Pyrrhic Victory or a shift in philosophy?
Allen County War Memorial Coliseum,
Fort Wayne, Indiana
I stood with the water as hot as I could stand it nearly blistering my back, I wanted to scream but I kept that shit in check. Now was not the time to completely lose it. Now was not the time to go all noble and throw everything away. Tobias and I had been thrown in the tournament and to the surprise and shock of everyone, we won the whole thing. The water noticeably cools and I turn it off. Thier words continue to haunt me, “You owe Dorian an apology”, “You fucked up kiddo, make it right”. The first thing you learn in this business are that there are three rules. Never care about what someone else thinks of you. Always forget your last match and never take anything a promoter does at face value. I grab my towel and begin to dry off.
“True to his word, Tobias set my father up to take a loss. He took a loss in a match he didn’t want against opponents he didn’t want. A victory is a victory? Our opponents were “defeated”, but a true victory? No, a hollow one indeed. Not as hollow as Loki’s victory perhaps but of the same vein if I’m being honest.”
Still standing behind the divider as I get dressed I continue my thoughts.
“So, Loki didn’t need ‘Ol Tobias and I to get what she wanted?”
I smile as I recall what she said word for word.
“I have a long memory chica, it would behoove you to remember that. If it weren’t for Tobias and I helping you and then stepping aside. If it weren’t for the fact that we softened her up for you. Hell, let’s be crystal fucking clear. Tobias should be the champ right now, not you. Maybe I’m talking out of turn, I mean after all, I’m just the hired help right?”
I finish toweling off and throw on a Dallas Cowboys ball cap, then spin it around backwards. I pull the number 19 hoodie over my head and down into place. I pick up my tag team belt and smile at the reflection.
“I’m just one half of the CWF Tag Team Champions, not too shabby for a team that was an afterthought. Not too bad for a couple of country boys that most people don’t give a thought to or about huh? The smart thing to do is to start thinking about us, considering what we do in the ring and the fact that we can do it better than any other team here. We beat so-called legends and upstarts alike during Northern Crown.”
I glare at the camera, exhaling slowly, then a sharp intake of breath before I begin again.
“I could tick off the opponents as I speak to show the list of victims on our way to these titles but that is some boring old school bull shit.”
I shake my head and look back at the camera.
“But where are my manners, such terrible language. Let’s just say that I’m fed up with the lack of respect for us busting our butts and doing the things no one else could do. If you think that is not one of the many things that fuels us on a daily basis, you’re a bigger fool than even I give you all credit for.”
A few days later…
I stand on the balcony of my new apartment, the sun is up and shining on my face. I stand there with my eyes closed, my right hand is loosely holding my “Darth Vader” coffee cup. In my left hand is a cigarette. So much had happened in a few days, the announcement of Civil War for example. On that same night we would be fighting Elijah and Omega again in a non title matchup. For revenge they said….
“Interesting….revenge for what? Getting beat?”
This week though was the more pressing matter, this week we were in the ring with Trent again. He’s not the type to forgive and forget. That didn’t worry me too much, the real threat was Jones.
“Duce Jones and Trent Steel.”
I laugh a little too loud, not sure if it’s my own amusement or maybe a bit of hysteria sinking in.
“Jon Stewart must hate you Trent. Or maybe it’s Duce he hates.”
My eyes are still closed and I shrug it off, Civil War was on my mind. Not only did we have the tag match that night, we were in the main event that night against CWF. So many returning Hostility legends for a event like this. My phone began to buzz and I looked at the display, “Milenko”’s name appears on my screen a text message. Dude doesn’t bother to even call anymore, just text messages. When I look at the message my blood begins to boil.
“You cunniving little mother fucker!”
I capture the text and start to send it to Tobias but I decide to wait, I can always talk to him about it later. I let my blood pressure come back down, I close my eyes again and meditate on the positive. Very soon, the emotions are gone, just like the old days and I smile.
“All good. Let him play his games, I know where I stand with the people that matter.”
I open my eyes again and look down at my phone. I sit in the chair and set my coffee cup down on the table beside it. I stretch my arms out straight letting the snapping begin as the ligaments pop. I sigh with contentment, that always feels good when the pressure is released.
“The real question, Duce, do you know where you stand with the people that matter? Your own little group of playa’s. The Glass Ceiling. Looks like you and Freddie aren’t doing much in the way of tag team wrestling these days. You guys did very well for yourself in that one off thing you did over in WCWA. I won’t lie, that was impressive. You guys brought your “A” game to that event but you know what was missing? The Hostile Takeover, that’s right, I said it. For all you accomplished, you didn’t beat us.As a matter of fact, we were never asked to participate. Funny how that works huh?”
I open my eyes again, smirking at the camera I continue.
“As far as the WCWA United States Champion Silas Artoria goes, well I guess it’s like Pop says. The sun will shine, even on a dogs ass, some days. And before anyone including Silas says anything about that fluke win over me. Raven, I sure as fuck haven’t forgotten about you and what you cost me. I digressed, my apologies, back to people that actually matter. People who are relevant.”
I level my gaze at the camera, no smirk, no smiles.
“Trent, I don’t have a problem with you, my problem is with Jon Stewart. I may have handled my business wrong, but I’m also really good at making things right. You don’t have to believe anything I say Jon, but if you stick around long enough, you’ll be able to believe your eyes. I don’t use smoke and mirrors like some around here do. Duce you are one hell of a competitor, your beef with Steel is your own. I encourage you to handle it during the match, we’ll just save everyone some time and let you two go at it and we’ll raise the hand of the last man standing.”