“I meant what I said last week.”
I take a deep breath and adjust my posture accordingly. Nothing like an empty promo room and the camera’s lens to get the juices flowing.
“I didn’t come back to the Championship Wrestling Federation to make up the numbers, to take part. I came here to compete. I came here to win. To remind the wrestling world just who the hell I am.”
Was that braggadocio? Fuck it.
“Phase one was winning Golden Intentions. Truthfully, I didn’t think I had a snowball’s chance in hell of making it through that thing in one piece, let alone take the victory, but here I am. Andy Murray, 25-year veteran, number one contender.
I can’t lie: it feels pretty damn good.”
Imagine adding an accomplishment like this to your resume at 40 years old, long after most of the planet assumed you’d gone too far over the hill. Nothing like proving millions of people wrong in the space of a single match.
“Phase two? Becoming CWF World Heavyweight Champion. Summer Games awaits. Soon, I’ll learn who the hell I’m gonna take on at Wrestle-Fest, and I can’t wait. The sooner that bell rings, the sooner I can start strategizing, studying tape, coming up with the perfect game-plan… figuring out how the hell I’m gonna work my second miracle in as many months.
Don’t worry about me, though. I plan on leaving that building with the company’s greatest prize in my hands, no matter who I face. There are youngers guys in that match. Faster guys. Craftier guys. Dare I say, tougher guys. But you know what? There isn’t a single person I’m afraid of facing, because nobody around here has this old lion’s heart, that’s a promise.”
I don’t wanna get too long-winded with this. Wise men speak because they have something to say; fools because they have to say something.
Shout-outs to Plato.
“That was the two-pronged plan, but there’s been a change.”
I hoist a palm up before me.
“Let’s call it phase 2B: wiping out The Golden Paradigm.”
Oh boy, here we go…
“I knew something like this was gonna happen with Eric Dane around, but I gotta admit, it went south faster than I’d expected. Perhaps that’s a blessing in disguise, though. At least now I know who the problems are…”
But god do I wish this was Hollis.
“Pete Whealdon, I’ve no real beef with you personally, but you associate with the worst people in the universe.
That makes you my enemy.
That means I have to bloody batter you, mate.”
Little crack of the knuckles for impact. Cheesy? Absolutely, but screw it.
“I’ll keep this blunt, because I’m tired of pretending I respect people like you. I don’t. You’re a parasite, but unlike most parasites, you know this. You understand exactly what you are, but what you don’t understand is who I am.
Ask Bronson Box about that scar below his right ‘brow sometime.
Ask Eric Dane what happened to his neck the last time he met a Murray.
You think I fell into your trap? Hell, maybe this was your intention all along, but do I look worried? When you peer into my eyes, do you see fear? Trepidation? Panic.
Nah, Pete. Nah. The thing is, I’d be insulted if the Paradigm didn’t want rid of me. Now that the wacky goths have vanished, I’m about the biggest threat to your dominance this place has, and guess what? I’m not playing Mr. Nice Guy anymore. This isn’t about the world-weary warrior having one last dances before he marches off into the sunset once and for all. The CWF doesn’t need me to be a hero - it needs me to be the man.”
A twinge of pain shoots up from might right knee. A constant reminder of my mortality, no matter how much bravado escapes my lips.
One day, I’m gonna get this thing fixed.
“The old rules don’t apply anymore. I’m older, tireder, and grumpier than just about everyone else in this place, so I’m not gonna offer you a handshake. I’m not gonna pretend this is about honour and respect. I won’t bother you with any of that bullshit.
I’m done being a goddamn caricature.
And I’m done being a background piece.
I’ll stop at nothing to become CWF Heavyweight Championship. The Golden Paradigm are an obstacle between me and that goal, so I must eliminate them.
Nothing’s going to stop me.
Not Bronson Box.
Not Eric Dane.
And not The Only Star’s goddamn weed-carrier.”
A little wink for the camera.
“See you in a couple nights, Pete. Lets see how much ‘control’ you have with a fist in your face.