cleared to wrestle. You'll probably stomp my ass. But I'll be there. I'll be at ringside. I'll climb into the ring. I'll suck it up. Because if there's one thing I can't stand, it's a quitter. You got to dig deep, man. You got to reach down and pull out whatever you can ... excluding internal organs. But I'll be there. Count on it.
(Scene opens with a large man wearing a cowboy hat and carrying a suitcase. He walks through an airport and is stopped by a cameraman.)
Hawk: Well, how you doin? I guess you wanna know what ol' Hawk thinks of this match with, ummmmm.....Mr. Dread, yeah that's it.
Cameraman: Yeah, go ahead.
Hawk: Well, he said something that I can agree with, he said I've probably never heard of him and boy your right I don't know you from a good bottle of wine. But, see Hawk here has been around, maybe longer than anyone else still in this business. I've been runnin up and down the roads and whippin' a** for damn near 18 years, since 1985. I've won World titles that don't even exist anymore, I've been commisioner of more than a couple of companies, hell, I even owned a fed at one time. But, see, unlike you, ol' Hawk here has something to prove. I wanna prove to everybody that even thought I'm almost 40, I can still run with the best.
(He sit's down his bag.)
Hawk: I saw that you had a few taped ribs, well, look at this.
(He lifts up his right pants leg and reveals a number of scars, he shows the camera scars on his face, arm, chest and shoulder.)
Hawk: In my years I've been through some hellacious matches, from Texas Death Matches to Buried Alive mathches, and I'm still standing. Now, I'm gon be real honest with ya, I've never been on top of a 30 foot cage, but when you can kick all the a** you want to on the ground, you ain't gotta climb. So, boy. Get ready. And, when you step in the ring with "The Big Texan" expect a a** whippin'.
::FADEIN on the GLCW banner backstage. MISTER DREAD stands there, attired as usual and leaning heavily on his cane::
MISTER DREAD: Alright, Tex. Here’s the deal. I’m feeling a little better every day. I told you I’d be there, I told you I’d get into the ring, and I meant it. I won’t come out here and try to play off the fact that I ain’t at one-hundred percent. I ain’t even close. But I’m still gonna walk the aisle. I’m still gonna climb into the ring. Chances are I’ll get my ass handed to me, but that isn’t important. If I bow out now, what does that make me? A quitter. And Mister Dread never quits, I can guarantee you that.
MISTER DREAD: And who knows, Hawk … I might just have a trick or two up my sleeve anyway. I guess we’ll find out in the ring. I’ve never laid down for nobody, and I’m not planning to start now even though it might save me a lot of pain in the end.
MISTER DREAD: I don’t mind the pain so much anymore. I’ve grown used to it. It’s almost like a friend to me now. It lets me know that I’m still alive. That I can still fight. I’ll see you in the ring, big man. We’ll see how much fight the little dog still has in him.
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