Step #1 Is Admitting You Are Wrong
(The camera fades in on STEVE RADDER standing in front of a “CSWA Unified Title Tournament” backdrop, wearing a long-sleeved golf shirt, and a pair of jeans.)
STEVE RADDER: Dan Ryan. I don’t think we’ve ever really crossed paths before, and if we did it must not have been that memorable … but at any rate, despite all of that, we’ve been thrown together with the only thing we have in common being a desire to climb to the top of this tournament and win the Unified Title … or do we even have that in common?
(He continues, with a puzzled look crossing his face.)
STEVE RADDER: Why ARE you even here, Ryan? Why are you involved in this tournament? How do you expect to prevail when you say yourself that you’re not necessarily fighting for the Unified Title? That you have some “GRAND MASTER PLAN” that’s bigger than what the 16 of us are involved in? We do have one thing in common, Dan, there’s no doubt of that. There’s no animosity between Steve Radder and Dan Ryan. There’s no hating happening, nothing on the level of The Worm, or “Powers”. A difference comes up, Danny, in that my fight IS with YOU while your fight obviously isn’t with me … but we’ll get to that later. My fight’s with you, Mr. Ryan, because you’re In The Way. You’re in the way of redemption. You’re an obstacle in my path, nothing more, nothing less. I’m assuming that you’ll be at least a bit of an obstacle, y’know, since you’ve been a Champ before, but we all know what they say about what happens when you assume, and Troy Diggity, clearly the smartest man in existence has made it perfectly clear that they’ve been just giving the belt to anyone lately.
(RADDER raises his left index finger and points at the camera, briefly showing an almost horrific scar that seems to run the entire length of his hand, and more, though after a couple of words, he balls it into a fist, pauses with almost a grimace on his face, then lowers his hand.)
STEVE RADDER: You, Mr. Ryan, mention yourself that it’s not very original to say “I want to win”, or “I will win”, or the always-classic, “I’m going to beat you into a bloody pulp”, and you’re right, it’s not, and most of the time, it’s unlikely the person talking actually believes the crap coming out of their mouth. Daniel, you’re missing the point that the shtick you’re talking about isn’t exactly a breath of fresh air either. People … legendary performers like Troy Windham fancies himself to be … have been trying to take Merritt down for years. YEARS. It’s been done to death. It’s boring. That makes you boring. “He wronged me, I hate him, screw the boss” is so run-of-the-mill that fans are going to start booing it because it stinks worse than Teri Melton’s panties. Is he the best? No. Is he taking advantage of you, me, and anything that can be bent at the waist? Maybe. Does he disrespect the work done by “other promotions”? Who knows, and let me tell you something else, Ryan, the whole “coming to another organization to destroy it from within” isn’t exactly a new idea either, not an original, baby, and for that matter, it’s been done by people I respect a pile more than I respect you. I choose to take advantage of the shot I’ve been given, the chance to do what I should have a long time ago just as much as Merritt’s taking advantage of the butts Steve Radder is putting in seats. Because Steve Radder means showtime and Merritt knows is as much as his fans do.
(RADDER smiles and holds his arms out at his sides for a short while, letting them fall back after a couple of moments.)
STEVE RADDER: All that aside, Dan Ryan, this isn’t some kind of cry for you to pay attention to me, to respect me, to validate my existence by acknowledging it. The attention is what “ended” my career last time, and to be honest, Steve Radder is perfectly happy having things remain as they are. Having YOUR goal be some undefined revenge against your boss that EVERYONE is looking for. Keeping your eyes off the prize. You don’t know what this means to me. For me. It’s only after you’ve lost everything, Dan, that you’re free to do anything. Not my words. Still true. Steve Radder will be there at Primetime, ready to begin back down that path to redemption. Danny-boy, THIS is a show-down.
(Fade to black.)