“If you believe the so-called experts... I might as well not even show up.”
(FADEIN to an enormous warehouse filled with various boxes of foodstuffs as far as the eye can see. Forklifts and pallet jacks zoom around endlessly, pulling pallets of food from one location and bringing them to another.
The camera pulls back and high up in one of the racks sits Anarky in street clothes, sans facepaint, in a Decapitated t-shirt and ripped jeans.)
ANARKY: “Of course.. if the so-called experts knew anything, we’d all be watching Dan Ryan and Sean Stevens battle it out in the Final Four. Turns out the truth is hard to see, isn’t it, Doc?
“Not for you, though. Never has been. You... you always try to control everything. You want the ref in your pocket. You want Greenie positioned just so. You’ve got a backup plan and another backup plan for that.
“There’s no angle you haven’t thought of. No variable you haven’t accounted for.
(He stops and pulls a small flask out of his pocket and takes a swig. He contemplates it for a moment.)
ANARKY: “We used to come up here into the racks and drink during our breaks. Only way to break up the monotony. Get an order. Pick the order. Put it on the dock. Someone loads the truck. Every day. Always the same.
“If you were lucky, maybe you’d get injured and got on workman’s comp. Or maybe you’d eventually get promoted to supervisor and you could make a living wage trying to keep the junkies and f*ck-ups in line.
“I spent two years here. Long enough to know what a dead end feels like. Some spend their lives. Forty years here. Day in and day out. Pick and place. Pick and place.
“It can drive a man mad.
“To do the same thing over and over again... to know there is no escape. Yesterday will be the same as today will be the same as tomorrow.
“For some, it’s enough. To have a certain paycheck. To raise a family and come home every day to a home-cooked meal. It’s a life you could be proud of, once.
“But not for me.
“Because there is something inside me, Doc. Something that cannot remain silent.
“I thought I’d found a way to placate it and keep it quiet. Through sheer will and violence... I had found a new home. A new path to enlightenment. In that ring.
“I was born in blood and vengeance.
“And then I met you.
“See, Doc... for me... it was enough to fight. Enough to be a modern-day gladiator. To bleed... to cause bleeding... to break and be broken. To suffocate the will of those weaker than me.
“But you... you taught me something new. You taught me that it wasn’t just about violence. That all of the willpower in the world... all of the endurance and violence and brutality would mean nothing to a man who sought only victory through any means necessary.
“You took me, like the sheep I was.
“Lex Taylor came to me. Offered to help me. Said we could find a way to beat you. We could be a team. I was just a child.
“So I was born again in deceit and trickery.
“You fleeced me. You and Lex Taylor. You embarrassed me on national television. The whole world laughed at the child playing with men.
“You didn’t beat me. You broke me.
(He takes another sip and goes quiet for a moment before speaking.)
ANARKY: “You’ll probably say it was for the best, Doc. After all... don’t I have you to thank? Did you not make me what I am? Did you not lift the wool from my eyes and create me again? Newer and stronger?
“Yes, Doc. In many ways, you did.
“But I will never be you. I could... never be you.
“You are everything cowardly in this business. Cheap tricks and stunts. Hired guns and refs.
“There’s almost a beauty to your brazen dishonesty. After all... you are what you are, Doc. You cannot be anything else.
“But I cannot abide it, Doc. Not this time.
“As a fictional character once said... a man has to have a code.
“It is easy to win, Doc, when all you care about is winning. You can call yourself a legend or a hero. It matters not... when all you care about is the raised arm. When the ends are all that matter.
“After all, Doc... it worked before. You have won before. You can win again. The whole world believes it. Doc/Anarky? Just an afterthought. Just a stepping stone on the way to Doc/Castor. Me.. I’m nothing.
“Sixteen years in this business and I’m nothing.
(He throws the flask suddenly which lands two rows away with a clang and rattles off a few shelves before settling on the floor.)
ANARKY: “I’ve won countless World Titles, and yet I’m sh*t upon compared to the likes of Dan Ryan and Sean Stevens and Doc Silver and Castor Strife.
“I have watched as the so-called legends and heroes hung up their tights and walked away... or were too broken to go on. But I went on. I carved this path with my own broken bones.
“No more, Doc.
“I have pride, too. Just because I don’t spend twenty minute a day talking about how f*cking great I am doesn’t mean I don’t care. I. F*cking. Care.
“My name is my name.
“And it’s my time. My time for my name to ring out. My time to let the whole world know... that this sport... this sport is something I’ve defined. Something I’ve helped shape.
“It is my cold embrace that has warmed so many dead places.
“Like you, Doc... I won’t get another chance at ULTRATITLE. This is it. I’m too f*cking old and too f*cking tired to do this again.
“One last time.
“Pay off the ref. Bring out the goon squad. Scheme all you want.
“We are what we are, Doc. And one way or the other... someone is going to survive.
“The whole world thinks it’s going to be you. The experts have already decided. You’ve been penciled in. Me... I’m just a name to put under your biography once you’ve won again.
“A child in a game of men.
“Just as I once was.
“But you can’t control everything, Doc. The world doesn’t work like that. All the best laid plans of mice and men and all that.
(FADEIN: Doc Silver sitting at a poker table, he’s wearing an old school “Shirley Manson kneeling over the star” Garbage T-Shirt. “Automatic Systematic Habit” plays in the background.)
DOC: Ah, class warfare…It’s the oldest trick in the book. You’re whining about the 1%, about me, about Dan Ryan and Sean Stevens, about the legends who get the folks on the internet talking, you wish they talked about you, the envy just dripped off you, it’s truly pathetic Anarky.
I’ve spent my whole career making myself a winner, a champion, somebody to be feared and respected, I never claimed I did a damn thing above board, I did what I had to do to get the job done, and that’s why people fear me, because they know that when they get in the ring with me that they deck is stacked against them.
You claim I’m dishonest? What am I lying about? You and I both know exactly what I’m up to, all my cards are on the table. There’s nothing unexpected when you fight me, I’m a cheat and a scoundrel and I make no bones about any of it.
And that’s why the talking heads love me, I’ve made a career of breaking hearts and crushing dreams, I’ve made a career of getting my hand raised by whatever means I needed to use, and you sneer at it, you whine about it, those meanies in the internet don’t give you the respect you deserve.
What the hell have you ever done Anarky? Honestly, you got the suitcase full of belts, who the hell doesn’t have a suitcase full of belts? It boils down to something far more important than that, it’s about respect, can you command respect from the locker room, from the crowd, from management, can you make people sit up and take notice of you…And you never could do that.
You tell me a man has to have a code, and I’ll tell you any man that abides by a code that denies him victory out of some misplaced sense of honor is a fool, that at the end of the day, you get the win by whatever means you can, you want a code to live by?
That’s my code. That’s what I’m here to do, and you hate me for it, hate that I win all the time, hate that the public loves me for winning all the time…
You tell me this is your last chance at Ultratitle, that you’re an old man...When I don’t think anyone has any idea of your true age, your birth certificate generates slightly less controversy than Barack Obama’s, I’ll take you at your word that you’re nearly at the end of your rope and this is your last shot at glory, but it begs the question…Exactly what the hell are you doing with what little time you have left in this business.
You could go kick the sh*t out of the guy you already kicked the sh*t out of once before, get back the EPW World Title, clean out that locker room and then throw the belt down at Dan Ryan’s feet and tell him there were no more challenges left for you, that you had done it all and now it was time to ride off into the sunset with your point proven.
Or you could have some drug addled moron lead you around on a leash while the two of you talk a big game and do nothing. I mean either of those two paths seems just as likely to get you the hype on the internet that you seem to crave so desperately. Editor’s Note, said moron is going to get his head caved in by Deacon in round 1 of this tournament, so you’ve clearly put your career in good hands, the good ship Anarky is going straight to the top now baby!
You complain about being a nothing in the wrestling world. As if I’m supposed to fix that. It’s not my fault people see it that way, maybe you should have gotten some guts and done something in your career so that people would talk about you, that you would have a legacy people would admire and tread with reverence, but instead you’ve slept walked through every damn thing you’ve ever done.
You ARE that dock worker Anarky, you might not be loading cargo or driving around on the cart or the rest of it, but your life truly is the same damn thing night in and night out, get in the ring, fight whoever the hell they throw in front of you, win or lose it doesn’t matter, get a few stitches, head to the airport get on a flight to the next arena, the next fight, just make sure the checks clear and everything will be OK.
You do the same thing over and over again without really giving a damn if it got you anywhere in any league, and now you have the nerve to get in front of a camera and tell the world you care. That for this one match, for this one tournament, Anarky cares.
Well congrats Anarky for doing barely above the bare minimum required of a person in this tournament, did your press release for your promo read “Anarky vows he’s not stealing Ultratitles promoters money, promises to show effort.”
Man, I wish it was so easy for me, I wish I could be held to such a low standard that I could cut a promo saying “I give a f*ck about Ultratitle” and expect a pat on the back and cheers from the peanut gallery. I bet the internet is abuzz with the fact that for once in your life, you’re going to be somewhat engaged in an event, I’d hate to see what you could do if you were really determined to win this thing.
And that’s the difference between us, I show up every night NEEDING to win, I don’t mail it in, I don’t have to tell people that I care about it, they know it, and because I spent my whole career bleeding and suffering and fighting to win each and every night, that made me somebody and only now at this late hour are you finally starting to figure that out, that maybe you should have put a little effort into this sport and you could have made a legacy of your own.
But it’s too late for you to do that in Ultratitle Anarky, you got a bad bracket and an early exit when they drew up who was fighting who, you knew it when it came out and so did I, we were meeting round two, I was going to win, and you were going to lose.
You’ll take your pound of flesh from me, I’ll bleed and I’ll hurt, but I’m still winning the match…Because that’s the way the world works Anarky, the strong crush the weak and the motivated out think the disinterested. You might think you care about this, but when it comes down to it, when my blood is pooling all over that mat when I’m kicking out again and again after you keep trying to put me down, you’ll understand that you don’t have anywhere near the will power needed to stop me…It might be brass knucks, or a goon with a chair, or a ref who suddenly shows up to work the next day in a new car, but you’ll lose just the same.
The world never needed you before, it sure as hell doesn't need you now...
You’ve never had the drive to be the best, and now you finally see that, you finally understand that you’ve spent your whole life walking along the endless path of misery…
(FADEIN: Doc Silver sitting at a poker table. Doc’s in a black T-Shirt that reads “I Hate Love” “Battle In Me” plays in the background.)
DOC: You want a legacy…You had it in your hands Anarky…EPW was yours, you had sent the champion crying to momma…Meanwhile the previous champion, the Lucky Loser in this tournament and the supposed “King” of this industry…Was vanquished by an old foe of yours who went and got his Jaime Lannister on…WrestleVerse was to be where an old score was settled and two men who knew each other so very well were to finally find out who was better, the biggest stage, the biggest title, this was it, this was your moment.
And then to start off the hype, you got in front of a camera and told the world “I never asked for this.”
Man, I know Dan Ryan’s had a few drinks in his life…I know it’s quite likely he knocked a few six packs back and went to the hard stuff to numb the sting of losing to Duchess and Cobra, but man, that must have been kiddie sh*t compared to the bender he went on after his World Champion went on TV and told the world “I don’t want to be here.”
You had just run through King of the Cage like a hot knife through butter, buzz-sawed your way to the EPW World Title, you were a juggernaut, a force that couldn’t be stopped, and now he was to face his greatest test…
But you failed it before you even got in the ring.
You decided to be too cool for school, you had to let us all know that we were suckers, we were rubes playing a rigged game, that these titles don’t matter, that being in the main event of the biggest show in the company didn’t matter, that fighting and clawing and kicking to be the best wasn’t inside you anymore, if it ever was in the first place, that you didn’t have the desire or the will to truly do anything. You wanted out but you didn’t have the nerve to just walk away.
You wanted somebody to beat you…You wanted somebody to let you off the hook so you could go back to your bar and be content just being the rough and tumble son of a b*tch you are…To be a man who didn’t have to be held to account by anyone for anything. In the end you got your wish. In the end you got to go back to your bar and sneer at those who seek to better themselves and win accolades and achievements.
But now…Now I’m supposed to believe you care, this time it’s different, this time you’re coming at me and it’s going to be a war, Lex Taylor’s sins shall be visited upon me. You’re full of rage at the world, at the dirt-sheets, at me, and at anyone who’s ever doubted you…This time around Anarky’s spitting fire.
You know what I say to that Anarky? Good, I want that, I want you to care about this, I want you to bleed and fight for this, I want you to roll that shoulder off the mat at two and a half when only will and instinct is keeping you going…I want to know you’re reaching down deep inside your guts to find that extra something to keep pushing, to keep fighting and keep pushing your body even when every joint, every muscle, every injury you’ve suffered over all these years is begging with you give in and let it be over…
I want all of it Anarky…
Because when I beat you after you’ve done everything you could to win…That will make it all the sweeter…I want to make you hurt…I want you to slowly get to your feet as Shirley Manson’s singing me on my way back to the locker room and you get to know that the old Doctor got the better of you once again…That you tried so hard and got so far…But in the end it didn’t really matter…
Did I really just go Linkin Park there? Man I’ve lost my edge worse than Howard Stern on America’s Got Talent.
(Greenie pops in from the side of the screen a la Mortal Kombat.)
(Greenie vanishes back off screen. Doc’s eyes wonder off camera to where Greenie would be, he bristles for a moment then gets back to looking at the camera.)
DOC: This is your hill to die on Anarky? Then die on it you shall, because I didn’t sign up for Ultratitle to listen to folks on the internet talk up a bunch of people, I didn’t sign up to get dropped by you, Castor, or anyone else, I entered this thing for only one reason, to kick everyone’s ass and go out having won a second Ultratitle. I won this thing before I ever heard of Butch Vig and company, it’s been nearly two decades since then, and now here I am once again, Ultratitle was the launching pad of my career, I won this tournament before I won any World Title, before I got banned for life from A1E…Before that unfortunate incident with Bob Ryder in a CSWA locker room that I’m not able to talk about, but let’s just say if I ever do have a kid they’ll be going to college on Chad Merritt’s dime…Before all of that…I was riding on the turnip truck and before I dusted myself off I was Ultratitle champion and now we’re completing this circle.
You’re losing because you don’t have any idea what it means to want it night in and night out, you think you do, but your whole career has proven you don’t really have it in you when the chips are down…The time will come and you’ll reach back for that one last move…After you just kicked out from Flint M. Jacobs hitting you in the back of the head with a nightstick behind the ref's back…You’ll sucker me in and crank my head around and then comes the Chaos Breaker and you hook my leg, and when the crowd groans, when the ref holds those two fingers in the air, mocking you, letting you know you didn’t get the job done, when I get back up to look at you, I’ll see it in your eyes…I’ll see the doubt, I’ll see that you KNOW you can’t do this, that deep down what they always said about the two of us is true….
And you are nobody.
And then you’ll fall…Cause that’s what you do Anarky, you put up the good fight, you battle and you struggle, but in the end, you never win, because deep down inside you…You never truly wanted to win…You’ve always been the dockworker, you’ve always been content to bleed and suffer and to make others hurt…That’s what you’ve always been and always will be…And there are days when you feel OK about it, and there are days when it upsets you that you could have been something more, but you blew it…
And so you spend all the rest of your days wondering the endless path of misery, asking yourself what might have been, what you could have done…But it’s all over but the crying…Fade to black I’m sick of trying…
(OORP: Sorry, Mike, I meant to RP earlier, but traveling for business and my Internet in the hotel has basically been broken since I got here. Had to type this up during breaks in our nine-hour meetings. Yep.)
(FADEIN to a dingy dive bar where Anarky sits alone, drinking a Miller High Life and watching SportsCenter disinterestedly.)
ANARKY: “The universe is a cold and indifferent place. It cares not for our plans. In the end, whether we know it or not, we are all just cosmic dust floating through space. Asteroids colliding don’t care who wins Ultratitle.
“But here... here in our little world, it means everything. Everybody who’s laced up their boots and thinks they’re God’s Gift to wrestling has crawled out of the woodwork for this baby. Heck, I haven’t been around this many self-entitled brats since I accidentally wandered too close to Yale on a bender in New Haven. F*cking sweater-vests.”
(He takes a long, slow sip of the High Life and finishes it. He reaches over the bar, opens a small fridge, and grabs another, cracking it open and seating himself again. He looks around, realizes the bar is empty, and lights up a cigarette.)
ANARKY: “But a man has to find his own path. His own peace. And nobody else’s goals are going to do it for him. I ain’t ever gonna be a hedge fund manager or a grade-school teacher or an archaeologist.
“So you gonna come out here, Doc, and tell me I ain’t any good at diggin’ up bones?
“Or am I a failure cause I ain’t 7 feet tall and 300 pounds? The standards exist only for me to fail to measure up to them.
“Truth is, Doc, you’re just like everybody else... you believe what they tell you to believe. If they tell you the glitter and gold is all that matters, you swallow it whole like a good little boy taking the airplane in for mommy.
“If you don’t want to be called a sheep, stop acting like one.
“See, Doc, I get a little f*ckin’ frustrated having to explain myself over and over and over again. It’s really not that hard to understand.
“Here, I’ll explain it to you like a child, since, despite having apparently followed every moment of my career for the last decade, you still don’t have a f*cking clue what actually motivates me.”
(He stands up and walks over to a chalkboard which has Today’s Specials written on it. He wipes it off and looks back at the camera.)
ANARKY: “This is what you and everybody else apparently cares about.”
(He draws a crude belt on the left side of the board.)
ANARKY: “Not actually being a better wrestler. Not earning it. Not being stronger or faster or smarter or more strategic or more technically capable of having better endurance. But seeing if you can trick somebody into handing you a title. You’re the Goldman Sachs of wrestling. It doesn’t matter who you sell out as long as the profits come in.
Me? This is what I care about.”
(He draws the word Truth on the right side of the board.)
ANARKY: “The truth. Strength. The endurance to keep going. The desire to drag that shoulder up one more time. The willpower to wipe the blood from your brow and keep going, even as your body cries out for mercy.
“This is what impresses me. This is what matters.
“Gold comes and goes. But this... this place is different. Survive and move on.
“Apparently, it’s okay for you and everybody else to decide the measure of a man. It’s okay for you to judge. But not me. I’m a bad guy. I dismissed your dreams because I’m a big meanie, right? Safety in numbers. If the pitchfork-carrying mob says it’s gold or bust, then I’m the idiot.
“You... you’ve got this all figured out. You’ve got me all figured out. You’ve got all of the EPW talking points figured out. It’s like I’m talking to First and Impulse and Karl Brown all over again.
“Is it possible that everybody around me is simply too stupid to comprehend the differences between something never asked for and something unwanted? Are these subtleties lost on you? Is the drunk guy in the skull facepaint the only scholar among us?
“In a way, I wish that was true. But it isn’t. It’s worse.
“I wanted to show that you could be great without consuming yourself with talking about how great you were. I wanted everybody to see that there were other ways to the top than constantly crying for a title shot like a child cries for a bottle. That you could f*cking earn that sh*t just by being BETTER rather than just acting as if something was OWED to you.
“But nobody wanted to hear it. They fixated on a few words instead.
“We’re all just politicians now. And we’re pandering to our base. The truth doesn’t matter. The character of a man doesn’t matter. All that matters is the ability to find a few words your opponent said and keep repeating them and repeating them until the lie becomes the truth.
“This is your legacy.
“The problem, Doc, is that for as closely and as creepily as you seemed to have followed my career from your couch, you and I both know the truth. You’ve spun this adorable little narrative about how I’m whining and complaining about my place in this business. About how I’m just a dock worker being led around by a drug addict and doing nothing with my career.
“The truth is.. you DON’T have a suitcase full of belts. You don’t NEED to win. You don’t have the competitive spirit you keep pretending to have. You know how I know that, Doc?
“Because you just spent the last ten years ON THE F*CKING SIDELINES. The only thing you need to win is a f*cking microwave dinner so you can watch another episode of Who’s the Boss and change your sweatpants once a week so the maid doesn’t judge you anymore than we both know she has.
“So you try to cut me down with this bullsh*t. Try to tell me how things should be in Empire Pro. Like I’m not tired of hearing that sh*t from people who actually wrestle for a living.
“I get it. Doc thinks Anarky should do this. Doc thinks Anarky should do that. Doc thinks Anarky craves attention. Doc makes birth certificate jokes because we’re apparently stealing material from the Phantom Republican now... ? Nice.
“Doc doesn’t f*cking get it.
“Simply because I care doesn’t mean I’m dumb enough to give a f*ck what YOU think. If it’s Doc’s approval I crave, I’m gonna be sitting around for a long f*cking time while he strokes his own ego. You’re just like everybody else.
“You respect nothing and nobody but yourself. Everybody else is doing it wrong and the only right way is your way. If somebody does something impressive, you dismiss it as trivial from your couch.
“People... people don’t know sh*t. They were all ready for Dan Ryan and Joe the Plumber. All that respect went real far, didn’t it, Doc? Just like it won’t protect you from me. All the predictions and analysis... that sh*t won’t matter when the bell rings, Doc. It all comes down to you and me.
“None of it surprises me anymore, Doc. That’s what’s so f*cked up. That’s why I don’t crave your respect like an abusive father. You don’t really love me. You’re too busy writing love letters to yourself.
“People worshipped Joe the Plumber and Sean Stevens because that’s what we were told to worship. And like mindless little sheep we followed. And what good did it to them? How much did it matter in the ring?
“I mean... let’s be real here. People may pretend to respect men like you and Castor Strife, but in their heart of hearts... they still know they’re better than you. Everybody does. It’s the ultimate form of egocentrism. Every last one of us. We’re all the best ever. Such entitled little brats.
“We bend over backwards to justify our flaws, to explain away our deficiencies, to discredit other people’s successes.
“Maybe you will win, Doc. I ain’t a fortune teller. Maybe you’ll pay off the ref or Greenie will dress up like Dis and fake me out and you’ll get your hand raised and you’ll go on to win and nobody will remember that you had to sell out your own mother for another shot at self-gratification.
“And they will applaud you and tell of your greatness and fortune. And maybe everybody else will stop gazing at themselves in the mirror long enough to nod in your direction.
“But I’ll know. I’ll still have my strength. My will. My pride.
“We both know that ain’t enough for you, Doc. You’re incomplete. Broken. You need their adoration. Their validation.
“You hate me for being something else. For making my own path.
“You ain’t the first. You won’t be the last. And it sure as f*ck don’t make you special.
“Maybe I am nothing. But if the alternative is to be someone like you, Doc... if the alternative is to be another sheep in the herd... to baa when they say baa... to get down on my knees and worship the gold no matter the cost, no matter the price, no matter the man behind it.
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