Colorado Springs, CO
About thirty minutes after the end of Vertigo, backstage...
Dan Ryan is just finishing packing up his things as Lindsay Troy stands near the door. Her wry smirk is met with a similar smirk from the former World Champion.
"I'm headed out to the car. You comin'?"
"I'll be out in a few."
Troy turns to leave, shutting the door behind her. Ryan's gaze follows as she goes, and as the door closes behind her, he picks up him phone and hits the first contact that pops up. After a few moments, a female voice answers on the other end.
"Hey. Yeah, it's been over for about half an hour..."
"Yeah... yeah, it went great actually..."
"No, I lost the championship..."
"Well, we threw him off of the stage and then kicked his brother in the face, so that was pretty good...."
There's an audible chuckle on the other end of the phone, thought we can't hear the muffled response.
"Yeah, you know how it is. I'll get it back. I'm not worried about it...."
"Yep, headed to the airport now -- we've got Kansas City next week. I know Cecilia's out at practice, so let her know I called. I'll give her a ring when I get to Missouri..."
"Yep... me too. Good night...."
Ryan clicks the home button on the phone and slips it into his pocket, then adjusts the strap of his duffle bag over his shoulder and heads out...
Sitting in the first class lounge of the Kansas City International Airport, Dan Ryan is leaned back, wearing casual business attire, sunglasses in place. A wry smile is on his face, and a drink is in his left hand.
I know what you're all thinking.
I lost the CWF World Championship to Duce Jones last week. Why the hell am I smiling?
Well, I'll tell you.
Ryan places his drink down on the small table next to him.
A wise man once said, you can have half of what you want now or you can have all of it later. Patience is a virtue. Do you know who that wise man was? That wise man... was me.
Now I know that a lot has been said about me and my stature in this business. I've won what, five, ten, fifteen World Championships? One of those numbers is legitimate and accurate. I'll let you guess which -- and when people talk about it, what they forget is what kind of person I have to be to be able to continue with such excellence year after year.
Here I am, a man not quite to my 40th birthday, competing at the highest possible level week in and week out - and why am I able to do that?
Because I'm smart.
Ryan gestures to the people around him - businessmen mostly.
See these people? Most of them are morons. They put their nose to the grindstone because they know nothing else. They are incapable of seeing the big picture. I am not one of these people. I'm not one of you. Many men and women in this business have called me an egotistical asshole. They're all absolutely right. I'm also consistently winning at the highest level.
Could I have taken that incoming chair shot and kept going? Yes, probably. But there's more work to be done. And truth be told, no matter who got the 'W' that night, I was the one standing tall at the end. I was the one who walked away under my own power. I'm NOT the one who spent the next few nights in the hospital on a liquid diet. That would be Duce Jones, our new World Champion.
And believe you me -- there will be other nights. He took his shot and made the most of it -- sort of.
To be fair, I kinda gave it to him, didn't I? I mean, I said I quit with him looking me in the eye.
I say, consider it an early birthday present, my friend. While you convalesce at home, I want you to think on how I hold this entire situation in my hand. I said the words, and now you are the champion. You did nothing to earn it really.
But I digress.
This week, I face creepy dark emo wrestler #2, with nothing on the line than a chance to make sure a reminder of what I can do is placed in everyone's head.
I did read up on you a little bit, Scourge.
Foster care, eh? Abandoned at birth. Well, so far you sound like Buddy the Elf. The things you saw taught you the true nature of humanity. Yeah, still sounding like Buddy Elf. I assume at some point you realized you were a human and not an elf, and thus began a journey to New York City to find your real father? And Papa Elf sent you, right?
I do love that movie.
I see that you're like... seven feet tall. That's pretty awesome. I'm only six-foot-seven myself, so that kinda sucks. You'd totally win a jump ball if we were playing basketball.
And you're from Parts Unknown. Sweet, man! I know a guy from there. He says it's nice. He's got a three bedroom place on the corner where they sell the sweet arm tassles that all you guys from there wear on your biceps. And I bet you can shake the ropes like a motherfucker...
Wait -- you're not from the energetic and charismatic side of parts unknown, are you. You're from the dark and brooding side. You're gonna tell me that I'm gonna rest in peace aren't you?
Ryan leans forward in his seat.
I'm not tired, Scourge -- not even a little bit. And I'll tell you something else. I'm not impressed. I know that's not the nicest thing to say. After all, you are a professional. I should show you some respect.
But, I'm not gonna.
You're gonna go out to the ring in Kansas City, and you're gonna see opportunity. You're gonna see your chance to make a name for yourself by taking it to the former World Champion. You're gonna have that little extra bit of gusto in your gut as you walk out to the ring and try to take down one of the greats of this business, so you can make a real impression. This is your chance to do something big, your chance to really shine. This is your big shot.
But you're not gonna do any of those things, are you?
No -- you're not gonna do ANY of those things.
You're gonna come to the ring like a good boy -- you're gonna give me what you have, and I'm gonna spike you down on the back of your head just like I do everyone else. You may have some sort of future in this business, and that's just fine, but not this week -- not against me you don't.
An attendant comes back and hands Ryan another drink. He takes a sip.
We all have our roles to play, as you're about to find out. You have yours, I have mine, and Duce Jones has his.
You're the beginning of the end? Not this week you aren't. This week, you're nothing more than another victim, another step in the road.
No Alpha -- just Omega.
Ryan leans back, takes another sip, and smirks.