Vito Valentino sits behind a table sprawled out with Classic Wrestling’s newest line of HASBRO© action figures. Everyone from Randall Schwartz to both members of BDSM- Tag Team Championships included (Bobby Dean holds them both!). There’s also a first issue of a brand new comic book series featuring Harry Chest. Funko Pops featuring the inaugural REAL World’s Champion Alex Bruder (Belt AND ego included!) and Premier American Champion Freddy Kilgore (Belt included!). Behind them all is a gigantic Funko Pop of Shujin Yama that makes Godzilla look like the Geico Gecko.
In front of it all is a brand new Vito Valentino action figure, signed in black with the words, “Welcome to the METROpolis!”. A long line of children and their accompanying parents systematizes along the perimeter of MECCA. The place teems with excited chatter and the electronic harmonization of arcade cabinets and pinball machines all beeping-N-booping.
A boy and his Father approach in wonderment.
BOY: It’s Vito, Daddy!!
FATHER: It sure is!
Vito smiles and motions for the kid to hand him a Funko Pop consisting of a puffed out and dotty-eyed version of himself.
METRO: Well hello there, big guy! With whom do I have the pleasure of makin’ this out to?!
The boy sheepishly hides behind his Dad’s leg, giggling as he buries his face into the bend behind his Dad’s knee.
FATHER: C’mon, now. Tell him your name!
Vito laughs and tilts an ear towards them.
BOY: M-my name is S-Sherman!! I’m your number one fan!
Vito brims with delight as Sherman hands him the toy. Popping off the cap to the marker, he signs it with; “To Sherman, Vito’s #1 METROpolitan!”.
METRO: There ya go, Sherman! Thanks for coming! And here, big guy-
He reaches under the table and pulls out a stack of tokens neatly wrapped in a fifty-roll of MECCA tokens.
METRO: -enjoy some games on the house!
The boy squeals with delight as his Dad thanks Vito for signing the Funko and gifting him some tokens.
This autograph signing went on for hours before the MECCA staff began turning away the stragglers. After helping to put away the Classic Wrestling memorabilia and the table it all rested on, Vito looks into a nearby camera.
No longer talking to his fanbase, his eyes narrow and his tone changes from a man being appreciative of a little boy wanting his autograph to that of a man knee-deep in the spirit of competition.
I LOVE me some talent acquisition.
It always warms my heart when a new guy waltzes in with an interesting profile. Unfortunately? Ya had the bad luck of pickin’ the short straw to do it against me, Dewey.
See, I would shake your hand and wish you the best of luck in your climb, but if I’m bein’ honest? I’m just not gonna wish you luck. Not when it involves tryin’ to beat me.
As you might know, the Classic’s been open for months now. We’ve even had our first PPV event come and go. That means… well, a couple-a things, paisano.
Firstly, it means those that’ve been here since launch have established themselves as symbols for what this place represents.
Secondly? It means the Classic OGs got a lot hangin’ in the balance when they’re put in the unenviable position of havin’ to be a new guy’s first opponent. ‘Cause if I lose to you? What does that say about me, exactly? Ah MARONE!
If Vito Valentino can’t win against an untested, unproven greenhorn like Dewey Smarts then it just means I’m the Glass Joe to your Little Mac. Ain’t an easier way to put it, really.
I may not be the REAL World’s Champion… but I’m fixin’ to change that. Church, baby.
That means I ain’t losin’ to you, Mr. Canada.
‘Cause I’m not your Glass Joe.
Heck, I’m not even your Bald Bull, Piston Honda, or Soda Popinski.
I’m your Mr. DREAM.
‘Cause the fact is THIS: I’mma frustrate you and make ya rage quit before ya can even throw your first punch here in the Classic.
I’mma strike you badder and madder than a coiled up adder and then I’m a-fixin’ to be that much closer to the REAL World’s Championship.
So… you’re not just a new guy here.
You’re the new guy in my way on my renewed path to gold, and I’m removing you from it with a Metro Avenue Deathlock. Autographed in marker from yours truly, baby.
Welcome… to Classic Wrestlin’.