Is this shit real?
It can't be…
Either way… it's time to move forward..
Well at least we don't have to put our freedom at risk by doing the show at Area 51..
I know right.. Also Pops can go back to focusing on getting the company off of the ground.
Yeah it was great becoming a tag champion with him though, not many can say they've done it.
Will y'all shut the fuck up?!
Yeah, someone's a bit touchy today..
So what if I'm not? I'm trying to provide for my family and shit's just not going right..
It really wasn't.. within the span of three months, I had two companies close on me. Thankfully though, one returned just as quick as they closed the doors. And the entire landscape of the company took a dramatic change. The three main champions were no longer under contract. The World Championship being decided through an Alpha & Omega tournament.
Something I'm highly familiar with.. round robin that is.. at the start of my career, I gained recognition for winning a Super Juniors one back in Kyoto. But that's the past.. can't dwell on that shit because I'd be stuck there forever.
Yeah, you can't rest on your laurels..
Nobody fucking asked you..
Damn.. my bad..
I'm not for the shit right now. I wasn't, here I was, stuck left trying to figure out what the fuck I was going to do. Sure the checks from CWF were nice but it wasn't enough for what I was trying to help my family get off of the ground. And that's why I'm here..
Ugh… for those that don't know. Before I was able to score a second job with another promotion.. I was also an employee at this fine establishment.
Oh joy right?
This is kind of a step backwards for me. But at least I would get to spend more time with my kids. But they're barely three months so I don't know if it's really this serious.. To go grovelling back to the very establishment I told to kiss my ass when I felt my name was starting to crack barriers.
Was it really worth my pride? Was it worth my mental health? I honestly, fucking hated the place..
I start the engine to my vehicle and pull off of the lot. Really not headed to any destination in particular. Just riding…
I needed to get my mind clear, get shit into perspective. Figure some things out because the next two months of my life were going to be trying times.
Ten greuling matches to prove who had what it takes to sit at the top of the mountain. The question however was whether or not I wanted that throne?
Of course I do, I mean why the fuck not?
What other reason is there to get into this business? For the love? Sure I love this business but it doesn't show me the same affection. I get hurt, the show must go on.. I get suspended, the show must go on.. I get fired, the show must fucking go on.. There isn't any love..
Should I do it for the fans? I got the utmost respect for them but that's not why I do this.. Not now at least. Okay maybe just a little..
I come to a halt at a red light, taking the time to take my phone out and search for a number. I quickly find it and press the green phone for the call to go through. Thankfully the phone is plugged into the aux cord that's connected to my radio, so Pops' voice echoes through the car speakers when he picks up.
"Sup son? Do you got me on speaker?"
I chuckled to myself because I knew how much he hated to be on speaker.
"Yeah Pops.. I'm drivin' right now so I can't hold tha phone up ta my ear."
"Ok then, what's up?"
"Nothin' much mane.. did ya hear?"
"Yeah I saw the headline, it's going to be aight son.. At least you got CWF to fall back on."
"Yeah.. but what about tha Bad Company thang? Ya still down fo' dat?"
"It's a million fucking dollars on the line! Of course, I'm down with that shit."
A million dollars could be just the lick we needed. My bad, I mean it could be the opportunity that we've been looking for. The light turns green and I'm back on my aimless way.
"Have you been to the school? Got some training in?"
"Yeah I've been there a few times, trained wit Frost fo' a while.. I've been tryin' ta implement some new submission techniques inta my arsenal."
"Why you just didn't ask me? You know I'm good at tangling a motherfucker up."
That he was but the distance between us on a daily basis, made it kind of difficult.
"Pops, ya stay in Arkansas.. ya barely have time ta even be at tha school, especially wit tryin' ta get shit off tha ground.. I didn't wanna botha ya wit my shit."
Pops goes silent.
Pops clears his throat and finally responds.
"You're right, I guess.. I-I felt since we had been teaming together that our bond was getting stronger."
"It is, but like I said ya stay in Arkansas an' I stay here in Memphis, it was nothin' mo' than dat. But how's shit going wit tha dealings?"
"Everything's good, we just have to get some things finalized and we'll be set to go."
"Hope shit go well, rememba how tha last show turned out.."
I shake my head in disappointment but was kinda glad that Pops wasn't physically there to see me do it.
"You're focused on the wrong shit.. You should be focused on getting past Danny this coming Tuesday."
"I'll be ready.. I'm always ready ta put my knee through a muthafucka's face."
"I hear ya boy.. well I gotta go. Novie starts kindergarten for real tomorrow and Sunny also gotta be up bright and early so she can make it to school as well."
I had to ask before he hung up.
"What ya mean, start kindergarten fo' real?"
"Day before yesterday, all the girls went to the Kindergarten Center.. today all the boys.. Tomorrow, they all go together.."
"I guess.. Give everybody my love, I'll holla at ya lata' Pops."
"Aight, I'll hit you up before we gotta make the trip to Philly."
He hangs up and "Energy" by Big K.R.I.T blares loudly through my speakers! I quickly turn it down a notch. I must've tuned the volume out while I was deep in thought.
I soon found myself riding down Riverside Drive in Downtown Memphis. The riverfront looking as beautiful as ever. Especially considering how brown the water was.
Without a second thought, I pulled into the parking lot and find me a spot to park. Killing the engine, I grab my handheld camera and exit the vehicle. Choosing to skip the walkway, I walked across the grass towards the bank of the river. Finding my usual spot, I take a seat, fire up the handheld camera and start recording. I point the camera towards the dingy brown water, the calming ripples of the waves sent an almost euphoric rush through my body.
I pan to my right and catch a glimpse of the Memphis Queen Riverboat that coast along the water carrying a bunch of tourists who want a personal up closer view of the Mississippi River. Continuing to move along, the place known as Mud Island comes into view, the Mississippi Bridge looking immaculate in its background. I had never been to Mud Island, only heard stories so it has a mystical aura behind it to me.
The beaming sun had damn near made it impossible to breathe with all the heat it was pushing out. I had only been sitting in this spot a good seven minutes before I clearly saw its point. But nevertheless I sat there, I mean a little sun never hurt nobody..
Tell that to the people who've had heat strokes.
Anyway… I continue to record as sweat poured down my face. The Tennessee Titans ball cap did it's best to prevent it but the humidity was too real. Then it was like a prayer had been answered because a gust of wind blew through. It too was dry but the thought of the air embracing the perspiration made my body cool. I probably should've thought of a better choice in shirt as I chose to wear an all black 'Ripper' shirt. I use the bottom of it to wipe the sweat from my face, even taking my hat off to let some air flow through to my deadlocks. It wasn't much reprieve but it was enough.
Done shooting the scenery, I turn the camera to face me as I'm already accustomed to doing when I'm out and about. The sweat still pours from my follicles but I pay it no mind.
"It's been awhile huh folks.. I mean sho y'all saw me knee Jaiden in tha face a couple weeks ago but when's tha last time y'all actually heard from dis guy?"
I smugly smile as the sun reflects off of my teeth and I point towards myself.
"But dat's not why we're here, no, no… We're here cause there's a new era on tha horizon in CWF an' tha whole scope is about ta change. An' it all begins wit Alpha & Omega.. well when it comes ta talkin' about dis tournament.. but dis Tuesday night it ends with tha Alpha & Omega.. but not only dat, it really doesn't matta' how ya do in tha alpha, it's all about what ya do in tha omega.."
I chuckle to myself because of the play on words.
"Y'all are smart folks, I'm pretty sho y'all get it. But ya see Danny I'm not gonna sit here an' act like I kno' ya whole story. Cuz I don't.. But I do kno' of ya legacy.. ya name has rang bells in dis industry so I can't stand here an' take nothin' away from ya. You've paid ya dues, you've earned ya namesake in dis business. I heard ya say you was a two time World Champ, Hall of Famer.. all dat good jazz.. dat's pretty cool.. but.."
I look off into the distance, taking a moment to wipe some more sweat from my face.
"..at tha end'a tha day who really cares about dat? Who really cares dat I've been World Champ twice? I mean it's special but you're right.. I did lose it twice.. But if ya kno' anythang bout me, you'd kno' dat I'm a fact checker.. it's kinda what I do.. but both times I lost tha World title.. I was screwed.. Neither time was I cleanly beaten for tha belt.. Always suspicious circumstances.. but dat's tha past.. Like tha fact ya neva' lost tha belt, tha two times you've held it."
Another chuckle escapes my body.
"I mean CWF only closed down both times! Which means yo' reigns as champ were so bad dat tha company went under BOTH times.. Dat's some sad shit man.. I'ma let ya in on some shit Danny.. since Novemba'a 2017, ya wanna kno' tha only consistent thang bout tha Championship Wrestlin' Federation?"
I point to myself.
"It's been me. But ya kno' dat already.. Ya kno' dat fo' lil unda a year an' a half.. tha very fiber of my bein' has been left on dat mat, while you waltz in and outta dis place like it's a temp service job. Showin' up only when tha time suits ya. But I guess you've earned dat right? As many times as you've exploited tha CWF fo' yo' own personal gains. Ran it down inta tha mud, while ya underhandedly collect your earnings and flew back outta tha country. Dis is tha kinda man tha CWF fans should look forward too as their champion? One who killed their company TWICE.. not once.. but TWICE!"
I hold up two fingers to stress my point.
"Dis shit's crazy.. hmph.. Danny what ya fail ta realize is dat at dis point in yo' career.. Ya might be tha alpha.. Tha beginning'a dis shit, tha head of a generation of yo' peers. Always wantin' ta be tha top dog so you can have yo' way. Defend dat belt whenever ya felt like it.. Gettin' paid fo' only showin' up. But dat was then and dis is now.. Ya see Rippa'.. tha difference between now and then is dat ya didn't have me ta stand in yo' way. Ya didn't have an omega such as myself to step up and pop ya in tha mouth.
I neva claimed ta be a man'a th people.. I respect them though fo' spendin' their hard earn money ta make sho dat we're able ta provide fo' our families. Ya kno', like how you're able ta afford ta fly and catch boat rides all willy nilly. I respect dat they respect what we do as a craft and in return I wanna give them a champion who they can hold some stock into an' not be like 'fuck this shit I'm out.' Wheneva' they end up wit a champion such as yourself."
I stand up, slide the ball cap backwards on my head and turn the camera back to the water. I soon swivel to my left and start recording the pedestrians who are carelessly going about their lives. Some throw a frisbee back and forth, a couple walks their dog along the walkway. There's a guy doing sit ups on the workout contraptions that sits out next to a miniature basketball court with at least six goals, all different shapes and sizes. Kids shoot basketballs through the hoops, just because there's no actual game to be played.
"It's because of these folks why I go out there every night an' try ta prove dat I'm tha best. I don't do it fo' personal goals, although tha money is a decent means ta an end. But it's folks like them who pay money to see wrestlin'.. not egos.. They want champions who treats their titles wit respect and not just some cash cow… but ya see I ain't no hero, I'm only Duce.. dat's all I can eva be. I wanna see dis business as a whole thrive an' not just rack up accolade afta' accolade.. Because at tha end'a tha day, I can always get Duce in but if there's nowhere ta go… How ya gonna live dat lavish life witout tha industry ta fall back on? Dis may be tha Alpha Block but I'm tha only Omega dat's gonna bring rightful justice ta dis company. Not some has been Alpha who thanks his name is enough ta keep thangs flowin'.. Cause lets face it.. we all kno' how dat story is gonna end.."
I move the camera back to the rising Mississippi River which in all actually had been rising for the past couple of days thanks to the rain. But just like Danny B's ambition for stepping back into the spotlight this coming Tuesday night.. It'll pass..