Sweat drips down the forehead of Darin Matthews. He’s tired after making an appearance for MVW at the Perishing Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. In the background, the tires screech as you see MVW’s most threatening force: the SEC unsuccessfully catch Matthews after he foiled another one of their attempts to cheat victory. We pan back into the car where Darin Matthews motions towards Meredith to start recording him. Gone is Matthews’ normal smile: he’s scowling, focused, determined. As his iPhone rolls in the background, he begins to recount in his mind nearly 4 years ago when HOW closed. Memories of his failures after HOW flood his mind before he clinches his hands tightly around the stirring wheel.
“I guess the cat is out of the bag. I’m moonlighting again. I’m bouncing between HOW, MVW, and honestly who knows what company I will show up to next. Maybe I’ll show up to Defiance next…”
Pauses and shirks it off for a moment as he’s travelling down the city roads taking the long way home taking time to reflect on his shortcomings over the last few years, letting the anger get the best of him.
“It doesn’t matter anymore. I’m sick to death of pretending I’m somebody I’m not anymore. I’ve committed the cardinal sin that Brian Hollywood told me not to commit. I’ve constantly lived in the past. I remember the days when I tore through the HOW roster gaining power and influence. I main evented Pay Per Views. I held championships and I meant something in this business. I desperately try to cling to those moments even if I put on a new coat of paint and try to run from who I am. I’ve walked into work since HOW closed and slapped this fake smile on my face every time for the last two damn years. I’ve pretended that everything’s okay in my mind when I’ve chalked up loss after loss on the record books. While I spin these grand plans and ramble on like an insane man; I’ve been empty inside the entire time.”
Matthews tries holding back his tears, but they come pouring down his face. He raises his left hand and smashes it against the steering wheel as his face turns bright red.
“I couldn’t put my finger on it until I felt my head getting submerged in a toilet, smelling the weed reeking from that tattered black hoodie Jason Cashe wore. In that one moment Cashe, I felt every bit of my self-worth go spiraling down that toilet. I re-watched how I flushed my entire career down toilet taking a chance joining up with the ‘cool kids’ in 4CW. Desperately, I wanted to fit in with the locker room. I’d tried in HOW for years trying to fit in and be like everyone else. And with every turn and every failed attempted I made at doing that; I shit on my credibility and wrecked my own emotional well-being by taking one unexpected and uncalculated risk. I couldn’t pull myself out to recover. I floundered big time in the worst of the bottom four feds.
I tried laughing it off. Hell, I remember every single moment I kept trying to be myself; you’d approach me and encourage me to stay the course. Yet here you are doing the same thing the rest of the wrestling world does to me. You shatter my worth. You cast me aside like I’m garbage. You act like I’ve never accomplished anything in my entire life. Sure, I sunk in the ranking compared to 2014. I haven’t focused on the here and now like I should have done. I lost focused. I own that these days. I’ve grown up since the days I melted down on Twitter like a worthless meat sack. I’ve learned a lot of tough life lessons from falling. I’ve grown. While my accomplishments look meek compared to yours; what have you exactly done here in HOW compared to me?”
Matthews takes his eyes off the road and starts flaunted the HOW T-Shirt he’s wearing underneath his leather jacket. His voice grows louder and more passionate.
“I refuse to be patronized by some high ass snaggle-puss toothless hick from Houston, Texas. Listen here, Jason. I absolutely respect your accomplishments outside of HOW. You’re one of the most decorated combatants to ever grace our company. I give you that. You tangled with the likes of JPD and Mike Best in and outside HOW and UTA for years. You handled their shit better than I could ever handle it. But you walk into this company think you’re owed the world. Last time I remember you gracing our presence; you interfered in a War Games match, you backed up a bunch of little bitches who got all up and offended by Mike Best making rape jokes and pussed the fuck out of the fight.
You couldn’t handle the pressure we put on your tattered hippie ass. You walked up in our ring, shat all over our company, and fucking retreated like a wounded deer. Sure, we’ve been friend, but you want to make this shit about business, let’s air out all your dirty laundry.
You got your ass knocked by HOW’s milk man because your ass got lost up in your feelings because Brian and Darin didn’t take shit as personal on-camera as you wanted us to do. You wanted us to man up, gouge your fucking eye out, and murder you with shovels like the rest of HOW. You wanted the spotlight shown on your ass without carrying the weight of the world around your fucking shoulders like Brian and I did while Mike Best and his buddies decided to take a vacation to UTAH. You didn’t take the pressures of helping get the rest of the talent over. You stepped into our shit, wanted to make an impact, and lost your collective shit, and choked like a bitch; just like I did in the first round of the DeNucci Cup.
And yet you expect me to wheel the fucking welcome wagon out and worship the ground you walk on?
I haven’t even got that kind of attention and I’ve been in this promotion for the better part of 4 years off and on again depending what Lee’s mood swings do with the damn lights.”
Darin shakes his head while pausing.
“Why don’t you just take some Midol, shut the fuck up, and step up in that damn ring. Quit acting like a that bitch ass diva Perry Wallace. He obviously fucking rubbed off on you in the wrong way. You don’t get your attention and start acting like Diet Joe Exotic. ‘Oh! Your heart belongs to another, oh woe is you, you got treated like Darin Zion.’ Fuck off!
You’re not acting like the Jason Cashe I know. You’re acting like some Mega Bloks wrestler begging like a cheap $2 hooker on a Mike Best coke binge begging for attention.”
Darin rubs his face for a moment acting with the light bulb coming on for a moment.
“Never once did you go looking for me. It’s obviously been plastered everywhere. I’m in the back of the locker enjoying catering like a pathetic loser does. I’m setting up plans to resurrect my career. Hell, you could have tracked me down the backwoods of Nebraska and beat me down like the little bitch I am and no one in the world would have given two shits about it. In fact, you’d probably get that Hot Dog and a Handshake from Lee Best for ending my miserable life. It’d be more initiative than the 2 promos, flake jobs, and bitch sessions you’ve gotten in the last two weeks. Shit, it’d be more than I’ve gotten in the last 6 damn years for being here. Everyone in this locker room wrestles around the world. They all have resumes like yours.
I’m not here to just hand you the participation win you want, Cashe. Four year ago; I’d be swinging my proverbial shit all over Twitter, looking for your ass in the locker room beating your ass down at any chance I got. I’d personally line up that shot where you could bury my career and be done with it.
But my body is old and rugged. It’s taken beatings from checks I couldn’t cash. I might have lost a few brain cells from the ass whippings I’ve taken in HOW the last four years; but I’ve learned not to charge into them recklessly anymore. You hit me with a lead pipe. You jammed my head into a toilet. I know damn well you’re looking to make an impact off my name and that makes you dangerous. But that’s food off not only my table, but Meredith’s table, and I can’t afford to lose any more pay days due to my stupidity of looking for a fight outside the goddamn ring. I lose money off my table nursing my injuries from doing that stupid shit over the years.”
Darin drapes his head down just shaking his head. Maybe he’s got a death wish from poking the bear, but he doesn’t care. The rush from all the adrenaline kicks back up and he glares back in the camera.
“And maybe I needed to have more of a self-realization moment before I stepped in the ring to fight you. Maybe when I look at your career, I see you shoving all that pent up frustration that I’ve done over the last four years of being stuck in the mud and it saddens me to see what I’ve become reflecting through your character now, Cashe.
That’s something come from the epitome of the attention whore in HOW these last few years.
I’m tired of running from my problems and not facing them up like a man should do. I’ve run from this feeling of worthlessness for the last four years. I keep riding this roller coaster of wins and losses that I’ve forgotten what it means to have a spine. I’ve forgotten how cutthroat this damn business is. I must fight and gets wins to get more bookings, to win title matches, to even make any impact. I let my fragile ego control me to the point where I’ve crumpled over pressure just like you’re doing, and it makes me cringe that I’ve become a bitch like you.”
Matthews eyes begin to glow with passion.
“It’s why I challenged you and waited. It’s why I’ve run back to MVW to burn this…this…shell of my former self down. I’ve always thought I’m Big Money, the Tyrant of the Territories, the Hero of High Octane. But really what I’ve wanted to be; is me. I’m tired of buying into the fact that I’m a albatross. I’m tired of playing the victim, Cashe.
That’s why you’re not facing Matthews this week on Refueled. You’re facing Zion.
It’s time I stop being a bitch and hiding behind a name thinking it’ll get me recognition. It’s time I stopped letting wins and losses define me. It’s time I start chasing goals again and not living this week to week bullshit Lee Best has made me live on for years trying to define my own narrative. And that will come at your expense.
Your name means everything to Lee Best. He’s begged for years to get you on this roster because he knew you’d make an impact. You’ve been a loyal fighter wherever you’ve gone. You bleed, sweat, and kill anyone standing in the way of your goals. And I want to shit all over it.
I want your clout. I want your respect. I want that name recognition again and I’m going to take it back. I’m going to beat your ass in the middle of that ring, Cashe, and I’m going to punch a ticket straight to Jatt Starr and take back the LSD Championship and make Lee’s Special Division in my own image. I’m going to come kicking down the door this week with more attitude and moxy than I’ve ever done before.
Because I’m sick of getting booked in catering.
I’m sick of being overlooked.
I’m sick of just sitting back waiting for the next job to be handed to me.
I knew damn well what I was in store for when I stepped in the ring, Jason. I knew you’d want to fight. And I’m going to beat some respect into you. You don’t dare shit on this house HOW built. You don’t dare treat any of us like an afterthought. You step into our domain and earn your shit. So, if you want to win over me, prove it in that ring. Prove your name is worth the golden ticket Lee printed you. Because you sure as hell a’int acting like it. You’re looking like a defeated possum about to be ran over by a truck. I might have gotten that imagery wrong, but who gives a shit if you don’t give a shit.
You’re looking right past me and you’re about to get hit with the Ban Hammer straight to your damn jaw, Cashe. I’ve been prepping, training, causing hell, making impacts while our ships have passed each other by.
You should have taken your chance to end me and make that impact after you lost to Harrison in the locker room. You should have taken me out again. You should have beaten my ass down, but, deep down, Cashe. You hesitated. You flinched. You faltered.
And that mistake is about to cost you more than another win. It’s about to cost you your entire credibility. Because make no mistake. This ‘low tier talent’ is out for respect. And I will take every ounce of yours to earn back mine after what you and 4CW did to me. Mark my words, Cashe. I will knock you out, I will cover your ass, and I will leave Refueled as the victor.”
Matthews reaches for the camera Meredith holds and pushes it down as everything fades to black.