Our cameras open to speckles of old film overlay corrupting the picture quality of a video being shown to us. We witness 10-year-old Vito Valentino wearing tighty whities while bodyslamming another kid wearing a Skeletor Halloween mask on a makeshift wrestling ring made up of termite kissed boards and large piles of leaves. Two other kids, a boy and a girl, make up the rest of the “production team”. The girl holds part of a broken tree branch up to her mouth. Clearly, she must’ve been the ring announcer for this epic contest. The boy, meanwhile, wears a white undershirt with colored-in black stripes vertically drawn, suggesting he is officiating.
Vito makes the cover on Skeletor Junior as the greatest Referee in all of Brooklyn makes the count!
Vito looks exasperated while Skeletor Junior sneaks up behind Vito with a roll-up.
He’s got the undies!
“Three! Danny wins!”
Outraged, Vito argues with Brooklyn’s WORST. REFEREE. EEEEEVER.
“C’mon, Zack!! He had my tights!!”
Danny, formerly known as Skeletor Junior, smirks evilly while high-fiving Zack.
“Too bad. You lose. Go home and cry about it, loser!”
Vito lowers his head, looking as dejected as a 10-year-old boy could.
The film stops and a set of overhead lights jolt on. We zoom out, revealing a grown-up Vito Valentino watching the film reel of his youth. Sitting on a steel chair with both elbows resting on the backing, Vito speaks.
If there’s one thing I’ve always prided myself in bein’, it’s bein’ honest. With that in mind? I said I would beat King Kong Frank… and I did. Now we stand on the precipice of ROUND TWO of the tournament of all tournaments.
Vito sighs regrettably. Sucking his teeth, Metro continues.
But therein lies the rub, folks. I’m not proud of how I got here.
The pangs of treachery linger.
While I emulated my heroes in the wonder years of my youth, I too swallowed the bitter pill of betrayal. Heck, I still reflect on it to this day.
I swore I would never lower myself to such scummy depths. Ever. Even if there’s a FIRE. And yet, I’m ashamed to admit that I broke that very promise. I rolled Franky up by his overalls and… well, here we are.
Vito sighs and stands up from the chair. Looking directly into the camera, Metro’s eyes narrow.
Mr. “All Business”. Ugh.
You also had a handful of someone’s gear to get here, and at the risk of soundin’ like a hypocrite? It ain’t right.
But you know somethin’… even if I am a hypocrite? It doesn’t mean I’m wrong. In fact, you did a lot more than grab some tights to get the deuce. The big difference between what you did and what I did is you scratched eyes like a damn woman.
A REAL World’s Champion doesn’t scratch another man’s eyes, punk, and if you try that garbage with me? I’mma just break your thumbs. End of story.
“All Business”? Sure. If by “All Business” you mean “All Bull(beep)”, then yeah. Actin’ like a world beater when you’re nothin’ but an egg beater? Haha. Pleeeeease. I’ll be damned if I win like that again. Or poke your eyes like a little b- uhh female dog. Or kick you in the netherberries like you’ll probably try this time ‘cause you ain’t nothin’ but a boring, mutton chop havin’ stugotz who’s outside of his depth and about to make some friends in the loser’s circle.
Alex, Chedda. Chedda, Alex.
I’m takin’ you to the woodshed, boy. You best believe. I’m scoopin’ you up, puttin’ you on the “business” end of a Brooklyn Backbreaker, then forcin’ you to submit to the most FEARED wrestlin’ hold in ALL of Classic Wrestlin’… the Metro Avenue Deathlock!!
Vito clenches his fist and curls an arm, flexing his bicep. Through a marked intensity, he continues.
I’mma twist you up like a human pretzel and just when you thought the pain couldn’t possibly get any worse? HA. That’s when I wrench back even further and your tears turn to blood while your spine- if you even have one, that is- snaps like the branch from a mulberry tree. You best believe I’mma copyright the term “All Butthurt” after I’m through with you. Church, baby.
But most importantly? That’s when I welcome you, son… to the METROpolis.
This ain’t a “mission statement”, Alex. This is just “mission accomplished”.
Fade to black…
…and gold, baby!