A crane shot introduces us to the top of a large group of conifers, dusted with snow. We descend as the trees expand out, finally lowering into a small clearing. It’s then that we start hearing the jingling of bells, and then the crunch of snow and pine needles beneath the boot of the former, but more importantly first Real World’s Champion, “All Business” Alex Bruder. The camera lingers on his black boots for a second, and then rises up his dark blue jeans, a maroon sweater under an unzipped black overcoat, and then rests on his face.
The tip of his nose is starting to redden, as are the tops of his cheeks above his neat mutton chops. Disconcertingly, he has a wide smile on his face, and you can actually hear the cheer in his voice.
“It is that time of year again, Classic Wrestling, and I’m not too tough of a man to say that I love it. The air is bracing on your face and in your lungs. The way the snow on the ground holds on to your foot, making something as simple as a light walk just a little bit more difficult. Just a reminder for the world that nothing is easy, and you can’t take anything for granted. The lazy days of summer are long past, and the harvest of fall is complete. Time to burrow in for a long winter.”
Alex rubs his ungloved hands together, and then purses his lips before exhaling, and watching intently as his breath condenses before him.
“Of course, we can’t leave out the main appeal for so many this time of year. With the holidays coming up, you can just see how people are lost in thought. What are they going to give their loved ones? What are they going to get? What should they bring to dinner? Who might they catch under the mistletoe? It’s honestly the best part of the year…”
Like the world around him, Alex’s voice turns cold.
“…because this is when people take their eyes off the ball. Go ahead and think about Aunt Suzie’s ugly Christmas sweater, or if you want to finally propose to your lady in front of a roaring fireplace. A distracted opponent looks like a wounded gazelle to a lion like me. It’s a gift that you’re giving me, and it would be impolite for me to refuse it.”
Alex’s smile tightens into a very thin line, and the camera keeps pace with him as he walks a few steps forward.
“I don’t know who I’m facing at Classic Wrestling, but that cuts both ways, doesn’t it? Some poor SOB is walking around, absolutely clueless as to his fate. That wrestler has no idea that he’s about to square off with a man who intends to do him harm. It’s almost enough to make you feel bad for them.”
A pause, and another smile.
Another pause, because the man does enjoy a good pause more than most.
“Whoever that man is, I’ve got great news. See, I’ll take your gift. Lord knows I could do with a win about now. And in return for it, I’ll give you a gift of my own, a gift from the heart, and a gift that’s truly one size fits all; the gift of knowing how you measure up against the man who set the template for being the Real World’s Champion. Now son, there’s no guarantee you’re going to like it, but that is valuable information that you have no other way to get. Beyond that, when I’ve got you wrapped in the Cobra Clutch, and the world starts going dim, you can always comfort yourself with knowing that things can only get better in 2022.”
Bruder takes in another deep breath, exhaling this time through his nose, but again seems to enjoy watching his breath leave in tendrils out of his nostrils. He returns his focus to the camera.
“So happy holidays, Classic Wrestling, however you celebrate them. Just remember, that whatever happens next when you find me under your Christmas tree, it was never personal.”
Alex turns and walks away from the camera. Once more we hear the crunching of snow, and the jingling of bells. The camera rises again, pulling away from him. As he starts to disappear amongst the trees, we hear Alex Bruder one final time in voice over.
“It’s All Business.”