“We’re all looking for redemption, just afraid to say the name.” - Songwriter Pat Green.
Starting down a new path, or doubling back to take a previous path is always a difficult transition. It doesn’t matter if you are the person in the wrong, or if you were the one that was wronged. Things are difficult to accept, and sometimes impossible to believe. In my case, I was wrong about a great many things. I could blame it on my youth or my inexperience, but that’s simply a cop out. I’ve never been a fan of people who don’t own their mistakes, I’ve always felt they were fake, and without substance or character. I blame no one but myself and I expect others to do the same.
I look at the last few months in the same light. There are no apologies forthcoming, so you can forget about that. I made a mistake in pursuing the money and the power that Milenko was offering and it cost me more than I can tell you. Friendship and trust are fragile things. In this business, there are few people you can call a friend, and mean it. There are even fewer that you can trust. When you trust someone to have your back and then they put a dagger in your back. It’s really and truly up to you to own that. In this case, I was the aggressor, I was the one who stabbed my friend in the back. I’m also the one trying to make that right. They are small steps but steps all the same. He knows now, any future daggers in his back won’t be coming from me. I feel fortunate first and foremost that he came to my side when I needed him most. Secondly, and just as important is, my goddaughter forgave me.
Forgiveness is never one sided though. The first step is to forgive yourself, I wasn’t sure if I could do that. It took me a while to summon the courage not only to forgive myself but to seek forgiveness in return. Really and truly the hardest part is the wounded party believing you are sincere. Dorian is a bit like me in that he can smell bull shit a mile away, so when I went to Philly. When I went to his home to talk to him, he knew I wasn’t screwing with him or trying to do anything other than what I was there for. He’s my brother, and I have to keep my family as whole as I can for as long as I can.
The recent struggles within my family have brought it more to the forefront of the way I think. My family has always been important to me. Unfortunately I didn’t treat them as the most important thing in my life. My family's name, the integrity that it carries. The implication of greatness by birthright. All of the assumptions that go with the name Bane, the legacy that he left in his wake. I’m the oldest of his two sons, and I’m supposed to be the most respectful of the two when it comes to family matters. I haven’t been that recently….
More steps to take.
There’s a reason that I’ve spoken about ownership and accountability. My match last week. I could be like a lot of people around here and blame the referee’s or lash out at my opponent last week. I’ll do none of those things. JC is an honorable man, the referee for our match has integrity that is without question. I blame neither for that loss. At the end of the day, each person has to be accountable to themselves. I’ll not be someone who deflects or shifts blame to another for my failings. I’m the one who put myself in that position. I own that responsibility to myself and to my fans. Thankfully for me, C$J was there and saw what happened and gave me a second chance. It’s a rare thing from him from what I’ve been told, so I’m not going to take that with a grain of salt. I’m going to take the ball and run with it.
Calgary, Alberta Canada
The manor belonging to Shadow looked quite different in the light of day. I had seen many pictures of the manor but they all seemed to set after nightfall. A light breeze caused the snow that was falling to swirl around me. From an outward appearance it would look as if a white tornado surrounded me at times. I smiled at the visage it must give as I approached the gate. I wait for a moment, hoping someone will recognize me from whatever security cameras they have. I don’t wait long as I hear the whirring of the motors and the gate swings inward. I step through and begin up the path to the manor. The breeze picks up again as I tighten the straps of an old book bag and keep it close, alas the thick carhartt jacket does not make that easy. A lone figure steps out and greets me, well greet might be too strong a word.
“An’ where in th’ heel dae ye think yoo’re goin’?!”
I recognize Alistair from the various videos and I smile. He doesn’t like my smile and returns a frown sliding his hand into the pocket of his jacket. I hold my hands out in surrender.
Jimmy Allen: May I remove my backpack and give you something?
He nods and I slide the bag off my shoulder. I unzip the top compartment and take out a bottle of laphroaig. I offer him the bottle and he tentatively steps up to take it.
Jimmy Allen: I understand you like good scotch, a peace offering. I’m not here to fight Alistair, I’d just like a word with Shadow if I can.
Someone else I recognize steps out into the open, fiery red hair can only be Myfanwy.
“And why would we allow that? You are no friend to Shadow or any of the Forsaken”
I nod my head accepting her criticism of my past.
Jimmy Allen: One never gets a second chance to make a good first impression. I’m not here to fight, only to talk and make amends if that is even possible.
“How about we go inside where it’s bit less hostile?”
The smooth baritone of Shadow’s voice cuts through the silence as I see him come into view. I smile and nod appreciating the gesture for what it is. He’s always struck me as a courteous man at the very least. Always hospitable and rationale. I follow Shadow into his home, he leads us into the living room. He motions to chairs near the hearth, a lively fire burns there keeping the winter at bay.
Jimmy Allen: Hard to believe that it’s more impressive inside than outside.
I extend my fingers towards the warmth that hearth offers. I smile as the feeling starts to come back into my fingers. When I look back at Shadow, he is sitting back in his chair with his arms casually crossed. His body language indicates he is still on guard, but here is a man that fears nothing. I chalk the body language up to coincidence and take a seat next to him.
Shadow: So, why would you be looking to make amends and why do you think I should believe you.
I then lean back in my chair and cross my legs, left over the right. I lean back deep in the chair and rest my hands, fingers interlaced over my stomach.
Jimmy Allen: If I’m being completely honest?
He nods indicating that would be his preference.
Jimmy Allen: You have zero reason to believe anything I would say. In my heart I know that I had to at least try. I had to come up here away from the business and the other people within it and try to talk to you.
He seems to digest that and then uncrosses his arms.
Shadow: I’m listening.
The fiery redhead he calls Myfanwy comes into the room with a tray containing hot tea. I smile and accept the proffered cup.
Jimmy Allen: I’m assuming that by now you’ve spoken with Dorian and/or Chloe and know about my visit to their home.
Shadow: I do
Jimmy Allen: I’m sorry I didn’t bring you any chicken and waffles, that does not appear to be a staple in Canada. I did manage to grab some Timbits on the way over, it’s become a guilty pleasure of mine recently.
I set the bag down on the tray and take a sip of the tea, it is without a doubt some of the best I’ve ever had.
Jimmy Allen: Thank you madam, that is simply outstanding.
The woman known as Myfanwy smiles and nods her appreciation.
Jimmy Allen: I won’t take up too much of your time, we all have places to be after all. I’m simply here to make things right if I can. I could not let things remain as they were. I made some huge mistakes with all of you. I’ll make no excuses for the things I said and did. I also don’t apologize for them, the damage is done and apologizing won’t fix that. That’s all I really came to say.
I wait for his response, I don’t have to wait long, he leans forward to look into my eyes. Or perhaps it’s my soul he’s peering into.
Shadow: You seem sincere, and I want to believe you. You must realize that the rift you created is vast. Dorian’s word does cary a great deal of weight with us. For now, I would propose a truce of sorts. You stay true to that and it will become permanent over time. Betray that truce and, well you get my point, I’m sure.
I watched his eyes the whole time he was speaking, you can learn a lot about people by watching their eyes. He was sincere and there was a fire burning there. I knew that what he said was true and he believed in his heart he would end me if I crossed him. I had no intention of doing that again. In response I smile and offer my handshake to seal the deal. He accepts my handshake and returns a firm one of his own.
Jimmy Allen: Thank you for your time, believe it or not, I truly appreciate it.
Well Kids, here we are once again. To my fans who supported me through everything, thank you. To my detractors and the naysayers who said I wouldn’t survive the first round. There were a great many of you who thought I never stood a chance. I think under normal circumstances, that may have been true. If you look at this field of competitors, there are no rookies. There aren’t people in this tournament, that don’t deserve respect for their body of work. I mean look at who’s left in this tournament. The names are distinguished, these are people who have held titles everywhere they’ve been. My opponent for round two? None other than the 2010 winner of this tournament, Amber Ryan. Again, an opponent worthy of respect, her list of titles is as long as my arm.
That my dear is where it ends. Through your rambling, babbling bullshit what have we learned about you? Let us see….
You won the inaugural event in 2010
You’re recovering from a surgery that should have ended your career.
You’re fucking bitter.
Yeah, we get it. See, I don’t give a shit about you, your career or the fact that you shit a golden opportunity down your leg after you won this tournament. You failed to cash in on that shot, you got beat by the champion. That boys and girls is the whole thing, all gift wrapped and presented for posterity. It’s like a football team that goes undefeated in the regular season and loses in the playoffs or the superbowl. That’s it! Amber Ryan is the wrestling worlds version of Tom fucking Brady! God I hate that guy.
There are a lot of you still in this tournament that don’t call CWF home. That’s cool, you want to add another companies belt to your collection. I am NOT okay with this. See, through it all, the thing that kept tugging me back, the thing that made me realize how wrong I was, in the things I was doing... This is my home. Some of the people here are family, and others are like family to me. Funny thing about Texans, we defend our homes with a passion. We defend it like there is no tomorrow. We defend it because it matters.