I never hit the knee.
That’s called a thesis statement, Jiles. Don’t worry, we’ll come back to it. See, you start and end on a line that captures the attention, and then you call back to it later. Just a quick lesson in Promo 101, since I figure I should take you to school all around this week. Truth be told, I’ve been a bit busy– see, I’m double booked at March To Glory, and I knew I had a lot more than 750 words to say about you, heading into the most important match of your life. I figured I’d let you run around in circles for awhile and tire yourself out, so we could tuck you in for a nap and I could tell you a story.
It’s a story about work ethic.
I’ve taken a lot of shit in my career. Shit for being the boss’ kid. Shit for being a cheater, and a generally bad guy. I’ve taken shit for lying, or for being too honest. I’ve been blacklisted, and had my name dragged through the mud, and that’s all fine by me, man. You stand on top of the mountain long enough, and people are gonna try to cast some shade. But there is one thing that no one has ever dared insult.
My work ethic.
I’m here, every week, giving this company one hundred ten percent of my energy in the ring. I have done a little bit of everything in HOW, from inside the ropes to behind the curtain, and I have worked my ass off for over a decade for everything that I have earned. No one can argue that, and no one ever even really tries. Because I have respect for this business. Because I have respect for this company. Because I have respect for myself, and because I have a strong as fuck desire to be the best that I can be. Everything else about my life might be a wreck, but this is what I do. This is what I’m good at. This is my legacy.
This is who I am.
You’ve said a lot of words so far, Cancer. You’ve been all bluster and sass since the day that we met, but I don’t need to hear any of it anymore. You’ve called me a murderer. You’ve called me the GOAT. You’ve called me everything in between. You valued loyalty, then valued betrayal, then valued nothing. You’re a void of a human, saying whatever words are relevant to your match this week, and pretending that no one remembers them when you contradict them the next. Now all the sudden you’re all up in arms about how you don’t have to beat me, you just have to survive me. Alright, man. I guess. You’re an empty husk, Jiles, but you’re an empty husk who could have been the HOW World Champion what… three times now?
Cause I never hit the knee.
I have developed a technique that is unstoppable. No one has ever kicked out of it. No one has ever survived it. No one has pinned me, submitted me, or knocked me out since I developed it. I have figured out a way to connect a knee with a human skull in such a way that has made me the most inevitable wrestler in history, and three times now you’ve managed to avoid it. Three times now you’ve managed to let it whiff past the big dumb head of yours, and found a moment where you nearly got the best of me. And I’m sure you’re proud of that.
But you shouldn’t be proud of it, Jiles.
Because you still aren’t the HOW World Champion.
Even without the greatest tool in my toolbox, you have failed to obtain the HOW World Championship. Sure, Bobby Dean fucked you over. Sure, I had a bullshit DQ called on you for throwing an egg at me. Sure, everyone and their mother can argue that you’re the rightful champion, because the mental gymnastics involved in trivializing my reign could win fucking gold at the Special Olympics at this rate. Sure, it’s a cage match. Sure, the only way to win is to escape. Sure, that means that you don’t have to pin me, submit me, or knock me out to become the HOW World Champion. But at the end of the day, Jiles, does any of it really matter? Do the rules make a difference? Does the stipulation change the outcome? No matter what arbitrary terms and conditions may apply, the one fact remains:
I’m the motherfucker in that cage with you.
The hardest part about a reign this long is coming up with new ways to describe it. Poor me and my first world problems, am I right? I haven’t been beaten in over a year. I set all the records. I’m a Hall of Famer and an actual God and I only piss rainbows and shit lightning. Yawn, boring, play us a new tune, Son of God.
But there is no other tune to be played.
I get on TV and say “water is wet” and everyone nods, but then they want me to find a new way to describe water next week. It’s wet, motherfuckers. Do you know how uninteresting this title reign has become to me? Do you know how fucking boring it feels to look at a booking sheet and know that you can probably start making plans for War Games? Do you think I wanna get on TV and tell you all the fucking qualities of WATER every week?
I would LOVE to lose this championship.
I would love for one of your thick neck, douchebag wannabes to get into the ring and defeat me. It would make my career interesting again. It would give me a fire that I currently lack. It would help me get out of this lackadaisical slump that has me phoning it in and not even bothering to cut promos on shows anymore. And more than anything, I’d love for Cancer Jiles to be the man who finally does it.
Yeah, no sarcasm coming, buddy.
I would love to make your career. I would love to watch you escape that cage, and feel that soul crushing angst of losing the championship. I would love to feel ANYTHING again. You’ve been in and out of HOW for ten years just farting around, and I’d love for you to make your bones against me the way that you could have made them against Cecilworth.
But you didn’t do it then either, did you?
You were the man who ended Cecilworth Farthington’s year long winning streak. The first guy to ever reverse the Article 50. Shit, Jiles, you ENDED MY BEST FRIEND’S CAREER— he has literally never appeared on HOW television since. And you fucking wasted it. You did nothing with it. You’ve faced me three times and it has never even crossed your mind, and no one even remembers it anymore. You sent my best friend packing out of HOW with a whimper instead of a roar, and it has not helped your fucking career a single iota. So as bored as I am? As much as I’d love to make your career in the opening match of March to Glory?
Somebody give Conor Fuse a World Title shot.
The “I don’t care about anything” schtick isn’t even a schtick. You’re a flake. A quitter. A slug devoid of all motivation to do anything but jerk off with your friends in twenty minute long television blocks. You said it yourself, right? This is YOUR story— who even cares what I have to say? It’s your underwhelming little world, and we’re all living in it. You’re the star of the show, and the ratings suck. You never need to dig deep, or reach higher, or try at anything in your fucking life, because you’re just too fucking cool for everything.
Fuck you, man.
I didn’t even hit the knee.
You had me dead to rights four, five, six times over our last couple of matches, and you still couldn’t dig deep enough to get it done. You had a match against Dan Ryan to earn your first ever pay-per-view main event, and you dicked around and tried to take the easy way out instead of fighting for your fucking life. You retired my best friend, and rode the momentum no further than the eGG fucking Bandits locker room to cut a promo about cardboard cutouts and sunglasses. You somehow managed to take a man devoid of drive to continue holding a championship, who would have been more than happy to pass that torch, and you turned it into a fucking grudge match. Because you just can’t be bothered.
Because you just don’t give a fuck.
You’ll cut a promo where you manage to sound like it. But we talked about that, right? You’re a fucking chameleon. Say whatever you need to say to make it through to next week. Fake a little fire, artificially manipulate a little drive. Worse comes to worse, make a joke about my Daddy or my dead brother, and call it a day. Fuck’s sake, Jiles, this is the greatest opportunity of your career and the best you’ve got for me is “all I have to do is escape”?
Solid fucking mindset, bud.
I’m going to embarass you, Jiles. And I’m not going to do it to teach you a lesson, or because I think it’ll make an ounce of difference in you. Not because I want you to be better, because I think that ship has sailed. You’re a pretender to the throne, but you’ll never be a danger to the crown. No, Jiles, I’m going to embarrass and humiliate you to send a fucking message to everyone else in the back. The Conor Fuses, and the Clay Byrds. The Xander Azulas, and the Hughie Freemans. Fuck man, even the Darin Zions. Guys who actually give a fuck. Guys who actually want to climb the card. Guys who actually put in the work. I want to show them that HOW has never and will never cater to the fucking lazy and motivationless. That HOW will always reward hard work. This will be your first and fucking LAST opportunity to make anything of yourself in this company, Jiles, because when you step into the cage with me, the last thing on my mind is going to be escaping.
You have been granted someone else’s opportunity at March to Glory– everyone in this company is supposed to get one shot to dethrone the king, and you’re on your fucking THIRD. I don’t want to escape from you, Jiles. I don’t want to waste a single second of your time, like you’ve been wasting HOW’s for ten years. I’m not walking out of that cage until your termination from this company is posthumus. Until the physical state of your body matches the work ethic that you have put into your HOW career. I am going to use you to send a message, Jiles, and this time I’m not going to give you any excuses. No cheap disqualifications. No special referees.
Just an abject lesson in fucking respect.
Respect for this company. Respect for the championship you keep pretending you want, but aren’t willing to work for. Respect for the careers you’ve stepped over, just to piss away title shot after title shot against me. Respect for me, Cancer, because just calling me the GOAT with your little condescending smirk doesn’t mean a lick of fuck to me. I don’t give a shit if you want to piss away your entire career talking about sunglasses and double spacing out one word sentences, that’s fine. But don’t waste time on my fucking shows to do it. Don’t waste main events that could have gone to people who give a fuck. Waste your own time, Jiles, but don’t you dare fucking waste mine.
I have held the HOW World Championship for just shy of one year, and I have returned it to its status as the most prestigious title in professional wrestling. As much as I might be ready to pack it all in and retire, I’m not handing it over to someone who doesn’t care. So I’m going to hurt you. I’m going to teach you about respect. I’m going to make an example of you. And Jiles?
I’m going to hit that knee, this time.
I’m going to hit it three fucking times.
Once for every opportunity you’ve wasted.