“We imagine that we want to escape our selfish and commonplace existence, but we cling desperately to our chains.” – Anne Sullivan
October 11, 2022
We need to address the elephant in the room, don’t we?
I wish so very much that I could do this face to face but… in this… I don’t have the courage.
Someone told me that the chains we wear are of our own creation.
I don’t know if that’s true.
What I do know, based on everything I see, is that we won’t make a good team.
Not right now, anyway.
You see, Jace, there’s a weak link among us. You know it. And I know it. You may whisper it in dark corners, back alleys, and the safety of your home, afraid to say it out loud and so I’m here to absolve you of that.
I’m the weak link.
Whether you consider yourself to still be one or not is beside the point. But at one point in time, you were a tag team specialist. What you and Tara Michaels did with Ascended Supremacy was something special. And it was special because you two shared a bond that was able to overcome one of the worst aspects about this business. You overcame something I’ve been taught to embrace.
And that’s selfishness.
You see, being part of a tag team means putting your faith and trust in others and that’s not something I do easily. Hell, it’s not something I do at all.
I really prefer to be on my own.
That way, the successes and failures are on me. I know where to turn, whom to look at, and I’m not left second guessing the possibility that it could’ve been a tag partner. My social circle is small. My circle of legitimate friends smaller. And the members of the Board, my work colleagues whom I respect, even smaller still.
I think about the memorable tag teams I’ve been in and I find myself dissatisfied with them. I won the Tag Team Championships with Mike as a member of the Best Americans. I won the Tag Team Championships with Austin Reeves. I should be happy but we just, we didn’t gel like I thought we would.
And that’s my fault.
I harbored a lot of resentment with Mike.
I teamed with Austin for the glory of the Best Alliance.
None of it was selfless. At least, not on my part. I just wanted the glory. I wanted the title. I wanted to use it to begin the ascent… again. To springboard back to the World Championship. Back to her.
And my selfishness is more than a behavior. It’s ingrained in me. Before you knew me… hell, even before HOW. It’s been drilled into me by… well, it doesn’t matter.
And don’t try to cheer me up and say that War Games is a team event. It isn’t. Everyone sacrifices themselves to keep their team alive in the hope that they alone will win the World Championship. One title. One prize. And if you exit the match with more than one member of a team winning, you hope and you pray that you’re the one destined to hoist her aloft.
Tag teams are different. You win together. You lose together. And when your team wins, you’re both rewarded. When your team loses, you both lose equally.
You and I know this.
Because you’ve won a lot.
I’ve lost a lot.
I mean, just look at what’s happened since I returned. My tag team with STRONK fizzled because Steve Solex abducted me. My tag team with John Sektor was tainted by a lacklaster performance from someone who was still rusty and I just couldn’t place my faith in him. He then had the gall to chastise me as if I’m the one that… you know what? No. It’s in the past.
Anyway… it’s like… it’s like it’s all cursed.
And then I think back to that saying.
The chains we wear are of our creation.
And I think part of me wants these tag teams to fail. That way I don’t get put into them. That I’m just left alone. Because I both simultaneously want to be and feel like I deserve to be. It’s sick. It’s fucked up. And I don’t know how to break out of those chains.
Not on my own.
And so I’m telling you all this because that needs to change. I think we, as the Board, need to change. You’ve had your thing with GREAT SCOTT and STRONK and I’ve left you guys alone. I haven’t seen Mike or Tyler in a long time. I don’t know where Cecilworth is at. I’m sure John Sektor hates me. And it all just feels hands off from my part. I’m not the leader of this group, of course, I just… I have to do better. I have to do my part.
I watched the Highwaymen put themselves out there for each other in MVW. I saw them do it with Frank Dylan James. And we… we don’t just do that for each other anymore.
I’m not saying this because we need to change our outlook with the boys in the locker room or change the minds of the fans.
I just… I need to be better.
Because at Rumble at the Rock, I’m going to have to be in order to beat Steve Harrison.
I’m reaching out to sit under your learning tree, as a tag team specialist. To help us gel better, to ensure that at Chaos, neither of us are embarrassed before our big matches. We’re champions. We need to win as champions and establish the momentum going into Alcatraz.
I don’t want to be chained down by this selfishness anymore.
The same ascent. The same stumble. The same throne. The same people. The same mountain.
I walk to the mountain. I place my hand on the cliff face. I run my hand along it and stop. I push my fingers in. My hand pierces the rock. The first grip.
I pull myself up and a second grip now reveals itself. On the cliff face I see a crudely drawn American flag.
Have I been here before?
I raise my head upwards slightly.
A face emerges from the cliff. Sunken in eyes, black as the darkest night, the face looks around, looks down and scowls a familiar scowl.
I feel it building: the terror. I race past the face as the cold, black eyes follow me. I feel cowardly and disgusted with myself as I quickly climb beyond his face. I chuckle to myself as I climb farther and then I see them.
The intertwined lovers.
Bound by chains.
Constantly moving as they continuously coil themselves around each other. The sound of rocks smacking and grinding against each other is grating. They move almost like water, pulling each other in before pushing each other out. The chains try to constrain them but can’t. They burst with the sound of an explosion. The woman falls. The man rises.
Are they reaching for each other?
They are pulling at something. Something… familiar. Something…that’s mine?!
Why could I not see them from the ground?
Don’t do it.
I look up farther.
There’s something at the very top.
The fear swells.
And then I wake up.
October 10, 2022, a day earlier
Crystal Wakjaub, dream interpreter, led Christopher America and Bill Right back to her office once more. This time, the sun shone through the window, hitting the beads that hung in front of her doorway. The light shone through them and their amber color projected into the hallway. As the World Champion and his talent agent walked through the hallway, it was as if they were being transported to another place. Something whimsical. Something mysterious. Something unknown.
America, decked out in Old Glory blue pants and an Old Glory red button down shirt, sat down once again on the couch in Crystal’s office as the smell of incense assaulted his senses. Bill, wearing a somewhat disheveled brown suit jacket, also returned to his prior post in the side recliner. Crystal took her place at her desk and swiveled her chair around to face America. Pen in hand, she sat and looked over her prior notes.
Crystal: Last time you were here, you and I discussed the throne that you sit on in this nightmare. Before we progress to the next part, tell me, how did the last couple of weeks go?
America shifted uncomfortably and looked at Bill. Bill nodded as if encouraging America. The champion sighed and turned back to Crystal.
Christopher America: Better. The nightmare is still there but I’m slowly advancing in whatever is happening. As a result, I am sleeping longer yes, but that only means that the nightmare is lasting longer and longer.
Crystal: Advancing how?
Christopher America: The nightmare… it shows me the mountain. I climb it. And I get these images of things that look bizarrely foreign and yet familiar to me all at the same time. Faces… people… icons… I don’t know what it means.
Crystal wrote in her book as America finished speaking.
Crystal: Well the next place I think we should start is the beginning. We already seem to allude that the throne refers to the championship you hold. But it’s the ascent to the throne and the crowd of people you describe that intrigues me. You said that the earth was soft.
America leaned forward and folded his hands briefly before using them to convey his points.
Christopher America: I’m sluggish… I… move slowly… the earth feels soft beneath my feet. It’s almost like clay. Colored red. The ascent isn’t hard. The path is there. The slope is gradual. But the fight… I feel as if I’m pulling against an invisible force that doesn’t want me there.
Crystal: Red is probably one of the most base colors in dreaming as it relates to who we are as human beings. Red has multiple meaning from the literal to the metaphysical. Right now, we can use red and green as a mean of distinguishing between good or bad. We use red to signify stopping. But red can refer to things like fire, blood, passion, anger, even sex!
Christopher America laughed as he glanced at Bill.
Christopher America: I think I’d know if I was having a sex dream.
Crystal: My point is that context here matters. You say that you ascend the path and that it leads to the throne. But where did the path come from?
Christopher America: I don’t know. I can’t turn my head.
Crystal: Is the ground actually red?
America looked at Crystal quizzically.
Christopher America: Yes. I just said that it was.
Crystal: So it’s not saturated? Or stained?
The world champion’s face drops as he turns and looks off to the side of the room, thinking. After a few moments of silence, he looked at Crystal as if he just had a revelation.
Christopher America: No! It’s stained. Like, more than drops. It’s there but it’s not all over. It’s like an unfinished paint job.
Crystal: I need you to think. Is it coming from you?
Almost as if he were actually bleeding, America moved his tongue on the inside of his mouth, trying to taste blood. He stared off at the side of the room once more.
Christopher America: No… it’s not mine.
America spoke the words as if saying it had forced a setback.
Crystal: Then, I think we’re dealing with blood from someone else or many, many others.
America sat up and slowly looked at Bill.
Christopher America: It’s their blood. It’s all of their blood.
America licked his lips as the intensity and pace with which he spoke increased.
Christopher America: The ascent. It’s to the throne. To the World Championship. The path is there. The path is gradual. But it’s difficult to traverse it. It’s stained with the blood of countless men and women who have tried and failed to get there. Literally, their fire… their passion… their blood to sit on the throne. And that crowd of people. That’s them. The next challengers. The ones who want to climb. The ascent starts down there and it ends on the throne.
America then leaned back against the couch. And stared off in disbelief as if the picture was beginning to come together.
Crystal: You spoke of feeling a sense of satisfaction when you sat on the throne. Do you recall what you feel as you begin the ascent.
Christopher America: Fear…but a fire, like an endurance. Anxiety? Almost as if, I’m afraid of those people… or worse… of being one of those people again. To begin the ascent again.
America’s face registered a hurt that Bill, and certainly not Crystal, had seen before. Crystal softened her voice.
Crystal: In dreams, crowds can play on our anxiety of public spaces and emphasize our need to be alone sometimes.
Christopher America: Yeah… lonely…
America quickly blinked as he realized the words that had just spilled from his mouth. He crossed his arms and rubbed his biceps.
Crystal: Do you? Feel lonely?
America stopped rubbing his biceps. He readjusted himself, sat up, and a scowl embedded itself on his face.
Christopher America: I have Bill. And the Board. And my fans. I’m hardly lonely.
America chuckled, letting the laugh fill the room, but they knew. It was fabricated and forced.
America’s scowl grew as she spoke with familiarity.
Crystal: We’re not chained to what others think or see. We’re not chained by our dreams or nightmares. The chains we wear are of our own creation. We are better than we tend to give ourselves credit for. At times, we weigh ourselves down with our chains because we think that’s how things are or because they think that we deserve it. Loneliness, if you feel that way, doesn’t have to be the norm. The reality is often…
America turned away from Bill and Crystal. He felt vulnerable and he hated it.
Christopher America: Don’t take my silence as a good thing, right now.
America turned to face Crystal, his eyes lit with a seething rage.
Christopher America: You don’t know me. And you sure as hell don’t have the degree or expertise to try to analyze me! You don’t know what I feel! What I’ve BEEN THROUGH! I…
Bill got up from his seat and looked at his talent. He looked disappointed before silently walking out. America looked as Bill parted the beads that hung in front of the office door. He turned to Crystal who simply nodded.
Crystal: See you next time.
Crystal’s words came out cold and uncaring, as she tried to mask once more the hurt.
She motioned for America to follow Bill.
October 12, 2022
The Miracle Man.
Bobbinette Carey’s tag team partner.
Oh God, I’m wincing just hearing those words come out of my mouth.
I understand that we’ve had our differences in the past but I’d like to set them aside for a brief moment. I’m sending this only to you. So, if you’ll indulge me, I’d like to shine a light on something. Now, some of these things you’ll know but some you won’t.
There’s a sense of pride and satisfaction that comes from holding the HOW World Championship. It has a mysterious way of enhancing almost everything in your life, from how others perceive you to how you perceive yourself. During this… this 100 plus day reign… I’ve learned things about myself that I never knew. The knowledge I’ve gained has helped improve my in-ring performance in ways I couldn’t possibly imagine. And the beauty of it is that I know I still have so much farther to go. I reap the benefits, daily, from holding her. And I know that if I want to cement myself, I need to go another hundred days. And another. And another.
Right now, I pride myself on the fact that I won War Games, that I beat Steve Solex in HOFC, that I beat him at Dead or Alive, and that I beat the great Jatt Starr.
But you know who doesn’t think that’s worth anything?
A few weeks ago, in so many words, Carey told me that the Highwaymen weren’t worthy of being challengers to the World title. That you were boring opponents and that I should concern myself with people more exciting and more challenging.
The person that you defeated to retain your LSD Championship, the person you prevented from entering War Games, the person you and Joe Bergman beat to retain your Tag Team Championships, feels that you, Solex, former World Champion Joe Bergman, and Clay Byrd weren’t worth it.
So, if you aren’t worthy of holding or even challenging for the World Championship, then how do you think she views your tag team for Chaos?
Let’s be honest with ourselves.
We know Carey.
Here’s a woman who literally has “Enemy” as her theme music with lyrics that say “Everybody wants to be my enemy” and she can’t figure out why so many people hate her.
In Cleveland, Carey stole the pinfall. She’ll provide an excuse, for sure. She’ll claim it was because it was her hometown or Jatt wasn’t paying attention, but it’s all bullshit. You know it. I know it.
And Carey will do the same to you at Chaos.
She’s going to do everything in her power to make sure that she pins Jace, just as I’m sure that you’ll do everything in your power to try to pin me. But Carey’s also going to do everything in her power to try to pin me, too, because Carey is upset that she didn’t get a chance to a few weeks ago.
You see, Carey expects you to…heh… carry… her through the match so she can sneak in and steal it from under your nose. And I know this because of how Carey conducts herself backstage, in the ring, and on the microphone. For all of her moaning about the unfairness of gender and racial inequality, the only true inequality that exists is in the talent between you two.
When’s the last time you’ve known Carey to hit the gym? To lift weights? To run on a treadmill? To train inside of a squared circle? To work with her tag team partners?
She likes Scottywood.
She likes Conor Fuse.
But they don’t train together. Scottywood and Conor do the work.
And Carey coasts.
And if there’s one thing I hate, it’s coasting Hall of Famers.
Everything that happens at Chaos isn’t for you. It’s for Carey. She needs the attention because if she doesn’t get it, her whole world crumbles away.
She desperately wants to be a martyr, but even that is too much work for her. It’s easier for her to flap her gums or go post a blog somewhere than to actually, physically, be a part of the change she wants. I’m still waiting for her to take five to ten minutes of precious HOW airtime and talk about abortion rights, but she hasn’t. I’ve been waiting for her to protest or organize politically, but she hasn’t.
She sees problems where none exist to feed her ego.
I’ll give you an example.
Carey thought I body shamed her because I said the last thing she stared down was a bean burrito. As if one fucking bean burrito is the equivalent of me calling her fat. I could say that the sky is blue and Carey would ask if I said that because she’s a plus-sized, black, female wrestler, when the truth is, I said it because that’s the color of the sky and not the fucking grayscale she sees the world in.
And I know what you’re thinking.
Maybe this is me getting in your head. But I’m not asking you to do anything to sabotage you and Carey as a team. I’m not asking you to say a single word to her. I’m asking you to form your own opinion. And you don’t have to worry about me. My last tag teams have gone on to great success, right? Solex kidnapped me. Sektor failed me.
But, hey, maybe this Chaos will be different?
If it is, I’m going to let you know, honestly, that I’m going to do everything in power to fuck you up. I’m going to try to injure you. I’m going to try to make sure that you are not one hundred percent for our match because I want to do everything in my power to keep this championship. I want to do everything in my power to remain unpinned and unsubmitted.
And I can’t do that if I lose.
So, this is where we part and hopefully leave you with something to think about. When this… discussion… whatever you want to call it… ends, we can resume our differences.
Just remember that the chains we wear are of our own creation.
Carey’s chains are her self-imposed martyrdom and a need for attention.
Mine are my need to win at all costs and my selfishness.
What are yours, Steve?
Well, if you decide to team with Carey, if you show up for that match, she’ll be one of yours.
Is that something you want?
I don’t know but you should think about it.