Solitude. That’s where I’ve been since bailing out of Chicago after losing to Michael Lee Best. Honestly, it’s something people take for granted I feel. Do I enjoy being around the Bruvs almost daily? Hell yes. Do I enjoy sitting in the cigar lounge with a whiskey and watching old episodes of Mayhem and Turmoil with good ol’ Murr? You’re goddamn right I do.
But being alone out here doing nothing more than just sitting, relaxing, and enjoying pure solitude on the beaches of Hawaii? It’s been one of the best few weeks I’ve had in awhile. I haven’t worn shoes since arrival. I’m pretty sure sixty percent of my body weight is now rum, and I’ve played more golf than Donald Trump could dream of but this joyous little time has now come to close.
The boss called and it seems ‘Yours Truly’ has to go back to work.
Work- something that I do actually enjoy more than all of this, than solitude in Hawaii. Can you imagine that? ‘Yours Truly’ actually missing work? But it’s true, I do. I almost regretted not showing up to the Allstate last week after my defeat just so I could rub it in everyone’s face that I was announced as a participant of War Games. That was over as soon as I was served my drink and went back to enjoying bliss.
Now that I really think about it, there is a whole bit we could do with the display that would totally send the arena into a collective aneurysm. Oh well, maybe I’ll do it this week. I suppose I could just relish in the fact I get to go back in the ring and do what I do best in life- aggravating the living fuck out of every single person who crosses me. It’s become almost a hobby. But more important than getting in that ring with you, Dan, and outsmarting you at almost every turn is I get to beat you. Again.
Think about that for a moment, bud.
Then you can fly out here to Hawaii after and have some personal solitude before War Games. Hell, I’ll even let you use the Gulfstream if you’d like, that’s the type of guy I am, Dan. Highly recommend the Planter’s Punch if you make your way out here to Maui, by the way.
Or maybe you’ll sink into a menopausal depression like Lindsay Troy, go off screen for weeks on end, and only pop out once the heat becomes unbearable.
Who the fuck knows.
What I do know, what I know unequivocally is, Mike Best didn’t beat me, Daniel. I want you to read that again as I know you have a hard time remembering your own age, so, let me repeat those words for you just in case:
No, that’s not revisionist history or alternative facts, it’s simply the truth. Maybe you and everyone else saw something I didn’t. Sure, I mean, he pinned me. He got the win over me, but Mike surely didn’t BEAT ME!
In fact, Dan, I beat me.
Shock. I know. Taking the blame for my own misguided ventures. In fact, grabbing the belt was probably the best idea I’ve had in a long time. I want to be fair, part of me was perfectly okay just walking out and taking the ten count but the idea of holding the belt hostage, that was too hard to pass up.
Just imagining the look on everyone’s face the next week when I would have walked out of the suite as an “illegitimate champion”. My god, the roar of hatred that would have filled the Allstate, that alone would have been worth being called a coward over. One hundred percent.
I could have made an “Illicit Champ” belt that would have sold for hotcakes!
Played it off as a “live to fight another day” and all that jazz. More important though, I would have avoided actually having my shoulders pinned to the canvass. Avoided hacks like yourself, Dan, the opportunity to capitalize on that image.
It would have been and was the smart thing to do, the right thing to do. Anyone who doubts that is a moron and is just spouting bullshit to bolster their position with the incels known as High Octane viewers.
Newsflash to simps like Bergman, the fans don’t give a fuck about any of you busting your ass in that ring and I surely care more about my image than what they clamor for.
But to the point… my failure. Yes, indeed I did fail, shit hit the fan, and things fell through. Sometimes the plan doesn’t go as, well, planned. This is a world of chaos anyway and anything can happen; especially in this company.
So, did I fuck up? You’re goddamn right I did. Was I pissed off after? You have no idea. I didn’t come here to lose, to fall short. I came here to win, to make money, to sell out of merchandise within seventy-two hours every time we’ve put out a new product. So far we’re six for six on that merchandise, nineteen and five with the winning. I like the direction of those numbers, Dan, that’s a solid ratio if you ask ‘Yours Truly’.
But losing? Especially when it counts, when the belt is on the line? That cuts deep.
Now I know how you felt when Andy and I stripped the High Octane Tag Team belts off you and Lindsay, Dan. I guess that cuts a bit more though. Right? Talking yourself up into the champions position only to get cut-down by two very manly men who are gassed beyond belief from a gauntlet.
I can’t imagine how much solitude you needed after that.
But for me to lose and not walk out with the belt because I missed Mike’s head by a millisecond of a swing?
That just eats me up inside. It’s what drove me out here into solitude, it’s what made me take a step back and have a little reflection.
I don’t like falling short, Dan. In fact I fucking hate it. Most of my early life I’ve come up short. I wasn’t the best at school, I wasn’t the best at sports, I never excelled at anything other than being James Witherhold. My first girlfriend broke up with me for my best friend, it’s true. I fought him, I lost, again very true. I wasn’t rich. I grew up in a split family, slept on a pull out couch for God knows how many years. It’s almost the antithesis of what I am today and I’m proud of that, there’s no doubt on what made ‘Yours Truly’.
James Witherhold didn’t grow up with a silver spoon in his mouth. Daddy wasn’t around to put money in a trust fund. Mommy didn’t have savings to put James Witherhold through college. I did all that, Dan. I made me, no one else did.
Not everyone grows up like your dead spoiled little brat with a famous daddy who so happened to own one of the biggest and most profitable wrestling companies at one point.
Bless her silver spooned soul.
Hell, Dan, I bet my father would have been too busy hustling and trying to find someone to scam so he could pay his debtor’s than bother with his son’s funeral. Stealing from Peter to pay Paul is a full time job. He sure as hell wouldn’t have had the bank roll to custom order a casket lined with high-end silk either.
No one did shit for me, Dan. I grew up dirt poor. I’ve probably eaten more Spam in my youth than a quarter of this beautiful island. This isn’t a pity party for ‘Yours Truly’, this is reflection, Dan. Reflection of where I was, the lowest I’ve been. Reflections of wondering if mom would make enough tips from waitressing to even get some Spam let alone pay the water and electric bills.
I am the essence of the American dream, Daniel.
I’ve built what I’ve had from the bottom up because of what I went through. Crawled and clawed my way through without any regret or any regard. I’ve been hungry. I’ve stayed hungry. That’s what separates ‘Yours Truly” from every other generic piece of trash, not only in this industry but in life. Period.
There were no scholarships for me, I didn’t come from a high school that wooed any high end colleges. I busted my ass and pleaded my way through those fucking doors of Wharton. There were no grants, I didn’t even know what a grant was. I paid my way through with my own hard earned money. I paid my way with my blood, sweat, and tears by working that goddamn ring almost every single night. Barely making it, eating beans on toast on the road so I had enough money to buy a textbook.
I busted my ass through college by way of that ring and then when I graduated I was offered a high end job in the white collar industry. I left this all behind me, briefly of course and who wouldn’t? I finally had made it big. I was making real money outside of this sport. Real money, Dan. But I never forgot what it took to make that money, it took this sport and my own drive to get there, my itch to compete.
I’ve earned my fucking stripes. I’ve busted my fucking balls before Perfection, before my name even crossed Seattle over a decade later, and I’ll bust my balls after too if I need to.
So, here we are.
With the reflection that If I would have aimed just a hair, a literal hair lower- CRACK! Game over. I would be sitting here in Hawaii with a beautiful ICON belt right here on this bar counter. I can’t even count all the photo ops I could have done with that belt on location. Sadly, that didn’t and isn’t happening.
And that’s fine. I’m content with that. I’d rather lose to myself because of myself than doubt myself as a person.
Doubt is a killer of man. You know what I’ve never done once in my career, Dan? Doubt myself. Why would I? I don’t doubt me one damn bit. I’ve proven and I sure as hell know I can cheat, fight, talk, or buy my way out of problems. I don’t think there’s an intelligent, and I want to stress intelligent, being on this earth who would argue against that very fact.
No, sadly. And I do mean that, sadly, my eyes are shifting towards someone else. Doubt has begun to swell and questions now are abound. Someone that never in a million years I would have thought I’d ever feel this way towards. It’s not something I enjoy expressing or even saying, but it has to be done.
I’m starting to doubt you, Dan.
That takes a lot to get out. Dan Ryan the man, the myth, the literal fucking legend…. needed a woman to do HIS job.
You, Dan Ryan, the brute, the guy that talks about breaking necks, ending careers, how he’s going to murder someone in the ring… needed some help over Andy. You couldn’t handle it yourself. No. Big Bad Dan Ryan, the Ego Buster… had to have someone else do his work.
Seriously, who’s ego and legacy are you trying to ruin? Your own? Granted you may have started down that path when you decided to shit all over your own name and become Mike Best’s personal boot-licker. How the mighty have fallen to nothing more than pawns. It’s fucking pathetic really but whatever, I can’t be mad at you, Dan. You have to do the business that suits Dan Ryan.
But it still leaves that foul stench that you aren’t what you say you are. Or at least not any more. Maybe back in the day when you actually had the MERRITT to back you up and push you to the top you did. Maybe when you didn’t need Lindsay Troy to run into your matches or, I don’t know, lose the tag belts to two men sucking more air then a jet turbine you were a real threat.
You know all I hear is how much of a monster you are, hell I’ve experienced a portion of that… after having wrestled the equivalent of two other matches back to back beforehand. Yet, you faced a fresh Andy Murray, Dan and he picked you apart. He has one bad knee and was on the cusp of putting you down for the count. You needed saving from GoD, Dan.
The fuck you think is going to happen against the Worlds Greatest Technician, BAR NONE? I mean that. What is going to happen when I ankle pick you all over the ring, throw a few boots and roll out?
I don’t want to doubt you Dan. The last thing I ever want to think is that “Man, Dan Ryan can’t even remember his age and now he isn’t even able to get the business done in the ring himself. He needs a dopey broad as a backup.” That’s a horrible thought, but it lingers now, Dan.
Maybe you can put that to rest for me, my man?
Maybe you can come out to the ring and bust your fucking balls and be the monster you say that you are. Maybe you’ll snap, tell Lindsay “I’m a real man!” and wrestle me on my terms. Hell, you might even be motivated enough to follow through on at least ONE threat you make for once in your High Octane career.
I hope that Dan Ryan shows up. That you lose total control and try to take my goddamn head off. That way I can proclaim to the world that I beat you fair and square in that ring, with you going at your full break.
I don’t want any doubt whatsoever on what happened June 6th.
At least when it comes to me. You on the other hand?
You can sit and reflect.