Post by Cleo Phillips on Aug 28, 2022 5:55:46 GMT -5
The time for celebrating was over, it was now time for Cleo Phillips to buckle up, and be the champion that she, and the rest of her peers believed she could be. She had no intention of repeating a short run like she did with the Collateral Damage championship, and she had every intention of stepping her game up from her United Championship run.
She wasn’t just a champion this time, she was THE champion. The one every new viewer, every new signee would see as the person to beat. She was the one on the cover of the video game, and her face would be heavily featured in all PWS promotional material.
Now, it was time to show them why, it was time for the era of The Body Snatcher.
The scene opens, and we see Cleo Phillips, World Championship proudly slung over her shoulder, sitting on a set of bleachers. Her usual garb of sunglasses, and baseball cap ever present, she lets the camera focus on her, and the championship, before adjusting the shades to her forehead, so we can see her eyes as she speaks.
“Well, I guess the party’s over isn’t it?” she started, “It’s time to knuckle up, get back to business and prove that I deserve this championship on my shoulder. It’s time I show why I am the very best in this company at this given time, and why the Era of The Body Snatcher is going to continue into the unforeseeable future, and I challenge ANYONE to come in here and try and put it to an end.”
She looks at her championship proudly, and pats it twice.
“I know, you’re all wondering how I feel about Alexandra Calaway after she sneak attacked me on the last Riot, but truth is, I’m not mad.” she said with a shrug, “This championship puts a target on my back, she’s likely frustrated about her loss and who better to take it out on than the new champ, who just defeated her to earn the right to call herself, the new champ.”
She nods with a smirk,
“But Alexandra, if you wanted another go..all you had to was ask.” she continued, “You don’t need to jump me from behind, just come at me to my face and we can handle whatever needs to be handled. Right now though, I need you on my side and everyone is also wondering if I can even trust you after that sneak attack, and truthfully…I think I can."
She shrugs, and laughs slightly.
“From bell to bell, I have good faith that you won’t try anything.” she said, "I don’t think your pride will let you risk losing this match. After it’s all said and done though, all bets are of. Once that bell rings, and our hands are raised in victory, if you want to throw hands then I’ll be right there ready. So if you’re feeling froggy again, you’ll have the chance to leap and this time it will be to my face. You feel me?”
Her tone shifts more serious near the end there, as does her expression.
“So, it’s Mike Hawk, and Devon Ryder we have to contend with, also two proven talents.” Cleo continued, “We’re also in Canada, so Ryder is going to have his hometown advantage, they love that guy here.”
Cleo pauses for a moment and shrugs.
“Gotta be a hero somewhere, I guess.” she said. “Won’t change anything. Alexandra and myself are both out to prove just a little more than the boys are. I’ve got to be a champion, and Alexandra has to catch her rebound and regain her momentum. I’ve defeated both Hawk and Ryder in singles action, and I think due to our competitive nature Alexandra and myself are actually the team that is likely to get along better. The two of us seek to win, but my guts telling me the boys are just going to look to outshine one another. I suppose both teams are competitive in their own way, but only one way will be good enough to win the match."
She taps her chest with a smile, silently mouthing our way.
“Devon will no doubt remind us how much of a hero he is here in Canada, and remind us all once again where America is struggling, using it all to make himself seem like some sort of pariah with his holier-than-thou attitude.” she said, “And Mike will have his jokes, and use his humor to try and get under our skin, and make himself seem like less of a threat.”
She shakes her head, grinning
“I’m sure you’re wondering why I got involved in your match.” she said, “It’s simple really, I saw you up there trying to mock me when I won at Rise to Glory. You seemed to have wanted my attention, and now you have it. I did ruin your match, and chance at victory though didn’t I?”
She smirks and laughs to herself
“My bad.” she says with a shrug.
She looks down at her championship once more, with a proud smile.
“Look, I’m the damn World Champion. I’m the woman to beat around here. Devon has his Collater..Canadian Domination championship, but he’s not the one on top. I am, and I am going to be for a long time. Mike Hawk won’t stop me, Devon Ryder won’t stop me, and even Alexandra Calaway won’t stop me. I’m not letting the all my hard work go to waste and take away what I’ve earned. I’m better than the Cleo that beat you both in the past, so you boys are going to really need to bring your A game. Your double A game if I’m being truthful.” Cleo continued on, “If my statements about Alexandra are true, and she sets her pride aside between bells, then that spells double trouble for you. Whatever happens, it’s going to be clear which inmate runs the asylum, it will be clear just who the new Shot Caller is, and she is locked, loaded and ready to..”
She pushes her sunglasses back down.
“SET IT OFF.”
The cameras stay focused on her for a few seconds, before fading to black.
On the walls of The Lyons Den, hang a collection of photographs. The Wall of World Champions, there’s Vincent Lyons Sr., the founder of The Lyons Den and multiple time world champion in his career. His brothers Zachary and Ray also adorn the wall alongside him. Joining the three brothers is Keevee Kaiser, now head trainer of the new era of Lyons Den talent and also a former multiple time world champion in his heyday. Joining them as well is Aaron Asphyxia, another former World Champion who got her start in the school, and now a new picture would be added, one of Cleo Phillips. PWS World Champion.
“You sure it’s not crooked?” Kaiser asked, as he looked on at the wall with Cleo and Z-Money.
“Naw, it’s cool.” Cleo said looking up at herself on the wall.
“I’m proud of you.” Kaiser said, “You’re my first student to win a World Championship, and the first in years to bring one home to the Lyons Den. Vincent Jr. won a couple secondary championships, but always came up short when it came to a World Championship. Victoria…well, she’s lost her mind and I have no idea what to do with her right now. Eddie’s a good guy, he’ll get there I’m sure but his story is only just starting, and Alex… ”
“Alex what?” a voice interrupted, “Got something to say about me?”
Alex sauntered up to the two, general look of disgust as he sees Cleo on the wall.
“Go on, you were saying something….coach?” Alex smirked arrogantly
“I was explaining to MY MOST SUCCESSFUL student” Kaiser replied showing no fear, “That the REST of you still have a long ways go to. I was going to tell her that you are the one I see the most potential in to become the next face on this wall, but…”
“But what?” Alex interrupted.
“You need to think about your own future. You just lost your tag team championships. Maybe it’s time for Alex to rethink Alex. You want to see a new generation of Lyons on the wall alongside your uncles and your father?” Kaiser started, “Take action for yourself.”
“ANTITHESIS are my brothers.” said Alex
“And how much have they really done for you?” asked Kaiser, “Or are they keeping the Feral Prince caged?”
“Go to hell.” Alex snapped, “You don’t know anything about brotherhood. Maybe I am a caged animal, but I’m THEIR caged animal and you never know who I might decide to strike next.”
Alex stepped up to Cleo's face as he spoke, she of course met his eyes and didn’t back down.
“If the kitty wants to play, then we can play.” Cleo said fearlessly.
“Stop it.” Kaiser said, “Both of you. I can’t have you fighting each other over the World Championship, conflict of interest and all."
They all three shrug and nod.
“Yeah, whatever.” said Alex.
“But there are other championships in PWS besides tag team…” Kaiser reminded Alex.
Alex stopped to think for a moment, “Hmm…you..you might have something there.” he said. “Other championships….”
He pondered the thought as he walked off to one of the back offices, leaving Cleo and their trainer alone once more.
“He’s gonna have to step his game up if he wants to go at Alexis, I’ll tell you that.” said Cleo
“I dunno, with his demeanor he might be suited to go after Devon Ryder.” said Kaiser, “But enough about him, I'll deal with him later, this is your time right now.”
“Damn right it is.” said Cleo
“Now, I want you to be the best champ possible, both in and out of the ring.” Kaiser started
“Where’s this goin’ coach?” asked Cleo
“You know you had no business getting involved in Mike Hawks match.” Kaiser told her.
“Hey now..” Cleo said, “He looked at me funny at the Rise to Glory, and was acting like he wanted to throw down, so I was just letting him know that I was watching and responded accordingly.”
“Bit unprofessional wasn’t it?” said Kaiser
“Look, Cleo.” Kaiser continued, “You’re the World Champion. All of your actions are going to be picked apart, but jumping into matches like that? You’re better than that and you know it."
“Yeah, maybe I just got a little excited.” Cleo said
“It’s not that big of a deal” said Kaiser, “Just maybe slap him around AFTER his match next time.”
Cleo laughs, “Yeah, sure I hear ya coach. I’ll try to keep my cool a little better."
“Sure thing.” said Kaiser, “Anyway, wanna go run some drills with Eddie?”
“No doubt.” nodded Cleo, as the two walked off to a nearby ring, for an impromptu training session, “Hey, you know, I think Victoria's ex-husband just signed to PWS.”
“Ace Michaels?” Kaiser said, “Really? Huh. Imagine that. Wonder if he’s met Alex yet.”
Cleo shrugged, and then rolled into the ring, a younger ginger-haired male enters the ring shortly after as the sparring match begins with a lockup in the middle of the ring.
"Nice lockup guys, keep it up.." Kaiser coached
The next few hours would be spent putting in some training and general workouts.
On the balcony of a Calgary hotel, a figure holds up the PWS World Championship, and postures for the non-existent crowd.
“Yeah, that’s right the champ is here” said Z-Money, soon interrupted by a voice behind him.
“Having fun?” Cleo laughed
Z’s eyes grew wide, and he quickly handed Cleo back her championship.
“Sorry…” he said. “Just wanted to hold it.”
“Ah, it’s all good Z” said Cleo, “I ain’t trippin’, you can still hold it if you want.”
“Naw, that’s your championship.” he said, “I was just playin’ around.”
“You know, I may be World Champ now, but there will come a day when I’d like to complete the Grand Slam, and for that I’d need a partner…” she said.
“I know what you’re hinting at, but you know I can’t wrestle.” said Z
“Because of the concussions..” she replied.
“Those prison fights ended up giving me some real consequences” nodded Z, “Besides you don’t need to be worrying about the tag belts anyway, save that shit for the future. Focus on what you do have, and that’s that belt right there.”
Z-Money raps a finger at the belt on Cleo's shoulder, she nods in agreement.
“Yeah, getting a little ahead of myself I guess.” she said.
“So, you worried about Alexandra?” asked Z-Money
”C’mon, who you talkin’ to?” Cleo responded, “Not me that’s for sure.”
“It’s just..” Z-Money began, “Like, after the match, they all might try somethin’, I don’t trust any of those three.”
“Then I guess I’ll have to go old school, and scrap with them.” she said, “I’ve been outnumbered in fights before and I’m still here, if anyone can handle themselves in a situation like that, it’s me.”
“I know, I know, just…be on your guard is all.” said Z, “I’m just trying to do my part here, and be your support.”
“Yeah, no doubt." said Cleo, “And I appreciate the lookin’ out. You’re a true friend Z. I’m glad your on this journey with me.”
“Even Batman needs Robin right?” grinned Z.
“Something like that” laughed Cleo, “Maybe Hand of The Queen would be more relevant to current pop culture.”
“Batman is always relevant.” noted Z
“Fair, but I mean..you can do better than Robin.” Cleo laughed.
“Ron Weasley?” shrugged Z
Cleo laughed, “I think we’d need a Hermione for that one."
“Point is, you know I got you, as your hand, your Robin, Your Ron, Your Chewbacca, Samewise Gamgee if you prefer you get the idea.” said Z-Money, “Whatever happens, I’m always on your side.”
“Oh man, I know that Z.” Cleo said, giving her friend a fist bump, "You’re just preaching to the choir at this point.”
“Patrick Star?” he grinned.
Cleo shook her head, “You a damn fool Z. You know that.”
The two continued naming famous sidekicks, and just enjoying the moment as friends.
Post by Alexandra Sanders on Aug 28, 2022 22:09:14 GMT -5
After Her Loss to Cleo
Alexandra had lost her World Championship match against Cleo, that was no lie. The battle between the two was a history maker. There was no doubt in her mind on that and it was a fact that no one could deny. But Alexandra dwelled on it since the loss, causing her to become reclusive, staying to herself as much as possible. No blog post, no conversations on social media, total darkness. It was almost as if she had taken to hiding away in shame, but that was not the case. She made her presence known at Riot and intended to destroy her former opponent. It was a loss that she took hard. Twenty-Three years in the industry and she still had not been able to capture World Championship Gold.
"That title should have been mine... Twenty-three years in this industry and I lose to her. She is good, but she is not me."
"Alexandra... I am disappointed in you, Alexandra. You KNEW what needed to be done to best Cleo Phillips, and yet... in the end, you hesitated. You suppressed your Darkness - suppressed ME. Why do you insist on playing by THEIR rules, even when you know it can only bring you misery?"
The Voice sounded in her head, replayed in her memories. He had given her a chance, the shot at a glorious future and she had failed him. Failed herself. He was disappointed in her. She needed to unleash her anger, let go, show them all what she was made of.
"Make sure they remember you -"
"After what I do next... they will never forget me again..."
She was determined to make sure that the next time, things ended differently, for now.. this was where she was. Having to prove to voice that she was all that he believed her to be. She was the Dark Queen of PWS: APEX. She was the one to fear, the one to look over your shoulder, to shiver when you heard her name. Cleo Philips.. would pay the next time she faced Alexandra, it was only a matter of time.
Having attacked Cleo on the Riot after her loss, trying to make a statement brought them together as a team. Alexandra and Cleo would be going up against the team of Devon Ryder and Mike Hawk. Alexandra knew Mike and Cleo well enough, having defeated Mike easily during the Battle Royal to become the number one contender. Alexandra looked at the images on the table in front of her, Cleo, Devon, Mike. She lifted the one of Cleo, looking at the fire on the candle in front of her, the bowl of burning incense in front of it, between her and the candle.
"It's not an easy thing, teaming with the person who took your title chances and dreams away. It's not easy holding back from your true nature to keep from costing you both, however I am forced to do it on Riot. I'm forced to look her in the eyes knowing that I'm not her opponent and that costing her means costing myself. And how does one do that, without completely losing control and snapping on her. It's simple.. time. The killer of all things. She can hold her head high, walk down that ramp with her pretty little championship. But in the end, we both know who the better woman is."
Alexandra had been at war for weeks from her true nature. To fight back the desire to destroy everyone she faced, to hold back the violence that always bubbled up just below the surface, threatening to break free. Then there was the voice
"My partner, Cleo, while she knows what it is like to face me in the ring. She knows what I am capable of doing.. the better question is.. will her mind be in the game or is she too worried that I'll attack her again. I know how to be a good tag team partner. I know what I must do to prove that I am the Queen here. She doesn't need to worry too much about me.. but I know it's going to be in the back of her mind, eating away at her. I will be like a virus, slowly eating through her brain until she realizes that she was the weaker link this time."
She paused, her focus was directly on the image of Cleo in her hands. Her eyes were like a woman possessed. She was not holding back. Her eyes were cold, her gaze calculated.
"So while we must be a team, know this Cleo, my eyes will always be on that World Championship you now hold. When it is the right time.. I will make sure that the result is different."
She could wait.. she could steel her reserve and be the partner Cleo deserved. From bell ring to bell ring, she would prove that she was focused on the common goal to destroy their opponents, but that in no way meant she wouldn't destroy Cleo afterwards to prove her point. She was NO ONES bitch, least of all Cleo's. Partner or not, Alexandra was THE QUEEN of PWS:APEX. She placed Cleo's photo into the flame, allowing it to burn preparing the way for the others that would follow.
"I will do what I must.. and that, will not be something that any of you three will enjoy."
Next was Devon Ryder, lifting his picture to the flame, she closed her eyes, waiting until the heat started reaching her finger tips, before dropping it into the bowl.
"Devon..." A soft and evil chuckle escaped her painted lips. She ran her fingers through her colored hair, before speaking once more, not that anyone would ever see or hear this, except her. "Devon Ryder... Little bit Devon.. well.. at least compared to Mike.. Who I've beaten. And if my research on you is correct.. You've lost to my partner.. Well now.. isn't this convenient for she and I... It's almost as if management set you both up to fail. Even if they didn't.. it's not going to be an easy night for you, nor will you get an easy win out of it."
She spoke as if people could hear her although she knew she was alone, completely alone.
"Devon Ryder, like so many before you.. you will fall at my feet. I can just taste the victory now. Beating you, will be my magnus opus. Once my partner and I defeat you and Mike Hawk.. I will move forward and destroy my partner. I will take that Gold from her. Its only a matter of minutes until we will all meet in that very ring and when we do.. you may come in Unbroken Devon Ryder, but you WILL leave it broken. I will break your spirit.. and shatter your dreams of winning."
She chuckled, lifting Mike Hawks picture up, looking at the other Canadian in the match. A man she had already beaten once before, she knew him, knew how he moved.. and she knew his weaknesses, everyone had them.
She let out a soft evil chuckle.
"Mikey... what are you even doing in this match? What makes you think you deserve a spot in the World Championship race? I beat you easily in our little battle royal bout. You can't beat me, what makes you think that you'll be able to beat me when I'm teamed with our current champion? You couldn't beat me alone.. there's no way you'll beat both of us."
She smiled as she drug his photo across the flames of the candle, before dropping it into the incensed bowl. She couldn't help it.. Mike and Devon were far too easy prey and tonight, she would prove once and for all that she was THE DARK QUEEN of WRESTLING.
"Mike... you are a joke and sure.. we will be facing off in your home country.. which means people like myself will be harshly boo'ed, but guess what.. unlike my partner.. those boos wont bother me.. they will only push me to hit harder and move faster. Tell me big man.. just how long can you go before you tire out? Can you go sixty minutes? Can you even last twenty minutes? Well.. it doesn't really matter what you think to be honest. You want to go toe to toe with me.. well then big boy.. let's do it. Because I can not WAIT to tear you apart again. It will be just like last time. You WILL fall at my feet. This time.. make sure to say.. Thank you.. My Queen.."
She laughed watching as the photos burned to dark ash, before she took it moving to the mirror in her locker room, her fingers dipped into the ash as she drew a pentagram on her forehead. Alexandra stood looking at herself in the mirror. The lights flickered then went dim.
She looked around a shiver filled her, causing her to wrap her arms around herself.
"I told you nothing would changed until you finally heeded me. Why do you so insist upon denying your own truth?"
She shook her head, trying to shove the voice away, but it was there in the room with her, the air had gotten thin and she stared forward as if in a trance.
"I have listened.. I do not mean to deny you..." She paused "I did not mean to fight off who I really am.."
She crumbled to the floor, having once been standing proud.
"Then why are they still STANDING, ALEXANDRA?! You should be a tidal wave. A HURRICANE. You are inevitable, divine destruction ITSELF given form... and yet you play by THEIR rules?! You allow yourself to be bound by THEIR restrictions? You had Cleo Phillips at your FINGERTIPS last Riot...and you let her live. Why?"
"I got distracted.. it will NOT happen again.. I will NOT fail you again... Angel forgive me..."
She looked up at the figure in the darkness, her eyes on it. She begged it for forgiveness, it was as if this voice had a power over her that could break down the walls she had built to keep her from being the violent destructive force of nature she had been.
"I do not forgive, Alexandra... and the Darkness does not forget. You were promised gold if - and ONLY if - you could deliver blood. You cannot allow yourself to BE distracted, if you truly believe in the mission. The CAUSE. Perhaps I have misjudged your loyalties...perhaps you are no Queen of Darkness after all."
And there it was.. now her Angel of Darkness doubted her. He doubted her legitimacy. She would have to show him she was, no matter the cost. Se rose from her knees, walking to stand in front of the figure, her head tilted as if she was trying to make out the features of who spoke.
"I am the Queen of Darkness.. and tonight.. you will see that.."
"Good. Then prove it, Alexandra. Show me you deserve the Crown."
"Tonight and every night going forward, I will prove to you that I deserve the Crown you long to bestow upon me.. Then you will reveal yourself to your Queen.. No more hiding..."
The scene faded to black on the scene of her close to the darkness, a hand reached out from it, placing a hand on her head, just over where the pentagram sat.
Post by Mike Hawk on Aug 28, 2022 22:12:32 GMT -5
Act 1: M&Ms
*We come in on an MTV-style graphic over a few still shots of Mike Hawk, dressed in a ghetto outfit, complete with an unnecessary amount of chains, a cap, sunglasses, and a baseball jersey with the number 69 on it, some shorts, and running shoes. His hair is in dreadlocks. The background changes from the slums, to a parking lot, to a nondescript dark room. He looks at the camera. The graphic reads “Rap President” , "MC Rib", and "Fuck you records". Hawk starts rapping, much to the dismay of the people watching.*
Mike: I'm the president of rap, you're gonna need a map, gonna hit you with a strap. 'Cause I don't take any crap, from… uh… you. I didn't think that line through.
*Hawk stops, but the beat keeps going as he tries to think of more lyrics.*
Mike: Um… woo! Yeah! I'm the best there is, the best there was, the best there… is… the best that… uh… yeah, woo!
*He stops again, pausing for even longer while the beat awkwardly keeps going.*
Mike: I will beat those bitches, leave those hoes in stitches, I am scared of witches, that is unrelated, it’s a phobia!
*He stops again, bobbing his head to the music.*
Mike: Bitch, just give up, I'm going to live…
*Devon Ryder walks on-camera.*
*He was off-screen again.*
Mike: With that Canadian menace, you know his name isn't Dennis, and we ain't goin' to Venice, we're in… wait, where are we?
*From off-camera, Ryder tells him.*
Mike: Oh, fuckin' A! I love Alberta!
*The beat stops.*
*The camera holds on Hawk giving a gang sign, then it pans out to show Devon Ryder and Desiree de la Roche sitting on a chair, as the previous graphics fade in favor of a large green screen.*
Mike: So, what do you think?
Devon: …Hey Mike, I just realized, why didn't we get Desi to play Cleo?
Mike: …Oh, SON OF A-
Act 2: Embrace the Darkness.
*The scene cuts to a gigantic arena. In said arena is Mike Hawk, dressed like Anakin Skywalker, but before anything comes of it, he’s interrupted by someone off-camera who we can’t quite hear.*
Mike: What? …What do you mean “We can’t do this one”!? Why not? …Oh, fuck Disney! And I mean that literally, fuck Walt Disney in the ass! …What do you mean “He’s dead”? Since when!? …1966!?
*There’s a long pause. Mike looks legitimately shocked, like he didn’t know that Walt Disney’s been dead for 56 years.*
Mike: …Christ almighty… Alright, let’s uh… let’s go to the next one.
*Devon Ryder comes in dressed as Chancellor Palpatine.*
Devon: Have you ever heard the tale of-
Mike: No, Devon, we can’t do this one.
Devon: What? Why not?
Devon: Oh, fuck Disney!
Mike: That’s what I said!
Act 3: Everybody Gets One
*The Calgary stampede. The building, not the thing. A large stadium where rodeos go on every year. There’s not one currently going on. Instead, in the stands is Mike Hawk, booing and throwing popcorn at the vast nothingness going on. He’s wearing a black t-shirt with white lettering that says “Fuck America” on it, as well as blue jeans, cowboy boots and a cowboy hat to match. He notices the camera and smiles.*
Mike: The Calgary Stampede. Often called the greatest outdoor show on earth. Y’know what I call it? Fucking BORING! I mean sure, it was last month, but that doesn’t excuse the pathetic excuse for a show they’re putting on now. BOO! Bring out the bulls!
*He throws some more popcorn at the empty arena, before walking down and onto the dirt floor itself, walking and talking to the camera.*
Mike: So, I’m up against 2 people today? Along with my close personal friend, shut up yes he is, no YOU shut up, no YOU shut up, Devon Ryder, I’m going to beat the shit out of 2 women who, for all intent and purposes, should be on opposite sides of the ring from one another. 2 women who come from the cancerous tumor growing out the bottom of this country. 2 women who have…
*He lets out a long, dejected sigh.*
Mike: Beaten me. That’s right, I admit it, these two have gotten the drop on me, once each. However, that does not mean that they’re better than me. No, no, in fact, quite the opposite. Cleo, I’ll talk to you first. Hi! How are you? I’m sorry if my outfit in act 1 was racially insensitive. Also, congratulations on winning the title! Okay, now that we’ve gotten the pleasantries out of the way…
*Hawk smiles, looking at the camera.*
Mike: In the history of this company, 3 things have been constant truths. 1: Catering is ALWAYS out of ham. ALWAYS. 2: Levi Russow is a cunt. He knows why. And 3: Nobody, and I mean NOBODY, beats Mike Hawk twice.
*He slowly, softly nods, as he starts speaking again.*
Mike: For example, let's take a look at the one who beat you, Cleo, by throwing you off a roof. Jonathan “I would eat a live chipmunk if I thought it would offend somebody” Sanders. He beat me. Fair and square, he beat me. Then after that… Never. Again. We fought 2 more times after that, and, as should have happened the first time, I won. Because nobody can keep Mike Hawk down for long. And when it comes to my partner for the night, Devon Ryder… I mean, fuck, do you even NEED to be told? His nickname is “Unbreakable”, for fuck’s sake. You’re not just called that for no reason! I’ve seen for myself how much of a pain in the ass he is to take down! But you know that first hand, don’t you Cleo? You know first hand that Devon Ryder is Unbreakable.
*Suddenly, the opening riff of The Guess Who’s “American Woman” starts playing, making Hawk jump as he hears it. Soon it stops and he looks confused.*
Mike: I guess that just plays whenever anyone says that phrase. It’s like a weirdly-leftist Beetlejuice. Well, anyhow, now onto you, Alexandra Calexandra. Wait, hold on… Alaway Calaway. Oh, god dammit!
*He punches the air once in frustration at his own stupid mistake as he makes it about halfway around the stadium arena. He stops, staring right down the lens.*
Mike: You threw me over the top rope. Just like with Cleo, you get ONE. Okay? Like, sure, I could play on a lot of things here, like how Cleo’s been in jail, or how you’re old enough to be someone’s grandmother, or how if you gave better blowjobs your husband wouldn’t have killed himself, but I’m not going to do that. Because all I NEED to do is bring up our history. Bring up how you each have a 1-0 record against me, and how tonight, I’m going to tie that score. Me and Pinko Frank the Communist Camel. Because try as you might, even the mighty Alexandra Calaway, the one who right off the bat management was like “Yeah, let’s give her a world title match, that can ONLY end well!”, can’t stop the rampaging Canadian monster that’s on a quest to rid the world of everything that makes America shitty, which is like trying to rid the world of everything that makes caramel sticky. But hey, he’s trying his best.
*Hawk picks up the pace a bit, getting most of the way around as he wipes the sweat from his brow, looking back at the camera again.*
Mike: Oh, and Alexandra… do me a favour, will you? Give into that inner darkness of yours. Because then you might actually stand a chance. I have a habit of attracting the attention of the darkest, broodiest motherfuckers on the roster. Next thing you know, you’re gonna be parading around with Sadness O’Flannigan and his band of merry fuck-buddies.
Mike: And Cleo, don’t think I’ve forgotten about you! We’re coming full-circle. Cleo, you grew up on the streets, and it hardened you. Made you one tough bitch, a woman not to mess with. Great!
*He gets close to the camera.*
Mike: So put up or shut up.
*He steps back again.*
Mike: Because I’ve toughened up too, since we last fought. Tonight, you’ll learn that no matter how hard you are, Mike Hawk is SO much harder. In fact, Mike Hawk is so hard, you won’t know what hit you. When you’re slapped by Mike Hawk, you’ll feel just how hard Mike Hawk has become! And when Mike Hawk hits you right between the eyes, you’ll be sorry you ever underestimated Mike Hawk.
*He chuckles to himself once more, as he gets back to the entrance of the building.*
Mike: And tonight, I’m truly going to…
*He speaks in a mocking tone.*
Mike: Set it off!
*He smirks, mumbling to himself as he leaves the arena.*
Mike: Such a stupid way to end a promo. You don’t need a fucking catchphrase, you’re not a Flintstone...
*He grumbles as the camera surely but slowly fades to black.*
Post by Devon Ryder on Aug 28, 2022 23:00:13 GMT -5
ACT ONE: Remember, You Will Die…
I’m going to die one day.
Familiar talons grip my psyche as I sit upright in bed, feet planted on the scratchy and well-worn carpet, drawing upon every iota of willpower I have to focus my attention on the rhythm of the clock. It shall be my anchor. My constant. My tether to this moment. I must cling to it as survivors clung to driftwood from the wreck of the Titanic, shore myself against the vicious riptide which threatens to engulf my every thought…
I have seen this beast before.
I know what lurks beneath these waves…
And it is not a monster I can slay.
I’m going to die.
This despondent thought rages like a monsoon through my mind, bombarding my resolve and weakening the walls around my soul. I can feel the icy fingers of terror creeping in, forcing themselves through the cracks, grasping for a hold on any fraction of my mental landscape, so they can spread the frost of fear to do its work. I cannot allow them in. I will not let this rotten bulb of frigid anguish take root inside my mind. I will not let it plant itself and fester; metastasize like cancer and expand, freezing everything it touches with its paralytic, existential venom.
I know what will become of me if I succumb to that cold. If that bitter frostbite cuts its way into my soul… because I have been there before. I have given in and watched it wither my ambition, hollow-out my sense of self until a frozen shell remained. I will not let my fire die this time…
The clock's hold on me is weakening. I try to concentrate again, but I fear it's not enough to hold my focus. I begin to spiral; I feel one foot enter the whirlpool, and the current does the rest. I’m engulfed. Drowning. The beast beneath the waves has found its prey, and the fingers of its fear begin to freeze over my psyche…
I… am going… to die.
No. NO. You still have time to fight this, Devon. You have not passed the event horizon. You are not dead YET. Now FOCUS. Focus on your breathing; slow, even - in, and out. You know the way back from here - Desiree gave us the tools so that we need not be stranded.
Calm yourself now, Devon. Remember what she told us. Be here, be present, in this moment. Be alive. Look around you, Devon, tell me five things you can see…
The window. Thin, horizontal stripes of light pouring through the cracks between the blinds.
The wall. The colour of wine; deep burgundy, uneven and marred with bubbles, dents and scuffs - the scars of lived-in homes.
The carpet. Shaggy, rough, misshapen. It still bears the evidence of recent vacuuming… and I can feel it on my feet.
The bedposts. Four solid, oaken pillars - steadfast sentinels, watching over us in slumber. The load-bearing trusses of our love.
The silks. Two translucent scarves, tied securely to the bedposts. A salmon-pink reminder that we have been together. I reach out, caress one with my fingertips; feel its sheer, gossamer fabric on my skin. I can see this.
I can feel this.
I am still alive.
And I will not let that life go to waste.
ACT TWO: What We Leave Behind
*We fade in on a wide crane shot of a single, isolated schoolhouse. It sits alone, rather imposing and forlorn, in a well-kempt grassy field which finds itself pockmarked by shoddy, makeshift headstones. Each of these memorials is marked with some sort of memento - stuffed animals, of all varieties, bringing a childish and innocent touch to what might be otherwise macabre. Nonetheless, it seems a rather chilling vista, and as we pan around this silent graveyard, many viewers likely expecting a piece of gothic poetry from Jonathan Sanders, instead a very DIFFERENT voice meets our ears.*
“When I feed the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor are hungry, they call me a communist.”
*Following these words, the camera comes to settle on the form of PWS: Apex’s resident Canadian Hero, the self-styled ‘Canadian Domination Champion’, “Unbreakable” Devon Ryder. Ryder’s expression is stern, absent his traditional arrogant smirk, appropriately sombre for the surroundings and the topic.*
"Dom Helder Camara said that, the Archbishop of Recife in Brazil. It was a quote that summarized his views as a proponent of the Latin American 'liberation theology' movement; essentially, it was an offshoot sect within the Catholic church which believed in ‘radical’ ideas such as helping the impoverished, and bringing justice and equality to the systemically oppressed. Now, this praxis came under fire when it was proposed - which should not be surprising - from the Vatican, for what it called ‘Marxist influences’ in the philosophy. But that was not the only reason they objected. The Catholic Church objected to being vilified - to the concept that was being taught within Liberation Theology that they were culpable in this oppression, that they reaped the benefits of privilege and actively participated in the cultural oppression of indigenous peoples.”
*A pause, here, and it is NOW that Devon’s grin comes to feature.*
“Well, we know THAT can’t possibly be true, don’t we? That the Catholic Church should ever be implicated in eradicating an indigenous population… why, that’s positively unthinkable.”
*Sarcasm DRIPS from Devon’s words as he speaks the above sentences. His eyes seem to reflect a sort of embittered amusement for a moment, but as swiftly as it had blossomed, the grin vanishes from his face. The camera pans around, then, to face the school building, keeping Devon in frame but just off-centre.*
“This is Kamloops Indian Residential School. At one time, it was the largest Residential School in Canada, with ‘enrollment’ numbers pushing 500. I use the term ‘enrollment’ loosely, of course, since it was far from VOLUNTARILY that children would attend this institution. Instead, the residents of COUNTLESS different indigenous tribes and peoples were essentially held HOSTAGE - quite literally physically forced, in many cases - and made to enter this establishment for the expressed, explicit purpose of stripping their culture from them. They were to be assimilated. Converted. ‘Civilized’, in the barbaric, backwards vernacular of the time, by none other than - as the astute among you have surely already guessed - the fucking Catholic church. The very same Vatican that decried the words of Dom Helder Camara and his fellow Liberationists - who fought so VEHEMENTLY against the allegations that they were the beneficiaries of privilege, and had used their power to oppress and undermine minority and indigenous populations - created the single greatest symbol of colonial oppression that Canadian First Nations peoples have ever known.”
*A beat. Devon lets his words sink in.*
“Now, I’d like to be very clear. I chose to bring you all here today - to visit this spot NOW, on PWS: Apex’s first-ever Canadian tour - because I want you to learn the TRUTH of Canada. I want you to see this country as it IS, and not simply as I would like it to be. This school was a travesty. It is a black mark on our nation’s history, one we are only now beginning to atone for, and it physically DISGUSTS me that it remained open until 1978!”
“Consider that a moment. When the original Star Wars aired in theatres, this building was still a Residential School. Now, its purpose may have shifted in that time; in 1969, the Canadian Government took control of the school away from its original owners - whom we’ll get to in a moment - and decided to use it as student residences for kids attending other schools within the area. But the damage was already done. The LEGACY had been left behind, and keeping this school open - no matter WHAT its stated purpose was - only served to reinforce that legacy.”
*A pause, and Devon slowly exhales. He lowers his head for a moment in respect - and to collect his thoughts - as Desiree slowly saunters into view. She wraps one arm around his waist, bowing her head as well, before the couple rise together to look into the camera lens.*
“I have always been afraid of death. I don’t mind admitting that to you, because a true warrior has no problem with expressing vulnerability. But the reason that I bring it up is because it is uncomfortable for me to visit these locations. These grounds have seen so much death, so many children lost their lives in the halls of this ABOMINATION… it can be difficult for me to process it. I begin to ponder my OWN mortality, and it can cause me to spiral… but this had to be done. This message is bigger than my own petty phobias. I NEEDED to be here, to walk these tainted grounds and SHARE this story with you all… because it illustrates a point. Earlier, I mentioned legacies. The legacy of this school in Canada, and how it will shape the recollections and opinions of the indigenous peoples who were harmed, but I’d also like to mention the legacy of Dom Camara, and the other Liberationists who followed his example. Because Dom Camara was correct. His philosophy has, with time, been proven true, and the Catholic Church is responsible for mass death and oppression of indigenous and minority groups. So what does that MEAN for Dom Helder? How does it shape our IMAGE of him as a man, and the impact that he left on the world with all his work?”
*A beat. A pause. Ryder’s face betrays much consternation.*
“I don’t know that I have that answer. But I do know it exists. Because I am speaking of Dom Helder Camara now, which means he did leave SOME sort of lasting legacy which has outlived his physical form. It was the street artist Banksy, I believe, who said that we die twice; once when our hearts stop, and again when our names are mentioned for the last time. I cannot avoid the former - neither could these children, Dom Camara, or ANY human being walking this Earth now. But perhaps we can avoid the SECOND death. Perhaps we can work to change the things we leave behind - to shape our impact on the lives of those around us - to ensure that we’ll be more than just some name upon a headstone. In the end, after all, we are little more than the stories people tell about us…so how can we ensure those stories will endure?”
*Devon pauses for a long time, now, his face pensive and regretful.*
“Tonight, I’m facing Cleo Phillips; a woman I am SURE has more than a few stories that she tells about ME. I suspect they are not flattering. But Cleo, I want you to know - truly, deeply, and from the bottom of my heart - that I am sorry. What I did, when I had you arrested, was wrong. It was NOT becoming conduct for a Hero, and I’ve thought about it since that day. I wish that I could take it back. But we must all live with the consequences of our actions; I cannot undo this, but I can, at least, atone.”
*Another pause, but briefer this time.*
“You know a lot about atonement yourself, don’t you, Cleo? I know how you’ve turned your life around - it’s admirable, actually. I will always be the FIRST in line to LAUD all you’ve accomplished, and the brilliant work you do with at-risk, inner-city children… but I fear it’s not enough. I know You mean well, Cleo, but you’re putting a band-aid on a tumour. It doesn’t matter how many schools you visit or children you inspire when the system is still set up to ensure that they will fail! When was the last time you stood up against Redlining, Cleo? Or capitalism and its exploitation of the working class? Where were you when Georgia passed restrictive voting laws, or when the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that WOMEN are not allowed autonomy over their own bodies?! Where was your support for the victims of the horrible, racially-motivated shooting in New York? How much ‘help’ or ‘inspiration’ did you give THOSE families?”
*Devon pauses again, inhaling sharply.*
"I don't mean to imply you're disingenuous, Cleo - indeed, I know that a lack of OBSERVABLE action does not equate to a lack of action - but you cannot deny; optics ARE important. Optics are how we WIN, Cleo; they are what can set our movements apart from those of our enemies. OPTICS form our LEGACY - and yours, I'm sorry to say, will be far more about PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING than about making the world a better place."
*Another pause, Devon lets his words sink in.*
“And as for my other opponent tonight, Alexandra Calaway…”
“I do not blame you for being a victim of this system, Alexandra. You, like Jonathan Sanders, like Cleo Phillips, like Mike Hawk - like ANY human being - are a product of your environment. You are another helpless child, caught in the cycle of violence. YOU are living with the consequences of your OWN legacy - the legacy of trauma, and while it's helped you cultivate a particularly savage skillset, it is NOT a legacy to perpetuate. You should desire BETTER for your daughter - try to SAVE her from the childhood you had. And I appreciate that this is why you're wrestling. That this IS your attempt at redeeming your own legacy...but I'm sorry to tell you, it is failing. You’ve simply made yourself a savage, lashing out with pain and rage against the horrible, oppressive world that made you what you are… but violence begets violence, Ally, and what you’ve become is not enough - because you are limited by what you’re not. You may be a connoisseur of violence, but you are NOT a professional wrestler; and THAT is what you’d need to be to stand a chance against Devon Ryder.
"You girls are both excellent performers, I won't deny that. But unfortunately for you, against Devon Ryder, excellent is not NEARLY good enough. I am on an entirely. Different. Level. I am the single GREATEST professional wrestler that will EVER walk the Earth…"
*He raises the CD championship high into view.*
"And I. AM. UNBREAKABLE! This belt PROVES it. My record proves it. Look at my last 6 matches with this company - my last TEN; look at EVERY match that I have had since I won this belt! I have TAKEN my loss to you, Cleo, and I have let it make me stronger. I have LEARNED from my mistakes and I have forged the steel spirit of a warrior, a titanium soul that can NEVER be destroyed! Tonight, you two find yourselves in a VERY unfortunate place. Because you're across the ring from ME. And you are not just standing in the way of my winning this match tonight; you are standing in the way of MY. LEGACY. Everything that I have done within this company, everything I have done since redeeming this BELT, has been done with the sole aim of making sure that Devon Ryder is remembered for millennia after I am gone. It's how I cope with my fear of death. It is the answer I was seeking earlier. The solution to the problem of mortality; the only way to matter in this life, to make oneself IMMORTAL, is to carve your name into the face of history forever. I have been doing exactly that, and I am NOT about to stop tonight. EVERYONE who has stepped to me since I won this belt has either lost or tied; in a wrestling match, your options are ordinarily win, lose or draw, but against ME? Against DEVON RYDER? Well…"
*A pause, and the camera pans around to reveal Devon's partner for the night, Mike Hawk.*
"I guess two outta three ain't bad."
*A beat, and "American Woman" begins to play them off.*