"Here kitty kitty kitty..."
(The camera fades in on Hornet sitting back on the leather sofa in the well-known 'media room' in his Greensboro, NC house. He's cut promos from the downstairs gym, or the car, or elsewhere, but this room is the one we know best. The flatscreen on the wall surrounded by smaller monitors, the deep plush carpet, the oversized leather sofa and the dark walls.)
The man in the kitty mask has stayed quiet. Could it be that he knows by opening his mouth that he'll reveal who he is to the world? That he might be revealed as a man who lost his CSWA contract the same way PRIMETIME got kicked off of NCN? That he might be trying to recreate Mark's march to the title as a masked man after he was suspended from the league? We all know that in this sport there's nothing that hasn't been done before, right?
Who knows what goes on in the minds of men like Miles and Mayfield. One day they're signing "Best Friends Forever" in each other's yearbooks; the next their throwing fireballs at each other and fighting over who blew up this or that steel cage and who kidnapped whose wife when.... it's all just so confusing, isn't it? Mayfield trying to bear the mantle of Eddy Love and become Sammy Benson's all-time favorite; Miles trying to convince the world that he is the only man who knows the master plan... and that he's really a good guy for trying to keep us all in the dark.
But "The Professionals" are gone... their final attempt to destroy the CSWA together came as close as any, but the old girl just keeps on kickin', doesn't she? Despite the drama, despite dead owners returning, despite losing television deals or dealing with JOBTours or Professional Takeovers or even top stars no-showing PPV main events... (He grins.)
And she comes back with a bang -- Thomas revives the UNIFIED Title and signs a new TV deal, then goes out and signs new talent while shoring up the old.
Surely he knew that just dangling the UNIFIED Title out there would bring Mike Randalls running like a dog to the sound of a can opener. Good ol' Mikey -- sadly, I understand him as much as anybody. I can relate to what he's going through, hanging in limbo between redemption and devolution to his more 'devastating' side. He stuck between a rock and a hard place, so to speak... or maybe it's a stake.
Then there's our new friends -- the Great White Hype, or whatever he's calling himself. El Blanco Luchador is concerned that what he's seen of me have been "boring snapshots." Well, El Grando Blanco, you get past our friendly neighborhood masked man and I'll show you just how quickly the Scorpion Deathlock can liven things up fory ou.
Steven Shawn Savoy Hart the Third, or whatever we're calling him now, complains that the CSWA hasn't been decent in eight years -- while still showing up to collect a paycheck from the dead institution. Make it three years or so and he might have a point -- from the day the ClaimStakers dissolved what exactly have we had to look forward to? The GXW invasion? The Professionals reprising the role of the Corporation and the ClaimStakers before them? Watching me pop more pills than a human being should in a lifetime?
It's okay Savoy, you can admit that you've come over from the Dark Side. Hell, if you can knock Troy Windham into next week I might even put in an appearance at your next birthday party and sign the balloon animals you're so adept at making... assuming you keep your butt covered.
Which brings us to everyone's favorite little brother... Troy Windham. "Mr. CSWA" whose carries the greatness of the league on his back. The man who owes me his second World Title reign, but instead decides I'm a "relic with a bad back" and a "has-been?"
How're those fingers, Troy? How about the wrist? The angle? That right knee? What about the neck?
You're worried about me being ready for a full schedule again, Troy? At the same time you're traveling with a trainer, masseur, acupuncturist, nutritionist, physical therapist and two Tibetan monks that rub a mixture of spit and urine on your 'war wounds' every day? Come on now. There's no guarantee that you're going to make it past everybody's favorite exhibitionist, let alone win the UNIFIED, no matter how many brothers, cousins and dead parents you might be able to dredge up.
And then there was the masked man. "Vacant." Cute...almost as cute as the Greensboro comic book store called "Parts Unknown." The man who thinks I've gone from "untouchable" to dead and buried.
I'm very much alive, no matter how much you'd like to prove otherwise. I may not be the man that went from federation to federation to unify thirty titles in 1993. I may not be the man who held the CSWA World Championship for three years and helped get our first national TV Deal. I'm certainly not still the man who teamed up with Mike Randalls and Eli Flair to create the ClaimStakers and put the fear of God into Merritt and Thomas.
I'm not infallible. I'm not unbeatable. I may not even be irreplaceable.
But I'm still Hornet.
As much as all of you have latched onto my first name since you learned it... I'm still the man who showed up in a dingy warehouse in 1988 to support a friend and have a good time. In fact, I may be closer to being that man again than anyone else.
I don't have to do this. My career is already represented in the Hall of Fame. There aren't many others who can put up a resume that matches mine, who can talk about fifty title runs in dozens of places. But it's all about what I've done for you lately, isn't it? I may be a dying breed, "Masked Man," but I'm not dead yet.
But you're right about one thing. As much as Merritt and Thomas run around here with their own feud and infighting... in order to kill the CSWA... at some point, you'll have to do what even Mike Randalls didn't... put a stake through my heart.
I don't do this because I have to. I do it because it's who I am. Because instead of settling down and having a wife and kids and a successful law practice, I decided to step into a wrestling ring night after night.
So if your goal is to take that away from me, then bring it on. Bring GUNS, bring Jim Williams, bring WASP, bring Craig Miles or whoever the hell else you can dredge up from the wrestling Legion of Doom to give you some pointers on the mistakes they made when they tried.
Because despite your brilliant analysis and dependence on nursery rhymes, I'm not Humpty Dumpty. I'm Hornet. For good, bad or ugly, that's who I am -- and it's not going to change anytime soon.