The scene opens on the living room of Nathan Paradine's house in Companion, Minnesota. The room is in semi-darkness, the curtains are drawn over the windows, although the mid-afternoon sun is peeking through providing a sliver of light. The Australian Submission Machine is laying on the sofa, a forearm across his face, and you'd almost think he was sleeping from the slow, rhythmic moving of his chest. On the floor next to him is his phone, and it suddenly lights up to show the last notification he received, which was a text message with only two words;
Paradine grunts, and shifts his arm to turn his head and peer at the phone. He reads the notification again, for at least the tenth time, and scowls. He snatches the phone up and acknowledges the message before tossing it back down onto the carpet and rolling over to face the sofa, his back to the rest of the room. Suddenly he speaks, his voice muffled but still somewhat audible.
Paradine: "Goddamn Jon Stewart. Goddamn Jaiden Rishel. Hell, goddamn Christopher St. James. I came back to America because I was told Hostility would be rising from the ashes to become to great promotion it once was. Turns out I was fed a whole lot of bullshit, and me being the fool I am, smiled and told the powers that be how much I liked the taste. The Hostile Elite? I'm just a Hostile exile, now. There will never be a place like Hostility again, and it was a stupid idea to try and pretend otherwise."
Paradine shifts on the sofa, still with his back to the camera. Several moments pass in silence before he speaks again, his voice choked with emotion.
Paradine: "You give everything... every single little bit of yourself for something, and you get nothing in return. Shuffled back and forth between two places that don't really care about you. The others saw this sham for what it was; Talon, Bond, Ozric... Hostility died years ago, and this piss-poor imitator flopped under its own hubris. What's left for me now? Persist with the CWF, the lone remnant of a dead revival?"
Paradine rolls over, still with the same scowl on his face. He takes one breath, and then another, composing himself before he speaks again. When he does his voice is balanced and clear.
Paradine: "There is something left to do. Hostility might be dead and buried, but the one thing that's keeping me going is the thought of sinking my fist into Lindsay Troy's face at Vertigo. It's funny... so many milestones in my life start with an event, something really big. Like when I broke the neck of Cody Williams in Japan, fifteen years ago. Or watching when Xander Daniels beat my ex-wife into a coma. Moments that created enduring rivalries that defined a career. Nothing so simple as interference in a match that cost me a victory. It could have been anyway else out there Lindsay, and you'd probably be fine. Nothing would have happened... it's your bad luck that it just so happened to be me that you screwed over.
You see, I have a bit of a tendency to hold a grudge. Speaking of Cody Williams... I don't think you'd know who he was. He was an upstart who insulted me one night, and I responded in kind by breaking his neck twice. It wasn't a sudden thing; I waited and bided my time until I had the perfect opportunity, and then I struck. I don't know where he is now, and quite frankly I don't give a damn. I just want you to know that when you're on my shit list, bad things tend to happen to you. Now you're a girl, and you're new, I could understand if you didn't understand who I am and what I do. I was willing to let you off easy... but then you just had to go and push my buttons again when you interfered in my match against The Shadow."
Paradine sits up on the sofa and sighs.
Nathan Paradine: "Lindsay, you've kinda pissed me off a bit now. I know it's your thing to aggravate people, but you've picked the wrong person to do it to. There's a person like you in every classroom, in every workplace... obnoxious, loud, irritating, and worse, they're proud of that fact. They wear it like it's a badge of honor, the fact that their defining ability is that they just naturally make you want to punch them. That's why it's going to be so easy for me to beat the hell out of you, Troy. Each punch, each slap, each kick will be a rebuttal to the endless stream of shit that spews from your mouth like a torrent of verbal diarrhea."
Paradine stands up and approaches the opposite wall. The room itself is sparsely furnished, but the wall he is approaching is full of framed photos of different moments from his career; wrestling in Japan as The Nomad, debuting against Travis Williams in the sVo, defeating Chuck Norris in Hostility, and winning both the sVo and Hostility World Heavyweight Championship titles. There's a gap towards the side of the wall over, and Paradine reaches out a hand to touch it.
Paradine: "I'm saving this spot for a photo after our match at Vertigo, Lindsay. I reckon it'll be a great shot of you beat down and bloodied while I stand triumphant. Kinda like a modern Ali versus Liston, you know? Some bloody award winning photo, right here. I don't know what the hell Stewart has cooked up for us with this Mystery Box match, but I'm not stranger to ladders, or tables, or chairs. In the ring, submission might be what I aim for, but it's certainly not all I'm capable of. Whatever match it ends up being, the result is always going to be the same; victory for Nathan Paradine. And that isn't a prediction, it's a spoiler."
Paradine turns away from the wall and smirks; his attitude reinvigorated at the thought of beating Lindsay Troy at Vertigo.
Paradine: "Hug your family. Eat a good meal. Reassess your future. You can flap your gums and talk all you want Lindsay, because I am done listening. At Vertigo, it'll be my fists doing the talking for me; we'll see how easy it is to make a quip through mashed lips and broken teeth. I don't doubt you'll come up with something very witty and funny to say to me for a promo, since we both know you can talk the talk... but the walking the walk? Well, that's another story. See you at Vertigo, mate."
The scene comes to an end with a close-up shot on a very confident Nathan Paradine. Could the Australian Submission Machine be biting off more than he can chew when it comes to the Queen of the Ring? Everything will be settled at Vertigo... one way, or another.