We join Team Besolve in the back of a hummer limousine. Darrel and Alexis sit at the very back. The Boy Wonder looks tore up from the floor up with two ice bags strapped to his shoulder and a concussed gleam in his eye. Still, beyond the injury and the pain, there is a boiling and engulfing rage. Alexis, who sits beside him holding his hand, has noticed his rage and fears the worst. If he is this angry, he will surely wrestle and that will be terrible.
To the right of wrestling s super-couple sits Maury and Kylie Koffman. He is dressed down in a polo shirt and slacks and she is wearing a blue blazer.
Maury: (Breaking the uneasy silence) Do you really think leaving despite doctor s orders is the best idea?
Valentine, who is sitting directly across from the Koffmans, shakes his head. He believes that everyone, as usual, should blindly support Darrel no matter what. He doesn t understand how anyone can doubt him; but he will not.
Teddy: Darrel does better when he is at home. He will be fine, he just needs to get some rest in his own bed. Right, Boss?
Teddy: Besides that, the pencil neck doctors do not know how tough the Boss is.
Alexis: But sometimes it would not hurt to play it safe.
And so it was. A long ride with four separate opinions about what Darrel SHOULD be doing and one very silent puppet master who knows what MUST occur. F2B
This is a transcript of a conversation about the upcoming IPPV. . .
Teddy: Isn t there at least one of you out there that wants to win the Grinder? Isn t there one among you not afraid to engage the great dragon? Of course there isn t. You are as untalented and afraid as we claimed you are. This is getting sad.
Darrel: What a shock, only Lee Riel and Matt McClain had the required nuts to try to argue me back. The rest of you, content with your fate to lose, have decided to concede my points. Ric, begin with you. I said you are a cheater, a fraud, inept in a hardcore match, inexperienced in battle royals, and ultimately doomed to failure. You responded to nothing because there is no counter argument. I am just right and you are just shit. Keep doing my old gimmick of arrogant superstar and keep earning the title Besolve-lite. You are a fucking joke and I am going to prove you to be little more than rubbish when I extinguish your hopes at the Grinder. I am a proven hardcore champion, I am well versed in every style of match, I defended more championships than you could ever imagine holding, I have succeeded outside of Batee s realm and within it, and, ultimately, I am just better than you at what we are going to do. I win and you lose - - moving on.
Teddy: Anakin does not hold his light saber out to defend himself as his brethren within the Jedi do, he holds it above his head, like a samurai, to strike fear in his opponent. Offense, ladies, is all that is important. I do not have to put the right arguments on you if you won t respond. Hell, I do not have to even put true arguments down if you are too caught up in your singles match to counter THE GRINDER competitors. Priorities, people, are important. Mine stem from the belief that offense comes first. Anakin Skywalker is proud of me, while he is ashamed of you.
Darrel: Spectre, I called you a lucky jobber, a laughingstock, said you were too inexperienced and too weak to win. All of these points have gone unanswered because, like little-Ric you don t have any counters. Let me expand by saying that once you have been around the block a couple of times you will realize that it is important to cover the biggest draw in the federation. See, I am the rampaging dragon that will be let loose at the Grinder. Everyone is afraid, so they are trying to ignore me and pretend that their fates are not sealed. You, purple-haired faggot, will be among the first to feel my unbridled wrath. You tried to argue with me about Hercules and saw what that netted you; maybe it is best you not try again.
Teddy: The problem with no coverage is there is no clash. With no clash, you get no heat. Ideally, The Grinder is all about heat. It should be the hottest event of the year. Where are you idiots to hold up your end of the bargain. I have Darrel out here, as dedicated as ever, doing promos when he should be resting in a hospital bed. You guys can not even be bothered to challenge our superior argumentation? Shame to one. Shame to all. Bitches. Fags. Slaves. Property.
Darrel: La Sombra is a fraud, a charlatan, a liar, a fake, a phony, and far too small to ever win the Grinder. All those points go uncontested. He might have counter arguments, but he knows it is best not to upset me further about his traitor-ass being back here. The stench of The Other Place the one that shall go unnamed and unmentioned is still thick on you and, regardless of what you may think, it can NEVER be washed off. You will never be completely clean after what you did. Live with it, but don t even DREAM of coming back and besting me in any way, shape, or form. It gets lonely out on that branch by yourself, doesn t it Benedict? You wet the bed, now you have to sleep in it. At the Grinder, you will with you stayed where you were; jobbing to Spark.
Teddy: Oh yeah, bitches, we go there, we go to yo momma s house, we do it all; there is nothing sacred to us, nothing we won t bash. There are those among you with alcohol addictions, there are those among you with chronically tiny-Canadian penises, there are those among you that beat your wives, yes, children, there is even ONE among you grotesque enough to dine on the sloppy seconds of Chris Ross, you are a group that is pathetic and inspires pity.
Darrel: (V/O) Parks; you are stupid, you are a midcarder at best, you rely completely on Sarah Richards for your heat, you may win against spec, but not at the grinder, and you are a TV champion not a world champion; all points I made that go uncontested. You lose. But, let s expand. You have no shot at winning the Grinder because your tiny brain can never focus on more than one thing at once. I say your focus is so great on Spec that you are not even thinking about the Grinder. The Grinder requires compete and total focus to win. Look at me, do you think I give to slutty fucks about Matt McClain? Hell no. He is undercard, he is the individual match BEFORE the big dance, he is filler. I am attacking to win the big match, not be bothered with the little bullshit match. You are a giant moron, Derek, as I have said before and your choice of targets - - the singles match over the one that will crown a new champ - - proves me correct.
Teddy: (V/O) Even though he won t be at the Grinder to participate, I would like to send a special fuck you out to none other than Brad Batee, recently reinstated chairman of this company and world-renowned cunt. You think you can get the drop on Theodore Charlemagne Valentine? Have you learned NOTHING from our past encounters? You used to suck David Vance s cock behind closed doors all the time, so let me use one of his most famous arguments. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting a new outcome. You tried to best me legally when I got Darrel out of his BACW contract the first time. Let s see, your company nearly went under and Darrel became the NWA World Champion; I would say score one of Big Teddy. When we signed the contract that locked you into a match against Darrel? Um, let s see, you were suspended for 90 days and Darrel got the revenge he so desperately wanted. That makes it 2-0 for TCW, Biatch! Now what in the hell makes you think that you can get away with firing Darrel now? Insane, son, simply insane. I will tear your lawyers apart at the hearing tomorrow and GUARENTEE that Darrel will be allowed to compete at the Grinder.
Darrel: Lee Riel decided to speak up. I feel like I ought to send him a medal or erect a statue in his honor. Gee Whiz, well done, Champ, you FINALLY decided to address the field by your THIRD promo. Boy, that shouts LEADERSHIP; doesn t it? You are no role-model, Lee. You are not talented enough to inspire others to follow. You are too weak and too unsure of yourself. You lack the confidence needed to EVER be classified among the greatest to ever play this game. I am the best there has ever been because I have never wavered, never acquiesced, never taken a single backwards step on the notion that I am infallible. Every step I take is the right one. Every move I make is the best one possible. Every decision I make nets the premium outcomes for me. Perfection is my blessing and my curse, Lee. See, that answer might seem odd to you considering recent events. I explain it this way. . . I made the right decision coming to help you when the lights went out because, it netted the best result for me; it let me see what an untrue friend and coward you truly are. It let me know that when I am being clamped in a submission move for about ten times LONGER than you were before TAPPING LIKE A BITCH; that you are no help. I have always been there to try to help you. When you won the title from Ric, I was there. When you needed protection for your seconds; I was there. When the lights went off; I was there. What have you ever done for me except bitch about my timing? You have never made the save for me. You have never had my back. You have always failed me. If you are Doomsday, then I have no fear. Oh, and Canada sucks.
Teddy: I mean, we called half the field complete and total shit. No mixing words, no playing to their egos or handling them with kid gloves; straight up shit and they still would not DARE speak back. That is respect, baby, the greatest type of respect there is in life: Fear. You fear my intellect. You fear Darrel s superior wrestling ability. You fear being made a fool and being embarrassed in front of your peers. I understand and acknowledge your fears, but you must be willing to face your fears head on if you ever want a chance to achieve your ultimate goals. Don t sit on the bench and be afraid of the big mean quarterback all your lives, 3rd stringers, man-up and take your shot. You will fail, but better to go down in a blaze of glory than a shame-filled duck and cover.
Darrel: We will end with Matty. You trying to line-by-line the greatest of all time, young fella? Bad move. Ok, group all your arguments about Teddy and Alexis together. These are all weak arguments because they are strictly emotional appeals. You are threatening Alexis in the hopes that such a threat will be able to get me off my game. I know you are a serial abuser, Matt, you are not breaking any new ground here. I have had to protect Sarah Richards and even Miss Madison from you before. Can you forget about your inadequacy when you smack a woman, Matt? Does the humiliation of the laughter you heard from the first girl who saw your penis chime out of your ears when you rap a women in the nose? Does the embarrassment of a father who never loved you go away when you beat someone who cannot possibly endure you? Maybe it does, Matt, but it still doesnít make the activity right. It makes you weak. It makes you less of a man. You have no honor. You have no dignity. You can never defeat me because you have sacrificed everything that made you great to get this far. The man they worshipped in the Bayou is dead. All that remains is a sad husk, who can not EARN victory anymore, but must, instead, STEAL victory whenever the petty thief can get away with it. I am Justice, Matty, and you will steal NOTHING from me at the Grinder.
Teddy: Matty still dwells on the Bayou. He still dwells on years ago. Why? Because he has had nothing since. Darrel is his sun and he is but another moon. He can reflect Darrel s light, but he can never produce any of his own. Sure, when he has a match against Darrel he feels important, he feels big time, he feels like an honest to goodness main-eventer; but when Darrel stops carrying him to greatness he goes back to being just plain old mid-tier Matt McClain. Tha HurriCrippla; those were the days.
Darrel: Next, Matt, group all your arguments about me being a good guy and needing the spotlight. First, I grant I am not a good guy. I have done more wrong in my life than I ever care to admit. I have ended more of my peer s careers that any other wrestler actively in the game today. I have destroyed lives and some would even blame me for a couple of suicides. Those are my sins, Matt, and those are between me and God. No one else. Certainly not you and me. The fans, who have been with me on this ride since day one, acknowledge my past and see the truth in my desire to change. The spotlight is irrelevant, it follows me around regardless of what I do. Hell, I HANDED Ric Righteous the belt when I did not want it any more and then LET Lee Riel have his silly reign on top, which disproves me being a glory-whore. I am Darrel Besolve and I am the fucking show. The spotlight is on me because no matter what happens elsewhere; I am the one they pay to see. Group your arguments about the past together and here is my response; I beat you into retirement during the elimination chamber, right? Yes, of course I did, that is why you are so angry. And YES, I remember jobbing to you on the UNDERCARD of a PPV; but I also remember BEATING YOU AT THE SAME SHOW IN THE MAIN EVENT. Let s compare them, shall we? You won a meaningless opening match and I won the biggest main event of that federation for the year. Which would your chose? I think most people take the biggest event of the year. Like these fucking moron kids, you took the first match more serious than the main event and now that is all you have to cling to. In this case I focus on the Grinder more than our match, just like I focused on the main event rather than the opener in the Bayou, why? Because I have perspective, I understand resounding effects, and I realize that people only remember the main event. The rest is lost in the ether. My winning the Grinder will live forever, just like me winning the Elimination Chamber match. Nothing else matters. The career of Darrel Besolve, the career you would all kill to have, is based around conquest on the top of cards. I win feuds and I win big matches. The blowoffs are what counts, not the middle part. So you keep holding that OPENNING MATCH you won THREE YEARS AGO close to your heart, keep bragging about it, and I will just keep gaining popularity as the greatest who ever lived. There is no shame in falling to a superior foe, Matty, and wounded or not; I am much better than you. See you soon, Old Friend. . .
We have a wide shot of an old unpaved road in the middle-of-nowhere Michigan. Edmore Memorial Cemetery is written in an overarching arc over the entrance gate. This place that rarely gets visitors now gets something even rarer; a limousine charging toward it at above average speed. The long black Hummer limousine pulls through the tiny, old gates and continues along the track toward plot 989.
Once they reach the end of the travel path, the limousine stops and the chauffer gets out of the car. Circling the perimeter of the vehicle, the servant dressed in black opens the door for the one and only Boy Wonder.
Darrel Besolve exits the limousine wearing a long, black trench coat that you simply could not afford. Buttoned up the front, he looks like the giant enforcer for some Irish-American crime family. An injured Superman favors arm as he nods to the driver and heads toward his destination. The last remnants of a long and brutal winter drive through him in the form of whipping wind. The dampness from his pre-trip shower, which lingers in his dark crimson hair, seems to freeze him all the way to the core. That is, he would like to think it is just the weather that is leaving him feeling vacant and alone - - that just always seems to be the case when he comes to this place.
After a few steps along the frost covered ground, the arrogant young prodigy appears as the prodigal son; ashamed before the grave of his father. If only he could have the advice of Eugene Besolve. If only he could ask his dad one last time, Can I do this? and hear a favorable response. But alas, the ground cannot talk back and the comfort of his trainer, his mentor, of the legendary Eugene Besolve can never be had again. Looking down at the expensive black marble headstone, Darrel speaks out loud to the grave.
Darrel: How are you? (Pause) I told you I would come back more. I think your son might be in real trouble this time. (Long pause) Alexis is pregnant. After all those tests said she couldnt and after years of trying it just, I don t know, kind of happened. Mom said it was a miracle. She is doing good, by the way, Cousin Derrick is often with her in my absence. She seems well. Lexi is happy about it. Hell, even Teddy is ok with it. The thing is; I am not so sure I am happy. (His bottom lip quivers; shame overwhelms him as he confesses his thought-crimes to the dirt underneath which the remains of his father rest) I know when I was young I was too blind to see how much you helped and too deaf to ever accept your advice, but I could use a helping hand right about now.
The black imported fabric of his coat ruffles as he kneels to be at about face level with the headstone. To a casual observer it might seem funny, an internationally known superstar in one of the smallest cities in the nation, at a cemetery for local hillbillies only. To the informed observer, however, you see Edmore s favorite son, clad in the robes of his riches, coming home to pled forgiveness.
Darrel: Everybody says it is over. I have heard it from the fans since I was a kid; it is hard to make them root for Goliath. I have heard it from promoters; who tried desperately to keep me feeling under their thumb. But now, Pop, I am hearing it from places I have never heard it before. Like, Lex wants me to quit because of the baby. I think Maury is inclined to agree. I cannot (His voice fails him, then he takes a deep breath) I cannot do it without them, Dad. I am missing deadlines, I am losing matches, I donít have my head in the game. More than ever before, I need my cheerleader and my yes-man and they both believe I should quit.
Darrel Besolve has no peers. He has no equals. He cannot be judged by a mortal man. It requires the intervention of divinity for his judgment. The only God he ever knew, the only authority who ever ruled over him, the only entity he ever felt humbled before was Eugene Besolve; now he has no one. His confession can meet no penance. There will be no restitution made, no repayment of the karmic debt he owes. Simply put, for the first time in his life Superman feels vulnerable and there is no God to give him comfort. No salvation. No forgiveness. None.
Darrel: You always used to tell me that Justice finds every man. I used to take comfort in that, thinking of myself as the embodiment of Justice itself. The living Light of Judgment. But, my opponent and old friend Matt brought up a good point when he said I have it coming. Think about all the people I have wronged. All the goodness I have vanquished. All the heroes I have made disposable. I am leaving now, gone for good, maybe justice itself dictates that I pay for all that loss before I go. Just maybe, in some odd way, Matty McClain is destined to be my Nemesis Enforcer the way that London Freemantle could have only dreamed about. What I am saying is, maybe I will lose at the Grinder. Maybe all those bad things I did will come to live and take form. I just don t know anymore.
Exhausted and emotionally drained, Darrel reaches down and touches the headstone softly. The marble has a bottomless chill to it, like it encapsulated the winter within its core and will keep it forever. But then he sees the truth. A flash light goes on in the Boy Wonder s head. A moment of clarity. Epiphany.
Darrel: (Looking down at the headstone and smiling, feeling the presence of his father and remembering another saying Eugene loved) The end is always at the beginning.
A familiar and tender smile rolls across the big man s face, the same one that comes to him when he is alone with Alexis. He came for an answer and, through the grace of God and the spirit of his father; he had gotten what he came for.
Darrel: (Voice barely above a whisper) I miss you, Dad, and I love you. (Turning to leave) And thanks. You listen better than you used to. . .
With that, our hero marches toward the Hummer limousine with renewed vigor. Flipping open his cellular phone, he speaks confidently as the voice on the other end picks up. . .
Darrel: Teddy, it s Darrel, tell Terry to fire up the jet; I am going to Arizona.
And as the man that penned the first chapter in this company s history disappears into the back of the limousine; we all can be reminded of our Stomp Hall.