The darkened sky is blank and barren except for the sliver of a crescent moon off in the distance as the cold shiver of death shakes the trees and bushes as it whispers throughout the night.
“James Harden with a three!”
Is heard in the distance as a replay of the Houston Rockets vs. the Memphis Grizzlies is shown on a forty inch plasma hanging from the patio roof as a gust of smoke makes the view hazy and out of focus temporarily. As the smoke clears, we see Scott Stevens relaxing on a recliner watching the game with a cigar in one hand and a whiskey sour in the other. Stevens watches the game with intent as there is only a few seconds left in the half.
“Rockets with a turnover!”
Stevens chews on his cigar with frustration and shakes his head in disgust as the Rockets turn the ball over again, and go into the half trailing by seven. As the halftime highlights and breakdown from the analysts, Stevens empties his glass as the last of the whiskey sour enters his mouth and goes down his throat. He places the glass onto a wooden coffee table as he reaches into his jacket pocket and pulls out his cell phone. The cheery on the end of the cigar flares up as Stevens takes a long drag on it as he punches in his code for is iPhone 6. Smoke slowly escapes the Texan’s nostrils as he pushes buttons on the screen of his smart phone until he brings up the record button. Stevens places his cigar into a nearby ashtray before pressing a button on the phone to turn the camera towards him and he pushes the large red button to record.
“Can you feel it?”
Stevens asks the prominent question.
“I’m not asking if you are feeling anxious that you could be an instant billionaire if you were to get lucky enough by striking it rich on the Powerball lottery or freezing your balls off like I am right now.”
Stevens informs as he reaches over and grabs his cigar and takes a quick drag to warm himself.
“No, I’m talking about did you feel the sucker punch that Sean Jackson gave to UTA’s gut as he turned everything upside down last night when he successfully cashed in his Ace in the Hole contract and became a three time world champion by defeating Eric Dane after he successfully retained his title in a grueling match with Will Haynes?”
Stevens asks as he raises his eyebrow and lets the question simmer.
“Sean Jackson’s little stunt last night sent unraveled everything. Everyone thought Eric Dane was going to be the world champion until All or Nothing, but Jackson ruined that didn’t he?”
Stevens smirks as he pours himself another whiskey sour before continuing.
“Last night proved that anything can happen any given week, and Sean Jackson has earned the right to celebrate not because he is a record setting three time world champion, but proving the doubters he’s still the man in UTA when people were wondering if he still had with his recent string of losses.”
Stevens says as he takes a drink.
“We celebrate many things throughout the calendar; holidays, anniversaries, baby showers, weddings, to name a few. These are traditions that we do every single year and because they are traditions they make us comfortable, and comfortable makes us complacent, and complacent means that you aren’t expecting to change. For example….”
Stevens takes another sip of his drink before clearing his throat.
“For those that don’t know today is my birthday.”
Stevens informs as he takes another sip from his class.
“Like many of you out there I’m a traditionalist, every year, it doesn’t matter if I celebrate with my friends and family or by myself I always do the same thing. It doesn’t matter if I’m at home or another state or possibly country for work I always eat a steak dinner prepared the way I like with mashed potatoes and a salad on the side. I’m a creature of habit because even though it could be a shitty day or I’m alone in some hotel room somewhere away from my family that steak dinner will always bring me a sense of happiness no matter where I am.”
Stevens informs before exhaling a cloud of smoke.
“While Will Haynes is wallowing in defeat for coming up short once again, and Eric Dane having his championship stolen from him, Jackson is celebrating by being at the top once again.”
Stevens says as he leans in his recliner.
“This past year we saw many things being celebrated; the Machine and Defiant wrestlers coming to UTA, and making their presence felt. We saw the implosion of Dynasty. We saw the rise and fall of La Flama Blanca, and the arrival of Lance Mikes…..”
Stevens stops to roll his eyes before continuing.
“But there was two things that happened at the exact same time, and those things involve myself and my opponent this upcoming Monday night.”
Stevens says as he finishes his drink and begins to pour himself another.
“At Season’s Beatings, El Trebol Jr. shocked the world when he defeated Sean Jackson, and I did the unthinkable when I defeated Colton Thorpe for the Wildfire championship. Two events that took place on the same night that sent ripples throughout the landscape of the UTA. El Trebol’s victory over Jackson earned him a shot at Kendrix and the Prodigy championship while I was given an opportunity to test my mettle against the measuring stick of UTA, Sean Jackson.”
Stevens says as he takes another drink of his whiskey.
“Two opportunities to celebrate our hard work, and even though we both lost on the next show we were both on I could still find happiness knowing that I was still the Wildfire championship while El Trebol just had to realize he wasn’t good enough. He had to go back into that locker room and look himself in the mirror and realize that he not only let himself down, but most importantly he let the fans down. El Trebol considers himself a superhero to the masses and when he couldn’t defeat the super villain known as Kendrix and rescue the Prodigy championship from the clutches of evil he knows he let the people down that look at him as a role model.”
Stevens downs his drink and sets his drink on the table as he gets to his feet.
“Having failed once already in his opportunity to claim championship gold he has put added pressure on himself because he’s not only fighting for himself, he’s also fighting for every single soul who comes to the Times Union Center in Albany, New York that night, and everyone watching around the world. He literally has the weight of the world on his shoulders for this match. El Trebol has back himself into a corner this Monday night on Victory because he is in a must win scenario for himself and all the people that look up to him, and that is why he will lose.
The difference between you and I is that while you need the admiration of the fans to motivate and fuel you, I don’t need it. The fans of UTA either like me or they don’t, but they respect me because I have proven myself in this company. Yes, you may have beaten the current world champion, but some say that was a fluke as you couldn’t capitalize by beating Kendrix while I capitalized on winning a shot at Colton Thorpe by beating him and becoming the Wildfire champion. That doubt from your loss to Kendrix still lurks in the back of your mind and slowly eats away at you as you keep playing that match over and over and wonder if you would’ve done one thing different you may be facing me in a champion vs. champion match.
You’re conflicted because you wanted to be the hero to the masses but you also know you’ve already failed them once, and if you fail them again they may turn on you or see you as what some say your are, someone that got lucky, and that is why you will fail once again when you step into the ring with me Junior. I’m no hero or villain, I am simply Scott Stevens, your Wildfire champion, and I will do whatever it takes to make sure I walk out of Albany victorious. You live by a certain code and so do I, and my code is get the job done by any means necessary. It’s nothing personal, it’s business. You want something of mine and you’re going to have to kill me to take it. Look what I did to Cayle Murray and Ron Hall when they made it known they wanted a shot at my Wildfire title. I drew first blood and I let them know just like I’m going to let you know this upcoming Monday that the Wildfire championship is mine and it’s going nowhere.”
Stevens hits the record button on his iPhone to stop recording the video and places his phone back into his jacket pocket and gets ready for the second half of the basketball game.
"If you don't have the ability to pass yourself off as the preeminent, then don't try."
- Kirk Irving