(From FISH FUND XII: Fire It Up! – August 10, 1998
(Backstage, off-camera, during the Hornet/Love match)
(Merritt is just in the middle of a hallway, deep in the recesses of Fish Fund Park Arena.)
Merritt: "The warmer you get, the warmer you get?" (looks around for a moment...then begins advancing on a doorway) You little toad...I've got you now.
(Merritt slowly opens the door to the boiler room, a vast area filled with crates and boxes...and of course, the boiler. One other doorway is lighted by a red 'EXIT' sign...it stands at the top of a metal stairway, in the center of a catwalk like upper level.)
Merritt: Here...midget midget midget.
Red: (standing on the upper level) Well, I see it only took you fifteen minutes. I underestimated you.
Merritt: And I see we're now about the same height. Not heightening are you, shorty?
Red: (grabs chest in mock pain) Ah...you've hurt me,
Chad. (turns serious) And now I'm going to hurt you.
Merritt: So what's all this about, Lyle? What are all these threats about a fire just so you can get me here.
Red: Not threats, Chad, promises. You see, you've got a little decision to make to finish the game. (pulls a small remote control out of his pocket) Two simple choices....either way you're finished, but I'm curious to see if I'm right. This room is wired to start a rather significant fire. You can either stay here and go up with it all by your lonesome in about an hour....or I can start it right now, probably taking out a quarter of your audience up there. Lawsuits, settlements...you'll be finished that way too.
Merritt: Quite a little Hobson's choice. But riddle me this little man, if it goes up now, you go up with it.
Red: Sorry to disappoint you, Chad, but this little remote will work from wherever I want....and I guarantee you I can get out of here to safety faster than you can.
Merritt: And what if I don't like any of your choices?
Red: (wags finger) Sorry, Charlie. This is my game...I make the rules. I'll be generous, I'll even give you to a count of ten to decide.
(As Red begins counting, the upper door bursts open against him, sending the remote control flying out of his hand....and into the boiler. Sammy Benson steps into the room.)
Benson: (to Merritt) You!
Merritt: (to Benson) You!
Benson: (to Red) YOU!
Red: (to Benson) YOU....IDIOT!!!
Benson: You're dead!
Merritt: Sammy...always quick on the uptake. Let me guess, Red...now we're in....
(The door to the boiler explodes, shooting a jet of flame. The flames catch a stack of wooden crates, which quickly begin going up in smoke.)
Red: You idiot...now the whole place is going to burn down!
Merritt: Sorry Lyle...guess your Hobson's choice didn't work...
Red: If I'm going, then you're going with me! (Red launches himself down the stairs toward Merritt)
Benson: This is ridiculous, I'm getting out of here. Screw you both. (The door closes behind Sammy with an audible 'click,' locking from the outside)
(Merritt sidesteps Red, who goes head first into a nearby metal barrel. Merritt starts for the steps, but is quickly stopped when Red smacks him over the head with a two-by-four. After a couple more hits for good measure, Red starts up the stairs. The boiler sends out another jet of fire as the flames continue to consume everything in their path. The pile of crates nearest the lower door collapses, blocking that exit. At the same time, Red finds out the upper door is locked. He grabs a nearby crowbar and begins trying to pry the locked door loose. As he does so, Merritt begins to stir, picks up the two-by-four and starts quietly up the stairs. Red hammers on the door with the crowbar with no effect. He turns at the sound of Merritt approaching....and gets clobbered with the two-by-four. The force of the blow sends Red over the low railing....and down into a stack of crates just below the catwalk. The stack crashes...and Red is left in the middle of the debris, blood seeping from a wound in his side. Merritt, bloodied from a gash in his head and lip, picks up the crowbar...just as the boiler shoots another arcing jet of flame.)
Merritt: You're not taking me with you, you sorry peabrained bag of filth. (He begins banging on the door with the crowbar) Do you hear me?! You're not taking me with you!!!!!
(FISH FUND PARK Arena, August 11, 1998, the morning after FISH FUND XII, and the explosion.)
Worker: We've found something...I think someone's here. (The man begins shifting the rubble. He finally uncovers a piece of wall.) I need help here....we've got to get this wall up...I think someone's under there.
(CSWA Co-Commissioner Thomas runs up)
Thomas: Is it Windham? Is he alive?
Worker: I'm not sure...we've got to get this wall up.
(Other workers begin to lever the wall up...after a few moments of straining, the wall gives way)
Thomas: Well I'll be......
Worker: Is it a kid? Wait....no, it's a....
Thomas: A midget....one that used to work for me. Is he...?
(The emergency worker climbs into the depression and checks the body for life signs.)
Worker: I'm sorry, sir....he's gone. If only we had found him earlier. I'll get the EMTs to bag him. (He walks away)
(Thomas climbs down into the depression and kneels beside the small body covered in soot, grime, and blood.)
Thomas: Ally ally oxen free. Time for all little midgets to come home. (He injects a syringe into the right forearm of the small man.)
(The Red Midget convulses once as his oxygen-deprived body begins to resume a normal intake of air, and his drug-induced coma resolves into simple unconsciousness as his heart begins to pump at a normal rate.)
Thomas: You're not off the hook that easily, Lyle. You still have to help me finish what we've started.
(From BATTLE of the BELTS XVI: Personal Business)
(FADEIN: Somewhere in Texas, deep below ground, months ago. A figure in shadow flips a switch, causing a blue light to turn on. The light illuminates a small cavern in the wall....a window cut inside the rock. A small figure lies encased in a coffin-like structure, surrounded by bedrock. As the light comes on, one eye of the tiny body opens, then both. The man known as Lyle Tallman, but more commonly referred to as the Red Midget...awakes. With a little help.....)
(The lights in the cavern rise, revealing Stephen Thomas at the controls. Lyle's eyes widen, but the entombed figure doesn't yet have the strength to speak.)
Thomas: It's time, Lyle. The doctor's say it's safe to return you to the outside now...the hyperbaric chamber has done it's job. In fact, you might be better than you were before.
(Thomas steps up the catwalk and presses a large button next to the coffin-like structure. A green light turns red as the inner chamber pressurizes. After a few moments, the light turns amber, and Thomas pulls open the outer door. The Red Midget steps out, still shaking off the effects of his months-long recovery.)
Red: I can't believe it's finally over.
Thomas: Over, Lyle? Not by a long shot. You know what I want. You didn't finish him off.....
Red: Oh, but I did. (He reaches into his "Mighty Morphin Midget" costume and pulls out a manila folder.) It's all right there....enough to blackmail Merritt for a hundred lifetimes. All his accounts, all his money, and all the access you'd ever need.
Thomas: You know, I could almost kiss you.....if you weren't a midget. I think it's time you resumed your high position in life, Lyle....and that I took control of what's rightfully mine.
Red: And Merritt?
Thomas: Without power, Merritt's nothing. He'll run like a ship in a storm.
(From ANNIVERSARY 1999: Revelation -- just prior to the Main Event match where Eli Flair wins the CSWA World Title)
ST: No, instead, I'm gonna give the fans what they want. You see Sammy, Bill, I think for this final match, for tonight's last match, the crowning glory of what has become a Triple Main Event....I think it's only fitting that we have a trio of commentators to call the action.
SB: Oh boy....lemme guess, since Poison Ivy can't come down in Hornet's corner without losing her promise from Vizzachero to have that piece of crap she calls a column put back on the TRIBUNE's front page....you're gonna put her at the booth.
ST: I thought of that one, Sammy....but I'm afraid it's just not enough. I think for ANNIVERSARY, we need something a little special. So I thought.....why not have a sort of reunion.
(The crowd begins to murmur as a large box is lowered toward the ring)
ST: In fact, Sammy, I think it's only fitting that after ten years of service....not eleven, since we're not counting the time you were absent for being fired.....that you be given a little present.
SB: Why do I think I'm NOT going to like this?
BB: But I bet I am.....
ST: Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome a man you all know very well....a man who I owe a great debt of gratitude to....a man who will join the booth as the third man......here's my very special little surprise....
(The sides of the box drop to the mat...revealing...)
......THE RED MIDGET!!!!!!!!!!
BB: What in the name of all that.....
Red: I'm baaaaaack.
(Lyle Tallman, aka The Red Midget, begins climbing out of the ring to the commentators' table)
Red: Dead? Come on, Sammy....you know better than that....
SB: But I saw you....I saw him....I saw....
Red: Hush now, Benson...don't reveal any of our little secrets....we have friends that wouldn't be very happy at that, don't we?
SB: But it bl......you were......I saw.....
Red: Would you like to slap some sense into him Buckley, or may I?
BB: I'm about as blown away as he is, Red. The last time we saw you alive was just over two years ago at CSWA ANNIVERSARY 1997! And we all saw, or thought we saw you hanged!
Red: You'll have to talk to Sammy about that one, Bill....I've got no comment.
BB: We all think you're dead for two years....and you've got NO COMMENT?
BB: Now I remember why I hit you in the head with a suitcase....
Red: Oh....don't think I've forgotten that little incident either. Now do your job and get on with the show....
SB: But he's.....I mean, I saw.....
(From Thanksgiving Weekend Spectacular 1999, where Thomas and Merritt are engaged in a bizarre battle of wits to determine who controls the CSWA)
REGIS PHILBIN: I think you'll both be pleased with this question in college basketball. In the 1982 NCAA Championship game between the University of North Carolina and Georgetown, who was the highest-scoring....(buzzer interrupts Regis)...yes, Mr. Thomas, your answer for the win....
THOMAS: Michael Jordan!
RP: I'm sorry....the end of the question was who was the highest-scoring player on the losing team...the answer was Patrick Ewing. I'm sorry, Mr. Thomas, but we have a new Commissioner! Mr. Merritt, you are the winner! (crowd pops) (Thomas's head falls to the podium)
MERRITT: Was there ever any doubt? Folks, I want to thank you for your support tonight. I know I haven't always earned it in the past. Now I could boot Thomas out of here tonight (crowd cheers), making all of us very happy people...but it wouldn't be right. Steve helped build the CSWA and CS Enterprises into what they've become. However, there are going to be a few immediate changes that I'm sure my business partner won't mind, since I'm the Commish... (snip)
So without further adieu, let's move along to the Greensboro Contenders Battle Royal. Oh, and I almost forgot....Lyle, if you're still in the building after the next five minutes, I'm giving a bonus to anyone who physically removes you. The clock is ticking.... Now, I'm going to collect my VP of Security, and I'll see you folks later. (Merritt leaves the ring, gesturing to security to carry Gethard out behind him, as Thomas, Regis, and the set ascend back into the upper recesses of the arena.)
BB: Well there you have it, folks! Chad Merritt is back as co-owner and Commissioner....and the Red Midget here is NOT nor will he ever be my boss!
RM: You don't have to sound so happy about it. Sammy, what are you mumbling about over there.
RM: Stop that...he was just kidding.
BB: I don't think so. He looked dead serious to me.
RM: Stop it!
RM: I'm leaving now...you people are insane.
SB: Oh come on...just stay for another four minutes and three seconds...PLEASE!
RM: Thomas won't let you get away with this...
SB: Thomas has other things to worry about then your undersized behind...Buckley, do you still have your Haliburton under the desk as usual?
BB: Of course, Sammy...and you're welcome to borrow it...for any reason.
SB: Did you ever get that dent out from the last time I jacked Red here over the head with it?
BB: Oh this is a brand new one, Sammy...and it's even heavier than the last one.
SB: Sounds great....more bang for your buck, so to speak.
(The Red Midget runs screaming from the commentators' table....the crowd collectively laughs and begins a "Sammy" chant.)
BB: Folks, that may be a first...I don't know if the fans have ever cheered for Sammy before.
SB: And I'm lovin' it.