[ FIGHT-NYC | CHAPTER 1 ] – (For the Umpteenth Time) Rebooting… Please Wait…
By: Graham Clauson
Writing Prompt: No
Date: 9th Jul 2021
Video Uploaded to YouTube on July 8, 2021
Video Title: “(For the Umpteenth Time) Rebooting… Please Wait…”
[ The scene fades in from black slowly. In what appears to be a study of sorts, the only lighting giving any indication of this being the case comes from a computer monitor. The monitor is in clear view, showing that an e-mail application is open. The illumination is enough to show we have someone sitting in a chair, staring at the screen, but nothing discernable enough can be seen to identify who this person is. However, we can clearly tell by what is visible that the person operating the machine is male, and not our lovable, crass anti-hero…
Suddenly, a new email alert pops up at the bottom right of the monitor, showing an e-mail from “E” has been received under the subject “RE: Arrangement”. We see the hand move towards the mouse on the desk, clicking on the notification to open the e-mail itself. On the desk, we can see a flyer with an address and the FIGHT-NYC logo on it laying beside the mousepad. ]
It has been done. Make sure you hold up your end of the arrangement.
[ We hear a deep voice chuckle, the first hint at who could be in the chair. We see the cursor arrow move to hit Reply, then begin to type after the window pops up. ]
The ball is already rolling, don’t you worry your pretty face off over there…
[ As the cursor is moved and the Send key is sent, the person sitting in the chair in front of the monitor leans back, moving the cursor over to the Start menu and initiating a PC restart. As this occurs, things zoom in specifically onto the monitor before it takes over the feed. ]
[ Early afternoon sun is beating down on the Clauson-Felder household in Columbus, both men apparently working on their back deck. Over half of the floorboards appear to still be pulled up, but the other half appears to have been replaced with new wood already. Graham, who is laying down another board, seems to be taking plenty of time lining things up while Ken is busy towards the other end marking off boards for cut.
Ken, appearing to be quite a perfectionist with how he’s attacking his portion of things, has been making sure his measurement is proper before he moves onto his next one. However, he looks over towards Graham and trying to get some form of small talk going. ]
[ Ken ]: So, Jeremy’s out of the hospital…?
[ Graham ]: Yep…
[ Graham stops for a moment, looking down at the board he’s been lining up. You would think he would start hammering it into place, but he simply just stares at it. ]
[ Ken ]: I mean… Have you talked to him? Are they doing the hip and knee replacement yet, or are they going to wait until the neck fuse heals?
[ Graham ]: Don’t know. He’s not my manager. I don’t need to talk to him all the time.
[ Graham suddenly pulls a couple nails out from his pocket, placing a nail into place and dropping the hammer swiftly. The nail does go in decently far with this one single strike, but clearly not enough to hold it in place. ]
[ Ken ]: He is your best friend, though…speaking of, did you see that Ross is apparently coming back? Man…he would be a great addition to TW Combat…
[ Graham ]: Mm-hmm…
[ Another nail. Pop. ]
[ Ken ]: And this means…anything to you?
[ Graham ]: What?
[ Another nail. Pop. At this point, these nails are standing upwards halfway through. Who knows if these actually through… ]
[ Ken ]: Have you even been listening to anything I’m saying?! Your best friend is out of the hospital, his son is coming back to your sport, and you don’t give a shit one way or another? Are you going to even finish hammering those nails, or do you want us falling through this thing? I didn’t know you learned carpentry in Parkersburg.
[ Graham simply looks up towards Ken, his stare still blank. ]
[ Ken ]: Wow, babe… Even a Struggleburg joke isn’t getting you? What crawled up your ass and died? Because it sure wasn’t me. Remind me not to ask you how you feel about both of us not having an income right now and how we’re going to pay for the house upgrades we were planning on that now have to stay on hold.
[ Graham ]: I could honestly care less in regards to talking about house remodels right now. That is the last thing on my mind.
[ Ken, confused, looks around at all of the wood planks and other tools of varying nature around them. ]
[ Ken ]: Huh? Then how in the…? You know what? Nevermind. Okay, then…what is on your mind, then?
[ Graham, ignoring Ken, shuffles slightly over to another section of the board that requires nails and pops another one into it. ]
[ Graham ]: Why are you prying so damn much? You still have a job, you just have to wait for your boss to get over the case of Ultra-Cooties and maybe you’ll be back to training instead of being up my ass wondering why I’m not giving a shit about things that don’t have any impact on me directly right now.
[ Another nail. Pop. ]
[ Ken ]: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Hold up! That Ultra-Cooties you refer to has killed millions, so check yourself and your privilege.
[ Graham can be seen rolling his eyes as he pops another nail into the board. ]
[ Ken ]: Could you roll those any louder? I’m going to go deaf from that. I’m starting to wonder if hanging out with your dad is such a good idea, you’ve slowly been more of an ass since you two buried the hatchet.
[ Graham, now with all nails that he intends to put into each spot, stands up and looks towards Ken. ]
[ Graham ]: Weren’t you the one who pushed to get to know him? And when did I ever stop being an ass?
[ Ken ]: I did, and you never stopped, but I didn’t mean you two needed to hang out like your brothers or something. It’s almost unnatural. I know he’s your only living parent and all, but you’ve been over at the Academy multiple days the last few weeks and I rarely ever see you as of late because he’s putting you through the military drills again. You told me stories, but I didn’t think you were dead serious like this. Why didn’t you push the subject more?
[ Graham shrugs with little effort put into it. ]
[ Graham ]: Not like I didn’t, but you don’t understand until you experience it yourself, so you got what you asked for huh?
[ Ken ]: Oh, okay. So, since you have been hanging out down there so much, are you not going back to active competition? Are you going back to being his employee? Or, will it be like his whipping boy?
[ Graham ]: Ha! No one else in this business wants me, so why bother?
[ Ken ]: You know damn well you’ve gotten offers, quit lying.
[ Graham ]: They don’t count. They’re from companies who don’t even know how to book hotel rooms, or I would get Action’d out.
[ Ken ]: What the fuck is Action’d?
[ Graham ]: Ask Derrick Vayden….or Meghan Kalser, Kitty Petrova…or hell, Daniel Dream, you know his ass from GCC and gushing over his tag team with his kid. You know, that Alabama shit.
[ Ken ]: You pro wrestling people come up with some weird names for things…anyways, you get my point. You’re not being driven to this path, you’re choosing it. Nobody put a gun to your head and told you to try and injure people for real.
[ Graham ]: They don’t have to do it for real, they’ve done it to me all of my career. Don’t you get it? The only way that any of these fucks are going to take me seriously is if I stab them in the head. It’s not that I’m choosing this… I have to do this…
[ Ken ]: Do you?
[ Graham ]: Look… I know you just got to the party and all, but I should’ve went home two hours ago and I’m going to have to let some bad decisions go through to get where I need to get to. I know you’re worried…but you agreed to this shit and let me take your last name, so now you have to deal with it… At least a little bit.
[ Ken ]: If things start getting too deep…promise me you’ll stop before you do something stupid.
[ Graham smiles, walking backwards and seemingly performing the Hypnotized Spongebob meme in real life. ]
[ Graham ]: ToO lAtE…
[ As Graham is stepping back, he doesn’t realize where his footing his and his shoe gets caught by nails he didn’t finish nailing and trips backwards. Thankfully, the shoe just slides off as he falls backwards and to the side, thankfully away from exposed nails. Ken’s eyes widen in shock, about to go check on Graham before he stops. ]
[ Ken ]: SEE?! That’s what you get for being a dick instead of just having a dick.
[ Graham, slightly annoyed now, stands up and grabs his shoe. ]
[ Graham ]: I am what I eat.
[ Graham begins to put his shoe back on as the scene fades to black. ]
“RESTARTING… PLEASE WAIT…”
[ The scene comes back in, but we see the rotating circle that is infamous for loading screens. In this case, this one appears to be similar to the Windows 10 booting screen. As this comes up, the circle is still spinning with the text “PLEASE SHUT THE FUCK UP AND WAIT” as 7% is displayed beside it… ]
[ Graham ]: My career is beginning to look like Windows Update… There always seems to be an update that requires that I restart for some urgent reason that never is my fault… I’m getting a little bit tired of it, to be quite honest.
[ The text under the circle changes to “NOW LOADING NEW BULLSHIT PARAMETERS” as the percentile reaches 35%. ]
[ Graham ]: And then another update hits, and the cycle repeats.
[ The percentile jumps to 66.6% as the text changes to “LOL MONTERO, SLIDING DOWN THE POLE ONTO SATAN’S DICK”. ]
[ Graham ]: You motherfuckers ever watch that shitty second Matrix movie, the one the original Oracle died just to get out of reprising her role? There’s a scene where Neo is stuck in that subway station that is the transit program between worlds, and Neo gets trapped there. When he tries to run through the tunnel one direction, he just winds up coming right back to the same station.
[ As the circle continues to spin, the percentile drops to 0% and a bunch of binary code begins to appear, similar to The Matrix movies. As this is happening, they are slowly forming Graham’s form in ASCII art. ]
[ Graham ]: I’m sorry… All of the Matrix movies sucked, I shouldn’t be asking you to go watch that waste of film and ten hours of your life. It wasn’t even worth the letter Jay got from his ISP telling him he got busted illegally downloading them.
[ The ASCII art eventually turns into polygonal style shapes, almost similar to what the Super FX chip put out on StarFox. ]
[ Graham ]: But…you get the drift, right? That’s me. That’s my fucking career. That’s been the story of my life. I’ve been screwed so many times Ken struck oil last year. A fed closes here, a fed fires me there, my old tag partner starts fights with half the fucking industry and then has shocked Pikachu face when he gets blackballed and almost takes me with him… Same. Fucking. Story.
[ The polygons, finally now taking more shape and fidelity, finally form to real-life video. We now see Graham in full motion, and we can now tell he has been sitting in front of a green screen this entire time. ]
[ Graham ]: So, if we’re doing this stupid Fast and the Furious Nein bullshit where we are putting all of our dollars in bullshit effects, fine. That’s why I even think about answering this stupid fucking random piece of paper. It’s clear you all quickly found a way to funnel that coca money into some fancy new high-rise…
[ Graham pulls out a piece of paper from his pocket, which turns out to be a flyer for FIGHT-NYC. ]
[ Graham ]: …what? You didn’t think I’d not look into this shit before I decided to go in head-first? Nah, homey don’t play that. You’re lucky I didn’t just roll a joint with this thing…
[ Graham then stands up, moving behind him and ripping the green screen down to reveal that he is once again in the infamous interrogation room that his promos are typically filmed in. ]
[ Graham ]: That, and you all blew your wad before HBO cut the satellite feed off. Perfect throwback to 11pm on a Tuesday night in 1996. …how fucking stupid do you think any of these lemmings are, let alone me?
Anyone out there in the IWC thinking that the same people who were running Outlaw at the end didn’t clean up the image and move operations as far away from Johnny’s ass as they could? You’re a fucking troglodyte. Pretty sure Johnny’s still cold-sweating through his withdrawals in the jail cell, the last I heard…or the last I could have cared, honestly don’t give two fucks at this point. Rot in Cell, fuckhead…
This whole thing is just another instance of someone pressing the reset button on my career trajectory in a promotion. As soon as I start getting hot, and I mean the spark just went white hot…just to disappear like that. Getting this piece of paper is just telling me that I’m still employed, just not getting that Paid Subscription Cable money now. I was looking forward to getting that sweet guest spot on VICE News, but now that’s out the window. Where else am I going to go, Splat Network?
But it was never about money for me… Yeah, it’s nice, and it sure do help… But I’ve watched guys who only do it for the fame and commas in their bank account. I’ve watched guys who would be on live national television one night, then appear in the bingo hall with only 20 people there because they just loved being out there and just being a professional wrestler…and then there was the guy that ribbed me by shoving a Perc in my mouth when he had me in a Buffalo sleeper hold.
I was one of them. Both sides. Not going to lie about that. But now…
This has become Bloodsport for me. Physical and verbal. And I can’t even commit the verbal; you all handed me Vincent Black on a platter and I eviscerated him both ways. You all are doing an open free-for-all with no rules or match structure given. I have to guess who the hell is going to be possibly showing up in this thing, let alone what the goal of it all is other than absolute bedlam. And just to think that you handicapped my tongue! You bastards!
…or did you? I mean… We know that we’re likely going to see all of your favorite fucks from Outlaw making a return. Do we really want to hear the greatest hits involving Vinny and Vhodka’s relationship reminding me of Kenny’s parents from South Park? Asher may die every episode, but he comes back with his Mexican Joker boyfriend. Oh God… Was Outlaw just South Park in wrestling form the whole time? It makes sense, if you think about it… The parallels are shocking, especially when the Koresh family are the goth kids, everyone in the Syndicate was either one of the Main Cast kids or the parents of those kids, and the rest of us were basically Butters to them…
[ Graham, annoyed, kicks the folding chair he was standing in, almost forcing it into the camera. ]
[ Graham ]: WHAT MAKES YOU THINK THAT A JOAN RIVERS FACELIFT ON YOUR BRAND AND A BUILDING THE HEIGHT OF MECHA-STREISAND WOULD COVER UP THE FACT THE PLACE IS STILL RAN BY THE SAME VOMIT PILE THAT RAN OUTLAW?
[ Graham provides a short golf clap while speaking. ]
[ Graham ]: Congratulations, the production team suddenly remembered to put capital letters in the correct places!
[ The golf clap stops, Graham crossing his arms. ]
[ Graham ]: Too bad they still don’t know how to put opportunities in the correct hands.
[ Graham continues to speak as his arms become uncrossed. ]
[ Graham ]: You all act like you created the re-branding strategy… I’ve gone through multiple re-brandings with multiple companies. Just because you remodel the bathrooms doesn’t mean someone isn’t still committing unmentionable sins with a farm animal in it so they don’t have to worry about cameras, Paul… Or was it Joe? You know what? It doesn’t matter, the only things memorable about them are that they share the same last name and their love for goats on film…
I’m actually glad that some new people may possibly show up in this thing… After proving that Vinny needs to quit trying to be an in-ring competitor, it’s nice to have some new faces to break. I can only make so many jokes about Asher being picked up by Papi after practice, I can only make so many suicide jokes about Noelle before I get banned, and I’ve finally ran out of alcoholic whore jokes to make about Vhodka Marie.
For God’s sake, the name itself screams “alcoholic whore”. It IS “alcoholic whore”. I’m surprised I even got as much material as I did out of it, to tell you the truth. But when you keep showing up week after week giving us more to work with, what else can I do? I’m a rudo, I go for the low hanging fruit. Vhodka’s just hangs lower. Makes Ariel Shadows look perky by comparison and she’s a real whore. Don’t believe me? Ask her stepson today for her going rates, if you can find him between Revo1 and trying to get pussy on Efedder…
[ Graham chuckles. ]
[ Graham ]: And I put a stop to his pussy chasing by unveiling his Dad gets fucked up and runs down hotel hallways in women’s swimwear. I’m homosexual. That’s just gay, and one of my Uncle’s does drag.
But if my win against Vinny proved anything, it’s that I’ve been underestimated for far too long. Vinny was supposed to be some Goliath. I’m no tiny ass David, either. But, Bible Tales aside, bitch dropped like potatoes. Yeah, I found out that some weirdo dropped from the ceiling and spit shit in his eyes, but who cares? He thought he was going to just muscle me around, and he ended up getting finessed. The “W” is the “W”, and the point still was made…
But clearly, the work of a Kingpin is not done. I may have left the V.D. Gang behind me, but I’m still not at the top of the mountain…or are we wanting it to be referred to as being at the penthouse of the tower? Either way, any of you who think that you’re going to escape any form of harm by my hands are fooling themselves. I haven’t even shown off half of what I can do in the ring, and you want to let me have everyone that may be signed to a contract with the company as an open target for me?
Stupid! Absolute, without-contest stupid! You’re giving me one of the things on my top ten list of things to do – merge scrub’s skulls together without regard in a wrestling ring! I’m going to take my time walking down that ramp to the ring. I’m going to straight up clown on everyone. Hell, maybe do some weird ass Jamiroquai dance bullshit while everyone shits on me. All because I’m wrestling’s equivalent of Fred Durst, not giving two fucks about what you think about me while I make bank. No matter how much you hate me, you can’t – and won’t – deny me.
Not anymore. You can’t use your little gatekeepers anymore. My glock’s loaded, and I got plenty of ammo left… FIGHT-NYC is about to experience a bit of Avondale… Hope the hospitality coming out of the 513 is too much for you.
[ The scene cuts to black in cold-cut fashion, ending the video. ]