Author Topic: Greeking Out Over These Views  (Read 79 times)

Offline The Dragon

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Greeking Out Over These Views
« on: April 01, 2022, 04:50:32 PM »
Blast from the Past did not go to plan, obviously. Forged like Japanese steel, the more you heat it the tougher it gets, I mean that’s a great sound bite and all, but good ship Kat Jones was already beaten the hell up before the bell even rang. The perils of freelancing in this business, and the perils of getting on the wrong side of someone else’s action too, you could end up in a world of pain real fast.

I mean I get it, not performing at your best after you got flattened and folded a couple of nights before, against one of the best Bombshells to ever throw hands in a Sin City ring. That’s a tough ask for anyone to have to go through.

Plus, it seems she and her brother spent a lot more time together than they did apart. Normally not a problem, if they weren’t on opposite sides of the fence. The irrational parts of my brain can’t help but wonder if it was something of a collaborative effort, even subconsciously. Why risk hurting myself even more for the sake of keeping my brother out of the next round?

I get it, but I can’t help but feel like I’ve been screwed, in a way.

It’s the biggest problem with Blast from the Past…I may have been knocked out twice, but I haven’t been defeated personally. Having the ability to turn the tide of a match in a couple of moves is all well and good, but if you can’t step in and do something about it, at least, without getting DQed anyway?

Tough rub. I like to be in control of my own destiny. Especially in a situation so important to me.

The legacy was not cemented, but it certainly managed to stay intact. There’s always next year.

Part 1 - First European Adventure

I had always hoped the first time I took Dylan to my home continent, it would be purely for us, and not as a bolt-on to a work trip for me. It felt like it was something that should have been a big deal, a standalone thing…the Space Center, Disney, you can do that stuff in a full day but this is fucking…well…Europe y’know? Nevertheless, since some of the Greek islands on the tour were going to be new even to me, and the prospect of a lot of downtime to explore in between the shows, it seemed like a no-brainer to say yes.

Besides, there was no way I was leaving her behind.

We were about to find out the perils of manning a watercraft after overindulging on breakfast mimosas for the morning, and while I had managed to put on my well-put-together act just long enough for the man to trust us enough to hand me the keys, I figure we would be better off proceeding with caution as we set off in search of the Canal D`Amour - The Channel of Love.

“Baaaaaaaabe how do you drive this thing?”

The yell of Dylan’s voice over the din of the motors as I stand on the dock untying the rope still holding us in place, stopping our vessel from floating away into the ocean before we were able to drive it there ourselves.

I owned a boat once.

Did I buy that boat because my ex-fiancee Amber joked that she wanted to be a marine biologist, and I wanted to get her something so she could follow her passion? Yes. Did I not realise it was a joke until after I’d made the purchase? Yes. Did the vendor tell me to get fucked when I tried to return a whole six figure yacht within 24 hours? Oh hell yes they did. I’m a stubborn fucker at the best of times, and for months I went about this whole act that Amber and I? Yes - We were complete, total, fully committed, 100% boat people, because what the hell else was I going to do in that situation other than make the best of it.

She made me sell the boat.

But, one thing that was for sure? Out of Dylan and I? I was the only one with any kind of boating experience, and therefore the one responsible for our ongoing safety, and our return in one piece.

“You’re so fucking cute it’s not fair!”

My face lighting up as I look up to her, still trying to get my head around the fact that this girl, leaning against the controls, complete with her novelty boat captain’s hat she’d bought from the resort gift shop, was all mine, standing there looking back at-

“Whoa it’s kinda moving…” mutters Dylan as she leans against the throttle lever…

“Whoaaaaaa…” cries me, one foot on the dock, one foot on the loading ramp leading onto the boat, my legs stretching apart like a human banana split as she wrestles with the controls, at least stopping the movement of the boat as my arms windmill trying to keep myself upright.

“Uhh…okay…so do I…”

“Okay…pull back on that lever you just leaned on…that’s it…now left a bit…no, the other left…now forward slowwwwwwly…fucking slow…”

…and as the boat left from under me, dumping me ceremonially into the water, we all knew that Dylan didn’t push the throttle forward quite fucking slowly enough.

The truth was, I couldn’t be mad. We couldn’t help but laugh as I stood there, dripping wet, rubbing at my hair with a towel, and telling myself I would have air-dried so much quicker back home in Miami.

Ah, Europe…how I haven’t missed your coldness. Comparatively speaking, anyway.

Adventures around the Channel of Love to be reserved for when the opponent(s) are more present and correct. Maybe.

Part 2 - Reflections

Kerkyra Stadium.

It was in a place not unlike this where it all first began for me. An outdoor arena, in a soccer stadium, defeating Teddy Warren for the first of what would become many times. It was an early sign of what was going to come from me over the next couple of years, but I don’t think anyone quite imagined just how far it could go, and I was very much included in that.

I may not have held every title, I may not have done X or Y the longest, but I have achieved things here that nobody else has to date…others where you can count the other achievers on one hand…and I have plenty still to achieve before I finally hang up my boots.

It’s interesting what inspires people to keep doing this.

Some quest for longevity, the most number of days, the most number of defences…and yet they use their positions to leverage it, throw out those ‘open challenges’ knowing someone who isn’t on their level will jump at the chance to skip a few rungs and earn themselves a shot at the big time. Throw the challenge, book the match, coast through a whole cycle before a challenger of worth even gets a sniff.

Some believe possession is nine-tenths of the law, they just have to hold everything…get their grubby little mitts on anything shiny, springing from division to division trying to capture…something…only to expend so much energy on the effort that it slips out of their grasp faster than they earn it…or once it’s in their hands, they lose interest. On to the next one.

Blast from the Past proved something to me, something I always knew, something I’ve drummed into my talented students, and any of my friends who came to me for advice.

If you can stand on your own two feet? Don’t wrestle in tag matches.

The fact of it is…you shouldn’t lose a match unless you, all-ends-up, are beaten…yet this sport throws up so many times where you’re not the worst man, you’re just not the winner.

I think about the number of people I’ve crossed paths with, and I try to work out how many people I’d actually trust whole-heartedly to be in my corner…Evie…who even though we never saw eye-to-eye never lost a step in the ring…Amber…who seems to see a side of me that not even those closest to me never can…Devinee…my oldest friend in this business and the reason I even gave wrestling a shot…and Faith…on the merit of being my star student, and more than capable of kicking my ass at age nineteen…maybe four or five names from a cast of hundreds, who I trust to match me effort for effort, knock for knock, blow for blow.

It’s time I stand on my own two feet again.

The truth is it doesn’t matter what I do, what matches I do and don’t take, where I do or don’t wrestle, what titles I may or may not go for, or what accolades I may add to my list of achievements. I will always be the first to win two straight Blast from the Pasts…I will always be the man who our esteemed champion categorically fails to pin down, literally…75% of the time and counting…I will always be the guy who started at the bottom rung of the development brand to stand atop of the mountain, all within a few short years.

I will always carry a fear factor with me that most can only dream about.

Even the ‘best’ in the building want to sidestep me. Just because they’re not said in the public sphere, and while I’m not in earshot, that doesn’t mean I don’t know they’re happening.

It’s a beautiful thing…me…here, no particular targets.

It just means nobody’s safe. I can feel the roster quaking in their boots.

You know what’s not beautiful? A stadium with a fucking running track. The stands end up so far away from the action you can barely tell what’s going on half the time. Make sure you pack binoculars, you won’t want to miss my big finish.

Part 3 - Silver Spoon

They say that in tournament format, there’s not much shame to be had in being knocked out by the eventual winners. I can’t subscribe to that.

Why, because often, in a tournament? There’s usually a couple of teams, or individuals, or nations considered the favourites. A few heavy hitters whose place as eventual winners would be no real surprise.

It’s not just Blast From The Past…throw me into any competition like that, and there’s a damn fine chance I’ll be turning over a few apple-carts. Very few people want to back me, because seeing a hard-worker beat everything that isn't in its path isn’t what the people want to see.

This new generation? They want everything handed to them on a plate.

Sadly? In our business?

Substance > Hype.

I’d developed a pretty expensive habit, something to help my travels become a little less tedious…in that I’d go and hunt down second-hand guitars from local pawn shops, something to carry with me and play when I was away on longer runs, and something I’d pay forward and donate to a local charity or something before I left. The problem became that I became attached, each one took on their own personality in a way, some of them had gotten names, and at that point, I had to keep hold of them. I had four properties in all, Miami, my hometown Canterbury, Reykjavik, and a ski chalet in the mountains back in the US, and each one had turned into storage for keepsake guitars from my travels, as well as their intended purpose.

This time I’d let Dylan pick the instrument for the Greece tour, which meant this was absolutely going to be coming home with us. The little parlour guitar that rested against the balcony overlooking Pelekas village had seen better days, the top covered with deep gouges, the strings shades of green and black that I’d very swiftly changed, for risk of catching 14 different varieties of tetanus or something and having to skip the rest of the tour, and the action was almost prohibitively high no matter what I did to try and fix it…but the punchy little thing rang out like a cannon if you dug into it, and there was plenty of life in the old dog yet. 

Sitting down in the chair on the balcony, I pick up the instrument, finger-picking softly away as I casually address the camera.

You can look between Brayden and I and well…It’s very easy to look at me and say I’m no different, if you simply scratch the surface. Looking down at my five-figure watch, as I climb into my six-figure supercar, and drive back to my seven-figure mansion out in Coconut Grove, and you know what? We could look like a right couple of kindred spirits but you know what that couldn’t be further from the truth.

What they don’t tell you, is for the last 5 hours I’d been busting my ass in the gym, working out right alongside my students, living proof that I wouldn’t expect them to do a damn single thing I wouldn’t do myself.

In my two choices of career…football, and wrestling…you come across the likes of you, Brayden. Either born with the proverbial silver spoon in their mouth or, and fair play to this, their performances in the league, on the field, in the ring you name it, they earn the big pay-day and they want to flaunt that shit. It happens. I don’t begrudge them. You see the guys who flash the cash, latest pieces from the hottest designers, fresh Js on their feet every time they step in the locker room and hey, I get it, I’ll give them those compliments they’re so desperately crying out for. Anyone knows me will tell you - I can be materialistic as fuck. It’s not even can be, I am materialistic as fuck, that’s my default…but here’s the difference…

Look at how I got here. This very position I find myself in now.

Let’s not beat around the fucking bush here - Coming up fifteen years in this industry? I’ve paid my dues, earned my stripes, whatever cliche phrase you want to use. There’s a certain amount of uhh…how do I put it…not having to work for things that I could be getting away with, and probably should in all honesty. After all, we only get a finite number of matches in this business after all and maybe those opportunities to skip a few rungs should be taken where they come along. I could have walked into the building, slapped my resume down on the table and requested a World title shot in pretty short order, as a way of sweetening the deal to even sign that contract here in the first place.

After all, I proved I was capable, didn’t I? I won it, held it in my hands. A lot of people ask…expect…demand…to be in these positions and I could have absolutely done that…but where’s the fun in that? What’s the headline?

“Good wrestler wrestles good and wins title belt LOL”

I love a good story, and if you couldn’t tell by making the Canal D’amor one of the first places I visit here in Corfu, with the love of my life by my side, I’m a bit of a romantic at heart. See I don’t live in a world of ‘oh that’ll do’ or ‘oh that’s good enough’ because really and truly, you know. You always know when you’re cruising through doing the bare minimum.

You can’t throw money and get what I’ve built, and you can’t fake real, tangible success.

For once, I’m going to let my hair down a little more and enjoy my time on Corfu, take in the sights, eat well, drink well, live well. I can guarantee I will have worked harder than you, for longer. I will have prepared better, for longer. I will have gotten my mental game on point, for better.

Everything will just be better.

Now…if you’ll excuse me? My lovely lady friend and I have reservations at the Alexandros, so I’m going to cut this one uncharacteristically short. Don’t worry all you Dragon fans out there…it’ll be enough…I’ve got this.

I still thirst for romance, I still thirst for romance,
And the sand between my toes
Darling I, I seen demons dancing, I seen demons dancing,
Across factories floors