Re: Half The Man He Used To Be....
<i>(We fade in on a black-and-white shot of a dingy, worn-out-looking gym. It is distinguished primarily by a small ring, looking like it has seen better days, in the center of it. A few individuals are seen in various stages of exercise, but the camera is focused on one in the center – Aaron Jones, who is stretching and looks like he has just begun his workout. The video itself has no sound; we hear Jones talking in a voice-over)</i>
<b>Aaron Jones (V/O):</b> It seems like every wrestler’s origin story begins with “I always wanted to be a wrestler.”
It’s not a bad thing. It just strikes me as funny. Because I didn’t.
Growing up the son of a referee, I was exposed to wrestling at every turn. I was luckier than a lot of kids who had to idolize their favorite wrestlers from afar – I was right there in the locker room, getting to talk to the legends and beg them for autographs. There was a lot about it that I thought was really cool.
But it was never something I wanted to do as a career.
I didn’t admit it to everyone, but the only aspect of the business I ever wanted a part of was refereeing. I wanted to be like my dad, just like every other kid, I guess.
He didn’t want that to be my only goal, and neither did I. So I focused on education, went to college, studied things that made more sense as a career path. I wanted to referee, but I needed to have other options.
I still followed the wrestling business closely, of course – especially EPW. I knew I could count on my dad to put in a good word for me over there, and if I got that chance, I needed to be ready. So I watched every show, read every bit of news, kept up on the things the wrestlers were involved in.
And that was how everything changed.
<i>(The shot fades to another shot of Jones jumping rope)</i>
<b>Jones (V/O):</b> I was signed up to get updates – e-mails, social media, that sort of thing – from a lot of wrestlers, and one of them was Copycat. He figured out who I was and who my father was, and he decided I’d be useful for the long con he was running. He convinced me that if I wanted to be a referee, like my dad, I needed to help him save the wrestling business.
You all know how that story ended.
The way Copycat left things, I can’t follow in my father’s footsteps. After the things I allowed to happen under Copycat’s reign of terror, nobody in EPW – or any other wrestling league – would trust me to referee a match. Nor should they.
Nor do I.
With the right training, I’m sure I’d be capable of the basics. But you can’t succeed as a referee if you don’t have the trust of the wrestlers and the management. And I have no right to that trust.
I arranged for the temporary disappearance of a man’s young son, for God’s sake. And the whole time, I believed what I was doing was right.
I know I have no right to complain – the victims of that scheme, and his countless others, were hurt more than I was. Yet it still makes me sick to know I was part of it.
<i>(Another fade; Jones is now doing push-ups)</i>
<b>Jones (V/O):</b> This is how I begin to rebuild the trust I lost as Copycat’s ally.
I will show the wrestlers in this business that I can be one of them. And although I know they won’t trust me at first, I will prove myself over time.
Maybe my training has prepared me; maybe I’ll embarrass myself out there. Maybe I’ll be an unbelievable success story; maybe I’ll spend my in-ring career losing to the lowest this business has to offer.
The odds are against me.
I don’t have as much training as I should. I’m not in the condition I should be in. I don’t have much in the way of moves or strategy. And a lot of what I do have, I learned from Copycat – whose moves I can’t use, because he’s twice my size, and whose strategy I won’t use, because he was a monster and I won’t stoop to his level.
But it doesn’t matter. This is something I have to do. And if I have to overcome the odds to do it, so be it.
I never intended to do this, but now it's the only thing I can do.
I may not be prepared – but I’m ready.
<i>(The shot fades to Jones stepping into the ring. An opponent – not anyone we would recognize, is in the opposite corner. Jones makes a gesture to the camera, and it slowly moves closer, clearly handled by an awkward camera man. Jones leans on the ropes and looks into the camera as it zooms in on his face. Ambient noise suddenly becomes audible; we’re now hearing the sound from the live shot)</i>
<b>Jones:</b> My name is Aaron Jones. And this is my redemption.
<i>(Jones turns to face his opponent in the ring as we fade out)</i>