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With Breakdown looming, an IWC World Championship within his reach, and Taking Hold of the Flame lurking almost immediately after, Jake Starr's week could be called, in a sense, a name that many college students use for their last week of a semester...

Hell week!

It's been an interesting past couple of months that has culminated in this, potentially historic week for the superstar. Three wins would put him in a category currently only holding one name. It'd put his name alongside that of one of his many rivals here in SCW, Christian Savior. He'd emerge as, not just a World Champion in SCW or IWC, he'd emerge as the World Champion in both.

But as everyone knows, that's much easier said than done.

With all of this happening this week, he still has the chores of real life to tend to.

Since his mother's arrival at their house, he's taken much solace knowing she's tended to the needs of his wife, during her pregnancy. He's felt a lot more at ease going out on the road, and leaving his wife in the hands of someone he trusts.

Lately though, Jake's level of "worry" has begun to escalate.

When he recently came home from a promotional tour for SCW, he noticed Roeper wasn't seemingly feeling the way she did when he first left. At first, he just assumed it was some kind of "morning sickness," but it didn't seem to subside. He told Roeper to go get checked out by the doctor to make sure everything was ok, to which she quickly denied any need to do.

After battling the fatigue as long as she could, Roeper finally retired to the bedroom to take a nap, and hopefully sleep this "ailment" off. When she did so, Jake quickly approached his mom to do an assessment of the situation. Denise did her best to calm her son, and assure him that Roeper will know when and if something truly is wrong.

That wasn't comforting enough for him.

He kept insisting his mom check Roeper out herself, and see what she thought in person, rather than just listening to Jake's description.

Denise finally realized that was going to be the only way Jake would calm down, and possibly believe what she has been assuring him is the truth. She finally agrees to go check on Roeper...

As the scene fades in, Jake is pacing outside his bedroom, where his mom has gone in to humor her son, and check on his wife. As the barely audible sound of the doorknob turning is heard, Jake immediately freezes and stares in angst as his mom slowly tries to sneak out the door quietly. Denise has a grin on her face, but the obvious worry on Jake's prompts him to quickly jump into questioning his mother...

Jake Starr: Is she going to be ok? Do we need to take her to the doctor?

Denise Starr: Oh honey... Of course she is ok!

Jake continues to have a worried look on his face.

Jake Starr: But... But... What's wrong with her?

Denise Starr: She's pregnant son! Pregnant women go through phases when they don't feel at their best, and simply need to rest.

Denise realizes she just made a rhyme.

Denise Starr: ... Huh! Would you look at that! I'm a poet, and didn't know it tee hee!

Jake just stares at his mom, slightly annoyed at her attempt to be humorous.

Jake Starr: Is this really the time for that?

Denise Starr: Honey... You need to relax!

Jake Starr: Relax?! How can I relax? She could be seriously sick in there!

Denise Starr: Jake... I gave birth to you and your two brothers, so trust me, I know what sickness due to pregnancy is like.

Jake tries to take a couple breaths to ease his edgy nerves.

Denise Starr: ... And besides, she's not feeling half as bad as I did when I was pregnant with you!

Jake is taken aback by the statement. His mom had never mentioned to him about any complications she had while pregnant with him.

Jake Starr: What do you mean?

Denise wraps her arm around her youngest son, and begins to walk with him back toward his entertainment room. She hopes by maybe telling him about what happened when she was carrying him, it may help to calm him down, and help him relax.

Denise Starr: Well walk with me Jake... Let me tell you about when it was your turn to come into the family...

Jake immediately stops in his tracks, with a, now slightly scared look upon his face.

Jake Starr: Please don't tell me you're going to give me stories about you and Dad having sex!

Denise begins to chuckle.

Denise Starr: Don't worry son... I don't think your ears could handle the stories I have about that!

Jake Starr: Oh I cou...

Jake's face immediately turns disgusted, and he quickly does a double-take toward the direction of his mother.

Jake Starr: EW! GROSS!

Denise begins laughing even harder.

Denise Starr: Now you know where you get your sick sense of humor from!

Jake's disgusted look turns into one of a more relaxed look, and he gives a little chuckle at his mom's statement.

Denise Starr: ... Now... Don't worry I'm skipping ahead of the "birds and bees" part of the story. By the looks of your wife, and her pregnant belly, you already know how that part of the equation works!

Jake flings his head to the side, then back, and rolls his eyes.

Jake Starr: Oh c'mon Mom!

Denise continues to chuckle to herself, thoroughly enjoying the aspect of slightly embarrassing her son.

Denise Starr: He he! Anyway, no when I got pregnant with you, I figured you would be the easiest. Your dad and I had been through the whole pregnancy "routine" twice, and figured we had the whole scenario pretty much in control. Then about three months in, I started having some really rough morning sickness. I didn't think much of it, mainly because it just kind of comes with the territory, but it seemingly, in my mind, started getting a little out of hand...

The two make it to the entertainment room. Denise sits down on the couch, while Jake sits opposite here, lounging back, and listening.

Denise Starr: ... And so after a few days of it, I finally asked your dad to take me into the doctor's office to make sure nothing was wrong with me, or you.

Jake Starr: What exactly was wrong?

Denise Starr: Like as far as...?

Jake Starr: Umm... Like what made you think it was different?

Denise leans her head back, and tries to recall what happened to really force her to go get checked out.

Denise Starr: You know... I think it was a mix of fatigue, nausea, and feeling like I was just really out of breath. But I think what sent me over the edge was when I felt some pain in my chest.

Jake is shocked to hear of the chest pains.

Denise Starr: ... So when we got to the doctor's office, he checked me out, and I told him the issues I was having. He said the fatigue, nausea, and shortness of breath, was most likely just because of my body having to supply extra oxygen to you. He said some fetuses seemingly need more oxygen, so there wasn't much worry there. But he was a little concerned with the chest pains.

Jake Starr: Uh yeah! I would be too!

Denise Starr: ... Ha ha! So he ran some tests, and found nothing wrong, and sent me home. He told me to monitor myself, and the minute there is any discomfort, write down what was happening around me, and call him immediately.

Denise pauses, and Jake begins to lean forward slowly, expecting his mother to continue on.

Denise Starr: ... OH! Sorry I kind of spaced out there!

Jake Starr: Was that it?!

Denise Starr: Oh... No! See we went home, and a couple of days went by with just the nausea and crap happening, but then the chest pains came back again one night out of the blue. So I wrote down what we were doing and picked up the phone to call the doctor...

Jake interrupts his mom.

Jake Starr: What were you doing though?

Denise Starr: Eating dinner! Be patient... As in wrestling, everything comes full circle eventually, just relax!

Jake Starr: ... Ok!

Denise Starr: Anyway, I called the doctor, explained what had happened, and what was happening around me. He then asked me to think back to the times before that it had happened, and they all had some close proximity to when I ate. Turns out it was just really painful indigestion and heartburn. You REALLY didn't have a taste for curry!

Jake Starr: Curry is nasty that's why!

Denise Starr: Well apparently you thought that then as well! So I had to stop eating curry, but you were picky when it came to food the whole time you were in the womb.

Jake smirks.

Denise Starr: Seriously! I had to monitor what I ate CONSTANTLY in order to keep you from kicking on me and pissing off my intestines. It was not a pleasant feeling.

Jake Starr: I can imagine not!

Denise Starr: So you see... Being sick is part of the whole pregnancy process. At least for most people it is.

Jake lets out a long, drawn out, and very audible sigh.

Jake Starr: I... I just worry!

Denise Starr: I know! And your dad did too for a while. He swore it wasn't his cooking, and swore the doctor had missed something. They didn't though!

Jake Starr: I... I guess it's just because I've never been pregnant before!

Denise Starr: Well let's hope you stay that way, or you'll have some SERIOUS explaining to do to me, your father, and not to mention Roeper.

The two share a laugh, and Denise shifts over to sit next to her son. She embraces him, and reassures him his wife is just fine, and just having one of "those days" that pregnant women encounter. Jake thanks his mom for calming him down, and thanks her again for being around during these new "moments" in his life. He knows, deep down, that if she weren't around, he'd be extremely panicky about everything, all day, everyday. He knows he needs to entrust his wife's care and well-being to his mom, and those others surrounding him right now, so he can focus on the task at hand... Getting ready to reclaim the SCW World Heavyweight Championship.

The camera begins to fade back in on a pitch black room. In the distance, a vague silhouette can be seen moving towards what looks to be a table. The silhouette strikes a match, and lowers it towards the table, lighting a candle which has been resting atop it.

The camera begins to slowly zoom in on the flickering candle as it fills the room with its dim light. From the side, as the camera moves in even tighter, the voice of Jake Starr begins to echo, while the camera continually focuses on the illuminated wick.

Jake Starr: A flame... Something that has, over the years, come to mean and symbolize many things...

In religion, the flame has become synonymous with the "Supreme Being." It has been used to show the "brilliance," and the "majesty," spanning Deities from the mythological times of Prometheus in Greece, to Brahman in Hinduism, to the perception in Christianity that the flame represents love Divine.

Some see it as a depiction of masculinity, or the principles within masculinity, like energy, passion, strength, or courage.

While yet others see it as a symbol of a goal, an achievement, a quest to be conquered. Those people look at a flame, and they see through the flickering light, and the wispy flame, in order to see what it is they desire.

In a sense, it is this idea of the flame's symbolism, that is the ultimate one.

How so?


In religion, all of the followers and worshipers of the faith look to their "Supreme Being" for guidance and tutelage. They look to their "Supreme Being" to give them a model for which they are to live their lives. They, in a sense, see the flame as their desires in their faith, and their path towards achieving said desires.

Through the eyes of those who perceive the flame to be something depicting a masculine principle, the flame represents the desire of the beholder to achieve the respective trait they are lacking. For someone who is weak, they would see the flame as an idea of energy and strength, and a motivational tool to help rid them of their weakness. Others may utilize the flame as an idea that they can burn through any challenge that steps in their way, and overcome the difficulties.

The flame means a lot to many people. It is rare that two people will ever see the same symbolism in its illumination simply due to the fact each human being seeks their own goal...

Jake lifts the candle up off of the table, and the light illuminates his face.

Jake Starr: ... And for me, the goal is simple. I want to be the one who conquers the element. I want to be the one who is able to grasp the flame, harness its power, utilize its energy, and do something I've yet to do in this industry, take hold of the flame, and run with it.

My entire career, I saw myself as the hunter. I've always looked at myself as the man whose job it was to find the torch bearer, and take him out. I always found myself with the torch in hand, and immediately stoking the flames.

Why stoke them?

That's a good question!

I've never grabbed hold of the fact that maybe it was me, and my responsibility, to become the torch bearer, rather than the pure hunter. It was always about the hunt for me. Once one bearer was eliminated, I merely would fall back into the pack until someone else decided it was time to take control, and become the one seen as the true "torch bearer."

In a sense, I was, as the cliche goes, always the bridesmaid, and never the bride, but unlike most, mine was seemingly by choice and not by circumstance.

But I hope to change that on Sunday!

See, as I look back on a career filled with "what ifs, maybes, and should've-could'ves," I realize that I have an opportunity, now, to truly find out what would have happened had I done it in the past. Sure, I was a different guy back then. Sure I walked around treating people like garbage, behind the scenes, who I didn't agree with or like. Sure, I was an all-out prick. But I still passed up the chances, and now, another one stares me in the face.

When Exeter and I met for those three grueling and bitter matches, I had the opportunity then. Hell, I knew I became "the guy." I still merely stoked the flame. I carried it for one match, and I won, then I stoked it out, drifted back to the main pack again, and in the end, it cost me dearly. Not taking the opportunity I had been handed and running with it to my full potential, allowed someone else to run up, relight the flame, and become the leader.

On the flipside... It did make me the hunter once again! It does allow me to go into my comfort zone one more time, in order to get to the point I want to be at.

You see, when Tactical Warfare began, Hudson knew the two possible scenarios he was going into. The first scenario was that of me having the torch, running with it at full speed, and making sure I made plenty of ground on the pack of hunters behind me. He knew that if I had decided I was the new bearer of the torch, I would be making sure nobody got the pinfall but me. The second scenario ended up being the right option, and involved me beginning to allow the pack to catch up, hand the torch to someone else, and proceed to hunt them.

Hudson wasn't stupid. He is an intelligent man in this industry. He knew of my past. He had to have. He knew the signs to look out for, and he saw them, and he pounced. He knew once they presented themselves, he could legitimately win.

And he did just that...

I commend him on capitalizing on his opportunity. I commend him on realizing the chance he had to become "the man" in SCW again, and taking it.

But as I've done in the past, I plan on hunting with a thirst for blood.

Jake begins to run his hand quickly through the candle flame. He grins as he watches each finger pass through the flickering light, and then looks at his hand, completely devoid of any markings from the fire.

Jake Starr: It's amazing, you know? The ability to run your hand through an open flame, and no suffer any burns, or any permanent damage to your skin. I wonder if that has been my reasoning for never taking it, and running with it. Maybe it's the fear of suffering some long-term damage...?

Last year's winner of the namesake battle royal earned the chance to run with the torch, and did so quite well. He became a victorious champion on a few occasions, and then when he lost to me, he didn't drift back to the pack and go on the prowl. He simply stopped and watched as the new leader and the pack passed him by.

Hell, before Exeter, it was Shawn Winters carrying the torch for the organization, and when Exeter dethroned him, he just stopped too.

It's like a curse almost.

If you opt to take-on the task of being the full-time "torch bearer" for SCW, you're seemingly required to stop dead in your tracks, and not pursue the hunted any longer...

Come to think of it... That's been a pretty normal case throughout my career.

Maybe that's why I never wanted to become the guy who remains "the guy?" Maybe I feared that it would, ultimately, become the demise of my career, or that it would force me into a mentality where I just chose not to continue on? Maybe it was my subconscious trying to protect me from that potential outcome?

Honestly... I don't know what the my reasoning is, I just know that's how my career has played out...

Until now...

Jake resumes running his fingers quickly through the flame.

Jake Starr: ... See, as I run my fingers through the flame, I fail to see the harm or the "scary" aspect of taking hold of it. It's something I've never really thought about or contemplated until now, but nevertheless, I see that it isn't something to fear.

I no longer fear the aspect of being the all-out, hunted, prey for those who strive to beat me. I don't fear the thought of running with this flame, carrying it proudly, and should someone hunt me down, feel the need to disappear into wrestling obscurity. No... I feel the need to break the cycle I've watched and witnessed my entire professional life. I feel the need and the desire to take my rightful place at the front of the pack, and lead the hunters on a chase they'll never forget. I want to be "that guy" who, for many years into the future, people look back on and say that he didn't succumb to the pressures associated with being "the guy to beat."

Simply put... I want what I know I deserve.

I have run from this opportunity one time too many. I have not allowed myself the right to fully embrace and accept my position atop the world of wrestling, until now!

When I walk into that match, I'll be looking into the eyes of three other men with the same wants and desires as I have. Every single one of us want the World Championship, but yet, every last one of us have out ulterior motives for emerging victorious.

For Justin Davis... It's a matter of proving he belongs. He's been involved in several matches of "main event" status, only to continually come up short. He was fortunate to be grouped into the foursome of Hudson, Thorn, and myself, and in a sense, broke his streak of main event trip-ups.

But ultimately, that won't satisfy his thirst for proving he's worth the hype and attention he has received. He wants to put this championship belt on his mantle and look at it knowing he has reached the pinnacle of his career. He knows that until he, not only climbs the mountain, but stands atop it alone, he'll never be perceived with the same respect others have garnered.

In his eyes, this is what he's worked for. His last World Championship match was voted on by the locker room, and the fan base of Supreme Championship Wrestling.

He knows it wasn't something he earned on his own.

He knows he had help.

Had he emerged victorious, it would have been a different motive for entering into this match, outside of the World Championship. Instead, it is, what it is.

People have questioned his status as a proven main event talent since he was given that vote, and he eats at him inside. It eats at him to think he's seen what the peak of the mountain looks like, and almost was able to scale to the apex, and yet fell short time and time again. He knows that with each slip up, with each missed opportunity, it proves that he didn't earn the chance, he was merely gifted it.

The more and more I see him on the same playing field as me, I can honestly say, the more and more I believe he may actually belong. Regardless of the outcomes of our matches, someone's name doesn't continually appear opposite mine unless they may have a rightful place in that position.

Now, that doesn't mean I believe he could end up winning this upcoming match. I don't... I just believe in time, everyone may see he does belong, whether he gets the gold, or continually falls short. Hell, look at Peyton Manning, for example. He was 9 years into his career before he finally tasted the sweet taste of a championship. He continually received the criticism of not being able to win the "big game," and yet finally shut everyone up.

So the potential for Davis is out there. I just don't believe he'll be able to stop me in my quest this time around.

With the candle in hand, Jake begins to take a walk with the camera following closely.

Jake Starr: ... And then you have Thorn. A man who, I must reiterate, I'm proud to call a friend. He walks into this match with the ulterior motive of wanting to finally prove himself to the world.

Unlike Davis, since Thorn's arrival in Supreme Championship Wrestling, he has never been viewed as someone who could have that "superstar" potential by many. I know I've seen it in him, and I know inside he knows he has it. But the masses of the cliques behind the scenes have never given him much of a second look. They look at him and merely brush him to the side. Hell... I've heard them say:

"Thorn will never be champion, he can't compete with the likes of you!"

"Wow you really believe Thorn is that good? I just don't see it!"

"He was lucky to be on your team in that match, or he wouldn't have ever gotten a World Title shot."

... Yes... Those are all direct quotes of things I've heard people say to me, and also to others as I've conveniently eavesdropped into the conversations they were having.

Nevertheless... Everyone has just presumed he wouldn't amount to anything, and he realizes it. He realizes what it would mean for him to emerge with the SCW World Championship...

Honestly it's the same boat I was in!

When I first came onto the scene, everyone was none to happy that I was able to get my name into the history books as a champion within three matches. People thought I was just a joke. People thought I wasn't cutout for life in SCW. Every time a new match would come my way, the non-believers would line up and begin hurling their disbelief my way, and hoping I bought into their propaganda.

Thorn is the same way. All of these cliques want to keep guys like he and I out of their little self-important party, and when we stick around, and don't play by their rules, we're instantly thrown into that "black sheep" category. I know Thorn hates being there, and wants out. I know he sees a reign as World Heavyweight Champion as his key to showing those who have doubted him that they're completely wrong.

But unfortunately for my friend, it's just not his time.

The world will soon realize what Thorn is capable of, and how stellar of a competitor he truly is. It just isn't going to be through a World Championship reign... At least not this time around. The world will watch him push all three of us in this match to our breaking points. Some of us will snap, and crumble under the immense pressure. I won't. I won't succumb to the pressures of this type of match. I don't care how much I am beaten, battered, tortured, stabbed, mutilated, decapitated, anything! This is not going to be when I break.

Nobody out there will force me to question my will or my desire to continue on. NOBODY!

Jake takes a breath that is audibly quite loud. The emotion pouring through his body shines through the darkness of the dimly lit room.

Jake Starr: But one last one who'd like to be the one into that very situation, force me to doubt myself, force me to believe I'm not capable of being "the guy" anymore, is a man who has done everything in his power to get my attention. He's gone out time and time again, since Tactical Warfare, paraded around with the SCW Championship over his shoulder, and proclaimed that even though he's the champion, he realizes it's not a claim he fully embodies quite yet.

Yes... I've addressed Hudson's desire to face me one on one. I've addressed his desire to want to pin me. I've addressed his burning sensation to show the world he didn't merely win the SCW Championship by luck, he did it because he was the best.

I've addressed all of that!

He has this inner desire to be seen as royalty due to the fact he holds the gold, and honestly it pains me to see that in a man. It pains me to witness a grown man believing that a mere piece of metal strapped onto a sewn piece of leather defines someone as... Royalty?

This is why he is no TRUE champion. This is why he wants me alone. He perceives me as the "rightful" heir to the throne, and wants to be the one the world watches slay the heir-apparent, and claim the throne for himself. Sadly, I don't see a championship belt as a designation of royalty, or any metaphoric variation thereof. I see it as an accolade someone earned, and should treat it as such.

I don't see myself as "better" because I look at the definition of a championship differently, but I do see myself as better because of what I've already done in this business. I see my accomplishments, and my abilities as worthy of the praise I have begun to receive.

Don't get me wrong... Hudson has earned his keep in SCW. His path is similar to that of mine. He frequently boasts about how he's been on this streak of late, destroying people who dare be thrown in his path, leaving lifeless bodies in his wake. But... It has an eerily similar sound to that of another who I downed in my own stretch of destruction...

... Ah yes... Hurse...

See, he forged a path to me, much the same as Hudson did. He battled the big names, and left them lying one by one behind him. He brought an unbeaten streak into the End of the Year Special, getting his deserved chance at the SCW World Championship. The world said I was doomed. The world said I couldn't be the "Great Hurse." The world said my reign as champion would end after one mere month. I was to be the one Hurse dethroned to prove the superiority of the Cartel over SCW.

In the end, it didn't work out so well for the world's assumptions of the night.

The unbeatable became the fallen.

The unbelievable became reality.

I've seen this adversity before, and Hudson knows it. He knows that I've faced someone with his track record before, and emerged victorious. He's needing to continually hype himself up to give me a sense of reassurance that maybe... Just maybe... He can not suffer the same fate.

He is forcing his own hand, before the cards are ever dealt.

It's his ulterior motive. It's his primary desire. It's not about the championship belt. No... It's about Jake Starr. It's about a man who forged a path to success, and is someone who he can't claim a true victory over. In his eyes... He NEEDS this win.

I'll admit... I merely WANT it...

My life after this business is already moving. I don't NEED this like Hudson does. I've stepped up in SCW in ways nobody ever expected, and I went from a nobody, to almost a nobody, to the somebody that ruled the roost. Ultimately, I see my stint here, already, as a success. I don't NEED anything to validate what I've done because I've already done it.

This match... This championship... This event... This situation... It's all wants, and no needs. I want the SCW Championship because I think I'm the one who has been the most deserving of it in a long time. I want the SCW Championship because I honestly think I'm the guy who proved WITHOUT A SHADOW OF A GOD DAMN DOUBT that I'm capable of stepping up against the IWC, representing SCW proudly, and NOT coming up short, as again, everyone projected. I want this championship because for once I want the torch...

... And for once... I'm Taking Hold...

Jake's hand swipes through the glowing wick, giving the illusion of him grasping the flame into his hand, and turning the room pitch black. His final words are whispered through the darkness...

Jake Starr: ... of the Flame!


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