“The truth is almost never something pleasant to listen to.”
“I’m not going to say anything nice about anyone or anything that isn’t true, because telling someone they’re better than they are is one of the most damnable lies that you can tell them. And I’m not going to pull punches when I tell someone about their faults and failings, because sugar-coating… deceives, deludes.”
I spent most of my most recent active stint in wrestling slouched in a leather armchair, and if not in the armchair, slouched somewhere else.
But I never cut a promo sitting on the edge of my bed.
Then again, I never ended up saying words on Christmas night instead, and there was no one in the building where my beige cinderblock wall is to let me in.
“I’ve been wrestling for 19 and a half years, and I’ve seen more wrestlers than you can imagine come and go. I’ve got an elephant’s memory, and I remember the names and finishing moves of most kids who worked for me for two weeks back in the year 2002. And as far as people who came up alongside me and went on to become superstars? I remember every single one of them. Not only have I seen shiny faced kids appear in the business and skyrocket to the top, I’ve seen journeymen, what’s the politically incorrect way to put it, ‘career midcarders,’ suddenly find a spark and fly up the cards.”
“And I do believe you’re capable of being one of those.”
“You want to know who isn’t capable of being one? Dan Benson. He’s been around almost as long as I have, and he is as awful as he was the days he walked in the door. And that’s because he’s always been, literally, too damn dumb to take advice and learn how to get better.
“You’re still young. You’ve got people to look up to. You’ve got plenty of them who’d be happy to see you succeed. You don’t have to turn out like that. And I honestly don’t think you will. That spark? I can see it flickering. It’s not lit, not quite yet. But let me tell you something else. Not sorry at all if it hurts, because if it isn’t hurting it isn’t helping.”
And here we go.
“You will never be good if you can’t handle being told that you aren’t good.”
I let the words hang for several seconds.
I don’t say anything, or do anything.
Deadtime is usually a bad thing, but I want MVC in particular to understand this.
“If being told that you aren’t good bothers you, then let it be your motivation - let that fire simmer in your belly until it erupts, and make sure your foot is aimed at someone’s face when it does.”
“Because that’s the only way you’re ever going to get good.”
I nod, let the words hang for just a little while.
“Now, let me tell you a little bit about the history of women’s wrestling. It ties into the whole getting good thing.”
“Truth is, UTA’s never had any of the true legendary female wrestlers of the game grace its’ halls. Zhalia, Kush, KVT, it’s had some good ones, but none of the ones who remember back when the majority of men thought they shouldn’t be in the ring at all. The ones who survived back then fought like you can barely comprehend. The ones who innovated brutal finishers because they had to finish matches decisively enough that detractors couldn’t pretend it away. The ones who developed their legendary submission skills because back in the day, it was happily accepted when the guys they wrestled groped and dry-humped them, and defending themselves wasn’t adequate - they had to be able to punish people for even trying it so violently that no one had the nerve to try it again.”
I shake my head, remembering. My ex girlfriend was one of those, and by the end of her career she’d gotten so good she was literally inventing new holds in the middle of matches and getting tapouts with them.
“That was years before your time, and years before your sister’s time, but the best of the best, they walked into Hell of their own free will and either unleashed the light of holy judgment or became a much bigger, scarier devil.”
“So Marie, when you complain about people hammering you for your win loss record, if that’s the worst thing that’s being said in reference to you, I really don’t feel the slightest bit of sympathy. In fact, for all my talk about sparks and future potential and not thinking you’re a waste of time - you should be upset about that record.”
“And I mean, upset.”
I grin, just a little.
“Kick people in the face upset.”
“DO SOMETHING upset.”
“Unleash the fucking fury on some dude so hard that you win the match and he’s lying in the ring thinking ‘no that wasn’t a fluke i just got run over by a goddamn tank’ upset.”
“Invent a new submission finisher and make Amy Harrison scream “YOU’RE THE RIGHTFUL CHAMP MARIE VAN CLAUDIO” at the top of her lungs or you’ll break her shoulders upset.”
“Go to the gym and do squats and deadlifts until you barf and pass out upset, because seriously, ten more pounds of muscle would do as much for your game as watching tape for a month straight.”
I’m running out of steam and I hate that, so I go with the good ol’ awkward finish.
“Just… like… so long as you quit worrying about what you did wrong in the past, and you get out there and do it.”
"Yeeeeeeeeeeeehhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! Ive ben wake for 2 whore days now!"
- Duke Dibbins