The scene fades in upon a backdrop of the world renowned United Toughness Alliance logo. To the right of the screen an official UTA licensed ladder has been set up, standing tall. The shot pans following each rung/step and stopping its view upon its landing with the studio lights shining down brightly, creating lens flare on our screens. However, the beauty of the shot before us is interrupted by an all too familiar and brash greeting
The shot quickly pans from the top of the ladder to level ground to reveal none other than Jesse Fredericks Kendrix. Dressed casually, his hair flowing free from the usual restrains of his man bun, he sits upon a steel chair beside the ladder with his attention focussed on the camera directly in front of him. Holding his arms out by his side with a cheesy grin on his face, he presents his Hollywood Bruvs ‘Get Over It’ t-shirt and the UTA Prodigy title wrapped around his waist;
Kendrix: The t-shirt…says it all. Get..Over…It!
He shrugs his shoulders at the apparent obviousness and simplicity of one of the Hollywood Bruvs’ catchy and witty phrases. Leaning forward, he holds his hand across to his heart;
Kendrix: JFK is gonna level with you, he’s not here today to play games. He’s not here to run his mouth about how he retired some guy, he’s not even here to tell you that he’s better than you and every single one of your heroes in the UTA.
Resting back into the chair he crosses his leg atop of the other, holding his arms out wide to present himself;
Kendrix: Because, quite frankly, you already know all that. You’ve all come to accept the truth sitting right before your very eyes. The Hollywood Bruvs’ message has got across…
Nonchalantly throwing his hand through his hair, he removes a loose strand resting delicately close to his eye;
Kendrix: And that message will be heard loud and clear on the first of February, in Virginia…at Victory Forty Seven…
He looks up at the ladder to his left;
Kendrix: When JFK climbs the ladder….
Looking back down he returns his focus at the lens;
Kendrix: And retrieves the Ace in the Hole Briefcase, hanging from the Salem Civic Centre’s roof.
Removing the smug look from his own face, he taps the side of his skull twice with his index finger;
Kendrix: Now, JFK knows what you’re all thinking.
He sits up on the edge of his seat with both feet planted to the floor and leaning towards the lens slightly as he puts on an a terrible red neck American accent;
Kendrix: “Hey, man! Ain’t dat goddam talented ‘n sexy son’a bitch already bin inna ‘ole match ‘n lost it?”
Bringing his widened eyes and drooped jaw mimicking to an end, his eyes narrow, his face a look of utter contempt;
Kendrix: It’s true…despite the breakthrough year, the beaten legends, joining and then ending the greatest group in the history of professional wrestling…despite claiming the rookie of 2015 accolade and despite winning this Prodigy Title…
He brings his hands down, tapping the front of his belt;
Kendrix: JFK lost out in becoming the Ace in the Hole at Ring King, Twenty Fifteen.
Gritting his teeth together at the cold hard truth he acknowledgingly nods his head;
Kendrix: The same rules back then, two more competitors…but the similarly low odds at Ring King will apply on Monday Night. Six men, three current champions, three former champions…six of the best superstars in the UTA…go head to head in order to determine who will lay claim to the most coveted briefcase in the business and more importantly, the virtual guarantee of becoming the UTA World Champion.
A dismissive and arrogant snort from his nose is heard;
Kendrix: Same rules…same result for JFK, right?
He looks up at the ladder before standing from his seat and facing the lens shaking his head and wagging his finger before holding the palms of his hands slightly out in front of him;
Kendrix: JFK doesn’t blame anyone for thinking this, he’s come to expect this negative way of thinking having lived in the US for over a year now. Believe it or not, despite the incredible run JFK is on, despite the fact that he’s been unstoppable ever since Ring King…JFK actually lost more than one match before that very sad day;
He brings his fists to his eyes mimicking rubbing before removing them, his eyes and mouth open in apparent disbelief at the fact that he has actually lost more than one match in the UTA. He holds his hands out flat in front of the lens;
Kendrix: Calm down everyone, JFK knows it’s hard to believe, but it’s true. Before Ring King, JFK lost four matches. The first was against Lew Smith in JFK’s UTA debut. His next defeat…a cluster match to become number one contender for this…
He taps his title with the palms of his hands;
Kendrix: If you can believe it, JFK lost to one of the men he faces on Monday night, Cecilworth Farthington…and technically, another of his opponents in CBR…if you count some guy JFK retired who purposely got JFK disqualified by punching Claude square in his massive head…
He brings his index finger to his mouth in thought before shaking his head;
Kendrix: Nah, that doesn’t count, obvs! In fact, Claude was probably on some illegal pills so technically he shouldn’t even have been allowed in the ring with JFK, innit?! But where was JFK, oh yeah…JFK even lost to the same guy who got him disqualified!
Kendrix: It’s true, hard to believe, but all facts. However, unlike most, JFK is glad he went through these…experiences. And the reason he’s glad for them…is cos they AINT…gonna happen again. Because JFK learns from each experience and isn’t dumb enough to make the same mistakes. JFK has got over…
He points his index fingers at his t-shirt;
Kendrix: The very few setbacks he’s faced…which is the reason he’s in the form of his oh so young career to date.
He proudly nods his head;
Kendrix: In the last year, JFK has seen established stars…shout their bravado and flex their muscles before suffering defeat and giving up. Crying to mummy and running away.
Kendrix: All because they failed to get over their losses. They failed to get over their huge egos. Meanwhile, JFK dusted himself off and carried on. Following his debut loss, he wins three in a row. He loses to that guy who interfered in his match with CBR and then sent that guy home for good! JFK even won two cluster matches, including defeating five opponents in one evening, to become your Prodigy Champion.
He removes the belt from his waist and hoists it above his head before bringing it down and placing it carefully on one of the steps of the ladder. He looks the ladder up and down once more, holding onto either side of it;
Kendrix: Same rules? Same result?
Turning to face the lens his eyes focus;
Kendrix: You’re damn right! JFK don’t make the same mistake twice. Ring King was all about what was best for Dynasty. Last time out was making sure either Sean or Claude took the briefcase….WHEN IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN ME!
Looking up at the ladder he grabs his belt, drapes it over his shoulder and turns to face the lens;
Kendrix: This time round it’s all about number one! This time round it’s all about J…F…K! The future of the UTA and your future…World Champion.
Rolling his shoulders he stretches his neck out from side to side before pointing at the lens;
Kendrix: It’s not about the plucky Wildfire Champion, El Trebol Junior. A man who, much like yours truly, has had one of the most impressive starts to a UTA career than anyone else. A man who came into this company and went on one hell of a roll, a man on fire…until he met his match.
He Points both thumbs at himself before taking his belt off of his shoulder and holding it up at the lens;
Kendrix: Finn tried to take this away from JFK…he even had a dodgy ref in his corner…and he failed. Just like he’s gonna fail to take that briefcase away from JFK on Monday night. Can you get over that Finn? But fair play to you bruv, you made the most out of your defeat by claiming your booby prize the following week off of Scott Stevens;
Holding his free palm up at the lens;
Kendrix: Woah, hold on there, Stevens! JFK actually likes your style. You and JFK are very much alike. Sure you’re not a sexy beast like JFK, but you beat to your own drum and you don’t give a fuck about what the morons in the stands think.
He drapes the title back over his shoulder and gives it a little rub and shine with his fist, a proud look on his face;
Kendrix: But it’s not about you Scott. A man who comes and goes as he pleases… A man who lacks commitment. That’s why you lost the Wildfire belt, bruv!
He uses his fingers to mimic someone walking away back and forth across the screen, before gesturing his gaze quickly to his belt and looking back at the lens, grinning;
Kendrix: You miss this don’t you?! You miss carrying gold around. You miss showing everyone that you’re the man. But how do you expect to take that briefcase from JFK when you can’t beat the same man JFK put in his place…back down on your level…well, slightly above your level, after your match together! Can you get over it all?!
Rolling his eyes in disbelief, he continues;
Kendrix: Ron Hall, a legend of this business, a hall of famer. A man who JFK has to admit, is impressed with recently. You’re a man whose done and seen it all, a man who has suddenly found a new lease of life in his long…
He breathes in deeply and lets out an exaggerated sigh;
Kendrix: Looonnnnggg career. Really? Why are you still here bruv? It’s not about you Ron! Hurry up and retire already! You’re one of the legends JFK has already seen off. Can you get over that?! Do you really want to put your ancient body through a ladder match? Or maybe…you just want JFK to do you the same favour he dished out to that other guy at International Affair…and put you out of this business for good?!
He holds his fingers up in front of the lens. Eyes widened, silently mouthing “five days” before stroking his beard and wagging his finger by the side of his head;
Kendrix: Then there’s the former supreme leader of Utah himself…Cecilworth Farthington.
He sticks his tongue out inside the bottom of his mouth;
Kendrix: A man with a big reputation back in Chicago who was part of a group who made a huge impact in the UTA last year. A man who could make a huge impact in his first match back in the UTA with a chance to become the Ace in the Hole. A man who, in all honesty…taught JFK a valuable lesson when he lost to Cecil last year.
Throwing his hands through his hair he composes himself;
Kendrix: You see, the only reason Cecil defeated JFK was because he had Mike Best interfere in our match. He had someone watching his back. Thank you Cecil. Thank you for showing JFK what he had to do to get ahead in the game. A few weeks later, JFK joins Dynasty and the rest is history…the opportunities, the spotlight…they all belong to JFK!
He points his fingers inwards, tapping his chest twice;
Kendrix: And what happened to you Cecil? It got too much for you didn’t it? Instead of pushing on in your UTA career…much like The Machine failed to…You became a parody, a joke. You tried to mask your failings by hiding behind a desk…before you, like your little buddies…walked out and disappeared.
Slow sarcastic claps methodically follow from his last comment;
Kendrix: You couldn’t get over it could you? You’re a funny guy, bruv. JFK will give you that, he’s a fan of British humour, obvs!
Holding his arms out wide, he presents the cold hard truth;
Kendrix: But when it comes down to it, to steal a line from your entrance music…when the going gets tough…Cecil flakes!
Affording himself a quiet chuckle at his witty quip, he grabs the chair and drags it in front of him. Reversing it around, he takes his seat and folds his arms atop of the rest;
Kendrix: Last and of course, by no means least…is you Claude.
He points his index finger at the lens before rudely holding two fingers up;
Kendrix: In just under two weeks, it’s gonna be CBR against JFK. Master against apprentice, Legacy Champion against Prodigy Champion…inside a steel cage…both titles on the line in St Wheeling…at All or Nothing.
Arching his back straight he turns to take a look at the ladder once more, looking it up and down. He holds his arm out wide to present it, returning his gaze to the lens;
Kendrix: But All or Nothing can wait. Despite the fact that you are without a doubt one of the greatest wrestlers in this business, the longest reigning champion this company has ever seen. Despite the fact that you Claude, YOU…gave JFK his big break in this company;
He points his index finger down to the ground before looking over at the ladder once more, returning his gaze to the lens with an acknowledging wink;
Kendrix: JFK knows you better than anyone else. JFK knows that despite all the accolades, despite all the respect you’ve earned from the bellends in the back…
He points his thumb over his shoulder;
Kendrix: JFK knows…the one thing that eats you up inside. THE ONE THING...that you’ve never been able to get over the entire time you’ve been in the UTA.
The trademark smirk is splashed across his face as he affords himself a quiet chuckle;
Kendrix: You’ve never had the big boy belt Claude. Despite all the superlatives that accompany your great name…You’ve never been given a shot at it. You have to ask yourself, why is that?
He turns his gaze away from the lens momentarily in thought as he over exaggeratingly strokes his beard before he returns his focus as his eyes and mouth come alive as the lightbulb moment hits him;
Kendrix: Because like the powers that be, you Claude...lack faith in yourself. That explains why a man with your ability and stature decided to play it safe for far too long. That’s why you hid behind James, Eduardo and Sean. That’s why you needed Mikey and most of all…
He grins and points his thumbs at his face;
Kendrix: That’s why you needed Dynasty. That’s why you needed…ME! To make you look better than you actually are. And it’s because of JFK…that you have no one to watch your back. You Claude will get an early All or Nothing experience when you watch JFK leave the arena on Monday with the opportunity you crave so much…
He strokes his beard in anticipation, temporarily covering his trademark smirk;
Kendrix: Because at Victory Forty Seven, JFK gets over it all. The world gets to see five men fall to a Prodigy…the winner of the Ace in the Hole match, the future UTA World Champion…
A thunderous sound echoes as he slams his hands down hard on the ladder;
Kendrix: The Future of the UTA…Jesse Fredericks Kendrix!
Scene fades out.
"It's better to burn out than to fade away"
- Cecilworth Farthington