Look at the land around you, just look at it as it is, wherever you may be. Look at the sights to see, look at all the world has to offer for you. Look at every important and unimportant part of the world all around your home, where you sit, where you watch the weekly shows...
Just... look around.
Some of us live in ghettos, some of us in mansions. Some of us are in a rural area, others deep in the urban cultures. Some of us in the United States, some of us in Europe... all spread out across the world, all with so many sights to see.
Be grateful for what you have.
Be happy that you've been given so damn much.
I almost forgot that once... I almost let that get to me and change the kind of person I am.
Not any longer, however, that's long since changed. Don't you yet see the things that I've had to endure over the years of my life? How hard I've struggled?
My dreams are coming true now... all these struggles are beginning to bring forth so much good in my life.
I've came a long way, you know. A long, long way...
Yet I've still got a long, long way to go.
Every journey starts with baby steps... and it takes a long time before you're flying. Before you're doing what you set out to do. Does anyone here truly believe in themselves anymore, or do they just believe in their abilities? There's quite a difference between the two... believing in your abilities is only one of two things you need to have when you're in this business.
You really do need to believe in yourself... because someone who's comfortable out there with what they're doing and is good at it still won't defeat someone who's almost, if not just as comfortable and skilled as them... and has absolutely every bit of their heart into it.
I'm still trying to flap my wings, and here I am standing as your champion, or at least I was, before being felled by a rock.
But here I will stand, still flapping, still standing...because that is the mark of a legend.
A lot of you haven't even began the steps for takeoff yet... you're still learning to crawl.
An entire division and the like have learned to run, and are now running after me...after the Aces...to try and take me down, to hold me back from the skies and take from me what I'm working so hard to obtain.
It's to be expected, that over time the head of the pack would be turned on by those that follow. That when everyone's gone a certain length, they eventually start getting hunted down.
Everyone wants to be in their shoes... everyone wants their 'rank' among the roster.
Well you know something? I'm not quite sure I want to follow that standard practice among the legends. Wait to be hunted, fight off the hunters, and keep on moving forward. For me? The only way forward is to cut right back through the CWF, showing just how legendary I aim to be.
Turn over all unturned stones, give every person who deserves it a chance.
So I'll let those in the contenders match have their fun, I'll let them try their hardest to grab the brass ring, to try to make their name at the expense of my own.
I'll give them a few moments of glory, but when its time to face the Aces, all the glory stops.
I'm through being hunted.
I'm through letting these people try and come after me... and I'll start going after them.
By the end of this night? You won't be able to say I wasn't the man I say I am, that's a promise.
The clock reads 6:48AM, lit up with a brilliant neon green that blinks into my eyes. That ever-constant blinking seemingly gets brighter and brighter to me, as more and more I feel like I'm going out of my mind... until I focus on the sound. That ever-annoying, ever shrill-and-sharp, ever loud as hell buzzing noise it emits when it's time for me to awaken.
Aurora moans beside me, hugging the pillow around her ears to block out the sound as I struggle in vain to reach the alarm clock from where I lay, my tired arm struggling to hold steady as I reach out to shut the damn thing off. I roll on my side ever-so-slightly, trying to get more leverage... and am reminded that I'm much too close to the edge of the bed.
That didn't exactly feel like the best thing in the world.
Aurora, of course, rolls over in worry, calling out my name in a tired voice. I lifted my head with a groan, my eyes glaring at that damnable alarm clock of mine with such contempt that you'd think it killed my parents or something. I reach out and grab a fistful of carpet, dragging myself across the ground towards the night stand where the clock sits, reminding myself of crawling for the pin after that one big move in a match.
Of course, in this sense, I hadn't just beaten the hell out of my opponent... I was about to.
Reaching the nightstand, I slammed my hand down upon the top of the clock with as much force as I could muster, hearing a "CRACK!" as the hard plastic casing split in half, those blinking neon letters shutting off and the buzzing hitting silent.
Peace. Pure, silent, non-blinking peace.
I sighed contentedly, crawling back towards bed, where Aurora lies waiting for me with a tired chuckle escaping her lips. I pull myself into bed and she embraces me with open arms, the both of us trying to get back to sleep together and continue on with the day.
I don't even know why that damn thing went off when it did, all I wanted to do was sleep in today.
Why must I be denied such enjoyable things?
"Think you could stop by my hotel room tomorrow morning for a quick meeting? I need to go over a few things regarding the next few weeks with you." rang the voice of J. Rish over the telephone, as I helped myself to another pork chop on the oven top, my eyes looking to the clock.
"What time?" came my reply, before I promptly took a chunk out of the meat.
"Let's shoot for 10AM."
"Got it, I'll be there."
Oh, that's why. The guy that signs my paychecks wanted a meeting in an hour from now.
Rather then panic, I stretched myself out and gently stood up off of the bed, albeit with a stagger from my almost drunken state of tiredness. I didn't want to wake Aurora, but as all things go, I wound up doing it anyway. My eyes grew soft as I looked down at her sleeping form, and, well... to be honest? I couldn't help but gently place my hand on her cheek.
Her eyes softly opened, tired and yet content.
"Good morning." she said groggily, bringing a wider smile to my face. I stepped down to a knee to be eye level with her, leaning forward to give her a kiss on the lips.
"Morning," I whispered back to her, "I'm going to be heading out, Rish wants to speak to me about the upcoming set of events... you want to come with me?"
Aurora chuckled softly, stretching herself out on the bed and then slowly rolling off of it, sitting up and stretching herself out once more.
"Sure thing," she said in a high voice as she stretched, as I laughed at her tone and shook my head with a smile.
As I laughed, however, she gave me a look that clearly told me that if I kept laughing she'll give me a pretty good reason to stop.
And, so, I stopped.
"Just let me get dressed." she chuckled, reaching over to run her hands through my hair and then promptly mess it up for no apparent reason, leaving me slightly disoriented and confused as to what the hell just happened. She stood, making her way over to the bathroom as I spoke up before she went through the door.
"I'll be going to get some breakfast first, okay? You want anything?"
There was a pause, as Aurora turned to lean in the door frame with a contemplating look on her face. Moments passed before finally, she simply shrugged and gave me a warm smile.
"Pancakes would be nice."
I nodded, "Pancakes it is! I'll be back in a bit. I love you."
"Love you too, Fred." came the reply, before she walked into the bathroom, closing the door behind her.
Thank God for continental breakfasts at these hotels... God knows where I'd find a good diner here in Baltimore, though I'm sure there's one around.
My eyes glanced around the room, as I let myself regain some composure I'd yet had since I woke up. My eyes were still drooping, I still felt like at any moment I would pass out completely...
But I knew it was for the best.
Meet with Rish today, train a little, get some rest and talk shop with Duce before the show and then get to work. Even when something unexpected happens, I find a way to work things out.
This time won't be any different, this I know.
I'll find a way to deal with our champion and her friends. There's always a way to overcome your opponent, no matter who they are.
You've just got to find the way.
Finally…there is CWF gold around my waist. As focused as I am to have to confront this reality... in the end, it's just down to me & Duce against the world at Evolution...with a Forsaken on our side, facing a mixture of the past of the CWF, the present that drives it, and the future that holds the gold.
And all I personally can do is advance headfirst into it and take them all on.
I didn't go through the Academy, I didn't get that preparation you did to the CWF's ways... I came from the ashes of a dead federation because a dear friend put in a good word for me.
Despite those differences in our build-up to that, however... look at the similarities. There you all stand, a couple of pebbles and a sling in your hands. Here we stand, with the same exact weapons.
Three champions, a golden ticket, and two people with championship pedigree. Are we Goliaths because we hold the gold, or are we still Davids that are breaking through our limitations.
Even with all the blessings I have up here though, I'm still crawling in the dark... I'm still looking for an answer to where my future lies. The only answer that I know is true is that my decisions in the present effect the actions of my future. Metaphorically, I'm already down heaven's path... but at any moment I could get distracted and brought down from the ladder.
There was a point in my life, where I'd fought through torrents of bad times and worse times and had to overcome it all. I grew up a regular kid, I experienced the experiences of an ordinary teen... but for a period of several years, I experienced things no-one ever thought I would. The loss of the closest person to me, the loss of my religion, the severe depression and isolation from the outside world.
I pulled away from it eventually, but it came back to haunt me.
I pulled away again and made it here, and it almost surfaced before me once more.
I'm finally on the right path now, though... I don't have to worry about that again, at least not for a long while. I don't have to let that distract me any longer. Nothing is holding me back from the things that I want anymore, and I can proudly stand on top of this tag division with a partner I can trust without fear or doubt.
I can't promise you anything ladies... except that I'll give you absolutely every ounce of strength I have in my very body. That no matter what you have to throw at me, I'll have something to throw right back.
In the end however... win or lose? I'll still be a champion, I'll still fight on in determination to prove myself to the world as a man more than worthy of the accolades that were placed upon me when I first laced up a pair of boots. There's not a part of me who believes I can't make the next few months something even more special then what it already is, and by God, I'll give it everything I have in me just to do that.
It's all just a matter of time, patience, and effort. And, unfortunately, our opponents in the match are very accomplished grains of sand in the hourglass.
I hate to say it, but in the grand scheme of things? You're just another part to another chapter in my story.
So brace yourself, because tonight you're going to see something in Freddie Styles that no amount of tape-studying, training, or any of the like can prepare you for. You're going to face a man who truly is on a mission, a man who believes not only in himself, but in his abilities, and in his potential to rise higher then any champion before him was able to. The world may be chasing after me, they may be trying to clip these wings so I'll never take off the fucking ground...
But you can God damn rest assured of it, I will not let them hold me down.
None of you can't stop us from winning this match... and you can't stop us from taking whatever we want afterwards, either.
Nothing is going to stop me from taking everything I deserve... nothing.
Before the end of this match? No one will say I wasn't the man I say I am.
"The concession stands are now selling those cheap hotel room round soap disks that I have personally blessed for $100’s a bar….AND SINNERS….I suggest you buy one, and use it, because if you think your God wants you in his heaven smelling like a 3am New York City uber ride you got another thing coming."