Backstage, “Big” Joe Geoue has with him “All Business” Alex Bruder, wearing street clothes and, more disturbingly, a large smile. At the top of his head, there’s still an ugly purple bruise, graying at the edges, roughly the shape of a high heel.
Geoue: Alex Bruder, you look positively delighted by the outcome of your match at Capital Clash against “Feral” Freddy Kilgore, where you took home the victory via disqualification. You’ve talked, at length, about your personal pride as a wrestler and a man, and I wonder how that meshes with taking so much joy in a tainted victory.
Bruder shakes his head in a slight no, but his grin stays fixed.
Bruder: Tainted? Did Freddy Kilgore hit me with his woman’s shoe or not?
Geoue: Well, yes, but you’re the one who introduced it into the match!
Bruder: Did I use it?
Geoue: I think all of the great Classic Wrestling fans who watched the bout on pay-per view know that he stopped you from doing just that.
Bruder: And has Classic started disqualifying people for failing to break the rules?
Geoue’s starts to reply, but looks frozen in thought. Bruder continues on.
Bruder: From my first day, I have made no bones about it. I came here to win matches, and to get the winner’s share of the purse for doing so. I have never pretended otherwise. It’s the Kilgores and Metros of the world who pretend that there’s something more to it. That while winning is important, it’s how you win that truly matters. Kilgore can snarl and spit about how much he hates bullies all day long, but when he had a smaller man in a vice grip at the end of the match, he could have done anything he wanted. At our Christmas show, he beat me with his Call of the Wild, after I’d avoided his first attempt. At Capital Clash, I’d done the same, but when he had me dead to rights, what did he do?
Geoue: He hit you with “Wild” Kat Diamond’s shoe?
Bruder nods, touching the bruise on his forehead.
Bruder: I’d won four matches in a row against the best competitors in all of Classic Wrestling to win the Real World’s Championship, and then lost my next four matches, and my title in the process. I can’t say it didn’t sting. I do consider myself a proud man, Joe, and while everybody takes their lumps, it wasn’t my finest hour. But Capital Clash proved to the world that when even the biggest, the strongest, the fiercest competitors in Classic Wrestling get in the ring with me, to a man they know that they have a choice.
Alex pauses, and his creepy smile finally changes to his more familiar stern appearance.
Bruder: They can play the hero, or they can try to win. Folks, I ain’t met the man yet that chose the former. No matter what they say, when that bell rings, it turns out the whole world agrees with me: it’s all business.
Bruder smirks and stares down the camera, as Classic Wrestling TV moves on.