FADE IN"THE STANDARD" LANCE SPENCER stands, hands resting on hips, with a 'The House of Pain' backdrop at his six. The three years since his appearance in CSWA have been good to Spencer, who looks to have added considerable strength to his 6'6" frame. He sports light blue, faded jeans and a black T-shirt which reads "Setting Higher Standards since 2006". Spencer runs a hand through his messy, bleach blonde hair, and flashes a pearly white grin.
Spencer: "Its been a long time since I've found myself in this neck of the woods. Three damn years if I remember correctly. It was three long years ago, I entered the CSWA Gold Rush as a wet behind the ears, nineteen year old kid making his professional debut. Standing in front of me were wrestling's finest - guys and gals like Eli Flair, Lindsay Troy, and Troy Windham. While I may have entered that match a greenhorn ..."
Spencer pauses, and his smirk dissipates.
Spencer: "I left a man."
Spencer: "Now, here I am again. In the same damn spot."
He shakes his head with disapproval.
Spencer: "This is like a bad April Fools joke. Are we serious with this play-in match? Lance Spencer is relegated to earning a chance to compete? Against a lifelong independent wrestler no less. Somebody in TEAM screwed the pooch on this one, boys and girls. Had I known that I would have to hold TEAM management's hands throughout the seeding process, I would have taken time from my busy schedule to do so. Unfortunately, the proper measures were not taken and now I have to fly to Bumsville, Michigan to blast some poor bum who, by all means, should be washing my car on the weekends."
"Annoyed or not, this Vegas boy is going to play the cards dealt to him. Bad news for you, Nate Dakota, very bad news. Not only will you be entering my personal playground, the ring, squaring up with the finest damn wrestler the business has to offer, and not to mention the most naturally, phenomenally built superstar today, but you'll be facing Lance Spencer when he's the most dangerous ...
Spencer stops, yanno, for effect.
when I need to make an example of somebody."
Spencer runs his hands through his hair again.
Spencer: "Don't go and nominate me for the 2009 All-Arrogance Award just yet. I only tell it like it is - all day, every day. I realize the position you're in Dakota, I really do. I was in the same position three years ago. You're looking to etch your name in wrestling's annals. More bad news, buddy.
We'll meet in Lansing, and may the wrestling God's have mercy on you."
FADEIN The early morning hours in Las Vegas are still all hustle and bustle; gamblers and drinkers stumble from their favorite casinos or watering holes, but one man is up for other reasons. Panning away from the strip, the shot now picks up a pristine Aston Martin V12 hanging a right and rolling to a stop in an empty parking lot. Zooming in, the first glimpse of the broad shouldered, handsome “THE STANDARD” LANCE SPENCER is caught as he flings open his door. Spencer’s attired in gray USC sweatpants and another hot piece of merchandise, his “Raising the Bar” T-shirt, which shows a cartoon Spencer holding “standards” high above other flailing and fallen cartoon superstars. He rotates his neck toward the camera, and pulls his aviator sunglasses down the bridge of his nose.<o></o> <o></o> “Hear that?<o></o> <o></o> Spencer, pausing for a few moments, lets a smirk form across his face.<o></o><o></o>
“Nothin’. <o></o> <o></o> Spencer slams the driver’s side door shut.<o></o> <o></o> “That lack of sound is the realization that Nate Dakota has a bull’s-eye imprinted on his chest. You see, Nate Dakota probably finished up another lackluster show, slunk home to the trailer park, and hopped on his fancy Google Machine. Then chicken pecked his way onto a search engine and typed in the finest damn name in wrestling – Lance Spencer. Next, right before his eyes, my name got more hits than a Cheech and Chong movie. Clicked on the first site available and, larger than life, what do you think he saw?<o></o> <o></o> YOU’RE F*CKED<o></o> <o></o> “Good luck finding truer words. I doubt he’ll even show up in East Lansing; if he does, it’ll prove to be the least prudent business decision he’s ever made. Works for pennies on the dollar and buys himself a ticket to partake in the TEAM festivities – problem is he shows up in Michigan, then I promptly jackslap him into reality and give him a first class beating that’d make Bobby Brown shed a tear. No need for a return flight; they’ll stretcher his sorry excuse for a human carcass out of that popsicle stand of a venue. <o></o> <o></o> Spencer turns his head and lets loose a mighty spit.<o></o> <o></o> “Its just the cold, hard truth, Dakota. This isn’t the bible, and you’re not David.<o>
</o><o></o> “You got a bum draw. TOUGH.<o>
</o><o></o> “You may be the first, but you damn sure won’t be the last to feel that lump in your throat when you see your name lined across from “The Standard” Lance Spencer.<o></o> <o></o> Spencer, beaming, points his thumbs toward his chest.<o></o> <o></o> “That’s when you understand just how out of your league you really are.”<o></o> <o></o> …FADETOBLACK<o></o>
(OOC: sorry for late response. saw thread late and work has been a beast. hoping this won't be my last before deadline. but... it is what it is. thanks.)
(OPEN: The palette is one of muted grays and dark reds. Dakota is seated on a nondescript stool before a TEAM backdrop. Arms folded across his chest, he appears occupied.)
I'm going to be honest, Spence. I'm gonna have a very hard time taking you seriously. It's somehow fitting that your very own t-shirt depicts you as a 2-dimensional cartoon...
Don't get me wrong. Once that bell rings, the lights set, and the ref gets out of our way ... I'm all business. You're an opponent that the TEAM Executive Committee has deemed a fair opponent for me given my very recent return to the business and I take that - and this Play-In bout - VERY seriously.
(CUT: Tight headshot.)
It's YOU and how you carry yourself that I'm having a hard time with.
And here's the crux of it, friend. Here's what it comes down to... you're text-book. You're bland, unoriginal, uninspiring, and downright uninteresting. I'll apologize for not getting right back to you after your initial promo ... but I'm pretty sure I fell asleep half-way through it. You wasted little more than four seconds before name-dropping "some of the greats" you shared a ring with once, as if SOMEHOW being in that contest meant YOUR run-of-the-mill, vanilla-flavored name could be mentioned in the same breath with theirs withOUT being laughed at.
You use every corny cliche and hackneyed insult you can scrounge for; there's nothing original about invoking "wrestling God's" and nothing "current" about Bobby Brown or Cheech and Chong references.
(PAN BACK: Dakota hops from the stool, right hand going into his faded bluejeans pocket. The left hanging absently at his side.)
There's nothing that sets you apart from the pack, Spence. Not your cliche t-shirt. Not your fancy sports car. Not your obnoxious sunglasses or your fake tan. You probably look and sound now a lot like you looked and sounded THEN, when you showed up for that GoldRush event 3 years ago that you're STILL crowing about. You say you became a man after that match, and I wonder ... after the TEAM Invitational comes and goes and you disappoint AGAIN. After your "Standards" are exceeded and the "Bar" you've so desperately been trying to "Raise" has been vaulted, I've gotta wonder...
What's that gonna do to that polished, manicured man-sized ego of yours?
After you choke in the TEAM Invitational this year you'll likely continue to be who you are: A kid who's WAY too full of himself... with very little reason to be. Maybe, when it's all over, with even LESS reason.
Part of me, probably the parent in me, wants to pull you aside... maybe give you the "tough talk" that all brash, young punks get eventually when the camera's not rolling. You know, explain the business to you.... help you modernize your already-tired shtick a bit. Smooth over your VERY predictable edges. Part of me almost wants to help you formulate a real, UNIQUE presence. Part of me wants to do that.
(CUT: Extreme close up of the charcoal eyes of Nathan Dakota; stern and unyielding.)
But a bigger part of me, the better part of me, wants to absolutely crush you where you stand.
(CUT: Alternate side shot. Dakota turns to face the new angle, retaking his seat on the stool and shifting his weight.)
You want to write me off as just a "lifelong independant wrestler"? Have at it. Look at me as a "trailer-park bum"? Feel free. You are FAR from the first snot-nosed, arrogant prick who I've picked apart, piece by piece, just to watch the look on his face when he realizes just who he's REALLY in the ring with.
I'm not going to guarantee a win or paint myself out to be "the biggest name in wrestling". I'm not you. I'm a Professional. I've been doing this for the better part of the decade and have - til now - been content to headline the indy's, invest my money smart, carve out my own place in this world and live out my days doing what I do best. I agreed to compete in this tournament because I have something to prove. Not to the world. Not to mommy and daddy, which I suspect is where some of YOUR issues lie. But to ME.
(CUT: The TEAM logo. SLOW PAN back, bringing Dakota back into the shot.)
Call me every shallow, banal, vapid name in your 10-year old Insult Book. It's not gonna phase me. Dust off Dad's Lamborghini or Grampa's Rolls Royce. It won't impress me. Hit your hair with another gallon and a half of bleach and go ahead and give yourself another twenty in the tanning bed. Won't make a difference. In the end it's ALL flash and NO thunder.
Me? I prefer substance over style... and in East Lansing, Michigan -- just a short trip down the road from my hometown, no shock to YOU, I'm sure -- I'm going to overwhelm you with substance. You're gonna FEEL the thunder before you HEAR it and suddenly where you've been, who you've beaten, and who you're wearing won't matter...
It's gonna be hard for me to take you seriously, Spence. But I'm gonna do it. It'll be hard to look past that clearly plastic persona of yours and see anything other than a fractured little boy in there. But I'm gonna do it. I'll probably have to force myself to remember that you're probably not as unimaginative in the ring as you are in the REST of your life.
But I'm gonna do it. Because I have something to prove. And beating you is just the next step on that path.
(CUT: Dakota returns Spencer's smirk back to him.)
See you when I see you, Spence. Go work on that tan.
“Today’s class is Hypocrisy 101.<o></o> <o></o> FADEIN Lance Spencer stands in front of a TEAM backdrop in East Lansing. <o></o> <o></o> “Rule Number One. Don’t use the words professional and all-business or use phrases like “hard time taking you seriously”. The closest you’ve been to primetime wrestling or a promotion that matters is watching YouTube clips of real wrestling. I did a little research, and found you wrestle in a little place called Las Vegas Wrestling? Only problem is apparently nobody knows or gives a damn about LVW. Hell, I live in Las Vegas – never heard of it. I pushed on though, which turned out to be a colossal error. Last I saw, albeit briefly, you wrestled a BOWLER.<o></o> <o></o> “Professional?<o></o> <o></o> “All-Business?<o></o> <o></o> “Serious?<o></o> <o></o> “Give me a break. You’re a joke.<o></o> <o></o> Lance’s expression takes a serious turn, as he flashes two fingers.<o></o> <o></o> “Rule Number Two. Watch what you say after calling wrestling’s best vanilla and bland. I’ve actually never heard anybody say they fell asleep during a promo, how innovative. Not only do you claim that, but then you proceed to recite everything I said – odd how that works. Through all your blabbering, I realized you’re mildly entertaining. Not in the Lance Spencer sense of selling out arenas across the globe, but in the midget and dancing bear kind of entertaining. Everything you say has been said before, and yet you want to call me unoriginal? I’m quite simply the best around – that alone makes me original, unique, and better than you.<o></o> <o></o> Lance adds another finger.<o></o> <o></o> “Rule Three. Try not to paint yourself as a parent figure – especially when you’ve failed epically as you did with your own child. I think if I had to be around a failure and listen to your monotone promos daily, I’d hop in a car with a stranger offering candy, too. Not to worry, somewhere – maybe with you, maybe not – your son can at least tune in and watch Lance Spencer in the spotlight. Week in and week out, I talk the talk and walk the walk – that’s worth modeling yourself after, Nat. It beats average Joes like you sitting down with your kids and explaining why daddy is a miserable failure and always will be. <o>
</o><o></o> So save the daddy talk, Nat.<o></o> <o></o> You’re not my old man, Dakota, but I’ll stick your ass in a retirement home all the same.<o></o> <o></o> You’re going to give me a talk about the business? You don’t know anything about the business. You’ve never been the guy or even sniffed the promotion. And you’ll never attain that honor because you are what you are - a weekend warrior who thinks he’s magically going to transform from lifelong zero into talent overnight. You’ve got something to prove to yourself? You should have worried about that ten or fifteen years ago when it mattered. Now, it’s just the cold, harsh realization that you’ve amounted to nothing. Your crowning achievement in wrestling will be stepping into the ring with “The Standard” Lance Spencer, falling hilariously short of the bar, and then moping back to the indy hole you crawled out of.<o></o> <o></o> You think after squabblin’ with bowlers and other losers, like yourself, that you’re suddenly going to step into the ring with the world class athlete and be successful? <o></o> <o></o> You’ve been watching too many movies, Cinderella Man.<o></o> <o></o> Lance, hands rubbing together, chuckles.<o></o> <o></o> “I know who I’m in the ring with, Nat.<o></o> <o></o> “I know you can’t compare yourself with wrestling’s elite – you’re not even on our radar.<o></o> <o></o> “You will, however, claim to be a professional over and over and over. Newsflash. You aren’t.<o></o> <o></o> Lance tosses up a fourth finger.<o></o> <o></o> “Rule Four. Jealousy is not very befitting. I can imagine a pathetic man such as yourself would dream of being Lance Spencer. Damn good looking, a physique that indy wrestlers will never have and women have multiple orgasms over, and more wrestling ability than East Lansing can even contain. I’ve gotten anything and everything I ever wanted, and by my own hand. Not through my parents or my grandfather – you see, I come from a long and distinguished wrestling family, Nat. I respect wrestling more than you can imagine, and that’s why I’m “The Standard”. <o></o> <o></o> You think you respect wrestling? <o></o> <o></o> I refer you back to Lesson One.<o></o> <o></o> Bowlers.<o></o> <o></o> Everything you say is hypocrisy laced, overwhelming jealousy, or sheer incompetence.<o></o> <o></o> Lance begins walking away, but stops, turning back toward the camera.<o></o> <o></o> “That all flash and no thunder was pretty cute, too.<o></o> <o></o> “I’m all flash, you’re all thunder. <o></o> <o></o> “I agree, Nat.<o></o> <o></o> Lance smiles and shakes his head.<o></o> <o></o> “Thunder’s never killed anybody – can you say the same for a flash of lightning?<o></o> <o></o> Lance chuckles.<o></o> <o></o> “The harder you try, Nat, the more you look like an amateur.<o></o> <o></o> Lance walks away.<o></o> <o></o> OFF-CAMERA: “You can never be me, and you damn sure won’t ever beat me.”<o></o><o></o>
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