Here we are, the final stretch before the inevitable onslaught.
We’re in the eye of the storm, and it’s eerily calm…but not for long.
If any of you thought I was somehow holding back because my stakes in this match are not as high as others’ might be, I have a newsflash…it’s all out in the open, now.
My stakes are as high in this as everyone’s, you wanna know why? Because I chose a side, plain and simple…and the side opposite from the boss, at that.
That’s a risky gamble for anyone of my ilk.
You don’t just waltz into a company and get title shots…not unless you reach the semi-final of a tournament where you gave the eventual winner everything you had and make him sweat the thought of facing you again when you earn one the hard way.
And you sure as hell don’t show the boss your gratitude for said opportunity by joining the opposing side…not unless you’re talented enough to make him regret letting it get this way.
Such is the dilemma of one Xander Azula.
Not Xanga Arena, not Xanzibar Alectricboogaloo, not Xanax Arithmetic…Xander fucking Azula.
Remember that shit I said about Steve Harrison? I sure hope so, because that goes double for the other Steve on this corporate army they call the Best Alliance.
Heya, Solex. Remember me? The guy that beat you nearly four months ago, back at Refueled Fifty-Two? Everything I said back then rings true now, and even more so now that you’ve been inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Congratulations, Steve. I’m proud of you, I really am. I won’t talk shit about a Hall-worthy career like yours…except for that little asterisk, the fact you couldn’t beat me when you had the chance.
Think, Solex, think.
Not only was I new to the company, I was an outsider at the time of the DeNucci Cup. Remember all that shit you talked about not letting an outsider get past you in the tournament? Some bullshit about maintaining the honor of High Octane Wrestling? I dunno, it all kinda blends together when you’re focused on punching a guy down so much he gives up or passes out.
I mean, hell…beating Harrison was a walk in the park, but you? I took my sweet time with you, buddy. You were the beginning of the statement that I finished with the Miracle Man, and I made sure to dot my I’s and cross my T’s the whole time.
In the end, you had one job that whole tournament which was clearly to make sure that the Best Alliance looked well and good…and you couldn’t even do that right. Good fucking job there, Solex. I’ll bet you did the boss real proud.
If that shit doesn’t eat at you now, it will when we step into War Games. I will be the boil on your ass that you can’t quite get rid of, the constant nagging reminder that you are well and truly out of your depth here in the twilight of your career.
I’m not above taking you and Harrison out in one fell swoop, possibly my biggest contribution to the cause. I’ll help Baldo the Brave regroup and figure out how to push his bullshit merchandise with a brand of so little value, and I’ll help you take the easy road into retirement once and for all. Let you take a breather as you look up at the roof of the War Games cell, and imagine in that thick skull of yours what a quiet life of recluse looks like.
See, in the days and weeks leading up to this event my state of mind has shifted from nervous to annoyed to content…but now? I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore.
I’m fucking sick and tired of the constant jokes and beratement from everybody, whether it’s the wrong names or the insistence that I’m not as good as I’ve proven I am…and unfortunately for the Best Alliance, I’m finally angry enough to go and do something about it.
I’ve been in this business for far too long to see this kind of bullshit fly. I’ve seen groups like this Alliance come and go, and they all go the same route.
They collect all the damn gold, they take all the damn power, and they let it go to their damn heads. Rinse and fucking repeat, over and over again, someone get me a damn trashbin because I’m about to hurl from all this spinning around.
Kingdoms come and go, alliances eventually fall, but chaos reigns forever.
When the dust settles and the war has come to an end, you will remember who I am.
I am Xander Azula, and you will put some damn respect on that name.
“Here is your winner, advancing to the semifinals…XANDER AZUUUUUUULA!”
The booming voice of the ring announcer is met with a thunderous roar of the crowd as a much younger Azula is seen stepping out of the ring, mere seconds after a close win over the favorite in this tournament. Xander knew what he had to do in the harsh environment of a competition that reveled in the hardcore, extreme nature of professional wrestling, and the cuts and bruises were evident as he heads to the back to be checked by a trainer.
Xander was miles from home, miles away from his friends and family…and yet, somehow, very much within his element here as an older gentleman tends to his wounds. The trainer puts a couple bandages on the forehead to help the minor cuts heal, as he offers a reassuring word to the rookie.
“Ya did damn good out there, kid. A real natural, so ya are.”
Xander smiles, nodding in appreciation of the remark as the trainer makes his final checks.
“So, how long have you been wrestling?”
“Honestly, less than a month,” Xander replies, beaming with excitement to tell his very short story to an inquiring mind. Sure enough, the trainer is impressed by the comment.
“My my, a greenhorn who knows his stuff…ya love to see it. Well, you sure showed this crowd what you’re made of. Keep that up, and everyone’s gonna remember your name.”
Xander’s smile turns into a grin at the sight of his companion, a young and astonishing Mysti waving to him from outside the trainer’s room. Xander coyly waves back, a gesture that doesn’t go unnoticed by the trainer.
“That your girl?”
Xander quickly goes shy about the whole situation, nearly blushing at the thought.
“It’s, well…complicated. We’ve known each other for a bit and she encouraged me to follow my dreams…which is why I’m here.”
They both let out a chuckle as the trainer motions that Xander can take his leave.
“Well, there we go. You’re all patched up and ready to take on the champ in the finals. I think you’re gonna go far, if you keep your head in the game.”
The two shake hands, before Xander steps toward the door. As Xander meets up with Mysti and departs, the trainer shouts a jilted show of support.
“Break a leg out there, Azusa!”
June 1, 2021
There were many places the Eternal Circle could’ve chosen to dine in during their stay in Japan, but it was agreed upon by all three of the party that the best option for cuisine after a surprisingly stressful press conference in Korakuen Hall was in fact the closest thing to home they could imagine.
The three sat nearly equidistant apart at a booth, Xander and Mysti across from each other and the much larger Vagn opting for a chair at the side. They each take a look at a copy of the menu, Xander looking a bit zoned out as a server approaches. The young woman speaks to Vagn first, followed by Misty…but to the head disciple, this chatter was nothing but murmurs as his mind drifted away…only to be yanked back into reality with an innocuous question from the server.
“Salad or a soup?”
Xander panics, attempting to jump out of his seat but is stopped immediately by the bolted-down table along with the assistance of his crew.
“What the fuck did you just call me!?”
True to the nature of the Circle, the scene quickly erupts into chaos from there as Xander starts yelling incoherently at the server. The manager arrives at the scene in haste, and the shouting match elevates to the point of the group being kicked out of the restaurant. This, naturally, only makes the head disciple more angry as he storms off looking for somewhere else to eat. A mere moment later, he calls out to his fellow disciples with a mixture of anger and excitement.
“Looks like Denny’s is on the menu, brethren!”
In the early days of this world, there was a great flood that covered the lands for forty days and forty nights. This was a blessing from Eris, a reminder to the world that it was at its best when thrust into chaos.
And so, over the course of human history, disasters of all sorts could be attributed to the great bringer of Discordia. Whether it was a mighty storm, the fall of a great kingdom, or all out war, those who followed the way knew that it was Eris blessing the world with her presence.
Her ways are older than the Eternal Circle itself, but we knew what we were in for when she brought us into the fold. She showed us the perfect imperfection of this world, and it was then and there where we began our preparation for the days to come.
The oncoming storm, this war that the Circle has been invited into, is just one event of many that has been blessed by the presence of our goddess. She has prepared the way for us, guiding us into this battle…and we will not let her down.
Onward, Grapplers Local, marching as to war…with the strength of Eris, marching on before.
We will march into the oncoming storm, and engage with the enemy in a manner befitting of her namesake…and we will unleash chaos upon the Best Alliance.
Tales will be told of this day. Legends will rise of the events that are to unfold…and our goddess will be pleased.
She smiles upon us as we prepare for war, and the blood, sweat, and tears we will expend will be a worthy sacrifice in her name.
When the battle is over, when the war has come to its natural conclusion, the Grapplers will stand tall…and all for the glory of our goddess.
The storm will wash over the Best Alliance, eroding the sediment in every stone that has been put into building the structure, and the wall will be torn down for good.
The flood will rust the metal of the machine, rendering it inoperable for always and eternity.
And thus, our call to action will be fulfilled.
Praise Eris, praise Discordia.