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X-treme Wrestling Federation » XWF Live! » Character Development RPs
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The Sound of Madness
Author Message
Thaddeus Duke Offline
Management Lv. 2


XWF FanBase:
Some of everyone

(cheered; very rarely plays dirty but isn't lame either; many likable qualities)

07-11-2023, 12:03 PM

It has been a rather considerable amount of time since anything in wrestling has given me a sense of excitement.  While I was born into this business as a second generation star, the business itself did not make up the whole of my parts.  There were and are several things that make me who I am and wrestling, for the most part, has always played second fiddle to the rest of me.  Despite my ridiculously successful competitive career, it never mattered so much to me.  Winning wars, protecting my people, loving my wife and kids, and even my various business ventures have always taken priority.

I do love the business, but that begs the question: what do I do with the rest of my professional wrestling career if there are very few things that entice me to leave my family, my house, my animals?  As it stands right now, I have 11 competitive championships to my name and I won 70 of the 100 professional matches that I had.  While eleven championships may seem light in some respect, it was more than I ever needed.  Most men and women in the business don’t feel successful if they don’t have a title attached to their names.  Me?  I never needed that validation.  I never needed to have gold around my waist in order to feel like I was somebody.

I was born somebody.

My whole career, I was somebody.

Title or no title, when the name Thaddeus Duke was on a marquee, asses were in the seats.  My merchandise flew from shelves no matter whether I was booed or cheered.  What made me tick was creating compelling moments that stayed with fans when they left the arenas.  Sure, I wasn’t always the main event, but I was the main event, if you get what I mean.

Chris Page, Robert Main, Doc D’Ville, ALIAS, Dolly, Warstein, even today’s Universal Champion Corey Smith… I’ve beat them all in one form or another over the years and even winning didn’t get me excited.  Hell, I even coaxed Mark Flynn out of retirement to work with me.

All of them were fun, they were magical in their own rights.  But I was no longer having fun.  It became a chore just to put out promotional material when I’d rather be doing any number of other things.

Six months ago, I was planning a comeback to the XWF and I thought that’d get me excited.  I thought working with a new crop of stars would be what willed me to leave home.  I was sorely mistaken.  While I was initially excited upon my return, that excitement quickly faltered and it left me wondering if I wanted to be in the business at all anymore.  I even went so far as to publicly acknowledge my semi-retirement.  I didn’t want to close the book entirely because nothing gets on my nerves more in this business than guys that retire only to unretire three months later.  Additionally, I wanted to leave the door open for super shows, for new developments that I found interesting, like TRIAD.

In fact, that’s why I’m in a Miami bar hangin’ and fraternizing with the locals.  Yours truly, a man that hasn’t been a regularly active competitor at any point for the last year and a half, is in the very first main event of TRIAD.  Yet another feather in the cap.  I never lost what makes me special.  What I lost was the desire to use it.

Nearing midnight, my phone began to ring in my pocket.  Quickly I vacated the bar and made my way to the restroom so I could hear.  Without checking, I assumed it was my wife calling from home and accepted the call.

”Hey Babydoll,” I greeted her as I began to relieve myself in a urinal.

“That’s the nicest thing you’ve ever called me,” replied the voice of Vinnie Lane.

”Oh for fucks sake man,” I laughed.

“Did you get my text?” he asked.

”Yeah,” I confirmed.  ”What’s the matter man?  You find something else you suck at and need bailed out?” I joked.

Lane sighed.  “Dammit Duke, One And Oh!” he said before hanging up.

Laughing to myself, I put my phone back in my pocket, shook, then put myself away.  After washing my hands, I turned around and then sighed myself as I noticed my uncle, Theo Pryce, standing in the doorway leaning against the jam.

”Somewhere private we can talk?” he asked.

When the XWF wants something from me, they’ll typically send Theo Pryce.  While we didn’t always have the best relationship, we’re still bound by blood and that means something to both of us.  Probably more to me than him, but nevertheless, it still means something.  I can dismiss Lane relatively easily.  Theo… I’ll at least hear him out.

”Yeahhh,” I said with some hesitation.  ”Follow me.”

Leading Theo from the bar, we walked about a block down the street to where my rented Challenger was parked.

”Did you tell him no?” he asked.

”I didn’t even get that far,” I answered with a smile.  ”I made fun of him for asking a Duke to bail him out, called him a failure, and he hung up.”

”Damn,” he chuckled.  ”I figured maybe you could look at some things, tell me whether it's even worth saving.”

”You’re a business man too,” I argued.  ”You can tell as well as I can whether or not its worth saving.”

”Not this time,” Theo replied.  ”It holds some sentimental value to me and, well, I don’t know that I can make an unbiased call on it.”

”Show me,” I relented as he quickly handed me a small folder from inside his suit jacket as I flicked on the dome light.  ”Oooo travel sized, like Mastermind,” I quipped to a Theo chuckle.

Taking a minute to look over the file, the first few pages were basically a summarized version of a profit and loss statement.  The show is bleeding money like a stuck pig.

”Jesus Unc, how’d you let it get this bad?” I asked.  ”Maybe you can’t make the call after all.”

”You know Vinnie,” Theo began.  ”He has a tendency to take on too many projects then little by little, his lack of attention creates the situation you see before you.”

Sitting quietly for a few minutes as I flipped through the pages, I saw the names still attached to the show.

”I think with the right brain,” I paused.  ”I’m just giving Lane a hard time, I don’t think he has a bad brain.  Just one that’s going in too many different directions at once.  With some major changes, and this handful of names that stand out to me, I think it could be a profitable product again.”

The slouched in his seat a little with a smile upon his face.  He seemed relieved that I didn’t say ‘pull the plug and flush it.’

”First thing you gotta do is find the right…”

”You do it,” he interrupted.


”Thad, you’re my nephew and I know you,” he began.  ”You have one of the most sound minds in this whole business.  Maybe competition doesn’t get your fur up anymore,  but this might.”

”I dunno, I mean…”

”You have so much to offer, so much insight,” he interrupted again.  ”You had a vision for yourself and you knew how to see it through to where you are now.  You’re content to call it a day, at least on a regular basis.

“How fulfilling would it be to take your experience, to take your first hand knowledge of what it takes to make it and impart all of that into a group of men and women that could really use your advice?”

”Damn you’re good,” I said as I sat for a moment and stared out the window.

”I look at that show Thaddeus,” he said with a pause.  ”I see what it was a decade ago.  I see the way it is now.  I want to see you bring it back to life and make it the greatest show no one outside the XWF has ever heard of.”

Peeling my eyes from the window, I started to look through the file again.  ”Honestly, it’s in complete disarray,” I said aloud, mostly to myself.

”If I do this, I want a starting budget of fifteen million,” I demanded.

”Done,” he said quickly.

”You don’t even wanna know why?” I asked as I turned him.

”I assume for marketing and promotion,” he answered.

”That and we kinda have to start over from scratch here,” I replied.  ”I believe I can make this show a successful one, but it’s a complete mess.  We can set up residence in one location as we rebuild the brand.”

”I like how you say ‘we,’” he replied.

”I can’t do it without them,” I answered back.  ”Likewise, without me, there is no show.”

”They might be resistant at first,” Theo warned me.  ”People are always a little resistant to change.”

”Maybe.  But, they’ll learn that I have their best interest at heart,” I agreed.  ”I have some other demands.”

”Let’s hear ‘em,” he replied.

”I want complete autonomy,” I said with confidence.  ”I need room to lay out my vision for this brand.  I need people to stay out and just let us do our thing.  Further, these belts?

”Who really takes these seriously?  They look like cartoons and International Dateline champion?  Who greenlit that?  Who the hell with a serious mind is gonna take that shit even remotely seriously?”

”You’ll break Lane’s heart,” he chuckled.

”That’s not my intent,” I argued.  ”I know Lane is a crazy imagination.  But if the rest of the wrestling world is gonna take this show seriously, I want some tradition.  A bonafide world championship that they and others would be proud to wear.

”I want to take the show biweekly to match the other side of the XWF,” I continued.  ”And I want to run our own pay per view schedule.  Offset of the main roster, naturally.”

”We can do most of that,” he offered.  ”But I can’t give you full autonomy.  You’re not an owner and you’d have to answer to somebody.”

”That’s it?  Your only resistance?”

”I agree with your stance on everything else,” Theo replied.  ”Making it a viable legitimate alternative that’s at the very least comparable to similar shows, should be a priority.”

”You hungry?” I asked as I fired up the Challenger.

”I could eat,” he replied.

”I know a place a few blocks away.  They’re open 24/7 and have a GREAT Cuban sammich,” I advised as I turned on the stereo.

OOC:  Real talk, forgive me in advance for the ensuing auto-felatio.

Most everyone knows that I’ve been a part of XWF for more than a decade in various forms.  What a lot probably don’t know is that once upon a time, I took over Madness when it was a secondary show to the Warfare flagship.  My first show had I think 7 guys, 3 matches and I think 3 or 4 no showed.  Through a lot of hard work and determination, Madness became this secondary show on the brink of failure to the de facto flagship for a time as it grew into the show that everyone wanted to be a part of.  Including Vinnie Lane when he was just a RPer.

I was proud of it.  And to be honest, I should’ve been.  That’s not to say that I didn’t make mistakes, I did.  Some regrettable ones, too.  I’m not saying I won’t make some more this time around, but I welcome the challenge.

I was hesitant to take the job when asked because it’s a lot of work to run a show and anyone that knows me, knows that I don’t really half-ass anything.  Like I’m either all in on something, or I’m all out.  Maybe that’s why I was asked, I don’t know.

As I was thinking about it though, I started to think about it from an IC perspective.  Thad’s competitive career is winding down simply because there’s not enough out there that truly interests me as a handler and a plausible IC explanation for that is that Thad has done everything he set out to do.  He spends most of his time being dad and husband now so what’s the next logical step for the “brilliant” wrestling mind of Thaddeus Duke?  Take a failing, inconsistent show and combine my own talents with those of its roster, to create a Madness that’s special again.

If Vinnie reads this, it’s not a shot.  I know you’re busy as hell and that’s why you’re trying to save it.

As the song states, “I created the sound of Madness…”  In the XWF, that’s actually true, albeit with a fictionalized (but pretty popular) uber-heel version of Paul Heyman.  I’m excited for this go-round, to go a different route and play the widely popular babyface Thaddeus Duke.

Aside from the show itself, I welcome the opportunity to impart my own wisdom into helping the Madness roster realize their own potential.  To help them realize the vision they have for their respective characters.

Madness always held a special place in my heart and the opportunity to repeat history and take a show that’s literally on the brink, and bring all the way back to the point where it stands on its own again and to once again make it a place where, in this iteration, angle fedders want to be there… that’s incredibly exciting to me as I hope it is to you.

It’s not me that’ll make Madness the place to be, but all of us.

[Image: wgqr9W2.png]

1x  XWF Universal Champion || 3x  XWF Xtreme Champion || 1x  XWF Supercontinental Champion (First)
1x  XWF Hart Champion (Last) || 2x  XWF Television Champion || 1x  XWF Tag Team Champion
1x  OCW Savage Champion || 1x IIW Tag Team Champion  || 2x  SOTM (9/20, 7/21)
2021 Male Wrestler of the Year (shared w/ Alias) || XWF Hall of Legends
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Atara Raven (07-11-2023), Corey Smith (07-11-2023), King Kieran (07-13-2023), Liam Desmond (07-11-2023), Mark Flynn (07-11-2023), Misty Waters (07-11-2023), Theo Pryce (07-11-2023)

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