“I got a heart full of pain, head full of stress
Handful of anger held in my chest
Uphill struggle, blood, sweat, and tears
Nothing to gain, everything to fear”
- Nobody’s Listening, Linkin Park
So, that’s it?
That’s all it took?
A World Championship match pulled “Jatt Starr” out of Simon Sparrow?
How utterly disrespectful of you. What.. the ICON Championship isn’t worthy of Jatt Starr? Only now is the time for you to try and put some actual effort into your matches? You weren’t doing that before with Tyler?
No, I don’t buy it.
You reek of desperation, Jatt. Everything you do right now reeks of a Hall of Famer who has no fucking clue how to succeed in HOW anymore.
“Hey guys, I, Jatt Starr, identify as female now! Isn’t that quite a laugh?!?”
“Oh, it sure is Jatt, it’s about as timely as every late 90s sitcom and movie that used that exact same premise! A-hyuck, hyuck, hyuck! What a knee slapper, Jatt. You sure are at the cutting edge of humor and comedy! There’s nothing I love more than a man in his mid-40s sharing his boomer humor with all of us!”
“Hey guys, I, Simon Sparrow, threw all my dedication and hard work to establish Simon Sparrow as a separate entity out the fucking window because I know he couldn’t get the fucking job done against Tyler Best. I sure hope Jatt Starr, who already has a loss against Christopher America, can do the job!”
And I’m glad to see you talk about America again. There’s nothing I love more than hearing you re-tread on the same tired tropes and comparisons you made about me back in 2010. I’m the living embodiment of America and I’ve lost. I’ve lost more than you can really understand. Am I perfect? No. Because if I was perfect, I wouldn’t have to train. I wouldn’t have to fight as hard as I do or dig down as deep as I have to just to hold on to this championship.
But one thing I’m not is desperate.
That’s you, right now. Just flinging spaghetti against the wall, hoping something sticks, hoping something connects with a fan base that has moved beyond you. Again, that’s what makes this match frustrating for me. It’s not you at your prime. You can claim that Jatt Starr is back but all I see is Simon Sparrow dressing up for Halloween as his third favorite wrestler, behind me and Max Kael.
Oh, and it’s my fault that you didn’t get the pin against Sektor? No, that’s you, buddy. Still unaware of your surroundings, still unaware of your place in the ring. Most wrestlers have ring awareness down after a couple of years. They don’t blame their failures on people who weren’t even in the match. You lost because Bobbinette Carey outsmarted you. BOBBINETTE FUCKING CAREY OUTSMARTED YOU! You lost because you just couldn’t get the job done and Bobbinette Carey had to bail you out.
If it makes you feel any better, Jatt, it was just Carey helping to support another female and provide them with an example of what a strong and empowered one looks like. Maybe take some notes next time. Review her tapes. You know, actual wrestling preparation.
And no, I don’t expect you to throw a Tyler Best-style temper tantrum. Because you’re not Tyler Best. You’re not a War Games winner. You haven’t won the ICON Championship this year. You’re not an 18 year old wrestling prodigy. You’re Jatt Starr or Simon Sparrow or whomever. You’re a 45 year old man who still competes in HOW because he has nothing else waiting for him beyond the squared circle. No acting gigs, no record deals, not even a job at the local “Starr”by’s, where you can declare yourself the Maestro of Meats.
Baron, Marquis, Icon – you’re the man with 1,004 titles to his name but the man with no championship titles to his name. You’re the Lord of Losses, the Maharaja of Mediocrity, the Rajah of Repetition.
If you think I am letting down my guard against you, you’re only strengthening my argument that you’re delusional. I still remember your match against Aceldama in 2010. Aceldama was a beast and a terrifyingly dominant champion. And you exposed him. I’d be stupid to let my guard down around you.
You see, I’m not only training for Jatt Starr, I’m training for Simon Sparrow. I’m training for the other bullshit in your circus cavalcade. I’m also training for the possibility that you create some new boring re-hash of yourself. Maybe this one you’ll name Heidi, that way you can say that you’re the first person in history to date and marry themselves, only for you to sulk into a depression when you realize 15 year old internet trolls roleplaying as celebrities have been doing that for years.
But really, Jatt, this entire fight boils down to our intentions… our desires… our plans.
You just want this championship because you just want to stick it to me or to stick it to the Board. You’ll say it’s something else, sure, but the only reason you’ll do that is to try to save face — to try to hide how right on the nose I am. You want it but you don’t know what you’ll do with it once you have it. You don’t want to elevate this championship. You don’t want to elevate this federation.
And that’s nothing to say of the fact that she simply doesn’t want to go with you. She wants her legacy enhanced and I’m the only one that can do that.
My plan is to the most dominant champion in HOW history. Beyond Aceldama. Beyond Jace Parker Davidson. Beyond Cecilworth Farthington. Beyond Mike Best. And by beating some of the very best that HOW has to offer, I will solidify this as the single greatest championship reign HOW has ever seen.
You asked me what the biggest accomplishment of my career was. You asked if it was the three War Games victories? My three World Championship reigns? And then tried to say that it was me bringing out Jatt Starr. In reality, the greatest accomplishment in my career hasn’t come yet.
But it will.
And unfortunately for you, it’s going to come at your expense.
On Sunday, I’m going to leave you defeated as a bloody heap in the center of the ring. And Jatt Starr, the mythical hero of HOW yesteryear will be left wondering where it all went wrong. He’ll be left picking up the broken pieces of all his personas. He’ll scramble and scrape to try to fit them back together in time for facing John Sektor at Rumble at the Rock. And then I’ll get to watch with a sadistic joy as a Hall of Famer with a fractured legacy and even more fractured psyche tries to smile through the pain of another loss at the hands of the greatest American, Christopher America.
The building seems out of place.
Looking like something displaced from New York City, the brownstone stands towering in the center of the street. The sign that was positioned outside the entrance reads “The Dream Institute.”
Christopher America stands outside the door for a moment and glances at the sign. He glances back at Bill and gives him a look, as if asking him if he is serious about this space.
Bill nods and motions for the World Champion to enter.
Christopher America: Lincoln, help me.
America sighs, readjusts the World Championship on his shoulder, turns the handle and enters. Before America’s eyes can take in his surroundings, his nose is assaulted. Smells of must and incense float through the air, as if two sides were waging a chemical warfare.
America turns his head and sees a middle aged woman, in her 50s, wearing khaki pants and a darker brown shirt. She walks over and extends her hand as America stands up and shakes it.
Voice: My name is Crystal Wakjaub. Pleased to meet you.
Christopher America: Nice to meet you, too.
Crystal’s eyebrows rose as she clasped her hands together.
Crystal: Well, let’s get to my office and we’ll get started, shall we?
She smiles a warm smile and motions for America and Bill to follow her.
Passing through a small hallway, past a set of stairs, Carolyn walks into her office. America held himself and Bill back slightly. America leans over to Bill and whispers.
Christopher America: Her last name is whack job?! You put me in here with a lady named whack job?
Bill: No, Wakjaub, pronounced vak-yobe. She’s the leading dream interpreter in Chicago.
Christopher America: Let me guess, she’s got over a hundred five star ratings from people named Dragon Destroyer and Starbeam Moonchild?
Bill motions for America to be quiet as they enter Crystal’s office.
The smell of incense completely overtook the musty smell. America winces at the smell but manages to power through it. Carolyn motions to the couch for America and a side recliner for Bill. Both men take their respective seats.
Crystal: So, Bill here mentioned you’ve been having some nightmares and were looking to see if we could interpret what they mean, is that right?
America nods. The skepticism on his face is not hard to misinterpret.
Crystal: Okay, well, let me tell you a little about myself. I’ve been a dream interpreter for going on almost 11 years now. I’ve studied astrology and symbolism. Usually, in my appointments, my patients share with me the dreams that they’ve been having and we begin by looking at the imagery and then talk about it. The hope is that we can make sense of the dream.
And to clarify, I am not a sleep doctor. My goal is to help you understand what you may be seeing and then I recommend you visit a sleep doctor to see if we can help push you past the impact that the dreams may be having on you. Oftentimes, reoccurring nightmares can cause sleepiness during the daytime, mood swings, and other issues that affect who we think and act during the day.
He nods in agreement with Crystal and she moves forward.
Crystal: Why don’t you start by telling me about yourself?
America begins speaking flippantly, annoyance on full display.
Christopher America: I’m a professional wrestler. I have been for over 10 years now. It is my life and my passion. No significant others. Family lives away from here. I enjoy candlelight dinners and reading presidential biographies by a warm fire. I have the complete fireside chats of Franklin Delano Roosevelt on vinyl. Oh, and I’m currently the World Champion of the place I wrestle for as evidenced by this.
America holds up the beautiful #97Red before putting it back on his shoulder and caressing it.
Christopher America: I recently returned to the job after a hiatus. I wasn’t doing well. I wasn’t performing at my best. I needed the hiatus to get myself right. And since I’ve been back, I’ve been doing well for myself… obviously.
Crystal, clearly used to the skepticism, brushes off America’s rudeness.
Crystal: Good. Any hobbies? What do you do for fun?
Seeing as he wasn’t getting to her, America shifts his tone to be more direct.
Christopher America: Work out, wrestle, prepare for the next match. It’s pretty much my life right now. It has to be.
Crystal nods and America looks surprised. He expected her to push back and have a long drawn out conversation but Crystal simply accepted what America said.
Crystal: And the nightmare?
Christopher America: Look, before we proceed, I’m skeptical about all of this. I don’t know what you’re going to do for me that a melatonin pill couldn’t do for me. I mean, the incense, these books on your shelf that are clearly written by people whose parents didn’t love them enough, and your last name is whack job.
Bill audibly sights and buries his head in his hands. Crystal turns to Bill.
Crystal: No, it’s okay.
She then rounds on America.
Crystal: If you feel this is a waste of your time, the door is right there. I’ll take my money and you can be on your way. But here’s what I’m willing to bet. If a melatonin pill could solve your problems, it would have already. You’re here which suggests your desperate or struggling to figure out what is really going on. As for my last name, it’s not something that I can change, like I’m sure you can’t change America as your last name. We are who we are. For better or worst. And it’s pronounced vak-yobe.
America looks at Bill, clearly annoyed. But Bill motions for him to stay and share. Like a pouty child, America sulks in his seat, arms crossed.
Christopher America: I find a throne and sit in it. I’m looking over a large gathering of people, acknowledging them, and feeling glad. Then I turn around and see a large mountain. I look up. The fear becomes overwhelming, and I wake up.
Lately though, I’ve had images of being able to climb the mountain and a journey towards sitting on the throne.
Crystal writes in her notebook and periodically glances at America. Although America stops she continues writing.
Crystal: Besides the mountain, what’s the most vivid imagery for you?
America sighs, still annoyed.
Christopher America: The throne. I don’t know why it gives me satisfaction. I don’t know if it’s mine or someone else’s.
Crystal continues writing, clasps her hands together, and lays them across her lap.
Crystal: The images we see in dreams can have many different meanings. Sometimes, those meanings can conflict. We do our best to try to fit them, as best we can, within the narrative context of the rest of the dream. Now, you say that the throne gives you a sense of satisfaction?
Christopher America: Yes, but I don’t know why. Is it mine or have I taken it over from someone else?
Crystal: Why not both? Perhaps the throne represents something that once belonged to someone else and you took it from them. Something that is now yours and the person isn’t going to get it back. Whatever it is, it gives you satisfaction. You feel content with it. You feel powerful. You feel like you’re in charge. Have you taken anything recently? Have you gained something that wasn’t yours? A family heirloom? A gift of money? Something like that.
America’s eyes hold steady but he knows the answer.
Beyond gifts of money.
Beyond heirlooms inherited.
Alone was the HOW World Championship.
Once belonging to Conor Fuse, it was America who took it. It gave him supreme satisfaction and it was something that he did not want to give back. And yes, it did make him feel powerful as if he was in charge.
It was the only answer.
Christopher America: Something like that.
America’s answer was vague and guarded. He still didn’t fully trust in Crystal’s interpretations.
Crystal: What is the throne made of? Gold? Silver?
Christopher America: Stone.
Crystal squints her eyes as if supremely interested in this development. She motions for America to go on and America obliges, the walls he put up earlier starting to come down.
Christopher America: That’s it. It’s made of stone. I don’t recall any markings or special patterns.
Crystal: Stone usually represents a need to be grounded or level headed – as if providing ourselves with personal stability.
Christopher America: Well, she personally provides me with that. I don’t know what I’d do without her.
Crystal: She? Did you inherit someone? Are you the caretaker for —
America quickly shakes his head.
Christopher America: No. This championship. That’s what I’ve taken. She… it… grounds me.
Calling the World Championship ‘it’ was the first time in a long time that America had not personified the championship. As the words flew out of his mouth, he became almost shocked by it.
Crystal: How does she do that?
Christopher America: I have… goals. I have things I need to accomplish. Wrongs that need to be righted. She helps with that. She guides me. She ensures that I remain focused on the task at hand. She ensures that I actually train instead of doing the stupid shit that I used to. She shows me the reality before me. What people actually are. Beyond the masks we wear, beyond the lies we tell ourselves, beyond the falsehoods we present, she shows me the reality.
Without that, I might as well quit.
That’s why I’d rather be training right now. So I can hang on to it.
Crystal put down her pen and looked at America.
Crystal: I’m obviously not a licensed therapist but have you seen one? I’m concerned that you have feelings and emotions that need to be explored. They may be feeding the nightmare that you’re having.
Christopher America: No! See, I knew this was a bad idea.
America immediately jumps to his feet. Instinctually, Bill does as well.
Christopher America: I can’t do this. I’m not going to be analyzed by people that want to fit me into some archetypes that they found in a dusty book written by some psycho hundreds of years ago. No thank you.
Crystal slowly gets up.
Crystal: Mr. America, I’m just recommending other courses of action. You can choose to do all of them or none of them. No one is forcing you. Let’s call it a day. It’s our first session and we’ve already done some good work. You’ve helped draw the conclusion of what the throne is and that’s one more piece of a puzzle you didn’t have before. I strongly encourage you to come back and continue working with me.
America says nothing as he looks at Crystal and makes his way out. Bill follows shortly behind. He stops and looks at Crystal with an apologetic look.
Bill: Take it from me. This is good.
Crystal: How is this good?
Bill: He didn’t say no.
Bill offers a half-smile as he goes to catch up with Christopher America.