Darkness has always been the friend of Darkwing.
His secret; the darkness had taken him long ago. Truth be told, he has struggled with his new life after HOW, not because he missed wrestling, but because adjusting is hard, and also because he didn’t realize he had grown past wrestling. That’s not to say that he’s better than wrestlers, that’s just to say that Darkwing’s purpose in life has grown bigger than any slams, punches, or Shadow Smashes he could give.
Darkwing sits in his home in Palos Verdes, one of a few. It is late morning, close to noon, in sunny, yet cold, Los Angeles area.
Like Batman, Darkwing would come to his dark ‘cave’ to brood. It was too symbolic, he overlooked Los Angeles much like Batman overlooked Gotham. There were whispers, of why Darkwing wasn’t more available, and why, especially he of all people, one of the most talkative and loquacious individuals in how history, was silent. By now of course, it’s obvious that Darkwing’s presence in HOW was without any sort of concrete purpose. Did Darkwing want to be a Triple Crown winner in HOW, something he had sought after long ago? Perhaps. Did he want to help Bobinette? Yes of course. Did Darkwing think this was going to be easy? Of course not. But did Darkwing, in his wisdom, think that for one second, he could get through this without figuring out why he was back? Yeah…. He did.
The fact of the matter is, he does feel slighted by some in the HOW history books. And he is no fool; he knows his skin color doesn’t help his legacy. He didn’t actually come back to prove anything, despite all that. Which is why…. He’s been silent. Why should he speak? Why should he say anything? Why should he validate all the whispers? People expected him to interfere on Bobbinette’s behalf against Jatt Starr. It would be funny, slightly humorous, to cost Jatt Starr a win, but quite honestly, Darkwing was over Jatt Starr. Is that surprising? It shouldn’t be.
When Darkwing sees Jatt Starr, he sees a man who has stayed in place for the past 10 years. He hasn’t grown, he hasn’t matured, he still uses the same material that he mostly stole from Darkwing, and for what he didn’t steal, he sounds like a 1980s former meth head turned stand-up comic who isn’t funny, at the the local nightclub still trying, because he hopes to get enough laughs to justify his free drinks. But this isn’t about Jatt Starr.
The world goddamn HOW champion.
Imagine coming back, a few matches in, and then beating the world champion in a tag match. Even better, if Darkwing could pull off getting the winning pin or submission on the champion how much would that propel Darkwing? Would it get him to talk? Would it get him to show up to shows every week regardless of if he was booked? Maybe. But before not too long ago(like maybe hours), Darkwing didn’t even know who the HOW world champion was. It’s something he should know right? But it wasn’t. That’s how disconnected Darkwing was, in an industry that helped make him. Darkwing would probably boo Darkwing if he was a fan.
Speaking of boos, the boos that Darkwing gets in the arena? It’s not because he’s done something bad. It’s not because he is aligned with Bobbinette. Although, that doesn’t help. No, it’s because Darkwing is an outsider now. Darkwing is the part timer. Darkwing is the attraction. And that’s not how the people want their Darkwing. And quite honestly, they deserve better.
Getting back on track, Darkwing is laying on his couch in his Palos Verdes home. He thinks back to the text from last week, ‘I’m coming to claim what’s mine’ or something like that. Darkwing is lounging around, dressed in a white tank top with royal blue basketball shorts. Playing on his phone, Darkwing decides to look himself up on Google. Cause, why not?
He sees several articles posted, most of them from the old wrestling dirt sheets, or at least their modern versions. One article writer speculated that Darkwing was staying quiet to allow Bobinette time to shine. Now, he might be a better speaker than Bobbie ever was, but Darkwing would never do that regardless. Another article speculated that Darkwing forgot how to talk. Even in his time away from wrestling, Darkwing had engaged in many public speaking opportunities across the city and even other places of the country.
Ah, here’s the real deal, here’s the million-dollar article… ‘Darkwing trying to be the HOW version of Colin Kaepernick.’ This seemed interesting. The article goes on, ‘Darkwing in his new and not so improved self, has turned an eye to social justice clout. Darkwing is using woke culture to improve his standing in HOW more quickly than he deserves,’ the article wrote. It goes on, ‘give Darkwing credit, he’s definitely playing a long game with his silent approach to wrestling. Looking back at the Colin Kaepernick protest Colin mostly stayed silent in the beginning. By refusing to speak, Darkwing is denying HOW fans and even some of its own wrestlers, his voice and his opinion. And regardless of what some may think, Darkwing’s opinion does matter as a first-ballot hall-of-famer in High Octane Wrestling history. Bobbinette is a hammer, a poorly crafted one, hammering her message of mistreatment against her as a black wrestling woman. But Darkwing? Darkwing is something else… his silence will pay dividends for his reputation moving forward. Fans may hate him now, but soon the woke mob will come to love him. Darkwing is to savvy a wrestler to not know what he is doing. This writer sees Darkwing, and although i’ve highly criticized him in the past, I think what he’s doing is brilliant.’
“Funny how shit works, eh….(looks for name of writer) David…..’
Darkwing trails off. David Noble and Connor Fuse.
His right hand shook.
‘No.’ Darkwing grimmaced, and he stood up suddenly. Not now. Not again. Darkwing called Pablo, his faithful trainer.
Darkwing: Pablo, you at the gym?
‘Yeah, bring your slacking ass down here. Ready to go. NOW!’
Darkwing sighs as Pablo hangs up. He looks into his bedroom and heads in to change….
*later that afternoon*
Darkwing stands at the usual training gym in full gear, in the wrestling ring there. A ref is standing in the ring, a grizzled older italian man, as Darkwing waits for Pablo to come over, as he’s talking to a couple guys near the ring. Suddenly Pablo stomps the ground, angry, and storms towards the ring. The hardened mexican man, climbs into the ring wearing black sweatpants and a white tshirt. He is a shade over 5’7, and 170 pounds at best. He is stocky, but looks very hard and strong.
Pablo: We are going to fight.
Darkwing: You were waiting for this, huh?
Pablo: Ring the fucking bell, Gregorio.
He says cooly at the ref. He signals to the bell guy at a small table at ringside.
DING DING DING
Darkwing: Im not scared of you. Or intimidated.
Pablo: Heh, then you will lose braver than most.
Darkwing frowns, and then surges in for a collar and elbow tie up. The two lock up and Darkwing slaps on a side headlock almost immediately, but just as quick, Pablo reverses by rolling backwards and throwing Darkwing back. Both men spring to their feet and Darkwing goes for the collar and elbow tie up again, but Pablo ducks it and gets a rear waist lock. Darkwing tries to break the grip, but Pablo quickly drops and picks the ankle and Darkwing drops face first.
Darkwing rolls away and Pablo slaps on a front facelock to the former HOW Unified World Champion. Darkwing’s right hand locks up, which stops him from powering out. And with that lock up, Darkwing’s mind drifts….
*July 20th, 2002 Small arean in Ohio*
Young Darkwing, back then known as ‘The Shadow”, is down in a front facelock, with a large black man on top of him. Darkwing, barely 18 years old, had been struggling against this powerhouse of a man. His name was David Justian.
David pulls Darkwing up. He stands 6’6, taller than Darkwing, and is JACKED. He’s shirtless with red tights. He lifts Darkwing for a vertical suplex. Darkwing wriggles, and drops behind. He lands on all fours, and jams his right hand. He pops up, as David turns and swings for the fences with a lariat, but Darkwing ducks and runs to the ropes. Darkwing shoots back as David turns, and David pops Darkwing up for…something, but Darkwing counters with a sort of side kick on his way UP, staggering David. Darkwing lands and leaps up and nails David with the DARK CUTTER, his original finisher, the classic Diamond Cutter of popular renown.
Darkwing holds his right hand, as he rolls David over and lays across David in a lateral press…..
DING DING DING
THE WINNER OF THE MATCH…..THE SHADOW!!!
Boos are hurled at Darkwing. He stands and as the ref reaches for his right hand to raise it, Darkwing snatches it away. He favors it and looks around at the crowd.
Suddenly time slows down. He sees the maybe 1000 people around. Darkwing sees mouths hurling insults, and jeering. He suddenly can hear EVERYTHING.
“GO BACK TO GODDAMNED COMPTON”
“YOU WANT SOME WATERMELON??”
Darkwing looks….hurt. He drops down and rolls out the ring, hiding the tears….
That’s why his right hand throbs. He hurt it 19 years ago.
Darkwing’s hand seemed to respond. He went two on one on Pablo’s wrist and was able to power out.
Pablo: Something on your mind? Look alive!
Pablo rushes forward and kicks Darkwing in the gut. Darkwing doubles over and Pablo hits a gutwrench suplex. Cover…
Darkwing kicks out and rolls away out the ring.
Pablo: COME ON BITCH! FIGHT ME!
Darkwing glances up and stretches out his back. He cracks his neck and the gutwrench suplex effects were gone. He slides into the ring, and is met with stompos by Pablo. Pablo is relentless and the ref makes no attempt to break it up. Pablo pulls Darkwing up and sets up for an ‘Unprettier’ or in HOW terms, the FALLING STARR finisher.
Darkwing blacks out.
*One of Darkwing’s 6 losses to Jatt Starr*
Starr turns Darkwing over and nails the first ever HOW ICON champion with the FALLING STARR on the cold steel chair. Starr covers….
DING DING DING
Darkwing is out. The FALLING STARR was a devastating move. But he couldn’t kick out this time. He failed. Again. Starr just was too good.
It took several minutes, but Darkwing eventually woke up. He had a headache. Why couldn’t he beat Jatt…..
NOOOOO DARKWING KICKED OUT
Pablo had hit Darkwing with the Unprettier, and Darkwing on pure instinct, kicked out.
Pablo slides away from Darkwing and glares at him.
Pablo: YOU FUCKING BITCH! YOUR HEART ISNT IN THIS, IS IT? I ALMOST BEAT YOU IN LESS THAN 3 MINUTES WITH THAT GOOF, JATT STARR’S FINISH. FUCK YOU, I GOT THE ANSWER FOR YOUR ASS.
Pablo pulls Darkwing up to his feet, and grits his teeth, he cycles back and lunges forward with the RISE UP, David Noble’s knee struike finisher to the face. Darkwing is laid out spread eagled, and Pablo is shocked for a moment, but hastily hooks the leg…
Darkwing got the shoulder up at the last second. People in the gym have suddenly stopped doing whatever it is they were doing and were staring. Boxer had stopped sparring, ju-jitsu guys stopped rolling, and trainers had called for a break. They all knew Darkwing, and loved Darkwing, and they showed their respect by watching this ‘match’ between student and teacher.
Pablo is up on his feet.
Pablo: WHAT THE FUCK!!! HOW DID I HIT THAT!? YOU GONNA LET DAVID NOBLE’S BITCH ASS KNOCK YOU OUT!
Pablo looks around. And he looks to the closest corner. He smiles, and then climbs up top. The hand is shaking. Darkwing is motionless. His mind blank. No flashback, no memories, just….blank.
Pablo gets to the top rope.
Pablo: THE HOW WORLD CHAMPION IS GOING TO HIT YOU WITH THIS NEXT MOVE AND YOU WILL BE DONE! SO IF I HIT IT….AND I PIN YOU….YOU BETTER QUIT HOW ON THE SPOT! GOT THAT!? QUIT! HERE IT COMES!!!
Images of former black world champions flashed into Darkwing’s head. Ron Simmons, The Rock, Booker T, Kofi Kingston….then….him.
Darkwing sees memories of himself letting little black kids touch the title. Ask him questions. hug him. Tell him they are proud of him. He sees his Dad crying when he got home with the HOW Unified World CHampionship. He sees his Grandfather, now dead hugging him.
Maybe all it took was the World Champion.
Pablo goes for Connor Fuse’s finisher, the SUPER SPLASH 450, but as he flies into the air, Darkwing snaps into present time, and rolls out the way. Pablo crashes and burns. Darkwing pulls himself to his feet. The hand has healed. The anger is there. The determination is there. For a moment….
Darkwing is back.
Pablo turns into a fireman’s carry and Darkwing nails the NIGHTFALL, the sitout front F-5.
Darkwing: IT’S OVER CONNOR!
It’s not the HOW World Champion, but Darkwing’s instinct took over and that was what he needed. It HAD to be Connor.
Darkwing pulled up Pablo and set up the pumphandle, and hits the INGLEWOOD DEATH DROP Pumphandle powerbomb leg drop combo, pinning Pablo straightaway…
DING DING DING
The gym claps, as Darkwing rolls out the ring. The two finishers HURT. Darkwing looks at the fallen Pablo, and realizes what happened.
He, for a second, was motivated.
Darkwing has showered and changed. It is back at his house, and his head is a bit sore, but he’s glad to be resting. He lays in his Cal King bed. He starts to doze off, but Bobbinette texts him. He sees the notification, but he’s too tired to care. He’s…just so tired…so unusually….
Darkwing blacks out.
*Two hours later*
‘Yes Baby, show me how much you love me.’
Lauren London is riding a prone and naked Will Smith, talking to him, as she cowgirls him aggressively. She grabs his neck and cups her left breast as she does so. Will is trying to hold himself back as her intentions to take him to climax are clear now. Her breasts are perky and her hair is wild, as she stares right into Will’s eyes. She wants to claim him, all of him, and she wont stop still she does.
Will Smith: Baby….I cant….
Lauren: Dont stop…im almost there…..
Will let’s out a guttural growl as he finishes, inside, and Lauren smiles. She leans forward and kisses Darkwing.
Lauren: It doesn’t seem like you’re done yet….lets keep this party going, shall we?
Lauren lays chest to chest, and moves her hips in rhythm up and down.
Darkwing sees Will Smith being fucked out of his mind by a clearly horny Lauren London. He tries to wake himself up, but something prevents him. He’s stuck watching this image. He knows it isnt real, but he cant stop it.
But it IS real.
Cause Darkwing is naked and on top of him, isnt Lauren London.
It’s Cassandra Jonas, Darkwing’s long lost love interest from his earlier HOW days.
She was taller, curvier and more thick than Lauren. Light skinned, long wild curly natural hair. The years had been very kind. Her breasts jiggled with each bounce, even pressed against Darkwing. She glanced up and saw the water bottle by the bed. She smiled. Mission accomplished. Her eyes rolled back as she came. Again.
Darkwing was hers. And with any luck…..a new life would be theirs.
She kept her promise. She came back. And now he was hers.
All of him.
Each and every drop.