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Round 1: Cobra vs. Dan Ryan


League Member
Apr 10, 2012
August, 2012

A hazy hot day. A typical late summer’s morning. The city was bustling like usual. People headed to work, head down, ice coffee in hand. It was a good thing too that they had their heads down, if not, they may have seen the horror that stood in front of them, well above them.

On top of one of the tall buildings stood a man. A man dressed normally, a pair of jeans and a black shirt with some design on it one would assume had something to do with Ed Hardy or Tapout or something along those lines. The design was simple, just a coiled cobra.

There was one thing unique and different about this man. He was wearing a mask. A full headed tight wrestling mask. Dark green with extra material coming off from the sides. Fittingly, the mask made the man’s head look somewhat like a cobra.

This man was Cobra.

Cobra stood at the ledge of the building. More exactly, Cobra was standing on the ledge of the building. His boots perched on the edge of the building, leaving not much room for error. But then again, wasn’t that the point? Cobra had been on this ledge for some time now. Contemplating his next move.

Cobra (V.O.): For the last four years I have been haunted by a ghost. Not a typical ghost. Nothing popped out and yelled “Boo”. There was no white cloth. It didn’t get colder. None of that malarkey. We all know that ghosts like that don’t actually exist.

No. I was haunted by a different kind of ghost. I’ve been haunted by the ghost of my past. A ghost that, apparently was all in my head. A past that I created to cope with something. I didn’t know it then. But I was trying to deal with something. And for the life of me, I never had an inkling that it existed. I was so caught up in the past that I had created, that I had no real sense of reality.

But now? Now I know. I have spent the last two years figuring it out. I was trying to cope, trying to deal with my own inner demons.

All my life I have been striving for the attention of others. For their love, their affection. I had been striving for acceptance. And each time I finally got it? It wasn’t good enough. I needed to push harder, to get more. To be accepted became not enough. Over the years, the want grew larger and larger, but the rush of accomplishing my next goal was becoming smaller and smaller. Eventually I had to make a change.

That change came four years ago when I decided to make a career change in my life. No, not a different career, just how I would act in my career. I no longer cared about the love and affection of others, I no longer needed the acceptance of the masses, of the little kids that bought replica masks. All of that didn’t matter to me.

But instead, I created a monster. I created the very definition of a demon. I had created Jormungand.

A god. I created a god that I thought was coming to cleanse the world, society, and bring upon Armageddon. It sounds ridiculous now, but for a couple years of my life it consumed me. It fueled me. The masses that attended every single show I wrestled on no longer mattered. I didn’t need their love or affection. Hell I didn’t even need their acceptance. Only one thing matter for me from that point on, I needed the acceptance of one man, one god, Jormungand.

In return of his acceptance, I got stronger. I reached heights that I never knew existed. I was on top of the world. Literally. A World Champion. Twice. I thought I was doing a just cause, the just cause. I thought I was helping save humanity. I couldn’t have been more wrong.

This god I created, this figment of my imagination, became something much larger than I ever expected. It became something I never wanted it to become. It became real. I was so lost in my own world that I was taken advantage of. I was used as a pawn by one of the most diabolical men in this business and by those that I had in my hands, my very own stable.

The funny thing is I never intended to have Jormungand actually exist. It was the perfect alternate reality. I had created a god that would soon return to the world and cleanse it. I would be his vehicle until he arrived. But much like Allah or Jesus, that day would never come. It was all a figment of my imagination, something to fuel me for as long as I wanted. And it was working.

And yet here I am years later, living in hell. Armageddon did come, but I was the only one affected. For the last two years, I have been living in my own hell. One that I brought upon myself.

This ULTRATITLE tournament was supposed to bring me peace. It was supposed to make everything better. It was supposed to be my resurrection. And yet, here I am. The tournament is over. The champion has been crowned. And I am standing on a ledge of a tall building…

Cobra started to rock back and forth on the ledge. Each rock getting bigger and bigger. Danger grew with each second. Cobra looked up toward the bright sun that beaded down on him. His arms shot out from his sides, stretched out horizontal to the ground, hundreds of feet below him.

Cobra: I can’t live like this any longer.

And with that…



April, 2012

The spring is supposed to be a time for renewal, for hope, for restarting. The spring brings new life to trees, plants, wildlife. This is the start of most life on this planet. The spring is a time that is supposed to make everything better after the cold hard winter.

For one man, this is incredibly important, especially this season. For this one man, he has lived season after season with nothing changing in his life. He has not changed in over a year, almost two in fact. This man has been living in a perpetual winter. Cold, dark, dead to the world.

Fittingly, this man has finally reached a breaking point. He has reached the end of his winter and he now unknowingly looks forward to the spring that is soon upon him.

This man is Cobra.

So where has the man that disappeared almost two years ago been? It’s a hard question to answer. Where does one go once everything in their life of note, of meaning, goes away in a blink of an eye? Where does your mind go? Does it even exist? How does it repair itself after finding out that everything you believed in was wrong? That it was all made up? Fake. And worst of all; How do you cope with the fact that you were the very reason why all of it happened?

The answers to all of these questions are grim. The fact is, Cobra hasn’t recovered. He isn’t better. In fact, he’s still getting worse. It’s true. Two years ago he did disappear after his final match, after his god was destroyed. His career hit a wall, but more importantly, his life was a complete lie.

It should come as no surprise though. This is a man that wears a mask for a living. His career is based on a mask, hiding his identity to the world. The mystique did work in his favor for a while, but it was getting old quite frankly.

So how does a man who was a two-time World Champion disappear? The very literal answer is simple. He took off his mask.

For two years now, Cobra has been hidden out in the open, with everyone looking at him on a daily basis. The simple act of removing a mask did the very thing the mask was intended to be used for. To hide.

The fact is, the man behind the mask is very unknown, very common, very boring. And he hides right in front of your eyes. In fact, you’ve probably have seen Cobra in the last two years. He’s been around. He hasn’t been hiding. You just didn’t know what to look for.

The local bar, casino, racetrack. He’s been there. The corner hangout. He’s been there. Cobra has looked everywhere for a distraction, for an escape. A way to hide from the demons that have put him in this hell he now lives in. Booze, drugs, gambling. You name it, Cobra has fallen into its vices, not wanting to escape.

And yet, it was because of these vices that Cobra now finds himself at the brink. At season’s end. If not for these vices, Cobra may not have found himself in a local dive bar where he now sits at the corner of the bar, sitting on the same stool for hours. No one paying attention to him, and why should they? He’s boring. Lost in his own little world, drunk.

Cobra: Another Jack.

The bartender comes over and fills up his glass again. How many was it already today? Both Cobra and the bartender have lost count. A TV is on over the bar. ESEN. Standard repeats that air during the day. Cobra takes a hearty gulp. It still stings on the way down, something he’ll never get used to, just tolerates it.

TV Commercial: For years, people have wondered, who is the greatest wrestler in the world. Finally that question will have an answer once and for all. ESEN presents the 2012 ULTRATITLE. The best of the best in the world. An open invitation to those that think they are the greatest wrestler in the world…

Cobra’s head glances up at the TV. He’s heard it all before. It’s just promoting. Same old ****. But something sparks his interest a bit.

TV Commercial: 128 of the world’s greatest in one tournament to find out exactly who is the greatest in the world. Already confirmed for this prestigious tournament, Eli Flair, Dan Ryan, Castor Strife, and “The Only Star” Eric Dane. More names to be confirmed over the coming days…

Cobra now paying attention to the commercial. As it ends, Cobra takes another big gulp, killing what was left in his glass. A look of disgust on his face, but this time it was not because of the big gulp of booze. No, this time it was for another reason.

Cobra: Dane.

Cobra reaches into his pocket and pulls out a couple of dollar bills of various small amounts. He throws a couple on the bar, gets up and walks out without acknowledging the bartender or the patrons that shared this afternoon with him in a dingy bar.


A dirty apartment in the background. Clothes on the floor, beer and whisky bottles askew and scattered around on furniture. The camera shifts and shakes a bit before it’s settled down to show the living room clearly. A man, dressed in jeans and a hoodie that’s pulled up, steps into the shot and moves to a mark that’s not there. He turns to the camera and gets ready to speak. He takes a moment, as if he’s not even sure what to do or say. Finally, he starts.

Cobra: You know, it’s funny. I never thought I would do this again. I’m not really sure what to say or how to say it. There’s so much and yet here I am at a loss for words. Where do I begin? Is it even worth rehashing? I don’t know. I’ve gone through it so many times and yet I’m not even really sure if it means anything except to me.

I guess I should start with, why now? The ULTRATITLE. What made this, the little push I needed to get back in the ring for the first time in almost two years?

You would think that I would start with something easier than a tournament with 128 of the best wrestlers in the world. I should start small and work my way back up. Work off the rust. Work out the kinks. Get myself back in shape. But that’s not going to happen. Hell, I’m not even getting a tune up match in the first round.

I was the greatest wrestler in the world when I stopped. I was on top of the world. My skills were at their best. I was coming off of a ridiculous two year pinless streak. If I’m going to get back into the game, I might as well pick up where I left off. At the very top. Against the best in the world and prove once again that I’m the greatest. That after two years, I haven’t lost a step. That I’m just as good as I was, if not better.

My first round matchup is against Dan Ryan. A man that some of the experts have picked to be in the final rounds, if not the champion of this whole thing. Makes for quite the first round matchup. You would think I would get someone a little easier than one of the frontrunners for the championship. One thing is for sure. I’m going to find out real quick if I’ve lost a step or not.

But, I have a question for you Dan. If you’re supposed to be the odds on favorite in this tournament, then why did you get an opponent like me? Shouldn’t you be facing the likes of The Big Sauce Man or some other ham and eggers that are filling a couple of spots in this tournament? Seems like some people don’t have as much faith in you as the experts do.

The way I see it Dan, is that those in charge are hedging their own bets here. If you flounder, they’ll look bad. I mean you’re the big bad favorite in this thing. You’re the big guy that’s supposed to be filling seats at the end of this. Now if you’re not there, then the company is in trouble. They’ll be the ones trying to explain why the favorite in this tournament lost to a no named guy that had no right being in this tournament in the first place.

But you face me. A former two-time World Champion. A fifteen plus year vet of the business. I have a little bit of history here. I have some respect. I have something that, in the end, can back up the powers that be in coming up of reasons why the odds on favorite in this tournament is out in the first round. The people in charge simply don’t believe in you Dan. They don’t even see you as a force in this thing. They don’t see you in the end of this. The fans may, but those in charge have no faith in you at all.

Honestly Dan, what's worse for you? The pressure of being one of the top guys in this thing, having to make it to the end or else you’re looked upon as a HUGE disappointment, a disgrace, a failure? Or is it the pressure of having a quality first round opponent, someone that legitimately has a shot at being your ass in the middle of that ring and sending you off even before some people even pay attention to this tournament, before people even get their hot dogs and beer?

All the pressure in this match is on your shoulders. For me? Well I’ve got nothing to lose.

I was an afterthought. I haven’t wrestled in almost two years. I’ve had my whole world collapse around me. My circuit, my fan base whether they loved or hated me, well it’s all gone. It died with the WfWA. Sure there’s Defiance, but that is just a shell of what it once was when I originally built it up. Hell, they give away points now. Wrestling was never about points or standings. It’s about beating the guy standing in front of you and being the best at it.

What do I have to lose Dan? I’m a guy with no life, no career, who hasn’t wrestled in two years, an eternity in this business. If I lose, I lose. I’ll just head back to the hell that I’ve been living in for the last couple of years. No one expects me to win. And because of that, I’m dangerous.

I started today by trying to answer a question. Why now? Well, I do have an answer.

I have spent my entire career working my butt off. For most of my career I did it for the fans. I did it to make them happy. I did it to get their respect, their love. And I did it for years. It would get me through all the injuries, just knowing that the next time I walked through the curtain, there would be rows of little kids wearing my mask. But over time, it just wasn’t enough.

And then it changed. I then did it for him. The mighty Jormungand. The god I foolishly created. I worked my butt for him. And I was better than ever. I won my championships. I became the best in the world. And I did it for him. To spread his message. It worked; it worked great for a couple of years. And then he turned on me. And in the end it just wasn’t enough.

So this time it will be different. I’m not here to win this tournament for the fans that I may or may not still have. I’m not doing it for the kids that want to wear my mask. I’m not here for some god, real or otherwise. I’m not here for some force I created, or a silly dinosaur only I can see. No. All of that is over. I’m sick of doing things for the love and respect of others. I’m sick of doing things for other people.

I’m back to win this for myself.

Cobra reaches into the pocket of his hooded sweatshirt and pulls out his trademark mask, bunched up. He slowly and carefully moves it up toward his face, obscured by the hood being up, and puts on his mask for the first time in almost two years. In doing so, he has pushed back the hood so his masked face is finally seen for the first time.

Cobra: I’m back to win this for Cobra.


Sep 11, 1997
Katy, TX
Parts UNKNOWN – April 23, 2012

Parts unknown looks a lot like the Gulf Coast region of Texas today. Check out the palm trees. Streams of sunlight shine down as a large man walks out of this, a professional building, and pauses as his phone rings. Pulling back, we see the larger view of the building, the words ‘Tarrasque Chiropractic and Health’ just above the main entrance.

The man looks down, noting the text message and replies: “Just finished my appointment for my neck. Feels a lot better. The camel clutch technique worked wonders. Crick in my neck should be history.” -- then puts the phone back into his side pocket. Dan Ryan rolls his head from side to side, then smiles.


Dan Ryan stands in front of a nondescript wall wearing blue jeans and a black “Zero” t-shirt.

I had lots and lots of flowery descriptive exposition to put here, but most people just scroll right down past that to the good stuff, don’t they? So we’ll skip it.

It’s a ****ing nice room and a nice day, birds chirping and Dan is hanging slightly to the left, in case you wanted to know.

You already know his history, because you own a television.

Let’s get on with it.

DAN RYAN: “Cobra….”


“Right off the bat, I want to say, kudos on the name choice. Of all the snakes on the Saharan sub-continent, I must say the cobra is by far my favorite. I mean, look at the hood on that thing, am I right? Cobras are clearly the alpha dogs of the snake world, too. The ASP, for example, is an ASS. A cobra will, on the other hand, gladly donate a kidney so that you can be moved up on the transplant list. Asps laugh at you and serve you Mountain Dew.”

“Now, I’m going through my paperwork here and I’ve done a LITTLE research. I’ve been formulating a plan of attack and have come to a few conclusions….”

Ryan pulls out some paperwork, puts on some reading glasses that he doesn’t really need, and looks down

“Now, I’ve discovered there are a few things that are actually of little consequence and I can rule out entirely.”

“For example, it turns out you are actually NOT a real snake. Good thing too, FOR YOU. I can get a bag of well-trained mongooses like nothing, buddy. It would be nothing for me to let those *****es loose in the ring, and that’d end you real quick, now wouldn’t it?? Animal control, shmanimal control. I could make it happen.”

“It turns out, also, that you are not in a constant struggle against GI Joe. That one’s too bad, because I kinda wanted your autograph if you were. As it stands, your status as an entertainer is highly suspect, because, well, you’re a little bit of a follower aren’t you? You kind of need to be a leader to really make a name for yourself. Then again, you’re a multi-time champion of what, WfWA? Did I lowercase the proper initial? Isn’t that the same group that showed up for a TEAM tournament a few years ago, fell flat on their asses, then ran back home and started a burn book in protest? I’m pretty sure it is.”

“No matter.”

“I’ve done things too, ya know. I’m sure by now you’re already tired of hearing about me -- odds on favorite, blah blah blah. It’s all so tiring, isn’t it?? But I’ve got a thing or two under my belt, ya know. Why, just this past weekend, I managed to swoop in and buy the last known ‘FUNK U’ t-shirt in existence just before the auction closed. That poor schlub in California never knew what hit him.”

“And, to wit, I must say that I’m very concerned, very concerned INDEED that you felt the need to summon a demon to lead you to greatness. What ever happened to just eating some Wheaties, or eating your vitamins and working out harder? Why not just put a little more time in the gym like the rest of us? And Jormungand? Bet you had me on that one, didn’t you? I know how to use google, motherfuccer. You can’t slip a Norse God by me. Well guess what?.........”

Dan Ryan takes a large stack of paper, turns around and works seemingly feverishly for a few moments out of view of the camera…… Then, turns around…


"I can create a faux Norse serpent God too."

Dan tosses the serpent into the air demonstrably, as if freeing it to fly off and CONQUER THE WORLD, but it just drops. BECAUSE IT'S PAPER.

"I can't believe that didn't work out for you."

“I can say though, with some certainly, Mr. Cobra that I do not know what the ultimate results of this tournament will be, but if it doesn’t end with you on the edge of some ledge somewhere, ready to leap off and make a short stack of Cobra pancakes on the concrete below, I’ll be very disappointed.”

“Now… let’s bring this thing back to center just a little bit. Let’s talk about the ULTRATITLE. I’ve been accused of many things in my life. I’ve been called an asshole, I’ve been called cocky, I’ve been called an opportunist, I’ve been called an Apple Store customer, I’ve been called all these horribly insulting things and more, but one thing that has never been said about me is that I’m afraid of a little challenge.”

“In the heyday of this tournament, when there were more than enough people around to put two-hundred-fifty-six of them against one another in a question to crown the ultimate champion, I was in my formative years. I was on the periphery. During the greater part of the 90s, I was in Japan, still training, going on exhibition tours, and by time I got to the states, things had started to die down just a little bit. I was there for the NFW incarnation, but let’s be serious, NFW has their own set of rules. Nothing they do encompasses anything that isn’t strictly within their borders and under their control. And thus, this is the first full-ranging ULTRATITLE competition in quite a number of years.”

“Now -- if anything, seeking out new challenges and looking for something to push me even further has been the bane of my existence for the last four or five years. Tell me Cobra, what do you call a man who wins so often that people almost get tired of it? What do you call a man who wins SO OFTEN, that he wakes up in the morning, member of a collection of wrestling organizations, and World Champion of all four of them at the same time? You call that man….. ME.”

“This is my lot in life, Cobra, to be really really freakin’ good at professional wrestling.”

“Do you know what I was doing last week? I was winning a match to move on to the Final Four of the CWC 64-man Ascension tournament. Know what I did a few weeks before that? I wrestled the NFW World Champion to a sixty-minute draw. Every week………. I promote and ensure the production of EPW television and/or pay-per-view, and have in my hands the future of many of the brightest stars of this and the future generation. And, most relevant to the matter at hand, I am the final and still current despite the inactivity of tha muddership, CSWA UNIFIED World Champion.”

“And so, all pleasantries aside, now that we know a little bit about each other, let’s move on to step two: discussion.”

“I’d like to answer a few of your questions if I may, because God knows if I can be of service, I’d like to be. You asked if I’m supposed to be the odds on favorite, why did I get an opponent like you? Well, Cobra sir, I’d like to provide for the committee a couple of possible explanations. My first supposition, an initial thought is, if this were set up on giving people an easy first round match when they deserve it, perhaps they just don’t think you’re very good. HOW DARE I SAY THAT?? You are too awesome for that to be true, aren’t you, Cobra? That can’t be it. Also, you already noted how awesome I am, and I backed it up with all of my trading card stats, so that just lends even less credence to that theory. Still, it’s worth considering further…..”

“I mean, as you say, you ARE a two-time former World Champion. I’ve only been a World Champion what…. THIRTEEN TIMES? You’re a fifteen year vet, I’m a fifteen vet, so we’re pretty even there. Two World Titles for you in fifteen years. Hmm, interesting. But hey, I’m sure it’s the quality that matters, right? Maybe you had a ten year plus Sammartinian run with one of those belts. Who am I to judge?”

“Also, you say they don’t believe in me.”


“That would really suck. I wish there were something more concrete about me to make it easier for people to believe in me. I wish I were something more like….. oh, I don’t know…. a thirteenth century Norse Serpent-God or something….”

“And God (or demon), what if you’re right? I mean, the pressure really IS all on me, isn’t it? How will I deal with this pressure? Will the stress get to me? What experiences in my background will prepare me for the grueling path through this tournament that surely lies before me? Just because I’ve been in a hundred major main event matches and headlined dozens of big events on this and multiple other circuits doesn’t mean I can handle the ULTRATITLE tournament as well. You know, I’m glad you brought this up, Cobra. Now that you’ve pointed out how little faith the organizers have in me, based on your designation as my first round opponent, I need to rethink EVERYTHING. You’re SO right. They put me up against YOU. That just HAS to mean something, right?”


“Wait a tick.”

Ryan holds up a finger, then turns to his desk and looks through some paperwork. He gets an ‘aha!’ look on his face. Not an AHA moment, more of an “I found it”, aha moment.

“It says here, and forgive me if I’m reading this incorrectly, but it says here in my handy dandy ULTRATITLE information packet that brackets, and thus matches have been selected at random and do not in any way reflect actual seedings or the expected ability of those involved.”

“Turns out, Cobra, snakes don’t read very well, do they?"

"Not surprising with those beady little eyes. But, maybe you should've given the paperwork a little closer flick of the tongue.”

“We were matched up at random, so now, the thing is, I feel stupid for thinking they didn’t have faith in me and put me up against such an accomplished wrestler as ‘Former Two-Time World Champion Cobra’. Wait, did I say I look stupid? I mean you look stupid. Yes, that’s it. You look stupid. Also, give the Big Sauce Man a little the respect he deserves. The guy has paid his dues, although I suspect the proper way to say his name is 'Big Gravy Man' (shout out TH).”

“Here’s the deal, Cobra, and by the way, no one’s name is Cobra, so give us all a real name or I’ll make one up for you, but here’s the deal……. My life is pressure, sir. I have pressure because I’m facing you in the first round? I feel more stress when I order a burrito from one of those taco trucks than I do when I think about wrestling you in the first round of this tournament. Gastro-intestinal distress potential blows away the thought of disappointing others by a wide margin, and it isn’t even close. Unlike you, CHAMP, I never looked to other people for approval. I never looked to the fans, I never looked to the suits and I sure as F’N HELL never created some fake deity to get it.”

“I’m really sorry for your fall from grace and your pseudo-rant about DEFIANCE’s point system is really fuccin’ touching. You think you’re the first guy with nothing to lose getting involved in an event like this and throwing that bulls**t hand on the table?? When it comes down to the real s**t, Cobra, it’s all about who the motherfuccin’ man is around here. I don’t have some long-winded backstory to tell you. I don’t have some prose to weave for your entertainment. What I have is a decade and a half of beating the hell out of people, winning championships, winning events LIKE THIS ONE, and being the best wrestler there is. I get up every day and I do whatever it takes to be the best, and if I can’t find it here, if I can’t find it wherever I am, I go find it somewhere else. I live and breathe it. No masks, no emo suicidical bulls**t -- just me.”

“Do me a favor. Hell, do us all a favor. Drop the façade, drop the bullcrap, and get ready for a fight. And if it’s not a façade and this is really all you are, some sheep waiting for this horribly unjust world to finally come around to your way of doing things, waiting for ‘COBRA’S TIME!!!’?? -- then one long-winded speech from you is one too many, because you’re just another in a long line of manic depressive gimmicky asshats who expects me to take him seriously while he prances around in a Ninja Turtles costume.”

“Well, sorry….. but I’m not the guy for it, Cobra.”

“I came to win this tournament for the same reason I’ve been coming to win EVERYTHING I’VE WON for the the LAST FIFTEEN YEARS -- because I want to be the best. Nothing more, nothing less.”

“Do it for the Cobra, do it for the Cobra Kai, hell sweep the leg for all I care. No mercy. Either way, this is the end for you. I’m not the ‘odds-on favorite’ because I play chuckles the clown on the weekends and volunteer at the quickie-mart. I’m the odds-on favorite because I win. That’s it.”

“I WIN.”

“Nothing else matters.”



League Member
Apr 10, 2012
A living room, similar to one seen a couple of days ago. Nothing has changed really, except some of the bottles of beer and whisky has been cleaned up. Again the camera is adjusted and a man steps in front of the camera. He reaches his mark and turns around. The man, dressed in jeans, a black Cobra shirt and his trademark mask stands ready to speak, slightly more confident than the last time.

Cobra: Is he done yet? Or did he just run out of tape? Wow. A man can ramble when he’s so in love and so full of himself. I think if we eavesdrop on Dan Ryan right now, he’s still going on about everything. It’s no surprise though, he’s very cookie cutter in the type of person that he is.

Dan Ryan is a dime a dozen cocky man. He even said it himself. He’s cocky. He’s an asshole. He’s an opportunist. Hell he’s even an Apple customer. We all heard it from the horse’s mouth. Dan Ryan is all of these things. But one thing he’s certainly not…

He’s not unique.

Sure, Dan Ryan is a talented man. He certainly has a way with the words. The gift of gab. But he’s not original. I’ve been in this business for over fifteen years now. Dan, do you really think you were the first person to come up with a jab about me actually being a snake? Do you really think that for years, people overlooked my very name, my mask, and my wrestling attire? I’m not hiding anything here. It’s a snake, a cobra. Hell, for the first couple of years in this business, I used a fake lisp just to get that point acrossssss to people. Ssserioussssly. I usssssed a lisssssp. And my opponents made fun of it. They tried to use it to get under my skin… pun intended. And you know what I did? I beat their asses.

Dan, do you really think that you were the first to make the connection between my name being Cobra and the hit TV cartoon GI Joe? Did you think I was going to come out in a blue jumpsuit? Did you think I would have that simple of a persona? How foolish of you. I went from company to company in this business. Each time facing a whole new group of people that didn’t know who I was, much like this ULTRATITLE tournament. The very first thing that anyone in the company would say would be a GI Joe reference. I’m mean really. Every single time. And all you do is just mention it. You don’t even come up with a quirky comment. You don’t even yell out, Yo Joe! Now, I’ve heard some good ones over the years, but the result was always the same. They tried to use it to poke fun at me. And all I did was beat their asses.

So Dan, you’ve managed to do the very two simplest tries at poking fun of me. Two of the most obvious and most common attacks. And you did it a hell of a lot worse than most of the people that came before you. The funny thing about this isn’t your attempts at poking fun. No, it’s quite the opposite. Much like those before you, I’m just going to beat your ass.

Now another thing you mentioned about me. You said that my status as an entertainer is suspect. That’s quite true. I’m not an entertainer. I’m not some Dane Cook wannabe that thinks he’s funnier than he really is. I’m not here to poke fun, to use 80s pop culture to make someone laugh or go “Oh, I remember that”. No. I’m not an entertainer. I’m a wrestler. I’m a guy that gets paid to kick your ass. If people are entertained by it, so be it. It’s a bonus. But for me, I get my entertainment out of the ass kicking I give to every single person I face in the ring.

But enough about your fun side Danny boy. There’s more to you than just your hackiness. You’re the big bad cocky asshole that’ll do anything to get ahead. You’re the opportunist that’s become the THIRTEEN TIME WORLD CHAMPION! Did I get that right? Thirteen? That’s quite impressive. It’s what makes you Dan Ryan. But the thing about being a thirteen time champion is that you’re also at least a twelve time loser. I may be off on my count, you did say something about holding four of them at one time, I’m not sure if that’s now, or if it was in the past. Quite frankly, I don’t really care. Every champion loses. It’s the nature of the business. You’re just lost more World Championships than I have.

That is if you can actually win the title. It’s really impressive that you brag about going the distance for a time limit draw for the NFW title. Ooooooh. A whole thirty minutes in the ring with Castor and you didn’t lose. But again Dan, you didn’t win either. That’s an impressive feat. You should definitely brag about that more. Draws are just so impressive. So sexy. You must have gotten a couple of ladies after that one.

So what else is there for the big bad unstoppable Dan Ryan to brag about? Ah yes. The current CSWA UNIFIED World Champion. A title that you’ve had for over two years now. What a title reign. Two years is impressive in this business. You must have countless defenses under your belt. No? You don’t. Oh, the belt is practically defunct. Sure it has the history, but right now, it’s just collecting dust on your mantle. Maybe it’s because I don’t run in your circles, maybe it’s because I’m not an arrogant cocky asshole and I just don’t understand. But what’s so impressive of a championship you have if you never defend it, and may never ever defend it in the future. Is it really a championship?

The big bad Dan Ryan. So cocky. Such an asshole. The arrogant opportunist. You must be so unique, so much better than anyone else. An original among so many characters and pretenders. Do I have that right? Here’s the funny part about this. There are probably fifty people in this tournament that would describe themselves exactly like you. You’re the typical cocky asshole. How original. Now you may have the most titles out of all your copies. But you’re not the best one. You’re not the biggest asshole. You’re not the cockiest. You’re just another run of the mill guy.

You’re just another Eric Dane.

Enough about your character. It’s boring. It’s old. It’s all too common. You’re not the best. You’re not first. You’re just an average asshole.

Now moving forward. I want to clear something up, because apparently you made a major mistake in your thought process. I want to talk about our match. I want to talk about the pressure. Not the pressure that you were talking about. No. I never questioned your ability to go through this tournament and make it to the end. You’re supposed to. You should be able to handle the grind of going through all the rounds, all the matches. That’s what you do. You wouldn’t be here otherwise.

See, I was talking about the pressure you have in our match in the first round. That’s it. That’s all that matters. Overlook it if you want, I was just warning you otherwise.

As you said, I’m not a concern for you. I’m nothing compared to the impressive Dan Ryan. You have years and years of experience. You’ve won title after title after title after title. You’re the legend of tournaments. You’re finishing up two as we speak right now. You’ve built yourself up a lot here. You’ve made yourself the unstoppable force. You’re made yourself immortal. You’ve no sold it. There’s nothing I can do to win this match. You’ve said it yourself.

But what if I did?

What does that do to Dan Ryan? You’ve never thought about it. How could I be so foolish? You’re so cocky and arrogant, why would you think about it? But that’s your flaw, that’s your downside. You fail to take that into consideration. You fail to look at things from all angles. And that’s where you can get burned. You have to win this match. And with that comes pressure to do so.

So far, you’ve managed to win those matches. You’ve managed to skate the pressure. You’ve managed to move on. But I’m not the typical opponent. I’m not a pushover. I’m not a flash in the pan. I’m a World Champion just like yourself, sure I’m eleven short of you, but I’m still a damn champion. And I can beat your ass.

While you actually believe that you’re some sort of god in this business, others do not. I don’t. The people in charge don’t. I’ve already mentioned that. But you’ve proven me wrong. You’ve clearly read the packet; you mentioned that the seedings were random. But…

Cobra looks confused, or as confused as you can look with a mask on. He bends down and pulls of a single piece of paper, the back obviously blank. He flips it over revealing the other side is blank too. He flips it several times before stopping.

Cobra: Ah. Here it is. Brackets were set up to minimize conflicts among federation-mates. Then each bracket was set up at random. Wait. You’re right. Hmmm. I thought I had you on this… Wait. Oh my god. There’s moooooore. It also states that there were minor changes to the bracket for competitive purposes. Well is this interesting.

According to this, the powers that be had the ability to change any matchup they deemed needed a change for competitive purposes. So they looked at Cobra verses Dan Ryan. Two-Time World Champion verses Thirteen-Time World Champion. They looked at that matchup and they decided not to change it. Do you have any idea how many of the 128 people in this tournament do not have a World Championship under their belt? Don’t you find it a little odd that they would keep this as a first round matchup? This clearly looks like a third round or later match. And yet they didn’t change it.

Could it be because I’m just not that good? Doubtful. I did somehow win two World titles. So if I’m not considered a pushover, then they considered you not as strong as you seem to be. Hmm. It seems as though they thought this was a pretty even matchup. They thought this would be a marquee match for the first round. I mean we are going to face either Spike Saunders or El Lobo Loco. And between you and me, I don’t think El Lobo Loco is all that good. In fact, I don’t know if he’s even won a match. Wouldn’t the logical, very small simple fix to the bracket be a switch between Dan Ryan and Spike Saunders?

But the change wasn’t made. Because they don’t believe in you.

Before I move on to the other side of this match, I want bring up one last thing about your character Dan. I want to point out something very telling , something that sums up who is Dan Ryan in one simple statement. It was something you said in your ramblings about me. You said and I’ll quote.

“I get up every day and I do whatever it takes to be the best, and if I can’t find it here, if I can’t find it wherever I am, I go find it somewhere else.”

It’s a good statement. But it explains so much about you. It explains everything about your character and everything about your career. The first part is fine. You get up and you bust your ass to be the best. Now if you’re in this business and you don’t do this, you shouldn’t be here. So far so good, but here’s the good part.

If I can’t find it here, if I can’t find it wherever I am, I go find it somewhere else.

You’re basically saying, if you can’t win here, or win wherever you are, you go find someplace where you can win. So if you can’t get your way, if you can’t be the best, you pack up and leave to go find a place that you will be. This sounds like the complete opposite of being your best. You go running away from a challenge, of a threat to your greatness, and you go find someplace not as good to be the big dog. No wonder you’ve won thirteen world titles. You go places you know you can win. You go where the competition is weak.

You’re not the best. You’ve run from that. You’ve gone to places just to build a resume. To make yourself a name. Sure, now you’re here. You’re the champ in four companies. You face the likes of Joe the Plumber, Castor Strife, Eric Dane. You’ve built yourself a reputation and now you’re living off of it. You’re Dan Ryan, the thirteen time world champion. The best wrestler in the world.

The man that will find someplace to be the best when he can’t find it where he currently is.

Dan Ryan. The coward.

Enough about you. You can only talk so much about Dan Ryan before you either get sick and bored of it, or you reach your climax because you are Dan Ryan and talking about yourself is the biggest high you can have. This match is not about Dan Ryan. No, there’s more to it. You do have an opponent. You have to face.

You certainly took your jabs about me. You went beyond those two very simple attacks. You got deep. You made of my name. Of being called Cobra. Can you really be that dumb Dan? I hope you aren’t really asking if my name is really Cobra. I just can’t tell with you. I mean everything you said was so superficial, I can only assume that you are this dumb.

Sure this is some façade. I’m not really a snake. This mask isn’t my face. But then again, nothing else matters. The man behind this mask, behind the stage name of Cobra is not relevant. You’re not wrestling the real person. You’re wrestling his character. You’re wrestling Cobra. If you wanted to know who the real person is, I can gladly go through over fifteen years of backstory. I can go film a nice little flashback for you. Get into the depths of who I really am. But like you said, no one cares about a long winded backstory.

So instead you get Cobra.

There’s a reason why I wear this mask and am called Cobra. It’s not an accident. It’s not a coincidence. It’s not even just a way to sell merch. No. I am called Cobra because that is exactly what you get in the ring when you face me. You face a cobra. I can be vicious. I can be quick. I strike with authority and I will take you down. It will all be over before you know it. There is no escape of a coiled cobra. No matter how big bad and cocky you can be.

When you’ve been in this business for over fifteen years, you do a lot of things. You should know, you’re in the same boat as me. While you spent years in Japan, I spent years in Mexico. Hence the mask. Does it make sense to you now Dan? Do you understand what a luchador is and how important a mask and outfit is to that person? I guess you wouldn’t know, you were in the Orient wrestling against a bunch of Japanese guys that looked identical.

Over fifteen years you can accomplish many things. You can win countless of titles. You can also get caught up in some drama. We’ve all been there. If you want to go ahead and ignore fifteen years of stories, plots, attacks, what have you, go ahead. But that just explains how boring and one dimensional you’ve really become Dan. All you are is a title hungry cocky arrogant asshole. A dime a dozen as I’ve already explained. But for some, there’s more.

If I were the perfect person, I wouldn’t be wearing a mask would I? I probably wouldn’t even be in this business, but there I go again, talking about my life, my backstory. The very thing that makes me more than just guy dressed like a snake.

So yes. I created a god to believe in. I’ve also been a drunk. I’ve spent years soul searching of the deaths of my parents. The stories are plentiful. But I’m not embarrassed by them, I’m not ashamed. They have built me into who I am today. With each step, I’ve grown. I’ve become so much more than when I started. I’m proud of it. I’m not just some cocky asshole like you. I’m so much more. I guess you just wouldn’t understand.

So here I am. You want to take me at face value, that fine. I’ll just kick your ass.

I hope you enjoy this little soliloquy by me. How’d you put it? The prose I weave to entertain you. I hope you enjoy it, cause this isn’t a writing competition. This is a wrestling match. This is going to be one of your hardest matches in your life. I’m coming for you. I may be just another in a long line of manic depressive gimmicky asshats who expects you to take them seriously while I prance around in a Ninja Turtles costume. But the difference between me and those other asshats…

I’m going to beat your ass.

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