I’m an apprentice.
W I L D H E A R T
Holding the candle to the master blacksmith.
Chapter Two: Start Again
Grand Rampage, April 18-19th, 2020
Understanding how greatness comes into existence.
We see the world through our own personal lenses, don’t we Justin?
We see things for how we want to see them, not for what they actually are.
Interpretations always to our own thoughts and interests, never that of anyone else.
Justin Windgate gets cheered, Justin Windgate has fans chanting his name and clapping along with his entrance. Ergo, they want to see you as Champion. People want to see you and nobody else and for what reasons? Insignificant, baseless and speculative ones based on a reaction that exists simply because you’re not a cunt of a person. And I suppose some kind of lesser reaction, something so superficial in actuality, is why ‘they’ don’t want to see me as Champion, correct? Excitement? The edge? Please neither of those really matter in this match nor anything in this business. Entertainment machines don't correlate with success. Jamie is a boring drone almost robotic in tone, approach and execution and yet it’s never hindered him, correct? That’s the problem that exists with your perspective, you cling to meaningless ideals to prop yourself up as a worthy Champion, someone who should be protected and elevated at all times. Entertain the masses, entertain the mindless, do it for them, do it with the personal pleasure knowing that you provide them with ‘fun’ but even sideshow acts at the circus merely warm the crowd up for the main show and the grander attractions. Finding contentment and enjoyment in such fulfilment is one thing but trying to leverage it? Fella, that’s piss poor. I mean I’m flicking through socials and you know us young kids LOVE social media, and I can’t really find anything about people wanting you as Champion, not wanting me as Champion, people etching your name in as the winner already I dunno, I’m flicking through these pages and can’t seem to find anything. Can you point me in the direction of this overgrowing love and support and praise for your existence and your prominence as Champion? Like this is the kind of thing that I would like some kind of evidence of, you know. We can all make things up, Justin. We can all pull shit from our asses to fill in the pieces of cloth to complete the veil that shields our eyes from seeing the way things truly are. Your perspective is idealistic and Utopian and that simply doesn’t exist. All these reasons, all these cornerstones to base everything you believe in day to day and this match in particular are built on pillars of sand; it only takes one swoop to bring it all crumbling down. Because even if there were millions of people chanting your name, the world was unified in their love and praise of Justin Windgate, again it comes back to the simple reality that none of it matters. Perhaps you can find solace in defeat knowing you have fans who support you, who wish you were Champion but it all means very little. I’m not fighting anyone else but yourself, I don’t really get swept up in these grand delusions that anything else matters. However if believing that you’re walking into a stadium full of adoring fans willing you forward will help you at the very least put on a respectable and commendable effort against me then so be it; who am I to judge how someone reassures themselves that everything will be okay? Ah see, that’s where education and knowledge is important. It allows me to sniff this bullshit out in an instant and make it one the last things I’ll ever care about. Understand that I follow everything Jamie has laid out before me. While I do get cheered, while I am by no means loathed and unsupported by the fans, I do not wrestle for them. I do not entertain them. I’m not an act, an attraction. My success isn’t for them, it’s for my own intents and desires. And if that’s how I feel about my relationship with the crowd, then how do you believe I’m going to interpret other’s? Again, meaningless. This is the problem with our personal lenses, we all believe that the small things, the bits and pieces which build the entire image we see matter universally. The difference between our two cases is no different to every other New Breed contender you’ve faced or anyone else that I’ve faced myself; I see everything through a second hand lens passed down to me from pure greatness while you - like everyone else - are figuring it out for yourselves.
Again, I don’t care about your reasons.
Your reasons are meaningless to me.
I don’t care about your addictions and your mistakes, who you’ve lost because of it and who you’ve lost since cleaning yourself up. Your journey merely exists to build your image and nothing more. You believe what I’ve been taught will be for nothing as I don’t have the talent to overcome you, that education and smarts mean little if one doesn’t have the skill. And yet you yourself are willed forward by emotion. Emotion that doesn’t have weight, that doesn’t have a physical result. Emotion that might push you forward one step further than you would have otherwise walked and perhaps on some nights that one step further is enough to attain victory, but ultimately emotion is no different than smarts and knowledge. I could twist this a bit; emotion causes people to think irrationally, causes people to become blind whereas knowledge helps one calculate and react more accordingly and appropriately. If you believe your sacrifices must have some form of positive outcome, that it must be worth it in the end to validate the decisions, the loss and the pain, then you’re looking for a storybook conclusion in a world where storybook conclusions do not exist. Yawn. Why the fuck should I or anyone else care about some bum ass pothead? Because losing him is going to MOTIVATE you?!? Because it’s going to INSPIRE you?!? Omg my heart, this is very sad, much emotional, wow. PPFFT. PPPFFFFFFTTTTT. PPPPPPPPPPFFFFFFFFFFFFFTTTTTTTTTTT Get out of here with this shit this isn’t daytime drama. Ultimately I can’t sway you from your reasons, they’re entirely personal and set to yourself. My reasons are simple and straightforward, following in Jamie’s footsteps. There’s nothing complicated to it at all and really, it’s devoid of any significance or justification like yourself. It also means I’ll be overlooked because my story isn’t exactly something that attracts people. So be it. I’m not in the business of convincing people. I don’t look to convince you or others for why I will win, why I’ll be Champion etc. I’ll endure whatever resentment comes, I’ll accept rejection and continue on his path before diverging on my own if for one reason or another this apparent universal opinion of you being favoured by the masses exists. I can’t convince you, Justin. Nobody can convince anyone in this business; we all enter our contests with preconceived notions and ideals about our opponents and the matches we have and nothing said throughout the week convinces us otherwise. That’s the issue both been passed down to me and that I’ve come to understand, everyone will find faults, disagreements, fallacies, illogical arguments in the perspectives of others. Simple reasons to dismiss others no matter how minor or significant they may be. I could look at the way you pronounce the event as ‘The Grand Rampage’ and come to a conclusion that your inability to properly pronounce the event as an indicator that you can’t grasp details and thus will be easily picked apart by someone more calculating and more cunning. It’s a stretch, isn’t it? But that’s what this devolves to. I take my time and carefully craft every word without getting into a shit flinging contest about pointless topics, areas and ideas. You however already find yourself venturing closer to straw clutching points, arriving at the conclusion that I can’t give it my all, otherwise I could have possibly won matches such as that Ladder match. Yet could I not come to a similar conclusion about yourself facing The Visual Prophet? Did you give it your all in that match or is this determination of giving it everything you have a selective narrative determined by your own bias and what makes you feel reassured in being better? Because that would be pretty weak, wouldn’t it? So why should I prove anything to you before I take that title? Whether you choose to believe that I’m going to give it my all, whether you choose to believe that I’m a worthy challenger or not isn’t something that I can change or influence but only through your own judgement, both now and after the match has passed. Do you believe I need a reason? A heart pulling, gut churning justification to always progress and never stangate? To give it my all? What would be enough? What would be appropriate to say “Well, now I’m convinced!”? Nothing. There’s nothing and there never will be at any point this week, before our match, where you or my apparent, can’t be found doubters will be.
Your entire perspective of someone not giving it their all, all your reasons to dismiss and avoid ever having to realise the challenge before you is based on ideas that can easily be turned right back on you.
But here’s one I don’t think you quite understand yet so allow me to educate you: I don’t think you quite realise it yet but comparisons to Jamie O’Hara are typically a kiss of death.
Noah Reigner was lifted up and praised as the next ‘Ace’ of this company, Cash In The Vault and a World Championship to boot and yet what happened to him? Myles, someone else with such comparisons made to his name. And I could go on and on throughout the last six years of people who were positioned to be the next ‘Jamie O’Hara’ or simply even had those comparisons made period and still their careers fucking died. Maybe that’s why I’m here under his tutelage, perhaps the only way to finally have a true successor to his legacy and his position at the top of this company isn’t to watch someone else rise to prominence, but to construct the future himself. But I digress, this isn’t about his reasons for investing time and energy into training me and bringing me to this place nor even how people have compared myself to him, that difference is always going to be the reason myself and people like yourself Justin will never be a contradiction to this point. What does that comparison mean if you can’t beat me? What does that comparison mean if you fail to achieve even half the success he had with that belt? Mind you after his first 100 days he went on to take that belt to the Extreme Elimination Chamber at Road To Redemption, something nobody else had done before nor has done since. There’s a reason why people fade away, why they can’t rise up and meet the expectations placed on them; they’re simply too big. People with the kiss begin to believe their success is inevitable, that they can replicate or carve out a path alongside his with similar success and when that doesn’t happen it all begins to slowly slip out of their grasp. Already you use the comparison to prop yourself up as if it’s meaningful in any way. That’s why my knowledge matters, that’s why all my hours studying this business from top to bottom counts. I recognise and understand the flaws in people’s mindset, in their approach. What’s meaningful and what’s meaningless. What to be concerned about and what to not be concerned about. The various nuances that pose legitimate threats to my endeavours and those that are merely illusions cast out to seem far more imposing and intimidating than they actually are. Which is why there’s a fallacy in your dismissal of Desmond which I’m struggling to understand. For all the hours invested, for all the time spent, for all the days he’s spent away from his wife, for all the days he’s put his own training and progress aside for me all topped off with the simple fact that he himself has a personal and professional stake in the success of my career, do you truly believe that Jamie would send someone he didn’t believe would be good for me? All you know thus far is a fraction of the interactions between himself and I as I get ready for this match. You don’t know him, you don’t know what he’s capable of; hell, he could have had a career that far surpassed yours and many others if he wasn’t arrested for smuggling an animal into the United States. Besides, I thought you and Desmond would be great pals considering he spends his off days ripping bongs BUT OH I GUESS DRINKING IS BAD HUH. There’s a point to this. You buy into these comparisons yourself and yet you doubt and pass judgement on the very person you’re compared to. I get that it's easier to twist facts and perspective to suit the narrative you hold instead of trying to find a new narrative at all, however the more you twist it the more it rips. The more it rips, the more holes emerge. The more you dismiss Desmond, my training and my preparation and believe that Jamie doesn’t care, the more you convince me that you’re destined to have the same fate as everyone else who has been compared to him. Do you believe any form of investment would be made illogically and irrationally? No, it never would be; nothing in his career has ever been illogical or irrational. Everything is planned and calculated but I guess being another shambolic mirror makes it impossible for you to see and understand that.
Perspective is a funny thing.
From yours, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him and his training. And you know what? That’s pretty much true. I’m sure I’d be some college student in my final years about to graduate and move on, maybe a sprinkle of wrestling but nothing serious. Without him, I wouldn’t be here so I’m grateful for it all. Grateful for what he’s given me, grateful what he’s invested and how much he’s gone out of his way. I almost threw it all away once but not this time. Perspective is funny. While I can admit to and agree on not being here without his guidance, we diverge on what I’ve done to get here. I only defeated NvL and Shane Gates like yourself but you have this apparent caveat of defeating 22 others. But is it special? Look over those competitors and tell me who else in that match was worth looking out for? Sierra Bradford? Yeah, I defeated her on Voltage the week beforehand. You defeated 22 others but none of them were impressive. If you believe mere numbers and the pile you had to climb over to win makes it significant then you and I are at a crossroads. Mount Fuji is some 3700+m above sea level but it's the easiest mountain to climb. Just because I haven’t had to overcome 22 others to earn my opportunity doesn’t make how I got here any less significant or meaningful. I could wade through cannon fodder but even look at how I got this opportunity to begin with. I had some 3 matches before I got the match at Clash of Kingdoms. THREE. Meanwhile you spent months doing what exactly? Beating competition that are longer around? Oh, you had a match with Lethal Consequences! “Impressive”! We can pick and pull apart at who we’ve faced between X and Y, why victory A is better than victory B and so and so forth but what does it prove? Perspective will always get in the way. Perspective will always see it in a way that’s beneficial to ourselves regardless of the faults. For example, I’ve apparently done so little and yet you neglect the Ladder match I was in against two former World Champions and the former Interwire Champion. Whether I won or not isn’t exactly the thing to debate given this is purely based on the competition itself, not the result. That very match was greater than anything else you competed in leading up to your New Breed match again Jenny Cien. This why a pissing match between such meaningless matches and results is...well...meaningless; you fail to understand context. In that Ladder match, I was the only person who had no title success, hell I was still in single digits in terms of matches since returning late last year. Whereas in the last two months you’ve continued the expectation of being the New Breed Champion. That title is the only reason why you’ve been elevated to face The Visual Prophet, Cage and Chris Elite. You’ve faced former World Champions as the Champion, I did it without the title. I didn’t intend to make a matter out of this but I guess it’s unavoidable when your opponent is too much of a fucking coward to look at everything in context. Selective narratives ain’t cool man, they just make you look like a dumb fuck whenever they get exposed for the faulty, half assed attempts they are. I’ll address the draw with Sarah Price too. You know what? I fucked up. No excuse because what does making excuses do? Nothing really. I’d rather not willingly load a bullet into your chamber. But McArdle? I beat him as you would expect, as anyone would expect. Business as usual, can’t fault that no? Can’t help, can’t determine who gets thrown at you, right? No different to how you were facing NvL, SKA and Malosi before Road To Redemption and before you became the New Breed Champion. Alas, you can’t pull parallels from nothing. We’re all on individual paths and how we got here doesn’t matter. I can even point to Jamie’s career and the some 7 weeks it took for him to become the New Breed Champion facing mostly nobodies. It didn’t matter when he took that title from a Champion who was much more accomplished at the time, even beyond the New Breed Championship itself. I don’t find any meaning in that, as if any similarities between my rise and his means I will beyond doubt win at Grand Rampage, but it shatters whatever illusion is propped up by my opponents, including yourself. Picking apart whatever detail suits us is pointless and meaningless. If it wasn’t for the gaping hole in your own logic and reasoning, I wouldn’t have touched on much and kept it to what I said, the respect of having faced tougher competition.
Perspective will always get the best of us. We will always see things the way we want to see them first and foremost and only resort to understanding others when we absolutely must, most often in defeat. That’s the advantage of being a student of someone else, Justin. When you cut a piece against me, when you're formulating your argument you’re not just doing it against a kid with minimal experience, someone no different to your former challengers in terms of relevance and significance in this company but one of the greats. I could stand here and say, sure, Justin Windgate is more talented, Justin Windgate is simply all round better than I, Jalyn Garcia, but Justin Windgate is not smarter, Justin Windgate is not as calculated, Justin Windgate is not as methodical as I am. And what happens when I break down every single ideal you hold? What happens when you no longer have a leg to stand on? Does your talent wither with the confidence? Of course, confidence is significant to you isn’t it? It’s confidence that dismisses me, dismisses who trained me, that makes you feel reassured in your belief that your victory is a guarantee but without it...do you truly have the talent to beat me? It doesn’t matter how talented you may be, how skilled you may be, how good, how fucking great, you might be I’m not the one with his laurels resting on meaningless ideals, on baseless hypotheticals and reassuring himself with narratives that can oh so quickly be turned back on himself. I have been given every tool to succeed and that already makes me the greatest threat you’ve faced and possibly will face. Instead what do you do? Lump me in with the rest of the deadbeats you’ve faced, two of which whose contracts are collecting dust and I’m sure a third will follow soon after. And while earlier I said that I don’t have a reason, an emotional justification to fight like yourself? Mate, they don’t call me the fucking ‘WildHeart’ for nothing and I’m walking out of Grand Rampage with that belt for more reasons than I care to list. If you doubt, you doubt; I’ll still be the reason why you reach a high that no drug can ever take you to. I’ll give you the greatest 15 minutes of your career before sending you right back down the same dark tunnel you emerged from. Still, balance of possibility should be shown, right? I could lose at Grand Rampage and I’ll still be the protege, I’ll still be the apprentice holding the candle to the master. Nothing will inherently change in my life and I’ll move on from the regret, aim for higher things.
Win or lose, you’ll still be a cunt of a person to someone you called a friend.