The Kerry Cliffs, County Kerry, Ireland
A black hooded Freddy Kiglore stands atop a rocky cliff. Below, the white foam of exploding waves against the shoreline. Above, the distant cawing of circling seagulls. The sky is blue, the clouds are fluffy – it is a beautiful Irish day.
Kilgore draws the hood down from over his head. He looks off into the distance wistfully. And he – GET THIS – is missing his iconic face paint for the very first time. When he speaks, there is no yelling.
“When I was a pup, my father used to bring me to the ocean.”
Freddy Kilgore? Was once a child? This is a new development.
“Of course to play. To swim. To appreciate nature’s gift that the water can be. But also to fish – to understand that the sea is not only a source of entertainment, but a provider. The ocean giveth. But my father also wanted me to understand how the ocean taketh away. He would share stories of shipwrecks. Drowning. Shark attacks. He would take me to these cliffs…”
“Grab me by my ankles, and hang me over them upside down.”
He gestures down hundreds of feet below to the jagged rocks protruding from the water.
“He did not do this for his own amusement… my father was not a petty man. He was looking to warn me. To instill a respect within me for the ocean not only as a tool for good, but as a destructive force. Enjoy it. Revel in it. Be thankful for its blessings. But also fear it. Understand that if you lose reverence for its power, it can violently take everything you love in a moment’s notice. It was an important lesson for young Papa Wild Thang to hear.”
His face hardens – still looking into the distance.
“It is an important lesson for Alex Bruder to hear now. He’s always seen the Freddy Kilgore who brings joy to his little WildHearts. Who cuts the entertaining and bombastic promos. He’s seen the Freddy Kilgore who looks out for his friends. He thought himself above all that – like the sailor who ignores the signs of an impending storm, he believed he was prepared to handle it. His technical skill inside the ring is his hubris – but mankind has never fared well in its attempts to control nature, has it? And now Alex Bruder’s ship is headed for the rocks and there is not a damn thing he can do about it.”
“I’m sure even as the days to ClassicMania pass by, he is still sure of himself. It is his nature – I see that now. He fancies himself someone who is going to enter the cage and slay the monster. He’s seen my rage over the months. He thinks that while Freddy Kilgore is blinded by raw emotion, he is, by contrast, all business… and that puts him in control. But that’s what every fool who has been swallowed up by Poseidon’s fury has believed, Bruder. You are not special, simply the latest in a long list of poor souls crushed by primordial forces. It’s the essential foolishness of mankind. You, for all your wit, for all your scheming… are not above nature. This is a brutal lesson that you are about to learn inside a fifteen foot high steel cage.”
He cracks his neck.
“I’ve often wondered what men who drown at sea feel in their final moments. Do they regret their decisions? Do they wish for a chance to go back and respect the power of the primal force that now swallows them whole? Perhaps there are no thoughts – just a scrambled whimper of a terrified and pleading mind. Maybe they bargain for their lives – a silent vow that should they survive, they will change their outlook? Or are they at peace – realizing that their fate was inescapable? I’ve often wondered what goes through a man’s mind when he’s made his final mistake.”
Kilgore looks into the camera. No pomp, no pageantry, no cartoon-ishness… only cold and steel fury
“You’ll have to tell me, Bruder. Tell me what goes through your mind when that cage door closes. You’ve played with forces that you cannot understand, Alex Bruder, and your penance has come due.”
A gleam in his eye… the first hint of playfulness all promo.
“See you Sunday, baby.”
The black hood goes back up and Freddy Kilgore resumes looking thoughtfully into the ocean.