“A champion needs a motivation above and beyond winning.” - Pat Riley
The scene opens to a shot of Autumn Raven sitting in a restaurant somewhere in South Carolina, hands clasped in her lap as she stared out of the window, watching the people walk by without a care in the world, smiling and enjoying themselves. They would see the woman with the short dark hair staring out, seeming to be in a world of her own, and they would smile back or wave, whichever one they prefered. They were all right in a sense, Autumn was in a world of her own and still was, even though Hostile Intentions had been over and done with for two weeks now. She felt like she was still walking on cloud nine, sitting back in the locker room with the title belt held so tightly in her hands, her knuckles were white. This trip had been a sudden idea...well...more of a surprise to her friend and former wrestling school teacher who was working far away at his wrestling school.
“Hey, I’m in town. You busy? Got something to tell ya. I’m at this restaurant in town, and want to spring for lunch. Figured we could chat over food.”
“Got some paperwork to do, but I can hang for a bit. Gotta get back after lunch though. Send the address, I’ll be right over as soon as I can.”
“Cool beans. See ya.”
Here she was, sitting in the very back of the place with a glass of sprite sitting in front of her, waiting for her guest to arrive. Placed ever so delicately in a black duffle bag was the...other...guest of honor. The real reason for wanting to bring him here. It was hard not to spill the beans over the phone and just outright say what she wanted to. Minutes seemed to stretch on forever, until finally a tall tattoed figure dressed in his usual walked up to her table with the waitress trailing shortly behind.
“You made it. Took you long enough.”
There was a shrug from him as he shook his head, turning to the waitress.
“Lemme get a coke please.”
The waitress nodded and walked away, leaving the pair alone once more. He clasped his hands on the table and stared Autumn in the eyes, a small grin on his face.
“Ok, so what's this big story you gotta tell me.”
Autumn’s face broke out into a huge grin as she reached over besides her, unzipping the duffel bag that had come with her today and pulled out the Aversion Championship belt, the gold plates still shiny and bright weeks later. She treated this thing like it was a rare jewel, never letting it out of her sight. She plopped it on the table carefully, watching his eyes grow wide as he shakily set down his coke, hands reaching for it to bring it closer so he could see what exactly it was that had had her in a secretive mood up until this point.
“Holy shit, this...this is you...you won this...when the fuck did this happen? God damn, congrats. Sorry I haven’t been paying attention much to other things, but wow…”
Autumn’s face turned up in a slight blush, listening to her friend babble on and on about the new shiny piece of gold sitting in front of them both. She watched his fingers trace over the letters, the logo, and the faceplates on either side of it. Unfortunately, she hadn’t been able to get her own custom plates for it. There was a few more minutes of this, before he carefully slid the belt back over to her and she carefully placed it back into the duffel bag where it was zipped up.
“I just had to go for it, Shannon. I saw my chance in this ladder match, and I just had to go for it.”
Images of her climbing the ladder, watching the title sway carefully back and forth, slamming Lance’s face into the ladder and flipping off Silas who stood watching her, flashed through her head. She shook it and continued to talk.
“I had expected something different, but at the last minute they changed it into this ladder match for this new title belt. I knew I had to put things into high gear and push myself further and faster than everyone else in that ring. I didn’t have Chloe at ringside to cheer me on and motivate me like she has been. I had to go at it alone and keep that one goal in mind. Nothing was driving me but pure aggression and being my own person, not letting a certain someone keep me in the depths….I showed what I was all about that night...I showed them all…”
Her hands clenched under the table as she watched him absorb her story.
“Good god woman. I know you’ve had your troubles over the year, but this is the best thing to happen to you I think since you got there. Catapulted you into the freakin’ cosmos, it did. Now everyone’s gonna be talkin’ ‘bout the Beautiful Psychopath and her shiny new title belt. Betcha people are still wide eyed about it. Hell, this is a time to celebrate. Cheers champ.”
The two clinked glasses together, smiling at one another, pausing only to give their food orders to the waitress who came back to their table. Once she was gone, they continued their conversation.
“My family already knows. I took this baby home and let everyone see it. Mom and dad took me out to dinner as a treat. I can’t tell you how many pics were taken of me and this belt, how many tweets were sent to me about this. It’s...it’s just overwhelming. I sit and look at this and think, I’m gonna wake up from this dream and this belt won’t be here. But it’s here, it’s really here, and I showed them all.”
“That’s the way to think about it. It’s like I’ve been telling you this whole time. Keep a positive attitude and don’t be afraid to admit your mistakes. Never give up, never surrender. The whole John Cena attitude, but less boy scout...you know what I mean.” A pause. “What else have you been up to?”
“Nothing. Shopping, expanding my video game collection, visiting thrift stores. The usual. Just being me, enjoying visiting places, and relaxing. Maybe I should stop by the shop and hang out for a while, ya?”
“I was gonna hope that you would come by. Bring that belt. It’ll be a good talking point with the new crowd there.”
Autumn agreed, nodding her head.
Today was definitely a day to celebrate.
A near hysterical Autumn bursts through the curtains backstage, clutching at the title belt tightly, holding it to her chest as though it would disappear. Face flushed, hair a mess, and tears streaming down her face as she attempts to make it back to the locker room. A few of the crew and the refs clap their hands as they spot her walking by, offering their words of praise and congratulations, knowing how hard of a road it’s been to get to this point. There were hugs a plenty, which felt nice.
Things felt so hazy, she swore she was dreaming.
She could just spot the door in the distance. It was so close now. She could slip inside and have her personal moment alone with herself, and this belt. Attempts to interview her were brushed off, not wanting to do this right now.
“I just want to be alone. I did something that didn’t require me relying on someone. I crawled out of the shadows...and into the light. Screw everyone else, this is my moment, this is my night and I’m not gonna let anyone...ruin it.”
The door was opened, and a very emotional Raven pushed her way through, letting it slam shut behind her.
“I did it…”
The next you see of Autumn, she’s sitting against a black and red backdrop in a comfy looking chair as she awaits Tara’s arrival for this little interview. This was the interview that was supposed to have happened *after* she won the title, but for her own reasons she declined it. She had every right to. All she wanted on that night was a moment’s peace.
Tara’s slim figure appeared from off to the side, hair and makeup immaculate as usual as she greeted Autumn with a warm smile and a handshake. Sound equipment was checked and everyone slid into place as those behind the scenes gave the hand signals for them to begin this whole deal. Autumn picked up the title that was sitting at her feet and placed it into her lap, smiling as the camera’s began to roll.
Tara: Finally, we are here backstage at the upcoming Evolution 38 in Des Moines, Iowa and I have the privilege to be sitting down with the *new*...newly crowned Aversion champion, the one and only Beautiful Psychopath Autumn Raven. Autumn, first of all to start, congratulations on winning the ladder match and the newly reinstated Aversion Championship via Hostility. You’ve gotta be on cloud 9 still.
Autumn: she chuckles, nodding her head. Thank you, thank you Tara for those kind words. Yeah I am, I still am actually. I’ve still got that ‘dream’ vibe going on, like I’m gonna wake up and this is all gonna be some far off thought. It’s just...unreal I tell ya. Unreal for sure.
Tara nods at her.
Tara: Definitely. Winning this title has got to give you a massive boost of confidence after the tumutulous year you’ve had.
Autumn: Oh yeah. It’s been a rough one, I’ll be honest with you. People were writing me off, putting me in the shadow of people that I didn’t want to be in and saying some otherwise stupid things. Maybe, in a way, it was motivation. But the idea of it all just shot that self confidence into the ground. Winning this, showed me that I matter and that I am no one’s play toy to screw with.
Tara: Twitter’s been blowing up after your title win.
Autumn: *nods* Yeah. I think the hashtag #goautumngo is still pretty fire right now. I’ve seen a few others but that was my favorite. If I could send a shout out to my twitter followers right now, I’d say thanks for the support and the messages.
Tara: Chloe was conspicuously absent from your match. Can you explain what your relationship has been, because a lot of people were scratching their heads as to why she was showing up at a few of your matches.
Autumn: *bites her lip* She’s her own person, and I run on my own Tara. I’ve been appreciative of her support, in whatever form, over these past few months. To know that someone, even her, is in your corner cheering you on is a blessing. I dealt with a lot, and knowing that that little sprite is out there watching makes me smile. There’s no friendship there, just a resonance of minds who share similar thoughts.
Tara: So, Frozen Over is a couple of months away and the one thing people are asking about is the heated rumors and whispers of a final showdown between you and your former tag team partner Silas. Anything you want to say towards that?
Autumn: *sighs* Frozen Over is where everything started between us. This cycle of back and forth, trading barbs and everything else. Where the whispers from everyone about me being in his shadow, relying on someone really started. Everyone mentioned him when they talked about me, they couldn’t shut up about it. The more I tried to get away from it, the more I got sucked the hell back in. It was frustrating. So I got that win way back, then this came along, and then people were like ‘hmm she’s finally crawling out of the stinking shadow that is Silas Artorias, she’s really showing her stuff.’ But really, it’s never going to be truly over between us until this match happens. Whatever stipulation, I’ll do it. I want this to be overwith.
Tara: Strong words Autumn, indeed. Now onto Evolution 38 tonight. You are slated to defend your title against the Archangel of Death, Azrael. There’s been no word from him as of this interview, so I’m gonna ask you, what do you want to say to Azrael if he’s listening out there. This is your time.
Autumn: *a cold look crosses her face as she grips tight at her title with one hand* I’ve seen your work out there in the ring man, how you function and your attitude about everything. Off balance, but talented for sure. I gotta ask though, when’s the wedding between you and Sam? *she cackles loudly* Oh man, watching you two out there, my stomach hurt after that. But seriously, if you two get hitched lemme know, I’ll send the wedding gifts your way.
Anyway, onto this little match between us. I’m sure you were watching what happened, right? The ladder match that changed things for me, for the better while you were trying to wash the stink off of you from him. I was prepared to face off against anyone that the company decided to throw at me to defend this title. I didn’t expect you, or to be doing this so soon but as a champion you’ve gotta be ready at a moment’s notice to put this baby up and do whatever it takes to keep it. That’s what I plan to do. I know you’re out there, probably wondering what stale ass barb you can come up with to throw me off my game and make me lose this belt, but I’m gonna tell you something. I’m done being people’s stepping stone, I’m not gonna be your stepping stone, and I’m done sitting in the shadows of people who just don’t give a damn. This is all about me and my path now, my journey forward, and I see nothing but success all the way through.
I’m happy I won this. Why? Because it sent a clear message to the back, to him, to anyone who gives a damn that I am worth something and this is my time to shine. Your time...sadly...is up. I’m sorry Azrael, but I’m not letting this moment get away from me. I have a score to settle with someone at Frozen Over, and I want this belt in my possession so I can shove it in his face.
Times up. Game over bud.
Tara: I think you got the message out loud and clear, Autumn. Azrael is gotta be on his guard now. I want to thank you Autumn for sitting in for this, and thank the fans for tuning in tonight for the show. Later!