Built For It==========================================================
Jet City South - San Diego
16 September 2020
SCW Grand Slam Champion is laying on his back in the middle of Jet City South’s six-sided ring. Mikah had been enjoying the down time with her kids, and Kris didn’t blame her. Unfortunately, he did not have the same problem. For Kris, the off weeks dragged by. Even now, he had another week and a half before he would be stepping in the ring again. There wasn’t anything to do other than go through his routine. He was more than ready. All he was doing was waiting. That was what had led him to laying in the center of his ring breathless. Without an audience or other students to work around he had made use of the full gym. It was like the old days in Jason’s basement obstacle course all over again. The hours flew past in a blur, and he was that much closer to the opening bell. The last thing he had expected was to be interrupted while lost in his thoughts, but his eyes snapped open as the ring rocked under him. Through the corner of his eye he caught a blur, and his instincts kicked in more as a reflex than anything else. He rolled away from the blur, for Courtney Pierce to land on her backside right next to him. Her outstretched leg would have landed across Kris’ neck had he not moved. Once Kris’ eyes settled on her, he smiled up at her.
Kris: ....and here I was thinking someone threatening was coming...
He tried to push himself up off of the mat, but Court slid herself closer to him and trapped his right arm and neck between both of her thighs. She grabs his right wrist with both hands in an attempt to pull his shoulder forward to sink in the triangle choke.
Court: You better watch yourself, Ryans. I can take you these days.
Kris wasn’t surprised, or even annoyed. Court had been a big part of the Jet City Sports Lab in Seattle. When Kris had left to stage a comeback in Sin City, she had followed, heading back home to Long Beach. At every step of building Jet City South, Court had been there, and had shown up when he put in the call for her to help Kris get Mikah ready for their first match as a mixed tag team. Their relationship had grown in the two years since they worked together in Sin City. It was strange, considering how things had started for them.
Kris: Remember that time you took a swing at me and broke your hand? Good times.
The sparkling, purple, fingerless glove on Court’s right hand hadn’t really come off in public in the last few years. It was a reminder to her to always keep her cool, no matter what. That mistake had led her down a path full of setbacks. She wasn’t going to be headed back down that way this time around. She was hoping that she could avoid that by having Kris take her under his wing. Kris brings his knees up under himself, and places a free hand on the front of Court’s thigh. She was getting better at catching him by surprise, but she was still a long way off of being able to neutralize the raw power differences between them.
Court: I remember that you ducked.
Despite the confidence in her voice, she finds herself picked up into the air by Kris as he gets his feet planted to the ground. He pulls all of Court’s weight up with him, leaving her hanging from his neck as she tries to get the triangle hold right. Unfortunately for her, Kris was still able to breath.
Kris: ...because you swung at me.
He voice was strained, probably from the fact that he was just about spent before she had attacked him. He tries to lift her right side up, but Court intelligently releases her hold on his arm, and uses his momentum against him by throwing herself back and sending him flipping down to the mat. They both land on their backs head-to-head. Kris tries to sit up, but Court rolls herself backwards to stop him. She drives her knees into his shoulders and pins him down to the mat.
Court: No… because you were afraid.
Kris shakes his head without giving her words any kind of consideration.
Kris: Afraid of what? You? You’re not that good.
Kris plants his feet to the ground, and uses his leg strength to force his body off of the ground, forcing Court’s knees off of his shoulders for just a split second. That is all the Grand Slam Champion needed to pop his head free and give her a shove away from him. The distance the shove creates allows Kris to get back to his feet, but Court is up just as fast as he is. She takes a step towards him, and fires several right hands that he manages to slap away before they can get inside his defenses.
Court: If I wasn’t that good you wouldn’t waste so much time helping me.
Flattering Kris takes him off of his game for just a second, and she uses it to her advantage by dipping under his attempt to push her back, diving to the mat, and sweeping Kris’ legs out from under him. The Miracle hits the mat hard, and Court spins around on the mat. She places both of her palms on Kris’ forehead, laces the fingers of her hands together, and looks down at him with a winning smile. Kris shrugs, unbothered by his predicament.
Kris: Oh, that’s what we’re doing? It’s Honest Hour, is it?
Court pushes herself up to a sitting position not at all surprised that Kris was trying to deflect away from the fact that she currently had the upper hand.
Court: Why? You don’t think you can handle it?
Kris sits up, but spins around on the mat so that he could face her. It was something that they had agreed on back in Seattle. If they were going to be able to co-exist, they were going to have to be able to cut through all of the bullshit without the other taking offense or making it out to be a personal attack. It was something that he had tried to put into practice with Mikah based on how well it had worked with Court, but Mikah wasn’t open enough to really let it work.
Kris: I think that you’re a little crazy trying to get back into the ring right now. How many times have you gotten this close, rushed it, and had to take a step back?
She knew that he was going to attempt to throw it in her face. She suspected that was the reason that he hadn’t stepped in the way of Kate wanting to work with her. At the very least, Kate represented someone that was much more familiar with the Bombshell roster than he was. Kate could help Court in the same way that Mikah was supposed to. Hopefully without the clashing egos. Court wasn’t about to sit back and allow Kris to attack her decision though. Especially when she knew the truth about his reasons for coming back.
Court: Oh, and you’re one to talk! You have a more colored history hurting yourself than I do, and my hand was YOUR fault too!
She knew that her hand was just the start of it. She had tried to put the rest of the injuries out of her mind. It wasn’t going to help to dwell on all of the negative things that could happen in the ring. It was where she wanted to be. It had always been where she wanted to be. That was the reason that she got along with Kris. They had both always wanted to be in a ring, in front of a crowd. There was no obstacle that was going to stop them from living that dream as long as possible. Still, Kris wasn’t just going to let her forget about the risks.
Kris: What about the concussions when you tried to come back, eh? Was that me? Or the broken collarbone before you were even cleared to be back in a gym?
His revisionist history wasn’t fair, and she wasn’t going to let it stand, even if it was supposed to be against the rules to be defensive.
Court: --I was allowed to be in the gym, just non-contact….
Knowing he had her on the ropes, Kris pushed the subject instead of pitying her and letting her slip away from it.
Kris: ...and how did that work out for you?
Instead, the only thing he did was bring out the short temper that she was still not great at keeping under wraps. It was that same temper that got her hand broken two years ago. The same stubbornness that led her to push things to the point of getting injured every time she tried to come back. She didn’t like being wrong, and wasn’t going to sit and listen to Kris tell her that she was without turning it around on him.
Court: How well has it worked out for you? How many times have they put your knee back together? You’re up to your third shoulder surgery now right? The broken arms? The cracked ribs? The broken jaw? Didn’t you spend like a month not able to talk for some reason? The list goes on. It’s what we do. We’re built for it.
She looked down at the black and blue bruises on her legs and on the insides of her arms. She had always seen them as just part of the job. They were little tolls that you had to pay if you wanted to stay on the road to greatness. Pain was just part of it. They had to persevere if they wanted the glory that came from all the struggle.
Kris: There you go thinking that we are the same again. You weren’t built for this. You were some rich LBC kid that could have done something easy the rest of her life. You chose this.
She hated every time he tried to use her upbringing against her just because everyone thought of him as street trash before he had made something of himself. It was an excuse for his prejudice, not a reason she couldn’t compete.
Court: Oh, you think a rough upbringing and being open about your junkie lifestyle make you special. Just because life beat you up before you got into this doesn’t mean it has to be that way for everyone.
Kris shrugs, knowing that he is starting to get under her skin now.
Kris: ...I bet you have a real nice view of all us peasants down here from way up on top of that pedestal you put yourself on.
The fact that he didn’t realize that what he was doing wasn’t any different made her livid.
Court: It’s messed up that you can’t see that you’re doing the exact same thing. Pointing out your problems doesn’t mean I don’t have any. Everyone has secrets, Kris.
In the spirit of honesty, he pushes her to spill them to him.
Kris: What are yours?
Court wasn’t dumb enough to let Kris get too close. He was a hell of a teacher, especially to the right type of student, but he wasn’t someone that anyone should trust. Not even for short periods of time. Kris was notoriously incapable of caring about anyone other than himself regularly.
Court: Not for you to know, but I know why you’re here and you can’t go home….
His eyes widen, and he freezes. The turn of the tables happened so fast that he wasn’t able to keep his poker face up. If Court hadn’t already known that her suspicions were correct, she knew for sure based on his reaction. He immediately tries to give her the same line that he gives everyone else.
Kris: They didn’t support my decision to come back.
He can tell that she doesn’t buy it, and she makes no attempt to hide it.
Court: Is that right? I don’t think you’re living up to the spirit of Honesty Hour.
It wasn’t a lie. It just wasn’t the whole truth. It was as much of the truth as anyone else needed to know though. He wasn’t quite sure how Court had put it all together, but he wasn’t about to let her dive into his personal life for her own amusement.
Kris: We’re done talking.
He tries to get up to his feet, but Court throws herself forward and drives an elbow into his abdomen to double him forward. Kris tries to take a breath, but Court gives him a shove back down to his backside.
Court: Does Mikah know?
Kris looks up at her surprised by the question, but not too far off his game to block a half-hearted kick from his trainee.
Kris: Why would sh--
Court cuts him off by leaping up and catching him in the side of the head with her knee in a move that takes her back down to the mat next to him. Kris’ hands raise to his head. She hadn’t hit him hard enough for him to see stars, but he knew she wasn’t actually trying to maim him. It was definitely hard enough to rattle him a little though.
Court: Yeah, you’re right. She wouldn’t care, or wouldn’t get it. Maybe she just wasn’t involved enough in Jet City to see it happen. Mikah has always been too self-involved to pay attention to things happening right in front of her.
Kris could understand Court’s attempts to get under his skin, but there was one part of it all that he couldn’t explain.
Kris: Why all this sudden hate for Mikah? She is the one that trained you, and she’s my tag team partner. That should at least earn her a litt--
Court flicked him in the side of the head with a playful smile on her face. Sure, he had been almost out of gas before they had started this little game, but she was still enjoying being on the winning side. It didn’t happen nearly often enough. She was going to take advantage.
Court: No, we’re not talking about her right now. We’re talking about you. The whole Jet City family does a hell of a job keeping a secret when they want to. The dumb ones like Coby are too naive to through the thin layer of bullshit. I don’t think you came here because you wanted to come back. As a matter of fact, I’m absolutely positive that you CAN’T go back.
Kris pushes her away before turning over and getting to his feet in the center of the ring.
Kris: You don’t know what you’re talking about.
Court rolls back on her shoulders and then propels herself forward and up to her feet in front of Kris.
Court: You still want to talk about whether or not I’m built for this?
The words come out cockily as she throws another strike. Kris is done playing with her though. His fatigue for the majority of their conversation led her to underestimate his actual speed. He catches her single gloved hand out of the air, and turns it so that her entire arm is locked into a bunched position. He uses his right heel in the back of her knee to throw her off balance, before giving her a push and sending her falling back to the mat.
Kris: I think being smart is only going to carry you so far.
Court hits the mat hard, flat on her back, but laughs. Even though Kris was getting the last laugh, she had gotten her shots in both physically and verbally. She had him exactly where she wanted him, and now even he knew it.
Court: ...that’s why I have you around to carry me the rest of the way.
With a heavy sigh, Kris shakes his head and exits the ring, leaving Court smiling and looking up at the lights of Jet City South.
>I have been thinking a lot about Sass n Bash over the last few weeks...
He pauses and looks up at the camera with a smirk.
...and yeah, that was me dropping your actual stupid name instead of the one that I have been calling you for the last month. The whole point of calling you Bitch n Moan was to get you to say it yourselves. I wanted the two of you to prove to me that I had your attention.
As always, every one of his words was some kind of game that people were playing whether they wanted to or not.
Attention. It’s one the easiest things in this business to fake. People act like they listen to the builshit that others spew during the show. There are too many people pretending, so you never really know if you actually have a team’s attention. That’s where Bitch n Moan came from. I wanted to know that the two of you were watching.
He takes a deep breath, and some of his smugness fades away.
I have a couple things that I need to get off my chest, and now that I know the guests of honor are watching, I feel like now is the time. I think that maybe I was a little too hard on you two. You were both on top of the world following your big win against Wolfslair and it clearly hurt your feelings that Mikah and I stepped in to ruin your parade before it really even got started. Maybe we should have given you a moment to get on your feet before we tried to take you down. It’s possible that we jumped the gun a little.
It is clear that the Grand Slam Champion is doing his best to sound sincere.
Heading into that first match against each other, I might have also been a little unfair to the champions. I mean, I was pretty harsh when comparing them to myself and Mikah. Sure, Mikah and I have the better resumes, but we have also been in Sin City for a lot longer than the majority of the roster. Maybe Sass n Bash will move onto bigger and better things after their time as a team has passed. For all I know, they could end up in the Hall of Fame before I do. It’s not like I can read the future. Who knows what paths their careers will take? For that matter, who’s to say mine can’t take a horrible Jessie Salco-esque downturn where losing becomes the new normal? Comparing our two teams is unfair, because Sass n Bash haven’t had the time to rise to the levels we have. In fact, if we just want to compare first years, they are way ahead of where I was at this point.
It was an uncharacteristic concession to his opponents and a stark change from all of the other things that he has said about the mixed tag team champions.
Plus, you two make a great point. None of the teams that are coming out of the woodwork and wanting a shot at your titles did so until you were champions. There are teams springing up out of nowhere. The Black Sheep is certainly one of them. I mean, the only teams that really gave you any trouble on your path to the championships were the Trenton Tigers and The Barnharts. It’s like the two of you brought eyes to the division that Wolfslair made everyone afraid to join for some reason.
His condescension starts to bleed through towards the ends of his words. Clearly he was struggling to continue to be nice to his opponents, and it was all just some sort of setup for the turn he was about to make. Even though he tries, he can’t quite manage to regain the sincerity in his voice.
So maybe some of the things I said were a little out of line. Maybe I was a little too harsh. Maybe some of the comparisons that I made were unfair, and the criticisms were a little overblown. Maybe calling them Bitch n Moan was a step across the line, because truth be told, Sass n Bash is not nearly as bad as I led everyone to believe. Trust me. I know that it doesn’t look like that on paper, but you’re just not thinking about it the right way. If we were facing a Sass n Bash team five years from now, they might have the resumes that Mikah and I have, or better. If they were facing us as a team back when we were just finding our footing in SCW, they would totally beat the hell out of us. If all things were equal, this match could go either way, and the fact that I disregarded that fact heading into our match means that I owe my opponents an apology.
The smirk is back on his face, and the Kris that SCW fans have grown to love hating is back on full display.
I’m sorry that we aren’t facing off on even footing. I’m sorry that you two aren’t as successful as we have been. I’m sorry that everyone knew that we were going to beat you the last time. I apologize for pointing out that neither of you stack up well against me and Mikah in the ring, and I send my deepest condolences that The Black Sheep exposed how weak of a team you were the moment that we entered the division. Because, as you have said, all the good teams came out of the woodwork after you became champions. Meaning your path was just as easy as beating champions that didn’t want the championships anymore. You didn’t have a real challenge until you took on me and Mikah and you failed, just like everyone expected you to.
He shrugs, and allows himself a light laugh.
I apologize for all of it, but I don’t regret a second of it and wouldn’t take back or change a single part of it.
Any sense that he wasn't going to attack the champions just like he does all of his other opponents goes out the window.
I stand by all of it, and I would do it all over again in a heartbeat. The two of you have managed to rise to your maximum potential in this division by keeping those championships warm for us after Wolfslair got tired of carrying them around and waiting for real challengers. You have fulfilled your purpose perfectly, and now it is time to cough up what we have already proven was never yours. The Black Sheep never had to trade wins with a team before we could come back and beat them the second time around. We didn’t suffer any setbacks on the road to our championship destiny. We didn’t need any do-overs. Why? Because real champions shouldn’t need to rely on mulligans to get the job done. That’s why nobody is ever going to look at the current mixed tag team champions as anything other than transitional.
Sometimes the truth is more painful than any of the insults that he could hurl their way.
...and now they have a problem with the wheel deciding our fates. They want to play games over the stipulation of our championship match. Why? There are only two explanations that make sense to me. One, they think that there is a stipulation that can give them some kind of benefit. Almost as if they think that it matters what the match type is. Or two, they are afraid of not knowing what they are walking into until their music is playing and they have to come through the curtain. Either way, their gripe is laughable at best, and really, really sad at worst. Before Griffin Hawkins came along, I was the one breaking all of the records in the Roulette Division. I lived my life not knowing what I was walking into week-after-week, and I did it with a smile on my face. When I was the Roulette Champion I wasn’t running from the wheel, I was challenging people to Roulette Rules matches every single time I was booked. Why? It wasn’t because I was obsessed with the violence of it all. I’m not crazy about all of the hardcore matches that have led to part of my ear being cut off, or being put through walls and bathroom stalls in the backstage area. It wasn’t any of the actual stipulations that mattered. What mattered was leveling the playing field and seeing how much better I was at adapting to the situation than my opponent. What mattered was that there is no game plan or strategy for the wheel. Anything you had planned for your match goes out the window the moment you get stuck in a match you have never heard of. Afraid of heights? It could be a ladder match. Submission specialist? Too bad, it’s a Last Man Standing match. Claustrophobic? Good luck being buried alive. The wheel doesn’t care what you planned for. It doesn’t care what you’re afraid of. It picks what it wants and if you can’t adapt to that situation you’re going to get yourself hurt, embarrassed or both. In my case, and in Mikahs, holding that championship and competing in that division sharpened our skills. We don’t care what this match ends up being because we are going to win it regardless. If Sass n Bash are afraid of the wheel, let them decide what kind of match they want to have. They are the ones bringing us the championships after all. Call it a champion’s advantage, especially if they are so intimidated by the random chance of the wheel.
Both members of The Black Sheep had learned to live with the stipulations the Roulette Wheel might throw their way, and had been successful in spite of them. In Kris’ mind, that gave them a leg up on anyone that was afraid to give it a spin.
Mikah and I have already stood across the ring from Bella and Malachi and outclassed them. Bella had no answer for Mikah except bending the rules to try and gain an advantage. She still ended up getting put on her ass anytime she was left in the ring with Mikah for an extended time. Malachi may have gotten some good shots in, but was there ever a time where I didn’t look like I was ten steps ahead of him? He nearly got himself disqualified because of his temper, and then took all of his best shots when he had no hope of helping his team win with them. He tagged himself in just in time to have his lights turned out and have his wife watch on while The Miracle pinned him in the center of the ring as clear as day.
Kris seems to take extra satisfaction about how their last meeting came to an end.
It was exactly what I said would happen. Malachi couldn’t keep himself under control. He is emotional, and focused on some game plan that he thinks will lead him to victory. He had no answer for someone who was just going to laugh in his face no matter how many times he got hit. He didn’t know what to do with someone that wasn’t intimidated by his anger. I knew that his anger would make him sloppy. Nothing else in the match mattered. All I needed was to give him the push that would eventually pay off in my favor. One Godspeed later he was staring at the ceiling of the arena wondering where it all went wrong. All while Bella went out of her way to prove that Mikah was more than a match for her at every turn. Bella might be young and fearless, but there is a reason that she wins as often as she loses and it is because she is short-sighted. She lost control of our match by paying more attention to her significant other on the outside, and allowed Mikah to eliminate her from the equation. Bella’s angry husband left her to get pummeled by a legend while he did his damnedest to put me away. We all saw how that worked out. The transitional champions lost to a team that everyone knew would beat them.
He could have left it there, but instead takes it a step further just to rub it into the faces of the champions.
There was no shock in the air. There was no surprise. Nobody cried upset, and the headlines the next night weren’t talking about our match at all. The only thing that happened back on Climax Control was Sass n Bash helped us solidify our shot at the Mixed Tag Team Championships without me having to make it happen by force. They made this match-up at Violent Conduct a foregone conclusion. They essentially scheduled their own execution as champions. No matter what they choose for stipulation of this match, they’re going to be walking out as former champions. I know it. Mikah knows it. Hell, even they know it... The least they can do is pick a match that will make it entertaining for the fans. That is, if they’re really so intimidated by the wheel.
He winks at the camera, hoping that the champions haven’t tuned him out yet.
Mikah and I know we aren’t. We’ll be ready regardless. People like us… real champions… we were built for matches like this. We don’t disappoint. We don’t fall short. Be ready to celebrate the rightful champions come time for the next Climax Control.