We cut to the backstage area, just outside the locker rooms where Vito Valentino is socializing with a few of his METROpolitans. After signing some autographs and high-fiving some of the fans who have a chaperone in charge of taking Classic Wrestling’s VIPs on tour throughout the facility, Vito heads away from the locker room area.
A few moments later, Vito spots Alex Bruder making his way towards the locker rooms. Just as their trajectories meet, Vito stops and extends his hand. A genuine smile washes over his face.
Metro: Nice win, man. Good luck tonight, buddy.
Bruder stops in his tracks and eyes “Metro”’s outstretched hand. He takes a resigned breath and then locks eyes with Vito.
Alex Bruder: It seems that I haven’t made myself clear, son. I’ve got no problem with you looking for something deeper than competition. I’m not. You want me to tell you that you did a good job? You tossed me around the ring like I was a small child. You did as well as you could have hoped for. I did better. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got another main event to get ready for.
Vito retracts the hand and shakes his head.
Metro: Okay, Alex. You wanna play up the tough guy act — ‘cause that’s what this is, an act — and look at respect, honor, and tradition like some kinda weakness? Fine. You wanna go out to the ring every time like you’re not livin’ your best life and livin’ the dream every night? You wanna go out there and just put on a show like you’re goin’ through the motions for a damn paycheck? That’s fine, too. But, son?
Vito gets right up in “All Business’s” business.
Metro: You wanna disrespect me when I offer a hand in respect? You wanna leave me hangin’ like some kinda chump as if you’re the King Turd in the Kingdom of Wet Logs? That is anything but fine.
Vito’s fists ball up like he’s going to knock his block off.
Metro: So here’s what I suggest. You keep puttin’ your winnin’s where your condescendin’ mouth is, go out there in your second main event of your career… and win. Shouldn’t be a problem for you, right? Right. ‘Cause if you don’t? And sooner or later, whether it’s tonight, at SLAM-A-THON, or at Episode One-Oh-One, you’re gonna regret thumbin’ your nose at me, the METROpolis, and the rest of the Classic. I promise you that, prizefighter.
He slaps Alex’s shoulder rather stiffly, feigning friendliness.
Metro: Break a leg, baby.
Vito shakes his head in disappointment and leaves Alex behind him as he makes his way down the corridor and away from the locker room area.