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V for Victoralicious: IGC Match - Phil Atken (c) v. Leyenda de Ocho II

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fugginVOSS

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RP Deadline: 31st of January, 2013 - Midnight LA Time
RP Max: 3 per Character
Word Limit: None

All RPs for this contest to go here.
 

brusch

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(CUE UP: “Zizibum” by X-Ray)


(As the chords slowly begin in the beginning of the song, a pitch black room slowly gives way to a bright emerald green beacon of light. Standing beneath the beacon of light is Leyenda de Ocho, wearing his Fierce Deity mask and cloak, face down. In his outstretched arms, he holds the briefcase that was won in the Tables, Ladders and Chairs match at Sorry You’re Not A Winner. He remains frozen in this pose, as the camera slowly begins to pan around him.)


Ocho: “Immersion.”


(As the music beats kick in, FLASH CUT TO: The final battle in Legend of Zelda: Link to the Past, as Link frantically slashes his sword at the pig-beast Ganon as the floor begins to disintegrate around the border.

FLASH CUT TO: Ocho hitting an Actualizar on Eddie Whisky, immediately followed by an Actualizar on Steve ‘Axion’ Jackson in a blur of speed.

FLASH CUT TO: Phil Atken slapping a Figure Four Leg Lock onto Max Hopper, screaming for him to submit.

FLASH CUT TO: Ocho in the dark room, same pose. Camera continuing to pan around as it makes its way past Ocho’s left side. A large screen has been lit in the distance, continuing the battle scene from Link to the Past.)


Ocho: “It’s more than being a fan. It’s more than being passionate about something. It’s more than knowing everything there is to know.”


(Music pressing onwards ever faster, FLASH CUT TO: Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Link sprinting down Hyrule Castle as it crumbles beneath him; Ganon’s final curse.

FLASH CUT TO: Ocho swinging wildly from a hook suspended from the ceiling, hitting to a monstrous-looking Sylo flush with a double leg kick, crossing himself, and leaping from the top of a ladder.

FLASH CUT TO: Atken taking Magnus Destructo by surprise, hooking tights as he goes for the pin.

FLASH CUT TO: Ocho in the dark room, camera behind him. Same pose. A second screen continues following Link’s castle chase.)


Ocho: “It’s the decision you make with your life. It’s the act of being left with no other choice than to BECOME something…something more than what you were born into. Something more than your name. More than a single idea.”


(The music hitting a transitional slower section with more contemplative rhythms, FLASH CUT TO: Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, as Link is plunging from a great height through the clouds below.

FLASH CUT TO: Ocho pointing at the crowd before going for a top-rope Actualizar on a fallen Phil Atken. Slow motion as Atken slowly raises his knees, crashing hard into Ocho’s ribcage.

FLASH CUT TO: Dark room. Third screen illuminated with the scene from Skyward Sword. The camera slowly pans to the front of Ocho, who slowly lowers the briefcase to his side. The gaming videos slowly reposition themselves and surround the back of Ocho as the green light slowly dissipates.)


Ocho: “Our paths intertwine once again, Phil. Two of the most unlikely success stories in all of wrestling - the Formerly Unfortunate Champion, the 8-Bit Rookie - and yet, you and I have been the two most effective competitors to ever step foot in an IGC ring. Why is that?

For you, it’s easy to see why - you’re a cunning man, Phil. Sickly cunning, and very gifted. You’re not the man you once were, who would lack effort and drive and motivation. You’ve become something more. Wily, proud - arrogant. A cheat. A shortcut-taker, for reasons I can only imagine stem from the fear that you would come up short if you didn’t.

It’s the last part you should worry about, Phil, for you find yourself in a whole new world this time around. There are no shortcuts here. This is THREE STAGES OF ZELDA.”


(The Zelda screens continue their game scenes; LTTP with Link in total darkness shooting a Fire Wand to light the way, OoT with Link at the base of the crumbled tower with a 50-foot Ganon rising from its wake, SS with Link landing safely in the middle of a vast desert.)


Ocho: “If this match really does favor me from the start, it’s no one’s fault but your own, Phil. Others may see Three Stages of Hell…with anyone else, it’s easy enough to call it just a modified cage match followed by a ladder match and a scaffold match. But this is SUCH an opportunity to see more, Phil! To delve DEEPER. To see things as I can see them with my own eyes, surrounded by these icons of evil and good, villainy and heroes. You can only have a chance to defeat me if you truly, TRULY immerse yourself in this world, Phil, because the truth is I will battle with my blazing eyes looking forward and with every last fiber of my BEING to win the Intergalactic Championship in such a poetic, perfect manner as Three Stages of Zelda.”


(Link defeats both versions of Ganon in LTTP and OoT, while in SS he presses forward towards the Temple of Time, the image of the Triforce gleaming in the desert sun. Ocho smiles.)


Ocho: “Will you be my player 2?”


(The screens power down before the camera fades to black.)
 

Colin

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Atken: Will I be your player 2?

(FADEIN: On the Intergalactic Champion Phil Atken, standing tall and proud in front of a glistening IGC backdrop, suited to the heavens, the Space Invadered magnificence of the Intergalactic Championship rests proudly on his shoulder, gleaning brightly, no doubt from Phil's excessive shining regime. Phil has a look of disgust on his face from Ocho's question, almost personally affronted by the idea)

Atken: See, Ocho, this is the problem we have, this is why to be really quite frank that you don't deserve to be anywhere near my beloved Intergalactic Championship. This seems to be some kind of childish game to you, you seem to be so wrapped up in this amazingly mental idea of immersion that you forget that all this, this match, this battle that you've forced upon yourself, it all happens in the real world. When I punch you, you will feel it, when I kick you, you will recoil in pain, when I slap on a figure four, there is nothing more real in your life than that. You know that already Ocho, you know this isn't a matter to be trifled with, you learned that in Greensboro, you learned that as I was crowned the first, and only, may I add, Intergalactic Champion. You wanted to show the fans a video game, you wanted to fly high, you wanted to believe in those glowing screens you spent your childhood staring in to, you could act them out without consequence. Yet there was consequence wasn't there my dear Leyenda? That risk, that Actualizer, students of the game, they know that cost you the match. To try and force your idea of a fictional reality into the here and now, that's why right now, I have this...

(Phil gently pats the Intergalactic Championship resting on his shoulder.)

Atken: And you are on the outside looking in. This belt Ocho, it was made for a man like you, I get that, I understand that lust and desire you have for my title. Morton Murphy clearly agrees with the idea, to basically hand you an opportunity to carte blanche stack the odds ever in your favour. Morton, he opened the door for you, he let you have any match under the sun, he wants you to be the golden boy. He thanked the gods when you signed the contract, you are the ideal poster boy for this whole thematic the commission has going down. They don't want the bitter veteran with the world weighing on his shoulders as the guy they send out to the public at large. Especially when he has little regard for those who buy tickets to these shows. Seriously, have you seen the kind of person who sits in our audience? Not the kind I'd trust my non-existent daughter with, that's for sure.

(Atken shudders on camera at the very thought of the IGC ticket buying public at large)

Atken: Morton handed you the keys to the castle and yet those ideals that were instilled in your because your parents failed to raise you with human interaction and used a Nintendo as a babysitter substitute, they caused you to dream big. They caused you to think of this as an epic confrontation in the making, that good was about to battle evil, that this match was going to end like every single little pixel man that you idolised growing up. So you decided to toss us in a cage, up a scaffold, you decided you wanted us to scale a ladder. Some of the most brutal, bone crunching matches in this industry, matches that end careers, shorten lives, ensure that grandparents can't pick up their grandchildren. You don't realise what you've done with your immersion, do you? You think that you can drink that health potion and be right as rain. When I retire from this industry Ocho, I want to bend my knees, I want to bend my back... there's no magic elixir to heal us right back up. This youthful enthusiasm, these video game ideals, they are exactly why you should never be the figurehead of this company. To encourage this match you have set forth is to encourage more of the same. You think victory can bring you that happy ending? Maybe a princess to match?

(Atken just shakes his head sadly)

Atken: I have to ask you though Ocho, how many times did Link die by your hands? How many times did Link spin to the floor thanks to a devious eyeball laser? Sure, these games have an end, most of them have happy ending but think Ocho, think about the amount of death that you had to overcome to get there. Think about that life meter draining away time and time again, your frustration growing because you know you're the hero, you're supposed to save the day. How many times did you turn off that Nintendo in frustration? How many times did that controller smash off your wall? Those happy endings, they happen maybe one time in a hundred, are you so certain in yourself, so confident in your own abilities that this time, this time is going to be that one percent. You want to talk about immersion? How do you know this isn't the time you die in the forest? To choose this match, to choose such destruction on the leap of faith this will be the one time you reach the final boss...

This isn't the confrontation you think it is kid, this is not right vs. wrong, good against evil, this is you hoping to finally grasp your filthy paws around MY title in a match that is certain to shorten one of our careers and let me promise you right now Och, you may have created this mess but I will be the one sweeping it up. My job, as I see it, is to finally knock some sense into you, to do the job that your parents failed at... those dreams, that immersion, the obsession with the fallible hero, it has to end Ocho, it has to end before you end my career, before you end your career, before it comes crashing down on anyone within your blast zone.

To put it in terms you'll appreciate, you enter V for Victoralicious with your health bar flashing red, I didn't do all that damage but I will be the one to finish it off.
 

brusch

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(CUE UP: “Micawbers Moan” by Random.)


“I figured you would turn down my offer…shame. It could have been really cool for you, Phil.”

(The camera opens to Leyenda de Ocho, laid down upon the unseasonably mild beaches of Lake Michigan in far northern Chicago as the sun begins to set. His title-contract briefcase rests under his head as he looks up at the seemingly painted sky. He continues staring up, wearing the Fierce Deity mask and cloak, as he speaks.)

Ocho: “It could have been a mind-altering experience for you. Maybe it could have even struck a resonant chord that shattered the cold steel surrounding that shriveled Scottish heart of yours. Even though I knew it was a long shot, I had to give you the chance, Phil – I needed to give you the chance to become a part of my world because I am The Gamer, and when gamers see a scared, bitter, lonely old fool without a friend in the world, we extend an olive branch.

Once.

Maybe you’re right, Phil. Maybe these festering thoughts that have floated around me my whole life are the truth, and I’m burying it under an 8-bit layer of denial and repression. My brain COULD be broken; I could be, deep down, a ball of escapist torment that can’t handle the pressures of the real world without flipping on a veritable switchboard of hallucinations in my own mind, to the point where I truly, utterly, and unquestionably believe that I am an invincible hero, destined for ultimate triumph over the grand forces of wrestling evil that come before me, my own body be damned.”

(FLASH CUT TO: An extreme close up of Ocho’s glittering emerald eyes, returning a stern glance to the camera.)

Ocho: “Are you SURE that’s the kind of man you should be taunting in a match called Three Stages of Zelda?”

(FLASH CUT TO: The original camera angle, Ocho staring upwards at the slowly darkening sky as cold waves crash against the sands of a deserted Loyola Beach.)

Ocho: “The way I see it, Phil, there are two possibilities when it comes to me. I could be a man, completely sunken in the semi-demonic world the Fierce Deity mask takes my brain and so utterly engulfed in the idea of my own omnipotence that I will literally break myself if that means I can break you and win the title that I will not feel an ounce of pain or despair no matter what torment your black heart can come up with along the way, and I become an unstoppable force so broken and so beautiful that I usher in a grand new era for the IGC…

…Or, I’m a man, rational, calculating, in full control of my mental faculties. A man who’s faced every kind of monster there is in veritable seas of brutality and wants – no, needs – the champion to feel the same sacrifice and push himself to the same limits, setting the same STANDARDS of wrestling that so many others have put forward in the IGC, but who never get a whiff of the glory. A man who represents the best that this Commission has to offer, not because the fans want to buy Ocho masks and t-shirts, but because I’ve come out on top of war after war after bloody WAR to get here and seen too many fearless warriors put their hearts and their livelihoods on the line for a SHOT at the Intergalactic Championship to be able to stomach it when the current champion is a two-faced, gutless, conniving fiend who would rather slap another coat of polish on his championship belt than step up to the challenge of his rival with any shred of courage. A man fearless, and equally prepared to sacrifice everything there is to give if it means giving the Intergalactic Championship the place of honor it truly deserves.”

(FLASH CUT TO: An over-head shot of Ocho’s smiling face, eyes alit in the brightness of the fading sun; the staunch gaze of a knight.)

Ocho: “Pick one, the other...or both. No choice ends well for you.”

(Cut to black.)
 

Colin

The best handler ever since 2012: He is a gem
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Phil Atken stands once again proudly in front of the Intergalactic Commission's most shimmering of banner, the Intergalactic Title proudly displayed around his waist. As he looks down the camera lens, he can't help but strike a bit of a bemused smile.

Atken: Och, here I stand again, in front of one of these wonderful IGC cameras as my mind pacing back and forth trying to understand where you've started getting ideas far above your station. Has someone been on the internet reading all those lovely articles about himself? I bet he has, I bet the innanet has put a big smile on Och's icky widdle face. Cold? Calculating? Not normally words I would describe to a man who has just created the wrestling equivalent of throwing shit at a wall in match form. Facile, moronic... those seem more Leyenda-esque. I apologise if you feel talked down to... if that lit a quote unquote fire in your belly with a sense of urgency and purpose.

Phil just can't help but indulge himself as he throws up some air quotes in an attempt to amuse only him.

Atken: It must be the youthful side of things that drives people into thinking that the wrestling sport is about the dangerous and risky, that to be somebody in this industry you need to lay it all out there on the mat, you need to give the fans your blood and your sweat so that they can bottle it up and sell it on eBay the first opportunity that they get. This match Ocho, these stages, they just scream out to everyone who has dipped more than their toe into this industry that we call rasslin', it just screams out to all of us “youthful hubris”. To think that matches like this prove something, that you get to show off your heart and courage... it's... well you just don't quite understand this sport yet. It's okay, I get it, I was once like you...

I was the magazine golden boy when I first got down on the scene and danced the wrasslin' jive... whatever that means. I entered this sport with a bit of buzz, a bit of hype, I was pointed to, muttered and uttered at as a future world champion, that I would be one of the big names within a year. It's such a similar journey to your own Leyenda, make that great showing on my first day on the job, catch some eyes, get that little bit of publicity wild fire spreading, let those fans crying out for blood and guts get the show they paid to see...

I competed in a ladder match my first month in the business up against some of the best Cruiserweights in the business, although it's funny to look back to the time I was considered part of that scene. Flying around, flippin and jippin', crashing off ladder, cracking my back, cracking my skull, visiting the hospital, paying the bills, considering retirement... All wonderful and joyful memories. Hell, in that very ladder match, I actually climbed to the top, I grabbed that Cruiserweight Title, I became a champion. I started to believe the hype Ocho, I started to believe these whispers in the wind that were coming out about me. My shit? Oh lord no, that shit didn't stink. If it wasn't for the goofy ass mask, it would almost be like looking in to a mirror. The kid risking life and limb for that little bit of hype, with ideas of what the business should be... ah, if only it was that simple. I was going to slay the dragons who didn't have the courage to be true champions, hell I got pissed off when they dragons laughed and waved me off. Och, you're bringing it all back it me, all that youthful indiscretion.

Phil wipes away a non-existent tear from his eye over the delightful nostalgia of his past.

Atken: These ideas that are swimming around in that cracked skull of yours Ocho, those values that you wish to uphold by taking MY possession away from me, much like your precious eight bit vidja games, they are a relic of the past. Do you know what your defeat at my hands signified at Survivalism meant? What about my victory over the monstrous Magnus Destructo? Seems to me that this gutless coward has a little bit of a better understanding of the game that you did kiddo. Heart, courage, fighting spirit, these ideas, they are all antiquated. Those people who believe in them, those who feel that they can win through the courage of their convictions alone... those people lose out Ocho. Men like me, men who understand that this is now a thinking man's game, that you get by by holding the rulebook to the letter of the law, that you win through mind and not spirit, we're winning out. We're winning out time and time again. We realised a long time ago that our futures, our futures were worth having, that we want to enjoy retirement, that we don't want that alcoholic taint, the pill killer taint, that steroid taint the permeates our sport. If you wish to travel that path, if you want to enter that spiral, I can not stop you, hell I wouldn't if I could. It's just more blood for the blood god as I'm sure Magnus would attest to.

Ya won a ladder match Och, ya won a ladder match to get here because you were the small little runt people forgot was even there. You are not the all conquering hero, the fighter for morals and justice in the lawless wild west of the IGC. You're a scrapper with a bit of emotional drive that's got you stuck in a lions den with no way to escape. I've won my share of ladder matches too, I've been where you've been. I don't fear you Ocho, I pity you, I pity that it's going to take you ten long years to realise your error like it dead for me. I pity those days of toil you are going to endure when your star crashes back to Earth after V for Victoralicious...

Seriously, we're still calling it that?

Phil blinks a little in disbelief.

Atken: Regardless, I never used to believe our industry was cyclical and yet, here we stand. Leyenda de Ocho, about to go down the path of ruin because he still believes that all success requires is sacrifice, hard work and dedication. How many do you think have came before you Ocho with that mindset? How many Ochos do you think there have been in our sport? Ten? A hundred? A thousand?

Och, I'm doing to make sure you sacrifice everything, your body, your mind, your morals if you wish to dream of ever having MY belt around your infant paws. That's the thing Och, that's the thing, when science goes against faith, faith tends to go pop.
 

brusch

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(A dark screen. Faces with voices begin fading into the picture, fading out after each line, echoing out memories of important moments both distant and near in the career of our masked hero.

ORPHAN: “It’s like looking in a mirror, Jen…”

PERFECTION: “I don’t wanna break your heart, kid. I understand, I was there, once…”

PHIL ATKEN: “It’s okay, I get it, I was once like you…”

Atken’s line continues to reverberate into the hollow darkness. The screen fades to a bright white before slowly adjusting to the brightness of the sun, revealing a bright blue Chicago sky. The camera lowers to reveal the masked and cloaked Leyenda de Ocho, standing on the roof of a two-story building with a sign outside that reads Headquarters Beercade, a recently developed establishment in the north side.)

Ocho: “It’s the story of my year, isn’t it? Pitied for my optimism. Looked down upon for the wide-eyed innocence that believes in heart, motivation and determination. You have to wonder after a while if they’re right, and that I’m a naïve ‘kid’ with no grip on the realities of this business, that I need to be given a lesson before I find myself in a dark, dark place.

At the same time, I have to consider the sources. Seymour Almassy was a nice guy who never caught a break and let tragedy consume his mind before painting his face red and becoming Orphan. Perfection, well - Perfection has always been an egoist who warps the truth when it’s convenient for him. I’m not sure he was EVER like me.

Phil…Phil used to be just the worst. I’ve been a wrestling fan for a long time. I remember when he was YOUR Entertainment Saviour, with the certificate to prove it. I remember when he was so busy trying to stick things into Theresa Q that he got his nose busted open and lost a match to her.

That is a thing that actually happened.

These people share something in common, you know - they’re all champions. Finding that deep, cynical, sinister spot in their soul has resulted in them tapping into something they didn’t used to have, and they carried that to the top. It worked for them, there’s no question. Phil’s not the same guy he was back then, and that’s why he stands before the same generic backdrop with the same super-polished belt; he’s not here to entertain anyone, he’s focused purely on winning. And that worked out well.

But Phil…to say that I will fail without going to some sort of sullen and dark place just because it worked for you has a critical flaw:

Even at my worst, I was NEVER as bad as you.”

(CUE UP: “Helix Nebula” by Anamanaguchi.)


Ocho: “Call it buzz, call it hype, point to the fact that wrestling executives ring my phone off the hook because they want to feature me, point to the Ocho masks you see every night in an IGC crowd and use it to call me an egomaniacal, smug terrier who thinks he can fight with pit bulls a shade too early. The truth is, Phil? These sorts of insults are nothing more than you projecting your own mountain of insecurities. You couldn’t hack it when you started out as a wrestler, and so now every time a new guy comes along with a smile on his face and a belief that he can win his own way, it repulses you. It makes you venomous to see anything resembling your past, because good GOD, your past. It eats at you day and night to see this young vibrant challenger who’s just a liiiiittle too close for comfort, a liiiiiittle too hungry to take away the biggest and most important physical proof that your career means a damn now.

It’s okay, I get it.”

(Ocho looks over the ledge of the building, spotting a pile of snow near the sidewalk. He leaps from the roof, rolling as he lands in the snow. Standing, he dusts himself off and enters; dozens upon dozens of arcade machines, plus a bar at the far wall. He quickly looks around for Shorty's waitress Kim before realizing that she's in Seattle.)

Ocho: “You’re right about something else, too. This match is going to be violent. This makes you uncomfortable and angry.

Good. I’m glad.

It doesn’t matter for one second if you think I’m overly reckless and stupid for calling for Three Stages of Zelda. The fact is, you find yourself in a situation where your opponent completely accepts any and all physical and mental consequences of a match of this magnitude and scope. THIS IS YOUR WORLD NOW. DEAL WITH IT. Scoffing at me and calling this match a ridiculous and meaningless charade won’t help you deal with it any better; all it really means is that you’re terrified of this match, you’re terrified that you’ll be the one to fall off that scaffold and that maybe, just maybe this is the last fading moment of glory in the sad, wasted career of Phil Atken.

I’m not afraid to fall. I’ve leapt off ladders onto Superbeasts as recently as the last show, Phil; your fears are my advantage. Your projection of insecurities falls short to my full-hearted immersion. There aren’t any tights to grab here. There aren’t any inconspicuous low blows that I can’t answer with a shot of my own.

I offered you a chance in the beginning to share in a moment that could have been something special. I’ll show you at V for Victoralicious the world of possibilities you’re missing out on by living in your shell.

If it’s still not good enough to win the Intergalactic Championship? Well…I’d still rather be me than you.”

(Ocho begins humming the theme song to Legend of Zelda as he makes his way to the bar, orders a Diet Coke, and scours the sea of arcade towers with eyes lit up like a kid at Christmas. Fade to black.)
 

Colin

The best handler ever since 2012: He is a gem
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Atken: Perhaps, dear Och, you would prefer me to stand and present myself as champion in front of a fun fair? I hear there's a Rockin' Rollercoaster with my name on it somewhere in Bumblefuck, Idon'tnow. What about at a ping pong cabaret show? Maybe you think that would spice things up a little. I tell you what, the things that those ladies do with their vajayjays.... GOODNESS.

The Intergalactic Champion ladies and gentlemen, appearing once more in front of the esteemed IGC banner with his entirely to standard spit and shined proper Intergalactic Championship.

Atken: Cheap tricks, cheap stunts, nothing more. Why bother, in this day and age? Because it will impress the mongrels that bicker back and forth on THE BOARDS? Maybe if I done a kickin' rad flip on my skateyboard I'd be adored by the little kiddies too. Adulation, praise, where does that actually get you in the industry? Where do you go by dressing up as our dearest 20-somethings favourite vidja game guys. Sure, the guys in the crowd, they get a kick out of it, something to talk about when they're stoned out of their gourds on the way home. But what do you get out of it Och? Do you feel fulfilled? Does it give you that warm and fuzzy feeling inside that these maroons have your back? Is that REALLY what you think this industry is all about? Stunts and dress-up? Perhaps I gave you more credit than I justified.

Atken: I congratulate you though kid, I congratulate you on deciding that you want to pretend to be a WRASSLIN' HISTORIAN by dragging out a few Youtube clips of my career at its lowest ebb and deciding that NFW was the comparison I was making, that through a thought process that I can only assume also involved pixie magic that you could now compare apples to gorillas. You want real Phil Atken history? I'm sure MAH POP has some ACW and thReat tapes kickin' around the house somewhere. Maybe they'd leave you a little bit more educated... what am I talking about? Of course they wouldn't because the great and esteemed high flyer of legend, the dearest Leyenda de Ocho... he just doesn't want to learn.

You showed it yourself, time and time again veterans alike stood in front of you, looked at you down this awfully intrusive camera lens, much like I've done in this past week. We've all spent time trying to educate, we've tried to ensure that the preserve yourself in what is a very brutal industry. This isn't a holiday camp, this isn't a little vacation that you can dip in and out of however you feel fit. This is a life that you live and breathe and if you want to have a long life in this industry, there comes a time to stop putting that body on the line, to stop these stunt that impress the drunken buffoons in the crowd, it becomes time to Ocho to look after Ocho. Youth's a killer at never getting that bit, no matter how many times we beat you down. I know Orphan, Perfection and myself certain did tried to help you. Tried to get you to understand.

Phil looks down at the floor and begins to lick his lips in quiet contemplation.

Atken: Perhaps, perhaps we've reached some kind of misunderstanding my dearest Ocho. I could see that, the youthful enthusiasm barreling over the subtleties of a veteran like myself. You already cast a very, very stupid die when you decided that the stages of Zelda, that was the match for you. You decided then and there that you wanted to put your body on the line up to three times in one night against a man like me. A man, lest we forget kid, made you tap out in the middle of the ring in front of an amazingly hot crowd in North Cackalacky. Please, please do not mistake me mockery of your youthful indiscretion for fear, that would be incredibly foolish on your part... well more foolish than your part in this whole rigamarole that has already existed.

You stood up, brave and strong, perhaps bolstered by the fact that you are physically competent enough to climb a ladder and decided that you wanted to risk life and limb over and over again in one spectacle of a match. A match that I'm sure many will NEVER forget. A match that I do not doubt will cement my legacy as THE Intergalactic Champion, not AN Intergalactic Champion. I told you that way ruin lies, I told you that you will grow older and you will learn the errors of your way. That you will one day hope to by able to lift your grandchild up and give them the piggyback that Poppop Och does the best. I guess you got the impression that these warnings, these trumpets that I was sounding came to you from a position of fear... a position of concern perhaps?

Ocho, that was the three minute warning. That was the siren telling you to run indoors and protect yourself, to get down in the damn bunker and awaiting the oncoming storm that is going to rip you to shreds.

Phil looks back up at the camera, eyeing it once more directly, a manic grin sweeping his face.

Atken: I can't help but smile because I LOVE to teach lessons. I love to see that sudden sinking realistion that this bitter old fool, he can be quite dangerous when he needs to be. Y'know why Och? Y'know why? Because I UNDERSTAND this game, I know the rules, you are going to be standing in the ring across from a man who has fought in cage upon cage, climbed ladder upon ladder, hell, just for kicks, he's got up on a scaffold just to show that he can. Perhaps the question that's running through that overinflated head of yours is "how can he be ready? I heard his complaints! I saw his fear!"

That wasn't fear Och, the was your escape path, that was your safe passage, to put it into terms you may be able to understand, that was your last save point. You ignored it, you were confident, arrogant some may say because you have the one true cause, the just cause and you need violence, you need blood, you need bones to prove it. I learned a long time ago that some people, they just aren't mental learners, sometimes the uneducated, they need that physical example.

When we meet in Pittsburgh, I will be happy to give you that example, I will be only too delighted to toss you from a scaffold, to smash a ladder into your smug little face, to tear that mask up, to let blood just ooze right out of it. I relish my chance to slam your pimple ridden body into that cage mesh over and over again, your loyal following crying out, pleading with me, BEGGING ME TO STOP.

I may not like these match, I may try to stop them but if the only way a man will learn is for me to save him from himself, to save him from the dark years he is about to enter if he continues down his path. Well...

That makes me the hero.
 
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