Alex Bruder is sitting on a workout bench in what looks like a home gym, a towel draped around his neck. A bar with an impressive amount of weight is behind him, and a few kettle bells of varying sizes lie on the floor to either side of him. Beads of sweat drip from his mutton chops for a bit before he takes the towel and pats some, but not all, of it off. As he finishes, he starts speaking low and slow, staring into the camera.
“‘Metro’ got into my head. I’m not happy about that. Hard to call yourself “All Business” and then start taking things personally. Still, the man did his best, and on another day, against another man, it might even have been enough.”
Alex shakes his head a few times, and continues.
“With Fargo and Valentino out of the way, only one man stands between me and my shot at the Real World’s Championship, and with it the biggest payday of my career.
Johnny Saint Nelson. Jay Ess Enn.”
Alex stands, extending his arms in a welcoming pose.
“You’ve spent some time showing off your house of worship. It’s only polite for me to do the same. This is my temple.”
The camera pans around the room, showing off more of the equipment: weight racks, a leg press, a pull up bar, some resistance bands and a treadmill are all briefly seen, before the camera returns to Alex.
“This is where I show my devotion to my craft, where I make myself better, every day, so that when I step into the ring, I’m at my absolute best. I’ll admit, it’s not as fancy as yours. Never thought to get a statue of myself, for one. But it’s effective and practical. Just like me. And while I may never know how frutifult your worship is, all too soon you’ll see how well mine serves me.”
Bruder reaches just off camera for a water bottle, spritzes some into his mouth, swallows, and continues talking.
“I’d say that’s just about enough for the pleasantries. I don’t know much about you, Saint, but what I do is impressive enough. I know you’ve earned your spot in the ring against me. I know you think you can beat me. And I know that you’re revered.”
Alex again slowly shakes his head.
“Not me. You might not find them in Classic Wrestling, but there are people who like me well enough. But revered? Brother, that is just another level.”
“Now, I don’t hold you in as high esteem as some others do, but you seem decent enough that I’m going to do you a favor. You’ve risen through the ranks of Classic Wrestling. You’re close enough that you can see the mountaintop. You have been brought high.”
With that Alex raises his right fist in the air…
“And I’m going to bring you low.”
…and slams it into his open left palm.
“You’re a leader of men, but what people respect in a leader is redemption. You can’t just have everything handed to you. No, you’ve got to earn it. And when your flock sees you broken and in despair, only to get back on your feet and rise again, that’s when they’ll know that they were right to believe. Truly, they’ll know that their faith has been rewarded. This is my offering to you.”
Bruder smirks, a twinkle in his eye.
“This then, is my confession. I know that this is not a purely selfless gift. Knocking you down clears my path to the finals of this tournament, and sets me up to face either Rush Starling or Lord Colossus to become the Real World’s Champion. Some good deeds do indeed go unpunished.”
Another pause, and his scowl returns.
“You may not want this gift. You might even try to decline it. Son, I would recommend against that. Inside the ring, the only way I know to solve any unpleasant disagreements is through a very precise application of violence. You’re standing in my way, but I’ll make it my business to see that you’re not standing there for long.”
With that, “All Business” Alex Bruder walks off, and the screen fades to black.