It’s really quite difficult to even know where to start with this little chat we’re about to embark on Mr. Jiles. I would use your first name but out of respect for your intense desire to see your career turn terminal, it felt disrespectful.
I thought about starting this chat with the ICON Title Battle Royal at Refueled II, it makes sense, it did begin our rather fluid friendship. Two men who expected the Battle Royal to be one of Lee’s sick jokes, convinced we were the smart ones in the room, that we know the ruse. We were sure it was going to be a Big Diaper Dan showcase, weren’t we? It’s rather funny in retrospect given your allegiance to the cardboard version and mine the physical as the sands of time started to slowly tick away.
I mean sure, you bombed out of that match something fierce, while I became an unbeatable ICON, we all make mistakes.
That’s not the battle you’d probably like us to discuss though, I’m sure you’d rather look at Refueled XXXVI, the end of an era when you put it all together. Fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, fuck it I lost count, MANY MONTHS I went undefeated. People fought in tournaments to get their hands on me, people pushed their bodies to their very limits to try and eek out a win against ole Cecilworth and yet you Mr. Jiles, you… you achieved that enviable goal in a matter of seconds. I hadn’t gone a day with at least one belt around my waist since basically the rebirth of the company and you brought that to a crashing halt.
With a victory like that I would have expected… more. You beat me, you came ready, you knew how to counter the Article 50… no one else managed that. No one else HAS managed that. Only you Jiles. A veteran with a great mind and an endless supply of tricks up his sleeve. The era of Jiles should have been upon us…
I watched from home as I licked my wounds, my pride in tatters, my body exhausted but a tinge, a speckle, a little tasty morsel of pride glimmered inside of me. I respected what you had done. You didn’t have to be stronger than me, certainly you didn’t have to be more technical, you just had to be patient. A skill this entire roster lacks.
Fuck it, I thought, it was Jiles Time.
Oh what’s that? He pissed the legendary moment away in a matter of seconds to fucking Hughie Freeman? The fedora gypsey guy? HIM?
I might as well have been pinned in the ring by a sentient pile of dog shite for the level of second hand embarrassment you caused me.
For some stupid reason I really did think you would pull it together. That at least I lost to a man that I had begrudging respect for…
No wonder it took me a fucking year to show my face around the company again.
You feel like you are hard done by quite a lot ole Jilesy, hell I used to agree with you. I’d fly the Jiles flag way up high. I’d talk about how The Bandits deserved better. I had the mistaken belief that if you finally got that spotlight, you’d shine.
I’m a fucking idiot.
I’ll throw my hands up and admit to that.
We all get frustrated sometimes Jiles, we all want to punch the wall, bang our head against the concrete pillar of whatever incarnation of the Best Arena has recently been constructed. You just seem to take those frustrations and conclude the best thing to do is set yourself on fire like one of those protesting monks from the olden days. A walking health hazard.
A year ago, I found it hard to find the fight in me for our match. The respect was too deep, the desire to see you succeed burned bright.
A year later and you’ve pissed my legacy up the wall.
Maybe you think being the hometown hero will give you the edge. I’m sure you want to bask in the bright glow of those who you expect to cheer your name.
The question is, what are they planning to cheer for? All the times you’ve let them down? All the times you’ve crumpled up their goodwill and still missed the waste paper basket?
The Philly crowd is going to realise I’m the hero they need.
The hero they deserve.