FADE IN: To a darkened warehouse. Location unknown. A single floodlight shines down upon the scene at hand, two men stand underneath its flickering light. One man in the foreground wears a faded black fedora, a gray blazer with white pinstripes over a Local H T-shirt, beat-up dusty jeans and black patent leather shoes. He carries a cane and sports a moustache. The man in the background wears a soiled white wife-beater T-shirt, gray sweatpants, tape up to midway on his forearms and black wrestling boots. His red hair is buzzed to the skull, while his eyes look like they haven't found sleep in over a week. He breathes heavily, vapor coming out of his nose.
The mustachioed man looks up and begins to speak.
TAL: Hello, Empire Pro Wrestling. My name is the Amazing Logan. My charge here is Michael Bastard. You don't know us, and in fact, officially, you won't know us until Aggression 50. This show, this warm-up, so to speak, is a dry run. Call it a dark match, call it a house show, call it whatever you want, but technically, it doesn't exist. We don't exist. We're faceless and nameless, which is fine. Only a couple thousand people will know what's coming once the bright lights and loud voices get fired up and EPW shares the stage one more time with New Era of Wrestling.
Again, it's all good. You see, I'm a huge fan of building up a word of mouth. Yeah, all these fancy hype videos you see for debuting superstars or guys jumping ship from other big companies, they grab the attention, train your pupils on them with their flashing graphics and slick production. The wrestler says something that he hopes is memorable and then they go out there, expecting to roll in his first match. But really, no one cares until the guy does something really memorable. With the way some people in this business work, that could never happen. Complacency is a killer.
But creating a buzz, creating a legend, well, that's so much better. You don't lead with words, you lead with actions, actions seen by a fraction of the paying audience. You trot out there, destroy some poor sap, beat him within an inch of his life before ending the affair with a humane pinfall. Utter destruction, desecration. Create an aura of invincibility, one that everyone watching at Aggression 50 won't believe coming in but will be awestruck by afterwards. Well, yes please, lemme get some of that action.
That's why when Dan Ryan took the reins of this company back over and sent out a feeler for the new guys to wrestle in these Onslaught cards, I signed Michael's name right up. Onslaught, what a fitting name for a show. Seems like a bit of foreshadowing. Don't believe me? Look into his eyes, look into the pain and suffering that fester behind those retinae. Michael is a tortured man, and he lets go of that pain, that suffering, his release from that pain, that suffering is simple transference. His inner pain will become someone else's outer pain.
A veritable Onslaught, if you will.
Bastard beats his chest twice, once with each fist, then snorts.
TAL: And I can think of no better opponent for this first display of rage and carnage than Kenneth Williams, a man debuting in this federation as well. Like Michael, he is nameless and faceless figuratively until Aggression 50, but it seems that his anonymity is a bit literal. It seems that in all my travels, all my research, I haven't found hide nor hair of any Kenneth Williams. It's like he's a ghost, a stolen identity... or for Michael's purposes, a redshirt.
You see, Kenneth Williams, it's better that you don't have a bio, an image, an identity. It's better that your EPW career is set before this Tasmanian Devil before it even gets a chance to start. That way, no one will care if your career ends because of a burst disc in your back or a shattered femur or a severe concussion or a fractured orbital bone or internal bleeding. There's no emotional attachment. There are no fans to disappoint. There's only your health, a shame that it be laid to waste, but in the end, it's something you recover after you realize that maybe wrestling isn't for you. And that way, I don't have to feel bad about seeing your career get flushed down the toilet, because it was never really there.
And once you're dispatched, the legend is thusly born. Michael will make each fan seeing the destruction in person drop their jaws, and afterwards they'll call their friends, post on their Internet message boards, write into Meltzer so he can post the house show reports on his website, and the legend will grow and grow until at Aggression 50, whatever unlucky soul that gets fed to Michael will be the fulfillment of something people will mistake as an urban legend.
But there will be no such thing as an urban legend here. Michael is waiting to share his pain with you, with everyone in the wrestling world. There's a nice build-up there, a plaque of agony, a coating of anguish, and it's not easily healed. It won't be until he's found his peace... peace being a leather strap with ten pounds of gold attached to it.
But before we get ahead of ourselves here, before I crown my protege prematurely, the journey has to begin. Since I'm told this is no introduction, I guess you can call this the prologue. Yeah, a prologue. Every story needs one, but trust me, this one won't be uneventful. It won't be pretty.
Welcome to the Freakshow, Empire Pro Wrestling.
Bastard lifts his head and screams as Logan swings at the camera with his cane, knocking it to the floor and sending the screen to static.