(Fade in to an overhead shot of Malcolm Joseph-Jones at a bench press in a Gold’s Gym, sweat pouring down as he finishes an hours-long workout. He sits up, his once-light gray Millsaps College tank top now reminiscent of rain-slick concrete. He towels down his face and reaches for his purple sports drink, his gigantic hands nearly enveloping the bottle. He grins and continues to chuckle to himself.)
MJ2: “Liftin’ is just a ball, y’all. Gets me all SWOLE.” (MJ2 bounces his pecs.) “Feels pretty damn good.
But there’s some things that feel better. WAY better.
Did y’all see me straight up Pacquiao Larry Tact? Chump. Dropped him on his head so hard that he’s on the SHELF, where he belonged in the first place. ‘Severe Concussion’, they call it. Wouldn’t be shocked if he can’t think straight for a long time. Maybe he retires.
What happened to Larry Tact is somethin’ I SAID would happen…a freight train of destruction and wreckage that ALLLLLL the locker room’s gonna feel. It’s no threat. It’s no promise. It’s no guarantee. It’s straight up What Is Gonna Happen To Y’all Period, end of sentence.
Act one is complete. Act two…” (Malcolm glare-grins.)
‘Nark, I forgot to ask you, dog: how’d that table taste in Round 2? Remember when I manhandled you and threw you off the top? Put you away on a stretcher? An inch here or there, possibly putting you in the same boat as Larry Tact?
Of course, you and I both know what happened after that…Aaron Jones flailed around like a jackalope and kept me from gettin’ a move on. If I could go back, I might’ve thrown his ass off the top too, just to get his sorry excuse for ‘trying’ out of my damn ring. Because I didn’t, Rezin got to stick around and fight back. Got to spray shit in my face, toy around with the worst wrestler on the roster, and give you enough time to recover and pin the Slim Jim.
And you know, props where props are due - you were a man that day to decide ‘fuck it, Rezin ain’t makin’ this happen, I gotta pin Aaron myself’. Kudos n’ shit, as they say. If I had it my way, Aaron wouldn’t even BE in EPW, and you and I both know what would happen if that scrawny-ass kid was standing on the other side of that ring. But instead?
Instead, I get the chance to earn somethin’ I’ve had my eye on since day one - your gold, sucka. The anomalies of Rezin and Aaron Jones are gone. The distractions are gone. Your reign as the Anti-Champion? Gone.”
(Malcolm stands before the mirror, adjusting his workout goggles and admiring his general girth before winking at a yoga instructor passing by, to her disgust/intrigue.)
MJ2: “Cuz I’m gonna TAKE it from you. I’m going to leave you BLEEDING, and internally or externally is really your choice. Maybe I’ll concuss the dogfuck out of you like Larry Tact, maybe I’ll use you to shatter another table. Maybe I’ll curb stomp you on the steel steps. It’s just so FUN to think about all the possibilities!” (A shiver runs down Malcolm’s back as he grins uncontrollably.)
(FADEIN to a simple locker room. Anarky is slumped over. Empty beer cans litter the floor. The EPW Television Anti-Title lies strewn amongst them.)
ANARKY: “A man is only as good as who he is to himself. The world... the fans... his friends and family...
“They’re incidental. Casual observers.
“A man must be able to live with himself. With who he is. With what he has done.
“I’m choking on it. On every lie I tell myself. On every rationalization I make.
“This game... this game has passed me by. I’m a step too slow. A muscle strain too far.
“I’ve taken too many bruises and broken bones and stitches and disappointments.
“I look out at that ring and I don’t have a f*cking thing in common with you people. Your shameless pandering. Your ego-driven tirades. Your nonstop politicking. Your three-point debates. Your bullsh*t evidence as if this was a courtroom.
“I’m so sick of it... so sick of what it’s done to me. What it’s done to this business.
“I’m ashamed I’ve contributed to it. This Empire... did I help build this? Is this my fault?
“I’d wish you luck, Malcolm, but you won’t need it. Did you watch the last Aggression?
“I’m done. I’m weak. I’m sad and pathetic. A shell of what I once was.
“Whatever it is I used to stand for is gone now. The sad reality is all I have left.
“So let’s get this charade over with, Malcolm.
“Because if I can’t be me... if I can’t be what I stand for.. what I believe in.
“If I can’t be the truth...
“... then I am nothing.
“Wins and losses come and go. But when we betray ourselves. When we betray what we are.
“We have nothing left. And when I became the hypocrite I hated... when I became the monsters I have despised all this time...
“Then there’s nothing left for me here. No revelations. No catharsis.
“This is all a lie. And I know you can live with it.
“But I can’t.”
(FADEOUT as he lights up a cigarette, staring straight into the camera, his exhausted eyes depicting a broken man.)
“Brother, if the name of the game is ‘Anarky Rolls Over and Dies’, I’m your Huckleberry.”
(The camera opens to Malcolm Joseph-Jones getting fitted for a three-piece suit - black jacket and pants, black shirt, electric purple tie. Super-stylish black and purple browline glasses. A freshly trimmed goatee and his spiky hair give him the look of a less-smiley Dhani Jones. A tailor works with a tape measure as Malcolm motions to the suit and addresses the camera.)
MJ2: “Italian silk - gonna pay for it with the check I get for bein’ a champion. You like it? Some nice colors. Might need it for a funeral in a few weeks, figured I’d plan ahead. Only worry is I might bust through it if my muscles get any bigger. So don’t fuck this up, you got it, tailor?”
(The bald old man measuring Malcolm’s pants nods and goes about his business.)
MJ2: “You see, I was already planning for my coronation as the new EPW Television Champion before you decided to drunk-dial a camera crew and throw yourself a little pity party for losin’ a match. Look at yourself. Shameful. One of the most talented motherfuckers on the planet, a guy who’s held the big belt and was turnin’ the TV Title into somethin’ REALLY interesting, crying over spilled milk because things didn’t go his way.
I didn’t expect it to end like this…don’t get me wrong, I expected to WIN, but I didn’t expect Anarky the Great and Powerful to pull a Munchkin and hang himself out back.
That’s the difference between you and me, Anarky - I don’t get sad. I get angry. And then, I get even. And then? I take anything I want. Because I can - and because at this point, I’m a nigh-unstoppable MACHINE OF DESTRUCTION who would love nothing more than your ass on my mantle.
The timeline’s already workin’ out that way. Cameron Cruise beat me with a fluky roll-up; I got angry. I shook Larry Tact’s brain. I got motivated. I got a shot at gold, a shot at somethin’ I’ve been saying from DAY ONE I deserved - and it’s all coming together just so wonderfully.
This whole existential crisis you got going on? Save it. I’m not here to be your Dr. Phil. I don’t give a damn if you and your pal Rezin have wasted the mountain of talent you possess on a pile of cheap booze and shitty weed…as far as I’m concerned, this is kharma paying you the hell back, and I am kharma’s greatest instrument. I will send shockwaves through your entire BODY for daring to step foot in my ring as a hollowed-out shell of waste.
And you’re damn right I won’t need luck - because it’s already over. You’ve already thrown yourself in the coffin.
And at Unleashed?
I’m nailin’ it SHUT.”
(The tailor seems finished with his measurements and says something to Malcolm, extending a hand for a shake. Malcolm shoves him away and walks off as the camera fades to black.)
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