Tuesday, September 7th, 2021
AMC Classic Hobart 12
Crown Point, IN
It’s been a long time since Meredith and I have gone on a date. Between all my title matches and responsibilities in HOW; I’ll admit it. I’ve neglected my own girlfriend. Tonight we decided to embrace our passion for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’s time to see the latest installment of the franchise: Shang-Chi.
The theatre is almost empty compared to most evenings. We made sure to have some alone time away from her daughter Lexi. And my hellhole of an apartment isn’t exactly a romantic getaway. This dark, dank movie theatre provides us with the perfect escape.
As the previews roll on endlessly, Meredith and I engage in a passionate make out session. Getting wrapped up in the moment; I begin to caress her back in a gentle fashion. As I get lost in the moment, my hands move in towards her chest. Like a curious 15 year old boy, I reach in and grab her breasts before she pulls away. Meredith pushes me back into my chair and crosses her arms.
I done fucked up!
Leaning over my chair, I go in to whisper in her ear. “I’m sorry I got caught up in the moment!”
Meredith wastes no time to scold me. “We agreed to take things slow, Darin. You promised me that when we dated. I don’t care if you’ve found your confidence in the last couple of weeks. You need to have some respect.”
Rolling my eyes in the back of my head, I nod. “It’s my bad. I don’t need extra chastising right now. I understand your feelings. I made mistakes. I caught up in the heat of the moment.”
“But why? You know my ex abused me and it’s hard for me to let men in my bubble.” Meredith prods back at me. I debate for a moment before telling her my inner struggles. I let out a long drawn out sigh before responding back to her.
“It’s been 20 years since I’ve gotten laid and I’m facing a murderer at Refueled. Please give me some slack. This might be my last week on Earth, Mer Bear. You and I listen to all those criminal Podcast shows. Jeffrey James Roberts murders couples! You know this week doesn’t bode well for me.”
I glare right back at Meredith’s burning eyes. Our faces progress towards one another at a slow pace until our foreheads meet in the middle. I refuse to back down in our first fight. Meredith scoffs before taking a pot shot at me. “I hope you didn’t forget to take your Zoloft today…”
My forehead wrinkles and my teeth bite down to keep my jaw in place while talking. I pull myself back into place before muttering under my breath. “Zoloft doesn’t make me a compliant boyfriend. I’m human and I still make mistakes. I’m sorry!”
Losing myself in the previews for the different movies, I reflect upon this week’s match. I loathe the fact we’ve now resorted to hiring convicted felons with rap sheets. Sure, HOW’s had its share of colorful characters from a charred circus clown to a washed up doctor. If we needed a murderer; Mike Best has done a fine job over the years. And we don’t even need to talk about my failed gimmicks!
I haven’t even covered my biggest concern. My health insurance doesn’t cover random acts of murderous sadomasochism. As my mountains of unwanted salt pile up, Meredith reaches over to massage my back. Sensing my frustration, she looks to ease my mind.
She acknowledges the elephant in the room. “Thank you for giving me a moment, I apologize for getting caught up in my past. You don’t need the undue stress going to this match. I know taking another singles loss to JPD hits home…”
I respond back to her with a defeated tone. “I don’t want to dwell on it, Meredith. It’s in the past. It’s time to move forward. It’s been a long week going back and forth between training sessions. My body’s throbbing right! I only want to enjoy my time with you tonight. I wasn’t looking to force you into anything.” I reach over to kiss her on the forehead, forgiving her.
She blushes before declaring “Oh, Darin!” She pulls me and we lock our lips together. Continuing our make out session, I realize we’ve finally rounded second base. It felt like an adage for the last few months I’ve struggled. It felt weird to not abide in my sorrows for once. I’d broken free of my workaholism after having my skull jammed straight into the mat. For once I could enjoy the simple things in life.
As I lift the armrest out of the way, my mind stops focusing on my work. A warm, fuzzy feeling rolls over my body. My blood rushes out of my brain and into the lower regions of my body. I pull Meredith near my lap and caress her legs in mad passion.
The sound in the background fades away and it’s just her and me enjoying each other’s company. And while I care everything about beating JJR; I relish the moment of lust Meredith and I can enjoy for once.
Wednesday, September 8th, 2021
Round 1 Entertainment
Only 3 more days until my match with Jeffrey James Roberts. Jeffrey’s one of the most serious rookies I’ve ever seen sign with the HOW Roster. His intellect and risk-taking make him one of the brightest young stars in recent HOW history. While most wrestlers would spend their entire week in the gym; I needed to let loose my inner Zion. There is only one way to do that: Guys Night!
♫Never gonna make you cry
Never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you♫
After I finish RickRolling everyone at the bar, I smile as I make my way back to the table. Everyone at the bar glares at me with an unapproving look, but I do not care. I chose this song to let out the inner Zion for a reason. Conor Fuse leaps up to applaud. He raises his glass of special Mimosa, signaling his approval. Fuse wraps his arms around me and pulls me in as I sit back down.
“That was your best song yet, Zi-Guy! All the fucking feels, mofo! I’m proud of you, letting loose like that! Rock Band would have awarded you 5 gold stars for that performance.” Conor encourages me by giving me a stern pat on the back. I reach over and down the rest of my mimosa (sans the alcohol) before letting out a sigh of relief.
I respond with a glowing smile back towards him. “ I have you to thank, buddy. If it hadn’t been for your support; I wouldn’t have found my voice. I’d still be wallowing in my sorrow and angst. While I could look back on the last few months as a failure; I would only hold myself back more. Let’s be real, it’s hard to find a positive spin on my dismal lsoing record. But the fans’ unwavering fan support over this journey helped me discover inner peace. I’d say it’s a bigger win than expected.”
Conor tussles my hair around a couple times before he slaps me on the back. For once I shirk off his actions.. He smiles back at me before uttering his praise. “Attaboy, Zion! But before the #RallyZion movement kicks into FULL GEAR, we need to construct some additional pylons…”
I nod at him before our bartender Bruce strolls into the conversation and interrupts it. Looking down at our empty cups, he asks us: “Anything else you two gentlemen would like?”
Both Conor and I glance at one another before saying in unison, “2 Mimosas on the Rocks, HOLD THE ALCOHOL!”
I continue speaking, “Jinx, you owe me a soda!!!”
Bruce walks off to retrieve our orders while Conor and I’s shenanigans continue. Chuckling under his breath, Conor responds to my antics. “FINE! You win this round, Zion! But Level 9 of your training won’t be so easy.”
Conor and I pause to let out our uncontrollable laughter. I stare him dead in the eyes and say “Go ahead! Make my day, Fuse!” I reach over for a slice of pizza and chow down, basking in the moment. Conor’s face grows long as he reaches down. He pulls up his newly won HOW World Championship. It dawns on him that my ultimate goal has been the HOW World Championship this entire time.
“Guess you’ll be wanting a title shot. I feel like everyone will want a shot! I can hear the BOTS readying as we speak!”
Before Conor can finish his statement, I interrupt him mid-sentence. “Not me, man! I can put that dream on hold right now. I’ve seen first hand what that championship can do to friendships. It’s your time to shine with #97Red not mine.”
Conor looks at me like he’s touched by my sign of respect. He gives me a gentle slug in the shoulder. “AWWWW!! This is like, uh, one of those bullshit Hallmark moments bahaha!” He leans in and lowers his voice. “Listen, between you and me, after losing the rest of the 214, if you turn on me, it wouldn’t surprise me.”
Conor winks. “But if you don’t turn on me and want a shot, just give a shout.”
Taking my eyes off him for a moment, I take a peek at the HOW World Championship for a slight moment but I digress. “If I’m being honest right now, I only want to focus on the HOTV title. I need to focus solely on my match with JJR to get there.”
Conor pumps me up for the match “You go get ‘em, Zion! Gotta catch ‘em all. Before you retire you need to win all the HOW Championships! So what’s the game plan now that you’re fighting a serial killer this week? Also, WTF is with HOW and serial killers? Honestly!”
Bruce rolls in with our mimosas and tries to sit them down at the table. Before he can sit my cup on the table, I yank directly from his hands and chug some of it down. A confident smirk appears on my face before I speak.
“Simple! You’re looking at the strategy! I need to let loose this week. Jeffrey’s got anger management issues. I’ve spent the last two Pay-Per-Views exercising my own angry demons. I’m the most calm I’ve been in years. What Jeffrey fails to realize is I’m HOW’s little brother. I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed when it comes to mind games, but I do have a knack for crawling under one’s skin.”
The look on Conor’s face shows his doubts as his eyebrows raise. The memories of Jace curb stomping me vividly swirl in his head. He politely raises his concerns with me. “You sure you’ve got enough experience for that skill, bro?”
I roll up the sleeves to my graphic t-shirt to expose a few bruises and welts on my arms. “I’ve spent countless hours asking some friends in MVW to ensure I address that weakness. The Southern Boys have stiffened their shots to ensure I endure JJR’s ruthless onslaught of rage. They’ve torn me apart. Mr. Robert’s might be a fearless sadomasochist and a sociopath, but he’s impulsive. He gets reckless when he’s triggered. It’s exactly how I’ve operated for the last year. It only adds to his ring rust.”
Conor shrugs his shoulders before slapping me on the back for a round of encouragement. “You raise some solid points there, my friend. Yep. It’s unorthodox, but I like your style. Don’t get too confident. You don’t need to end up on one of those Netflix shows about serial killers and their victims. Christ, they green light anything on Netflix these days. I’ve heard this Jeffrey BOT’s got a lot of technical prowess and agility in that ring. You know the offer always stands, dude. We can always hit the gym up any time.
As he extends his hand out I give him a firm handshake. “Any extra sessions help because I won’t write him off. He’s not a knock off Kostoff like most would think. I’ve seen his wrap sheets. Take a look!.”
I pull up my phone to show Conor some stories about Jeffrey’s murderous history. His eyes nearly launch out of his head. “Trust me, Conor, I know the gravitas of this match I’m wrestling. With great risk comes great reward, and if I cash in, I can earn my spot at Rumble at the Rock. I can place my name in the hat for another shot at the HOTV Championship and catch back some of my lost momentum. But tonight’s not about that…”
Our bartender walks back into the scene in silence before I hand him my Credit Card in stealth. Conor’s eyes light up like a Christmas tree. He reaches around to hug me. “Zi-Guy! You didn’t have to do that man!”
“It’s my pleasure. Tonight’s about you and your accomplishment, my friend. We both got a tough road ahead of us and we need it. Nothing’s going to let up, making the journey daunting. My goal is to ensure we both don’t take any more arrows to the knee. It’s time to be merry and enjoy the meade!” I exclaim to Conor as I raise my glass into the air.
“Here, here! That’s a good toast!” Conor responds as he knocks our glasses together. As we both drink down our Special Mimosas, I point Conor towards the bowling alley.
I continue my tirade. “Tonight we celebrate our accolades like kings because tomorrow means war! Now, let’s go have some fun. I’m gonna kick your ass on the bowling alley.”
Conor and I scurry towards the alley to get our shoes. As I reflect on it all, I’m at peace taking on this new juggernaut. While he’s the epitome of wrath; I’m the epitome of human nature. I’ve fought off my inner demons and now I’m comfortable accepting who I am. And that makes me more dangerous than a deranged serial killer.
“Jeffy, Jeffy, Jeffy!
Let’s cut out all this pleasantries and bullshit you’re playing! You don’t need to flatter my ass before stepping into the ring. You got your playdate against me booked at Refueled. I’m not getting lost in your admiration. It’s patronizing.
I know our paths have intertwined. We’ve both sought our own means to redemption these last few years. We made our own beds piled up with our own mistakes. But unlike you, I’ve redeemed myself from my inner demons. Instead of wallowing in my self-doubt and laziness; I’ve been preparing for you.
Your criminal history proceeds you. I know you’re a glutton for punishment and torture. It makes you one of the most dangerous opponents I’ll face to date. Unrestricted Google access helps, bub! It doesn’t take years of FBI investigations to hear about your reputation. I’m aware of the hell you’re about to put me through.
You think I fear you because you’re some real life monster walking amongst us. You act like I’ve never shared the ring with a murderer. Fuck, I’ve wrestled a man who’s killed many people on HOW programming over the past few years. I won’t be cowering in the corner because of your reputation, Diet Jeffrey Dahmer. I’m not expecting someone to give me an easy out of this match. On the contrary, JJR, I relish the challenge you bring me!
See I stopped believing in monsters when you started potty training. The only fear I once held would be that I wouldn’t hold up in that ring. Three years ago I began seeking help before I crossed the threshold of no return. I conquered my fears and my doubts. I’ve sought accountability for my sins.
Sure, I’ve woven an overcomplicated path to my own process. I’ve taken a lot of losses to come to peace with who I am. But at Bottomline; Section 214 and the entire Chicago crowd showed me my own worth. And that makes me more dangerous than ever. I’ve liberated myself from the bullshit I’ve played the last few months.
You’re not looking at the rumors that the 4th Generation Wahl shares with you at Alcatraz. You’ll be looking at the face of a new Zion at Refueled. One who is hellbent and determined to earn his place back in the HOTV Championship division.
The fact you called me a Gatekeeper is rather insulting. I have hopes and dreams. I’m not here to babysit your ass in that ring, Jeffy. I don’t wake up looking for ways to lose daily. I’m looking for a fucking fight.
I’m tired of being HOW’s shit stained welcoming mat. I can promise you won’t be wiping your shit stained shoes over my face. You can just close that first chapter in your story of redemption now, kid. Chalk it up to an embarrassment to the man who’s got an abysmal record. The life lessons I’m about to teach you will carry your pathetic Cinderella Story along.
Nothing is meaningless in HOW. Every match has a purpose. Wins and losses earn you a shot at championship gold. It’s why this match means EVERYTHING to me. It can put me back in contention for the HOTV Championship. It could punch my ticket at Rumble at the Rock. Learn some fuckin’ respect for the company you signed with, JJR. You’re a part of the most prestigious company in all professional wrestling. Embrace your inner self. It makes you MORE dangerous.
It took me a long time to embrace my own self and now I have my confidence. Now I’m the dangerous one. I’m the one who isn’t questioning my existence because I know EXACTLY who I am. I’m the man who will dethrone JPD after beating your ass.
I’m done throwing pity parties for myself weekly. I’m itching to crawl under your skin and annoy the ever living fuck out of you. I want you to lose all semblance of control in that ring. I crave your anger and impulsions, JJR. Your intellect and prowess isn’t going to save you in the jungle known as HOW. I’m the little damn brother and I’m going to use my own sense of identity to break you. I’m going to embarrass the serial killer out there at Refueled.
I’m not here to give you warm fuzzies, kid. This isn’t about forgiveness and grace for that troubled childhood you’re hiding. You’re entering the hunt this week, and it’s cold and callous out here. HOW’s full of predators and if you don’t shed those inner demons when you step in the ring with me; I will walk out victorious. You might have the book intellect and mastered psychology. But it doesn’t prepare you for the journey you’ll partake in this week.
You better find your goddamned meaning in HOW before stepping into the ring with me. If you don’t; you’ll fall into a sad trap laid out by a man riddled with CTE.
I’m not about to play victim in your story. I’m not looking to get famous on the next installment of Netflix’s Making a Murderer. My sole purpose is to become the next HOTV Champion. You’re standing in my way. And make no mistake about it; I’ll hunt you down, pin your ass to the mat, and make it happen.
I’m not above going through hell and back to earn my victory. Like I said; we’re a lot alike. Pain brings us pleasure. We’re both innovators in our craft. We’re both prone to losing our tempers and forgetting our purpose.
Unfortunately for you, I’ve released my demons and I accept who I am. I don’t need forgiveness for being me. At Refueled; you’re going to be in for the fight of your life. You still might think this is all meaningless. But I’ll show you it’s true meaning. You might not value me or my purpose. But I can promise you at the end of the night; I won’t become you. I won’t be waiting another 7 years to achieve my dreams. And I certainly won’t be coming home as one of your pathetic trophies.”