It’s the depth of darkness that only comes from our specific location: deep inside a cave and far away from the light of the day.
Stalactites hang from the cavern roof. Every so often, a small droplet bounces off the stone floor. The only light? A small fire burning from behind our point of view. And what does the fire illuminate?
Two things: a huge, life-sized stone statute of the Premier American Champion Shujiin Yama – the championship draped over his shoulder. As the illumination of the fire ebbs and flows off the statue, it almost appears as if the sneering face of Yama is looking directly at us with evil intent.
The second thing: Freddy Kilgore, sitting cross legged at the base of the statute, wearing his wrestling gear – and with eyes closed.
Kilgore speaks without opening his eyes.
“You thought you smelled weakness, SHUJIN YAMA. You thought you could attack – you could blindside Papa Wild Thang. You believed you could destroy the fire inside Freddy Kilgore’s feral soul.”
Kilgore’s eyes snap open.
“You were wrong, baby.”
“You wanted to take me out of the game forever, Yama. Instead – you only made me stronger.”
Kilgore rises, with the dancing fire and shadow illuminating the outline of his hulking physique. He turns to look directly into the eyes of the Yama statue.
“Cowards like you only understand strength, Yama. You believe you can impose your will on whoever you choose. You think yourself the apex predator of Classic Wrestling – when you walk, you imagine that the social order cowers in fear. You thought when you took out Freddy Kilgore, you were eliminating the king of the jungle, and to the victor go the spoils.”
Kilgore is now face-to-face with the statue.
“But you do not understand true strength! Did you hurt Papa Wild Thang? You sure did. But you didn’t fathom how he could return – how for men with true strength, the physical body is not the extent of our power – it is our iron will that truly sets us on the path of a champion. A will that you do not possess, Yama. You are all strength – and no discipline. You lack one important factor, Yama…”
Without breaking his stare into the statue’s eyes, Kilgore motions to the camera.
“You do not have the unstoppable power of The Wild Hearts behind you!! You fight for yourself and yourself alone – and you have no will to survive because of it. FREDDY KILGORE FIGHTS FOR ALL THE WILD HEARTS!! FREDDY KILGORE FEEDS OFF THEIR ENERGY!!!!”
Kilgore begins to flex and his face becomes crazed. He is now forehead-to-forehead with “Yama.”
“I CAN FEEL THEM NOW, SHUJIN!! ALL AROUND THE WORLD, PAPA WILD THANG’S WILD HEARTS ARE STANDING!! THEY ARE APPLAUDING!!! THEY ARE LENDING ME THEIR ENERGY!! THEY ARE SENDING THEIR LIFE FORCE TO FREDDY KILGORE – GIVING ME THE STRENGTH!!! THE POWER!!! THE DESIRE!!! TO STOP YOU!!!!”
Suddenly, Kilgore wraps his massive arms around the base of the statue. With a flex and a grunt… he begins to try to lift the mammoth piece of stone!
“I CAN FEEL YOU, WILD HEARTS!!! LET ME HEAR YOU!!! TOGETHER, WE… CAN’T… BE….”
Amazingly, with Kilgore pushed to the absolute limit of his strength, and seemingly with all his fans at home cheering him on… the Yama statue begins to lift off the ground!!!
“WE… CAN’T…. BE………. STOPPED!!!!!!”
With the power of his Wild Hearts flowing through his veins and his muscles ready to burst, Freddy Kilgore does the unthinkable: HE LIFTS THE STATUE, BRIEFLY HOLDS IT HIGH INTO THE AIR, AND WITH A MIGHTY GRUNT, HE SLAMS IT TO THE FLOOR!!! In a symbolic moment, the likeness of Yama breaks into a hundred pieces.
Kilgore stands, muscles flexing, forehead bulging, eyes crazed, panting heavily… over the now destroyed “body” of Shujin Yama. With the shadows of the fire dancing over his every feature, Kilgore looks almost superhuman.
He looks into the camera with the eyes of a crazed animal. His signature yelling is gone – replaced by a steely calm resolve.
“Shujin Yama. At In Your Haunted House… you will know your place on the food chain… baby.”
With that, Kilgore leans back and HOWWWWWLLLLLSSS into the darkness – and thanks to the many echoes in the cave, it almost sounds like all his Wild Hearts are howling back.