Creating Trust and Breaking Stigmas
What is it?
The definition of trust is the firm belief in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of someone or something.
However, one of the most important things you can earn is somebody’s trust and that is KEY to a successful tag team.
People trusted the Joker because he was parading around blasting rock and roll music a top of elaborate floats while throwing out seemingly endless amounts of cash. It wasn’t until Batman arrived that Joker showed his true colors and started to poison the crowd. This is kind of like the War Games situation we have where Lee Best paid a fortune to hire a group of mercenaries to help him win instead of going with his normal people. I guess this is a reaction when Jace was his team captain and burned him to lead Team 4CW at War Games for Perry Wallace. You live and you learn.
I, myself, have trust issues.
The only people that I can say I whole heartedly trust are my family. My wife, Lisa. My brothers, George and Ricky. My cousin Bo. My children and my father. This is excellent if one of them happened to be my tag partner, but they aren’t. This is probably why I haven’t won more tag titles in my career because I have been a part of many tag teams throughout my career just not championship quality ones.
In HOW, I am a two time Tag Team champion because of the Freebird Rule activated when I was a part of Ground Zero and when I won them with John Sektor when we were in the Thoroughbreds. Even then a fully didn’t trust my tag partners. How can I fully trust Rhys Townsend and Ryan McKenna when we have gone to war on more than one occasion? Don’t get me wrong, Townsend cut his teeth with Ground Zero, but the majority of the time he was either on his own or with the Best Alliance. Same applies to the Thoroughbreds because I was kicked out of Ground Zero by Townsend and hook up with John Sektor to take the championships away from them. Sektor and I were in a bitter feud when he came back to HOW and our tag team was based on a mutual respect because we both strive to be the absolute best, but mutual respect isn’t trust.
Hell, even the Unstable with Mike, Max, Jace, and myself only had trust in the fact we wanted to take out the Best Alliance. Outside of that commonality we didn’t trust each other as far as we could throw each other.
Some say Scotty and I work well as a tag team and that we have things in common, but the truth is we can’t stand each other. We literally tried to kill each other years ago. Just because we can put aside our hatred temporarily to try and gain something doesn’t mean I want to have that Jamaican reject over for Christmas. However, unlike my partners of the past, I have one hundred percent trust in Jonny O’Dell as my tag team partner going into War Games. That may seem crazy, but when you take a moment and break it down it really isn’t that crazy after all.
Can that be said about the other teams we are facing?
Honestly, I don’t think so.
Think about the Legion of Darkness with Silent Witness and Chris Kostoff. Both are HOW Hall of Famers and are pretty good friends since they both came from the Golden Era of High Octane Wrestling and you would think nothing could shake that bond, but you’d be mistaken. Silent Witness is one of the scummiest people that has ever walked the planet and he knows it. Don’t believe me? Look at his behavior from the 2008 shows on HOTv. You heard about a dog in a gimp suit that was him. Can you have trust in a person that does that do a dog and brings in other dogs to have a dog orgy as well? Chris Kostoff, old reliable himself, can’t be trusted sometimes. He destroyed his whole stable because you thought they were useless and pathetic and he represented himself at War Games because he didn’t have the confidence or trust in his team.
Even when Sex and Money was dominating the tag scene back in 2015 they still had singles aspirations. They all wanted to be world champion and other singles champion, and that mentality caused their breakup and when they imploded their matches against each other was so competitive they felt like they had to outperform the other. That led to bitterness and jealousy between the long standing friends that even now hasn’t been recovered. Lee forced Zion and Hanson to team if they wanted to be on the War Games card. Can you fully want to trust your partner when you’ve stabbed each other in the back you’re always looking for the knife to be inserted at some point?
The wildcard team is of Crash Rodriguez and Bobby Dean. Crash is still an enigma because no one doesn’t know a lot about him except he has a sadistic side when he used a hammer to pick up a win on the go home show against Jace Savage. Bobby Dean……you don’t know what you’re going to get with him to be honest. Normally, he’s a happy, go lucky kind of guy, but he does have a mean streak in him. The problem is you have to motivate that mean streak to appear and Bobby Dean’s tranquil state of mind usually results in that not taking place. The unpredictability of both men makes trust very hard to come by since they were thrown together. Crash could snap on his own partner or Bobby could just pull a Bobby and not show up or take the match seriously. Crash has the potential to go very far but his recklessness has cost him, but it has also benefitted him as well. Bobby has the potential to be world champion when he puts forth the effort. Hell, he defeated Mike Best during Mike’s legendary ICON title run when he took the LSD championship from him.
Brian Hollywood and Jace Savage. Savage is probably Hollywood’s most trusted partner, but even then the green eyes of jealousy always get to Hollywood because he always wants more, and he will throw Savage through a barber shop window if that means he’ll get another shot at the world title. Hollywood kills his own team because it’s all about Mr. Executive and no one else. He killed PWX just because he could and he killed Sex and Money to prove that he could and that Zion and Hanson couldn’t succeed without him and you don’t think he won’t hang Jace out to dry?
The most trusting team we are facing is Doozer and Cool Cancer Jiles better known as the eGG Bandits. They have teamed together forever. They travel up and down the roads together. They go from one promotion to the next, and wherever they go they usually win tag gold. Their biggest fault is that they trust their abilities a little bit too much and that leads to cockiness and that leads to laziness. That attitude has cost the Bandits more championships than anything.
O’Dell and I both want to shed the stigma of being labeled losers. O’Dell has been a jobber most of his career in HOW, but he’s starting to find his foothold in the Refueled Era it just took being homeless and half crazy, but whatever works. For me, I’m still seen as a loser despite being a multiple time World champion and sometimes when you win your first people can say it was a fluke but when you win it for a second time and people opinions of you hasn’t changed that is a problem.
Stigmas can be good or bad depending on they’ve been perceived.
Chris Kostoff is considered the heart and soul of HOW as he has been in every incarnation there ever has been of HOW. He is a monster than will fuck you up if you get on his bad side, but his stigma has been that he loses a thousand times so why should I be afraid of a guy that loses all the time? Why do you think that the crowd chants Kostoff is going to kill you? He isn’t here to win matches, he’s there to beat you up and possibly end your career depending on the mood he is in.
Silent Witness is called the LSD Legend because during the Golden Era he put the LSD division on the map and help establish it further in the Modern Era, but the former Samuel Owens had two stigmas about him that I saw during my time in HOW. The first being he could never win the big one. Witness would always flirt with the upper echelon of the Main Event, but he could never capture the proverbial brass ring until he beat Max, but most people thought it was a fluke win. The second is that he’s one of the most untrustworthy individuals to come to the land of High Octane. His pores secrete scum. The dog incident gets mentioned many times, but he has others. For example, at Refueled in 2008 he used his authority of commissioner to restart a match and change the stipulation after he had already lost. My favorite was when he played homeless for a year. That was the best.
The eGG Bandits and Bobby Dean have the same stigma in common, and that is they love Ken Davison’s Golden Flakes. Jiles, Doozer, and Bobby are notorious for bailing on wrestling promotions at the worst possible times and because of that they have burnt many bridges along the way. They are extremely talented as they have racked up multiple tag team awards and championships. Besides, being great tag competitors they three have all won major singles gold has well. Bobby Dean has won multiple world championships in his career and Doozer is a multiple time DREAM world champion. Doozer was also the Jatt Starr of the promotion when DREAM was around. Jiles is a former DEFIANCE World champion. The Bandits and Dean have shown they are capable of being great whenever they go it’s just them flaking out makes wrestling companies cautious when signing them.
Sex and Money’s stigmas are the same; their egos can’t be checked long enough before they implode. Noah Hanson, Brian Hollywood, and Darin Zion all want to be better than the other. They want to be the man and they want to achieve the highest status possible. If they are all three time world champions the only thing that can beat that is another world title or a place in a Hall of Fame. Don’t get me wrong the competiveness drive is a great thing because it keeps you motivated and hungry, but their drive is to the point of self-destruction. Noah Hanson got cleansed when you left and realized he could succeed despite his last HOW run. Zion is still imploding because it seems no matter what he does it doesn’t go right. It doesn’t matter what title he wins because unless he wins the world title he’s playing catch up to Hollywood. Speaking of Hollywood, what needs to be said that hasn’t already been said? Whenever he’s not on top he’s bitching and moaning from his mansion from the Hollywood Estate because he’s too predictable. Clockwork syndrome or predictability is the worst stigma to have. Rhys Townsend was the worse with it, but Hollywood is getting to that level and that’s not a good thing.
Stigmas are hard to break, but it doesn’t mean they can’t and winning the tag titles is a step in the right direction.
Location: Tampa, Florida: The Mermaid Tavern
August 1, 2019, 10:30 PM
Loud music and laughter is heard as we follow the hard wood flooring to the stone tiles inside The Mermaid Tavern. Once inside, the lights highlight the aqua green on the walls and there are various patrons of varying races and genders having a pint and a good old time until the noise coming from the bar area seems louder than the rest of the other patrons. As we make our way to the bar area we see Jonny O’Dell wearing his Liverpool FC jersey and a leather jacket while Scott Stevens is wearing a Battle Red Texans jersey of J.J. Watt almost yelling at one another.
“Are you fooking crazy mate?!?!?”
O’Dell yells as he leans forward in his bar stool.
“Football is way better than that handball shit you play in the States mate.”
O’Dell says as Stevens shakes his head in disagreement.
“You pansy fooks are all padded up because they’re scared to take a hit mate, and the game is too fooking start and stop for my taste mate. Don’t get me wrong I like it from time to time but it ain’t fooking better than real football mate.”
O’Dell says as Stevens just chuckles.
“You say American football players are a bunch of pansies because they wear protective equipment, but your soccer guys act like they’ve been shot by a shotgun every time they get touched and when they don’t get the penalty call they bitch and complain more than Brian Hollywood and Darin Zion.”
Stevens replies and O’Dell doesn’t look happy.
“It’s called strategy mate!”
O’Dell yells and Stevens smirks.
“Yeah my dog plays dead as well when he wants a treat, but when Neymar did it in the World Cup it was embarrassing.”
Stevens says and O’Dell leaps from his stool.
“Oi! Oi! You want to go right now mate?!?!?!?”
O’Dell blurts out in a fit of rage and Stevens shrugs and slowly rises from stool when the bartender makes her way over to them.
“What can I get ya?”
The lovely redhead asks as Stevens and O’Dell look at each other then the bartender and decide that alcohol is much better.
“Better be glad this pretty lady stopped us mate or I’d wiped the floor with ya.”
O’Dell says confidently and Stevens just rolls his eyes.
Stevens says sarcastically as he looks over the menu.
“I’ll have whiskey sour and a Coup de Gras burger with no tomatoes.”
The bartender nods and turns her attention towards O’Dell.
“And you love?”
She asks as O’Dell nervously looks at the menu.
“I’ll have the Fuck Monsanto Salad with a water and lemon.”
Jonny replies and Stevens looks at him awkwardly as the bartender puts in the order.
“You sure that’s all you want?”
Stevens asks and O’Dell nods.
“Yeah mate, got to look fit for the big match at War Games.”
O’Dell says trying to convince his partner and Stevens isn’t having it.
“Look man, what did I say about lying? It isn’t cool. How am I going to trust you if you keep lying about stupid shit?”
Stevens asks and O’Dell lets out a sigh.
“You’re right mate.”
Jonny says as he calls the bartender over.
“I’d also like the fish and chips with a pint of whatever is on tap.”
The bartender turns the new order in.
“Doesn’t that feel better?”
Stevens asks and O’Dell nods.
“I know you’re trying to impress me with trying to claim you’re a former HOW World champion and trying to steal the Tampa Bay Rays Pennant trophy, but you don’t need to. I have confidence in this team and I am confident we are going to walk out of War Games as the new tag team champions, and trust is the key to victory. Now let’s just sit back, relax and enjoy ourselves before we have five years taken off of our careers.”
Stevens says as O’Dell nods and picks up his beer the bartender just delivers.
O’Dell says as he holds up his glass and Stevens raises his.
Stevens replies and the scene fades.