The camera cuts into a bright and calm park, nothing too exciting nor distracting. Rush Starling is sitting on the park bench that we open up to wearing nothing more than casual street clothes. Nothing fancy, nothing expensive; just some blue jeans, a Guns N’ Roses t-shirt and dark denim jacket.
“Twenty-five years old and I had to ask my mother to wire this over a few hours ago. I was ashamed. It hurt but you know what she said? ‘It WILL be worth it’. That she’ll support me no matter what because it brings honor to our name. Honor… to our name…”
Rush gives a stifled laugh before looking back up to the camera and lifting up a stiff yellow envelope that’s accented black previously out of frame.
“Most young men my age would be starting their first career jobs out of university, maybe beginning their first stint at a business opportunity. Few will chase their true dreams or passions, few will be able to say they did something beyond sitting at a desk and working for ‘the man’. Almost none will need their mother to send them a Western Union to capture glory.”
Starling stares at the Western Union envelope shaking his head slightly before looking back up at the camera.
“And that’s what this is about! I may be hungry, living out of run down Ford Pinto, and broke- but I’m DEVOTED to glory! Devoted to legacy! Devoted to something more than me, to something I didn’t create but that was passed down to me and deserves to be lifted that next step forward. This-“
He slaps the Western Union envelope in his free hand and leans forward.
“This is what will help take me there. No one said this path would be easy or pay well. My father used to tell tales of living on red beans and toast on the road, chasing the title held in the highest esteem for his time in this business. That means sacrifice- my body, my mind, my lifestyle! If it means I drink a Cragmont Cola instead of one of them fancy Coke’s in order to get a step-closer to the REAL World’s Championship- then so be it.”
Starling reaches over and picks up a blue can of Cragmont Cherry Cola. He takes a drink before setting it back down.
“I’m one step away from the semi-finals and I’m willing to sacrifice more just to make it to the finals. And you know what fellow fans of Classic Wrestling? There’s no better challenge I’d like to face than Freddy Kilgore! I saw the way you battled back against Dash Jackson, how you stopped his plan to make his future by shaping our present. I was impressed! You railed yourself to the win, and now I have a true savage animal as my opponent! Freddy, I want you to test my truth and validate if the Starling name is truly worth its weight in Classic Wrestling gold!”
That makes Rush smile ear to ear.
“I want to prove the doubters wrong. I want to show the world that what happened in my match with Freddy Chedda wasn’t just beginner’s luck and that it wasn’t the nerves that got to him, but that my family’s legacy and training is what made me victorious!”
Rush starts to get excited.
“But you know what struck me most about my match, Fred? For a moment there, I think I know how you feel every time you step in the ring. I can understand why you picked your name so accurately- ‘Feral’. When that bell rang an animal that was caged up inside of me for years was let out and ready to attack- ready to devour! I was ready to defend, ready to engage, and like the lion– I’m ready become king of a jungle full of powerful, dangerous, beasts.”
Nodding his head Starling begins to look intensely at the camera.
“Classic is full of men just like you, Freddy. Ready to maim, ready to do everything within their natural power to get what they believe they should have. Nothing is more deadly than men who will do anything to appease their pride, selfishness, or greed. Except one thing- a man with heart…. And you’re looking at him! I’m here to appease only two groups of people, Fred. Those good paying fans and myself. Trust me, I don’t plan to disappoint!”
Starling stands up from the bench.
“Hope you’re ready to be tamed, Fred.”