“Ladies, ladies, ladies.”
As the intro to “Protect Ya Neck” by the Wu-Tang Clan fades away. the booming voice of The Maori Badass rings out, it's Transpacific tones and strange, strangulated vowels instantly conveying the original nationality of it's owner, the harsh, growling undercurrent leaving the viewer in utterly no doubt as to the precise identity of it's originator.
Striding into shot, Va'aiga reveals himself to camera, dressed casually as always with the hood of his sweatshirt drooping down his back, his loose fitting Adidas training pants creased with the effort of a strenuous morning's road work. The Maori wipes his cornrows away from his face, brushing his sight clear in an overly relaxed fashion before continuing his speech, talking straight to camera with a smile forming across his heavily tattooed face.
“Are YOU tired of beating on people in your own division? Are YOU looking to further your career with a win over a different kind of opponent? Do YOU want management to give you a chance over the NEXT Premiere champion?” With each word that demands that extra emphasis, Va'aiga raises his voice a few notches, almost shouting out the words, spitting them out into the air with a force comparable to his mighty blows in the ring, “Are YOU coming back from a near career ending injury? Are YOU wasting our precious time splashing every miserable little detail of your personal life all over our television screens? Do YOU spend half your life talking with an...”
The Maori pauses and leans forward a little towards the camera, raising his eyebrows as he annunciates the name of his least favourite place in the world, “...Australian? Then THIS is the offer for you! Because The Maori Badass is here to announce that I am an EQUAL OPPORTUNITIES ass kicker! You see, Trinity, all joking aside I have been in this industry too long to write off someone because of their gender. In DVS Taiga Star gave me a hell of a fight on more than one occasion and even Foxy caused me problems when she stuck her nose into my business. I've been around Chris Card long enough to know that his manager and his sister-in-law are always there to lend a hand when one is needed. When I first hit the SWF I had to look up the card to what Spider Nekura and Sydney Sky were achieving. I've been in this industry too long to believe a woman will fail because she lacks the fight of most of the male wrestlers in the back. ”
“Problem is,” Va'aiga continues, again intoning the words heavily, “I am not most of the male wrestlers in the back. You don't have to match the fight of one of those many talented professionals that staff the roster of The Premiere Wrestling Alliance. No. You have to deal with ME!”
Va'aiga nods forward as he shouts out the finale to his last sentence. The Maori pauses to wipe his face clear of his cornrows before he starts again, the pace of his delivery accelerating as his thoughts focus onto a single point, “Va'aiga! The Maori Badass! The man who breaks apart dreams as he breaks apart bones! The MOST VIOLENT, MOST DANGEROUS, MOST BRUTAL superstar in the WHOLE DAMN PROFESSIONAL WRESTLING WORLD. When I walk out to that ring I will walk with confidence. And I will show no fear. Not because you are a woman, Trinity. Not because you are smaller. No. I will show no fear because I KNOW NO FEAR. There is nothing, NOTHING that anyone, man, woman, 500 pounds, 150 pounds, 7 foot 9, 4 foot nothing, Pakeha, Maori, agile, speedy, technically gifted, hardcore, NOTHING that I do not feel the utmost levels of confidence flowing through my body when I head out to that ring to face them.”
“Trinity, when your BFF pulls up in her custom black ute, cracks open a bottle of wine from the Eskie, unties the pedigree heeler's chain and takes that black Akubra hat off, she can maybe sit you down and tell you about how at Stadium Australia, in front of over 100,000 of her countrymen I fought one of the bloodiest battles of my career against Janus, the 7 foot monster from Sydney. Or maybe you could get on the 'Wrestler's who've had career ending injuries hotline' and ask Freddy Fandango how his neck is healing up. Thing is whoever you talk to, up and down that road in this industry, they all could tell you about an incident where The Maori fucked someone up pretty bad. Any of this registering in the hind part of your brain, that little centre that screams out 'Don't get fucked up that bad again.” I've seen the tapes. Cady Coleman was pretty damn brutal with you. Your career doesn't need another setback like that. So I'll give you the advice for free. As much as I'm laid back today, I got a lot of anger rising in my system right now. And it's all at Jiraya Kaito. But when I've got all this anger I need to get rid of, sometimes I get a little bit carried away in the ring.”
“So when you feel your arm being dragged across your throat, kinda like this,” Va'aiga demonstrates by positioning his own arm across his throat, his right hand over his left shoulder, “Do something.”
The Maori drops his massively muscular arm back down to his side before restarting his spiel, his tempo slowly a little as he elaborates further on his last point, “Seriously. Do something. Struggle. Find a desperate counter. Cheat. No, wait, don't cheat. That would annoy me more. But pull something out of your bag of tricks. Hell even submit if you want to. But do SOMETHING. Because if you find yourself in the situation that your arm is trapped against your neck one of two different scenarios is going to happen. Scenario one, and I hope the boys in the back can pull something up to illustrate this,”
A video cuts in showing a clip from Va'aiga vs Captain Howdy. Va'aiga has Howdy's arm trapped across his throat. Holding the arm in place for a second, The Maori applies a Half Nelson with his other arm, trapping Howdy's arm by grasping it at the wrist. With his other arm free, Va'aiga grabs hold of Howdy and suplexes him over, arm still trapped, landing him RIGHT ON HIS HEAD!
“BOOM!” explodes the Maori, “I call that the Swiss Suplex. Now if The Captain wasn't a double tough son of a bitch that could have seriously caused some damage. Now if I get round to hitting that big old suplex on you, you have to be feeling pretty roughed up. Pretty hurt. And old injuries start to rattle when you take a drop that hard. But you should be feeling lucky. DAMN lucky. Because of scenario TWO. Scenario TWO is the one you should be scared of. Scenario TWO, well it goes something like this...”
Another video. This is from Va'aiga's Premiere Title victory. Freddy Fandango has his arm pinned back across his throat. Va'aiga lifts Fandango up with surprising ease and with the half Japanese Stranglehold still applied, The Maori racks Freddy up in one smooth, effortless motion. With his opponent having the air supply denied to his lungs and his back cracked in a high arched Torture Rack, Va'aiga has Fandango in position as he falls to a side and
“Whoah. Would you look at THAT,” The Maori enthuses, “Is it any wonder that he hasn't been seen since? So those are just two ways, and trust me when I say there are many more, that I can hurt you. Just giving you some free advice because, hey, wouldn't want you getting hurt out there.”
“So,” Va'aiga adds with a flourish, sporting an almost dramatic pose for a brief moment, “Let's just cut to the chase. Va'aiga. The Human Predator. The Man Who Knows No Fear. The Motherfuckin' Maori Madman... THREE Ms MY PEEEOPLES!”
Va'aiga hollers the statement as he throws the Shaka Sign... a reference to the New Zealand gang culture which he was once a part of. A hint of the endless wellspring of anger enters his voice as he ramps up the aggression, drawing to a close, “Ah yeah, I'm feeling OLD SCHOOL tonight. But Trinity, NO prejudices, NO preconceptions, and you can be dam sure there will be NO going easy on you. I'm going to go out there, wrestle hard and attempt to make you the next stiff to throw on the pile. DO NOT think I'm underestimating you. DO NOT underestimate me. And DO NOT piss me off. I'm in a bad enough mood anyways.”
On this ominous line, Va'aiga allows a long pause before taking a quick swing from a can of Monster energy (The only energy drink recommended by a 350 real life monster of Professional Wrestling!) Changing topic to his future opponent, Va'aiga again modulates his voice down to a more reasoned pace and again clears his face from the wayward braids of hair.
“Oh and you KNOW why I'm pissed off,” The Maori starts, “You KNOW why Jiraya Kaito. I'm steaming with rage and all you can do is talk about how you've been saved and how winning the title from me was your cure. Killer Kaito is your dark side and you feel you need to be free of it? Winning the title was some kind of cure? Well tick tock Kaito-kun,”
Va'aiga snorts in self amusement at disrespecting Kaito in his own language, “The time is coming when you find that the cure was worse than the problem. Your psychological state is the least of your damn problems. No-DQ, Kaito. And if losing to you was the cure, then I'm gonna have to beat the devil back into you. See I don't flip flop around my personalities. Sure I've got a temper, but that's part of The Maori Badass. I don't have a hidden violent side I'm trying to control. I LIKE MY VIOLENT SIDE. I don't hide it behind some bullshit and drama about curses and cures, I WEAR IT ETCHED INTO MY FACE. SEE THIS?”
Pointing to his facial tattoos, Va'aiga runs a finger down over his cheek in a way that would have taken off any facepaint he would have been wearing. The Maori continues, his voice now raised to full bellowing power, “SEE THIS? THIS IS VA'AIGA. THIS IS THE MAORI BADASS. I come from a culture of VIOLENCE! Kaito, the only reason I haven't crushed your skull yet is that it is already destined to happen on Pay Per View. In fact I have a vested interest in keeping your miserable ass safe until I get my hands around your throat and choke the life out of you, live, for a paying audience of millions to watch. Jiraya Kaito? Killer Kaito? If you want the Premiere Title back after it gets Slung over the shoulder of this Maori, you'll have to come back as Onryo Kaito. Check your head and get concentrating on making plans, making plans for when The Maori Badass comes STRAIGHT 2 YO DOOR, bringing all that violence that breaks the silence, all those big power moves, all those lethal strikes, all that warrior tradition and killer instinct. Make plans for how you're gonna handle all that I bring. Just don't go making any plans for the next couple of months afterwards.”
Curling his hand up into the Shaka Sign again, Va'aiga signs off from his promo in tradinitonal style,
Positioned in the corridor outside of where Va'aiga has given his interview, The PWA's hottest interviewer (because she gets all the hot exclusives, she'd argue) Miranda Buck stands poised with a microphone. Va'aiga strides out of the doorway, accompanied by the crash that hardware usually experiences in the vicinity of The Maori Badass.
Ms Buck opens with the question that has been on many PWA fans' lips in recent weeks, phrased in a fairly diplomatic fashion, “Va'aiga, Miranda Buck, PWA fans have been asking me, what's with the change of attitude?”
“A change of attitude,” Va'aiga replies, raising his eyebrows quizically as if he is struggling to understand the lovely Ms Buck's point, “There hasn't been a change of attitude.”
“But you have been straying towards the more, how to put it, violent tendencies that you have.”
“I've been suppressing the less violent tendencies. The little holes that stop me from being the dominant force that you, that cameraman, ALL the PWA fans know I can be.”
“Suppressing the less violent tendencies?” comes the slightly surprised reply from the interviewer, “So you are seeing yourself as naturally more violent?”
“Listen, Miranda,” replies The Maori in a calm tone, “I am a violent man. Sometimes in the past I have been unpredictable, even dangerous with my anger. I've seen what that can do to a wrestler. I've seen people have emotional wrangles with people trying to conrol their 'Dark Side'. I don't have a dark side. I've come to realise that. It's just... I'm not a nice man. I don't have a hidden killer inside me. I leave my vices, my violence on display. And while all around me people are going insane over their problems, I feel more in control than ever.”
“But you're still pissed with Kaito?”
“I'm going to hurt Kaito. We all know the time, we all know you got to call your PPV provider and lay your money down to see that. But I know how to focus that anger. And pity poor Trinity. Because she's in the firing line next.”
“She had some pretty harsh words to say about you in an interview earlier.”
“Maybe a couple of months ago I'd have given a shit what she thought. Maybe I'd have pored over what she said, looked for the dumb mistake and pounced on it as a reason to kick the side of her skull in. Now... I plan to kick the side of her skull in anyway. Maybe I'll check if she told a dumb ass, brain dead, kid held back two grades in the playground joke about my name later. But hey, if she didn't, she still made the biggest mistake of them all. Standing directly in the path of a big, bad, pissed off Va'aiga.”
“Are you SURE this is the Va'aiga your fans want to see?”
“Miranda, Miranda, Miranda. The World Whanau are a tight unit. They want to get behind the Maori. They stand, they cheer, they throw the Shaka Signs and they shout for me. And if you're not a Va'aiga fan already, you got two options. I'm not going to stop kicking the miserable asses of everyone management puts in front of me, from Kaito to Keeton, from Aiden Miles to Valentine Lionheart and everything inbetween. So you can learn to love me. You can join the crowd, you can cheer the violence, the unrestrained anger, the full force of the Maori unleashed. Or... you can go fuck yourself.”
“Emmm..,” Miranda stumbles over her words at the aggression behind The Maori's answer.
“You want to know where my head's at? My head's in the game. And it's worked out the best way for me to win. Now you'd be best served learning a Japanese Bullshit to English dictionary so you can go ask Kaito where HIS head's at. Personally I think it's just about taking one thing. The right advice.”
“Which would be?”
“Oh you get to see how the right advice has affected me. Of course sometimes you just choose the option you were gonna anyways. Kia ora STG, by the way.”
The Maori Badass wanders off, leaving the greeting to Samantha Teague Gaither hanging in the air. Miranda Buck looks slsightly confused as she signs off,
“That was Va'aiga...” and her voice tails off as she shakes her head slightly, possibly personally unsatisfied at The Maori's explanations of his recent actions.