“Failure has no friends.”
- John F. Kennedy
Christopher America’s kitchen table was brand new. The broken one that America had trashed in a fit of rage at the loss to Ivan Stanislav at PWA 1 had to be replaced. It also had to be different. Unlike his long rectangular one from before, this table was ovular and more compact. And although it sat fewer people than the one prior, this table allowed each member seated at it to easily see and observe everyone else.
Around the table were high backed wooden chairs, adorned with soft, inset backs. Positioned with the back against the window was a much larger, and more ornate chair, spectacularly dazzled with metallic eagle heads on either side of the back of the chair, eagle claws at the edge of the arm rest and an American flag backing.
Sitting in that chair, leaning back and to the left was Christopher America, the HOW World Champion. His arms were clasped together resting on the edge of the table. Beside him, resting on a pedestal of her own, was the HOW World Championship. As he looked around the room into the faces of the other members seated at his table, minus one, America felt somewhat pleased, like he was a king meeting with his royal advisors. But as quickly as he felt pride, it soon grew to disgust and anger as he realized that only Bill was purely American.
The other members at the table looked at America with anticipation at any sudden movement or breath in the hope that the meeting would begin. Instead, America put his head on his left hand and used his right to drum his fingers against the table. The next few minutes of silence were thankfully, mercifully broken by the shuffling feet of Richard Thomas, America’s English clothier, as he entered the room, briefcase in hand. He walked in, smiled and nodded at those around the table. When he met America’s eyes, his face fell and he looked downward.
Richard Thomas: Apologies, sir. Traffic was…
America held up his hand and Richard immediately stopped talking.
Christopher America: Who wants to go first?
The other members of the table looked around at each other before settling their eyes on Bill who was giving America a look of annoyance.
Christopher America: No one?
Who wants to take credit for what happened to me at March To Glory?
America looked around the table waiting for someone to speak up. Assuming they were in trouble, each man looked down at the table, save for Bill.
Christopher America: Gentlemen, at March To Glory, yours truly secured the record for the longest World Championship reign in HOW history!
America smiled, held out his hands as if he were preaching, and looked at everyone only to be met with solemn faces or uneasy smiles.
Christopher America: Come on! Why the long faces?! We did it! Well… I did it! I just directed you on how to help me finally win because let’s be honest, I couldn’t trust any of you guys to come up with anything viable on your own.
America continues smiling as if he cracked a joke but the others said and did nothing. Bill leaned back in his seat and folded his arms. He looked at America as if daring his client to address the elephant in the room.
America cleared his throat and looked down sheepishly.
Christopher America: So… uh…
The champion caught himself and thought back to that night before March To Glory. He thought about that night when he left himself with a choice. That night he had to decide what mattered more to him. Was it friendship and personal growth? Or was it the championship and the record? America turned and looked at the championship. A slow smile began to form on the corner of his mouth. As his lip curled, he remembered the choice he made.
“Damn the world.”
A scowl then formed on America’s face as he turned and looked back at the table. He pointed at Richard and Alexei, his cleaner, and motioned to the door. That left America alone with Bill and Luis. America got up from his chair and turned his back to both men. He clasped behind his back and peered out the window.
Christopher America: How’s your father?
Out of view, Luis frowned.
Luis: Fine. He’s getting out tomorrow… finally.
America nodded silently, continuing to look out the window.
Christopher America: Good.
Bill, schedule a press conference outside the hospital for me, all the news channels. We’re going to talk about Mateo’s hospitalization and how I’m going to pay for everything. And you…
America rounded on Luis.
Christopher America: You’re going to smile wide of the cameras and you’re going to thank me for how generous I am.
Luis balked at the suggestion.
Luis: You put him in that hospital! I’m not going to stand next to you and thank you like you’re doing me a favor!
America placed his fists on the table and leaned in towards Luis.
Christopher America: I am doing you a favor, you little shit! It’s time your family repaid me that debt. Or you can kiss your paycheck good-bye. GOT IT?!
Luis seethed through his teeth and fumed through his nose. Finally, he slammed his hands on the table, stood up, and began leaning towards America. If looks could kill, Luis would’ve murdered the psychotic patriot in front of him a thousand times over. Luis held his glare and gritted his teeth, continuing to hold in the rage he had felt for the past few weeks before storming off.
Forcefully and angrily, Luis grabbed his coat and left America’s house. America smirked and chuckled to himself, clearly pleased with how easy it was to get at Mateo’s son. As America turned to look at Bill, he continued to sit there, judging America behind eyes suggested that he was unimpressed by the display that was just shown to him.
Christopher America: Awfully quiet, weren’t you?
Bill: Didn’t feel like anything really needed to be said at the “meeting.”
Bill began to collect his belongings.
Christopher America: I wasn’t talking about the meeting. I’m talking about the championship. I’m talking about the record. You did good work with the new moves you designed.
Because of that, you’re getting an increase in pay.
Bill sighed and paused packing his things. He knew what America was trying to do.
Bill: You’ll have to excuse me if I don’t jump for joy. It’s just the last time someone did something for you, they wound up in the hospital.
Christopher America: Come on. You know I wouldn’t do that to you. Like I told you, we’re friends.
America nodded as he spoke the words, as if simultaneously trying to drive the point home both to Bill and himself.
Bill turned to look at America, over the top of his glasses.
Bill: We aren’t friends, Chris. I’m not really sure what we are right now. You seem to think that talking to people makes you friends but it’s much more than that. Friends do things for each other. Not because they’re paid to or because they’re given a raise. They do it out of the goodness of their heart. And right now, I don’t know that you have any goodness left.
America stood there stunned and speechless.
Bill: Those new moves that got you the record? Those were Mateo’s idea. They weren’t mine. I just ran the numbers and simulations.
Maybe it’s not my raise, maybe you should give it to him. You know, after you gloat in front of the cameras tomorrow?
Bill started walking away, feeling as if he had just stuck it to his client, but America with a quickness surprising for a man his size, rushed over, grabbed Bill by the arm, and spun him around.
Christopher America: I’m doing the right thing. That’s what you wanted! You wanted me to take care of him. I’m taking care of him.
Bill: You’re right, Chris. I wanted YOU to take care of him. I didn’t want you to take care of him FOR ME.
Christopher America: I’m going to take care of him because, like you said, that’s what friends do.
Bill: AND I TOLD YOU WE AREN’T FRIENDS!
Bill’s voice echoed through America’s home. He stood there breathing heavily and scowling.
Bill: You don’t get it! Being friends doesn’t mean calling on me when you need me! It doesn’t mean doing things with me only because I have to tag along! And being friends certainly doesn’t mean that you beat up a kid’s father in front of him and then pat yourself on the back when you try to throw money at the situation to make it go away!
America was floored and stood there like Bill just slapped him across the face.
Bill: Does it ever occur to you to think about others, even for a second?
Look around you, Chris.
Four men sat at that table. Two of them are afraid of you. One of them wants to kill you. And we’re all here only because you pay us to be here!
Even better, Chris, look at your career.
Where’s your Board friends? Where’s Farthington? Where’s Mike? Where’s Jace? Where’s the man who helped you prop up the Board and carry it’s name forward? Oh, that’s right. Your boss stabbed him in the eye. Your boss then pissed on him for the whole world to see. And now, your boss puts him in a three on one handicap match like he did Joe Bergman.
The champion looked at his agent remorsefully.
Christopher America: I didn’t know Lee was going to stab him in the eye.
Bill: Of course you didn’t. But why should you care, right? It’s not like you stood there and watched it happen. If you did, I’m sure you immediately rushed over to check on him. Or maybe you ran over to Lee and read him the riot act. Maybe you decked him instead.
Bill tilted his head looking for an answer from America.
Bill: No? None of that?
Okay, let’s try something else.
Did Solex know?
America’s eyes met Bill. They flashed with a fury and anger at the mere mention of the MERCDAD’s name.
Bill: Did he know Lee was going to do that?
Christopher America: I don’t know.
Bill: Play it out in your head. Assume he knew. Assume he knew what was going to happen to Jace. That means you were purposefully left out of the loop. It means that Lee trusts him more than he trusts you. It means he’s the guy he’s confiding in.
On the other hand, assume he didn’t know. Then that means both of you were left out of the loop on purpose. And maybe that’s because Lee questioned how you’d react in the moment.
Either way, though, it’s a moot point. Because rather than help your “friend,” you took the opportunity to attack Fuse and put him in the torture rack.
Think about it, champ. Jace is one of the longest reigning LSD Champions and he was DISPOSABLE to the Final Alliance. You’re all that way when you wear out your usefulness.
You and Jace… you weren’t friends. You were barely partners. You just happened to coalesce around a common theme. Sure, he helped you win a tag match. You helped him win the Tag Titles. But what do you have to show for it now? Who really cares?
America paused, lowered his head, and looked at the ground. He spoke the next few words just above a whisper.
Christopher America: I cared. At least, I did.
Whatever America felt in that moment, he quickly pushed it aside. He scowled and put some volume and determination behind his voice.
Christopher America: Jace knows what he did. He was in the wrong.
The World Champion scowled and spoke with defiance, realizing what Bill was hinting at.
Christopher America: Don’t test me.
If losing Jace meant that I am kept in the Best Family’s good graces, if it means that by losing one man, I gained the record for the longest World Championship reign, then so be it. Nothing else matters. Only wins. I’m not turning on the Final Alliance. I’m not changing who I am. Not for one man.
Bill: Changing for one man?
It’s already happened. You changed for Lee. Look at yourself, Chris. Look at who you’ve hired! Would the Christopher America of six months ago even bothered hiring people from other nationalities? Look at who you’ve been teaming with. Have you put aside your differences with Solex? Are you okay teaming up with the “foreigner” Evan Ward?
My God, Chris, you picked a man you despise to be your proxy for PWA 2.
You’re already changed.
The Alliance… Lee… they made sure of that.
You just don’t see it, yet.
Bill shrugged his shoulders in disappointment, turned, and exited America’s home. America just stood there deep in thought. After a few moments he walked over to his chair at the oval table and sat down. He leaned forward, resting his elbows on the table, and reflected on Bill’s words.
It’s all your fault.
I’ve looked at it a dozen ways and I wish that I could say it was someone else’s, but it isn’t. Look at everything that’s happened to you. You nearly lost the LSD Championship. Your lies and manipulations were laid bare for everyone, especially STRonk to see. You’ve lost an eye. And recently, you were pissed on by the head of this company.
You probably thought to yourself, “Where did it all go wrong?”
Let’s be clear about where it all went wrong, Jace.
You attempted to kill a HOW Hall of Famer, a woman who was once one of the cornerstones of this company. A woman who, for the longest time, was the ONLY woman to hold the HOW World Championship.
You manipulated STRonk Godson, tore apart his relationship with that woman, killed MONGO, and put him on a collision course with Conor Fuse at Rumble at the Rock. That behemoth of a man was like a son to Lee Best. That man was so clouded by grief over the loss of MONGO that he went into that match with Fuse without any sort of guidance or game plan from you. You sacrificed him to Conor Fuse because you’re still pissed off that Conor Fuse prevented you from winning the Tag Team Championships at Dead or Alive.
You couldn’t even co-exist with Scott Stevens long enough to keep the Tag Team Championships out of the hands of people who shouldn’t even have them. YOU ALLOWED MVW TO TAKE THE HOTV TAG TEAM CHAMPIONSHIPS because of your GOD DAMNED EGO!
You didn’t like Scott Stevens as a partner? Then fucking beat him down, hospitalize him, and name a fucking replacement. But nooooo! Jace Parker Davidson knows better, doesn’t he?
I then asked you to do the right fucking thing and GET YOUR REVENGE ON FUSE! All you had to do was attack the man that prevented you from winning the titles at Dead or Alive and you REFUSED!
But before that… before all of that… you took Lee Best’s grandson and you sent him packing. You sent him to PRIME. You sent him to a rival company. A rival company that now benefits from the attraction and draw that is Tyler Adrian Best.
So why… Jace… why are you not a part of the Final Alliance?
The answer is because since you’ve returned, you have done everything in your power to strip away the things that Lee Best loves. You’ve taken his grandson, Tyler, his adopted son, STRonk, tried to MURDER one of his original Hall of Famers, BOTCHED the retention of the Tag Titles AND YOU HAVE THE FUCKING AUDACITY TO WONDER WHERE IT ALL WENT WRONG!
But please, king, go off and tell everyone about how it’s different. How Lee Best sees you as a threat. Spin me the tales. Tell me the same lies that everyone else feeds themselves. Joe Bergman probably said the exact same fucking thing.
“The only reason I’m in this match at March To Glory is because Lee Best sees me as a threat.”
What utter nonsense. You’re supposed to be better than that. You’re supposed to be smarter than that.
You know, I wanted this to work.
I really did.
I came to you, Jace… as a friend. I asked you to help me improve my tag team work. I had hoped to make US better. I hoped that I could focus you on making US the best two man team out there. Two men who held the main championships. Two men with record breaking reigns imposing their will across the company.
And you threw it away.
You threw my friendship away.
So what if we didn’t hang out outside of the company? Do you think me taking you to a movie was going to make us better wrestlers? Did you think that if I sat down and played some video games with you while munching on some Doritos and chugging Mountain Dew was going to bring us closer? Did you want to go frolicking in a field together? Oooh! Maybe you wanted us to set a guy on fire together?
I wanted something simpler.
Two men, common goals, riding from city to city together, training together, being the FUCKING BEST EVER… together.
We’re not friends, Jace.
And as you said, never were.
I’ll take being naïve. I’ll take seeing our shared allegiance to the Board… or whatever you want to call it… through rose colored glasses. I’ll take all of that many times over than to have what you have right now.
You fight an uphill battle against the Final Alliance. But more importantly, at Chaos, you fight an uphill battle against ME! All the frustration, anger, and annoyance I’ve had with respect to your antics are going to be let out when I rain down punches and blows to your face.
I’m even going to let you in on my secret game plan.
I’m looking to bash the side of your skull in the hopes that I can dislodge your one good eye.
The only way you have of succeeding is keeping one eye on Zion and the other on your opponents. But you can’t do that now, can you?
I’m hoping that I inflict enough fucking damage to you so that shitstain, Zion, scores a win and takes the LSD Championship from you. That way, I can then revel in excitement as someone like Jatt, STRonk, Solex, or Ward take the LSD Championship from him inside War Games.
I look forward to watching you mope around backstage, holding the RETIRED ICON Championship, as you try to make yourself look like a big fucking deal once more. I relish with anticipation seeing you start at the bottom of the mountain trying to climb your ass up once more. I am going to savor the sweetness of your despair as Zion cuts your reign shy of John Sektor’s, leaving me as the sole record holder this company needs and deserves.
The problem with you, Jace, is you don’t change.
No matter what city, what year, or even what promotion… Jace Parker Davidson is Jace Parker Davidson.
A man with an overinflated ego that needs to have his ass put in check time after time after time. A little wake up call so that the dog realizes who the master truly is.
I know who that is.
I came to realize it as I tried to do things on my own. I rebelled against the Alliance. I fought it tooth and nail with men who were… Perfectly Marvelous. I raged against the Alliance with men made of Silver and Gold. Hell, I’ve even seen Gold Standards realize the folly of their ways. And as the GREATEST AMERICAN on this roster, I’ve done what any real American would do.
I bought in.
I reaped the benefits.
I laughed at the POORS and the NERDS as they cried out for their fair share.
And soon, I will retire on a mountain of money, printed off the backs of people like you and inked with the blood of people like you.
Realize that the man talking to you now is not the boy who entered this company in 2009.
I’ve changed Jace.
I’ve changed in ways that I never thought I would.
And I realize that I have become so much the better for it.
I became a better wrestler by dedicating nearly THREE YEARS to improving myself. I’m in a group with men who despise me, men who want to have what I have, men who I still wish death upon because of what they’ve said and done to me, men from other FUCKING COUNTRIES who taint mine simply by being here… all because I know what they know… what you refuse to accept… that the Final Alliance is the place to be.
In preparation for this match, Ward and I have trained together.
Believe me, I don’t like it.
It makes me nauseous just looking at him. Having him touch me while we train, knowing that I have to touch his dirty hands and body to make a tag… it’s downright sickening.
But I’ll swallow every bit of pride and ego that I have if it means putting you down.
IF IT MEANS THAT CHRISTOPHER AMERICA WINS ANOTHER GOD DAMN MATCH!
Now, you might say a week’s preparation isn’t enough. We’re not a well-oiled machine. Have some kinks to work out.
Well… you’re right.
A week’s preparation will only get us so far. But do me a favor, Jace. Strip away that preparation and what are you left with?
You’re left with two men who have BOTH won War Games and BOTH won the HOW World Championship. Two men that know what it’s like to survive against the odds to achieve victory. TWO MEN who are willing to do ANYTHING to secure that victory.
I can’t say the same for your team.
You know, it’s funny to me.
When people join the Alliance, it’s called dick riding Lee Best. It’s called sucking up to Lee Best. But when those same pissants… heh… see what I did there… when those same pissants join the Alliance, they make up all kinds of excuses as to why. It’s downright pathetic. So, spare me the comparisons that you’re somehow nobler. That you’re somehow above all that.
Jace Parker Davidson sells himself out more than anyone this company has ever seen.
And it doesn’t begin and end with the Alliance. It applies to any woman, any company, anywhere.
In a few weeks time, you’ll need to sell yourself out once again. Do a little rebranding. Because what’s a King of Everything if he has nothing to show for it.