Fade up to James Irish, sitting in his home office in Fredonia, NY, staring right into the camera. No emotions, no notable facial expression, just a blank stare. This continues on for about twenty seconds, until finally he blinks.
JIrish: Blast it! Ugh...
In spite of his apparent frustration, James chuckles a bit, and finally smiles as he relaxes his pose and smiles.
JIrish: Okay, so I lost the staring contest, which means I have to be the one to go to the TV people with something to say first. Which is kind of a funny thing, because for someone with as big a mouth as mine, I have remarkably little on my mind that is either original or noteworthy.
Yeah, I know, this is my first singles title shot here for EPW, and that it's happening at Wrestlestock isn't exactly small potatoes either.
Wait... Wrestlestock... hmmmmmmmm... that's one heck of a loaded name. As someone who has never been to any of the Woodstocks, but knows the legacy, I'm probably not one to make jokes. Most of us, I'm sure, have heard the line "If you remember Woodstock, then you weren't at Woodstock." So hopefully this Wrestlestock won't have a similar problem, though a packed card like this is sure to dissuade anyone from assuming the worst. If it rains, though, I'm ranking that as "Ironic Career Moment #274," right after that one time with Duchess and the- oh, now I've already said too much. Sorry, Jem.
Now, to return to the proper matter at hand, Shawn Jessica Bubbles Amadeus Walker Van Hart, PhD, MD, DDS, PI, BYOB (I'm probably not the first person to try that gag, but like that's going to stop me). Oh, yes, do I have a score to settle with you, Mr "man who has just as many focus problems as I do." I'm not going to go so far as to say I was robbed at the last TEAM Tournament by you, because you did win fair and square. I am man enough to admit that. But bringing our personal record up to 1-1 would be a nice way to turn around what has so far been a year in my career that so far feels like I'm banging my head against a wall covered in broken glass and freshly painted with lemon juice. Hell, just the most recent example was at the last Aggression, when I came so close to winning what should have been a career-turning match for me... and the whole thing just fell apart like a house of straw right in my face. And once those two decided blood was more important than the match, that was the last straw for me.
Let Beast and Ryan's factions fight it out, I say. If Red wanted me in this fight, he'd have asked me. He knows I prefer my independence. The only person I take marching orders from is Erin, and that's because I pay her to have my interests in her mind. Lately she's let her own rivalries get in the way of that, but I think she's learned her lesson by now.
Erin, with her hair only barely having started to grow back, walks into the background of the frame and gives the camera an angry look.
Erin: Hmmph. What are ye lookin' at?
JIrish: Sadly, we've already done our best Sinned O’Connor joke. And references to Moondragon would just fly over most people's heads.
Erin rolls her eyes and just walks off camera.
JIrish: Yup... losing the most famous red hair in the business to someone you despise will make you reconsider your priorities. And that shift in priorities is exactly what made her advise me to start taking a more serious (for me) look at the EPW title scene.
So, naturally, first I considered the big one. Lindsay Troy is a friend, first and foremost. I would rather see her run with the EPW World Title for as long as she can before I take a stab at it. Why try to interfere with history, I say? Sure, I could make it by trying to dethrone her, but it would be healthier for the business, I think, if she keeps running with it. So that was out. Besides... I'm nowhere near established enough here to be so presumptuous.
Then came the IC Title. The fact that it's not even being defended here at Wrestlestock, in a two day program, tells me enough. Next!
Ah, yes, the TV Belt. Nice, working man's championship. That sounded like the best place to begin, and to show the EPW faithful what I can really do. And that it was held by someone who might be my spiritual twin if it weren't for that ego the size of the combined chest measurements of a Dolly Parton impersonators convention, made it all the better. The arrow has found it's target, and I plan on making sure my aim is true.
All we need is someone to do an amazing guitar solo version of "The Star Spangled Banner," and this will be perfect.
James gives the camera a quick wink, and turns his chair around to his desk, apparently to start work on what looks like a manuscript. Fade out.
FADE IN: Shawn Jessica Hart, PhD. has been thrown into the Phantom Zone with Kryptonian terrorists Non, Ursa, and General Zod. Together, the quartet are bemoaning their imprisonment.
HART: "Pshhh... you're tellin' me..."
In the background, Ursa is pounding on the Zone's wall.
URSA: "Forgiiiiiive me!! Forgiiiiiive meeee!!!"
HART: "Is this chick serious? Jor-El's the crankiest bastard in the galaxy."
ZOD: "Jor-El?! Jor-El will KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!!"
HART: "Kinky. So what are you guys in for?"
Ursa is instantly irked by this query and abandons her begging in favor of a good berating.
URSA: "You have not heard of the great insurrection, during which the great General Zod unleashed a battalion of his robotic likenesses to strike down those who would deem his interspace research unnecessary and, in turn, serve as Krypton's grand emperor... leading our planet into a great age of enlightenment?"
HART: "Likenesses? Are you talking about clones? Like in Episode II?
ZOD: "What is this... Episode II?"
HART: "Y'know, I ask myself the same thing every time I see it."
The Phenom hops a step backward in fright.
HART: "Yo dawg-why you trippin'?"
Once again, Ursa is unimpressed.
URSA: "Who IS this utterly useless creature?"
ZOD: "A peon from the planet Houston, no doubt."
HART: "Nah mang, it ain't like that. I'm representin' the Big-K jus' like you, nndaddio! They call me.... ...................."
Awkward pause. Ursa, Non, and Zod stare blankly at SJH.
HART: "Vow-El... Krypton's most cunning linguist. Right baby?!"
He throws a loving elbow into Ursa's side.
ZOD: "Utterly useless indeed."
HART: "Why ya gotta break my stride? Why ya gotta hold me down? I've got to keep on movin', ya know what I mean?"
URSA: "If not for our imprisonment, your death would be a forgone conclusion."
HART: "Psssssssshhh, you wanna talk about forgone conclusions? Let's talk about my impending EPW TV title defense against James Irish. After all, when the two of us lock horns, it's gonna be like Superman and Doomsday part deux!"
Suddenly, Zod becomes incensed.
ZOD: "Son of Jor-El!!! He will KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!"
HART: "Kind of promiscuous, aren't ya?"
ZOD: "The son of our jailer WILL fall at our feet and kiss the hand of his master!"
HART: "Again, you wanna talk like that, you gotta talk about my main man Irish. At one time, he was a man of steel; holding the A1E world heavyweight title high... staking his claim as the cock of the walk, but ever since his last bout with THIS kryptonite, that world has come crumbling down. He's lost his title, his swagger, and ultimately... his hope. At Wrestlestock, he has a chance to right the ship. But the fact of the matter is that we'd have to be in Bizarro world for that to happen, cuz I'm the Prime Minister of Gettin' Sinister, the jiggiest JACKHOLE on the show, and most importantly, he who spells doom to James Irish!"
Ursa moves in close to the Phenom.
URSA: "Mmmmmmmm, perhaps he's not as useless as I thought."
Hart no-sells the advance.
HART: "No offense sugar, but I'm starting to like the sound of this kneel before Zod business. But before we get to that, MAKE NO MISTAKE ABOUT IT..."
HART: "Jimbo Jism is gonne be the one on his knees! Call it an outrage, call it a mockery, I call it the TRUTH!!! The Phenom has left the building."
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