We open to some canned applause as James Dragon stands at ringside in the empty Sears Center the morning before IWT Survival II is set to go live, a small smile etched on his face.
"I never had any doubt in my mind that Internet Wrestling Titles would return in some capacity. For all his, many, flaws; Michael's greatest attribute is that he's like a cockroach, he will be kicked around by life on a near constant basis yet he always gets back to his feet."
Dragon turns to the camera.
"No, I never doubted IWT would return. But I did doubt whether I would return to IWT."
"There is story after story of Michael's near limitless incompetence, almost every success IWT has had under his tenure is despite himself. Now, allow me to say something unpopular for a moment but I have to concede, I truly do believe that despite himself Michael does care about this company, maybe it's for egocentric reasons and hell that's almost a certainty, but I believe him none the less. Yet. the biggest thing keeping me from putting my signature on a contract wasn't the backstage politics that played a hand in IWT's closure, it wasn't that IWT had lost it's prestige it wasn't even that the talent roster had been more or less gutted. It was and always has been the man in charge both on and off camera."
James pulls something off-camera and slings it over his shoulder, it's the XHF Phoenix Championship he recently won in AWF, a company part of the XHF Network.
"Allow me to quickly illustrate a point, this is a title that I won in my second match with a company outside IWT."
"Now titles are placed on a ridiculously high pedestal in our sport solely because they are one of the few things that give a visual indication that you are as good as you say you are."
James smile fades, he lets the title slip off from his shoulder, the thud of metal against concrete echoing throughout the desolate arena.
"Bullad Club had its fans and its detractors, now I'm not here to argue on either side of that debate. But here is a fact that is inarguable, myself and Danny Jacobs formed that group because we were both tired of being looked over despite how good we both were. Michael has a short attention span and because of that he put stock in performers that didn't stick around or never lived up to their potential. I was sick almost immediately of looking at a match card and seeing my name across from people like Jack Lux. So myself and other like-minded individuals decided to turn the system on itself and FORCE everyone to get onto our level."
"You might be asking yourself where I'm going with all this beyond the fact that I don't like Michael and the answer is really quite simple."
James holds up a finger.
"I'm here to first subvert this constant goddamn trend of people getting in front of a camera and talking endlessly about how much they love IWT or how they're going to save IWT or why IWT is in the state that it's in."
"James Dragon is not a 'savior' and the IWT that I loved is long dead. Instead in it's place is something different with the same name. Now some of us like Dat Kid are welcome to languish in the comforts of nostalgia but for myself I plan to use this reboot to remind everyone why there is not a single goddamn person greater than me."
"Which leads me to my second point."
James holds up another finger.
"James Dragon, is here to wrestle. James Dragon is here to promote this new landscape, to test his mettle against faces new and old but understand Michael James Dragon is NOT here to jump through anymore of your little hoops."
"There ain't gonna be anymore Too Sweets, There's no more IW3 and there damn sure isn't gonna be anymore forcing the spotlight on me. Because it's already shining baby. I'm here to do what I do best, what I do better than anybody else in the world. So I'll be watching Survival with a close eye and I offer my sincere wish of good luck to every competitor on that show."
"That said, consider this a notice."
James smirks and takes a pair of shades out from his pocket, the lighting from the arena reflecting wildly off his glasses.
"Your brush with greatness is over."