April 30, 2019.
Tulsa, Oklahoma - a rented home a few miles from the city center.
CWF’s Girls’ Night Out special is on the screen of a large LED TV. Former CWF World Champion Dan Ryan is looking up from his spot at his desk, noticing Lindsay Troy cutting a promo. Ryan absent-mindedly sets his paperwork aside, smirking.
“......We aren’t done dancing yet.”
Ryan smiles, then looks back to his paperwork.
“Your sister is in fine form tonight.”
Alaina Troy-Ryan, sister of Lindsay Troy and wife of Dan Ryan, sets a manila folder down on the corner of the desk, then glances at the screen. “Yes, she is. I particularly enjoy that ‘stripped and washed away the marvels of Ozymandias’ line.”
Ryan glances up, then back to his work. “She had a movie night with Cecilia the other night. I’m pretty sure Watchmen was the chosen feature.”
Troy-Ryan nods. “Makes sense.”
Ryan puts his John Hancock (or is that HERBIE Hancock?) on a few documents, then starts reading a third.
Troy-Ryan’s eyes are glued on the screen as Ray Douglas announces Mia Rayne as the final participant in the Superwoman Battle Royal. “I’m surprised you didn’t go over to the arena to cheer her on.”
Ryan doesn’t look up. “She doesn’t need me for this. The plans for Twilight of the Gods are set, and I have these contracts to oversee. I told the office I’d stay away. Despite reports to the contrary, I don’t always have to be the center of attention.”
Alaina glances over. “Well, let me know when my husband gets back.”
Ryan glances up himself, smiling. “Cute.”
His wife smiles.
She walks out of the room, leaving Ryan there. He sets the paperwork to the side and leans forward, watching intently as the Superwoman Battle Royal rages on.
May 5th, 2019.
The House of Blues - Dallas, TX - just a hop, skip and a jump away from American Airlines arena near downtown Dallas.
There’s a VIP room in the back of the restaurant portion of the venue where Dan Ryan has set up for the evening. Polyphia is on stage tonight, and fans are starting to stream in. A bouncer stands to the front of the VIP area, however, keeping stragglers from getting through.
Ryan downs a quick drink, looking out at the people walking by.
It’s been a good couple of weeks. Things are going well, plans are in place -- everything is in order. In just over one week at Twilight of the Gods, I’ll face Duce Jones again, and I’ll become the CWF World Champion for the second time.
Duce Jones has been getting more and more confident. He’s going out and competing in events with other companies, trying to be this globe-trotting hotshot champion. His chest is puffed out so far that he’s forgetting what’s waiting for him here at home.
And that is his mistake.
I excel at exposing mistakes and exploiting them. Believe me, I’ve seen this all before. I’ll exploit his, too.
Ryan places his drink down on the table.
First, I’m here in Dallas and getting in the ring with a wrestling doctor. What’s wrong, guys? No wrestling bears available? We’re really pullin’ ‘em in from all corners around here, aren’t we?
That’s fine. Everybody has to start somewhere, right? But you, Dr. Simon Pierce, you started in medical school and with diddling your patients and getting in trouble with the medical board. And despite your absolute and embarrassing failure in the medical profession, you’ve decided to wear scrubs to the ring, all the while shouting out medical advice to fans at ringside and screaming at your opponents about their slovenly personal fitness.
Everything goes absolutely quiet. Dan Ryan stares directly at the camera for a solid five seconds, doing nothing but blinking a few times.
Then, everything goes back to normal.
First of all, you sir are a walking HIPAA violation. If there’s ever an audit around here, that’s a solid $30,000 fine per incident.
Secondly, I don’t think you’re taking this quite seriously enough. I’d like to invite you to do some cursory research into your opponent in this, your first match in CWF. You have the very poor fortune of beginning and perhaps ending your career against me. I’m not gonna be wearing scrubs to the ring. I’m not gonna be jawing with the fans, telling them to get in shape, offering them resources for diabetes maintenance education or telling them to keep the noise down while I take my robe off.
No no no. I’m coming directly to the ring and punching you in the face. You might think you’re some kind of mystery. Maybe you think that gives you an advantage. It doesn’t. That may be how it works in bumfuck wrestling company or whatever tiny little pond you’ve been trying to earn your stripes in. It may work when you’re some hotshot steroid shooting med student who nobody knows.
You, a rookie, do not have any advantages here.
In fact, I’m pretty sure this is gonna be really, really bad for you.
Ryan picks his drink back up, flicks away a bead of water, takes a swig and puts it back down.
I’m not gonna get too cocky with you. You don’t know. You don’t really have the first clue what you’re getting yourself into. But, I’ve already made my point to Duce Jones, so you don’t have to be the sacrificial lamb who serves as the example of what I’m gonna do to him at Twilight of the Gods. To be honest, I’m not so sure he’s smart enough to get it even if I did.
But, I will be happy to be the man who gives you a crash course on how things work here. Since I am the new standard around here, it is my happy duty to give you a proper welcome.
After all, I'm nothing if not friendly.
Ryan takes another drink and stares into the camera as we….