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> Griffin Hawkins V Kris Ryans, Singles match
Mark Ward
Posted: May 23, 2020 09:38 pm


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Post all roleplays for this match here.

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Blessed is he who in the name of charity and goodwill shepherds the weak through the valley of darkness, for he is truly his brothers keeper and the finder of lost children. And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger, those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers. And you will know my name is the LORD, when I lay my vengeance upon thee

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No longer doing show reviews, I already know we're that damn good!*
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Griffin Hawkins
Posted: May 30, 2020 08:45 pm


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~Many years ago~

Ever wonder how it feels to be on the road? You have no idea. These days the Corona Virus had killed all chances of attending any summer concerts such as Iced Earth or Motley Crue. Back in those days it was a simpler time for me....if you could call it that. Life on the road for me was crazy back in the old days...waking up in a new city, handcuffed to a bed with no memory of the wild escapades...meeting with sleazy record execs later in the afternoon...having a wild performance later on in the night with the crowd screaming for an encore..amazing times.

But there is always a dark side to every fun time.

What came with all that excitement...vices. With me, I had many. Booze...Women..and of course, drugs. I must've done every substance I could think of. For me it was full speed ahead and no signs of stopping. After every performance I would go backstage and party with my bandmates. Sometimes we'd do to our hotels and bring some groupies with us to have ourselves a little fun.

But things took a real dark turn on this night.

One night I was so out of it after a show, I decided I was going to drive back to my hotel. As you can see, I didn't exactly have the best judgement in the world back then. I don't really remember everything, all I remember is my car colliding with a tree. Nothing else...not even knowing if I killed anyone else.

The next morning, I woke up in the hospital, bandaged up. I noticed a middle aged doctor standing over me.

Doctor Zeller: Ah..you've come to Mr.Hawkins.

I look around, not even sure how I got here. I try and get up, but feel sore all over.

Griffin Hawkins: Owww....fuck...

Doctor Zeller: Take it easy son..you're pretty banged up from that collision.

Griffin Hawkins: Collision...I don't remember...

Doctor Zeller: Of course you don't..your car collided with that tree and it knocked you out. We found some drugs in your system. Luckily you're not seriously hurt, just some cuts and bruises...but we're going to keep you for a few hours just to make sure you're okay.

Griffin Hawkins: Right...

I lie back on my pillow, thinking I can get some sleep after the wild night that I had. I don't even remember everything that happened...I just wanted to go home and get some rest. Sometime later, and wake up to see a blonde woman sitting in the chair across from me. I slowly sit up, wincing in pain.

Griffin Hawkins: .....Mom?

Patrica Hawkins: Hi...

Griffin Hawkins: Are you really here? Or is this some kind of hallucination..

Patricia Hawkins: I'm really here.

Griffin Hawkins: What are you doing here?..

Patricia Hawkins: My name was in your emergency contact list of people to call.

Griffin Hawkins: You...didn't have to come all this way Mom, I'm a big boy..I can take care of myself.

Patricia Hawkins: Well, that accident says otherwise..

Griffin Hawkins: Mom...I know how bad this must look but...

I couldn't say anything, there was no way I can explain myself after the mess I made. She obviously knew I had been taking

Griffin Hawkins: ....I know I messed up.

Patricia Hawkins: We all make mistakes Griffin, but you can't keep making big mistakes like this. I get that you're not a little boy anymore, but you can't continue to do this..you could've gotten killed.

Griffin Hawkins: I know...

Patricia Hawkins: I think it would be best if you just come home...

I know how much she missed me, I know it would mean so much if her baby boy came back home and I almost wanted to say yes...but I couldn't, not with my Dad still there.

Griffin Hawkins: I can't Mom....I wish I could, but me and Dad will never get along. He knows I don't want to take over the family business when you guys retire..

Patricia Hawkins: I understand....but it'd be nice if you at least visit every now and then.

Griffin Hawkins: Well..Christmas is coming up, what better time than the holidays?..

Patricia Hawkins: I know how much you miss my famous yams..

Griffin Hawkins: I'll make sure to be careful until then.

She comes up, kissing me on the forehead.

Patricia Hawkins: Take care of yourself, please..

I felt immense guilt. This is someone who has supported me since day one...and I repay her by nearly getting myself killed..she begins walking away, but I call out to her.

Griffin Hawkins: Mom?...

She turns to look back at me.

Patricia Hawkins: Yes?..

I feel the hot stinging tears...rolling down my face.

Griffin Hawkins: ....I'm so sorry...

She says nothing as she comes up to me, pulling me in for a hug. I was still in pain from the accident, but I didn't care...I wanted my Mom right now..

Griffin Hawkins: I'm so sorry...I'm so sorry...

Patricia Hawkins: Shh Shh..calm down, everything is going to be okay baby..

She continued to hold me as I cried. The one thing I never wanted to do ever was disappoint my Mom...but on that day I felt I did. I couldn't believe how stupid I was to nearly throw my life away after a night of partying...and she was the only one who came to visit me. I knew I had to make things right and sort my life out..otherwise I won't have a Mother anymore...or a family.


-------------------------------------------

I had finally arrived at the Golden Ring Hotel, I still had a lot on my mind going into my next match. As soon as I check in, I head to the top floor. I check into my room, getting my laptop out as I am prepared to watch the HBO app that I already installed. I then hear a knock on my door. I figured it was Charles.

Griffin Hawkins: Bro, you finally made it!

I head over to the door. But as soon as I open it, I am immediately pushed aside by none other than Marquis who looks angry.

Marquis Laveaux: Where is he?

Griffin Hawkins: What?...

Marquis Laveaux: You know what I'm talking about, Kedron, where the hell is he?!

Griffin Hawkins: I don't know! I just got here, I don't even know if he's checked into this hotel yet...

Marquis Laveaux: He's a dead man walking...

Griffin Hawkins: Marquis what the hell is going on?

Marquis Laveaux: Your pal stole the book of shadows.

Griffin Hawkins: What? Are you sure you didn't misplace it?...

Marquis Laveaux: No I didn't replace it. I know because he told me himself that his wife snuck in and stole the book right from under my nose.

Griffin Hawkins: So..what are you going to do?

Marquis Laveaux: When I see him, he'll be shipped back home to Salem Massachusetts in a casket..

Griffin Hawkins: Whoa! Marquis..no. You can't do this.

Marquis Laveaux: He stole from me Griffin...NOBODY steals from me. I thought we could be civil, but he wants to try and pull a stunt like this.

Griffin Hawkins: What are you gonna do? Hunt him down and kill him just because he took back the book you stole from him in the first place?

Marquis Laveaux: I don't think you're grasping whats going on Griffin..there are rumblings of the remaining members of the cult of blood still around, and once they realize he has the book, they'll waste no time in slaughtering him and taking it for themselves...then ALL of humanity will be doomed.

Griffin Hawkins: I think you might be underestimating Kedron here..the guy may be odd, but from what I understand he's been surviving for centuries just like you. This isn't some clown who got the book and doesn't know what to do with it..he has it and knows it front and back. So we're safe for now.

Marquis Laveaux: The only way we'll be safe is if i get that book back..

Griffin Hawkins: Marquis please...I don't want this to turn into a blood bath. If that cult is still around, like it or not...you two are on the same side.

Marquis Laveaux: You can't possibly be considering we work together..

Griffin Hawkins: The more you two are at each other's throats, the easier its gonna be for the cult to tear you both apart and take the book. I don't care what it takes..you two are gonna put aside your bullshit and work together to protect the book.

I was tired of them squabbling. I liked Marquis and looked up to him like a brother, and I was disappointed to see him and Kedron carry on like children. I was expecting a firey response from him..

Marquis Laveaux: ...you're right.

Griffin Hawkins: I am?...

Marquis Laveaux: You are...me and him are acting pretty childish over something that I stole from him centuries ago. I'd rather him have it than some crazy cult member.

Griffin Hawkins: So you are gonna work with him?..

Marquis Laveaux: ....I guess I got no choice. It's going to take a lot of my will to keep my anger in the next time I see him.

Griffin Hawkins: Okay..just do your best.

Marquis Laveaux: One more thing before I go...

He reaches into the pocket of his trench coat and gets what looks to be a jewel encrusted dagger.

Marquis Laveaux: Take this...you never know when you'll need it in times like this.

Griffin Hawkins: Um..okay. Just be careful out there.

Marquis Laveaux: You do the same.

With that, he walks out of the hotel. I just look down at the dagger in confusion..all the jewels and rubies on it, I felt like selling it on ebay, but this was means to defend myself. I just hoped that Kedron and Marquis would put aside their petty squabbling long enough to take care of this threat.




--------------------------------------------

I sit alone in my locker room, dressed in blue ripped jeans and a leather jacket with a Misfits shirt on underneath. I rest my head against the wall and begin to speak.

"January 14th 2018....the final show of Sin City Wrestling ever. Many things came to an end that night. I settled a long feud with Christian Underwood...and Kristopher Ryans ended up being the final SCW World Heavyweight Champion ever, Sin City Wrestling comes to a close for a final time. Kris is the last man we see as the show goes off the air..holding up the Roulette Title and the World Title..an iconic image that's still remembered to this day. Fast forward to two years later. Sin City Wrestling is back. Business is booming, new athletes are abound...and Kris Ryans is back. We were expecting him thanking everyone for making him the household name he is today..but instead he decides to act like a selfish spoiled brat. With his whiny tantrums, its like dealing with a child. He wants all the attention to be on him."

I slowly get up, facing the camera.

"He wants the spotlight. He wants to be acknowledged for his past accomplishments and feats. The only triple crown...oops...Grand Slam winner in SCW history. And now he stands poised to fight me, as if I am the center of his problems. He seems to want to fight me, believing a victory over me will get him some respect back on the Kris Ryan name. Well Kris, I got news for you. You don't have to pick a fight with me to get respect...because you already have the respect of the SCW Locker Room, you're just too blind to see it. You have it in your head that you are forgotten. That everything that you have accomplished has been swept under the rug...well, now you're back to pick up where you left off. And who do you start with on your road back to the top? You pick me. Because you see me as someone who is a threat to your legacy, someone who has come a long way since beating low level jabronies like Steve Ramone and James Tuscini. A lot has happened since we were both in Sin City together, and now we are gonna clash in what experts are saying is the match of the night."

I have been wanting to step in the ring with Kris for years..and it was finally happening.

"You chose to interrupt me when I was talking about my goals to become World Heavyweight Champion...all so you can take credit for everything that I have done here in Sin City? Do you really believe that? What kind of medication are you on man? This is the truth..nobody got me anywhere in Sin City, I did that all on my own. I fought alone, I won titles alone, I've done everything alone. I didn't need anyone to latch onto me and sing my praises like other certain guys do these days, I did it all by myself. I'll credit you for this...you did get me here, you were right. I left that other company behind due to the corrupt politics and the one phone call I wasn't expecting came from you...you told me "Griff, I heard about what went down..you deserve to be treated better than the way they are treating you now, come to SCW, you'll be an even bigger star there than you have ever dreamed of." And for that, I thank you. But to take credit for my success? That's where you're wrong. I became Internet Champion and the longest reigning Roulette Champion of all time because of me, not you. And when I do become World Heavyweight Champion one day it'll be by my own merits once again. I accomplished everything by myself..and at Into The Void, I will win by myself."

I crack my neck a little before resting against the wall.

"You seem to have a problem with the fact that I surpassed your record of the longest reigning Sin City Wrestling Champion. You see it as a sign of disrespect, and why? You wanted to go down in history as the greatest Roulette Champion ever, and in 301 days I surpassed you and that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. If you want to go out and break my record, go ahead...but that itself just shows how insecure you really are. Your ego can't take it that someone has done something better than you, and you just have to try and one up them. I got news for you pal, in the last 15 years of my career, everyone has tried to one up me and they all failed. But maybe you will, who knows. But I do know one thing, you need to be better than you've ever been if you're going to get by me. Because my one goal is to be on top of the mountain of SCW. Course there is only room for one of us up there.."

I know Kris wanted to be a World Champion, something I haven't been here in SCW...perhaps that was making him more confident.

"I have been wanting to step in the ring with you for years Kris..I know you well and I know your brother well. And trust me, you are just as good as he is. You've made your own way, no doubt about that. Nobody can ever say that you'll never make it because you proved all the haters, all the critics, all the doubters wrong when you became the World Heavyweight Champion. Right now you could say I'm in the same spot you were two years ago, poised to take over Sin City as the World Champion. And by beating you, I just might be a step closer to getting there. Don't think this is me overlooking you, because I know how damn good you are. And unlike Calvin Harris...the people in the back respected you, just like they respect me. Like you I've had jealous haters such as Jake Raab, Travis Levitt and others try and downplay my contributions to the company. I can only imagine how it must have felt for you to finally win the big one on the final show.

A sly smile comes across my face.

"You could say that I am mirroring you in a way...sure, I've never been tag champion, but I have been Internet Champion and Roulette Champion. But I am looking to be World Heavyweight Champion...but unlike you I don't really care if they get the names wrong. You seem to get upset whenever you get referred to as a Triple Crown Champion instead of a Grand Slam Winner. Is your ego that fragile? Are you that insecure? Your words scream superiority, but it sounds more like inferiority, as if people will forget everything you have done here in Sin City..but a victory over me, will they remember it if you do indeed accomplish it?...let's see what happens Kristopher..

I begin walking away, still looking back at the camera as I head for the door.

"So it's set...two of the greatest athletes..bar none...fighting for their lives on the biggest stage of all. No titles...just one match to prove who is the best going forward. Honestly, I have not had an opponent like you in a long time Kris..usually I get people who try to run me out of SCW so they can take my spot...now I look in the ring and see a guy who is just the type of man I've been wanting to face all the time. Confident, stubborn, willing to put everything on the line just to be called the best in the world. This match may indeed be the match of the night Kris..no disrespect intended to the others on the card. But this here is a dream match that everybody has been wanting to see for years. Can you make a Miracle happen and get the win...guess we'll have to find out. Seeya real soon.."

I walk out of the locker room, closing the door behind me as the camera crew wrap things up.








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Kristopher Ryans
Posted: May 30, 2020 09:14 pm


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Old Business
28 May 2020
ON-Camera


The cameras catch up to Kris standing in the middle of a six-sided ring. However, the space around him does not look like the Sin City Wrestling ring being set up inside the Gold Ring Casino. Instead, he is surrounded by gym equipment, standing in a ring with the varied shades of blue and black that both Jet City and PRIDE wrestling had made their signature. Throughout his time back the gym had slowly gotten more and more put together, but today it appears polished and ready for a potential opening whenever the world allows for it.

I have spent all of my time here talking about moving forward. I know it might not always look like that, but it’s true. It’s not as simple as just putting one foot in front of the other though. Otherwise anyone moving forward would look a lot like they were just running away from whatever is behind them. That is why I have always done my best to make sure that there is never anything behind me that I am running away from. Anybody that I lost to, I tried to get a rematch with so that I could fix that mistake. Any time I embarrassed myself, like my first time in the Roulette Division, I came back to do something miraculous and wipe the smudge off my record. I didn’t climb to the top of the company by blowing off my past and making excuses. I did it by fixing those mistakes, righting those missteps, and succeeding everywhere that I had previously failed. By the time I became the face of this company, there was nothing that anybody could say to dispute my place.

The camera seems to float around the top of the ring in a circle around Kris. He does not move with it, allowing it to circle him. He did not have the typical condescending smirk on his face as he usually would in this type of environment.

I worked so hard to get to this point, and I know that I should be focused ahead of me, on this match with Griffin Hawkins at Into The Void, but I’m not quite there yet. Since I have been back I keep finding myself looking backwards, instead of forward. I keep hanging on to the past, and my place in it, and it has caused me to stagnate in place for a month. I want to move forward. The problem is, there is some old business holding me back. Before I can get there, I want to talk about Climax Control. I want to talk about Jack Washington. I want to talk about how right Griffin Hawkins was in his interview backstage. I don’t think I can move forward without clearing the air a little bit.

Kris looks almost physically pained by the admissions that he is about to make, never one to be very humble.

Griffin Hawkins thinks I act like a spoiled child that doesn’t feel loved enough.

Viewers can tell that it might sting him a little to admit, but he presses on anyways, not letting it slow him down.

He says the business has changed without me… I think he said it has ‘evolved’ in my absence. I’m a little spotty on the details because I had just gone out and won another match, but we will get to that.

Even the joke at Griffin’s expense does little to improve Kris’ mood. There was obviously something weighing on him that he was not willing to carry into such an important match. He was running out of time to unload all of the baggage. It was best to do it like ripping off a band-aid.

Apparently this roster is younger, hungrier, and more exciting than it ever has been before. People like The Jacks: Washington and Russow, Finn Whelan, and Mark Cross are supposedly the up and comers set to lead SCW to new heights!

The forced excitement is not very hard for viewers to see through. No matter how hard everyone had tried to sell him on that idea, it had never rang true to his ears. They were just names of people that had promise, but had lacked follow through thus far to make it as far as Kris had. He was not impressed by those that were considered longshots or underdogs. He had always been one himself, until the miracle happened. Until he forced people into acceptance, but that was another time.

I mean, when I left there was just Sin City... but now there is Underground. Now there is GRIME. Now SCW is bigger than ever before. I took my ball and went home, but SCW exploded in the last two years.

Again, he tries to cover up the fact that the criticism bothers him. Instead of fighting against it, he flips the viewers expectations on their heads and goes the other way with it.

He makes a compelling argument.

Kris shrugs his shoulders. It was new ground to admit that maybe someone else was right, but he was steering into it.

SCW was good before me, and SCW will be good long after me.

It was true. His phone had not exactly been ringing off the hook while he was away. In fact, the first time that anyone had actually come calling, Kris showed up almost immediately. He was not an original member from way back when the company was founded. By the time he arrived Sin City was already a success. While he was gone, it had only grown. It only made sense what the future would hold, with or without him.

On the surface, it seems like something that should offend me. I bet fans at home were sitting there thinking that I would get mad, or be offended. If I was truly the petulant child that Griffin has made me out to be, that would be exactly how I would react. However, he is allowed to feel however he would like to feel about my actions. I’m not here to tell people how to live their lives.

The self-righteous smirk finally starts to cut through his otherwise calm demeanor. It was a clear sign that the ‘but’ of it all was coming. Kris was not the type of person to cut himself down without a catch, and everyone should have expected that it was coming.

I am here to tell people that “good” wouldn’t be good enough for me if I was an SCW fan. I have always felt like everyone was entitled to a little something more than that. None of us are here because we are good. We are here because we are some of the greatest at what it is that we do. We are here to elevate what happens out there in the ring. Just about anyone can step out there and have a good fight with minimal training. I think we should be setting the bar a little higher though. I think SCW needs someone that can step out there and do something miraculous every time they step into the ring. I think people want to see the best of the best, and nobody wants to settle for a roster full of “good” competitors.

He laughs, and shakes his head, trying to find the right words to drive his point home. He takes a step towards the camera, actually looking up directly into the lens for once.

It would be one thing if that was just an empty insult, but it’s not. I brought the receipts with me.

He raises his hand, and starts to list off his competition, first with just an index finger in the air.

Mark Cross? You mean a guy that is only still champion right now because Ben Jordan thinks two championships are better than one? The guy that got carried by Evie through Blast from the Past? The one that has been a literal ghost since the tournament ended?

He raises his middle finger next.

What about Russow? The guy fell on his face on his first night as champion. And I know people are going to cite that he ended the record breaking reign of Griffin Hawkins, but let’s be honest Griffin has dropped more matches in recent weeks than he has won.

His ring finger pops up as he struggles not to let his amusement get him off track.

And who embarrassed the new champion on coronation night? None other than Jack Washington. The guy who promised to break me, because I am weak. The guy who wanted to hurt me. The guy who wants to achieve everything that I have, but faster, just out of spite. He got so hype off of winning the Jack-Off a few weeks ago that he said he was going to put me back on the shelf.

Kris looks down, and then pats at his upper body to make sure that he is still standing there in one piece.

Unless I missed something, I think I made it out unscathed. To be honest, he’s probably feeling it a little more than I am.

Kris taps twice on the solid knee brace strapped to his left leg. It had been a little under a week since he had driven into Jack Washington’s throat with a SmackShot just for mentioning trying to put him back on the injured reserve.

Someone like Jack Washington might be good for SCW, but on Climax Control he stepped into the ring with an SCW great and got put in his place. He talked about chewing me up and spitting me out, but one SmackShot later he is asleep on the canvas and my hand is being raised in the air. Griffin came out parroting all the same things that Jack said leading into that match, and spouted off his list of names, but where did all that talk get Jack Washington? Is that the road that Griffin really wants to go down?

Kris raises a pinkie now, getting back to his list of people that Griffin had suggested were somehow better than he was.

Finn Whelan was the best name to come out of Griffin’s mouth. He’s a person that I can at least respect for what he has done in this business. At least I can credit Finn with pushing me to shake off the rest of the ring rust. When I was preparing for that match I wasn’t just trying to get back to where I was before I left. I was pushing myself to sharpen, and evolve. Then when we stepped into the ring together, like so many others before him, he came up short.

Kris gives the camera an over-exaggerated shrug while rolling his eyes. He drops both of his hands to the side, and shakes his head. He was far from impressed by any name that had been thrown at him.

Yet these are the people that have been rising through the ranks while I was sitting at home. That is the list Griffin rambled off, a week after losing all momentum heading into our match. That is what he had to say, moments after I walked away victorious over someone who had said the exact same thing. If I were him, I wouldn’t proudly be floating the names of subpar newcomers to make my point either. All of these so-called replacements for me just seem to keep piling up at my feet.

This time he is not able to stop himself from laughing. He makes a kicking motion at the imaginary pile of bodies in front of him as he tries to collect himself. Once he does, he looks up at the camera a little more seriously.

Everyone keeps telling me to stop thinking about the past, and worrying about my legacy here. Maybe that’s true, but maybe everyone else needs to start worrying about when they started accepting all of the mediocrity that I am surrounded by as ‘good enough’. It would be one thing if I was coming out to the ring and losing match-after-match.

The confidence that he had lost earlier is not back in full force.

I’m not.

The smile on his face now feels a lot more genuine than the forced enthusiasm he was trying to muster up earlier, showing the audience that the cockiness was just muted, not gone.

I’m consistently going out there and proving that even though I am still getting back into the swing of things, I am still head and shoulders better than all of the generic copies of me that Mark and Christian have attempted to replace me with. Or better yet, maybe someone should ask them if they just want their company to be thought of as ‘good’. Let’s see if they are happy with maxing out around the upper middle.

It was a question that everyone already knew the answer to, the goal of every company was to offer something better than all of their competitors. Kris’ words had become louder, and faster as he went like he was building up a head of steam. His calm and collected attitude deteriorates in a split second as he throws out his counter offer.

Or maybe everyone should open their eyes and consider the fact that I am back because they still think that I am the best option to lead this company. Maybe I miraculously rose to the top of this company despite all of the opposition because I am every bit as great as I say that I am. Maybe you should all consider that I am not a child yelling for attention, but more of the light at the end of a tunnel of mediocrity that you could see if you would just open your damn eyes.

Knowing that most people were not going to see it his way, he lets out a defeated sigh, and rolls his eyes disappointedly.

...but what do I know?

Another shrug.

I’m just the guy that it seems everyone wants to be, with the resume that everyone wishes that they had.

The words carry the same confidence as before, but they come out more matter-of-fact than his previous tone.

You would think that people would want to listen to what I have to say. Maybe the type of people in this locker room are just the kind of people that need it beaten into them before they finally get it.

The alternative did not seem like such a bad idea. All of this time spent trying to get Griffin’s attention, or wait for Into The Void to arrive was starting to bore him. The chances that everyone was going to suddenly agree with Kris were slim, but once the match started, none of it would matter. He would be able to show everyone that he was right, and they would have to accept it. With that thought, all of the anger seemed to fade away. The smirk comes back to his face.

Maybe I am looking forward to Into The Void...

The camera lingers on him for a second, catching a chuckle and a wide smile before it cuts to black.



==========================================================


Hopeless
Jet City South - San Diego
28 May 2020
OFF-Camera


Kris had known that there was a fight brewing in Jet City. Coby had been angry headed into Underground after saying Kris embarrassed him the week before by hijacking a camera crew. It had been made worse by Kris inserting himself into his friend’s match with John Blade. When Coby had stopped showing up to their normal training hours, Kris was smart enough to know that it was not a coincidence. Still, when Kris heard the back entrance of the building slam shut, creating a booming echo throughout the entire space, he could not help himself from making the situation worse.

Kris: It’s fun to slam doors when you’re mad!

His voice comes out in a sarcastic sing-songy manner. It was loud enough that Coby was going to be able to locate Kris inside the large space. Kris had not broken his routine, still focused on the swinging bag in front of him. There was a cross drawn at his feet, and every time the bag moves around him, Kris pivots, first diagonally to dodge as the bag closes in on him. He punches the bag away, changing its trajectory. When it rebounds faster he repeats the process, shifting his feet to two different squares created by the cross and avoiding contact before sending it in a new direction. Coby uses the sounds to track Kris through the building, finally finding him and wrapping both hands around the bag to stop it from moving.

Coby: Are you trying to start a fight with me, because I am close to taking you up on it?

Kris had prepared for frustration, but Coby was much more than that now. There was real, genuine rage on his face, which was new territory for Kris. He had never been more than a mild annoyance to Coby, despite trying to push the envelope on several occasions.

Kris: You can’t get all bent out of shape just because I gave you a little help in your match. I know you had it under control, I just really wanted to boot that guy in the dome meat. Can’t stand him. Never could. It wasn’t like I was saying you needed help or anything.

Coby rolls his eyes and shoves the bag towards Kris. He does all he can to avoid it, but has to brace himself and just absorb the contact. The bag hits him in the center of the sternum, knocking the air out of his lungs.

Coby: You’re such an idiot….

Kris struggles to force air back into his lungs, suddenly not finding what he had done to Coby just a week before comical anymore. He steps away from the equipment, and puts his hands on his thighs, leaning forward in an attempt to force more air into his lungs. It was getting easier to breathe, albeit slowly.

Kris: Jesus! You’re still mad... about the camera thing?

Coby takes a step forward, balling up his fists. It was like Kris was toying with him.

Coby: Why do you always have to go digging up stuff from the past that is better off being forgotten?

The picture finally snapped together for Kris. It had been the old promo of Griffin’s that he had posted. The one showing that his opponent had been through his own fair share of less-than-flattering days in this business.

Kris: I don’t see why you’re all bent out of shape, it was eight years ago.

Coby tries to advance on Kris, but the Grand Slam Champion holds up his hands in a gesture to tell him to just wait. Coby instead turns and hits the bag that Kris had been working against. It nearly sends the entire apparatus to the ground when the bag attempts to rebound.

Coby: Nevermind...

Having regained most of his capacity to breathe, Kris was not about to let the argument slip away from him after having to take a free shot over it. As Coby turned to leave, Kris did the only thing that he could do to get his historically non-confrontational friend to actually say what was on his mind.

Kris: You’re quick to point the finger of blame, but can’t even get all the words out before you explode about it. Really contradicts the whole zen thing that you try to sell to everyone.

It was a cheap shot, and even Kris knew it, but it was enough to get Coby to stop in his tracks. Unwittingly, Kris had just made his point for him. Coby spins around, his tone less hostile, but more accusatory than it had been previously.

Coby: You never really stop to think about how the things you say mess with people do you? It’s all just white noise to you. Everyone just has to play your game one way or another, right? Whether they want to or not?

Kris did not see the problem with it. Especially because it looked like most people were ignoring him these days anyways.

Kris: It’s not like Parker is even still mad about any of that. I talked to him before I even brought it up. Yeah, what Griffin said about him was shitty. None of it was true though. It was all just Griffin trying to piss him off because of who Parker worked for.

Coby could not believe that Kris was missing the point by that much.

Coby: You don’t even remember being there do you? Because I do.

The question catches Kris by surprise, and his face scrunches up as he tries to reach back to the memories that far back in his mind. He shakes his head, realizing that it is all a hazy, drug-filled, mistake-riddled blackout. Honestly, he had not even been the one to remember it originally, just thought of it as useful for his situation.

Kris: Pretty sure that was before you would have been part of the gym man. I don’t even think I was up and going in the business back then.

Coby rolls his eyes, having a much clearer memory of the night than Kris did, and probably for good reason.

Coby: I was there. I bought a ticket and went with friends. It was actually the first time that I met Parker, and tried to convince him to train me. I actually got to go back into the locker rooms where we stumbled across an addict that was clearly in no shape to be in public. It was you. Smacked out at a show you had no business being at. Of course, because of that, Parker blew me off, and tried to tell me to go to school.

Kris interrupts his friend, the memories of a much younger Coby always popping up started to come back to him. Both Parker and Kris’ brother Jason had refused to train Coby unless he was also going to school. All of the founding members of Jet City had been dealt serious injuries throughout their careers. They were not about to let a bright young student get away with not having a back-up plan. Still, he was at a loss for what all the anger was about.

Kris: So you think he was shitty because of Griffin? You been holding a grudge about it?

Coby shakes his head.

Coby: It’s not even that. You want to bring up what Griffin said, how about how that shit weighed on Parker? How about how he felt like he was representing an entire community by going out and fighting someone that had a bunch of black stereotypes to toss his way in a promo? Then add in the fact that he lost that match, all because he was taking care of some inconsiderate idiot backstage instead of paying attention to what he needed to be doing.

Kris was once again lost.

Kris: ...so now it’s my fault Griffin said that shit? I guess everyone really does hate Kris.

Coby lets the joke pass by without even acknowledging it.

Coby: I don’t even care about Griffin. That was then. This was now. It’s not my fight. The thing that I am mad about is how you constantly screw people over, and you’ve only ever cared about yourself. You screwed Parker when there were people like me there hoping that he could put Griffin in his place for saying all that shit, and now you have the audacity to try and use it against him when you know that’s not the person he is. You drove away basically all of Jet City. You’ve managed to agitate everyone in SCW, and have now decided that you are just allowed to pop in and do it in Underground at my expense. Even Mikah stopped showing up around SCW to annoy people once you came back. It’s like you work overtime to be a pain in every single ass you come across. You ever stop to think that maybe it is you that is the problem?

Coby had been hanging onto a lot of those feelings for a long time, and now that it was all out in the air, he felt exhausted by having carried it around for so long.

Kris: I mean it certainly could be that I-

Coby explodes, even if it is just for a second.

Coby: WHO ANSWERS THAT QUESTION?

Coby’s eyes close, and he lets out a deep breath that he had been unaware that he was holding in. He was too angry for this to be any kind of productive conversation. He should have waited until after he had cooled off. At least now that he was realizing his mistake, he could try and fix it. Kris seems more surprised by the explosion than anything else, and sits in stunned silence, just watching his friend sort through his emotions. When he starts to speak again, his voice is more level.

Coby: Man, just forget about it. I have my own stuff to worry about this weekend, and a partner that actually has my back. You just handle your stuff. I don’t need this right now.

Coby shoulder checks Kris as he finally forces his way past him. Kris turns to watch him head out the front door of the new Jet City South that they had built together, but does not try to go after him to continue fighting. He would have to let him cool off. Plus, he was right, there were bigger fish to fry at the moment.


==========================================================


New Business
29 May 2020
ON-Camera



The feed comes to life in an office. The high-backed chair sitting behind the desk is facing the other way looking towards the wall to the back of the room. Someone had clearly taken great care in crafting the room. Three columns of bookshelves had been built into the wall itself, and backlit individually. Viewers can look easily from shelf to shelf at the pictures, books, and championships each contained. It does not take long for the viewers to deduce whose office they are in. Two pictures on a middle shelf to the right of the shelf shows Kris Ryans with both Kali Fox and his wife Heather. On each of the corner shelves sits one of the championships of Sin City Wrestling, all with Kris’ name on the bottom plates, with the exception of Jet City’s tag straps. He lets out a heavy sigh, the first indication to the fans that he is there at all, still completely obscured by the back of the chair.

Sorry for the lack of bells and whistles everyone….

He stops and laughs, finding something funny in his last line. His hands come up from the sides of the chair, motioning to the wall in front of him.

I usually try so hard to keep you people out of my personal space. I typically do these things from a gym, or while moving from place to place. I don’t really welcome people into my bubble, because that never really ends well.

He drops an arm, but uses the other to wave at the air, getting rid of the idea that got him off track. He had not allowed people into his office to throw himself a pity party. It was what was in front of him that was important, not his feelings about it. After all, the scattered pictures on the shelves seemed to pepper in all of the members of the Jet City family, and nearly all of them had turned their back on him at this point. That was not what he wanted to share with the audience though.

I wanted to talk about our history for just a second.

Kris stands from the chair, and runs his fingers along the top edge of the SCW Internet Championship. It was roughly waist height on the wall, just barely visible to the camera, and directly across from the Roulette Championship in the other corner. Both of Jet City’s tag team championships sit across from a second Roulette Championship and the SCW World Heavyweight Championship that he had won on the same night.

Usually people only want to talk about the good stuff, but that is awfully dishonest. I’m certainly guilty of it. I have been talking about my status as a Grand Slam Champion since coming back, even though every single one of my opponents has tried to say it doesn’t matter. They’re right...

Instead of sitting back down in his chair, Kris moves around to the front of the desk and leans against it, squared up to the camera.

...anyone can be wrong from time to time...

He does not look like himself. For once there is no grandiose posturing. There is no self-indulgent behavior that led people to sour on him in his return. He had stepped in front of the camera to tell the truth, as he sees it, for once in his life.

Take for instance, these promos we do. We set up a camera and say things leading into these kinds of matches in an attempt to gain a mental edge over our opponents. We poke and prod at our adversary’s perceived faults to get under their skin, and get them off their game.The problem is, the things we say on the way in don’t always hold up years later.

He laughs, and then corrects his statement to be a little bit more accurate.

Shit, a couple of years would actually be nice. In some cases, they don’t even hold up for the walk to the locker room after the match. People promise victory, only to get beaten. Sometimes people promise to maim, injure, or outright murder people in the middle of the ring, and fail to gain any momentum.

It is a definite jab at Jack Washington and all of the agony he had promised but failed to deliver on during their match on Climax Control. Kris does not linger on it, staging focused on his current opponent.

In the case of Griffin Hawkins, he said some really horrible things leading up to a match almost eight years ago, and has been trying to say that he is not the same person as he was back then. He is quick to brush it off as just a product of the time and what the company brought out in the people that are there. He is quick to say that he has grown as a person, and is better now. As terrible as his words were, and as hard as this is going to be to believe, I have no reason to doubt him. After all, he was not the only one stepping into a match and trying to gain an edge.

Kris raises his hand and runs his fingers through his hair, trying to pull back memories of that time.

People would say things like, “Griffin Hawkins is a face that you are only going to see in the background of something important.” “He isn’t a main event.” “He’s lucky to have a spot on the roster at all.” Even while the guy was showing up and busting ass. I remember Parker saying, ”calling Griffin Hawkins is insignificant would be an insult to truly insignificant people. He doesn’t deserve to be any higher than a curtain-jerking show opener.” Some people, like those that they worked for back then were more open about it. They would just hit you with ”Griffin Hawkins cannot lead a company anywhere but into the ground.”

Kris shakes his head. It was harsh, and not necessarily his own thoughts, but it was also a part of weird way that history had tangled the two of them.

I can see how a guy would lash out and try to say some attention grabbing shit in order to change the narrative about himself. I can understand trying to gain an edge, no matter what the cost is. When everyone is against you, sometimes you have to shock them in order to get your point across. Is it unsavory? Sure. But look where Griffin is now. Look at the person that he has become since then. He broke through like nobody thought that he could, and became a better person in the process. It is almost enough to make me want to cheer him on. Maybe I would be in his corner under different circumstances. The problem is, I am the one standing across from him this time.

...and this is the part where I am supposed to make those types of bold claims though, right? This is where I am supposed to say something about how Griffin doesn’t stand a chance. I’m supposed to close this thing out by making it seem like my hand being raised at the end of this thing is already a foregone conclusion.

I mean, it usually works out that way, doesn’t it? I have a knack for really making people look lackluster when I am the measuring stick that they are up against. To me, that doesn’t feel like building myself up, that is just the truth. Is it hard to hear for some people? Absolutely. Is it difficult for some of the people on the roster to stomach? Of course it is. The fact of the matter is that despite how much everyone wants to be, they aren't as good as I am. They haven't accomplished as much. They aren't going anywhere in Sin City Wrestling that I haven't already been.

It’s not like I’m unbeatable though. Not by any means. Honestly, if Griffin manages to pull this thing out at Into the Void, I wouldn't be surprised. If at the end of the match, Griffin cues up a Shot In The Dark and my shoulders are pinned to the ground, I am sure that nobody watching would be surprised. Look what Bill Barnhart was able to accomplish just a few weeks ago. Nobody saw that coming, and it acted as a catapult for that guy’s career. Those things happen, and there is no reason to think that if Bill got the job done, that Griffin couldn’t. I am not some unstoppable force, nor an immovable object. I’m not the biggest man on the roster by far. I am not the heaviest man by even more than that. What I am, is unpredictable.

That is why I have been so successful in this company, and in this business. I’m not someone that you can plan for. I’m not someone that follows a script. Inside that ring, I don’t have a gameplan that you can pick apart, I’m just there trying to survive until I find an opening to exploit. I’m not some technical wrestling genius, but I am a cannonball that can cave in the side of your face in a split second. Don’t believe me? Go ask John Blade about it, that is if his brains have been unscrambled in the last few days. Jack Washington thought that I was too injury prone, and too washed up to be able to keep up with him, but all it took was one SmackShot and my music was blasting through the PA system. I pick my spot, and after I hit it, nobody leaves the ring the same person that they walked in. Everyone doubts me on the way in, but understands on the way out. The things I do inside the ring are miraculous. There’s no other way to describe it. I’m one of a kind. An original, but not unbeatable. Not by a long shot.

Kris seems satisfied with the critique of himself. It isn't common that any superstar, let alone one as self serving as Kris would do anything to show weakness. His eyes move away from the camera and towards the shelves on the wall and the championships that rest on them. Kris thinks back through all of his championship reigns, but not for the successes that he had in winning them, or defending them. Instead, he replays each defeat: Despayre taking the Internet Championship from him, Jet City losing their belts in under a minute, Crimson busting his face open to take the Roulette Championship, and even failing to end Fenris’ reign before he took his two year sabbatical. He lets it sink in that he is unstoppable, and feels his focus sharpen, knowing that he is not without his own boundaries.

I am showing up to Into The Void hoping to add another win to an already storied career. I plan on walking out feeling like I am on top of the world. I like Griffin Hawkins. He and my wife are good friends. He is someone that has earned my respect over the last eight years where everyone told him that he was never going to amount to anything. He may have started out as a shitty person, but maybe getting a little reminder every now and again will help him to keep moving forward. A reality check from time to time keeps you humble.

If I am honest though, I don't care about the end result as much as I do about sending a message. We all know that Griffin Hawkins has eyes on the SCW World Heavyweight Championship. It was what he was after eight years ago when I was getting started in this business and he was saying things to be ashamed of. It is the only thing that he feels like he has yet to accomplish here. He wants to be the guy that the entire company has to look up at. All these years and he is still trying to prove all of the naysayers wrong. The problem is, unlike most of the people that he has come up against in this company, I have already been to the top. I have already done the thing that he wants most. Even worse, his biggest claim to fame in this company is breaking my Roulette record.

He says the words again for extra emphasis, pausing between them to make sure that they each have time to sink into the viewers’ minds.

MY. Record.

Kris taps his chest three times in the center of the chest, his words now picking up a little momentum.

Meaning I had already been there, and done that. The difference between the two of us is that after losing the Roulette Championship, I went on to win the SCW World Heavyweight Championship. And then I went on to hold it not until someone beat me, but until I had to walk away due to injury.

Kris had picked himself apart all week in an attempt to explain everything that Griffin had simply written off as a tantrum, but now it was Kris’ turn to really open up about what nobody was saying about his opponent.

Under all of the talk about me not being the same, or the company evolving, there is one simple truth. Griffin Hawkins wants to use me as a stepping stone to doing the things that I have already accomplished. He wants to catapult himself to the top of the contenders list, whether Ben Jordan or Mark Cross comes out of Into the Void with the biggest prize in SCW. The truth is, as soon as I came out to the ring and challenged him, his eyes lit up. He saw someone that nobody can deny is a star in this company. He saw someone with an indisputable record in this company. He saw someone that carried this company. Regardless of anything he says about me, he knows that I am one of the single best to ever step into an SCW ring. That was why it was a no brainer that he would accept. I am his best chance to take that step to the main event.

Come time for Into The Void, my message to Griffin and the rest of this roster will be perfectly clear. People don’t get to just pass me up on their way to the top of this company. I might not be carrying around the title, but take a look at how just being in this match has already helped Griffin. We are talking about a guy that lost at Blaze of Glory, and again on Climax Control. The highlight of his month was me coming out and throwing him a bone. He may not have made it onto the card otherwise.

The Grand Slam Champion snaps his fingers.

...and just like that he is a win away from being considered a real contender.

Kris holds his arms out to his side, allowing himself to bask in his praise of himself.

Such is the power of the miracle.

The whole thing seems over-the-top, but such is Kris’ nature. The important thing was that he appeared to be back to feeling more like himself.

I’m sorry to tell these young and hungry newcomers, if you want to be considered one of the best, you need to go through me. Unfortunately for most of you, that’s too high of a bar to expect you to be able to clear.

He circles back around to the task at hand, leaving the rest of the roster for another time and place.

We’ll see which side of the fence Griffin lands on soon enough. I hope he knows what he is getting into when he steps through those ropes. I hope he has prepared himself for what is going to be waiting for him in this match. I hope he realizes everything that he has to lose if I walk away victorious. If not, he has a week to figure it all out. As for all you couch surfers out there, you are going to have to wait another week to find out.

With that, the camera cuts to black.

==========================================================






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#TheMiracle
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Griffin Hawkins
Posted: June 05, 2020 09:18 pm


SCW Royale
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Group: Members
Posts: 82
Member No.: 332
Joined: July 21, 2017





While I was in Vegas, I decided to do a little shopping on the strip, possibly heading over to the gift shops to get a little something for Taylor, she always enjoyed little souvenirs such as key chains, t-shirts, sometimes even jewelry if I'm feeling like surprising her with something special. I walked out of the Bonanza Gift Shop ready to head back to my car...but I heard footsteps behind me..

...not good.

I know if I look back, I'll probably make things worse. So I figured maybe I'll lose them somewhere if I walk down the street towards the buildings. But I can still hear the sounds of footsteps behind me, only it sounds like it's much faster now. I was starting to freak out just a little bit. There were at least some people out on the street, a lot of them with protective masks covering their faces. I was more focused on getting away from whoever was following me. The footsteps behind me were picking up speed...I decided I needed to run.

I had to get away from them somehow.

I kept running and running until I was knocked down by an unseen fist from around the building. I look up and see a man dressed in all black, his skin almost pasty white.

"Going somewhere?.."

I didn't even stay and try to talk to him, I turn and see two similar looking men behind me, dressed the same. I go to get up...but not before giving the man a quick punch right below the belt and throwing him into the others. With them falling like dominos, I see it as my cue to get the hell out of there. I keep running, at this point I forgot that I had to get back to my car. They get up and run after me. I figure I could lose them in the alley...but I come to a dead end..

Griffin Hawkins: ....shit.

It doesn't take long for the figures in black to catch up to me. They begin walking closer as I start backing up towards the wall. I was prepared to fight my way out.

Griffin Hawkins: ..you want me? Come and get it..

I clench my fists, not sure if I would survive this. But just then from behind one of them is rammed against the wall by a familiar looking blonde young man in a long black coat. The other two look confused, giving me time to take advantage as I run and deliver a hard clothesline, taking him down. The only one left decides that's his cue to exit and runs away.

Gideon Blackwell: That's right ya bloody coward, sod off!

Griffin Hawkins: Gideon?...

Gideon Blackwell: The one and only...

Griffin Hawkins: The hell are you doing here?..

Gideon Blackwell: You sure have a funny way of saying hello...and saying thank you for saving your scrawny neck.

Griffin Hawkins: Well I do owe you that..but why are you here?

Gideon Blackwell: Come on Griff, you think I'd let you and Marquis hog all the fun? Me and him get to meet some old friends and possibly put them into the ground..

Griffin Hawkins: Gideon..if you get involved in this, you're only going to make things worse. Things aren't exactly hunky dory between Kedron and Marquis right now.

Gideon Blackwell: Aww, is the little witch getting his panties in a bunch? I never liked him, he's always so bloody grumpy...I bet he never had a day of fun his whole life. His lady though..

Griffin Hawkins: You are so lucky he isn't here right now to hear you say that, or he'd string you up by your fingernails.

Gideon Blackwell: Oooh..I'm just shaking in my boots.

Griffin Hawkins: Gideon please...do not get involved in this. Do us all a favor and just go home.

Gideon Blackwell: I don't think you get it Hawkins. This involves me too. Me and him aided that cult, and if they are after him, they'll be after me too.

Griffin Hawkins: So why aren't you hiding in whatever sick decrepit place you call home?

Gideon Blackwell: Do I look like the type that runs away from a fight? Please. Besides, this is probably the most fun I'll have in a long time..after all they'll need all the help they can get if the Cult Of Blood is really back.

I didn't want to admit it..but he had a point. We were going to need all hands on deck if the cult is still around.

Griffin Hawkins: ...I gotta be out of my mind...

Gideon Blackwell: I'll take that as a yes then!

Griffin Hawkins: Just try and stay out of the way...and try and stay on Kedron's good side

Gideon Blackwell: I had no idea he had a good side...now get outta here before more come after you.

I nod and head back to the car, ready to go back to the hotel. Gideon had a way of antagonizing people...I just know Kedron is not gonna like the fact that he's back in town...


---------------------------------------------


~Some years ago~

I'm known the world over for my musical talents. I went from singing in dive bars to singing in live arenas...even performing on wrestling shows. I've seen a million faces and I've rocked them all. Some would think I was always the big rock star who sold out arenas and left the crowd begging for more.

But my story didn't exactly get a good beginning.

See, I wanted to get into music in the most desperate way possible..I was willing to do anything, hell even sleep with a record exec to get into the main stage. After mastering the guitar, I was introduced by a friend to a band who was looking to make it. I figured I'd meet some like minded people who had the same dreams as me.

I thought wrong.

The band turned out to be a Foreigner tribute band called Blue Morning. Not exactly what I wanted to do...but I figured it would at least get me somewhere. But the lead singer Jack Crowley for lack of a better term was your classic egomaniac, believing he was the star of the band and everyone else was backup. We played in many dive bars, coffee houses...whatever gig we could. But everything Jack did felt more like he was benefiting for himself. One night we were playing at a local carnival..a song that would stick with me throughout my career..Jukebox Hero. In the middle of the guitar interlude, I looked to do my best. I was then tapped on the shoulder by Jack. He shouted loud enough so I can hear him over the screaming crowd.


Jack Crowley: Hey dude what's going on?!

Griffin Hawkins: It's the guitar solo man, how do you like it?!

Jack Crowley: I think you're trying to hard!

Griffin Hawkins: Are you fucking serious? This is the way it's always been! You heard the song!

Jack Crowley: Yeah but people can barely hear me sing! We don't want to make this a one man show!

Was this guy serious?

Griffin Hawkins: What is the matter with you man?! I can only play the song one way and its like this!

Jack Crowley: This could be our biggest performance ever man, do not fuck this up!

I was sick and tired of being scolded like a child all because he wants to make this band all about him. He continued with his other verse....feeling rebellious, I decided to play over him. He started to get angry and just stomped over and shoved me.

Jack Crowley: Knock it off! I'm sick of your shit!

Griffin Hawkins: Well I'm sicker of yours!

I shoved them back, I can see the crowd starting to notice. I didn't care, I was sick of him and wanted to unleash my anger. I did it in the most appropriate way as I gave him a hard punch right in the jaw. Before I knew it, we were both rolling around punching each other. It took pretty much the whole band to break us up. I don't know what came over me, but I was done being treated like I was nothing.

Days later, I guess I felt a little bad...feeling like I wrecked our one shot at being known as the next big band...even if we're just a knockoff of another famous band. I arrive at Jack's garage where they are all talking.

Griffin Hawkins: Hey uh...Jack. I just wanted to apologize for before. I know I was being an insensitive asshole during our gig and I just wanna say I'm sorry..and I'll do whatever you ask of me.

They all just looked at me.

Griffin Hawkins: Something wrong?...

Johnny Brock: Look dude...we all took a vote and we decided you're out of the band..

I just stood there in disbelief.

Griffin Hawkins: ...this is a joke right?

Jack Crowley: Look Griff...you're a good guitar player but, it's just not working out. We all decided maybe it's best that you leave the band.

Griffin Hawkins: ....so that's it? One fuck up and I'm out?

Jack Crowley: This has been a long time coming Griff, in the last few performances you've kind of slacking...

Griffin Hawkins: Dude, I've been playing the way it sounds on the track. And I haven't heard any complaints from the others about my guitar playing...

I look to the the two other band mates who don't seem to be running to my defense.

Griffin Hawkins: Are you kidding me? You guys are just gonna follow his lead? When are you gonna stop letting him lead you around with his hand up your ass?

Jack Crowley: Griff! Don't make this any harder than it is. We've all decided on it..that incident was the straw that broke the camel's back. It's for the band's benefit.

Griffin Hawkins: It feels more like this is for YOUR benefit. Come on Jack, we all know this band is all about you, you don't want anyone to steal your thunder and you're gonna do the easiest thing and kick me out of here.

Jack Crowley: Whatever man..you're gone..just go!

I didn't really have much left to say to them. I go over to the garage and take the Red Fender strat I always played during our gigs.

Griffin Hawkins: ...Fuck you all.

I turn and go to the car, putting in my guitar as I get in the driver's seat...driving off. It felt like my dreams of being a rock star was dead and buried...I didn't know where my future lied, but it wasn't with them. It seemed it was the end of the road for me...but I wanted one more chance to succeed.


-----------------------------------------------


Cameras come to the empty ring in the arena....where I am lying dead center in the middle of it, dressed in black leather pants and a David Bowie T-Shirt. By my side is one of my classic guitars, a red fender stratocaster. I just lie there, looking up at the lights as I begin speaking.


"In life we all have to face things the way they are. There are some who can run from the inevitable truth and realize that they can't change things and eventually give in. And there's others who refuse to accept the truth that one company has been able to move on without them. Will that ever become me? Will I ever reach that stage? A big part of me hopes not. But when I do look back on my time here in SCW, I will have accomplished everything...but I will not become bitter...angry...insecure that the company has moved on without me. Kristopher Ryans...he's become one of those guys me and him promised each other we'd never become. We promised that when our careers are over and done with, we'll let others carry on the tradition and let them have the spotlight...but that has been too much for him to take."


I lie back...almost in disbelief that Kris has been roped into one of those guys.


"Kris...you've pretty much name dropped every last person who I've listed as the future, talking down upon them as if they were nothing. You more than anyone know that wins and losses come with the territory. You could lose a million matches..and still get back in the game and show why you belong here, just like those athletes in the locker room have. You can run them into the ground but they got the one thing that's needed here in SCW to survive, and that's heart. When was the last time you checked yours? When was the last time you questioned yourself and asked yourself...do I really belong here? I never have. Christian Underwood told me when I came back that if I wanna stay here, I gotta prove it to myself and prove it to the world. If you want to stay, you have to prove it to yourself and everybody in the company. All you have proven is that you are angry, bitter, insecure that the company has thrived without you, that's why you're back..and that is why you are in my face. I wanna see how much heart you have...I wanna see The Miracle of old..I wanna see if you still have it."


I slowly rise up, grabbing my guitar.


"And it's true in the case of Parker Wayde. I said a lot of fucked up things which caused him to lose his temper and allowed me to get the victory...do I regret it? Of course I do. Am I a better person then like you said? Yes I am. There will come a time when me and him will meet face to face and we'll settle our differences like men. But that day..is not today. But you were right when you mentioned how far I've come in my career, ignoring all the critics and doubters who told me that I don't have what it takes to be a major player. But the one thing you are wrong about..how I'm still trying to prove the naysayers wrong. See, I was told many times to my face that I can't do it..you heard words they said. But do you hear them anymore? No. Sure, someone like Jake Raab will say that I don't deserve the world title, but his words are fueled by envy, so he doesn't count. You've been to the top? So have I. In the last year I captured the World title 3 more times in different organizations. I was doing all of that while you were at home retired...Sin City is the last piece of the puzzle for me to capture the World Title."


I wanted to become World Champion..that was the truth. Kris was indeed onto something.


"You think that I want to use you as a stepping stone. A launch

ing pad for me to ascend to the higher level of my career. Any other person in my position would want to do exactly that the minute you walk down to the ring and challenge them to a one on one match on the biggest show of the year. But that's not how I see it. Because Kristopher Ryans is nobody's stepping stone. You didn't get this far as a stepping stone for anybody. I took the challenge because I gotta know who is the best between us. You and me as far as I gather have only been in two companies together...we've never had a one on one match before. When I got here years ago I hoped for the day that would happen, maybe for the World Title...but now we're here face to face, no belts on the line..and if it's one on one..I'll take it any way I can."



I then sit in the corner of the ring, with my guitar, strumming it a little.


"So tell me Kris..when you ran down all those stars that I've listed, I gotta wonder...did it feel familiar to you? Because there were people who have said the same thing about you...people who said that you would never amount to anything here in SCW. People who told me the same things you have told them. You know what that makes you Kris? A hypocrite. Because like it or not...guys like Jack Russow, Jack Washington, Mark Cross, Finn Whelan...they are the future of this company. And when you and me are retired, they are gonna lead this company into a new chapter. You'd think someone like you would know what it's like to be told that you can't do it. But know this, the both of us set the bar for them. They look to us as the best in the industry..and they one day will lead the charge when our time is over..but that won't be for a long time..because our time is now."


I did wonder what would happen when my time comes for me to walk away...


"You seem to think that there are like..carbon copies of you. Like..wow, I had no idea that you invented the arrogant obnoxious trope. You believe that Christian and Mark are somehow replacing you? Dude have you been taking your medication lately? Nobody is out to replace you. What you got in your mind is a classic case of being spoiled by success. See...when you won the World Title, you let it go to your head. You allowed your shining accomplishment to make your ego bigger. You rose to the top of the company, but if this company stayed afloat..what would have happened? Someone would've came along and defeated you and sent you on a downward spiral and you'd end up packing it in and going home. When SCW made their comeback, you expected it to fall flat on its face..but as you can see, we didn't fall flat anywhere. Business is booming..new stars are created..and we are on top of the ratings, and it's all because of every star on this roster coming out to this ring and busting their ass. You and me have been around for a while and we both know this..well, I thought you knew this. Maybe it's time I remind you of it..."


I look straight at the camera.


"As for a match...neither of us know the outcome. The two of us are the best in the business today...and this is something the fans have been wanting for years. You made the challenge to me..and I accepted. I wasn't thinking of the world title even though a win over you would put me in line for a future chance...I was thinking of testing my strength against what many regard as the measuring stick of this company. I gotta ask myself can I beat the Miracle? Can I do what many say is the impossible and beat Kris Ryan's right in the middle of the ring? Well...if Bill Barnhart can do it...I can too. On the biggest show of all, I'm coming to rock your world Kris...be ready for the fight of your life."


I put the guitar around my back, leaving the ring as the camera crew turns off everything.



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Kristopher Ryans
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Into The Void
Jet City South - San Diego
1 June 2020
OFF-Camera



Kris did not have time to play games today. Finally Coby had the time to help him get ready for his match. Sure, things had not exactly gone Coby’s way at Underground, but that should not matter. He effectively had the week off before being everyone’s friendly neighborhood bouncer during the pre-show, and Kris needed a training dummy. After all, that was the whole reason Coby came to stay with him originally.

Kris: You still in a shitty mood or are you ready to get to work?

It was not the right approach, and Coby did not even look up from his desk before replying without any enthusiasm at all.

Coby: Unlike you, I don’t actually need anyone there to be my cheerleader in order to get things done.

Coby’s eyes do not come away from the screen in front of him, but from the angle Kris cannot see what it is that he is doing.

Kris: That’s not true at all. You care way more about what fans think than I do.

It was a valid point, but one that Coby shoots down immediately.

Coby: Not even close to the same thing...

Kris: Oh, it’s not? Enlighten me then. What makes it any different?

Coby lets out a heavy sigh, and his eyes drift up from the screen to meet Kris’.

Coby: Me not going out there and cheating, or thanking the fans for being supportive is nowhere near the same thing as you needing someone around to pat you on the back for doing your job. You have a match to go out and win. People are paying a bunch of money to see it. That means you have to put in the work. It shouldn’t be conditional on having an audience.

It was a lot more harsh than usual but Kris had pushed all of his buttons in the short time that they had been back in the ring for their respective brands.

Kris: It’s not like I have an audience anyways. It’s all Underground rejects and GRIME goons. Half of them have colors instead of names! That’s not a crowd.

Coby shrugs, and his eyes fall back to the screen. He was not interesting in Kris wasting any more of his time.

Coby: Still missing the point...

Seeing that the conversation was not going anywhere, Kris changes gears and tries another approach, attempting to lure Coby in the way he tried to get people to sign with SCW.

Kris: Right, you don’t want to be a cheerleader. So don’t be. Climb into the ring. You are a decent stand-in for Griffin’s quickness. Plus, you get to hit me.

Coby does not even take a moment to think it over.

Coby: Not interested.

Kris counters, having led Coby into a trap in an attempt to win the argument once and for all.

Kris: So then it wasn’t about having to stand around patting me on the back, that was just your excuse.

It does not rile up his protege in the least. In fact, all Kris gets for his effort is another shrug. If anything, Coby looked more bored with the back and forth than he did annoyed that Kris would not leave him alone.

Coby: As if I need an excuse to avoid someone that only cares about himself.

His nonchalant attitude is enough to finally push Kris past his threshold.

Kris: Nobody made you come here. Nobody made you sign to Underground. You chose to be around. You can’t blame that on me now.

It was textbook Kris, attempting to point a finger at everyone else whenever something was not going his way. Instead of letting it slide like everyone at Jet City had for so long, Coby calls him on it instantly.

Coby: It’s really easy for you to make everything everyone else’s fault, isn’t it? Then you don’t ever have to take a look at yourself and figure out why it keeps happening.

It was more matter-of-fact that Coby tried to be, but if there was going to be any getting through Kris’ thick head Coby could not risk being subtle.

Kris: I can’t help it that people’s feelings are overly sensitive. Didn’t think I was going to have to add you to that group though.

It was a last-effort guilt trip. Kris’ version of a hail mary attempt to finally get Coby to cave in. The Underground athlete was too smart to take the bait, and instead hammers Kris with more of the truth that he did not want to hear.

Coby: You basically just called a friend of yours a racist on social media. You left your family to come back to wrestling. You let Mikah stay here even though that is a terrible idea for literally dozens of reasons. Not limited to the fact that all you two do is ignore each other and snipe each other on Twitter. You trash everyone, including your friends.

Kris tries to cut in, but Coby does not give him the opportunity.

Coby: That unpredictability and recklessness may help you in the ring, but the people close to you never know if they can trust anything you say or do. It’s always a game, and you are the only one that is allowed to win. You’re lucky that there are people left still trying to get you to grow up.

At this point Coby’s chill energy had evaporated. He had risen to his feet, now standing face-to-face with Kris despite their being a desk between them. Still, Kris was not ready to admit that his friend was right.

Kris: Ever think that maybe I am just fine the way that I am?

Kris had tried the same line on people days earlier, and nobody bought it then either.

Coby: No.

The speed at which he answered nearly gave Kris whiplash.

Kris: You didn’t waste any time thinking that one over...

Coby did not need time to think over his reasoning either, laying into Kris with everything that he should have been saying for the last month.

Coby: If you were happy you wouldn’t be here begging me to train with you. You wouldn’t be in SCW instead of at home with your family. You wouldn’t try so hard to maintain the upper hand in literally every single one of your personal relationships. It is all on your terms so that if you push people away, it was their fault.

Not wanting to keep up the deep dive into his psyche, Kris tries to deflect.

Kris: Kind of feels like I am in therapy instead of a gym.

Coby laughs. It had been a topic of discussion amongst the Jet City family whether to force Kris back into therapy so he would stop constantly creating chaos in the lives of anyone remotely connected to them.

Coby: Then maybe you should go talk to Everleigh about it. I bet she agrees with me.

Kris does not even consider it as an option. That chapter of his life was closed. No therapist had ever given him any helpful insight anyways. It was like they were all out to get him. Nothing he ever did was right.

Kris: Well that wouldn’t be surprising. She never took my side.

Coby does not take it as the rebuttal that Kris thought it was and instead reinforces his argument with Kris’ point.

Coby: Yet another piece of evidence to show that you are always wrong.

Kris throws his hands up in the air, finally giving up.

Kris: Fine, don’t help me.

Coby sits back down in his chair, and starts to make himself comfortable again. If Kris wanted to walk out, he was not going to stop him.

Coby: I’m trying to help you. You’re just too closed-minded to get it.

Defeated, Kris turns his back on his friend.

Kris: Well then maybe I am just a lost cause.

Coby’s eyes move back to the screen in front of him, and he mutters almost under his breath.

Coby: Finally, something we agree on.

Kris barely catches the jab, and half turns around to launch one of his own back at his friend.

Kris: You know, if there were fans here, they would have booed you for that.

Coby is still not offended. He gives his friend another shrug, and one last piece of advice.

Coby: Yeah, well they are not here, and they won’t be at Into the Void either, so you’re going to have to figure it out on your own for once.

Kris opens his mouth to argue, not wanting to give up having the last word, but something stops him. The wheels start turning, and his voice becomes much less argumentative.

Kris: ....I guess so...

He turns and leaves the room without any more objection. Coby follows him with his eyes but makes no move to follow him. A smile spreads across his face. Kris may not have thought he was helpful, but Coby knew otherwise. It was another step in the right direction.



==========================================================


Return Service
1 June 2020
ON-Camera




Can we talk for just a minute about all of you out there?

Kris is back in the office that we saw him in to start the week. However, instead of using artificial light to allow the viewers to see every little detail of the room, the only light shining beams down from the skylight overhead. It beams down, creating a bright halo around Kris’ head as he lays in the center of the floor. Whoever is operating the camera has it angled down at Kris on the floor, so that his face is at the center of the frame. It was clear that the weeks of being isolated from everyone was starting to get to him. His words run over one another without even the slightest pause in between them. It was almost as if he could not wait to get whatever grievance he had out into the world and out of his head.

I promise it is not a waste of time. I will circle back to a point eventually, but I realized that I had a few things to get off of my chest.

His words are still not coming out in his usual confident and collected tone.

These smaller venues with just the Underground people and crew members in the audience are a lot less fun than an arena packed full of fans.

His eyes wander away from the camera lens, but fail to focus on any specific thing in the room around him. A smile briefly bubbles to the surface of his face as he pictures himself performing in arenas packed with people. Whether they loved or hated him never mattered, just that they were there, and they saw him. For Kris it had always been about those around him being forced to accept his existence. It was the reason he wanted to spend his life in front of a crowd. They proved to him that he was still alive, for better or for worse.

I know that it might be surprising to hear, especially coming from me, but the fans are actually the most important part of the show. They are the only people on camera that are never going to lie to anyone. They let you know what they love, and what they hate without any kind of hesitation. If they love you, they will rally behind you no matter what and it is like having a few thousand of your closest friends cheering you on. If they can’t stand you, then you’re not even going to be able to hear yourself think over how loud they can boo you.

Kris flashes through some of the viciously negative reactions that he has been able to draw out of the fans, but tries not to let himself dwell on it so long. Just as quickly as the thought comes, he throws it away and moves on to what had drawn him to talking about the fans in the first place.

Most importantly, they’re the best editors in the business. If you go out there and try to lie to them, they are going to call you on it. If you misremember anything, or let details slip away from you, they are going to let you know that you messed up. Fans have the ability to end a career just by their response to people. It’s insane how much control that they have, and maybe I didn’t really notice it until they were gone. They keep us sharp. We need that.

His appearance does a lot to prove his point. WIthout his usual support team, a tag team partner, or his family around, he was looking a lot less sharp. Kris’ typically clean shaven face was covered in a full beard, and his usually well-kept hair was starting to look like it had been neglected for days. There was nothing necessarily sharp about him. The former champion looked as though he had lost his way without someone around to help him steer the ship.

There would have been no ‘Triple Crown Champion’ Kristopher Ryans mishap if there were fans in the arena that would have pounced on the ability to correct everyone with their chants, or their signs. Even more so, maybe they could help Griffin Hawkins with a little bit of SCW history, since he appears to be a little spotty.

Kris sits up from the floor, and the camera in front of him moves backwards in order to stay in front of him.

See, I told you that there would be a point in there somewhere.

There is a flicker of life in his eyes, and his words start to find a little more direction. He had spent weeks letting Griffin’s words kick around in his head. Without anyone to bounce any of his thoughts off of, he had been left to stew on his own. There was no telling how far down the rabbit hole he had fallen in his exile, but he was definitely trying to lead the viewers down the same path.

Last week Griffin painted you all a word picture. He took you guys back a couple of years to the greatest return that this company has ever seen. Their hero returned to save them from a lifetime of seeing Calvin Harris or Crimson as the last champion of their beloved companies. Neither of those two men deserved to hold one championship in this company, let alone two at the same time. The two of them main eventing the last show ever would have been a slap in the face to all the work put in by all of the people that have come through the locker room, or paid for a ticket to come see a show in person. The outcome of that match was lose-lose for the fans.

He pushes himself up off the floor, but points directly at the camera. His eyes are focused solely on the lens of the camera, as if just remembering the biggest moment of his Sin City career.

...and all of that would have come to pass, if not for the miracle that happened.

He snaps his fingers and then breaks away from the camera, starting to pace in front of the desk. His words speed up again as he replays the events from memory.

Without actually being cleared to compete, and still rehabbing from an injury, I made my way out to the ring to stop the two of them from ruining the image of this company forever. The show ended with my becoming a two-time Roulette Champion, and finally capturing the SCW World Heavyweight Championship when nobody thought that I could do it. Calvin Harris wouldn’t even acknowledge the fact that I was on the roster, let alone a contender. The last shot of SCW was an underdog triumphant over two of the worst people this company has ever hired.

The mental image of the two of them fighting it out in a match nobody wanted to see still cut into Kris. It should have never been them. That was always his spot, and he would not have had to make a surprise return if not for his own recklessness. His effort was all for nothing though, because that would not end up being the end of SCW. Not by a long shot.

Of course, SCW came back not long after. That much is true. However, according to Griffin Hawkins, you have to fast forward a full two years before I come back into the picture. In his mind, that was the night that I decided to pack up and go home.

He whistles while waving his hand off towards the edge of the frame. Kris had little doubt that few people would have doubted his legacy had that been the end of it. It was enough to almost make him regret not sticking to retirement then. It would have saved him some broken bones at the very least. He did not let any of the thoughts running through his mind break his train of thought, or his pacing around the room.

Griffin said that I already have the respect of the SCW locker room, but apparently he thinks of me as a one-night-champion that got to hold up something shiny for a few seconds before the company closed its doors for a little while.

There was no other way to take it than as an insult to everything he had accomplished as a champion. It was what made Kris think about the fans in the first place.

Had he said something like that in front of an arena full of people, they would have laughed him out of the building. That’s why fans are important. They stop us from making fools of ourselves. Anybody following along from home knows that I was one of the first people that came back on board when Sin City announced that it was going to make a comeback. I was the one reaching out to everyone and trying to pull familiar faces back together.

As champion Kris had been one of the first people that Mark and Christian had reached out to once they decided to return. Knowing he could not do it alone, that was when Kris actually started putting the work into being the face of the company. He provoked people into signing, even if it meant putting himself on the line. It was the one example from his life where putting himself out there had not blown up in his face.

Griffin talks about that night in January being important for me, but it doesn’t even begin to compare to Climax Control 201 that April. It was our first night back, and Mark Ward walked out to warm everyone up, and let everyone know that even though it had been a while, things were going to be okay. He wanted to let them know that we weren’t just back for a show or two. I remember standing backstage, watching on a monitor, not really knowing what was going to happen.

The smile from earlier spills across his face. He could remember exactly what it felt like walking out in front of the crowd that night. It was the night everything he had ever wanted finally snapped into place.

I’ll never forget what he said. This is a guy that gave me shot after shot, and always welcomed me back into Sin City no matter how bad I messed things up. He was a guy that was always kind of silently in my corner, or at least that is how I felt. I didn’t know what to expect...

He stops pacing in the center of the room and leans back against the desk, squared up to the camera. The former champion crosses his arms in front of his chest, lost in memories of that night in April.

He had people in the palm of his hand and told them, “At Full Circle, the place I truly thought SCW was nicely finished, something happened at the end of that show. A man who deserved everything he got, by realising a dream and capturing not only the SCW Roulette championship, but the SCW Heavyweight Championship!”

The smile on his face widens, and his eyes get slightly glassy, showing how much the entire spectacle had meant to him. He laughs, and allows himself to get a little further off track.

The crazy thing was, the fans immediately erupted. That had never really happened for me before. I had pockets of people that would cheer for me, but go back and watch those shows. I was booed just about everywhere that I went. Then Mark came out, and talked about that miraculous button that my return put on the end of Full Circle and everyone loved it. I went from someone they hated, to someone that had given SCW a happy ending before we were all supposed to ride off into the sunset forever. The problem was, I was so wrapped up in watching it, just from a fan perspective, that I didn’t even realize he was talking about me. It took a crew member nudging backstage to really shake me out of it.

As I was backstage, being pulled towards the staging area, I could still hear his audio being pumped throughout the arena. From where I was standing behind the curtain I got to see him tell the world that I was “a man who overcomes problem after problem, and bounces back stronger, someone we put our faith in because we knew one day, he would become the star that he is today.”

He paused and runs his next few words through his head a few times before letting them come out of his mouth. Sometimes he still did not think they were real.

He called me an SCW Legend.

There was none of the usual smugness in his voice. It was clear that the words had meant something to Kris, even if they had just been for the purpose of riling up the crowd.

Then the power went out, I made my first entrance as the SCW World Heavyweight Champion, and effectively became the face of the company. The fans accepted me for who I was, and cheered me despite my history. I came back, when so many others took their time.

Kris started to straighten himself up now, brushing some of the lint from his shirt, and running his fingers through his hair. Somehow it made it look more like the controlled madness he usually styled it with instead of the homeless bum vibe he had previously been giving off. The smile on his face shrinks down into a smirk. His confidence was starting to return now that some of the weight was lifting off of his shoulders.

Now most of you will remember that from there I tore the house down as champion for a few months. Crimson tried to kill me a couple times. We had one of the most violent matches in company history, and he took a piece of my ear as a trophy of some sort. Then along came Fenris, fresh off winning Blast From The Past with a bright young student that I helped to train. All signs pointed towards a battle of the best up-and-comer and an SCW legend, only for an injury to cut it short. I mean, I guess the world guess a sex scandal out of it in exchange, but even when I tried to rush a comeback, that match ended up being more disappointing than anything.

The entire last month of his time with the company in 2018 had been one disappointment after another. He tries not to let that get him off track though.

Griffin Hawkins made me out to be a one-night champion, seemingly forgetting that I held that championship for six months before injuries cut it short. He says people remember my legacy, but then skips over the most important part of it like it never existed in the first place. Maybe he doesn’t understand why I am so frustrated, because he doesn’t really understand my place or my legacy at all. He remembers an iconic end cap to a show. He doesn’t remember the miracle. How could he? He wasn’t here for it.

Like a light switch being flipped, the condescension filled his voice.

Griffin Hawkins didn’t come back when Mark and Christian reopened the doors. He finally made his way back to Sin City just over a year ago, months after an injury had put me on the shelf and almost a full year after Mark had introduced me as a legend on our first night back.

Kris had finally put together exactly what bothered him about Griffin, and the reason that he had felt compelled to interrupt him and call him out for their fight at Into the Void.

Griffin is quick to say that SCW moved on and evolved into something bigger without me, but doesn’t even realize how much things changed in the year that he was gone. He has no idea, because he wasn’t paying attention. Griffin says I see him as a threat to my legacy here, and he is right, but it is because of his own ignorance. He wants to lecture me about what he thinks my place is, and doesn’t have a clue what he is talking about. Since the crowd isn’t around to open his eyes, I guess that I am going to have to.

If viewers went back to the beginning of the video, they might not believe that the same person is standing in front of the camera now. The doubt had faded away, and Kris seemed focused once again. As he spoke he had found his purpose.

I never wanted to take credit for his successes, just acknowledgement that I was the one that kicked open the doors for him. I paved the way for him to enter this company, long before he was following my footsteps and breaking Roulette records. I was the underdog that broke the glass ceiling and became a legend in this company long before he set that lofty goal for himself. I have already lived every single story that Griffin is trying to write for himself in the SCW record books. Is it too much to ask for a thank you?

Clearly Kris did not think that it was. He was not going to stop there though.

Is it too much to expect people to remember the things I have contributed to this company?

He backtracks, not wanting it to sound like Griffin was just like any average person off the street either. This was someone that should have known better in Kris’ mind.

Griffin Hawkins is someone that I consider a friend, and he has been for a long time. From his fights with Parker Wayde, who trained me, all the way to him fighting my brother for a world championship in one of the most insane matches that I have ever gotten to sit in a crowd for, I have always respected the person he is, and the things he can do inside the ring. It’s not a secret. Look no further than the other night when I had to remind him that he is a six time world champion in his own right, and shouldn’t have anything left to prove to anyone. I may be the bigger star here in Sin City, but Griffin Hawkins’ resume stretches longer than mine, in companies across the globe. He may be the longest reigning Roulette Champion in SCW, but that is far from the greatest accomplishment in his storied career.

This match is not a legend standing in the way of a newcomer that is trying to make a name for himself. Griffin Hawkins is not someone like Jack Washington. Griffin might not have reached the top of SCW yet, but he is a legend in this business. And I have no doubt that he will hold the SCW World Heavyweight Championship sooner rather than later.

Although Kris was full of himself, his words did not come off as sarcastic.

... and if I can clearly see the impact he has made on this business, and the legacy that he will leave behind when he chooses to step away, why is it so much to ask for that mine not be forgotten? Because that is what this was all about. Do I not deserve the same benefit of the doubt that I extend to others? Are my contributions somehow lesser because I am just a legend of this company?

He could continue with the rhetorical questions, but instead takes a different path.

....or maybe I should just try looking at it another way?

He gestures out towards an imaginary marquee overhead.

More like an SCW Legend versus a Wrestling Legend.

He drops his arms and nods, still looking at the sign that is only in his imagination.

Griffin is trying to add a win over me to his list of accomplishments as a way of propelling himself into the upper echelon of the locker room, which is fine. But when I beat him, it means I beat someone who has been known as one of the very best in every company that he has ever worked in. It means I transcend everything that I have done here, because I can take on one of the best in the world and walk out with my hand raised in the air.

He was past the point of worrying about what everyone else thought. That had led him into a week-long downward spiral. He would give them what they wanted. Only, he would be doing it on his own terms.

People don’t want me to linger on my past in this company? Fine.

He shrugs it off like he had not spent the month fighting doing that exact thing.

I’ll put all of that history on the line if it means doing something bigger and better than anything I’ve ever dared to do before.

The smile widens across his lips again.

Griffin, your path to the top of this company goes through me, but my path to immortality in this industry goes directly through you. Unfortunately, your dreams are going to have to wait until after Into the Void.

He reaches out for the camera, but leans in close to the lens as he does. His voice lowers.

I need this one. Just take the L.

With that, the camera cuts to black.




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