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ONSLAUGHT VII: Karl Brown vs. John Doe vs. Rocko Daymon


New member
Nov 16, 2003
Nottingham, England
[FADE IN. We’re inside a radio studio, watching as a familiar figure finishes his show. We’ve joined him mid-sentence]

Karl: and yes, Ian, I am looking forward to it. It’s been a long time since I stepped into the ring, and Aggression fifty against Fusenhoff… all I can say is it should be an early contender for match of the year.

Ken’s up next with the chart run-down and he’ll be joined in the studio by the Kaiser Chiefs, I’ll be back tomorrow with news of how you can get flown over to watch the mega event when Empire Pro and WFW New Era bring you Aggression, Destrucity, and Sin City Showdown. Karl Brown, Dragon’s Fire, tomorrow from twelve on SPARK.

[He hits a button, firing off a jingle as two lights go out – a red, Mic Live light, and a small green one you only tend to notice when it goes out, signifying that the second studio has taken possession of the live feed. Karl glances over at the camera, rolling his eyes as he quickly types a message to his broadcast colleague, and he finally addresses us as he takes his headphones off]

Karl: You couldn’t wait to get in. I did say after the show and I’d had a cup of tea, but you guys have rarely listened when you thought you could catch a glimpse of someone with their guard down. Unfortunately… being in the studio you’re not going to catch me out. Nice try though.

[He turns his chair, stretching his legs away from the desk]

Karl: I’ve not got many shows left here, about another week’s worth, but before they’re done… there’s a little matter of getting rid of some ring rust. After all, I don’t want to face Fusenhoff at the biggest Aggression to date and not be at my best. People may have a nostalgic view of me, but I’m only twenty seven and I do have a slight ego. I’m not prepared to go out at anything less than my best.

And there’s no way better at getting rid of ring rust than a triple threat against two of the toughest men in Empire Pro’s history.

First, John Doe. A man I’ve been meaning to ask how his back is since we last met – those suplexes from the top to the outside always hurt me, so what it did to you I shudder to think. It’s good to see you back, though – the man who took Troy Douglas apart in an inferno match. It’s been a long time coming, and I’m interested in what you can do now. Are you the same man who became Issac Byrne, or have you used the past few years to improve?

You see, the great thing about John is he’s unpredictable. A lot of people claim to be unpredictable but John… he really is. With someone like Rocko, I know the basics of what he’ll do before the bell rings – Rocko comes at you and doesn’t stop until he beats you or you stop him. But John, changes. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but that kind of unpredictability is just what you want. It keeps you on your toes, and that’s what I want. It’s going to be a challenge, to see if my mind is as quick as it used to be in the ring.

But Rocko… what can you say about Rocko that hasn’t already? Strong, determined, and vicious. I said Rocko’s predictable, but that isn’t exactly a bad thing. His ego at times can be, like when he decided he and Troy Douglas were world champion material and it wasn’t until after I’d gone that either of them won gold, but you cannot overestimate his abilities. When he turns up, he’s got victory on his mind, on his terms.

How do you beat someone that focused? That determined?

I guess I’ll find out at Onslaught. Truth is I’ve never held his shoulders to the mat, and with John there too it’s going to be that much harder to do. But Rocko, John, they both know that they’re not going to have it easy. I’ve got a lot to prove to myself; shake off the ring-rust, get rid of any doubts that may be hiding away in a corner of my mind, and make those final preparations for Aggression. I’m not looking beyond these two – anyone daft enough to look beyond the next match is going to definitely find themselves either humiliated or injured – but let’s not kid ourselves.

It’s only pride that’s on the line in this match. For me, I have the chance to beat a former world champion and one of the physically toughest non-champions I’ve ever faced in an Empire Pro ring. For either of them to lose to me after twenty four, twenty six months away from the ring is going to be slightly embarrassing. For them.

Fun for me.

So let’s see what you two’ve got. I know you can both be a challenge, and I hope you won’t disappoint.

[As Karl stands to leave the room, grabbing his show-notes, we FADE OUT]


Jan 1, 2000
Spitting in the Eye of the Dragon

"The Undying" Rocko Daymon

(CUE UP: "The Day I Tried To Live" by Seattle legends Soundgarden. The band is rumored to be reuniting soon.)

(Former Empire Pro Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion, "THE UNDYING" ROCKO DAYMON, stands before a detailed Onslaught backdrop. No televised spot apparently means no budget for the promo as well. The ring veteran, clad in his ring gear and still bearing the fresh scars on his face from a disfiguring match only months ago, tries to hide a sardonic smile by stroking the dark brown whiskers hanging on his chin.)

"The Undying" Rocko Daymon
Hmm... you know what, Karl? I'll take it. After all, I suppose there is a fair amount of evidence out there to support the notion that I am predictable.

For example, when I say I'm going to walk into the ring and kick the ever-living Christ out of every man that gets in my way... people predict it will likely happen just as I said it would.

(He lowers his hand and sobers up.)

"The Undying" Rocko Daymon
Because I don't play mind games. I don't hold secrets. I don't act mysterious. I don't see the point in facades and illusions. I make my intentions clear right from the beginning, and tell you exactly what you can expect when the bell rings. Being predictable doesn't bother me, because what is important is that few people can withstand what I bring.

You can do the math and figure out when and where the train will arrive at its intended destination... but regardless, if you dare to step on the tracks, you better expect to get run the hell over when that train comes rolling through.

See, I happen to think I hold a certain degree of unpredictability as well. I'm not talking about your typical idiot luck, as you would see in John Doe... but rather, in spite of being so damn predictable -- or clichéd, or long-winded, or hypocritical, or whatever petty jab is hip for that month -- people fail to predict how far I'm willing to go to get what I want.

I've made a career out of defying expectations set against me. When I "retired" from Empire Pro Wrestling back in 2004 -- I know you remember that well, Karl -- nobody expected me to come back. When I returned, nobody expected me to last. When I proved myself as a top star, nobody expected me to actually compete for the title. And when I became the Number One Contender, nobody ever once expected me to step up and become the Empire Pro Wrestling World Heavyweight Champion.

It all happened... just the same. Just like I knew it would from the beginning.

(He lets out a gravelly, somewhat senile chuckle. The trip, apparently, has been a remarkable one.)

"The Undying" Rocko Daymon
But then, nobody -- least of all, me -- actually expected my reign as champion to be cut short. So I guess it works two ways.

And now, people say my career is in a downward spiral. Apparently, there's some concern with my win-loss record being a tad lopsided through much of the year of oh-nine. To that, I'd simply say that it's the result of having no good reason to win. Admittedly, much of my esteemed drive has left me, while I shift my focus on getting some payback on a certain parasite leeching off my success.

This match? I hate to be blunt, but...it's practically meaningless. There's little for me to gain in beating two guys the public would perceive as "rusty". I'm simply here because the guys upstairs figured I would be a good warm-up before you have your over-hyped and self-gratifying return match.

But rest assured, Karl... I'm not going to just wait in the back until half-way through the match, only to run out, lay the both of you out with a chair, and leave without so much as a second glance. As much as I'd personally enjoy pissing on your elitist ego by reliving that moment in history you've kept lingering in your mind like a tick sucking away at your brain fluid... I've reached a point in my career where every match -- no matter how meaningless -- is worth my time in some way.

(He briefly turns his attention to his hands -- more specifically, the trademark fingerless grappling gloves he ritualistically wears through every match. He casually removes them as he begins speaking again.)

"The Undying" Rocko Daymon
You're probably thinking right now... "What the hell have I done to be accused of having an 'elitist ego'?" And I'm glad the question crossed your mind, Karl... because frankly, there's a few things I've been meaning to get off my chest with you.

(With the gloves officially off, Daymon's cold, thousand-mile-long stare settles on the camera.)

"The Undying" Rocko Daymon
See, I never really understood just why you have it in for me so bad. As far back as I can remember, it's always been that way.

I seem to recall, many years ago -- in another federation, for all I know -- a promo featuring you visiting some random nephews back over the pond, as a point to show me how dedicated you were to your family... as if I -- at the time, very much embroiled in the strenuous position of juggling family and professional lives -- were somehow less of a man because I wasn't spending enough time with my kids.

Several years later, my family is completely gone... and there's nothing but the ring for me now. I'd love to know what you think of me now...

But like I said... I never really understood the unwarranted animosity. I thought you were above a petty superiority syndrome. I thought you and I were on the same side, fighting to please the same fans. And for whatever reason, you decided to turn around and cut the legs right out from under me, refusing to respect me because I didn't fulfill some sort of moral code in your eyes. You made some of my own fans turn on me... just so they could cheer you, as you put yourself on a self-righteous pedestal.

(His upper lip curls slightly into a very offended sneer.)

"The Undying" Rocko Daymon
Maybe there was a bit of jealousy on your end... or maybe you were threatened that I would stand in the way of your success. Either way, the fact that you took it upon yourself in that promo to belittle me -- as a husband, a father, and a man -- made it a very personal matter... one that's stuck with me all these years. The fact that you still ride that high horse of yours only fueled the fire.

All these years, I've kept my peace on the matter, watching the fans cheer you and the critics praise you... while you passed up numerous opportunities to move up to the main event so you could prolong your two year legacy as the federation's second best. As the years went by, I listened to you drop my name in some not-so-flattering ways... and I let it slide. I decided to withhold my thoughts all these years, because for all your preaching... there wasn't a whole lot I could say or do on my end to prove you wrong.

But you did that yourself the day you packed your bags and left Empire Pro. That day, Karl... you proved that you were not only wrong, but completely full of shit as well.

Obviously, given my past, it's not my place to criticize one for leaving Empire Pro. We all have our reasons.

(He narrows his eyes with true skepticism.)

"The Undying" Rocko Daymon
Problem is, Karl... you didn't respect my reasons. When I left, you decided to verbally shit on my name every opportunity you had, like you were somehow better for sticking it out and being satisfied with the number two position in EPW. What, then, makes you think I’m going to care about whatever lame excuse you have to explain why you just left this federation right after your reign as Intercontinental Champion came to an end?

You can spare me the petty explanation, because I already know the answer. More specifically, I am the answer.

Plain and simple... you were jealous of my success. You were bitter at having your redundant two years as the IC Champ eclipsed by the mere matter of months it took me to fight my way from the bottom of the ladder back to the top. You felt you were owed a spot at the top... and just simply didn't have the talent to get there. I, on the other hand... I knew that the greatest reward in the industry of professional wrestling is not something you can expect to be given to you. I redeemed myself by fighting from the bottom to the top. I BUSTED MY ASS to put this federation's most prestigious award around my waist...

As for that comment that I was only able to move up and win the title after you walked? See now... that doesn't sit right with me, Karl. If I recall correctly, you were still actively the IC Champion while I was competing to become the number one contender. I was already on the verge of passing you up by the time you left. When you finally dropped that anchor of an IC Title, you actually had the perfect opportunity to step up and stake your claim.

But instead of jumping on the opportunity, you disappeared... bringing your hypocritical web of self-righteous horseshit full circle. After all your bitching and moaning about being denied the chance to finally try and beat me in a match, your chance came to try and put a stop to my rise. But, I guess you had more important things to do. Maybe those nephews of yours needed a bit more attention than normal.

Be sure to keep that in mind the next time you choose to comment on my time as the World Heavyweight Champion, while the fans at home wonder why you never had that kind of time to yourself.

(He breaks his gaze with the camera, looking away slightly and thoughtfully scratching his beard.)

"The Undying" Rocko Daymon
I suppose there's something I could say on the subject of John Doe... but typically, I find that the less said about him, the better. Or rather, the less chance there is he'll respond with a fifteen-minute disillusioned rant.

(He suddenly winces.)

"The Undying" Rocko Daymon
Shit... I know I'm going to have to hear about that now...

As for this match? Well... I'll be honest. The only concern on my mind walking into that arena is that absolute piece of garbage Jason Reeves slinking around in the audience. The motherfucker just may be crazy enough to try and get a cheap shot on me before it came time to settle this. If he shows his face, well... my priorities lie in ripping it off.

But for you, Karl... I suppose you can consider your long-awaited wet dream of getting time in the ring with me to have finally arrived. Just don't be surprised if you find the experience to be a tad unpleasant.

People may expect me to be at the very bottom of my career. They might expect you or Johnny to finally get a win over me in this match. But, like I always do, I'm going to walk into that ring and defy those expectations.

(The same smirk that appeared on his face at the beginning of the promo reappears.)

"The Undying" Rocko Daymon
Just as I predictably would, Karl.

(As the outro to "The Day I Tried To Live" plays out, Daymon backpedals two steps, lingering before the camera with a lasting stare... and then slowly walks out of the frame. The Onslaught backdrop fades to the EPW logo.)


New member
Nov 16, 2003
Nottingham, England
[FADE IN. “The Dragon” is sitting in a familiar perch – the branch of a mighty oak in a snow-covered forest clearing. He’s dressed as you might expect someone to be in this weather – jeans, walking boots, a zipped-up fleece jacket and a plain scarf all that’s on display. His hands are resting on his crooked knee as he leans against the trunk of the tree]

Karl: Nice to see you again too, Rocko. You still haven’t learnt to take a compliment, have you? Then again, would you be the same Rocko Daymon if you weren’t wrapped in your own little world? I mean, even after announcing on national television that the drama of your previous gang-life was fake, you’re still the same Rocko. Number One in your own mind, filled to bursting with your own words and totally ignoring anything that doesn’t sit with your view of yourself.

But what can I expect, Rocko? You’ve always been out for number one, for material gain, and you’ve made no bones about it. You’ve always wanted others to see you as the best, to somehow validate your own existence by winning titles and plaudits, when for me… I’ve preferred looking after validation in myself.

Now, don’t take that as a knock, Rocko. It’s meant the same way I meant it when I called you predictable. Predictability is a good thing in a lot of cases. Crops can be planted because you can predict when the harvest will be. Christmas presents can be bought in advance because you can predict what your family or friends will like. Flights can be booked because you can be fairly sure you’ll reach your destination in good time. And professional wrestlers had better be at least a little predictable, or the fans would get very, very confused. But knowing you, saying that you seek validation from others and I seek it from myself will have you coming out and saying that I somehow see myself as greater than or better than you.

That might’ve been true five, six years ago, Rocko. After all, when you’re twenty one, twenty two, you tend to have a chip on your shoulder. You’re more confident in yourself than you really have the right to be. At twenty two, honestly, what’ve you accomplished?

But let’s face it. It’s two thousand and ten, and I’m not the same person I was in two thousand three, two thousand four. And if somehow you felt threatened or upset by something I said at some point, well…

Tough, really. To think you’d bring it up after all this time rather than talking to me about it in the locker-room back then isn’t all that surprising, but it’s still tough. Why apologise for things that I said when I was younger and less experienced? I’ve never been one to apologise for hurting someone’s feelings if they asked my opinion, especially not this long after the fact. As far as I’m concerned, life is about now, not then.

Except I honestly don’t remember talking about you all that much, Rocko. Sure, when we had matches together, and a couple of times I did drop your name in a list of opponents or when I was talking to Troy Douglas about a triple threat we were meant to have, but… or do you mean when I said to Shane that you left gracefully when you were starting to slip up a bit? I’m just curious, because it’s that long ago and so much has happened to me since that I really have forgotten.

What I haven’t forgotten about you, though, is the need you have for external validation. You said I was always happy to be the number two around here, but – if I’m honest, Rocko – after that first year here I was in wrestling to test myself. I’ve not cared in the longest time about becoming a champion, or about what others thought of me. That’s the difference between you and me, the biggest difference. You want to be the champion, to have that symbol that you’re the best out of the group, the alpha male, leader of the pack, and I’m happy for people to think what they want about me. Right the way down to thinking I’m not the best. Because as long as I’m able to keep pushing myself, challenging my own abilities, I’m happy. You could put me in the opening match or the main event, and I’d be just the same. You could put me in a champion versus champion non-title match (which Dan did), and I’ll wrestle it like any other, with no eye on the future.

You? You want, need, desire, crave attention. It’s the alpha-male syndrome, you want to be the top male in the pack. That’s obvious by the way you thought I was attacking you when I pointed out that back in two thousand four you got your calculations incredibly wrong and your plans from then didn’t pan out until almost four years later, by which time I happened to have left the company. Pure coincidence. As Alexander the meerkat would say over here, simples.

And then he’d do some bizarre squeaking noise that I’ll spare you from.

Rocko, don’t get me wrong. You are one of the best in this business. I’ve thought that for years. But like a lot of the best you’ve also got a huge ego that seems to need validation from outside, a symbol to show that you’re the best. And I’ve got very little time for people like that, I really haven’t. I’ve got different priorities and other things to worry about than winning bits of leather with some shiny metal plates on it. I live my life my own way and happily leave the rest of humanity to live their lives their way. Anything else is just a headache, like having to sit through attempts at verbal masturbation which end up as nothing more than verbal self castration.

Listen, Rocko – I don’t know why you left, and I don’t care. Why I left, lots of reasons. I can list them if you like, there’re probably hundreds of them. Hopefully, though, you don’t care – I would be very worried if you thought so much of me that you’d want to know the full list since we never much spoke and we’ve never considered each other friends, but then I could be wrong about you.

But I do hope your little rant was cathartic, Rocko. I’ve clearly bothered you for some time, and hopefully you’ve gotten it all out of your system.

Because I want you at your best, Rocko. I want to be facing you, Rocko Daymon, as the predictable Rocko Daymon I’ve come to expect. The guy who doesn’t side step. Who doesn’t compromise in the ring. Who knows what he wants and goes for it, who lives by the mantra “Don’t ask for it; go win it on your own or you’ll never get anywhere.” The hungry Rocko Daymon with the drive to be the best and be seen as the best.

Because as I’ve said – I’m probably going to be rusty. It’s going to take a few minutes, maybe more, for me to get to the standard I’m happy with. And someone like you is the perfect opponent for me right now, whether I win or lose, because you are so damn good. John’ll have me on my toes, he’ll keep me guessing, but you… you’re going to be a physical challenge I haven’t had in a long time. You’re the guy most likely to win, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Like I said, there is no way to overestimate your abilities in the ring – when your backs against the wall, you raise your game. Someone like you is never the underdog, the long shot, and if I don’t step up against you, I’m still going to be rusty going into Aggression, and that’s not going to be fair on Fusenhoff, the fans, or me.

Once this triple threat’s over, Rocko? You can go live your life however you want. Go after titles if you want. Win the world title again and challenge me to a one-on-one non-title match to put me in my place if you want. I’m going to keep living my life, my way, facing whomever is put in front of me once Fuse and I have wrestled. You strive for titles, I strive for something different. Nothing wrong with either of us.

But, do us all a favour, Rocko – leave the past in the past. It’s too big a headache, and your chiropractic bills’ll be a lot smaller.


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