[Fade In: August 6th, 1999….HEW Mayhem Main Event]
[Clips of archived footage from the sold out main event flash across the screen, as Blade and Eli Flair engage in one of the most epic back and forth battles in professional wrestling history. The two men battle for over 30 minutes, before ultimately coming to a draw. This meeting marks the first and only time that these two legends have ever come face-to-face in the squared circle, that is, until now.]
[Fade In: July 20th, 2012….after a brief walk down memory lane, we now find ourselves in present day 2012. Minutes removed from the completion of the Sweet Sixteen Round of the Ultratitle Tournament, we find ourselves within the back locker room. This has been the scene of over 100 broken dreams, as the field has now been narrowed down to eight wrestlers over a three month period. Sitting in solitude is one of those remaining competitors, Kendall Codine. Arguably one of the biggest underdogs coming in to this tournament, as he decided to reappear on the wrestling scene after an eight year absence, Codine continues to press on round by round. His confidence continues to grow as he continues to progress towards the ultimate goal of winning the tournament. Steven Jackson, Troy Franklin, Mikey Massacre, Kiyomori….each opponent along the way has provided unique challenges, with each being nearly foreign to Codine. That all changes in the round of eight, as Codine will now face his biggest challenge to date.]
[Codine sits on a bench, his hands are interlocked with one another, as his elbows rest upon his knees. His wrestling gear is still fresh with the sweat the encompassed his body upon defeating Kiyomori. A towel is draped over his head, covering his face from the view of the camera. Despite a lack of eye-to-eye focus, Codine begins to speak and address his next opponent.
Codine: ”Total Elimination” Eli Flair….
It’s been a long time my old friend. Who would have thought that when this tournament started, two old men like us would silence all doubters and make it this far?
[Codine gradually lifts his head, exposing a smirk upon his face in response to the rhetorical question.]
Codine: I know, I know….we both did. Looking up and down the list of participants in this tournament, I knew it was only a matter of time before I encountered someone of familiarity….and here we are Eli. Reflecting upon my career, I find it intriguing that our paths only crossed once as opposition to one another. Do you remember that night Eli? It was nearly 13 years ago, as we brought the crowd to their feet and ushered HEW into a new era of dominance as one of the fastest growing organizations on the east coast.
We beat each other within an inch of our lives and I quickly learned why you were referred to as the “King of Extreme”. We both know that
J-Smooth never appreciated the attention we brought to his company by sacrificing our bodies on that night, but I can tell you that my respect for you as a wrestler was solidified in stone after that night and I forever became a fan of Eli Flair.
[Codine lowers his head once again, hiding his face underneath the towel that is draped upon his head.]
Codine: That respect for you and our inevitable encounter is like a breath of fresh air. Round by round, I’ve had to banter back and forth with naïve youths who somehow attempted to justify why they belong or how they were going to walk through this tournament. For this very reason, that’s why I smile when I see the names Flair….Melton….and Cruise still alive in this tournament. Men who understand my struggle and what it takes to be successful in this business….
It’s not the blind eagerness of youth, as displayed by Steven Jackson and Vagabond that breeds success….
It’s not the arrogance of Troy Franklin or Sean Edmunds that carries one to the finals….
And it’s definitely not the whining, crying, and utterly quitting before the match even starts like Eric Dane did two rounds ago that wins championships….
No, it’s more than one single quality and that’s what the likes of each of us have come to understand. I have said from the start, I have come to realize and accept that each round could be my last. There is nothing to be lost on my behalf, as I would simply fade into obscurity and become nothing more than wrestling lure again. That’s what has made me dangerous and that’s what each of my opponents has failed to acknowledge….
But that all changes in this round….why you ask?
Because Eli Flair is a man from the same mold. Just like me, you have accomplished everything this sport has had to offer….
Multiple World Championships….
Endless amounts of extraneous undercard championships….
Wrestled in front of sold out crowds, within packed arenas….
Been part of numerous matches of the years….
You name, Eli has done it. Except for one thing….
[Codine slowly raises his hand and displays his pointer finger to signify the number one. He then takes that same finger and points to a poster on the wall. The poster is one of many promotional designs for the 2012 Ultratitle Championship, displaying the past champions….Michael Manson, Nova, and Joey Melton.]
[Codine lowers his arm into a resting position once again before moving on.]
Codine: The Ultratitle Championship….that is the ONE thing that has eluded us both Eli and unfortunately, one of our dreams will have to end soon. And as much as I respect you Eli, my wrestling return tour is not going to end on this stop. I certainly don’t believe that you’re going to pull an Eric Dane and just roll over to die either.
So I guess I have one question for you Eli….
[Codine raises his head, removes the towel, and stares into the eye of the camera.]
Codine: Do you have one more go left in you Eli? One more time like we did 13 years ago. Move for move, blow for blow, blood for blood….can you do it one last time Eli and make this particular match in the round of eight, one that they’ll talk about forever in professional wrestling history?
I know I can….
And I’m looking forward to it….
Eli, you know what comes next and for your sake, I hope you don’t ignore the foreshadowing of the warning I’ve provided for those before you….
[Codine raises from his seat before offering his final address.]
FADEIN on an overreaching sense of irony over the song.
Seriously, we're fading in on a twenty year old black leather trenchcoat. The back. You can see the years in the creases.
Pulling back a bit, the hair is long and black, with flecks of gray.
Identity = obvious.)
"I've been looking forward to this too, Kendall... probably just as much as you have."
"You get it."
"I told Sean Edmunds that he and I were both overlooked. He nearly had a heart attack that I would ever suggest that the Grand F'k Almighty Eli Flair could ever be considered to be in the back'a the bus with lowly, misunderstood, unappreciated Sean Edmunds."
"With sarcasm that I certainly didn't appreciate."
(Eli turned around, and the image was focused on his chest. Specifically, the T-shirt that bore the now - classic slogan of W.W.A.D. - What Would Angel Do? in tribute to his wife's platinum selling band.)
"But you reminded me of the only time we've danced this dance in the past and brought Hardcore City to its feet, and you reminded me of the most important fact either of us could bring to the party."
"J-Smooth didn't know what he had."
"Havoc, and Zero, and Harders - they made the money. They were the cash cows for the promotion. They hit the big stops and they sold the pay per views."
"But the company was runnin' on the Perfect Circle before its time: the fans were coming out to see Kendall Codine, Triple X, and Eli Flair carrying the nontelevised events and wrestling in Bumf'k Idaho like it was MSG on New Year's Eve."
"We never made the big money in those days."
"We never got our just notice from the boys or from the office."
"And we both thrived on it."
"Things were simpler then, weren't they, Kendall? We had all the adoration of giving the fans the best match'a the night, every night, and we were young 'n didn't have any responsibility toward anyone back home, so we could be out all night 'n give the rest'a the boys the most memorable night, every night, until we stumbled to our Econo Lodge rooms at dawn."
"There were no mortgages, there were no marketing managers, and there were no worries that anything you did would eventually make it back home t'your family."
"For me, at least - I had no family. Apparently you did, and sh*t, son, you were keepin' your cards pretty close t'your chest. So much so that when Hardcore City closed down and I started seekin' my fortunes more in Seattle and less in Greensboro, we lost track of each other completely. At least, I lost track'a you."
"But I was glad t'see you were comin' out again for the Ultratitle. I always wondered where The Blade ended up."
"Where'd ol' Total Elimination end up, Kendall?"
(Pan up. Eli's face. There was a strange kind of smirk on his face.)
"It's funny, t'think about, now, but the guys in the suits who sit in the owner's box and decide who goes where, they started lookin' in my direction, more and more."
"It all started in the FWO with a man named Donaven Winters, the Hardcore Title, and a lot of barbed wire."
"And it grew."
"Eric F'k Kelly. Eron the Talentless. Kodiak Vic Creed. Deacon. Jon Crisp. The Flying Frenchie."
"For a few brief months, Kendall, not only was I the hardest working wrestler in the industry, but I was also the highest paid, highest regarded, and carried the Big Gold Belt without a hint of irony."
"And then I retired, all while still at the very top of my game."
(He backed up but not really, it was like he leaned against something.)
"I was reminded of something Sandy Koufax once said, Kendall - when he also retired at the top'a his game. He said he didn't regret a moment of the last thirteen years, but he'd regret one year too many."
"I did something that few of us could ever hope t'do, Kendall - I left the game without a single regretted match, without a single moment in the ring that made me cringe."
"I left the game, because I could no longer give my hundred and fifty percent, to use a terrible cliche, twenty four days a month, without feelin' it in the morning. And that wasn't fair to my fans, my lady, or my daughter."
"Craig Miles said something once, Kendall - before Season 2 of the Ultratitle in New Frontier Wrestling - he said that in this, the sport of Kings, our legend only grows as long as we can contribute. Or something like that."
"My legend has somehow continued growing after my active days were long past."
"On one hand, that's a good thing - it means that my fifteen years as an active wrestler weren't wasted. It means that after all is said and done, the Original Nobody left his mark on the sport."
"On the other, it means I have a helluva legacy to live up to."
"You asked me if I had one more go left in me, Kendall."
"I said yes. To be honest, the answer to that is actually no."
"I don't have one more go in me."
"I have three."
"And I'll be damned sure, they'll all be taken care of before this tournament is over."
[Thousands of miles in the air above the United States, we find ourselves upon a Delta Air Lines flight that is bound for Atlanta, Georgia. The passengers upon the plane are your typical travelers, business men and women, and scattered tourists. As the camera pans about the plane’s clientele, it sets its sights particularly upon Ultratitle Tournament participant, Kendall Codine. His hair is pulled back in a pony-tail, as he sports casual wear composed his trademark black t-shirt which reads “NBK” in neon green letters across the chest and a pair of black jeans. Codine stares intently out the window of the plane, as he listens to Eli Flair’s most recent promo via his ipod. Throughout the duration of his listening, you can see Codine crack smiles from time to time, as he reminisces upon the nostalgia that Flair mentioned. Nevertheless, Codine knows that those times, both good and bad, are a thing of the past and as he continues this run that may inevitably be his last within the ring, he remains focused upon the prize….the Ultratitle Championship.]
[Codine removes the headphones from his ears and begins to address his next opponent.]
Codine: Eli….you’re right, I do get it. I recollect the days in which J-Smooth did not appreciate the talent which made his company great. Travelling city to city, hotel to hotel, venue to venue alongside yourself and Sean….those were good times.
[The thought brings a smile to Codine’s face.]
Codine: However, those very memories of giving my all to help a company grow are the same ones that have given me the drive to come out of an eight year hiatus and enter this tournament. Why you ask? Well it’s quite simple….as you and Sean continued on with your careers, I had to turn my focus towards something more important. I watched in envy and sometimes jealousy as you and Sean became superstars in the sport that has consumed our lives for decades. Things were perfect for Eli Flair and Triple X, but whatever happened to the third piece that completed the circle?
[Codine pauses, displaying signs of resentment upon his face.]
Codine: Don’t fear Eli, as I came to peace with my decision long ago. That’s why this opportunity was perfect for a man like me. I left the game during my prime and watched as those that I called my peers accomplish the feats that made them modern day legends.
Perhaps, but I choose not to think of what could have been….
I now focus on what will be….
[Codine hesitates for a moment, as he collects his thoughts.]
Codine: I definitely walked around with a chip on my shoulder during those days. It’s always been that way and that’s why I’ve always found success. Whether it was J-Smooth in HEW, Ed Brown in SCW, or even Chad Merritt himself….I never really felt appreciated for the blood, sweat, and tears that I shed for each organization that I called home. That was until I found the GXW….Zieba and Dupree appreciated my talents. Whether it was Rob Sampson, Dan Ryan, or Gabriel Poe….we were all given equal opportunities to shine. It was then that I realized something that had eluded me up to that point….
….events in our life happen for a reason and when the GXW closed its door, I knew that was my opportunity.
Opportunity for what you ask?
To stop worrying about myself and provide direction for my son. So when one wonders, where has Kendall Codine been? The answer is quite simple….
Not winning world championships….
Not obtaining countless secondary titles….
Not selling out arenas….
Not wrestling in matches of the year….
No….none of those things are part of my history over the past eight years. Those are things that define Eli Flair, Triple X, and the like. I was doing something much greater and that was fulfilling my legacy.
Watching him step in to the ring for the first time in EPW wiped away the bitterness, the envy, and the jealousy that I had harbored for years. That’s why entering this tournament, well past my prime, was a no-brainer….
….because as I see it, he is starting the first chapter of the book that will be his career, while I will be completing the final chapter of my own.
And that chapter involves my hand being raised one last time in front of thousands, as the Ultratitle is wrapped around my waist.
[Codine pauses once again to refocus his attention towards the next topic of discussion.]
Codine: So you see Eli, while you have nothing to regret over your fifteen year career in wrestling….I do. It’s not the regret of walking away from the sport that I loved in favor of raising my child….
It’s the regret of harboring resentment towards those that I called my friends.
You are undoubtedly amongst that group Eli.
Regret no longer resides here Eli, only desire, determination, and the ability to no longer care.
As I said from the start, the fact that I don’t care makes me a very dangerous man.
[Codine stops for a moment, to rethink his last statement. Slowly, a sinister grin stretches across his face.]
Codine: I take that back Eli, I do have one care that has grown upon me over the past few months….
That care you ask….is winning this tournament.
Because what would be greater than winning a tournament that reads as a who’s who of professional wrestling….Dan Ryan, Deacon, “Triple X” Sean Stevens, Kevin Powers, Zero, Cameron Cruise, Troy Windham, Joey Melton….what would be greater?
[Codine pauses, looks out the window for a moment and then slowly turns back towards the camera with a serious look upon his face.]
Codine: Defeating ”Total Elimination” Eli Flair in the process….
(FADEIN: Warwick, NY. Upstate, but not really, anyone familiar with the area could be here in about a half hour past the Ren Faire in Tuxedo. The street is quiet, the houses are large, and one would expect the typical nuclear family enjoying an early morning swim in a pool that is surely in the backyard.
Somehow, the King of Extreme, sitting in a chair with a cup of coffee, doesn't really fit the scene.)
"Appreciation isn't quite as bad, but you'll become an old man, full of envy and jealousy while waiting for appreciation from a wrestling promoter. I've learned a few things during my brief runs with the Big Gold Belts, Kendall - and that's that wrestling promoters don't like it when a wrestler they hadn't counted on becomes their biggest star."
"I was CSWA World Champion for seven months, because Merritt knew that any other path he tried to put me on would be met by a chorus of boos, indifference, and empty seats from the paying crowd, but he had his eyes on the Eddy Love - Deacon prize from day one. Why do you think every World Champion in the Hacker Age not named Dan Ryan was part of the Windham Family? Why do you think J-Smooth maneuvered sworn enemies Havoc and Zero into teaming up with each other to screw me out of Havoc's HEW World Title? Because of the three of us, I was the odd man out - the only one that didn't fit Smooth's vision of what a corporately - acceptable anti-establishment rebel should be."
"Big buildings, big paydays, small worldview."
"Triple X, he was a different story. Like all of us, he had the talent to make it to the top, but unlike you and me, Kendall - he also had the look. That's why, when Ryan gave him his chance in EPW, he not only took it, but he reshaped the landscape of that company into his image."
"I don't care if Cammy beats First or gets screwed or takes over everyone there with his dangle, Empire Pro is now and will always be the House that Stevens Built."
"Which brings us to you and me, Kendall."
"Neither one of us were supposed to be champions. Neither one of us were ever meant for anything but the top of the middle with cult followings. Maybe that's why, other than the CSWA, my World Title reigns were measured in days instead of months. Maybe that's why your World Title reigns don't exist."
"But there's something you're missing, Kendall. The main thing that separated us after all these years."
"We both had the same chance of becoming legends; the difference is the fact that I worked for it."
"Since we last parted ways in Superior, my path brought me through the CWL to the FWO to the Asylum to New Frontier Wrestling, to my own final run, the 2012 Ultratitle. Nowhere in that mix was anything handed to me. Nowhere in that mix, did anyone with the keys t'the kingdom see me as anything but a top'a the middle guy with a cult following."
"I refused to accept that and changed my fate through sheer force of will."
"Even now, three years past my last match and five past the point of a full time wrestler, my fate is my own, and my fate is to win this tournament."
"Because I say so."
"But what I see, Kendall, isn't a man with drive, determination, and the ability to no longer care."
"What I see is a man who left the sport he loved to take care of his son before he was finished with that sport. It's admirable, but your son, named after you, has now become a professional wrestler."
"To do what Daddy never could. To let Daddy live vicariously through his success."
"My daughter had to live with me being gone for large chunks of her formative years. With her mother being alternately on the road and in the studio."
"She's named after nobody, she supports me in every return I've ever made to this sport, and when she grows up, there's nothing she has to accomplish to make up for her parent's shortcomings."
"MJ can be anything she wants."
"Maybe you haven't really put aside all of your envy or jealousy just yet, Kendall?"
[Scene: Ted Turner Stadium, shortly after 9:30 p.m. The fans gradually file out of the stadium, following a save by Craig Kimbrel and a 2-1 victory by the Atlanta Braves over the Philadelphia Phillies. The camera pans around the seats, eventually settling down upon one particular section behind the Braves’ dugout. As fans pursue the players for autographs, one fan remains seated, staring off into oblivion. The isolated fan is none other than Kendall Codine. Dressed in casual attire, his hair is pulled back in to a pony-tail and he sports a Chipper Jones’ jersey with his trademark “NBK” black t-shirt underneath. Baseball has always been amongst his favorite hobbies, as he has always been an avid fan of the Atlanta Braves. He has experienced their lack of success throughout the 80’s, their remarkable run of 14 consecutive National League East divisional championships during the 90’s, and now their resurgence as one of the better teams in baseball. Much like the Braves’ career path over the past three decades, Codine’s life has experienced many of the same trials and tribulations. His reemergence in the Ultratitle Tournament after being unheard of over the past eight years has surprised many in the sport. Even more surprising to those same people is that he is now amongst the final eight competitors remaining in the tournament, which started with a field of over 160 of the best talents in the world of professional wrestling. Codine has defied odds and silenced critics his entire life….he will look to continue that trend as he comes face-to-face with his toughest challenge to date….Eli Flair.]
Codine: When I first entertained the idea of entering this tournament, I knew that there were three challenges that would stand to be my biggest threats in capturing this championship….
[Codine raises his pointer finger to signify the number one.]
Codine: “Triple X” Sean Stevens….
I consider him to be one of my closest friends in this business. In the beginning of his career, I tormented him to no avail. I never gave him room to breathe and I buried him with every chance that I got. Whether it was him or his bodyguard Lucky, I made their lives a living hell. Nonetheless, unlike most young kids starting in this business, he never gave up. It didn’t matter how many times he lost, got beaten, or left in the center of the ring for dead….he always came back for more. Some may call it foolish, but I look at it as determination. For that, I grew to respect him as a wrestler and a human being. Coming face-to-face with Sean would have posed a formidable threat to my goal of winning this tournament.
[Codine raises his middle finger to accompany the first, thus signifying the number two.]
The mute freak….the ONLY man that has ever given me a loss, that I have not come back to defeat. In my only CSWA World Championship shot, I came face-to-face with possibly the only other many that was as physically imposing as me at the time. He represented everything that was good, while I was the face of evil. We went toe-to-toe and brought the fans to their feet for the duration of our match, but in the end, it was him who prevailed as the victor. Shortly thereafter, I had worn out my welcome in the CSWA and fell out of favor with Merritt, thus ending my tenure with the first company that I called “home”. Unfortunately, I never got another opportunity to square off with the mute freak and although I looked forward to this opportunity coming to fruition in this tournament, I realized that it would be a great challenge to overcome.
[Codine raises a third finger, representing the number three.]
Codine: And then there’s number three….
I would be lying if I said that I didn’t view the “King of Extreme” as one of the most formidable challengers in this tournament. As with Sean, I have a great deal of respect for you that evolved into a friendship over time. This paired with the endless amount of accolades that accompany the Flair name and it makes for a challenge of what seems to be impossible to emerge from victorious.
[Codine lowers his hand and nods his head before proceeding.]
Codine: That very name….Eli Flair….has been the reason each of your challengers have shaken in fear thus far. They were apprehensive from the start and none of them gave themselves the chance of walking away from that ring with an upset victory….
But you know me Eli and I don’t think that way. Each and every time I enter that ring, I expect to emerge victorious. This is the very reason I choose not to celebrate my victories once my hand is raised….
Why you ask?
Simple….because celebration simply tells my opponent that I wasn’t expecting a victory and that I was surprised by the win. I’m never surprised Eli because it’s not an uncertainty when I win….
It’s an expectation….
[Codine pauses for a moment in order to collect his thoughts before addressing Eli Flair’s recent words.]
Codine: Eli, you were mistaken in your last appearance before the camera. My world title reigns do exist. The aforementioned company in which we became friends is the same organization that I ruled for years upon your departure. I captured and successfully defended the HEW World Heavyweight Championship until the organization closed its doors. It was then that I gained the respect of Mason Xavier and Lint Douglas, eventually calling them allies, rather than enemies. Do you know how I accomplished such feats?
I WORKED FOR IT….
[The look upon Codine’s face become increasingly more serious as he continues to address Flair.]
Codine: Our careers have run a parallel, despite our paths not crossing for quite some time during that tenure. I can assure you that I worked extremely hard to become a king just like you. To insinuate otherwise is foolish….
I chose to leave this sport….
I chose to take my career down another path….
I chose my destiny….
And now my destiny has lead me down a path in which I come face-to-face with YOU.
I never made the decision not to be part of my son’s life that was his mother’s doing. When she passed away, it was my responsibility to put my desires aside and provide him with every opportunity possible. That’s where we differ, as your daughter was crying….
Daddy’s never there….
….my son was doing the exact opposite. Did it mean the forfeiture of championships, riches, and fame? Absolutely, but it was all worth it. It was him that encouraged me to put this old body through the gauntlet one last time….
I have no need to live vicariously through his success….
Oh no Eli, you’re wrong….
I have the need to live vicariously through his legacy….
He bears the namesake and it’s because of him that I don’t regret one single decision I made over the past decade.
He is my drive….
He is my determination….
And he is the reason why I don’t care….
I don’t care if my run were to have ended in the first round, this round, or if it comes to a culmination with achieving the unthinkable….winning the whole f**king thing.
Because in the end, the only thing that I care about is his success because of the sacrifices I chose to make over a decade ago.
I don’t need his support, he needs mine because that’s what fathers do Eli….
[Codine hesitates once again before offering his final address.]
Codine: Eli, if my time has finally come, then I ask of you to put me out of my misery….
Just like Steven Jackson said he would….
Just like Troy Franklin promised he would….
Just like Mikey Massacre knew he would….
Just like Kiyomori predicted he would….
If it’s going to be anyone that sends me home, it’s going to be you….because if you don’t….
[Codine slowly lifts his head, coming eye-to-eye with the camera. A look of intensity rests upon his face, paired with a sinister grin which stretches from ear to ear.]
….there isn’t one person left in this tournament that will.
(FADEIN: A sparsely decorated apartment. In the background, Ivy McGinnis canbe seen milling about.
In the foreground, Eli Flair sat on a couch, elbows - on - knees.
Keep it simple.)
"You're calling the curse of your name a 'legacy.' You said it yourself - He bears the namesake and it's because of him that I don't regret one single decision I made over the past decade - you named your son after you."
"He bears the namesake. You decided via his name that he would be a professional wrestler just like you, that he would fight the battles you were too old to fight, and that he would achieve the worldwide success that always eluded you. Why else would he be working for Dan Ryan when his father cut his teeth on being a cult icon?"
"I prefer to think of a legacy as what you leave behind as a blueprint for the next generation to learn from."
"Back to you, Kendall. Your career was cut short by the decisions you made to be a father to your kid and to have an active, day - to - day role in his life. Your legacy to the wrestling business as a whole was of a man who worked hard, achieved a modicum of success on a small scale, and disappeared before your full potential could be realized."
"That's admirable, Kendall. You decided that raising your kid was the most important thing you can do. I'm being serious, I wouldn't disrespect you for that decision and anyone who would isn't a man."
"But while you're telling me about my daughter crying over Daddy not being there, maybe you should be cleaning out your own closet?"
"Or, like my old friend Deacon would say, before you point out the speck in my eye, maybe you should deal with the branch in yours."
"Kendall Codine Junior is a professional wrestler. That makes him what, twenty one? Twenty two at the most? And you decided to be a full time father eight years ago."
"Damage was done, sir."
"When your son is crying 'Daddy isn't here' for the first ten to fourteen years of his life, then he suddenly comes home for good, isn't it possible that his current career path is one of two things?"
"One: Junior senses unresolved and potentially unrealized resentment eminating from his father for cutting his career off at the knees for the benefit of the family. Junior pushes himself toward professional wrestling to fulfill his father's dreams and the phrase 'Kendall Codine: Champion of the World' can be echoed through the business."
"Two: Junior himself resents the fact that Daddy wasn't around for the first ten to fourteen years of his life and has decided to turn this business around on itself and show that he can be a better Kendall Codine than Kendall Codine himself."
"You used the word 'Legacy' to define your relationship with your kid, Kendall - not me. Don't blame me for hitting bottom in your inches - deep complexity pool with one hand."
"What I leave behind to my daughter is a sense of hard work and dedication. What I leave behind is the idea that not - compromising and not - giving up can get you everything you need; everything you hope for."
"Her mom is in the process of doing the same."
"The legacy that I'm leaving behind for my daughter is one where she's heard my voice every day of her life, no matter where I was wrestling or where she was with her mom during a gig. The legacy where my now - nine - year - old daughter has spent more than half her life seeing both her parents working from home to ensure that her home life was as stable as we could make it."
"What my daughter took from me was seeing me fulfill all of my commitments, first to the FWO, and then to the NFW. What my daughter took from me was seeing me help out the people who were loyal to me when I un-retired for a three month stint to help the F-dub get back on its feet."
"And she encouraged me to enter the Ultratitle, Kendall, because Mariella Jade Flair understands the importance of finishing things that you never got around to completing before."
"You want to talk about our kids, I think it's safe t'say we've figured out who's got less skeletons at Thanksgiving dinner."
"So let's move to the Ultratitle itself, Kendall."
"I don't know if your time has come."
"I don't know if this was the inevitable clash of the immovable objects."
"And while this may be the Year of the Old, Washed - Up Athlete, I don't know if this is your year or mine, or if Joey Melton is going to surprise everyone and be the most popular nursing home resident of two thousand twelve."
"But on the subject of legacy, Kendall?"
"You left this sport for noble reasons and came back for selfish ones."
"Game, set, and match."
"I wouldn't be too worried, though. Thanks to you, the name Kendall Codine will live forever."
"For your sake, I hope your kid doesn't see it as a legacy that he grows tired of living up to."
[Scene: The location is unknown, as a pitch black screen sits before the viewer. As the darkness remains, the silhouette of a figure’s face gradually comes to the forefront of the screen. The image is somewhat reminiscent of scenes from Queen’s video for “Bohemian Rhapsody”, with the exception being that it is one figure, rather than four. The black and gray peppered hair flows from the figures head, as the view of his face becomes more prevalent. Years of battle scars encompass the figure’s face. Words begin to utter from the jet black goatee covered mouth of the figure. The figure….Kendall Codine.]
Codine: Once again Eli, you have misinterpreted my words and twisted them in to a thought that barely supports your points. I spoke of my legacy with clear content and passion….at what point did I label the Codine namesake as a curse?
Oh no Eli, it’s hardly a curse….it’s a benefit, it’s empowering, it’s who I am.
[Codine pauses for a moment to collect his thoughts before moving on.]
Codine: The history behind my disappearance, which you clearly stated you were unaware of, is quite simple….
My son’s mother decided to take him from me along with her family at an early age. The circumstances were beyond my control, as I was headed down a path in which they did not want to accompany me….
What do you think they were all for Eli? My own benefit? To better my career? To boast about my successes? No, fame and adulation were never at the top my wish list. Where do you think the money I acquired during that time went? Why do you think it was that when others were living in their crystal palaces, I was enduring the likes of my cozy Atlanta apartment?
It was ALL for my son….
I spent every waking breath attempting to find him and when the opportunity finally came about, that marked the disappearance of Kendall Codine from the professional wrestling scene. He has chosen to embark upon a career in this unforgiving and ruthless profession. With no success, I have attempted to persuade him to take a different path in life, but unfortunately he is stubborn like his father. Therefore, who am I to deny a dream? I prefer to support it….
[Codine hesitates once again before refocusing his attention to the next subject.]
Codine: The Codine legacy is not one of unresolved potential or harbored resentment. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy that began over two decades ago and continues on today. Quite similar to the comic lure of the Dark Knight, it doesn’t matter who dons the costume, as it is the name that continues to live on in infamy.
So, as you can see, the circumstances were beyond my control. That’s where you and I differ. Your daughter is the spawn of a loving marriage, thus making one think that both parents were always there as they should be. Would that be the case Eli?
Where was the support for your daughter over the past decade while Eli Flair defied the odds, captured World Titles despite the critics’ voices, travelled day to day in order to perform before sold out crowds, or wrestled numerous matches of the year? You said it yourself Eli and the world watched as you accomplished each of these things….including your daughter.
Perhaps Angel was there to soften the blow? But alas, she was busy making a name for herself in the recording industry.
For two parents that were full of support for their daughter, within completely controllable circumstances….I’m failing to see how your daughter benefited from the two of you furthering your careers, while she lived the lives of her parents, rather than her own.
Therefore, it seems that our parenting provisions aren’t too much unalike….
It’s not wise to cast stones when one lives in a glass house don’t you think Eli? Perhaps something to keep in mind for the future, as opposed to quoting a man in the Deacon who doesn’t even speak.
On second thought, perhaps you should take some advice from your old friend and become mute yourself….
[Silence encompasses the scene once again, as Codine prepares to offer his final address.]
Codine: Overall, this will be my final return to the world of professional wrestling as a competitor. This has been the worst kept secret from the start of this tournament. As I said before, I have no regrets with the decisions that I have made during my life. My entry into this tournament was based upon the prompting of my kin, quite similar to you in fact.
To quote Eli Flair….
”You left this sport for noble reasons and came back for selfish ones."
….and you’re right. I am arguably the most selfish wrestler to have entered this tournament. Just as you said, I left this sport for noble reasons and that is atop the list of things that I do not regret.
I stand before the mighty Eli Flair and challenge him with my chin high in the air….for me.
I look down upon my critics….Steven Jackson, Troy Franklin, Mikey Massacre, and Kiyomori….and spit in their faces….for me.
I watch with a smile upon my face, as those that I have respected for years….Triple X, Deacon, Dan Ryan, Kevin Powers, Zero….get eliminated, while I continue to press on….for me.
This is the most accurate thing you’ve said so far Eli….the Ultratitle Tournament is about ME!!
Ultimately, I don’t care what you think about the legacy that I have left behind for my son to continue….
All that I care about at this point is that for the sake of Freddie Sagawa, Jack Harmen, Orphan, Castor Strife, Joey Melton, and Cameron Cruise is that Total Elimination Eli Flair can continue to make his little girl proud and remove the selfish monster from this tournament….
Because as I told you last time my face adorned this screen, if you don’t Eli….
[Codine pauses, as a sinister smirk stretches across his face.]
….then NO ONE will!!
I respect you Eli Flair, a fact that will never change, and now I’m asking you to respectfully step aside before I ensure the world that the king of extreme is never capable of coming out of retirement again….
Do it for Mariella….
Do it for Angel….
Do it for YOU….
Because after all, you’ve got everything to continue on for and everything to care about….while I have nothing and for that very reason, it’s why I don’t care. It has been my theme from day one and that’s what makes me the most dangerous man in this field.
So I give you fair warning for the last time Eli Flair….
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