In less than seventy two hours I will join three men in a contendership elimination match. A match, to be honest, I am looking forward to.
I could be out scouring Tokyo’s best landmarks and chatting it up with the kind folk, like I do everywhere we go. I could go to a local dojo and act like I belong there. I could simply go enjoy the nightlife… but my mind is focused forward. The moment I start getting into the fun and enjoying myself, that focus will falter. The fun can wait until after International Affair.
So instead here I am laying here on the balcony of our room in the Hilton Tokyo Odaiba, legs stretched out and arms folded back behind my head, just looking up at the night sky. April in the room inside passed out cold thanks to a bit of a overindulgence of sake after planting our feet back on land. Sure the place is a bit expensive, but it is worth it -- I need to see the view, and she needs her little smoke pit outside.
And yet, looking upwards, something just does not feel right. Like that ominous warning of the calm before the storm. Surely just my imagination at this point. Maybe my nerves are getting the better of me?
Looking for excuses before the big night?
I shook my head at my own thoughts. I do not need excuses. I need success. I need to believe in myself like the UTA universe has done. Like my friends and colleagues had done. It was after all thanks to them that I got my first ever UTA World Championship opportunity. I tried, but failed to accomplish my dream. And then like some odd twist of fate I find myself close once again.
However to get there and reach that plateau I have to get past Quinlan, Scott Stevenson, and mister former Dynasty and Champion Perfection.
Three men that either have impressive careers or surely will set them.
Scott Stevenson, the new blood. The High Octane Wrestling Champion of Chicago. An incredible athlete. But not only that, he is a fighter and proven competitor. The competition over there is surely not pushovers if guys like John Sektor had a hard time over there. Heck the stories that come out of that place make me glad that I am here in the UTA.
That is the thing though which Scott is not quite catching on to. This is the UTA. Not Chicago. Accomplishments outside the United Toughness Alliance are fine and good but really mean little in comparison. Apples and Pineapples. Oranges and Peanuts. Onions and … cauliflower. As odd as those pairings sound, is exactly the point.
I for sure can not look past Scott however. This man is looking to make his stint in the UTA, no matter how short, cemented into history. And he could very well do it, but not for the UTA World Championship. Not yet, Scott. Not yet.
Quinlan, is in a way also new blood. To a degree. Someone I have far greater knowledge on and experience, having been at most of his matches, and watching them either from the back or up in the stands. What is a Sanctus? That question that everyone from the back of the arena’s to the ringside would ask. I simply ask, who cares? Why does something have to have a meaning? It is much the same as people asking me why Kimera with the K.
I laughed and closed my eyes. If only they knew the reason for what it was rather than some joke spelling.
Sanctus and Quinlan are still the same person regardless of the masked identity. He still holds his core values, which I can greatly respect, even if has been led astray at a time. The Truth of course are no laughing matter, just ask Lisil. Aside from ruining a perfectly good soda machine, that teddy bear of a man went ballistic on those two and they went and tossed his spirits overboard. The non-religious part of me has to wonder what that means, but that is for another time.
Quinlan I expect will be most impressive come Sunday. This is his chance to not only prove himself, but also to earn a championship opportunity down the line. It just will not be for the UTA World Championship. Not yet, Quinlan. Not yet.
I laid there, knowing… just knowing, one day soon Quinlan would be a champion and Sunday could be the one chance he has been waiting on.
Perfection… Out of the three, he is the one to focus on the most. Not to take anything from the other two but Perfection has been around the bend. He knows the tricks of the trade, and he knows just how to push the limits to their utmost without putting his chance at victory at risk. And here we are in a four way match which he can simply sit out until the first two are eliminated or when he spots the time to intervene.
There are no rules that state that all four competitors have to compete from the bell to the bell. And rules, as were Dynasty’s forte, are easily toyed with. This is a specialty of Perfection. Jokes aside on how irate and serious he was for his hands to return to the Prodigy Championship around Ron Hall’s waist, you know he is coming into this match with every intent to be the last one standing.
His career like many has had its ups and downs but unlike many, including myself, when the stakes are at the highest he has found ways to come out on top. That is the kind of man he is. That is why Dynasty has been at the top of the food chain since day one’s development. Fact is, and as much as I hate to admit it, to which I never would on camera, if not for his suspension I truly do believe that it would be Perfection defending that UTA World Championship at International Affair, and not La Flama Blanca.
Blanca would surely have still gave his all with Sean Jackson, and came out on top but Perfection would have ruined his glory days and made a deal with Wingate for a title shot. Which he then would win. Blanca is a great wrestler. In fact one of the best in this industry and that will never change. But Perfection is a league of his own, and I know he will be looking at delivering any and all stops he can in this fourway elimination match. He wants that UTA World Championship again. He knows that winning this match will set him on track to getting it back, likely at Seasons Beatings. Or whatever the next event is.
I have no doubt that he will be a UTA Champion again. But it will not be for the UTA World Championship. Not yet, Perfection. Not yet.
That opportunity will go to the overall winner and last person standing in the match.
That person will not be Perfection. That person will not be Quinlan. That person will not be Scott Stevenson.
"That person will be me." I stated with a smile across my face.
Going forward I HAVE to think like that. I have always put my opponents up on the pedestal before me. Rightfully so, of course, but that is also where things can go wrong and often have. I respect them. I honor them with our great matches together. I ensure that the fans are entertained.
Why can I not put the focus on myself? Why do I have to always look outward at those in the position that I can see myself in? Why am I not the one looking over out at those people?
Does that make me a bad person? Does putting yourself ahead of the rest, for once in your life, make you a bad person?
It is a question that I will continue to ask until I step in that ring on Sunday night.
My love and passion for this industry and the fans will never change.
Looking up at the sky, that same clear sky had been swamped by cloud cover. The moon barely visible as its remaining rays lit up the side of the hotel. A ray of hope, perhaps.
It seems clear to me now. If I want to accomplish my dreams…
If I want to put myself ahead of others…
If I want to have a legacy of my own…
If I want… I need… Then I will..
Leaning up I twisted my body around, jumping forward to the center of the balcony floor. I shot my arms out to the side, leaned back and sucked in the cool Japan air -- before shouting out at my loudest volume.
“I WILL CHANGE!”
I smirked while ignoring the sudden number of lights turning on through the windows of the hotel and buildings around.
In order to be at the top, you have to be willing to make self-sacrifices. Perfection knew this all too well and it has got him far. Quinlan I am sure realized this which is why he took off the mask. And Scott Stevenson is a World Champion already and no doubt had learned this lesson sometime ago. If that is what it takes, then that is what I must do.
...And what I will do.
Sunday, Tokyo, let those rays shine down bright as I step out of that ring having secured my World Championship contendership opportunity once again.
And then the climb to the top of the mountain will begin. And if I have to push everyone standing in my way off…
I shrugged and spoke softly with a whisper of my voice, “So be it.”
"Look at this! LOOK AT THIS! What the heck am I supposed to wear now? I've washed, and washed, and washed these damn things until I ran out of quarters and your Chance Von Cumstains won't come out!"
- Shawn FX