Ever feel invisible?
Don’t jump to conclusions. This isn’t a complaint.
Honestly if anyone’s to blame, it’s…
I might be The Blamer, sure.
I’m also The Blamee.
This is all my fault.
I know it doesn’t make sense. It doesn’t align with the optics lately.
But hear me out.
You have to.
Because you sure as hell can’t see me.
Before March to Glory
I am the emptiness you feel when you know you’re faking it.
I create that twisting knot in your gut, making you both hungry for, and repulsed by, food all at the same time. I jack up your nervous system, like a High Flyer promo, when you look in the mirror. I make the blood rush to your face; flustered by your shortcomings.
I’m the result of you not even seeing yourself in the mirror anymore. And no matter how hard you try, you can’t remember when you…
Then this imposter showed up.
This Perfection to your Cancer Jiles. Or vice-versa.
And that’s the worst part. That new guy looking back at you.
He looks better.
He wins. You lose.
He has better hair, too.
Fuck you, <3 Me.
But despite all these vain upgrades, I hold you back with the force of one thousand Dan Ryans. And a Lindsay Troy sprinkled on top.
Because I fuck with your focus. We all know, besides your actual old man muscles, that’s your real strength. And ever since I set up shop in your psyche, you question your every move.
I’m why Andy Murray reversed that Irish whip so easily. Thanks to me, you were too busy worrying about Jiles when you saw him move over to pull the rope down. Because I told you that you shouldn’t pull that shit anymore. And both you and I know, when you got thrown to the outside, that was it.
Love him or hate him, at least Cancer tried to recover.
But it just made me grow stronger. And made you HATE more than Scottywood and Damian combined.
I’m why you lashed out at your friends.
I’m why you backed out of the ensuing tag match against Team Dadbeer.
I’m why you left that show altogether.
And I’m why you cracked that night.
Refueled Twenty-Whatever Aftermath
It always feels better to say it while letting the mouth fart loose. I crush the now empty can of Bud Light and toss it on the pile forming in this crappy hotel room.
The laptop’s warm on my bare thighs as I sit on the uncomfortable bed re-watching the end of Dream Wrestling’s Scramble Dreams PPV in 2010. It’s the one that ends with a young Cancer Jiles defeating his tag team partner, yours truly, for the Dream Championship.
We all know. No one here gives a shit about past championships.
Especially when earned elsewhere.
But he’s not watching the match for that, though. He just keeps replaying this part:
The referee’s hand hits the mat for the third time as Cancer Jiles pins Doozer in the middle of the ring.
“WINS! CANCER JILES WINS! CANCER WINS!”
The bell sounds and the noise of the capacity crowd is a roar unheard of.
“Cancer Jiles has defeated DREAM Hall of Fame member, Doozer. His fellow eGG Bandit, here in Orlando on January 31st, 2o1o.”
“Bad to the Bone” begins to play as the referee helps Cancer to his feet. Jiles is handed both titles.
“Cancer Jiles is full of emotion. It is like watching a child get everything he wished for on Christmas, plus some.”
Cancer runs to the nearby corner, and up to the top. He holds both belts out to the fans as the cameras flash. Confetti and balloons begin to fall. Pyrotechnics shoot from the stage and down the ramp area, then from the three post Cancer is not standing at.
“That’s right ‘Mr. Cool’, celebrate. It is your night.”
As the smoke clears, Cancer jumps back down to the mat. He walks over to where Doozer is getting up. He puts his hand out. Doozer looks up at his partner, at his friend, and grabs his hand. Cancer pulls him to his feet and they stand, eye to eye.
“Doozer just lost his DREAM Championship to his partner after receiving another Terminal Cancer, one can only guess at the emotions he is feeling right now.”
Doozer snarls, then he grabs Cancer’s arm, and lifts it. The arena pops.
Beer, after beer, after beer. Chugged and tossed.
Until the world grows fuzzy… and then…
Who Knows When
I am reality crashing down on your dreams.
I remind you that, despite standing toe to toe with the SON over a decade ago, drawing his name in this Lottery is like getting 2,5 for the Superbowl squares.
Not to be confused with Hollywood.
Sure, there was a day when you two would’ve been compared as equals. Even he would admit that, off the record. But since then?
Mike has completely eclipsed you.
He’s literally Jesus here.
Seriously, he’s got more ICON Championship Reigns than you have Wins.
He has an appreciation month.
You have a month when people put the biggest odds on you going Frosted Flakes.
Truth hurts, but it’s the truth. And it’s time to fucking face it.
So that leaves who now? Max Kael, right? Well, we might as well address your second Best “better luck next time” draw. And yes, that was a pun you drunken asshole.
Congrats. You get a shot at being the face of Lee’s Superstar Division.
Yeah. Fucking. Right.
Even, and this is a big fucking stretch, if you could get the upperhand in the squared circle against the Count of Kaelsyvania… Do you think Lee Best would ever let you hold that belt? You, the motherfucker who came here and shat on his promotion like it wasn’t worth your time? Who the fuck do you think you are? Who do you think you’ve been? You used to be proud of your promotions.
Better yet, they used to be proud of you.
Oh, plus Max will zap yo’ dumb ass with his eye blinder gadget if you even think of hitting The Abuser. The only counter for that would be Cancer’s Skynet shades. We all know you got a better chance at beating Mike… and we already covered those odds.
Moving on to… oh yeah, those titles. Too soon? Sure, your asshole ex(?)-tag partner jokes about them all the time, but with the way your back and hips are feeling right now… well, you couldn’t do shit against 24K healthy. Even if you weren’t focused. Even if Murray didn’t reverse that whip. Doesn’t mean Perfection still doesn’t take out Jiles.
Doesn’t mean he doesn’t take you out.
As embarrassing of a nickname as it might be, it sure fucking felt like you were in the ring with a King of Wrestling. Didn’t it?
Don’t lie to yourself.
He’s bigger than you.
He’s stronger than you.
And he might not be the youngest buck around, but he hasn’t graced Lee’s green Earth as long as you, either.
As for the other 24K crewmates… well, you just watched what Perfection Jr. did you back in 2010. That was your Dream Title man. You know how Mike spoke of his ICON Championship? That’s what that Dream Title was to you. You fought tooth and nail to defend that belt. You were ten years younger than you are now, too. And he took it from you.
And you haven’t had a significant singles win since. Like, an actual significant singles win.
Let’s naturally migrate to Mikey. Unlikely to lose if matched against you.
I know you think back to WTFC and remember the good, old Mikey. Then you see what he’s become and shake your head. Truth is, neither of you are who you were back then. You went one way. He went another. I bet if a poll went out on who’s direction led to more success, you wouldn’t want to see the results.
And, beyond that, the one thing you know about Mikey…
He’s fucking Money.
This Lethal Lottery shit is his bag. If you could put odds on one guy figuring out a way to scheme this game, not named Cancer Jiles, it’d be Mikey Unlikely.
Plus, you saw how he and Kendrix took on Murray and CCJ2.0. The latter had fresher legs than when you and Jiles got ‘em. But Mikey and Kendrix sure looked just as strong, if not stronger.
And speaking of JFK…
There was a second shooter.
God damn, I still can’t help myself.
Then there’s either member of Parents Beating Reta-
I mean, Team Dadbeer.
Honestly, do you think that match would’ve turned out any different if it were you in that ring instead of Bobby Dean? Let me save you some precious time. It wouldn’t have.
Not to forget the Hispanic.
Just saying, Crash Rodriguez could take you right now.
I must be fading…
Back in the Hotel
The familiar sound of my ringtone, and associated buzzing, wakes the shit outta me.
“I’M UP!” I declare. Hadn’t even brought my cell up to my face before the exclamation.
“Hey!, Great to hear fro-” My pleasantries are cut short. It’s my sister-in-law. She’s not the best.
She rambles on for a bit. Then it hits me.
“Hey, sorry to interrupt, but I just realized I haven’t got any letters from the little dude lately. And by lately, I mean… like, months. Used to get a letter a week. Everything cool?” The concern I couldn’t mask foreshadowed the answer.
“Oh, he’s just taking interests in different thi-”
I knew that wasn’t it. “Oh don’t Jiles me. The one thing that dickhead’s done over the years is help me call a bluff.”
“He doesn’t like you anymore.”
“You’re kiddin’ me, right?” I asked in desperation.
“He says you aren’t the same. And I agree, by the way.” Her blunt tone couldn’t be questioned.
“How’s that?” As soon as the words left my mouth, I regretted it. They always say not to ask a question if you don’t want to know the answer.
“He says you’re not a good guy anymore. He used to like you because you were the good guy. Because you cared about everyone. Even when you started egging people. You did it to make everyone laugh… you used to, at least. Now it’s like some weird male dominance shit.” I began to speak up, but she rolled right over me. “And I’ve seen it. Ever since this place got in your head. Not just this last run. Not even the one before it. What always made you great, was your commitment to give everyone a good show…”
God damn, did we warp back into the Truth Hurts section?
“But now, it’s like you only care about entertaining yourself. And maybe your stupid friends, but not even. You’re different. I see it.”
I try to speak, but nothing comes out.
She finishes, “More importantly, he sees it..” A sigh. “He just wishes you cared like you used to. It might seem silly to you, but he just wants you to treat the fans of HOW like you used to treat them in Dream. Like you actually cared.”
And that was when shit changed.
The Chameleon is known for blending into its environment.
For not being seen.
Well, now it’s time to throw my cards.
Time to show my true colors.
Just know, this whole time, while I’ve blended into the background.
I’ve clearly paid attention.
I’ve taken notes.
I’ve seen strengths. And observed weaknesses.
I’ve seen all of you.