Cold open to the outside of a newly erected building with flashing neon lights from every spoke of the color wheel. A gigantic “GRAND OPENING!” sign is draped between the first and second floors, and above that is another— this one built into the outside partition between floors— that says “MECCA: CLEVELAND”.
We make our way inside the establishment where the beeps and bops of an arcade’s familiar sounds collectively hit our sound palettes. Front and center is a foldable plastic table with Classic Wrestling and Vito “Metro” Valentino merchandise meticulously spread out. Amidst it all is the man whose likeness is being sold on the very t-shirts and action figures that rest on the table.
A large line has formed in front of Vito. Adults with their kids, huddles of teenagers, and throngs of every type of wrestling fan imaginable, stand patiently while awaiting their turn to meet the greatest Real World’s Champion to ever step foot inside a wrestling ring.
Well, this is it folks. Last show for Classic Wrestling. 450 days exactly after the very first episode, we’ll have reached the end of the line.
252 out of 450 days saw me stand atop this roster as the Real World’s Champion. That’s not only a record that’ll never be broken, but an accolade I’ll never take for granted. With that in mind, some might think I’d rather tie up my business by winning back the title I’ve become synonymous with here in Classic. But the truth is, as nice as it would be to fade to black with that championship over my shoulder, they’d be dead wrong about that.
You see folks, I know where I stand amongst the best in this company, and the world has seen what others will reduce themselves to when they’re facin’ someone who won’t give in to the whims of a monster, the rage of a madman, or the pitiful cries of a diva. I can sleep soundly for the rest of my days knowing the immeasurable impact I’ve made in this great sport of ours.
So get ‘im, Freddy. Make us all proud!
No, where I’m meant to be on this final episode of Classic TV is right here. Across the ring from the only other man on the roster who has beaten me in a wrestling ring with a submission hold. Against someone who, like me, has been here since day one.
Against… someone I would even go so far as to call my equal.
Vito looks up from the framed black and white photo of Metro holding Bruder in the Metro Avenue Deathlock at “In Your Haunted House”. Black marker in hand, his smile fades with an unmistakable, yet reserved, ferocity.
It’ll be an honor, Alex.
To be fightin’ against one of the other two men who were able to climb that mountain and claim the Real World’s Championship as their own.
But here’s the rub, Alex. Just because it’s an honor to be in that ring with you in the final hours of Classic Wrestling? That doesn’t mean I’m not thinkin’ about beatin’ you a second time, mono-y-mono.
‘Cause this is the rubber match, Alex, and I’m gonna leave you in that ring smellin’ like the outer coatin’ of a frayed wire inside a burnin’ wall outlet.
Vito smiles again. Another fan comes forward, this time with a replica Real World’s Championship over his shoulder. The fan looks to be in his 20’s as he approaches Vito somewhat nervously. Once the fan hands Vito the replica title, Vito signs the faceplate with large strokes. Standing up from his seat, Vito motions for the young man to come forward.
What happens at “24”, Alex, is simple.
I’m gonna wrap your legs up.
Then I’mma turn you over onto your stomach.
Then I squeeeeeeeeze those legs together under my right arm while I hold your knee in place with my left.
And finally? I’m gonna sit back on that hollow area of your back where a spine should be until you tell the ref you give up.
Vito motions for the fan to turn around, and once he does he snaps the gold buttons in place around the kid’s waist. Making sure it’s centered and looking like a Real World’s Championship should, Vito slaps the fan on the shoulder.
It’s happened before, and on the final night of Classic Wrestling? It happens again.
So let me just welcome you to the METROpolis again, Alex.
One. Last. Time.
Fade to black (and gold, baby!).