Light is scarce in the video upon clicking play. Wind against the microphone screeches the ears as the camera is swiveled around in an unidentified hand.
"God damn, son."
The brightness equalizes a bit. The hand's owner now holds the camera facing himself - and the mask on his face. "You people are the reason Jesus won't come back."
Madman Szalinski shakes his head, setting the camera up on a flat surface at chest level. We are inside his dimly lit office, cluttered with everything from business documents to Swisher Sweet packages. He continues talking while rummaging through the desk, completely audible despite not directing his words at the camera.
"You wanna know why your heroes keep turning on you? Just look at yourselves. You don't know how to think for yourselves. You don't know how to stand up for what you believe in. You fans are fucking pathetic. You don't know who to fuckin' cheer for half the time. One minute you love someone no matter what they do wrong, and the next you hate them no matter what they've done right. And why? I'll give a thousand bucks to the first person that can tell me why wrestling fans can't figure out who's good and who's bad! Can you really defend the fact that you've cheered Will Haynes, but you boo Mikey Unlikely? Can anyone tellme why Cayle Murray's such a better person than Colton Thorpe?"
A bitter sneer and a slam of a desk drawer later, and Madman is now much more attentive to the rolling camera. The slamming of the desk drawer wiggles the desk lamp around a bit on his desk, which flucuates the light throughout the entire room.
"You really think I'm the bad guy? You have the nerve to call me evil?"
Madman lights a solitary cigarette that he had cupped in his hand.
"Yeah, that's me. Good ole' Madman Szalinski, off on that heel shit again!" Szalinski billows smoke from his mouth like a locomotive. "Simple fans. Only you would look at my history in the UTA and have the nerve to say I'm the one who's in the wrong."
The corner of Madman's mouth rises slightly in a malevolent smirk. He hits his cigarette and looks down at the floor in total nonchalantness. "I'm surprised I didn't do this sooner, come to think of it. You fickle fuckers, you turned on me way before I ever turned on you. You think you know this good against evil black and white bullshit, and that it's all that simple."
Another drag follows. When Madman looks into the camera lens this time, the bitter is replaced with anger.
"Motherfucker, we are all grey. There is no black. No white. Nobody is good. Nobody is evil. We'll all just ourselves." The total of his focus is in his words. "We're all just the sum of our past experiences and present attitudes. What happened yesterday and how you feel about it today, that's what makes you who you are. I'm not a fallen angel. I'm not some poor little boy who lost his way. I know exactly what I'm fucking doing. I know how I got here, and I know I'm the one who walked this way. I'm on that heel shit. I don't give a shit if any of you fans love me. I don't need you to. I've earned my place in this business, and I don't need to remind people constantly about it. You know who the fuck Madman Szalinski is. Who the fuck are the rest of these clowns in the UTA who think they're carrying MY banner?" Madman pounds his chest on 'my' one good, hard time.
"I don't owe anybody an explanation for what I've done! The explanation I've given you was out of the goodness of my heart! The only reason Yoshii can still fucking walk is the goodness of my heart! The reason I DIDN'T beat the living shit out of Cayle Murray and leave his ass for dead in that god damn locker room at Victory last week!"
"THE GOODNESS OF MY GOD DAMN SON HEART!" Szalinski shrugs. "Must be the whole Christmas season thing."
"I don't have to explain myself to anybody. Everyone knows what kind of man I am. I died in the middle of the ring and came back two months later. It took an hour and four people to take my UTA Championship from me. Every time I got thrown in the ring against someone who you all epxected to embarass me, I embarassed them. The more the odds were stacked against me, the more I excelled. They threw me against The Good Reverend and thought it'd be a squash. I beat that big piece of shit ON MY OWN. Lock me in a cage with two other dudes for a title I didn't want. I won the motherfucker, did I not? And The Year Of The Luchador? I could have stopped that from happening, too!"
The cigarette in Madman's hand has burned down considerably, but he is completely impervious to the heat from the smoldering cherry getting closer to his fingers. Madman is on a roll.
"They thought they were going to gift wrap me for Dynasty, as a nice little Christmas present. But it didn't work out like that, did it? I beat La Flama Blanca last year, on my own with no help from anybody. I didn't fuck him like I said I would. But I could have. I could have ended him, and then who was gonna be your champion this year? But you know why I didn't end him? Go on, guess."
Madman holds his arms out. Silence. Madman lets the near extinguished cigarette fall from his hand, into an ashtray, in the process of dropping his hands to his sides.
"That's right. Out of the goodness of my heart."
Madman tries to charm with his smile, but there is entirely too much sinister emotion in his eyes for anyone to fall for it.
"You see? I'm really not such a monster. Really, I'm not." Madman lets the smile fall, but he is considerably less aggressive with his tone. "I don't enjoy this kind of behavior, you know. I'd love to see everything go on normally. I'd love to see there be a happy ending to all of this. But sometimes, there just ain't a happy ending. This is one of those times. The hero doesn't get to walk off into the sunset. Sometimes, the good guy just doesn't win...even when you think he won. "
He appears to be finished talking. Madman walks around to his desk, and sits down. But out of nowhere, he starts talking again.
"Cayle Murray, do not ever presume to know a god damn thing about me. You don't have a fucking clue who you're standing up against. Or maybe you do. Maybe you do know you're going up against a guy who doesn't know how to quit. Maybe you realize you're facing someone who just can't walk away. I think you know, man. I think you know god damn good and well that you're not standing across the ring from your average douchecanoe."
Madman crosses his arms over his chest.
"You're getting in there with The Most Hated Man In America."
"And people have hated me long before International Affairs. People have always hated me. People have always wanted what I have. People want my talents. People covet my accomplishments. You assholes only wish you were half as good at this job as me. You only wish you could have walked away from the business for a year, come back, and still be the most talked about man in professional wrestling. You only wish people gave a damn about you like they do me."
Having released his arms a long while ago, Madman uses them to steady his desk chair and stand up.
"Think about it. You people still use the phrases I use. I should fucking copyright 'GOD DAMN SON!' and live off that money for the rest of my life. You people still do the things I did. My dog chewed on some plastic bones, we called it a predictions show, and that shit went through the fucking roof! Nobody gave a damn to do anything to get themselves out there, to get UTA's name out there, BUT I DID! I'm the one who did all the extra miles to make sure people fuckin' bought our bullshit and paid a ticket to come see some real wrestling! And then I had to give them that real wrestling, against people like La Flama Blanca who can't get the job done in the big match, Will Haynes who can't decide if he wants to be a bitch or a dickhead, people like Abdul bin Hussain who couldn't even show up when the boss asks him to for a segment in the ring! That's who I had to work with, and I STILL made UTA the best fucking promotion in professional wrestling! I DID THAT! I FUCKING BUILT THIS CASTLE! I'M NOT TAKING IT AWAY FROM YOU, I'M TAKING IT THE FUCK BACK!"
His eyes are bugged out. His fists are clenched. His yelling into the camera (which he has now walked up to and is merely inches from) is starting to distort on the camera's microphone. Madman is almost ready to explode as he quietly whispers his next words.
"You people still abide by a standard that I set. And now, Eric Dane has evolved that standard above and beyond. Eric Dane is the new standard in that all shall fall short in their hopes to dethrone him as champion." Madman manages to keep his eyes inside his skull and raise his voice above a whisper to normal. "In other words, Eric and I are the new fuckin' deal."
"And Cayle...if you can't get past me, how do you ever expect to get to him?"
The former UTA Champion shakes his head. He keeps looking into the camera, belting out a slow chuckle.
"You don't. You can't. This is where the road ends. This is where the high road takes you. I tried to warn you. You ignored my warning, just like many before you. And just like them, I'm going to smash your fucking dreams in. I will be the nightmare of what you could have been...what you should have been. I will smother you in your mistakes and I will drown you in your weaknesses. I will forceably remove your soul from your body, and I will make you watch me crush it. And better yet, I will make those people watch it. The same people that once sat by and watched idly as my own soul was crushed...they'll sit by and watch as I crush your soul. Just like I warned you."
Madman chuckles a couple more times, looking around the room.
"You're right about one thing, though. The old Madman is dead." His icy eyes pierce into the camera. "So long live the new Madman."
"I've got to shut up now. I could keep yelling at you all day...but I should probably save some of this for Victory. Cayle, you really need to feel some of what I'm feeling right now. Get mad, bitches."
Spontaneously flustered, Madman leaps up and proceeds to frantically pace around his office, mumbling aloud.
"God damn it, this promo cutting shit always gets me so god damn fired up..."
Madman stumbles back to the camera, shutting down the power and thus ending the video.
"Defeat is all in the perspective...my perspective."