As everything flew by me.
W I L D H E A R T
Blurred and rendered almost unrecognisable.
Chapter Two: Start Again
I wondered to myself.
Voltage, April 12th, 2020
How did things move so quickly?
How did this arrive as soon as it did?
I used to drive with the roof down.
Down the open road with nothing but mountains around me.
How often those mountains felt like they moved forward with me, how often I felt on a treadmill where only my immediate surroundings passed me by. Yet every time I arrived at my destination - a town, a city, a stop along the highway - I would stop to realise those same mountains I felt would never disappear were long there. A realisation that time moves quicker than we realise. We inevitably arrive at our destination as long as we remain on the path, but the journey to said destination can pass us by before we know it. Ultimately the very thing we should be valuing, the very thing we should be able to look back on with fond memories becomes a blurred and ever fading memory that we can never quite recall. I speed towards Grand Rampage and every passing day makes me realise more and more the value of the journey that I’ve been on. It’s bittersweet knowing it’s about to come to a close; my personal redemption for my prior shortcomings and failures, rectifying the mistakes I made. This second chapter’s final words will be written before I know it and it’s only realising now the conclusion rests on the horizon how far I’ve come; how so much has changed. I no longer feel tied down to the guilt of empty promises, of letting down those who invested so much into me, how helped build me up and those so close to me to whom this business matters so much to. It’s weight lifted from my shoulders, it’s no longer a knot twisting and turning within my gut. It’s no longer sleepless nights occupying waking thoughts with regret and self pity. It’s no longer spending sunny, cloudless days laying in a bed feeling as I could no longer face the consequences of my actions. It’s progress, it’s growth, it’s maturity before my own eyes. It’s only now in hindsight that I see it all but I guess I’m not the exception, we’re all prone to these same realisations in these moments. Even regardless of the outcome I can no longer cling to the idea of being a fledgling. I’m no longer a fresh face albeit still one that has a long way to go, by no means some veteran with veteran knowledge. It’s no longer a justification I can cling to whenever I’m defeated, it’s no longer a justification I can race to and hide behind when I stumble, when I stagger, when I stagnate. I’ve seen others who have clung to the same rung for months, years even, who still find themselves wrapped up in excuses, in justifications all stemming, all evolving, all manifesting from the hope of being treated with the same care, the same openness, the same leniency devoid of criticism and judgement as they were when they were new to this world. Jalyn Garcia will not be another prime example of failure, of another “woulda, coulda, shoulda” that only leaves us wondering. Half the people I have faced in just the last three and a bit months of this year are already under the Former Talents banner and I don’t have the intention or the remote desire to stick around facing more people like them. Every brand has them, those with not just months, but years in this company beneath their belt and they’re still facing opponents who they don’t know if will still be employed the following week and I will not join them.
But how fitting is it? On my last Voltage before Grand Rampage, before leaving this bottom of the pile of faceless names and nameless faces, of bodies who simply exist as fodder, do I face once last opponent who seemingly fits everything that I wish to separate myself from.
We’re all just meagre fledglings at one point or another, aren’t we Gavin?
We’re all just newcomers in a world that we don’t yet understand.
We believe ourselves to be mighty enough to shift the tectonic plates, to rearrange the world as others once knew it and into something we see as right, as correct, as ideal. All these desires wrapped up in one idiom or another or sometimes many all at once just to give us a meaningful direction at a time where our sole direction is universally shared among every other fledgling with us, those before us and those to come after us. And no different to the path that we follow, so too are the apparent “unique charm” we associate ourselves with. I don’t particularly think that I myself are a unique individual but there’s a reason why I don’t string myself to it as a bargaining chip in these disputes. No, I’m much more aware of the reality that comes when one is new to this business, when they’re a fresh face among tired faces. ‘Smackers’ is adorable despite feeling as if I’ve gone back some month and a half to facing Colby Sol, who thought his prior boxing talent was an elite advantage over my simple heart. Want to imagine how that went for him? The conclusion is rather obvious. It’s a cliche, isn’t it? The expert from a more physical sports - boxing, mixed martial arts and so on and so forth - walking into the world of professional wrestling and believing that their skills - one punch, one take down, one submission - is vastly superior and capable of ending an opponent in an instant. And yet it all ends the same. The golden punch that doesn’t kill, the submission that doesn’t break bones. Suddenly the unique ideal that we cling to, that we hold up high thinking that it's our key to success, the reason why we’ll not only stand out but also succeed, is absolutely nothing. Content filler in these verbal wars that means nothing in the end as you’re left defeated. You’re a fledgling, after all. Someone who doesn’t yet understand the reality of the world around him, what he has thrown himself into. There’s always a critical flaw among people such as yourself. Great athletes of other sports, who possess apparent skills such as a lethal and rather instant punch should be able to overcome the lesser, the lowly fledglings you’re surrounded by. And yet what happened last week? How did your talent to knock people down with the “ol’ ONE-TWO-THREE!” from ‘Smackers’, huh? I don’t even fucking know who the Grand Athletes are, were they enhancements? As you climb the mountain, pal, you find those who can overcome these unique traits, can beat what brought you to the big dance but not down here. Not down here. You don’t face people apparently called the ‘Grand Athletes’ and lose and your partner is not a crutch to lean on - an excuse to cling to. The best overcome the weak they’re paired with; they rise to attain victory no matter the straggler tied to his waist.
And you couldn’t.
Ain’t that a shame.
I would have overlooked you, kept my eyes on Grand Rampage regardless of your result from last week. Nothing quite changes apart from the opportunity to poke fun at the gaping hole that inevitably shows itself when someone thinks they’re unique and lethal, that they can end a match suddenly. I understand why, you want that moment of being able to incapacitate your opponent in an instant. Like how the Heart Break Boy could once snap his fingers and end a match with a superkick, people like you crave a similar finality to contests in an instant. But these are mostly fictionalised outcomes positioned to give us the most satisfaction. Inspired by the Tyson's and the Ali’s who could put their opponent down in a blink of an eye, it’s awe-inspiring though forever a dream the vast majority never see become realised. I’m a betting man and I’ll gladly put $100, a $1000, my house and all my assets on you being part of the standard and never the exception. You pose nothing to me but a pointless counter before a more important event. What does beating you prove? Little at best, overwhelmingly nothing period. Everyone wants to start their career off on the best foot and while you can dismiss a tag team defeat, there will be nothing to dismiss the moment you’re laying there defeated. I don’t really need much of a reason either Gavin. At the end of the day the greatest difference between us isn’t what I’ve done thus far, it isn’t in our different talents. You race out onto this minefield called Elite Answers Wrestling without knowing what lies beneath, with every step you take potentially blow your legs to destination fucked while I? I’ve been taught the path to follow to traverse it. You can have the killer blow, the capacity to take extreme amounts of punishment and even though I struggle to believe such an overused cliche still holds some form of relevance I guess I can still manage to suspend my belief for a second. But I am smarter. I am faster. I am more cunning. I am more methodical in my approach and in my execution of everything that I do. It’s a disadvantage that I even find myself feeling sorry for you having to deal with, but that’s the nature of this company. Little care is given to the likes of you when the powers that be throws you to the likes of me. 0-2 isn’t the ideal start but it’s where you will fall, what you will be dealt.
Welcome to this world, Gavin.
Welcome to the disappointing reality.