Changes

Changes

Posted on October 24, 2022 at 4:39 pm by Christopher America

“We gotta make a change.”

  • Changes, Tupac

 

 

Throughout all of history, there are great tales of men conquering the unconquerable, facing down great challenges, and overcoming the odds. Usually, these stories are epic in scale and scope: Sam Houston and his Texans overcoming Santa Anna’s Mexican army or the thirteen colonies fighting for independence from the British Empire. And while utterly amazing, these tales also overshadow the quieter moments of history: A child with a congenital disease that outlasts the time they are given to lead a full life, single parents who keep their families afloat by working multiple jobs, or an aging wrestler, back for one more run, who continues to win.

And just like with the legendary historical examples, the quieter examples also change the course of history. Not in grand ways, but in small ways. Ways that change how we see and interact with those around us. Those changes… those small, incremental changes… have far reaching impacts. Beyond what we can currently see, beyond what we can potentially foresee.

And the beauty of all of those changes, both big and small, are that they are controlled.

The child that fights the disease uses the power of modern medicine and combines it with a will and a desire, buoyed by a familial support system. The single parent’s sheer force of will to survive for their family. The wrestler who’s training and dedication to a craft that complains he is too old to be there.

All of that is control. The will… the want… to allow that change to come into existence.

And it’s hard. It’s hard to control that change because it wishes to be what change, at its core, really is.

Chaotic.

Random.

Disruptive.

And what do you call those – those chaotic, random, disruptive changes?

Some call them miracles. Some call them curses. Whatever you wish to call them, they need to be snuffed out.

Left unchecked, those miracles or curses unfairly affect humanity’s belief in themselves and the world around them. If miracles were allowed to occur, why, humanity would stop putting in the work to control the changes that get made. Workers don’t bust their ass to earn the promotion, they’ll wait for the miracle instead. Why save my money when the miracle of winning the lottery will provide me all the money I need? If curses were allowed to occur, humanity would drown in the tears they shed, unable to rise above the water line.

And that’s why this is all necessary.

That’s why I do this.

I am the check against the miracles of HOW.

And right now, the personification of America, the HOW World Champion, the unpinned and unsubmitted Christopher America is taking on the manifestation of miracles, Steve Harrison.

Steve Harrison is hoping that Rumble at the Rock will bring about the greatest miracle of his short life. He’s hoping that he’ll catch lightning in a bottle. He’ll do the unthinkable. He’ll submit the unsubmitted. He’ll capture the belt that has eluded him his entire career. He’s hoping to give birth to a miracle in the middle of the ring.

But I’m not going to let that happen.

Because while Steve Harrison is the manifestation of miracles, I am the antithesis of miracles.

I am consistency.

I am constant stability.

I am the rock of this company right now.

And you may choose not to believe it, but I’ll prove it to each and every one of you.

During my reign as HOW World Champion, every single other championship has changed hands. I am the only person who will enter Rumble at the Rock with the exact same championship he walked out of War Games with. My reign as HOW World Champion is so CONSISTENT that I’ve done something no other World Champion can lay claim to. I’ve seen England give rise to THREE prime ministers and crown a new monarch. I’ve outlasted Queen Elizabeth to see the rise of King Charles III. And I plan on outlasting him to see the rise of a third.

You see, miracles are belief in something fictional intervening in our lives – all in the name of hope, a hope that’ll never come. Me? I crush that hope and bring to you and all of HOW, the cold, hard reality that you need to help build yourselves up by your bootstraps.

People often ask why do I enjoy getting booed or why don’t I welcome the fans with open arms? And my response each time is the same. Why should I welcome them? Did the fans help me defeat Joe Bergman? Did they help me pin Clay Byrd? Did they help me beat Steve Solex? And are they going to help me beat Steve Harrison?

No, they won’t.

The fans cheer my opponent because they hope for the miracle. They hope for the unexpected change. I enjoy the boos because in my patriotic heart, I know that I have put in the time, the effort, and the work to be the absolute best wrestler in HOW. And I also know that in their miserable Un-American lives, they haven’t. Those fans could’ve earned that promotion had they built the skills necessary instead of doomscrolling on Twitter. They could’ve saved that money for a better house instead of buying little Timmy a replacement for the toy he’s broken for the third time this week.

It’s not a miracle that Christopher America is back in HOW, nor that he won War Games, nor that he won the HOW World Championship. I made the change happen.

And I don’t get the recognition I deserve for it.

I’m called names.

I have my accomplishments diminished.

Like you, Steve.

You diminish my accomplishments.

You see, you can call me the leader of a rudderless group but the truth, Steve, is you don’t get to put me into your box. You think we have no bite because we aren’t out there every week, as a group, fucking shit up? You’d just as quickly disparage me if I relied on my teammates every week to get the job done. Just like the Highwaymen, right? You fucking idiots couldn’t even figure out a way to win in a best of five series without having someone interfere on your behalf. Whereas me? Jace? GREAT SCOTT? We do it week in and week out without interference.

And you know my favorite thing about you, Steve? It’s the fact that you, like every other dipshit in this company, fall into the same boring trash talk. You were a part of the Best Alliance, fuckwad. So was Solex. And you all loved reaping the benefits of it until you weren’t. Until you’ve been booted out for something better. For SOMEONE better. So spare me the poor you, poor HOW, poor everyone else routine.

See, that’s the problem with you and everyone else. You all look at me as a product of a bygone era in HOW. Handed everything before him.

And you forget about the journey. You forget about the changes I made to get here.

I put on 20 pounds of pure muscle just to return to HOW. I trained extensively for THIS roster! FOR THOSE SPECIFIC WRESTLERS! Was I handed War Games? NO! I earned my place by beating a two time World Champion! I didn’t ask for help inside War Games, even when I was brutally attacked by Valor, Solex’s eagle. I pushed through… the pain… the blood… ALL OF IT! No Board members helped me defeat Solex inside the HOFC cage. And no Board members helped me when I submitted Solex at Dead or Alive. No Board members helped me defeat Jatt Starr in a once in a lifetime match. All of that… all of that was me. My changes. My controlled changes. Not fucking miracles.

And when I beat the Miracle Man, the manifestation of miracles, it won’t be because the heavens parted and a light shone down from the sky, blessing me with STRONK-ian strength, or Best-ian intelligence. It will be because I put in the work. Because I made the changes necessary.

Controlled changes.

At Rumble at the Rock, I will beat you, Steve Harrison, completing the defeat of the Highwaymen. You talk about this match like it’s not a specialty of either of ours. The truth is that I love those types of matches. Hardcore wasn’t my specialty. Ask Scottywood how it went for him at the Alamo. HOFC was new to us all. Ask Mike Best what it was like facing me in Rome. War Games wasn’t my specialty. Ask every HOW roster member what it was like facing me. And my match at Dead or Alive? That was Solex’s match. ASK HIM! Ask him what it was like.

In preparation for this match, I am making your defeat the sole reason for my existence. This match, the preparation, the understanding of the rules, learning new submissions, countering submissions, ring awareness, conditioning, endurance, strength training, new pain thresholds, ALL OF IT… my obsession! It may not be my specialty but by the end of these few weeks of preparation, I’m going to turn it into my specialty. I’m going to make it another match that this company FEARS facing me in.

And then… then I will watch as that small, quiet moment of history, where I beat the odds by defeating all four members of the Highwaymen… will slowly change the course of HOW. They’ll crumble. The group will fall. And they’ll go their separate ways. Each one upset with the other at their inability to defeat the greatest American.

Me.

Christopher America.

And I? I’ll do what I sought out to do from the very beginning.

I’m going to defy the odds.

I’m going to stare down the naysayers and the non-believers.

I’m going to make history.

I’m going to become the longest reigning HOW World Champion in history.

*******

The door closed and Crystal Wakjaub looked up from her notes with a curious look towards the hall. She pushed herself and her chair away from the desk as she slowly moved towards the hall. There, standing in the entry way, decked out in what appeared to be a suit made of heads was a tall man, looking out the window, watching as people passed by. Crystal’s heels clacked against the hard floor and the man turned around. As she approached, she realized the heads were the famous faces of the American presidents on Mount Rushmore.

Crystal: Mr. America. I didn’t realize we had an appointment.

She sounded genuinely shocked to see him standing there and America realized this.

Christopher America: No, no appointment. Do you, uhm, have time to chat for a moment? Sort of an impromptu appointment?

Crystal: Y-yes. Although to be honest, after our last few appointments, I’m surprised to see that you’re here.

Christopher America: Yeah, that’s—that’s kinda what I wanted to talk to you about.

Crystal nodded silently and motioned for America to come to her office.

As America entered, he noticed that the normal pungent smell of excessive incense was barely hanging in the air. He took his first deep breath in her office as he sat down on the couch. He lovingly placed the HOW World Championship next to him on the couch. He folded his hands, rested his arms, on his knees, and leaned forward. For Crystal, it was a sign of engagement that she’d only seen glimpses of during her few appointments with the man.

Christopher America: I, uh… wanted to apologize… for the last couple of sessions.

Unbeknownst to him, America began rocking slightly.

Christopher America: Look, apologies don’t come easy and I realize that I acted out harshly. You pried into parts of myself that I’m not comfortable sharing. Not just with you but with anyone. And I wanted to let you know that that’s not your fault. It was mine. How I acted. You’ve been trying to help. Bill, he helped me realize that.

And so, I, uh, yeah, I, uh, wanted to say I’m sorry.

America continued rocking for a moment before formerly catching himself.

Crystal: Well, I… appreciate the effort and appreciate the apology. I understand that what I do is not a science. It’s not something studied in college. I’m just trying to help people and when people, that I know that I’ve helped, try to throw that back in my face, it hurts.

America nodded slightly.

Christopher America: I, uh, I know you’re not a psychologist or psychiatrist or whatever but, the reason that I don’t let that part of me get known is because people have a tendency to use that against you. And when that gets used against me, I make mistakes. I, uh, I slip up and in my line of work, a single slip up makes all the difference, you know? So, I’m kind of hoping we could start over. The nightmare… it… it continues… it evolves… I see new images… and you’ve been the one that has helped me make some sense of it.

Crystal: This is a safe space for you to talk about anything. And you’re right, I’m not a psychologist, which is why I recommend that once our sessions are completed, that you go see one. To sort out whatever feelings you’ve got or have. Because there’s some trauma there, Chris. Trauma that needs to be worked out.

America again nodded, as if he was being scolded.

Christopher America: Do you have time to still… you know… continue a session?

Crystal: Did you want to schedule another time so that Bill could be with you.

America shook his head.

Christopher America: No, I… I need to do this alone.

Crystal forced air out of her mouth and nodded. She turned, grabbed her notes and a pen, and spun back around.

Christopher America: No disrespect or anything, but I think we’ve been dancing around the large issue. The mountain. It appears as this sheer, smooth cliff face. And it seems insurmountable but then, for some reason, I push my fingers into it and I grab ahold of something. And now I can climb it. And I see things. Flags, faces, people…

Crystal: Mountains are what mountains are here in the real world. They act as barriers or obstacles. Humanity has used mountains as natural barriers to protect kingdoms or climbed mountains as symbols of great accomplishment. Perhaps, the reason why you weren’t able to climb the mountain before is you felt that you weren’t able to. Or perhaps weren’t worthy enough to do it.

Christopher America: And what about the flag?

Crystal: What type of flag was it? American?

Christopher America: Yes!

Crystal: Seeing flags of our country usually symbolizes patriotism or a sense of duty to one’s country. Perhaps you climb the mountain to prove your worth to America.

Christopher America: And the other signs? The face of Graystone or the two lovers linked by chain.

Crystal: I’m sorry. I don’t know who Graystone is. Usually seeing a face means some unresolved matters with them. The lovers in chains, I’m not sure. Perhaps a feeling of being trapped? I mean, how do you feel when you see these things?

Christopher America: Scared. Like, at any moment, I could lose my grip and it would all be for nothing.

Crystal: What would be for nothing? The climb?

Christopher America: I think so. I find myself constantly pushing forward. I’m always trying to see what’s at the top. And it scares me.

Crystal: Then perhaps these, too, are obstacles. The mountain wishes to protect itself from you climbing it. It throws these things out to, perhaps, scare you from the climb. And it seems like it’s doing it’s job.

Christopher America: So then what is the climb for?

Crystal: Well, if the mountain is the obstacle, the climb is your want and will to overcome it. It’s about progression. Sometimes, we can take steps slowly or we can race through it. The obstacles suggest you’re struggling. Perhaps you’re frustrated with yourself that you aren’t climbing as quickly as you hoped or perhaps you feel you’ve progressed a lot but there’s still more to go.

America sat with a blank look on his face. It was as if someone had fired a gun straight into his chest. His heart burst with emotions. The impact almost left him feeling hollow.

That was it.

That was the missing piece.

He had progressed far but he still had a long way to go.

America’s eyes darted to the HOW World Championship that he had placed next to him. His heart was beating so hard that he could hear the pulsing in his head. As he continued looking at the World Championship, he could swear she was looking back.

Christopher America: The journey is mine.

The connecting pieces are all there.

The flag is me.

Graystone is Graystone.

The lovers are the Davidsons.

The mountain is my reign.

And I’m terrified of it.

Crystal: Why? What about it is terrifying?

America broke his trance with the World Championship and turned to Crystal.

Christopher America: It’s nothing dream related.

Crystal turned and set down her notebook.

Crystal: I’d like to hear it. I’m not going to analyze you. I’d just like to hear it.

Christopher America: When I held this the last time, I held it for 101 days. And that was an accomplishment. Something to truly be proud of. Now? It’s barely a blip. Several people have held this for nearly 6 months and some even 9 months. I’ve barely scratched the surface at 4. And although that’s longer, I feel like I’m in a constant malaise of just waiting for her to leave me. And I’m right back where I started. Down at the bottom with the faceless people, needing to make the climb once more.

And once more, I’m alone.

And the problem with all of this is that it’s my own doing. I take on the opponents I choose because I want to test myself and yet, they put her and my relationship in jeopardy each time. I’m walking a knife’s edge. I’m…

America motioned with his hands.

Christopher America: I’m climbing a steep, sheer faced mountain. To be the best, I’m going to have to get to the top. But to do that, I’m going to put her and I in jeopardy… constantly.

Crystal’s brow furrowed.

Crystal: Why a mountain though? If as you say, the climb to the throne is part of the ascent, then why is that a gradual incline?

America turned his face away and began to think. He knew she was right. If the nightmare was his then why did he perceive the first part of that journey easier?

Christopher America: Perhaps… perhaps because I have travelled it before.

Crystal: So that makes it easier?

Christopher America: Yes… and no. It’s easier because I… I know what’s there. I’ve… I’ve seen what it’s like to hold a championship for a short time. But it’s difficult because I’m in an unknown space. What lies beyond the 101 days. I’m only now finding it out.

America’s words are now stream of conscious. They flow almost effortlessly and yet slowly with a sense of realization.

Christopher America: I… I don’t know what lies beyond. Even now. And the expectations of me grow. Not just from The Board or Lee Best but the expectations of myself. I… I have to be so much better than I was. To be the best. And I, I need to be the best. I have to prove it to everyone. So they stop diminishing me. So that… so that I stop diminishing myself.

America’s eyes fell and a sadness washed over his face. He licked his lips, pursed them briefly, and then smiled quickly. He looked up at Crystal and took a deep breath.

Christopher America: Wow.

Crystal: You’re more insightful than I gave you credit for… probably more than you give yourself credit for.

Christopher America:

America stayed silent.

Crystal: Nightmares. Dreams. They’re fluid. They can evolve and change in new and unexpected ways. Other times, they can change based on the control that we exert over them. It’s difficult because we don’t fully understand it. Some feel that the moment they realize they are dreaming that they can control it, others don’t. I think the question you need to ask yourself is why your struggles manifest themselves as two different challenges. One easy. One difficult. And maybe once you figure that out, you could change the dream. Progress easier… farther… and see what lies at the end… and what lies beyond.

America nodded as Crystal sighed.

Crystal: Much better, wouldn’t you say?

Christopher America: Yeah.

America stood up and held out his hand. Crystal stood up and looked at the hand, shocked.

Christopher America: Thanks.

Crystal: Don’t mention it.

Crystal shook his hand and revealed a slight smile. America grabbed the HOW World Championship and slung it over his shoulder. He began to walk out the door and down the hallway before Crystal poked her head out.

Crystal: A quick question… if you don’t mind.

America turned his head and raised his eyebrows.

Crystal: Have you… have you ever had dreams like this before? This… potent?

Christopher America: Yeah. Every October, in fact. Different nightmares… but… nightmares just the same.

Crystal: Since when?

Christopher America: A few years now… and once October’s gone, it’s like they just… they just stop.

Crystal furrowed her brow and mouthed her thanks as America exited the building.