At this point I had to develop my theory and put it to the test. Much like a scientist who comes up with a theory and then puts it to the test through experimentation and observation, I had to put mine to the test by taking the movie scene by scene, cataloging facts and events, and then develop an understanding of the actions and motives of the characters to see if they prove or disprove my ideas.
As I watched the film numerous times, and even the sequels, I kept asking myself, "If Daniel and Johnny did fix the outcome of the All Valley, what did either of them have to gain? Why would Johnny agree to it?" Johnny had the world on a string, he didn't need to agree to anything so dark.
Then it hit me, what was the one thing missing from Johnny's life? He seemed to have it all, but one thing kept his life out of balance. Ali's love. A love that was once his but somehow he had lost. He had been unsuccessful at getting her back although it was not for a lack of effort. He tried to be nice to her by saying "hi" while on the soccer field during gym class and he had even gone so far as to ask Ali for a truce while they danced at the country club. To which Ali responded by saying, "I'm not at war." An odd statement considering Johnny had brutally beaten up her new beau twice up to that point.
My mind kept lingering on events in the sequels. There was the smashed up car at the beginning of Karate Kid 2, there is a purchase of a last minute airline ticket shortly thereafter. Daniel seemed in an awful hurry as well to get out of town. Why? Was he in danger? And in Karate Kid 3 Daniel paid for a lease on a business property for Mr. Miyagi all by himself. Where did this money come from?
Then it hit me, as if a ton of bricks had suddenly fallen on my head.
Did Johnny actually pay Daniel to break things off with Ali? Did Johnny stoop to the lowest common denominator, money talks? That would explain the sudden influx of money Daniel seemed to enjoy in the sequels. Could that have happened? Johnny lived a life of privilege and would have had money to spare so I suppose it is possible. But what about the All Valley? Why would Johnny throw the fight? Could there have been another stipulation to agreement between the two, money and the All Valley title? Daniel did seem to crave a level of fame to compete with everyone else at his new school and the All Valley title certainly would give him that fame.
But there was another issue, in order for Daniel to win the All Valley he would have to make his way through the competition and reach the final, many a Cobra Kai would be waiting for him in the early stages of the competition. How would Daniel beat them? Was his karate level such that he could even make it to the final? There is a whole one month gap in the story from the time Daniel begins to take over his own training and the All Valley tournament. Daniel never had much patience when it came to training, always asking to learn things Mr. Miyagi thought were beyond his skill level. Is it possible Daniel sought training elsewhere? Maybe even from someone that was in on the secret, from Johnny?
And what about Daniel's car? It looked like someone had taken a baseball bat to it. Could Johnny and his Cobra buddies have done that? Maybe Daniel took a little too long to break things off with Ali. After the money and trophy were in Daniel's hands did he forget about the deal with Johnny and chose to continued his relationship with Ali, perhaps one that had turned sexual in nature?
And what about Daniel's demeanor in Karate Kid 3? He seemed to spin out of control, hell bent on entering the All Valley tournament again to regain his glory even though Miyagi told him not to. Quick to seek instruction elsewhere, Daniel begins training with Terry Silver, a founder of the Cobra Kai, and leaves Mr. Miyagi behind to the point he even yells at Mr. Miyagi bringing him to tears. Vanity and greed are two sins that Daniel seems to struggle with. Did vanity and greed drive Daniel's actions from the beginning?
At this point I had to take a step back and collect my thoughts, these questions and possible answers had popped into my mind so quickly it felt like a typhoon raging inside my head. I had to take things slowly, I couldn't rush through the work that laid before me.
I continued my investigation and took a cautious step into a dark world, a world I hoped I would later be able to emerge from unscathed.
Little did I know what awaited me.
I pressed on with my studies and my hypothesis. While doing so I took notes and found myself keeping a list of events and actions that seemed to lend credibility to my theory. Counterpoints to my theory were there as well but they were far outnumbered by pieces of the puzzle that seemed to fall right into place.
As I neared the end of my journey I narrowed down my list to the top 10 events that spoke the truth to me. 10 aspects to the story that would shock the Karate Kid world and make what was already an bold tale even more epic.