Roleplay Roleplay by KURTIS RAY
On Sun, Mar11, 2018 12:35pm America/Phoenix
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(A camera clicks to life, showing the outside of what appears to be a bar. A sign on the wall boasts 'Live Music' and points down a staircase. Indications are it is fairly early in the day, but faint jazz music can be heard coming from somewhere. The cameraman starts down the steps, coming face to face with a heavy wooden door that opens with a protesting creak. All at once there is a flare of light and then a moment of darkness. Finally the light normalizes, revealing the dimly-lit interior of a quaint, New Orleans-inspired blues club.

The camera turns one way, then the other, before finally coming to rest on the somewhat-rumpled form of Kurtis Ray, who is in the midst of eating a fairly large, greasy breakfast. He notices the camera in the midst of chewing something and gestures to wait for a moment before swallowing thickly and following it up with a slug of coffee from a mug on the bartop.)

KURTIS: I was worried you got lost, man.

(The camera is placed down now, adjusted, and turned to reveal the mystery cameraman as Brett Zayne, dressed rather casually in a WWX T-shirt under an Ed Hardy hoodie.)

BRETT: Gimme some credit, bro. Your directions may have sucked, but at least you got the name right. And as we've discussed before, I am the king of Google.

(Kurtis chokes back a laugh, shaking for a moment as he tries not to make a ruckus. Brett, for his part, grins and signals to an unseen bartender, who places a pint before the smaller man.)

KURTIS: I'm glad you're back, buddy.

BRETT: Me too, man. When they told me they were canceling Gorilla Position, I thought I was doomed. But then Ranger had me working on some stuff with production, there was a stint in booking for Developmental, and then about a week ago they called me up and told me they wanted me for a backstage interviewer gig. So here we are!

(Kurtis raises his coffee mug in a salute, which Brett pipes his pint against.)

KURTIS: Guess it's time to get to the point, huh? The boss told me you wanted an interview about the International Title tournament, right?

(Brett nods wordlessly, sipping from his glass. Kurtis sighs, taking another bite from his meal and a drink from the cup of coffee before sliding back a bit, turning in his seat to face Brett.)

KURTIS: I invited you here because I hate that staged interview stuff. This is more my gig, right? Cozy, a little rinky-dink, feels like the sort of place you might get shivved in the can if you're not paying attention. Reminds me of the good old days.

BRETT: The good old days involved getting shivved in the bathroom at a blues club?

(Kurtis laughs now, and Brett smirks at him, taking another drink from his beer.)

KURTIS: Context, man. Context. Remember, I started out in this business wrestling in a rinky-dink dive bar. And yeah, there might have been one or two times I got stabbed, but who's counting? Anyway, brass tacks. Interview time. Three two one go.

(Kurtis claps, then flashes an exaggerated grin at the camera.)

BRETT: Alright, alright. When did you become all business? Jesus.

(Brett produces a piece of paper from his pocket, scanning it before stashing it again.)

BRETT: So Kurtis, you're going into a somewhat hastily-announced tournament for the International Title that was recently stripped from the former champion, IWA legend Bob 'The Beast' Mellon. How do you feel about that?

(Kurtis' composure wavers for a moment before he snorts and starts laughing again. After a moment he chokes, taking another drink from his coffee cup before swallowing and regaining his composure.)

KURTIS: Your 'WWX Interviewer' voice is ridiculous, Brett. Breezy, remember? Anyway. International Title tournament. When you consider that until a little while ago, I was ranked in the World Title division, it's a little bit of a slap in the face. Not so long ago I was in the top 4 for the Crusade Cup. Now I'm in a tournament to determine the new International Champion. So I guess it's an opportunity I should be thankful for, right? Tanno Waters sets about the events that result in my failing to win the Crusade Cup for the second year in a row and rather than make that right, Ranger decides to put me in another division. Whatever it is, though, I'm going to put up my best effort, and sooner rather than later Kurtis Ray is going to be a Grand Slam champion. Don't matter who I gotta beat, though I do hope me and Nerd Herd cross paths on the way so I can show him what a Trainwreck feels like.

(Kurtis turns back to his meal, taking another bite. Brett looks thoughtful for a moment before continuing in a measured, conversational tone.)

BRETT: Well said, man. What about Darkness? How do you feel about the fact you're facing him in the first round on Ravage?

(Kurtis pauses for a second, then takes another bite of his cooling meal. He turns his attention to Brett finally with a measures indifference on his face.)

KURTIS: I know what people are hoping I'm gonna say. They want me to say I'm gonna pay him back for all of the stuff him and Syndicate have pulled over the pas few months. But you know what? I ruminated on the whole thing and I'm over it. Far as I'm concerned, and it's up to him if he feels this way, but the Darkness/Syndicate/Kurtis Ray feud is done for right now. Him and I are opponents, sure. And yeah, I'm gonna railroad him right into the mat on Friday, but it's just because that's what's best for the fans. I extended an olive branch to Syndicate last week and he was reluctant. I don't blame him, because I'm sure he's thinking about the next time him and I are on the opposite side of a match. Lemme put one thing out there, though, and I really need you to listen to this if you're watching, Darkness.

(Kurtis takes another slug of coffee, signaling to the unseen bartender who refills the cup.)

KURTIS: If you and Syd DO have shenanigans planned for Ravage, I want you to know I'm prepared for that. And I'm prepared for that skinny little turd Waters to stick his unreasonably large nose in our match. But I want you to consider something here. You're better than dirty tricks to win a match. You don't need Syndicate to beat me if that's in the cards. We owe it to the fans for this to be a barnstormer on our own merits. We owe it to ourselves to go out there and make this a match to remember. And whoever it is that makes it past the gates on Ravage, we owe it to one another to make Ranger regret the fact that he started this tournament with the best match that's gonna be part of it. I'll leave it to you to decide whether or not you agree, and if you do bring your buddy Syndicate to work the odds in your favor all you're gonna do is prove you and I aren't on the same level. I believe you're better than that. Both of you. I hope you prove me wrong for once.

(Brett blinks, taking a moment to gulp down about half of his remaining pint.)

BRETT: That was pretty heavy, K. Wow. but up, the last question I have is, do you have anything else to say about Ravage or the International Title tournament?

(Kurtis looks thoughtful for a moment, then nods slowly.)

KURTIS: To all the rest of you in this tournament, I offer the following advice. You damn well better take this seriously. You had damn well better go into every match with the idea that you're going to win it all. That's how I go into every match. When you come face to face with the Hype Train, if you're not ready to give it everything you have to win, then you're a casualty waiting to happen. I want to be a Grand Slam Champion. God help you if you're in my way to do that.

(Brett lets out a breath, grinning.)

BRETT: I guess all that's left to say is....

BRETT & KURTIS: ...All Aboard.

(The two men share a laugh and Kurtis signals the bartender again, who clears the remnants of the breakfast and replaces it with two whiskey glasses and an undoubtedly expensive bottle of whiskey. Brett reaches over to shut ff the camera, and the scene cuts to a WWX Ravage bumper.)

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