Quentin Scarboro is shown outside the Sydney Superdome walking through the parking garage. He has two black duffel bags of gear at his side, brushing up against his weathered blue jeans with each step. His red flannel shirt is tight to his skin, the broadness of his back threatening to rip a tear through the seams.
He hoists the bags into the back of a pickup truck and pulls a set of keys from his pocket. Now to take the rental back to the airport, and the plane back to the States.
Back to the grind, they would say.
The crowd at the Sydney Superdome was a special one, for they got to witness the first win of Quentin Scarboro in singles competition. It might not mean much to the people in those seats, but it meant everything to Big Q.
But despite the victory, despite the excitement and the "two points" in the Paramount Grand Prix, Quentin Scarboro is not smiling. He is not celebrating, no, he is quiet.
In fact, he seems quite agitated.
That sense of agitation grows ever more ruinous as Tara Robinson comes up behind him and places her hand on his shoulder.
Tara Robinson: Quentin, I'm glad I caught you.
Q: Excuse me? Show's over, Blondie. We can all go home now.
Tara: I wanted to speak to you about St. James' decision...and this inspector, Stan Summers...it seems you are getting noticed around here.
Q: What do I know about Stan Summers? Not a damn thing. Seems no one around here knows their ass from their elbow when it comes to this guy. But he thinks he knows me, he thinks he's got me all figured out...
Tara: Do you think he is already getting under your skin? Do you think that might give Stan the upper hand in competition? Is he in your head?
Q: I'm gonna stop you right there. The announcement was made, it's Q versus Scourge. Whatever Mister Summers has to say just proves that a self-righteous prick is going to be exactly that. I am not stepping into the ring with him, but something tells me we will be crossing paths soon. As for getting under my skin, yeah, he is the dirt under my fingernail. He can do what he can to piss me off, but let me tell you this. Bruce Banner is a tough dude, but you wouldn't like him when he's angry.
Tara: Are you going to channel that anger into your rematch against Scourge? Plenty would argue that you did nothing to deserve the second chance.
Q: Yeah, St. James said he sees potential in me...excuse me if I don't take that seriously. I left that match with Ryan Dream white knuckled, and I left that building hot blooded.
Tara: Hot blooded? Why? Shouldn't you be happy, estatic to have second life in your quest to become Paramount champion? How is that fair to Scourge to switch his opponent in the 11th hour?
Q: What is fair to Scourge is none of my concern. Scourge is one hell of a competitor, and he can handle his business inside that ring and out. In fact, you could argue that Scourge has nothing to lose here. He is in the title affair at Confliction -- win, lose, or draw. All the pressure is on me. Pressure makes cracks and pressure makes diamonds. Which do you see in front of you?
Tara: I guess that remains to be seen.
Q: That remains to be seen because so far it's been a game of moving targets. Week one, I defeated Max Becker, that big German bastard was at the top of the game. He dropped one to the rookie Scarboro and suddenly Mister Becker is sent packing. Ryan Dream took me to my limit in the middle of that ring early in the show, and they didn't even wait until the end of the show to "future endeavor" that guy.
Tara: They only retain the best of the best in the Championship Wrestling Federation.
Q: I get it, but let's not pretend that we don't see the damning overtones. Let's not ignore the implications. Who the hell has Quentin Scarboro beat? What has that guy done? It is clear to me what rung I occupy on this hierarchy ladder. It's clear to me that I am just one mis-step away from joining those guys in the box of discarded toys. I won't let it happen.
Tara: Win that belt, and implications and assumptions will be damned, I will tell you that.
Q: Would it make a difference though? Or is the narrative still going to be that I am the rookie that doesn't belong here? I lost to Scourge before, and I could lose to him again...or this could be my moment of redemption. I could get my retribution and punch my ticket to Confliction and compete for the Paramount championship live on pay per view.
Tara: That sounds exciting. Off the record, I'm rooting for you.
Quentin flashes a sarcastic smile.
Q: Off the record, I feel you are rooting for me to fail.
Tara: I sincerely apologize that you feel that way.
Q: Scourge will be ready, he proved that in our last encounter. I took him to the brink of exhaustion in that match, but I didn't bring my all. You say I should channel the anger. I have anger, I have resentment, I have disappointment. I have agitation and I have an overwhelming sense that I am being disrespected in that locker room. I am going to take all of that and channel it into a ball of fury unleashed onto Scourge.
Tara: The best thing you can do to push back against that is prove yourself. It may just be a matter of time.
Q: Believe this then, Blondie. Big Q is here to stay here for the long haul. Rome wasn't built in three matches. This race horse is gonna be around for plenty'a rodeos. I have a second chance in front of me, I never asked for it but I sure as hell don't plan to squander it. Whoever has a problem with me can talk to my fist. Any further issues and they can get a knee to the face.
Tara: This aggression, you will need that to fuel you to victory Tuesday. I think you are starting to see what it takes to succeed in this business. When I called you a courageous, but naive man, I didn't mean that as an insult.
Q: Oh, no, not naive, Tara. I just wasn't paying attention. My eyes weren't open, that focus wasn't there. When I stepped into that ring with Scourge a few weeks ago, I was a different person. Today never happened before, today I am a new person. Today I approach this match like I never failed and could never fail again. I just want to make one thing perfectly clear to Scourge. I am paying attention now...and I am about to tie this thing up.
Tara: You sound motivated, at least.
Q: Yeah, I mean, I'll bring the fight to Scourge in the middle of that ring and the better man will win. Then, the better man will hoist that gold strap for all to see the following week....and the better man is trying to pack his bags and get back to the States if you don't mind, Miss.
Tara feigns shock momentarily before taking a step back.
Tara: My apologies, I'll let you get going.
Scarboro makes his way to the driver side door, waving off to Tara before muttering under his breath.
Q: Yeah, let's all hope Summers doesn't start inspecting your over time hours.
He makes his way into the truck and slams the door shut quickly.
These people don't get it.
They just don't get it.
The rookie doesn't get the spotlight until he does something, but all his accomplishments have been completely undermined and discredited thus far.
That's okay. That's just gasoline to a powder keg, giving birth to a fire completely ablaze.