Words that aren't actually spoken take me out of the flow. I avoid exposition as much as I can, too, for the same reason.
Besides which, a wrestler who isn't a household name really should be making a point to say their own name, for the sake of new viewers who might not know....
I think we'd know that Batman isn't actually saying "Batman:" it just makes more sense to the reader. Do it your way, though. The graphic vs. the writing doesn't impact my vote--stories and matches do!
Good "character voice"... (I really appreciate that, guys. I love writing dialogue, especially for multi-faceted characters like Foley, Barr, and George...)
Concerns with the photo-collage style and uncertain identification of speakers.... (I'm not going to change my style, but I will be more careful to make sure each wrestler is identifiable.... I've finally decided to bow to the will of the people on this. Let me know if you like it!)
I love writing good dialogue and intriguing conflicts, BUT... I also really like the idea of creating inventive and novel match concepts for this thing....
So that's something I'd like to get feedback on, that I haven't yet...
I love the idea of Wargames-- where you're just beating on each other and no finish is even possible until the last man enters... But then finishing on first fall seems anticlimactic.... But making it an elimination match then-- like a combination of Wargames and Survivor Series, which I DID consider at first-- limits your ability to protect guys you might want to protect, since everybody on one team has to get eliminated...
So I decided to do the points thing... Which I think has a lot of storytelling possibilities, and fits nicely with the fact that "games" is in the name....
Also, since there's two rings-- and it's a "war," I thought it would be cool to make each ring explicitly one of the teams' home territory....
Then there's the Brass Ring match-- obviously just a combination of an object-on-a-pole match and a strap match... but I thought that it was particularly suited to two Football guys-- what with a small object that you need to take possession of and move to a certain point, while your opposition tries to stop you, take it away from you, and move it the opposite way....
So.... if you would be so kind... what do you think of my match concepts?
CORDDREY: Thanks awfully for meeting with me, Mister-- ah-- "Bruiser"?
BRUISER: MISTER! Arf, arf! It's "Mister Afflis" if ya wants ta get techminical... but nobodies calls me that! "Bruiser"'s just fine, Mister Corddrey.
CORDDREY: Well, "Bruiser," I know that Miz Lauper has been in contact with you... but I hope to demonstrate to you that you have other, better options for representation before you commit yourself...
BRUISER: "Commit meself"! Now, I dunno what anybody toldja about me, Mister Corddry-- maybe I've spent a night in jail more nights than not-- but I haven't NEVER been in no BUG-houses! (Other than to visit a fren'.)
CORDDREY: I.... (words fail him...)
...Let me show you what I mean.
I've heard tell that you enjoy a fine cigar! Well, so do I!
My humidor is FILLED with the finest! And THIS one is for you-- as a mere gesture of friendship!
BRUISER: A SE-gar?! Why, that's mighty friendly of ya! I don't care what NOBODY says (about you bein' a low-down double-dealin' four-flusher)-- yer me FREN'!
CORDDREY: Exactly! And as friends... I'll do things for you, and you'll do things for me! I give you a cigar, you sign this exclusive management contract. You follow my excellent advice, and we rise to the top of Batman Wrestling!
What do you say?
BRUISER: I say that sounds like an ekselink propositioning. Exceptin' that I already signed a contrack like that with Cyndi....
CORDDREY: Well!... What did ya go an' do a thing like THAT for?
BRUISER: What can I say? I got a weakness for the opposick secks.
CORDDREY: What has Cyndi Lauper got that I haven't got?!
(BRUISER does a double take...)
BRUISER: Why...! This is a family program, Mister Corddrey! I don't think I c'n SAY!
Post by Mr. Dashbee on Jul 2, 2013 23:33:26 GMT -5
Since you asked...
I'll start with the Brass Ring Strap Match. I'm lukewarm on it, as I try to picture it in my mind and just can't. But I like the sound of it, so I'm willing to believe it's gonna work and be a good match.
Now on to Beyond Wargames. I love me some Wargames. The original concept...with two rings, in one huge cage, someone (usually the heels) getting the man advantage--it was pure awesomeness. And that was just the "Wargames" aspect. Add in the fact that once everyone is in the cage the doors lock and no one gets out until someone submits or surrenders, and "The Match Beyond" just seals the deal.
Which brings me to your "Beyond Wargames" match. You've got the essential elements. I'm not hip in the decorated rings--are they decorated for the whole night? Is Brock Lesnar really going to wrestle in a Hulk Hogan or Mankind themed ring? He can, and bitch about it--setting up a future match. But I guess I can get over that. I'm indifferent to having separate entrance ramps, because the real two-ring Wargames saw both teams waiting on the floor to enter. Only later matches like TNA's Lethal Lockdown saw each guy getting an individual entrance.
But in all of my 29 years watching wrestling, I've never found myself getting behind a match that was won or lost on a points system. A Bound For Glory Series? I can buy into that even if I'd prefer they just based it on win/loss records over the course of the Series. But one match? I just can't get into it--I don't want to watch a scoreboard during a wrestling match.
I also don't think anyone should have Wargames--a feud ender--on their very first card. Promos aren't enough to build the hatred that is Wargames. I need a dastardly turn--someone costing their friend a title or something--to really sink my teeth into the blood-feud. Wargames is a promoter's desperate measure to end an issue that is tearing the company apart. I know people want to come out guns blazin', but Card #1 is like a Chris Benoit joke in 2007: too soon.
So much like I look at Oceans 12 & 13 (movies I thoroughly enjoy) as separate entities from Oceans 11, I don't look at what you're doing as "Wargames" at all. Because if I did, I'd react as if you were shitting all over a concept I love--one that never (ever) needs any adjustments. So it's just fine as a match--likely quite enjoyable, actually--but it ain't Wargames.
To answer your question about the rings-- they'll set up the second ring and the team-themed decorations AFTER the penultimate match-- it'll be just one regular ring until the main event.
I hear what you're saying about points-- they can be un-dramatic. But I think I can make it work, dramatically.
As far as being a feud-ender, I've got to admit, I just don't get that. Everybody is so protected-- how does pinning JJ Fuckin' Dillon settle anything? To me, a feud-ender is a match where somebody unequivocally loses!
I guess I'm just not an NWA/Crockett guy, so I just don't get it. This is definitely intended as a mid-feud thing, not a final battle. Definitely feel free to think of it as a cool, big, double-ring cage match that is DEFINITELY NOT Wargames if that helps your enjoyment!
BRUISER: Hey, Wrestlin' fans! Back-Man sent me out here to say a few words about this Brass Ring match we've got comin' up....
LAUPER: Bruizah, ya gots to let ME do yer tawkin', that's what a manajuh does!
BRUISER: What? Why, you can't do the talkin'!
LAUPER: Why not? Ain't I yer manajuh?
BRUISER: Well... yer a fine picktcher of a manamager! But yer not so good with langwitch! You say "dem" and "dose"... It's igmorant!
LAUPER: Why, you punch-drunk.... Well, you're not so bad yerself... Exceptin' yer face!
BRUISER: INSULCKS! I give ya a lil conscrucriv criticisism, and I gets insulcks! (A wrestler don't need no pretty face anyhows.)
LAUPER: FINE, yuh pug-faced palooka! You make the announcements!
BRUISER: "Fine," yerself-- I will!
So, anyhows, since the Brass Ring match is a football-themed dealie, and I played a little football meself-- though not nearly as successful-like as them two genlemen (in FACK, the Packers were the losin'-est team you ever did see when I was on the squad!)--Back-Man's decided to give me a little part to play... Not much for a referee to do in a match like that, what with no pinfalls nor submissions nor disqulerfer-CA-tionons... But as spetchil guest emforcer, I'll be makin' sure there's no outside interferemence, anyhows!
Now, I've also bin given the privilimege to explain the rules of this match a bit more....
BRUISER flips through some papers looking befuddled
BRUISER: Well! I can't explain this rigamaroo!
LAUPER: Oh! So now yuh need me, huh? Yuh big slap-happy lug!
BRUISER: Well, knock me over! A strappity match is already complimentated enuff, what with the turnbuckle lights an' all. An' here Back-Man's jist gone an' made it worse!. TWO diffr'nt COLOR lights?!
LAUPER: Oh, let me!
BATMAN: No offense to either of you, but it's a high priority to this promotion that our fans understand the stipulations of this match. If you don't mind?
LAUPER: Knock yerself out, Bats!
BATMAN: In a normal strap match there is a light above each turnbuckle. If a competitor touches a turnbuckle the light above that one lights up to track his progress. Then he must try to touch another adjacent turnbuckle until he has touched all four-- which wins the match. If his opponent interrupts his progress and touches a turnbuckle himself, all but the one light turns off and the whole process is reset.
In a Brass-Ring strap match, first a competitor must retrieve the Brass Ring from above one of the turnbuckles. The brass Ring may be used as a weapon, and the competitor must control the object in order to legally gain ground-- much like a football. One man in red trunks (for right) must move clockwise in order to progress, and the other man in Blue (for left) must move counter-clockwise.
So, for example if the man in red were to retrieve the Ring, that first turnbuckle light would turn red...
Mister Red's first goal would be to reach the next turnbuckle to the right, which would give him two red turnbuckles, then the next, giving him three...
Red would be mere steps away from winning! But if then, Mister Blue took the ring away from him, Blue's goal would be to reach the turnbuckle turned red last (ie furthest right)... If he touches that while controlling the ring, the red light turns off! Then he needs to go left to the next turnbuckle and turn that one off as well! Then there would be one red light, just like when Red first got the ring...
Then if Blue continues to control the ring and touches the home turnbuckle, instead of turning off, it would switch from red to blue!
If Mister Blue remains in control, now he is gaining ground instead of making up lost ground. If he touches the NEXT turnbuckle to the left he would have TWO red lights, and the next would make it THREE!
He would be mere step away from winning. If-- instead of losing control to his opponent-- he reached the final turnbuckle, then all four lights would be blue, and he would win!
BATMAN: So, this is how a Brass Ring Strap match works-- it's a little complicated, but we feel that once you wrap your mind around it, you'll agree that it has a lot of potential for drama and healthy competition....
BRUISER: Knock me down! I'm glad I'm jest whallopin' anybody what tries to interfere....
That's right, it's your ol' pal Eddie Sharkey, trainer of champions! Last year at the RagnaROCK! Supershow, my team and I braved a hideous structure unlike any before seen in professional wrestling-- all to bring THIS CUP, the Minneapolis Cup, back home to you great fans from its bondage there in Manchester, England, and prove once and for all where the TRUE World Capital of Wrestling is!
SHARKEY: I was told to put together a new team to defend the Cup once more at the Sudden Death Supershow.... I was able to get my good friend Lenny Lane onboard again-- everybody give Lenny a hand!
LANE: Thanks Eddie-- glad to be back! Too bad Shawn couldn't make it...
SHARKEY: Yep, your partner last year, Shawn Daivari, the man who actually escaped that structure with the Cup, got snapped up by another promotion this year-- back to playing that dumb "evil arab" gimmick!
LANE: That's a damn shame!
SHARKEY: It is. But we found a good man for his spot-- the Z-Man, himself: Tom Zenk!
ZENK: Thank you for the opportunity, Mister Sharkey. I won't let you down!
SHARKEY: You bet, kid! But the real question is: who will our challengers be? What city thinks that THEY are the World Capital of Wrestling? Looking at the roster, it's tough to figure... Who is gunning to take the cup away from its true home this year? Manchester again? Tokyo? Memphis?
GREG GAGNE: You've got it all wrong, Sharkey! ...as usual!
GAGNE: Nobody's here to take that Cup away from Minnesota-- we're here to take it away from YOU! Who picked YOU to represent Minnesota? You call yourself "the Trainer of Champions"-- you should call yourself the trainer of tag-team champions! (Not that there's anything wrong with that.... Jim and I have been tag-team champions, and it means a lot.... But still...) There wasn't a World Champion in the bunch till Austin Aries took the gold.
SHARKEY: You're forgetting Backlund....
GAGNE: MY DAD TRAINED BACKLUND! You maybe helped a little, but you always take the credit.... My dad was the Trainer of WORLD Champions! Ric Flair! Ricky Steamboat! The Iron Sheik! Sergeant Slaughter!
SHARKEY: But... your dad ain't here, kid....
GAGNE: That's right-- unlike you, he got SNAPPED UP by another promotion early on in the draft.... We thought our dream of capturing the Minneapolis Cup was dead, but then we remembered-- Dad had a right-hand-man who helped every step of the way in training both World Champions AND all-time greats like Curt Hennig and Jimmy Snuka. I'm talking about the one and only-- Billy Robinson!
ROBINSON: That's roight! I'm back, TOO!
SHARKEY: Robinson! You were on Team Manchester! We already beat you!
ROBINSON: And before that we beat you-- you can think of this tournament as the rubber match, if y'loike... But this toime I'm not just a member of a team representing the legacy that I came out of.... This toime I'm the captain, and I'm leading the legacy I created!
And we're going to SHUT YOU OUT, just as we did the first toime I took that Cup away from you!
*Minutes after winning the Super P Cup Tag Team Championships, Ox Baker and Sami Callihan walk backstage with titles and trophy in hand.*
*Sami and Ox see a group of participants that were in the "Super P Cup Tag Battle Royal" hanging out near Gorrilla *
Sami: I want all you beeeeps to look at this, right now!
*The likes of Rey Mysterio Jr, Lance Storm, Low-Ki, Rob Van Dam and even Moscow The Communist Bovine turn and look.*
Sami:*Raises Trophy and title in the air* This is what separates the "United States Death Machine", from the rest of you SHEEP!
Ox: I want all you pretty boys and wanna-be's to get a look at the best tag team in America! Yer lookin at Ox Baker and Sami Callihan! The most dangerous men in professional wrestling! You sheep better not think yer' safe, either!
Sami: Once we're done burning down ACES, we're coming to each and every one of your promotions to feed you all to the Death Machine!!
VAN DAM: Sami Callihan! So... you and your "USDA" think that coming out on top in a huge battle royale proves that you're a better tag team! Gives you the right to talk real big, like you've really proved somethin'!
In my book, the way that you prove you're a better TAG team is to win a TAG-team match! Isn't that right, Hakushi?
VAN DAM: See? Hakushi agrees! Who are you to doubt Hakushi?
I challenge you... I double-dog dare you!... to face us in a tag-team match...
You say you're "coming"... Why wait? We're right here! But I know you don't have the guts to face us here!
That's right, I know you figure that the management at ACES will protect the team that brought home their precious CUP! But we don't care! We'll meet you anyplace, anytime! Right, Hakushi?
OLIVER GREY: When I was drafted, I was told that they had big plans for me, y'see. They had brawlers and rule-breakers and strong-men and high-fliers, but they felt that they lacked in real scientific grapplers-- and they wanted me to be the focus for that style of wrestling. They said they were going to get a second Brit with a mastery of catch-as-catch-can, for me to team with or to fight against, however it happened to fall out between the two of us.
(Of course, they already have one of the all-time greats in Billy Robinson, but he is evidently going to be busy with the "Minneapolis Cup" for the foreseeable future. Whatever that is!) So, I wondered who they meant. Sadly, William Regal was snapped up long ago. But there are still plenty of great names. NAMEDROP, NAMEDROP... even NAMEDROP! But no, their idea of a great British technical wrestler?... The Exotic Adrian Street!
Now, it's true that Street has a legendary mastery of holds and throws and all that. But... damn it, I have good friends who are gay! In this day and age, Adrian Street's gimmick is an embarrassment to our sport. Having a straight man prancing around the ring in a parody of gay stereotypes is really no different than if I were to put on blackface!
ADRIAN STREET: Well, now! That's a new one! Someone who can't stand for me to be who I am because I'm NOT gay! Let me tell you something, honey-- I have fought for the right to dress how I want and act exactly how I choose ALL over this globe-- for years! And I'm not going to stop now just because YOU happen to be offended! And that's regardless of what I do or DON'T do in the privacy of my own bedroom (-- our YOURS, cutie!)
BUT! If you feel so strongly about it, sweetness, why don't you put your muscle where your mouth is? (Or where my mouth is-- YUM!)
Take a principled stand for your boring, boo-ZHWA sensibilities! Meet me at Sudden Death in a Makeover match! Whoever loses has to dress, and act, and do their hair and their nails, and et cetera however the winner pleases, for... let's say a month!
Well! Have you the courage of your convictions, sexy?
ROBINSON: Why, naturally I'm rooting for Grey... He's a talented young competitor and the last thing he needs is to get saddled with some flamboyant gimmick... But he's got his work cut out for him with Street.... Y'can't let the outfits and the prancin' fool yuh-- Adrian Street is one tough customer. He has all of the tools of a proper scientific grappler, but he also knows every trick of the rule-breaker. And on top of all that, he's as tough as an Applebee's steak. I wisht Grey t'best o'luck!
LENNY LANE: Darn straight I'm rooting for Adrian! He was an inspiration to me coming up, and one of my all-time favorite wrestlers. Who does this Oliver Grey think he is, trying to tell us how we can act and what we can wear? The fashion police? I'm looking forward to seeing him get his comeuppance!
GEORGE: Ah, yes-- very droll... I was once in a match with a very similar stipulation, with my good friend Sir Ronald Killings! I think it's the only case where the man who loses the match is the real winner!-- Because he's the one who gets the opportunity to learn something about how the other half lives. I learned a great deal from Ronald, and I think he would say the same of me. So I'm not taking any sides in this fight-- I wish both men the best of luck!
Well, I assumed that's why you asked me, specifically, about this match...
First off, I'll have you know that my persona is not a "gimmick"! I am who I am! And secondly, my persona has NOTHING in common with that of Mister Street! I am ALL MAN, and I resent any implication to the contrary!
HOGAN: It's finally time to announce the last two members of Team "Hulkamania Forever"! These are two young warriors who know ALL about living up to a legacy and filling big boots! I'm talking about... Tiger Mask! ...and... Mistico!
HOGAN: Two men who i am confident will dazzle us all with their acrobatic prowess. Two men who are not scared by a prestigious name. I'm proud to welcome them to Batman Wrestling and to the team!
Post by Road Warrior Shark on Jul 7, 2013 17:35:55 GMT -5
I don't understand why Abdullah the Butcher is on Hogan's team. I get Lawler doesn't like Foley either, and he brought in Abby, but I don't get how he fits in with Bourne, Hogan & the Ultra-Good guys on the team.
I do like the Brunzel.Gagne vs Lane/Zenk matchup alot. Very underrated guys in Brunzell and Zenk
The Mankind/Hulkamania war is intended to be a matter of loyalties and differing philosophies that overrides normal face-heel dynamics. Team Mankind is intended to be tweeneriffic enough that Hogan-haters have someone to root for... Foley is planting seeds of doubt as to who the real bad guys are. Those who side with Hogan can take his willingness to ally with Lawler and Abby as "enemy of my enemy" desperation. Those on Foley's side can see it as evidence of his hypocricy.... I will definitely have Foley address this more directly in his next promo.
Glad you like Team City and Team Suburbs. Definitely expect to have fun with them!
FOLEY: Showing all of your cards so soon, Hogan? I won't be making that mistake! You'll find out the last member of Team "For Mankind" when the music hits-- same as everybody else!
And what cards you have! Great cards... great cards, no doubt.... But so telling of the mindset of the man behind those choices! Compromising your supposed principles--as you always have-- to get a monster-for-hire... to counter your fear of what I will do... of how far I will go.
And kids... Hero-worshiping kids...
Oh, I understand you, Hogan.... You've been burned by allies before.... Savage. Warrior. Sting. You take a kid... a kid who's a lot like you were at that age... you take him under your wing... and before you know it?... He's "stealing your spotlight"!
Never mind that maybe it's HIS TURN for a share of the spotlight! YOU always have to be the focus of everybody's attention!
So now you've taken on a bunch of little flippy kids... And is this because you've suddenly acquired some newfound respect for smaller, acrobatic athletes?
You've chosen them BECAUSE you don't respect them! Because you've NEVER respected any man under six feet tall... so you don't worry that they'll outgrow you and become a threat!
You're wrong about them, Hogan. These young men you've chosen, they may be blinded by your light for the moment-- but they're men of character. They won't stagnate into fawning sycophants like a Brutus Beefcake... and content themselves with living out their careers on your coattails! They will grow to threaten your spotlight! And I intend to do MY part to help them along. Especially for young Mister Bourne....
But my part... isn't very pretty.
And it's absolutely TYPICAL that you've rounded out your team with two men who don't even speak the language! That must make it easy to stay on message! And Abby doesn't speak at all... The only team-mate who has a word to say is BLINDED by hero worship...
... so you don't have to worry about them outshining you on the stick, either!
It's not like that on Team "For Mankind"... We don't agree about everything... We argue! We compromise. That's how grown-ups operate!
George, for instance-- my old enemy, George. Through our mat wars, we slowly grew to respect each other. But George worries. Worries that we're leading a Childrens' Crusade. That we're leading an army of little Robins to a Lonely Place of Dying.
He's right, of course. Who else but kids were ever in the front lines of a war? Who else could have the temerity-- the foolish, desperate arrogance-- to believe that they have something fresh and novel and unique to offer the world?
And they're right. I promise you this, kids.... On either side.... As an old enemy of mine once said-- if you're willing to pay the price... just get in that cage with me, kid...
FOLEY:If you've read any of my books, you know that I spend a lot of time-- while I'm driving from town to town or sitting in coach on some cheap red-eye flight-- visualizing. I visualize moments-- high points of promos and matches meant to pull in the audience-- engage them, enthrall them, make them care.
I had one of those moments planned for the Beyond Wargames match at Sudden Death. Seven men would already be in the ring-- four of Hogan's and three of mine. Only Hogan and I-- and my mystery team-mate-- would be left to enter. The time is up-- time for the last two of the "For Mankind" team to hit the ring... But it's not MY music that plays. Foley's coming out to his mystery partner's theme?! It's... it's "Shoot to Thrill"!
Who's his partner-- Iron Man?
But... those with long memories know that before Iron Man stole the idea, Mickie Knuckles-- my protege and adversary-- was using "Shoot to Thrill" as her theme in Armageddon Wrestling....
The mystery partner? Is a woman? No way!
The Hulkamaniacs would be dismissive of my secret plan. "Feh. Foley thinks we'll be scared of some woman?"-- until she SHOVED THAT PATRONIZING SMUGNESS DOWN THEIR THROATS! They would learn to FEAR HER, instead.
Obviously, I wouldn't be telling you this plan now... unless plans had changed.... No, I'd let it play out.
It was a good plan-- I thought it was a great plan!
But.... I've made no secret of the fact that my good friend George and I-- we don't see eye to eye on everything. "It's different with Mickie," he'd say. "No, not because she's a woman, Jack-- this isn't about guilt for what I did to her back in Armageddon," he'd say. "It's different with Jacobs and Kendricks," he'd say. "They follow you because of ideology or opportunism. But Mickie-- she'd be there solely out of personal loyalty. Can you live with that?"
YES! YES I CAN, GEORGE! I've spent my career sending kids through the grinder, GEORGE! Sting, Hunter, Orton, Edge-- they were kids when I met them. After-- less so. Yes, I can live with that.
And I'll tell you two reasons why replacing Mickie will be foolish, George. First, even if you're motivation isn't guilt-- even if you're NOT being sexist and patronizing, SHE'll think you were! I'd watch out if I were you, George... Secondly, what makes you think that if we cut her loose, she won't just get up to something TWICE as dangerous? Have you MET this girl? She literally has no fear. Lots of people CLAIM they have no fear, but when I look them in the eye from across the squared circle, I know that they're lying. But Mickie is so full of directionless rage there's no room in her soul for fear. But as long as WE don't lead her to whatever crazy thing she decides to do-- it's OK?
And that's what I told him. But then I made my mistake. I said, "I'll make you one concession, George. If you can name me one competitor-- who's available-- who would undeniably be a BETTER fit for our team than Mickie, I'll make the switch. I'll tell her myself."
Over eight hundred competitors had already been drafted. What were the odds that George could come up with someone that I couldn't even credibly claim isn't the perfect competitor for our team?
I'll give you a piece of advice right now. NEVER challenge Gorgeous George's knowledge of professional wrestling.
He brought to me a man who has been wiped from memory, erased from history, forgotten, and despised. A man who has unjustly NEVER been drafted before. You know what that means, right? For five years in a row, twenty-some savvy promoters have chosen Naked Mideon over this legend. A man whose legacy has been destroyed by Hogan's revisionist history. A man whose true story is an arrow straight to the heart of "Hulkamania" --straight to the heart of your EGO, Hogan.
The Pontiac Silverdome. How many howling Hulkamaniacs were there to see you power-slam Andre the Giant-- a feat never before accomplished? One-hundred thousand? Two? A million? Facts are slippery-- at least when they get into your mouth, Hogan....
Mickie Knuckles would have been a surprise entrant-- because that would have made the most impact. Not so, this man. This man, I want you trembling in your boots thinking about facing the man you've never defeated, Hogan. The TRUE conqueror of Andre the Giant-- the legitimate first man to power slam and to pin him! I KNOW that you know who I mean, Hogan! You pretend to forget, but you took their money and traveled to Mexico to meet a better man than yourself, confident that American fans would never learn the truth.
The truth about the fifth member of team "For Mankind"... The truth about...
KENDRICK: You know, I've been patient. I really have. (For me.) Batman says he doesn't have any mic time for me. I'm THE Brian Kendrick-- HIS MAIN EVENT-- but he can't give me any time! "But you're just one member of the teeeeeam, Brian! Mankind is your spokesman, Brian...."
So I tell Jack, I tell him, "I'm the man with the plan, Jack! You should make me captain, you should put me out on the stick. My fans want to hear my voice!"
I mean, have you heard yourself promo lately, Jack? You ramble on about old war stories like my grandpa! Except my grandpa's stories are MORE INTERESTING!
You know, if you had kept it for yourself, at least that I would have understood. Selfish. Typical. But at least understandable.
But to give it to some old masked dude nobody's ever even heard of?
KNUCKLES: HAAAAAAY, GEORGE! Y'GOT ME KICKED OFF THE TEEEEEEEAM, GEORGE!
GEORGE: ...And I apologize for that, Miss. Please believe that I intended no disrespect.
KNUCKLES: FEH! Don't apologize to ME, GEORGE! I'm not much of a team player, ANYHOW!
KNUCKLES: BUT! I'm not so SURE about this "NO DISRESPECT" jazz. I think I feel pretty damn DISRESPECTED, GEORGE! Ya SKEEEEERED, GEORGE?
GEORGE: To be perfectly frank, the idea of attracting your negative attention concerns me a great deal... After all, Mick Foley DID say that he faced you across the ring and saw no fear in your eyes whatsoever. That alone would be sufficient cause for worry. I know for a fact that he wouldn't say the same about me.
And I remember what you did to Christopher Nowinski....
KNUCKLES:HE HAD IT COMIN'!
GEORGE: He was owed a receipt, I'll grant you. Perhaps I am, as well. I was in his corner, after all...
... Nahhhh. Thass all in the past, "Georgie"... Just stay out of my way, here on out.
GEORGE: I shall endeavor to navigate a wide berth, I assure you, Miss.
SHARKEY: Hogan? Sure I can tell you all about Hogan. He's been to Minnesota before, y'know? He was just off of a hot run in New York. Had a real high opinion of himself-- and it wasn't unwarranted, either.... In the ring, he couldn't be beat. To the fans, he was like... he was like some kinda messiah. All of their dreams and aspirations all tied up in an orange-skinned bow.
He was destined to be a champion. But he wasn't Verne's kinda champion. The title-shots would go to Verne... or they'd go to Nick. Depending which one had the strap at any given time. When he'd relent and give Hogan a shot the decisions would be... controversial. The fans were on the brink of riot. So Verne took 'im back to a smoky back room and laid out the deal. He didn't like 'im. He didn't want 'im. But the fans, they did. So he'd relent. No more ignoring his obvious qualifications to be number-one contender. No more "controversial" decisions in smoky back rooms-- no more getting screwed out of the title.
If. IF! If Hogan signed a new contract. A contract giving Verne the lion's share of Hulkster's Japan money... The lion's share of his Mexico City money. The lion's share of his T-shirt money!
Hogan was born to be a champion. It didn't matter what it took. He'd fulfill his destiny. Even if it meant he'd have to....
...go right the hell back to New York!
He might not have been Verne's idea of a proper champion, but to Junior!... ...to Junior he was the perfect champion. Tall. Handsome. Muscular. Charismatic. Like I said... born to be a champion! In New York it was the opposite of Minnesota. He was always number-one contender. Decisions always fell his way.
Eventually... over a decade of "eventually"... things soured there, Junior decided he needed someone fresh, and Hulk had to move on to Atlanta. But he led a charmed life. A charmed career. He had all the tools, but LOTS of guys had all the tools-- I know, I've trained 'em, they mostly end up tag-team champs, y'know?
But Hogan, he got to use those tools, at the very top of the game, for over a decade.
He lived a charmed life-- a charmed career. And that's how he expects it to be... y'know?
Lots of guys try to be just like him, but he's like nobody before or since. He's special.
Maybe he's only special 'cause he believes it, like Dumbo's Magic Feather, y'know? But he does believe it. He always believes it. And he never stops until he's a champion like he believes he's meant to be.
GEORGE: Jack? I'm glad you asked me about Jack. A man can't talk himself up without coming across as an insufferable twit. That's your opponent's job. That's where so much of my bad press comes from-- my adversaries failing to hold up their end and leaving me to talk myself up. Jack wasn't like that-- he was brilliant at helping a modern audience understand why this odd, old-fashioned character was a legitimate threat. I owe him so much.
But if Hogan won't tell you why you should fear "Mankind"... someone must. So let me tell you about Jack. He is such a versatile communicator, and such a chameleon, it makes it so dreadfully, fatally easy to forget what he truly is.
And that's a monster.
Don't misunderstand me-- when he tousles his children's heads and reads them their bedtime stories, there is no monster there. When he volunteers to play Santa Claus for little orphans, when he donates so much of his HARD-earned money to build schools in impoverished Africa, the monster I speak of is utterly invisible. The man who Jack is-- ninety-nine percent of the time-- is a good man. A man I've grown to respect and admire, in spite his rough, unkempt exterior.
A man who I am proud to call "friend."
I honestly don't know where that man goes. But I know that when the monster comes out to play, that man is gone.
I don't mean to say that "Mankind" is a mindless, slavering beast. Quite the contrary. When the monster awakens, his brilliance and wit are-- if anything-- only sharpened. But compassion? You will find NONE.
When he and I were enemies, moments before our final confrontation in Hell, a journalist unadvisedly insisted on "a few last words before the match." He got last words. He got Mankind's last will and testament. Mankind said that he thought it likely that neither he nor I might even survive that Hell. And then he said... that he DID NOT CARE.
We did survive, obviously. It was no forgone conclusion at the time. Two men walked into that cell-- three men and one woman were carried to the hospital after.
Later, as we were gradually becoming friends, I asked him: what on earth had led him to say such odd, inflammatory things? My friend Jack told me that he could not directly recall that entire conversation, nor most of that evening. Only-- flashes. Red flashes. He knows what he said and did that night-- he watched tape later. But he had no direct memories of the events nor of his words.
There is a dark place inside of that good man's soul. A dark country where he has the only map.
I sense that Jack is on the edge of that dark territory now. His enemies are men whom I don't particularly like... but I've been through this, and I wouldn't wish it on my most despised foe.
To sum up: pride is what led me down the road you travel now. Don't listen to your pride. Stay out of that cage. Keep your life and your health.