For the second version of VERSUS in a row, host John Simons thinks the same thought:
"I can't believe I still have a job."
Most of the CSWA television crews have been laid off after the U-62 contract fell through in the aftermath of SHOWTIME in Columbia. In the past, the Hacker had always been edgy, but with a sense of humor. Even in the "hijacking" of the Parsons Cruise Liner, the Hacker hadn't hurt anybody. Well...except for that one tasing...
But Columbia was different. Actually shutting down the show... people's livelihoods are at stake.
For the first time, Simons actually misses Marvin Parson, the CSWA's technical guru extraordinaire. To think he hadn't been seen since the Cruise...
Simons snaps back into "host" mode as his producer prepares to take another cut on the in-studio portions of VERSUS. So much was riding on PRIMETIME in Birmingham. If they could just show that the audience would even follow them onto the internet...
CSWA PRIMETIME in Birmingham features:
- MAIN EVENT: Dan Ryan and Troy Windham vs. Eron and Nova
Stipulation: The wrestler who scores the pinfall gets the title shot at FISH FUND. If Dan Ryan gets the fall, he books his own match for the event.
- United States Championship: Kin Hiroshi vs. JJ DeVille
- Presidential Championship: Cameron Cruise vs. Bobby Karma
- Greensboro Championship: Kevin Watson vs. Troy Douglas
- Contenders Match: "Triple X" Sean Stevens vs. High Flyer
(High Flyer sits in front of a CSWA flag. He checks his watch, and taps his legs. He checks his watch again.)
High Flyer: I don't think he's gonna show. I'm on the West Coast and there's only 80 minutes left.
(Flyer checks his watch again, and nervously looks from side to side.)
High Flyer: Where is he! It's not fair for me to get a win over a no showing opponent, even if he is the guy who hated me just because I put an ax through his locker room door five years ago... that changes nothing! I'm usually a man of honor, and honestly, this just seems cheap to me. Can't fight a guy tryin' to move. That's a dick move.
(Flyer rolls his fingers.)
High Flyer: We should probably just cut. Sorry Lunatics, you don't get your dose of VIAGRA today. Blame U-Haul.
(Flyer stands, and walks off the side of the screen.)
“You wanna know what got me into this business, Flyer? Of course you don’t, but the question was meantto be rhetorical.
FADE: The scene opened up with “The Blue-Eyed Badass” Sean Stevens, standing in front of a punching bag, drenched in sweat, his hair tied back into a casual pony-tail, in a sleeveless grey tee and gym shorts.
“My ego got me into this business. My confidence got me into this business. My unwillingness to take the naysayer’s prophecies for my career as gospel. They said I was too small, too weak, and that my style of wrestling would have me paralyzed in two years tops. That was twelve years ago.
“You want to know what kept me in this business, Flyer?
“My ability to shift gears, my loyalty to my friends, and my ability to look past my own selfish wants and needs for the sake of others. I’m probably the most well rounded wrestler on the planet. Most people don’t get to see that side, because it’s more fun calling me the same name that every other person in your position calls me, but truthfully? I’m not sure I care enough to show them that side of me anyway.”
He threw a couple of vicious hooks that swung the punching bag in the opposite direction.
“I say all of this to say, despite all of the sh_t I talked in Columbia, I know why I’m here. And, no … it’s not to beat Hornet up anymore than I have. And, it’s most certainly not to have any issues with you. I’m here because the woman that I love and the soon-to-be mother of my child is too stubborn to work from a laptop at home. I’m here because there’s somebody out there who has a disdain for the CSWA – so much so that they’re risking the health and life of our wrestlers by interrupting our shows, causing pyro to blast at times and places where it’s not supposed to, and shutting off the lights mid-match like they did in my match against Paul at Showtime. I’m here because I was here FOR the CSWA when the GXW tried to invade us and run the company to the ground.”
Trip paused, smirking arrogantly, as he turned to face the camera.
“Shout out to my boy Dan Ryan, by the way.
“I’m here because I was here FOR the CSWA when GUNS and the Intruders were obsessed with tearing the CSWA down “brick-by-brick.”
Again, Trip faced the camera, and winked.
“… and, most importantly, I’m here because the people that I associate myself with are shining examples of what CSWA wrestlers are, so much so, that I’d even be willing to say that they ARE the CSWA.
“Therefore, I love the CSWA.
“You, Flyer? You’re a footnote. A minor detail. I seriously doubt that you’ll beat me, but if you can, that’ll only be a small detail in the big picture. It’s not my goal to go out there and try to hurt you, so I have a bit of advice for you. You need to be safe out there, you need to expect that anything and everything can happen, and if it doesn’t? You need to watch out for a lightning quick superkick that tends to come out of nowhere, has the potential to break your jaw, and has literally made my career.
“Don’t ever worry about me showing up to an event. I’ll be there, focused and ready.
“I have yet to let the CSWA down once.”
(Flyer stands in front of a bunch of elementary school children, who are currently attempting to bust open a pinata. Flyer ignores them.)
High Flyer: Hmmm... if my reading the dictionary in 2005 paid off in any way, I know this word... It means you ALSO want ME to talk about why I got into this business! Oh how nice of you. I mean, you also called me a footnote, but I, just like the next man, can tell his sarcasm, I'll tell you what!
(Flyer cracks his knuckles. One of the children on the background has struck one of the other children with his pinata bat. One by one the small children fall at the hand of their blindfolded collegue.)
High Flyer: So ya wanna know how the Lunatic got here? Phew... *long exhale* Ya can't pin point it. It's like when you get really fat, it's not one meal that made you so. I've got a lot of reasons. And it's not all because I'm some egotistical maniac who can't cut in Hollywood. You know, I didn't really want to hear the VH-1 story of your life, so I'm not going to force my story down the throats of the CSWA faithful. Go cry me a salty river. Big deal. You're CSWA, bread and born. I had to reinvent myself eight times over. Go sit in your little self made personal box of habits, I'll be here evolving to a degree Christianity hadn't anticipated!
(Flyer narrows his eyes.)
High Flyer: I especially don't feel sorry for the whole ax through a locker room door thing. In fact, I'm going to try to do that again, just for kicks. Then it won't matter if I "let CSWA down," because I'll be remembered as an ax-wielding maniac. And I'm pretty sure everyone LOVES Jason Vorhees.
High Flyer: Anyway, I dunno how late this is. *checks watch* Whoo boy. Mighta been a waste of time. Oh well! See you in the ring Trip X, see you in the ring.
A lot of things tended to pop into Troy Douglas' head the moment before that little red light turned on.
That red light that meant one, very important thing.
As he stood in front of that classic CSWA banner, just days before challenging for the title named after his hometown, all he could think of was the list of names that had gone before him to hold that belt.
But, as he stood in front of that camera, only one name left on the list matter, and it just so happened to be the last one.
Kevin. Watson. The man between Troy and the title in Birmingham.
It's that name that Troy is dead focused on as he runs his hands through his hair one final time, scratches his forehead and waits for that little red light to blink on.
DOUGLAS: Y'know, CSWA may not have that lucrative national television deal anymore, but that doesn't mean I can't step in front of a camera and make an ass of myself in front of the entire world one more time, does it?
Sometimes, folks, if you just stick around long enough, the world finally comes around to your way of thinking. Sometimes, patience actually is a virtue, and it's not just the early bird who gets the worm.
Sometimes, the kid who sat right up front in the warehouse that would one day be known as the CSWA Auditorium in March of '88 gets his chance to challenge for the title dedicated to his native soil nearly two decades later.
So don't think I'm taking this chance lightly, Kevin Watson.
My all-time CSWA profile might not be all that high, but I've been doing this for eight long years, and I've been waiting for an opportunity like this since I first saw guys like Hornet, Melton and Windham get inside that CSWA ring for the first time all those years ago when I was just a kid.
Getting through the guy who steamrolled over his Gold Rush ring to earn that Greensboro Title? After 18 years of waiting, K-9, that just doesn't seem all that hard.
I expect a battle like none I've encountered before here in the Grandaddy Of 'Em All, but that doesn't mean that this Native Son of Greensboro isn't ready to throw anything and everything he's got at you.
Take this for what its worth, Kevin, but you're not just fighting me at PRIMETIME in Birmingham. As cheesy and ridiculous as this sounds, you'll be fighting every kid who ever sat in the third row and dreamed about being the best at what they do.
Now, before I let the Inspirational Speech-A-Tron 8000 kick into full gear, let's get down to business, shall we?
You owned the Gold Rush, Kevin, but as we all know, the time for the Gold Rush is long gone. You managed to stake your claim at Anniversary, but all you did there was make yourself a target.
And me? I'm ready to fire away, Kevin.
You will get my absolute best at PRIMETIME, and I guarantee in front of the entire world that it's going to take more to stop me from getting my hands on that Greensboro Title than it did to take down an entire ring full of the best wrestlers on the planet at Anniversary.
It might sound stupid, it might sound cliched, but this is my time, Kevin. This is the night that I finally get the chance to make my mark on CSWA's history and write my name into the lineage of all the legends that have held championship gold in this great company.
You think you'll be able to put a stop to that, Mister Watson?
I want my day in the sun more than any man who has ever stepped inside that CSWA ring, Kevin, and in the end it's going to take a far better man than you to stop me. You were great for one night, Kevin. That night, you didn't have to deal with me.
This time, you do. And this time, great isn't going to be good enough, because I will be perfect.
You know, folks, ever since we got on that damn ship, this company's been thrown for a bit of a loop. Malfunctions, disasters, calamities, they've all been the norm around here, and frankly, it's thrown a lot of people into a bit of a panic.
Frankly, it's got some people calling the CSWA a "lost cause".
Not if I have anything to say about it, kids. Far as I can see, we're just on the road to FISH FUND.
And there's no way this company reaches the end of the road before the train rolls into Sweetwater one more time.
Unfortunately for you, Kevin, your exit is in Birmingham, and the toll just happens to be the Greensboro Title.
Make no mistake, I'm gunning for you, Watson, and I will break you down.
Take it or leave it, that's what you're going to get. Because I'm no lost cause, Kevin.
I'm just getting started.
“…I’m just sayin’ … I busted my ass to get back on T-V … back in the big leagues!” Kevin screams at his lawyer Jackson Klein.
Distraught and uncertain about his future in the CSWA … Hell, the future OF CSWA for that matter Kevin headed east after “Primetime in Columbia,” back to Charleston to see Klein.
“Kev’, lets be rational … T-V or not the money is still better and you have gold! I mean come on …” Klein replies.
Last week fiasco cost the CSWA their television spot as well as many sponsorships one could imagine. Kevin now finds himself at a crossroads flee the sinking ship or stay the course and try to ride out the storm.
“I know, I know … but what the **** do I do you know …” Kevin asks Klein.
“Well at least ride it out until the checks stop coming.” Klein replies.
Klein spins around in his chair and snatches a piece of paper from the fax machine.
“You got Troy Douglas in Birmingham, another title defense … and with the current situation …the whole title holder or unemployed status you stepped out of Anniversary with seems to be ten fold at this point. With the companies current finical woes I’m sure dropping some talent wouldn’t hurt they’re bottom line right now.” Klein informs Kevin.
Kevin stands from where he has been seated and walks toward the window.
“I suppose that sounds about right…” Kevin says. “Well at least with no T-V, that means no promo’s right …”
Klein cringes at the thought of having to inform Kevin he will still have to record promotional spots to hype up the coming event.
“Well the CSWA is still encouraging all active employees to keep at it; business as usual style. All the spot are running on CSWA online. The second they start acting like a defunct promotion … they will be.”
Kevin, unhappy … yet not surprised responds back to Klein, “Where I gotta go?”
“Here’s a number to the director of promotions, give him a call when you get to Greensboro.” Klein tells Kevin.
“Greensboro?” Kevin asks.
“Yeah, Greensboro … you know the namesake of the title you hold? North Carolina.” Klein quips back.
“Yes, I’m familiar with its geographic location but why Greensboro?” Kevin asks.
“You think the CSWA is going to send camera crews trekking around the country for internet feeds? You got to go to their backyard to get this done. But don’t sweat it, I have you bus ticket to Greensboro as well as a second leg takings you to Birmingham.” Klein says.
“Wonderful …” Kevin remarks.
Kevin snatches the tickets from Klein and begins toward the door before he is stopped by Klein.
“Hey, real quick … what's the deal with Nemesis? What's going on with whatever situation you two have going on?”
Kevin looks back for a second, and continues out the door.
A greyhound screeches to a halt in a dirty Greensboro bus station; the door snaps open and after a few random persons step to street level and disappear from view Kevin Watson steps down … canvas duffel tossed over his shoulder tattered jeans and leather jacket covering his scared frame he pauses monetarily to access his surroundings when a voice calls from his left side.
“Kevin … ah, I mean Mr. Watson.” The voice yells.
Kevin turns and walks toward the front of the bus where he is met by a man with a clipboard. Kevin hates clipboards and more importantly the people who carry them.
“Kevin, how you doing … Benny Thomas from CSWA online department the promotional team sent us out to make sure we could get this spot from you before you had the chance to back out.”
Kevin begins to walk toward the door leading inside the terminal.
“I thought you guys couldn’t afford to run around following us?” Kevin asks.
“Well, it’s hard for us to send a camera to California if we’re here and the next show is in Alabama … the logistics are just a bit much with out that T-V deal behind us.” Benny responds.
“Alright then … roll the camera … I’ve only got an hour.” Kevin snaps.
“Already rolling we can clean it up in editing …” Benny assures.
“Don’t clean up anything … let it rock; as is … nothing fancy.” Kevin asserts.
Kevin takes a seat inside the terminal. He drops his bag at his feet and begins rifling threw it. Within a second or two he has what he is looking for. With his hand the Greensboro title emerges from the dinghy bag, he drops it on top of the bag and lets it rest in the position it fell.
“That’s it … right there … That’s what Douglas thinks he’s taking home right? In all fairness I can see why.” Kevin says as he readjusts himself in the molded plastic seats.
“I mean let’s be honest … I’m the washed up son of a ***** who got lucky at Gold Rush right? Right … maybe. I’m not the type to get introspective or to evaluate my opponents want for the win… It’s normally just another night, another fight, and keep moving. Though, I suppose this situation may warrant a change of plans for the sake of this ridiculous promo.” Kevin states as he reaches into his pocket.
As he lights a cigarette the camera pans above his head slightly to reveal a “No Smoking” sign and then back down to Kevin taking his first drag like it was the last he’d ever take.
Exhaling, Kevin continues “This time around … for the sake of having something to actually talk about one could assert this is a fifteen year experience verse less than ten. Or that this is a fight to protect a livelihood verse a undying obsession to be Hornet or Windham.
It’s not like I haven’t seen the type … as recently as Simon Theodore, or … what's the guy that’s like to endlessly introduce himself … and warn you about under estimating him …? Deville? Yeah Deville, the collage kid.
I guess is what I’m getting at … or at least lead you to believe I was actually getting at something is … It’s another man-child against an old man … as far as the business seems to go. The main difference of course is Deville and Theodore … are, were, or at least claimed to be of higher intelligence with the collage and … spelling bees and such. As to were Douglas seems to be just another awe struck kid who had the displeasure of watching a wrestling match a few years back and began construction on another of America’s illustrious … pipe dreams.”
Kevin leans forward drops his cigarette to the ground and rests his elbows on his knees, bringing his face closure to the camera.
“So you want to know if I feel threatened.” Kevin asks rhetorically.
“We didn’t ask any questions …” Benny tells Kevin from behind the camera.
“You didn’t?” Kevin asks “This would’ve been better if you would have asked questions … Where’s Seitzer? He asks questions …” Kevin says.
Benny answers with a sense of uncertainty, “I … I don’t know.”
“Well tell ‘em next time I want Seitzer.” Kevin says grabbing his title and his bag as he stands. “You got what you need here?”
Benny, confused, begins to answer, “Aw …”
“Good, I need a drink. See ya’ in Birmingham.” Kevin says.
He shoves the title back in his back as he walks down the corridor in the bus station.
The camera swings around to Benny and the dumbfounded look on his face.
"That guy is losing it ... "
A excited look comes across his face.
"...get a ticket this oughta be good."
A hour and several drinks later Kevin Watson climbs back up on a dusty old Greyhound. As he makes his way to the back he catches a familiar face … or lack there of.
Benny has secured his camera man a seat on the long bus trip that will deliver both camera and Kevin to Birmingham for the next Primetime on Wednesday.
Kevin drops his bag in the seat diagonal from said camera and takes a seat as the rest of the passengers file in.
“I’m not sure what you buddy … what was it Bernie? … is looking to achieve here. Let me give the run down. There will be; drinking, smoking, yelling from the driver to out that cigarette, and a lot of sleeping … this is a long ride homie … hold tight.” Kevin tells the camera man with a slight smirk.
Kevin produces a small flask from his jacket pocket throws it back for a second or two recaps its and puts it back in his pocket. He flips the hood of the gray sweat shirt underneath his leather jacket up and over his head and sits in silence while the camera man keeps rolling away.
Several hours and towns later it has grown dark as the diesel bus pushes across North Carolina in passage to Alabama. Kevin is stirring but not yet fully awake. The camera man takes notice and readjusts himself comfortably to being filming again.
Kevin slowly reaches to his inside jacket pocket and pulls out a cigarette and starts searching for a lighter. He drops his hood as he finds one in his sweatshirt pocket. He catches a glimpse of the camera man and turns to him.
“Still here, huh? I thought for sure first piss break you’d be hitching a ride back to tell Benny to stick it. I know I would” Kevin says.
He puffs his cigarette for a second waiting for a response.
“Don’t talk much do you … gonna leave that up to me?” Kevin chuckles “Don’t hold your breathe.”
“Alright look …” Kevin begins in as the camera man struggles to get it back on record and catch everything.
“I got my shot … CSWA in all of its glitz and glamour … I stepped in here I thought I had the inside track, Nemesis had already been making noise for awhile while I was spinning my wheels over in the MWC or EWI … whatever it was.
So you know with the success we had over they’re with Manifest Destiny and I got the chance to hit the CSWA and join up the UnHoly I figured … ‘aight, here go … all these years of barbwire bums, four corners of destruction, steel cage, fire … whatever, whatever are finally over’
I wasn’t here a month … fire ball to the face dropped from the UnHoly, turn around loose to Steve Radder … kicked out the ****in’ league.”
Kevin lights a cigarette and takes a drag.
“After that I couldn’t even go back to the EWI … to many burned bridges from Newfoundland to Greensboro, hell down to Texas and back to Chicago. It was Japan or bust … my brother took to Mexico and after the Manifest Destiny fallout I wasn’t running the risk of bumping into him.
I hit Japan and it wasn’t long before they’re were tired of my half assed technique … submissions have always been my thing but over there they want perfection and whether I was successful or got my ass beat I’ve never been known as a technician by any means.”
Kevin takes another drag.
“I mean, with the CSWA in the situation it’s in … I feel almost like I missed my chance … yet again. I’m here now and they’re gonna have hell getting this belt back but … I can’t help but feel a day late and dollar short. I …”
The bus comes to an abrupt stop. Kevin turns to the window and realizes its yet another coffee/piss break for the driver.
“I … I need a beer.”
Kevin heads toward the front of the bus, and exits just behind the driver.
(The scene opens on a crisp, sunny, but very windy springtime afternoon in the town of Birmingham, Alabama, the site of CSWA Primetime live. The sun beams down on a grassy turfed football field stadium at a local college in Birmingham. On the football field, wearing red Asiacs nylon shorts, black with white trim Asaics tennis shoes, and no shirt is new CSWA rising star Bobby Karma. He is wearing a black harness with a parachute hanging behind him bouncing up and down on the balls of his feet on the end of the field at the goal line. His manager, "Light As A Feather" Freddie Merriweather, stands at the 50 yard line with a stop watch.)
Freddie: Ready Bobby?
Bobby Karma: Always.
Freddie: Wait for it, and 5-4-3-2...
(Background mood setting music playing: from the beginning hard Nikki Sixx guitar intro, and Tommy Lee drum start of"Kick Start My Heart" by Motley Crue.)
Freddie: (Just as the first verse of the song joins in.) Go...Go...Go...and queue music montage...
When I get high
I get high on speed
Top fuel funny car's
A drug for me
My heart, my heart
Kickstart my heart
Always got the cops
Coming after me
Custom built bike doing 103
My heart, my heart
Kickstart my heart
(Bobby Karma takes off running down the field at full speed with the parachute flying behind him as it picks up the the full breeze blowing it and providing the full resistance, still Bobby pulls it mightily as he runs the half of the length of the field like a stock car on the balls of his feet. As the song progresses it shows footage, clips, and fast forwarding highlights of Bobby Karma's hard sprint training on the parachute)
Ooh,are you ready girls?
Ooh,are you ready now?
Kickstart my heart
Give it a start
Ooh, yeah, baby
Kickstart my heart
Hope it never stops
Ooh, yeah, baby
(As the sun slowly begins to fade into a dull play, Bobby Karma ending his run temporarily to take a drink from a bottle of water under the sun. His naturally toned and bulky muscular upper body glistens under the sun as the sweat drips and outlines his body. He pours the remaining water all over his face and long blond hair.)
Freddie: Hey Fabio, stop modeling for the camera and get over here its promo time brother.
(Bobby Karma stops drinking and lays the bottle near the rest of his things on the sideline and walks over his small, pint sized but incredibly charismatic manager standing in front of the camera ready to begin the interview.)
Freddie: "Light As A Feather" Freddie Meriweather here. Recognize the rhyme scheme. Standing along side...
The Sultan of Zin...
The EPITOME of DESSSSSSSSSSSSTTTTTTTTTTINNNNNNNNNYYYYYYYYY...
The man with the longest moniker in wrestling today...
(Bobby Karma does a double take and looks down at his manager with a cock of his eyebrow and mouthing the words "What The F--?" but Freddie just smiles gleefully as he responds back.)
Just kidding, hey if ya can't poke fun at yourself from time to time then what can you do?
(Freddie carries on where he left off without skipping another beat.)
What Goes Around...
(Freddie turns his attention to Bobby Karma.)
Freddie: Bobby Karma, since the CSWA Gold Rush tournament at Anniversary, you have indeed left a bit of an impact, and more than made your presence known against the likes of Kin Hiroshi and so forth, but now the Gold Rush has subsided, the dust has settled, and with that said, the Long Hard Fought Road of Bobby Karma has officially begun. Filled with their bumps, obstacles, and even pitfalls along the treacherous road to the top of the CSWA, the top of this very business...
Last week, you and JJ Deville managed to win your respected tag team matches with an opportunity to face off against CSWA United States Champion, Kin Hiroshi and Presidential Champion, Cameron Cruise. Now here you are to go after your very first and hopefully not last CSWA Title when you face off against Cameron Cruise for the Presidential Title this week on Prime Time from right here in Birmingham, Alabama.
(Freddie Meriweather pause as he gives a cheesy thumbs up and big grin on his face before turning his attention back to Karma.)
You've been training all week so far, making sure that you are cardio is fit as a fiddle as well as your in ring prowess is more than in top form when you go up against this old wrestling veteran who has seen and done it all wrestling all over the world and abroad, what are your thoughts...BOBBY KARMA...Go...Go...Go...
(Freddie Meriweather places the microphone in front of Bobby Karma as he begins to speak.)
Bobby Karma: Thank you Freddie, thank you. I'm getting right down to business without beating around the bush. The Gold Rush is in the books, and now its time to get down to business. Cameron Cruise, last week in Chapel Hill, I may of looked a little green, this business is all about paying your dues. Regardless of how the match went down. The fact of the matter remains. My team defeated you and Hiroshi and with that said I have earned the right to face off against you for the CSWA Presidential Title this week on Prime Time.
Chapel Hill, you may of showed me up, and I will admit that. I won't deny that, but that's why I will not stop until I am in top physical condition. Not only will I match you in the ring cardio and stamina wise, but I will stand toe to toe with you technically and match you move for move. I will spend all this time training and making certain that I am 120 times better than when I faced you in Chapel Hill. I will eat, drink, and dream of Cameron Cruise, most importantly, I will not rest until I am standing over you and I am holding the CSWA Presidential Title high in the air before all of the people of Birmingham Alabama.
I maybe a greenhorn now, but that won't last and eventually this rose bud's gonna be blooming right along with the rest of you. So don't take me for granted and you better...look in my eyes...
(Bobby Karma orders the camera to zoom in on his face as his blue eyes peer back with a burning desire and resolve.)
Don't take me for granted. Don't take me lightly, know that this rookie can and just might...no I mean WILL take that your title away from you this week.
But don't fret, because when I take the title from you this week, we will face off again at Fish Fund in the rematch of all rematches and you know what they say, the rematch is where the real money's at.
So here this now Cruise. You will not carry me and vice versa. I'm looking to put on a bonefide clinic against you. We will shock the world and surprise a lot of people...one of which will be yourself...
Freddie: (Interjecting) SOMEBODY GET THIS MAN AN ALIBI BECAUSE HE'S GONNA STEAL THE SHOW...
Bobby: Are you finished because I'd like to...
Freddie: Sure, just backing you up.
Bobby: I know. Anyway. Come next week, right here in Birmingham, Alabama. Spring is in the air and I embrace my destiny. I start by becoming the next CSWA Presidential Champion. My name is Bobby Karma...
(The scene fades out.)
"Bobby Karma. How convenient is your name, Bobby...Karma?"
(Fadein, Cameron Cruise in front of his Jacksonville, North Carolina home. Dressed in blue jeans, a white sleeveless shirt with the CSWA logo in big black lettering, and a light blue North Carolina Tar Heels worn backwards. With the CSWA Presidential title cradled over his right shoulder, the Anarchy Shades worn over his eyes are the only thing that hide the concern on his face.)
CRUISE: At Anniversary Two-Kay, I last defended this very title against Aaron Douglas and lost, not because he was BETTER, but because of interference by someone that had no business being involved to begin with: HORNET.
(Cruise takes his shades off momentarily...)
Now for those who remember that match, I won't go into detail except for the fact that I obviously was less than thrilled.
Oh...how interesting a matter of persistance can change things.
(Cruise slides his shades back on.)
Here it is, all proper rights I was given the shot and privilage to get it back at CSWA Gold Rush, and I'll be damned if I didn't go out and do what I said I was going to do, and that's win back what was practically STOLEN from me: The CSWA Presidential title.
Now I've the task of my first official title defense since getting this back and I'm to face a man so emblazoned with Irony, it REALLY isn't a laughing matter.
At Chapel Hill, you found out just exactly why it is I'm the one man around here you DON'T TAKE ME lightly, no matter what Hornet, Dan Ryan, Kin Hiroshi, Troy Windham or anyone else says.
But go ahead and do the cardio, Bobby.
Do sit-ups, jumping-jacks, deep-knee bends, you name it.
Run about twenty miles a-day and soak yourself in a hot tub afterward while you're getting a facial, and fingernails and toenails done.
Watch about twenty-five hours of old tape on my past matches.
But in NO WAY IN HELL is it going to help you run a CLINIC against ME.
Not gonna happen Bobby, not at Primetime, not at Fish Fund hell, pretty much not as long as I'm "Cameron Cruise".
Because that's just a Reality Check that not only you, but your pal there, two-minute Freddy and everyone else just...won't like.
(FADE IN: Fade to a shot of a dingy locker room. Water drips from the center of a large brown spot on the ceiling, and the door to a bottom locker near the long wooden bench in the center of the room can’t decide if it wants to be open or shut, providing a soundtrack of clank, clank, clank to an otherwise soundless scene. A wisp of smoke catches the corner of the shot, and the camera immediately shifts to the left and focuses on NOVA, seated on the bench decked out in ring garb and pads with a cigarette poking from between two gloved fingers. Water glistens on his shaved head, and splayed across his lap, catching light from the overheads, is the PRIME Universal Championship. The Risen Star looks up, a weary grin creeping up the side of his face. These are rough days.)
NOVA: “I know, I know…it’s a total faux pas to show a foreign strap on company television, but something interesting happened to me the other day, something relevant to my mission here in the ‘Dub and the belt you see before you now.”
(NOVA snuffs the cigarette in a nearby ashtray and looks down at the belt.)
NOVA: “After the last televised PRIME show I sat down with some of the management and told them I’d be headed to Birmingham for PRIMETIME. They were appalled. They told me that right now, my stock is higher than its ever been…I’ve defended this strap up and down the block, I’m the ring general for a group of guys who generate hype like dirt under Pig Pen’s feet…they couldn’t believe that I would choose a moment like this to pursue a…a less attractive option like the CSWA. Those were their exact words, I think. And I started thinking about that, and I did come to the conclusion that PRIME is in many ways the exact opposite of the CSWA. It’s a juggernaut, rolling along – some would say coasting – on this massive hype that appears to regenerate automatically at the start of each new business day. By comparison, the CS-Dub is grasping brick-by-brick, pulling itself along a cobblestone path, arthritic knees dragging and bouncing painfully off each jagged rock poking up from the sh*t-stained street…if I may employ a little hyperbole for effect. ‘Career suicide,’ they said, ‘what if you get injured down there in Backwater? Do you really want to put that on the line?’”
(The Greensboro Greenhorn rubs a hand across his clean-shaven cheek, and takes a sip of water from a bottle on the bench. His eyes glitter as he looks back into the camera.)
NOVA: (Grinning) “I told them, ‘The kind of fans I’ll be seeing in Birmingham…they’d carry me to the hospital if anything happened.’”
(NOVA picks up the PRIME title and slides it back into his duffel bag.)
NOVA: “Look…maybe they were right. Maybe PRIMETIME was supposed to appear as the ‘less’ attractive option…but that can only mean that I must be wearing my ‘career goggles,’ because sitting down here in this disgusting piece of sh*t locker room, getting ready to fight for my right to challenge for the CSWA Unified Championship in the first non-televised appearance I’ve made in God knows how long…
“…there’s nowhere else I’d rather be.”
Somewhere between Houston and Birmingham.....
The scenery along I-10 outside the limo rolls on by.....and Dan Ryan peers out as the vehicle approaches another state line, this one Mississippi....
Ryan: "A familiar face...."
"So Nova, it seems we're to be locked together in conflict until the end of time - or for as long as the two of us work the same territories - IE, the world. It's a pity we don't hate each other yet. Would probably be good TV."
"Instead it's just part....what?...five? six? of a series of matches between us? I've lost count."
"We have the big one at Wrestlestock coming, but as you said - discussing the other guy's company is usually a pretty big faux pas. I don't mind you showing up here with your PRIME strap on CS-TV. I guess it's relevant, since you and I currently hold pretty much every major title available to be held at the present time."
"Champion of Champions - you, and you beat me to hold onto it."
"PRIME Universal - and you'll see me in that place as soon as the sun turns to ice..."
"NFW - me, and you with a shot next month."
"A1E......NAPW.........here, all me - so I guess we just have to get that out of the way right off the bat. All your gold are belong to us, eh Nov'?"
"And you see somehow, that there's a mighty large chunk of importance around the one belt that matters here. You're trying to figure it out, but rather than jump through the hoops I'll just tell you straight out."
"See, they say the same thing to me - the ones who don't understand what the belt means. They say other places...they book more shows. There are bigger paydays. There are more chances to shine, bigger hype. Well....."
"I'm not exactly hurting for work for one..."
"But in addition, I realize something. I realize that for twenty years now in this business this company has been a constant. It was and will always be a standard bearer to compare all others to. It doesn't matter if we do a show once a week or once a year."
"Everyone will pay attention."
"Before the CSWA? Well, that's it isn't it? There is no 'before the CSWA'."
"Companies have come and gone. A thousand of them all over the country, all over the world. Some of them have shone brightly and burned hotter for periods of time, but this company has always outlasted them all. No name in our sport inspires awe like the name of this place."
"That's why you're in Birmingham. That's why I'm on my way."
"All the gold in the world....and we have....all the gold in the world.....can't keep you away from the call of this place. Not if you know the business you work in. Not if it lives in you like it lives in me, like it lives in the best of the best."
"I don't know where Eron or Troy are. It doesn't matter. Another collision course for the two of us."
"At least I know someone else around here cares."
“A familiar face?”
(FADE IN: The sun shines bright in the blue Birmingham sky. Seated at a wooden picnic table several feet from a barbecue stand, gripping a gooey pork sandwich in white-knuckle delight, is the Greensboro Greenhorn and potential #1 Contender to the CSWA Unified Championship, NOVA. He takes a bite, wipes his beard with six or seven napkins, and grins into the camera.)
NOVA: “Mr. Ryan, I’m afraid I don’t know you. OH! Before I forget…I just want to thank ERON THE RELENTLESS and TROY WINDHAM for stepping aside and realizing that legend status in the company or a third-place finish in GOLD RUSH don’t automatically entitle anyone to a hand-out. Bravo on both of your displays of our Constitutionally-guaranteed right NOT to act. But enough on that, back to the guy who actually realizes what’s at stake here.
“Dan, I don’t know what you’re talking about, and I’ll leave it at that rather than refute each individual claim of our apparently storied history. You’re confused. Sh*t, dude, I feel you. There are days I wake up and can’t remember my f*ckin’ NAME. But some of the things you said did resonate with me, and I’d like to address them in turn…”
(NOVA takes another bite from his sandwich (it’ll be stone-cold by the time he’s done yammering) and shuffles a cigarette out of his pack.)
NOVA: “I know of you, Dan. I know that for all your accomplishments in the CSWA, you can rival them with accolades from other corners of the wrestling world. You hold the A1E World Championship, and I’m the PRIME Universal Champion, and yet we both realize that the draw of the Unified Title is different, isn’t it? It isn’t a quest to pad our resumes. It isn’t for the fans, as much as the lingering memory of their cheers softens the pains in my joints in the morning. Your championing of the Unified Title, and my goal of competing for it…in the end it’s for us, right? In a different way than with other belts…it’s about you, and it’s about me, and it’s about saying ‘F*ck what anyone says, this is what the Unified strap means to me,’ and that’s good enough to go out there and drop a couple of pints on the canvas.
“It’s also about the sense of impermanence that permeates the every pore of this industry…you touched on that as well, Dan. Paper towers spring up on every corner, proclaiming the Wrestling Revolution Be Nigh, a NEW experience that will change the way YOU see professional wrestling! They all crumble into paperweights before long, don’t they, Mr. Ryan? Even your A1E, NAPW…they won’t see the golden side of two decades, not like the CSWA has. My PRIME, PTC as an institution of this business…eventually they’ll be chapters of varying length in the book of our profession’s history. My career is pocked with companies that literally sprang up and shut down in the span of a couple of months. For all the blood I gave, all the overnight bus rides, what those belts meant to me personally…those promotions are a blur, like the memory of a great party where you got drunk too early. Federations come and go…but the CSWA remains, largely unaffected by the churning and roiling of the seas of Progress – or regression, in the case of pro wrestling in the 21st century. In short, I feel compelled to attach myself to this company’s stability, even in times as dark as these.”
“Now I can hear the grumbling coming from a mile away. ‘Oh, jeez…this kid smokes two joints, gets a CSWA house show booking, and all of a sudden he’s Greensboro to the bitter, bloody end.’ Well, maybe that’s the case, but it’s about time someone gave a sh*t about this place. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the CSWA is sick. As a f*cking dog. And if you need more proof, find your way backstage at the next show and look at Ivy McGinnis’ eyes.”
We open to a scene of Dan Ryan on a beach along the Atlantic Seaboard - North Carolina-ish....
Ryan is thumbing through the pages of a worn leather-bound book and comes to a stop on an odd phrase.
If you slip in time, Nova will be your constant.
Ryan smiles and relaxes slightly...puts the book down on the sand beside him and lies back, pulling his sunglasses over his eyes and drifting off to sleep.