Never The Bride
Those words echoed through my head and ripped straight into my soul as I sat back in the Medical Center of Tampa Bay. Johnny O’Dell’s stiff belt buckle shot straight across my temple rocked my brain causing my second concussion within a couple months. I couldn’t take the news. The stress caused all my emotions to stir around. Dread and depression set in. The tunnel vision, the lack of focus, all of the concussion symptoms didn’t matter to me. My eyes fixated straight on Dr. John Irvine stroking his grey hair back reviewing my chart: multiple concussions, neck injuries, and back injuries. The gravitas of his next words weighing heavily on my heart. I slowly sighed with disappointment. Prayers resounded through my head as I plead with God. My career couldn’t end like this! Dr. Irvine hummed loudly studying the X-Ray and set it against his white board.
Dr. Irvine: You can’t keep this career choice up, Zion. You’ve taken a lot of damage in your ‘short’ wrestling career. Clearly, other doctors have documented your stubbornness thoroughly. You haven’t taken orders or turned them into your wrestling promoters when you’ve suffered injuries. Such irresponsibility! Your brain activity continues to fall. You’re on the cusp of facing significant brain damage.
Darin Zion: Doc, listen; I know the risks. I’ve only watched 1000 CTE documentaries. I’ve taken precautions to prevent measures like this from happening again. It was one stupid belt buckle shot. I can’t prevent idiots who throw caution to the wind! I don’t wrestle in hardcore matches any more. I’ve stopped high flying offense. I don’t need the lectures.
Dr. Irvine: No lectures this time. I’ve already spoken with Lee Best. I didn’t give you the chance to crumple up my notes for the trash bin’s pleasure. Your next trip next Refueled is on your couch watching your television. You can’t keep wrestling at that level. You need a week off to heal the brain trauma. Go home! Rest!
Darin Zion: I can’t doctor! It’s War Games season! I miss one week of action and my chances of making HOW’s last main event go out the window. You send me to the back of the line. I issued a challenge to a former World Champion. I can’t back out of a challenge. You know how that makes me look?
Dr. Irvine: It’s all about how you spin it. You didn’t back out. The suits forced you out of competition.
Frustrated, my face turns bright red. I clinch my fists as I leap off the examination table. I pace back and forth muttering obscene words under my breath. I frantically wipe my forehead for a moment completely disappointed. Acceptance of any doctor’s orders for rest ate through my stomach. It churned my stomach enhancing the dizziness from the concussion. I take a deep breath trying to cool my temper. I couldn’t handle these emotions of panic. Another wrestler just turned me into a welcoming mat. My record of losses kept chalking up: 3-2. Bitterness filled my soul. I lost that fire I lacked the first time I stormed the scene in HOW. Memories of Hollywood, Hanson, and I jumping the barricades and attacking HOW legends flashed through my head. I seized that day. I punched through the scene without a lingering care in the world. I wore a chip on my shoulder. I respected myself along with the business. It felt amazing. As those memories fled my head, anger from Max Kael’s vicious stomping of me kissing ass and respecting everyone and O’Dell’s cheap ass attack filled my head. I saw red. Emotions intensified as Dr. Irvine noticed the awkward silence as I processed everything.
Dr. Irvine: It sucks. I went through a boating accident a couple years ago. I couldn’t practice medicine for a few months as I recovered trying to relearn everything. I excelled. I preserved through the situation. I got back on my feet and…
Darin Zion: I don’t want your empathy, sympathy, wisdom or well wishes. I want to compete dammit. I’m pissed. I let this happen to me again. I put the others needs ahead of my own. I let everyone treat me like a punching bag. I stopped caring about myself to put others needs over out of respect. I went soft. If I kicked him harder. If I didn’t hold back my passion, my emotions, or my skill in that damn ring; I wouldn’t have put myself at risk. I took my eyes off the damn prize one time, doctor. One damn time! You understand. You hit that one rough patch and the blame echoes through your head like an obsession for months. You constantly blame yourself. You take the weight of the world on yourself.
Dr. Irvine: Oh definitely. If I didn’t overcorrect…
Promptly I stand straight up in the doctor’s face and stare a hole straight through him. I hate interruptions period. I didn’t want his kindness in this moment. I wanted revenge. I wanted to wrestle. I wanted to step back into my damn ring and kick a Texas sized hole straight into Stevens’ ass. I wanted, no needed dominance back. I can see him right now, stroking his ugly ass beard. He’s probably sat back laughing his ass off when the news hit the locker room celebrating the fact karma struck me down stiffly for opening my big mouth. What does he care? He got an easy match with Noah Hanson after taking a break for two weeks. He didn’t have to deal with my struggles or responsibilities. I felt the weight of the world trying to carry out my obligations of advertising HOW through OCW and other methods. I still didn’t feel like I earned the $5200 a month HOW offered me. I needed to pay it back through wrestling my ass off to put HOW’s name out in the market again. I had to lead. I couldn’t keep affording failures to Lee. After all those emotions hit me, I spoke with firmness. My voice raised loudly while I spoke to Dr. Irvine.
Darin Zion: You don’t get I suffer from OCD. It eats at me, doctor. Sitting on the sidelines kills me inside. I’m 32 years old. I’ve wrestled hardcore matches my entire life. My time in this business keeps running out day after day. I know these damn risks. One more injury. One more loss. My ass permanently sits on the sidelines damning me to a life sentence in my own personal hell.
Dr. Irvine: You’re being over dramatic. Quit letting your emotions control you, Darin. This is cold hard data. Your brain is messed up. You need time to let your brain and body recover for a month. Rest and relaxation keep your mind sharp. Stress set in. You didn’t study medicine. Your letting your emotions blind you. This break will heal all your problems. Love yourself for once!
Darin Zion: That’s just it, Doc. I don’t care about me. I care about my team, my brothers in HOW. I need to step back in that ring…
Dr. Irvine: At full health! Darin, shut up! You need to focus. That’s why I’m also prescribing you some Zoloft. You have untreated emotional issues. You need something to take the edge off everyth…
I swipe the chart straight out of his hands and browse through it. I point my finger straight into conditions section of my chart and immediately rub it in his damn face.
Darin Zion: See this! I’m an addict. I’m not taking one dose of medicine. One iota of mood correction drugs and I become hooked to pill popping again. I used to drop Percocet pills like Pez and drank whiskey like water. I snorted blow for cheap thrills. One ounce of this stuff and I go back to fucking up my entire career. Shows how much you damn well know. I can’t change your diagnosis. I reluctantly accept the charges.
I toss a giant wad of cash straight down at his in a disrespectful fashion. I stormed off dreading I spent the last two hours letting the medical system tell me I’m fucked up trying to solve my damn problems. I wanted Stevens and I had to wait another week. I hated this decision and took my medical records from him.
Dr. Irvine: Pay it up at the front desk…
Darin Zion: Shove it up your ass! I just gave you $500. It should cover more than enough of what insurance won’t cover. I’m done dealing with you for the day.
I slam the door on my way out walking back to my hotel. God damn Lee! Why did you force me to see this tool doctor tonight? I could be in that ring fighting Stevens, getting a challenge. I needed another former World Champion to bring the fire and passion out in me right now. Tonight, I found the chip on my shoulder again. I wouldn’t be a welcoming mat for Stevens when I got him. I thirst, I crave, I need that War Games spot. I let Jace beat me for it before. I exhausted my body in two matches that night. I hadn’t forgotten about that one chance. I knew fighting Stevens would be that match that would bring it out of me. I hated waiting one more week, but as I stared at the moonlight straight up in the sky; I knew two more shows would only feed that anger. It would fuel my obsession, and I knew I would come to find that old, selfish Zion I so desperately wanted to find.
“Bottomline is you can pick me or not.
The choice is yours because either way I’m fine sitting at home in management exile collecting paychecks”
–Scott Stevens, June 2nd, 2019
“You can take your open challenge and shove it up your ass. I don’t accept. You aren’t worth my time. I don’t need to prove myself to Lee or Mike. They can either choose me or they don’t but I’m not going to beg/prove myself to anyone. My past speaks for itself.”
–Scott Stevens, June 3rd, 2019
Boy! Those words aged well like a shitty tasting steak, didn’t they, you hypocrite?!
You sounded like the fat chick who no one invited as their date to prom. Little did I know you would act the part when I watched you last week.
You chalked up your third overall loss in this new era to an old, hypocritical, broken down old man that I beat a few weeks ago in OCW. You became 0-4 against Noah Hanson. But instead of manning up to put Old Yeller out to pasture like I would have done; you lost your balls in the process. You attacked an innocent, worthless producer to ‘re-establish dominance and prove why you deserved a War Games slot’ when you literally told everyone you didn’t care, and you enjoyed collecting pay checks at home. You acted from your own apathy YOU showed when you chose to sit your ass at home and collect checks. You didn’t put your name out there. You didn’t go to OCW immediately to wrestle. You didn’t cut any segments. You, a 42-year-old man, threw a glorified temper tantrum and attacked a man who makes you look like a star.
Truly, it pissed me off, Stevens. I reach out weeks ago with the olive branch to offer you the platform to prove you still hold that chip on your shoulder, respectfully giving you the platform to prove your case to HOW, to the entire world you deserved this opportunity. I thought you’d want to put on a clinic, bust your ass; and prove why you once held that World Championship with more dignity than others did. You never once rested on your morals. You kept pulling your ass out of the hole. You came back and proved to the world exactly why you deserved the HOW World Championship even when other shit on your career accomplishments. Hell, I envied how well you pulled a nearly decade career out of the gutter when I returned back to HOW fighting for my own redemption. I didn’t shit on your career like other people did. I withheld your name not out of fear but respect. I didn’t want to put you on the spot. I knew you struggled and suffered through hardship. You couldn’t find your footing and I kindly wanted to help you out. Knowing my career sat on its last legs when I came back to HOW; I wanted to become the hero like Stevens. I wanted to challenge myself knowing full well I would piss you off in the process. I wanted to give these fans the clinical old school, hard-hitting wrestling match they deserved.
But you shit on those chances. You spit on that offer. You told me I disrespected you and I offered you nothing. Then you became an attention seeking whore when picking Producer Nathan up and spiking his ass into oblivion. You didn’t act like the former class act World Champion I once respected. You became the Lonesome Loser again. You wrote my challenge off like it didn’t matter and began begging for handouts praying your so-called ruthless streak gave you any kind of merits.
It’s hilarious! You wrote me off claiming I did nothing since HOW turned the lights back on. Last I checked I kicked three former HOW/Defiance champions asses in that ring while you beat up the worthless producer backstage. Who really accomplished more?
I’ve won and lost since coming back chalking up a record of 4-3 in all HOTV promotions. I fell short. I learned to stop acting like a soft-assed wrestler that treads too carefully. I found that fire and passion I lacked since returning from every success and failure I made. I picked my ass off the canvas the same amount of times you did, but I’ve found successes even main eventing a double header in HOW since returning. You sat your ass collecting a paycheck doing nothing. You beat up some producer hoping that one iota of attention would get you onto the team.
You’re calling the kettle black too much now, you idiot tea pot.
You didn’t prove shit. You reacted out of fear. You knew damn well your accomplishments never held merit enough to hold your career. Every pro wrestler learns or re-learns that lesson. Wrestlers become hungrier, fight harder, smarter, and bust their asses to surpass the accomplishments. Other wrestlers beat the accomplished veterans and earn their keep. It’s the circle of professional wrestling, Stevens. You’re not an idiot. Deep down, you’ve lived that lesson. You watched peers surpass you and win World Championships in HOW before you even sniffed the damn thing. I re-learned it after returning to HOW. I’ve won 3 ICON Championships, 1 LSD Championship, 1 Tag Championship; came inches from defeating Jace in War Games and placing 3rd in another and knew this lesson. I blew my chances running my damn mouth off its hinges and got humbled time and time out when I entered 4CW after HOW closed. You personally did the humbling. Every loss or action you make can positively or negatively impact your career at any given moment.
Yet you still didn’t want to prove anything. You’ve bought into your own hype train that you’ve already won a Hall of Fame spot. You think you’re on the levels of legends like Mike Best, Max Kael, and others. While truth shows us all you’ve settled for mediocrity. You’re just begging for handouts hoping some DNA comes back proving you’re another Lee Best bastard child. You settled. Now I’m here to bring your delusional ass back to reality. Insults don’t win you World Championships. Hard work, perseverance, and determination do. Now a younger, hungrier lion’s about to teach a 2 Time World Champion a hard lesson in the harsh reality of the professional wrestling business.
Try and hold your poker face in Stevens, you know its damn well truth. I’m about to teach you about the respect and worth the HOW World Championship means without ever holding the damn thing myself.
To be a champion; you must have the heart, will and determination to fight for all chances in HOW. Not apathy!
I’m tired of sitting back when clowns like you who prey on the innocent get handed World Championship matches and War Games matches when people like me keep happily earning them. I knocked down the door frequently. I get mad; I struggle, I fail. But I’ve learned not to react out of anger. I turn chicken shit into chicken salad. I pull my ass off the ground and I keep coming back welcoming these challenges to better my career. That’s what the heart of a champion is.
I don’t get gifted these shots, Stevens. I don’t squander them either. I bust my ass earning them. I earn my keep and my paycheck. I understand the gravitas that comes with holding 97Red. I crave, no obsess over holding it. I will do the right thing and fight for that honor to get into the last War Games. I respect Lee and the system too much to beg for the scraps ever.
Friday, I seize my first opportunity and prove to you and the Bests just how much I deserved my shot at redemption and why I earn my $5200 paycheck a month. I won’t write you off because I know even with your shitty actions, Stevens; you’re hungry too. Deep down inside, Stevens; I know you have a shred of dignity left. You want this fight. You may throw cheap tactics in to try and win,but I’m not turning a blind eye to you or anyone any more. Enough is enough and it’s time to prove why I deserve in that War Games match. It’s time to show everyone I’m the fired up, bound and determined Zion they expect me out of me.
I will get my win on your, Stevens. It’s destiny. You’re going to see the same result you’ve seen every single time I’ve stepped into the ring with you, Stevens. I will pull out the win sending your ass to the back of the line once and for all. I prove why I’m still ranked in the World Championship division and you’re not.
You won’t get their attention, Stevens. You will choke on more than just your steak. You will always deep down inside know you’re the bridesmaid and never the bride (and you’ve held the belt). You had your chance to do the honorable thing. Now it’s time to reap the consequences of acting like a self-center douchebag. You will fall to me. And you will sit your apathetic back on your couch watching me march onto a War Games spot while sobbing into your pathetic Texas steak, champ.