Eye of the Tiger?

Eye of the Tiger?

Posted on July 7, 2023 at 11:36 pm by Scott Stevens

Location: Goiania, Brazil: Hotel

Date: July 3, 2023

The scene opens up to an amazing and clear blue sky with a glowing sun highlighting the mountainous terrain in the background of beautiful Goiania. However, even in this glorious day there are still thunderclouds rolling in for one Scott Stevens. An iPhone 13 lays on the nightstand by the desk before coming to life buzzing loudly. After a few more buzzes it goes dead before the door to the hotel opens and a sweaty and exhausted Texan steps through it. Scott peels off his shirt and tosses it into the bathroom before grabbing a towel and wiping himself down as he makes his way over to his phone. Scott unlocks the screen and notices he has a few missed messages from the God of HOW himself, Lee Best.

Hey dickhead, you have a match with Hollywood this week.

A smile forms on the Texan’s face because he’s finally getting back into the ring and competing against the man who’s above him on the rankings and to keep his promise to Lee, he was going to climb the proverbial ladder against everyone better than him. However, the smile quickly fades when he reads the second text.

The match is you and Hollywood teaming up against The SON and John Sektor.

Good luck fuck stick. 😉

Stevens throws the phone onto the bed in anger.

“Mother fucker.

Stevens says to himself as he lets out a sigh.

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: Barbosa Household

Date: July 5, 2023

Independence Day in the States has come and gone and normally when Scott is travelling, he’d watch the fireworks with his wife and children on Facetime, but this year his wife didn’t want nothing to do with him just like the owner of the house he’s presently in hasn’t want anything to do with him for years. Inside the modest household we see Scott Stevens sitting on a couch staring face to face with a bronze complected bald man with a grey goatee and scars on his head that would make Abdullah the Bitcher blush. There is a massive acquired silence in the air that is only briefly broken by the sounds of the bald man drinking his Skol beer. The silence continues as Scott watches the man finish his beverage and goes to speak.

Scott Stevens: So……

Stevens is interrupted by the cracking of a new bottle being broken and the man tosses the cap onto the table never taking his eyes off of the Texan.

Scott Stevens: So, how you been?

Stevens asks and just the mere conversing seems to annoy the man that just being in the Texan’s presence.

Barbosa: Você vem aqui me perguntando como tenho passado depois de tratar minha filha do jeito que você tratou? Você tem sorte de eu não chutar sua bunda!

Stevens looks at him confused not fully understanding what is being said.

Scott Stevens: English please Anderson. My Portuguese is not that good.

The man takes a long drink of his beer.

Anderson Barbosa: Jesus, mais de vinte anos e nada. Aprenda idiota.

Scott Stevens: I’m not an idiot Anderson.

Apparently, idiot is known in any language and the Texan doesn’t appear to be too thrilled to be called that.

Anderson Barbosa: If you learned the fucking language from my daughter then I wouldn’t be calling you that.

Anderson informs Scott before tossing the bottle cap at him and taking another long and overdramatic sip of his beer.

Anderson Barbosa: Why are you here?

Anderson blurts out sternly and Scott doesn’t answer.

Anderson Barbosa: Well?!?!?!?

Anderson shouts.

Scott Stevens: I don’t know exactly…..I…..

Scott stops mid-sentence.

Anderson Barbosa: Go on.

Anderson encourages his son-in-law to continue.

Scott Stevens: I feel stuck. Like I’m just going through the motions and nothing’s changing.

Scott takes a long drink of his beer before leaning back on the couch.

Scott Stevens: Truth is, losing to Townsend sucked. I didn’t walk out of there the victor like I thought I would.

Stevens sighs and looks at the bottle with his head down.

Scott Stevens: I’m embarrassed and I’m pissed off.

Anderson Barbosa: Why’s that exactly?

Anderson asks sternly.

Scott Stevens: I thought I had the victory in hand because I was facing a man that hadn’t stepped foot in a wrestling ring in close to eight years while I’ve been putting in the work and grinding for the last five years nonstop. But, I came up short like I always do.

Anderson Barbosa: Sounds like bullshit.

Anderson leans forward in his chair.

Anderson Barbosa: I’ll ask again, why?

Stevens sighs.

Scott Stevens: I miscalculated my experience over Townsend and my nostalgia being undefeated against him and I thought that alone would be enough.

Anderson Barbosa: And he proved other wise when he pinned you in that ring.

Scott Stevens: He did.

Scott says with a sound of humility in his voice.

Anderson Barbosa: Go on.

Scott Stevens: Look, I’ve got everything anyone could possible want: money, fame, the pedigree.

Stevens grits his teeth before continuing.

Scott Stevens: What I don’t have is the reputation. I’m seen as a joke, an idiot, a lonesome loser. Are you kidding me?!?!?!?

Stevens says through his grit teeth and grips his bottle so hard it shatters within it.

Scott Stevens: Sorry.

Stevens apologizes as he places the broken glass on Anderson’s wooden table.

Anderson Barbosa: It’s alright, please continue.

Scott Stevens: What I want is to be feared and respected.

Stevens’ statement causes Anderson to raise a brow.

Anderson Barbosa: Don’t we all. 

Scott Stevens: You don’t get it; I am fucking former world champion and Hall of Famer and I’m seen as a joke. When my name is mentioned, I’m seen as the easy win and I’m sick of it. I want people to say what is next for Scott Stevens not what is Scott Stevens going to be next.

Anderson Barbosa: And what do you plan to do about it?

Stevens leans back on the couch and thinks long and hard.

Scott Stevens: I understand to dictate my future I can’t bank on the past. I have to kill it. I don’t want hand outs and favors because I’ve worked over twenty fucking years to go all the way back to the beginning. I need to burn all the crutches and bridges because I can’t go back, I won’t go back. It’s no more gimmicks, cute little nicknames, no more nonsense, but most importantly, no more bullshit.

Anderson Barbosa: Ok, but why?

Stevens looks at his father-in-law confused.

Scott Stevens: What do you mean?

Anderson Barbosa: Why are you doing this?

Scott Stevens: To prove to everyone I still got it…..

The answer causes Anderson to throw his bottle on the ground.

Anderson Barbosa: Oh meu Deus!

Scott Stevens: What?!?!?!?

Anderson Barbosa: Do you think I competed for recognition? Or accolades? Or fame?

Anderson asks Scott and the Texan shrugs.

Anderson Barbosa: No!

Anderson says with fire in his voice as he points towards a bookshelf.

Anderson Barbosa: Look at that bookshelf over there. That is what I consider important!

Scott reluctantly makes his way over to the bookshelf and has a look at the things that adorn its shelves. Scott sees numerous family photos some consist of one of Anderson’s parents, his family with his wife, and kids, a few holiday pictures of Lisa and I with the kids, a photo of the entire Stevens Dynasty and one of him and my dad. He has a black belt sitting on one of the shelves next to the Brazilian National Heavyweight Championship with a photo of him standing in victory over my father. Anderson comes over and places a hand on Scott shoulder.

Anderson Barbosa: Have you figured it out yet?

Scott Stevens: I think so.

Stevens tells his father-in-law and Anderson raises an eyebrow.

Anderson Barbosa: Enlighten me then.

Scott Stevens: Ok….

Scott motions to the whole bookshelf.

Scott Stevens: These are the things you consider important.

Anderson nods.

Anderson Barbosa: Why?

Scott Stevens: Because you love them?

Stevens says almost questioning his answer.

Anderson Barbosa: Correct. Everything you see is something I love.

Anderson states as he points to his black belt.

Anderson Barbosa: Just because I earned a black belt in jiu-jitsu doesn’t mean I stop learning because like every martial arts there is still style or something new being introduced every day that you can learn. You have been seeing it as the highlight of your career and that is why you are stuck.

Anderson tells his son-in-law before pointing to the title he beat his father for.

Anderson Barbosa: I have this title here not because it’s a highlight of my wrestling career. 

Scott Stevens: Then why have it?

Stevens asks and Anderson smirks.

Anderson Barbosa: Because it gets under your old man’s skin and I love doing that to him.

Anderson has a chuckle.

Anderson Barbosa: The problem with you is, you would settle just for these bobbles and just coast. You’ve been living off of your one major victory over arguably the greatest champion in your current company’s history for years and you’ve never gotten better. You said losing to this Townsend guy sucked and it should because you believed you had him beat because you never lost to him, but even away Townsend wanted it more than you.

Anderson pats Scott on the shoulder before heading back to his chair.

Anderson Barbosa: That has been your problem for a long time. You don’t want it. You say you do, but you really don’t.

Scott Stevens: Maybe you’re right.

Anderson Barbosa: Of course, I’m right. Look at all the people that have come back since HOW has returned. Everyone has gone on to do great things except you.

Anderson points at Scott.

Anderson Barbosa: This week you are teaming with Brad Hollywood……

Scott Stevens: Brian.

Anderson Barbosa: What?

Scott Stevens: His name is Brian Hollywood.

Anderson Barbosa: My bad, this week you are teaming with Brian Hollywood, and he is a man who is tied dead last in your company’s standings correct?

Anderson asks to confirm what Scott told him previously on the phone and the Texan nods.

Scott Stevens: That is correct.

Anderson Barbosa: And you are taking on two Hall of Famers in John Sektor and Mike Best.

Stevens nods once more.

Anderson Barbosa: Do you know why you will lose against them?

Anderson asks Scott who simply shrugs.

Anderson Barbosa: That’s why.

Anderson says and Scott looks confused.

Anderson Barbosa: From what I’ve seen from the materials you have shown me these two men are two of the absolute best in the world of wrestling and you know what?

Scott Stevens: What?

Anderson Barbosa: They aren’t satisfied with being that. This John Sektor came back after having one of the greatest title runs to prove not only to that Townsend fella but to everyone that he isn’t just the greatest technical wrestler, but he wants to show that he is the greatest wrestler, period because he loves performing inside that ring. Mike Best’s vice is that he wants to remind everyone that he is the best and that’s not a bad thing. He considers himself the benchmark of not just HOW, but wrestling in general and if you beat him, you’ve done something.

Anderson stops Scott from talking.

Anderson Barbosa: However, this drives him to get better and better he has. Hell, didn’t he say he wanted to prove he is a great LSD champion because that was his one weakness in his accolades?

Scott nods.

Anderson Barbosa: There you go. He knows he can improve on something and he will do what he has to, to make it happen. These guys know you have talent, but it’s wasted talent. They consider you a lay-up because you haven’t shown them anything to deter them from that fact. It was in that movie Rocky that Apollo Creed told Rocky he lost his, “eye of the tiger.” You don’t seem to have that anymore and until you find it you will continue to lose.

Anderson informs Scott as he cracks open another beer.

Anderson Barbosa: The evidence is there staring at you in the face. Didn’t you tell me that Townsend fella has been back for like a month and he already has two more victories than you and was the wrestler of the month?

Scott Stevens: That would be correct.

Anderson Barbosa: You can either find the passion you once had for the wrestling business or you need to step away and whether that’s retire or something else that’s on you.

Scott Stevens: Can you help me?

Stevens asks his father-in-law and Anderson puts the beer down on the table.

Anderson Barbosa: No.

Scott looks at him confused.

Anderson Barbosa: I’ll tell you why. This is a journey you have to figure out on your own. You have to listen to the voice that speaks from here.

Anderson points to his heart.

Anderson Barbosa: Not here.

Anderson points to his head.

Anderson Barbosa: This has been your problem, always listening to others instead of your heart and if I help you, I’ll just be another voice added to the ones that already have tried to lead you on a path that isn’t yours.

Anderson picks up his beer and takes a swig.

Anderson Barbosa: Once you finish your beer you need to leave and find your passion once more.

Stevens opens a new beer and toasts his father-in-law as he dwells on the information he has received.