Flashback about a month.
“Son of a bitch…” Sean Stevens spat blood on the cold, hard, floor of the empty Best Arena. “When did I become such a loser?” The Blue-Eyed Badass asked, sensing a presence behind him. He didn’t even have to look … he knew exactly who it was.
Ivy McGinnis sat discreetly in attendance at High Octane’s Refueled LV show. Watching, processing, waiting. Watching what worked, processing Sean’s struggles, while making mental notes, awaiting this moment. A moment where her insanely passionate and competitive husband needed her most.
“Oh, shut up. I could never think that. Not in a million years,” she replied, as she adjusted her frames. “I do think something’s up, though. Where’s your head at?”
Trip paused, processing his thoughts. “Honestly, I’m not sure. This,” pointing around to the empty arena. “all of this used to consume me. I was obsessed. Obsessed with being the best. Obsessed with earning my respect. Winning titles. And, now…” he threw his hands in the air, carelessly. “I care that I’m throwing up blood. I care that I might have a black eye. But, being honest, my Love … that’s where it begins and ends. I just don’t care anymore.”
Poison Ivy walked up to her husband and began to gently run her fingers through his low cut Caesar. “Then…” she swallowed hard. “I think we should maybe call it a day, Se—”
“—But, I signed a contract,” Stevens cut her off.
“Clever people breach contracts every day, Babe. Do you really think we couldn’t get you out of here if that’s what you wanted?”
“So, that’s it, huh?” Stevens asked.
“I did say if it’s what you want.” Ivy rolled her eyes. “You tell me. Only you know what’s really going on here.”
Stevens stroked his beard. “I know that tone and I’ll tell you what … the day that my wife, a woman that knew me when I began this strange wrestling journey, that knows me better than anyone. A woman who was also one of the most influential people in the history of this sport. The day that lady forgoes the opportunity to motivate, or critique … Yeah. Message sent. Loud and clear.”
Ivy threw her hands up submissively, “What do you want me to say, Sean? I feel like I’m walking on egg shells anytime this place comes up in conversation. You want me to tell you I’m worried? I am. Want me to tell you that if your heart is really not in this thing, that you should come home, because Shannon and I miss you more than you’ll ever know? Then come home!”
Suddenly, the usually cool, calm, and collected Poison Ivy was a bit more flustered than usual. “I just want you to be happy. And, if happy means leaving this all behind, and resuming life… then, dammit, where do I sign up? I just want my husband back.”
Looking down at the ground, Stevens spoke softly. “So what do I do? I hate it here.”
Ivy smiled, gently caressing her husband’s face, “Whatever you want, Sean. Whatever your heart tells you.”
We live in such a fickle society, where you’re only as good as what you did yesterday. Anything earlier than that is old news.
Take you, for instance, Desmond. Last month, you kicked my ass in the center of the ring, so clearly, so effortlessly… well, I wouldn’t go that far. Pardon the dramatics, but you get my point.
But, because you and I are both nobodies here… Nobody noticed.
Then I look in the mirror. Way deeper than our little history… and, I’m telling you, you’re not going to believe this, because I haven’t shown it, but once upon a time I was really good at wrestling. So much so that I’ve won titles in places after a night of hard partying, drinking, and not properly taking care of my body. So much so that I’ve beaten some incredible performers without taking them seriously enough to even bother to study film.
That gift is now my curse. God given ability allowed me to thrive in this grueling business. But, it also allowed me to cheat this grueling business. I didn’t have to grind like most.
You can’t cheat the grind. And, now… because of Father Time, my special little gift is gone now.
Now, I have to rely on fundamentals that I never properly learned to carry me into this next phase of my career. And because of my newfound deficiencies…
I am now at a place in my life where I, Sean Stevens, have to go into another match with you in under a month… Yes you. Someone that I could care less about, and worse… I have to try to explain to the world, beforehand, how on Earth, someone of my reputation, and credibility, and experience, and skill, and ruthlessness, and ring generalship, and– you get the point…
…I have to explain how I lost a match to a guy whose last name I can barely pronounce.
Desmond, I am in the beginning of the worst rut of my entire career. I am losing to people who don’t deserve to breathe the same air as me. All because I was trying to be the nice guy. The family man. Now look at me… my confidence is low. I’m pondering re-retirement. Hell, I haven’t even been to the gym in two days.
And, guess what? I’m still going to kick your ass at Refueled.
Why? Because I’m Sean Stevens. Whether you know it or not, that name means something. And, wrestlers like you don’t get to beat me twice.