Everything that Ernest Hemingway said of Paris was accurate.
“If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.”
I’ve never lived here, but I lost count of times I’ve visited France’s magnificent capital many years ago. When I was growing-up, there were three affordable options for international travel directly from Aberdeen Airport: Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Paris.
From those options, Paris was Mum and Dad’s favourite choice for family weekends away, and I’ve been back plenty of times since. The city’s beautiful: not just aesthetically, but culturally, socially and artistically, and there’s a pristine majesty to the place that just doesn’t ever leave you. I don’t speak the language or know the streets, but I know the city.
This is the first time I’ve been here on “business,” if you can call it that. I’m not booked to fight on Monday night, but I know I’m almost certainly going to get into one.
Nothing is more prone to fuckery than a pro-wrestling contract signing. Seeing these two words together is an almost cast iron guarantee that something’s going to explode or erupt, and I can’t even pretend that I’m looking forward to it.
Let’s face it: these situations play-out like they’re supposed to. Two guys don’t just come down the aisle, ink their John Hancocks, and stroll merrily away again. You’re putting two heated rivals nose-to-nose in front of everybody to make their showdown official. Two men who nine times out of ten completely despise one another, and you’re giving them one last chance to one-up each other before the big match.
Of course this isn’t gonna go down quietly.
Of course Colt’s gonna start something.
It’s up to me to figure-out what.
Maybe he’ll bring Eric Dane with him.
Maybe he’ll get in my face and spit his trademark brand of bile, trying to rile me up and goad me into a fight.
Maybe he’ll just straight-up brain me with the belt.
Hell, he might even do all three.
Situations like this favour men like Colton Thorpe. Men without morals or common decency, who won’t think twice about hopping over that table and coming for my throat. I can’t strike first: all I can do is stand firm and try to counter whatever he’s got up his sleeve.
We’re set for an ugly night in The City of Light.
And then, once the ink dries and we make this thing official, the countdown to International Affair is on.
I can’t complain. Things like this are part of the game now, especially with rivalries as potent as that which Colt and I have built. I relish every single opportunity I’m given to peel that curtain back and step onto the stage, but this is as toxic a situation as any I’ve been in since coming to the UTA.
Thorpe’s got Dane, Team Danger and God knows who else watching his back, but I’ve got the fans watching mine. At least I know I’m not alone when I’m out there fending-off vultures and pulling the daggers out of my back.
But hardship is nothing new to me. I’ve built my character, my resolve, by overcoming dreadful situations. I’ve walked through hell and back more than once, and came back stronger every single time. Colt can knock me down, but he’s never gonna stop me from getting back up again, no matter what he’s got up his sleeve on Monday night.
Thus begins the prologue of Colton Thorpe and Cayle Murray’s first long dance. The only question is, how many chapters are left in this story?
"To come out and say that I AM HEADLINING would be extremely conceited and self centered. We all know how Mikey feels about self centered people…"
- Mikey Unlikely