I fucking hate Thanksgiving.
Why wouldn’t I? My brother is dead, my father is blind, and turkey makes me fucking sleepy. A dead holiday to celebrate a bunch of puritan murderers who chowed down on some corn and then murdered the Indians with smallpox blankets. The Last Supper before soccer moms run each other down with shopping carts on Black Friday. It’s dark by 5:00PM, the Detroit Lions suck literally all the available dick on planet Earth, and I’m pretty sure that Sutler is vegan or something anyway. So what’s left, when you rip away the commercialism, the overeating, and the illusion of family fellowship.
A day to give thanks?
Thanks for what, exactly?
Everything in this life that I could be thankful for is something that I’ve earned myself– something that I have clawed, and scraped, and killed for with my own two hands. I’m not THANKFUL for the HOW World Championship, because I earned it with sweat and blood. I’m not THANKFUL for the Hall of Fame, because I earned it in the ring and I spent a fuck of a lot longer earning it than you shitheads at your little Proboards Wrestling Federation knockoff Indy companies did. I’m not THANKFUL for the success that I have had, because I have earned it knee by knee, pinfall by pinfall, for fifteen years in this fucking sport. I have nothing to be THANKFUL for this Thanksgiving, and I have no gratitude to show to anyone but me.
So maybe it’s a day to reflect, right?
To reflect on the mistakes I’ve made. To mourn those who aren’t here to share the holiday with me. To remember that I never had enough of a relationship with my mother to bother to miss her when the holidays roll around, or that I’ve alienated everyone and anyone who has ever been close enough to give a fuck about me, in the name of chasing glory or immortality. Maybe it would be a great day to stare at a fucking map and figure out where Cecilworth disappeared to when he abandoned me without so much as a goodbye, or dial up the Apostles and see if any of them are still alive. I have burned every bridge, closed every door, and sacrificed everything to get where I am today, and the last thing I need to do is remember any of it.
Today I sat around in my underwear and ordered a pizza, because I didn’t feel like putting on an adorable little holiday sweater and pretending like I don’t know the truth.
Max Kael is dead, and I killed him.
Look, we could wade through the technicalities for a couple of months, as I trudge through the cycles of grief and make everything about my dead brother. I could boycott the HOAX and blame the wrestling industry for a couple more weeks, as I desperately search for a scapegoat. I could pick a bottle back up and disappear for a few more days, as I cling to more reasons not to come for work. But the truth is that I’m tired. The truth is that I’m fucking exhausted. The truth is that I need to just get it out in the open and move on with my life in whatever way I can, so I just need to say it again.
I killed Max Kael.
Fuck Thanksgiving, fuck Christmas, and fuck your New Year, too.
I don’t want to reflect today. I don’t want to give THANKS today. Sometimes, the only way to move forward is to stop looking backward, no matter how painful it is to leave the past. No matter how much it was better before things got bad. No matter how much you desperately want to cling to the way things were. I will never have a conversation with my brother again, because he’s gone, and I will live with that for the rest of my life. But the one thing I won’t do is live a life of delusion, just because it’s easier to blame everyone else.
Maybe it’s fitting that I’m teaming up with Jatt this week.
If you wanna know the truth about Jatt Starr, you gotta go back a long way. Long before he went to reverse fat camp and told his doctor to give him the Donald Trump Halloween costume haircut. Long before his name became synonymous not with the present, but the past. Long before he was doing the same thing I’m doing— chasing the ghosts of how much better things were before something he loved died. There are some truths we have to accept in this world if we want to move on and succeed, Jatt.
You’ve been dead a lot longer than Max.
And I’m not what killed you.
The history books have been rewritten a lot over the years, it would seem. And hey, I’m not gonna deny my part in that— there was a time in my life that I was so deep in your shadow that there wasn’t a lie I wouldn’t tell to get me a step ahead of you. I claimed to have ended you at a War Games. A time I claimed to have ended you at Rumble at the Rock. A time that I claimed the night that I beat you in a minute and a half was the night that Jatt Starr died. But they’re lies, Jatt. Lies told by an insecure little boy who wanted to finally be his father’s favorite wrestler. I didn’t kill you, Jatt. I didn’t kill you in the ring, I didn’t kill you backstage, and I didn’t even kill you at Alcatraz the night that I stabbed Bethany Sparrow in the face in front of you, your children and the world.
Truth is, you were dead before I ever got here.
I’m afraid that you don’t know, Jatt. I’m afraid that you’re still haunting these halls, rattling your chains like Bruce Willis without ever knowing that you’ve been dead the whole time. I never met Jatt Starr— I met Simon Sparrow. I met a man who already knew that he was done, and had nothing left to prove. I met a man who was content, and being content is the death of fighting spirit. I spent two years of my career not trying to KILL YOU, Jatt, but to bring you back to life. And here you stand today, still just a ghost rattling chains. Moaning catchphrases and nicknames into the wind, trying to figure out what your unfinished business is so that you can move on to your next life.
But it isn’t me, Simon.
I’m tired of having enemies in this industry.
Enemies get you hurt. Enemies get you killed. Enemies cut careers short and make everything personal, and I don’t have the energy in my life for a blood feud anymore, guy. This is a job. This is a career. This is something I do better than anyone else, and I’m tired of manufacturing hate just to justify my existence on the roster. I stabbed and maimed your wife almost ten years ago, and there is nothing you ever can or will do to avenge it. I’m not trying to rub that in your face, or reopen old wounds. I’m not trying to mock you, I’m just trying to set a reasonable expectation for you– there is nothing you can do to beat me. Nothing you can do to stop me, or contain me, or keep me from doing it all over again if that’s what I decide to do.
I’m the guy now, Simon.
You were the guy, a long time ago, and now you’re not anymore. Bad things happen in this life, to good people and bad people alike, and bad things happened to Bethany Sparrow. They happened so that I could become who I needed to become, and so that you could go away. If you wanna be back, be back. If you wanna try and reclaim your former glory, that’s great, and I applaud you, but I am not the top of the ladder you’re climbing. I’m not the end boss in your path. I’m the guy you used to be, but BETTER. I’m the guy you wanted to be, but COULDN’T. Ask Sektor what happens when you try to climb this mountain. Ask Doozer, or Solex, or anyone else on Lee’s new hit squad, because there isn’t a single person on this roster that I’ve faced who I don’t have a win over. I am the beginning and the end of High Octane Wrestling, and if you have it in your head that I’m some kind of target on your hit list?
Well, this week is not the time to fuck around and find out.
I’m fighting my own ghosts right now, and I don’t have time to fight yours too.
This week, you and I have to share an apron in a kangaroo court of a tag team match, and that’s fine. We’ll do a couple of quick high fives to get in and out of the ring, and then we can go our separate ways. Maybe you’ll get your shot at the champion again someday, but it isn’t gonna be this Saturday. I know that you see this as an opportunity to maybe prove something to yourself, or to the world. A chance to get that monkey off your back, because when you came back in 2014 to avenge your wife, I put your dick in the dirt in a minute and a half in the opener to Rumble at the Rock and humiliated you again. But this match isn’t about your grudge, or my grief, it’s just a gift wrapped holiday present from Lee Best, and I sure as fuck hope he kept the receipt.
Because I don’t need his charity.
I don’t need a couple of goons from the Best Alliance out there to help me soften up Dan Ryan. I don’t need whatever 3 on 1 handicap match he has in mind. I don’t need any special treatment, because I’m the single greatest wrestler in the world and my record reflects it. If I have to get into that ring and throw hands with Dan Dan the Murder Man ahead of ICONIC, then cool. I’ll do that with bells on. We’re both professionals and we both do our jobs well. If he wants to stay tagged out and save it all for December, then that’s cool too— Doozer and I have thrown down a thousand times, and I’m always down to do it a thousand more. What I’m getting at, Jatt, is that when we come down to that ring on Saturday night to do business, I need you to do just that. Business. I don’t give a fuck about your shitty, crippled wife, and you don’t give a shit about my dead fucking brother, and that’s fine. I’ve made my peace with that.
Because I’ll tell you right now, Simon, if I trust you to have my back and you put a knife in it, then I will not stop until your final run is cut disastrously short. I have no choice but to put the greatest winning streak in HOW history fifty percent into your hands. Two DQ losses in almost FIVE FUCKING YEARS, Simon, and this is the first time that the man out there getting my back isn’t a friend. Isn’t a brother. Isn’t a man I would trust with my life. If you decide to go into business for yourself on Saturday night and you put a fucking pinfall on my record, I won’t just hurt you, I’ll hurt the people you love. I will break your fat little neck and put you back into that wheelchair permanently. I will find your fucking daughter and put a pen through her throat like a shitty little hipster Capri Sun. I will take everything that you hold dear in this world and set it on fire, Simon Sparrow, because I have set everything else in my life ablaze, and this is all I have left.
You watch my back, and I’ll watch yours, because if you don’t, I’ll fucking kill you.
Ask my brother.