The screen is black as we open, but it suddenly pops into a view that is easily detected as coming from a webcam or hand held device. The view shows "Too Cool" Chris Hopper sitting at the desk, looking into the camera with a very normal expression on his face as he begins to speak.
Hopper: Windsor! Dylan Windsor! I know you have to be watching....or at least I hope you are. Anyway, I want to give you a little on-line education and perhaps a piece of advice as we prepare to step inside the ring against each other this Monday on Wrestleshow.
He actually pauses, reaching to type something on his laptop before continuing.
Hopper: Sorry about that....now let me ask you something, Mr. Windsor....DO you know what a catfish is?
He raises an eyebrow.
Hopper: I'm almost certain you do, but first let me explain to those who are also able to witness this little video feed...
He takes a breath and grins as he continues.
Hopper: A catfish is defined as the alter ego someone creates within the on-line realm known as the Internet.
He rolls his eyes and starts typing again.
Hopper: Yes, ladyfree4all I do know that they have Internet in England. That isn't the point. Just because your country has something doesn't mean you are a participator in it, does it?
He hits a button harder than usual on the keyboard and takes a quick, annoyed breath.
Hopper: Alright, back to the lesson.
He grins and then continues.
Hopper: Generally speaking, this person is attempting to create an identity that allows them to be something different from their true self. Nerds want to be buff jocks. Ugly women create themselves as playboy playmates. You get the picture.
He makes a confused face for a second.
Hopper: Why would anyone actually do this?
He holds his right hand up and makes the "money" gesture made famous by football quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Hopper: Cash. Greed. Often time the catfish is trying to get information that can be used to perform a scam on the mark. In some cases, it is much more nefarious as catfishing is used to lure unsuspecting, underage females out into the open to be kidnapped and thrown into the world of the sex trade.
He pauses for a second and shudders.
Hopper: Sorry.....a little too much reality there. Damn!
He pauses again and continues.
Hopper: I know as you see this Dylan, you must be wondering why I bring Catfishing up when I talk to you. There is only one reason I would and it is because...
He grins slyly.
Hopper: You are a catfish.
He chuckles a bit before continuing.
Hopper: Not in the traditional, on-line sense....but you are a catfish nevertheless.
His face gets serious.
Hopper: You came to UTA pretending to be something you were obviously not....a wrestler with honor.
He points to his desk as if making a point.
Hopper: This is the UTA, you piece of British flotsam! This roster may be one of the deepest and most talented I have ever been involved with....ever!
He nods a couple of times before speaking again.
Hopper: Yes, I said it. From the top levels all the way to the bottom levels, this place has more talent not even able to get on televised matches regularly than anywhere else in my twenty year career. To be signed to a spot on this roster is something special. It denotes that you have a specific worth whether it be in potential ability, viewable skill, or historical context.
A slight pause.
Hopper: Each member of the roster is proud of this federation, even if we can't stand each other. This *IS* the big time, for lack of a better phrase.
Hopper: And you, Dylan Windsor, are obviously more second rate than the "second whatever" company you came out of.
He pauses, taking a breath, realizing he is sounding probably more mean-spirited than he wants.
Hopper: My problem is that you sold UTA on a bill of goods. You are the "Lord of the wrestling ring" or whatever crap you were slinging. You somehow wormed your way into a contract and yet nothing else is known of you except the pithy little video of you crying out "The Brits are coming!"
Another deep breath.
Hopper: So at Wrestleshow, you are going to pay for it. You are going to find out what a real UTA wrestler is like inside the ring. When we stand face to face, you will hear the crowd cheering wildly for me to rip your face off and that is just the first moment of what will be the longest night of your pathetic catfish life.
He grins slyly yet again.
Hopper: The bell is going to toll and you will find out what it means to be stretched to your limits and then some.
He pauses, obviously reading a message on his laptop. He grins and then returns to speaking.
Hopper: I was just asked why I am taking this so damn personally and why I don't just beat him quickly and stop acting like a dick.
He holds up a finger.
Hopper: I'm going to stop you all right there. I take UTA very seriously. It has become my home. I want nothing but the best for my home. In the time I have been here, there have been tons of people walk in and walk out. Most of them I saw as worthy of being here. I want to succeed, but to gain success against sub-par opponents is to gain no success at all.
He breaths under a half laugh before continuing.
Hopper: This isn't the territorial system of fifty years ago, people! Most of us aren't thrilled with being the one big fish in a tiny pond. We want to succeed against the best and please fans the world over. And to get to a place like this...
He puts his finger down to the desk again for emphasis.
Hopper: ...means you have your stuff together, as it were.
He calms his posture a bit.
Hopper: Windsor hasn't shown that he has the requisite skills, intelligence, aura, or even basic inkling that he has what it takes to be on the UTA roster. It is very possible he isn't nearly as good as he claims and he could very well be killed in the ring by utter accident. And personally? I don't know if he can handle it because....well honestly....
His grin disappears.
Hopper: He hasn't shown me shit.
A little pause to let that statement sink in.
Hopper: Windsor, prove me wrong. Show up at Wrestleshow Monday night and give me your best. Show these awesome fans why you deserve to be here and whether or not you can be "the real deal" inside the ring. I promise you that I will not take it easy on you.
He grins slyly yet again.
Hopper: So, Windsor....what's it going to be? Are you going to prove why you are Great Britain's supposed "king of wrestling?"
He raises an eyebrow.
Hopper: Or just a catfish in wrestling tights?
He points to the camera.
Hopper: The answer comes in the main event Monday night at Wrestleshow and I can't wait to reel you in and lay you out in the center of the ring. I'll see you then, Windsor.
He smiles as he reaches toward his laptop and the screen goes black suddenly, ending the video feed.
"Everybody loves me and I intend to keep it that way."
- Kathryn Velmont Thomas