(FADEIN to a navy blue backdrop, with white lightning bolts all across the banner, and the word “ELECTRIC” printed out in big electrified light blue letters. Eddie Patton stands in front of the backdrop with a few bruises on his arms and a fat lip.)
PATTON: “I gotta admit, I haven’t slept much in the last couple’a nights. I almost thought I’d never see this day.
“My first professional wrestling victory. One moment that probably won’t mean much to nobody but me. And that’s just fine. It gives me somethin’ to hold onto.
“Wanderlust. You and I will meet again. I know this. And don’t think for one second that I don’t realize how lucky I am. That one could’ve gone either way and I know it.
“For me, though… it was the first step. In what I hope is a long and illustrious career. One much like your uncles, Bobby Jack Windham.
“I’m not going to pretend I don’t know about your family history and all you’ve done for this sport. I know you got all kindsa wrestlin’ predigree and me, well, me, I’m nobody.
“But Next Level Wrestling gave me a chance. An opportunity. To step into that ring, in front of thousands of fans. To light that crowd up.
“Well I took it, Mr. Windham. And I gave everything I had out there.
“One chance is all I wanted. Because I don’t have any name to stand up to. All I got is some blue tights and a pretty silly dream.
“I guess it’s pretty stupid to someone like you. Someone who expected greatness. Someone who’s already established a successful amateur career before he even steps foot in that ring.
“Forgive me, Bobby Jack, cause the truth is, I can’t even believe I’m here. Standin’ toe to toe with a bona fide Windham!
“Guys like me are a dime a dozen. And don’t think that if I don’t falter, that there won’t be another 20 to take my place here in the dance. Guys with just as much talent. Bigger guys with more muscle.
“But this is my chance. My moment.
“Can you feel that electricity, Bobby Jack? Can ya? Cause I can! And y’know what?
“I’m here, charged up ‘n ready to go. Next Level Wrestling. Bobby Jack Windham and me.
“Truth is, buddy… whole world already knows your name. But me, well… I’m gonna make sure that every man, woman, and child looks up at least once and see all that energy in that ring, and they know, that there’s a new name, too…
“I’m Eddie Patton and I’m going to make you remember, Bobby Jack, I promise.”
(CUT TO: The rolling fields of West Texas. In the foreground, wearing a black 10-gallon hat, a jean jacket vest over a black shirt, , a Texan flag belt buckle, blue dungarees and brown work boots is Bobby Jack Windham.)
BOBBY JACK: "Electric" Eddie Patton, ah watched yer first little interview segment. And you said sumthin' ah found a little interestin'. You said... you can't believe you're in the ring with a bona fide member of the Windham family.
(Bobby Jack smugly smiles.)
Well, my friend, ah can't believe you're in the ring with a member of the Windham family, either. Because, son, face it -- you don't deserve the honor. Ahm standin' here listening to you... your earnest little voice talkin' about how lucky you are... about how you can't believe you're here...
Eddie, ah want you to know that feeling has never, not once, crept into mah mind. Ah haven't had one match as a professional rassler. But, unlike you, ah have all the confidence in the world. You said your first victory in this sport, you felt lucky. Well, mah friend, let me tell you sumthin'... rasslin ain't about luck. It's about strength, size, skill and mastery. Ah grew up watchin' my two uncles dominate the industry. *AH* know what it takes to make it in this sport. Mah whole lahf has been spent comin' for this moment... mah first match as a professional, mah first match showin' the world that ah am gonna follow in mah family's footsteps and become a livin' legend. Ah am a two time Lubbock Avalance-Journal West Texas Athlete of the Year. Ah lost one match in mah entire collegiate career. Three-time NCAA Champion from Texas Tech University. And luck never had one thing to do about it.
Eddie Patton, that's the difference between me an' you. That's why ahm gonna be a superstar... and that's why you're gonna be the answer to a trivia question.
But, Eddie Patton, don't think I'm not thinkin' about you. You see, ah know my rise to fame is certified. And I plan on using my visibility as a professional rassler to do the one thing that's most important... to testify about my faith in Jesus and me belief in the Gospel... and, raht now, ahm gonna say a prayer for you.
(Bobby genuflects and kneels.)
Dear God, up above... first, thank you once again for giving me the many gifts you have bestowed upon me... the ability to be a three sport athlete in high school... the ability to be a NCAA All-American... the ability to be the NLW's biggest star and attraction... and the ability to not be someone like Eddie Patton. Please, Jeee-sus... please look out for Eddie Patton as we line up to do battle. Because he cannot match up with my size, strength and skill... and, most importantly, he cannot also match up with my moral fiber and sound, Christian character. He's completely outmatched against me, and the last thing ah'd lahk to see is him seriously or permanently injured.
(FADEIN to what appears to be a local gym of some kind. People in various shapes and sizes are performing exercises ranging from free weights to punching bags are scattered around the large, aging area. Old boxing posters adorn the walls. The camera pans over to Eddie Patton jumping rope at a high pace in front of a mirror. Sweat drips down his face and his Everlast t-shirt is damp with perspiration. He stops and speaks, slowly recovering his breath.)
PATTON: “Y’know, I ain’t gonna lie. My mom raised me ‘n my big brother to love Jesus just like you, Bobby Jack. Of course, people worship in their own ways, wouldn’t ya say? Men like yourself, I bet, don’t miss too many Sundays, do ya?
“Me, well… I ain’t been in awhile, and I suppose that’s between me ‘n the Lord, ain’t it. Truth is, I reckon the Lord don’t care much about who wins between me’nyou, so perhaps you wanna take those prayers and direct ‘em on down South to Haiti where the people really need it.
“I must admit, your resume sure does have mine licked. I ain’t ever wrestled in any college anywhere, and I certainly don’t have that Texas A&M degree up on my wall.
“But I got somethin’ else, Bobby Jack, and that’s somethin’ you can’t touch. Something inside me. The belief in something more… and I ain’t talkin’ about God, Bobby Jack, just bear with me here…
“I’m talkin’ about that inner fire… that absolute electricity that flows through these veins. I didn’t choose this moniker cause I know how circuits work, nuh uh, but I tell ya… when I’m in that ring… when the crowd comes alive when I hit that hurricanrana… I FEEL like I do.
“I FEEL like I can beat anybody in that ring. I ain’t the biggest or most talented, but I ain’t scared of you or anybody else, either.
“I’m lucky, that’s for sure. I get to go out there and electrify the world with my God-given talents and every ounce of perspiration I got in my body. And win or lose, it IS an absolute blessin’. But rest assured, Bobby Jack, man of God or no, I don’t lay down, and I certainly don’t appreciate all that condescending preachin’ you been doin’.
“You take your fine moral Christian standin’, which sounds surprisingly like vanity to me, and you make sure you take this one seriously, ‘cause lemme tell ya, just like I told Wanderlust… if you DON’T bring everything you got… if you stutter for even a second…
“I’m gonna make it count. And my arm will be raised, and once again, Next Level Wrestlin’ will be ELECTRIFIED.
“You can count on it, brother.”
(FADEOUT as he smiles warmly at the camera and gives a thumb up.)
(CUT TO: Bobby Jack Windham, in the rolling Texan fields, wearing a 10-gallon hat, a Texas Tech University black/red varsity football jacket, blue dungarees.)
BOBBY JACK: Eddie Patton, how dare you talk to me about Christianity. You call yourself a man of God on one hand, but on the other admit you ain't stepped foot in the good church in some time? Eddie Patton, being a man who has a copy of the King James in the glove compartment of his American made pick-up truck, ah think ah no better than you... better than ANYONE... what a real Christian man is. You say people worship in all kinds of ways... well, Eddie Patton, ah say that those people are wrong if they don't worship Jesus and live the Gospel 24/7.
You say mah prayers should be directed to those poor people down in Haiti? Well maybe if THOSE people, just lahk my fellow Christian Pat Robertson said, didn't make a deal with the devil a few centuries back they wouldn't be shovelin' each other out from crumbled concrete with their bare hands raht now.
You say, Eddie Patton, that you got what it takes? You got somethin' burnin' inside you, you got that fire that makes you FEEL lahk you can beat anyone at any time? Well, Patton, let me tell you what ah got inside me. Ah've got that same fire, that same intensity that you have. But ah also have sumthin' you don't have...
Y'see, Eddie Patton, mah whole lahf has been buildin' to this one moment. You know how when you're born, your mommy and daddy hold you up and say that you can be anything you wanna be one day? Well, ah didn't have that moment in mah lahf... because the only thing ah COULD be... the only think ah was MEANT to be... is a professional rassler. I was BRED to be a champion, Eddie Patton. I was BRED to be a superstar, Eddie Patton. I was BRED... to be a Windham.
That means, Eddie Patton, ah don't FEEL lahk ah can win at any time.
Ah don't just KNOW ah can win at any time.
Ah *KNOW* ah will win... EVERY time.
And now, Eddie Patton... ah will lead us all in prayer.
(Bobby Jack kneels and genuflects.)
Dear Jeee-sus... first, thank you very much for the many blessings you have bestowed upon me. These go beyond mah many athletic talents as they also give me the strength to be a proper Christian role model. For there are many people who need somebody such as mahself to look up to. Also, God, please look out for the poor people in Haiti, none of whom will ever have the chance to live a life one-tenth as good as mine. And, lastly, please keep Electric Eddie Patton in your thoughts, as well as he faces a lahftahm of crippling pain by being placed in my righteous path.
(FADEIN to a dirt driveway somewhere in the outskirts of Gary, Indiana. The man we’ve come to know as Eddie Patton is dribbling a basketball and trying to get past a slightly taller man who appears to be slightly older, but extremely similar looking, both in mannerisms and physical appearance.
Eddie tries to drive past the other man, and goes up for a layup, but the larger man swats it away.)
MAN: “Get that amateur stuff outta here, lil’ bro!”
(Eddie Patton scrambles after the blocked shot, picking up the dribble again and trying to penetrate his apparently older brother’s stifling defense. He backs up a bit and speaks.)
EDDIE: “Yeah, you got some nice D there, Scott, but y’know me… I ain’t walkin’ away that easily.”
(He once again drives to the hoop, but this time, Scott Patton, his older, bigger brother, steals the ball and lays it in laughing, before passing it back to Eddie.)
SCOTT: “I know you won’t, kid, but let’s face it… you don’t have the height, you don’t have the power, and you DEFINITELY don’t have the skills… “
EDDIE: “People keep sayin’ that, and I keep comin’ back for more. Like my buddy Bobby Jack. He sure don’t seem concerned with my SKILLS.”
(Once again he tries to drive past his brother with the ball, and once again, his older brother manages to move into the lane to defend the hoop. Eddie backs away once again, still dribbling.)
EDDIE: “You got the height, the talent, the power… all that. Just like Bobby Jack. But I got something else, bro… somethin’ electric… “
(He goes to fake left, but at the last second he bounces the ball right between his younger brother’s legs and moves around to the right, grabbing the ball on the upbounce and laying it into the old, run-down wooden basket. He pumps his fist in victory as his brother shakes his head and laughs at him.)
SCOTT: “You just don’t ever stop, do you. You keep pushin’ and pushin’ and pushin’ and nobody is gonna tell you how things are. I remember when you first told Mom’n’Dad about the wrestlin’, man oh man, that was rich.
“Little Eddie tryin’ to be a fighter. A CHAMP.”
EDDIE: “And I did. Don’t forget that. Like Lombardi said, it ain’t the size of the dog in the fight… or how many NCAA titles he’s won, or where he went to school, or what his last name was.”
SCOTT: “Lombardi said all that?”
(They both laugh. Eddie passes the ball back to Scott as he goes back to defense.)
EDDIE: “Don’t matter what you do, what you say. They can call me a no-talent fool and a nobody and a punk kid. I’m still gonna do my thing. Gonna leave it all out there in the ring, like I do here with you every chance I get, big brother.
“Cause I’m not here to make you look good, or to spread the Gospel, or any of that other ham-fisted stuff.
“Someday, people are gonna KNOW my name. They’re gonna say, I saw Eddie Patton way back when, back when nobody believed, when nobody saw the energy f’real…
“Men like Bobby Jack can go out there and promise victories and talk about bein’ a superstar all they want. Don’t change nothin’ for me.
“I happen to think that a man should worship privately and not concern himself with what others are doin’, and that it’s okay to hold a door out for a lady, and that sometimes, just sometimes, if you feel it, really feel it, you can beat anybody, cause you got somethin’ inside you that can’t be measured by a scale or a measurin’ tape or a NCAA victory count…
“I got that current runnin’ through my veins, and just like against you, Scott, I’ll find a way, cause it only takes one second, one slip, one moment of weakness… “
(Scott tries to drive past him, but Eddie knocks the ball out of his hands.)
EDDIE: “… and the whole world knows your name.
“I can be that champion NLW needs. I can be the one who rises up and gives those kids at home somethin’ to believe in when nobody else will.
“And I think you and I and everybody else knows.. that sometimes… just believing… well…
(He smiles and continues playing defense against his older brother in the makeshift basketball court as we FADEOUT.)
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