(CUE UP: “New Orleans is the New Vietnam” by the Big Easy’s own Eyehategod.)
(The shot fades in as we find ourselves in the Ground Zero of the South, better known as the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans. The camera takes a few long panning shots of the condemned buildings that still stand in mere shambles after sustaining heavy flood damage from the disaster more than five years ago. Eventually, a grizzled figure clad in black emerges from an alley separating two devastated houses, walking through the mud and the debris in silent admiration of the long-standing destruction around him.)
If there was a sludge capital of America, I’m sure there are many that would place it right here in New Orleans. All that Mississippi run-off, I guess...
I mean, just have a look around. If this very sight of lingering decay and waste several years post crisis stand as a testament to anything, it’s that it doesn’t matter how much you build yourself up... or how many years you spend doing it... or how well you do it compared to others...
All it takes is one freak accident at the right time and the right place to bring everything down.
All the pomp and circumstance... the arrogance and ego... the bold claims and so-called truths... it all comes tumbling into a mess of misery and ruin. And you’re left with nothing to lean on, and nothing to do but try and recover.
And if there’s anything harder than all the years you put into building yourself up... it’s trying to build yourself BACK up from nothing.
(His gaze seems to linger off into skies to the southeast, overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.)
You almost have to wonder what the people of this city thought to themselves as they looked out on that horizon on that night, and saw the storm coming in... a massive black behemoth looming in the sky, bearing down on them like an express train.
What do you think went through their minds at that moment?
Because I almost have to feel that, for at least half of a brief moment back at Aggression 71, at least two people in the Empire Pro locker room felt something quite close to that effect.
Specifically, the moment I came back-flipping off the top of the cage.
You look back at it on tape, and it just seems to be over and done with in a second... but I cannot tell you how slow it was for me, freefalling through the air like Icarus into the ocean. There was an instant where I could see the look in their eyes. Standing there like stupid lambs in the shadow of a bird of prey, I could see the uncertainty... the doubt... and... dare I say it... the fear.
(He smirks... but not in a cocky way. He smirks like a killer catching a whiff of panic.)
In that moment, it became clear that I was doing something they weren’t expecting. I was doing something that didn’t go according to their plan... something that even all of their touted “facts” and “results” couldn’t justify. They tried to shine the flashlight into the closet and to prove to everyone that the boogey man hiding in the closet was nothing but an illusion of light and shadows and a pile of junk... but all they did was reveal a horrible truth.
A truth that, sadly, can’t be supported by what the tape shows you and what the commentators are telling you. A truth that’s known to me and me only.
And yet, disappointed though I am that I once again fell to those assholes... I take a modest comfort knowing that for once, THEY were the ones who survived... not me.
But all in all, that comfort doesn’t do much to fill the burning hole in my black heart... nor does it cool the vile hatred poisoning my mind. It just builds, and builds, and builds... and the pressure just gets to be too much... and one of these days, the whole fucking levee holding that rage back is going to break, and the I’m going to flood the entire federation in an ocean of filth.
And who knows... maybe that will come at Aggression 72, as I meet Rich Mahogany
Rich... I’ll be honest, dude... I can’t really think of much to say right now on the subject of you, and I’m pretty sure that has to do with the fact that I could give two shits about you and your whole clusterfuck thing with the Intercontinental Title. And, call it a hunch, but I kinda think the feeling is mutual...
I’m not going to waste your time by standing here and coming up with a bunch of weak justifications on how I’m going to wrestle harder and fight on longer... because I already know you wouldn’t get it. All you have to know is that I’m going to be in that ring when the time comes... and whatever may come leading up to that second bell, you’re going to have to deal with me, just the same.
You’re going to have to deal with the fucking tidal wave rage on the other side of the wall that’s about to come down.
Maybe, like “Triple X” Sean Stevens and Impulse, you’ll survive...
(He takes another look around the rows of devastated and condemned residential homes lining the streets... and brazenly smiles in the admiration of nature’s unyielding wrath.)
(CUE UP: “Existence is Punishment” by Crowbar, of New Orleans.)
(FADE IN: We open up on a skull-painted face. No, it’s not Anarky... because frankly, he has better things to do than to lounge around in his partner’s promo like they were the second coming of the Dangle Brothers. What we’re greeted with instead is a voodoo priest, grinning at us with a row of yellowed teeth from below the brim of a tattered top hat. His ominous chuckle could send chills down your spine... as if he amused by our complete ignorance to the dark magics carved into the corners of his mind. After a beat, the camera pans over to another form of mad shaman -- REZIN -- who greets us with his own usual chuckle of a couple of dry laughs giving way to a fit of coughing and a regulatory clearing of the throat.)
Forget all that shit happening up there on Bourbon Street. This is where the TRUE heart of New Orleans resides... in it’s deep and dark underworld. There isn’t any better city in this rotten country to find a good source of sludge.
(He holds out his hand, and the voodoo priest puts a fetish doll into his grasp. Oddly, it kind of resembles Rich Mahogany.)
I’ve been wondering to myself a lot lately... about this match... my opponent... and, most of all, where we’re going from here.
I can understand why Rich Mahogany would want to win this match. After all, he’s got the Intercontinental Title contest to look forward to, and it would be a good move to make a solid impression to the other contenders that he is more than capable of standing up to the challenge. But for me? I guess I’m still trying to figure out what there is for me to get out of this...
Because for some reason, I got snubbed on the Intercontinental Title contest... so what awaits me at Onslaught is anyone’s guess. Winning or losing this match would make no difference for me, in that case.
(He looks up from the gris-gris and into the camera.)
But frankly... I’m kinda tired of simply going through the motions through one show after the next. If I’m going into that ring, there might as well be something at stake. So I’ll tell you what, Rich... why don’t we make this interesting?
Let’s say I win, and I get your spot in that Intercontinental Title Match at Onslaught.
Because frankly, Rich... if you can’t beat me, the man at the bottom of the barrel, then you’ve got no business competing for that strap, let alone holding it.
And if that doesn’t pique your interest, then, well...
(He twists the head off of the doll and lets it drop at his feet.)
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