We’re inside the Grund Arena in Cleveland, Ohio which is slowly being transitioned to host Classic Wrestling’s first PPV, SLAM-A-THON. The camera makes it’s way slowly down the lower-level section where we find a single, lone young man sitting in the front row aisle seat. Rush Starling’s voice carries well in the empty arena which is hosting just ring workers and himself. The protégé turns his head toward the camera and says with glee-
“We ARE sold out!”
The camera takes the seat on the opposite side of the aisle as Rush gives us his attention.
“What’s even more exciting is that I was told by the management that fans were camped outside the night before just to make sure they’d get a ticket! Never in my life would I think I’d be part of something that will be remembered as the holy of holies of wrestling, the stage of all stages- SLAM-A-THON!”
He gives a cheery smile.
“Let me be the first to say to each and everyone of you Classic Wrestling fans- thank you! Without you, none of this would even be possible! There’s something I need to get off my chest though besides the great news. I said from the start- I’ll always be honest with you. Family doesn’t lie to one another.”
With that Rush rubs his goatee trying to find the right words to say.
“Here’s the truth… I’ve thought long and hard about the last few weeks. What it took to get here, the many great competitors, their trials, tribulations, and dreams to be a finalist for the REAL Worlds Championship! They’ve given everything to be here. All that remains are Alex Bruder and myself… and you know what?”
Starling leans so his back is rested against the chair, arms crossed over his chest.
“I should be proud, I should be jumping for joy that I’m competing for my first ever world championship, heck, it’s my first title shot ever… but I’m not… because I have guilt.”
Rush looks down at his feet then back the camera with a solemn look.
“Lord Colossus…….. I owe you an apology.”
He nods with sincerity.
“When I was growing up my father was always giving ‘little Rush Starling’ lessons in honor and I feel as though I cheated you, Colossus. I did something which others would consider cheap- what I and my family consider dishonorable. I rolled you up with your back turned, I didn’t face you like a true competitor.”
Starling sighs loudly in disappointment.
“That weighs heavy on me. If it weren’t for King Kong Frank interjecting himself into our bout, I may not even be here facing Alex Bruder for the REAL Worlds Championship. For that I not only apologize to you Lord Colossus but I apologize to my family as well.”
Our finalist sits up straight as though he’s cleared himself of such a transgression.
“I promise; right here, right now- that will NEVER happen again! I’ll never allow an opportunity for victory to tarnish our honor in a sport that can be as pure as our love for it! I won’t even let it happen against you, Alex Bruder. Will that change the past? No… but it’ll help the future.”
A flow of energy lifts Starling up and puts a sparkle back in his eyes.
“That’s what I’m fighting for- my family’s future! Based on honor, built on heritage and it begins at SLAM-A-THON! This is my first time ever in the main event and it’s competing for what might very well be considered the crown jewel around the world, Alex! Many will compete in this very building Sunday night but all eyes will be on us! I can’t wait to relish in it and leave our marks in Classic Wrestling history!”
Rush stands up and places his hands against the barricade.
“No matter what, Alex, if I win or if I lose… I’ll still have something greater than most that compete. I’ll have love, energy, and support from my family! I’ll still have passion, hunger, and fire burning deep in my veins for Classic Wrestling, Alex! I’m going to push myself beyond what everyone thought, beyond what everyone has seen! I am going to correct my mistake and dishonor with Lord Colossus by showing every single person in attendance and watching around the world that Rush Starling isn’t just ‘All Business’…”
Starling turns his back to the ring while the camera moves to the center of the aisle.
“He’s ‘All In’!”