I do not care.
Simon Lyman huddled together with Tommy Valentine and Donovan Kayl, wondering if Tommy was or was not pleased with the fact that I took a dump all over the SCW after beating Tommy in the middle of the ring at Apocalypse. None of them were pleased, but should I let that bother me? Nope. And even if I should be bothered by it, I am not. I am not going to allow the feelings of others dictate the way I live my life or choose to do business. If you think that I should so that, that I should live my life catering to the needs and wants of others then there is a good chance that you are higher than me right now, because there is no way in Hell I will ever cater to my co-workers, employer, or even the fans of the SCW universe.
And why is that?
Because I do not care.
It is so refreshing when you are able to think and to say that you don’t care and actually mean it. Which I do. I have made it abundantly clear that I meant it. Since I have returned to roam the landscape of the SCW, I have shown and demonstrated I respect no one in this company other than myself. If I could respect anyone else however, I would have to say it is Jake Starr. The man does not pull any punches when he voices his opinion. He may do things a bit differently than me, but at least he stands his ground and stands up for himself. At least he is not afraid to tell the world what he thinks and feels. So if I had to choose someone to respect other than myself, it would be Jake.
And I am sure many people feel that I should respect my opponent for Breakdown, Simon Lyman. He has done so many things for this industry and he has been quite the force in the SCW. He has put on some great matches against some great opponents, I am sure they will say. But I don’t respect him. I acknowledged his accomplishments. And I can’t match them. I made that clear. But just because he has done and he has done that, does not mean I have to respect him. Even if he manages to squeak out a victory against me, that does not mean he will earn my respect. And I have a feeling that he has no issue with the fact I don’t respect him. I know he has an issue with the fact that I don’t respect the industry that he loves so much, the industry he has given so much to. Yeah, well I don’t respect the industry anymore. I used to, but as I said in my promo where I addressed Madam Tommy Valentine, the SCW drained me of the love and respect that I once had for professional wrestling. Simon isn’t going to make me love it or respect it. He can try but I will laugh in his face each and every time he hits me. Simon can eat his spinach and vitamins so he can beat on me because I disrespected the industry. Go ahead I would say. I am still going to shit on it either way, win or lose. He can say some prayers and ask the Lord to help me love this industry again, but that isn’t going to happen. I will tell him that is what happens when you believe in fairy tales.
But what isn’t a fairy tale is the fact that I am going to meet Simon Lyman in the middle of the ring at Breakdown. He and I are going to fight in that ring. He is going to come at me for different reasons. I am looking forward to this match because I have always wanted to beat the shit out of him because he has been here less than I have, yet he has received more opportunities than me. I have wanted to beat on him ever since he made claim that he is the hero wrestling needs. I just cannot stand that cheesy line. And after Rise to Greatness, I have wanted to take Simon and kick him in the face. I have wanted to drop him then pin him because he has something that I want. He is one half of the current SCW World Tag Team Champions. I would love to add those championships to my resume.
Simon just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, I guess.
I would be thinking the same thing if I were stepping into the ring against Donovan Kayl. Either way, I will make my intentions known when I address Simon one last time before we meet in the ring. I will take the tag champions on by myself if need be. That isn’t being cocky or brash. That is just yours truly showing belief in himself. That is just yours truly knowing that I am that damn good.
I wake up.
I blink a few times and the room won’t stop spinning. My head is pounding something fierce, letting me know that while I am young, I am not as young as I used to be. Right now, I feel like I am in my fifties despite being twenty-eight. I run my hands over my face, taking in some deep breaths, blinking furiously trying to gain my vision.
I feel my body moving, barely, slowly but surely. I shake my head and pain ricochets from my skull down through my arms and back. I feel like I was in a bar fight and someone beat me with beer bottles and some stools. I blink again and my vision starts to clear. As it clears, I realize that I am in a place I am unsure of. I slowly turn my head and nothing looks familiar. I can’t even place myself. I start to ask where I am. I ask what I did last night. Who was I with? And then it hits me as the throbbing in my head continues. I was with Sanders last night. I look to my left and right to find two women I do not remember even meeting lying next to me.
I tell myself that I have never been this hung over. That I have never had such a difficult time remembering anything from the night prior. I ease my way out of the bed and try my best to make it out of whatever room I am in, stumbling around every few steps. I then make it out into the hallway and I look around. I see pictures of Sanders and his mother, as my memory slowly comes back to me. I realize that I am in Sanders’ childhood home. I tell myself that I haven’t been here since the morning I beat the shit out of Rex and found myself selling drugs for Sanders. I scoff and shake my head, which I regret due to the increasing amount of pain coursing through my skull.
I walk to the end of the hallway, my feet feeling like two ton bricks as I stumble and stomp all over the creaking hardwood floor, when I hear a voice call out from behind me, “There he is…” I slowly turn and I see Sanders stepping out of another room, lighting up a cigarette, as he walks towards me, looking like he is not feeling nearly as bad as I am. He is decked out in a black robe with a white tiger on it and black boxer briefs. He exhales, blowing a cloud of smoke out in the form of an “O”, “How are you feeling champ?”
I shrug my shoulders, “In one word: Shitty. I am pretty sure that will cover the extent of how I am feeling this morning. I don’t remember a damn thing from last night. I’ve been asking myself one question since I woke up.”
Sanders takes a drag off of his cig, “And what was the question?”
I extend my arms and look around the house before locking eyes with Sanders, “What the hell did I get myself into last night?”
Sanders and I share a laugh, before he responds in between drags, “You got into some good shit last night my friend. I got so high last night that I forgot to mention that I laced our joint.”
I look at him, as the pain coursing through me turns to agitation, “What do you mean you laced it? What the hell man? You should have told me…shit…what the hell did you lace it with?”
Sanders takes another drag and shrugs his shoulders, “A little bit of this and a little bit of that…either way man, you seemed to have had a great fucking time last night. I don’t see the problem.”
I run my hands over my face, trying to keep my shit together, “I wouldn’t have a problem if it wasn’t for the fact that you laced some weed I smoked. I don’t like that. That’s beyond fucked up, Sanders.”
He shakes his head, “You used to not care before. Have you gone soft? If you’ve gone soft then that little business proposition we discussed last night will go out the window in a heartbeat. Do you want that, James? I am interested in working together so I would hope not.”
As soon as the words escape his mouth, I tell myself to dial it back a bit. I tell myself that even though I would much rather kick Sanders’ teeth down his fucking throat and beat him within an inch of his life, I have a job to do. I tell myself to think about the pictures of his victims. A few of them flash into my head, and I take in a deep breath, lower my head as I slowly exhale, before returning my gaze to his, calming myself as much as possible, “You’re right man. I was acting a little soft. I apologize. It’s just been a long time since I partied like that bro. But I can used to it again, especially if you and I are going to be working together. I will just have to get reacquainted with the lifestyle. That’s all…”
Sanders smirks and nods his head, before taking one last drag of his cig and putting it out on the railing circling around the upstairs area. He then pulls me close and hugs me, patting me on the back as he speaks, “That is good to hear dude. I was getting a little worried at first. I was wondering if you were still the same James I grew up with and hung around as a kid. I can’t be hanging out with a softie, you know? I have a reputation to uphold?”
The hug ends and we separate. I look at him, shaking his hand, “And what kind of reputation do you have, Sanders?”
Sanders shrugs his shoulders, “I guess you will find out as time goes on my friend.”
I look at him, trying to appear curious, “And what does that mean exactly?”
Sanders lights up another cigarette, and takes a drag before responding, “Let’s just say that I’m not the same guy you grew up with.”
I say, “Fair enough.”
Sanders then walks by me and heads towards the opposite end of the hall. I stand here for a minute or two, wondering what I have gotten myself into. I ask myself if I am going to be able to handle whatever it is I am into now. I tell myself to keep calm. I tell myself that I need a joint right now as it would calm my nerves. I tell myself that it would probably help with my hangover. I lean back against the wall and let out a sigh, as I stare up at the ceiling.
I turn and look. One of the girls I woke up beside is standing in the doorway of the bedroom I woke up in. She is wearing my shirt, which only covers the top half of her pretty voluptuous body. I recognize her as one of the girls from Sanders’ bar last night. One of the girls that guys like Sanders and even me see as nothing more than a piece of ass. I lock eyes with her, “Back at you…”
A devilish grin appears on her face, devilish like her fiery orange hair, “Are you coming back to bed anytime soon?”
I cackle, “And why would I do that?”
She smirks then slowly removes my shirt, revealing what is underneath, something that I do not remember from last night. She slowly runs her fingers in between her tits, and stops right above her thong underwear, and she smiles at me, “I am pretty sure you can think of a reason or two why…”
I smirk now, “Well I will be honest. I was so fucked up last night that I don’t remember much of what happened.”
She starts to motion for me to come towards her with her finger as she slyly replies, “Oh trust me baby, I can refresh that memory of yours…”
“Well when you put it like that…”
I push myself away from the wall, keeping my eyes locked in on her, but my mind is doing something else entirely. I am a bad person. I am using this girl for sex. Sure that is all she wants, but she is younger than me. Maybe she knows better, maybe she doesn’t. But I definitely do know better. The thing is that I know that I am not a good person and my give a damn about certain things is broken. Five years ago, I left this place and I turned my back on a real shot at love. Ever since then, I haven’t given a fuck about relationships or anything close to it. That may be shallow of me, but like I said, I am not a good person. Sure there is some goodness in me, but it is outweighed by the darkness inside of me. Some things cannot be avoided, even when I have tried to. As I have gotten older, I have come to a realization. I have realized that you cannot stop the inevitable.
Over the years, it has become more and more true that I am just like my father. It’s just taken me awhile to come to terms with that.
I embrace the disaster.
“I see you had yourself a wonderful time the other night…”
I am meeting Briggs at a place I have not visited in a long time…my grandfather’s grave. I am standing with my back to Briggs, keeping my eyes on the grave, seeing my grandfather’s name etched into the stone and the words underneath: A Loving Husband, Father, and Grandfather.
I don’t take my eyes off of the stone as I reply, “Yeah I guess you could say that.”
I hear Briggs scoff, “I did say that. Would you call it anything else, James?”
“I am not really sure. But as you can see I am trying to pay my respects to my grandfather, so if this isn’t important then I’d rather you leave me be. But if it is, let’s make this little meeting quick if you don’t mind.”
Briggs says, “Were you able to get in with Sanders at all last night?”
I nod my head, “Yeah. He threw a party. I was there. I was the rock star. He showed me off, introduced me to some women and some drugs…”
Briggs fires back, “You did drugs, James? I sent you in there to work, not to partake. I am going to have remove you from this…”
I roll my eyes and take them off of the stone, before turning and facing Briggs, “I had to, Briggs. If I didn’t then there is a good chance Sanders would have suspected something and I wasn’t about to have him doing that. I did what I would have normally done back in the day to avoid suspicion. If you ask me it was a smart decision. And after the shit you showed me, I don’t think I want to give him any reason to think differently of me.”
Briggs places his hands in his pockets and looks down at the ground, nodding his head slightly, “Fine. You’re right. Smart thinking, James. But don’t be getting into drugs and fucking this whole thing up. That is all I ask.”
I shake my head and crack a grin, feeling a little unappreciated, “Look Briggs, I am going to do what I have to do to survive. I have my reasons for doing this. You put me in this situation. I am going to do my part, but I am also going to play the role. Besides…I got in with him. He and I may end up working together.”
This catches Briggs’ attention as he immediately looks up and locks eyes with me, “How did you manage to do that?”
I shrug my shoulders, “I brought up having connections in New York and having my dad’s money, as well as his connections. I told him we could expand his operation and it could bring him an empire.”
Briggs nods, “And do you think you can actually do that, James? Can you deliver? The only reason I am asking is the fact that if you can’t deliver, then there is a good chance Sanders will kill you. I don’t know about you but I would like to avoid that at all costs.”
“Trust me, I’d rather not die either. But to answer your question, I can deliver. I wasn’t kidding about having connections and having some of my father’s money. I know plenty of people in New York and I have plenty of his money. My name alone wields power just as long as no one knows that my father was a narc.”
Briggs shrugs his shoulders, “I don’t know James. I am sure someone somewhere knows something about that. Your father gave up a lot of people. A lot of people lost their livelihoods due to your father. I don’t know names or specifics, but I would go with my gut and say that there are those who know. So in saying that, I would suggest that you watch your back and be careful about who you talk to.”
I nod my head, “I will do my best, Briggs. But to be honest, there is one thing that my father always told me about being in this sort of life, doing this sort of business…”
Curiosity fills Briggs’ eyes as he asks, “And what is that?”
We lock eyes as I respond, “He told me to never trust anyone.”
Briggs shrugs and nods, “And he was probably right in all honesty James,” I watch as his eyes look over at the grave behind me, before looking back up at me, “But I will leave you be. We will be in touch kid. Just make sure you keep your head above water. Not only for me, but for yourself as well…Alright?”
I chuckle, “Yeah I will do my best. That is all I can do and hope for the best…” Briggs nods at me before turning and walking away. I stand here, just watching him before he disappears over the hill. I then turn and look at my grandfather’s grave. Every time that I have ever been here I grow weak. I feel so small, as if my grandfather Henry is watching me and judging me. He has every right to judge me, I tell myself, as I remain standing here, just staring. I let out a sigh, “I wish you were here paw paw, to talk me out of doing this, to talk some sense into me, to do something that would give me a reality check…”
I shake my head and look up at the gray sky, before I continue to speak, “You would be disappointed in me…I am sure you’re already disappointed in me, knowing what I’ve been doing and what I’ve done…disappointed in the fact that I am nothing like you would have envisioned…nothing like you raised me to be…”
I put my hands in my pockets and look down, looking away from my grandfather’s name, shaking my head a little bit more, as words continue to spew, “And I wish I could be everything that you raised me to be, to be the man that you were and the man you wanted me to be, but the thing is…I don’t think that I can do that. I don’t think I have ever had it in me to be anything like you even though I used to try so damn hard to be everything you were…”
“You were the glue that kept our family together and look at us now. I haven’t seen my mother or siblings in quite some time. We don’t keep contact. I can’t remember the last time I saw or heard from grandma. They are all probably just as disappointed in me and the man I’ve become as you are. I wish I could change that, but I am not sure it will ever happen. That is why I am helping Briggs. Maybe I could stop Sanders and put him as well as everyone else working with him behind bars, so they can be locked up and the cops will throw away the keys. I feel like if I do that then that will give me a shot at peace, that I can be seen as a good man…hell that I will be able to see myself as a good man…But then again, there is that part of me that feels like I belong in this type of world, that I am no better than my father or Sanders. There is a part of me that thinks I am not good enough to be anything like you, a part of me that feels like there is nothing that can save me…”
I look up at the sky as I hear thunder rumbling behind the gray clouds, and then I look down at the stone, laughing a little bit, “I guess it is just easier to be a bad guy, to be a shitty person. It is easier for me to fit in with Sanders and live that kind of life, be that kind of person, be that kind of man. And I know you’re disappointed. You’d be disappointed even more if you were still alive and well…” I pause and pull out a joint out of my pants pocket. I light it up and take a toke, before speaking once more, “I guess that is why I am here. I wanted to get all of this off of my chest and I wanted to apologize Paw Paw for what I have done and for what I am sure to do as time goes on…I’m sorry…” I say taking another toke, and just standing there, as the rain begins to fall.
S H O O T
It is just a day away from Breakdown and I am in my hotel room. I remember walking into the place and there were reporters and wrestling journalists…all of those wrestling insiders who think they know everything that goes on behind the scenes…standing by, waiting to see their favorite SCW wrestlers, all of those flavors of the month and then they see me. They all looked puzzled and baffled. I couldn’t help but laugh, just as I can’t help but laugh at all of the SCW fans cheering and voting for Simon Lyman to defeat me. But hey, I guess that is their prerogative.
It is raining outside so I am sitting near the balcony doors, with them cracked just a little bit to allow the smoke from my joint to filter out to the outside world. I take a toke and I let my wander a little bit, trying to take my focus off of the last few days with Sanders, my conversation with Briggs and the words I shared with my grandfather while standing at his grave, as I try to focus on Simon Lyman, preparing myself to deliver one final message before our encounter tomorrow night. I take one last toke, before putting the joint out, leaning forward and turning the camcorder on.
“You know when I first came into wrestling, most importantly the SCW, there was one thing that I did not want to do. I did not want to have the name Evans carry me to great heights as it did my ungrateful piece of shit cousin, Chad. I did not want to be carried by my family. I did not want to use my family as a crutch to make me millions of dollars doing something that I loved to do. And I have never truly used my family as a way to make a name for myself in this business, or this company. Sure, I have threatened to use it, to abuse the power that the Evans name holds, but I have never actually done it. I talk a lot of shit, but I can also back it up. You can call that a warning shot if you want.”
“But back to the subject of family. I am sure you’re all wondering what I am trying to get at. Let me be clear that I don’t give a damn about what any of you are wondering or thinking about. You see, someone like Simon Lyman cares about you and what you think. I do not. Simon uses his family to elevate him in his career. He rode the coattails of his ex-wife Trinity for quite some time. He then used their break up as ammo and he used it to help launch him towards the United States title and the World title. He used his wife to earn him a major match at Rise to Greatness not too long ago, putting her up against CHBK, like his wife was nothing more than an item on the shelf. No wonder she dropped his fucking ass. Simon had his head up his ass, that he was only thinking of himself. Haha. I am laughing because I find it funny that I am seen as the bad guy and he is supposed to be some sort of hero…”
I lean forward, grinning into the camera.
“Side note, if you ever need a real man Trinity, I’m your man. I won’t use as a way to elevate my career. I won’t make you seem like a prop or anything. I am not Simon. I am also not like Lucas who will more than likely bail when things get too complicated. It will be like the world title situation towards the end of 2010 all over again.”
My grin fades as I lean back into my seat before continuing to speak.
“And Simon…you know I am speaking the truth. You’re no hero. And I have no issue with proving that to be nothing short of a fact. You’re no hero. You use your wife. You bring your children up in promos and plaster your battle with your wife all over social fucking media. Nobody else gives a shit!!! I mean, they really don’t. That is shit that should be kept private. I don’t care if you’re a member of the SCW roster. I don’t care if you are seen as one of the faces of this fucking company. Katelyn Buehler and I have had our issues involving our children and I have tried to keep that shit out of the news. Her and William Mason like to spray paint it all over Twitter because that is the new trendy thing to do and they have nothing better to do with their time other than job out, ruining what careers they had in the first place. I laugh at wrestlers like you, Simon. You are supposed to be the good guy, the big hero, yet you are nothing more than a fool.”
“And let me clarify that by saying I am not referring to you as a wrestler. You can go in the ring. You have proven you can beat some of the best to ever lace up their boots for the SCW. I am referring to you as a person, outside of the ring, away from cameras and the limelight, away from the all the glitz and the glam. I am talking about you Simon Lyman, the man as well as the performer.”
I chuckle a little bit at that last line.
“When the cameras are turned off, I believe you are still performing. I believe that you’re not a good father, Simon because of all that I just mentioned. You clearly were not a good husband, as you were concerned only with yourself. I am sure you put your kid out there, showcasing her off like you are Stephen fucking Curry. It is all just a ploy to get the attention on you. Just like you did with your promo against Adrenaline Rush leading up to the SCW Tag Team Championship match at Apocalypse. You brought up how the death of your grandfather led to the opportunity for your bond with your own father to become stronger. What kind of shit is that? Are you trying to get sympathy? You are trying to milk a personal tragedy you’ve experienced for all that it is worth. To me it is like putting the American Flag or the Rebel Flag, or even a Bible scripture on a T-shirt. When you do that, it loses all meaning. It becomes nothing more than a way to make money and draw attention.”
“When you mentioned your relationship with your grandfather and your father, you probably turned more people off than anything else. I for one was like what the fuck, Simon? Why are you using your family or even mentioning them in a promo for a wrestling match? You compared your family to a wrestling opportunity. How shallow are you? Hell, I wouldn’t even have to bury you, Simon because it is obvious you are doing that yourself…”
I pause and just shake my head for a few moments. I even scoff a little bit, before shaking my head some more. I run my hands over my face, before I continue to speak.
“I lost my grandfather five years ago and I have never mentioned him. Not once in my entire wrestling career. I have never wanted any sort of sympathy. I respect my grandfather way too much to bring him into anything revolving around wrestling. I do want to use him or his death as a way to get the spotlight to shine down upon me. Besides, I was raised to keep my personal business private. I was raised to handle family matters differently. I would not plaster it all over social media. I would not use it to advance my career. The day I go to do something like that I would rather fucking quit.”
“I don’t to use my family as a crutch. I don’t want to bring up my kids. I don’t want to bring up any of the hardships I have endured outside of the ring and put it all on display for the world to see. It is none of the fucking world’s fucking business. But you need the attention. If the limelight isn’t on you or someone like your ex-wife then you would not know what to do with yourselves. Neither of you have had to deal with clawing and scratching your way towards the top of the SCW like I have had to do, like I still have to fucking do each time I step into the ring. Sure your life has been through some shit recently, but that is the cost of fame in terms of your ex-wife. Life takes people from you, Simon, which I guess you know that. But in the ring, there are those who are trying to take from you as well. You came in and took spots that should have been mine…you took them from me when I have been in this company longer than you. And now that you are in my sights, I am going to take something from you.”
I reach over and bring the camcorder closer, zooming in on my face, making sure that it is the only thing that can be seen, before I continue to speak.
“You are one half of the SCW World Tag Team Champions. I want to take that from you, Simon. I am declaring war on you tonight. I am going to go out onto Breakdown and I am going to stare at you from the opposite side of the ring. I am going to look at your title, the thing that I want, and then I am going to look at you. You are a roadblock. You are standing in my way of getting what I want. You are also a target, Simon and at Breakdown, I will begin breaking you down. I will beat you tomorrow night, either by pinfall or submission. And then I will continue to target you, breaking you down little by little, before those titles are finally on the line. And when that time comes, I am going to finish what I am going to start tomorrow night. I am not Lucas Knight. I am not CHBK. I am not Adrenaline Rush. I am an entirely different monster, Simon. I am not okay with losing. I am not coasting off all of my accomplishments and trying to relive my golden years. I am not some rookie. I am still young yes and I have tasted gold. I have been champion before. But I am hungry, Simon and I grow hungrier by the day. As soon as I saw that this match was signed, my appetite intensified. The SCW wanted to play games these past few weeks. Fuck them. I am not here to play around and if they don’t believe me, then I put an exclamation point to the end of that statement when I beat you right before their very eyes.”
I bring the camera away from my face and I smirk, before uttering my final words.
“See you soon…hero…”
I finish speaking then I lean forward and cut the feed.