“Been a minute. That ring rust was harder to shake off than I thought. But, I want to make one thing perfectly clear, if anybody out there thinks that,” Stevens paused. “If aaannnyyybody thinks…” Triple X looks to his left, off camera. “What in the hell was that guy’s name again?”
A female’s voice responded. “The old Triple X would never forget his opponent’s name. You think that could be the problem?”
Stevens snickered. “I am the old Triple X. I think that may be the problem.”
The voice was a very familiar one.
Ivy McGinnis was once one of the most respected managers/journalists in professional wrestling. Get in her way and she quickly became one of the most feared people on all of planet Earth. …to some.
To others, mainly Sean ‘Triple X’ Stevens, family, and close friends, the feisty 5’4”, one hundred thirty pound, Singapore cane wielding menace was one of the most loving, loyal allies you could ever have by your side. To make matters even better, when it came to Poison Ivy, as she’s often called, Sean had the best seat in the house.
She’s the mother of his only child, and his wife.
“Nah, I’ve watched you wrestle a million times. You fell asleep out there. No way that kid could hold a fuckin’ candle to the great Sean Stevens, and you wrestled like he couldn’t.”
“Then he did,” Sean mumbled.
Ivy heard him loud and clear. “Exactly. So, what now?”
With a confused expression on his face, “What do you mean?” Sean asked.
“The fact that you even asked that speaks.” It was hard for Ivy to hide her disappointment. Especially with someone she loved as much as she loved her Husband. A speech was imminent.
She knew it, Trip knew it, too.
Ivy shook her head, a few wisps from her otherwise perfectly neat pony-tail fell just above her thin, circular Ray Ban eye glasses frame, tickling her nose. She gently blew it out of her face.
“Listen, Sean… you don’t have to prove anything to me. I love you. I saw what you went through when you first got started, back in the day.
“I saw you take your shots nightly – but you never stopped fighting. You walked into locker rooms that had already decided they’d never respect you – and you earned their respect anyways.
“I saw you finally achieve your dream of being a World Champion, and I saw a hungry kid that wasn’t satisfied, and decided that that wasn’t even good enough. I saw you lead an entire wrestling community for two years as the most dominant champion they ever had.”
Ivy’s eyes watered, but she was way too tough to cry. She wasn’t quite done yet, and Sean knew not to interrupt her.
“These people don’t know you here, but I do. If you’re not going to be that guy again? The guy I hated until I loved? The pretty boy that I couldn’t stand, that turned into a guy with the balls to call himself the greatest wrestler on the fuckin’ planet, that I can’t live without?
“Sean. If you’re not gonna to go out there every single night, in front of a crowd that was too young to remember, in front of a locker room that doesn’t give a shit who you used to be, and earn their respect? Then come home.”
A tear ended up falling after all, but Ivy turned her head, quickly wiping it, before Sean could see it.
He wouldn’t have anyway; his head was buried beneath his hands, resting miserably in his lap.
“Shannon,” Sean and Ivy’s fifteen year old son, aptly named after his best friend that died to gang violence, “and I know who you are, and we love every incarnation.”
Triple X took a deep breath, as he sat up. For the first time in forever, Ivy couldn’t completely read him. He looked a mixture of pissed and sad.
“Let me do my promo,” Stevens mumbled under his breath. “I want to do it in private.”
“Shoot me a text when you’re done,” Ivy gathered her things, and began walking to the door.
“Oh, and Sean,” she called out one last time. “His name is Devin… Devin DeSean.”
Poison Ivy exited the room, shutting the door behind her.
FADEIN: on somber and melancholy in a place where confidence, and boastfulness used to reside. Sean ‘Triple X’ Stevens sat, slouched over, his forearms resting on his thighs, seemingly deep in thought.
TRIPLE X: I’ve never been a sore loser, and I don’t have an issue with being wrong. Looking back on things, Devin DeSean, verbally, when we spoke to each other, I destroyed you. But, that’s not how you survive in this business. You survive by showing each opponent, from the opener, to the main event, respect, and because you did not articulate things in a way that made me think you were a danger, I took you lightly, and as a result … I got embarrassed.
“I’m not here to make any excuses about it. I’m not here to ask for a rematch. Whatever good thing comes from your W over me is what you deserve.
“Me? I have some soul searching to do. The wrestler that you beat, is not the wrestler that I am, and the thought that I could go out there, and put on that—”
Stevens balled a tight fist.
Biting down on his bottom lip until it turned red, he continued. “I’m disgusted with myself.
“And, I—I just don’t know if I’m built for this anymore.
“But, before I go … I do want to apologize to you, Devin. You deserved better than that bullshit ass performance I put on.”
Stevens never looked directly at the camera once.
“You deserved better,” he repeated, standing up from his seat, pausing, as he contemplated his next move.
Then he left.