W I L D H E A R T
I did it.
Chapter Three: Legend, Rise
I didn’t let the worst
Voltage, May 3rd, 2020
People won’t come to mourn something they never cared about to begin with.
“Yeah I can’t get a hold of him. He’s not answering his phone. He flew in for Showdown and left immediately.”
“I know, I just want to make sure that they’re okay. I mean, they can’t be, nobody could be after what they went through. It’s not even about my win or the title, I just want to know how he’s doing, you know?”
A cloudless day, the large double windows left open as the silk curtains flutter softly in the air flowing into Jalyn’s apartment. Resting on a reading chair beneath the window, Jalyn holds the phone against the side of his face, an expression of concern washed over. The New Breed Championship placed far in the opposite corner, on the entertainment unit beneath a large television; a distant thought in his head despite the moment. No, it was Jamie and the health of his wife that occupied his thoughts. Passing phone calls and texts throughout the week from just about everyone in the business, those closest to him congratulating him on the victory. And an insufferable amount of blocked phone calls, texts, emails directed to the spam folder and a poorly handwritten letter from Desmond Helms. Jalyn couldn’t deal with him any longer. He had been mostly alone with his thoughts since Grand Rampage, but barely had he held that Championship in his grasps. That night, at first all he wanted was to hear Jamie’s thoughts. He knew he would have simply been told that it’s only the beginning, reminding him of the Ace mentality he had instilled in him, but simply hearing those words was what he had hoped. Yet the moment Cameron fell in the ring, Jalyn stopped caring. Of any applause, of any criticism, of any single word from Jamie about him; he just wanted to be there for the person who was there for him.
“No, I don’t think I’ll hear back from him anytime soon. I tried him again on Sunday but I just left a voicemail saying to let me know when he’s good to talk. I don’t want to pressure him, I can’t imagine what’s going through his mind.”
His cousin from Australia was on the opposite end of the line. Someone who had wrestled Jamie years ago, before he ever came to EAW. Richard had long since retired, but still cared deeply about it all, especially about what happened at Grand Rampage, for all that Jamie had done for Jalyn and the family name.
“I’ll keep you posted. But thank you for the call, I really appreciate it. Okay. Bye”
Jalyn exhales, sinking further into the chair, his hands dug into his pockets. The pandemic had brought the often busy street below to a halt; a silence that Jalyn enjoyed. The odd car did little to break the tranquillity of the moment.
“I wish I could be there to help. You’ve helped me so much, I’ve got to repay the favor some how” Jalyn spoke to himself, staring up into the blue sky above.
*KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK*
The knocking shattered the silence. A disgruntled Jalyn Garcia tries to resist his body pulling him up out of the comfort of the chair to answer the door.
“HEY MATE HOW AR--”
Jalyn slams the door in Desmond’s face immediately, absolutely zero interest in letting him in.
*KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK*
“Hey come on now pal, that’s not nice.”
*KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK*
“I would never do that to my best friend ”
“You’re not my best friend and FUCK OFF!” Jalyn shouts back.
*KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK* *KNOCK*
Finally Jalyn submits and opens the door. Growing frustration almost turning his face red as Desmond Helms stands there, with a wide childish smile on his face.
“Now, isn’t that better?” Desmond asked, making his way into Jalyn’s apartment.
“Wowza, cracking place you’ve got here. I always thought with a haircut like yours you were some dero that Jamie had dragged in off the streets.”
“What do you want?” Jalyn demanded, with little patience left in him already.
“I wanted to congratulate you on your win! After you snuck out of the stadium to avoid me”
“Which you snuck in to begin with because you’re not EAW personnel and weren’t allowed in”
“Yes yes, that’s all irrelevant though. After you left and ignored all my phone calls, my texts, my emails and even my beautifully, extremely personal and touching letter, I just knew I couldn’t resist coming here to see you again!” Confidently Desmond steps forward to hug Jalyn but Jalyn steps out of the way, causing Desmond to stumble forward but remain on his feet.
“Shouldn’t you be back in Australia? You weren’t allowed to be in the country after last Friday.” Jalyn questioned.
“How, why, when, where, who, that’s not important. The point is, I’m here and I’m ready to keep training you until you not only surpass that dickhead’s reign, but then go on to become the greatest of all time in this company! I’m going to mold you into the next Ace of this company!”
“No, thanks. Things are rough but I’m sure sooner rather than later Jamie will be back to train me. I would say I won’t need you again but I never did need you to begin with. So, Goodbye Desmond!”
Jalyn tries to push Desmond out of the door but Desmond stops him in his tracks.
“Oh sweet, innocent, naive Jalyn” Desmond utters, shaking his head in disappointment. “Don’t you realise it yet?”
“I’m never leaving you again”
The immediate feeling of dread washes over Jalyn. He feels the world expand and Desmond’s words echo repeatedly. Shock, disgust, confusion, loathing, it all fought for control of Jalyn’s reaction.
“Are you having a stroke?” Desmond asked the stunned and silent Jalyn Garcia.
“I- I- I- I- I- I- I- I- I- I- I- I- I- I- I- I- “
“I KNOW RIGHT? HOW GREAT WILL IT BE TO HAVE YOUR GREAT TEACHER HERE EACH AND EVERY WEEK! NOT JUST EVERY WEEK, BUT EVERY DAY! I mean there’s a whole immigration thing that I have to deal with BUT! Those fucking bums in the government finally sent through me stimulus check and PLUS the welfare payments I’m on, I’ve got mooooore than enough to cover my lawyers working actively around the clock to get me a work visa!
The image of a poorly dressed, untidy, con artist like lawyer pops into Jalyn’s head, breaking the stun and silence into a humorous chuckle, that which upsets Desmond.
“Gah, you kids don’t understand how the world works. Besides, Jamie still owes me! Firstly he promises me the number of an Ava sister WHICH I STILL DO NOT HAVE! And then I SUCCESSFULLY trained his protege to become the New Breed Champion! I haven’t even received a thank you.” Desmond rattled off, much to the disapproval and growing frustration.
“You insensitive cunt.”
“Oh right, his wife died. ”
“You’re still fucking insensitive”
“Yeah nah that’s not true, I’m very sensitive. It’s Cameron whose hurt, not Jamie. As far as I’m concerned, he needs to harden the fuck up.“ Desmond argues, much to Jalyn’s disapproval. “Anyway, where’s YOUR gratification?!?”
“MY FUCKING WHAT?”
“You heard me! Who's to say that you would have won at Grand Rampage WITHOUT me? Hmph?!? HMPH?!? THAT’S WHAT I THOUGHT! I mean fuck me, I almost cracked a fat over watching you win I was so proud of myself. Don’t go around telling furphies Jalyn, it wasn’t Jamie who made you Champion, it was ME! DESMOND FUCKING HELMS! So you should be a little fuckin grateful for what I did for you” Desmond said, with a cocky grin across his face.
“It’s not really a knock on Jamie either, Jalyn. I’m sure he’s great, but he’s just not as great as I am!”
“Hi 911? Police please”
Desmond turns to see Jalyn standing away, with the phone held up to his ear. Frantically Desmond races towards Jalyn and crash tackles him onto the couch, ripping the phone out of his hands.
“No, sorry, cancel that. It was just a false alarm, everything is good!” He manages to spit out in a panic. “Yes yes in these trying times we shouldn’t be making calls if they’re not needed but if I do say so myself we shou-- Hello? Oh, they hung up”
“Get. Off. Me” Jalyn demands with Desmond failing to realise his face was pushed into the crevice between two cushions.
“Oh sorry, my bad mate.”
“Look, this is a time to celebrate! And who better to celebrate your victory with than me? I’ve got three cases of beer in the boot on my car--”
“Of course you do”
“And we can spend the next few days having an almighty banger of a bender. What do you say, Champ?”
A moment of silence passes as Jalyn ponders the offer. “This isn’t for business purposes, right?”
“That’s correct. Just you and me buddy!”
“So you’re breaking social distancing laws?”
“Well yeah bu--”
“Hi 911? Police please”
I never thought this was possible.
I never thought I could or would become the New Breed Champion.
Just months ago I was being dragged back to this company, told to shape up and stop acting like a damn child. I loathed the very idea of coming back, I wanted to run, I wanted to escape. Why come back, why stick around and embarrass myself again? Caught up in my own emotions, allowing them to dictate my actions, my thoughts, my processes. Even across New Year’s, instead of just leaving I considered swallowing my pride and admitting that I couldn’t stay, that I couldn’t be what they hoped I would be. Admit that I was a failure, admit that I could never rise up and fulfil some preset ideal of what I should be. Yet maybe it’s because of that stubbornness, that refusal to simply accept my own faults and shortcomings that kept me here, that brought me to this Championship. See through all those lows, there was always that promise of something better, always that lingering possibility that things could suddenly improve before I knew it. That ounce of hope, that one single string of optimism dangling in a black and empty void was all that I could cling to in order to keep myself present, to ensure that I never allowed those depressing days to overwhelm me. I stopped blaming my youth, my inexperience on why I couldn’t deliver. Closing myself off to the world never solved the problems, it only allowed them to pile up at the door and once that door was flung open, they all came flowing in like a mountain of water. I waded through that water and all that tried to keep me stuck in a place of irrelevance and nothingness. That string pulled me towards the one shining light and towards a brighter future. And ever since, I’ve never looked back. Never returned to those dark and gloomy days. I grew up. I had to, I knew that. But now I stand as the New Breed Champion, carrying the same Championship Jamie first made his name off; I made my promises, I fired my shot and I became the Champion. It’s not something that has quite sunken in yet, for obvious reasons. Maybe it will be on Voltage, walking down the ramp with it around my waist, that I truly feel like this is mine and that this isn’t a fictional dream, but simple reality. It’s a moment to be proud, to be happy. Even with the distractions, it’s an overwhelming feeling. My own story, my own journey being worth something; an entire chapter of my life being shut with the perfect conclusion. Though as one ends, another must begin. Already those on Dynasty lick their lips, salivating over the opportunity to step before me and challenge for this Championship. I wonder if Justin would truly want to face me again, to endure that week once more and have the same result play out. I don’t even know who that cunt with the numbers in his name and the other cunt are so whatever. Different people, same result. I’m not just taking this title beyond whatever lowly heights it's been stuck at for the last number of years, but far beyond even what Jamie could achieve himself. Shit, don’t need a match to decide the number one contender either; I'd run laps against all three of those dickheads in an instant but hey, I can’t do anything about that. Oh look, there I go popping off like Jamie does again.
I guess a Champion’s responsibilities extend beyond worrying about the next challenger.
I made it a point against Justin that every New Breed Champion should be taking this title into contests against greater opponents - other, higher “ranked” Champions - and make the best of the situation as they possibly can. I would be quickly doing myself a disservice by not heeding that same expectation and bringing my undeniable best to this match. Wouldn’t it be an awful look on myself to - in my first outing as the New Breed Champion, in a Champions Showcase match - disappoint so heavily? I’m almost thankful that Jamie is in a stoic, focused state at the moment so I don’t have to fear his lecturing should I lose. Nah, fuck that, that’s not the Ace mentality shit I learned. People always see the world as a ladder, this company, their own brand as such. Where every few rungs there’s a Champion they can fight and beat. I’ve never seen it as a ladder, that’s too nice and orderly. Rather I see it as just a giant fucking pile of bodies all climbing over one another in an attempt to make something of themselves; where those who falter and fall tumble back down to the bottom or get sucked into the depths where they’re regularly trotted out fodder for the competent and - well to put it bluntly - “good” talent to look a million bucks. And every Champion exists in fresh air above the pack. The distance between myself as the New Breed Champion and any other Champion isn’t grand. Sure, this title has been stained by having slugs drag their fat, disgusting bodies across it but for every couple of people who never deserved to even breath within the same space as it, there’s always someone like me: destined to hold it and do great, great things with it.
But isn’t that where people have placed you, Consuela? Some almost four years in this company and it’s always impressive to win and win well, but you’ve more than anything just had your tires spinning in place for all those years, haven’t you? For as long as Empire was around, as long as you were consolidated in a bubble with plenty of opportunity, that Specialists Championship was the very best that you could manage. The very best. No better nor worse, no forward progression and yet zero regression. Stagnation without the dread of being stuck. You were placed in a box. A nice, comfortable, idealistic box. One where you never had to fear about losing your place but one where your ceiling was high enough to ensure you never felt claustrophobic. And when Empire ended, what could the twin sister of the great and legendary Cameron Ella Ava do...the same. 24/7 Contract, successfully cashed in to become the Interwire Champion but it’s the same. The same place on the card. The same half faded spotlight shining down. The same place in the title of any “Champions Showcase” -esque contest. The same box, just with a new view of what lies above you, far out of your reach. Lateral movement, no? Neither up nor down but a simple shift to the side is all the Interwire Championship is for you. Now, Andrea would know the same box you’re in, she probably recognised it, but she still broke free from it. Maybe winning this will go some way in convincing me that you’re no longer in the same spot you’ve been in for the last number of years, I don’t know. I’m not saying this is exactly a bad thing either; people understand that talent isn’t exactly something universally shared between twins. It isn’t a new and shocking thing for one twin to far exceed the other in a manner that makes it impossible for the other to catch up. It’s perhaps more of a pat on the back thing, like “at least you tried”. You’ve worked hard, fought hard, relentlessly and tirelessly over these years, nobody and most certainly not the lowly New Breed Champion can take that away from you, but the record speaks for itself, doesn’t it? No matter how much you invest in your career, in your efforts, you find yourself stuck in the same place. Boxed in, you could say, no? Having a goal is important, even if I laugh and snicker at the very idea that Terry Chambers’ vision for what he had hoped to create, it’s still a goal most lack. Though if you look at Terry as some kind of example - any kind of example - then perhaps that’s why you’ve never been able to break out like Andrea could. I never did look at the Interwire Championship with any kind of starry eyed approach. Your hypothetical of people even thinking that I can’t hold myself against even the Interwire Champion is pointless; I already pinned your BFF earlier this season when he was the Interwire Champion and I didn’t even fucking want to be here. How differently do you think I’m going to approach facing someone hierarchically above me when I WANT to be here and WANT to make the most of it?
See, I’m not concerned about being boxed in because quite frankly those making any kind of comment like it don’t fucking deserve the oxygen they breath.
It’s supposed to be impossible but didn’t Jamie make a career out of making the impossible a reality?
That’s where I don’t exactly care about beating you, Consuela, because whether people want to be selective in their history or not, I’ve already done part one of this impossible task.
You however Andrea, now that’s going to get people talking.
That’s the jump. It’s not exactly a rare feat for the New Breed Champion to defeat the Interwire Champion but a WORLD Champion? Never been done. Not at least as far as I’m aware. Well, Jamie did pin the World Champion at Road To Redemption 2015. Man I don’t even intend to bring up how the person who taught me everything I know keeps being the exception to these rules Though despite those lingering voices saying it’s an impossibility, an improbable outcome, I’m sure you yourself have been told similar. Couldn’t break away from the secondary act reality that your career had been until you won that EAW World Championship. Consuela too. That’s why I don’t fool myself into holding any kind of worth or value with those ideas; it’s a concept I simply don’t entertain as a possibility. It’s a selective argument, one others hide behind to reassure themselves that their own failings were beyond their control and to discourage others. Some, perhaps otherwise in my position, would look at what you’ve endured and survived already as Champion, let alone to become Champion, and feel as if they don’t have what it takes to climb to the top and overcome the challenge you present. Hide behind the excuse and the justification that the New Breed Champion cannot beat, cannot overcome a World Champion. Though what does that do for this title? What does it say for the future they hope to craft with it? Consuela brought up the concept of being placed in a box, positioned in a place where the narrative is already written for them. This box only exists because Champions before me have allowed it to exist. No, instead of raging against this very narrative they harnessed it and used it for formulate their identity as Champion. Windgate did it. Viz did it. Raven did it. Countless Champions have done so and thus they all fell the same; forgettable reigns where they gladly sat below other Champions. Defeating you on Voltage would mean that in the space of just two short weeks I would have done more for this Championship since it went from being a prop in an irrelevant Cup on the preshow of Pain For Pride to becoming a noteworthy and valuable match. All the New Breed Champions who went on to hold the same spot you hold and those close to it, all of them couldn’t do the very thing that I aim to do. I don’t accept the narrative laid out for me. I don’t accept these ideas, these concepts that I must lower my head and pay some fucking respect to other Champions for such thinly layered reasoning. I’m sure - no, I rather guarantee - you’re going to trot out a half assed attempt to seem kind, encouraging perhaps. “Aww look at the adorable little New Breeder hoping to beat me :3 Well keep at it Champ and maybe some day you'll hold this!” and why wouldn’t you? The other side to the predicament the New Breed Champion finds themselves in is that the World Champion barely has to entertain defeat, because it doesn’t happen. Not even the middle of the pack, secondary act Champion such as Consuela is even a threat. Coast to victory, ride your name and your placement at the top of this pile, it’s quite easy; Andrea Valentine doesn’t have to wake up on Sunday morning, go to work and expect a true fight, no, she expects business as usual, with one eye set firmly on your next challenger for Fighting Spirit and the other on Pain For Pride. That’s how it always boils down, the very core of every World Champion’s place in this match; never seeing the challenge, never seeing the threat. Again, they’re justified in doing so, I’ll admit that time and time again.
Yet every now and then comes someone who just doesn’t give a single iota of a fuck about whatever narrative exists, whatever expectation people hold.
And I say this can all get in the fucking sea.
My goal, my vision for this title is to make some of the things we deem impossible a reality. Beating you - and beating you, Consuela - is just one step, one impossibility down. I walk his path, I follow his lead, I will go step for step, footfall for footfall and surpass everything he did with this belt. And you can doubt...yeah you can fucking doubt like the rest of them. Laugh, mock, whatever it is that convinces either of you that this can’t happen, that the New Breed Champion can’t win a Champion’s Showcase. But by God I know you just walked out of a title defence Andrea and you, Consuela, are handicapped by having Terry fucking Chambers as some kind of influence, I’m going to treat Voltage like it’s Pain For Pride. And the more I ran this idea through my head, about making the impossible possible, I start to realise that nothing will change. It is how it is for a reason and nothing I do will change it; only further myself. Every New Breed Champion wants to be selfless, wants to make things better for others; craft a better future, a more competitive future, make their challengers better, make them walk away defeated yet with their heads held high and seeking something greater. No, no. I can’t make something better because as this title’s history has proven, it always falls back to shit, it always collapses back to mediocrity. We can only at best savour and enjoy greatness in the present knowing that it is an exception to the rule of the title. That is at best what I’ll become, without raising anyone else to my level; in the end, they’ll always disappoint. I can only add prestige and worth, beating you two already elevates it higher than it's been in years.
He who made the impossible, possible, when nobody else could.
Yeah, that’s fucking legacy.
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