Tomorrow was the night I have looked forward to since Christopher American unceremoniously picked me as his new victim.
The Board had their chuckles but anybody with a brain would have known this is not the battle you happily chose.
It is ok though because I have watched those pass me and then seen the same guys as I continued my upward journey. This is no different but after all is said and done I will finally be at the top of the ladder looking down at those trying to tip me over.
I get it, I really do. It isn’t easy, Chris but nothing ever has been for me.
Days after I hung up on Ellis Jackson.
Days after I watched Rebecca walk away from our obviously not a date.
Days after I healed up.
The days counted down towards fight night and the nerves started to come harder each consecutive night I went to bed. I tossed and turned as I thought of strategies on how to escape an ankle lock or a guillotine choke. I know America had trained in those, but he might have a new submission on the ready which always worried me.
I had gone through reversals repeatedly with Ellis since he interrupted my dinner with Rebecca. I spoke with Bergman on counters and even Clay Byrd put his two cents in when he told, “I reckon you just take his head off.’
I didn’t say everything was equal, but it is all appreciated if it comes from a good place.
One more day to scout the champ.
That also meant there was more time to spend with Ellis. When this day ends, and I don’t have to see his smirk, the more relaxed I will feel. That is the thing though because I shouldn’t feel comfortable going into a war for the soul of HOW. It was down to me to put the definitive dent in The Boards expensively built armor.
Built on our blood.
Built on our money.
Built to keep us under their thumb.
I will go through whatever is required to not give up and that includes this:
“You move slower than molasses after a high impact move.”
Ellis Jackson sat with his laptop mouse in his hand as he clicked on the YouTube video pause button. I rolled my eyes when he looked over at me. “I have no idea what you mean.”
He skipped back a few seconds and let it run again and then looked back at me. It was my match with Frankl Dylan James he was making me watch which already was boring me to tears as it is. “Are you trying to be as slow as him?”
I laughed, “mentally…or physically?”
He turned away from the laptop again and crossed his arms like he enjoyed doing when he wanted to make himself better than me. “Make jokes all you want but any hesitation like that won’t get you a fish hook it will get you a damn Amber Waves of Pain.”
That was a Christopher America Clothesline.
You know…like amber waves of grain.
That guy has a knack for naming his moves, doesn’t he?
I slowly nodded as I stared at myself on the laptop. “I will not be the first nor the last to say that I’m not the quickest wrestler. That doesn’t mean I don’t understand what to do next.”
“Soak in the cheers from the sheep in the crowd…right?”
Do the fans actually like The Miracle Man?
Took a lot of rehabilitation of myself to make that a reality, huh.
“Is that a joke, Ellis?”
Ellis’s smirk comes back as he points at the laptop, “the only joke is that I was right and you…YOU’RE smiling as they chant your name.”
I squinted at myself on the screen, “sometimes you realize something was better than you could have imagined. I won’t apologize for enjoying my name being chanted or the fans cheering for me. It isn’t something that I had felt since 2010.”
Ellis slammed the laptop shut and pushed it off the table it was on. It bounced off the carpet and then landed on its back side. “You aren’t beating Christopher America by placating the fans. You win that title by not caring what they think when you become violence incarnate.”
I sighed and gestured with my hand that I didn’t care what he said, “I find it funny that you think fans wouldn’t enjoy me dropping him on the hard pavement and then wrenching his neck and arm until he goes limp.”
He stared back down at the carpet where the laptop laid and grunted as he realized that was his own laptop and he may have damaged it. He snapped out of it long enough to continue insulting me, “you remember what happened when you ran into STRONK and instead of hit and run you gave up and let him grab a hold of you.”
“My ribs were broken…”
“You let Bobbinette Carey of all people do enough damage to you that you were pretty much useless at War Games. That is what happens when you delay an attack. You need to stay on an opponent it doesn’t matter if it’s a female, a bodybuilder, or a brawler.”
He wasn’t wrong about that. I was making an excuse, but it was a factual one. I made a mistake against Carey, and it may have cost me and my team at War Games. But that was then, and this is now. I am ready for Sunday. “I understand, Ellis. I have no obligation to Chris, and I will not feel bad for him. He didn’t care about what he did to Solex and I will not care what I do to him to pull that title from him. I don’t even care if his arm comes with it.”
Ellis nodded at that. “I like the sound of that, but I don’t like seeing your face constantly on your cell phone the past few days.”
I was staring at my phone at that very moment.
Since Rebecca had left me during our dinner and went dutch with me…ugh…I had been hoping my phone would light up with a text from her.
It had been a few days since she left for an appointment, and it was making me increasingly wary that I hadn’t heard anything.
Did I say wary?
I meant I was going insane.
Where was she?
What was she doing?
WHO WAS SHE WITH?
Yup, completely normal.
Ellis shook his head as he saw my eyes squinting at the phone. “Love gives men weak knees, Steve.”
I put my hands up in defense of myself, “whoa, whoa, whoa…love?”
Ellis stood up and began furiously pacing back and forth, “Steve, you are without a doubt the blindest fool I have ever seen.”
I leaned back in my chair as I placed the cell phone face up on the table. I took my eyes off the phone and then looked up at the pacing Ellis, “What the hell do you mean?”
He stopped packing in front of the wall to the right of me and leaned against it with his arms crossed on his chest and a scowl on his face. “That bitch doesn’t like you, Steve. She is just biding her time to move on to another job after she has done her part in working her gratitude off for you helping her beat the brainwashing.”
My mouth opened in surprise.
I stood up and before I knew it I was inches away from Elli’s face, “SAY. THAT. AGAIN!”
Ellis’s scowl suddenly turned into a smirk, and he put his hands up in front of me to keep a small amount of distance away. “Oh, is this some emotion, Steve? Are you angry I called your crush nothing but a tease?”
Before I could respond he continued, “this is what you need to show when you are fighting for your life in that submission match, can you do that, or do you only care if some BITCH likes you?”
I saw red.
And then I saw #97Red.
I shook my head and cleared the cobwebs that had taken over inside my mind. I looked down to see Ellis holding his nose as blood spurted from it. My right hand was in a fist and shaking wildly. Ellis took his hand away from his nose as blood continued to come out and he smirked at me. The blood leaked into his mouth and made his grin a bright red. He wiped his nose and got to one knee but even though he smiled he looked very wobbly from my right hook.
“Worth it,” he said and followed up with a cough caused by the blood he had swallowed.
I took a step back and unclenched my fist and the pain from the punch finally throbbed through my hand. I rubbed it with my other hand and sighed, “you are a real piece of shit, Ellis.” I walked over to the bathroom and grabbed a towel and then walked back out and threw it at him.
Ellis picked the towel up and then slowly got to his feet and leaned against the wall again. He put the towel to his nose, “I am just telling you the truth.
He laughed as blood began to show through the white towel. “Go to the hotel bar if you don’t believe me.”
I hesitated to respond as I calculated what he had said.
I continued to rub my right hand and then sighed, not sure I wanted to know, “go on.”
“I have seen her the past two nights at the bar talking to some suit. Laughing it up with him and drinking wine like a couple…in… love.”
I grit my teeth as anxiety began to get a Gorilla Glue lock on my psyche. I turned and walked towards the door not knowing exactly what I was going to do but I was going to do something. “I will be back.”
“Remember…the title is all you need to love,” Ellis said as I opened the door and walked out.
“A fateful attraction
To the hot and heavy glow
A hint of satisfaction
And the sound of the rolling bones
A future when you need it
You can teach these lights to dance
A finger on the trigger
You’ve got magic in your hands.” ‘Everything Must Go,’ Goose
This is my last stand.
Not The Highwaymen’s.
I must fight this like it will be my only title shot EVER. It doesn’t matter any longer what happens next because the only thing I care about is Sunday. That is the only day and the only match that matters to me. I don’t care what comes next because I know what type of wrestler I have to defeat: a goddamn good one.
He is obsessed with how many days his reign is. It is almost comical that he believes his immortality is created by how many days he is champion and not his overall resume. Nobody remembers the length of time you have had the title if you did your job to help the company expand.
That is what you should be worried about.
Look at how many people have disappeared from HOW since you and The Board gained power. Are you proud of watching young upstarts head over to PRIME instead of joining HOW? Well, I suppose it is just more perks for the scabs sitting in their gold chairs inside their catered locker room.
The only obstacle you should be worried about is ME, not some invisible stat that means virtually nothing in the long run if nobody is watching. That’s the catch, Chris. Nobody is watching, gates have gone down, and it is all on your watch. Or lack thereof, as you have done the bare minimum as champion.
Truth is I know you could have done more but Lee Best doesn’t seem to trust you with the brass ring. guess you aren’t a Best or a SCOTT, huh?
It’s agitating, isn’t it?
You won’t ever be the top dog in the eyes of your own master.
It is ok. I have been there trying to please that zombie and in the end I realized it wasn’t worth it. I feel like you won’t realize that until after I am done with you. His music will hit, and he will come down rocking out with his hookers and then take your eye.
Like the doofus he is and the hypocrite you are.
You are correct about one thing though, Chris. I haven’t been demanding enough for title shots and I would be lying if I didn’t say a lot of that is my fault. That doesn’t mean I haven’t dreamed about this moment or that I don’t have the drive to overcome anything you throw at me. I have had a few things that just haven’t gone my way the past two years and those have held me back from attaining what you hold.
I have overcome much of it.
I have won titles.
I have been Wrestler of the Month.
I have done everything with one goal in mind and when you challenged me I couldn’t help but smile.
SHE is what I want.
SHE has started to look weathered around the waist of a man who never defends her dignity.
SHE isn’t anything to you but a thing. A thing that makes you feel important. A thing that props up The Boards authoritarianism. A thing that makes you feel you are superior to everyone else.
It isn’t HER job to save you, Chris.
It is my job to save you, the only way I know and that is to inflict so much pain on you that you know SHE is better off with me, and you hand her over to me. It is only right, Chris. HOW needs a fighting champion not someone who will run away from a fight because he doesn’t want to scuff up his shoes.
Maybe that is my arrogance but maybe it is because I have proven to not run away from a challenge. To be in your position you have to be a little bit arrogant. A feeling that you cannot be beat. Knowledge that you are the best no matter what anyone might say. But for you to call me out on having an ego is rich.
Have you heard yourself talk?
Have you watched your own actions?
Oh…my bad, I am positive the only thing you watch is your highlight reels that you put together for yourself. Got to keep yourself busy somehow when you spend more time running your mouth then competing.
It is all good.
This is wrestling and if you don’t have an ego you are in the wrong business. We all talk ourselves up. We all promote our accomplishments and even if you and I both run with a group…we all look after number one before the group. That is just the way of this business, and it is a microcosm of society itself. We show the ugly truth often, but the public takes it as entertainment. They don’t understand that what we do is a reaction to society.
What can we get away with?
What will people gravitate to?
Can I say that?
I will go over the invisible line because it is what is expected, Chris. I am not worried about being in the hospital—hell I expect to make a visit there even after I win. It won’t be to visit anyone either, it will be because I really did leave everything on the pavement of that godforsaken jail. If you leave me able to walk on my own two feet after I beat you then you really weren’t the champion I thought you were.
You are not prepared for this if you aren’t ready to join me in this circus of blood.
You want to break my bones, but you aren’t ready for yours to be shattered.
You want to twist me into a knot, but you aren’t ready for your shoulder to be dislocated. The pop of the cartridge while I cackle uncontrollably in your ears as you scream out for Mike Best to save you.
It is what you will do.
That doesn’t mean you are finished as a wrestler, Chris. The sun will come up and all that pressure will be gone, and you will finally be able to look into the mirror and see yourself…really see yourself, that is.
Will you like what you see?
I doubt it.
But can you learn to like yourself again?
Again…I doubt it.
It isn’t because you are a bad wrestler, it is because you are an unpleasant person and without HER to keep you warm you will realize nobody is there for you but yourself and you hate yourself.
You still get the shakes when you remember losing to Mike Best.
Stuck in the past but trying to erase it in the present, that will not suffice.
You cannot overcome me in that mindset no matter what threats and insults you throw my way. You may as well be trying to spit on me while the wind is blowing towards you. We have seen Max Kael die at Rumble at the Rock and it seems like we will see Christopher America commit title match suicide now.
This is a once in a lifetime match for me.
Don’t put words in my mouth. I don’t believe for one second this year will be good if I don’t defeat you. I don’t want a consolation prize of being Wrestler of the Year if I cannot take that title from you. What a shitty prize that would be. I won many matches but could not beat the champ. You may as well just take my knee out again because that will be something I will never…and I mean NEVER let go of.
You can always say you were Champ.
You can always say you won War Games.
I cannot say either of those things so don’t think for a moment that I am not treating this match like it will be my only chance to ever beat you.
If you want to continually point my finger back to me at least make it mean something. I have already admitted to being a hypocrite, but you cannot claim that anything I have said is wrong. You can say “but what about,’ as often as you want but I am not your target ignorant audience. It is just mumble garbage to me and your whataboutism isn’t going to save you from the amount of agony you are in for.
THAT IS MY TITLE YOU ARE HOLDING.
It doesn’t matter what type of magic you try to perform in holding onto it because magic is fake just like your patriotism. Smoke and mirrors can be entertaining but when it comes to our match it won’t protect you from my instinct to leave you a broken mess.
This was business…during War Games.
This has become personal since then. Your attacks on my friends. Your attacks on the truth. Your attacks on me. These are just a few of your sins that you cannot wash away with lies. No… this is an eye for an eye, Chris, and the only way we can rid what you have done to the title is to wash it with your blood.
On Sunday I hope you are conscious enough to hear:
NEW HOW WORLD CHAMPION STEVE HARRISON!
That isn’t a Miracle, it is just the future.
I walked into the elevator and pushed the close button. I didn’t want anyone getting in with me. I angrily pushed the lobby button as thoughts clouded my head that made me question everything I had done since I had gotten Rebecca back.
Was I too slow?
Was I too stupid when it came to all this?
It was probably all true, but I had it planned out. I was going to defeat Christopher America and then celebrate with Rebecca Hines and tell her how I felt. Pretty childish now that I thought about it, but I wanted things to be perfect. I was unsure how to do anything, so I went with the old movie cliché but now that was falling apart faster than a Christopher America opinion.
I tapped my foot as I waited impatiently for the elevator to get to the lobby.
Finally, I thought to myself.
The Elevator door opened.
Rebecca Hines was on the other side. She smiled when she saw me, and I froze as this felt like the most unexpected thing that was going to occur when the elevator stopped.
“Steve,” she said, her smile never failing.
“Oh…uh…hey,” I was completely off balance. The anger I felt slowly began to fade because any proof was gone now and her smile.
She took a step forward, “Steve, you there,” she said as he poked my head.
I nodded and smiled without trying, “oh yea, um…what’s up?”
She walked into the elevator and gave me a hug, “I have great news.” She pointed out of the elevator, “are you going somewhere?”
I shook my head as I gave her a hug back, “no, no, what’s the great news?”
She took her arms away, held onto my elbows and looked up at me. I stared back and I didn’t care what the news was anymore. She continued smiling and the elevator door shut. She turned and blushed slightly, “oh, I forgot to push my floor,” she pushed her floor and then looked back at me.
I went to push my floor but before I could get my finger there, she pushed it away and shook her head.
My eyes got wide.
My smile wider.
The elevator began to move.
My heart thumped.
I felt my forehead beginning to sweat.
I closed my eyes and imagined that the only thing better than this moment was going to be Tomorrow night when I raised the Title above my head.
“This is love
Sweet signal from above
Warms my brain
Now I’ll never be alone again
Oh, can you believe it
A front seat to the show
A hotline to the afterlife
And a discount miracle
You say you wanna live forever
Play a little game with me
Walk a little
Take your spin
Let it out, let it in
It’s a legend*
This is love
Sweet signal from above
Warms my brain
Now I’ll never be alone again
All that you can imagine
A universe with a view
Almost like you can have it
A getaway for you
This is love
Sweet signal from above
Warms my brain
Now I’ll never be alone again,” ‘Everything Must Go,” Goose