The Assault Rifle | HOUSE REIGNER
Mr. Cash In The Vault
“Tonight, we have a very special, in depth interview with the winner of the Twenty-Eighteen Cash in the Vault match. ‘The Assault Rifle’ Noah Reigner. Noah, thanks for joining me.” Sofia Clark said, turning to the right in her chair. Pulling back from the close up we had of Sofia, we see Noah Reigner sitting directly beside her. Noah leaned back in his chair - but more importantly, he sat alone. No Evelyn to be found anywhere. Normally, Noah would have a smirk on his face with arrogance oozing out of every pour. Instead, he just sat there, stone faced as his eyes focused on Sofia. “Let’s start with the most recent thing, Battleground. You and Jack Haze were just eliminated from the Grand Prix tournament by the Jaded Hearts. How are you feeling after that?”
“Fucking ecstatic.” He said sarcastically, looking at her strangely. “How do you think I feel after taking a loss that should have been mine? .. Now, I’m not going to sit here and say that it was a fluke - or whatever. Kassidy and Sienna won, straight up. They had Jack’s number and pulled it, and that’s what happened. With that said, it was a tag team match so yes - I lost too. So, being the humble man I am, I will say - congratulations to the Jaded Hearts.” Noah’s reply was short and to the point.
“Given the animosity between you and Kassidy that must have been hard to say.” She said, leading Noah..
“It’s no secret Kass and I don’t like one another. And things I’ve said to her? While most have been fact, all of it was to get under her skin and into her head. See, I know Kass better than most on this roster, I know how to push her buttons and I know how she operates in the ring. She passed any and all expectation I had of her, I’ll admit that. Battleground continued that. So I’ll be the bigger man and give her the credit she’s due. But don’t forget that this was a tag match..” Noah replied, smugly.
“And; are the Stoned Raiders looking to bounce back and step up sooner or later for the tag titles?”
“The Grand Prix was a nice little distraction, but the tag team championships are not my goal. Not right now. I didn’t sign with the EAW as a member of a tag team. I signed with one goal in mind, and that was to climb the mountain and prove to myself and to everyone else that I could win the big one, as they say. So while Jack and I had fun in the Grand Prix - my focus is the World Heavyweight championship. That’s the priority.” He never skipped a beat, answering the question quickly and with little, to no emotion in his voice. The World Championship has always been Noah’s primary goal, so that answer should come as no surprise to anyone.
Sofia nodded her head, taking the hint that Noah wanted to move on past the Grand Prix. “Okay, let’s shift focus to Voltage. You’re hosting Battleground standout, Visual Prophet in his first match on the main roster. Viz, as he goes by, has already spoken his mind about you. But before we get to what he said, first what are your thoughts on being the ‘go-to’ guy to introduce people to Voltage?”
“It’s not the first time that I’ve been looked at by the management to complete a task. Need I remind you about Territorial Invasion? .. But let’s get one thing straight right off of the bat - I’m not the gatekeeper of Voltage. It’s not my job to to judge the Battleground call ups and give them their ultimate opportunity on the big stage.” He shifted in his chair. “I’m the holder of the Cash in the Vault briefcase, and that’s well documented. I’m the man that tore apart the Enterprise and sent them running. I’m the man that pushed Lars Grier away from the World championship picture which began his descent. Sofia, I’m one of the hottest members of the roster right now and I can guarantee you, sooner or later - my goals will be realized. And that prophecy will become true. But feeding me guys like Woogieman, Landerson and now calls ups from Battleground when I should rightfully be in the Chamber? It’s doing nothing but frustrating me.”
“I can understand that.” Sofia tried to sympathize with Noah, but the look on his face immediately caused her to slide toward the next topic. “After taking the time to listen to Viz’s words, what are your thoughts and opinion on him? He’s been quite the acquisition for the company and has been on fire down in New Jersey.”
“Yeah, the big dude has torn shit up down there. Even most recently defeating Bowie Grey, a man I’ve had my eye on.” - “Had your eye on? For what, exactly?” Sofia interrupted Noah. “Expansion. A House is only as big as you build it, you know? But we’re not talking about that right now. … Viz beat Bowie Grey in a battle of two of the brightest stars to come out of Battleground, and now Viz - all six foot eight, two hundred and eighty five pounds of him - comes barrelling down on me on Voltage. Looking for an opportunity to push through to the main roster and earn his spot. Aim high, right? That’s the best approach. Shoot for the stars, and even if you miss you still would have shot higher than some of your companions on Battleground. Viz is a vet in the business, near two decades in fact, so it would be a lie to say that I have never heard his name, or seen his tapes in passing. And in comparison? I’m only entering my third year in this business, so on paper - he has the advantages in height, weight and experience - but he’s right. He is the underdog in this one.”
“How do you mean?”
“Look at where I am. I’m sitting at the top of the roster, Sofia. I’m in the same league with guys like Rex McAllister, Diamond Cage, Ahren Fournier even - and Viz is down on Battleground. That’s not to say he doesn’t lack talent, but what that tells you is - in this company, I have earned my stripes. In this company I am the vet. What that tells you is that Voltage is House Reigner, and I am the proprioriter. Viz happens to be a guest, and he needs to remember that. A guest that will show up at Voltage this weekend, and then be turned around once I’m finished with him inside of that ring. That’s it, that’s all.”
“Do you think it’s going to be that easy?”
“Sofia, phrases like ‘student of the game’, or ‘ring general’ are thrown around quite often and usually by people who really have no idea what they mean. I know what they mean. Has there been a match I haven’t been prepared for? Has there been an opponent that I haven’t been ready to meet head on? I know Viz is going to try and utilize his size and strength, that’s the most obvious game plan ever. But when you’ve spent your career being a hundred and eighty pounds like me? It’s not too often you find yourself in the position where you’re the bigger the men in the fight. I’ve grown used to being the smallest guy out there, so I’ve developed ways to get around it. Plus it helped that my sparring partner used to be Rumble, who was six-eight, three hundred and sixty pounds.” Noah shrugged. “That is how I’ve gotten to be where I am, Sofia. Developing ways to get around such disadvantages, and coming up with my own strategy. And that is why House Always Wins.” Noah said with a smug smile.
“Well, from the way Viz spoke to and about you, it would seem that he’s well prepared for this match too.” Sofia said. “In fact, he brought up that same height and weight advantage when he said he had every reason to ‘squash’ you.” You could sense Noah smirking even though the camera wasn’t on him at that moment.
“That’s good, he should be prepared. As he said, this is his opportunity, right? His chance to show what he’s all about. As far as squashing me goes - he’s welcome to try. But try as he might, he will quickly find out why I am one of the best on the roster. See, Battleground is where cats go to pay their dues and prove their worth before entering the main roster. And, true, Battleground didn’t exist when I signed with the company - it could have been an easy move for Daniels or - whoever - to send me down to the PC. But they didn’t, why? Because I paid my dues and earned my spot and that was never questioned again. And to this day, I hear names being signed to the company and by passing the PC, because those are the people who can be counted on and who aren’t questioned. It’s nothing against Viz personally, as from watching previous matches - it’s clear he can bang. It’s clear that he can handle himself in the ring. But is he legitimate? He brought up the fact that I travel ‘round the world, competing at this high level that I do, and that is why he’s questioned. Can Viz do that? We all thought the same about ENDEAVOUR when he showed up on the scene and was making noise down in the PC, but look at what happened to him. He stepped up against the Assault Rifle and was left riddled with bullets and now he’s vanished. Will Viz be the same as ENDEAVOUR, or are we dealing with someone who’s legit? We’ll find out, won’t we? But while we bring up his height and weight, we bring up his experience - everyone has failed to even think of his age. See, this is a young person’s sport, as it is with any. Viz, undoubtedly talented, is still a twenty year vet. Shit, I was just a child when he entered this business. And in this business, Sofia, people aren’t just peaking at forty. People don’t suddenly become big players at that age. That’s generally about the time the career begins to wind down, and they begin to take fewer and fewer appearances because their bodies can’t handle that rigorous schedule of being a top level guy. Can a man, near twice my age, handle the pressures and schedule that I keep? I don’t think so, Sofia, especially one that drinks as much, and smokes as much as Viz. I’ve seen healthy men in my age, crack underneath the pressure and then make themselves exclusive to one area or continent - like former partner Jack Tillman. Burned himself out and now he’s doing some dojo shit in Japan last I heard.” Noah shrugged again.
“Do you think there’s any truth to what he said about the fans backing him in the match? Some people draw energy from that and turn it into explosive offense.” She said, trying her best to hit all angles here.
“To be honest? I don’t give a shit about who the fans cheer for. They have no factor when deciding the outcome of this match. Viz can draw all the energy he wants, but that’s not what will decide this. Talent is what will decide this. Drive, determination will decide this. And I’ve proven time and time again that when it comes to those, I’m untouchable in those departments. No matter how determined Viz is, coming into this match - no matter how many guys he ripped through on Battleground where he showcased his skills ; he’s never been in the ring with someone quite like me. And he has a lot to prove, I know it - and he knows it. That’s why he’s going to gunning so hard. But I also have things to still prove, Sofia. I also have my path to the World championship to continue on, and taking a loss to someone who’s just getting their first crack at the main roster isn’t going to help me. Taking a loss to Viz on my show, on my turf is going to do nothing but cause a delay on my way to the top. I’m not going to let a delay happen. I’m not going to allow that to happen. So while he’s determined as all hell to come in and making a lasting impression, I’m determined to shut him down and to move forward in my quest of achieving the gold. Chants of his name aren’t going to detour me, and they certainly won’t distract me. I’m from the mindset of removing all of the fans from the equation and solely focusing on your opponent and the endgame of the match. Distractions are what costs you victories, and I sit here saying that bluntly. The only time I’ve ever been pinned in this company, was due to distraction - and I vowed it would never happen again. Not from scummy dudes in the back trying to get a rise out of me, and certainly not from fans opinions of me or my opponent.”
“Viz is counting on you to overlook him, asking you do the same to him as you do to your other opponents. Suggesting that you treat him just like another other…”
“Does he realize that no matter how I treat an opponent leading into a match, the result has always been the same? Does he want me to respect him? If so, he’s not going to catch any fish with that. Does he want me to treat him like he’s god’s gift to wrestling - because he can scream ‘lil fuck’ and threaten me? Go back and watch how I’ve beaten Lars Grier twice, and that will show you how I handle that situation. Am I overlooking Viz? Not at all. He’s my focus right now. He’s the one standing in front of me on my path to the world championship. I’ve watched his tapes, I know what he is planning on doing in the ring and I know he wants to accomplish it so he has a strong case to support his moving on from Battleground. But I also know what I’m capable of, and I know for a fact that I can - and will - leave Viz down and out on Voltage. I encourage him to bring his entire arsenal and take his shot at Voltage, because as he said - it could be his last one. But I promise you, that I will shoot him down just like I have done to guys before him, and that I will continue to do to guys after him..”
Sofia took that as her cue to wrap this up. “Okay, Noah. Thank you so much for allowing me this interview … without Evelyn being present. She’s quite a nasty woman.”
Noah let out a small chuckle, “You should be careful what you say, Sofia. I’m sure Eve would love to rip your head off of your shoulders.” He pushed himself out of his chair with an unsympathetic shrug as his reaction to Evelyn manhandling poor Sofia Clarke.