20 Nov 2007 at CSWA Studios
As VERSUS host John Simons goes through the motions, recording his intros to the various clips of interviews and segments from the participants at the upcoming PRIMETIME in Chapel Hill, he has only one thought.
"I can't believe I still have a job."
He knows he's just a pretty face that can actually read a teleprompter intelligently. He thought doing play-by-play for one of the GOLD RUSH rings at ANNIVERSARY was going to be his first and last time, but shock of shocks, Thomas decided to get excited and keep his personal playground running.
Little does John know that as he reads the teleprompter with no flubs on take number three and finishes up, that the Hacker is as close as he's ever been. And he's only got one thought on his mind as well.
TIME TO MAKE THEM PAY
With both of them so focused, and technical wizard Marvin Parsons out of the picture, it's no wonder that John doesn't notice as he transmits the footage for VERSUS and some cuts for PRIMETIME that it's requests the transmission codes twice... once for the transmission, and once for a more sinister reason...
CSWA PRIMETIME in Chapel Hill features:
- UNIFIED Champion Dan Ryan vs. Eron the Relentless
- Champion's Challenge Tag Match: US Champion Kin Hiroshi and Presidential Champion Cameron Cruise vs. JJ DeVille and Bobby Karma
- Greensboro Championship: Kevin Watson defends against S.A.T.
- Hornet vs. Nova
- Lawrence Stanley vs. Troy Douglas
(Front and center is the CSWA Unified World Title belt, set up a cross the front of a large mahogany desk. Behind the desk, leaning back and comfortable in a leather chair is Dan Ryan. Ryan has his hands folded across his lap, no sunglasses on and a relaxed air.)
Ryan: "Hey there Troy."
(Quick smile, then back to stoic....)
Ryan: "I see you've decided to stick around, buddy. You have no idea how happy that makes me. You are one entertaining son of a *****, I'll tell ya that right now. And after being beaten at your own game, you're showing me something by coming back for more. Now the question is, how far do I take this? Do I take another page out of your book and refuse to defend the title against you ever again? After all, you've had more....WAY MORE...than your fair share of shots at running with this belt. There are many others in line for a shot at the limelight, and limelight is not something that's been in short supply around you."
"No, it's really just back to business as usual there, Diddy. I'm the hunted instead of the hunter now, but I'm very....very comfortable in this role. This time around, I do not intend to have a suit take this belt from around my waist. This time around I don't plan on letting my legacy be **** upon by someone like Joey Melton, or indeed....even you."
"You can say what you want, whine as much as you need to but you should know that I take IMMENSE pleasure in the memory of the look on your face the split second before my right hand connected with your jaw after I rushed back down to the ring. It's shocking really, that Troy Windham would allow such a loophole to go undetected."
"Oh yes....you...." (mockingly) "....fought through so many men and turned away every challenge, outlasted an entire roster and emerged vic-to-wee-us!!!...." (back to normal) "...and then? You lost. All that, and then you lost. All because you forgot an important detail. Well, Troy you should know above all others that when you are set up to be the best in the world you can't afford to forget little details, especially when someone like me is involved."
"So there you sit now, wrapped up all nice and cozy in all of this determination that's supposed to get you the 'determined semi-babyface' push and I'm supposed to care. Well Troy, I won't be making your mistakes. I know better. I know how to get what I want and I know how to see past the present into the bigger picture. You failed with Lindsay Troy, and now you've failed with me. Maybe it's time you pick on a new family."
"As for the task at hand, Eron - you did well for yourself and this is gonna be a first for us both. A feeling out of the territory, so to speak. So I look forward to it as I always do. Make the most of it."
"I wouldn't want you to end up like Troy."
(CUT TO: Troy Windham, lounging in the back seat of his stretch Humvee. His hair is artfully tossed, he's wearing a white suit jacket over a matching golf shirt, shades tucked into his suit pocket.)
TROY: Dan Ryan, before I head out for a night in South Beach, I just wanted to address the latest comments that came from your mouth. You see, naturally, I watched your comments with great interest. I wanted to see how you respond in the position you're now in. I wanted to see how you respond holding onto the belt that *I* made famous.
You responded just as I thought you would.
You see, Dan Ryan, the thing I found most interesting coming from your mouth is the phrase "taking a page out of my game." That's the point that I wanted to address with you. With the entire world watching at home.
Because you "taking a parge out of my game" means that think that... it means that you think that you're somehow on MY level. That we're somehow even in the same ballpark. Somehow in the same tax bracket. Somehow in the same area code.
Let's be honest, Dan Ryan. You're not on the same level as me.
Let's talk about what happened at The Gold Rush, Dan. A challenge was put forth and was open to EVERYONE WHO EVER WANTED TO BE A PROFESSIONAL WRESTLER. The ads went out everywhere. PWI. Craig's List. Variety. If you ever wanted a chance to be a part of the CSWA... the greatest promotion of all time... here's your chance. If you ever wanted a chance to be a part of a wrestling league that has an actual HR department, a wrestling promotion that has direct deposit, a wrestling promotion that actually means a damn... if you ever wanted to cut off the dyed rat-tail and escape from your EPW alphabet soup league indie hell.. here's your chance.
And on top of that chance, you also get a shot to take on Troy Windham. Big mouthed Troy Windham, the man with the biggest ego in this industry, the biggest star we've ever seen, Troy Windham.
Most of the folks, they sat it out. They KNEW they didn't belong in this promotion. They KNEW that if they came on board here, they'd be embarrassed and back to the gangrenous dressing rooms from whence they came in a few short weeks. Those that came... I took them all on. I called each and every single one of them out from day one and addressed every single one of them. I humbled everyone who came in my path. ANd I told everyone to come into my ring and TRY to take me out.
Dan, I set myself a new bar that night. I challenged THIS ENTIRE SPORT. I DARED people to stop me. And not ONE person did that. Not ONE person. I walked out of that match victorious, Dan Ryan. I set a new bar for this league. For this sport.
Because that's what I'm ABOUT, Dan Ryan. That's what I DO, Dan Ryan. I'm the man that you think of when you think of professional wrestling. That's the level where I'M at, Dan Ryan.
You had an opportunity at Gold Rush and you took it, Dan Ryan. That's something that you should be applauded for doing. I'm guilty of doing that myself several thousand times in my career. Congratulations.
But like I said, Dan Ryan, I set the bar. Higher than anyone has ever set it before.
And you think you took a page out of MY game?
Dan Ryan, before I did the impossible... let's examine what I've done.
Beat you in a straight up wrestling match? CHECK.
Outwit you and your dinosaur arms? CHECK.
Run roughshod through your promotion? CHECK.
What you've don, Dan Ryan, is just a little payback to yours truly. Nothing more, nothing less. Nothing I haven't seen or had done to me a million times already.
So go ahead. Defend that title against anyone you see fit. I hope you win every match. I am ROOTING for you, Dan Ryan.
Because sooner or later, to get into MY game... to get at MY level... to even come within distance of the bar I set, you're going to have to put the belt on the line against yours truly.
And I've already proven I'm more than you can handle.
(Dan Ryan, standing in front of a wrestling ring on his property on the outskirts of Houston, TX. The indoor facility is dimly lit. Ryan leans back a bit, onto the apron of the ring.)
Ryan: "Troy, I know how you feel. Truly, I do. Did I take a page out of your book?.." (laugh) "...Yep, I sure did. But you're inconsistent, Troy. You had different things to say when you slid into the ring and stole the title after Mark and I went almost forty-five grueling minutes for it."
"Here's the deal, Troy. Work smart my friend, not hard. Work smart, not hard."
"You challenged the ENTIRREEE WUUUUUUUUUUUURRRRLD!!!!" (BOLTS OF LIGHTNING AND INTENSITAY!!!~~!) "And yet, you still lost."
"Congratulations, Captain Dumbf**k. You outlasted an entire company....oh oh oh....oh!...EXCEPT!!...for me. You didn't outlast me, Troy. Think about it. Think really hard. Even you had to be surprised that they eliminated me so easily. Come on, Troy. Not at your level?"
"How long was your reign, really? What have you done against me exactly, aside from that one pinfall you're so proud of? Run roughshod over my company? Did Lindsay crack you upside your head harder than I thought? Seems you left the company in shame, defeated - and I do actually have the videotape to prove it."
"Outwit me? Troy, come now. What happened at Gold Rush again? Or is it the past that matters now. Here's our boy Troy, wins his matches now and then, and nothing else matters. Gets one-upped, and the past is all that matters."
"Congratulations on outlasting...ALMOST...everyone in the wrestling world that mattered. And I'm glad that the new Troy 'everyone respect mah lega-cah!!' Windham is proud of his ability to make said challenge...and end up losing. It's truly noble."
"Bottom line, Troy? I'll say it again. I beat you at your own game. You can't handle that? Well, I just don't really care."
"Now, as for going into your world? I wouldn't give two hunks of baby **** for your world or your legacy as it stands right now. You're the former champ, I'm the champ. You have your thoughts on raising bars and levels and blah blah blah - I have the belt. I'll take my spot. Although, make sure you get that moral victory updated into your bio post haste."
"As for you, take your buuuull**** on down the road to the next show and get to making Cameron Cruise look good. That's the role for former World Champions who try making me look bad around here."
"As for needing you to make my reign look good?"
"The beauty is? I don't care. No title shot for you, Troy. You've had your chance."
(The camera zooms in on Eron the Relentless, the next challenger for the UNIFIED World Championship held by Dan Ryan.)
"Im tired of walking around here "
" with my hand on my gun "
"...tired of watching them wind you up to see if youll run "
You live for it. **** off.
If it was true; if I was tired why can I not stop shaking?
Here I stand no, here I lean against a sink in an airport washroom. Looking at myself. Looking at my eyes. Looking at the blues that can still shake any woman to her knees. The blues that freeze anyone dead in their tracks to look inside my soul and see if they can find themselves. See if they can see them do what I do each and every night. Usually they find it. They find the mark. That is why they hate me.
Credit card burns in my pocket, expected to get used up like a plastic whore. There is a one-way ticket to Carolina on its mind, and its why Ive driven here to the airport. My body likes to do things that force my mind to catch up with it. It comes with the wrestling business. Now I lean on a bathroom sink, doing my best not to make a Larry Craig joke, trying to figure out why I shut my brain off all the way up to this point.
One-way ticket. Carolina. CSWA.
"Tonight I'm going to go out and have me some fun"
Fun is over.
Time to rest.
Time to rest these aching bones and put this brain to sleep for a while. I got the money. Im not some desperate whore for a paycheque, and Im certainly not a stupid obsessive drone who needs to hear a mob surround me and cheer to make myself feel better. Im better than that. At least I think I am.
Wonderful, the mirror is talking back to me like a silly movie with a psychopath. I wonder when my Tyler Durden is going to show up.
"If youre so tired, why has your body moved you all the way here, all the way to the airport. Ready to fly out to CSWA and get back into a ring worthy of competition? No more Europe beating up on half trained nitwits. No more upstart promotions designed by fossils of the past trying to re-capture magic they never created in the first place. This is the CSWA. This is the last old, remaining legs. You walked in and turned some heads. Its what you do best. You are a focused explosion. You have prospered and self destructed every promotion youve come across, and now, you got the CSWA, the grand daddy dinosaur to extinct. You felt the rush of people who never learned how to hate you. Now it pulses through your body and you cant ignore it.
"I'm tired "
"Stop lying to yourself. You were tired. You were tired of walking around with your hand on your gun and no battles to fight. No more wars to wage. You now have your war. You found it. Windham. Ryan. Flair. Nova. Watson. Fresh bodies. Hell, even an old corpse to abuse in Flair."
And even that crusted skeleton he used to let wander behind him in Ivy.
"See? Do you remember how angry you were seeing Dan Ryan walk in and ruin Troy Windhams moment? You were furious! You were furious because you were envious. Ruining Eli Flairs great moment was jellybeans shat out of Ronald Reagans dead ass compared to what Dan Ryan did. You were angry because you wanted to be him."
"It was beautiful, wasnt it? He stole the show he stole a show you helped create. However, he stole it like a hero. Its not what you would have done. You want to piss on everything this great company has created for itself. Can you accept just being a footnote in its greatest show?"
Im talking to myself in a mirror and the mirror is responding. I dont know what to accept.
"For **** sakes. Use that credit card and buy a ticket to Carolina. Dont be late, jackass. Head over there, find Dan Ryan and ruin his moment. Snuff out his candle."
Only if you leave. I got a reputation with myself to uphold and talking to myself just doesnt cut it for me.
"baby, no pain, no gain."
The pain hasnt even started. There are kisses of death to deliver, and I havent even put on the lipstick. I hope Dan Ryan realizes just what it means to ruin an occasion.
"I got my mark, see it in my eyes
This is the beginning"
"Well my reflection I don't recognize
This is the beginning of the end."
(FADE IN: Sunset over Greensboro.) Children vacate the public park playground, the combination of settling autumn chill and encroaching darkness driving them back to their moms and dads. On a park bench facing the falling sun, NOVA smokes a joint in relative peace.
NOVA: Gold Rush was an experience. Making my way through the back, after getting eliminated, there were tech workers and staff, other performers and random layabouts, all patting me on the back with the wink n nudge, saying "Hey, great job out there, ya dun good " And while I appreciate their sympathy and enthusiasm
I must beg to differ. There have been plenty of nights in my career where I left my soul in the ring, win or lose, and I limped out of Wherever, USA knowing it, and making sure everyone else knew it, too. There have also been nights – too many nights – where I gave a limp-d*ck effort, and left the ring with the full weight of that on my back. Id classify my performance at Gold Rush as the latter.
I finished third in the United States Title Ring. Final three. Not too shabby. Along the way, I kicked Kevin Powers in the head really hard, and dropped the Stinky Elbow on Hornet. I shouldve left the ring, the arena, that entire historic night, feeling like a million bucks for showing the CSWA that I meant it when I signed on the line to compete at ANNIVERSARY.
But I didnt leave the ring feeling that way. I didnt leave the arena feeling that way, and I sure as hell didnt leave Greensboro feeling that way. (Looks around) It would appear, upon inspection, that I havent left Greensboro at all. No, instead I got to leave the ring feeling like a friggin douche, because I didnt give two of Joey Meltons feci-cured sh*ts about competing in Gold Rush when it came down to it, and I still came within arms reach of a strap. Thats what really got to me.
What if I had forgotten, if only for a while, about any of my other projects that I deemed more important at the time, and given ANNIVERSARY my full and undivided attention? What could I have accomplished? I showed up, laced up the boots, headed out to the ring, and went through the motions until I felt my keester bounce off the mats at ringside. Sitting on the floor as the fight raged on above, it dawned on me what a colossal opportunity I had just wasted, and I didnt feel elated for a night of healthy competition with some of the best in the business.
I felt like a fool.
Never again. That is the harsh lesson of Gold Rush, for me anyway. I imagine for Troy Windham its something like "Dont count your chickens before they make surprise re-entrances and use your self-satisfied smirk to mop the mat with." For JA or Jay Phoenix, it might be "Dont get comfortable." For Dan Ryan I imagine its more like "Injecting my penis with the tears of a captive African bull elephant appears to be working, so I better not mess with a good thing." But for me its simply, "Never again." Never again will I enter a CSWA ring without the intent to leave it with my hand in the air or my nails dug into the mat. I wasted Gold Rush, perhaps the greatest gift the CS-Dub ever offered to a Greensboro greenhorn like me.
But next time – and there will be a next time – I dont plan on squandering a single second of it.
For now, theres PRIMETIME in Chapel Hill, and Hornet.
A man who helped create the legacy of the CSWAs past gets a shot at revenge.
A man who believes in its future gets to put his money where his mouth is.
(CUT TO: A close-up of Novas face.) Smoke wafts up from the cigarette in his mouth.
NOVA: Out of the ashes
(CUT TO: "The Big Man On Campus" JJ DeVille is walking amongst fellow students on the quad at NC State University, bookbag over his left shoulder, and a spit-cup for tobacco in his right hand.)
JJ: The CSWA... the name alone means something special. It means more than most other... than ALL other... professional wrestling leagues. It's the granddaddy of them all. The CSWA is the Indy 500. The World Series. The Super Bowl. The CSWA invented this sport, it defined this sport, and it stands alone as the greatest promotion to ever exist.
To be a champion in the CSWA... means that you are something special. Something legendary. It means you are amongst the best of the best. That no matter wherever you go, someone will recognize you. It means that you have a legacy, it means that you can hang your hat on something, it means that you have absolutely nothing to ever be ashamed of in your career.
(JJ spits into his cup. He shakes his head and sneers at the ground. Then he pauses.)
Unless your name is JJ DeVille.
You see, I grew up not too far from the Merrit Auditorium, a scrawny little kid without a lot of friends who dreamed one day of being a giant star like his heroes. I did whatever I could, by hook or by crook, to get that opportunity... and time and time again I was denied. Finally, one day, I was presented with an offer by a man I thought was the coolest human being to ever walk the earth, "Hurricane" Eddy Love. He said... kid... if you do whatever I tell you to do, I'll make sure you get a spot on the next card. And I did just that.
I spent the next few years at his and Troy Windham's beck and call. Washing the windows. Cleaning their boots. Being their court gesture, all so I could have the honor of getting my ass beat by the illustrious "Luscious" Lance Leisure in under two minutes. I humiliated my friends, my family, myself... all so I could have a chance at one day being a champion.
And that day came. YOu look in the record books, and you will see that I... JJ DeVille... was briefly the CSWA's Greensboro Champion. A championship title that launched the careers of damn near anyone who means anything in this sport.... a championship title I didn't deserve to hold, and the one thing that I am the most ashamed of in my career.
You see, one of the things that Eddy and Troy had me do was pester paralegals and attorneys, reading case law... working my way through the legal system so they could gain any advantage possible, even in the courts of this country of ours... I cut promo after promo where I filed junk lawsuits on their behalf, just to tie their opponents into court cases. But along the way, while scouring the CSWA rulebook, I found a legitimate opportunity, a glaring loophole, for me to jump on.
To win the CSWA Greensboro, one had to actually be a resident of The Piedmont City, which I was since birth. I succesfully sued to have the current champion... Shane Southern... stripped of his title, and had it delivered to me. That... that is how I won CSWA gold.
(JJ spits his chaw into the cup.)
Shane Southern is a legend of this sport. Shane Southern is a man who competed harder than any human being ever did in this sport. Shane Southern is a man who built himself into a hall-of-famer. And he did it by living with a code. By having integrity. By never, ever, taking a short cut to get to the top of this industry.
Not like me.
Shane Southern, I know you're out of the business today. But if you hear me, if you get this... I just want to tell you... I'm sorry for what I did all those years ago. I... I was a misguided little kid, and I made wrong choices in whom I looked up to when I first broke into the business. My role models were two guys who'd do anything to get ahead... and all along, it should have been you.
(JJ spits more chaw into the cup.)
That's why, Shane Southern... that's why I'm dedicating my next match to you. I won my first title at your expense, and I did it the wrong way. Now? Now... if me and my tag partner Bobby Karma can get past our opponents at the next CSWA televised event... I get a chance to make things right. I get a chance to win my next title... this time, legitimately. No cheating. No chicanery. Just by being a better man in the ring. Straight up. Party's Over.
Just one question, Shane, if you're watching...
(JJ spits all the chaw out and tosses the cup on the ground.)
How the hell did you chew this sh*t? It tastes gross! I need a Cherry Coke! (FTB)
It's been a crazy couple of days in the CSWA since the airing of the long anticipated Gold Rush event and the unfortunate disappointment of seeing Simon Alex Theodore fall just short of dethroning the United States champion, KenHiroshimo , and his night ended abruptly after a devastating close line sent SAT to the showers before he was able to pull off the unthinkable and become UNIFIED WORLD CHAMPION.
Discouraged? Chagrined? Baffled? Mortified?
"Not even..." says S.A.T who seems more relaxed than ever, wearing a black 'YES-U-R-A-MORON' t-shirt accompanied by a pair of ripped blue Wrangler jeans and on his feet a pair of horrendously ridiculous blue and red checkered sneakers.
"I just got Brain Age 2, and I'm kicking major ass while training my brain in just minutes a day...And today just happens to be a be-you-tifulday in the neighborhood."
"It seems as though the CSWA is officially on the SAT bandwagon, THREE TITLE SHOTS in a span of two events, I'm amazing, yes, I know..."
"You guys even call me SAT, that's awesome, I've got a nickname, WOOOOOHOOOO, now I need a trademark..." SAT continues to ramble on with random thoughts that have muchtodoaboutnothing.
My opponent, however, is definitely no walk in the park, I heard he hates cutting promos, ironically enough he cuts promo's about his utter disdain for cutting promo's," SAT pauses for a moment, "What a concept..."
"Kevin Watson," SAT smirks picking up a piece of paper, "Captain Mystery... You certainly have an impressive resume of accomplishments," SAT hesistates for a moment, "Wait a minutes these are MY accomplishments."
SAT smiles, "You are however, the current CSWA Greensboro Champion... How I'll never begin to understand, but you pulled it off and much like myself came within a 'Y's tail of becoming the CSWA World Heavyweight Champion, but of course like myself, you didn't didn't do it."
SAT rubs his index and thumb together, "Hear that Mr. Watson, It's the world's smallest violin playing for your SAD little story about your failed CSWA oppurtunities, come Primtime you can add yet another disheartening venture... Because I... YES I... SIMON ALEX THEODORE will become not only the TWO TIME SPELLING BEEE CHAAAAAMPEEEEN OF THE GALAXY, but I... Yes I... Will take away your precious little Greensboro Championship and once again prove that brains is always more powerful than braun..."
"Now HIT my music..." SAT pauses... "Oh, yea... nevermind..."
At the request of Jackson Klein and in the hopes of holding on to his current spot in the CSWA, Kevin Watson has arranged another promotional spot for his forth coming match with Simon Alex Theodore.
Opting out on the studio or arena Kevin takes a walk threw the area near his hotel and goes over a few thoughts on Theodore.
"Youre on " the producer informs Kevin from behind the camera.
Kevin looks up lighting a cigarettes and responds, "Alright."
He pulls the cigarette and begins to speak as he exhales, "In just a few days I take part in yet another first. My first title defense as the Greensboro Champion " Kevin coughs, and continues, " and although I understand the Greensboro title is the bottom of the totem pole; I cant pretend to understand the decision to through such a waist of television time at me. I mean really Simon Alex Theodore? Really?"
Kevin pauses and drags his cigarette again before continuing, "I mean dont get me wrong the guy can spell. So I hear anyhow but in what way does that, even for a second make him a qualified competitor. He faired well in the Gold Rush Ill give him that. But thats where it ends "
Kevin takes the last drag off his cigarette and drops it to the concrete. He searches his pockets for a second and then looks up and tells the crew, "I got to go back to the hotel room, Im out of cigarettes."
The crew doesnt respond and Kevins meaningless wandering has now become a walk with a true destination.
Kevin keeps talking as he heads towards the hotel, "I had a point a second ago but I honestly dont remember what the hell it was. Its of no consequence. At the end of the day Alvin isnt going to be spelling much more then LOSS." Kevin stops for a second, "That was kind of cliché forget it."
Kevin and the crew hit the parking lot of Kevins motel and head toward his room.
" and as far as Im concerned " Kevin stops mid sentence when he notices his motel room door is wide open. "What the hell?" Kevin shouts.
Kevin steps in the room with the camera crew following closely; yet cautiously. Kevin checks the room batting at the curtains and checking under the bed. He begins into the bathroom when the mirror hanging over the dresser catches his attention.
"We cannot change anything until we accept it" scrawled in the same fashion as it was before in the bar. Kevin looks at the crew, back at the mirror and then back at the crew.
The scene becomes a Mexican stand off where confused faces have taken the place of weapons. Kevin looks back to the mirror for a brief moment just before snatching his bag from the bedside and heads toward the door and exits quickly.
The camera crew hangs around for a second waiting for direction from the, just-as-confused producer. After a few hand signals and some whispering the camera man sets up to get some close ups of this cryptic message.
As for Kevin hes long gone.
Editor's Note: Check out the Back in Business series for more of Kevin Watson's recent backstory.
Results compiled and archived with Backstage 3.