MATCH PROMO Pick Your Poison, Sarah // Voltage 01 // 11.24.2019


Il Principe
Providence, Rhode Island
Ezio sits on the steps leading up to the ring in the middle of his home gym. Two competitors are grappling and practicing holds. Every strong movement of theirs jostles Ezio around a bit. He sits almost perfectly still. Eyes fixed on a spot or just simply lost in thought as his expression sits lifeless. He bounces a little every time a body hits the mat hard nearby. Finally, after what seems like an exercise from a new meditation habit, Ezio shakes his head a little bit. He lets the shake carry down his arms, through to his fingers, and down to his toes. He then looks focused. Determined. He picks up his phone and writes a short text message to an unknown recipient.

I’ve fixed it. It won’t happen again. I swear. This week will be different.

He taps send with his thumb and then sets the phone down, looking a little bit like an invisible weight has been lifted off his shoulders.

I fucked up. There’s no other way to say it. I. Fucked. Up. Hard. And I’m trying to forgive myself about it. I wasn’t prepared at all for Ronan on Dynasty. The brief success I’ve experienced here went to my head a little, I think. I’ve been partying too hard. Using my little bit of fame and visibility to make sure my bed is filled with warmth every night. I mean, can you blame me though? I thought my life was over after I hurt myself in that last football game. I had worked SO HARD for SO LONG. And it was taken away from me in an instant. It wasn’t fair. It still isn’t. And then I came out...

Ezio gets up and starts to stretch as he slowly makes his way over to the leg press. He inhales and exhales deeply, getting focused before he weaves his body to the incline seat and releases the safety on the weight machine. He does a few reps before stopping briefly by locking his knees and resetting the safety.

Why would I think anyone would want me after all that? Would respect me? Would desire my talent or my love after living the life I had. I was a bully. A real shit. I teased the small kids. I laughed at the effeminate dudes. I made them feel like they were something less than human. Less than themselves. And I regret it. I did it because I was scared. Scared that everyone would find out my own shameful secret. I thought that it would ruin my potential for a career and a future I wanted. One that I had been working for since before I can remember. A life that would make my family proud.

Ezio pauses a second and then unlocks the safety again. He gets into a rhythm. Into the zone, so to speak. It’s like the weight doesn’t even matter anymore. His body is so focused on what he’s saying that he can lift the leg press like leg day isn’t actually the hardest day of the week.

But guess what? I ADAPTED. I unlearned the parts of me that were scared. That were trying to hide something. And I live life now for myself. I live it with the authenticity of a sometimes misunderstood artist. And I seek justice. I want to make up for my wrongs. I care about others like me and I want everyone to have a fair shake, despite what this cruel world offers as so-called comfort. So here we are. I'm making waves in the EAW. Finding a platform where I can be visible. Be myself. Be completely authentic. And make a difference.

Ezio quickly finishes his set and locks the machine in one swift, effective movement.

And nothing, and I mean NOTHING, will stop me from accomplishing my goal. To show the world that a broken queer from a working-class family can make a difference in this fucked up world. That he can change the course of his story and grow. That he can make mistakes and receive forgiveness and move forward. Always. Moving. Forward.

Ezio places his feet flat on the ground next to the incline seat and jumps up in one powerful motion. He stretches his back and shakes out his legs.

Which all leads me to this week. My first stop to redeem mistakes made here in the EAW. On Voltage. Against a talented and formidable competitor in Sarah Price. But what she might not realize is that her star is falling while mine is rising. She lost a well-fought match against Barlow and PAKA at Wicked Games. I’ve faced PAKA. Twice now. He is not to be underestimated. And I look forward to my first encounter with Barlow at some point. But today is not about them. My training this week is not about them. It’s about Sarah Price only.

Ezio makes his way back to the ring and indicates to the wrestlers inside that his turn has finally arrived. He prepares to step up on the ring apron as he turns around for a final thought.

I want to understand you, Sarah. I even think we could be good friends at some point in time. But that time is definitely NOT here and it’s absolutely NOT now. In my eyes, you’re unfocused. Working on too many goals at once. Which is it, Sarah? Do you want to be a world-champion wrestler? Or do you want to be a recording artist? Because success only comes with dedication. Perseverance. Complete and total focus. And you just don’t have it right now. I’m not saying you can’t get there, but what I am saying is maybe you’d do a little better in the ring if you spent more time there than in the music studio. Pick your poison, babe. Or else your opponents, including me, will pick it for you. And you can write track after track about me. Lay down some sick-azz beatz about whatever floats your fancy. My style. My behavior. Whatever works for you, really. But if I know anything, it’s that your lack of focus will be your undoing this Sunday on Voltage. You’ve already swallowed the poison you picked. It’s just going to take a few more days to kick in.



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