"Cousin Sally?? Really Joe, is this what you're resorting to??"
(FADEIN, Cameron Cruise, back in front of the same backdrop as before.)
CRUISE: Apparently you don't know me as well as you THOUGHT you did, pal. You also don't seem to listen well either, which just shows just how much you gave a damn about "making it work".
"Sally" was "Mallory", and she was my brother Carter's EX-Girlfriend. When he did that, he ostracized himself, blacklisted from any kind of a regular business venture that had to do with me or wrestling in general.
Yeah, that's right Joey...you don't remember Carter, because you don't give a fuck, and you never did.
Not unless it was beneficial to you, then and ONLY then were you all ears.
But keep telling yourself that you were the sex symbol to be desired, Joey, after all...that record book and receipts GUARANTEES me otherwise. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm sure Mercy was everything Lindsay Troy couldn't be and more, but the fact is I told you...
I really don't care.
My revenge on the fact that you had trysts with my then ex-wife is coming via a bonus reward when we meet up in the ring. Trying to get my focus to deter from where it needs to be to where it HAS to be...is just not going to work.
Especially when all those girls you had in the hotel room were insistent on complaining that you asking them for the "Girlfriend Experience" and then flailing like a dead fish in bed when you did, after awhile it just became comical more than anything.
"Joey Melton" is still a high marketable commodity in this business, especially in an event like "The Ultratitle Tournament", but then so is Eli Flair.
The difference between you two though, is Eli has made his share of success on this business and not just blown it away on petty marketing schemes like you have. When you came back to Empire Pro, you made you share of money, and then you'd blow it on needless-mind-numbing-CRAP.
So what happened then??
"Cameron, I swear...the talking fish is the greatest thing EVAR!! I swear Cameron..."Melton's Slip-n-Slide Adventures" will make BANK!!"
"Cameron, Cameron, cameron, OH MY FUCKING GAWD...CAMERON!!"
Have you lived in Trump Towers?? Probably...but as big as a success as I am now, even in an attempt to confirm that...CALLING Donald's Office??
Just at the mention of your NAME, the phone conversation ends abruptly via a sudden hanging up of the telephone so for all I know...that's just HEARSAY.
And even with YOUR profits and dividends made from years ago, nobody likes a liar, Joey.
You're fucking BROKE, Melton, and have been for a VERY LONG TIME.
That's part of the reason why you came back and begged me to work with you in EPW, and that's more likely the reason why you're competing in the tournament NOW.
Don't mistake yourself for making the big bucks through the Oversea Cruises, Joe. The fact is, I've BEEN with you on such a tour, when you tried and FAILED to recruit me as a replacement while you got Mono.
You don't make a DIME more than you do working the Birthday Party events you book with the Soccer Moms.
That's right, Joey, I've seen old family home videos that fans have downloaded onto their phones, still do to this day in fact, where you're tied up in a chair, a shower cap to protect your hair and your skin face-painted with odd colors. I've also seen the part where you sweet talk your way into getting the last $23 left in the Mom's purse for the "gig", before you do the "Walk of Shame" out and back to the hotel.
Seriously Joey...I might as well call up Lou Ferrigno for the rights to play "Lonely Man" while you're at it, although Lou never really liked you either, so it's truly a flip of the coin but NO...you can't put money on which side will come up.
I don't want your money, Joe, because the fact of the matter is...after I beat you, even if the money is there...even if it EXISTS...
I'm only getting paid back a percentage of the money that you owe me, so like I said...you're only paying me with MY OWN MONEY.
I know you like action, Joey, that in-and-of-itself is WHY you're broke. You're worse than Charles Barkley when it comes to Gambling, and the bottom line is, you need HELP.
What Ryan pays me in Empire now, ESPECIALLY because of the ratings I've given him from Anthology and Jared and I exciting people again with the Dangle Brothers...you WISH you could make, and that's not even in reference to your being broke, I'm talking about the fact that I'm financially more well off than you EVER WERE in Empire Pro.
And believe me when I tell you...the money he's paying me...is NOTHING compared to the amount he makes.
You think I'm calling you out NOW because you "borrowed" money from me all those years ago, among other failures you accrued??
YOU GODDAMNED RIGHT I AM.
For MONTHS, I kept working what was scheduled, not for ME, but for "The 'Project", and for MONTHS, I kept getting asked...
"Where's the 'Tea-Bag Guy'??"
Now, it's only on coincidence that that last one was an apparent repeat customer, but it was the same one that played Piano for you in the Tony Stewart" T-shirt while you laid on top of it in Huntsville that one time.
I mean, I never knew that about you before then...that Joey Melton was a "Granny-Fucker". But I guess the saying is true...even that context: There really IS a first time for everything.
Did we poison our bodies and lose a few years off the tail end, you said??
If by that you mean I sat there and watched you run up five-hundred-dollar bar tabs on MY DIME, while I stayed sober...yeah, that seemed to happen quite abit actually.
Odd IS relative, Joey, especially when you insist on my buying hookers, just to get someone to play a game you so eloquently referred to as "Canine-Peek-a-Boo" so I could get a good-nights-sleep, while I kept to a faithful marriage...that's WHY I keep things like that stored in the back of my mind, Joe.
HELL NO, I didn't want to be teamed with you, the fact is that I was making enough of myself on my own without you or ANYONE ELSE for that matter screwing it up.
But I've said it before, time in and time out. I am a student of this business and will continue AS SUCH, until I have no longer the strength or ability to stay up to par.
All of that on TOP of taking notes is what's made me a better competitor, Joey, even when I was forced by Paul Freeman to team with you...I wasn't blind to the potential knowledge I had in store for me.
Double-digit-numbered-Champion, well-traveled and somehow a TRUE LEGEND of the business, you HAD to know something that could help improve my career, no??
Marketing concepts, commercial-ability, making contacts, gathering important information I could use to better myself, I can honestly say that this was stuff that I DID take advantage of. Everybody knows that (Rolls eyes, mockingly finger quotes) "Troy-Diggity"...makes really BAD television movies, and television series, but the fact is that to actually do it RIGHT...takes hard work. Maybe it was the...pardon the expression..ARROGANCE that screwed him over, but Windham was always bitch-made like that, which is probably why Jack Harman was able to pull off the victory.
Not discounting Harmen's ability, of course.
It was the COMMERCIAL aspect that interested me, Joey, the Marketing and contact-making ability that drew my attention enough to take notes; becoming a NATIONAL-AND-WORLDWIDE COMMODITY was the lit-match that drew me in.
THAT was the Genius behind the reason, the SINGULAR REASON that kept me around to put in an effort, Joey, .
Every time we stepped in the ring however, was there any chance that you gave a damn as much?? Not hardly. I busted my ass night in and night out on the road. Why else would you figure that I was the one that took the falls when we lost a contest??
Then of course, what happened after that?? You bolted for who-knows-where, but of course ultimately, that was okay.
I proved that Cameron Cruise could DEFINITELY succeed when you weren't around, and now look at me...one win away from not just a "Legend" in my own right, but one title victory away from achieving the GRAND SLAM in Empire Pro.
But yeah, let's talk about the good times, shall we??
Visiting Children's Hospitals, passing out 8x10 glossies of Joey Melton...I actually still have one of the pictures that was left over from such an excursion...
(Cruise steps out of view of the camera and audible paper-shuffling is heard before Cruise returns with a folder labeled "Melton Pix", and opens it up back in front of the camera.)
Ah yes...these were fairly memorable messages, Joe:
"Dear kid. I know you're just learning about the birds and bees, but that bulge in your pants is just what that girl with Leukemia next to you needs. Fill her with a thriller. Joey Melton".
Here's another one...
"Dear Esperanza. I know you're name ISN'T Esperanza, but it's probably better than the shitty one your welfare-ridden-drug-addicted-absent-minded parents gave you in the process of neglecting you for the past ten years, don't you agree?? Yours, Joey Melton."
(Cruise flips another picture)
This one's my personal favorite though, a real charmer...
"Dear Floyd. Quit being the bastard child your parents feared and never wanted and get off your ass. You have a whole life of ridicule and endless amounts of "Extreme-Atomic-Wedgies" waiting for you. Forever your Idol, Joey Melton."
(Tosses the folder aside)
Believe me, apologizing on the phone call follow-up wasn't exactly my idea of spending my free time, but I doubt anyone can blame me. After all, you were only passed out on the hotel floor from the previous nights bender...who knows what you'd come with then, especially when the calls you made collect were made to double-amputees, bedridden and heir hard-earned pensions suspended??
(Cruise raises his hand, his eyes staring intently into the camera.)
Yeah, I ran those "Five-Kay Runs" for Global Warming because it was the only reason I could fathom that would help my ideal path of making myself a successful (finger quotes) "Marketing Venture" of being your Tag Team Partner in Empire Pro.
Because you see, as much as I believe in changing the course of history, showing those who struggle to overcome obstacles that being "The Underdog" has it's privileges; succeeding where people believe you'll fail is my inspiration, my motivation for competing, both in this tournament AND in my every day-by-day life.
(Cruise in a strange manner, feigns a smirk)
Yet you sit there and tell me that you were "there in spirit", and then follow it up by calling me a MAGGOT??
FUCK YOU JOEY.
The fact of the matter is that it's YOU that should be thanking ME, not vice versa.
Any other man in his position wouldn't have lasted a WEEK with the antics that you pulled, but I did it for the sake of proving to Freeman and those who doubted me that I could succeed at anything they threw at me.
Freeman never "BEGGED" you to do ANYTHING, it was quite the contrary.
Were we the best tag team in the business?? No doubt, that's obvious, but not because of anything you THINK you did.
We were the best because the CONSISTENT hard work I put in to MAKE IT POSSIBLE.
You were the "Penn" to my "Teller" if you will, even when "Penn And Teller" were struggling in Vegas.
You supplied the truth while I did the heavy lifting.
Only, you seemed to forget to carry your end of the bargain, and now it's time pay the price.
I don't care enough to make things happen??
Why else would you think that Anthology BROUGHT BACK the fans that left when you deserted Empire Pro??
I helped put together a group that was BIGGER AND BETTER than what the Cameron Cruise Project could ever possibly BE, bigger than you, and the talk of the entire WRESTLING WORLD.
In the meantime, people had to be reminded that it wasn't the first time that I'd had that kind of success, but the fact is that for the first time in my entire life, my ears ACTUALLY HEARD the two words that I'd never thought I'd hear spoken.
(Cruise smiles, shrugging his shoulders)
I know, I know it's strange, but believe it or not...my days busting my ass for minimum credit due were leaving me; I was doing what I set out to do from the beginning and as for you??
Merely an AFTERTHOUGHT.
(Cruise, moving forward)
There's many things we differ at, Joey, but one of them is that I knew I'd become a star; through the old-fashioned methods of "Blood, Sweat and Tears", I knew.
But the achievements I attained and watching the episodes you performed did humble me; I'm not like the greedy, pig-headed bastards that people like you and Windham are.
I've got money by the MILLIONS set aside that I've no real need to continue for financial reasons, partly because of the Marketing aspect, and partly because Dan Ryan knows when he has a great commodity at his disposal. However, I continue because it's the CHALLENGE that teases me.
It's the question of whether or not I can overcome the other man in competition, not whether or not I can get people to WATCH it.
That's why I entered this tournament, Joey, because unlike you...I still have something to prove.
You could've sat back and watched this all happen too, content with the fact that you've ALREADY CONQUERED this test, not just once but twice.
A feat that as I said before...won't likely happen again.
I've faced a man who previously retired, content with his accomplishments but wished for one more wager of his mettle against others. I faced a man who like you...DROPPED OFF THE GRID FOR MONTHS. Then I faced a Seven-foot-tall Giant, a man who put another tournament competitor in hospital. And now I face YOU, Joey.
A man whose overcome odds of his own, while trash-talking me for WEEKS, and much like the character Marshall Mathers played, said in "Eight Mile"....yeah you did fuck my girl but I'm STILL STANDING HERE, SAYING FUCK JOEY MELTON'S WORLD.
I'm concerned with two things in this tournament right now, and that's kicking your ass and taking another step towards doing what millions don't expect me to do:
Win the Ultratitle Championship title.
Fifteen years may have passed by, but I'm more sure of myself in my career than I was when I first set foot in the squared circle fifteen years ago, you just haven't been paying attention.
Big surprise there, tell me something new.
People might fear the shadow of Joey Melton, but only because they've not seen the horrors and trifle actions of the man that projects it.
I've beaten you once before Melton, so pinning you will do nothing but remedy the reason as to why you haven't retired when you should've pulled the trigger on your career years ago. I've already beaten Joey Melton once, but this time I've got the chance to pin your career once and for all. Should you win and advance, you still face the possibility of that happening by virtue of a one mistake made against one of three other men, three other men who quite frankly don't deserve the opportunity.
I AM Cameron Cruise, with all my abilities and faults, I know what I'm capable of.
The money you "claim" to have, is of no interest to me, it's not what I'm in this for at all.
The Ultratitle Championship may be your legacy, but it stands an accomplishment that's mine to lose.
Eight men remain fighting for it, but I'm the only one left who TRULY bears the traits of what it provides.
Undisputed CHAMPION of the WORLD.
Regardless of what you THINK I believe, regardless of what you THINK is the truth, it's a REALITY CHECK you won't like, but one you're going to GET. If you don't think so...
(The camera closes in on Cruise as he holds his position.)