(FADEIN: Joey Melton in front of an ULTRATITLE backdrop.)
MELTON: It’s interesting Cameron, well maybe it’s only of interest to me, but I’ve paid for a great many things in my life. I spent a small fortune to turn acres of barren land no developer would touch because it was rumored to be an Indian burial ground, and I built a world class Vineyard.
It really wasn’t that hard either Cruise. That’s the thing about cheap help, and this will strike a chord will you I’m sure, but it’s easy to find. So I paid someone to go down to Home Depot and find me cheap Mexican labor and those little bastards dug, and dug, and dug until they did indeed find the remains of many Native Americans. Some of those poor men fled and some STILL claim to be haunted by the ghost of Pocahontas’ past, but they did what they were paid to do, rather those who remained. They collected and removed the bodies and started plowing the land for my dreams.
What do the dead need land for Cameron?
The Earth is for the living and I paid to have my Vineyard constructed the right way.
Of course my vineyard was burned to the ground by a rambling lunatic but I’m certain this has nothing to do with my having a small, secondhand part in grave robbing. Certain, yes…
I’ve paid for a great many things. I’ve paid for sex. I’ve paid for drugs. I’ve paid to have a neighbor’s kid sent to boarding skill because he ****ing asked too many questions whenever our paths crossed. I’ve paid to have my nails done, I’ve paid for a soy milk facial, and Adrian and I once paid for an expedition to find the lost city of Atlantis where the fountain of youth was rumored to rest.
Turns out, the latter was a bunch of bull****, but though the years I’ve accrued the money to pay for a great many things.
But until now, I’ve never paid someone to pin me in the ring.
I dunno, it just felt wrong before, but now I see how brilliant the idea truly was, because as the pot grows, and I don’t mean the treasures Randalls’ farms on his ranch, the rest of you just seem to shut the **** up as a response.
Apparently Jeff Andrews didn’t need an extra twenty thousand in his pocket. I guess you can’t buy a set of balls, and Cameron from the bell he wanted no part of Joey Melton. I don’t blame him. There have been times when I’ve wanted nothing to do with myself. But, no matter what I’ve done to shame myself, no matter how many times I tried to drink myself into a stupor I wouldn’t wake from, when I woke I had to deal with me. And ***** of it is Cruise, this has been your cross as well for the last six years.
You’ve had to deal with Joey Melton.
I know it drives you crazy. That as close as you are to achieving high-level success on your own, here I am.
Here Cameron Cruise rests, one match away from being proclaimed as one of the four best wrestlers in the world, and Joey Melton stands in your way.
Its only fitting, is it not?
But the difference between you and I Cruise is I don’t see you as an obstacle. You’re just a memory. A muscle reflex I honed long ago. Get in the ring, make you look good, go home, **** your wife, sorry ex-wife, and rinse repeat.
Here you are so close to shedding your old skin and Joey Melton blocks your entrance.
Life is cruel.
So many don’t have my luck.
My enormous girth.
The rest of the field is finding out what you already know, there’s Joey Melton and there’s a bunch of ****.
I was worried about Dan Ryan.
I was worried about, and I hate to admit it, Troy Windham.
In my dreams I kept staring in a mirror as I shaved. How boring. How depressing.
No I’m not worried about you Cameron.
I was an orphan as a youth so facing my past doesn’t scare me at all. Castor Strife? Honestly, bring it on. He’s a second rate performer being sold because the top bill got ****ing bored. Jack Harmen? Eli Flair? Eli Flair?
Yes. Maybe a little. But, I would LOVE to get Flair in the ring. Because when I do, I win. It haunts him. He’s never beaten me, and deep down he knows he never will which is why they’re all cheering for you Cameron.
No, this isn’t the typical pity cheer you get.
“Hey Look Cameron’s quarter hour ratings beat reruns of House of Payne this week. Good for him.”
You’ve got the boys in the back on their hands and knees PLEADING WITH YOU TO FINISH THE OLD MAN OFF.
But here’s the kicker.
I’ve PAID FOR THAT TOO!
Not only must you beat Joey Melton to unshackle yourself from the mid-card, you have a chance to win the lottery at the same time.
Part of me Cameron, would be glad to write the check, but I don’t part with my money freely. Lord knows I’ve tried this tournament, but nobody has the backbone, the skill set, the drive, the vision, the sheer heart to take me out of this tournament.
Chris Hopper that piece of **** is now crying to dirt sheets, “Why enter another ULTRATITLE if Joey Melton enters?”
And you wonder why the pot keeps growing.
Nobody believes they can beat Joey Melton.
I’m a ghost.
I’m winning matches now with minimal effort, which at my age is only a blessing. Thanks to that sackless, fiend Jeff Andrews I’m MORE RESTED THAN ALL OF YOU coming into this round.
But I know you believe Cameron.
You know me better than anyone.
I taught you well.
All those nights on the road talking the business and banging Russian hookers. Sure, maybe the latter, well both weren’t good for your marriage, but trust me Cruise she was so NOT into you.
I’m like any man. I have multiple weaknesses. I think you know what they are. If you were smart. If you paid attention during our run as the greatest tag team of the last ten years, you made notes, you saw how to get to Joey Melton and collect cash on the barrel head.
But, the bad news is knowing how to take me down and doing it is another ***** entirely.
You were my creation Cameron Cruise.
You were my project.
Will you, like Victor Frankenstein’s creation, come back to ruin my life and the lives of others?
I know I’ve created a monster, but the monster is still mine.
$40,000 Cruise for three seconds worth of work.
I used to beg you to do that much work when we were together.
"Ya know Joey, the whispers in this tournament has people dropping their jaws at how the tournament brackets fell when it began."
(Fadein on Cameron Cruise, dressed in black slacks, a black sports coat with a white dress shirt underneath and matching "Anarchy"-style shades. Next to him sits a folded up table with a large binder stuffed with categorized papers.)
CRUISE: Some people had Troy Windham facing Joe The Plumber, other people had Sean Stevens facing Doc Silver, hell, people even had me going out in the Second Round while a few even picked Spooky Doom to win the whole damn thing.
First of all...what in BLATHERING BLATHERSKITES is a "Spooky Doom"?? I mean, the only thing that comes to mind is what I see after I watch you down a "Meltons' Dozen" of Apple-flavored Martini's and Virgin Margaritas on a Carnival Cruise after Adrien Evans beats you AH-GAN.
While we're at it...who the **** is Chris Hopper??
The fact is that while many can say that the first two aren't exactly shocking, my expected elimination isn't exactly a jaw-dropper either; you above all people should know...you were there for most of them, hell...half of them were BECAUSE of you.
Stripped of the Empire Pro Tag titles because you couldn't show up to defend them, even when I was willing to defend them regardless. Stripped of the Empire Pro Intercontinental Championship because you couldn't handle the fact that I was doing what I said I was going to do from the beginning, making an impact on this business.
Yeah, being accused of being affiliated with the Klu Klux Klan REALLY did wonders for me, Joey.
If only people knew what you were REALLY about on the road, oh I've got records of ALL OF IT.
And half of them are too deplorable to mention right now...but I got 'em....all of 'em...
(Cruise slaps the binder a couple times.)
Records, receipts...all right in this binder. As far as for what's been transcribed...in the words of the ONCE "Immortal" Lindsay Troy....AND "Saved By The Bell"'s Jesse Spano:
Once a pig, always a pig.
You've paid for sex, drugs, and Rock 'n' Roll...as you say.
(Cruise SORTA nods)
You're half-right, I mean, unless you're talking about before you showed up to Empire Pro and made my life a living hell...you've never paid for ****ing thing while you were around me.
Did you pay for sex and drugs?? Sure you did but with MY credit cards, believe me Joey...the credit-card-swipe-down-the-ass-crack trick??
Even at fifty-plus years old, it's CREEPING ABIT.
I mean seriously...I can understand listening to Aerosmith or U2, musical acts like that have songs that are timeless; guys that those can still pull off what is construed as "Sexy".
Playing karaoke songs like "Maggie May", "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" aren't exactly what girls want to hear for a "Night with Joey Melton", if they could even remember who you are. Songs like "Karma Chameleon" by Boy George, "Careless Whisper" or "Father Figure" by George Michael to strippers and hookers who have better things to do than to sit around and choke on "Country Garden"-scented candles and ambiance and watch you shake what your mother DIDN'T give you.
How do I know??
(Cruise pats the binder)
Written complaints, Joe, everyone of them hated what you did, hell, I'm pretty sure one of them swore that they'd consider switching careers if they saw the things you did go on for another five minutes.
Believe me when I tell you...that's not exactly a GOOD THING, not when number of complaints reaches double-digits, it's not.
Don't get me wrong, I never said I never learned anything from teaming with you, Joey, that would be obtuse; it's fair obvious to people that my success outside of the squared circle and in the business end of things taught me plenty first hand on what it is to be a successful commodity in this business and how to market well.
On that end of things it's true...it was your doing and for that we both know the level of gratitude I have in that.
But when it comes to saving money and knowing what it is to budget properly....you're worse than Charles ****ing Barkley, pal. The fact that you actually BELIEVE you can CONVINCE people that you have money is RIDICULOUS.
Moreover, teasing people by offering them money you don't have makes you a LIAR, Joey. Why?? Because the wonderful and TEENY-TINY-ITTY-BITTY hidden truth you don't tell people Joey, is that Joey Melton is BROKE.
(Cruise picks up the binder and turns it facing front, showing the words "Receipts and Records" on the front.)
Ya know that (Finger quotes) pesky-ol'-ex-wife of mine??
It seems in your senility, you forgot that you made her the "Power of Attorney" for all your finances while we were teaming and she was my wife, and you were pestering me with what you were planning on doing to become "Mister Lindsay Troy".
Or do you seemingly forget the nights that you were racking up the phone bills when we were on the road, Joey??
Hours at a time with the pillow talk with Betty in Thailand and then the pointless "Crybaby" sessions you insisted upon afterward, claiming your vulnerability to being a cheater because you felt "Not up to par" with what Lindsay was giving you.
(Cruise tosses the binder back on the table with an audible 'thud')
DIDN'T MUCH GIVE A DAMN, JOE!!!
You seemingly keep forgetting...I never wanted ANY PART of teaming with you, in fact, the only reason I did was because I didn't reach the "tenure" part of my job in Empire Pro, it was Paul Freeman's order that it was made to happen, and let's face it, I needed the paychecks to continue.
(Cruise holds up a finger, as if to interrupt an inaudible comment)
Not because I'm a greedy **** like Castor or even Troy...I played the role of "working man" very much to the CORE.
And believe me....
(Cruise holds his arms out, taking a quick spin)
The dividends and profits of my hard work is paying off, and I look better than you EVER DID.
YOU pay people for pinning you in the ring??
I mean, I could see how things might've run that way back in CSWA in the old days, but just where on Earth didja think you were gonna get that money, Joe??
If I beat you again Joey, WHEN I beat you again...what were you going to do??
Pay me Forty-Thousand dollars of MY OWN FUCKING MONEY??
You're pathetic, Melton.
I don't give a **** who Jeff Andrews is, and I don't have to, hell, he could be Julie Andrew's nephew for all I care...but to me, he's nothing, Joey, not right now when it matters.
Right now, in the Ultratitle tournament, the same one that you've conquered TWICE, history repeats itself.
Melton versus Cruise.
I'm on the cusp of achieving a title on my own that's evaded me for nearly a decade, and you show up AGAIN, trying to bring me down, telling people things that are completely untrue in efforts to derail what's as fair an accomplishment to attain as everyone else that's involved.
You remember how that ended up the last time, don'cha, Joey?? I mean, people say what the want about me, but the joke about YOU, is that you're too much of a geriatric-PAIN-IN-THE-ASS, that you don't know when to step back.
Let others like myself have a chance.
The last time this happened, you tried pulling out all the stops you could and FAILED, when all i wanted in victory was the respect and admiration that I was as equal a competitor as you are, if not BETTER. Now here we are like you said, I'm one match away from becoming one of the four best wrestlers, not just in the tournament, but in the WORLD.
Again, to this end you're right...it IS only fitting, that you stand across from me, in my way from achieving what I want the most in this world.
I DO see you as an obstacle, not just as an advancement to the Final Four of the Ultratitle tournament.
TO BE THE BEST.
You don't see me as an obstacle but the fact is that you SHOULD.
You're the only man that entered in this tournament, let alone who is LEFT, that has won the Ultratitle Championship title before. TWICE in fact, but yet that's not enough for you.
Not "Arrogance" Joey Melton, no, not when he could ease back and enjoy the thrills and relaxations of FINALLY being retired, you're back in the thick of things.
Multiple times, you've poked and prodded at me.
You ****ed my ex-wife Mercedes.
Kudos Melton, you accomplished something I already had for once, but the fact is that that doesn't bother me. Mercy and I, we weren't right as a couple and with the divorce becoming final six months ago, I officially lost interest in the decisions she makes on a daily basis.
But as I said, kudos, because I won't take that road to prove that I'm better than you.
I won't take that road and give you the finger. I won't say "You stupid sonuvabitch, at least I wasn't TEA-BAGGED on National television, like you were."
I won't do that, no, because since then I've done exactly what I've set out to do, which is excel at the one thing I love the most, which believe it or not DOES include the Ultratitle tournament.
You think life is cruel?? Why Joey??
Because if it wasn't for this tournament, you'd still be OUTSIDE of the limelight, outside of the spotlight of the Main Event in this business, while I'm cemented IN it??
Jealousy is a stinky cologne, Melton.
I said before, people never expected me to make it this far...and that's okay, I'm good with that.
Misjudging, looking past, and underestimating me has been the story of not just my career, but my entire LIFE, you know that.
You worried about Dan Ryan and Troy Windham.
I didn't, I worried about King Krusher and Spike Saunders, the men I stood across the ring from.
Because that was where my focus was at, not elsewhere.
And now...my focus is at the man staring back at me in the round of the Elite Eight.
Not at Castor Strife, I've beaten him before too, but I couldn't careless about him right now.
Jack Harmen?? I care even LESS about him, and it was because of ME that he lost his job in Empire Pro earlier this year, but he's right up there with Castor when it comes to my focus right now.
Eli Flair...Eli Flair...Eli Flair...(Cruise slams his hand on the binder next to him) BY GAWD ALMIGHTY, ELI FLAIR!!
Why should I give a shit about Eli Flair, Joey?
So what if he's never beaten you, that doesn't matter to me. If it did, I'd tell you that he's never beaten me either, but then it's also factual evidence, that Eli and I have never squared off before, no matter the grounds of what lays on the line.
So who cares??
Does it scare me?? Not hardly.
Is it a dream match for me?? Without a doubt in my mind.
But not right now, not when you're the one standing across the ring from me.
The fans don't "pity-cheer" me, Joey, so you can get that out of your head right now.
The fans cheer me Joey, because it's THEY, who know which one of the competitors in this tournament can beat you.
That man is ME, Joey.
It's THEY, the fans who know that I've the backbone, the skill set, drive, vision and heart of a GOD-DAMNED LION...to put you down. Not just out of the tournament, Melton, but to put you out FOR GOOD.
No more fighting Adrien for the World Junior Heavyweight Championship, no more autograph sessions, no more NOTHING.
It doesn't SURPRISE me that the pot keeps growing on your self-imposed "bounty", Joe, because as long as I've known you, it's never been your money to burn.
Nobody believes they can beat Joey Melton...but yet...I look at the man in the mirror, and I can see one right there.
I don't give a damn if you're more rested than Peyton-friggin-Manning, the fact is that I WANT you to be rested, Joe.
You beating chumps inside of five minutes is FINE with me, because when I beat you...you'll BE at your best, and that's assuming that you haven't given your best YET.
I KNOW what your best is, Joey, because I've SEEN IT.
Beating you at your best means you have nothing left to say when you fall three victories short of pulling off an achievement that's unlikely to be matched at all, if not this decade.
Not by Joe the Plumber.
Not by Sean Stevens, Troy Windham or Dan Ryan.
Fifteen years ago, I set out to become the best at what I do, Joey.
Fifteen years later, I have the opportunity to do just that by beating you and two other men...but for right now...in the Elite Eight...this IS The Ultratitle Championship round.
This is where I stand triumphant in victory, while you fall short against me again.
This is where when I beat you, you shut your mouth about me, pack your bags, go home and you then you STAY THERE.
There's nothing in this world that I want more right now than to hit two birds with one stone, beating you and advancing to the Final Four of the Ultratitle tournament.
A man of my reputation, of my history...with whom has NOT been eliminated from the tournament...beating you means that I've shocked the world.
(Cruise picks up the binder, motioning to it)
That won't only be a REALITY CHECK that you'll not like, Joey, but that'll definitely be a record that neither I nor anyone else on this planet will EVER forget.
(FADEIN: Joey Melton stands in front of an ULTRATITLE backdrop.)
MELTON: Are you high Cruise? And don’t lie to me. I know you. I know you better than your first cousin Sally who you raped as a teen, but called it drunken love to beat the rap. I know what kind of **** you are prone to smoke when the day ends.
Power of attorney?
The only thing I gave your ex-wife was a nine inch hard piece of meat that she took repeatedly and in any orifice desired.
I think you just misread the situation Cameron.
Let me clarify.
“Power” was our safe word when a boundary was crossed and she’d had enough. And I’m pretty sure she was also ****ing your attorney. It’s a pretty straight-forward mistake, I see where you were confused.
At one time in my life I was broke. As I’ve said Cruise I’ve blown though millions. The money I married into as a kid, and the money I’ve earned over the years, but I’m the biggest star this business has ever seen. The name Joey Melton brings high dollar, it has since the late 80s. I live in trump towers. I have cock rings that are worth more than the suits you wear.
You think I’m sailing the seven seas with Adrian, working World Junior cage matches because I like to see exotic locales for free? No, Cruise, they pay me high dollar to ENTERTAIN. And have for years.
I have $40K to give away. Hell, I’ve lost more than that in Vegas to Silver betting which elevator at the Fellatio would open first. I once bet $60 two assholes in a horse suit could out run a Thoroughbred with a fifty yard lead.
I like action Cruise.
In more ways than one.
But if you’re gonna beat me, you have to believe.
I know Ryan pays you nothing in EPW. This is a large sum of money for you. And I will carry it with me to ringside. You can count it before the match, but you only take it home if you can count to three.
When I said I have paid for a great many things, you’re right it hasn’t always been with MY money. You’re gonna complain NOW that I borrowed a little money from you during our run? Look (waves hands) doesn’t matter who paid for what, the bottom line is we had a hell of a lot of fun together.
Did we ruin a few women?
Did we poison our bodies and lose a few years off the tail end?
Did we have a splash landing on more than one occasion in the locker room?
I confess we did, but it was only due to our perfect timing.
Did we have a few odd requests for the women YOU paid for?
Odd is relative Cruise.
And I find it SHOCKING that you kept a journal of our activities. I knew you weren’t trustworthy, but I never thought you were keeping a list of my, ahem, our misdeeds to throw back in my face. But let’s be real. The video shot has a very wiling Cameron Cruise up to his elbows in Cosplay and misconduct. Life is for those who want to live, and if you think I’m scared of some Tell-All book or a receipt proving I buy dark **** you can’t find at Costco or amazon.com, you’re sadly mistaken.
But that’s just like you Cameron. You hold on to the soft core aspects of our work, but fail to mention the good **** that I’m pretty sure happened.
What about the times when you visited a children’s hospital and passed out signed 8x10 glossies of yours truly?
Or the time when you visited a disabled veteran and let me call collect to speak to him directly?
What about that day when I sponsored you to run a 5K to fight Global Warming?
I was there with you in spirit Cruise, for all of it. But you don’t want to have any of this brought to the light of day, do you maggot?
You never wanted to team with me Cruise. I know that. But that’s the problem you never knew what you wanted in this business, or how to get it. Most people would’ve been smart enough to jump at the chance to team with a living legend, but you were too dumb to see the benefits. But they begged me to do something with you. You were days away from being thrown out on your ass, as most men and women who don’t draw a dime are, but Freeman wanted desperately to get some return on his investment. So we created an experiment of sorts. The Cameron Cruise Project. A litmus test for my ability to perform miracles in the ring. Could Joey Melton help Cameron Cruise sell?
The answer was a resounding yes.
We were the greatest tag team in the business.
We had it all, Cruise.
I taught you nearly everything I knew in the business and in turn taught the fans to give a **** about you.
I gave you the sun, moon, and stars and in return I had to listen to you ***** and moan the entire way down the road.
“Joey, when is it my turn to speak?”
“Joey, why is my wife’s bra in your car?”
“Joey, I don’t understand why I’m only getting 30% of the profits.”
“Joey, is this legal?”
You were never satisfied with the project. Just as you weren’t before. You’re like that damn leaf blowing in the wind that…that idiot Forest Gump watched float through the air for a better part of two hours…you don’t care enough about yourself to make things happen.
So why should anyone else?
But here we are Cruise, in the biggest moment of your life. You’ve survived and advanced. You’ve beaten the odds to remain in the tournament. Job well done. The fact that you are shocked by this speaks volumes. For as much as the boys in the back get on your case, nobody has a lower opinion of Cameron Cruise than your own.
The first lesson I tried to teach you, how to act like a star, how to look in a mirror when the walls around you were caving in, and know you’re the ****ing man…the most important lesson I could have taught you, you never learned.
I ****ed Mercedes because you wouldn’t.
I took a high gross of the profits because you never asked for more until the end.
I paid for good times with your card because you had no idea how to properly spend or take care of your money.
You’ve let 15 years pass by without taking ownership of your career.
And you want THIS to be rewarded with an ULTRATITLE final four appearance?
Here we stand Cruise, on opposite sides where one day I knew we’d be. And you’re right the business is for younger men. You see how people fear the shadow of Joey Melton in the ULTRATITLE. Imagine how it affects the business at large? My day has passed. Promoters keep telling me so. They want someone younger, more relevant to today’s crowd. Or maybe I’ve just burned too many bridges over the years.
As I’ve said, this is it for me Cameron. This is my last ride. The end of Joey Melton’s career will soon be written. And as a piece of irony, you have a chance to be a footnote in it. You have a chance to be the last man to pin Joey Melton. Would you treasure that more than an ULTRATITLE win?
Here we are Cameron, a reunion of sorts. A look back at the Cameron Cruise Project with fresh eyes to see if you finally learned your lesson.
Do you believe you can beat Joey Melton?
I know you can Cruise.
I trained you for this day for years. I pulled you through the gutter, just as I was run through it as a boy. I gave you wisdom. I gave you everything I had.
If I lose, if the final chapter is written “defeated by Cameron Cruise” then I’ll feel as if I was finally able to lure you to success. It’s been a struggle. So many Reeces Pieces left all over the house, but you’ve finally picked up the scent. The day you stopped answering my calls. The day I was told by Dan Ryan you refused to reform CCP, I had to smile.
It took you long enough but you’re finally starting to learn.
The issue at hand is this.
You’re Cameron Cruise, and I’m not.
I’m Joey Melton.
The ULTRATITLE is my legacy.
My story doesn’t end at your hands. No, this is just gonna be a delicious bit of fate. I finally get to beat the **** out of someone I know well in this tournament. How quaint.
Afterwards, you’ll look at the briefcase full of cash and sigh. We’ll share a hug and I’ll pull you close and tell you how close you are to being a star, how close you are to finally being the man we thought you could be all those years ago.
You know Cruise, the same sort of lies you’ve heard throughout your career.
"Cousin Sally?? Really Joe, is this what you're resorting to??"
(FADEIN, Cameron Cruise, back in front of the same backdrop as before.)
CRUISE: Apparently you don't know me as well as you THOUGHT you did, pal. You also don't seem to listen well either, which just shows just how much you gave a damn about "making it work".
"Sally" was "Mallory", and she was my brother Carter's EX-Girlfriend. When he did that, he ostracized himself, blacklisted from any kind of a regular business venture that had to do with me or wrestling in general.
Yeah, that's right Joey...you don't remember Carter, because you don't give a fuck, and you never did.
Not unless it was beneficial to you, then and ONLY then were you all ears.
But keep telling yourself that you were the sex symbol to be desired, Joey, after all...that record book and receipts GUARANTEES me otherwise. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm sure Mercy was everything Lindsay Troy couldn't be and more, but the fact is I told you...
I really don't care.
My revenge on the fact that you had trysts with my then ex-wife is coming via a bonus reward when we meet up in the ring. Trying to get my focus to deter from where it needs to be to where it HAS to be...is just not going to work.
Especially when all those girls you had in the hotel room were insistent on complaining that you asking them for the "Girlfriend Experience" and then flailing like a dead fish in bed when you did, after awhile it just became comical more than anything.
"Joey Melton" is still a high marketable commodity in this business, especially in an event like "The Ultratitle Tournament", but then so is Eli Flair.
The difference between you two though, is Eli has made his share of success on this business and not just blown it away on petty marketing schemes like you have. When you came back to Empire Pro, you made you share of money, and then you'd blow it on needless-mind-numbing-CRAP.
So what happened then??
"Cameron, I swear...the talking fish is the greatest thing EVAR!! I swear Cameron..."Melton's Slip-n-Slide Adventures" will make BANK!!"
"Cameron, Cameron, cameron, OH MY FUCKING GAWD...CAMERON!!"
Have you lived in Trump Towers?? Probably...but as big as a success as I am now, even in an attempt to confirm that...CALLING Donald's Office??
Just at the mention of your NAME, the phone conversation ends abruptly via a sudden hanging up of the telephone so for all I know...that's just HEARSAY.
And even with YOUR profits and dividends made from years ago, nobody likes a liar, Joey.
You're fucking BROKE, Melton, and have been for a VERY LONG TIME.
That's part of the reason why you came back and begged me to work with you in EPW, and that's more likely the reason why you're competing in the tournament NOW.
Don't mistake yourself for making the big bucks through the Oversea Cruises, Joe. The fact is, I've BEEN with you on such a tour, when you tried and FAILED to recruit me as a replacement while you got Mono.
You don't make a DIME more than you do working the Birthday Party events you book with the Soccer Moms.
That's right, Joey, I've seen old family home videos that fans have downloaded onto their phones, still do to this day in fact, where you're tied up in a chair, a shower cap to protect your hair and your skin face-painted with odd colors. I've also seen the part where you sweet talk your way into getting the last $23 left in the Mom's purse for the "gig", before you do the "Walk of Shame" out and back to the hotel.
Seriously Joey...I might as well call up Lou Ferrigno for the rights to play "Lonely Man" while you're at it, although Lou never really liked you either, so it's truly a flip of the coin but NO...you can't put money on which side will come up.
I don't want your money, Joe, because the fact of the matter is...after I beat you, even if the money is there...even if it EXISTS...
I'm only getting paid back a percentage of the money that you owe me, so like I said...you're only paying me with MY OWN MONEY.
I know you like action, Joey, that in-and-of-itself is WHY you're broke. You're worse than Charles Barkley when it comes to Gambling, and the bottom line is, you need HELP.
What Ryan pays me in Empire now, ESPECIALLY because of the ratings I've given him from Anthology and Jared and I exciting people again with the Dangle Brothers...you WISH you could make, and that's not even in reference to your being broke, I'm talking about the fact that I'm financially more well off than you EVER WERE in Empire Pro.
And believe me when I tell you...the money he's paying me...is NOTHING compared to the amount he makes.
You think I'm calling you out NOW because you "borrowed" money from me all those years ago, among other failures you accrued??
YOU GODDAMNED RIGHT I AM.
For MONTHS, I kept working what was scheduled, not for ME, but for "The 'Project", and for MONTHS, I kept getting asked...
"Where's the 'Tea-Bag Guy'??"
Now, it's only on coincidence that that last one was an apparent repeat customer, but it was the same one that played Piano for you in the Tony Stewart" T-shirt while you laid on top of it in Huntsville that one time.
I mean, I never knew that about you before then...that Joey Melton was a "Granny-Fucker". But I guess the saying is true...even that context: There really IS a first time for everything.
Did we poison our bodies and lose a few years off the tail end, you said??
If by that you mean I sat there and watched you run up five-hundred-dollar bar tabs on MY DIME, while I stayed sober...yeah, that seemed to happen quite abit actually.
Odd IS relative, Joey, especially when you insist on my buying hookers, just to get someone to play a game you so eloquently referred to as "Canine-Peek-a-Boo" so I could get a good-nights-sleep, while I kept to a faithful marriage...that's WHY I keep things like that stored in the back of my mind, Joe.
HELL NO, I didn't want to be teamed with you, the fact is that I was making enough of myself on my own without you or ANYONE ELSE for that matter screwing it up.
But I've said it before, time in and time out. I am a student of this business and will continue AS SUCH, until I have no longer the strength or ability to stay up to par.
All of that on TOP of taking notes is what's made me a better competitor, Joey, even when I was forced by Paul Freeman to team with you...I wasn't blind to the potential knowledge I had in store for me.
Double-digit-numbered-Champion, well-traveled and somehow a TRUE LEGEND of the business, you HAD to know something that could help improve my career, no??
Marketing concepts, commercial-ability, making contacts, gathering important information I could use to better myself, I can honestly say that this was stuff that I DID take advantage of. Everybody knows that (Rolls eyes, mockingly finger quotes) "Troy-Diggity"...makes really BAD television movies, and television series, but the fact is that to actually do it RIGHT...takes hard work. Maybe it was the...pardon the expression..ARROGANCE that screwed him over, but Windham was always bitch-made like that, which is probably why Jack Harman was able to pull off the victory.
Not discounting Harmen's ability, of course.
It was the COMMERCIAL aspect that interested me, Joey, the Marketing and contact-making ability that drew my attention enough to take notes; becoming a NATIONAL-AND-WORLDWIDE COMMODITY was the lit-match that drew me in.
THAT was the Genius behind the reason, the SINGULAR REASON that kept me around to put in an effort, Joey, .
Every time we stepped in the ring however, was there any chance that you gave a damn as much?? Not hardly. I busted my ass night in and night out on the road. Why else would you figure that I was the one that took the falls when we lost a contest??
Then of course, what happened after that?? You bolted for who-knows-where, but of course ultimately, that was okay.
I proved that Cameron Cruise could DEFINITELY succeed when you weren't around, and now look at me...one win away from not just a "Legend" in my own right, but one title victory away from achieving the GRAND SLAM in Empire Pro.
But yeah, let's talk about the good times, shall we??
Visiting Children's Hospitals, passing out 8x10 glossies of Joey Melton...I actually still have one of the pictures that was left over from such an excursion...
(Cruise steps out of view of the camera and audible paper-shuffling is heard before Cruise returns with a folder labeled "Melton Pix", and opens it up back in front of the camera.)
Ah yes...these were fairly memorable messages, Joe:
"Dear kid. I know you're just learning about the birds and bees, but that bulge in your pants is just what that girl with Leukemia next to you needs. Fill her with a thriller. Joey Melton".
Here's another one...
"Dear Esperanza. I know you're name ISN'T Esperanza, but it's probably better than the shitty one your welfare-ridden-drug-addicted-absent-minded parents gave you in the process of neglecting you for the past ten years, don't you agree?? Yours, Joey Melton."
(Cruise flips another picture)
This one's my personal favorite though, a real charmer...
"Dear Floyd. Quit being the bastard child your parents feared and never wanted and get off your ass. You have a whole life of ridicule and endless amounts of "Extreme-Atomic-Wedgies" waiting for you. Forever your Idol, Joey Melton."
(Tosses the folder aside)
Believe me, apologizing on the phone call follow-up wasn't exactly my idea of spending my free time, but I doubt anyone can blame me. After all, you were only passed out on the hotel floor from the previous nights bender...who knows what you'd come with then, especially when the calls you made collect were made to double-amputees, bedridden and heir hard-earned pensions suspended??
(Cruise raises his hand, his eyes staring intently into the camera.)
Yeah, I ran those "Five-Kay Runs" for Global Warming because it was the only reason I could fathom that would help my ideal path of making myself a successful (finger quotes) "Marketing Venture" of being your Tag Team Partner in Empire Pro.
Because you see, as much as I believe in changing the course of history, showing those who struggle to overcome obstacles that being "The Underdog" has it's privileges; succeeding where people believe you'll fail is my inspiration, my motivation for competing, both in this tournament AND in my every day-by-day life.
(Cruise in a strange manner, feigns a smirk)
Yet you sit there and tell me that you were "there in spirit", and then follow it up by calling me a MAGGOT??
FUCK YOU JOEY.
The fact of the matter is that it's YOU that should be thanking ME, not vice versa.
Any other man in his position wouldn't have lasted a WEEK with the antics that you pulled, but I did it for the sake of proving to Freeman and those who doubted me that I could succeed at anything they threw at me.
Freeman never "BEGGED" you to do ANYTHING, it was quite the contrary.
Were we the best tag team in the business?? No doubt, that's obvious, but not because of anything you THINK you did.
We were the best because the CONSISTENT hard work I put in to MAKE IT POSSIBLE.
You were the "Penn" to my "Teller" if you will, even when "Penn And Teller" were struggling in Vegas.
You supplied the truth while I did the heavy lifting.
Only, you seemed to forget to carry your end of the bargain, and now it's time pay the price.
I don't care enough to make things happen??
Why else would you think that Anthology BROUGHT BACK the fans that left when you deserted Empire Pro??
I helped put together a group that was BIGGER AND BETTER than what the Cameron Cruise Project could ever possibly BE, bigger than you, and the talk of the entire WRESTLING WORLD.
In the meantime, people had to be reminded that it wasn't the first time that I'd had that kind of success, but the fact is that for the first time in my entire life, my ears ACTUALLY HEARD the two words that I'd never thought I'd hear spoken.
(Cruise smiles, shrugging his shoulders)
I know, I know it's strange, but believe it or not...my days busting my ass for minimum credit due were leaving me; I was doing what I set out to do from the beginning and as for you??
Merely an AFTERTHOUGHT.
(Cruise, moving forward)
There's many things we differ at, Joey, but one of them is that I knew I'd become a star; through the old-fashioned methods of "Blood, Sweat and Tears", I knew.
But the achievements I attained and watching the episodes you performed did humble me; I'm not like the greedy, pig-headed bastards that people like you and Windham are.
I've got money by the MILLIONS set aside that I've no real need to continue for financial reasons, partly because of the Marketing aspect, and partly because Dan Ryan knows when he has a great commodity at his disposal. However, I continue because it's the CHALLENGE that teases me.
It's the question of whether or not I can overcome the other man in competition, not whether or not I can get people to WATCH it.
That's why I entered this tournament, Joey, because unlike you...I still have something to prove.
You could've sat back and watched this all happen too, content with the fact that you've ALREADY CONQUERED this test, not just once but twice.
A feat that as I said before...won't likely happen again.
I've faced a man who previously retired, content with his accomplishments but wished for one more wager of his mettle against others. I faced a man who like you...DROPPED OFF THE GRID FOR MONTHS. Then I faced a Seven-foot-tall Giant, a man who put another tournament competitor in hospital. And now I face YOU, Joey.
A man whose overcome odds of his own, while trash-talking me for WEEKS, and much like the character Marshall Mathers played, said in "Eight Mile"....yeah you did fuck my girl but I'm STILL STANDING HERE, SAYING FUCK JOEY MELTON'S WORLD.
I'm concerned with two things in this tournament right now, and that's kicking your ass and taking another step towards doing what millions don't expect me to do:
Win the Ultratitle Championship title.
Fifteen years may have passed by, but I'm more sure of myself in my career than I was when I first set foot in the squared circle fifteen years ago, you just haven't been paying attention.
Big surprise there, tell me something new.
People might fear the shadow of Joey Melton, but only because they've not seen the horrors and trifle actions of the man that projects it.
I've beaten you once before Melton, so pinning you will do nothing but remedy the reason as to why you haven't retired when you should've pulled the trigger on your career years ago. I've already beaten Joey Melton once, but this time I've got the chance to pin your career once and for all. Should you win and advance, you still face the possibility of that happening by virtue of a one mistake made against one of three other men, three other men who quite frankly don't deserve the opportunity.
I AM Cameron Cruise, with all my abilities and faults, I know what I'm capable of.
The money you "claim" to have, is of no interest to me, it's not what I'm in this for at all.
The Ultratitle Championship may be your legacy, but it stands an accomplishment that's mine to lose.
Eight men remain fighting for it, but I'm the only one left who TRULY bears the traits of what it provides.
Undisputed CHAMPION of the WORLD.
Regardless of what you THINK I believe, regardless of what you THINK is the truth, it's a REALITY CHECK you won't like, but one you're going to GET. If you don't think so...
(The camera closes in on Cruise as he holds his position.)
(OOC: Posted for Tard, who is celebrating his anniversary this weekend. Hellow, fellow wrestlers.)
“With an anxiety that almost amounted to agony, I collected the instruments of life around me, that I might infuse a spark of being into the lifeless thing that lay at my feet. It was already one in the morning; the rain pattered dismally against the panes, and my candle was nearly burnt out, when, by the glimmer of the half-extinguished light, I saw the dull yellow eye of the creature open; it breathed hard, and a convulsive motion agitated its limbs.”
Death and loneliness were Joey Melton’s baptism into life. They surrounded him from the time he was a boy. From to the boardwalk to vacant lots and fairgrounds all over the east coast where his parents toured. They were freaks, carnies, and gypsies who sold dreams as cheap entertainment. Life is just an observation and Melton watched from beyond the curtains as his parents made a living allowing the oddity shaping them to be consumed.
They never seemed afraid or angry with the world for enclosing them in glass. Some people are born to observe life as it passes by, others are allowed to dance and be put on trial for being something different.
Melton’s father was made of plastic the papers said. Kids walked by his stage on a hot summer’s night, cotton candy saving space for diabetes and watched as his freakishly long limbs captivated them. There was something incredibly terrifying about a man whose body knew no limits. Unsure of whether to scream or shudder in delight, the stage was a safe haven. Oh sure, you hear of killer whales going off script and nearly drowning their trainers, but whales are known to be slaves to the merits of improv, wont to just work with a general outline of a show and paint something minute by minute. But by and large in our society a stage is bullet proof glass. As Melton’s freakish limbs brushed past the kid’s faces it never felt real.
His mother, Ellena, was a hard edged perfectionist. She was a contortionist by trade. Her performance Melton noted was a bit of a soulless one. She performed because she was chosen to do so. Nothing else made sense. She resented Joey because he represented the life she couldn’t choose. The American dream. The house, the dog, the white picket fence. Her dream traveled with her and saw the dregs of society walk away, amused and empowered by the notion God had chosen them to become something better.
The memories of the carnie life, of his parents are fleeting but from time to time they appear in dreams.
Death and loneliness. There were always acts gone wrong. Tragic stories about the man who ate fire, but developed gastric intestinal issues later in his career. He discovered this much too late. The sheer horror of watching a man swallow a burning wad of flames, then five minutes later have his stomach shoot out his ass.
Melton’s own father died quickly of cancer and his mother, broken, and shamed by the life she couldn’t have, walked away, never speaking with Joey after his 8[SUP]th[/SUP] birthday. There were foster homes and a life on the street alone until he met an aging widow who was off her ass rich.
Melton observed his parents and their life a bit different than a patron would. He studied the crowds. He loved the reaction won on a good night. Entertaining, performing was his choice. He may be a freak by nature, but Melton never wanted to shy away from acceptance. Working the back corners of a **** town, told to be gone by morning. Joey had a talent. He was a fighter, a survivor from childhood. He saw his parents in a way they never could; as worthy of being accepted.
Life is so quick. How can any of it be taken seriously? He wanted to entertain. He promised himself to live each day as hard as he could. Joey was taught how to work a room while he was in diapers. Showmanship runs in the family. Only Melton’s talent was never going to be confined to a small stage and stink of desperation and fear.
He still dreams of the memories of his parents. Death and loneliness. Neither has an escape, but it’s the idea of being alone that’s destroyed him too many times to date.
Cameron Cruise was alive when he was laid at Melton’s feet. Cruise’s problem was some were ready to debate this as fact. He napped in locker rooms and tiny mirrors were placed under Cam’s nose to measure a breath. How can someone with his looks, backing, and talent not register with the fans? Melton had his theories. In truth, it was much more fun to make up stories about Cameron’s life and pass them around the locker room than to actually hear the man talk.
So as Cruise trotted out to bore another arena full of fans, Melton stayed in the back and passed around water colors he’d bought from an elementary school talent show, but passed off as Cruise originals. The tortured artist Cameron Cruise was so much fun to create. Joey floated the idea of him staying up all night, harmed by the injustices of the world, fingering painting on the road in his spare time until his message was heard. Cruise vowed to keep expressing himself until gays were given rights to marry, and until someone in Hollywood had the balls to remake Melmac’s favorite son, Alf.
Alf was never meant to live with an aging hippie foster family, and be spotted by Jewish neighbors rocking out to Golden Oldie classics in women’s underwear. Alf was a sarcastic voice of reason; he can lead a generation into battle against consumerism and warn against the dangers of never unplugging ourselves from the grid. He’d have to be on cable, and instead of eating cats which PETA would never allow, he’d have to be a reformed sexual predator or something with a little weight. Alf the alien who shouldn’t be left alone with your children, what horrors a cliffhanger would bring that sees the alien buy an old ice cream truck with Willie’s credit card number.
Cruise’s idea for Melmac rebirth delighted the boys in the back. Who knew, Cameron had such…depth.
Such fantasies are brought to life when the real personality bores the **** out of a corpse. But finally, it happened. Cameron’s lifeless body was laid at Melton’s feet.
It was a crazy experiment only a diseased mind could create.
The stories, the finger paints, the rumors of Cruise ****ing wives and girlfriends (which saw Cameron beaten severely for and to be honest Joey always regretted this unfortunate twist of fate) were manifestations of Melton’s loneliness.
He took the challenge of creating Cruise because he needed someone else.
Melton created the monster.
Blamed it for his short comings and failures and has watched as a vengeful Cruise has become one of the top names in the business.
Along the way, he’s poisoned locker rooms and front offices against Melton. One fair turn deserves another. The creator is broken and alone. It was Cruise who was there to field the phone call from Lindsay Troy a few years ago where she poured herself out and admitted she didn’t know what to do. Cameron carefully guided her to the decision he knew would harm Melton the most. Joey was toxic. To everyone, most of all himself.
She knew what she had to do. For her sanity, Lindsay Troy had to leave Joey Melton and never look back.
Yes Cameron. You’re right.
Vengeance has carried Cruise to the shadow greatness. He’s come this far, he’s traveled the world in search of Joey Melton, hoping to end the Legend once and for all.
Death and loneliness.
Melton has reached the end.
He must destroy his creation to advance, even if doing so ensures he’ll forever be alone.
(Fadein, the outside of the "Dangle Brothers Bar & Grill, in Baltimore, Maryland. CUTTO: The back offices of the restaurant, as the camera locates Cameron Cruise inside the office as the camera passes by a sign on the front that reads "If You're Not Putting In The Time, Prepare To Lick Daddy's Lime, signed 'Management'". He sits dressed in black slacks and a white dress shirt and blue tie, his black sport coat hung up on the backside of the door. His trademark "Anarchy"-style shades on a side table near the door, Cruise has his head down, filling out paperwork inside of a binder marked "Club Business". Signing his name on one last set of papers, he sits back, closing the binder and lifts the big book over to the front of the desk, as he flops back in his black leather chair, drawing in a deep sigh. He looked over to the side of his desk at the remote control to the DVD player and picks it up, pressing play. A prefacing commercial for the hotel Hilton comes on as he sits back, lacing his fingers together in his lap. This past week was a toll on the Grappling Veteran, taking booked autographed sessions, to visiting the NFL Training Camps of the Super Bowl Champion New York Giants as well as the Baltimore Ravens, to attending to business back at the Bar & Grill. However, the last few days, Cruise had been concentrating his own training sessions for the upcoming Quarter-Final Round of the Ultratitle Tournament against "Arrogance" Joey Melton, one of the remaining Elite Eight. After a few seconds, the screen goes blank and then has the words "Hilton Security. Dated: May 14, 2004." Pouring a cup of coffee from the nearby Coffee Station in the Break Room next door, he sits back down in his chair after shutting his office door as the black and white recording continues to play the requested footage, and Cruise sinks further into his chair.
The recording shows Cruise walking up to the door and stopping for a moment as it seems Cruise was hesitant about proceeding with his 'errand'. The camera inside Cruise' office cuts to a view of Cruise' face as he shows the look of a grimace, remembering what had happened that night.
Cruise had no interest in retrieving his 'partner', as he despised him as much as a student would an unannounced "Pop Quiz" in class. There was no interest in the beginning to team with Melton, that Cruise had stated that wasn't being ignorant of "Company Rules"; Cruise knew who was in charge at the time, and held no ill will towards him, but he maintained his position on not taking a partner to compete in the Tag Team Division, Cruise had been intent on competing for the World Heavyweight Championship.
However, his request was ignored and forced to transition to that environment regardless, and to make matters worse, it was Melton who was paired with him. Cruise had rarely watched Melton in action before then, with the exception of what he'd seen of his past matches. Matches with Hornet, Tom Adler, facing off with Michael Manson in the Vinyard, as well as the 'Classics' he had heard about prior, Cruise knew what Melton had been capable of, and while Melton did earn his respect with the resume of achievements, Cruise had no interest in standing in his corner, let alone spend time with him. Cruise wasn't one to lament for orders given to him however, except Cruise knew this was against his wishes as a competitor, which was to succeed on his own merit, and not the aid of others.
Melton chastised him from the beginning, it was a perk Melton took advantage of that Cruise knew he could do nothing about, else be suspended for disobeying an order from Management, a punishment his father had warned him about when he was twelve. "A paycheck is still a paycheck, no matter how you earn it," his father told him. "Until you either receive a promotion higher than your boss or get fired, it's what pays the bills." his father advised. "You don't have to like it or the man in charge, but you do as you're asked."
Cruise was convinced that he would prove his worth in the business with whatever obstacle that was put before him, a goal he'd set for himself from his days as a beginner, and one that he still portrayed to this day.
Cameron slammed the cushion of the chair he sat in with his elbow, half thankful the chair gave no resistance with the exception of the thin layer of support that held him upright enough to do the mandatory paperwork needed to keep the restaurant operational; he didn't mind the work, it was satisfying however, to know that there was something he could do outside of training that could occupy his mind outside of the ring. Jared Wells handled the entertainment issues while Cruise took care of the legal side of things. He wasn't the first to go forward with such an act, taking time away from the squared circle, others before him had succeeded before him so Cameron Cruise went for it and found success himself.
Cruise continued to watch the screen as he saw himself move into the lobby and then the bar, as his younger self slowed his pace while the music of Billy Joel had begun to become louder the more proceeded into the room. Cruise had grown up to enjoy his music, an artist his father had bestowed upon him as a youth, despite the news of Joel's problems with Alcohol, but this was not the voice of the singer he listened to as a youth.
This was the vocal equivalent to nails on chalk board, yet the performance of the piano wasn't helping either as he watched himself take notice of the source of the musical pain, an elder-woman donning a "Tony Stewart"-T-shirt and white slacks clamorous on the keys while the vocal source was not in view yet. Cruise didn't care for racing, not since the passing of Dale Earnhardt Senior, but this was Huntsville Alabama and Cruise knew that they weren't always up to par on who to see as role models.
And there he was, surrounded by lighters, Joey Melton was splayed on top of the piano and ruining one of the songs Cruise had enjoyed previously. Cruise watched as he saw himself impulsively grab a fire extinguisher. Already he was late for the arena, but it was only Cruise' promise to Freeman that he'd return with the legend in time for their match that night or risk being fined. Melton's absent-minded disappearance annoyed the veteran, as he'd been careful of his attendance in his career. He warned Freeman of Melton's spontaneity after being paired with him, but Freeman wouldn't hear of it, and regardless of it, he was prepared to face the consequences of Melton's action.
"Maybe if I just ignored Freeman's request and came back without him, and told Paul I couldn't find him, I might've avoided the pain-in-the-ass altogether," (Cruise lied to himself). "I could've been able to concentrate on getting another shot at Christian Sands or maybe push harder to become the man to face Marcus Westcott instead of Sands," (Cruise said, before throwing another elbow into the chair.)
Freeman would've sent him right back out to look for Melton, and he knew it, despite Cruise' desire to compete on his own.
“I asked you here, because I am serious." Cruise remembered and heard Melton tell him on the tape. "The truth is, people aren’t lining up out the door to team with a forty year-old superstar who’s selling dvds of barbed wire matches with midgets on his website.”
Cruise paused the DVD and sat for a second.
Melton was right, but the fact that what Melton said still holds true almost a decade later didn't change his change the fact that he was still competing in the Ultratitle tournament, still chiding Cruise for his own success he had earned in his absence; Anthology, the Dangle Brothers...Cruise had no need for Melton and proved it more times than he could remember.
“I’m easily written off now, Cammy." Melton continued to tell him. "A side-show they say, and the good man upstairs only knows I nearly have a penny to my name. I asked to team with you because I knew you wouldn’t resist.”
Cruise rewound the last few sentences several times, thinking at the same time how Melton lied to him in the past week. Melton really was BROKE, and the fact that he told people differently bothered Cruise immensely.
This WASN'T the "Joey Melton" he grew to know back then, watch over and tended to over the course of their relationship as partners. Even if he WANTED to team with Melton, "teammates" didn't lie the way Melton had, "teammates" didn't treat their partner the way that Melton did, parts of what he said was true.
Mercedes Devon DID have an affair with "The Unifier", and while it wasn't the greatest of confirmations, Cruise quickly made peace with the admission. Cruise had concentrated months, even YEARS to his craft, and the one person he loved the most, the one he loved as much as the competition that was given to him....had suffered the consequences of his dedication. However that was in the past, what he found out recently wouldn't have changed the fact that she had moved on from the business and Cruise was still divorced.
The competition he witnessed as a youth was what attracted him. Cruise had always been a stellar athlete in school, even in College, excelling in sports such as Baseball and Football, he lettered every year in both sports and was almost offered contracts by the Pittsburgh Pirates and St. Louis Rams if it wasn't the challenge that wrestling provided.
The challenge of overcoming men faster than he was, more agile, taller and more experienced; it was more becoming to him than hitting home runs and throwing touchdowns. He was used to people cheering for him in large numbers, but nothing compared to response he heard in the midst of defeating an opponent one on one, it was different than what he heard as a member of a nine-person lineup or part of an eleven-person offense.
(Cruise pressed "Stop" on the DVD and tossed the remote back on the side table, rubbing his chin.)
He was over it.
Fifteen years he'd been working his ass off to succeed in a business that had become more than just an obsession for him to excel at, it was a lifestyle he transitioned into six months after joining the roster in the CSWA, and it was only the last decade that the majority of it was a distraction due to Melton's fast-dropping level of Maturity. Cruise, has spent every year since, the one competitor no one had been willing to give him his due, embraced the mantle that the business had labeled him with and used it as motivation.
The silver lining however, was the possible match-up that people had presented as a "Dream Match-up" which now had become fruition: standing across the ring from Joey Melton in "Melton Versus Cruise II".
Even Melton couldn't help but to mention Cruise' name in the early rounds, but nothing deterred Cruise from his pinpointed focus of his opponents, despite what was said about him.
"Cruise cannot WIN 'The Big One'."
"Cruise cannot WIN against someone worthy of merit or reputation."
"Cruise cannot WIN."
Joey Melton had proclaimed that he created a "Monster" when the 'Project was born, but Cruise wasn't quite so sure that Melton had his finger on the pulse.
(Cameron pushes back from his desk, standing up and stretching a bit.)
Cruise HAS won.
(Cruise steps out from behind his desk and grabs his coat, momentarily looking back at his office once more.)
Cruise HAS beaten men with strong reputations, especially in the Ultratitle tournament.
(Cruise threw on his jacket.)
Cruise was about to set into his last workout of the week, intent on coming out more focused than before.
Only one man, the one who proclaims himself as "The Sexual All-American", mattered to Cruise, the one man who would quiet the critics of those who doubted him and his reputation, by having his hand raised in victory in the Quarterfinal Round of the Ultratitle tournament, and moving onto the Final Four.
(Cruise looks down at his hands for a second and for another second, clenches his fists.)
Cameron will leave everything out in the ring, with heavy intent to WIN 'The Big One", or for at least another year, it would be a REALITY CHECK of his own....and Cruise wouldn't like it.
(Fadein, Cameron Cruise sitting on a bench outside an unnamed gym, dressed in black warm-up pants and a solid blue tank-top and running shoes. Slight sweat stains appear randomly on his shirt, as he takes a sip from his water bottle sitting next to him, cooling off a bit.)
CRUISE: The countdown is upon us both, "partner".
For days you've been running your mouth on me, running your mouth about how you're going to shut me down, even to opponents that not only neither of us have met before or even CARE ABOUT.
A couple of them, like Ethan Archer or Jeff Andrews...both in need of a last name BADLY...barely put up a fight, and before we know it, you're off to the next round. Heck, outside of the fact that it's YOU who's announced as one of the competitors, it's easy pickings and a disappointment for those who paid their hard-earned money to see live action.
Myself on the other hand??
I've earned my way in this tournament each and every time I've set foot in that ring, from that rag-a-muffin Ikan Jobtayoo in the First Round, all the way to knocking off the seven-foot GIANT, in Spike Saunders, and let me tell ya...it wasn't easy.
But the fact of the matter is Melton, I am..STILL..HERE.
From the start, I heard the rumors from the critics "He'll lose against King Krusher."
From there it was "Oh he beat Krusher?? Troy Douglas is looking good lately, in fact, he's never beaten Cruise before but I gotta believe he's due."
(Cruise holds up two fingers.)
After shutting him down, I faced off against the biggest man I've been put up against, and I'm not even talking about those circus performers that you humiliated me with on the gig we had in New Orleans, back in the day.
(Cruise stands up.)
That does remind me however, don't think I haven't forgotten about the most horrible ATOMIC WEDGIE KNOWN TO MAN, by the way, I'm sure it sent a few people home laughing including yourself, but that wasn't exactly something I would call a "Fun Day in Paradise", pal.
Payback is a BITCH, Joe, and trust me...I know when it's coming, and it's not even going to be part of the post-match victory dance I'm planning for after my hand gets raised in victory.
(Cruise shakes his finger.)
No, like I said it was against Spike Saunders, the same man who had put down a man that was apparently the latest man to hate so much, it spun off a TREND, in Zero.
Now again, I ask you...who the **** is "Zero"??
To me, not worth anything more than his namesake, but somehow he pissed off more people than "Bartman" did with the Chicago Cubs. Where did that get him??
A one-way, first class ticket to the Emergency Room, Joe, but the problem with that is despite what Spike did to the kid, he's got the one thing holding him back from what could've been at LEAST the spot I'm holding right now, in the Quarter Finals of the Ultratitle Tournament: A Conscience.
The fact is that I maintain the one thing you have to have in a match like this is what EVERY competitor has to have....HEART.
And I might be the one man left in this competition that has shocked people the most, but that's because my heart is bigger than the entire state of Texas.
Now, holding back on musical tendencies you have at the most RANDOM of times...you claim that I'm some kinda monster that you built almost ten years ago.
But ya know...it's like my dear ol' Grandma says...
"That's HOGWASH...go wash your mouth out with soap!!"
I'm done playing the games that you put me through, Joe, I'm done with guys coming up to me, asking me about things I've never heard about or certain issues that I apparently had that YOU put in THEIR head. I'm done with showing up to events and venues, attempting to succeed at a business I KNOW I can do well in, and having YOU show up at the last minute because YOU need something, and it somehow comes at MY expense.
All of this ends NOW, Melton.
Other people might "fear the shadow of Joey Melton", as you say, but the fact is that I never did, not when we faced off at Black Dawn in Empire Pro Wrestling, and I'm sure as hell not afraid of you now.
I told you something that you already know, that you've won this tournament TWICE BEFORE...but yet here you are.
STILL competing in a tournament that you have no business being in, and STILL trying to make a name of yourself at almost fifty years old, winner of more than an armful of Championships, accomplishments that HALF the men in this tournament wouldn't even know where to find.
You don't need this, Joey, I need this.
Of all people you should know, this is the ONE tournament that holds the one prize that puts everyone involved to the test. This is the one tournament that the winner can stand tall above the rest as the UNDISPUTED AND BEST IN THE WORLD.
Except, the one part that people have forgotten, is that you're NOT the best anymore, regardless of what your resume says.
I CAN beat you, we both know this, and it's no longer a question of a possibility, it's more of a question of..."can I do it AGAIN?"
However, it's more than just a personal issue, Joe, that's for certain.
Before, I beat you for the sheer fact that I was going to MAKE YOU respect me.
But this...this is much bigger than that.
Could I treasure the moment in which my hand is raised in triumphant more than the moment I've wanted since the tournament was announced of it's return??
You tell me, Melton.
You've humiliated me for YEARS, for the temporary reaction of a laugh at my expense, and yet you still do it now....on the cusps of your eventual Retirement.
Albeit, competing against you is a "once-in-a-lifetime" opportunity, and defeating you is even rarer than that...competing for the Ultratitle Championship, means it's no longer "all about Joey".
WINNING the Ultratitle Championship means that I'm BETTER than a hundred and twenty-seven other men, and that includes YOU TOO.
So you see, I'm done with the jokes.
It's TIRED, Melton.
What you said almost ten years ago, was true then, and true now.
No one wants to see you in this ring anymore, no one wants to buy your merchandise, and the fact that people still ask for photo-op and an autograph is a MIRACLE to all those who even CARE.
So I'm going to do all of us a favor, and I'm going to pull out my "forty-five"...and I'm going to take you to the "Woodshed" like I should've done almost a decade earlier, and then....
That's Strike THREE.
You're OUT of the Ultratitle tournament and OUT of this business.
(Cruise walks over to the door of the Weight Room.)
I hit a home run, and I'm IN the Final Four, and one step closer to pulling off the biggest victory of my entire LIFE.
And that's a REALITY CHECK that you just...won't like.
(Cruise walks back in and shuts the door behind him.)
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