Roleplay Roleplay by KURTIS RAY
On Tue, Feb13, 2018 11:41pm America/Phoenix
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(A fire is burning in a large, strangely built fireplace. There is plenty of exposed stone, and interesting choices in the stonework at the base seem designed to redirect something back into the hearth. To cap off the interesting design, ornate wrought iron decorations are mounted on either side, making for a striking piece. Distant footsteps ring from somewhere and, after a moment, lights click on, revealing more of the decor of the room. There is a large, comfortable looking leather chair, book cases, and various bits of kitsch about, but the camera pans over toward a bartop. Behind it, several expensive bottles of various spirits are displayed above a handful of ornate crystal decanters.

Other than the gentle crackle of the fire, the room is silent, save for the hiss of running water. Finally Kurtis Ray appears on screen with several crystal whiskey glasses, which he sets on top of the bar. He turns to face the fireplace, stepping toward it and running an appreciative hand over the ornate metalwork.)

KURTIS: Evening, Universe. Here we are again, in the midst of our go home leading into the Crusade Cup. A championship I admit I wanted that evaded me last year, ironically for a similar reason to how the World Title evaded me a few weeks ago at Holiday Hell.

(Kurtis chuckes, more of a snort than anything, shaking his head.)

KURTIS: Last time it was Darkness, long before him and Syndicate decided they were... what was it, Syd? Tired of being the laughing stock? Anyway, it was before they decided to be pals. And Syndicate cost me the Crusade Cup when he stuck his nose in my match with Darkness. Fast forward a while and both of them say I have no business getting in their business when the only reason what they got going now is because Syndicate shafted me out of the Crusade Cup.

(Kurtis moves over toward the bar, leaning over and taking hold of one of the decanters. It is full of a deep, amber-gold colored liquid, which Kurtis tips into one of the glasses. He closes the decanter, raising the glass to sip the liquid within.)

KURTIS: I know there are questions about my condition after Ravage. I've been so focused on the whole "Hype Train Don't Stop" thing that I put myself into the hospital. And so the other night I showed up to Ravage about thirty minutes after they took me off of an IV and I spent the night in the same hospital on another one. So word of advice, kids: Red Bull and sugary snacks doesn't take the place of eating right and sleeping occasionally.

(Kurtis shows an over-exaggerated wink and a grin to the camera before turning his attention back to his drink.)

KURTIS: I'm not gonna say it doesn't bug the hell out of me that I lost the tag titles for me and Willie. Dude might be a tool bag, but  he gave me his best and I gave him a man that could barely walk to the ring. So for that, Willie, I want you to know I'm sorry. I let you down because I've been so focused on getting my due that I neglected the important stuff. You want to see about a rematch, you hit me up. You want a different partner, that's cool too. Either way, for right now, I have to focus on Aftershock. And as we know, Aftershock means the culmination of the Crusade Cup, which is still an honor I would very much like to be mine.

(Kurtis takes another sip from his glass, humming delightedly at the flavor.)

KURTIS: Say what you will about Canadians, they make some fine whiskey. So the Crusade Cup. There are three men between me and what I was denied last year, and a future shot at whoever leaves Aftershock with the championship. I hope it's Xavier, for the record, cause I think if there was gonna be a barnstormer coming out of Aftershock it would be the Hype Train versus the Machine for the big belt. But let's not put the cart before the horse, huh? Cause there are three men I have to worry about at Aftershock.

(Kurtis raises one hand with one finger up.)

KURTIS: Jarvis Valentine.

(Kurtis raises a second finger.)

KURTIS: Jake Devine

(Kurtis turns his hand around and raises his middle finger to the camera.)

KURTIS: And Syndicate. And I reckon, despite the fact that Darkness has been banned from ringside, that Darkness is going to be a factor. Anyway, not important.

(Kurtis sets his glass down on the table, filling it again, He picks up the filled glass, rolling it between his hands as he steps so the fireplace is more in view.)

KURTIS: Jarvis Valentine. You have had one hell of a rookie season, kid. You've had ups and downs, but you've managed to be pretty consistent. I think if you bring your a-game you might be a fun opponent in the main event. I haven't paid much attention to you to be frank, since I've spent the past few months getting shafted and being petty about it. But I loaded up the ol' Network, played back a couple of your matches, and you know what? I think you have what it takes to be a champion some day. But the sad truth here is, and I do regret that this is the case, is that you're one of two gazelles that's being trotted out to be fed to lions. If this was a different lineup, if the bracket had worked out differently then you might have been my favorite. But unfortunately, all you are at Aftershock is going to be a slight inconvenience. Still, I wish you the success, and the strength to accept your failure. Salut.

(Kurtis drains his glass, then whirls and tosses it into the fire. There is a crash of breaking glass and the fire flares slightly from traces of whiskey.)

KURTIS: I'm not crazy, by the way, that's a Russian tradition. You toast then smash the glass so it can't be used for nefarious purposes.

(Kurtis sniffs, turning over another a glass and pouring another measure of whiskey into it.)

KURTIS: Then there's the erstwhile Jake Devine. Jake Idol, as I like the call him and Jake Idol as he hates to be known. We haven't rolled together much, Jakey. I think maybe back in the Big Time Agency days you and LuAndre Xavier took on me and Pendragon for the tag belts. I know we ended up on the opposite side of the ring a few times when I decided to destroy the agency because I decided screwing with Syndicate was my road to success. You've changed a lot since then, I guess. You've been a reasonably decent performer of late. But just like Jarvis, you're a feeder her. No offense, you have some ups to be sure, but you're  a deer staring down a double-barreled shotgun. I don't dislike you, Jakey. I don't like you either. I often forget you exist. But I do know one thing. If you do end up bettering Jarvis Valentine, you don't have a lot to look forward to in the ring with me. But even if I doubt your prowess, I respect your moxie. So to you, Jake Devine, I hope you will make the splash you wish to, and that you will learn from Aftershock and turn it into strength. Nostrovia!

(Kurtis tilts back the second glass of whiskey, pelting the second glass into the fire same as the first. There is a similar crash and whoosh of flames, and the shard of crystal fall among the embers in the bottom of the fireplace. Kurtis turns over a third glass, trickling whiskey in until it is filled. He leaves the glass sitting on the bar top, crouching down to regard it thoughtfully.)

KURTIS: No matter how hard I work, no matter what I do, it seems like we keep ending up back here. Me and Syndicate on opposite sides. My eternal nemesis, no matter how much we both evolve. No matter what I do, I can't escape you. You're always there, lurking at the periphery of my vision. And you know what, man? All the fluff and circlejerking aside, it pisses me off.

(Kurtis snatches the glass, making to raises it to his lips but pausing, lowering the glass and beginning to pace in front of the fireplace again.)

KURTIS: You're an eternal thorn in my side as much as I am in yours. You can't bring yourself to care about me because we're enemies? Let's be real here, kiddo. I don't need you to care about me. I don't need nice words or fluffy feelings. I don't care about why you do this or who's watching at home that you don't want to disappoint. I don't care if Darkness turns up at Aftershock to help you out, because it just reinforces something we both know. You wanna guess what it is, Syd? Don't bother, cause I'll tell you. I'm a better wrestler than you are. I'm the obstacle you can't overcome on your own and everything you have done lately just goes to prove that. I am better than you. Did you catch that, sunshine? I'm. Better. Than. You. No matter how hard you try, no matter what you do, you can't beat me without resorting to something shady or without a tool.

(Kurtis smirks at the camera, casually running a finger over the edge of his glass, looking rather satisfied.)

KURTIS: You said you had no doubt I'd be at 110% by Sunday. I'm not one to disappoint. You'll get 110%. if that's not enough, why not 120%, or 130? It doesn't matter, cause when I bring my best, no matter what you do, no matter how much you talk or struggle or flail or whine it's not going to do you any good. you know why? Because I am KURTIS RAY. I am the one man in this business that can do ANYTHING, and you? You're just a jumped-up Xander Adams wannabe. Cheers.

(Kurtis knocks back the drink, turning to toss the glass but holding on to it instead. He sets it on the bartop, eyeing it for a moment before disappearing off screen. The lights flick off a moment later, and the camera zooms in on the class, upon which the firelight dances mesmerizingly.)

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