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[The picture comes quickly to life in the noisy kitchen of a restaurant. From the light shining through the windows, we’d guess it’s sometime in the early afternoon. A quick look around the area tells us it’s most likely the end of the lunch hour rush at some diner. The kitchen staff looks weary and beaten, but upbeat, as the orders have mercifully stopped coming in. We walk past a large dishwasher and through a set of swinging double doors, out into the dining area. Sure enough, a long countertop spans one whole side of the diner while a row of booths decorate the windowed side. It is still fairly full, although everyone seems to have received their meal. There is the clatter of numerous conversations.]
[The camera pans the room from left to right and stops at the sight of “Majestic” Jesse Falcone sitting in a booth, eating. He is not alone. A somewhat large man, at least larger than Jesse, sits with him. They appear to be in the middle of a conversation. As the camera approaches, Jesse looks up, nods at the camera, and motions for it’s operator to take a seat beside him as he slides over. The cameraman does so.]
Jesse. Thanks for coming by. I hope this isn’t going to be a difficult place for you to shoot.
Camerman. No, not at all. Just a little noisy. But this baby’s got a strong mic. No problems.
Jesse. Great. [motioning to his companion] This is Gil, he works on the ring crew. Drives a rig, too.
Jesse. We were just talking over this whole tournament situation. Seems like the boys in the Franchise finally decided to take their noses out of my business and start doing their job. All I can say is, it’s about freakin’ time.
Gil. Yeah. Havin’ no champ ain’t no fun.
Cameraman. [who apparently doubles as an interviewer – what a shock] So you’re happy to be in it even though you’re already the Harcore champ?
Jesse. Hell yeah. Who wouldn’t be? Listen, I’ve said all along that I came to the HSW to wrestle. I never wanted to be no hardcore specialist. Now, I don’t plan on just giving that belt up, but you and I both know that being World’s Champ is what it’s all about. I’d gladly drop the hardcore title for a shot at the big time.
Gil. And let me tell ya, I’ve been around with a lot of companies before, and I ain’t seen nobody who got moves like the kid here. What you folks have been seein’ on Breakdown ain’t nothin’ compared to what he can do.
Jesse. Thanks, man. Yeah, the truth is, we haven’t even scratched the surface yet. If Blair can keep his boys outta my business for a little while, I’ll show the whole world how it’s done Majestic-style.
Cameraman. How do you feel about being matched up against Cut Throat again? I mean, just the other day you were preparing to team up with him, but now that’s changed. Any thoughts?
Jesse. Well, it’s like this. I beat good ‘ol Throat at his own game. He’s a bully. A hired gun. He might know how to kill, but he don’t know how to think. Or talk. And he sure don’t know jack about wrestling. Ya see, even in a straight brawl, I walked away the winner. I took his best shots and didn’t back down. It was like a playground fight, except with gold on the line. And he couldn’t even beat me. Me – a guy who is admittedly NOT hardcore. Now, we’re gonna switch into my game. Inside the ring, where true talent shines through.
Gil. And where chumps get exposed.
Jesse. Yeah, right. Throat’s way of doing things is to try and intimidate people and hope they’re scared enough to make a mistake. Seems to me he’s just pissed cause we haven’t had a decent war for him to play Patton in. So he figures wrestling is the next best thing. Sorry, pal. I spent years perfecting this sport, which is what it is, and I’m not about to be shown up by some wanna-be in fatigues.
Gil. I’ve seen guys like him come and go in this racket. No body likes ’em or respects ’em, and they don’t last long.
Cameraman. What about the tag situation?
Gil. What a joke.
Jesse. Hey, I told Baggs I’d take on him and his cronies anytime. They offered up that tag match, which I must say I wasn’t too keen on, but I took it. Cause with or without General Confusion on my side, I wanted a piece of that punk, Baggs.
Gil. Yeah, he sucks! [sheepishly] Sorry, boss. [Jesse and the cameraman laugh]
Jesse. So then they throw up this tourney thing instead. I guess they’re just scared. Maybe Blair didn’t think I’d accept. Which is nuts, because in just two weeks I’ve proven to everyone that I don’t back down. This is my livelihood, and I ain’t got s[bleep]t if I start backing down. As for Throat, well, he’s been pretty quiet since Thursday night. Maybe the humiliation of losing to a man he knows he had no business losing to, was too much for him.
Cameraman. I take it by that last statement you haven’t seen Cut Throat’s latest promo clip?
Jesse. Guess not. Why? What did he have to say?
Camerman. Actually, he was quite complimentary. He said he had respect for you as a hardcore wrestler. And he’s willing to tag with you in order to get to Baggs.
Jesse. Well, it’s good to see I made an impression. That’s funny, because I never thought I’d hear a complimentary word from anyone in this whole fed. But you know, you work hard, you give it your all, some guys are gonna take notice. So I thank him for that. Still don’t mean I trust him.
Cameraman. Well, he said himself he doesn’t trust you. In fact, he told you to watch your step.
Jesse. Good. That’s the way it should be. See, this isn’t about me and him becoming friends. This is about taking revenge on Team Franchise. It just so happens we both have reasons for wanting that. And as a good military boy, Throat’ll tell ya, sometimes you gotta work with people you don’t like to fight a bigger enemy. So sure, we’ll team up. We’ll get the job done. Cause we’re that good. But when it’s over, things go back to the way they were. I don’t like him. He don’t like me.
Camerman. What about the tournament?
Jesse. Well, as I said, this is my game. We’re talking real wrestling. Sure, there’s gonna be some brawling. But I’ve more than proved that I can give out a beating just as easily as take one. Inside that ring things are different. Brawling alone won’t get it done. And that’s where I think I’ve got the advantage on Throat. If he couldn’t take me out in his environment, I gotta have confidence that I can take him out in mine.
Gil. Yeah. That Cut Throat, he’s no wrestler. He’s a bully. And my boy here can take on an bully.
Cameraman. How about the rest of the tournament? Anybody that worries you?
Jesse. Well, yeah, they ALL worry me. You don’t get this far in this business without being somewhat of a threat. And anything can happen, especially in one night. The best guy doesn’t necessarily win. You breeze through your opening match and you’ve got a good chance of going the distance. You really have to put up a fight somewhere along the line, and it’s gonna take a lot out of you. So you can’t take anybody lightly. Even Cut Throat.
Cameraman. What about specifically? Anybody you’d like to avoid?
Jesse. Well, it’s like this. Most of the guys in this fed have a pretty hefty size advantage on me. So I have to be careful no matter who I’m up against, because as tough as I may like to think I am, it wouldn’t take much for one of these big boys to put me down for good.
Gil. Yeah, damn, there’s some biggins around here. They’d have one hell of a basketball team.
Jesse. Anyway, as far as skill goes, I ain’t seen much yet. That loud mouth Bradley likes to talk about all his moves, but so far he ain’t shown me jack. Plus, he’s gotta get through that big bastard, what’s his name, See Sickness?
Gil. No, no, no. PUKE! Hahaha!
Cameraman. You mean Nauseous Snowblinder?
Jesse. Yeah, I know his name. But yeah, Dick’s gotta get through that monster, and after the way he flung Syco around last week, I’m not so sure that can be done. I tell ya, that’s one guy I’m not looking forward to. Meanwhile, ya got another loud mouth in Logan Cain. At least he can say he’s beat somebody. Gambino didn’t impress me much anyway, and the fact that he’s run scared right outta town tells me that he was all talk. But Cain did beat him. Kinda reminds of my boy, Throat. Likes to talk a lot about how deadly he is, but he can’t seem to back it up much.
Cameraman. So you don’t think he’s a worthy opponent?
Jesse. Now hold up. I never said that. I’m just saying that’s there’s nobody out there who has shown me they’re unbeatable. They’ve all got flaws. That don’t mean they can be overlooked. Like I said before, it’s a tourney and anything can happen. I will say this, I like my chances.
Gil. Boys got my money. I can gauran-damn-tee that me and the guys in the crew will have some money goin’ down on this one, and I’m goin’ with the kid. Not only is he a hell of a wrestler, but he’s damn tough sumbitch too.
Jesse. You’re just saying that cause I’m buying you lunch.
Gil. Yeah, you’re right. [The two laugh and Jesse reaches across the table and slaps Gil off the side of the head. They get into a mock slapfight, laughing the whole time. It eventually dies down.]
Cameraman. Well, anything else you want to say?
Gil. Yeah. Give me a raise.
Jesse. [laughing] No. That about does it. These guys know what’s going down. They know no matter how much they talk, it doesn’t make them any closer to beating me. So let’s get it on.
Gil. Yeah. Because you’re looking at the first HSW World’s champ, and there’s two things you can do about it 1)… umm… what was the first thing?
Gil. Yeah, nothing. And 2)…..
Camerman. Like it.
Gil. And 2) like it. Because he’s not Logan Cain, and we’re all thankful for it.
Jesse. [laughing] Would you shut up. [he slaps Gil again]
[Oh what the hell, let’s fade to black.]
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