Never in my life did I imagine becoming a huge fan of Yoga. All the breathing, stretching, physical prowess invigorates me. God damn I feel alive! The running, conditioning, intense physical workouts as professional wrestler now seem trivial. Standing still like a tree, keeping balance in place; dear Jesus! I love feeling lazy yet pushing my body to new lengths. I’ve limbered up. I can move more freely than I could as Fat Zion. My legs can reach new heights for kicking abilities I’ve never even fathomed and…
Shawn Soros: Focus, Darin, focus!
Darin Zion: I’m focused, man. I’m focused on a lot more than you could imagine.
Shawn immediately shoots me a dirty look. He rolls his eyes and smirks. He definitely knows my game right now.
Being forthright with everyone, we all know why males go to yoga class now. We’re of age; we don’t need to talk about the birds and the bees. Most men come to yoga class to pick up women. I can see why now. Never have I seen so many women with tight pants highlight their asses in my entire life. I can’t pay attention to the soft spoken woman in the background telling my ass to breath while stretching my legs in the warrior pose. Sure, I’m doing the exercises and getting called out for my sloppy form, but truth be told; I haven’t even thought about the dating game in nearly 7 years. I tried back in PWX and faked a relationship once I joined HOW with an actress playing my late girlfriend Clara. But I only had eyes for her. My heart broke after her tragic end to the point where I didn’t give care about other women. Let’s face it, I’m awkward. I struggle with basic conversations because I’ve obsessed about one thing my entire life: professional wrestling. I don’t share the formalities of getting to know new people outside my comfort zone. Too many formalities. It requires me to feel uncomfortable; to deal with emotions that I love burying far beneath the surface.
My body tenses up, my chest puffs out. God damnit! Focus, Zion, focus! I shake my head to snap out of this lust induced craze. I close my eyes and take a few breaths in. I pull the skin tight shorts to adjust the comforting feeling of the flabs of fat getting caught up in them. I stick my foot back behind me on the stiff black mat. I glance into the mirror, staring back with intensity in the mirror. The brightly lit room around me fades into obscurity. As I begin relaxing and focusing for the first time, Shawn mutters under his breath.
Shawn Soros: I didn’t know this would have that kind of effect on you.
Darin Zion: I told you every reason why I turned to drugs in the meetings Shawn. It masked the numbness I felt in my heart. I only had one person that clearly understood me dude. I secluded myself from the world. I hate dealing with politics and bullshit.
Shawn Soros: You’re just afraid of rejections. You want everyone to like you. I saw it in your eyes after you left AA and joined us at the church for Celebrate Recovery. You just don’t trust people at all.
Darin Zion: Do you blame me with all the people I’ve dealt with in professional wrestling over the years. I speak my opinions and I’m out of line and people immediately want to crucify me over stupid shit. People made fun of me for years. I don’t trust people to enter my bubble at all.
Shawn Soros: You’re over dramatic. People just want to interact. You don’t have to look at it as dating. You need to stop fearing the risks.
Shawn rolls his eyes as he stretches his body out in the Cobra pose. I try to mimic the position, but my stomach muscles give out easily. Angered for a moment, I pull back up in frustration at my lack of discipline. I breathe hard as I’ve pushed my body over the last few hours at conditioning and this. I breathe calmly as we continue our conversation. I try to ignore him as he continues to provoke me.
Shawn Soros: Has Zion lost the edge?
Darin Zion: Psh! Please! I never lost my edge. I’m blunt. If anything people act all tough but they buckle under the pressure. They get all butt hurt when someone doesn’t fit their mold.
Shawn Soros: You’ve definitely lost it. You act so politically correct in your field now, the British redneck called you out. He insulted your man hood. He acts like you don’t have the gall.
Darin Zion: Shut up! You’re not going to win.
Shawn Soros: You haven’t taken your eyes off the blonde’s ass for the duration of our conversation. You definitely have a crush. Zion’s got a crush!
He continues to repeat the phrase over and over trying to anger me, but I continue to tune his incessant taunting out. Finally focusing on all the exercises ahead of me, I relax all the tension in my body. But right as I struggle to begin with Sun Salutations, her ass bends right down in front of me. All focus leaves my body. My knees become weak, my heart continues to beat through my chest. God damnit! He’s right, I can’t just sit back here. I’m a professional wrestler damnit! I shouldn’t care about these childish games. I need to have more confidence.
As the old teacher wraps the class up, I rush to grab my towel and gym back to try to catch up to her. Shawn sneers, his smile going from one ear to another. He punches me in the back and winks at me.
Shawn Soros: Go get ‘em tiger! You got this!
Darin Zion: Don’t give yourself credit. I came to this decision on my own.
As I rushed towards the woman, I felt invigorated by a sense of adventure I hadn’t had in a long time. I caught up to her with her beaming smile. Nervously, I greet her with a warm smile extend my hand out and greet her. While my heart still had doubts, my brain kept telling me one thing only:
“Nothing could go wrong with this.”
“Cheers to you Jonny! I’d absolutely raise a glass of my favorite stout to you after your brilliant jokes. But I sit back and decided to enjoy a nice cold refreshing A&W root beer in the comfort of my own home tonight in your honor. You think you have me nailed down as a 2016 Scott Stevens Control-C, Control-V shtick. But boy, you’re so wrong. Your Diet Max Kael impression clearly got the best of me. Surprised you didn’t pull out a check list go for the hits again. I’m afraid you’ll knock me out with those great jokes of yours. They’re clearly as effective as Ben Stein sharing a lecture on nuclear physics.
Look I hate having to unleash my brutally honest comments on you, old man. Truly, I do. Unlike the rest of this roster; I pride myself on setting a standard. You’re a likeable guy. You’re the kind of person I take out for dinner, go throw axes with and throw a couple of cold ones back with. You’re light-hearted and fun loving. You’ve lived a different perspective on life than I have. You’re confident and know yourself inside and out. It’s why I compared you to Eric Dane. You stature speaks levels of intensity people should absolutely fear in that ring. You’ve got the intelligence like him. Your presence is legendary like Kostoff. People say O’Dell and they quake in their boots the moment they know they’re standing toe to toe with you in that ring. We all have watched just how intense you strike at people. We watch how methodically the gears turn in place when you gain control of a match. You command respect in that ring. Hell, you remind me a lot of that cigar loving whale Reggie Rivid. People write you off completely thinking you can’t hang in that ring. But the stories everyone has when they square off against you and come back from the back speak volumes. If you put the same focus into your wrestling game as you do as your terrible Johnny Carson impressions; your record would match mine. You’d have more W’s than L’s.
Instead, you strike out of the promo game better than Darin Zion does at the dating. It’s bad when I am able to cut a joke at myself and people laugh more than people typically do when they hear one of your promo lines. I have terrible jokes. I can hear half the internet groaning when I cut one and act out of character. It’s because I know exactly who the hell I am. I don’t go throwing around insults because I’m trying to please the in crowd. It’s because it’s completely out of my element. It’d be like a fish stepping outside of a desert and I know I would suffocate. I bolster my strengths instead of following the same old cookie cutter HOW promo.
Eat, Sleep, Piss On Opponent’s Legacy, Repeat.
You get the same song and dance out of every single HOW promo that hits the air waves. Everyone tries being the cutting edge anti hero saying all sorts of edgy shit. Gavin fucked this dog. I went on another acid trip. I fucked this guys mother to piss him off. That’s not who I am, Jonny. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with people who are that vulgar here. You gotta do you boo. But there’s a reason people like Mike Best and others eviscerated you on the microphone in your feud as he climbed up the rankings in the HOW World Championship tournament, bro. They saw through your bullshit and mind games. This profession isn’t just about cheap laughs and laughing at your own damn jokes. Yea, you have to entertain the audience by being you hyped up on steroids and acid, sure. But they all see through the facade. They know you’re not the real deal.
So without further ado, ladies and gentleman of the audience; I would like to introduce you to the “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter” edition of Max Kael. He has more passive aggressive calories. He gives anyone that watches his stand up comedian routine the uncontrollable shits. He tastes like plastic and wishes his insults were truly as smooth like it too. Shit, he’s probably one molecule off from causing you cancer and being actual paint according to recent health studies.
Shit, he’s probably crying now that I ruined his back up career now.
Look, Jonny, I’m done toying with your emotions and playing nice. We both had our terrible laughs within our terrible jokes through this series. We aren’t playing Jerry Springer and airing our grievances on television. We’re not shooting for who can be more offensive. Hell, we’re not standing in the middle of the comedy club telling jokes winning a cash prize. We’re in the professional wrestling business kid. We’re in the professional wrestling business, son. We cross that curtain and put our bodies on the line. We hit real punches instead of fucking punchlines. We tour not just to split the audience’s sides; we split our own. I hate bringing the harsh truth in and not playing nice, but tough love comes from the honest truth.
The moment you crack one of your shitty dog jokes in my damn ring; you can punch my ass to kingdom come and use my rage against me to your heart’s content. But I’m going to double down, pick up the microphone you deliver your shitty comedy routine into and shove it so far up your ass that Gavin will mistaken you for that literal bitch he fucked. I’ve given my entire life to this industry. I’ve suffered for this industry. I’ve lost everything because I’ve obsessed on this industry. I fight for a living and I damn sure know that’s who Darin Zion is. I’m the no nonsense professional wrestler that comes in, fights for it all, lays it in that ring and takes this sport seriously.
Jonny, you lack focus. You lack identity, and you’re about to lack another win in your record. You didn’t take me seriously and pissed on me, and I’m angry now. I use that anger to fuel me. I zone my focus in and when I step into that ring; I unleash it all on the target.
You wanted my killer instinct, kid. You got it. Start saying your prayers, boy. Because you’re fighting a hybrid version of Darin Zion this week. You’ve meshed the old with the new. You’re getting one motivated Zion who will plow right through you like bread and butter and put your ass down on the mat flat on your back.
You’re a threat, Jonny. One big ass threat. I know you’re a threat and crazy, but I’m going to teach you some respect we have in this business. I don’t like making you look like a joke. I like bringing the best out of people. If I have to beat the piss and vinegar out of you to do so I will in a heartbeat.
I’m just sorry that your mouth wrote you a check your ass can’t cash. But I’m damn sure going to teach your rookie HOW ass some respect this week. No one else had the balls to do it. But I will. I’ll see your ass at Refueled.”