It is PTSD awareness month! What does that have to do with anything? What is PTSD post-traumatic stress syndrome disorder? Normally these are people who have lived a traumatic experience: wars, abuse, sexual assault things of that nature. And you think about wars…of course you think about war games. And then you think about how easily trust can be shattered. How easily a friend can go to a foe. Wrestling is and always has been a myriad of trust issues. A man said don’t trust anyone. Yet for some reason we continue to put our trust in others.
A lot of people who suffer from PTSD find ways to deal with their PTSD turning their grief, their pain, their abuse into a power if you will. Finding a way to take something that has brought so much pain and turn it around to where they have control over what happens. What comes to mind for me is most of us in wrestling.
97% of us have traumatic childhoods, abuse backgrounds of all sorts. From fathers that beat us, to mothers that didn’t love us. Sexual assault, starvation, bullying by more than just our peers. There is a lot of abuse we don’t talk about blatantly. But I see the scars on all of us.
The fight or flight responses are natural and human ability. However, all of us chose to fight. I bet all of you could trace everything back to a single day, a single moment. But nobody wants to listen to me, right? Because the thought is what if I’m right? What if pointing out that your trauma and your reason behind wrestling are linked? That’s a scary thought, isn’t it? That I might be right about something that I might be able to link your trauma to the reason that you are who you are? The scarier thought is would you thank the person who’s responsible for that or punch them in the face? But with wrestling we have a certain amount of control, there’s a certain amount of leeway of things we can do. Because in the ring we’re superheroes, outside of the ring what are you running from? What are you hiding from? What can you not amount up to? One day you’ll see that I’m right… and you’ll thank me for it. Not out loud because that would be a fate worse than death. You men can be so… blah. I know I know “not all men!” But it’s sure as hell more than enough of you to where it’s a problem.
Speaking of not all men..Initially when my friendship started with Conor; I thought it was like typical wrestling friendships. You know, where you call everyone “brother” but you don’t actually mean it. Until I realized the kid was genuine.
The potential he has is limitless and he actually means what he says. You don’t get that a lot in wrestling. The fact that my teammates, not a single one of them except: Conor had anything positive to say about me? Stronk had something more positive to say about me than my teammates! Conor, a true upstanding young man, I’m disappointed that I didn’t get to help him out. I’m disappointed that there was somebody so corrupt that shouldn’t have even been at the ruined building that night for him.
Conor busted his butt to have the member of The Board; who I don’t know how he got the pass to come out, decided to try to ruin that child tonight and therefore cost him the title. There’s something that is souring about someone who would do that to someone as innocent as Conor.
When you look at who his friends are and who he is as a person it’s not surprising that’s what those types of people do.
We all struggle with our own issues but the kid has a heart, not something that can be said about most of the roster. The innocence and naivety I have to commend him for because he has not let everyone corrupt him. Though according to some people I am behind his corruption, which is completely disgusting and preposterous! I’ve done no such thing of the sort. I have just simply offered guidance that someone who is not used to being in HOW could use. But people look at that as corruption because who would trust me? You all should trust me but none of you do so that’s more of a “you” problem than anything…
Outside of the Best family, there’s not a single person who is definitively the end all be all of HOW In 20 years of its existence there’s not been one person who’s absence has swayed the outcome of HOW one way or another. We’re all replaceable. Sure there are names that you put with HOW Icons, Legends, and Hall of famers. But the machine keeps rolling with or without us. Just because you were tired doesn’t mean that the world stops turning. It doesn’t mean the fandom forgot your name, it doesn’t mean that people are going to stop watching the show just cuz you’re not on it. Even my inflated ego understands that reality I suppose, that’s why so many of us return.
HOW can exist without many of us but the true question is can we exist without HOW? For many of us that answer is simple, it’s no, we couldn’t, just keep coming back to HOW. You would all come back years later to HOW. We still would have the drive to return to a place that’s caused pain without hesitation. A place that’s caused anguish, heartache, and death. But there’s something about it..you can’t put your finger on it.. maybe it’s the abusive relationship that none of us are ready to heal from. I mean you fight, you get the hell beat out of you, you fight with other people. You dislike people and yet you’re still here every week. Names come and go but HOW has always been there.
You miss a lot when you’re gone and for years names that you don’t recognize become legendary. To the point where you have no idea who this person is. But the fans and most of the locker room are well aware of who they are. Well versed in the next generation that came in when you weren’t around. So what it turns out being is two different generations of HOW Legends against each other. One on one for the first time ever, two eagles, two people who in their prime put more asses in seats then some curtain jerkers around here. He’s been retired. I’ve been retired but he decided to come back. I know why I came back at least, I told myself why I came back and now it doesn’t add up. I said I was back for war games, so the question is then why am I still here?
The Chicago loft of Bobbinette Carey. The sun is setting over the skyline of Chicago, with a clear view of the Best Arena. The door to the apartment opens with the sound of bustling. The ceiling light flips on in the kitchen as we hear the voice of Majandra Richards.
Majandra: You left me!
Bobbinette looks at her phone. Her daughter is on the other end of it. Majandra looks very angry as her mother seems tired and walking with a limp. She’s wearing a purple tank top with biker shorts and a pair of purple butterfly sunglasses.
Bobbinette: That’s not fair! You saw me leave and I told you that you weren’t going with me.
Bobbinette pushes her sunglasses over her head.
Bobbinette: You were safe and you can be in war games next year.
Bobbinette says softly, sounding encouraging. Bobbinette walks through the house and turns on the thermostat. The sound of air conditioning kicks on.
Majandra: You didn’t beat Harrison… maybe I should have been there.
Bobbinette: Yeah the boring bastard is actually a good wrestler. It doesn’t hurt that he actually had support from the team.
Bobbinette rolls her eyes as she walks through her apartment as she sets her bag down.
Majandra: Or maybe you should have taken him more seriously.
Bobbinette: I didn’t tap out though.
Majandra: No, you had the oxygen cut off from your brain and passed out.. you know that probably does some brain damage.
Bobbinette: Little girl, I didn’t tap. Tapping is a sign of weakness. If that worries you, are you sure this is what you want to do?
She cautions her daughter.
Majandra: You’re old, that’s why I worry.
Bobbinette cringes and forces a smile.
Bobbinette: I’m 42!
Majandra: And for every year you wrestle you add a year to your life. You started at 16… that makes you-
Bobbinette: Don’t finish that sentence.
Bobbinette warns with a glare.
Majandra: Can’t do the math or don’t want to?
Bobbinette: I have a splitting headache and I’ve got plans to go meet your Uncle Scooter.
Majandra: I’m not Mimi, he isn’t my Uncle…
Majandra says with annoyance.
Bobbinette: I have known him for 15 years.
Majandra: We all know.. but didn’t you just betray him like six months ago? Yeah, I’m sure my “Uncle” is completely over that.
She says, rolling her eyes.
Bobbinette: It’s a part of the business… you learn it early on so you don’t get hurt.
Majandra: Shouldn’t you be telling me to learn from your mistakes?
Bobbinette: That would imply that I make mistakes.
Bobbinette says with a smile.
Bobbinette: It’s like a Bob Ross painting, no mistakes, just happy accidents.
Majandra: You’re talking to one of those “happy accidents.” Mom.
She says with a glare. Bobbinette laughs shaking her head
Bobbinette: I mean… you know what? I need to call Scooter.
Majandra: So you two can talk about Mr. Farthington?
Bobbinette narrows her eyebrows.
Bobbinette: I thought there were visa issues and he couldn’t attend war games.
Majandra: I don’t know if Visas work like that in European countries.
Bobbinette: We were in Ukraine…
Majandra: You can really tell that you didn’t finish high school.
Bobbinette: Anyways, goodbye my loving daughter-
She attempts to end the call.
Majandra: Yes, call Mr. Woodson because he’s winning all the matches, right? Grandfather of the year, you should totally take his advice. That’s what you do all the time, you call him to ask him for ideas and plans on how to beat an opponent but it ends up backfiring on both of you. Also, didn’t Lord Farthington beat you anyway?
Bobbinette: I do not recall…
Bobbinette says quickly.
Bobbinette: Yes… he did. I wasn’t prepared then…
Majandra: Yeah when you and Mr Woodson–
Bobbinette: Stop with Mr. Woodson, it’s SCOOTER!
Bobbinette says with annoyance.
Majandra: Mr. Scooter! When you and Mr. Scooter pissed off the Best family with the tag titles.
Bobbinette: That wasn’t even my idea.
Majandra: Yet, one of you was on team Best for war games and the other didn’t make it in.
Bobbinette narrows her eyebrows.
Bobbinette: Thank you, my wonderfully helpful daughter.
Bobbinette sighs loudly as she walks to the kitchen grabbing a bottle of water.
Majandra: Maybe he will be more rusty than you are?
Bobbinette: Thanks! He wasn’t rusty in that tag match. This is the final Refueled of this era. I wasn’t here for the first one. I wasn’t here for any of Farthington’s career either. But what he did at war games…
Majandra: Why didn’t you stop him? Conor is your “BFF” after all. Or are we dropping that ruse now?
Bobbinette: Seriously? We were in a war-torn country, as soon as my match was over I packed my crap and I got the hell out of there. It’s not like the old days when you would be there 5 hours before Bell time and stick around to the end of the show. Then help tear down the ring and go get Denny’s with everybody afterwards. That’s Indy shit. That’s what green kids do.
Bobbinette bites the side of her mouth wrinkling her nose.
Bobbinette: I asked myself if I was there, would it have made a difference? I am one person. Could I have helped in that situation? Honestly, I think the only thing I would have done was made things worse unintentionally. I thought for sure someone was going to come out and help him and seeing no one show up broke my heart. It made me realize what his team really was…cowards. Self-serving cowards. No one had his back. If I was in the match I would sure as hell have helped.
She sounds surprised.
Bobbinette: Without hesitation.
Majandra: Well then maybe you can get some retribution for your BFF, by fighting Lord Cecilworth Farthington.
Bobbinette: I’m not calling him that.
Majandra: It’s his title.
Bobbinette: He doesn’t call me Queen, does he?
Majandra: That’s not your title…
Bobbinette: The hell it isn’t! If he doesn’t call me Queen then I’m not calling him Lord. If he can’t respect my title then I’m not respecting his title. The Woke Warrior Queen is not about to adhere to some Lordship, that’s not who I am or what I’m about. On top of that the Queen is higher ranking than a Lord. So if anything he should be respecting my title.
Majandra: Are you serious right now?
Bobbinette: Hey, we respect pronouns! You know I’d also like to point out it’s Pride Month and I didn’t do any pandering or exploitation of Pride either.
Majandra: You want to be praised for not exploiting the LGBTQ+?
Bobbinette: No…I’m just saying I could have and I didn’t take that route. I’m not saying I deserve a pat on the back but at least deserve some acknowledgement. Not like it applies to anyone on the roster, there’s no openly out people. I mean I don’t think anybody here would be openly out that is. But that’s their own crisis to have to deal with. And calling somebody or outing somebody is really bad and not something I’m about to do.
Majandra: Yeah, well at least you have that going for you. That’s not really much but it’s something I guess…
Bobbinette: Well, thank you for acknowledging it.
Majandra: Don’t thank me, it’s really just bad that you would even say it.
Majandra shakes her head in disgust.
Bobbinette: Farthington came back and hurt someone who was innocent and for his own selfish purposes. Anything I do is justified.
Majandra: According to you… but Lord Farthington probably sees he is justified in his goals as well.
Bobbinette squints at her phone.
Bobbinette: I don’t like this Devil’s Advocate crap you’re playing, young lady. Yes, he didn’t like that Conor acted like him and his legacy was nothing. I get that, but it was one person. I have been dealing with most of the locker room saying that. They still do! I didn’t earn my Hall of Fame status the right way, Shane Reynolds… all of it. So, Farthington’s false platitudes and praise is in hopes of getting my ego. Unfortunately for him, I’m not gullible enough to fall for it.
Majandra: kind of seems like a little Pot meets Kettle. Something that you don’t want to see…
Bobbinette: What I don’t want to see is people being taken advantage of and abused. What I don’t want to see is a kid like Conor being hurt. What I don’t want to see is people like Farthington getting away with what they do. I am no saint, I’m far from perfect but I am not that level of trash human being. Lord or not, what he did was inexcusable. Someone has to hold him accountable.
Majandra: You’re going to?
Bobbinette: I guess it falls on me to be the one to try to get justice for Conor.
Majandra studies her mother’s face.
Majandra: You’re actually sounding serious…
Bobbinette: No one else is, so why not me? I’m going to keep pissing off people, so might as well set my sights on people who deserve it. Hopefully Conor is healing. He didn’t lose the match, he was cheated. Farthington is with The Board and Commissioner.
Bobbinette shrugs her shoulders.
Bobbinette: Everyone knows I have issues with male authorities. Mainly because they’re always corrupt… and he’s just that corrupt authority figure who abused a person in a weakened state.
Bobbinette squints with her face seeming disturbed by her own words.
Majandra: He wants to hurt you, Mom.
Bobbinette’s face looks over at her daughter as she puts her hands over her mouth.
Majandra: You’re worried about avenging Conor but he’s got plans to hurt you. And it’s not like you have a whole lot of friends in the locker room.
Majandra starts pacing back and forth.
Majandra: I’m going to come to The Best Arena. No one is going to help you. Yeah I’m going to be at Refueled, he’s not hurting you.
Majandra seems quite panicked.
Bobbinette: Sweetheart, calm down. People say stuff that’s what happens. Wrestlers shit talk-
Majandra: No, Mom! This isn’t like Mr. Scooter and your over dramatics. He’s serious… and he’s real good, Mom.
Majandra definitely looks worried.
Bobbinette: I’m aware how good of a wrestler he is….
Bobbinette sighs seeing the worry on her daughter’s face.
Bobbinette: I can hold my own in the ring.
Majandra: You didn’t, not against Harrison.
Bobbinette: I also admitted I underestimated him. I know Farthington is serious, I also know how to protect myself in the ring. It isn’t my first show. I’ve been in the ring with people who really wanted to do harm to me before, I know how to handle myself. If stuff goes sideways I’ll figure something out. Have a little faith in your mom.
Majandra: I’ll see you in Chicago.
Bobbinette: I’ve got to get my back up plan together. Love you, babygirl!
Her daughter’s face looks still quite scared as Bobbinette hangs up the phone then she tucks her phone into her pocket. Bobbinette smiles as she downs her bottle of water and grabs her purse rushing out of her apartment.