November 2nd, 2016


Walking out of SCW headquarters, I release a sigh. In my mind, I am cursing out Abel. I tell him that this is his fault. That he caused all of this. That he is the reason I came so close to losing my job. That Amy Chastaine was a good person, that she didn’t deserve the torment he put her through. Neither did Kennedy Street. That I could have had something special between she and I, yet you had to ruin it. You wanted me all to yourself, didn’t you, Abel?

“Are you alright, James?” I snap back into reality and look over at Dr. Vaughn, who has been walking beside me, “You looked like you were lost in thought.”

I shrug my shoulders, “I was if I’m just being honest. It is a little hard to process everything that just happened. I know when I was in the office, I said I was okay with getting fired. I kept telling myself over and over that I deserved it. It’s just that this has been my life for the last six years. I got really good at it. This has been my best year, but in saying that, it has been my worst year, mainly because I haven’t been in control the entire time.”

Vaughn nods then reaches over, placing his hand on my shoulder before responding, “James, you have a gift. Your boss even acknowledged it. You are good at this sport. You are indeed very, very good. But you have spoken to me about the troubles you’ve faced while participating in the sport. I think a lot of it stems from the stress you’ve placed on yourself to reach the top of your business. I think time away will help you clear some of the fog in your mind.”

A fake grin spreads on my face, “Yeah time away could be good, but my mind, as usual, is made up of a lot of what if, you know? Like what if time away ends up being permanent, like I never come back to this? Like what if I never decide to lace up a pair of boots and step inside of the ring? I am not sure if I would be able to handle that in the long run. Not sure if there would be anything else for me to do.”

Vaughn shrugs his shoulders as we edge closer to the limo, “James, you’ve experienced quite a traumatic ordeal and you made it out of that. People were hurt, but not badly injured. Things could have gotten a lot worse, especially from what I learned from our talks about Abel, as well as my own conversations with Abel. The fact that you are here speaks volumes that I am not even sure you fully realize. When we get back to the States, I am going to make sure you receive the best possible treatment and I will not let you out of my sight until we get you stable. I promise you that even if it is not best practice to make promises,” He says, with a small laugh.

I say nothing. I just nod before we climb into the limo with Patrick in tow. The limo pulls into drive and off we go. I do not make eye contact with anyone. I just stare out of the window. I smirk at the very thought of how I was world heavyweight champion just two months ago. But was it really me, or was it Abel in full control? He said that I should have let him finish off Ace, that he would have gladly killed him. No problem at all. Yet I didn’t. I stepped in and stopped it. I choked Ace out while fighting with Abel, who was trying to snap Ace’s neck. That wasn’t something that I wanted. My children love their Uncle Ace, a concept that bothers me but not to the point where I would want to end the man’s life.

Could I or would I ever actually kill someone? I don’t know. The whole thing with Kismet…it eats me up inside. I feel like being nothing more than a coward for not turning myself in. There is that part of me that wants to go to her parents’ house, knock on the door. I would look her mother and father in the eye and tell them exactly what I did. Her father could kick my ass, stomp my skull in with the heel of his boot and I would deserve it. I took from him. I took from Kismet. I think this but I know that I won’t do it. It is going to be nothing more than another demon that I have to bury. I will hope and pray that demon remains buried for the rest of my life. I hope that I will be able to find peace at some point in my life, however long I will remain alive. Shock therapy and becoming nothing more than a vegetable has crossed my mind as well. I tell myself that it would be better than constantly being tortured like this, like I have been for a lot longer than I can even remember.

But then I tell myself that I would rather not be without my daughters. I would not want them to see me behind bars or in a vegetative state. I don’t want to miss anymore time with them. And I don’t want to miss out on stepping foot into another wrestling ring, even if it’s not with the SCW. I want to be able to go in and reach the top of the mountain once more. I would love nothing more than to be able to do it on my own, without Abel or any other fucking voice in my head other than my own. I don’t want to have to come to Vaughn for the rest of my life, hoping to get better.

I have a disease and I have had it for so long that I, myself, have become a disease.


Hours passed by and now I am home, back in New York. Staying lost in my thoughts, I lost track of time. Normally when I have lost time, I have not been happy about it because something bad usually occurred. But this time, I am okay with it, because I was able to think about things. I didn’t have Abel in my ear. I was actually able to tune him out. I know that I may not able to do it forever, but I know that I have to try.

Standing in my bedroom, I look at the empty suitcase on the bed. It is a symbol of what my home is going to become. Empty. I look at the wall filled with holes and scratches. It matches the rest of the apartment. I hope that whoever buys it will be able to take care of it. To treat it like a home. To have their family over, to watch their children run around happy and excited. Maybe they will even have a dog to make a mess of things, but the messes will bring a smile to the faces that could resonate on the walls in picture frames.

“Are you quite finished?”

I let out a deep sigh, wishing that I could just be alone to my thoughts, but I remind myself that I knew this would happen, that Abel would come back to torture me some more, “What the hell do you want, Abel? I want nothing to do with you.”

I hear his cackle before I turn and face him. He finishes laughing before mocking me with a sad face, “Oh you’re serious? James…James…James…please…please, don’t do this. I can’t believe this is actually happening…”

“Fuck you, Abel,” I growl.

“You’re really doing it, aren’t you?” He asks, still mocking me. I can tell by the tone of his voice, “You really want to break up with me….” He sniffles a little bit before throwing his head back and horse laughing.

“You are such a piece of shit…” I say, feeling my fists clench.

The horse laughing stops as he looks back at me and we lock eyes, “But I am the piece of shit that grows within you. I am the piece of shit that you are underneath it all. The piece of shit that you run from.”

I shake my head, “That is all you are good for. You seem to love telling me that I am running from something. If anything, I am running from you. Not only because I want to, but because I need to.”

“James, I have told you what you need to do, yet you won’t do it. It is so fucking simple and you continue to ignore it.”

“It is a fight to ignore you. You, along with so many people have been telling me what it is that I need to do, when I haven’t been asking myself what I should do. I rely on the voices of others to steer me in the different directions of life.”

Abel shrugs his shoulders, sticking out his bottom lip and turning his head from side to side, “And what is wrong with that? It would be better for you to ask for my help instead of questioning yourself and beating yourself up, like you were on the trip back from Canada. It was pretty depressing shit if I’m just being honest with you.”

“No, what’s depressing is the fact that I have to question myself, that I have to beat myself up, when I can’t let shit go. When I can’t just forgive myself for the mistakes I’ve made and move the fuck on…”

Abel waves me off, his facial expression looking like he is wincing from pain as he turns away, shaking his head, “James, this is getting really old. You have done nothing worth crying about forgiveness. If you would cut loose and just listen to me, let me take control again, or actually fucking work with me then the questions would stop. Beating yourself would stop. You would just embrace life.”

My fists shake as the rest of my body trembles slightly. I am angry at Abel which I know deep down, that I am angry at myself, “I have been trying to embrace life, just not the life you want for me. You keep me from embracing anything but what you want for me. My life isn’t about you.”

“SHUT UP!!!” Abel shouts, turning and glaring at me, “Your life is about me. I am you. I am the real you. When are you going to get that through your thick fucking skull?”

I storm over to him, glaring back at Abel, “The only thing that I would love to go through my thick fucking skull when it comes to you, is a fucking bullet. It would put an end to all of this. You wanting me to hurt people. Having to go therapy. The questioning. The beating myself up. All of it would be done and over with….” I then turn away, feeling my chest going up and down in rapid succession. I place a hand to my chest and I can feel my heart beating wildly.

From behind me I hear, “So why don’t you do it then? If it is so simple, what is stopping you from doing so? Just ending it all, James? I will go ahead and tell you why, boy. It is because you’re fucking weak.”

I turn and face him once more, shaking my head as I breathe slowly, trying to calm myself before I say, “No…It’s not because I’m weak.”

“Oh, really? Then what is it?” Abel asks, mockingly.

“It’s because you’re not worth it, Abel. My life, my family, my career….all of that means much more to me than you do. I haven’t been able to see it until recently. Things may not be crystal clear, but something tells me that they will be eventually. And I’m not weak. Unlike you, I’ve never tapped out like you did with Amy.”

His glare returns. Abel hisses at me as he stares me up and down, before coiling back slowly, “You haven’t seen the last of me, James. I will always be that voice inside of your head. Unlike you, I can actually stop you.”

I watch as he disappears from view. I let out another deep breath, closing my eyes as I whisper, “We will see about that…”


November 16th, 2016

New York City, New York

It has been a week since James Evans’ arrival to the facility Doctor Vaughn oversees, where he s the chief doctor and “head shrink” as some of the patients have labeled him. Ever since James was a child, he was always Vaughn’s most challenging case to say the least. Even now, Vaughn thinks to himself, not much has changed. As a small boy, there always seemed to be more than two sides to James. He was a very complex child so to speak. One day he would be as happy as could be. Some days, he would be as quiet, almost lost in a daze. And then there were the times that James would arrive and it didn’t take a rocket scientist to see the anger boiling up in James, the rage building up in the boy’s veins, appearing to be ready to explode at any possible moment. It was rare for James to be sad. He was either showing happiness, anger, or just coming off numb to the world around him.

The boy heard voices the older he got, which resulted in the incident that cost the life of James’ childhood crush, Kismet. It took some time but James seemed to come to grips with what happened, with it being deemed an accident. James also seemed to be able to control the voices in his head. Vaughn remembers feeling anything but relief when he last saw James during his teenage years. Something told him that James would be back. That same feeling told Vaughn that James had learned to suppress his anger, as if his happiness or calmness appeared to be practiced.

Vaughn can’t help but be weary of James and his actions, though he knows it isn’t right of him to feel such a way. He looks at all of his degrees and remembers the courses he took in school where he was taught to lose any sort of judgmental traits he had, so he could be more open minded to the situations his patients would be coming from. He removes his black framed glasses from his face lined with wrinkles brought upon from the situations he has dealt with when treating his patients. He tells himself that this is his chance to make a real change in James’ life, that he should stop at nothing to help him and to see him get better. Vaughn wants to see James well once and for all. Vaughn reminds himself of the fact that it will be a struggle just as all of his other cases are. But just as he was as a child, Vaughn tells himself that working with James is going to be a challenge unlike any other.

A knock came at his door, “Come in.”

The door opens and in steps James Evans. James looks a little rugged and tired. Vaughn tells him to take a seat which James does. James runs his hands over his face and yawns. Vaughn asks, “Have you been sleeping, James?”

James shrugs, “About as well as I can I’d say. I’ve been up and down the last few nights.”

Vaughn leans forward, placing his elbows on his desk, keeping his arms apart so it let James know that he was engaged in the conversation, fully interested in what James had to say, “I’ve started writing again. And as you’ve said before, it has taken me awhile to get started, but once I did, it is like I can’t stop. It is hard shutting my mind off. But then again, I’d say that is a good thing when I am not hearing voices.”

Vaughn smiles “Well that is good to hear. I am glad that you’re writing and we will touch on that here in a moment. So you say you’re not hearing voices now. Is that right?”

James shifts in his seat, never breaking eye contact with Vaughn, “I haven’t heard from Abel in a few days.”

Vaughn’s smile grows at the sound of the news, “What was it like when you’ve heard from Abel?”

James responds, “He’s angry that I’m here. He keeps telling me that I don’t need to be here, that I am running from him. He has called me a coward, telling me that I need to accept and give into the darkness inside of me. I have argued with him, telling him that if I were to do that then things would turn out a lot worse for me.”

Vaughn now leans back in his chair, keeping his focus on his patient, “And what does he think?”

James shrugs again as Vaughn observes, “He doesn’t agree of course. Being here is the worst thing for me. He showed me things, terrible things that I could never do. That pisses him off more than anything. I know that there is darkness inside of me and that scares me, it worries me. I have fought against it for a long time, which makes Abel anything but happy with me. He sees you as a threat. He sees me being here as me trying to get rid of him.”

“But you are trying to get rid of him, yes?”

James nods, not hesitating in the slightest, which gives Vaughn a slight sense of ease, which he gladly accepts as he has rarely felt at ease when its come to James Evans.

James replies once more, “Yes…yes I am. Listening to Abel, giving into Abel has cost me so much now and I know it would have costed me so much more had I not come here. I don’t want people to be afraid of me. I have to know that I am not wrong for telling myself that I am a good, for trying to convince myself as well as everyone else that I am a good man, a decent man. That I have a good heart.” The words flow out of James just as Vaughn imagines they do from pen to paper when James is jotting down his thoughts. Vaughn observes as James looks away now from him and stares down at the floor.

Vaughn speaks, hoping to bring some sort of comfort, “Well, James you are a good man. You seem to be growing stronger each day. You’ve been here a week and it seems that you are walking down the right path. I feel that this writing is helping you but the most important question is how do you feel about it.”

James peers up at Vaughn, “If it helps keep the voices at bay then I am on board with it. I will take what I can get.”

Vaughn chuckles as he nods in approval, “Well what is this writing about?”

James shakes his head before giving Vaughn a slight grin, “I can’t tell you that. I don’t want to ruin things.”

Vaughn shrugs, “If that is how you feel then we can leave it at that, James. I don’t want to be the guy who stands in the way of progress if you catch my drift.

James lowers his gaze as he nods, “I greatly appreciate your understanding, doc.

Vaughn replies, “Of course, of course. Can you tell me something. Is it just a journal or is a story? You don’t have to go into details. I am just curious.”

James nods, “It’s a story.

Vaughn’s smile returns before he speaks once more,“There is nothing wrong with that. Can you tell me something else?”

James now shrugs, “It depends on the question, doc.”

Vaughn and James share a smile, adding to the sense of ease Vaughn is experiencing, “Is this story going to have a happy ending?”

James doesn’t answer at first. It seems to Vaughn that James is taking time to think about the question. He hasn’t really experienced any happy endings in his life though Vaughn hopes that James knows they exist, even if they are indeed a rarity. Vaughn remembers the people like Ace Marshall and Katelyn that James has spoken of before. From what Vaughn can remember, Ace was happy as well as Katelyn. And then there is Amy Chastaine. According to their talks over the last week, it seems that Amy has gotten her happy ending, making him tap out in the ring and overcoming Abel. Finally, James replies, “I don’t know yet but I hope that it does. I would like for it to that’s for sure.”

After he finishes speaking, Vaughn watches as James draws in another deep breath, appearing like he is doing all that he can to remain calm. Vaughn feels that James feels way more emotional than normal, which is more than likely new to him. Vaughn remembers that James always found it funny that it was small things that caused him to be emotional. Things he never really expected. Things like Vaughn’s question, or just seeing his daughters smile, or even the puppy he found earlier in the year buried in a trash can. James exhales as Vaughn replies, “I have no doubt things will end well for your story. The same goes for you, James. I hope you know that.”

James nods, “I hope so, doc. I really do. But it is hard not to doubt things some times. I am not sure if you have doubts a lot but I know that I do. A lot more than I wish I did.”

Vaughn responds, “Oh trust me, I have doubts. Everyone has doubts. Some more than others, but doubt is still there. And I can understand why you’d doubt things. You haven’t had the best success when it comes to treatment. Dissociative personality disorder is a hard ordeal to overcome but, James you’ve only been here a week. I know I said people show progress and it all depends on them, but like I said, you’ve been here a week and you are already showing some progress. You may be out of here before you know it, but don’t that to heart. I have also seen people relapse so to speak. It is all a matter of time James and time is on your side.”

James nods and silence falls over them for a few moments before James pipes up, “Is there something that I could ask of you?”

Vaughn nods his head “Of course James. I will help you any way that I can. Its what I am here for. So what is it?”

James answers quickly, “Would I be able to call my daughters?”

Vaughn smiles, “I am sure that can be arranged, but I have to ask. Do you think that you are ready to talk to them after only being here a short period of time? I know you are already showing signs of progress as I said, but you have to feel that you yourself are ready to take a step such as that. The only reason I say that is because actually talking to someone on the outside world could trigger something and set you back.”

James doesn’t take much time to consider it, Vaughn observes. He also sees that James appears stronger, even if it is a little bit more than when he first arrived. Looking at the expression on James’ face, Vaughn sees that James feels stronger but that he has to show it to himself that he is. James clarifies this, “I have to try.”

Vaughn nods, trying not to show his hesitance, “Then I will see what I can do. Does that sound fair?”

James nods in response, “That is all that I ask. I think it would do me some good to hear their voices. I want them to know that I’m okay. I want them to know that I am fighting to get better.”

Vaughn smiles once more but it quickly fades, “Well before you go. I want to ask you one last question. I believe it will help further your treatment.”

James shrugs, “Alright, let’s hear it.”

“What do you think led to the re-emergence of Abel? I guess what I’m asking…what do you think triggered him in your mind?”

James doesn’t appear to take time to think things over this time. He leans forward in his seat, keeping his eyes locked with Vaughn’s, “Anger. My anger has always triggered something inside of me and it has always cost me. I don’t know exactly what happened but I remember getting extremely angry. Things weren’t the same after that.”

Vaughn nods. James speaks again, “What do you think that means?”

Vaughn responds, “I think it means that we have to work on your anger. I believe that is the pin point of all of this…the voices, everything. These issues that you’ve never dealt with that have caused all of this anger to build up inside of you. I believe once we get to the core of your anger then we can tear it down and begin to rebuild to a new and improved you.”

James doesn’t reply. Vaughn continues, hoping his words keep the young man optimistic, “There is hope for you, yet,” He says with a slight chuckle.

James frowns, “I hope you’re right. Because I could definitely use a little in my life. I’m tired of being angry all the time. I am tired of carrying it inside of me.”

Vaughn goes to reply, but James gets up from his seat and walks out of his office. Vaughn sits in his chair and just nods before quietly telling himself as well as James as if he was still sitting before him, “I’m not going to give up on you, kid. Don’t give up on me.”


Present Day

New York City, New York

“Alright man, I don’t want to kill you but I fucking will. You’d be smart to believe that, alright?” I hear the voice speaking from behind me. The cold steel of the gun feels as if it is becoming one with my skull, as I feel it pressed into the skin, grinding against the bone, “So if you do as I say when I say then we shouldn’t have any fucking problems. We clear?” I am hesitating, not knowing what to do. The gun glides off then back into the back of my head. I feel the sudden sting coursing up and down my spine, going around and over my head.

“Look man, you can have whatever you want and I will do whatever you say. I’m not looking for trouble. Seriously,” I say, trying to remain calm. Trying to fight the urge to turn into an action hero where I can turn around, break his wrist while taking the gun in the process. I take a few deep breaths as he grabs the back of my coat and pulls me into the alley. I breathe slowly, trying to be cool and keep myself collected, to not grow angry. I remember what Vaughn told me. He said that letting my anger consume me will blur my thought process and could result in me making mistakes. I tell myself that now is not the time to make mistakes.

“I know you’re a rich fucker. Yeah I’ve seen you on TV,” My attacker sneers, rubbing the barrel of the gun up and down the back of my head, “How much money do you have on you?”

I shrug my shoulders, “I honestly don’t know man but whatever is in there…” I swallow my fear, keeping my breathing low, “You can have it. Just take it and go on.”

He responds, his voice raspy which reminds me of Abel at first, “I will take it. You don’t have to tell me, rich boy. I’m the one with the gun motherfucker. You just stand there, shut up, and don’t fucking move…” He says, before I feel his hand digging in the back of my pants pocket, removing my wallet. I stand there, in silence and I can hear him breathing heavy while he digs through the contents. After a few moments, I hear him grunt, “Are you fucking kidding me? I thought you said this asshole had money!”

And then I hear a familiar voice, a female voice, “He does. He has money. He’s on fucking TV, dumb ass.”

He speaks once more, “It is obvious he ain’t got shit. This is like five hundred bucks. That’s not good enough for shit and you know that. What the fuck were you thinking?”

“Oh fuck you…Give me the gun…” I hear the girl. Hearing her talk, I realize where I know the voice from. It is the girl from the store, who flirted with me in the toy section. I close my eyes and curse myself, telling myself that she was baiting me the whole time. Knowing this causes the anger inside of me to rise. I close my eyes and take in a deep breath, reminding myself once more of what Dr. Vaughn had said. I don’t want to make any mistakes. I remind myself that I could end up getting shot if I try to turn the tables on my attackers.

A few seconds pass and the girl is now standing in front of me, her fingers gripping the gun as she points it right at me, “Where’s all your money, Mr. Big Time Wrestler? I know you got it. Where is it?”

I calmly reply, “What I have…had in my wallet, was it. I spent some of it on the toys for my daughters. You can have the money. I don’t care. I am not going to fight you on that.”

She grinds her teeth as anger rises onto her face, “But you’re rich. I’ve seen you on TV. You have more money. I know that you do!!!” She screams, glaring at me, keeping the gun aimed directly at my head and face.

The guy behind me speaks, “Fuck it, let’s just take what he has and roll. We’ve been here way too long. Shouldn’t have taken this long.”

The girl remains angry and she leans to the side, pointing the gun at her partner now, “How about you shut the fuck up? He is going to give us all of his money because he wants to live,” She then looks at me, “You want to live, right?” She asks, grinning as she takes a few steps closer. I can now feel the gun as it grazes my cheek, “You going to give me the rest of your money or am I going to have to kill you and take your card? I could do that, you know? I would do that and I’d also take these fucking toys for your fucking brats. Their Christmas would be fucked up, wouldn’t it? I mean, no presents and a dead daddy? I don’t think they’d ever recover from that shit…” She says with a sadistic chuckle.

Hearing her laugh makes me angry. I envision myself quickly reaching up, grabbing her wrist as I turn and point the gun at her partner. I see myself firing the gun and shooting her partner, before elbowing her three straight times in the face and snapping her wrist into pieces. I see myself standing over her as she sobs, holding her wrist and begging for her life before I point the gun at her, holding a grin on my face as I slowly begin to stalk her.

Vaughn’s voice quickly chimes in my head, repeating his advice over to me once again. I then see my children standing before me as I hold the gun. I see myself hesitating and grinding my teeth due to the anger and frustration the girl has caused me, but then I look over at my children. My beautiful daughters, Kelly and Keira are afraid of me, clutching one another, crying and sobbing, their faces pale with fright. I then see myself looking down at the gun before the girl glares up at me and asks, “Is it worth it?”

Her voice rings in my head as I snap back to reality. I see she still has the gun. The flirting and the smiles are all gone now. I draw in yet another deep breath before locking eyes with her, placing my hands above my head as I calmly speak, “I don’t know why you are doing this, or why you feel that you have to do this but you don’t….” I begin, trying to stay calm, “You can have what money I have in my wallet. I told you I haven’t worked in almost two months, so what you see is what you get. I was in trouble myself. I resorted to doing terrible things to people…to people who didn’t deserve it,” I say, my voice cracking as I think of Ace, Amy, and Kennedy. I think of Katelyn and our girls, “I went and got help. I am trying to be a better person…That is all I want to do. I just want to live so I can be a better person…” My voice breaks even more as tears begin to build up in my eyes, as I continue think of Kelly and Keira and how bad I just want to see them, to see their smiles when they open the gifts I have for them, “You can have my money but all I ask is that you don’t take those toys from my girls, or take me from them…”

The girl steps back a few inches as I stand trembling. I look at her now as she stands before, angry but confused for a few moments. She then looks at her partner, “Take his money and let’s go…” A few moments later, I see my wallet sail by my feet. I then look back at her, our eyes locked as she has a sad smile on her face. She brings the gun to her side as she shrugs her shoulders, looking around before looking back at me as I stand, frozen in time, “You must really love your kids…”

I slowly bring my hands down to my sides, maintaining eye contact, “I do…I truly do. More than anything. A lot more than I have ever realized until now…”

I notice tears slowly streaming down her face, “I guess we helped each other out, huh…I got some money and I helped you realize something important.”

I nod my head, “I guess we did.”

“I’m sure it’s obvious why I did this…”

Confusion washes over my face, “I don’t understand.”

She rolls her watery eyes then looks back at me, “I didn’t really have a dad…or a parent for that matter…that loved me, or showed me that they loved me. I can see it on your face and hear it in your voice when you talk about your kids…I hope that they have a Merry Christmas.”

I can’t think of anything else to say really. I just nod before saying the only thing I can muster, “I’m sorry.”

She begins to slowly back out of the alley, placing the gun in her waist line, maintaining eye contact with me as I just stand here, “No…I’m sorry….” She says before turning and running off into the night. I do not budge from my spot in the dark. I just watch as she runs and she runs, before disappearing into the darkness of the night. A few moments pass and I feel myself drop to my knees, my hands grabbing the bags containing the gifts for Kelly and Keira. I hold them tight, picturing my girls with me, as I begin to sob, muttering only two words to myself, over and over as I say, “Thank you…thank you…thank you…”


What a difference a year makes...

Last year, I was still struggling to break through that glass ceiling. I struggled in the tag team ranks with my makeshift partner, Jake Starr at the beginning of this year. I made it to the finals of the Shot of Adrenaline tournament but ultimately lost. It was a good feeling to regain the support of the crowd, having them rally behind me as I came from out of nowhere and reached the end of the tournament. It just goes to show that when I am knocked down, I can still get back up and fight.

And then I took time off, only to come back, once again out of nowhere, going onto win the Taking Hold of the Flame battle royal. I entered at number three and I wasn’t a favorite. That honor went to Red Rayne, but in the end, I was the last man standing, becoming the Iron Bastard as Ace Marshall so subtly put it. Leave it to him, right? But during that time, something had changed within me. Something was different. Something was off. It wasn’t just anger either. Something snapped in my head, and in the wake of all that, there was a path of violence and broken bodies left behind me.

I main evented Rise to Greatness, beating Ace Marshall to become the SCW World Champion for the very first time in my career. Am I proud of achieving three of my biggest goals in my career, those goals being to win Taking Hold of the Flame, to main event Rise to Greatness and to become SCW Champion…So am I proud? Most definitely. I was never seen as someone who would be able to do any of that. I was always seen as someone who should do those things but I could never get out of my own way. I broke through, defying the odds and silencing critics. But am I proud of what I did during my rise to the top? Am I proud of my actions?

The answer is a simple no.

While it was nice to main event Rise to Greatness and to win the SCW Championship, I wasn’t in my right mind. All I could see was red. I was not…me. I was blinded by rage and motivated by the desire to hurt people, even if I cared for them. Amy Chastaine and Kennedy Street were hurt by my actions. I valued Amy as a dear friend and Kennedy was someone I felt a strong connection with, someone I could have taken out on dates and shown off to what friends and family I still have. But I pissed all of that away due to the rage, the poison that flowed through my veins.

The last time I was seen was when I tapped out to Amy Chastaine. She stood up to the monster I had become and she kicked my ass, which I definitely needed. She knows more about what was going on than most people do. In a way, I hate that because Amy is a good person who never deserved to endure the things she did because of me. But you all, from the SCW locker room to the fans, saw me as the monster and I deserved then as I will deserve once I step through that curtain, all of the jeers and hatred that will surely be showered upon me.

You see, I wasn’t sure I was ever going to step back into a wrestling ring, let alone the SCW. I don’t deserve to be here honestly, because of the hell I have done to this company. Sure, the SCW has been through worse, but right now in my mind, I feel like I have tarnished it in some way. I may be wrong but I still wish to apologize. That is why I decided to enter the End of the Year battle royal. To show that I am not the monster anymore. To show that there is more to me than anger and rage. That I have it in me to fight for and to earn any and all respect that I know I have lost over the last seven months.

This battle royal is always fun for most who are participating. The chance of getting $250,000 and a new car is enough to motivate most people. Mr. D even got creative this year and tacked on a shot at the SCW Television Championship as well for the eventual winner. And I am sure people when they see me, they will ask why I’m involved since I make a pretty decent chunk of change and I probably don’t need a new car. And that I just lost the SCW Championship a few months ago, why would I want a shot at the TV title?

I am involving myself because I love competition. I thrive on it. It has always been something that motivated me, like the anger and the rage, except the competitiveness never made me a monster. It made me feel alive, win or lose. It made me love this sport, this company like no other. So that is why I am doing this. I want to feel that way again and nothing, besides spending time with my daughters who I miss dearly, makes me feel alive like stepping in between those ropes and competing from bell to bell. Nothing motivates me quite like the chance to be competitive. So, getting to do that as we end one year and step foot into the next, is something that I’d be a fool to miss out on.

I don’t know if I will win a title shot, or a new car, or walk away a quarter of a million dollars richer, but all of those things…they are just extra. They are important to me, but not as important as changing the perception of me, the stigma I forced onto what legacy I have fought for and built since I debuted in this company back in 2010. I don’t know if I will win as I said. I don’t know what will happen with me, or my career, once this night is over. It could lead to me coming back full time into the SCW, or another wrestling organization. But if I decide to step back and never return, I would much rather end the year on a good note. The End of the Year special gives me that platform to do so. No one will expect me to walk out through that curtain, but I am going to fight to make sure that they remember me by giving the people and the wrestlers in the back, a performance that they won’t soon forget.

Because everyone deserves better from me.

And they will get better.

I will be better.