(Fade to the Hammerstein as Dakota runs amok and attacks Maelstrom…. Fade in on the Lars Magellan vs. Karl “The Dragon” Brown match and its aftermath as we see the Dragon celebrating his hard fought victory over Lars… Fade in on Dakota as he makes his way into the ring and attacks the Dragon… Fade in on Dakota as he crucifies the Dragon and slams him face first onto the mat… Zoom in on Maelstrom as he makes his way into the ring and attacks Dakota, perhaps saving the Dragon from further harm… Fade onto a now empty ring, empty save for Dakota; who with malicious eyes glares into our camera; slowly he begins to pace back and forth… Our camera slowly comes in for a close-up…)
DAKOTA: I bet right about now you are seething, all you see is how I came and just TOOK away your 5 minutes of fame, I took you OUT Karl!!! I took your glorious moment in which you and the peons celebrated your pathetic victory over that other punk Lars Magellan… And if it wasn’t for that treacherous dog Maelstrom, I would’ve finished you off right then and there!!! I have to admit, it felt good Karl, it felt so damn good taking away what you thought was yours…. And that’s just the beginning Karl, “Episode 4” is where it all ends for you… Before all your pathetic fans I am going to take you out again… Only this time you will never be the same, you will know fear Karl, you will know pain… Fear is good for the soul Karl, it drives you, it pulsates deep within your veins, sending that adrenaline rushing through your body… Now I don’t want you to take what I did to you personal Karl, hell it wasn’t even business… It was just instinct Karl, a natural borne instinct… And at this particular moment, my instincts are to take out you out; you are standing in my way, I beat the living crap out of you and showed your pathetic fans that you are nothing more than a paper tiger… And in case you are wondering why I did it, no need to rattle your brain and bust a nut over it Karl… I did it because I felt like it, plain and simple!!! (Smirks cynically) That was just a taste of what awaits you at the Hammerstein, like I said before Karl, I am going to take you out, and this time no one will be able to come and make the save… You’re on your own this time and believe me Karl you’re up ****’s creep without a paddle… The odds of you coming out unscathed are very, very thin; the odds of you gaining another victory and getting closer to the gold is so damn far fetched that no one is taking book on this one Karl… Regardless of who you have fought and beaten in the past, it all comes to an abrupt halt at Episode 4 of this little saga Medina has conjured up… Say and do whatever the hell you want Karl, it isn’t going to change anything, in the end I will beat you into the ground, in the end I will leave you beaten and bloodied in front of all your precious fans… I will leave you in the middle of the ring a shattered and broken man; you will come to realize as did those who came before you that when you enter my realm, it’s best to abandon all your hopes, and forget your dreams and just concentrate on surviving!!! And really Dragon, do yourself a tremendous favor and put away all that crap that dwells in your mind, trying to get payback, seeking revenge will only get you in that much deeper and you don’t want that Dragon… Nah, what you want to do is get this match over with, lick your wounds and go on to the next level… (Smirks) I’m not trying to “dictate” your so-called career, just giving it to you straight… But before I continue, I want to gave a shout-out to our wonderful NWL President and boss man; Mr. Medina!!! Had a great time painting the town red, I had to put a few more hundreds with the one you gave me, but HEY!!! (Smirks and shrugs his shoulders…) It’s the thought that counts!!! Isn’t that right Mr. Medina!? Which brings me to mind, what were you thinking!? What possessed you to leave me out of the previous round Medina!? (His tone gets deadly serious, his eyes narrow, he stops, slowly bringing his head up to meet our camera…) Trying to cut my wins!? That’s not going to change anything, as you and Mael both saw, I have evened up the score!!! And it’s not over!!! Not by a long shot!!! I will go through each and everyone you throw in my path and I intend on not leaving any enemies behind!!!
(He pauses momentarily but before he can continue, he is interrupted by the sounds of an approaching figure, and as we zoom in on it, we come to see that it is none other than Nevada Smith…. Camera zooms in first on his bald head, with the word “VENGANZA” tattooed on his forehead, his eyes like two red hot coals burning inside a deadpan expression… Dakota looks up and follows Nevada as he continues to approach the ring and climbs in, slowly and methodically Nevada comes nose to nose with Dakota, a long silence and stare down ensues before Dakota again speaks…)
DAKOTA: What do you want!?
NEVADA: (Composes himself and smirks…) Son, best lower your tone when you speak to me and I would stand down before I knock you down!!!
DAKOTA: Yea okay… Now to what do I owe the honor of your presence!?
NEVADA: We need to talk NOW!!!
(Turns to camera and runs his thumb across his neck…)
NEVADA: Cut that damn thing off and get out!!!
(Without any hesitation the camera crew quickly packs up and begins to leave… Nevada’s as well as Dakota’s voices start to fade and trail off…. Fade to black….)
[FADE IN. Karl is sitting in a well-lit room, listening to a collection of quite bizarre music, his eyes closed. The windows in the room are large, letting in a lot of natural light on this bright, sunny day. As the camera zooms in closer, it becomes clear Karl is thinking with a clear mind]
Karl: Well, one match in the WLS, and one win. And another attack. Ah, well. All part of the sport known as wrestling.
All part of the drama of life.
It was Roland Barthes who said that the virtue of all-in wrestling is that it is the spectacle of excess. Whilst he may not have had you in mind, Dakota, I certainly see your opinion of yourself as highly excessive.
I’m not in the slightest upset that you attacked me. To be honest, I thoroughly expected someone to come out. I had a hard fought match against Magellan, and I somehow knew someone would attack me afterwards. And you proved me right.
Your fear proved me right.
Think about that for a moment. Think about what you said. You said it was instinct that made you attack me, that you wanted to attack me. Your instinct? There is no instinct that causes a man to attack another man from behind other than fear. You didn’t beat me down in front of the fans, Dakota, because you were too chicken, too scared to attack me to my face. No, it wasn’t a smart tactical move, nor was it a means to show everyone you’re better than me.
It was because you fear me. For some unknown reason, Dakota Smith fears a guy most people would class as a lightweight.
THAT’S what your instinct was, Dakota. You fear the fact I might be able to beat you, to put you in the same boat as Magellan and Maelstrom in this round robin. The position of having lost.
But let’s move on. You said you would have finished me if it weren’t for Maelstrom. I guess we’ll never know. You may have put me out of action, or then again, I could have put you out of action. The different paths that could have been taken at that moment are too numerous for anyone to comprehend, so we’ll drop that one there.
You didn’t finish me; so don’t go on about how you would have. You didn’t. Deal with it.
Next, your comments regarding you helping me know pain. I know pain very well, Dakota. I don’t talk about mine. But I already know pain. Physical and mental. I played rugby for almost a decade at school, ending up with several neck injuries, concussions, and torn ligaments… everything I can expect in the ring. In one season, out of fifteen matches, I got at least fifteen concussions which would have put anyone else on the shelf. So, you’re going to show me something I know all too well? Good luck to you, Dakota.
And that’s when I enter ‘your realm,’ isn’t it?
How very egotistical of you young man. I don’t see some sign saying ‘BEWARE: DAKOTA SMITH’S REALM.’ I don’t see anything in you that says you’re going to have a realm any time soon. That ring, the NWL ring, isn’t yours. It isn’t mine, or Magellan’s, or Watchers, or Maelstrom’s. Last time I checked, the ring was the owner of the companies.
Or do you mean a figurative realm? Sorry, but there’s only one realm on this Earth. That’s the one we all share and exist in. So, unless you have somehow become the leader of the entire human race and no one bothered to tell me, then you don’t even have your own realm.
[Karl stands up, moving round the chair to the windows, leaning his forehead on his arm, staring outside]
Karl: Dakota, you seem to think I give a damn what the fans think. I don’t. Inside that ring, they can only cheer me on. They don’t have to, and I don’t mind if they don’t. Inside that ring, it’s one man against another. If the fans who’ve come to watch the action cheer for one or the other, that’s their choice. They understand that wrestling is a spectacle, and it’s no more ignoble to attend a wrestling show and see the Suffering we go through than it is to go and watch a performance of the sorrows of Arnolphe or Andromaque. They pay their money, cheer for whom they want. I high five them on the way to the ring because I want to thank the fans for coming to watch the spectacle which is Wrestling.
But you’re going to leave me a broken man in the middle of the ring in front of the fans, aren’t you?
Think again, Dakota.
You know, you remind me of Torak in the Belgariad. He used to proclaim he would bring people suffering. His people knew nothing but suffering because of his actions. But in the end, Belgarion was able to bring him down and show him for what he really was; a mistake, a false God. Torak tried to destroy his brothers. He failed. Much like you’ll fail, Dakota.
You might beat me. There’s always that chance. But you won’t destroy me.
That is a promise you can’t keep.
Bring everything you’ve got, Dakota, because you’re going to need it. I’m going to give it everything I’ve got, and push myself further if I have to. Same as always. You’re no more special a case than anyone I’ve faced before. You’re not going to cause me to lose any sleep. Go through the motions expected of you, Dakota, and I’ll do the same. Keep your masks and buskins, as the actors of old did, and I’ll keep mine. We’ll see soon enough who the better man is.
And try not to let your excessive nature show to excess.
[FADE OUT, as Karl turns to look back across the room smiling]
(“Zoom in on St. Mary’s park in the South Bronx; it is almost deserted, notice I said almost… Walking ever so slowly, ever so nonchalantly is none other than Dakota Smith… And as he approaches closer, we can see a contemptuous expression… He stops about 6 feet from the camera, stares a bit and slowly goes into his ritual of pacing…)
DAKOTA: So Karl, you say my opinion of myself is overly excessive… You say my attacking you was a cowardly act… (Smirks) These are all your opinions and you are entitled to them, but opinions are like ass holes Karl, we all have one… (Smirks deviously) So you going around under the assumption that since I attacked you that it all boiled down to fear… My fear of you… Amigo, that is so far fetched, that it makes me laugh; you see Karl in case you aren’t aware of it, let me enlighten you on some hard core facts… First off I attacked you simply because I felt like it, secondly it was ME, not YOU; Who demanded Medina to make this match!!! Fear is not an option with me Karl, and quite frankly, I don’t really give a damn what you’re thinking about me, your assumptions of me are just that… ASSUMPTIONS!!! And check this out Karl, it may have been Roland Barthes who said that the virtue of all-in wrestling is that it is the spectacle of excess, but it was Malcolm X who said by any means necessary… And those amigo, are the words that I live by… Whatever it takes and by any means necessary… My attacking you from behind didn’t prove or even resembled any type of fear, all it showed was just how vulnerable and unsafe you and everyone else in the NWL are… So as far as my attack on you not being a “smart tactical move”, it wasn’t meant to be Karl, it was nothing more than pure unadulterated instinct, a natural borne instinct… It was a moment in which the predator in me saw you as prey at a weak point and I took full advantage of it…. So don’t tell me that you don’t give a damn about what the fans think of you, you’re contradicting yourself when you make such asinine assumptions, you were soaking it all up dude… But you don’t seem to see it that way, you are so set in your pathetic ways of rationalizing that you are blinded to the real picture here… And making all these other ridiculous assumptions just shows me that you are in the dark about a lot of things, namely ME!!! You think that just because you played “Rugby” for a decade or so and sustained some injuries, that THAT has prepared you for what is to come… No such luck Karl…And as far as me being “egotistical” (Shrugs his shoulders as he smirks) it goes with the territory Karl; but in reality I am a realist Karl!!! I see the glass as being half full when you see it half empty…
(His pace becomes slower and he momentarily loses himself in thought and just that quick he snaps out of it as his demeanor once again changes, his tone deepens…)
DAKOTA: You say I fear the fact that you might be able to beat me, those things happen Karl, at any given night even someone like you can score an upset, it’s been known to happen… But for you to think that I fear that you would put me in the same boat as Magellan and Maelstrom in this round robin, in a position of having lost; (His half smirky grin, turns into a cynical sneer…) that’s just plain stupid and idiotic Karl… I thought you were a little smarter than the rest, but you have their same mentality, you are on their same level… I saw the way you were soaking in that little victory of yours, and a hard fought victory it was… I give you that, so pat yourself on the back, you deserve that much… Here I’ll even give you a round of applauds… (Claps his hands a few times, but his sarcastic expression is a dead giveaway that he isn’t the least bit sincere…) 3 and 0, not a bad way to start off, unlike my 1 and 2; and let’s not even bring up my past track record… That was a total disaster Karl!!! And if you did your homework, I wouldn’t be telling you anything new… But what is new is ME, I learn very quickly Karl, so if you’re thinking that after our match you’ll be sporting a 4 and 0 record, FORGET IT!!! Take a good long hard look Karl, look deep and hard Karl, because I am dead serious in my intentions… You see Karl, I look at you and I see a good damn wrestler, an individual who has skills and possesses talent, but I don’t give a damn about any of that, all I am concerned with is one thing, and I am focused on what lies ahead and how I am going to remove this obstacle that stands in my way, namely you… Now I know that you’re not like my last two opponents, at least you have shown some cojones, I like that… I respect a man who will stand up to the plate and refuse to go down quietly… I like it when they fight back, or at least try to; and I don’t take anything away from you Karl, I have a feeling that you will fight me tooth and nails and I await that with anticipation… So stop talking so much idiocy, and accept it for what it really is… And as for this “Torak” peon you say I remind you of, again you have a false misconception, again you misjudge me; you are not “Belgarion”!!! So Karl, when we finally meet and we are face to face, make damn sure that you have bought a big sack for the receiving part of the night cause I am going to make you give it your all and then some, and even THAT will not suffice!!!
(Camera slowly begins to fade off… Fade to black….)
[FADE IN. Karl “The Dragon” Brown is sitting in the branches of a rather large, sprawling tree in the middle of a small clearing. The tree is being held by supports on some of its branches. Around the clearing is a fence, with people outside going about their normal lives as always. What is odd, is that Karl has a book in his hand]
Karl: Fear. A very fine line, Dakota. The basis of all instincts. And that’s an irrevocable fact that you can try and dispute, but in the end, you’d end up defeating your own arguments.
What is it makes the lioness hunt? What is it makes the predator take the weaker prey? It isn’t some mere instinct, Dakota. It’s a fear. And yes, whilst I may be a little presumptuous in saying maybe, note maybe, you feared me in some small way; you can’t escape the fact you fear. You equate it to the hunter attacking the weakened prey; that’s because the hunter fears a few things. The lioness fears her own death, or the death of the cubs and male. She fears being hurt in a tussle with a stronger prey. The same with you. You don’t fear me killing you, no. I would never claim that. But, if you maintain the façade that it was instinct that drove you to your attack, then you have to admit you feared to face a stronger foe than the beaten down, tired ‘prey’ you saw before you.
What next? Ah, yes. Malcolm X. You know, I do believe the ‘by any means necessary’ phrase was first coined for the black equality movement by Paul Robeson. But then again, he was a communist. So, it’s hardly surprising you didn’t hear of that. But, by any means necessary. An interesting statement, is it not? You’re really going to do whatever it takes? What if that ends in a disqualification? Have you thought through all the possibilities? I won’t make the assumption that I have, because I only have a human mind, a finite intellect. Unless you’re somehow far beyond human, than you can’t know what is going to happen, and thus you can’t begin to say that you will honestly go about getting the win by any means necessary.
Think about that for a little while.
[Karl rolls his head back as a breeze starts up, breathing deeply, losing himself for a moment in the calmness his perch provides]
Karl: About the fans. I was thanking them for their support. It’s called being polite, Dakota. I don’t care if they cheer for me. But if they do, then I’ll thank them. I was brought up in a polite household. I maintain that. I have people who I can’t stand, people who the mere thought of makes me want to hurt them, but I keep myself civil and polite around them because that’s how I was brought up. If that blinds me to something, then maybe it blinds me to the fact I don’t have to thank the fans. I just like the thought that I thanked them for their support, and made a few of them respect wrestling more. If we were overrun with people who turned their noses up at the fans, and did everything they could to anger and rile them, then we’d both be out of a job. No one would come and watch us. So, if the fans cheer me, I thank them, and maybe send them home happy. If they decide not to cheer, I don’t care. I just don’t have to thank them for cheering is all.
I maintain my values throughout, Dakota. Which is why I’ll shake your hand after the match if you want, to congratulate you on what is surely going to be a hard fought contest.
But as you know, victory is far from guaranteed.
Now, you comment on my harkening back to my rugby career. You’re the one who brought up pain, Dakota. I know physical pain from my playing days. That’s the point I was making. Torn ligaments hurt just as much regardless where they come from. Concussions put people out just the same no matter where they get them. I was an idiot and kept on playing regardless, because I loved to play. I trained with torn ligaments for a couple of weeks too. Didn’t notice them that much, just thought my leg was sore from a tackle. It took a while for the shock to clear, and then I knew what pain was. Believe me, anything you can physically give, I can take. It’ll take everything you’ve got to beat me, Dakota. Much like I know it’ll take everything I have to beat you. Man on man, one on one.
I don’t give a damn about your past track record. I don’t care much about mine here in the NWL, or over in Empire, or back when MCW was still open. So I’m three wins without loss here? Big deal. Each match is unique, with new challenges that need to be greeted, met, and resolved. I’ve met and defeated three in Hacker, Canada’s Hero and Lars Magellan, but my record doesn’t mean I’m going to beat you. So you’ve lost a match or two. Big deal. My career records not brilliant. It’s what happens when we meet in that ring that’s important. I don’t have any misconceptions that I’m going to be four wins without loss. I know full well that you could win. Or should I say, I’m working on the basis that you’re going to win. That way, defeat won’t deflate me, but inspire me, and if I do manage to win….hey, it’s a pleasant surprise. Same as each and every match I’ve wrestled in to date.
[Karl glances down, opening the book in his hands; we still can’t see the cover. Karl reads some passages from it]
Karl: Driven to desperation, my Masters brother took that ultimate step which only his madness would have suggested to him. He knew what would happen. There is no way he could not have known. Nonetheless, faced with the extermination of all of Angarak, he raised the Orb…. And with it, he cracked the world.
Torak paid a very dear price for what he had done, however…Torak had seen fire in his future, and the Orb gave him fire. As it happened, he raised the Orb with his left hand, and after he cracked the world, he didn’t have a left hand any more. The Orb burned it down to cinders. Then, as if to emphasise its discontent, it boiled out his left eye and melted away the left side of his face just for good measure.
You made comment to my comparing you to Torak, so I thought I’d give you a description of him. His instincts told him to lift the Orb, much as you say yours told you to attack me. Pray for your sake that you don’t end up like Torak on that day, and I end up the Orb. Belgarion doesn’t appear for several millennia, so I can’t destroy you outright, but I can still cause some damage.
Dakota, this match, Combat, one on one. Two gladiators meet in the ring. We’re both rated as highly talented. Let’s see who come out the victor. Don’t let your instincts cloud your thoughts. I want you at your best, so I can rate myself against you properly.
(Fade in on the studio set for Rico Suave and as we zoom in, we can see that he is in conversation, yet again with Dakota… As if on cue, Rico says…)
RS: Welcome to yet another rendition of NWL in retrospect… And my guest tonight again, is none other than Dakota…. I know many of you are wondering why I have had Dakota on the show so many times… Well it’s like this, Dakota is news!!! I see the rising star in this young man; he’s a diamond in the rough… I know quite a few of you won’t agree with me on that, but who cares!!! (Smirks) This is MY SHOW, and I say what I want and if any of you out there don’t like it, change the channel!!! Anyway, Dakota let me cut to the chase; aren’t you taking Karl “The Dragon” Brown a bit too lightly!? He’s not like, your last two opponents, he will fight, he can fight and he’s coming in at 3-0, you on the other hand are…
(Dakota angrily cuts him off, Rico tries to cut him off which causes Dakota to stand up and get in Rico’s face, he stares into him for what must have been an eternity to Rico, but after several moments, Dakota pushes himself back and slowly sits back down and with a sinister grin begins to speak…)
DAKOTA: That’s right; I’m 1-2… I am sure by now every peon out there knows that… Do you really think I’m taking Karl too lightly!?
RS: Yes, I think that you are Dakota…
DAKOTA: (Smirks and shakes his head) Who gives a freaking crap about what you think Rico!!! Your opinions are as valuable as horse s(bleep)t…
RS: Thanks for the kind compliment Dakota… I was just trying to make conversation, so we can start the show…
DAKOTA: So ask your questions and stop trying to patronize me!!!
RS: Okay Dakota… Your opponent, Karl “The Dragon” Brown appears to be a very intelligent man and is not going to fall prey to your mental games, and he has bought up some very excellent and interesting points Dakota… Yet you still persist in your rage, it seems that your anger has overtaken your rationale… In my opinion, (Pauses) which I know is worthless to you, but I am going to say it anyway… You appear to be your own worst enemy, don’t get me wrong Dakota, you are an excellent athlete, I give you that, you have that killer instinct, but as of late, that killer instinct has been replaced by rage; and in my humble opinion, it will be that rage that will be your down fall… That and the fact that the Dragon is no pushover, his credentials are top notch, and I am sure that he is just as hungry as you are… I am going to go out on a limb here and ask; so tell me Dakota, what is really Dakota all about!? And more importantly, who is Dakota Smith!?
(A long pause enshrouds the moment as Dakota just glares at Rico, who nervously looks around as if looking for support from his audience or staff... Dakota breaks the silence and we can see that Rico begins to feel a bit more at ease as Dakota turns to face the camera… His deadpan expression is only matched by his ice cold glare that seems to deeply penetrate into our camera…)
DAKOTA: That’s right Karl, you made some very valid points, but it still doesn’t change anything… To be truthful, I do have fears Karl, but unlike yours I will keep mine to myself… I want you to understand perfectly and clearly that I in no way, shape or form am going to underestimate you, I know that you are no pushover… But you need to understand very clearly that what I say and do is what I am, it’s how I feel and no one and I mean no one is going to change that … Not you, not Nevada and certainly not Maelstrom…. Like I have told you before, I attacked you because I felt like it, watching you so carelessly expose yourself like that, I just couldn’t help it… But if you want to continue believing that it was fear that drove me to do it, by all means go ahead… Your consensus on prey and hunter is also way off mark Karl, it’s all about survival of the fittest… Only the strong will survive Karl, and there are no rules on how to stay on top of the mountain… And please spare me the intellectual bull crap Karl, you’re wasting your time amigo, what you need to concentrate and work on is a fool proof plan to be able to come out of this one… You’re a smart man Karl, or at least try to appear as such, the reasons behind my actions should be very obvious … But in case you’re still dumbfounded to the answer, allow me to give you a clue… Your ascension to the next level has caused me a spot and I intend on taking it back… I know that you are prepared to give me one hell of a fight and I expect it Karl, I know for a fact that you do not intend on going down without getting your licks in, so be it Karl… I am however glad to hear that you still maintain your values Karl… So do I!!! As for our match ending up in a DQ, it’ll never happen Karl, Medina, and the NWL know that too much is at stake, so they will allow this match to draw its own conclusion… And a DQ will not bring about closure, it will only make matters worse… I won’t take anything away from you Karl, I know that you will prove to be a very formidable opponent… But Karl, like I said before it still doesn’t change anything… formidable or not, my intentions should be crystal clear by now…
(He falls silent and after several moments Rico, finds the courage to ask yet another barrage of questions…)
RS: The Dragon has said that; win, lose or draw he is willing to shake your hand… Are you willing to do the same!?
DAKOTA: We shall see…
RS: Dakota, the Dragon acknowledges both you and himself as highly rated talent and rightly so, yet I get the feeling that you don’t share that same thought…
DAKOTA: Screw your feelings Rico… Karl, I hope you’re watching this, because I want you to know that I will be at my best; I always am and I hope that you are at your very best, Dragon… There’s no need to worry about my instincts clouding my thoughts, they never do…
RS: Speaking of instincts Dakota; why did you attack Karl “The Dragon” Brown after his hard fought battle against Lars Magellan!?
DAKOTA: Why ask why about a done deal… It’s done and there’s nothing he can do about it, so stop asking why!!! (Slowly turns again to face our camera) Hey Dragon, that passage you read was a very interesting piece of poetry, but what the hell does that have to do with our match!? Better snap out of that stupor that book has you in, and realize inside that ring it will be just me and you, no orb, no Torak… Just us and instincts!!! Face it Karl, regardless of what you think about instincts, it’s embedded in all of us, even in you and your instincts are tingling same as mine are amigo… But do not confuse instincts with fear, for while fear may very well be a part of it, it plays a very small role… Soon Karl, all your questions will be answered, only be prepared for they can change very quickly, within the wink of an eyelash, the answers to your questions can change…
(Without saying another word and without warning he gets up and walks off, leaving a dumbfounded Rico staring with a confused face at him leaving… He then turns to the camera and his audience and with an expression revealing both embarrassment and relief says…)
RS: Guess that’s it for this interview, as you can see my guest, Dakota Smith has walked off the set… And if the truth be known, I am glad that he did, he makes me nervous at times, he is unpredictable, there’s a nasty sinister streak in him, and while it is true that the acorn didn’t fall far from the tree, unlike his father Nevada, Dakota has taken it to a whole new different level… To many he is egotistical, arrogant and imperious; that is kept in balance by his aggressiveness, and his so-called instincts... Karl “the Dragon” Brown, I know that you are a very talented man, but beware of Dakota, he is hell bent on leaving a path of destruction behind him and it appears that he has his sights locked in on you… I don’t think he really cares about wins or losses; he doesn’t care about getting DQed, that has been demonstrated… Good luck in your encounter with Dakota, Karl “the Dragon” Brown, you are going to need it… Well that about wraps up yet another rendition of NWL in retrospect, and as always, the pleasure has been all yours!!! Good night folks…
(Camera slowly zooms out and away from Rico, fading into promotional collage of WLS, centering on Dakota Smith and Karl “the Dragon” Brown… After that, it fades off to black…)
[FADE IN. Karl is sitting in a small study, with several volumes of text around him on shelves and bookcases. The lights are dimmed slightly, and only a few titles are visible: “Belgarath the Sorcerer” by Eddings, “The Importance of Being Earnest” by Oscar Wilde, E.M. Forster's “Aspects of the Novel” and an anthology of Ted Hughes poetry. Karl, wearing his glasses, is reading from a small book he has laid out on his desk]
Karl:[his eyes still on the text in front of him] It seems Dakota’s ready for this. I know I am. And now, he has finally admitted to fear being a part of instinct. It fact, it’s the main part. Survival of the fittest goes back to fear of death. If man hadn’t feared death, then he wouldn’t have evolved the way he did, he wouldn’t have strived for perfection the way he has. His survival instinct is a fear of death. It’s what makes us who we are. It’s our ego, in the literal form. Dakota, to paraphrase Wilde, you can deny anything if you like, but you still cannot forget the one tangible truth. Instincts are rooted in our animalistic fears. We fear death; we fear not being able to do anything for ourselves.
But at least you’re now remembering that fear is at least a part of instinct. Despite you still downplaying it. Ah, well, nothing more I can do there.
[Karl turns the page, nodding as he reads. He seems quite entertained by this text]
Karl: You know, I always did like books. That’s why I studied English Literature. Most of the texts you see here are ones I’ve devoted time to studying, gleaning what information I can out of them. The philosophies, the lessons, the tales. In each and every text, there is a very real set of morals, a very real story. For, what is a story? Is it the words on the page? The print? Is it what’s in the mind of the author? Or is it all in the mind of the reader? Ask any group of people to read a text and comment on it, and you’ll find that each and every one of them has a different interpretation. The various heterotopias we find in these texts are quite astounding.
[Karl looks up, removing his glasses]
Karl: I’m sure you’re wondering what I’m going on about, talking about texts and literature before a big match. It’s simple, really. Each match is like a chapter in a text. You have the beginning, where the details of the chapter are yet to be seen, but the characters become known. You have the meat of the chapter, where the characters interact, where the battles are fought, and then, you have the conclusion, where the victors are decided. The outcome is always up in the air for the reader, never certain until the last moment. Such as in wrestling. Neither of us can say who is going to have their hand raised in this chapter. All we can do is follow the chapter, the characters writing the text as we progress.
Wrestling is much like any novel, such as Belgarath, the one that I quoted in my last promo, or like any poem. There are heroes and villains, people the crowd identify with and those that they don’t.
Such is life.
And life, that’s what we’re looking at. One small chapter in the lives of “The Dragon” and Dakota Smith. For one night, these two meet face to face. For one chapter, we get to see the two go head to head to decide who takes the victory in the chapter.
But, let’s leave the world of philosophical talk for a minute. Dakota, you have nothing to fear with regards me bringing my all. I always give my all. I expect nothing less from you, and I know I won’t get anything else from you. This is going to be a great match. But, there is no foolproof plan I can come up with.
Yes, you heard right. Someone said there is no foolproof plan for this match.
How can there be? Yes, there can be plans, but what good will that do? If I get a plan in mind, then I run the risk of becoming rigidly stuck to it. And if I do that, I make myself open. That’s not the smart thing to do.
I know you’ll understand that, Dakota.
[Karl glances down at his book, folding a corner before closing it]
Karl: Dakota, I do have one question for you. How did my career cost you a spot? There are always spots for those who make them. I see you and I on the same plateau. I’m definitely no higher than you. What seems to set me apart is that in the few months since I started out in MCW, I’ve done a lot more than anyone thought possible. I should think the week Bolich announced the brackets for the tournament there, everyone was saying ‘Who is this “Dragon” character?’ And from that to facing four of the best in this industry for the NWL title… that’s the only way people could even begin to claim I was higher than you. I didn’t cost you anything Dakota. If you want a spot, make one.
Maybe if you beat me, you’ll get one.
[Karl stands up, placing the book on the shelf, before turning back to the camera]
Karl: Well, I best be off. I have a long drive ahead of me, so I should get started. Dakota, I look forward to facing you at Combat. This is going to be a great match. Do as you see fit, and I’ll do all I can to win myself. Good luck.
[Karl walks past the camera, which focuses in on the book he just placed on the shelf. The title on the spine reads “The Never-ending Story, by Michael Ende”. FADE OUT]
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