Post by God King Dune on Jun 14, 2015 13:14:40 GMT -5
Part I: Champion
Darkness is slowly replaced by light, that of the desert at midday. The badlands stretch to the horizon from atop the lonely mountain we find ourselves on. A calm breeze pushes a stream of black smoke across the shot, and the camera pans over toward its source. The smoke becomes denser and denser until finally what looks like a miniature Hell comes into frame. Dying fires are scattered everywhere atop the plateau that stretches before us, as are the blackened remains of corpses that once made up a tribe of outlaws that had just been wiped clean off the map.
The camera fades to a more distant shot that shows the aftermath of the previous night’s carnage in full. The top of the mountain is a glowing ember roasting in the sun. It was Dune who set the blaze mere hours before, saving his mentor Freeman and avenging his parent’s death in the process. The three of them had each been members of and escaped from the same tribe, but Dune’s parents had not been so lucky in evading the watchful eyes of the desert as Freeman had, and they were murdered just after Dune was born.
Dune never knew the identity of those who killed his parents…that is, until they captured Freeman. They beat the old man to within an inch of his life, but he managed to hang on until Dune arrived. And when he did, well…the fires speak for themselves. We fade out as they continue to consume the mountaintop.
Darkness again, several seconds of it…
A shot of Dune sitting beside Freeman flashes onto the screen. The old man is propped up by a few pillows as he lies on Dune’s bed, the one in the canyonside-fortress he had passed on to Dune as it had been passed on to him. His eyes are closed, but as the camera zooms in they flutter open. After a moment he recognizes the masked man before him, and his lips curl into a grin.
Freeman: Firestarter…it was true…
Dune leans in.
Dune: What was that?
Freeman: Not now. You did it. You’re at the top of the world. Congratulations, Champion.
Dune: Did you see the match?
Freeman: Bell to bell. I don’t remember shit before or after, but I made damn sure I was awake for it. I wasn’t going to miss it for the world.
Dune: You would’ve had I not saved your ass the night before.
Freeman: …yeah, about that…what the fuck took you so long, anyway?
Freeman starts to laugh then winces in pain and grabs for his ribs.
Dune: Easy there. And if you really want to know, I chose to follow the advice on the note you left me at the scene of the crime. Turning around to get Chief and the rest then doubling back cost me valuable time, but had it not been for them, I wouldn’t have been able to save you – I would have died trying. The real question is…how’d you get captured in the first place?
Dune notices a subtle shift in Freeman’s expression, as if caught off guard by the question. Strange, he thinks to himself as Freeman responds.
Freeman: Just let my guard down, I guess. But I’m just giving you shit. Without you, I’m not here today. I owe you my life, Dune. More, even. But fuck this sappy bullshit. Let’s talk about Ice.
Dune: What’s there to say? He was a great champion, but his time is through.
Freeman: I’m not looking for a summary, Dune…I want details – every little one. Take me through the match, kid, from the time your music hit ‘til you tore your mask off and pinned him in the center of the ring.
Dune: Alright, well…when I made my way to the curtain, I had my fellow Sentinels by my side. That alone was enough to give me all the confidence I needed, but by that point I was on a different level entirely. I was a man posesssed, and there was no way I was going to let Ice get the best of me again. It was on even before my music hit…then it did, and…
Dune proceeds to go through the match minute by minute, second by second. Freeman interjects early and often, and before they know it nearly an hour has passed.
Dune: …so I pushed the motherfucker back and tore my own goddamnn mask off for him. I figured he’d been trying all night, why not let him have a look before I buried him? You should have seen his eyes when he saw my face, Freeman – it was glorious…almost as glorious as when I crucified him and -
He notices Freeman’s eyes growing heavy and chuckles.
Dune: Boring you, am I? Maybe the standard line of every opponent I face is true after all.
Freeman: No, no – go on, please. We’ve got…so much more to…talk –
Dune: No, it can wait. Right now you need rest, not war stories. There’s plenty of time for that. I’ve got the week off so, and I’ll be paying a good friend a visit early on next week, but I’ll be here before and after.
Freeman nods as his eyes close. He tries to lift them with his brows before sleep takes hold of him. Dune stands and makes to leave, but a hand grasps his wrist. He turns to see Freeman wide-eyed.
Freeman: It’s not over, Dune – not yet by a long shot.
Dune: I know.
He watches as the intense stare fades from Freeman’s face and sleep takes hold once more – this time a deep one that doesn’t let go. Dune turns and exits the room.
His Rottweiler barks once to greet him as he enters the spacious spherical main-room of his home. Dune furrows his brow and silently scolds the dog with a point of his finger, but the beast only wags his tail as his master approaches. Chief, Freeman’s old tribe-mate, and his daughter, Pinky, who unbeknownst to him had been sleeping with Dune for the last few months, stand up when they see him.
Chief: How’s he doing?
Dune: Fine. Tired and beat to hell, but he’s fine. I appreciate you two looking after him while I was gone. Are you sure you can do it again next week?
Pinky: 100%. Don’t worry about it…besides this place is better than sitting around at the Double X all day.
Dune: I hope you won’t be missing out on too much money, Chief.
Chief: I’ve owned that bar for over a quarter of a century – trust me, I’ve seen worse times than these. We’ll be just fine. When are you set to leave?
Dune: Next Monday the 8th, but I’ll be back that same night.
Chief: I’ll be here to greet you. And don’t mention it – anything for a friend.
The two shake hands, and Dune grins beneath his mask as he catches a wink from Pinky. He leads them down the long hall toward the exit and enters a code to open the automated steel doors. With a final goodbye, they hop in Chief’s truck and drive off.
Dune retreats back inside to escape the sweltering midday heat. His Rottweiler follows as he makes his way toward the ring at the center of the main-room. He slides in and sits down in the corner, draping his huge arms over his knees as he stares forward. The camera pans around until finally we can see what Dune is looking at – the WCF World Title lying in the center, its gold-encrusted emblem gleaming in the overhead lights as if it were on fire. Dune’s eyes flick up at the camera as he begins to speak.
Dune: You can’t always get what you want. That’s something I learned long ago. But there’s something else the years have taught me, and it often holds true in life as well as in the WCF: you get what you earn. Take that belt for example. Attaining it is the pinnacle of achievement in all of wrestling. At any given point during my short time here there have been forty or so of the best fighters in the world vying for that belt and a place at the summit where it lies…but only one can claim it, and there’s only room enough at the top to accommodate him and him alone.
When I came around at the end of December, that man was the one we all know and love – Natural Ice Beckman. He’d held the Title since July, and it took the Godfather of Professional Wrestling multiple hacks to finally till his icy frame. But he did, and Bobby Cairo found himself on top of the world again…only to be dethroned by Ice Beckman in their next meeting. After an unremarkable and downright embarrassing Title reign, Bobby Cairo sulked back to Poon Guinea to nurse his youngest, Kaz Mazy, who to this day suckles feverously at his hairy nip. It was late April, Aftermath had just ended, and Ice Beckman was wearing the Title for a second time, once more asserting his dominance over the entire Federation….
…but something was the air – a growing warmth; a darkness in the distance. Soon a curtain of black smoke emerged on the horizon, and behind it a sea of fire arose from the depths. He who cultivated and manipulated the flames was yours truly. I rode on a Dark Horse atop them, and after they swallowed the entirety of WCF Mountain, the two-time King who once sat on the throne was relegated to nothing more than a charred corpse who lay in ruin at the bottom.
Dune stands and walks over to the center of the ring. He grabs the WCF World Title and makes his way back over to the corner, slinging it over his shoulder as he looks down at the camera.
Dune: How’s the view from down there, Ice? Can you see me? Or are the rumors that you’ve turned tail and fled true? It only seems fitting that you would. After all, aside from Alex Richards, who among those I defeated en route to claiming the World Title are currently wrestling in the WCF? Let’s see…Jayson Price is in a coma that unfortunately I did not induce…but then there’s Chelsea Armstrong and Jay Omega, who, after suffering devastating losses in the Trilogy Cup, “Iced” the fucked out, as the boys are calling it. What happened to your big talk, Ice? What happened to “#ICEAgePart2”? You fell flat on your face in your first Title defense back on top. It goes to show that you lost your edge…or perhaps that of others is just plain sharper than yours.
In case you haven’t noticed, Ice, we’ve entered a new age here in the WCF. The seeds were planted halfway through your first Title reign when the likes of myself, Occulo, Scarecrow and others came along. And as the weeks crept by, the landscape of the WCF continued to change beneath the sheet of ice that covered it, until finally when it was thawed by Bobby Cairo, nothing was the same as it had been before Ultimate Showdown last year. The days of Ice Beckman winning week in and week out were over. Sure, you got the Title back, but you and your Imperium boys got pushed around by DRG before that fateful night at Asesinato de Mayo. That’s the night my five month climb saw me reach my arm over the Mountain’s peak; saw me grab hold of the King and eviscerate him in the most absolute sense of the word; saw me claim my rightful place on the throne atop WCF Mountain.
Even though your time is through, Ice, I’d be lying if I said you weren’t my biggest challenge to date. But there’s no question as to whether or not I was ready for you, and had you been ready for me, you would have had a better chance that night in the ring. But you underestimated me; you became complacent, and it was your undoing. When I came at you like a raging bull straight out of the gate, and you saw the fire burning in my eyes, you must have known it was over.
You were a fool to try and unmask me, Ice. Did you really think prying my mask away from my scarred face would somehow make me vulnerable? On the contrary – it only quickened your demise. Maybe that was your plan all along…but I doubt it. Yes, there are wounds under there, but they’re long since fresh, and all they do now is frighten onlookers. You can certainly attest to that. After all, when I finally finished the job you’d started and tore my own mask off, the fear in your eyes was so apparent as to be tangible. Then…well…you know what happened next. Sandstorm; 1-2-3. And just like that, I pinned the unpinnable Natural Ice Beckman.
But enough about the departed. Ice is a thing of the past now. It’s like they say: out of sight, out of mind. So goodbye, Ice.
Goodbye and good riddance.
Dune steps in between the ropes and drops down from the apron. He turns his attention to the five doors along the back of the room. They had been unlocked to him while Freeman lived there, but ever since he took over the place they wouldn’t budge. He hadn’t had the chance to ask Freeman about it, and he wasn’t about to bother him in his weakened state. He stares at them in wonder for a moment before he turns his attention back to the camera.
Dune: Seth’s seen fit to give us the week off. I’d rather fight, but then again I have the mindset of a champion, and champions don’t lie down to rest when the battle is won. When you’re at the top, there’s always someone waiting to throw you from the brink and take your spot. I should know – I was that man for five months before I finally accomplished the task. It wasn’t by chance that I rose to such great heights. I ascended with superior ability and supreme aggression; with relentless desire and an unbreakable will; but most of all, it was the eternal inferno that rages inside me – the now-instinctual wrath – that provided me with what I needed to become the WCF World Champion. And if anyone thinks that fire is going to be put out anytime soon, they’re fucking kidding yourselves.
I’m not here just to wear the strap for a month and ride off into sunset. I may have won the battle for it, but the war to keep it has only just begun, and it’s one I’ll fight until my dying breath if need be. I’m no fluke-Champion; I’m no flash in the pan, as some of you might be eager to paint me as. I’m the real deal; I’m a Champion’s Champion. I took the hard road to get where I am today, and I’ll be damned if I’m going to let anyone come in and take what’s rightfully mine.
Dune turns his head, and the camera switches to catch his eyes.
Dune: I’m looking at you, Deuce.
Congratulations on scoring the pinfall to win the Trios Cup. I hope the days and weeks leading up to Blast are good to you, because good fucking god am I going to be cruel to you that fateful night. You’re a respectable man, but that’s not going to mean shit when I’m staring you down in the ring. I’ve beaten the piss out of nice guys before, and even though you’ve got a little more grit to you than most, it’s not going to be nearly enough to stop the onslaught I bring. All the accolades in the world won’t win you the day when it’s me you’re facing in battle. I don’t care how high you’ve stacked enemy combatants and innocent civilians during your wartime escapades – when it’s you and me inside those ropes, I’m the one with unrivalled weaponry; the one with a battle-hardened mind; the one with the high ground. I’ve got all that and more, which is why I’m the WCF World Champion – something you’ll never become so long as you’re challenging me.
I’m not here to put a damper on what you and your DRG boys did in the Trios Cup. Getting the best of legends like Jonny Fly, Steve Orbit, Corey Black and the entirety of Imperium is no small feat. In fact, it’s a remarkable one, and your rightful claim to 1/3 of the Trios Titles is a fitting reward, as is your World Title shot for getting the pin…but it’s a shot in the dark at best. You may have just run through the legends of yesteryear with the help of your biker pals, but I’m a different beast entirely, and you’re going to have to face me one-on-one. Are you up to task, Deuce? I can’t wait to find out, but either way I’ll be getting my hand raised and my belt handed back to me after I’ve successfully defended it for the first time.
I’ve been a Champion in this company before, Deuce. The Internet Title isn’t as prestigious as the World Title, but I held it all the same. The thing is, I was the unlucky victim of the return of Alex Richards to the Internet Style…and though I hung for a while, by the end he bested me and pinned me for three. I held the belt for a month, but dropped it in my first defense. A loss to Alex Richards in an Internet Title match is nothing to be ashamed of…yet still the fires swell inside when I think back on that defeat. I swore to myself that the next time I wore a Title, I would defend it successfully…and not only once, but time and time again. My word is my bond, Deuce, and any promise I make to myself or anyone else is one that I keep. If history is any indication, we’ll be meeting before Blast, and if so I promise you won’t be getting the best of me. And when the end of June rolls around, and the people are gathered to see us square off…I promise you I’m walking out with the belt. You’ll falter in your attempt to take it from me, and I’ll be the one to fling your broken body back down to the Mountain’s base.
I only hope my prediction is right – that we meet before Blast. Seth put me against Ice in the weeks leading up to our match at Asesinato de Mayo, so perhaps a tag team match is in order. DRG vs. The Sentinels, perhaps? One can only hope. Or maybe he’ll put you with an unlikely pair…he has a penchant for that sort of thing. And, Deuce...if you find yourself on the wrong end of one of these make-a-good-man-squirm bookings…and you’re facing me with any pairing of my fellow Sentinels…so help you god, because I won’t hold back. I’ll make it painfully obvious to you why I’m the WCF World Champion…why you’ll never be the one to strip me of my Title.
So here’s to Seth making it interesting before Blast, Deuce.
Here’s to June 2015 forever being remembered as the month I made you my bitch in the ring.
The camera zooms in slowly on Dune and the WCF World Title draped over his shoulder as the screen fades to black.
Part II: A House Full of Blacks
After a three hour flight onboard WCF One, Dune touches down in a remote airfield in the Cornhusker state. Upon exiting the plane, he finds Occulo waiting for him, and the two share in a warm embrace.
Dune: How you feeling – you holding up?
Occulo: Yeah, yeah…I’m fine. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t still a bit sore, but I’m nearing 100%. By week’s end, I’ll be back in fighting form – count on it.
Dune: I will. Tough match this week. Seth’s seen fit to have a bit of fun with Deuce and The Poondock Saints by pairing them and pitting them against us.
Occulo: Yes, Seth is a cruel, cruel man.
The two laugh before Occulo gestures toward an SUV behind him. Dune waves off the driver, who is about to open the door for them, and climbs into the back. Occulo follows and the driver puts the SUV into gear.
Dune: How far have we got left to go?
Occulo: Not far. He lives close to the airfield for easy access to and from events. The man’s got a family – he can’t be on the road like we can.
Dune: Yeah…his family…
Occulo picks up on a change in Dune’s tone, one of uncertainty…reluctance even.
Occulo: It’ll be fine, man. His kid’s supposedly the biggest Sentinel fan on the planet. They’ll love you, brother.
Dune: Haha right…until my face starts keeping them up at night. I’ve heard of something called a resting bitch face. Well I’ve got a resting monster face, and that little boy might not like me so much when he gets a good look at in person.
Occulo: Haha relax man. We’ve been personally invited almost solely because that little boy thinks the world of us. I promise that if you just be yourself, everything’ll be just fine.
Dune: I’m not good with kids, Occulo. I don’t think I’ve ever dealt with any for an extended amount of time. I mean…what do I say to him?
Occulo: Speak from the heart. Children are innocent…they appreciate honesty, and you’re an honest man. Goddamn Dune, you weren’t even this nervous before you stepped foot in the ring with Ice Beckman!
Dune: I was in my element then. Now though….well let’s just say I’m not a family man.
A brief silence ensues before they begin talking about their upcoming match at Slam. Ten minutes later they arrive at their destination. The two Sentinels step out and make their way to the door and Dune knocks on it loudly.
Occulo: Well, at least they’ll know the raid is coming.
Dune: Yeah…I don’t do that no-knock shit.
They chuckle as a familiar voice calls out from within.
Howard Black: Come on in, guys!
Occulo opens the door and Dune follows him inside, shutting the door behind him and making sure to do so gently. He turns to see a somewhat timid-looking Sarah and gives her a friendly nod before looking down at Joey, who runs up beside his Father as he approaches to greet his fellow Sentinels.
Dune: What do you say, Champ?
The boy is awe-inspired; wide-eyed with mouth agape. He starts to speak, but slowly gives up and smiles wide instead. Howard smiles with his wife as she comes over, and he pulls her in close. Dune chuckles as he realizes the boy's speechlessness isn't fading. He kneels down so that the two of them are on the same level.
Dune: Well let me ask you this...
He gestures toward Howard.
Dune: Are you proud of your old man?
The little boy looks back and forth between the three gathered Sentinels, clearly overwhelmed. He nods eagerly to Dune's question, looks back at his father, then back to Dune.
Joey Black: You guys are the best in the world.
Dune chuckles and rises to his feet.
Dune: Smart boy. You think we’ve got a chance this week against –
Joey Black: Deuce Murdock and the Poondock Saints? Of course! DRG and Imperium working together – are you kidding me?! Yeah right! And you’re going to beat Murdock again at Blast, too!
Dune looks up at Howard and Sarah.
Dune: Did I say this kid was smart? I’d say Joey Black’s got a better mind for the business than Joey Flash. Hey, you two mind if we talk wrestling for a bit?
Howard Black: Go for it.
Howard, Sarah, and Occulo begin talking while Dune takes a seat in a nearby recliner. He pats his huge thigh and Joey hops up onto his knee.
Dune: Joey…what do you know about Deuce Murdock?
Joey Black: Not very much.
Dune: You’re not alone. Did you watch wrestling before your Dad joined the WCF?
Joey shakes his head no.
Dune: Deuce was the United States Champ when I came along, but Joey Flash took him out after a match with Jay Omega and he was gone for a couple months. Occulo went on to win the US Title, while Flash proved once more that he’s a fu-….not a nice guy. What do you think of Joey Flash?
Joey Black: He’s my least favorite.
Dune: Yeah. Flash is a real –
Joey Black: Talk about someone else - no one cares about Joey Flash.
So Deuce comes back after recovering from his injury to find the WCF has changed. The Dark Riders Gang have formed, and he starts to affiliate himself with them…as do a random host of other wrestlers. Soon the DRG is stocked full of mediocre talent, and Deuce finds himself in a tough spot. On the one hand, he likes having a group of goons around him to back him up should his spurts of idiocy get him into trouble. But also, deep down he’s got a superiority complex, and with Thomas Bates shouting from the mountaintop to all who will listen that he is the leader of the DRG, Deuce doesn’t seek full membership. So now he’s a “nomad”; they’re still buds, just not super close buds. Or whatever the fu-…or whatever.
Joey Black: The DRG sucks.
Dune: They’ve got a bit of talent. They were the underdogs in the Trios Cup and they came out on top against all odds. Granted, they didn’t face your Dad and The Sentinels. You probably remember why we got knocked out of the tournament – because I cracked Ice Beckman’s skull with that chair. The DRG is lucky my anger got the best of me that night. Had we faced them in the Trios Cup, the end result would have been a much different story. Occulo, your old man, and I aren’t washed up legends or odd-couples who have no place in the ring together. The trio of Cairo, Kaz, and Balfore fall into neither category – they just plain dropped the ball in the second round.
And now it’s Kaz and Bobby teaming up with Deuce against The Sentinels. It’s a glorious thing, Joey – Seth’s booking. Sometimes you’re on the wrong end of it…but other times, like this week, it all just seems to come together so perfectly.
I’ve got a Title match with Deuce that’s only a few weeks out at this point, so any chance to become more familiar with his style is going to work to my advantage. He can’t say the same thing – the more he sees of me, the more he’ll realize he’s met his match. We’re not battling it out for a lesser Title at Blast, and I’m not going to be the one to let a lesser man wear the belt. I’m going to be watching his every move in the ring this week; my eyes are going to be burning a hole right through him. Deuce is no coward, but stronger and far more capable men than him have been hesitant to look me in the eye when my blood’s up, and all who were brave enough to do so trembled at the sight.
Think about this – Joey Flash took this guy out of commission.
I repeat: Joey Flash took this guy out of commission.
You know how many times Joey Flash has tried to do the same to me? And every time he ends up making a bigger fool of himself than the last. How embarrassing for Deuce.
Joey Black: Yeah, how embarrassing!
Dune: Got that right. Me and Deuce had a little exchange over the internet a few days back. I told him it was alright to dream, because it is. I also tried to make it clear that’s all he was doing when it came to winning the World Title from me. The man’s got enough talent to wear the strap, but his dreams of overcoming me to obtain it will never come to fruition. He’ll fail at Blast…he’ll fail if he’s chosen to participate at Ultimate Showdown…and he’ll fail beyond that, should he ever get another shot. Thing is, World Title shots don’t come around very often, so you better believe he’s going to hit me with everything he’s got. Which makes me wonder how he’ll play it this Sunday at Slam. There’s obviously less on the line this week, but that doesn’t mean I’m expecting him to go easy on me.
Either way you slice it though, Deuce has got an uphill battle ahead of him. He’s facing a unified front in The Sentinels, whereas we’re going up against the soon-to-be former Tag Team Champs and the soon-to-be former #1 Contender for my Title. Each man of their team is plenty capable, but if we’re being honest here, is Deuce not the low man on the totem pole? I’ve squared off against Kaz Mazy four times, so I know just how much talent he possesses, and I have to say that after watching the tapes on Deuce, Kaz comes through as the better man. Perhaps that view will change after I’ve seen what Deuce can do live in the ring this Sunday…but I doubt it. Then there’s Bobby Cairo, who is hands down a better wrestler than Deuce Murdock – really nothing more to say there.
Why, then, should I have any fear or trepidation about stepping into the ring with Deuce Murdock this Sunday or any other Sunday for that matter? The answer is simple: I shouldn’t, and I don’t. I’m going to dominate Deuce this week just like I will at Blast when the World Title is on the line. He has no power over me, and he never will.
You got something you want to say to Deuce Murdock?
Joey Black: Dune’s gonna murder you, you chump!
Dune chuckles and looks over at Howard and Sarah, who turn to see what the commotion’s all about.
Dune: Hopefully it doesn’t come to that…come on buddy, hop down, I’ve got to stretch my legs.
Joey does so and waits for Dune to stretch before they walk back over to Occulo, Howard, and Sarah. The three turn toward Joey, who’s dwarfed by Dune yet leads him by the hand all the same. Occulo smiles down at the little boy when he draws near.
Occulo: You excited for this Sunday?
Joey Black: YES!
Occulo: You gonna be cheering us on?
Joey Black: YES!
Occulo laughs then looks back and Howard and Sarah, who mirrors his smile. Sarah motions to the bare dining table behind them.
Sarah: Would you like to stay for lunch? I know it's early, but we could make some sandwiches.
Dune glances from Sarah to Howard, who seems to know how Dune will respond before he does.
Dune: Thanks for the offer, Sarah, but I can't stay.
Sarah: Are you sure?
Dune: I'm sure...and it's nothing personal. I'm watching over a friend back home who's in bad shape and I need to be getting back to him. I'm also not so cruel as to make you look upon my unmasked face. I'm afraid Joey would have nightmares for weeks.
Joey: Nuh-uh! I saw your scars before you pinned ICE Beckman and it wasn't scary...it was cool!
Sarah: The sight of a few scars never hurt anyone, Dune. I hope you don't think we'd judge you or -
Dune: No, no, really - it's fine. I've shown the world my face before, but I prefer to keep it masked. I've worn it ever since...well...for a long time. But it's my friend's well-being I'm most concerned with, I assure you. Forgive me if I'm being rude, but I should probably get going.
Occulo nods in agreement.
Occulo: Myself as well. Forgive us for making this such a short trip, Howard. Thank you for having us.
The two shake hands.
Howard Black: Hell no, guys, thank you for coming. I’m sure the little man here will be talking about it for weeks.
Just then Joey runs out of the room. When he returns, his arms are full of WCF and Sentinels merchandise.
Joey Black: Before you guys go... can I get your autograph?
Occulo: Sure thing, little man.
Sarah grabs a sharpie and hands it to Occulo, who kneels down and signs every piece of memorabilia Joey hands him. Dune does the same, and finally he hands the last item back to Joey. He looks down at the autographs wide-eyed and in awe as Dune and Occulo say their goodbyes to Howard and Sarah. They turn to leave, and before Howard closes the door behind them, Dune wheels around.
Dune: Sunday, Howard – let’s do this.
A grin creeps onto Howard’s face as he matches Dune’s gaze. The two shake hands.
Howard Black: Let’s fucking do it.
With that, Dune and Occulo hop in the SUV and head back for the airfield. Before they depart on their separate ways through the air, they share a word.
Dune: Rest up, Occulo – we’re going to need you this week.
Occulo: Will do. We’re plenty capable of destroying this mismatch team. Nothing can stop us now.
Dune nods in agreement and looks Occulo in the eye as the two shake hands.
Dune: The Sentinels stand for the fallen.
Occulo: The Sentinels stand against the rising.
Dune: See you Sunday, brother.
And with that, the two turn away and exit either side of the frame as the screen fades to black.
Part III: Saintly Matters
On the eve of Slam, and two weeks after being beaten to within an inch of his life, Freeman is up and walking again, albeit with the help of Dune. Now they sit across from one another at a small kitchen table. Freeman’s face is still black and blue, but he smiles and laughs all the same as Dune once more relives the story of how he killed the tribe’s leader, Wilson – the man responsible for killing his parents.
Dune: …and the last thing he saw was me staring back at him through the flames.
Freeman: Ah…I could hear you tell that tale a thousand times and it’d never get old. I hope he burned slow; I hope he suffered ‘til his final breath.
Dune: He did – trust me. I can still hear him screaming from the middle of the bonfire.
Freeman: What a beautiful thing that must be. I envy you, Dune – I truly do. But I don’t envy your opponents this week. They’re fucking with the man who just ended the Ice Age after only a month since its arrival. It took the rest of the WCF well over half a year to do that the first time around, and Bobby Cairo didn’t even pin the Champ. But you did, and everybody knows it. It’s a blessing and a curse, Dune – they respect you now, even if they won’t admit it, but they’re also gunning for you.
Dune: Just like I was gunning for Ice Beckman, and Bobby Cairo before him. Trust me, Freeman, I know I’m a marked man now.
Freeman: Not just a marked man – the marked man. There’s a big old target on your back. Now what are you going to do about it?
Dune: What do you think? Same thing I’ve been doing since day one – tearing it up inside that ring. I came into the WCF as perhaps the most experienced fighter in the business, but also the least experienced wrestler. That all changed when I met you. Without you, I never would have taken out 2/3 of Pantheon en route to winning the Trilogy Cup…I never would have dethroned Ice Beckman to become World Champion. I would have beaten them black and blue, but without the pure wrestling ability I’ve learned from you, it would have taken a whole lot longer for the name Dune to become the household name it is today.
Freeman: You shouldn’t doubt yourself. I haven’t taught you that much – I straightened up your mechanics and showed you a few holds and throws, but aside from that this is all you, Dune. I’m not the one wearing that Title, and I’m certainly not the man who pinned Ice Beckman. Few are. The man was a god here for over a year, but you brought him back down to earth and shoved a dagger through his icy heart. Ice said two others before you had pinned him, but as far as I know Caliban was the only man to do so in fourteen months. Bobby Cairo pinned Z-Mac to win his Title, but even he couldn’t do the job the hard way. And it just so happens you’ve got him on your plate once again this week.
Dune: You don’t have to remind me – I know damn well what’s on my plate.
Freeman: How are you feeling about it?
Dune: I’m ready to fucking eat.
Freeman chuckles and starts to cough. Dune looks over at the clock on the wall – 10:22. He stands up and puts his hand under Freeman’s arm.
Dune: Come on, old man – it’s getting late. Time for you to get some rest.
Freeman: I’d slap your face if I didn’t fear your vengeance. But don’t let that go to your head! My weakness is only temporary – soon I’ll be back to the way I was.
Dune: A slow, decrepit old fart?
Freeman: And this, from the World Champion. What kind of role model are you?
Dune: The kind that saves his best friend’s life and nurses the motherfucker back to health.
Freeman: Touche…alright, help me up.
He does, and the two of them walk across the main-room slowly. Freeman lies down on the California king inside the cool, dark bedroom. He pulls the sheets up to his chest and closes his eyes.
Freeman: How was Nebraska and Howard Black?
Dune: Good…got a good strong family. Nice wife, young kid. Smart little fucker.
Dune furrows his brow as he watches Freeman doze off. Chief had filled him in on some things, but most of it only added to the sea of questions he had regarding his past and how it related to Freeman. He looks down at him.
Dune: We’ve got a lot to talk about…not now, but soon. You know that, right?
Freeman is silent for a moment before his eyes open on Dune’s.
Freeman: I know.
Dune nods, then turns and exits the room, shutting the door behind him gently as he does. He makes his way along the wall, running his large hand along the smooth, curving steel.
He comes to the first of five doors at the far end of the room. He tries to turn the nob of the first, but it won’t budge. The same happens with the second, the third, and the final two as well. Once more he wonders why they’ve suddenly locked, for it was what lay behind the three he saw inside of that made the canyonside fortress such a strange, almost mystical place to him all those months ago when Freeman was still living there.
Dune heads for the ring and slides in when he gets there. He shoots up in the center and throws a few devastating combos that slice through the air at an audible rate. A string of lights-out uppercuts ends the barrage. He takes a few deep breathes as the camera zooms in slowly. A bit of sweat beads from his forehead like morning dew, and his icy blue eyes shoot up at the camera as he begins to speak.
Dune: One of the first things I made sure to do upon ascending to the throne was to go over a long list of names…names I could match faces to; names I could match talent to; names I could match worthiness to. As WCF World Champion, I’ll fight anyone who dares stand across from me in the ring, but we all know that not everyone is granted that most-sacred opportunity. To get mine, I had to go undefeated at every PPV since my arrival against some of the top talent this company has to offer, and I took full advantage of it. I’m batting 1.000 when it comes to World Title shots…but the same can’t be said of one of the names that caught my eye as I ran down the roster. That name?
Bobby Cairo – the Godfather of Professional Wrestling.
But his name didn’t catch my eye because of his less than perfect win percentage in World Title matches. No, it was the whole worthiness concept I mentioned earlier. You see, there’s a reason not everyone gets a shot at the World Title – because most haven’t earned it. But Bobby Cairo is one man on a short list of others who is worthy of a Title shot. It’s a shame Seth isn’t putting it on the line this week – I’d gladly put up the belt against a legend like Cairo, especially when the conditions for a straight up ass whipping are in full effect like they are this week.
That’s not to discredit you, Bobby. You’re a hell of a fighter. I’d be a fool and liar to say I haven’t spent hours upon hours watching your tapes, studying your every move between bells. You’re a multi-time World Champion for a reason, and it’s more or less the same one I’m the Champion now – because we’re both legitimate badasses who are not to be fucked with. The world may have been slow to learn that of me, but my opponents weren’t…at least those who did their homework. All those who stepped foot in the ring with me unprepared met a grisly end by my hand.
And, wouldn’t you know it, but one of those is your self-proclaimed brother, Natural Ice Beckman. Holy shit, Bobby. Fuck going to the well – I’m going to the mother fucking ocean and draining that bitch of all the bullshit you spewed about me and the ex-champion who rode off into the sunset after he realized he couldn’t hang anymore. So clean the wax buildup out of your monkey ears and listen up you fucking cunt – I’ve got more than a few things to get off my chest.
You’re the kind of man who sees a fresh face like me fighting and scraping for every inch, every yard, and when I do something great like win the Trilogy Cup to become the #1 Contender for the World Title, you refuse to acknowledge it as anything more than an achievement made hollow by the fact that the tournament was stocked full of talentless wrestlers. That’s a particularly funny point of view, Bobby, because one of the men I defeated on my way to becoming the World Champion was Alex Richards…yes, the same Alex Richards who defeated you in a non-title match when you wore the strap around your waist, albeit at a couple sizes inward. Not only am I a bigger man than you physically, but it’s readily apparent that I’m mentally so as well. If you can’t acknowledge that destroying Alex Richards at Aftermath was at the very least a strong win, what more can I say to sway you? Self-serving denial isn’t something I take part in. I’ll leave that up to the Ice Beckmans and Bobby Cairos of the world.
I mean, let’s be honest – you’re consciously denying my greatness when you know it to be true. Deep down, you know beating Alex Richards and the rest of them is nothing to scoff at. You hide behind your lies and you holier-than-thou babble, but nothing can conceal the truth when it’s staring you in the face. And that’s what I’ve been doing since I arrived here in the WCF. Only fools and Bobby Cairo would deny my talent, yet even now they continue to do so.
I’m not relevant compared to Ice Beckman? I thought Poon Guinea was a country, not a goddamn planet in the nearby Andromeda galaxy some 2.5 million light years away you dumb shit. You’d have to be living on another fucking planet that far away to truly believe something like that, let alone say it out loud for all to hear. And this from a WCF legend? My, how the mighty have fallen.
You refuse to give credit where credit is due, and for that I say fuck you, Bobby Cairo. I respect what you do inside those ropes, but you lost any admiration I had for you when you teamed up with the likes of Ice, Z-Mac, and that greasy bitch Joey motherfucking Flash. You used to be a good man, but now you’re absolute trash like the rest of them. Fucking Imperium – what a joke. The world has come to see Imperium as a bunch of would-be-greats pissing all over each other and trying to grab hold of Daddy Roman’s tit for a taste of that sweet sweet jewcifer juice. Go ahead and keep playing at “Band of Brothers” while remaining completely oblivious to where it’s gotten you so far – nowhere.
Over and over you claimed Ice Beckman was your brother…that you’d defend him until death.
Well, then…why the fuck are you still breathing, Bobby? Because sure as I stand before you today, I decimated your so-called brother at Asesinato de Mayo and claimed the World Title for my own – the same one you’d do just about anything to get at. Some bond the two of you must have for you to go back on your word and abandon him to his fate. I’m not scolding you, Bobby – far from it. I was ready for your big run-in, as were my fellow Sentinels, but when it never came, and the ref slid down and counted out that 1-2-3, I chuckled to myself as I remembered your words. Until death….yeah, my ass.
You don’t know the first thing about brotherhood, Bobby. You never had a brother….you never lost one either.
I’d like to think a man who’s been in the business for as long as you, who’s been on top for as long as you, would recognize true talent when he sees it. But apparently you’d rather lie to yourself and the camera and claim I’m only capable of small feats and petty achievements. A man like me winning the Trilogy Cup can only be explained by a lack of any true competition, right Bobby?
Well then, following that logic, how do you explain Ice Beckman losing the World Title to me, Dune – the man so helpless and talentless in the ring as to be tragic? My mind isn’t wired to make sense of bullshit, so I’m not even going to try. Suffice to say that if you actually think I didn’t obliterate everyone’s favorite ex-WCF Champ thanks to sheer ability and simply being the better man in the ring…you’re a fucking joke, just like Ice was when dealing with me, and you’ll meet a similar end. That’s all there is to it.
The camera pans out as Dune walks the perimeter of the ring. He pushes of the rope and leaps into the opposite ones, which throw him back toward the center with force, he hits the other side and wraps his arms around the top one to stop himself. The camera zooms back in as he resumes speaking.
Dune: Here’s a man who claims to have made the WCF, yet here I am holding it up on my back like Atlas; here I am running the show. That’s right, Bobby – I run this shit now. And while you may have helped in making WCF what it is today, no one man could have elevated this company to such heights on his own. Only an overinflated ego-maniac would convince himself of something so absurd…but then again, this is Bobby Cairo we’re talking about. I thought Kaz’s ego was ready to burst when I first squared off with him in January, but I soon learned that his ego was in-check in comparison to his fellow Poondock Saint and Tag Champion. Confidence is one thing, but when you’ve come to see yourself as some sort of mythical being…well, let’s just say you’re fucking up. And you are fucking up, Bobby – one look at that gold strap around my waist is evidence enough.
Here’s a man who calls himself the greatest professional wrestler of all-time, yet never managed to do what I did – pin Ice Beckman to win the World Title. It must be a fucking nightmare waking up each morning with the belief that you actually are the best in the world…then realizing you’re not the World Champion. You held the belt for a month of two since I’ve been here, so I’m sure that was a nice respite for you, but how do you face yourself knowing that the best has been bested time and time again? It can’t be easy.
Here’s a man who assured the world that Dune will never be World Champion in Natural Ice Beckman’s WCF. You’re fucking right I won’t – by the time I crucified Beckman in front of the world and slammed the back of his skull against the mat for 1-2-3, this became Dune’s WCF…and Ice ran home with his tail between his legs. And what’s more, you’re rematch clause is expired as of Asesinato de Mayo when I became Champ. Now it belongs to Ice...and needless to say he won’t be putting it to use anytime soon. Smart move, Bobby – throwing away a shot at the World Title…and for what? I’m baffled as to why you didn’t demand a rematch at the next Slam…or the one after…or the one after. What the fuck were you thinking? Your blind faith in Natural Ice Beckman retaining the Title against me a month after you so pathetically lost it proved another blunder in a long line of them for poor Bobby Cairo. The Godfather of Professional Wrestling…nothing more than an ex-World Champ.
And yet you still dream, you still fight. Even now, after putting your body on the line for so many years, you can hang with the best of them – even me. We had a good little brawl in our first meeting, but I didn’t get a chance to lay into you like I would have liked. That changes this Sunday at Slam. I’m going to give you a World Champion beatdown…the kind you’ll be missing so dearly now that your brother and superior, Ice Beckman, isn’t around to beat the shit out of you and make you look like a clown in the ring.
On that note…how ‘bout that DRG?
I’m not referring to them as clowns, Bobby – although if I did I’d be 1/3 correct. No, I’m talking about you, Kaz, and Odin in the second round of the Trios Cup. I’m talking about the three of you being made to look like bigger clowns than Gemini Battle. I’m talking about you losing out on a shot at the World Champion to the likes of Deuce Murdock, who just so happens to be teaming with you this week. Are you still bitter about it, Bobby? I have to ask, even though I know full well what the answer is – a resounding, “fuck yes.” First Ice Beckman lays a thorough beatdown on you to take back the Title that you couldn’t pin him to get, and then you lose to a guy who’s been here half as long as me, a G.I. Joe wannabe, and a fucking literal clown.
The image of you weaping on the floor of the shower with a stream of red filtering from your ravaged asshole ala “Leaving Las Vegas” enters my mind whenever I think back on that match…ah, there it is. The imagery is priceless.
Don’t be too bitter about it though, Bobby. You’ll get your shot at Ultimate Showdown, assuming you don’t lose the Tag Titles before then. You should know that I too wish to be a double Champion with the World and Tag Titles around my waist. I look at you and Kaz Mazy…and I look at myself, Howard Black, and Occulo…and I see you’ve finally met your match. We’re coming for those belts, Bobby. You’ve worn them since January, and your reign’s been good to you, but all good things come to an end…especially when The Sentinels come rolling into town.
Here we come, Bobby.
Dune turns and slides out of the ring as the screen fades out.
Part IV: Kaztration
We’re well into this Sunday’s Slam when we catch back up with Dune. He roams the halls backstage, his World Title draped over his shoulder as he reads the label on every door. It seems as though he’s searching for one in particular…
Dune stops in front of the one marked “Imperium,” and for a moment we’re certain he’s about to break down the door…but after a deep breath he turns and walks away.
Coincidentally enough, the door opens just as he turns, and out steps the man Dune would have taken the most pleasure out of throttling…Joey Flash. The greasy bastard stepchild of Buddy Roman jumps back in fear as he catches sight of Dune. When he realizes he hasn’t been seen though, his eyes go wide with excitement. A caterer with a large plate of deviled eggs walks by, and Joey snatches the tray from her hand before making for Dune.
Just then a couple pimple-faced teenagers with backstage passes turn the corner.
Mark: Whoa, it’s Dune!
Mark Jr: And there’s Joey Flash!
Dune spins at the mention of the name just in time to see Joey preparing to smash him with the plate of eggs. He ducks it and sticks his big boot out, over which Joey trips, sending the contents of the platter flying all over the teenagers. They look down at their eggy clothes then up at each other.
But Dune is far from pleased. He nearly jumps on Joey Flash, but the greasy coward scampers away in the nick of time and flees back down the hall toward the Imperium locker room, slamming the door and locking it behind him.
Dune shakes his head in disgust, signs a couple autographs for the egg-covered teens, then continues down the hall. Not far from the Imperium locker room is that a separate one labeled “The Poondock Saints.” Dune stands only inches from the THICK wood that separates him from the enemy. He takes a step back and begins to speak.
Dune: There you are. I’d love nothing more than to break your door down and take both of you on right here and now, but I’ve waited this long – what’s another twenty minutes? I’ll finally get my chance to lay into both of you motherfuckers in the ring tonight…but I’ll post up right here just in case one of you steps out for a breath of fresh air. Lord knows the air is THICK with vanity within.
Dune takes a seat in a steel folding-chair across the hall from The Poondock Saints locker room. He leans in.
Shh...listen closely - it’s Bobby Cairo regurgitating a mouthful of self-praise that’s borderline incoherent.
And…is that –
Yes, it’s Kaz Mazy, echoing his sentiments in that silly way we’ve all come to know and love.
The camera switches to a close, angled shot of Dune. He snaps his head over and glares into the screen.
Dune: Well, well, if it isn’t the man who pinned the man who defeated Jonny Fly – Kaz fucking Mazy. We meet again, old friend. I feel like I can call you that at this point. This will be our fifth time in the ring against one another, and I know just about everything there is to know about you between those ropes. That doesn’t mean I’ve got you figured out, but at this point I know you better than any other wrestler in the WCF. It’s a true testament to your ability, then, that I’m yet to figure out the formula for pinning Kaz Mazy. In each of our previous four meetings I’ve failed to do so…but of course you’ve never pinned me either. Through four we’ve each won one, while the other two saw the match end either in disqualification or victory by another party.
On paper we’re evenly matched, Kaz Mazy. That’s not something I take offense to. Like your tag partner, you’re one of the most skilled wrestlers in the WCF, and subsequently all the world….but unlike Bobby Cairo, I respect you outside the ring. I’ll be the first to admit I hated you at first. You came off like…well, like Bobby Cairo does now – someone with a lot to say and who’d be worthy of listening to if he wasn’t deepthroating his own manhood 24/7. But then we met in the ring…and perhaps it was the strange excitement of our similarly aggressive yet nearly polar opposite styles; our shared feeling of being wronged by a steel chair to the back of the head; or perhaps it was something else entirely, but one way or another I came away with a newfound respect for you that cold night in January.
Then we met two weeks later, and I claimed victory over you to win my first Title. The look in your eye from outside the ring while I lay atop The Fenix will forever be etched in my memory…it was one of utter defeat, and in that moment a twinge of pity struck at my heart, for I knew how hard you’d worked in your time here. Hell, you’d already made your mark on the WCF by the time I was just coming on to the scene. To see an upstart guy like me come in and get the best of you must have crushed your spirits…for a time, anyway.
But you never gave up; you never gave in. And soon you were once more adding to the legacy you’d been building before I came along and threw a wrench in your plans. What you’ve constructed since then is a fine thing, Kaz. You even managed to get yourself some gold to put around your waist – some gold you could finally say you earned on your own. After all, has being partnered with the legendary Bobby Cairo not been somewhat of a bane to your existence as a Tag Team Champion? It’s just sort of assumed by many that the Tag Champs might as well be Bobby Cairo and (insert name here); that the Godfather more or less carries the team on his back week in and week out; that he, in fact, wears both Tag belts, while poor little Kaz Mazy has to be the one to take the brunt of the beating before tagging Mr. Greatest ex-Champ in the World in to get the pin.
Don’t confuse yourself, Kaz – that’s not how I view you. I used to, but that was before I knew better; before I knew you did more than just show up. You compliment Cairo in a way that no other on the roster could. The Poondock Saints aren’t a plug and play type of team, no…they’re designed to cut into the enemy in a specific way, one that’s proven deadlier and more precise than any other tag-team to come around in half a year. Your domination of the tag-team ranks has been impressive to say the least, but I can’t say I’m the least bit surprised. I know what you’re capable of…both good and bad. And like an iceberg, there are two sides to every man – the gleaming tip he shows to the world, and the monstrous anchor that hides in the depths.
But you can’t hide, Kaz – not from me; not in the WCF.
We all saw you fall when it mattered most. No, I don’t mean in our Internet Title match. I’m referring to the night I pinned Ice Beckman to become World Champ. It was a night to remember for me. For you though, it was a night to forget. Two words, Kaz: Mikey eXtreme.
Goddamn…what happened out there? Here I am charting a course that few others have set sail on before in attaining the World Tile in less than half a year, and you can’t even defend your United States Title once. I thought not a single motherfucker was going to take it from you? I guess you meant no one…except, you know, Mikey eXtreme, because why not?
Fuck you, Kaz Mazy, for devaluing the US Title before dropping it in such miserable fashion. In all honesty it should still be in Sentinel hands with Occulo – you know it, I know it…the whole damn world knows it. He wore the belt with pride, and while you may have gotten the better of him, he certainly never got complacent with it like you did. Jesus man…and here I thought you were better than that. Here I am singing your praises and you can’t even back up the notion that you actually are a legitimate Champion without Bobby Cairo helping you win matches.
I thought that belt was a part of you, Kaz? In that case, how does it feel to have lossed something so precious? You might as well have been castrated…or, as you might say in your native tongue, Kaztrated. And so I ask you – where are your balls, Kaz? Without that strap you’re back to being known as that one guy who teams with Bobby Cairo to the masses. That was your belt, Kaz. You beat Occulo for it, and as such you should have worn it with at the very least something resembling pride. But you didn’t. You threw it over your shoulder and strutted your stuff for all the ladies and the fellas to see. You caught a glimpse of yourself in the mirror and you couldn’t take your eyes off the sight of you and that gold belt. There you were…a Singles Champion at long last…and you couldn’t look away.
Then Mikey eXtreme crept up from behind and rolled you up for the win.
It took more effort on his part than that, but that is more or less what happened. You were so distracted after having made it to the mountain’s peak that you didn’t realize what it would take to hold it. It’s strange, really. I mean, it’s not like you’re new to the concept of being a Champion and having to give each match your all if you hope to retain your Title. With that in mind, doesn’t it make you wonder if maybe all the critics and skeptics are right – that maybe you really can’t hang without latching onto Bobby Cairo’s hand? I’ve spent all this time arguing for you otherwise…but it certainly is one explanation as to why you weren’t able to defend the US Title.
One thing that is commendable is that you chose to invoke your rematch clause right away. Your partner chose not to after Ice Beckman embarrassed him at Aftermath, and now it’s too late for him. So good on you for being quick to the draw.
Now if only you’d been a little quicker against Mikey the first time, none of this would be happening.
Dune stands, and with a final glare at the door to the Poondock Saints locker room, he turns and heads back toward his own. The backstage area is crowded with WCF personnel, though all who stand in Dune’s way quickly part before him as he strides through the halls. The camera follows beside him as he speaks.
Dune: Enough waiting around for the two of you to show your faces. You won’t be able to hide behind locked doors when your music hits and the tens of thousands in the arena let out their bloodthirsty-boos. They want to see me, Howard, and Occulo tear you apart, and we’re going to give them exactly what they came here for.
That’d be alright with you, wouldn’t it Kaz? After all, you’re on some of that hippy “we’re all winners here” bullshit aren’t you? Or have you had another Kazpiphany after that one led you down another dead end street? You’re on some trip about keeping your spirits high as a means to achieving success. You’re convinced you’ve uncovered some magical formula that’s going to take you to new heights…yet in truth it’s sent you plummeting to new lows. I’ll give it to you – Kaz Mazy’s “Thumbs-Up-Go-Get-Em” theory was working for a while there…but then, when it mattered most, it flopped. Or rather, you flopped.
You like to think you can just take losses in stride. You like to think of them as learning experiences. You like to think of getting your ass handed to you as a chance to become stronger, when in fact it does the exact opposite. There’s an old saying: what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Bullshit. You’re not going to be stronger if I, say, shatter your fucking spinal cord and leave you numb from the neck down for the rest of your life after I catch you in the Quicksand. You’re not going to be stronger once I split your skull wide the open after you’ve been crucified-proper.
So take your positive-vibes bullshit somewhere else, Kaz – you won’t be needing it this week. There’s not going to be anything positive for you to take away from this match, aside from the fact that you survived to tell the tale. That’s right…I promise not to kill you tonight, Kaz. I may well bring you to within a breath of your last, but you’ll survive the bout – you have my word. Am I not a merciful Champion – a merciful King?
And will you bow before me, Kaz? I wouldn’t doubt it. You’re so up and down with your inconsistency that I wouldn’t think you’d have any trouble bowing whatsoever. Don’t deny it, Kaz - you’re up and down all the time…and I don’t mean…ah who am I kidding. This isn’t one of those Internet Title matches we had back in January. I know you better than to crack homosexual jokes your way. You’ve got a wife…you’ve got a family on the way…
Or do you? Last time we spoke was on a deserted beach beneath the Mexican moon. You whined of how you’re experiencing a bit of hard time blues…
...well, Daddy, you don’t know what hard times is. Hard times is when you’re born amongst thieves, rapists, and murderers. Hard times is when you fear the sight of any man for the first ten years of your life. Hard times is losing the only one you got, the only one you hold dear. Hard times is hanging on when you’re broken; pushing on when you can’t move a muscle. I may wear the strap, Mazy, but I fought my way through the fires of Hell to get it, and I’ll be damned back to flames before I let a man like you undo all I’ve worked so hard to achieve. Not today, Daddy – not today.
Dune comes to a stop and shakes his head, regaining his composure.
Dune: Something came over me just then…like a spirit sure to roam these halls forever…
Nevermind it – the words I spoke were true. You sit there and act like you’ve lost…you act like you’re in some kind of pain. You don’t know what pain is, Kaz – not yet you don’t. Maybe when you lose everything you’ll know pain as I’ve known it. You’re under the delusion that your life is in shambles – that you’ve lost it all. Tell me, Kaz – is your wife still alive? Yes? So what the fuck are you going on about? Nothing is truly lost until it’s gone from this world forever…much like any hope you had of defeating me. Poof – gone, blown away by like a fart in the wind.
Dune stops outside of The Sentinels locker room and looks into the camera.
Dune: Before we met last, you said there were a million other guys like me, Kaz. Oh really? There’s a million other guys out there who could annihilate you in the ring? I’d take back anything I ever said about you not being humble…if you’d meant it as such. But no, you were just making a vague, general statement – talking to hear yourself talk, more or less. You claimed that the millions of guys like me who want to be World Champion don’t know what it means; how much time it takes; what you’ve got to put in to get what you want out of this fed…
I know what it means to be World Champion, Kaz – it means you’ve got to be the best, which I proved I was at Asesinato de Mayo.
I know how much time it takes to become World Champion, Kaz – It took me five months. How long did it take you?
I know what one must put in if he hopes to get the most out of his effort – everything; he’s got to leave it all in the ring if he hopes to have any chance of becoming something in this business, let alone World Champion.
I know these things…and I know another: I’m going to pin you tonight, Kaz. It’s been a long time coming, and something tells me tonight’s the night. If me and my fellow Sentinels have to win another way, so be it. But should the chance to lay your shoulders down for three arise, you better believe I’ll be all over it like stink on shit.
Hold on tight – no false moves. The Kaztration is set to begin.
Dune enters The Sentinels locker room and closes the door behind him. He makes his way over to Howard Black and Occulo, who sit in silence as they mentally prepare for the fight to come. Dune takes a seat and relaces his boots while Occulo slips on his white and black wristbands. Dune looks over at Howard, taking note of the scars left by Katherine Phoenix from two weeks prior. He wraps athletic tape around his hands and arms before Dune rises.
Dune: Our second battle as a trio awaits…so too does the enemy. The Poondock Saints have what we want; I have what Deuce Murdock wants. And though no titles will change hands tonight, this is our chance to strike fear into the heart of the enemy; our chance to start a fire that won’t relent until it’s consumed each of them; our chance to prove to the world that The Sentinels are at the top of the WCF food chain.
Howard rises, biting the end of the roll of tape to sever the strip before smoothing it down on his arm.
Howard Black: Ain't no cake walk. Aren't exactly bookie favorites here.
Occulo: Fuck the bookies. This week, we show them to never bet against the Sentinels again.
Dune: Damn straight. I want all three of these motherfuckers broken on the mat as bad as the next.
Howard Black: Well then…let’s go break some motherfuckers.
The three Sentinels exchange looks of confidence before exiting the locker room and setting off toward the curtain. Dune looks up into the camera as they walk.
Dune: A few last words for the enemy before we meet in the ring.
Kaz, Bobby – Last time we met, I found myself standing across from you in an unfavorable position. It wasn’t Occulo or Howard Black I had on my team…it was the Juggalo Warrior, Isaiah Chavis. I tried to work with him to defeat the both of you, but he refused, and it was our undoing. Some people weren’t meant to fight alongside one another, and both of you saw the end result coming. I hope and pray that your foresight is as keen as it was a few weeks ago, because if so, you know you’re whipped already.
The Poondock Saints will be fine working together – everyone knows that – but it’s the wildcard in your corner this week that’s going to drag you down, boys. Deuce Murdock is a skilled fighter, but pair him with perhaps the two guys who couldn’t be more different than, and you’ve got a less-than-winning combination. And with The Sentinels staring the three of you down, there’s no question that each of you is in for a long night. But don’t worry – it’ll all be over soon.
And Deuce…I have so much more to say to you, and I’ll get my chance to do just that in a couple weeks. As for now, I’ve done enough talking. It’s time I let my firsts do a bit of that…they’ve always had the gift of gab, and wouldn’t you know it, they also shut people up with a quick strike or two. You did a lot of babbling this week Deuce, as is your right, but it’s also my right to pull some attempted murder shit on you here in the ring tonight – to give you a nice, healthy serving of what you’re going to get at Blast. I’m not a false King, Deuce – I’m not a misfit Champion, one who doesn’t belong at the top. I’m going to show the world that I’m the greatest WCF World Champion to ever wear the strap, and tonight’s my first opportunity to do just that.
And when Blast rolls round, and you’re knobby-knees are knocking together as I stare you down without Kaz Mazy and Bobby Cairo in your corner to help share the full load of my wrath…think back on all the shit you’ve been talking. Think back on all the lies you spewed about besting me in battle. Think back on how you tried to convince the WCF Faithful that you could stop my onslaught by merely placing yourself in the path of its destruction.
Think back, because going forward you’re reality is going to be on par with the truth.
And truth is...you won’t stop me, Deuce.
You can’t stop me.
The camera comes to a halt but continues to shoot the three Sentinels as they make their way down the hall toward the curtain. The screen fades to black as they close in on their fate.