Haynes is in the bar of his hotel in downtown Detroit. Only two hours from Battle Creek he's opting to stay in the Motor City over the weekend, before making the pilgrimage out to Battle Creek for the latest edition of Victory, where he's slated to face off against Cayle Murray in the Main Event.
Haynes wears a pair of gray slacks that fit like a glove, and the white dress shirt he's paired them with hits every mark. Around him the bar is lively. Couples gathering for dinner and drinks, an office hosting a holiday party. There's noise everywhere. As soon as Haynes sees the UTA cameraman he lifts his glass in mock toast before taking a sip. It's a seltzer water with a wheel of lime inside. Refreshingly discreet for someone trying to stay clean, like Haynes.
Haynes: "Can I be honest with ya, guys? I mean that's what people want right, honesty?"
He addresses the question to the cameraman. Of course he stays silent, he's a master of his craft, but the question is rhetorical.
Haynes: "Honestly, I think this match is a load of crap."
Haynes quickly takes a drink.
Haynes: "That ain't t' say I ain't gonna bring it, cause believe me, I am. That's just t' say that personally I would'anever put the two a' us together. But I don't make those decisions. They're beyond my pay grade for damn sure. So I'm just gonna show up at Victory, keep my head down, n' try t' do my job."
"Cause God knows one a' them Pantheon boys is gonna try t' pull a fast one on me. Seems t' be the only thing people can do in this place anymore. Beat up on the THRILLmaker. What do they expect me t' do, roll over? Die? I thought I proved that it takes more than a stay in the hospital t' keep me outta that ring. Hell thought I already proved that t' Eric Dane, but I guess he needed t' hear it from my mouth. Well Eric, consider it said."
"If you, or any a' those Misfit Toys wanna take me out, you're gonna have t' put me in the ground, or worse. Hospitals don't scare me, Eric. Pain doesn't scare me. I've come back from one injury already t' serve up some justice, I can come back from another one if I need to."
Haynes looks around realizing he's become too impassioned for the space he now occupies. He makes sure no one around him is angry with him. He motions to the bartender that he's going to duck into a booth and he does just that.
Haynes: "Cayle, ever since the doors a' this place opened I wanted t' get my hands on you. That's the truth. I wanted t' see how well you measured up, wanted t' test you, push you. Wanted you t' show me how good you were. So far, you ain't disappointed not one time, n' I expect that you'll keep that up."
"You've got speed, you've got that improvasational style. You're somethin' else, Cayle. Most importantly, you got a good head on your shoulders. In this business, that's a lost art. Why everyone else is 'round here beatin' their chest, you'refightin' the good fight. I mean, you threw yourself int' the middle a' this whole mess. Ya didn't HAVE t' do that, but hey you were just bein' a good guy."
"It ain't easy t' find people like that anymore."
Haynes raises his drink in thanks to Cayle Murray before taking a sip. He circles the ice around the glass, trying to get it dissolve a bit faster. There's no harm in water diluiting other water now is there?
Haynes: "I want us t' reall show those fans in Battle Creek somethin'. Send them home buzzin'. I want us t' send a message right t' Eric Dane, Madman, Bobby Dean, Colton Thorpe, n' whomever else he's got up his sleeve. I want us t' tell them Cayle, that they don't wanna mess with us. Cause if we can put on a banger out in that ring, when it's just you n' me facin' one another they'll be shakin' in their boots with what's in store for them."
"Ya feel me?"
"Ya wanna show them what we're made of? What we can do? What awaits them down the line when someone 'round here manages t' finally pull their head outta the sand?"
Haynes nods his head.
Haynes: "I do, Cayle. I know I do."
"This has been a long time comin', Cayle. Let's get 'er done."
He kills the rest of his drink and there is no more.
"The world knows who I am… can you say the same?"
- Mikey Unlikely