(Is there something in the air? Or is it his disposition? Something is different. One might say that something is amiss. It's as if somebody brushed by the immortal balance that keeps the Universe together, and sent it into sway. There is an obvious rupture in the peace.)
(And the focal point? Look into the head of Stephen Waltz.)
(The prodigy of Terry "The Idol" Anderson, SW appears on screen when we fade in from black. He is wearing typical workout training pants and a jacket, both black with blue lining, to fit the color motif of his current singlet. He stands with both arms crossed over his chest, and his hair tied back into a ponytail.)
(Behind him is the lobby of the Millenium Arena, where later in the week, several superstars will meet at Battleground: Britain. Numerous life-sized cardboard cutouts of the superstars have been set up, flanking the entrance doors like the British soldiers you'd see outside of Buckingham Palace. Every superstar stands in his own regular pose, with his arms on his hips, or folded over his chest, or at his sides with fists clenched...)
(Waltz is standing near the cut-out of Dan Ryan.)
Battleground: Britain... just around the corner. It promises to be a show that nobody will ever forget.
(He flashes a smile, but on that lacks a little of its usual flair.)
For me, it's just another Pay Per View... like Global Warfare. I am fighting another opponent... like Adam Benjamin. Only this time, it's the veteran himself, Gabriel Poe. Quite an honor to be fighting a man of that sort of legacy. It's going to be one hell of a match, that's for sure. But what does it mean to me?
It means... just another challenger.
Even now... after all this time, defeating man after man in the ring, I feel as though I've yet to break out. I've had a lot of great matches, but are any of them memorable? I feel... as if there needs to be something more. Some guys have feuds... others have a gimmick...
But what is there for Stephen Waltz? Something is missing... and it makes me feel hollow. I'm not living up to my greatest potential. I am failing my trainer, Terry Anderson, and the fans, who have been in my corner since the beginning. But more importantly, I let down myself.
A Television Champion isn't all that spectacular on its own, I've learned. He needs... a little more, just enough to give him that right amount of flair and hype to put his name on the minds of every fan tuning in to watch Revolution, or any GXW event. I want people thinking about me before I go to the ring. I want them to wonder...
Stephen Waltz... what will happen next?
What WILL happen next?
(He sighs, looking up at the face of Dan Ryan, some inches above his very own.)
Ryan... you and I fought one hell of a match. But I don't consider it man to man. I consider what happened in the first round of the Tournament to be... man to coward. Your actions in our match clearly show everyone that you don't have the guts to finish me like a man. That, or you just don't have the talent.
I expected more from you, Dan. You were a true disappointment. How fitting that my first actual loss in a singles match in GXW would be to a coward like you. It just further proves... why I deserve this belt more than you...
And, why I deserve the World Title more as well.
(He shakes his head in dismay.)
I tried to get ahold of you earlier, Dan... tried to give you a phone call. I called up Chad, and said, "This is Stephen Waltz. Get me Dan Ryan." Then...
(He looks into the camera with a humbled expression.)
Well, before I could get through, the connection fuzzed out. I don't even know if Chad heard what I said. All I could make out from the static was something about "Relaying the Message to America" or whatever, so I decided to give up on the phone call, and give you a piece of my mind before I got to talking about my match at Battleground: Britain.
And now you know how I feel. And I'm sure you don't care.
But for the past few weeks, I've been wrestling in the shadow of the Uprising, as I've been booked against members of your notorious stable time and time again. At Battleground: Britain, chances are you'll all come down to the ring again. And knowing that my opponent is in the same camp as yourself leads me to expect anything out of Gabriel Poe...
And if it's what he plans to bring, then I tell him to bring it. I learned from my mistakes... against DreamMaker, and against Dan Ryan. I vow that this dry spell will go no further. I will walk into Battleground: Britain and knock Gabriel Poe to the ground, and I will move on. And then?
Well... that's when I draw the line. I've defended this belt against enough random challengers. It's about time I defined myself more as an outstanding wrestler, as opposed to young kid with a belt and a luck streak.
(He looks at Dan Ryan's cardboard standout a moment longer, then crosses over to the other side of the room, and approaches one that is of the Blue-Haired Badass himself.)
And then there's you, Gabriel. Where do I begin? I could spend hours talking about my respect and honor. But you know something? I'm not going to go into it. I have a feeling you understand the mutual respect between us. So I won't get into it. I've been doing enough kissing butt, when I should just be telling you how it's going to be.
Dan Ryan's tactics earned him a narrow victory... but I have learned from my mistakes. To try anything like that against me a second time, Gabriel, will only come back against you. That's not a threat... but simple advice, that you'd be better off trying to fight me as an honest wrestlers as opposed to a weasly coward like Dan Ryan.
That's all I ask of you, Gabriel... a clean match between the both of us. Winner takes all, but at least whoever loses can keep his pride. Sound good?
Well, it sounds really good to me.
Let's just say it... you've had a long career. You've had memorable matches. You've had bitter feuds. You've had enemies and allies. But one things you DON'T have is a lesson in humility. That is, a big, bad veteran like you, being put down by a man who some still consider a newcomer... like me, SW.
I'm the longest reigning Television Champion in GXW history. And though your Uprising pals have managed to whisk by my matches without taking a true beating on my part, none of them have yet to have pinned my shoulders on the mat.
No man has done that. Not one. And if you think you can, I'd like to hear a damn fine reason from your lips that says why.
(He nods to the life-sized cut-out of Poe, and turns. He walks further up the lane, coming to a posing picture of himself, with the Television Title proudly held over his shoulder.)
In the past couple weeks, I have not been fighting to my fullest. As a result, I missed an opportunity to become the World Champion. Maybe I'm just getting lazy... or maybe I'm just not seeing my mistakes. Either way, I will accept nothing other than absolute victory at Battlground: Britain.
Like it or not, Poe... Uprising... I am the Television Champion. It doesn't matter who you are or where you came from... cause you're fighting Stephen Waltz, the next big thing. When you are yesterdays news--if you aren't already--I will be on top of the world.
That time draws nigh, Poe... and I take a step up at Battleground: Britain.
(He nods to the camera, with confidence.)
See you in the ring...
(He looks at his life-sized stand-up for a moment longer, then turns and goes toward the locker room area. We fade to black, dag yo.)