Close your eyes and begin with emptiness. Now let's, fill it with your imagination.
Imagine a wrap around leather sofa occupying space in a massive Great Room. Imagine a gigantic flat screen television mounted on the wall.
Imagine friends and family gathering to watch sporting events, awards shows - if you're into that type of thing. Imagine best friends staying up late, swapping "I don't cares" and drinking a couple of tall ones.
Imagine life in this room.
Now open your eyes. Look around. What you see is sad. Some might even say pathetic. It's the same Great Room but it's pulled out, stripped down to it's studs. The carpet is still there, the fireplace. The mantle is still intact, the fixtures haven't been sold or anything, but the life is gone. Sucked out of this room entirely.
No flat screen, just a small television, we're talking thirty inches or so here, sitting on top of a milk crate on it's side. There's no cable box, but a few channels can be picked up with the antenna that is plugged into it, sitting on the floor.
No "money green leather sofa", but there are two beach chairs set up, facing the TV set. They're a deep royal blue and have footrests. They recline well enough.
Now focus on why you're here. Occupying one of these royal thrones is the THRILLmaker in all his glory. He's reclined, hands behind his head. The TV is off but his eyes are looking that way. The camera crew grabbed him as he was watching Jeopardy of all things. Potent Potables for a thousand, Alex.
Haynes wears a De'vonte Freeman t-shirt jersey. The Atlanta Falcons logo showing nicely on the red home uniform color scheme. He has on a pair of black Nike training pants, and his feet sit comfortably in a pair of high Nike Dir-Fit socks. He nods his head and speaks.
Haynes: "Doc's got me on that home rest, life. Can't say I didn't see that one comin'. After the last few months I had, I thought that match in Japan would'a had me laid up for another month in a hospital."
Haynes stares down the camera.
Haynes: "That was one a' the most brutal matches I ever had. Some a' the stiffest shots I ever had t' take. Some a' the roughest bumps. I mean I don't gotta tell ya about it, I'm sure you all saw it."
Haynes nods and stands. He begins to walk towards the kitchen. The camera follows him as he moves about Casa de Thrill.
Haynes: "In that match, lemme tell ya right now, I did a few things I ain't proud of. A few things that I didn't mean t' do. I had no intention a' foldin' a steel chair over MJ's head."
Haynes reaches the island in the kitchen. Here too there are noticeable differences. The cabinets contain less plates, less utensils. There's noticeably less cereal on top of the fridge.
Haynes rests his arms on the island, and pushes his forehead into his hands. He closes his eyes, shaking his head.
Haynes: "When I'm tryin' t' sleep at night I can hear it. I can hear that chair wrappin' around her head. But that ain't what gets me."
"What gets me the most is the silence."
"The crowd. All hushed. Not thinkin' somethin' like that would happen."
He pauses letting his own silence fill the suddenly empty house. You can faintly hear a car buzzing down the street. All this room and only one man.
Haynes: "In that silence I could hear my life change."
Haynes crosses now to the fridge, the camera shuffling along with him. He opens it and we see inside briefly, the downsizing is noticeable here too. Once stocked full of goodies for his friends or himself, the fridge now contains very little. Some fruits, a few veggies, couple bottles of sparking water, and some cold cuts. Haynes grabs a bottle of water, and closes the appliance.
Haynes: "N' I knew that when it ended, things would be different. I would be different. And I am."
"I look at myself in the mirror n' I ask what happened, how'd I let it get t' this."
Haynes, in a moment of frustration, punches the freezer compartment of his fridge hard.
Haynes: "God da-"
Haynes recoils shaking his hand loose. He closes his eyes and shakes his head, taking a deep breath. Trying to re-center himself.
Haynes: "I don't got the answers. I don't know what t' do. All I can think about is how t' get on my life. All I can about now is how t' move forward, put all a' this shit behind me."
He deadpans towards the camera.
Haynes: "I know, easier said then done right?"
Haynes shrugs his shoulders. He takes a look around to either side. Almost as if he's expecting someone to show up, out of the blue. He takes his water in through the archway and back into the Great Room. Well formerly Great Room.
Haynes: "It's been quiet here, too. Just like that silence in Japan. But ya know this silence at home, it's kinda comforting. Gives me a little peace a mind. Allows me t' try n' make sense outta what went down at the end of International Affair. I mean I can't be the only one who finds what happened at the end a' that World Title Match a little strange, can I?"
Haynes lets the question sit there for a second. Waiting for the cameraman to respond perhaps. This lasts for only a brief second before he continues.
Haynes: "Maybe the silence here at Casa De Thrill will help me out in other ways. I can use it to reflect on what I did in that match with Mikey. I can find out who I am, who the hell I'm supposed t' be."
Haynes plops back down into his seat, kicking his feet up.
Haynes: "Hate t' admit this but Mikey got int' my head. He's got me searchin' myself, questionin' a' few things. Kids gotta way a' makin' you think."
Haynes nods his head. He's briefly remembering the times the two of them used to have. Right here in this very room.
Haynes: "Maybe I ain't a hundred percent, maybe I'm not in the best place mentality, but lemme tell you one thing right here, n' right now. I deserve a spot at the table when it comes t' the greatest prize in the land. When it comes t' the UTA World Title, the crown jewel a' this business, I deserve t' be mentioned.
"I didn't have t' be the only one NOT to lose t' win my shot, Jim. Nah, not at all. I earned my shot by pourin' blood, sweat, n' tears int' this place for the past year n' a half."
Haynes thumbs himself in the chest.
Haynes: "The past few months inparticular."
"While you were taken months off t' recover from a broken ego at the hands a' Pin Smith I was scorin' victories over Eric Dane. I was makin' Alex Beckman tap out in the middle a' the ring. I was pinnin' Sean Jackson in the middle a' Madison Square Garden."
"All while you were dust in the breeze, mon friar."
Haynes twists the top off his bottle, the carbonation makes a bit of noise. He drinks, hydrating himself.
Haynes: "Now since you came back, Jim, you been a gangbuster. You been settin' 'em up n' knockin' 'em down. But lemme tell ya somethin' - I ain't no Tag Team wrestler with a history a' injuries. I ain't Yeshua Pandalowpants. I ain't never wrestled in HOW. I don't think I ever wrestled with a mask on. N' I sure as hell ain't Zhalia Fears."
Haynes nods his head. He's not Zhalia. Not even close.
Haynes: "The point here, Jimmy, is that you're gonna have t' work in this one. You're gonna have t' work. I'm gonna push you. Gonna make this an up tempo speed clinic. You're gonna get gased and all your tech savy wrestling bullshit, all your chain wrestling combos, all your submission based ground game is gonna be ruined."
"N' I'm gonna be the one who ruins it. Me, the THRILLmaker. N' Jimmy, it's gonna drive you mad. Gonna drive you bonkers. Run you right up a tree."
Haynes smirks, tilting his head to the side.
Haynes: "N' that's gonna make me please as punch. Gonna make me really happy, exposin' that you don't quit got that Golden Boy touch back, Jimmy. That you ain't exactly hit your stride yet."
"I know I'm catchin' you after a layoff. I know you ain't at the top a' your game. You should thank me, Jimmy. Cause thanks t' me by the time you get t' face Eric Dane for your shot at his World Title, guess what - you're gonna be battle tested. In a big way."
Haynes again smirks. Bringing his eyebrows up and then quickly back down.
Haynes: "N' when I beat you, Jimmy, whatever you excuse you wanna make isn't gonna matter. All that's gonna matter is that the THRILL will have put the Number One Contender to the World Title to waste, just like he did the World Champion not too long ago. All that's gonna matter is the hard work I poured int' this thing a' ours payin' off. All that's gonna matter is me gettin' the attention a' Eric Dane."
"Way I see it, he's the last pound a' flesh I gotta collect t' set things right, Jimmy. As much as you want this to be ALL about you, I'm right here t' tell you it aint. You're just in the way, Jimmy. I know you ain't used t' hearin' that but oh well, here I am sayin' it."
Haynes face stretches into a smirk again. He can picture how hot under the collar Perfection must be getting.
Haynes: "Jimmy, I can't wait t' step int' that ring with ya again. Put all that Chamber business behind us. Give the fans somethin' t' take home with them. A memor a' two a' the best in the biz givin' it their all. Bring yours, Jimmy, cause I'm bringin' mine."
There's nothing more to see here.