Drive-By Shooting

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[The fade up is rather jarring; our picture springing to life with all the grace of a drunk on rollerblades. Initially it’s hard to get any sort of a read on where we are as the shot is constantly in motion, spinning and jolting as the operator attempts to get himself situated. A couple seconds of this and things finally start to come into focus. We’ve just been jammed into the back seat of a car and now our vantage point has us looking out the front window as we peer over the headrest of the passenger’s side seat. Seated in the driver’s console of what looks to be an ’88 Olds Cutlass Supreme (Don’t ask me how we can tell that from the interior, we just can. Work with me here.) is Scott Cruise. The smooth faced, black haired star of our show is currently wearing a blue Texas Rangers ballcap and the same navy blue wind breaker jacket we saw him in the other day.]

Cruise: You guys in?

[He’s peering back over his shoulder at the camera. We hear assorted mumbles from our cameraman Scott and Glenn the Producer. Satisfied that they’re in place and ready to go, Scott spins his attention back to the task at hand and fires the car up. He then begins talking to us while he puts the car in gear and makes his way out of the Motel 6 parking lot.]

First off, let me just apologize for the crappy locale. I was gonna do a nice little set-up back at the motel, but then I discovered there was a gym not too far from here, and I’m in desperate need of a workout. So that’s where we’re headed.

[The camera stays focused on Scott’s profile as he drives. We see trees and buildings pass by the window as the car makes its way towards its destination. Details are unimportant really.]

So anyway, let’s see… Dez Bradley. Where to begin. Well first off, bucko, let’s get one giant misconception cleared up right off the bat. I never said I wanted this match to be *friendly*. What I said was I don’t know you and I don’t *need* to know you in order to kick your ass. I think we’re both agreed that this is what it is – a tournament match – and nothing more. So yeah, there’s no need to try and pump it up to be something more meaningful than that…

[He pauses for a moment while he turns the wheel hard to the right. We hear the faintest screech of the car’s tires as he takes the sharp turn.]

But just ’cause I’m not lookin’ to fabricate some fake grudge just to make things interestin’, that don’t mean I’m lookin’ for a dance partner neither. This match *ain’t* gonna be friendly, Dez, ’cause I don’t work that way. It’s gonna be dirty and scrappy and whatever it needs to be in order to insure that I come outta round one with a V.

And while I’m on the subject, let me also just point out that it ain’t gonna be no “glorious battle between two warriors”, or whatever the hell it was you called it. Get real, son. We’re not scaling Mount Olympus to put on a show for the Gods… we’re gatherin’ in a some dank arena in the miserable northwest in order to beat each other up for the benefit of a handful of workin’ class stiffs. Yeah, yeah, it’ll be on TV, but bein’ on TV don’t make it any more meaningful. So let’s cut through all the respect bull, shall we?

[The car comes to a halt, most likely at a traffic light. Scott takes the opportunity to crane his neck to one side and look directly into the camera.]

I don’t respect you.

Frankly, I don’t disrespect you either. I just don’t *care* either way. You’re an opponent, son. That’s it.

[Back his attention goes.]

Ya see, it doesn’t really matter to me who you are or where you come from, just like it doesn’t matter to me what you’ve accomplished or who you may have beaten. I don’t say that ’cause I want you to shut up mind you, ’cause Lord knows I’ve already unloaded my recent past without bein’ asked… but what I’m sayin’ is – it doesn’t *matter* to me. You could be a former World’s Champion for all I care, it’s not gonna change what I need to do in that ring.

But then again, that’s just the thing, Dez… you’re not a former World’s Champion. You’re not much of anything. So you almost beat Damon Hayes, big deal. There are plenty of guys who HAVE beat Damon Hayes, and they’re not nearly as proud of that as you are of your “almost”.

[A slight tilt towards the camera.]


Ooh, that sends shivers down *my* spine.

[And a slight tilt back to the road.]

You don’t scare me, nor do I suspect yer tryin’ to, which is fine. But you can’t very well expect me to think much of your chances of beating me when all you’ve got to say for yourself is that you *almost* beat somebody and you *someday* hope to be as good as somebody else… especially when the “somebody” is a halfwit from North Cackalacky and the “somebody else” is Ebola freakin’ Zaire. Seriously, son, we’re not exactly talkin’ masterminds of the ring here. Yeah, yeah, I’ve read the trades, I know they’ve won some stuff, but they won on sheer guts and drive, not ring talent. And I’m not about to start quakin’ in my boots over–



[That would the sound of the car slamming to a quick halt and our driver venting a little bit of road rage after apparently being cut off.]

Christ, ya’d think *I’d* be the one drivin’ like a nut, what with tryin’ to cut this stupid promo while I’m drivin’. People suck.

[We start moving again.]

Anyway, like I was sayin’, I’m not about to start quakin’ in my boots over a guy who’s main weapon seems to be heart. I mean, come *onnnn*… heart’s all well and good, but ninety-nine times out of a hundred, talent wins out over heart, and I ain’t got time to concern myself with that other one percent.

No let’s be realistic, son, I’m not exactly expecting you to roll over for me in the ring. I’m not an idiot, kid. And I wouldn’t even go so far as to say I’m underestimating you. I think I’ve estimated your skills pretty well. Problem is – well, the problem for *you* is – my estimation just doesn’t rate you very high. But you got yourself to blame for that, Dezboy, because yer the one who went and placed yourself below a couple of semi-entertaining garbage wrestlers on the great NWC food chain.

What’d you expect? I was gonna start peein’ my pants at the prospect of facin’ ya? Or worse, that’d I’d look at this match as a chance to locks horns with a fellow master grappler? Hardly. I look at this match as an opportunity… an opportunity to get some work in and add a quick pelt to my collection, nothing more.

You’re not in my league, kid, that’s just the way it is. And no, that’s not just some empty braggin’ from the new bigmouth in town, it’s just the way I see it. Arrogance? Probably, but I’ve always been the type of guy who was able to temper his arrogance with a hefty dose of reality, and right now that reality shows me a guy across the ring who’s too new to the business to see it for what it really is. I see a guy who’s dreamin’ of being a great mythical gladiator while he’s actually nothing more than a glorified stunt man. Barbed wire cages, death matches… this is the kind of crap you hang your hat on? And you wonder why I think you’re gonna be nothing more than a check mark under my win column?

I know I’m gonna beat you, Bradley. I won’t be so stupid as to call it a “fact” just yet, because that ain’t true. Facts are things that can be proven, and future events can’t be proven. If they were I wouldn’t be in this business, I’d be at the track. But I still know it inside, because I know the circumstances. I know who I am and what I’m capable of. I know what I’m willing to do to assure a victory. And I know enough about you from what I’ve seen and heard to have a pretty good idea of what you’re capable of. And when I weigh those things together, it’s a no brainer. The scales are tipped heavily into my favor, regardless of whether you “give it your best” or not.

Sometimes your best just isn’t good enough, son.

[Scott takes a break from speaking to focus his attention on the road for a moment. Apparently we’ve reached our destination because he slows the car to a halt and throws it into park before turning his body sideways in his seat to face the camera.]

In the end it’s all just hollow words anyway. You can say what you want to me and about me and I’m still gonna pretty much write you off. And I can do all the gum flapping in the world I want about how I’m gonna beat you… I still gotta go out and do it. Which I guess makes this whole thing pretty pointless, don’t it?

[With a shove, he throws the driver’s side door open and pushes himself out of the car. He then leans back in and reaches down to the floor on the passenger’s side to pull out his duffel bag.]

Well, yes and no. ‘Cause ya see, son, if nothing else, this little serve and volley is amusing to me, and since unlike you I’m not comin’ home to some big homecoming, it helps pass the time for me.

Plus I get a kick outta watchin’ guys like you try and act tough while still tryin’ to be respectful.

[Withdrawing once again, he slams the door shut and pokes his head in through the window.]

It gives me something to think about while I’m kickin’ their ass.

[As Scott pulls his head back out of the window and begins to walk towards the gym, we hear him call out over his shoulder…]

You two bozos can come if you like, but leave the camera. I’m done talkin’ for today.

[You heard the man. Fade to black, bozos.]

* * * * *



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