Dan Ryan is hustling from the side of a small twin engine plane, hidden in something of a disguise among tourists as he makes his way through the throngs arriving in Kingston.
Quickly, his personal assistant Phyllis is noticed, leaning against the side of a rented vehicle, ready to get him the hell out of here.
“Hey boss.” Phyllis, matter-of-factly opens the back door so the truck sized World Champion can slip in quickly before being noticed. Phyllis followed, sitting across from him and tapping away on an iPad.
“Thank God. Alaina convinced me that flying in the smaller plane down here would be fine, but I was worried I’d be mobbed at the airport.”
Phyllis doesn’t even look up. “Actually I asked around. I don’t think there was any danger of that.”
“Really?” Ryan seems taken aback a bit. “No danger at all?”
“Turns out…” Phyllis looks up finally. “Most of these people don’t get wrestling on television that isn’t local. This is more of an outreach for the company than anything. Trying to expand the fan base as it were.”
Ryan nods, looking out through tinted glass as the car rolls forward.
“Fair enough. Maybe I can take advantage of the anonymity. Where am I staying? The office is putting me up somewhere. You know I’m not comfortable with it.”
Phyllis shrugs, pulling up an image on the iPad. “Actually, it’s a pretty nice little vacation home on a private beach in Port Royal. It’s not big, but it’s private. I rather envy you.”
Dan Ryan’s eyebrows raise slightly, somewhat impressed. “Not bad. And where are you staying?”
Phyllis’ expression stays stoic. “The penthouse at the Four Seasons in Kingston.”
Ryan’s head snaps back to his assistant, who doesn’t wait for her boss to speak.
“A joke. I’m not staying at all. I need to fly ahead to Tampa to make arrangements for next week.”
“Phyllis,” Ryan turns his attention to the window, where he watches as they cross a large scenic causeway from the mainland. “Your jokes need work.”
Port Royal, near Kingston, Jamaica.
A fishing pier juts out far into the crystal blue waters, and a small fishing boat moves past from out of the natural bay entrance nearby. The old Spanish city is bustling with tourists, but this small secluded beach provides a nice respite.
Dan Ryan is sitting on a wooden slat lounge chair, a large palm stretching out high overhead and casting a rather large… as it turns out… Shadow.
Isn’t this all so very calm and relaxing, so peaceful? It’s not exactly something I take for granted. Shockingly enough, when you are the CWF World Champion, and when you are handpicked in other places to take on legends, heroes… hall of famers, the best of the very best… peace and quiet isn’t in the contract.
So believe me, I take it where I can get it.
Because of that, and because Jaiden Rishel is the new boss, I’d like to thank him right now for promoting a show down here, and even further for the deee-luxe accommodations, because I’m tired of shelling out for it myself. Just because you have money doesn’t mean you want to spend it all.
Now before we get too deep into this, I want to talk about last week.
Yeah, Duce Jones. I guess he’s back. Well Duce, fair enough. You took advantage of an idiot referee, and I’m not gonna be mad at you for that. To be honest, as long as you’re a man about saying who you are and being all about it, I don’t really care what tactics you use. All’s fair in love and way when you’re shooting for the top. And truth be told, you gained a lot of respect from me when you finished the rumble with class last month.
So you know, no big deal. We’ll see each other again. We already know that. I’ll be ready. You’ll be ready. We’ll do the dance I’m sure. As much as I’d love to be done with you, cream rises to the top doesn’t it? It’s all good. I’ll be ready, I assure you.
But before any of that happens, I’d like to talk a little bit about my upcoming match with my old friend, The Shadow. Hello The Shadow. Long time no see.
I’ve missed the druids. Especially druid number four. He was a really nice guy. He gave me tips on a new gardener for my Summer home….. WAIT I MEAN…. FOR MY DEMONIC LAIR OF HELL SPAWN.
Now The Shadow, I have to say, so much has changed since the last time we were in the ring together. You walked down a road of self-discovery, didn’t you? There was all of that nasty business with Ataxia, of course.
On that note, I do have to thank you for running interference with Ataxia for me. It was enough with that guy already.
But while you were doing all of that, no doubt entertaining the crowd with your patented brand of dark wisdom, supernatural presence and snappy fashion choices, I was becoming the two time World Champion. Now, I know for a FACT that your old friend Mia Rayne is not very happy that we’re having this match. Apparently, one of her personalities, I don’t know which, thinks that since she has earned a title shot at Wrestle Fest, no one else should be in the ring with me until then.
So, fair warning, she might attack you. Or… they might attack you? I don’t know, I don’t really have the proper pronouns down just yet. She might even hit you with her trademark. Hashtag-ouch.
But what I mostly want to tell you is this.
The boys in the office are right. You never did get a proper return match for the title after losing it. That’s something I’d like to rectify eventually, perhaps after I’m finished knocking about three more personalities out of Mia Rayne’s head. You do deserve it, and believe me, I’d love the challenge. This non-title match… it’s fine. We’ll see what you’ve got. So I guess there’s only one question left really.
Are you mentally prepared for this?
Where’s your mind at, The Shadow?
It’s been awhile since you’ve been under the big lights with the best in the business -- hint hint, that’s me -- and really thrown down. I’ve been a busy man, you know. Have you been paying attention?
Well, there’s nothing on the line -- but maybe this will whet your appetite again.
Maybe this will remind you what it feels like to be on top of your game. Maybe I can extract the fire back out of you.
Maybe I can wake you up.
Let’s find out.