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The Next Chapter Begins

CZ: Shane Kast can call my victory over him at Geneis whatever he wants to call it, but ďluckyĒ certainly doesnít apply. Iíll be the first to admit that Shane put a good beating on me and it was the first time in my career that my body almost didnít respond to the challenge of coming back from another ass kicking to prove that this old dog still has plenty of fight left in him. To a person like me, one whoís made his career on being tough and damned near unstoppable that realization was pretty damned frightening. Make no mistake though, that was in no way a fear of Shane Kast or any other man and what he could do. It was more of the fear that my time in this business, the business that I have given everything in me for in the past ten years, might finally be coming to an end. That is not a thought that I enjoy in the slightest, although a mouthy little arrogant piss ant like Shane couldnít possible appreciate that.

He sits silently for a moment, his face a perfect mask of serenity. His body however shows something different. He is obviously still in pain from his match at Genesis as every time he inhales he lets a slight wince show. Although his eyes are blazing with the same intense light as they always possess his face somehow looks older. Whether it is an effect of the lights or not is impossible to discern, but the difference is noticeable. Although his face is its normal medium flesh tone his face looks a little more ragged and worn than usual, his eyes seems sunken back into his head a little and his arms show the scars of his many battles far more than usual. It is obvious that heís tired and while its equally as obvious that he still has the desire to continue on with the one thing that has always driven him to punish himself it is also becoming evident that his body is starting to lose its enthusiasm to support him in that endeavor. He sits silently for a moment and just gazes down at the twin Title Belts that sit draped over his legs. His focus on them is absolute for those moments and he almost appears to appear a little stronger, a little younger for the concentration. It doesnít last though and he finally looks up, his eyes strong but his face worn. His voice still carries the deep baritone rumble that itís always had and it is as strong as ever.

CZ: The simple fact of the matter Shane is that you talk the greatest game of any living man on the planet. The simple truth of that fact is far different though. You see the simple truth of that claim is that while you have definitely had some big wins in your brief career you have not by any stretch liven up to your own self promoted hype. Sure, youíve held the Television Title twice and the Bloodgames Title once... but those victories donít by any stretch put the stamp of absolute truth on your always audacious claims. Yes youíre incredibly talented, but the most telling aspect of your character is your response to failure. Anytime you loose all that youíve been able to do about it is stand by and complain about it, blaming everyone else for the defeat but the one person that you should be blaming the most. I realize that thatís part of the routine. I realize that its part of the entire "Iím Shane Kast and Iím better than everyone" act but letís cut the bullshit Shane...

He stares directly ahead, his eyes boring through the picture. His voice seems to get stronger as he speaks.

CZ: When you lose, and lose repeatedly it happens not because the other person was unbelievably lucky. When you lose you do so because somewhere in the course of the match you just mentally screwed the pooch. Stop making excuses Shane because those only hurt you in the long run. For once objectively look at yourself. Stand back and evaluate why it is that you lost. Think about the times the matches changed and what led to those changes happening. Most of all think about how you reacted to them; because for all of your experience in the last few months you are still only a rookieÖand in many ways you still respond exactly like a rookie does to unfavorable situations.

He lifts the two belts up so that the face plates are facing outward, facing whoever might be watching. He looks at one, and then to the other and finally looks straight ahead with a dastardly grin glowing on his face. Itís obviously meant to be a jab at Shane, meant to rub his failure in his face a little bit.

CZ: Youíll probably consider this no more than another patronizing attempt by me, the old burn out, to get inside the head of you...the young star. News flash Shane, and Iíve said this beforeÖbut Iím already in your head. This little ďslice of heavenĒ, as you put it, may not be muchÖbut itís a much bigger slice and much more of heaven than youíve managed to pull off isnít it ? You see Shane, I may be a lucky old has been...but Iím a lucky old has been who knows far more than you do and experience means more than raw youth in this business. If you need evidence of that just watch the tape of our Title matchÖit should give you all of the enlightenment that you could possibly desire. That is, if you really are as great as you say that you are...

He lets out a short chuckle at the statement and it sort of tails off as a long breath. He sits silently for a second and takes a few short breaths, relaxing his body as he does so. The act borders on meditative and seems to help him center himself a little bit more. His expression changes after a moment from one of serenity to one of disgust. His tone goes from calm to mild irritation and anger.

CZ: You want to know something Shane ? Itís something that you could never say, it or anything like it. Itís something that you would lack the courage to actually face once itís one your door step. You said that I was a broken down old man and you know what...youíre right. I am old Shane. In the wrestling business thirty years is just that, old. Iíve been at this for far longer than you have and Iíve given more of myself for it than you could ever possibly give for itÖor for anything else. Youíre far too self-centered to ever give of yourself for anything if there wasnít a tangible reward at the other end for you. You could never give of yourself just because something means something more to you than your own health and happiness do...youíre too much of a product of your generation to ever make that kind of a sacrifice.

His face contorts itself into a repulsed sneer and his eyes burn with undisguised malignance.

CZ: You couldnít even begin to count the number of times that Iíve been a "pile of bones lying in my own blood". You donít have the stomach for it. Iíve been that pile of blood soaked and broken bones so many times in my career Shane and quite honestly I feel every one of them every morning when I wake up and I feel them every night when I go to sleep. Iíve felt that way every single goddamned day for the past three years. Donít preach to me about your pain and your anguish Shane because you havenít even begun to understand what those things really are. I donít really care what the Paramount Title means to you Shane because I know what it means to me...and that is something that you could never even being to understand. You try to mock men like James Spyder, Tre Crawford and myself for being in the business past our right to be in it and you curse us for "over looking" you. Itís not your place to tell me when I should retire and I never overlooked you Shane. None of us did. All we did was tell you where "The Future of the Business" ended and Shane Kast began. You just never had the maturity to accept the advice and grow from it. It is because of that lack of maturity that you will stay in a rut and not accomplish the things that you want to accomplish.

The sneer remains but his tone becomes slightly more flat, the anger diminishing from it. The next phrase he utters is stated with cold certainty behind it.

CZ: And it will be your own goddamned fault.

The right corner of his mouth curls up into an animalistic and snide grin and betrays a certain degree of pleasure at the previous statement. He lets out a short laugh and gets noticeably calmer, his tone changing from angered to conversational.

CZ: Deride me if you want for not being booked on this show Shane... but please spare us both and donít pretend that youíre someone who anyone should ever look up to. If people look up to me it is not because I encourage them to do so, it is because they appreciate me for who I am and what Iím willing to do in order to make them happy. With everything that Iíve sacrificed in my life for this business they are willing to give me a pass once in a while. I donít give a flying fuck if you see that as an excuse for being lazy or "avoiding you". I donít give a flying fuck what you think of that or anything else that I do. You are in no position to judge me Shane and donít you ever forget that. You havenít earned that right yet.

He lets out a cold laugh, his mouth turning up into a mocking smirk as it does so.

CZ: To me you just mock what Iím doing because itís easier than facing the simple truth that I am your better. I have the belts and you donít. I have the adoration of the fans and the respect of the greater portion of my contemporaries and you donít. Iím considered a foundation of this company and of this business in a way that is far greater and more important you ever could be. Iím known to be loyal, honest and respectful of those who earn it and most importantly loyal and respectful of the business and the people who have made me who I am to this day. You wouldnít know what those words really meant if someone beat your ass down with a dictionary. Itís a pathetic shortcoming of your generation and one that you all slap yourselves on the back for with the utmost pride while mocking those who arenít handicapped by it. Quite frankly that attitude makes me sick.

He slowly raises his arm and lowers his right hand down until it hangs slightly off of his right shoulders. He waits for a second, not caring that he looks somewhat silly in the pose before he slowly starts to slap himself on the upper back. He does this for what seems like an absurdly long time, his face clearly showing that the move is entirely intentional as its being carried out. When he stops the gesture it comes completely out of nowhere, his arm just drops to his side and slaps against his leg before coming to rest. He shows no reaction to this and just continues on explaining everything to his former student.

CZ: I still smell and see fear in you Shane and it is fear of me. The thing is that you donít fear me because of who I am, you fear me because of what I am. You fear me because I am the physical representation of everything that you hate about yourself for not being. Iím the Shane Kast that you want to be. When you look in the mirror you see only the pathetic and childish Shane Kast that you are. The difference between the two is stunning and more than a little disturbing isnít it ? I know youíll fiercely deny this, but we both know the truthÖ

He sits silently and grins smugly at the remark before continuing.

CZ: It strikes me as more than a little bit amusing that everything that I said about Tre Crawford where it pertained to you came true. You sat there before Genesis and spat hatred and anger in my face every time I mentioned it to you and yet it has passed and everything that I predicted has come to pass. Thatís really got to chafe your ass Shane. Pardon me if I sit back and laugh.

Zale hoists the two belts onto his shoulder with an ear to ear smile on his face.

CZ: Itís this simple Shane...we will meet again. Whether I have the belts or not doesnít mean a damned thing to me, although I know that thatís all that matters to you. You see, for me this is about pride and going out on my own terms. My time is getting near Shane, but that doesnít mean that you or any other shit spewing kid is going to push me out of the door and stick me in the wheel chair ahead of my time. My future isnít up to you...although yours will be up to me.

He pauses a moment and an odd expression passes over his face. He reaches down and lifts his cell phone up, flipping it open and placing it to his right ear after greeting the person whoís on the other end.. He listens for a moment and his expression gets even more viciously gleeful.

CZ: Youíre kidding right ?

He laughs out loud for no apparent reason as the other person says something else.

CZ: Oh this is too perfect...this is just too goddamned perfect. I didnít think Dinucci was serious when he told me that. It's incredible that Shane actually had the balls to request this. Merry freakin Christmas to me...

He sits for a moment and listens to the person on the other end again and nods his head.

CZ: Ok. Iíll meet you our usual meeting place later. Take it easy.

Zale flips the phone closed and the scene closes to him walking away singing "I wish me a Merry Christmas".

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