I don’t think love makes you soft. I think love gives you something to fight for.
I love my fans. I’ll do whatever I can to make sure they leave that arena satisfied.
I love my colleagues. Troy and Ryan, no matter how often I won’t say it to their face.
I love my family. I love my wife. Ex-wife. Whatever. Love my kids. Love my pets. Love my career. Love professional wrestling.
I’m honestly crazy ‘cause of love.
Makes a fool of all of us.
In the kitchen of the Harmen residence, Jack Harmen is whistling.
Yes. Whistling. The Dick Van Dyke theme song for some reason. It’s probably the only thing he can whistle. Whatever. Harmen is currently scrambling some eggs and frying up some bacon. Toast pops out, caught in the air on a plate, you know, the whole almost Hollywood making breakfast schtick. There’s a loud groan as a body collapses onto the kitchen island.
Mary-Lynn Mayweather: Urgh. I drank.
Mary-Lynn does one of those almost throw up burps.
Mary-Lynn Mayweather: God why do people do this. Your whistling is SO loud. Please stop.
Jack Harmen: Can’t do it. It’s whistle time.
Mary-Lynn rubs her hands through her smeared makeup and ruffled hair.
Mary-Lynn Mayweather: What parallel dimension have I awoken in? Am I me? No. I’m too smart for an existential crisis.
Harmen slides her a plate. It’s completely comprised of bacon.
Jack Harmen: Hangover cure.
Mary-Lynn Mayweather: That doesn’t work.
She instantly chomps down anyway.
Jack Harmen: No, it really only gives you two problems. But it’s a delicious problem.
Mary-Lynn does another one of those almost throw up burps, but at least this time it kinda smells like bacon. One problem solved. She leans on her hands, face looking down at the counter staring and smelling her food. The sizzling in the background stops, as Harmen sets a few trays around the kitchen table. He walks up to Mary-Lynn, two plates in his hand, and leans in, kissing her sunken forehead.
Jack Harmen: Don’t worry. You’re too good not to find love.
With a hop and skip, Harmen quickly rushes out of the room and up the staircase.
Mary-Lynn Mayweather: Oh God.
Mary-Lynn looks up to the ceiling, looking upstairs. Her eyes wide.
Mary-Lynn Mayweather: Please no.
Upstairs, the door to the master bedroom swings open and Harmen enters with two plates. He hops over the baseboard and lands with a childish thud on the mattress. Kate stirs fully awake, wearing an oversized official t-shirt of the IWO from circa 1999. She sighs but expected it. She’s quickly handed a plate of morning breakfast.
Jack Harmen: Like old times.
Kate takes a bite of her eggs.
Kate Young: So… is this the time?
Jack Harmen: The time?
Kate Young: Where you quit.
She takes another bite.
Jack Harmen: Quit?
Her fork clatters the plate.
Kate Young: It’s not, is it?
Jack Harmen: I don’t know what you’re asking of me.
Kate Young: What I always ask Jack. When are you DONE. Jesus.
Kate sets the plate aside, and turns her back to Jack. Harmen leans toward her, placing his hands on her shoulder.
Jack Harmen: Honey, you know you’re the only one I’ll ever love.
Kate’s shoulders shrivel at the sentence.
Kate Young: I know that’s not true.
Jack Harmen: It is.
Kate Young: Seriously?! This old tripe again? You love WRESTLING Jack. More than me. More than your kids. You could have had the family life. You could have RAISED your son for more than a weekend a month. But no. You wanted to be a superstar. You wanted to be a movie star. You wanted to be the LUNATIC. The WILDCARD. MAVERICK. TOP GUN.
Jack Harmen: That’s not… nevermind.
Kate Young: You just wanted to be ANYWHERE but with me.
Jack Harmen: That’s not true.
Kate Young: And if you’re just going to run off AGAIN, I need to know.
Kate sits with purpose, and looks deep into Jack’s eyes.
Kate Young: Now.
The air is taken out of Harmen. His mouth moves and twitches but no words come out. He shakes his head.
Jack Harmen: I have a few more dates. I swear. I have to. For Greg.
Kate Young: Greg will be fine! You’re doing this for YOU.
Jack Harmen: I said I’d be there. I told Troy, Ryan, Lee. I committed.
Kate Young: What about your commitment to this family! We have enough money. I don’t need a dime of yours and we can all live happily. But no. You’re just here to visit and then head back off to your REAL love. Battering other people in the face with chairs and risking your life for no reason.
Kate turns fully away from Jack, arms crossed over her chest. Harmen just sighs, shoulders slumped. He leans back, so their backs prop each other up. Harmen chortles.
Jack Harmen: I thought we’d have more than a moment.
Kate Young: And I thought we’d have a chance.
The marching of North Kaelean soldiers.
With Max Kael’s robotic eye and smiling face, superimposed, opacity set to 60%, just smiling.
**MULTIPLE BURSTS OF STATIC, INTERLACED with MAX KAEL’S SMILING DEMONIC FACE**
CUTTO: The flared nostrils, wide eyes of an enraged Lunatic. While his expression shows that of extreme excitement and rage, his tone of voice is that of a calm passerby.
High Flyer:: Max. Kael. The Lord Supreme Dictator of the LSD division. The half man, half machine, all douchebag shoulda died due to Darwin’s laws over half a decade ago, drags his ambling corpse back into the ring for ONE, last go. After being tossed off the top of the arena, into the fiery flames below. Perhaps you may say you’re a phoenix, reborn from the ash.
But you’re not. You never were. You’re no longer a messiah. You never were. And while you may still be the North Korean’s favorite wrestler…
You’re no longer a GOD.
You NEVER, were. I have slayed the myth of Maximillian Wilhelm Kael, first of his name… end of his reign.
Harmen throws both hands out to the side and lets out a laughter that resonates. As we get a wider view, we notice he is once again in the large sound stage he rents out. It might even be an old air hanger that’s been repurposed, based on the size and shape.
High Flyer:: Now that I’ve knocked your brain loose, who knows who’s going to fight me across the ring at ICONIC. I’ve heard the stories. The people living inside you. I kind of want to meet them all. People like to misdiagnose me with split personality disorder, but it’s really just narcissistic rage. They say knowing your condition helps you deal with it. It just helps me lean into it.
Listen you’ve just got to embrace who you are. Trust, that the world, not people surrounding you, but the WORLD, NATURE, EARTH, IT, and YOU, will guide you. You find the path, you KNOW the path. You walk where you will, the journey is the destination. And along the way, if you shove someone out of line at a starbucks or into traffic or off a roof, so be it. It’s just another stop along the road. It doesn’t define you.
Flyer shrugs his shoulders.
High Flyer:: See, I know what defines me. I trust who I am.
I trust in violence.
I trust, in you.
Which is certainly an odd thing to say. BUT, I’m here to HELP you Max. I trust in you to show up, at ICONIC. I TRUST, in you to give me the fight of my life. At the end of the night, NEITHER of us, will ever be the same again.
But I know who you are, better than you know Max.
You’re a God Damn Coward.
High Flyer just starts to laugh.
High Flyer:: I know you’re scared because I’m God damn scared. You’re crazy. I’m crazy. What the hell are the two of us gonna do to each other!?!? I mean. I’ve had a good career but DAMN. I’m don’t know if I’m good with making a last stand.
Flyer takes a step toward the camera.
High Flyer:: Are you?
High Flyer takes a step back, arms out.
High Flyer:: I’m good with giving it everything I have in the tank, every last fiber of my being, to have one epic showdown with a man who matches my insanity. Who pushes me to a limit unforeseen. Who brings the violence in a way that the 1930s would react to the 1980s. I hope that’s you Max. You know what everyone told me after Reloaded XII? “That escalated quickly.” I’d say, not quickly enough. Cause listen, Max, I just want to get you at your very best. Your most violent, psychotic and sociopathic. So far, it’s all gone exactly to plan. Laid out, so I get what I want. I want to see, the TRUE, Maximillian Wilhelm Kael, Long. LONG. LONG may he MAIM… and if he’s one dude or six, I just wanna see him, one body, across that ring. One body. Six Minds. One three count.
High Flyer:: ‘Cause when it’s all said and done? Max Kael. I owe you all a drink.
Flyer smiles, winking toward the camera with an unearned bravado not yet seen.
High Flyer:: Least I can do for the former champs.
Flyer blows a kiss at the camera.
We hear North Kaelean soldiers advancing, ready to strike at a fever pitch.
**FADEIN** We see an onscreen graphic of a letter. Jack Harmen’s voice over carries the narration.
Love. Gives you anger. Gives you power. Gives you purpose.
I love professional wrestling.
… More than family.
I’m a fool.
A God Damn fool.
I’m okay with that.
I am who I am.
Nothing crazy about that.