Hypocrisy and Fuckery are afoot!
As the main event was ending.
My hair was barely dry as I stood in front of the monitor near the Gorilla Position watching the main event. I watched as Ataxia and Shadow as they tore the house down. There was so much at stake in this match, more than the world title. A friendship hung in the balance as well. While we were watching, none of us really knew how true that was. Then the match was over and Ataxia snapped. I couldn’t believe what I just witnessed. It was like Dorian and me all over again. I was shocked, I was angry, mostly I was sad. Much like I was when I did what I did to Dorian. I wasn’t sad for the grown men, I was sad for the impact this would have on Chloe. This was worse than when I did it. I hadn’t been around all that much when I bounced back into their lives. I stood there seething, shaking so hard that people around me were backing away. The Bane rage is a real thing and it makes us so very dangerous. Finally I let out an explosive exhale and relax my hands. I shake my head and the simple action causes my neck to crack with a loud pop.
Jimmy Allen: Damn that felt good.
Ataxia brushes past the Gorilla Position and me without a word. There’s something about his eyes as he walks past. They don’t look quite right, something is very wrong. I am still shock from his attack on Shadow. Why isn’t even a proper question in this moment. I don’t think I even know what would be right now. I know my own betrayal sent shockwaves thru the company and the industry. This was unthinkable, there had to be more to this than meets the eye. I modify my breathing, relying on my training and my heart rate slows. The rage slowly slides away and my blood pressure returns to normal. The pounding in my chest goes completely silent. My phone buzzes in the front pocket of my jeans. I retrieve it to find my booking for Evolution, Silas in the Paramount Grand Prix.
Jimmy Allen: Looks like business is about to pick up.
I swing my bag over my shoulder and start moving toward the exit. Many of the crew had seen my reaction to what Ataxia did and are following me recording everything. I really wanted to talk to Shadow, but now was not the time. I’m not upset with the camera crew following me, they’re just doing their job, so I begin to talk out loud.
Jimmy Allen: I’m going to start this rant with my dear frand, Taxi. Not too long ago you told me that if I betrayed your trust or that of your family again that you would “insert your most clever threat here”. Then, you do the unthinkable, attacking Shadow? You’ve lost your goddamn mind bagman. There has to be a reason for this, it cannot be frustration over losing a title match. If it is then that makes this whole situation even more sad. Not to mention the hypocrisy. Glad to know that, like my own hypocrisy, you're hypocrisy knows no boundaries either. Look for me at Evolution shithead, I’ve got a surprise for you and Jon boy. We’ll call it a consolation gift and leave it at that.
I smirk at my own use of the word consolation and then continue to build on that.
Jimmy Allen: Speaking of consolation prizes, here we are again Silas. They have referred to us on the company website as “Lost” recently. That’s almost funny, I’ve never been lost and I’ve never had a doubt. I never doubt my abilities or my path. Just as I know you believe the same about yourself. The last time we met, a certain woman cost me a shot at the WCWA U.S. Title. The same woman took that title from you not long after you won it. I’m not saying you screwed the pooch, but kid, you screwed the pooch. So, now here we are old man, in a tournament for the Paramount title. A grand prix, is what they call it. Midget go-kart racing is more like it to me. Jarvis King, the man is a legend around here. He carried this title for months. What did he add to the prestige of the belt?
I stop and look into the nearest camera and motion him to zoom in as I continue with four simple words.
Jimmy Allen: Not a fucking thing.
I continue to move, walking slowly towards the back entrance of the arena.
Jimmy Allen: For all of his status in the industry, for all of his exploits, he just ceased to exist. Why do you suppose that is? I mean he was out there with those other half wits protesting because yours truly got a second chance in the Modern Warfare Tournament. It wasn’t because I had been a part of that misguided invasion attempt. It wasn’t because of my natural charm and good looks, it was because an official made a mistake. JC can talk about how he would have won regardless of the fact all he wants. Whatever helps him sleep at night. The fact is, he got put out of the tournament in the next round and I didn’t. That match with Shadow? Were you not entertained? Without a shadow of a doubt, one of the best matches I’ve ever been involved with.
I allow my expression to turn more serious now.
Jimmy Allen: I know that you’ve had your share of victories, trials and tribulations. I know that mentally you are not really prepared for this matchup right now. I also realize that all of this makes me sound angry, bitter and jaded. I am all of those things and more Silas. The failures of CWF to make good on their word to the fans and to their talent infuriates me. Christopher St. James bless his heart, has provided me with yet another opportunity. He wants me to come work for him in Hostility. Now I’ve got a decision to make. I can abandon my home in CWF for the big fish, small pond appeal. OR I can hang around and make Jon Stewart's life a living hell. I wonder, which one shall I choose?
I shrug my shoulders.
Jimmy Allen: Time will tell the tale, now won’t it?
The Crooked M Ranch
Port Arthur, Texas
A few days later
It’s February in SouthEast Texas, which means….it’s seventy nine degrees here, a twenty mile per hour wind keeps it from being warm. Just a touch of chill in the air, I know, it’s really hard to imagine but here I am. I light hoodie, jeans and boots keep me comfortable as I begin working on the burlap mask that I came across. I work the needle and thread, thru the burlap, into the leather.
“That really is creepy son”
I look up and see my dad watching me and I chuckle.
Jimmy Allen: Yes sir, it most definitely is.
Mac Bane: Why in the hell did you even keep that damn thing?
I smile remembering the night I scored this mask.
Jimmy Allen: You know pop, of all of the things I took from BW. This might be my favorite.
I watch as my father considers that statement and then begins laughing.
Mac Bane: You do know that Jon is gonna lose his shit when he sees this right?
I shoot dad a wink and smile.
Jimmy Allen: If that weren’t the absolute truth, well then, this wouldn’t be worth the time put into it now would it?
He sighs and pats my shoulder affectionately.
Mac Bane: Nope, the apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
I continue my work on the burlap mask and the leather in front of me as pops continues to laugh with each stitch. I look up at him, mostly because I realized I hadn’t heard from my sister lately.
Jimmy Allen: How’s Jules and Johnny holding up? That can’t be easy when your youngest child is diagnosed with CML and NF.
The thought makes me a little sad. My nephew Tommy is a bright kid with a doting mother and father to say the least. Even before the diagnosis it was that way. His Uncles were no better, that’s for damn sure. We started spoiling that kid from the beginning. Now, he has a baby sister on the way.
Mac Bane: They’re doing the best they can Jim, they’re having a tough time dealing with everything really.
I grunt agreement, but honestly cannot fathom the thought of going thru that.
Jimmy Allen: I’m going to head up to their place and check on them, wanna ride?
He smirks at me and here it comes with the brand shaming.
Mac Bane: Not in that piece of shit Dodge of yours. We’ll go in my truck, it’s more reliable anyway.
Jimmy Allen: You know, you watch The Ranch way too much old man.
he smiles at me and winks.
Mac Bane: He’s not wrong.
The first round of matches for the Paramount Grand Prix were looming closer. I had flown to Australia early, but I didn’t come alone. I had left Aeric in Texas to attend to a few things. I brought Marissa with me, she had asked me what exactly I did for a living and I thought….why the hell not?! She was already taking time off this week, turns out she hates Valentines Day. I’m not a fan of it either, commercialized b.s. If you ask me, but yet here we are. Things were not serious between us, hell we hadn’t even slept together at this point. A feeling out process for lack of a better term. We stood on the rooftop bar; her with a vanilla martini and for myself I decide to try a local beer. I love a good stout and so the Toppling Goliath was the one for me. I don’t like beer that much but this was delicious.
Marissa Marhara: This lifestyle appeals to you doesn’t it?
I look at her, almost as if seeing her for the first time. I smile and nod my head.
Jimmy Allen: I grew up in this industry, it’s in my blood so to speak.
She studies me biting her lower lip, unsure of the next question she wants to ask. Then she finally plunges into it.
Marissa Marhara: They must pay you a lot of money...I mean the injuries and the drama they show on television….
Jimmy Allen: It’s more than that though, this is something I have a passion for. The roar of the crowd, the spotlight and everything that goes into it.
Marissa Marhara: Seems like a grind to me.
I laugh and then she laughs.
Marissa Marhara: What a dumb thing for me to say….I work seventy plus hours a week for a six figure income….that’s a grind. You consider this to be fun.
Jimmy Allen: It’s a blast! I love doing this more than anything else I’ve tried in my life.
The small talk continued into the early hours of the morning, we then said good night. She went to her room and I to mine. I sat on the balcony of my room, smoking the days last cigarette and remembering everything we talked about.
“Danger Will Robinson, Danger” I say, causing me to laugh at myself.
Silas Artoria; a man that I think I may have misjudged upon our initial meeting. A man, who like myself. Although you wouldn’t be able to get him to admit it. Is seeking nothing more than redemption. I’m very open about what I’m doing. I’ll tell you the same thing I told Shadow, I’d like to shake your hand before and after the match. You see Silas, this is important to me. It’s all about healing wounds, it’s about making things right. I’m not asking for forgiveness, far from it my man. If all I can achieve with the members of this roster is an uneasy truce, I’m okay with that. I was able to reach an accord with what’s left of The Forsaken and I really have no beef with you Silas.
I think deep down, that you are a good person. There are some things that you’ve done that do make people raise an eyebrow. It confuses them as to the why’s of the things you do. I’ve been asked if you take performance enhancing drugs by reporters and wrestling fans alike. As far as I know, you do not, but you do have something. Something that enhances your performance, should you decide to let it loose. I know a little something about all of that. My father’s side of the family has ties to the Cherokee Nation. On my Mother’s side...well let’s just say there are some people in SouthWest Louisiana that would prefer I didn’t talk about that. That being said, both sides of the family have told me the same thing.
You’ve made a huge mistake sir.
You can no more control that thing than you could control Autumn. You’ve made a fool's bet with the wrong thing Silas. That being said, I can only offer my help and that of my family. That is up to you though.
I’m running out of olive branches to extend here folks.
Funny thing, this contract offer from Mr. St. James. That’s a lot of money to throw at someone. If I were virtually anyone else on this roster. If you had offered to this to anyone but someone who grew up in this industry. Someone who’s family managed their money well and were smart enough to invest. Most of them would jump at the money and the change of scenery. Especially if they had not had much success to this point. See, perception is the real problem here though. I could accept this contract and desert my home. Everyone expects me to do that anyway right? No one believes that I’m trying to turn it around.
What if I told you that your perception and reality don’t always mesh. What if I told you that I’ve meant every word I’ve said. What if I told you that my promises are real and not just talk. What if I told you that everything you thought you knew about me was just bull shit. Bull shit created by John Stewart. Now we’ve come back full circle, haven’t we bagman. I’m going to put an end to it. I don’t care what it takes, I’m going to end you bagman. Once and for all.
As for the Paramount Grand Prix…..It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Silas and I are going to do what we do. He’s going to hit his pretty moves and the crowd is going to go nuts. He’s going to worry about what the crowd thinks, what the internet thinks. He’s going to keep looking over his shoulder to see if Autumn Raven is still stalking him. He’s not going to realize that she doesn’t give a damn about him or his opinion of her. He’s going to care about everything except about what matters. That is the reason he will lose. That is the primary difference between us Silas.
You are so focused on your image and that of your family that you won’t be focused on the task at hand. The task at hand is me and I don’t quit, I don’t give up, I always come back as vicious, savage and strong as I ever was. My in ring philosophy may have changed, my attitude may have changed.
Nothing else has changed. I’m still the same asshole, that you don’t like. I’m still the same guy that uses profanity in my promos because I know it makes you crazy. I’m still the same guy that spit yellow mist into the face of his best friend. I’m still and maybe most importantly a fucking winner Silas. So, you go ahead my man. Go ahead and steal the show. Go ahead and pose for the crowd. Go ahead and make sure you keep up appearances for the sake of them. I’ll go ahead and win this match and collect my points and move onto the next opponent.
Unlike other tournaments, in this one every match matters. Unlike many of the people in this thing, I don’t need this tournament or the title to be considered relevant in the grand scheme of things. I was relevant before I stepped foot in this company and I’ll remain that way long after I’m gone. You don’t have to like it but, know what? I don’t fucking care. Your opinion doesn’t matter. I can never make you right, but I can damn sure prove you wrong.