What does that truly mean? People see it as a thing that makes them better. Others see it as an opportunity to achieve greater things. A lot of people want to win, but they always miss the mark by a few inches. Or they do win, but they don’t know what to do after.
That’s what winning is. It’s the euphoria of the unknown. Sure, it advances you down a tournament or gets you closer to title matches, but not knowing what to do after is heart throbbing.
I look at my overall record in life, and there are a lot of losses. I grew accustomed to losing so I reveled when I won a match. I knew that I earned something by winning one match. That euphoric sensation coursed through my body with every victory. It’s an amazing feeling to be honest. Not knowing victory for a long time. It’s something I know that I don’t want to revisit.
I know, I’m a contradiction.
But is that so bad?
Feeling the sensation of losing is not a concept I agree with anymore. Though I remember with fond memories, I appreciate winning more now. That’s how I felt this past week. Winning against Freddie Styles was amazing. He thought he could get the upper hand, but he didn’t know what was coming. He wasn’t used to my fighting skills.
Now, I get to continue fighting in CWF’s Modern Warfare tournament. I’ll continue to show the type of fighter that I am and the type of man that I am.
I’m going to show that eleven years of being a loser didn’t teach me nothing. I’m going to show CWF that a man that has only known lose wants more than just a World Title. That man wants respect from his peers.
I beat Freddie Styles, and now I’m going up against the man who defended his title against Styles. The current CWF Impact Champion Zach van Owen.
Winning is nice, isn’t it?...
Let’s see what happens when you lose."
January 25th, 2019
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Parents walk close by their children as scores of people walk through the zoo looking at the different types of animals living in there. Children stare wide-eyed at polar bears and tigers. The animals look somber by the captivity, but the humans do not care about this. However, Eli Goode sits at a bench watching the people pass by him. He wears a pair of jeans, black shoes, a blue shirt, and a black jacket wrapped around his body. He imagines the animals breaking out of their pens and running into the wild. A sense of freedom finally flowing through the animals’ hearts, but alas, the animals stay caged it.
He leans back in the bench and breathes slowly to himself. Whenever he is in a crowded place, mild anxiety courses through his mind so his breathing helps him relax. Though people look back at him, they never take the time to talk with him.
The sun beams down on Eli, but this does not bother him. He sighs and lifts himself off of the bench and walks down walkways. He looks around and sees the animals minding their own business. He sees a monkey sitting in a tree looking into the distance. Eli wonders what is going through the head of the monkey. Is it thinking about throwing shit at someone? Is it hungry? Does it want to live in Africa? So many things cross his mind, but none of them seem to bring him any solace.
He sighs and continues walking. He looks over to his left and sees a tiger sitting with a baby tiger. He smiles thinking about Jeff Payne and his daughter Mizore. They would enjoy this place. Jeff Payne, the White Tiger, as people called him. Eli’s first mentor. He fought like a tiger too. He would attack the person with vicious strikes and hold them down until they were done for. It was a joy to see, but like this tiger, he got old and decided to stop fighting. Eli was happy to see him in his prime but wishes he could fight with him again.
As Eli continues on, he looks to his left and sees a polar bear pull itself out of the water. It shakes its fur to dry itself off. The majesty of the polar bear shines out to the people as Eli stops for a moment and stares at it for a few seconds. Seeing the majesty of the polar bear made him think of Kyra Johnson. He knows he can never say this out loud because of what happened recently with Jack, but he always thought the Kyra was attractive. Not as attractive as Eli’s girlfriend Amber, but still attractive. Eli’s always been happy to know Kyra too. She has been a light of positivity to everyone in Paragon, and especially to Jack.
Eli smiles to himself and walks away from the polar bear. He looks at his watch trying to figure out what time he needed to leave to train with Jack. He could not remember the time Jack said, but he knew it was time at night. Eli looks back in front of him and continues to pass by people. He feels anxiety start to come over him again until he hears a loud roar coming from the center of the zoo. He looks over and sees people moving closer.
He walks over to the group of people and successfully gets to the front. What he sees is a lion slowly walking on top of a rock and looking out to the people. The crowd awaits for another roar, but the lion slowly lowers its body to the ground and rests. The crowd disperses as Eli stays staring at it. The lion, the “King of the Jungle,” stares back at Eli. Eli locates a bench near the area and just sits. He knows exactly who the lion is. It is Jack Michaels.
“There’s nothing wrong with being confident. Confidence is the one thing people need to help them continue through their life. I know for a fact that I feel confident in myself every day when I get out of bed each morning. I know that Jack Michaels is confident every time he holds the Carnage World Championship. I know for a fact that Zack van Owen is confident in himself because he holds the second tier title in CWF. That’s something to be proud of, but my confidence comes from wanting to win. My confidence comes from my girlfriend. My confidence comes from my family.
I was able to prove myself against the former CWF Impact Champion, and now I’m going to prove myself against the current CWF Impact Champion.
Facing off against a champion is an honor. I know a lot of people look at it as a chance to knock them down a peg, but I look at it as a chance to have the champion prove why he or she is the champion. I’m going to have Zach prove to me why he is a champion, and I’m not going to go easy on him.
You know Zach, people know me as a guy that does his research.
I’ve done mine on you.
‘Player One?’ ‘The GamerChanger?’ Those are cute nicknames, but that’s all they are: nicknames. In my time as a wrestler, I’ve met people who were truly game changers, and you do not fit the bill. Jack Michaels is a game changer… I am a game changer.
You’ve faced off against people who’ve been to weak against you. I’m glad I’m going to be your first TRUE challenge.
Zach, I’m not trying to take anything away from you, not at all. I just want you to realize that I’m not your typical competitor. As of right now, you’ve lost only two matches. That’s not enough to know what lose truly is. In my career, I hate to say that I’ve lost more than I’ve won. Because of that, I’m hungry for wins. I’m hungry for championships. I’m hungry for what’s ahead of me, and right now, you’re in my way.
Now, you’re a respectable guy, and I respect your athleticism. However, in the end, one of us has to come out as the winner, and that can’t be you. No, it can NOT be you.You have a title right now. You don’t need another one. I know it may look good on a resume or whatever, but I deserve the title. For years, I’ve fought for a chance at a world title, and I’m closer than I’ve ever been at this moment.
You talk with hashtags and all of the millennial bullshit. At Evolution, I’m going to kick all of that out of your vocabulary. After Evolution, you’re going to know what a crushing defeat is like.
Let the people cheer for you. If they boo me because I’m fighting you, I don’t care. I came to this tournament for one reason, and I’m going to make sure that I succeed. You’re my roadblock right now. I’m going to push you out of my way because you don’t deserve this. Hell, I bet people might even say you don’t deserve the belt you currently have.
Hmm, sorry, I’m a tad upset right now. Don’t know why. It could be because my idea of you is worse than what you actually are.
If you want to know, I think you’re a millennial douchebag that gets handed weak opponents to make your record look good. Yeah, it’s probably just me, but that doesn’t matter to me.
What matters is that I’m going to hit you with Goode Bye, and I’m going to pin you in the center of the ring. Or maybe I’ll get bored and lock in Goode Night and make you fall asleep. Either way, I’m going to be leaving Evolution with the win, and I’m going to be advancing in the tournament.
This will be your last hurrah, and I hope to soak it in.
You’re going to lose to me, Zach. Because I’m simply… THAT DAMN GOODE!”
January 25th, 2019
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Eli remains sitting at the bench gazing at the lion. The zoo has begun to clear out as it only stays open for thirty more minutes. The lion lifts its head up and stares at Eli. Eli rubs the back of the bench and slowly lifts himself up from the seat. He walks over to the cage as the lion slowly stands up to its feet. Eli stops at the edge of the cage as the lion sits to listen to Eli.
“You know, you remind me of a friend of mine. Big, strong, and tad hairy when he doesn’t shave.”
He chuckles to himself. He rubs his hands together trying to warm himself up.
“However, unlike you, he doesn’t cage in his emotions. I can see it in your eyes. You’re angry. You don’t like being in here. I don’t blame you.”
He places his hand on the cage causing the lion to stand back up. He rubs his hand against the cage taking in a deep breath.
“It’s funny actually. His strength comes from his family. I can tell your family isn’t here with you. That must be sad, you know. I haven’t seen my family in a long time. They know I’m well, but I haven’t been home in a while.”
He takes his hand off of the cage and looks back at the lion.
“I can’t say this to Jack you know. Or, at least, this is stuff I refuse to talk to him about. I don’t even tell Amber this stuff. It’s easier to seem like nothing is wrong than saying that it sucks to not see my parents. Yeah, Amber hasn’t even met my mom and dad. Hasn’t even met my sister.”
He takes a deep breath and rubs his hand through his hair.
“Why is that? Hm, why can’t I tell them this stuff? It shouldn’t be that hard. I mean I should easily be able to say, ‘Hey Jack, I miss my parents. I’m going to Memphis for a while.’ See it’s that easy. But no, he makes a lot of stuff about Paragon, and our quest to win championships that I can’t find a good time to tell him. Now, do I hate him for that? No, I can never hate him. He’s taken me in when I wasn’t 100% great.”
He pauses and looks at the ground.
“I owe him a lot. He’s been good to me, and I shouldn’t be feeling this way. I should be feeling like I owe him everything, but there’s just something missing. Something inside of me that is hurting inside.”
He taps the railing he is on a bit trying to calm himself.
“I don’t want to seem like I resent my parents. That may be what it seems like to them since I’m not around them, but I do truly miss them. I don’t the resentment to become real. It’s not. I just… Ugh…”
He lowers his head and rubs his hands against the back of his head.
“I don’t know what to do. Do I talk to Jack about it? Do I ignore it? I mean, Amber just called me and told me Jack proposed to Kyra. How am I supposed to talk about my problems now? They’ve got to focus on their stuff now. Knowing them, she probably said yes. I mean… guh…”
He sighs and lifts his head up. The lion starts to move close to Eli. Eli does not move and just keeps his attention on it.
“You know, you’re great at listening. I’m glad that I’m finally able to vent some of the stuff that I’ve been holding in. I…”
Eli’s phone dings. He looks down at his pocket and pulls it out of his pocket. It is a message from Jack. It talks about how the training is going to be in a couple of hours. Eli looks at the clock on his phone and notices that it is getting close for the zoo to close. Eli puts the phone back in his pocket and looks at the lion. He sighs to himself.
“Well, that’s the big boss. I guess I better be going. Don’t worry buddy, you’ll know what freedom is like someday. When that happens, I hope I get to see you again. Hopefully you won’t eat me too.”
Eli adjusts his jacket and places his hand on the cage. The lion nods slightly at Eli and turns back to its perch. Eli turns around sliding his hand against the cage. He slips his hands into his pockets and walks towards the exit of the zoo. Once he reaches the door, his phone dings again. He takes it out of his pocket and sees that it is a message from his mom. He looks at the message with his widening at what he reads. He places his back against a wall and slowly slides down reaching the floor.