After Refueled in Liverpool and seeing the outburst from Jatt Starr backstage after the news of his daughter being shot. Both Jace and Madison had decided to fly back to the states and check in with his own personal doctor. It was during the main event of Refueled 83 that Jace was victim of Jeffrey James Roberts’ finishing move. That spells bad news for the condition of Jace’s neck, especially heading into the big cluster match for the HOW World Championship belt on day 2 of ICONIC in London.
The hospital building wasn’t even halfway full but given the time of day it was currently that wasn’t much of a surprise. Jace had opted for an appointment later in the afternoon after the long flight back from the UK. Given the time of year it was that also was a factor for the lack of foot traffic throughout the building. Even though the hospital was massive the room that Jace waited inside of was no bigger than his walk-in closet at home. An examination table, a small stool on wheels, a desk with a computer on it, and a sink with cabinets above it were the only features of the room.
Jace was seated at the very end of the examination table. He had been waiting there for what seemed like an eternity. His head was down as he was already bored of looking at the pictures and posters on the white deary walls of the room. His mind raced with thoughts of just what was taking so long for the doctor to come back with the results of the x-rays he had taken earlier in the day. His mind tended to lean in the direction of bad news which would put his availability for the big main event at ICONIC in jeopardy. After 8-9 months of action since his return to the ring would it all fall short before perhaps the most important night of his career at the biggest PPV of the year?
Jace couldn’t help but think that this whole return to the ring was nothing more than a pipe dream of a fool who just didn’t know when to hang it up? Before he could spiral down the rabbit hole of despair too far, he heard a knock at the door. Jace took a deep breath then exhaled as he raised his head into the air and watched his doctor make her entrance into the room. Dr. Besser was an older woman in her mid fifties with long grey hair. She walked up to the examination table where Jace sat and greeted him before shaking his hand. The doctor retreated to her wheeled, cushioned stool, and used her badge on her white coat to sign into the computer. After looking over things for a few moments Dr. Besser turned to look at Jace who unconsciously began to hold his breath.
“Well, in my expert opinion I think you were smart to come and see me as soon as you possibly could but honestly? I don’t see any structural damage done to your neck here in the x-rays. So, I guess you can consider yourself lucky Mr. Davidson.” Dr. Besser revealed with a shrug as Jace was able to breathe again.
“So, what you’re saying is that all of this was just a false alarm?” Jace asked with a halfhearted smirk on his face.
“I wouldn’t call it a false alarm at all. You did have a two-hundred-and-thirty-pound man come off the top rope and land on your neck leg first. I feel like I need to write you a prescription to not let things like that happen anymore.” Dr. Besser retorted sarcastically.
“You act like I particularly enjoyed having that happen to me.” Jace fired back as an uneasiness ran through his body. He gripped the end of the examination tightly with both hands remembering the feeling of JJR landing on his neck.
“Clearly you must enjoy it on some level because even after things like that happening you seem to go back running for more.” Dr. Besser folded her arms across her chest and placed one leg over the other.
“I’ve explained this before Doc, just because a Boxer gets knocked out in the middle of the ring doesn’t mean he just gives up and calls it a career. He picks himself up off of the mat and focuses his attention on the next fight.” Jace tried to get Dr. Besser to follow his line of reasoning.
“Okay, however, you sir aren’t a Boxer.” Dr. Besser fired back.
“That’s beside the point!” Jace releases the examination table and waves his arms out in front of him.
“Is it though?” Dr. Besser cocks an eyebrow.
“Okay, fine, I’m not a Boxer. I’m a Professional Wrestler.” Jace concedes.
“A Boxer fights maybe three times a year. You’ve wrestled how many times in less than a year back now? Not to mention the fact that what happened to you in Liverpool is a lot more damage than any Boxer would have taken in a match.” Dr. Besser uncrossed her arms and cupped her chin in her palm as she tapped her index finger against the side of her face.
“I get it Dr. Besser, you’ve never been a fan of my choice of career given my situation with my neck but that’s just where we’ll have to agree to disagree.” Jace said with a sigh as he went to get up off of the examination table. However, Dr. Besser interjected.
“But why do you do it?” The question stopped Jace in his tracks and lingered in the air so much so that it made him scrunch up his face in confusion.
“Because…” Jace finally managed to spit out. “It’s been my dream ever since I was a young boy and it’s all I’ve ever known.”
“You’re no longer a young man and what do you plan to do? Live this dream until you die, or you’re forced to permanently live the rest of your days in a wheelchair? When do you finally begin the second stage of your life Mr. Davidson?” All questions Jace didn’t want to answer.
“I’ve just got unfinished business to take care of.” Jace muttered trying to steer away from the real issues here.
“And what would that be? Getting revenge on Mr. Stevens for tossing you off of that steel structure and giving you a career threatening neck injury? Beating Mike Best to prove he’s not as good as he thinks he is? Or is it winning a red leather Championship belt that you’ve already held on three separate occasions?” Dr. Besser tilted her head to the side.
“Those are just goals and accomplishments.” Jace sputtered.
“Accomplishments you’ve already accomplished and goals that are either silly or criminal provided that they happened outside of a wrestling ring. I just don’t see how all desire for violence both to others and you even out with the monetary gain you’re getting. You’re amongst a group of individuals who partake in dick waving contests over who is the smartest, who punches and kicks the hardest, or who decapitates another human being with the most proficiency. Is that how little you value your own physical well-being?” Dr. Besser asked with genuine concern in her voice.
For the first time in a while Jace was absolutely speechless. He opened his mouth, but no words would form.
“As your doctor these are just things I ponder. Your surgery might have been years ago, but I remember it just like it was yesterday. It was barely successful, and I’d hate to have seen you go through all that effort to get back on your feet for tacky jewelry and accomplishments that only a knuckle dragger would be proud of. Alas, this life is yours to live but that’s just my two cents. I guess that’s it for today. Ice your neck to prevent swelling for a few days and I’ll see you the next time someone tries to dislodge your head from your shoulders.” Dr. Besser spins on her seat and signs out of her computer.
Jace was literally dumbfounded by her words as Dr. Besser rose from her seat and guided him out of the small examination room over to where he would check out.
Back at home later that day inside of his home in Miami, Florida we find Jace sitting on his white leather couch in his living with holding an ice pack to the back of his neck. His head is down and the words of Dr. Besser raced through his mind. It wasn’t often that someone else’s opinion would rattle him like this, but her words hit home with Jace. He balled up his free hand into a tight fist then slammed it against the back of the couch in frustration. The noise was enough to stir Madison from the other room to come into the living room to check on him.
“Everything okay?” Madison asked as she lowered herself down onto the couch beside Jace.
“Yeah, I’m fine, I just wish I didn’t have to hold this ice pack against my neck. I would rather be training for ICONIC right now.” It was obviously a half truth.
“You got good news from Dr. Besser about your neck. This is a small price to pay compared to what could have been. Now why don’t you tell me what’s really bothering you?” Madison took the ice pack out of Jace’s hand and held it in place for him.
“I already told you that I’m just itching to start preparing for the big match on the second night of ICONIC. Nothing more, nothing less.” He replied with a weak chuckle.
“You do realize that by now I’m able to tell when you’re lying to me or not, right?” Madison had a lecturing tone to her voice.
Jace shook his head a bit and sighed. “It’s just something Dr. Besser said while I was getting seen today.”
“What could have possibly said that’s got you this bothered?” Madison scooted a little bit closer to Jace and readjusted the ice pack.
“She asked me why I continue to be a Professional Wrestler considering things like what JJR did to me happen and that I’m chasing accomplishments that I’ve already accomplished multiple times over.” Jace hunched over a bit and placed his arms on top of his knees as he stared down at the plush carpeting beneath his feet.
“Clearly she must have forgotten about those years of recovery where all you literally talked about was getting medically cleared so that you could step back into the ring.” Madison said, trying to lighten the mood.
“It’s just the way that she put things that really stuck with me. I know I’ve wanted to get back to this from the moment I got injured but now that I’m here I have to wonder. Is it really all it’s cracked up to be? Was all the effort worth it to come back and just be this?” These were more so questions asked to himself than they were to Madison.
“You set the standard for the HOTv Championship belt, you were on the winning team for War Games, and you vanquished HOW of Lindsay Troy. Not to mention that you could win HOW Wrestler of the Year, you’re in the main event at ICONIC for a chance at the HOW World Championship belt, and you could be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. That’s a lot more than just the average superstar could say for themselves.” Madison countered.
“Yeah, for the average superstar that might seem quite impressive but I’m more than just the average superstar. I hold myself to such a high standard. My name carries such weight that I’m just not sure I’m living up to what I once was. And if I’m putting my well-being on the line and I’m not even being the best version of me then what am I even doing?” Jace turns his head and looks over at Madison.
“Obviously to Dr. Besser, retirement is your best option given the severity of your neck and that’s fine. She’s only looking out for your best interest. However, only you know what is in your heart and you know your body better than anyone else. I say it’s better to live your dreams than to give up and live a life full of regret. Besides, maybe you should have told Dr. Besser that you’ve yet to renew your contract in HOW for 2022. Maybe that would have put a smile on her face.” Madison took the ice pack from Jace’s neck and set it down on the coffee table in front of them.
“Yeah, I tell myself that I’m just waiting for guys like Clay Byrd and Scott Stevens to sign their deals and see what they got. But for the first time I’m starting to see reasons not to re-sign at all. I mean Lee Best is pretty much gone, we’re letting a literal murderer compete inside of the ring, and the pissing contests along with the macho bullshit gets tired pretty quickly. I’m basically lost at the moment, Madison.” Jace folded his hands together while trying to fight the despair in his heart.
Madison cups her hands on both sides of Jace’s face and looks him straight in the eyes. “You’re not lost. You’re here with me and trust me you are awesome. You’re the only man in this entire industry that could end the year as World Champion, Wrestler of the Year, and inducted into the only Hall of Fame that matters. You’ll get in there in London, and you’ll kick ass!” Madison leans in and kisses Jace.
The #1 ranked wrestler smiles for the first time since Refueled 83 and the two sit with their foreheads touching each other as the scene fades.
The main event of ICONIC.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been in this position, but it feels like just yesterday that I was walking into ICONIC as the HOW ICON and World Champion defending both titles in a ladder match against an HOW Hall of Famer and someone that isn’t even worth mentioning.
That was then but this is now.
And now I’m walking into this match in a bit of a slump against the likes of HOW Hall of Famer Jatt Star. The man the #1 contendership match against me at RATR Clay Byrd. The current HOTv Champion Jeffrey James Roberts. The former HOW World Champion Conor Fuse. Mike Best’s best friend Cecilworth Farthington and of course the HOW World Champion himself Michael Lee Best.
So frankly speaking I’m not exactly the favorite to win this match.
I well aware that I somewhat backwards stumbled into this match but finally the #1 ranked man in HOW finally gets a shot at #97red. And boy oh boy are there a lot of cases where I would get some much-needed revenge in this match. JJR, Clay Byrd, Farthington and of course the Son of God too. Everywhere I turn there will be someone standing there that will need their ass kicked. However not everyone in the match is a raging asshole. There is Jatt Starr who I consider a friend but is probably looking to even the score after being beaten by me a couple of weeks back. Then there is Conor Fuse who was supposed to be my original ICONIC opponent.
We agreed to have a match of mutual respect and steal the show.
But let’s be honest here. Conor has been reeling since he lost the HOW World Championship belt to Mike Best. Now that he has a shot at gaining it back it doesn’t matter if it’s friendship or mutual respect. Nothing is going to stand in his way of getting back to the top of that mountain. I’ve been there and I know firsthand the feeling of being the HOW World Champion is absolutely intoxicating. Once you’ve reached that accomplishment, you’ll spend the rest of your career chasing that high until you get it once again.
Sadly, some never do.
For me ever since the moment I returned to the ring the question has lingered about whether I could climb that mountain once again. And believe me I’ll have to climb a mountain to come out of this match with my hand raised in victory. I could sit here and list off all of my accomplishments from the moment I came back to even before I left but the simple fact remains. I have to accept that fire that drives me to be the absolute best just doesn’t burn as brightly as it used to. The urge to jump on Twitter and “dunk” on people in situations that have absolutely nothing to do with me just isn’t there anymore.
I just don’t give THAT much of a fuck to be an absolute asshole 24 hours a day.
I don’t get off on having meaningless arguments over who is a God or a peasant anymore. The same lame ass Jace fucks chicks. Jace harasses women. Jace spends his time on Onlyfans bullshit gets old. I feel no need to even waste my breath anymore with most of you. All I want to do is to get into the ring and punch people in their smug fucking faces. Everyone is a mouthy little fuck until you literally beat silence into them. I walked into the HOW the first time taking all the abuse and harsh words thrown at me on the chin. I responded by going on an undefeated streak the likes of no one’s ever seen on my way to holding HOW World Championship belt and multiple other titles at the same time.
If it ain’t broken, then don’t fix it.
I’m shifting myself back into that way of thinking so bring your harsh words. Spin your narratives or in the case of JJR, stroll the internet at all hours of the night searching for quotes of other people to use as your own in your promos.
Whatever gets your rocks off.
Go ahead and write me off, it’s what you motherfuckers have been doing since the moment the ink dried on my 2021 contract. You just better hope that all those pretty words are more fact than opinion. You better pray that this flame doesn’t ignite in London. I might have considered myself lost in the lost, lost from all desire, and just lost in general. However, just because the beast is sleeping doesn’t mean you should go poking at it.
Count me out one more time.
Because I promise if you do then you’re the only that will have lost.