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The Sixth Child presents…

 

A look at the world of wrestling through the eyes of a film buff.  

V2(ahhhhh) – “The Running Man” starring MVP.

 

When everyone first saw MVP make his in-ring debut a while back, chances are you thought his ridiculous outfit made him look like one of two things – the Blue Power Ranger or “The Running Man”.

 

For those who don’t know, “The Running Man” was a 1987 film starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as a framed criminal who runs a gauntlet of assassins and booby-traps as part of a sadistic TV game show of the same name. If you haven’t seen it you don’t know what you’re missing – and you probably won’t understand half the jokes in this column. Then again I used to be a writer for “Scrubs” so I’m used to having unresponsive audiences.

Anyway, the year is 2019. The world’s economy has collapsed and totalitarianism rules the population. While all art, music and communications are censored, the state, who control television, fund the most popular form of entertainment ever – World Wrestling Entertainment (don’t ask, just suspend your disbelief).

 

One of WWE’s many fine programs is a sadistic game-show / bloodsport called “The Running Man” where convicted criminals are given a chance at freedom by being thrown into a labyrinth of ruins to outrun a group of slayers from the SmackDown! roster. The show was once supported by WWE’s whole roster, but due to “The Running Man’s” sagging ratings only SmackDown! is featured. Let’s face it, they’re expendable.

Teddy Long, the host of “The Running Man”, is worried the show will fold – or worse still, feature only ECW’s talent roster. So he must find a formidable convict who can breathe new life into the show. Along with his crack team of SmackDown! writers (by that I mean they’re writers on crack), Long finds a convict who was arrested for wrestling with a different company.

The arrest came under the ‘WWE act’ where no-one must form or participate in any other wrestling organisation. According to the act, the concept of wrestling belongs solely to Vince McMahon. There is no other form of wrestling other than WWE, and anyone uttering the letters T, N and A in the same sentence is executed. Last week a guy who asked for tea and a bagel was hung. Why? Because HE’S VINCE MCMAHON, DAMMIT!

Anyway, the convict’s name is Montel Vontavious Porter – otherwise known as MVP. Teddy Long has him transferred to WWE HQ so he can appear on “The Running Man.” Long and his assistant Krystal arrive at HQ and head for the elevator, until a janitor accidentally swings his mop into Long’s feet. 

JANITOR: Oh sir! I’m so sorry.

 

LONG: (yelling in typical Teddy Long fashion) That’s fine playa! What’s your name?

 

JANITOR: Dan.

 

LONG: Your name is Dan.

 

JANITOR: (pause) Yeah, I just said that.

 

LONG: Your name is Dan and you are a janitor.

 

JANITOR: (pause) …yeah?

 

LONG: That’s fine playa! Because tonight, on SmackDown! it’s going to be… Dan the Janitor… versus… (unnecessarily long pause) THE UNDERTAKAAAA!!!! Hollahollaholla!!!

 

(KRYSTAL pulls out a boom-box and plays canned cheers)

 

JANITOR: (pause) …right.

MVP arrives at the back of WWE HQ where he is thrown into a dark room. One of the walls rolls up to reveal a bullet-proof window separating him from Long’s office.

 

LONG: Hi there playa! Y’know one of us is in deep trouble! You know who I am?

 

MVP: I’ve seen you before. You’re the asshole on TV.

 

LONG: I was gonna say the same thing about you, playa! Now MVP, I understand you’re one helluva star underground. But this is SmackDown! and I’m giving you a chance to go up against our best talent in the game zone and make a name for yourself. Believe dat!

 

MVP: What talent would that be?

 

(LONG pauses and looks at KRYSTAL, who shrugs.)  

 

LONG: Lemme holla at cha playa! You seem like a smart guy, and I know you ain’t gonna pass up this opportunity. You’re facing a life of hard labour and daily ass-rapes back in prison.

 

MVP: So this will basically be the same thing, except I’d have a contract which pays me less than prison, and the ass-rapes will be by JBL?

 

(LONG pauses and looks at KRYSTAL)

 

KRYSTAL: (nodding) Damn. He’s good.

 

The chamber then fills with knockout gas. Hours later MVP comes to, where he is pricked with various needles, thrown into another chamber with knockout gas, is escorted dressed in a convict’s uniform with chains to the studio while John Lauraintis reads his contract to him and forces him to sign – all in accordance with standard WWE procedure.

LAURAINTIS: (handing MVP the contract) Sign here.

 

(MVP holds the contract but struggles to sign it while standing)

 

(LAURAINTIS turns around offering his back)

 

LAURAINTIS: Here, use my back, victim.

 

(MVP signs and stabs the pen through the contract into LAURAINTIS’ back. He screams and turns to face MVP.)

 

MVP: Don’t forget to send me a copy.

 

LAURAINTIS: That went against everything in the clause about your public behaviour. Section 45-P8 states and I quote…

 

MVP: I said send me a copy.

 

Meanwhile in the studio the show is underway. The opening sees a routine by the Running Man Dancers, led by Brooke, Layla and Kelly from Extreme Expose`. The trio flail about on stage like drunk college chicks playing tag over generic dance music that sounds like something out of a Super Nintendo game. After three minutes of ridiculously out-of-sync dancing they freeze for applause. The crowd is stone silent except for a group of 12-year-old boys in the front row.

The main monitor blinks on to reveal the show’s announcer, Jesse ‘the Body’ Ventura.

VENTURA: Ladies and Gentlemen, please thank the Nitro Gir… uh, I mean, Extreme Expose`! Now please welcome your host, Theodore Long!

 

LONG: What’s the number one television show in the whole wide world!?

 

(long uncomfortable pause)

 

CROWD MEMBER 1: Desperate Housewives?

 

(KRYSTAL runs out with boom box)

 

BOOM BOX: THE RUNNING MAN!

LONG: And who loves you, and who do you love?

 

(long uncomfortable pause)

 

CROWD MEMBER 2: Candice Cameron?

 

(crowd turns and stares at CROWD MEMBER 2)

 

(KRYSTAL runs out with boom box)

BOOM BOX:

KRYSTAL: Sorry, I must have taped over that second part.

 

LONG: (nervously moves on) Now y’all remember last week’s contestant who got his ass handed to him. He was brash and cocky beyond anything we’ve ever seen. But tonight, on SmackDown!, we have some new talent. He’s brash and cocky beyond anything we’ve ever seen. Ladies and Gentlemen, show your love for MVP!!

 

The doors open and MVP steps out still in chains and convict uniform escorted by Kelly, Brooke and Layla. The crowd boos hysterically as the dancers seductively caress him. When MVP reaches the middle of the stage the dancers tear the convict uniform off of him to reveal his combat attire – a full-body spandex suit. The crowd explodes into laughter.

 

YOUNG CROWD MEMBER: Daddy, why is that man dressed like mommy’s pimp?

 

SECTIONS OF CROWD: Power Ranger! Power Ranger!

 

KANYON: (to RICO) Man, how gay does he look?  

 

MVP is strapped into a rocket-powered sled that sends contestants hurtling through a series of tunnels and into the game zone. After he is strapped in, Long decides to taunt him a little more.

 

LONG: On your marks! Get set…!

 

MVP: Hey, Long…

 

(LONG leans towards MVP)

 

MVP: (vengefully) …I’ll be back.

 

LONG: So MVP, you’re saying you’re going to be back. Well, let me break it down for ya like this, playa. Tonight…

 

MVP: (rolling his eyes) Oh, for Christ’s sake… GO!

 

The rockets power up and send MVP into the tunnels where he swerves, twists and turns worse than an acid-fuelled Russo storyline. He finally crash-lands into the game-zone, consisting of ruins from Vince McMahon’s latest “Billionaire vs Billionaire” match with Donald Trump where the loser has his home town demolished by their opponent’s construction company. Since Vince didn’t in fact own a construction company, it seemed fairly obvious Stamford would burn to the ground.

As MVP runs deeper into the ruins unsure of what he is about to face, Long has picked a member of the studio audience to choose his first opponent.

 

LONG: Alright, Edith. You get to choose who will make the first kill.

 

EDITH: Well, my husband and my little boy, they have their favourites, but I like my men big and cuddly!

 

LONG: Alright, Edith. I hear what you’re saying. So tonight, our first stalker will be… THE UNDERTAKAAAA!!!

 

EDITH: Actually, Teddy, I was going to pick…

 

LONG: THE UNDERTAKAAA!!!!

 

The lights dim and the bell tolls to reveal the Undertaker. But by the time he finishes his entrance, MVP has covered about 30 miles. He runs into a dark abandoned hall while sweating uncontrollably. He grabs a rag from the ground and wraps it around his head like a turban. Suddenly the doors behind him slam shut.

 

MVP: I guess they want me to stay.

 

A series of blinding lights begin to blink on and reveal the Undertaker at the other side of what’s revealed to be an ice-hockey rink surrounded by barb-wire fencing. Taker slides across the ice towards MVP who in desperation grabs one of the wires. Before Taker can retreat, MVP manages to wrap the wire around his neck and squeeze. The cheering crowd turns stone-silent as they watch a dark man wearing a turban strangle Taker with a wire. The crowd turns to stare at Long with disgust.

LONG: (shrugging) What? Too soon?

 

MVP: Hey, Long! Here is Undertaker… now, OVER taken!

MVP runs out of the rink, leaving Taker’s lifeless body behind. When MVP is out of sight, Taker suddenly sits up and the crowd explodes into cheers again. Once again Taker no-sells death itself. As the show goes to a commercial, Krystal decides to talk damage-control with Long.

 

KRYSTAL: Teddy, we need to talk.

 

LONG: (on cell-phone) Yeah, playa! SmackDown! Friday Night! 8PM Eastern 6 Central. Taker just got strangled to death and MVP ran away. This night is off the hook, baby!

 

GUY ON CELL PHONE: I just saw all that. Why are you telling me?

 

LONG: Man, these boys form a hell of a rivalry. I think we should see these two fight at least 16 more times this month.

 

GUY ON CELL PHONE: Who is this?

 

KRYSTAL: TEDDY!

 

LONG: Oh, I gotta go real quick. Holla. (hangs up)

 

KRYSTAL: Teddy, the crowd is getting restless. We need to do something.

 

LONG: I hear what you’re saying Krystal. So tonight, it’s going to be… MVP… up against... (unnecessarily long pause) THE UNDERTAKAA!!!

 

KRYSTAL: But Teddy, they just saw…

 

LONG: THE UNDERTAKAAAAA!!!!

 

KRYSTAL: (pause) …right.

 

MVP continues to run deeper into the ruins until he comes across the Undertaker again, this time on a motorcycle. Suddenly “American Badass” blares over a loudspeaker but Taker shoots a lightning bolt through it at the risk of the song humanising him.

 

Undertaker speeds up trying to hit MVP who jumps out of the way, causing Taker to fly off his bike and land through the roof of a nearby hearse. MVP sees a blue Bronco parked a few hundred yards away which he hotwires and drives straight into the hearse. After a series of ill-timed explosions, MVP shakes it off and keeps running. Not to disappoint, Taker sits up through the fiery ruins, and the crowd cheers once again.

As the show goes to another commercial break, Krystal meets with Long again.

 

KRYSTAL: Teddy…

 

LONG: (on cell phone) Yes, board of directors. I understand, board of directors. I will get on it right away, board of directors. I will talk to you again soon, board of directors. (hangs up) Krystal, I was just on my cell phone with the board of directors.

 

KRYSTAL: (rolls eyes) Yeah, what did they say?

 

LONG: After a serious discussion with the board of directors, the board of directors have decided… MVP must face… THE UNDERTAKAAAAA!!!!

 

KRYSTAL: (sighs)

 

MVP finally stops running and sits to rest. Suddenly a nearby door opens to reveal a dirty, bearded man. MVP turns to face the figure who is followed by a couple of other men. The first was a bald man in a skirt. The second appeared to be a pirate.

MVP: Haven’t I seen you guys before?

 

GUNNER: Yes. We are a rebel faction who have been wronged by the cursed SmackDown! label. I was once a promising independent wrestler, until I decided to head for the big-time where I appeared twice under a ridiculous alias and was never seen again.

 

MVP: Kenny Dykstra?

 

GUNNER: No, Gunner Scott.

 

MVP: Ouch.

 

VITO: I was once a brawny Italian stereotype. WWE thought I could enhance my character by wearing a dress.

 

(All confused turn and look at each other)

 

VITO: Don’t ask me, I still haven’t figured it out.

 

BURCHILL: I agreed to pose as a blatant rip off of Captain Jack Sparrow. Once upon a time I was a new wrestler in a decent tag team with William Regal. Little did I know tag teams are about as lifeless in the

WWE as Pat Patterson at a Playboy shoot.

 

MVP: My God! I can’t let this happen to me!

 

Suddenly a huge screen lights up behind the group with Teddy Long appearing on it.

LONG: Lemme holla at cha playas! Now MVP, you’ve put up one hell of a fight tonight. I’ve been talking with the board of directors and they’ve agreed to offer you a guaranteed* contract for a long and happy career on SmackDown! Whaddaya say, playa?

 

MVP: (tearing the camera next to the screen off its hinges) You cold blooded bastard! I’ll tell you what I think of it! I’ll live to see you eat that contract. But I hope you leave enough room for my fist, because I'm gonna ram it into you stomach and break your Goddamn spine!

 

LAURAINTIS: Y’know, that went against everything in the clause about your mic skill manor. Section 55-Q3 states and I quote…

 

After smashing the camera on the ground, MVP agrees to help the rebel faction hijack “The Running Man.” The team run through the boiler rooms and kick down the studio door. The faction race in and surround the studio.

 

MVP: It’s showtime!

 

(The crowd sits silently)

 

MVP: (clearing his throat) I said… it’s showtime!

 

(The crowd continues to sit silently)

 

MVP: (sighs) Vicky Guerrero’s contract has been renewed!

 

The crowd explodes into chaos as everyone goes running to the exits. Long is left alone in the studio as he tries to escape via the main stage.

 

MVP: Hi there, playa!

 

(Long stops dead in his tracks)

 

MVP: Y’know, one of us is in deep trouble.

 

The silence is broken by approaching footsteps. Standing at the main entrance is the Undertaker. Long chuckles to himself and approaches the rocket sled where MVP is standing.

LONG: Taker, do you have anything to say to MVP?

(MVP and Taker stare each-other down)

 

LONG: Well?

 

TAKER: (to Long) I got to score some steroids.

 

Suddenly Vince McMahon comes barging in.

 

VINCE: Steroids?! What steroids?! Our wrestlers are completely natural! The WWE wellness program attests to that! They just eat a lot of chicken! The recent spate of wrestler’s deaths came from poor ratings! But we will fix that by adding a dozen more PPVs per year and more shots of my ass!

 

All stare at Vince, who swallows nervously and leaves. The Undertaker follows leaving MVP and Long all alone.

 

MVP: (furious) I’m gonna kill you, Teddy!

 

LONG: So MVP, you’re saying you’re going to be kill me. Well, let me break it down for ya like this…

 

MVP: GOD DAMN, WILL YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP! I’m so sick and tired of you repeating everything I just said! You think wrestling fans are so stupid they need everything broken down for them?! Give them a little credit!

 

LONG: I hear what you’re saying MVP. So tonight, it’s gonna break down like this…

 

MVP grabs Long and throws him into the rocket sled, pulls the switch and sends him spinning through the tunnels.

Long’s sled blasts out into the game zone and goes flying into an old billboard of Stacker 2...

The massive explosion that follows puts an end to Teddy Long’s reign at SmackDown!

CROWD CHEERS MANIACALLY

 

Krystal: (throwing away boom box) Looks like I won’t need this any more.

 

MVP: BAAAALLIIIN!!!!

THE END

CREDITS

[All Photoshops created by Sean Carless.]

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The Sixth Child is a journalist based in Melbourne, Australia. When he’s not feeding his pet kangaroos Binky and Bunky, he watches, reviews and obsesses over films while casually fucking swearing. His campaign to save the world from fishnet tank-tops for men is failing miserably.


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TWF FLASHBACK

November 2006

SATIRE: DISCONTINUED WWE XMAS PRODUCTS!

by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).