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Round 2: King Krusher vs. "Crippler" Cameron Cruise


The Godfather
Staff member
Mar 17, 1988
RP runs through Monday, May 14. 2 RP limit in this round.


League Member
May 2, 2009
(FADE-IN: The Dangle Brothers Bar & Grill- Baltimore, Maryland. The sign on the wall gives that fact away very readily considering that Cameron Cruise and Jared Wells are both featured on it prominently. It's late afternoon and the only people in the bar are a couple of career drunks, the bartender, and some guy mopping the floors. Some overplayed Nickelback song plays on the jukebox in random mode because nobody sober would spend money to hear it. By the looks of things, a wild celebration ensued the night before as there is still a considerable amount of debris that has yet to be cleaned up like dirty glasses, ash trays and what may or may not be a vomit stain on the floor. Apparently, quite a party took place in honor of Cruise's Ultratitle first round win against Ikan Jobtayoo. As the camera pans to the entrance, KING KRUSHER steps in from the sunlight outside and surveys the scene. He takes off his dark Ray-Bans and allows his eyes to adjust to the light. A smirk quickly emerges on his face as he tucks his glasses into the collar of his shirt)

KING KRUSHER: "It just so happens that I am in town for an autograph and collectible show appearance so I thought I'd get a look at 'Ground Zero' of the Dangle Brothers operations. Judging by the looks of things, somebody had some fun last night."

(K.K. steps forward and his gym shoes make audible sounds from sticking to the floor. He scans the surroundings and admires the decor of the bar, including several images of Cruise and Wells in action. K.K. stops in front of an autographed picture of both Cruise and Wells with their arms raised triumphantly in the ring)

K.K.: "So you're hanging with Jared Wells these days, eh Cruise? Believe it or not, I consider Jared a friend even though we haven't talked since we were in NGEN a couple years back. You can say that I helped him get his groove back when he came to GLCW a decade ago looking for a fresh start and a clean slate. I'd like to think that I helped him relaunch his career to become the superstar he is today, but guys like him will always find a way to rise to the top regardless of the circumstances. I just wish he could keep his priorities straight. But enough about Wells, I'm here to talk about you and me."

(K.K. sits at an empty booth below the picture and when his hand touches the table, he retracts it after touching whatever sticky substance was still clinging to the surface and wipes his hand on his pant leg with an irritated frown.)

K.K.: "Anyways, you were there too back in GLCW when you were a fresh-faced youngster, eager to learn and absorb the business and I knew right away you would be a star some day. You picked my brain and asked all the right questions and before you knew it, you were on the road to big things. Unlike my first round opponent Jonathan Marx, you had a much better attitude and appreciation for the business when we first crossed paths. Unfortunately GLCW closed before you could make your mark there, but I was still able to watch from afar as you won title after title and became one of the top draws in the sport."

(K.K. looks up at one of the big screen TV's above the bar showing an Ultratitle commercial but continues to speak)

K.K.: "And then we come to NGEN a couple years back where you somehow ended up as partners with one of the world's eternal pains in the ass, Problem Child. Even more puzzling was the fact that both of you were cohesive enough to win the tag team titles which I would attribute more to your abilities then anything that junkie clown ever contributed. Striker and I formed an impromptu tag team and took the titles from you on the last show ever for NGEN. While Striker did the honors of pinning you after Problem Child sold you out as I knew he would, I felt that the victory was hollow and it's been eating at me ever since."

(Krusher winces as "Friends in Low Places" plays on the jukebox)

K.K.: "So fate brings us to the Ultratitle tournament and we are now second round opponents. No tag team partners this time. Just you and me. Many of the pundits are calling this the match to watch in the second round after some of the upsets we've seen, but let me tell you about some of these so-called pundits and experts. NONE of them picked me to beat Marx in the first round. They all thought I was washed up, they all thought that Marx was the better wrestler, they all thought that Marx was smarter...on and on. And they were DEAD WRONG. I never took what the critics and prognosticators ever had to say seriously because the only opinions that ever mattered to me were the fans...but I gotta tell you I was more than a little bothered by that and turned it into positive reinforcement and motivation. I blame it on lack of exposure. I haven't wrestled regularly in the last decade outside of that run in NGEN two years ago and some of those blowhards don't even remember me. No point in being bitter because I've already proven them wrong and now I have momentum on my side."

(Just then, a waitress seemingly emerges from nowhere and comes to K.K.'s booth. She is clearly not part of the night crew as she is older and dressed more slovenly than any of the skankier cleavage-baring waitresses that populate the bar at night)

WAITRESS: "Can I get you somethin', hon?"

K.K.: "Yes, just a Diet Coke, please. I won't be staying long. What went on here last night?

WAITRESS: "Oh Cam had a party last night. Somethin' to do with SuperTitle or somethin' like that. I don't pay much attention to that wrestling stuff. A bit too violent for me. You look big enough to be one of those dudes. You a friend or somethin'?"

K.K.: "You can say that. Give him my regards."

WAITRESS: "Will do."

("Flo" saunters off to get the drink as K.K. looks back towards the camera)

K.K.: "You know Cam, I'm not going to give you any lectures or tell you how to run your life...but this all doesn't look too much like you're taking this very seriously. You should have gotten this all out of your system by now. Don't get me wrong, I've done my share of partying and had plenty of mornings where I just wanted to crawl into a hole and die rather than get up and face a day of training but that crap ended when I hit age 30 and got married. Your buddy Wells already got eliminated from the tournament and I'm gonna guess he had one hell of a bender the night before while you got lucky and drew a crash test dummy for your first opponent. Well the fun stops now. I just beat one of the top names in the sport to get to this point and you are sadly mistaken if you think this is going to be a cakewalk. I really hope you are smarter than that if you still carry any of the common sense that you displayed back in GLCW. So let's go out there and make this the best match of the second round...let's show the world what we are both capable of doing. And watch me prove all the experts wrong AGAIN when I put your shoulders to the mat for the 3 count! AND THAT SUCKS FOR YOU!"

(Just then, "Flo" returns with the drink)

WAITRESS: "Who sucks what?"

K.K.: "Nevermind. Thanks."



League Member
May 2, 2009
(The following is an article that was posted on esen.com on 5/12/12 @ 12:16pm EST)

Krushing the Demons: King Krusher's Final Run

Most men in his position would be blown off as going through a mid-life crisis and trying to recreate past glories. Not so the case with King Krusher, a man who has raised more than a few eyebrows in the Ultratitle tournament with a win over "Gentleman" Jonathan Marx in the first round. This could be considered an upset as Krusher was not expected to get past Marx by many of the experts who made tournament predictions on various media outlets around the country.

"Like I have said many times, I don't put a lot of weight into what the critics have to say," Krusher states in a told-you-so type of tone. "My critics are the fans, and if I don't bring them to their feet and send them home with the satisfaction that they got their money's worth, then and only then do I know I have failed. If some of the experts out there criticize my style and say that I am too one-dimensional, they may be right but I just don't care. If one-dimensional gets me to the pay window with a check-mark in the "Win" column, then so be it."

It would certainly be short-sighted to consider King Krusher to be a one-dimensional wrestler and those that do probably don't deserve to be considered "experts" in the first place. Krusher has displayed on occassion an impressive array of moves and holds that could hold their own with the top mat technicians in the sport. In his own words, he tends to hold these techniques back and save them for when they are truly needed during times where he is forced to change styles.

"I had to adapt my style for Marx as he is known as one of the top mat-men in the game," Krusher reveals. "Marx is way too smart to get into a brawl with me and he did exactly what he was supposed to do...try to wear me down with his mat knowledge but the problem was that I was ready for him every step of the way. I had him scouted six ways to Sunday and I intend to do the same for Cruise."

Has age and experience allowed Krusher to become a more complete wrestler?

"For sure. I'm trying to mold myself into the chameleon of the wrestling world," Krusher states with a chuckle. "My personal challenge to myself was to adapt to the style of my opponent and beat them at their own game. It's a very risky game plan to take on in a tournament like this, but I'm doing my homework."

Born Joseph William Kurzowski on February 8th, 1969 in Chicago, Krusher grew up in the blue collar cradle of the Bridgeport neighborhood where legendary mayor Richard J. Daley held residence. The area was by no means dangerous, but Krusher had his share of rough and tumble incidents growing up in the inner city. He was a small child and was picked on often until he hit his growth spurt in high school. From there, Krusher excelled at amateur wrestling where he went to the state semi-finals two years in a row until finally winning the Illinois state championship for his weight class his senior year in 1988. Shortly after graduating from DeLasalle High School, Krusher began training for the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea in hopes of making the U.S. wrestling team. He never got the chance as tragedy struck.

"My older brother and only sibling John was in his second year on the Chicago Police force working the beat in the 7th & 8th Districts as most young cops do in Chicago," Krusher remembers. "The 7th and 8th Districts encompass some of the worst neighborhoods in the country like Englewood and the Robert Taylor Homes housing project. John had a drug dealer cornered in an alley when the guy pulled out a 9 millimeter and opened fire at close range. My brother was shot and killed and his partner was critically injured. He meant everything to me and was my role model growing up. And just like that, he was gone."

Chicago police officer John Allen Kurzowksi was killed on the night of June 21st, 1988 and was laid to rest with full honors and a Gold Star, the highest recognition the CPD bestows upon its officers. After the funeral and the media spotlight subsided, Krusher went into a catatonic-like state after the death of his brother and took years to recover from the crippling anguish and depression. The Olympics were out of the question as he was in no state mentally to train or compete in such a demanding event and several college scholarships went by the wayside. A couple years after his brother's death, Krusher turned to weightlifting as a way of coping with his depression.

"It may have saved my life," Krusher admits. "It allowed me a release for my feelings in a positive manner and got me into great shape. I already had a large frame coming out of high school and it came naturally for me."

It wasn't long before Krusher was noticed by a local wrestling promoter in a grocery store he was working at in his old neighborhood.

"I was working a low-paying dead-end job at the local Jewel because I hadn't found my direction yet and still needed to figure things out. Ed Smart, the owner of Windy City Pro Wrestling, was shopping for a few things when he noticed me stocking shelves and at 6'5" and well over 260lbs at the time, I guess he knew a good candidate when he saw one."

Smart introduced himself, gave Krusher his card and the rest is history. He was quickly trained and made his pro debut in early 1991 at a local Windy City Pro show in Hammond, Indiana. His career took off from there as he made his mark in many different leagues such as NGEN, MFL, UFWA and several others, collecting titles along the way. Krusher established himself as a major fan favorite and is one of the few wrestlers ever who can claim that he never wrestled as the proverbial "bad guy."

"It just wasn't in me to try and piss people off, unless it was my opponent," Krusher relates with a sheepish grin.

Krusher's crowning glory came in the summer of 1998, when he captured the AFWC World Heavyweight Title. At the time, the AFWC was one of the largest leagues in the world with most of the top names in the sport on the roster, but the reign would not last as the organization would implode upon itself like a supernova due to corruption, bad contracts and the dissapearance of one it's co-owners.

"I can't even begin to describe some of the stuff that went on behind the scenes at the AFWC. But it was a great time in my career and I will always be proud of winning the World Title there."

Krusher moved on to several other leagues like the UWA, WWWA, WAR and ACW. While he did win the ICW Tag Team Titles with "Awesome" Anthony Edwards, Krusher was never able to recapture his singles glory and would never win another world championship. But during this time, one of wrestling's most intense rivalries developed and crossed over into several different leagues...a bloody war that consumed both men and put championship quests on the backburner. That feud pitted Krusher against the one and only Pandorian warrior, Maelstrom.

"Whew. You want to talk about a man who is focused only on one thing? Complete victory. That is all that Maelstrom cared about. Titles were merely props to him. And because I was so focused on defeating him, I stopped caring about winning titles myself because in my mind, Maelstrom was the man to beat."

King Krusher is one of the few men in the world to claim a pinfall victory over Maelstrom, and that came at NFWA's Wrestlebowl I in 1997 in his hometown of Chicago at the United Center. The match was stipulated as Falls Count Anywhere and Krusher gained the victory by hitting Maelstrom with a brainbuster onto the hood of a car in the UC parking lot to win the NFWA U.S. Title.

"That match took everything out of me. It took a week for me to able to move without aching in agony and I probably didn't wrestle for three weeks after that. I almost lost the title because of the fact I had to recoup for so long."

But then something strange happened on the way to armageddon...King Krusher and Maelstrom formed a team in the IWC!

"As bitter of rivals as we were, we had a tremendous amount of respect for each other. There were a lot of guys in the IWC that we both disliked who felt they were above both of us for one reason or another, we decided to form an alliance to show them what was up. Before we could cause any real havoc, the IWC closed and we went our separate ways until the FWF opened in 1999."

The two would meet once again in the Frontier Wrestling Federation, but this time in unsanctioned matches.

"Scott Malec was one of the co-owners of the FWF and was also my agent so we felt it would be a conflict of interest," Krusher explains. "But he wanted to showcase a couple matches between me and Maelstrom on his shows so we decided to make them unsanctioned and they did not officially count as FWF contests."

The matches didn't decide anything as the two rivals fought in two out-of-control slugfests. It was the second match where Krusher blew out his knee and would not wrestle again for almost 10 years.

“The knee didn’t keep me from wrestling for 10 years. I could have come back after a year and went back at it but I got married, I was starting up my wrestling school and had a lot of other irons in the fire. But Scott Malec came at me with an offer I couldn’t refuse…to be the Commissioner of GLCW.”

Great Lakes Championship Wrestling opened in 2002 and had a successful run with Krusher at the helm as commissioner. Dealing with the likes of Michael Manson, Anarky, Jonathan Marx and even Maelstrom on a daily basis as their boss was very stressful, but enjoyable.

“I wouldn’t have traded that time for anything else in the world,” Krusher explains. “Even though Manson and those guys made life hell for me, it was still one of the best times I ever had in my career. I learned a lot about the business…the good and the bad.”

After GLCW closed, Krusher’s wife Kelly contracted stage III breast cancer. For four years, Kelly battled the disease with medication, chemo and sheer will power. She was declared cancer free at the end of 2008 after an incredible fight.

“My wife is the strongest woman I have ever seen in my life,” Krusher says with conviction. “My worst matches were cakewalks compared to what she went through with all the treatments, radiation, and hospital stays. Losing my brother was brutal, but seeing the woman I love go through what she went through put a whole new perspective on life. I am mentally stronger then I have ever been and do believe in miracles after what I have witnessed.”

The Kurzowski’s welcomed their first child into the world in May of 2010, when John Joseph Kurzowski was born.

“The greatest day of my life, bar none. After what Kelly went through and to be able to bear a child…it was just a miracle,” Krusher details with tremendous emotion in his voice.

And now we come to the present time. After a comeback in 2010 with the resurrected and dead-again NGEN and winning the tag team titles with Striker on the organization’s last event, King Krusher was enjoying semi-retirement when he received an invitation for the 2012 Ultratitle tournament.

“How can I say no to something like that?” Krusher asks. “I have unfinished business. There are a few names that get thrown around as the elite of the elite in this business. I intend to put my name up there with them. The Ultratitle is the best way to do that. I got past Jonathan Marx which proved to the world that I was for real and had just as much chance to win this thing as everyone else. They wrote me up as an ancient relic from a time that no longer exists. A dinosaur. A brawler with a hokey name and very little ring skills. I’ve made a career out of shutting mouths and proving people wrong and it’s time to do it again. While I will always love and respect the fans, I need to do this for myself. I want the recognition I deserve as one of the pioneers that paved the way for today’s youth and helped to build the sport to what it is today. When you win the Ultratitle…your reputation is immortalized. No doubt about it.”

And what of his opponent in the second round, Cameron Cruise?

“Cameron is a world class talent that unfortunately has his straws in too many drinks, if you get my drift.” Krusher notes with a smile. “I feel that he is unfocused and his energy is not being fully directed towards this tournament. I will never downplay Cruise’s ability because I’ve seen first hand what he is capable of, especially early in his career when he was with GLCW. But he is about to run into a very focused buzzsaw. I am eating, drinking and sleeping nothing but Ultratitle and I have tunnel vision zeroed in on our match. My confidence is high and my will is strong, and that’s going to break down to one real bad hangover for Mr. Cruise the next morning.”

And that would truly suck for Cruise.

Rick Wiseman is a contributor to esen.com and writes for several major publications on professional wrestling, MMA and bodybuilding. He is also a former NFWA announcer and owner of a health consulting business.


Active member
Sep 24, 2005
Lebanon, MO
[OOC: Posted on behalf of Siegel. Once again, Army keeps Marines on track.]

"You're gonna have to pardon my tardiness, Krusher, with as much as I've got going on lately....it's a little hard to keep track of things, you understand.".

(Fadein, the far end of an undisclosed Airport hallway, Cameron Cruise dressed in black slacks, a blue dress shirt and black tie with matching dress shoes. Adjusting his blue Anarchy-style shades, Cruise sits atop his luggage, clasping his hands in his lap.)

CRUISE: Or do you?? You see, with all the talk about how you're in this for the last time...this and that and everything else about getting ready to retire and causing memory lane episodes with Johnathan Marx, you forget one thing...nobody left in this tournament cares. As far as what Jared and I've been doing....evidently you've been down to the Bar and Grill, so it doesn't take much of a genius to get what the atmosphere is like over there; as Jared says...."If you ain't licking the lime, you're not putting in the time."

But outside of the last couple weeks....I've been lucky enough to even come back long enough to do the books on a regular basis, I mean after all...

Owner's still have responsibilities too, ya know.

But hell...thanks for the heads up on the stopping by, Krusher, I mean....you might've lost out on the NGEN Tag Team titles to PEE-SEE, but sh*t....I thought at the least if we weren't friends, we were acquaintances on the level that you'd give me a call before hand; what's the matter...you lost your manners??

Yeah, I'm hanging out with Wells, hell, I've BEEN hanging out with Wells for the last afew YEARS that Jared and I...share a kinship...a BROTHERHOOD, if you will. It's no secret..."The Dangle Brothers" is a Nationwide phenomenon that turns ratings into a ROCKET when we come to town, and we've done that by sheer charisma and productivity.

People wanna see something get done, and by golly...we do it, and do it probably BETTER than anyone else.

You remember Anthology....you remember what happened when we took over Empire Pro Wrestling.

The entire WORLD knows what happened, Krusher, and "The Dangle Brothers" are dead set on breaking those very same records that Anthology set.

(Cruise stands up and starts to pace abit back and forth)

So tell me something, Krusher....you consider Jared Wells a friend...how why is it that Jared has never mentioned you?

It can't be because of shame, because you along with everyone else knows....Jared has nothing to be ashamed OF; a man of his stature, his talent, his pure commodity...has no option but to BE shameless. Now that says a lot, because he's definitely willing to put credit where credit is due, in fact...he's one of the first.

But as far as you "relaunching his career", as far as I'm concerned, you didn't really DO...anything. Jared was already Jared when I first saw him in WFW, if anything I came to HIM, much like I came to you as a young'n, and asked him to make the trip to Dan Ryan's office and shake things up.

As far as me pickin' you're brain??

I was a KID, Krusher. I loved this business just as much then as I do now, only now I couldn't possibly love it ENOUGH.

Every hip-toss, every submission, every suplex and slam....I wanted to get BETTER, and to do it, it was almost by any means NECESSARY....

(Cruise cuts himself off, holding up a finger.)

Any LEGAL...means necessary, you see...because I'm not like the "Villains" of this industry...and just go with what works.

Every title I've won, every major match I've competed in that ended with my hand raised....I busted my ass in and EARNED it.

I didn't just go in there and set FIRE to my opponents, for the sheer sense of intimidation.

**** intimidation, Krusher.

I'm out to beat you, because deep down, it's my belief that I *AM*...that much better than you.

I treated Joey Melton the same way, and I'll do it AGAIN, should we meet up later on in the tournament.


He's one of the most CELEBRATED VETERANS OF THIS BUSINESS....he's won multiple titles, at LEAST...sixteen World Championship titles, hell, you know the schtick with him....

Why WOULDN'T I want to learn from a man like him?? You think all his accolades were just ACCIDENTS??

I took everything I could in as knowledge....everything I could possibly make of what made Joey Melton a PHENOM.....which sadly includes the "Buffalo Two-Step", "Rod Stewart and Billy Joel sing the blues" and "Culture Clubs' Greatest Hits"....and I used it to better myself in my career, both in the physical aspect of the business and the Marketability....and I BEAT HIM.

Not very many people can say that about overcoming a guy like him, but I did it....but I drew the line at "The Macarena", "Mambo #5", and uttering lines like "That's Hot!!"

That kinda stuff is leftover for guys like Shawn Hart and Mark Maverick....you know the type: Has-Before-But-Never-Should've-Been's.

But I digress...the fact is that I'm PROUD of what I've accomplished in this business, Krusher. At thirty-five years old, I've had quite an eclectic career so far, and I feel good enough that I could probably go another twenty-years at this rate.

Mind you, after putting out fifteen, I said PROBABLY....everyone knows you always leave room for "the unknown". And that's why I didn't put up much of an argument when PEE-SEE beat you out for the other part of the vacant WFW Tag Team Championship....JOEY'S Championship.

Because if I could team and travel with the headache that was Joey on a daily basis...why wouldn't I be able to deal with Problem Child??

After all...nothing lasts forever, Krusher, I knew that...which is why I gave him a shot....I knew soon enough, that I'd move on to other things, and blathering blather-skites...I did just THAT.

In the meantime....you're concerned that all the experts and pundits are considering this match to be watched, especially after guys like Dan Ryan, Karl Brown, "Triple X", and even Blaine Hollywood came up short, shocking the world and causing women to have premature babies to be born...my question for you is simple:

"Are you sure about that?"

I mean...EVERYONE??

Or did you just skip guys like Sammy Benson and Calvin Carlton??

Because you see....I don't think about things like that. I don't think about all the people that think about this and that about how a possible match could turn into an instant classic, just on the paper-material alone.

After all....look at how many people guessed at Dan Ryan to face off against Eli Flair, or even Joey Melton....

(Cruise stops a second)

I'm betting TONS.

Now look at it...that Cobra-Kai kid probably had the night of his life after that.

Again...you know the schtick...bottles of Chardonnay, Seven hookers...a bad case of Syphilis....wait...no that was Jace Gryphon....nevertheless, he's probably the hit of the parade that day, back home.

In the meantime, you're whining because people apparently picked Marx over you to advance to the second round.


Not for nothing, but I couldn't have cared less.


Because it didn't really matter to me, it didn't matter if you pulled out the victory or if you lost and proved people right when you think they believe you're washed up...it didn't concern me.

Troy Douglas is facing some kid named "Sylo" in the second round.

I've beat that punk kid from pillar to post in every city we've faced off in and put him in the hospital.

If fact...that kid is lucky he even HAS a career, thanks to me....but am I thinking about that??

**** no, because it doesn't matter right now...at least to me.

But that's okay...you go ahead and make excuses.

You blame the "Lack of exposure".

You haven't wrestled regularly for the past ten years.

You...are sounding alot like the bitter elder in this business that you're NOT trying to be.


I EMBRACE the issues I have, such as common problems like "Double-booking".

Such problems like "Getting to California from Florida to Texas to Maine and back down to Maryland"...all in one day.

Problems you WANT to have in this business, Krusher, because I'm exactly what I said earlier.


In other words...one-half the reason why "The Dangle Brothers Bar & Grill" is packed on a daily-and-nightly basis....even if I'm not even there.

This isn't the best match of the Second Round....at least not to me.


To me...it's just another one in the books.


People know what I'm capable of.

People know that I'm willing to put it all on the line, every time, regardless of if there's a Championship title on the line, if I'm wrestling gators in Florida, in the Grotto at the Playboy Mansion or for little Billy Cundiff in a backyard for proceeds to a charity that would save his life.

And despite the fact you've done as well as you have over the course of your career....it doesn't mean a lick of difference to me.

Because I'm not done proving that I'm the best, not to you, not to anyone else in this tournament, not for YEARS.

And trust me...deep down, knowing that...it does my heart GOOD.....but it DOES...what is it you say all the time??

Oh yeah...it SUCKS FOR YOU....and that, King Krusher...is a REALITY CHECK that you just...won't like.


User Poets

The Shadow Pope
Jan 6, 1995
Top of the Pile
OOC: Posted for Siegel. Right now is past the deadline but he is still having trouble logging in and per the email he forwarded me he sent this to Merritt before the deadline to try and get it posted on his behalf.

Judges, please take this into consideration:


(The doors to "The Dangle Brothers Bar & Grill" opened as Cameron Cruise walked in dressed in black slacks, a blue dress shirt, a black tie, and matching blue Anarchy shades, dragging his luggage in one hand, a workout bag strap over across his chest, his part of the VWF Tag Team Championship over his right shoulder as he slowly makes it to the back of the building. Walking down two corridors, he sighs as he unlocks the door to his office long enough to set aside the Championship title before once again leaving and locking his office door. Walking back down two corridors, he turns an opposite way and walks down another hallway until he reaches a door marked "Gym". He walks in, past a locker marked "JW", and props his luggage down in a storage locker marked "CC". He opens a locker and pulls out a smaller bin and removes his shades and a few other pocket items and returns the bin to the locker. He loosens his tie and steps behind a curtain momentarily before emerging in loose-fitting Gym clothes and running shoes. Walking out into a open area, he surveys the area for safety precautions and walks around the room, tugging on the ropes of a wrestling ring he had centered in the room for sturdiness.

Satisfied with the ropes, he continues around the ring and moves over to a stretching area and starts some calisthenic exercises. Outside of the momentary returns to tend to the business bills, it'd been quite the road trip, and his muscles were starting to loosen up from the lack of activity. From making appearances for Empire Pro Wrestling for his upcoming event with Wells against Stalker and Impulse to attending an Autograph session for the Viking Wrestling Federation to the local appearances he's been booked to promote the Bar & Grill and of course the Ultratitle Tournament competition, it left little time for Cruise to train properly and study film, a product of Cruise' routine that he'd made a point of keeping up on in the last decade since his rise to prominence.

Taking off on a light jog around the room, he'd thought about the recent press he'd heard about for the tournament, a competition he had confidence in himself in winning, but was surprised when he had heard the results of the Round One. Names he'd expected to win were obvious to him; Troy Windham. "The Epitome"...."King of Slackers", "Boy Troy"....he knew all the monikers, was irritated by at least half of them, but nevertheless, he'd figure Troy to be a staple of success in the tournament, not just because of his abilities in the ring, but his noted success in the CSWA, New Frontier Wrestling, and other events that he'd performed in. However the stickler that still struck as loud as a tuning fork was when he'd challenged Windham to face him in a Battle Royal that included Dan Ryan and GUNS, the famed competitor and owner of "Third Row Inc.", a special club that only allotted membership through a first class ticket toss out of the ring that no one had attempted to do, though he'd heard of rumblings of a drunken cowboy performing said move that although he had recently come up short against Doc Silver in the tournament, was cowboy was reviving over in Seattle. Nevertheless, his point of challenging Troy back then was ignored, and life went on.

Castor Strife. New Frontier Wrestling's Current World Champion, he'd faced him before a few times and defeating a man named after a wild animal wasn't much of a surprise to Cruise, as he'd figure Castor to move as far as Windham, as a familiar opponent of the Dangle Brother, Cruise knew just what the man was capable of doing.

Of course, there was his old tag team partner...a man that some very well assumed had helped MAKE Cruise' career what it is today....one "Arrogance" Joey Melton. Was he surprised that Joey had entered the tournament after the recent tournament he'd competed in with Cruise, over in the "Professional Wrestling Circuit"? Not in the least. Cruise had figured Melton would give it a go, a man such as Joey had taught Cruise just about all there was to learn in the wrestling business, at least the knowledge that had proved worthwhile to him, not the knowledge of the mindset one could be in while listening to "The Carpenters" as a pre-match ritual Joey had used for their tours overseas, in Thailand. He'd beaten Joey before in a Cage match to settle personal issues before the entire WORLD, in a match proclaimed and billed as "The Project Explodes: Cruise versus Melton", so he knew he was about as capable if not moreso than most to pull off a repeat performance, should he advance as frequent as Melton. But that was neither an issue or a worry to Cruise, as he'd been more preoccupied with the tournament than some would believe.

Then there were others, others that had failed in the tournament, falling in the First Round before Cruise, which were defeats not too many had hopes pinned on this early: Joe the Plumber, New Frontier Wrestling's only World Champion that had disappeared through oblivion without losing a sing match...had failed to advance to the Second Round, as he'd been a fan favorite of many to make nothing less than the Final Four or at least the Elite Eight appearance.

Then there was "Good God" Kevin Powers. "The Emperor of Hardcore", one-half of the infamous "Powers of Love", with "Hurricane" Eddy Love. Powers was another name that he'd expected to go far, but had shockingly come up short.

Then there was the shocker of the entire tournament.

Dan Ryan, "The Ego Buster"...had failed.

Billed by many as the man to win the entire tournament...Ryan lost in the First Round, which while was shocking to some, was a relief to others. Cruise had also beaten him before, but many had billed Cruise to fall to Ryan later in the tournament, again another pairing that was of no concern to Cruise at the moment.

Cruise stopped running and checked his breathing, gaining composure before stretching his legs a bit more on the ring apron and sliding in under the bottom rope.

Cruise couldn't lie to himself, he was nervous.

Hitting the ropes, he hit a couple somersaults and rolled to his feet before going the opposite direction and doing the same drill.

He'd been in tournaments before, Battle Royals, Elimination matches, those he'd been accustomed to....however, this wasn't JUST...another tournament, this was the ULTRATITLE tournament, a competition that was open to not just ANY competitor, but ALL COMERS....

But only one could win, and much like he'd seen in Jean Claude's "Kickboxer", it was all styles and methods against each other, only he wasn't fighting for family, he wasn't fighting for the sake of love or even the approval of a mentor.

Cruise was fighting for PRIDE, for the fact that he was sure that he was able to convince himself that he could very well come out known as the "2012 ULTRATITLE CHAMPION".

Not many competitors had that luxury of attaining that accolade, none except his partner Melton, a Two-Time winner, Michael Manson, Doc Silver and Nova. However, it was only Melton and Silver that remained in the current tournament. It was very much a dream of Cameron's to join that list, a reality that he'd knew was a long shot, but it was worth pursuing.

But after putting on a clinic against Ikan Jobtayoo, he'd found himself up against King Krusher, a man that he'd faced before in NGEN. It was a man he'd also watched compete in a tournament for the right to be his partner and had FAILED to achieve victory in, but he'd gained a measure of payback in when he'd defeated Cruise at the cost of Cruise' own partner's greed.

But things were different then. Cruise, holding both the Tag Team Championship AND Singles' Television Championship, had started his climb.

Just as he'd done here as well.

And he wasn't done either, not as long as he was able to train.

Cruise spent the next ten hours working out and watching video.

Proving that he could check his OWN dreams...and make it a reality.

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