Roleplay Roleplay by KURTIS RAY
On Tue, Dec12, 2017 1:14am America/Phoenix
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(A camera feed clicks on to reveal the exterior of a jaunty looking motel. A sign near the door identifies the building as the Rio Grande Aparthotel. Most of the rooms look to be booked and all indications are that it is doing well. The camera is skewed slightly, obviously set on something uneven, but it evens out after a second.)

V.O.: Perfect.

(Kurtis Ray emerges from off-screen, dressed in a wool jacket over his normal street clothes, which today includes a T-Shirt bearing the phrase #boohoo. He stops in frame, glancing at the camera, before taking a long look at the hotel.)

KURTIS: Looks great, huh? Pretty busy, well maintained, clean. This is the Rio Grande Hotel in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. This is actually the place where I grew up, back when I was a kid my parents owned this joint. Not the case these days of course, but memories are memories.

(Kurtis moves to take a seat on the stairs, producing a can of something that is wrapped in a paper bag and a pack of cigarettes. He fishes out a cigarette, resting it between his lips and producing a lighter to light it, taking a long pull.)

KURTIS: It's funny, you know? I hated this place. I hated Truth or Consequences. It always felt so stifling. But there were plus sides. I lettered in Football and Baseball. Go Tigers.

(A fluttering 'Hot Springs Tigers' flyer seems to accentuate his point. Kurtis snatches it off the post, regarding it for a moment before folding it and tucking the poster into his pocket.)

KURTIS: I was terrible at the academic part of school. Mostly cause I just couldn't be bothered. I was good at football. I was good at baseball. I set state records. And through all of that, the only thing I could think about was how sports were going to be my way out. It was the only thing me and my old man were ever on the same page about. But senior year, at a game where college scouts were coming to see me play, to cement my way out of this little podunk dirt town, me and my old man were in a car accident on the way to the game. Long story short, I spent the better part of eight months either in traction or in some kind of brace so I could even walk. Pops wasn't so lucky.

(Kurtis takes another drag off his cigarette, finally popping open the can and taking a drink.)

KURTIS: I didn't even have a mother. She ditched me and my dad when I was real young. So all of a sudden I had nothing. I mean, I had the hotel, but my life was set to and after high school. College was a bust. I went to some semi-pro tryouts my coach set up for me, but I'd missed enough steps after being out of it for eight months that I couldn't keep up. And I couldn't keep up with the hotel on top of everything else. So when somebody came and offered me a big check, of course I sold it. I packed my stuff in my car and I skipped town, off to make my mark on the world.

(Kurtis laughs ruefully, taking another drink from the can.)

KURTIS: As you can no doubt imagine, an eighteen year old kid with a big bank account doesn't make the best decisions. Mostly what I did for the next three years after that was rent fancy hotels in bigger cities, throw big parties and generally make a nuisance of myself. Since I sold the hotel for about two-hundred grand and I was living it up like a trust fund kid on spring break, the well ran dry pretty quick.

(Kurtis shakes his head, raising the cigarette again to take another pull off the smoke.)

KURTIS: Three years later, when I was living in my car in Las Cruces, a dude saw me punk a guy who tried to roll me for my wallet. And as we've discussed before, he was the promoter who got me started in professional wrestling. So you might say that this whole gig wasn't my first choice for a career. And yet, more than a decade later, I'm still here. I've wrestled all around the world. I make a damn good living doing it, and I am thankful every day for the opportunities and the choices that led me to where I am.

(Kurtis takes another long drink out of the can, casting the empty one away.)

KURTIS: I've come a long-ass way from wrestling in a bar for a hundred bucks a week. Did I sacrifice everything I had to get to where I am right now? Considering when I started in this business all I had was my car, some clothes, and my health, you're damn right I did. Did I sacrifice relationships and burn bridges with my family to get to where I am? Maybe. I've made lots of amazing friends in this business. I've met the love of my life a few times in this business, but it never quite works out. There are men who I have done my damnedest to destroy in the ring that are as close to me as brothers. So when I listen to Syndicate's sob story about his solitary journey to be the best, it honestly makes me want to swallow my tongue.

(Kurtis turns his gaze back to the camera now, his expression somewhere between serious and anger.)

KURTIS: You know what, man? I don't think anyone should sacrifice everything for this business. That doesn't make you the best it the world; that makes you a fanatic. An addict. You have given yourself over so much to the idea that holding that title means people respect you, or that it means anything other than a slightly bigger paycheck is the rantings of a mad fool. And for references sake, that was horse manure, not bull.

(Kurtis smirks, loosing a deprecating chuckle before shaking his head.)

KURTIS: I never asked you to put up with my nonsense, either. Any time you want to shut me up, you prove you have the resolve to actually do it, then do it. Being in every Pay Per View main event doesn't prove you have resolve, it proves you're marginally better than the other people you've ended up facing off against. Your dogged pursuit of the world title doesn't prove you have the resolve to really, truly break a man. All of that fluffy interview, stockholder, marketing B.S.? I've been there. I've done it, and I've been doing it a hell of a lot longer than you have.

(Kurtis rises of the step he's been seated on, walking toward the camera and then squatting down so he's in frame.)

KURTIS: I know the reason you're so riled up right now is because I'm in your head, Syndicate. You're scared. You're TERRIFIED because you know that if I take this seriously that I am the one person in this company that can take away your reason for being. You're desperately posturing to prove you aren't, but you know just how close you came to not being the golden boy. That title means everything to you, it's all you have left, blah blah blah. You know what? I want that title because it proves I've bested you. I want that title because it validates me. I will do whatever I have to to make sure I'm the one who is standing over you holding your title when it's ripped away from you. That patch continues with Ravage, when I embarrass you in front of the fans. That continues at Holiday Hell when I rip away your reason for being. And it continues when I kick you back into the gutter with all the other trash. I'm done playing games, Syndicate. I'm done with the jokes, and the ribbing. You made the mistake of making this personal; now I'm going to make you regret that.

(Kurtis tosses away his cigarette, reaching off frame and producing the rest of a six pack.)

KURTIS: Now you got me all worked up. I'm gonna go check out the free adult channels in my room and drink the rest of this six pack. See you real soon, Syndy. I hope you have good medical insurance. 

(Kurtis mimes pulling a train horn.)

KURTIS: Choo choo!

(He reaches over to shut off the camera.)

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