After having his heart ripped from his chest and stomped on the mat by a prick named “Maverick Jones,” Sean Edmunds wasn’t in the best of moods. The VWF Royal Rumble was supposed to be his coronation… after spending the last year riding the slow wave to the top .. the World Heavyweight Championship was supposed to be his. Now it lies in the lap of … he can’t even fathom it.
“Maverick Jones,” Edmunds muttered. His face rested in his open palms as the depression ran down his forearm in the form of .. is that a tear? No. It can’t be a tear. Sweat maybe. It IS hot in the hotel tonight.
“Snap out of it!” Karla’s shrill voice cut through the air. She walked up to her main man and slapped him right upside the head. “You’ll get the VWF World Heavyweight Championship soon enough. Right now we have to focus on the Ultratitle.”
He knew there was a reason why he kept her around. She knows how to keep him focused. If he were left to himself, well, he’d be sulking in the darkness all night long. Well … there’d be the half hour to rub one out, but other than that .. he’d be sulking.
“I know, I know,” he mumbled through his opened fingers. “It’s just … it was MY time!”
“Well, perk up a little bit. We’re heading home.”
Home. Hard to call a place you haven’t been to in two years home. But it is home. The circuit was where Edmunds had cut his teeth. Where he won Championships and battled giants… but also where he fell victim to injury and temptation. Outside this circuit, where promotion’s had REAL wellness policies, Edmunds couldn’t fall victim to temptation.
“Let Jared and ‘Nark try to win this thing with the help of ‘painkillers’,” Edmunds thought to himself. He had been healthier than he’s ever been the past year. He’s been healthier than he’s ever been in the past ten .. fifteen years. ****. Edmunds held not one, not two, but three championship belts at the same damn time… and he retired two of the belts undefeated.
“Let’s do this,” he propped his head up onto his knuckles. “I’ve got some bones to pick .. some axes to grind .. and some asses to kick.”
Karla laughed, but slung her arm around his back and nibbled on his earlobe.
“First,” she coo’ed, “you’ve got some … training to do.”
The camera faded as Edmunds and Karla flopped backwards onto the bed, their feet flying high into the air.
The Ultratitle backdrop rustled as the breeze from the opened door danced by. The bottom flaps fluttered .. so much so that the producer snapped her grubby little fingers at a lowly intern to slam the door shut.
“You! There!” Snap. Snap. Well, more like pudgy, fat fingered can’t really hear the snap, snap. “Shut that door!”
The intern hopped off his seat and grabbed the handle. He gave it a good tug.
But it didn’t budge.
“Oh ****,” he said, his face reddening. “I’m sorry!”
Sean Edmunds stuck his head into the doorway, a cigarette smack between his lips. He mumbled something about being there in a second.
“WHY ISN’T THAT DOOR SHUT!”
This time the cigarette came out of his mouth so he could respond.
“I’m having a god damned cigarette .. I’ll be ready in a second .. now Threepio, translate that for the Hutt over there. Thanks.”
Edmunds ducked outside again leaving the intern laughing and the producer embarrassed.
“We’re going as soon as Edmunds is ready,” she said, her voice tempered and somber.
Finally, the VWF superstar and his manager, Miss Karla, walked onto the set. They took their places on the taped “x’s” on the floor and waited for some direction.
“We’re going in thirty seconds.”
Edmunds turned to Karla so she could make any last minute adjustments to his ring attire. Instead she gave him the thumbs up.
“Here’s goes nothing,” he whistled.
“Here goes EVERYTHING,” Karla winked back.
The set went dead silent as the producers fingers counted down the three … two … one. The red light went on and Edmunds’ face went from blank to snarky.
“They say that the 2012 Ultratitle will be the most talented in the tournament’s history,” he smirked. “And they’re right .. because this is the first time in Ultratitle HISTORY .. that Sean Edmunds has taken the time out of my precious schedule to step inside the ring to vie for the Ultratitle.”
“But don’t get him wrong,” Karla chirped. “Just because this is Sean’s first Ultratitle tournament … it doesn’t mean that he hasn’t been prepared for the fight of his life.”
Edmunds planted his hands on his hips and smiled wide.
“What better way to top off a stellar year than to win the Ultratitle tournament?”
The rhetorical question lingered in the air.
“I know that many of you have wondered .. ‘Why, Sean, where have you gone? It’s been almost two years since we saw you wrestle in one of this circuit’s rings.’ And some others know damn well where I have been. Between my touring schedule with WARPED Wrestling .. and my contract with the Viking Wrestling Federation, I haven’t had much time to dedicate to this circuit.” He shrugged. “Not like I have minded, let me tell you that. A pay raise, a couple of championships … hell, even some vacation time here and there… not much to miss, really.”
Edmunds raised his hands and waived it all away.
“But you don’t care about that stuff … all that matters is that Sean Edmunds has come back home .. for a chance to become the Ultratitle champion.”
“And he WILL become Ultratitle champion.”
“My opponent,” he rolled his eyes, “Jackson.” A curled lip revealed his disdain. “The first roadblock put in my path.”
“A nobody!” Karla blurted. Even she seemed caught off guard by her sudden outburst. She quickly glanced at Edmunds and then took a few steps backwards.
“Oh I’m sure he’s somebody where he’s from, Karla. But the problem is that I don’t know him.. and likewise, he doesn’t know me.” A slight sparkle in his eyes. “But I’ve got one advantage .. I know these ropes. I know these arenas. I know .. these imbeciles. So while Jackson is stumbling around trying to make sense of it all, Sean Edmunds will be there to take him down.”
The door opened apparently, because as Edmunds finished that sentence, a breeze came through and blew Karla’s hair around .. considering there was a pause in the action, it added some drama to the scene. Edmunds glanced, only for a second, before turning his attention back to the camera.
“So .. Jackson. While you may be used to the Sex .. the Violence … and the Pro-Wrestling Frontier … I am at home .. here .. in the Ultratitle Tournament.”
“Don’t adjust your television sets … I AM this Sensational.”
And with that .. the blinking red light disappeared .. leaving Edmunds and Karla standing next to a Ultratitle backdrop that flew off the wall only seconds later.
[INT. RAGNAROK- BACK OFFICE - FRIDAY APRIL 20[SUP]TH[/SUP]]
(Morning sunlight slanted across the room cluttered room, filtering down from a window high in the wall. JACKSON sat behind an enormous oak desk, the sunlight washing across the scuffed toes of his combat boots that were propped on its surface as he reclined, almost dozing.)
Mr. JACKSON? Thank you so much for holding. He's just finishing up with another client right now. He'll be with you in just a moment.
(He rolled his eyes, irritation in his voice, despite the pleasant words.)
Yeah, thanks, Sylvia. You just let him know I'm still holding. Not hanging up until I get to talk to that—
(His words were cut off by a click and more muzak. The camera zoomed in on the phone and then cuts back to JACKSON as he picked up a quarter from the pile of miscellany on the desk and began rolling is across his knuckles absently.)
****ing waste of time, if you ask me. (muttering) I'm getting too old for this nonsense.
(The cigarette smoldering in the ashtray found its way to his mouth, and he drew the smoke into his lungs, letting his eyes drift closed. JACKSON was pissed off, and it showed in the nervous movements, and the deep furrow between his brows. The music cut off again, this time with an audible click.)
Jackson! To what do I owe the pleasure? (enthusiastically)
(He paused, letting the coin drop amid the scattered papers as his feet slid to the floor.)
Want to tell me what the hell this ULTRATITLE TOURNAMENT entrant package is all about? When have I ever given you the impression that it was copasetic to enter me into tournaments without my permission?
You said, and I quote 'you were ready for a change'. This, my friend, this is change. Positive change and an opportunity to prove to the world that you've still got it!
(JACKSON sighed, shaking his head.)
That's not what I meant, man. I meant I wanted you to find me something bigger. Something better than these high school gyms across the pond and this Mickey Mouse junk where I'm only booked one a freakin' month. Something like AWF or—
Funny you should mention that place. Do you remember Cobra?
Yeah, I do. (annoyed)
(He stubbed the cigarette out in the overflowing ashtray.)
You tellin' me that washed-up freak show's in this? I thought he disappeared after all that ridiculous nonsense with the fake snake god—
He's back. So's Cancer Jiles. And Tyler Boyd's signed on for this thing too. If you make it to the finals, and Cobra does too, you'd face him. I ran through the brackets myself. That's some pretty sweet math, Bradley. You have to admit—
Don't call me that, Dick.
(Wakefield's laughter was mocking.)
Too easy to get you riled, man. Seriously. Look at the package they sent along. Check out the entrants. One hundred and twenty eight men. That's pretty impressive padding for the resume. This, for you, should be a cakewalk. Hell, some of the people in this thing, you've already seen in action. Besides, you drew easy pickings in the first round. Look at the stat sheet they sent you. Guy's name is "Simply Sensational" Sean Edmunds. Wrestles in the VWF—
Awesome. One of those dumps affiliated with CWC—
Absolutely! Maybe you can take out that anger at being eliminated from Ascension on him?
Groovy. (sarcastically) But no. If I'm gonna do this, I'll do it for my own damn reasons. Not because of some manufactured angst over some joke I never wanted to be involved with. I'll do it because…
(While he was talking, the phone clicked and was replaced with a dial tone in his ear.)
[INT. JACKSON'S HOME IN RENO - BEDROOM - SATURDAY APRIL 28[SUP]TH[/SUP]]
Hello, Sean. Your name is familiar. I don't know where I've seen it before and frankly I really don't give a crap. You don't know me. That's a given. We don't run in the same circles so this whole song and dance gets elevated importance. No lie. (derisive snort)
(Looking into the camera, the enigmatic JACKSON imagined that there was frustration behind his opponent's words. Though the man would likely not hear his words for hours, after post-production, after dissemination, after control-F and right-click in GOOGLE.)
Heard your gum-flapping, dude. I've taken it all to heart and gee whiz, it was pretty enlightening. Congratulations on having that cranial-rectal inversion and managing to still perform in this demanding career. I'm impressed. Let me be the first to tell you something you've probably never heard: cool story, bro.
(He sighed, shaking his head.)
What else can I say? You're about as unoriginal and uninspired as the rest of the endless parade of jokers I've faced in the last few months. Just another Mike Best. Just another Cobra. Just another "Cool" Cancer Jiles. You know what those idiots have in common? They lost to me. Couple of 'em lost BELTS to me. You know what those are, right? Those shiny things they give you when you do an extra good job? Yeah. Sorry, I'm probably gonna offend you here, but I have to assume you just got of the short bus and forgot to put on that helmet mommy told you to wear in case you fall down.
(He rolled his eyes. Twice.)
Simply Sensational? Nice, man. I dig that. But you know what's even cooler? I don't need to cause a ruckus. I don't need to start a movement or be a sensation. I'm a machine. I'm THE mechanical animal— my only desire is to tear you apart. I want break you into a million pieces. I want to eat you alive. Dude, hearing you talk is my holocaust, truly. I mean, this… this is me being completely desperate and saving face since you're so uber-whatever that I couldn't possibly make it past this FIRST round. Nope. Not this nobody… rookie… broken-down old guy… whatever, dude. Pick a cliché. I'm sure I've heard it eleven times already THIS YEAR alone. I'm supposed to be moved, or intimidated, or even mildly entertained by you? Was that the point? I mean once your quirky little presentation was over we're left with no substance. I hear your words and once their echoes fade I'm left asking… and your point was?
(Jackson stood up and pressed on his chest, stretching his diaphragm and rolling his shoulders. Total intimidation since he was shirtless, posing for the camera to show off his myriad of tattoos.)
You said things about people and places and stuff, but all I see is you sitting in front of a camera jerking off verbally. You know why you didn't win that VWF Royal Rumble? I'm sure I could spin a few reasons, but there's no talking to a guy like you. You're every generic, recycled, monotonous flash in the pan and at the same time you're a million times worse. Not because you're a bad guy, or because you're a special little snowflake, but because you're actually aware of how painstakingly dull you are and, in your efforts to dress yourself up, actually managed the impossible. Dude, you just made Bryan Deas look coherent. Yeah, I went there.
I'm here for one reason, man. It's not to be your stepping stone. It's not to collect some stupid cash prize— it's because I want one last crack at Cobra. We've got unfinished business that you probably don't understand. It's got to do with World Titles, y'know?
(The grimace became a smirk. A very sarcastic one, indeed.)
Get the feeling that everything you do is so deliberate; it is so masterfully assembled into this Jenga tower of rhetoric, but while everyone has tried to blow this mythical tower down from afar I'm not gonna show you any modicum of respect. I'll enter your structure. I'll come into your home and I'll melt your foundation. What will you do when it all comes crashing down? I'll devour everything thrown my way, whether it be your pain and suffering or something as nauseating as Two Girls, One Cup. I'll eat the trash you throw at me and then I'll eat your gorram soul. Why? Because I can, dude. I can and I will.
(Jackson approached the camera, hands in his pockets.)
I'll spell it out for you, man. I'm gonna win this little throw down, people in this thing are gonna start whining about my presence sullying up the whole sanctity and purity of this tournament. You'll go back to the mediocre little hole you crawled out of. I'll continue the winning streak I've been on since January. I mean, I forgot to clear that with you first. Is that cool, man?
(His sarcastic laughter followed the video feed into oblivion as his promo budget ran dry.)
The camera zoomed in and out as it tried to focus in the dimly lit hotel room of “Simply Sensational” Sean Edmunds. It’s quite obvious from his half-dressed body that Edmunds’ attention was diverted from something else and to the latest promo released from his first-round opponent.
He bent down to look into the camera.
“You are going to not only waltz by me .. but god knows how many other competitors … because you think that there’s a snowball’s chance in hell that you’ll face Cobra in the finals of the 2012 Ultratitle Tournament?”
He cocked his head to the side and raised an eyebrow.
“Now listen .. I know in new situations you PROBABLY get flustered,” he shrugged, “and I get it .. you ran your mouth a little bit too much. It happens to the best of us. So, you know, when you are packing your bags after I’ve flushed all your hopes and dreams of a Jackson-Cobra battle royale down the toilet, at least you can rest easy when I tell you that no one … and I mean NO ONE … ever took your claims seriously.”
A wry smile.
“Because it is hard to take someone seriously when their entire spiel is SO overdone. I mean, talk about the pot calling the kettle black. If I had a nickel every time I heard someone say that they don’t need the names, they don’t need the glory .. they’re a machine, they’re going to systematically break my body down until there’s nothing left … well, I’d be one of the richest men in the world. So save me your faux indignation, Jackson. Because you are EVERYTHING you hate about me.”
The spark from the lighter is carried through Edmunds’ eyes as he stared into the camera.
“You’re just a Jean Rabesque from another circuit. No false hype. No gimmicks needed… and no talent to back it up either.”
A slow inhale.
“So you can sit back and drawl on about how you’re so laissez-faire about everything .. but just remember, Jackson, while you’re cheering yourself on for being so original and ‘awesome’,” he rolled his eyes as he exhaled, “that recycled material symbol is plastered on the back of your tights just the same as everyone else.”
He reached forward and grabbed the camera before leaning back in the chair to look past the camera.
“Now, listen.. while you were sitting back playing mental hackey sack and coming up with cool catch phrases that I only heard about ten-thousand times before from people like Anarky and Felix Red, I’ve been preparing for the inevitable .. the moment when we step into the ring and you realize that all those promises of eating my trash and my soul .. are shallow. That all of those claims of entering my structure,” he pauses.. “really?” He puts up quote fingers, “ ‘Entering my structure?’ Who the f*ck says that?” He shakes his head and gets back to business.. “of entering my structure to tear down the foundation.. whatever the f*ck that means … are empty. When you realize that all of this rhetoric that you littered MY airtime with is WORTHLESS, I’ll be there to help you along that long, winding road back to whatever sh*thole you came here from.”
Edmunds stood up and carried the camera with him to the window.
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