“We’re all damaged in some way.”
“That’s the only way to explain why any of us are in this life. There’s something out in the real world that’s missing.”
“For some of us, it’s acceptance. Some, money. Some, family. Some are addicted to the competition; to the rush of the fight.”
“I don’t know why, but I always knew I’d end up inside a ring. I don’t need the money. I don’t need the attention. I love the competition but I don’t live for it.”
“What I do, I do because of the legend.”
“In this, the sport of Kings, this Queen knows that your legend only grows while you’re actively adding to it. I’m objectively a good wrestler; I’ve proven my worth in my time. But I’m also my father’s daughter, and it’s been twenty years since he won his first World Title.”
“First of fifteen, and he managed to exit this sport with little fanfare and no spotlight.”
“I do this because I love the competition, and I do this to prove the point: he was not just a great Champion. I am not just a great Champion.”
“We are a dynasty.”
“Can I give ya some advice?”
“Can I stop ya?”
Eli Flair leans forward and facepalms. He reaches behind where he’s sitting on his daughter MJ’s bed and grabs a pillow to throw at her. MJ blocks it with her forearm, without looking, and continues to stare, blankly, into her closet.
ELI: Don’t walk into that locker room with a chip on yer shoulder. You and me, we know you don’t wanna be in Hostility. But ya can’t let the boys see it, and ya sure as shit can’t let the fans see it.
MJ closes her eyes slowly, then opens them while giving her father the side-eye.
MJF: Daddy. I’m not gonna make a scene. This ain’t the CWF so I’m a nobody here, I’mma go in there, keep my head down, do my job and give the fans their moneys’ worth.
She pulls a blue and purple dress out of the closet and looks at it for a moment.
MJF: But the fans aren’t dumb, Daddy. They know I never wanted t’leave CWF. They know this is one’a those ‘under protest’ type things. It’s kinda dumb t’pretend that it’s not.
MJ holds the dress to her neck and turns to him.
MJF: Whaddaya think?
MJF: You’re a terrible girlfriend, Daddy.
ELI: I warned ya. But I gotta tell you, y’think you’re a nobody just because you’re in a new place?
MJF: ‘Scuse me?
She reaches into the closet again while keeping her eyes on her father, and pulls out a pair of tank tops.
ELI: Y’called yourself a nobody, kiddo. Ain’t nothin’ nobody about this family. Look at me, twenty years’a work and the only locker rooms I ever considered fully ‘home’ were Greensboro and Seattle.
He stands up and cracks his neck. The former King of Extreme feels every moment in the ring, every hour of the day.
ELI: Didn’t stop me from walkin’ into every locker room in the world like I owned the place. Like, don’t be a dick but don’t be a shrinkin’ violet, either. That ain’t you.
He chuckles, quietly.
ELI: New experience, huh?
MJ arches an eyebrow.
ELI: You’ve never had t’start over in a new locker room. Utah closed on ya when you were takin’ some time, and since y’dipped CWF in that tournament, you got t’ease into it with nobody expectin’ anything until you were already the one t’beat.
And he shrugs.
ELI: Part’a the business, kiddo. Enjoy.
Now, it’s MJ’s turn to laugh.
MJF: Thanks. Really.
Her deadpan causes him to join her laughter.
ELI: It’s gettin’ cold again, ya want a lift t’the box?
Glancing at the clock on the wall, MJ’s eyes widen in mild shock.
MJF: Shitballs, I told Leanne I’d be there for the four. D’ya mind?
Eli puts an arm around her in a half hug.
ELI: Naaah. Least I can do for a legend.
MJF: Well, then allow me t’thank the legend as well.
MJF: You’re gonna do this the entire time until we get t’the box, ain’t ya?
ELI: That’s the legend.
She punches him in the arm; he pretends it hurts.
It does, just a bit.
“The paradox of professional wrestling is a simple one: the worst thing any of us can do is get too comfortable somewhere. At the same time, we’re all looking for a place to call home.”
“Change is inevitable in all walks’a life; in professional wrestling it’s a necessary evil.”
“The CWF was my home. And I felt comfortable there.”
“Too comfortable? Maybe. Maybe a move to Hostility is just what I needed. Maybe that’s the reason this happened.”
“See what I did there?”
“You’ve been here, nearly since the beginning, Cyrus. And almost as quickly, ya cozied up to Rishel and his group.”
“Classic. Even in a young company that hasn’t really established its footing yet, y’grabbed hold of a life raft like y’didn’t belong here. It doesn’t matter if ya win every match on your own or if the Reason’s doin’ all the heavy lifting, Cyrus.”
“What matters is that ya made a statement almost immediately: ‘I’m outta my depth.’”
“It’s telling, by the by, that I’ve mentioned your name once on social media and the only response I got was from Rishel himself. It’s as if your very existence is a rumor.”
“So here’s the deal, Cyrus. You wanna get into a war with Dollar Sign Jack’s Elite? I’ll free ya up for it right here and move on in the Grand Tournament.”
“Ya wanna do some cleansing? Start with your own backyard.”
“Trust me, Cyrus… you can take out C$J. You can give his Elite whatever ya want.”
“This right here? You and me? Ain’t a fight you can win.”
“I am fearless.”
“I am peerless.”
“And you’re just gonna be number one.”