“Pain nourishes courage. You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.” Mary Tyler Moore
Defeat. Pain. Agony.
We’ve all experienced it at least once or twice in our lifetimes. Whether it had been losing a basketball game, or an important bet to your friend. It has always been there. The pain we experience is indescribable; we don’t know which way to go, or how to even cope with ourselves anymore. Our emotions eat us alive until there is nothing left. Some of us that is.
Some of us are stronger. We are able to move on with our lives and use that defeat as another step towards becoming very successful. We have hope, and that's all you need.
But what exactly is hope? Yeah, sure the dictionary provides an excellent definition, but words mean nothing to me. Hope comes from the heart. It's the desire that drives you to your best. Drives you to become the best while beating the best. It's that little box of trust you have deep down inside your soul. The lifting of your spirit, towards reality. The force that drives you towards courage. We all need hope.
I stood there in the darkness, gazing out the window into the night sky as I wondered what was to come of my life. Life just hasn't been as happy as it could be. Ever since Genesis, it just seemed like life has turned upside down. My in-ring performance has been just a little under mediocre; my thoughts are never straight, it feels like someone is inside my head driving me towards insanity; and sleepless nights come always.
“What's going on with me?” I thought to myself as I tried to bury my head into my hands. I wanted to cry but I knew that it wasn't worth it. Crying now would help nothing at all. It wouldn't change the outcome of that night, and it wouldn't help me get any better.
Maybe it was just my guilt. To this day, I still think that it was my own fault for letting it happen. It just seems like there was something I could do. Something I could say to make this pain go away.
I sighed. “Why did I have to be so stupid?” I lifted my head above ground and in a rapid motion it began to turn.
Yeah maybe it just was guilt. If it was; guilt had been eating at me slowly like a worm with a rotten apple. I lifted my head high into the air and took in a breath of fresh air to clear my head. That didn't work of course. After that, was done and over with, I limped to my feet. I felt pain in my body for the first time in my life. It ached like never before. Maybe it was from my previous match; or maybe I was pushing too hard and needed a rest. I continued on my wiry path and walked over to a wall across from my couch. The wall was full of pictures of my many accomplishments and me back in my younger days. Pictures of me, capturing my very first title: to my last before signing with CWF.
The name brought a very foul taste to my mouth. I was upset, and more hurt to ever believe that I trusted him. With all the history that we had back in the old days. All the fights, arguments, and pain we've caused each other. I turned my nose up in disgust and using my right hand I knocked the picture down to the hardwood floor causing the glass of the frame to shatter immediately on impact.
Fuckin bitch. A gut feeling word uttered slowly from my mouth.
I knew it was a bad idea, but I had to learn from my mistakes. I had to gain my courage from my pain and when I did, bravery would result. I continued to look at my wall, standing there for a good five minutes reminiscing on the good days. I just wanted something to take me back into those times; disappear into thin air just like that.
I grew bored in my daze before I was finally interrupted by the movement of the elevator heading up to my floor. Immediately I turned into the direction of the elevator, and following behind my feet I was right where I needed to be. As I pressed the intercom button, I could hear her talking on the phone. Blessing me with her presence was the only person who ever really cared about me for real, Aurora St. Croix.
“Aurora” I whispered. Oh the name brought chills down my spine. It made me feel queasy inside like a balloon that had just been inflated with hot air. A smile grew as the elevator doors seemingly opened in slow motion, almost majestically.
There she stood in front of me with her curvaceous self, dressed in red, posing sexily with her hand resting and holding her up against the wall.
“Lady in red.” I said in awe. “What's the occasion?”
She looked at me confused a bit before pushing me away and walking in. As she entered she threw her purse on the couch where I was sitting previously and placed her hands on her hips.
“You are telling me that you don't know what day this is?” She looked at me pointing her finger like I was some sort of boy. “How could you forget what day this is?”
I bounced back a little. I was confused nonetheless.
“I know what day it is.” I told her shaking a bit. “It's February 7th"
“Okay. I see your head's on straight.” She joked. “But you're still not getting to the point. What day is it?”
“Um....I dunno..the beginning of the XFL?
“Well, yeah but…”
I cut her off immediately, stopping her dead in her tracks.
“But you said that we weren't going to be doing anything this year!” I questioned confused as hell.
“I did but…”
Once again I cut her off.
“Come on. Spit it out. What's your problem?”
She placed her finger up to my mouth cautioning me to shut up and let her say just what was on her mind. Removing her arms from her hips she slowly began to pace around the room before finally stopping and sitting down on the couch slouching with horrible posture.
“It's our... Anniversary.” It hurt her to say.
Right there and then I knew I was in trouble. She began to weep, using her hands to catch her tears from falling down to the floor. Shaking her head in pain, and making the sounds only a man could love in bed.
“No silly.” I said before biting my bottom lip. “I knew today was our anniversary. I was just joking.”
She looked up and wiped that last tear from her eyes looking into mine.
“Sure?” I said a bit confused myself. “In fact, I have plans for us tonight.”
“Where?” She questioned, delighted a bit.
“Uh... I hesitated. “It's a surprise. Yeah a surprise that's it.”
Nodding my head I removed my attention from her and placed it on my watch. While doing this a light bulb appeared over my head and an idea sparked right away.
“But first before we go I have to pick something up.”
I reached for my coat throwing it on my back violently. She got up off the couch heading over towards the elevator behind me but I placed a hand in front motioning for her to stop.
“No...no...no.” I smiled. “You just rest that pretty little ass of yours on the couch.” I muttered pushing her back towards it. “This is all part of my surprise. I'll be back just you wait and see.”
I left as soon as the last few words left my mouth the elevator door closing behind me. I was in deep shit. Here I stood on the day of my fifth anniversary with no plans whatsoever. There was just too much on my mind. I needed to think.
I lifted the collar of my coat up and fixed it to fit over the top of my neck like Fonzy on the Happy Days. Heading down the noisy and dangerous street of Birmingham, I began to think.
“Maybe it's time.”
Holding in all my emotions I reached for my pockets placing my hands inside for warmth.
“Maybe it is time.” I said to myself once again. “Time for me to take a vacation.”
I felt my face checking for wrinkles. It felt like I had suddenly gotten older. Stress was taking over everything, and I was very anxious now. I thought about just ending everything right there and then. Running out into the street as soon as a car came driving by and hoping that my life would slip before my hands.
But I knew I couldn’t. There was too much on the line, and too many things that I’d leave behind.
I stopped at the end of the street and looked up into the sky at the stars that moved slowly around each other. It was beautiful and I guess it brought me back to life just a little. It seemed to have caused my memories to flash right before my eyes. From my birth until where I stand now. It gave me that bravery and the courage that I needed to drive me into my match with Silas & Hoyt for the world title.
It gave me something to live for...and relieved me from the pain and stress I was going through.
It gave me a new life, a new spirit and a will to live.
It gave me...hope.
The camera scrolls into the large gymnasium of the 16th Street Baptist church, panning slowly across the decorated gym to where Freddie Styles is sitting, at the edge of the gym floor right beside the open door that leads to the baptismal font. He's literally sitting a few inches away from the holy waters where men and women receive the gifts of life. The spirit of the moment takes Freddie, as he soaks it in his suit.
Sitting here, in this church, beside these waters, makes you think about the life after this one. Someday we will all leave this earth into the afterlife, and a lot of people worry about their legacy. At least those who haven't accomplished anything. My legacy is set gentlemen. I’ve won championships all over the world. I've wrestled the best of the best, and proven myself to be one of them, night in and night out. I'm only thirty years old, but if I were to retire tomorrow, that would be my legacy. Those would be the accomplishments that people will be talking about when they mention my name years from now. I'm set.
Freddie stretches his leg out and leans against the doorway, looking over the font wistfully.
But what of you Hoyt? What is your legacy? When you retire, what will the wrestling fans say? Hoyt Williams, a good all-around guy, won a few belts, largely forgettable. You won’t matter Hoyt...Kyuseishu, you’ll just be a number in the long lineage of pro wrestlers to grace the earth. In a few days we will meet for the world title at Frozen, and as must as I want to win, you need to win. This is your chance to make a legacy, and beating a hall of famer like me will lead you well on your way. You can't afford to lose this match, my honorable foe, for to lose to me would be another setback just as you were reaching close to carving an identity for yourself. A loss to me would weigh on your mind for months, years even Kyu. This is why once you step into that ring; your fear of inadequacy will consume you.
Freddie's voice starts to rise as his words get stronger with every one.
Then there’s the champ, Silas Artoria. He will be so focused on winning, it will become harder to obtain, for I am not your average wrestler, despite my championship track record lately. Every mistake you make, I will capitalize. Every moment of weakness, I will wear you down with my technical superiority. Every time you think you have the match won, I will pull victory from your grasp. Last time you caught me off-guard Silas, you took advantage of a situation and made your bones. I make no excuses for my loss, but this time the tables are turned. Kyu may be in the match, but It is I. and I alone who is going after your title, and you who must look to defend the crown you fought so hard for.. I’ve studied, I’ve trained, and I will not be denied Mr. Artoria. I will not be denied the opportunity to capture the world title in the birthplace of the most dominant stable in recent wrestling history, a stable of which I was a founding member. I will bring my belt home, where it belongs.
To win in wrestling you need only nine things. Nothing more, nothing less. If you have those nine you shall never falter. I've lived by my code. I've wrestled by it, and I've never lost by it. And by following it again, I shall not lose.
Ambition... Defined as the earnest desire for some type of achievement or distinction, as power, honor, fame, or wealth, and the willingness to strive for its attainment. My ambition is to elevate my name over the level of each of yours and to put myself at the pinnacle of my championship odyssey. Not for fame, nor wealth, nor power, but to once again bring honor to the name Freddie Styles. It's been that I've walked around without gold hanging from my waist. It seemed like something I would never again realize, never again feel, but now I stand on the cusp of a championship reign to call my own, and it is my absolute ambition to seize it. Step by step, I will achieve.
Motivation... Defined as the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; and that which gives purpose and direction to behavior. I've always been motivated to succeed inside the ring, but when it comes to a time like this I find myself a little extra motivated. Not that I need such a thing, going up against a man that possesses not even one of the nine codes of victory. As I've already stated, my goal is to walk out of the arena one step closer to becoming a legend, and as a new champion. It is the reason for my action and it is that which gives me purpose. Step by step, I shall not fail.
Dedication... Defined as the act of binding yourself intellectually or emotionally to a course of action. No man is more dedicated to victory than I. I am in the gym every single day dedicating myself to my cause. My cause to wrestle and wrestle to win. I've broken a lot of bones, torn quite a few muscles, and taken more hits to the head than I care to remember, but I've kept going. I've been criticized by few and by many, but I've never given up. I have binded myself to my career and to my desire to win. Moment by moment, I shall prevail.
Sacrifice... Defined as the surrender or destruction of something prized or desirable for the sake of something considered as having a higher or more pressing claim. I sacrificed more than I probably should have. Whether it be my body or my mind, I had no trouble parting with it. I've sacrificed friends, family, and relationships as well. Piece by piece, I shall never die.
Optimism... Defined as a disposition or tendency to look on the more favorable side of events or conditions and to expect the most favorable outcome. I'm not exactly being optimistic here; I'm actually being realistic because I know without a shadow of a doubt I am going to defeat Hoyt and Silas. I've looked at all the scenarios and I just can't help but be a little favorable to my side and expect a victorious outcome. Bell to bell, I shall not waiver.
Education... Defined as the act or process of imparting or acquiring particular knowledge or skills, as for a profession. I've studied wrestling my whole life. I've studied the intricacies of this . Don't for one second think you can trick me. I have seen it all and done it all. I know all. There is nothing new that I am ever going to see in this business. Nothing new you can throw at me. I've mastered the art of wrestling to its fullest extent and I expect whole heartedly to use that to my advantage. Without knowledge no order can ever exist. And don't think I'm like these other people who rot their mind away on drugs. I've never touched them and I'm never going to. Wave by wave, I shall never surrender.
Perseverance... Defined as the act to hold firmly and steadfastly to a purpose, state, or undertaking despite obstacles, warnings, or setbacks. Setbacks? I've had quite a few. Not any that I feel the need to share with you again. I've said it once; I've said it plenty and enough. We all know what I've had to go through to get back here...to this point. I persevered through everything that both Aristocrat and false God himself has thrown before me and I stand here today poised to take my next step into a new era of Excellence by embarking one step further on my journey to legend and championship. Level by level, I shall never lose.
Courage... Defined as the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear. Easily the biggest quality of all necessary for a match of this eminence. You need courage. I’ve wrestled in 28 various and dangerous gimmick matches. Yeah, I’ve won my fair share, but what did I really accomplish in them? Well, I’ll tell you. I'm a man who wrestled in a Suspended Steel Chamber held 50 feet over the ring; I'm a man who threw another man off of it. I am a man who threw another man off a building and paralyzed him for life in an Anywhere Falls Match. I am a man who speared Amber Ryan through a pile of glass tables and sent her into retirement because of substantial internal bleeding. When it comes to these kinds of matches, I’ve done more damage to a human mind than a lobotomy. I guess you could say I'm a man that isn't afraid. Why? Because I’ve got courage. And tread by tread, neither Hoyt nor Silas can beat me.
Respect... defined as an esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability. Now, most people would be telling me right now, "Freddie, you can't respect a man such as Hoyt." And honestly, they would be right; you can't respect such a low form of competition. But Hoyt has succeeded in the past and I am sure when you add Silas’ bodyguard on the outside, this match may pose a small threat. And that, I can respect. I can respect the champion in Silas, and I can respect the arrogance and lack of order, lack of fear that Hoyt will surely display. But their ability? No, that can never be an aspect of which I can respect.
There you have it, the nine objectives necessary to compete at the highest level of sports entertainment, all of which I possess, but none of which either the champ nor the wannabe preacher man can boast about themselves. Now I know this match is your basic singles match, but this will be memorable nonetheless. Because when I defeat you Silas, Rolash will have no choice but to bestow upon me the CWF World Championship. I already know that everyone involved wants Silas to win, and would stop at nothing to see it happen, all efforts will be in vain once I show him and Hoyt their undeniable Imperfections. When that is done, and the bell has rung, the very threat of Silas Artoria as a champion... will be history. Perfection has a name fellas, and its name is Freddie Styles, because all things being equal, I'm greater...and there’s nothing you can do about it.
So Silas, as a fellow man and a fellow wrestler and because Hoyt ain’t shit to be worried about or feared in this match, I wish you good luck at Frozen Over. But be not mistaken, luck will not be an issue. It will be two warriors, with one hanger on in a titanic clash, worthy of a main event in any building in the world provided the myriad of personal fights going on in the business right now. Nevertheless, only one man will leave that ring as the world champ, and although you like to call yourself The Psychotic Aristocrat, the Canadian Reaper - and The Bloodletter, self-appointed labels will mean nothing in that ring. All that will remain in the end...is my victory...my Legacy. It’s a mug’s game for you Silas. The second you opened your mouth and set this match, you sealed your fate.
Let the bodies hit the floor, let the bodies hit the floor….and only I will stand for more
For Silas and Hoyt, ain’t nothing in Quebec but this cold ass….BALLGAME!