Roleplay Roleplay by KURTIS RAY
On Thu, Nov30, 2017 2:45pm America/Phoenix
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(It's mostly dark except for the cheering of fans, mostly muffled by thick curtains designed to block both sound and light. There are less producers around than usual, but the occasional flash of light and ever-present stage manager indicates the camera is in gorilla position. A poster is briefly visible, indicating the event is for WWX Developmental. Kurtis Ray is present, dressed in ring gear similar yo his usual attire other than the fact that it's white and gold instead of red and black, with headphones in and his phone in his hand as he fiddles with something.

A PA taps him on to shoulder to get his attention and Kurtis nods, pulling out the earphones and tucking his phone into his boot before rising and stretching, bouncing on his toes. There is a flare of light when the curtains open and the crowd erupts when "Hype" cues, and Kurtis emerges out on the stage, arms raised in triumph. He plays to the crowd a bit, pacing on the stage and grinning before jogging down the ramp. He takes a lap around the ring, slapping hands and bumping fists before grabbing one of the ropes and using it to swing himself up on the apron.

Kurtis climbs into the ring, dashing to one of the turnbuckles to pose again for the fans and indulge himself in enjoying their reaction, before raising one arm and pumping it like he's calling for a truck horn.)


(Kurtis laughs, hopping off the turnbuckle and moving to the center of the ring. He signals to one of the producers for a microphone, who hands one to the former champion. Kurtis raises the mic to speak but hesitates, opting instead to pump his arm again and entice another enthusiastic response from the crowd.)

KURTIS: Betcha didn't expect to see my mug on a developmental show, huh? What up, universe?

(The crowd pops again and Kurtis grooves along to it in the ring, doing a weird kind of shuffle as the fans encourage him on. After a moment he raises a hand to silence them and, after a moment, the furor of the crowd subsides to a dull roar.)

KURTIS: Here we are, ladies and gentlemen. Here we are, WWX Universe. Here we are, developmental talents and trainers in the back. Here we are, Rayne and SYndicate. Where are we? This is the AT&T Center. This is the place where, in a couple of days, three of the most over talents in WWX History will clash, head to head to head, for the WWX Champion. For the right to say that everyone else is a waste of time, useless, a joke, worn out, broke down, terrible, a vulture, a clown. Did I miss anything? No? Okay.

(Kurtis nods, then rolls his neck, before raising the mic to speak again.)

KURTIS: So here we are. Two days from a reckoning. Two days from my opportunity to prove that I still got the gas to put up a show like I did before I left. Two days before I get to shut up Syndicate and Rayne. Two days before I walk into this building as Kurtis Ray, the hype train, and walk out as the WWX Champion. Two days before the other two men realize that their destinies are to bring up the rear on my coattails.

(That earns somewhat of a mixed reaction, but Kurtis shrugs it off, shaking his head.)

KURTIS: Much as I wanna say this isn't gonna be a challenge that wouldn't be true. This is gonna be a hell of a challenge. I mentioned before that Syndicate is a good wrestler. Rayne is also a good wrestler, and I've let myself down in the past with both men by not taking them seriously. But the other day when I found out this match was coming, you know what I did? I dragged my ass out of bed, I had a shower, and when I got dressed I put on my serious pants.

(Kurtis turns his gaze to the camera, all signs of levity gone in favor of a serious expression.)

KURTIS: A little while ago I got a letter via registered mail from Syndicate, where he basically poured out his little soul about how this title is his life. About how he's given up everything to be the champion, all he has left is his friends in LA. About how I don't understand what it's like to give up everything. About how he's respected for what he's done. Lets be clear here, Syndicate. If you've listened to just about any promo I've cut on you, I've talked about how you're a good wrestler. I've talked about how in my opinion, despite the fact that you're a damn good wrestler, if you could just get the hell over yourself you could be a great wrestler. I don;t expect you to understand what drives the Hype Train. I don't expect you to say nice things about me or act like I'm some feeble old man who can't take it. I don't want considerations. I've been doing this for more than a decade, junior. Everything you've sacrificed is noble, but it's arrogant that you assume others haven't done the same.

(Kurtis shakes his head, beginning to pace in the ring. His free hand clenches into a fist and he bounces on the balls of his feet, his face twisting into a caricature of a smile.)

KURTIS: It seems like in this whole thing, Syndicate, that there is something you don't understand. I'm not in this lightly. I don;t want to take the title from you for some frivolous reason. I understand it's all you have and while I know how you feel, I also want you to know the deep, sickening, gnawing misery that people feel when they come up short. I want you to struggle and try your best and see the look on your face when you realize that your best just isn't good enough. I've seen it before, you know. I want to be the guy that makes you try harder. I want to be the guy that makes you TRY. I want to be the guy that motivates you to push yourself beyond your best, beyond your hardest, beyond the pale. You think this is about me and you, it's not. This is about hem, Syndicate.

(Kurtis points out into the crowd, and the fans pop.)

KURTIS: Everyone that watches week in and week out. All the casual fans. All the people who only follow us by results on websites. Every man woman and child that's heard of Syndicate or Kurtis Ray or Rayne. Or anyone else in the locker room. We thrive because they idolize us. Because they respect us. I know you understand that. And I know you thrive on getting under people's skin. But that's not going to be enough this time. This time I'm going to take that title from you because you need t learn your place. And I'll be honest, being a champion would be pretty sweet.

(The serious facade breaks apart and Kurtis grins again, winking at the camera.)

KURTIS: Then there's our buddy Rayne. You and me got something in common, Rayne, but we're not the same. You've viewing this as something to prove. I don't have anything to prove, though, other than in the most ephemeral sense. I don't need to beat you or Syndicate to give my life meaning or my career value. I've been to the top of the mountain here. I've been to the top of the mountain in bigger promotions than the WWX and smaller ones. I've fought and beat men like you and Syndicate before. This is all about proving my worth to MYSELF. I don;t care what you or Syndicate think of me. I don't need the validation a world title win gives to someone like that. All I want to do is get out in that ring and keep proving that I'm one of the best in the world at what I choose to do. That doesn't mean I don;t understand what you're saying, or where you're coming from. I know what it feels like to chase and chase endlessly. I know what it feels like to want that title so bad you'd shank your grandmother at her birthday to get your fingers on that brass ring.

(Kurtis pauses, rolling his neck again and swallowing some unidentified emotion.)

KURTIS: See man, everything I said about Syndicate applies to you, too. I want to be the obstacle in your path that pushes you to exceed what you know you're capable of, and I want the same from you. I want this match to be the classic to end all classics, six star material. I want people to look back on the night that I won the title from you and Syndicate and say "damn. He really earned it." I want you to walk away from this match feeling crushed because everything you did, everything you tried just wasn't quite enough to stop the Hype Train when there were actual stakes. And I want you to feel bad about that because you know, you KNOW deep down you should have done better.

(The crowd pops and Kurtis looks startled, but he goes along with it, lifting himself up to sit down on the turnbuckle.)

KURTIS: At the end of the day, when Ravage is in the books, only one outcome will matter. One man walks away with the belt, two men walk away feeling empty and like they should have done better. The fans walk away feeling like they witnessed something incredible. We all have the potential to be incredible. It's up to you two to prove you can stand toe-to-toe with incredible. They want to see it. I want to see it. Pretty sure you guys both want to see it. Let's make this a reckoning, boys. Let's give 'em one to remember. We all deserve at least that much. Right universe?

(The crowd response is incredible as dueling chants raise for all three men. Kurtis nods his head, raising to his feet and taking a victory pose before dropping the mic. He rolls out of the ring, moving to chat with a group of fans as the camera pans up to the lights above the ring, then cuts to black.)

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