(Scene opens to a warehouse, run down but not totally abandoned… Grass has long since established a home in cracks of concrete, both on the walkways and in the large parking lot… The camera slowly zooms out, revealing a small sign posted outside…)
Missouri’s own Midwest Championship Wrestling (MWCW) Springfield’s #1 pro wrestling organization!
Established in 2007
(The camera moves its focuses to the building’s glass double doors before fading to reveal the interior of the warehouse… Dusty and in some cases rusted workout equipment joins old wrestling mats in the camera’s view … To the right, revealed when the cameras moves in that direction, is The Sergeant, standing at what appears to have once been a check in counter…)
The Sergeant: If I were to be honest, this right here is the place where it all fell apart for me. Midwest Championship Wrestling was pitched as a great investment opportunity, and I bought into it. More accurately, I bought out a great company named Major Championship Wrestling, liquidated some assets, kept others, and moved the headquarters to my hometown. All of this was in hopes that I could be a mentor to young, hungry pro wrestling talent.
I left the Army as a loner in 2005, determined to forge my own way and not have the lives of fellow soldiers on my hands as their leader… and then I turned around a few short years later and put myself back into that position as the figurehead of MWCW. Granted, this wasn’t combat, but the livelihoods of many young men were in my hands. In combat, that means you sacrifice yourself for the good of the team. In pro wrestling, it means you give up your own career for the sake of others. It’s hard to focus on your own deficiencies when you are concerned with everyone else, and soon I just couldn’t get it together in my singles career.
MWCW flourished for a brief few months then, like my singles career, began to suffer. I lost titles, started cancelling shows, and before I knew it my whole career was in disarray. Once a hot rookie dynamo and then a sophomore sensation, I noticed that there wasn’t a lot of interest in ol’ Sarge anymore. Even the “Egobuster” himself, once one of my greatest supporters and the guy who broke me into the business, stopped calling.
My career was falling at about the same time that Cameron Cruise’s career hit its stride. My failures and Cruise’s success, both due to MWCW. Cruise, if you’re listening, you’re welcome. I doubt you’ve given that Midwest Heavyweight Championship reign the credit it deserves.
The Sergeant: I didn’t go into a gallon-of-ice-cream-binge-eating depression, but my confidence was pretty shot. I’d all but given up on my dreams of pro wrestling immortality and started doing some contractor work in Iraq. I reverted to what I know, and what I know is combat. I was solo, staying in shape, making good money, and I felt like I was doing something positive with my life.
But there was always an itch.
I’ve mentioned this itch previously so let’s just skip that part of the story for the sake of your ears and sanity. Let’s just say I’ve finally found something to scratch it…
The Sergeant: I’m not unique in my quest for The ULTRATITLE. You’ve probably heard countless others talk about their determination, drive, and how that they will simply will themselves through the tournament. 128 wrestlers. Some legends, or at least superstars of their respective circles, are showing up for this shindig, all with the same goal. I’ve quickly learned that some of them are very similar to me, too. They are returning from the shadows to reclaim some notoriety and glory. Strategies are similar. Stories are similar.
I’m admittedly biased, but I think I’ve got the best strategy of all for this thing.
The Sergeant: I’m not looking at any other match or scouting any other talent. No other matches intrigue me. No “what if” scenarios for me in this tournament are important, because if I’m gonna win this thing, I’ve simply got to beat Gemini. Count out. Disqualification. Pinfall. Submission. It makes no difference to me. Just as long as I move past Gemini, all is well in the world.
And beating Gemini doesn’t look like it’s easy. Sometimes I forget that even through all my experience as a combat tested, mother approved soldier and contractor fighting some of the craziest people in the world – guys with suicide vests and… what are we up to, 289 virgins waiting on them – that some of the most bizarre and crazy people on God’s green Earth are in pro wrestling. I defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and DOMESTIC, but this is ridiculous!
I’m wrestling a guy with a normal arm, a ginormous arm, supposed imperviousness to pain, and a penchant for sewing his mouth shut. Oh, and last time I checked didn’t he murder a camera man in a video segment?
Shouldn’t this guy be in prison?
I mean, he’s wrestling on national TV and after all the stuff he’s done, embracing the hate and all… well, it’s like he’s the Old Dirty Bastard of wrestling… wanted by the cops but still performing at all the Wu Tang shows. Maybe it’s the intimidation factor. I don’t know.
Then again, I’ve never been one to be intimidated.
(Sarge shakes his head…)
The Sergeant: I know it might appear I’m takingGemini lightly, but I assure you that is not the case. Sometimes, when a guy is preparing for battle, humor is a coping mechanism. Poor humor, I’ll grant you, but humor nonetheless. The guy is bigger than me. At least one arm is stronger than both of mine individually, too. That should be fun… and by fun I mean terrible, of course.
He also apparently doesn’t like to submit, if that old Youtube video I saw is any indication. It’s hard to say “I Quit” with your mouth sewn shut. But that’s okay. The beautiful thing about CORRECTIVE TRAINING is that a guy doesn’t have to submit. I’ll just choke him the hell out. No tapping or saying “uncle” necessary.
The camera opens up on a gorgeous house with a perfectly manicured lawn. Bushes and shrubs line the sidewalk next to an immaculately maintained driveway.
An incongruously dirty sedan sits in the driveway, door still open. The camera follows the sidewalk back up to the gorgeous house, where a large, misshapen individual is pounding on the door to a resounding silence.
(Pound, pound, pound)
Gemini: C’mon Evan! Open up! It’s Gemini!
(Bam, Bam, Bam)
Gemini: C’mon dude. Open the door! We’re in the Ultratitle! And we’re rusty! We need some help!
Gemini: For crying out loud dude! We never showed you anything but respect back in the day. All we need is a refresher course! We’re facing off with some military guy! He’s like Commando, except he has skills and he’s not a huge dick!
(Bam, bam, bam.)
Gemini: Evan, for crying out loud, we can pay you for your time! You can put it in the landscaping budget!
Security guard: He has a contracted service for that buddy. Why are you banging on Mr. Aho’s door?
Gemini turns around, and looks with confusion at the security guard pointing the taser at him.
Gemini: Oh hey! Listen, We’re a friend of Evan’s from way back, and we just need a favour from him.
Guard: Suuuure you do. How about you get back in your car and drive away now?
Gemini: Well, that wouldn’t actually be all that productive, seeing as how we came here to get some training in with Evan.
Guard: Ok buddy, it’s kind of clear you cannot take a hint. Get your crap duffelbag, get back in your car and clear out. Mr. Aho doesn’t work with hobos.
Gemini: We’re gonna pretend you didn’t just say that. How about you toddle on down the road now and actually find someone causing a problem. Clearly Evan isn’t home right now, so we’ll just take a nap in the car and wait for him to get back.
Guard: Last chance chuckles. Time to go.
Gemini: Chuckles? Are you sure you don’t know who we are?
The guard pulls the trigger, two darts snap out from the taser and sink into Gemini’s chest. Voltage flows down the wires and into his torso. He jerks for a second, and his fists clench, then he carefully raises his hand and yanks the two darts out of his chest. With a surprising lack of emotion, he smiles calmly at the now clearly unnerved guard.
Gemini: Whew. That beats espresso any day.
Guard: What. The hell?
Quickly, the guard smoothly snaps off the top of the gun and slaps on a new set of darts. With one smooth motion he fires another set of darts into Gemini’s chest. Gemini spasms for a moment, then calmly plucks out the darts again.
Gemini: You know, I’m starting to think you don’t like me dude.
The guard just stares at Gemini, then he makes a move to reload and fire the taser again. Gemini steps forward and puts a hand on the taser before he can raise it again.
Gemini: Guy, seriously, you try that one more time and we’re gonna get offended. (Pause.) You… *really* do not want to do that.
Guard: What… what do you want?
Gemini: We already told you that. Evan Aho. We need his analytical mind and his machinelike wrestling skills.
Guard: He’s in Spain! He’s on vacation for the next three weeks!
Gemini: Well… crap! What now?
Guard: Were you really here to train with Mr. Aho?
Gemini: We didn’t come here to make him a frosty milkshake kid.
Guard: There’s one of those MMA gyms about three miles down Fulton. You could… you know. Go there and train with those guys.
Gemini: Well… we suppose that could work. Are they any good?
Guard: I have no idea. I’m a security guard.
Gemini: True. True. Hey, do you have pepper spray?
Guard: Uh… yes?
Gemini: Let us borrow it for a minute, will you?
Guard: (Long pause.) Oooookay?
The guard hands over the pepper spray, Gemini takes it, pops the lid off the spray and calmly spritzes some into his mouth. His eyes water intensely for a moment, then he smiles.
Gemini: Oooooh yeah, that’s the stuff.
Guard: Jesus buddy, you’re insane!
Gemini: Heh. You have a firm grip on the obvious kid. (Gemini hands the pepper spray back to the kid.) Three miles down Fulton right?
Gemini: (Heaves his duffelbag over his shoulder.) Well then, let’s go make some new friends. Seeya kid.
Guard: Uh… yeah. Don’t take this the wrong way… but I hope not.
Gemini: (Chuckling) Man, the more things change… (He heaves the duffelbag into the trunk of the sedan.) … the more they stay the same. (The trunk lid slams down.)
(Fade in to the interior of the same warehouse as last segment… Things are still run down and dirty, but seem noticeably brighter, as if a little sun was let in… It gives the warehouse, still billed as Midwest Championship Wrestling headquarters, the appearance of one that has been cleaned a bit, but only to those who watched the first segment featuring The Sergeant… The camera moves toward the check in counter, still covered in dust, and fades to Sarge in another room, presumably his office, seated behind a desk…)
The Sergeant: I have to admit I’m a bit confused; at a loss for words, even. I don’t mean any disrespect toward my opponent Gemini, even though I plan to defeat him in a few short days, but he’s a difficult one to figure out. I don’t think I’ve seen or read two things concerning him yet that match up with each other. Everything seems contradictory. I guess that is why the two of us make such great and fitting opponents. Neither of us is meant to be figured out.
When I left the Army in 2005, The Surge was all the news talked about. Jeysh Al Mahdi had become a very painful thorn in the side of American military interests in Iraq, and as a patriotic red blooded soldier, people couldn’t figure out why I called it quits there to pursue a wrestling career of all things. Others told me what I was supposed to do.
I was supposed to stay in Iraq and put my life on the line.
I was supposed to stay indebted to the U.S. Government and the Army until both entities were done with me.
I for damn sure was supposed to find something much more serious to do with my life than professional wrestling.
There wasn’t much negative chatter in the wrestling business when I made the switch from soldier to wrestler. Outside of wrestling, though… there was plenty of negativity. I didn’t care. I’d served my time and stayed true to myself, even if nobody else could figure me out.
The Sergeant: People have a hard time figuring Gemini out, too. Gemini goes from criminally insane to relatively at the drop of the hat. On a personal level, he’s got me baffled. Banging on the door of a wrestling legend in hopes of ULTRATITLE tournament assistance; No selling multiple taser blasts to the body from a security guard. Hey, at least this time around he let a cameraman live!
All that said, in some bizarre way, I feel Gemini is being true to himself in all of this. Nobody else understands Gemini, but I think Gemini understands Gemini… just like this combat tested, mother approved curtain jerker sitting before you.
See? Sarge and Gemini: two peas in a pod.
Except we’re not. We couldn’t be any more different from each other.
The Sergeant: You see, there is something disturbingly wrong with Gemini. I might not be a credible witness for my case, but me… I’m perfectly sane.
With Gemini it’s like a zombie movie where you sit on the edge of your seat, but only because with every dull moment comes a chance something could go dramatically wrong. Some people call that a bad scaring mechanism in a horror movie. I just call it Gemini. Po-TAY-to. Po-TAH-to.
(Sarge cracks a slight grin…)
The Sergeant: All this crazy psychological stuff aside, though, the match itself is gonna be much different than what the buildup makes it out to be. Gemini, for all his pushing of this idea that he’s impervious to pain, has been beaten before by others. Ol’ Sarge’s name will join that list soon enough.
As for me… for all my talk of redemption and ring rust, I’m telling you right now that I will arrive in ring shape for this match. After years away, I wouldn’t risk jeopardizing what is left of my reputation by showing up to the fight halfcocked. Having learned from my past mistakes, I assure you that I’m all in on this ULTRATITLE tournament. No bad investments or conflicting interests will slow me down.
Why? Well, because I still am and forever will be the combat tested, mother approved juggernaut on a mission… and my current mission is to give Gemini a little CORRECTIVE TRAINING.
The camera cuts in on a dark gym. Someone grunts and weights clink in the background. Someone else works a heavy bag with authority. There’s the occasional thump as a grappling dummy hits the matt.
Over in a dark corner, a lumpy, misshapen individual slowly, calmly unwraps his hands. The left wraps unravels and slowly obliterates a rusty stain on the wraps. Sweatpants cut off at the knee show pasty white flesh, marred with the occasional scar from what appears to be barbed wire. Expensive wrestling boots clash with the cheap cut off sweats and the bulky, muscular torso is covered in a plain black T-shirt.
Finally, the camera rests on the face of Gemini. He’s sweating, and his hair is tousled, but he doesn’t seem tired or even out of breath. His eyes are vacant, yet hungry at the same time, and his mouth is cocked in a half smile, like he’s snickering at a joke that only he can hear.
Gemini: Let us guess, you’re here for the Ultratitle.
(The camera rocks up and down slightly, as if the cameraman is nodding yes.)
Gemini: You guys are like freaking ninjas. The guy that rode down with us from British Columbia didn’t say a word the whole trip. It would have creeped us out… if we were capable of being creeped out.
But we digress. You’re here to hear about the Sergeant after all. You want us to do up some huge promo about how it’s gonna be carnage at the ultratitle. How it’s gonna be excitement beyond measure!
(Gemini lunges forward and grabs the camera lens, pulling it in for an extreme close up.)
BUY THE WHOLE SEAT, BUT YOU’LL ONLY NEED THE EDGE! (He yells this part like a monster truck announcer.)
(Gemini then abruptly releases the camera, and the camera guy staggers for a moment and tries to focus as the sudden grip and release of the lens has left him off balance..)
Don’t think so guys. We don’t think that at all.
Y’see, we tried looking up the Sergeant. We did. Know your enemy and all that. And while there’s nothing wrong with this guy… there’s nothing special here either. He’s just another armed forces dropout running with the only skills and the only gimmick he knows.
And in round one of the bloody Ultratitle, this poor bastard got us.
He’s not in our league boys. He’s outgunned. He’s never been to the heights like we have. He’s never rocked Eddy Love or Eli Flair or Kevin Powers back on their heels. He’s never put the GD fear of GOD into his opponents. He’s never dropped a piano on Apocalypse. He never beat Cancer to a pulp. He never faced down Commando and sent his miserable ass packing.
(Gemini starts pacing as he talks, their emotions roiling and starting to work him up. Abruptly, he spins and lunges toward the camera again.)
HE NEVER HAD THE GD EWI TITLE!
(Gemini abruptly brandishes the belt for the defunct federation. He holds it up high and let’s the light catch the gold and enamel on the battered but beautiful belt.)
You see this kid? You see this title? Do you know what you had to do to put this around your waist?
(He leans forward into the lens again, nostrils flared, eyes wider and burning with crazy now.)
You had to *suffer* kid. And you had to *love* the *suffering*. And God help you if you didn’t, because nobody else sure as hell would. You had to be just a little bit GD crazy to want this belt…. And *we* (Gemini jerks his thumb back towards his chest.) are a lot more than just a ‘little’ crazy.
And that’s a lot bad for you Sergeant. Really, realllllllllllly bad.
Now kid, we just need you to know one thing. Just one.
This. Isn’t. Personal.
You’re never wronged us dude. You never said crap about us in the locker room. You never slept with our girl, drank our booze, wrecked our car, slapped our kid…
Hell, your promos are actually polite! (Gemini runs a massive paw through his hair and shakes his head.)
But we’re not one for dragging things out junior and we need you to know this. The first time you drop your guard, the first time you make a mistake, and it’s only a matter of when kid… We. Will. Lay. You. Out.
There’s a beating to be handed out here Sergeant. Take it like a man, take it for your country, take it for your pride, whatever… but take it you will. Because we’re going on to the next round, and you ain’t kid. (Gemini tosses the belt over his shoulder, and turns away from the camera. He grabs his battered green dufflebag, stops, then turns back to the camera.)
Gemini: Sorry about your luck chuckles. And believe us. Gemini, round one? That’s just bad luck Sergeant.
(Quietly, Gemini takes a step towards the camera and leans right into the lens.)
(And Gemini smiles at the camera with the same sort of smile a shark gives to a surfer.)
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